Mermaid hair courtesy of L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Chalk

L'Oreal Hair Chalk

I first witnessed L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Chalk at London Fashion Week, when they created this mind-blowing look at Ashish. Although I was impressed by the results, I remained dubious as to whether they’d work on my hair – it’s always been too dark for any temporary colour to take, much as I might dream about it.

The other week, though, I was invited by L’Oreal to the lovely Daniel Galvin salon in Marylebone to trial Hair Chalk for myself – and trial it I did, getting chalked up in a major way. Like, more than anyone in the room. Like, crazy fangirl levels. I picked blue and green (t0 match my outfit, YOLO) and ended the night looking like a mermaid. The colour worked amazingly – amazingly vibrant, even on my dark red. I was so impressed, I even got my photo taken! And that never happens.

So what is Hair Chalk? It’s a liquid colour (think food dye consistency) which lasts up to three washes, designed for temporary transformations on any type of hair. In the salon, it comes with a sponge applicator so your colourist can paint it on, then blow-dry it in to ‘set’. The at-home version comes with tab-style applicators, which you blob the colour onto, fold over your hair, then pull through the ends – although I would definitely be tempted to get crafty with a paintbrush and do some more extravagant DIY.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the brightness and visibility of these shades – even on black hair I’m certain you’d get a great result. The other surprise is just how normal it leaves your hair feeling. Much as I love some of the other temporary colour products out there, most have a slightly dry or dusty feel – which is fine when you’re doing a textured hair look, but not so great if you want something more polished. I couldn’t even feel anything in my hair once this was dried in, which I think would be a big selling point for those that aren’t as grungy as me and do, in fact, brush their hair more than once a week.

As a teenage Manic Panic addict, I adore Hair Chalk. The change is instant and it really does wash out easily – in fact, they did warn me it could be five washes with my hair being so porous (polite for ‘dry’), but it washed out in two goes with absolutely no trace. Maybe if you were blonde it’d last longer, but I can only imagine it would fade beautifully.

Pro tips: plait your hair and paint on at random for the feathery effect I have. You can only see one in that pic, but I had them throughout in Garden Party and Cruise.

Hair Chalk is salon only, as all good colour should be, and you can find your nearest stockist here. You can also get inspiration for techniques here!

All I want for Christmas…



Top to bottom

1. Gasius Hawaiian shirt, £55 at Goodhood – pizza, pineapples, Hawaii. All my favourite things on one shirt, from my favourite shop.

2. Hair: Fashion to Fantasy by Laurent Philippon, £24.95 at Thames & Hudson – even if you’re not into hair as much as I am, this is a fantastic and beautiful book that covers history and pop culture as much as barnets. HUGELY recommend it.


3. Bella Freud 1970 candle, £38 at Space NK – the first time I realised the joy an overpriced candle could bring was at a Bella Freud for Biba show, which was held at the wonderful Freemason’s Hall and scented by Diptyque Baies Noir candles. That’s probs my all-time fave, but this one by Bella sounds like it might smell vaguely similar with black musk and patchouli. Yum.


4.  Yves Saint Laurent Limited Edition Blush Palette, £29.50 at Debenhams – makeup is always a tricky one at Christmas, but I don’t imagine anyone would be unhappy with this. The YSL Christmas palettes are always things of beauty and really, super-pink suits everyone.

5. Clear Clutch Bag With Internal Glitter Purse, £30 at ASOS – Perspex clutch gets a sense of humour. Also means the world won’t see your tampons.

6. Eye Ring, £28 at Maria Francesca Pepe – it’s not Christmas without a MFP wishlist. I’d like one for each finger.

7. Maui Big Swell IPA, £3.50 at Beermerchants – I sort of can’t bear how expensive it is, but I still would be delighted to find a can of this in my stocking. That’s two Hawaiian things on my list. Number three is a flight back.

8. Glitter Bunny Ear Scrunchie, £4 at Topshop – at that price, you should get one in every colour. Best case for the revival of the scrunchie I’ve seen.

9. Cicely Courtneidge pocket mirror, £4, National Portrait Gallery – feel bad about yourself every time you look in the mirror by comparing yourself to the impossibly wonderful Cicely Courtneidge. Also available: Barbara Cartland, Gladys Cooper and Gabrielle Ray.

10. Bat Mobile Phone Cover, £9.99 at Zara – the one thing on this list that I will sulk forever about if I don’t get for Christmas.

This is Laundry: A super-cool Sheffield salon

Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield
Laundry hair salon, Sheffield

I  was in Sheffield this weekend using up some annual leave, but being the dedicated journalist and hairdressing hound that I am, couldn’t resist the invitation to check out my home town’s latest salon; Laundry.

This stylish spot was opened a couple of weeks ago by the brains behind The Chimney House, which I haven’t had cause to visit yet but which is so beautiful that I’ve considered changing my opinion on marriage especially. Or perhaps just having a massive birthday party.

Being part of the Chimney House family, the salon is stupendously beautiful and full of cool and interesting things. Full disclaimer: I haven’t lived in Sheffield for years and maybe there are stylish salons like this everywhere. But I’m pretty sure there aren’t.

Co-owner Sally showed me around, and I tried really hard not to coo at everything like the fangirl I am – but look at it! Some highlights; flooring made from recycled school gym floors (hence the colourful court markings), amazing tiled counter, big butler sink, nice fresh meadow flowers throughout, massive comfy chairs, that awesome central concrete table rather than private styling stations, a gift-shop of cool fun stuff at the front. Oh, I just love it!

I didn’t have an appointment (roll on Christmas, when I definitely will book in) but the hairdressing side of things looks to be just as good as the OYMHGODIT’SBEAUTIFUL side. Heading things up is Mitchell Wilson; TONI&GUY trained and the man who brought their franchise to Sheffield in the first place. I saw good hair all round when I was nosying and, from a selfish point of view, was pleased to see they use Wella Professional colour as that’s what I get. And I’m clearly planning for the future.

After our look around, Sally took me next door to Tamper coffee; another cool new addition that has appeared in the last year. Tamper actually shares the same building as Laundry – a 19th century cutlery works (obv, this is Sheffield) which is Grade II listed and built around a sweet courtyard. I feel genuinely thrilled that my hometown has all this new cool stuff that I didn’t know about – it’s had the cool people long enough!

Prices for Laundry start at £25 and you can find them at 151 Sellers Wheel, Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU. Tamper is right next door!

[Pics via Laundry]

Doing the Bartman

Patrick Bartman by Sam Taylor

Been a while, huh? What better way to reignite my brain than with this amazing Sam Taylor t-shirt, which I just saw my buddy post on Instagram. So, so good. You can buy your own Patrick Bartman here.

To be worn underneath this vintage jumper from Rokit which I bagged earlier this year;

Vintage Bart Simpson bartman jumper

And on top of these shorts which I’ve been pondering despite my advanced years and big bum;

Bart Simpson jorts

While listening to this;




Cat napping with Charlotte Olympia

Charlotte Olympia Cat Nap slipper and silk mask set

I’m 100% a dog person (sorry, internet at large), but I still wouldn’t say no to this Charlotte Olympia Cat Nap kit, which combines the designer’s best-selling Kitty slippers with a silk cat eye mask and spiderweb pouch.

It’s available in black, red, pink and a whole host of other colours and is due to launch soon… presumably just in time for Christmas. Check the site for updates!

I’m all about lounging in style – as this extensive archive of posts tagged ‘pyjamas’ worryingly reveals. On this occasion, may I suggest reading PG Wodehouse’s The Man Who Disliked Cats as you do so?

Thank Furcoat it’s Friday

1. Ru Paul and Elvira in a car. The latest (and most topical) edition of the Ru Paul Drives… series. I also recommend the Henry Rollins one, obviously.

2. Go Book Yourself is a nice book recommendation Tumblr. A nice option if you’ve read everything on my Good Reads list already.

3. The Ohio State University marching band are insanely great. I nearly missed a meeting and cried because of their videos once this week.

4. Did you know that three quarters of the cast of The Craft reunited this week? Well, they did.

5. This goth style guide is not just great, it features a wonderful bit of animation. (Thanks, Silv!)

Reclaiming the sexy cat

The sexy cat gets a bad wrap as far as Halloween costumes go, but I don’t think it’s as bad as all that. Anyway, as I hurtle towards 30, I’m enjoying a renewed interest in the concept of sexy; not sure if it’s a mid-life crisis which will swiftly be followed by the purchase of an orange Lamborghini or if it’s the much-feted mystical confidence that you apparently develop when you finally start to feel ~at home in your body.

I have no Halloween plans this year (what kind of goth am I?), but if I was going out I might just dress as a sexy cat and sod the lot of you. Here’s my counsel for the defence of sexycat’s most common complaints;

1. It’s just an excuse to look slutty.

And? Elvira barely wore any clothes and she’s a boner-fide solid Halloween hero.

2. It’s not scary.

Neither is Carl the Ikea Monkey. Or baby North West. Or a sushi baby.

3. It’s unoriginal.

So is a Dia de los Muertos Catrina, Wayne and Garth, a Jeff Bridges Dude, Terry Richardson, a Lichtenstein lady and Heisenberg. Making a domestic pet look slutty is waaaay weirder than any of those things. Perverse, frankly.


[Topshop dress / Maison Michel ears / Topshop heels / Olympia Le Tan book]

Work it out: a girl group running playlist

1960s workout - women with beehives running

I’ve had various keeping-fit phases in my life, but no matter what my age and where I’ve been doing said keeping fit, the soundtrack has tended towards the hard and heavy. What can I say? I like my workouts hard and my music heavy.

At university it was all about hardcore, these days it’s more metal – particularly the metal running playlist that Andy made me last year. He’s currently working on a speed metal update, which I’m sure will spur me on even further in my bid to a 20-minute 10km.

When I saw this picture, however, I decided that maybe there was something to be said for keeping things a bit more glamorous in the gym. After all, I always seem to show up after work with my hair did and lips in Neon Orange or Show Orchid, so why shouldn’t my tunes match?

Here, then, a glamorous 60s workout playlist.

Thank Furcoat it’s Friday


”If you’re doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to f*** you on the deal.”

1. Advice for young people from William S Burroughs, my fave. [via Teenage]

2. Why do top chefs listen to heavy metal when they’re cooking? Not a joke, but in fact a piece of research.

3. As Tumblr gains 50 billion posts (and a search function that works!!), here’s one of the best sites I’ve found recently; Expert Cosmo Tips. [Via @AmyOdell]

4. And also, Twitter Douchebags.

5. The Rookie ghost prom playlist is the best Halloween playlist I’ve heard yet.