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October 2014
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December 2014

The Camel Coat



I thought a LOT about my winter coat this year, as I do have my super thick, furry, embellished River Island parka coat to keep me toasty, but not every day has an arctic chill! The months of September to December and March onwards need a decent cover-up that doesn't make you too hot under the collar, and as I do an hour's worth of watching and train hopping every day to work, I can't suffocate when the carriage is full or I'm power walking!

I ummed and ahhed over the Zara £139 draped wool coat that a succession of bloggers snapped up, but the price point for what really is a glorified cardigan did deter me. I browsed ASOS and Missguided for their camel boyfriend coats, but an oversized fit just doesn't suit my frame, and I've never been able to rock androgynous, casual wear. There are many different shades of camel too, and a golden haired pale gal like myself would be washed out by a dull cream.

And so came the Mango coat: the long-length, belted, sleek offering that when examined in person, is lined beautifully, hangs in a structured, slimline fit, and hints at dressing gown-chic while still looking super professional. I tried on a medium but the store adviser confirmed that this coat is all about a chic statement, rather than a casual fit.

I knew of this coat for around a month and stalked ASOS like a gawk for a good discount code. When they sent out a 20%, I snapped it up but sadly it arrived folded in a clear bag and had so many creases, it resembled an zig-zagged accordion! Luckily I had also signed up to the Mango newsletters and they sent me a 30% discount announcement, when I hot-footed it to the Bullring store (after calling and reserving my size!) and got the £140 coat for less than £97!

A coat purchase is so important to get right because it is something you wear every day, should transition every outfit, and hopefully will come out again next year. It's worn beautifully and has not lost any of it's structure, which really makes this coat so smart and statement. Mango are doing a 30% Black Friday discount across the weekend so it's time to invest...


The Vlog #1


Guys - hey! I would like to share with you my veeery first VLOG! Well it's not my first, I've made over 100 YouTube videos, but I lost touch with filming after going into full time work and a time when I had to stop blogging for a while a few years ago.

I think there is currently a shift happening online, where there is definite room being carved out for the not so glossy and not so flawless. It could be on the back of the normcore trend, where natural, organic vibes are making glamorous, perfect appearances seem old fashioned. Even Beyonce's new 7/11 video has no fuss and airbrushing, just that home alone fun where you shed your armour and let loose. I'm not able to buy expensive cameras or set up a serene filming area, but a natural vlog definitely appeals to me, and I want to chat to you regular readers and my favourite blog gal pals off the cuff, when I have chance to the weekend. This sort of vlog is super easy to film as you are on the go and will help me work on my improv. and editing skills slowly, rather than putting on the pressure to only ever make amazing videos and lustrous content! My blog it purely a release for me, without an agenda to increase hits or views really, so I hope you enjoy the video and hit me up next weekend if you fancy watching more.

 

 


Nails Of The Week 37: Barry M Almond

 


Hey guys! I hope you are at that point on a Sunday where the chores are done, your bedroom is clear, and outfits are washed and dried ready for the week ahead. Or if you have only just emerged from your bed of hangover food, smudged eyeliner pillows and regrettable texts, then that's even better! I've had a mixed weekend of eventful vs. relaxing as I went to 1xtra Live last night with my bestie Melissa, which was seriously fun. We had a quick cocktail before heading to the arena where loads of acts took to the stage for bitesize sets, including Lethal B, Rozay himself: Mr Rick Ross, and legendary Mary J Blige, who was a total pro to close the show, wearing a leather crop top with jeans, looking all sorts of sassy. It was a seated show, probably due to safety, but the crowd was really hyped and a favourite part of gigs for me is seeing everyone turning it up a notch and looking great. For my fave look, I saw a really cute, structured circle skirt, almost prom style, in white with a matching mini cropped bralette and white sandals. Annoying I didn't get chance to snap my own outfit even for Instagram, but hopefully I'll end up wearing it again anyway. I wore Joni  Jeans and a silky Zara plunge slip top, with laced heels. Still liking wearing jeans out at night!

I've just changed my nails but these were my Milan holiday talons, and this colour is a serious challenger for my upcoming December nails. It's Barry M Almond from nailpolish.co.uk, and what a beautiful milky lilac it is! Very luxe, grey toned, but somehow it has the depth to suit gold as well as silver, and especially rose gold. I'm hoping to find a rose gold crop top to create my Christmas outfits around, and I have my work party and a friend's legendary birthday where all my friends gather each year, plus NYE, although I have no idea what will happen for that night! Other nail colours I'm considering are a super bright electric blue with a matte top coat, or going for the classic Christmassy gold metallics. Any ideas? Does anyone else give this as much thought as me?!


#MyCalvins

 

 

I've started to realise that a Monday to Friday life means it's easiest to choose favourite staples and repeat those for five days, whether that's the same easy-to-prepare lunch, a go-to selection of outfits, or in this case, sets of underwear that suit every sheer shirt, peplum top and roll neck jumper, which is what my work wear wardrobe usually is. Nothing slows you down more in the morning than realising you have serious VPL in your black high waisted trousers, or can see your bright pink bra through your blouse! Without being too TMI, I know exactly which styles of underwear to buy that will suit all of my wardrobe, while still feeling fabulous to wear. This is a different story on the weekend, when I like to transform into someone unrecognisable (or I'd like to think so!) and spend ages getting ready, wearing my favourite things.

So while sitting at my desk for over eight hours, I want undies that give super comfort but are also super cute. Luckily for me, I don't need much support-wise or necessarily need hefty straps or a strong wire. I worked in a lingerie department once upon a time at Uni and know the ins and outs of the underwear world, but love the current trend for sweet triangle, cotton bras.

I found myself reblogging photos of Calvin Klein sets now that they are having a moment, and felt I needed one in my life as a rare treat. I've heard of people wearing sequined socks under their suits so they could keep their sense of style while obeying an office dress code; it's almost like knowing the very core of you is your true self, even if your exterior shows a standard shirt and trousers. I browsed all sorts of sites, discovering the current season set is the bralette top and classic shorts. Net-a-porter had the best deal and free gift wrapping, so I received my set beautifully boxed. The top looks like it comes up really small, but they totally elude that designer vibe, slightly minimising the high price. Imagine having a whole range of these and wearing them every day? I have a problem with saving my expensive makeup and accessories for special occasions that never happen, and don't let myself push the boat out on an average day. However, that's what shopping is all about: to make you feel fantastic constantly, merging new things with your daily style! These will begin as a special wear set, but the dream is that this is everyday wear.


Hair Heaven | Lisa Shepherd Salons: Express Color Bar

 

Hey guys, happy Sunday! My last post was on Monday and I thought I would have chance in the mornings to blog, but I found getting to work earlier just means you generally begin work earlier! I will rethink that one. In the meantime I've recently been coveting my Autumn wardrobe, which I have supplemented with a camel coat from Mango, some new work trousers from Zara, I have stocked up on brown lip liners, and I have touched up my hair. Going back to my almost natural hair colour before the summer after two years of bright, box-dye red was a big deal in the sense the colour was SO different, but not a huge change as it is the colour I was for most of my life. The definition of going 'back to my roots' if you will!

However I wanted to go much more blonde and matte, feeling that I had moved on from my natural ginger but still fancy taking control of my hair and being whichever colour I fancy right now. The blonde highlights I have had for the past few months have let me experiment with different colours and looks, while still being warm toned and golden. It's been fab!

I was so surprised and impressed that the salon I carefully chose after three different consultations, Lisa Shepherd, could miraculously remove all of the layers and layers of dye and at such a fantastic price, that it's been amazing to be free of the red and become a strawberry blonde for so many reasons...

1. Ditching the green roots: When ginger roots grow through, they look like a gungy, swamp green next to dark red! I would do my roots once a month as they grow fast, and add dye to the rest of my hair for a few minutes to keep the red bright, but this meant I burned the top selection of my hair by over-dying, and it became frizzy and damaged.

2. The first rule of red hair dye is not to wash it out with steaming hot water. Luke warm showers are no fun!!

3. Bleached hair means the colour can't wash out, so your colour is there for the long run! I experimented with purple shampoos to keep the colour bright, but I like a warmer tone so did not mind any effects.

4. I can wear a red lip! I found this very hard with red hair and leaned towards vampy shades. Now I am not afraid of those pillar box reds!

5. The more I dyed my hair red, the more the darker colour stuck and the red dye washed out each time. As my hair got darker, my face looked paler! Now my pale completion is not comparable to a grey corpse and is the standard English fair tone, and a light fake tan goes a long way. To think I used to use the dark shade of St. Moriz! Now that seems very extreme.

Over the summer my roots had grown a good four inches, but they blended so well with the colour I had that I postponed dying it again for months until Lisa Shepherd contacted me about their new Express Color Bar. I've referred so many friends to them (and found out some of my friends already went there regularly!) that I was delighted to return and retell how much I love my restored hair, and check out this new speciality.

The bar is a fantastic idea, and there is no doubt these will be popping up everywhere soon. On offer is a selection of speedy 1-hour services from highlights to a root touch-up to an all over gloss boost. The concept is the salon dyes and washed, and then you dry, skipping off back to work or straight on a night out. The drying stations are prepped with an endless supply of luxury hair products, top notch tools and brushes galore, and you can take as long as you like to dry and primp your style. There is no persuasion of a cut, no overpriced advice, just an essential top up to tick over your style until next time, and prices are £15 - £30! 

I had Brighter Lights, described as six highlights for blondes ready for a refresh, but not wanting the regular damage of an all over dying session. My parting was spruced up with perfectly placed highlights at the top layers of my hair, leaving my four-month-roots as a thing of the past. You only see the top of my hair, so it's all I need!  This is such a cost effective way to maintain a salon style and not feel pressured into getting the full whack each time you see your hairdresser. Whenever my hair is salon blow-dried, it ends up straight and wispy, and curls drop out. While I would like these sleek blow-dry skills, it's just not how I wear my hair usually, so it was a dream to dry my hair just how I liked it too.

The salon has different sections with a spacious waiting area, where you can sit with your roots developing and help yourself to any kind of refreshment, and dry your hair at the giant dressing tables, feeling totally relaxed and private. When I went there earlier this year, it felt as equally laid back yet very feminine and fabulous, and again my stylist Chloe was lovely and listens carefully to the results you are hoping for. I won't be hesitating to sample the bar again because it's so purse friendly and suits the girl on the go to a T. Do let me know if you pop in yourself!


November Mood Board


Hi guys! Happy Monday. Due to leaf fall, my trains have been cut by two thirds in the morning and so here I am at work half an hour early! I'm not sure if this is better than having to change trains or try to squeeze on during sardine season, but it's much better than being late. I'm thinking I'll spend the first free half an hour of the day blogging! I've actually picked this post up again this evening to finish so yay to me for completing Monday!

Maybe you know by now I'm a Tumblr obsessive and I find reblogging pictures that I love so satisfying. Scrolling through gorgeous images is definitely my guilty pleasure rolled, and I'll only reblog pictures of combinations or looks I haven't quite seen before. I feel like these will either sink into my wardrobe via spiritual osmosis or if I have an event/gig/night out approaching, I'll look towards my selection and choose the details I want to emulate. 

So here is my November mood board and I'm feeling very moody shall we say. Just working on streamlining my life, pinpointing anything that makes me stressed/broke/down and saying oh no you don't! I don't get much joy out of candles, drinking teas or the other things that look like they might be nice from reading blogs and watching evening routine videos. I just refuse to do anything homely as I don't want to settle down in any sense any time soon, and so I spend time daydreaming about how I can move forward, change and evolve. I'm not the best at taking photos and documenting all of my buys and outfits but I'll aim to get a chance to try out all of my inspiration ideas this month and show you.

You know I finally got some ripped jeans but are they ripped enough?! I'm not so sure! I dug out some of my old jeans but they are all dark, solid denim and I think rips look better on washed out jeans. I'm wanting a boyfriend fit style that are tight at the top and high waisted, but trying on jeans is definitely a commitment! Next time I go shopping I might wear a skirt or leggings and make sure to try on a few pairs out of curiosity. Going shopping or browsing is one of the few times I get to wear my own clothes though!

Hair-wise I'm into really curly, textured hair with a heavy flipped over parting, or I really want to try the total opposite of something sleek and pushed back. Straight hair just doesn't suit me though so maybe I need to pin some bits behind my ears, or try straightening my hair and styling it up into plaits. Of all the double french braid styles floating around at the moment, where each plait starts right at the front of the head and is then tight against your neck, I like the ones above that look thick and chunky. I might have too many colours in my hair at the moment for the roots to be so exposed, so I may get one of my friends to do a side braid for me. I really liked my blue ends that I sprayed for Milan and I picked up some hair dyes in Poudland, so watch this space. Are Kylie-esque ends overdone? Oh well!

As for nails, I have a ballet shoe shape at the moment and it feels like such a fresh change from a fair few months of pointed, stiletto nails. I like the matte pink in the photo above; almost sickly sweet.

My lace up Zara-via-Choies heels are still my favourites but the quality isn't top notch so they aren't my most comfy to wear, and have loosened a little with wear. I'm ever so patiently waiting for this Missguided nude lace up pair to come back into stock in a size 6 (size up - my usual 5s didn't fit me) and maybe I'll cave and get the black pair if they never return. Something about lace up shoes add so much to an outfit and look amazing with an androgynous piece or an awkward length. I only see pencil skirts in prim lengths so my eyeballs are peels of a Kim K maxi length or a definite calf length. Also, am I ready to wear a sports bra as a top? I don't think I can pull off my Calvin K undies in public, but I'll figure something out!

Which trends are you eyeing up for November? Are there any you would think I'd like? I managed to grab tickets to 1xtra Live which should be such a girlie laugh of lots of dancing and people watching as I bet the crowd will be turning out some serious style, and I've added a Current Listening tab to my sidebar too <---- 
Then I want to get back into the swing of lots of sleep/water/gym to be ready for Christmas fun. I have a gym membership through work so technically all of those things are free too! Or I'll just come home at night and Tumblr away :)