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?
Fashion is something that I've loved since a very young age; ok so that sounds incredibly 'cover letter cheesey', but I've loved the art of using clothes as an expression of personality since I was creating dresses out of sheets and safety pins at about 5? My grandma on my dads side used to make wedding dresses, and I'm so so sad that I never got to talk to her about it or have her share her skills with me, because I've seen photos of those gowns and they were beautiful. My dad used to joke that fashion was in my blood, and it's always something I've found my way back round to, so I'm really hoping that I can get more immersed in it this year. Whether that's through writing, art, photography, or videography.
Shop more sustainably
The fast fashion industry is something that I'm... not grateful for exactly, but I enjoy the ease and freedom of being able to try new trends without making a particularly massive investment. However, it's a nightmare in the realms of self-image, personality, and of course, the environment and labour. I have a lot of thoughts on the current 'state' of the retail industry; I've written previously about how I think it's kind of sucking the individuality out of 'personal style', and I'd really rather not buy into that any more... but it's a challenge. I'd love to shop more vintage, charity shop, or sweatshop free brands like valfre, but that's also one of the things that comes with the area you live in and whether it matches your own personal taste, or how much cash you have to spend. Fast fashion is the behemoth it is because it's easy and cost effective for most people involved, products are cheap, as soon as you start to move away from that it gets dearer in the price of goods or the cost of travel.
If you have any tips on how to shop charity or vintage in areas where there aren't masses of dedicated vintage shops, share it in the comments!!
Stop buying on impulse.
I USED TO BE SO BAD AT THIS. Christ almighty. If you haven't heard me blather on on twitter about The Great Wardrobe Purge that took up a vast amount of time in the last quarter of 2016, then the cliff notes version is: I've managed to axe about 75-85% of my wardrobe.
It's been hard, but I felt so uninspired and massively overwhelmed every time I opened the doors. I was wearing about 5% on rotation, adding new pieces to the mess instead of sorting it out and looking at what I had, what I never wore anymore, and what I'd forgotten about. It was bad. My style hasn't changed that dramatically, I've always been a bit of a style chameleon, but I've definitely found a set of grooves that I feel most comfortable in, and I'm going to be building around that.
A lot of the purchases I've made in the past that ended up getting cut, have been around trends I've kind of liked, but didn't necessarily work with me, or were a flash in the pan kind of thing.
So, whenever I see something and think 'I need to buy this', I'm going to ask myself: do I want it because I like it, and it will work in my wardrobe; or do I want it because it's trendy at the moment? Trends aren't necessarily a bad thing at all, but I'm definitely going to be more considerate of what goes into the wardrobe in relation to what I already have.
(keep an eye on my depop if you'd like to shop my closet!)
Hone my personal style.
I don't want to lose the ability to be a style chameleon, but I definitely want to build a more cohesive wardrobe. I've described mine in the past as being 'confused, somewhere between fairy princess and hellchild', and I think at 23 it's time to try and sort *gesticulates wildly in a circular motion*... that. I don't want to lose either aspect entirely, but I think I can make things work more together than sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum.
A lot of the wardrobe confusion, I think, came from the fact that I've never really been strict with myself in what I'm buying. I know I'd never be able to work with a capsule wardrobe, it's just not me at all, but it really ties into the whole 'impulse purchase' thing. These two goals will obviously be working in tandem to stop me spending money on a whim and curate a wardrobe that is definitely more 'me' and one that I feel will continually inspire me.
2016 was spent focusing on learning about skin care. What ingredients do, what benefits a good routine can reap, the knowledge that starting 'too early' isn't really a thing in the world of prevention, and that having great skin makes anything look better.
2017 is a year I want to spend learning about the makeup side of things, because I am Not That Good At That.
I really want to learn how to use eyeshadow. I don't want to set the goal at mastery, but I'd like to be able to create some easy, everyday looks, maybe even a hint of colour or something a little more fancy. Nothing in the realm of cut crease a la the wondrous Fashionicide, but a simple smokey eye will do me. I know a vast amount of learning is practice, and time for that is something I now have A Lot more of, so I really want to start trying experimenting with shades and brands, and just pushing myself out of the comfort zone. The comfort zone being winged eyeliner. I'm so wild.
try more brands
A post that really inspired me this week was Jasmine's post on Korean brands she wants to try in 2017. I need to do the same. Not just Korean brands, but more brands in general. I managed to branch out massively in 2016 in the realm of lip products, and being lucky enough to work with companies has introduced me to a few new bits for other things (like Wishtrend and Klairs BB cream, q-depot and It's Skin*), but I haven't really branched out past the drugstore for anything else. Mostly, it's been due to financial constraints - jobs at uni are hard to find - and the fact I've almost always favoured clothes over makeup, but also because I find the world of makeup intimidating if I don't know how to use it properly.
And with makeup, a lot of the good, cute stuff, especially in the West, is Really Expensive, and that adds a whole other level of 'oh god' on top. If you're already intimidated by eyeshadow, imagine the levels when you see a palette that's expensive and not knowing what you're doing with colours or how to blend. I get scared by the inexpensive makeup revolution stuff, I really don't want to murder anything as pretty as Too Faced.
But I'm really going to try this year, I'm going to experiment with different brands and different products, and then at least if I don't like it I can say I've tried.
The other big beauty goal I have this year is to learn how to do more hairstyles. I usually have two modes, up or down; and with the up-do's there is some variety there, but when my hair is down that's it. The only styling product outside of the basics (basics being: straighteners/curling wand/heat protection spray/hair spray) I've ever bought is the Got2Be sea salt spray. I've never really touched mousse or gels or anything like that because it's terrified me. I have really fine hair, and the thought of adding extra product has always resulted in images of greasy or not being able to shift it, but when I've had my hair styled for shoots it's always been fine. Brain, why you so irrational?
So yes, 2017 shall be the year I try and learn how to do more with my hair, I really want to learn how to do dutch/boxer braids, I think they're so cute, and learn more styles that will work with my current hair length. I also really want to bring the condition on again this year, 2016 was a good year for that, so more of the same there.
It feels good to want to learn more about the beauty side of things; how it works and what will work with me. I only started wearing makeup - and we're talking very minimal concealer, a weird eyeshadow phase, and some eyeliner - at around 15 or 16, I missed the dream matte mousse stage, and I kind of feel like I skipped a process of experimentation in a way? I found what worked and never really strayed.
Wardrobe wise I am feeling so much more refreshed. If you're feeling ansty with your style, or current clothing situation, I highly recommend a clearout or a purge if you haven't started on already. Sometimes you don't need to even get rid of anything, but rediscover your love for bits you've had hidden away.
Do you have any fashion or beauty goals for 2017? Let me know what they are so I can cheer you on or help motivate when times get tough!