Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The perfect seaside holiday outfit


Hello lovely people! 

I do hope this blog post finds you all well. I am very happy to report that I'm in good spirits and incredibly well rested after a much needed getaway at the weekend. My beautiful friend Leigh and I escaped to her family holiday home in the southwest of Scotland in the quaint little seaside town of Portpatrick. We had the most wonderful time exploring the beaches and climbing rocks, as well as eating lots of delicious seafood (and drinking plenty of wine)! 

We arrived in Portpatrick on Friday night at about 7.30pm after an afternoon of driving. After dropping off our suitcases we were both keen to see the sights and I wanted to find an outfit that was comfortable and practical for exploring, whilst still looking chic and stylish. Luckily i'd packed this incredible leopard print jumpsuit from Primark that really ticked all of the boxes and fit my criteria- so happily popped it on and went about our evening. 

I decided to pair the jumpsuit with some big gold hoop earrings- my latest obsession. I feel as though gold hoop earrings will be making their way into more and more of my fashion posts as I seem to be wearing them with everything right now! I also added an unusual gold triangle necklace that was gifted to me for my birthday last year as I thought this made my outfit a little more fancy, which was perfect for eating dinner in a lovely little seaside restaurant. 

Another necessity to this little outfit were some sunglasses. Unfortunately i'd overlooked these when hurriedly packing my suitcase (moral of the story, always pack and plan what you will be wearing in advance!) but my friend Leigh sorted me out by letting me borrow these sweet little circle lens glasses from Primark.

If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll remember me writing about being bolder with my fashion choices and trying new things, abolishing any presupposed "standard" or fashion "rules" I was following or had created for myself. This trend is something that really is only growing stronger as time goes on- I am practically living in jumpsuits and dungarees these days and am no longer afraid to show off my arms or tummy. Yay for continuous body positivity!!

This little leopard print number is no exception to that rule- it fits well, is remarkably comfortable and ultimately looks really good on! I'm wearing a size 18 here which fits my 45-36-45 frame nicely and doesn't pull or gape in the wrong places. I also love just how much attention it brings to my rather large posterior! For reference I am 5'7 and I find the legs to be a nice length when wearing flats, if I were wearing heels it may come up a little short, but I didn't need to worry about that on this trip. 

Another thing I love about this jumpsuit is that it has the holy grail of all fashion finds- pockets! Not only is this incredible practical, but the pockets are well sized to carry around your phone, car keys and lipstick and don't detract from the surprisingly good tailoring. As well as this, the jumpsuit also comes with a matching leopard belt that can be used to cinch the waist. The leopard print motif is also one that I simply adore. Often I find that leopard print can be a bit garish (not that it ever puts me off, haha!) but this particular print blends neatly and doesn't come off too strong. 

I do hope that you're enjoying the photos on this blog post- Portpatrick is without a doubt one of the most beautiful scenic places I've ever seen so I definitely took advantage of the surroundings and got camera happy!

One thing that I've been particularly struck by when writing this post and looking at these photos is how strong and confident I both look and feel. Truthfully I've been in somewhat of a confidence slump as of late, I've not been taking any photos of myself and have felt uninspired when it comes to my wardrobe. Luckily I think getting away for the weekend to the beautiful seaside has allowed me to reconnect with myself and my love of fashion and left me feeling uplifted and positive. 

If this outfit is something you like then you can find all of my assorted bits and pieces on the list below:

Outfit Details
Jumpsuit: Primark 
Sunglasses: Primark 
Earrings: Accessorize
Necklace: New Look
Shoes: New Look



And that's all for me for now beautiful people. I hope you enjoyed my wee outfit post and holiday pictures and please do check in on the blog for regular updates. 

Until next time darlings, 
Lovelustloves x0

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Rainbows and Revolution

Hello beautiful people! 

I do hope that I find you all well today. Today's post is quite a special one to me. Not only am I talking about a killer outfit (I am, fear not!) but i'm also going to be discussing something that is very near and dear to my heart- Pride

Last Saturday the 30th June was the date of Edinburgh's Annual Pride. For those of you who aren't aware, Pride is an annual celebration held in large cities across the world aiming to bring together the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) community, as well as straight and cis friends and allies. We march in solidarity with our queer brothers and sisters in opposition to the years of oppression and hardship faced by this community and promote a clear message of equality for all. 

Pride is something that has special value to me; I am an openly bisexual woman and a strong advocate for LGBT+ rights both locally and nationally. I often volunteer with the incredible charity organisation Stonewall and work part-time supporting a local LGBT+ youth group. To me, Pride is so much more than just rainbows and parties- it's a political revolution. It's having our voices heard. It's queer liberation.  

I am lucky enough to be loved and supported for who I am by my family and friends, something that unfortunately cannot be said for all LGBT people. When people ask me why i'm involved in LGBT+ activism I tell them that it would be foolish for me not to be. In a world where 40% of homeless youth are LGBT, LGBT people are at much higher risk of suffering with mental illness and they face adversity, discrimination and difficulty accessing everyday services I believe it is not only my right, but also my duty to stand up and support my LGBT family, friends and community. 

I regularly attend pride events. In the past I've been to London, Brighton, Glasgow and Edinburgh prides and last year I even co-organised a Pride march in my hometown of West Lothian (if you like, you can read more about that here). This year's Edinburgh pride was however without a doubt my favourite one yet. In the wake of the horrors faced by the people of Orlando and PULSE nightclub, as well as increasing political uncertainty over human and equal rights within the United Kingdom Pride could not be more needed at this point in time. Signs declaring "We stand with Orlando" and "Love is love" were displayed proudly and there was a real air of positivity and sense of community. People were happily chatting, mingling and complementing one another - it was a truly humbling experience to be in amongst a movement that was so human, filled with raw emotion.


My time at Pride was spent proudly marching alongside upwards of 10,000 other incredible individuals through the City Centre and then followed by some volunteering with Stonewall's new #ByYourSide campaign- speaking to members of the public and letting them know all about this wonderful new initiative that brings people together and asks who supports you and allows you to be your truest self. 

Being able to talk to so many wonderful people was incredibly liberating and really helped me embrace the meaning of Pride and get into the spirit of things. Proudly sporting a rainbow scarf and some of my brightest clothes also helped me open dialogue with many people, allowing conversation to flow naturally as everyone embraced the joyous occasion. 

Pride at it's heart is about acceptance without exception, being true to who you are and feeling safe and supported to do that. I for one am a huge advocate of being your most authentic self at all times and wearing bright colours and loud clothing really helps me to accomplish that. For Pride, I decided to sport a flower crown, Ragged Priest scarf and my bright yellow Mary Blair skirt from Pinupgirl clothing. I also threw some glitter and stars on my face for good measure, because why the hell not?

Below are a few of the photos I took that I think really capture the essence of what Pride was for me- an incredible revolutionary day that was good for the mind, body and soul. Enjoy!


Outfit Details 
Flower Crown: Frankii Wilde
Scarf: The Ragged Priest
Top: New Look 
Skirt: Pinupgirl Clothing 

And that's all for now, darlings. If you have a Pride event coming up in your hometown or a city near you I would greatly encourage you to attend and embrace the rainbow revolution. 

Until next time, 
Lovelustloves x0

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Review- Jamberry Nail Wraps

Hello sweet people!  

Whilst I don't consider myself to be much of a beauty blogger, I always enjoy the opportunity to try out new fashion and beauty products and share my thoughts and opinions with your lovely selves. Along that line of thought, I was recently approached by a friend on Facebook and offered to try something that was completely new to me - the nail wrap.

Whilst I'm not really one for nail maintenance (my current student budget does not allow for manicures!) I have always loved nail art and bright polishes. I feel that when my nails are in check they can compliment an outfit and help me feel more "together", which is never a bad thing!

Unbeknown to me, nail wraps have been a big hit with beauty bloggers and internet aficionados for a good while now, and there are literally hundreds of brands, designs and shapes to choose from.  

So what is Jamberry?

Jamberry nail wraps were created by three sisters as a simple do-it-yourself alternative to expensive trips to the nail salon, featuring plain and patterned wraps made with durable materials that bond to your natural nail. They're also gluten-free, latex-free and vegan friendly, making them a great animal-friendly product. With over 300 designs to choose from, you can be spoilt for choice and are able to mix and match designs to create a fun and unique manicure. 

How do you apply them? 

All the tips and tricks you'll need for application are in the following video. It's not the best quality but it's straight to the point and shows you all that you'll need for a quick and easy application using only a hairdryer, nail scissors, a nail file and your wraps. I followed these steps meticulously and overall i'm really pleased with how my Jamberry manicure came out. I also followed the tips and tricks in the image below which helped the longevity of my nails (at the time of writing I've had my wraps on for three days with no signs of wear or tear yet!) 


The advice I would give for a Jamberry rookie such as myself is not to be afraid to use extra heat. Once the wrap has been applied and pressed, hold the nail back under the heater for an extra 5-10 seconds just to ensure that it'll stick. The last thing you want is your new manicure to lift and bubble. According to other reviews I've read, the wraps are most likely to lift after the first 2 hours of application, so try your best not to touch or fiddle with them straight after applying (a mean feat for a fidget such as myself!)

What did I make of the wraps? 

Following the instructions from the application video above as well as the "Jam tips for the rookie" information, I found the application process to be fairly straightforward. Whilst it is considerably more faff to apply a full manicure than it is to open a pot of 60 second nail polish, the end result is pretty and unique- something not to be sniffed at!   

My nails turned out beautifully 

As I was sent a sample of the wraps they only came in limited sizes, therefor I wasn't able to cover my thumb or pinky finger with the wraps I was given. I have been assured however that when you purchase a sheet of wraps from Jamberry there is a much broader range of sizes to choose from, enough to to fit most nail shapes. One full sheet of wraps will set you back £15, although one sheet will provide you with enough wraps for four full manicures working out at a meagre £3.75 per full set of nails. According to their website, Jamberry wraps will last for up to two weeks with the correct application making for an economical purchase if you're someone who is into nail art and funky manicures.

Realistically, I won't be using Jamberry nail wraps every two weeks. However, if I have a special occasion such as a party or wedding i'd definitely invest the time and effort into giving myself a nail wrap manicure. I'm a big fan of the wide variety of prints and colours the wraps come in and could easily see myself mixing and matching designs to co-ordinate to a fun outfit. 

What do you think of nail wrap manicures? Let me know!

Until next time sweet cheetahs, 
Lovelustloves x0

**The products within this post were sent to me for free, however as always all opinions and thoughts are completely my own**

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

ECA Degree Show

Hello darlings! 

I absolutely adore this time of year. Summer is fast approaching, the warmer weather is just beginning to rear its head and generally everyone seems more relaxed and at peace with the world. One of my favourite things to do during the transition between Spring and Summer is to check out the work of some of Scotland's most talented individuals through the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Degree Show. I make a habit each year of attending at least some of the degree shows in this fine country of mine, taking in the talent and skill expressed by talented illustrators, fine artists, textile producers and cartoonists but none get me quite so excited as the ECA! 

On Saturday I decided to pop along and explore the exhibitions for myself, hoping to pick up some creative inspiration along the way. Needless to say, the event did not disappoint! Below I've included some examples of my favourite pieces of work, alongside the artist's contact information should you feel inclined to share your admiration of their work or commission something of your own. 

The ECA Degree show is open to the public from 28th May until 5th June and you can find all relevant details at this link

1)  The first artist I fell in love with at the ECA degree show was none other than Beti Scott Brown. Beti's work is described as "fibre arts practice as embodied political activism and a route to radical healing" and upon first sight this work really spoke to me. Strongly routed in feminist principals, Beti's creations explore themes of anti-capitalism, intersectionality and female oppression in a truly captivating manner. The use of friendly and engaging materials such as pop-pops, embroidery thread and patchwork is a stark contrast to the bold messages conveyed on each individual piece, creating a striking display overall.

2) Secondly, I headed over to one of my favourite areas of any art graduate show - Illustration. It was there that I came across the work of Saskia Cameron who's drawings of naked ladies and sweet creatures completely captivated me. Her rough sketchy style stood out to me amongst many of her sleek contemporaries and the combination of childlike innocence in her figures opposed to the dark background of her work had me instantly engaged as a viewer and keen to see more of her work.

3) Next up is a phenomenally talented textiles graduate, Jennifer Marie Snoddon. Jennifer's collection "Thermal Dystopia" focuses on fashion prints that aim to change perceptions of beauty, aka my favourite kind of fashion! She tackles three of the most common beauty myths through the medium of print: "Your complexion must be fair", "You must be skinny" & lastly, "Your skin must be blemish free". The resulting collection Jennifer has created is nothing short of awe-inspiring - brightly coloured bodysuits, eye-catching colour choices, stunning dresses and most importantly - body positivity all feature, making her one of my favourite exhibitors of the entire degree show!

4) Since I am a self-proclaimed fashion addict, it would naturally make sense that the lion's share of my time spent at the degree show would involve fashion, textiles and costume. One of the performance costumes that I simply cannot get out of my head is this masterpiece - unfortunately I didn't catch the name of the artist behind this nostalgic fantasy so if you do know the creator, please let me know so I can a) give proper credit where it is due and b) lust after their creations some more! I simply adore the bright whimsical style of the carousel dress and the use of mixed media conveyed images of childhood arts and crafts in such a delightful way it was impossible not to be completely transfixed. This work of art was even more engaging up close, so if you have the opportunity to attend the ECA degree show this is one piece not to be missed!


5) Last, but certainly not least by any means is the incredible work of Matthew Barber, textiles artist. For his graduate collection, Matthew took inspiration from elements of extreme sports making exemplary use of print, embroidery and pattern. I was incredibly struck by Matthew's bold designs and eye catching choice of colour and I would happily implore anyone and everyone to check out his website for a host of fashion inspiration (link above). 


Once more for the people in the back!

And that completes my little round-up of my personal highlights of the ECA degree show 2016. Art in its many forms has always been a real passion of mine and I hope that you enjoyed my musings around some of the wonderful creations explored here. If it's at all possible for you to get along to the show in person I would fully recommend it; it makes for a wonderful day out and it's virtually impossible not to fall in love with at least one work of art. 

What do you think of the artists and work shown here? Let me know in the comments! 

Until next time my sweets, 
Lovelustloves x0

Monday, 23 May 2016

What beauty means to me....

Hello lovely people,

A short while ago, I wrote about being involved in a very exciting upcoming project with the wonderful Leyah Shanks - and that is the exact topic of this blog post!

For those who don't know, Leyah is a body positive ambassador, founder of online blog The Body Confidence Revolution and occasional writer for both the Huffington Post and Curva Magazine. She challenges traditional views and stereotypes of beauty, gender and mental health through her tireless pioneering and online activism. In short, she's a pretty amazing lady!

I was fortunate enough to be approached by Leyah recently to collaborate on a fascinating project on a topic that is very dear to the both of us; What beauty means to me. The "what beauty means to me" project is a collection of multi-media works that disseminate the topic of "beauty" and question what is considered to be beautiful and how we can turn this notion on its head. 

At its core, the project highlights just how diverse and varied people's interpretations of beauty really are. It's so much more than simply an aesthetic or how someone looks - beauty comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. Beauty is in the good that we do for other people. Beauty is having the best of intentions. Beauty is not a binary.  

Below is a short film that Leyah directed and produced and I just so happen to feature in. For those that know me you'll recognise that little Scottish twang at the beginning of the video as my voice also!

As another element of the "what beauty means to me" project, Leyah also asked me to collaborate to record a podcast with her, speaking more in depth about this issue. For this part of the project, Leyah and I both reached out to our online followers and asked them the following question: What does beauty mean to you? 

We then chose our favourite responses and spoke about them in greater detail, picking up on the themes raised. Now would be a great time to shout out to my wonderful instagram followers who submitted amazing responses - @bryoneycook @lou.mclou @flippabird - thank you all so much! Your insights to this question were so thoughtful and well received. 

You can listen to our podcast here, and below I've written a little insight into what my personal interpretation of beauty really means.

What does beauty mean to me? 

I used to believe that I could never be beautiful. To me, beauty was unattainable - an impossible standard reserved only for those with the most symmetrical faces, the flattest stomachs, the most flawless skin. As a teen I did little else other than compare myself with my friends and peers, never quite matching up to how beautiful they were. I relegated myself to the fact that whilst I may not be beautiful, I could be many other things. I could be smart, I could be funny, loud, confident and most importantly; I could do good in the world. 

Through years of self-discovery, education and some of the most wonderfully exciting life opportunities this belief eventually began to melt away. I learned that beauty isn't as simple as how you look, it encompasses so much more. Beauty can be found anywhere, in anything. Beauty isn't about having an ample bosom, full lips or a sun-kissed tan - beauty is personal and limitless. 

My actions and beliefs that make me a good person also make me a beautiful person, the two are not separate entities but a combined force that drive me each day to succeed and achieve my goals.  

The idea that beauty is a binary, derived only from what we see in the mainstream media is harmful and needs to end. Beauty at it's very core is subjective; what one person may believe to be beautiful may not match that of someone else. We cannot spend our lives attempting to attain the impossible standard - we need desperately to stand up and realise the beauty that we all possess, the beauty that surrounds us each day. 

To me, beauty is an abstract concept, it can't be defined simply with words. Beauty is an entity all on its own. What I can say about beauty however is that it's something that everyone possesses. It's in the things we do, the things we say and the way we are. I am beautiful- and you are too. 

Until next time darlings, 
Lovelustloves x0

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Walk into the room purse first!

Hello darlings!

It is no great secret that I am a gal that loves accessories. Bold statement jewellery, hats, fascinators, belts, trinkets, scarves... I love them all! One accessory always grabs my attention and completes an outfit better than any other though- and that is the faithful handbag.

For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with bags. Not your usual hold-all, two strap basic satchel mind you- I'm talking statement bags! Think quirky, odd, outside of the box and now you're on my level. 

"Less about functionality, more about fun"

That has always been my attitude when it comes to handbags. I realise that not everyone will love the unusual aspects of a statement bag; it is difficult to juggle your purse, makeup, cards and other necessities when you're working with less space, but in the same breath I'd argue that they can bring new life into any ensemble and update an outfit instantly. Overall, they're definitely a big plus in my book.

Over the years I've managed to accumulate a fairly impressive collection of novelty bags - from milk cartons to eyeballs, hearts and giant fluffy monsters - my wardrobe has it all and more!

Just some of my handbag collection

For this post I decided to look out one of my all time favourite statement bags - the "Liquid Sarcasm" cross-body bag from accessory giants SkinnyDip. Not wanting to be outdone, these fashion gurus make bags in all sorts of weird, wacky and wonderful shapes: seashells, UFOs and even Mexican wrestler bags are just some of the creations they sell from outlets such as ASOS and Topshop. Signature phone cases, luggage tags and pencil cases are also on offer, so if bags aren't your thing chances are you'll still fall in love with some of their amazing designs. 

Taking inspiration from the "liquid sarcasm" bag I opted to create a fun and flirty summer look using pastel shades. I love the way the blue and pink of the bag compliment one another and replicated that colour match in my look. This post also afforded me the chance to really show off this amazing new faux-leather skirt I recently acquired from ASOS- the metallic shine and unusual colour had me transfixed! I'm wearing a size 18 here and it fits beautifully on my 36" waist.

Paired with the skirt are some bright lilac colour-block tights from American company "we love colors" who carry the most extensive range of plus-size coloured tights I've ever happened across (to view their entire range check out the links at the bottom of this post!) These are incredibly generous in sizing. For reference, I'm wearing a 2X and they go all the way up to underneath my bra with room to spare! 

 I also wanted a fun clashing print to finish off this ensemble and thought the zebra vamp top from Pinupgirlclothing would make the perfect addition when paired with this sweet pink Kimono from Primark's 2015 summer range. This is without a doubt one of the most fun outfits I've ever worn and I feel as though it's a very true representation of myself and my style- loud, proud and unapologetically colourful!

I hope you'll agree that the bag really does finish off this look nicely, proving that a statement handbag really can breathe new life into any look.



Outfit Details
Top: PinupGirl Clothing
Kimono: Primark (old)
Skirt: ASOS
Tights; We love colours
Shoes: eBay (old, similar here)
Bag: Skinny Dip 

All in all, wearing this outfit I definitely feel as though I'm ready to walk into the room purse first, a la my Rupaul's drag race favourite, Bob the Drag Queen! Do you love a statement bag or purse? Let me know in the comments. 

Until next time sweethearts, 
Lovelustloves x0

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Jungle Love feat. Vivien of Holloway

Hello sweethearts, 

It's no great secret that I've been a fan of the pinup style for many years - the fun and flirty silhouettes of the 1950's are staples within my wardrobe. From giant meringue petticoats to the more sultry fitted pencil dresses, the ladies of this era really knew how to dress!

I often receive messages from women asking for advice and support on how to get involved with pinup fashion. They say they love the look on other people but don't know quite where to start or how to break into this eye-catching style. Whilst I do agree that dressing "pinup" can be daunting to a newcomer, it really doesn't need to be! The best thing to do when dabbling with retro glam is to find a silhouette that works for you and start exploring new looks that are in keeping with your personal style. 

One place that I always advise enthusiasts to look into is vintage reproduction gurus Vivien of Holloway.  I've previously written about my love for this amazing brand in an older blog post that you can check out here but for clarity purposes I'll explain a little more about why I adore this brand. 

Vivien of Holloway have been changing the pinup game and adding their magic to the world of retro clothing since 2000. Creating stunning ensembles in beautiful fabrics and prints, they've easily carved a name for themselves and host an impressive list of celebrity clients as proud VoH customers. 

Whether you're a long-time pinup enthusiast such as myself or a relative newcomer to the scene, Vivien of Holloway have something to offer everyone. I was recently sent this stunning (and aptly named) Jezebel dress and just couldn't wait to dash out for a fun photoshoot to really show it off!


As I've recently been committing myself to the world outside of my fashion comfort zone this dress was a great choice. Still in keeping with my personal style, the bold leopard print and fitted style really make this dress a stand-out whilst hugging all of my curves and showing off my shape. 

Whilst once upon a time I'd have balked at the very idea of wearing a fitted pencil dress (especially without a corset or cincher underneath) I now instead jumped at the chance to try something a little different and I am so glad that I did! I felt absolutely incredible in this getup and the way this dress hugged my body increased my confidence tenfold.

This dress is a Vivien of Holloway size 20, which is roughly the equivalent to a UK 16/18. Below you'll find my current measurements and the measurements for this dress in this size, as you'll see there's a fraction of variance but not enough to make any substantial difference. 

My measurements: Bust: 45.5" Waist: 36" Hips: 47.5"
VoH size 20 measurements: Bust: 44" Waist: 36" Hips: 48" 

When thinking of how best to style this dress I decided to go full on rockabilly pinup. I felt as though the leopard print was really begging for some bold and fun accessories so I opted for a feather and rose hair comb, red heels, a black chunky bracelet and a fun little faux septum clicker that I recently acquired from boohoo. I've been toying with the idea of piercing my septum for some time now so this seemed like a perfect way to test the waters (side note; I love it!) 

I hope you enjoy the photos below, and as always I've included an easy little link to buy at the end of this post for all you pinup fans! 

Outfit Details 
Hair Flower: Brighton Market Stall (old)
Faux septum clicker: Boohoo
Bracelet: Accessorize
Stockings: What Katie Did

What do you think of the Jezebel dress - is Vivien of Holloway a brand that you love too? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time sweethearts, 
Lovelustloves x0

**This dress was gifted to me from Vivien of Holloway but, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own**