Posts tagged how to
how to be savvy on Black Friday and my picks



So Black Friday - it's on lads. I try and use it for useful purposes, which I'm going to explain in this post for ya, as well as show you a few of my favourite pieces! I've also strewn a few little shoppable banners throughout the post so go wild!

Hover over the above edit to shop, or see the widgets throughout the post.


ASOS

Mango



1. Only buy what you would full price
It's entirely not a bargain if you wouldn't have thought about purchasing it in the first place. Think carefully before you impulse buy and make sure you'll get your wear out of it. I like to see if it would go with at least four outfits before I purchase.

2. Use it for Christmas presents!
Black Friday is great for treating yourself, but also fab for sorting those Christmas presents (fairly) early! I always buy for my sisters, as well as my Mum as they're pretty hard to buy for full price and it's nicer to be able to get a bit more for your money!

3. It's great to get furniture/bigger items you've been saving for
Perfect if you've just moved etc, but with retailers such as MADE offering discounts - why wait?! Items such as furniture don't often get reduced as they're not seasonal so consider buying whilst the discount is high.

4. See if any luxury items on your wishlist are reduced
Again, make sure you wanted it in the first place but BF is a great time to make that big purchase you've been saving for. A new handbag, or a pair of shoes might have a couple of hundred pounds off, which is a huge saving for anyone!

Missoma




& Other Stories 





A full list of discounts:

Some more of my top picks from my favourite retailers:

La Redoute






Selfridges




lots of love xxx
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two ways to wear glitter
NYX x Boots


You might assume that I'm not one for glitter, let alone glitter eyeshadow, but secretly I'm sold on anything pink and or glittery... I just tend not to put it on my face - so when Boots approached me with creating some glitter eye looks using NYX products, I really thought about how I could make them more wearable for someone like me. And well, these are the results!

NYX x Boots NYX x Boots

Look One:
For this look I really wanted to try and make something I could wear during the day but would translate well on those days where I have to go straight to an event etc. For this I really honed in on my usual make up look, but with a subtle edge somewhere which made it totally appropriate for a night out. To achieve this:
  1. Apply your usual base - I opted for a medium coverage foundation with my usual contour and highlight routine.
  2. I then used the NYX smokey palette to give my eyes a little bit of depth. I used the light cream all over, then compacted a bit of gold shimmer in the middle.
  3. I tend to wear a cat eye daily so I used my usual NYX epic liner to create a thick line, and then used a small brush to create a line of the glitter primer glue just underneath the outer flick.
  4. Using the same brush, I patted on a mixed coloured glitter to follow the line of my flick on each side - making sure it was really heavily packed on - and then patting it gently under my lower lashes.
  5. I finished the look with a matte pink lip - really easy to wear from day to night.

NYX x Boots NYX x Boots NYX x Boots

Look Two:
As you can see from my moodboard - I really liked the 'messy' and undone look with a rose gold/pink toned glitter loosely applied so I gave this a go. I used the NYX glitter which is honestly insane - a really finely ground glitter with lots of colours running through it. So, to achieve this look this is what I did:
  1. Applied my normal base make up, with a subtle contour and highlight
  2. Primed my eyelids in the NYX glitter primer glue (this stuff is AMAZING) and used my finger to blend up towards my eyebrows
  3. Curled my lashes twice, really lifting them!
  4. Used a blending brush to gently pat on the rose gold glitter, concentrating on the lid and then blending out to become more sparse around the eye
  5. Two coats of the NYX worth the hype mascara and then a slick of the amazing plum coloured NYX mega shine lipgloss to give it more of an evening edge. P.S I was super impressed with the lip colour, it goes on really opaque and yet has an amazing sheen.
Eyes

Post in collaboration with Boots, but as per, love of glitter is all my own.

lots of love xxx
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how to: fashion blog photography
Photography 101
I really didn't know what to name this post, I thought 'fashion photography for beginners' sounded like I was some kind of advanced leader of photography - which I am not. To cut a long story short; when I was starting out I had no idea how to use my camera to the best of its capability. It's taken 4-5 years of never ending Googling, chatting to photographers, and trial and error to learn how to get the most of my DSLR, so I thought I'd pop it all in a post (in basic English!) in the hope of it helping someone. I'm going to rattle through my tips, and then there's a definition of any 'camera talk' at the bottom!

First of all, my kit:
I recently upgraded my Nikon D90 to a Nikon D610, which is a pro body. I started out with a Nikon D40 back in the day, which is an entry level SLR, with a standard 'kit' lens. I then upgraded to a D90, which is a bit more advanced but is old in terms of age, so when it began to have problems focusing - I decided to throw the towel in and dive in at the pro end of the spectrum. This isn't necessary, and a lot of blog photography can rely on a great lens, so if you're looking to purchase a DSLR, I'd definitely look towards an entry level body.

I have shot with the Nikkor 35mm f1.8 lens for the three years or so, it goes down to an aperture of f1.8 (see definition at the bottom!) providing good enough 'blur' for street styling shots, and is a fixed lens. I recently upgraded to the blogger lens, which is the 50mm with a super low f.stop of f1.4. I adore this lens, it's so great for the perfect crisp shot and combined with the D610, works as the dream scenario for blog photos. That being said, the 35mm is a great starting point and has the ability to take amazing photos and is also really reasonably priced.

Outside of the SLR kit, I also use an Olympus Pen E-PL7 (don't we all?) which I like, but don't love. It's great for on-the-go Instagram shots, taking to press days or just as an all-round point and shoot camera but having spent so much time learning how to use my SLR, it seems a bit of waste! If I travel with hand luggage only, I usually take the Pen as it's compact and lightweight and combined with the 45mm lens which has a low aperture of f1.8, it can take great, clear blog photography. I know a lot of bloggers use this as their primary blogging camera - so it definitely has the capability but I personally prefer the quality of SLR shots for my main outfit posts as I find the Pen a bit hit and miss with quality. 
Photography 101

The settings:
I have just got my settings nailed for great outfit shots, so I figured I'd just tell you directly! Firstly, I use whichever camera I'm shooting on the 'A' mode (which stands for Aperture) as this prioritises the f number and means you can manually set it. I then set the aperture to as low as the lens I'm using can go, so on my SLR I turn it right down to f1.4, or f1.8 on the Olympus, and then I set my ISO to as low as it can go too - so 100 on my Nikon, or 200 on my Olympus. From then, I'd do a couple of test shots to check the lighting and if we're good I'll shoot! If not, it's likely because they're over-exposed so I'd adjust the ISO, by raising it to the next setting.

So, low ISO, low aperture and then I let the camera do the leg work for the shutter speed. Ta-da.

So, if you're looking to invest:
If you're looking to invest in an SLR, I'd dig out an entry level such as the Canon 100D, or a Nikon D3300 and then buy a lens that has a low f number, such as the 35mm that I mentioned earlier. It's definitely worth trying eBay too as you can often save a bit of money that way!
If you don't fancy an SLR, then a point and shoot like the Olympus is a great option as it's easy to carry around and good for things outside of blog photography. I know first hand that carting a huge SLR around whilst on holiday isn't ideal!

Photography 101

Key terms: (once you know these, life is SO much easier!)
Aperture: Aperture, of the 'f number' of a lens, is in effect how wide the lens opens/dictates how much light is let in. In normal terms, if you're looking for 'blur' in the background of your photos, you want a low f.number as you can afford (it gets pricier as you go lower!), if you're shooting something with a lot of detail/you want the full frame to be in focus and clear, or there's a lot of people in it, you'd likely want a higher f.number. I.e. for blog photos, I shoot in f1.4, but if I were to take a photo of the NY skyline, I'd turn that up to f5-9, which would reduce the 'blur' and ensure it was wholly in focus.

Kit lens: A kit lens is usually a multi-use lens that comes with the body, with a range of zoom built in. Mine was a 18-55mm, with the 18mm being 'zoomed out' and the 55mm, being 'zoomed in' they usually have an ok range of aperture function, likely going as low as f3-4, and up to about f10.

Fixed lens: This means you can't zoom in or out using this lens, and it's 'fixed' on a certain point.

ISO: In essence, ISO is how sensitive your camera is to light. I shoot on as lower ISO number as my camera will allow (the more 'pro' your camera is, the lower it'll likely go down). In essence, if you're shooting outside, in good light - you'd go as low as you can. My D610 goes down to 100, so I shoot on that, or 200 if it's a bit cloudy/my photos are coming out over-exposed. The higher your ISO, the more 'dusty' your photo will be as it's telling the camera that there's not enough light, so it's hypersensitive. Shooting on a low ISO (in good light) will mean that your photo is crisp. I made the mistake of reading this wrong for years, and used to shoot on ISO 1600, and couldn't figure out why my photos were so noisy!

Shutter speed: This is how quick the 'shutter' in the camera releases to take the photo, and how much light it allows in during that time. It's measured in seconds, or fractions of a second. Think of shutter speed, ISO and aperture settings as a triangle with your perfect shot sitting in the middle. You need a good balance of all three. As an example, if you were to use a really slow shutter speed you'd get lots of movement and blur in the photo as the shutter is open for a long time. This is ideal for a shot of moving traffic etc, where you want all the lights to blur into a long path - although you'd need to use a tripod as otherwise you'd just get a blurred image due to shaking whilst holding. For blog photography, I let the camera decide the shutter speed in relation to the aperture and ISO setting I have chosen. 

lots of love xxx
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packing for berlin/packing hand luggage
Berlin Packing

Berlin Packing

Berlin Packing

Berlin Packing
PRIMARK stripe t-shirt, MISSGUIDED striped body*, H&M bra, ACNE scarf, MISSGUIDED boots*, MISSGUIDED skirt*, MISSGUIDED coat*, H&M trainers, ZARA jumper, ZARA culottes & CHLOE bag

Would you look at me being organised(ish)! I'm off to Berlin at the end of January for a little birthday jaunt with a few of my best friends and as we're cheap as chips, we haven't paid for big luggage. It's not like we need to, but I thought I'd give you a little insight to how I pack when space is a little limited, as well as what I'm taking if you cared to find out!

My top tips:
  • I always try and take versatile items such as trainers and a neutral coat as it saves on space.
  • Wear your biggest items such as heavy knitwear etc on the plane = space saving 101. Even if you're going somewhere warm, always take a jumper!
  • Remember the liquids allowance! (100ml and must fit in the plastic bag they provide.) I usually buy a shampoo/conditioner once I'm through the gates at the airport and leave it in the hotel as it means you have more room for important things like lipstick. 
  • Roll your clothes, don't fold them. You'd be surprised how much space this saves.
  • Finally, make sure you can fit your handbag in the case for when you board, and leave room for it while you pack! EasyJet and co's one bag rule means if you've got a carry on, that means no handbag/camera bag etc! I sometimes use a Whistles clutch for my essentials that I need to hand as it fits in my coat pocket, sneaky. Cameras and everything else will have to be in your main case.

lots of love xxx
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how to be productive and stay motivated
Staying Motivated

Misc

Bit of a weird one for me, but I thought I'd share my 'tips' for staying productive and motivated when it comes to deadlines and the sort. I'm number one anxious ball of stress when it comes to counting down the days until a hand-in, but these few things keep me slightly sane and what with it being the New Year, I'm sure we could all do with that push to keep healthy eating, or whatever that 'new year, new me' thing is you said you'd do...

1. Set achievable goals
I used to be awful for plotting to do an entire terms work in a week and then cry when I couldn't get it all done, so instead I sit down six or so weeks before my hand in and write a day by day goal to achieve. I bank in for the fact I'll want a day or so a week of not doing any work, as well as less over the weekends etc. Because my hand-in spanned over Christmas last term I was sure to scribble out enough time to make sure I got to see all of my family and enjoy the festivities (and be hungover) without worrying I'd not done enough work.

2. Write lists
I'm a notorious list writer, and I actually find it really helps me. As above, set achievable goals and keep a to-do list to hand. I put everything on it, as it really is a motivator to tick something off. I'm even talking putting that trip to the post office and that load of washing you have to do on it. Anything that takes time out of your day should be written down so you feel you've not wasted any time. I even factor in a shower, yuh.

3. Stay tidy
No one wants to work in a messy space, so always keep your desk/bed/floor tidy as it'll really make a difference. I'm forever telling James off for dumping his stuff all over my workspace as it means I spend hours tidying my room instead of working, and then needing a break before I've even started. (#chronicfatigueprobs)

4. Reward yourself
Ok, so a Domino's after an hour of work doesn't really count but if you've been sat at your desk for six hours solid, have a cup of tea and check ya Instagram as long as you get back to it after ten minutes or so. I find I get so bored and consumed that I'm not being productive any more, I'm just sitting there worrying that if I stop I won't get anything done. Whether you need motivation to eat well, go to the gym, or even just read more, remember that you still need time not doing that thing.

5. Start with something 'fun'
This is something I've given a go recently, and applies in most cases. If I know I've got a shedload of work to do, I'll start by taking some Instagram photos, or curling my hair or whatever else I deem fun on that particular day (I don't lead a very wild life), by the time I'm finished I'm usually relaxed and happy with the job I just completed which = motivation to start the new shittier job. Ta-da!

6. If all else fails, Pinterest some quotes
Ain't nothing like a good 'this girl can' quote to get you going. Go on, I dare ya.

What do you think? Let me know if you have any good tips as I'm always looking for more!


lots of love xxx
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how to sell your clothes online
Selling Online

I'm the first person to throw up at "how to brush your hair" and "ways to shave your legs" posts, but this is a genuine topic that I get asked about a lot, and given how many people I come across who have no idea what PayPal even means, I thought I'd do a little post on how I make money from my unwanted bits and pieces plus I'm sure we all got something we didn't want for Christmas...

1. C H O O S E
I use a mixture of Depop and eBay. They both have their own perks, Depop is much like Instagram but for selling things. It's quick to use, easy to get the knack of and purchases go straight into your PayPal account. Downsides are, it's used by a lot of young girls who don't want to pay more than £3 for anything, or that want to "swap" (more on that later) and also it's only available to use via the app, as opposed to eBay which you can use on a computer too.
I used to use eBay religiously, but it got expensive. They take a larger cut than Depop, and then PayPal take some too so it's all a bit pricey and selling things for £4 means you take about £2.80 home. I tend to use Depop for basics like Topshop t-shirts and ASOS shoes, while I'll stick more expensive items on eBay, as adults are more likely to pay what they're worth!

Selling Online

2. P R I C E
I see so many people selling an £8 Topshop tee for £6 with £3 postage, and I just think "would you pay that for someones old t-shirt?" By all means sell your cheaper items, but consider that they have been worn, and you could buy in a store for less, and new. Depop is good for things like that, as their audience tends to be younger and they're looking to buy cheap but branded things. 
With Depop I add £2/3 to the price I'm happy with and list for that. Everyone on Depop thinks you kind of owe them a favour, and will ask for you to reduce the price/'swap' so I maintain that I will lower the price by a few pounds or offer free postage for the sale. Swaps are where people want you to pick one of their similarly priced items and exchange it for one of theirs, not something I'd do but it works for people who are looking to gain new things I guess!
I also start every listing on eBay at 99p, whether it's worth £3 or £3000. People are more likely to bid if something was originally less than a pound when they first started watching it. Personally, I would never bid on something that starts at £7 when it's only worth £20, maybe just me, but it won't work out that much of a bargain! I can almost promise that it's never worth listing anything over 99p to begin with.

Selling Online


3. P O L I C I E S
This goes more for Depop, but use your bio to state your policies. Like a store, you have to cover your own back. Always keep proof of postage, and make sure you're only charging what it costs + packaging costs. No one wants to pay £4 to receive a vest top.
I maintain that I won't swap, under any circumstances (I'm here to make money, not to re-fill my wardrobe!) and that I will lower my price if paid directly via PayPal (avoids the Depop fee, but is a bit back-street and isn't as secure for the buyer so a lot of people decline to do so) I also post with 4-5 working days and send small parcels 2nd class, and large letters 1st. I also state that I'm not responsible after shipping, which eBay doesn't let you do.
If something gets lost via eBay, PayPal will just take the money out of your account once the person makes a claim for it. Always post tracked for eBay to protect yourself.

Selling Online

4. B E  G O O D!
A bit obvious, but you have to physically mail the items once they have been paid for. Always do so in a reasonable amount of time, securely packaged (I use these bags) and again, keep proof! Always put your return address on the back of the parcel too.
Both eBay and Depop have feedback sections, so stick to your delivery times, be as friendly as possible and make sure your descriptions are accurate as most people are wary of sellers with little, no or negative feedback!

Other sites worth mentioning are, Gumtree (good for 'bigger' items such as furniture, cars and even renting houses!) Schpock (another app, marketed as an online car boot sale, report back as I've never used it!) and also you could always start your own little online store using Bigcartel, which is your very own website that is free for less than 9 items I believe.

Sorry this was a bit long winded, but hopefully at least one of you finds this useful!

lots of love xxx
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