"Your Receipt's In The Bag!"

by | | 43 comments
Hey everyone,

I was shopping the other day, and went to five major high street retailers on my journey.
It came to my attention halfway through that only ONE of them spoke to me properly to me at the till (cash register).

Lately, all I've been getting is "Your receipt's in the bag" while I get my carrier bags full of glistening lovelies thrust back at me.
In one shop when I thanked the girl, she looked a little bewildered and said half-heartedly "Uh, yeah. You too...?"
Which in hindsight may have been a little bit sarcastic.
A simple "THANK YOU" is all it takes to make the whole exchange a little nicer.


I spent my first few years of university working part-time in fast food service at Newcastle's largest music venue.
I served hot dogs, burgers, pizza, soft drinks - that sort of thing. Dead easy work.
But I simply couldn't NOT say "Thank you" when I'd finished serving a customer.

I know some cashiers can be a bit over-bearing:
One time I was buying some lovely new bras, and the girl serving me was squeeing about how cute they were.
Which they certainly were, but looking behind me at the queue, I was significantly larger in the boob-region (and everywhere else for that matter) than anyone else.

In short, I didn't really want her waving my new bras around like some spotty pink parachutes.
If she'd caught a gust of wind she would have probably taken off.

But we're English! We're supposed to be the nation of politeness and manners!
Sometimes I think our friends across the pond have got it right.

I spent a month in Virginia and travelling around the East Coast of the USA in July 2008.
I was amazed that everywhere from The Dollar Tree (American version of Poundland) to McDonalds to Macy's - you were spoken to by the cashier, even a simple "Hi, how are you doing?"
When the whole money-for-goods exchange is complete, you of course get the infamous "Have a nice day!"
Now, this was odd to me at first, but I soon got used to service with a smile.
(Probably smiling at the girl with the weird British accent in a non-touristy part of residential America. But a smile, nonetheless.)

You could argue that American cashiers don't really care, and just say those things out of social etiquette.
At least our cynisism is right on the surface for everyone to see, instead of pretending to care about the person you are earning £5 an hour serving when you could be at home watching the Hollyoaks omnibus.

What do you guys think?

Do you like having a bit of banter with the person selling you some fabulous outfit?
or
Do you like to just get in and get out - the cashier is only the middle man (or woman) in the shopping equation?

All I'm saying is a bit more common courtesey and politeness wouldn't go amiss.
Yeah, some jobs are really mundane (believe me, I KNOW), but it's nice to be nice!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Ann Summers Autumn/Winter Event!

by | | 14 comments
[Please be aware that all links to the Ann Summers website may contain NSFW content. However this blog entry is fine - except for a picture of a very beautiful bra! - C]

Hey everyone,

As some of you may or may not know, I'm a brand ambassador for Ann Summers.
They're a wonderful company to work with, especially as a blogger - as they always tell me to be honest in my reviews, and to write whatever I think about the product, whether it be good or bad.

They were also kind enough to invite me to their press event to launch their Autumn/Winter collections.
This is pretty big news within the fashion world within the next few weeks, with places like New Look also having theirs.

I also invited one of my favourite bloggers, Lillian, as my plus-one.
She's priliminary a beauty blogger (with fabulous OOTD posts dotted around too), and seeing as the event were also hosting complimentary proceedures such as blow dries, manicures, makeovers and eyelash extensions I thought her a rather perfect candidate.

First of all - I love London. It's always an exciting place for me to visit.
But LOOK what greeted me when I got off the platform at King's Cross:


The Hogwarts Express!!

I am a massive Harry Potter fan, so I actually squealed with excitement.
It was just so magical, and it even went *choo choo*.
There were also Hogwarts suitcases piled up which I imagine were filled with quills, parchment, schoolbooks and rememberals.


The theme was 'Hollywood Scandal' and the peices are inspired by bygone eras and backstage glamour.
Given that the event was at the Palace Theatre (currently hosting Priscilla Queen of the Desert) it was very appropriate as it all felt very luxurious. And of course, camp!

Included were lingerie sets in Argyle print, candy-striped corsets, a pink sparkly plunge bra (which reminded me of something a trapeeze artist would wear!) and lots of vintage-y frills everywhere!

This bra was my favourite:

I think it's absolutely beautiful! And it was apparently inspired by the bra that Lady Gaga was wearing whilst clubbing in London, which is really cool!

As for beauty treatments, I got a fabulous makeover by the lovelies at The Dolls House, and I was given big silver glittery eyes and bright red lips.
Utterly utterly over the top, which I just loved. (Although I got some funny looks on my train journey home)

There was a massive waiting list for the eyelash extensions, but I was dead cheeky and hopped on when there was nobody around. Teehee.

They're never something I would have really considered before, but I was curious as to whether I'd be given a false-lash effect.
But actually, they are very realistic, and just elongate my lashes, making them look naturally longer!


(Apologies for the scary close-up. I look like I'm auditioning for the Big Brother eye!)

Whilst I was being pampered, Lillian had her very first manicure:


How cute, please?

There was also a bar with a choice of free cocktails, which were absolutely delicious - and ordinarily a £10 each, so we had a good few (Woo Woos and Rasberry Mojitos) and ended up a bit giggly.

Afterwards we went to a wonderful ice-cream place that Lillian knew, which sold some of the most fabulous dishes I've ever seen. Some of the ice cream was even shaped like spaghetti and fried eggs!
Totally eccentric, like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

But I went for a (fairly) traditional ice cream based on Ferraro Rocher chocolates:


Nom nom nom.


Lillian's ice cream was based on After Eight mint chocolates.

Movement after that quantity of ice cream was difficult, but I managed to shuffle over for a photo:


"I look like I have no eyebrows - like Bowie!" - Lillian.
(You can see some of my glitter makeup here!)


Then we said our goodbyes as I was going to meet my friend Michael, as he also happened to be in London (on an exciting top-secret mission. But I'll tell you guys as soon as I get the green light!).
But next time I'm around we're going partying - hoorah!

Because my day was so full (me and Michael went shopping in Shephard's Bush and went to a fantastic sushi place) I didn't get a proper chance to have a look in my goodie bag until I was on my train home.
In short, Ann Summers make the BEST goodie bags EVER!


Stockings, nipple tassels, fake tan, eyelashes, eye glitter/stars and moisturiser.
What more does a girl need in life, really?

I must admit I cracked up laughing when I pulled out the nipple tassels on a packed train.
I think I gave the grumpy old businessman sitting next to me a bit of a fright!

So thank you to Ann Summers for inviting me for a wonderful day, and to Lillian for being her sweet and charming self - be sure to check out her blog if you haven't already!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

I Love Lushae!

by | | 8 comments
Hey everyone,

I was lucky enough to be sent this beautiful ring by Lushae Jewelry to review!

Out of their gorgeous range, I chose the white gold Vintage promise ring - which is actually a set of two detatchable rings in one.
One being a classic jewelled band, and the other is a Chanel-cut.



I absolutely adore sparkly rings, they just look so glamourous.
I'm never going to be able to afford real diamonds (not on my current wage, anyway!) of this magnitude, they're a wonderful substitute which are shiny and glisten in the light.
They have a lovely range of rings, pendants, bracelets, earrings in white and yellow gold, and they're very reasonable prices for how intricate the designs are.

Stephanie from Buttons, Bows & Brogues was also sent a peice, and she chose this fabulous Vivienne Westwood-esque ring from the collection! Ooh!
So be sure to check them out at JewelryArtDesigns.com.
I'll be blogging about my London trip tomorrow (well, technically today!), but I've been bedbound since coming home with a horrible stomach bug - so I'll be picking up the pace when I'm back to full health.

I'm trying to get back on track for Sunday which is the A Night At The Musicals fundraiser at The Bank bar, to raise money for Northern Pride in Newcastle.
If you're local, please consider coming down for a sing-song, and general campery with the drag queens. I can't wait!
(Plus you'll be able to have a dance with me and Daniel which is, frankly, priceless!)

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

PS: Today, I also got an rejection letter for a writing job I applied to.
It was for an American website, but they said they loved my work which is quite brilliant as I was up against qualified journalists - so I'm not too downheartened! Try, try again.

Do You Double Denim?

by | | 27 comments
Hey everyone,

I know the trend's been making a comeback for about a year now, but I finally broke down yesterday and embraced my love for double denim:

DRESS: Topshop, £10.
JEGGINGS: New Look, £18.
SHIRT: New Look, £18.
BELT: New Look, £2.
NECKLACE: Lady Luck Rules OK, £3.
WATCH: D&G, £Birthday present.
BAG: River Island, £20.
SHOES: Primark, £5.
POINT OF FASHION: Denim and pink.

So many wonderful things in the world come in doubles - double discounts, double cream, double entendres (especially when me and Daniel are around!)...

I know, I know. Double denim is like Marmite - you either love it or hate it!
I think it's because so many of us have traumatic memories from childhood, am I right?

Example:

AAAARGHHHH!


Granted I was only about 12, when things like fashion shouldn't really matter.
But COME ON, now!
There really is nothing flattering about this is there?
FIRST RULE OF DOUBLE DENIM: Wear different shades of denim!

This picture is proof.
I practically look like I'm in a denim body suit - if it wasn't for those awful AWFUL trousers, which look like the lovechild of jeggings and harem pants.

But I think with the right outfit, it can look pretty cute at the moment - I don't think it's a trend that's going to last very long, though. So stock up on cheap and cheerful peices for the summer!

So how about you guys?

Do you dare to double denim this summer? Reckon it can look chic in it's own way?
or
Do you think it's had it's time, and the entire nation is looking like a Dexy's Midnight Runners tribute act?

Let me know what you think?


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


PS: Coming up soon are reviews from Lush, Simply Be, Lushae Jewelry and a haul post from the shopping spree I went on yesterday!

To Be Beside The Seaside...

by | | 11 comments
Hey everyone,

To quote the wonderful Carrie Bradshaw: "I am a bonafide city gal."
However, I am completely in love with seaside towns!

I love the smell of candy floss, toffee apples, ice cream, fish n' chips and the salty sea air.
It just envoke so many childhood memories for me.
And my closest seaside town is South Shields.

South Shields is NOT a big city.
But yes, there's lots of things to do including a thriving nightlife, funfair that hasn't changed in 25+ years (my American friend Jessica couldn't stop laughing when she visited, as it's called 'The Pleasure Park' which does sound a bit rude!), marine park and more.

In recent years, it's even produced an X Factor winner in the form of Joe McElderry (who lives across the road from my friend Claire) and YouTube's biggest success story, Lauren Luke.


My Grandma (second left) with her sisters, neices and nephews at South Shields beach sometime in the late 1940s.
I'm going to do a proper post soon about the Italian side of my family, as they're a fascinating bunch and a BIG inspiration for me.

It's been a very stressful week for me at university - with my dissertation playback and feedback, essays, evaluations and a TV show to be finished for yesterday.
So yes, I am officially finished university! HOORAH!
I am also completely burned out.

It was even worse that this week has given us some gorgeous weather.
The UK doesn't get a lot of hot days even in summertime, and I love how happier it seems to make people.
I needed a day off, so I got in touch with my old friend Claire and we went to the coast for some much needed time away from word counts and the Harvard Referencing System.
It was wonderful - we had a fair few pints of ice cold beer, sat in the sunshine, ate some lovely pub food (peppered steak and chips from The Crabshack) and watched the surfer boys.

I've also had a few of you ask me what my staples are for holiday clothing in general - and the seaside always inspires me!
So ask and you shall recieve:

SMOCK: River Island, £29.99.
SHORTS: Dorothy Perkins, £22.
CARDIGAN: New Look, £20.
BAG: Accessorize, £40.
HAT: Accessorize, £20.
SUNGLASSES: River Island, £12.99.
SANDALS: Office, £45.

Also for your holidays you'll need a gorgeous swimsuit - but like everything, you have to accessorize! Ann Summers sent me these beautiful cover-ups AGES ago, but I was waiting until the weather warmed up to talk about them:


Both are £25 and can be bought instore, or online.

Apologies for the stock photos - I couldn't photograph them properly, and I'm not quite brave enough to pose in my swimsuit myself.
But they are completely fabulous - I didn't even know Ann Summers did beachware, but they have a wonderful collection, from bikinis to one-peices and everything in between.
The collection goes up to a size 18 - and they're very generous sizing. I got a 'Large' kaftan (left) and it's very roomy - great for the beach!

They've also been sweet enough to invite me to their press event in London this Wednesday.
They're showcasing their Autumn/Winter collections, and also giving makeovers, manicures, blow drys and eyelash extention.

So I'm really looking forward to it - and hopefully one of my favourite bloggers Lillian Low is coming as my plus one!
Amazingly, my friend Michael is also going to be in London on the same day so we're hopefully going for a delicious meal on the evening.

I know this is already a huge entry - but I HAVE to tell you about the gorgeous card shop Spotted Bikini.
I found these randomly, and completely fell in love with the nostalgic and charming prints!


TOO CUTE! All cards are £2.20, and prints are slightly more.
Get in touch with the girls at SpottedBikini.com!


Right if you made it to the end of this BUMPER ISSUE (Remember when you were a kid and all the magazines would have a 'SUMMER BUMPER SPECIAL'? - This is kind of like that) you really do deserve a medal.

This week is going to be super-fun - not only with London, but at the end of the week mine and Daniel's favourite bar 'The Bank', is hosting a musicals night.
All the drag queens are going to be singing classics from the shows, and it's going to be BRILLIANT!

My little sister also finished school today! It was her last day in mandatory education - so congratulations to her, and all the Year 11s around the country.
She's celebrating by going to the beach, then she's off to a gig. Sounds ace!

How about you guys - what are your plans for the summer?

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Outfit Of The Day: Arty.

by | | 18 comments
Hey everyone,

Just a quick outfit post today, as I have some uni work to crack on with.

Plus my dissertation is being played to my dissertation leader (the great and wonderful Martin - if any of you guys have studied radio, chances are you'll have read some of Martin's theory work at some point), and Andy, my disso supervisor for feedback tomorrow - so I'm a bit nervous!

Apologies for the picture in my skanky backyard - but the lighting in my room was really bad today.

TOP: Vintage, £Free (for working an event).
SKIRT: River Island, £10 (sale).
SHIRT: New Look, £18.
SCARF: Ebay, £3.50.
BAG: Matalan, £8.
TIGHTS: Dorothy Perkins, £4.
SHOES: Dorothy Perkins, £15 (sale).
POINT OF FASHION: I look a bit like an art student here?

I WISH I'd remembered to wear my new watch - but when you haven't been a watch-wearer for years, you tend to forget! Bah!
I love my new scarf - it looks cute worn in my hair too.

I got some last bits and peices for my holiday today as well, but I'll be showing them off at the end of the week.
Thursday is OFFICIALLY my last day on campus - handing work in and filming our TV show. Bring it!

I've also been invited to an Ann Summers event in London next week and I really want to go.
I hope I can get some decent train tickets - in Febuary for The Look Show I was lucky getting last-minutes ones which weren't too expensive. Fingers crossed!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic!

by | | 27 comments
Hey everyone,

People are always surprised when I tell them how much I love Barbie.

On the surface I don't really come across as a 'girly' girl, despite having a passion for clothes and makeup.
I have a lot of very stereotypical male tendancies - from constant crass innuendo, to my love of a nice cold pint of lager - even my walk is manly. (My sister pointed out recently that I even walk like a guy (from the leg) instead of like a girl (from the hips))

But I've always had a soft spot for the airhead plastic California girl.
No, not Paris Hilton. The other one. The small one.
And the shops this season are also ALL about the Barbie love!

PINK VEST: Miss Selfridge, £18.
GREY T-SHIRT: Very, £20.
PINK T-SHIRT: TruffleShuffle, £24.99.
UMBRELLA: TruffleShuffle, £17.99.
MAKEUP: Stila, £20.
NECKLACE: Tarina Tarantino, $145.
HANDBAG: Paul's Boutique, £80.
CLUTCH BAG: Patricia Field, $80.


I liked Barbies when I was a little girl - but I didn't really play with them properly.
With my plush toys (like teddy bears) I would make up elaborate stories and adventures with them.

But with my Barbies, I would really just dress them up and that was it.
When I was about 8, I had an obsession of creating fashion shows, and even saved up my pocket money for cheap disposable cameras to catch them all on film.

I guess that was my first attempt at fashion journalism in a way?


And yes I know that Barbie re-enforces negative gender stereotypes yadda yadda yadda to little girls.
But what I've always loved about her is that she's always re-inventing. Different hair and makeup, different clothing styles (although she's always loyal to her beloved pink) and different careers - including astronaut, teacher, doctor/midwife, vet, hairdresser, dog-walker, babysitter and pilot.

In later years she's even ditched wimpy Ken and had a series of new boyfriends.

However when I went to secondary school (aged 11), I fell out with Barbie.
I was the shy, goth girl who generally got made fun of by the skinny, pretty blonde girls - in one: Barbie girls. (Calling such girls 'The Plastics' has funnily enough come in vogue!)

I think that I freaked my poor mam out when she found me covering my dolls in Sharpie pen, cutting their hair off and adorning them with offensive tattoos and intimate piercings.

And while I was reading up on Barbie's history for this post - I found this interesting article that girls destroying their Barbie dolls is a rite-of-passage, which totally makes sense.
Tween girls are prone to fall out with their friends - and Barbie is just another one of them. We've since made up, don't worry folks!


So how about you guys?
Were you good friends with Barbie and her clique as children?
Or did you think she was just a silly, brainless idiot?
I'd love to hear your opinions!

I'm coming up to 300 followers, which I am so amazed by. I'm honoured that so many of you think my little ol' blog is worth reading.
I'm planning another giveaway for after I reach the 300 mark - but this may have to wait until late in June, as I'm currently saving all my money for my New York trip, which is happening in just over a month.

But I'm already planning, honest!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


PS: HOW excited are you guys for Toy Story 3?! This scene made me smile so much!
"Nice ascot!"

My 21st Birthday!

by | | 34 comments

Hey everyone,

This is the post I was telling you guys about, all about my 21st birthday.

I wanted everything to be low-key - no clubbing or massive parties, I've just been working too hard lately with finishing off my uni work, I just wanted to chillax.

I had plans with my friends on my actual birthday, so the day before my family threw me a pink tea-party!
The table was full of my favourite nibble-y food, from sushi to pizza!
And everything was pink - the tablecloth, cups, balloons, flowers, and my Italian Catholic Mother even produced a lovely bottle of pink champagne!


NOM NOM NOM!



LOVE the home-made messages on the balloons!



They surprised me with a proper birthday cake - a GIANT cupcake!
(Italian Catholic Mother originally had spelled 'Happy Birthday' as 'Happ Birtday' which made me laugh)



Just before blowing out the candles.
I wished for a year full of dresses marked down from their original retail price!
(Damn, now it won't come true?)


On my actual birthday, I got up at the crack of dawn to open my presents, and I've put together a little video so you can see everything I got.

My family and friends were so generous!



Then I went out with my friends Sam and Hattie (who got me the kawaii lunchbox stuffed with extras!) to Stateside Diner in Newcastle for alcoholic milkshakes.

And on the night-time I went out for tapas with my family and it was delicious.
It was their first time having Spanish food and I knew they'd love it!

This is what I wore to the restaurant:


DRESS: River Island sale, £10.
NECKLACE: Lady Luck Rules OK sale, £3.
EARRINGS: Can't remember.
FLOWER: New Look, £4.
CLUTCH: Vivienne Westwood, £Birthday Present.
TIGHTS: Asda, £3.
SHOES: Office, £40.
POINT OF FASHION: Mediterranean.
(I'm part-Italian, so I think this look really suits my dark features?)


Right, so now you're all up-to-date!
Except I am celebrating Carla's 21st: The Sequel with Silly Old Daniel next week, because he couldn't fit my birthday around his heaving social schedule. The diva!

Regular readers will recognise Daniel as he's one of my best friends.
But he also has a BRILLIANT blog which is a mix of celebrity, music, personal and general flamboyance.
Be sure to check it out, I think he's hysterical! :)


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


Red Hair: How-To and Upkeep!

by | | 22 comments
Hey everyone,

UPDATED 1/12/2010:
I now used a couple of different products on my red hair, so be sure to check out these videos:



And the second has lots of information on keeping red hair really bright and vibrant:




Original post:

First of all, a big HELLOOO to the hoards of newbies here, who found my little place on the interwebs via Young Fat & Fabulous.
It was a complete honour to be chosen as this month's YFF Girl of the Moment, as Gabi and her blog are major inspirations for me.
So thank you, thank you, I hope you enjoy reading, and thank you for all your lovely comments both on YFF and here!

Secondly, THANK YOU for your birthday wishes via comments and Twitter. I turned 21-years-old yesterday! You lot are too nice to me, sometimes!
I got some wonderful gift and can't wait to share them with you soon.

Right, now onto business.

Lately I've been getting lots of emails about my hair - mostly about the colour, what dye I use, how I take care of it etc. And I've replied back as best I can, but I always think it's best to see pictures of the products so I'm going to share here what I use.


Having red hair is awesome, and I believe there's a shade of red for everyone - from neon tomato red, to deep auburn!

If you haven't dyed your hair red before and are unsure - I'd at least recommend trying a semi-permanent dye, or ask your stylist for advice (most salons offer a free consulation).
Red fades very easily, but is near-impossible to completely remove from your hair if you don't like it, short of dying it a darker shade on top.


1: The Dye Job.

I've been dying my hair for nearly ten years now, and I am so loyal to Schwarzkopf's Live XXL range of hair dyes. I've tried their brown, purple, black, and black/blue and they're all incredibly beautiful.

At the moment I'm using the colour 'Real Red':


£4.79 from Boots.

It looks really intense on the box, but will only probably come out that colour if you bleach your hair beforehand. I only had blonde highlights, and with the dye on top they really shine through and give my hair a bit more texture - so I would recommend doing that.

I've had to use this dye twice. First time, my hair was quite thick and longer than it is now, so I still had some brown patches - especially in the bottom layers of my hair. So I waited a few days, then dyed it again.
The instruction booklet suggests that when you first apply (ie: not just topping up) you leave the dye on for 30 minutes, but my rule of thumb is leaving it on for an extra fifteen minutes. In my personal experience, the dye has always came out a little more intense, and lasted longer.

It's always recommended to do a strand test, but if you are going for the extra fifteen minutes, this is essential!

Also, if you have long and/or thick hair, I'd reckon get two boxes as sometimes I don't think it goes very far!



2. Upkeep.


So now you have gorgeous, glossy red hair - you'll want to keep it that way, right?
Red hair is famously difficult to keep as it fades so easily, so you're gonna have to invest a little extra money into caring for it.
But don't let this put you off, as the products I use are to be used after shampooing - so they're very easily inserted into your regular haircare routine.

First, you'll want to buy a colour-care shampoo. I've tried a lot of non-colour specific ones, like Tresemmé and Herbal Essenses, and they all seem to do the same thing.
However, I use Radiant Red by John Frieda, which (as you can probably tell by the name!) is specific for redheads - natural and faux:


£4.89 from Boots

This is the BEST shampoo I've used for colour care. This hasn't faded my hair at all, and keeps it very glossy and shiny. And a small amount goes a long way with a lovely lather.

There's also a conditioner in this range, but instead I use John Frieda's Radiant Red Colour Glaze:


£6.99 from Boots.


This is a gorgeous "shine booster and colour glosser" intended to recharge coloured hair. It conditions and also has a small amount of deep red dye mixed into the formula.
It's quite an odd consistancy - very runny and you have to be careful not to spill any in your bath or shower or this stains like MAD!
Basically you applied this while you're still in the shower to still-wet hair, and leave on for at least three minutes. This is great if you're in a bit of a hurry and want a quick boost for your hair.

But I love me some leave-in conditioners, so what I did was with towel-dried hair, applied a medium layer of the product through my hair, put on a shower cap and kept it on for a few hours.
Afterwards my hair felt deliciously soft and shiny and the colour was definately topped-up. I was a bit put-off at first, as my hair seemed darker (the colour in the Glaze is a DEEP red, remember), but this lightened after I next washed my hair.

The only problem I have with this, is the amount you have to use. This can be fine for lots of people, but when I condition my hair, I usually only have to use a pea-sized drop for my whole head as I have very fine hair, and lots of conditioner weighs it down.
But if I only used a small amount with this, I don't think I'd get the same result with the colour boost.

So every other week, I instead top up with Pillar Box Red by Manic Panic:

£7.00 - available from punk/goth shops, or online. I use BeeUnique.co.uk.

Anyone who spent their teenage years as a goth/punk/emo etc. will recognise this brand. They're famous for wild, weird and wonderful colours.
If I applied this to blonde hair, I'd get a neon-red look. But this is fine for me just to top up with.
So after shampooing, once a week, I put a generous amount through my hair, stick on my shower cap and leave it for a few hours when I'm pottering about the house.

(NOTE: DO NOT use these techiniques when you have company! At least company you wouldn't want to see you in an grotty old-maid shower cap!)

So yeah, that's what I do to keep my hair vibrant and healthy.
I've tried to cover as much as I can think of, but please just ask away if you have any other questions!

So I hope this helped some of you redheads - and potential redheads out there.

I handed in my last Media theory essay today, and I only have a few more assignments to complete, so I'm planning lots of lovely posts for you guys.
Luckily, I've been feeling very inspired lately.

I'll probably post about what I got for my birthday tomorrow! I had such a lovely day.

All my new followers may not know, but I'm also on Twitter - feel free to follow me there too.
I tweet about fashion/beauty, and also personal Tweets so you can get to know me a little better!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Outfit Post & Window Shopping!

by | | 46 comments
Hey everyone,

First Outfit Post in FOREVERRRRR:

DRESS: New Look (Exclusives range), £35.
SHIRT: New Look, £18.
BELT: New Look, £2.
HAIRBAND: New Look, £Prize.
NECKLACE: Topshop, £8.
TIGHTS: ASOS, £3.
SHOES: WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES, CARLA?!
(They were my boots from Fenwicks)

Apologies for the changing room pic, and the chopping-my-feet-off like I used to do in the good old days of Ye Olde MessyCarla posts.

I went with my mam and sister to pick out prom accessories. Not for me unfortunately.
Me and Nadia have completely different styles - so instead of being a hindrance I went window shopping.

First stop was New Look:


I LOOVES this outfit (not with those tights of course!). I ended up buying the top and skirt.
The skirt is so much cuter in real life - it looks black here, wheras it's really a rich navy. And you can hardly see the massive bow!

Because New Look currently has 20% off for all students, and my skirt was a little pricey - the top ended up coming to just £2 (Originally £8). Brill!
I wanted the shrug/jacket thingy too, but it was £40. Rightly so though, as it's totally gorgeous and has so much detail to it.

Mam and Nadia were still arguing over something-or-other, so I went to River Island:


I've been wanting to check out this dress since seeing Kelly Osbourne sporting a similar one at Coachella festival:


SO cute - and I love her lilac cardigan and matching hair!


However I think I look a little bit like a granny in her nightie in it.
Our next-door neighbour used to make us these nighties as a kid and it's got exactly the same texture of the material!

Close-up of the belt is neccessary however:

It's just so detailed - but unfortunately at the moment, I can't afford £30+ for a belt!
There's also a similar black one that I've been lusting after for months now!

So that's that.


Oh, and if you're interested - my sister ended up picking out a £50 clutch bag.
WHAAA-?!
It was quite a snooty shop, and I think I offended the owner when I tried on a sparkly cocktail ring I lied and told her I love diamanté when she came nosing over.
And she replied rather stiffly "Those are Swarovski Crystals!"
Oops.

Thanks for all your supportive comments on my last entry about Cyberbulling within the blogosphere - I know it's only a small majority of folks trying to cause drama. I really appreciate you guys so much!

I'm going to pretty much disappear for a few days - however it's my 21st birthday on Wednesday, so I shall have a haul post thereafter.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Indie Spotlight: Heidi Seeker!

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Hey everyone,

As much as I love my high street clothes, I also love supporting independent designers and boutiques. So I'm going to try as do a Spotlights series, for some of my absolute favourites!

I've been a MASSIVE Heidi Seeker fan since I was about 16 now. I was going through my electro phase, and loved everything glittery, neon and in-your-face. And that's pretty much Heidi Seeker to a tee.

I've absolutely loved personalised items ever since I was a little kid, and everyone had those hairbands with their names on them from the market (remember them?).
But a lot of indie boutiques' personalised items are sky-high prices (some even charge per letter!). But Heidi Seeker's stuff is very reasonable, with necklaces starting at just £5.

And I have got a good few Heidi Seeker items from over the years, but they were kind enough to send me some things from their latest ranges which was incredibly kind of them!


Apple glitter necklace (£10), also available in neon.
Star mini-clip (£5). Also available in red/white and silver/pink.
I love how the pin especially brightens up an ordinary denim jacket - I feel like a character from Jem! And it can also be worn in your hair!


Mini-bolt hairclip (£3.50). A larger one is also available for £5.50.
I've had this for nearly five years now, and it's still bright as ever!


AMAZING Boombox bag. This is what I use for my overnight bag.
It's strong, sturdy and has lasted me for years now.
This one isn't available anymore, however they have a similar design on shopper-style bags, with in-built SPEAKERS! (Prices £18-£25)



Personalised Heart necklace (£10)
This necklace was made popular by the girlband The Pipettes who wore them in some promotional pictures! Also available in blue/silver and pink/yellow.


MASSIVE Personalised Handwriting neclace (£10).
This is just TOO cute, and the biggest necklace I own, so people never miss it. It matches my pencil case! (below) Also available in gold, green and red.


Going back to school = NEVER dull with Heidi Seeker.
The Fawn ipod case was a present from my friend Hattie and is now unavailable (but drop the guys a line if you like it - they're always bringing back retired items if there's demand!).
The Personalised Pencil Case (£6) comes with a Heidi Seeker felt bow, paper clip and a badge. VERY cute and unique item for school - though since I'm a big girl now, I use mine as a makeup bag!
Also available in yellow, orange and pink.


And if that wasn't enough, I've also compiled a wishlist of items I'm saving up my pocket money for:

PONY SWEATER: £38.
ICE-CREAM PIN: £4.
CAT BERET: £9.
CAMERA NECKLACE: £7.
CAT-EYE GLASSES: £8.
APPLE BAG: £13. (+£2 for personalisation)

So everyone, go check out http://www.heidiseeker.com/. (They've also recently re-launched Heidi's Jukebox - which I've discovered a lot of my favourite bands from).
They also have testimonials from happy customers in their High 5 section, which is always sweet to how other people are wearing their goodies!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Another Illamasqua Convert! & Press!

by | | 25 comments
Hey everyone,

Blogspot just ATE my last attempt at this - second time lucky!!

I was out shopping with my mam today, and just realised that my local Fenwicks (department store) has started selling Illamsqua makeup on a stand. I've heard about this brand from various bloggers, many of whom have converted over from MAC.

I was so excited to try it, the lovely girl at the counter must have seen my face, so sat me down and tried some of the products on me. I was already wearing eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and foundation, so she just wiped the foundation off me, and popped on some RF140 which have a beautiful even coverage. It was a little more yellow than what I usually have, but it seemed to give me a more glowing colour.

Next I tried some blusher. I love pink dolly cheeks, but have also wanted to experiment with peachy shades, so she brought over some 'Unrequited' (a soft baby pink) and 'Lover' (a warm apricot). They both gave a gorgeous matte finish, but I still prefered the pink look.

And finally I tried a lipstick - pink again with 'Filth'. It was a bright, pigmented Barbie-pink, but I wasn't too keen on the consistency. It seemed very chalky and drying, although I didn't have any lip moisturiser or lip gloss.

However, this was the finished look:


Apologies for the vest top/bra strap combo - I'm a disgrace to fashion bloggers everywhere.
My bedroom was also pretty bright so you can't see the blush very well. But you can see the smooth, even coverage of the foundation.


And the packaging - it's pretty and simple.
(I also got Vivienne Westwood's 'Boudoir' perfume for my 21st from my Uncle Paul - but I'm not opening it until my actual birthday on the 12th!)

Also, want to hear something silly?
Until I heard the correct pronounciation of Illamasqua (Ill-a-mask-a), I thought the 'Ill' part was an 'Ll' - maing it LLAMA-ESQUE!
FAIL!

But thank you to the lovely girl in Fenwicks for suggesting some lovely products without being pushy at all - I wish I'd caught her name to give her a proper shout-out.


I also had some good news this week. I am in the What & Wear section of this month's The Crack. If you haven't heard of it, it's a culture magazine printed and distributed in the North East. It features music, film, art, theatre, dance and LGBT along with fashion features:



You can also read the article online.
What a lovely write-up, I was so pleased! Thank you, thank you!

It was just the pick-me-up I needed, as the past few weeks I've felt a bit disheartened with the blogosphere as I mentioned on my Twitter last night.

It's just the little things that have been niggling me - from bloggers bragging about how many followers they have, and lesser-known bloggers whinging abut not having "enough", while bugging others for links or mentions.

Followers aren't just a number. I am of course overjoyed that lots of people enjoy reading what I have to say - but I definately don't worry if I lose a follower, or tell everyone I know when I get a new one.

Just the same way I only follow blogs that I think are original, inspiring and have interesting content. I certainly would never follow a blog in the hope that I'd be followed back!

And as much as I love my sister, she really did kick me when I was down last night. She's not too familiar with blogging (although she does read this from time-to-time) and asked me:

"Is it not just a bunch of girls talking about themselves?"

Which I suppose it is in a way. One of the reasons we all have this blogging community is that we all have one thing in common - that we want to share something that we are passionate about, and presenting ourselves on a public forum.

But it got me worrying that I'm coming off as arrogant and self-obsessed to non-blogging folk.
However when I asked my mam her opinion over lunch today, she told me to stop being an idiot. As mother's do.

So yeah, I'm back on the wagon. I just need to concentrate on what I do, and what I love.
But what about you guys - has anyone in the non-immediate blogosphere ever thought what you did was self-indulgent?
I'd love to hear your experiences.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

What A Glorious Feelin'!

by | | 24 comments
Hi everyone,

I'm out tonight for my friend Faye's 21st party, and the theme is Hollywood Films and TV Shows. So I'm going as Kathy from Singin' In The Rain:



DRESS: Matalan, £16.
RAINCOAT (PONCHO): Ebay, £3.
UMBRELLA: Ebay, £7.
NECKLACE: Primark, £2.
BELT: New Look, £2.
TIGHTS: Primark, £1.50.
SOCKS: Borrowed from my mam.
TAP SHOES: Ebay, £5.
POINT OF FASHION: Kathy Seldon.

So yeah, a cheap as chips outfit. I love home-made costumes, they just seem more loved and you have a chance to be creative.


Singin' In The Rain is one of my favourite films, but I've been really inspired by dance numbers in general lately. Here are some of my favourites:





Jan Penchan Ho from Gumnaam.



That's How You Know from Enchanted.


You Make My Dreams from (500) Days Of Summer.

And my favourite number from Singin' In The Rain is All I Do Is Dream Of You, but YouTube won't let me embed it - boo!

In other news, Craig (he is no longer 'The Boy' since we've now broken up, but still very good friends) told me that I'm in this month's issue of The Crack, which is a free magazine in the North East about arts, culture, music and the like. I love it, so that's rather amazing.
If anything goes up on the website, I'll of course link you guys too.

Right, I'm off to the party. I'm going to look a right plonker on the metro.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.