Monday, 30 December 2013

Hair How To: Plait Detail Donut

At last! The time of year we've all been waiting for - the party season. Whether it be a festive family meal or a friendly gathering to welcome in the new year, we often find ourselves bored of sporting the same hair style over and over again. So for a slightly different post to my usually fashion specific ones, here's one of my favourite up-do's in some easy to follow steps.

I find it easiest to style a donut bun on second day hair, as it's then not as slippery and holds firmer. The day before, I simply washed and dried it, otherwise leaving it completely natural.

 Firstly, push the hair back into a ponytail. I always place it high up on the head, but the style works in any place.

 Then place a donut at the top of the ponytail. You can buy these from most highstreet shops. They come in different sizes where you should chose one based on the length and thickness of your hair. As I have reasonably long and thick hair, I use one of the bigger ones.

The next step works easiest if you tip your head forwards so that the donut sits pointing directly upwards. Spread the hear over the donut, making sure to cover the whole accessory. Then place a hair band over the donut to secure the hair over the donut.

Take the pieces of hair not shaping over the donut and split them into to, dividing down the centre. Plait each side and use hair spray to secure the ends.

In turn, wind the plaits around the outside of the bun in opposing directions and use plain hair slides to secure into place. Using your fingers, tease the plaits out a bit so that they don't cling underneath the donut.

Friday, 27 December 2013

New Look Winter Sale Top Picks

Are you hitting the sales this weekend? Want some inspiration? I've collected together a few of my favourites from the New Look online sale to show the bargains I'd go for.

Monochrome Scratch Print Crop Top - was £12.99, now £5, also available in petite
Patterned crop tops like this are great for wearing with high waisted skater skirts, jeans and dungarees. I'm a big fan of the monochrome trend and I love how the scratch pattern gives the effect of a piece of chalk being scratched on a blackboard, giving it a textured effect. The long sleeves and fairly high neck make the top perfect for winter and to keep the look both casual by day and monochromatic, I would add a black snood to keep wrapped up warm as well as to soften the look.

Burgundy Aztec Print Scarf - was £12.99, now £6
At the costly price of £12.99, I would have definitely thought twice and scrolled right past this scarf without another look back, but at a much more reasonable price of £6, I am totally lusting over it! I'm still completely loving aztec print and I love how the colours are are alike, blending together subtly. The repetitive pattern gives it a nice structure and the soft texture shows just how cozy and warm it would be!

Silver Sequin Lace Cami Crop Top - was £14.99, now £7, also available in blue
Floral print turns gothic here, in this cami, as the silver lace and sequins against the black material appears metallic. I love the shaping of the hanky hem style as the cropped sides give it a daring attire. For a chic, yet glamorous style for the party season, I would team this with either a plain tube skirt or disco pants and a pair of silver court heels.

Pink Lace Back Jumper - was £24.99, now £12, image shows back view
Admittedly, I do have quite the obsession for jumpers, so there's no surprising me that I managed to pick one out. I do still have a huuge love for lace, so for me this combination of lace and knitwear works a treat! The soft pastel shade harmonizes beautifully against the soft curves in the lace pattern. I also love how the diamonds are knitted into the front of the jumper to give it some texture against the lace back. I'm pretty much addicted to wearing collars underneath jumpers, and with this one, I'd go for a cream choice to keep with the light colours.

Navy Animal Jacquard Bodycon Dress - was £17.99, now £7, also available in tall, petite, maternity
Still not bought your NYE dress yet? This number would be the perfect party piece. I love how the scoop neckline and cap sleeves keeps the dress not overly flamboyant, yet how the bodycon style is complimentary, feminine and sophisticated. Print wise, the blue background colour is dark enough to keep the usually extravagant animal print subtle. I would  team this with a leather jacket and wedges for a chic and stylish look.

Beige Winged Croc Bag - was £34.99, now £18
Due to their spacious nature and comfortable hold on the shoulder, I find that satchels are perfect for a casual day out. With this particular one, the twist lock shows off its practicality and the croc panel detail contrasts nicely against the soft texture of the bag. I also like how the colour block is bold, as it makes the effect more subtle. The tassel adds a nice effect of detail to the bag.

What are you looking out for in the sales? How would you style these?

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


After a week of festive songs and festive films, I'm feeling Christmassy! So whilst I settle down with a cuppa to watch The Grinch, here's a small Christmassy post of our festive decor.
Merry Christmas everyone!

 I've recently gained a new love for Pinterest (my link is here), so I collected together a few festive biscuit ideas to try and here's the outcome...

My favourite tree decs...

Santa Clause is coming, to town...

Festive fireplace

Time for the Christmas snowglobes to make their way to the front of the collection!

Fairy lights always make the room cozy in the evening

Final chocolate from the advent calendar!

And of course it's time to crack out the Christmas jumper!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas!x

Monday, 23 December 2013

Tartan Top Picks

There's no escaping tartan this season as the grunge print appears to be pretty popular amongst the AW13 trends. I'm sure almost all of us have strolled into a shop to be faced with clouds of tartan decorating the place, so I decided to collect together a few of my tartan favourites.

1) Monochrome Sweater - New Look
Perfect for a casual day out, the monochrome feature of this sweater adds a modern twist to the 'Old Britain' vibe that tartan brings. I absolutely heart jumpers and can't get enough of them, so of course I fell for this one! If you've read my New Look Knitwear Top Picks, you've probably guessed my obsession for teaming collars with jumpers. To keep the monochrome theme, I would layer this sweater with a black collar, embellished with beads in order to boost a slight air of charisma from the tartan. I'd also add a pair of black jeans and ankle boots to keep the sophisticated yet moody style.

2) Tartan Floral Skirt - Boohoo
The thing about this skirt that first caught my eye was the way that two completely similar, yet completely different trends fuse together to formulate a rebellious, yet sophisticated garment. The royal reds and blues in both opposing designs harmonize them together, whilst the non-rhythmic, slightly loosely positioned flowers contrast against the stiffly structured tartan nature. For an on trend look, I'd team this skirt with a white swing cami top in order to focus all the attention on the skirt, yet add a small statement necklace to modernize the look.

3) Crop Top - USC
Quite often when I decide on wearing a plain high waisted skater skirt for the day, I generally think to myself "why have I not yet bought a patterned croptop to wear with this?" and I think this one would be great for my small dilemma. The rich colours work well together, and , with its high neck and long sleeves means you don't even need to think about accessorizing. Although, in these cold winter months, I would add a plain woolly scarf and a biker jacket would go perfectly with it.

4) Red Pea Coat - Miss Selfridge
Delivering an urban appeal crossed with a slither of rebellious edge, the small leather features of this coat work well against the woven garment as it gives it a confident and definite finish. The way that the pattern design on the shoulder panel and the pockets is rotated gives it a slightly unstable structure as it distorts the pattern as a whole, by working across the direction of the pattern on the main body. I also like how the buttons and collar give it a slight military style twist.

5) Purple Tartan Puplum - Pretty Little Thing
Creating a quirky style, punk meets romance as the rebellious, gothic print is manipulated into a sophisticated, feminine peplum. My love for peplums have grown over the year, and I love how well this clash of romanticism and rebellion works. For an urban style, I would team this peplum with skinny coated jeans, in order to emphasize the peplum feature of the top.

6) White Tartan Skort - Topshop
Skorts are beginning to have a major impact on the AW13 trends, and I will definitely be looking out for one in the January sales! I like the asymmetric feature of this skort, creating a slightly daring edge with the small slit at the front and how the rich shade of red empowers the otherwise monochromatic colours. I would team this skort with a plain cami and chunky knit cardigan in order to soften the look.

What do you think about this years tartan trend? How would you style these items?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Clothes Show Live 2013

Fashion, beauty and celebrities combined together once again to host the 25th Clothes Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham.
Britain and Ireland's Next Top Models on the catwalk
This year was my third year attending the clothes show, so even though I already knew what to expect, that didn't prevent me from leaving the NEC a little overwhelmed and on an utter fashion high! Being the last day of the exhibition, we managed to bag a whole load of bargains and final day reductions.

Graduate's designs being modeled down the Diet Coke Image Catwalk
During our visit, we enjoyed a thirty minute long seminar presented by professionals in the fashion industry. I found it very interesting to learn about the pros and cons of working in the industry and hearing the speakers' advice about getting a career in fashion as well as their own experiences of how they got where they are today. I was also happy to know that this years seminar was led by different people and focused on a different topic as opposed to last years, meaning that we didn't sit through the same talk.
In the 'Fashion Village' hall
The halls which the stands, stalls and small scale catwalks are in are colour coded, making it easy to navigate yourself around the show. There is plenty to see and do in each section and something for anyone, no matter what your taste in fashion is.

Firstly we wandered around the beauty section, where there were lots of well-worth-it goodybags. I bagged myself a £10 Barry M goodybag worth over £50 as well as a  Mint London one for also £10. I also picked up a Elle goodybag for £2 with 2 issues of the mag along side a nail varnish and eye liner as well as a Company/Cosmopolitan one for £1 which included one of each of the mags with a few bits and bobs which were a bit random, including tooth paste and a mini toilet roll (..?). There were plenty more stalls with plenty more offers, including Models Own and Rimmel London with Rimmels' infamous telephone box photo booth.
The Rimmel London make up stand with the Telephone box photo booth
We then watched the graduate catwalk on the Diet Coke Image stage which I found rather inspiring. All sorts of shapes, patterns and colours were modeled down the stage, my particular favourite being a pink and black playsuit due to its beautiful print and unique shape.
More graduates' designs being modeled down the Diet Coke Image Catwalk
Moving along the halls, we ambled around the stalls selling street style type clothing. There were so many lovely clothes even if it did seem a bit repetitive from time to time.

Interestingly, the next coloured area was full of university stands, giving out leaflets and booklets with information about the university. Next to it, was the food area where we devoured a delicious tray of strawberries and marshmallows coated in a choice of milk or white chocolate from the chocolate fountains.

We also got close to Dan Osborne and Kirk Norcross, both from TOWIE...

Beginning to feel a bit weighed down with shopping, we then wandered through the area lined with boutique type stalls; they all looked so pretty! In this same area was the catwalk featuring the gorgeous Britain and Ireland's Next Top Models. I particularly enjoyed this catwalk as they exhibited a wide range of garments with seven themes, varying from disco numbers to garden party garments...

Finally, we attended the ALCATEL fashion theatre performance, presented by Henry Holland and Becca Dudley, which consisted of a huge dance show showcasing the latest fashion. Tartan, sequins and crops owned the stage, so be sure to expect them to stay on the high street for a while. As the theme of the show changes each year, I was intrigued to know how this years "Weekend in the Country" would be performed. Even though it didn't quite beat last years theme, the dances were all fantastic and with seven different scenes the numerous outfits worn were magnificent. But of course it all ended far too soon! Here are some pictures from the ALCATEL Fashion Theatre...

All of my purchases and goodybag goodies from the show

Did you go to Clothes Show Live? What was your favourite feature? And if you haven't been before, I would strongly recommend it!