How to Find Your Perfect Bag

I’m usually a one-bag-girl. Not in the sense that I only have one bag, oh hell no. But when it comes to my everyday bag, I don’t switch up my bags very often. I will most likely wear one bag continuously, until I find the next bag of my liking. Any particular reason? Yes, laziness.

Not going to lie, I’m basically Mary Poppins when it comes to having too much stuff in my bag, meaning that transporting this ‘stuff’ from one bag to another every. single. day. can be a tad impractical. Keys, purse, mirror, lipstick(s), tissues, hand sanitizer, a pen, paracetamol, Kindle… and usually an abundance of receipts that seems impossible to not exist in my bag. About 98% of the time before I have to leave on a morning, I am running around like a headless chicken, so believe it or not – I don’t have the time to transport my ‘stuff’.

What’s important when shopping for your perfect bag…

I bought this bag for the intention to become an everyday bag, meaning that it needed to be big enough to hold my ‘stuff’ previously mentioned. However, seeing as I am quite a busy girl, hopping from coffee shop to the library (and, let’s be realistic, probably to another coffee shop), I also wanted a bag big enough to be able to hold notebooks and my laptop if required.

The colour of your bag is everything

One thing that instantly drew me to this bag was its colour. Anyone who knows me well will know that natural/neutral colours are my absolute go-to, meaning that khaki is most definitely one of my preferred colours when it comes to my style. It matches every other colour in my wardrobe (brown, grey, black, white, beige shades), and its classic style is perfect for all-year round.

The tip when searching for a bag you are planning to wear copiously is make sure the bag is a dark(ish) colour. This means that you are guaranteed to be able to wear this bag with almost every outfit. And as a bonus, any dirt or even dye from your jeans won’t be as noticeable – win win!

My Top Tip

When I search for a bag, I also like to think about the hardware tones. It seems a little extravagant, but this really is one of my most important tips when it comes to nailing your bags. Firstly, I consider what type of bag I am searching for (casual/daytime, a work bag, evening, smart, special occasion). Knowing that this bag was going to be for everyday, I then thought about the jewellery I tend to wear on a day-to-day basis – which is gold. Choosing a bag with gold hardware accents will complement the jewellery I am most likely to wear, meaning the bag will match almost any outfit I choose to wear. This is a smart way to make sure you get the most wear out of your bags.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

 

SHOP THIS BAG

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-10-14-47-1

 

Images: Harry Dyer, Rachel Jefferies

February Favourites

Hello all!

This blog post I am wanting to share the products I have been absolutely loving throughout February and want to rave about it to you all. Read on for some secrets and product recommendations on how I nourish my hair and skin. And who knows, you might be loving it this March!

Haircare

bumble-bumble

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

Okay, so I could not rave about this product more if I tried. This little magic potion is called Bumble and Bumble (or Bb.), and will do absolute wonders to your hair. Before I first used this brand, I had read that the ‘invisible oils’ consisted of Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Grapeseed Oil – all great for your hair, however it did make me wonder how that would sit my hair. I was worried it was going to be a greasy, oily product that leaves an unwanted residue in your hair. Oh how I was wrong. So very very wrong.

I have always desired to have silky-smooth hair, however bleaching my hair has left my strands quite textured rather than soft. Yet after using this product, I have had comments about how soft and nourished my hair look/feels (which is always a brightener to my day may I add).

The only down-fall to this product, I’m afraid, is the price. I stumbled upon Bumble and Bumble through receiving it as a free gift from Stylist Live, however since looking into this brand, this miniature travel pack costs a whopping £33. WHAT?! This leaves their bigger bottles retailing at £23 for shampoo (sulphate free), £25 for conditioner and £20.50 for heat/UV protection hair primer spray. Ouch. £68.50 on hair products + student budget = I don’t think so. Although the price is a little steep, this product really is that brilliant, and I will definitely be purchasing it at some point. Even if it is with Boots points!

Shop Bumble & Bumble here

Skincare

Clarins.jpg

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

I’ve never actually used a Clarins product before, however I have fallen in love with this facial balm. I have been using a small amount of product before I apply my make up, and its thick formula almost sets a base for my make up. Half a pea-sized application and this miracle product brightens, tightens and preps my face, smoothing out any pores before applying my foundation. Anything else to rave about? Yes, you can also use a little more than usual and it will also act as a facial mask. Uhh… how brilliant is that?!

I also received this product from Stylist Live’s goodie bag that came with the Bumble and Bumble set. If I’m honest, a product like this normally wouldn’t have caught my eye (especially at £30), but being lucky enough to try this little gem out for free, perhaps I won’t be so quick to judge a product by its price. I am absolutely loving it.

Shop Clarins here

791114c9281e333688c9482a7349fd6d-6

NSPA Skin Glow Mud Mask

By far the best face mask I have ever come across. And I’m really not exaggerating! This mud mask is my go-to when I fancy pampering myself. The pot of goodness dries on your face (and cracks when you make a facial expression. Top tip: Don’t look in the mirror with it on – you will crack up, in both senses).

Removal with warm water and a damp flannel leaves your face feeling incredible. Smooth, tight and cleansed are the right words. Not only is this a pot of genius, but it is also cost-effective as you get multiple uses out of the pot. Not to mention it’s only £8. I have roughly had about 4-5 applications and I’m only half way through the pot! Definitely worth a purchase.

Shop NSPA here

Make Up

ud

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

img_0353.jpg

Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette

Urban Decay. Where do I start? Perhaps at the fact that it’s possibly my most favourite make up brand of all time. And this palette is no exception. I received this as a gift from Harry for Christmas, and it was by far one of my favourite presents. A palette of colours anyone would ever dream of, all with pigment that holds more promise than a pinky finger ever will. Whether it’s a natural day-time look, or a dramatic smokey eye, this palette is a MUST for your make up bag. Trust me on this one.

Shop Urban Decay here

 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

This is a potion, UD got that right! I can’t tell you enough how much I love this eyeshadow primer. Its purpose is to prevent your eyeshadow from creasing or smudging, which is especially vital if it’s a special occasion and you need your eyeshadow to last! Although £17 may seem a little hefty, I can promise you it is worth it. And the great thing is, you only need a tiny bit each use so it lasts ages!

Shop Urban Decay here

Let me know if any of my February Favourites have made it into your March Favourites at all, or if you already dig these products!

Rach x

How to Style Jewellery From Day-to-Night

Up until the last 3 years or so, jewellery really wasn’t my thing. In fact, accessories weren’t my thing. And if anything, I used to forget to accessorize my outfits. However, when I started to interpret jewellery and accessories within my style, I quickly realised that something so simple, such as the small detail of necklaces, can transform your outfit – from casual, everyday wear to sophisticated evening-style.

What I wear: day

When it comes to jewellery, I am a watch girl. By that, I mean that watches are my favourite pieces of jewellery. Ironic, because I’m late to pretty much everything in my life. But hey ho, at least the watch looks good… A simplistic and modest style, my Cluse watch is an accessory I wear everyday without fail. Complementing any day-time outfit, I am hugely fond of the clear face, and the watch’s design is timelessly modern.

~


I’ve never been a loud costume jewellery lover, as I always feel like the little details speak much louder when styling your outfit’s accessories. Pretty and simple is what I look for. Through the courtesy of my work with Stylist, I was given a My Shining Armour necklace and I have not stopped wearing this beauty! 18ct gold-plated necklace, this simplistic yet stunning necklace is definitely one of my new favourites to accessorize any day outfit with.

~

I have recently rediscovered my love for chokers, completing any daytime outfit that needs that little bit more detail to finish its ‘look’. Velvet, lace, you name it – chokers are now available in various materials, adding that finished edge to any outfit that needs a little more oomph!

~

What I wear: evening

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

You can probably tell that this watch has been worn endlessly. That’s because it has. Working in a jewellery store, this was the first piece of jewellery I treated myself to, and I am still in love with it just as much as the day I did the day I spotted it behind the counter. The secret when it comes to evening-wear abides by the famous rule, less is more. Petite pieces of jewellery are always a winner, especially if you only need to polish and complete an outfit due to your evening outfit already being a statement itself. Although this dainty watch is considerably smaller than my day-time Cluse watch, this Rotary classic never fails to introduce a subtle charm to any evening outfit.

~

Switching the colours up, these two pieces are my absolute favourite for when I’m feeling less gold, and more silver. Both complementing each other, the eternity ring my parents bought me for my 18th birthday, and the Casio Sheen Bijou watch I bought afterwards to match with the blue diamonds and silver tones from my ring. Casio describe their range of Sheen Bijou watches as “[showcasing] delicate and petite styles, that radiate femininity for those who love their accessories to be simple and subtle”, which is exactly what this watch does! Although I wear this ring every day, I feel as though the watch’s sparkle details completes the classic look during evening outfits.

~

You can probably guess the theme here… Rose gold bangles/bracelets. Rose gold took me a long time to become fond of, as I was so used to just the plain old silver or gold. However I’d probably go as far to say that rose gold is possibly one of my favourite colours of jewellery to wear. The pretty, delicate colour isn’t too overpowering, and it is the perfect colour to transform from day-to-night.

~

Products featured:

Rose gold Cluse watch: Cluse

18ct yellow gold tone ‘O’ necklace: My Shining Armour

Khaki material choker: River Island, £5

Pink nude velvet choker: River Island

Gold tone Rotary watch: Rotary, £175

Silver tone Casio Sheen watch: H Samuel, unknown 

Sterling silver & blue diamond eternity ring: Ernest Jones

Ted Baker rose gold button bangle: Ted Baker

Ball rose 14ct gold-plated bangle: Pia

Chamilia pink leather braid charm bracelet: H Samuel

Photograph credits: Rachel Jefferies

Stylist Live 2016 – A Festival of Inspiration

betcpop-logo-stylist-magazine

Stylist magazine has been my post gym routine pick-up (and also my post gym pick-me-up on those lethargic days) for over a year now, and as some of you may know, I attended Stylist‘s very own magazine event last October, Stylist Live. Finding out that Stylist, my favourite magazine that I religiously collect, was holding a magazine event for readers like myself to attend, greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne and spending the day indulging in everything fashion, beauty and writing related – how long do you really think it took for me to decide whether to go or not? Five, six seconds? Most likely. And it meant I had an excuse to take a trip to London… As if my decision needed any more reasons to say yes. There was no need for persuasion, because a few mouse clicks later and my tickets were purchased.

If you want to read about my experience at Stylist Live 2015, follow this link: https://coffeeandchapters.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/stylistlive-magazine-event/

Some of you may have gathered where I am going with this… yes, you’ve got it; Stylist is back this October with Stylist Live 2016. Having such a brilliant time first time round, I have made sure Stylist Live is reserved in my diary this October. So what exactly is Stylist Live, I hear you ponder.

 

Stylist Live – A Festival of Inspiration

Fashion | Beauty | People | Life | Books | Ideas

http://live.stylist.co.uk

sl_onsalenow_fb_image_160704_v1

Following last year’s hugely successful event, Stylist Live returns from 13 – 16 October 2016 at the Business Design Centre in Angel, London.

Stylist Live is hosted by inspiring idols, such as journalist and author, Caitlin Moran; journalist and writer, Sali Hughes; author of The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, actress, producer and fashion designer, Sadie Frost; novelist and non-fiction writer, Marian Keyes; British television presenter (BBC), Cherry Healey; Journalist, broadcaster; cook, writer and presenter, Thomasina Miers along with many more. This year’s Stylist Live brings guests talks, workshops, pop-up shops, food & drink and catwalks… everything you could dream of, all in one place.

JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHY
Image taken by: JOHN NASSARI PHOTOGRAPHY

Talks & Workshops

Stylist Live weekend features over 150 talks and workshops across seven stages, where Stylist ‘aim to inspire each and every guest’. So if it’s beauty tutorials, tips on how to write a novel (umm, yes please!), a cooking master class, or life and relationship advice, Stylist will have you covered. Find the full list of talks and workshops here http://live.stylist.co.uk/talks-and-workshops

IMG_5276.jpg
Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies
26_PA170194.jpg
Image taken and provided by: Stylist

Pop-ups

And you’d be silly to assume that is no such thing as a lifestyle magazine event without that one thing we all go crazy for – shopping. Over 100 boutique pop-ups with our favourite brands such as Clarins, Swarovski, Tangle Teezer, Caudalie, Coco’s Liberty and many more. Not to mention the holy grail of quirky and unique gift brands – notonthehighstreet – where guests are able to ‘make and customise a range of gifts and homewares’ at the ‘Create Lab’, presented by notonthehighstreet.com. Offering tutorials and advice for this season’s latest trends, make up brand (and without a doubt my absolute favourite), Urban Decay will be making eyes pop… with make up, and probably most definitely literally. Find the full list of pop-up boutiques at http://live.stylist.co.uk/pampering-pop-ups.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies

Catwalks

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies

 

Supported by Swarovski, Stylist’s catwalk shows run throughout the day for every guest to experience, strutting fashion looks such key a/w 16 trends featuring Swarovski’s latest season jewellery and high street style ideas. The ambience of the show is unforgettable, pulling together some perfect pieces making you leave cat-walking through the London Underground.

Food and Drink

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Image taken by: Charlotte Jackson

And if all of that isn’t enough to look forward to, Stylist Live 2016 partnered with Chambord means that receiving a complimentary cocktail on arrival will kick start your day the best way. Additionally, The House of Peroni, Toastits and Crosstown Doughnuts will be available to tempt, and satisfy (once you inevitably give into temptation) your taste buds. Stylist Live 2015 introduced me to Pukka tea, converting me into a herbal tea lover, transforming my dull, solo choice of Breakfast Tea into an exotic herbal selection. Cheers Pukka.

Give me the deets!

Stylist Live 2016 – A Festival of Inspiration is held at London’s Business Design Centre, commencing between Friday 13th and Sunday 16th October 2016, and tickets are available now. ‘Standard tickets allow purchasers to reserve a place at their choice of talk or workshop as well as one catwalk show. You can attend more than your reserved sessions on the day, on a first come, first served basis.’

Tickets are available as Standard or VIP, where VIP includes exclusive access to hair styling, a make-up station, cocktails, shop & drop and more, plus a Stylist Live goodie bag. For more info on tickets click here.

Sounds like your cup of tea? See you there!

To view the full programme, buy tickets and reserve your place for talks, workshops and catwalks visit live.stylist.co.uk

For more info please contact fiona.swanson@stylist.co.uk

Stylist Live

13th – 16th October 2016

Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH

sl_onsalenow_twitter_160704_v1

All images credited in image captions.

All quotations (of information) given: Stylist.

My Hair Confession

So here’s a little bit about my life:

Age 5: First time I went swimming

Age 8: First time I got my ears pierced

Age 12: First time I owned a phone

Age 12: First time I got a detention (and cried so much she took it back lol)

Age 13: First time I went abroad without my parents

Age 17: First time I started working  (paid)

Age 18: First time I bought my own alcoholic beverage

Age 19: First time I got my hair cut in a salon

Age 20: First time I will worry I’m getting old

Wait, what?

Rewind back to 19. First time I got my hair cut in a salon. WHAT?

Yep, it’s true. And I sincerely apologise to any hairdressers reading this. I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I have completed thirteen years of compulsory education, drank (probably too many) shots of vodka, maintained a hobby of swimming for twelve years, passed my driving test, moved away from home to attend uni – all before I have had my hair cut in a salon. And to rub a little more salt into the wound, when people asked me how I have managed grow my hair so long, I would have to embarrassingly reply about how I hadn’t had my hair cut for a year and a half.

But before you jump to conclusions and pity-close this tab, I’m going to save my ass and say it doesn’t mean I’ve never had my hair cut. Now that would be silly, right? The entire time up until I reached secondary school, my mum used to cut my hair for me. So for 7(ish) years, she worked her magic with a pair of scissors, giving me plain, simple, shoulder length hair. Possibly with a full fringe if she felt adventurous, making me look like a real-life version of Boo from Monsters Inc. However, when I reached secondary school and I undeniably became pickier, she handed over the responsibility to my cousin, and also hairdresser, Lauren. Coming to my house for (yearly – and I take full responsibility for the lack of) hair appointments, meant that I had never undergone the full salon experience. So with the inspiration of a new hairstyle, and cringing at the state of my dry split ends, I decided that I should make a change.

Cutting Edge

Uni friend, Abbi, decided she wanted her hair done too, so we both spent a good few hours hunting online for an adequate yet relatively cheap salon (#StudentProblems). Eventually, we stumbled across a salon which is 5 star rated, and only a 20 minute walk from our halls – Precision Designs Cardiff. I guess you could say I booked the appointment pretty quickly, which is kind of a big deal as you can probably guess how easy I find putting off making hair appointments. *A YEAR AND A HALF! the voice inside my head screams*. So when Friday came around, I was ready to say goodbye to my very own lion’s mane.

I did feel a swarm of anxious anticipation whilst sat waiting for my appointment, and I’m not afraid to admit that. Why? Because being daring with my hair has gone about as far as being absolutely ludicrous and asking for layers. Or breaking the law and ombréing the ends of my hair myself. Get the picture? I’m not daring at all when it comes to hair. What if I don’t like my hair short? What if I can’t pull off my new hair change? What if too much gets cut off? ran through my head like a stuck record, however when I was called into the Chair of Change – I shall call it – I knew it would be a positive experience when they offered me a latte… the key to my heart.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Look at how gorgeous that latte looks. Can a latte even be described as gorgeous? Looks like it just has.

 

Side note: I am aware I have taken plenty of pictures for this experience, however this was a very exciting time for me. And yes, I won’t deny possibly squealing “I’m so excited” to Abbi before the appointment. Please don’t judge me. Besides, it makes your reading experience on this blog much more visual… it’s a win win if you ask me.

Hair Re-Vamp

Seeing as I have had long hair for such a huge period of my life, I felt like I wanted a change. However umming and ahhing whether to actually go short was a bipolar decision for me. I would convince myself short was the way to go, yet I would find myself fiddling with my hair, appreciating how long it is, wondering if I will regret it soon after it gets the chop. But as soon as I plunged in the deep end, telling Shauney (my hair Stylist) that I wanted to go a lot shorter, I had no choice but to have faith in my decision.

So what did I actually have done to my hair?

Step 1: Bye Bye Hair

Well, my limp and lifeless hair had even looked like it had enough of being long and neglected of care. I guess I would too, so I understand. Sorry, hair. So it was time to say good riddance to having to brush out weekly knot clumps, and malting more than an animal. No seriously, some flatmates have told me they have found my hair around the flat and in their rooms, even when I haven’t even stepped foot into their rooms. My hair has a mind of its own, and now apparently can grow legs too.

Step 2: Highlights

Chopping my hair to an inch or so below where I wanted, I then had highlights (half a head) of blonde put in my hair. Considering my desired style, Shauney faded my highlights from my roots to allow a less obvious, and more sun kissed look of blonde to gradient throughout my hair. The inspiration of my hair colour is called “bronde”, and for those of you who are thinking “what the hell is that?“, it’s brown hair with the subtle gradient of blonde – beautifully worn by my favourite blogger, Lydia Elise Millen. However, due to my hair being such a dark colour, my hair didn’t take to the blonde dye as strongly as I intended. To cool down the blonde that had worked, I had a toner put on my hair, and my hair Stylist assured me that it will be a working progress to get it to the bronde colour I had wanted.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Highlight of my week. Ha.

Step 3: Tone, Wash & Dry

I sat through reading trashy gossip magazines – my pet hate, sorry not sorry. But hey, at least I am all clued up about Liam Payne and Cheryl’s X-Factor sparked relationship. And how Leonardo DiCaprio is bouncing from chick to chick at parties and clubs. *Grimaces weakly*. And after my brain was transformed to slosh from reading gossip stories, slightly burnt around the edges from the smell of bleach dye, my favourite bit finally arrived – wash and blow-dry. Therapeutically revitalising and relaxing, my head was smiling again, surrounded by soap suds.

 

IMG_0883.jpg

Step 4: Style & Curl

After framing my face with a subtle fringe, my hair was treated, curled and styled. And voila! 4 hours later, and my new ‘do was complete. Smiling like a cheshire cat, both Abbi and I were pleased with our bouncing curls.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

IMG_0782.jpg
Hello, hydrated locks

 

So there you have it, my hair confession. And if you hadn’t already gathered by the amount of pictures I had documented, which were obviously taken for blog purposes – I mean, who gets that excited about getting their hair cut, to need to take pictures? Oh, me apparently. So I think that it’s safe to say that my salon experience lived up to my expectations (and more), and I felt incredibly pampered as I walked out. Belly-button length hair is now no more, and I am loving the change.

Links to those mentioned:

Precision hair Design Cardiff website: http://www.precisioncardiff.co.uk 
Lydia Elise Millen blog: http://lydiaelisemillen.com
All images above: Taken by Rachel Jefferies

P.s. I don’t know about you, but I could not relate to something more than this.
6af5ee875868d8f9f5befbf5f4750179

Guide to Finding Your Own Style

Hello all, firstly I hope you all had a lovely Easter break, and haven’t drowned in too many chocolate eggs. I certainly didn’t, because my two (*crying emoji*) lasted me about 10 minutes. And if you think I’m eggxagerating, then the yolk’s (joke’s) on you. Eggxcuse the awful puns. I’m here all week… *tumbleweed travels across your screen*

Sorry. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new section to my blog: Fashion. (Well, that a dramatic entrance). I have always been interested in fashion, but never passionate enough to stamp and rave about it due to difficulty in finding my own style. However I feel like I can comfortably say that I have found my inner fashion frenzy that has been flowering for a while now, so I though why not make a section of my blog for it. Now let the stamping and raving commence.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

 

Fashion Fix

As you’ve probably guessed by this blog title post, I will be talking about how finding your own style can actually ruffle some feathers. Growing as a person and being surrounded by different styles, well… it can appear to be dauntingly overwhelming to say the least, and trying to depict which style you prefer can be more confusing than you realise. Looking back over the years (and hatefully cringing at tragic old photos, eugh) I can certainly see how my own style has changed and developed. You’re probably all-too familiar with the “ew what was I thinking, going out of the house looking like that?” panic thought, reflected in your widened eyes when reminiscing with old photographs. Yep. Me too. However it’s only taken me until the past year or so to realise that looking back on your style change, accompanied by these epiphanies, really does allow you to find your feet. And not the ones that are wearing a sickly lilac coloured pair of Crocs. (OK, I was 10… moving on VERY swiftly).

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Placid Sweats Vs Pretty Shirts

Looking back, I remember it being particularly frustrating how I could wake up one morning and feel like chucking on a boyfriend tee (the only type of boyfriend in my life lol) and jeans, and the next morning channelling my girly style, choosing to wear a pretty lace top. Makes sense, huh? No. It absolutely  infuriated me how polar-opposite my fashion style would change on a day-to-day basis, and how I would feel confident in one style and perhaps a little more shy in another. And one of the worst parts about it was that I was aware I was doing it, making it even more annoying, not cool. Not to mention how stressful shopping became, falling in love with an item to then find myself looking at it in my wardrobe with remorse a few months down the line, when I’m flaunting a different style. But despite the tantrums and heartbreaking waste of money, I am actually glad I can say I experimented with my look, and even if I was an innocent teen, ignorant to what I should and most importantly shouldn’t wear, I put (mostly) down to the fact that I wasn’t confident with my undecided style. Instead, I resulted to hiding behind what I thought was “me” during finding my own style, which seemed compatible at the time.

This Day and Age

Age is a HUGE factor when it comes to fashion, and growing in and out of styles really is a thing mentally, not just physically. Playing such a strong impact on finding your individual appearance, and deciding whether to follow the crowd or be slightly more unique is completely your decision to make. I am going to put my hands up now and admit that I look back at old photos and have to chew my own lip to stop myself from blurting out a sentence that sounds a lot like “what the f*** was I wearing?“. I have never dressed in bright, pretty, pink floral patterns, and I realise now that I don’t think I probably will. I’m not saying I can’t dress girly, as my style has definitely become more of exactly that over the years, however I have found my own twist of personality within my style, feeling confident in my blossoming and maturing style.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

How I Would Describe My Style…

Although I will have the odd item that might make my style slightly more interchangeable, I would say the general gist of my own fashion consists of plain or minimally detailed items. The colours of my wardrobe tend to follow a monochrome theme (black, grey and white), and nature related colours (khaki green, beige/ nudes, browns, navy blue, and creams), along with the odd and very rare splash of colour when I’m feeling bold and adventurous. I’m not one for bright colours unless it’s a statement item, and the only type of pink you will ever see me in is pastel pink. Other than that, pink has never been a fond colour of mine.

I have recently found a love for structured items, especially blazers/ structured coats or pencil skirts. I am absolutely digging the whole casual-yet-formal look, and I always feel good wearing something that makes me look sophisticated and well-dressed. Alternatively reflecting this style into a slightly more chilled look, is another favourite with a turtleneck jumper that I pull out from the abundance in my wardrobe, particularly on a crisp morning. But aside from the (slightly more relaxed) Office Girl look, there certainly are days where I push my boot heels aside and still rely on the comfort of my Converse or Nikes.

Anddd You’ve Still Got Mixed Fashion Feelings?

So if you’re like me and have found yourself bouncing along in booted heels one day, and the next you’re wiggling your toes in a pair of Stan Smiths, your style is a learning curve so (try to) embrace it. And you probably most definitely won’t have a eureka moment about your style overnight. It is okay to not know where you stand with your style, and experimenting with different styles will enable you to shape your style within time.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
#Throwback to when I was tanned (sigh)

 

Images: All images are my own.

#STYLISTLIVE Magazine Event

Only in the past six months I have discovered Stylist magazine, and Saturday 17th October, I had the immense pleasure in attending their very own StylistLive magazine event in (my favourite place in England; London, of course). Rewind back six months, where my motivation for my summer beach bod was ridiculously sky-high, and after every Monday session at the gym, my favourite familiar post-workout feeling was always accompanied by picking up my free weekly Stylist magazine. During my gym body blast, I aimed to workout five times a week and eat endless vegetables, but inevitably that was short-lived. Want to know why? Cake. Always. Wins. So when my morale proved to be low and Netflix got the better of me, the thought of receiving my Stylist magazine would somehow dig out an ounce of motivation to go to the gym. Too many times I reluctantly pulled the warm quilt covers off, let my feet touch the chilly laminate flooring and brushed the biscuit crumbs off my pyjama shirt to go to the dreaded Place of Sweat. The Gym. However I finally approved my once-thought reckless decision when my exhausted body was sat in my pyjamas with my freshly washed hair wrapped in a towel, reading my copy of Stylist. I introduced Stylist to my best friend, Charlotte, and she would also religiously pick up a copy each time she went to the gym. We would even pick up a spare copy for one another when we were on holiday, unable to access the Stylist magazine pile in the gym (now that’s commitment, if you ask me). With an abundance of copies of Stylist stacked up on my bookshelf, each week would welcome a new member to the pile; and when I found out about Stylist Live, I knew it was something I couldn’t miss out on.

After purchasing the Stylist Live tickets online with Charlotte, it was only the matter of waiting (eagerly) until the special weekend arrived. Even though it was just a day trip to London, I still had an appearance of Early-Morning-Before-Holiday-Excitement that everyone’s experienced, knotting inside of my stomach when I woke at 5am to depart for London. When we reached the Business Design Centre in Islington, huge images of Stylist Live advertised the event, making the experience seem much more professional and official. I’m pretty sure I squealed with excitement as well. Multiple times. I felt somewhat exclusively important. I felt official, attending the event of a magazine I (much like so many others) read on a regular basis.

When we walked onto the top floor balcony of the main building, we were greeted by the most phenomenal view. Giant characters spelling out ‘STYLIST’ and blown up canvases of Stylist magazine front covers were hanging from the ceiling. The open ground floor below us was maze-like with the booths containing mini boutiques and well-known brands such as Clarins and Benefit make up stalls (I felt my purse wince slightly). A complimentary glass of champagne and Stylist bags were given out to every Stylist Live ticket holder. The enthusiastic atmosphere unwaveringly buzzed throughout the entire day, and at least everyone seemed to be inspired by the busy events which were taking place. Who wouldn’t when you have a make-up artist from NARS showing you how to achieve an autumn berry smokey eye? I wanted to whack out my make up bag there and then and try it out! Workshops, talks and make up tutorials were held throughout the day, as well as a catwalk show in sponsor of Swarovski Crystals. The catwalk was one of the highlights of the day for me at Stylist Live, as not witnessing a catwalk before made the new experience seem much more surreal and impressive. I felt like I was part of the Made In Chelsea cast (which felt incredibly good I must say). Due to the high popularity of the workshop talks, it meant that they were first come first serve; however we managed to get into the How to Write a Crime Novel talk by Kate Griffin, where she discussed her experiences, dos and don’ts, and advice on how to write a gripping crime novel. The engaging discussion was hugely inspiring for every single person in the room, and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one who walked out of the talk wanting to immediately sit down at a desk and start writing my own thriller crime novel.

Stylist was definitely an event that I shall never forget; the organisation was so well thought out and every single member of staff were friendly and animated. I hope that Stylist Live is an event that will occur yearly- I’d definitely be there without fail! I have a lot to thank Stylist for; for forcing me to stop being so lazy, for providing my evenings with something to read after my dreaded workout, and most importantly, for not only putting on such a fantastic event, but for also providing me with such motivation and inspiration to continue working hard to work in the magazine or publishing industry. Thank you, Stylist.

Photo 17-10-2015 10 26 24 am  Photo 17-10-2015 5 53 31 pm  Photo 17-10-2015 10 48 40 am  Photo 17-10-2015 1 41 19 pm Photo 17-10-2015 1 29 04 pm Photo 17-10-2015 1 41 23 pm 

Photo 17-10-2015 10 22 15 am  Photo 17-10-2015 10 48 45 am

 

Photo 17-10-2015 10 55 09 am Photo 17-10-2015 11 06 11 am

Photographs by: Rachel Jefferies

Self Inflicted? More Like Book Inflicted

Have you ever watched a movie and wished your life was situated like the characters’? Or read a book and wished you held the same characteristics as the narrative’s? We all do. We all wish that our lives were slightly different, slightly more exciting, slightly more lucky when it comes to love. But isn’t it amazing how well books, movies, music can influence you so immensely? To make you wish that you had a similar life to a description on a page. Is that the power of literature, or the power of your imagination? You’ve all read a book, but have you read into a book?

One of the incredible beauties of reading a novel in my opinion is the way the writer can make you think, feel, agree or even disagree with a character. No two persons read the same book. A book is always interpreted in different ways, whether it’s due to personal experiences, how well you can relate to what the book is communicating, or whether you like/dislike the style of writing you are reading. However I find it astonishing how a book, words on a page, written by a complete stranger to you, can have such power, making you think about everything that is happening inside the pages between your fingers, escaping your own real life for that moment. Books that portray characters so well,  having the ability to profoundly creep into your mind during your everyday life is also incredibly fascinating. I have read books in the past, that when I reach the end, I am so disappointed that I won’t get to hear about the rest of the character’s everyday life, it genuinely takes time to detach from the fictional characters that I have built a one-way relationship with. Crazy isn’t it? I mean, becoming attached to fictional characters. Sound’s pathetic when you say it out loud, but it’s perfectly normal because it’s not just like a movie where you witness their actions in third person. No, a character in a book is much more than that; you learn intricate details about the character, you learn about their past (and potentially their present). You not only witness relationships around them, but if the narrative is first person, you understand, you empathise how they feel. I don’t know about you, but I reckon that is some pretty impressive stuff.

Another crazy, yet weirdly normal experience I have had with previous books are wishing I was more like the character that is narrating the story. Wishing I had their charismatic qualities, or clumsiness (may sound like a bizarre personal trait to want but trust me, books sell it to you). Thing is, authors create likable characters. They want you to fall in love with the character you read about, because when the twist comes, you are emotionally affected. It’s how books are made entertaining. So this means that you aspire to be like the characters you read about. You want to be as lovable as Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte), you want to be as grateful as Hazel Grace (The Fault In Our Stars, John Green), you want to be as fiery as Amy Elliot Dunne (Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn). And although you want to be similar to characters you read about, you also want sub-characters to enter in your life as easy as the author tells you they apparently can (to the protagonist). You want someone to adore you the way Gatsby adores Daisy (The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald). It’s the greed we feel when our imagination has no limits, and expectations rise when we read such novels.

Isn’t it amazing how much a book can affect your perception on the world, make you crave something you don’t already have? Everybody wants their life to be a collection of perfect moments we desirably witness through literature and even films, blurring the lines between expectations and reality. Comment how a book has influenced you, possibly being the reason why it might be a favourite book to you!

CARDIFF LIFE

So as stated in a previous blog post, I was accepted into Cardiff University in August… and how time flies, because it’s already October 4th, meaning that I have now been studying at Cardiff University for two whole weeks! Anxious with what to expect (or should I say, what not to expect) at first, I have settled in, making friends, studying and decorating my room. I was unsure how I would feel about moving away from my family and friends at home, and even though I am excited to go home in two weeks, I am loving the university life. Although it is time consuming having to cook, clean and do the laundry yourself, it is all part of the university experience, and it is relaxing when you know you can have what you want for dinner, when you want it, (and not having to wait ages for your tea to be cooked when you’re wanting to go out at a specific time like back at home).


  
I am lucky that Cardiff is such a great city with so much to do. Everything seems accessible (even if you do have to use your leg power and walk to the majority of places due to not having a car), however there are shops, sight seeing venues and Cardiff Bay (which I am yet to explore). However during some free time, a friend and I went into Tourist Mode and walked around Cardiff in hope to find something/ some place interesting. The stone buildings in Cardiff are so beautiful, and the wide streets with trees synchronised parallel give a London-esque type feel. A walk through the interesting streets of this beautiful architecture could cure any boredom on a sunny day. We came across Cardiff City Hall, where we were allowed to look around inside. The beautiful interior design of marble floor and pillars felt like royalty, and the grand rooms designed for events such as business meetings, conferences and wedding receptions (as the receptionist informed us) held such character.


  

BOOK BARN INTERNATIONAL

The other week I had a few days off of work and I decided to take a trip to the Book Barn International on Wells Road in Bristol/Avon. The sun was shining and I had such a tranquil afternoon, browsing through the thousands of books and endless shelves. I went alone because I love exploring new books alone, having quiet time to myself to engross myself in potential new reads. I sat down in the vintage cafe that is located in the Book Barn, where I ordered some crumpets and a cup of afternoon tea. I read a few pages of the books that I had picked up and put in my basket, deciding whether the books were suitable/interesting enough to purchase. The cafe even included computers where you can search up a specific book you may be looking for, and you can request them to look for it in their warehouse if it comes up on the computer. I came away from the Book Barn almost four hours after arriving, feeling pleasantly relaxed and a carrier bag with thirteen new books to add to my full bookshelf at home. I would definitely recommend the Book Barn International for second-hand books (and they even have some brand new books) for just £1 each. Bargain if you ask me! An afternoon well spent.