Tuesday, 2 September 2014

THE COLD SHOULDER

Sometimes you just have to accept the hand you have been dealt...

Cold Shoulder Dress, Primark - In Stores Now
Waist Belt, New Look - Similar Here.
I've been thinking about loneliness recently, mainly because my blogger chums have started to make me feel a lot more connected to the world, even if I don't get to see them in person. As many of you with similar issues will understand, when you have problems with mental illness, you may see your friends disappear - it could be a misguided fear of it catching, being no sure how to act around you, or they just don't understand why you don't make an effort any more. Whatever the reason, you feel like you have been given the cold shoulder and it only serves to make you feel worse about your self.

At first I blamed myself for being such a useless person, then I blamed them for abandoning me when I needed them the most, but now I have just accepted that it happened and moved on. Even if these friendships could be repaired, I would never trust them enough to be the real me again, so the best thing is to let them go and wish them well for the future.



I would be lying if I said it hadn't had a lasting effect on me - I find it very difficult to make friends now and I find myself being very shy and reserved in social situations, much to my own frustration. I have very few true friends now, but I'm so lucky that I could have the best friend I could hope for in my boyfriend Ryan - I have never known someone so caring and patient, the guy is a legend. Plus, I have met some wonderful girls blogging that are sweet and supportive and I'm sure they know who they are.

So, it seems like my recently purchased cold shoulder tunic dress from Primark (just £8 by the way) is the perfect choice to go with this post, because sometimes being given the cold shoulder can be good for you in the long run.





Stick On Nails, Primark - In Stores Now.

Has blogging been a bit of a lifeline for you, when things have been tough?

Gems x

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

I'M SO PLAYFUL

Thanks for all the well wishes for me to recover from this stupid cold - this mega jerk seems to want to linger around, and give me a hideous red nose, which could light the way far better than Rudolph's shiny snozz. When I haven't absolutely had to do work, I have been hiding under a duvet being totally pathetic - seriously don't feel sorry for me, I am the worst patient ever. A whiney, snotty, moany mess - isn't my boyfriend lucky, I really did look like the swamp thing yesterday, I don't know how he managed to kiss me, maybe he scrubbed his face with sandpaper afterwards, whilst weeping at the awfulness of it all.

Playsuit, New Look - Similar Here
Silver and White Block Heels, Primark - In Stores Now.
Being under the weather is always my worst time for anxiety, so I did have a little bit of a wobble the other day. But, as I tell other people you have to look at each new day as a totally new chapter, only you can write it, so start with a positive begining and who knows what will happen. I'm happy to report, I put that little panic attack behind me and I'm moving on.




Anyway, onto the fashion part - this playsuit from New Look, is a fairly new wardrobe addition and was worn to the opening of a new bar, which was designed by my boyfriend's best friend and business partner, so we were lucky enough to jump the queue. I have been obsessed with jumpsuits and playsuits recently and have added a number to my collection since this one. I feel so fabulous, until I have to go to the loo and you realise you have to be a bit of a contortionist to get the zip down, then again when it needs to go back up.




The print of this playsuit is gorgeous, with pops of neon against China blues, and the skort detail is so cute, whilst protecting my modesty. I had to team it with my new £12 bargain shoes from Primark and my mint green kimono from H&M, just to keep the chills away on the walk home. Finish off with my favourite necklace adn some neon pink stick on nails from Primark, which are amazing by the way, and I was good to go.



So, how do you guys feel about jumpsuits and playsuits? Do you love them like I do, or does having to completely undress when you go to the toilet put you off?

Gems x

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A LITTLE BIT OF INSIGHT

Eurgh, right now I have the most hideous cold, which makes me just want to curl up in bed with a crappy movie and bottomless cup of tea and just have a nice little sleep until it goes away. But being a freelance worker means no paid holidays for me so I have to sit at my bitch of a computer, booo! Eat a d**k stupid cold virus.

Skater Dress, Insight - Similar Here.
Sunglasses, H&M - Similar Here.

Anyway, at least I have been really lucky on eBay and in charity shops recently. A big triumph was the famous Motel Rocks Lilah jumpsuit, which I got for just £5, I can't wait until that arrives. Another triumph was this gorgeous printed dress, from surf style brand Insight that I picked up for just a few pounds in a charity shop.

I may be the most unlikely surfer girl - I can barely stand up on dry land, never mind on a surfboard  on the ocean - but I do love this cute little dress. The vibrant colours, the bold print, the skater style, it all screams GEMMA!!!




I also want to say thank you for all the kind words about my previous post on the issue of confidence - it's not always easy for some of us to be confident, but keep taking those little steps with me, I'm always better with company.

Gems x

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

CLASHING PRINTS AND CONFIDENCE

Clashing your prints together has been a key trend for the past few seasons, but I just didn't have the confidence. I thought it looked great on everyone else, but when I tried it, it looked like I fired my entire wardrobe at myself with a cannon and just wore what stuck. Frankly a mess, but probably all in my head and more to do with my own feelings of self confidence. The whole reason I started the blog in the first place was to increase my confidence, because I felt I was really losing myself after my long battle with mental illness.


But thanks to my blogger chums, particularly the lovely Sophie from So Inspo, I've learned that if you want to try something, you should just do it. Even if it just a small thing, it is still a little victory that will boost your confidence so you can try the next slightly bigger thing. Who know what you can achieve if you keep at it.

So when I saw an amazing floral print faux leather biker jacket from QED London in TK Maxx, I knew I had to take it home with me to clash with my other prints. I decided to mix it with some nautical stripes in a smock dress I picked up in the USC sale for just £4 online...not to shabby.



QED London Floral Biker, TK Maxx - Same Here.
So if there is somethin you really want to do, get out there and do it. Or build yourself up so you feel like there is nothing you can't achieve. I have a long way to go with my self confidence journey, but it is all a great adventure.

Where do you find your confidence?

Gems x
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

ELEGANT TOUCH CANDY DIP REVIEW AND TUTORIAL


Sometimes working as a freelance beauty, fashion and everything else writer, you will find that clients sometimes disappear and your work is never published. During my work for online magazine Femside, I recieved some goodies from the lovely people from Elegant Touch to create some tutorials and reviews. The last one for the delicious Candy Dip never made it online, and I felt it wasn't fair to such a wonderful brand, so I have decided to publish it here on my own blog to give them the recogntion they deserve.

Indulge A Sweet Tooth With Elegant Touch Candy Dip

Every girl loves a bit of glitter, whether they will admit it or not – it brings a little bit of sparkle to our everyday lives. But, rather than dress head-to-toe in glitter and risk looking like a disco ball, us girls often like to add just a touch of the shiny stuff to our nails. But it is time we admitted it, glitter nail polish is an absolute nightmare...

Glitter nail polish is notoriously annoying to apply – if you want a decent coverage, instead of a few flecks of glitter on each nail, you need to apply coat after coat of the stuff, which takes forever to dry. So any little knock and the whole effect is ruined and you have to start all over again – for someone as clumsy as me, this is an almost certainly.

Then, when it comes to taking the polish off, you are in for a big job – you will find the glitter bonded to your nails stronger than Kanye West is bonded to his feelings of self-importance (sorry Kanye). You have to spend a frustratingly long amount of time soaking your nails in polish remover to rid yourself of the glitter, only to find bits stuck all over your hands for the following week. There must be an easier way.

Elegant Touch steps in to save the day once again. They have already solved the problem of getting a speedy manicure with their Express Collection and the problem of finding a long-lasting, super funky false nail with their House of Holland Collection; now they give us girls fuss free glitter nails that are easy to apply and easy to remove, with their new Candy Dip range, costing £4.49 each and available exclusively at Superdrug and on the Elegant Touch website.



With a range of four super sweet colours – Bubblegum, Peppermint, Lemon Sherbet and Blueberry Crumble – there is something to satisfy every sweet tooth. In your super cute box, shaped like a retro sweet shop, you get 18 double-side nail stickers, three pots of different glitters and an instruction booklet with idiot-proof step-by-step instructions.

So Let's Go To The Candy Shop

  1. Elegant Touch professional Nail File – other nail files will work, I just prefer the professional range from Elegant Touch as they are of really good quality, multi-functional and they last forever.
  2. Elegant Touch Professional Nail Buffer.
  3. Cotton wool pads.
  4. Your choice of Candy Dip, I have chosen the purple loveliness of Blueberry Crumble.
  5. A pair of clean, nail varnish-free hands that have been soaked in warm soapy water for five minutes to soften the cuticles.

You need a good canvas before you create your glittery masterpiece; you wouldn't paint the Mona Lisa on a grubby old napkin would you? So make sure your nails are well prepared before you get Candy Dipping, so you have the best possible nail surface so the sparkle lasts as long as possible.

  1. Push back your softened cuticles into the nail bed with your Cuticle Pusher.
  2. Use your nail buffer to smooth out any ridges and imperfections on the nail surface.
  3. File the tips of your nails to a smooth neat finish.
  4. Clean each nail with an acetone-based nail polish remover to ensure that the nails are free of moisture and natural oils.

You now have the perfect canvas for applying a sweet treat to your nails, whilst ensuring that they will stay healthy both during and after your glitter manicure. So, now it's time to get to the sticky part...

  1. Chose the correct size sticky tab for your nail, it should fit as snugly as possible to ensure that you get full glitter coverage on your nail. Choose the end of the tab which best fits your cuticle, the straight or curved side.
  2. Apply the sticky tab to the nail starting at the cuticle and smooth flat and even over the nail.
  3. File off the excess sticky tab to give a perfect fit to your natural nail and peel off the protective film.
  4. Get out your glitters and place on a flat protected surface (you don't want to have to vacuum up glitter for 10 minutes afterwards like I had to) and dip the entire nail into the pot of glitter; shake off any excess.
  1. Repeat for all nails with whichever glitter you choose.
  2. For longer lasting results, seal the glitter with a top coat – the topcoat is not included in the kit, but you can pick up a really good one for a few pounds. The top coat will prevent the glitter from shedding, so no random spots of glitter on your face, which is always a good thing.

All that is left to do now is show them off at every available opportunity – wave them round in bright sunlight to dazzle everyone in the surrounding area; they made me smile every time they caught the light, especially after being disappointed with glitter nail varnishes in the past.


So, How Was The Candy Shop?
I have to admit that I was rather sceptical at first when I got the bits and bobs out the cute box, I thought it would be a right nightmare to do and that there would be glitter everywhere except the nail. I couldn't have been more wrong. The moment you pop your nail with the sticky tab on into the glitter, it sticks fast and with a full and saturated coverage that is better than any glitter polish I have tried in the past. And the shine and shimmer is just dazzling – they really do sparkle and it only took me 10 minutes to do all my nails and get a really dramatic manicure.

Another of my concerns was that the stickers would fall off at the mere mention of water, but this too need not have been a worry. I wore my candy dip for three days and they lasted through many showers and multiple hand washes – the application of a top coat certainly helped in that respect.

When it did come to removing the sticky tabs, it could not have been easier – all you need to do is gently lift the wrap from the side of the nail and slowly peel off side to side, it takes seconds. If there is any sticky residue, it will come off easily with a little nail polish remover. There will be no damage to the nails after removal, they will be just as healthy as when you applied.

I do wish that there were more sticky tabs in the kit and there is only really enough for one full set of nails, but you can use the glitter in your other nail art projects, as it sticks rather well to nail polish, it will just take longer to remove. But, despite wishing there were more stickers, I would definitely recommend Candy Dip; I had great fun doing it and I loved the effect I created. For my next Elegant Touch Candy Dip, I am going to try an ombre glitter effect, so stay tuned for that one.

If you are a fan of Candy Dip, you will probably also like nail wraps – little stickers you pop onto your nails for an instant manicure. Elegant Touch have a great selection of nail wraps and here are some of the ones I have my eye on...the Acid Graffiti wraps are my absolute favourtie. 

 Elegant Touch Nail Wraps: 1) Leopard Aqua; 2) Acid Graffiti; 3) Dotty Hot Pink; 4) Deckchair Brights.

Also, hang onto your hats ladies as the seriously awesome new House of Holland collection is set to drop soon, my nails are tingling in anticipation.

Don't forget to check out my other Elegant Touch reviews and tutorials for their Express Collection and their House of Holland Line.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

JUMPING FOR JOY WITH BOOHOO

I am really trying to get outside to take some photographs for the blog, but when my own confidence is not holding me back, the weather is conspiring against me. When I took to the streets in this amazing Aria Neon Floral Capped Sleeve Jumpsuit from my online favourite Boohoo, the wind was surely at tornado level - my legs were almost whipped from underneath me in a comedy stylee a few times.

Neon Floral Jumpsuit, Boohoo - Same Here.
Biker Jacket, Matalan - Similar Here.
Nails, Primark - In store now for just £1

I notice lots of people giving me the eye in my jumpsuit - they were either jealous of the neon loveliness, or thought I was a little bit mad for wearing something so bright; the mad illusion wasn't helped by the birds nest hair caused by the aforementioned wind. I don't care what people thought, I love my Boohoo beauty - it fits like a dream, yet it is so comfortable and the colours just blow my mind.

Are you a fan of neon brights?

Gems x
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Monday, 11 August 2014

FORGOTTEN OUTFITS OF THE DAY - PART 2

A few weeks ago I shared with you a selection of outfit posts that I had deemed unfit for the blog back when they were first taken. There was many reasons the photos had been rejected - make up was drag queen like, I look too nerdy and butch in my glasses, the lighting was poor or you could see my little jelly roll, the result of years of cake abuse.

What I learned from this experience is that the flaws I so often see in myself are not visible to others. What you may see as a flaw other may see as something beautiful - I've long been a little bit conscious of my big ass teeth, but really, why worry they are nice and straight and have no staining. Plus I am sure to beat anyone in an apple bobbing contest.

So if you have discarded pitures because you think you look awful in them, I can tell you it is a cathartic experience just putting them out there, so here are so more to laugh at or enjoy, your choice...

How could I forget about my Topshop tea dress? I'm so sorry baby, I will never hurt you again.
Faux Fur Coat, Next.

I often feel a total dingus in my glasses, hence the eyes on the floor 'Dont Look At Me!'
Tee, Waxed Jeans and Metallic Vest, all H&M.
I just couldn't cope with the raggedy hair extensions in these pictures and I still hadn't mastered the tripod.
Printed Vest, Cheap Monday.
Printed Jeans, Dorothy Perkins.
Open Shirt, H&M
Checked Jacket, USC.
Rushed make-up application makes for a dirty lookin face, but I really do love this casual look, I'm sorry I neglected you.
'True Love' Tee, ASOS.
Leatherette Trousers, H&M
Over-the-knee Boots, New Look
Satchel, Next.
So many emotions in one set of photos, from super happy to fearful perhaps?!
Faux Fur Jacket and Short Sleeved Sweater, Next.
Zip Detail Shirt, ASOS
Skinny Jeans, Levis.

I've always been a bit conscious of my boyish physique (no boobs), and I think this outfit accentuates my lack of curves up top.
Striped Shirt, H&M
Blue Jeans, Dorothy Perkins

Studded Loafers, Matalan.
I absolutly love this dress and this outfit, but for some reasom my lips are black in almost every picture, what is that?
Dress and Tights, H&M.
I have never been comfortable with my bare legs, white, veiny and always riddled with mystery bruises :)
Dress, H&M.
So if you do decide to share some of your less than favourite pictures on your blog, please leave me the link, I would love to see them. I bet they are no where near as bad as you think.

Gems x

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