Friday, 17 October 2014

Not Jumping in a Jumpsuit

Yay, it's finally cold again! *Coughs* sorry, damn, it's cold again. And it's finally time for me to arrive back in my element - tights and coats weather. But the pressing question now is, how do I combine my rather bright sense of style with an Autumn wardrobe, which is typically full of dark hues such as burgundy, navy and maroon? I have to admit, it feels a little strange going out in cold rainy weather dressed like a deluded weather ignoring highlighter. Not just any old highlighter though, one of those ones that had multiple colours which you could change when you clicked the pen. I just want to look like a pen really.
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Coat - Whistles via charity shop
Jumpsuit - Motel
Shoes - Charity shop
Bag - Kanken via Olive (sold out)

I feel like this outfit is a pretty good bet for the transition from hot to cold weather. Sure, the the jumpsuit isn't exactly the warmest article of clothing in the world, but at least it keeps my legs covered when I'm bored of tights or can't be bothered to wrestle myself into jeans (which incidentally is most days because skinny jeans just aren't that comfy). I've always been a big fan of Motel too. They do really fun prints, and I love the generosity exemplified by their hefty discounts and brilliant sales. On top of this is my favourite coat, which has been with me for two years, and though it's looking a little, ur, raggedy now, I still love it.

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And along with tights and coats there are of course...beanies! I have an extensive beanie collection. Some with hip to the scene slogans, some with London buses on them, and some with comically large bobbles. This particular one is from H&M, and ticks both the boxes of being jolly whilst keeping my head warm. I have very thin hair, so my head gets pretty nippy y'see.

This has just been a quick update post with what I'm wearing, but I'm hoping to have a couple of Halloween themed posts up soon! I hope you like my new super spooky background too.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Thursday, 9 October 2014

London Edge Street Style

Here's a confession for you - I consider myself as a bit of a crap blogger. This is something that I'm trying to amend at the moment, but in the past I have seen many personal blogs kick the bucket, I have been a ridiculously sporadic poster, and taken a selection of outfit photographs without removing the rather unattractive background props of a mop and bucket. Alongside my blog friend Laila (oo friend, blog friend) we joke that we're a new wave of 'crap bloggers', so as a result it was a real surprise when I started actually getting invited to proper events to schmooze with my fellow kind. Last month I attended London Edge, an alternative trade exhibition that shows in London and Berlin, for a blogger's meetup which included cupcakes, champagne, and most importantly, a gift bag. Oh, and also, other bloggers, who were all absolutely lovely. Did I take lots of photos? No, of course not, because I am useless. Luckily, I've found a few from the day that I'd thought I'd share with you, just so that you can see some truly top class outfits...
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Jacket - Unif via depop (sold out otherwise)
Top - Adidas and the Farm Company from Urban Outfitters (sold out)
Skirt - Topshop via Ebay
Shoes - Nike via Asos
Bag - Choies

First off, my outfit. This is actually Andini's photo because I managed to not take a photo of myself for A WHOLE DAY. That's actually a lie because I instagrammed this look instead, ah well. I'm wearing a selection of my absolute favourite articles of clothing, including my mermaid skirt and the current holy grail of my wardrobe, my Unif jacket. I look like a proper blogger in this photo with my lanyard and DSLR!

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I was lucky enough to be able to meet the lady behind one of my favourite blogs, Andini of Adventures of an Anglophile. If you haven't seen her blog,then hop off of this one because hers is just amazing! The girl has an amazing sense of style, let me tell you, her blog really is one of the best out there. She is also photogenic as hell and is the sweetest person ever, so it was such a pleasure to meet her! People were commenting on her amazing colour coordinated outfit all day - pink and yellow is a colour combo that I can definitely get along with.
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This lovely lady was at the Collectif stand. Collectif is one of the biggest brands that shows at London Edge, and the people who work there are clearly lovely, as I've ended up striking up a conversation with the people there at both the London Edge shows I've been to! I'm really annoyed that I've forgotten her name, but I snapped her outfit nonetheless. I love her makeup and the bright pink hair, as well as the contrast between the gothic strappy top and her cute rockabilly style skirt.
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I took a picture of this lady at the Cyberdog stand. After she popped up on the London Edge Instagram the other day I realised that her name is Popi Atom, so go check out her instagram if you like her style! Her hair is absolutely beautiful, and actually made me miss my purple hair just a teeny bit. I totally adore the piercings and the eyebrows too, although I'm pretty sure my mum would have a heart attack if I tried to recreate this look. Ah well, if you can't do it yourself, live through other people.
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Bag and shoes- Iron Fist

All the bloggers made a beeline for this My Little Pony holographic bag at the Iron First stand - including me, I'm in love.
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Some awesome, awesome hair from Niamh (sorry I said your name wrong about 50 times) and Amanda.
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Thanks so much to London Edge for an absolutely fantastic experience and for being so incredibly generous!

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Sunday, 5 October 2014

My Room and Tips for Decorating on a Budget

As you may have gathered, I moved house last month. I now live in a really pretty flat in Hackney, and I've been getting very hands on with the task of making my new room feel like home. I've always taken a lot of pride in decorating my own space. Over the past few weeks I have been exhibiting middle aged woman behaviour, taking all too frequent trips to Wilkinson's, getting the 'nice man' to help me wrestle a trolley out of the holder (one WHOLE English pound? No chance) and getting a bit too excited about storage solutions. My room is still very much a work in progress, for instance I need to invest in some fairy lights for when the Winter nights draw in, but I thought I would let you have an insight on the current process of making a house a home, as well as giving you some tips of how to do it for cheapsies.
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Bedding and Cushion: Asda George
Hand: TK Maxx

1) Buy from Budget Stores

Alright, so this first tip is bit like saying 'if you don't want to stab yourself, do not buy any knives', but I think it's a misconception that you have to spend a lot of money on home stuff for it to look good. For instance, I can't afford to shop at John Lewis and buy Orla Kiely branded bedding (which I'd obviously love) but I've actually found more stuff that I have liked in cheap shops such as George at Asda and TK Maxx. This might be because of my love of the garish and colourful, so if you're looking for something minimalistic, then this tip might not be so useful to you. But I for one absolutely adore my pin up bedding from Asda, and it was only £12, an absolute bargain for a double duvet set.
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Shelving: IKEA via Ebay
Rug: Evolution
Garland: A Thousand Daisies

2) It's the little details that count

If you're really planning to overhaul your space, invest in a new bed, chair, desk etc, then it's going to be seriously pricey. Luckily enough, I moved into a furnished place, and for me it's always been the little details, objects, ornaments and trinkets that have made my room convey my personality. I've never really understood interior design where it just looks like people honestly don't have any belongings, as they have been meticulously stored away. I love being able to show off some of the lovely things I've been fortunate enough to accumulate throughout my life. In this picture, I invested in some gorgeous bunting by illustrator A Thousand Daisies, as well as a super pretty rug from an amazing homeware shop called Evolution (which funnily enough, is a heart made of rags, blog name anyone?) Other cute things I've used to decorate my room include a bow and arrow made for me for a fancy dress party, and a bird cage from a shop in Brighton. You know when fashion magazines say that you should take off at least one accessory before leaving the house? I'd say the opposite applies when it comes to your room, pile in as much 'junk' as possible, but remember, every piece of junk has its place.
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Postcards: Horst at the V&A
Butterflies (just seen): Junk Shop
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Mug: Arcadia bookshop in Oxford
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Cards: Horst at the V&A
Unicorn bag: Ebay
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Posters: Barbara Hulanicki at Brighton Museum, Tim Walker at Somerset House

3) Pound Shops are your friend.

Pound shops, dollar stores, euro stores, krona stores, yen stores - let me assure you, they are a treasure trove of weird and wacky things that you never thought you'd need. I've always been a fan of Pound shops, mostly because of my extremely thrifty mother, who I really have learnt all the tricks of the trade from. I got my fake flowers from the 99p shop, as well as popcorn storage boxes, and a teacup meant for the garden, which I store my kirby grips and nail varnish in. I feel like the fake flowers really do complete my room, I've been putting them everywhere: on my clothes rail, sticking out from behind my mirror, and in my Doc Martens.
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Rail: Ebay (wouldn't really recommend buying this as it's a bit rubbish, if possible, invest in a slightly more expensive one)
Flowers: 99p Shop
Artwork: Wishcandy (sold out)

4) Use clothes as decoration.

This tip only really applies if you're very much into fashion, like me. But seeing as you're on a fashion blog, I'm going to assume that is the case. The minute I moved into my new abode I was straight on Ebay ordering myself a clothes rack, because my wardrobe simply wasn't large enough for all of my clothes. Plus, it's a great way to show some of your favourite pieces, because since when should clothes just be useful when you're wearing them? Building the rack itself was something of a struggle, and now it is secured with a mixture of my own blood, sweat and tape, but it really is the centrepiece of my room. It's currently showing off some of my favourite outfits, including my Ragged Priest cardigan, Unif dresses, and my all time favourite dress, my Romwe yellow Peter Pan collar one (I haven't given up the Peter Pan collars completely)! I'm hoping to add a few dresses to my walls as well, which I'll show you when I do!
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Bag: Choies
Troll Doll: Gift
Skull: Evolution
Cuffs: C/O Cyberdog
Inflatable Bag: C/O Cyberdog
Frame: Charity Shop
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Monday, 29 September 2014

Inner City Mermaid - Rodarte S/S 2015 Inspired Lookbook

Sometimes it's a bit difficult to get excited about fashion. For some people, I realise, it's completely impossible. The new Gap ads which I keep seeing everywhere including the tagline 'stay boring' reflect that. This is why I usually only glance at the new fashion week collections, but as I saw last week with Shrimps, the new season fashion is bringing something colourful and exciting to the table. And this is, well, this is something else. Rodarte's S/S 2015 collection was a mixture of mermaid and pirate inspired pieces, displaying such an immense amount of detail that it would be damn near impossible to replicate on the high street.  The dresses are the main thing I'll be focusing on here, which can only be described as 'mermaid sport luxe', Rodarte clearly like to mix up their trends. Although let's be honest, I don't reckon many mermaids actually do much more sport than swimming, but try not to think too much into the odd concept. So unless you've got $22,000 (yes, your next expenditure could be between a couture gown and a car) to hand to buy one of these beautiful dresses, then you might have to stick about for my tips on recreating the look on a um, slightly smaller budget.
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Cardigan - TK Maxx
Dress - Unif via Nasty Gal (only available in xs)
Bralet - Motel (sold out)
Skirt - Topshop via Ebay
Shoes - Nike via Asos

My first look incorporates the use of textures from the collection such as sequins and netting. I've created quite a layered outfit, with a Motel multicoloured sequinned bra under an equally multicoloured Unif dress. I've wanted this dress for a while (spoiler, this post also turns into half a Unif haul), and after seeing it on sale on American site Nastygal, I snapped it up (I also wrote a review about Nastygal founder Sophia Amoruso's book a while ago). I've paired it with my absolute favourite Topshop mermaid skirt and Nike shoes to complete the sports luxe look. The lace cardigan over the top was a last minute inclusion to the outfit, but I think it definitely adds something a little ethereal, as well as adding yet another texture to it!
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Dress (over top) - Unif via Depop
Shorts - Motel
Dress - Secondhand
Purse - River Island
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My second look is less 'practical mermaid playing tennis' and more 'impractical mermaid about to down shots and probably fall down on her butt drunk in the street, but at least wearing comfy shoes'. I'm not sure what the designers at Rodarte would think of this one, but I felt that it pays homage to Rodarte's use of glistening fabrics by layering the sequins under the lacy dress. It's just a bit daring, but if I get too shy, I can always button up my Unif dream dress over it. This dress is absolutely stunning and I can't wait to actually wear it out, but for now I think it replicates the beautiful colours of the sea and the skyline. It's the only garment for mermaids to be seen in, don't you know.
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So in conclusion, if you want to make yourself look like a couture mermaid for your next night out, then look out for netting, sequins, holographic fabrics and sporty accessories. I also added some beachy waves to my hair by spraying Bleach Swamp Spritz after washing. You can achieve the look of these lovely ladies here by layering all these textures on top and going for floor sweeping evening gowns. You could even copy the fish hook eyebrows but frankly I wouldn't recommend it. If you're near the seaside you could even go down there and pick some shells and other such fun things up and glue them to your outfit, although I take no responsibility for any damage to your garments as a result of that.
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Some inspiration from the collection!
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Thursday, 25 September 2014

My Hair Dye Saga: How I went from Blue to Blonde hair

You may have noticed that I dye my hair a lot. I have been almost every colour, starting off at the age of 16 with my mum helping me put a purpley red tint into my natural mousey brown hair (I have dad to thank for my naturally mousey, wispy, and cowlick-ey locks) and going through to blonde, green, pink, black, blue, and now white, silvery blonde. As you can imagine, this has not been straightforward. There have been total disasters, where my hair has ended up a grey, greeny, sludgy brown colour, yum.
But one of the great obstacles I have faced as a hair dye obsessive is getting blues and greens out of my hair that have stained over time. Let me tell you, going from blue hair to blonde is no picnic. It took months of strategic hard work, patience, blood, sweat and tears (I wish I was joking) and some extremely fortunate friendships with hair experts to get me to my desired white hair colour. I haven't seen a post that goes into this much detail about how to go from blue/greens to blondes on the internet, so I'm really hoping that this can help a lot of people!
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From left to right: My starting point, blue hair, after stripping it three times, a greeny blonde, a blue blonde after further stripping, and now, a white blonde after stripping, two bleaching sessions and toning with purple shampoo. Et voila! 

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Before you get worried mum, I haven't been selling my body so as to fund my hair dye addiction. Stripping refers to stripping the hair of dye. This was a really significant step in changing my hair colour. The great thing about stripping your hair is that it is easy, and cheap, and you'll probably already have half of the ingredients in your house. With certain hair colours, such as pink, it might just take a wash with some cheap poundland dandruff shampoo. However, blues and greens stain the hair like nothing else - so I had to go for a more severe treatment. Luckily, I found this brilliant stripping treatment on Haircrazy. You'll probably feel like a witch mixing all these different ingredients together and putting it on your hair, but the results are genuinely astonishing. Other products I would recommend adding to the mix are Bleach Washing Out Liquid, which I included in the above treatment. I would leave the mixture on the hair for an hour each time, and I think I did this about 5-6 times. It took me to the light greeny blue that you see above - a much better base to bleach over!

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Unfortunately, bleaching can be a crucial component to changing hair colour when your hair has been stained by hair dye. But it's important to stress that bleaching your hair should be a last resort, particularly if your hair has already been bleached. I have to admit, I've nearly killed my hair many times by bleaching it, so it's important to be extremely careful. I'm lucky enough to have pretty resilient hair (touch wood!) and so I've not had any complete disasters thus far. After stripping my hair to a minty green colour, I got my friend Luke to bleach over it for me. I was slightly disappointed with the result (not in any part due to Luke's brilliant work) as my hair was still green (albeit lighter). I guess the important thing to take from this is that bleach is not the be all and end all, and certainly won't turn your hair into a perfect blonde on the first go. However, the important thing is that it made my base significantly lighter and was important to prepare for the next step...

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If you dye your hair lots of different colours but aren't familiar with colour theory and the colour wheel, then it's time to swot up, because it could save your butt. This hair crazy article will tell you everything you need to know about the ins and outs of it. In my case, I was battling against extremely stubborn blues and greens in my hair that even lots of stripping and bleaching couldn't quite budge. So, when I look at the colour wheel, I can see the opposite colour to blue and green are red and pink tones. So, I needed to put something on my hair that has red and pink tones. This was a very gradual process, but after a few months I really did start to see my hair changing and most of the green disappearing. The products that I used over this time were Directions Cerise (I had a bit of a accident with this and turned my hair completely pink, remember to DILUTE with conditioner kids), Loreal Pink conditioner, and ketchup. 'Wait, hold up, ketchup??' Yes, ketchup is known for neutralising green tones in the hair. It wasn't quite the match for that amount of stained green, but it certainly helped.

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This is super, super important. Stripping, bleaching, and dying the hair can leave your hair feeling extremely dry, and essentially killing it. After every stripping and bleaching session, it's important to put conditioner on, and leave it on for up to three hours. This could help save your hair, and after all, the better condition your hair is in, the easier it will be to get an even colour in the future! I personally used this Alberto Balsam conditioner (which smells amazing) and this Bleach London reincarnation mask over the past few months.

After doing all of this, my hair still has tendrils of green, and is by no means even, but it's about as close to white blonde as I'm going to get. I've been using Touch of Silver shampoo and Bleach Silver conditioner to maintain the silvery blonde, as well as using my favourite beauty product Johnsons Baby Powder to refresh it between washes (the great thing about that product is that it makes my hair super white, as you can see in the last picture above!)

If you have any other questions about hair dye related things, let me know in the comments and I'll try and help as best I can!
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

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