UPDATE – Ok I could just about die with embarrassment but you can see the photos from the make over on the EDP’s photo website (I say giggling) – they are pretty darn cool and the end of a totally fab day.
This has been a pretty darn amazing week for me so it might not be about baking but the world NEEDS to know about The Cottage Hair and Beauty Salon in Norwich.
Firstly as a cash strapped mother of two young children I don’t get to indulge in my hair as I once used to. So when the Evening News invited me for a makeover I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Well I must have died and went to heaven several times on this one day alone.
After Emma the fashion editor has helped select an amazing outfit for the photo shoot from John Lewis (I didn’t get to keep the clothes though boo – but I ain’t complainin), I made my way to The Cottage Hair & Beauty on Orford Hill in Norwich.
What can I say – I was gobsmacked by how unbelievable beautiful the salon was. The large glass windows as you approach looked really gorgeous. The Cottage is set in around a gorgeous little square that is quite pretty but within a stones throw of the city center and The Castle.
It was like walking into shabby french chic heaven. Beautifully decorated, tranquil, stylish and comfortable with big Chesterfield sofas, large full length mirrors and massage chairs – I’ll talk about these later.
I was welcomed by Alistair who could tell immediately that I needed taking in hand. What an amazing guy, I’m usually intimidated by salons, I feel like I’m never quite up to scratch, but Ali made me feel at complete ease and like I was the most important customer in the whole world. I bet a pound to the dollar he has the same effect on everyone he meets.
I mentioned that I would love to look like Nigella (yey wishful thinking I know), but he didn’t scoff and in the blink of an eye he had produced an iPad full of Nigella images for me to chose from – it beats the usual magazines. Ali decided to go for a beautiful rich chocolate brown, not too dark. I’m very pale and while I love black hair I would have looked washed out.
Ali mixed the colour and massaged it gently onto my hair, I got to play on the iPad – another luxury I am not used to – there was endless cups of frothy lattes and yummy biscuits. I could happily have sat there all day and wallowed in the heaven I was in.
BANG back to earth – Jasmine brought me across to have my hair washed. Pretty normal – or so I thought! Jasmine turned on the … wait for it … the massage chair. Yes – while I was having the most wonderfully soothing head massage from the gorgeous Jasmine – I was having the most glorious back massage from my chair. I am sure I had to physically stop myself from floating right off on a fluffy white cloud. All I needed to complete the dream was a pedicure ha ha.
Ok I’m back again – Ali then spent the next 45 mins combing, caressing, shaping and styling my hair with the utmost care. I have never seen anyone blow dry my hair with such precision and care. Then he used the hair straighteners to add a Nigella-esk bounce to the ends. He used those GHD’s like a hair ninja. I was actually starting to look like Nigella – ok that could be more wishful thinking but I’m so in the zone lets just go with it.
Now I never ever ever buy anything from a salon as I think that it’s all overpriced and anyway whats wrong with herbal essences 2 for 1. But Ali put something called Lux Oil in my hair. It felt like he was putting pure silk into my hair. I knew that I was going to HAVE to buy this product. The nice thing was there was no hard sell – Ali told me what it was when I asked and that was that. What a relief – I get all flustered when someone tries to sell me something. But I had to had to have this oil – it will probably last me years so it’s an investment – well that’s what I told my husband and I’m sure he believed me.
I looked amazing. I took no pictures of me as the Evening News had a photographer who took a million photos but they haven’t been published yet. So I’ll upload one when he does. I wish I had have taken some photos myself but I got carried away in the moment.
I have never felt that my hair looked as good as it did on that day. It was dark, rich and totally gorgeous. You know when you can’t stop looking at yourself in every shop window because it was just right. Well it was like that only way better.
I haven’t even mentioned Helen yet who did my make up using Bare Minerals. The make up felt as light as a feather, but when I saw myself I was blown away with how amazing it looked. Very natural but with a superb coverage. Helen had printed off some Nigella pictures and did a similar look on me including bright red luscious lips. It was really cool. I never get my make up done as I can just do it myself but I think if I had a special occasion I would definitely go back and see Helen for that professional look. Plus Helen gave me loads of great tips.
The Cottage was amazing. It was so beautiful inside it would be difficult not to come out looking amazing. Ali, Helen and all the staff were warm, friendly and totally lovely. Everyone made me feel at total ease and we all had such a laugh through the day.
So if you are in Norwich and want nothing but the absolute best make sure you visit The Cottage – tell them Claire sent you xx
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