Thursday, 31 July 2014

It's goodbye for now...

So much has changed since I started blogging back in 2007. The world of blogging has changed, I've changed and what people want to read has changed too. When I started out, blogging was a fun way to fill my time between university lectures, but lately, trying to fit even a simple few blog posts in has become a challenge. So, even though it's been a blast, I'm taking a break.

My blog has taken me from Paris to Berlin, and beyond. I've met amazing people, made lifelong friends and had so many great adventures. Now though, I'm shifting my priorities. Spending more time with family and friends, being more active, and getting away from my computer whenever I can are high on my new agenda. After all, London is one of the most awesome cities in the world and there's still so much of it I've yet to explore.

I'll still be pinning, tweeting and Instagramming. I'll probably even keep The Style PA Facebook page going for now, starting with a few updates from the blog archives, but it's time to put the blog to bed.

Thanks to you, my readers, for your time, comments and general awesomeness.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Becoming a redhead: what you need to know

I love Margot Robbie, and her changing hair colour has been a hot topic lately. She's just gone from brunette to redhead (rumoured to be for a new film role) and the makeover was courtesy of colour experts at the Paul Edmonds salon in Knightsbridge. Vernon Deysel is Creative Colour Director and he has a few expert tips for transforming your locks and becoming a redhead...

Red Tones

There's a tone to suit all hair colours. Vernon says: "This season red hair is a must for brunettes who want to intensify the red in the hair colour or for blondes who want to become more vibrant - Copper Blonde/Mahogany/Mahogany Browns work well." But, as always, there's a trend when it comes to seeing red. Rose golds that were really popular are making way for intense flamboyant reds.

I've personally had my hair every shade of red growing up. Experimenting meant I got to know what would and wouldn't suit my skin tone. I can tell you right now that I'll never, ever go strawberry blonde again – definitely not my shade. While brighter reds, mahogany and even red with blonde highlights all worked for me. I think I'd play it a little more subtle now though.

If, like me, you'd want a more toned-down look, Vernon suggests "a red shade with hints of browns; think Christina Hendricks with slices of different shades of reds/browns applied free hand, sweeping colour onto the hair to create multi-dimensional depth – that looks natural!"

What's your perfect shade?

Blondes: if you're fresh from summer holidays, glowing, tanned skin can wear copper and copper blonde shades perfectly.

Brunettes: you can pretty much carry off any shade of red, but ask your hairdresser to advise you if you've not gone red before.

Maintaining your red locks

Red hair can fade quite quickly (bummer!). To keep that lovely vibrant colour, Vernon advises using salon product such as Shu Uemura Full Shimmer shampoo and conditioner or Kerastase Chroma Captiv and LP Vitamino colour. If you can't afford salon brands then at least opt for products designed for coloured hair and ensure you use a heat protection spray when styling.

You can, of course, keep your colour topped up at the salon – a service that the Paul Edmonds salon offers, as do many others. You might need to pop back as much as every 3 weeks though to keep things in tip-top condition.

When I went red I went on holiday quite soon afterwards. The sun and chlorine did have a dramatic effect on the colour of my hair, so beware! I was actually pretty lucky that I loved the faded colour as much as the bright shade I'd originally dyed it. I had blonder chunks through red which ended up a lovely reddish/caramel colour – perfectly suited to the sunnier weather.

Paul Edmonds Salon
217 Brompton Road
Knightsbridge, London

Monday, 26 May 2014

New NKD SKN self tan from Vita Liberata

It's that time of year again; we're all baring more skin as the weather warms up. But that also means baring my rather luminous white body. I find that my face, shoulders and back tend to catch the sun quite quickly in the summer, but the rest of me doesn't. My legs in particular could always do with a little bit of help, and of course I'd rather not have to sit in the sun because of the damage it does to the skin.

So it was good timing to be invited to an event for the new tanning collection from Vita Liberata –  NKD SKIN. The range was designed to make the brand's high-quality tanning products accessible to all. They promise 'holiday skin in a bottle' with no nasty odour via lovely natural ingredients. Sounded good to me.

I decided to have a spray tan on the spot to try the new products for myself. The tan was really quick to apply and the claims are true, there is almost no odour, and certainly none of the biscuit-like smell that tanning products have become so known for. The tan dried almost instantly and started to develop over the next hour or so, but I never felt too orange. I loved the fact I could put my clothes back on straight away –
anything that saves time is a bonus I reckon.

I went for the medium shade which, despite my currently fair complexion, came out just right. On washing the tan off the following day I was left with a lovely golden glow which got me lots of compliments at work. I hadn't exfoliated beforehand so I did find that the fronts of my legs were a bit dry and there were some tell-tale marks there, so I definitely recommend giving your body a good scrub ahead of tanning. Other than that though, the tan looked even, and there were very few signs of it being fake. As it has worn off, it hasn't left me too patchy either. All in all, I'll definitely be trying it out myself at home.

The range includes a tinted tan mousse in medium and dark, £14.95, a tinted tan liquid in dark, £10, and a matte wash-off instant tan, £8.50. The collection is available at Superdrug.

NKD SKN's Top tips for a flawless tan...

  1. Exfoliate your skin to prepare for tanning. It provides the perfect base and ensures a long-lasting tan.
  2. Use a tanning mitt to protect the palms of your hands and get a streak-free finish. Pump the tanning product onto the mitt and apply to skin using elongated circular movements. Use sparingly on the hands, feet, knees and elbows.
  3. Don't moisturise before tanning as it will block the tan and can cause streaking.
  4. Wipe knuckles, knees, ankles, elbows and sides of the feet to prevent any product build-up. Rinse your tanning mitt and leave to dry naturally. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Smythson tote bag as seen on Poppy Delevingne

poppy delevingne smythson tote bag
Image via Instagram

Just-married Poppy Delevingne recently posted this snap featuring a beautiful tote bag from Smythson (not to mention those beautiful blooms!) January Jones has also been seen sporting this particular arm candy. The bag is part of the 1887 collection which features bold, feminine and striking silhouettes.

I love the blush colour with contrasting black handles on this particular design. I bet the soft lambskin interior and calf leather exterior are super-luxurious. Shame I can't afford the £1495 price tag! Feeling flush? You can snap it up here.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Shoesday top pick: striped Birkenstock sliders

If there's one buzz word for shoes this season it's sliders (and no, not the miniature burger kind). We've probably all worn something like them before, and perhaps weren't planning on wearing them again anytime soon, but it's time for a re-think. Double strap styles with a moulded thick sole are hot news.

I've had a pair of Birkenstocks for a while, and when I was looking for mine there wasn't much in the way of choice. Now, however, Birkenstock has had a makeover and they're perfectly placed to take the crown as king of the pool sliders. I spied this fab pair on the Matches Fashion website this week; they're are so summery with a playful edge which gives them added appeal. The best thing though is that gold piping detail which adds a fashionable spin on a seasonal staple.

Don't think you have to dress down too much to wear these comfy flats though; the way to wear them now is with your floaty summer dresses or fluid tailoring for a surprising summer contrast. Try metallics or bold prints too – Dorothy Perkins' sliders from £15 in silver or floral designs are a purse-friendly alternative to my top pick above.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Patent red skirt as seen on Jennifer Lopez

j-lo album art for AKA

Jennifer Lopez is looking as hot as ever on the album art of her new release, due out on 17 June. She dons a patent red skirt by Celeb Boutique alongside a rather revealing top (although, not sure I can really call it that). It's a daring look, but the patent skirt trend is sticking around. These glossy pencil skirts look great with contrasting fluffy knits in winter and a simple white top in summer. You can get your hands on this style as seen on J-Lo for £75 at Are you brave enough to try this look?

patent red leatherette skirt as seen on j-lo