love curling my hair. Unfortunately, my hair is pretty thick which means it takes absolutely aaaages with a curling wand. It also damages it long-term so I knew I needed to find another solution to get the flowing curls I so desired.
In a quest to find the best non-damaging ways of curling my hair, I came across the unusual sock method.
I followed this tutorial by Ulrika over at Divine Caroline and Yet Another Beauty Site. After following the instructions, I ended up looking like this:
Sorry for the pouting, I seem to do it much more than I realise...
In total I used about seven socks as my hair is pretty thick and heavy and I wanted the curls to last. I also did it shortly after washing my hair while it was still damp which I am slightly regretting, as you'll see below...
I slept with the socks in overnight pretty comfortably and when I awoke I untied them all with excitement to see my princess-like curls!
Oh god the pout is back again.
Okay, so not quite the look I was going for. I'm pretty sure my hair was too wet when I tied it up, resulting in very tight, bendy, kinky curls. Ew. After brushing the curls out it did look a little better:
However now I thought my hair looked a little icky as in almost greasy, even though I had washed it the night before... I think this again is because I didn't let it dry enough before putting the socks in. I have definitely learned my lesson for next time! In fact, the majority of tutorials I have now read all state they use almost dry hair, spraying with a teenie bit of water where necessary. Oops.
I stupidly decided to try out this technique for a day where I was going out into the big judgemental world. It was just the Zoo, but still a public place nonetheless. Not wanting those monkeys to laugh at my attempt I did my best to style my sock curls and this was the final result:
Wow I pouted again. My deepest apologies.
I simply pinned back a piece of hair from both sides of my parting with kirby grips to keep the most extreme curls out of my face. I think it worked quite well actually. Those monkeys were definitely jealous of my sock style.

 My Sock Curling Top Tips

  • Dry your hair before using the socks, till just slightly damp.
  • Use less socks for less intense and more flowing curls.
  • Test out the technique on a day where you can stay indoors or re-wash your hair in case it doesn't go as planned! Or a day when you want to try out your new fancy hat.
  • Use clean socks - you don't want your hair to smell of feet sweat.
I have since found another tutorial showing a different sock technique, similar to the sock bun, which seems to provide softer curls. I will definitely be trying it out. You can find it here by Beth at Home Stories A to Z.
Have you tried sock curling? Or do you know of a better no-heat technique? I would love to try some out!

My No-Heat Sock Curling Experience

SS14 has brought us some spectacular trends but two in particular have caught my eye. With summer, came the lovely flowing kimonos. With festivals, came the boho chic tassels. Mix these two styles together and what do you get? A rather beautiful creation known as the tassel or fringed kimono. Here are just a few of my favourites:
 

Although this kimono is also available in pink which is my all-time favourite colour, it was this vibrant turquoise shade that really stood out to me. The contrast with the dark background and even darker tassels allows the chic aztec print to be the focal point of your outfit. I would style the rest of the outfit very simply with neutrals and denim or perhaps a bit of leather. However, to dress it up a bit, I would accessorise with statement peachy-pink jewellery and maybe even throw a few dashes of gold in there too.
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First of all, unfortunately both of these items are out of stock *cries*. However, I decided to include them because I really love the style! Also, I couldn't find any other kimono-style scarves that are in stock, so picked my favourites. They provide a great way to keep warm on a chilly summer's evening (incredibly common in Scotland) while still embracing the floaty feeling of the kimono. Also, come autumn and even winter - you now have a scarf to keep warm underneath that new duffel coat! This is a great piece for use all year round and I am very tempted to DIY my own. If all goes well, you will see a tutorial on this blog!
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Glamorous Fringed Kimono Top | £17 (RRP £39) 
Glamorous are a Manchester-based label that feature many unique and trendy prints, perfect for partywear. They also incorporate a vintage feel into many of their designs, and I have thoroughly enjoyed spending an afternoon browsing their gorgeous items. There is a great sale on at the moment so I suggest you give their site a visit! I found this gem on ASOS for a reduced price with most sizes still available at the time of writing. The print seems somewhat oriental but with a modern twist which is why I love it. Add the floaty kimono cut and the boho tassles and this is one stunning top indeed.
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Similar to the kimono scarf, this crochet cardigan is a perfect transition piece from summer to autumn or to cover up in chilly evenings. It is ideal for those who can't bear to give up the kimono-lifestyle once summer leaves us - don't worry, I've got you covered. The piece looks so cosy and soft due to the crochet effect while the light material provides a feminine touch. Practical and beautiful - just what I like!
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I have for you lovely readers another top-notch gem from Glamorous. Slightly more expensive this time, but the dainty white blossom print and the detailed tassels were just too pretty to ignore. I love the knotted effect at the beginning of the tassels and in fact recently found a tutorial on how to create this effect yourself - check it out. I can't wait to try it out!
If you are unsure as how to style a kimono or a fringed kimono, check out this great article by New Look. They also have many gorgeous variations on the two trends!
Have you got your tassel kimono yet? And would you like a tutorial on a DIY kimono scarf if I manage to make one? I can't find a tutorial anywhere!

Trend on Trend: Kimonos and Tassels

With the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival taking place (7-25 July), last night I attended Topshop's Fashion Forum Event and what a great night it was! The after-hours event began with a bit of mingling, cake and champagne (don't worry, I stuck to the brownies).
Perhaps digressing slightly, but those were some seriously deliciously gooey brownies provided by the amazing local Lovecrumbs! If you are craving cake I suggest you head over there straight after reading this post or check out their heavenly gallery *drools*.
After refreshments the fashion side of the evening began with a Q&A session with a panel of guest bloggers and fashion experts. The panel included, from left to right: Laura Galloway, Topshop's Personal Shopper; Sheri Scott, blogger at Forever Yours Betty; Wendy H Gilmour, blogger at ThankFiFi; Sarah Fraser, blogger at We Shop Therefore We Are.
Each speaker had their own individual style and so it was great to hear a variety of opinions, proving that style is not defined by one ideal but instead by our personal eccentricities.
One of the most interesting questions for me was 'which trend would you like to see ditched?' which proved to be very controversial amongst the panel and the audience! Chokers, jelly shoes and culottes all made it onto the list. I didn't even know what culottes were before seeing them last night, and just in case you don't either, here ya go:
This print in particular proved to be quite popular amongst the panel (particularly the presenter!) however I and I'm sure many other people are still undecided on the trend!
Photo credit to Cera Kamonji
After the interactive Q&A, my friends and I managed to talk to Sheri Scott from Forever Yours Betty - she is such a lovely person! She is so enthusiastic, friendly and has fantastic style! I have already checked out and followed her beautiful blog. I highly recommend you also take a peek at Forever Yours Betty - you won't regret it.
The excitement didn't end there though as we were each given a free gift with any purchase. Being a bit low on cash I was swithering between buying a £3.50 pair of frilly socks or spending a little more but I decided to splash out a bit as a thank you for the great night. Now I have a beautiful gold necklace which I was lacking (the one I'm wearing is my sister's!) for a reasonable £7.50 and a collection of rings and midi rings (which I have always wanted) for £12.50. Add student discount and I spent just £18 on five rings and a necklace - not too bad for Topshop.
The free gift was Topshop's brow palette which I received in the shade "Whatever" with a retail price of £12!! Look out for a review of it soon!
Overall, for my first bloggers' event it was an incredibly fun and exciting experience and I can't wait till the next one!
Oh, and since I found it the most interesting question I'd like to open it up to you: which trend would you like to see ditched? Mine would either be chokers or wearing leggings with too-short tops!
 

Topshop's (Fun) Fashion Forum Event

I have always been terrified to dye my hair after hearing so many horror stories of bleached chunks dissolving and falling out - not for me. However, I have always wanted to have pink hair, kinda like candyfloss. Can you see my dilemma?
Without bleaching my mousey-brown/dirty-blonde locks I know I can never achieve the baby pink I desire, so I have had to research non-damaging hair dye techniques. Enter Kool-Aid. The popular American powder drink is known for having a variety of flavours in an assortment of bright colours. Luckily this mean it is great for dying your hair! Although I wouldn't like to imagine what it does to your insides...
Kool-Aid Man
Source: http://www.koolaid.com via Wikipedia
Anyhoo, I found this wonderful video tutorial by Adelaine Morin - one of my favourite Youtubers! I dyed my hair exactly how she describes, however I used a measuring jug instead of a bowl. This technique provies a dip-dye/ombre effect and blends well with your natural hair colour, giving it a lovely tint. You have to use very hot water so this won't work for all of your hair as it will burn your scalp and it hurts soooo much (trust me).
If you would like to try and dye all of your hair with Kool-Aid, I recommend checking out this great site. I don't think it's updated anymore but it has lots of useful information as well as examples of the different colours available with Kool-Aid.
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Aiming for a pinky/red colour, I decided to use three packets of Pink Lemonade and one packet of Black Cherry. The thicker your hair, the more packets you use (hence why I need 4). The great thing about Kool-Aid is that it is incredibly cheap (around 50p for one packet) however you will need to pay a little extra for delivering - I get mine on Amazon. You may also be able to get the colours you want in American candy stores.
I kept my hair in the mixture for roughly 10/15 minutes and have not yet found a comfortable position in which to do so. Just remember that your hair will feel much heavier when it is wet!
This is me being nervous/terrified before beginning.
Oh, something important - unlike most hair dying techniques I chose to wear my hair in a ponytail as Adelaine Morin suggests. It makes it easier to get all my hair into the jug without bits flying everywhere and also makes me aware of when to stop putting my head back.
The result?
Tada!
And after just one week, the colour has hardly faded:
The final result it not the most vivacious I've ever seen, but a lovely, perhaps subtle, tint that I really do love. And if you want to intensify the colour you can just dye it again! It's up to you!
I hope I have maybe inspired some of you to try experimenting with Kool-Aid and I shall be sure to keep you updated if I ever try any other colours or combinations. What colour would you go for and would you try the Kool-Aid technique?!
Also, sorry for the lack of posting the past week - I really have no excuse except I was feeling a bit uninspired but I am feeling much more motivated now!
See you soon,

Dying Hair with Kool-Aid, Oh My!

I have been so eager to paint my nails since they decided to grow for summer (yay!) and fancied trying out a new nail art design. I settled on the cling film technique, commonly known as the 'saran wrap' technique in America. You can find a great tutorial for it by Leanne at Do Not Refreeze here.
I wanted a really colourful combination and thankfully the end result leaves me feeling all lovely and summery - just what I was aiming for. I appear to not be very good at naming nail art designs - any advice would be appreciated greatly!
At first I was unsure whether the colours worked together, but after a shimmering topcoat of Max Factor's Glossfinity in shade Angel Nails, again applied with the cling film technique, I fell in love. I simply adore a bit lot of sparkle!
Apologies for the messy application - I haven't painted my nails in such a long time!
My right hand is never as good as my left! How I wish I was ambidextrous.
The purple and peach combination was one of my favourites.
And finally if you wanted to find out what colours and polishes I used - you're welcome:
L-R | MUA - All Nude | Star Gazer - #102 (I think) | MUA - Bold Blue | MUA - Pistachio Ice Cream | SEVENTEEN Fast Finish - Pink Grapefruit | M&S gift set - Pale Peach | MUA - Frozen Yoghurt | Max Factor Glossfinity - Angel Nails
That's all from me for now, hopefully if you're needing some nail inspiration you've got it now! What are your favourite polishes or colours for summer? I need more ideas!!
 

Summer Deconstructed | Nail Art Design

It's FINALLY summer and, for once, the weather has been agreeing with the appropriate season. In celebration of this I took to the town and rewarded myself for a hard year at school (any excuse will do really).
Hope you enjoy!
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First stop on any shopping trip is the MUA stand in Superdrug - no argument.
£2
These are my ultimate lip product of all time and possibly my favourite beauty product of all time too due to their fantastic longevity, pigmentation and texture. I finally managed to pick up two shades missing from my collection: Quick Smooch - a clear but sparkly gloss and Kiss and Tell - a bold berry pink. Now I only need two more (I think) to complete the set - how exciting!
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£1
These blushers were released in 2013 but I was never able to get my hands on the shade I wanted (Bon Bon) in Superdrug - until now! Feeling brave I also picked up the bright pink Candyfloss. It was only £1 after all! From swatching, the blushers seem fairly pigmented but were quite powdery in the pan. I tried out Bon Bon on my trip to the Zoo yesterday (have to look my best for the pandas) and was very happy with the apricot hue as it gave my skin a lovely summery glow. The swatch appears slightly more pink-toned than in real life - my deepest apologies.
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£3
I love 2-in-1 products (that work) because they save space in storage and also because I'm lazy. Having tried out the product in mid-brown I am very impressed. At first I applied it with too heavy a hand and had a rather drawn on appearance but after blending it out looked presentable. My second attempt was much more successful and I find the colour great for my cool hair because it's not too warm but more ashy. The highlight is also fab because it's nice and creamy with a gorgeous non-disco-ball-like shine. However, will this take over from my favourite eyeshadow for filling in my brows? Time will tell.
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£3
My nails have been neglected recently due to breakages but I feel they are now nail-polish worthy. Tatiana is the name of the faery queen and represents all things pretty and girly, hence this very feminine and pink and sparkly glitter nail polish! Phew. As you can see in the (not so good) close up, the glitter reflects lots of different colours giving it a truly magical feel. I can't wait to get this on my nails!
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Now onto some non-MUA items!
£4.99 (currently £2.48 on Superdrug online!)
Usually I am all for "embracing the pale" as I am whiter than snow - verging on blue. However, I've seen this gradual self-tanner pop up on a few beauty blogs I follow and as I usually just burn in the sun and have never had a full-on tan, I wanted to see if it would work and what I would look like! I bought both shades; one for fair skin (like me) and one for darker skin. So far I have used the one for darker skin for faster results. Day 1 was good but day 2 (today) I am noticing patchy and streaky areas - not so good! Expect a full review as soon as I have put it through all my testing techniques!
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To conclude: a lovely mixture. I did consider numbering each product but I have faith you're capable of matching image to product name (and also I forgot).
£2.54
I have read about all the fantastic benefits of coconut oil both internally and externally and, with a 3 for 2 offer currently on at Boots I picked up a 100ml pot of the good stuff. However I did just notice it is body oil and contains a few other ingredients which means I probably can't ingest it... Ah well - at least it smells nice.
£2.59
Spray deodorants make me sneeze horribly so I stick to roll-on/stick nowadays. This may be a little tmi, but I absolutely hate when deodorant just doesn't dry in and you're left with disgusting, slippy wet armpits - bleurgh! I have faith in NIVEA with their powder touch and promised quick drying effect. Fingers crossed.
£2.92
Lately my hair has been limp, dull and lifeless - I blame summer. Having read good reviews of this mousse I decided to give it a go. In fact, I'll think I'll try it tonight after my shower - wish me luck!
£2.61
If you've read My 5 Favourite Beauty Products post you will know that I am in love with Blistex - this lip balm in particular. It gives such a subtle but beautiful "my lips but better" rosy tint, smells (and tastes) sweet like strawberries, has SPF and contains lovely vitamins and oils! What more could you want in a lip balm?! Go buy it now!!
£1.75
This lip balm is another firm favourite of mine due to the absolutely delicious taste. Raspberry/rose/pink lemonade is my favourite drink of all time and now I can have it every day while keeping my lips smooth and soft! The zingy flavour is just perfect for summer and I can't wait to start wearing it again.
The last (and probably least exciting) item in my haul is kirby grips, or hair grips, or clips etc. (for £1.39). I am forever losing all mine no matter how hard I try to return them to their home at the end of the day.
That concludes my little haul - I am very excited to try all my new purchases out and look forward to sharing further thoughts on some with you!
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In other exciting news - one half of my hair dye arrived this week!
No, Mairi, that is not hair dye it is Kool-Aid. You drink it not put it in your hair geeeeez.

Actually, non-existent being, it can be both! But don't worry - I'll keep you posted!
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What do you think of my haul? And what are your thoughts on fake tan?! I really am interested in your opinions!

Stocking up for Summer: Beauty Haul

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