When people ask you who your idol or inspiration is it can be hard to pinpoint one person who has the sort of longevity to constantly be a source of inspiration. After all, we live in a world where today’s triumphs are tomorrow’s trash, so everyone’s looking to latch on to the ‘next big thing’ (before someone else instagrams it…).

I’ve had many idols of the celebrity variety of the years, but there’s only ever been one that’s continued to inspire me through my whole life and constantly surprises me with her ability to reinvent herself.

I believe I was 3 years old when I was sat in front of Top of the Pops, transfixed by Madonna, who was, at the time, sporting a bright pink wig singing Holiday. That was the beginning of a lifelong adulation for the woman who would become an international pop star, actress, dancer, performer, fashion icon, mother, film director, businesswoman and icon.

I’m sure my parents were horrified that I just wanted to be Madonna, when I could’ve chosen someone a bit less offensive and sexualised. At ten years old I’d moved on from having posters on my wall and cassettes of all her albums to asking the hairdresser to bleach my hair and refusing to remove the bright red lipstick I thought was appropriate for school. Come to think of it, I haven’t really moved on from those issues!

So almost 30 years later, I finally got the chance to see my idol perform at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena. Having missed her last visit to Scotland (a near universally-panned performance at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh) I didn’t know quite what to expect.

Was she still up for it? Would she play my favourite hits? Would she disappoint me like some many of our idols do? Yes, yes and no. Turning up fashionably late, she put on a spectacular two hour show with no breaks – truly the queen of everything.

For the majority of the show I just looked on in awe as she perfected dance routines and changed costumes seamlessly, adding in a few one-liners to show she still has a sense of humour these days.

Many things have been and will be written about her, and she wouldn’t have it any other way, but for me the most impressive thing about Madonna is her ability to keep going. Criticism of her music, acting ability, appearance, personal life and political beliefs don’t stop her from doing what she wants to do, whether other people believe she should or not.

And that’s the thing I suppose – they’re all just other people, but there will only ever be one Madonna.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

I’ve managed to escape being tagged in those Facebook posts currently clogging up newsfeeds; you know the ones – ‘thanks for the nominations, here’s 7 random facts about me’.

Some people are completely missing the point of course, with random facts turning into obvious lists of things we already know because YOU POST ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK ALL THE TIME. The best ones usually go something like… 1. I love my family 2. My dog too he is amaaaazing 3. I have the best boyfriend in the world ever… yawn.

But some of them are actually worth a like and I’ve laughed to myself while reading things I never knew about my best friends or Facebook acquaintances.

So here’s my ‘7 Random Beauty Facts’, in no particular order…

1. I have an irrational fear of eyelash curlers.

Straight up, the contraptions terrify me. I have tried to put them near my lashes but always end up convinced that I’m going to accidentally pull them out and have bald eyelids. Forever.

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2. I don’t know what my natural hair colour is

I’ve dyed my hair since I was 14 and that is genuinely the last time I can safely say I saw my natural hair colour. I think it was a chestnutty brown shade, but since I’ve spent over half my life with dyed locks it’s very difficult to recall.

I started off on Wella Colour Mousse, dying every towel in the house a lovely shade of red, before discovering bleach and deciding that I was going to be blonde like my childhood idol Madonna after all.

 

3. I’m a blonderexic

My mane’s definitely been through the colour wars with me and my obsession with being blonder than blonde. I do believe it’s a diagnosable illness, when your hair’s whiter than snow and somehow all you can see is yellow brass.

It all came to a head the time I decided my hair wasn’t blonde enough and bought some peroxide and bleach toner for a few home improvement sessions… that ended with the left side of my hair deciding to fall off before I abused it anymore. It took about five years to bounce back. Painful.

These days the fear of having short, frizzy hair is enough to steer me away from any extra lightening activities but for moments of weakness I have silver shampoo and fake tan on standby, always guaranteed to make me feel extra blonde!

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4. Uneven eyeliner = bad day

It’s the one thing I can rely on in the morning, the barometer of how my day is going to turn out. If it’s fifties pin-up perfection then I know it’s been worth getting outta bed. If it looks like I’ve drawn it in my sleep, I should probably just jump back under the duvet and forget it. True story.

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5. I don’t straighten my hair (anymore)

This is the one that most people can’t believe but it was a self-imposed ban that has helped my hair get back to straight health after the incidents outlined in fact 3. My hair was never in need of being ironed daily to start with. But, like many girls in 2002, I was sold the GHD dream of poker straight shiny locks and developed a completely unnecessary ten year habit.

The problem with straightening your hair every day is that your hair actually becomes addicted to the heat, only sitting properly when you’ve run those ceramic plates through every last strand. It develops a frizz that is only tamed by heat pressing down the split ends, caused by the straighteners in the first place.

Unless your hair is naturally wavy, curly or coarse, steer clear of these things. It took me two years of only ever straightening my hair at the weekend or on special occasions to finally break free.

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6. I have a love affair with Double Wear

The best-selling Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation has been a staple in my makeup bag since I was 19. As a student this wasn’t a cheap purchase but it was worth parting with the student loan. Once I realised I could get flawless skin and it lasted 6 months compared to 6 weeks of the cheaper foundations I was using, I was sold. For life, it would seem.

These days I tend to wear Fresco when my skin is paler and Sand Beige when I’m tanned, but the formula has always remained one that works with my skin no matter the shade. I would actually be heartbroken if this was ever discontinued! The rest of the Double Wear range is pretty good too, the concealer and eyeliner are now also staples in my beauty bag.

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7. It took me 28 years to wear red lipstick

Properly anyway. I had tried it on many occasions, but when I looked at myself in the mirrorI felt like a wee girl who had played with her mum’s makeup bag. Not some blonde bombshell with sex appeal, as was promised by many a red lipstick advert.

It may have been bad hair, overly-smoky eyes or just the wrong shade, but for years I smeared the red lippie off my face just about as fast as I had put it on. That all changed when I tried Topshop’s Rio Rio (don’t think I’ve mentioned that shade before??) and at last I had found my fit.

These days I own a multitude of red lipsticks but that was the first one I had the courage to wear all night and actually felt amazing when people not only compliment but asked what I was wearing. Result!

They say there’s a red lipstick for everyone and now I really do believe it.

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Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

You could almost hear the gasps of every front row fashionista when the dollar dropped that this was Kate’s first campaign for the late great (Lee) Alexander McQueen.

Her first campaign since turning 40 this month and her first-ever for the eponymous fashion label, Kate Moss for Alexander McQueen is just as dark and edgy as you’d expect it to be.

Dressed in an ensemble from Sarah Burton’s uniform-inspired SS14 collection for McQueen, Kate assumes the role of leather-clad urban warrior against a dystopian background.

The film for the campaign is eerily black, with the occasional flash of light catching those famed cheekbones, accentuated by the handiwork of make-up extraordinaire Val Garland.

A luminous yellow pixie-crop wig almost transforms the model into Stella Tennant-style etherealism, so much so that I had to do a double-take the first time I saw the campaign.

And where do you get those mini-me Kate Moss toy soldiers, complete with elfin haircut and tartan kilt?!

There’s a bit of Blair Witch about the ending of the film, but the rest of it sees Kate slowly stomping her gladiator sandals through a deserted building to meet her fate… whatever that may be.

Worth a watch, but maybe with the lights on…

Images and film: Steven Klein

www.alexandermcqueen.com

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Patsy Kensit’s autobiography Absolute Beginner
Patsy Kensit and Liam Gallagher on the cover of
Vanity Fair magazine at the height of Cool Britannia

When I heard Patsy Kensit was penning an autobiography I knew I had to buy it it. Part self help and part curiosity, I look forward to finding out how she’s managed to stay a hopeless romantic in spite of four failed marriages and a string of betrayals from men she loved. Especially when one of those failed marriages involved the man she says will always be the love of her life, Liam Gallagher. Where do you go after that?!

Throw in a couple of cancer scares, a less than ideal upbringing and a constant battle to remain thin poor Patsy’s not exactly had it easy, so the book (so far) is proving to be a fascinating read.

These days she’s most recognised as the face of Weight Watchers but in the ’90s Patsy was somewhat of a style icon, not adverse to flashing flesh in sheer underwear and slinky slip dresses. Not as outlandish as her sister in law of the time, Meg Mathews, she was the understated yet sexy rock star wife of the decade.

Seeing as the ’90s are having another moment, we could do worse than look to Patsy’s Primrose Hill wardrobe for inspiration. Never know, it may even catch the eye of potential rock star husbands…

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

When boho luxe was in its Sienna Miller-style heyday ten years ago, Sass & Bide was the label to lust after. I remember trawling Net a Porter during sale time in the hope of finding a discounted tie-dye beach dress. Along with every other Ibiza-bound boho wannabe that summer.
Since then, the Australian label’s dropped off my radar and I no longer dream of looking slinky in their floaty frocks and skinny Sienna-style jeans. Though perhaps I should now that Suki Waterhouse is the latest face of the brand.
The model and actress, currently Bradley Cooper’s date of choice, styled herself in the latest Sass & Bide campaign featuring lines from their autumn/winter ’13 Wintergate collection.
Shot against an enviable backdrop of a hip brownstone building in New York City, the blonde model turns muse for Sass & Bide and makes the look a bit more current, for me anyway. And judging by these shots the Sass & Bide look is way more hip than hippie these days, who knew?

My favourite images are the minimalistic interior shots where Suki looks like a grunge princess with dishevelled blonde locks. All the shots were taken by Andrew de Francesco, whose previous campaigns include Rebecca Minkoff and Ralph Lauren.

Shop Sass & Bide:

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

 

It’s hard to believe that Michelle Williams started her acting career in ’90s teen drama Dawson’s Creek, especially when you look at the latest shots of her in Louis Vuitton’s new campaign.

The Creek kids never had the edge when it came to style, opting for a uniform of checked shirts and stonewash jeans as they played out a series of melodramas in the backwaters of America.

But Michelle’s character Jen Lindley at least promised some fashion moments, with too-tight sweaters and flirty babydoll dresses we can only assume she’d managed to smuggle in her suitcase from her time living in New York.

The luxury label has latched onto the blonde bombshell’s early on-screen grunge roots for the autumn/winter 2013 shots, with Michelle’s first major fashion campaign featuring a strong ’90s vibe.

With the minimal styling and striking makeup, Michelle’s more reminiscent of early ’90s Madonna than ’50s starlet Marilyn Monroe, whom she recently morphed into for her lead role in My Week With Marilyn.

The overly-monogrammed Louis Vuitton collections certainly need an injection of cool after becoming synonymous with WAG meets Essex style. Judging by these shots, Michelle might just be the girl to do it.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Rainbow Room International lived up to its reputation as Scotland’s premiere hair salon with some star styling at this year’s T in the Park festival.

There was only one hairstyle worth talking about at the weekend and that was blonde bombshell Rita Ora’s new blue dip dye do.

The Rainbow Room team were responsible for creating Rita’s daring new hair colour, which certainly helped ensure she was a standout on the stage at this year’s event.

Rita Ora with the Rainbow Room International team at T in the Park
When I used to work closer to the city centre, and had more time and money to visit regularly, I would often go into the Rainbow Room salon on Buchanan Street. The lovely Siobhan worked tirelessly to achieve the platinum blonde colour I loved while making sure my hair was on the road to recovery after several years of bleach abuse. So I’m sure Rita’s hair was in very safe hands at T in the Park!
If you fancy emulating Ms Ora’s blue dip dye locks, try the suggestions below:

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.