How do you feel about the term ‘plus size’? (Tom Scott)
For me, ‘plus size’ is a term now desensitised. Desensitised in a way as to where I don’t really think about the impact of what it actually means to be a ‘plus size’ woman, or the potential consequences of being categorised as such. Taking the time to actually depict what it describes, ‘plus size’ could in fact be argued as a marker of body shaming in the way it seems to indicate that you are a size other than what is considered socially acceptable; ‘normal’. In the realm of modelling, a size 8 is considered ‘plus size’ (which to me is absolutely ludicrous). As a consequence, it is easy to see how the pressures women often feel concerning the sizing and measuring of their bodies as a direct effect of such tight restraints; restraints evolved from the fashion world. Thankfully, my character hasn’t been too phased by having to shop in the ‘curve’-branded areas of clothing retailers, however I am confident in saying this is unlikely to be the case for a majority of others. However, I do feel as though many women within our ever-growing online culture have allowed other girls cast as ‘too big’ to be beautiful, to accept they are in fact gorgeous no matter what the number on the hanger.
Do you believe we can trust beauty gurus who receive sponsorship from brands? (Amy Webster)
Although my brain will forever force an inkling of distrust when it comes to things like this, I do like to believe there is an element of faith worth having when it comes to listening to beauty gurus and vloggers alike. Whilst sponsorship may taint that which would have once been a highly critical view, the consensus seems to be that most bloggers only affiliate with brands they already love anyway. I think it also pays well to be controversial and ruthless in the things we say these days anyway, and so on the flipside, maybe we should also consider how much conviction can be grasped from poor appraisals too. I think confidence in what influencers say has to come from how genuine you accept them to be overall.
What is your favourite high street clothing brand and why? (Courtney Gardiner)
I’d have to say Boohoo. In the past few years it’s probably the place I’ve bought most of my clothes from. Being a bigger girl, the sizes they offer give me greater variety to shop on-trend and actually fit into the clothes. I’ve found that a lot of high street brands do offer plus-size ranges, but the options within those collections are so much more limited than their usual edits. I feel like Boohoo make this compromise happen. New Look are also a high street brand I look to when it comes to amping up my wardrobe, as the quality of their pieces last forever and a day. However, like I say, sometimes I feel as though they fall short on the variety of style(s) available to choose from.
What do you believe is the key ingredient for good skin? (Amy Webster)
I’m probably not the greatest person to ask this question to. I eat like sh*t and never stay hydrated enough, and most people see this behaviour as detrimental to good skin. However, in my 21 years of living so far, I have experienced very little in terms of acne and spots and all the other nasty stuff *touches wood*. However, I do think moisturising is absolutely vital. I’ve found that since coming to uni, and having less time to do my makeup every morning, my skin has become much dryer. To my logic it’s probably because previously, the layers of makeup kept moisture locked in. Now Nivea is my best friend and I can sleep in a little longer.
What are the best budget skincare products? (Elvira Gothlin)
Again, skincare isn’t really my forte, although Nivea really has been my holy-grail for a long time now. I started out using their ‘Soft’ Moisturising Cream in a tub, but I have recently moved on to using their Rich Moisturising Body Lotion. The latter is suited for dry to very dry skin, and the brand’s overall formulae has insofar been really accommodating to my sensitive skin. Superdrug Vitamin E Skincare Range is also super affordable and smells amazing. I particularly like their Hydrating Mist and Dual Phase Cleansing Oil.
Who is your favourite fashion designer or brand, and why? (Courtney Gardiner)
This is something that changes ALL . THE . TIME. However, from keeping up with catwalks at London Fashion Week, I’d have to say my current one-to-watch is Jamie Wei Huang. Whilst her namesake label is classified as a ‘luxury womenswear label’, the modernity and relevance of her work outshines this sense of indulgence. What I like about Huang’s collections is that she takes whatever is at the heart of contemporary everyday fashion and elevates it in a way to give it an edge from high street wear, but not so much as to make it unwearable. Ugly but ‘make-it-fashion’ sandals, coordinated with bucket hats and street-esque layered clobber, Huang’s visionary is something I can only dream of mimicking in my own wardrobe.
When did you develop your passion for makeup? (Becky Scott)
There isn’t really a particular moment to pinpoint, but I do remember when I first started wearing makeup. I was really good friends with this girl who used to live across the road from me, and she always used to beg to do my makeup. Anyway, before you know it, she’s taking me makeup shopping and I’m posting selfies to Facebook like there’s no tomorrow. When I say selfies, I mean those ones where you knocked the lenses out of the 3D glasses you picked up at Odeon and pout like you’re a ‘sexyyy geek xD’. As my confidence grew, (and from being an artist in the occupational/studying sense of the word) I think I just began to experiment more in my spare time, taking inspiration from the ever-changing beauty community we see online.
People struggle getting the time to look after themselves, so what would you suggest is a quick way to de-stress the skin? (Sruthi Chilukoti)
If we’re talking really quick, on-the-go type de-stress, then just whack on a facemask. Not only does it feel good on the skin, but you can let it do its thing whilst you carry on doing whatever it was you were up to. Or like me, you can put on a mask and lie there for a good 30 minutes thinking about all the little work you have done, but continuing to tell yourself you deserve the spa-like treatment regardless. A personal favourite of mine is the Soap & Glory Speed Plump Miracle Moisture Mask.