Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Murder capital of the world outside declared war zones

Since reading about the city of Juárez, Mexico, in Grazia last month I have been doing research into the violence in Northern Mexico. Half the people I know, and probably you guys, do not know anything about this brutal town.

• Juárez is the most violent city in the world after declared war zones
• Juárez accounts for 1% of Mexico’s population and 20% of its murder rate
• In the last year there have been 3000 murders alone, that averages to 9 murders a day
• 64 of these murders were police officers
• With six times the population of Juárez, New York City is likely to end 2010 with approximately 600 murders
• The whole police force have resigned in the most violent part of Juárez, Juárez Valley
• There are 3000 police left in the entire City
The last policewoman left in Guadalupe, a city bordering Juárez, was kidnapped on December 23rd 2010 and has since had no contact with family who are unable to contact police to report her missing, this is because shockingly, there are no police left in the town.
The members of the police force have been resigning steadily over the past couple of years due to the daily murder of colleagues; many being brutally shot on their way to work, on duty or at home. The rest of the police in the city are said to be corrupt, supplying the violent gangs with protection in exchange for money or due to coercion.
Why is there so much violence in this city? The conventional thinking is that many die because the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels remain at war. The two drug cartels are fighting for control over the single highway in Juárez, which allows the transportation of drugs between El Paso, Texas, and Juárez Valley, Mexico. It is the main drug exportation smuggling point to the United States in Mexico.
Mass graves have been turning up increasingly frequently - some containing dozens of bodies. Beheadings and corpses can be seen hung from bridges, pointing to a further rise in gruesome attacks. The violence started with frequent massacres at birthday parties, targeting political and influential figures within Juárez and the neighbouring towns.
In 2009, Gustavo De La Rosa, working for the human rights commission in Juárez was threatened by military soldiers who stopped him at a set of traffic lights one day, telling him he would be murdered if he did not leave the city. He has fled, along with other ranking officials, as he begun to discover the significant involvement of the military in the increasing murders in Juárez. He says, ‘the majority of those killed or kidnapped are malandros: down-and-outs, urchins, petty criminals and addicts – waste products of the Juárez marketplace; people of no value in this war, no use to any cartel. (They are) desperate, below poverty and whose death has no explanation, except as part of limpia social (a phrase in Spanish describing social cleansing) the extermination of the lowest of the low.'
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, enforced 'Marshall Law' in Juárez City in 2009, as a means of controlling this violence. De La Rosa explains that the structure being in place on the streets imposes the ‘Martial’ only without the 'Law'.
As of 2010 all military forces have been removed from President Caldéron decided to let the 'police force' deal with the crime. The question now is, 'What police force?'
January 10th 2010, and a story in the El Paso Times begins like this: ‘The violence continued Friday in Juárez with at least 18 slayings. ... One man was cut into pieces, another was decapitated, one was hanged, a man in a wheelchair was shot to death and three women were killed.’ With such frequent murders it is not unusual to see non-violent based headlines on the front page.
51 killings occurred in a three-day stretch of August. June saw one week of over 60 homicides.
Not only are these figures horrific but also unbelievable. They do not take into account the torture and bodies which have still remained hidden in the Juárez countryside.
Something must be done to stop this insanity, but the question remaining is, ‘What can be done?’ as opposed to, ‘When will it stop?’

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Couture de la Carnivore (my article published in College Magazine)

"If we don't stand up for our rights, soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And I am not a piece of meat." The statement issued by Gaga after her appearance in the meat dress at the MTV Video Music Awards, LA, where she received eight VMA awards.

The controversial dress, styled from off-cuts of beef, not only triggered uproar from animal organizations such as PETA, but from celebrities, fashion critics and fans alike.

The shock began when Gaga appeared on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan in September. Clad only in a meat bikini and fascinator, PETA’s President Ingrid Newkirk responds ‘Oh, Lady Gaga's job is to do outlandish things, and this certainly qualifies as outlandish because meat is something you want to avoid putting on or in your body’ Clearly displeased by the outfit choice, fans are even starting to question the multi platinum selling artist’s priorities; whether or not she has turned from music to statement artist.

The dress, matching bag, fascinator and shoes, debuted at the VMA’s, were designed over three days using 50 pounds of meat. Constant refrigeration was needed, causing it to turn into jerky rather than rotting. The dress’ designer, Franc Fernandez (who has also previously dressed Beyoncé and Xtina), says ‘There’s not going to be meat dresses in the future, this was made for a specific purpose. It’s what it is.’ This is to the great disappointment of the general public.

Whilst many are calling Gaga’s recent venture into bold fashion statements merely an ‘attention grabbing stunt’ others are desperately trying to find feminist or artistic reasoning behind the outfit choice, Laurie Penny, feminist writer, suggests that ‘It's a clever play on women being viewed as chunks of flesh, as pieces of meat, as things to be consumed.’

Those who are astonished and repulsed by the thought of Lady Gaga’s latest attire could be accused of hypocrisy as they are probably wearing leather shoes, a leather jacket or even watch strap themselves. The ignorance is further outlined when we realise how many people don’t like to see raw meat, instead they like to buy it neatly wrapped, or pre cooked when it comes to consuming. In a way Gaga is standing up for animal rights along with those such as Newkirk.

Fashion professionals have also thrown in their two cents, with Andrew Groves Director of BA Fashion Design at Westminster University, suggesting that the attire is ‘Anti-fashion... what she's doing is quite subversive - it's a commentary on the fashion and the music industries... it's very clever. What Lady Gaga is really saying is: 'I'm above all this, but I'll accept your award. She's very, very smart. She understands that it's possible to be popular but not populist. Lots of people really, really, dislike her, but lots love her as well - the dress taps into that because she'll get lots of flak for it, but plenty of praise too.’ Maybe Gaga is demonstrating that the recent decline in album sales due to the popularity of pirate torrenting has channelled her remaining artistic efforts into fashion and appearance rather than music.

In Gaga’s own words, when responding to press questions, she explains that her outfit was open to ‘many interpretations’ but then goes on to describe how homosexuals have been treated by the US Armed Forces poorly after one man was discharged from the service according to the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy.

One thing that Gaga and her stylist should recognise is that this idea is anything from original. Season 10 of America’s Next Top Model showed wannabe models experiencing being clad in meat attire, at a slaughterhouse, for a photo shoot at which their own meat bikinis were sculpted. In 1991 Canadian artist Jana Sterback also made a gown from steak which was shown at the Canada’s National Gallery and London’s Tate Modern.

Interpret it how you may, one thing is definitely for certain, she’s got people talking again; but at what price?

If the idea of meat as fashion intrigues you, you can pick up your own (plastic) necklace from, £34.14.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


It's all as nice as it looks on the website. Hennes does not fail to impress me! I will edit in some pictures of the clothes on when I've overcome this excitement (I almost hugged the UPS man) and put the whole outfit on!

personal statement time

I'm about to draft my personal statement, I'm so nervous and excited at the same time about this. Going to uni seems scary, it feels like I'm a lot younger than being seventeen education wise even though I feel about thirty in my own skin. I can't wait to take the next step towards my future and my career!
I applied for the position as fashion editor at my college magazine, hoping that this will give me a taste for my university course in fashion journalism. I'd love to get the position, I feel as if the experience would be really valuable, demanding and interesting.

I am waiting in anticipation for my Hennes delivery. I wanted it to come today, so that I could wear my new outfit to the London Tattoo Convention (that my brother in law runs and my sister works at) this weekend. In fact, my sister was on the ITV News at 6 yesterday tattooing our lifelong friend/receptionist at the studio. Marcus explains that Black Heart Studio in Epsom is famous! Check out this link if you're interested in body art, my sister is the one with black hair and you may be able to catch a glimpse of my name on her chest!

Quite gutted I'm going to be down on Sunday and missed being on the telly haha!

So, this ends my post for today, in a while I will be heading to Epsom (where the famous studio is located! ;) ) to go for lunch and have a quick browse round Hennes, New Look etc. Hopefully my card won't be hit too badly...!
Have a good weekend guys! (and head up to the convention if you're interested. It's located at Tabacco Docks in London. The nearest train station is Wapping.)

Harriet x

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

happy shopper!

I am so pleased that Hennes has finally decided to launch an online store! I love their clothes and they're not badly priced either. So that indeed gave me an excuse to of course, shell out £80 on bits and bobs as a nice thank you for them for making my life easier, and not wasting as much petrol to travel half an hour to go for a browse.
I fell in love with quite a few items, the first thing to catch my eye was a leather aviator jacket. Is it just me, or do you find that sometimes (quite often for me it appears) you really want something, clothes wise, but there just isnt any shop which sells it as it is clearly not 'in style'? This happened to me about six months ago with the aviator jacket. I almost shelled out £200 on ebay for a proper ex-flying one, but decided, being not as well off as I would have liked, that £200 was just too expensive for something which may not even fit or suit me. So I waited. Suddenly, out of nowhere they have appeared everywhere! From high fashion catwalks to River Island, Hennes and New Look! It is safe to say that I am pretty ecstatic.
However, as much as the Hennes one excited me on the website (and looks amazing on the beautiful model) I have decided to make the journey to my nearest Hennes to try one on in the flesh before purchasing. Not only is this because I am not sure how to return it if it looks odd/fits badly, but also because I now have such a wide range of these beautiful jackets to choose from!

So, my Hennes purchasing consisted of some biker boots (which I can't wait to wear, I literally might cry when the UPS man delivers them), some leopard print gloves with cute little zips, some dark 'mole' trousers (thought I might try something different from my staple black skinny jeans) and something I vowed never to buy again, but have caved in a moment of weakness; grey denim treggings. Well, I actually vowed never to by jeggings, as I hate them with a passion now, but I hope these ones will look more well fitted and less, well, disgusting!
I also purchased a chain top (not literally, as you can see it has chain print...) and a longline 'powder beige' vest top, which I hope is as pale pink with a hint of beige as it looks in the picture. Now, I am sure I ordered more, but really cannot think of what (I have the memory of a goldfish) so I suppose I will have a/some surprises in my delivery too! :)

I am also really happy Zara decided to open an online shop as when I am in store I often find a few unexpected items which I love, but they don't seem to have in my size. However, I am disappointed by the website (or maybe just the clothes they have in season?) as nothing really jumps out as me as much as I would have liked it to. One thing I do have to say is, their baby section is adorable. No, I am not 'with child' but one of my best friends is six months gone and I have some crazy love of all baby clothes, and don't even get me started on baby shoes! So if you're expecting or have a baby which you want to spoil, definitely head over there and check out their really pretty outfits.

River Island have also changed their website (hurrah! no more flash!) which makes it a lot easier to browse their clothes quickly, and to even save pictures (although I am so used to print screening now because of them...) they have a lot of really nice sheepskin in which I want to head in store to look at. I only rarely buy stuff online from them, as often the sizes don't match up to others, like Topshop, but a couple of months ago I bought a couple of things; a leather mini skirt (yes, I know I was sceptical too but it looks really biker-chic on!) and a Harley top. Maybe because I'm around so many  Harleys now, it was sort of already subliminally sold when I saw it, but it's a really cool baggy top which I can wear with jeans and leggings (a long vest top with the latter). I now have my eye on a chunky knit red double breasted cardigan, but at £40 I really need to  go and see it for myself before I buy.

This generally resolves my clothes shopping for the last month or two, as I have been having a few mechanical problems with my car and therfore am having to spend my money wisely just in case. Other than that, the only other news is that my English AS level got remarked and I jumped up (almost) two grades so now I am 2 marks off of an A, meaning I should hopefully get an A/A* next year if I try harder on the section of the exam I hate most... Poetry. Not only am I angry that the exam board have messed up the marking this much (almost 2 grade boundaries) I am also pretty upset that I decided not to get my Psychology remarked as I thought I did really well in it, but came out with a C. After this English error I will never know if I was deserving of the C or whether it was yet another mistake on their part. It frustrates me how the exam boards cannot communicate with each other to set a proper marking scheme which doesn't allow errors of this immensity to occur.

Anyway, enough of that.
I would love to hear of anything that you LOVE (or maybe just really like) that you have recently bought/seen in the shops. Please leave a comment or link me to your blog and I will read it, I love finding new blogs!

Harriet x

Monday, 30 August 2010


Today I bought some more nail varnish (I think I have successfully purchased the whole Barry M range, however I did pick up one more Barry M called 'Bliue Glitter' (typo?!)
Anyway, now I have decided to test out '17' which were next to each other in boots today.

I bought two colours to test them out, coming in at around £2.99 each:
Orange Soda (Orange) and Fairy Cake (Pink)

I tested them both out (forgot to take a picture) but then painted them all 'Fairy Cake'
Both colours are pastel types. Anyway here is a picture of the 'Fairy Cake' on my nails!

I love it! It's so girly, normally I wouldn't wear stuff like this!

Your probably can't tell but I waxed my arms whilst I was watching Friends earlier, haha, I missed it, I hate body hair, the only hair thats acceptable is on my head/eyelashes/eyebrows!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

sunday 29th

I had a pretty amazing day yesterday. I went to Reading (so much muddier than last year!) to see one of my favourite bands of all time - The Libertines. I don't know if any of you were there/managed to cath it on tv, but they were amazing. They sounded so much like their recordings, and it still feels so surreal that it actually happened. I cried a little but nowhere near as much as my best friend who I was with! The relationship Carl and Pete still have is touching.
Do you ever get that feeling that there are actually some decent people in this world? I hardly ever do, I think the majority of people are bastards, but in the crowd for The Cribs/Dizzee Rascal me and my best friend were standing up against the second bar, and the boys behind us said 'don't crush the girls, we need to protect them and ake sure we don't squash them.' So instead of getting squashed into the bar, the boy behind me put his arms on each side of mine on the bar and created a shield, so that he took all the pain. I know it's not much but you don't really find people like that who care for strangers anymore.
So this is a blurry/horrible picture that I took of my hair before I left. I put the ponytail to the side so that it didn't get caught in the crowd (I never wear my hair up...) and I french plaited my fringe and the front of my hair so that it wouldn't get caught either. I have actually just realised how disgusting my roots look and I am sorry to you all for having to witness this horrendous picture of them. I wore leggings, a long white top a sleeveless grey hooded sweatshirt and one of my dads black jumpers (which drowned me at XXL!!) but I would have been sooo cold otherwise. To finish off I wore some new leopard print wellies from Topshop :)  and then the jewellery that I always wear.
It's my sisters wedding this upcoming Saturday, I'm going to be so busy helping with maid of honour stuff! Exciting! I need to go to get my roots done, my nails done and get a new tan for the photos and to look nice all day when there'll be lots of people I've not seen for years! I'll make sure to post some pictures of the day.

Friday, 27 August 2010

this is getting ridiculous

Sorry guys, bit of a different post.

I don't really know what's wrong with me, I can't seem to sleep any more, ever since I got back from the holiday in Spain at the beginning of July. I can't think of anything which is particularly bothering me either, so not only do I not know why I can't sleep, I can't even try to begin to fix the problem. I'm so tired all the time, to the point where I'm constantly feeling like shit, but I just can't tune out... turn off. On average I'm probably drifting to sleep at about 5.30am and waking up again at 10.30am, and it's not enough because I have used so much energy trying to get to sleep. People tell me to lie in bed and not think about anything other than sleeping. How fucking impossible is that though.... I get so bored to the point where I have to get up and do something or have a cigarette to try and make it better. I can't read. I'm too tired to read, and my eyes just end up burning and I get a headache.
I never normally cry, and I've cried five times in the past two days out of frustration. I stayed with my mum and stepdad for a couple of days this week, and it sounds so childish, but when they told me they were going to bed because the had work the next day, and to remember to locck up before I eventually venture upstairs, I just felt my face getting wet. I guess I was probably crying out of jealousy because I know that they're both tired and can easily sleep after laying down for five minutes.
I think if this doesn't clear up I'm going to head down to the doc and ask for some sleeping pills. I don;t want to take them, the only thing that is keeping me sane right now is dreaming and getting away from everything, even for the few hours I've been experiencing recently.
I'm wasting all my efforts and smoking too much again now. This insomnia is getting expensive...

(I don't expect anybody to read this, but if you do and have had any past experiences/tips, please try to leave a comment)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

so i have decided that i'm going to get creative...

i love cushions.
i have loads of cushions on my bed, but they're all black red and pink, whereas my bedroom is pretty vibrant with colours. last night, i went to ikea, and i bought a couple more cushions (one black and one red for £2.99 each) to add to my collection. since getting back from my holiday to spain, i have been finding it really very difficult to sleep and normally drift off around 4.30am. so last night, when i was laying there until 5.45am (yes, very painful...) i decided to do something new and try and customise some cushions to make them more personal! i always see these extravagant living and bed rooms in style magazine and get really jealous.
here is my plan layed out for all of you!
i'm going to go back to ikea, and buy some plain cushions, and then different coloured cushion covers. they're all relatively cheap so im going to buy quite a few but in all different colours. then i'm going to begin customising them.
hobbycraft will be my next pit stop where i will pick up some more fabric, and border material like strips of lace and velvet in different colours. i'm also going to buy beads and sequins in various colours. i'm pretty quick with my hands so it shouldn't take me long to have a nice collection that style would be jealous of (haha i wish...!) i also like the idea of stitching some old school type designs into the cushions, so that they will really feel personal to me.
i'll be sure to post some photos nearer the time, but i am so excited about this!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

oooh shoe racks

My dad made me shoe racks to my request, they are unfinished but I was so eager and excited to have them in my dressing room and want to show you all a couple of pictures!
I still have shoes leftover, so when he's finished this, he's making me another! How do you keep your shoes?

hi! new purchases and my surprise!

Hey guys, sorry about the no posts for a few weeks, I've been really busy recently with work and my birthday! So for my birthday I bought myself a few presents with the money that I have been given.

The first is a pauls boutique bag which I bought from ASOS for £70, colour: mushroom.

The second I bough from ebay for £33 (RRP £125!) which was a bargain. Ralph Lauren rugby polo.

My birthday went a little like this: wake up, went to DSA centre in Croydon to take my theory (which I passed :)). At 2pm I had my first driving lesson, which was really fun, and when I got home my best friend came over to see me. We went out for dinner with my nan, mum, stepdad, sister and brother in law at an italian restaurant where I met four other people who shared my birthday. After this me and my best friend went back to my mums house and had a few more drinks before being dropped back at my dads.
However, I was more excited for the next day (31st) for this reason:
I picked up my baby Vinnie!

Now my life is being consumed with driving lessons and seeing friends that I haven't been in contact with for a while, which is really lovely. My sisters wedding is in a few weeks time and as maid of honour I am really excited for it. I cannot believe I will be going back for my final week of college in a month and that I get my AS results in two weeks, what I base my University choice on. Scary stuff!

What has everyone else been up to? Did you all have nice holidays? (I'm losing my tan in this shitty english weather!)

Friday, 16 July 2010

back from espana!

So I went to Spain for a week with some friends, it was just what I needed and we all had a bloody good time (emphasis on bloody, many minor injuries!) Anyway, I thought you might like to see a few holiday photos to get an idea of what the weather was like and outfits to take on holiday if any of you are going to a similar climate!
The place we went to was near Málaga and a 7 minute taxi to a place called '24 hour party square' (slightly deceiving as we got chucked out at 4/5am)
Don't wear tights if you go anywhere near spain, even if you never get your legs out like me. Couldn't even bare the thought of them!

im on the far left in the white dress and gladiator sandals
hottest day ever and we decided to go up a mountain to a village called 'mijas'
wearing a short grey bodycon skirt with studs and a beige superdry top.
drunk no.1
wearing a black bodycon skirt with a white new look spaghetti strap top and over the top a lace collar/shouldered vest top
no. 2
on the way... before ordering a 40€ long island ice tea fishbowl...  bad idea!
this night was quite cold, so i wore my black bodycon skirt, a topshop chain print vest top and this new look holey cardigan

any of you off anywhere nice for summer?

Monday, 21 June 2010


I have received so many compliments on my sandals at college! It makes me really happy when someone says something nice about my shoes! So I thought they deserved their own little blog posting for making me so happy these past few summer months...

These are the most popular among college people. My babies from River Island! (£34.99)
Normally I don't 'do' gladiator sandals but these are f(sn)akeskin ones and the gold bars are really pretty.

and the new ones I bought on friday from Topshop went down pretty well today too with people asking me where they're from :) (£35)
Next ones to buy are definitely these cute ones from River Island (£34.99)
and I'm really gutted that these ones have already sold out :( (£34.99)

Anyway, hope you all like them too, my summer staples! I'd love for you to post a link in a comment to this with a picture of your favourite sandals and where they're from!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

IM BACK; lots of shopping, pictures of purchases! :)

So sorry about the length of time I was away, I really missed updating but I felt I should 'try' to 'revise' for my exams the week before last (yes, I took a bit of a rest afterwards!)

Yesterday I went to look around Goldsmiths College, and really loved it! Definitely going in my (5) university choices :) along with UCL, Nottingham, Leeds (and I can't decide on the fifth :/ recommendations for good English Literature course?)

During the week, I did what I do best. Shopping. And I bought a lot.  Here's a list of what I can remember off the top of my head!

1. Two new plain white long Topshop vest tops..
I wear my one so often it's no longer white! Topshop have finally started to stock them again. Definite staple to wear with leggings, jeans, skirts, anything in my wardrobe really, don't know what I would do without them...

2. Black heels from BANK
I've wanted these for so long, and my sister getting married seems like a pretty good excuse. Not too expensive but look lovely on. Killer high though!

3. Anklet from Accessorize
I often buy little anklets from accessorize but I stopped doing so when they began turning my ankle green after a few days! Seeing as this one cost £3 and was quite pretty I decided to buy it anyway, you can see it in the photo above as well. Very chic and pretty with a dangly chain and butterfly.

4. Anklet from an Amazon seller
Cost £10, a simple sterling silver small linked anklet, to last a long time as I love the one I bought above. Can't find the conformation email to post a picture so I will do that when it (hopefully) arrives tomorrow :)
5. Bridesmaids dress from Coast
Lovely material, bit pricey at £85 and the jumper at £55 especially for a 'casual' wedding but it's my sister and my mum paid for it anyway hehe. This is clearly not how my hair will be like etc on the big day and I will post some wedding pictures in September when the ceremony takes place! I know the dress is red and black but my sister is covered in tattoos and so it really won't look weird.

6. Coral sandals from Topshop
Saw them at the beginning of the week and regrettably didnt try them on, but then saw them in a different Topshop store, tried them on and fell in love with them! £35

7. White dress from LOVE
Military style white strapless summer dress, will be perfect for my impending holiday! Post a picture later on tonight as it is hanging on my wall upstairs! It cost £35 (everything seems to have cost me £35...)

8. Black cardigan from ZARA 
£25, pretty standard black cardigan, I don't think a picture is necessary! But I am wearing it now, as I type...

9. White smock top from New Look
Looks great with leggings and a cardigan! Wore to the pub the other day, was a big hit. Relatively cheap but I lost the tag, definitely less than £20 though!

10. Beige cardigan from New Look
Looks a lot better left open than it does with the buttons up, but it is a lovely little cardigan that I wear over a white vest top and jeans/long white vest top and leggings. This was £25

11. Lace vest top from Topshop
Really love this vest top, the lace around the top looks lovely on, I think this would look great with those of you out there that wear loafers that seem to be in fashion (I don't own any) but I will probably wear it with black high waisted shorts. £15

12. Okay, so I haven't (and won't be) buying this Pauls Boutique bag but my friends are all putting money together to get it for me (how beautiful is it?!?!) Quite pricey at a grand old £70

An that was about it other than a bag of thai sweet chilli crisps from Tesco and caesar salad ingredients from Marks :)

I now have a grand total of £3.07 to last me until the end of this month.. bad times but a price to pay for nice things, right guys?!

What are your thoughts on my new purchases? Will you be checking any of them out yourselves?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Sorry about the lack of updating :(

Hi everyone!
I've had a very busy weekend and I've been trying to revise as well for exams coming up next week.
Seeing as I haven't really been out (other than to sunbathe in the park and grab a Nandos with my best friend) there hasn't been much to update you all on.

I saw my eldest sister and her family over the weekend, and had a lot of fun playing with the kids, taking them to the park for the day and meeting the new baby!
Here's one of the many pictures we took on 'Grandad Johnny' 's laptop! 

After my exams next week I will resume my postings. Hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. Did any of you do anything exciting?

Heres a picture of me and my new baby nephew

Sunday, 23 May 2010

london heatwave!!

Wow, it's been such a good weekend, I have been subathing since about 2pm yesterday and today from 9am-7pm! Probably wasn't the best idea to smother myself in olive oil but I have more of a tan and didnt have to pay for it!! 30'c tomorrow Londoners! :)
Anyway, sorry I haven't posted for a while, I've been panicking about my AS exams, which are all dotted around over the next few weeks, as I've done no revision! :(

So I thought I'd dedicate this post to festivals! I went to T in the Park (Scotland) and Reading last summer, and am going to Reading on the saturday only this year! Is anyone else booked for camping/festival?

When i went last year, me and friends camped for 4 days, and there is always something you forget to take!! For me, it was sun cream and a head scarf to cover up the greasy hair after the first two days. I had to pay £5 for a scarf at a stall to tie round to hide it! But definitely take as much Batiste as you think you may need, dry shampoo, which comes in a can and you can spray, rub in and brush out. Apparently you can get bastiste for brunettes now! Something to look into for all you dark haired! Definitely spray your hair as much as possible with heat defense because it dries up in the heat of the sun sooo quickly.
I also had to end up buying wellies because I forgot to take any and the mud was insane!!
Fav. hair look:

Second best wellies to classic (black-my fav.) Hunters:

The trick to stay chic at a festival is to accessorise. Wear as much jewellery; necklaces, rings, string/wooden/bangle bracelets and hair accessories as possible. Sunglasses like ray bans make girls look instantly festivalised. I think there is also an unspoken competition between all the girls at festivals: wellies. Whether, they're classic Hunter boots, or biker style, everyboddy judges them, basically don't buy primark ones because you can tell how cheap they are and they also hurt really bad by the end of the day.

Showers: me and my friends had baby wipe showers instead of using the communal showers. We kicked everyone out the tent whilst we had a wash with around 30 wipes at a time! Leaves you fresh and smelling nice, without the trek to and from the showers and instead of having to lug a towel there. (Hopefully I'll be driving by Reading this year so i won't be so achey afterwards haha)

Here are some of my favourite festival looks:

You like?

What did all of you do this weekend? Have you got plans for next weekend already? I'm spending the weekend at my mums house as my sister,her husband, nephew, niece and new baby nephew are visiting! Can't wait to take the kids out for ice cream and catch up with my sis!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

summer look and light reading!

I have a summer outfit of the day which I created, and also an unlikely reccomendation!

Firstly, here is the outfit which I love love love!
  • Necklace - Tiffanys (I own :))
  • Handbag - Miu Miu
  • Earrings - Chanel
  • Bunny ring - Forever21
  • Floral bracelet - Forever21
  • Stacked bracelets - Forever21
  • Top - Abercrombie (I own :))
  • Nail Varnish - Chanel
  • Gladiator sandals - River Island (I own :))
  • Sunglasses - Gucci
  • Blazer - Republic 
  • Shorts - Topshop
A second thing;
I while ago I read 'that extra half an inch' by Victoria Beckham (taking it with a pinch of salt)
ictoria Beckham's writing about fashion is surprisingly very enjoyable. It is not only a guide to different clothes, but also beauty and style, and although not written amazingly well, it has a sort of personal conversational feel to it. In my opinion the book is perfect for fashionistas, I particularly found the section on types of jeans very interesting.
I also found out that it's co-written with Hadley Freeman - Vogue & the Guardian giving the book a tone of authority. The book is generally a collection of tips and guidelines, aiming at giving inspiration rather than dictating outfit choices to readers, high street items are suggested in association with designers, for those who cannot afford the price tag which comes with the name!
Not only is it a fun book to read, the illustrations are also really interesting, as they are preliminary sketches by designers. It is the perfect book to flick through when you’re looking for inspiration and advice.
Please take into account that I don’t particularly like Victoria Beckham as a person! I was interested in what her advice would be as I am open to what all people have to say about fashion!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

everything that I want

Being a fool, I lost the document that goes with this photo saying where all the items are from...
But how lovely are these clothes!? If I find it I'll add it in here!
15 - are obviously UGGS
16 - are definitely from BANK

need to find the rest again!

Harriet xx

Thursday, 13 May 2010

a few new things...

I've already broken the last £20 left in my account today. I couldn't resist!
I popped into boots and saw the Diet Coke and nails inc. offer and had to investigate.

I chose the colour 'London' out of the shades, which is like a creamy beige colour. I don't really rate the colour against my skin (I'm like a little bit lighter...!) but it is quite nice for the price of two bottles of diet coke.

I also had a long look around the make up concessions. The boots near my college is really small so there aren't too many brands on offer there, but I tested ALL of the nude and pale pink lipsticks on the back of my hand so that I could find a new colour for summer, instead of the usual lipgloss. (Yes my hand was completely smothered for a few hours)

To my surprise, my favourite colour was make up brand, 17. The colour is 'Blonde' and it goes really nicely with my complexion. I also got some photos taken today for my drivers license, and I had just applied it in the booth before pressing the button!

It has a kind of sparkle to it, not an obvious one but it is a little tinted. I'm in love with it already! (Plus the range of lippys are £3.99 so I managed to pick it up on my boots card with advantage points!)

Harriet xx

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Fake Tan vs. Sunbed

This article leads us to the big debate.
Sun-bedding versus fake tanning offers many a dispute among my college friends/family/people I don't even know and I. This conversation topic has inspired me to research and write about it due to the longstanding opinions surrounding it.

Despite what a lot of people say, there are still many individuals who prefer using sun beds to a fake tanning lotion. It’s hard to believe with the amount of orange people you see today, but usually there can be up to a fifteen minute wait in many local sun bed salons.

Most of you will probably know how sun beds work, but here’s a short rundown of them.
The strobe lighting tubes in the beds emit ultraviolet radiation, both UVA and UVB, and these rays have ten to fifteen times greater intensity than the sun at midday. The reason these rays are more likely to cause skin cancer is because the radiation penetrates much further into the skin cells, causing both gene damage and skin cancer. 6,709 cases of malignant melanoma occur each year in the UK alone.

The main advantage of using sun beds is that you get an all over even natural tan for less money than a fake tan, it looks a lot better and it doesn’t streak, go patchy, wash off in water or disintegrate with a hard workout.

The best way to stay safe on a sun bed is to use sun cream. You are advised by the assistants in the tanning shop not to use it on the sun beds but this is generally because if they ‘forget’ to clean it after each use, they get complaints. They also sell tiny little pots of tan accelerator, that range from about £1.50-£5 and only last one session (you can buy a whole bottle for around £10), to boost their profits. Sun cream does in fact help to protect you from the UVA /UVB rays and stops you burning, plus if you buy a factor 15 cream then it protects but doesn’t block the rays completely (sun block on the other hand prevents the UVA/UVB rays from entering your skin and makes it completely pointless to use the beds). Eye goggles are provided in each cubicle, usually along with moisturiser/make up remover for each customer. Most people tend not to use the goggles on the lower intensity beds but it can cause eye damage on the higher ones or with frequent use, so it shouldn’t really be risked.

Spray tans. They usually last about a week with the best care, and they are also much more high maintenance. You are unable to shave less than 24 hours before getting them and it is also not advised to use deodorants or perfumes as this can make the tan discolour. In addition, up to eight hours after the tan is applied you shouldn’t; shower, use deodorant, perfume, soap, work up a sweat, etc and it is also better to wear no clothes until it has really dried and finished on your skin. After this you have to shower and exfoliate daily, pat yourself completely dry before dressing and then moisturise twice a day. Your bathwater also goes brown/orange and it can begin to blotch. Although maintaining your skin like this is beneficial anyway and does definitely not damage your skin, it is probably not the best tan for a busy person with little spare time, and a lot of effort. There is also the increased chance that you choose the wrong colour for your skin and unlike moisturising tans in shops, it takes a long time to wash off and it is almost impossible to scrub off without damaging your skin. Furthermore, unless the spray tanner is a professional, the appliers are not good enough to ensure there are no streaks, plus there is the issue of body confidence and being semi/naked around a stranger once a week.

When I was in school there was one girl who frequently got spray tans by a professional, and they were always streaky. One time my teacher announced to the class ‘does she know that she’s that colour?’ when she left the room to go to the toilet and further questioned her upon her return, asking if she had been to Barbados for the weekend.

I myself do use sun beds. I prefer having a natural even tan and a healthy (questionable!) glow. I know all about the disadvantages of sun beds and really worry about my health at times, especially as I try to go every other day for eight minutes at each time. I always apply sun cream to under my breasts and my tummy as that’s where I usually burn. Once my tan has built up to my desired colour I start going once a week instead. A lot of people who attend my college are orange from spray tanning and all the boys think they look ridiculous, especially as they continue to use their natural skin colour foundation and it makes them look even worse!

It costs me about £5.40 a go on the sun bed and there are always really friendly staff who give me advice whether I ask for it or not. Once, my friend came with me whilst I went on and they told her that she wasn’t to go on a bed (not that she insinuated she wanted to, she’s ginger and doesn’t tan at all) which has reassured me that the assistants really do care about the safety of their clients. At around £20 a week, it is the same cost as an average spray tan, therefore for me it’s definitely not about the money.

Recently, a couple of friends have started coming tanning with me after commenting on my glow, and they have become noticeably more tanned too, and love it! (I didn’t encourage it, and told them the common advantages and disadvantages of using them).

WARNING: sun beds are definitely addictive and should be used with extreme precaution, care and attention as to how long they are used per session. You should make sure to ask a tanning assistant for advice before using a bed.

What are your opinions on tanning? What are your tanning rituals? To tan or not to tan, that is the question...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Happy tuesday!

So today i thought that I'd post this new dress that I bought at the end of winter, I bought it for summer and I can't wait until it gets a little warmer so that I can wear it out!
I'm probably going to have to wear little white shorts underneath it because it's realllly short and I don't want the Marilyn Monroe effect.
Outfit 1:
Vintage leopard print heels
Primark - dark red snakeskin belt
Republic - dress

Outfit 2:
Office - cowboy boots
Jack Wills - cardigan
Primark - dark red snakeskin belt
Republic - dress

Harriet xx

Monday, 10 May 2010

Eight most worn things

I've seen these on a few different Blogs and I find them interesting in comparison with my favourite things!

1. Lipstick/lipgloss
2. Earrings
3. Shirt
4. Nail polish
5. Shoes
6. Hair product
7. Perfume
8. Handbag


1. Lipstick/lipgloss
This is my favourite lip gloss by Benefit, it's called 'Life on the A List'. I wear it most days, at college and out and about with friends.

2. Earrings
It really upsets me that loads of the earrings today are so pretty and chic, but I usually wear plain sterling silver diamond earrings. (5 of them!) and then my ears are stretched to 10mm each. Here's a couple of pictures.

3. ShirtThis is really difficult but gotta be this staple vest from Topshop. I have about three of them and I wear them under loads of things from jumpers and lacy vests to tops which are quite thin and you can see my bra through!

4. Nail polish

I tend to french manicure my nails myself for during the week and then on the weekend I use crimson or 'Valentine' red nail polish!

5. Shoes
Can't go wrong with ballet pumps. If I dont have enough time to get ready these babies go with everything!

6. Hair product

I NEED TO PUT 3 DOWN HERE! i) Bed Head Curls Rock serum: Perfect for naturally curly hair, that goes frizzy! I like to leave my hair natural sometimes, and my curls are quite nice but they also go quite frizzy when left to dry naturally so I use this after washing and it defines my curls and fights the frizz! My hairdresser friend reccommended it to me.

ii) Bed Head Hard Head Hairspray: Perfect for backcombing and adding volume. I use it every day. Smells so good as well.

iii) Batiste: I use the tropical smelling one (the best) I first started using this when I had to get out of my house by 5am and get home at 7pm most nights. In between washes (or when I was too tired) a quick spray of this and fluff round makes your hair more volumised and looks less greasy. I use it now, because it is healthier to not wash it every day and it also makes my roots look less dark!

7. PerfumeVivienne Westwood Boudoir all the way.

8. Handbag

Pink/beige leather handbag!

Hope that was interesting! :)

Harriet xx