The Ultimate Holiday Check List

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer is FINALLY here (well, this British weather currently says otherwise) and that can only mean one thing... Holidays!! This weekend I fly off to the beautiful Canary Islands and so whilst I've been planning what to take away with me I thought I would share with you a guys a list of my ultimate summer holiday travel essentials. 

As I've a lot to get through, we'll split this up into categories shall we?! 

When I think of summer beauty, the goal is always to get that sun kissed glow whilst still keeping your makeup regime as minimal as possible. Nobody likes the feeling of three layers of sticky foundation melting off of your face on a hot day. 

And so my first summer makeup essential has to be a good primer. 
The Benefit That Gal with its tinted pink formula preps your skin for foundation due to its core ingredients soothing raspberry and camomile extract; providing a refreshed, brightened and moisturised finish to the skin. If you would rather not use a primer, an alternative I love to use is an illuminator. This can then also be doubled up as a highlighter on top of your foundation for an added glow up. My personal favourite is the NARS Copacabana. When it comes to foundation in the summer I'm more of a BB cream gal. I love a light base that still provides me with some coverage and glow but not too much to the point where my skin feels sticky in the heat. The Maybelline Dream range now comes in 2 types; Dream Bronze and Dream Fresh. Dream Bronze gives the illusion of the most amazing sun kissed tan to the skin (even for pale girls like me!), whereas the Dream Fresh adds a really natural dewy finish to the skin which when paired with the That Gal primer makes ya gal look lit! The Dream range also features an SPF of 25 which is definitely important if you are going to be laying around in the sun all day.

Continuing with the effortless look, as a gal with quite full looking brows naturally on holiday I love just going over them with a brow gel for a natural, feathered look. Benefit have the best brow range with a product to suit practically every possible brow need. For beginners and those looking to create a quick and easy brow look the Goof Poof brow pencil, and as the name suggests it really is 'goof' proof! Use the pencil to gently fill in any sparse areas of your brow following in the direction of your brow hairs for a natural yet fuller looking brow. Perfect for those lazy holiday days. And if a bold brow is more your thing, Ka-Brow is perfect for travelling with its built in brush feature. The formula itself is smooth and creamy, providing application with ease. To finish, use Gimme Brow to ensure those hairs stay in place throughout the entire day. 

Going back to sticky, melted makeup once again; false lashes are definitely not my thing in the heat. When you find a mascara that works for you it really does elevate your makeup to the next level for the day. To ensure that your lashes do not droop in the heat during the day make sure you pack a lash primer, these are the perfect holiday beauty essential as they can be worn alone on days when you aren't feeling in the mood for makeup but still want to look like you somewhat made an effort. 
When it comes to bronzer, as much as I love my matte powders; in the summer I'm actually all for more of a liquid formula to further enhance that dewy, glowy look that I'm aiming for. My favourite bronzing range is definitely the Benefit Hoola, I'm dying to get my hands on the quickie contour stick! Have you tried this? Or is there a cream contour that you just cannot live without? Let me know your recommendations in the comments below! Or you can message me on my social channels (@clarkecouture on both Instagram and Twitter) - Holla!

*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics (I wish!), I just love everything that they do!

My final beauty essentials have got to be a setting spray; after spending all that time applying your makeup, you want to make sure that it lasts all day. The Urban Decay All Nighter is my personal favourite and it's available for just £10 in a travel friendly size, perfect your next summer holiday. Another must have to prevent your makeup sliding off in the heat are blotting sheets, these work wonders for my oily t-zone in the sun. Simply dab (not literally, please) onto your skin and voila - Shine be gone! And last but not certainly not least a good moisturising lip balm. My lips are extremely prone to dryness, not so bad in the summer as it is in the winter but nonetheless I cannot be anywhere without a lip balm in my pocket. My personal favourites are the Lush Honey Trap and Malin&Goetz, everyone raves about the Sugar Fresh lip treatments but I am still yet to try them - Are they worth the hype? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Cleanser/Face wash
  • Hand cream
  • Moisturiser - Face/Body
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorants
  • Female Hygiene
  • Sun screen/after sun
  • Blotting sheets
  • Shower gel
  • Razor
  • Tweezers
  • Hair products - Shampoo/Conditioner etc
  • Lip scrub/balm
  • Hair brush/ties
  • Makeup products = *TOP TIP - Go through your makeup routine step by step in order, this will help you to ensure you don't forget anything in a rush on the day. 
  • Plasters
  • Hair dryer (if you're apartment doesn't have one)
  • Hair straighteners 

Easy, breezy, comfy yet cute. That's how I would describe my holiday style in just 3 words. We British are quite funny when it comes to our holiday habits. We spend weeks prior to jetting off being ever so concerned about our diets, putting in that extra bit of exercise in an attempt to gain that 'beach ready' bikini body. But when we've finally landed we seem to spend most of our holiday consuming our weight in our both food and cocktails. And that's why my favourite holiday fashion essential hands down has to be the playsuit. It can be dressed both up or down making it the perfect transitional piece from day to night, from the lunch table to the dance floor. When it comes to playsuits I usually like to buy a size up for that added bit of comfort when I'm eating out; gotta make room for bloating right?! 

Easy outfit option number 2 - The dress. Just like the playsuit it's one and done and what makes this even better than the playsuit is the endless styles and choices that you have to browse from. There's the slip dress, the skater dress, the body con... The list is endless. I've been in love with the bardot/frill style recently and have just purchased the prettiest little number from H&M which I can't wait to share with you. Make sure you're following me on Instagram to check out the full extent of my holiday wardrobe @clarkecouture 

And if you aren't one for having your legs on display then the jogging trouser is the option for you. With a drawstring waistband for ensured comfort when eating out yet with a tailored fit, this is the fashionable 'sweatpant yet not quite a sweatpant' which you need in your life. Add sandals and a cute crop tee and you are good to go! I also do not know what it is but bikinis are 10x more comfortable than wearing a bra, so pack plenty! 

*TOP PACKING TIP! Roll your clothing rather than folding it to make more room in your suitcase!!

  • Swimwear
  • Nightwear
  • Underwear - Bring spare sets!
  • Socks - Bring spare!
  • Bras/bralettes
  • Bed socks/slippers
  • Playsuits
  • Trousers/Pants
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Shorts
  • Tops - Shirts/crop tees/vests
  • Sandals
  • Trainers
  • Small heels 
  • Cardigan/Light jacket
  • Day bag
  • Beach towel
  • Accessories = Watch/rings/necklaces/earrings etc

Plane Essentials
I have only ever been on a plane twice in my life. A trip to and from Barcelona in September last year, and you can read all about that experience here. In all honesty, as much as I love the end destination; I hate planes. I find the entire experience makes me feel both anxious and nauseous from the nerves. And so to make the experience as relaxing as possible for me, these are my ultimate must haves to help survive the journey:
  • Sweets. God damn I experience the most painful popping of the ears due to the cabin pressure. If you're like me then I'd definitely recommend having a bag of hard boiled sweets with you to suck on, yawning helps too. 
  • Snacks in general. Food is good, yanno. 
  • A travel pillow. If you're flying long haul or during the early hours and you're able to fall asleep on public transport (which will ultimately make the journey seem 10x faster) then I'd highly recommend a travel pillow, after all you don't want to be suffering with a neck strain!
  • Entertainment. Whether you're a book/magazine reader, a gamer or a music lover; make sure you have some form of entertainment with you to help the time pass by. I definitely need to get cracking on with my plane playlist. 
  • A portable charger is a MUST if you like to play apps/listen to music to pass the time.
  • Sunglasses.. Well all the celebs do it. If you land during the daytime these will help to protect your eyes from the sun upon arrival. What's your #airportstyle?! For me it has to be joggers, a crop tee, flat shoes and a baseball cap. Share your typical travel attire in the comments below! (Or tweet me @clarkecouture with #airportstyle) 

  • Passport
  • Boarding pass/flight tickets
  • Phone
  • Lip balm
  • Sweets/snacks
  • Chewing Gum
  • Water
  • Purse - Cash/credit cards etc
  • Portable charger
  • Compact camera - Incase you want to vlog!
  • Memory card for camera
  • Reading material
  • Earphones
  • Comfy hoody
  • Tissues
  • Prescribed medication

  • Camera charger
  • Camera batteries
  • Phone charger
  • Memory card
  • Polaroid camera (+film)
  • Pool drinks holder
  • Plug adaptors 
  • Umbrella - Because you just never know!
  • Keys for home 

And so I think that covers just about everything! Did I miss anything out? Let me know your holiday must haves in the comments below. Until next time,

The Reality Of Being A Fashion Marketing Student

Saturday, June 10, 2017

For those of you that don't already know, I have just completed the end of my second year as a fashion marketing student. As a bit of background on me, to begin with fashion was never actually the job I originally saw myself in. Growing up I always wanted to be an actress. Long story short, it's a very competitive and very expensive industry and I certainly didn't have the talent for that. One thing I always enjoyed however, was writing. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm some gifted writer; far from it. But as far as my 'talents' go, writing is something I've always felt somewhat 'good' at. Anyone that ever read a piece of my work would always tell me they could tell it was written by me, that my work always had that trademark 'Toni stamp' to it. 

When it came to applying for universities I was then encouraged by my english teacher to set up a blog. I loved to write (I still do!) and so this seemed like the next obvious step. But I was still lost with what my niche was. What did I want to write about? I began researching journalism courses but writing about the news/media or politics just wasn't something that really interested me. After having a sit down chat with my mum (mother's truly do know best right?!) she made me see just how much of an interest I had for fashion. 

From a young age I always enjoyed walking around a clothing store, admiring the beauty of each delicate piece of embroidery, examining each ruffled hem and also admittedly looking puzzled by the newest fad trend. As a naive 17 year old I certainly had an opinion on what I liked and what I didn't like. I looked forward each month to treating myself to the latest editions of Vogue and Elle and gazing through clothes which I could only ever dream of affording. And then that's when it hit me what I wanted to study. I wanted to be a fashion journalist. 

I explored various university courses undertaking fashion journalism but in the end decided to choose something slightly more broad in the name of 'International Fashion Promotion'. I've always enjoyed having more than one career path open to me and this course has allowed me to open doors into the worlds of not only journalism but marketing, merchandising and buying too. So for those of you thinking of studying a fashion marketing degree, this is the reality of what it's really like. 

Of course there are set stereotypes of fashion students. Just as there are with science and maths students. And not all stereotypes are proven to be true, these impressions are just things I have experienced throughout my personal time as a fashion student. It may be completely different on other courses. And so now that disclaimer is out of the way, what is it really like to be a fashion marketing student...

Outfit Details: - Top; Topshop (old - similar below), Jacket; Stradivarius (old - similar below), Jeans; George (old - similar below)

What you wear doesn't matter... yet you still feel judged
When people know I study fashion it makes me feel like they automatically instantly judge me for my sense of style. You feel like you are expected to be 'on trend' and to look 'stylish' at all times. During the first year of my course I always felt conscious each morning to present myself in a well dressed and stylish manner. I used to think to myself "I'm a fashion student, the whole point is to look fashionable. I can't possibly turn up to a lecture in leggings and a hoody." But by second year I finally realised that the only person who cares is me. Students work hard enough on their assignments, why should we work hard on our attire? A bit of coffee and concealer scrubs me up well enough. 

The fear of being an outfit repeater
"Lizzie McGuire, you are an outfit repeater!" Anyone else love this movie as a kid?! Hilary Duff alongside the Olsen twins were my childhood queens. Swiftly moving on... Although what you wear doesn't matter, (We're all stylish, creative and unique huns here) I can't help but still feel conscious that if I wore something a week ago, I can't wear it again this week as people might remember I wore it last week and think I don't have an extensive enough wardrobe. And when there's girls walking around with Vuitton bags and McQueen leather jackets the least I can do is have an extensive high street wardrobe.

 Trying to explain what exactly it is that you study and people just never understand...
"So what is it you study?" "Fashion promotion" "Fashion, oh so you design clothes? Cool" "No, I create campaigns for brands. It's more like fashion advertising" "Oh so you're in the media industry?" And that's the point when I just give up and pretend I design clothes. It isn't easy to explain exactly what it is I do when you're on a course as broad mine. One moment you're working on a project as a media industry producing a campaign for a brand and then the next you're studying cost sheets and how much it costs to purchase materials to make and import a garment. 

There are never enough hours in the day to be in the know of fashion news
I wasn't too sure what exactly it was that I expected that I would be studying. In all honesty I didn't really have a clue. I assumed it would be mainly learning about the goings on in the fashion industry each day. And the first couple months of my course did involve this. We were set individual research to discover an interesting piece of fashion news to share with the class each week. But gradually this dwindled and the research is left down to yourself. Which in the real job world makes sense, there won't be any lecturers to keep me in the loop of what's going on. But sometimes it can feel like for a fashion student, I'm not learning all too much about 'fashion'. 

The students that took fashion thinking it would be an 'easy' subject...
...Or simply because they 'like shopping'. The fashion industry is brutal, be prepared to put the work in and if you have the passion, you'll do well.

Marketing has opened so many doors for me, far more than I ever thought it would. Before I studied fashion promotion I never had considered another career in this industry besides journalism, whereas now I am about to begin a new job as a fashion social media executive. There are definitely many clichés and stereotypes when it comes to studying fashion. But this course has also brought with it many surprises as I've learnt things about myself that I never knew I would enjoy. I originally only wanted to write about campaigns but I've since discovered that actually creating them is so much fun. It's hard work but the end result is SO worth it. And who knew that learning about the laws of a fashion business would be so interesting?! 

So to those of you thinking of a career in fashion, it's tough. You're going to experience disappointment and knock backs. But if you have the 'passion for fashion' (cliché, I know...), a backbone and a creative flair then this could be the industry for you. With technology forever evolving and trends evolving even more I can't wait to see which jobs are available in this industry in the next 10 years which don't even exist now. 

And to conclude, this post was just a little bit of fun and isn't meant to be taken too seriously. Everyone has different experiences and these thoughts are purely based on my own observations as a fashion student. Every course is different, every university is different. Have you been able to relate to anything that I've listed above? I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

What do you study at university?!
Until next time queens xo

Let's Talk Confidence | Job Interviews

Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy Monday and welcome to a new series on my blog, 'Let's Talk Confidence'. A monthly feature which will be shared on the first Monday of each month. Known as the dullest day of the week, often associated with the phrases 'Monday Blues', I wanted to boost your Monday vibes and your month by sharing with you some confidence tips surrounding different topics. And in today's very first instalment, it's all about job interviews. 

Job hunting has never been a fun or easy experience for me. In fact, I've only ever worked for free; being paid in experience rather than in cash. For the past seven months I've had the most incredible time interning for festival cosmetics company 'The Gypsy Shrine'. Those girls are some of the most down to earth, kind and caring people that you will ever meet, and the experience that the boss babe behind it all 'Jenna' has provided me with, I cannot even put into words how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity. Six months later and I've been feeling like it's time to take this experience to the next step, by trying to push myself into a paid career where I can challenge myself and develop my skill set even further. (FYI: I'm still studying at uni and therefore looking for a placement year role in the fashion/social media marketing community) 

And of course, the only thing standing in my way of this were job interviews. No matter what job it's for or how many interviews you have experienced in your time, interviews are a big deal. The thought of them can be intimidating and the lead up to the big day can be a very nerve-wracking experience. So what can you do to battle your nerves and show an employer that you are the right person for the job?

Research, research, research!
I cannot tell you enough how important it is to do your research. Read company reports, stalk their social media, be in the know of the latest events and news interest within that industry. You are going to feel 10000% more confident if you know your subject. A brand/company wants to hire someone that has a clear interest and passion for the company/role and the more you research, the more interested you will seem. And if you truly are interested in the role then the research will actually seem quite fun. 

Once you've done your research on the company itself, try and prepare some basic interview answers to show the interviewer how your previous experience relates to the role you are applying for. I suffer with a serious case of mind block when I'm nervous and I lose all confidence in myself if I have no idea what I'm saying so this tip is a huge one for me!

Dress comfortably
It can be nice to buy something new for an interview but I personally cannot relax unless I am comfortable in what I am wearing. For instance, I know that every time I buy a pair of new shoes they always seem to rip my feet to shreds until I've walked them in, therefore sitting through an interview in new shoes and bleeding feet is not going to make me feel relaxed nor confident. 

The above outfit is something I wore to one of my recent interviews. Trousers and flat shoes to make me appear more formal whilst paired with a bomber jacket and a cute quote tee to express a touch of my personality. This particular job also happened to be within the sportswear industry and so I felt the bomber jacket reflected this perfectly. Dress for you but try and dress towards the formality of the role too. 

So you've done your research and you look the part but how else can you actually feel confident?
Tell yourself you can do it. It seems so silly but it seriously works. On the morning of your interview look in the mirror and say.. "I'm a boss and I've got this." Because you have. If you have done your research and prepared your answers (plus a couple questions of your own for the interviewer!) then the chances are that you HAVE got this. You just need to believe it. 

A pre-pamper night also works wonders to get yourself into the right mindset. My favourite way to unwind is with candles, a face mask and a bubble bathIf my makeup is looking terrible on the day of my interview this will usually knock my confidence, so I like to keep my skin at its best with a face mask and deep moisturiser the night before. When you're not relaxed it's 90% usually down to stress, and if you're stressed; you're not confident. Relax and take a deep breath, you made it this far, you secured yourself an interview! I have a very bad habit of overthinking and therefore not sleeping the night prior to an interview, thus a pamper evening is the best way for me to radiate those positive vibes whilst keeping yourself calm and confident on that dreaded night before. 

On the morning of your interview make sure you wake up in plenty of time to ease yourself into your morning and try somewhat to get yourself into an upbeat mood. Listen to music, have your coffee (or tea, if that's more your thing) and put on your sassiest lipstick and prettiest highlight as it's time glow up!

And some last minute advice? Go in there, be yourself, walk with pride and the confidence will follow. And remember, you got this! And if you don't get the job, don't be disheartened. Sometimes an opportunity might not just be for you, but the right one may be just around the corner.

How do you prepare for an interview?!

On The Gram

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