4/09/2014

Ruby shoot - behind the scenes



Recently Ruby contacted me to take part in their new campaign and I couldn't wait to get to set! I absolutely love Ruby; they've made some of my favorite pretty (and comfy!) underwear, not to mention beautiful accessories - and if anyone knows me, they know that I drop most of my shopping money on those shiny things. Last month, a few of us bloggers were invited to choose an archetype and take part in a pamper session before shooting for their new range. First we went to Enmasse in Gardens for a Thai massage and tea (wowza that was an interesting but great experience haha!) and then I headed to Wembley Studios. I ate the most delicious red velvet cupcake before washing it down with champagne (insert MIA swaggin goin' swell gif here) and got to meet sweethearts Farrah (codename: siren), Cleo (AKA: Grecian goddess), Carlinn (pseudonym: wood nymph) and Judy (alias: champion of upcycling). I also got to catch up with Bailey (moniker: mermaid) and now I want a GoPro, check out her cute behind the scenes video here.

For my archetype I chose 'modern-day witch' and make up artist Jade Snell created a masterpiece. I'd worked with her before but this time we got to go crazy with make up, I'm talking blue glitter overdose and a third eye! I'm really into theatrical looks so I had a blast shooting. Let's talk about the jewellery for a second here, I wanted to go Winona and steal everything. They have beautiful crystal necklaces, dangly earrings that dreams are made of and a crescent moon necklace that I have to buy right. now.

Special thanks to Robyn, Kayla and the photography team for the Ruby Pamper and Pout experience! I can't wait to see the final images.

3/24/2014

Jet Winter 2014




Last week I was in Joburg with the Cape Town fashion pack for the Jet Winter launch. We all enjoyed the show and I loved some of the scarves, jackets and blouses on display, not to mention that cute ushanka hat and glove combo I would wear tomorrow. With monochrome items, collegiate pieces, casual denim, a dash of pretty lingerie and lots of layering, Jet gave us affordable garments to face the upcoming chill, shown on one of South Africa's last summer days.

I know a lot of us are looking forward to the cold weather, I used to be terrible at layering but I think I'm getting better ;) See anything you like? I'm quite partial to the printed pants ensemble in the first photo - that's something I need to start experimenting with, prints! Wallet-friendly street wear is nothing to sniff at and unlike a few other brands' recognizable items, these key pieces will be able to work in a wardrobe for seasons to come, especially the monochrome ones. Also, I gotta say, some of the men's suits were awesome. Have a stylish winter everyone x

3/17/2014

Clipinhair review




I used to have great hair before I bleached it, cut it and dyed it everything from black & white to rainbow. Today my hair is still thin and it's taking its sweet time growing but thankfully it's looking a lot healthier. I love experimenting with my look and have wanted to get some mermaid-worthy hair extensions for a while but my friends who'd had them bonded told me horror stories so I steered clear. I tried some cheap clip-ins before but I couldn't do much with them...I might have melted one or two XD. Anyway this weekend I got my hands on some proper clip-ins from Clipinhair and decided to do a review.

Product - Clipinhair 20'' (50cm) Straight Platinum Blonde 100% Remy Indian Hair Extensions and Tangle Teezer.

Prep - As you can see by the colour of my bathwater, I decided to tone a few of the wefts to create some difference in hue and better match my hair because I like to use purple shampoo to get rid of brassy tones. I washed the pieces, dried them with a hairdryer (Avoid this, rather lay them out on a towel to dry) and brushed them with the Tangle Teezer before I straightened my hair to match the extensions.

Placing - I scrunched up my hair on the top of my head and then started at the back by placing a 2-clip weft on the bottom of my hairline. I then placed a 3-clip weft on top of those, followed by a 4-lip weft above the previous ones. I then put 2-clip wefts on either side of my head (above the others) and added 1-clip wefts above those. You can place the 4-clip weft at the back above the last clips but I was pretty happy with amount I'd already put in.
 
Pleased? - The extensions were very easy to put in and the whole procedure was quick. If they're put in correctly, there's no pulling and you're only aware of them if you try to feel them. I loved how they responded to my toner and I'm stoked that I can use styling tools on them. Are they obvious? Well, they will look as good as you've styled them and while I'm not the best at styling (total slacker honestly), I was pleased with the result so I can only imagine if I really went to town! I like that you can continually customize your look with as many or as few clip-ins as you like but the best aspect for me is that there's no hair damage. They slid out nicely when I removed them while my cheaper extensions used to hold some of my other hairs hostage so I'd find myself removing my own strands with the clips. Another plus is that unlike those shiny (look at me!) silver clips, Clipinhair clips match the colour of the extensions. 

Bottom line: you get what you pay for with clip-ins and a once-off investment is worth it. If you get bonded extensions, you're going to be paying a lot more, replacing them and will end up damaging your own tresses. I'm sold and I can't wait to curl them for my next night out! If you're interested in Clipinhair, check out www.clipinhair.co.za for more info. They also sell crazy colour clip-ins and hair chalk so my credit card and I need to stay away for the time being!

3/13/2014

10 tips on how to stop being too nice




We all teach people how to treat us and being submissive encourages mistreatment. I've outlined a couple of ways I've learned to start honoring my feelings and stop being taken advantage of. This is a continuation of my last personal post.

1. Make time for yourself

Think of alone time as time to recharge and rewire. Spend time giving back to yourself with something you love. Don't beat yourself up for enjoying being unproductive - "me" time is downtime you require so never feel guilty about it. You can only be your best self when you take time to carve out some personal happiness. You have to slow down and reflect on how things have been and how you want them to be. Our needs are always evolving so make sure you take stock of knowing what you want, what you don't want and what you'll accept. It's imperative that you reflect on habits you don't want to continue and understand what you want to change. Whenever you feel frazzled, get some alone time.

2. Say no sooner

Stop being afraid of the word "no", there's nothing wrong with it, I promise. When someone asks you to do something, get the date and time of the deadline/arrangement before you respond to the request. If you're not sure if you want to commit to something, say no first. Saying yes and backing out later makes you feel guilty and makes the other person feel gypped. Say no upfront and if you change your mind, you can always say yes later.

3. No means no excuses

Stop making excuses for yourself or for other people's behavior. Sometimes we make excuses hoping a friend/boyfriend/hook-up will magically start treating us better. Stop. When it comes to using verbal excuses to get out of something, the same applies. No excuses, you're busy. Keep it simple and don't elaborate. Excuses give wiggle room for someone to change your mind and if you're like me, it's been changed way too much so give yourself a break. When people try to alter your plans for you, stick to your guns and terminate the conversation like a boss.  

4. Redefine what it means to be 'busy'

You don't need to be saving lives to be busy. If you're asked to do something and you'd really rather not it's because you're going to be busy...being awesome. I can always be honest with my friends and say "I'm not up to it" and they're happy with my response. It would be great if everyone was like that but I've found that many people like to keep pushing, in which case, you're busy. This isn't an excuse because pretty much anything except breathing, is you being busy. I read a book where this player of a guy who'd disappeared on this girl called her randomly to organize a ride from the airport at some ungodly hour. She said, "Can't, I'm busy then", he responded, "Busy doing what, sleeping?" and she said "Yes" and hung up. Now I know you're not always going to be dealing with assholes but being busy isn't personal; you spend so much of your life doing things you don't want to do and you will do it again so sometimes, you have to be busy enjoying your time on your terms. 

 5. Ration your apologies

Make an effort to keep track of how much you say "sorry". People who are too nice apologize way too much and it's subcionciuosly destructive because you're shifting blame onto yourself at times when you don't need to. When we always apologise, we're sometimes saying "I'm not good enough". Have you ever felt like you had to explain yourself by being apologetic? Stop with phrases like "I know this is so stupid but I really like X". It's not stupid if you like something. I used to say sorry when people bumped into me or when I tripped on an inanimate object because it was such a natural reflex. Last year, there was a situation where I'd spent a few weeks meeting with someone working on a project I'd paid for. I would be kept waiting each time I met with them and they messed up three times, meaning I had to meet with them several more times. On one occasion, they had left the office early when I'd returned to have their work rectified. I was offered no apology for any of this. One morning, after being given a vague option to be there some time between 9:30 and 10 am, I arrived at 9:45 to be questioned as to why I was late. Usually I would naturally apologise and the woman was certainly expecting me to say sorry. She kept trying to make me feel bad even after I'd given her the facts so I just let her rant to my silence and she ended up feeling awkward and getting on with her job. It was the first time I'd withheld an apology and it felt empowering because I felt like I was finally respecting myself. That job also finally got done correctly. Only apologize when you feel you should.

6. Remember that your feelings are valid

Don't do things that don't sit right with you. Blogging has really upped my confidence with this because I've had to constantly tell companies what I'm prepared or not prepared to do. Listen to your gut. When it comes to your personal life, you don't have to accept shitty behaviour, you don't have to keep trying and you don't owe toxic relationships your time. Stop feeling guilty. When people ask where to go or what to do, don't say "I'm cool with whatever", suggest something you want to do once in a while. Spend your time and energy where you want to and when you want to. Cut the self-deprecating talk, some people will actually start to believe you.  Similarly when you respect yourself, others will start respecting you.
 
7. Treat everyone as if they are completely capable without you

This is a great way to start being true to yourself without being confrontational. Quit coddling and reassuring all the time because if people think you're a soft touch, they will prey on your nature by relying on you to let things slide or validate their behaviour. Don't offer to help if you can't or don't want to. If someone hurts you, don't reassure them otherwise. If someone tells an offensive joke, don't laugh. Whenever you feel pressured to answer a question but you'd rather not, keep your responses vague. Don't be afraid of the phrase, "I don't want to talk about that". Studies on social hacking show that people who phish for information need only leave suggestive gaps in conversation before their targets surrender to human nature by filling in those gaps. Credit card details and passwords are gleaned from people and companies this way. We've all met someone who makes us feel like they're just trying to find something out and in tamer instances, we've met people who know all of our bullshit but never let us in on theirs. When you treat everyone as completely capable, you're less likely to want to 'help' them by filling silences, only to end up feeling like you've told them your whole life story. I used to be an open book but now I'm only that way with people who deserve to read my story.

8. Stop sneaky remarks in their tracks

When someone makes a comment you dislike, speak up right away so that they know that shit like that doesn't fly with you. Right off the bat, people need to know where they stand. If you dislike it when someone begins, "No offence but..." interrupt them humourously before they decide to continue. Don't let people get away with backhanded compliments, my natural response used to be to ignore it and move on but that just got me more of the same. Either ask what they mean by it or pretend you didn't quite catch that and keep asking them to repeat it. I've found that people back down or start trying to explain themselves when you do that but if anyone confidently stews in their own venom then they cray cray, get out of there. When people fish for negative info or make a comment suggesting you should feel a certain way ("I'd be heartbroken if that was me!") or that you behave a certain way ("No way, you wouldn't do that, I know you sooo well"), do not entertain it. Stock responses for emotional vampires: "Really? Huh. Anyway..." and "That's an interesting way to look at it". I've also found that incessant laughter confuses the hell out of people and they generally simmer down.

9. Remember the outcome is never usually as bad as imagined

You might think saying that no to something important or confronting someone will be painful. It's never that bad though, Jerry Springer shit doesn't happen often in real life. I find that confrontation works best when it's instant and doesn't refer to anyone's past behaviour. Don't take it there and don't let someone else take it there. This is 2014, you're not dealing with what you or what they did when you were 21. You're dealing with "That just hurt me". Confrontation is annoying because my experiences have pretty much been listening to someone deny any wrong-doing or insinuate that there's something wrong with me. No one enjoys it but it's not something to avoid because if you don't address behaviour, it will continue. That said, it's never too late to speak up when it crops up again. If the behavior still continues, you're dealing with a lost cause. Cut it loose.  

10. Spend the most time with people who have your back

We become most like the people who we spend the most time with so it's important that we divide our time between people who have our best interests at heart. It's great to have someone in your life who is comfortable with confrontation because they can help you come out of your shell. I actually realized how being "too nice" can inconvenience those closest to you because they too, have to deal with the status quo you've established in other relationships and can show you where you're going wrong. Healthy relationships should strengthen both parties. I spoke to an awesome friend and we both found that we had been spending our time on friendships that required the most work instead of spending it on the easy ones. To this day, my favorite people are some of the friends I barely see because they don't make demands on me and I know they'll always be there. I'm going to stop taking those great friendships for granted.

Here's to being a fierce warrior queen!  

3/08/2014

#PUMASelectCT








This week PUMA opened their Select store at 137 Bree Street so we toured the shop and had a little sidewalk party. It was one of the last beautiful evenings of summer and the perfect night to party with PUMA. We stuck our wooden pieces on the board for the chance to win items from the store, then I tried to be a DJ for two minutes and planned a Clueless drinking game sleepover with Jasna before checking out some fresh kicks. First of all, if you're going to invest in a great pair of sneakers, they should be PUMA X Alexander McQueen ones so I crossed my fingers that I would win the prize that night. Alas, it was not to meant to be but I've still got my eye on them. 

We saw some laser cut street wear, cute hoodies and a chic little romper in-store as well as marvelling at the disk technology on some of the shoes. Instead of laces or velcro, the disk fastens the shoes. Pretty nifty. Most of the footwear was inspired by the upcoming World Cup in Brazil with styles either featuring soccer ball fabric inserts, cleats or felt jersey numbers that created the illusion of a zig-zag across the panels. Very cool!

The PUMA Select store will be open for a year and offers the brand's premium products featuring streetwear as well as sneaker collaborations with Alexander McQueen, Miharayashuhiro, MMQ (Machts Mit Qualitat), BWGH (Brooklyn We Go Hard) and Ronnie Fieg. The launch marked their joining in with the ‘First Thursdays’ initiative, a concept where art galleries and shops in Cape Town’s central city are open to the public until late on the first Thursday of every month. PUMA will be providing live music and good vibes so check it out next week after a dinner in town.

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