Ally in Blunderland

UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Give Me Some Candy

Hey pals! Firstly I just want to say that if any of this doesn't make sense, I can only apologise. I'm running on two hours sleep after a night shift and I'm currently being distracted by The Incredibles and the sound of popcorn crunching in my ear.
Last week - I think? - I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with the one and only Hannah Gale, before heading to the most wonderful afternoon tea at the St Ermin's Hotel in London. Not only was the food and drink more than a little bit dreamy, but the company was 100% ace too. I can't even explain how good it feels to hang out with people who just 'get' you. Y'know?
I don't mean that typical 'blog friend' who understands the necessity of not eating until the perfect flatlay has been taken ( although yeah, that's pretty awesome too).. but I mean more than that...
It's just good to spend time with other creatives who understand that burning desire to 'make stuff' that can feel like it's killing us whilst also giving us LIFE. 
( Of course we also had the standard girl chat about clothes.. and boys.. I'm only human.)
 Since the weather had been pretty beaut recently, I opted to get the pasties out (note: re-read that.. I did not write pasties as in.. the vegetable kind.. but pasties as in pasty legs.. with me so far?) Anyway.. I got my legs out at the first opportunity and paired this suede Topshop dress with a good old stripey shirt underneath because a) who doesn't love a bit of layering and b) It's warm but it's not that warm.
 Of course, being the 'anti-girl' that I am, I toughened it up a bit with some chunky - and super comfortable- black boots and then twirled around in the St Ermin's grounds as if I wasn't nearly ran over by a taxi on multiple occasions. That's dedication to the cause folks.
 Topshop Dress & Boots, Primark Shirt & Bracelets, Daniel Wellington Watch
Photo's by my bae Hannah Gale

 After filling our faces with all of the cake and good things, we headed down to the Debenhams Beauty press day which was - as always - incredible, and I was super happy to run into my other partner in crime, Hayley, who had taken over their social media account for the day (and what a good job she did too). The event location was pinterest worthy and the marble bathrooms were to die for. If I could have moved in? I would have.
I then grabbed a quick bite to eat with Brother Blunderland and managed to find myself getting back to Birmingham a whole two hours late after train delays. Still.. I shared the train journey with a rather drunk man who - if I recall correctly - worked at some kind of farmers convention thing? I don't know.. but the conversation kept me awake for sure.

Have you ever been for afternoon tea in London? 
How do you layer up for the British Spring?


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Sunday, 17 April 2016

That Street Life

Oh London how I've missed you.
These photo's were taken by one of my favourite humans: Saida Cane, (go follow immediately) when I met up with her and Lauren for a day of eating, chatting and events. 
After working 7 shifts in a row, it was amazing to get a few days off together and be in a position to see some friends and actually network with brands again. I didn't quite realise just how much I'd missed 'blog life' until I did it and GAWDDDD have I missed it. We went for brunch at a place called the Farm Girl Cafe and basically, the pancakes made me die in a good way.
Like history repeating itself, I opted for ultimate comfort in my gazelles, some basic black trousers and a floaty shirt from good old Urban Outfitters. I actually think this is probably the comfiest I've ever been in London and it made a nice change to not be wearing my uniform of ripped skinnies and an oversized leather jacket.
I was also thrown into that unfamiliar trend of 'Oh God what do I wear' before heading out and actually.. rather than feeling stressed about it, it was just so good to actually be putting outfits together again. I absolutely love my job but I don't think I love it quite as much as I love boots and coats. 
I've also found that having grey hair means that clothes can look totally different on me. Cooler tones tend to be more of my friend right now and actually I'm more than down with that as it means even more experimenting (and shopping.. maybe?)
I also just wanted to let you guys know that not only did it start to rain mid photo sesh, but we also acquired a one man audience who wouldn't leave us be and then my camera battery died.
So.. yeah.. winning at life.
Primark Trench, Bracelets & Trousers, Adidas Gazelles, Urban Outfitters Shirt, Daniel Wellington Watch

Also, sidenote: I can't help but be super aware of how I look in photo's since having a conversation about my 'posing technique'. It sounds stupid to say that I've never thought about it before because I clearly have.. I think we all have those fifty million thoughts of 'oh god I look fat at this angle' or 'you'll see all my chins from there' as soon as someone points a lens at us, right?, but I hadn't thought about how I have actually learned over time which angles I hate the least and now naturally fall into them when having photo's taken.
It made me realise that because I'm forever posting photo's of myself online, it might come across like I just stand there and don't freak about my back fat or donut knees and well, that's just not true.
Still, fake it till you make it eh?


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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Primark Spring 2016

Well Hello there strangers! How's it hanging? 
I may have been shopping again..
In my defence, a brand new Primark opened just down the road from me and obviously I had to give it a visit and buy all of the things
SO, as usual, I'm bringing to you an entire outfit of Primark goodness, perfectly in time for Spring. 'Mazin.
The skirt is something that I wasn't sure about because a) I was concerned it would make me look like a child and b) I don't think A line bottoms are particularly flattering on my shape, however, I'm willing to overlook both of those things because not only is it just the most beautiful bright denim colour but it makes such a change from wearing skinnies & gets me excited for warmer weather too.
Also, If we could just take a moment to appreciate THE SUN. It feels so good to actually get my pasty pins out and be able to wear spring appropriate makeup. I mean, as you know, I'm all about the berry tones but the occasional pop of pink here and there also pleases me greatly. It's also been nice to break out of my 'typical' makeup habits since having my hair done.. I've found that warm tones don't look so fine anymore so I've been opting for a cooler smokey eye and of course : a bright lip.
Shirt : £10, Skirt : £10, Shoes: £14, Jacket : £20, Bracelets: £2 all Primark

The shoes are incredibly comfortable considering their height and tan heels are always a must but especially this season and I'm so in love with my duster jacket/coat hybrid that I might just die. It's such a staple piece for dressing up or down, formal or casual, day or night.... versatility people, that's what it's all about.
Of course I didn't stop my spending at this one outfit, I also picked up an absolute tonne of other stuff. You can find my Primark haul here, pop over and say hi if you're interested, there's SO many good things that you probably need just as much as I did.

How have you all been? 
Have you picked up anything from Primark recently?

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Grey Hair: A How To

 For those of you that follow intently on my instagram and/or twitter (oh hey social media friends) you'll know that a short while ago, I began the transformation from box dyed black hair to the wonderful, salon dyed grey you see above.
Let's be honest.. it's pretty exciting.. right?
And so.. because of the excite, and because it's something that a lot of people seem to be doing right about now, I thought I'd pop together a little post telling you how it was achieved, and what to expect if you're planning the granny chic look for yourself.

1. First things first, I'm gonna go all out here and say maybe don't try and do this yourself at home? I'm a big fan of box dye and hacking at my own fringe but for such a big change you really do need to leave it to the professionals as it could SO easily go wrong. You'll want to get yourself booked in for a consultation with your colourist to discuss what is achievable for you and your hair. When I headed over to Outcast in Northampton, (the place where hair dreams really do come true) I had a chat with Vicky about how plausible it was for me to go white blonde/grey. Taking into consideration the condition, texture and density of my hair, she suggested first starting with a full head of highlights, and then allowing the hair to rest before lightening the whole head at a later date. 
What I loved about the experience was how honest it was. There was no false promises and Vicky was very careful not to say that we could achieve something that we potentially couldn't because, afterall, everybody's hair is different and some will damage more easily. 

2. Secondly, accept that you're probably going to have to get your hair bleached. Some people run with fear as soon as the word bleach is used but it's honestly totally fine. At Outcast, Vicky was so careful with the lightener, constantly checking the condition of my hair and how the colour was progressing,  I had absolutely no concerns whatsoever. It also helped that the synchro lift lightener had potato starch in it which basically means that it doesn't itch or feel uncomfortable at all.. (which if you've had your hair lightened before, you know will be a welcome change) Paul Mitchell.. you're good. You're really good.

3. All of the conditioning treatments are your friends. Luckily for me, I pretty much got the gold standard hair treatment ( as far as I'm concerned) and throughout the lightening process, my hair was treated with the most wonderful (and best smelling) products ever. One of said wonderful products was a keratin treatment called Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratriplex (Yeah, try saying that when you're drunk) which is designed to restructure, repair and condition the hair. I can honestly say that my hair felt much smoother, and just generally softer (and not even a little bit 'frazzled') aftter the lightening process, than before. Now that's good, right? 
Vicky also used a range of brand new keratin products which will be available in the salon soon and I'm already itching to go back purely to try them again. My hair felt so soft, so conditioned, and basically the best it's ever felt... and that's before we even talk about how GREAT it smelled.
As for aftercare, I'd recommend regular conditioning masks and if possible, limiting heat styling can really make a difference.

4. Embrace 50 shades of grey. As awesome as grey hair is, it's notorious for fading and so don't expect it to last 6 months because it just wont. You're going to get the nicest tone of grey if your hair is as light as it possibly can be before toning. Any yellow tones in your hair will be counteracted with the blueish tones in the grey and end up green. (This is why going to the salon, and to one that you trust and who know what they're doing is super necessary) Vicky used the toner in the colour xg from Paul Mitchell to create this shade and I honestly could not love it more. She advised me on some great products to help keep the colour for as long as possible and explained to me how the toner is always a demi-permanent process.
I've personally been loving the Bleach London Silver Shampoo & Silver conditioner. It helps banish any yellow/green tones I might have going on and if you use it as much as me (probably over-use), you'll probably get some funky purple tones running though your hair after a while ( see here)  and y'know what? I'm more than a little bit down with that. 
Hair by the wonderful team at Outcast (who I would wholeheartedly recommend)
So there you have it! A short and simple guide of some of the things to consider if you're thinking of making the jump to grey ( which you most definitely should do). 
I haven't been this happy with my hair in such a long time and it's not just about the colour, it's about the generally awesome experience I had and that feeling of being a bit 'new'. Y'know?

If you fancy getting your hair transformed at the wonderful Outcast then click here to get in touch with them. 
(Don't forget to tell them I sent you, it's nice for us all to be connected, isn't it? )
(( I'm currently booking myself in for roots and another tone, see you there?))

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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Hey, I Guess We'll Figure It Out

 Oh hey there stranger friends. Firstly, please accept my apologies (if you're even bothered) for my ridiculous absence over the last few months... there's plenty of content lined up for you to explain all of that but for now I thought I'd just stick with a classic outfit post. To be honest.. the lack of posting kind of became a bit of an issue for me in the sense that I felt like my 'first post back' had to be something amazing.. or at least explaining my absence and I just didn't know where to start.
It's been a time full of all of the emotions, lots of changes, a new outlook on life and a f*** load of uncertainty and so yeah.. it kind of felt a bit overwhelming to even know what to say...
Then I just thought, screw it, I've got grey/white/purple hair and I wanna say HEY.
So, here it is: 'Hey'
 I found this floral shirt buried under the mountain that is my floordrobe and was more than a little bit happy to see it. I - of course - layered a cream cable knit over it because whoever doesn't agree that shirts and jumpers are the bomb diggity clearly has some kind of issue.
I'm also of course wearing my standard uniform of ripped black skinnies, gazelle's and some kind of oversized jacket. (This one in particular tends to get quite a lot of attention when I'm out and about and I have to be that dreadful person that states ' sorry, it's vintage' )
 Topshop Jumper, Shirt & Jeans. Vintage Jacket, Adidas Gazelles, Daniel Wellington Watch.

I also wanted to seek the earliest opportunity to show you this amazing brown tassle bag that I got in the post from my lovely friend Beth for my birthday. (Oh yeah, so I'm 25 now.. go figure) I have no idea where she picked it up from but I'm just SO glad that she did because I love it. I wasn't expecting anything at all and after being out all day sorting out my new car (Oh hey big spender) it was a lovely thing to come home to. 

Anyway, I think that about wraps it up for now. 
Plenty more coming your way though, promise.
Give me a little update on your life in the comments below cause.. I've well missed you.
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