Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SEVENTEEN BERRY CRUSH LIP STAIN



From lemon yellow to Argentina blue, summer is all about pastels. Donning them in a variety of ways, from accessories to attire, I decided to jump on the bandwagon by revamping my beauty regime with a new salmon pink lipstick... or should I say lip stain? The buy in question was Berry Crush Lip Stain by Seventeen in the shade Blushin'.

Priced at £4.99, the product is a good all rounder and ideal for carrying in your back for a mid day touch up. It's easy to apply with the formula being smooth and not too dry on the lips. Adding to the plus points, it smells stunning and has a relatively high longevity with the product lasting a good 4 hours before touch-up. The only downside is the colour. Don't get me wrong, I love the shade but it's very different than the packaging. Thinking I bought a pastel mid-tone pink, I was surprised that the colour was slightly bolder than the tone I saw advertised. But what do you think? Have you had any experience with Seventeen's Lip Stain? Let me know in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews




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Monday, September 29, 2014

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE: WEEK 8


MIDWEEK MIXTAPE: WEEK 8

Another week, another set of tracks. This week I've been listening to heaps of new music, as well as some golden oldies I've had stuck on repeat for quite a while now. From Deaf Havana to Royal Blood, here's who made the cut. Once you've finished listening don't forget to leave a comment with the bands and artists you've been listening to!



AIN'T NO FRIEND - LOWER THAN ATLANTIS



22 - DEAF HAVANA



LOSING TEETH - NECK DEEP



BREAK THE RULES - CHARLI XCX



FIGHT 4 WHAT U NEED - SWISS LIPS



FIGURE IT OUT - ROYAL BLOOD



ZOMBIE - JAMIE T

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: George Powell

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

STAYING IN CONTACT WITH FRIENDS


STAYING IN CONTACT WITH FRIENDS

There's no denying that going to University can be daunting. In midst of the early morning lectures and tedious hour-long essays, there's the social battle of trying to make new friends and respectfully it's not always as easy as it was when you were in primary school. After all you can hardly bond over a bottle of free-school milk and fierce game of kiss chase like you did back then. Either way making friends at Uni is important as they're the girls who will be holding your hair back when your hanging over a porcelain bowl and ultimately the ones who will be there when you're stressed and over-emotional.

I recently wrote a post, which you can read here, about University Tips. The post exposes everything you need to know about the deep, dark world of Uni, including how to deal with that messy student kitchen and ways in which you can juggle your work load. One of the  tips I wanted to expand on further is making friends and more importantly how to stay in contact with old ones - hence this post. Enjoy!

KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN

When you move into your Uni accommodation - whether that be halls or dorms - keep your door open. Not only will it help air out your stuffy room (believe me when I say that's something which NEEDS to be done) but it also encourages people to pop in and say hello. Initially this is a great way to bond with others as it exposes a little part of you, which they may be able to relate with. For example, like rock music or the colour purple? By letting your room mates see your room it allows you to visually show them your tastes and the things you could possibly have in common.

JOIN CLUBS/SOCIETIES

Many Universities have hundreds of clubs and societies on offer. Again these are a great way to meet new people and bond with others over specific things you enjoy doing. The girls and guys you live with could be the loveliest people ever but that doesn't necessarily mean they'd be willing to go horseback riding with you.

IF IN DOUBT REACH FOR THE BOTTLE

Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting alcohol here (although let's face it we all enjoy the odd drink or two) however sometimes lighthearted situations where alcohol is involved make losening up so much easier. Ideal for those who are slightly shy or lack confidence, alcohol is a great way to get people talking. Maybe throw a small party and invite a few people from your course round. There's nothing like a messy night to get people talking.

STAY IN CONTACT WITH OLD FRIENDS

Please, whatever you do at University, make sure you find the time to stay in contaact with old friends. They've been with you years and no doubt stuck by your side during college and possibly even secondary school. So many people move away and lose touch with their loved ones back home when in reality there's no need to! We live in a world that dominated by social media and the Internet, so whether it's dropping your BBF a Facebook message now and again or favouriting a Tweet your best gal pal has written there's no excuse. Not to mention they're the people who you'll be seeing when you're back home for Christmas, Easter and Summer - and no one wants that awkward small talk encounter because they've realised they know nothing about him or her any more. How do you stay in contact with old friends? Leave a comment below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews


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Saturday, September 27, 2014

WANT TO BE A FASHION WRITER?


SO YOU WANT TO BE A FASHION WRITER?

I think the title of this post says it all, but before I go into the ins and outs of how to be a fashion writer I thought I'd clear up a few little things. To start with I'm not saying I'm a pool of wisdom when it comes to a professional writing. Yes, I have written for multiple magazine in the past 3 years, however all of the tips and tricks I'm about to suggest are ones I've taught myself. By no means are they the 'correct' way to do things, nor should they be used as a direct rulebook, as you'll quickly realise there are multiple ways to do things which may or may not suit your lifestyle better.

WRITE, WRITE, WRITE

This first point may seem a little stupid, but nonetheless the first thing you need to do if you want to become a writer is write. So many people ask me questions on Tumblr about how I got into writing or how I started writing for magazines like Hit The Floor and quite honestly it isn't a glamorous story. I've always been interested in writing, so when I was about 15/16 started a blog - this blog to be exact. Starting a blog allowed me to write about topics away from a school/college environment. Not only did this expand my knowledge, as I could write about topics such as fashion and/or music, but it also allowed me to practise the skill. I began to pick up on new words and ways I could construct sentences. To me starting a blog and writing as much as possible was the obvious move and it has definitely paid off since.

READ UP ON THE SUBJECT

As well as writing as much as possible, it's also important to read. Whether it's magazines or books, reading allows you to expand your vocabulary. Books allow you to get into the nitty gritty of a novel, often exposing you to descriptive language you can use in feature writing, whereas magazines allow you to brainstorm ideas and exposure you to recent happenings which you could possibly write about - from Katie Price's latest baby name to Cara D's relationship woes there's always something, you just need to open your eyes!

GAIN EXPERIENCE WRITING FOR MAGAZINES

There are always magazines advertising on Twitter for contributor positions. Once you feel confident enough with your work and have a selection of articles/clippings of your previous work - this could just be blog posts you've written for yourself - start applying for these positions. Half the time they're not paid, so you will be writing for free, but again it allows you to expand your work and write for different audiences/demographics. I still do this now, particularly if it's a magazine I feel strongly about or believe in. There's so many different genres and audiences out there to experience, the possibilities are endless! As well as writing for publications, try and get work experience placements at magazines. An office environment gives you a real buzz and will expose you for whats in store in the future.

NETWORK

Go to events and try and meet as many people as possible. Whether it's a gig or fashion event, there's sure to be a variety of lively characters floating about and you never know when they'll come in handy. Whether it's writing an article where you can go directly to them for a quote, rather than have to mess about with PRs etc, or you're putting together a swanky event and need a list of high-profile guests, a hefty list of contacts sure does come in useful.

CREATE A PORTFOLIO/BUSINESS CARDS

Finally, the last point links into all of the ones above. Create a portfolio and business cards. Not only will this get you get placements and jobs at magazines, but it also helps with networking and making your presence known. I have a Wordpress website which lists all of my previous work and it definitely helps when it comes to applying for jobs. Particularly as my writing does the talking so to speak and I don't need to sell myself. Let me know what you think of these tips and tricks in the comments below. Did you find them useful?

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Friday, September 26, 2014

H&M COBALT BLUE POLISH




If there's one hue I'm loving at the minute it's the rich shade of cobalt blue. As I tend to wear fairly neutral colours - black, white and grey to name a few - a dash of blue is a great way to brightening up an outfit. Not to mention the ocean-like shade couldn't be any hotter right now, with designers galore dressing their models in various shades of colour during SS14.

Recently I picked up this gorgeous Cobalt Blue Polish from H&M. Priced at an affordable £2.99, the buy was an quick purchase I grabbed at the till point. That being said, I'm glad I did as it's my new favourite polish. The colour is exactly how it is on the bottle with the liquid being pigmented and rich.  Equally, the longevity is great and the formula stayed on my nails for a good few days without chipping. Who knew the denim dream shade could look so chic? That being said, Daisy Dukes are still a massive no-no. Let me know what you think of the polish in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

TIPS ON MOVING TO UNIVERSITY


TIPS ON MOVING TO UNIVERSITY

You're off to University and understandably your Mum's probably over packed on everything you don't really need. 5 saucepans.. 10 bottles of shampoo... 20 cans of beer... Okay that you'll need, but trust me when I say you can give the ridiculous amount of saucepans and shampoo a miss - after all Poundland (you're new best friend) will be just around the corner.

It feels like forever ago I moved out and started Uni, when in reality it's only been a year, and to be honest I had a surprisingly smooth transition. Luckily I knew the city I was moving too quite well, with it only being an hour or so from where I grew up. Equally all of the people I ended up living with in my first year were great and we all got on well ridiculously well. But for those of you who aren't so fortunate. Maybe you're going to be stuck in a town you've never visited and/or a group of people that you barely know, I've put together a few pointers which will help you along the way.

GET TO KNOW THE AREA

The first and most obvious point is get to know the area you're moving to! As I previously mentioned, I moved to a small city so believe me when I say there's heaps to do here. From local bars to dingy music venues, luckily we have everything. Even a 24 hour desert bar... See I know the area! Once you've moved in, unpacked and settled, check out all the local hot spots and if you're feeling really courageous even ask your new roommates if they'd like to join you! There's nothing worse than getting stuck in a routine, especially when you're at Uni and you're meant to be having the best time of your life! - so the more places you get the know the more options you have when it comes to things like nights out, lunch dates, shopping trips and so forth!

BE FRIENDLY TO EVERYONE

Not everyone at Uni is going to like you. There I've said it and I've probably burst the bubble of the always friendly, girl next door - or should I say dorm? - image that was surfacing in your head. At the end of the day the main difference between Uni and school, heck even Uni and college to some expect, is that everyone is considered an adult and respectfully there are bound to be some clashes. Just rise above it and your true friends will soon fall into place. Hey you'll probably be even more thankful for them as they'll be the ones you can have a decent conversation with. After all there's so many things you can say about the weather to the guy you're sat next to in Seminar 3. As for the haters, leave the high school drama at the door and be friendly to everyone. If a girl on your course thinks your a bitch for not speaking up in every lecture so be it. Who cares what they think? It's not their life, it's yours - so be proud of it in a mature, dignified manner, rather than give into their childish, high-school like games.

KEEP ON TOP OF WORK

I hear you. I know you're secretly yawning and begging for me to not be such a drag but I seriously can't stress this point enough. Keep on top of your work! Especially if, like me, you're studying a course that is mostly assignments/projects with no exams. If you crack on with projects and assignments as soon as they're set and/or you have the material to do so, you'll be less stressed towards the end of the year. It allows you to plan your time better, where you can frequently go out with friends and enjoy the holidays. After all no one wants to be stressing about an essay over Christmas!

HOME IS JUST AN EMAIL AWAY

Keep in contact with your friends back home. Who else will you be hanging out with when you're back for six months in the summer and/or three weeks at Christmas. With the rise of social media and the heavenly god-send of the Internet there's really no excuse to drop them a Facebook message every now and again or if you're feeling really courageous... a phone call. Jeeze I can't remember the last time I had one of those... hint, hint!

IF ALL ELSE FAILS... GRIN AND BEAR IT!

3 months in and you'll probably realise that this post is only the tip of the iceberg. You'll have to deal with the worries and woes of student finance and, god forbid, the tragic state of your halls kitchen - prepare for the worst seriously! But at the end of the day if all else fails and the transition to Uni isn't as smooth as you thought it would be... grin and bear it! It's only 3 years of your life. 3 years you're probably paying over £27,000 for and ultimately are going through to get a job you love doing. Think of that as the light at the end of the tunnel and this being a very quick, yet extremely expensive way of getting there.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE BRITISH TAG


THE BRITISH TAG

I know a lot of my readers live way across the pound in America and quite honestly I'm massively envious. Sure we may have Twinings and Custard Creams, but there's no denying that Britain doesn't quite live up to glitz and glam of Hollywood. Either way, I thought I give you guys a little insight into the place I call home with 'The British Tag'. The tag is a hugely popular on YouTube, so I thought I'd give it a go. Once you've finished reading don't forget to comment with your thoughts. Oh and if you're really keen try it for yourself... I tag YOU.

How many cups of tea do you have a day? How many sugars?

It varies from day to day. I love drinking Green Tea and will often have two to three cups a day depending on where I'm going or what I'm doing that day. Obviously with green tea I don't have any milk or sugar, but with regular tea I tend to have two. What can I say? Guess I've just got a sweet tooth!

Favourite part of your roast?

I don't eat meat so I guess that's out of the question. My favourite part of a roast is potatoes. I also love carrots and peas - I'm a massive veggie fan!

Favourite dunking biscuit?

Everything! Who doesn't love a good biscuit. I love custard creams and milk chocolate digestives. If only they weren't so more-ish. I always find myself diving into a packet after a long day at work.

Favourite quintessentially British pastime?

Uh tea parties? Does that count? Honestly I don't know I don't really have any pastimes that are ultra British unless you count writing.

Favourite word?

This is a hard one! I'm a writer you can expect me to chose a favourite word! I love the word quintessential. It makes everything sound fancier when you're writing a feature or review.

Cockney rhyme slang?

I don't know it and have never used it. I'm not from London and neither are my parents so it's literally world's apart!

Favourite sweet?

Those hard boiled ones with sherbet inside. I seriously miss all those 'old school' sweets. All we have now is Haribo and other important brands.

What would your pub be called?

When I think of pubs the most generic British name for one would be The English Rose. If I had a pound for every time I visited one with the word 'Rose' in the name I'd be a millionaire.

No.1 British person?

Katie Price... obviously. Just joking, I don't know Britain doesn't have a lot of things but it certainly has some leading ladies in the fashion department. I love Alexa Chung, Suki Waterhouse and how could I forget Kate Moss!

Favourite shop / restaurant?

Shop wise I love Liberty in London. It's such a gorgeous department store. I also like Selfridges - literally everything you need in one place.

What British song pops into your head?

Anything by The Beatles! David Bowie and the Sex Pistols also spring to mind.

Marmite?

No just NO!

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 MAKE UP TIPS AND TRICKS



10 MAKEUP TIPS AND TRICKS

Makeup is a complicated thing. With a mixture of powders, creams and liquids, it's far more complex than the blue-eyeshadow and red lipstick combo we stole from our Mum, whilst growing up. Thanks to all of that, alongside tools and brushes, it's understandable for even us girls to be weary of the worries and woes which come alongside the deep, dark world of cosmetics.

Last month, I posted my Makeup Do's and Don't's, which you can read here, this post is part 2 - in the form of 10 makeup hacks every girl should follow. Before you get all giddy, after all I have literally just posted the bible of all things feminine, remember that you don't nessisarily need to follow all of these tips and tricks at once. After all drag queen isn't the look we're going for here... unless that's your thing and if it is then feel free to go ahead.

APPLY EYELASH GLUE WITH A BOBBY PIN

To avoid all those nasty mishaps, apply your eyelash glue with a bobby pin. Not only is it a much cleaner way of doing it, but it also ensures the whole strip is covered in glue - meaning you won't be walking around with that dreaded spider effect, where the outer corners start peeling up and come away from your lids. Yikes!

BUSINESS CARD MASCARA

When it comes to applying mascara, hold a business card against your upper and lower lashes. This will help you avoid any smudging and works particularly well for lower lashes. Result.

X MARKS THE SPOT

To perfect your Cupid's bow (a.k.a the top bit of your lip directly under your nose) draw an X across it. This allows your lipstick to guide on smoothly and - hopefully - perfect the shape.

HEAT YOUR EYELASH CURLER WITH A HAIRDRYER

To curl your lashes easier, heat your eyelash curler with a hairdryer. Simply hold the tool under the dryer for a few seconds before using it to pinch your lashes like you usually do. The heat has the same affect as a pair of straightens and will help your lashes stay curled all day long!

USE MASCARA AS AN EYELINER

We've all been there, you've run out of eyeliner and are darting around the house trying to find a half used tube that's probably in the bottom of the bin lodged between an empty milk carton and pair of ripped tights. Stop panicking. Instead just use mascara. All you need to do is rub an eyeliner brush over the mascara and voila.

BLEND CONCEALER IN A TRIANGLE SHAPE

For those who suffer from under-eye bags, use a small brush to apply concealer in a triangle shape directly under your eyes. Not only with the triangle shape help blend the product out but it also makes the look more natural and works well with your foundation.

USE CELLO TAPE TO CREATE NAIL ART

Simply paint the cello tape and place it upon your nails in the strip or pattern you want. Just don't forget to add a top coat!

TRY TURNING YOUR PENCIL EYELINER INTO A GEL ONE

You can turn your pencil eyeliner into a smoother - hopefully richer - gel liner with the help of a match or lighter. Hold the pencil under a flame for a second before letting it cool off for a few seconds more. When you apply it, you'll have a smudgy affect that's ideal for the quintessential rock girl looking to achieve a smokey eye.

WHITE EYELINER MAKES SHADOW POP

Whether it's a burst of colbolt you're after or hints of forest green, this autumn to make your eyeshadow really pop try covering your lids with white eyeliner. This will act as a base to your shadow and result in the pigment appearing bolder and heavier.

CREATE YOUR OWN LIPGLOSS WITH LOSE PIGMENTS 

If you've got any loose eyeshadow pigments lying around, turn them into a lipgloss by mixing them with petroleum jelly. Just add a spoon to the shadow before mixing and applying straight onto the lips. It's as easy as one, two, three.

So there we have it, a little insight into what you should be following when it comes to playing around and/or putting on your makeup. Let me know your tips in the comments below. After all, sharing is caring... especially when it comes to the secrets of how to apply dead straight eyeliner.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Monday, September 22, 2014

BUNNY PUMPKIN CUSTOM SHOES




If there's one thing a girl loves more than shoes it's shoes that are one-of-a-kind and have been custom made, especially for her. After all, what girl's going to turn down the chance to infuse her personality into a stylish pair of flats or - even better - a sky scraper pair of heels?

Naturally when I was asked to review Bunny Pumpkin, an edgy footwear label that specialises in custom-made pumps, I jumped at the chance for those very reasons. The company is run by creative guru Jen, who works her magic to design you a pair of shoes that are the epitome of your personality. Whether you've got a retro pin-up style or have a girly pastel vibe going on, just like Cinderella, there's sure to be a heel that fits.

All you need to do is email Jen a few things you like. From your music taste to your favourite colour to what fabrics/materials you like and she'll make sure she finds something that'll work. When I requested my pair I told her I was a rock girl at heart and preferable wanted a monochrome palette that was a wearable yet edgy. Judging by the photos of my shoes above, I think we can all agree she nailed it. The detail is insane and the shoes features a variety of different textures and fabrics that work so well together. Jen even went to the effort of putting an ankle chain around them with a tiny skull on it! How thoughtful!

What's even better is Bunny Punkin cater for a variety of feet. All you need to do is include in the email what type of shoe you're after. In other words, are you looking for flats or heels? Also what size heel can you strut your stuff in? Gone are the days of tottering around in stilettos you can barely walk in! Amen.

Over all I loved the service Bunny Pumpkin provided. My design turned out so well and I definitely plan on teaming my shoes up with a iconic LBD for a night out - letting them take centre stage, of course. The price of the shoes and certain designs, respectfully, vary, so unfortunately I can't give you any insight into how much they cost etc. However if you're looking for unique pair of shoes created for a birthday or wedding Jen's your girl! After all you can't put a price on happiness and we all know shoes make a girl very, very happy!

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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