Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Hair Extensions GIVEAWAY

Something I'm asked about, a lot, is my hair. After the rainbow of colours it once was, I had a fantastic colourist return it to it's former ginger glory. Unfortunately, due to the rigorous bouts of bleaching and colouring I'd subjected my hair to over the years, I had to have some of it cut off (in order for it to grow back healthier). The thing is though, I hate having short hair. I've always had relatively long hair so the adjustment to having a shorter length style was a hard one to make.

Until I discovered Hairtrade and their fantastic range of hair extensions.

The great thing about a lot of hair extensions these days is the fact that you can not only wash and style them, you can also dye them if necessary. Considering ginger colouring is so hard to come by in the hair extension world, this is a huge selling point.

My own hair extensions come from Hairtrade, they came in a dirty fair shade and I turned out to be very lucky in finding a box dye match that closely resembles my own colour and, much as though I dream about bonded extensions and the like, I find that clip ins are comfortable, easy styled and they have served me well. The current set I'm using have already lasted me 6 months.

Today, I'm giving away one set of (human)  22" hair extensions from Hairtrade. The shade? RED!

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 For a long time it was impossible to find good red hair extensions, unless you did as I do and took to the dye. Now however, Hairtrade are stocking Fab Remy Clip In Extensions in various shades of red. The best thing about these extensions is the fact that you can wash them and you can style them, straighteners, curlers, rollers... you name it and you can try it! Similarly, should you wish to dye them, you could try that too. Though it's not recommended, it's a process I'm well schooled in. These extensions would possibly darken for you, ie; black or brown.

To sweeten the deal and to get you used to your extensions, if you're the winner, I've thrown in this fantastic Hairstyle Directory, packed full of fantastic hair styles to wrap your extensions around.

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Entry via the Rafflecopter widget and good luck! I wouldn't be without my hair extensions now and I'm loving that I can play hair-fairy-godmother to one of you!!

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Best of luck!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Why you shouldn't believe what you read in magazines...

I had been meaning to write this post for quite some time now and either kept getting distracted (by all the pretty things) or was putting it off as it will be difficult to fairly navigate this one.

I've been very lucky in the last 3 - 4 years, in that I've been (very nicely) featured in some press, with my own story and experiences, written by true-to-the-story journalists.

 These journalists deserve our respect because believe me when I tell you, they're not all like that.

We've covered my weight-loss on the blog before. In fact, before The Agoraphobic Fashionista, I had a healthy eating / diet blog. This, of course, was when I was an active member of a well known slimming club. Another point I never considered when I was losing weight was the amount of interest losing 11st would bring to my door. Weekly magazine journalists (I do use that term lightly) were sending interest email after interest email, trying everything to get me to bite. In the end, after being offered a fair amount of money by one particular magazine, I talked it over with my family and decided to go ahead and tell my story.

I made sure that I had copy approval. Somehow I knew that I'd need that assurance. The following experience goes to prove that you should always ask for copy approval. This means that you will get to hear / read and check facts before your story goes to print. Cover your backside folks, it's not worth forgetting to do so.

I spoke with a lovely girl who seemed really interested in what I was telling her. I was asked fairly loaded questions that I felt I navigated really well. I stayed to the facts of my story, I didn't embellish. I made very clear that this was my experience and I thought the interview went rather well.

To say I was not prepared for what happened next is an understatement of epic proportions.

Within a few days of the interview the magazine journalist phoned me. She proceeded to read me the piece she had written, the piece that was to tell my weight-loss journey. I was in tears after the first few lines. I knew instantly that this journalist had not written my story at all but had, in fact, concocted a complete fabrication based on nothing but misinformation and prejudices.

The piece started with how my husband didn't fancy me when I was bigger. Untrue.
Following that we had information about how I lived on a diet of fast food. Untrue.
She went on to inform the reader how I would order 3 full bags of chinese food. For myself. Untrue.
In this fabricated illusion of a story I also suffered from depression because of my size. Do I even need to go there? UNTRUE.
I couldn't look in a mirror... (how did I manage to do my make up then!?)

And so it continued in that same thread. Throughout the whole story. The story that was meant to be a true representation of a weight-loss journey. My journey.

I was upset, angry and hurt. I was also astounded that a so-called journalist would sway so far from the truth of a story. It was the first time I had my eyes opened to just how sensationalised magazine stories can be.

The real issue here wasn't that she had effectively cheapened my experience with lies, it was the sheer irresponsibility of her actions. I remember I used to find real life experiences inspiring when I read them in said weekly magazines. I have recollections of feeling motivated after reading how real life people managed to completely turn their lives around. It seems I was fed a diet of lies.

The person-in-the-magazine's story isn't even the person-in-the-magazine's story...

I said no. I had copy approval. I hadn't signed anything. It wasn't printed.

It happened twice more. On another occasion with the weight loss and at another time it was regarding my mental health journey and my battle with agoraphobia. That one I can't even recant it was so preposterous.

So what is it with these journalists? People enjoy reading about others lives, if blogs have shown us anything it's that true stories, written with emotion and passion, from the heart, travel well. People are inspired by the true life experiences of others. 

I've learned my lesson. There are a few stand-up journalists and magazine journalists that I know and have great affection for, in fact there are a few I'd call friends now. They stay true to every story, they are passionate about writing, they are honest to the person they're featuring and they're honest in print. That type of journalist is gold.

Just remember the next time you pick up a glossy or a weekly magazine and you feel yourself getting inspired by the ''true life'' events that are ''reported'' that all may not be as it seems....