Chanel
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FASHION FILMS TO FEATURE AT ASFF

The BAFTA qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) has teamed up with London College of Fashion to establish a new fashion film strand at this year’s event, showcasing READ MORE...
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PPQ DOES THE MODERN DAY TIARA

For spring/summer 2015, PPQ presented clothes to wear to 'the coolest party of the fashion season', finished with high gloss hair taken to a creative extreme READ MORE...
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'KNITTING FOR JULIET' COMPETITION LAUNCHES IN ITALY

Knitwear designers studying in Italy are invited to enter the Knitting for Juliet competition launched by Fashion Ground Academy of Italian Design READ MORE...
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NICHOLAS ROSE'S FULL COLOUR LIVING

It was not possible to walk past Nicholas Rose's luminous, contoured lamp shades at 100% Design the other week, I felt like a moth drawn to a flame. READ MORE...
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LFW: BACKSTAGE AND BEYOND AT PAUL COSTELLOE

think we could all use a dose of soft, pretty and innocent right now. Paul Costelloe brought his unabashed femininity to the runway READ MORE...
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CARMEN DELL'OREFICE TO OPEN SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK

Carmen Dell’Orefice...if this is what being in your 80s looks like then I'm looking forward to it! The legendary model, who once declared to Vanity Fair, “If I die, it will be with my high heels on”, is set READ MORE...
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#UNLOCK ART FILM SERIES ENDS ON A HUMOROUS NOTE

The film series, #UnlockArt, produced by Tate and supported by Le Meridien, concluded with the release of the last of eight films, What's So Funny?, decided by an online poll READ MORE...
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October 23, 2014

Chanel Revue Film a Stunning Mini-Epic Retrospective

(Email subscribers: click the post title to view the film)

Trevor Undi has outdone himself in the fashion film genre. Sure, Chanel offers the most dazzling and copious fashion subjects, but what to do with so much history, so much detail (the details!), so much artistry? Well, you pack in as much amazingness (normally I hate that word but here it actually fits) as you can in each second of a four-and-a-half-minute film. And you set it against an orchestral score composed by Gabriel Yared. This exuberant retrospective showcases intimate behind-the-scenes footage, detailed artistry, revisits memorable campaigns, international events and spectacular archival footage from the House of Chanel.

Chanel is a brand I will probably never be able to afford (fate is nodding its head in agreement somewhere). Normally I begrudge a brand a little bit for that and reserve my gushing for something more accessible as I don't like to go all nuts over something I can never have. But Chanel is the exception; what their artisans create in their ateliers is magical, it keeps the tradition of couture craftsmanship alive and thriving, and therefore I see the house's shows and imagery as records of this exquisite legacy. (Sure beats seeing it as a giant tease?)

This rapid and rich film is bursting with so much beauty and fascinating closeups that beg for further investigation, so I went a little mental and looked at each frame of the film and captured the stills. There are so many that are worthy of a longer look that I had to create a second page. You can view the rest here

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And here's the rest 

October 21, 2014

LFW: PPQ Gets Glittery with Toni & Guy

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For spring/summer 2015, PPQ presented clothes to wear to 'the coolest party of the fashion season', finished with high gloss hair taken to a creative extreme by the Toni & Guy session team, resulting in a 'modern day tiara' of glitter-painted straight parts. (And I should note that only the model in the tinsel-tinged dress was actually dressed as these were backstage photos taken well before the show!) It was a truly original look of irridescent glitter held in place by gel, tinted by the dramatic deep purple lighting of the Mayfair club venue.

Although it takes a competent hand to execute with style, the idea could be borrowed to create your own version of the look for a night out. 

If you want to give it a go, here's how the Toni & Guy created their unique, sparkling tiara:

  1. Using a label.m Pintail Comb, part hair down the middle
  2. Spritz hair with label.m Blow Out Spray or label.m Volume Foam and once dry spray with label.m Hairspray
  3. Use label.m Titanium Pro 50 Styling Iron straighten hair and add label.m Shine Spray for an extreme gloss
  4. Mix irridescent glitter with label.m Gel and with a tint brush apply a thick coating 2 cm from, and on either side, of the middle parting

And be sure to wash it out before laying your head down on your pillow! (Or don't, you could pretend the tooth fairy visited you in the night.)

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September 28, 2014

LFW: Backstage and Beyond at Paul Costelloe

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I think we could all use a dose of soft, pretty and innocent right now. Paul Costelloe brought his unabashed femininity to the runway in his SS 15 collection of throwback dresses, skirt suits and coats, but his 'Angels' had just a bit of Bardot impurity to keep things fun. The look was 'ethereal and ladylike with a 60s twist' with nude faces and the hair manipulated into a wild beehive, sometimes tamed with a black velvet bow. 

The Toni & Guy session team, lead by Cos Sakkas, were a sight to see at work, whipping up the models' hair into a frenzy that made perfect sense once it was pulled into place. 

Want to get the look? Use these techniques and products:

  1. Prep hair with two layers of label.m Volume Mousse, blast dry and then work label.m Resurrection Style Dust from root to tip section by section
  2. At the nape of the neck twist hair and pin into a bun to act as an anchor for the rest of the shape
  3. Backcomb the top section of hair and pin the sides of the hair tightly back adding ends into the bun
  4. Create a side parting through the front and tuck behind ear securing with a bow and finishing with label.m Hairspray

Here's the Toni & Guy team in action, along with some shots from the show which I got to watch afterward. It was held at Simpson on the Strand in a beautiful room befitting the lovely collection:

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Speaking of blondes...this week I got to try the new label.m Brightening Blonde collection consisting of a shampoo, conditioner and balm. I'm always looking for ways to keep the brassy tones out of my blonde but naturally brunette hair, and after using the three products I noticed a difference in the colour immediately after blowdrying. There was an overall lift, and the different tones in my hair seemed more defined. Also, I love how the shampoo and conditioner work when using them in the shower - some shampoos don't feel moisturising even when they're formulated to be, but the Brightening Blonde made my hair feel soft immediately, and the conditioner was also surprising in that it was rich enough that I only needed the same small amount I used of the shampoo - usually I have to use two to three times that amount to get my hair smooth (probably helped along by the very moisturising shampoo!). The balm is lovely as well, and unlike some other products that might dull your colour when applied, this one doesn't compromise colour for softness - it keeps things light and bright. So I can happily say that Brightening Blonde is is a great range for blondes!

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September 18, 2014

LFW: Backstage at Jean-Pierre Braganza with Toni & Guy

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This is what 'sex on a motorcycle' hair looks like! Well, it does to Jean-Pierre Braganza. For his SS15 show, 'Architectonic', he asked the Toni & Guy session team to create 'dishevelled, very beautiful, soft, flowing, long hair' to complement the strong look of the clothes. Some of the designs reminded me of drapey origami, while others incorporated motorbike engines in print. The makeup was created by M.A.C. with artfully lined eyelids in a shape that looked like a bird's wing when closed. The clothes, hair and makeup combined to create one the most beautifully complete runway looks I've seen. Edgy yet very wearable in the real world.

If you want the 'Ethereal hippy girl meets biker culture' look and there is no motorcycle to be found, here's the technique:

  1. Create a deep side parting, prep the hair with label.m Blow Out Spray and blast dry. 
  2. Take label.m Curling Tongs 28mm through the ends of the hair to create slight movement but not a curl
  3. Tuck hair behind ears with the top of ear peeking out for a fashion edge
  4. Sweep hair to the opposite side of the head over the forehead, finish off with label.m Hairspray

You can watch the video to see how it's done by the Toni & Guy team, lead by Global Creative Director, Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck:

Here are my photos from the very energetic JPG backstage at the BFC Courtyard Show Space at Somerest House:  

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And the man himself, Jean-Pierre Braganza:

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Fans of JPB might want to add this to their Christmas list or keep it in mind for style-conscious family and friends: label.m's latest designer collaboration is a variety of gift sets featuring Jean-Pierre Braganza's bold and beautiful signature prints, including a gorgeous scarf in black, white and crimson: 

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July 07, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Orlebar Brown with Toni & Guy

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I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight of the neighbours, the street. Downstairs, the Toni & Guy session team were busy creating the 'groomed beach chic' look under the guidance of Silje Vincent. Silje explained that working with the models' individual hair texture was the best way to achieve the look. As you can see, the result is a polished style without any fussiness; it makes the guys look like they just have great hair. It worked particularly well on the models who had longer hair to work with, and it would move nicely with a breeze running through it on the beach (not that I'm thinking about it too much or anything).  

Here's how you can get Toni & Guy's groomed beach style, using the label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer and label.m Cutting Comb:

1. Prep hair with label.m Volume Mousse, label.m Blow Our Spray or label.m Sea Salt Spray depending on the hair texture (I have the label.m Sea Salt Spray which is great for adding texture to fine hair and perfect for a 'day at the beach' look)

2. Finger dry hair for tousled separation with label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer

3. Using a label.m Cutting Comb move the hair either off the face or across the forehead, which ever suits the face

4. Finish with label.mSouffle or label.m Power Paste for separation and

Label.m must have products: Volume Mousse, Sea Salt Spray, Blow Out Spray, Souffle, Power Paste.

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Paddy Mitchell gets styled.

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Aside from surprise parties, I don't think I've ever seen a room filled with so many excited, smiling people. It's a nice change from the usual 'I'm over it already' attitude you tend to see at the collections. You really know how to make a splash, Orlebar Brown. (You'll see why as you scroll down.)

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Dogs! Everyone was happy because people love dogs! A particularly beautiful specimen accompanied each of the tailored beach shorted models, including a massive Great Dane. In case you're wondering, the dog carer/trainer was right there the whole time and gave them water every 15 minutes, then after a while the models were told to put on flip-flops and take the dogs for a walk around Covent Garden to the delight of the neighbours. What a scene that was.

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June 20, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Matthew Miller with Toni & Guy

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Yes, this is a men's fashion post. And it feels right. This season's London Collections: Men was my first ever thanks to an invitation from long-term London Fashion Week sponsor Toni & Guy to go backstage with their session team to cover the looks. My aesthetic preferences in both fashion and home decor have been shifting from the slightly fussy to pared-down and minimalist (the design of the blog is going to be overhauled to reflect this and it can't happen too soon). More gender neutral. Sometimes you need a palate cleanser and men's fashion seems to be the melon sorbet. 

I was able to attend three shows with Toni & Guy, the first being Matthew Miller, a British designer known for his structured tailoring, performance fabrics and engineered digital prints. The mainly navy pinstriped collection was inspired by WWII demobilisation suits which had a look of being taped up, sometimes with printed messages, and up close I caught some frayed edges on the lapel of an all-navy blazer which took the structured tailoring into a more casual territory suited for guys of the models' ages. Flower garlands - like memorial wreaths? - worn around the neck and wrists gave the outfits colour and organic texture. And then there was the hair which finished the look. Some of the models were cropped super short and therefore needed no styling, while others got the full seriously slick military treatment from the Toni & Guy team - headed by Chie Sato - who used their own army of tools and products to create "40's/50's military young boy with a twist".  

Want to create the look? Here how's Toni & Guy did it, using their session kit which included the label.m Diffuser, label.m Pin Tail Comb and label.m Pro-Advanced Straighteners:

1.This look works best for straight hair. Use a mix of label.m Extra Strong Gel and label.m Gel and apply product on comb and move through hair from roots to end.

2.From either the left or right side take a section of hair from the corner of the head to create a side parting. 

3. On the opposite side, depending on hair density, take a horizontal section to create an undercut look. On both sides of head comb hair until completely slicked back and then start drying the sections with a diffuser (and if possible a setting net - you can see one being used below.)

4. When dry, move to top part either combing to the side or forward and dry with a diffuser (again using net if possible). To make hair nice and flat use straighteners from corner to end of the hair to create texture and so that ends are completely straight. To finish, use label.m Hold and Gloss and blast with cold air for maximum shine.

I love the options this technique gives to a style that is short underneath and long on top; you can slick the top down on the side or wear it longer in the front depending how you're feeling that day. 

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April 13, 2014

Review: Pro Naturals Argan Oil Hair Repair System

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If anyone was in need of hair repairing, it was me. When I could no longer bear the shoe polish look of my virgin hair (or as close to virgin it could be after leaving it alone for about 18 months), I decided I needed a change and the only way to go was a lot lighter. It seemed cruel that my natural colour not only did absolutely nothing for me, but it actually made my facial features look harsh and it aged me. And cruel because virgin hair has two major things going for it that I couldn't continue to benefit from without great compromise: it's free, and it's healthy. But I was willing to sacrifice some money every eight weeks or so as well as some shine and elasticity to not have the grim reaper staring back at me in the mirror. (I do sound critical of myself I know, but if you saw my UK resident card, passport and drivers licence and random snapshots on friends' mobiles, you would nod enthusiastically for my plan. Not good, not good.)  

I started cautiously, going for the ombre or dip-dye approach to lightening because it leaves the roots natural, and so the look is pretty much maintenance-free. But despite having it done professionally, it fried my long hair so badly that I had to get inches cut off my layers, and that barely helped. Soon I'd had enough of this half-and-half look (I highly don't recommend it), so I had the top of my hair highlighted. But he didn't blend it in with the rest. I saw someone else a couple of months later and she brought all of the colours together. What a process! In the end I loved the colour, but my ends were tough and straw-like, despite having regular and generous cuts. I didn't know what to do - who wants hard hair? Not wanting to return to the unflattering natural colour or cut all my hair off, I stuck with it but was self-conscious of my weird 'do. Now what I'm about to say is going to sound like an informercial, but I assure you everything is true. And thank goodness it is or I'd be sporting rasta hats right now. 

With what could not have been better timing, I was sent the Pro Naturals Argan Oil Hair Repair System, which as the name suggests, is meant to fix damaged hair and contains natural ingredients with no sulfates. It includes a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, and argan oil that can be applied as a leave-in treatment, and each product contains 100% pure Moroccan argan oil. I've been hearing great things about this oil for years and have been using it on my face, but this is the first time I've tried it in hair products. In all of my years of taking care of my hair I have never actually found anything that repaired hair, which would work by protecting and smoothing the cuticle so hair does not appear frayed and broken. I was hopeful, but not expecting any miracles; in my experience, only a brutal cut is the solution to damaged hair. The Pro Naturals website says to use the products for one week every six weeks, alongside your usual routine to repair your hair and maintain its health. Well, the first time I used the shampoo and conditioner - which smell fantastic by the way, as does the oil - I actually saw a difference in my hard ends, after blowdrying. I couldn't believe it. When I touched them my fingers felt something I didn't think was possible - soft hair! I hadn't even used the mask yet and was yet to apply the oil. I've since used the mask which is a dream, just like the conditioner which leaves your hair completely soft with very little product used yet neither weigh your hair down as they don't contain silicone, and no double application is necessary which is what I used to have to do with conditioner  just to get my hair tangle-free and soft in the shower. But my hair would still feel and look frazzled after blowdrying (if I didn't blowdry it just looked terrible so I couldn't win). The oil is great for keeping your hair soft from one shampoo to the next and seems to protect it from whatever makes it dull and damaged, such as heated appliances and environmental stresses such as pollution. It absorbs completely and your hair never looks oily. (High quality oils will never appear as oily.) And the smell is absolutely heavenly.

After a week of using the system and a week of my old shampoo and conditioner I still have soft hair; it does seem to have actually been repaired. The cost of the Pro Naturals Argan Oil Hair Repair System is £99, so it's an investment. But as you're only using it for a week every six weeks and each application is minimal, it will last a long time. It's also much cheaper to buy the whole set than purchase the products individually. 

Do I think the Pro Naturals Argan Oil Hair Repair System is worth it? Yes! It saved my hair, and now I can be blonde without looking like my hair is in pain - I can actually look good which is the point! I'm running my fingers through the ends right now and it feels great. Oh! One more thing. The last two times I had the colour done we did only partial highlights with peroxide, then the last time I had a whole head done and we used mostly bleach. With the peroxide, which is meant to be less damaging than bleach, I found my brush would get caught in my hair when it was wet and I had trouble blowdrying it, no matter how much conditioner I used. This time we did bleach all over and it should have been even worse, but thankfully I had just received the system and we used it to wash out out the bleach and condition it after (I have a mobile colourist come do it in my house) and not once since having it done have I had the brush drag through my wet hair. I want to horde these products so I never have to be without them. (I really should have done a before and after, but I had no idea the results would be so dramatic.) Highly, highly recommended. 

If you would like more information about Pro Naturals and keep up with their news you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+

February 11, 2014

The Secret Anti-Aging Ingredient to Look For

Flawless_skinWe all rely on our skincare routines to deliver skin that's clean, healthy, and most importantly, young. We have our favourites - I won't give up my tried and true cleanser for anything - but we tend to be on a constant lookout for the next breakthrough product, the one that will give us quick, dramatic results. But would it surprise you to learn that sitting silently in your jar alongside the latest 'innovations' in anti-aging products is an inexpensive ingredient proven to significantly improve and reduce fine lines and wrinkles? 

Collagen is a natural protein that promotes elasticity in human skin. Anti-aging products contain a chemical known as peptide Matrixyl that is believed to nearly double the amount of collagen that skin produces, thus making it firmer and younger looking over time.

For years, peptide Matrixyl was known as a 'miracle ingredient' that helped cosmetic products reverse the signs of aging. Many cosmetic companies went to great lengths to protect their market share and keep this key ingredient a secret in an effort to stay competitive, citing their own proprietary ingredients as the miracle workers. But now that the secret's out, a veritable 'Matrixyl frenzy' has arisen amongst in-the-know consumers.

Many anti-aging products boast high numbers of peptides but rarely specify what kind. Since peptide Matrixyl has become known within the cosmetic community, women are now able to source products that contain the specific ingredient and ensure they're getting the most effective creams available.

To get the most out of your anti-aging products, look for those developed for night applications as this is the time when skin is most receptive to the active ingredients that fight signs of aging. During the day, skin cells are doing battle with everything from pollution to light, so night time is when our cells rejuvenate - but only if we sleep, so get as much as you can. As well as peptides, active ingredients found in night creams include vitamins, anti-oxidants and oils which work through the night to restore skin and prepare it for the day to come, and most women who use night creams will notice an improvement in their 'morning face' - I know I do! They're a lifesaver after a long day, and especially after a long night out. And remember that adequate sleep, proper hydration, and a healthy lifestyle are the most effective ways to look vibrant and youthful. 

September 25, 2013

Enhanced: Breast Augmentations Up by 35%

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We're not completely sure, but if Gwen did go for it, she opted for the subtle approach most women are choosing these days

If you haven't already noticed a certain 'enhancement' in some of the female figures around us, a recent article published on MYA has confirmed that we are indeed in the midst of a 'boob job boom'. In fact, this year has already seen a 35% increase over the number of breast augmentations performed in 2012, which appears to show that more and more woman are opting to go under the knife regardless of the restraints of the recession. And with three months still left to go until Christmas, it seems that the boob job trend hasn't even peaked. (Have you heard that the sale of lipsticks skyrockets when times are tough? I guess this is the more permanent version of doing something to feel better about ourselves when everything else is looking dire!)

What makes the boom even more surprising is what women are choosing to have done. One might assume that they're going in for an attention-seeking, more-than-ample bust like certain famous glamour models as was the trend in the past. You're there anyway, right, so why not make the most of it? Not quite. Today, bigger isn't necessarily better and quality is winning over quantity; the majority of these women are seeking only a modest increase in their breast size. According to the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery chairman, patients normally increase by only a cup size or two, indicating they are seeking a more natural enhancement over the car-crash-causing kind. 

While there are other avenues to explore if you want to give your bust size a boost, most women are eventually drawn to the instant results of implant surgery. But why the sudden increase? According to the broad spectrum of MYA patient stories, there are a multitude of reasons women are having their breasts enlarged, from insecurities about their body to seeking a little uplift after having children. As a result of its growing popularity amongst 'real' women, it is now viewed as a much more acceptable procedure and is likely a reason we feel more comfortable about seeking advice and information with regards to the operation.

Are you noticing this trend with your friends and aquaintances? I've been surprised several times in the past couple of years to find out that some women I know have implants, mostly because I'd have had no idea had they not told me, and they all cite 'I just want to look as I did before my kids' as the reason. Fair enough! 

July 05, 2013

Seven days, Seven styles - The Versatile Ponytail

Hershesons ponytail

The ponytail; a hairstyle that is an absolute saviour when you simply don’t know what to do with your hair, or when your hair needs washing and you really can’t be bothered to make any kind of effort!

Whatever the occasion, the simple ponytail can be updated, adapted and changed to suit your individual look and the best part is, a ponytail only takes a few seconds to achieve.

Whether you add hair accessories to your ponytail or place it high or low, here are 7 ways you can channel this trend and style it differently each day. It really is that simple.

Monday morning: The High Ponytail

Most people either decide on a high or low ponytail depending on what suits them. If you prefer a high pony bring all the hair up just past the middle of the head and fasten securely with a hair band.

Tuesday: The Plaited Ponytail

Tie the hair in a ponytail as you would normally, section into three pieces, plait the hair and fasten the end with a hair band. Add an invisible ponytail if your hair is lacking thickness and volume for a plaited effect.

Wednesday: The Low Parted Ponytail

Use a comb to create a straight parting and then simply pull the hair back and tie it as low as possible at the back of the neck.

Thursday: The Twisted Ponytail

Once your ponytail is complete, take a strand of hair and wrap it round your ponytail to cover up your hairband.

Friday night: The Glamorous Evening Ponytail

Pull any loose strands of hair back tightly off the face, fasten with a hair band and secure neatly with a touch of hairspray.

Saturday: The Curled Ponytail

Once your ponytail is in place, take straighteners or a curling wand and create a few curls which will add volume to your weekend hair.

Sunday: The Poker Straight Ponytail

The simplest look of them all for the laziest day of the week! Straighten the hair from root to tip and then tie it up in a ponytail, voila!

Whichever ponytail look you are trying to achieve, take a look at the Hershesons website for tips and inspiration, or to browse a selection of invisible ponytail extensions.

Image: Courtesy of Hershesons.com

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