Previous month:
January 2014
Next month:
April 2014

Hair Empties #1

As a blogger on my best behaviour at the moment, I have been collecting my empties! I believe clutter equals stress so normally these would go straight into the recycling, but I've finished a bunch of things at the same time. After around half a year of not entering Superdrug or Boots unless seriously necessary, I've discovered many bargains and avoided any expensive impulses. Now I'll do a haul once a month from somewhere like Savers (Superdrug's little sister brand) and get things like cotton pads or toothpaste from bargain supermarkets like Poundland. This affords me to blow more on makeup and clothes, yay!

So from left to right, I've been using got2b 2 sexy hairspray since university and the raspberry smell still reminds me of great hair days. It gives a buildable dusting that I like to reach a slightly stiff layer to keep my curls in place for longer. It's not a fine Elnett-style mist; this is good, strong stuff that won't ever turn too crispy.

The got2b oilicious dry oil mist was actually a £2 impulse and it adds a fine hint of oil, without weighing down your hair. The more you spray, the shiner your curls get, and near the end of the can I started to spray my hair liberally before washing it a few hours later. Great if your thirsty locks need a dose of moisture.

Before my impulse-starved faze, I did invest in the Charles Worthington Intense Rescue Melting Balm, and warming up the rich waxy product to form a heavy oil really does feel like you are smothering your hair in gold. I don't think it makes any more difference than dowsing your hair in oil below though.

The mask I replaced it with was this Argan Oil intensive hair mask, trying the conditioner and hair oil after. The mask is the consistency of body butter and takes the award of the first in-shower product that didn't seem to wash away as soon as I added it to wet hair. I had my hair cut this week and after getting another hairdresser to feel how thick my hair is, my stylist remarked how he was about to use A LOT of conditioner. Sure thick hair is a blessing but I do usually have to go to town with conditioner, often using a hair mask in place of conditioner. The Argan Oil range is all 99p each - yes 99p - and the density of the creamy products are finally a match for my mane. 

I concocted my own hair remedy with the oil by literally smothering my hair in the stuff for around an hour before washing. I know you can do this with olive oil, but at 99p, the Argan Oil is in fact cheaper! I can't not repurchase these as they are such an incredible price, and feel so natural and nourishing. No fancy claims, just good old oil. I did get a sample of Moroccan Oil with a magazine subscription and the ingredients are literally identical, yet the Argan Oil brand is 10% of the price and feels much thicker. Some may prefer a lighter oil but nothing is too heavy for me.

I don't like putting oil in my hair after washing though as I'd rather use oil to the max than add a small bit. I find adding a 'pea-sized amount' of a product to hair actually only touches the smallest part of mine; it's impossible to spread a product lightly and evenly through thick hair. So I use copious amounts of John Frieda Frizz-Ease Serum with heat protector to provide some relief from the hairdryer and feed my dyed locks. Luckily I only wash my hair once/twice a week so one bottle can last a good few months.

I do want to try the L'Oréal Ever Rich range next - do you rate it?

Pink Soda

Just call me a co-ord addict and proud as I add another printed set to my wardrobe. Pink Soda is the latest brand at Bank Fashion and is the cutest collection in the club, with pretty yet punky threads. A sweet shop full of neon brights, feminine silhouettes and ditsy dresses, right up my street! We had a flash of sunshine this weekend and it was glorious to feel warm rays. Remember last year when the sun didn't come out for most of spring? This coral set is the most vibrant colour but can be dressed down with trainers and a huge top knot. Bring on summer!

A few notes on Lisbon

I couldn't wrap up my Lisbon posts without sharing these photos taken by my friend Nomsa. Even just looking at the crisp, pastel apartments and cobbles streets gives a wave of  light relief and fresh memories. A few blissful days of gossip and wine were much needed, coupled with wild, warm nights until the sun came up. The day times meant waking up and gathering under sheets to share last night's stories, embarking for refueling breakfasts at lunch time, and wandering into museums, sites and a spectacular wine tasting. After the first night at the beach club, wine tasting seemed like a grown-up affair but made for slightly delicate sampling though.

One day we took the rickety Coca-Cola emblazoned tram high up into the hills, barely understanding how the driver was navigating the vertical streets, and went for the nicest meal we have ever had together. Lisbon is very understated so you won't be disappointed by the light culture and cosmopolitan feel. It's quite studenty so the clubs we went to did feel young, but on the last night we found ourselves in an Angolan club full of couples dancing together and covers of English songs, so you could dance along but still felt very far from home. Four nights is the perfect time away to totally relax but feed your wanderlust.

We flew from London Stansted on Ryan Air and the airport was around 20 minutes from our residence in a Bairro Alto apartment. Cabs to the clubs were around 2euro each and I'd definitely recommend it for a few chic, fuss-free nights away at a decent price.

Nicole X Missguided Collection Launch

This post almost comes slightly in reverse as the #NicoleXMissguided collection may have been released yesterday, but I have already received my order, tried on, and reordered! As soon as I heard about the collection, I knew it would be right up my street. Nicole smoulders in bodycon like no other and flashes flesh in the most effortless fashion, potentially down to that hot body that rocks her outfits. Bridging the fine line of being sexy but powerful, I need a piece of her wardrobe!

This was all before I saw (and replayed many times) the TV ad and made a mental shopping list, ready to pounce on as many of the thirty pieces as possible. I am no stranger to celeb collections and always find a way to nab the pieces I'm needing. You could sign up to shop the collection first on Monday so I watched my inbox like a hawk and even tweeted @Missguidedcouk before spying the launch email and swooping in. Every piece has that striking *pow* statement, meaning even just one purchase will gift you something special. The sports-lux jumpsuits are streamlined to perfection, the bodysuits and dresses have peek-a-boo mesh to highlight dangerous curves, and the variation of styles means you can shop mini to midi depending on what suits.

I ordered five different pieces, from seriously sexy to sophisticated, and was hoping my expections weren't too high - and they were beat! Missguided offers affordable splashes of fast fashion but have stepped up the quality of this collaboration, with lined dresses, extended hemlines and fabric details of fishnet and mesh that look highend, and that's rare for those fabrics. The white items are solid and wearable, not see through or thin, and the figure hugging silhouettes smooth out for the most streamlined fit. When I tried on my items, I had a few events and gigs in mind (Drake! The Weeknd! TGT!) and decided on the double layer mini mesh dress for nights out, which is actually a slip dress with a mesh dress over the top - I posted it on my Instagram here. I'm still toying with keeping the midi fishnet racer neck dress as the fit is so chic, but I made a reorder to try the mesh panel midi skirt as a timeless staple, and the backless midi dress. I was so impressed by the rich fabric quality and it's often hard to find statement dresses in luxe materials.

The collection has launched globally now and Missguided offer free international shipping too. I went with my usual size 8 in my items and they are true to size. I'll take some snaps this weekend but for now I'll leave you with the lookbook shot in the outskirts of LA - swoon!

Lisbon Love: Topshop

Hey guys! I posted one holiday outfit last night but realised I didn't really give all the gossip and happenings while I was away!

We had afternoon flights which are quite rare for Ryan Air deals, so got to Lisbon in the evening and found our way to the apartment of dreams. Waterfall shower, a bath you could swim in, huge went so I was not hitting the bubbles straight away, but we chose our beds, ventured down the mosaic streets to shops to pick up vital snacks and drinks, and managed to have a nap before strutting out for night number one. The great thing about some Euro countries is the clubs don't really get going until after 2am, so it really felt like we were taking our time to get ready, although we didn't know what to expect. We were near an area of bars called Bairro Alto and planned to visit there first to see what was happening on a Wednesday night. I was so ready to wear my new Topshop two piece set which ended up being an expensive £70 when bought together. I can wear the items separately though and they wont be going out of season because palms are such a cult print, plus a high rise crop top is everything and anything I want right now! Justifed?

All dressed up, we navigated a cab to the bars and true to our usual travels, we were totally ovedressed. Well maybe overdressed isn't the word as we were fine as dressing up goes, but we found that students abroad are very casual, and so a bunch of girls carefully treading the cobble stones in our best mini dresses and heels while other party-goes were in coats and jeans means heads are turned! We fended off a few groups of boys saying things we didn't understand anyway and found a bargain bar to sample the cocktails. There were only a few others in there and one of the most beautiful boys we had ever seen. It was literally a case of 'That boy is soooo pretty' and taking a sly selfie with him in the frame, even though he was potentially a teen haha! Never the less, we got talking to their group and they said we had to go to Urban Beach - literally a club on a beach. This was music to our ears, coming from the most central city of England.

A few shared cocktail jugs later, we hopped in another cab to the mysterious club and found a sea of hanging lights dotted across a beach, with a huge decked walk way onto the sand. Just being at a beach is novelty enough so the twinkling lights were shining beautifully and we walked down the path to a huge, contemporary open space. In Lisbon the clubs will charge around 8 Euro entry, but this is already loaded onto a payment card which you can spend the entry price on a drink. All of your spend across the night is done on your card, and then you pay it off before you leave. This would just be lethal in the UK because having a free reign to buy as many drinks as possible before paying would certainly be abused! But we were chuffed we didn't have to technically pay entry, and somehow swanned into the VIP area. We were soon removed from the VIP area once realised we were random crashers haha, and partied into the wee hours. Even the post-club takeaway stand was a range of barbequed wraps and fresh salads! We actually went back to this club on the third night too as two friends came out later in the holiday and it had to be seen.

I quite like wearing shorts to dance as a slim-fitting dress can often mean you need to keep in check that it hasn't rode up! I am definitely looking towards summer with this two piece and might wear it out on the town once more and then in the summer daytime with white chunky sandals. I think they are the shoes of the summer but I'm holding out for a few months until it really gets sunny, as in the mean time I can't wear open shoes at work due to the smart dress code.

I'm also tentatively looking into getting a great camera as I find it imposible to show how any outfits really do look! I'm thinking a Nikon D3200 or 5100 with the flip out part! If you are a camera whizz, do let me know!

Lisbon Love: Missguided

Hi guys! It's been a while, oh yes it has. There's been one thing after another! I've been working like crazy and managed to fit in finishing a book and a small holiday before my laptop broke, so now I'm typing on a new one - not great for the purse! You know I usually go on short breaks with my friends as it's so hard to all get the same holiday dates off work and we like to go somewhere a little more off the tourist track. We were planning on going to Berlin but feared it would be seriously cold, so we booked some bargain flights to Lisbon in Portugal, apparently a hidden party capital. Our equally bargain apartment had a jacuzzi, balcony, and even art on the walls - real art! Huge for the small price and Lisbon was better than we could have planned for, with great clubs on the beach and a few days of non-stop gossip.

I found it really hard to take any new outfits as I couldn't find anything I liked. The last break I had was in September and I ended up taking a few of the same dresses I did then! The only new dress I did find though was this beautiful floral printed Missguided slip dress which I saved for the second night, which tends to be the one where you're feeling the best but have already found your holiday feet. On the first night we realised we loved the place, so we all got dressed up for the second and hit a club with a real tree inside?! I usually stick to bodycon but this slip dress is fitted yet light, with pretty lace detail. It feels super chic and could be worn in a more retro way because the roses are so large (especially for the red version), or with nude heels and a topknot to be a little more modern. And I just saw you can get 30% off today code with hotlist30, sweet! I am literally stalking the Missguided site for the Nicole x Missguided preview tomorrow and hopefully most of it will find its way to my wardrobe! I love having an item with good memories and this dress will aways be my Portugal dress!