London 1948 > 2012 Olympic Games

The official poster for London Olympic Games in 1948 by Walter Herz. Image via BBC

With the 2012 Olympic Games now just days away the excitement is building! Yes some may grumble about the increased traffic, the Olympic lanes, the bustling crowds and costs of hosting etc. etc... However we should embrace the Olympics gracing our great capital once again after 64 years (the last time the Olympics was in town was back in 1948).

Known as the 'Austerity Games' post world war II Britain was still on strict food & clothing rationing and housing was in short supply - athletes were even asked to bring along their own towels to the games as part of the cost saving measures.

I decided to delve into the photographic archives to look back at the 1948 London Olympic Games - we are sure the comparisons are small, however it is fascinating to see how times have changed over the past 60 years and how London has developed again into the 2012 host city.


One "Best Kept Secret" I cannot contain... Kérastase - Cristalliste

I have discovered an absolute hair miracle... and sorry but this is one "Best Kept Secret" I cannot contain...

Kérastase - Cristalliste...  not usually one to see an online product review and immediately want to try it out myself, however this one seemingly seduced me. Specifically for long hair and dry lengths (yes, hand up that is me) I wanted to see if my hair could be restored from the abuse it has received from various heat styling tools I use. 

So I popped into my local salon, Harrington's in Reading to have a look over the selection of products and in particular have a look over the Cristalliste range - which  displayed in beautiful light cubes in the window enticing me further.

Kérastase is one of those aspirational luxury haircare brands that I had always been treated to when I visited salons such as Harrington's, however never realised how  achievable it was to get the ' just stepped out of salon' feel at home. 
Remembering back to when a friend purchased the Lait Vital when we were younger and the retail price almost seemed way above our pocket money allowances however this new range seemed to be more accessible that I once imagined with the Lait Crisalliste Luminous perfecting conditioner coming in at £16.90, the Bain Cristal Cheveux Épasis Luminous Perfecting Shampoo - £13.90 and the finishing Lumiére Liquide serum - £16.90. 

The assistant in the salon explained that the products "smell really nice, leaves a soft texture - no residue"... noticing the travel size versions of the shampoo & conditioner duo on the counter I thought they would be perfect for sampling the range and also handy for popping into your hand luggage (approved airline regulation size) when off and away, retreating to some summer sun. 

So once at home I could not wait to trial them both on my admittedly lack-luste and slightly neglected tresses... in need of some pampering I was excited to lather on the products. The shampoo a clear soft liquid with a subtle exotic fruit smell was easy to apply to the hair and almost glided on. My inital thoughts were that this surely could not be cleansing deep down to the roots however after rinsing it already felt completely detangled and refreshed. Then onto the conditioner opaque thin consitancy which was equally easy to apply especially to the lengths - the product grabbed hold of hair as I glided it down and therefore I wasn't left with cupious amounts still in my hands once I reached the tips. This hinted that the product was being fully absorbed and working it's magic. Leaving it on for around 2-3minutes before  I rinsed the product out - my hair immediately lied flat and felt silky even when damp.

When drying my hair with a gentle heat my hair felt so much more manageable to style and to me it felt it dried with triple the amount of shine it had before. There was no need for straightening irons, as 1. I am trying to keep off them and 2. I naturally have straight hair and after washing it with Cristalliste it seemed to enhance this.

Usually I am not keen on my wearing my hair down when freshly washed as it seems to highlight it's awful conditon (in my eyes) and usually takes a millennium to style and not seem so fly away, however on this particular morning it took hardly any effort and I put this down to the shampoo & conditioner used. My hair felt light weight and I just wanted to do swooshing motions (ok maybe I did a little), the split ends had pretty much disappeared as if they had been chopped off and the multifaceted colours of my hair was shining through in every strand... it was this exerted confidence in my hair that was perfect for a day of important meetings and presentations, knowing that I did not have to double check my reflection at every opportunity to ensure it was still how I intended and did not resemble that of Caroline's out of big brother, especially after exposed to the changeable weather.

I really could not fault how wonderful it made my hair feel and vainly I could not stop clasping and inspecting the length of my hair in my hands throughout the day. Having since used my usual shampoo & conditioner it has only accelerated the difference between the two. I did not enjoy the return and like a spoilt kid "I want my salon feel hair back"... think this will now have to a regular hair investment and one which I can use to impress my hairdresser with instead of being surly embarrassed everytime I return to the salon and hastily asking them to just cut all the dead ends.  


Have you used this range or similar products, what do you think? do you have any hair suggestions or hair "secrets" you would be happy to share?