x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

The Beauty Spy: secrets on hair extensions

Plus three of the best foundations and M love fake tans with no zebra stripes.

You won't see her, but she's there, in the salons, spas and shops, and she's happy to share her secrets on hair extensions.

I do not have enough hair. OK, so I am not balding, but my hair is fine and thin and just constantly annoys me with its lack of abundance and joie de vivre. I look at people such as Cindy Crawford and Eva Longoria and think, "Life's not fair". What is it about their genetic make-up that allows their hair to grow curly, thick and inviting, whereas mine just hangs there?

I have tried many cures. I went through what I call my "wag phase" when hair extensions first came out in London. I opted for a three-quarter head, which cost me an unimaginable fortune. It was worth it but there were some hideous drawbacks, quite aside from the expense.

First, my hair started falling out from the weight of the blasted things. Added to which, I could never really comb my hair, which just feels, well, wrong. The extensions were horribly uncomfortable to sleep on, and finally, because they were curly, I had to travel everywhere with my curling tong. Really annoying, and not very practical on a trip to the desert. Then there was the time the children all came home from school with head lice. Have you ever tried to get rid of head lice while sporting permanent hair extensions? Needless to say, I had to have them all professionally removed.

So I gave up on hair extensions and resigned myself to a life of thin, boring, deeply unsexy hair. Then, a miracle - well, a press release - announcing the arrival of the rather naffly named HairUWear hairpieces and wigs. OK, so the word "hairpiece" makes you feel slightly queasy - I know, it does me, too - but desperate times and all that.

I skipped along to Pastels salon in Dubai, where the stylist Vesna tried a few options on me. One of them, a hairpiece, or rather a clip-in extension of curly dark hair, was just perfect. Suddenly I looked and felt like a Hollywood diva. And the best thing about it is that I can remove it whenever I want to. And it is not made of someone else's hair, another fact I always found a bit creepy about extensions. You can even straighten or curl it as you would your own hair, only it lasts much longer and doesn't go frizzy. And you only need to wear it when you're going out on the town. What's not to like?

From Dh310, Pastels Jumeirah, 04 394 7393/5; Pastels Ritz-Carlton Dubai, 04 399 5016

 

3 of the best

Try these strong foundations for a flawless face

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR MAXIMUM COVER, DH154 The next best thing to Polyfilla, this super-coverage make-up with SPF 15 can be used as both a foundation and a concealer, providing maximum coverage and long wear.

BOBBI BROWN ILLUMINATING FINISH POWDER, DH198 At last, a foundation and powder all in one. When applied it evens out your skin and gives it a brightness that lasts all day.

MAX FACTOR LASTING PERFORMANCE, DH54 A long-lasting, smudge-proof formula that doesn't clog your pores and resists rubbing off onto you or your clothes.

 

M Loves

GUERLAIN TERRACOTTA MIST, JAMBES DE GAZELLE FAKE TAN

We've never been mad about spray-on tans. They tend to make your pins look like zebra's legs - in terms of the stripes, not the grace. So we were a little sceptical to see this lotion purporting to give us gazelle's legs. What? No stripes? And how can anything calling itself Jambes de Gazelles be taken seriously? Trust us, it really does work. However cack-handily you spray it on, this stuff just makes your legs look brown and, well, gazellelike. Not a stripe in sight.

Dh252, available at Guerlain counters across the UAE