’40s curls by The Painted Lady

Before Christmas, I was lucky enough to win a competition for a vintage hair styling session by Belinda Hay at The Painted Lady in London. Belinda Hay literally wrote the book on vintage hair, so I was over the moon at the prospect! Unfortunately, due to the bad weather in January, I managed to miss my first appointment that I’d booked with her, but Belinda graciously allowed me to rebook – and so, yesterday, I finally got my hair did!

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As I won the competition by professing my love for Gil Elvgren’s curly haired beauties, I thought it was only right to request a similar look for my styling session. Belinda began by curling my hair using hot tongs and allowing it to cool in curl clips. Then, after a copious dousing in hairspray, the clips were removed, and the brushing out began! This is the bit that I’d probably have the most trouble with – after all, once you’ve spent so long pinning your hair up, it’s scary to take a brush to it. Knowing me, I’d brush all those curls out! However, Belinda’s expert touch and total confidence left me with gorgeous pin-up curls all day long (and they’re still in today!).

40s curls

Check out the back – such amazing waves! I told Belinda my hair only behaves for other people – but I’m getting better at giving my hair some gentle curls with heated rollers…

40s curls

(In case you wondered, I wore my NW3 Hobbs Annabel dress, Miss L Fire Monaco shoes, Monty Mouse earrings from Hobbs, and Audrey sunglasses from Jeepers Peepers (via ASOS). I’ve worn the Annabel dress so many times now, it’s starting to become my uniform…)

40s curls

Excuse the cheesy grin – I was pretty pleased with my hair!

40s curls

I also wore my trusty old coat from Next, which I bought a year ago from the outlet store in Gunwharf Quays after I totally misjudged the weather! Good buy in the end…

40s curls

In other news, I’m experiencing feelings of confusion about the upcoming summer months – on the one hand, I can’t wait for warmer weather, but on the other hand, I’ll probably have to retire my gorgeous shoes for a while… Hence wearing them as often as I can at the moment!

Visit The Painted Lady online here, or pop into the salon at 65 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ. The phone number is 0207 729 2154. Vintage hairstyling starts from £45, but you can also get party packages, as well as hair dying services – and there’s a nail bar, too! TPL is full of lovely, attentive staff, and everyone I saw while I was there left looking absolutey fabulous!

Little Red Riding Hood in Trafalgar Square: The Collectif Gretel Coat Unleashed!

Way back on Christmas Day last year, I was a tiny bit bored with all the rubbish TV, so I decided to download issue 25 of Vintage Life. Scrolling through, I found the Christmas Wishlist feature and immediately fell in love with the Collectif Gretel Coat.

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Page from Vintage Life magazine.

Well, who wouldn’t? It’s an amazingly extravagant coat, straight out of Little Red Riding Hood – and a beautiful colour to boot. Unfortunately, at £160 it was definitely out of my price range – but then, a Christmas miracle happened. I checked out Collectif’s Facebook page and discovered that the company was running a 40% off discount… And they had one Gretel coat left, in my size. It was certainly fate, and who am I to fly in the face of the cosmos’ mysterious ways?

I ordered immediately, and when the coat arrived I fell in love all over again – but to be honest, I’ve chickened out of wearing it until last weekend. This is not a coat for the faint hearted. I was originally going to wear it last weekend, but with all the snow and ice I figured it would be just my luck to skid on the ice and fall over – embarrassing enough, but even worse when you’re dolled up to the nines. So when I was invited to the launch of The Powder Room on tour (more on that later!) I knew this was the perfect opportunity to wear my coat!

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Coat: Gretel by Collectif. Hair: The Powder Room @ Paper Dress*

As you can see, you certainly wouldn’t be lost in the crowd wearing this beauty! Sometimes, I wish I’d gone for the more subtle black version (but there weren’t any in stock, so it’s a moot point!), which would be more wearable, but then again, if you want to make an impact, this is certainly the go-to coat! Check out those beautiful pleats on the skirt, and the pretty pom-poms! The fabric has a gorgeous texture to it, and although the coat is very heavy, that makes it all the more snug for cold weather.

I thought I’d give you some behind the scenes info on taking this photo too. I employed a technique called ‘faith in humanity’, which involves setting your very expensive DSLR camera on timer mode in the middle of central London on a Saturday, and then running off so you can get as much of your body in shot without risking a heart attack. I also used another technique called ‘looking casually at buttons pretending to be doing important stuff’ which is useful when someone starts hanging around near you and looking suspiciously like they’ve mastered the art of ‘nicking someone’s camera when they’re taking photos of themselves in public by leaving their camera on the side’. Just a little insight there, in case you guys were students of photography like myself. (Please note, I have no idea what to do with my camera yet other than timer mode and no flash mode… But I am learning many techniques, which I am happy to humbly share with you!)

* My hair styling session at The Powder Room was complimentary for the purposes of revew on my blog – I’ll be posting a proper write-up later this week!

Victory Rolls by The Powderpuff Girls!

On Saturday 1 December, I got my hair and make up done by the lovely Claire from The Powderpuff Girls! The company had a stall at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, so I popped along to get all dolled up!

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I had already decided I wanted victory rolls, because it’s a look I’ve never been able to do on myself, and I wanted to pick up some tips at the same time as seeing what it would look like! As you can see from this picture, my hair is ridiculously long, so I’m definitely planning on having it cut soon to make styling easier!

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I guess the main tip I came away with was – don’t be afraid to backcomb to insane proportions! The hair you can see in the picture above hasn’t been sprayed at all, it’s just standing up all by itself!

(As a side note, don’t you LOVE the Powderpuff Girls’ uniform?!)

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Another thing I’d been doing wrong with victory rolls is trying to curl my hair from the ends down – Claire started from the middle and wound backwards from there, and it definitely made it easier to do!

I also got my makeup done with the classic red lip and cat-eye flick.

Getting ready 5 Getting ready 1 Getting ready 10 Getting ready 11

The whole thing was a very reasonable £30, and I even got to take a free powderpuff home with me too! This is the third time I’ve had my hair and make up done by The Powderpuff Girls, and each time I’ve been really pleased with the look and the style’s holding power. They use Paul and Joe products along with some other brands you can see on the site, and it really makes a different to how long they last. I’m definitely thinking of investing in some Paul and Joe foundation – Claire wrote down all of the products she used on me, which was awesome!

Come back later in the week for more about the fair, my outfit, and the real reason we were in London… to see Viva Forever!