A few months ago, I had one of those haircuts. You know the kind I mean--one that makes you take to your bed weeping like a Victorian convalescent. The kind that, when it’s eventually revealed, makes your friends deny it’s really that bad, because your distress has convinced them it must be the most hideous topiary that ever existed, before they sheepishly admit that, yeah, it's uneven, it’s quite unusual, and is that part supposed to be shaped like that?
Life lessons to take away from this: Don’t get a haircut with a flash-sale coupon, and when you go in for a trim, be firm in refusing style suggestions you’re not up for. I was tricked into the “couple of face framing layers” (a very kind term for what actually happened to my poor hair) because the stylist kept mentioning how much it would alleviate my hair’s insane thickness, which is well documented; every hairdresser I’ve ever had has had to cancel their next appointment, and repeats with ever-increasing, barely disguised panic “Oh, it’s very thick, isn’t it? Very thick. Alison, can you take my three o’ clock?”. When I got my hair dyed blonde recently I was there for over five hours.
So take it from me, hairdressers are not always right. Sometimes you are singing from very different hymn sheets.
This haircut set off a chain of events that ended with me standing in my friend’s bathroom as she chopped inches off whilst murmuring “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry...” Before you think I’m a total fool, she’s a great amateur hairdresser. It is brilliant having friends who can cut hair, the only issue being sometimes they openly have their own agenda about what suits you, and in my case, that’s short hair.
Thankfully, this reversion back to a bob was consensual--the haircut could only be saved by going back to the length of the shortest layer--but although I am universally counselled I look better with shorter hair, rather than listening to all these stylish people with my best interests at heart, I petulantly complain that I’ve had short hair for years and I want a change. However, it does not seem like the world wants that to happen.
So, how to make my new bob work? I think hair inspiration for bobs is relatively thin on the ground. They’re usually either platinum blond and sleek in a television newscaster way rather than a glamorous way, or beautifully textured and curled in a '40s way that I love but do not have the time or the energy to recreate every day.
Finally, I realised exactly who I want to try and imitate: model, DJ and owner of a razor sharp bob and perfectly arched eyebrows: Leigh Lezark.
While I don’t have her feline features or her cool insouciance, I can at least try and appropriate her look. When she went blonde recently, it caused a little bit of a furore among people who care about these things, as her hair is normally pitch black. I like to feel she took on the blonde to console and inspire me personally. Thanks, Leigh!
Although she wears her bob a few different ways, my absolute favourite is this.
Deep side part, sleek in a good way, straight as a pin and tucked behind the ears--it’s almost androgynous and very cool.
Getting this look with hair as thick and misbehaving as mine isn’t the easiest, but this is how I tried.
Whilst still in the shower I put conditioner on the lengths and ends of my hair and used a wide-toothed comb to work out the tangles upon tangles that I get, then made sure I got the severe side part right while it’s still wet.
I’ve really been trying not to blowdry my hair as much, but since it takes an unholy amount of time to dry naturally and I didn’t want to mess it up by towel-drying it I just squeezed the excess water out gently and then blowdried it on low heat, making sure to point it down the hair shaft to minimise flyaways as much as possible.
Once it was dry, I then put a small amount of John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme (which promises to “transform flyaway hair into a perfect smooth texture”) into my hands and pulled it through my hair, concentrating on the ends as advised, before applying a little more and smoothing my hair outwards from the part on both sides. This also promises to “replace natural oils lost through heat styling,” so I can feel a little less bad about the whole blowdrying thing.
Sadly, my hair does have an unfortunate tendency to flick out wildly at the ends, so I had to have a last-minute flat-iron attack.
Leigh’s skin is pale, polished and flawless. I feel like she might be working from a slightly more advantageous blank canvas than I am, but a girl can try.
I used Max Factor FaceFinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation, which is a primer-concealer-foundation combo, in Light Ivory 40, applying stripes to my forehead, nose, cheeks and chin and blending downwards and outwards with my fingers before topping with their Truly Fair Creme Puff powder, with blush angled from the apples of my cheeks up to my temples to try and fake her cheekbones.
Ideally, I would have also applied some highlighter along my browbones and the top of my cheekbones, but I’m still shopping around for one.
These brows are sharp and arched, but softer in colour. My commitment doesn’t extend to lightening mine, but I just made sure they were well groomed and filled in any gaps with light brown powder before disciplining myself to leave well alone.
Oh, and I also use Vaseline or similar to set them as they’re crazy unruly.
The eyes are the strongest part of this look. I first put some concealer on my lids to help the shadow stay put, then turned to my trusty Sleek eyeshadow palette in Storm, brushing their matte black from the inner corner along my top lash line and angling it up only slightly at the outer. Don’t take it up too far on the lid or it’ll look overpowering.
Leigh’s eyes are lined all the way around, so I completed my top lid with a slim line of liquid liner (Long Lasting Eyeliner from Sephora) and used a black pencil liner to do my bottom waterline, joining it to the eyeshadow, and the inner corner of my eye, keeping it clean and smudge-free as far as possible. I then applied mascara on my upper lashes only, as I don’t want all the black to make my eyes look too small.
After making sure my lips are in good condition with Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner, I finished with a pale matt pink lipstick.
So there’s my attempt at Lezarking myself! Other people with bobs, how do you style yours? Anyone else want to commiserate about a disastrous haircut?