Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Top 5 To Follow On Instagram #2: Celebs

Following on from the first blogpost in this series which was on the best Instagrammers to follow for fashion, I present to you five of my favourite celebrities to cyber-stalk. I could have gone for more obvious choices (Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Beyonce..) but I'm sure a lot of you are following those already. So if you're looking for even more behind-the-scenes glimpses of the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous, get following these five...

1. Ashley Benson / @itsashbenzo

I only started watching TV series Pretty Little Liars in July so with five seasons to catch up on (currently on season 4!) and the fifth season being aired currently, I've been trying my best to avoid spoilers. This means resisting the urge to type anything to do with the show into Twitter or Google but it doesn't mean that I haven't followed half the cast on Instagram. Ashley Benson, who plays Hanna, posts a mixture of photos including food pics, quotes, cute dogs, on-set shots with fellow cast members and, of course, a healthy abundance of selfies.

2. Nicole Richie / @nicolerichie

Ever since her The Simple Life days, I've loved Nicole Richie; her sense of humour, her style (although not so much in her younger years..) and her ever-changing hair colour. Her show Candidly Nicole has me lol-ing every time and her Instagram is full of random funny clips, photos with friends and fellow celebs and outfit inspiration.

3. Morgan Stewart / @boobsandloubs_

Now for this one 99% of you will be thinking "who?" and I use the term 'celeb' loosely here but Morgan is one of the main characters in my new E! reality TV obsession: Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. I streamed the first episode online one day earlier this year when I had nothing else to watch and just found it so ridiculous and hilarious that I'm now hooked. As the name suggests, Morgan and her pals are all twenty-something LA millionaires who basically do nothing but shop, eat and go on vacation. I like to look at Morgan's Instagram full of bikini boat selfies and brand new Louboutins and weep into my bank statement. 

4. Lauren Conrad / @laurenconrad

From one reality TV star to another much more recognisable one, how could I do my pick of the best Instagrams without including Insta Queen LC? Lauren's Instagram is immediately recognisable; everything's got a rosy filter on it and looks like it came straight from the pages of Pinterest. From puppy pics to bouquets, homemade pies to nail polish, beach snaps to a photo of a singular lemon cut in half (yep, really), she somehow makes everything look good.

5. Cara Delevingne / @caradelevingne

And finally, with the biggest number of Insta-fans at 6.9 million followers, it's Brit model and friend to the stars, Cara Delevingne. Posting daily, Cara shows us the backstage action at fashion shows, group pics with famous friends such as Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Kate Moss and inspirational quotes. She's also just generally a bit of a weirdo really, constantly proclaiming her love of bacon and posting funny little pictures like the Edamame/Edabaybay one above or, recently, a photo of her head photoshopped onto that picture of Nicki Minaj. 

So those are my current five celebrity Instagram recommendations. Once again, it was difficult to cut it down to five and there are so many more accounts worth a stalk! But if you like these posts, keep an eye out as there will be more to come including the top 5 beauty accounts, brands and bloggers to follow.

Do you have any faves that I might not be following? Let me know!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Topshop Unique SS15: A Social Event

Like so many others, I hope to one day attend London Fashion Week, but until that day comes, luckily, there's live-streaming. Topshop are probably my all-time favourite brand and the Topshop Unique show is always highly anticipated. This year, Topshop pulled it out the bag with a unique social strategy to get as many people involved as possible. Their live streaming of the show (which happened today at 3pm) was thoroughly promoted through marketing emails and social media. Among other tactics, they selected five Instagrammers to share their Topshop Unique SS15 experience and have a whole platform on their site called the London Fashion Week Hub. 

But the main thing I'm here to talk about today is the show! After receiving two emails about it and seeing it all over Facebook and Twitter, I knew the show was at 3pm and set a reminder on my phone so I wouldn't miss it (very keen). At 2.59 I sat down with my MacBook and clicked on the link. 

For fifteen minutes, the above message showed on the screen; they were running fashionably late. But this gave viewers the opportunity to see what goes on in the lead-up to the show and witness all the hustle and bustle. I took it as an opportunity to see how many celebs I could spot in the audience! I spied bloggers like Susie Bubble, Bryan Boy and The Man Repeller. I saw Abbey Clancy sitting, weirdly, next to a very uninterested-looking Pia Mia which seemed like a bit of an odd combo. A not so odd combo was of course Alexa Chung sitting alongside frow regulars Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe. We even got to spy on Anna Wintour herself! What I will say is Fashion Week seems like a pretty sweaty event, with members of the crowd vigorously fanning themselves and photographers with sweat patches for days. But I was in my kitchen so it was all good.

At 3.15pm the music, and the show, began. (By the way, all of the photos in this post are what I screen-shotted from the live stream so please forgive the quality!)

Cara Delevingne opened the show, coming out in a little white dress to kick-start the sports-inspired collection with its red, white, blue and black colour palette: think sports luxe meets sailor. Another familiar face was Jourdan Dunn, who looked amazing, sporting her new Beyonce bob hairdo. I didn't get a good shot of it but I loved the look in the fourth picture, a cute off-the-shoulder top with a striped skirt.

The second look featured a pretty lemon yellow theme and big floral prints with the co-ord trend of this year continuing. I really like yellow and these pieces will be so lovely for spring.

The third look included eveningwear in red, black and metallic tones. There were lots of dresses, frills and shiny fabrics and the collection had a 1920s feel to it. Very flapper glam.

And finally, they saved the best 'til last, in my opinion, with their selection of beautifully made sheer dresses with elaborate beading and embellishments to close the show. As well as being the first, Cara was the last to walk and wore a show-stopping gold and nude gown which is sure to be a sellout piece.

And then it was all over! Cara and Jourdan looked phenom' as usual, as did Victoria's Secret angel and fellow Brit, Lily Donaldson. Other things worth mentioning include the makeup which was simple and Spring/Summer pretty with flushed cheeks and berry lips; I also loved the selection of shoes with their block heels and straps running up the ankles.

To conclude, I highly enjoyed having a taste of the Fashion Week experience from the comfort of my own home and loved seeing what Topshop had to offer. I will definitely be checking out some more live streams over the next couple of days; Mary Katrantzou is on at 6 tonight and I'm keen to see Erdem, Tom Ford and Ashish, too. How 'bout you?

If you missed the Topshop live stream, you can watch it on demand here!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Throwback Thursday: Freshers & Fancy Dress Fun

Earlier today I was doing my morning scroll through Facebook when I came across a post by 'Freshers 2014-2015'. It then fully hit me that I was a fresher four whole years ago and my uni life is, aside from my graduation in November, officially over. Four years ago today I was probably feeling pretty apprehensive as four years ago this weekend I would have been moving into my halls and meeting all these strangers who I've now known for four years (I'm sorry but that really is quite a long time. Feeling so old).

So if anyone reading this is about to set off for uni for the first time, first of all, I'm pretty jealous. Inspired by my jealousy of all new freshers, I decided to reminisce and look back at old Facebook photos and it reminded me of how fun first year was! It also took absolutely ages; Freshers 2010-2011 was all about the digital camera & taking up to 200 photos a night. Yes, really. I love all the pictures taken in ridiculous fancy dress so decided to share the LOLs. In case you need any inspiration or you just want to cringe along with me, here is a selection of photos of me in fancy dress, from an 18 year-old fresher up to my 22nd birthday in my final year.

FYI 16 out of these 24 snaps were taken in first year!

From start to finish these photos cover: a beach party theme, pirate theme, UV paint party, TV & Film theme (I am of course Pebbles from Flintstones), Hall Wars (an event at my uni where people from different halls dress up in their hall colours and battle against each other), Halloween I (vampire; standard), Christmas (elves!), Carnage at my friend's uni - sailors & pirates theme, sports theme, Hall Wars again, famous people theme (Spice Girls! I'm VB!), Carnage at another friend's uni - Baywatch theme, Royal Wedding theme, TOWIE theme, double acts theme (118, 118), Summer Ball (sailors), Coppafeel events (yes I'm wearing a giant boob), pyjama party, Halloween II (I'm Morticia Addams and my friend is Wednesday!), army theme, Disney theme (Peter Pan, obvs), Halloween III (Black Swan) and a 90s theme (Kelly Kapowski!).

When you're at uni, there's a different themed party every week. I personally love a good fancy dress op but if it's not really your thing, there are ways to take part requiring minimal effort. A simple fancy dress starter kit could include a pirate-style eye patch, some geek glasses, cat ears and some sort of cape. A onesie is perfect for lounging around in but could also come in handy should a pyjama party pop up! Many girls use these as an excuse to basically go to a club in lingerie but in my opinion, dancing in a onesie is so much more fun.

I was really lucky as I made lots of friends in freshers with the people in my halls and, living in such close quarters, we thought of ourselves as one big happy (tipsy) family! We held big pre-drinks or movie nights in our flat and there were always people coming in and out; I was put in a flat with four girls who I then went on to live with for the next three years. I know not everyone is so lucky but if you find that you're not clicking with the people you live with, don't give up hope as lots of people find their friends for life on their course or through sports and other societies.

There are so many opportunities at uni so try and make the most of it! Because when it's over and all you've got left are the memories, a massive box of fancy dress gear which you may never wear again and the rollercoaster ride that is the graduate job hunt, you'll be wishing you could do it all over again. 

Masters degree, anyone?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

My Humble MAC Lipstick Stash

I am a big MAC fan (not to be confused with a Big Mac fan). However, the majority of the past four years have been spent as a student or an intern so I definitely haven't been blessed with a high-end beauty budget. Therefore, when it comes to buying MAC lipsticks, I'm very selective. I've only bought ones which have been highly recommended, researched and/or lusted over for a fair while and, to be honest, most of these have been bought at Duty Free. So I thought this might be a particularly useful post if you're in a similar position and looking to start your MAC lippie collection but you can't afford to waste precious pennies. But whether you're a MAC newbie or an addict with 50 shades in your stash, I hope you enjoy!


From left to right: Hue, Chatterbox, Morange, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo, Rebel
(The quality of MAC lipsticks was proven by how difficult it was to get these off my arm...)

1. Hue - Glaze

Hue is one of the first MAC lipsticks I bought after seeing it recommended by a ton of beauty bloggers and YouTubers. Many call it their staple pinky nude but to be honest, I don't get on great with it! It's a 'Glaze' formula which means it's very sheer and has a glossy finish so it doesn't last long. I just find it to be a bit blah on its own but I do like to use it to tone down other colours, such as...

2. Chatterbox - Amplified

If I want a bit of a paler, glossier pink I will sometimes add Hue over the top of Chatterbox. However, I really like this lipstick on its own. It's an 'Amplified' formula which is probably my favourite type; it's really creamy and soft whilst still being very bold and pigmented. Chatterbox is a bright blue-toned pink whilst not being too bright or too blue-toned so it's wearable for everyday.

3. Morange - Amplified

Another 'Amplified' shade and actually the first MAC product I ever bought is Morange. This is a bright, reddish orange lipstick. Perfect for adding a pop of colour to your look and a bit different to your classic red or pink, this colour would suit almost everyone and has pretty good lasting power, too.

4. Lady Danger - Matte

Now I know what you're thinking: "This looks pretty similar to the last one? And also the one after this? You only have 6 MAC lipsticks and 3 of them are red?!" But to me, they are oh-so different (or at least different enough...) Lady Danger is my newest MAC lipstick and I love it! I already owned Morange and Ruby Woo (up next) but this is the perfect mix of the two. A bright, orange-toned red in a matte formula which isn't too drying, this is the perfect Summer red.

5. Ruby Woo - Matte

MAC's Ruby Woo is a cult favourite and it really is a beautiful, classic movie-star red. The one negative is that it is very drying. Although Lady Danger is also a matte formula, it's not as matte as Ruby Woo. This means that it looks lovely, lasts ages and has a velvety texture but it doesn't wear off very nicely and it's not great for dry lips. However, I find that adding a slick of lip balm over the top when it starts to feel dry works a treat.

6. Rebel - Satin

And finally, one of my favourite Autumn/Winter lip colours: it's Rebel. Rebel is a deep berry colour which I actually think looks really different in different lights; sometimes it's more of a vibrant purple and other times a deep maroon. This is a 'Satin' finish which is basically matte with a tiny bit of sheen and I'm not sure whether it's down to this or the dark colour but this lipstick lasts ages. Even after it fades it leaves a berry stain to the lips which I personally quite like but you do have to be quite careful when applying it so I always use a brush.

So that's it! What an exhausting amount of selfies that was. I think the next MAC lipstick to be added to my humble stash will be either Kinda Sexy or Sin...

How many MAC lipsticks do you own, if any? Do you have any of these or do any take your fancy?! I'd love to read your comments!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Top 5 To Follow On Instagram #1: Fashion

Instagram is my favourite; it's the first app I open in the morning as I embark upon my daily catchup of things that happened whilst I was in Dream Land. So I thought I'd start a new series on my blog of my Top 5 people to follow on this glorious app.

I'll start with the best accounts for fashion and then include other categories such as beauty, celebrity and so on. It was hard to narrow it down to five but I've tried to include people who you might not necessarily follow so hopefully you'll discover someone new! Here we go.

1. Lily Melrose / @llymlrs

I've been a reader of Lily's blogs llymlrs and etcllymlrs for years so it's only right that I follow her Instagram too. I love Lily's style as she always looks really cool and stylish but her wardrobe is mainly from high street faves like Topshop and ASOS so it's all really attainable as well. This summer her Insta has shown her rocking a bunch of different looks in amazing settings from London to Amsterdam, Brighton to Laos and this week she's in New York. Lucky Lily!

2. The Coveteur / @thecoveteur

The Coveteur is a fashion site which takes you behind the scenes of the industry and inside the homes and wardrobes of some of fashion's finest including editors, makeup artists, stylists and brand founders. If you lust over luxury and dream of designer, this is the Instagram for you!

3. Olivia Palermo / @therealoliviap

If you asked me who my style icons were, Olivia Palermo would be one of them. She always looks so chic with her Upper East Sider style and if I had her money I would definitely be channelling my inner Palermo! She could use her Insta a bit more (yes, I know, some people have lives that don't revolve around social media...) but it's still great for outfits-of-the-day, holiday snaps and previews of her new shoe line with Aquazzura. 

4. Sarah & Philippa from We Are Twinset / @wearetwinset

I can't remember when or how I discovered We Are Twinset's Instagram but I recognised one half of the blogging duo, Sarah, from my interning days as she is a stylist at ITV. I then found their blog and saw that her best friend Philippa is a style editor. This fashion-forward pair post outfits, showing how they each style the same item, as well as great fashion dupes and the odd food pic (which personally I love). They also give me great hair envy and deserve more followers so check them out!

5. Millie Mackintosh / @camillamackintosh

I'm sure most of you have heard of Millie Mackintosh of Made in Chelsea and Mrs Pro Green fame. Not only does she post guilt-enducing healthy smoothie or workout pics and fun photos of her friends and family but she's also a great one to follow for style. With her own clothing line coming out next week, I'm sure there's plenty more fashion snaps to come from Millie.


6. Barbie / @barbiestyle

So I know I said five and I will be sticking to that in future but how could I resist including the style icon that is Barbie?! Our little plastic pal has only had Instagram for 6 days and already her account is full of outfit shots, beach snaps and even a photo with Karl Lagerfeld himself. Amazing.

So who are your favourite fashionistas to follow? Let me know your recommendations!