Every Christmas my mum buys me some a bottle of perfume. If I’m honest, I already have loads of half empty bottles that need using up. Yes, I’m one of those people that is always starting new products before finishing one up. That’s why this year I’ve set myself the task of not buying any new cosmetic products and using up what I’ve got. Anyway, that’s irrelevant because the point I’m trying to get onto is the perfume that I got this year…Tiffany & Co’s new signature scent.

I love perfume but I’m forever guilty of forgetting to put it on. You know those people that always smell of a beautiful perfume? Yeah, that’s not me. I have the perfumes available to make it happen, I’m just far too forgetful in the mornings. I don’t even remember my name most mornings, let alone remember to apply perfume. All is good though as I’m a total clean freak who washes at least twice a day if not more.

Anywaaaaay…when I received this little blue box on Christmas morning I was very excited. Admittedly, my mum had already warned me not to get too excited when I was opening this just incase I thought it was some Tiffany & Co jewellery. Never the less, I was still excited. Even from the packaging I knew that this perfume was going to quickly become one of my favourites and was an item of luxury. Inside the iconic blue box is a bottle of pure beauty, inspired by the diamonds that Tiffany & Co specialise in. As much as I love a perfume bottle which is slightly out there, this one is the real winner for me. It’s clean and doesn’t have Tiffany & Co branding splashed across it because it doesn’t need it. It’s instantly recognisable on the dressing table.

After a little while of gushing over the beauty of the packaging I finally got around to smelling the perfume, you know, what you’re meant to do with perfume. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. You know when people say that they wish they could bottle a feeling or bottle a scent and keep it forever? This is where Tiffany & Co has smashed it. If someone had asked me to sit and imagine what scents the brands remind me of, I’d of genuinely described this perfume. There’s floral tones in the perfume but it just shouts sophistication and is a perfume that I can imagine a powerful woman who has everything sorted wearing as she scrolls into the office of the business that she owns. It’s the type of perfume that gives you a confidence boost as soon as you spray it on and this confidence lasts as long as the perfume does, which is pretty much all day. Shout out to Tiffany & Co for creating what is possibly my favourite perfume ever and for just being a genuinely amazing brand.

Tiffany & Co perfume

I’m 21 years old. I’ve been in a relationship for nearly six years. I have a mortgage. I have a dog. I have no tattoos. I love nothing more than a night in with a glass of wine and my boyfriend. Am I old before my time? Am I boring?

Whilst my friends are planning weeks away partying in Ibiza, I’m planning weeks spent lying on the beach and getting a tan. Whilst my friends are getting drunk every night at university, I’m tucked up in bed by 10pm ready for another day at work. Whilst my friends are sharing their latest boys drama, I’m arguing with my boyfriend over who’s turn it is to wash up. Am I old before my time? Am I boring?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a night out with friends but nine times out of ten it’ll be with my boyfriend and other couples. It’s not because we’re obsessed with each other and joined at the hip. Hell no! It’s just because we have the same friends.

Since we bought our own home and got a mortgage at the age of 20, I’ve found myself using the word ‘boring’ a lot. At first, I didn’t even realise that I was doing it but now I catch myself doing it more and more. If I think about it, I think the reason that I do it is so that others can’t do it. In the words of Fat Amy, I do it so that skinny twig bitches can’t say it behind my back (I feel you girl).

But, why do I care? Is everything that I’ve got not enough for me?

That’s not it, in fact it’s more than enough. I am so lucky. I’m lucky that I’ve found someone that I want to spend my life with and makes me happy so young. I’m lucky that my hard work paid off and I managed to save for a house so young. I’m lucky that I’ve found a career I love already.

As a generation, we spend far too much time comparing ourselves to others. Whatever we have is never enough and even when we’re doing well, we find something to moan about or find a flaw. Mine is that I’m boring. That’s the flaw that I’ve found. It’s my protection blanket. Compliments aren’t my thing, neither is vanity.

But, moving forward I’m going to work hard to change that. I’m not going to apologise for being ‘boring’ but equally I’m not going to apologise for working hard or for being settled down so young. It’s all exactly how I’d want it and it’s about time I started to own it.

So, here’s to the boring girls, the party girls, the immature girls, the flirty girls and the sporty girls. Here’s to being yourself and not apologising for it.

Being boring - Sofa

*This post has been written and sponsored by Charles Tyrwhitt

From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer…

Against gendered expectations

The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations?

Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014.

There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour.

Eccentric wear

Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style it through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.

For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s formal shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras.

By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace.

Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself.

Against the dress code

In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do.

Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful.

Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit.

In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence.

In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better!

As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead…

http://www.lifehack.org/531957/people-who-wear-crazy-socks-are-more-brilliant-creative-and-successful https://www.rd.com/culture/crazy-socks-for-success/ http://uk.businessinsider.com/women-and-clothing-at-work-2015-2?r=US&IR=T http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3482589/Gender-stereotypes-holding-strong-Beliefs-roles-men-women-firmly-held-1980.html https://www.elitedaily.com/money/people-who-wear-crazy-socks/1055248 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-something-different/201304/what-your-clothes-might-be-saying-about-you

It’s no secret that I have an addictive personality. When I discover something that I like, I can very easily get addicted to it. The latest victim of my addictive ways is Illamasqua although let’s be honest, is a make up addiction really a problem? Nope. After all, who needs to pay for gas, electric and petrol when you can look good? Apparently not me.

I’d used a few Illamasqua products in the past but it’d been a while since I’d tried any of its newest products. That is until I spotted this Lava Lipstick in the sale for only £10. I mean, a marble lipstick is every bloggers dream, is it not? I have to admit this lipstick does come out darker than it looks and is a darker tone that I would usually wear but there’s something exciting about putting it on and not knowing the exact colour it’ll be each time I put it on. I’m very easily amused.

Illamasqua lava lipstick

 

After finding the lipstick, this lipstick also accidentally slipped into my basket. And this, this beautifully velvety gloss is me to a tee. The colour is a nude pink, which some would call boring, but what I would call perfect. I rarely wear lipgloss because I hate the sticky feeling that it leaves on my lips but this lipgloss leaves a feeling much more like a lipstick is much more pigmented than a lipgloss I’ve worn before.

Illamasqua lipgloss

 

Blusher is one make up item that I find really hard to shop for. In the past I’ve tried a fair few blushers but the only ones I’ve ever been really impressed by were from Benefit. That’s not a problem because if Benefit does one thing well, it’s blushers. Never the less, I have been determined to find another brand that does it well. In comes Illamasqua with this blush duo; Lover and Hussy. First up, I love the name and if a brand names a colour well, in my opinion they’re already on to a winner. The powder blush is very pigmented and it did take me a few attempts not to overdo it and end up looking like a six year old who got her hands on her mum’s make up bag. But, once I’d cracked the art or applying just the right amount I instantly fell in love. Lover, the soft apricot is very me. The peachy colour provides a warm glow and looks perfect under a pink highlighter. Admittedly, Hussy is more of a candy pink colour and is a little too pink for me, especially as I am so pale. However, with a bit of fake tan on it looks like a totally different colour and works perfectly.

Illamasqua blush

 

Now, if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s a good eyeshadow palette. Again, I’d never tried Illamasqua’s eyeshadows but I’d heard good things so had high hopes. Being the boring Betty that I am, I went for two palettes that were actually quite similar but I love me some brown/nude eyeshadows and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, ey’? In my defence, there is a slight purple tone to these shadows so I have stepped out of my comfort zone at least a little bit.

I love it when a brand matches the colours in a palette perfectly so that lazy people like me don’t have to use our brains to try and find complementary colours or think too much about what I’m doing and Illasmasqua smashed it with these palettes.

illamasqua eyeshadow 2 illamasqua eyeshadow

What are your favourite Illamasqua products?

Illamasqua haul

PSA: This post is all about reducing damp and mould in your home so full warning, if you have no interest in this type of adulting, I won’t blame you for switching off now. On the other hand, if like me you now get excited over things like a dehumidifier…read on.

We live in a pretty old building, although it’s insulated it’s very very cold. We have our heating on every day (yay for expensive gas bills) but because the windows are so old, we end up with a lot of damp. And you know what damp leads to…mould. Yup, lovely mould. I hate hate hate it. It makes me think of dirty old buildings which is absolutely not the case. If anything, I’m a clean freak. But, with damp buildings and condensation, mould can easily occur.

We’d been researching solutions for this which wouldn’t cost the earth, new windows were going to cost us thousands of pounds because they’re so big and my bank account just wasn’t feeling that. It seemed like a dehumidifier was the answer. So, you can imagine my delight when I received a parcel from Maplin and it was this Ebac dehumidifier. You know you’ve hit true adulthood when receiving a parcel like this makes your week, right?

Anyway, we’ve been using the dehumidifier for four weeks now and I never thought I’d be so excited about a household appliance that reduces mould but it is a game changer. Let me tell you, it is a very satisfying feeling when you empty the water that it’s collected knowing that it would have just been lurking on the windows or the walls had you not had the machine switched on.

This time of year, washing gets dried inside because there is no way I’m going to spend my time doing a wash and hanging it out only to leave home and for the rain to start and stop my washing from drying. The dehumidifier helps to dry the clothes and also reduce any odours in the building too which is another thing that makes me excited because I have a real paranoia over my home ever smelling and me being oblivious to it.

As well as the dehumidifier reducing damp and mould in my house, it also helps me to manage my condition. Damp causes pain and of course, with reduced damp comes reduced pain…win win!

Dehumidifier 1 Dehumidifier 2

*This post is in partnership with Maplin and contains gifted items.