Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Big Hair Round-Up: Eco Tools Hairbrushes, Josh Wood for M&S and Her Volumising Powder

By Laurin

We have a saying in my homeland: “The higher the hair, the closer to Jesus.” From her hair alone, I think that we can deduce that my grandmother and her poodle were both very close to Jesus in 1979. My relationship with the Holy Spirit is on decidedly shakier ground, so I have to rely on modern artifice to give me the volume I crave. Here are a few products I’ve rated recently:

Eco Tools Hairbrushes

Eco Tools, who already have a high quality range of affordable make-up brushes, are launching their first collection of hairbrushes next month. They're made using repurposed aluminium and renewable bamboo, which is great if you care about your carbon footprint, but you should still check them out if you don't. The range contains five different types of brush, so there is something to suit everyone. I'm loving the Quick Volume Styler for adding volume to my shoulder-length fine hair in the mornings, and the Sleek + Shine Finisher is great for blow-drying a fringe, as the tightly packed bristles hold the hair firm beneath a hot air blast. The cream and blonde wood finish means they’re stylish enough to display on your dressing table, and they're well-priced at £10.99 each. Advantage cards at the ready.

Eco Tools Hairbrushes are £10.99 each and available in Boots from April 2014

Josh Wood for M&S

In case you haven’t noticed, M&S have been seriously pulling their socks up when it comes to beauty. What was once merely a reliable place to buy rose-scented foam bath for your nan is now a spot to pick up everything from hard-working French pharmacy brands to cutting-edge Icelandic skincare to damned fine collaborations with British beauty experts. The latest collection to hit the shelves is colourist Josh Wood’s range of shampoos and conditioners for coloured hair. There are three pairs: one for dry hair, one for frizzy hair and one for fine hair. I’ve been testing the range for fine hair and while I can confirm that it has indeed added volume and stopped my ash blonde hair from turning brassy, what I really want to tell you about is the smell. This is without a doubt the best-smelling shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever used, knocking Herbal Essences off its sixteen year run in the top spot. Instead of the generic fruit cocktail I’ve come to expect from most shampoos, we have instead a warm, spicy ginger. It smells like pressing your face into the bare neck of someone you love deeply. Sexy. As. Hell. 

Josh Wood Full-Bodied Shampoo and Conditioner are £9.50 for 250ml and are available at Marks & 

 And, speaking of things I love deeply, I’ve developed a serious crush on the volumising powder from the pseudo-Italian haircare brand Her, fronted by that well-known haircare guru John Barrowman*. This one isn’t for everyone. If your hair is already thick, curly or prone to frizz, you should probably give it a miss. But if your hair is fine and flat, try using it to live out your Amy Winehouse backcombing fantasies (we all have those, right?). It instantly makes your roots into a slightly tacky web that you can then scrunch and comb into skyscraper hair that won’t come down until you wash it out. I realise that won’t appeal to everyone, but I reckon I could trap both flies AND men in my hair when I use it. My only complaint is that you have to shake rather than spray it on, so make sure you have good aim. Use it sparingly: a little goes a very, very long way. 

In the picture above, on the left, you can see my hair blow-dried without any product at all (and my make-up free face, while we’re at it). On the right, I’ve added three shakes of the powder around the roots at the top of my head and backcombed ever so slightly. I’m not sure the picture does it full justice, but this is a lot more volume for a very little effort.

Her Volumising Powder is £14 for 7g and is available at

Finally, on a completely different note, it’s officially spring! Any day now I’m expecting to catch sight of my first rage-inducing article on how NOT to induce mass cardiac arrest on the beach this summer with my hairy, wobbly flesh. For no reason whatsoever, I’ve spent the last fortnight slapping Nivea Firming Good-bye Cellulite Serum on my cottage-cheese thighs so that you don’t have to waste your money on it when June rolls around. It promises to work WITH my skin “to improve its firmness and reduce the appearance of cellulite in 10 days.” Did it? What do you think? It mostly made the skin on my bum squeak when I touched it and caused my thighs to stick together like slices of sweaty cheese. This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you that cellulite creams don’t work, and I’ve decided to just drink more water and sod what everyone thinks of my “bikini body”. Except that I have no immediate plans for beach-based frolicking, so what I’ve actually decided to do is eat more toast and sod what everyone thinks of me spending my summer holidays in my darkened bedroom, watching Gossip Girl on Netflix while I sit on my well-cushioned bum. Problem solved.
Nivea Firming Good-bye Cellulite Serum is £5.59 for 75ml and is available at Boots. Toast is free and available in your kitchen.

**Yes, THAT John Barrowman. I'm not even slightly joking. Get Lippie had breakfast with him and everything. There are photos, which I'm legally bound** not to share here.
**She'll kill me, and besides, we've run out of brain bleach.  
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