Story Time

I was raised in quite a conservative household. We were working/middle class, and both my parents worked really hard so that we could live a good life. Unfortunately, I am quite liberal. As a teen, I suffered from all kinds of problem because I tried to suppress who I was; eating disorders, self harm, suicide, depression, suppressing my sexuality - the lot. I know that parents love is supposed to be unconditional, and I know my parents do love me, but the way that I wanted to live my life did not align with their ideals, and to them, their ideals were the only ones that were good, and the only ones we were allowed to follow. Reading this blog, you guys have probably realised that I am a pretty colourful kid; I'm really into queer culture, tattoos, piercings; I was obviously given to my parents to test them. These are all things that my parents don't like, and things that I absolutely love.

So throughout high school, I expressed myself in small ways, through some of my clothes, and ear piercings, and going to gay pride and on dates with girls and giving a different excuse to my parents. When I turned 18, I moved out and started University in a different city. And in Wellington, I truly learned to be myself. I was able to express myself properly, for the first time. I decorated my body with metal and ink and got to celebrate my individuality (which in reality isn't very different to a lot of people, just different to my parents ideals). Even if I'm a basic white girl in most respects, at least i'm, a WELLINGTON basic white girl.

So, my whole life I tried to make my parents proud of me. I did well in school, I was respectful and responsible, gave them no cause to worry about me because I didn't tell them anything about what was going on. Suddenly, i'm free to act like myself, and I relish in that freedom, and I go crazy in cultivating a unique, alty image. But I know that they won't like it, so I still try to hide it. In my own mothers words, I tried to leave them in "blissful ignorance". Sometimes, parents over react, and this over reaction can damage you more then it damages them. Because my whole relationship with my parents is me trying to please them, having them mad at me is my worst fear. So to make them not mad at me, I hid things from them.

I know parents approval is very important, because it always has been for me. However, it is not my fault if my mum put on her super sleuth hat, found this blog, and got mad at what she saw. Because what she saw is the real me. When everything you've tried to hide suddenly comes out, it is terrifying, but also kind of funny. I'm going to try not to hide myself anymore, to anyone. Because censorship leads to suppression and unhappiness. I'm 20 years old now, I live on my own, I vote, I do taxes, and I work. I'm allowed to make decisions about what I want to do with my life. I believe that living the authentic you, as long as you're not hurting anyone, is so important for your sense of self, and your happiness. At the end of the day, this blog isn't very personal, but it's a nice snapshot of my life, which is so authentically me, and you guys seem to enjoy it. This may be more personal then what y'all are used to, and don't worry, it'll be back to regular programming next week. But I thought it was an important message to get across, because it's a problem that all kids deal with. Be you, be authentic, and know that that is the best way you can be. Love yourself first, above all else x

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Recommendations

While I've been single for most of 2017, I have been dating. And dating comes with a lot of broken hearts. The way I got through my first big break up at the start of the year, and through mini ones throughout, has been through the help of music. Everyone has a break up play list, or at least a couple of songs that get them through hard times, and I am no different. Usually, I get really angry after a breakup, then sad, then hopeful again, so I have cultivated a list of songs to take you through the three stages of break up grief, so you come out on the other side better, and loving yourself just a little bit more.

Potential Break up Song - Aly and AJ - a classic, how can you not listen to this? I had this on repeat when I first wanted to break up with my boyfriend of two years, and it really helped me make my mind up. This is a kick butt song

Single - The Neighbourhood - I could include the entire neighbourhood discography onto here, especially their mixtap #000000 & #ffffff, which is all about a break up, happening during the recording

Too Good - Drake feat. Rhianna - this one I had on blast and would sing to myself in the shower. Sad, I know, but very cathartic

Dreams - Fleetwood Mac - The entire rumours album is gold, it all deals with a break up, and the haunting melodies really help you mope. Dreams is my favourite, especially for crying and eating pints of ice cream

Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeah - again, perfect for the moping period, when you have to grieve for your lost relationship. I beleive letting yourself grieve and mourn is super important, not just in romantic relationships, but in friend ones too. This song is a mixture of angry and sad, and I love it

Hold Up - Beyonce - If you can find Lemonade anywhere online, put that shit on repeat because holy hell will it help. Beyonce goes through the stages of grief in this album, and it'll really help you too. Especially if you watch the music videos, I love her righteous anger

Shout out to my ex - Little Mix - another obvious choice, but this on helps during the tail end of the break up to really lift your single spirits. Honestly, just listen to the entire Little Mix discography for fun

sHe - Zayn - this whole album is angsty gold, but I love Zayns softer songs. Honorable mentions go out to LIKE I WOULD and dRuNk for wallowy goodness

https://open.spotify.com/user/bohemian-storm/playlist/1bBvwQ2lus2mohlGrmX5OA

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Story Time, Tattoo

Surprise surprise, your girl got a new tattoo. This one has been in the works for a long time now, I actually booked it in June and had my first consultation about it a month before. This is my biggest, most detailed, and first colour tattoo that i've ever gotten, and my lord it hurt. I got there at 10 o'clock with my best friend Will, and I got to see the design for the first time. At the consultation, I showed the artist a couple of bee tattoo's I had seen before, colouring that I liked, and some flowers that I wanted. Basically, I said to him, I want a bee, floral, and colour, please design it for me. I think I was most anxious about seeing the design in the lead up to getting the tattoo, and when I first saw the design I was surprised, as it wasn't what I was expecting at all. But I loved it. We talked about colour, and I swapped some around from his original design, we put the stencil on, and got to it.

In total the tattoo took about 4 and a half hours, and lordy, was it painful. The line work I was used to, but as soon as it started to go towards my inner and upper thigh, I was in pain. The colour really hurt too, because we were going over lines that had just been freshly done. Honestly, every time I get a new tattoo, I forget about the pain of the last one. I thought as it was on my thigh, a pretty meaty part of my body, it wouldn't hurt as much. But it definitely was my most painful. My tattoo artist, Cam Oliver at The Gallery in Wellington, was so so good though, he was very aware of the pain level and helped me through it. Immediately after, and in the following days, my tattoo felt hot, stiff, and sore. It is pretty much an open wound though, you can't expect much else. But at the end of the day, the pain was definitely worth it, and I love it so so much.

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One of my favourite things to splurge on when it comes to makeup has always been eyeshadow. I love to do dramatic eye looks, and experiment with colour, shimmer, and technique. I thought it was about time that I did a full review of all of my eye shadow palettes, and show you swatches of my favourite colours from them.

Spices Palette by Chi Chi - gorgeous orange and berry toned shadows, with a mix of matte and shimmer.

Mochas Palette by Chi Chi - warm toned and cool toned brown and cream shades. I love the matte browns in this palette

Shaaanxo Palette by BH Cosmetics - nine gorgeous eyeshadow shades, and if you flip it over, nine lipstick shades. My go to cat eye is the cream base, the yellow and ochre tone in the crease, and the dark brown matte in the corner.

Burgandy Times Nine Palette by MAC - really pretty purple shades. I have a full review of this palette here: http://nouw.com/laurenchristina/mac-burgundy-times-nine-palette-review-30621345

Naturals Palette by Chi Chi - a lot of cool toned browns, creams, and greys. I don't use this as much as I should, but after swatching some of the colours I am determined to.

Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette by Tarte - I love this palette so much, the matte colours and the highlight shade especially are mind blowing. I have a full review of this palette here: http://nouw.com/laurenchristina/review-swamp-queen-palette-29687380

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Recommendations, Tattoo

@mariusztrubisz - at Pajęczyna studio in Poland. I love the use of female nudes, colour, and nature. If I ever go to Poland, i'm so going to get a tattoo from this dude.

@tritoan_seventhday - at 7th day Studio in Auckland. I love the floral, delicate line work, and the colour is so nice!

@angiedawnart - at The Gallery Custom Tattoo Wellington. I really like the delicate line work and the illustration, especially the foxes she does.

@craigy_lee - at Union Tattoo in Wellington. The mix between classic graphicness and new age daintyness is so cool.

@katy.hayward - at Ninjaflower in Wellington. I really really love the subtle colour, especially on her animals.

@four_titude - at 7th Day Studio in Auckland. The colour, the outlines, the floral. It's all so perfect. This is probably my favourite artist to date.

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Beauty, Review, Story Time

I've dyed my hair since I was about twelve, when I tried to put blonde streaks through it but ended up just streaky. Since then, I've been every colour under the sun. Red, black, brown, purple, orange, and pink. For the last three years, I've been rocking various stages of an ombré, with my natural, mousy brown/dark blonde hair on top, and a more caramel coloured blonde on the bottom (you would have seen this in my 30 days of selfies challenge). I recently went through kind of a breakup, and you know the first thing you do when you go through a breakup? Change your hair. I've wanted to go blond for ageeeees, but I've always been told that you can't do it yourself (sage advice), and I was too poor to get it done professionally (not to mention go back every month to get my roots done, holy shit). So feeling reckless and a little sad, I went to the Warehouse, grabbed some box dye, and tried to destroy my hair. It's been two weeks since I started my journey, and I'm now finally happy with how it looks. I'll insert a little before an after of what it looks like to ease your curious minds. Just a warning though; you probably should go to a salon, if you can. They will make the process quicker, and probably have a better end result (who am I kidding? Definitely a better end result). The amount of bleach I put in my hair has damaged it, but my hair is very VERY thick and resilient. We've all heard horror stories about people chemically burning of their hair trying to dye it. For me, this worked, but I would do it differently if I did it again.

First thing I did was buy Schwarzkopf's Nordic Blonde extreme lightner, which is a lifter, not a bleach. This definitely lightened my hair, no doubt about it, but it also made it VERY yellow. My flatmates called me slim shady, no jokes. I then used the Nordic blonde toner, and the Fudge violet toning shampoo, to try tone my hair down a bit. the problem was, my hair originally had two different tones to it, brown and blonde, so there was quite a distinct line where those two colours were. Even after toning it, it was still quite yellow, and not as light as I wanted it. One thing that really helped was sitting in the toner for about an hour with glad wrap around my head, just to give it time to take effect. I left my hair for two days and then decided that I couldn't take the unevenness anymore. The only thing I was worried about was damaging my hair even more. So I picked up the Ogx argan oil intensive moisturising treatment and left it in my hair for an hour to give it a good deep condition. After this, my hair felt AMAZING, so I'm really glad that I gave my hair some time out in between different stages of dying it. I then used the Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde silver blond lifter to try and strip more of the colour out, and make it less yellow. The conditioner in this kit is amazing, my hair went from feeling like straw when I first dyed it to butter. It did lighten it, but it AGAIN made me look like Eminem, which isn't really the aesthetic I was going for. So again, I left a toner in for about 40 minutes, and I really liked the results!

As for my hair, it doesn't feel any thinner. It's definitely more damaged than it was, but keep in mind I hadn't dyed it since December last year. It gets a little bit more frizzy than it did previously, but it still feels soft and strong. I've noticed a little bit of brittleness, but only when I brush it. I plan to get an all over colour to dye it, as opposed to just stripping the colour out, but I want to let my hair repair a bit first, and i'm enjoying being a little more platnium. I still use my fudge shampoo nearly every wash, just to make it more ashy, especially at the roots where it seems to want to be more yellow. For now, this is what my hair looks like, and i'm still trying to get used to styling it, especially as I love orange and it clashes a bit. Like I said, this is not a tutorial, it's a journey, and I hope I helped you out just a little bit x


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lifestyle, Fashion

Patchwork cut off demin skirt - Top Shop

White long sleeve crop top with pink designs - Factorie

Avocado and toast pyjama pants - Cotton On Body

Black Corduroy overall's with skirt - Glassons

Lace up front shirt - Factorie

Oversized white button down - Cotton On

Black highwaisted denim skirt with large rips - Glassons

QUAY Australia LIKE WOW sunglasses - QUAY

Black velvet crop top - Glassons

Grey knit jumper with zipper detailing - Dotti

Denim Mom jeans with rips at the knee - Topshop

Embroidered bomber jacket - Dotti

Black suede peep toe thigh high boots - Ruby Shoes

White feminist t-shirt - Topshop

Vintage band tee with choker design - Factorie

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Makeup, Review

I love Mac concealer, fix plus, and studio fix foundation, so when I saw the Burgundy Times Nine palette on a buy and sell page in Wellington, I jumped at the opportunity to grab it. In New Zealand, this eyeshadow palette retails for $80, which is more then I would pay, so I was able to talk them down to $40. I thought I would do a first impression for you guys, give it a whirl, and let you know what I think, as i've never used Mac eyeshadows before. just in case you're in the market for an $80 pinky/purple eyeshadow palette, stay tuned.

When it first came in the post, I was kind of shocked at how small it was. I realised that it was only nine colours, but I thought they would be a full pan of product. All in all the palette fits in the palm of my hand. Irregardless, the colours are beautiful. The palette comes with four shimmery glitter shades, and 5 matte shades. Even trying to swatch them was so hard for some colours, especially the middle top, middle bottom, and bottom right shade. I also found that the three dusty purple/pink matte shades were very VERY similar. The colours are hard to work with, they aren't amazingly pigminted, but there are a few stand outs. The middle of the bottom row has this beautiful, shimmery pink colour that is so pigmented and smooth. the third colour on the top row is the best of all the mattes, and is a beautiful transition shade. I love the colour scheme, but the quality of the shadows just isn't up sto scratch.

Trying them on my eyes, it's much of the same problem. The pigmentation just is. not. there. And this palette is too expensive to be mediocre. With a lot of blending and building, I managed to get a good thing going. They're all nice and soft leaves a really pretty effect. Using the glitter shades with some Mac Fix + makes them SO much more vibrant and smooth, which is a trick I tend to use to make drugstore eyeshadow colours pop and stay longer. TBH, I'm kind of disappointed. I expected more from Mac, and they just didn't deliver. Let me know if you've ever tried Mac eyeshadows, and your experiences. I wanted to love it, but I gotta be honest.

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Recommendations, Review

Even though the show has now been cancelled (sob), I found Girl Boss super inspiring. Not only is it a true story about a strong female, but it deals with the fashion industry, a start up business, and how friends get shit done. This is pretty apt for me, as i'm in my last year of uni and am at the preface of my whole damn life. So to watch this, I felt inspired and learned a lot. Later on i'll do an entire post on TV shows that have inspired me, but for now, enjoy Girl Boss and the lessons i've learned.

1. You don't always have to be likeable - one of the main criticisms of the show was that Sophia, the main character, was too much of a bitch to be likeable. I kind of agree, I didn't really like her as a person. You could see she was going through a character arc, and she was getting nicer, but she still was authentically herself, which is authentically a bitch. Even in real life, Sophia Amoruso is a strong ass lady, and at the end of the day, it's what got her ahead in life.

2. If you can't find a job you like, create one - This is kind of the ethos behind this blog. I wanted a way to express myself, and I found a market where my voice wasn't present. Same with Sophia; she made a business out of nothing, because she had enough drive and was passionate enough. That's pretty inspirational.

3. Sometimes shit fails, publicly - when the show first came out, Nasty Gal actually went bankrupt due to some bad investments. And being on such a big platform, with a lot of media covering it, would have been super embarrassing. And that happens in real life (albeit, me being broken up with isn't talked about so widely on social media). Sophia may have failed one thing, but that shouldn't knock you out for the count.

4. Fashion is fun, as is business - one thing about leaving Uni that is terrifying me is that I will be stuck in a boring job. Working in a bank is not my dream, and the show taught me that its okay to have big dreams, even if they seem far fetched. Sophia followed her passion and succeeded. So why can't you?

5. You can get by with a little help from your friends - one of the (only) redeeming characteristics about Sophia is her friends, and in the end, her friends are the ones who get her dream realised. Even though I hate networking, the people you know are important for getting ahead in the world, especially in the creative industry. This show taught me that even though you sometimes feel alone, you always have support, even from the most unlikely places.

6. Boys are dicks - I was just broken up with, so I can confirm, No spoilers.

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I have a dependency on caffeine that knows no bounds. Coffee, energy drinks, tea, diet coke, you name it, I need it. My dependency started in highschool with good old fashioned energy drinks and fizzy drinks, then while I worked at a busy retail store of the Christmas holidays, Starbucks became my best friend. Now whenever I go out, I always order a Iced Coffee, no questions asked. Tea has always been a calming, bedtime thing for me, so to think that it does actually have caffeine in it doesn't even cross my mind as I make it before I go to bed. Now I know what you're thinking; everyone has caffeine! It's how we stay alive in this busy world. And I know thats mostly true, but I hate being dependent on it to make it through a day. I feel like my dependency has started to become an addiction, so I wanted to test myself to see if I could make it the entire month of June without consuming any caffeine (just writing this makes me want to cry a little.) It's going to be tough, theres going to be grumpy days, but hopefully I can get myself to a healthier place, and start to get a healthier relationship with caffeine. Wish me luck, please dear God wish me luck.

Day One: Wasn't too bad. I was out and about in the city and the idea of an iced coffee filled my heart with joy, but I just kept saying to myself, no Lauren, you can't fail on the first day. I also told practically everyone so they could hold me accountable. Nothing like social pressure to get the job done.

Day Two: Fuck, I forgot I worked nights. I work as a bartender from 11-5 on the weekends, and because we get free RedBull at work, I abuse that fucker to get me through the night. Instead, I had to consume a copious amount of sugar, in juice and cookies, to give me a little extra push. The headaches are starting to kick in.

Day Three: I went to sleep at 5am, and I have another shift tonight, PLUS a friends birthday party. I was pretty tired, but I was also pretty drunk, so it balanced itself out nicely.

Day Five: I think i'm over the slump! I'm drinking a lot of juice which is probably good for my vitamin C levels. This isn't as hard as I thought it'd be.

Day Seven: Okay thats a lie. I got really sick. Like really, really sick. I feel like having a cup of coffee would have really helped get me through the last few days of my Uni term; I had three essays due. THREE! And a date. One point to coffee, which would have seen me through.

Day Fourteen: I finished uni without dieing, and I finally got to go home, and my body was like, 'you're in rest mode', so it forced me to relax by making me really tired. I hate being tired during the day, and by the time I hit 9 o'clock, I desperately wanted to go to bed. I was also super grumpy, which isn't something I usually get. I feel like with at least the idea of coffee, and the oppurtunity to have caffeiene, you know that you'll feel better. Without that, I was resigned to the fact that my day would be shit, because I was tired, and there would be no way to cure that until I went to sleep for the night. Half way there though! I really am just craving a V.

Day Twenty: I have so much work this week and I have no idea how i'm going to cope with it all. I started putting energy shots in my juice at Tank which i'm not sure if it counts. Tomorrow will make it three weeks, which was my original goal, and tbh I kind of am done. I'm finding that my stomache is really hurting, because obviously coffee is good for digestion. 

Okay so I made it three weeks, and i'm actually relieved it's finally all over! I had an iced coffee on day 21 and holy shit, I was so buzzed for the rest of the day it was insane. So taking a break from all caffeine did enhance the effects when I went back on it. My stomache has stopped hurting, which is good, and the rest of the week doesn't seem so tough anymore (1-6 at one job, then 11-5 at the other, fml). I'm so glad to be back to my regular self. I haven't started drinking energy drinks again yet, and I don't miss them, but lord help me I am having my iced coffee a day again. 

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I desperately wanted a nose piercing, but my mother would have killed me. She has a thing about nose piercings specifically, and I feel like getting one and showing her would effectively break the trust in our relationship. So a septum piercing seemed like the logical next step. The great thing about them is that they can be hidden, COMPLETELY hidden, if you turn it up into your nose. That is awesome because you can hide it depending on the circumstance. Job interview? Flip it up. Wedding? Flip it up. Now i'm an advocate at not hiding things you are proud of, like scars, tattoos, and piercings, but the option is nice. Anyways, I thought I would give y'all a rundown of the process, because I did A LOT of research before getting it done because frankly I was scared shitless. The more informed you are, the better you'll handle it, so hopefully I can help. Obviously, this is just an amateur's opinion on the matter and my experience will be different to yours. If you want more details, definitely talk to a professional piercer, they usually can be contacted via email which is handy for the socially awkward.

Pain - I was the most worried about the pain. Even sitting on the chair with a clamp around my nose after the piercer had assured me it was one of the least painful piercings, I was still sweating. Honest to god, it feels like someone is pulling out a nose hair; one sharp pain and it's all over. Easily the least painful piercing I've had, including my ear lobes. The most amazing part about it, though, is immediately after, it stopped hurting, and it never started to. It takes a while to get used o the feeling of having something at the tip of your nose, but you will get used to it.

Heal time - Because your nose it naturally moist, I wasn't advised to do anything to it. The heal time in about 4 weeks, and then you can change jewelry. I was advised to use hot and cold compresses and turn it up when I had showers or went to sleep to make sure it didn't pull or come out

Piercing options - After about four or five weeks I thought it was healed enough to change the piercings, so I went to Cosmic on Cuba Street, Wellington, and picked up their buy two get one free piercings. Mine was originally 12g but I wanted to shrink it to make it look more delicate, so I got an 11.5g hoop and horseshoe. I found the horseshoe quite buly and heavy on my nose but it looked pretty dope, and even though people told me not to get a "bull ring", I really like the look of the hoop. I'm going to keep shrinking it slowly so it can get more and more delicate, but i'm taking it slow so it stays safe.

Some Negatives - If the ring does somehow fall out, it's game over for the piercing, since it builds up scar tissue that would make a subsequent piercing crooked. There was also some initial debate whether I should carry on, as my nose is slightly crooked, which could make the piercing crooked too. I decided to go ahead with it and I can't see any crookedness, but be warned that every nose is different and some look better than others.

Some Positives - Did I mention that it can be COMPLETELY HIDDEN. It's like one of the only piercings that can. It also has a substantially shorter heal time because of all the good bacteria in your nose, so the initial discomfort (or lack thereof) barely lasts.

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DISCLAIMER: No hate to anyone who has these tattoos or any similar. These are just ideas I had when I was younger that i'm glad I wasn't old enough to realise, simply because these things don't interest me anymore. I still think they're cool, but not for me.

I have had a long love affair with tattoos, and have wanted them ever since I can remember. But unfortunately, there are parts of my awkward teenage life that I wouldn't have wanted as a permanent reminder on my body. So I thought I would share with you some of the tattoos I wanted at one point in my life, that I would have definitely regretted now. I know there are a lot more than is on this list, but right now my subconscious seems to want to block them out. So stay tuned for a part two, I bet it'll get even more cringe.

My best friend and I at the time wanted to get matching tattoos to have a permanant reminder of our undying friendship (thank goodness we didn't). We were obsessed with Harry Potter so it was either going to be Mischief Managed, or another basic ass quote, To Infinity and Beyond. I still like the idea of matching tattoos, but I feel like something less drenched in pop culture that can be a stand alone piece would be a little better.

I don't know why I wanted this one. Maybe I thought it looked cool? To be honest, I still think it does, but I've seen them around so much that I think if I did want to get a behind the ear tattoo, it would have to be a little more original (says the girl with a heart tattoo).

I really loved Doctor Who, and I liked the idea of circular gallifreyan. For mine I wanted a water colour background, another thing I'm not really in to any more. The fact that I don't like the show anymore means i'm pretty thankful I didn't get it tattooed on my body.

Ditto with Sherlock. I would be so embarrased of having a Sherlock themed tattoo now you have no idea. I have a feeling there was another one I wanted, but the 221B will always be a classic.

I was really obsessed with wrist tattoos when I was younger, something I don't think i'd get now as they might mess up the flow of a future sleeve. I also really liked text (which I actually have now!). I sort of glad I didn't get one of these, because although I don't think tattoos need any meaning behind them, so long as you like them, I feel like these wouldn't be a true representation of who I am now.

More Harry Potter, more text, more pop culture, need I say more? I still like Harry Potter, but I don't think i'm as obsessed as I was back then. The thing with pop culture tattoos is that you have no idea when the fad will be over for you. The only thing I could conceivably see myself getting would be a Panic! at the Disco tattoo, since they've been my favourite band since 2007 and I can't see them budging any time soon.

Now this one you may have seen featured on my future tattoo inspo post. I've always wanted a daisy on the outside of my left wrist. The only thing that has changed is the style. Before I wanted a very cartoony daisy which was coloured in. Now, I'm thinking more black and white and realistic.

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I have never been a fan of meat. I never liked the taste, nor the texture, and would always take it out of whatever I would eat. My childhood was filled with chicken and mince so it was difficult to completely avoid meat, and by the time I was 15 I had had enough. I had decided to go gluten free to see if it would help stomach pain, and while I was out with my friends I grabbed a gluten free burger from a chain in New Zealand called Burger Fuel. This burger, I don't know why, was so bad, that it put me off meat. Have you heard the story of how Robert Downey Junior ate a Burger King meal so bad that he threw all his drugs off a cliff? Well that was me, metaphorically.

So I decided to challenge myself. What if I could do it? I'd probably lose weight, I'd probably be more healthy. So at the age of 15 I completely cut out meat from my diet. My mother, who cooked all our dinners, was having none of it. In the end, she said fine, as long as I cooked everything myself, so I did. For the last 5 years i've been making my own dinners and lunches (which tbh has been really good practice for when I moved out). Now i'm not saying I ate great. A lot of my meals consisted of cereal. I ate a lot of pasta, and definitely still do. But after 5 years, the idea of eating meat again is just something I can't fathom.

And it's not an ethical thing either. I respect anyones choice to eat whatever they want. My problem is people who question you on it, or push it down your throat. So many of my conversations start with "So why did you decide to be a vegetarian?" Which I don't mind answering once. But again and again from the same people is annoying. I try to be as low key about it as possible, but it always becomes a topic of conversation. Why? I don't know, I don't question peoples choice to eat mushrooms, which are literally devil spawn.

Another thing is eating out. It is the hardest task in the world. Unfortunately I'm actually allergic to mushrooms, and with that as the only substitute some people can think of for meat, it's not easy. Most places only have one veggie option. You become THAT person who makes going to restaurants hard. It's not healthy, scientifically, to eat meat for every meal, so why would they not have more options? Vegetarians and vegans are often lumped into the same category, but I love cheese, and milk, and eggs, so I often miss out on the good stuff.

I find being a vegetarian just a part of who I am. It doesn't define me, but it's integral in understanding my love of animals, and my acute stubbornness. Too often, especially in New Zealand, it's seen as a kind of attack on meat eating. I couldn't give a flying fuck what you eat, as long as it's at least partly ethical. I eat organic simply because I want to make the smallest impact to the planet that I can. Meat or no meat, we can all admit that chicken nuggets smell delicious, and at least that unites us.

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Recently I decided to decorate my room a bit more, to make it more personal. I've started to really get into fashion, beauty, and illustrations, and obviously being an art hoe, I decided that was the kind of aesthetic I would go for. As you've seen from my previous post, my colour scheme is pink, copper, grey, and white, so that's what I tried to encompass within this wall. Even though this is a really simple concept, and easy to DIY, I thought I'd give you some tips and let you know how I set up this look.

I wanted a mix of text, illustration and fashion to fully encompass my passions. Also, pretty girls, because why not? I first got inspiration from tumblr (SELF PROMO b-o-h-e-m-i-a-s.tumblr.com), and then went to good old Pinterest to get some of the more collagey prints. I tried to keep a nice balance of colour and black and white prints, so that it would look aesthetically pleasing yet not boring. Afte collecting the prints online, I just took a USB to a photo kiosk and got them printed in the standard photo size.

I'd like to say I layed them out all on a flat surface before I got to sticking, but I just winged it tbh. I told you this was simple. With a mixture of landscape and portrait, I though it made it look much more interesting. Putting it together was easy; I just left 1 cm between each photo and stuck them in to the gaps. It's not perfect, but I think the haphazard nature makes it a little cooler to look at. And that's it! Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you would like a little behind the scenes about anything else in my room.

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As you can see, I was an Emo! Shocking, right? This was when I was around age 14, going to my first ever highschool party, hence the heavy eye makeup. I was a big fan of wearing jackets because I thought they hid my arm, which I thought were fat (they weren't). I also LIVED in black skinny jeans so that was a staple in my teen wardrobe. Not pictured is the lacy black top I wore underneath, with the top button UNDONE (showing a lacy black bra, why did I need this? Answer, I didn't). Young Lauren was all about the dyes black/dark brown hair, the jackets and cardigans, and black skinny jeans. Not good looks.

Now, here I am at 17 at yet another party (I really didn't like taking photos of myself if you can't tell). Ugh, this stage in my life was possibly the most cringe. I had long looong hair with these tacky caramel highlights, and I had put on a little weight and was very much aware of it. I was still wearing the cardigan to hide my arms, and my makeup was just bad. I actually still really like this dress, but have to admit I style it a little better now.

We've now hit Uni Lauren! This was where I was trying to work out my own sense of style. It included a lot of ripped jeans, cardigans (though more of a chunky style), and black tank tops. I also love the whole skirt/tights combo because I never dress weather appropriate. I had a high waisted skirt, the one pictured just above, that I wore EVERYWHERE. I also started to lose weight at this time, so had to figure out how to dress for my new shape. Being skinnier meant that I was more comfortable showing off my legs, and didn't rely on getting my tits out as much. Wellington's weather, which I was new to, meant that I did dress with a few more layers, but during the summer I really started to come into my own. The biggest change, as you can see, is the hair! After a bad breakup I decided to cut my long hair off. I also dyed it purple, but that was a big mistake so we'll ignore that. After that all faded away, I dyed my hair with an ombre style, with my natural roots, and i've never looked back.

I feel like this next stage in my life is when I truly came into my own with my fashion. This was the summer and early stages of 2016. I was really into stripes, which you can totally see even now, and loved the new style of crop top with the high neck line. I started to get into fashion trends, which I hadn't done since I was about 11, and was a bit more brave when styling my body type. I still relied on high-waisted skirts when rocking a crop top, but this was a big improvement for me. You can also see that my makeup and hair improved greatly. But the coolest thing I think I incorporated in to my personal style was going bare faced of make up every so often. Before this terrified me; I wore foundation to school everyday. But as life went on, I stopped caring so much and let myself embrace my natural self.

So these are the most recent pictures of me. Even now, my style is still developing; i'm getting really into mum jeans and boyfriend jeans, instead of my usual skinny ones. I also am loving the simple t-shirt/jean look with statement earring and a cute trench. But as of 2017, I am following trends much more closely as I worked in a retail store over the summer, and that was part of my job. I love my denim skirt, jumpsuits, embroidery, chokers, basically anything on the high street right now. I'm also growing my hair out and going for a more natural look, so using less moose to enhance my natural wave. Right now is the best I think i've ever looked, and hopefully it will only improve over time. You can totally see the awkward fashion trends I was following, as well as the awkward stage of puberty I was in, and while I haven't always ben 'fashionable' I've always been very authentically me. 

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Feminist: “The person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

I am a big fan of girls. Especially girls who go out into the world and kick ass. There are too many lists of inspirational people that are just so dominated by men. I just get really proud seeing a women, who may not have the same oppurtunites as men, get to high levels in thier respective feilds. There are a lot of women I have been inspired by in my life, but I thought I would create a list of some that have been really inspirational to me at this time in my life, in my early 20s.

Margaret Cho: Not only is she a really hilarious comedian, but she is queer in a place right now where not a lot of queer people go; fashion. I think she is so clever, and you can see that through her writing and her comedy. I also think she has a quick ass sense of fashion. She's just really cool, check her out.

Khloe Kardashian: Khloe is my fav Kardashian (even though I respect them all, I know, controversial opinion). I mostly fell in love with her through the show Revenge Body. She has been hated all her life, called the ugly sister, yet she runs a successful business and has totally remade her body. I just think that really inspirational.

Sophia Coppola: In film class I learnt about auteurs, which are directors who have a recognisable style of their own. Sophia was the only women on that list. In a field dominated by men, she is one of my favourite directors, and has also recently won an award! If you haven't seen Marie Antoinette, it's really great.

Elizabeth Gilbert: You may know her from Eat Pray Love, which is an inspirational journey on its own, but her other books and life stories are really interesting too. She recently admitted that she was in love with her best friend, a woman, which I think is pretty inspirational on its own. Even though she went through a total midlife crisis, she came out better on the other side which gives me hope.

Shannon Harris: Not only is she a New Zealander, but she is a total boss. She is in the Forbes top 10 list of beauty influencers, has a massive Youtube channel, has her own beauty brand, and also has two really cute dogs. Not bad for a girl from Palmy. She is probably my #1 idol.

Mary Portas: After reading her autobiography, I had so much respect for Mary Portas. She really built her empire from nothing but hard work and talking her way in to things. As someone who would also love to get into fashion, Mary's story is totally inspiring and makes me want to work hard, which is how a girl boss should make you feel.

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Here's an updated list of some of my fav new YouTubers! By new, I don't mean literally new, but new to me. I feel like I'm straying away from the beauty community (which I still love btw), and getting to a comedy/arty side of YouTube. These channels are a little smaller than the ones in my last list, so hopefully they'll be new to you too and you can fall in love. I hope you enjoy x

Safiya Nygaard - I first saw her on Buzzfeed, then saw she had her own channel. After one video I was hooked. Saf tries out crazy fashion, crazy products, and gives really funny reviews. It's like Buzzfeed but less capitalist. She also has a cute cat, so, bonus.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbAwSkqJ1W_Eg7wr3cp5BUA

Sophia and Cinzia - These two are the cutest best friends I have ever seen. Funnily enough, introduced to me by MY best friend Jacquie. They are really funny, quick, and remind me of me when I had just left high school. They are definitely ones to watch. Their style is insane, and so are they.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7GWUjyrgun5hE-EGI0MBKA

Lucy Moon - This one was recommended to me a while ago but I only just started to get into her videos. They are sit down chats and the aesthetic of them is really beautiful. There is just something so calming about the videos and the music and the lighting. This is exactly what I meant by the arty side of YouTube. Plus her Spotify playlists are sick.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEJjmNf24-N1U9HXmr-2nYw

Alexandria Morgan - Alexandria is a super down to earth model, and there is just something so genuine and kind about her. Not only does she live in New York, which is a really cool place to see vlogged, but she has a cool, unique sense of style. I find her 'day in the life of a model' videos the most entertaining, but her stay at home ones are always so cozy. Love.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtfE_ZuCHaAqIDEsxJeuP8w

Erika Saccone - Erika Saccone is the sister to Anna from the Saccone-Joly's. I love her whole aesthetic; her makeup, sense of style, and her more art videos are my fav. I also love love love her 'what I ate Wednesday's', because i'm just nosy like that.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbahsTUmUIuZR_3TNd3km7Q

NotJustBlonde - Again, someone really calming to watch! The aesthetics of her videos are so enjoyable, I love the lighting and the whole vibe you get. You feel as if you're sitting in her room with her. Her sit down and chat videos are my fav; a genre i'm really getting into at the moment.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuixMA_8FPiFuAugxYwoD1Q

Just Between Us - This is a comedy channel from two people who were again on Buzzfeed. It's like a comedy channel, and I got super obsessed with it towards the end of last year, simply because they are so funny. I really like collab/friendship channels because of the way they play off of each other. These two defs deserve more subscribers.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfVC_0-T1gkati_kcb4gXPg

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Reading the title of this post you may think, 'wow, that's pretty dumb', but honestly tell me that a song, or a piece of art, or a book, or a movie hasn't changed your life just a little? And the same can be said for TV. As a media student who has actually taken a whole paper on the impact of television, I may be a little biased, but I do think that I get a lot of inspiration from TV. I'm not a massive TV watcher nowadays. In fact, For the first two years of Uni I lived without a TV full stop. But I do like a good binge, especially now that I have access to Netflix (thanks mum and dad). Here is a pretty comprehensive list of the TV shows that have inspired me, at least a little bit, that you all should definitely check out.

Sex and the City - Carrie Bradshaw, fashion, sex positive. Need I say more? The fact that Carrie is a journalist, something that I have always wanted to be, really did inspire me to try and chase that dream. I could even credit the show for making me want to start a blog. Even if it is from the 90's, and some of the fashion and ideals are a little crazy, I still really love the show and could watch it again and agin forever.

GirlBoss - This ones a new one, but I honestly finished the whole series in about two days. Yeah, the main character is a bit of an asshole (which she has freely admitted herself so don't worry), but the fact that it's based on an actual true story is pretty damn inspiring. As you may know, I love clothes, so the fact that this show and Nasty Gal is entirely based around clothes makes it a shoo-in for me.

Gossip Girl - Again with the obsession with fashion! I mostly loved the show due to the clothes, yes, but I also loved how glamorous it all was. This show probably inspired me the most to work hard so that I can afford to go out for coffee and buy some pretty cool clothes (even though the characters themselves were from old money). I guess you could look at this more as inspiration to be able to enjoy the finer things in life.

Faking It - At one point of my life, I did have a crush on one of my best friend, and it does suck when it's unreciprocated. So this show really taught me that even if you like girls, there are always more options out there. Even though Amy keeps going back to Karma, I think by the end she realises that she is better than her obsession. Plus watching something where two girls get together is quiet inspiring, not gonna lie.

Gilmore Girls - I love Rory, mainly because her obsession with writing and reading is equal to mine. In the end she also doesn't let fuck boys get her down. But I'm only inspired by the OG series, not the new one. In the new one Rory seems so lost which is super scary when you're in your last year of Uni. I always hoped that she'd have her shit sorted. Even your heroes fail you sometimes.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl - I think the overarching theme here is that in the show somewhere, the main character writes a book, which is also true in this one. TBH though, I love Belle because she is just so cool. The show is really sex positive and I think Belle truly is a heroine, just because she fights for what she wants and is so strong. I think this show taught me to do what I love, even if it's just sex.

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Like everyone, in fact probably more then most people, I have pretty insecure days. Now don't get me wrong, since working in retail and defining my sense of style as well as my sense of me, I've come a long way. But still, sometimes it takes a little extra push. Today was one of those days; I woke up early to go to lectures and just couldn't be arsed fiddling around with my hair and my makeup. A shower and a coat of mascara and I was done. After that I felt a little... flat. That's why I love things like fashion and makeup; they can be utilised to make you a more confident, and therefore a better version of yourself. So I walked my ass back home and I did the things that make me feel like a straight up boss.

Hair

Often my hair makes me feel the most insecure, as it's the most unruly aspect of me. Often I just let it do it's own thing, but if I want to appear more put together, first things first is I blow dry it. I try not to do this too often as my hair is bleached and dry enough on its own, but having a blow out always makes me feel better. If it's looking good I leave it down, and if not I often do french braids or a half up do. That way, I look put together, I feel put together.

Nails

When my toes are painted and my fingers aren't chipped I feel like a straight up boss. I recently started getting gel manicures and I love them SO much, so if I feel down, splurging on myself makes me feel better. Not only is it relaxing, but it's one other thing you don't have to worry about.

Clothes

My clothes can either make or break my mood for the day. If I feel uncomfortable or insecure I honestly don't want to continue with the day, so often if i'm in a funk I like to plan my outfit and try on different looks to see how I feel. Forward planning is always your friend, and often takes away some of the anxiety. To feel better, I often find that wearing something I feel confident in, like heels and a skirt, and something that isn't too dressy or too casual often makes me feel the most boss.

Makeup

I find that when I put more effort into my makeup it often turns out worse (is anyone else like that?) So I pick something I am comfortable with and give myself plenty of time to achieve it. Winger eyeliner, big lashes, a natural face, and lipstick are often the only things I feel like doing, but they make the biggest impact once it's all completed.

At the end of the day though, if you feel like shit, treat yourself. There is no better way to feel like a boss then putting your PJ's on, having a bath, and playing around with skin care. Face masks, hair masks, and a full body moisturiser are sure fire ways to feel better the next day, and treating yourself now can have a big impact on how you feel.

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