Hair History: Part 2

30.11.12

I didn't intend to leave quite so long between the first installment and this post, but I seem to have been rather busy this month and trawling through the horrors of over a thousand Facebook photos of myself got pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. But anyway, here it is: my hair history from 2008 until now. It seems, though, that I've had pretty much the exact same hairstyle for the last 4 years, just at varying lengths. Oh, and I've also taken a leaf out of Lynne's book as I couldn't be bothered asking all my friends if they would mind appearing on my blog, so instead I have replaced their faces with the faces of minor celebrities (it seemed like a hilarious idea in my head?). Bonus points to anyone who can name them all!

1. This was my 18th birthday so it was a couple of months after I had started university, and maybe 5 or 6 months after the last photo from Part 1. The pob had grown out a bit, I quite liked it at this length.
2. The front part was starting to get pretty long though, and seemed to grow a lot faster than the back.
3. Decided to cut it into a proper bob so it was the same length all over.
4. WHAT is going on with my fringe here? Also my face. But mostly my fringe. Why is there a tiny short bit at one side? Why is it so gappy? So many unanswered questions.

5. Hair is still in a single length bob, fringe is still looking weird. I think I was maybe trying to go for an asymmetrical kind of thing. It clearly wasn't working though. I think this is also me attempting to smile. HA. I'm definitely not a smiler, as you will probably be able to tell from all the ridiculous pouting going on in this post.
6. We've now reached summer 2009 and my hair's still pretty short, but I've cut some layers into it so it's a bit messier. I actually really liked it this style/length, quite tempted to get all my hair cut off now. Somebody stop me.
7. Oh look, the bunches are back. Nah just kidding. This was obviously 'school disco' fancy dress, and I was attempting to recreate the hairstyle of my 14 year old self. Think I did quite well in that respect.
8. Hair is definitely in the shoulder-length category now. All signs of the mutant tiny fringe have gone.

9. Ah, this was a good and extremely drunk night out for one of my friend's birthdays. Woke up the next morning with my hair full of cheese and the underwire missing from one side of my bra. Isn't life mysterious? Hair was looking relatively decent, though, apart from the Dreaded Fringe Gap which always appeared on nights out.
10. Grew a moustache for a bit.
11. Fringe was looking pretty weird at this point. I always insisted on parting it slightly to the side, even though my natural parting is pretty much straight down the middle. As a result, my fringe looks like it's not really part of the rest of my hair. WERID.
12. This was November 2010 and my hair is getting towards what I would consider "long". This photo was taken a few hours before I ended up the drunkest I have ever been in my entire life - notice the extremely full glasses of free wine. My flatmate and I were absolutely steaming, so much so that complete strangers were offering us their seats and bringing us glasses of water from the bar (or so I'm told, have no memory of anything). We then decided to go home but instead of getting a taxi home we literally crawled through the Meadows in about 2 feet of snow. Both extremely safe and incredibly classy, always my motto in life. HAHAHA.

13. It's now almost a year later and I am now older but quite clearly not any wiser - that is what I can only assume is a pint of vodka in front of me. Hair is starting to get really long, and I cut in a few shorter layers to break it up a bit. Oh, and what's that you say? You've always wanted to see a picture of me and Big Brother 6 winner Anthony Hutton? WELL NOW YOU CAN. I was on a night out and he was randomly in the club having what I imagine was a nice evening out with a group of his friends. So of course I did the extremely embarrassing thing of going up and asking him for a photo. Hilarity.
14. You'll probably notice that my hair has been straight in every single one of these photos, because I am completely useless at curling my hair. Bought a curling wand and the results were fairly rubbish. Fringe is also pretty grown out by now.
15. A haaaaa. Curled hair that actually looks good. All thanks to the Enrapture Encode Totem Styler. Everyone needs one of these. If I can curl my hair with them, anyone can. Wore my hair like this most of the time for the last few months which made a nice change from straight hair.
16. And now we have reached present day. Got a bit sick of my rubbish, sort of grown out fringe and got a straight across one cut in. Hair is ridiculously long now. It's pretty much the first thing people say to me if they haven't seen me in a while, "oh my god your hair is amazing, it's soooo long now". Thanks, I grew it myself.

Phew! Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind tour through my adventures in exciting hairstyles (or lack thereof). If you've done a similar post them please do leave a comment as I'd love to read them!

Gillian x

Mixtape: November

28.11.12


November mixtape // via Spotify

November usually means essay season so my music tastes have to be suitably slow and and non-distracting. There are always lots of acoustic guitars and weary-sounding voices. Dark nights, warm beds and sleepy playlists are heavenly.

Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room // Hurricane Season
The Lumineers // Submarines
Roxy Music // Jealous Guy
Mogwai // Summer (Priority Version)
Yazoo // Only You
Band of Horses // The Funeral
David Gray // This Years Love
The Beta Band // Dry The Rain
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club // Devil's Waitin'
Paolo Nutini & The Chieftains // Hard Times Come Again No More
Listen to "November" here.

Gillian x

Outfit: All Wrapped Up

26.11.12

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Dress: Zalando*
Snood: Next
Earrings: Ginger Pickle
Leather Jacket: French Connection*
Belt: New Look
Boots: Rocket Dog

Ah, isn't this dress just the best? It has everything I could want from a dress - sleeves, skater skirt, elasticated waist, stripes, and POCKETS! When Zalando.co.uk recently got in touch about reviewing a product from their site I was very happy to see this dress in their online store. It's like a much better version of a dress I already own (this one, in fact) but never wear because it's indecently short and indecently low cut. The Zalando one, which is actually from the brand Joules, is the perfect length and is made from a good quality stretchy jersey fabric. It's nice and cosy so is great for layering up with scarves and jackets in this cold weather, but it would also be great with bare legs and rolled up sleeves in the summer.

Zalando wasn't a site I had ever used before, but I was very impressed with their service so I will definitely be using them again. They are the top store of their kind in Germany and have recently opened a UK website which sells everything from gorgeous women's clothing to a big selection of shoes, accessories and beauty products, as well as having men's and kids sections. It's a bit like ASOS - they sell clothing from Zalando's own collection as well as from popular labels and some less well known brands. The website was easy to navigate and there was a huge selection of products to choose from, and delivery was quick (and, best of all, free!).

As for the rest of my outfit, I've kept it fairly cosy and casual with the addition of a knitted snood. I got this for Christmas a couple of years ago but just shoved it to the back of a drawer and forgot about it, but I rediscovered it a few weeks ago and have been wearing it non-stop ever since. It's so easy to chuck on and, unlike scarves, it doesn't get tangled up in my hair/the straps of my bag. Definitely need some more snoods in my life! I'm also wearing a rather lovely pair of Ginger Pickle earrings. I never usually wear dangly earrings, but when I saw these in the Ginger Pickle shop I fell in love with them a little bit. How cute is the dainty little cross?

Have you shopped at Zalando before?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #48

25.11.12

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1.Hot chocolate in my Christmas mug 2.Homemade Smarties cookies 3.Spicy peanut soba noodles with honey & sesame chicken 4.Minestrone soup

I'm afraid this Sunday Summary post is going to be rather short and sweet as I haven't had time to do much of anything this week, apart from uni work. I've even been so busy that I've only had time to take four Instagram photos - shocking, eh? All my deadlines are creeping closer and I'm starting to get a bit worried that I'm not going to get it all done in time. I'm not usually one to stress out about essays, but I seem to have left everything to the last minute this year so the next week or two aren't going to be very fun! I've got a 10 minute presentation to do on Tuesday which I haven't even started the reading for yet, and then an essay due on Friday which I haven't started writing yet. Then I've got a little while to sort the next lot of essays out, which are due on the 10th and the 13th of December. I can't wait to be done!

So apart from essay reading I haven't really done anything, gone anywhere or seen anyone this week. Probably the most exciting thing I've done was bake some cookies, thanks to Sarah's recipe. I decided to swap the milk chocolate for Smarties and I only made half the quantity, although I've eaten rather a lot of them already so maybe I should have just made the full amount! I would definitely recommend trying the recipe as it makes the perfect sweet and chewy cookies.

What have you all been up to this week? Please tell me lots of exciting stories so I can live vicariously through you - SO bored right now!

Gillian x

Outfit: Tartanry

21.11.12

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Tartan shirt: River Island
Belt: H&M
Leggings: Topshop
Boots: Ebay
Ring: H&M

If you watched my haul video from a couple of days ago, you might have noticed this shirt make an appearance. I've been after a nice red tartan/checked shirt for ages so when I spotted this beaut in River Island I had to have it. It was sold out online, and when I was in the shop last week it was on the 'Last Chance' rail so I ended up getting it a couple of sizes bigger than my normal size as it was the only one left. But as it's worked out, I actually think I prefer it being a bit oversized as it's nice and slouchy and comfy and means I can just wear it with a pair of leggings (oh, and it's back in stock online now if you fancy your own one!). Rolling up the sleeves and adding a skinny belt stops it from looking too tent-like.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate these beautiful boots? I'm trying to get as much wear out of them as possible at the moment because I fear they won't be the most sensible of shoes to wear come frosty and snowy mornings! The heel doesn't look too high, but this is probably the highest heel I would wear for the daytime because, to be honest, I'm quite lazy and walking in heels takes that extra 10% of effort that I just can't be bothered to give. But on the other hand, they're not quite high enough/'dressy' enough to wear on a night out - totally contradicts what I just said I know, but for some reason walking in heels seems a lot easier when I'm very drunk?! - however, I think they'll be perfect for evenings at the pub or meals out once I don't want to wear them in the daytime any more.

Accessories wise, I've kept this outfit pretty plain as I suppose the shirt stands out on its own. I have, however, added a lovely little stag ring from H&M - got to stick with the Highland theme! All I need now is a set of bagpipes and a wee Scotty dog and I'm pretty much a walking, talking advert for Scottish tourism. This outfit is extremely relevant to the essay I'm attempting to write just now for my Scotland & Heritage class - I definitely deserve extra credit.

Are you a fan of the tartan trend?

Gillian x

Blog Design Tips #3: Create a Blog Grab Button

19.11.12


I never know what to call these little buttons/banners but I'm sure you all know what I mean - a small banner for other bloggers to use to advertise your blog in their own sidebars or ad swap pages. I've seen quite a few people asking on Twitter lately how to make them, and they're actually pretty easy to do. All you need is an image editing programme of some kind (I usually use Photoshop but you don't need anything as fancy as that - for this tutorial I'll be using GIMP which is pretty easy to use and can be downloaded for free) and an image or colour scheme you want to use.

So, firstly, open GIMP and click on File >> New and select the size of your image. 200 x 200 pixels is a good size which will fit in most blog sidebars. A new window will open with your blank image, so now you can start building your banner.

Start by adding a background colour. Click on the Paint Bucket tool, then choose a colour by clicking on the Foreground Colour swatch. You can then use the colour picker to choose a colour, or enter the hex code if you know the specific colour you want to use. It's a good idea to use the same colour scheme as you have on your blog so it is recognisable. Once you've selected a colour, click anywhere on the canvas with the paint bucket tool to fill it in.

Next we're going to add some text. Select the Text Tool from the menu then in the Tool Options change the settings to your preferred font face, size and colour. DaFont is a great place to look for free fonts if you want something a little nicer than the default fonts available. Once you're happy with the font, click on the canvas to create a new text box and type in your blog name. If you want text on more than one line, it is easiest to create separate text boxes so you can move them around independently. Just click anywhere else on the canvas to create a new text box.

Once you've added your text, you'll probably want to move it around to be aligned properly. To do this, click on the Move Tool and in Tool Options make sure Move the Active Layer is selected. In the Layers Palette on the right, select the layer you want to move, then click on the canvas and drag the layer to its new position. In the image above, the yellow box shows where the text used to be and the grey box shows where it is now.

If you just wanted a simple banner, you could leave it as it is now but I'm going to add a few extra elements. First, I'm going to add a coloured rectangle behind the text. Select the Rectangle Tool then create a New Layer in the Layers Palette. You want the new layer to be behind the text but above the background, so use the green arrows to move the layer up or down to get it in the right position. Then click and drag your mouse over the canvas to create the outline of your shape. Fill it in by selecting the Paint Bucket tool again (you may need to change the foreground colour again) and clicking in the highlighted rectangle.

Next, I'm going to add an image to the banner. You could use part of your blog header, a profile picture, your blog's logo etc. etc. Open the image you want to use in a separate document (or create a new image and paste it in). As the background of my banner is purple, I want to remove the white from around my illustration. Hide the background layer by clicking on the eye icon to make the background transparent so it's easier to see what you're doing. Then, making sure the top layer is selected in the Layers Palette, click on the Magic Wand Tool and then click on the areas you want to remove and press the delete button on your keyboard. Once you've removed all the white areas, press Ctrl + A to select the whole layer then press Ctrl + C to copy it. Go back to your original document and press Ctrl + V to paste the illustration into the banner.

The illustration will have pasted into the banner as a Floating Selection - to make it into a proper layer, right click on it in the Layers Palette and select To New Layer. Now we can resize the illustration so it fits onto the banner. Click on the Scale Tool and check the Keep Aspect box to make sure the illustration doesn't get distorted whilst resizing. Then, making sure the corrected layer is highlighted, click on the canvas and a resizing grid will appear. Drag the corners to get it to the size you want then click on Scale once you're happy and it will change to the new size.

Once all the elements of your banner have been added, go back to the Move Tool to rearrange them. Instead of having my text centred, I moved it to the right to fit in my illustration as well. I also added an extra coloured rectangle at the bottom, and some extra text to describe my blog. You may need to rearrage the layers to get the correct ones on top, but this can easily be done by clicking and dragging the layers in the Layers Palette or using the green arrows. You can also resize any of the elements using the Scale Tool. Once you're finished, click on File >> Export to save your image. I usually save my images as .png files as I find they are better quality than .jpgs.


And that's it! Now all you need to do is upload it using an image hosting service like TinyPic and paste the HTML code into your sidebar. If you want to make a code for other people to use, just use the textarea tag to create a box with your code in it - you can use the code below as your basis. Add in the URLs of your blog and image where appropriate, and change the dimensions of the image if necessary. The top section of code will display the image in your blog, the bottom section will display the text box underneath it for people to copy & paste your code.

<a href="YOUR BLOG URL">
<img src="YOUR IMAGE URL" />
</a>

<br>

<textarea rows="5" cols="25">
<a href="YOUR BLOG URL" target="_blank">
<img src="YOUR IMAGE URL" height="200" width="200" alt="BLOG NAME" />
</a>
</textarea>


I hope that all made sense and has helped those of you who weren't sure how to create customised banners before! Once you get used to using the programme, it will become much quicker and easier to create all sorts of blog-related graphics. You can use the same ideas outlined here to create headers, navigation buttons, profile picture graphics etc. Please do let me know if you have any questions!

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #47

18.11.12

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1.Christmas tree in Jenners 2.New tartan jammies from Primark 3.MAC Rebel lipstick 4.Grilled lobster from Ondine 5.Fake fur weather 6.Christmas decorations in The Dome 7.Rugby at Murrayfield 8.Cocktails and Christmas lights 9.Prosecco

Well, this post is looking rather unintentionally Christmassy! Despite all the Christmas TV adverts and the decorations starting to appear everywhere, it doesn't really feel like it's 5 weeks until Christmas. I think I will start to feel a lot more festive once all my essays for university are out of the way. I've been trying to do some work on them this weekend, but haven't really got very far yet! I am, however, very much looking forward to the Scottish Bloggers Christmas Party in a couple of weeks, which is being organised by Roisin and Gill. I can't wait to see everyone again amidst cocktails and party games, now I just need to decide whether to go for a sparkly party dress or deck myself out in Christmas knitwear, what do you think?! (P.S. If you'll be in Glasgow on the 10th December and fancy coming along, be sure to tweet the ladies or email bloggerchristmasparty@hotmail.com for some more info!).

As I mentioned in last week's Sunday Summary post, my parents were down visiting so it was nice to see them and be treated to a few belated birthday celebrations. We went to see the Scotland v. New Zealand rugby match on the Sunday which was really good, even if we did lose! On Tuesday I went along to The Dome with my mum and my aunt for afternoon tea - well, I say afternoon tea but it was more afternoon prosecco and cocktails. I'd never been to The Dome before (although I had admired it many a time whilst standing outside in the queue for Why Not!) so it was nice to finally go in and see what the fuss was all about. The Christmas decorations were insane, I wouldn't like to think about how much electricity they must use up! Before my parents went home on Wednesday, we managed to fit in another meal out, this time at Ondine. This was the first time we had been and the food was amazing, would definitely recommend a visit if you're in Edinburgh and a fan of seafood.

On Thursday, I was in town at an archive for some uni work so decided to take advantage of the late night shopping on the way home and bought myself some new things. I haven't been clothes shopping since about September, so I think it was well deserved! I didn't actually end up buying that much, but there did seem to be an awful lot of tartan things in my shopping bags! I got a really nice tartan shirt from River Island which will no doubt make an appearance on the blog soon as I think it will end up being one of those things I wear all the time. I also got a really nice (and cheap) tartan scarf from Primark, and the pyjamas (nightie?) pictured above which I basically haven't taken off all weekend!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Review: Collin Resultime Mini Facial Kit

16.11.12

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Lately I've been more and more interested in skincare, so I was of course happy to oblige when the lovely people at Collin offered to send me this Mini Facial Kit to review recently. I received a kit specifically tailored to my skin type, for normal/dehydrated skin, as well as some very helpful instructions which explained what all the products were and how to use them. Collin is an exclusive French skincare brand which has a wide variety of products available to suit all skin types and concerns, and can be purchased from salons across the UK.

So how does the kit work? The first step is to cleanse your face with the Refreshing Cleansing Milk, which has a light creamy consistency and you can feel it practically melting away the remains of any makeup. Next up is the Refreshing Toning Mist which, as the name suggests, felt really refreshing and gentle on my skin, unlike some toners which can feel a bit too harsh. The next step is to apply the first of the masks, the Granular Intense Exfoliating Scrub. It's a cream with small exfoliating granules which is applied all over the face and neck and then left for around 5 minutes for the enzymes to work and then, with damp fingers, you exfoliate in circular motions to remove any dead skin. I loved the smell of this scrub, it reminded me a bit of Parma Violets which I know aren't to everyone's taste but I love them! It also made my skin feel noticeably a lot smoother and softer. The next step is to apply the Immediate Hydration Mask all over the face, including the lips and eyes. I always kind of forget that lips are included in skincare, so I thought this was a really useful step to include! After you've left it for 5 minutes, massage it into your skin then rinse off. Then massage the Dehydrated Skin Intensive Concentrate into the face, followed by the Smoothing Anti Fatigue Eye Gel around the eye area. The concentrate felt really moisturising on my skin, and sank in really quickly rather than just sitting on the top of my skin. To finish the facial off, apply either the High Diffusion Hydrating Cream or Gel Cream, depending on preference. I tried both products and didn't notice a huge difference between them, but I prefer the slightly lighter consistency of the Gel Cream so would probably opt for that one.

Considering there are quite a lot of steps involved, the whole routine took a lot less time than I was expecting - around half an hour in total. It's not something I could be bothered to do every day, but definitely once a week or so as a bit of a treat for my skin. All the products felt really luxurious and I found it strangely fun playing around with all the lotions and potions and pretending I was in a real salon! After using the Mini Facial Kit my skin felt so much smoother and more hydrated. It made my skin feel and look much nicer for the following couple of days after using it, and if used regularly I think it would definitely improve my skin in the longer term.

If I could afford it, I would love to purchase all of these products and incorporate them in to my regular skincare routine. However, as I'm on a student budget and most of the products are somewhere between the £20-40 range, I think I would be more likely to choose a couple of my favourite items rather than the whole kit. The cleanser and toner would be great 'everyday' skincare purchases, and I really loved how the Granular Intense Exfoliating Scrub and the Dehydrated Skin Intensive Concentrate made my skin feel, so they would be good when my skin was in need of a bit of a pick-me-up.

Have you tried any Collin products?

Gillian x

Review: Revlon Lip Butter in Macaroon

14.11.12

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Revlon Lip Butter in Macaroon // £7.99

I'm sure this product needs no introduction, the Revlon Lip Butters are a bit of a cult favourite amongst bloggers. I had been meaning to buy one for ages but never quite got round to it, so when I did a Boots 3 for 2 order recently I decided to treat myself to one. I had seen quite a lot of reviews of the lighter, pinkier shades like Strawberry Shortcake and Berry Smoothie, but hadn't seen so much about this shade, Macaroon. It's a gorgeous reddish-pink shade, which suits my pale skin really well.

The formula is very light and moisturising so it's easy to apply quickly without a mirror, just like you would a lip balm. I found it was surprisingly pigmented, considering it is just a glorified lip balm. It gives a good, solid colour without looking too 'done up' like lipstick does, so it's great for wearing during the day. It can be applied very lightly to give a subtle hint of colour, or a bit more heavily to achieve a brighter look. I found that a light swatch of this looks quite red, but as you build it up on your lips it starts to look a bit more pink. Because of the nature of the formula, it is necessary to reapply every couple of hours - but I wasn't really expecting it to have the staying power of a lipstick so I think it does pretty well!

One thing I was slightly surprised about was the fact it has tiny flecks of gold glitter running through it. For some reason I expected the Lip Butters to be a solid colour, not sure why! At first I was put off by the thought of shimmery lips, but it's actually quite a subtle effect and just helps to reflect the light rather than make your lips look glittery.

Overall, I would really recommend Macaroon as it's a lovely shade which is perhaps a bit more suitable for winter than some of the other more summery colours in the Lip Butter range. It's really easy to wear and requires very little effort to apply, which is always a good thing in my opinion! Although it does need to be reapplied a few times throughout the day, the colour payoff is great and it feels lovely and moisturising on the lips.

What's your favourite Lip Butter shade?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #46

11.11.12

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1.Raindow bookshelves 2.MAC order 3.Birthday flowers 4.Carrot cake 5.Valvona & Crolla hot chocolate 6.Thai beef salad from Passorn 7.Testing out Collin skincare goodies 8.Ribeye steak with caramelised onions, homemade potato wedges and vegetables 9.Book of Dreams

This week's Sunday Summary is going to be a bit of a quick one as I'm just about to leave the flat to go and see the Scotland v. New Zealand rugby match that's on at Murrayfield today. As it was my birthday this week, my parents have come down for a wee visit and so we're going to go watch the rugby this afternoon. I'm like 90% sure that Scotland are going to lose but it's always fun to go an watch anyway! My auntie is also visiting at the moment so we all went out for a lovely meal to Passorn, an amazing Thai restaurant 2 seconds away from my flat, and some cocktails at the Dragonfly last night. I do love it when the parents come to visit and treat me to nice meals out!

For my actual birthday on Wednesday I didn't do anything too wild (getting too old for that, *SOB*) but just had a few friends round to share a takeaway and watch some DVDs. I had a lovely evening and it was nice not to wake up with a hangover the next day, for once! My friends also brought round a birthday cake which we didn't end up eating on the night as we were too stuffed full of takeaway, but I have been pretty much living off it since then - very healthy!

Aside from that, life has been very quiet. It's only just dawned on me how much uni work I have to do within the next month, so that is kind of freaking me out a bit right now! I have three essays due before this time next month and I haven't even started the reading for any of them yet. In fact, I haven't even chosen a question for any of them yet. OH NO. I'm sure it'll all be fine, but I just seem to have so many other things to deal with at the moment that I haven't even had a second to think about essays yet. I've really been enjoying my course so far, so I hope having to get these essays done doesn't spoil the fun of it all!

Well I better get going now, need to attempt to find some warm clothes and dig out a pair of gloves as I'll be sitting outside for the next 3 or 4 hours. Nice. Anyway, what have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Review: GHD Final Shine Spray

9.11.12

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ghd Final Shine Spray // £9.95*

Since getting my fringe cut in a couple of weeks ago, I've slightly changed my usual hair routine. For the last few months I had been using my Enrapture Totem Styler a lot to curl my hair, but with a straight-across fringe I much prefer a sleeker look. I was recently sent this ghd Final Shine Spray to review and it couldn't have come at a better time, as it has now become part of my new daily hair routine.

The spray is meant to be applied to the hair after styling to give it extra shine and smooth down any stray hairs. I usually blow dry my fringe first, followed by the rest of my hair, then staighten it using my trusty ghd IV Styler (I think it's that one anyway, I've had them for so long I can't actually remember!) and finish up with a quick spritz of the Final Shine Spray. My hair is naturally quite shiny anyway but this spray definitely makes it noticeably even shinier, making my hair look healthy and sleek. It also does a great job of reducing static and smoothing down flyaway hairs. My hair doesn't really need hairspray to keep it in place, but I often find myself using some to try and prevent static - I much prefer using the Final Shine Spray instead as it's much lighter and doesn't make my hair stiff or sticky.

Another thing I love about this product is the smell, I wish it came in a perfume version! When I was younger my mum got an Armani body spray for Christmas one year which she didn't want so she gave to me and I used to absolutely love it. It smelled exactly like this spray. So good! Much nicer than the usual horrible chemically smell that hairspray has - especially nasty when you accidentally breathe in whilst spraying it and it gets stuck in your throat!

Overall, I really love this product and can definitely see myself purchasing another one when this runs out. If I was just browsing the ghd shop myself then this product probably wouldn't have jumped out at me as lack of shine isn't really one of my main hair problems. But I'm really glad I had the chance to try it as it does a fantastic job of controlling static-y hair (which can be a total nightmare in the winter) as well as having the added bonus of making my hair super shiny.

Have you tried any ghd hair care products?

Gillian x

Wishlist: Godiva Boutique

8.11.12

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1.Black & White Coco Dress by Pop 2.Fair Isle Knit Jumper 3.Jackie O Style 1960s Vintage Dress 4.Death by Diamond & Pearl White Leather Stud Collar 5.Red Mutha Skull Sweatshirt 6.Black Sequin Snood by Irregular Choice

If you're from Edinburgh, or a regular visitor, you'll probably have come across Godiva Boutique before. Situated in the city's historic West Port, it's vintagey/indie vibe fits in perfectly. I've been in the shop myself a couple of times and when I got an email the other day about the opening of Godiva's online store it really reminded me of what a lovely wee shop it is - I definitely need to make the effort to pop in more often! Godiva recently launched their online boutique so now everyone can enjoy a spot of Edinburgh-based shopping from the comfort of your own home!

Godiva specialise in stocking independent designers from all across the UK as well as hand picked vintage pieces. There are lots of small, up-and-coming designers as well as some more recognisable names, like Irregular Choice. If you're a bit fed up of the highstreet and want something a bit more individual, Godiva is definitely a great place to look.

I've chosen a few of my favourite pieces from the current Autumn/Winter range to feature in this wishlist, I think I will definitely have to add a few of these to my Christmas list! I absolutely adore the 1960s Jackie O style dress, it's always good when someone else does the hard work to find the nice vintage pieces for you! I also love the black & white dress and sequin snood - I think they'd look great together with a brightly coloured coat to liven up a dreary winter day. The studded collar is gorgeous too, you know how us bloggers like our studs and our collars!

The lovely ladies at Godiva have very kindly organised a discount code for blog readers, so if you fancy getting 10% off your order just enter the code 'EMUSIK10' at the checkout. It's valid until the 8th of December, so that's the perfect excuse to get your Christmas shopping sorted early (or treat yourself to a present?!).

What are your favourite items from Godiva?

Gillian x

Hair History: Part 1

6.11.12

When I first thought about doing this post I thought it would be pretty funny, but looking back at these pictures it can only be described as mildly embarrassing, at best. I've also discovered that I've had way more hairstyles than I thought I had (although, to be fair, they're all pretty much variations of the same thing) so I've decided to split this post into two parts. This one will cover the early (i.e. most horrific) years, and the next post will be all about my more recent hairstyles. So let's travel back to 2004 and let the awfulness commence.

hair history 1
1. From when I was a child until the age of about 13 I had a straight across fringe. Became a rebellious teenager (erm) and spent ages growing it out. Had really long layers, it looked a bit boring but not too horrendous.
2. Wore my hair in bunches a lot. Also had terrible eyebrows.
3. Dyed my hair a slightly purpley colour, which wasn't really that different to my natural hair colour.
4. Dyed my hair a bit red instead. Still looked the same. (Bonus picture of some puppies).

hair history 2
5. Hair stayed at this rubbishy shoulder length for ages.
6. Was a bit moody. Didn't bother to do anything with the grown-out fringe.
7. More evidence of bunches. Nope, I've got no idea what is going on here either.
8. Finally decided to cut myself some kind of fringe. Also decided to cut my hair a bit shorter for good measure.
9. Put pink streaks in my hair using a home dye kit from Boots. Hooray! Also did a bit of posing in the kitchen, life was good.

hair history 3
10. DISASTER. Did not bleach my hair first, so the pink streaks turned orange. And stayed that way for the best part of two years.
11. Luminous ginger. Ugh.
12. Dyed my hair black to try and cover it up. (Look at how GIANT my computer in the background is).
13. It was very, very black. In fact, it was actually blue-black. The blue tinge tended to show up even more on the failure stripes.

hair history 4
14 & 15. The black dye started to fade pretty quickly. The ginge made a reappearance. Oh no. (Side note: apparently I put A LOT of effort into my philosophy notes. Time well spent, yeah?).
16. Tried cutting myself a choppy fringe and a bob. Ended up just looking a bit like a boy, really.
17. I must be about 15 or 16 by now, hair was starting to look a bit better by this point, the bob had grown in slightly and the straight across fringe was not too shabby. (Side note: really liked my English notes too, apparently).
18. Trying to use curlers was a bad idea, however. This monstrosity happened and I never curled my hair again for about 4 years. Eyebrows are also slowly starting to look a bit better.

hair history 5
19. Actually quite like my hair at this point. Almost back to my natural colour, messy fringe looked alright. Those pesky ginger streaks still tended to show up, however.
20. Those fringe-quiff things that used to be all the rage were definitely not my forte. Also thought I was good at makeup. Turns out, I was not good at makeup.
21. Practising my makeup for the 5th year prom. Look a bit like I should be in an 80s new romantics music video. Or, you know, an asylum of some sort. Hair looks not too bad, though.
22. GO AWAY ORANGE BITS, JUST GO AWAY I HATE YOU.

hair history 6
23. Then it came to the actual prom and I decided to dye my hair pure black and not style it in any way shape or form. Why why why. Also, these eyebrows make me sad. :(
24. After that disaster, decided to cut in a straight across fringe again. Didn't look to bad apart from the rather harsh blackness. (And the orange eyeshadow. WOT.)
25. Kept my fringe like this for a while, had a slight side sweepy thing going on. Pukey green eyeliner this time, nice.
26. Had been straightening my hair pretty much since straighteners were invented. Started to leave it natural sometimes.

hair history 7
27. By now I'm 17 and this is the longest my hair has been in years. Got a side-swept fringe and some layers, looking not to bad.
28. Then it's time for 6th year prom and another hair change. Got a 'pob' which was super-fashionable at the time (it was, I swear). I really liked it at the time, but looking back I'm not quite so sure. This was also the first time I'd been to an actual hairdresser probably since the start of this post, the rest was done by myself (can you tell?!). Oh and hello Mo'adore!

By now we have reached the end of sixth year. So, in conclusion, from the ages of about 14 to 17 I had pretty terrible hair. I dyed my hair quite a few times, but it was usually dark red, purple, brown or black - so not that different to my natural hair. I had a fringe for quite a lot of the time which I had actually forgotten about! It was also pretty short for most of the time. I love my long hair now, but I often get urges to chop it all off again. Stay tuned for part two of my hair history, from around 2008 to 2012!

PLEASE tell me you all had awful hair too? That would make me feel better.

Gillian x