Last week I spent an entire afternoon being pampered by the Maurice Meade dream team at Westfield Whitfords City.
I’ve been a regular at the salon for about 18 months, so was super excited to be invited back in to see Style Director/Colourist, Conor and Head Stylist Tara – but also to check out the salons new beauty offering. If you haven’t already heard, Maurice Meade Whitfords recently became the second of their salons to transform into an ultimate, go-to hair and beauty destination where you can have your locks, nails and brows groomed all in one place! But more on that later…
My hair is, and always has been, a huge part of my ‘look’. Ever since I was little, I’ve always had super long healthy hair, mostly natural blonde/brown highlights – with the exception of a few luscious ‘chocolate brown’ years at uni, which after one too many applications of home-dye kits in the halls of residence bathrooms inevitably turned my locks a rather bold (albeit super glossy) black. Hmm. It wasn’t a look that lasted long thankfully. Thanks to a super-hipster English bloke called Jonty.
It would have been circa 2005 when I first walked into Toni & Guy Nottingham with a wallet full of student loan and a whole lotta hope that someone (anyone?) could fix my hairy f-up. Jonty sauntered over all super inked, rocking jeans waaaay skinnier than mine and just the right amount of stubble. He epitomised ‘cool’, and oh could he do marvellous things with his foils. 3-4 hours later, I strutted out of the salon with sun-kissed blonde locks with a shine even Giselle would be envious of. And so it was the start of a beautiful relationship which lasted almost a decade before I moved to Australia.
With the exception of my home-dye faux-pas, I’ve always been fairly lucky with my hair colour. My hair lightens naturally in the sun and so since moving Down Under, it’s had heaps of dimension and thanks to the copious amount of Moroccan oil I apply rigorously to it after each wash – it has stayed super healthy and strong, despite regular exposure to heat, sunshine and the ocean! The year before I moved to Australia, I decided to grow out my blonde highlights. The graduated Ombre/Balayage look was making moves on celebrity tresses, and gracing the covers of almost every glossy magazine – and it suddenly became ‘fashionable’ to rock out 5-inch regrowth. It was the perfect time to indulge my curiosity of ‘going natural’. So that’s what I did. I grew those highlights out – and thanks to the incredible way Jonty had crafted them, they grew out just gorgeous. I literally had people asking me in the street or whilst shopping for cosmetics, “where do you get your hair done?” Best of all? It was free! It was all my own work. Well, regrowth.
But I still had to maintain my luscious ends and layers, and so began my love affair with Maurice Meade. On my third visit to the Whitfords Salon for a cut, I complained to my stylist Tara (total babe – what she can’t do with her shiny scissors isn’t worth knowing) that with this cut I was about to lose a whole heap of my blondest-blonde and that a few cuts later, I’d be back to basics with my natural, flaxen (and maybe a teeny-weeny bit boring?) colour. Tara smiled, asked me to sit tight and came back a few minutes later armed with Conor – a cheeky Irish chap sporting a whole lotta blondeness, skinny jeans, awesome tatts and just the right amount of stubble. Yep, I instantly loved him. He has 8 years in the industry under his belt and seriously knows his craft. He eagerly listened to what my vision was, told me what we could achieve and assured me I would be in safe hands. And so, a week later (after severely stalking his Instagram portfolio of amazing balayages), I perched nervously on the same salon chair as Conor set to work transforming my hair from its winging-it balayage to the fully fledged free-hand salon balayage which I’ve been proudly sporting for the past six months. I loved it – it was natural, healthy, shiny and has grown out wonderfully. And so I’m back for more…
This time, I wanted to turn up the blonde a notch. Winter is well on its way and there has never been a better time to lighten up. I took with me some hair inspo which I’d researched and we discussed how we could achieve a look that would suit me, my colouring, face shape and even cheekbones… Colour Contouring is a technique that Maurice Meade have been working with L’Oréal and AHFA 2016 Australian Hairdresser of the Year Caterina Di Biase, to create and perfect the ultimate colour placement. Inspired by the make-up trend of the moment, hair contouring is an innovative colour application technique which uses a combination of free-hand application and highlighting coupled with strategic positioning of different tones and depths around the face to highlight/shadow targeted features. Conor used lighter tones to reflect light, therefore elongating and lengthening my facial features, and placed darker tones to shadow my cheeks. I know, getting a little scientific here… Pretty revolutionary stuff though – who’d have thought your hair colour tones could actually assist in accentuating your facial features?! Hello, cheekbones!
Colour was applied using several techniques – mainly free-hand, smudging and babylights. It was during this process that Conor introduced me to his ‘secret weapon’… Olaplex. In his own words “it helps make your hair be the very best it can be”. Silicone, oil and toxin-free, Olaplex is a three-stage revolutionary conditioning treatment which actually repairs hair from within, making it stronger and healthier than it was before (okay, maybe my ends were a *teeny* bit dry). Conor mixed Olaplex Bond Multiplier as part of the colour application process (which also involved around 6metres of tin foil and cotton wool roll), before later applying Olaplex Bond Perfector after rinsing out the colour. I must admit, after playing with my hair religiously for the entire weekend (what? We all do it after visiting the salon, girls) – my colour is super vibrant and feels really glossy and nourished.
After my colour was complete, my tresses were washed beautifully by Bella who used Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo and Conditioner. My hair was then treated to a Kérastase Paris Fusio Dose treatment – which has tailor-made active ingredients freshly fused to treat and revitalise the hair. I know, pretty fancy. It’s one of my favourite things about Maurice Meade – they only use the best products in the industry. I’ve had some incredible product introductions and treatments since I started visiting the salon – each one recommended uniquely for my hair to keep it at optimum strength and health. Added bonus? They all smell DIVINE!
The ahem, beauty of the new beauty offering at Whitfords is that you can so easily streamline your beauty routine (be it manis & pedis, facial waxing or/and brow/lash tinting) – while your hair colour or treatment is processing! The resident Beauty Therapist at Maurice Meade Whitfords is Laura – the BFF we all wish we had. She has been beautifying others for ten years and has the most gorgeous nature ever, with a wicked sense of humor and absolutely incredible eyelashes. She completely put me at ease as she tended to my brows (my first ever brow treatment, eek!), giving them a nice clean tint and wax before setting to work on my screaming-for-attention hands and feet as I relaxed with a cup of tea. Laura was super clued up on Artistic Colour Gloss, which is one of the gel colour ranges Maurice Meade uses for manis/pedis. This gel finishes in a high gloss that shines for up to three weeks, similar to Shellac but not as aggressive. The meticulous process of buffing, priming and PH-balancing the nail before colour is applied means there is minimal damage caused to the natural nail. My colour of choice? ‘Charming’ – a quirky Mint Crème colour, which actually seems to go with everything in my wardrobe (greys, neutrals, denim…). The pedi which followed was just heavenly, and I experienced my first foot-mask with lashings of cucumber, tea tree and peppermint creme applied to my tootsies before they were wrapped up in steaming hot towels… Bliss! Yep, Laura definitely knows how to give a good mani/pedi – she nailed it.
As my polished feet zinged with the fresh foot-mask and my sharp, defined brows settled in, I floated back into my seat with another toasty cup of tea already waiting for me as the lovely Mia prepped my hair ready for my cut with Tara. Tara has been cutting my hair for 18 months now and I’m always so happy with the result. She’s been in the game for fifteen years and has been with Maurice Meade for four. I wanted a little more movement sliced into my long layers – which I often style into natural waves using my GHD Wand (Tara introduced me to this last year – now an absolute style staple of mine, I don’t know how I lived without it), so she cut in a few layers for me and trimmed a few inches off the length also to lose some of the weight and thicken out my wispy ends. To finish, Tara added Kérastase Elixir Ultime (which I have to buy the biggest bottle of as the scent reminds me of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle – yum) and curled my new, luscious locks before showing me the finished result and laughing as we all did a little happy dance at the incredible, gorgeous blonde bombshell locks that were now attached to my head. What?! If you hair looked as good as mine right now, you’d be throwing some shapes too!
A West Australian icon, Maurice Meade has been a leading name in the Australian hairdressing industry for over four decades. They have eight salons across Perth, and a talented, passionate team of the very best colourists, stylists and beauty therapists in WA – who all absolutely love what they do.
I know I speak for many when I say finding the perfect hair stylist/colourist who just ‘gets’ you is essential. Finding ones that are genuinely so in love and passionate about what they do is a Godsend. Like Conor says; “Your hair is your invisible crown”.
Thank you to Maurice Meade for sponsoring this post – and thank you also to Laura, Conor, Tara, Bella and Mia for making me look and feel amazing!
STYLED & PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Katie Rebekah Osborne