Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Long Time, No Bloggin'

Lovely people... I feel like I need to give you all some kind of explanation for my significant lacklustre blogging attempt! Basically, during May and June I had to sit a bunch of exams and although there was a big temptation to ignore them entirely and spend my time doing much more fun and exciting things panic did indeed set in and I decided, albeit a week or so before they kicked off, that I needed to get my head down and crack on! A few weeks of hardcore revision was then followed by the inevitable post-exam/end of first year celebratory blow-out which consisted of a lot of boozing, a nocturnal body clock and absolutely nothing constructive.

But *cut to the chase* a big sorry to you all and a simultaneous big thank you for sticking with me (or starting to follow me) despite my shit start. Anyway, I endeavor to be back with lots of blogging gossip and if any of you have any requests/ideas for topics to ease me back in gently then please let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Hannah x

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Spend Spend Spend

This post is probably going to seem a liiittle bit ironic given that in my last blog I spoke a bit about life as a poor, penniless student but I'm ashamed to say I have fallen victim to a massive case of ASOS-itus. I haven't placed an order with them for just over a year now, partly because I lost my love for online shopping and partly because I couldn't seem to find much stuff that took my fancy. But today has most definitely made up for my lack of online action and has also seen the arrival of a pretty massive dent to my bank balance!

I'm about to take exams that will mark the end of my first year as a Business Marketing student and I don't know about other people but I find whenever it comes around to revision time I suddenly develop a new found love of anything and everything (especially cleaning?) that fills my time and in turn keeps my nose out of the books. Couple this with the cheeky arrival of my latest student loan installment yesterday and voilĂ .. another inevitable yet expensive day of procrastination! 

I thought I'd do a quick post showing you the items I've picked up, some of which I know I'll probably end up sending back out of feeling guilty if nothing else, even though I did try and stick to the sales to keep those feelings to a minimum! And the top I ordered I got in two different sizes so one will definitely be going back - slight justification?!

Items listed below (From: top left clockwise)

3. ASOS Trapeze Top - Mink SALE £8.00 
6. Ameko Leather Coin Purse - Green SALE £8.00 

In total it came to £84.00 which I can't decide if I think is good value or not for the number and type of items I've got but doing this post I've realised that most of my virtual shopping bag was filled with jewellery; a massive weakness of mine. I just think that depending what jewellery you choose to team with an outfit it can  give it a new vibe, take it from daytime to evening, or just give a little bit of colour. 

That wasn't the end of my day's spending though (oops) as I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Urban Decay Naked Palette that I've been lusting after since Christmas! I got mine through eBay as when I checked last night it was out of stock on the Debenhams website. My winning bid ended up being £38.50 plus P&P of £3.00 so £41.50 which I felt was a price I was willing to pay since it's something I've been wanting for so long... until I rechecked and saw it's back in stock here. Typ-i-cal - I can't deny I'm a little bit annoyed  and have been kicking myself a bit ever since. My only comfort is that the one I've got is the set with the 24/7 eyeliner duo whereas Debenhams are stocking the palette with the karma brush, which for me would be less useful than the eyeliner. Also, when I actually worked it out with delivery charges it's only a saving of £8.70 which seems slightly less disastrous!

Anyway, I'd be interested to know your thoughts and hear if any of you have been suffering from the same spending urges I have. Is your Achilles Heel clothes, jewellery, make-up or something else? Let me know.

Lots of love

Hannah x

Monday, 9 May 2011

Feather Locks

Looking at the nation's favourite 'Geordie' Cheryl Cole its easy to see just how quickly hair trends can be started and the level of style-envy that can source from one celeb's hairstyle choices; the effects of which can be most recently seen rippling through society as a wave of Chezza-endorsed mahogany hair dye. As a scrimpy student, I'm always looking online and in magazines for new ideas and hair trends that will update my look without costing a fortune and that's when I stumbled across an exciting new product; feather hair extensions. A simple, removable and relatively cheap way of bringing Coachella-chic to your own hair irrespective of length, colour and style. Fresh from America this boho-inspired hair trend has made it's way to British shores and is rapidly causing a frenzy on our side of the pond. Type 'feather hair extensions' into any search engine and you can see for yourself the stir these little coloured strands are already causing fashioned by the likes of Hilary Duff, Jennifer Love-Hewitt and not forgetting fellow bloggers hot on the trail of this latest beauty trend such as Gemma of Gemsmaquillage, Evelinicutza and Kandee Johnson of YouTube who are already feathered-up and ready for summer. 

It was actually through Ingrid better known as Miss Glamorazzi, who is a fave YouTube guru of mine, that I first heard about the idea of using feathers in this way. In her regular Birchbox vlog - a post discussing her monthly subscription service that is now operating here in the UK as GlossyBox http://www.glossybox.co.uk/ (which I hasten to add I am extremely eager to try in the upcoming months) - she talks about the feathers they offer on their site. Sadly as I don't live in America ordering from them wasn't an option as they don't offer international posting. Instead of admitting defeat I decided I was determined to find  a UK-based company offering the same level of quality but without the hefty shipping charges of some of their international competitors. It was no easy task and after hours, and I really do mean hours, of looking I found two sites fitting the criteria: http://www.aheadofhair.biz/ and http://www.hairfeathers.co.uk/

Both sites sell a range of feather extensions, with the latter focusing on combinations of more natural tones and the former offering brighter, more extrovert alternatives. Despite Ahead Of Hair stocking a wider variety of feathers and at very reasonable price points of £4.99 and £5.99 I decided that personally I was after more blend-able shades that would be noticeable but not too noticeable in my dark brown hair. However, it wasn't as straight forward as just clicking a few buttons and waiting for my feathers to come flying through the letterbox as their website left a little lot to be desired for. As far as product descriptions went all I had to go on was the title of each item (Brazilian Princess, Hawaiian Princess, Natural Princess and Indian Princes), a £14.99 price tag and no pictures for guidance - not enough to warrant the hassle of returns, refunds etc if the product didn't suit. 

After inquiring to the Harland Corporation, the company behind the the site, it was explained by Darren Williams (Company Director) that their online store had only been launched the week before and was still work-in-progress. Understandably he was interested to find out why I had decided to choose their products over those offered by the alternative website and, as a marketing student with an extreme ability to ramble on, I sent a reply reaaaally detailing my reasons. Explaining the pros and cons of both themselves and their competitor site I managed to whip up a reasonably lengthy email and consequently - as a gesture of gratitude for my "extensive" thoughts - I was lucky enough to be sent two samples from their range to review and give similarly honest feedback on; pictured below. 
                   Left: Hawaiian Princess, Right: Natural Princess
Alongside the feather sets themselves application requires some additional tools that can be purchased from numerous websites, or appropriate hair/beauty shops. To apply the extensions yourself you'll need a hair threading needle/loop and a set of hair pliers; both of which I found new on eBay for under £5. I also ordered some additional micro beads from eBay, however the extensions do come with six beads of various sizes and colours so ordering them separately isn't necessary. 

As a complete extension-bonding novice I can happily say that the application was extremely easy and totally painless. You can curl, straighten and even sleep with the extensions in your hair however the longevity of the product will vary depending on general wear and tear. I've worn them a couple of times now and so far am loving the little something extra they give to my otherwise unremarkable mop, plus they got the stamp of approval from my biggest cynic and older sister which is a pretty big ask in itself!

I'm still experimenting with the feathers; trying to determine where they look best and how I plan on styling them but what I do know is I definitely will be wearing them especially as summer arrives and festival fever well and truly sets in.
Hawaiian Princess
Sorry about the poor quality, blame the BlackBerry

  Hannah x

Awkward Introductions