Saturday, 30 August 2014

AUGUST FAVOURITES 2014

Hi everyone! Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite things from the month of August. I've never done a favourites post before but I'd like to start trying to do them each month. I've split this into beauty, fashion and other so you can get idea of the things I've been loving recently!


BEAUTY FAVOURITES
1. L'Oreal Paris Elvive Triple Resist Reinforcing Shampoo - I ran out of my usual shampoo (Aussie Colour Mate) a couple of weeks ago, and in my desperation I found this randomly in the cupboard. Ever since I've been using it I've noticed a real change in my hair. It seems longer, thicker and feels cleaner. The shampoo claims to reinforce weak and fragile hair, and it seems to be doing just that! I'm on a mission to grow my hair longer so I'll keep using this and see what happens.
2. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - This stuff is the dream! I use it to remove my make up before I go to bed and then again in the morning. It's super easy to use (no rinsing required!) so it's great if you're lazy with skincare like I am. It's really gentle which is perfect for my sensitive skin.
3. Rimmel London Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown - Now, if you've not been living under a rock for the past few months, you'll know that in the beauty world it is ALL about the brow game. I have naturally quite dark and thick eyebrows, so I just use this to fill in any gaps and finish them off. It's really easy to blend in and I'm loving how it looks at the moment. 
4. Rimmel London Scandaleyes Gel Eyeliner - I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this product at the moment. I bought it a few weeks ago when I wanted to try something new after taking a break from wearing eyeliner. It's a great product (great colour pay off, no smudging, lasts forever), however it's just so hard to apply! It comes with a brush, but I think I'm going to have to either practice hard or invest in a better brush because it takes me so long to put it on. It's still a favourite because I have been wearing it almost every day and I do love how it looks.
5. Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in 120 - My friend recommended this to me when we were shopping the other day and I told her that I fancied a change of foundation. I haven't stopped wearing it since!It's light yet buildable, and is a cheaper alternative to the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum I've used for the last year or so. It doesn't seem to be breaking me out at all (success!), and although I feel that this shade is slightly too dark for me, it's probably a good thing - I was starting to look like a startled ghost in photos!


FASHION FAVOURITES
1. Fashion Union Palm Print Top (bought from ASOS) - I know you're probably bored of seeing this top (I still have another outfit post lined up with it!), but I just can't get over how much I love it! You can see it in an outfit here. It's so versatile and I am obsessed with the print, colours and fit. It's perfect.
2. Nike Dual Fusion Trainers (bought from Sports Direct) - These trainers have kept me company for the entirety of my inter railing trip around Europe (I will get around to doing a blog post on it soon, I promise!), and although I am a tiny bit sick of the sight of them, they are incredibly comfortable and stylish at the same time. They go with everything! If it wasn't for these trainers my feet would have died as a result of all the walking we did. 


OTHER FAVOURITES
1. We Bought A Zoo - This film is one of the best films I've seen since I watched Into the Wild back in June. I won't spoil it for you but it's so heart warming and even made my Dad cry! 
2. Arctic Monkeys - AM (and all of their other albums, especially Suck it and See) - after seeing them live at T in the Park last month, and having watched their performance from Reading & Leeds last week, my love for Arctic Monkeys has just grown and grown. I've liked them a lot for a long time, but not to this level! Alex Turner is the dream.
3. Drawing! This summer I've been trying to push myself to start drawing again. I've been doing pencil portraits (weirdly this is something that is out of my comfort zone - I usually use biro) of my favourite celebrities, and it's a really productive way to spend spare time. 

What have you been loving this month?
Elly xxx


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Thursday, 28 August 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: MAXI SKIRT AND TRAINERS






CROPPED CAMI: TOPSHOP
BLACK MAXI SKIRT W/SPLIT: H&M  (£12.99)
NIKE DUAL FUSION TRAINERS: SPORTS DIRECT (£29.99)

Hi everyone! Today I thought I'd post an outfit I wore a lot when I was travelling around Europe a few weeks ago. Due to the fact I had to carry all of my possessions on my back for the entirety of the trip, I only brought the one pair of shoes with me, and so found myself wearing these Nike Dual Fusion trainers with everything! Although I have to admit I am slightly sick of the sight of them now, I actually really loved how they looked, even with the most dressed up of outfits. I personally liked them most when paired with this maxi skirt from H&M, as I think it creates a really effortless contrast. The simple cami adds to this effortless look, and I think wearing something simple yet comfortable is a great way to look chic yet still casual. It's a really good transitional look that will take you from day to night.

How do you dress when you have to travel light?
Elly xxx

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

"MERMAIDS ARE FOR GIRLS": THE WEIRD SOCIAL CONSTRUCT OF GENDER NORMS

I've recently been watching a lot of videos from Laci Green, creator of Sex+ on Youtube. Her videos focus on all things sex education, and are amazingly informative and thought provoking. One thing which she has covered quite lot, and something I'd never really considered before, is gender identity and the idea of gender norms as a social construct. By this I mean the whole "pink, dolls and dresses are for girls" and "blue, football and cars are for boys" idea. We are conditioned from childhood to consider these things to be "just the way it is", so much so that if someone decides they don't want to conform, they are considered to be abnormal.

I have been volunteering at my local library this summer, helping children with reading. Last week a young boy told me he didn't like his book about mermaids because "it was a bit girly." I found it slightly worrying that the reason he didn't like the book wasn't because he found it boring or because mermaids weren't really his thing, it was because he thought it was for girls. I felt this way firstly because I think this kind of gender association is incredibly outdated. If a boy wants to read about princesses, why can't he? What is it that makes this particular thing only accessible to girls? Somebody must have told him that this was the case - we're not born thinking it. The fact that parents and teachers still seem to be prolonging this mindset is really unsettling. Leave it up to the children to make their own choices, and don't be worried by their decisions! I think there's a great - yet incredibly sad - likelihood that many parents, especially those of boys, instil this mindset because they are worried about the reactions from others to their children's choices. For example they may be worried that their children will be bullied for appearing to be homosexual (y'know, that life threatening disease.).

Gender identity and sexuality are not the same thing, yet they are often perceived to be. For example, as a dancer, the amount of times I heard "Ballet is for girls - boys who do it are all gay" is ridiculous. People assume that Ballet dancing would only ever be chosen by girls or homosexual/effeminate males (not all homosexual males are effeminate, and not all effeminate males are homosexual, but that seems to be slightly too much of a difficult concept for some people to understand.) Of course, just like with any profession, there are a number of homosexual male Ballet dancers, but there are an awful lot of heterosexual ones too! Ballet takes an incredible amount strength and stamina, yet once again it is resigned to the lesser "it's for girls!" category.

Now, you could call me a pedantic feminist for saying this (believe me, I'm not), but why is it that the perception of things being "girly" is usually a negative thing? If a boy cries or hurts themselves, you're almost 100% sure to hear a comment of "you're such a girl" from somewhere. This indicates and prolongs the stereotype that females are the weaker gender and that males shouldn't express themselves. Once again, this is an outdated concept! Women can be soldiers now, so where's the female action man? If we keep perpetuating this gender divide then the chances of women and men forever being unequal increases.

The moral of the story is: no one can be assigned a category. All gender really is is a balance of hormones. We like what we like and we love who we love - why is that still such a problem?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

OUTFIT: FASHION UNION PALM PRINT TOP





FASHION UNION SCUBA CROP TOP IN PALM PRINT - ASOS (£20.00)
LUBIANA WHITE A LINE MINI SKIRT: MISSGUIDED (£12.99)
WHITE RAYBAN CLUBMASTER STYLE SUNGLASSES: PRIMARK (£2)
HOLOGRAPHIC COURT SHOES: FOREVER 21 (no longer available)

Hi everyone! Today I thought I'd post an outfit featuring my new favourite top from Fashion Union. I'd never heard of the brand before I found them on ASOS, but I love their range and will definitely be buying from them again. I purchased this top last week (see my latest haul post), and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It goes with everything and I can't stress to you enough how much I love it! You can really easily dress it down with jeans, or wear it out with a pair of heels and skirt. I absolutely love the pattern (even if it did provoke a random 15 year old to ask me "are they cannabis leaves?!" the other day), and the colours mean it works well with pretty much everything in my wardrobe. I hadn't bought anything made from scuba material before and was a bit sceptical of the stuff (don't ask why, I'm hoping someone out there will understand), but I'm actually really impressed. It's lightweight and you don't actually get too hot. This top actually fits my Michael Phelps size shoulders, too! I've gone for a bit of an 80s look here with the white skirt and stilettos, but I kind of love how tacky it looks. I'l definitely be posting more outfits featuring this one!

Have you got a recent favourite item of clothing?
Elly xxx

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

SHOE LUST: CHEAP MONDAY PEEP TOE BOOTS

A few weeks ago I found myself in that infuriating situation that I'm sure we've all been in whilst shopping on ASOS. You've been looking innocently in the "shirts and blouses" section, but whilst doing so have found some shoes you really, really like. They're on the model, but they're nowhere to be seen. You look through every pair of shoes on the site, use all the keywords in your power, God, you even tweet the company begging for a URL. All to no avail. You give up. A few weeks pass, your grief fades slightly. You're getting over the loss. Then, all of a sudden, you spot them. They're on another model, but this time they're in the "Shop the Look" section. And what's more, they're on sale! But in the interim you've spent hundreds of pounds on other things. Things that will never live up to the beauty of these shoes. But now you can no longer afford them. It's too late to send those things you've bought back. You rush to your wardrobe, only to realise you've already sold your soul on Ebay. The world is a dark, cruel place. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I feel about these Cheap Monday peep toe boots.



If anyone fancies buying these for me I'm a size 5/6. Thanks in advance,
Elly xxx

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

JULY/AUGUST 2014 COLLECTIVE HAUL

Hi everyone! Now, before you say anything, I promise I've tried to justify this post to myself in many ways. Firstly, I've been telling myself that "every purchase is a new blog post" (lame), and secondly by persuading myself that I've saved up enough for it (I definitely haven't.). All things considered, I think it's fair to say that I've been pretty excessive (especially considering I also took another fairly large shopping trip back in June.). Despite this, I thought it would be nice to show you all the things I've bought recently to give you all an idea of what is in the shops at the moment. Some of these items have been in my recent outfit of the day posts, however you're yet to see a few of the other pieces. 




1. FASHION UNION SCUBA CROP TOP IN PALM PRINT - ASOS (£20.00)
2. LUBIANA WHITE A LINE MINI SKIRT: MISSGUIDED (£12.99) [see in outfit]
3. WHITE RAYBAN CLUBMASTER STYLE SUNGLASSES: PRIMARK (£2) [see in outfit]
4. ASOS BLACK CROP TOP WITH LONG SLEEVES AND TURTLE NECK - ASOS (£12)
5. LAUDINE ZEBRA PRINT MINI SKIRT: MISSGUIDED (£14.99) [see in outfit]
6&7. BLACK AND CHECK HAIR SCRUNCHIES: TESCO (£1) & PRIMARK (£1) [see in outfit
8. OVERSIZED WHITE SHIRT: NEW LOOK MENS @ ASOS (£12.00) [see in outfit]
9. HIGH WAIST DENIM MOM SHORTS IN CHARCOAL - ASOS (£28)
10. ISAMELA BLUE FLORAL TAPERED LEG TROUSERS: MISSGUIDED (£19.99) [see in outfit]
11. NIKE DUAL FUSION TRAINERS: SPORTS DIRECT (£29.99) [see in outfit]
12. KEZIA CIRCLE SUNGLASSES - MISSGUIDED (£5.99)

What've you bought recently?
Elly xxx

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: ANDROGYNY INSPIRED






OVERSIZED WHITE SHIRT: NEW LOOK MENS @ ASOS (£12.00)
BLACK HIGH WAISTED JONI JEANS: TOPSHOP (£36.00)
BLACK PATENT BROGUES: CLARKS (£54.99)
BRIEFCASE: MY MUM'S
BLACK SCRUNCHIE: PRIMARK (2 for £1)
GLASSES: RAYBAN CLUBMASTER OPTICS

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting as much as usual over the last 10 days, I've been away travelling around Europe (as you do), and so had to queue up the last few posts. I'm back now, and a blog post about my travelling experience will be up soon! Luckily for me, I came home to an ASOS order (nothing better in life than coming home to a parcel!), which included this men's shirt. I've been really inspired recently by images of androgynous outfits and models, and I think it's a concept which is really current both in the fashion and the political world right now. I ordered the shirt on a bit of a whim with a desire to put together an androgynous inspired outfit, and this is what I came up with. It's pretty simple compared to the inspiring and ground breaking ways in which fashion houses and brands have harnessed the concept, however I think I've managed to channel the trend in a wearable, everyday way. By pairing the men's shirt and brogues with skinny jeans and bright lipstick I think I've added a feminine edge to the masculine elements of the outfit, making it perfect for casual wear.

What concepts inspire you?
Elly xxx

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: MONOCHROME






BLACK CROP FLUFFY SHORT SLEEVE JUMPER: NEW LOOK (SOLD OUT)
LUBIANA WHITE A LINE MINI SKIRT: MISSGUIDED (£12.99)
SCENARIO BLACK AND WHITE HEELS: ASOS (SOLD OUT)

Sometimes I wonder if I've taken my love of monochrome way too far! After having discovered mysterious irreversible stains on my River Island white skirt (RIP), I decided it was time to invest in a new one. This one from Missguided is perfect, as it fits nicely, isn't too see through (always an issue with white pieces!) and is actually washable. I absolutely love it and it's going to go with pretty much everything. I hadn't worn this fluffy crop jumper from New Look in a while, and I think it's actually a great summer piece for the UK! I decided then to go full out on the monochrome (leaving me looking a little bit like pedestrian crossing), by pairing the outfit with my well loved Scenario heels from ASOS and super serious new wayfarer style sunglasses.

Do you love monochrome as much as I do?
Elly xxx

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Sunday, 10 August 2014

THE ART OF SAYING "YES"

Yes, unfortunately it's time for another one of those inner-peace-zen-garden-with-jute-sandal-meditation blog posts! After the positive feedback I had on my "5 Steps to Happiness" post, and seeing as this isn't solely a fashion blog, I thought it would be nice to do a series of advice and help posts, addressing issues that I feel have been important in my life, and exploring the ways I have dealt with them.

I've found that sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut and a routine, and that we can struggle to break free from what we know and are comfortable with. Sure, this might be the safe and easy option, and you might think "why change?", especially if you are totally content with your situation. Of course, I would ultimately like to settle down into a routine,  however I think it's incredibly important not to fall into too much of a committed regime too soon.

A book/film that really inspired me to start thinking this way is "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer. His book documents the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man and college graduate, who leaves his comfortable home to hitch hike to Alaska and live off the land there. (If you haven't seen the film, I would really recommend it, it's worth the time and Emile Hirsch is the dream in it, too.) To quote from one of McCandless' letters to his friend, Ronald Franz:

“You really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences."

 Of course, this doesn't mean I'm about to hop on a plane and start hunting moose with my bare hands, however it has caused me to think a little differently.

Too often have I been too cautious about new opportunities, getting anxious and finding excuses to say no. However, I've learnt recently that it's of the utmost importance that we try new things. If you never try, then you'll never know! As an example, this summer I've been volunteering at my local library, helping with their reading challenge for children. I've never worked with children before, and initially the prospect scared me (I almost cancelled my application), however the first session left me with the biggest grin on my face. I've never known anything so fulfilling! If I hadn't bit the bullet and had a go, I would never have known, and I wouldn't be considering working with children as part of my future plans. Trying new things can cause you to discover things about yourself you don't even know yet.

"Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it."

Talk to that girl or boy you like, start up that blog or Youtube channel, apply for that job. Go and do the karaoke if you want to! Take risks. Do things that scare you, because they are the things that will make you feel the most accomplished, and the things that will make the biggest impact on your life. There's nothing worse than wondering "what if?"

I'm going interrailling (in fact I'll be travelling when you read this) tomorrow, across eastern Europe. I've always been quite hesitant about travelling, as sometimes the prospect scares me, however when I think about it, some of the most amazing and awe inspiring things I've seen have been on my travels.

We are so lucky in this part of the world to have the opportunities we do, and I think it's such a shame that for the most part we don't harness them. I'm guilty of it, but I'm trying to make a change.

When was the last time you did something that scared you?
Elly xxx

Thursday, 7 August 2014

OUTFIT OF THE NIGHT: ZEBRA PRINT






BLACK HIGH NECK SPAGHETTI STRAP CROP TOP: H&M
LAUDINE ZEBRA PRINT MINI SKIRT: MISSGUIDED (£14.99)
NIKE DUAL FUSION TRAINERS: SPORTS DIRECT (£29.99)
WHITE WAYFARER STYLE SUNGLASSES: PRIMARK (£2)

I've had my eye on this snazzy skirt for quite a while now, and I'm so glad I finally purchased it last week! It fits really nicely, and I love the cut out slits at the front as I think really add something different to an average body con skirt. Obviously it's perfect for me as it's black and white yet still makes a bit of a statement! Missguided also sell a matching top to go with this skirt if you want to go all out on the zebra print. I've been loving pairing skirts with trainers at the moment and so this pair of black, white and grey Nike Dual Fusion trainers go perfectly with this look to add a bit more of a casual, sports luxe element. They're so comfortable! I'd probably also wear this skirt with black heeled for a classier evening look.

What patterns are you loving?
Elly xxx

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Monday, 4 August 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: FLORAL TROUSERS






BLUE POLO NECK CROP TOP: TOPSHOP (Similar here)
ISAMELA BLUE FLORAL TAPERED LEG TROUSERS: MISSGUIDED (£19.99)
JUJU MAXI JELLY SANDALS IN CLEAR GLITTER: BANK FASHION (£20.00)

This week I decided to make a few sneaky purchases from Missguided to treat myself before I go away travelling this month. Among the items I received were these amazing Isamela floral trousers. They're made of a silky material and fit perfectly. I've been looking for a pair of tapered trousers/jogging bottoms for a while now and when I saw these on the website I just had to have them. I love blue floral prints (I have a Zara shirt in pretty much the exact same pattern) as I think they are a more understated way to wear bright florals. As usual with Missguided, the trousers are great quality for the price. I've been loving this midnight blue cropped polo neck that my flatmate kindly gave me, and luckily it was the perfect shade of blue to go with the trousers. In terms of footwear, I haven't really been wearing my jelly shoes much recently, but one of my close friends suggested that I whip them out for the casual gathering with friends we were going to. I finished the outfit off with my new sunglasses from Primark (bought to replace a disastrous purchase I made a few weeks ago where I received glasses that looked more like swimming goggles...let's not go there.).

What did you wear today?
Elly xxx



Saturday, 2 August 2014

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: NIKE DUAL FUSION










Today I purchased my first ever pair of trainers! I'm going travelling next week and so I thought it would be a good idea to invest in some really comfortable shoes so that I didn't have to pack about 300 different pairs (all of which would probably give me blisters to varying degrees.). Luckily, I'm loving the way people have been wearing trainers with casual (and formal!) outfits recently, and thought it would be a good opportunity for me to try something new whilst still being comfortable. Trainer shopping is actually deceivingly difficult (apparently all women want pink and purple trainers??), and so after much deliberation I decided to go for a pair from the children's section. This is a great idea if your feet are up to size 5.5 as it can save you a lot of money. I went for a classic grey, black and white Nike pair as I figured they would be the most wearable, and I am a fan of ye olde swoosh now and again! I'm excited to try to style these next week, and I think they'll look great with my H&M black maxi skirt, which I plan to wear a lot! Now I'm wearing trainers with skirts, I truly am the embodiment of a strong independent woman... all I need now is a caramel macchiato "to go"! (Nope, no idea what that is either.).

JUMPER: PRIMARK
FAUX LEATHER SKIRT: ZARA
NIKE JUNIOR DUAL FUSION TRAINERS IN BLACK/SILVER/WHITE: SPORTS DIRECT(£29.99)
BLACK RUCKSACK: MY MUM'S

When was the last time you did any kind of sporting activity?
 Elly xxx

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