Friday, 3 July 2015

Catch Up | Light 'n' Lazy Makeup Tutorial

Hi guys and girls, well it's been aaaages hasn't it?!

You probably know by now that I have been really unwell for the past couple of months and spent about 4 weeks in hospital. Pleased to say I am over the worst and on my road to recovery.

Here I give you a general catch up and show you my quick, easy, lazy makeup for looking good even when you don't feel it!

See you soon

Thursday, 7 May 2015

How to LOVE other people's photos of you.

So we've all pretty much nailed the selfie now, right? I don't know many women who haven't mastered the art of good lighting, raised camera and duck face pout of course!

I am really good at selfies hahaha. Here are some of my favourites...

I'm sure you also have some selfies that you are comfortable with, that make you smile and that you'd be happy to show to anyone... And that's why they are probably (like mine) used as your social media profile pictures.

So why is it that most of us feel very differently about photos that other people take of us? Is it the lack of control? Is it that they aren't bothered about our best side or most flattering angle?

Well there is actually a proper grown up scientificmabobs explanation for this. We have one very frequent but surprisingly inaccurate source of seeing ourselves, and that is the mirror. We are so used to seeing our concise mirror image, on average around 70 times per day, that seeing a completely different angles/ratio/distance image is a bit of a shell shock.

Now you might be in the minority of women who are so completely happy with their appearance and comfortable in their own skin, that anyone could take a photo of them from any angle and they wouldn't mind in the slightest. If this is you then you have my admiration and utmost respect. You are very few and far between though...

So to recap, a selfie recreates the mirror image of us that we are used to seeing on a regular basis. A photo that someone else takes of us represents how other people see us everyday. From a variety of "bad" angles that we are never even aware of. That's why your friends and family will usually be shocked if there is a photo of you that you hate - as that's how they usually see you.

So how can we get over this? Well, like any fear, the best way to tackle it is to face it! We did a little bit of research on this and discovered that there is also a scientificmabobs way to deal with it.

The theory is called "Mere-exposure" and can also be known as the familiarity principle. The idea is simple - the more often you are exposed to something, the more you will like it. So when it comes to photographs you hate, the only way to start liking them is to keep looking at them. OVer and over again, for as long as it takes. But it actually won't take that long for you to start tolerating the images before you will actually begin to like them. And what could be better than liking yourself and the way the world sees you, that little bit more? Not much I'd say.

I will let you into a little secret now. Here are some pictures of me that other people have taken, ones that I HATED at first but have now grown to like with this very effective method...

Those of you who have met me will probably wonder why I ever hated these. But I did. I can confidently say now though that I really like them and no longer see the problem myself either.

So, your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to find those photos you hate that other people have taken of you and keep looking at them over and over again. You'll more than likely go from "Ewww" to "Hmmm not too bad I suppose" to "Actually I quite like that" much quicker than you think!

Let me know if this works for you and how much better it's made you feel.

Bye for now
Em xx

Friday, 24 April 2015

Jamelia - Your Argument is Flawed. Here's my Big Fat Story...

I really hope you can spend 5 minutes reading this blog post, no matter who you are, where you're from or what size you are. It's a very upfront and honest perspective that not everyone will understand, but I'm hoping I can change that...

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, you'll be fully aware of failed pop star Jamelia's controversial comments regarding plus size clothing, and the huge backlash she has received in the aftermath.

I actually cannot be bothered to quote her but in essence her opinion (which she has explained she is paid to give) is that "extreme" sizes below 6 and over 20 should not be available on the high street and should only be sold in specialist shops. She explained that these sizes are unhealthy and that women who fit in them should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go shopping.

I have read many blog posts since then from many members of the amazing plus-size blogging community and have agreed with them all, But in my opinion (which I don't get paid to give) there's a big point that's being missed here and one that not everyone can relate to, but I'd like to share it...


I was a teenager of the 90s, when the world was a very different place to what it is now. I didn't get my first mobile phone (a rather splendid Nokia 3310 with Purple Ronnie fascia) until I was 18 and apart from spending 20mins waiting for the internet to dial up before being thrown off again (cos my Mum wanted to ring my Auntie) there wasn't an online world or a social media community to be part of.

Like most teenage girls have always done, I spent many Saturdays in town shopping with my friends. But I was a lot bigger than all of them so my options for clothing were very very limited. There was literally one shop in Blackburn that I was able to buy clothes from, and that was Evans. Back then, Evans catered for Mums, most of their clothes were flowery, frumpy and a far cry from fashionable. So who could blame me for being embarrassed to take my friends in there as a 14/15/16 year old girl? I felt exactly how Jamelia wanted me to feel. I was uncomfortable, ashamed and embarrassed. There was one "specialist shop" that I could shop in and that was it. So what did I do? Well just like my friends, I had money to spend, I started working at 13 doing bits of part time work here and there and saving as much money as I could. At home things were hard. My father had passed away when I was 4 and my Mum had lost a successful business through no fault of her own. She was going through difficult times and there was very little money around. Little money meant little food but I hadn't gotten to the size I was without being a big food lover! So with a pocket full of cash and nowhere to spend it that didn't fill me with dread, I spent several years buying nothing but shoes, handbags, make up and one other thing - FOOD.

I was too young to understand what low self esteem and depression were, but that's exactly what was going on. And like any good fat girl I was absolutely brilliant at self-medicating. As I trawled through pages and pages of glossy magazines filled with amazing looks I could never achieve, suddenly the only thing that made me feel better was a litre of ice cream or a family sized cream cake. Funnily enough that resulted in me gaining even more weight! So being "fat-shamed" didn't make me get healthier as the wonderful Jamelia seems to think it would, it made me fatter.

I then discovered alcohol and was out drinking with friends at least 3 nights a week. In fairness, I danced a lot of it off but I still continued to gain weight and when you're already way over Jamelia's acceptable size 20, a few more dress sizes really makes no difference at all.

When I was 19 I met my soul mate and partner Simon and we fell madly in love, within a couple of years we were living together with a baby on the way and I had everything I'd ever wanted. That still didn't stop me hating myself every single day, covering those feelings up to the outside world with my humour, boisterous personality and gift of the gab. I had my amazing, beautiful, perfect baby boy in 2004 and had then reached my heaviest weight, fashion was far from my mind and I spent the next few years buying whatever I could find on eBay that would fit and "look OK"

I suffered from horrendous post natal depression and behind closed doors it was a very very difficult and dark period of my life. Getting bigger, feeling worthless and at some points wondering why anyone wanted anything to do with me as I was just so inadequate and quite frankly, useless.

At this point, I was also holding down a very stressful sales job and surrounded by a very negative workforce, that only served to bring me down even more. I ended up having a breakdown and becoming very very ill for 6 months. This was a massive turning point in my life as I had mental space to really think and reevaluate my life. It was then that I decided to take a risk and open my vintage boutique to compliment my online shop
Boy, did this begin to change my life...

Suddenly I was being true to me, doing what I love the most and also giving options to so many women of different shapes and sizes. I stock anything from a vintage size 4 to a gorgeous size 28 and sometimes beyond. I have had women cry in the shop of pure happiness as finally they have been made to feel welcome and feel beautiful, not ostracised. I've also been able to reach out on social media, finding incredible women who write about their feelings and their fashion, things that I can really relate to. I now have so many more shops and labels that I can buy amazing fashion from and it feels great. I've found my inner peace, inner confidence and there is absolutely no stopping me now. I'm even at a point where I now hold confidence and empowerment classes. These have absolutely NOTHING to do with size, they are about women feeling good about themselves and enjoying their life at last, subsequently achieving great things. I've also been HUGELY inspired by the incredible Tess Holliday (aka Tess Munster) over the last year, and she has been a real catalyst for my hugely improved mental health and wellbeing.

And guess what Jamelia? I've actually started to loose weight too, meaning my mental AND physical health is improving. All because I'm learning to love myself and subsequently I don't want to punish myself. And no, this really isn't any of your business but it is FACT, not opinion. The fact is, shaming made me fatter and self worth makes me healthier.

So, Jamelia (and anyone who agrees with her) your opinion is completely flawed and quite frankly, bullshit.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Defeating Trolls and Effing Beauty Standards!

Well it's been another rather eventful week in the world of me and My Vintage!

As many of you already know, as part of our positivity and confidence movement, we have introduced Feel Good Fridays, where we encourage other women to wear something that they might not normally be brave enough to and to get those selfies rolling, hashtag #feelgoodfriday of course...

Last Friday, I decided upon a rather pretty Primark kimono jacket that I was gifted for Christmas but hadn't worn yet. I'd been avoiding it as it's a pale colour (that I'm not always comfortable with) and being a little bit sheer, it shows some of my upper arms, which is a huge issue for me. I put together this cute little outfit and I felt absolutely great, as well as getting SO many compliments...

I was thoroughly loving all the compliments I was getting (who wouldn't?!) and it was lovely to hear that people liked my outfit.

So there I was having a lunchtime scroll through my Instagram feed and I see this...

No, I think to myself, that must be a typo. She surely isn't being THAT rude? So I ask...

And sure enough...

So now I'm thinking - OK, not only do we have a troll in our midst, but she is now being a little confrontational! However, I tried to remain as calm and professional as possible and here was my (not at all sarcastic) retort...

And so the "conversation" continued...

Back tracking, much?! And just when you thought I couldn't get any more condescending...

Now there were MANY other comments made as my friends and followers began to get onboard and say their piece! I was happy for them to say whatever they wanted and if you do want to read everything that was said then please do hop onto my Instagram feed and have a nosey! But please note there is some very colourful language!

Needless to say, the troll retreated back into her cave without further notice and the whole episode really did give us an afternoon of laughs. But let's be serious here - does my posting of a photograph on Instagram actually give anyone the right to insult me? I think not.

If this had happened a year ago I would have laughed it off in public, got home and had a good cry, deleted the photograph from every possible location and never ever worn that outfit again. But I genuinely didn't feel any of those negative feelings. And to be honest, that gave me a real boost as I realised that I really had come so far on my journey to loving and appreciating my body and being at peace with myself. So I guess she kinda did me a favour!

The incident also drew in many comments from my friends on Facebook, which was lovely and supportive. I honestly didn't feel like I needed reassurance but it was nice to know that friends cared enough to speak up. It was on of these friends who contacted me and suggested we do a really fun tongue-in-cheek photoshoot the next day. Andy is a great amateur photographer and also someone I trust and feel comfortable with so I jumped at the chance.

The idea was just to reinforce the whole Feel It Wear It Own It philosophy and the message behind Eff Your Beauty Standards, whilst also (literally) sticking a finger to the aforementioned troll and any that may follow her!

Here are some of my favourite shots...

I think between Andy, Lucy and myself we really did get our message across and we also had an amazing laugh!

Troll defeated. Beauty standards effed! I think we reign victorious don't you?


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

My April Lust List

I love this time of the season, when Spring/Summer fashion is getting brighter and breezier by the day. I have, of course, been perusing some of my favourite online shopping destinations to bring you my April Lust List... all the goodies that I kind of need in my life this month...

From a fashion point of view I am a 5ft 10 pear shape with a wide size 8 foot. My wardrobe ranges from a UK22 - UK32 depending where I shop and what style the clothes are. I even have a rather fabulous Primark kimono jacket in an 18 what fits really well - bonkers!

My choices are tailored to my tastes and what suits me best, so if you are similar in stature, size or shape to me then I'm sure you'll be wanting some of these beauties too...

1. ASOS CURVE Exclusive Brushed Wool Cape - £70

I know it's a wool cape so you're thinking NOT for summer but LOOK AT IT! I adore this and with a light outfit underneath it's ideal for Spring. Kind of English Heritage meets NYC fashionista. Love it.

2. YOURS CLOTHING Navy And Red Floral Stripe Print Midi Dress - £35

I love the retro flavour of this cute dress. Navy and red is one of my favorite combinations too! I'd personally wear it with blue jeggings and red flats. I might have to do just that actually...

Now, you may not be surprised to learn that one of my favourite shopping destinations is actually! Funny that isn't it? Well my absolute must haves this month are as follows...

3. MY VINTAGE Vintage Style Black Cherry Belt - £10

Well as soon as I put this belt on, Lucy immediately ripped it off me (no, calm down let me finish) ripped the tag off and shouted YOURS, I'll buy it for you! So from there on in, I owned it! It's such a great versatile belt that can be worn on the waist or at the empire line, and who doesn't need cherry print in their life?

4. MY VINTAGE - Black Tropical Floral Print Audrey Dress - £35

There's not a lot I can say about this dress, other than I NEED IT! The colours are sooo good on me and for someone who has a smaller top half and larger bottom half, the fit is ideal and very flattering.

5. MY VINTAGE Designer Vintage Bright Silk Moschino Scarf -£120

As we already know, I do love a scarf, and I do love my bright colours. This amazing original vintage scarf from Moschino is one of my absolute favourites and is a great way to inject some colour into your everyday wardrobe. And like any piece of original vintage, it's only ever going to increase in value. It's a winner!

6. EVANS Ivory Art Print Shirt - £35

I NEEEEED this shirt in my life. It's just the right thing to throw over black leggings and a top when I'm in a rush but still want that retro edge. I do love how Evans clothing is really shaped properly for larger proportions too, rather than a size 8 sample just being made bigger (you know what I'm talking about)

7. EVANS Scarlett and Jo Black Mesh Insert Dress - £65

This dress is just too cute and has several elements that I love. A stretchy short sleeved top with cheeky mesh insert and real 1950's flavour, plus bold jewel colours - faaaaabulous!

8. NEW LOOK Wide Fit Pink Leather Caged Shoes - £27.99

I wear flats 99% of the time. Mainly because I'm just not great in heels these days but also because when you're as tall as I am, you don't really want or need to be any taller! As much as I love my ballet pumps, sandals and Converse, I am always thrilled when I find cute new flats in a different style than I already wear. These New Look wide fit shoes are just adorable and will go with so many different outfits. They also come in white, but I think this pale pink will be much better on my pale skin and more wearable too. Need!

9. RIVER ISLAND White Slogan iPhone 5 Case - £8.00

Anyone who knows me, know that this is one of my absolute favourite things to say. And who doesn't love a hashtag? It's a dream come true in a phone case. I may have already ordered it...

10. TOPSHOP - Pineapple Straw Tote Bag - £28

Another vintage/retro icon is of course the pineapple, so this Topshop tote bag is brilliant for the beach or those days when your normal handbag just won't cut the mustard. Ewwwww, mustard and pineapple. Queasy, much?!

I hope you loved my round-up for this month my lovelies, let me know your favourites!

Em x