Mar 05 2015

Beauty Bytes: My Hair Heroes

Beauty-hair-products-11One of my goals for 2015 is to feature more beauty on Fashionista Barbie, now don’t get too excited I won’t be bringing you make-up tutorials, but I will be sharing some of my favourite products, new items that have me excited, as well as tips and tricks from the professionals, I have already lined up a great expert panel covering hair, body and make-up. 

So first up we have my hair heroes, which basically covers everything a girl with long hair will need make their locks look healthy, shiny and perfect for styling. It seems a lot of products, but my favourite products are more than just about washing my hair, I’ve also included treatments and styling protectors that I like to keep on rotation. 

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These four products are the ultimate hair heroes, they are basically the items that I can’t live without, and trust me they are worth the cost. 

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo & Conditioner

These beauties are my favourite shampoo and conditioner, but sadly they cost a little more than standard products, with the shampoo setting you back £16.55, while the conditioner is £17.25, but the good thing is the 250ml bottles will last you a good 6 months if you don’t use it every day and alternate with your other shampoos. 

The products are really good for repairing chemically damaged hair, so whether you colour your hair or use a lot of heated products this range will be brilliant for you, as the argan oil and keratin will help restore damaged hair.

I think it depends on how damaged your hair is to how often you used these products, at the start I opted for every other shampoo for the first two weeks, then I went down to once a week, and now after around nine months of use around once or twice a month. 

There is something about the formula being sulfates, phosphates and parabens that I love, plus who doesn’t want super soft and shiny hair. 

Tip: Don’t use too often, and don’t apply too much go for around a 10p size worth.

Moroccanoil Treatment

I was using this leave-in treatment before discovering the shampoo and conditioners and to be honest I don’t use it nearly as much as I did, but I do find that it is still great to add an instant silky finish and shine to my hair especially when I am going out or when my hair has been over-styled. 

Tip: Buy the small version as a trial first, use only a small amount and I prefer to use on damp hair, I just don’t see the same results when my hair is dry.

Unite 7 Seconds Conditioner

This is by far my daily favourite when it comes to a leave-in conditioner, again a little pricey £6.50 for a 59ml bottle, this large 236ml version is £16.90, but you don’t need a lot just four to six sprays throughout your hair and it leaves it easier to comb through.

If like me you have long hair – detangling is painful and time-consuming, with this spray which has a special protein complex and UV protector, you will be surprise with how easier it is to sort your locks out. 

Tip: Towel dry hair first, then spray to the bulk of your hair, I tend to only do the ends

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Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo & Conditioner For Normal Hair

Much more budget friendly, I love the Toni & Guy salon collection of hair care and thank you Boots for always having them on offer, currently two for £10, or £6.49 each. 

First thing you will love about these beauties will be the smell, they have a fruity punch to them, which will stay with your hair all day, another plus point in my book. I also love that it is a creamy texture, I find it makes it easier to not over apply and lather up.

This range comes in Dry, Fine Hair, and Damaged hair, I expect that they are all just as good as this one, they really do nourish and cleanse for everyday use.  

Beauty-hair-products-14Beauty-hair-products-6Percy & Reed Heat Protect Styling Mist

I don’t overly use my hairdryer unless I have to, I use to do it every day and saw the damage it did to my hair so I have been trying to cut back on my usage of heat products. When I do I use this heat protect styling mist from Percy & Reed, I really like that it adds an amazing gloss and conditioning without a sticky residue that I was getting with similar products. 

Again, it isn’t cheap – £18 for a 200ml bottle, but as I don’t use it every day it really goes a long way, plus I am a sucker for great packaging and I love the cool chick illustrated on the front. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo

I don’t wash my hair every day, not even every other day, so I use dry shampoo to keep my hair looking fresh between washes, I find it a really lifesaver, OK so I’m being over dramatic, but I do think that it helps keep my hair in better condition as I don’t wash it as much. 

There are tons of Batiste varieties out there, I have to be honest I have a huge stack of them I have received in goodie bags, so my latest one is this monochrome version, which I quite like as it scented with orange blossom and pepper. 

Tip: Always shake, don’t over apply and make sure you massage through with fingertips before brushing and styling.

Kiehl’s Magic Elixir

If you don’t suffer from an itchy or sore scalp then you can probably just stick with the Moroccanoil Treatment, but if you are like me and the winter months make it sometimes unbearable then you will love this soothing conditioner. Like with the Moroccanoil it makes your hair shiny and healthier, but its naturally derived oils of Rosemary leaf oil, Avocado oil and Saftflower seed oil also helps to condition, nourish and revitalise the scalp.

At £25 for 125ml it isn’t an everyday product, but my last bottle lasted me years as I probably use once every couple of months, more if my scalp is dry, but thankfully with the other products I have been using I haven’t needed it as much this winter. 

Tip: This isn’t  a leave-in product, use a small amount and massage into the scalp and through hair, rest up for 10 minutes or so and then shampoo as normal.

Toni & Guy – Label M Protein Spray

I know I have the heat protect styling mist, which does protect the hair from UV and heat, but I find that the protein spray is for those days when I am not drying my hair with my hairdryer. My hair from time to time needs a protein kick and this beauty evens out the porosity of my hair and makes it thicker and stronger, as well as adding a gorgeous shine to my hair.

When I use this spray regularly I really do see less breakage and split ends and more shine. I mainly use on damp hair, as I think that’s where it gives best results, but I have occasionally used on dry hair for extra shine, just make sure you stick to the strands rather than the scalp. 

Tip: If you want a three-in-one detangler, heat protector and shine spray then this is the one to go for.

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As well as products I would also recommend getting your hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks, I kind of have to with my fringe as it does get out of control quickly but I also think it improves the quality of my hair having a trim.

I’m also a fan of Head & Shoulders, whether you have dandruff or not their two-in-one shampoos and conditioner are perfect for when in a rush, just add a leave-in conditioner treatment for extra protection.

Final piece of advice is to rotate all your favourites, if I use a product every day my hair gets too used to it I don’t see the benefits, plus I think this means you can mix in cheaper products with your investment pieces.

What are your favourite hair products?

Beauty-hair-products-3Shop My Hair Heroes: 

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo // Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Conditioner // Moroccanoil Treatment // Unite 7 Seconds Conditioner // Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo For Normal Hair // Toni & Guy Cleanse Conditioner For Normal Hair // Percy & Reed Heat Protect Styling Mist // Batiste Dry Shampoo // Kiehl’s Magic Elixir // Toni & Guy – Label M Protein Spray // 

Mar 04 2015

LFW AW15: Aspinal of London x Etre Cecile

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I adore unexpected pairings and I don’t think you can more different than the classic British heritage brand Aspinal of London and the uber-cool, bold and witty London-based label Etre Cecile co-founded by fashion guru Yasmin Sewell, along with Jemma Dyas and Kyle Robinson. 

It is the juxtaposition of the two brands and styles that makes this collaboration work, it surprises you, it inspires, and it totally cheered me up on a gloomy, wet and windy day during London Fashion Week with its bold contrasting colours and printed plaid, and I’m sure it will be a big hit come autumn/winter 2015.  

The collection features a number of Aspinal’s key bag styles, including my favourite the chic ladylike Mayfair bag, the cute and style blogger fav mini trunk clutch, and the hold everything and anything essential tote, as well as the brand’s sporty letterbox rucksacks and the mini Marylebone tote.

Plus the bright colours have been used to transform a range of small leather accessories including the essential pouch, with statements such as 1990 embossed on it, and a selection of notepads, for all those stationery addicts like me!

It is such a fun collaboration and the bold colour combinations really do make the collection stand out, I love the contrast of the yellow and cobalt blue together, especially on the letterbox rucksacks, which have been constructed from rubberised leather, you will have to feel it to believe it. Another favourite has to be the printed plaid, I think it really works on the ladylike Mayfair bag as well as the quirky trunks. 

The Aspinal of London x Etre Cecile collection launches at Aspinal of London and select Etre Cecile stores this September, prices range from £95 for a notepad or a large pouch to £750 for a plaid mini Marylebone tote. I’m so starting saving now!!!

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Can’t wait until September – check out my current Aspinal of London favourites:

Mar 03 2015

My LFW Style: Monochrome With A Pop Of Orange

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This is the first London Fashion Week in years where I haven’t done a full-on schedule, and surprisingly I am feeling more inspired than ever, which I think comes across in my growing confidence with my style posts, helped a lot by the fab Ashanti from AdornGirl who captured my look on the day. When I say more confident, I mean I don’t get super embarrassed every time a camera is pointed at me, I actually enjoyed myself, only taken me five years!!!

At first I was worried I’d go crazy if I didn’t attend every show I was invited to, but then a family wedding clashed with the first two days and the decision to take a step back was kind of made for me. So no shows on Friday or Saturday pretty much killed me, which wasn’t helped by the lack of phone signal. But what stepping back has done is make me appreciate the collections without the anxiety, the rushing about, the street style look-up-and-down, and the constant editing that comes with covering the shows. Plus the beauty of live-streamed shows and Style.com is that you never really miss a thing. 

So this season, because of the wedding, my blog redesign **fingers crossed it will be ready soon**, and a freelance project I have been working on, I decided to just cherry pick my favourites, which were nearly all presentations as I just love the freedom to view the collections up close and I do love that they are more creative than most catwalk showcases. I’ve already shared the Sophia Webster presentation, which was so much fun, and basically listed out everything I want from the McQ collection, and I have lots more to come from Aspinal of London’s collaboration with Etre Cecile and an amazing student fashion competition. 

But back to my style post, I know I am going to get some comments about the fact I’m in black, again, but it really is my go-to colour especially during fashion week, as they I can play up any outfit with great accessories, which I love to do. This look centred around the great sporty-inspired two-piece from New Look, the jumper and skirt cost me less than £35, total bargain, and I love that the white stripes break up all the black, especially as I paired it with a chunky, oversized cardigan that I picked up from Primark, which was needed as it is was freezing. 

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The monochrome look also works perfectly with my orange ‘Cranleigh’ Village England bag, my pop of colour, which is my new favourite bag, perfect size, great colour and I really think that the leather is going to get better with age. It also fits in more than you think, and I think everyone commented on how cool the stirrup detailing is. 

Rounding off my look are these great Monica Vinader pieces that I borrowed from The Apartment. I’m a fan of stacking bracelets and that’s what the Baja collection is all about, plus look how beautiful they are especially the Green Onyx gemstone one. I also tried out one of the rings from the collection, which you can also stack up, but I just wanted to keep it simple. I definitely think my next jewellery purchase will have to be a beauty from this line. 

The Monica Vinader bracelets also went perfectly with my new Caravelle NY watch, which was so pretty with its pearl-like face that sadly doesn’t come across as well in photos as it does in person, just trust me it is beautiful.

I also have to say a huge thanks to The Apartment again, they totally make LFW so much easier, with their great cars whizzing us around to the shows, to having a wardrobe stocked with goodies to play dress up, and most importantly introducing me to so many fab bloggers, feeding me and making me look glam. 

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My Style: Black Stripe Sleeve Sweater, New Look // Black Single Stripe Pencil Skirt, New Look // White tee, New Look // Chunky cardigan, Primark // Socks, New Look // Orange ‘Cranleigh’ Crossbody Leather Bag, Village England (c/o) (in black) // Monica Vinader Baja bracelet and ring (loaned from The Apartment) // Watch, Caravelle NY (c/o) // Ankle boots, Topshop (super old) // Jones New York Glasses, Glasses Direct (c/o) // Ring necklace, Lola & Grace (c/o) // Cow necklace, gift from Mum // 

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Shop My Style:

[Pics: Shot by the fabulous Ashanti from AdornGirl for Fashionista Barbie]

Mar 02 2015

Cinderella: Lily James In Elie Saab Couture

Lily-James-Elie-saabWho: Lily James

Where: At the Los Angeles Premiere of her new movie ‘Cinderella’ held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood

Wearing: A long-sleeved aqua-green fully embroidered tulle Elie Saab gown from the haute couture autumn/winter 2014 collection

Verdict: Wow, Lily James is working her Cinderella princess moment in this gorgeous sheer embroidered Elie Saab gown. The Downton Abbey star is stunning in this ethereal gown, the colour is so fresh and modern and looks perfect on her, and Elie Saab really is the master at exquisite detailing, the beaded tulle is just divine.

As much as I love the gown, which I do, I just wish that they had removed the pockets, or that Lily had resisted the opportunity to place her hands in them. I think it totally spoils the line and magic of the dress, plus it really is distracted seeing her hand through the sheer skirt. I also kind of wish they had taken a few inches off the front it so it didn’t puddle as much on the red carpet. 

Overall though I think this is a great look on her, the dress even with those tiny points is still stunning, and her make-up is flawless, plus I adore that she went for a chic updo, it really suits the gown and occasion. 

Are you a fan of Lily James in Elie Saab?

lily-james[Pic: via Elie Saab/Disney]

Mar 02 2015

Musings: Is There A Revolt Against The Red Carpet?

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So I make no secret that I am a fan of the red carpet, I love the fashion, the glamour, the drama and seeing such gorgeous women showcasing exquisitely crafted gowns that I could only dream of wearing. Is that so wrong?

I have felt a change this award season, social media has become more critical of the red carpet, as well as its fans, and it seems that actresses are also tiring of the experience, mainly because they want to be treated like their male counterparts, as more than what they are wearing. Which, I have to be honest I am totally on board with, as I can understand why women are looking to be treated seriously and not just pretty faces wearing a gorgeous dress. 

I’m sure if anyone has been watching this award season you will have noticed that they are asking the men who they are wearing, but to be honest once you’ve seen one black tux you have seen them all, women’s fashion is much more diverse, I know Jennifer Lopez seemed to be wearing the same dress as Robert Duvall’s wife but that is very rare. But you can bet that everyone on the Oscars red carpet was asking who Jared Leto was wearing, a baby-blue Givenchy tux if you care, as it was different from the norm and he has been known for his red carpet style.

I’m not against the #AskHerMore campaign, which Reese Witherspoon was championing on Oscars night, I actually think it is a great idea, but I just want people to get this into some sort of perspective – the red carpet isn’t an evil, sexist trap, I really think actresses get a lot from getting glam for the red carpet. It helped Lupita Nyong’o snag a Lancome deal so quickly after breaking on to the scene, and Jennifer Lawrence’s popularity, in part to her stunning red carpet appearances, must have aided her lucrative contract with Dior. She is beautiful but a model could have fronted that campaign for a fraction of the price, the House of Dior wanted a movie star, someone who epitomises glamour, which in turn comes from those appearances on the red carpet, as it gives the stars a chance to let their personalities shine not just their characters. 

lupita-calvin-kleinLet’s not forget those incredible expensive gowns they are all wearing, for free, to give you some idea on the price tags, Lupita’s pearly Calvin Klein has been quoted as costing $150,000 dollars, so why shouldn’t they have to give out the names of the designer as payment for the loan? I have to say when I have been given something as a gift or a loan so why shouldn’t actresses on the red carpet – also isn’t it just good manners as well.

I also feel that “who are you wearing” is a conversation starter, and in nearly all circumstances the presenters move on quickly, to discuss their film, the awards etc, plus the star can also steer the interview, they’ve all had media training, all have publicists, if they have a charity they are working on then they should speak out. That doesn’t get in the way of who they are wearing. 

Or maybe the solution is that they use their own spin machine, social media or carrier pigeon if they so choose to announce who they are wearing, then us fashion obsessed will still know, the designers will still get their moment and then they can be asked more. 

But what is it you want to know? I was thinking as well as their next projects, what sort of movies they would like to do, and who they would like to work with, how about the last book they read or the best burger they’ve ever had, on no sorry food is also off the table as well, as Ryan Seacrest was criticised for asking Naomi Watts about her frittata. I also think we have to remember that the coverage of such red carpets is generally for entertainment purposes, light-hearted is generally how the interviews are going to go, I think deep thoughts are going to take longer than the 1 minute 30 seconds they have with each correspondent. 

I think it is an interesting debate, but I think everyone also needs to realise that the red carpet has been very lucrative over the years for movie actresses, the rumoured sums that they get paid just to wear certain designers is unreal, and I’m sure if those endorsement deals start to dry up they will be more than welcoming to being asked who they are wearing.

I would love to know what you think – leave me a comment below.

[Pics: Tom Ford, Calvin Klein]

Feb 27 2015

LFW AW15: McQ Alexander McQueen

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There is something cool about McQ Alexander McQueen, it has the rock-chick-meets-grunge-with-a-touch-of-glamour going on for it. At the autumn/winter 2015 presentation the design team laid out everything you need to be a cool girl, this wasn’t a collection about just making a statement, rather about styling up great everyday pieces including leather jackets, gorgeous chunky knits, and jeans.

Texture was showcased throughout, from an oversize cream cricket jumper with a panel of what looked like silver foil but felt more like rubber to a shiny silver material that was seen on tops and dresses, and even studs, shearling, chiffon and leopard-print pony skin were featured on the pieces. 

On their own some pieces look rather boring, more classic in design than I expect from McQ, but the beauty of this collection is that the art is in the layering, the pieces look good on their own but even better placed together, especially when the neutral colour palette of grey, white and black is worked alongside the colourful orange, yellow and leopard print pieces. 

As well as showing off the clothing and accessories, McQ also used the Serpentine Gallery space to exhibit the amazing pictures for its AW15 campaign shot by Harley Weir, which kind of had a Kes vibe to them, if you haven’t seen the Northern-based film or read the 1968 novel A Kestrel for a Knave do, both are amazing. 

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[Pics: taken by me, Fashionista Barbie – do not reproduce without crediting]

Feb 26 2015

LFW AW15: Sophia Webster – Freak Like Me

AW15-sophia-webster-21When the invite reads ‘Freak Like Me’ you know you are in for a pretty quirky ride, and in true Sophia Webster fashion her autumn/winter 2015 presentation during London Fashion Week was full-on crazy fun. Sometimes fashion takes itself too seriously and I love that Sophia Webster combines her design creativity with a fun showcase, which this season was a circus like no other with futuristic, galaxy vibes with the models wearing larger-than-life planetary costumes in a Shona Heath designed set that really brought to life the derelict Welsh Chapel on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The ‘Freak Like Me’ collection took inspiration from the footwear designer’s fond teenage memories of Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt era, with her love of tartan, checks, and leopard print popping up on her incredible heels. There were also references to Victor Vasarely’s optical illusions seen in the “warped check” and glitter pieces.  

Her heels are always fun with some decorated with pompoms and feathers, others full on glitter or bedazzled in jewels, and there were even mini-me versions of her famous butterfly wing styles. I think for me I was most excited to see her speech bubble clutch bags continue with tongue-in-cheek sayings including ‘Hot Stepper’, ‘Say My Name’, ‘Miss Thang’, ‘Boss Lady’, ‘Carnival Queen’ and ‘Girlgang’. There were also slogan backpacks – I loved the ‘Sexy Back’ and ‘Tell It To My Face’.

If that wasn’t enough fun, Sophia has also collaborated with Coca-Cola on a fun collection reworking the iconic logo into her shoes and bags, with hi-shine coke-print stilettos, complete with a heel of stacked hearts, “If You Only Drank Cherry Coke” clutch, and a ‘Very Cherry!’ fun backpack. 

I loved it so much I now have a very long wishlist of pieces I want.

Scroll down and check out my snaps and step inside the presentation with my video that I captured, it was only on my mobile but I think it came out really well. Want to see more pics head on over to my Facebook page there are a lot!!!

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