Thursday, November 27, 2014

What's the difference between the 'internet you' and the real you?




What’s the difference between your real self and your internet self? 

By that I mean, what parts of your life are on the internet and what parts aren’t?

I asked myself this very question the other day and was befuddled when I found myself wracking my brains for places I had been to, things I had read and items I’d bought that I hadn’t posted about online.

IT MADE ME PAUSE FOR A MOMENT
And, in that moment, I realised that I had grown this compulsion to be constantly telling my small hoard of (lovely) Twitter followers exactly where I was and what I was doing. As soon as I realised that practically all of my day to day happenings could be read by pretty much anyone, I immediately disliked it. So, I stopped. It really was as simple as that. I decided that I would stop giving the world daily updates on exactly where I was, what I was doing and where I had been shopping.

THE RESULTS?
Freedom! I found myself enjoying things in a way I hadn’t done since my pre-iPhone days. The boyfriend and I jetted off to a wedding in Ireland and while normally I would have my phone out snapping away like an over enthusiastic mother at a talent show, I found it a much more enjoyable experience leaving my phone in the bottom of my bag and watching the day of the wedding through my eyes, not through my phone screen. It was addictive; distinctly not sharing every moment online somehow felt more rewarding and leaving the photo-taking and Tweeting to everyone else meant I was left to enjoy myself (and by enjoy myself I mean drink, although I should point out I am still light years away from keeping up with the Irish).

AND GUESS WHAT? 
I came back with stories to tell that weren’t immediately responded to with ‘yes I saw your Tweet’ or ‘I already saw that on your Instagram’. I got real life human conversation back. And the few images that I did take of Ireland were reserved for people that said ‘Hey Kerry, how was your trip to Ireland?’. No, I haven’t deleted any platforms I have an account on, but I’ve certainly curbed what used to be Constant Life of Kerry Updates (that was the official name) and in the process, I appear to have got actual human conversation back.

So now, the difference between my real self and my internet self is simple: my internet self doesn’t speak for me.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Faux fur and velvet: Topshop haul November 2014

















Ladies, let's be honest shall we - when is Topshop not a good idea? The wonderful sister of the Arcadia group is where my heart (and bank balance) lies. I don't even need to go in there looking for something specific to come out with a considerably lighter bank card and a heart filled with fashiony goodness. So when I wondered through the Topshop near St Pauls, London, purchases were inevitable. Unfortunately, it was late on a Sunday and I only had approximately 20 mins to shop. Cue the supermarket sweep! I fell (not literally, don't worry) for a few gorgeous winter pieces that I simply had to take home with me. I did that thing when I got to the till where you close your eyes and put your pin in, hoping the damage isn't too bad (works every time). Wanna see what I picked up?

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Monday, November 17, 2014

12 reasons the S Club 7 reunion is the best thing ever

SCLUB 7 ARE BACK AND THEY ARE GOING TO PERFORM AT THE 02 ARENA I REPEAT SCLUB 7 ARE BACK THIS IS NOT A DRILL

1. We get to do that seductive 'S' shape with our finger while we sing 'SSSSSS CLUBBBBB'

2. Finally we have an excuse to relearn the 'Reach' dance routine

3. We get to be 11 again. PASS ME MY DENIM PLATFORMS AND GLITTER TATTOOS

4. We can dig out our super edgy flares for the gig and no one will judge us

5. We get to oggle at Rachel's hair again like when we were younger and showed our hairdressers photos of her looking particularly sassy

6. Because there ain't no party like an S Club Party

7. We finally have a chance to see them live after our parents told us we couldn't get a train to London alone aged 10 and 3/4

8. We live in a world where both McBusted and S Club 7 exist and this is too much to cope with

9. We don't even have to relearn the lyrics because we have stored them in the hope this day will come

10. When they play 'Have You Ever' we can sing with actual relation to the lyrics and not just be thinking about our Year 7 crush who left you for an older woman (she was 13, ie, super chic)

11. The arenas won't be full of obnoxious 12 year olds trying to Instagram it because it will be filled with drunk twenty-somethings having the best night ever

12. It gives us an excuse to watch Seeing Double again (that's the S Club Movie! How could you forget?!)

Now we just need The Spice Girls back again and we'll be 1000% okay.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Why it makes sense for Youtubers like Zoella to be in Band Aid 30


There is a lot of bitterness surrounding people - particularly young people - who make a living out of Youtube.

YET MORE INTERNET BACKLASH
Most recently, this bitterness has reared it's ugly head due to the likes of Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog), Zoe Sugg (Zoella) and Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe) being asked to be part of the new 'Band Aid 30' single.

Scrolling through the comments on Alfie's recent video where they arrive at the studios alongside Ed Sheeran, One Direction and Ellie Goulding - not to mention Bob Geldof himself - I realised the amount of backlash the internet personalities had received simply for being a part of this year's Christmas charity single. Am I jealous Zoe Sugg got to wrap her arm around Ed Sheeran for a photo? OF COURSE I AM. Am I going to take to the internet and bitch until my heart's content? Er, no. Because I am an adult who understands that it makes sense to have them involved.

THE LOGIC BEHIND INCLUDING THEM
'Why does it make sense though, Kerry? They're not even singers!'
Okay I hear you - they're not professionally trained singers. But they are only in the chorus so I think we can excuse that don't you.
Including these three young influences is a more than logical decision. Between them they have over 12 million subscribers: that's 12 million people more likely to buy the single. 12 MILLION. In terms of direct impact on helping those who need our help, I'd say their involvement is wholly justified. I'll stress it again: 12 MILLION.

Band Aid is about raising awareness and channels like PointlessBlog, Zoella and ThatcherJoe can do that on a mass scale in minimal time. 12 MILLION.

*shrugs*

Sounds completely justified to me.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Let's talk about the 'F' word



Let's kick things off with some big news: I am female.

Wait, WHAT, you mean this fashion, lifestyle and beauty orientated blog is written by a GIRL?! Let me just sit down a moment, someone fan me this is all just too much to take.

Yes, I am a female and I am also a feminist. And (biggest shock of all) I think men are pretty great.

"But but but, Kerry" I hear you call, "feminism means you hate men and want to chase us with firey torches, right?"

Well, I won't lie; sometimes I want to chase you with a fiery torch, but that has nothing to do with feminism.

I happen to think men are pretty awesome. Yes, I like doing things for myself (coz independence) but there have been times when I have passed my shopping bags to my male companion with the relief he struggles less than I do. Am I a bad feminist for seeing the logic in that? No, I am reasonable human being. I can't deny that my boyfriend is 1000% stronger than I am so, guess what, sometimes I get him to carry stuff for me.

When it comes to IKEA furniture, however, I will do battle with the Swedish manufacturer completely alone until my desk is ready and functioning *fist pump*.

But that's not a feminist thing. I don't think 'oh how super cool and rad it would be to be a kick-ass feminist who don't need no man to build this desk, tell the boys go home because I GOT THIS LADIES, HOLLAAAA'.

I just think: Hey it'd be awesome if I could do this kinda stuff on my own. Challenge accepted, IKEA!

So, back to the whole 'men are awesome' thingy. Let's acknowledge, first and foremost, that sexism exists and it is approximately 0 fun to be on the receiving end of. That's not just for women, that's for men too, but just because some of us ladies feel targeted by some of you guys that doesn't mean we hate you all. And I can't speak on behalf of all lady-kind but I would never hold it against the entirety of man kind if one male insulted me, or made me feel uncomfortable.

So I guess this is an acknowledgement. An acknowledgement that yes, I am female and yes I am feminist and yes I think I should be paid the same as my male, female or alien equivalent but I don't hate men and I don't think women are perfect and I don't think guys have it easy either.

Imagine being a guy and wanting to honestly help a drunken girl find her way home but being afraid of it being misconstrued? Imagine being a man and winning the managerial position based on your continual efforts and performance and being slammed and insulted by your female competition because she thinks it was a sexist decision if it really wasn't? My point being, sexism affects all of us.

I also think people should think rationally when it comes to sexism. My blog, for example, titles the advertising page 'The Girls Next Door' and welcomes readers with the message 'hang up your superwoman cape'. Am I writing those things to exclude all men from ever reading my blog? Of course not! I'm writing them because I know an overwhelming majority of my readers are female and I trust that any males interested in reading my posts will be intelligent enough to know a couple of female mentions in no way exclude him from the party - I'm just trying to cater for my audience. In the same way I didn't kick up a fuss when I found I enjoyed a fragrance that is targeted at men. It smelt pretty damn good but rather than freaking out that it hadn't been marketed at me, I accepted that the marketing strategy was aimed at men because men were most likely to enjoy it - and that's 100% fine! I used it anyway and guess what, no-one was injured or offended in the process.

The way we have to look at it is this: bad people exist. People who discriminate on sex, gender, age and more are walking around right now. But those people aren't just men. How many women do you think have hired a female nanny over a male nanny simply because they have a preconception that the woman will be better? How many times do you think a female making stereotypes has been excused because 'oh she has it so much worse'.

I hate sexism and the thought of a man getting the CEO position simply because he is a different sex to me would drive me into 'hell no, someone hold my Louboutins' mode - if I genuinely and honestly thought I was more competent than him.

And so yes I am a feminist and yes I will be continually be met with a scrunched up face of disgust when I tell people that but it doesn't mean I hate men and all they do - it means I hate people making a preconception of me because of my sex. Whether that be I will be worse at a job, less competent in general or enjoy a male telling me to 'get something out' on my way to work. Sometimes these things will happen and we will kick up a big fuss about it - and rightly so! But we don't go about our day-to-day life looking for things to grumble about. There is still a lot to be done in the world of feminism but it shouldn't be about men vs women, it should be the illogical people (who think I will be worse at my job because I am a woman) against the logical people (who acknowledge that actually my body parts don't determine how kick-ass I can be).

So let's take out all the radical, men-hating feminists for a moment and talk about things logically.

A few translations:

'I support feminism' - I understand that my girlfriend, daughters, mother, friends, brother, boyfriend, sons, father shouldn't be discriminated against depending on what they wee out of. I accept that no-ones potential should be limited by their body parts and I would be annoyed if that happened to me.

'I don't support feminism' - I don't really understand what feminism is about and have perhaps been tainted with media portrayal being about crazy women who hate men

In my eyes, feminism is more chilled than some people think it is. A lot of women are awesome and a lot of men are awesome. But there are also some horribly sexist and stupid people in the world; we would be kidding ourselves if we tried to suggest all these people had a penis.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why students hate being told about the 'Real World'


There is a state of mind that comes from being at university. It begins a week or two after we first walk through those large, towering doors, our knees a little shaky as our apprehension can’t differentiate between niggling excitement and a distinct desire to vomit. University is daunting. But in due time our knees become steady, fear becomes empowerment and our legs carry us more strongly and surely than they did before.

THE INDEPENDENCE IS GOOD, RIGHT?
Studying a degree is the first taste of taking control. Sitting in a vast lecture hall, taking endless notes on a subject we have selected to kick start our career is unlike any prior government-led education. It is all down to us and meeting targets is a personal accomplishment rather than a school requirement. If you fail at university you fail, there is no easy way around and there is no short cut. So when students are branded with laziness and carelessness, when they are faced with eye rolls and threats of the ‘real world’, it’s often difficult not to roll our eyes back.

WHY WE'RE ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD

We may only have 12 hours of lectures a week but we are studying every day to build a future that isn't even in our sights yet. We are working to unknown targets, non-existent job offers and invisible salaries. We are building our CV’s to appeal to people we haven’t even met yet. Our state of mind is constantly forward: we are not given the luxury of a rut. We are pushing, everyday, to build a future that is rewarding enough to make our studying worthwhile and we are constantly fighting the self-doubt that when it comes to graduation, someone else may just be better suited to the job.

AND IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT DRINK AND DRUGS
So when adults scoff at the amount of time we spend in lectures, or the fact we have more than one day off I want to tell them this: the modern student isn't lazy or unable to awaken before 7am. The modern student isn't resistant to knowledge, or obsessed with the consumption of alcohol. The modern student works hard to achieve something that isn't quite in their sights yet, placing their goals in a scarily foggy place. Settling for average isn’t an option because complacency won’t earn us CEO, so the modern student is driven and power hungry because the modern student doesn't want to have a lie in, it wants to have a career. So when you threaten us with the ‘real world’ and how it will hit us like a tonne of bricks, you’re forgetting one thing: we’re counting on it.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

19 things 90s kids remember




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Friday, November 07, 2014

Before and after: L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in Chocolate Truffle



Dying my hair with Castings Creme Gloss by L'Oreal has been a part of my day to day routine since I was a spot ridden teen. Even now I'm older (and thankfully less spotty) I still reach for my trusted £5 box dye. 

THE COLOUR
This time I opted for Chocolate Truffle and you can see in the before image (top) and the after image (bottom), it really helped even out my hair colour. My camera really picked up on the reddy tones in my hair so I actually darkened the shadow ever so slightly in the 'After' image to give a truer representation of the real life colour.

THE TIPS
I always leave it on an extra 5 minutes because I prefer my hair darker, ensuring I've used plenty of dye on the ends of my hair as they tend to fade first. Then after that it's straight in the shower and time to go conditioner-crazy. It suggests using the deep treatment once a week after dying your hair but I tend to whack half the pot on in one go and come out smelling like a sweet, sweet apricot.

THE VERDICT
The ultimate hair pick-me-up. Whether you're an avid hair dyer or can't afford the salon on your next trip, it's difficult to go wrong with this little product!

So what do you think of the colour? And if you've used L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss before, what colour have you used?
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Thursday, November 06, 2014

6 reasons we love the new John Lewis advert

John Lewis you've done it again. Monty the Penguin  is perfect. You little geniuses you.


IT KNOWS OUR CHILDHOOD
Firstly, it starts with Pingu - a show none of our younger siblings will ever understand the brilliance of because they have their heads buried in their iPhones. You knew Pingu will appeal to us and WE LOVE YOU FOR IT.

A WADDLING PENGUIN ON A TRAMPOLINE
I repeat, a waddling penguin on a trampoline. Seriously if that isn't the cutest thing you've seen today then the only place you can work is a pug puppy home.

SNOW!
Oh yes, the reminder that we too may be sledging down a hill or two should the wonder that is snow make an appearance this year. Okay so we may not have a penguin to enjoy the experience with but never say never.

THE EVER PRESENT DESIRE TO SQUISH MONTY
I'll take 5.

THIS MOMENT


THE RED BUS AT CHRISTMAS
Can we get our advent calendars yet? Pleeeeeeeease?

THE LADY PENGUIN
Two penguins by a Christmas tree with cute music playing and Christmassy stuff everywhere. JUST, YES. YES TO ALL.

If you haven't see this delightful masterpiece yet, click here
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