Louise Randell

An editorial assistant at Hairflair & Beauty tells us of her week chasing Sienna Miller’s products.

30.03.06

Today I’m starting a new feature: Celebrity Hair Secrets. We are currently working on issue four (formally known as August/September) of Hairflair & Beauty and I’m about halfway through my workload for this month. My editor wants to get some good coverlines out of this feature, so I’m hot on the trail of which products Sienna Miller is currently using and where Madonna is getting her hair cut.

By lunchtime I have discovered that Sienna is quite keen on the new GHD Thermodynamics range, so I set about calling in some samples. I’m hoping that they will send over a pair of the ceramic irons as mine recently made a funny little bang and then went off to the big hair straightener graveyard in the sky.

After a quick lunch I’m off to a press briefing for a new range of men’s grooming products. When I arrive at Sin on Charing Cross Road I quickly discover that the theme for this launch is ‘Soho strip club’. I stand around with a group of other journos sipping some very strong cocktails as a woman in a PVC corset chastises a very good-looking male model with a whip, before rubbing a new, soon-to-be-available-in- Boots moisturiser into his perfectly chiselled, designer stubbled jawline. The products may be aimed at men, but this launch is definitely one for the ladies.

31.03.06

I have still had no luck in tracing Madonna’s hairdresser.

Although I now know which shampoo Jennifer Aniston is using and where Victoria Beckham gets her hair extensions put in.

I decide to put out the feelers among my hairdressing contacts and turn my attention to a feature on Intelligent Beauty — which basically means sourcing lots of products that claim to offer plastic surgery in a bottle. I’m looking forward to trying a few out.

I’m off to north London this afternoon to the offices of Catalyst PR to be introduced to an up-and-coming hairdresser.

When they said their offices were "on York Way, a short walk from Kings Cross" I made the mistake of believing them… half an hour goes by and I’m still hiking up York Way, no taxis in sight, my high heels are killing me and I’m still nowhere near their offices.

I finally turn up 15 minutes late, half crippled and so windswept I resemble Worzel Gummidge. But at least the hairdresser immediately offered to straighten out my very bedraggled barnet.

03.04.06

It’s a new week and every Monday morning without fail there’s a huge pile of post that lands on my desk. Mostly new products that PR companies are desperate for us to try. This morning, 10 different texturising sprays arrive for a Tested page I’m compiling. I have a quick look, select the best candidates and hand them out around the office along with a review form. I reluctantly hand a product to one of our designers, a lovely girl, but no matter how many threats I put on the review form she always hands it back late. Let’s hope the fresh warning of "Return this to me by Wednesday or I break both of your legs" gets through this time.

Also, this morning sees the arrival of piles of lotions and potions for my Intelligent Beauty page. I can’t help but laugh as my deputy editor slaps on a cream that claims to "reduce wrinkles visibly within 35 minutes". She then keeps glancing into her pocket mirror for the next half an hour before giving up, disheartened, as not one wrinkle disappears.

I’m then off to HOB Salons in Marylebone to visit London Hairdresser of the Year and acknowledged genius Akin Konizi for a "quick" haircut. I leave two and a half hours later coiffed to perfection with a beautiful new ‘do and a fringe that seems to have a life of its own.

As I trundle off home, trying to control my new hair, I realise I still haven’t found out where Madge gets her hair done.

04.04.06

This morning I’m up and away early for a breakfast press launch at London’s St Martin’s Lane Hotel, nibbling croissants and downing a sneaky glass of champagne as I’m talked through a new line of cosmetics by the girls from ZPR. I’m offered a Lymph Drainage Facial Massage, which I politely decline and instead nip back to the office to finish my feature.

By lunchtime my Intelligent Beauty article is coming along nicely, I’ve sourced a holding shot from Dior, interviewed two leading skincare experts, written most of the feature and tried out a new lip plumping serum that is excruciatingly painful, but claims to increase my lip size by 20 per cent. Mmm… not sure if I will be taking this one home.

05.04.06

No rest for the wicked — I’m co-ordinating an editorial photoshoot today. My model is stuck on a train somewhere and the hairdresser has got lost on his way to the Hairflair & Beauty studios, which has left the photographer, make-up artist and myself pacing up and down, chain-drinking coffee.

The lost participants finally turn up and the day flies by in a whirlwind of hairspray, camera flashes and Starbucks cappuccinos. By the time the final shot is in the bag I’m feeling dead on my feet, but it’s back to my desk to write up my notes for the day.

Hallelujah! An email from The Communications Store signals that I’ve managed to track down Madonna’s colourist, it’s not her hairdresser, but it’s good enough. I’m immediately on the phone to get a quote and my finished copy is filed within half an hour.

Once everything is wrapped up, it’s on with the high heels and lipgloss and off to Mayfair for a PR party.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

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