Monday, 28 September 2015

Cosmopolitan Fashion Awards 2015

Last week saw the final event of Cosmopolitan's exciting #FashionFest: five days of fashion events including a lingerie show, accessories showcase and most importantly - the Cosmo Fashion Awards. Voted by more than 10,000 readers and judged by an expert panel of industry-insiders, Britain's favourite fashion retailers went head-to-head in over ten different categories, with only one coming out on top. See the full winners list below as I discuss my thoughts and decide on a verdict for each of the choices.
cosmopolitan fashion awards 2015
When I think of Topshop, their selection of denim definitely springs to mind first! That's why I just had to include them in my Denim Edit post earlier this summer. Their jeans are particularly my favourite as, although I don't wear them often, I can always tell when someone's wearing Topshop just by looking at them. Verdict: Agree

I can't really have an opinion on this one as none of their clothing sizes fit me, so I've never even browsed let alone shopped there. I'm gonna have to pass this one over to you guys in the comment section! Verdict: N/A

After a quick scan of their website, I'm going to have to disagree with this one. Their selection is okay but it's not anything great compared to other brands. I really like River Island's handbags and purses but if we're talking about designer labels, I still think shops such as House of Fraser have a much nicer selection. Verdict: Disagree

Yessssss. Most of my shoes are from New Look and I think they have such a wide range of styles and colours. Whereas other shops seem to lean towards a certain type of shoe, New Look seems to be the best at providing for everyone's tastes. Verdict: Agree

Honestly, I'm not really familiar with Freya at all. When I think of lingerie retailers, brands such as Boux Avenue, Victoria's Secret and Ann Summers come to mind. Maybe Freya are great, but I don't think they've captured the attention and loyalty of most customers just yet. Verdict: Disagree

I'm in crystal heaven looking at Swarovski's range right now. I would never fork out that much on a piece of jewellery, but I can definitely see the appeal in their gorgeous pieces. Verdict: Agree

Everyone always bangs on about Asos but I personally can't see what the hype's about. After hearing so many horror stories of parcels going missing, I can't see myself ever shopping there. Perhaps the appeal is having so many brands on one site and getting student discount on them all? I don't know. Personally I prefer sites like Missguided, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing. Verdict: Disagree

Coast have a concession in the store I work at and I have to admit I do see a lot of customers try on their clothing and they always look amazing! I think they're perfect for formal occasions such as weddings, christenings and dressing up while on holiday. Verdict: Agree

Basically all the feels I was feeling three paragraphs up. Verdict: Agree

When I first heard H&M had won this award, I was pretty shocked. To me, H&M's clothing always seems to be really poor quality and the sizings are always so messed up. However after looking through bloggers' Autumn clothing hauls, a lot of the items I liked were actually from H&M. Their clothing is great for basics yet are stylish at the same time and their brand seems to be relevant on the social media scene. PS. I am in love with the new #HMBALMAINATION campaign featuring Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Jourdan Dunn! Verdict: Agree

Do you agree with the winners of the Cosmo Fashion Awards? 
Who do you think was worthy of winning instead?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Reading Habits | Tag

Usually I see bloggers do tags and none of the topics interest me but I'm a huge fan of books and enjoyed reading Katy's post on this tag earlier today. The questions seem fun so I thought I'd have a go at answering them myself!
lunar look reading book black and white
Do you have a certain place at home for reading? 
I usually read when I'm in bed as it's quiet and I can focus on the book without any distractions.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I used to just dog-ear the pages but recently I've found myself just memorising which page I'm on. (Is that weird?)

Do you eat or drink while reading?
Sometimes, but it's not a necessity of mine.

Music or TV while reading?
No. Silence please!

Reading at home or everywhere?
At home or sixth form. I can't read on public transport or outside - it's just annoying!

Reading out loud or in your head?
In my head. I can't stand sitting next to people who read aloud and mutter under their breath.

Do you read ahead or even {*shudders*} skip pages?
If it's a boring part I might scan over the page. I always skip ahead when watching films but I think with books I always read them chronologically or just put it down all together.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I wouldn't intentionally break the spine but most of my much-loved books are falling apart.

Do you write in your books?
Not unless I'm studying it. I usually just take a picture of the page if there's a quote I want to remember.

I tag all the bookworms reading this! Let me know below if you've done this tag

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

OOTD | The Check Cardigan

lunar look autumn fashionlunar look tartan cardigan
lunar look tartan check cardigan
lunar look black high heeled shoes
blogger glasses ootd
Lipstick - Collection | Top - H&M | Cardigan - Primark | Trousers - George | Heels - New Look (similar)

It feels like ages since I've published an outfit post but since today is the official start of autumn - my favourite season both in general and for fashion - I thought I'd style some of my most recent purchases into an outfit.

This knitted cardigan is from Primark and is surprisingly soooo warm! Perhaps even a little too snug for this early September weather but I can tell it'll be a lifesaver for the cold winter days approaching. It's like wrapping yourself with some huge cosy blanket, I swear. I'm not really sure whether it's a tartan or check print but I absolutely adore the navy-burgundy colour palette. I love it with a touch of my fave plum lipstick.

Everyone keeps confusing the trousers I'm wearing with leggings but they're actually a much thicker material and are a comfy alternative to trousers and jeans. Usually I go for both chunky boots and chunky jewellery but decided to keep it simple with a three-spike necklace... I think wearing glasses now means I have to stay more minimalistic with my accessories, otherwise it can end up looking a bit OTT.

What do you think of my outfit? Let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Four Things I Hate About Bloggers Attending London Fashion Week

Don't get me wrong - I adore London Fashion Week. That's why I included it in my 16 Things I Love About Autumn post. But as we approach the halfway point of the SS16 shows, there are a few things I have to voice and just can't hold back any more about what LFW has become - at least, in my experience as part of the bloggersphere.
Source: @LondonFashionWk
1. The No Smiling Rule
I can't bear looking through Instagram or watching livestreams of shows and seeing everyone in the audience sat there looking absolutely miserable. Even on the social media of bloggers attending LFW, they still seem to have this constant irritated expression on like it's illegal to look as if you're having even an ounce of fun. I get it - it's such a tough life running around the city, sitting in the frow amongst celebs and having so much responsibility and all that, right? Being the mysterious It Girl who's above smiling isn't cool, it's lame and boring.

2. The Sycophancy
When was the last time you read a blogger's post on a collection which wasn't them praising it and declaring it as pure genius? Maybe I'm following the wrong people, but everyone I see just blindly goes on about how amazing every single designer's collection is without ever actually forming their own opinion. Yes, some of the collections are pretty damn divine, but I don't think anyone could deny that there isn't a striking amount of arse-licking on the behalf of bloggers. It seems to me like every blogger attending a show seems to take on the role of their PR girl for about two weeks afterwards. Take for instance - today's Topshop Unique show. I thought the ghastly polka-dot prints at the beginning were horrendous but it got better as the show went on and by the finale I had to admit that the collection was actually pretty good. If I was writing a review of the show, I would make sure to mention both the positive and negative parts about it. However, it seems to me that when bloggers who actually attend the show in person write reviews, they just state facts about it and only talk about how they hashtag LOVE everything. A lot of people will read this and think 'Oh, you obvs just don't understand fashion' but I really don't think that's the case. I do think fashion is about expression and often find beauty in the 'ugliest' things that everyone else dislikes, but I also have this thing called a free-thinking mind which forms its own opinions. What have bloggers become if they just mindlessly praise everything they get invited to see because they want to seem like they're fashionable?

3. The Sense of Entitlement
The casual tweet about popping down to see a show... the subtle snap of an invitation... 'oh, look what randomly arrived!' - all of these things done by bloggers seem to come with an air of arrogance. Like by being invited to London Fashion Week they've achieved maximum street cred and don't want to ruin their new-found status by seeming excited about anything. Way too many bloggers simply expect to be invited and therefore don't seem to be grateful for the opportunity, which is kinda rude in my opinion. Not just in general, but especially to the designers themselves.

4. The Desperation
Throw on the loudest, most extravagant clothing you own and get yourself down to Somerset House in some sky-high heels and an ugly hat. Why? Because you HAVE to be snapped by street-style photographers who will look at your outfit and see how amazingly creative and deep you are, right? (Side note: most of the bloggers who do this don't even have tickets to any shows!) It's just so desperate. And I don't mean that in a way like I think I'm superior. It's more like I can't understand why bloggers degrade themselves to such a shallow level and act like complete idiots just for their five minutes of fame. Please, do yourself a favour and just stay at home. You're better than this.

And that, my friends, is why I will probably never be invited to London Fashion Week in this lifetime. Despite what I've said, I would like to go. I enjoy seeing the collections and I think British fashion is something we should be really proud of. I just can't stand how shallow and superficial the entire farce is. If I went as a blogger, I would voice my own opinions and not conform to the way designers want you to suck up to them. I just can't deal with all the pretence of the fashion industry. For that reason, I can't see myself sat on the frow any time soon. Although if anyone agrees with what I've said, I'd be very willing to start a revolution for us non-conforming bloggers, with strong opinions, who don't change for other people to attend LFW...!

What do you think of bloggers attending LFW? 
Let me know if you have anything to add to this list! 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

$2.99 Per Month to Keep Up With The Kardashians? Umm... No Thanks

Firstly, I will admit one thing. While I used to be one of those people who constantly complain about how the Kardashians' represent fame without talent, in the past six months I have drastically changed my tune. Despite how much everybody loves to put them down for 'accomplishing nothing important', they do in fact have a talent. Besides their own individual talents, their collective talent is being successful businesswomen, establishing a brand for themselves and providing people with entertainment. Whether you like it or not, there's no denying that the Kardashian clan generates public interest and I personally think that is a talent within itself. We could sit here and argue about how 'beneficial' said talent is to the state of the world, but I for one have learned that it's not only futile, but detrimental, to waste time attempting to undermine their family's success.  So yep, I admit that I am an avid watcher of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. After many years of expressing my dislike for their family, probably just because it was the 'cool' thing to do, I now even follow the Jenner sisters on Instagram and get excited every time I spot Kendall in the newest fashion campaign.
Despite my new-found love for the Kardashians, I have to say that I am not best pleased with their newest business venture - personalised apps/websites for each member of the family. While the idea within itself seems great, the problem I have with it is the painful price of $2.99 (£2.29 here in the UK) per month. That might not seem like a lot but if you think about how there will be five separate apps, that's $179 per year. And for what exactly?!  

In the words of the family themselves, 'Kim’s will feature fashion and selfies. Kendall’s will show off her adventures, often shot from a GoPro camera. Kylie is into makeup and her dog, Kourtney focuses on being a mom, and Khlo√© has a strong bent on fitness.' Umm so basically identical to all the other generic content that many other bloggers/YouTubers publish for free? I don't know about you, but I am not that interested in the Kardashians' daily life to pay for such dull content.
While I agree that creatives should be paid for their work, I really fail to see how it's necessary to make your readers pay just to even VIEW your content. Imagine if all us bloggers started charging people to follow us? Or to click on our websites? It's ridiculous. And even more so coming from a family as wealthy and successful as them. I'm sure they're getting paid billions just to mention companies and drive sales through their shoppable links on the app - do they really need to charge their fans too?

It just seems very strange to me. I guess it's because I'm failing to see their apps/websites as having that much value. Or maybe we're just used to the idea of blogs being put out there for free that it seems weird to have to pay for them? Perhaps the Kardashians are taking a great step by assigning value to bloggers? It's a difficult one. Their mentality may be beneficial to the blogging community in general, but I can't help feeling like it comes across as very greedy and unnecessary on their behalf. 

My verdict? Charge brands/companies to sponsor you BUT don't charge your fans for a subscription which probably won't change their lives in any way. Like, at all. I think the Kardashian game is worth paying for more than this...

What do you think of the Kardashians pricing their apps at $2.99 per month?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Life Through A New Lens

lunar look glasses
That title may be a little over-dramatic, but it is true that you don't realise how utterly blind you are until you get new glasses. I'm supposed to have been wearing glasses for the past 15 years but I pretty much stopped wearing them about 6 years ago - whoops. Although I claim that I can see without them (because I can!) it has gotten to the point where I can't read text from far away and I definitely can't drive without them, so it makes sense for me to start wearing them again. Who knows - maybe I can turn it into the next big fashion trend, right?

When I put them on for the first time on Friday it was honestly like switching over to a HD channel. It feels strange because I'm so used to the life of squinting and blurred edges but I reckon I could get used to seeing through this new lens. It is super annoying taking selfies with all that glare though! Sigh... bane of every glasses wearer's life.

What do you think of the glasses I picked out?

Sunday, 13 September 2015

16 Things I Love About Autumn

My favourite season is finally here... I'm so bored of relatively warm weather and am totally wishing for a cool autumn breeze now. Although, I'll probably have something different to say when it actualy gets colder! It may only be the start of September but I'm already mentally anticipating all the amazing features of autumn that are coming up in the months ahead. Who's with me?
salisbury cathedral autumn

1. Crisp weather
2. Crunchy leaves 
3. London Fashion Week
4. Oversized jumpers
5. Wearing earthy tones
6. Fluffy socks
7. Great evening TV (X Factor, Gogglebox, I'm A Celeb...)
8. Dark lipstick
9. Bonfire night
10. Halloween sweets
11. Apricity
12. Onesies
13. Carving pumpkins
14. Warm drinks
15. Bright colours
16. The magical atmosphere

What's your favourite thing about autumn?

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Nina Reads Glamour Mag | October 2015

After last month's monstrosity, I'm pleased to say the least that I didn't find that much to complain about in October's issue of Glamour. It wasn't anything overly *great* but I did laugh out loud at some of the articles and I actually enjoyed browsing through all the gorgeous autumn fashion adverts. Who would've guessed? Keep on reading for a more in-depth run down of the good, bad and ugly parts. Note: poor image quality is a result of me reading/photographing/writing this post during my free period at sixth form (instead of doing my maths homework!)
glamour magazine october anne hathaway
Editor's Letter I know we've probably all been guilty of it at some point in our lives, but one thing that really bugs me is seeing people express such a negative attitude about their job. The truth is that you can never achieve anything 'better' until you are grateful for what you already have - so stop complaining and count your blessings in order to bring about change! With the pull-quote "Even the worst jobs can give you great lessons", 'I feel like Jo Elvin's letter is a perfect example of expressing thankfulness for how the places you once were helped get you to where you are today. I did have an image but the quality was so abhorrent that this post is just better off without it.
I just love Karlie Kloss. Even if it is merely a Kate Spade advert. She looks gorgeous and I adore the cute caption underneath this photo - "Even when I'm wearing flats my head still almost touches the clouds!" 
This article was very funny in the sense of 'I am SO glad that wasn't me'. One of my colleagues recently told me the story of how she vomited in a shopping bag on her first day of work (seriously) and I thought that was the most shocking thing ever until I read some of these stories! 
An ENTIRE page of Taylor Swift for me to fan girl over? Yes please. I don't even care that she only ranked 5th on Glamour's best dressed list.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Why I Dislike Competition (But Love Winning)

I know what you're thinking. That post title sounds like a mix between a paradox and the life motto of a sore loser, right? It does initially seem like an absurd statement to make and it actually took me a long time to figure out and comprehend fully myself, but when I did it pretty much felt like a eureka moment and as a result I have more faith in my personal beliefs than ever before. 
As I'm sure most of you are aware, I am a prolific giveaway winner. Multiple times each month I have exciting parcels/tickets delivered to my door and I'm extremely thankful for that. Winning 'stuff' comes so naturally to me now that I've rightly earned the title of 'luckiest person ever' in many people's eyes. So as you can expect, often times people are confused when I tell them that I don't actually participate in what I call 'competition'. Yes, I enter giveaways and love winning them. Yes, I strive to achieve the highest grades possible. Yes, I enjoy getting the top score in quizzes. However, what I don't involve myself in is what I see as almost like direct 'war' between two people. I don't make bets on things, I don't race to complete tasks and I don't need to see somebody else fall in order for me to rise. I have absolutely zero interest in beating others or being better than anybody else. All I'm focused on is working on my own life and improving myself instead of positioning myself in a state of comparison.

Am I making sense? I feel like it's complicated to understand, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't like this competitive attitude people have as it always seems to come from a place of lack rather than abundance. I've had this innate viewpoint of mine for ages but I've never really understood why or how it can be possible to hold it and still enjoy 'winning' at the same time. Until now, when I realised from one of my favourite books that, like war, in competition there aren't ANY winners - we all lose.

"Competition is an example of separation. When you have thoughts of competition, it is coming from a lack mentality, as you are saying there is a limited supply. You are saying there is not enough for everybody, so we have to compete and fight to get things. When you compete you can never win, even if you think you won. By the law of attraction, as you compete you will attract many people and circumstances to compete against You in every single aspect of your life, and in the end you will lose. We are all One, and so when you compete, you compete against You. You have to get competition out of your mind, and become a creative mind. Focus only on your dreams, your visions, and take all competition out of the equation."