Going make up free!?

September 30, 2014

During the month of March, my Facebook feed was littered with badly edited, slightly photoshopped pictures of the young and old alike, with one tiny thing in common. These people did not have any make up on. Make up, as the name suggests is meant to 'make up' and bring out the natural features within our faces, the burning desire within our eyes, the quirkiness of our freckles yet in the years I have worn this foreign substance on my face, I've endured the reality that make up is here to cover up every slight crack of imperfection which has the potential to escape from the blanket you strangle yourself with every morning as you apply foundation like a daily ritual.
 
I did a little bit of research, and the internet seems to believe that humans first wore make up around 10,000 years ago during the African middle stone age, which is ridiculously hard to fathom yet it is so easy to understand. From the 14th to 17th century, women wore white lead paint on their faces to lighten their skin colour, this paint contained poisonous arsenic (oops) and it give a new meaning to dying for beauty, I guess. The sad thing is that the make up and beauty market is showing no signs of slowing down, with sales increasing by 24% in Russia, a stereotypically rural country without some of the big business names leading the way into the somewhat volatile market.
 
During the month of March it seemed as though women had a rather peculiar breakthrough, it was the first time in my seventeen years that I've seen the generations merge together into a period of lovingness and happiness over their own, bare faces. I was rather proud of the girls who are known for looking like the monsters on Snog, Marry Avoid before the make-under suddenly baring all for charity, and looking good for it. I was rather proud of the progress we seemed to be making, we were complimenting each other on our normal selves, instead of the exaggerated versions we normally present to the world. Even the feminist f-word inside of me was saying 'we're doing this off our own backs and proving to ourselves that we don't need make up to impress.'
 
Alas, all good things must come to an end and we're back to throwing water over people's heads in the name of charity, albeit in full make up. My suspicions were confirmed the other day when I heard people gossiping about a sixteen year old who walked past; 'God she looks rough with no make up on' and 'Tell her to put her face on tomorrow.' We're back to bitching and putting each other down over the sight that leaps out of the mirror every morning at us because behind those steel enforcements, our own faces are cracking under the pressures of everyday life and trying to succeed and impress every living soul who passes our way.  
 
Just because a charity is not spurring you on to post and pout with a bare face, does not mean you can't put down the foundation brush and allow your skin to breathe in the daytime air. You never know, maybe the fresh air will do your face some good, even if it doesn't help to rest your brain.
 
I vow to go without make up one day every week without feeling ashamed about it.
I vow to not make snide comments about others who do the same.
Who's with me?
 
As always, feedback would be much appreciated. 
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This fortnight #1

September 28, 2014

I feel as though more personal posts are the way forward, as I love sharing my mind and thoughts with you all and according to the heartwarming tweets and emails I've had from some of you, it seems you like them too (yay!) As some of my previous posts have suggested, these past couple of weeks have been the weirdest yet most fulfilling in a long time, but at the same time I have done so much which I'd like to share with you all. So here's what my mind has been occupied by in the past fortnight, I guess.

Read: I've finally made time to read the new, though now old Company magazine which appeared in my 'to read' pile over three weeks ago. I haven't yet worked out how to feel as it is mind boggling how a thriving business could potentially crash and burn under the guidance of one decision. I'm sure online only will become a phenomenon in the coming years yet my heart still lies with paper, but I know for a fact that the future is shaky for the written word (blog post on the issue coming soon) and that the weekly glossies will be the next to fall to the monster that is the internet and free to view pdf files.

Watched: Recently I've only wanted to engross myself in mind numbing soap operas and Youtube spoofs when not working and they're probably not the most interesting things for you to hear about. None the less, I'm hating the current storylines on Coronation Street as it's too far fetched and there's no comedy in it anymore, if I wanted to feel miserable and boring I'd watch Eastenders. A friend of mine recently introduced me to a spoof trailer for The Fault in Our Stars by some YT sensations called 'Honest Trailers (link here) and it's probably the funniest thing I've seen during these past couple of weeks, I see exactly where the creaters are coming from and how, when you think about it, the story is so fluffed up and over the top yet so emotionally modern.

Listened to: I've been addicted to several of the Marina & The Diamonds demo pieces, notably the demo of Supermodels Legs and This is LA, which are both very tongue in cheek about the fashion and style world, I'm also loving the instrumentals of the Electra Heart album (especially Living Dead, which has the most amazing beat) - the main reason I like Marina is due to the fact that she dreams of a better world and sings about strong feelings in a sarcastic yet metaphorical way, which you don't usually find in modern chart music. 

Discovered: Discovered is a much more general title, but here are some of the things that have caught my eye, and either made me smile or feel inspired or intrigued in the past week:
The Zoella beauty range is rather stunning. I have a feeling my card will accept a payment for a guinea pig make up bag in the coming weeks, though the candle looks like it may drop into my basket too... it's a good job I've accepted a few more hours at work!
Scarphelia's latest post entitled 'When you fight for your dream and win' gave me some determination to succeed, funnily enough I read the post minutes after it was published at half past one in the morning (perks of falling asleep feeling unwell in the early evening I guess.)
Zoe London's post named 'Is there such a thing as too much blogging advice?' was an eye opener, I started to judge what my own opinions were on the subject, it forced to evaluate what readers actually want, and what I, as a reader want from a blog. Yes, I do like advice, but teaching me how to write a post and how to add headings is pretty self explanatory and if it isn't, there's countless guides on Google and if there were any more, the search button would be bursting with identical stories, which isn't what our blogs were for. We are here to be individuals and not mindless drones spouting off about pressing extra large on the Blogger photo setting and using schedules to our advantage.  

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A week of life lessons.

September 26, 2014

-image from keep it bright-
"It's better to try and fail and get back up than to be to scared to ever give it a go."
-Lore from The Sunday Blah

A young girl named Lore left probably one of the most inspirational comments on my blog post 'Change' that I've ever seen, and you can see it above. I was a little bit dumbfounded to find out from my stats that so many people seem to care about the words that escape my head, and for that I'm eternally grateful. When I'm feeling down, all I have to do is link up my brain to this part of the web and to the inspiring blogging community, and let all my pent up emotions out onto a page, which I think is a rather beautiful concept and not something that millions of people across the universe will ever have access to. Where else do I have the opportunity to speak out about my feelings, if not here? 

These past few days have leaped along with no true meaning, and I know that over the past four days I have ceased to exist as somebody with purpose and have just been here to fill in the space in the canteen seats. Except these four days have taught me some ridiculously important life lessons which will stay with me forever. 

Life is here for the taking. In this form, my life will last an average of one hundred years, 36,500 days and I intend to take advantage of every single minute of it. There is a gif floating round Tumblr at the moment which says 'why jog when you can blog' - but why can't I jog and blog? I need to take advantage of every happiness tinged second until my dreams come true and my eyes ache through bewilderment at the ever changing life I am setting for myself.

Don't attempt to please every living being. Sometimes you have to be yourself and punch though life as it was a scene in the movie Taken, if a undistinguishable person threatened to compromise your entire identity, would you let them in a mad attempt to curbe their anger or sadness? No, you'd push past them to save yourself. 

Eat clean, eat mean, eat happy. Don't worry about the niggling calorie obsessed brain cells which want to push you into being a self hating magnet of unhappy thoughts. Yes, a bottle of Cola is not good for you, but then in theory an apple is as bad as the acid can take hold of your teeth and lead you to the dentists chair. Eat happy, eat mean, don't worry but stay sane and eat clean. 200 chicken wings in a week will not enable you to fly, but restricting yourself to one grape a day won't make you feel any better.

Accept help, even if you don't think you need it. I need to remember to ask for help, even if my mind is telling me that this constitutes failure and is letting other people win and take advantage. 

There's no 'I' in the word team. Alas, there is an 'I' in failure and without working together with the many different personalities you meet, your life will never be as full as it could potentially be. And this is what true failure is.
 
Feedback, as always would be much appreciated.
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CHANGE

September 23, 2014

Thursday the 18th of September turned out to be the first day in a long time that I'd forgotten to write a blog post. Scrap that, Thursday the 18th of September was the first time that I've genuinely not been able to write something of any importance or significance and that hurts. The past few weeks have been somewhat scary, my heart has beaten harder than it ever has before and the synapses in my brain have frazzled and burned. My legs have tingled with pain and lack of sleep and my fear of failure has converted into a emotion filled monster which is haunting every minute of my being.
 
Being a teenager in the twenty first century is somewhat different to what Lindsay Lohan taught us to believe back in 2004. She told us that once we'd finished education, life would be the epitome of normalness. That the dog eat dog culture would vanish into smithereens and that we'd be free of judgement, put downs and hierarchy. At least in girl world anyway. The dreams we had would exist for a lifetime, and even though these imaginary hopes may never be accomplished, they would power us to succeed and lead us through the monotonous momentum of everyday life.
 
Alas, this does not happen anymore. I am attending a sixth form which prides itself on inspiring young adults to be whoever they want to be, it even mentions similar hallowed words in its heavily worded mission statement and prospectus. So why is it that some of people I talk to have no clue on who they are and what they should be and if they do know they're shot down as if they've completed the biggest sin of all?
 
I feel as though with one wrong move my dreams will crash and burn like every other damn thing I set my eyes on and with this thought, I'm scared to move forward and believe in myself and my abilities and my own mind. But then I'm also scared of failure and what will become of me if I don't succeed. University may be calling me in eleven months time and supposedly this is where things will look up and my eyes will dazzle but right now I can't see past the fog that clouds them. I cannot wait for change. But I have to and that's even scarier. I just don't know what to do.
 
(I completely apologise for the disgusting ramble)
 
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my new favourite models own nail polishes

September 21, 2014

nail polishes in the shades 'lilac dream' and 'blooming pink'
At £5 a shot, I used to think that the nail polishes from Models Own were a little bit on the pricier side, especially with my rather dismally looking budget, even though they were nowhere near the rather ridiculous prices of Essie and the slightly better Revlon. That was until last Friday when during a mini Boots haul I decided to pick these two shades up on a whim, 'lilac dream' and 'blooming pink.' I'll tell you now that I should have picked them up a long time ago. They're fast drying, and by that I mean my nails were bone dry again in a matter of minutes, they're ridiculously opaque and the shine on them is something that I've only ever seen with two lots of clear top coat. To put it bluntly, I flaming love them.
 
Lilac Dream was the first shade I used, and though the brush was a little too big for my too short nails, I was still able to easily apply the polish without making too much of a mess. The polish lasted for two days without chipping, though I had only applied one coat in the first place because I was in a rush. The pictures above show what it all looked like just after painting, but if I'd have given the nails a base coat and/or a top coat I'm sure the polish would have lasted four or five days.
 
Blooming Pink was the second polish to grace my nails, and even though I didn't love the colour as much as I loved the lilac I think it'd be great to wear in a couple of weeks when the nights start coming in earlier and the darker shades come out. I think it'd also look lovely with my Revlon sparkles which I wrote about here at Christmas time as the shine from the polish and the gold Revlon sparkles would look lovely as it'd reflect the lights from the trees. It makes me smile just thinking about it, isn't that sad!?  

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my favourite haircare products

September 16, 2014

Hair care is the one thing that I don't mind spending a lot of money on in the beauty world, but sometimes some of the best things in life are ridiculously cheap which I found with some of the products featured below. Here's my favourite hair care products of the past few months:

Soap & Glory Glad Hair Day Shampoo: This is my favourite shampoo in the whole wide world, though I think recently they've changed the formulation which is a little naff, but if the reports I've read are wrong I'd wholly recommend you pick a couple of bottles up before they do, it's got the perfect scent of fresh fruits mixed with peaches and pazazz and is has a no build up formula which is something you don't really see in other cheaper alternatives so it doesn't leave you with that disgusting greasy feeling after a while. The description box says it has long worded things such as 'panthanol and phytantriol' in which are meant to strengthen your hair and to be fair, I haven't noticed it much but that may be because I'm a serial back comber who has problems. Yay.


Argan Dew Miraculous Argan Oil and Replenishing Hair Mask:* I was sent these products for review and they've quickly become a part of my daily routine, when the hair mask is applied and left for half an hour (I don't think this is what the instructions say but I find it works for me) my hair is left feeling soft and somewhat refreshed, it doesn't feel as lank and limp as normal which is beautiful. I've only used the actual Argan Oil a couple of times and it's become a firm favourite in a matter of weeks, to me this shows how good the product is at doing its job and even though the two Argan Dew products are rather expensive to actually buy (it's $44 for the replenishing hair mask) I think for a very special occasion it'd be worth it, and I could always ask my mamma for it.

Batise Dry Shampoo Tropical Coconut and Exotic: After seeing the recent advertisements with Pixie Lott, I thought I'd give Batise a try. It's a tragedy I've never tried it before really, I stuck to student friendly bargain versions from Superdrug for such a long time and it's something that I kind of regret now I've tried the Batise version. The smell integrates well with my shampoo which is always a good thing and I can still smell the coconut hours after applying. Yay. Also, there's no white gunk left on my hair after brushing, ain't that fabulous. #amazeballs

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sunday six: melissa from "beautiful little fools"

September 14, 2014

When I was offered the chance to find out more about the lovely Melissa from clothing store Beautiful Little Fools, I couldn't say no. Beautiful Little Fools is an online clothes shop, specially made for the fashion conscious, selling up to date trends mixed in with timeless pieces which could be taken out to wear season after season. My favourites have to be the off the shoulder 'little black dress' along with the 'white laced kimono.' I've never seen anything like it in my life, which is fabulous because you then won't see every man and their dog wearing the same flaming item (Primark, I'm looking at you.) The prices on Beautiful Little Fools are kind to my purse too, with said kimono costing less than fifteen pounds, which is ridiculously cheap baring in mind a kimono in River Island can set you back double. Just going without a drink in Costa for a week can give you enough money to buy most of the items on the site, so you're not even losing anything and you're helping a very special eighteen year old achieve her dream. But enough of my rambles, here's the interview with Melissa where she tells us about cringey phone calls, what to do in personal statement season and why she finally jumped into the world of online retail.
What inspired you to open Beautiful Little Fools and what forced you to go for it?
In the past few years I've bought and sold vintage clothes and sold on ASOS Marketplace; however since the dismissal of 'Wardrobe' sellers I had to take an alternative route in selling. In exchange of upgrading my account on ASOS Marketplace into a boutique I wanted more freedom in selling under my own brand. I researched into potential suppliers and the styles I thought my market would be drawn to alongside designing the brand. I have had an admiration for fashion since I was young, (and of course I've had my faux pas) but I wanted to become an active member of the fashion industry under my own guidance. Thus the development of Beautiful Little Fools.


In five years time, whereabouts do you see yourself and the site?
I want this site to be my career. I've invested countless hours into the development of the site and the brand and so far it's paying off (with much thanks to all those who have supported me) In turn I hope I'd be able to compete with the more established e-commerce fashion businesses.

It's coming up to personal statement writing season, what advice would you give to my readers who are deciding which paths their lives should follow?
Don't let other people influence your decision on what you should do with your life. My parents wanted me to go to university and it seemed the natural path for me to take, being a studious individual; but I was not ready. It took a lot of convincing on my behalf to persuade my parents away from the idea that university is the only method of being successful in your chosen career. Do you what you want to. If you want to travel, learn, start your own business, do it. If it ends up being a mistake at least you have the rest of mind you did want made you happy at that point in your life.

Where did your love for fashion come from and who would you say were your fashion "inspirations"?
My weight has fluctuated from a young age so I was always aware of different clothing shapes and what suited each person's figure and what colours are most flattering. I think that was the beginning of my interest in fashion. As I've grown my style has evolved in correlation to my body shape and the fashions that arise. In the past few years I have always been interested in the likes of Fearne Cotton and Alexa Chung; I admire their bold fashion statements with edgy cuts and busy prints; their confidence to embrace their style is inspiration in itself.

Tell me some of the weirdest things that have happened during the set up of Beautiful Little Fools?
I'm not too sure about 'weird things' but I've certainly shown myself as an amateur in the groundings of sourcing the products. I contacted a few established online fashion stores asking advice on the logistics of setting up the business. One retailer recommended a wholesale warehouse local to myself; to clarify the building I asked if it was 'a big grey and pink building'; since that incident I've opted from buying online!

Finally, if you could give my readers three reasons why they should check Beautiful Little Fools out, what would they be?
1) The fashions drift away from the fickle fashions many established retailers sell; alongside selling up to date fashions I also ensure the website offers more timeless fashions and wardrobe essentials.
2)It's a new and upcoming website, offering different products to my competitors of which I offer personalised services: with each product bought I will always send a hand written letter thanking for the support and a unique charm bracelet. (Olivia note: this is so damn cute!)
3) The brand is entirely designed by myself; I have designed the brand around the target market which shares many similarities with myself: both price and fashion conscious which are qualities I have heavily embedded in the promotion of the site.

So there you have it! If you want to find out more information about Beautiful Little Fools, check out the website and Melissa's Twitter here. I've also been given a discount code for y'all to use (yay!) so if you'd like 20% off Beautiful Little Fools, just use the code '14' at the checkout. Now you need to give up even fewer Costa coffees to afford that beautiful kimono! *iPhone love eyes emoji face*
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stuck in a blogging rut?

September 11, 2014

Bloggers block is something that I have suffered with quite a lot in the past, which is why I have a few posts always ready to schedule in my drafts folder just in case the mind block starts and my creative mindset just won't appear, though as a lot of you refuse to schedule as it sometimes remove the spontaneity and interaction with your readers, here are some little ideas that I've picked up and thought about writing when there's nothing I want to write at all.
 
Go out somewhere. So you went shopping did you say? What did you buy, where did you go for lunch, who did you go with? Did you talk about anything interesting? Your daily life can be one of the most inspiring things in the world and it is mind boggling about how much content you can squeeze out of one day. If you go somewhere scenic, you can take photos of the landscape and in turn being somewhere different can set off your creative juices, which will prompt new posts. There are even opportunities to do outfit of the day pictures if you're a fashion blogger.
 
Review some music. Every time I buy a CD, I give it a mini review in my head, it's natural to do that. I decide which tracks I like, and which ones aren't so good. If you have enough opinions on an album, write a post reviewing it! You don't even need to think of what to photograph, the album is all you need. If you haven't bought any albums, use a Spotify playlist and write down your favourites! You can even embed them into blog posts now which is rather snazzy.
 
Talk about your goals. Every month I write down my goals and dreams, having them written down somewhere helps you achieve them too as it gives you the kick up the bum you'll probably need (is that just me?) Then you can tell your readers whether you've achieved them or not, hey presto there's another blog post!
 
Go to the movies. How many films have you seen recently? Another thing you could write about is the films you have seen, with a little review by the side. This could help your readers decide whether to part with their money and you have fun reliving the memory of the film! You don't need to take any photos for these kinds of posts either, so get Google on board and find those film posters (remember to always credit the original owner.)
 
Shop your stash. Have a root through your drawers and see if there is anything there which your readers may be interested in, whether this be some new nail polishes, hair products or even magazines! Magazine reviews are becoming pretty popular at the moment after Becky launched 'Becky Reads Company' last year, why don't you do it too? Of course, you can't write about Company as it's only online now but there's plenty more to choose from.
 
Hopefully this has helped you a little bit, and remember - never give up! There will always be somebody wanting to hear what you have to say, no matter what it is about *smiles*
 
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luxurious velvet

September 09, 2014

velvet dress = ark | socks = primark | shoes = fred perry
earrings = river island | sunglasses = cosmopolitan magazine | bracelets = republic, h&m, from a holiday
 
This dress was the product of a shopping trip with Gemma, where we bought cringey photos from our old Samsung phones, got shoved around in Mcdonalds by staff and customers alike and danced in the car to Busted and the song from the Robinsons squash advert - it's called Come Alive btw. I'm wearing the dress on yet another shopping trip which my bank balance didn't thank me for (oops) but it's fine, pay day has just been and surely it'll keep me going for at least part of the month!? The bracelets in the photo have finally given in to the curse of the rust and they've gone rather disgusting which is sad but it's given me yet another excuse -  there's a Primark haul being scheduled for a couple of weeks away, that's all I'm going to say...
 
It's my friends' eighteenth tomorrow and I'm ridiculously confused and scared in equal portions about it, I can't begin to fathom that we can now drink alcohol legally and officially vote for who we want to run our country. After having eighteen years to develop our own opinions, we are being released into the wild by the constraints government after government have put against us, we can now decide where we want to live by ourselves, the race to leave compulsory education is fast approaching and I can't believe how fast we have all grown up. I remember our thirteenth birthdays. In two years time we'll have finished our teen years. Wow. Do any of you have the feeling of not being able to stop because we're just growing and growing without taking a moment to stop and think about life?
 

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nail craze

September 07, 2014

nail polishes are "fever red" by MUA and "sequins" by Revlon 
 
I've been experimenting with nail colours and textures over the past few weeks while I've been away from college and ink leaking pens (come on, we've all had it) and this is probably the nicest combo I have tried out. I've been using the shade 'fever red' by MUA, which isn't a patch on the Essie polishes but I feel as though it's better quality than the previous range of shades they released. Maybe this is because of the rise of upcoming brand 'Make Up Revolution' who are targeting the same audience with dupes of the same products, but I guess we'll never know. I only applied one coat of the red polish as I had a base coat on underneath which took forever to dry, but I don't think it needed two as having only one coat meant that the underneath base could shine through as it was a glossy base coat which teamed with the glitter looked rather neat if I do say so myself.
 
One thing I don't like to compromise on however is the cost and quality of sequined nail polishes, I feel as though I got away with having a cheap colour but when you get cheap glitter you get the tacky, small droplets in the bottle which flick off after twenty minutes. The Revlon polish in 'sequins' came in a goody bag during an in store event at Boots last Christmas, and I adore it. Teamed with one of the Rimmel smaller sequin sets, this polish sent me through the Christmas glitter craze and on its own it is easily sending me through the rather subdued summer / autumn transition period.
 
What do you think, do you like to scrimp or spend on nail polishes? Leave your comments and links below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!

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new river island shoes

September 04, 2014

river island 'black chunky cleated sole t bar' shoes: link 
 
During yet another shopping trip last week I lost my heart to these beauties, they're from River Island and it's probably one of the first times I've bought a pair of shoes in this style so it's rather scary at the same time. I don't really know what I should call them, so the store definition of 'grunge' is probably the best I can do, because to me they're not proper heels - I couldn't go out on a night in them though they're definitely not flats either.. oh well. I'm usually styling them with a pair of white frilly socks and bare legs as it's September and it should be warmer than it is, but I think they look okay without anything underneath them too.. I think. They'd go really well with my velvet dress which you'll be able to see on Tuesday, which is from Ark along with most of my new shift dresses because they'll make my legs look slightly longer and that's always a plus! They're also pretty comfy, and they've lasted having the remains of a can of Coke poured over them by accident within hours of me buying them so they must have good staying power too.
 
Also, on the website it points out that the heel height on the shoes is 9.5cm but on closer inspection of my pair it's 7cm at a push, so if you're scared of getting them for the height I'd definitely try and find a pair in the shop to try on as most things online over exaggerate, and no I'm not just talking clothing bought from China *puts head into hands* I would just like to also say that the room the photos are taken in is not my own, I do not own high a pair of bright blue high tops and don't plan on ever (stumpy legs problems) but apart from that these shoes are perfect, even if my Grandma did tell me they were the ugliest things she'd ever seen in all her years. I don't usually post open ended questions, but what do you think of them?
  
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paisley prints

September 02, 2014

 dress, ark | bracelets (as usual) republic and h&m | denim jacket, topshop
 It's back to college on Thursday, oh no! *sad faces all round* Due to the new dress code, it looks as though I won't be able to wear this outfit in college anymore so I'm going to wear it to death right now, because obviously a dress with a collar that goes to the base of my neck is no longer conservative enough and I'm obviously asking for it by wearing this dress. Oh Yorkshire, how I don't love you sometimes. I'm going to the theatre tonight to see Rock of Ages which I'm rather excited for because I've never seen a 'proper' stage show before, so this afternoon I think there'll be a little rock out to 'we built this city' and the like in preparation... but here's a little promise that I'm making to the audience: I tell you now I won't be singing, you don't need to be put through that. Honestly, I sound like a trodden on cat when I sing, even Rebecca Black has more talent than moi (remember her!?) My attempt at photography and outfit posts is still as dismal as ever which makes me sad, but all I've got is a borrowed camera and a tripod which was sold to me as a full size one which.. um isn't. It's a desk tripod, nothing more and nothing less. To put it bluntly, if it was nothing else it wouldn't exist. Yaaay. 
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