Oscars 2015 Red Carpet Favourites and #AskHerMore

Monday, 23 February 2015

As a pretty vocal feminist, I couldn't be more on board with Reese Witherspoon et al's call for actresses to be asked about more than their dresses during interviews at awards shows such as the Oscars. These extremely talented women deserve to be engaged in discussions that don't solely involve which designer they're wearing. So I wanted to take a second to discuss this idea here on the old blog.

There have been a lot of articles circling the web discussing whether or not it is sexist to ask a woman about her dress on the red carpet - to me, it isn't sexist in the slightest to ask them that, as long as it is not the only question they are asked. When it comes to these events, the men tend to look sharp in their suits, but there's rarely a surprise in terms of what they are wearing. Women, however, are afforded much more choice when it comes to fashion - will they go for a classic little black number, or something more outlandish? Of course then, women are more likely to be asked about what they are wearing than men are.

The problem arises when that is the only thing they are asked about. If the questions are "Who are you wearing?" and "How long did it take you to get ready today?", and then time's up, that's a problem. These are incredibly talented women, actresses, directors, producers, writers, and so much more than just a pretty dress. So Reese's instagram post yesterday, offering up a number of potential questions to ask the women on the red carpet got a massive thumbs up from me.

HOWEVER. I think there can be a totally different type of problem when we start to attack the idea of red carpet fashion, or criticise the interest in it in general. Being interested in fashion and wanting to discuss it does not make you a bad feminist - the entire idea of feminism is that men and women should have equal rights, and everyone should be given the opportunity to be completely themselves, and embrace all of their interests at once. That includes beauty and fashion, for men and women.

So tonight I want to embrace both! I want to support the call to #AskHerMore, because it is incredibly important - we have to stop consistently prioritising what people look like. But I also want to embrace the fact that I love perusing the red carpet fashion reports, watching the photos come in on Twitter, and dreaming of the day Elie Saab, Badgley Mischka or Chanel designs my dress for the Oscars *cough, a girl can dream, cough*.

Ask her about her process, why she chose to take the part, what the challenges were, who her favourite director/actor has been this year, and then have a chat about how completely stunning she looks in that gown. Do the same with the men, and everyone wins.

So here is Reese's brilliant instagram snap, followed by a few of my personal favourites from last night! All image sources are linked at the end of this post :)

Source: The Guardian

I thought Reese Witherspoon looked so elegant in this Tom Ford monochrome gown. Emma Stone was, as per, stunning in Elie Saab and I just love Cate Blanchett - the epitome of class in this all black Maison Martin Margiela gown.

Jamie Chung was so stunning in Yanina Couture (her hair and makeup were perfection too). I actually preferred Lupita Nyong'O's dress at the after party (Calvin Klein), and she just looked glowing!! Anna Kendrick is always beautiful, but I particularly liked this Thakoon dress, and again, the hair and makeup was lovely.

Some nude coloured gowns now - I wasn't quite sure about the waist on Chloe Grace Moretz's dress, but I liked it otherwise, and she just always looks so cool. I'm not usually one for fussy dresses, but I thought J-Lo's princess-style dress from Elie Saab was gorgeous (they rarely fail to deliver) - wasn't keen on the pink makeup though. And I loved the simplicity of Zoe Saldana's cutsom Versace gown.

I know a few people on Twitter weren't keen on the colour of Julianne's Chanel gown, but I thought she looked beautiful. Rosamund Pike's Givenchy Haute Couture gown was the talk of the town, and I have to admit, even though I wasn't one hundred percent sold on the split, it was a striking choice and she did look gorgeous. And finally, we have Jennifer Hudson at the after party - her yellow red carpet number was beautiful too, but what can I say - I'm a sucker for a LBD.

What was your favourite look from last night?

Thanks for reading :)

Image Credit: All images sourced from Vogue and ELLE.

Wednesday Wisdom #1

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

For the past six months or so, every Sunday night, I've posted an inspiring quote on instagram. As a Pinterest-quote addict myself, I always find that it helps me end the week/start a new week on a positive note. These quotes usually get a pretty good response - everyone needs a wee boost during Sunday night blues, right?! - so I wanted to find a way to work it into my blog.

I thought about doing a Motivational Monday series a la the lovely Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter, but I know that is quite a common one, so I decided to start posting mine on a Wednesday! Hopefully they can act as a little mid-week mood lifter, just to remind me (and you guys) of the positive vibes we started the week with, when the weekend still seems a little bit further away than we might like!

My Instagram - @lynseymac1
Original Source - Pinterest

This week I decided on this lovely quote from novelist and screenwriter John Irving. This quote can really apply to any aspect of life, from your relationships to your hobbies, but at the moment I'm going to be relating it to career!

A few nights ago I was out for a catch up with some of my friends, and one of them was talking about her day at work. At the end of describing her hectic afternoon, she said she felt lucky to love her job so much, and it really struck a chord with me. It seemed so amazing to hear her say that, because honestly? Most of the people I know tolerate their job at most - many of them actively dislike it. And there really is nothing worse than living for the weekend - sitting at a desk feeling bored or stressed and watching the clock, counting down the hours till 5pm on Friday! When so much of our lives ends up being taken up working, it's awful that for so many people the hours spent in their jobs are unhappy ones.

I think so many people settle for a job that is there in front them because the thought of going after something we really want feels too overwhelming, or like too much of a risk. But if you're lucky enough to have a passion for something you could potentially make a living from, create an opportunity to make it a reality!! There's a temptation to see the things we're passionate about as "just a hobby", or a pipe dream, but you really never know unless you try! It could be as simple as finding the right contact by sending out a couple of emails, or starting your own blog to showcase what you can do. They say if you find a job you love you never have to work a day in your life, and I genuinely wish we could all have that. Especially when we are young and free of responsibilities like babies and mortgages, we should try to figure out what we're passionate about and go after it. Saying that, there really is no age limit on going after what you want. Even if it doesn't work out, you'll know you had the guts to try!

Happy Wednesday everyone - hope you're having a great week. Follow me on instagram @lynseymac1 to watch out for next week's quote on Sunday night!

Thanks for reading!

A Cheesy Cheer Up Playlist

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Music has the most amazing ability to lift your mood. Something that never fails to cheer me up is to dance wildly around my living room - keeping in mind I am not graceful in the slightest - blasting some very cheesy pop songs. I'm serious. When the occasion calls for it I will shut myself in my living room or my kitchen, put on one of a number of songs (ten of which are included in this post) and dance around until I feel better. It becomes impossible not to smile after a while - a) because the songs can't fail to cheer you up, but b) because you look utterly ridiculous, but there's no-one there to see you. It gets rid of so much nervous energy.

So here, for your enjoyment, is my current mood boosting mix. In moments like these it is of vital importance that we let go of any inhibitions, and more importantly, any high brow music tastes. Times like this call for good, old fashioned cheese - and I recommend a mixture of classics (hi Blur) and current tunes (the new Fall Out Boy album makes me happy).

I can't tell you how many times I have danced round my living room to the first track on this list. It never, ever fails to put a smile on my face, so I hope it does the same for you :)

1. The Donnas - Dancing with Myself

2. Taylor Swift - Shake it Off

3. Panic at the Disco - Time to Dance

4. Lady Gaga - Fashion of his Love

5. Little Mix - Move

6. P!nk - Raise Your Glass

7. Fifth Harmony - Sledgehammer

8. Metro Station - Shake It

9. Fall Out Boy - Immortals

10. Blur - Song 2

View the playlist here :)

What songs do you swear by to pick you up on a bad day?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely week!

Eyeliner 101 - Tips from an Eyeliner Enthusiast

Friday, 30 January 2015

Over the past year or so I got over my fear of selfies, and started posting more photos of my face on to my instagram. It occurred to me recently that while I don't get hundreds of comments, any comments I do get on said selfies are usually in relation to my eyeliner!

As a self-confessed eyeliner addict, who no longer looks like herself without a cat eye style wing above her lashes, it's always really lovely to get compliments on how I apply it. So even though I wouldn't consider myself an expert, I thought I'd do a little eyeliner tips post, for any of you who can rock a bold lip (which will never work for me) but get a bit overwhelmed when it comes to your winged eyeliner!

1. Be confident! I think one of the biggest things that causes people to run into trouble with eyeliner is being too cautious. If you're busy trying not to make a mistake, your grip on your brush/pen/whatever you're using probably won't be steady, and you're more likely to end up with the product somewhere you didn't want it to be. So don't be scared of it! It isn't a tattoo, you won't be stuck with it forever! Literally the worst that can happen is you mess up and have to start again, and if that means redoing your eyeshadow, so be it!

2. Speaking of redoing things, if you're not feeling confident yet, don't leave the eyeliner till last! I know it's tempting because it's the part you're least sure of, but it can end up costing you precious getting ready time! Put your eye makeup on first, and then if you do make a mistake and have to remove it, you're just removing your eye makeup and not ruining your base! Also, allow yourself a good amount of time to do your makeup so you're not harassed because you're running late; that can only lead to smudging!

3. Find the right product for you! Just because someone else creates a beautiful line with a gel, does not mean that's the medium for you! I'll use a gel if it's the only thing I have to hand, but I'm a liquid eyeliner girl through and through (I'd be lost without my L'Oreal Superliners!). There are plenty of options, from liquid with a brush or a liquid pen, to a gel, a kohl pencil, or even an eyeshadow used on an angled brush. Play around with different options till you find the one you're most comfortable with.

4. Experiment with different tools! Again, there are different options, so if you've tried a gel liner with a narrow eyeliner brush and it hasn't worked, try using an angled brush. These tools can make all the difference. In addition to that, figure out if you're more comfortable applying the product standing up or sitting down - I'm in such a habit of putting my makeup on standing, which means I find it trickier to apply eyeliner if I'm sitting. It sounds bizarre, but these little things really can make a big difference!

5. Plot out where you're going with it first! The more often you apply it, the more used you'll become to the direction you're taking it, but it never hurts to put a few dots in place as a guide for drawing in your lines! Pop a dot on the outer corner and a couple more leading to where you want the wing to end. Then it's just a case of joining the dots and then filling in the rest of the wing! It's probably not a bad idea to start small, too. Eventually, you will be confident enough channel your inner Amy Winehouse, but starting small makes the whole process a lot less intimidating!

6. Practice practice practice! Honestly, the old saying practice makes perfect definitely applies here. If you have half an hour at home with nothing to do, go and put some eyeliner on. It's like learning any new skill - the more often you do it, the more confident you get.

7. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out the same shape every time - that's part of what makes eyeliner so much fun! I love playing around with different shapes, narrow lines, thick lines, and crazy wings, but partly that's because despite the fact I wear it every single day of my life, I very rarely get it to look exactly the same twice. So don't be annoyed if it doesn't end up at quite the same angle every time. Embrace it!

There you have it - my tips for applying your eyeliner! I hope that was interesting, and helpful to any eyeliner newbies, and thank you so much for reading :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Writing this post reminded me of seeing this on Pinterest! You wouldn't believe the number of times this still happens to me, despite doing it every day!

7 Things (that make me happy)...

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Today I went shopping to try to find shoes for my friend's wedding this weekend. This is a task I have been putting off for a while, because the truth is, there is no type of shopping I enjoy less than shoe shopping.

Shoes are something that seem to make other people extremely excited. I have friends who collect shoes, and love nothing more than donning a new pair of heels for a night out. I could not be less interested in shoes if I tried. Maybe it's because my feet are an awkward "not quite a full size four but hardly anyone makes shoes in a three and half these days", and growing up with small, slightly awkwardly sized feet made shopping for school shoes an incredibly laborious undertaking, but for whatever reason, I just don't have the shoe bug. I learnt the hard way that I have no desire to end a night out with blisters or end up sitting on the sidelines unable to dance because my feet hurt so badly. I also look about as graceful walking in heels as an elephant, so the "but high heels make you look sexier" argument is totally lost on me. Give me a pair of boots or a flat sandal and I am a happy bunny.

This was something I was thinking about tonight while dragging all of my old shoes out of my wardrobe to figure out if any of them are appropriate for Saturday - that something as simple as a shoe can make one person so giddy with excitement, and another (like me) feel nothing but annoyance. Yet give me an afternoon browsing the makeup counters in House of Fraser and I'm like a kid at Christmas, while I know plenty of people who would consider that the epitome of boredom. Coincidentally, after abandoning the search and sitting down with my laptop, I watched a video by one of my favourite YouTubers (Jimmy0010) talking about what makes us happy. He said he thinks we don't spend enough time thinking about what makes us happy, and he ended up making a list, just out of curiosity. I actually think I probably spend a bit too much time contemplating the idea of happiness (something for another post), but I thought it was a really good thing to try out.

I've read a few blog posts/watched a few videos lately on the idea of self care, and starting to explore what self care actually is. My friend Laura wrote a blog post last week along similar lines, which I'll link here for you to go and check out, and I think reflecting on the things in our lives that are making us happy and unhappy is a healthy thing - if we stop to properly think about it it means we can start finding ways to eliminate (or at least minimise) the things that are dragging us down, and spend more time focused on the things that are genuinely making us feel good. Obviously there are the big things - family, friends, work (if you are fortunate enough to have a really fulfilling career!), but this is more about the little day to day things that bring a smile to your face!

So here is my little list of seven (my lucky number) every day things that make me genuinely happy!

1. Getting lost in my favourite television show. It's such a simple thing, but watching a couple of episodes of a really good TV show never fails to make me feel good. It's like a weird comfort blanket - any niggles or stresses in the real world can be forgotten about for a couple of hours, and you get to explore this whole other world. For me, this changes from supernatural worlds, like The Vampire Diaries, or OUAT, to really character centric dramas like Lost, or my current obsession, House. I like good character creation and clever writing, and I could sit and watch my favourite shows all day.

2. Eating - now this one can be a dangerous one, especially if like me you are a comfort eater, but food makes me genuinely happy. Whether it's eating a bit of cake on the couch watching TV, or going out for dinner with friends, I always feel a little buzz of joy when one of my favourite foods comes my way.

3. Having a hot shower. This is also a bad one, because having the shower too hot isn't necessarily good for you, but sometimes nothing beats a properly hot shower.

4. Putting on my makeup. I get so much happiness out of putting on my makeup, it is ridiculous. I don't feel like myself without my eyeliner on, and I find the entire process, from start to finish (from primer to lipstick, if you will), incredibly therapeutic.

5. Music has always had the ability to improve my mood. I have songs I seek out for every mood and I create film trailers and music videos in my head for pretty much every song I listen to. So going for a walk with my iPod blaring is always a good idea.

6. My hula hoop. Honestly, my exercising habits are appalling and, of late, practically non-existent. It's definitely something I need to work on (hello new gym membership) but I LOVE my hula hoop. If I'm feeling worked up, or have been sitting at the computer for one too many hours, doing my hula hoop for half an hour with some energetic music instantly cheers me up.

7. Tea. Nothing more really needs to be added here, other than to say that there are few situations which cannot be improved with a good cup of tea.

So there you have it! I'd love to know what every day things make you feel happy - it can be like a mini happiness project for 2015!

Thanks for reading! :)

Watch. Read. Listen.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Hello you lovely lot. I hope you're well and 2015 has been treating you kindly so far. Other than the crazy weather, I've had a perfectly nice couple of weeks :)

I thought that I'd share with you a few of the things I have been losing myself in at the start of 2015. As we all know, I love my films/tv shows/books and music, and I do enjoy having a good natter about them. I posted a lot of I've Been Watchings in 2014, which I'm planning on getting back in to, but in the meantime, here is a snapshot of my current viewing, listening and reading material!

I've Been Watching


I have devoured almost all of season one of House in a week, and my goodness, is it brilliant, or is it brilliant? I've wanted to watch this show for the longest time and just never got around to it/had the opportunity to watch it. Netflix, my beloved, helped me out with that.

House, if you don't already know, follows the work of Dr. Gregory House (played by the amazing Hugh Laurie), and his team of young doctors, Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison), Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) and Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer). House himself is a brilliant doctor, but an awkward and often difficult human being, and he just fascinates me. Each episode concentrates on the team solving an unusual medical case, while gradually drip feeding us information about the lives of the main characters in the quiet moments in between. There are some really lovely character dynamics and relationships building up through season one, and already there have been some of those "is my heart sort of expanding, because it feels like it is" moments for me. In a "this is really cute" way, not literally, of course. I won't say any more to avoid spoilers, but I would love for someone to start watching it alongside me so I can rave about it with them. And discuss the likelihood of Jennifer Morrison and I becoming best pals.

The Vampire Diaries

I finally made my way through my season 5 TVD box set over Christmas and New Year (okay, within the space of a couple of days - classic binge watching) and I really, really enjoyed it. Apparently ratings are dropping and the show is losing popularity, but I honestly thought this season was strong. Particularly the Katherine storyline - it was equal parts infuriating and mesmerising, Nina Dobrev is just so fantastic when she's playing Katherine. I also knew that the series had a traumatic finale, and despite preparing myself for something upsetting, I still cried for about twenty minutes. I am a loser.

Also, Ian Somerhalder is just fantastic, isn't he? Damon Salvatore is tv gold - extremely easy on the eye, brilliant one liners, genuinely interesting character.

I've Been Reading

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I love Amy Poehler, so getting her book for Christmas was a seriously exciting moment. I've been making my way through Yes Please, which is one of those brilliant books you can just dip in and out of (much like Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) because it doesn't have a firmly structured story to follow. It's more just musings about herself, her life, her career and the world around her, and in typical Amy style. If you are a fan of hers, you'll appreciate this. Her sense of humour comes across really strongly, as always, and she tackles what are some interesting things in amongst the more light hearted moments. There is a section where she talks in depth about the thin line between guilt and anger, and opens up about a time she apologised for something she had done years after the fact, and it was a really interesting chapter.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Alongside Amy, I'm reading Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, one of the big YA books of 2014! I downloaded it onto my kindle a few months ago, and I've only just got around to starting it, but so far I'm loving it. We all know I'm a huge television geek, and so fandom/fanfaction etc all really interests me. I love to see how completely caught up in a bunch of characters we can get, and what an amazing platform the internet is to form these sort of communities. Anyway, this book is about a girl who has just headed off to college and been separated from her twin sister for the first time. She is extremely shy and hiding from the world in her fanfiction, and so far it has really got me hooked.

I've Been Listening To

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding

This little number is from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and while I doubt any of the content of the actual movie will be as sexy as the version of Beyonce's Crazy in Love they've used on the trailer, I am enjoying this song. It builds up really nicely, and I've always been a fan of Ellie's music. This has been on repeat for days!

Blame it on Me by George Ezra

I've loved this song for ages, but I got George Ezra's album for my mum for Christmas, and it's been living in the car since! I always mean to start listening to it from further on on the album to get to know the other tracks better, but I just love this song so much! There are a couple of lines that in all honesty, I'm not sure I even know the right words, but I belt it out nonetheless!

So that's what I've had on my laptop/tv, ipod and kindle of late - I'd love to know what you've been watching, reading and listening to so far in 2015!

Have a great week :)

Thanks for reading!

15 things for 2015...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

1. Make the effort if someone's important to you. Everyone gets busy - life is a whirlwind, and it can be so easy to go months without seeing, or sometimes even speaking to friends you used to see every other day. If they're one of the good eggs you want to keep forever, remember to check in. "They haven't been in touch either" can be true, but it's usually an excuse to make yourself feel better. So reach out, even if it's just in a wee text, or Facebook message.

2. Eat some fruit and drink some water. This is more for me than for anyone else. I went through a couple of months in 2014 of really committing to this, and do you know what? I felt better. I have no idea if I actually genuinely felt better, or if it was a sort of placebo effect, but either way it's good for you.

3. Take photos. Of everything. Excellent cup of tea? Instagram it. Pretty sky at dusk? Get that on twitter. Capturing these moments is a great way of making every day seem positive, and gives you lots of nice little things to look back on if you're having a bad day.

4. Read a book by someone you admire. I'm currently reading Yes Please, by Amy Poehler, and it's giving me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Feeling like you're having a private little chat with someone you really look up to, and hearing about their ups and downs can definitely motivate you to pull your socks up and follow your dreams.

5. Watch that TV show you've always wanted to watch, and read that book that has been on your to read list forever. They've remained there for a reason, so what you waiting for?!

6. Learn to unapologetically say no. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO, as it is being called - I think I'm getting old...) is something I think we naturally start to grow out of the older we get, but if you feel like a night in your pjs watching something on Netflix and eating a takeaway instead of going to that club you hate and spending money you'd rather save for a rainy day, DO IT. Stop panicking that you'll somehow miss out if you don't go. I passed up a boozey flat party for a night on the couch with a chocolate orange and a google hangout with my girls Roisin and Gill this New Year, and it was amazing.

7. Having said that, also try to say yes more! Sometimes, after a long day at work (especially if you don't love your job) it can be so tempting to turn down a catch up with your pals because you're tired and cranky and just want to hide under your duvet and pretend you don't have to go to work again the next day. But hanging out with your friends will always make you feel better, so say yes! You don't even have to stay for long, just do it - it gives you the chance to catch up, have a rant, and let your hair down.

8. Do something that scares you. Always wanted to make a YouTube video but been nervous about it? Do it. Want to visit a friend in another country but frightened to fly alone? Do it. Taking these chances makes us braver and stronger. The worst that can happen is you find out it isn't for you!

9. Count your blessings. Be thankful for the good things and the good people in your life, every day.

10. Write things down. Journal, blog, scrap of paper you instantly shred - whatever it is, writing down how you feel is usually a cathartic experience, and can help you understand yourself a little bit better.

11. Go for a walk with only your iPod for company. There's something really soothing about taking some time out, on your own, and just letting your feet take you somewhere with your favourite songs as the soundtrack. If I'm worked up about something, this is a surefire way to calm me down!

12. Learn something. Pick up a book on a subject you don't know much about, and find out more. Education shouldn't end when we leave school/college/university. I'm currently filling up my Kindle with free books on Socrates (I'm developing a bit of a thing for philosophy y'see)...

13. Champion a good cause! We only get one shot at this life, and if we can make a difference during it, that has to be a good thing. So tweet about them, donate to them, hold a fundraiser. Just use your voice.

14. Make sure you're doing something that makes you happy. If your job is draining you and you're constantly counting down the days till the weekend or your next holiday, do something about it! Get applying for as many new jobs as you can, get on Linkedin, network and make contacts through social media - as I said, we only get one shot at this, so waste as little time as possible in something that makes you miserable.

15. Be kind and when the opportunity arises, say nice things. Tell the girl at work that you don't know all that well that you love her lipstick, tweet the stranger who just got engaged and tell them congratulations, message your friend who is going through a rough time and ask how they're doing. It seems like the simplest thing, but you have no idea what an amazing impact a simple compliment or kind word could have on someone's day.

Happy 2015 everyone - let's make it a good one!

Thanks for reading :)