Can you remember a time before the internet was obsessed with unicorns? Us neither. Barely. Somewhere around the time pugs got boring and owls were officially over, the magical mythical* flying pony took over as everyone’s animal crush of choice.

And after the crush, comes the food! Technicolour cakes. Swirly rainbow bagels. Glitter-spiked lattes and pastel pancakes. Barely a week goes by without some other courageous cafe owner going to town with the food colouring. This is the year that your food gets more beautiful than your wardrobe.

We’ve rounded up Instagram’s most psychedelic snacks to satisfy your unicorn cravings…

*Maybe.

These technicolour lattes

Unicorn food for breakfast. 🍭🦄🍭#indahood #arvo #unicornlatte #kakaako

A post shared by Erica L (@iamerica_l) on

Mornings: 3000% more bearable with one of these bad boys next to your Coco Pops.

This vibrant veg fest

Because look, even unicorns need their fibre.

This pastel-perfect toast 

What’s on it? No idea. But shh, don’t ruin the magic.

These fantastical pancakes

It would be literally impossible to have a bad day after a stack of these. A slow day, maybe… but a great one.

This… actually we’re not sure. But it’s pretty.

💁🏼tested 🦄approved • 📸 @kenziedevlin

A post shared by ✨Elaine Benes Wannabe✨ (@jennaissance) on

Is it bread? Is it cake? Is it a… hat? Does it even matter? We’ll take five.

This total dream of a cheese toastie

Remember the days Red Leicester felt exciting?

This beautiful bagel

19JAN2017 🌈 You are what you eat #studiomuccisugarrush

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Although Marmite would basically ruin it, which is a shame.

This confetti-esque croissant

What’s the French for Homer Simpson’s drool noise?

This unicorn hamburger mini cake

Because unicorn hamburger mini cakes are a thing, apparently. Keep up!

These delightful doughnuts

Unicorn donuts 😍💖🦄 #unicorndonuts #donuts #unicorns #bakedbyemmielou

A post shared by Lover of all things cake 💕 (@bakedbyemmielou) on

No, not bath sponges – doughnuts.

This cup of marshmallows and sprinkles

Sorry, ‘unicorn hot chocolate’! Of course it is. And just imagine the dreams you’d have after.

These next-level unicorn macarons

In the future, all biscuits will have eyelashes and a horn.

This ridiculous cake

Shall we all just look at it for a while?

…and let’s not forget these

Are these real? I don't eat Doritos So idk lol.

A post shared by UnicornPoop🦄💩 (@unicorn_fooodz) on

Sadly they were just a limited edition in 2015, making a packet about as easy to track down as an actual unicorn. Mmm, elusive. Mmm.

It’s basically never been a better time to be an ear. Once mainly ignored, shoved behind our hair and forgotten about, our lovely lugholes are suddenly in the spotlight – and man, are they working it.

The new rules of piercing: 1) why have one hole when you could have five? 2) cartilage rules – why should lobes get all the love? And most importantly, 3) matching earrings are a thing of the past. Which is excellent news for everyone out there who can’t keep a pair for longer than a day without losing one (fingers crossed socks will soon go the same way).

Tell us about it, studs…

Ok so first, swot up on all the different types of hole with our guide to every type of ear piercing. Then get shopping with our pick of the best delightfully delicate studs, hoops and pull-through styles, all of which look amazing layered up and mismatched…

Oh, and if you’re still working on parental permission or your pain threshold? Try the glitter ear trend. Nobody gets left behind.  

1. These simple pull-throughs

Sterling silver ball pull-through earrings, £4.45, Jewellery Box

2. All three of these dainty charm hoops

3-pack of charm hoop earrings, £8, ASOS

3. These pretty leaves

Delicate leaf stud earrings, £12, Little Nell via Not On The High Street

4. These chic hexagons

Sterling silver hexagon studs, £5.15, Jewellery Box

5. This set of magical misfits

Assorted earrings, £5, Monki

6. This starry set

Metallic stars stud set, £8, Accessorize

7. These minimalist bars

Thin bar studs, £7, & Other Stories

8. These turquoise beauties

Sterling silver turquoise stud earrings, £15, Jewellery Box

9. These modern art-esque hoopy things

Geometric pearl hoop earrings, £7.50, Topshop

10. This mismatched set of twinkly rose gold

Asymmetric earrings multipack, £10, Topshop

11. These lush leaves

Leaf thread-through hoops, £6, Orelia

12. These super-chic silver bars

Sterling silver plated bar studs, £4, Orelia

13. And finally, these star studs. For a star-studded night.

Star studs, £7, & Other Stories

You know that top you’ve had since like, 2014? The one you’re just a little bored of now, but can’t quite bring yourself to chuck? And you know that skirt you bought in a rare bout of Taylor Swift love and have been studiously avoiding since? Go and get them. Dig them out from the murky depths of your wardrobe, grab that old jumper while you’re at it, and hold them up to the light.

These, dear reader, are your old new wardrobe: ready to be refreshed, revamped and recycled into a series of totally on-trend outfits. All you need is a little imagination, a trip to Accessorize, and some help from your free personal stylists…

Step one: Get your mum involved

Granted, the girls are more fun – but none of them have the honesty, good sense and bank account of your mum (or dad, gran, auntie, big sister…) She’ll purge your wardrobe of no-hopers and dig out old classics before you’ve even had time to set up a WhatsApp group. Should a potential new outfit be missing an essential item – a belt, maybe, or brown brogues – she might even finance them, or at the least find some of hers you can ‘borrow’. By which we mean, cherish forever. Between her clothes and yours, you’re bound to find some new combinations: after all, a wardrobe shared is a wardrobe greatly enhanced. Just take it from dresslikeamum.

Step two: Get the girls over

Or the guys – my brother’s fashion help is invaluable. Show them your wardrobe, and ask THEM what they’d pair with your potential rejects. Different people have different ideas of what goes with what: one might wear that old jumper with that long pleated skirt you’ve been waiting to wear, but could never quite find the moment. Another will grab a big chunky necklace, sling the top beneath it and add denim shorts for good measure, a la Suki Waterhouse at Glastonbury.

This has triple benefits: the first being that you’ll find new outfits, the second that you’ll have a lot of fun in doing so (cue Spotify playlist, snacks) and the third that any clothes you do end up getting rid of might end up in the grateful hands of your friends. Aren’t you the nicest?

 

Step three: Head to Accessorize/Claire’s/H&M/other treasure trove

Write a list before you go, so you don’t get dazzled by the shiny things. We all know that a new necklace can transform an old top, and likewise a belt on an old dress – but have you considered a wide-brimmed hat, big fierce earrings (excellent for uplifting black or grey numbers) or – stay with me here – new socks? Because visible socks, ankle or knee length, wool or cotton, are very much a thing. I learnt this from my best friend, whose ability to flaunt her sock-clad ankles is truly enviable.

I’ve not quite graduated to socks with Converse yet – her signature look – but embracing socks of all shades and sizes has certainly given my old boots and Mary Janes a new lease of life.

 

Step four: Just add lipstick…

So often, style ennui – that’s the ‘same old, same old’ feeling you get on trawling through your wardrobe each morning – stems from a lack of confidence. When the buzz of the new has worn off, and the comforting sense of a classic hasn’t emerged yet – it’s easy to assume this or that purchase was a mistake. Little wonder, then, that it doesn’t look right when you wear it.

Everything about the way you present yourself – your anxious face, your hunched posture – says to onlookers: “I’m not sure I can pull this off. Do I look okay?” In this case, what you need is not a new top or even a new accessory, but a fast acting, bulletproof boost of confidence; a way of feeling FAB whether you’re in Burberry or a bin bag. In other words (the words of Coco Chanel, no less) “if you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.” Instagrammer Dressingoutsidethebox has her lipstick game down. 

 

STEP FIVE: …if you’re ‘not a lipstick gal’, HAIR

Here’s one for those ladies who have narrowed their hairstyle choice of a morning down to two options: 1, up in a messy bun and 2, down. If you’re me, and only wear it down on special occasions, you’ve essentially resigned yourself to wearing the same hairstyle for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. But as I leaned recently, switching it up (or down or around or in a knot) can work wonders for your confidence and, because you’re more confident, your wardrobe.

All you need do is invest some time (rather than money) in a bit of experimentation, some help from Zoella’s All Things Hair tutorial videos, Instagrammers like Sarah Angius and ideally from your more tress-savvy friends. Master a new braid and watch how your outfit looks exciting again.

50% braid 50% ponytail Sweater @zara Song @princeroyce – Back it up #sarahangius #hairtutorial #braidandponytail

A video posted by Sarah Angius (@sarahangius) on

Step six: The clash

Hair styled? Lipstick on? Accessories jingling? Then you’re ready for the biggest challenge: clashing things. Spots with stripes? Sure. Jade with lime? Why not. Denim, denim and denim? Hell, yeah. Breaking the rules, even just a wee bit, can create fashion-forward relationships between items in your wardrobe which may have never met. If you need reassurance, just follow Jessie Cave.

At least I dressed like an adult today.

A photo posted by JeSsIe CaVE (@jessiecave) on

Go on – don’t shop, shake things up! New year, same clothes, same old (revamped) you.

@clare_finney

Pink! Blue! Purple? Rainbow-coloured hair has been in and out of fashion since your parents were kids. But these days, thanks to the weird and wonderful selection of dyes, chalks and colourful shampoos at your local Boots and Superdrug, it can be as easy as spraying purple glitter into your hair or using a washed-out pink shampoo for a faded look to hit the unicorn hair trend.

Not only that, but formulas are kinder to your hair and really simple to use yourself (because who can afford expensive trips to the hairdresser every time you get bored?). And let’s not forget that all kinds of celebs and internet stars are fuelling us with so much rainbow-coloured hair inspo that it’s seriously hard to keep one shade for longer than a day or two before you change your mind.

Katy Perry

So to help you navigate the technicolour waters of the mermaid, unicorn or rainbow colour trend, we’ve collected together some simple how-to guides, our favourite products and top tips – not to mention some of our favourite swoon-worthy, candy-coloured hair shades out in the wild. 

Chalks, wash out or semi-permanent?

Girl with pink hair

Before you start dreaming about which shades of the rainbow you want in your hair, you need to remember that different hair reacts differently to different colours. So, if you have blonde or light brown hair, then pastel colours will show up and everything will look really bright. If you have dark brown, red or black hair, it’ll be harder to make colours show up, so glitter, neon colours and bold shades will suit you better.

The first step? Figuring out which product you want to use. We don’t mean whether you should go for candy-floss-pink or sexy-hot-pink – we’re talking about the consistency of what you’re using (is it a chalk? Cream?) and, most importantly, how long it’ll last.

Some hair colours wash out straight away (some even brush out). Others are added to shampoos and give your hair a sheen of colour. Some wash out after five or six showers. Others are semi-permanent and you might not get rid of them for over a month. And some colours are permanent, and might stick around till your hair grows out (although that’s most typical of more traditional colours, like dark brown or black).

The key to figuring all of this out is to read the instructions carefully. You know what? Once you’ve read them, read them again. Just to be sure. You need to look out for words like “semi-permanent”, “wash out” and even details about how many washes it’ll take. Even if it says five washes, plan ahead for seven or eight, just in case.

Tip: For most of us this is the really important bit. Many schools don’t allow unnatural hair colours, so you’ll need to time it well so you can add chalk to your hair on Friday so it’ll wash out by Sunday. Or pick a colour that lasts five or six washes for the school holidays.

Our favourite hair colour products

Gwen Stefani

Your head is probably spinning right now, isn’t it? You need to think about the amount of washes, whether the word “permanent” is anywhere near the hair dye and also, what the hell will your mum think of it?

But don’t worry, we’ve got this. Here are some of our favourite products that you can get from your local Boots or Superdrug.

Colour rinse

If you have blonde hair already and just want a really subtle hint of colour that you can barely see, then try the Bleach London Rose Shampoo from Boots. It’s £6 and you use it like a regular shampoo.

Rose shampoo

The bonus? After a few uses it’ll leave your hair with a dreamy, pink sheen.

Wash out hair colours

If you want a colour that’s noticeable but isn’t going to get you in trouble on Monday, there are a few different options. The Pixie Lott Hair Colour Chalks from Superdrug are so much fun. A full set comes with six different colours and you can draw on your hair and play around with them as much as you like. The best bit? They wash out. Just make sure you lather your shampoo up really well and wash twice if you need to. Pixie Lott hair chalk

There’s also a range of Superdrug Colour Hairspray, so if you’d rather not use crayons this gives you the best faded pink look instead – or bold, bright red that you can just spray directly onto your hair and then wash out when you’re done with it.

Pink hairspray

Tip: The lighter your hair is, the better colours will show up on it. If you’ve got blonde or light brown hair, lots of colours will look great. If you have darker hair, the results will only be subtle, unless you bleach it first (WHICH IS PERMANENT, BEWARE) or choose something really bright or glittery.

Lasts up to 10 washes

Green hair

If you want hair colour that won’t wash out straight away, maybe if you’re going on holiday or have some time off school, then try the Pixie Lott Wash Out Hair Colours or Colour Freedom Hair Colours instead. They come in a huge range of shades, from bright blues to punky pinks, and promise to wash out after around 10 washes. But make sure you give yourself 12 washes, just in case.

Colour freedom

The best thing about these dyes is they’ll fade over time, so you’ll be bang on trend around the fifth wash with a washed-out faded pastel look.

Tip: If you’re panicking that a colour won’t come out, go and buy some Head and Shoulders shampoo. It’s a bit stronger than regular shampoo, and often does a really good job at fading colour away much quicker.

Semi-permanent

If you’re feeling brave, the Cool Colours range from Bleach London (find it in Boots) is really popular among Instagram stars and hair lovers. They will fade over time and probably be all out of your hair in a few weeks, but they are officially semi-permanent so there’s a chance they’ll stick around much longer.

Tip: If you love a semi permanent shade but don’t want to commit for too long, try adding a bit of the colour to conditioner. This will make the colour less intense and give you a totally fash faded look, rather than a scary shade.

Things you’ll need

Demi Lovato

It’s time to go! But what will you need to make your hair dying experiment a success? Well, every product has different requirements, but our top tips are:

1. Make sure you’re in a space that you can wipe clean. No carpets!

2. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit of dye on. Most wash off, but it’s not guaranteed.

3. Find some clips, hair bands and bobby pins so you can section your hair and do an even job.

4. Have your phone or a watch with you so you can keep an eye on the time.

Our favourite hair inspo

Nicki Minaj

So you’ve got the right products, you know which products to get, you’ve got a space to splash dye and rub chalk around in. So here’s some inspiration to get you started:

If you want to try hair chalks…

Also this Pixie Lott Hair Chalks tutorial, or Fail or Holy Grail? DIY Hair Chalk

…and what about hairsprays?

There’s also this useful guide to How to Colour Hair Dye Without Bleaching, and this Review of Superdrug Instant Colour Hairspray.

Or if you like the look of Bleach London products, take a look at these…

We also love Pink Dip Dye on Dark Blonde Hair and this more subtle trial of Bleach London Home Hair Colours.

So there you go  – everything you need to nail the DIY dye! And remember, always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn (for 8-10 washes).

@BeccaCaddy

Right so, we know that when you spend all day in school uniform, putting on another shirt at the weekend might feel about as appealing as spending your Saturday in science goggles trying to understand the rock cycle. But shut up and scroll, because you have never seen prettier collars than these in your life.  

From cheeky embroidered touches to dazzling embellishment, this season the collar is really sticking its neck out. And even better, there are loads of detachable options to jazz up all the tops and dresses that are already in your wardrobe – genius.

So hollerrr for the internet’s best collars. Doing your top button up has never been so appealing.

Lash life

Blue shirt

So cute, so much easier to apply than falsies.

Blue shirt, £19.99, Zara

 

Wings of love

Hummingbird collar

A little bird told us this collar was amazing, and we said “yes little bird, you are correct.”

Hummingbird detachable collar, £12, ASOS

 

Power dressing

Grrrl power collar

Channel everything the Spice Girls stood for, but without a union jack or camo trousers in sight.

Grrrl power detachable collar, £17.80, CollarMePrettyCo / Etsy

 

You rebel

Break Rules embroidered collar top

They can’t give your collar detention, can they?

Break rules embroidered collar top, £15.99, Bershka

 

Jewel purpose

Peach collar

A fake shirt! As long as you remember you can’t actually take your jumper off, you’re golden.

Embellished lace bib, £15, ASOS

 

Bunch of flowers

Pink shirt

Sensible enough to wear on work experience or to your baby cousin’s christening, but still snazzy enough to make a statement.

Embellished collar shirt, £35, Miss Selfridge

 

Prickly customer

Cactus collar

If keeping cacti alive on your windowsill still seems like too much effort, wear some excellent succulents on your collar instead.

Detachable cactus collar, £18.98, CollarMePrettyCo on Etsy

 

Cherry on top

Cherry collar top

THESE ARE LITERALLY THE CHERRY ON TOP.

Cherry collar rib top, £30, Oasis

 

Swanning about

Swan collar

If the Queen wore a detachable collar from ASOS, you know it would be this one.

Swan collar, £10, ASOS

 

Hello petal

flower collar

Your neck works hard for you all day. Go on, buy it some flowers to say thanks.

Multi coloured flower collar, £10, ASOS

Image: Katie Edmunds