The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating

In the latest of my posts about online dating, I’m talking do’s and don’ts. The most important thing about online dating is making sure you have the best experience.      Stick to your guns, expect rejection (once in a while) and just be yourself!

DON’T do anything you are not comfortable with!

I can’t stress how important it is to look after yourself while you date. If you are put in any situations or are made to feel uncomfortable at any point, do go home or get yourself to a safe place. This is just obligatory. One of the things that millennials fail to do when they are out on dates is observe. While you observe, ask yourself these questions:

Am I safe?

Am I happy in the presence of this person?

Am I comfortable?

If you aren’t 100% sure about a date, you can decline the offer. This culture of going on dates just for the sake of it is detrimental. Listen to your gut instinct and trust that it will lead you down the right path.

 

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DO have an open mind

When I started dating after my breakup, I was completely and utterly clueless. I didn’t know what I wanted but I did know what I didn’t want if that makes sense. Having standards and expectations make navigating through the world of dating so much easier but have an open mind too. For example, don’t turn a blind eye to someone who is into art just because you are not. Dating is all about learning from the people you interact with so don’t be afraid of new experiences.

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DO get to know the person you are dating

Whenever I scroll through my Twitter feed and see a horror story about a date gone wrong, I shake my head (Am I the only one who does this?). A girl (or sometimes even a guy) will talk about the run up to their date and all you can see is sign after sign. I’ve said this in many other posts and I will continue to say it now: Communication is key! Without it, there’s absolutely no chance of anything happening. This is for the ladies mainly. If he’s shown interest in you yet barely talks to you, then he’s not into you. Look out for one-type communicators as well, the kind that will bombard you with texts and can’t even spare 15 minutes for a call. Face to face and over the phone interactions play a huge part in all our lives. Some of our livelihoods depend on it so never, ever, ever settle for a poor communicator. Address the issue (if you feel you want to) and if things still don’t change, utilise the block and delete functions.

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DON’T talk about your ex

Most females can relate to having end a date prematurely or cancelling a next one because all the guy did was talk about his ex. If you’re not over your ex, you shouldn’t be dating. Personally, I’m not an advocate of rebound relationships but this is not to say that they are unacceptable. Talking about an ex while you are on a date with a potential bae really isn’t the way forward. When it comes to exes, there may be a brief question such as ‘How long did your last relationship last? Or why did it end?’ Keep the responses short and simple. However, if exes do come up, don’t dodge the question, just be transparent. Also, if an ex is being slammed or insulted by whoever you are on a date with, run for the hills!

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There will most likely be a part two to this post so do let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to read on the blog in regards to online dating. As always, I love to hear from you, so do leave a comment and don’t forget to like and subscribe. In the meantime, check out this wiltshire dating site for more information about online dating.

Kel xo

 

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6 Lessons I Learnt From ‘Navigating Everyday Obstacles’

This weekend, I was at the Google Pixel Curiosity Rooms. I heard about this venue about a month ago and I had intended to attend a talk there, so when I heard that supermodel Leomie Anderson would be talking about ‘Navigating Everyday Obstacles’ with the help of fellow model and influencer Munroe Bergdorf, I just had to be there.

The Curiosity Rooms are absolutely stunning so if you live in London, do check them out. I’m a big believer in inspiration coming in different forms. Some people have conditioned themselves to believe that they can only learn from people who are specialists in the field(s) that they want to get into, but this shouldn’t be the case. Listening and speaking to people from all walks of life is such a precious learning experience.

Leomie and Munroe were an absolute joy to listen to and I took so many gems from their talk which I wanted to share with you all:

Achieving your dreams

I think this is something that everyone has succeeded and also struggled with this year. Entrepreneurship has been glamourized to a great extent so its no wonder that millennials are really feeling the heat when it comes to chasing success. Two gems that really resonated with me were:

‘At the beginning of every day, write down your daily objectives and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve them all’.

Does anyone else have this terrible habit of snoozing every morning? I do. The last thing I think about when I get up every morning are my goals. I have decided that in order to channel this, I will start listening to some affirmations every morning and create a list as soon as I get to work. Working from lists is one of the most empowering and liberating experiences ever and that’s a fact! Don’t be afraid to set the tone for the day and keep your eyes on the prize.

‘Don’t put a timeline on your achievements’

You are never too old to receive a blessing so stop putting timelines on your achievements! In the age of social media, it is very easy to feel left behind or like you’re doing the bare minimum but when you feel like this, focus on what you have achieved and be proud of it! Don’t be afraid to celebrate achievements, no matter how small or big they are. Also, try not to compare your achievements as this can lead to a great sense of dissatisfaction. We are all on our own unique journeys.

Seek inspiration

‘Research people who inspire you’

In whatever it is you want to, there’s no doubt that you will be inspired by someone. Keep up to date with your role models on a regular basis. If you see anything that catches your eye, do jot it down. Jotting down things that you like about someone you admire will help you in your own endeavours. Just be alert as far as comparisons are concerned. Remember (as said earlier), you are on your own UNIQUE journey.

Affirmations

Positive affirmations will lift your spirits and both Leomie and Munroe talked about the power of speaking things into existence. Personally, whenever I feel like I can’t do something, I tell myself that I can three times. Negative talk is very defeating. The Bible says something about life and death being in the power of the tongue so be kind to yourself. Affirm, affirm and affirm some more.

Friendship Circles

‘Make sure your circle empowers, inspires and loves you’

2018 has been the year where many people have been figuring out where they stand as far as friendships are concerned. Munroe emphasised the importance of having friends who are supportive of you and she’s right. Friendships are all about give and take. Efforts need to be mutual and if you find yourself going above and beyond for someone who wouldn’t even lift a finger for you, it is time to walk away. Monitor your circle on a regular basis and make sure your friends are adding to your life, and not taking away from it.

Personal Development

‘Turn your weaknesses into strengths’

‘Be honest about your mood’

‘If someone is telling you no, find a way’

In an interview, an interviewer will ask you about a weakness you have but it is your job as the interviewee to ensure that you demonstrate you’re working towards turning that weakness into a strength. For example, something we can all relate to is proficiency in Excel. If this is a weakness for you in terms of skill, you will demonstrate that you are working on this by signing up for a course. This is the same energy you need to apply when it comes to turning your weaknesses into strengths. Have a solution in mind so that you don’t dwell on your shortcomings for too long.

We all have good days and we all days that aren’t so good. Honesty is the best policy. Listen to your mind and your body. If you’re having a Netflix kind of day, that’s fine. If you want to work on a personal project and switch off from all social media, that’s fine too. Self-care isn’t just about treating yourself. You’ve got to listen to your mind, body and soul. Be honest with yourself.

This year, I found myself wanting a new job and I waited almost three months for it to happen. It was hard because I was getting so many rejections. Instead of being defeated by them, I asked companies for feedback. Taking the feedback on board, I was able to apply for jobs in the sector that I wanted to work in and I was successful. The whole point of me sharing my story with you is to tell you all that you should never take ‘NO’ for an answer. There will always be another way. It may not be what you imagined but things will eventually fall into place.

I hope this post has provided you with many gems. I hope you are all inspired and ready to live your best lives in 2019.

As always, I love to hear from you all so your comments are appreciated. Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Kel xo

The Ultimate Prom Prep List

Getting ready for any occasion is stressful, so can you imagine the pressure teens feel when they are getting ready for prom. Prom is one of the most memorable nights in the life of any young adult and there’s no denying that there is an intense amount of pressure on teenagers to make sure they look perfect for the big event (and social media hasn’t helped either.

In the U.K, some colleges refer to prom as an ‘end of year party’ but it still comes with the same excessive amount of pressure. Everything has to be perfect: outfits must make a statement, skin must be glowing…the list is endless. In this post, I’m going to be sharing some tips on getting ready for your prom. If you know any teenage girls, please feel free to direct them to this post and I hope these tips help:

Plan ahead – Prom is one night and once it’s over, that’s it. You will never have another prom. Start planning 2-3 months in advance. By planning, I mean searching for dresses online, looking for makeup inspiration on Pinterest, finding out how you are going to get to the venue, who you will be going with etc. Planning is so important. The last thing any girl wants is to find that she has a whole week or two to get herself together for prom. It is stressful and the last thing you want is for it to show.

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Beauty, beauty, beauty – I remember being a teen and all the struggles I experienced with my skin. The skincare and cosmetics industry has really developed since the mid 2000’s and it’s so easy to find a product that is suited to your skin type. If you don’t know what your skin type is, you have two options: 1) do a quiz (which I know may be vague but it does help in a way) or 2) go to a beauty counter and have your skin checked. Also when it comes to makeup, choose the brand that works best for your skin. Don’t forget to exfoliate (not just your face, but your body) and do a facial the night before. This is one of my favourites.

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Hair – Perfect hair is the secret to nailing any prom look. Book your appointment well in advance and make sure you use good quality hair. Having to sort out your hair a day before the big event isn’t ideal at all. If you want some more advice on prom hair styles, click here. One thing I would say when it comes to hair is to stay true to what you like. Don’t do anything too bold and also use a stylist that you trust to do a good job. Lastly, avoid putting too many pins and things on your hair. This will take attention away from your outfit.Keep it simple.

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Stay healthy – When the weather begins to change, eating and drinking the right things are essential. Drink as much water as you can, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you want to go the extra mile, opt for fruits and veggies that give your skin a special glow. Work out two to three times a week and get enough sleep. If you are struggling to sleep, try switching up your routine, using meditation or drinking some chamomile tea so you can get the ‘zzz’ you need.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe.

Kel xo

Tips For Decorating Your Home

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Every millennial has become accustomed to hearing about the rising house prices in London. Whether we end up renting or buying, decorating a home is inevitable. Every homeowner (or renter) has envisioned what they would want their home to look like. Personally, I am a self confessed DIY enthusiast who loves the concept of putting things together (and then enjoying a nice glass of wine afterwards). Here are some decorating tips that may come in handy:

Stick to one colour palette – Coordination is so important when it comes to colour. Having a different colour for each room can really help to change the mood of each space. Also when choosing a colour, try to stay away from bold and vibrant hues. Stick to light and neutral tones, so you don’t find yourself painting the walls every couple of years. Neutral tones also provide great decorating flexibility.

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Embrace the arts – Having beautiful pieces of artwork in your home creates a really relaxed atmosphere. My house is adorned with various artwork and my favourite has got to be a picture of this gorgeous sandy beach with palm trees in the background and a crystal clear sand which is accompanied by the beautiful blue sea. Every time I look at this picture, I’m reminding of all the times I’ve travelled and I’m also inspired to book a beach holiday (which will be happening in 2019). Another important part of choosing the right art to compliment your home is making sure it’s suited to your tastes, for example if your thing is pop art , don’t opt for a portrait.

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Be brave – Another important part of mastering the art of decorating is to work with the space that you have. Be brave, be bold. Your home should be a reflection of your personality so think about the things you like: what makes you happy? what colours do you like? what kind of decor will you have?, it’s all about being true to yourself because you are the only person who will live in your space. Also, websites like Pinterest are a great source of inspiration if you’re ever stuck for ideas. For more inspiration on living spaces, Click Here.

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Classic is best – When it comes to finding the perfect items for your home, opt for the classics. They will never fail you. Buying something and then feeling like its updated soon after is just a huge waste of money. Sometimes there is comfort in simplicity. When it comes to classic pieces, I have to say that I am a huge fan of Ikea  because they have something to suit everybody.

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Nature is refreshing – This is the best way to balance out contemporary furniture. Natural elements are a refreshing addition to any home. Choose plants and other items that compliment the overall look of your home. Don’t invest in a plant just because it looks pretty. If you have a very hectic schedule, you might want to opt for an artificial plant.

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Don’t neglect exteriors – The first thing anyone sees when they pay you a visit is your front door area, so keeping things elegant and simple is so important. A front door really does set the tone for the rest of the home so bare this in mind. For more information on how you can brighten up your lovely homes, click here.

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Decorating a home is very easy to master – you do not need to be an expert. Play up to your home’s strengths and cover up it’s flaws. You can freshen up the interior (and exterior) of your home without breaking the bank and without going outside your comfort zone.

I hope you liked this post and let me know if you’d like to see more home related posts on the blog. I love to hear from you all so please leave a comment.

Kel xo

Lifting The Lid On A Broken Engagement (When I Do Turns Into I Don’t)

As news broke last week that singer Michelle Williams has ended her engagement to her pastor fiance Chad Johnson, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that almost two and a half years ago, I was in Michelle’s shoes. In 2016, I was preparing to spend the rest of my life with the man that I loved. However, as the year went by, I became incredibly unhappy in my relationship and decided not to marry my fiance.

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Calling off my wedding was a difficult decision but the state of my relationship had deteriorated to a point of no return. I just couldn’t imagine ‘forever’ with my fiance. I began to feel like I kept the relationship going because I was scared of being alone. Although I loved him dearly, I didn’t feel like my feelings were reciprocated. I felt burned out and taken for granted. The days were our relationship was great began to feel like a distant memory. One day after a long, hot shower, I took a look in the mirror and I barely recognised myself. I knew that being true to myself was the only way forward. This wasn’t my happy ending and as far as I was concerned, if happiness equated to being miserable 95% of the time, then I definitely didn’t want it!

As far as my ex fiance is concerned, I wish him success, health and happiness. This is something that will never change. Hate is too strong a burden to bear. We were just two people who were not compatible so we were both unable to handle many issues in our relationship. Looking back there are things I would have done differently but when push comes to shove, every woman has their criteria. We all know exactly what it is we want from a partner (if you don’t, I suggest you start making a list girl!) and over time, it had become clear to see that my criteria was not being met.

As I glimpsed at reactions online, I couldn’t help but comment on one of the articles about Chad and Michelle. My post did receive a fair amount of impressions so I was inspired to tell my story with the hope of helping women who may be having second thoughts about staying in their relationship. Compromise is a word that’s thrown around a lot when it comes to relationships but like Eartha Kitt, I don’t agree with the concept. In order for a relationship to be successful, adapting is key and you and your partner need to understand each other on every level.

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An engagement is simply an ‘intention to commit’. During this period, it is essential to still look out for any issues or red flags in your relationship. I’m not a relationship expert but these are some of the things that I think men and women need to look out for:

Harsh exchanges – Communication in a relationship should be healthy, even when you and your significant other are having a disagreement. Disagreements should always be handled with care because the thing with words is that, once they are said they can’t be taken back. Arguments are inevitable, they will happen so finding a medium is always the right thing to do. Also, one love lesson I have learnt is that it’s important to choose your battles wisely.

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Counselling to fix issues – This is something I wish I had known a very long time ago. Counselling serves a purpose and sometimes, two people need to talk in the company of someone who has a neutral viewpoint (which may comprise of more knowledge/experience). However, counselling to fix an ongoing issue in your relationship is dangerous, especially if your differences are already driving a wedge between you. Pre martial counselling and compatibility go hand in hand. It will provide you with the guidance and counsel to gain a better understanding of what is required in married life. Do not confuse counselling to ease tensions or solve clear non negotiable’s with pre martial counselling. The two are very different.

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Differences in views and values – A deal-breaking part of any engagement. Being with someone who shares similar views and values to you is essential. I’m not saying you should be with your clone but be with someone who understands you. Issues such as religion/spirituality, family life and finances can really threaten a union. Honestly, the best thing you can do is evaluate these situations. Is it possible for you to come to some sort of conclusion with your partner or do the same issues keep coming up time after time?

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Decline in health – In an unhealthy relationship, your health can take a huge hit. You can find yourself experiencing ailments such as stress, weight gain/loss, hair loss, anxiety, depression, OCD and many more. When your inner peace is disturbed at the hands of another, you are playing Russian roulette with your sanity. It’s not a matter of if, but when you will break. If your relationship is having a negative impact on your health, get out as soon as you can.

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Taking breaks in the relationship – Singer Blu Cantrell put it perfectly in her hit ‘Breathe’: ‘All we do is make up and break up (if you know, you know). Cyclical love robs your relationship of its potential. Calling it quits and then reconciling is heavily romanticised in our society. The truth is that reconciliation in a relationship shouldn’t be taking place unless both parties have understood and worked through their issues.

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I’m no relationship expert and have never claimed to be. All I can do is share my experience and hope that other women can learn from the mistakes that I have made. Relationships, although fulfilling, are hard work so it’s always important to check in with yourself to make sure it’s all worth it. Breaking off an engagement always brings that added pressure so be sure to confide in someone you trust before you make a decision. If you do decide to break off an engagement or you have done so, the best thing you can do for yourself is not deprive yourself of all those post breakup feelings. You will question whether you’re good enough, you will doubt yourself as a partner. It’s just the way it is. Time is the best healer and experience is the best teacher. Never forget this.

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As always, I love to hear from you all so do feel free to comment below and also let me know if you’d like to read more posts like this on Its Kelle’s Space.

Kel xo

5 Signs You Shouldn’t Go On That First Date

First dates can be quite daunting. You’re never sure of what to say or what to expect. They are definitely an air of mystery. If you decide to date, you should prepare yourself for anything. So much emphasis is placed on dating in today’s society that nobody really pays attention to the fact that warning signs can rear their head before a meeting has even taken place!

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What inspired this post was a tweet I saw a few weeks ago. A young lady was telling a story about the worst date she had ever been on. Before she went into detail regarding the events, she revealed that she wasn’t attracted to the guy who had been pursuing her. A wave of shock came over me. I just couldn’t believe that women are still dating for the sake of ‘dating’ in 2018. Free food, unwanted attention and wasted time will get you nowhere and I’m a big believer in the importance of protecting your energy. Here are some signs that you shouldn’t go on the first date:

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A man with no plan – A man without a plan is a big waste of time. Never put yourself in a position where you find yourself out and about and your potential suitor has no idea where they want to take you. It is insulting. If a man has shown interest in you and decided to pursue you, it is HIS (yes, his) job to show you how serious he is about being in your life. As you get to know each other, you’ll both get an idea of what your likes and dislikes are and a guy should be able to use this information to make informed choices. If you’ve been talking for a while and he doesn’t know where you’re going to go, then he’s got to go!

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Awkward conversations – This has got to be one of the biggest signs women ignore. In the run up to your date, you’ll obviously be communicating every other day via phone or text. Pay attention to what he says. If he has nothing good to say and spends a lot of time talking about himself, that gives you a glimpse as to what your date would be like. The frequency of communication is also important. If he only gets in touch in the evenings or at weekends, ditch him. This may be an unpopular opinion but communication in the early stages of a relationship should comprise of calls and texts. Solely relying on texts is a huge dealbreaker. There’s something about phone calls that’s very intimate. You definitely get to know who you’re dealing with a lot quicker.

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Research and Vibes – These days, it’s very easy to keep up with someone online. I’m not saying you must turn into the FBI, but just keep in mind that your safety comes first in any dating situation. If you are not happy with what you know or if you’re concerned about what you don’t know, then don’t go on the date. Also, pay attention to the vibes you are getting. From personal experience, if I go on a guy’s social media page and 80% of his following are women, I wouldn’t date him. You can get an impression of someone by checking their social media pages or seeing if they’ve been mentioned online. In these times we live in, it’s 100% necessary, so do some research before you commit to a meeting.

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Hearsay –  Impressions mean everything and if someone you trust has had any kind of encounter with your potential date (or even has some serious tea on them), think about reconsidering. Of course, you have the option to confront your date but at the early stages, it’s definitely a bit extreme. Be vigilant and be cautious. Not everyone is trying to destroy every good thing that comes into your life. Trust that the people who love and care about you will do their best to look out for you.

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Compatibility – Do you know the quote ‘ When someone shows you who they are, believe them’? That’s what compatability is in a nutshell. We all have the ability to be ourselves. Even if we put on a facade, it will only be a matter of time before it fades. Actions speak louder than words so if someone is making you feel like you are an option and not a priority, then chances are your gut is serving you right. Compatibility isn’t about you and your date being the same person. It’s about being able to connect, being well suited in addition to having a good amount of chemistry. As a wise person once told me ‘ when you know, you know’.

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We are weeks away from a new year and one thing I always will aim to do on this blog is tell it like it is. If you know that you need to change your attitude towards dating and relationships, take action now. Speak to a friend or someone you can trust, watch YT videos (this is one of my favourites), read books. Do whatever you need to do in order to address what may be holding you back. Don’t take dating too seriously, use it as a learning experience. If something great comes out of it, then embrace it, but forcing a connection or an interaction is a huge no no, ladies. Just don’t do it. Let this be your entire mood for 2019:

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Your time, space and energy are the most valuable resources you will ever receive on this earth, so use them wisely.

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this post. Do you have any pre-date dealbreakers of your own? Please feel free to leave a comment and don’t forget to like and subscribe to my space!

Kel xo

The Best Christmas Money Saving Tips

Happy December! ‘Tis the season to be jolly as I will be sharing some fabulous money saving tips that you can all abide by this Christmas! As joyous as Christmas is, it is so easy to do everything in excess, especially where money is concerned. I felt that this was the right time to share my tips with you as I believe that you don’t need to break the bank to have an amazing Christmas!

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Make the most of the sales – The biggest misconception with shopping for Christmas gifts is that they have to be expensive. I actually believe that this is the reason why many people are quite selective with the gifts that they give. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being particular regarding who you give gifts too but always remember that you can shop around. If you happen to find something similar to your planned gift that happens to be on sale, take advantage of that! You’ll save money in the process as well as being first in line to avoid the much dreaded January blues. Just remember to follow these golden rules before you buy your gift: Try things on, read reviews and always keep a receipt!

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Put some thought into your gift – There’s nothing worse than receiving a gift and then later realising you have no use for it! Of course, any gift should be received with gratitude but don’t forget to make sure your gifts for your loved ones have a purpose. For example, if your significant other is into photography, a ring light or a photography course would be perfect for them! Another example is if your son or daughter wants to be a part of the golf crowd , you may decided that these kids golf gifts are perfect for them! Think about what your loved ones are passionate about and channel that energy into giving them a gift they will remember for many years to come. I was a huge Roald Dahl fan as a child and my godmother bought me The Roald Dahl Treasury, which was a collection of every single book he had written. I was overjoyed and reading the treasury definitely ignited my love affair with books and ultimately, writing as a whole. If you find that choosing a gift is difficult, you have the option of buying a gift card instead.

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Make a list – I swear by lists every single day, especially when I’m at work, so I will never stop ranting about them. As someone who has worked in Marketing, let me tell you this, a lot of brands partake in psychological pricing . Psychological pricing is a strategy which is based on a theory that certain prices have a psychological impact. For example, £5.99 would because it’s less than £6 and so on. The whole idea of psychological pricing is to get you to part with your money, fast. It’s one of the best strategies out there in addition to 3 for 2 offers. Before you head out on your Christmas shop, make a list. Go over it and stick to it! Don’t be swayed by all the promotions because you will end up buying things that you don’t need. This goes for food shopping too!

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Prepare in advance – If you are planning to travel, book your tickets in advance. Whether you’re spending Christmas with your family or you want to leave your city for a day, planning ahead will save you so much money and hassle. Trainline is one of the best websites for decently priced train tickets but do look around so you can make comparisons (journey times, cost etc).

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Shop online – I have saved the best tip for last. Shop online. Shopping online will make your life so much easier. Who wants to be walking down Oxford Street a week before Christmas? Searching for gifts online is always a good idea. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, brands will reward you with £ off when you subscribe to their mailing lists. Of course, you can always unsubscribe if you don’t want to be inundated with emails. The only thing you really need to be cautious of when shopping online is delivery dates.

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What are your Christmas money saving tips? I love to hear from you all so please do leave a comment and don’t forget to like and subscribe too!

Kel xo

#EveryHueIsBeautiful – Diversi-Tea Part 2

Who remembers when I joined forces with the lovely Charlotte from Memoirs and Musings to discuss diversity in the beauty industry? A lot has happened since this post first went live so Charlotte and I have joined forces yet again to discuss the current state of the beauty industry. Are the voices of WoC really being heard? Is blackfishing degrading? What should brands be doing in order to be diverse? No table has been left unturned in this post and we also want to hear from you too! Use the hashtag #EveryHUEIsBeautiful to get involved.

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Kelle – Its Kelle’s Space

How can upcoming/new brands champion diversity?

For brands to champion diversity, I believe they must admit that there is a lack of product and service offerings for people of colour. A problem can’t be addressed without admitting there is an issue. WoC have such a high spending power so why aren’t we being catered to? I recall seeing a thread on Twitter where one WoC was at the airport and needed foundation and she couldn’t find her shade. When she enquired about more shades, she was simply told that ‘that was all they had’. Experiences like this are very frustrating mostly because most brands that we adore are susceptible to such behaviours. Where will the line be drawn?

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Credit: Elle

Market research is also an issue. I don’t think brands should be solving a problem like a lack of diversity internally. I think that they need to adopt a proactive approach to finding out what they should be doing to be more inclusive. NYX are a good example of this. They recently partnered up with YouTuber Alissa Ashley on the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation range. Even though it has received its fair share of criticism, NYX are going out of their way to make sure WoC are represented. As a former Marketing professional, I also feel that brands should make use of focus groups. Find some WoC, ask them what they would like to see in shops and gain an understanding of who they are. Marketing should be a constant force, especially in an industry that is as competitive as the cosmetics field. Storytelling is also something that brands are starting to introduce, and this helps customers feel like they do matter!

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What are your thoughts on the ‘blackfishing ’scandal?

One of the things that shocks me the most about blackfishing is that these influencers have been able to get away with this for so long! The likes of Emma Hallberg reek of deception. The fact that all of these ‘blackfishers’ have modified their appearance to look black is terrible. Hallberg claims she tans very quickly but she lives in Sweden and European countries don’t experience prolonged periods of warmth. You can clearly see from her before and after photos that there is a difference in colour between her face and her body. Black women have struggled to find beauty in their complexion and their hair. We are finally being represented thanks to ground-breaking influencers such as Jackie Aina and Patricia Bright but our culture and our features are being monetised by nonblack women, who perceive our culture as some sort of trend.

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Credit: Vice

Cancel Culture: To be or not to be?

Cancel culture is simply intensified hype. The cancel culture can be toxic and unhelpful. I feel like the cancel culture is started by one person and before you know it, everyone else has adopted the same way of thinking. The rise of social media has made it harder for people to think for themselves. It seems like everyone wants to follow the crowd. Do you remember when Dove, Shea Moisture and Nivea were cancelled, the latter in particular? Nivea were under fire for the launch of a skin lightening cream back in 2017. There were so many calls for people to boycott the brand because of this. Did you know that the word Nivea is taken from the Latin word ‘Niveus’ which means ‘snow-white’? so it was only a matter of time before the brand decided to cash in on the skin bleaching craze. Unfortunately, a lot of brands will cash in on the insecurities of WoC which is why I wasn’t surprised at the news that Blac Chyna has joined forces with singer Dencia’s brand Whitenicious to endorse a new skin lightening cream. WoC are a force to be reckoned with so it is important that we don’t give in to such ideals. We shouldn’t give energy to anything that encourages us to divulge into self-hate and pity. I don’t stan for cancel culture, but I do believe an open mind and willingness to educate yourself as a WoC is key. It is your right and it is your responsibility.

Credit: BBC

Can controversial brands redeem themselves?

No, I don’t believe that we can. In our society, news travels like wildfire, so when I go to my Twitter feed and I’m seeing swatches of Tarte’s newest foundation with just two or three shades that would be deemed suitable for WoC, I feel so uncomfortable. We buy your eyeshadow palettes, we buy your lipsticks, we even buy your overpriced highlighters, but you can’t get it right when it comes to our foundations? It is 2018 and Black, Asian and Latina women shouldn’t be asking why they aren’t represented. If a brand doesn’t cater to us, we must be aware of this. I would encourage any woman to use a product that doesn’t accentuate her beauty and make her feel good too because that’s what makeup and skincare is all about really. What was it a wise man once said about going where you are celebrated and not where you are tolerated? Just some food for thought…

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If I had a brand of my own, what three things would be at its core?

Inclusivity – If I had a beauty brand, I would ensure that inclusivity would reign supreme. I would want every woman to feel like she was represented. Also, I’d like any campaigns I launched to reflect this.

Storytelling – As mentioned earlier, I think storytelling will become even more of a craze in 2019. Brands are starting to realise that pictures and pricing strategies just won’t cut it. Moving the customer’s mind has now become just as important as moving their purse strings.

Quality and Affordability – These two go hand in hand. There’s nothing worse than buying an affordable product that you were really excited about, only for it to fail to live up to your expectations. Any product affiliated with my brand would do exactly what it says on the packaging. I’d also take different skincare needs and requirements into consideration too.

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When the swatches for Tarte’s newest foundation were revealed earlier this year, it ignited a huge discussion about representation for WoC in the beauty industry.

To conclude, I believe that there is still a long way to go in the fight for diversity. What about Fenty Beauty you may say? Well, cosmetics brands for WoC existed way before Fenty did (Iman, Black Opal etc) and part of the brand’s ability to revolutionise the beauty industry was due to the fact that it was endorsed by one of the world’s biggest pop stars. Attitudes need to be changed, differences need to be welcomed, voices need to be heard and the needs of WoC should be catered to as part of it being the norm and not because of pity.

 

Char – Memoirs Musings

Has diversity in the beauty industry improved since our last post?

YES

In ways, yes. I’m seeing more brands, influencers and people champion diversity and inclusivity. However it still feels like a daily battle. But I’m glad brands are listening to their customers and willing to evolve. One example that stands out is Make Up Revolution expanding their shade range in their concealers and foundations, and they are not only affordable, they’re available online and in-store.

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Swatches from Make Up Revolution’s foundation range Credit: Playful Pennies

NO

However, there is still a long way to go. I will look at a brand’s page knowing fully well they have a diverse shade range but the models and influencers they repost are of one spectrum. As someone of colour, I’m not sure how this makes me feel entirely. It makes me wonder who is making the decisions internally. Why aren’t we being included?

The same goes for finding products in store. I was at Heathrow Airport recently picking up a couple of bits before my flight and not wanting to spend a lot, I headed to Boots. Whilst I was not after any complexion products, I couldn’t help but notice how BAD the shade range was. The only Maybelline shades stocked were Caramel and Cocao. People of colour do not come in two shades and not all of us want to head to higher end brands like Mac or Nars whilst travelling because we might already be on a budget.

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Credit: Duty Free Hunter

Which influencers are using their position to make moves in the industry? EG Jackie Aina with Two Faced or Alissa Ashley with NYX.

Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley are definitely the two that come to mind. I’m sure there are other examples but I probably don’t follow them… Alissa Ashley’s collaboration with NYX saw a foundation range with 50 shades (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop). No fifty shades of beige here. What I loved most about the range was that there were a range of undertones in pale, medium, dark and deeper shades. Having personally tried the foundation, I’m really impressed and I was happy when picking my shade of having at least 4 or 5 to pick from. Best of all, it was only £15.

However, I do need to get something off my chest that’s been bugging me about the whole influencer world, cancel culture and a little hypocrisy. I see brands take bloggers on once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences week after week and some of these influencers are very quick to ‘cancel’ other brands because of their lack of shade range, yet they accept a trip with another brand that is notorious for not being very inclusive? Something doesn’t add up here.

Whilst a press trip may not particularly be for a complexion product,  Can you separate your thoughts on a brand’s inclusivity if they’re offering you a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Your beliefs need to align with your morals, but again I do see both sides of the spectrum.

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#TrippinWithTarte – Some of YT’s most popular influencers have gone on trips that have been paid for by beauty brands. Notably, MakeUpShayla is the only influencer of colour in this group.

When it comes to foundations, what’s one thing you think brands are failing to do?

I can’t just stick to foundations, so I’m going to make it a little wider.

  • Constantly invite the same influencers on press trips (it’s getting a little stale now).
  • Only respond to expanding their shade ranges when they’re called out.
  • Not have POC on their social media teams who understand the colloquialisms to use online.
  • Not feature POC on their social media or if they do, it is infrequent.
  • Keep releasing seemingly *new* products which are really just the same old palette with a couple of new shades. Instead, there should be a focus on fan faves, or older products.
  • Sending huge PR boxes to influencers at the same time. Why not stagger it? Or why not send it to loyal customers? Not only that, does it really make sense to send an influencer the WHOLE collection? Why not a couple of shades or key pieces? OR ask them what they would like to receive?

What’s your dream beauty collaboration and why?

This is a very very hard one BUT I’d love to collaborate with NARS. Its the one brand that I generally love all round. My only gripe is that it’s expensive and every time I need a new concealer, I wince at its £24 price tag. I’d love to curate an affordable line for them. *speaks into existence*

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Credit: Look Fantastic

Are there are beauty collaborations you are looking forward to this year?

I’m not gonna lie, I’m trying to save my coins in 2019 and as I’ve mentioned it feels like brands are releasing the SAME products. So I’ll be shopping my stash in 2019 and reliving my old faves!

Thank you for reading guys! Clearly, we had a lot to say about this issue so if you would like to get involved, use the hashtag #EveryHueIsBeautiful on social media.

Do let me know what you think about this most and whether you’d like to see more of this on the blog.

Also, don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe!

Kel xo

Why The Meridian Grand Is The Perfect Wedding Venue

Weddings are such a joyous occasion but there’s no denying the fact that planning a wedding can be very stressful. From finding the perfect dress to making sure the venue you’ve chosen is suitable, getting everything right in the run up to your big day can feel impossible. Some of us have already made our minds up in regards to the type of wedding we would like to have. Some of us have already started planning every little detail (whether we are actually getting married or not).

In this post, I’m going to be talking about wedding venues. The Meridian Grand is luxury conference, wedding, banquets and events venue in London. As one of London’s best wedding venues situated in the North of the city, no stone is left unturned when it comes to assuring that your special day is one that you will remember for years to come. Here are some reasons why I think that The Meredian Grand is the perfect venue for a wedding:

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A choice of ballrooms – There are two ballrooms in the venue. There is The Grand Ballroom and The Meridian Ballroom and both ballrooms can actually be combined into one space, so if you want a big wedding it would be perfect for you. One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is the guest list. Once you and your fiance have agreed on who you would both like to invite, you can then sort out the rest of the finer details.

Event management – Planning an event is not easy so you may decide to hire someone to help you. Although event planners don’t come cheap, lots of brides are choosing to leave their special day in someone’s else’s hands and who can blame them? 100% involvement with less stress? It’s a great idea. The Meridian Grand have a designated event coordinator available on your big day. They specialise in turning your dreams into a reality. Be weary with relying heavily on a event planner, make sure that you are happy with everything that is being suggested. After all, it is you and your partner’s big day.

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Decor – One thing I like about this venue is the decor. All ballrooms are dedicated to a high standard. You are able to have the theme of your choice and customised lights are also available. The ballrooms have such a luxurious look and a virtual tour is available. When it comes to decor, coordination is key. Also, don’t be afraid to keep things simple. Sometimes going all out can take attention away from other things. Don’t forget to do some research to get a clear idea of what it is you want.

Cuisine – This is one of the most talked about aspects of any wedding. A part of celebrating the happy couple’s joy is by congratulating them, getting a glimpse of the bride’s beautiful dress and eating the food at the reception. At the Meredian Grand, you have the option of hiring your own caterer. A state of the art kitchen is also available so you won’t need to worry about the food getting cold. The reason why I think hiring a caterer is the best option is because there’ll be a lot more variety on offer. Food from event venues won’t really give you the freedom to have a certain preference. You get what you’re given and this isn’t necessarily for everyone.

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Another place I think would make a perfect wedding venue is Botleys Mansion.

What’s your ideal wedding venue? What would you like your wedding day to be like? What tips would you give to brides-to-be?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I love to hear from you so do leave a comment below and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Kel xo