Friday, 27 March 2015

A MEETING WITH HEMYCA

This little thing that we call 'blogging' is a funny old thing, isn't it? It's available to anyone with an internet connection, it's free, it's readily available as in a matter of minutes you can start a blog, write anything that your heart desires, and put it out there for the world to see. Around 2 and a half years ago when I started this blog, that's literally all it was to me. Just somewhere that I could ramble for hours waffle for days bore you all to death express my feelings on anything and everything. Fast forward 2 and a half years today - Jesus christ, this is turning a little "the Time Traveler next door" - and this blog is not only my baby, my passion, my job... but something that has offered up more opportunities than I ever dreamed would be possible for me, and this post is basically me talking about one of them. With some soppy, fan girl action thrown in for free. Don't say I never give you anything ;)

After attending a London Fashion week presentation last month for a designer named Hemyca, which easily became my favourite collection of the season, I did what I always do. I came home, I gorged on an Indian takeaway and an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians - Classy Elle, classy... - and I then preceded to blog about my experience (food baby in tow) A day after the post went live, I was contacted by the team at Hemyca and invited down to meet the amazing designers and take a closer look at the collection. To me, this is mind blowing. I have loved/admired/stalked/obsessed over/[insert your own choice of "loved" synonym here] fashion for years so for me and my little blog - which I am still convinced is only read by my Mum #BiggestFan - to be noticed by such a huge brand, I feel truly blessed and honoured. I could wax lyrical about how grateful and amazed I am but I am attempting to stick to my new year's resolution to not bore you to death, so I'll stop here and let the photo's of Hemyca's Decrypt collection do the talking instead. 

"Praise the lord" sings anybody that ever reads this post. Ever!
There were two items from Hemyca's Decrypt collection in particular that I just couldn't take my eyes - and camera - off at the presentation, and the gorgeous dress above was the first of those. The gorgeous, gorgeous print and mesh-esque material not only compliment each other so well, but also makes the dress so wearable and timeless.
Next up on my wishlist/never ever going to happen so I may as well just trot off to Primark to console myself list, is this stunning red leather dress. The cut is gorgeous, making the dress look fierce, sexy and powerful, whilst also being totally wearable for all women, of all shapes and sizes. This is actually something that is really important to Hemyca; they are girl's girls. They want women to look and feel incredible not only on a night out or special occasion but from day to day, and this collection completely embodies that.
So I'm sure by now you'll have gathered that I was ridiculously head over heels with the collection, but one thing that I quickly need to mention is actually meeting Myra Nigris, HEMYCA's designer alongside Helen Clinch (and her wonderful colleague Frances.) I try very hard not to have a preconceived idea of somebody before I meet them; but as an extremely successful designer and businesswoman in a very harsh industry, I guess it's not unforgivable to think that somebody might not be so open, not so friendly and easy to talk to. I couldn't have been any more wrong. Myra was, by far, one of the nicest people that I've met not only since blogging, but also my years in the TV/creative industry. Open, warm, incredibly friendly and passionate beyond belief, I sat with Myra and Frances for over 2hours talking all things fashion, #HemycaWorld and future collaboration ideas [insert "can't believe my luck but trying to play it cool, but totally failing emoji face here] and I genuinely came away feeling so unbelievably inspired, motivated and excited for the future huge, totally deserved success of Hemyca (and hopefully this little corner of the internet too).

I could end this post here, but this is me guys, and if you're not asleep through boredom now then I haven't done my job properly ;) Obligatory outfit and makeup picks for the meeting:
Boyfriend's old shirt which I've now claimed: River Island
Print trousers: H&M
Those shoes that might as well be surgically attached to my feet: Dorothy Perkins (last season, similar here)
Watch which I will always love: Daniel Wellington
Earrings: Gemporia*

The earrings I am ever so subtly modelling below were very kindly sent to me from a brand named Gemporia, and I can honestly say, I haven't taken them off since I received them. The slight oval shape makes them different from anything I already own, but also extremely wearable. They're so easy to wear day to day, but also look stunning for a dressier, more formal occasion. I genuinely think they are incredible value for money and they feel so sturdy and well made too, I'll definitely be hopping over to the site to add to my Gemporia collection :) (#WhatWeddingBudget)
So that brings me to the end of this little Hemyca appreciation society/ode to blogging/outfit post - I do love a good mix, don't I? - If you're still with me, thank you (and congratulations, sending virtual high fives to you) I just wanted to note that despite my humorous tone and attempted *ahem* comedy, I really do feel so incredibly grateful to have been offered the opportunities that I have... and none of it would be possible without any of you reading this right now. If you've read my blog for a while, or if this is the first post of mine that you've read, I really am beyond grateful to all of you.

What I would love to know, is what is your favourite piece/print from the Hemyca Decrypt line? And what has been your most "pinch me" moment since starting blogging? I would love to hear your thoughts. :)

As always, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

10 INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS YOU SHOULD BE FOLLOWING

Let me start by saying that in this post, I am by no means telling you what to do. I mean... yes my title says you should be doing something, but the alternative title of "Instagram accounts I totally recommend you follow but if you don't want to, thats absolutely OK. But if you do, amazing, I promise you'll enjoy" isn't quite as catchy is it?

SEO would have a bloody lovely time with that wouldn't it? #BloggerProblems!

Title's (not invented for the over-polite) aside, this post was born after receiving some messages that I'd been tagged in some blog posts. When I read said blog posts, which you can read here & here, it genuinely completely turned my day around. What was a slightly sad, moping myrtle kind of day, all of a sudden became a motivated, grateful and in all honesty, slightly overwhelmed by such kind words, kind of day. And those days are always the best. So I thought I'd share the love today and if this post makes at least one person half as happy as I was, then my job here is done.

It's probably worth noting that the majority of the "Instagrammers" - totally not a word but let's just make that a thing shall we? It's now a thing.. - have a ridiculously large following so I'm sure they couldn't give a fu*k two hoots whether I recommend them/even notice that I've recommended them but hey, maybe it'll brighten their day just a tad if they do :)

Ever the optimist Elle, ever the optimist.
@TuulaVintage - If you suffer from a serious case of wanderlust, Jessica might not be the best person to follow. As a travel and personal style blogger, her absolutely perfect, stunning, ridiculously envious Instagram follows her around the world from Tulum, to NYC, to the Maldives and beyond. With the most picture perfect sunsets, crystal clear blue seas and endless beaches... her photo's will wow you, inspire you, but mainly... give you all the "give me your life please, thank you" feels in the world!

@Kayture As another fellow blogger, Kristina provides so much inspiration to me. Not because I aspire to be a big as big as her - come on now, I'm an optimist but also a realist - but because her photography is flawless, her style is perfection and she also comes across as such a lovely, grateful and fun lady. And whilst my blog and success will no doubt never equals hers... those are all attributes that anybody - blogger or not - can aspire to.
@DeliciouslyElla I am not necessarily a healthy person, but I am a huge foodie. I love my food, and I love finding healthier, tastier alternatives to my junk food favourites. What I love about Ella from Deliciously Ella, is that she doesn't just post kale upon kale upon even more kale recipes, it's real food, real portions*... just full of nutrients and "good stuff'. Achievable healthy recipes are the best way of easing yourself to a healthier lifestyle and I think Ella is perfect for that.

*P.S I am known for having absolutely no concept of portion size, so for me, any recipe looks a little small. But apparently they're good portions for what "normal" people eat, [Insert beached whale emoji here]

@CarlyRowena -Whilst I'm getting better at making healthier options - full fat coke over diet coke because the artificial sweeteners and chemicals are terrible for you, is as far as I've got at the moment... (Jesus, move over Miranda Kerr!) fitness is something I am not doing so well in. Well, when I say not well, I actually mean "haven't exercised in 7years" I completely shit kid you not. Whilst I can't say I am now a fitness fanatic, I have ordered some exercise gear - because somehow Missguided have made sportswear desirable. You go Glen Coco Missguided! - which is (a ridiculously small) step in the right direction. Carly and her ridiculously toned, honed and all those other words that basically mean fit body, has been my biggest motivation to get off of my saggy arse and actually do some exercise. Rather than just watch her fitness video's and not actually join in with them (Just me? Please tell me it's not just me who does that...) P.S Can we just talk about those abs? [insert heart eye'd emoji here] P.P.S she also eats brownies and naughty stuff. My kinda fitness babe!
@amberfillerup Amber Fillerup is a relatively new find of mine and my god have I become obsessed with her. Not only are her hair skills on entirely on another level (I can just about do a basic platt so she's practically a goddess to me) but she also travels to the most stunning places, with her son who is easily one of the cutest little boys ever. Her Instagram is full of dutch hair braids, Hair inspiration and smiles... and I am all for that!

@gh0stparties - Kate's blog is one that I have been following for years now, and her Instagram feed is just as dreamy. If it's beauty, decor - in particular, those dreamy white floorboards - accessories or interiors... Kate's is the account you want to go for. Whenever I'm lacking in inspiration photography/composition wise, Kate's Instagram, blog and website Nouvelle daily are at the top of my list.
@buynowbloglater - Laura is a nostalgic favourite of mine. She was one of the first YouTubers/Bloggers that I ever discovered at least 5/6 years ago now and her blog is still one of my all time favourites. Looking for lipstick, foundation, blusher (...bascially all the makeup) recommendations? Laura is your girl. I only wish that she still made YouTube video's because her personable, down to earth manner was just a joy to watch. As it is, I'll have to settle for stalking obsessing over reading her equally as amazing fashion and beauty blog.

@frenchbydesign - Interiors/home decor are now one of my favourite things to search for - a sure sign that I am indeed getting extremely old, non? [insert cry face emoji here] - I love a white and airy, simple, monochrome with copper accents but still nice and neutral vibe to my interiors and "French By Design" provides exactly that. Again, their Instagram is just an extension of their stunning blog, and I will no doubt be following/double tapping away for the forseeable future. Especially as I am in the process of buying a house. That's it, I'm officially an adult. I'm officially old. Sobs...
@wonderful_places Prepare to be absolutely blown away/stunned/speachless/[insert your own choice of gobsmacked synonym here] with this account. An extension of their blog, The Wonderful paces, Suzanne, her husband Isaac and team of photographers who feature on their blog take you all over the world, capturing photographs that are so special and perfect you'd almost think they were computer generated. When I'm a little down in the dumps/"sucks to be me right now"... checking out these incredible places makes me feel so much more motivated to work hard, save money and go and see the world. Hi, my name's Ellie and I am a massive cheeseball/loser...

@Quotes And finally, an account based entirely around quotes, because who doesn't love a good quote? (If you don't, I'm really not sure we can be friends) ;) Yes, it's pretty much impossible to come by a positive quote that isn't slightly cheesy/cringe worthy... but I'm all for that shit stuff. When I'm feeling a little low, have had some bad news, or generally just wish things were a little different; I love nothing more than to stalk search through positive/motivational quotes on Instagram or Pinterest. It makes me feel better every single time. My favourite "Quote" instagram at the moment is Quotes, (#DoesWhatItSaysOnTheTin) get ready to start double tapping!

So that brings my Instagram recommendations to an end. It actually took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to narrow it down to 10 as there are so many accounts I stalk, fan girl, perve on, obsess over love. So let me know if you like this post and I will happily use it as an excuse to spend far too many hours procrastinating on Instagram to make another one... all in the name of working, of course ;)

What I would love to know, is what are your favourite Instagram accounts? Who/what inspires you and makes you double tap like no other? I would love to hear your thoughts! (also feel free to link your own Insta as I will happily check it out!)

As always thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

Saturday, 21 March 2015

TOP 10 DRUGSTORE HOLY GRAILS

When it comes to makeup, skincare, clothes etc. I am anything but a snob. Yes, Tom Ford lipsticks look and feel ridiculously luxurious... but give me an identical performing product that comes in, I don't know, bin bag packaging - bin bag packaging, that was the best you could do Elle, really?... - for a tenth of the price, and I am all for it.

Plus, whatever you save whilst going for the drugstore option means you can totally go and blow it all on a Primark haul, right? Hmm... I haven't quite got this budgeting thing down yet, have I?

#WhatWeddingBudget #SavingForTheWeddingFail #TurningUpToTheWeddingInaBinBag

The point I am trying to get to - which of course, 3 paragraphs and ridiculously shit bad hashtags in I am no nearer to reaching - is that there are a lot of incredible drugstore makeup products out there which not only give hugely overpriced high end options a run for their money, but in a lot of cases, completely outdo them in terms of quality and performance.
Bourjois CC Cream - Narrowing down a HG foundation/CC cream was so much harder than I thought it would be, as I was reminded of all the amazing bases available at the drugstore. In the end, I opted for this Bourjois CC as for me, it has the perfect medium coverage - as well as being extremely buildable for those "I look like a pile of shit crap" days. - It leaves a velvety/luminous finish and feels so moisturising, despite the fact that it lasts so well on the skin. If you can find this in the right shade for you (this is the only downfall as they only have 4 shades, I believe) then I highly recommend picking it up!
Maybelline Anti-Age The Eraser eye - Luckily for your patience/souls/[insert your own choice of character trait that may not be able to deal with my rambles, here] I have mentioned this product in a recent post which I'll link here for you. In short, this has incredible coverage, it doesn't crease, it blends like a dream... it's my all time favourite concealer. High end products included!
Essie nail polishes - Looking for a nail polish brand that is incredibly long-wearing, has a huge amount of colour options and generally just looks amazing? You were, oh how coincidental... Well, Essie have got your back ladies! There are so many incredible options but my "star colours" would have to be Fifth Avenue, Fiji, Aruba Blue, Forever Yummy, Dive Bar, Luxedo...
... I should probably stop fan girling now.
Soap and Glory One heck of a blot - Again, another product I've fan-girled, obsessed over, mentioned before, but definitely one worth mentioning again. It is a totally translucent setting powder that keeps me shine free longer than any other setting powder I own (and there's a lot trust me, #OilyGirlProblems) I highly, highly recommend this alongside all Soap and Glory face products. An incredible brand!
Maybelline Colour tattoo cream shadow, Creamy Beige - Choosing a drugstore shadow was so incredibly hard, because there are genuinely so many amazing options. You've heard me waffle on about the colour tattoo's longevity, range of colours and versatility before so I'll just link that here like the organised blogger I am [insert completely unconvinced face here] so I thought I'd include some other "highly commended" options. Sleek's eyeshadow palette in Storm, Rimmel's Scandeleyes paint in Rich Russet and Loreal infallible pressed pigments are just some of the equally as incredible drugstore shadow's I'd recommend. And of course, totally affordable. See... now you don't even want a Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow quad anymore do you? Oh, you still do, yeah... me too!
Bourjois 1 second volume mascara (waterproof) - This is a new purchase of mine that was born from a desperate attempt to find a cheaper version of my Rollerlash (I love that shit stuff but ain't nobody - who's gotta pay for a wedding soon - got time money for that..) This stuff is just all kinds of voluminous awesome. It does take a couple of lashings and a little wiggle through the lashes, but the volume and definition you get from it makes it totally worth it!
Collection Extreme 24hr Felt tip liner - I have to be totally honest in that I am yet to find my perfect liquid liner. But this little budget beauty is the nearest I have come so far. (Yes, even over the Kat Von D tattoo liner) It's extremely pigmented, it lasts for hours - it's never been on for 24hrs but it probably lasts me around 12 - doesn't dry out too quickly... and of course, it's ridiculously affordable. An amazing budget buy here.
Real Techniques brushes - I couldn't write a drugstore edit without including these brushes. For the price, I think they are such incredibly good value for money. High quality, a huge selection - the buffing brush has to be my all time favourite - and wash up really, really well. I've had the majority of mine for around 3 years now and they're still as good as new.
Sleek Blusher in Rose Gold - These blushers, are without a doubt some of the most pigmented blushers I own and believe me... I am a huge blush whore*. A perfectly buttery, velvety, blendable formulation that come in a stunning range of colours. My favourite has to be Rose Gold which is often touted as a dupe for Nars Orgasm* - which I haven't tried, so I can't vouch for that - but it is very smilar to Mac's Springsheen. Better I'd say.

*I can only imagine what my search keywords/referring website stats will be like after including whore and orgasm in the same paragraph, let alone post. [insert cry face emoji here]
Tanya Burr Lipglosses (in particular, "Chic") - If you've been around these parts for a while now, you will know that I am utterly obsessed with Tanya's glosses, in particular, the colour Chic. It is the perfect nude, everyday gloss. Sophisticated and (totally true to it's name) Chic. The best, and only glosses that I can actually wear (...without throwing a massive bitch fit because my hair is permanently stuck to my lips)

So those are my drugstore/pharmacy holy grails. Obviously please bear in mind that what works for some, doesn't work for others.. and vice versa. But for me personally, I would whole-heartedly recommend and repurchase (and have done, many times) each product mentioned in this post.

What I would love to know, is what are your HG drugstore products? I have been relatively restrained when it comes to beauty hauls recently so I'm taking this as the perfect opportunity to go crazy treat myself... so fire away :)

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx
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