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The Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit and Leaving My Comfort Zone

For the past 5 years, you would’ve found me slouched at my desk with uni books sprawled across the floor, as I endeavoured to study for my English Open University degree…

Studying from home in my pyjamas has been my comfort zone for so many years that recently, I’ve began thinking about my next steps and posing questions like, where am I going to live? How am I going to manage? and, will anyone actually hire me? With all that came the ultimate panic most soon-to-be-graduates feel when they arrive at the last few weeks of education and start to contemplate leaving the assured zone of comfort.

My impending freedom almost feels too daunting to celebrate as the overwhelming panic of essay stress is beginning to evolve into the anxiety of actually building a life. This is when I found myself on Eventbrite, investing in my future by paying £50 for a ticket to attend the Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit, which described itself as ‘the event that will change your life.’

I attended the Summit last month and it was filled with 300+ empowered women who, like myself were eager to learn. Silk bound notebook at the ready, I grinned enthusiastically through the day whilst introducing myself to strangers and taking as many notes as my keen hand could make. I learnt the art of networking and I also met some fabulous Cosmopolitan editors. Not only did I leave feeling exceedingly inspired with an encouraging list of potential career opportunities, I left feeling ready.

The Self Made Summit gave me an insight into the fashion, beauty and Cosmopolitan life I so keenly desire and now, I’m ready to take on the challenge –something I certainly wasn’t ready to do just a few months ago.

I can genuinely say I agree with their headline; the Self Made Summit did change my life, as the opportunities coming my way this summer would’ve never been possible without me putting myself out there at the Cosmo event. Thanks to that day (which was terrifyingly wonderful), I feel prepared to take risks because, what growth and success ever happened inside a comfort zone? I still don’t know how I will manage and I can only hope that somewhere will hire me but now, I feel ready to find out.

Today, you’ll find me a few yards from my comfort zone, nervously sweating on my upper lip and sassing in gold Gucci shoes. I still feel the overwhelming panic but somehow, it almost feels exciting.

 

“It takes talent and tenacity to succeed.”

 

EKD X

EKD Turns Three

As I fumble through BlogSpot haphazardly trying to understand how to insert a picture, I can’t help but wonder who will actually read this website. Skimming through my camera roll, I search for a photo to head the post and end up going for a cliché picture I took whilst in Starbucks two mornings previous. I remember the buzz of anticipation I felt when I sent that first post live; it was poorly written and the accompanying image was poorly lit, but I had started EKD and that is when I experienced the thrill of creating and publishing my writing for the very first time. That was May 10th 2014.

As EKD turns one year older, I got thinking about the last 3 and how emilykatedale.com has progressed. My namesake site is something I am truly proud of, I put my all into each and every post… My September Issue articles are the most challenging to compose, ‘Investing in Fashion?’ is my favourite to read and surprisingly, my most viewed post of all time and one that still gets daily hits is from January 2015 titled ‘How to Look Good Nude’ – I fear this is because people assume it will give them some instruction on looking good nude, while it actually offers an insight into Tom Ford lipsticks… I know nothing about looking good naked, sorry.

EKD has not only improved my ability to self edit, but it has also given me a voice, helped me discover my style and provided me with a creative purpose that has become more important to me than I could’ve ever imagined. I’m slowly learning to embrace change and with that, I’m also endeavouring to push myself out of my comfort zone (not enough to google secrets on how to look good nude though).

My hobby through university has evolved into my career portfolio and therefore, one can hope that someday soon I’ll find myself eagerly balancing on the first rung of the publishing ladder, gradually working towards the highly coveted Carrie Bradshaw status I so excitedly desire.

I’ve written over 200 posts for EKD in the last 3 years, 83 of which are resting uncomfortably in drafts on my old BlogSpot site, still embarrassed that I ever posted them and around 30 have been deleted from here overtime. However, as I read through some of my first postings, I can’t quite believe how far I’ve come…. Thank you for continuing to read and follow what I have to say.

Here’s to May 10th  – may it be #chicvibesonly

 

X EKD

 

A #chicvibesonly Graduation Gift From Links of London

As I write my final university assignment I find myself almost giddy with anticipation about finally graduating. I can’t help but wonder what shoes I should wear or which Tom Ford lipstick goes with a graduation gown…

Although, with the distress of finding the perfect dress comes the indulgence of picking out a graduation gift. Naturally, I wanted to choose something that will last a lifetime seeing as that’s how long my degree seemed to take… Therefore, I began considering jewellery and that’s when the redefined Links of London Sweetie Bracelet became my new #chicvibesonly accessory.  What I love most about this bracelet is that it can be personalised, which was the kind of distinctive attribute I was looking for.

When it came to designing my Sweetie, I took to their online ‘bracelet builder,’ which allows you to choose from a huge selection of charms and rings to create and visualise your bracelet. I instantly added gold-tone rings, since I like to wear both gold and silver jewellery. As I scrolled through the various charms available, I was truly spoilt for choice and so I dashed to the nearest Links of London store to get a richer view and that’s when I discovered the Rainbow Zebra

For someone who never used to wear colour, I now can’t get enough of it and as I feel more like myself every time I wear a bright tangerine ruffle t-shirt, I can honestly say the multi-coloured zebra is the essence of me! This colourful sterling silver wonder is my favourite charm from the Sweetie collection and one that I knew I just had to have. Once in store, I learnt that some charms can be engraved and so unsurprisingly, I went for ‘EKD’ on the sterling silver disc because, are you even chic if your jewellery isn’t monogrammed?

Choosing an extraordinary gift for a special occasion such as a graduation or milestone birthday can be really challenging, as you want something you will never fall out of love with… Rings and charms can be easily interchanged with the iconic Sweetie Bracelet and Links of London will even re-string it and so you’re guaranteed to have a timeless bracelet that you’ll reach for everyday. As you know, I build my wardrobe around investment pieces and so I’m really excited to add this to my collection because I know I’ll be wearing and personalising it for years to come. The Links of London Sweetie is luxurious, fun and exudes my personal style… it’s my perfect graduation gift.

If I were a floral arrangement I would be this vibrant posy and if I were a Sweetie charm, I’d be the multi-coloured zebra! Also, I’m thinking Tom Ford True Coral lipstick and THESE AMAZING SHOES for my graduation, what do you think… #chicvibesonly right?

X EKD

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Flowers: Wild About Flowers (Hathersage, Derbyshire)

Silk Notebook: Silken Favours

This post was created in collaboration with Links of London and even though this bracelet was gifted, all sentiments are sincere and my own.  X EKD

A Note on Personal Style

Over the past few weeks, I couldn’t help but pose a question of personal style. What makes an authentic personal style? Wearing three new-in pieces from Zara, is that personal style? Is imitating your favourite fashion blogger who wore flatforms with a red blazer and leather pants whilst posing down a whimsical Kensington street… is that personal style?

To me, personal style is creating outfits that you love, that you put together from your own vision whilst you were ironing your bedding on a Sunday afternoon, watching Sex and The City reruns… Perhaps it’s inspired by your favourite designers but ultimately, you wear exactly what you want to wear and with any luck, something that makes you feel remarkable.

I’ve never been happy with my style, I might have had a cute bag and shoes but the clothes part was never that great. In recent times, I’ve began to truly ascertain my own personal aesthetic and as a result my style has developed tremendously. Not only has my confidence grown but I feel more like myself every time I strut down the street in a yellow headband, gold shoes and a feisty I couldn’t care less what people think attitude.

Last week, I found myself on the train at 6am and as I began my early morning journey to LDN, two girls sat two seats across kept turning around to laugh at me. Now to give you the full story, I was sporting my favourite Charles Tyrwhitt mens shirt that’s monogrammed with EKD, paired with a navy trench which was cinched in at the waist by a Gucci belt. I had on some black Joseph trousers and my yellow satin headband. I carried my Lady Dior handbag and I was wearing my gold Gucci Marmonts – I felt absolutely fabulous and I felt like myself. At first, these laughing girls (who at one point filmed me on their Snapchat) really bothered me but as I retouched my red Tom Ford lipstick, I decided not to care. Incidentally, I was on my way to a Cosmopolitan event where I had Cosmo editors commenting on my ‘fantastic style’ …So screw the laughing fools from the train!!

Colour is what I can now associate with my style; something that has always been terribly lacking in my closet. I’d die for black any day however, life is too damn short to wear black! A red lip, yellow headband and a bright orange ruffle tee is what I now reach for on the daily and it feels better than #allblackeverything ever did.

I feel like buying the golden Gucci shoes was the best step I could’ve made in terms of my personal style, as they have really allowed me to explore wearing new and outlandish pieces. The Gucci belt was somewhat of an impulse purchase a few weeks after the shoes… but I haven’t stopped wearing it since. For someone who feels extremely uncomfortable in figure hugging attire, this high-waisted accessory is my go-to for cinching in the baggiest of men’s shirts. It’s a chic addition to any outfit and a piece I have paired with almost everything.

I’m finally at a point where I’m excited about getting dressed in a morning and I actually love the direction my style is going. My tips in regards to your personal style would be:

1. Wear whatever makes you feel incredibly confident, even if it’s different.

2. Personalise your favourite clothes – because are you even chic if your shirt isn’t monogrammed?

3. Wear colour!

4. If in doubt, belt it!

5. A men’s shirt never hurt anyone and an oversized cuff is SO damn chic

6. Never underestimate the power of a #chicvibesonly outfit!

 

As my own wardrobe is becoming more colourful, my life is too and what more does one need? Well, a Dolce and Gabbana crown would be nice…

X EKD

OUTFIT 1
shirt, trench (Old), belt, headband, bag
OUTFIT 2
Skirt, belt, headband, cardigan
OUTFIT 3
Shirt, T-shirt, scarf, trousers 
OUTFIT 4
Skirt, top, belt, headband 

A Day in Milan

April 1st 15:10

A car has just picked me up from home to take me to Manchester Airport. I’m flying at 18:30 from Terminal 3. Feeling so excited, slightly anxious and awfully travel sick….

18:20

I am FINALLY on the flight. An emergency evacuation from the terminal was not part of the plan but amplified my anxiety tremendously… Annoyingly but fortunately, it was a false alarm. I’m seated in 2F – window seat with leg room. Still feeling travel sick and now, overwhelmingly sleepy.

19:15

I’m listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and while we chase the sunset to Milan, Italy I can’t help but wonder what this trip will bring. I am so excited.

23:04

I’m walking towards Milano Centrale, it’s dark and raining… Ella is running towards me, large green umbrella in hand. I couldn’t be happier.

 23:49

We stopped for some pizza and have now arrived at our hotel. Buonanotte

I planned my outfits before I packed and so for our day in Milan I wore an oversized mens Charles Tyrwhitt shirt that I had monogrammed with EKD. I paired this with skinny Joseph trousers, a Topshop trench, Lanvin Sneakers, Gucci belt, Tom Ford sunglasses and my new favourite accessory and the only bag I took with me to Italy – a marigold cross body from M&S! I began the day wearing a cute Zara scarf but it was quickly taken off and wrapped around my camera strap.

We were up and exploring by 9:30am, the sun was shining but it was cool enough to wander contently. We began with a stroll round the Castello Sforzesco followed by a visit to Santa Maria Delle Grazie, where the Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper painting is displayed.

We lunched at Vasinikó Milano, a little gem Ella booked for us and where we practically inhaled a buffalo mozzarella pizza and glass of Prosecco. We then journeyed to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls and one of the crucially chic destinations on my must-see list. It was truly magnificent. After a wow moment at the Duomo di Milano, we searched out some Gelato and meandered down the side streets of Brera. Before some much needed Aperitivo, we stumbled upon Christian Dior and Dolce and Gabbana where I obviously had to try on an oversized silk headband and the chicest of earrings.

Our day finished with more Prosecco and people watching by the canal in Navigli and whilst I plugged my phone into my power bank and finally switched my camera off, we relished in the wonderful day and let the bubbles fizz us into a blissful daze.

We then hopped on the train just after 8pm and headed to Parma. I am so lucky I got to experience Milan with my best friend – Thank you Ms. Prada for an exceptional day.

EKD X

Feelin’ 22

It’s Wednesday 22nd March and it’s my 22nd Birthday next week. I’ve had to stop writing and search out Taylor Swifts’ album Red, so I can write about feeling twenty-two whilst singing 22.

Whilst planning a Birthday dinner at my favourite restaurant, it occurred to me that no respectable party was without invites and so I turned to my go-to stationary site Papier and found the invitations my chic vibes only status would approve of – naturally this included a yellow striped envelope because yellow really is the colour of the season, if you didn’t already know.

For a whole host of reasons, my birthday this year feels so much more than it has ever done previously. After a Dior filled 21st, I didn’t think I could top it so soon however, with new season Gucci vibes, an Italian adventure and the dinner party of my dreams with some truly fab friends – Feelin’ 22 has never felt better.

 

X EKD

Life is Gucci

Yes, I bought the gold Gucci shoes of my dreams and yes my life has never been better.

I am writing this a week in advance as said shoes have been sat in my bedroom waiting to be worn and adored for just under a month now and my anticipation is eagerly mounting. However, as you’re reading this it’s actually my 22nd Birthday!

SO, I purchased them online from Farfetch and they were delivered from Italy within two days. I have used Farfetch to purchase numerous luxury accessories and I always find their service and product selection to be pretty good.

My Gucci Marmonts were beautifully wrapped in a Gucci box and came with two cream silk dust bags, perfect for travelling. They’re leather soled and fit like a glove however, I had previously tried the heeled pair on and so I knew I needed a size down as Gucci fits big. I take these in a 38 but I am typically a 39 in my other shoes like Tods, Lanvin or Louboutin. Also, they are super comfortable! I’ve worn them both to work and for a day of shopping and I’ve had no discomfort whatsoever.

Now, I know I’ve been hesitant to make the leap of golden faith and put my money where my heart is and actually buy these but, when they arrived I knew I had made the right choice. I am obsessed with them and never felt the slightest pinch of doubt or buyers regret. They are the party shoes of my dreams and seemingly match everything and anything in my wardrobe. I feel like they compliment my personality effortlessly and make me feel my sassy self and so really, that £515 price tag looks pretty insignificant now I have golden sass.

In January I spoke about Investing in Fashion, a post I wrote in bed whilst fantasising about Gucci vibes and to my surprise, has been one of my most viewed postings to date. In that post I couldn’t help but wonder when one should step aside from investing in classic staples and start buying into trend driven fashion and now I can honestly say, just buy what you love. My collection is built around classics and so this metallic wonder is more than welcome.

As I said…

“In recent times it would seem seasonal statements are the real indication of stylishness and who are you if you don’t have new season Gucci vibes?”

 

Well… I am EKD and Gucci is my LIFE.

 

 

X EKD

 

Mascara Vibes #VolumeShake

After receiving the new Rimmel Volume Shake Mascara*, I thought I would give it a whirl as I am on the market for a new mascara anyway. When the press release read ‘no clumps,’ I was immediately captivated and after trying it out for a few days I actually really like it! The brush is a good size with bristles that actually get into the root of the lashes, coating each lash effectively. I did find it added good length and volume, it also doesn’t flake or smudge throughout the day and is easy to remove with cleansing oil.

This new launch from Rimmel features the first-to-market patented shaker system that refreshes the volumizing formula, so we can all say goodbye to mascara that dries out and looses its oomph! Now, I am not sure how well this will actually work – I feel like I’d need a month or two to see if I notice a difference however, it is definitely a welcomed addition to a mascara.

I found it really easy to apply and the colour is a true black which is what I like in a mascara. Once on, it dried quickly and gave my lashes that defined lift and volume it stated it would and it holds a curl pretty well too. Overall, a fab launch from Rimmel and one to try if you’re in the market for some clump free luscious lashes.

 

EKD X

 

 

*PR SAMPLE

Tom Ford Gives Me LIFE

There will always be something about Tom Ford that I simply can’t resist… From falling in love at 16, I’ve been in a committed relationship ever since. There is no other beauty brand that I love as much as TF; from the Gold Dust bronzing powder to the Noir de Noir Private Blend fragrance, they get it right every time.

Lately I have been loving using my Traceless Foundation Stick, the best foundation I have ever bought and that is definitely saying something, as my collection currently houses over 12 different foundations. The coverage and longevity is insane and after applying my skin looks glowy and radiant. If I have an event, party or simply want to feel my sassy self on a Wednesday morning, I will always reach for my TF Stick as it blends effortlessly and is so easy to carry in my bag throughout the day for quick touch-ups.

I feel like I’ve been banging on about how incredible Tom Ford products are since I began EKD in 2014, but it’s something you just have to try for yourself! I do believe the summer collection is due soon – I did a full chat on the Soleil range here if you want some info! Also, they have recently released some new cheek colours and after picking up Ravish last year, I can tell you the pigmentation and lasting power is always going to be worth the £48 price tag.

If the exquisite packaging isn’t enough for you, their lipsticks certainly will be! My current favourite is Pink Dusk which is the most perfect shade of nude pink. The Shimmer Shots are my latest obsession for that lit from within glow that complements the foundation perfectly and obviously, you’re never going to find a cream shadow that could even compare to TF.

Put that Traceless Stick on your wishlist ASAP because Tom Ford will give you LIFEEEEEE and always make you feel #chicvibesonly!

X EKD

Travel Essentials

On December 31st 2016 I wrote that I was determined to travel through Italy in 2017 and I have definitely lived up to that personal goal as I fly to Milan next month. As my best friend and I prepare our action packed itinerary, I anticipate five days of adventure and so I couldn’t help but wonder what EKD necessities I would need to pack.

The first is an essential to anyone – international traveller or not! A power bank and charging cable…. This should always be in your bag to avoid running out of battery, there is nothing more frustrating than holding on to 3%.

The second is my travel companion of choice, the Louis Vuitton City Guide – the ultimate manual for chic destinations and Gelato hotspots.

A Nikon DSLR camera is obviously going to join me on my adventures, I can’t go to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele without getting some super chic photographs!

My Tom Ford perfume makes me feel like myself and so my Travalo just has to come with me to Italy, it never leaves my handbag – Noir de Noir is everything!

Lastly I will need my En Route journal, this was a gift a few years ago and I am yet to use it. I intend on documenting my travels both visually and through a journal – My wanderlust just has to be archived!

23 days to go!

 

EKD X