Head Your Look In The Right Direction*

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So it’s nearly Springtime, and there is no better time than now to reinvent your look and change up your appearance a little. We all get to a certain stage whether it be a few months or a year or two, and we get bored. We get bored of how we do our makeup and how our hair is cut, and we want a change.

Change is good, it’s not something that should be feared – especially when you’re in control of it. There are tons of things that you can do, (some more drastic than others) that will give you a new sense of yourself. It’s important to remember that you are constantly evolving. You may have gone up on your career path and are working towards your dream job. You may have finally left that toxic relationship and are now a free, strong, independent woman. Or you may have just decided that you’re wasting so much time pretending to be someone else, and you’re done with it.

One of our biggest problems is getting caught up in comparisons. We will always seek out other women and compare the size of our boobs to theirs, or whatever else. And believe it or not, guys do it too so it’s not just a ‘girl thing’. You’ll see a woman walking down the street with her head held high, stunning golden locks that fall down her back, and a face that looks so pretty she could be a fairy. Not to mention her style. And immediately we feel crappy about ourselves and wish that we could be more like that. When really, she might be eyeing you up thinking the exact same thing. Sometimes it’s so easy to get distracted by beauty, that you don’t see the other things, like her nervous hand tic because she’s crossing the road and feels super paranoid. Or the fact she always wears her hair down so that she feels more masked and covered. So don’t be so quick to assume that that pretty girl has it all.

But how do you focus on yourself properly, you ask?

Here’s how…

Your face.

Makeup, makeup, and makeup. Why do we love it so much? – Because it’s magic. It can transform you in so many ways. Once upon a time all we could do was try with what we had in our beauty bag and hope for the best. Until a few years ago when social media became the teacher to us all, blessing us with makeup tutorials on how to fix our faces like the professionals do. And now it has never been more fun to experiment and play around with all the products that are out there.

When choosing your base, you’ll want to make sure that the colour is right for your skin tone. If you’re lucky, you will find the perfect shade, but unfortunately, a lot of you may have to mix a couple. But this isn’t a bad thing, because bear in mind in the summer, your skin would have caught the sun anyway, making you slightly darker, so having two shades of foundation can actually work to your advantage. You can also use bronzer is the summer time to contour with as a pose to your usual contour sticks, because it still creates the shadow you want, but without being too harsh and heavy – especially when it’s super hot outside. Plus it gives you a nice shimmer and glow at the same time.

If you’re looking to do something different with your makeup routine though, you’d be amazed at how changing a couple products will do just that. Lipstick, and blusher. Don’t wear either already? – Start applying them. Already wear them? – Change the colour.

The hair.

Your hair is what frames your entire face, think of it as the frame that shows off the pretty painting inside. A bad one will tarnish that piece of artwork, while a good one will compliment it. The best way to pick the right kind of cut, is to figure out what face shape you have, as this plays a big role in the overall look. Short hair for round faces pairs up wonderfully, especially when cut with a lot of texture by having shorter layers that are uneven, as this will give you more edge and create depth. While doing this on a longer face may make it appear even longer. So you need to put all of this into consideration before you go chopping away.

You will also want to think about the colour. If you’re happy with the shade it is now, then never feel the need to dye or bleach it because you think it’s how people will want to see you. You do you. Having said that, if you do want to spruce things up a little, why not go to the salon and get some highlights or lowlights put in? This way you don’t have to stray too far away from your natural colour, but you can still get some more definition going, especially as the sun starts to make an appearance, catching those subtle lights. And if you’re feeling really daring, then go pink, or purple, or blue, or red, or all of them combined! This is the beauty of creating your own look – you can do whatever you want. Be free, break out from the norm. Sure, expect to get some looks, but don’t immediately perceive them as being negative – people look out of awe and wonder, and maybe even think to themselves, “I wish I had the confidence to do that!”

Your outfit.

Be the trendsetter that you know you can be. There are so many different looks that are going on right now, sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but hey – you don’t have to. Just because the magazines or Instagram tell you what is in trend this season, doesn’t mean you have to follow it. Seek inspiration wherever you see fit. This could be from online, or the tv, or out and about in the city. Or even nature. There are so many things that are beautiful, so take what you can, and combine them all together to create your very own style.

One great way to figuring out your sense of style if you’re struggling, is to think about music. What kind of genre do you listen to? Who’s your favourite musician? What songs make you feel all types of ways? Being in touch with that emotion and feeling is brilliant because it allows you to create a vibe that is of substance. If you believe it, then people will feel it as soon as you walk into a room. It may be poetic, or dark, or wild, or risque – but they’ll know.

You also need to think about your body type. The size of your clothes doesn’t matter – at all. It doesn’t matter whether you’re big or small, it’s how you wear them, rather than how they wear you. So before you go shopping, understand what works and what doesn’t. If you want to cinch in the waist, then focus on things that pull you in around that area. The use of accessories works great in this department, so take advantage of chunky belts, or even a funky scarf that has multiple different functions.

Your confidence.

As they say, confidence is the key, and as cliche as it may be – it’s true. If you hold your head high enough, keep that back straight enough, and smile like you mean it, you can make anything look good. Confidence is such a powerful thing that so many people want to have, because it changes everything. It changes the whole way you see yourself. How you carry yourself. And how others see you too. So even if you have to fake it – fake it! No one else knows, and sooner or later, once you see how much better everything is, you’ll start to believe it too.

Look for the things that make you happy, and draw out that energy from them, using it to your advantage. If you have certain insecurities that are always in the back of your mind, then face them – don’t let them win. It’s important to remember that everyone has things that they don’t like about themselves. Even Beyonce! No one is perfect. It doesn’t exist. We all have our scars, our stretch marks, our spots, our cellulite, our pockets of fat here and there. It’s just part of being human, and the sooner you accept that, the easier your life will become.

We spend so much of our time trying to fix ourselves, when really we should be trying to embrace all of our qualities, because they are what makes us, us. Imagine living in a world where we all accepted each other, and were each other’s cheerleaders… Wouldn’t that be just magical?

We’ll get there one day. We just need to spread the love and encouragement among everyone. It will get better.

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3 Excellent Excuses To Look Your Best*

(Photo by Allyson Johnson on Unsplash)

If you’re into fashion then chances are that you are conscious of your image. While this might be seen as narcissistic by some people, they absolutely (mostly) have the wrong perception. Looking good is feeling good, and feeling good often translates into looking good. Fashion is a celebration of life, as is maintaining your beauty. The same criticism wouldn’t be levelled at a gardener making an outdoor space unique and fresh, so why should it be valid where you are concerned?

That being said, the only way to truly understand your worth is to look wonderful in some truly appropriate situations. The places and circumstances suggested in this article will make for amazing photo opportunities, but not only that. They can help you feel more confident. They can ultimately help the memory become formed in an optimal way, a way you will cherish forever. So there’s pure value in this. Here’s where to get started:

On An Adventure

How do all wonderous romances start? With a slice of adventure. This period of new beginnings and an unknown future is what makes any new period of falling in love intoxicating. This is a time you will remember, so it’s important to begin well. Heading to Kilimanjaro with Kandoo Adventures and your new love interest could be phenomenal way to bond, and afford you an opportunity to break out your best wardrobe yet. Winter layering with practical and stylish boots can make you seem like a winter explorer, a traveller with integrity straight out of a sepai movie. Just imagine the photographs you may show to your children one day. But still, the experience is what matters first, and finding surroundings like this to look wonderful in together makes for a fairytale experience.

In A City Of Romance

There are certain experiences that make you feel more or less ‘real.’ You likely know what we mean. Experiences that make us feel alive are often those which push us out of our comfort zone and give us time to reflect on all around us. The same could be said for those experiencing new things in a city of romance. Heading to Paris or Venice will afford you the opportunity to wear your most chic clothes, from striped crop tops to black or cherry berets. Angular and distinctive sunglasses and even a tapered clutch bag.

A city of romance also help you achieve that movie star framing, and gives you the opportunity to experience your inner star. Even the most daring fashion is considered normal here, so it’s a great excuse to experiment. Europe is more conducive to this, but anywhere you can express yourself freely is somewhere you should pursue.

At A Formal Event

There are many formal events you will likely attend in your life. This is a great opportunity to dress as well as you can. Evening gowns and ball dresses can be worn with elbow high gloves, and your most tasteful jewellery can also be a fixture here. This might be a formal date, a marriage or awards ceremony. Theming your outfit here can help you achieve the glamor you may have been expressly searching for in your daily life. After all, who doesn’t enjoy being dressed up to the nines?

With these three excellent excuses to look your best, you can find all of your fashionable interests and efforts come together to truly show you the best of yourself.

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The Right Stripes

I’m in a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to outfit posts right now, whilst on the one hand the evenings are getting lighter and I’m getting more chance to photograph things, I’m also battling against ever decreasing body confidence and a general lack of inspiration in what to wear on weekends- or rather an overload of things I want to wear and share. Now I’m in work 9-5 the chance to wear casual clothes is becoming a rare thing, and by the time I get home I’m generally so dishevelled and worn out that all I want to sling on is jogging bottoms or pyjamas.

I did manage to squish my demons aside last weekend though and got a few snaps of a dress that made up part of a Pull & Bear order I placed back in January, and actually braving the camera wasn’t as bad as I feared. I really want to get back in to sharing more of my personal style as and when I can, it was all I blogged about when I first started but somehow I fell in to a pit of sponsored content when I wasn’t working and needed the money. Now I no longer rely on my blog for income it’s time to get back to my roots.

Pull & Bear is one of my go-to shops for affordable pieces like this dress, at £12.99 I picked up this striped dress in a floral pattern as well. It’s a bit shorter than I would have liked, definitely a no go for work, but for slightly smarter casual style it’s ideal.

I’ve been avoiding stripes lately (aforementioned body image woes to blame) but this vertical, fine striped print is actually pretty flattering and it makes a nice change to my usual print preferences. I paired the dress with my favourite ankle boots from Banana Republic, some old faithful Primark opaques and my new ruby necklace- a valentines gift from Bob and wore this for a much needed hit of retail therapy with my Mum. Retail therapy that wasn’t overly successful, but mother and daughter time is definitely priceless.

Hopefully as the weather continues to brighten, and as my inspiration and motivation starts to return I can keep up the pace of at least one outfit post a week- let me know in the comments if there are any other directions you’d like to see the blog take. I have a few ideas up my sleeve but have so far lacked time to implement them.

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Keeping up with interior trends for 2018*

Interior design trends are constantly changing — this was evident in 2017 and we are here to help your home stay with the times instead of being left in the past. We’re now in 2018, and redecorating your home to comply with new trends is achievable.
Taking a trip back to 2017

Ensuring that our homes look their best throughout 2018 is essential, to do this, we need to look back at the trends of last year to make the appropriate predictions for what we expect to come. So, what were some of the best trends that transformed our homes over the past year?

A common colour of 2017 was Greenery — and was even announced The World’s Colour of the Year in 2017. The colour green did well in general, as we saw the use of this colour in fashion and commercial design – making it an instant hit with the general public. Greenery represents refreshment and revitalization, which a lot of people could relate to during that time.

A lot of home owners went for a rustic look, using untreated walls to their advantage to create a more edgy-studio vibe, showcasing the original bricks or stones that the home is made up of — adding more character throughout. This trend was a brilliant way for homeowners to save both time and money when decorating, whilst giving them the flexibility to be versatile with their furniture.

Corked-furniture was a new feature to the home, and added a touch of elegance to our products. The environmental friendly material was commonly used throughout the year to make items such as vases, glasses and even lampshades. However, they were often accompanied by a metallic surround that gave off a youthful yet premium vibe.

Mason jars used as cups were another hit in 2017, and was a revolutionary change for our kitchens. Young or elderly, everyone had one in their kitchen. This trend even caught on with restaurant owners, who discovered that they could use these to serve drinks as well as storing food and ingredients. Accompanied with a striped straw, mason jars are the perfect item to serve a nice cool beverage.

Those were some of the biggest trends of 2017, but they’re so last year! What can we expect for 2018?

Expect the unexpected!

We’ve partnered with department store Oldrids & Downtown, retailers of dinner sets to discover what trends that think will be big this year.

Copper was huge last year, but it’s time to leave it behind. Gold and brass furniture will make its return and will become a household essential, although making it subtle is the key to making them look good. Golden legs of a table accompanied with a white top will be the talking point of all of the dinners you host, for instance.

People will find themselves adding a bit more character to their kitchen, as pristine white was a must-do in 2017 — expect experimentation with colours and materials this year. Everyone seems to have a white kitchen, white tiles and white marble worktops and, frankly, it’s a bit repetitive. Mixing finishes will give it a cool New York-like aesthetic that everyone will love.

When you’re picking out your curtains this year, go with rich colours that will pop off your walls. This can really benefit the furniture you have in your room and make it pop to any visitors. Don’t go too wild with different colours, but at the same time don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t used before, such as a mustard tone – be the trend setter with all of your friends.

Forget brighter walls, we’re going dark for 2018. For those who opted for untreated walls last year, it’s time to leave them there and generate something new in your living space. Picture grey walls with your mustard curtains – it’s an interior designer’s dream. Withhold the elegance in your home by opting for a palette of aged colours that will make the most beautiful backdrop.

70s furniture is finally making its return, expect vintage wooden furniture to make its way into your home. From units in your living room to your dressing table (accompanied by a long motel-like mirror), you will have plenty of storage space that will accompany the colour of your walls and threads beautifully.

What trends are you forecasting this year? Which of the above will you be implementing into your home?

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A Winter Escape #EscapeForWinter*

Imagine you could pick anywhere in the world to spend the Winter months, well, anywhere cold and snowy that is. That was exactly the task assigned to me by Julian Charles the other day and Bob and I spent a great deal of time talking about what we would do and where we would go.

In the end we decided that we’d hop on over to Iceland to spend some time in a glass igloo- something that might sound like a punishingly cold way to spend the Winter, but upon further research sounds more and more appealing.

Photo by Rucksack Magazine on Unsplash

Made from thermal glass, the igloos actually provide a snug and warm environment which allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of Iceland- and if you’re really lucky, catch sight of the elusive Northern Lights.

Kitted out with a bed, toilet facilities, log fires and more, I can think of nothing better than cozying down in bed or on a beanbag with the thickest of duvets and faux fur throws known to man kind whilst enjoying the spectacular surroundings. From my brief bit of research I’m also 100% down with the daytime activities on offer- one supposes you can’t spend all of your time there in a cosy little nest at least!
From husky sledging to snowmobile hire I actually really want to book this escape right now despite really not being a big fan of cold weather and potential frostbite.

If we were going to be there for any length of time I’d be sure to pack some extra bits and pieces to make our dwelling extra warm and cosy- some giant scented candles to provide a warm glow, some super warm blankets and several hot water bottles for starters.

Wardrobe wise a new winter coat would most certainly be in order, as would some super warm footwear and a trapper hat for day time attire and the thickest dressing gown, fleecy pyjamas and sheepskin lined slippers for night.

I’m imagining plenty of comfort food being on offer- from traditional Icelandic dishes (plenty of fresh fish) to simple soups and bread for warming lunches. I’ll probably be rolling home several kilos heavier but will definitely be avoiding local delicacies such as dried fish or sheep’s head.

Julian Charles have also put together a great e-book to serve as inspiration for anyone looking to escape the ordinary this winter. Reading this gave me a serious case of wanderlust and I’m pretty sure that it will do the same to you, too.

What would be your dream winter escape, and how would you keep cosy and warm whilst there?

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Collaborative post with Julian Charles.