Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Shortcut to an Undercut

No, I'm not saying I'm the birth child of Grimes (repping everything I want in hair and life) and Cara Delevingne (source of hair inspo and a lot of insecurity).. This is a diagram to illustrate today's beauty experiment. Jeez, I need to stop cropping myself into photos next to beautiful people :xxxxxxxx

All in the name of science, I'm going to be recreating the 'neck undercut' look without touching an electric trimmer - or rather, try to do so. For science. 

The concept: 'Soft naff' - A term I've coined to explain the concept behind a neck undercut: It's as edgy and alternative as a traditional sidecut, but when sported with a dodgy bun and a grotty bomber jacket, it brings out a chavvy androgyny that's got 'street style' written all over it - very rare. Androgyny is normally a 'catwalk only' thing, often written in flashing lights with gothic undertones. I personally find the opposing subtlety of a neck undercut to be  faaabulous, and so I had to try one for myself - minus the nerves, dedication and awkward growing out of the real, shaven thing. Hence, I've come up with my own version - refer to my diagram above for the full idea - combining both the sectioning of an undercut with the principals of cornrows (do you like my logical lingo??????). Cara D did it last year at the Met Gala Ball, and now I'm looking to do the same - just on a different part of my head.

The Nitty Gritty: This took many a bobby pin, bobbin, elastic, comb, etc.. It also took a considerable amount of time, but I'm guessing that's because I was cornrowing for the first time, and I couldn't see what I was doing - this is where having two mirrors would come in handy. I started by sectioning my hair in a straight, straight line from one ear to the other, tying the top half of hair up out of the way. I then carried out the cornrow process (see the tutorial below - if I tried to explain it in my own words I would probably cause your reading device to implode with confusion, create a black hole, end the world, etc... I'm doing this for your sake). I did so starting at the base of my neck, working upward until I reached the upper section of hair, where I tied the braid off with a wee elastic.

The Result: I ended up with a mock undercut pretty close to what I had initially visualised, which was great! However, this is definitely a hairstyle that you'll do better on a friend than on yourself - eugh. I would advise anyone who wants to try out the look to get the braids as tight as possible also, just for neatness and a longer lasting style - having said that, I managed to wash my hair, sleep in it and wear it for a full day before taking it out, but that was moreso to do with personal preference than its upkeep. I'm sure I could've gone another day or two.

So, will you be trying out the fundercut? (Faux undercut - emphasis on 'FUN')

Whilst doing research, I found out that Paul Smith did something similar for his SS12 show - but they hid the plaits. So, can I claim it as my own invention or?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Playlist: Current Faves #7

 Songs are as follows:
Lykke Li//Gunshot
Saint Motel//Just My Type
Emika//Wicked Game
Grimes Ft. Blood Diamonds//Go

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sparkly Dress and Nets

Do you ever see something in a shop and think, 'That's like something you'd find in American Apparel!' but it's got a much more attractive price tag? It's wonderful. That's what happened to me when I came across this dress; Its fabric and fit is amazing, but it cost under €15. What's more, I found it in the kids' section during one of those shopping days where you're feeling very optimistic about where you'll find something. (Side note: Everything I bought that day was from the kids' section...)

The dress is from H&M. It's fabulous, because it's got such a casual, free and easy fit but its fabric says otherwise. The netted top is from Penneys, and the spikey choker I've got on was originally a headband from Claire's. The boots, which I am debutting once again for the more chilly months, are from River Island. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blue Eyebrows - because I can

Obligatory introduction - skip if you please: When I first began blogging, I had this idea that I was going to cover several areas that appealed to me - or rather, I thought appealed to me. I was going to cover fashion, moodboards, beauty, monthly favourites, tags, wishlists.. But as I settled into the rhythm of it all and got my footing, I realised that some posts gave me greater.. (get ready for this term, lads!) creative satisfaction than others; Generally the ones that I felt were 'outside' my comfort zone; The ones that made me feel like I was standing out a little bit, not following the cookie-cutter blog format. So, obviously it made sense for me to drop anything that didn't feel or seem to be worthwhile; For that reason, beauty fell by the wayside. Maybe it's the fact that I'm not amazing with makeup, that my skin's problematic, that I can't afford high-end products, that I don't have the correct lighting, that I don't feel particularly creative writing product reviews or a combination of all these things that kept me away from it. All I know is that when I wrote about beauty, it didn't do a whole lot for my writer's soul - It was like I was just following the textbook girly blogger format. I'm not saying that I'm somehow one in a million with my OOTDs, nor am I slating beauty bloggers (ye're doing a great job!) but I personally feel like I have something more to offer in what I'm doing now.

But I think I may have found a way to incorporate some sort of beauty material in a way that I enjoy, as well as you readers out there enjoying: BEAUTY EXPERIMENTS! What does this mean, you ask? My answer: Putting crap on my face in a way that is unusual, seeing if it works, and learning from it. The concept involves zero professionalism, and zilch commercialism too - Which means if something goes wrong, you've been warned, and also that I'm not going to disclose the products I used by their brand or colour, etc - unless the experiment is product specific or it's a speciality product.

The whole point of this segment will be to open my - and your - mind to all the possibilites of makeup and beauty, without breaking the bank or being judged; This is all a bit of a laugh, after all!
So, without further ado, here is Beauty Experiment #1 - Please do let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more stuff like this. BE CONSTRUCTIVE! 

Idk what the whole scarf thing I've got going on is about - I thought it brought out the brows.
All in the name of science, I'm going to be turning my eyebrows a highly unnatural shade of blue - or rather, try to do so. For science. 

The concept: Blue eyebrows. WHY BRONAGH, WHY?! Because. Someday, when you wake up craving some space buns and holographic err'thang as I do on a daily basis, you'll need a side of blue brows with that. Or pink, purple, green.. Maybe a rainbow. It's a life skill, guys. And they look fairly badass, right?

The nitty-gritty: Now that I've convinced you that blue eyebrows are a necessity, how do we achieve them? Or rather, how did I attempt to achieve them? From what I've seen of unnaturally coloured brows, people seem to either dye them or put some eyeshadow/eyeliner on there. But, I've got a problem with that: Dye is pretty longterm (as in, dealing with the effects for over 24 hours) and eyeshadow/liner doesn't adhere to the hairs; It simply fills in the gaps, giving a mixed up, two-tone effect if the product doesn't match the hairs - the colour doesn't reach optimal level.

Therefore, I've gone for some colour mascara to do the job - it coats the hairs perfectly, without dilluting the colour. First I dabbed a little concealer (not so necessary if you want a more dull colour) on the hairs, and then ran the mascara wand against the grain of the hair, getting to the roots. I then settled the hairs back to their usual position, going over any spots I had missed with the colour.

The result: Well, blue brows! A little strange to look at, but then again, staring at any brows for more than thirty seconds makes me feel uncomfortable. The hairs don't look too clumpy as mascaras sometimes can, but then again, any trouble there could be fixed with some good ole' picking. Gross but fun - admit it. 

As coloured mascaras are hard to come by at a friendly price, I feel obliged to tell you that I used one by Essence - and they've got it in several other colours too. Deadly! Collect 'em all..

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Inspo: Colour for the Modernist

Forget selective colour coding and clashes - we're going all out, now. Secondary and tertiary colours are taking a huge stand in this moodboard, as you can see. I'm looking forward to finding ways to work this vibe into clothing, and striking a balance between huge volumes of intriguing colour whilst still looking current. Black's been taking over everyone's wardrobes lately, what with minimalism which - as much as I love it - needs to be shaken up with some COLOUR. Tiles, modern buildings and paint strokes are all A+ sources of inspiration for this new approach.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Goth Prom Feat. Fanny Crown

I look like a garden knome next to this regal creature, but I really needed to show you the similarity in shape.. See?
 Let me give this whole thing some context: Last February, I took part in the Junk Kouture competition which requires students to make an entire outfit by themselves, from rubbish. (I've talked about it before - check it here!)  Myself and my team mates Caoilfhionn and Emma all spent hours on end labouring over our outfit, and the time we spent together became a highlight of the year for me. Whilst our level of sanity decreased when carrying out tedious work, we came up with quite a few nonsensical but now precious inside jokes - one of which was the concept of 'Goth Prom'. On one particular day when I was trying on the outfit and inspecting our work in the mirror, I coined the idea, muttering it under my breath. It stuck for the rest of the year, pretty much.

So, when I was invited by the wonderful people at Fanny Crown to write about - and maybe even win - one of their dresses, this idea immediately came to mind.. Although it was difficult to stick to, as there were so many other beautiful dresses in every style conceivable. It's not just limited to proms/debs dresses either; I could've done a Goth Bride post if really I wanted to! And if ordering such an important dress online makes anyone feel a little anxious about sizing, never fear - you can include your measurements in your order, so the dress can be tailor-made. They also offer for the dresses to be made in every colour under the sun.. The world is your oyster, formal-dress-fiends! 

After much thought and consideration, I picked out the I Am Mermaid Strapless Designer Dress for my fantasy Goth Prom ensemble. It was pretty shocking to see how much it reminded me of the dress we made for Junk Kouture. Although our dress was unsymmetrical and maybe even a little unflattering, the similarity in shape is definitely there. Funnily enough, people always (jokingly?) told me that I should wear the Junk Kouture dress to my Debs.. I always scoffed at them, saying that there was no way I would wear such a rough-and-ready dress to such an event. However, this Fanny Crown dress is the perfect nod to 'the glory days', whilst also being far from embarrassing!

I  think my favourite thing about the dress is its contrast in textures - I adore the petal-like peplum element to it along the waist, and how it progresses downwards into the lace - which breaks up the black beautifully. It's safe to say I've never seen anyone turn up to a Debs/Prom in anything like it before.

Fanny Crown Dress//Jeffrey Cambpell Shoes//Accessorize Earrings//Alexander McQueen Chunky Necklace//Regal Rose Ring//Alexander McQueen Clutch

This dress does itself enough justice on its own, but I've accessorised it here to make it stand up to the dark, angsty world of Goth Prom.  I feel like I've got to address the Jeffrey Campbell shoes I've included in my mood board first, as they're not very conventional Debs shoes - but then again, what about being a goth is relevant to traditional Debutante wear?! These shoes are a comment on modern society and conform... Duh - and the platform's a nice nod to the iconic, rough 'n' tough Goth Stompers. Aren't they fabulous? I've also picked out a gorgeous Alexander McQueen clutch, which has a distinct shape that brings out the petal layering in the dress very nicely. It's also got some colour in it, which will work well with the jewellery and makeup I've selected. Speaking of jewellery: I've gone for all-silver, and deep red gemstones (links are all in the caption).

Makeup inspo on upper left//Hair inspo on lower right and centre//Nails? Well, you can see them.. hm.
As far as hair and beauty goes, you can guess that my goth self would not be opting for a tan - perhaps rather, the opposite! Are there methods for going paler? HA. I've steered clear of black lippie to keep the look from going too harsh, but the deep reds coming from jewellery and the clutch we previously discussed come through big time here - On the eyes, the lips, and the nails. I particularly love the makeup from Dior Fall 2010 (pictured above), and I think something like this would look great with the outfit. As for hair, I've opted for an updo that looks soft and delicate - like the Dolce and Gabbana hair above - minus the flowers. I'd add some tiny plaits in interesting formations instead (picture on bottom right). And nails?! What goth look wouldn't be complete without  darkly coloured claws?

Fun fact: Cinderella was actually a goth and loved Hallowe'en - that's why she went to the ball (GOTH PROM) in a pumpkin. Bleedin' Disney..

OH, and an added bonus! If you're looking for a formal dress any time soon (until the 15th September specifically) you can get 15% off by using the coupon code BTTFOURWALLS14 on the Fanny Crown website. Cheers!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Autumn Infused Angst

Now maybe it's just the dark lippie talking, but this outfit is the kind of outfit that is best accessorized with a cute lil' sulk. It's got some cold weather vibes to it too, making it a spot-on 'It's autumn and I'm not sure how I feel about this' look - which sums me up perfectly right now. School's around the corner, and facing up to that fact is proving to be a bit of a nightmare for me - but I guess I'm no exception. It seems all anyone can say as soon as August rolls around is, 'We've got school in like 3 weeks...' Cue groans and some inconsolable crying. Anxious teens everywhere: Unite!

Both my jumper and my skirt are second hand. The choker/necklace is from Topshop, and my Dr Marten shoes are, ironically, my school shoes. Full circle?

Some less serious pictures to lighten the mood - Believe it or not, school didn't even cross my mind when I took the pic on the left; I just lost my balance leaning on the wall behind. Hm.