Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Nothing Like a Birthday Wishlist...

   As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at my desk eating a very questionable and rather unsatisfying sausage roll (note to self, you are no longer to buy sausage rolls from petrol stations); but that won't be the case in three days time, as it's my birthday - can I get a woopwoop? - and I have requested from my parents, as I do every year, a lasagne made in my honour.

   If you lovely readers didn't already know, I am Garfield incarnate, and my two favourite things on earth are lasagne and my bed (lasagne in bed is the ultimate goal). And as I've reached an age where I can afford most material things that I want, a homemade lasagne is possibly the best present that I could receive.

   However, I can generally only eat two servings in one sitting (alright, maybe three if I'm tempted, which I am. Always.), so if everyone were to make me a lasagne, I doubt I would be able to finish them all. As nobody likes waste, maybe it would be more appropriate to ask for a few other presents - because I'm so  considerate, aren't I? THINK OF THE LASAGNES.. 

   As promised, here is my birthday wishlist of spectacularly non-lasagne items:

1. Round Patterned Sunglasses by zeroUV, $9.99

2. Sloane Ankle Boots by Public Desire, £34.99

4. Zara Martin Kitty Headphones by Skinnydip, £35

6. Candle by Tom Dixon, £55

7. This and That Notebook by The Paper Bunny, $15.90

8. Holst Steel Watch by Skagen, £165

9. Come on Over Tan Boots by La Moda, £29.99

10. Opal Ring by Melissa Joy Manning, £680

Sunday, 27 September 2015

What's Relevant Now in Fashion Photography?

   As part of London Fashion Week, I attended some talks at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in Soho - these were really informative, and acted as a nice break from the hectic flurries of the catwalks, if I'm honest.

   One of the most interesting talks, in my opinion, was 'Fashion Photography: Then and Now' with legendary fashion photographer, Miles Aldridge, and incredibly creative makeup artist, Isamaya Ffrench. This talk was interesting because it addressed the way that creatives publish their work and enter the professional industry.

   Miles, in his witty and nonchalant manner, talked to a room of around thirty attendees about how his professional career took off. Originally intending to go into videography, he began taking photographs of his then model girlfriend, which were then seen by an influential editor - and the rest is history. But is it so easy these days?

   I've looked at handfuls of job applications in the creative industry which demand at least two years experience, a degree and excellent recommendations. Would an aspiring photographer be able to simply show his images to someone high up in journalism and become an undisputed success? Probably not - but that's because the industry has changed so much in the last two decades. Whereas most kids in the 80s aspired to become doctors, police officers and teachers, we're now aspiring to work in fashion, art and film. Is that a bad thing? There are negatives and positives about this shift; but if one thing's for certain, people in the creative industry have more competition than they ever did before.

   So how do we stand out?

   Isamaya became a makeup artist after spending her time painting children's faces at parties; word got round about her undeniable skill, and now she has worked with Chanel, Selfridges and Vogue Italia, as well as becoming Beauty Ambassador for YSL.

   She says, 'It's so hard for the new generations of creative people because the last century of decades have been so stylised, but we no longer have that kind of pigeonholing. People don't want to keep referencing the past, but they also don't know how to move forwards.'

   It's clear now that there is really no predominant style in media. We can identify a look from the 60s, 70s and 80s at the first glance, but what about a look from 2015? What does style mean to us now?

   A clear influence in today's style, whether it's personal fashion or a global ad campaign, is Instagram. We use this tool to show the best bits of our everyday lives, to create a story, or to show off a portfolio. The photosharing app has become so much more than its description; for many, including myself, it is a window to opportunity.

   Isamaya uses her Instagram to show off work that her agency doesn't feel fits in with her profile. Miles admits he 'gave in' to the app around three years ago and began posting particularly 'artsy' shots of decrepit Jelly Babies and used takeaway cups.

   Miles states, 'There's no Editor in Chief anymore', alluding to the oversaturation of work being published into the world. But what, or who, really determines 'good work'? Haven't we come to a point in time where all published work is considered art? I mean, isn't that what the Saatchi Gallery is all about?

   Isamaya had a similar opinion about Instagram, explaining, 'People just photovomit their lives onto Instagram and it causes confusion because there's no legitimacy. Quality is still the most important thing in professional creativity, and that differentiates the good from the bad.'

   But surely we don't need to address the good and the bad anymore. We all know what we like, what we enjoy looking at and what makes us double tap that photo on our feeds - why ruin that by applying a critic's perspective?

   Has Instagram created a segregation between the professionals and amateurs, when it was meant to bring us all together? Do professionals still put themselves above others, simply because they earn money for their art?

   Let me know your thoughts...


Monday, 21 September 2015

New In: Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare

   Perricone MD, known specifically for skincare with the anti-ageing ingredient, Neuropeptides, has just released a No Makeup Skincare range. This collection of fresh-faced makeup was designed to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and pores, and protect the skin with SPF, keeping skin looking glowing and youthful - much like any other miracle makeup, right? 

   Well, out of all of the foundations I've been using during the course of 2015, the No Foundation Foundation by Perricone MD has been the only one that feels like it's done my skin a bit of good. I've used countless drugstore foundations that claim to improve blemishes, elasticity and dullness, but perhaps in this category of cosmetics price does make a difference (this foundation is £45, £12 more than my most expensive foundation, Chanel's Vitalumiére Aqua).

   The name of the product, No Foundation Foundation, says to me that the formula would be lightweight and almost translucent, as if you're not wearing foundation. However, the foundation provides quite high coverage, and takes a stippling motion to blend in rather than a sweeping motion to avoid brush marks. It's a similar case with the concealer - thick, opaque, and needs a good stippling.

   Interestingly, the foundation smells very medical. As soon as I applied the product to my face, I got a wave of clinical odour that reminded me of a trip to the hospital. In all honesty, I didn't really know what to think of this; obviously, no one likes to smell like a hospital, but it also made the products seem a tad more medically legitimate - if that makes any sense.

   One of my favourite products from this collection has got to be the bronzer. Easy to blend in, this formula appears quite dark at first, but lightens to a nice contouring shade with a few circular motions of a brush. It's a little difficult to handle without the help of a table, however, as you'll have to juggle a pipette and a slightly runny formula.

   The mascara is a great product: lengthening, natural very-dark-blown-to-black shade, and a brush that doesn't overload itself with product. Some people who prefer a wand with fibres, however, may find that this stiff, plasticky brush (somewhat akin to Benefit's They're Real!) is not for them. I'll leave that up to preference.

   If you love a super moisturising lipstick, then you'll love the product that ties the whole collection together: the No Lipstick Lipstick. Bringing a touch of colour to your overall look, this lip product is smooth, silky and applies like a dream. I can only compare it to the Clinique Chubby Stick for its dewy finish and subtle colour. PLUS it's packaged with a screw-top lid, meaning no missing lipstick caps in the makeup bag, keeping the product fresh and full of moisture.

   Overall I would say this collection is ideal for people with problem skin, because of its anti-ageing and protecting benefits. However, if you prefer 'no fuss' makeup, this is possibly a bit too much to bear, with its fiddly pipettes and patience-demanding stippling.

   If you'd like to see a demo of all of these products, check out the video below for my Subtle Bronzed Eye Makeup tutorial, in which I show you each product and how it applies to the skin. Enjoy!


Thursday, 17 September 2015

What Makes the Perfect Shoe?

   It goes without saying that shoes can make or break an outfit. Give a girl good shoes, and she can face the day with a spring in her step (figuratively, of course - I don't advise wearing shoes with springs for soles). Give a girl bad shoes and... well, we won't go there.

   So what makes a good shoe? Is it practicality or style? Is it fit or durability? Is it the way that they fit just right into this season's retro trends? There are many ingredients that go into a good shoe - but, for me, the ingredient that turns a good shoe into a showstopper is 'versatility'. I want a pair of shoes that can take me from a morning in the office to a lunch date with my sister, and then from dinner with my boyfriend to drinks with the girls. I want shoes that can keep me going all day and still make my outfit feel on point when it reaches 11pm.

   It may seem like I'm asking for a miracle, but one does come across the perfect shoe every once in a while - and I think I've found a pair *pinches self*.

   Deichmann, the century-old, family run shoemakers currently leading the European shoe market, has collaborated with the devastatingly stylish and equally talented blogger, former model and photographer, Hanneli Mustaparta, to create a collection so versatile that I squealed when I laid eyes upon the lookbook.

   Ranging from comfy and casual slip-on skate shoes to rockstar-worthy heeled boots with super cleated soles, this collection has a pair of shoes to go with any casj outfit - and they can even be dressed up for officewear or an evening out.

   It was difficult to pick a favourite, but I settled on the 'Over the Knee Boots', a jet black boot with a slight heel, rounded toe and the perfect height; these boots finish just above the knee, with a zip all the way down the inner leg. They're comfy, they're cool and they make me feel just a tad 60s - perfect for AW15! And what's more? These boots are £34.99. Yep - I had to look at that price tag twice, too. For an accessory that looks at least double that figure, I can't believe that I've ever come across such a steal before.

   I've found that I can easily style a whole week's worth of outfits around these boots - so that's just what I did, and I've included the best outfits in this post. Just to show how versatile they are, I shot three completely different looks, each with their own unique style and theme. I hope you enjoy the images, and please check out the Deichmann x Hanneli Mustaparta collab here if you feel inspired!


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What to bring to LFW


  London Fashion Week is the most exciting biannual event for the country's fashion set; but if this is your first time getting up close and personal with journos, bloggers, photographers, designers and models, then it can seem a little daunting.

   Where do I go? Who can I talk to? Where do I sit? And, most of all, what do I wear?

   Don't panic. All of these things become obvious on the day, and it'll all just fall into place. But just to give you some reassurance, here are some tips on what to bring with you:

1. Tickets

These are the most important things of all, along with your LFW pass. You may be attending the shows for your blog, or on behalf of work - but either way, you'll need a ticket to get in on the action.

2. Phone + LFW app

If you're going to be Instagramming those vital catwalk moments, you'll need a smartphone with a good camera, as well as the official London Fashion Week app. The app (downloadable via Google Play and the App Store) provides you with the schedule for the week, and lets you organise your personal schedule, so that you don't forget where you're meant to be!

3. Portable charger

Zapped all your juice from constant gramming (see point 2)? Not to worry; your portable phone charger will keep you going all day. I recommend purchasing one with multiple charge capacity, as you can never underestimate how much you'll be using your phone.

4. Water

If the weather holds out this week, you'll need a bottle of water to keep you hydrated. However, even if it's raining, you'll definitely need a drink of some sort to keep you going when you're dashing from one show to another. Fainting isn't fashionable.

5. Notebook

Keep a notebook handy to write down your gut-instinct thoughts about each show, so that you can elaborate on them later in a blog post or article. 

I know, I'm old fashioned - but I like to keep my real notes separate to the 'Notes' app on my phone, otherwise I'll just forget about them. Also, I find that when people are writing notes on their phones, they just look bored and a bit disrespectful - at least a notebook makes it look like you're doing work, which you are!


Saturday, 12 September 2015

How to Curate the Perfect Shelf

   A tidy space is a tidy mind - and your shelves are a great place to start. Not just for showing off your books, shelves are a curation of the objects that represent a part of your personality - objects that aren't just for looking at, but which also have a sentimental link.

   I bought a simple white bookcase about a year ago to create some more storage. It began as a very neat and tidy display case for notebooks, beauty products and the occasional pair of shoes, but over the months became overcrowded with nik-naks and other items that would otherwise have no designated spot in the room.

   This was giving me a headache just looking at it; so, this weekend, I decided to reorganise.

   As you can see in the image above, my shelves were cluttered with magazines, shoe boxes and old perfumes. I didn't just need a massive clearout; I needed a total overhaul.

   I removed everything off the shelves, using the old 'three box' system (keep, sell, throw out), vacuumed, dusted, and got to work on the creative bit: arranging my favourite pieces.

   I wanted my shoes to be the focal point, as I love how they look, and the colours provide some vibrancy. I then worked around the shoes with regular-use beauty products (including 'Le Jasmin', my all-time favourite scent from Miller Harris), as well as my much-loved cameras. I also bought a simple-but-effective magazine rack (£5 from Tiger) in which to keep my monthly magazine stock (I do tend to overindulge on magazines - but hey, I'm a journo).

   I'm really happy with how my shelves have turned out; but if you're looking for something a little different or a little more suited to your aesthetic, here are some inspiring shelf situations from Pinterest:

Crates into shelving, paint white, with fabric / paper at the back of some - freestanding, not fixed, could work in several rooms (kitchen, bedroom alcove, living room) - for kitchen add glass doors to some, for glasses, display:
image from scandinavian home
Full Wall Bookcase of Painted MDF in Renovated Farmhouse in Denmark, Remodelista:
image from remodelista
Floor to ceiling bookcases!:
Trellis design wallpaper in the back of this bookcase is a fantastic way to add subtle pattern to any room!:
image from the painted room
Guest rooms can be impersonal. Make yours a room that you love to be in and your guests will love it too.:
image from ikea

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Farfetch AW15 Accessories Guide

The AW15 Accessories Guide


Monday, 7 September 2015

Weekday Wishlist 07.09.15

1. Trunk Clutch by Aspinal of London - £395
2. Lambswool Poncho by GANT - £120
3. Leather-look Skirt by New Look - £19.99
4. Leopard Print Shoes by New Look - £19.99
5. Faux Leather Layered Jacket by Genuine People - £30.27
6. Wide Trousers by Zara - £39.99
7. Sara Tee by Monki - £10
8. Lace Trim Dress by Mango - £39.99
9. Suede Ankle Boots by ASOS - £60
10. Open Stone Ring by Orelia at ASOS - £15

Sunday, 6 September 2015

How to Stay Safe as a Blogger

   I just finished watching Becca Rose's vlog on her recent experience of being burgled, and it has really made me think about what kind of things I'm doing to make sure that I, and the people around me, are as safe as possible. Having someone break into your most private environment, and help themselves to the things that have value to you (be it monetary OR sentimental), is something that I hope will never happen to any of you - and if it has already, I truly hope you've recovered or are recovering.

   Becca's vlog has made me consider how difficult it can be for bloggers and vloggers, people who live much of their lives online in a modern and thriving community, to ensure that they are being as safe as possible when it comes to sharing information. Although it is a great thing to interact with the world in this way - making videos, posting images, writing posts - the online world does come with its fall backs, including hacking, trolling and even identity theft (I've heard too many stories of popular blogging personalities being copied completely by an unknown person, claiming to be someone they aren't). However, it is even more frightening when that online threat becomes a physical one, which is why I've compiled a few tips about keeping safe as a blogger or vlogger.

   There's no doubt that we should all make safety a priority; so I can't stress these points enough.

1. Keep backgrounds plain

   When shooting an outfit, video, or even just when you're out and about Instagramming in your home town, try to keep your background plain. Anything from landmarks to street names to road signs can let people know where you are, so either blur any details out, or photograph against an unidentifiable background.

2. Never let people know that you're about to go on holiday

   It makes me nervous when my friends publish Facebook statuses saying something like, '12 days until Australia!', because they're letting everyone know when they'll be leaving the country, and where they'll be going. When I go on holiday, I usually leave social media for after I come back; this way, I can stay relatively safe, and enjoy a holiday where I'm not glued to my phone.

Image from Style at Home
3. Don't film a house tour

   Just moved in or redecorated? Congrats! New spaces and re-inspired decor are sure to get anyone excited, and it's pretty tempting to share it with everyone in a house tour. Now, I love a house tour more than anyone - I love decorating, and I love getting inspiration from my favourite bloggers - but I'm always thinking that the blogger is putting themselves at risk by showing everyone the layout of their home and where they keep certain valuable items.

   If you're dying to film something about your house, you could always shoot close-ups of particular items or spaces that won't give away the layout.

4. Keep sensitive situations involving other people private

   Certain occurrences - for example, an argument with someone at work - are not meant for the online world. It could make a bad situation worse, and could even lead to legal action, blackmail, or a disruption to your professional and personal life. 

   Be careful who you're writing about, and always ask for their consent first (blogs are subject to libel law, which means that posting something false about a person or a business could incur penalties).

Thursday, 3 September 2015

August 2015 Favourites: Origins, Public Desire etc.

   August has very truly passed me by in the wink of an eye. Many wonderful things have happened this month - I got a new phone (after four years of using my old one), I got a full-time job and I attended FolkEast festival which was super fun! 

   This month's favourites range from my new favourite YouTuber to my favourite magazine cover, and everything in between - so, please enjoy, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more fashion, beauty and lifestyle videos!

Products mentioned:

Reflection by Fifth Harmony
Jamie Genevieve's YouTube channel
Public Desire lace-up heels
Oliver Bonas mug
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