“Instaquette”: The Do’s and Please, Just Don’ts of Instagram

For anyone who follows me on social media, you know that I was on a whirlwind European vacation a couple weeks ago with two of my besties. If you did not already know this fun fact it means you have either been living in a hole or don’t follow me on Instagram (both of these thoughts are equally as troubling to me). If you are part of the latter group, do us both a favour and put down your iced coffee and go follow me (@emennett), I promise you won’t regret it.

What I learned on my travels, besides that I hate crowds and find all most museums incredibly dull, is that Instagram has become the most important an extremely important and integral part of our social lives. When you finally find a café and spend eight bucks on a miniature European cup of coffee to use the free Wi-Fi and have to choose between checking in with family and friends back home or instagramming the perfect selfie in London with Big Ben, Instagram wins. Every time.

As the go-to filter consultant, caption advisor and photo editor for my group of followers friends, I have taken it upon myself to help @laurmeis (adoptedbytheeastcoast.blogspot.ca) fight the battle against bad instagramming and break down the do’s and don’ts of Instagram etiquette, also known as “instaquette” (Oxford Dictonary’s Word of the Year for 2015? #justsayin).

The Do’s and Please, Just Don’ts of Instagram

Do: Socialize

I mean, it’s called social media for a reason. Follow friends, celebrities, brands, photographers, special interest groups – whatever inspires you. “Like” and comment on photos you enjoy and admire, and don’t be afraid to generate a conversation.  Some great partnerships, collaborations and even friendships have resulted from engaging on social media platforms.  Oh and if it’s funny or one of those “OMG that’s soooo true”posts, tag me!

Please, Just Don’t: Get Confrontational

Nothing scares me more about our society than the fact that there are people in this world who get in fights with other people on celebrity’s IG posts.  Also, just because it needs to be said, if you comment “first” on a Kardashian’s photo you are a loser and we can’t be friends.

khloe

Do: Take High Quality Photos

Post high quality photos and don’t be afraid to edit or enhance them.  My favourite photo editing apps are Afterlight and Faded. Using a consistent filter makes it easier to maintain a consistent aesthetic and continuity throughout your feed, which according to this study will ultimately lead to more followers and more likes!

Please, Just Don’t: Be an Instagroupie

Don’t like every single photo you see while scrolling through your feed.  Likes have value and giving them away to blurry photos with a Hefe filter diminishes this value.  No one wants to be the skank of Instagram, or worse, an instagroupie.

Do: Be Authentic*

If you aren’t in Vegas don’t post a pic from last spring break and pretend that you are, that’s what #TBTs are for.  Imagine how awkward it would be if you ran into that bitchy girl from your psych class at the mall when you just posted a bikini shot of you on vacation #embarrassing.  Keep it real ladies (and lads)!

taylor

*By all means fix red eye, blur annoying blemishes and up that saturation to fake a faux-glow but girls stop using apps that fake a thigh gap or make you look scary and fake like a porcelain doll.  Nobody is perfect (except Gigi Hadid of course) and our imperfections are what makes us beautiful and unique (so lame but it’s a #fact).

Please, Just Don’t: Flood the Feed

Don’t post multiple pictures in a row, wait at least three hours between posts and NEVER post more than three photos in one day. Don’t use more than three hashtags (10 MAX) and for the love of God, do not ask people to follow you back #desperate.

Hope you find these tips helpful, happy instagramming!

Am I too old for denim cutoffs?

I was strolling through the shops of Bayfield, ON today when the owner of the boutique I was in told me she hated my outfit. I was obviously surprised by her blunt comment but as the owner of a high-end clothing store, who clearly has an appreciation for fashion, I respected her opinion and her honesty.

effingskirt

Wearing my denim cutoffs (GAP, vintage) and cropped graphic t-shirt (Aritzia) and my confidence shaken, I skipped the rest of the clothing boutiques and headed straight to ShopBike to grab a latte. As I was seriously debating whether I wanted my latte sweetened or unsweetened (one of life’s toughest decisions) the two teenage girls working behind the counter commented on how much they LOVED my outfit.

I couldn’t help but laugh. Five minutes ago a woman twice my age had just criticized me from head to toe and now girls half my age were drooling over my vintage denim cutoffs. As I made my way back home I kept returning to the same horrifying thought, “am I too old for denim cutoffs?”

At 24 years old this was only the first time I had to question my increasing age when it came to making a wardrobe decision. Do I look like one of those moms who are trying to relive their teenage years and shopping at Hollister? Are my shorts inappropriate? At what age do I need to stop dressing like I could go to the beach at the drop of a hat?

I decided the only way I could solve this mystery, is how I answer almost all of life’s tough questions: Pinterest. According to the Internet’s most fashionable females, denim cutoffs have no age limit and we can all rest easy knowing that this summer wardrobe staple isn’t going anywhere.

denim 3

denim 4

denim1

denim2

Don’t Call Me Pretty

Since I am almost always sharing beauty tips and fashion advice I decided it was time to switch it up and dig a little deeper.  Recently I was asked to write an opinion piece for a national newspaper on an issue that was important to me.  Although not much is more important to me than perfectly symmetrical winged eyeliner, what I truly care about is empowering other women so we can all be the best, most self-confident versions of ourselves.

emilyphoto

Here are my thoughts on body image and fostering self-esteem in young women…

Don’t Call Me Pretty, by Emily Ennett

I’m a twenty-something female university student. I am told that I can study, achieve, and become whatever and whoever I want. More than half the student body of my Canadian university is female and a woman may very well become the next president of the United States. So how come in a time when women are more educated and have more power than ever before we are still so focused on a female’s physical appearance? A few months ago I was sitting in my senior level management course when my professor told me that my only job was to “sit back and look pretty.” I was humiliated and insulted. But 15 years ago the word pretty had an entirely different effect on me.

When I was in the third grade I remember being called to the library to listen to a couple special guests with the other third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls in my elementary school. There was a lot of chatter in the hall about who these special guests were, what they were going to be discussing, and why the boys weren’t allowed to come. It seemed like the general consensus was: periods. The fifth grade girls rolled their eyes and said they already knew about periods while the sixth grade girls scoffed at them like they were some kind of experienced period professionals. I remember thinking that we had already learned about periods in our third grade English class so our teacher must have thought we were really smart if we learned about periods before the fourth graders.

After we shuffled into the library I noticed there were two women at the front of the room. They were younger than our teachers’ age but older than my babysitters. I had never seen them at school before. They were wearing tall shiny black high heel shoes, pretty dresses and big necklaces. They were beautiful. They told us they were called our facilitators and were from a non-profit organization that’s mission was to empower females and foster self-esteem in young girls.

The facilitators taught us about breaking the boundaries of what was considered beautiful and to be accepting of those who looked, talked, and acted differently than ourselves. They told us that everyone is beautiful in their own way and that a healthy body image makes us more confident and can boost our self-esteem.

After the presentation they broke us up into small groups of varying grades and ages and scattered us throughout the library. Through a series of icebreaker games and team building exercises we were supposed to get to know each other. We asked each other questions like what we wanted to be when we grew up, who our role models were, what we liked most about ourselves and what qualities we looked for in friends. It was like speed dating for eight year olds.

Towards the end of the session we were asked to anonymously write down something nice about each girl in our group. I stuck my arm out and hunched over my paper so the other girls couldn’t see what I was writing about them and tried to disguise my handwriting. I don’t remember what compliments I gave my peers but I do remember opening the small white squares of folded paper and reading each comment the other girls had written about me: beautiful, tall, pretty, nice hair.

“They think I’m pretty!”

I was ecstatic.

In a time where girl on girl bullying is an epidemic and young females are lacking self-esteem, this workshop seemed like a positive and proactive course of action for the school to take. The point of the exercise was to empower each other and build one another up instead of knocking others down. But instead, at just eight years old, this exercise taught me that it’s my looks that others value in me and that my self-esteem is reliant on my physical appearance.

Advertising campaigns like Dove’s Real Beauty have done a good job of challenging typical standards of what is considered beautiful and encouraging women of all different shapes, sizes and colours to see themselves as beautiful. Yet what is supposed to be an inspiring and empowering message further perpetuates the idea that a woman can only be confident and have self-esteem if she considers herself to be physically attractive.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I think self-acceptance and having a positive body image is extremely important but why does my self-esteem have to be measured by how beautiful or not beautiful I think I am? It is not my curves that I have been told to embrace, or my birthmarks I am told make me unique, that fuel my self-esteem. What I am confident in is my mind, in my ability to see the good in others, and in my knack for making others laugh. The conversation needs to stop being about women’s bodies but on our brains, talents and abilities.

Girls need to learn from a young age that it is our minds and what is in our hearts that should be the source of our self-esteem. It is up to our “body loving” and “difference accepting” generation to refocus the conversation so when the next generation of young females are in the school library unfolding those little white squares of paper they read words like: smart, brave, clever, and kind.

To Splurge or To Save: Sunless Tanner

The point of my ‘To Splurge or To Save’ series is to find binge worthy items, at budget friendly prices, but sometimes the product is actually worth the extravagant price tag. This St.Tropez Sunless Tanning Mousse is one of those products that are worth digging our pennies nickels out of the couch cushions for. It goes on evenly, dries in 60 seconds, and leaves a natural looking, sun kissed glow.

Slide1

I think a lot of people are scared of sunless tanners, and think of that Friend’s scene where Ross gets stuck in the tanning booth, and before St. Tropez I was definitely one of those sunless tanner skeptics because the only thing worse than having legs so pale they glow in the dark, is orangey and streaky stems.

 Ross

Of course, just like with any other sunless tanner, exfoliating and shaving before application is a must, and moisturizing elbows, knees, hands and heels ensures that the colour will be distributed evenly and beautifully.  I also highly recommend purchasing the St.Tropez reusable application mitt to keep your hands clean!

Trust me ladies, you wont regret splurging on this product and you will be getting compliments on your skin’s faux glow faster than you can say…

jennamarbles

Timeless Beauty Trends

My friends and family gave me some serious heat about my last post, apparently my girlfriends still love gladiator sandals and have recently purchased mullet high-low skirts to add to their summer wardrobes.  Not to mention, showing up to a dinner where one of your friends is in printed tights, and another is wearing culottes, makes for some super awkward dinner conversation.

giphy

So, although I am sticking to my opinions, from now on I am going to try to stay as positive as possible and keep most of my sassy comments to myself. Since last time I wrote about ‘not so timeless trends’, I thought I would do the exact opposite and talk about some trends that are truly timeless.

Here are my five favourite classic, beautiful, and timeless beauty looks…

{ Winged Liner }

LC

No one does winged eyeliner better than Lauren Conrad, however she certainly did not pioneer this timeless trend.  Winged eyeliner could be the most classic beauty trend in history, dating back to Ancient Egyptian times. Cleopatra is believed to have worn this ‘cat-eye’ look as a way of warding off the evil eye and icons like Brigitte Bardot and Twiggy made the look popular throughout the 50s and 60s.

The Best Liquid Liner

{ Red Lipstick }

Taylor-Swift-wore-red-lipstick

You can’t really talk about a classic red lip look in 2015 without mentioning Taylor Swift, she even sings about it in my favourite 1989 song, Style (I got that red lip, classic thing that you like…who am I kidding, you obviously know the whole song off by heart, have listened to it on repeat in your car, and could belt out the lyrics at any given moment). A red lip looks good on EVERYONE, literally.  No matter the skin tone, hair colour, age, whatever, this look will never go out of STYLE (see what I did there?!).

My Favourite Red Lipstick

{ Smokey Eye }

smokey eye

Smokey eyes and the Kardashian-Jenner clan basically go hand-in-hand, I mean does one even exist without the other? Although I love this look and it’s my go-to when I need to spice it up a notch, it’s definitely the riskiest trend on this list.  When done right the smokey eye is sexy and beautiful, but when done wrong you can wind up looking like Heath Ledger as The Joker or Taylor Momsen in the fourth season of Gossip Girl, and we all know how tragic that look was.

gif

 

{ Glowing Skin }

gigi

Glowing skin is, and always will be beautiful. I’m someone who has always had issues with their skin (teenage acne, scars, breakouts, etc.) and now I’m freaking out about aging since recently entering my mid-twenties.  Healthy, glowing skin is my favourite beauty trend and achieving a beautiful, natural looking glow (like my GIRL CRUSH Gigi Hadid) while protecting my skin from the sun, is my number one beauty priority.

 The Most Beautiful Skin Illuminator

{ Full Brows }

leighton

Over plucked, thin eyebrows are out, and full, thick eyebrows are totally on fleek in! For a long time I was too chicken to fill in my brows, scared of looking like a Cara Delevingne wannabe, but after my esthetician filled them in for me after my last wax I was blown away by how much it changed and framed my face, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The key to filling in and shaping your brows is to not over do it, too many beautiful girls layer on the dark pencil leaving them looking fake, angry, and well…scary! Maintaining a regular eyebrow grooming routine (see: waxing, plucking, sugaring, threading, etc.) is still important, full brows is NOT a synonym for a uni-brow or caterpillar like brows (think Anne Hathaway become she became the Princess of Genovia).

The Greatest Eyebrow Pencil EVER

brows

What are you favourite classic beauty trends? Anything I missed that you love?

NOT SO TIMELESS TRENDS

I feel like every time I write about fashion it’s a “wear this” or “buy this instead of that” (here, here, and here) kind of post, so today I’m going to try something new and talk about what you should NEVER, EVER wear (please) and the trends that we all tried and now need to be erased from our memory…and our tagged Facebook pictures…so we don’t get kidnapped by Stacy London and Clinton Kelly and end up on TLC’s What Not to Wear

WNTQ

I get that there are some girls that can pull off pretty much anything and make it look chic (Olivia Palermo, duh) but let’s face it, you are NOT one of those girls…and neither am I.  People always say “it’s about how you feel in an outfit” and “it’s all about confidence” but I don’t care if you feel like Karlie Kloss strutting down the runway – if your outfit is ugly, it’s going to look ugly, regardless of the fact that you have as much confidence as Kanye West when he steps out on stage.

Now I’m not saying don’t be confident, because I totally believe that self confidence is extremely important, but be self aware and realistic.  Those platform sneakers don’t make you look like an off duty model, you look like a sad, lonely, forgotten Spice Girl.

VB

So with that in mind, here are my least favourite looks and trends that I hope disappear into the abyss forever…and ever…and I’m sure Stacy and Clinton…and Posh Spice would agree.

{ Gladiator Sandals: You look like you’re wearing a Hercules Halloween Costume }

glad

{ The High Low Skirt: It is also called the “Mullet Skirt”, enough said }

highlow

{ Cut Outs: Leave something to the imagination ladies }

cut

 

{ Culottes: AKA the stumpy & frumpy short pants }

culottes

{ Platform Sneakers: We all wanted to be a Spice Girl at one point, but it’s time to let that dream die }

snreaker

 

{ Patterned Leggings: Let’s face it, these are only flattering on about 0.01% of the population. Save this look for sleep and fitness wear }

962d078a000f72b1763e85f3db63e765

{ Slouchy Boots: The cold weather equivalent to Crocs }

7d79eda2670cb24c9b979b51e60d9109

Any trends that you really hate that I missed? Let me know!

PS. The only ugly trend I’m not willing to sacrifice…BIRKENSTOCKS

9ad37f77944856cbdda241af8c2a0e14

{ Birkenstock Arizona Slide Sandal – available here }

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

SHOES : Birkenstocks Sandals

3420320323eb0065e30a331411b9aa38

My Favourite Spring Fashion Trends

3101dd8083f123a051c3ad6d2e15bca6

Okay so I have been MIA from the blog for a couple months, and as much as I want to blame it on the fact that I’ve been in hibernation due to the cold weather and grey skies, the truth is I have just been so uninspired… that is UNTIL NOW!

I am sooo excited for SPRING!!! I mean, what’s not to love? Warmer weather, blue skies, MY BIRTHDAY, cute dresses, open toed shoes, and of course

FLORALS!!!

devil-wears-prada-florals-for-spring-groundbreaking

Here is a round up of my favourite trends for this spring season as seen on some of my favourite style icons (most stylishly and importantly of course: Olivia Palermo).  What’s your favourite spring trend?

{ Fringe: Not Just for Coachella }

opfringe

{ Denim on Denim AKA The Canadian Tuxedo }

denim

{ Who needs pants? Spring 2015 is all about the SHIRT DRESS }

shirtdress

{ Girly Glam: Polka Dots & Bows }

dotsandbows

{ Gingham, Picnic Perfection }

gingham

{ Not so Basic Black & White }

opblack

{ The Rule Breaker: White on White on White }

white

{ Military Chic: Army Green Everything }

green

{ Florals, need I say more? }

florals

Links I Love

This week’s theme is all about best of’s, countdowns, and round offs.  From the 12 Best iPhone Apps of 2014 to 10 Ways to Reduce Stress, these are the links I have been bookmarking, sharing, and loving lately!Picture1

1. 100 Notable Books of 2014 – The New York Times

2. The 21 Best Songs to Get Ready for a Big Night Out To – Bustle

3. 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Stress – Inc

4. 12 Best iPhone Apps of 2014 – Mashable

5. A 7-Step Guide to Heartbreak – A Cup of Jo

6. 5 Apps That Make It Easy to Invest – Domaine

7. 6 Country Songs That Sound Almost Identical – NPR

8. 50 Best Pinterest Accounts to Follow – Beauty High  

9. 17 Super Foods Everyone Should be Eating – The Everygirl

Sometimes all it takes is a laugh

rory readingSo to be honest up until about six months ago I hadn’t read a book that wasn’t a textbook (and let’s be serious I was barely reading those) since the early days of Harry Potter.  When I moved into my new place in Halifax, I didn’t have cable or internet for the first couple weeks, and was basically living like it was 1850.  Given my unfortunate circumstances, and Bell Aliant’s service call wait times, I was forced to pick up a book and read for entertainment (the horror!).  Needless to say, I didn’t pick up Moby Dick or Anna Karenina for my first read since I was a tween, but opted for Tina Fey’s New York Times Best Seller, Bossypants.  It was laugh-out-loud funny and I blew through it in about two days, genuinely sad when I flipped to that last page (the same feeling I got when Gossip Girl wrapped and Happy Endings was cancelled).  Since Fey’s knee slapper I’ve read every funny woman’s novel I can get my hands on, including Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns), Ellen DeGeneres’ Seriously, I’m Kidding, and Chelsea Handler’s Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Mejust to name a few.  I know eventually I will have to dive into more serious reads (currently accepting recommendations) but for now comedy is my genre!  If you’re like me and haven’t read for pleasure since, well, ever, I highly recommend these novels by comedy’s favourite funny women.

{ the one that started it all }

book1

{ currently reading…and loving }

book2

{ my favourite }

book3

{ most offensive, but hilarious }

book4

{ pleasantly surprised }

book6

To splurge or to save: ballet flats

I generally wear heels to work, but on days when I’m jetting around the office or running errands over my lunch hour, flats are a necessity.  Like every other fashion-loving female I’ve always wanted a pair of Tory Burch flats, but considering they cost about half my weekly pay check, I thought it would be smart to look for other options.  I love the leopard- print calf hair look of the Burch flats, and their quality and comfort which makes these ballet flats from Nine West the perfect budget-friendly option!

Slide1