The battle of the hairsprays

I am a hairspray fiend. I am the lover of the hair donut (mostly because I am lazy/have too much hair to blow-dry) and I use hairspray to tame down the wispy bits that always want to escape from kirby grips. Hairspray is also an essential if like me, you love big hair. Here I give you the low-down on my top 3 hairsprays and what they are best for.

Elnett Satin Supreme Hold
Elnett is a classic. From the smell to the bottle, I don't think that there's a variation I don't like! I think Elnett is perfect to hold in back-combing, curls and up-dos as it holds without feeling sticky. It also brushes out easily which is great if you are re-styling your hair more than once in a day (i.e. office to night out and zero time to jump in the shower!). Elnett really is for everyone. In my 22 years, it's yet to fail me!

Boots Exquisite Hairspray
I picked up this one day in Boots as it was weirdly similar in style to an Elnett bottle. At half the price, Exquiste hair spray is great value for money and would be great for anyone who uses hair spray on a daily basis. It gives great hold but unlike Elnett, it's a bit more soild and doesn't brush out. 

Fudge Iced Raspberry and Vanilla Hairspray
If you have short hair or like a very texturised look, this sweet smelling Fudge hairspray is for you. I find that I graviate to this more when I am wearing my hair up and the aforementioned wispy bits will not play along. A even have a male friend who really loves this hairspray (though he tells me it is the smell of it he likes the most!)

Let me know your favourite hairsprays!

That Belfast Girl

New Scent: Jimmy Choo Flash

I am a fragrance freak. I own at least ten and have them on constant rotation. This year my mother surprised me with the perfume set of Jimmy Choo Flash. I usually ask for a perfume for Christmas but blogging had brought me a lot of perfume gifts in the past year so I wanted to use them up. My mother said she was sold on this perfume for me on the basis that the box looked like a disco ball (What that says about my personality, I'll never know!). I love fresh scents, slightly woody with a bit of sexy musk. Jimmy Choo incorporates all of these elements. It has top notes of pink pepper, tangerine and strawberry with base notes of powdery woods. This makes it smell clean but gives it the sexy smell I always look for. I also must admit that perfume sets are largely wasted on me but the body cream of Jimmy Choo Flash has been great post shower. Unlike many other scented creams, it's not too over powering and doesn't bother my sensitive skin. A great scent for everyday and for all of my readers who are looking for something fresh for 2014. 

That Belfast Girl

#TRENDALERT: The Logo Sweater

I'm trying really hard to embrace my casual side and I have been pining for a logo sweater. They are fun with jeans and converse or alternatively glammed up with leather leggings and a statement necklace. They seem a little bit hipster, totally on trend and super comfy. There are lots in highstreet stores at the minute, including some great numbers in Primark. My advice: stay bold with them. Block colours, statement writing! Always remember to look in the boys/mens sections of your favourite shops. They often have much more interesting prints (particular Primark!) Here I detail some of my favourite sweaters of the moment. The brand rip offs do make me laugh a bit!

Homies Sweatshirt, £45, Urban Outfitters 
Iconic Clueless Sweatshirt, Forever 21, £16.75

#TRENDALERT: Michael Kors Selma Inspired Bags

Michael Kors Selma in the middle surrounded by the Plated Holdall Bag from Topshop

I know so many people who received Michael Kors bags and watches for Christmas, and no wonder! They are gorgeous. I do fancy myself a Michael Kors Selma bag but I trying to save for a possible trip to America later this year. However, I spotted these gorgeous Selma inspired bags on Topshop's website for £40. A great alternative as the Selma retails for over £300. I think the baby blue is particularly gorgeous. Baby blue is set to the the "in" colour this season! These are a great bag for work or shopping- big enough to store the odd purchase in (Bag tax here in Northern Ireland) and house all the usual junk women carry in their bags. 

I'm trying really hard not to click "purchase" in my basket! 

That Belfast Girl

Honest Face

Sometimes I wish I could live life with no makeup on. There is something amazing and freeing about freshly cleansed skin. 

This post was spurred on by a few things:

a) my friend recently said "don't believe everything you see on the internet". True, and even truer in the beauty blogger world.
b) I have major Insta-envy. I check Instagram every morning when I wake up and before I go to bed. It's filled with beautiful people who all seem like they have perfect skin 
c) I try to be the most honest blogger I can be!

I don't like lying about beauty blogging and pretend that it isn't pressuring. When  I get invited to an event I instantly go into a cold sweat and wonder if cameras will be there. There is such pressure to feel perfect all the time in society so imagine what it is like when you post your makeup musings online! There are so many big time bloggers who spend hours editing and lighting photos but I could never be like that. Yes, sometimes I have to fix the light or a piece of hair but I have no time for over-edited pictures which often make a product look different than it actually is. 

As seen above on the left, I've a full face on. I was going out for dinner with friends and I did a heavy contour, major concealer and lots of mascara (but yes they are my own lashes!). On the right is a selfie I took to send my friend (Ok, snapchat is my new obsession!) of my hair freshly blowdried. And I actually don't hate it! I don't have perfect skin at all. Confidence comes in a foundation bottle for me and I see nothing wrong with it but at the same time, I hope I'll try to embrace my natural skin more this year (just not when we are at an event and the man from the Ulster Tatler starts walking towards me!). 

That Belfast Girl 

Growing into style

I'm a great believer in investment pieces. I think if you really fall in love with something that will last a long time, go ahead and buy it! I recently realised how long I had this Zara coat for. I got it in the autumn of 2008 to go on a school trip to New York at Halloween. So there I am on the left, aged 16, all sweet and innocent on the steps in Times Square. I remember there being somewhat of a mixed reaction to my coat but then a character on Hollyoaks had it and suddenly I was very en vogue. I love this coat because it's essentially a giant cardigan made from coat fabric. It always seems to get a trick during the festive season! So here I am on the right wearing it recently. It fits completely differently on me now. In 2008, I was about 5ft7, flat chested and a size 12. Now I'm 5ft10, a size 14 and cry when I have to pay ridiculous money for a bra.

But my point is this; sometimes you have to grow into your style. This piece is 6 years old and feels more "me" now than it did then. I think I've always been a pretty cool dresser but it's taken a good few years to fine tune it! I think this may be the last year of this coat. I think it cost about £150 at the time but I clearly have got my money out of it! 

Do you have any pieces like this in your wardrobe? Tweet me @GemmaLEBond and let me know. 

That Belfast Girl

Dressy Casual

When someone says "Dressy casual" to me I usually fly into a blind panic for two reasons: a) I have been described as looking ill when I'm dressed down and b) I like being glam 24/7. It's true that I am the type of person who just suits being dressed well. I have friends who have never seen me in gym wear and until recently one of my best friends had never seen me sans my full face of makeup. 

However, since 2014 heralds a new age for the blog and for me in my life, my attempt at "dressy casual" is here for you all to see. We were heading to The Barking Dog for a friends birthday so I teamed my favourite Super High Waisted back jeans from Primark with some leather court shoes from M&S. Truth be told, these are actually my new work shoes and I needed to break them in but they seem to work in many a situation. Office to party, check. On top I wore 2 January sale finds. Firstly, a rather drapey grey tee from Topshop. I love the fit of this as it's so slouchy (and will cover post meal bloat... Let's be honest ladies, we all get it!). On top of this is my new black blazer. I needed one as my old one had seen its day and I picked this number up from Primark for a bargain £10. It's probably hard to see in the picture but it has leather arms giving it a bit more of an edge. Lastly, I threw on a statement necklace from Primark, £5. They have lots of great necklaces in at the moment and I'd advise anyone to pick up one. They change an outfit in a minute for very little money. 

Let me know what you think of my dressy casual attempt!

That Belfast Girl 

Hair Mission 2014

Serious hair growth inspiration. Helena Bonham Carter's hair is amazing! 
2013 was a year that I worked really hard to keep my New Year's Resolution. I have had a life long fear of dogs. And when I say fear I mean cold sweats, panic attack, avoidance... the lot! I am so proud to say that I stuck to my resolution in 2013. It wasn't easy and required an awful lot of Rescue Remedy but I did it! I wouldn't say I'd be happy to encounter an Alsatian on a dark night but I can finally go to my friend's homes if they have dog. 

As for 2014, I am committed to fulfilling another life long unfilled wish. I want to have long hair. I've had bob to medium length hair for most of my length. The longest it has ever been was when my cousin was born almost 10 years ago. It was about bust length and it was beautiful. I want my hair back to that length. I have very curly hair which also has to be coloured every 6 weeks as I am very grey. I am working on trying to let it dry naturally and using products catered to my hair type. I have lots of hair but the hair I have would be medium in texture. It gets damaged really easily hence the amount of times it has ended up in a bob! By the end of 2014 I want my hair back down to my bust. I'm determined. I know that if my hair was longer I could leave it naturally and it would be lovely. My hair is currently to my shoulders so I have a long way to go. For now, I am using lots of hair oils and looking longingly at pictures of Helena Bonham Carter, Kate Bush, Nigella Lawson and Sarah Jessica Parker. 

So I am on a  mission! Follow me on Twitter @gemmalebond and encourage me!

I will do monthly updates on my progress- keep tuned in. 

That Belfast Girl