31 Jan 2017

Language is important

language used speech important politics
It's such an important thing, language. The way we use words to express ourselves, describe our surroundings, make sense of what's happening. We look to people's use of language to help us understand how we are supposed to react to a situation; are they using words to express joy, sadness, fear?

Language is a powerful tool. The nursery rhymes sung in childhood to deflect harsh words undersold this power - sticks and stones may break my bones, but words? Words will seep into your consciousness through repetition, they will shape actions with the intent behind them. They legitimise, they ratify the 3am thoughts of self-doubt, the thoughts you feel you can't say in public. 

Language changes over time. Certain words become more, or less, nuanced; the definitions warp, sometimes reclaimed by the groups they were once slurs to describe. Language is immensely powerful in dividing people, both through barriers of understanding and through disagreements in ideology. 

Language is also incredibly powerful at uniting, 

But it is all about intent

29 Jan 2017

Wishlist: Travel Essentials with Skate-hut*

travel essential wishlist
January is almost over! And I don't know about you, but I have that 'can it be spring now, please' feeling. I'm tired of running in negative degrees, and although the frosty mornings with clear skies are undeniably beautiful, I kind of really want some warmer weather back. 

It's probably all the holiday adverts on TV. My mum says that now is the prime time to book getaways, since we're all bored of the mundane that hits us quite hard after New Year's is over, and need something new to look forwards to. (Also with the way the news is at the minute, I really don't blame people for wanting to switch off for a few days...)

So with that in mind - and my own big move arriving at an alarming speed (it's basically three weeks now, jeez) - I've been looking at a few bits and pieces that I've been meaning to upgrade or replace for a while now, as well as some other travel essentials. 


23 Jan 2017

On Beauty Standards and 'weird Asian' products or apps

I'm not entirely sure why, but Meitu - a Chinese produced image editing/selfie app - has been doing the rounds on twitter and the rest of social media recently. I say 'I'm not entirely sure why' because the app is by no means new; I've had various versions on my phone over the past couple of years, as well as competitor apps. It's a fairly standard fixture in some of the circles I'm in.

The reactions to it have been... interesting, to say the least. The newest feature offers a 'drawn effect' to a selfie, so you basically look like you're an anime/manga/manhwa character rather than the usual meitu tools, and comments/captions have been along the lines of 'so cute/so kawaii' 'it doesn't look like me' 'best selfie version' etc. It's varied. To clarify, Meitu is not an 'anime yourself' app, it's an app that is used to 'perfect' selfies with filters etc that specifically cater to Chinese beauty standards. It has since branched out into more 'makeup application' and airbrushing for a global consumer, but the root marketplace is Chinese.

I saw an interesting comment by a twitter account I follow that raises awareness of issues affecting the East and Southeast Asian communities (@ESEAsianbeauty) suggesting that instead of fawning over the new fad/exotifying/othering elements of different cultures, that we use the opportunity to talk about the beauty standards and how they differ country to country.

So. I 'meitu'd' myself with the new feature (also with the auto feature on the usual editing side of things) and am here to talk about different beauty standards and the issues I have with an awful lot of videos on Youtube or blog posts testing/reviewing products that are from China, Japan or Korea.

19 Jan 2017

Wishlist: Currently Coveting

january collective wishlist uk fashion blogger
We might be dealing with some of the most wintery weather to hit our shores in a while, but the sales are slowly winding down and the new, transitional lines have started to hit the rails. SEASONS ARE CHANGING in the fashion world. It's that breath of fresh air after stewing yourself in Christmas jumpers and fleecy pyjamas, it makes me feel really inspired to put together new looks, and consider updating the old wardrobe with some new pieces.

Though this time around, I'm definitely looking at items that will work with what I already have, and that I'll get a lot of wear out of. I didn't purge my wardrobe to fill it up with trend-led purchases and things that were impulse buys. And I definitely don't want to end up with more things I've bought and never worn again.

So with that in mind, here's a wishlist of 'new in' items that I'm currently coveting.


14 Jan 2017

Fashion and Beauty goals 2017

attainable beauty and fashion goals for 2017

2017 is going to be A Good Year. I have decided. Not necessarily 'my year', because hey, we're 14 days in, and I'm not making any grand statements that I might look back on in 6 months and think 'well that's gone monumentally tits up'. But I'm definitely setting myself targets this year. As with my life/blog/youtube goals, nothing is a fixed point, a number to reach and sit back on and go 'yes this is a thing that makes me feel good', instead I'm looking at progression from a starting point: forward movement. 

And this forward movement is something that I really want to see in the way I approach my wardrobe and my dresser. 

So let's talk fashion and beauty goals for this year, which may sound like a bit of an odd concept, but stick with me ok?


11 Jan 2017

High Street Dupes for Designer Shoes

high street dupes for designer shoes
It's been a while since I've talked shoes. I was going to say solely shoes, but even I grimaced at how bad a pun it was, so, you're welcome. But it has been a significant length of time since I've dedicated any blogspace to a footwear edit... so let's change that right now and talk designer shoe dupes

As a self-confessed shoe lover, I do get a little thrill over seeing new styles hit the runways, the instagram pages, and ultimately the high street. Not all of them are my cup o' chai, but the appreciation is always there. And it's really interesting to see which styles take a veritable grip on the fashion world and become, pretty much, ultimate shoe staples. But at designer prices, it's a little eye-watering to see how much these go for (if that's your price point... fancy spotting me a pair or two?), and oftentimes I'm scouring the etailers for the best dupes. Someone's gotta do it. 

Most of the pairs I've listed here have been around for a few years now, but the dupes 1) have got much better and 2) are way more plentiful, so there are more options for you to shop styles you like!


8 Jan 2017

How I store my makeup: Ikea Moppe drawers

makeup storage small medium collections ikea moppe drawers

Makeup storage: the reason clear plastic shelving, that is somehow deceptively small, can be priced at upwards of £15 even on websites like amazon and aliexpress. Even the little paper desk tidies have spiked significantly. I've spent a lot of time in the last few months or so looking at the various options available to me, watching far too many makeup storage videos on youtube (the size of some peoples' collections is honestly intimidating) for inspiration and recommendations. 

I decided around the middle of December that I was going to get the best value for money for pretty decent quality from Ikea; sturdy, minimal upkeep, reliable products, and I can take it back if it isn't right, I don't like it, or if there are any problems in the future really easily. 


4 Jan 2017

How to be a better shopper

what shop assistants want you to know

I think, towards the end of last year, I was 88% super bitter lemonade. I absorbed all the lemons 2016 threw at me. There were a lot of them. To be honest, working the Christmas period in retail  compounded the bitter and had it bordering slightly on resentment. I was counting down the hours to 2017, and the ability to return to my sunnier disposition and not be exhausted after a 4 hour shift. 

It's a little sad though, because I really do enjoy working in retail most of the time. You meet a lot of really interesting people, the staff discounts and uniform are fab perks that take the edge off a little, and I'm lucky enough to have worked stores where I get on with the rest of the staff really well. 

But christ almighty some types of customers seem like it's their life mission to test us. I'm a firm believer that everyone (and I really do mean everyone) should work as a shop assistant or waiter/waitress at some point in their life, because it definitely changes your outlook on your own shopping behaviours

Though if you don't fancy that, here are a few - tongue in cheek - tips on how to be a better shopper, from shop staff to you. 


1 Jan 2017

2017 Goals for life, blogging, and youtube

2017 goals for life blogging and youtube

I love the start of things. New day, new month, new year, new ambition, new goal. It fills me with this massive sense of excitement that helps with motivation. I generally don't subscribe to the hype of 'new year, new me', since change is a constant aspect of life, and if you're truly dedicated to something you can start it at any time; but I do love the fact that January 1st can be a springboard, placeholder, or marker for something really great. 

So let's talk goals. I like writing mine down so I can refer to (or flat out ignore) them throughout the year. I also prefer to view them as flexible guidelines or ideas - I ticked off some of my 2016 goals, but not all - because you can't plan for all life throws at you, but knowing that I've at least committed to something makes me more determined to achieve it. I explained in my 2016 roundup that I've been feeling lost a lot recently, so I think referring back to this post, and what I want to achieve in the next year is something I'm going to be doing more. 

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