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BY THE SEA

Sunday, 9 September 2018



"Even castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually..." - Jimi Hendrix

Now it's probably time for me to accept that Summer is over *welp*. But I couldn't resist just one last day by the sea. It's one of my favourite places to be, actually. There's something so calming about the sound of the waves, and something incredibly soothing about the feel of sand between your toes. It was such a beautiful day that we managed to get some really pretty pictures - all taken on my iPhone! Mother nature is bloody photogenic, right?

Anyway, to mark the end of summer, I did a thing. Last night I stayed up all night like an absolute maniac and edited a lookbook. I do not know what possessed me, but there you go. It's a 'Summer 2018' cookbook complete with outfits I have loved throughout the season. Every so often I feel like giving the old youtube a bash and then remember how terribly exhausting it is. Honestly guys, it takes so much work! But, it's now live nonetheless! I would absolutely love it if you could take 2 minutes to watch it and let me know what you think! It's not the best (in fact, I filmed absolutely everything in portrait mode like a complete idiot), but if you guys enjoy it, I'll think about doing another. And, if you really want to support, I'd love you forever if you could like, comment, share, subscribe and all that jazz - just to give me a little bit of a confidence boost!

Here is a link to the video below - enjoy!


Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Tee: H&M
Jeans: Topshop (similar also Here and Here)
Sandals: Topshop (On Sale!) Cream (Here and Here), Black (Here)
Bag: Ebay
Insert: Vintage Dior
Chain: Louis Vuitton

AN ODE TO SEPTEMBER

Thursday, 6 September 2018








"And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." - Meister Eckhart

Word on the street is that September is the new January. And you know what that means? It's time to start again. To start afresh. To get into 'girl boss' mode and focus on yourself and what you want to achieve. See, as a society we treat January as the time of renewal. But personally, I find September to bring the magic of a new beginning. 

Since we're talking about time, it felt apt to incorporate Henry London, a favourite of mine as you all know. As I gear up to head back to uni for my final year, which will no doubt require a fresh lease of motivation, organisation and determination, I'll be sure to have Henry, my ever faithful companion on my wrist; reminding me of the importance of spending it wisely.



It's crazy how quickly the time flies, isn't it? Summer seems to have passed us by in a mere flash, and we're already slipping into Autumn. The light summer evenings are getting shorter and shorter, and it won't be long before we're surrounded by falling leaves and wrapping up in thicker knits. 

Although I mourn the end of this season and the fact that I have to pack away all my pretty Summer outfits for another year, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also a tad excited for the coming change, since Autumn has always been my favourite season. 




I've said it before, and I'll probably continue to say it every year, but September is my favourite month. 

See, everything becomes beautiful. The air becomes fresher, the temperatures crisper, and golden colours begin to fill the trees. 

And with the environmental changes, there is a definite mental change too. This time of year makes me approach everything differently. 

I know Spring is the time most strongly associated with the idea of rebirth, but to me, September will always be the month of renewal. I don't think I'll ever shake that 'back to school' feeling; the idea of September and new beginnings being instilled in me throughout my youth. On the first day of school every year, we would have a full school assembly, in which the Head Teacher would talk to us about this very topic. She would talk to us about the opportunities that the new year brings to start anew, would urge us to take stock of the past academic year, and inspire us to set ourselves new goals, turn over a new leaf, and proceed with a newfound energy and drive to do well. 

This mentality has stuck with me. Every September I'm full of a profound sense of motivation. I consider the time passed, what I have achieved in the past year, and how better I can navigate my time going forward.



This time last year, I posted 3 'September Resolutions'.  They were:

1.) Prioritise my mental wellbeing and self care
2.) Keep my blogging up
3.) Take more risks 

And I'm pleased to say, I've actually done pretty well with all of them! I feel more physically and mentally healthy now than I have in the past 4 years. I've posted more blog posts in the past 8 months than I did throughout the whole of 2017, and I have grabbed a couple of new opportunities that I would never have taken before with both hands. Of course, there have been ups and downs. There have been times that depression has creeped up on me, and I've taken a step back before I could continue to move forward. There have been times when I've felt uninspired and have taken a step away from blogging, until I could simply face it again. And, there have been times that I have bottled out of opportunities that I knew would be good for me, because I've found them too risky. Yet, nevertheless, I think I've still grown. Somehow, I've made improvements, even though I've realised that I haven't actively sought to achieve these goals. Perhaps, subconsciously, they have always been in the back of my mind and that's probably why I haven't felt the pressure to achieve them. But it's all been far more organic. I think making resolutions this time of year is far more effective than your classic January resolutions, because they always seem somewhat forced. Every person and their dog thinks of a resolution they set out to achieve, and I have a theory that the pressure to come up with some big, life altering resolution on January 1st loads it with such a level of pressure that inevitably, it becomes impossible to achieve. 



So, I'll stick with September resolutions instead. Since they worked so well, I decided to make myself a new set for my 'new year', and it's only now that I have realised how they are all centred on time. It's our most precious possession, after all. The past year, I have learnt so much about time, and now I have set myself 3 new 'resolutions' which should help me better utilise it. 

1.) Take time for myself. 
I've come to realise how important this is on my journey to better self-care and mental health recovery. One of the most important lessons I learnt was taking time to do things that I enjoy, without pressure or expectation, but simply because it's what I want to do. When I went back to uni I realised that because of my busy schedule, slowly, the time I set aside for myself was being eroded, and consequently, I was feeling more stressed. I definitely don't want to journey down that road, so it's time to intervene. This coming year at uni, I'm determined to regularly do something for myself; visit an art gallery, go to the cinema, go on a walk, whatever it may be - but the key is that I do it alone, to collect my thoughts and appreciate my own company.



2.) Get organised.
I think a natural association with the idea of a 'new beginning' is the feeling of needing to get one's ass in gear, am I right? It's safe to say I'm not the most organised of people. I've always been a last minute lady, I do things under time pressure and I do that well. But, that doesn't mean that there is no need for better time management. As I embark on the most important year of my academic career, I realise that now, more than ever, organisation and routine need to be a priority. 
Aside from writing lists, keeping a calendar and diary, I find that one thing that really does help with feeling organised is what I choose to wear. It sounds silly, but we all know the effect our appearance can have on mood, right? When I wear tracksuits and joggers, I'm more likely to feel lazy and sluggish. As soon as I put on a blazer or structured trouser, I feel smart, polished and ready to work. In this same vein, as soon as I put on a watch, I feel more organised. I'm completely aware that this is some weird placebo effect, but it works. Henry gracing my wrist makes me better organised, because I associate a timepiece so strongly with professionalism and time management. My watch of choice for the daily grind? The 'Richmond', no doubt. This model is simple, classic, yet modern, and goes with anything in my wardrobe. So, I let this little watch remind me of the need to get into full work mode. 


3.) Slow Down
We always seem to be in a rush, Henry and I. As soon as I begin to feel more organised, for some reason, I also begin to make myself more busy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. When I'm busy, I'm aware that I'm often filling my time with productive endeavours, but I also convince myself that I can do 100 more things in the day. Often, this simply isn't possible. I set myself unrealistic expectations, and this only breeds disappointment, for, filling your time with task after task, without taking space and time to slow down is the enemy of progress. We live in a society whereby time always seems to be of the essence, but as part of my vow to learn how to spend it better, I've decided to wholeheartedly reject this 'the busier you are, the more successful you'll be' philosophy. Learning to spend time more wisely has perhaps somewhat paradoxically led me to conclude that I need to learn how to slow it down. So, whilst Henry might remind me to work hard and keep organised, I can also rely on him to remind me to pause, step back, break, and slow down. There's a certain point each day where I glance at my watch, decide enough is enough, and I'm off the clock (pun intended). It's time to slow down, unwind, and accept that tomorrow is a new day in which I can pick up where I left off. 

So, I say forget January, September is the new 'New Year'. This September, I urge you to become that school kid again, the one that was encouraged by their teacher to set new goals. There's no need to wait until January to take stock and re-evaluate. Time is your most precious possession, and what better time than now to trust in the magic of new beginnings. 

Do you treat September as a new beginning?

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

Watch: c/o Henry London* (THE WESTMINSTER)
(Now on sale at 60% off) 

Plus, get 20% off Henry Watches with the code 'Eva20' until the end of October! 



OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top: Topshop (Sold out, very similar here, here and here)
Jeans: Zara (v. limited stock left, similar here and here)
Mules: New Look (Similar here and here)
Bag: Topshop (Similar here and here)
Belt: Gucci (Also here in more sizes)
Watch: c/o Henry London

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.

MAKEUP MONDAY: A LEGENDARY EYE LOOK WITH CHARLOTTE TILBURY

Monday, 3 September 2018






So I was lucky enough receive another wonderful package from the lovely Charlotte Tilbury team! You guys know how obsessed I am with Charlotte Tilbury makeup products and these new releases are no exception. So, what better way to bring back 'Makeup Mondays' than with a review of the hottest new releases curtesy of Ms Tilbury. I warn you now though, folks, you better have your wallet at the ready, because once you've got to the end of this post I'm pretty sure you'll be filling up your basket on the CT site faster than you can say 'eyes to mesmerise'!



LEGENDARY LASHES VOLUME 2* - £25.00

So, I now have 3 Charlotte Tilbury mascaras, and I love every. single. one. In all honesty, I can't choose which is my favourite. The new 'Legendary Lashes Volume 2' is a reformulated version of the OG 'Legendary Lashes', and I've been hooked to it the past few weeks. I think all the mascaras are great for different occasions. This one definitely provides you with drama. The biggest difference between this mascara and the original is that this one provides the most intense jet black colour, like honestly this is the blackest mascara I have ever used. Perfect for night out dramatic lashes that give the 'false lash' effect without needing any falsies! I actually find one coat to be enough to provide the length, volume, and thickness that I want for any look, and the huge wand (which I absolutely love) makes it super quick to coat all lashes (though do take extra care on the bottom coat so as to avoid any mascara ruining your under-eye concealer!). If, however, you like to layer your mascara up, then you have no reason to fear chunkiness. The wand is such that any excess product is easily removed to leave you only with what you need.

Now, of course, CT is a high end brand, so this mascara doesn't come cheap. But if, like me, you're all about the eyes, and want lashes that are truly legendary, then spending a little more on a good quality mascara is absolutely worth it. A good mascara that gives you million dollar lashes really will help you to create 'eyes to mesmerise', and let's face it, who doesn't want those!

Available Here


COLOUR CHAMELEON in 'AMBER HAZE'* - £19.00

This is the third colour chameleon I have and I can now safely say that I am in love with this formula. It's incredibly smooth and creamy; it glides onto the lid and doesn't pull or scratch.

Best of all? How incredibly fuss free these are. They're basically crayons for your eyes, easy or what?! These shadow sticks are perfect for those of you who are on the go or only have a few minutes to do your makeup, those of you who are super lazy and can't be bothered to spend ages blending in 100 different shades, or those of you makeup beginners who need something super easy to apply. All it takes is a scribble over each eyelid, pat and blend with your finger or a brush, and then leave them to set, which they do incredibly quickly. It really is that easy. Then, they don't budge, so whether you're about to spend a day running around the office, or about to spend the night out on the town, rest assured that your eye makeup will stay looking fresh and intact!

Day or night, this eyeshadow shade is a perfect choice. A classic shimmery bronze, this shade is recommended for brown eyes, and I have noticed just how much it brings out the chocolatey tones of my irises, which I absolutely love. I actually think this eye look would be perfect for date night (not that I ever have any, but I'll be prepared if the day ever comes, LOL!), to create a super subtle yet sultry look. Nevertheless, I personally think this shade, though recommended for brown eyed beauties, would compliment any eye colour and make them pop. Indeed, I think any shade from the line would compliment any eye colour. I have the 'Golden Quartz' shade that is in fact recommended for Hazel eyes and I still find this to look beaut against my own.

Available Here.



ROCK 'N' KOHL in 'BARBARELLA BROWN'* - £19.00

Lastly, a stroke of 'rock n' kohl' along each lash line is the perfect way to complete the look. 'Barbarella Brown' is the ideal everyday liner and wonderfully compliments the 'Amber Haze' colour chameleon. I find a brown great if you want to define the lash line, but want something more subtle than black. These eyeliner pencils are incredibly soft and still super pigmented, another wonderful product from the CT line!

Available Here.


Et voila! Three products to create a timeless, legendary eye look! CT seriously never lets us beauty addicts down! I have had so many compliments on this eye look and I can't stop wearing it! I think these products are now my go-to to create an elegant eye look which can easily be dialled up or dialled down - simply add more or less product.


And the new releases don't stop there. Ms Tilbury is just a woman on a mission at the minute, determined to give us new products to fulfil our every makeup need! She has just released a new concealer with 16 shades as well as the 'Genius Magic' loose powder which claims to blur imperfections and give smoother looking skin. Sign me up, please! I can't wait to give these a go.
I've also heard through the grapevine that Charlotte has a whole 'Pillow Talk' collection on the way, and I, for one, am losing my shittttttt. The 'Pillow Talk' liner has been a staple in so many makeup maverick's collections (including my own), so I could not be more excited to see what this collection will hold. 

What are the eye products that you always gravitate to? 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx


FRIDAY THOUGHTS: GIVE ME THE ONLINE VALIDATION I NEED

Friday, 31 August 2018



'Seeking validation will keep you trapped. You don't need anyone or anything to approve of your worth. When you understand this, you will be free." - Unknown

So let's set the scene. You're just about to upload a selfie that it's taken you 15 minutes and 200 snaps to take. Finally you select the least offensive one, exhaust all the editing apps on your phone, and have instagram open at the ready, waiting for the best moment to post for optimum engagement time. You proceed to upload. 10 minutes later, 3 likes. Hmmmm I must've uploaded when everyone is offline; let me slyly delete and re-upload in an hr. You carry out the same process once more. Once again, likes are few and far between. Your thought process is now: "Right. Fucking hell, this is it. I'm never posting a selfie again. This is decided proof that I belong in an ugly home."

I've set up this post in a classic, semi-jokey, self-deprecating 'Eves' fashion, but the reality of this is much more serious I think. Because I know that there has been many a time that a situation like this has completely destroyed my mood. It's led to me spending the whole day in bed. Feeding off this supposed judgement on my appearance to then fuel negative thinking and depressive thinking patterns on everything I dislike about myself. It can escalate so quickly. A simple drop in the number of likes on one photo from faceless people leads to me questioning everything so quickly. Wishing I looked different to wishing I was different. I doubt I am alone in falling into this trap. Indeed, if what is said is true, and the depression rate is now higher amongst girls who spend a lot of time on social media, then it would seem that a lot of us are suffering. It's led me to ask this question:

Are we too dependent on social media (likes and followers) for our sense of self worth?

Our instagram feeds may be a collection of bright, happy snaps, but underneath there is a dark side of social media, one which leads us to rely on it for an iota of self esteem. 

And it's an easy trap to fall into. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The misconception around blogger's is so extreme. We're thought to be narcissistic, egotistical people, obsessed with our appearances and extremely full of ourselves, but more often than not, this could not be further from the truth. Indeed, often, we are the most insecure. 

There are so many of us who develop a toxic relationship with social media, and often this is the person who is most invested in it. The pictures we post aren't 'showing off', each of us believing ourselves to be model status, our feeds thus becoming some ego reel; a shrine dedicated to our own self-importance. Instead, there's often a peculiar self-hating, self-deprecating relationship with them. They can so easily become unhealthy - an outlet we use to fulfil the self-esteem hole that we so desperately lack. 

Needless to say I have fallen into this category. 

My relationship with self-worth has always been complicated. For such a long time there simply was none. Self-esteem was something I didn't even attempt to develop, because I just didn't even think I deserved it. I was so used to being deeply unhappy with who I was that I paradoxically become quite content to stay that way. It has been a constant mental battle, one where I try to separate genuine feelings of lack of worth with feelings that are symptomatic of depression. Things have gotten better since I started counselling and anti-depressants, but I can often still fall into the trap of relying on social media, instagram likes or Facebook likes, for some sense of self-worth. 

It feels like such a horrible confession to make. But often, I have leaned on social media for that validation. 

I'm sure a lot of us do this to an extent, but I think it becomes unhealthy when the online space becomes the only place you derive any sense of confidence or self-worth. Because cyber space is so fickle. It's trivial, it's noisy, and ultimately, it can be nasty. Internet trolls show no mercy. As soon as you open yourself up to the world, you become vulnerable. If you're already riddled with insecurity then this becomes ten times worse, since any small opinion or action becomes valuable to you, and the worth of those things becomes so warped and over-inflated. At this point, you can then forget a lack of likes; any genuinely negative comment could destroy you. 

And it's devoid of substance. Social media validation is like eating air, you're never going to be satiated. A thousand likes on one photo doesn't satisfy you. It may be an ego boost for a couple of hours, but ultimately it doesn't fix anything. No amount of positive comments or likes will fix a perception you have of yourself, so it's bound to be unfulfilling. It doesn't paper over all the deep insecurities you constantly carry with you. It's a plaster; a quick fix to a much deeper wound - it leaves you needing more. You keep going back for top ups, and before you know it it becomes your own personal drug. A way to feel better about yourself in the same way alcohol or drugs might. 

Spending hours each week editing pictures of yourself can actually be incredibly damaging, particularly when you already have self esteem issues. It is very easy to become overly occupied, obsessed, even, with they way other people see you, and, as a consequence, the way you see yourself. And not even just with the way you look, but the way your personality comes across also. 

I think we need to become more aware of the way in which social media can foster such a distorted relationship with yourself. One that is moulded by the opinions of people who don't even know you, and a search for acceptance in a fickle and trivial cyber world.

What's the moral to this story? I'm not sure there is one. I haven't found the answers. But I guess I just want to urge you to think about your relationship with social media, particularly if you've been feeling particularly low in self-esteem, and spend a substantial amount of time with it. I try my hardest to work on my relationship with social media - it sounds silly but it's true. I try to take breaks when I realise it's beginning to consume me, when I notice it's affecting my mood or the way I see myself. I try to distance my own self-esteem from that connected with social media - I've come too far with my mental health to let someone or something as trivial as social media destroy it. But every so often it'll creep back in. Watch out for it. Think about the way you engage with social media, and the power it has over the way you feel about yourself. How one particular person not liking your photo on Facebook then becomes a whole mindfuck - a certainty that they've stopped liking you or having something against you. Think of the way in which your mood changes when a photo of your face gets less likes than a flatlay you posted. Think of the way you compare yourself to other girls who have thousands of likes on a selfie very similar to yours. Think of the ugly, jealous emotions this cultivates. And then think, why does this have so much power over me? 

Ultimately, the only one who should have that sort of power of your self-esteem is you, not people sitting behind a computer screen who you have never and will never meet. The journey to self-acceptance is a complicated and deeply personal one, and one that should exclude something as arbitrary as social media. I'm sure there will come a time where we move on from it, and then will regret the time we spent worrying so much about the way we came across on it. Social media is fun and I love it - not just for the lovely comments you can receive from others (because there is no denying that that feels good and there's nothing wrong with that!), but for the community it has created, the people I've got to speak to, the banter, and the space it's given me to channel my creativity. Searching for online validation in our digital age is an inevitable and normal consequence, but depending on it is not. It's important that we remember this as we navigate the online world and continue our own journeys to self-acceptance and self-confidence. 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

MAKING THE 'UGLY SNEAKER' TREND WEARABLE

Tuesday, 28 August 2018







So, here's another bandwagon that I swore I would never jump on, but here we are. It happened with the Gucci fur princetown loafers, and now it's happened with the 'Dad sneaker'. They're marmite for sure, but if you browse instagram as much as I do, then there's no way you would have been able to escape the 'ugly sneaker' trend that is currently making waves in the fashion world. All the fashion elites seem to be wearing them, from It-Girls Gigi and Bella, Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner, to some of the biggest bloggers on the 'gram - it would seem that this is a trend that will be going strong for some time to come. 

They have a chunky silhouette, oversized tongue and often feature a double, or even triple sole, quite a step away from the sleek, streamlined Adidas Stan Smiths and classic Vans that we're so used to wearing. 

Now I don't think I'll ever be able to get on board with the Louis Vuitton Archlight trainers, they're a little too futuristic for me (anyone else think they look extremely cartoon-like?!), but I've been dying for the Balenciaga Triple S, only trouble is, I'm just not willing (correction: not able) to pay the £600 price tag. 

Enter: the 'Pia' Trainer from Missy Empire. The perfect solution for my trend loving but broke ass self. They feature the chunky sole and multi coloured design -. perfect to add a 'sports luxe' vibe to any outfit. 

Here I've mixed the classic with the trendy; I wore my new vintage Ferragamo baby for the first time (isn't she a beauty? What shall we name her? I'm thinking Sylvia...) with the new trainers. I can't tell you the amount of compliments I've had on them! So, move over Balenciaga - I think Missy Empire has fulfilled my ugly sneaker need. 

What do you think of this new divisive trainer trend? Will you be getting on board is this one that you'll be giving a miss? 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva 
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top: Na-kd Fashion (Similar here and here)
Jeans: Na-kd Fashion (Similar)
Jacket: Bershka Collection (Similar)
Trainers: c/o Missy Empire*
Bag: Ferragamo (Vintage)
Earrings: Mango


This post is not sponsored. 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.














FRIDAY THOUGHTS: WHY THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS WASTED TIME - THE JUSTIFICATIONS OF A MASTER PROCRASTINATOR

Friday, 10 August 2018

Trafalgar Square, London, UK





'The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time'.

Time is a funny old thing, isn't it? It's one of the only things that we can't control, or fully understand. I could get a little philosophical on ya ass, because this student spent years studying Metaphysics and trying to grapple with big questions like, 'what is time, anyway?' Is time a real dimension independent of events, or merely a 'social construct', a human invention that allows us to make sense of the world?  But this isn't a Philosophy essay, so let's move off this tangent, (I hope I haven't lost you already!), I'll save you from that brain muddle!

Frankly, it doesn't really matter, because it rules our lives, either way. Time is elusive and it's paradoxical. So often it evades us even though it's constantly looming over us. It's both a blessing and a curse: we're grateful that we have more, but it's also a constant source of life's pressures. The indefinite and irreversible nature of it means that we go through life constantly keeping track of it, worrying that we're wasting it, that we're not appreciating it, that we're not 'living in the moment'. 

Now more than ever, there's a culture of needing to constantly make 'good use' of our time. Though this in itself is hard to define. 'Good use' is often seen as doing something productive; if it doesn't refer to working, then it refers to recreational activities like visiting the gym, or learning a new skill. I think fundamentally, it's seen as doing something that 'benefits' you - if a task you're participating in isn't 'bettering yourself' then it's seen as a waste of time, but I propose that we're getting this definition wrong. 


It's funny how much we beat ourselves up for doing nothing 'productive', right? Perhaps you spent a whole day in bed watching Netflix, reading gossip columns in magazines, or simply doing nothing. You've 'wasted time' because you haven't technically 'bettered yourself' or have anything to show for that time spent. But I would argue that this doesn't mean that you've wasted time - indeed, in my mind, the time you enjoy wasting is just as good a use of time as the time you spend being productive. Call this the life motto of a 'master procrastinator', if you will. 

I've always been procrastinator. For years and years, this made me just think of myself as lazy. Because best believe I can spend hours upon hours laying in bed doing absolutely nothing. I'm the type of girl to have a week to complete an essay at uni, but do nothing all week and then do all the reading and writing in one night. Not a healthy habit, I concede, but the point is, I got it done, and I used to spend that whole week feeling guilty about the fact that I wasn't working when I should be, knowing full well that a leopard does not change its spots and I'll be doing an all nighter at the end of the week. It's funny because now I don't think of myself as lazy. I know I'm a hard worker in fact, because when something needs to be done, I do it. So, does it really matter that I spend so much time 'doing nothing', when ultimately I achieve the goals I need to, and I enjoy that time I'm 'wasting', I think not, and I therefore refuse to accept this idea that a constantly 'busy' and 'productive' lifestyle is the best one. 

Time, to a certain extent, doesn't really matter. (A bit of a weird statement to make on a post in collaboration with a watch brand, eh?) But hear me out. I think far too often we put pressure on ourselves to be at constant maximum productivity; anyone else start the day with a to-do list as long as their arm but then only complete like 3 things? Yep, that used to be me constantly. I'd then do that annoying 'beating myself up' thing at the end of the day, where I'd go over the days events in my head, and lament over all the the time I had 'wasted' - maybe you took an hour or two to watch cat videos on youtube, or made a necklace out of bluetack (guilty... lol). We see this as laziness, but is it not just the brain taking a rest, a couple of hours or so a day to do something that isn't productive because it's what keeps us sane. I'm not saying that these are great ways to spent time. There are activities that are completely pointless. But I think it's more about reconstructing the way we think about time and what constitutes wasted time. Taking a break to do something 'unproductive' is not wasted time, so we should enjoy it! We're not robots who can constantly keep focused and work, so I think we should stop feeling guilty for it. More often than not, all those things on that to do list will be done exactly when I needed them to be. So did I really need to put pressure on myself to complete them all in one day? The time it took me to complete them didn't really matter in the end, so long as they were done when they needed to be done. Setting an ambitious list of tasks for one day can often be a recipe for disaster - you're bound to feel stressed, disappointed and ultimately guilty. There's only 24 hours in a day, after all. 



I've learnt to become more realistic with my to-do lists now. In actual fact, I no longer even bother to put time frames on them. Often, I'll write a to-do list when I have too many things to keep in my brain, and then just go through the list prioritising the most important on each day. My time away from uni and my sessions with my counsellor really helped with me retraining my mind and the way I think about time. Often now I'll start the day with the goal of only completely one important task in mind, and I find that so much easier to process. Anything else I achieve is then a bonus, and it means I can feel proud of myself for going beyond the goals I had set myself. When I first left uni for my health, every single task overwhelmed me, no matter how big or small, because I was so used to having long to-do lists to complete, and my mental state at the time just couldn't cope with it. Stripping it all back and learning how to prioritise just one task has made the process of getting things done so much easier now. I know what's most urgent, so instead of pushing myself to complete all tasks I complete them when I know I absolutely must. I guess this method doesn't work for everyone - a lot of people like to know they've completed something way before the deadline, but as we've seen, I'm a bit of a last minute person, so this works for me. 

This is one way I've found uni this year to be a lot less stressful. By keeping less track of time, I've somehow actually been better at keeping it! A little bit paradoxical, but I've found that without the mental pressure I had been setting myself of being productive all day and not wasting any time procrastinating, I somehow feel more motivated and productive. 


So, moral of this story? 

Let's stop demonising 'time wasting' so much whilst we glorify this ultra-busy 'sorry I have no time' lifestyle which simply isn't sustainable. We can't be productive all the time, and trying to convince ourselves that we can sets us up for a fail.

Take time to sit and watch meaningless crap on TV, procrastinate without guilt, and I guarantee you'll feel far more productive and refreshed when you actually come to completing the tasks you need to. Write to-do lists, but without time pressure. It's funny, but to me it seems that, the more we think about time and are pre-occupied with it, the less we really appreciate it. When you begin to just live it, without thinking about it, all of a sudden, things become a lot less stressful, and surprisingly, a lot more productive. Perhaps I'll leave another philosophical type question here, if you can bare it: maybe, just maybe, if time is a human structure, it's one that hinders us, more than helps. Since, from my experience, it would seem that the less I've been living a life ruled by time, the more I've come to utilise it. We are not stuck in sequential time in the way we think we are, when we 'waste time' we haven't really 'lost it' as we think we do. Instead of thinking of ourselves as existing inside time, something that we cannot control or harness, perhaps we should think of ourselves as time. Then, time becomes what we make of it, it doesn't feel so uncontrollable or looming. Making 'the best of it' simply becomes utilising it however one sees fit, without pressure or expectation.

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

Watch: c/o Henry London* (THE WESTMINSTER)

P.S. Enter in the code 'EVA20' at checkout for 20% off any Henry London watch. Browse the selection here.


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.

FRIDAY THOUGHTS: DECONSTRUCTING THE BLOGGER’S NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE

Friday, 3 August 2018





Do you ever worry about whether people who know you in real life change their opinion of you when they discover your blog?

It might sound silly, but I do. 

The blogging world is quite misunderstood by those who aren't part of it. Indeed, the fashion world is perhaps perceived as one of the most superficial, self-indulgent, and unintelligent ones to be interested in. 

And to a certain extent, we encourage it by playing up to it. We'll all hail Carrie Bradshaw an icon for getting Vogue instead of dinner, or buying manolos instead of paying rent. We'll all joke about how we wouldn't be seen dead in crocs, or about the hours and hours we spend online shopping. But if you're in the know, you also know that a lot of this is simply playing to a stereotype. Fashion and beauty is a passion of mine, but it's not my life. I have other interests and hobbies, and it certainly doesn't define me. So I struggle with the fact that so often, we get judged by the derogatory cliche fashion stereotype: a dumb girl with no brains and no character, just a simple superficial, shopaholic drone who only cares about her appearance.


I was having a discussion with a friend the other day, about how some people I know in real life 'don't like me because of my blog'. At first, I was kind of shocked! These were people who followed my social media accounts but who I'd spent time with in the real world, so I had assumed that they would have seen more of me. But then, my friend mentioned how for those who don't really understand it, my Instagram and blog are simply the evidence of a deeply narcissistic individual, and given that I'm rather shy and quiet in real life, I guess I had little chance to refute this.

Let's face it, she has a point. We all acknowledge that our social media feeds - Instagram most obviously - is a simple highlight reel. But it's not just that, it's an ego reel. After this conversation I had a scroll through my feed and really digested just how much it looks like such. It's hundreds and hundreds of pictures of me - of my face, of me posing. If you see my camera reel, it's pretty much the same. Nature pictures, photos of friends and family or events are fairly sparse. On the whole, it's hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me. Often a cluster of 200 extremely similar photos of one outfit, that I would have gone through each and every one to find that one shot that makes it to the feed. 

I won't lie, that conversation really got to me. Coming across as narcissistic or self indulgent has always been a huge complex of mine. Because it's a trait I personally hate. Because of that, it's one I'd hate for people to think of me. The trouble is, how do you prevent such in a world like ours? Fashion blogging necessarily involves taking photos of me, editing photos of me, talking about myself and so on, but that's in no way proof of a deeply egotistical person.

indeed, we know that often, the case is quite the opposite. More often than not, we bloggers disproportionately suffer with self-esteem issues or crisis' of confidence. This isn't least because spending hours and hours editing photos of yourself isn't some great ego trip, but instead often leads you to pick out even more imperfections, ones that you would never ever have even contemplated if it wasn't for the fact that you were inspecting photos of your face in blown up HD quality practically every day. I remember how this affected my self esteem, especially at the very beginning of blogging - for months it did more harm than good, as I simply couldn't cope with the amount of time I was having to spend staring at my own face, particularly at a time when I had absolutely no confidence or self-love.  Indeed, initially It took me 2 years to pluck up the courage to start my blog, because I hated the idea of taking photos of myself that much and lacked that much confidence in my appearance. But over time I got used to it. My better state of mind; the product of anti-depressants and hours of counselling have meant that my whole mindset has changed, and of course, this has spilled into my blogging too. Now, I try not to even edit photos with the idea that they are pictures of me in mind, but as outfits or looks, which helps take the heat off. Now it's second nature - but that doesn't mean that I suddenly love the way I look, or am super confident. I've just learnt to grow up, and get on with it, because my love of creating content had to surpass my fears of criticism and self exposure.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this image these people have of me as 'superficial' or 'narcissistic', or 'self obsessed' couldn't be more wrong. For so long it was the exact opposite. My self esteem was non existent, and the fact that their opinions of me have hindered their process of getting to know me properly all because of my online space upsets me. 

I've always been hyper-aware of people I know finding my online space. When I first started in the beginning, I was so conscious of it that as soon as someone I knew followed my account, I would block them. But time wore on and I began to let the odd person slip through, and I now realise that a substantial number of people I know follow my online channels. And to tell you the truth, it bothers me. There was something incredibly freeing when i first started about knowing that everything I wrote was completely free, un-judged and in a way, anonymous. I felt more creative control, I felt less restricted, and ultimately, I felt less afraid. Less afraid of what people would think about me, because what does it matter what a bunch of people I don't know deduce about me from what I put on my blog? 

I'd hate for people to see my blog and build a particular image of me. Of this self indulgent, overly superficial person, because I don't think that's me. And more than that, it's a stereotype I loathe and have tried to actively reject - it's one that I think is unfairly cast on us fashionistas and beauty lovers, not least because more often than not, the posts I read from other bloggers are intelligent, insightful, witty, and creative.

For me, fashion has always been fun. It's about more than looking good (though why there is anything wrong with wanting to look good, I don't know). When you look good, you feel good - I know that when I like my outfit, I feel more confident. But it's more than that still. For me, as cliche as it sounds, fashion is art. It's about creating. I've always had an artistic flare. Growing up I would spend hours drawing, then when I was at school I got into Art and pursued it to GCSE and A Level, it all fascinated me - from the drawing and painting, to art history and gallery visiting. I enjoyed making things in Textiles - from cushions to costumes, and would spend hours and hours sketching my designs and making clothes and researching my favourite designers and trends. 

Fashion is fun for us! We buy into trends that we know don't look 'good' to those who aren't 'in the know'. (Think the Gucci princetown fur loafers, or the ugly sneaker trend), but we buy them because it's about being part of a community, a culture - it's frivolous and fickle and allows you to inject a bit of fun and excitement into an otherwise rather dull part of life. 

After pondering over that conversation with my friend, I came to the conclusion that I should feel proud of my content. And I am proud of it. But I must accept that I can't control how people engage with it, how people understand or perceive it. 

I don't want worrying about people's perceptions of me to affect my productivity, or make me censor what I write on my blog. But it can be hard. Hearing that my blogging was changing people's opinions of me really worried me because it emphasises only one part of my personality. I absolutely adore fashion and beauty, but it's not all of me. It isn't my whole life and I know it's not everything. There are so many other facets to me that I would hate to be neglected because people have one perception of me. I'm aware that I've built an online 'persona' or image. It's very curated and controlled, and only concentrates on one facet of me. But it's also intended for a particular audience. One that understands the context and therefore won't judge me purely on what they see. The problem is when the worlds collide... a certain image as the only one. I struggle with what to do about it. Do I start blocking people I know from my blog accounts again? Do I try to start making my social media far less edited and controlled so it's not so superficial or materialistic? Or do I just say fuck it, I'll do what I want to do.... it's a tricky one, but I think I've started to realise something. 

I've now realised that it's their problem and not mine. That they should've taken the time to get to know me properly, instead of just making assumptions. But we all know that that's a behaviour that we're all guilty of. We try not to judge a book by its cover - but there's no denying that first impressions matter. In this digital millennial age, a glance at a social media account or a look up of a person after a first meeting is just the same as judging a book by its cover or its blurb. It's useful to an extent, but our social media image is rarely representative of the person as a whole and all their various layers - indeed, it only scratches the surface. 

Do you guys worry about how your online persona is perceived by those who know you in real life? Do you find that this is often negative? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva 
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top: c/o Missy Empire*
Trousers: Topshop
Shoes: c/o New Look*
Bag: Dior
Sunglasses: Ebay



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