Moon of my life – My sun and stars.

Game of Thrones


If Uni just isn’t for you! (Alternatives to University)

You are in your last year of sixth form or your college course. You’ve raced to finish your final projects or are revising furiously for your end of years exams, all while trying to figure out what exactly it is you want to do for the rest of your life. Then someone throws a spanner in the works.

SO, which University are you going to?’

Obviously, if you’ve even considered going to University, you’ll have already started the laborious (not to put you off or anything) task of submitting your UCA’s application. You’ll have written your personal statement, a page worth of basically bigging yourself up to the point of borderline pretentiousness, and entered your whole educational history, which is always a sad moment if your GCSE results were shockingly rubbish! (OK, mind weren’t that bad but they weren’t the best!)

ATTENTION KIDS, revise for your GSCE’s because no matter how smart your are, you can’t ‘wing’ an exam. Which is totally not what I did… at all…

After submitting your completed application to UCA’s you could be waiting for as long as two months to hear back as to whether you have a conditional place on the courses you’ve chosen.

It’s a bit like X Factor really, expect Simon Cowell probably isn’t judging your applications. That would be too easy.

It can be a very worrisome and stressful time for some young people while waiting to hear back from University choices as to whether you have a conditional/unconditional place. This, as well as other factors, can put many people off.

Yet University is still the main option and popular for the next step in further education.

There is a lot of emphasis on the fact that a degree will allow you better career prospects. And a lot of the time it will. But University isn’t always for everyone.

Costly tuition fees, living expenses and being away from home are just some of many reasons people turn down university in search for a more suitable alternative.

Always make the decision that’s best for you and your future. The older generation often never got the the chance to go to University so may push the idea of taking this path. As much as University is a lot more accessible, the lifestyle that comes with it will not suit every individual.

I rushed into going to University thinking it was what everyone else expected from me. Everyone I knew was going and I felt I’d be looked down on for not extending my knowledge from my college course.

Turns out, Uni life really wasn’t for me. The binge drinking, night owl way of life was really not for this little home bird who much prefers sitting in front of the box then dropping some shapes in the club  (and by shapes I mean slightly bending the knees to the beat of the music, I can’t dance, get over it)

There are a number of alternatives to University depending on the career path you wish to take. Here are suggestions for just a few options you could take and how they could help you.

Take a Gap Year

If you need some more time to think about your options, you can always apply to UCA’s for the year after and take a year out. When I say Gap Year I don’t necessarily mean travelling to Cambodia like a private school kid who wants to know how ‘the other people’ live. You can spend your year volunteering or find a part time job to get you a little extra money for if/when you do attend university. Either way, this is a great way to build work experience and makes for a stronger CV.

Go Part Time or Open

If you like the idea of continuing your studies but want it to be more felxible, especially if you have a job on the side, you could consider taking a part time course up (this is usually out of work hours) or an Open University course, which could mean you are only attending University once every two weeks, allowing you to studying at home in your own time.


In my personal opinion, this is probably the best alternative to anyone who enjoys studying but is put off by length and expensive courses. Apprenticeships allow you to ‘learn on the job’ as well as gain a qualification in your chosen subject, which is paid for by the Government/Employer. Work experience is invaluable and you can make money at the same time as studying. I will do a separate blog post all about apprenticeships!


If you are more interested in experience and earning money you can find a job that does not require qualifications in further education. Some businesses even offer programs that will allow you to gain management positions so there is always an opportunity to move up within a company depending on the sector.

There are lots of different options rather then university that will be equally as rewarding in the long run and can allow you to find an amazing career. Make sure you look carefully at all your options and know you are happy. Not going to Uni or even dropping out if it doesn’t work out isn’t that big of a deal.

You’ll find what you are passionate about and love to do, even if it takes some time.


Questions and Answers signpost

Digital Marketing

Lights, Camera, Kerastraight! (The KeraStraight Video Shoot 2015)!

Last week was exhilarating for the KeraStraight team!

If you remember my blog post from last month about The One Show’s Michael Douglas training the talented KS Art Team in presenting skills, then you would remember me mentioning that there was some exciting projects coming up for the team.

So last Monday, all of us at the KeraStraight HQ made our way to Trevor Sorbie’s Academy in Covent Garden for the filming of a brand new educational video featuring the new faces of KeraStraight (four fantastic models) and of course, our fantastic Art Team!

I can’t even explain to you in a coherent manner how EXCITING the atmosphere was on the day!

We were extreamly fortunate to be able to secure Michael Douglas and Andy Abrahams to direct and produce the video shoot, which gave the whole production a really professional feel (very One Show-esque) and put the entire Art Team at complete ease knowing Michael was on hand to deliver further presenting tips and direction if needed.

So here is a run down of the day since I was behind the scenes! (including a who’s who and a behind the scenes low down)

Model Prep

The makeup artist for the day was the talented Philipp Ueberfellner, an Austrian born self proclaimed ”Product Junkie” who’s wide spectrum of experience in the industry at such a young age is inspiring as well as outstanding. He studied at Glauca Rossi School of Makeup which has produced some of the most talked about Makeup Artists in the blogosphere (think Charlotte Tilbury and Gemma Kidd) and lent his talent to major names in London Fashion Week, becoming the top choice for many shows. He was also a nominee for Makeup Artist of the Year at the Vienna Awards and has worked for the likes of Jessie J and Dizzie Rascal as well as on commercial campaigns (Toni and Guy, Wella and Zara).

He ‘aims to put a smile on the face of all his models’ and if the faces of our KeraStraight girls on the set were anything to go by, then this statement is very accurate.

I was a little in awe of his MUA kit! Nars everywhere I tell you, and boy did that make me happy (my love for makeup grows stronger by the day!)


The model’s makeup looked so flawless and looked great on camera (the struggle is real when it comes to makeup on set).

Phillip was also on hand for touch ups throughout the day because a shiny t zone is pretty much like one of those annoying people who turn up to house parties un invited and drink all your alcohol.

To quote Phillip on the day, he stated ‘working with KeraStraight has been good fun. We had a great team and laid back energy’ ‘My favourite part would be seeing the transformations and everything coming together’

The models turned up to the shoot with their hair in all it’s natural glory, ready to begin the KeraStraight Ultimate Treatment on camera.

Tell us about yourself?

Andy and the crew filmed the lovely Alfie Booth (Director of Trevor Sorbie Manchester) interviewing our models (Risikat, Katja, Nena and Rhea) on camera. The models told us a little bit about themselves and then spoke about their natural hair and what they would change about it This was a really important aspect of the production as it allowed the team to get across on camera how unmanageable/damaged the model’s hair were. All the model’s had very different hair types that would benefit in different ways from the treatment.

The production team then snapped some pictures of the hair before treatment for comparison.


Let the treatment begin!

Each member of the KeraStraight Art Team was assigned a model for the treatment. They were filmed partaking in the consultation session that should always take place before the treatment begins. They asked the models to tell them about their hair (such as how long it takes to style and what aspects they would like to change with the treatment).


While the treatment got under way, Alfie interviewed Claire Solman (Owner of CF40 Salon) about her experience of using KeraStraight in her own salon and the brand as a whole. This gives some great insight for salons into how they can benefit from using the KeraStraight treatments and how much their clients are going to LOVE the results.


Alfie spoke to the camera during each stage of the process, making sure to ask each stylist about how they were applying the treatment and the techniques they were using for each hair type. The model’s hair was rinsed again after the treatment was left on for 30-45 minutes, depending on how porous the hair is, and moisture lock added. Heat was then applied to the model’s hair to lock in the long term treatment benefits. Claire with a barrel brush is a sight to be reckoned with! It reminded me a lot of speedy gonzales on caffeine. Alfie continued asking about specific techniques such as using tail combs for more info.


Gorgeous Hair, Made Easy!

The models got to see the final results of their treatment and we caught their fantastic reactions on camera! (You’ll have to watch the final video to see how happy our models were with their new KeraStraight hair)

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 12.56.58

The day was exciting and the Art Team had a fantastic time showing off their skills and talking about all things KeraStraight.

Matthew Roskell told me he ‘had a great time at the video shoot and it was brilliant to be back working with KeraStraight’ and Claire said ‘it was a very full on day which I found very inspiring, and I think the end result will be extremely motivational for all who watch it , I learnt some amazing presentation skills from Alfie, and the amazing Michael Douglas’.

The quotes speak for themselves! The day was a success and keep an eye out on the KeraStraight Facebook and Twitter page for the new educational video!

Digital Marketing

KeraStraight Art Team Become Presenters! (Art Team Day 2015)

2015 sure look’s exciting at KeraStraight HQ!

The year has only just begun but it’s already got off to an amazing start for the company.

Jez Barnett, KeraStraight MD, is always looking for ideas that increase brand awareness and create content for the company that is both educational and eye catching.

This month, KeraStraight are set to create some very exciting and informative content with the amazingly talented KS Art Team! And what a fantastic bunch of people!!

You’ll be seeing a great deal of them in the next year!

Under their request, the Art Team were really interested in picking up some tricks and tips of the presenting trade, since they’ll be in front of the camera a lot more.

And so, KeraStraight secured none other then the very talented TV Hairdresser and Presenter, Michael Douglas to equip the team with the tricks and tips of the presenting trade!

With years of TV experience and a wide spectrum of knowledge of both the hair and presenting industry, there was no one better for this teaching role. The team gathered a great deal of information from the day for future reference and experienced a day full of benefits that will mean they can take on video appearances like pros!

As Art Team Member Alfie Booth said ‘ I was blown away by how beneficial the day was. Not just for the upcoming shoot, but for my career’

Here is a little run down of the day:

Morning Meeting 

The Team met up with Jez, Michael and Andy, a BBC Producer, in Covent Garden in the morning for an initial meeting. Everyone introduced themselves, spoke about their experiences in the industry and told the rest of the group what they hoped to get out of the day. This was a great opportunity to see what camera skills the team wanted to obtain in order to gain more confidence on the screen. It was amazing to hear each team members story and what great careers they have had so far! And of course Michael shared some great stories!!

Mid-day, everyone made their way to Trevor Sorbie’s Covent Garden Salon which has recently undergone a refurbishment. It’s a wonderful salon and they kindly allowed KeraStraight to use the training academy for the day.


The Team Presents!

Each team member took it in turns to present a subject they were passionate about for 5 minutes. People forget how hard it is to stick to a time schedule when speaking in front of a group of people (or a camera!)

5 minutes can feel like 5 hours so Michael had some great tips on how to wrap up and conclude a discussion, very important in TV work since an abrupt ending never looks good when presenting!

During Claire Solman’s  (who own’s salon CF40) presentation a familiar face passed by, no other then Mr Eamonn Holmes! (What a legend!) Thankfully it didn’t throw Claire off and she continued like a champ.

Everyone did really well and Andy fed some constructive criticism back to the team.



Testing, testing!

Next up was the screen test!

Each team member was given a small section of script to learn which had nothing to do with hairdressers, a learning curve for the team which really took them out of their comfort zone. They took their scripts off to learn the lines from the top of their head before coming back to recite them in front of the camera.

They watched these clips back again in order to see how they presented themselves on screen and the group added their feedback on each member’s performance.

Both Michael and Andy gave everyone some fantastic advice on remembering their lines and addressing the camera.

They also showed the team members some previous footage from promotional and information videos similar to the content KeraStraight want to produce with the team. This allowed the team to talk about how they wanted to come across on camera and the style in which the video content could be presented.


The Run Through

Last but not least, the team decided to do practice a run through for the official shooting day to see how the video might look. Michael and Andy tested out various angles and shots to get a general feel of how the video content will look on the day. This gave some great insight for everyone into the production side of shooting and how everything would look aesthetically.

The day concluded with a round up of the day’s events and a chat between the team as to what subjects they wanted to speak about on camera and what information they had gathered from the experience.

Everyone was extremely positive and seemed excited about the future of Art Team video content.

Camera Run ThroughAlfie Camera

Micheal Speaking

I feel really privileged to have been asked to attend the day!

Even though I was there to observe the goings on, I learnt a great deal myself. As you may already known, I have a bit of experience behind the camera due to freelance video production and my Creative Media qualification but it’s so interested to learn about being in front of the camera from professionals with such wide experience in the real industry.

So thank so much to both Michael and Andy for sharing such amazing advice and knowledge.

And well done to the Art Team!

Keep an eye on this space, there are some amazing things to come from KeraStraight and some fantastic talent behind the brand.


Georgia XO