Tuesday, 31 January 2017

2017 Style Forecast

Let's just start off by saying, leave your heels at home, say cheerio to your sheer shirts and silky shift dresses and start thinking more comfort, smart, bold, chic and tailored styles. This years biggest trends are going to be familiar favourites with a little edge. 
A lot of attention will be focused on details. Ruffles, gathering, splits, scalloped, fluted, pleated, freyed ALL OF IT. By winter 2016 it was becoming obvious that straight cut sleeves were dying out and now there's slim pickings left over. Pay attention to the detailing of sleeves in particular and try to experiment with something different. If you're more of a clean cut kind of gal, try starting off with split sleeves and slowly edge into bigger details. By summer, everywhere will be stocking clothes a bit more edgy and different so be brave and start early. 
I'm sad to say but skinny jeans and trousers or pencil skirts are out. It's not about the tightest torusers you can find anymore, from the fabulous culloute phase we're all still going through it's not going to stop there. Think super wide legged, boy/girlfriend fit, relaxed, kick flare's and bootleg. Don't get me wrong, this will probably be what i'll struggle with most because I can't stop wearing my skinny wax jeans but I promise you there's a wide leg out there for every shape, size and height. I work and shop with women everyday dressing them and this is when people get most excited because they can't see past skinny jeans and they get the best surprise and biggest shock when they put on something a little looser. Just try it- please!
BE BOLD! Bright bold colours like fushcia pink, canary yellow, orange and every blue under the sun are set to be the most popular for spring/summer. Block colours will be everywhere and I'm talking all in, full outfits, head-to toe boasting different shades of the same colour. I know it sounds scary, but honestly it's going to be the best trend this year. Until then, prints have already started filling shops whether it be 70's style or a feminine watercolour design, this is gunna be around for a while. Our trusted stripe is going to be everywhere. From those wide-leg trousers to our favourite brenton stripe- they're going to be here for long run so don't chuck them, just stock up. Gingham is going to be making a rather exciting return. My memory of gigham is a monochrome gingham wool coat my Mum used to put me in every Winter when I was little and I hated it. But now i'm obsessed. Get me a ruffled gingham box top and matching kick-flares  and i'll be happy- please please try this one! Try different colours of gingham, not just monochrome, a bubblegum pink or a bordeaux wine for this last push of Winter would be fab.
Everyone and their mum bought new trainers last year to wear a little differemtly than usual. Whether it was with a slinky dress to nail the new smart-casual or bright and white for that chic edge, everyone loves trainers again. It's going to be less about clean cut plain colours and more about the details. Printed, embellished and customised are the ones to watch. Be careful though, don't get too excited and bag the first pair you see. They're going to be a big deal in Summer so wait and see what's coming. Trainer design collaborations are going to be another big deal this year so let's just wait and see. I'm looking forward to Puma and Rihanna's Summer collection most- more of those pink fluffy sliders and velvet trainers will do nicely please.
Don't be scared to be bold, brave, try something new and be confident. Push yourself a little bit more to get that 2017 edge and get ahead of the trends. 

Zoe x

Monday, 30 January 2017

Easy Skincare Tips and Product Suggestions

Sometimes I feel like there is so much information out there regarding this break through cleanser or the next groundbreaking serum that everything just gets lost in translation. I have built a real interest and passion about skin and skin care products over the last few years and have enjoyed researching and reviewing things across the market. With this post I want to talk about budget skincare and what you actually need to be using not what the advertisers tell you that you need to be using. My interest has stemmed from having pretty uncooperative skin that is sensitive, dry and prone to eczema and dermatitis. I can't use a lot of heavy make-up as it doesn't wear well on me and feels uncomfortable. I found this really frustrating and decided to do some research into what my skin needed to function more normally and comfortably.

The first thing I did was ditch the face wipes. I know they are convenient as hell, trust me I should have had shares with Simple I bought those green wipes so regularly, but they literally robbed my skin of the limited natural moisture it had and were definitely more of a hindrance than a help. I started to cleanse with a micellar water which was still pretty easy and I could see improvements slowly but surely. My real break through was when I took the hot cloth cleansing leap. Okay it takes longer, cleanser is arguably more expensive and yes it is a bit more effort, but it is so worth it. I noticed the difference in my skin almost instantly and I just feel cleaner and more rejuvenated.

I then began to look into the best ingredients for my skin type and found hyaluronic acid which can retain over a 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of the skin, which makes it a really excellent moisturiser for my dryer skin. I also feel like something which isn't overly scented is really important if you have a more sensitive skin. Finally in a day cream you really want some sun screen in there and if not then you should apply that under your make-up or ensure it is in your primer or foundation.

When it comes to a skincare routine it varies and obviously depends what you have time for, at the very least TAKE YOUR MAKE UP OFF, and apply a bit of moisturiser. The rest is maybe as and when but I do have a strict routine that has kept my skin in check for the last few years;

Cleanser - Everyday
Toner/Exfoliator - Every second day
Mask - Weekly
Oil - Optional
Serum - Everyday
Moisturiser - Everyday

Finally I want to provide a list of products that I think are truly brilliant and great value for money. As with anything there are certain things you should spend a little more on such as serum but moisturisers and cleansers can be found a lot cheaper on the market.

Skin Renew Cleansing Oil by Una Brennan - Great nourishing oil that takes make-up off beautifully and leaves skin feeling lovely £10.99.
Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make up Remover  - Takes eye make up off really quick and easily and is brilliant value for money £3.99.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - Lovely, gentle water that removes make-up really quickly and at the price you can't go wrong £3.33.

Pixi Glow Tonic - Brightens, tones and conditions your skin and contains amazing ingredients, plus its large size means it is great value and lasts forever £18.00.

Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask by Una Brennan - Amazing mask for a bad skin day that can be used weekly or in an emergency, 125ml of product for only £9.99.
Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask - The most inexpensive way to pamper yourself and nourish your skin at only £0.99 you can't go wrong.

Indeed Lans Hydraluron - This product is great to layer on top of moisturiser as it provides long-lasting hydration to the skin and is lightweight while targeting dryness £24.99.
Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Serum - It contains 4% glycolic acid which helps to retexture the skin and improve the skins appearance £15.99.

Nivea Soft Cream - A beauty classic that my mum has used for years and passed to me. It never fails me and makes my skin feel moisturised and soft and only costs £4.29 for 200ml.
Vitamin C Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser by Una Brennan -It contains Hyaluronic Acid, anti oxidant rich Ferulic Acid as well as Vitamin C which helps to protect, brighten, nourish and resurface the skin £16.99.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - A gorgeous spritz that contains beautiful essential oils that enhance the skin and calm the mind. A beautiful pick me up when the skin needs some help through the day £12.00.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm - The ingredients including honey and precious oils help to nourish and protect the lips, I use this daily £9.50.
Loreal Paris Extraordinary Rebalancing Facial Oil - This oil is great value for money and helps to calm and soothe the skin whilst helping to add moisture £19.99.

I hope these product and tips can help make the idea of skincare easier to add into day to day life. Looking after the skin on your face is so important and will make you feel 100 times more confident in any walk of life.

L x


Sunday, 22 January 2017


I am a long time fan of social media. I had an unhealthy obsession with Piczo and fancied myself quite the web designer at the grand old age of thirteen. I embraced the early emo selfie on MySpace and coveted the love on Bebo like no other throughout my teens. Pretty much any social media phenomena I have been very, very into. I'm more of a creative soul and I'm also naturally nosey so when Youtube and Blogs surrounding fashion, beauty and lifestyle showed up I was in my absoloute element. I couldn't get enough of watching hauls and tutorials and reading everyones review of the latest beauty product or online boutique. Needless to say I did pick up on the brand collaborations pretty early on in the game. When you are scrolling through Bloglovin on the way to work and notice six different beauty bloggers raving about the latest Marc Jacobs scent, alarm bells start ringing.

I'm studying PR at Uni and we talk about paid advertising and brand collaborations a lot both in and out of class. My first thought on the entire business is whether they think we as an audience and consumers are actually that stupid? Some of the #ad posts I see on Instagram are insulting to my intelligence and the last thing I would do is go and purchase the skinny tea or cellulite cream that the realty TV star is 'raving' about. It is pure laziness is some cases too, I see bloggers and celebrities posting photos that are almost the opposite of their brand and it just comes across as stale and disingenuous. The descriptions of the #ad photos are sometimes so obviously pasted directly from the e-mail and the photos usually feature poor lighting and an unoriginal composition that has been taken out of necessity rather than passion.

Now I'm in no way saying bloggers shouldn't be collaborating with brands, they should. I have discovered an unlimited amount of products, online shops and services because a blogger or vlogger has recommended them. My entire point is to do so with integrity and team up with a brand because they compliment your aesthetic and voice. Ethically I can't understand telling your followers who trust you that you love something which you have barely or sometimes never even used. It tars everyone with the same brush and the media crucify the industry for this type of fakery. The Instagram and other social media platforms are perfect for pushing new brands and Etsy shops that maybe can't afford a big marketing budget and its truly a shame that this form of advertising is being ruined by the greed of certain individuals. 

Some content creators and celebrities do this beautifully and seamlessly, combining their craft with making money and running a blog business. More power to them and the result for the blogger and the brand are going to be infinitely better as they will be gaining genuine interest from the desired target audience. A lot of vloggers have started sharing the products they receive from companies on Snapchat and in vlogs, which I think can only be a positive thing as it keeps the communication open. If you are priviledged enough to make a great living from brand collaborations there is a duty of care and these influencers should take that responsibility seriously. The brands involved also have a role to play and it's definitely time for them to step up and not use manipulative methods to push products. Companies marketing on social media need to be a lot wiser when choosing who to work with. Reality TV stars or influencers who don't represent their brand effectively and with transparency are going to end up have a reverse effect on sales as the sincerity of the campaign is lost. 

The FCT regulations that are in place are definitely helping the issue as post are supposed to be clearly marked as a sponsored service or product. Not that this is always adhered to but at least it's a step in the right direction. At the end of the day consumers are sick of being manipulated and are increasingly less likely to engage with social media #ads, so it is damaging to everybody. As a blogger with a smaller following  my philosophy is to only work with brands that I am passionate about and would work with without any monetary benefits. Transparency is key, consumer deserve high quality and genuine reviews and collaborations from influencers.

L x

Saturday, 7 January 2017

My go-to products for completing a look

I find that these products and accessories are such a simple solution to giving an outfit or look a little lift when I feel as though something is missing or just isn't quite right. They are my ultimate go-to products and although they may not be necessary for daily use, I feel like I would be lost without them. There has been so many occasions where I have either been wearing a bit of a boring outfit, not feeling confident about my makeup or my hair just hasn't been sitting right and these things were there for me to save the day.

1. Maria Nila Finishing Spray.  I can honestly say that this is by far the best hairspray I have owned or even used in my life. Firstly, it has the perfect amount of hold and the less you use, the more effective it is. Never have I found the phrase 'less is more' to be so true. Secondly, the smell. Oh my goodness, the smell is amazing, if it came as a perfume I would probably buy it. Thirdly, it is free from sulphates and parabens (whatever they are) which I'm sure can only be a good thing! The fact that it's 100% vegan and it comes in a cute can are just bonuses.

2. Hoop earrings. These simple silver hoop earrings were very cheap from H&M and came with a few different sizes. If you have sensitive ears then there are plenty of higher quality options available and different colours (gold, rose gold), silver is just my personal preference. But my point is that they are such a simple way of lifting a look, or adding just a little bit of sass.

3. Victor and Rolf Bon Bon. This is a very sweet and maybe young fragrance but I absolutely love it. The heavier, musky fragrances just aren't for me. I will admit that I use a cheaper fragrance, Zara Black, for every-day use but I feel that having a more luxurious perfume to hand adds just a little bit extra.

4. Kartel watch. This is such a classy watch that literally goes with any outfit. I often find that watches look clumpy or just hang off my unusually small wrists, but this watch is the perfect size and look for me as it is so simple and elegant. A nice watch is such an easy thing to add to a look that looks a little boring and I find that it is so effective in adding a bit of texture.

5. Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. This finishing powder is so good for taking any un-wanted shine away from your face. It is so light that you can't even tell its there and it makes your makeup last so much longer without blocking up your pores which I find that many powders do. I also love that it isn't coloured or tinted but when I wear it, I feel like my skin is that little bit more polished and glowing.

6. Little Black Bag. This bag carries just what I need, it is the perfect size to fit everything I want but still looks small and elegant. It is also perfect for me as it has a hidden zip which is good as I am a total liability for loosing things. This is my go-to bag for completing a look as it goes with pretty much anything and I think it's also just a pretty cute accessory.

T. x
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