Davines Top 10 Haircare

I recently learnt from the wonderful hair team at Root Salon how important good quality hair products are for the health of your hair. And so I was excited to discover the Davines range, an Italian beauty brand who ensure that none of their products have any nasty sulfates (chemicals which are harsh and damaging to your hair and scalp). Davines have a huge range to cater for all hair types, and present their collections in minimalist modern packaging… what’s not to love?! I’ve picked my ten favourite products for you to try, they make brilliant stocking fillers…


SOLU SHAMPOO – This ‘clarifying solution’ shampoo is suitable for all hair types. I found this light shampoo left my hair feeling moisturised and shiny, without any unwanted heaviness.


MINU SHAMPOO – Let’s be honest, most of us have some colour in our hair… to preserve and look after coloured hair, try the Minu Shampoo which I found illuminated my dip dye blonde tips. This shampoo has blossom extract in the ingredients and smells floral and lovely.


NOUNOU SHAMPOO – For curly and brittle hair I would recommend the rich and nourishing NouNou shampoo. This citrusy shampoo will replenish the nutrients in very dry or damaged hair.


NOUNOU HAIR MASK – This rich repairing mask is the perfect follow on from the NouNou Shampoo. I left the mask in my hair for 5 minutes after application and after washing out my hair was wonderfully soft and silky.


MELU CONDITIONER – I’m always on the look-out for a multi-purpose conditioner. The Davines Melu Conditioner was lovely to use, leaving my hair soft and light but also adding volume and shine.


ALCHEMIC CONDITIONER – Bright coloured conditioners can be a little terrifying to use, so when I saw the vibrant purple hue of this product I thought twice about putting it on my head! But the Alchemic conditioner has wondrous effects. It can be used as a mask and left in the hair for 10-15 minutes… in this time it will brighten the tone of highlighted or grey hair. For me, it removed the unpleasant coppery tone of my blonde tips and left my hair looking much more natural.


VOLU HAIR MIST – This leave-on formula is brilliant for adding volume without weighing down hair. The mist has a lovely fragrance that will leave your hair smelling fresh all day.


BLOWDRY PRIMER – I always aim to blow-dry my hair as they do in professional hair salons, but it is impossible. This blowdry primer helps to tame your locks before drying and it adds a little texture whilst also protecting against heat and humidity.


OI ALL IN ONE MILK – This is one of my all time favourite hair products… as the name suggests, the Davines all in one milk conquers every hair conundrum. Apply to towel-dried hair and it will hydrate and nourish your hair whilst also taming frizz and enhancing volume. The little bottle is perfect for taking away on travelling trips.


DRY TEXTURIZER – I choose hairspray dependent on smell. This Davines dry texturizing hairspray has a delicious vanilla fragrance and also provides a natural hold to the hair without being sticky to touch.

More information and buy all the Davines products here.

THOROUGHLY MODERN MISS: The Yoga Kitchen Retreat

When I was invited by Thoroughly Modern Milly to review a week‐long yoga and food retreat to celebrate the launch of Kimberly Parsons new cookery book, The Yoga Kitchen, I couldn’t believe my luck and was so excited to get away to the rolling hills of Catalonia and bask in the Spanish sunshine.

Going away alone on a retreat gave me the chance to step away from busy London life, work and most importantly some bad food habits I’d picked up in recent months. Presented with a week of plant‐based food without alcohol, meat, refined sugar and gluten, I decide to throw out caffeine too and reset my body properly. Coupled with twice‐daily one‐and‐half hour yoga sessions, and thirty‐minute morning meditations beginning at 7.30am (with no‐speaking until 10am!) I was nervous my lack of practice and focus would hinder my enjoyment of the week. Nevertheless, I’m not one to turn down a challenge, and saw the retreat as a chance to truly refresh my mind, body and soul.

I was joined on the retreat by a group of brilliantly inspiring women: fashion, fitness and food bloggers, models, food entrepreneurs, a cardiovascular researcher and a freelance social media expert. These ladies had serious kudos and we quickly bonded over our love of Kimberley’s delicious three‐course dinners and enormous brunches.


Kimberley’s meals presented healthy food on a level I’d not experienced before and my worries about meals consisting of two lettuce leaves and a handful of pomegranate seeds were quickly banished. Our post‐yoga mornings were filled with fiery ginger shots, fruity and nutty smoothies, kaleola (kale granola = life‐changing) and veggie eggs benedict, and at night our appetites were satiated with baked miso satay aubergines, white bean risottos and lentil dahls – during each meal I felt inspired by Kimberly’s creative, flavoursome and filling food!


Kimberly’s cookery skills are insane and the whole group was eager to learn the secrets to perfecting her delicious recipes. During cookery demonstrations I was introduced to new ingredients such as maca and lacuma powder, as well as flavour combinations and cooking methods I’d not come across before. Radish kimchi with kale and Brussel sprouts is Kim’s unique take on a Korean classic, and her raw caramel slices with bee pollen crispies tasted so naughty, despite being relatively healthy! I ended up buying The Yoga Kitchen book so I can continue to recreate these recipes at home.

cookery demo

When we weren’t eating we were stretching out our bodies with enthusiastic yoga teacher Kathryn Fielding. Although I’ve always enjoyed yoga, I’ve sometimes found classes too spiritual and relaxing for my liking. When I found Bikram yoga four years ago, it gave me the challenge and intense workout I was looking for, however after a while the same twenty‐eight posture sequence really did get a bit boring. I was really happy to therefore spend a week with Kathryn whose powerful, energetic style of yoga pushed all of us to the max.

The dynamic morning flow‐yoga classes were the perfect way to start the day. Set around an infinity pool with views of Spanish countryside, our practice was accompanied by birdsong and Kathryn’s brilliantly‐curated playlist. Kathryn’s many, many Chaturanga’s forced me to use the upper body strength I’ve long neglected, and I noticed a huge difference in my practice throughout the week, ending with the strength and confidence to push myself up into Reverse Table Pose (otherwise known as ‘The Crab’ which is something I don’t think I’ve achieved since primary school).


Evening yoga sessions took a more relaxed tone. I’d never done Yin or Restorative yoga before, which we practiced in a cool, candlelit room inside the beautiful farmhouse which we were staying in. Although the ambience was relaxed, the yoga was by no means easy. Deep joint‐opening poses were held for five minutes each and really forced us to push our minds as well as our bodies. There were tears throughout the week ‐ apparently opening up your hips can bring up some pretty intense emotions, which certainly was the case for me.

spanish farmhouse

Both the yoga and food were structured around strengthening each of our seven chakras which are the different energy centres in our bodies. Beginning on day one, we focused on our root chakra which is located in the base of our spine ‐ Kathryn’s class that day really drew our attention to this part of our body, while Kimberley’s food was taken from the ‘Grounded’ chapter of The Yoga Kitchen. On the final morning, we focused on the crown chakra which is located at the very top of our head and enables us to feel connected more spiritually, while we ate from the ‘Pure’ chapter of Kimberley’s book. I ended the week feeling like I had drawn my attention to the whole of my body, and really enjoyed the complementary approach to exercise and diet.

The week wasn’t just yoga and food ‐ there was plenty of time for sunbathing, swimming and exploring. Highlights included trekking to a huge, deserted lake for a spot of open‐water swimming; an afternoon of go‐karting got my adrenaline pumping; and a short trip across the border to Andorra featured tobogganing down a mountain. It was so refreshing to spend a whole week being active outdoors in the fresh air, stepping away from my daily desk‐bound state in smoggy London.

go kart

Since my return three weeks ago, I’ve kept up daily yoga practice and exercise, downloaded a mindfulness app to dip in‐and‐out of when I need a quiet moment, and have been more thoughtful about what I’ve been putting into my body. I’ve always taken a fairly healthy first‐principles approach to eating, however often skipping breakfast and relying to much on caffeine and sugary snacks to get me through busy days. Now I’m only drinking one cup of coffee a day, trying a dairy‐free diet (to improve some of my skin problems), have replaced refined sugars with natural sugars, and I’m spending time in the morning to prepare delicious, healthy breakfasts.

My yoga retreat experience has honestly enabled me to completely reset my relationship with my food habits, given me a healthier approach to my work‐life balance, and improved my attitude towards both exercise and early mornings. In the past, I have often found it hard to keep going with good habits, however this is the first time I’ve had a lifestyle‐change when I feel like it won’t fail.

I can’t recommend my experience enough, and upcoming retreats not to be missed include escaping to a Swedish island with Kimberly and yoga teachers Kristi Johnson (23‐30 July) and Marcus Veda (31 July‐7 August). Trust me, you won’t regret going!




Order The Yoga Kitchen on Amazon or The Book Depository.


@fieldingbalance / @kathryn_fielding

Written by Holly Hunter: @holly___h


So Friday night has arrived and I’m off to Den Udon Kings Cross, for an evening of thick white flour noodles, with a few extras I hope. I’ve heard it is going to be healthy. That’s okay… I can be unhealthy on the way there and unhealthy on the way back, I may just survive the diet den.

Before heading to a new restaurant I like to do a bit of research (where it is, how to get there) but keep the intricate and exciting details of the menu and venue a surprise. I find it is best to let the restaurant staff’s expertise guide me though the menu, and I was particularly intrigued about the Japanese cuisine on offer here.

On arriving we went past the converted pub for 15 yards, before scrambling back and running in from the rain. I instantly liked the fact that they had transformed an unused venue, as there are many pubs in London that are being knocked down or turned into flats, but that is another gripe for another day, and into the converted pub we went.

We were seated on one of the simple benches with other guests and straight away a cocktail recommended by our waitress was handed to us. A Ginger Vodka delight which was simple and great. To start I had the Red Wine Stewed Pork Belly. This was my favourite of everything we tried, small but not too small, delicious cuts in a flavoursome marinade that were ample for a starter.

Onto main’s but not before another cocktail. It is important here to work through the cocktail menu as well as the food menu. The Bloody Den was fantastic, a Japanese inspired Bloody Mary curated by the delightful Director, Cristoforo Santini. I highly recommend this drink, perfect for a lunchtime refresher or a Friday evening kick-starter. For my main, I chose Prawn and Vegetable Tempura. I love prawns, but the sticky rice had little flavour. Japanese cuisine prides itself on its healthy nature, however a fresh sauce would have made this a much more complete dish.

Our waitress for the evening was very helpful and the Director Mr. Santini could not have done enough for every ‘bencher in the pub’. He worked the room and was a likeable restaurant director who showed passion for his restaurant.

I would always like a table separate from other Friday diners and my main course was lacking in flavour for me. That said Den will do very well, with a team always happy to share insight into the dishes and a Director with such a high level of enthusiasm. My starter and the drinks were superb, so take my advice and have an evening of Japanese health in Kings Cross. Just make sure you remember to stop off for chocolate on the way home!

More information about Den here: www.den-udon.uk.com

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Male, Nick Gray.