Friday, 13 July 2018

So, two things have happened these past couple of weeks that have prompted me to write a 'Friday Thoughts' post about something I have been wanting to talk about for quite a while now - cosmetic surgery. 

It can often be quite hard to openly discuss this topic, particularly in the fashion and beauty world, where more and more people are having cosmetic procedures, without coming across as self-righteous or judgemental - 'oh, I haven't had anything done, I'm all natural, so I'm the best role model' blah blah blah... 

But I think there's a frank discussion that really needs to be had. Are those with extensive surgeries good role models for young, impressionable, and insecure girls? Can you be anti-cosmetic surgery and a feminist? Can you be pro-surgery and have had procedures done, but also body positive and preach self-acceptance? What do we even mean by 'feminist' and 'body positive' and what do these movements mean and intend to do for women today?

There are so many questions here and I'm not really here to attempt to answer even a handful of them. Instead I wanted to reflect a little bit on the rise in people getting surgery, particularly in the blogging world, and why I think that is. 

As I say, 2 incidents prompted this post. The first was an episode of Love Island. I know, I know, it's all social media is talking about right now! But as light hearted and trashy a show as it is, it's been raising some rather more serious, important questions - such as female sexuality, modern dating, and colourism in dating. 
What stuck in my mind, however, is the plastic surgery debate. If you're familiar with the show, do you all recall the first casa amour episode, where the 6 new boys arrived in the villa? They each had to state who they found most attractive out of the girls in the villa, and every single one of them placed Megan, a girl who is estimated to have had £40,000 worth of cosmetic surgery (the before and after pictures really are quite alarming), in their 'Top 3' most attractive girls. Samira, who, as far as we know, is completely natural and it is worth noting, black, didn't make it into a single boy's top 3 category, when every other girl did. Later that episode, we saw Samira finally break down after 4 weeks of no interest from any of the guys. Tearfully, she spoke about how she wished she looked like Megan, how she didn't understand why any of the boys liked her, and I was immediately struck by the extent to which this level of this rejection was affecting her self esteem. Here, we had a naturally beautiful girl, who was well liked by the boys and girls of the villa, and therefore clearly had a lovely personality, thinking she was not enough. 

There are, of course, two strands to this. Firstly, there is the issue of race, something I do not wish to get into in this post - we'll be here for hours! But it definitely interlinks with the surgery thing. Megan has had lip injections, bum implants and a breast enhancement - all surgeries to change her body and, incidentally, make her more in line with the features a black woman would naturally have. Yet, on that black woman, they are somehow not lauded to the same extent. How does that work out? 

This isn't a post aiming to have a pop at Megan. I completely respect her right to do what she likes with her own body. In all honesty I thought it was bad that social media was using her surgery against her, suggesting that none of the boys would have fancied her natural, which, to a degree, further highlights the problem and shows why she very likely felt like she had to have surgery - because society didn't see her as fitting the beauty archetype. I find it incredibly sad that she has changed herself to such an extent anyway, seeing as it hardly seems logical that someone completely happy in themselves would change themselves beyond recognition. But to be brutally honest, I was struck by just how much the boys lauded a body and features that simply isn't real. Boys often chat about how they want a 'naturally pretty girl' who wears 'little makeup', but how can that be so when people like Megan are seen as the beauty ideal? What does that mean for the rest of us? 

The second was Kylie Jenner deciding to dissolve her lip fillers. We're all aware of the Kylie lip saga, and I'm sure Kylie's surgeries had a direct correlation with the boom in the sale of juvaderm. It was almost as if, just like that, a few injections, some botox and some face structural alteration, and suddenly Kylie had gone from 'the ugliest Kardashian/Jenner' to 'beautiful'. I always found this narrative particularly disturbing. The internet basically bullied a 16/17 year old girl into drastically changing her appearance to be considered beautiful, pitting her against her own siblings, and then bashing her 'newfound beauty' once she had undergone all the changes. The sad thing is, at 16, she was completely fine. She would've grown into her looks. Who looks like a supermodel at that age? I certainly didn't - and I can imagine that if I had ever been under the same scrutiny that she had been under, I would have done the exact same thing - changed myself to fit a beauty ideal. I think this just shows the hypocrisy of so many in fashion and beauty, and in society in general. Bash Kylie for not being 'conventionally beautiful' and then bash her again when she tries to do something about it. 

Social Media is becoming a place of increasing normalisation of cosmetic procedures, and I honestly don't think that is a good thing. It's becoming a place of increasing fakery, smoke and mirrors, and the worst thing is, we often don't even know. We're led to believe that these people naturally look the way they do - and I think that's one of the most worrying things about social media - we then judge ourselves against people who don't even look like themselves! For vulnerable teens, 13 year olds who want to be 'beautiful' and who are never happy with what they look like, I dread to think what such is doing to their self esteem and mental health. We've all seen the figures - social media has been shown to be linked with increasing levels of low self-esteem, poor body image, and body dysmorphia. 

Is that not terrible? I always feel like blogging started off as the 'anti-celeb' place, if you like. A place where normal people could gather - we could see how others, just like us, styled their clothes, did their makeup, and so on. But now that is changing, and, as I always say, we've created a new pseudo-'celebrity culture'. Bloggers are increasingly living a 'luxe', 'celebrity lifestyle', the holidays, the designer bags, and the cosmetic procedures. It's all fun and games and looks amazing on the 'gram, but its not relatable anymore. One type of lifestyle is being presented as the ideal, and I'm sure its eating away at people who feel like they've somehow underachieved because they're not living it. I can see how this can feed into negative self perceptions. You think if you get that boob job you'll be slightly more attractive. That designer bag and suddenly you're with the 'it crowd'. It's a slippery slope - and I think it's scary that surgery is becoming part of this lifestyle that is being so heavily promoted by influencers these days. 

As I say, it's tricky, because I first and foremost, I want to be thought of as someone who supports women. Feminism to me, isn't about redefining the role of a woman - it's about saying that there is no role for women. It's about choice. There is no role because women are capable and should be allowed to do whatever they want to do. This includes jobs, sexuality, education, and what they do to their own bodies. On this then, I could never say that I was anti-surgery. Because that would make me anti-choice, and that's something I'd never want to be. I also wonder at want point supporting someone's right to have surgery, inadvertently becomes endorsing body dysmorphia. Because, yes, one might support one's right to change their nose, or their lips, but what about the person who has changed every inch of themselves? Is that not dangerous, and a sure sign of body dysmorphia - a very real mental health problem - how do we morally support someone having surgery when there are signs of that? I do think we also have to seriously think about just how much it makes sense to be both pro-surgery and body positive. Is there not a degree of hypocrisy in preaching self acceptance, when you haven't been able to do that yourself? I understand some people position themselves as 'changing themselves so they could self-accept', but I don't know how that sits with me. I don't know, am I being unfair? I'd love to know what you guys think of this. I'm someone who has grown up constantly insecure. I've only really just started to have a shred of self esteem. I think, if I had been allowed, around 19 I would have wanted to have a bunch of surgeries done. But, 3 years on and those things I would've changed then, don't really bother me anymore, and I'm so glad I never seriously considered surgery. Some things I fall in and out of love with. Like my height. Growing up it truly affected my confidence. I hated being tall. If there had been something I could have done to change it, I would. I surgery that removed part of your leg, a potion that made you shrink - anything going I would've taken. But now my height doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I quite like it. I'll proudly parade about in heels, I don't care who I'm taller than, and I've accepted people calling me 'BFG' lol. I grew out of it and I accepted it - although I accept that perhaps I had to accept it, because there was nothing I could do to change it. 

Ultimately, I think what I'm trying to get across, is that I think we need to think more carefully about why we are getting cosmetic procedures done - what are the real motives behind it? Do you actually dislike a certain part of yourself, or has your insecurity been born of societal expectations? Because, at the end of the day, we can all sit here, and berate 'society' for setting the status quo and unrealistic beauty standards, but we simultaneously perpetuate them and by into them by the decisions we make. And yes, this time that includes the decisions we make with our own bodies. It seems odd to me that the same people who criticise companies for using the same type of model or who argue that beauty ideals are 'wrong' and 'pressurising' can often be the same people altering their bodies to fit into those ideals. That, to me, is hypocrisy, and although I understand how it happens, I think we each have the power, in our own small way, to fight it.

As I say, it has to come down to choice, and I will always always stand up for a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body. But I hope we start to think more about why it is we want to change ourselves so much. How many people had issues with their lips before Kylie Jenner and the rest of the world got theirs enhanced? I don't remember every celebrity having juvaderm injected into their lips in the 90s, or early 2000s. I don't remember lip size even being a thing before Kylie got hers done. So, are you really unhappy with the way they look, or are you just trying to fit into a beauty ideal? How many people had issues with their boob size before they started spending hours and hours on social media? My bet is, not many, because fundamentally, we are conditioned to think something desirable the more we see it. The more we saw girls with blown up lips, with society telling us that it was beautiful, the more we all desire it. 

This may surprise you, but I'm not here to say 'I'll never get work done'. I'm human after all, I feel pressured by beauty ideals, we all fear changes in our bodies as we get older, and I can be hypocritical! But I'd like to think that I'll never see surgery as the only option, but instead, as a very last final resort. I'd like to think that, for all the insecurities I'll have throughout my life, and I'm sure there'll be many - that I'll be able to take that journey to self acceptance, to contextualise it and realise that looks aren't everything, and to only turn to changing it if it really is affecting my life or confidence - because life is too short to be miserable, after all. 

What are your thoughts on plastic surgery? Have you had anything done yourself? I'd love to hear your stories and opinions - (without judgment, of course!) This is one of those topics that has no right or wrong answer and really fascinates me! Leave me your comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3



Sunday, 8 July 2018

So, it's like week 3 of the heatwave in the UK. Practically unheard of, right?! I thought I'd put a quick list together of all the things I love to do when we have this good weather!

1.) Eat buckets and buckets of ice cream. 
Pretty standard I think. Although this year I've been super classy and have only eaten white chocolaye magnums - I think it's about time I get the obligatory 99 Flake!

2.) Have a BBQ. Omg. 
Bring me allllll the burgers, and hotdogs, and prawns. 

3.) Going for a drink at the pub. 
Now I won't lie, this is something I like to do all year round. But it's so much better when the sun is shining and you can sit outside, right? So long as I have a rum and coke in hand and a good pal to chat to, I'm having a whale of a time. 

4.) Going to the park at sunset. 
I've always loved going to the park to sit on the swings for some 'me time'. Because there's just something so nice about just being in the presence of nature - just you and your surroundings. Cliche I know, but in summer time I love to stroll down to the park around 8pm when all the kids have gone home, so I can just sit in the park, sometimes with headphones in, sometimes not, just for 20 minutes of peace and quiet. It's indescribably refreshing. 

5.) Go to the seaside. 
I have yet to visit the seaside this summer - but I cannot WAIT until I do. I'll spend the afternoon by the sea, then have a little look round the arcades, then get fish and chips before heading home. Argh, a perfect day out, methinks. 

What things do you guys love to do when the weather is this lovely? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3


Top: c/o Missy Empire*
Shorts: c/o Missy Empire*
Sunglasses: Ebay

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


Monday, 2 July 2018

Happy Monday Loves!

I'm back with another makeup post, and this time we're reviewing a product that has me S H O O K. It's the Fenty Beauty 'Stunna' Lip Paint, a classic red shade that promises to be universally complimentary.

So far, everything I've bought from Fenty Beauty has impressed me - from the foundation, to the highlighter, to the gloss bomb - and this product was no exception. 

It claims to be a 'weightless, 12hr liquid lipstick with a soft matte finish'. Whilst I'm not sure about the 12hr wear (because does anyone really wear a red lipstick for that long? Because I sure as hell don't), it's definitely weightless, and dries to a very comfortable matte finish, particularly when compared to other liquid lipsticks that feel like they've sucked all moisture from your lips (ahem, Kat Von D - but I still love you!) It remains pretty comfortable throughout the day - I have dry lips so they're always slightly noticeable on me - but this one remains wearable and never too distracting. It doesn't need too much touching up, except if you eat (though I find this with all liquid lipsticks), so there should be minimal upkeep. 

Now, what struck me most about this liquid lippie is just how pigmented it is. Like, literally one swipe, and you have full coverage. This is a product that definitely does not need to be layered. The applicator is pretty unusual too - a variant of the classic doe foot applicator, but slightly smaller and slightly rounder. I didn't mind it at all, I think it probably did help with application, making it easier to be more precise in the corners and along the lines. 

The other thing I love about this red is that it doesn't make your teeth look yellow! Woop! You know there are some reds that just make your teeth look like sweetcorn and it's like, ew, no?! Well this must have a blueish undertone - I'd call it a 'snow white red' - as that's not at all the case here. Indeed, it actually makes your teeth look slightly whiter, which is always a nice bonus. 

Last thing to note is, I have no idea how, but it makes your lips look hugeeeee, more so than any other red lipstick I've tried. Usually a bright lip shade will have that effect, purely because it is drawing more attention to the area, but this one truly does make your lips look fuller and plumper, which was quite a nice surprise! 

I think this lipstick may have just made it into my top 3 favourite red lipsticks of all time! I know, that's a big statement! I'll do a blog post soon on my other favourites, but for now, I think I'll be wearing this on repeat!

In true Fenty style, the packaging is sleek, the name is fun, and it delivers where it matters - on quality. Bravo, Rih, I grade you an A+. 

For £19.00, it's not cheap, but it's also not outrageous. If you've been searching for the perfect red liquid lipstick and have had no luck as of yet, then I'd definitely recommend giving this a try. 

Fenty Beauty 'Stunna' Lip Paint Available Here

Have any of you tried the Fenty Beauty 'Stunna' Lip Paint? What did you think of it? If not, what is your fave red liquid lippie? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3



Sunday, 1 July 2018

Well, what a busy month June has been! And is it just me or are the months flying by quicker and quicker?! Before we know it, it'll be Christmas again!

My month started of rather stressfully as I was trudging through the last of my uni exams. It was pretty intense, but I think I handled it pretty well, and I'm happy to say that I finished this year with a nice 2.1. I now only have one more year left of university, and looking back on the last year, I'm definitely happy with the decisions I made.

Mid-month, exams were finished, and I went to see Beyoncé with my sister! So it was actually the 8th time I've seen her live (I'm a bit of a crazy hardcore member of the hive, I'm not sorry), but every time I see her, she is no less amazing. She literally never ceases to amaze me with her talent, her artistry, and her performance. I always say, everyone has to see Beyoncé at least once in their life, because no one can compare in terms of performance. This was her joint stadium tour with Jay-Z, (who I've seen once before too), and it really was an amazing performance. They still have some tour dates left so if they're in your city - definitely try and catch them!

This time last year, I was on my year of intermission, incredibly unhappy on my course but equally fearful of making the change onto a new course, which I knew would lead to me having to do an extra year of university, on my own, as all my friends have graduated. I ended up taking the plunge after a lot of deliberation, and wow, what a difference it has made. 

I can appreciate that the fact that I've enjoyed this year has a lot to do with my mental health recovery, and my much more stable mental state, but I'm also feeling so much more engaged in my course, I feel enthused and inspired. 

The past week or so, which has been graduation week for my friends, has been rather difficult, nevertheless. It's been a funny old week. We've had lots of fun to celebrate the end of exams and the end of the academic year - I've been hungover or drunk more days than not, and I've made so many memories with some of my best friends. But it also marks the end of a chapter for my friends, as they go off to work, further study or travel, which means that it's also kind of the end of an era for me. I feared that I'd have an overwhelming sense of being left behind, and I do a little bit, but I'm trying to think of it differently. I'm trying to think of this last year as a personal challenge - a chance for me to work hard and get this degree, and also to push myself to make new friends, so that I don't ever become isolated. I know it'll be tough, but what a difference my mindset is in now. A year ago, there was no way I could've processed this so positively - I would've been weighed down by anxiety and dread, but now, I finally think I can do it - and do it well. I'm kind of excited for the year to come.

It was also my birthday this month too! I've turned 22 (but let's refrain from singing any Taylor Swift, please). I'm actually starting to feel a bit old. From the age of 16 or so, I've seen all those around me growing up, but in all honesty, I've continued to feel like a child. Turning 21 was this huge milestone, but I felt nothing like an adult. I think that's starting to change now. It sounds a bit silly, but I think all my experiences this past year and a half have really changed me. I've had to push myself, and I've achieved things I never thought I'd be able to. I've been able to tackle more social situations, I've taken risks that I would never have dreamt of a year or two ago, and I've met people who have truly changed and inspired me. 

I guess that's the funny thing about life. It can be so stagnant for so long, and you can see nothing changing anytime soon. And then, without warning, everything changes, and it all happens at once. The 20 year old me wanted to give up. She was desperately unhappy, gravely depressed, taking time out of uni to recover, and completely lost in life. It's so different now. I feel stable. I feel optimistic. Not everything is perfect, there are still things I want to improve on, I know there's more steps I need to take to keep my mental health on the right track, but for now, I'm ok, and it feels great to be able to say that after such a long time. 

I guess the point of this post is to reiterate that slightly cliché, but very true saying, that if you're struggling in life, if you feel like giving up, keep on going. Because there is something good coming around the corner, you just have to be patient for it. 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3



Friday, 29 June 2018

Who else is absolutely loving this summer heat?! I'm finally able to wear all the floaty, skimpy summer clothes that so often remain at the very bottom of my wardrobe, or tucked away behind jumpers and jackets, and this dress is no exception. 

There's just something about a floaty summer dress that I just can't get enough of. What's not to love? They keep you cool, they can be dressed up or dressed down, and they always, always, look pretty. Like this little floral number from Joy. Florals aren't just for Spring, folks, I'll be wearing them all summer long too. This dress is the perfect example of the perfect summer dress - it's girly, it's classic, and still just a little bit boho. My favourite bit, though, is the back detail. It's all pretty and conservative in the front and then a party (and a lil bit sexy) at the back - (pun intended). How perfect would this be for a summer wedding? I've paired it with a pair of cream heels to make it more dressy, but it would equally look beautiful with some white trainers or strappy sandals and a straw bag. 

In terms of this location - we saw this cute little house and immediately, I thought 'secret garden vibes', ya feel? The place was just surrounded by gorgeous flowers in full bloom, and I thought it would be the perfect setting to shoot this look. 

Do you guys have a weakness for summer dresses too? What piece do you tend to gravitate towards in the summer months? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3



Dress: c/o Joy the Store*
Heels: Topshop

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


Friday, 15 June 2018

London Borough of Hackney, London, UK

Hello lovelies!

How are we all? So not much to report today - I just really wanted to share these photos! As bloggers we're constantly taking pictures, right? I can never enjoy a good meal or go somewhere with pretty architecture without getting my phone out and taking a snap. So much so that I often forget what I've posted and what I haven't! 

Here are some pictures of when I when to afternoon tea with one of my blogger pals, Becks over at TheBecksEffect. I must confess, going to tea is my absolute favourite quintessentially British pass time. There's nothing like a nice cup of tea and a scone loaded up with cream and jam, right? 

We went to this super cute little cafe with really quirky deco - it was honestly a blogger's dream!

That's all for today, folks! For some reason, I'm feeling a little stumped with my writing at the minute. But I'm sure I'll be re-inspired again soon. 

What are your favourite quintessentially British pass times? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3



Monday, 11 June 2018

So guys, I'm finally back with a new outfit post! It's been a while, right?! Blame coursework deadlines, exams, and a very disorganised chica. But finally it's all done. I've finished my uni exams for the year, I've got 2 weeks left until I'm home for the holidays, and I could not be more ready for summer. 
The sun is shining, skies are blue, and you know what that means, right? The summer wardrobe is out in full force. Expect copious amounts of bardot shouldered looks on my blog, #sorrynotsorry. 

Starting with the one in this look today. I was kindly sent this by the lovely people at Missy Empire, and I'm obsessed. I already want it in the two other colours they sell (Black and Yellow) - so expect to see a suspiciously similar version soon!

Then we have these new paperbag waist jeans, also kindly gifted to me from Missy Empire. Perfect for pinching in the waist, but slightly more forgiving than the staple skinny jean in letting your skin breathe a little more this summer. 

Oh also I guess I should introduce you to my new baby - my beloved vintage Dior. As well all know, the Saddle Bag, first created by John Galliano for Dior in the late 90s, is making a big comeback. As is anything monogrammed - it seems we're truly living in a 90s revival, and I for one am relishing anything that gives me logomania vibes! Maria Grazia has presented the modified version of the Saddle Bag in two shows now, so it's definitely here to stay. Granted, it's a bit of a marmite one - yes it does look like a kidney - but honestly, what can I say, there simply isn't anything better than vintage dior. And the best bit? These vintage babies are only a fraction of the price of a Dior bag now. If you're a fan, I'd urge on you to jump on the bandwagon quick!

Anyway, enough for now, I'll be back again soon with lots more. I can't wait to start sharing summer content - so stay tuned!

Are you guys excited for summer? What are your go-to summer looks? What do you think of the Dior saddle bag? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3



Top: c/o Missy Empire*
Jeans: c/o Missy Empire*
Sunglasses: Ebay
Shoes: Adidas


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