Sunday, April 30, 2017

You Don't Have to be a Girlboss to Kick Ass


Let's start with: I'm no girlboss. I don't own my business, I'm not a freelancer or creator of sorts. I just happen to love taking photos and crafting words to tell a story. Does this make me any less cool? (I mean, I hope not 'cause this entire post would be pretty much done for ha ha ha....)

If you have Netflix (which I don't, so lol me) then you already know that #GIRLBOSS is now a TV series which chronicles the whirlwind force that is Sophia Amoruso from her eBay beginnings and to its eventual Chapter 11 demise. Understandably, everyone is fawning over it because #girlboss is now a phrase so familiar to every single person in the creative industry and aspires to be. Plus, everyone loves the book to death.


IT'S OKAY NOT TO BE A #GIRLBOSS

And yet, I'm basically the antithesis of what being a 'girlboss' is. Au contraire to majority of the blogging community, I don't run my own business, create content, work in social media, have a consistent blogging schedule and am very unwilling to spend money on blog 'props' (wtf). Because in reality, I work with large Excel sheets and get frustrated at the lack of memory space on my good-for-nothing Lenovo work-assigned laptop. But that's not the point.

What I want to say is: it's okay to not be a girlboss. You don't need to be a freelance megababe jetsetting across different countries every other weekend, get invited to press events to kick ass because you are a goddamn normal human being and you can do kick ass things in your own kick ass way. Anyone who tells you less is unworthy of your time mistaken.

We have the notion drilled into us – if we're not channeling our inner girlbosses or 'taking charge' of our own future then doom shall fall. I've always been (controversially) silent about motivational phrases on overpriced stationery and tongue-in-cheek slogans on T-shirts from clothing companies with dubious ethical logistics but I digress; I confess that I'm definitely not the first when it comes to buying into trendy ideas, but I simply and really didn't get along when 2014 was all about being your own boss.



Amoruso's book felt like an accuser's finger, and to women everywhere, which screamed: hey you, look at me, I have wisdom to impart and I have my successful company and these are my life learnings that should empower you. But after some light reading, it sure looked like she was using the peak of her success to pivot away and create her own personal Hollywood brand and left the reins to someone who definitely did not know what she was doing (which of course, crashed and burned).


BEHIND THE #GIRLBOSS FORCE

Lest someone comes all out and turns the table on me, I want to caveat that I'm all for supporting women/individuals who are out there doing their own thing and doing it successfully - in fact, a few close pals are doing an awesome job at running their own businesses – I just don't sit squarely with this all-or-nothing #girlboss franchising in our culture.

Behind closed doors, and apart from the wildly successful #girlboss empire, let's not forget about the business which started it all and gave this movement life. Nasty Gal.

While her readers and fans were blindsided besotted by her book (I mean, new age female entrepreneur topping the Forbes Self-Made list?), the toxic culture of her company wasn't doing her any favours. Sure, Lululemon's (another brand that everyone seems to love) Waterson probably didn't do her job well but favouritism and flying discrimination lawsuits were pretty telling of how non-proverbial shit was eventually going to hit the fan.

I guess every thing was fine though because people were still buying her books, recommending it in every 'What I Read This Month' videos/posts, quoting her verbatim, and living life post-relevation of #girlboss.


RECOGNISE INDIVIDUALISM, ABANDON UBIQUITY

I don't think we need a codename for anyone to have achieved great and wonderful things. Of course you would call Marie Curie a #girlboss by today's lingo but she was a remarkable and resilient individual deserving of her achievements in her own right. To use a blanket term for success seems too trivialised and fails to truly recognise anyone's work, and we all deserve more credit than a slick millennial catch phrase. 

We often talk about diversity in our community and culture, so maybe let's start with doing exactly that? 



Phew, that was heavy wasn't it? Keen to hear your thoughts on it, especially from other bloggers who have lived through the #girlboss phenonenon. I hope this isn't seen as a scathing attack on #girlboss/Amoruso/Nasty Gal - I just wanted to share my humble commoner's thoughts (lol) on this topic because it's just been swirling around in my head for a while.

OUTIFT: DRESS - STYLENANDA / CARDI - BROWNIE / BOOTS - PUBLIC DESIRE


Sunday, April 23, 2017

A GLOSSIER HAUL


I know that Glossier is coming to the UK soon but when ya want something, you gots to get it the hard way. Shifting gears from more serious topics the last couple of weeks, I bring you an old-fashioned beauty haul! I'm usually terrible at talking about products but I'll take up this challenge and try my best. Getting your hands on Glossier in the UK seems like the it thing and you know how much I'm an it-person (lol no), and well, I'm feeling quite accomplished. Adding that to my CV now, y'know. I mean it's not the London marathon, but it's probably the beauty equivalent of it.

I bought these from the Glossier website and it was kindly picked up by a friend who lives in New York and was visiting London. I know a bunch of other bloggers who have used mail forwarders and it seemed to work pretty well too.

I must say that I had my reservations on Glossier as a wholly millennial-influenced brand, with its stripped down packaging appealing to minimalist fanatics and of course, the brand's signature colour being millennial pink as every 20-something's dream colour.  But what if it was just another buzzword brand?

Plus, it's only 2+ years old and already making big waves – hyped up or the real McCoy? They seemed to have served up savvy beauty pretty well so I decided to take a chance on them.


The Milky Jelly Cleanser ($18) is well known as a cult beauty favourite and there have been mixed reviews out there (pricey, better alternatives etc.) I decided to give it a chance and at $18 for 177ml, it's on the steeper end for a cleanser but I guess it counts as a pretty big bottle, and I'm pretty sure I've spent more on a cleanser before... *cough*.

It's supposed to be pH-balance which is a tick in my books to protect the skin's natural moisture barrier; I haven't tested it out just yet but I'm just finishing off my Cosrx Low pH Morning Cleanser it'll be the next one on the bathroom shelf. It's supposed to be a very gentle/light cleanser so I think it's one that will be used more on lazy weekends or makeup-free days.


I've also been warned that the Stretch Concealer ($18) isn't full-coverage so if that's what you're looking for, you're at the wrong place. I chose Medium, which looked like a good match for my skin tone. So if you don't mind lightweight, blendable and a quick something to cover up smaller blemishes, this is your bestie. I've started using this already and I have to say I really like the texture + feeling on the skin because it's not heavy. At all.

I have the NARS Creamy Concealer and the green beauty fave RMS Un-Cover Up and even the latter felt like it was a bit too much some days! The Stretch Concealer is definitely one for when I have better skin days (rare) but I've been enjoying a lot so far, before going in with my trusty cushion compact for a full makeup look. I think it'll work really well when the weather gets humid, and for when I'm heading home next month to 30C weather!



Ahh, the Haloscope, let there be light (on my cheeks). I picked Topaz ($22), which is supposed to be a universally flattering pearlescent and slightly shimmering shade. I didn't want to be a disco ball, and the philosophy of Glossier is to enhance your ~natural beauty~ so I figured this would be a great in-between no makeup and a reality TV star on TOWIE.

Not gonna lie, this stuff is sheer on me and a bit awkward to apply. I think it may be partly due to my weird dehydrated skin and it then goes on a bit stiff, especially over some BB cream. I'll need to experiment it with more to get better results. Suggestions welcomed, I might be doing it completely wrong. That said, the colour is a truly dreamy pearl, and the outer ring of the Haloscope is infused with genuine crystal for a longer lasting glow.


And finally, Cloud Paint ($18 each) in Puff and Dusk! The latest additions to the eponymous brand is what cinched my decision to finally put in my order. I'd seen it on Cindy's blog and it looks like the perfect everyday colours: easy, pretty and fun.

I had a hard time choosing between the colours (only 4) but I thought to go for something interesting. Swatches below! I know, shock horror. Me. Doing swatches.


True to its name, Dusk is a medium buildable russet-brown that looks lovely on my skin (and on anyone's, I think, it's one of those colours) – I love how the colour glides on effortlessly from my fingertips, and dabbing it out you get the softest and beautiful tint on the cheekbones/cheeks.


I really like the latest beauty trend going round: a dewy and fresh base with the smearing of pink on the cheeks à la Stylenanda and I thought Puff would be a great addition to experiment with that look. It's a cotton candy pink which adds a slight rosy flush that shouts 'I'm healthy and I've eaten kale and spinach salad and done spin classes this week!'. So yeah. Pretty good. I'd say this is better suited for pals with lighter skin though, since my tanned skin needed a bit more product for the colour to pop.



Beautiful, aren't they? PS shoutout to the stationery paper from the Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut as my swatch paper l o l. I've been using these two colours alternately every day and it's made my morning much speedier. Can't beat a natural look!


My Glossier haul was 20% off because Cindy is a Glossier rep so if you're interested, check out her blog for her rep link! Amelia (from Amelia Says) also has a rep link so go support your gal pals :-) 

That's it from me, an unusually beauty-heavy post with gif use. I'm super proud of that! Have a great week, I'll be back with a thought-provoking post later this week if I get my ass to edit the photos. 

I never know how to end posts, so you'll get an abrupt end. Or a mandatory blogger-engaging question like, have you tried anything from Glossier? What would you like to try? 

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Very Spring Outfit + Hidden Spring Blossoms


I've become a running joke amongst friends and colleagues lately: guilty of the act of 'courtesy liking' on Instagram. I mindlessly scroll through my feed and double tap images of 'friends' and bloggers because I need to keep that engagement going (or so I think, I don't even really know). Most times I don't even think that picture is great but I click like anyway just because I feel like I should!

(I know, I know how pathetic this sounds hahaha)

Yesterday on the bus, I started doing it and I blurted out to Matt - "I wish I could just sit on the bus and do... nothing!" He laughed at me and finished off my thought, "... and just enjoy your life?!"

Such is the tragedy of majority of the millennials, but I'm trying to taking it easy and live life a little these days.



And with that strong intro, I am back with a new post. I've been keeping plenty busy the last two weeks with traveling: Greece and a trip to New York (!) for work. They were both great and I loved the sunshine while we were roaming around West Village and going happy snappy with the camera :-)

This weekend I'm back in London,  relaxing over the Easter weekend and it's been splendid so far. Until work starts again tomorrow, that is... 


OFF THE BEATEN PATH 

Anyway, the story of how these photos came to be deserved to be told. This was a couple of weeks ago when the flowers started blooming, and like everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere with a decent camera, I wanted some ~nice pretty blossom photographs~. You'll notice that we rarely do outfit shots in winter because 1) I hate the cold 2) I can't stand the cold without being wrapped up like a dumpling and when the weather started warming up, I made it my mission to bring colours back into my wardrobe and photos. 

While Instagram was elevating the celeb-status of Notting Hill even further, we decided to drop by the more underrated bits of the West End. Matt practically scoffed when I mentioned going to Notting Hill so we settled for getting off the tube at Bayswater and just wandering through the streets... 

I don't even know where we walked but we found white terraced houses and lots and lots of flowers. 



You could tell this neighbourhood wasn't flooded with bloggers because it was dead quiet and also had a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. It's legit, everyone. We strolled through the streets uninterrupted and spent a good time enjoying the peace and quiet and curiously peering into windows! Someone who lived there even smiled at me when I was posing (badly) for a photograph, ha.



Every time I wear this jumper, it makes me so happy. It has pockets too, what more can you ask for?




DENIM JACKET - UNIQLO / JUMPER - COS / TOP - H&M / JEANS - DOROTHY PERKINS' HARPER PETITE JEANS / BAG - MASSIMO DUTTI / SHOES - CLARKS


THE DENIM JACKET 

The Denim Jacket is actually a slouchy men's one from Uniqlo's Men section. I've begun to eye up looser fits and where better to look than the men's? It's comfy and larger for what you pay ;-) #amiright. I've been spying for one ever since I started watching Tomorrow With You where Ma Rin dons one in the earlier episode and I fell in love with the style! 

(also, I'm very obsessed with the show but let's not talk about that) 



So if you're ever thinking of going out for a nice stroll but want to avoid people, crowds, noise or all of the above then hit up Bayswater and see where your feet takes you. Get lost on the streets and be surprised at every turn; each street had its own charm and we definitely loved being a part of the scenery coming from da South-East.

We eventually wove out onto Westbourne Park Road so it must be a small area between these two areas! And not to mention, the delish Asian food available in Bayswater / Queensway is always a plus.



Imagine having an entire house in London...


That's it folks, I'm hoping to get together some of my Greece and New York photos for a little post so stay around! I know I'm horrible at travel posts because it usually takes me ages to sort and edit them but I'm trying to make an effort to document the happy times, because it gives me a small sense of joy whenever I do :-) 

Where are your usual haunts for pretty flowers and photos? 
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