Soon Turned Out, I Had A Heart Of Sass

First and foremost I want to start out by thanking each and everyone of you who read my last "anti-Valentines" post and for the all the crazy, wonderful feedback I received! It truly means the world to not only hear you enjoy reading my posts, but that they may possibly in some way inspire you, strengthen you and touch you. I've had such a moral dilemma recently within myself to want to start writing about more- shall we say- personal subjects, but have felt petrified to put myself "out there". The last post in particular felt a tad daunting because I was terrified of coming across as completely disingenuous; telling you all one minute my boyfriend is awesome and the next that I bloody hated Valentines? Huh?!... BUT after much soul searching I finally decided to hit publish (with my hand over my eyes) and I'm so pleased I did. I can't tell you how relieved I am that you guys "got me". You understood, you empathised and most importantly you weren't afraid to stand up, be counted and say "I feel the same". May all my future posts continue to make you feel as amazing as you all truly are, as they will forever endeavour (who's the poet? me!) to do so...
Right anyway, enough of all that mush I've get more moaning to get on with... This is that awkward moment where I want to tell you I'm kidding but...erm... I'm not. As mentioned in my post just over two weeks ago, I'm attempting to discuss my personal gripes a little more in a bid to overcome them and maybe dish some advise out to those of you with mutual feelings. This week I wanted to talk to you all about...  Drum roll please... Wardrobe confidence and my lack there of. I'm fully aware it might seem a touch strange for a "fashion" blogger (I'm using that term very loosely because I'm not convinced I do that title much justice) to suddenly chirp up about her lack of style faith and it definitely begs the questions, if I'm not sure in what I wear than why the hell should I be offering out style tips to others? But make yourself comfy and I shall explain... I'm suddenly feeling like I should be sat in a old Chesterfield by an open fire, with a leather bound book in hand...
OK so we're all on social media here aren't we? Yes? Then we've all experienced the constant use of the same, old "buzz" words which, to some are maybe getting a teeny weeny bit tiresome (I'm trying to be very diplomatic in my approach here). You know what I mean though, we're all apparently "on point (fleet is old hat now FYI) spending Fri-YAY with BAE and it's total squad goals" whilst we all ride around on our unicorns and obsess over pizza, avocado and apparently pineapples...weirdly enough? I'm aware I may be preaching to the choir here- Just to be clear I like pizza and pineapples but avocado looks and tastes like green Play-Doh... Not that I've ever tasted Play-Doh, moving on.... But the one buzz word I want to talk about today is a little something called "sass". I like this word A LOT! For such a tiny word, it does a lot of good. It enables girls to feel proud, confident and vivacious ... Well some of them anyway. You see, it was my personal believe that my appearance and dress sense had zero sass. When I think sass (oh my gosh, my word count in this post for "sass" is going to be up the wall) I think of these super glossy girls with perfectly tussled, perfectly balayaged hair, insanely well sculptured eyebrows and immaculate "barely there" make up. You know the kind of girls who can wear heels all day and not end up resembling Gollum, post foot surgery come 5pm (I just lied to you, I'm definitely channeling this look come 12pm in heels). They're girly yet effortlessly chic and manages to go an entire day without smudging their eye liner flicks, creasing their outfits or acquiring a greasy fringe (HOW?). I on the other hand, am categorically the complete opposite of these girls. Count all the sass I have, oh wait you can't. ZERO SASS!
Don't get my wrong my style's been called lots of debatably lovely words; retro, cute, tomboyish, you get the gist.... I can never quite decide how complimentary any of these adjectives actually are but one things for certain none of them come close to conjuring an image of pure glamour and so maybe they are kind of accurate to me? I should mention this isn't me digging for compliments, I know my style. It's followed me around everyday, all day since I started dressing myself and one thing I know for sure is, I ain't the super preened type. And that's totally fine to a degree but I reached a point in my early twenties where I'd go on nights out and I'd just feel like an out right frump! I didn't spend hours on my hair, my make up was/is effectively the same in the day as it is in the night, not too "out there" and nothing which requires too much skill (I kind of retract that- Cat eye flicks are an art in themselves). I hated heels, only resigning to wear them on "special" occasions where they felt strictly necessary- weddings, fancy meals, dressing up as Sandy from Grease.... It just didn't feel right to try and be something I'm not, a girly girl. I just didn't feel comfortable but then, in turn I felt equally uncomfortable going out in a low-key look and feeling like someone's great aunt Ethel. I can't remember who actually said this but apparently, "it's always better to be over dressed then underdone".... In which case I was well and truly screwed. Or maybe I'm thinking of the Oscar Wilde quote, "you can never be over dressed or over educated"? Not the point. Either way, if Oscar had ever met he, he would have finished that quote with "...but you can be underwhelmed".
I feel like I'm constantly hammering this home to you guys, but I honestly to this day feel at my most comfortable in a stripe top, jeans and Converse, I don't see that every changing. And that's just it, over time my style hasn't changed one bit (well I say that, with some exceptions- Disco Pants no longer seem like the best idea, SHINY LYCRA pants, what on earth were we thinking?!) but my outlook certainly has. Call it old age possibly setting in, but I'm finally learning that effectively I just don't care that much how I look in comparison to other girls! As long as I'm dressed for me, in my style than I'm A-OK.. Moreover this has become my slant on a lot of subjects not just fashion. You are never going to feel comfortable imitating someone else because what makes one girl feel amazing, can make another feel like they are totally out of their depth with absolutely no logic what so ever. Imitation is the highest form of flattery but if its lacking integrity, well lady you might as well not both. I'm a firm believer in doing whatever you want in life as long as you do it with a little heart. Don't copy others because you're scared to go against the grain, I'll telling you this now, you'll feel more silly in doing so then just saying "forget this, I'm doing my own thing". It's a waste of time. The worst thing you can do in life is compare yourself to someone else because here's the thing we're all forgetting; There is only one you, me and her in the world and on face value some of us may seem similar but we are all sooooo, so, so (too many so's?) completely different and personally I think that's a bloody blessing. All I'm saying is, you can be whatever you want in life but you can't be her... Sorry.
And just so we're all clear, I looked up the definition of "sass" and I quote- "lively, bold and full of spirit". So correct me if I'm wrong but I think we're all able to be our own kind of sass as long as we feel confident in what we wear. Who knew? Not me apparently. Ok, I'm still unable to wear heels the majority of the time and feel like I truly own them, BUT I can wear a pair of gold, shiny boots and slogan knit and feel like a million bucks (maybe not bucks, but a million pence at least). In fact, come to think of it, metallic boots in general give me live and lift my spirit so there you go- definition of sass right there! Personal preference really is a wonderful thing. Yes, I still worry that I'm edging closer to an age where I may actually have to dress like an adult and not a five year old boy but, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now I'm continue to wear pretty dresses with dirty Converse, sheer lace blouses under dungarees and patent mini's with khaki parkas because otherwise it just wouldn't be me. Retro, cute, Tomboyish and newly discovered sassy old me. 

Personal style. Personal "goals",

Sophia x

PS In writing this post I found a website which keeps a record of all past and present "buzzwords" and incase you didn't know "ham dog" is SO on trend right now. With "sea lion" being so 2015 and "scrum master" being sooooo 2014... The internet scares me. 

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Khaki Jacket- And Other Stories
'Need Some Space' Jumper- Miss Patina
Jeans- Monki to similar Here
Gold Boots- And Other Stories but see similar Here and Here
Brooch- Available from my shop, link below.

Don't Go For Second Best Baby, Put Your Self Love To The Test.

Happy Valentines Day Eve everyone!... I mean, that's a thing right? Maybe not. BUT we have finally kissed "SEE YA" to January and hallelujah, February has arrived! Which in turn apparently means luuurve is in the air for some of us and for some, not so much but that's perfectly fine because we're all strong independent women who don't need no man *wags finger with only the attitude possessed by said, strong, independent women*. Personally and unsurprising to some of you (mainly to those who read my December posts- even Christmas was touch and go at times), Valentine's Day just ain't my bag. Yes it's nice to feel lovey, dovey but without sounding like I'm preaching, I don't necessarily need a day to remind me to do that. Don't get me wrong, I'll be telling my boyfriend just how bloody awesome he is but I didn't need Clinton's to help me do that. Plus I was single/unlucky in love for a heck of a long time and it never sat right with me just how inadequate the made up landmark made me feel. It took me some time to get there, but for a long while I was very happy to be single, no if's or but's. I liked having my own life, on my own time, with only little old me to answer to/for. But some how on Valentines Day I felt obliged to discuss that big, old, single pink elephant in the room, you know the one that apparently sits at home alone, eating ice cream out of the tub and watching Bridget Jone's on repeat because "it's just SO me" *rolls eyes*? I almost felt like I had to make excuses up for why I was on my own or even worse, people felt it their duty to make them up for you!... "Oh don't worry Mr Right is just around the corner, you'll see" or "Honestly, I just don't understand how a lovely girl like you is still single?" and all the while you just have to smile and nod. Smile and nod all the way home, where you can then scream into a pillow in the privacy of your own bedroom.

Truth be told, through out my early Twenties, Mr Right was most definitely not around the corner, not by a long shot. Instead with every turn I took I kept bumping into Mr "Definitely Wrong" or Mr "You're not wrong but you're also not right for me" or the worst one of all Mr "Right, well you're a complete narcissistic arsehole, my bad for not realising that sooner". And "bumping into" was most definitely the right turn of phrase to use, because I wasn't consciously seeking him out! It was that condescending and frankly (in my personal experience) repetitive question of WHY might a girl be single that really bugged me. Like the notion a girl could possibly want to be alone was just so ludicrously out of the question that there had to be a better reason... Did it ever occur to these people that not every girl is actively searching for that apparent someone special to complete her world because, well, maybe she could do that for herself? Or maybe she'd wasted so much time relying on Mr Wrong's to make her happy that she finally realised she could be much happier without? Maybe she realised she had great friends, a great job and a bloody cracking wardrobe and she had this happiness gig covered all on her own? In the wise words of Eighties Madonna, "second best is never enough, you'll do much better baby on your own" *drops the mic*. And in the even wiser teachings of my mum, you certainly can't find happiness in others without finding it in yourself first and that always struck a chord with me.

I'm sorry I sound like I'm being a spoil sport on a perfectly harmless celebration and it's completely unintentional, please celebrate away! I can assure you, Joe will have a Valentine's and he won't be sat at home crying over a microwavable Spag Bol (which FYI would be his dream tea) because his girlfriend isn't the celebrating type. BUT- and Joe can also vouch for me on this one- I have this predisposition to feel incredibly uncomfortably when involved in "couples events"- double dates, couples holidays and unfortunately Valentine's Day. It just makes me feel well... Icky. There's something just a little smug and trait about it all, like an elitism between those in couples over those who are not. I just can't seem to enjoy it. It'll never be me because I'm still the exact same girl I was before relationship-ville. I still work hard, I do everything for myself and everything I have, I have myself to thank for (apart from my Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats, Joe might be responsible for those). Yes my boyfriend makes me extremely happy. He adds something huge and amazing to my life, I'd be lying if I said he didn't but- and maybe I've learned this through him being away so much- there are other aspects to my world that bear just as much importance to my happiness. It's about a balance. Why must we always concentrate on this one idea of finding love, to make our worlds complete? The point I'm getting at is; single or in a relationship,  who cares? Whether you're relationship status is a conscious decision or "it's complicated"... Big deal! Are you happy? Like as in for real happy in yourself, by yourself, for yourself? You are? Good! Amazing! You're doing ok! Because really when it all boils down, that's the only thing that's ever going to matters.

And with that I will leave you with a new love of my life, my Birkin Basket bag. Now that little dreamboat DEFINITELY completes my wardrobe at least...

Happy Valentines Day or at least Happy Tuesday,
Sophia x

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Jumper- And Other Stories but see similar here and here
Denim Flare- And Other Stories
Leopard Print Coat- Topshop but see similar here
Loafers- All Sole
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Snaps by Lydia Maycock

Tea Tree- I'm Pickin' Up Good Exfoliations

Honesty is always the best policy right? Well, sort of. We don't necessarily adhere to this rule where our social media accounts are concerned and I'm as guilty of bending the truth on a selfie as the next immaculately filtered guy. But my writing and my blog, well now that's a whole different ball game! I aim to keep things as real as possible and so I figured it would be good to start touching upon some of my biggest bug bares and personal gripes, maybe as a half hearted bid to come to terms with some of my insecurity and maybe just in case you guys suffer the same annoyances. Whether it's your fat thighs, frizzy hair or in my case horrendous skin, we can talk it out, have a grumble and be grumpy together. Sound ok to you? Misery loves company and two heads are better then one. I'm not saying I'm an expert personal trainer nor that I have a degree of dermatology but maybe some suggestions I might possibly make could maybe, quite possible help you to... Within reason (the amount of times I used "maybe, quite possible" then isn't exactly reassuring is it? I'm quite clearly trying to keep expectations low... I ain't no Gandalf The Gre-"at at life coaching"-y).

SO, as mentioned above, my main issue, I have a few but this is the biggie, is my skin. What exactly do I mean by this? Well, its horrible, that's what I mean. I'm not blessed with good skin, just good foundation and the two should never be confused. It's blotchy and I get the worst outbreaks when I'm stressed, tired or rundown and it seems to me I'm almost, always one of these three things. It's got my down for years and for a long period of time I used to really beat myself up about it, I honestly just thought I looked disgusting. But as the years have gone by I've come to realise perfect skin is in the minority, if not a complete myth. The other extremely important thing I've learned as I've got older is just how vital it is that you use all the right products; from your cleansing routine to your foundation. As soon as I started using the right skin care products, it was like a real "lightbulb" moment of not just my skin suddenly looking and feeling tons better but my make up would also feel great. I found my foundation would sit better and would last longer throughout the day, plus when I came to take it off in the evening my face remained looking refresh rather than drained and lifeless. I know I know, "using the right skin care for you" sounds like a blindingly obvious suggestions! BUT it's taken me years and years of using the wrong products, in which I resigned myself to the fact my skin was just plain bad and I needed to just put up and shut up. To then FINALLY finding what works for me and realising, I may never have 100% perfect skin but I can sure as hell come slightly close.

Like I said my skin tends to flare up and be a tad unpredictable so what I use daily can differ depending on how bad my skin actually is from week to week. I've found Tea Tree works wonders for my outbreaks and the Boot's own range in particular is a real life saver for me, plus it's easy on your purse as a little bonus. On a daily basis I tend to use the Foaming Face Wash for a more gentle cleanse, it's light on your skin and doesn't feel too harsh. When my skins a little more worse for wear I tend to use the Charcoal Scrub (warning the charcoal scrub is a touch messy so please do NOT use around white towels, unless you like doing the laundry) which acts as an amazing exfoliator however I wouldn't advise to use it daily, not just for your towels sake but it can dry your skin out very quickly. Once/twice a week when your breaking out is perfectly fine.

For the odd occasion when I really, really want to have a big o' skin detox, I use the Charcoal Face Mask and Pore Strips. The face mask is amazingly for striping your skin of any unwanted oils and it feels A-MAZING afterwards, super soft like a puppy's belly (obviously that's a very technical term used in the dermatologist industry)! The pore strips will do a similar job, ridding you of any unwanted grease (super helpful for how your foundation will then sit on your lovely face) on your schnozzle but it also deals with any pesky black heads lingering around. I promise you won't be left with a nose resembling Rudolf after you've used them, the nice thing is it comes in two parts. One which strips and cleanses, and then one which moisturises and soothes. Please see photos below of my looking totally smoking (that's sarcasm, just so we're clear) and demonstrating just how to use both the mask and the strips.

Last but by no means least, the holy grail of spot eliminating in my eyes, my ultimate lifesaver, the Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Spot Wand. I carry this little baby around with me everywhere! Effectively all you need to know is as follows; you spy a little spot worming its way on to your face, you whip out your wand, Harry Potter style, you dot the spot and watch your unwanted friend disappear! Voila! There's two ends, one for night use which I like to lay on nice and heavy. And one for the day which is clear, so you can zap your spots completely unnoticed. I could gush about this wand of dreams all day and I pray it works just as well for you guys as it does for me, otherwise my elusions of just how magic it is will be destroyed. But as mentioned previous, skin care is trial and error; what works for me might not necessarily be your skins cup of tea(tree... See what I did there). As long as your being proactive and getting to the source of what works for you, that's the numero uno priority!

I don't care how superficial it sounds, speaking from experience your skin can truly make or break both your confidence and your happiness, which is why I wanted to come clean (these puns just write themselves) and share my woes with you! 

To Tea Tree or not to Tea Tree, is totally down to preference but if your skins anything like mine it's definitely worth a shoot!

Happy Cleansing and apologies for just HOW terrifying the charcoal was looks below,
Sophia x

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