Friday, 28 October 2011

Equestrian plait = new favourite hairstyle

Equestrian-influenced fashion is everywhere this season so I decided to create a hairstyle to match: the equestrian plait.

Excuse my messy room on this photo, but it shows off the hairstyle a treat

To create this hairstyle, comb your hair into a side parting and back-brush the roots a little to create volume. Fix with hairspray.

Next, take a section of hair at the front (if you have a fringe, use this; if you don't, pretend that you do and take that amount of hair), and sweep it back so it is voluminous, not stuck down to your head. Secure with a hair grip. Grip back another section of hair from the other side of the parting in the same fashion so there is the same amount of volume on each side.

Then get plaiting! It is better to plait your hair down the side which is the furthest away from your parting. Secure with a hair tie and use hair grips to sort out any stray hairs - there tend to be a lot of them!

Et voila! Great hairstyle with minimum effort!

Friday, 21 October 2011

I want them 'cause they're boot-iful

(Sorry for the terrible pun, I couldn't help myself)

Every autumn I find myself looking for a new pair of winter boots as I am useless at looking after anything. My mother nags me all the time to get my boots reheeled when they start to show wear and tear but I never do and they inevitably go beyond repair. This autumn is no exception. So yesterday I descended upon the Trafford Centre with great enthusiasm, hoping to get a nice pair of leather boots with a budget of £100.

I found some gorgeous ones in Office but they had a wedge heel and I am terrible at walking in heels for a long period of time so thought they were impractical for everyday use. After a few hours of further disappointment in various shoe stores, I allowed myself to be lured into Selfridges. Here I found this gorgeous pair of boots by Carvela by Kurt Geiger:

Photo courtesy of Kurt Geiger

I tried them on and they fitted perfectly - they elongated my little legs and didn't emphasise how skinny my calves are (most boots are too baggy for my calves and it's not a good look). On top of all this, the leather looks beautiful and I love their equestrian look, which is at the height of fashion this season. However, they retail for a whole £190 - nearly double my original budget, but only £15 more expensive than classic UGGS and, I think, a great deal more stylish.

So, what do you think? To buy or not to buy? That is the agonising question.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Your Highness = Hair product royalty

After my student loan arrived in my account a couple of weeks ago, I decided to treat myself to some expensive hair products. I opted for TIGI's Catwalk Your Highness Root Boost Spray and Your Highness Firm Hold Hairspray as I love having voluminous hair, especially on a night out.

The Root Boost Spray is intended for use on towel-dried hair and only a little bit is needed to ensure that your hair dries with a natural-looking boost. It says on the can that you should blow-dry your hair after applying the spray but, as much as I love styling my hair, I have never mastered the art of blow-drying with a brush. However, I still got an excellent result by rough-drying, tipping my head upside down for extra lift.

The Firm Hold Hairspray is by far the best hairspray I've ever used in terms of the amount of volume achieved. Last weekend I flew over to Dublin to see some friends I met whilst studying abroad in Lyon. I knew I would be pushed for time between arriving at the airport and hitting the town so I styled my hair before I left my house in the UK. The hairspray was so effective that my half-up, half-down do survived the plane journey, even though I fell asleep and was probably rolling my head around everywhere. However, the one downside to this hairspray is that it is almost impossible to brush out and therefore, your hair nearly always needs washing the morning after. Personally though, I think this is a small price to pay for such firm and long-lasting hold.

Ready for a night out in Dublin

TIGI's Catwalk Your Highness Root Boost Spray (RRP £10.72) and Your Highness Firm Hold Hairspray (RRP £9.70) are available in most salons but, for the students among you, you can also buy them on ASOS and take advantage of a 20% discount if you own an NUS Extra card.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Brace yourself

As my friends will know, I recently had some ceramic '6 month smiles' braces fitted and, as much as I don't like to draw attention to them, I thought this post might be interesting to a lot of people, especially if you're thinking of getting braces yourself.

I've wanted braces for ages and totally regret not having them for free on the NHS when I was younger. However, my gran was kind enough to give me a reasonably large sum of money for my 21st so I thought 'now or never.' It seemed like a good way to spend the money; something which would be long-lasting and not just blowing the money on alcohol and ASOS.

I opted for the '6 month smiles' programme, which is specifically designed for adult brace-wearers because of its speed and the appearance of the braces. As the name suggests, treatment typically lasts for six months, although my dentist warned me that, because of the extent of the overcrowding in my mouth, I might be looking at a treatment time of nine months. However, this is still a lot faster than traditional orthodontic work as I was told I would be looking at a treatment time of 24 months with those braces. Furthermore, the '6 month smiles' braces are a lot more discreet than traditional braces; the brackets are ceramic and therefore tooth-coloured, and the wires used to connect them are also tooth-coloured. They are by no means unnoticeable but from a long distance, people often tell me they can't see them.

My teeth 2 months and 3 weeks into the treatment:

My teeth before the treatment:

As you can see, my teeth have already started to move, which I am beyond pleased about! Having braces has dented my self-confidence a little bit but I keep thinking about the end result and how happy I'll be to have a perfect set of knashers!

So, what do you think? Have you had braces or are thinking of getting them? Feel free to leave any comments below!