Thursday, 30 July 2015

My Soundtrack ~ July...

Tapestry ~ Carole King

Begin To Hope ~ Regina Spektor

Communion ~ Years & Years

Work It Out ~ Lucy Rose

Currents ~ Tame Impala

Back To Black ~ Amy Winehouse

What Went Down ~ Foals

Chase The Light ~ Palace

Monday, 27 July 2015

Summer Obsessions ~ July...

The summer holidays are finally here meaning that I finally have time to spend relaxing (doing absolutely nothing) rather than stressing about exams (I'm now stressing about results instead!) And so I've had a lot of free time to kill so I thought I'd share my current obsessions and give you a little peak at my life during summer.

One thing I have managed to achieve so far this summer is finishing The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Marina Keegan was a student as Yale and sadly passed away just after her graduation, this book is a collection of some of her short stories and essays. Its such a bitter-sweet book as each piece is incredible, Marina was clearly exceptionally talented and it's sad that we'll never know what amazing things she could've achieved and the best sellers she could've written. But I'd really recommend reading this book as it's truly amazing and some of her words hit me so hard in the feels i had to put the book down and pause for a minute to collect myself, for example-

"But as I watched him smile back at me and zip his coat, I saw everything in the world build up and then everything in the world fall down again."

Oh man.

My second achievement is successfully binge watching the entirety of Sex And The City which, if you haven't seen it, can be summed up in one quote-

Watching sex and the city has made my longing to move to New York even stronger. But now I want to move to New York, find 3 fabulous gal pals to love me unconditional and then become Carrie Bradsaw. Watching a programme about successful women sticking together no matter what, always fighting through their heartbreaks and never letting a man walk all over them made me so happy and spending an obscene amount of time total absorbed in their fictional lives was a pleasure.

me this summer. all day. every day.

Instead of stressing about exams, I've been stressing over paint colours and duvet covers. My style has changed a lot over the past year and I was feeling kinda lost in a pastel pink room with floral bedding so it was finally time for a change. I had some idea of what I wanted to achieve (see my interior inspo post HERE) and I think I've managed to achieve it. I'm still putting the final touches to the room but keep your eyes peeled for photos soon.

Avon liquid eyeshadow (shade unknown)
MUA matte lipstick in Fawn Fancy
Rimmel Brow This Way brow gel

Make wise I've only really been putting make-up on if I have somewhere to go and I've been keeping it all pretty simple. These products have been life savers. Firstly the I dug out this Avon eyeshadow a month or so ago and I haven't used anything else since. It applies beautifully and the colour is so so pretty and can be either a subtle shimmer or a darker bronze. I've been wearing this loads as a simple eye look just with mascara as my summer laziness can't bare to pick up eye-liner. 

I picked up this MUA lipstick for just £1. I've been looking for a browny nude lipstick for absolutely ages so finding this one for such a bargain price was a miracle. The pigmentation is perfect and the colour pay-off is flawless so it gives a really good lip colour really easily. Also it's totally matte so I've been pairing it with a nude lip-liner to make my lips look slightly fuller and give them a better shape. This lipstick has become my go-to and for £1 I cant recommend it enough. Might have to get myself some more of these lipsticks.

Brow gel is a must. On days when I really cant be bothered I've just been doing my brows and a little concealer to make myself look mildly alive so this brow gel has come in super handy. It keeps my brows in place all day and is also perfect for shaping your brows nicely when you're just nipping out and keeping your brows au naturale

I've been writing a lot recently from poems to articles to stories. Having more free time has really helped my creativity so I've been getting plenty of pen to paper time. Oh and maybe I'm writing for a purpose...? maybe exciting things are to come...? who knows... (secrets to be revealed soon!)

I've become fully addicted to Rookie. Rookie is such an amazing collection of things, photos, writing, advice etc that it's almost impossible to not get lost in it all. I could spend hours clicking through the photos stories and articles and never get bored.

So basically my summer so far has been TV shows, paint, laziness and internet. What have you been getting up to?

Sunday, 26 July 2015

YSL ~ Style Is Eternal...

‘If Chanel gave women their freedom, it was Saint Laurent who empowered them’ – Pierre Berge

Yves Saint Laurent is 100% my favourite designer and so getting to see some classic YSL pieces was incredible. In my opinion without Saint Laurent we wouldn't dress how we do today. He rebelled against more 'traditional' design as each collection took on a new persona, urging us to focus on style not fashion and exercise freedom of expression with what we wear.

Seeing the clothes in person, the level of detail amazed me. Apparently it was not uncommon for Saint Laurent to ask a seamstress to totally unstitch a dress and start again-everything had to be absolutely perfect. And the level of perfection he strived for is evidence in the clothes with intricate beading and lace.

But for me I think my favourite pieces were the simpler ones. His Masculin-Feminin collection was revolutionary, altering how women dress ever since by merging gender styles. I loved the pinstriped pant suits, the jumpsuits and trench coats. Strong, simple pieces that still remain feminine and beautiful. With women like Cara Delevingne and Alexa Chung opting for Pant Suits rather than party dresses its clear that YSL's designs are eternal.

If you get the chance, I'd definitely recommend visiting the Bowes Museum to see the exhibition. It's so interesting hearing the background to the pieces and seeing the thought process and creation process Saint Laurent went through.  And obviously you get to lay eyes on some of the most beautiful clothes you've ever seen and be within breathing distance of dresses that probably (definitely) cost more than your house.

The Exhibition is open until October 25th, Find more info HERE

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

OOTD ~ Little Top, Little Price Tag...

Vest top- Charity shop
Cardi- Primark
Jeans- Topshop Mom jeans
Sandals- New Look
Bag- Primark

Charity shop queen wins again with this pretty little top for only £1.99. I love the little details on this top like the little flowers on the front, the crocheted pattern on the front and especially the low back! Also the knitted material makes the piece so so comfy to wear but still looks super cute.

Today I was just going out for breakfast with a friend then coming back home to binge watch Orange Is The New Black so I kept it casual. I paired the top with my Topshop mom jeans for a more summery vibe than I would get with my black jeans and then this slouchy bat-wing cardi from Primark. This cardigan is so easy to throw on over anything as the shape is so effortless and floaty that it never overcrowds an outfit (does that make any sense? hopefully) And I topped it all off with my trusty sandals that I wear with pretty much everything and just a simple black bag.

My style has become so much more laid back recently, I seem to be opting more for my mom jeans than my skinny jeans, and I'm more drawn to floaty pieces at the moment. Maybe it's just my summer laziness creeping into my wardrobe? Maybe I've been listening to too much Stevie Nicks and can no longer wear anything that doesn't float when I spin around? or maybe it simply the fact that I've done nothing but watch TV and online shop for 3 days now so need to be comfy? Who knows.

I love this outfit so much as it's so simple and comfy but still looks nice. I think that's what I've been doing for lately- Comfy, effortless but still something a lil special. And that's exactly what this top is, so I've been reaching for it a lot recently.

Cute little top with an even littler price tag? PERFECT!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

4 Lessons I Learnt During My 1st Year of College/Sixth Form...

1) You will start and end the year in very different places

When I think back to this time last year I realise how much I've changed during my first year of college. I feel like I've become much more realistic and mature, but also stronger in myself. Within a year things change a lot- friendship groups, relationship statuses, future plans etc will often be totally different by the end of the year but I think that's good as it forces you to grow up really.

2) You gotta work!

I think before entering college a lot of people have a sort of romanticised view of it, expecting sixth form to be like skins; all parties and messing about but still managing to pass exams. NOPE it doesn't work like that! I quickly realised that it can be so hard to stay on top of the work load. I expected it to be easier as you're only doing 3/4 subjects rather than like 7, but there a lot of work for every subject (there are no easy a-levels, trust me) At the start of the year all teachers say "you need to revise your work while you do it, don't just leave it until the end" and we all rolled our eyes and ignored them, but actually it's really important to make sure you understand everything or revision is a total nightmare (oh god I sound like a teacher!)

3) Talking to new people might be the best thing ever

If you're going into the same college as all your friends it can be easy to feel like you don't need to talk to anyone new. But the people I've met this year have become some of my best friends! As I said before, your friendship group might totally change so talking to new people might be the best thing you've ever done and you might meet your new ultimate bestie. (obviously you might meet some reaaaaaaally horrible people, but it's the good ones that count!)

4) At the end of the day it's the next step

At one point in the year I was feeling super down about college and friends blah blah and my mum just kept reminding me "its the next step" and she was right. Once I started looking at universities and thinking more about careers and stuff I felt so much more determined and motivated to just get through the year and get the best grades I could. Really you're there to learn so focusing on that helped me get through other stuff and (fingers crossed) helped me get good grades.

What did you learn this year?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Meet The Blogger #4 ~ Little Budget...

This Month's blogger is Sally from Little Budget, one of my fave blogs to read. Little Budget is a fashion, beauty, lifestyle blog focussed on feeling a million dollars without spending an obscene amount. 

 What inspired you to start your blog?

My blog was sort of a birthday present to myself! I'd wanted to start a blog for ages as I loved  reading them, and so on my 20th birthday I bit the bullet. I wanted to focus on purse-friendly fashion, beauty and lifestyle pieces, because not everyone has £30 to spend on a single lipstick. Doesn't mean I don't love daydreaming about high-end pieces though!

What’s your favourite thing about running your blog? 

I love the whole  process of it - getting inspired to start a series or trying out a new product that you instantly fall in love with. I'm still getting used to photography but I'm loving the editing process (especially filters, which I admittedly probably use too much of!).

Who is your favourite blogger/the blogger that inspired you most? Why?

I actually found Michelle Phan's blog before I found her on YouTube (I don't know where I'd been  living!). Reading her posts on make-up and skincare started my whole love of beauty, and from there I found other bloggers. I branched out into reading fashion blogs. At the moment I'm absolutely loving Inthefrow - she's so knowledgeable about the pieces she showcases, and it really makes a difference to the quality of her blog.

What is your favourite type of post to write?

I love fashion posts, but I don't really get the chance to write them often (I'm not so good with the OOTD photos, and I'd be too embarrassed to ask someone else to take them!). I love putting outfits together and focusing on the little details.

Who inspires you most? 

 I'm a drama teacher, and I recently went to see a couple of the children I teach  performing at Newcastle Theatre Royale in a professional production. It was so inspiring and lovely to see them doing something they love and having such a wonderful experience (I cried and embarrassed them all!). I'm always inspired when I see how confident they can be and what they can achieve. Makes me feel silly for moaning about having to go to uni or do my grocery shopping!

What is your favourite shop? 

I used to say Primark, but it's been pretty hit or miss lately. I've found some gorgeous accessories in there, but I'm loving Topshop lately as I've been getting more into my fashion pieces rather than living in leggings and hoodies.

What item of clothing are you longing for at the moment?

I've been on the lookout for the perfect pair of trainers - I found a gorgeous baby blue faux croc effect pair in Topshop but they didn't have my size. Story of my life with my size 4 feet!

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

I'm going to be pretty free with my interpretation of the words "3 things" and choose 3 people - my sister, my mum and my dad! At least we'd have a massive laugh even if we were stranded. I'd get them to bring the sun-cream, emergency flares and  food!

What’s your main goal for the future?

I thought I had my life all planned out - I wanted to be a musical theatre actress - but after I got a nasty wake up call ("you're fat and you can't really dance, so I don't know why you're on this course") I've had to have a rethink. I want to keep teaching drama (it's honestly the best job in the world) and look into how the media affects the younger generation. And of course, I want to continue blogging! I'm hoping to venture into YouTube in the next couple of months.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self?

Friends aren't the only important thing in the world. When I was in secondary school I didn't have any friends, and I tortured myself because of it. Now I realise it made me stronger because I got used to my own company and focused on my grades (which is the whole purpose of school anyway!).

Find Sally-

Instagram- @sallyivison

Friday, 10 July 2015

OOTD ~ Cigarette Trousers...

Cardigan- New Look
Crop Top- H&M
Trousers- H&M (HERE)
Sandals- New Look
Bag- Spanish market
I finally got myself some cigarette trousers after wanting a pair ever since I fell deep deep in love with Audrey Hepburn's casual, yet still chic, roll-neck jumper/trousers combo in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Cigarette trousers are such a timeless piece. They were a staple piece for the classic 'it' girls like Brigette Bardot, Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin and obviously Audrey (mega babes). I think they're so simple but add a totally different vibe to an outfit than black jeans would.

In this weird hot/cold weather, I styled mine with a basic striped crop top and a long floaty cardigan for warmth but also to add a more effortless feel to the look. I paired this with my fave heeled sandals and this bag I got from a market in Spain for a pop off colour.

Cigarette trousers are one of those perfect pieces that look dressy but are so so so comfortable. They hug in the right places and still give you a nice shape while feeling so slouchy and comfy unlike jeans which cut off your circulation (seriously, some jeans can actual cut off your circulation, for real...)

I can't wait to be able to style these with a jumper in winter to achieve my ultimate Audrey outfit goals, thinking about it has got me all heart-eyes ahh!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

My Soundtrack ~ June...

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful ~ Florence & The Machine

Like An Arrow ~ Lucy Rose

My Love Is Cool ~ Wolf Alice

The 'True Romance' Soundtrack

Anything Ever Made By Taylor Swift

Get To Heaven ~ Everything Everything

Before We Forgot How To Dream ~ SOAK

B Sides & Rarities ~ Keaton Henson 

Shallow Bed ~ Dry The River

My "1978" Playlist On Spotify (Listen HERE)

What've you been listening to?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

1989 World Tour, London...

I've loved Taylor Swift since I was 12. I'm not a big pop music person, but there's always been a special place in my heart for Taylor. After 6 years I finally got the opportunity to see Taylor live on the 1989 world tour in Hyde Park, London for British Summer Time festival. it was incredible.

As the concert was part of British Summer Time, I also got to see Rae Morris, Vance Joy, John Newman and Ellie Goulding. Everyone was amazing, but it was Rae Morris that blew me away. I've been a fan of Rae's for a year or so now, and she was absolutely amazing live, her performance was beautiful! I was also pleasantly surprised by John Newman, I've never been a massive fan of his, but his performance was so full of energy and got everyone dancing.

Standing for 6 hours through support acts isn't fun, especially in a massive crowd in 30 degree heat. But the second Taylor stepped on stage it was all worth it, and I totally forgot about my achy feet as she sang the opening lyrics of Welcome To New York. And from that point on the show was flawless, every note, every song, every outfit, every speech she gave, EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT! Seeing her play old hits such as Love Story made my 12 year old self so happy as I sang along to lyrics I've known off by heart for years and have spent many hours singing to myself in the mirror (we all do it)

Not only did I get to see the Goddess that is Taylor Swift, while singing along to Style, Taylor announced "Please welcome to the 1989 runway, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner!". Everyone was freaking out but oh it didn't stop there. Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Martha Hunt, Karlie Kloss, Serena Williams and Cara Delevingne (!!!!!!!) graced the 1989 runway that night. I almost fainted when I saw Cara, everyone knows how much I'm obsessed with her. Later on twitter I saw that Emma Watson was also there, making Hyde Park the hub of girl power that night.

After dancing for 8 hours and screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs, I was shattered. But oh I was happy.

1989 was released just when I needed it, just as I was going through a break-up and trying desperately to re-invent myself and find a happy place. And so along came Taylor Swift, gifting me with songs like clean which got me through and continues to mean soooo much to me personally, and New Romantics which never fails to make me feel good. But 1989 isn't like other Taylor Swift albums. Taylor described it as "An album I wrote when I was 25 and single in New York City", an album that was born after she felt the need to cut her hair, re-invent herself. I think that's what I love so much about this album. There are no songs that say "oh I'm sooo lonely" or "oh whhhhy did he hurt me?". Instead, 1989 screams of empowerment, telling stories of love and heart break from the view point of a girl that is strong and unbroken, moving past the pain, learning from it and being okay. And so seeing Taylor perform these songs live, dancing to New romantics and blank space while smiling like a lone, made me so happy. so so so happy.

I feel like I've grown up with Taylor just like so many other fans have. Her songs serve as almost a survival guide of love, friendships, heartbreak, growing up and getting over things. The speeches she gave before songs and the advice she offered to the crowd on subjects like bullying, heartbreak, being positive, avoiding negativity on social media, and loving yourself just confirmed her status as a total goddess and one of my main role models.

Taylor Swift, you really are enchanting.

(live footage of me losing my chill and revealing my inner fan-girl)