Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A perm for long, straight hair

Some people are envious of my naturally straight hair but, as usual, I always envied other people’s hair! I’d tried everything to give it some body and bounce, and I mean everything, but nothing ever lasted past a few hours. So when you’re off out for a special occasion and you’ve spent so much time getting in a twist with tongs, rollers and hairspray, it basically sucks when it all falls flat a couple of hours later.

What better way to finally fix my ‘problem’ than by getting a loose perm. I can actually have some body to my hair when it’s down, add texture when it’s up, and blow dry it straight when I want to go back to basics. 

Here’s the before photo…

Because I wanted a loose curl towards the ends, I have virgin hair (no dye etc.), and my hair is so long, a weak solution would be put along each section before curling it up into the roller to enable it to start working on the tips first. It took a while as you can imagine, but once all were in place, the strong solution was spread across everything ready to leave it working its magic for 25 minutes. 

I said no to the stylist taking my photo while looking completely stupid, but after I was left for a few minutes stewing in the rather potent perming solution, I thought hey, why not laugh at myself. So here’s the during photo…

A stiff neck, 3 hours, a new hair dryer and diffuser, and £60 later, I came away from the salon with mixed feelings. It looked nothing like the photos we’d gone through at my consultation, but nothing ever looks like the photos right? It wasn’t curls and more just waves than anything, but that’s still better than boring straight hair, right? And even though I knew I’d never have time to do touch ups every morning, I figured shoving some product in and giving it a scrunch wouldn’t take up too much time… right?

It grew on me through the rest of the evening and after my boyfriend said he liked it, but I was still a tad disappointed that there were no ‘curls’ and definitely not any big, loose curls like I was hoping for. If anything, I was originally worried I’d come out looking like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, but I would have liked it to have worked better than it did.
I used my straighteners to add curls and it does seem easier than before, and they definitely stay in longer, but it was never my intention to spend 45 minutes at 6.30am curling my permed hair…

And 4 days later, here’s the after photo (having just washed and ‘styled’ it as instructed)…

Some spray-in gel works to hold the 'waves', and that does seem to last all day, but we’re back straight the following morning again! And 4 weeks after the event I’m blow drying my hair with no attachments, with just a bit of root booster in, and it’s turning out straighter than someone’s hair who’s spent ages straightening it. In fact, I’m actually using my straighteners to curl the tips slightly to stop it looking so darn straight!

I was told it would probably last 3 to 4 months, but 3 to 4 weeks, or even days, was more like it. Having started off with healthy, virgin hair, I feel a little as though I’ve damaged my hair for no reason, and have been left with patches where each strand has set at a right angle away from my head where the roller was pinned. Great.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll be trying this again! However, I would love to hear any success stories if you have them, so please do leave me a comment or drop me a line.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Leah Lerner Leather Clutch

Having left the heat of Tenerife, arrived back in rainy England, and driven the 3 hours home after getting completely lost, you can imagine how pleased I was to find that my lovely leather Leah Lerner clutch bag had arrived.

Originally being from Minnesota, studying in New York, and moving to Tel Aviv, you get a real feeling that Leah’s designs have been influenced by her experiences in the different cultures, with an underlying theme of simplicity and quality. 

The leather smells exactly as you’d hope, scrumptious, and it feels soft and malleable yet hard wearing too. I love the colour of this bag, the peachy tone is a really nice mid-way for Spring/Summer as well as Autumn/Winter and I don’t think it’s a colour you often see in a clutch bag. I also think the colour as well as the material lends itself to being a day-to-night kind of bag and something you can take to lunch as well as to a swanky restaurant in the evening. It’s a perfect size, not too big that it can’t sit neatly in your grasp but not too small that you can’t fit all your essentials inside. 

(Above photo: Oasis coat, Warehouse scarf)

Leah has kindly embossed her name on one side of the bag and, giving myself the label of ‘Representative for the Midlands’, I’m eagerly awaiting someone to ask me where it’s from and how to find their own.

Here’s how...

The website is currently having a face lift, so in the meantime you can get your hands on the whole range at Etsy...

And follow Leah Lerner on…

I love this clutch, and I honestly love so many of the others on the site. The range is impressive, with what I think is something for everyone, from your more casual totes to patterned or metallic clutches, and even cute purses to accompany them. Perfect if you’re stuck for a Christmas gift, and even better news… there’s now a sale on!

So get yourself over to Etsy and have a gander – I’d be really grateful if you could let me know which are your favourites and whether you gave in to temptation!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Liebster Blog Award

Thanks to Dorothy Camper for my Liebster Blog Award nomination! You can find Lynne on her blog here 

I'm always running around like a mad woman, especially since having this nomination, but I'm now sat by a pool in Tenerife having a well earned break so knuckling down to my response. Here we go...

1.  Why did you start your blog?
Two main reasons, I love writing and I love fashion, especially bags. So it seemed like I was a little late into the game when I realised that I could actually combine the two. I'm known by my friends for owning far too many bags (like that's a bad thing) and I have no idea how many but I thought I could bring another use to my obsession by reviewing them as I go for you lovely lot.

2.  Describe yourself in three words?
Difficult, there are a lot of words that would describe me! I'll go with creative, passionate and selfless.

3.  What's a typical day like in your life?
Busy. On weekdays it involves getting up at 6.30am and struggling to get to work for 8am, attempting to have a break for twitter etc while munching on a salad, leaving work some time after 5pm, then cooking dinner, housework, and catching up on Eastenders or whatever's new on E! On those days I'm also a Director of a company so I value time at home away from the office and wish I had more spare time to concentrate on my blog. Weekends are usually filled with running errands and seeing family and friends, plus the usual spot of clothes shopping of course ;)

4.  When are you at your happiest?
I like to think I'm a pretty happy person in general, and slightly happier after a couple of glasses of Pinot Grigio... this is a harder question that it seems! I'm pretty happy when I'm buying the entire contents of Zara and H&M or eating out with friends and family, but I think I'm most happy when I'm abroad with my boyfriend somewhere warm, classy and interesting.

5.  If you were any character in a movie, who would you be?
I'm going to be annoying and change the question slightly as I really can't think of a film character, but I've just been reminded of my resemblance to Monica Geller/Bing from Friends... Besides, they should have made a movie by now!

6.  What is your most treasured possession?
I keep a lot of little bits and bobs from times, places and people and I can't wait to look back through it all in 20 years time, but I think my most treasured possessions are my memories. I feel as though I've been very fortunate to have done everything I've done and been the places I've been, and that's just over the last 27 years, plenty more memories to make!

7.  Where is your favourite place?
I have two favourite places in the world. One is Rome for its intricate architecture, delicious cuisine, streets lined with the most desirable names in fashion, abundance of 'must see' sights and the overly friendly locals. The second is St Maarten in the Caribbean because it lured me in back in 2005 and I can't stop going back! There's laid back music around every corner, cocktails flowing, intense Caribbean sun, white beaches, crystal clear sea and an amazing bar right beside where jumbo jets land just feet over your head! And I'm going back again in May, woohoo!

8.  How would you describe your personal style?
I'm subscribed to all the fashion websites' emails under the sun and read down my list of unread messages like a magazine (with rather too much excitement), probably contributing to my shopping addiction as it's far too easy to click and buy everything I like! So I like to keep up with the latest fashion but I also stick with things that make me feel comfortable, not too daring or bright. I like to think my style has an element if class or sophistication, but individual all the same. 

9.  What is your favourite food?
I love all food, from all areas of the world...very surprised I'm not the size of a house. I think Mediterranean might be my favourite though, possibly because I've been in Tenerife since Saturday, possibly because I'm part Sicilian.

10.  Who were your childhood heroes?
Hmm I think I'd have to say my parents, who spent my whole childhood making damn sure it was a good one, and succeeded. Or the Ghostbusters.

11.  If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be and why? 
Besides the obvious nip and tuck? I'd like to care less about what other people thought of me, or how I come across. From work meetings or a meal with friends, to blogging, I overthink things and always come away hoping I've made a good impression or picking faults in things I've said, probably for no good reason.

So there you go, a little insight into me and my life, and now you've also learnt that I ramble a lot too.
I'll have to think about my nominations as the internet connection isn't good here so I only get a few minutes at a time! I'll update in due course, but this is it for type time being. 

Back soon,

Becki, aka Bags of Style

Monday, 27 October 2014

Giveaway! Win a 'Designer Handbag' from

High street or designer?

Solve the argument between the well behaved side of your conscience and the slightly naughty, luxury loving side with this 'Designer Handbag' from

It's simple, hop on over to Twitter, follow me, and enter the giveaway below... but you've only got until 27th November, winner will be announced on 29th November 2014.

Rules are at the bottom of this post, and if you're wondering whether to enter, this is what I think of it...

Even though monochrome is in right now, a white bag is always a good accessory in my eyes. The bold lettering makes this particular one a great statement clutch to liven up an outfit, whether a weekend lunch or November night out. The material is strong and feels like a good quality, and is soft enough to clasp tightly or sit nicely by your side if you choose to use the strap. There's one pocket inside, a zip across the whole width and the strap is quite wide to continue the bold style. It's big enough for all your usuals and you can even fit a mini Cosmo mag in there if you really wanted to!

So get yourself one by entering my giveaway, and if you don't win but I've already won you over, grab yourself one here at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules, Terms and Conditions:
- You must enter above and follow me on Twitter to be eligible. Don't forget you can follow me on Instagram, Bloglovin' and Pinterest too, but they're optional ;)
- Only residents of the UK should enter
- Entries on or before 27th November 2014 will be counted
- The winner will be selected at random and announced via Twitter on Saturday 29th November 2014. I'll drop you a direct message to ask for your details

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Kurt Geiger Grey Avalon Tall Bowling Bag

I’ve been after the right grey bag for a while, as, believe it or not, I didn’t own one! My usual morning ritual is being woken up by music on Radio 1 that’s usually inappropriate for 6.40am, then having a check of my emails in hope that Secret Sales have something to offer, and this day didn’t disappoint.

I do love Kurt Geiger but I hadn’t bought a bag before, and why not make up for lost time… so I bought two. This Avalon Tall Bowling Bag caught my eye straight away and fills my grey bag shaped gap in my closet!

The two handles fall nicely for when you want to use the shoulder strap, which has a choice of length and sits well. Although if you pop the handles over your arm the shoulder strap doesn’t trip you up underneath so it’s really easy to switch it up during your day.

The zips undo all the way down practically to the base, so there’s a deceiving amount of room inside and with the rigid material it’s easy to pack everything including your lunch inside. There are no zipped pockets inside, but there’s a good sized lined pocket for your phone and a few other bits that might get lost under everything else.

I love this bag, and it’s easy to style with so many colours, pastels, monochrome or obviously greys. Go grab yourself one here, and for only £49 it really is a bargain. 

And... don't forget to leave me a comment and follow me wherever I am, links at top right!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Autumn Wishlist

So summer didn't really happen for us this year... the usual few days of heat and a few of sunshine, but the milder weather has well and truly set in, just ask my blue toes. Brrr.

I saw a few key pieces in shops weeks ago but made a stand not to buy a new coat in August, its just not right! However, now its September, so I'm on the case.

Here's my wishlist for this Autumn...

From top left to right:

New Look, CreamChevron Tassel Hem Blanket Wrap, £24.99
I love these blanket wraps that seem to be everywhere at the moment, they're so cosy! And just the word 'blanket' makes you feel like you're being allowed to go out in public wearing the throw you're usually hiding under on the sofa. Perfect for Autumn as they're not too much and not too little, can be worn over short or long sleeves, and just start to introduce that winter pattern into your wardrobe without going full on snowflake. I'll definitely be buying this.

Michael Kors, Jet Set Houndstooth Travel Tote,£195 (currently on for £169)

This bag is just gorgeous, so individual but a pattern that seems to be timeless. Bringing that touch of class into it as usual, MK has done it again with this handbag, I was fighting my obsession when the sale started at 7am today and haven't yet bought this...

I've been after a nice grey bag for a while now, I think these Kurt Geiger bags are a little like the Michael Kors totes I love so much. Classy and a great colour for Autumn.

Such a gorgeous colour in the same style as the grey, and a nice alternative to buying a bright red bag like I've been considering for months. Again, a perfect colour to match those falling Autumn leaves that will be coming all too soon. Seriously considering this one.

H&M, Metallic Skirt, £19.99

This skirt caught my eye on today's email from H&M, the shimmery texture, the colour, the shape, it all seems right for Autumn. As on the model, it doesn't have to be 'dressy' because of the texture, this could so easily be worn as a casual number during the next few months. That's if I'm brave enough to get my legs out.

I actually wanted a jumper like this a few months ago when I saw one of my clients wearing something similar and I trawled the internet in search of what I wanted with no real luck. This is it though, perfect warmth for Autumn, not to much but good enough to stop me from shivering! There's a brown version also but I think the black/grey mix works so well and could be styled with a lot more. Definitely buying this one. 

The arrangements of gorgeous coats caught my eye when I was recently in the Birmingham New Street Oasis store and decided to wait until I'd received my £50 voucher that I won in one of their competitions before I started trying any on. Well, its arrived, so I'm going back to have a closer look! High up on my wishlist.
Do let me know if you've already purchased any of these and give me the low-down, I'd love to hear from you! And don't forget to follow me where you can.

Happy Autumn shopping!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Primark Tan Bucket Bag

I found this Primark bucket bag last week after keeping my eyes peeled for a suitable bag to take to V and wasting quite a lot of time wondering around the shopping centre. It fits the bill perfectly - I have an eternal love for tan bags, it completes the festival look perfectly, fitted in my water, rain coat, toilet paper and hand sanitiser, was secure enough to hide my phone and money away, and it was cheap!

So I'm no longer a V virgin after last weekend, and I'm definitely going back next year! (Don't forget you can buy tickets for 2015 at this year's prices on 20th August but only for a limited time.) Considering it was only £8, I can see this lasting me a while until next year's V trip too! It withstood jumping around like a lunatic to Tinie Tempah and lots of wiggling to Jason Derulo... whereas my friend's bag strap snapped which was bought from another very well known high street shop and would definitely have cost a few times more than this! 

I did only buy this to use once, as, if you haven't already guessed by now, I tend to impulse buy and only use bags once or twice then forget about them under a pile of other bags. But I think I'll be using this again; I like the size, not only because of how much you can fit inside, but the way it looks over your arm as its not too big and imposing, and of course the colour is great with so many outfits. The feet underneath come in handy but the bottom easily bows as its not that rigid, the drawstring is quite secure and doesn't tend to work its way open even if the bag's full, and the clasp over the top just adds that bit of security making sure your belongings aren't on show.

Some V Festival outfit options before I went for what I wore above...

Above: New Look crochet top (equivalents here) and denim shorts,
Dorothy Perkins jacket (old) 

Above: F&F checked shirt (old), Primark vest top, New Look denim shorts

Above: F&F top, New Look hoodie (old) and denim shorts 

All in all, a 'well done' to Primark, you've done it again!

As usual, if you've found this useful please spare a minute to tell me so! And follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey... Bags

Firmly leaping onto the Fifty Shades bandwagon after the trailer was recently released (excited?), so here are my favourite fifty shades of grey (and white and black!) bags in stores and online at the moment. Careful not to bite your lip too hard ladies...


Left to right:
Panelled Day Bag £38 - plane bag, work bag, day bag, lovely bag!
Leather Metal Keepers Tote Bag £70 - a touch of the Ted Baker clean look, gorgeous shade
Rivet Detail Tote £25 (was £40) - finish a nautical look perfectly, or just add a bit of class!
Flat Wrist Clutch £15 - great to mix up a monotone outfit


Left to Right:
Mini Office City Bag £9.99 (was £29.99) - Bargain! Sophisticated city break, shopping or just work, an all-rounder!
Mini Messenger Bag £29.99 - again, perfect for a summer city break
Party Bag £39.99

Left to right:
Shopper with Buckle £19.99 - simple but gorgeous, a change from your standard shopper

Forever 21

Left to right:
Quilted Faux Leather Crossbody Bag £19.00 - don't want the Chanel price tag? 
Faux Leather Roll Top Clutch £13.50 - plain and simple, no fastenings on show

Left to right:
Minimalist Faux Leather Satchel £21.00 - classic design, kind of a safe option
Refined Faux Leather Crossbody £18.90 - love this shape, always spacious!

Bag Envy

Left to Right:
LYDC Beige Soft Touch Shoulder Bag £29.00 - gorgeous design to match a blazer and jeans
Move & Moda Grey Contrast Handle Micro Bag £22.00 - love the handle, a head-turner!
Piston Grey Laser Cut Winged Tote Bag £32.00 - subtle laser cut detail, great size and shape

Left to right:
Carter Tote Bag Black Patent £39.00 - gorgeous for smart and casual, alternative to Ted Baker
Zara Luxe Black & Tan Diamante Trip Tote £39.00 - designers eat your heart out! Another head-turner!

House of Fraser

Left to right:
Miss KG Tarbait Bag £45 - nice little glitzy clutch for dinner or a night out
Ravel Buttercup Tote £45 - adore this shape, great with jeans but can be dressed up too

Left to right:
Michael Kors Flower Perforated Silver Tote £301 in current sale - obviously I love anything MK!
Michael Kors Jet Set Medium Tote £260 - goes with anything! Review blog here

New Look

Left to right:
White Baroque Laser Cut Trim Tote Bag £27.99 - lovely holiday/beach bag, perfect summer look
Black Rose Quilted Chain Strap Bag £12.99 - perfect if you love a classic Chanel but a fraction of the cost!
Grey Double Flap Snakeskin Panel Satchel £17.99 - Brilliant city break bag, all the features you need

Left to right:
Monochrome Contrast Panel Duffle Bag £17.99 - great with a nautical look or geometrics
Black Clear Wing Shopper Bag £19.99 - perfect bag for the working woman
Grey Leather-look Oversized Tote Bag £17.99 - simple and easy day bag to style
Black Patent Trim Tote Bag £19.99 - gorgeous city bag

Left to right:
Silver Embellished Box Clutch £24.99 - perfect for weddings or special occasions


Left to Right: 
Leola White Zip Drawstring Bag £27.99 - to complete your nautical look
Tulpe Cross Body Zip Saddle Bag £14.99 - another festival potential 

Left to Right:
Jude Gold Detail Cross Body Bag £21.99 - I love this bag, the interior is perfect!


Left to right:
Shirley Shopper £40.00 - pair with a white shirt for a nice clean monochrome look
Celeste Leather Fold Over Clutch £40.00 - classic leather clutch, can't go wrong!
Sara Minimal Metal Bar Satchel £25.00 - take a look at my review blog here
Straw Shopper £20.00 - alternative to the MK silver number above, still fab for summer!

Left to right:
Cutwork Saddle Bag £25 - great festival bag, or just with a pretty floral dress
Savannah Zip Crossbody Bag £40.00 - simple and practical, and black goes with so much!
Cara Leather Envelope Clutch £25 - gorgeous classy look, pair with a blazer and heels or LBD

And that's just a taster of what's out there! I impulse buy quite often, we're all guilty of it, but if you're looking for a particular colour or style, do shop around and remember to try new places, they might surprise you!

As always, I'd love to hear from you if you've found this useful, or if you've now got too many to choose from! So leave me a comment :)

Friday, 25 July 2014

Festival Bags

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – my all-time favourite quote from Ferris Bueller.

So on that note, I thought I better get into the festival spirit before I blink and it’s all over! 

There are two essentials for a festival bag. It absolutely must be secure, for when you’re too close for comfort with a bunch of festival goers who are high on life and God knows what else, and you definitely cannot mind it getting a little mud and beer on it!

My personal opinion would be that you don’t want to be left holding anything, or even thinking about anything else, so a cross body bag or a belt bag (bum bag) would be a wise choice, leaving your arms as free as the wind! Here are a few of my favourites on sale now.

Above: F&F Clothing, Ikat Mini Beaded Cross Body Bag, only £10. Great festival look, perfect for matching with crochet or just a plain tee and shorts to add detail.

Above: Oasis Jemima Satchel, was £25 but now only £18 in the sale. Secure and big enough for your rain mac!

Above: Oasis Canvas Cross Body Bag, £28 and I think well worth it! I love this bag, the gold with the tan colour is so attractive and having two zipped pockets inside would be so handy to separate your valuables. Very tempted to buy this myself!

Above: Oasis (sorry for plugging Oasis so much but they always have so many gorgeous bags!) Celeste Leather Foldover Bag, £40. Very secure again, and a great pop of colour but in-keeping with the browns and neutral tones that come with festival outfits.

Above: Missguided Tuple Cross Body Zip Saddle Bag, £14.99. Black's a safe colour, goes with almost everything, and this comes complete with a tassel to compliment your festival look. And for this price, you can't go wrong!

Above: I love this ASOS Scallop Detail Bum Bag, £18 but currently out of stock, sadly, or I'd have snapped one up! Perfect colour and detail, plus with this guarding all your belongings, you're completely free to jump around like a crazy person! Keeping my eyes peeled on ASOS for when it's back.

I’m heading to V Festival in a few weeks so check back for my top festival outfits. I've got so many bags but I still manage to find a particular size, style, or colour that I don't already own. My brown leather Oasis bag (review blog here) works well, but it's leather so I'd be worried about a clumsy pint drenching it! Must buy another :P

Enjoy wherever you’re going, share your festival #ootd pics, and never forget to stop and look around once in a while…