Of course the answer to the question is relative. Where have you bought it from? How good of a dupe is it? If it wasn't a dupe, would you buy it just because you liked it anyway? Dupe culture has risen in the past few years, with designer good being the way forward, and the national living wage not quite up to speed. I myself could never afford to splash hundreds or thousands on a piece of clothing, so I also head to the interwebs to see what I can find.

A prime example is this dress. Beautiful in it's own right. It has sat in my wardrobe for over a year for the fear it being far too OTT for drinks at the pub. I'm past that now, since putting it on twice in a week and falling back in love with it like I did the minute I opened it. It's a Zimmermann dupe, the Zimmermann's of which are not cheap. This dress is a near exact copy and to refer back to the earlier questions, yes I would have bought it even if I didn't know what it was meant to be. The dress, to me, is fabulous quality too, so a more premium dupe if you were. I really want to do a full post on where I pick out these dresses etc, so for now I shall keep it under wraps (but my dms are always open for secret telling). 

I paired the dress the first time with a pair of (duped may I add) Chanel looking mules, the ones with the pearl on the heel. For this summery day you see before you, a pair of Primark's submission for the black strappy heel we're seeing everywhere. Stick on a pearl hair clip and grab your personalised Abbott Lyon (gifted) bag and you'll feel 100 quid, or at least I did. 

High end looks at high street prices.






It's officially spring, by name and possibly not by nature. Outcome the mini skirt and heeled sandles and the bulky knits are banished to our lofts once again. This year I really feel like I know what I want to wear, and the key staple pieces I need to buy.

Midi dresses and skirts
These *hopefully* will never leave us. A flowy skirt in the June winds is a beauty, and paired with both a thin roll neck on the colder days or a strappy cami in the sun, they are a must.

Woven and wooden
As many may know, stilettos are not for me, mainly because I can't walk, and remind myself of a goat when trying. Thicker, shorter heels are a-go. These Miss Selfridge ones are hitting all the trends with the wooden heel and woven material. LOVE.

Floral
Flowers.. for Spring? Groundbreaking. But it's true. A classic. That is all.

Beige.
Obviously.

Gingham
Oh my have I been won over on this one. Imagine year 9 Katie, sitting behind a sewing machine in the tech room, swearing blind she'll never touch another piece of gingham once she's done making her pink pyjamas. What is it, like 7 years later? Here we are. I love it. It's been the only thing I've searched for recently. I want it all (and by all I mean the yellows and beiges, obviously). 

A non extensive list. There will be more. There's always more. 


Photography by Stacey White Photography









 

I've grown a tad faster on the old Instagram recently than I have done ever done before. I thought about doing a few stories to introduce myself to everyone new but remember that I'm boring and no one will listen. So I'm writing it instead. As boring, but I can reduce the rambles.

I'm 22 and a half, an Essex girl with a Fiat 500 who enjoys a vanilla iced latte every so often. I have a minimal amount of friends and intend to keep it so (or unintentionally, who knows). My house is often called a farm as my mother is obsessed, and I put the milk in first when making a cup of tea. My boyfriend of a year or so is wonderful and knows not to ask me to cook, because I simply cannot.

I work in a school, my school, as a teaching assistant with students with special ed needs. They're great. I am a qualified Thrive Practitioner and one of the school's three mental health 'champions' and mental health 'first aiders'. I am studying for my Business and Marketing degree part time, at the University of Essex.

I have a great jawline from my father, and a great big gob from my mother. Joke. Said mother recently overcame the big C word, as did my father many years before. Different C, different treatments, equally as daunting for me at 20, as it was at 13. I have the worst anxiety I've ever had. I no longer use the tube unless it's past 9pm and an Uber home would cost more than £25.

I like all things beige. Nudes and creams are wonderful basics, and pearls and lace are always in.

And that's really it. Thanks for reading. Milky tea anyone?

Photos by Stacy White Photography










April. The sun has officially come (and nearly gone again) and the winter candles are swapped for bright fresh flowers. I think it's time for this months new ins and very loved products.

Skincare:

A few new in products from the labs at No7.  I'm a sucker for anything that tells me I'll look younger (at 22) so this firming cream sounds good, and my mum has put her name down on the dark circle one already. If they're decent, you'll know next month (or whenever I write the next BE, unpredictable).

Image skincare is a new brand for me, and one you'd be more likely to find at a spa. I headed down to one of their product launches and with a very intimate (5 of us!) talk from one of the leading faces of the brand, I learned just how much I needed, and what everyone else was already loving. I have a shopping list ready to go. I was kindly gifted the wipes and face mask and was told to use the wipes to take OFF the mask. Can you believe it. What an idea. The mask doesn't dry all horrid and flakey either and the wipes are WET. Very nice, yes.

As a Dermalogica 'Skinfluencer', I'm sent various products every now and then to try out. Recently I was sent their new Prisma Protect cream that I used before one of their primers that I LOVE and so far I've had a few compliments on my skin already. A smooth base is your first goal to happy makeup. 

Makeup:

My current, and long time favourites. The cheap and very cheerful Makeup Revolution Foundation is one I cannot stop shouting about. I've stopped using my Nars and wasn't too sad when my Urban Decay one ran out because I had this to fall back on. And fall back I'll be doing as it is WONDERFUL. My number one drugstore foundation for sure, and maybe number 1 or 2 with that UD one in the mix. I love it. Buy it. You need it (probs not).
Eyes wise, I cannot get enough of the Better than Sex mascara by Too Faced. There is no other like it. I've been through tubes and tubes and when I received a little one in a gift set at Christmas, I was very happy. The Kiko eyeliner is literal perfection for small lines upon the lid and a small (or large, whatever) wing too. The only one I could ever use and actually flick with. It's magic, basically. *Paid for myself.

A place to go...

An avid Duck & Dry fan, when I was invited down to their new Primark Duck & Dry Express, I was thrilled. My booking was at a different time to what it should have been, but nevertheless I sat patiently for my new time. Still asked to wait after the time had passed, I overheard the manager (I assume?) tell the eyebrow lady to do hers next (perks of the job ay). I finally sat down and and kindly said to eyebrower that they didn't really need shaping, just a clear up of the extra hairs around the side. She told me to stop speaking and that she was a professional and will do what she needs to do. First eyebrow down after what seemed like 10-15 minutes (legit). She added a bit of pencil in the gaps and all was well. She then started on the left brow and did. not. stop. I have never been in so much pain on my face. I'm used to threading and waxing, but she would thread and rethread and over again of the same spot until I was bleeding. After a while I hear "there's nothing there" "it's so thin". Let me tell you; I have NEVER had thin eyebrows in my life. I came out of the womb with big fluffy brows and they are a staple on my face. To hear the word 'thin' made my stomach turn. Yet she carried on. Plucking and plucking with her tweezers like there was no tomorrow. 

Below is the photo I sent to a few pals once I'd properly seen what she had done. After filling in the left one and showing me a mirror, I could have cried. When she said my eyebrows were "too close together" I thought she'd thread the middle bit and be done with it, as that has never been said before. But mrs 'professional semi permanent tattoo brow artist' had literally made one a few cm higher than the other. The photo shows the height difference but not the thinness of the left brow. Once I'd got home I took the brow pencil off and was left with an eyebrow half the thickness of the other. Just after it was done I went to lunch with my cousin and even HE pointed it out. I was, and still am, horrified. A week later and the little hairs are starting to grow back, but far higher than my eyebrow (where they're actually meant to be) which means I'll have a gap between what I've got, and what is now growing.

Before: BUSHY EYEBROWS WITH A NATURAL ARCH

After: UNSEEN THINNESS OF LEFT BROW AND MUCH HIGHER THAN THE RIGHT ONE

My friends asked if it was permanent, and were mortified that someone could claim they were a professional and tell me not to tell her what needs doing, could do that. I'd understand if I'd have paid £2 on a stall in a shopping center, or I was one of her first customers but not this. I haven't spoken to anyone at Duck and Dry about it yet, purley because I love the brand so much. And on that note, I'll be a tad calmer and tell you about the hairstyle I was also given...

When I finished my brows, I was then asked to wait even longer as only one hair stylist was working. By the time I had gotten on the hair chair, I'd been there for a good hour and a half and still hadn't had my second treatment. I asked the hairstylist for something curly and with volume, which he delivered in around 10 minutes. I absolutely loved the style and am gutted that I didn't get his name. The staff at the express were lovely in themselves mostly. I'm gutted about the brow situation because I'd have loved to come in and treat myself to a manicure or a style after a brow session once or twice a month. I would recommend the hair stylists any day of the week, having tried a few at Spitalfields, Oxford Street and pop ups at events. I wouldn't personally get my eyebrows done there again, but maybe another person would be different?


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All products* and experiences mentioned in this post were complimentary by the brand or PR.




 



I like London. It's diverse, from the people itself to the different feelings from different places. Shoreditch feels new and cool, whilst South Ken is uber classy and a rich person's paradise. I only ever choose to shoot photos in London for this reason, and it's a capital city, so a must see. 

I don't however like a few bits and bobs. Such as:
1. The constant dread of some terrorist driving over you on the pavement, or weilding a knife around like they're cutting a steak. 
2. The slow paced movements of tourists. 
3. The underground. 

I think I'll pause the list to have a tube chat for a second. It is one of the worst things about traveling to and from London. The positives are that it's 'quick', getting you anywhere in the city, and there's one every few minutes. I have sat on many tubes stuck in many tunnels because there are too many trains built up ahead of it. I literally pray to God the minute those doors close that the woman on the speaker comes on like "the next station is..." because I'll know that slowing down is warranted, and not to sit in a black hole for ages. Recently, my friend stated that in the middle of the day, when trains are reduced and a build up less likely, that she was stuck there for a good 7/8 minutes with the lights flashing on and off. 10 Seconds is a long time. Never mind 8 minutes. The second it happens my back feels like someone is pouring hot water down it. My brain feels like it can burst any second and any music or coat MUST come off because I can't have unnecessary things touching me. 

I've never had a full blown panic attack. Tears wise, in this situation. Even on the overground when we stop for a few minutes to let the trains change over or another train start its journey because ours is a bit early, it'll start. At least on the overground I can call my mum and ask her to remember me for years to come. Sometimes. 

I've recently found a tube map which shows the tunnels throughout London. I then used this to come from the East, all the way around to the West. 2 hours of busses and trains, rather than an hour and a bit of near to heart attacks underground. I've never been this bad in my life. Always claustrophobic and stopping did panic me, but never to this extent. And I doubt it'll change either. So I'm embracing it. Planning ahead the day before using the CityMapper app, and checking train status an hour before I leave. I'm happy to get up a little early to leave sooner, to get that slower (ish) train. I've never tried the busses before like I have recently. Most Central London ones are the newer ones too, v swish. 


I think my main point out of the ramble is that London scares the crap out of me for different reasons. The biggest one may have just been given a solution. You'll just know if you're not ok and something needs to change. I did.





Photography by Stacey White Photography



The AMOUNT of times I call myself 'beige and boring' to describe my life. 
The day my school bff went clubbing for the first time shocked me. Our cheese plates and tea dates were over. 

We get called grannys a lot. Those of us who want to be in bed by 10 with a Netflix documentary on instead of being felt up in a club on a Friday night. I've been called boring because I barely drink. If you're buying I'll take one, which'll last for a few hours. I've been called boring because I #saynotodrugs. I knew of people smoking things other than cigarettes, I live in an area of it being a 'normal' smell to come across. Only when I turned 20 did someone admit they did more than that, and it blew me right over. I know people now that do that sort of thing on the regs. A Saturday night snort routine. Lying to their other halves. Being sick and passing out because they bought a dodgy batch and being dragged out by the bar's security guard 10 minutes after we got there. GOD THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN. 

I've never smoked, never snorted, never injected. I grew up away from anything of the sort, and yet I'll be the one frowned upon for not joining in. Because being conscious post midnight isn't the goal it seems. Anyway enough of the drug rant.

I'm boring because once my meds wear off, the cold sets in and my joins tense up. New years eve: 11.20pm. I mean I wasn't exactly wanted there, nor did I really want to be there anyway. I'd ran out of Lambrini and went outside to put the bottle away, and within seconds it hit me like nothing before. I sat down, and for the next hour tried everything to not let the sleep take over. I literally felt my body go from party party to reality-let's-feel-like-dying-xx. I was also freezing, legs were purple to match my dress and my hands stuck in a claw shape. Anyone who bothered to check on me had the answer. I wasn't bored or angry, upset even. I physically could not stand up and socialise, never mind dance to the songs I'd requested a few hours earlier. I just wanted to cry. 
I was branded as being boring, like I could help the situation at all.

Anxiety wise, if I have nothing to say I cannot say anything at all. Literally, I cannot. I have to be in fight or happy mode. Flight or freeze will just seal my lips shut and allow for one word answers. It happens with my in laws, my boss, and namely my other halves friends I don't care for.

Here are some reasons I'm not actually boring at all:
1. I work full time PLUS I'm studying for my degree PLUS running this fabulous blogging empire
2. I go to many amazing events as a result of the empire
3. I work with many amazing brands as a result of the empire
4. I don't remember the last time I paid for a drink (refer back to point number 2)
5. My wardrobe is a treasure trove open to pals
6. I'm a laugh
7. I'm a qualified mental health person so I know things you don't know about why you do things you don't know you're even doing yet. 
8. I always have food on me e.g. kinder eggs at parties

In conclusion, boring is fun drugs are bad. Good night. 







I thought as I'd write this the sun would be shining and my grass would start to turn a little greener. In fact, we've just had a huge hailstone storm and the washing has been dragged in more than once today after the downpours start-a-coming. It is however just over the middle of March, and Spring officially starts the day this goes live. In the hope of warmer weather, here is a few of the transitional staples I'll be wearing over the next month or so, until a thin jacket is enough and the knit wear is packed away.

The roll neck
A thin top, and one to block the wind down the back of your neck. I have these out all year round, as someone who felt the cold in the middle of the Cyprian summer last year. My shades are of course while, beige and brown, with the rare grey for days I'm 100% sure I won't sweat through it (we've all been there). 

The midi skirt
Being petite, I first thought that midi skirts would be more maxi on me. I've come to realise that I love them, and if paired with some see-through tights, will take you through the end of the winter into spring with ease. Oh, and this I Saw It First one is hitting those snake print trends too. 

The mid heel
I love these heels all year round. Not a kitten heel, but a more blocked version. I can walk places, drive in them, and they look far dantier than I first thought. I have many versions in many colours, and these New Look slingbacks have done me very well so far. 

The trend bag
I'll never be able to afford a Dior, so this New Look saddle bag will happily do to cover this year so far's "it bag". 

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