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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Spring Summer 2014 Trends Report


Trends. Trends. Trends.

Some people love them, others hate them. 

I am definitely a fan of replicating the trends seen on the catwalk each season, but that doesn't mean I religiously follow them and only wear what is considered "on trend". I pick and choose the trends which I feel most comfortable wearing and are best suited to my body shape.

Check out the video below for my take on the spring/summer 2014 trends:

Art and Design
Metallics
Pastels
Sheer
Sportsluxe


Friday, 11 April 2014

Quick and Easy Eye Make-Up Look



When waking up in the morning I often have grand ideas about how I am going to do my make-up. However, I am not always the best at managing my time and I am often running out the door in a mad rush. This means my fancy make-up ideas rapidly turn into a quick and simple, but effective, look.

My number one product for creating this quick and easy look is the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit. As you can see from the images I have almost finished the pot which is always a good sign when judging how much you enjoy using a product. However, you may be thinking that this pot is rather small and you would be right as I bought it as part of the World Famous Neutrals palette from Benefit. Safe to say, I will be repurchasing this in all of it's full size glory.

I am a huge fan of cream eyeshadows but I like this one especially because of two reasons: it has amazing staying power and lasts all day (without creasing, as the name suggests) and it is also the perfect shade for an everyday make-up look. It is a warm bronze shade but nothing too deep or shimmery and blends beautifully into the skin. I usually sweep it across my lid using a cream shadow brush but it works just as well using my fingers. I then blend the outer edges with a blending brush - but don't worry, only one "backwards and forwards" movement is required. Remember this look is super quick!

I then define my upper lash line using the shade Blackout from the Naked 2 palette and a liner brush. The Naked 2 palette may be chunky in size, especially when your only using the black shade which you can can get from most palettes and single eyeshadows, however, Urban Decay eyeshadows are the absolute best when it comes to quality and I have tried using many other black eyeshadows as liner and none have come close. You can actually purchase most of the shades from the Naked palettes as single shadows so I will definitely have to get my hands on Blackout as it will make it much easier to carry around with me!

I finish off the look using my favourite mascara at the moment - Lancôme Hypnôse. It lengthens and thickens my lashes and separates without clumping - I hate clumping.  

This has become my go-to look when I am late and in a hurry, which is becoming a way too regular occurrence. It's easy to wear with both a nude and bold lip as your eyes never look too heavy so it allows me to be a little more adventurous with my lips. In the images I am wearing Rimmel's Colour Rush Balm in the shade Give Me A Cuddle

I am also wearing:

Hopefully this make-up look comes in handy when you forget to set your alarm or your like me and always seem to be running late! If you recreate the look then upload a photo of yourself to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #GRNT.



Sunday, 6 April 2014

Just Do It!


Ever feel like your dream career is unobtainable and is never going to happen?

Well, don't worry, your not alone. Most people, including myself, often feel like they are never going to  achieve their dream career which can lead to quitting and giving up.

DO NOT QUIT!

Instead, check out my latest career focused video where I go through my top 5 tips for creating the perfect mentality that will help make your dream a reality! Just remember that anything really is possible and it is only the barriers created by yourself that will stop you from reaching the end goal - don't think too much about it and just do it!

I hope you find this video helpful and let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips for staying focused and motivated!

Thanks so much for watching and as always, good luck in whatever you are doing!


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Knowledge Is Power - Part 2 (Blogs and Websites)


As you will see from the title, this post is part 2 of my "Knowledge Is Power" series. Part 1 was focused on the books and magazines which I think will help you build on your fashion knowledge. Books may be considered a little old school but if you really want to have an in depth bank of knowledge on the different aspects of fashion then there are lots of books and magazines you should be reading. Check out my recommendations here.  

However, looking beyond books and into the screen of your computer/laptop/mobile/iPad and you are faced with a vast amount of information but not all of it is useful or needs to be read - thankfully. Below is my guide to the best online sources which, if read regularly, will hugely enhance your knowledge and the way you speak and write about fashion.

Blogs

If you wanted a career in the fashion industry 10 years ago, the chances are that bloggers would not have been on your radar. Times have changed, quite dramatically some would say as they are now a huge part of the industry and have a great amount of influence with many bloggers now sitting front row at fashion week. This is my list of the top fashion bloggers you should know and regularly be reading. 

1. Style Bubble

Susie Bubble has become one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry. Her blog, Style Bubble, was one of the first fashion blogs I ever stumbled across and since then I can't seem to keep my eyes away. To put it bluntly - the girl know what she's talking about. 



2. Disneyrollergirl

This blog is just as fantastic as the name portrays it to be. As a fashion editor, Navaz Batliwalla posts about her shoots as well as new collections, products and campaigns from both the fashion and beauty world. She always writes with a very honest attitude which is the most important skill when it comes to blogging. 



3. Fashion Toast

Rumi Neely is one of my favourite bloggers, purely for her style - it's gorgeous. Casual or dressed up, she manages to put together the perfect outfit for every occasion. 



4. The Native Fox

Not to sound repetitive but Native Fox is on the list for exactly the same reasons as Fashion Toast. In comparing the two, I would say that The Native Fox has a little more edge and attitude in her style while Fashion Toast often has a laid back vibe with classic tailoring. 



5. The Blonde Salad

One of the first fashion bloggers to make it big, Chiara Ferragni is as high up as it gets in the fashion blogging world and is highly respected by the fashion elite. Her blog, The Blonde Salad provides a unique insight into the life of a fashion blogger as she documents what's she doing, who she's working with and most importantly - what she's wearing. 



6. The Man Repeller

As the name may or may not suggest, this blog is quirky but oh so addictive. Leandra Medine allows her readers a peek inside her mind to a fashion world full of debate, discussion and laughter. 



7. The Sartorialist

The Sartorialist is a gold mine for street style images.




8. The Little Magpie

The Little Magpie is my favourite local blogger and also my favourite high street fashion blogger as many of the looks she puts together are affordable and accessible for most people, including those on a budget - which lets face it, applies to most of us. 



9. Fashionista

Did I save the best blog till last? Well in my opinion, yes. Although, I often struggle to call it a blog as it resembles more of an online magazine featuring many contributors talking about a lot of different things. 

However, blog or online magazine, its great - pretty perfect actually and a life saver when it comes to finding out about whats going on in the industry. It gives you the best of both worlds: all the gossip along with the business headlines. This is the perfect source of information for the all round fashion obsessed enthusiast = a true fashionista. 



10. Bloglovin

The blogs I have mentioned above are only a tiny selection of what is out there in the blogosphere and it can sometimes be tricky remembering to check and read them all the time. That is where the genius of Bloglovin comes in. 

Most blogs can be followed on the site and you can follow as many as you like. As soon as you choose to follow a blog, it becomes part of your feed and any new posts will show up in this feed. You can sign up to receive daily emails containing an update on new posts from your favourite bloggers which makes it even more easier for you to keep up to date. If that wasn't enough, you can download the Bloglovin app on your phone and when you sign in it will automatically add all the blogs you follow to your news feed and you can then scroll down and read all the posts in one place - told you it was super easy. 

So no excuses, you can catch up on your blog reading on the way home from work, on your lunch hour or when you wake up in the morning - whenever, wherever (as Shakira would say). 



YouTube

YouTube is one of my biggest obsessions. I rarely watch TV and will usually prefer to watch my favourite channels on YouTube. Most of my favourite channels are actually beauty bloggers but there are few channels which deliver my fashion fix just nicely.

1. American Vogue

Vogue is the place to go for interviews. They do lengthy in depth interviews with some of the biggest names in fashion, including designers, models, industry experts and style icons.

www.youtube.com/user/Americanvogue


2. British Fashion Council

The British Fashion Council reports on all the goings on at London Fashion Week and features highlights from the shows, campaign videos and interviews with designers and celebrities attending the shows.

If you are short for time, watching the highlights of a show can be a quick way of capturing it, rather than reading a lengthy review. That way, you can also form your own opinion of the show and I often do this before I read any reviews.



3. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Much like the British Fashion Council, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week reports on everything that is happening at New York Fashion Week. They differ slightly from the British Fashion Council in that they provide full show videos as well as highlights. This makes seeing the full show easy to access if you are not lucky enough to be there in person. 




4. Fashion TV

The name says it all - every award ceremony, fashion show, campaign video - they have it covered. You want to work in fashion? You want to see the shows not only in New York, London, Milan and Paris but in Berlin, LA and São Paulo? Then subscribe. 



Websites

1. Vogue

Vogue is my go to place for the reviews of shows. For some reason, they nail the shows better than any other fashion news site. I review the shows on my blog but as I am not there in person I look online for images of each show and Vogue is always the place I head to first. For almost every single designer that shows at fashion week, they include an image of each look, close up shots of certain pieces, back stage shots and photos of the front row.

Vogue make you the first to know and thats what I like about them - staying ahead is what it's all about and they get that.

www.vogue.co.uk


2. Style.com

Style.com has pretty much everything: reviews of fashion week, videos from fashion week, trends and and how to shop the trends, news within the industry, the latest fashion and beauty collections and also a community section for readers/members lookbooks. However, what's makes the site different from another fashion website is the content is exclusively high end and it really analyses shows and designers. This makes it the perfect site for gaining the in depth knowledge that is so crucial in the highly competitive industry that fashion has become. 



3. The Business Of Fashion

Whilst it is obviously important to know about the commercial side of the fashion industry, if you want to be an employee rather than a spectator, then you need to understand and have a certain degree of knowledge when it comes to the business side of things. Employers will look more favourably on you if they know that you understand what is required to make a fashion brand successful. Also, being able to put fashion into the wider context of the world and understanding what fashion can mean for other industries is important.



4. Women's Wear Daily (WWD)

Much like The Business of Fashion, Women's Wear Daily features articles about the business side of fashion as well as general fashion news. In addition to this, WWD frequently talks about the issues facing the industry and the subjects which are causing controversy or stirring a debate. 



5. Fashion Monitor

Fashion Monitor is a very unique site which provides up to date information on jobs in the industry and more importantly who is being promoted to a new job role and who is moving between companies. It also provides details for the media on press shows and up and coming collections and campaigns. To have full access to all the information, you have to be a member, however, a lot of the information is free to access so it is definitely worth a look. 

Signing up to their mailing list means that you will receive daily emails containing a snapshot of the latest news and updates on jobs within the industry. This is extremely useful for understanding the way the industry works and the different job titles and roles that are available. You never know, you may be on there one day.



6. WGSN

Like Fashion Monitor, a lot of the content on WGSN is not free and cannot be accessed unless you are a member. However, this site provides a lot of information on trend forecasting and is widely used by designers, buyers and retailers so it is good to be aware of this site, what it does and who uses it. 


Online Newspapers

If you are like me and love buying magazines but just not so keen on getting your hands black from the ink then reading newspaper content online is the way to go. I have listed my favourites below and I like them all for pretty much the same reason - they give you the top fashion stories of the day in a concise and informative way which keeps you up to date with what is happening in the fashion world. I also find newspaper content to be useful as they often put fashion stories into a wider context and relate fashion stories to other industries.

1. The New York Times






Check out the video below where I go into more detail about why I have chosen these outlets as my go-to online sites to build your fashion knowledge.

If books and magazines are more your thing then check out my previous post featuring the best resources offline which (if read) will greatly improve your knowledge on the fashion industry and ultimately bring you a step further to your dream career.

If you have any recommendations for either books, magazines, blogs or websites then let me know in the comments section below. I am always looking for places to find new information - you can never have too much knowledge, especially in an industry like fashion which is constantly changing - so I would love to hear your suggestions! 

I hope my "Knowledge Is Power" posts have helped and pointed you in the right direction for finding useful fashion resources. Good luck in whatever you are aiming to achieve!



Sunday, 23 March 2014

Knowledge is Power - Part 1 (Books and Magazines)


As Francis Bacon once said - knowledge is power

This statement is true of most things but I think it is especially important when it comes to your career. Your ability to do your job and have the career you want all depends on how much knowledge you have in that particular area. 

There are lots of different aspects within the fashion industry that are important to know and understand in order to get ahead and make an impression. This post is part 1 of my fashion reading guide and will focus on the old school method of gaining knowledge - reading books and magazines. Part 2 will be all about the online content you should be reading, including websites, online newspapers and bloggers.

So starting with books…

Background to Fashion

If you are serious about wanting to work in fashion then it is crucial that you have good general knowledge of the industry. Once you have that, you can specialise and read more about certain areas or people which interest you. 

1. The Fashion Book

Out of all the books I speak about in this post, I would say this is the most important. Vogue refers to it as "The Fashion Bible" and I would describe it as the fashion encyclopaedia. "The Fashion Book" says it all in the title as it contains everything you need to know about the most important people in the industry. The book is organised A-Z and contains a short bio on each influential person with a photo of either themselves or their work.

Although this is a huge book, it is not as scary as it looks. The pages are not full of text and only contain the most important facts that you need to know. If you buy any book to gain some fashion knowledge then make it this one.

This book is £25 from Amazon.


2. Fashion Brands: Branding Style From Armani to Zara

Although not in an A-Z format, this book has a similar idea to The Fashion Book as it goes through all the important aspects of the fashion industry and as the name suggests, looks at both designer and high street fashion. Published in 2007, it does not have the most up to date content, however the information within this book is still true today and gives a useful insight into the running of the fashion industry and what is required to make a fashion brand work.

This book is around £7 on Amazon. However I bought my one in a cheap book shop for 99p - bargain!


3. 100 Ideas That Changed Fashion

Unlike the other two books mentioned above, this book is not focused on the people within the industry, it looks at the ideas that have changed the fashion world and made it what it is today. These ideas include the invention of the fabrics that we use today like nylon and cotton. It also looks at the trends and events which have happened throughout the years including the celebrity culture boom, street style and the shoulder pad.

This book is £15 on Amazon.


Fashion Terminology

Like any other industry - maths, engineering, medicine - there will be terms and phrases that you will need to learn. The same is true with fashion and if you want to work in the industry, it is extremely important that you know what your talking about and understand what others are talking about.

1. Fashion A-Z: An Illustrated Dictionary

I like this book for three reasons: it is very very cheap, it is compact (so no danger of breaking your arm when carrying it) and it is packed full with all the words you could ever want to use or understand when talking fashion. Some of the word descriptions come with illustrations so if your still struggling to understand what a word means then a visual should help.

This book is £4 on Amazon.




2. The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior

Originally published back in 1954, this vintage diary was recently re-published by the V&A. I love the fact that Christian Dior wrote this as it gives good insight into the fashion at that time and the terminology that was used which as you will see is actually very similar to today. Whilst being a lovely gift for a fashionista, this book is still relevant for today and will help with terminology and learning the fashion lingo.

This book is £5 on Amazon.



Influential People

There are certain people in the fashion industry who you should not only know their name but know their background and story. This will vary depending on the designers and people you are interested in, however, you should definitely know the background to people like Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Anna Wintour, amongst others.

1. Balenciaga

One of my favourite shows at fashion week is always Balenciaga. The collections are wearable, chic and always flattering to the female body. I was very interested in the background to the brand and learning about its creator, Cristóbal Balenciaga and this book takes you through the designer's story whilst showcasing the best of Balenciaga from over the years.

This book is £200 on Amazon but was only £30 when I bought it!



2. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

This is a very similar type of book to the Balenciaga one and features amazing images of some of the most iconic McQueen pieces.  The book contains a little less information on the designer himself and focuses mostly on the collections. It comes with a very special 3D front cover featuring the classic Alexander McQueen skull which transforms into McQueen himself when you move it - very clever. 



3. Dior by Dior

If these books are a little out of your price range then The V&A have published a number of designer autobiographies at very cheap prices. Although the books do not have images of the designers' collections, they do give a thorough account of the designer's life and story. Christian Dior was and is still one of the most influential designers in the world and is an important figure to learn about. 



4. Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

Well the title says it all. If this is the first time you are hearing the Coco Chanel name then I really don't think fashion is the industry for you. This book is a MUST read for building up for fashion knowledge and when you read her story you will understand why. There are many variations of this book and they all contain pretty much the same information so take your pick and enjoy the read. 




5. In My Shoes: A Memoir

Tamara Mellon, the co-founder of Jimmy Choo, wrote this book to shed light on the story behind the luxurious shoe brand. I have included it in this post as I think it helps to understand the business side of fashion and what is involved in setting up a brand from scratch and building it up to become a world renowned house hold name. Mellon goes through the ups and downs and the challenges and rewards that came with setting up the company which she no longer owns. A lot of surprises are held within this book…



6. Front Row: Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour is one of the most influential, yet formidable characters in the fashion industry. She is a fascinating character who holds a lot of power when it comes to the future of designer's career. As the Editor of Amercian Vogue, she knows a thing or two about clothes and in many cases it is only her opinion that matters. This book breaks down her frosty exterior and gives a balanced account of who she is and the life she leads. 



7. Grace: A Memoir

As the Creative Director of American Vogue, Grace Coddington knows Anna Wintour very well and it was after watching The September Issue (I highly recommend you watch this) that I first heard of Grace. She is feisty character who is one of the few people who doesn't seem afraid of Anna. Her book starts at the beginning of her career as a model through to her position now in Vogue - very interesting read and she is definitely someone who is worth knowing in the industry. 



8. Style Feed: The World's Top Fashion Bloggers

Fashion bloggers are a relatively new source of influence in the fashion industry and one which is growing and becoming more stronger every season. Susie Bubble, one of the most successful fashion bloggers in the world, has chosen her top fashion bloggers in this well put together book. Not only do you have to know your designers, stylists, journalists, models and icons but you also need to know your bloggers. This is a good book to start with this as it details the bloggers you really need to know about. 



Magazines

Books are extremely useful and provide in depth sources of information that isn't always available in such detail online. However, the information does date and that is where magazines come in. Magazine content provides information on the latest trends, collections, interviews and collaborations. To stay ahead in the industry, you must always stay up to date and know what is happening. 

1. Elle UK

I bought my first issue of Elle Magazine in December 2007 and since then have subscribed to the magazine. Elle is my favourite of all the fashion magazines because it is the most modern. The layout and fashion shoots are always so creative and impressive which leaves me wanting more and I start counting down the days until the next issue. If you subscribe to any magazine, make it this one as you will receive special subscription covers and will become a member of the Elle Club - who wouldn't want that?!



2. Elle Collections

Bi-annually Elle UK release Elle Collections which showcases the best from each season's shows. Even if you don't buy many magazines, make sure you get this one as it will give you a run down of everything you need to know for the season ahead and is put together beautifully. 


3. Instyle Magazine

Although Elle is my favourite, I also subscribe to Instyle - unfortunately there is no special cover or membership with this one. However, I find this magazine to be a great source for news within the industry and I usually find out about most of the up and coming collaborations in the news section of this magazine.



4. Blogosphere Magazine

This monthly magazine is very new to the world and only started in January of this year. However, it is already amazing. It is a great magazine for bloggers but also for people getting into reading blogs and trying to find the best ones. Each month 5 of the best blogs from each sector (food, fashion, travel, lifestyle, photography and beauty) are chosen and tells you a bit about each blogger including their readership numbers and which camera they use. 

The magazine is a little more tricky to get your hands on compared with Elle and Instyle and can be purchased here.



Check the video below where I run through all the books I have just spoke about and remember to look out for part 2 of my reading guide where I talk about the best online resources for building your fashion knowledge!