Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The secret life of brightly coloured dyed hair.

So you want brightly coloured hair?

Possibly like this?

big fashionista, bright hair,

Did you also want white towels?

Because you can pick ONE of these, and that's it. There is no way you can have both.

Whilst we can all look at pictures of women and men with brightly dyed hair and want to have our hair this way, let me tell you. It is no picnic. For the last 16 months, I have had my hair every colour that you can possibly imagine. I am going let you in on the struggles I face on a daily basis. The things NO-ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT.

Firstly, we all know that the application of red hair dye can result in your bathroom looking as if you have committed a murder. If you have dyed your hair blue, your bathroom looks as if you have wanked off a Smurf, for months. It is a hard one to explain. Trust me on this.

So now you have blue hair, congratulations. Please be prepared to be rushed to the hospital at a moments notice because now, you also have blue skin, and blue fingernails. Well done, you may look dead, but you have fantastic hair and that is all that matters. Once you have started on the journey of brightly coloured hair, you will learn a few hacks, one of which is constantly wear nail varnish to cover the stains on your bare nails.

big fashionista

(And I may sound like your mother here, but don't forget to scrub your neck every now and then. A blue neck is not attractive, Ever) 

"Do you have a clean towel" Once you have started to dye your hair, these words will strike you with horror, YOU HAVE NO towels that are not now stained. Oh yes you start out with good intentions, you will use just ONE towel on your hair, and no, you will never use your white towels on your hair.

Buy dark towels, it's just kinder to everyone that way. 

The same goes for your pretty duvet sets that are all white and floral and pretty, RUINED, THEY ARE NOW RUINED AND NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME AGAIN. If you are staying at someone else's house, you spend the night hoping that your hair isn't wet or you don't sweat in the night and leave a stain on their Egyptian cotton pillow cases. NEWSFLASH, you will.

Buy a dark duvet set, and carry around a black pillow case in case of sleepovers. 

Do you rent your property? Bye bye security deposit. hair dye gets EVERYWHERE. Green looks like mould. We've covered blue and Red will have your landlord calling the police just in case. GROUTING is not your friend. it holds hair colour like a best friend holds secrets, ETERNALLY.

Always bleach your bathroom, think WWDD, What would Dexter do. 

You know that favourite shampoo of yours? The one that makes your hair smell nice, yep, the Australian one, BIN IT NOW. Within two months of having brightly dyed hair you will realise that there are shampoos out there that are purely put on the shelves to taunt you as YOU CANNOT use them, they make the colour slide off your hair like a small child on a greasy slide and your hair fades faster than an ex member of TOWIE. SAD TIMES. Fading is the mortal enemy of people with brightly coloured hair and we search for that elusive hair dye that keeps the colour bright and shiny for longer than two weeks, does it exist? Who knows, but we continue to search for it and in the meantime, shampoos that strip colour are EVIL. ABSOLUTELY EVIL.

It is interesting also that when you also realise that you have messed your the colour and you actually WANT to strip the colour out that the aforementioned evil stripping shampoo has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT at all.

Find a good shampoo that doesn't strip your hair, buy in bulk.

Now I love having brightly coloured hair, but even I get fed up of the upkeep and the stains, and being worried that if it rains I will have colour running down my face, and showering with dyed hair is HELL. absolutely hell. The first time I showered after dyeing my hair red, I forgot and just for a second, thought it was blood. SCARED was not the word. Cerise is fun, I end up with pink water, my inner teen goth gets elbowed out of the way by my inner princess and I squeal at the pretty water, Red water? Not so much fun.

Don't get me wrong, the pay off is EXTREMELY worth it, I hope that these tips help you enjoy having brightly coloured hair, If you have brightly coloured hair, feel free to share YOUR tips to living with dyed hair in the comments below, or if you have any questions.

Let me know.

Big Fashionista x x x

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Smoky Poppy at The Body Shop

Recently I attended a skincare event at The Body Shop in The White Rose, Leeds. One of my favourite items of skincare was the Camomile Cleansing Butter, which I talk about here.
Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter Review

But while I was at the event, my attention was grabbed by the new Smoky Poppy range, in fact my attention was grabbed so much, I ended up purchasing a big gift box of products.

Gift set smokey poppy, Big Fashionista

The smell of the Smoky Poppy range, I absolutely adore. For ME it is perfect, I have asked various people to smell it and opinion is quite divided on whether they love it or hate it but for me it is a WINNER. Spicy, rich and yes smoky, this is quite a heavy scent that some people may not feel comfortable wearing, or will save for an evening out only.

Big Fashionista, eau de toilette

The gift set I purchased contained, the eau de toilette, shower gel, body butter, body scrub and a flower. (Nope, I'm not sure either, but it photographs well) Other items in the range that were not included are a body lotion, bath bombs and a massage oil (ooooo-errrrrrrrr, missus)

Big Fashionista, Shower gel

I love the Shower Gel because it is black and it genuinely appeals to my inner 15 yr old goth self. Black Shower gel? Hell yes, who doesn't want black shower gel that smells good?

Body Butter, Big Fashionista

The body scrub contains real poppy seeds. I found the scrub not to be too abrasive and harsh, the seeds themselves were quite round and gentle and as I used the scrub I didn't feel as if it was doing a good job of exfoliating my skin, but afterwards my skin felt incredibly soft with no dry patches left at at.

Body Butter, Big fashionista

Do I even need to discuss The Body Shop Body Butters? We all know that they are good, I have yet to meet a Body Shop Body Butter that I don't like. This one is fantastic because I use it once I get out the shower having used the shower gel and body scrub and I feel like a real grown up for "layering my scents" BOOM. LIFE GOALS ACHIEVED.

big fashionista,

I am really happy that I bought this set, plus I do the the hat box style box that it came in. This set was £35 and you can purchase items separately.

I love The Body Shop for all the money off, offers they are doing lately, I can usually get a discount via my O2 Priority app as well. TODAY, my app shows that I can get 30% off in-store.

Have you tried the Smoky Poppy range yet? Do you agree with my review here?

Let me know.

Big Fashionista

Roast & Conch at Hotel Chocolat Review

"Would you like to come and have a meal at Roast & Conch? We ca..............."


I think it is safe to say that I love chocolate, I also love food, If you find a way of combining both, then you will have my business until the day I die. Dramatic? Then you have yet to experience a meal at Roast & Conch.

With three restaurants, one in St Lucia, one in London and the flagship restaurant in Leeds, Roast & Conch has quickly established itself as an award-winning style of restaurant that not only feeds your stomach, but your soul as well.

I attended a meal as part of a fabulous blogger get-together, which not only included a meal but a lesson on chocolate, teaching us to take the time to savour the chocolate and experience the different flavours depending on where the bean was grown, what it is mixed with and the % of cacao.

Since the talk, I have started to think of chocolate in the same term as wine and perfume, there are different notes and tastes. People can smell and taste different things in chocolate. Much like wine and perfume, chocolate is an intensely personal preference.

roast and conch Leeds

roast and conch Leeds

I have only previously tried a taster menu at Roast & Conch so I was extremely excited to try their menu. Whilst everything contains cacao in some form or another, it serves to enhance the flavours of the freshly cooked meal, if you are expecting everything to be covered in chocolate, you will be disappointed. If you expect your taste buds to experience a multitude of food-induced orgasms, then pull up a chair, Roast & Conch is everything you have been waiting for and more.

roast and conch Leeds

roast and conch Leeds

roast and conch Leeds

roast and conch Leeds, mac and cheese

Everything I ate was cooked to perfection. I had a starter of sour dough bread with dips of nib butter, cacao pesto and cacao balsamic, and my main dish was mac and cheese in a cacao nib pastry.

Nothing was overpoweringly chocolatey. Instead, I found that everything tasted just a little fresher, cleaner and with depth that I do not usually find in a meal. Again, the only way that I can describe it is in comparison to wine, everything I ate had different notes and each bite brought me something different.

Surprisingly, I was unable to eat dessert as I was so pleasantly full from a starter and main meal. We were treated to chocolates instead, however. I am a big fan of Hotel Chocolat chocolate, I find that I would rather buy a higher quality chocolate these days than a cheap bar from a local shop, much tastier and without the aftertaste.

roast and conch Leeds, chocolate

No visit to Roast & Conch is complete without a cocktail. Again, we were treated to a masterclass, this time in cocktail making and with the Caribbean influences of Roast & Conch, a rum based cocktail was essential tasting.

roast and conch Leeds, rum

roast and conch Leeds, cocktails

I am extremely lucky that I live very close to this restaurant in Leeds. It is most definitely on the list of restaurants I will be visiting again. If you live down south, you have Rabot 1745, at Borough Market. If you live somewhere in-between, I highly recommend making a trip to visit one of these restaurants.

Have you been to one of the Hotel Chocolat restaurants before? Have I tempted you to pay a visit? Who is now starving?

Let me know.

Big Fashionista x x x

Monday, 2 March 2015

Welcome To My World, Anonymous's story. (trigger warning for self-harm, suicide)

Occasionally, I get emails from people asking if I will allow them to tell their story. I always oblige if I can. This one? This one hurts my heart because I cannot do anything that will help them. All I can do is give them a platform and hope that by writing this down, it will be a kind of therapy for them. 

If you are affected by this story and need to seek help, please contact 

The Samaritans 0845 790 9090
your local doctor. 

I am adding Trigger Warnings to this post, please be aware it contains experiences of self harm and suicidal thoughts, but they have asked me to share their story, and I promised them that I would. 

Their story continues below.

ANON, Welcome to my World

I’ve thought about writing this post, I’d even put pen to paper many a time. And started typing only to delete soon after. But there’s a reason. You see, every few months I update my ‘goodbye’ letters to my friends and family. And here’s why.
This isn’t a woe is me. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and like I said, great friends. Both real life and on Twitter. (It’s amazing when virtual twitter friends become real friends.) Your whole world opens up. Or at least it does for me. It’s not just about talking about TV, music, sport etc. it’s a chance for me to connect with people like me. People who are damaged but still persist in trying to live their life.
It’s just that sometimes it’s harder than most days. Something bad could happen or something innocuous that throws me and I go straight to Def Con 1 panic mode. My heart and brain start racing – where’s the nearest bridge I could jump off? Where can I jump in front of a train? How quickly can I swallow enough pills to kill me? And they’re constant refrains. Getting louder and louder as my heart beats faster and faster, and I start to feel dizzy and my eyesight goes wavy and I’m crying so hard its physically painful. 
The crying is relatively easy to stop compared to the other things. The best way to stop crying for me is to self-harm. Something even worse than crying, but, it’s what helps me in that moment in time. So much so, that I always carry something sharp in my handbag. Last year it was a Stanley knife and a tile cutter. DIY stores are great for self-harm tools. I wonder why they never market themselves like that? Not really, but it’s just so easy. This year so far, I’m carrying a staple picker and I love puncturing the back of my hands. Seeing the red dots calms me down. So then I use it up my arms. It has to look like a pattern. The ritual of self-harm and the method and the result are all intertwined with my OCD. 
And all this is going on but I still work. And I work full time. Sometimes I wish I was in sheltered housing as then I wouldn’t have to take care of myself. I’m barely taking care of myself as it is. And this hits me with the realisation that no-one needs me but that I need other people. And for someone whom is independent and has never had to rely on anyone else, this is where it gets hard. There’s also a slight dichotomy of how can you care for others if you cannot care for yourself? I don’t have the answer to that. 

The pain of nothingness punches me in the chest. And whilst it resembles nothing, it’s beyond heavy. Like a pachyderm using you as a stepping stone. And it becomes unbearable. And that’s when I start updating my goodbye letters. Have you tried to say goodbye to someone you love in a letter? This isn’t like The Notebook. This is real life. So I read through my previous letters and start writing updated letters. And it calms me down. Because I’m safe with the knowledge that should I take my life, I will at least have tried to explain why to the people I love. And that gives me a modicum of comfort.


Baby, I Was Drawn This Way

I love a selfie. Only last week I wrote a post defending your right to selfie your arse off and I stand by it. However, the true meaning of the word selfie is SELF and SOME people out there, well let's put it this way.......

If some of you guys went missing, we aren't going to find you by your avi are we? There seems to be more touch ups going on than at........ (Removed by Legal Department) 

I discovered that a lot of this trickery is down to an app, allegedly (You're welcome-Legal Department) used by Kim Kardashian and thought I would give it a go. 

pink hair,  perfect 365

pink hair

I have to admit, my first thought was HOLY SHIT. Let me go and retouch every single picture that I have ever taken in the last 20 year. That thought lasted for about 20 seconds before I thought, you know what? Screw that. I have earned EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE LINES. See those bags under my eyes? That's because I stayed up too late the night before, laughing and joking with my wonderful fiancĂ©. Those crows feet that the app wants to "soften"? Again, earned. Laughter, tears, childbirth, raising children, you know, EXPERIENCE. 

Why on EARTH, would I want to take those away? 
What does that leave me with, because it isn't ME, is it? 

The make up section is scary, my eyeshadow skills are in comparison to a 5 yr old with crayons and yet I would still rather do it my way than with an app, I woke up like this? More like I was drawn this way. 

pink hair,

pink hair, perfect 365

If I wanted to look like a creepy sex doll with no emotion or feelings in my face, then yes, this would be a bloody amazing thing to do, but where do you draw the line? I could easily think, "well I will just even out my skin tone here, smooth out these lines there" and before you know it, 


And ain't no-one going to put this picture on the side of a milk carton, are they? 

(Legal disclaimer, Big Fashionista cannot be held legally responsible for the freaky dreams you will undoubtedly have after reading this post-Legal Department) 

PS, once you've actually used the app, you can definitely start to see where people are using it on their pictures, ladies, gents, Kim Kardashian, let go of the apps, embrace your face. Love the skin that you are in, you earned every single wrinkle, line, bag on your face and you are BEAUTIFUL. 

Be you and embrace your individuality, I'm off to delete the app off my phone. 

What do you think, do you do a little retouching? Do you even out your skin tone for your pics or do you much rather prefer the natural look? PS, how FREAKY is that last picture. I cannot stop staring at it!!!! 

Here's one more weird one, just because. 

Sweet dreams,

Big Fashionista x x 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Nom or Vom

Ok, let's do this properly and welcome back Nom or Vom with style, (by which I mean comment you selfish gits) 

Seeing Nom or Vom has been away for a couple of weeks and basically I only realised that today is Friday at about 11.30pm on Thursday we are going to keep this one simple. 

The rules are simple, Nom means you would like to climb them like a tree, Vom means you appreciate them as a person and you don't want to hurt their feelings and treat them just as a piece of meat to be graded but what the fuck, no. Just NO. 

So let us bring you this weeks offering, may I present to you one of the most beautiful men on earth. 

Matt Bomer.

(Those eyes tho') 

PS, never Google "Matt Bomer naked" that is a lot of photoshopped cock!!

So what do we think? 

Matt Bomer? 

Nom or Vom? 

Let me know

Big Fashionista x x x

Thursday, 26 February 2015

In Defence Of The Selfie

I love a good selfie, and I'm not even sorry, you know those people out there that are shouting, quite loudly, that people who take selfies are vain shallow people? Yeah cut those bitches out. No one needs that kind of negativity in their life, CAN I JUST LIVE????

Now there is a strong chance that I will pepper this whole post with selfies of me, because, you know, I can. 

Hmmm, possibly not my finest work? 

In defence of the selfie, why do I like selfies? Firstly, I am 39 years old, at this age I am like an old building built on dodgy foundations, I look ok today but tomorrow I could wake up and the walls have crumbled, the roof has caved in and no amount of grouting is going to hide the damage. 

See? Holding up today? Tomorrow? CRUMBLED TO FUCK. 

Another reason why I love selfies, and this is on a serious note here, they are a way of marking life experiences, I have pictures of myself at a time when I was unhappy, my mouth is smiling but you can see the pain in my eyes. I have pictures I have taken at a time when I am defiant, when no one is going to bring me down and I am strong, pictures where I have steel in my eyes. Both emotions are good to remember, the bad ones, because you made it through those times, you got past them and it helps you to remember that, and the good ones that make you smile when you are sad, because it gives you something to reach for. 

Some people take selfies as a way of measuring weight loss or gain, and they are quite rightly proud of them. 

Not strictly a selfie but it's my post, I like this picture so hush now, 

If you, like me, love taking a good picture, carry on, do not let anyone drag you down by calling you vain, shallow or unnecessary. You just be you. We should all be so happy in our own skin, (even if it takes me 30 shots to get a good one) that we want to celebrate it. 

I will defend the selfie to the death. 

How about you? 

Let me know

Big Fashionista x x