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FRIDAY THOUGHTS: WHY I'VE STOPPED LONGING FOR LOVE

Friday, 11 May 2018








If you've been following this blog for a while, then you'll know two things:
1.) I'm a hopeless romantic.
2.) To say I'm unlucky in love would be a great understatement. 

Actually, if you'd like a bit of a catch up on that tragicness, then let me refer you to these posts (here and here) - read with a cup of tea (actually, bugger that, a glass of wine) and bag of popcorn in hand, and if you're lamenting your sorry own state of affairs, then have a giggle at mine (you're welcome). 

If I'm completely honest, that's a combination that sucks. See, I'm incredibly picky, because I'm hell bent on experiencing that Romeo and Juliet, Jack and Rose, movie love, but its also very much the case that the guys that I like never like me, and the ones that I'm less than keen on are big fans. Why is that always the way, eh?

I'd say for the past year or two, this is something that has really begun to bug me. It was fine when I wasn't alone in this predicament, and my friends and I could gossip about boys, joke about our disastrous experiences, and enjoy the single life together. But as they've gradually coupled up and left me the permanent third wheel, it gets to a point where you simply can't help but question, 'what's wrong with me?'

It doesn't matter how many times your friends tell you you're beautiful, or that the guys that don't like you are mad not to. Ultimately, you're still left with a deep feeling of worthlessness, as you stop and look around and think, 'why does nobody want me?'

Unfortunately we've been brought up on the chic flicks and rom coms that have been feeding us lies on love and romance for the best part of 10 years. From the moment you first watched 'High School Musical' and Troy, the popular jock, fell for Gabriella, the reserved science nerd, or brooding vampire boy Edward falling for painfully awkward Bella in Twilight, you probably expected to have a similarly handsome and romantic guy whisk you off your feet at some point in your adolescence. But I can't be the only one that's been severely let down, and to be honest, I'm not sure I believe there are 'Romeos' out there anymore. Boys around me are either incredibly immature, not wanting to 'commit', or are already taken by girls who are far above my own level. I'm now 21 and don't think I could ever say I've experienced 'real love', and I feel like I've missed out. 

Social media is a bitch for rubbing it in your face, too. I look at friends who are off travelling the world with their other halves, road tripping America, or are simply enjoying 'date night' every week, and it deepens your own sense of loneliness, the feeling that you're missing out on experiences and time that you will never get back. I feel a mixture of sadness, exasperation, and most importantly, envy. 

I turn 22 next month, and I think it's about time I wave goodbye to that old pipe dream. There are probably a fair few of you sitting there reading this and thinking, but 22 is so young! You have your whole life ahead of you, and I know that you're probably right! I'm sure one day, or at least hope, that in the (probably distant) future, I'll find someone to put up with me, 'Mr Right'. But I think there's a difference between being in love when you're 20 and when you're 30. The priorities are different, what you look for is different, and ultimately, the experience is different.

I think I've realised that I need to stop getting actively hung up on this stuff, and continually questioning why I'm so 'undateable', or why nobody wants me, because ultimately, all this does is lead me onto the all too familiar path or self doubt and self critique, which does the old confidence no favours.

I hate to be super cliche with the end of this post, but there's that saying, 'when you stop looking for love, then it'll find you when you least expect it', and I guess, now, I'm putting more faith into that. Gone are the days of trawling tinder searching for the online validation our generation desperately seeks, or continually questioning why I'm not good enough. It's a waste of time, it's a waste of energy, and ultimately, it changes nothing. Sometimes I think the line between wanting to be loved, and simply wanting to be validated can be rather blurred and I guess, the more I'm navigating this whole self-acceptance journey, the better I'm becoming and putting aside these niggling worries, and instead focusing on myself.

That's all for today, folks. Are any of you guys hopeless romantics who are realising that real life is really quite different?

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top: Primark (in store)
Shorts: Topshop
Trainers: Boohoo
Bag: Primark
Sunglasses: Ebay

THE PERFECT OVERCOAT

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

London Borough of Hackney, London, UK







You guys, you guys, you guys. Let me introduce you to the bargain of the month. Nope, of the year so far. It may even be my best bargain ever. 

Now, we all know that I'm a lover of sales, and every single item in this outfit was bought at some sort of discount. Whether it was an end of season sale, or with a student discount code - you just won't catch me paying full price, because why would you do so if you can get money off with a little bit of waiting?

So on that note, let me introduce you to my brand new £15.00 overcoat. Yep, you read that right - £15.00. And do you know what makes this even better, it was down from £150.00 from Topshop. I know, I couldn't believe it either.

The best thing is that this coat is an absolute classic. It's slightly darker than your average camel shade, more a terracotta, but is the perfect, oversized boyfriend fit that I know I'll be able to wear for years. The absolute cherry on the cake is the dogtooth print underneath the colour. 

So this is my my favourite kind of outfit: jeans, a tee and an oversized coat. It's super easy and mindless, but still looks, without being clichĂ©, 'effortlessly chic'. 

So that's all for now, folks! A rather short post today, but it's not every day I have something to rant about or spout my opinions on lol. I hope you enjoyed it all the same!

As always, leave me your comments below - What's the best bargain you've ever found?

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx


OUTFIT DETAILS:

Tee: Topshop (Sold out, similar here and here)
Mules: H&M
Coat: Topshop (Sold out, similar here, here and here)
Bag: Zara (Sold out, similar here)
Twilly: Dior (Sold out, similar here)


FRIDAY THOUGHTS: IS SOCIAL MEDIA FORCING US TO BECOME CONSTANT CONSUMERS?

Friday, 27 April 2018

Notting Hill, London, UK





We live in an extremely fast paced society, where people want things now. Hence the frustration when you see a beautiful camel coat on your fave blogger and ask for a link, only for her to tell you that it's two seasons old and unavailable now.

My theory: there is an unspoken and underlying pressure on fashion and beauty bloggers to constantly 'keep up', and be the first one to possess and style any number of 'trending' items.

I've recently been seeing a lot more awareness of this and a few different posts on this topic, and I've been meaning to add my own 2 cents.

It's all fun and games when we watch 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' or 'Sex and the City', where Carrie jokes once more about buying shoes instead of paying rent. But I think that we're at a real risk of promoting this 'buy it, because yolo' culture as somehow glamorous and we're forgetting that things actually cost money.

When was the last time you paid cash for a piece of clothing? For me, it's so far back that I can't remember. Everything seems so much less when everything is available to you with a swipe of plastic. Or with just a tap of apple pay. All the amounts, the £10 here, £20 there begin to lose significance, until you've maxed out your overdraft or reached the limit of your credit card. Then the reality of debt comes crashing down on you.


Fast fashion there's a constant pressure, particularly on bloggers, to stay 'on trend'. I know this from personal experience, and I'm not afraid to admit that if I see a particular H&M blazer on 10 different bloggers, all of whom have got incredible engagement in their posts containing that item, then I'll be upgrading that piece straight to number one on my wish list.

This isn't just limited to fashion, either. I'm sure we all remember when Fenty Beauty first launched, the way everyone was desperate to get their products first, so they could upload video reviews and blog posts as quickly as possible to get the most views and most engagement.

I'm becoming acutely aware of the fact that I feel a continual pressure to buy new things. I have deliveries arriving every other day, I'm constantly checking the 'New In' sections of my favourite online stores in a bid to make sure that I call which items are going to be 'it' pieces before anyone else, so that I get there first, before they sell out. I know that I rationalise my spending with the feeble excuse that I am 'investing in the blog', and whilst I know that realistically, this a somewhat pathetic attempt to disguise the fact that I just love to shop, it's dawning on me that there is also some truth in that.


The way bloggers shop and accumulate new things is, in my view, becoming kind of damaging. There's is just a continual cycle of new. Every other day we're being shown a new item they've just 'picked up' (anyone else absolutely HATE that expression?! I have no idea why but it really grinds on my gears lol!) Youtubers are continually 'hauling', and don't get me wrong, whilst I enjoy this content and continue to consume and partake in it myself, I'm also aware of the fact that this extremely fast paced lifestyle and shopping habit being promoted is wholly unrealistic not just for the average person, but for the smaller bloggers who are aiming to be on that same level way before they're means allows them to be so.

I think there's become an expectation for bloggers to constantly be seen in what's 'new', to have a firm hand on the latest trends and pieces, and of course, to an extent this is part and parcel of being a 'fashion blogger'. But there's also a fine line between showcasing a realistic wardrobe, and just essentially becoming a clothes hanger for everything that's new in the shops. It's a tough one, because I understand the need to create new content, seeing the same old sweater 20 times is boring content and I can see why that would be of little interest to the audience. But is this creating a culture of continual spending? A pressure to buy things that I'm not even sure we always want, and definitely do not need, in order to satisfy what we think our audience wants.

It's no surprise that posts with 'trendy' items do better in terms of engagement on social media. I remember there being a camel coloured H&M sweater last winter that was constantly sold out for months, and was featured on just about every blogger's instagram feed, each time doing incredibly well in terms of likes. I remember how, after seeing it so many times, I too was desperate to get my hands on this sweater, there's a certain brain washing element to social media feeds, right? And being honest, I was also sure that if I got my hands on it, it'd do well on my own instagram feed. Now I did genuinely like the jumper too, but it was £39.99, and I knew, being honest with myself, that there was no way I would have bought it for that price, it's the kind of piece I would've waited to go down in the sales before I purchased, because £40 for one jumper just seemed far too much. I also knew that if I waited until the sales to buy it, then the very reasons for me wanting it; having an 'it', 'hot right now' item to get good engagement as so on, would have worn off, and it would have lost its desired effect.

It's not only new in, 'trendy pieces' that have this affect either. It would appear that engagement tends to favour luxury pieces, and I think we're becoming increasingly aware of the elitism of the blogging world. It would appear that the more luxury pieces you have, the better engagement you have, and if you manage to tick the 'it' piece and 'luxe' piece boxes in one item, then you're laughing. Isn't this essentially a case of, the more money you have, the more likely you are to be a 'successful' blogger?


This is something that has been proven to be true even with my own engagement. I've realised that when I upload a post with an expensive item, like my Chanel slingbacks, or my Gucci loafers, I do particularly well in terms of engagement, I'll be met with a barrage of likes and new followers and this understandably makes me want to invest in more luxe pieces which I think would look good on the 'gram. Don't get me wrong, I've always been a sucker for my designers, but I can't deny the thrill I get when I've finally managed to purchase a luxury 'it' item that has subsequently gone on to do well on my social media channels, and I'm aware that that's both sad and quite wrong.

I'm pretty sure there are bloggers out there, drowning in debt and just managing to keep afloat, but continue to justify their spending as being an 'investment' or as 'part of their job'. Have we gotten to a point where there is simply too much emphasis placed on numbers and engagement, and we're beginning to lose that sense of individuality, of showcasing the pieces that we want and that we would realistically buy, which made the blogging space so personal in the first place?

Are we forcing bloggers to surrender themselves to one mould, one of fast fashion and 'it pieces', which chips away at their own personal styles?

The prospects of engagement and numbers are beginning to influence our shopping habits, as we have in mind, whether consciously or sub-consiously, the pieces that will do well on the 'gram, or what is 'trending'.

Does this therefore restrain our individuality and sense of personal style? After all, we all know how annoying it is when you see a outfit post with a piece you love and are desperate to get your hands on, only to realise that it's old season and now sold out.

I know that I can't afford to be constantly buying new things to keep up. Financially it just wouldn't work, I'm a 21 year old uni student who still lives at home, relies on Student Finance and my parents, as well as the little I earn from my blog for money, and so do the Chanel bits and new pieces I flaunt on my feed every week really reflect my circumstance? Probably not.

But it's not only the financial aspect, I know that it just isn't realistic, or relatable either. I can't keep buying new clothes continuously, I don't have the room for it, in reality I re-wear my clothes and only select a few pieces each season that I would usually invest in.




I'm aware of the fact that often, if I create a post centred around one particular item, I then become reluctant to wear it again to feature it on my social media profiles, because I feel as though I've covered that content, I've created it, and to do so would just be repetitive. That piece then risks being relegated to the very back of my wardrobe, I forget I have it and it gets little wear. It's not feasible to be continually buying clothes that I wear once and then feel that I can't wear again.

I don't really know what the solution is, folks. I don't really see the blogging world changing anytime soon. If anything, I can see the issue only getting worse - as the industry becomes more and more monetised, and the ability to profit off the clothes you wear and recommend through affiliate links making the idea of buying new clothes that you can then link to people all the more enticing.
Don't get me wrong, even if I were not blogging myself, I know I'd be keeping up to date with what was 'trending'. Fashion and beauty are my interests, after all - I buy into the 'fast fashion' culture even if I know that 6 months down the line my furry mules will be old news, because it's fun and I enjoy it. But I wonder if I would be so influenced by what others are buying, wearing and showcasing if I didn't have this little virtual home. Would my spending habits be more sensible? I would still be buying new bits and pieces that were 'on trend' because ya gal loves to shop, but I definitely wouldn't feel the need to buy a particular makeup palette or jacket or accessory as soon as it came out.



It's taken me a lottttttt of spending, and finally becoming exhausted by the constant packages and trips to the post office for returns to realise that I need to start actively fighting this habit, and reassessing what I'm buying.
I know this is where a lot of people would invoke the whole 'that's why you should never blog for numbers and purely for your love of it' spiel, but honestly I can be spared that bullshit. I think we all get caught up in the numbers game at one point or another. It's hard not to, particularly if you're someone who likes to 'do well' or succeed in other areas of your life, and you're never content with just doing 'alright', it's only natural that there are times where this mentality leaks into your hobbies sometimes too.
I think these days I'm trying harder to maintain more of a balance. I still like to buy new things, and often, these things will be 'it pieces', but I'm making sure that these are pieces I really love and won't just wear once, and that I only by a few pieces here and there each season. There is simply no need for me to be setting out almost as though I need to buy a whole new wardrobe each season.
That way, I'm not ashamed to say that if I do get my hands on an 'it piece', that I'll milk it a little to get the added 'engagement' bonus, because let's face it, we all do it.

But I guess I'd like to be less wary of wearing outfits with old favourites, or pieces that are no longer available. I'm a lover of a bargain, about 70% of my clothes are bought in the sale, meaning that the chances of these being available are slim, but that's just what I've always done. I've never liked paying full price for items, so what's the point me buying those pieces purely for the blog? After all, I set out to blog to showcase my outfits, and my style, not to simply model the latest things you can buy on the high street. I wouldn't buy every new piece each season if I didn't have the blog, I would re-wear my old favourites like we all do, so why pretend that I'm this girl who can afford to constantly buy new clothes? I've unwittingly become guilty go upholding a bit of a facade, but no longer!





So that's my rant over for today, folks - sorry for the rambles, but I hope you enjoyed nonetheless. What do you guys think? Are bloggers beginning to perpetuate the problem of constant consumerism? I'd love the hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Turtleneck: Boohoo
Jumper: Na-kd Fashion (On sale!)
Skirt: Na-kd Fashion (Limited Sizes available, similar here and here)
Boots: Topshop (Sold Out, v. similar version here)
Jewellery: Bohomoon (On Sale!)
Bag: Zara (Sold out, similar here)
Twilly: Dior (Similar here and here, on sale too!)
Sunglasses: Ebay


AMPING UP MY MAKEUP FROM DAY TO NIGHT WITH CHARLOTTE TILBURY

Monday, 23 April 2018







Hello lovelies!

Welcome back for another Makeup Monday! This time around I've got another little tutorial/review combo post for you. Now we all have those days where we need our makeup to be as quick and easy as can be. Perhaps you only have 5 minutes to refresh your makeup before you're off out, or perhaps you're just super lazy and can't face doing anything that takes more than 2 steps - because there's nothing wrong with that!

So I thought I'd show you how I take my makeup look from day to night with the addition of just 2 products with the help of my absolute fave Charlotte Tilbury products, which serve me well time and time again. Most of the products used in this post I have already reviewed in either this post, or this postso if you'd like reviews of them, then please refer to those posts! 

I've also been testing a few new Charlotte Tilbury products that I've got my hands on recently, including the product that's got everyone talking; the 'Hollywood Flawless Filter'. It's a good'un, folks - keep reading for the full review!


TUTORIAL

BASE

So I thought even though I this post is about topping up makeup, and if I were doing so I'd only really add some eye and lip products, I'd still talk through the base that I'm actually loving at the minute. 
I'm really enjoying wearing Charlotte Tilbury's 'Wonderglow'* as primer with the 'Magic Foundation' in Shade 8* mixed in with the 'Hollywood Flawless Filter' in Tan 5* for the base, to add a little extra glow. I've then concealed using my trusty Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer over blemishes. 

EYES

On an average day, I usually just have a tad of eyeliner and mascara to open my eyes up a bit. If I'm therefore amping up my makeup for the evening, I build up the eye makeup. 
Firstly, for some quick colour and definition to the lids, I add my 'Colour Chameleon' in Dark Pearl and literally scribble it across the lid, then blending in the edges with my finger to create a seamless look. It's super easy, literally takes 2 minutes and as Charlotte always say, can literally be done in your car wing mirror. I would then always top up my liner and mascara. Here, I added some of my Barbarella Brown 'Rock n Kohl' Eye Liner pencil on the upper lash line, and then smudged this in to give a slightly smokey look. Of course, as always, lashings of 'Legendary Lashes' Mascara completed the eye look - we all know with me it's all about big lashes! This mascara gives you so much length and volume, and is perfect for a night out (or for the day, if you're like me, and think big lashes are always appropriate). 


CHEEKS

On my cheeks, I have a touch of my 'Sun Tan and Sun Light' palette for a hint of contour to define the cheekbones, as well as a little cream blush for some subtle colour. 
To freshen up my base makeup, I would then add a bit more of the 'Hollywood Flawless Filter'* to the 'C section' of the cheek. Just a few dabs adds the perfect subtle highlight, and gives the illusion that you've just applied a fresh base, and that it hasn't been worn in all day!

LIPS

On the lips, during the day I usually have a nude lip colour on, so in the evening I often add something a bit deeper. Here I have a mix of two of my favourite lipsticks, 'Hepburn Honey' and 'Walk of Shame'*, to create this light Berry shade. 


REVIEWS

HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER*

Now I am actually shocked by how attached I've become to this. It's like the product that I never knew I needed! This really is a rather unique product in that it's rather hard to pin down exactly what it's meant to be used for. I remember when I first read the product name, I had no idea what a "flawless filter" would entail. Reading the product description, it's evident that it's not marketed as having one specific use, but simply promises to be a "complexion booster that gives everyone super starlit skin in seconds." This product is actually incredibly multi-purpose - and I think this is one of its best qualities. 

There are four ways one is recommended to use it according to CT's website:

1.) BENEATH IT - For a SUBTLE GLOW: Use all over your skin underneath your Magic Foundation for a subtle glow and polished finish.

2.) BLEND IT - For an AMPLIFIED GLOW: Mix with your Light Wonder or Magic Foundation on the back of your hand to dial up your Hollywood glow.

3.) BOOST IT - For TARGETED GLOW: Dot it along tops of the cheekbones, down the nose, above the cupid’s bow or anywhere to glow like a Hollywood star! 

4.) BLING IT - For a MEGA-WATT, ALL-OVER GLOW: Go mega-watt and wear it on its own at full volume, erasing any imperfections with The Retoucher for a fresh, glossy, all-over-glow!

You can get the flawless filter here



My absolute favourite way to wear this is to dab it on the high points of my face, particularly on my cheeks. If you're like me, and you're really not into that blinding highlight craze, then this is perfect for you. Just a few dabs on the top of the cheeks creates the most incredibly subtle highlight, which looks utterly gorgeous when the light catches it. When I was in London meeting a friend the other week, the light caught it perfectly and my friend remarked, (and I quote), "gurl your highlight is absolutely popping!" That was NOT something I was expecting to get from this product, and that's what I love about it. It's subtle enough to wear every day, but still gives enough of a glow that is noticeable but natural. 

On days when I'm doing a little more with my makeup, or particularly for nights out, I like to mix in a dab or two of the flawless filter with my foundation. It makes any base I have on much more glowy, without giving me a greasy look, which is something that usually scares this formerly ultra oily skinned girl away from any product claiming to give 'glow' or 'radiance'. 


I generally prefer a more matte complexion, but this has definitely made me enjoy the glowy look more. I have the shade Tan 5, which is recommended for those who use either shade 7 or 8 of either of Charlotte's foundations. I will however say that I think I probably could have got the shade 4, and if you're planning to use it simply as a highlighter for the high points of the face, and not all over, then you're probably better getting a shade lighter for that. 


COLOUR CHAMELEONS

So I bought 2 shades: Dark Pearl and Golden Quartz, the former is recommended for brown eyes, and the latter for hazel eyes. I think however that any colour suits any eye colour, and still makes it pop. 

My favourite thing about these is how easy and fuss free they are. Literally all you need to do is scribble them over your eyelid and then blend it in with your finger, or a brush if you prefer. They're foolproof, beginner proof, lazy gal proof, only have 2 seconds to do my makeup proof; anyone can use these and make them look good. 

I must say that you do want to work fairly fast with these as they set rather quickly once you've placed the product on the eye, and it's then really difficult to shape it or move it around the lid. The good thing though is that once they are set, they don't budge. You can go about your day or night safe in the knowledge that your eye makeup will be going nowhere. 

Overall I'm incredibly impressed by these and I definitely hope to grab some more! All the colours look so beautiful as well!

You can get the colour chameleons here


So that's it folks! I hope you've enjoyed this post. As always, I'm absolutely loving Charlotte's new releases. That woman is literally unstoppable! I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on the new beauty filters collection too. A Legendary Lashes 2 which promises loads more volume?! Sign me up! The eyeshadow palettes look gorgeous too. Hopefully I'll be able to do a review for you soon.

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

Please note that whilst this post is not sponsored, all items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me by Charlotte Tilbury. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.

FRIDAY THOUGHTS: MY FEARS FOR EXAM TERM AND SOME TIPS

Friday, 20 April 2018






So today I go back to uni for exam term. And if I'm completely honest, I'm completely fucking terrified. Not because I hate exams or because they're finals (I'll have to handle that Everest next year!) but because I think it'll be the first real test of how much mental health progress I've made since my depression diagnosis and intermission. 

I know I shouldn't really b thinking of it that way. My counsellor has told me over and over that whatever happens with these exams, it's not a reflection of my mental health progress.

But I still can't help making that connection. See, I'm still pretty scarred by the memories of my last exam term, which unfortunately coincided with my first really serious depressive episode. I remember bein unable to revise for more than 15 minutes at a time, being unable to get out of bed, being incredibly isolated and feeling utterly helpless. This was the time when I was first given my depression diagnosis, so unfortunately there's a sense in which exam term and mental health deterioration are a constantly connected to me. Without mental health issues, Exam term can be difficult at my uni at the best times, because everyone is so academic and studious that it's very easy to go a few days without seeing or talking to anyone. It can sometimes feel like a bit of a pressure cooker. 

I've actually always been someone who handles pressure very well. I've always been good at exams, and I've always been able to handle tight deadlines. But I feel quite changed since that last time. I'm feeling nervous about how I'll handle it this time, and whether I'll be able to revert to my old ways of thriving under pressure.

I guess what I think has happened is that I've built up a rather irrational fear of exams. Irrational because I've done them for years and I've always been good at them, and worked well under them. I've tried to put together some sort of plan of action for when I'm back, so that I feel as though I have some control, and that I'm giving myself the best chance to be both physically and mentally healthy and prepared. 

I thought these tips might come in handy for anyone else who worries about exams, or is needing tips on how to focus. 

1.) ROUTINE- The absolute most important thing I think - something that I know is going to be difficult but that I'm going to have to be incredibly strict with myself on, because I know how much it affects my mood and productivity these days! In the good old days I could sleep at 4am, wake up at 11 and work through the day. But no more. This term I'm going to try and be in bed by 12, up by 9, and take regular short breaks. Routine really does help make you feel more organised and energised! Also making sure you're eating properly and drinking enough, such basics but so important!

2.) TAKE TIME FOR SELF CARE - This is going to be another biggy for me. My down time is practically only sitting to watch Netflix and eat snacks. And, as much as I love doing that, my counsellor keeps banging on about the need to add some other types of activity for down time (I know she's right really). I'm going to try and start going to the gym for an hour just twice a week - it's important to set achievable goals, remember! Exercise is such actually a good mood booster as well as obviously being good for your body too!

3.) WORK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE - Now, what I mean by this is, take time to know your learning style. For example, I know that I learn best by making sets of colourful revision notes. I also think I'll work better in the library or at a desk in my room (and NOT on my bed - something I always used to do but I just can't do anymore). There's no one way t study, so if you know you're a visual learner, play to that strength. If you know you're an audio learner, make yourself some podcasts, or download something! There's no point making copious notes if it's never going to sink in. 

That's everything! I think I've realised that I'll need to approach this term differently at least, just to break this fear of exams. I'm thinking these tips will help me best, so I hope they will help you too! 


Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva 
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS: 

Top: H&M
Jeans: Na-kd Fashions
Bag: Zara
Hair Band: Claire's
Trainers: Adidas

PLAYING TOURIST AT HOME

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Westminster, London. UK





Is it just me, or is there nothing better than rediscovering the beauty of a city time and time again? London is that city for me. Even though I live just a stones throw away, and have done the tours countless times, I still never get bored of visiting London's biggest landmarks and wondering around the galleries. In a city like London, there's always something new to discover, too. In every corner there's a new quaint little café to try, or an unusual thrift shop to discover bargains in.

So I thought I'd make a post on some of my favourite places to visit in London, from the most famous to the more obscure. If you're ever visiting London and are wondering what to add to your list of places to visit, then I hope this helps! 


1.) THE NATIONAL GALLERY

If you're someone who loves looking at Art, then this is the place for you. I literally never get bored of visiting the National Portrait Gallery which houses the work of some of the biggest artists, from Van Gogh, to Monet, to Michelangelo. The paintings span from the 13th century to the 20th century, the place is huge, and if you have a lot of time on your hands, it truly is a wonderful experience getting lost in the gallery and discovering lots of new Art. 
The other thing I love is that there are constantly new temporary exhibitions being brought in ... that means that even if you've visited the Gallery countless times, there's always something new to look at when you go again. 
I recently went to see the Degas exhibition in February, which I was absolutely thrilled about as I started Degas a lot when I did my Art A Level, and he became one of may favourite artists. It was an absolutely beautiful exhibition with some of Degas' most classic paintings - i's on until May 7th if you're interested!
You can then walk down the Mal and have a look to see if the Queen's in at Buckingham Palace - a truly beautiful building!


2.) WESTMINSTER

So, I've written Westminster because there are SO many wonderful things to see around here. From the Houses of Parliament to the London Eye, it's one of London's busiest tourist attractions, and I still absolutely love visiting it. My gorgeous Henry Watch's name sake, Westminster really is a must see!

The London Eye is a must for the most beautiful views of the whole of London, whilst the Houses of Parliament is such a beautiful building, which you can actually pay to have a tour of (it's super interesting and only about £15.00). Unfortunately there is still scaffolding all over Big Ben, but this doesn't destroy the view too much, it's still a must see if you visit London!


3.) AUBAINE

Another must to do in London is afternoon tea. It's an incredibly 'quintessentially British' pass time if you're after that experience. There are many places to have afternoon tea that are wonderful, such as the Dorchester and The Hilton, but if you're after something a little less pricey, then I'd definitely recommend the Aubaine, it's around £15 and there are several branches over London, including Notting Hill, Marylebone and Mayfair. 

If you're super short on cash, then a picnic at Hyde Park is antlers wonderful option! Though beware, it's no secret that the weather gods aren't exactly our biggest fans, so it will take some meticulous planning to ensure that you go an a dry and sunny day!


4.) SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE

One of my favourite places to visit is the Globe. It was reconstructed to replicate the original Globe exactly, and you can see a variety of different Shakespeare plays each season. I've seen a few different plays and it is definitely an amazing experience! It's also rather reasonably priced, only £5 for standing tickets (which I personally find quite tiring), and around £20 for seats. It's also rather close to Borough Market, a great place to visit to sample so many different foods, I could literally spend an afternoon there just eating! 
5.) OXFORD STREET

Now, I know technically this isn't a 'sight seeing' activity, but it is still a tourist attraction, and let's face it, this is a fashion blog, so I had to include something to do with shopping lol! Now Oxford Street has absolutely every shop you could want, from your Topshops, and Zara, to Chanel, Dior and Prada on the nearby Bond Street. 

If you'r into your luxe fashion, Selfridges is the place to go. I literally never get bored of visiting Selfridges, walking around pretending to be a strong, independent rich lady who can afford absolutely anything I set my eyes on is legit one of my favourite things to do. The beauty hall has all the high end brands you could need, every big brand you could ever want is there. There's also an Aubaine on the 2nd floor of Selfridges if you get tired of shopping. Definitely a place to visit if you're a shopaholic like me!


Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

I'm wearing the Moonphase Westminster Watch from Henry Watches, which you can get an extra 20% off with the code EVA20! 


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Henry London, who kindly sponsored the creation of this post. All items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.


FASHION BLOGGING WHEN YOU HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Notting Hill, London, UK








Now would you believe that I struggle with low self esteem, and have done for as long as I can remember? If you didn't know me and were judging purely on my social media profiles then probably not, because they're just filled with images of me. See, for many people, fashion and beauty blogging is nothing more than a display of unapologetic narcissism. To those unaccustomed to our world, it's difficult to understand why we spend so many hours posing for photos, editing photos and uploading photos of ourselves, in an apparent bid for validation from other people online. I reckon there's quite a few of you reading this and vigorously shaking your head, because you know that couldn't be further from the truth. But that's often the perception the blogging world gives off, and for me at least, it could not be further from the truth (well, maybe the validation part is, but let's save that topic for another day).

See, it actually took me 2 years to pluck up the courage to start 'What Eva Wears', this little online space that has become a kind of home. This hesitation was purely due to low self esteem. I think it's something I'd like to write about completely separately at some point, because it is something that has plagued me consistently, and has undoubtedly affected my life significantly, from my relationships, to life choices and so on. It's a shame that I allowed my insecurities and lack of confidence to control me for so long, and hold me back from taking risks, or trying to achieve my goals. I would spend hours reading blogs, watching youtube videos, constantly imagining how I would create my own content 'if I were pretty enough' or 'funny enough' or 'cool enough', and so on.

At some point I just decided to throw myself into the deep end and create one, and it was terrifying. 
In some ways, wanting to become a part of the fashion and beauty online world was always, to an extent, a ludicrous decision. I can see how being interested in fashion and beauty, and then choosing to put myself out there in this way most definitely not only reinforced, but indeed intensified my feelings of low self-esteem, to the further detriment of my mental health. If you already have a propensity to be overly self-critical or self-deprecating, fashion blogging simply gives you another channel, or outlet for you to criticise yourself on, and it's one of the worst, because it's appearance, and there is so so much out there for you to compare yourself with. Add on top of that the fact that it's not just you who becomes a critique, it's the whole world too. When you're already vulnerable in this way, it's actually incredibly unwise, in a sense, to open up this door, and the prospect of having your own insecurities reinforced by people you don't know. 

Whilst I've been lucky enough to have only been met with kindness from the people of this community, the first year of blogging was pretty hard, as I found, more often than not, my blog made me feel a lot worse about myself, and how I looked, than it brought me any joy. It was bringing out the absolute worst of my mental health. I was constantly unhappy, particularly with my imagery. I would spend hours editing and editing, I don't know why, I guess, hoping that with enough editing, I would finally be happy with the end result. But it never happened. I began simply uploading content, however uncomfortable I was with having my face online, because when it came down to it, it was either upload and be slightly uncomfortable, but create the blog you've always wanted to; or, pack this whole thing in and give up.

I'm so incredibly glad that I chose the latter.

Over this past year of blogging, I finally feel like I've become more comfortable with putting my imagery out there. There are often times I'll still get myself down. I'll compare, I'll put my lack of engagement or growth down to the fact that I'm not pretty enough or 'relatable' enough or whatever. But ultimately, I'm worlds away from where I was when I first started blogging. Indeed, often when people I know see my imagery, they think I'm super confident, because I'm so posey and moody - I give off a 'wannabe model' vibe I guess, lol, which always makes me laugh, because in actual fact I feel dead silly posing up a storm to create those pictures.


So, what have I done to somewhat change my mindset, and make the photo taking and editing process easier on the self-esteem?

Here are 5 steps I've taken over my time blogging, that I have found have really helped with feeling comfortable uploading content. I hope that you guys find that these help you to tackle issues surrounding blogging and self-esteem too!


OBJECTIVITY

Now, you're probably sitting there thinking, 'no shit sherlock', but hear me out.
I try to be as pose-y and 'model like' as I can, because then I find it far easier to disconnect the photos from me. I know if I'm standing there cheesing away as I would for any other photo, then I'm far more likely to begin criticising the picture as a bad picture of me, because I then connect it with more usual types of photography where I am over critical, like when I flick through a family photo album, for instance. When I take photos, it's almost like I assume 'model mode'. I pretend that I am one, my blog is my Vogue, if you like. I always wanted to create very editorial style imagery, and to do that, I knew I'd have to push myself out of my comfort zone. For me then, I find that aiming to create more interesting shapes, more moody shots and a more editorial style allows me to process the pictures differently. Instead of thinking of the photos as photos of me, I find it easier to look at as a purely fashion or artistic shot. I'm able to critique my photos in terms of lighting, composition, angle and so on, as opposed to emphasising on any more personal imperfections. Take the photos in this blog post, for example. I'm happy with the imagery because I like the composition, and the colour. I love the blossom, and the way it compliments the outfit. I love the way the colour gives it a vintage-y feel. Because of these things, I don't need to take my analysing any further. There's no need for me to scrutinise my face or my body, because I simply like the way the picture is composed. The focus isn't on me, it's on the clothes that I'm modelling, the setting, and the way this is brought together through colour. Somehow, I can process that in my mind far more easily. 

It takes a lot more courage to be pose-y when shooting, but saves me a lot of negative energy and self-deprecation when it comes to editing, so I think it's worth it. When I get to editing, it's like the role play continues, and I edit as though I were the editor of Vogue. I think that's also why I really manipulate my image so much in terms of lighting, colour and so on, because the more 'artsy' or 'surreal' the pictures are, the further the are from my reality, and the further I can detach myself from them. I never set out to create imagery that was 'realistic' or 'relatable' or 'unedited', and I've never pretended that that was my goal. I'll be the first one to admit that my photos are edited to shit (though I always draw the line at actually changing what I look like, i.e. pinching in my waist with facetune and so on - to me that's pure deception.) My pictures are unapologetically edited (though some would say over-edited) and stylised, whilst I like to think my words are 'real', raw, uncensored and unedited - I try as hard as I can to give you the good, the bad and the ugly - but that's something that I've chosen to do only through words, and not imagery, because I simply don't have the confidence to bare my flaws and imperfections just yet. I'll always commend those who do so, but never approach other people's content with that expectation, because how do you bare you 'flaws' to the big bad world, giving everyone the chance to be a critic, when you're yet to accept them yourself?


COMFORT IS KEY

That brings me to my second point: Only produce content you are comfortable producing. As I say, there's so much in the blogging world right now on photo editing, and there's been quite a movement against it, but that'll never make me change my style of photo, because I simply wouldn't be comfortable doing so. Take photos in areas you feel comfortable, and most importantly, in outfits you feel comfortable in. I've made this mistake too many a time; of shooting an outfit that in my head, I was super excited to put together, because it would look so chic and 'fashun', but which I knew, in real life, I would feel very uncomfortable shooting, because it'd be slightly too 'out there'. The proof is in these two posts, here and here. Though I still love the imagery that we created, I still vividly remember the uneasiness I felt as we walked to location, the extra time it took to take the photos because I just couldn't relax, and I think you can sense it slightly in the photos.


MORAL SUPPORT 

I always always take photos with people I'm 100% comfortable with, who I know will be aiming to get my 'best angle', and who'll be kind during my inevitable moan about the way I look in the pictures we've just shot. If you're with people who make you feel good and comfortable, then you're far more likely to be at ease when taking the shots, resulting in far better results for you. Also, the more you shoot with that same few people, the greater the chance that, before long, they begin to get the hang of what angles work for you, what kind of shots you like, and so on. It'll not only save you time on shoots, but will probably also save you a lot of heartache when you're less likely to scroll through 400 photos you've taken in 45 minutes, to find that only 10 of them are even half decent.


A SECOND OPINION

This brings me onto another interrelated point, and that's asking a second opinion when you'editing photos that you know you're being overly picky with. I often do this, and ask my sister, and when I explain whatever it is that's bugging me about the image; common complaints include, 'my chin looks huge', 'my eyes look wonky', 'my face isn't symmetrical', she's extremely quick to tell me I'm chatting utter nonsense and that she would never have even thought of any of the supposed imperfections I'm pointing out. This often sets me at ease and reminds me that, because it is my own face after all, I'm being far too overly critical. I'll then often take her advice and choose the photos she's recommended if I'm having a particularly insecure day, and then I leave it and don't go back, because the more you go back and forth analysing the pictures, the more imperfections you'll pick out.


DON'T SHOOT OR EDIT ON A DOWN DAY

This is a pretty important one. There's been so many times I've decided to shoot a look, or edit a set of photos, on a particularly bad self-esteem or mental health day. And it never ends well. Usually with me crawling into bed, trawling instagram's prettiest 'baddie' accounts and wishing that I'd been blessed with a different face. When you create on a day like that, you're setting yourself up for a fail already. Nothing you produce will be up to your standard, and chances are, it'll just bring that ugly green monster in the back of your mind to the fore. Definitely not something I need.


So I hope these tips help, folks. I'm not going to pretend that there is a quick fix to this. For a lot of you who suffer from low self esteem, if you're like me, it may be connected to other mental health issues you suffer from. I know that my own self-esteem and self-worth issues are largely connected with my depression and anxiety, and as such, are battles I am constantly fighting, and continue to discuss and unpick with my counsellor. But I feel like, in terms of blogging at least, I've got it somewhat under control because of these tips. I hope the can help you too!

I also hope you enjoy these 'think piece'/'advice' kind of posts. I have another Friday Thoughts on its way this week, and so much more content that I'm excited to share with you! If you don't already, don't forget to follow my blog, either via bloglovin, or by email, so you never miss a post! I'm also constantly on insta and twitter if you'd like to keep up to date with me!

How do you guys deal with confidence and blogging? Leave me comments below!

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx


OUTFIT DETAILS:

T-shirt: Topshop (Sold Out, but I also love this one!)
Jeans: Na-kd (V. Similar Here)
Cardigan: Weekday
Shoes: Topshop (Old, very similar Here)
Bag: Zara (Old, Similar Here)
Twilly: Dior
Sunglasses: Ebay



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