diamonds in the rough

I’ve always loved second hand shopping, I can’t remember a time ever when I haven’t. I think a lot of the love for it definitely came from my mum, because she’s always loved going there and has been taking me to them since I was tiny. Both me and my mum are very creative people, and I think maybe that’s why we both love the challenge and thrill of finding something amazing.

I’d say probably around a third, or maybe even half, of my closet is made up of pieces I’ve found at op shops and vintage stores. Something I find is that when I’m second hand shopping, I’m so open and ready to experiment with new looks and pieces because everything is so cheap, so I never feel like I’m gonna be wasting my money.

There’s so much waste in the fashion industry, which is kind of hard for me to talk about because I absolutely contribute to it, but buying second hand lessens the feelings of guilt for sure.

Apart from the shoes, everything is this outfit was bought second hand. The t-shirt isn’t mine it’s my friends, but I know that she bought it from an op shop, and I’m pretty sure she cut it into a crop top which immediately makes it that little bit more flattering. The blazer, pants are bag are all things that I found and bought myself at different salvos.

The pants fit me like a glove, admittedly they’re pretty short on me, but they kind of fit like a kick flare on me so I think it works. A good pair of pants that fit well and really flatter your figure are always a major staple in my wardrobe, and I think they’re amazing for everyone to own at least one pair of.

I love how blazers look, but they can be really expensive, and I never wanted to invest in one because I wasn’t sure how much I would wear one. I’ve spoken about the Jaeger blazer that I found in salvos last year, and I recently found this one which I also love. I really love the way blazers look, especially longer line and slightly manly looking ones for a more androgynous feel. As much as I love blazers, I don’t wear them enough to warrant spending a lot of money on one.

The bag is one of my favourite recent op shop finds, it’s so gorgeous and I was looking at buying a bag in a similar style so it was such a lucky find. The velvet and beading on it is so perfect and so my style, plus being black means it goes with everything.

colours & textures

I’ve always been really into wearing colour, even when I was younger and it was kind of the edgy thing to be wearing all black everything. As much as I wanted to come off cool and different, I really just could never wear all black or monochrome everyday. Use of colour is something that hugely inspires me, not just in terms of fashion, but in almost every creative aspect of my life.

It’s a well known fact that colour can have a huge affect on your mood, and I think it’s absolutely true. I also find myself gravitating to certain colours and tones, and depending on how I feel I can definitely see changes in what I’m wearing depending on that. Wearing certain colours can definitely make me feel certain ways.

Green is my favourite colour, in particular dark emeralds and forest green shades. It’s always my favourite colour to wear by far, and I always seem to feel most comfortable and confident when I’m wearing it. The dress I’m wearing in this post is one of my favourite pieces in my whole wardrobe, and a lot of that is attributed to it’s gorgeous colour. I’m just so attracted to these shades of green, I feel like they suit me, and because of that wearing them makes me feel really good.

I think this dress is honestly perfect. Obviously the colour is completely beautiful, but the cut of it and the way that the satin makes it sit on the figure makes it so flattering. The fabric they’ve used for this dress is perfect for it’s style and shape, and it lets the cowl neck drape so beautifully.

Colour is the number one thing for me, but texture comes in close second. I love clothing and accessories with interesting materials and textures. I love fabrics like satin, velvet and corduroy, and the way that they can transform a piece of clothing that would otherwise be nothing at all special into something completely different. For instance, if this dress had been made in a jersey material or even cotton, it would look and sit completely different to how it does.

My bag is new, and I’m so obsessed with it. Again, the things that really attracted me to it was the colours, and the mock snakeskin leather. The colours on this bag are amazing. Firstly, its got my favourite green, plus a beautiful deep red and burnt orange. In theory, these colours just should not look good together, but I love them next to each other.

This bag is quite obviously a huge rip off of the Chloe Faye backpacks. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you may have seen the rip off Fendi bag I have, well this is from the same little asian shop that I bought that bag from. I know a lot of people are really against buying fake designer pieces, but I have no where near the funds to be able to afford the real version.

As a little side note, you can see the green theme flow through into my jewellery. Everyday I wear one necklace with green malachite, and a an emerald ring. My other necklace I bought in Ireland and it has two coins with claddagh rings on it, and I also wear an actual claddagh ring too.

But back to the point of this post, if you’re feeling bored of your wardrobe, just adding in some textures that you wouldn’t normally go for can completely change the vibe of your look. While I’ve always been really into colour, textures that aren’t ‘conventional’ for whatever piece they’re used in, seemed a little scarier and harder to wear. Even more so when they’re also coloured, just like my bag.

As I’ve gotten older (that sounds really dramatic considering I’m 19 years old), I’ve made the decision to wear whatever I want to, and things that make me feel confident and good about myself. Wearing clothes that I see as boring, reflect in my mood, but whenever I throw on an outfit like the one I’m wearing in this post, I feel very ‘me’, and I think that’s one of my favourite things about fashion and it’s something that I personally think a lot of people are forgetting. For me, fashion is a form of self expression, and that makes it so much fun.

finding my inspiration

Lately I’ve been finding it hard to decide on what to write, I haven’t been feeling super inspired and like I’m just having a bit of a creative block. It’s super inconvenient and always leaves me feeling a bit down. Over the years though, I’ve found some ways that seem to work for me in getting me back on track and starting to create things again.

Usually I use this blog to talk about fashion or beauty, but there’s only so much I can do of that before it starts getting repetitive. This space is always going to be one where I can talk about and share my love of those things, but I think it should also be one where I can talk about whatever I want, just my own little space to rant about anything.

Creativity is a tricky thing. It can be so up and down, and it can seem like either way can almost always be an extreme. I’ve always loved art, and over the last 2 years I’ve fallen back in love with drawing, but for the last 6 months I haven’t drawn. It’s a very upsetting thing, for me it feels like I’m losing a part of myself. Over the last week though, I’ve started painting again.

I think for me, inspiration comes from everywhere. Things as small as seeing a location, to things like visiting galleries can get my mind going.

The overall point of this post is just to talk about ways that can get me feeling like creating again, and maybe give anyone who needs a bit of help to feel a bit inspired again.

Tumblr is something I’ve used for years, and it almost will always have some images on it that I will fall in love with, and that will give me some ideas. Images in general are a major source of inspiration for me. Tumblr I particularly find useful for finding beautiful images of visual arts and photography.

Blogs are a huge inspiration, for obvious reasons, and there’s a few fashion bloggers in particular that are massive style loves of mine, but also just their whole aesthetic really speaks to me in one way or another. All of their instagrams I stalk on a regular basis too, and the feeds are beautiful.

Here’s a little list of some of my favourites:

Lizzy Hadfield – www.shotfromthestreet.com – @shotfromthestreet

Lucy Williams – www.fashionmenow.co.uk – @lucywilliams02

Lindsey Holland – www.ropesofholland.com – @ropesofholland

Yan Yan Chan – www.yanyanchan.com – @_yanyanchan

Devon Carlson (not a blogger, just an insta I love) @devonleecarlson

Something that always seems to help me with blogging, is just going out and taking photos before I even know what I want to write about. Sometimes I’ll think of the idea before I take the photos for the post, but with me it’s very common to take the photos first, and then what I want to write about will hit me.

I think it’s pretty obvious to say, but I do different things to inspire myself in each creative area I undertake. So for fashion and blogging, I love looking at instagram accounts like the ones I mentioned earlier. Each of those women really seems to have their own aesthetic, and seeing the way the outfits they wear reflect that is something that I always admire. A few of those girls have youtube accounts, and I love watching the videos they upload.

I’m a big believer in retail therapy (which is kind of sad to admit), so I am always checking asos’ new-in section and just looking around in stores to see if there’s any new styles that I fall in love with. Majority of the time at least one of these options will get me thinking about outfits and clothing again, and getting excited about them. And sometimes I just need a classic salvos trip to get me to really think more about what I want to do with clothing. I think it’s maybe the fact that sometimes the pieces you find are so unique that really excites me.

When I’m having a complete creative block in terms of making art, the main social media I look at is tumblr. I guess like all other forms of social media, tumblr is really all about what you make of it. I follow a lot of blogs that post visual art and beautiful photos, so for me I find it really inspiring. Things like magazines and books are of course also good, honestly any reading can help me.

Like everything in life, I know that each and every one of us has our own ways of dealing with the issues we encounter, but I just wanted to share some of the little things I like to do when I’m feeling a bit stuck in a rut just in case there’s anyone out there who needs a little nudge. I’m sure to a lot of people these things might sound very small and trivial, but they tend to give me the little bit of help I need to get things started. The biggest thing though I think is trying to clear your mind as much as possible before you try and bombard yourself with information. Don’t try and force creativity on yourself, just try and get inspired and the creativity will come to you. Trust me.

Ireland Diary: 1st-11th January 2018

I haven’t posted in a little while, the last post I did right before I went over to Ireland. I know I said in previous posts how after I went to New Zealand I was going to write a big post full of my film photos, but me being me, I never got around to it. So I thought I better get onto doing one for my little Ireland trip nice and quickly before the same thing happens.

I flew out of Canberra on new years eve, which kinda sucked (I hate being alone on nye), but really was completely bearable considering I got to go to Ireland. This was the first time I’ve ever traveled overseas alone, and I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of nervous about getting around airports I didn’t know, but it was all fine. I’m the type of person that really enjoys doing things alone sometimes (I’ll often go grab a coffee and read by myself for a while), so for me it wasn’t a strange or difficult thing for me to just be by myself.

My dad had flown over a little less than a week before me, and it was definitely nice having him there, and already with a hotel room and things of that nature that you really don’t want to have to try and deal with after travelling for 30hrs already all set up.

Dublin is such a lovely city from the places I went and saw. It reminds me in a sense of Melbourne, another city which I love. There’s the few touristy things to do around (which of course we had to do a couple of), but just walking around and taking in the city is enough to fill a day. There’s pubs scattered all over the place and so much wonderful shopping.

Honestly the weather was not as bad as I’d thought it was going to be. It was definitely cold, but it was a nice break from the super hot days we’d been consistently having in Canberra. I was expecting to absolutely freeze to death, and while some nights I did get very cold, I found that with a couple of layers, a good jacket, and pair of gloves, I was more or less fine. I think my biggest piece of advice to anyone traveling to Ireland or the UK over the middle of winter would be to ALWAYS have a pair of good tights to put on under your jeans/pants (it makes such a big difference).

Trinity College and the Book of Kells exhibition was the first ‘touristy’ thing that me and dad did when we were in Dublin. I was really interested in seeing this exhibition, and to be honest it was kind of a let down. There was about a half an hour wait in line, so if you’re thinking of going to see the Book of Kells I would definitely suggest booking your ticket online so you can skip pretty much the whole line. The actual exhibition was very small, and only 2 pages from the books were on display. The standout of the college is definitely the old library, which is so beautiful, and looks like something straight out of a movie.

After our first little stay in Dublin, we headed to Galway for the next couple of days. Galway was a beautiful place. It’s quite a bit smaller than Dublin, but what it lacks in size it absolutely makes up for in charm. Like Dublin, it’s full of wonderful pubs and good food, however, it just has a completely different feel to it. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is that makes it feel so different, but I would say that the much more intimate size of the city has absolutely got something to do with it.

There’s lots of places to go to and look at while in Galway, and something that I really loved about it was that almost everything is in short walking distance from each other. Walking was something that we did a lot of while we were in Ireland, and I really enjoyed it. It sounds kind of strange to say that, but just being able to go to almost all the places in the city that you want to get to by foot is definitely nice. Plus, once you get going in the cold it’s really not bad at all.

While we were staying in Galway, we did a day trip out to Kylemore Abbey, and the Victorian Walled Gardens that are also out there. The Abbey itself didn’t have much to offer, most of it’s roped off, so you don’t get to wander around as much as I would’ve liked to. The grounds and the history of the place however, are really interesting. The gardens are about a 10-15 minute walk from the Abbey, and have been restored and up kept well over the years. The drive out there is also really pretty, and I’d say if you don’t have much to do while in Galway, it’s definitely worth a look.

We stayed 3 nights in Galway, then we headed out to stay in Killarney for a night, and stopped by the Cliffs of Moher on the drive over. I really think that going to see the Cliffs of Moher is something that you absolutely should do while you’re in Ireland. It’s such a beautiful view, and it’s well worth the cold and intense winds that are around at this time of year. I feel like there’s not much that I can say about the Cliffs other than that they’re just beautiful, and they’re one of those landmarks that you should definitely make the effort to see.

Killarney is of course another beautiful little place, smaller once again than Galway. We only stayed there one night, so we didn’t get to see a lot while we were there, but in all honesty I don’t think there is an extensive amount of things to do while in Killarney. We got in quite late in the afternoon and left pretty early the next day so all we really did was go into the town centre, have a look around and grab some dinner. The bed & breakfast we stayed at was so cute, and the people working there were super lovely too. I think while Killarney is definitely not the most exciting place in Ireland, I think it’s still a lovely place to just relax and I’d love to go back at some point for a longer period of time.

From Killarney we drove back up to Dublin, stopping along the way in Blarney. As well as seeing the Cliffs of Moher, I think kissing the Blarney Stone is something that you just have to do while in Ireland. The Blarney Castle is now just a massive ruin essentially, but it’s still very interesting to read all the plaques about the family that had lived there and what each room had been used for. The walk up through the castle to get to the stone gets very small and thin near the top, buts it’s nothing that’s too hard to manage. Kissing the Blarney Stone was one thing that I knew I wanted to do while I was in Ireland, and I’m really glad that I did it.

We had a few days in Dublin before we had to fly home, and we spent 2 of these 3 days just around Dublin. We went down to the Guinness Storehouse and did the self guided tour through there, which was definitely very irish, and also pretty interesting. It’s very easy and enjoyable to get through, and the gravity bar at the top has a really cool 360 degree view of Dublin. Our second last day we spent doing our one organised tour of the trip. The trip we did was a one day tour up to Northern Ireland; to Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, The Giants Causeway and Belfast. I would say that doing a tour like this is a really good way to see a couple of amazing landmarks, and spend a little bit of time in Belfast too.

Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge was a really beautiful place. The bridge was originally used to travel across to the small island which was used for salmon fishing. In my mind I thought it was going to be a much more hardcore and dangerous rope bridge, that we’d have to be harnessed up to in order to cross it, but it was nothing like that at all. It’s quite a short bridge, and has a wooden boarding so it’s much easier to cross than I thought it would be. If you have a fear of heights then this is not for you. Although it is a short distance across the bridge, it’s a 90 foot drop into the Atlantic Ocean below, and if it’s as windy as it was the day that I went, it could definitely be quite scary.

The Giants Causeway is only a 15 minute drive from the rope bridge, and both places have around a 15 minute walk from the car park to the actual landmarks. Neither walk is difficult, but the Giants Causeway has a couple of different walking paths you can take to get down to the causeway, as well as a bus that will take you down there. The causeway is really beautiful too, and you could easily get lost in time just walking around and taking it all in. While the walks up onto the cliffs above give you some stunning views, the causeway is absolutely better looked at from close up, so that you can actually see the shape of the rock formations.

We were only in Belfast for around an hour and a half on this tour, but for me that seemed to be enough. The most interesting thing that I think you can do while in Belfast is learn about The Troubles. If you haven’t heard of the troubles then you should definitely look up what happened in Belfast from the 1960’s-1990’s, it’s very interesting and sad, and the effects of it are still visible throughout the city today. You can take what’s called a black taxi tour through the city, which are driven by people who lived through the troubles and will give you a small history lesson on what happened. Our tour bus driver was really great and gave us a quick tour of some of the most significant locations from the troubles, and he knew a lot on the subject which was super interesting.

After our tour, we had one day left in Dublin in which we really didn’t do much other than do some last bits of shopping. We had to leave our hotel for the airport at 5am of the morning that we left, so we got dinner pretty early then headed back to the hotel to pack and then get to sleep. The shopping in Dublin was definitely the best of all the places we visited, which wasn’t surprising really considering it was by far the biggest city. Shops like H&M and Top Shop which I’ve never been overly impressed with in Australia, had a lot of great stuff over there. H&M I was especially impressed with, and of course the vintage shops I visited in both Dublin and Galway were all wonderful too.

We flew out of Ireland on the 11th of January, and already can’t wait until I can go back again. It’s a beautiful place filled with wonderful and friendly people, and if it’s somewhere you’re considering going then my advice is to absolutely do it.

november favourites 2017

I haven’t posted for a little while, but I’m back again now with my favourite things from november. Obviously, my number one fav from this month was andy and I’s little New Zealand trip, but I’ll share more of that once my film gets developed. But for now, I’ll start off with the best beauty goodies from the past month.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer for the longest time, but they’ve always been sold out in my shade (the lightest one). I finally snatched one up though at the end of october and I’ve used it every single day since then. I completely understand the hype around this concealer; it’s got really good coverage, blends into the skin beautifully, and has a wonderful finish that is just really smooth looking.

I am super pale, and sometimes I can have a hard time finding concealers that are actually light enough for my skin. I’ve got the shade Chantilly and it’s perfect for me. I use a little elf flat shadow packer brush to apply it from the little jar (my fingernails are too long and it’s just a hot mess if I don’t use a brush), and then blend it out with my beauty sponge. I hope I’m not speaking too soon but I think I’ve found my holy grail concealer.

The other makeup product I’ve been reaching for non-stop is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure. This is one of my all-time favourite makeup bits. Hourglass powders as a general rule are all gorgeous, but this blush is my number one of all of them. It’s such a beautiful, natural mauve shade. Like all their powders, it’s so finely milled that it just blends and sits on the skin so nicely, and never looks cakey in the slightest. If I could only keep one of my blushes for some reason, this would be the one.

Lately, my skin hasn’t felt or looked it’s best, so I thought I’d try a couple of new bits from La Roche Posay and see if they’d help. I thought La Roche Posay would be a really good brand to try when my skin was acting up because their products seem very straightforward, get the job done sort of products.

This month the two products that I think have actually made a difference in my skin are both from the Effaclar range and are; the Purifying Foaming Gel and the Unclogging Purifying Sebo-Controlling Mask. They’re both made for oily sensitive skin, so they’re really gentle but still work very well on my skin. I’ve been using the face wash pretty much daily after I’ve taken off my makeup, and then the mask I’ve been using about 2-3 times a week.

Lastly, before I get on to my two fashion favourites, I want to talk about the Jo Malone fragrance that I spoke about in my what I bought in New Zealand post. This cost me a fortune. I’ve never spent close to this much on a perfume before, but honestly, in my eyes, this is worth every cent. It’s the Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense and it is gorgeous. I’m shit at describing scents but I feel like it’s deep and kind of masculine, but also sexy at the same time. It also lasts amazingly on the skin, which is absolutely what you want when you’ve spent a crazy amount on your perfume.

My first fashion favourite this month is a pair of swimmers I bought closer to the start of the month and took over to NZ with me. They are the most amazingly me swimmers I’ve ever seen or owned. They’re an electric blue velvet one piece with a super low back. I saw them months ago but held back from buying them because it was still way to cold to think about going swimming, but I finally got them and I’m so glad I did.

Velvet is my thing. I love velvet so much and I own so many different pieces of clothing made from velvet, so of course when I saw swimmers I had to buy them. I’m not really a bikini kind of girl, I love one pieces so much more, especially when the back is super low. I think they’re so understatedly sexy, and I always feel much more confident in pieces like this than in a bikini. I’m obsessed.

Swimsuit: Blue Ruby by Bras N Things / Jeans: Rollas / Belt: Sportsgirl

And lucky last is the bag that I’ve used more than any other one this month. This bag is from Decjuba, but it is obviously a massive rip off of the Loewe puzzle bag, which I would love to own but I’m 19 and work in retail so it’s definitely out of my price range for handbags at this point in time. Anyhow, I used this bag as my carry on, and it was the only bag I took overseas with me. It fits quite a bit more than you would think in it too. I carried my SLR camera, a book, wallet, passport, disposable cameras, plus all my random beauty products and I was impressed that it hold all of that.

It’s just a safe bet too, I feel like it’s one of those bags that you can put with any outfit and it’ll look great but also hold all the goodies you need. It’s starting to wear out a bit, but considering it’s a $70 bag and I use it majority of days out of the week, I’m really not too fussed.

Jumpsuit: Kmart / Jacket: Absent (mens) / Shoes: Nude Footwear / Bag:  Decjuba