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Growing up, I used to hate my curls. Hate is such a strong word but that’s exactly how I felt from the very beginning. I always had very curly hair – closed tiny locks kind of curly, which I didn’t like because they would be so hard to deal with. Hard to detangle, impossible and extremely painful to brush, very complicated to style. This must have lasted until I was 6 years old, when all that mattered to me was the pain it caused me while brushing. Other than that I didn’t dislike curly hair. It was what I was born with.

At 6 years old, more or less when kids leave kindergarten and start going to school, I officially started disliking my hair. I´m sure you can guess the reasons… Kids make fun and say mean things that stay for a very long time stuck in your head, making you question everything. On top of that, my hair was shoulder length but because it would curl up so much, it looked even shorter. For a little girl who dreamed about growing her hair, going to the hairdresser was a nightmare. Why? I never had a hairdresser who knew how to treat curly hair.

I started to question why the hell I had such terrible locks when everyone around me had sleek straight hair. I believe the key word during this phase would be different. My hair was different and didn’t want it to be, because it was making me feel different. I needed to come up with ideas to tame the damn curls and make them, at least, wavy.

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Around 10 I got really tired of my daily struggle and constant nicknames. I remember it was shortly before a tennis practice that I started to use my William pale pink cap differently. I tied my hair up in a ponytail and it didn’t seem so bad. What if I used my hair in a ponytail outside the practices as well? There was only one obstacle – the frizz. How could I possibly stop it? That’s when I found out aqua based gel. You couldn’t even tell it was there and my hair would be tamed.

But this story couldn’t really end here, right? Poor oppressed curls up in a ponytail?

In fact, in the following years I came up with several ideas to make my very curly hair wavy. Wavy wasn’t so bad compared to tight locks… I would braid it to sleep only to untangle it in the next morning, I would twist my hair in low buns, pigtails, anything that would leave my hair less curly.

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After many hairdresser disastrous cuts (let me tell you, there are a LOT of people around there who shouldn’t be in this business AT ALL), lots of ponytails and braided hair after, I finally tasted what was like to have straight hair, at 14. It revealed a hidden blonde color I had never seen before (because it would open up the locks) and I was quite happy with the soft texture. I was determined to make it permanent. Lucky me, no one allowed me to do so and I only had straight hair for my prom night.

When I was around 16 I decided to make a commitment. I was going to embrace the curls and take proper care of them. It was enough. You probably thought I had this amazing super inspiring “ah-ah!” moment but nothing really inspired me to do so. To me, it was a matter of acceptance. I was so tired of struggling and hating what I saw in the mirror.

And so my journey began. I learned about my curl type, I tried many different products, I started to style and define my curls the proper way, I learned from other girls with similar hair. And you know what? It was working. My curls were reacting perfectly, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do and when, which products to use, etc. The results came quickly because I didn’t really have damaged hair (I didn’t straightened it on a daily basis, I never dyed it, never even done highlights in my life!).

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Around my first year in college, I decided I wanted bangs, when all I wanted was to change something in my life. I blame college. Oh boy, what a dumb decision… That was, for sure, the most stupid hair decision I made in my entire life. Why? Because to avoid using irons everyday, my bangs were permanently straightened with a rather aggressive product. I took me a long time to make it normal again but I sure learned my lesson.

When I started to take care of my hair my first thought was that I was going to look like a lion, I would most certainly be different when all I wanted was to blend in and the nightmare would start all over again. But I didn’t really care about other people’s thoughts anymore. And so the reactions started and they were the exact opposite of what I thought – people would tell me that I looked like myself, that seeing me with real curls was so refreshing and that they wish they had curly hair (of course, no one is happy with what they have).

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16 year old Filipa had to do it all by herself but nowadays you have so many inspiring people who are sharing wonderful tips and tricks to help you embracing your curls, specially on the internet. I’ve met amazing people through instagram who share daily their routines (the good, the bad and ugly!), the products they use, techniques, so I would definitely encourage you to check those girls and their accounts.

Accepting who you are is a lifetime process. Having distinguish features can make you feel extremely uncomfortable – and make no mistake, we all have them. Learning that those features are what make you unique can be hard but let me tell you one thing – it is so worth it.

This post was a collaboration with Swedish Stockings. The items were gifted. All opinions are my own. 

Back in 2007 major style lessons were taught to young teens. Every time I heard Your one and only source into the scandalous life of Manhattans elite I knew I was about to see the latest trends and how to bravely style them. Being a major Blair fan I started to wonder why did I even question my mother when she told me that red tights were perfectly okay with tartan skirts.

Years have passed and recent trend reports as well as catwalk photos show me that it is time to put in practice every stocking style lesson I learned. Should we thank Gucci for invading instagram with its patterned hosiery? I should think so, yes.

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But now the real world part of this major trend… The textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. If you’re anything like me, you might have been contributing to this waste, specially when it comes to hosiery. Why? Well, tights and socks always seemed to be a one use only garment due to poor quality (note that lack of quality doesn’t necessarily mean cheap hosiery), ready to be thrown away after the first ripped mesh. Sure I used nail polish for minor incidents, sure some of them lasted a bit longer. Not many. Still a waste. To make everything worst I might just be one of the very few people who thinks jeans are not that comfy so skirts, dresses, pants are my safe comfy option. Meaning I have a drawer filled with folded hosiery which is constantly being updated due to lack of quality. So allow me to introduce you to Swedish Stockings,  a sustainable brand well aware of how hosiery is a wasteful business.

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A BIT ABOUT SWEDISH STOCKINGS 

They’re the only sustainable hosiery brand in the world. They create their pantyhose from both pre and post-consumer nylon waste. The production process is a lot less harmful to the environment than traditional nylon production and they are consistently looking for innovative and cleaner ways to produce. They also have a recycling program, meaning they receive your old stockings from other brands and give you a discount code to buy new ones. Thousands of stockings have been recycled thanks to their recycling program. Pretty cool, right?

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As for my looks, I had a lot of fun playing with colors, textures and prints. When it comes to hosiery you have endless options. Personally I don’t like seeing short net socks with jeans, I prefer them with pants (but this is a matter of personal style). Over the knee socks will always be a favorite of mine. Got those Clueless vibes and they´re a (good) journey to the 90´s, what’s not to love? You can wear them with over the knee boots and barely letting them show, with heels or flats. I only avoid wearing them with Chelsea boots since I don’t like to see the different lengths. When it comes to opaque tights, what I love the most is to play color block. Create your own color scheme and play with contrasts.

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ARE THEY WORTH BUYING?

In my opinion, they are. Specially the tights. I was really impressed with the fabrics´ quality (and trust me, I tested it all because I’m a mess when it comes to hosiery). If you take good care of them I believe they’ll last longer than the usual.

LET´S CHAT!

Are you into this FW trend? What’s your favorite? Let me know all about it below 🙂

 

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Advertise, accordingly to Oxford learners dictionary is

“to tell the public about a product or a service in order to encourage people to buy or to use it”. 

But long are the days magazines, catalogs and TV were the main source of advertise. Digital age changed it all and it´s up to the brands to constantly update their marketing strategy in order to sell. Engagement seems to be the key word (at least the priority, for both brands and content creators) when it comes to advertise in social media and it´s getting quite expensive as time goes by. 

The trouble seems to be the effectiveness of this new form of advertise – a few years have passed since paid ads were launched both on facebook and instagram and it´s time to face the facts. On one hand they’re proven to be very much effective (for instances, when a paid add pops in middle of your regular instagram stories, you’re more likely to buy. Why? Those adds take into consideration your preferences and artificial intelligence can work too well). But on the other hand, with so many people trying to advertise (either their new paid collaboration post or a brand’s new Fall collection) it is becoming quite difficult to access “normal” content without getting annoyed.

Having too much information circulating, the difficulty seems to be how to process it in order to maximize sales without making people getting tired of the product. Brands use a lot influencer marketing but sometimes their strategy simply doesn’t work – imagine having several influencers practically at the same time posting different photos with the same products. I’ve seen this happen before and reactions were terrible. My point being – aren’t we advertising in a wrong and deceitful way?

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After laying my eyes on a BOF article about advertise in the digital age my mind instantly thought about the role bloggers and influencers have in this process and an additional problem – how they contributed to the lack of transparency in the entire advertising process. If the regular customer is capable of understanding what an add is in the typical adverting channels, things may not be that clear when it comes to social media. 

If you’re a content creator chances are you know how this works. But i´ll try to clarify for everyone who isn’t. Whenever I receive a collaboration proposal I know in advance the terms and conditions, which I’ve agreed with, meaning I know what my obligations are and what do I need to comply with. So before I even received the product(s) I already know the timeline to publish photos, instagram stories, videos, etc; I know there will be a discount code that I´m going to share with my followers; etc. 

And since I’ve mentioned discount codes, you should know that either I receive a commission from the sales generated from that code or I don’t receive anything. This means when someone is an ambassador for a certain brand, they’ll be receiving commissions each time someone uses their code. Tracking links are also a thing – each ambassador has one, so that the brand knows how the costumers got there. 

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I could write a long post regarding the difference between #ad and #gifted or even #sponsored. Because that’s how you would normally find out what sort of collaboration it was and if there actually is a collab. But you’ll find several content creators using the hashtags without really understanding their meaning and many of them not even using anything to identity the collaboration when there’s clearly one. And even thought Instagram gave a major step towards transparency and gave content creators the possibility to identify their business partners, the only option available is the paid collaboration. What about barter collabs (when the brand sends the product and doesn’t pay you, to simplify, which is what happens most of the times)?

There are certain signs that you should be aware of to understand if you’re in the presence of a collaboration, even thought you might not fully understand if it was a paid one, an ambassadors program, a barter collab, … Or simply a pitch to the brand without any commercial background that looks very much like a collaboration yet it isn’t.

The caption states clearly something very connected to the brand. Almost like it wasn’t even written by the person who posted it. Often, brands like to suggest you what to write in the caption or certain key words that need to be there. 

Hasthags. Whenever you see not-so-typical- influencer hashtags and they’re completely related with the brand – maybe 3 or 4 tops directed to the product/campaign, right after the caption (and most certainly not in the comment section), you have a pretty strong hint that it was a collaboration. 

Tagged people. I´d say this is the most fallible criteria, since many people don’t tag the brand only but chances are, if you see only one brand tagged, it was a collaboration. 

Comment section. Too much compliments on the product? There’s no obligation to talk wonders, of course. Specially if it´s a review of something that can affect your health truth must be told, plain and simple. But when it comes to collaborations, it may be harder for some people to speak out the truth and say the product isn’t as good as it promises to be. Why? You don’t want to look bad. You accepted to collaborate and try the product, most of the times without experimenting or testing it. You can check for reviews before accepting it but they’ll all be identical. Despite doing a full research on the brand before accepting it, I can only have a verdict after testing for a while (long term results can be quite deceiving, so I make sure I test everything for as long as I can). Sometimes it´s easier to avoid collaborating with the brand whose product wasn’t that good instead of “doing bad publicity”. So if you see someone adverting different products at different timings from the same brand, chances are the collaboration went well and the products are indeed what they promised. Again, this may not be entirely true. It is also a matter of values and self-conscience.

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This sort of behavior from content creators usually leads to a rather negative reaction. After all, you’re being mislead into buying something without even noticing it was previously advertised. It almost feels like you got trapped into buying something that, afterwards, wasn’t even that good. The lack of effective regulation on the matter doesn’t help, it is all very new and constantly changing. Everything evolves so quickly that it is hard to keep track of how everything is processed. 

So in the meantime, and because in the end of the day we all influence someone, here’s a little tip  – don’t search for the obvious signs. Be aware of the little details. Uncover the layers. Ask, if necessary. The important thing is that you can make a clear choice. If it´s something related with your health such as food, skincare products, for starters see if you can ask/get samples. Advertising in digital age should come with more privileges regarding information, since you can ask directly and without any constraints to the person who’s advertising anything you find relevant. After all, isn’t proximity (one of the reasons) why bloggers and influencers grew so much in such short time?

‟About time, Filipa!‟ – you tell me, after years of denial. Truth is, it was only after I started working with beauty and skincare brands that I began to investigate the ingredients, processes and everything concerning the beauty department. I learned to follow a skincare routine except for those days when you’re too tired to function adjusted to my skin type and so the journey began. A big thank you to those of you who told me to go for it. Can’t wait to hear your feedback!


Despite being Fall, I recall those first days of summer when I didn’t have a tan yet wanted to achieve a healthy natural glow. That was when I came across Nuxe, a French skincare brand that uses several plant extracts typically not used in skincare. I knew I had found my beloved highlighter as soon as I saw Huile Prodigieuse – many thanks to the lovely girl who offered me this baby on my birthday, btw!

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Although I use it mostly in the face you can also apply it in your hair and body. The shimmering effect is quite elegant, looking even prettier in the sun. Almost every ingredient is natural and it doesn’t use silicones. Doesn’t feel greasy at all, which is something I was afraid of, and it has a very soft and pleasant scent.

INGREDIENTS

Huile d’Amande douce Huile de Camélia Huile de Bourrache Huile de Noisette Huile de Macadamia Huile d’Argan Huile de Tsubaki Nacres dorées

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It’s all over Instagram and Daniel Lee, Bottega Veneta’s creative director, is the one to blame. He’s responsible for the Italian brand revitalization and for making the pouch bag the it bag of the season. By giving an edgy touch to classic pieces, Daniel Lee brought Bottega Veneta back to the spotlight and made street style way more practical without neglecting elegance. Most of the trendiest pieces are already sold out but one thing is for sure – the pouch bag promises to fit way more than your house keys, a clear contrast with Jacquemus’ tiny creation.