Saturday, 18 July 2015

OOTW; Soak up the Summer

The past few weeks have been beautiful down in Sunny Sussex! The sun has been out with very few appearances from the rain clouds - and I've been topping up my tan, well lack of it but attempting to tan up anyway! When I shot this outfit it was the hottest day of the year so far in the UK and it hit a scorching 32°c where I live... which for pale, fair haired little old me was blooming hot hot hot! 

I opted for an outfit that was light, flowy, bright and made me figure look pretty. I went for this gorgeous red dress which I bought from eBay back in December and have used for a couple of photoshoots as well.


Red Billowing Evening/Cocktail Party Dress, eBay - £18.99 (+£7 postage)
Straw Rounded Hat with Multi Coloured Bow Sash, Brighton Laines - £5Black Metal Brow Trim Sunglasses - New Look, £5.99

I chose to wear no shoes or sandals because it was so hot and I wasn't going anywhere. However I'd possibly pair these up with either black strappy gladiator sandals or white wedges for an all round summery look.

Also - my recent OOTW's have featured our other half of the garden which we have finally started making to look like a garden. Doesn't it look so pretty!
I love this dress because it fits my figure really well, and also hugs me perfectly at my natural waist accentuating my natural hourglass figure.

The beautiful bow sash on the back of my hat bought from the Brighton Laines. This hat fits magically, and despite not being a hat person, I really do love this for the summer!
I also just put my hair in some low bunches - my hair is super thick lately and getting super long, and I thought low bunches just made me look adorable when adding my hat to my look.

I opted for a casual no maintenance look for today, seeing how hot it was and that I didn't want to overdress either. In the summer I like to keep my outfits and make-up low maintenance as it is, and for me when my skin is in good condition I opt for just moisturiser on my face with no foundation or concealer.

Also! Don't forget your sun cream this summer - if you're pale and fair skinned like me you will definitely need that sun cream with the sun! Its better to use your suncream then pay for the painful sun burn later on!
I use a 'Nivea Sun' factor 50 Bronze and Protect sun cream (which is running low) and it works wonderfully for me. 

My poor dogs Freddie and Alice were definitely feeling the heat too bless them!

Emma Victoria xoxo

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Reflections of a Life - 20th Birthday

Tomorrow is my 20th Birthday. So I thought I would do a bit of a personal post like I have the past couple of years. This time sort of doing a whole life look back/summary of my life so far. I warn you, this isn't all happy and it is a little sad at some parts - but its what made me who I am now. 

This will also be a picture heavy post and will include swearing as well...

From the Beginning
I was born on the 12th July 1995. A 6lb 8oz Baby Girl named Emma Victoria
I was born in the London Borough of Sutton, South London.
I grew up for the first 3 years of my life living in South Norwood. 

At age 3, we moved to West Sussex and my mum then gave birth to a baby boy on the 17th September 1998. Although this was a pretty stressful and worrying time. Henry, my brother, was born my emergency Caesarean and found out that he had complications at birth. 
Henry was born at 37 weeks due to his complications, and spent a while in an incubator to help strengthen his chances of being healthy. It was soon confirmed my brother had Cerebral Palsy.
During this time I spent a lot of time with my Nan and Grandad - and it was pretty tough come the January when my Grandad passed away. 

As I got older, I still had time to mess about and be a child; although I don't think anyone ever realised how different my life was compared to other children who had siblings with no disabilities; I understood that sometimes, a lot of the time, Henry was a priority - and despite understanding it all, it still hurt a huge amount. I did feel alone sometimes...

I had some lovely friends, and their parents who would look after me sometimes - taking away from that penultimate loneliness. Being lonely as a child is difficult, but thanks to friends I was kept occupied and things began to look up. I did have a great friend group around me until about age 8 - my parents moved me from my state primary school, to a private school. This is when everything started to go downhill...

I'll be honest - I fucking hated my new school. Everyone was stuck up themselves, and it was obvious I didn't fit in with their clique. I tried to make friends, who in the end later on, only ended up back stabbing me anyway. I couldn't wait for the holidays - I always wanted to get away from everyone. Things got worse when my Grandma passed away, I went to school completely upset and distraught but no one really gave a fuck. My teacher just said to me "there's no point crying, they are gone now" only about 5 hours after finding out my Grandma passed away. For someone who doesn't have a great amount of family already, to lose someone I spent so much time with and who really cared about me, broke my heart. I slowly started to turn into this dark person emotionally, I began not to care, became heavily obsessed into rock music which was my only real comfort. My family and a few friends who didn't back stab me were all I really had then.

I was still a sweet girl, but my head was slowly become a dark place that in a few years time, I would begin to hate to be left alone with. All I ever wanted was to fit in and have friends like everyone else, fat chance of that ever fucking happening with the scumbags who were out to ruin my life all the time. Around 2007, I went on a school trip to Paris - this was sort of when I started to like France, during the ages of 14 -17 I lost my love but then began to realise just how much I really did love the country and re-kindled my dreams of wanting to live there, anyway back to ages 10-12. I tried to find comfort within my family, when we went on holidays, this was the only time I was truly happy - when I was away from school. Aged 11, I ended up breaking both my arms at school - everyone basically thought I was faking it, thanks a bunch. People were supposed to help me carry my bag round school, like fuck did they. No one really ever gave a shit about me, apart from the odd person. I was completely alone and began to realise I wasn't going to escape out of this hell hole until age 16, which seemed like a life time away.

My 13th Birthday rolled around - officially a teenager now. I had a party, which was the last party I've ever had for myself. I enjoyed myself for a change, and it was fun. I felt a bit happier during this time, things were okay, not rosy and perfect, but okay. I was just sort of dealing with everything, I was made to see the counsellor at school because she might have been able to "help me" - like hell she could. If anything, the teachers were just as bad as the pupils for making me feel like utter shit. 

Again, the only times I were happy was when I wasn't at school and I was away from the bullies and teachers who were out to hurt me. That year I went to a Halloween party and had a great time, and in the summer I also went to a PGL camp for a week which meant I made some great friends during this time, some I still speak to now. I studied photography, my passion at PGL and I won the Photographer of the Week for my work - the first time I ever really won something I was exceptionally proud of. After such a great time, I went back to school and things went pretty terribly. Problems with my brother meant he was rushed to hospital, my school on the other hand didn't understand why I needed to go to the hospital to see my brother, and thought I could have someone pick me up after school - not like my brother might have needed surgery or anything (which he did in the end). 
At this point, I was battling with seriously dark thoughts in my head - I was seriously fucked up at this point and didn't want to do anything any more - I began self harming, in places that no one could see. When I had to change for P.E at school, I changed in the toilets so no one could see the cuts, but also so they couldn't mock me for my weight either. Things got pretty shit, I cried myself to sleep every night for months, but the time I fell asleep would be about 2.30am, and up again at 6.30am; I mainly fell asleep due to the exhaustion of my body from crying all the time. My anger at everyone was out of control, I couldn't understand why I was always being made to feel like I shouldn't exist. 

In Year 9, I received this 'Sarah Parker Award for Bravery' from my school. Still can't understand the hell why I got it. I still think to this day they just gave it to me cause they felt like they 'had to'. My happiness perked at the weekends when I went to a sport called Speedway, I had some great friends there and some are still very close to me now. I can't thank them enough for the happiness they brought to me through such a dark horrible time in my life. My passion for photography and looking at posing and lighting of people also flared, I worked with a girl from my village called Cleo who took the middle image above, I still don't really understand this image, even now. But I like it. It was almost like it was conveying the light through the dark tunnel. At this point a guy also came into my life - he introduced a genre of music to me that would completely turn me upside down. He ended up absolutely ruining my emotions in the process for the next few years. 

When I was 15 this was also the time of my last family holiday. We went to Liskeard in Cornwall. I was slowly starting to find a little peace with the dark thoughts in my head, like things were getting easier. Despite school still being a hell hole and making me want to do serious damage to myself, let alone the people who were bullying me - I was slowly finding solace in my mind at night, I was slowly developing into someone I wanted to be, I began listening to a lot more of Rockabilly and Rock'n'Roll music - which made me happy! Seriously so happy, I was finding something I enjoyed and that got me through the school day. I was constantly listening to Imelda May's albums on my iPod - especially her No Turning Back album. 

My last week before Study leave and exams approached - everyone was being 'nice' to me, but I knew it was an act. I can't thank Steff, Angie and Becky enough for being there for me and getting me through school. You guys were my true friends at school, I can't begin to explain how much you guys helped me!

It came to June 10th, my last exam at school - it was drama. The moment I finished that exam, I picked up my bag, turned on my iPod, and put on the song 'No Turning Back' by Imelda May - I walked to the gates, stopped, looked at the school knowing that the last time I would come back would be to pick up my results. The lift of weight on my shoulders of never seeing some of them bullies again, overwhelmed me. I cried the whole way to the station - but for a change it wasn't sad tears - It was extremely happy tears, knowing I actually got through this time and I can finally be me.

My best friend Danielle came down for my 16th Birthday, my mum had a broken leg, so the past 2 months at this point meant I became my brothers carer as well as study for exams, it was a tough time but it helped me to focus on other things and not be alone as much. My 16th birthday was such a good day despite the odd shower of rain. My best friend made me feel so happy and this was the first time in years I was truly so so so happy! We had a fab day in Brighton, then watched the speedway in the evening!

So I got my school GCSE results, 4 B's and 4 C's - I got into the college of my choice too! During college I made some great friends like my still very good friend now Anja! And a few others too - I was truly happy at college, people didn't care about the materialistic things like people seemed to at school, no one cared that I wasn't skinny and people liked me for me! 

I also finally got a piercing I'd wanted for absolutely ages, my little rebellious streak had always made me want a scaffold piercing, the urge never went away so I finally got it done! I still love it now, and despite the odd infection and soreness I'd totally get it done again if I wanted to on my other ear! I also had a stage of doing different things with my hair, I also went from extremley long hair, to a bob to then dip dying it different colours, then blue highlights, then blue and pink highlights, and then went to a dramatic pixie cut! 

I also got my first 'proper' boyfriend - he was a star and helped me to become such a happy and positive person during this time too - Thank you Ollie!

Age 17, I ended up quite ill with borderline pneumonia so had to leave college and go back the following year. I was ill for months, but during this time I flourished as a person, I started to become this happy girl who I'd always wanted to be! I was going out more, I had some great friends around me - things were happy and content! I also started to look into modelling at this point after friends used me for their photography A-Level Projects - and then a new journey began for me.

I turned 18 - I was now becoming a full pinup/rockabella - I was becoming me; after so long of hiding and not knowing who I really was. My 18th birthday was absolutely amazing - I went to the pub in the morning and had a few vodka and cokes (before 12pm!), went for a drive with my best friend through the Sussex countryside, who then bought me some rock'n'roll CD's for my ever growing love of the 1950's. I was gifted 2 beautiful dresses and some pinup jewellery for my birthday! I then went for a meal with 3 of my closest friends (I was the only one to be drinking the rose wine though!) and then had 2 of my friends sleepover that night!
 My 18th was my best birthday I've ever had - and I won't be forgetting it for a long time!

Modelling had really started to kick off by this point as well! I was becoming established and photographers wanted to work with me! I was slowly becoming my confident and comfortable in my body! I also went back to college this year to finish my English Language A-Level too. 

Then age 19 rolled around, I thought I was going to be alone for my birthday - but my best friend Danielle ended up surprising me and turning up the day before my birthday! Danielle and my mum had planned everything months in advance to surprise me!
We went to Brighton, I found the dress I'd been searching for for months, and it was the last in stock and in my size. I had tonnes of people in Brighton wishing me Happy Birthday, and had such a good weekend with my best friend - I'll be honest, we spent most of my birthday drinking alcohol and playing monopoly and eating Chinese - but it was amazing, I wouldn't have changed it for the world!

We then went on holiday to Skegness in the September too, we had such a great week away, just us two. And also getting very drunk... again. My first holiday away from my family, yeah it wasn't much, but it was special to just be my friend and me! 

Modelling was now full in force, I had a large following over my social networking sites for modelling, and growing more and more popular! In January 2015, I also had a TV interview with a local TV show called the Adur and Worthing Show (all thanks to Sara from Sara's Stars who found me!) - I then had a Catwalk show in the February, which also made me thankful for how far I had come in such a short space of time, people actually liked me for me now, and people were interested in me! I was happy with everything for the first time ever.

 I was working at a disability school, and then got offered a new job from September 2015 at a private Special Needs school to do the job I've always wanted to do! I also went to Atomic Vintage Festival with my good friend Vikki (Vintage Kisses), went to the Pin-up Picnic in the Park in London.
I've made some amazing friends in the rockabilly genre, like Ben, Laura, Vikki and many others! I've now got an amazing group of friends around me, more friends then I've ever really had before - and everyone loves me for me!!! 

So now I'm 20... My teenage years, the most roller-coaster years of my life have come to an end. I'm now a happy, positive girl and it takes a lot to phase me! Who knows what the next year has to offer me now - I might even start putting together a life bucket list of things I want to do over the course of my life. 

I want to just say a huge thank you to the following people who helped me, supported me or did something to help me throughout my life.
My family, Danielle and her family, Anja, Vikki, Laura, Ben, Sophie, Donna, Jazz, Ollie, Tom, Miranda, Steff, Becky, Angela, Kieran, Rhiannon, Will, George, James, Nathan, Lucy, to all my fans who follow me as a model. And anyone who has ever been lovely to me!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Why I WON'T Purchase Benefit Anymore

UPDATE - Benefit have personally emailed me and others who tweeted and/or wrote blog posts in regards to this issue. I have personally been in contact and listened to what Benefit have had to say in regards to what happened. They are deeply sorry and completely wish they could take back the remarks made. I'll be personally talking with them further on how they can redeem themselves after this issue. Watch this space!

Source - Twitter

So, It's rare I normally break my blogging schedule as I usually post
on a Saturday but yesterday there was an... 'incident' over on twitter which sparked rage with Benefit Cosmetics Customers in the UK.

The incident, for those who haven't seen or heard about this on Twitter; was in regards to this tweet posted by Benefit UK over on twitter... It may seem like 'fun' to tag onto trending topics on Twitter - but from a Brand who should know much better?

Yes. It may be 'funny' to some to follow this hashtag on Twitter - but you don't see a hashtag of #MakeaMovieASkinny (no offence to any of my slim followers - I'm just using that as an example on the other end of the spectrum).
Source - Twitter

Benefit promptly deleted the tweet - but that doesn't mean it went unseen. Many people picked up on the tweet and started tweeting Benefit asking why they made such a body shaming tweet considering part of their clients are plus sized or not of a slim build.

Source - Twitter
They then made things a million times worse for themselves at Benefit...

They apologised for 'any offence caused' - now I studied English Language at college and many others picked up on this as well... They apologised for those who got offended for what they said; not apologising for the remarks that one person on their social media team made. Sorry, really is the hardest word it seems.

So after chatting to many ladies over on my personal twitter I and Bethany Owen (a lovely MUA I was chatting to in regards to the subject) got a tweet from the Benefit US page...

Source - Twitter
Source - Twitter
Now I will definitely give credit to the US sisters for picking up on the damn right stupidness of the tweet made by the UK sister page. But really? Their US sisters had to apologise for the UK page?
Thank you to the lovely people over the pond at Benefit for realising the mistake was made... but I don't think anyone was really happy with regards to Benefit UK - why should Benefit US apologise for a mistake Benefit UK made?

They also sent me a lovely tweet (left) in regards to me saying how it doesn't really make me feel any better about myself after what Benefit UK posted.

Was it over? Nuh uh.

Benefit UK Tweeted out:
"We made a big mistake. We joined a hashtag in bad taste. We truly believe beauty comes in all shapes & sizes. Please accept our apology."

Frankly Benefit UK? I won't. I accept Benefit US's apology as they reacted as soon as they heard of the incident. But not Benefit UK.
You tried to defend your remarks by apologising for the offence people took - not an apology of your actions until around 12.30 midnight? Ironic no? That a majority of people would be in bed by then anyway - this tweet should've been released straight after the offensive tweet was posted.

They also tweeted me after my response to their second apology (see right) - I got the usual robot apology that everyone else got.

This was a mistake that could make people become self conscious with their bodies - you are a brand Benefit UK - what sort of idealisms does it give to young girls using your products if you post such offensive tweets?

Overall for me, as a plus size model who built up their make-up portfolio for me to do my make-up on shoots using Benefit products - I will no longer be using these products and I will re-build my modelling make-up box using other brands from now on. Cosmetic brands should be about making people feel beautiful and better about themselves, not make them feel as if they aren't beautiful because of their size.

Also as a beauty and plus size blogger as well as a body positive advocate - I don't stand for people to ever discriminate anyone no matter what their size. You should never skinny shame or fat shame - everyone has a reason as to why their body is the way it is. And as a brand with a PR and social media team you should know much better then to be posting such an opinion on these type of hashtags.

I fully understand that this was NOT the view of the whole company - however it was posted using the companies twitter page - not a personal twitter account. Which, frankly, is disgusting and completely utterly wrong.

I won't ever purchase Benefit products again, and will most definitely not be recommending them as a good brand to purchase from either. Despite having wonderful products, their reputation is completely tarnished for me and many others.

Sometimes something that may seem like 'harmless fun' - can hurt someone's feelings and mock their appearance. If you ever see something like this, then stop, and think how it would feel if someone had said that about you or someone you love. 

Everyone makes mistakes; but some mistakes are inexcusable. Sorry Benefit but you've lost the custom of this plus size model, plus size blogger and beauty blogger.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Rub A Dub Dub - My Basket of Goodies!

Another beauty related post! I thought I'd share with you all my stash of body goodies that I use when I want to feel luxurious, beautiful and when I want to smell divine. This is my little basket of goodies, some of these were gifted to me and others were either given to me, or I bought myself - I have a huge mixture of bits and bobs that I've accumulated! And some of these products may be familiar, others may not! So have a nosy at my stash!

Body Creams
I have 4 different body creams and butters. I'm currently using my Morrisons Cocoa body butter and then will be moving onto my Johnson's cream.
My cocoa body butter is definitely one of my favourites I will repurchase when I run low on my last pot that I have of body cream. Its completely affordable, available at Morrisons and smells divine!
The Johnson's bedtime cream is also super soft and I love putting this on when I've freshly shaved my legs!
I'll be using my Sanctuary Spa Body Butter in conjunction with my other products at the same time (because I adore using matching products!)
And we all know I just love Soap and Glory - vintage, cute, adorable, and bloody amazing products! I've used the righteous butter millions of times before and I've never been disappointed!
Hand and Foot Creams
I'll start with the Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream, I'll be reviewing this in detail with my other SS products at a later date, but what I will say is I love the smell of this and it makes my hands feel fab!
Again, we can see I have 2 Soap and Glory products - I have the Hand Food and Heel Genius.
The Hand Food is a product that, again, I've used a million times. It smells dleicious, and makes my hands feel amazing, especially in the dry and humid summer! I get dry hands quite badly so always have one of these on hand! I currently have a hand food in my handbag also.
I also have really bad dry and cracked heels on my feet (tmi sorry!) and this does help a little. I wouldn't say its a miracle product; but it does help! I probably need something with more strength but this will do!
I have all sorts of soaps! These are some that are in my basket! All of these were gifted to me! I love them, they are so cute! I can't wait to get round to using them! My best friend bought me some before (the two on the bottom) and they smelled amazing, so I can't wait to open one of these beauties again!
I also love body shop one as its my favourite thing ever... Shea Butter! I adore Shea Butter - its amazing!!
Body Scrubs
You can't beat a good old scrub! Again you can see I have my ongoing love for Soap and Glory (my friends know me way too well!) and I'll admit, I do have an undying love for Soap and Glory if you  hadn't guessed. These two are great for when I'm travelling as they are travel size - although I haven't been away or travelling for ages, so I might hold them back for when I do.
Body Washes & Gels
Again the S&G Clean on me appears... this has been regularly in my pocession ever since this product was released. I've always had a Clean on Me whether it be travel size or the big bottle - I LOVE it! I also have the SS Body Wash - this smells amazing, and I just love the hue of orange too!
A new product is the Daisy Eau So Fresh Shower Gel - this came with my perfume in a gift set, and I haven't tried it yet, but it smells magnificent!
Body Lotions
Sometimes I don't always grab the body butter - sometimes I like a light lotion, especially in the hot summers! These are just some of my favourites that I have!
I love the So.. Sinful lotion because it smells amazing, and sinful is my middle name!
The Johnsons Baby naturals cream is also amazing, I use this with after sun when I'm burnt in the summer and its smells amazing and makes my skin feel cooler too.
It's a Skin Thing I got as part of a set, I personally find this lotion extremely watery - its not one I'd re-purchase if it was sold singularly.
The Feather and White one I'm currently using along with the body wash - I love this little bottle and its cute!
I haven't used the Marc Jacobs one yet because I haven't used the body wash, but it smells magnificent and is one I'm extremely excited to use!
Last but not least is the good old Vaseline - this is perfect for dry skin which I get badly in the summer - use a generous amount of this and it will work a complete dream!
Body Sprays
I love to smell sexy and demure - its something that gives me confidence to smell amazing. If I smell sexy and divine, then hopefully a man will too (lets hope that doesn't make me sound desperate...)
Again we see the Soap and Glory Glam-A-Lot Soft and Sexy Fragrant Body Spray - its so lovely. It has a demure musky scent and is just gorgeous... I've re-purchased this about 6 times previously after being gifted it.
I also again love the So...? Sinful - its that sort of strong, dominant sort of fragrance, so if you want a subtle application, I'd only use a little of this!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

YouTube - Pinup Picnic in the Park Vlog

In case you guys didn't see over on my YouTube Channel - I vlogged my day at the Pinup Picnic in the Park! Its only a short little video but I hope you still enjoy it!

The Pinup Picnic in the Park was held and presented by The British Belles on 27th June 2015 in London's Hyde Park.