Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The good, the bad and the ugly..... Oscar Hair 2013!

I wasn't completely blown away by hairstyles at this years Oscar Awards but after the boring styles at the SAG's and Golden Globes it was a major improvement. At least there were some risks taken and these risks definitely worked out. I'll start with the list of my favourites.

Reese Witherspoon had the most stunning hair at this years awards. Now I know your all saying to yourselves wasn't she giving out about over the shoulder finger waves hairstyle at the last few awards? Well yes I was. I was on one hell of a rant too might I add but that was because it was bad versions of it. It was all very flat at the Golden Globes. There was no volume, way too much hairspray and nearly every actress had the exact same style. Reese absolutely nailed it, or should I say her hairstylist did! From a technical point of view this is an absolutely amazing piece of work. Reese has good hair but she doesn't have enough to make it that big. My guess is that there are clip in's added to create this look but they are matched perfectly. Also I love how the wave is styled quite high up in the mid lengths. While this is a little difficult to achieve for a good hairstylist, it's actually trying to make it last is the real problem. I'm well impressed with this hairstyle and so Reese is once again added to my best awards hair list. Jessica Chastain has gorgeous hair and this is the only thing that just about saved her from falling into the boring yawnsome list. Her hair was beautifully styled and I'm glad she didn't wear it to one side over her shoulder as there was no way she could compete with Reese. It was the perfect style to go with the look and I felt she was one of the best dressed ladies of the night. Her metallic dress was exquisite and the toffee colour matched her skin and hair colour perfectly. A winner for me.

I loved that quite a few actresses wore their hair up. I adore updos but it can go horribly wrong sometimes. Thankfully there were only a few icky ones and most got it right! Naomi Watts style was very soft from the front. I loved it as it didn't look like it was overdone with product. I also liked that even though it was all swept back there was an ever so slight parting in the left hand side which kept the look even softer. Amy Adams can do no wrong with her hair this whole awards season. She stole the show for me at the Golden Globes but for the Oscars she kept it extremely simple and a lot smoother. She needed to go this way with all the ruffles going on with her exquisite gown. I know a lot of people felt she looked 'undone' but I think it was a total appropriate style for the over all look otherwise she would be heading for poodle territory. Jessica Lawerence really didn't do it for me with her dress choice. I personally thought the end of her dress was too big....she did trip up the steps after all! She very nearly didn't do it for me with her hair but because she took a risk she also just about climbs to the bottom of my best awards hair list. I love the twists back from the front and the low chignon at the back but I really felt that someone was a little heavy handed with the can of hairspray. In photos it looks fine but while watching it live on TV last night it looked slightly crispy. A total pet hate of mine! I totally predict this style being a winner with brides this year.

Now for the bad and this won't be nice! Anne Hathaway looked like a soccer mom. She completely aged herself a decade with this style. It's way too heavy at the front and her hairline is too structured for this style. All she needed was more product to take the settled look from it. Kirsten Stewert just looked like she couldn't be bothered. Her hair looked like it couldn't make up its mind if it wanted to be straight or waved and to be honest it just looked greasy. In fact she just looks like she needs scrub full stop! We have seen her with fantastic hair in Twilight so there's no excuse. Her updo for the marriage between Bella and Edward was the most requested upstyle by brides in my salon last year. And lastly Jennifer Aniston. What was she thinking going on the red carpet with her boring hair. She wore a spectacular dress that wasn't black and then decided she would just blowdry her hair. I can say no more on the yawnsome hairstyle of hers other than she must have ugly ears as she seems to continuously want to hide them! I could go on with my list but these were the worst offenders and I want to comment more on the good than the bad.

I'm definitely going to recreate some of these looks really soon and blog about them. Some are quite easy to recreate yourself at home. Also I will be involved in a shoot really soon where we will be doing Oscar makeovers so more on that really soon!

Monday, 25 February 2013

It's Britney B****!

Wow....check out Britney Spears! She had gone under a major hair transformation from blonde to brunette. I must say I was never really fond of blonde Britney. I always thought it was either too light or too brassy. Her hair was never the right shade for her skin tone....shame on her stylist. All it would take is some lowlights and a toner!

Her colour now is amazing. In pictures it's coming across as an iced chestnut shade but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more photos over the next few days as I'm sure she will be on ever magazine with her big change! What do you all think?? X

Monday, 4 February 2013

Little Red Jacket

I picked up this gorgeous red jacket from Forever 21 and isn't it just so amazing! It's not real leather but I think it's the closest thing I've seen to the real deal. The studding detail is quite cool on it and I love that the arms are nice and fitted. It's a pet hate of mine when the material around my arm is loose. The colour is a bit on the loud side and I'm still getting used to it but its definitely one of the best fitting jackets I have found in a long time. I wore it with a new shirt I picked up from Penny's which is quite similar to those seen to a  Marni silk shirt I saw recently on Net-a-Porter. Of course the Penny's version is a lot more purse friendly and for under €20 I really couldn't resist. It has gorgeous detailed stitching around the neck and the material is very good quality. Something that I think Penny's have improved in the last few months.

Jacket and jewellery - Forever 21

Shirt - Penny's

Denims - River Island

Sunday, 3 February 2013

It's All Fine....

Have you won the hair lottery? No? I guess no woman ever feels she has.

Over the last few weeks my Twitter followers and Facebook friends have been asking me loads of hair related questions. Particularly tips and tricks on how to style very fine, limp hair. I myself have very fine hair and to be honest it's the bane of my life. As a hairstylist I have the wonderful opportunity of getting to style all different hair types every day and I must say I am constantly living in a state of hair lust. I would love to have a ginormous head of flowing curls, who wouldn't? I wouldn't even mind the accompanying frizz. When I say this to my clients they look at me horrified and try to reason with me that I have the silkiest, glossiest locks ever. If they called back a couple of hours later they would see me trying to imitate a greasy monkey (a look that I am only too familiar with)! I guess as women we all want what we can't have.

I've decided to make a list of tips and tricks that I use myself that may help all you ladies out there beat that limp feeling. These tips have been tested on my own clients and they have come back telling me about how much these small changes in their hair routine have really helped.


Sick of your hair feeling wispy? Hate looking at your rat tail ends? When a new client first sits down for a consultation and complains that her hair feels very wispy I can guarantee you that in the majority of cases the client has a bad hair cut. Different hair types need different hair cuts. Fine hair needs to be cut blunt so that the hairstyle has a bulkier look with more definition. Trust me when I tell you this, a good haircut will change your life!

Heavily layered looks should be left to thicker hair types. A cut with longer layers on a long hairstyle is a much better look. You can still create great shape by having shorter layers around the face or even getting a choppy fringe to completely change your look. On shorter hairstyles the opposite may apply depending on the style. Shorter layers create great texture and tend to be easier to manage and style.

Although an appropriate haircut won't actually physically thicken your hair, it will give it a more shapely appearance and make it so much easier to style. So the most important tip I can give anyone who has difficulty with this hair type is to find a good, professional stylist who has experience with fine hair.


I always tell my clients that everything starts at the wash basin. What you wash your hair with and how you do it is essential to you getting that extra day out of a hairstyle. If you have fine hair you are most definitely going to suffer from oiliness as well. This is cause by your sebaceous glands producing more oil. This natural body oil is also known as sebum. If you feel that you are really producing an excessive amount of oil more than what should be normal it may be worth a visit to your doctor as this may be a sign of a hormonal issue. However while you can't actually stop oil production all together there are so many ways that you can prep your hair to stop producing so much.

Don't use very hot water. This can dehydrate your hair and scalp which makes your sebaceous gland produce more oil thus making your hair greasier quicker.

When shampooing never scrub too hard. The really is no need to scrub like a mad woman. Your hair will be just as clean if you massage your shampoo in. You really only need to shampoo your hair once with a clarifying shampoo. This type of shampoo helps lift oil and dirt from the hair and scalp but not in a harsh abrasive way. My absolute favourite shampoo is Paul Mitchell Shampoo 2. It has definitely given me that extra day out if my blowdry since I started using it. Only condition your ends with a lightweight conditioner and on short hair I would advice you may only need to condition every second wash.

My best washing tip ever is to finish with a cold rinse. It totally seals everything and creates the best shine ever. I couldn't bear to turn the water down to cold so I throw my head over the side of the bath when I get out of the shower. You have to try this because it totally works for all hair types!


Nobody has good hair without styling products. This I absolutely swear to you. The next time you see someone with fabulous hair ask them what they use on their hair as I guarantee you that they definitely use styling products to achieve beautiful hair.

Finding the right products for fine hair can be quite tricky as you don't want to weigh down your hair. I've made a list of my all time favourite products. Some are salon brand and some can be bought in your local supermarket or chemist. I've spent years going through so many products only to be disappointed by many so these really are the best of what's out there.

Paul Mitchell Super Strength Liquid Treatment - This is a powerful leave-in remedy to reinforce and repair weakened, distressed hair, effectively strengthening and restoring hair. It revives fine, weak or chemically treated hair with marine extracts and vegetable proteins which replenish every strand while special silicones help protect the surface, leaving the cuticle smooth and healthy looking. It is also combined with UV protection to help replace lost minerals and proteins and seal split ends. This is a must if you are trying to grow your hair. It's extremely lightweight and does not cause oiliness. This product is exclusive to hair salons including Kopper Hair Cork.

Revlon Equave Two Phase - This product is amazing on fine hair that is damaged from over processing such as highlighting, straightening etc. It's lightweight and does not make hair oily. Revlon Equave is the perfect conditioner for dry hair that needs hydrating. Its to be applied on towel-dried hair and left in, this two-phase hydro nutritive conditioner contains Grape and Green Tea extracts. The blue phase nourises, moisturises and revitalises while the white phase detangles, beautifies and protects hair. This is available from selected hair salons.

Alfaparf Semi Di Lino Illuminating Strong Hold Mousse - I have spent years searching for the perfect mousse. I have finally found this beauty and I love it. This microcrystalline molding mousse adds texture and natural movement to straight hair or defines curls without stiffness or excessive build-up on curly hair. Its conditioning too so you don't get that crispy feeling. My best trick for using this product is the 'Double Mousse Trick'. Apply a good amount of the product to towel dried hair and start drying the product in. When the heavy wetness has been dried out of the hair apply more mousse. The reason for this is because when you first apply the mousse you are diluting the products strength with the water from your hair. Applying the second time makes the product stronger and gives the hair better memory to hold the style you blowdry into your hair. You can't do this trick with every mousse as most aren't as lightweight as this one so be careful or you will end up with sticky hair! This is available from selected hair salons and Kopper Hair Cork.

L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray (black label) - Most of you probably already use this as its a firm favourite with hairstylists and non-hairstylists alike. I have gone through most of the range and the black label version is by far the best as its a dry spray and there is absolutely no stickiness at all. It's the best hairspray I've ever used when wearing hair down as I'm allergic to the crispy hair look that you can get from other hair sprays. This is available from Boots and major supermarkets.

Batiste XXL Dry Shampoo - This is AMAZING! Like truly amazing. I couldn't live without this product. Not only does it absorb any oiliness like the ordinary batiste dry shampoos but this has the added benefit of adding huge volume to limp hair. I use this product all the time in the salon when creating bouncy curls or when upstyling hair. Just spray into the hair (not too close) and rub or brush it in very well. Don't worry if your hair looks a bit chalky or white as it takes up to 15 minutes for the product to absorb. This is a must, you need this product! This is available in Boots and major supermarkets.

I hope that these tips can improve your daily hair routine for the better so give them a go and let me know how you get on. If you have any questions please feel free to ask! X

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Another Little Haul!

I went to Dublin recently to go see Two Door Cinema Club who are one of my favourite bands. If you haven't listened to their music go do it. They're awesome and you have no idea what your missing. Of course I can't go to Dublin without doing a little retail therapy so I had made sure I had plenty of time on Saturday. I was so disappointed and came away with very few things. Maybe it was the fact that it was the end of the winter sale and possibly that they just didn't get their new stock in but I was very disappointed!

I did however pick up these amazing shoes from Office. I adore the perspex heel with it's ombre effect. And even better that they were in the sale. A super bargain at only €15!

Forward a week later and I was busy rushing through Cork when I decided to spend a very quick 10 minutes browsing through Penny's before the store closed. I was in my element when I saw this very cute denim shirt with chiffon sleeves. Like the blue shirt I bought the same day, I was extremely surprised to see how much Penny's have improved the quality of their clothing. The fabric feels fantastic and the denim is so soft.

This outfit is quite a mix of high street. The shirt and tights are from Penny's. The skirt is from TRF in Zara and the shoes are from Office.

Monday, 28 January 2013

My Little Hair Rant!

This is a post where I just want to vent my frustration! I am so disappointed with the hairstyles at all of the 2013 red carpet awards so far.

It started off as a classic, glamourous look at the Critics Choice Awards and when I saw the same trend appearing at the Golden Globes I got a little bored I must admit. But oh my goodness when I saw the exact same hairstyles appearing at last nights Screen Actor Guild Awards I was just so frustrated by the lack of vision and imagination from Hollywood hairstylists!

I am so over this deep parted waved hair to one side. I'm hoping that the trend will change for the upcoming Oscars. Say a prayer or my rant may continue!

Mr Tom Ford

I've been hearing quite a bit about Tom Ford makeup lately. Mostly from my twitter friend Susan Fulignati, who is possibly the love child of Tom Ford himself and Carine Roitfeld. Although this is yet to be confirmed. Tom Ford is a divine luxurious brand and as I was in a divine luxurious mood I knew where I wanted to go!

After my recent hair colour change I decided that I needed a new lipstick colour. The shades I usually wore with my lilac hair just look all wrong with my new balayage locks. So a trip to the Tom Ford counter in Brown Thomas was a must.

A very lovely male make up artist greeted me as I approached and asked me to take a seat while showing me the luxurious selection of lipsticks. I was asked a few different questions. Including my name, which was a lovely change! Is it a daytime or nighttime look I was going for? Do I like matt or gloss effect? We both chose a fabulous bright coral shade. Perfect for spring/summer daywear but also a strong enough shade to wear at night.

I completely love the colour. I was wearing minimal make up on the day I tried it and it brought the right amount of brightness to my face. The texture is pure divine. It's a matt look lipstick but it doesn't feel dry. It's creamy without being too glossy. I was initially shocked by the price tag but I can honestly say that I wore it all day and it didn't fade. It's staying power is amazing, even after eating a huge bowl of creamy pasta! So I can justify the cost if it. Anyway I'm totally worth it!

I must say I've never had any make up applied by a man before and it was especially different have lipstick applied. Almost intimate. There's not many times in a woman's life where she can say she's had her lipstick applied by a tall dark handsome man in a suit. I can see you all running to the counter now! He was so lovely and helpful too and I didn't feel like I was pushed into buying anymore products even though I was shown quite a few different glosses that can be applied over my lipstick to give it a different look. I'll definitely head to the Tom Ford counter when I want to treat myself. It's definitely a treat! Otherwise I'll try and stay well away. I feel another luxury addiction coming on!

Aaron's Birthday Weekend!

It was my son Aaron's birthday last Saturday. He's now 11 years old. I'm still in shock. I had a mini meltdown in Tesco last week because I realised that they only go up as far as 10 years in the age cards. I was honestly considering buying a card for a 1 year old and then doing a DIY job on it myself by adding another "1"! I don't think that would go down too well.

Thank god we are beyond the birthday party stage and Aaron decided that he would prefer to go to Smyths to buy his own present and we would then go to his favourite restaurant Gambinis for lunch. Followed by a quick detour to Brown Thomas for me.........thinking of the pain I was in 11 years ago people, I deserve it!

I wore a fabulous new shirt I got in Pennys last week. It's the most gorgeous shade of blue. It's almost lavender really and the fabric is actually fantastic. It was a massive bargain at only €15. I am a bargain queen after all. I wore it with wine coloured skinnies from Topshop. I find their denims are a fantastic fit and they don't go out of shape like most other brand do. Leopard print courts from Dune and my Gucci tote finished off the look. I will admit I wear head to toe high street majority of the time. I love Pennys and H&M! But when it comes to accessories I'm a designer freak. It's worth investing in a fabulous bag as you will have it forever, never be to heavy or thin to wear it and it will never date!

I left my makeup bag at work so it was a nice change to be nearly makeup free and give my skin a break. Although I did feel a bit naked so I ran into Brown Thomas to pick up a few bits and pieces I really needed....any excuse!

Here's some photos of the birthday boy and my husband Alan. Also some photos of my outfit. Follow my account on Instagram for more photos!

Hair Dare

I recently took part in hair dare week where I wore my hair in a different style every day for seven days in a row. The wonderful Austrailian blogger Andrea of Fox in Flats set out this dare to help all us lazy women who have a basic, quick and sometimes boring hairstyle that we always wear because it's convenient. Even as a hairdresser I am completely guilty of this! Rushing out the door to work with a ponytail flowing in the wind is an all too common occurrence with me!

Fox in Flats surveyed 150 women and of these a huge 77% mostly wore their hair in a ponytail! Does this sound familiar to you?

This was a great dare, even for me, to encourage us all out of our regular styles and I must say I picked up a few new tricks that I've incorporated in some of my clients updos over the last week or so! I did find it quite difficult towards the end of the week as I was heading away for the weekend and I was super busy at work trying to fit my clients in before I left. There were a few 6am styles that thankfully stayed up all day!

I have tried to do small picture tutorials of each style I did and I was astounded by the response I got, especially on my salon page on Facebook. It's definitely even made me rethink my whole approach to blogging and I'm going to concentrate a lot more on the hair side of things. Expect a lot more tutorials this year. Maybe even a few videos. Let me know what you think and also if you have any suggestions.

I know that I haven't covered tutorials on every style but I'm definitely going to post another few blogs on simple ways to do these so hold tight ladies, they're on the way! I'm also going to cover all the products I used as they're a must for making hair stay up.

Here's all the photos from hair dare week and also the web addressfor Fox in Flats should you like to participate in any of her style dares. Go on you know you want to!


Tuesday, 15 January 2013


It's day 2 of hair dare and since I've received loads of positive feedback from my mini tutorial yesterday I've decided to continue and try to do tutorials on each style I do.

I'm super inspired by the hairstyles at the Golden Globes and we are recreating these looks on models over the next few days at work. I really liked the glam waves to the side which most actresses wore on the red carpet. I especially loved Nicole Richie and Megan Fox's hair. This style was worn by an awful lot of celebrities at the awards and after awhile I was screaming for someone to jump out of a limo with a really edgy updo! But it's such a glam look so I decided to wear my hair in similar fashion today for hair dare.

For my own look I started with a deep side parting. I then curled my hair all in the same direction. I curled all my hair in large sections. I curled my hair forward on the parting section. This gives a glamourous finger wave look if curled tighter but I was going for a smoother effect. I pinned these curls so they set. This helps the style to last longer. After they cool I take out the pins and then I start brushing with a bristle brush. Keep brushing until hair is smooth. The trick to this look is to continue brushing the hair until it all falls into one wave. I pinned one side behind my ear so it looks like the one shouldered look that a lot of the celebrities were wearing. I finished off with a spray of Semi di Lino Alfaparf hairspray for hold and shine.

Here are some photos of celebrities who inspired today's look and some of my own look.

Dutch Braid

This week I taking part in a hair dare by the amazing Australian blogger Fox In Flats where you wear your hair in a different style every day for seven days in a row. This is a great way get out of those style ruts and to try something new. To be honest I'm partial to a boring ponytail even though I'm a hairstylist and should make more of an effort. I actually have a confession to make.....I hate getting my hair done. I hate washing it, having blowdryed and even getting it coloured. I can think of better ways to spend my time! So no excuses for me not joining in in hair dare week.

For my first day I decided on an easy braid style. A lot of people really like and complimented me on Instagram where I first posted the photo. Many people asked me how I achieved this look so I decided to do a mini photo tutorial.

I started with a deep side parting and started to braid. I did a Dutch braid style which is basically a French braid done the opposite way. Instead of bringing section over and into the middle I brought them underneath. I continued going around the head and braided it down the opposite side. I then slightly pulled out sections of the braid to give it a chunky look as I have very fine hair. I secured the end with a go-go and then I secured it to the opposite side from where I started.

Some products I find really helpful when doing this style is Batiste XXL dry shampoo spray. I love this product and it's especially useful when hair is silky. I also find that curling the ends makes it easier to braid and stops the straighter bits sticking out.

I hope this little tutorial helps and if you have any questions please feel free to ask me! X

Monday, 14 January 2013

Heavenly Waves

I wasn't really blown away with the hairstyles from the Golden Globes last night or the Critics Choice awards a couple of days ago. It was a little bit blah and boring. There was however a huge trend following through all the awards so far. Deep parting with waves. While it is such a classic glamourous look and totally suitable for any awards ceremony, I was praying for someone to really go for something a bit edgier and blow them all out of the water! There was a few actresses that looked divine and went for something slightly different but it still had a waved style.

Here are my favourites from the Golden Globes.

Michelle Dockery, from the drama Dowton Abbey, has recently cut up her hair in a cropped bob style. It's such a bold change and I adored the waves in her hair. It was classic with a little edge to it.

Amy Adams sent me to hair heaven with her gorgeous textured finger waved updo. The side bun really worked this style to make it more interesting. I really thought she was perfection from head to toe.

Jessica Chastain has the best hair I've ever seen on a red carpet. You know by the look of it that it's in excellent condition and her colour is luminous. Even though I really thought that the style was very classic, I also felt that it was quite different as I haven't really seen it on the red carpet before. Definitely a winner for me.

Naomi Watts hair was to die for. I was able to see a close up when she was being interviewed and as you know I'm a hairstylist I can tell you her hairdresser is a genius. There wasn't a hair out of place and it was smooth and silky. Definitely the best I've seen at an awards show to date.

Even though these women were beautiful looking and they're hair was great, I felt that everyone else was a little boring and I'm hoping that there's a mad rush to the salons for last minute changes before the Oscars next month!

Monday, 7 January 2013


My bff and partner in crime Vera works for Kooples in Brown Thomas so therefore I'm getting quite an addiction for their clothes. I recently picked up this top in their sale. It is the best fit ever. It's quite slouchy but falls beautifully. I think the dog print in the front is very cool. For this look I wore it with a plaid shirt with stud detailing from Zara and gorgeous leather look denims from Verso. Verso is a fabulous boutique in Douglas, Cork. It stocks brands such as French Connection and Hybrid. One word covers this boutique.....divine!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Last Sunday my family and I were going for lunch when we found this little stray kitten on our doorstep. It was so tiny, soaking wet and completely neglected. It couldn't really see very well as it had an infection in its eyes. The boys are complete animal lovers and I, while not being a cat lover, can't handle seeing any animal in distress.

We brought the kitten into our house, fed and bathed it and then decided to put the word out in the locality in case someone lost their kitten. To be honest we would have been very slow in handing it back to any person that claimed the kitten as it was so malnourished and neglected.

After a trip to our local vet we gained more info about the little one. It's a little girl, she's about 8 weeks old, has a belly full of worms and was infested with fleas.....vomit! She also has cat flu which is why her eyes are weeping so much. She has been worm and flea treated and is now on antibiotic drops. There's a major improvement after just one day.

One major concern of ours was our dog Roxy. She is a massive part of our lives and from the start we could see she was very upset at having a cat in the house. She was acting very territorial and was even put out with us for petting the little kitten. She was constantly growling and licking her lips which was worrying. Things have improved though and Roxy in particular is much more at ease. They were even playing a little earlier on.

I would like to thank all my followers on twitter and Instagram for the advice and suggestions on how to care for a sick little kitten. With it being New Years we were really in a bit of a pickle!

Today we got supplies from a pet shop. A litter tray, some food and a scratching pole so the furniture won't get destroyed and we are hoping that we can work around keeping her. Although she was already ours for keeps the minute named her!

So let me introduce to you all the newest member of the Hill family........Boo!