Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dip Dying my Hair Pink with Bleach Rose

I've been flirting with the idea for a while of doing a beauty feature on this blog, despite knowing really nothing at all about beauty products except for how to order them on a worryingly regular basis. However, the temptation to start a feature called 'Bel's Beauty Bits' is strong.

I'd actually ordered a whole load of products from the 'Bleach London' line a while back. For those of you who aren't in the loop or down with the kids, Bleach London is an achingly cool salon in Dalston (where all the hip hop happening kids live) who became well known for their lust worthy unnatural hair colourings, which unsurprisingly grabbed my attention. When they released a selection of hair dyes and other products in Boots, I was the first one scratching frantically at the doors, demanding an array of impractical hair colours in super trendy packaging. It's only now that I finally got round to properly 'sorting out' (bleaching the living daylights out of) my hair and finally getting in on the dip dye trend (which I realise is now 'soooo 2012' but hell who cares) and I thought I would share a little review and the results with you!
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Now as far as semi permanent guides go, I can't pretend that I notice an inordinate amount of difference between them, so in many ways it can come down to the design, and even the naming of the dye. I love the way Bleach named their dyes (awkward peach being a personal favourite) and I thought that the bottle for Bleach Rose looked so gorgeous that it's actually been sitting pride of place on my dressing table for a while. The dye itself was easy to apply, and seeing as I was only doing the ends of my hair, I just applied it with my hands, which surprisingly worked brilliantly and I didn't miss any bits (I usually miss out a whole chunk of my hair without realising when I'm doing it alone).
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The before and after! Peculiarly enough I appear to have developed a tan overnight as well, although it might just be the bronzer I use. 

Part of me hopes that putting the pink tones in my hair might help dull the green tones in my bleached hair (residue from a particularly stubborn blue), but for now I absolutely adore the pink and am pleasantly surprised/shocked by how well the dying process went.

You can buy Bleach London dyes in LOADS OF COLOURS at large Boots stores and online. A similar review of their hair styling products is to come.
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Bel and the Machine

'Festival, boho chic' my mind suggested to me whilst I was deliberating what to call this post. Sensible, relevant and possibly search optimising suggestions though they are, I thought I would make reference to a style icon I looked to in creating this outfit. So, 'Bel and the Machine' it is! Yes, I actually made that editorial decision.
I love Florence and the Machine and I have been fondly listening to her a lot more recently. I absolutely adore both of her albums (although Ceremonials is a clear favourite) and have been fortunate enough to see her awkwardly whirling about a stage with that incredible, incredible voice. She is so striking and statuesque, but nonetheless totally accessible to a clumsy, tall lady like me. Her style is amazing, long floaty gowns with intricate details which make her quite a sight to see when on stage, let me tell you. She seems to be taking a break at the moment but I'm excited to see her reintroduce herself, because though she is in many ways a mainstream artist, there was something so refreshingly different about her that I and many others could get on board with.
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I certainly felt a little bit Florencey in this outfit. The TK Maxx cardigan is very much a target at the festival season, although not being much of a festival goer myself I did wonder whether it would be an open invitation to get covered in mud. However, I love the way it feels to wear and it goes perfectly with this beautiful dress. It makes me feel like a princess, although truthfully I'm not entirely sure how a princess feels, but you know.
I'm super proud of this dress. Wandering round South Shields market (a large seaside town in the North East of England) I noticed a stall filled with beautifully curated second hand clothing, with the sign '2 for £5!' emblazoned across it. Let me tell you, I was excited. I picked out two dresses, including this one, and went away with the extremely smug satisfaction of knowing that they would be £35 each down in some horrendously overpriced vintage shop in London. I've actually got a post on Tyne and Wear vintage shops on the way!
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Dress - Secondhand
Fringed cardigan - TK Maxx
Shoes - Doc Martens
Sunglasses - Romwe
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This post is also the premiere of my new boots! These were a find in a charity shop in South Shields. My buying was accompanied by a backing track of a busker covering John Legend and Ed Sheeran, a sight made more captivating by the old age pensioner who took it upon herself to provide dancing accompaniment for AN HOUR (this actually happened, there was a lot of hip swivelling and creative wielding of her walk stick). I bought these almost new boots at the bargain price of £25! This was on the same day as buying the dress so my GOD was I smug.

(Regarding my brand spanking new hair, there will be a post about it this week!)
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Monday, 30 June 2014

Yellow.

Something that might strike you as odd if you know me in person or you're a regular blog reader, is that I used to hate the colour yellow. I'm naturally dark haired and I always felt that it didn't quite match up with my skin tone. Recently, I have absolutely embraced it. It seems simplistic to subscribe to that idea that dressing in bright colours actually improves your mood, but I have to say, it often works for me! And that is why you're being 'treated' to a sunflowery look today... photo 6b0b1483-ed69-4c87-97e4-81ca9a9f02c8_zps1b27d3d2.jpg
This floral dress was kindly sent to me by House of Fraser, and I absolutely love the intricate floral print. It is probably the ultimate tea dress, and thankfully, long enough so I don't have to wear shorts under it (a problem shared by tall girls across the globe). I dressed it down here for an outfit that I would actually, shockingly, wear outside of my back garden, which is more than you can say for most of my outfit posts.
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Dress - C/O House of Fraser
Hat - H&M
Shoes - Converse
Bag - Kanken via Olive (sold out in yellow but available in purple and black)!

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Another thing I love about yellow is the way it goes with red, which may sound just a little bit Ronald McDonald, but I absolutely love the contrast and hopefully it doesn't look too clown like. Alongside my yellow beanie I wore my Mac 'Lady Danger' lipstick, which really is the perfect red. I promise you, I've actually found it, after years of searching! Also, this is the proper debut of my new backpack. Kankens seem to be the rucksack of choice now, as they come in an array of colours and are particularly useful for laptop users! Mine has been an absolute godsend and a wise investment for when I'm going away for the weekend or need to lug my laptop around.

What colours make you happy?
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Inspiration Hour: How to be a #GirlBoss

'If you're one of the 60,000 girls on I added on Myspace back then, I'm sorry. Nasty Gal Vintage was run by a workaholic mutant dressed as the Easter Bunny.'  - Sophia Amoruso

I have always been a strong advocate of 'self help' books. I know exactly why this is, on one hand they can be the encouraging kick up the backside that is sometimes needed when one is feeling like they are getting stuck in a routine and a lull, yet on the other, I feel that sometimes I look to this form of literature as a quick fix to all my ailments. Sometimes I'll read one, such as Susan Jeffers 'Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway' and Dale Carnegie's 'How to Make Friends and Influence People', put the book down and think: 'well that's great, but now what?' photo 647909be-5fb2-4229-b2e0-fd0ead945f3a_zpscd5d059f.jpg
This is why I was super excited to read about Nasty Gal entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso's new book #Girlboss. I've never actually shopped at Nasty Gal as it is an American company and the customs charges would be eyewatering, but this did not put me off. A book unashamedly targeted at the digital age, it promised a more relevant approach for young women who are looking to start their careers, and offered practical life advice, wryly commenting on the 'get what you want' quick fixes of old such as cosmic ordering (which is akin to bookmarking items in the Argos catalogue and leaving them in an obvious place for God to find).

I also feel that Girlboss is a particularly relevant term at the moment. In America, a campaign is going on to ban the word 'Bossy' when describing high up women in the workplace. Whilst male CEO's and workers are often described as confident and assertive, many people struggle to tell the difference between a female CEO telling you to finish that report and their 'naggy' wives telling them to put up some shelves. And that ain't right.

Sophia is clearly a woman who has climbed her way to the top. She expresses how she did not have a private education and worked many dull jobs before she started up an ebay business that would one day turn into a fully fledged shop with a turnover of $100 million. I found her approach exceedingly refreshing, a totally no nonsense attitude as she explains frankly how anybody can make it to the top, if they want it enough and are willing to put the hours in.
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Cutting to the chase, this book really did make a positive impact on me. I personally have never had a real drive to make lots of money or become a high flying businesswoman, but Sophia accounts for those people too who just want to find the job that is right for them. She shows that you won't always get it right first time, that you might not fall into your dream job, and occasionally stumble along the way. She talks about the power of magical thoughts, and how we should not waste our time on negativity, as this breeds yet more negativity.

Being able to understand the motivations of a young businesswoman working in fashion makes it easier for young women to realise that nothing is out of their reach. It overrides that dichotomy of having a dream but feeling that it is inaccessible because of birth circumstances or lack of motivation, because for Sophia, she went from creating an ebay account to 'making $150,000 over lunch' in 7 years. It's inspired me, in my uncertainty as to what I actually really want from life, to move forward and make positive steps, to get out of bed in the morning and carpe diem. Sophia's writing style is honest but firm, reminding us that  in the workplace we are not special little snowflakes, reminding introverts that they should not feel like the work environment is not for them (particularly relevant to me) and that we should pursue what we feel is right for us, because life is too short to constantly work in jobs you dislike and spent endless amounts of time thinking about those who've done you wrong.

Life ultimately, is self invention, and centres around what we ourselves choose to create. Amoruso gets that, and along with a selection of testimonials from other Girlbosses and gorgeous fashion illustrations, she brings a new form of self help to the modern age.

#GirlBoss is avaliable in the UK on Amazon.

Have you read Girlboss and if so what did you think? What are your career aspirations?

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

Friday, 13 June 2014

Strange Clothing

'There is no exquisite beauty...without some strangeness in the proportion.' Edgar Allan Poe

I like it when a clothing brand does exactly what it says on the tin, or the label in this case. When I was contacted by Patrick at Strange Clothing Co, I was taken by the name's simplicity, as well as being excited to see an Oxford based company making such incredible pieces. Seriously, they really are good. The illustrations are bold and completely on point, depicting skulls, rams, octopuses and roaring bears, all with a sort of almost victorian feel of sensationalism ('behold the octopod, deadly spider of the sea!' adorns one particular t-shirt). What is particularly great about Patrick's creations is that he has clearly put so much work into each piece, making it damn near impossible to replicate on the high street. I was excited by the prospect of being able to style up these pieces, so I've included two of my favourite items of clothing, and I only hope I've been able to do them justice!
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Leggings - C/O Strange Clothing Co 
Top - Primark
Sheer cardigan - H&M
Shoes - Asos

These skull print leggings are seriously eye catching. Though they might be considered more suitable for day wear, I thought I'd go for an evening look to create a sort of 'creature of the night' style chic. I paired them with my velvet heels from Asos and my sheer long cardigan from H&M, that first made an appearance in my 'bitchcraft' post. The sophisticated goth soiree look is for always.

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Bear t-shirt - C/O Strange Clothing Co
Disco Pants - AA via charity shop
Shoes - Hunter via TK Maxx
Bag - Zatchels

When I saw this downright AMAZING bear t-shirt on the website I instantly fell in love, it's undoubtedly my favourite of Patrick's designs, and it's apparently been flying off the shelves after everyone and their mum have started wearing it (have a look at their instagram to see some other snaps of it). I paired my top with my trusty disco pants and a leather jacket, because despite hesitating to use the phrase 'statement piece' - well, this really is. In fact, I'd say all the Strange Clothing pieces are.

Thanks so much to Patrick for sending over these clothes, I had a lot of fun styling them! If you want to have a gander at Strange Clothing's shop, you can do so here. The clothes really are completely unique and they're certainly not exaggerating about the 'strange' part!

Which is your favourite item, the bear shirt or the skull leggings?
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

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