Outfit Post: Old and New!

by | | 12 comments
Hi everyone,

Time for a VERY belated Outfit Post!
For this outfit, I used some new-ish peices, and some peices I've had for years to create a whole new look. Hurrah!



T-SHIRT: TheVines.com, £20 (circa 2003)
SKIRT: Forever 21, $15.
JACKET: Matalan, £12.
PINS: Heidi Seeker, £3 and Interpunk, $1.50.
BELT: New Look, £2.
NECKLACE: Miss Selfridge, £2.
WATCH: D&G, £Birthday present.
LEGGINGS: Ancient, I can't actually remember!
SHOES: Dorothy Perkins, £15.
POINT OF FASHION: A mix of old and new.

So I was looking through an old pyjama drawer the other day.
(You know, that draw full of tatty pyjamas you have, but never wear?)
And underneath them all were my baggy band t-shirts I used to live in from the age of 12 to 17.



Jeez.

It's actually quite ironic I cut up my Vines t-shirt, and this picture was taken during my Vines phase.

I wore that stupid jacket every. Single. Day because I thought I looked like Craig Nicholls.
I didn't. I looked like a scraggly-haired teenybopper in a cheap hoodie.





Wow, it's like there was two of us!



Anyway, I used this handy tutorial to help me out:

Except I cut at the neckline to make it a bit more flattering on myself - and voila!
Old t-shirt feels good as new.

How about you guys?
Have you ever customised something you've had for years to make it more modern?

Ooh I had a lovely day at the seaside with my friends Kevin and Hattie.
I miss Kevin when he's at uni in Winchester.


*HEARTS* them both!

Tomorrow I'll be announcing the winners of the 450 Followers Giveaway - and I'll be closing it tonight at midnight GMT.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

EDIT: Oh, and anybody else feeling extra love for The Vines - check out the interview I did about cyberbullying a few months back with Craig's sister, Jessica. She's too cute! :)

Blog Makeover! - with Lucy Farfort

by | | 13 comments
Hey everyone,

Notice anything different around here? That's because I have a fancy schmany new layout with the help of fabulous local illustrator, Lucy Farfort.

I discovered Lucy through her design for the Made In Newcastle promotional flyers and artwork, and instantly fell in love with her kawaii designs.
Since I wanted to give this blog a little makeover (as it's just a few months shy of it's first birthday!) I thought it was time for a change.

And I gave Lucy a very intricate design of my own to work from:



I know. I'm SO good at art, right?
Tracey Emin is probably bricking it right now...


I knew I wanted an illustration of myself (hello, vain!) in a baroque-style frame with all my favourite things around me - teacups, makeup, cupcakes and accessories!

A few people have mentioned the polka dots hurt their eyes a little - so I asked Lucy to come up with something in monocrome, and now I have fantastic lipsticks-and-lightning-bolts action going on behind everything.

Oh, and the outfit I'm wearing in the illustration - I actually own it!
See:


(You can see that Outfit Post if you clicky this link)

I absolutely love, love LOVE it!
When the first proof came through email, I was at work and made squeaking sounds only dogs could understand!

So I just had to quiz Lucy on everything oh-so-arty!

1) How did you first get interested in illustration? Were you creative as a child?

I can remember very vividly the day I decided that I wanted to become an illustrator. From a young age I loved creating things and knew that I wanted to do art in some form. For many years fashion design was the passion but my head was turned at the age of 14 (this was in about 1993 yikes!) when I fell in love with anime and manga.
I was staying round my cousin's house and he was harping on about anime. He lent me the famous Japanese animation Akira and urged me to watch it, so I did and i was awe struck. I think I must have watched it about 5 times in a week. I became obsessed with manga and all things Japanese so after extensive research on how I could get into this as a line of work I vowed to be an illustrator.
So here I am, not quite the anime/manga artist but its close enough.


2) Where do you find most inspiration for your work?
I am inspired by so many things. I'm a bit of a visual junky and the internet is such a huge source of visual information like Etsy, Folksy, the countless online portfolios, galleries and creative shops. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff out there and sometimes I find its best to take breath and avoid looking at all if possible.
I have recently become part of a collective of artists and makers in Newcastle (Made In Newcastle) and I find being around them and sharing ideas is really inspiring, especially considering I normally work on my own in a box room which can be pretty isolating.
I love the work of Susie Ghahremani, Lisa Alisaa and Hayao Miyazaki (had to get an anime reference in somewhere). There are so many talented people out there so I could go on and on and I don't think the list will ever stop growing.


3) What are your favourite pieces you've created?
In terms of big illustrative pieces I guess the Resting Place illustration (Click!) will always be a personal favourite, but inevitably a lot of the work I do is small design jobs for businesses etc so in regards to I still love the logo I created for the Monster Ceilidh Band (Click!).
In relation to my work as a maker i suppose the best product in terms of popularity are my glasses cases (Click!), but one of my personal favourite creations is the lolly & ice cream notecard set (Click!) which I produced for a special giveaway earlier this year and anything with the Robot Love illustration on (Click!).


4) Do you find the North East to have a thriving creative community?
I think the creative community in the North East is growing fast, but its still quite small compared to a lot of other cities. To be honest though this is great for me (says selfishly) as it means the market isn't saturated like a lot of other places. I lived in Manchester for 8 years after graduating and the creative community there is enormous.
There is so much stuff going on in terms of exhibitions, markets, creative shops etc that interesting things become run of the mill and you take if for granted. I like Newcastle as its much more focussed and compact and the creative community is so friendly. I really feel part of something here.


5) How can people get in touch with you??
I love working with people and coming up with new ideas for design job especially when their for a creative business or indy designers like myself.
People can visit my website http://lucyshappyplace.com/ to see my illustration portfolio and my online shop where I sell all my handmade products

Aside from this I also have a little blog (http://lucyfarfort.blogspot.com/) and people can get in touch on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#!/pages/Lucy-Farfort-IllustratorMaker/275447902018) , Twitter or simply email me on lucyfarfort@yahoo.com.
I also sell on Folksy(http://www.folksy.com/shops/lucyfarfort) and Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/lucyfarfort) and from a number of shops in the North East.


In other news, I've been rather quiet still on the blogging front this week, as I've just begun to settle into my new job. It's still quite tough having to get up before 7am everyday, but I do really like it.
Saying that - old habits die hard and I'm always too busy rushing for the metro to have time to take pictures for Outfit Posts. Le sob! I'll try better very soon, I promise!

Also, no mid-week nails this week! Sorry sorry!
I met up with my friends who are home from uni for the summer mid-week, so didn't have time for blogging. (I had to catch up with all the gossip - even from my poor friend Marie who is recovering from having her appendix removed! Yowch!)

I'm going to the seaside tomorrow, though. One of my favourite things in the world to do with three of my favourite people.
I'll try and take lots of pictures to make up for this week!

FINALLY, the 450 Followers Giveaway ends tomorrow, and I'll be picking a winner on Sunday (via Random.org probably!).
So this really is your last chance to enter! Go! Go! Go!



I've had such a great response with you guys - I just hope everyone who follows me knows about this and enters.
It's for you lot, after all. Because you're all lush!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Mid-Season Sales Haul!

by | | 23 comments
Hi everyone,

I was meaning to do a proper video about all the lovelies I've accumulated during the mid-season sales.
BUT my camera was out of battery, and the audio does not link up when I use my webcam.

So I've had to do this silent film-style!


(All links to websites/online shops are on the YouTube video, so give it a clicky-clicky!)

Also - PLEASE excuse some of "my" spelling errors.
Stupid Movie Maker kept deleting random letters!


Remember, the 450 Followers Giveaway (although there's over 500 of you now which is so wonderful!) ends this Sunday - so this week is your last chance to enter!

Oh, one more thing: my current phone provider has been bleeding me dry over the last few months - so I changed this week, and for £5 more per month I got a fancy schmancy Blackberry Bold 9700:



I've never had a really nice phone before, so I'm rather in love!
Plus it's SO much easier to keep on top of my emails and Twitter - be sure to add me if you haven't already!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla

PS: Notice anything different? I've given this blog a bit of a makeover, thanks to the help of Illustrator and artiste extraordinaire Lucy Farfort!
Check out her work via LucysHappyPlace.com, but I'll be posting an interview with her next time!

An Abundance Of Geekery!

by | | 17 comments
Hey everyone,

I'm a glutton for anything a little on the dorky side, and here's some stuff from TEH WISHLIST:



T-SHIRT: TruffleShuffle, £21.99
GAMEGIRL NECKLACE: Junkie Lovers, £6.
GLASSES: New Look, £4.
NINTENDO NECKLACE: Culture Vulture, £14.99.
CAMERA NECKLACE: Punky Pins, £10.
CASETTE NECKLACE: Heidi Seeker, £10.

I think however much people try to deny it - there's always something they like to geek-out over.

(NOTE: Links include spoilers!)

A few years ago I was involved in a good few fandoms, most predominently with Gyakuten Saiban/Ace Attorney, which is a series for the Nintendo DS.
I fell in love with the story of well-meaning lawyer Phoenix Wright, and his friends Maya Fey and Miles Edgeworth.

I also found it interesting how a lot of the online communities seemed to be run by female gamers. When I asked them why, a lot of them replied it was because the game features a lot of powerful but beautiful women, such as Mia Fey and Ema Skye.

I'm always fascinated with gaming, the internet, social networking and why people love it so much - I even took a class in my first year of University called Introduction To Cybercultures.
Our lecturer Rob walked in and said "Welcome Newbies to STUDY OF TEH INTARWEBS!"
It was honestly the coolest class ever. His first slide even read "A/S/L?"

What do you guys geek-out over?
I always love to hear what makes you tick and go all fangirly!

*Squee-out!*

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Mid Week Nails: Berry Ice Cream.

by | | 9 comments
Hey everyone,

It's that time of the week already:

This week's colour is another Barry M nail paint - and it's 308/Berry Ice Cream.

I know, I know. I can hear you all yelling at your screens - "Oh Carla! Don't you know there are actually other brands of nail polish?!!"
Well, I hear ya. But Barry M is one of my favourite makeup brands (without a doubt my favourite 'drugstore' brand) and their nail paints are always fantastic.

I've been getting bored of mint green, but not quite ready for bold oranges and yellows.
And I was quite lucky to pick up this colour as it's sold out a lot of places, including online.
It went on lovely (although as usual - I put too much on so it went slightly gloopy) and as my new job entails a lot of typing, it wore of pretty quickly at the tips.
But I do love love love it!
This is my first lilac nail polish, as I've always prefered dark purples. But I think I'm converted!

There's going to be slightly less posts that usual at the moment because as I mentioned, I've now started my new job, and getting used to the routine.
It used to be: Doss about in pyjamas all day, think about doing essay nap, plan essay, write blog instead, sleep. Heh.
Now it's get to Sunderland for 9am (forgot how much I hate early metros...), work hard all day, go home at 5pm, watch Buffy, sleep.

In exciting news, I'm having a new banner made by local illustrator Lucy Farfort.
I came up with the concept, but as everything I do on this blog is made on MS Paint I needed a helping hand.
And I saw a rough draft yesterday and it looks fantastic - I can't wait!

I love the banner I have (made by the gorgeous Janis) but to be honest I'm sick of the sight of my own face when I click this blog. Plus I have red hair now.

Finally my laptop decided it needed to be formatted last night, so I thought I'd lost everything. However, the clever thing has been secretly backing up without telling me, so I still have MOST of my music and pictures. Whew.
I'm NOT going to enjoy having to catagorise my Itunes again - I'm a bit OCC that everything is labelled correctly. Plus I had some great playlists that I was going to make into mix CDs (one for Claire from French For Cupcake, whose is LOOONG overdue!)

Blog-wise I have some events coming up that I'll be telling you guys all about.
Rachel from Mon Polka Dot Cheri managed to score us tickets to a 1940s Victory Celebrations event, which is so our cup of tea! There's going to be warsongs, everyone in vintage clobber and cupcakes.
Then on the evening is a rationing-style meal, with a menu including potted crab, rabbit in cider and Victoria sponge cake. How fun?
If you'd like to go, you can buy tickets from the The Next Big Event's website.

As for what I'm wearing - I'm re-watching Brief Encounter (one of my all-time favourite films) for some inspiration!

Then later on in August I'm meeting the girls from British Style Bloggers.
I haven't been with them for very long, so it's going to be lovely getting to know everyone.
There's even going to be a summer Secret Santa, and I'm quite glad I don't know the girl who I'm buying for as it'll be a bit of a challenge. And I do love a shopping challenge.

As for me, I'm going to Edinburgh next month with Daniel to see the adorable Michael Urie in Celebrity Autobiography.
Marc St James is one of my favourite TV characters, so it's going to be très exciting to see Michael - I'll have adorn my asthma inhaler in sparkles so we match!

Don't forget to enter my 450 Followers Giveaway - two themed sets of lovely items to be won, from some of my favourite shops including - Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.
(Also I was asked if I bought all the prizes myself, and the answer is a resounding YES!)

Sorry this entry has been talk talk talk for the most part. Back to normal soon, I promise!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Outfit Post: Nothern Pride

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Hey everyone,

Happy Pride Day to my lovely locals. Here's my Outfit Post for today:

DRESS: New Look, £30. (Limited Edition range)
JACKET: River Island, £17. (sale)
LEGGINGS: Primark, £2.50.
NECKLACE: Miss Selfridge, £2. (sale)
BELT: New Look, £2. (sale)
SHOES: Office, £15. (sale)
POINT OF FASHION: Off to Nothern Pride!

I absolutely LOVE my new River Island jacket - it was just too pricey for me at RRP, but I found it in the sale a few days ago.
Me and Daniel call it my Graham Norton jacket!

Today was Northern Pride – a LGBT event covering the Newcastle/Sunderland/South Shields and surrounding areas.

My favourite clubbing destination has always been the Newcastle’s gay scene.
It’s so funny when people who aren’t regulars come in and stare, as really nothing surprises me now.
Please don't ask me to explain what goes on in the cellar of 'The Eagle'.

There’s something both seedy and comforting about the scene.
Especially mine and Daniel's favourite destination, The Bank bar.
Such as, the drag queen will wave cheerfully at you when you enter, but (no matter your gender or orientation) chances are you will be felt up at the bar.
As I once explained: “It’s like Cheers with free condoms.”
Daniel's blog entry goes into better - and funnier - detail about our escapades!

Back to Pride!
I've also been lucky enough lately to be involved with the lovelies at Pride Radio - so I took some rainbow cupcakes over to our station manager Tony when he was doing the outside broadcast.
They got rave reviews! A bit squished after being in tupperwear for a few hours, but still very yummy.


Vanilla sponge, with chocolate sponge in the middle and massive chocolate chunks.

If you want to try making them yourself, this is what you'll need:

Carla's Rainbow Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all purpose/plain four
1//2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter.
3/4 cup granulated sugar.
2 eggs, room temperature.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
2/3 cup milk. (Room temperature)
As many chocolate chips/chocolate chunks as you can handle!

Makes 12 large cupcakes, or 19 smaller cupcakes.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees/Gas Mark 5.
2. Line a cupcake tin with wrappers.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until blended.
6. Beat in vanilla.
7. Add the flour mixture and milk. Combine, but do not overmix.
8. Separate your mixture into three bowls. In one bowl add red food colouring, in another bowl add chocolate powder (The darker the better), and in the third add green.
9. Mix together until combined, then gently stir in your chocolate chips/chocolate chunks.
10. Add a teaspoon of mixture to each cup until they are 2/3 full.
11. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
12. Cool completely and frost/ice.
I was both lazy and wanting the icing to be a talking point - so instead of regular frosting, I used Ann Summers' Vanilla Body Icing and decorated with sprinkles and gold glitter.

Anyhoo, hope if there's a Pride event in your area you go along and wave that rainbow flag!
I'll try and pop some more pictures from Nothern Pride onto my Facebook page.

Finally, Thank you thank you if you've entered my 450 Followers Giveaway! And if not - please do!
Muchos love,
MessyCarla

Mid-Week Nails: Barry M's Blue Glitter

by | | 12 comments
Hey everyone,

To brighten up our mid-week blues I'm introducing a brand spanking new series here!

Every Wednesday will feature a lovely NOTD (Nails Of The Day) post.
And it's going to be called:

Ta-dah!

Right, to kick everything off - this mid-week's nails is Barry M's 297/Blue Glitter polish:


As much as I'm loving my pale nails at the moment, I will always have a soft spot for glittery polishes.
They remind me of the ones I used to adore as a kid.

I just got this yesterday so I can't comment too much as yet of the wear-and-tear.
It covered beautifully after just two coats (and a base coat underneath).
Although my fingertips needed a bit of a touch-up, as you can see in the picture.

I really do adore Barry M's nail paints - I'm sure you'll be meeting more of them in the coming weeks!


In other news I haven't been able to blog much this week as I've been SUPER busy, especially over the past few days.

Saturday was my friend Megan's surprise birthday party.
I was DYING to make a reference to it on Twitter or something, but Megan has great intuition, and I reckon she would have figured something was up.

It was organised by her fabulous mam, Diane (or as we all call her Absolutely Fabulous Mother - AFM for short!) and was at a lovely Italian resteraunt in Sunderland.



BACK (L-R): Sarah-Jane, Jayne, Alexandra, Megan (birthday girl!), David and Drew.
FRONT (L-R): Hattie, me, Diane/AFM and Paul.


Teehee we made poor Megan cry! But good tears.
For her present I'd bought her a Dundie Award when I was in New York as she got me into The Office, and it's all her fault I'm now a rabid fangirl.
They're such a warm, lovely group of people - I only met Paul on Saturday, and when he spotted me in town today, he came over to chat.

Also, on Monday I finally graduated from university.
It's been a long three years, and there's been a good few times I've considered throwing the towel it.
It's definately not been easy or particularly enjoyable for the most part, but it was nice to say goodbye to everyone properly, and celebrate a period of my life ending.



Carla Benstead: Media Production (Television & Radio) BA Hons. 2.1.



I know, I know. My outfit isn't very interesting - especially compared to a lot of girls who went all-out in cocktail dresses.
But I wanted a fairly classic combination of white shirt and black skirt so my official picture would be as timeless as possible. I'm getting that in a few weeks.

My favourite lecturer Martin came over to chat to me and my family after the ceremony and said some rather lovely things.
He's trying to convince me to come back in a year or so do to a Masters in Radio.

I can tell I'll be back to university in a few years to do something when I realise that real life is a bit boring and I can't have lie ins anymore.
But doing what exactly - I'll just wait and see.

The favourite thing Martin said was "Carla is always full of surprises."
My mam replied "She's been surprising me for twenty-one years" which may have been a bit sarcastic, but I'm letting it slide.

This is the beginning of my unofficial gap year (or Gap Yah) - I'm not planning on doing anything particularly exciting for now, but really I'm just finding my feet - trying new things (including courses, work experience and placements hopefully) and deciding what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I'm going to be working full-time until I'm at least 65 - I'm going to make this year count.
And yes, I've got a few holidays planned. Teehee.


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

About MessyCarla / Disclosure Policy

by | | 8 comments

About MessyCarla:



Age:
25-years-old.

Lives:
Newcastle, UK.

Height:
5’4"-5'5".

Dress size:
I generally wear a size 16 -18.
However this can go up or down depending on the fit.

Interests:
Fashion, blogging, travel, beauty/make-up, theatre, social media/networking, media production/theory, independent cinema, film studies, gender studies, cooking/baking.

Favourite Bands/Artsts:
The Vines, Placebo, The Epoxies, Dragonette, Ke$ha, Ramones, Zombina and the Skeletones, CHVRCHES, Mike TV, To My Boy, Reel Big Fish, Plastic Operator, Bloc Party, Freezepop, Tsunami Bomb, The Who, Sonic Boom Six, Hole.

Contact/Links:
Email
Twitter
Facebook
Last.FM
YouTube
Tumblr
Bloglovin'

Featured on....


Frequently Asked Questions:



Do you blog full-time?
No, I recently graduated from the University of Sunderland with a BA (Hons.) 2:1 in Television & Radio Production and currently work in the travel and tourism industry. 


What camera do you use?
I used a Panasonic Lumix until Autumn 2010, then I upgraded to a Nikkon d3000.
I'd recommend getting the model or two up from this as they have HD video - great for YouTube videos!


Can I interview you for my blog/article/school project/dissertation etc.?
I get asked this a lot during deadline season, so if you get in early you are very welcome to email me!


Can I write a guest post for you?
No, all content is written by myself.
The only exception in the past has been if I have been on holiday/travelling and some lovely people have filled in for me.
I am currently NOT accepting submissions for guest posts (paid or otherwise).


How do you get started/gain followers?
I did a post all about blogging tips that work well for me. However this is slightly of out date.
To keep it simple: Work hard, write about what you look, stay true to what you believe in - but also courteous.
Conversing with other bloggers is one of my favourite things, so make a Twitter account if you don't have one already, and get chatting!


Can I add you on Facebook?
I don’t accept requests on my personal Facebook, sorry.
But please feel free to add my page so you can get updates straight to your newsfeed.
I check this everyday and you can also chat with me there! :)


Will you review my product?
It completely depends what it is. I have made a page regarding advertising.
If you think it would interest me and my readers - email me to find out, I’m nice!


Can I advertise on your blog?
I have lots of places available for bloggers and businesses to advertise on my blog at reasonable rates.


How do you get things to review?
Companies have always contacted me first.
In my experience both as a blogger and working in the industry, companies are more likely to ask bloggers who don’t go asking for it. It is extremely transparent when someone is blogging just to receive review items. (And especially begging on a public forum such as Twitter is never professional!)
I blog because I love talking fashion and beauty (among other things, of course) not to get free stuff.


Do you get paid to review things?
No. I get to keep the products, which is a nice bonus, but I don’t get any money.
Anything I get to review is clearly marked, as I believe in complete transparency. 


Can you follow/link to my blog?
I only follow and link to blogs that I really enjoy.
You can always ask me though, it’s worth a try if you think you have really interesting and unique content! Check on my blogroll on the sidebar for some of my favourites!


Can you please critique my blog/what am I doing wrong?
No, as I don't believe in being negative to anyone.
Your blog is your personal space, and if someone doesn't like it then it's their problem.
One of the biggest joys of blogging for me, is that I'm able to express what I love in my own space - please don't change yourself for the sake of pleasing others!
Life would be very dull if we were all the same.


Where do you get your hair cut?
Forever Long in Newcastle - ask for my friend Chris!


What colour did you use to get your hair so red?
I did a post all about red hair and upkeep, so do check that out?
In short though as of Autumn 2013: bleach, Real Red by Schwarzkopf and Poppy Red by Directions. 


Disclosure:

Reward Style: 
This blog is affiliated with Reward Style, a program that pays me a small commission if a reader purchases through a link. Reward Style links can be distinguished by the URL, which reads “http://rstyle.me…”.

If you think your blog would be suitable for Reward Style benefits, please email me with your details and I'd be happy to forward you to the team.

Skimlinks: 
This blog is affiliated with Skimlinks, which pays me a small commission if a reader clicks or purchases through certain links on my websites.

Sponsored Posts: 
Sponsored posts are clearly labelled at the bottom of the individual blog post for full transparency. Views are always my own, and I would never promote a product I did not love myself.
Content is always written by myself, with no guest bloggers writing on my behalf.



Any other questions, PLEASE contact me.
I love hearing from you all!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

450 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY!!

by | | 129 comments
CLOSED!!
Winners announced 01/08/10!


Hey everyone,

(The super-cute drawing of me was a gift from Rai of Blargle Fargle!)

It's finally here - the 450 Followers Giveaway!
Just like last time there are two sets of prizes to be won:


The Ditzy Floral Parcel is inspired by the florals and pastels trend this Spring/Summer.
Dainty and feminine items - perfect for a Summer picnic with tea, sandwiches and cupcakes.



  • Pink rose earrings from Topshop.

  • Pearl and hearts bracelet from Miss Selfridge.

  • Corsarge (can be worn as pin or hairclip) from Dorothy Perkins.

  • Cupcake tissues from Peacocks.

  • Pick 'n' Mix sweets from Topshop.

The Sweetheart Parcel is a Rockabilly love story wrapped up with a big lipstick kiss. Stereotypical Valentines-style items - as "the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself" - Carrie Bradshaw.


  • Set of heart and arrows earrings from Topshop.

  • Red bow hairclips from Dorothy Perkins.

  • Love pin from Miss Selfridge (sorry I had to remove the packaging - it was practically destroyed!)

  • Kisses tissues from Peacocks.

  • Pick 'n' Mix sweets from Topshop.

"So Carla! How can I be in with a chance to win these lovely prizes?" I hear you cry.
Funny you should ask:

This giveaway is open to all followers - it's because of you guys I love doing what I do here!

If you leave a comment here: 1 vote.
If you tweet about the giveaway on Twitter: 1 vote.
If you post about the giveaway on your blog: 1 vote.
If you have a permanent link on your blog for the duration of the giveaway: 2 votes!

Just let me know in the comments the link to your tweet/blog/entry if you promote.
You'll also be automatically entered into both draws!

The 450 Followers Giveaway will close on Sunday 1st August at 12noon GMT.
I do hope you all enter - and best of luck to you all!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Product Love: Resurrection Style Dust

by | | 20 comments
Hey everyone,

You all know I love my hair products, and am usually loyal to the ones I know and love.
But I'm always happy to buy new additions for the family.

Due to a week of hot sun, humidity and being seperated from my heat protector sprays, I had worse split ends than Worzel Gummidge (remember my hair is bleached too, under the red)!
I was definately due a haircut.

Usually, after my cut, I have my hair blowdried in quite a sleek way - but I asked my stylist (Shout-out to Chris who always keeps me from looking like a hot mess) to add more volume to my fresh, chunky layers.

And he came back with this product:



Oh yes. THAT'S a volumizer.

It's completely different to a mousse or volumizer spray. It's DUST!
All you have to do is shake it up, sprinkle a little onto your roots, rub it in, scrunch and watch your hair expand!

It's really cool when you shake it up, the dust fills up the whole bottle, then slowly settles again.
That's how clever it is:


I thought at first it was going to be the same consistancy of dry shampoo, which I have never really liked. My hair always feels weighed down and limp.
But the texture is very light, and slightly grainy, like very very fine salt. But it doesn't leave any residue in my hair.

The dust does work best if you like that big messy hair look, like I do. It's especially brilliant if you have a lot of layers as it can really give them a kick.
But if you like neat, chic hair with that extra oomph, it may be best to give this one a miss as it gives a bit of a bed-head look.

The only downside is that you can really 'feel' this working in your hair.
Personally I like that matte feeling of texture, but it really grosses some people out.

What I like best is the fact that with this, I'm able to eliminate several harmful processes to my hair.
Such as to get the same look I've had to add a volumizer, blow dry the opposite direction to my hair growth, pile on the hairspray and backcomb. My hair is crying out in pain, I tell thee!

With this, I just have one easy process - sprinkle and scrunch!
No backcombing or hairspray needed.

Sorry for the appauling webcam picture (my camera's battery is currently on charge) but this is how my hair looked TEN HOURS after the initial application:

My hair has never looked this decent at 11pm after snugging under my duvet for a few hours with series 5 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (God, I could never stand Dawn!).

And if my hair got limp throughout the day, I just gave it a bit of a scrunch and joozjh - and it was massive again!
It's a miracle I tell you!

You can buy Label. M at all Toni & Guy salons or there's plenty of places online if you do a quick search.
Label. M Resurrection Dust costs £10 for 3g and about £15 for the 7g (which I got).


How about you guys?
Have you ever tried a product that was a bit off-the-wall?
Did you love it or hate it?


Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

NOTE: I paid for this product with my own money, and all opinions are my own. I was given no compensation for writing this review.

Outfit Post: Primary Colours!

by | | 22 comments
Hey everyone,

It's my first outfit post in a little while, and one of my new favourite looks I've put together.
I wore this on a night out with Daniel.
The drag queen Miss Kitty announced to the whole pub that I look like Kathy Burke in Gimme Gimme Gimme!
Oh well, I do love that show so I suppose it doesn't matter too much! Teehee.


TOP: Dorothy Perkins, £12 (sale).
SKIRT: Forever 21, $15.
CARDIGAN: Vintage, £8.
BELT: New Look, £2 (sale).
NECKLACE: Vintage, £my mam's.
HAIRBAND: Forever 21, $3.80.
PIN: Heidi Seeker, £3 (through Lillian's blog sale).
BAG: Topshop, £10 (through Lillian's blog sale).
SHOES: Office, £12 (sale).
POINT OF FASHION: Primary Colours.



I know that pink and green aren't primary colours, but the main focuses are red and blue. I like that my bag matches my hair.
I was going to go for red lipstick too, but didn't want to be too gimmicky.


My mam and dad didn't recognise a lot of the clothes when I came downstairs and badgered them for a lift to the metro. But actually a lot of the clothes are quite old - I got the sparkly vest when I was about 17 (FYI: it's a size 12! :O I've never been a size 12 since I was about 10!) and I picked up the cardigan at a Vintage Fashion Fair early last year.


I love wearing clothes I already have in a different way to create a completely new look.
Like I've never tucked a cardigan into a skirt before - but it may well be my new favourite thing to do!

Notice how I'm flashing my pins for once too?
Well, I do have sheer tights on (I just don't like the feeling of being barelegged. I don't like to mention 'chaffing' but apparently the topic has come up here...) but still.

AND you can actually see my tattoo for once - see my right foot?


Yesterday, I went to the Cluny Craft Market with Rachel from Mon Polkadot Cheri.
It's so lovely to have someone local who's into the same blogger-y/shopping escapades at me!
Also we think it's funny because I call her Miss Polkadot and she calls me Miss Messy. Hehe.

Oh! I almost forgot. At one point we took a wrong turn and ended up on the dodgy side of town where tracksuits and scruffy trainers reign.
Thankfully we managed to get a taxi to The Cluny for a few quid. And we really did stand out a bit.
Our taxi driver came out with the almighty:

"YA'S LOOK LIKE PICK 'N' MIX! A WOULDN'T MIND HAVING A BITE, ME LIKE!!"

Welcome to Newcastle, everyone! I do love it.

Anyway, there was some wonderful local talent there including:

Tara Scholes Jewellery Design.
Mia Design. (I could have honestly have spent all of next month's pay here!)
Emma Louise Originals.
Rule Brittania.
BOBU Couture.
and Little Miss Delicious. (who you already know I love!)

New York has still pretty much wiped me out until I start my new job on July 19th, so I couldn't buy as much as I would have usually. But I did get a few bits and peices:

The keychain is by Little Miss Delicious.
I also bought a yummy cake ring, but because I'm an idiot - I put it in the bottom of my bag, and two of the deliciate peices on the crust broke off - so I'm asking Maxine to fix it for me!
The bow pin (I can never resist anything with a bow - or polka dots) was by BOBU Designs.

Rachel bought an Australian stamp pendant by Emma Louise Originals.
It was actually mounted on a vintage Scrabble peice, which I thought was really cool!

I know a couple of you went to the event after hearing about it on this blog, which is absolutely ace ace ace.
If you did miss it - don't worry!
Everyone is going to be back this Saturday (10th July) for the Launch party for 'Made In Newcastle', which is a brand new pop-up shop opening in Nunn Street.
It's amazing that local designers will have a premises to sell their designs in.

And the launch is going to be super-fun!
There's going to be a catwalk fashion show, a doodle jam and a swap shop.
The last one basically means - come bring something you'd like to swap, for something new!
Especially great some someone (like me) who is currently counting the pennies.

Local folk please consider coming, supporting and having a great time.
(Click the links to take you straight to the Facebook event page)


Next, thank you to everyone who tuned in and got in touch with me and Daniel during our first radio show together.
There were a few technical hitches at the start (due to debut show nerves) but we soon got into the swing of things for our 4th of July special.

We're back next Sunday July 11th, again from 6pm-9pm GMT on PrideRadio.co.uk.
Yes. Right when the stupid stupid stupid World Cup Final is happening.
So we're having a People-Who-Don't-Like-The-World-Cup Party - all the best tunes from your singing WAGS (Cheryl and Posh, mostly - are there any others who are singers/in bands/useful?).
And also our favourite artists from around the world!
I'll post rememberals on Twitter closer to the time, so be sure to listen out for us.


Finally, I got my university degree results.
I am now Carla Benstead, Media Production (Televison & Radio) BA (Hons) 2.1.
YES. 2.1.
How I managed that, I frankly have NO idea.
(If you fancy studying Media - this is the link to my course)

My graduation is in exactly a week's time.
Outfit planning must commence.
It's suggested we wear something with a collar, and my wardrobe is entirely collar-less.
Hmmm. Shops ASAP, I reckon.

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.


PS: I'm selling some items on Ebay!
Please go and check them out? Thank you, muchly.

Indie Spotlight: The Libertarian.

by | | 9 comments
Hey everyone,

It's that time again - Indie Spotlight time!
I love celebrating and supporting independent designers. And this time, it's the turn of marvelleous hat missy - The Libertarian.

I met the founder and designer behind The Libertarian, the beautiful Jayne Elwell, at Newcastle's Vintage Clothing Kilo Sale.
Usually I've seen her doing the rounds at The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, so it was nice to be able to chat to her as I restocked and she took the money at the front, and stamped visitor's hands.

She told me how she used to design clothes and accessories, but has recently begun to focus on hat and headwear design. This does include fascinators and hairbands (two of my favourite things in the world).

Now I'm not going to lie - I'm not usually a hat person.
Beyond berets, I don't think I really suit wearing hats.
But when I clicked the link to Jayne's online shop I was instantly in love!

Everything is inspired by classic vintage designs, but still have modern twists - such as using swarovski crystals for that extra sparkle.

Just clicking through the collections - which includes bridal wear - you can see the sheer creativity shining through, that you just don't get with mass produced items.
Everything has been carefully put together with the highest quality materials.

The prices are very reasonable I think too - with mini fascinators starting at just £12.
Jayne also takes commissions, and can come up with the most creative ideas - just check out her hat from this year's Royal Ascot:


HOW fabulous?

It was inspired by the Victorian fashion of ladies wearing wearing real birds on their heads.
But of course these aren't real magpies - they were created completely by scratch, and they even have swarovski crystals for eyes!
I love that she made two magpies too - just like the saying "One for sorrow, two for joy."

Also being from the North East, it made me smile - as the magpie is a very prominent creature for locals! (Newcastle United's football team is often nicknamed 'The Magpies' as they play in a black and white kit.)

As usual, I'm going to post my top picks from the entire collection.
It was so difficult to just pick four!

Absolutely stunning!
You're all in love now, right?
Finally, Jayne was kind enough to made me a one-off fascinator to try for myself.
She asked me what sort of colour scheme and style I would like - and I requested something black and silver to go with my red hair.

It's absolutely lovely!
Fitted with a small clip at the back so it can be fixed to my head easily.

These mini fascinators are priced between just £8-£12 depending on what you request, are made with real leather and a selection of feathers and other adornments.
Lots of colours and styles are available - just ask!

And just for you guys - for a month, you can get 10% off all items from The Libertarian by using the code MESSYCARLACODE at the checkout.

If you do buy something - do let me know what you've picked, and what you think!
So please consider supporting Jayne and The Libertarian - she's not only incredibly talented, but also very sweet.
Be sure to check out everyone else who has been featured on the Indie Spotlight.
If you know of a company, or are a company who would like to be considered - please get in touch!
Muchos love,
MessyCarla.

Back from New York City!

by | | 28 comments
Hey everyone,
I'm back from the concrete jungle where dreams are made of!
I had a fabulous, but exhausting time, and have been catching up on some much needed sleep.
But I figure instead of me talking about it, I'll just share a bunch of pictures, right? Right.

First some holiday snaps:

(I'd just like to point out these were taken the first two days - hence only two outfits. The weather in the last few days was so humid everyone looked like hot messes!)



Our everyday walk up to Times Sqaure.
Spot my Sephora bag - naughty naughty, Carla!
(Scroll down for hauls)



You already know how much I love Barbie. So can I live here, please?



WARNING: Not A Flying Toy!


I ended up seeing Toy Story 3 in 3D Imax and it is absolutely BRILLIANT.
SO true to the series, and I laughed all the way through.
Be warned, you might need some tissues though as I was bauling my eyes out at the end.



On the steps of the Cosby house.



With a classic Black & White Cookie. Nom.



WHO YOU GONNA CALL?!


And now for my cheeky hauls:



Geeky t-shirts from the NBC Store. 3 for $65.
The "Pivot! PIVOT! PIVOT!" scene is my favourite ever Friends moment.
The blooper is amazing too:





My geekier still purchase from the NBC Store.
My Andy Bernard mug from Kelly's 'America's Got Talent Season Finale Party!' - $12.
Good God, I LOVE The Office.


JIM: Make the face?
ANDY: *GRINNNS*



From Forever 21.
CARDIGAN: $26.
SKIRT (Faith 21 range): $15.80.
HAIRBAND: $3.80.



Close up of the fabric on the cardigan! So beautiful!



From Sephora.
SmashBox Primer: $32ish.
Stila Lipgloss: $10ish.



From Patricia Field.
PURSE: $64 (Down from $195!!)
SUNGLASSES: $15ish.

(Apologies you can see me reflected wearing my jammies!)
When I showed Daniel the purse, he commented that it looks like something Samantha Jones would carry! Teehee.
(Link/video NSFW, obviously)



It's so pretty!

Oh God, that's me spent up for a while.

But saying that I'm going to the Cluny Craft Market on Sunday with Rachel from Mon Polkadot Cheri (previously known as Polkadot Stripes!), and already have a few items on my shopping list.
Check out the Facebook event page for full listings of who's gonna be there - including the darling Little Miss Delicious.
Please consider going if you're local - it's completely free, and it's always wonderful to support your local, independent designers.

Hope you've all been keeping well since I've been away.
I've now got over 400 followers - thank you, thank you so much!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla.