Makin’ Me Blush

Pink, a colour I think I have a love affair with. We’re on we’re off, I love it sometimes, loathe it other times. Right now I’m in love, but with a very specific type of pink, that is Blush Pink to be precised. I fell out of love with pink for a long time, it may have had something to do with the most coral of coral walls dominating my childhood bedroom, which I’m happy to say is now a mix of white and grey. I must say though I can’t bare the connotations of pink being a feminine colour, ‘boys like blue, girls like pink’, spare me, unfortunately we still are not past this view as you’ll notice if you enter any children’s section of a clothing store.

I am most certainly not the usual girly girl, as a child I wasn’t seen dead without a cap and jumper tied around my waste. I sit here now writing this in my Dad’s old belt, old jeans and old shirt, so my tomboy ways still live strong but yet I can’t steer myself away from the colour at the moment. It started with a French Connection backpack I bought when it was on sale and it’s grown from there. I’ve added it to my favourite colours to wear as it is a perfect introduction of colour without being too intimidating considering my usual colours consist of black, grey, khaki and white.

Chloé is a brand I love and happen to work with, I find myself channelling the ultra boho chic and 70’s inspired designs in my day to day life. Their mix of colours and shades is simply stunning and never far from Gaby Aghion’s (the brand’s founder) Egyptian roots. Chloé is a brand for women and only women however it can appeal to androgynous style (see the leather motorcycle suit from Fall Winter 2016) or to the feminine extrovert (see the widely talked about rainbow dress from the Spring Summer 2016 collection). The colour tones throughout the Ready-to-Wear, Leather Goods and Accessories are always a perfect mix and will make even the most die hard black clothing addict want to reach out for some blush. Give it a try this Winter!

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Backpack: French Connection. Phone Case: eBay. Glasses:Chloé. Perfume: Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty. Choker: ASOS

 

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An Evening of Fashion and Pure Inspo

It’s Friday! And the sun is shining, normally friday would involve some form of treat often in the form of a coconut milk latte or if i’m feeling really cheeky a soy pumpkin spice latte, naughty, this morning however it’s aloe vera gel, but hey not complaining.  This week I have gone from feeling heartbroken, standing in the shower crying whilst listening to the morning news, which sounded more like a narrated doomsday book, to feeling inspired and grateful.

I attended Hubdot Piazza of Fashion in association with The Pool (one of my absolute daily reads) it was a social event with flowing wine and neat canapes where guests are able to interact with one another and enjoy short and sweet stories by the evening’s speakers. Followed by an open mic session where anyone can take hold of the mic and tell their story in a 60 second slot, scary I know right, however everyone that spoke deserved their round of applause and cheers. The operative word at a Hubdot event is ‘story’, as Simona Barbieri  described during the introduction, you don’t ask people what they do, instead ask ‘what’s your story’ combined with the 5 dot system  you can meet new people and find out about them without the stigma of job titles. Depending on which colour you choose you can be matched with like minded individuals or other guests, who can help you in some way.

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It was held at Anthropologie, Regent Street store and as I approached the doors my heart was in my throat, I was sweating, hands were shaking, pure nerves. As it was my first event I had no idea what to expect, just walked in stripped as much RBF (Resting Bitch Face) away to produce a wide smile and hoped I could be somewhat charming through the sweat. I met a lady who immediately made me feel at ease and we headed upstairs for a well deserved vino. After a short while of meeting new faces the stories began and honestly I wasn’t prepared for how great they were. I had to take a step back and look around the room and just take in the power of the women surrounding me, if that doesn’t make a girl feel inspired I don’t know what will.

Highlights, if I had to choose, Sam Baker, Co-Founder, CEO and Editor of The Pool (one hell of a job title), explaining how she got to be where she is and how The Pool came to be, in a brief nutshell she was “tired of tw*ts”, she wanted to create something that truly spoke to women and my god has she done that. Orsola de Castro Founder and Director of Fashion Revolution  and her beautiful story of the shoes on her feet, handmade in Venice, over 80 years old and had made their way through three generations in her family. Lastly, Denise Tylerson on her recovery from cancer and the power of a wig to help someone build their strength and how you should “never let anyone tell you fashion is trivial”. Of course this doesn’t take away from any women that took the stage that evening, all were simply wonderful.

I walked out the door and headed home with one hell of a spring in my step and the feeling is still going strong, definitely my Girlboss moment for the week.  We are in difficult times, protests still fill the streets of New York as we all come to terms with the shocking results of this week but it is events, organisations and people like those I met, saw, listened to on Wednesday that help you realise what’s still good.

 

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Hubdot Piazza Of Fashion – 9th November – Sam Baker

Cheer Up Luv

Put your hands up if you’ve ever been told any of the following, ‘Cheer up love’, ‘Smile’, ‘Turn that frown upside down’…. I wonder how it makes you feel? Well for me it’s infuriating to say the least. I suffer from a commonly know issue called Resting Bitch Face (RBF), it affects 1 in 8 women and is an epidemic spreading the globe*. Girls that don’t naturally have a smile on their face all the time, is an absolute travesty huh? How dare you not look smiley happy and like Belle from Beauty and the Beast all the time?

My main issue isn’t not that random strangers, colleagues, associates (I don’t say friends as no friends of mine would ever tell me to smile in a patronising way) are concerned for your well being and are trying to cheer you up, my issue is that I implore you to give me an example of when this has been said to a man. Can’t think of one, didn’t think so. Hillary Clinton Democratic US Presidential candidate for the upcoming election suffers a barrage of  criticism, ‘she wears too many pant suits’, ‘how can we trust her’, ‘how could she stay with her husband after what he did’. Of course her smiling is one of these talking points, even going as far as Joe Scarborough (US TV Host) telling her to ‘Smile. You just had a big night.’  Luckily more and more feminist issues are being addressed in the very main stream media and Chelsea Handler dealt with this particular issue like a complete #girlboss by simply saying please stop asking women and girls to smile,  in defense Clinton.

I had months of comments from a certain colleague as I walked through the office eventually resulting in a simple (even more) stern look and her finally getting the point that at 9.27am on a Monday morning the absolute last thing I want to hear is ‘Smile darling’. Sod off really, you have no idea whether I am thinking about what to have for breakfast or the well being of a family member.

To all those out there who insist on vocalising this to women and girls the next time you see one walking down the street not smiling, maybe just do something as simple as smile at them, no words, just a kind gesture and I’m pretty sure you’ll receive one in return. I smile when I’m with my friends, I smile when I’m decorating the Christmas tree, I smile when I’m having a braai** in the garden surrounded by my family and pets. So to Joe Blogs on the tube who thinks I need to smile more as ‘I’m prettier when I smile’, I’m alright with you not thinking I’m pretty at all then trying to please you sweetheart.

Smile for yourself girl and no one else.

: ) – Smiley Face

*FYI completely made up

**FYI South African term for BBQ

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Exhibit A) Resting Bitch Face and an extremely rare selfie

 

 

Armed with Style

Khaki, camouflage and anything army style were usually things that I either associated with my younger tomboy self and my favourite camouflage khaki trousers, worn with a baby pink hoodie of course or with a student fancy dress night, always a firm favourite during my university days, however it is now fast becoming one of my style staples. Ever since the Khaki army jackets made a comeback the colour and style has gone from strength to strength and can now be applied to anything from shoes to nail art designs. I was looking for something to wear for a friends engagement party this past weekend and wanted something quite classy for the occasion but at the same time not overdressed and I decided on Khaki tapered trousers (as seen below) and a boxy white leather cropped T shirt; there is something about khaki that can make an outfit that little bit more interesting. There is also an element of fun with this genre of style, camo can always be played with and moved away from different shades of green and instead pulled together with pop colours, have a look at my multi-coloured camo nails below, so easy to do, it’s just all about Y shapes and joining your top 2 colours in my case pink and blue! If you’re looking for true army style then I always recommend a vintage renewal, Check out Urban Outfitters, ASOS Marketplace or an army surplus store, you’ll get the best deals and undoubtedly the best quality.

Happy shopping cadets!

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Straight to the Matte

Autumn is here and yes indeed the heating is on. I am still clinging on however and dare to brave the cold whenever I go to the gym by not taking a hoodie for the short walk to and from the car. Ouch. I plan on celebrating Bonfire Night for first time since I can remember in the splendor of Battersea Park this Saturday including my first mulled wine of the season which needless to say, I am clucking for and as the cold rolls in, it’s time to shift the nails. I’ve gone straight into the Winter style of matte nails today, with a dark grey colour and have completed the look with simple black glossy tips as a contrast.

Matte nails can sometimes feel unnatural, especially when I am an ambassador of the clear top coat, it’s always worth it and makes such a difference. The matte look can look effortless and in some ways more professional than a shiny hot pink. My picks for the season are dark blue, grey and burgundy, classic colours. Feel free to mix them up also with a statement nail on each hand.

Follow me on Instagram @sarahjaynepen for more nail designs done by myself with a free hand and a bit of patience.

Nail Colour Credits –

Rimmel I Love Lasting Finish – Black Cab

Topshop Matte Nails – Light Brizzlephoto (6)