Instant beauty tips: slicked-back ponytails
The much-maligned 'Croydon facelift' is no longer a fashion faux pas. In fact, a slicked-back ponytail is one of this season's most sought-after, fuss-free styles - as seen everywhere from the catwalk to, yes, Croydon High Street. Here's how to get the look in an instant...
You can take the girl out of Croydon, but... well, you know the rest! The London suburb's most fashion-forward former resident, supermodel Kate Moss, is just one of the stars who's been spotted sporting the slicked-back, skin-tightening style over recent months.
The once-off-limits hairdo made its mark at numerous Autumn/Winter shows - including Amanda Wakeley, Prada and Louis Vuitton, to name but three. Kate Moss showcased the look on the catwalk for Marc Jacobs in Paris, accessorising with a gorgeous hair band
Other style-conscious celebrities who have embraced the look include US reality star Kim Kardashian and our very own Cheryl Cole. Emma Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman have also been seen sporting variations on the trend on the red carpet.
So what's so great about the look? 'Smooth, slicked back ponytails were all the rage on the Autumn/Winter catwalks,' says award-winning hairstylist Dylan Bradshaw. 'It's a really striking look, and suits most face shapes. The key is to create a very clean, sleek finish.'
'The "Croydon facelift" is bang-on-trend this season,' agrees Clothes Show Live's Celebrity Hairdresser of the Year Jamie Stevens. 'And it really does give you a facelift: by sweeping your hair into a super-sleek, high ponytail, you lift any sagging around the eyes and draw the skin tightly across the cheekbones.'
To get the look, it really couldn't be easier. Jamie explains: 'First, brush your hair high on to the crown of the head and follow the contour of your jawline, instead of brushing straight up, as this will give you a much more flattering finish. Then simply secure your hair into a ponytail with a band, and finish with a spritz of shine-giving hairspray for extra hold and glossy definition.'
But is there anyone who's not suited to the look? 'It can work for every face shape, as long as you follow the length of the jawline,' says Jamie. 'But remember, it can elongate your features - so those with longer chins may prefer to steer clear.'
Any more tips? Celebrity hairdresser Royston Blythe says a perfect ponytail requires a little preparation. 'Seeing as your roots are going to be on show, it's worth getting your colour freshened up,' he advises. 'And a quick trim will ensure the end of your ponytail is sharp and free of split ends.'
Not convinced by the high ponytail? There are other options. 'Valentino opted for a low ponytail that sat at the nape of the neck, which is ideal for medium length hair,' says Royston. 'You could also try Louis Vuitton's midway pony that was positioned between the tops of the ears.'
Ultimately, wherever you choose to sit it, because the ponytail only takes seconds to achieve, you can afford to experiment and see which style works best for you. It's what Kate would do, after all...
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