Recently, I cut myself bangs because I was bored of the same old hairstyle I've had for months. I realized that styling my hair is quite different now and it takes a bit more effort to make things look aesthetically pleasing. A lot of hair tutorials - particularly the more fancy ones, don't look great with bangs, so here are the ones I've found work really well:
You can easily cut your own bangs - theres a great tutorial here. Otherwise, go to a salon or someone who knows how to cut hair and get it done. In terms of styling the actual bangs, just blow-dry them in place everyday with a big round brush, with the blow dryer on the hot setting. When you switch off the blowdryer, press down the bangs slightly on your forehead until they cool down to avoid a super rounded, high 'canopy' bang, which is never cute. A great length that looks goot on everyone is to have the ends of your bangs lie at eyebrow level, and trim them around every 2-4 weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows.
A high, messy bun looks very cute with some long, piece bangs. Brush your hair back to the crown of your head, are. simple yet fluffy messy bun. Brush your bangs to the front and take out some wispy long pieces of hair from the side of your head to make the hairdo look more soft and feminine.
A half-up half-down bun or ponytail also looks su.per cute with bangs. The hair that's down will frame your face and flow perfectly into your bangs, while the pun/pony will give you a fun twist. This is a versatile style to wear to casual and more formal events.
Bangs, especially short bangs look really cute and youthful with a short, French bob. This is a really easy look to pull off with very low maintenance and it's definitely a head turner. If you have long hair and are planning to cut it into this kind of style, please please please think about donating it to wig making charity for cancer patients.
Blunt, long bangs look very flattering when paired with super sleek and straight hair. This works beautifully for thin and thick hair and is a very classic look that should suit anyone, regardless of face shape and features. This is so easily to style - simply put some heat protection on your hair and either flat-iron your dry hair or simply blow-dry your hair straight when it's still wet.
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
A new, unexpected trend has hit the fashion and interior decor world with full force: a combination of millennial pink and tropical plant prints. Who could have guessed that pink and green could go so well together. I'm not one for bright colors and prints, but I think I'm changing my mind when it comes to this trend in all honesty.
This is a super versatile trend to wear - especially in summer. The pink shades can range from bright coral to pastel, but usually millennial pink is the one designers lean toward. Palm leaf prints are a standard for clothes, as it's the easiest way to make incorporate a new in-fashion style into a classic cut item of clothing.
A really easy way to incorporate this look into your interior decor is by painting an cement wall your favourite shade of pink, or even buying some bleach throw pillows, and then filling up empty corners and surfaces with easy to care for house plants and trees. If you want tropical plants, make sure to keep them in bright yet indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist. Also stay away from orchids and bulbs as they die easily, quickly and are very finicky to care for.
The trend also looks great with touches of soft caramel browns. If you're wanting to use the new fashion as room Inso - try using natural, light and raw woods, as varnished woods don't look as nice with the colour schemes. If you're wearing the trend, a light brown leather shoe, belt or bag with a rose gold necklace with fit perfectly, and will soften the harshness of a bright colour combo.
It's also great to incorporate light neutrals into the colour scheme of this trend, like white and light grey. Stay away from black and medium to dark browns as it makes the colour scheme look a lot more dated and out of place.
Try out the trend - maybe you'll love it as much as I do!
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
Good skincare is a really important factor if you are someone who wears a lot of makeup, goes in the sun a lot; or if you just want to age well. If you practice a good skincare routine it will definitely reduce your chance of getting wrinkles early, it will help with acne (trust me, I know the struggle) and it will leave your skin soft and moisturized without leaving it oily. Here are my favorite natural, DIY skincare remedies that I practice at home:
Wearing a lot of makeup on most days, I have to exfoliate on a regular basis, especially during winter when my skin gets much drier. Because of the dryness, I really have to focus on exfoliating at least once a week, sometimes twice. The problem with exfoliation is that often the bas formulas a cleanser which is usually pretty drying, so even when the dead skin cells are off my face, the fresh layer of skin is still dry. I make my own exfoliator and it works great to keep the rest of my face moisturized and soft for days after the treatment. I tend to make more than is needed for my face, as I also exfoliate my legs with this right after I shave them, which leaves them silky smooth.
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon filter coffee (it doesn't matter if it's flavored, as long as it's not instant coffee)
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon water
Mix all the ingredients together in a cup with a fork until it is well combined. Make sure the coconut oil is melted but not too hot as you don't want the sugar to melt in the mixture when you apply it.I first cleanse my skin with a store bought cleanser. Next, I just use clean fingers to scrap it out of the cup and scrub it all over my face and legs. Leave it on for around 2 minutes. Take a clean hot washcloth and gently wipe all of the product from your skin. Wring out the washcloth to get rid of the sugared coffee granules and dip it in warm water again. Leave the warm washcloth on your face for around 30 seconds and then pat your skin dry with a clean, soft towel. It's important to pat your skin, not rub it as rubbing will eventually lead to wrinkles.
We all want an overnight remedy to get rid of a nasty pimple, especially if ou want to look your best for a special occasion. I have found that tea tree oil is my best friend when it comes to this problem. Now, putting oil on a spot which is already filled with sebum may seem to defeat the purpose, and it sounds like the worst thing you could do - but tea tree oil is special. It is one of the only oils which actually dries skin out instead of making it more oily... weird but true! It also has really great anti-bacterial properties, which is great for people like me who suffer from bacterial acne. Be warned: you should NEVER EVER put this over your whole face, it will dry your skin out completely which will cause your skin to produce more sebum and oil (resulting in more spots) as a panic response. Here's how to go about it: Drop one or two drops onto the end of an earbud/ q-tip and rub it on and close around your spots, but don't just smear it on areas that are oily (like your T-zone) if you don't actually have blemishes there. The oil may tingle a little or even sting, but it's totally bearable and it's just because of the natural disinfectant properties. Also, don't get it too near your eyes if you're sensitive as it may make you tear up slightly. If you struggle with really oily, acne-prone skin like I do, try also look out for skincare products like cleansers which have tea tree oil extracts in them to help manage he problem.
Skin softening mask:
This is a great mask to use after you exfoliate to really get that baby soft skin of your dreams! It also brightens your skin and makes you feel more awake. This is a mask I do around one a week, although sometimes I'll stretch it to a week and a half, depending on how my skin is doing.
1 1/2 tbsp greek/ plain yoghurt
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp pure lemon juice
1 probiotic capsule
small pinch of tumeric (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients together in a tea cup. To extract the good stuff from the probiotic capsule, break it open and empty the contents into the cup. Give everything a good stir and apply it to your face. I use a clean, flat foundation brush to apply mine, but using clean fingers to apply the mask is perfectly fine. The Turmeric may make your skin appear to have a slight yellow tinge, so don't apply too much, and leave it out completely if you plan on not wearing foundation or tinted moisturizer out in public for the next day - you don't want to look like you have jaundice! Leave the mask on for around 10-15 minutes and use a clean, hot washcloth to rinse off the product. The yoghurt helps moisturize, the honey is a natural antiseptic and is great for acne, as is lemon juice. The probiotic helps boost your skin cells and the turmeric helps with inflammation and redness - so it's excellent for acne prone skin.
Toner is part of skin care regimes that people often opt to leave out, but it's actually really important. It removes the last bit of makeup and/ or dirt that your cleanser didn't manage to clean off as well as freshening up the skin. It's especially important for acne suffered as clean skin means less bacteria which helps prevent spots. Rose water is a really gentle toner, and it really great to use at night. It helps reduce acne scarring and dark blemishes, including underage circles. It also smells really great. I also use rose water as a setting spray after I finish my makeup routine - I just put it in an old spray bottle and it works like a charm. Apple cider vinegar is a slightly harsher toner and it does make your skin tingle but that is because of the antibacterial properties. I wouldn't recommend using it every single times your toner, especially if you have sensitive skin but around 3 times a week should do. Again, it helps reduce pimples and it fades acne scarring really well. For both Therese water and the vinegar, just take a swab of cotton wool, wet it with the ingredient and wipe all over your face, avoiding you eyes and wait for it to dry.
Dark spot remover
If you struggle with anything like acne scars, dark spots and stains, try applying aloe gel to the affected area over a long period of time. The gel will help fade the discoloration and plump up the skin. Only apply to affected area, as it can be quite drying. To extract the gel, Slice an aloe leaf length ways and use the knife to scrap out the contents in a bowl. Now using clean fingers, dip into the bowl and apply the gel to your skin and wipe of with a clean, hot washcloth after around 10 minutes.
I hope these natural, DIY skincare remedies help with any minor skin issues that you have. Remember, if an issue persists it is always better to consult a dermatologist as you may need more than a natural remedy to sort out a problem
Until next time
- The Traveling Oyster xxx
For years and years, the beauty industry, particularly the one flourishing on Instagram has laid a lot of focus on eyeliner. Traditional black winged liner was the order of the day for a very long time. Eventually some very adventurous and creative makeup artists and amateur makeup blogger started experimenting with coloured and textured liners, eventually adding gradients and themes to their everyday liner look (think back on the not so distant unicorn liner trend). So what happens when you ask an entire industry to forgo something so treasured as winged eyeliner to complete their glowing makeup looks? If your first thought was panic, you were wrong! Some super creative MUA's have created art out of quite literally nothing, and here the invisible liner trend was born and blessed us all.
Makeup bloggers and artists alike are seeming to have a go at this very new and emerging trend. Instead of putting eyeshadow over the whole lid area, they leave the area blank where their black winged liner would have gone had they put it on. It looks really arty, and depending on what colours and tones you use it can really end up creating quite an amazing optical illusion.
Now it may seem quite fiddly, but if you are confident enough with normal liner techniques this shouldn't be too tricky for you. First use a colour or glitter liner or one the same shade as your eyeshadow and draw a very thin line across just the area where the top of your liner would have been (look at the image below). Then do your eyeshadow and clean up any fall out with an earbud below the liner. Next go over the liner again, to make the colour/ glitter pop - just don't make the line thinner. Lastly clean up below the liner with either concealer or matte nude/ white eyeshadow!
This is definitely a look I'll be trying out at my next university formal dance and if you have some exra time to yourself tonight I encourage you to give it a shot- it may turn ouut really great, and even if it doesn't, it's still fun to experiment with shadow and liner. And remember, makeup takes a lot of practice and practice makes perfect!
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
So first of all - to my regular readers, sorry I haven't been very active at all lately on the blog or my social media accounts - I've been having a much needed holiday away from the blog so that I can come back this year with new inspiration and the will to want to grow it bigger and make it better! Happy new year and with that comes the much-anticipated question on everyone's mind: What is the colour of the year. Well, at least I know those with a particular interest in fashion and design anticipate this...
Drumroll... the colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery. What? I must say this is certainly not at all what I was expecting. In all honesty, I'm a little disappointed. I was really hoping for something a little more... versatile and pretty. While green is a great colour - don't get me wrong here - it's really the tone of green that has been selected that makes me rather uncomfortable. We have been seeing a lot of greens on the runway in all fairness so green wasn't totally surprising. I would have much easily guessed the annual colour would be something along the lines of a deep emerald or an earthy khaki (especially with the very obvious military inspired trends that have been popping up in street wear).
Now not to offend anyone who feels that this particular Pantone colour code is their favourite colour in the world, but I just can't seem to imagine as much versatility in this hue as with last year's colours. I know I wouldn't feel all too comfortable walking out of the house in an apple-green dress and I certainly couldn't see myself painting my nails a bright shade that matches every tree in my garden. Don't even start to mention green eyeshadow to me.
Same thing goes for design - Having a green wall or large green decor element that isn't a plant would seem... off. I mean have you ever seen a bright green wall in someone's house (if you have I'm pretty sure you didn't think it was very visually pleasing). Dull green I would understand, or very dark green or even pastel green but this just doesn't sit well.
At least vegetables will be on trend this year, so hopefully that will kickstart a global healthy eating takeover. Or maybe the harshness of this colour will do the opposite. Guess we'll just have to sit by the wayside and wait for this trend to pass... but if you're loving the green savour the moment by all means. Let me know in the comments how you feel about 2017's colour of the year (hopefully, I'm not the only one here dying a little! ;) )
Until next time
- The Traveling Oyster xxx
I was recently contacted by Tattoo Addict South Africa, a company that retails an amazing tattoo after care gel, and was asked to test out their product. Being someone who myself loves tattoos very much, I jumped at the opportunity to review this balm.
Now although I don't have any new or healing tattoos on me, I will be getting one in January when I return from my trip to Australia and I'll also be getting a few smaller ones later in 2017, so I can't wait to use my after care gel for that. Luckily the product is multi-purpose so I've actually been using it a lot! It works amazingly as a lip balm. I had cracked lips, so I used the balm on them twice and the next day my lips were back to normal and totally smooth! I also use a tiny bit as a lotion if my hands are very dry. The product also works very well for small scrapes as it prevents scabbing and scarring and it heals very quickly.
The gel itself is very concentrated, so you actually don't need to use much at all to cover a large area, making it worth while. To be honest the balm very much reminds me of the Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream, which is a go-to beauty staple for just about anything and everything! So if you're looking for a dupe of the expensive designer cream, this is a great option!
If you're looking for a great all-round balm or something to heal up your fresh new ink, definitely order yourself some of this gel from tattooaddict.co.za , it's great for just about anything and it's so affordable!
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
Over the years I have discovered many things that can make my beauty routine so much more effective and efficient, and after discovering another one this evening, I decided it's only right if I share my best beauty hacks with you all. Keep scrolling to make feeling beautiful the easiest thing on earth.
dolphin smooth legs for days (literally):
So this is the one I discovered this evening... For those of you who prefer to shave your legs, this is something to do before a night out to an event or a summer pool party where your legs will probably be on display. Seriously, I came up with this little routine and my legs are smoother than the day I was born. Here's what you need to do:
use a damp beauty blender instead of a dry one:
Don't ask me why this works, it just does (if you know the science behind this magic please let me know in the comments below). I'll admit I didn't think this up myself, I have Carli Bybel to thank for this trick, but I only started using it recently and what a world of difference it made to my foundation blending game. I wash mine every second night and squeeze out as much water as I can in 3 squeezes and then leave it to 'dry'. It stays damp for about 2 days and this way my beauty blender is always clean.
Only shave with single blade razors:
I religiously only use disposable single blade razors to shave anything and everything (those plastic ones from Bic). Here's why: it prevents any ingrown hairs - I haven't had one for YEARS. Razors with more than one blade are a recipe for disaster when it comes to those sore little bumps. The reason why is the first blade shaves off the hair, and all the other blades after that catch the shaven hairs. Every so often a hair caught in the other blades is accidentally pushed into an exposed/empty hair follicle. This traps bacteria and a hair under the follicle, causing it to become infected. Trust me on this one.
Eye dropping mascara:
This should only be for dire emergencies, as using expired makeup ain't great for you. I use this if I have suddenly run out of mascara and I need to be out the door in 30 minutes (so I can't head to the shops). Take your mascara tube (that has decided to dry out as of this morning) and drop just one or two drops of standard eyedrops or even contact solution into the tube. Mix it around with the mascara wand and it should resemble a similar texture as before.
Only tackle your skin after a hot shower:
Nearing 'that time of the month' you may experience way more blackheads on your T-zone than usual (especially on your nose) due to hormonal fluctuations in your menstrual cycle. If you feel the need to get rid of the worst blackheads, do it after a hot shower or bath (or even just steam your face over a bowl of boiling water). The heat doesn't 'open up' your pores as many believe, your pores actually never change size. What does happen is the sebum in the infected pore (black head) softens, like most things do in hot conditions (gross, I know). You should be able to use a special (CLEAN) blackhead extractor to now clean out your clogged pores. Makes sure to wash your face after with a mild cleanser and apply your acne or spot cream to the area afterward. Don't directly apply moisturizer for about an hour or 2 after because then you'll just clog up the pores again...
I hope you all discovered something new and don't forget to share these tips with friends!
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
I have recently received a package in the mail from Deerly Studio, a luxury stationery company that handcrafts their products in South Africa. I decided to review their gorgeous stationery line. I will provide a link at the end so that you can shop online on their website.
The owner and creative director of the company, Monja, loves hand lettering and illustrating and her passion lies in design - which is clearly notable with the intricate details of all of the stationary design.
The stationary has such a personal element to it, and I love the arty prints that adorn the paper and pencils. Water colour paint strokes and bright colours on light backgrounds give the stationary a summery, fresh feel and I want my friends' birthdays to come sooner, just so that I can attach the beautiful greeting cards and tags to their presents.
The quirky, colourful notebook covers remind me of something you'd find in a penthouse art gallery and for someone like me, who loves notebooks and all stationary, all I need is an excuse to pick up my pen and begin writing in them! You'd think perhaps it's just the book covers that are beautiful, but when you open the cover page, you'll find that the notebooks have illustrations and graphics inside them (sticking to the cover page theme), which gives such an unexpected and beautiful touch.
The quality is excellent - the paper is great to write on and the books are so pristine. I love the variety of unique, bold designs on all of the stationary and it will definitely make you stand out from the rest at the office or at school!
The greeting card I received was so much better than the ones that you buy in the shops. It was proper, hard card (not flimsy) and it was nice and big, which I feel is so necessary because I for one always run out of space when I start writing birthday cards. The gift tags come with a beautiful, navy, suede-like ribbon which makes presents look so much more luxurious.
The to-do list was also super cute! The title reads: "Things to do to take over the world", which makes writing up your to-do list just that much more fun and you'll have something to giggle at every time you start your weekly planning sessions!
If you're looking to own the coolest stationary out of anyone you know and stand out from the boring office crowd, definitely make your way over to the Deerly Studio Online shop. The company also does gorgeous wedding invitations and stationery for businesses in beautiful, and intricate designs. Here is the link :
So check out their website and get ready to write more beautifully! Until next time.
-The Traveling Oyster.
Coco Chanel. My inspiration, a game changer for women's fashion and an excellent quote source; among other things. She once said: "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life ". I've heard this a couple of times but I never knew such a seemingly simple concept could have such an impact and relevance on my own life.
Two weeks ago, I cut off most of my hair. I went from a blunt long style that touched the bottom of my spine, to a lob that comes just above my shoulders; and I could never have guessed the impact this would have on me in such a short time.
I have never been the most confident, outgoing person and for most of high school being shy was the norm and I chose not to speak up in groups or approach anyone unless it was really urgent. I had my couple of friends and I stuck to them. I don't venture outside of my comfort zone, ever, well not until 2 weeks ago. In 6 months I'll be in university and I felt I needed to change something before I take this next milestone. Lately I had been loving the lob trend and I've always wanted to donate my hair to cancer survivors for wigs, so I made the very spontaneous decision to chop off my locks.
I realised that after about a week, I started feeling different somehow. It wasn't until this morning when my best friend pointed out to me that I've gained a lot more confidence since chopping my locks that I realised I've been hiding behind my hair for so long now. I always played or fiddled with it when I was nervous or uncomfortable. If I felt anxious I would throw it forward to the front of my shoulders to feel less exposed and somehow the hair always conveniently made its way to cover a part of my face.
With shorter than shoulder length hair, I didn't have this option, and I was forced to just deal with the anxiousness.No more hiding behind long, heavy hair. As a result, I got used to the idea of being more open and naturally, I became more comfortable and confident without the need to curtain myself off. It's true when they say confidence comes from the concept of "fake it 'till you make it "!
Never again will I have boring hair, and never again will I use my hair as a tool to hide myself. Confidence looks as good as it feels and I have not been this happy in a long time.
-The Traveling Oyster
I recently stumbled across the most beautiful shop for home interiors, called Mono Shop. I decided to get into contact with one of the owners, Petro Viver and find out more about the business.
Petro first started off by designing home interiors for her own needs, like the scatter cushions, trestle desks and clothing rails you can find on their website. After realising she could create a business using her craft, Mono Shop was born and all of the products are both aesthetically pleasing as well as practical, fitting her family's needs.
After the business expanded, and the whole family got involved, the company started using loacal manufacturers to help out with the growing sales, even collaborating with some local designers. Petro says they try to support South African design as much as possible, which is great because local is always lekker!
distinguishing factor for the business, so they decided to keep their home as their studio. It Definitely gives the photography a friendlier feel, and it's so much easier to imagine the products in your own home this way.
The neutral colours and simple geometric elements really gives the furniture a minimalistic feeling, while still being clearly excellently designed. Although the designs on the website are leaning towards minimalism and a neutral colour scheme, the interiors could fit into any style of house.
The bed sheets are definitly my favourite, and come in any bed size, from cots to king size! Attention to detail and unusual elements like typography prints make these designs special and beautiful - like the dream house you have always wanted, only better!
I hope you enjoyed the post and are feeling super inspired to spice up your space with all of Mono Shop's pieces! Until next time.
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
I have, for the past couple of years always been known as the friend in my group with the long hair. When I say long I mean all one length and reaching the top of my hip bone. Although it looked great, long hair is very heavy, and it takes so much effort to maintain. Everytime I washed it, it was a 2 hour process of washing, applying produc and drying. It got flat and I couldn't really do anything with it other than plait, becuase buns and other cute hairstyles became bulky and I needed a whole packet of bobby pins to keep things in place.
I have been thinking of making the chop for a while now. It's also always been on my bucket list to donate hair to cancer survivors for wigs. Somehow I only realised a few days ago that I could do both at the same time: It hadn't crossed my mind before that.
I went into the salon very early and sat with a rubber band around my long ponytail and we measured where my hair would be cut off. It took a lot longer than expected for the hair dresser to cut off all of my hair because not only is it long; it's very thick. The scissors sliced through and I can honestly say it is the weirdest feeling when the last bit gets cut off and your ponytail is shoved into your hand, unnatatched from your head!
I opted for a lob, just above the shoulders, with very choppy layers and lots of volume. It's a very low maitenance hairstyle, as I need to just roughly blow dry it; I don't need to use too much product, and I don't need special curlers or styling tools/brushes. I can even air dry it.
If you're thinking about making the cut; go for it. Hair always grows back! If you want to get an idea of how a shorter style will look on you, fake it first and ask what your friends think of it - that's what I did, because at least you will get honest opinions before you make the big choice! Tie up your hair very loosely and tuck the pony under the back of your hair and secure with a bobby pin or butterfly clip. This helps you see how your face shape may appear to change if you go shorter.
This is also such an easy way to help out someone by not doing that much. You will feel like a new person, and you will help someone else feel like their old self once again!
Check out the video of the process below:
Hope you enjoyed the post, and hopefully I have inspired at least one person the take the plunge and make the chop.
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
Recently, I have relied on online shopping for a lot of my clothing needs - not that I'm giving up on malls - I'm just expanding my shopping horizons. I, just like any human on this planet love free stuff, and if I can't get it free I also love to get it at a discount. I have found a couple of ways to get the best bargain at any online store, and I've picked up some valuable tips to stay online shopping savvy.
The first thing you need to know is that most well-known and trustworthy online stores will offer you a discount of a certain value or percentage off your first purchase. The problem is, you can only use this discount once, and if you want to buy more products later you'll have to pay the full price - which no one wants to do. What you can do is every time you purchase something you can create a new account with a new email address. I currently have 3 emails, and so far I've used 2 of mine. You can also search for temporary email generators on google. They give you a real, randomized email and as long as you keep the tab open, you can view all emails that come to that address. Keep the tab open until your order arrives to track it and receive any important details. Although all of this account creation seems like a hassle, it really pays off when you start getting discounts upwards of 10% or about $10 every time you shop at a certain store. Truely, signing up for that kind of stuff only takes about 5 minutes.
Online shops generally allow you to use only one discount or promo code, and often there may be a better promo code than the one that you are using, that you are unaware of. If you type: " (online store) promo/discount codes", you'll find lots of websites that track coupons and promo codes that you can copy and paste as you check out of your online store. There may be an offer on something that isn't necessarily advertised on the shopping website. Also, sometimes some companies give people exclusive promo codes when they buy a product online and you may be lucky enough to find one of those as they usually can go up to 20% off. Keep in mind that some of these codes shown on the coupon site may be expired, but don't worry there'll always be more!
If online stores have apps, do yourself a favour and download them! Often online shops won't advertise it, but they give a large percentage or value discount when you purchase first time with their app (remember to use the revolving email tip). These discounts are usually permanent on the site, ie they don't expire after a certain amount of months/weeks, hence the lack of marketing on the online store: they don't want to lose out on any money. Superbalist.com, for example, offers R150 (about $10.11) discount on your first in-app purchase.
This next tip is very important if you want your clothes to actually fit. Specifically for items like shoes or pants, that need to fit perfectly pay very close attention to the size guide. Some companies have their own sizing system, like Levi's, so make double sure to check the measurements on the given size guide and match them up with your measurements. A size 6 in one store may be a size 4 in another. Most items you can return, but once you buy something on sale, you can usually not return it - so if you've just spent $40 on jeans and they arrive 2 sizes too small, there's nothing you can do about it!
I hope this all makes sense and I really recommend you give these tips a try - your wallet will thank you! Until the next post.
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
Recently, I've had quite a bit of interest in exactly how many celebrities, models and magazine cover girls are photoshopped. I've always been confused by how paparazzi snaps seem unflattering, but go to a star's Instagram page or magazine spread and they look like gods and goddesses. For a long time I've been wanting to know how to get the perfect shot to share on social media, one that looks candid, natural and has the perfect lighting. Here's the problem, you can't. Well, not without an entire team of photographic experts who have the right equipment and of course photoshop. Now you may think photoshop is super difficult and that you can't change your appearance that drastically unless you have special training, but this is simply not true. I set up an experiment to find out how drastically I (a self-taught, very amateur Photoshopper) could change a photo to fit magazine cover beauty standards.
The change is drastic, and the photo on the right is something you'll be more familiar with when you flip through magazines and the pages full of perfect women and men, with perfect bodies. I'm sure you've often thought to yourself: "How can I get such even, perfect, glowing skin tone?" or "What can I do to look as fit and toned as that model/celebrity?" . Here's the thing: you probably can't. The ideal body type and face is designed around the word itself: IDEAL. Basically in an ideal world, every woman would have a super tiny waist, long thing, toned legs, a perfectly toned and round bum, and perky precisely proportioned boobs. In an ideal world all men would have big muscles, naturally smooth, hairless chests and backs, the perfect 5 o'clock shadow and strong, toned legs. But this is not an ideal world.
If you want to know what I did to photoshop my image here it is:
I warped the entire body shape.... a lot. Gave the model A rounder, perkier butt, much smaller waist, I cut some 'weight' off of the arms and even the neck and thinned out the thighs. I narrowed the entire face shape. I also used light and shadow tools to alter the appearance of the body shape. I darkened the hair and although I have covered the model's face in the images above, there were a lot of fly away hairs on her face, so I edited those all out too. I edited out pimples, blemishes and under eye circles and 'contoured' her face using light and shadow tools. I also changed her brow shape and thickened her lips. Lastly, I airbrushed her skin using a golden colour on the paintbrush tool, turning the opacity super low and I used a smoothing tool on her skin. This all took me about 1.5 hours. That's not very long considering the drastic changes I have made.
Looking back on my photoshop experiment, it's no wonder people around the world who are exposed to print media are experiencing forms of body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, depression, self-consciousness, anxiety and general self-loathing. We are a society that loves to compare ourselves to others, to better ourselves possibly, and this element of our human nature always turns around and bites us back. How are we meant to love ourselves when magazines put phrases out there like "all natural" "real" "raw" and "makeup free" and then feed us images of heavily photoshopped people who don't even look like themselves. Photoshop is the new makeup, and it's not only useful for the face.
We need to stop believing that a perfect hourglass shape is normal. nobody has blemish free, even skin. No one is bronzed and glowing all over. Swan necks, never ending legs and a 10 inch waist are not what walks onto a modeling set. We live in an edited world, and ideals are made to seem normal when they are quite the opposite.
Even the models posing for the magazines wish they looked like the models in the magazines.
- The Traveling Oyster
Firstly, hi. I apologise, sincerely. I have not been blogging for an entire month; I've had exam planning and a busy term during high school senior year makes it so difficult to have time for blogging: I barely have time to eat most days. I've also been applying to universities around the country and writing National Benchmarking Tests as well as taking driving lessons and extra maths almost every afternoon AND have been trying to keep on top of my work shifts. But that's exactly why I'm writing this post. Because although I'm stressed and I only have 30 days left of classroom time in highschool left in my life I am coping. I have worked out a system to help me through this year and hopefully it works for you, too:
Don't volunteer to do any non-compulsory activities or extra work
Seriously, signing up for school extra curriculars to 'make the most of your senior year' doesn't make any sense. If you're signing up for more school run charity and volunteer organizations to brighten up your resumé, it's too late now. Colleges will look at your track record, and see that you only started to put effort in in the last semester of school to get into your course. If it's group work, do your part but don't do more. Signing up do do loads of extra work you'll have piles more stress and due dates and you'll probably procrastinate until the night before when you realise you have 3 projects, a test and an essay due the next day.If someone offers to tackle the bigger part of a project or assignment, jump at the oppertunity*; both people are happy and it's less work for you.
*I'm not saying you should free load, just don't add additional stress!!!
Take voice notes of important lectures
We all know the feeling: you've just taken out your notepad and you're frantically trying to scatch down info from a slideshow that will not be uploaded on the school network while the teacher in front flips through the powerpoint at the speed of light, causing you to end up having learnt nothing. I like to take voice notes and sit at the front of the class, so the sound reaches the mic. This way I can replay the recording on my phone and take down notes later while still focusing in class. You can also take photos of the slideshow, just make sure to be sneaky as some teachers find this annoying. It helps when you can refer back to something in class that isn't written in your textbooks.
Plan your bunking days
Ok, so we have all bunked school at least once, if you say you havnt you are lying. I don't do it often, but when I do take days off I do it smartly. I know when I'm about to burn out, so I usually look at my calender towards the end of a term when I know the teachers finish with the syllabus, especially around an exam term. The teachers usually put on movies or revise work in class, but because I consistently revise work at home through out the term, the revision class time has no value to me as I've already covered the topic by that point. I will often take a couple of days off during this time to finish anything overdue or work that's due soon or I study for the upcoming exams. It gives me a few days to sleep in and also to rid myself of stress that I build up due to deadlines approaching. This way I am productive in a relaxed environment.
Exercise at least 3 times a week and eat healthy food. Seriously, stop with the take-out and sugar filled foods. Take your sweater with everywhere in case it gets cold and get enough sleep. I can't stress this enough. You have no time to be sick during senior year - miss a couple of days of class and you find yourself catching up tests and missed work for weeks. Set yourself a realistic curfew and don't go out every single weekend. You will thank me for his later. If you do end up getting sick, take the few days of bed rest as an opportunity to catch up on work and read setwork books, don't just lie in bed watching buzzfeed videos all day long...
Stay away from drama
Friend drama and gossip is honestly the last thing you need in senior year. Stressing about something you heard through the grapevine is unessecary and 'he said she said' always ends up with someone in tears. You need to focus on your academics and plan what you want to do after school. Rather remove yourself from friends who you know mean trouble, and don't stress about other people's opinions, being a crowd pleaser is so not important, especially since you'll only be spending a couple more months with your peers, after which you'll never see anyone unimportant again.
If you're on Tumblr, follow studyblr accounts
Studyblr is a community on Tumblr that not many people know about. It's a hashtag and inside you'll find beuatiful study notes and inspiration to get yourself motivated and I actually enjoy studying now that I've found out about this. There are also blog posts about study tips and if you are a stationary addict, like me, prepare to have your wildest dreams come true! Here is my studyblr account if you're interested
YOU MUST SLEEP ENOUGH! I cannot over stress this. Yes, coffee is great but you can only rely on so many espressos before you burn out and fall asleep during that boring class. Your Netflix marathon can wait until the weekends or holidays, and no you won't die if your phone is charging 5 meters away from you instead of right next to you (besides it's not good to charge it next to you because phones emit radio waves), that text can wait until the next morning. Catch up on sleep during the weekends. I usually sleep late (until 10 or 11) but then I immedietly get up, make breakfast and get to work. If you're disciplined enough to start work right away I would really recommend catching a few more Z's in the morning - you can thank me later.
Timetables, planners and calenders
Do not walk into your last year of school thinking you don't need a diary because you got through the rest of high school without it. I was arrogant in the first week of senior year because I had never used a diary and though I didn’t need one, luckily after 2 days of school I bought myself one and if I hadn't I'd probably be dead by now. I have a weekly planner on my wall at home for detailed stuff, a monthly simple calender and a day-by-day diary so I can flip over to see what upcoming assignments and tests I have. Your planner should be your life, and should include everything you get up to - in and out of school hours - so that you can plan your study timetable (Yes another timetable) around the upcoming family lunch or birthday dinner.
Have a shallow TV show to indulge in
Sometimes you need a moment to watch something meaningless where you can take your mind off things and just laugh at stupid stuff. This is where reality TV comes in. My go-to is KUWTK*, because the Kar-Jenners are amazing. It's my way of winding down at the end of a long week, having a good laugh and not having to think about anything deep or stressful for once (except of course Kourtney and Scott's relationship status of course). Just remember to make TV a treat and not a daily life-engulfing habit that distracts you from your studies.
*Other reality shows include: Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and any bridal fashion TV
Hope this helped for anyone who is currently stressing out over marks, due-dates and general school stuff (you'll probably burn out anyways, and that's totally fine and normal - I've already been down that road and I'm organized af so...) good luck!
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx
Thank you to everyone who made my evening amazing, from the event planners and photographers, to the makeup artist, hair stylist, dress maker and of course my wonderful friends.
3 days ago I had my senior prom, and it was such an amazing event. If you want to read about all the actual prep that went into the evening here's the link to my previous blog post:
The night before I started on my nails - I know how to do my nails really well and didn't feel it was necessary to get a professional mani, since I had all the kit at home already. I decided to go with a matte blue and a shimmery accent nail on each hand. I used fake nails, since my natural ones are quite short (I had to cut them to go camping earlier last month).
I woke up early on the day of the prom to start preparing for the big night. At 9 I got out of bed to set up an area upstairs for my friends and I to get ready. I carried mirrors, dresses, accessories, and makeup.
At 12:30 I had my hair appointment. Because of many failed hair trials in the past, I decided to go with something simple. I had my ends trimmed slightly to give my hair a 'blunt cut'. I had it straightened and left it loose. My hair stylist changed my parting to give it a zig-zagged shape, which was really cool and gave my hair a subtle, unexpected twist.
I arrived back home from the hair salon just in time to catch my makeup artist at the door. 2 of my friends arrived to get their makeup done as well and we headed upstairs to the dressing station. It took about 40 minutes per person for makeup, but mine took a little longer because of some pesky eyeliner. My makeup artist had to redo one of my eyes because the liquid liner was (as usual) not cooperating. The photographer arrived in time to catch some photos of me as the last stitches of makeup were applied.
At 4:30 the other arrived at my door, as I was hosting pre-drinks with a bunch of friends. Altogether we were 4 'couples'. My date for the night was a best friend of mine since the eighth grade, and we agreed a while ago that we'd take each other to prom. He brought me a beautiful corsage on the evening, which mathced my dress perfectly, and his bowtie and pocket hankerchief was colour-mathced to my dress, so we looked well coordinated. I borrowed a coin purse from my grandma (the purse is from the 1940's), and it's pure silver and made out of tiny chain links. All of my friends and I have such different styles, and it was so amazing to see how everyone's unique taste shone through on the night.
At pre-drinks, the photographer and all the parents were constantly taking photos, and with all the call out to "Face this way" or "look here" and the camera flashes, it felt like being mobbed by the paparazzi. I must say, I wouldn't mind the famous life! We drank Champagne and ate tapas in the garden, with a beautiful view of the vineyards and the mountains behind us.
At 6 o'clock our vintage car arrived to pick us up and bring us to prom. The car belonged to an old family friend, which he loaned to us for the night so that we looked the part for the entrances. The car was low on the road, and was unlike any modern car on the inside. Everyone who drove past us spotted the car, and then us, and we got many waves from strangers in their cars. We arrived at 6:15 on the lawn of the school, for drinks. We watched as the rest of the year walked up with their dates.
After killing our feet from standing in heels for an hour, we finally entered the hall. We were seated at our tables. Speeches were made, and starter salads were served. We had butternut and feta salad with a side platter of tapas on the table. We all rushed off to the photo booths after we had finished eating, and were promptly called back for mains. Roast leg of lamb, with mint and beetroot jelly, potato skins and jus. We went off to dance after dinner and take more photos at the two booths. We were eventually called back for dessert - chocolate mousse, stacked on a brownie with berry coulis and a white chocolate chard. We ended the night off with dancing until our feet almost fell off. At 11:30 the dance ended.
After the dance ended, we all got into more casual clothes, changing in the classrooms. The entire year headed out to the bus-stops to get wristbands for the rest of the night... We were headed to our venue for our after party, to carry on the festivities until the next morning at 4am. I went home with my best friend, to sleepover, and we stopped by at McDonalds on our way back, for a cheeseburger and a large order of fries. We eventually got to bed at 5am the next morning after painting the town red.
Unfortunately, suffering from a lack of sleep caused me to get sick. I now have Pharyngitis and am on antibiotics (I'm basically always sick these days)... Hope you enjoyed reading about my magical prom experience and I hope yours was/ is just as wonderful as mine. Below is a video of my entrance to the prom, so have a watch.
Until the next post
-The Traveling Oyster xxx