’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!

20s Murder Mystery at New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone – I hope 2013 is treating you well so far! I posted a preview of my New Year costume for my parents’ murder mystery evening the other day – and here’s the full run down of my outfit and accessories.

'20s outfitFirst of all, I have to show off my new Miss L Fire shoes, which were a Christmas present from my husband –  I love them! And, the Art Deco detailing was perfect for the party…
Miss L Fire Streamlined 1 Miss L Fire Streamlined 2 Miss L Fire Streamlined 3

I love those details on the back… The shoes are also available in green or black at Miss L Fire’s shop.

I had a beautiful sequined dress, which consisted of black netting over the top of blue fabric, which created a really nice, two-toned effect. It showed up bright blue with a flash, but in natural light was much darker.

Dress detailing

The dress is from Principles, but I got it on eBay – I’ve been stalking flapper style dresses for years so it was great to finally get one after all this time!

Accessories

Both of my accessories in this photo were from Primark – I love picking up accessories from here, as they’re so cheap and usually great quality, all considering. Both of these items have served me well over the years! I also wore three strings of fake pearls I bought last year from Tesco… Dead upmarket, me!

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For my hair, I used a brilliant tutorial from YouTube, which you can find here. I couldn’t get my hair to curl properly, but it turned out it didn’t really matter in the end as I was able to pin it up in curls even though it was fairly straight! It came out pretty well, I thought.

Head side 1

If you have long hair and you wanted a really easy and straight forward flapper hair style, check out this video about how to fake a bob. I tried it last year and it worked really well – everyone thought I had a hair cut!

Group 1

We all had a brilliant time – everyone did really well with their costumes, and my nan even managed to guess the murderer was the maid! I definitely recommend murder mystery nights – they’re great fun, and really cheap, plus they give you a chance to dress up… Like I need one, right?

Group 2

Bustin’ out the secret Santa gift: Skyfall and The Man With The Golden Gun

Being an enthusiastic fan of OPI’s Bond collection, I had naturally been hankering after the amazing Man With The Golden Gun topcoat; a clear base with real 18k gold flecks. At £24.99 it was beyond my price range for a single bottle of nail varnish, so I was over the moon when I got it for my secret Santa gift this Christmas – thank you, Omar! *

Having seen some amazing combos for Skyfall and The Man With The Golden Gun, I decided to break it out yesterday for a trip to the Balmer Lawn hotel for a carvery lunch with my husband! We had our wedding reception here so it’s nice to come back – and I wore my new Amelia Check Doll Dress from Collectif too – you can see the gorgeous fabric in these photos:

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I love this top coat! It’s so opulent and beautiful – although I do feel a bit rotten when I have to take it off… It’s like throwing money away!

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(Delicious post-carvery Christmas pudding…)

I also had a trial run with my ’20s outfit for New Year – we’re doing a murder mystery and I’m going to be an AMERICAN FLAPPER. Very imaginative, I know… I’m wearing a navy Principles beaded dress with purple and gold Streamlined shoes from Miss L Fire (Christmas pressie from my hubbie), and I shall be wrapped in a dishevelled stole as per my character instructions. Here’s a bit of a preview:

20s outfit try-out

What are you guys doing to celebrate tonight? Let me know what you’re planning to wear – and have a Happy New Year!

* Yep, we always have a post-present reveal to work out who gave who what!

Christmas office party outfit

Bit late with this one, but I thought I’d post it, if only to show off my new Miss L Fire Monaco shoes! Although, it’s a bit hard to show them when the cat keeps wandering into the shot…

LK Bennett Mimi Dress 3 with Saffy

We went to the Coriander Lounge in Southampton, which is a great Indian restaurant (so great that Matt Le Tissier was there at the same time as us) that does amazing buffets. It wasn’t my office party (I work from home and the company is based in Dorset), it was actually for my husband’s work, but I know a lot of his colleagues fairly well and get on really well with them so I always look forward to it. And, I don’t have many reasons to dress up, so I have to take my chances when I can!

LK Bennett Mimi Dress 2

I wore an L.K. Bennett Mimi Dress that I bought from eBay that has a shortened skirt (great LBD), Whistles Black Spot Tights (as worn by Kate Middleton – what do you think?), a red skinny waist belt from ASOS and a gold pendant from Peacocks. Oh, and those amazing Monaco shoes from Miss L Fire!

Miss L Fire Havana Shoes

I seriously don’t think I’ve loved a pair of shoes this much in years. They are AMAZING, and another leopard print item for me! They’re black suede though, so I’ve been too scared to wear them out most of the time, thanks to the disgustingly rainy weather we’ve been having. I love rain, but not on my shoes…

I also wore the eyeshadow from my Clarins Odyssey set, which I’ve been using pretty much every day during the holidays – the gold colour is amazing, and you can layer up as much as you like – either a really heavy coating, or a light sparkle all over the lids.

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Not pictured is a Christmas pudding hair clip I bought from Sainsbury’s that my husband requested I wear at the last minute – which everyone loved! Sadly, my shoes were under the table most of the evening, but I knew they were amazing, so that was enough for me…