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Sunday, 25 September 2016

LIFESTYLE| IT'S OK TO FOCUS ON YOUR OWN PATH

"Comparison is the thief of joy" 

Life is weird init? Do you ever wonder how people get to where they are in life? I mean with  social media being so weaved into the fabric of our society, it is hard not to look at people. We compare, we admire, we can  feel inadequate. I have had times when I have championed others successes and wished them the best. I am happy to say that is most of the time. However, as I am not perfect, I have had times when I have felt less than who I am. Looking at people who are doing well. I am sure we have all felt this, the beaming inadequacy that follows when you are finding things hard. You ask yourself, well how come THEY are lucky? How come THEY  have got what they want? Why can't I have this, when I have worked harder?  It's ok to feel negative... only for a bit. You know why? Because it is time for you to check yourself and recognise why you are feeling this, and what you need to step up our game. In my latest post, I talk about focusing on your own path and success, a post that was inspired by my girl Sophie Milner.

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Is it all really that perfect?

William Shakespeare once said, "All that glitters is not gold" which basically means that just because something looks great, it doesn't mean it actually is. Let me break it down further; you've seen many people stunting on the gram, (that's Instagram if you didn't know). You may see the perfect relationship, admire it and comment below using  the hashtag #relationshipgoals. Or you may see people you admire, doing well for themselves. They have the flashy car or maybe a watch. All perfectly positioned, with their manicured nails, seamless filter to match their seamless Instagram theme. Looks slick, doesn't it? Makes you think that  they've made it and you may want that. But let's think about it a minute.... is it all really that perfect or easy? Each Instagram post is not authentic, it's a single frame of someone's life, that has been fully edited to create an illusion. That goes with all the other social media channels that we covet.

That couple you commented with #relationshipgoals have their own struggles. Ones they do not need to or want to share on the "gram". They may look like they have it together, but do they? I am sure they argue like everyone does, and can't stand to be around each other half the time. Now that isn't weird, it's normal.

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Those entrepreneurs/ founders that flash that expensive watch or that dope ass car. They may have made it and kudos to them! Naturally, you want to be as successful as them, to one day show everyone that you've made it. I think that is the problem, with the rise of social media we make success easily attainable. Let me tell you it isn't! As a budding entrepreneur, the road to success is very draining. I am constantly battling competition and trying to prove myself to the nay sayers.

 You have a million voices offering you suggestions on what you can do, how you can do x y and z. Whilst the advice comes from good places, you try to filter out the noise, separate the relevant from the useless. Whilst trying to maintain your integrity, vision, and sanity. Let me tell you it's frustrating. Lately, I've been hit by the dark cloud of negativity, when it has comes to  figuring out my path, and this has been  mainly due to comparison. Honestly, it has been counterproductive and stressful. I see others, in similar careers, doing well. Embarrassingly, it  irritates me  because,  I know I have something special to show, even if I  were given  a chance.

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Focus on your own path

I hate being counterproductive, and the negativity was so suffocating. A couple of weeks ago,   I spent a few days in hibernation, not really communicating with my friends and staying away from social media! Mainly due to being emotionally and physically drained. I had realised that I had taken on too much, because I wanted too much. I had to cut things out to focus on me, I had to truly realise that some things aren't meant for me right now, but will come with time. One thing, which triggered this mindset was my meet up with Dani, before she moved to NYC. I remember discussing a similar topic and we both agreed, that we became happier when we started focusing on ourselves. So how am I do this?


  • I give myself me time- I work awkward hours with my job. However, taking days off and not feeling guilty about lazy days is bliss! You're allowed to rest.
  • I organised my thoughts- This is tough for me.. I don't like writing things down. However, writing down what you have to do for the day, and setting realistic goals is so mentally healthy. It just makes you aware that you have a path.
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 One thing, I did is stopped focusing on others, and what they were doing. As I highlighted before, we don't know everyone's story. Hell, I  lucky compared to a lot of people out there. However, we all tend to be in a bubble of our own problems and insecurities. Once we step out of it, and the bubble bursts, you finally realise that things will be ok and your mind starts to settle. I don't want you to think that  I am now truly enlightened. I have my days where I just am so frustrated, and that is because I am so ambitious and impatient. What I am trying to say is at least I am aware of this and I am actively taking the steps to focus on my path. I want to be like Usain Bolt in a way, never looking behind me, but accelerating and crossing the finishing line because I believe I can do anything. It's tricky... but I can do it and so can you?

Do you find it difficult to focus on your own path?

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PHOTOGRAPHY- VICKI WU

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Saturday, 13 August 2016

LIFESTYLE| THE 5 YEAR ITCH AND MY TAKE ON BLOGGING NOW

On the 13th of February 2011, I started this blog and a year later, I started FBL Bloggers and the #fblchat. I have said it over and over again, that this blog was started with naivety. I never wanted to be the next Michelle Phan or Zoella or super blogger, I just wanted to have a place to voice my opinion, share my creativity and have a voice. When I was 20 years old, I didn't think I mattered. I wanted a place where I could show everyone who I am, and what I could do. I feel that blogging has allowed me to do this. You see, by opening myself up with my lifestyle series (it's ok series), constantly improving my content and working on my photography, and working on some amazing projects (Westfield, Black Hair Magazine & Kurt Geiger). I have truly transformed my life, realised that I can do anything I put my mind to, and grown with so much confidence in my ability. I say this after reflection, and I mean with 9 months of reflection. Have you clocked that I started this blog in FEBRUARY 2011? Yes, and in previous years I celebrated my blog-versairy. The reason I didn't, was because I was bored with blogging and I didn't feel like I had achieved what I wanted.

Look What I GotHippy in Notting Hill

As an ambitious woman, I have always had an idea of what I wanted to achieve and I thought my blog and opportunities were stagnating. Through opportunities, going to the same events, doing the same thing. I was bored. Things had changed from how blogging was a few years ago. Now, you can be blogging/Instagramming or You tubing your way to stardom, in a few months and get amazing opportunities. In the past, you'd have to work a few years to get amazing opportunities.  As a digital marketer, I understood this. As a changing digital landscape led to higher competition, better knowledge in blogging/content creation and thus more opportunities. I got that, I acknowledged it.. but as a creative, it bothered me. I realised, that even though FBL Bloggers was my baby, I put a lot of time into it and not my blog. When I would go to events, you'd all be so lovely about how you loved the network and said oh your FBL! or your #FBLCHAT. In this moment,  I felt I didn't have an identity again. I was this entity, but really I am Jessica. I am not an entity. I was lost, frustrated and just kept on pushing with "blogging" cause that is all I had known for the last 5 years.  So I didn't feel like I should celebrate, because what had REALLY changed?

Fur Gilet Blue Suede boots

The moment, I started to check myself was when I had a few chats with certain blogger friends ( Christine, Banke, Charlotte, Josh, Albertine )  and my  friends & family too.They validated my success and would tell me how proud they were of me. Call it what you will, but that is what I needed to hear. They acknowledge my hard work, and it made me feel better. After taking myself out of the blogging bubble this year. I decided to think about why I started this blogging journey. I am a creative and wanted to create content, and so I will continue to do so. How I do it, is the issue. I need to shake things up, if I want to see change and reach where I think I should be. Whether that be even better content, relatable copy or Youtube (my next step), if I want to be happier, I need to think outside the box. I also need goals, for this site. I can no longer blog as a "hobby" in fact I don't do that anymore. It is kinda like my 2nd job after working in social media and running FBL Bloggers. However, I need to realise that I need to do all of this in my own time and enjoy what I am doing. It isn't a race, I am not forced to create content... I WANT TO.

Fur Gilet

So from here on, I declare that I will continue to collaborate and work with brands I love, and I will do Youtube (eventually). Most importantly, I will continue to blog for me and enjoy it. Sometimes we have times of doubt or frustration. But use this frustration to recognise  your successes and restructure your strategy. What do you think?

Fur Gilet



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Saturday, 6 August 2016

BEAUTY | GLAMOROUS SUMMER PINK MAKEUP LOOK

So last summer, I shot with my friend Jos, in the Queen of Roses shoot. This shoot was heavily inspired by Dolce & Gabanna's Golden Heart collection for Fashion week 2015. When I did this shoot, I felt like I was in an editorial, like a spread in Vogue. I have high ambitions, so I will have a spread in Vogue one day, watch this space. Anyway, I posted a throwback to the head shots from this shoot, and you all literally went gaga, and for that I thank you. Now, being a secret makeup lover, I decided to do a make up post, because why not? I keep promising them don't I?

summer makeup look for black women

I wanted to  create a spring/summery pink  look, that was suitable for darker skin tones. Making sure I had a great base, slayed eyebrows, and golden eyes; was imperative to creating the Queen of Roses look. I mean, if I was going to look like a Queen, I'd have to feel like one, right? To do this, I used my A la carte cosmetics, skin tint foundation which was customised for my skin tone. Followed by concelear which was used under the eye, and on my forehead to add a glow. Blending that in, I finished off my base using the A la Carte cosmetics silk touch powder, in Bronze.
With a slayed base, I realised that my brows, eyes and lips needed to follow suit. Using the Sleek Make up, Eyebrow stylist in Dark, I created sculpted brows that my bestie and beauty editor for FBL Bloggers, Humayra would be proud of. I love you girl! I had a bit of a play round with lip combos, first using the NYX Jumbo lip pencil in Burgundy  and using Gosh Velvet touch lipstick in Twilight.

For my eyes, I used the Sleek Au Naturel palette & Vintage Romance palette to create a golden smokey eye. Winging the eye with my trusty, Barry M liquid eyeliner, I created a regal eye look, finishing the eyes off with the Maybelline Colossal Volume mascara to add drama to my lashes. To finsh off the look, I added the Sleek Make Up blush, in pink sprint on my cheeks.

summer makeup look for black women


So what do you think? I really enjoyed shooting this and playing with my make up, and creating conceptual looks. If you want me to do more looks like this, let me know.

summer makeup look for black women



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Saturday, 30 July 2016

LIFESTYLE| IT'S OK TO BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE

Acceptance, Happiness and Strength, the feelings you get when you accept everything that you are….

BOOHOO BLACK BODYCON PARTY DRESSBOOHOO BLACK BODYCON PARTY DRESS

In today's post, I talk about what it's OK to be comfortable with who what we look like. With digital media bombarding us with glossy images of the perfect look, life or relationship. You can't help to think that you fall short of the ideal life. You know what I mean?

It's tricky. Even though I am a confident gyal, I have also felt a sense of insecurity in which I've been affected by these "ideals" from the media. If we look at the media's changing perception of beauty, the way I look falls short of the ideal perception of beauty. I talked about this in depth in my post about the beauty industry. But if you just take a look at what the powers of be, have said, you can understand why it would affect your psyche. One minute my nose is too wide, my lips too big, my hair too kinky and difficult, and my bum huggggge.
Now big lips, big bums, and ethnic hairstyles are the rage. So am I now beautiful? Are my natural features and that of people who look like me, now acceptable for the media, because it has been culturally appropriated? Now I am not trying to be a negative Nancy. I fully believe you can take inspiration from looks you admire. My problem is the effect it has on certain groups, who've essentially been told all their lives, that they aren't pretty enough.

So how has this made me feel about myself? In a way empowered! Strange, innit? You see I'm a girl who doesn't wait for people to accept me. I accept myself. I've always known that I don't have the typical girl next door look. Honestly, it has taken me a while to embrace my womanhood to its full extent!  Especially, my natural body shape. I have a curvier frame thanks to my Ghanaian genes.
As a result, I made the decision last year to embrace the way I look and look more womanly. So now you may see me in bodycon type outfits, which accentuate these features, because I am proud of what I look like. Same goes for makeup, I enhance those features which were seen as ugly in the past.


You know why? Because I am who I am and I wouldn't have it any other way. If you find that someone doesn't think you are pretty enough, tell them to fall back and say you slay, all day.

What about you? Are you proud of what you look like?
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