Thursday, 17 April 2014

What I Wore: Guns & Roses for a Spring Wedding

I have been lucky enough to be invited to a bunch of lovely weddings this year - and at the very end of March I attended a fabulous spring wedding.

The bride and groom I have known since I was in 6th form college, and it only occurred to me a couple of months before their wedding that there might be other people I went to college with in attendance too! As it turned out we were seated with the groom's gang of mates, and their wives. Talk about a flash from the past! The best thing was, they were all just as lovely, more than ten years on. We had a great day, the wedding was beautiful and it was good catching up with friends from years gone by.


For the day I decided to wear a bright pop of colour with this fabulous Hell Bunny Desperado 50s style fitted dress. With blooms of yellow pink and red roses, pistols, skulls and Mexican ladies, it may not have been the most a traditional choice for a wedding guest outfit! After having my bridesmaids in Hell Bunny dresses for my wedding (more on that at a later date) I have become rather a big fan of the brand - particularly for their rockabilly style clothing and dresses.

The shape of the dress mean finding a cover-up to go with it was challenging, but I eventually found this gorgeous cropped sky blue cardigan from ASOS. The shoes I bought last summer are by Mel (part of the Melissa brand that make the fabulous Vivienne Westwood shoes I wore on my wedding day - again more of that at a later date). Out of everywhere I looked to find an affordable clutch bag - New Look saved the day, they had so many to choose from, I couldn't find anything appropriate anywhere else on the high street - but in New Look I had a choice of three bags that would work with my outfit. I finally settled on this nude one to match my shoes and it only cost £8.99 too!

My 'Hello Sailor' nautical necklace is an old favourite from Topshop - I love a bit of tongue-in-cheek kitsch jewellery. 

Hair & Make up:

I pin curled my hair for the occasion and wore a floral headpiece I'd made especially to match my dress. After I made floral hairband for my wedding last summer I thought I'd do this again as I really enjoyed it. I also made a floral crown so I'd have a choice on the day  - but went with the grouping of silk flowers instead as it worked better with my 50s inspired hair. I painted a set of false nails to match my outfit with a graduated pink ombre effect and statement nail with freehand nail art roses to co-ordinate with the frock.

I was really pleased with the way the final outfit all came together and now I have another wedding outfit to plan for a summer wedding!

What are you planning to wear to any weddings this year? Are there any brands you are currently loving?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

You spent HOW long in the hairdresser's?

Last weekend I spent a record-breaking amount of time in the hairdresser's...erm, 10 hours.
Ridiculous eh?

So, I bet you are looking at those above pictures and thinking, what on earth took 10 hours? Fair enough.
I certainly wasn't planning on being in the salon for longer than the average working day. I went in for a cut and colour, but the problem was my base colour proved trickier to deal with than both I, and my stylist, envisioned. 

At the end of last year I coloured my hair the darkest it has ever been, a deep plummy red. Oh, and I hated it. It made me look ill and it bled heaps of colour every time I washed my hair. Fail. Earlier this year I used an at home kit to remove the colour and then used a temporary orange colour. When this faded I used a permanent ginger colour at home. The very top pictures is a couple of months later, with roots, faded ends and a grown out cut.

As I hadn't had my hair professionally coloured since I went blonde for my wedding last year, the stylist planned to cleanse it and then colour. After a cut and two cleanses (each taking an hour or more), we finally applied the colour...but it went wrong. There had been pigments left in my hair from my previous adventures and I ended up with flurorescent orange roots, followed by a wide pillar box red band, then patchy ginger lengths.This was about 5 hours in. Panic.

Another cleanse followed, and when that only removed the colour applied 60 minutes earlier, it was recommended I choose another colour. The suggested shade to cover up my mis-matched hair? Dark plummy red. Nooooooo! When my hairdresser saw the panic in my eyes - and judged that my hair was still in good strong condition -  we instead opted for highlights through my t-section to break up the bright red. A combination of two different colours were then used to achieve a more uniform copper / ginger colour through out. I arrived at the salon at 12 noon, and left the at 10pm.

So it may not look like it, because it isn't particularly wild, exciting or complicated looking - but my new hair took some intensive salon time. Thank you to the lovely stylists, who despite it being a Saturday night, kept the salon open long past closing time to get my hair sorted and even bought me some dinner!

So what have we learnt? Box colouring is dangerous. Sometime even the most experienced colourists can't predict what hair will do when a colour is applied. If you sit in the hairdressers for 10 hours you'll leave with neck ache and a numb bum. Colour correction is a bitch. 

Anyone else had to deal with colour correction? What is the longest you've ever spent in the hairdressers?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Knickers to That

Wanna hear me talk about knickers? 
Of course you do.

Last month I had the fabulous opportunity to be part of a new online TV show called The Lounge, on TV Bedfordshire. The show featured food, hair, music, poetry, fitness, and from me - fashion. The first episode had a loose Valentine's theme - so it seemed the perfect opportunity to talk about sexy lingerie!

To view the whole show visit the presenter Carys Dayne's Youtube page, or view more content on TV Bedfordshire's YouTube. The above segment is a full portion of fashion, the longer uncensored version, featuring gorgeous underwear from Ann Summers, Marks and Spencer, Charnos, Debenhams, Blossom Lingerie Bedford, and Petticoats Lingerie in Ampthill. I discuss lingerie trends for Spring / Summer 2014, a guide to bra fittings and some helpful hints for men buying underwear as a present.

Hopefully there will be another The Lounge episode on the way very soon...

Ladies, have you ever been bought lingerie by your man? How did he do?
I'd love to know what you think of the lingerie I featured.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Wedding Bandit: Love my Dress

Wedding photography by Natural Touch Photography

This time last year I was waist-deep in wedding planning. I was a little stressed, but generally most things were organised. We were pulling together finishing touches and looking for last minute inspiration to make our big day perfect. Up to this moment, I, and my mum, had spent countless hours devouring the posts on Love My Dress. This amazing blog is one of the UK's top wedding websites and offers inspiration, advice and ideas for brides-to-be with a love of vintage look weddings. Over the years owner Annabel has featured some truly breath-taking weddings, with dreamy photos and brides describing their day in their own words, it is easy to see why it has become so popular.

After our own dream wedding we couldn't wait to get our photos back, and when we did we had been talking to our ace photographer Steve (more of him on a later date) about our favourtie wedding sites. We agreed that we would be happy for him to submit the photos of our day to a few websites see whether any would be interested in publishing. As my favourite site in the run up to our wedding, Love My Dress was our first call. Imagine our surprise and major excitement, (erm...a lot!) when Annabel said she wanted to feature us!

Well, the post on our wedding went live this week and the feedback has been so lovely. I am just over the moon that we made the cut.

You can see the post here:

Of course, although this feature includes a lot of detail about our day, it isn't everything by any stretch (our fabulous cake decorated by my mum for one!) but over the next few months I plan on writing a wedding post every few weeks (let's call it the Wedding Bandit!), focusing on the different aspects of how we put our day included a lot of DIY! I felt like I learnt a lot in a short space of time so I would love to share some of my new found wedding-brain knowledge and hopefully it may give any other fashion-loving brides some ideas too.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nail gallery...naillery?

Recent nail adventures: 
Camouflage shorties / Love Gold Sailor Lettering / Underwater Green & Blue Leopard / 
Nude, Red & Black Chevrons / Neon Partial Leopard / Glossy Black Squared /
Gold, Black & White  Mix 'n' Match Stilettos / Pointed Love Hearts / Valentine's Sparkles

Some of my recent, free-hand nail art designs. As you can tell some of these are on false nails, and some are on my natural shorties. Some are better than others - it depends what was on TV at the time, Dexter or Breaking Bad equals messy nails! Next time I do a mani, I'll upload better pics and details of polishes used.

I am loving using Pinterest for nail art inspiration - my board is here:

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Since I saw you last...

L to R, top to bottom, my hair over the past 10 months:
grown-out blonde hair / wedding hair / honeymoon hair /
wedding guest up-do hair /  fresh new start hair / scary Halloween hair /
 faded hair / ginger bob hair  / finally...ginger pincurls hair.

So just a quick pictorial hair update...

You know when I said I change my hair a lot? Here is the proof. I thought a quick hair catch up since I last posted my face, was due. So over the past 10 months this is what my barnet has been through. Quite a bit, eh?

I knew I wanted to be a natural-looking blonde for the my wedding, as I always tend to go back to blonde (you've been fore-warned), but after that I got a little bored. In the 18 months running up to the wedding I was really good, I didn't do anything crazy with my hair, no drastic dye-jobs, no crazy afterwards I felt like a change. I started off with a deep red colour and short bangs / fringe, retro style. I love these pin up fringes on other people, but (apart from that one central photo) I hated it on me. The colour started to fade so I went darker, which again, was a bad move. It faded even quicker, so chop-chop, a dose of Hair Colour Remover (thank you, Colour B4, that shizzle really works) and some 'orange' hair dye later, I was finally happy. I am loving being a fiery redhead.

That brings us up to date, so when I post at least you'll recognise me.
You. Are. Welcome.