Last week Tuesday, I attended ionFashion blogger conference at Vibe Bar in Brick Lane . Although I’ve been to many events, I still get nervous and find it daunting entering a room full of people and trying to make small talk. The purpose of the conference is for bloggers and brands to connect and network. Before the conference started, everyone sat around tables in one of the function rooms having cups of tea, coffee and water to get to know each other. I met two lovely bloggers L’ amour de Juliette and The Fashion Antler. It was amazing connect with like-minded people who share the same interest as you and chat all things blogging. After an hour, we headed upstairs into another function room for the conference.
The first speaker up was Lela from BlueClaw. She spoke about her blog and how it’s grown over the years. The discussion moved on to Why Bloggers Do it Better discussing how bloggers influence internet purchases. This is because there’s transparency and honesty in blogging so readers trust bloggers for purchasing decisions and a source for information. It’s important to have good quality content that’s evergreen and has a purpose. I also learned that blogger endorsements wield more influencing power than celebrities! How crazy is that?!
After Lela’s presentation, beauty blogger Ree from Really Ree went on stage for her talk. I have never come across such a passionate, beauty obsessed blogger in my life. She could talk about beauty for hours! Her love for beauty started from the get go and during her uni days, she would save up money to get the latest beauty products. Before blogging, she was training to be a journalist and had an interview at The Independent but didn’t turn out so great as she didn’t have a clue about politics, current affairs and ended up being cut short! After the ordeal, she discovered blogging and felt it was the perfect place to be creative and share her passion for beauty without any boundaries. Fast forward to the future and she’s now a full-time blogger. Her typical day consists of trawling through hundreds of emails, attending meetings, looking through samples and deciding what to feature, promoting and writing posts. It’s a dream come true to do something you love. Ree made me realise that when it comes to blogging you have to make yourself an expert and believe in yourself as cliché as it sounds. There’s nothing like hearing someone speak about what they love.
We later spilt into small groups to speak to brands to see things from both perspectives. I met a lovely lady from Coast head office who kindly gave me their AW14 lookbook and gave my contact details. It felt short and didn’t get a chance to talk to other brands. It would be great to have events where brands and bloggers mingle around like speed dating or with various booths like an exhibition. This would be a better way to communicate as it’s in person and goes beyond a press release and bloggers being used an advertising tool.
Holly from Diary Directory was the next speaker on the agenda. I’ve spoken about Diary Directory before on the blog but in case you haven’t heard of it before it’s basically an online resource of contacts, news and events for brands, PR agencies, press and creative industries. Holly gave a brief history of the company followed by the rise of print magazines declining and a rise of vloggers/bloggers who are a new generation of celebrities.
After the presentation was over, it was time for a much needed lunch break. While munching away we were entertained by an acoustic pop singer/songwriter Alex Louise.
The next presentation was by Toni from Fashitects. I met him before the conference started and he was funny, friendly and has a unique sense of style. Toni took us on a journey starting with how he got into blogging and joined his love for fashion and architecture background to create his blog. His outfit posts are beautifully done. He reminds me of a Fashion Editor that creates editorials for magazines. He has someone who takes his pictures but controls every aspect of his photos from the locations and of course the outfits to make sure everything compliments each other. He’s hot on lighting too! He went on to discuss that bloggers are a beginning of something new. We’re so many things: editors, vloggers, writers, marketers. Bloggers need the following essentials in order for their blog to survive: clothes, photography (camera), computer, schedule, social media and of course the internet!
Kavita from She Wears Fashion was supposed to be the last speaker of the day but unfortunately couldn’t make it as she was ill so Rosie from Rosie Glow took her place last minute. She’s was so lovely in person and I regularly read her blog. Again her blog started as a hobby and loved fashion and writing. She works at Boohoo.com as a Social Media Executive which she got through her blog which is incredible. Talked about the campaigns she’s done including the recent one Experience Everything and Global Styler.
Each presentation was insightful, informative and really touched on brand/blogger relationships and how we’re both keen on working together. The same goes for the blogging community. It’s all about creating something beautiful wether it be through our writing or images. It’s all about inspiring and encouraging each other. If you want to really get yourself out there you have to go above and beyond. Being an ordinary blogger isn’t enough these days.
Thanks so much BlueClaw for inviting me and the goody bag. I look forward to your next event!
On June 27th, I took a three hour train journey (that was just one way!) to Littlehampton to attend The Body Shop Discovery Day. When you arrive at The Body Shop premises, you are met with a chinese resturant building. It’s some that you don’t come across everyday! The late Anna Roddick wanted the building to look exactly like a chinese resturant.
The purpose of the day was to bring publishers who are part of Linkshare to give an insight on the ethical aims of the brand, covering topics including The history of The Body Shop, Community Fair Trade, The Body Shop Foundation and ethical trading. Any staff that gets a job at The Body Shop go through a Discovery Day to get indepth knowledge about the brand and values.The day began with an introduction to the history of The Body Shop, focusing on the company’s commitment to it’s social responsiblity and its roots in activisim. This was followed by ethical trading which aims to be long term sustainble with mutual commitment with suppliers. Regular visits are made to factories to make sure everything is fine and workers are treated fairly. This is done once a year.
The Community Fair Trade programme started 30 years ago through which the company works with their suppliers to improve working condition of the workers who make The Body Shop products. Buyers go out to various countries to source ingredients and pay suppliers a fair price and also make sure that the ingredients purchased has a benefit to their community. For example, when honey is purchased from Ethipoia this helps to preserve 10 nectors of beehives every year. The Body Shop are true example of fair trading. It’s a genuine relationship that brings the best of both worlds.
One of highlights in the discussion was self-esteem which is one of their values. The Body Shop believes that true beauty comes from the heart. Beauty is more than just a pretty face. The Body Shop promotes positive female self-esteem and celebrates individuality. This is something that we need to be hearing more in the beauty world as I feel that women don’t feel 100% confident in themselves and a reminder that should be part of our daily lives. Last year, Teenage Cancer Trust joined forces with The Body Shop January 2013 to help promote self-esteem to help teenagers who are going through cancer feel confident about themselves by giving makeovers and support during an extremely difficult time. At the recepetion I saw the stand for the charity and just had to donate and felt good about helping make a difference in someone’s life.
After the talk and lunch, we had a site tour followed by a session where we had an opporunity to made our own foundation which went horribly wrong for me as I couldn’t get my skin tone and realised that I added to much. Whoops! After this we made our own shower gel which was a lot of fun.
At the end of the day we were given a two lovely gifts which I will be reviewing soon. Thanks so much The Body Shop and Linkshare for inviting me!
My Shopping Trolley this week features 10 summer beauty essentials. From fruity body mists, body scrubs for that silky smooth feel and shimmering lipglosses there’s plenty to choose from that will make you feel renewed for summer. Enjoy!
1. Palmers Cocoa Body Scrub, £3.29 | 2. Neal’s Yard Pumice Foot Scrub, £14.75 | 3. e.l.f Little Black Beauty Book- Eye Edition, £8 | 4. Veet Hair Remover, £3.99 | 5. Argan+ Super Creamy Body Wash, £4.95 | 6. Body Shop Strawberry Body Mist, £7.50 | 7. Burt’s Bee’s Nature Knows Ocean Sunrise Lipgloss, £8.99 | 8. L’Occitane Almond Smooth Hands, £14 | 9. Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £17.50 | 10. Nails Inc Sloane Street Festival Pink Polish, £11
Photo credit: Lee Stafford
Celebrity hairdresser Lee Stafford got my attention last week with his new range UBUNTU OILS FROM AFRICA that claims to be a new generation of oils for targeted haircare. There has been a lot of hype over hair oils in the beauty and blogging world and was curious to find out more. Taken from the African Baobab tree, the oil is pressed from the seeds of the Baobab fruit which contains Vitamins A and E to help leave hair pampered, repaired and restored. UBUNTU meaning kindness, the range aims to bring kindness to your hair with lots of juicy goodness.The range comprises 4 targeted oils for specific hair types: Baobab oil for dry hair, Mafura oil for the repair of coarse/damaged, Marula oil for the repair of fine/damaged hair and Mongongo oil for colour fade protection. It sounds like an awesome buy and resonably priced for those who are looking to revive their hair. The collection is now available to buy at Boots with prices starting from £9.99.
Lifestyle beachwear brand Bantu Wax has joined forces with J. Crew to create a stunning capsule swimwear collection.
It’s refreshing to see African brands breaking geographic boundaries and shows that Africa has something positive to bring to western fashion. Bantu is made in Africa, by Africans- sustainably and fairly by local vendors and artisans. The pieces are inspired by Africa’s transition from Dark Continent to Bearer of Light, tales of the mermaid goddess of oceans Mami Wata, a passion for surfing. Bantu is full of vibrancy with lots of colours and patterns while using traditional processes. The collection is available to buy online and ships so internationally buyers don’t miss out. Will you be buying a swimsuit from this exclusive collection? What are your favourite designs?
Photo credit: Bantu Wax
Africa Fashion Week London is just under a month away and promises to be bigger and better with more colourful prints and designers under one roof. I’ll be attending this year and has become Europe’s largest African and African inspired event. Tickets are on sale and will be held at Olympia Kensington from Friday 8th – Saturday 9th August 2014. There will be the catwalk shows as well as the exhibiition where you can see the very best that Africa has to offer. A perfect event for all African fashion lovers out there! In celebration of the event, I have teamed up with AFWL to host a giveaway where two lucky entrants will win tickets to AFWL. All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter below. Unfortunately the giveaway is for UK residents only. Sorry international followers! The competition will end on Thursday 17th July at 12am and winners will be announced on my Facebook and Twitter page the next day. Thanks for entering and good luck!
Apart from playsuits, maxi dresses are another effortless summer staple. I’m a huge fan of them as they’re super easy to style and can be dressed down with a sleeveless demin waistcoat and sandals for daytime or dressed up with strappy heels and Grecian cuff for an evening look. Below are some of my top picks for those trips abroad and BBQ fun. Are you a fan of maxi dresses? Which styles are on your wishlist?
1. New Look Red Halterneck Maxi Dress, £20.50 | 2. ASOS Africa Lace Maxi Dress with Sheer Layer, £42 | 3. River Island Yellow Abstract Print Sleeveless Maxi Dress, £40 | 4. Warehouse Multi Linea Aztec Maxi Dress, £52 | 5. Fashion Union Beckie Maxi Dress with Gold Waist Belt, £18.20
6. Sika Designs Bow Shoulder Maxi Dress, £189 | 7. Sapelle Tribal Print Maxi Dress, £140 | 8. Mary Portas at House of Fraser Aztec Print Side Maxi Dress, £49.50 | 9. My Asho African Kente Maxi Dress, £76 | 10. Miss Selfridge Floral Spliced Print Maxi, £35
How gorgeous are these loafer style Afro-slippers by My Miry? The Paris based footwear label released these beauties as part of their SS14 collection. It’s perfect for casual wear with pair of jeans for a daytime look and a great alternative to sandals. An excellent excuse to treat your feet. There are three styles to choose from with leather detailing clashing with African prints. Available to buy here.
Photo credit: My Miry
Funlayo Deri is a Nigerian brand based in the UK that oozes luxurious and wearable fashion. Aimed at sophisticated women, Funlayo Deri wants to make their customers feel gorgeous by making clothes that shows off their curves using the finest cuts and detailing. It’s a brand I’ve just discovered and yet to know more about. Owned by Funmilayo Deri, her AW14 collection titled Sartorial Splendour, leaves a great first impression and I look forward to seeing what she does next. The focus is on evening wear featuring exquisite fabrics including leather, sheer and Jacquard. Colours are dark and dramatic for those cold nights out and will definitely make a statement. Check out the collection below and you can purchase her designs over at Wolf and Badger both in store (Mayfair) and online. I love!
Photo credit: Funlayo Deri
There’s something effortless about playsuits when it comes to style. It’s great for those get up and go days when it’s too hot to think about what to wear making it a warm weather staple. To accessorize, team with a statement necklace or a pair of sliders. Now that we’re getting into the height of summer, I thought it would be great to do a post on playsuits as it’s lightweight, playful and comes in variety of gorgeous colours and prints so you’re spolit for choice starting from £5!
1. River Island Dark Red Tribal Print Bandeau Playsuit, £17 | 2. Primark Festival Playsuit, £5 | 3. New Look Mint Green Floral Print Skort Playsuit, £24.99 | 4. Warehouse Grey Mesh Playsuit, £30 | 5. H&M Orange Satin Playsuit, £14.99 | 6. Miss Selfridge Light Wash Denim Playsuit, £30 | 7. Love Label at Very White Lace Playsuit, £23.20 | | 8. Boohoo Poppy Printed Wrap Playsuit, £20 | 9. Mango Baroque-print Short Jumpsuit, £24.99 | 10. F&F Crepe Green Tailored Playsuit, £22