Tag Archives: how to

Too beautiful to let them win: dealing with terrorism as a traveller

On July 12th 2016, I left Nice, France complaining about how sunburnt I got while sitting on the beach, enjoying a beautiful day with my new Contiki friends. Two days later someone drove a cargo truck into innocent crowds celebrating Bastille Day. Talk about a wake up call to real world issues.

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POST TRAVEL DEPRESSION

It has been a mere three days since my return home from Europe, and although I was only gone for five weeks, it was enough to induce some serious post travel depression, which I assure you is real and frankly, it’s pretty horrible.

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MUST HAVE: WINTER DRESSES

Being a student, my life at the moment is pretty hectic, and while I spend my nights doing assignments (at the last minute, of course) I catch up on sleep in the mornings (roughly an hour before class starts) so instead of rushing like a mad woman trying to come up with a decent outfit in the 15 minutes I give myself to get ready, I just put on a chic winter dress and run out the door.

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Prue Chilcott: The influential voice behind Melbourne’s iconic Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival

There are an endless amount of misconceptions about the infamous fashion industry. It is perceived to be a never ending stampede of exquisitely dressed people who are willing to trample anyone in their way in order to get their dream job. Luckily for those hoping to join the chaos, according to Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s digital marketing executive, Prue Chilcott, it’s not nearly anything like what we see in films, and for the first time, the reality is a lot better than what we thought.

Imagine you have the power to speak on behalf of a major organisation that not only hosts a nationally renowned fashion festival, but an organisation that heavily influences the Australian fashion industry. You would have a dramatic influence over a variety of people simply through social media. The new age of fashion marketing has changed the way a digital society stays in the know. Now, with the touch of a ‘share’ button, anyone can send a photo viral, revolutionising traditional fashion media, tripling the success and awareness of an event. Anyone can do it, but not everyone can utilise the skills of traditional marketing strategies and combine them with social media to create an influence that speaks to different audiences on different levels. In the case of VAMFF, Prue Chilcott is the person who has this power.

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Firstly, Prue presents herself in an incredibly friendly light. She radiates a genuine nature and has an admirable aura of confidence. Dressed comfortably but looking ever so stylish, she proves that she most definitely is “cool enough” to be the voice of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, even on a freezing Melbourne morning when you would rather be in bed sleeping, and not at work in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. For aspiring public relations students, take note of Prue Chilcott, who has come a long way in her career in a short time.

Prue began this stage of her career with VAMFF in November 2014, once she returned to work from maternity leave. Her job as the digital marketing executive leaves her responsible for all online communications involving VAMFF, including all social media, the VAMFF website, emails, and their blog, In Detail, which she helped to launch at the end of 2014. Prue is also a features writer for the acclaimed Australian blog, Melbourne Girl. When not at work she is busy enjoying motherhood and helping her husband with the financial side to his business. Is there anything that Prue isn’t doing?

If there is one thing that Prue says gets her through her busy days, it is the passion that she has for her work: “If you’re driven by doing what you love then it’s not work”, she said. “I really love working here, I love writing for Melbourne Girl, I love being a mum and doing simple things like making dinner every night and reading a magazine. I don’t want to miss out on any of those things”. The fear of missing out is proving to work for this busy Melbourne mum, as she runs through her daily routine of waking up at 5:30am to write before her baby wakes up, she makes it seem almost too easy to be able to balance a family life and a successful career in the Australian fashion industry. With students hoping to get into the same industry, Prue makes it obvious that the best way to find your self in her shoes in the future is to work hard and consistently: “[The fashion industry] It’s really competitive, no one is going to tell you that anyone who works in fashion just waltzed in”. Emphasising the importance of nailing the hard skills of marketing and public relations, Prue recommends that you always follow your passions, but keep in mind that it’s not always possible to get the job you want straight away. Prue got into public relations work through an internship as a receptionist at a PR agency following her studies, and then eventually got promoted to a PR assistant “it’s a round about way of getting there, but if you have an ultimate goal, scrabble your way to get there!”

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Prue graduated from Monash University in 2009 and since then she has worked for some highly reputable companies in their PR and marketing departments, such as The Style Counsel, the Coles group, and George Patterson Y&R. Within these roles, Prue managed to expand her experience in the broad marketing communications industry. Following in her example, she advises that students should “never think that they are too good to do anything”, after all, it was these particular experiences outside of the fashion industry that got her to her position as VAMFF’s digital marketing executive.

Although fashion communications is competitive, judging by Prue’s personality and experience, our impressions of the unbearably chaotic fashion industry are far from the truth… “There’s a preconceived notion that it’s a fluffy industry, but some of the smartest and savviest people that I’ve ever worked with have been in the fashion industry”.

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It’s important that students remember that any progress within marcoms is progress towards your ultimate career goal; Prue advises that you “find passion in what you’re doing… If you’re marketing electrical tools, make them the best goddamn electrical tools the world has ever seen”. As a graduate working for the Coles group, Prue was apart of the product development department, and during her first week, she had to cook around eighty different sausages, testing and preparing for Coles to launch a new brand of sausages… “I had never really cooked before because I had been living at home, and I thought ‘I did not go to university for five years to be cooking 80 sausages!’”

All of Prue’s hard work has brought her far in her six-year career, and now Prue continues to use her traditional marketing skills to bring the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival to life in the months between the main events. She continues to write for Melbourne Girl and juggle all of this work with a family, and she manages well, after all she does “have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé”.

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Photos courtesy of VAMFF’s official Pinterest, Instagram, and Melbourne Central.

A special thanks to Prue Chilcott for her time and for being so supportive and helpful, and for managing to inspire and motivate me and anyone looking to go down the fashion marketing path!

Sportsluxe & culottes

I finally got around to buying a pair of culottes!

Like most things that I try to photograph, I couldn’t capture how great they actually look.I know, I’m barking up my own tree but honestly I don’t care, it’s too good not to share!

I’ve also styled the culottes with a white turtleneck shirt, which looksgreat as well. I’ve tried (and failed) to do a ‘view from the top’ photo with the white shirt as well, just to show how versatile the culottes actually are!

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(Excuse the quality, I was in the David Jones reserve right before I got changed into my work uniform)

Here I’ve used metallic leather VANS, but like in my first culottes post, they can be easily styled with any type of shoe, and personally I prefer them with pointed boots just because it gives the look a more polished feel.

 

Culottes: Sportsgirl

Ribbed turtle neck: ASOS

Coat: Bardot (no longer available)

Shoes: VANS (these are the ‘Glitter’ style in silver, but the style has now been changed from metallic leather to sequins)

PS: sorry for being ridiculously un-photogenic! 

Chic and effortless hairstyles for short hair

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1. The over-part: Here we’re taking inspiration from the comb over, but this is much, much cooler. The trick is to part your hair on the opposite side to it’s natural part, therefore giving it a natural lift. Then, when I do this style I tease the fringe part so it has volume and doesn’t just fall lifeless in front of my face. Some people may need to get the hair dryer out and tease it with heat, otherwise the hair will fall back into it’s natural place.

You will need:

– Rats tail comb

– Strong hold hair spray

– Hair dryer

 

2. The half up top knot: I use this style when I’m running low on time and can’t straighten my hair properly, so I separate the top from the bottom, put the top in a knot, then straighten the bottom. It saves time and looks really boho-chic.

You will need:

– A hair tie

– Hair pins

 

3. The low-bun: Tying your hair up when your hair is short can be a nightmare, especially when you’re used to tying longer hair in a high pony or a trusty top knot. This low-bun not only is much easier, but also looks really elegant, but is adaptable to any style. I wore my hair like this with a simple crop top and a high waisted midi skirt, which looked really sophisticated, but then I’ve also done my hair like this when I wore a camel coloured turtle-neck knit and jeans, which was really casual and comfortable, which was a nice contrast to my hair.

You will need:

– A thin hair tie

– Hair pins (lots of them)

– Rats tail comb

– A really good contour

 

4. The wavy middle part: I personally have a lot of difficulty getting my hair to look wavy; it’s either straight or curly. But I think this look can be pulled off with a bit more effort than the other styles.

You will need:

– Rats tail comb (to part your hair down the middle)

– Hair spray

– Hair straightener (or curler without the clamp)

 

These looks are super easy to replicate and can easily give extra personality to even the simplest outfit.

2014/2015 beauty favourites!

I know i’ve spoken about some of these products before, but I literally couldn’t have started 2015 with a bang without them!!! They are very basic, simple products that have managed to revolutionise the way I apply and think of makeup.

First up is the Maybelline New York Colour Elixir in Blush Essence

What a little pocket rocket! This lip gloss is literally the only gloss that I like!!! It’s not sticky or gooey and my hair doesn’t get stuck to it! It’s a miracle! The colour stays on, and is durable, especially during work, but I found that it comes off really quickly after devouring tacos so… take care.

favouritesNext is the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer 

This was my first bronzer, which I purchased because I was too scared to spend big $$$ on another brand just in case I couldn’t contour properly. Originally I tried the NARS Laguna Bronzer at Mecca Maxima, when I asked one of the girls to show me what it would be like to contour. She matched my colours to a perfect blush as well, which was the Bobbi Brown Nectar blush. However, I couldn’t justify spending $45 on a bronzer in the event that I couldn’t replicate the look, so instead I went to Priceline and purchased this bronzer. Lucky I did because it’s so good, especially for a drug store label! Since purchasing it, I have worn it everyday, and now i’m addicted to bronzing and contouring. It’s very easy to apply and it’s pressed formula makes it very easy to control when applying. It blends well and the shade is great for many different skin tones!

I also really love the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer 

It’s actually perfect in many ways! I find it hard to find a good concealer because my skin has a lot of imperfections and scars, and some concealers crease into the scars or highlight the imperfections, rather than hide them! This concealer, however, makes my skin look flawless!!! Of course, it doesn’t make the 3D seem 2D, but it does hide redness, dark circles, scars and the appearance of imperfections. What I like about this product is the consistency, because it’s quite thick and you don’t need a lot of it. Dark circles literally disappear and there are no creases under my eyes! I have and will continue to recommend this product to everyone I know, because everyone deserves a perfect concealer #you’rewelcome

The best beauty purchase I have made to date is the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick Trio which included mini versions of Primrose, Fig, and Legendary

I use Primrose on a daily basis because it’s literally the perfect shade of nude ever. It’s visible, trans-seasonal and requires little to no effort! It’s the type of shade you can wear with the most simple base and it seems like you’ve really put an effort into your makeup, when really, you put it on in the car on the way to the train station.

Fig is a really unique colour, and I absolutely love it! It’s a mix of red and purple (but mostly purple) and it’s probably the only purple pigmented lipstick that actually suits me! I’ve also seen this shade swatched a few times on different people and it seems very universal!

Legendary is a great shade of red, however i’m still hung up on my Chanel red (104 Passion), but because of the convenient size of Smashbox’s ‘Legendary’, I bring it with me to touch up when i’m out. It blends really nicely and I love the texture, even when I use it as the base colour.

Only recently have I gotten into body mists, and my favourite is the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell. It’s classic VS and the scent matches perfectly with my favourite perfumes (Vera Wang Pink Princess, Calvin Klein Euphoria, D&G La Roue De La Fortune). It’s a very unique, fresh fragrance but it isn’t very fruity, which is what I like about it. I’m not a massive fan of fruity, light fragrances, which is why Bombshell is perfect because it’s not a heavy scent, but it’s very iconic. It has hints of musk amongst blond-woods and oakmoss which tones down the top notes of tangelo, pineapple, strawberry, and purple passionfruit, which would be a very fruity scent without these dry-down notes. It also has middle notes of Jasmine, peony, and white orchid  (my three favourite flowers). These scents combined create the perfect body mist that blends well with other fragrances and suits many people.

I’ve spoken about the NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok before, but I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now. Why? you may ask: because I’ve experimented and have learned the best way to apply it. I always loved the colour of the lipstick, but I had a constant battle with the product once it was on because the matte aspect of it dried out my lips quickly and would peel my skin, making my lips look flakey. I even stopped using it for a while because I was wearing it to work, and didn’t have time to re-apply during my shift to re-hydrate my lips and re-apply. Then I invested in an invisible lip liner from Too Faced, and that’s when everything changed! I would line and fill in my lips with the invisible liner, which not only moisturised, but formed a primed base for my lipstick. Since using the two together, the lipstick doesn’t crumble, it stays on for hours, feels really comfortable, and applies easily! I would definitely recommend that you use a moisturising liner underneath NARSpure matte lipsticks to get the ultimate effect of the product, and value for your money!

These past few months I’ve barely ever left the house without eyeliner on, and I mostly use the Sephora Collection Long Lasting Eyeliner [with] High Precision Brush, which is my favourite liquid eyeliner ever, but sadly I’ve run out, so to save myself from heartbreak, I’ve been using the Maybelline Eyestudio gel eyeliner, which is actually really good! At first, it’s a little hard to apply, especially if you’re used to liquid eyeliner, but once you get the hang of it, it is a really great product! It hardly smudges in my creases (which the Sephora liner does) and it doesn’t flake off (like other gel liners i’ve tried). For a drugstore purchase, it was very worth it! Just be aware that the brush that comes with it is horrible and no matter if you’re an eyeliner expert, you will not be able to get incredible results, or make the most of the product with that applicator! which is why I invested in the

Real Techniques silicone tip brush

I’ve dedicated a whole post to this brush, which you can read here. It still appears in this post because I really do love it!

Usually i’d say that my favourite lip liner is my MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil, but I only have that in one colour, which is frustrating considering I have many shades of lipstick and my MAC liner is hot pink. I needed something that was universal, that I can use for every lipstick that I had. When I found the Too Faced Borderline Invisible Lip Pencil, I wasn’t too sure about how good it would be. Then, when I saw it on sale, I didn’t even hesitate to purchase it and try it. Now, I have never looked back.

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I think this liner has absolutely revolutionised how I wear lipstick. It’s the most convenient product I have ever tried, and not only that, the product itself moisturises and primes the lips, creating the perfect base for which ever lipstick you want!!! This is one product that I think is severely underrated! It’s probably my equal absolute favourite to the…

NARS Albatross highlighter!

I’ve saved the best till last! This is the perfect product that will help you to get the perfect summer, bronzed, glowing look (the highlighter provides the glow… obviously) I use this highlighter on my cheek bones and along my jaw line to give extra definition to those areas, then I use a little bit of blush on my inner cheeks to finish the look. The highlighter also goes above my brows to define them a little more and give them the illusion of perfect shape even if the shape isn’t actually on point. I heard a lot of warnings about looking like a disco ball after using Albatross but I’ve noticed that if you apply gently to your brush, it’s very easily avoided. Also, this product blends out easily if need be, while still being durable. It’s actually the perfect product!!! I recommend NARS Albatross 100% to anyone and everyone who wants the best contour!!!

 

There you have it! My favourite beauty products of 2014/2015! Let me know what you think about these products if you’ve tried them and feel free to ask any questions you may have!

Top 10 stylish, thoughtful, last minute presents you can gift this Christmas!

If you say that you haven’t had a mental block about what to buy someone this Christmas, you’re probably lying. Whether it be a battle of the budget, a fussy giftee, or lack of inspiration, here is a list of 10 stylish last-minute ideas for those loved ones you might be stuck on!
Last minute Christmas gifts!

10. Mim Pouches $49.95 -$69.95

Nothing says “merry christmas” like a cute, versatile, little leather pouch that is perfect for the girl on-the-go who needs to quickly put her phone, keys, money and lipgloss in one perfectly sized pouch that comes in a range of different colours and styles!

See the whole range of Mimco Mim Pouches here

9. Personalised leather accessories from Mark and Graham

Yes, I did just say personalised leather. Check them out, you can customise a monogram that will be laser cut into the leather, perfect for the close friend or relative who loves custom, one of a kind accessories!

8. Glasshouse Christmas candles

Glasshouse candles are a little piece of candle luxury for anyone at any time of the year, but the limited edition Christmas candles are things that only come around during festive season, and only last so long, so take advantage of the beautiful scents “White Christmas” and “Night Before Christmas” before they’re gone!!!

(featured above and linked below)

7. Travel books and city guides of their dream destination

If there’s one thing I love, it’s giving a gift that you know the person will treasure for years to come. When it comes to travelling, people develop emotional attachments to the places that hold beautiful memories, such as the first new city they went to, the town that they grew up in, the building that they baffled them with it’s beauty, the culture that changed the way they saw the world and approached life… You can take them back on an emotional trip with collectable travel books, such as these ones from Taschen ($38.40 AUD) and Louis Vuitton ($65) (without actually leaving home or damaging the hip-pocket!)

Taschen books are featured in the edit above, but you can see the whole range here

You can also take a look at, and purchase the Louis Vuitton books here

6. Personalised metallic prints

Not only are they an awesome, incredibly inexpensive gift idea, but while you’re getting creative for you friends, you can make some for yourself too! All you need is heat reactant foil, a laminator, and some graphics ready to print with a toner printer.

First create/download the graphics, then print them with a printer that uses toner, not ink. Then place the foil on top of the printed sheet, and place another blank sheet of paper on top of that (think like a paper, foil, paper sandwich) then put it through the laminator. The heat from the laminator will make the foil adhere to the graphics. Peel the foil off e voilá!

You can purchase the foil from your local art supply store, and DIY the rest! It’s also a nice idea to frame them so they’re ready for use and so that they don’t get scratched!!!

5. Designer phone cases

Perfect for when you want to make a “I buy designer as presents” impression or for that person who absolutely loves the Kenzo tiger print, but you can’t afford to buy them the sweater! Here are some super cool ones from Kenzo, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Moschino here, herehere, and here!!!

4. Subscriptions to their favourite magazine

I would die (in a good way) if someone got me a subscription to Elle or Vogue… why? because that saves me from forking out precious $$$ every month plus it ensures that I never miss an issue for the whole year! It’s a gift that never stops giving!

3. Peter Alexander pyjamas

So we all are guilty of unintentionally (mostly completely intentionally) splurging at Peter Alexander for ourselves, but how nice would it be if you could share the PA love with someone else this Christmas?! You can go for the classic and jolly seasonal Christmas collection, or even get a little more personal with their new DisneyMarvel and Breakfast at Tiffany ranges! You can see the full range here

2. Assorted LUSH products

After the stress, preparation, hard work and dedication that goes into the festive season, why not make sure that your giftee can wind down while welcoming in the new year? LUSH have an incredible range of soaps, bath bombs and cosmetics, and what’s better is that they’ve conveniently packed and wrapped them just for you! I know I could spend quite some time in-store figuring out what to buy, so instead the pre-wrapped sets are perfect! You can see the full range here

1. Personalised candles from Candles by Alexa-Rose

Yes, I know, more personalised apparel, but seriously why wouldn’t anyone want a candle that fits perfectly into their space and not only soothes, but reminds them of the things that they love. You can send in photos, logos or choose from Mira, Bec, and Kate’s designs, and they can create a totally unique candle just for you! Now, I’m not being biased or anything, but seriously try and see what you think about the great work of these lovely ladies! I’ve collaborated with them and one lucky winner will receive two free candles which are pictured below! (Competition coming soon!!!)

So there you have it! Last minute gift ideas that can adapt to everyone’s budgets, needs and giftee’s!!!

Yes, I ‘created’ a word. No, I do not care if it doesn’t happen. Did Gretchen care that “fetch” didn’t happen??? Well, yes, but that doesn’t matter!

Merry Christmas and happy shopping!!!

xx DS

On Trend: Faux Leather Skirts!

One of the chicest skirts to ever grace the streets – Faux leather skirts!

 The versatility with the simple, leather look skirt is incredible. This skirt can be anything that you want it to be. Elegant? check, Casual? check. 

The faux leather skirt is the biggest staple in street style at the moment, for anyone and any style!

I want everyone to stop considering the leather skirt as a risk, and befriend the amazing piece, as there are styles and cuts to suit everyone, every shape, and every mood!

Here are some more examples of how you can style a leather skirt for various occasions! (Excuse the poses, i’m a writer and stylist, not a model!)