On… French rolls

For the six dudes, including my husband, who read my blog, a warning: this may not interest you.


I’m obsessed with French rolls.

Not the supersmooth glossy Ivana Trump kind, but the messy rocky kind. The kind that looks you got it professionally done yesterday, had a wild night, then woke up this morning and thought ‘God I’m adorable, it still works’ and went about your day. (Not that I do that sort of thing anymore, because I have a baby and I’m all mature and shit.)


I’ve been attempting this beehive-y French roll hybrid almost every day now for several weeks. I am better some days than others, and in case you want to do it too, here’s my method:

1 Flip your head upside down and brush it so it gets all staticy and crazy

2 Flip yourself the right way up, sprinkle EVO Haze Styling Powder on the crown and mess it up with your brush a little – the more you mess with it, the better. Want a really big roll? Tease your hair all the way to the end

3 Tie a two inch-long ponytail – ie, the band is two inches from the end of your hair

4 Roll and tuck your hair inwards  into itself, like a bandage

5 Pin with three pins  – I use superlong ones from Ricky’s but you can also get them here and here

6 Mess the top a little

7 Spray with the strongest hairspray you have


I use the AVO stuff because my hairdresser recommended it and I am nothing if not obedient. You can buy it here. There are loads of similar products around like this and this and they’re probably all great. I also use Sebastian Fierce Hair Spray available here or here, and I think it’s better than Elnett. I know. Travesteh.

Oh, look. I found this via Pinterest. Thank you Pinterest. This might be easier than my stupid instructions.


It really is that easy.


Another nice pic.

I always struggled with French rolls before. Of course, last time I tried it was the 90s, so things like hair powder didn’t exist, and from then until, oh, two months ago, my hair was too long. I never realized how long my hair was, actually, till I’d see it in photos and think ‘who’s that dick with the Rapunzel complex? She looks like an albino Axl Rose.’ Me. I was that dick. I had that Rapunzel complex. I looked like that albino Axl Rose.

This is what my hair looks like when lovely lovely Greg Ruggeri styles it, ie, the way I want it to look.


This is what my hair looks like when I style it myself.



ANYWAY. I think beehive-y French rolls are about to have a moment. I feel the way I felt about topknots, back before every girl in the goddamn world began wearing them. I saw a model wearing a topknot in a bar in Paris (the start of this sentence makes me sound about a thousand times more jetsetty and interesting than I am, but let’s move on) in about 2007 and thought to myself ‘that looks fucking awesome, I’m going to do that’. I felt same way about French braids in 2010 when I asked every hairdresser I knew if they could do them, and none of them could, and I had to wait till my Mum came to visit so she could do it for me.

I’m sick to death of topknots, and I still can’t do French braids so I never fully embraced them.

But I am in love with French rolls.

PS Oh, God. Fox just asked me if I was intentionally channelling Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.


Let’s face it, it’s not far off, is it?


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On… Icona Pop


I am sure you all already know it. Never mind. Turn it up and start jumping up and down, my lovelies.

PS And since we’re here, talking about girls with attitude, I still love Sleigh Bells, and I particularly love this, and I love this song which everyone else probably already is totally over but what the hey.




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On… BROOKLYN GIRLS the British cover!

It’s on Amazon.co.uk, which means it’s official. The UK cover for BROOKLYN GIRLS is here!



I am so in love with this cover. The lovely and talented people at Quercus have been perfecting it for ages, and from the moment they began showing me the concepts I was 100% on board. Amazing, amazing, amazing. I love that they’re using my strapline ‘Life begins at 22’ on the front, too.

Quercus has equally exciting covers for the second and third books in the BROOKLYN GIRLS series, but I’ll post them later… (oh, yah, it’s a series, mmmhmm. Each book is written ‘by’ a different character in a group of friends as they go through their 20s.)

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the UK cover in comparison to the US cover, which I also absogoddamnlutely adore.



But it turns out, I can love them both, like children, without having a favorite. The UK one is sharp and naughty and charmingly bold. The US one is fun and friendly and cool. These are all adjectives that I hope will apply to the books, so I’m pretty much the happiest little author in the world right about now.

Pre-order now if you love me, here for the UK and here for the US and here for the rest of the world. Or even if you don’t love me, I don’t mind, but pre-order anyway….



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On… My Springtime In New York Uniform

I wear approximately 10% of my wardrobe, 90% of the time. The below constitutes almost everything I’ve been wearing over the past month. It’s my Springtime In New York Uniform.

By the way, nothing qualifies me to write about clothes, at all, so please do feel free to ignore everything I say and make sarcastic comments to yourself about my sense/lack of style.


Saint James stripe top from J Crew.

The perfect stripey top. I mean it. Perfect. Not too thick, not too thin, not too tight, not too loose… It’s just right. It’s the Baby Bear Porridge of stripey tops.




ASOS Boyfriend T-Shirt With Crew Neck

After years of wearing the most threadbare, oversized, mittel-grey moochy t-shirts I could find, you know, the kind that gets holes in and you think ‘yes! awesome!’, I am now craving a nice stiff white tshirt with preppy little roll up sleeves. This one is GREAT. I am stockpiling for summer. I should also warn you that ASOS has a number of different similarly titled tshirts but this one is the best. (I really did test them all. I am the kind of person who tests and returns tshirts to ASOS. I know. I’m a dork.)



Orange pashmina


Mine was about $4. I bought it in Hong Kong when visiting my folks a few years ago. It never says die. When I am looking too monochrome (almost always) and I think it is colder outside than I’m ready for (also almost always) then I grab it on my way out the door.

For period in my 20s I lived in Parsons Green in London, which is in an area I affectionately referred to as ‘Pashmina Arc’, as every second girl at the Sloaney Pony in 2003-6 had a pash garrotting her jugular. But, fuck it. Pashminas are so unfashionable, I’m reclaiming them. Keep them loose and flawy, not all tied up. Some in a bright poppy shade is nice when all you wear is white, black, navy and nude. (Me.)



Dr Denims in Arlene


Soooo high-waisted and clingy, push everything up and in, and yet don’t cut off the circulation. I spotted them last year on a very chic girl in my local dry cleaning place, thought ‘those are the sexiest goddamn jeans I have ever seen in my entire goddamn life’, and bent right over to get a good look at the ass-label in case she did the annoying ‘these are from Korea but from like four years ago so you can’t get them now’ thing that mean girls do. (They are not from Korea, you can buy them on ASOS! Hurrah.) Veh stretchy but the sizes are off so go one or two sizes up from your normal jeans. They’re also tres comfortable and make you feel like a Daddy Long Legs spider. In a good way.

Aiden Boyfriend Jeans - Ringer

J Brand Aidan Boyfriend Jeans.

For a long long long time I wore a perfect pair of boyfriend jeans from H&M, but they fell apart from overuse (no, really, they did, they split from seam to seam in like six places) and I could never find them instore again. (Why does this ALWAYS happen with anything decent from H&M, by the way? It’s so frustrating. And I definitely don’t have the same good H&M karma in the NYC that I did in London. Something is wrong with the store layout here. Though, the formerly PERFECT H&M in Knightsbridge in London had been rearranged and was a pungent claustrophobic nightmare last time I was back. I digress.) These are great jeans. I am wearing them right now as I type this. Comfy as hell.

WOW. I just saw these are almost 300 quid in the UK on Donna Ida. Put the crack pipe down! I did not pay that. I got mine on the Outnet, but they are on sale at Anthropologie in the US, and if you’re in the UK you can get these and these on sale too, delivered from Shopbop, PLUS there’s a 20% off sale today, just enter the code WEAREFAMILY13. Or fuck it, buy them at Topshop. They’re probably exactly the same. Boyfriend jeans are usually cut super-roomy so you don’t need to size up to get that nice mooch.




Boyfriend coat from Topshop

Actually the one I wear is from last year, and Fox hates it so much that he pretends to throw money at me when I wear it as apparently I look like a homeless person. (As opposed to, you know, a stripper.) But I love it. It makes me feel a lil John Hughesy.


Converses Slip-On In Natural

Last year I went all French yummy mummy and got a pair of white Superga, after a lifetime of total loyalty to Chuck Taylors. I am back. These are slip-on which is essential if you are a bit lazy, like me.


I’ve also been wearing this pair of studded navy velvet slippers from Topshop, but they don’t sell them anymore, so I found these ones for you instead. (Let me take a moment to apologise to Caroline, my friend with the velvet phobia. She’s currently working on a TV show in the UK so it’s not like she’s in any imminent danger of seeing them in person, but if she even reads this, the word ‘velvet’ will freak her out completely. Seriously. Right now she is clutching her neck and saying ‘Gemmaaaaaaaaaah’.)


After a long, long, long winter wearing bright red (MAC Lady Danger) and dark red (Hourglass Icon) and purply-brown (Chanel Culte), I am digging a flashy pop of hot pink. I’ve actually been wearing a no-name Hong Kong brand shade that my mother gave me in about 1997, nope I am not kidding and yah I know that’s probably really gross, but I tried on this one at Sephora the other day and it rocked. Lip Tar in Pretty Boy by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. They deliver worldwide.

Blush in Amalfi lo-res(2)

Amalfi Blush by Cargo. 

I met a lovely woman a few weeks ago who works at Cargo and she sent me some awesome Cargo make-up to try, as they’re reformulating the stuff. I’m officially in luff with with this Amalfi blush. It gives the most perfect flush with hot pink lipstick. I shall start testing their bronzers the moment it is warm enough here to faux-tan.


Punker Eyeliner by Ardency Inn

I was obsessed with Rimmel liquid eyeliner for years, till the formula started to make my skin tingle in a weird itchy way. (Tingles are great if they’re from being with a dude, bad if it’s from makeup. And yah it was a brand new one.) This one is fat, squeaky, and satisfyingly easy to apply.


Sabre sunglasses in Runaway.

Pitch black huge fat cat-eye sunglasses. I lost these last year, and after a week of kicking myself and telling myself I did not deserve to replace them, I thought, bugger it, and bought another pair. They really are amazing. HUGE and very very dark. Revolve Clothing delivers them worldwide. 



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On… some Friday procrastination for you

Every now and again I write funny little things for magazines. (We’ve covered this in previous sessions.)

I sort of stumbled into magazine writing (I was an advertising copywriter before I became an author and screenwriter). But writing about makeup is so fun! Plus, you know, free stuff.

Writing for Tatler UK is particularly fun, as one gets to sound all plummy and posh. (I’m not particularly posh, but I speak posh fluently. I never use words like ‘tremendous’ and ‘tiresome’ in real life, but I do for Tatler.)

ANYWAY. I thought that on this sunny Friday, you might like to read them. None of them are rocket surgery, I warn you, but they might make you laugh. And since the magazines are all back issues now, I’m sure the good people at Tatler won’t mind.



These first two were nominated for a P&G Beauty Writing awards. I didn’t win. (Pouts, makes a huffing sound.)





By the way, The Nail Files article is my favorite of all of them. The rest I’m not so crazy about. This is fairly typical of me. I’m never happy with my writing. I’ll probably tweak this post 15 times before next week.




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On… a poster to inspire

Inspiration posters don’t usually fry my burger. I think they’re kind of ridiculous. This one, however, is more than just an inspiration poster. It sums up everything I feel about work and creativity and hope and oh, you know, the meaning of life*.



I am still in the ‘Do A Lot Of Work’ stage. And I love it.

 *Actually, the meaning of life is this OK GO song.

PS That poster is a quote from Ira Glass. You can see the quote here.

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On… Little Red Riding Hood

I just heard this song on a car ad, and thought, hot damn that’s a great song.

The YouTube video is not so great. Like, at all.

But I LOVE the woman dancing about 2.01minutes in.

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On… a storm in Hong Kong

There was a kuh-razy thunderstorm in Hong Kong last night, and my mother caught the start of it coming over the sea towards the back of Hong Kong Island. (This is the view from their house, down the back of the Peak, over Aberdeen Harbour.)


I miss Hong Kong. Emoticon sadface.

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