This excellent post was brought to you by La Mer.
Sometimes I find myself thinking of my 30-year-old self…
I look back on her; a woman who was awfully busy. A tenacious career woman who operated at a pace that would rival even Usain Bolt. A woman who was constantly go, go, go. A woman who, as an entrepreneur, thrived off deadlines and challenges and whom despite often ran on adrenalin, also felt very tired. I think of her and I smile. Ahhh, to be young and naïve…
As a 31-year-old mother to a perfect 3-month-old baby boy named Banjo, it’s only now that I truly know what it is to feel tired (I can feel all the other mothers reading this smiling sympathetically at me). Over the past few months, I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows – coupled with a healthy dose of pregnancy and birth hormones – and I’ve experienced sleep deprivation in a way that leaves one feeling positively delirious. When I’m nursing my son at 2:00am, I’ll look down at him and I’m reminded he is the best reason to wake up for multiple times each night. We women are resilient. We are super humans because by morning, once I’ve showered, had a coffee and applied my arsenal of radiance-boosting skin care (all are non-negotiable), it’s as if the sleepless night before is forgotten.
Banjo was three weeks old when I found myself staring into the mirror looking at this exhausted new mother staring back at me, covered in milk (or baby spew), and I noticed the obvious dark circles that were forming underneath my eyes. Every morning, they appeared to be becoming darker and darker while my skin became drier and more lacklustre. As well as this, one of the side effects of breastfeeding is yes, you guessed it, dry skin – my face had become drier than the Sahara Desert.
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I knew it was time to bring out the big guns!
It was time to call upon a serious skin saviour: Crème de la Mer – a luxurious and superbly rich-texture moisturiser, which stands above the rest. Why? There are many reasons why Crème de la Mer is an investment worth making, but what ultimately sets this sumptuous cream apart is its ‘Miracle Broth’. This ‘Miracle Broth’ consists of La Mer’s signature ingredient: fermented sea kelp, which is sustainably harvested by hand twice a year off the coast of Vancouver, placed on ice and rushed to the La Mer labs to ensure its powerful nutrients remain optimised. I KNOW, right?!
Within 14 days of reintroducing the cream back into my skin care routine, I began to notice the changes – my skin appeared supple, my complexion looked dewy and hydrated. It looked as if I was getting actual sleep! Designed for dry skin types (and appropriate for sensitive skin too), I applied the cream every morning and night – after my face serum and eye treatment. The lavish cream drenches skin in deep all day and night moisture, also helping to treat fine lines, redness and irritation.
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To further restore radiance and give me back that pregnancy glow I had last year, I now really savour my skin care routine – those 5 minutes of ‘me time’ have become such a precious ritual. I’ve always believed skin care to be a form of self-care but now that I’m a mother, my skin care routine is so much more than that. It’s just a few precious minutes every morning and evening where I get to treat myself.
So while spending my first Mother’s Day in lockdown isn’t something anyone could’ve imagined, I think every other mother and I still have every reason to feel special from afar – and is there any gift more special than the world’s most luxurious moisturiser?
Have you tried Créme de la Mer?
To find your ideal skin-saving face moisturiser, click here.
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Candle jars lend themselves to infinite storage uses – especially good-looking ones like Diptyque.
Pens, pencils and hair elastics, cotton pads, makeup brushes and even flowers have a place. However, removing the final bits of wax with a fingernail doesn’t always leave a squeaky clean finish.
Once you’ve burned that sucker down until you can’t burn it no more, it’s time to turn your candle into a sparklingly clean jar. Here’s an easy two-step approach:
After burning your candle, allow the glass to cool so it’s safe to handle. Then, using a spoon, carve or scoop out any wax.
Next, put the jar in the sink and pour hot water into it until it reaches the top (don’t use boiling water – if the heat is too high it can crack the glass). Leave for a minute or two. When you come back, the rest of the wax will have softened.
Pour the water out and take a paper towel to wipe away any excess wax or burnt wick. Now, your candle jar is free to hold any flowers, pens, cotton pads or any other items you like.
Tell me, do you recycle your own candle jars?
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Ahhh, hormones. They’re a wonderful thing, aren’t they?
As women, our bodies are truly incredible beings. End of. We grow, we birth and we feed our babies – all using our bodies. During pregnancy, however, there are many changes we women may experience and our skin – our body’s largest living organ – is often on the receiving end. Here, Gritty Pretty’s editor-in-chief shares her personal pregnancy skin care routine.
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MY SKIN IMPROVED WHEN I FELL PREGNANT
While the road to starting a family hasn’t been easy, I’m the first to admit I’ve been lucky with my skin during my pregnancy. And when, I say I’m one of the lucky ones, I say it because it’s true.
“It has been shown that 90 per cent of pregnant women will notice some sort of change in their skin: physiological changes, the common or expected skin changes in pregnancy; exacerbation or remission of pre-existing skin conditions, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis; and pregnancy dermatoses, specific inflammatory skin diseases that may occur in pregnancy,” explains medical and cosmetic dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald (she’s also mum to Felix, Claudia and Harrison).
So yes, I am fortunate to have good pregnant skin (salamat po, mum!) as it seems pregnancy has almost leveled out my monthly hormonal breakouts; experiencing less breakouts while pregnant as opposed to the monthly period pimples I would experience prior. Once the first trimester of
morning all day sickness and nausea stopped at 14 weeks, I began to notice a visible increase in circulation during my second trimester. It was at this point that I began to notice that rosy flush or “pregnancy glow” as some refer to it, which is in fact caused by the 50% more blood pumping through a pregnant woman’s body.
THE P WORD: PIGMENTATION
While I’ve managed to avoid pregnancy acne, the noticeable change I have experienced is pigmentation. Being of Filipino-Australia decent, my skin has always been genetically prone to pigmentation but being pregnant has sent my sun spots into, well, overdrive. My skin has become incredibly reactive to UVA damage so I take extra precautions by wearing an SPF 50 daily and always wearing a hat and staying in the shade when I go to the beach. Throughout my pregnancy thus far, Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ has been my best friend (try Ultra Violette Clean Screen SPF30 Mattifying Mineral Sunscreen if you prefer a physical alternative); both formulas do not contain Oxybenzone, an ingredient which has been touted – not proven – to be a hormone disruptor). I have also started using Pigment Inhibitors such as Skin by Sarah Hudson P Pigment Complex Skin Brightening Serum to help lessen the dark spots that keep on darkening over Australian summer.
My current pregnancy skin care routine is this (in sequential order):
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Cleansing Water
Sodashi Clay Cleanser with Lime
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Biologi Radiance Morning Serum
La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift Serum
Estée Lauder Eye Cream Supercharged Eye Complex
La Mer Crème de la Mer
Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Cleansing Water
Tata Harper Nourishing Cleansing Oil
Sodashi Clay Cleanser with Lavender or KORA Organics Tumeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum
La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift Serum
Estée Lauder Eye Cream Supercharged Eye Complex
KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil, Go-To Skincare Face Hero or CHANEL Huile de Jasmin (when I’m feeling extra fancy)
In reality, I haven’t changed too much from my previous skin care routine. Three weeks ago, I swapped out my morning face serum for plant-based Biologi Radiance Morning Serum, which I’ve been really enjoying and but within that short time it hasn’t lessened the amount of pigmentation my skin has already developed nor do I really think it will help it budge either as we move into a hot Australian summer. But, it feels excellent on my complexion and I do think it has gives great hydration. At night, I have continued using my faithful Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum (because, well, hyaluronic acid!).
Other common skin changes include increased pigmentation on the face (melasma – yep, got it!) and abdomen (linea nigra – got that too!). The good news is: both will eventually fade after baby is born.
I STOPPED USING
During pregnancy, women should avoid using any prescription Vitamin A creams or products that target melasma, as Dr McDonald explains studies have shown they can negatively affect unborn children. Besides, as Dr McDonald sensibly notes, now is NOT the time to worry too much about anti-ageing. This is a special time, after all.
I’m genuinely happy to wear my new cluster of freckles (for now). Once I’m no longer breastfeeding, I plan on booking myself in for Dermamelan Depigmentation Peels at Melanie Grant Sydney to treat the hyperpigmentation/melasma my skin has developed during my pregnancy. However, I will be avoiding laser treatments such as IPL and microdermabrasion as some beauty experts (including Grant) believe heat itself can cause delayed hyperpigmentation post-treatment.
Every month, we hand pick a number of special readers to trial both new and cult beauty products for us and report back with only their honest and true feedback, which is published on GrittyPretty.com.
This month, we enlisted friends – Amber & Charlotte, Sach & Annabelle and Mandy & Po – and asked them to put Australia’s #1 liquid foundation to the test. Available in 61 shades (yes, that many!) and suitable for dry, normal and combination skin, it’s no surprise that other women instantly fall in love with Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 with 14 bottles sold every minute around the world.
Like you, these women lead their own busy lives: managing households and maintaining relationships and social lives – some working full-time careers and some working the job that never clocks off: raising children. These women were most qualified to test and see if this foundation (which is available in 61 shades and suitable for dry, normal and combination skin) can go the distance and won’t fade, smudge or budge.
Watch the videos below to see exactly what they had to say.
Find your own shade of Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 here.
Have you signed up to Gritty Pretty’s Trial Team? Sign up here.
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[L to R]:
Amber wears: P.E Nation Crop Top, Jillian Boustred Blazer, Alice McCall Pants.
Charlotte wears: Camilla & Marc Trench Coat, Acler Top, Viktoria & Woods Pants, Reliquia Hoop Earrings.
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[L to R]:
Mandy wears: Zara Top, Zara Trench Coat, Witchery Jeans, Reliquia Hoop Earrings.
Po wears: Seed Top, Sir The Label Trench Coat, Zara Jeans.
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[L to R]:
Sach wears: Bec & Bridge Dress, Anna Quan Shirt, Celine Necklace, By Charlotte Bracelet, Reliquia Earrings.
Annabelle wears: Bec & Bridge Skirt, Scanlan Theodore Knit Top, Reliquia Necklace, By Charlotte Bracelet.
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Since 1970, creators, collectors, and dealers of contemporary art have congregated at what is undoubtedly the world’s biggest art fair – Art Basel.
Intended to spotlight the top artists of the time and act as a driving force in supporting the role galleries play in nurturing the careers of artists the annual event attracts art perusers and professionals alike. So, what does Switzerland’s Art Basel have in common with Swiss luxury skin care brand, La Prairie? Well, more than you might think.
For La Prairie, science and art go hand-in-hand. The storied Swiss skincare brand—known for using rare ingredients like gold, platinum, and caviar in its formulas—opened “Eyes in Focus,” an exhibition housed in its lounge at the 2019 edition of Art Basel in Basel last week. The brand presented the artwork of Daniela Droz, Nmsa Leuba, and Senta Simond, three burgeoning Swiss photographers and graduates of the Lausanne University of Art and Design.The exhibition coincides with La Prairie’s upcoming Skin Caviar Eye Lift, a new product that aims to rejuvenate the eyes—hence why the subject of the showcase is the female gaze captured through the lens of female photographers. We sat down with the young, creative women to find out the inspiration behind their work:
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“In approaching this collaboration around the theme of Eyes in Focus, I wanted to illustrate the nature of emotions hidden in us and that attempt to come through the veil that covers them.”
“Nanihi I”; “Hitita”; “Nanihi II” by Namsa Leuba by Namsa Leuba.
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“For this series, I played with the gaze of my subjects by photographing them in different emotional states, reflecting different postures and attitudes. There is the male gaze, which we tend to associate with objectification, and the female gaze, which is usually linked with introspection. I hope with these works, that viewers are able to find some affinity with my gaze.”
“Lucia I”; “Lucia II”; “Emma” by Senta Simond.
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“For this project, I decided to try to interrogate the viewer’s gaze and turn it back on her. I sought to accentuate the idea of a new approach to photography which follows the principles of Constructivism or Bauhaus: with a new point of view, outside the generally accepted rules of perspective.”
“Resonances I”; “Resonances II”; “Resonances III” by Daniela Droz.
You’ve just spent $300 on a fresh colour and blow-dry at your favourite hair salon – or a new salon you’ve found approved and listed in Gritty Pretty’s Little Black Book of Beauty – and boy, does your hair look fresssssh.
However, just a few days later your colour starts to lose its vibrancy. With each shampoo and shower you take at home, it starts to become more and more lacklustre. The shine begins to fade, brassiness sets in faster than you can say, “Game of Thrones is back!” and before too long you find yourself losing the spark your beloved colourist Kelly gave you.
“When it comes to extending your salon colour, the key is to maintain your hair colour yourself at home,” says Moroccanoil Global Colourist, Lori Goddard. Think about it for a second – when you get a facial, peel or light therapy treatment, you don’t go home and start slapping any ol’ thing onto your skin, do you? No, of course not. You invest in quality skin care products, which when used regularly keeps your skin cells hydrated, complexion glowing and protected from any UV damage.
Goddard says the same principles need thus apply to hair. Using a shampoo and conditioner every second day is compulsory to keep your colour looking fresh. Enter Moroccanoil Colour Continue Shampoo and it’s perfect partner Colour Continue Conditioner, which both form a protective shield to minimise colour wash out while rebuilding your hair’s natural keratin stucture to lock colour inside. In fancy terms, both of these use an ionic delivery system that both seals and repairs the hair and infuses argan oil into the cortex.
But, like any face mist that revitalises and rehydrates, so too does Moroccanoil Protect & Prevent Spray – your new bathroom essential. Applied to wet hair, this protection spray is the last step in making your colour go the extra mile by protecting it from daily environmental factors that weaken the hair. This prevention spray is packed with antioxidants (AKA all of the good stuff) to neutralise even the most aggressive free radicals generated by UV, pollution and other environmental stressors. Plus, it also contains sunscreens to help absorb UV rays and thermal protection against heat from your hair-dryer or curling wand. For anyone with coloured hair, this trio is your new go-to.
We’ve got to agree with Goddard (who is after all responsible for colouring the hair of the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Elizabeth Olsen). “As women, when we we invest so much into our self care, it makes sense to make the money we spend on our salon visits work harder for us so you can extend the period inbetween appointments – giving you back time to do the things you love.”
Ain’t that the truth.
Disclaimer: With thanks to Moroccanoil, Gritty Pretty travelled to Los Angeles to meet and interview Moroccanoil Global Colourist, Lori Goddard.
There are dream jobs and then there are dream jobs like Lucia Pica’s.
Italian-born Lucia Pica has indeed one of the best jobs on Earth. As CHANEL’s Global Creative Designer for Makeup and Colour, Pica’s job is, well, to dream in pigments. She travels around the world several times a year in search of colour inspiration and returns to Paris, where she calls home, to identify the 50 or so lucky colours that eventually get made into a CHANEL beauty collection. Did you put yellow varnish on your nails earlier this year? Yep, Pica came up with that.
It’s 6:30PM in Sydney and 9:30AM in Paris when Gritty Pretty phones Pica. “Hello, bonjour,” she says in that creamy French accent. Instantly, Pica’s warmth and friendliness is felt – she says “it’s a beautiful, sunny morning here in Paris” and she is “so excited” to be speaking with me. “I really wish I was with you in Australia though,” says Pica. Instead, we suffice with a chat that feels between friends – both of whom are passionate about beauty.
Here, Pica reveals what her job is really like and the exploration of matte texture that inspired CHANEL’s new Le Mat de CHANEL collection.
If you aren’t already a fan of Lucia Pica, prepare to become one…
For your 2017 collection, you took inspiration from a road trip you took in California and for your spring 2018 collection, you went back to your home town, Naples. What served as your inspiration for the new Le Mat de CHANEL collection?
“When I’m working on new collections, I like to take myself out in the world and start documenting my surrounds. Sometimes I will travel with a photographer in search of colours like I did with Naples. Then I come back to the studio in Paris, where I work on a moodbook and create the concept. I look at the colours I’m naturally attracted to – and I will ask myself, “Which will make a good lipstick or eye shadow?” I then like to spend time in the studio mixing up pigments and colours. Afterward, we send them to the lab, and the lab transforms them into recipes. I’m really involved in the process.
For this collection, my approach was a little different – perhaps a bit more abstract. I was interested in the way that artists used certain types of textures – mostly matte textures – to create intensity. I wanted to do the highest research I possibly could into the texture of matte. I wanted to go deeper into the tactility of it — sort of like what I did for my first collection, exploring red to its deepest points. I wanted to explore how to express matte texture but in different ways for the lips and eyes.
Normally, when you think of matte, you picture something a little old-fashioned, heavy, ’80s, and maybe it doesn’t blend well. In this collection, matte is really modern — it’s almost velvety, like the touch of cashmere.”
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If you could pick one favourite product from the new Rouge Allure collection, what would it be?
“I’m really excited about the Liquid Powder but for the lips. I know that sounds weird, like they should oppose. It’s a new texture we’ve dreamed up that gives you a thin veil of colour, but still a lot of lip pigment. It feels more like velvet than powder on the lips. It’s nice for people who want bold lips but aren’t comfortable with the heaviness of a lipstick. It’s blurred, almost diffused, which is a good word for this collection actually. It’s like a gentle welcome to the world of bold lips. I think this product is really different and I love it.”
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Pica wears: CHANEL Les Eaux de CHANEL in Paris-Venise EDT Spray.
“It’s light yet ambery and glamorous – it’s my favourite fragrance.”
You’re never without red lipstick yourself – it’s become somewhat of a signature of yours. Why do you love the colour red so much?
“Red is a personal favourite of mine, and I’m obsessed with it. I love how red represents power, femininity, vulnerability, sensuality and innocence. It is everything a woman might be and more. I need a few for myself – I use Rouge Allure Liquid Powder Liquid Matte Lip Colour Blurred Effect in Avant Gardiste (a fresh berry red, which you put on when you want to feel fresh – I also like to pop this onto cheeks as a blush), Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur Matte in Impulsion (it’s a dark red with a brown base, which is strong, powerful and I personally like to wear it every day) and Rouge Allure Velvet Extrême Intense Matte Lip Colour in Ideal (a true, glamorous red. I love to wear it with jean, a white t-shirt and a bare face and taupe eyeshadow. This colour instantly takes you from casual to chic).”
You travel a lot for your job. What are your in-flight essentials?
“I always travel with a men’s cashmere jumper; my CHANEL pumps, which I put on when I arrive at my destination; CHANEL Huile de Jasmin, which is a nourishing yet light face oil and my music – I like to listen to everything from Nick Cave to Drake and Italian classics.”
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What specific lip shades do you recommend for different skin tones?
FAIR SKIN: CHANEL Rouge Allure Liquid Powder Liquid Matte Lip Colour Blurred Effect in Invincible, CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet Extrême Intense Matte Lip Colour in Impressive and CHANEL Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur Matte in Subversion.
DARK SKIN: CHANEL Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur Matte in Impact, CHANEL Rouge Allure Liquid Powder Liquid Matte Lip Colour Blurred Effect in Avant Gardiste, CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet Extréme Intense Matte Lip Colour in Épitome, Extrême and Impressive.
Tell us, do you wear bold lipstick?
What are your favourite brands and shades?
Speak to anyone who owns a Dyson vacuum cleaner and we bet one of the first questions asked is, “Is it worth it?”.
Before you’re met with a resounding thud of a “YES!”, we get that you’re weighing up the cost. Starting from $599 for the V7 Cord Free and working all the way up to $999 for the mega V10 Absolute+, it’s no wonder. But, when considering such an investment, first consider this:
When British inventor Sir James Dyson invented his first Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner, which hit stores in 1993, he spent 15 tedious years and created 5,126 versions before he made one that worked (yes, you read that right—5,126 attempts). A firm believer in failure, Dyson sees it as an essential part of his success—a step toward a truly innovative solution that solves a problem. The payoff was a multi-billion dollar company that remains privately owned by Dyson today and is known for its creativity and forward-thinking designs.
Given the company’s tenacity, it’s no wonder that when Gritty Pretty was recently invited by Dyson to travel to London to visit Dyson’s head office in Malmesbury for the top secret global launch of Airwrap™—Dyson’s first hair styling tool—whilst we had no idea what exactly was being launched, we went into the press trip knowing full well that Dyson would not just be creating another hair styling tool with no point of difference. Never being ones to rest on their laurels, Dyson’s team of female and male engineers and scientists turned their attention to styling tools.
Sitting in the large courtyard at Dyson’s HQ, which feels like you’ve walked into a university campus twenty years from now with mirrored exterior walled buildings, perfectly placed green trees and some of Sir James Dyson’s favourite inventions including a small plane, I’m met by 29-year-old Veronica Alanis, one the Advanced Insight Engineers. “When creating the Airwrap™, we had three objectives: we set out to 1) solve a problem for women, which is creating a hair curling styler that is genuinely easy to use, 2) building a styling tool that doesn’t use extreme heat, which is so damaging on our hair and 3) aesthetically looks beautiful in any woman’s bathroom,” says Alanis.
Here’s everything else you need to know about the new Dyson Airwrap™:
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT
Before you think, “Is this just another hair tool—like all the others—that sits in my bathroom gathering dust because they’re too hard to use?” then wait, hold up.
It works like this: Using a V9 motor, air, when propelled at the right speed and pressure, naturally follows an adjacent surface. The Airwrap™ does what it names alludes: it creates a spinning vortex of warm air around the barrel that attracts, wraps and curls hair.
There’s no heated ceramic plates on a straightening iron (which no matter how many times you try, you just can’t get the wrist action right); there’s no scary chamber your hair is sucked into (and hopefully spat out unharmed or unburnt); and there is no conical-style wand for you to burn your fingers on. No, no, this is different.
Best used on damp hair (hello, time saver), the Airwrap™ also measures temperature over 40 times a second to prevent any extreme heat damage. This ensures your hair is protected at all times and is one less thing for you to worry about.
WHICH HAIR TYPE IS BEST SUITED
Simply put: all hair types.
Whether your hair is frizzy, dead straight or curly, there are six attachments with each designed for:
Pre-Styling Dryer—prepares wet hair for styling so it’s damp and ready to be curled.
40mm Airwrap Barrel—Ideal for thick, coarse and frizzy hair with natural kinks. Creates loose, beachy waves.
30mm Airwrap Barrel—Ideal for all hair types. Creates voluminous curls or waves.
Soft Smoothing Brush—Ideal for finer, thin hair. Creates a smooth, blow-dry finish.
Firm Smoothing Brush—Ideal for thick, coarse hair. Creates a straight style and tames frizz.
Round Volumising Brush—Ideal for fine, thin hair. Adds volume and shape.
WHY IT’S WORTH $699
Considering you receive six varying attachments to create varying styles, it works out to be $116.50 per styler. Add in the time you’d save in the morning (given it works best on towel-dried hair) and the money spent on in-salon blow-dries.
Having met the engineers and scientists who created Airwrap™, the level of testing that went into the tool—not just from a motor perspective but from a biological analysis of hair and how different types of hair responds to different stressors—I was not only blown away by the painstaking meticulousness, but also by the commitment, creativity, passion and smart young minds from everyone I met behind the scenes.
WHERE CAN YOU GET ONE (IMMEDIATELY)
To shop the Dyson Airwrap™ styler, click here.
Tell us, would you try the new Dyson Air Wrap?
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