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A Wireless Wardrobe Countdown

Hi guys, welcome to a new week! I spent the weekend in Sheffield as a random change of scenery with a few friends and it was fab! Just the right size to explore for one afternoon and the night life was made of a few buzzing strips with the bars spilling out into the streets. I'll do a longer outfit post this week!

It's going to be potentially the most hectic few weeks of my year as I'm going to Amsterdam next week as my 4 day 'summer' holiday (1 star all the way!) and before that, I'm going to Wireless Festival this weekend! I've been for the past few years in London, and Wireless is literally my dream festival music-wise, and plus you don't camp overnight in a tent so everyone looks amazing. You can wake up on the day and dress perfectly for the weather forecast - and you can have a shower! I'm extra thrilled it's in Birmingham too this year as it is literally 10 minutes from my house on a bus and I can go home to my own bed (and wardrobe!).

I think Amsterdam will be seriously casual so this week is dedicated to planning Wireless outfits. Looking at the ever changing forecast, it looks to be hot hot hot with maybe a few dotted showers. I can take my bright rain mac and will wear wellies (thanks for the tips Hannah!), but the outfit could be anything! Each year at Wireless, my friends and I have found an awesome spot on the grass at the mainstage and spent the day gossiping, dancing and meeting new people, so your outfit is less about trekking around and can be any sort of style.

For the sake of me only having a few times in my calendar where I can dress in something I love, I want to look slightly different each day! I'm not a mega fan of shorts any more so will not be sporting denim hotpants exactly, but I love a crop top and cute two piece!

For my first outfit I wanted a fresh co-ord, and I wore my palm print two piece from Motel to last year's Wireless. I was considering wearing the same outfit again as the skirt was actually really suited to a festival. It was light, cool, and crucially, it meant ease when balancing over those festival loos! (Wireless has vans of actual real toilets though - win!!)

I spotted this outfit of sunshine though and have refreshed with this absolutely gorgeous lemon stamp set, which literally gives me happiness and life! Yellow is my new favourite colour with my blonde tinted hair and it has just the perfect festival vibes. Motel have a lemon print on a black base too for the more colour-shy (my friends definitely won't loose me!) and I really like the Ballerina body too.

As for the other days, I just don't know! Tonight I'm going to sift through my wardrobe and assess what I have. For one day I'm feeling maybe jeans and a backless body, as the evenings will be cooler and I've never worn jeans before to a festival. Maybe they wouldn't be as appropriate though! I want to look more Iggy Azelia fun than Kate Moss boho. We'll see! Of course I'll be recording said outfits and maybe I'll even do a little vlog!


Nails of the Week 34: Barry M Matte Vanilla


Hi guys! It's Thursday already, woohoo! I'm going off to Sheffield for a really random weekend as my friends and I wanted a night out away from Birmingham - do you have any tips? Then next weekend is Wireless (que heart eyed emojis galore!!!) and then I'm going to Amsterdam for my summer holiday! PHEW!

I'm already finalising my festival outfits so I'll post these this weekend. My only wonder is whether wellies would be needed, or could you get away with sandals if rain is not forecast? I have some ankle height wellies but they are nude leopard print so don't suit everything!

I'm also having that busy time at work I mentioned last week, and we have had a few corporate events recently where I was quite considerate about my nails. I thought an office dress code meant the end of my long talons but I think nails are not an issue. I didn't want a brash colour for the events though, and I'm bored of pastel nails for the moment after a string of candy shades during the past few months. I looks into my collection and found Barry M Vanilla, a rare impulse purchase earlier this year when their matte collection came out. There is no logic in me buying polishes as I get my nails done at the salon, which always has a huge collection of shades. However there never is a shade just quite right for the vibe I have in my mind, and there's often a lot of barbie pinks or reds.

I tried this polish and immediately didn't like it, and so it got lost in my collection. When applied matte, it is almost a bone colour, which looks quite sickly! However, add a shiny top coat and voila, the shades of pink, blush and nude come through! I wanted a deeper brown but I had lent my favourite shade to my nan, so I took this to the salon and am liking it a lot. It really says something when you look at your nails after a few weeks of wear and still are not bored of the colour! I'm hoping I have time to get them redone before Wireless or at least my holiday though. I have a design I really want! Watch this space.


#suitupandplay from Missguided


Last week I received a fabulous challenge from Missguided to style up a playsuit for the festival season. I'm not sure of others but when I get an email from a brand I already love and actually buy things from (literally constantly!), I'm over the moon! Like a dream trolley dash, I perused the playsuits and chose the beautiful Rigonda Playsuit. I don't need to go into how much I buy from Missguided as it's one of the sites I check almost daily, have a constant wishlist on the go, and would probaby choose if I could only shop from one place forever more. They're stepping up their game in quality and I'm all for it!

I'm having a moment with necklines as, after placing myself in the Itty Bitty club for most of my life, I'm finally realising the bonuses of having a smaller bust. It might mean I don't fill out anything from Topshop and could never hold up a strapless dress, but I've found I can wear those plunging necklines and teeny bralettes without it being too obscene or having a danger of falling out. I've always had body confidence but I used to not draw attention to my bust, but now I will happily go braless with bralettes and not really think twice about looking tiny-up-top. Rather liberating! So I'm on the hunt for a plunge shirt/top, and I was immediately drawn to the cool straps and low neckline of this playsuit. The soft colour actually lends to the revealing fit as it's not too bright and in-your-face, so you can get away with the cut. Add a floral crown and backpack and I am festival set!

The festival season is fast approaching and I have a holiday booked for mid-July, and then it will be August already! I turn 25 in August so it can come as slow as it likes, but I'm also going off to V Festival so I'll be counting down to that. I shall be packing this playsuit for sure, and will soon be dusting off my co-ords!


The Topshop Stingray

Hi guys! It's hump day and I'm having one of my busiest weeks at work for a long time, so I prepped my room, bag and wardrobe at the weekend. I've had a backpack for a while but found I never wore them properly on both shoulders as it was a fashion-y bag rather than a rucksack, and you can never organise things properly. When your purse or train pass gets lost in a backpack, you are forever rooting around!

I never usually buy excess bags. I have one bag that I love and use until I need another. But my New Look holdall was weighing down my shoulder and swallowing up anything I put in there, and I happened to see the Topshop Stingray bag online and liked it! Hurray! If I ever go shopping for a bag, I never find one. I popped into Topshop after work one day (not before doing an online store check to see if Bullring had them) and found it to be the perfect not-too-big, not-too-small bag. I like the double zip as I'm always wary of being pick-pocketed and keep the zippers close to the side, and you can wear it with the strap on your shoulder or over your elbow like I tend to do. It fits my packed lunch, gym clothes (if I go!) and all the other random items I deem essential, but never take out during the day. 

Right, I need to get my beauty sleep! Hoping it's a sunny weekend approaching. 


Going Red To Blonde: Dying my hair!


Right, I'm going to talk about my hur/hayer/HAIR! I'm definitely a hair person, and I know not everyone is. Makeup is almost like an art material or medium, whereas hair seems a little more of a natural subject, and only one part of the many things that make up the definition of you. But my hair has always been on my agenda as I've always had really long, stand-out, super curly hair, and I've been teased, praised, approached, you name it, all because of just my hair. I am very much my hair, yet my hair is a thing all of its own. That sounds crazy but if I sit here and define it, it's true!
 
I'm definitely coming up to the quarter life crisis that all my friends recently had when they hit 25, and I know where I want to go, but I'm not getting there fast enough! I remind myself not to wish away the present though and I'm looking forward to upcoming things like a mini holiday and summer festivals. I have felt the need a change though, or some sort of transition lately. While I have a more corporate job, I am no fan of corporate dressing, and this is in no way me 'maturing' style-wise, but dying my hair a more natural colour is something fresh and more along the vibes I'm feeling at the moment. I had gone very, very dark red, and was calling for something lighter but still in the red family. I'm not the definition of blonde and I'm not a brunette. I'll always be a redhead! And so the choice was made!
 
I explained in my last post how I chose my salon as Lisa Shepherd, and the day loomed for my dying. I couldn't WAIT, I was so ready, but was also apprehensive. Would my hair fall out? Would I end up having to go brown first? Would my hair become terrible quality? All of these things associated with bleaching hair must be DIY stories, because I was so glad I went to a salon. It ensured none of these things happened, and if I even imagine myself taking a box of ColourB4 and bleach to my hair, it would have been a disaster!!
 
I had a few days off work as I'm one of those people who never seem take days off because I don't have a reason (how sad am I!), so I got to the salon at lunch time and my hair was stripped of as much red as possible. The first thing I felt about Lisa Shepherd was that it was so chilled. The room where everything happens is in a cube at the back of the salon, so you do not see people passing or customers popping into the reception, and time goes by without you noticing. It's very comfortable and cool, without being edgy and crisp. Some salons are almost clinical rather than being warm, and I felt at ease at Lisa Shepherd straight away as my stylist Chloe went straight into striping the red. Goodbye red! I had NO idea how this would be and sat in the waiting area (with refreshment and magazine galore) thinking 'Oh my God!'. Then it was washed, dried, and came out as a wishy-washy pink colour. It was dyed an all over colour and washed again to even it out, which was a sandy brown, and then I had a full head of blonde highlights. My hair is so thick, my whole head was weighed down with foils! Five hours later, my hair was washed again and dried, to reveal a caramel/strawberry blonde!
 
 
There was no damage, my hair was soft and it didn't even need a trim even! There were some slightly red bits near the front as the red clung on, but these aren't too noticeable and almost add warmer highlights. It totalled £150 in the end which was very well priced considering the other quotes I had but still the most I would ever spend on hair! However I would never have been able to do it myself and I was going to have to do it one day. I'll do a follow up post once I've got used to it and possibly had a few more highlights. Eeek!


Nails of the Week 33: Cornflower Blue


Soft blues and lilacs are right up my street at the moment, especially if they are matte and not quite pastel. I don't know about you but I feel overloaded with pastels already this season! I see so many gorgeous bloggers in head-to-toe pastel outfits usually sent from online brands, but I can't see how this is suitable for day wear; not the public transport, dodgy weather or heavy shopping activities that seem to be what my life is all about! I would not sit on a train seat in baby pink for fear of sitting on a rogue piece of chewing gum, ah the glamour. My life generally consists of work-work-work-work-work-errands-cocktails-errands on a good week so pastels sadly don't get a look-in, unless I brave a light outfit on a night out and literally take a spare black dress in my bag. Bouncers think I am crazy, but I just call that prepared! 

So I'm not digging pastels in my daily life, and plus they don't really suit me so this is probably why. I can get away with a warm lilac and possibly now a few more shades as my hair is lighter, but light shades don't do a lot for me. Nails are a whole other ball game though, and I've been hunting for chalky shades that still pack a punch. Rather than baby blue, I found Maybelline Ceramic Blue in Poundland (holla at my fave shop!) and it's quite grey in the bottle but a bright, sky blue once painted. This is my second wear of the colour this year, and usually I'm a one-time girl where nail colours are concerned.


#NARSissist


I'm sure you know my day job involves social media, which in my spare time I take more of a laid-back approach to. The irony is that because I work in marketing, I have to keep my personal accounts quite censored! Not that I am up to no good, but if I ever encounter any celebs, have an annoying experience in a shop, or party it up in a club, I should keep that to myself. The same with any industry nowadays, you must be careful what you post online for anyone to see or share. Despite this, I will post whatever I like to wear on this blog and Instagram, even if Monday - Friday I begrudgingly abide to the office dress code; something I will never get used to! Maybe not until I have the budget for Karen Millen rather than H&M anyway. I definitely need some tips on smart-casual!

I tweeted recently that the NARS Laguna bronzer that I splurged on at Christmas had ran out, sad times! Apart from a MAC face powder, this is the only high-end beauty product I have bought in the whole of 2014, which possibly reflect the 'normal working girl's' beauty budget. NARSissist tweeted me back, which A) is very impressive that a brand engages with it's fans, and B) I think it's very cool that NARS has a personality as their social media ambassador, rather than acting as a brand. Sure the NARSissist may never show her face and is possibly five different people, but it's quirky and chic to imagine a mystery woman in a world of NARS heaven. Laguna bronzer was one of my first NARS purchases and forays into bronzers, though I've used other products to contour in the past. Then funnily enough a few weeks later, the NARSissist asked for my home address and sent some items, just as a thank you for being a brand advocate! I've seen a few brands send out gifts to fans, which might spawn repurchase from that one consumer, but I'm sure would be a brand exposure activity rather than a sales tactic. I was ecstatic to receive this bundle of matte black joy and here's a sneak peek at what I got! I saw a few others posting items they had received and they don't seem to be targeted to bloggers, but to fans who interact with the brand to show their appreciation.

I was sent a selection of new Matte Multiples and the 413 BLKR blush, happy days! I wouldn't use the Multiples for lips or eyes as they felt too creamy, despite being matte. They turn to a powder finish once blended and it is SO FUN to draw on your face with the crayons, almost like war paint, before blending.

413 reminds me of my all time favourite First Flush blush by 17, as I prefer popping shades to a soft pink. The stronger the blush, the bluer my eyes look in comparison.

My favourite Multiple is Altai, the middle peach shade which translates very warm against the skin. I've never used a product so rich, but I began my base makeup with this step below, adding it to my temples and cheek hollows before blending with a synthetic brush (before brows, lips, etc might I add!). A cream product layered under powder give it much more staying power and a more even finish, so I ended up adding a matte powder to set this too. I'd definitely say these sticks do not offer a mattified finish, but they do offer a matte colour pay off. Important to note if your skin is oily.