13 Questions With Courtney Quinn

Queen of Colour, Courtney is taking over NYC one beautiful outfit at a time. We caught up with her to find out what it takes to be a fashion blogger across the pond, and how we can all add a bit more colour to our own wardrobes!

First off, how are you and how is your 2021 going?

Going well for the most part! Coming off a weird year for everyone, just hoping things get brighter for everyone! But I can’t complain! 

Can you tell us about your career online and how it all began?

So my career online started after I had received my MBA at 21! I moved to NYC with the hopes of getting hired in fashion and it just wasn’t happening. I looked older on my resume because of my degrees at a young age and it was working against me. I was blogging as a creative outlet so I started doing it more seriously, then eventually took my MBA off my resume, added my blog & got my first job!!! A few years in, my blog was a full-time job of its own so I choose to keep blogging & growing my online career and leave my dream corporate job behind

We love your devotion to colour, can you tell us about your relationship with it?

My mom was an interior designer, who wore all Black but we had a lot of color in our home! So I was always wearing it as a kid. When I got older, I thought I had to wear Black to be chic and fit in. So I started trying to make myself blend in. Eventually, I realized color is tied to confidence, Sometimes you feel like you have to wear Black or basic things to blend in and not be seen. But everyone deserves to be seen if they want to, and color can help! Now I try to inspire others to be confident & colorful because I think the two are tied. 

Did you always want to work within fashion, was it something you pursued in school?

Yes & no! I always wanted to work in fashion but I didn’t go to school for it! I went for marketing mostly among other things! That is one reason I had trouble getting a job in the industry! But I think things worked out the way they were supposed to

Where are you from in the US and what led you to New York?

I grew up in Arizona! It was a nice place to grow up but not a lot of culture or color. I did my MBA in San Francisco, up in northern California & moved to New York after! I always pictured myself in NYC and tried to go to school there but didn’t get in. I grew up watching NYC based shows and plastering photos around my wall, knowing one day I would end up there but not quite sure how. When school in New York didn’t work out, I had to find another way to get there eventually and I did! Sometimes your first plan isn’t your real path but you’ll end up where you need to be

Can you tell us some of the best places to visit in New York for those seeking colour?

NYC is quite colorful but you have to look for it! There are pop-ups or installs like the “color factory” that provide immersive experiences painted in color. But you can also find a lot of color in the west village, Soho or walking around. Brooklyn has a ton of colorful murals waiting for you to shoot in front of, and you can find more nature-based color in places like Central Park !

What’s your best advice for someone wanting to add colour to their wardrobe?

Start with an accessory! Instead of buying a new brown purse, go for a pop of color! It will force some color in your wardrobe without committing to a full look! If buying something new isn’t an option, a colorful lip or makeup look is another great way to start!

What are you currently working on?

So many things I can’t talk about but mostly product-based collaborations that will come out next year! I just finished my first project back at Disneyland since it’s been closed and we’re launching a few things for creators here on @colormecourtney as well as a podcast! I’m focusing more on youtube & creating video content. And in my free time, I mentor Black creators because I want more of us to exist in the space!

What are some of your other favourite accounts to inspire you on Instagram?


What does your perfect weekend look like?

Oh, I like to get ahead on my to-do list so my work week is lighter! If the world is back to normal, a broadway show and a dinner out is always something I look forward to! I like spending time with my fiancé & my dog of course, and meeting “cuties” (my followers) in the wild is always really fun for me!

What do you always carry with you?

Lipstick, sunscreen, portable phone charger, hand sanitiser & a mask! Internally? Confidence, positivity & the desire to leave things better than I found them

What would your last ever meal be?

Probably lobster Mac & cheese!!! But I also love a good pretzel! 

What is one positive piece of advice you could give to our audience?

Find your insecurity, that thing that makes you weird or different & use it as your superpower! I’ve done it with my hair, lips, & hips! I’ve built a brand around things I used to hate about myself and it was the best way to get over that fear, to turn the thing I used to hide into something I celebrate!! 

Follow @Colormecourtney on Instagram here!


Digital Detox Day 2020 – Looking Back At What We Achieved

Last year saw LUSH, Zoe Sugg and mental health charity #IAMWHOLE fronted by Jordan Stephens, launch the world’s first Digital Detox Day.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve all felt the effects of a screen-time hangover. Whether that be down to serial scrolling on Tik Tok, Instagram and Animal Crossing or wrestling with Zoom burnout, there’s no doubt about it, living life through a screen has taken a toll on our mental health.

In fact, The Royal Society for Public Health found that using social media for more than two hours a day can be associated with poor self-rating of mental health, increased levels of psychological distress and even suicidal ideation. That’s reason enough to set some all-important healthy boundaries with our devices and ensure we’re putting our mental health first.

Last year saw LUSH, Zoe Sugg and mental health charity #IAMWHOLE fronted by Jordan Stephens, launch the world’s first Digital Detox Day. Together, they collaborated to raise awareness of the negative impact social media can have on our mental health and helped people to form healthier relationships with their devices by pledging to step away from technology for 24 hours in a UK-wide social media hiatus.

You can catch up on last year’s campaign video here:

Backed by the likes of Sam Smith, Rita Ora and Jade Thirlwall, it reached over 646.9 million people across social media alone and 4.7 billion across press coverage.

Zoe Sugg, Founder of Zoella, also presented a series of IGTV panel discussions, in which she sat down with fellow creators to discuss important topics around mental health and social media including cyberbullying, human connection, body image, anxiety and setting digital boundaries.

In addition, Zoe also teamed up with LUSH to co-create the IRL bath bomb which raised £200,00 for the Wholeness Fund, where they were able to supply grants for grassroots organisations focused on mental health.

Following the success of last year’s DDD campaign, we want to continue the momentum and inspire positive change in our daily lives, to ensure as many people as possible join the conversation and access the support they need to make social media work better for their mental health, period.

After the past 18 months+ of living with the ongoing effects of lockdown life, the importance of stepping away from our devices at regular intervals has never been more relevant nor important for our minds. So we urge you to join us in taking a day offline, and enjoy a Digital Detox Day for yourself on Saturday September 4th.


70s Fits to Channel Stevie Nicks Energy

With its iconic flares and psychedelic florals, its groovy prints and jean dresses, the ‘70s was the golden age of feel-good ‘fits.

With its iconic flares and psychedelic florals, its groovy prints and jean dresses, the ‘70s was the golden age of feel-good ‘fits. It was the decade that had it all, with many of the trends still influencing our wardrobes and shopping habits today. Case in point: the club-friendly clogs we never imagined we’d be wearing and yet here we are, toe-tapping to the tune of WAP on a Saturday night.

After a tumultuous 18 months spent living (correction: barely existing) in sweatpants and a Zoom top, you’ve likely overdone it on the ol’ comfies by now and want to treat every damn day like a catwalk. Amen to that! After crisis comes celebration and celebrate with carefree ‘n’ colourful lewks we will. Anyone else self-medicating on mood-boosting clobber and offsetting the misery that was 2020 with outfits that are just one more lilac crochet vest away from careening into fancy dress / toddler territory? Same. 

In this week’s shop post, we’re dialling up the fun and channelling serious Cher meets Stevie Nicks energy. Whether you’re here for bell-bottoms with straight-up disco vibes or you’re looking to dabble with the occasional tassel fringe or boho maxi dress, you’ll be pleased to see this edit provides a very happy mashup of throwback pieces to cater to every ‘70s mood. 

From Saturday by Megan Ellaby to Free People and House of Sunny, read on for your hit of sartorial serotonin.

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We Spoke to Two People Who Run a Meme Account

Whether it’s Bernie’s mittens, Oprah’s gesticulation, Jackie Weaver’s iron fist or the Duke’s spoon, memays make the internet a better place.

We owe a lot to memes. They fuel our friendships, keep our group chats glowing, make meeting strangers infinitely less awkward and pick us up when we’re feeling down.

Whether it’s Bernie’s mittens, Oprah’s gesticulation, Jackie Weaver’s iron fist or the Duke’s spoon, memays make the internet a better place.

Here, we chat to the people behind social media and meme sensation accounts to find out what it really takes to be a professional meme-maker. From writing witty captions and working with brands, to growing a community and turning their mad memery skills into a bonafide business…

Hunsnet – Gareth Howells

How long has your meme account been going?

I started the account in the summer of 2017

Why did you decide to start a meme account?

I’ve always been a bit of a joker with a very dry sense of humour. I also love 00’s nostalgia and pop culture and I started the account to make me and my friends live love & laugh.

What was the first ‘viral’ post?

I made a meme featuring Teresa May crossed with Adele – “We could have had all…. Rolling in the Wheat!”

What’s the process of making a meme?

For the memes that I make they are either based on situations that happen to us all, often situations that we think have only ever happened to us or reactions to the fast-moving news landscape… For example, I recently made a meme about everyone’s Mum doing the Bev Callard workout DVD when they were young everyone went crazy realising that their childhoods were similar with Mum pushing back the furniture to do the workout with a couple of cans of smart price beans whilst munching on a Ryvita.

When something happens in the news that is unexpected or shocking there is a bank of reactions stored in my brain from old X Factor clips, Pops songs or iconic reality TV moments. For memes to go viral you need to be quick to market so making memes in under 3 minutes has become a new talent. There’s also the want to publish the meme first as you can guarantee other brilliant memers are thinking the same as you. I differentiate my content by using certain phrases and language so meme lovers can tell it’s a Hunsnet meme.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Deep in the vaults of 00’s British pop culture.

What makes a meme go viral?

I think it’s often a fusion of forgotten pop culture references used to perfectly articulate situations that are happening or have happened to us all. Clever wit obviously too. Knowing your audience and giving them what they want.

Why do you think memes have become so popular in recent years?

They are quick hits of fun that can make us laugh. We’ve had a crazy couple of years which when you think of it has featured some pretty hard-hitting news events. Memes of shared interests can create a community of like-minded individuals who may have felt quite isolated and alone in recent times.

How can you spot something with meme potential?

Tough question… I suppose it can be something really simple for example the Chanel the lost Parrot scenario. How that goes from a distressing situation for a lady who has lost a beloved pet to a ‘Show Me Love’ remix blows my mind. I think it’s people’s interpretations and celebrations of mundane situations along with a celebration of the ordinary fused with random references that make an excellent meme.

What does it take to make a meme account, what kind of skills do you need to turn it into a career and monetise it as a business?

For me it was recognising there is a community of people with shared interests that follow my account. I started with novelty merchandise then realised that my followers were super loyal and as a result, what would it be like if we brought them all together in a shared space. That’s where the live events side of the business flourished with our hugely popular Hun Brunch events.

What’s the secret to creating a cult brand and growing a community?

Engage with your audience. Chat with them in the comments. Share their content that they take the time to submit. Bring them together in real life, give them an amazing experience. Allow everyone to be a bit silly, whether that’s in the comments or at the events. We could all use a little bit of silliness in our lives.

Top tips for witty caption writing…

For me, it’s about people knowing that it’s a hunsnet meme. I use language that is often spelt how we say it which people seem to find funny. Short, snappy and don’t go round the houses.

What makes a person meme-worthy, obviously the GC is the meme Queen but is there certain people or characters who you just know are going to provide endless material?

People who do ordinary things but make them iconic. Ruth Langsford is a perfect example of this. My followers are so invested in her fashion range, her running diary and her antics on daytime TV. She comes out with some cracking oneliners that can be used in lots of different reaction memes.

What’s been the highlight of your career as a professional meme-maker, so far?

OMG! Hands down featuring on Ruth Langsford’s and Lisa Scott-Lee’s Instagram grids celebrating the work that I do. Also the first-ever event we did where I was worried that people wouldn’t turn up and then everyone had an absolute blast!

Your all-time favourite meme…

Anything that features the 2 Scottish Girls… Cher Lloyd by Cher Lloyd

If you were a meme, what would you be?

Lindsay Lohan living her best life showing us this is how you throw a party in Mykonos!

Follow @Hunsnet on Instagram!

Work in social they said – Anonymous

How long has your meme account been going?

I set the account up in December 2020, so just coming up to 8 months! 

Why did you decide to start a meme account?

I made the account just after the announcement came out that Christmas was cancelled in the UK. I was looking for a way to distract myself from everything else that was going on, and setting up the account seemed like a fun way to do that. 

I’d also seen loads of accounts set up to document the realities of different professions, and noticed that the social media managers hadn’t been represented. So I just decided to take up the mantle one day. The account has always been designed to be a piece of fun escapism for me. I never intended for so many other people to find it, but here we are!

What was the first ‘viral’ post?

I’m not sure I’ve had a true viral meme, but my favourite moment was when a post of mine was shared really early on. I had around 600 followers (which had taken me about a month), and overnight I woke up to around 400 new followers! The account just continued to grow quickly from that point.

What’s the process of making a meme?

It’s difficult to put a time frame on it. Some memes will take less than 30 seconds to write as I’ll see an image and instantly know how I could turn it into a meme. Other pictures and videos will sit in my photo album for weeks and weeks until I manage to find the perfect way to use them.

Overall, I start with the pictures. When I’m scrolling on any social platform, I’ll save images or videos that I think are funny or have meme potential. At the same time, as I’m going through my working week, I make little notes of situations or scenarios which I know are particular pain points for social media managers. 

Then I just try and match the situations up to the photo. It doesn’t usually take too long, but I know that the trick is always to try and make it instantly relatable. I often test the memes out on my friends and family before posting, and if they understand the meme (even though they aren’t social media managers) I know I’m on to a winner. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

My job! Every meeting, every project and every conversation has meme potential written all over it 🙈

What makes a meme go viral?

There are so many reasons that something will go viral, it’s impossible to put a formula on it. But there are a couple of things that will help:

  • Is the image current or is it a trend? Anything that feels particularly relevant will always have a better shot at going viral.
  • Is the meme instantly relatable? The more people who can see themselves in your meme, the more likely they are to share.
  • Have any particularly big accounts shared the meme? Distribution is everything! 
  • Are a lot of people talking about the topic of the meme? Again, the more relevant, the more likely people are to share.

Why do you think memes have become so popular in recent years?

I think escapism is a part of it, it’s been a weird couple of years and I think that memes have picked up a lot of popularity amongst the masses as a way to make light of and process challenging situations. 

How can you spot something with meme potential?

Does it make me laugh? Can I see a clear story within the image? Does it feel general enough that it would relate to the masses and not just me? Those are all things I look out for when I’m thinking about memes.

What does it take to make a meme account, what kind of skills do you need to turn it into a career and monetise it as a business?

Well… I’m not sure I can give any advice on turning it in to a career as this is something I do for fun in my spare time, BUT… I think to create memes you need to be able to spot trends and conversations, and understand what it is that drives and frustrates your audience. When you understand what frustrates them and what brings them joy, you can create miniature stories (memes) to recreate those moments. 

In terms of monetisation, I think the secret is building an engaged community and ensuring that whatever monetisation routes you build, it makes sense for your audience. 

What’s the secret to creating a cult brand and growing a community?

Pick a niche and make it your own. There’s no point recreating what somebody else has already done if you want to be a cult brand as you lose that first-to-market advantage that is the hallmark of a cult brand.

When you know your niche, listen to your audience. Read your comments, read your DMs and encourage community-driven behaviour. 

What’s been the highlight of your career as a professional meme-maker, so far?

As someone running an account for social media managers, my favourite moments are when I realise that someone has accidentally followed my account from the accounts that they manage. I couldn’t possibly reveal the accounts… but I will tell you that they have included major household brands, TV shows and even politicians accidentally following the @workinsocialtheysaid account.

Your all-time favourite meme image…

Classic, timeless… it’s gotta be yellow glasses guy.

If you were a meme, what would you be?

My entire account is me in the format of memes, I’m not sure I could ever pick just one. But if I had to pick a meme that i’d like to be, it would have to be some variation on the Jackie Weaver Parish Council spectacle. I stan a true meme queen, and Jackie Weaver is a gal after my own heart.

Follow @Workinsocialtheysaid on Instagram!


6 Outfits To Wear For The August Bank Holiday

Whether you’re going out on the town or slobbing out on the sofa with last night’s Deliveroo, we think a long weekend is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new look.

Summer might be nearly over but hot girl season is here to stay. Whether you’re going out on the town or slobbing out on the sofa with last night’s Deliveroo, we think a long weekend is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new look. Go chic with a silk black midi dress, or embrace marmite fashion with a Borge vest -Grandma called, she wants her crocs back, but we’re not taking her call.

Whack them on and get yourself to the beer garden with the gals. When you’re sufficiently tipsy, push aside your phone charm and message that Hinge match you ignored three days ago. Summer might have been a flop, but get ready to flip flop your way into the weekend and make some memories worth their own Instagram highlight.


Since I’m weeks away now from giving birth, anything nice and floaty and smock like is the dream to wear! I just ordered this white dress to see me through the warmer heavily pregnant days and love it! I’m also obsessed with these Teva sandals as they are SO comfy!

*ASOS, Neon Rose relaxed smock dress with scallop edge collar in poplin, £30 | *& Other Stories, Teva Velcro Sandals, £55 | *& Other Stories, Angular Cat Eye Sunglasses, £23


I’m heading to a party on Sunday and even though it is 100% meant to be a low-key jeans and a nice top vibe (translation: Spice Girls karaoke in the kitchen will ensue at 1am) I feel like dressing up in something fancy. I’ve already got this dress in pink so naturally, I needed the black too. I’m going to style it with a slicked back bun, these micro wedges (very The Row, I love ’em) or a pair of DMs, either way, we all know I’ll be kicking off the shoes by midnight ready for the Sporty Spice kicks.

*Warehouse, Satin Dress With Cut Outs, £69 | Zara, MINI WEDGE SANDALS WITH THIN STRAPS, £29.99 | *Mango, Baguette bag with flap, £19.99 | Boots, Rouge Dior Couture Colour Metallic Lipstick 999, £32


Ayyyy who doesn’t love a Bank Holiday!? August Bank Hol is always good vibes, and although I don’t many plans I’m excited nonetheless! I’ve never owned a gilet/vest before but I’m really wanting one for the autumn weather coming up and this one from Weekday is so dreamy. I’ve gone for a fairly laidback look that would work for brunch/shopping/some daytime drinks and I can’t wait to do all of the above!

*Weekday, Rowe Extra High Straight Jeans, £40 | *ASOS, ASOS DESIGN Target premium leather toe thong flatforms in black, £45 | *Weekday, Peggy Pile Vest, £50 | *ASOS, COLLUSION waffle vest in black, £5 | Skinny Dip, Anne Marie x Skinnydip Take Care Tote Bag, £12


I actually don’t have any big plans for the bank holiday but more than likely I’ll end up out for drinks at some point with a few friends! I’ll be going jeans and a nice top vibe, wearing some baggy blue jeans and this super cute satin scarf top from ASOS. Paired with some white Air Force (my go-to for basically any event), some gold jewellery and a brown bag to match the outfit.

*ASOS, ASOS DESIGN 90s satin scarf double tie halter in brown swirl print, £18 | *ASOS, I Saw It First double button waist detail straight leg jean in blue, £35 | *Office, Nike Air Force 1 07 Trainers White, £89.99 | Gifts From The Crypt, Old English Birth Year Necklace, £8.99 | *ASOS, Forever New Gia gathered handle pouch bag in chocolate, £35


I was meant to be in Malta this weekend but it unfortunately got cancelled, we’re going on a little staycation instead but you bet I’m still going to be wearing my holiday festival outfits. I’ll be wearing the swirl print most of the time because I’m obsessed. This dress will be so easy for exploring and also nice to dress up for some cocktails in the evening. I’m aiming for clashing colours and making a statement, watch out Liverpool I’m coming for ya.

*ASOS, ASOS DESIGN Curve shirt dress in green abstract swirl print, £28 | Skinny Dip, Kerri Pink Shoulder Bag, £26 | Skinny Dip, Blush Pearl Stone Sunglasses, £18 | *Office, Melissa, Melissa X Lazy Oaf Kick Off Heart Sandals, £110


I’m hoping to go on a bit of a lush lunch date with my old ball and chain this weekend, which means I can’t go wrong with jeans a nice top. I’ve gone for these flared jeans to hug the bum with a little white shirt, black heels keeping all the pops of colour in my accessories with this orange handbag and blue earrings.

*ASOS, ASOS DESIGN Hourglass high rise ‘lift and contour’ flare jeans in clean black, £28 | *ASOS, Z_Code_Z Wide Fit Exclusive Dina plaited mules with toe post in black, £30 | *ASOS, Weekday Wanda linen shirt in off white, £33 | JW PEI,  Gabbi Bag – Orange, £79 | Ana Luisa, TORUS BLUE, £65

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50 September Nails to Save for Your Next Set

From understated micro Frenchies perfect for a bride-to-be to retro swirls and pick & mix combos with big Harry Styles energy, here’s 50 manicure ideas to hit save on ahead of your September appointment.

There’s nothing like the pressure of trying to decide what outfit your nails are going to wear for the next three weeks, which is why we took it upon ourselves to source all the manicure material for you, ready to for your next fresh set.

From understated micro Frenchies perfect for a bride-to-be to retro swirls and pick & mix combos with big Harry Styles energy, here’s 50 manicure ideas to hit save on ahead of your September appointment.

Nailfies coming in hot in the gallery below…


Everything You Need To Know About Lube

Most people are in agreement that sexual experiences, be it alone or with a partner, are better when wet, yet oftentimes there is a stigma around using lubrication because of the assumption that needing it means you’re not sexually aroused by your partner.

We suggest reading this post accompanied by hits from the ‘80s soft rock band Wet Wet Wet because things are about to get seriously drippin’ up in here. Most people are in agreement that sexual experiences, be it alone or with a partner, are better when wet, yet oftentimes there is a stigma around using lubrication because of the assumption that needing it means you’re not sexually aroused by your partner- something that can confidently be debunked right off the bat. Studies show that adding lube to any sexual act increases a woman’s chance of orgasm by 80%, showing that lubrication isn’t just about practicality, but pleasure too. Lube is not a solution to a problem, but a little extra somethin’ somethin’ that heightens sensation and makes pleasure accessible to more of us- what’s not to love?!

Having said that, for those that do suffer with painful sex, irritated skin or have experienced trauma from past sexual experiences, lube can be a welcome encouragement and helping hand in easing into sexual acts and adding some moisture to the vulva, vagina, anus, penis or sex toys, making for a more accessible and pleasurable experience altogether.

And whilst sex ed made it seem like slapping on some Durex Original and sliding right in there was all there was to it, turns out there is far more to know when it comes to getting the most from your wet and wild bedroom experiences…

The different types of lubrication:

So you’re in the sexual pleasure aisle and things are feeling overwhelming- who knew there were so many types of lube out there?! The four main variations you’ll likely come across include water-based, silicon-based, oil-based, natural lubricants or a hybrid of the above.

Water-based lube:

This is the perfect go-to for almost every sexual activity going- be it penetrative sex, masturbation or sex toy play- and is the most versatile of lubes out there to help fulfil sexual desires aplenty. Water-based lubrication is lightweight and silky in feel making it ideal for those with sensitive skin, vaginal irritation or chronic pain, and is also super easy to clean out of sheets and clothes without leaving a stain- a win-win! Water-based lubrication is typically runnier in consistency compared to silicone lube, meaning it’s not your best bet for use in the shower as it will wash away far more quickly, but aside from that is a perfect go-to for use with condoms and toys.

Silicone-based lube:

Silicone-based lubricants last the longest out of any lubricant, so if you’re planning a Bridgerton style sex marathon then this is the one to reach for. They’re safe to use with latex condoms but not with your silicone toys- for that revert back to your reliable water-based offerings. If steamy shower sex is your thing, then look no further than a silicone lube, as this bad boy needs to be reapplied far less often than other lubrications and will hold up for as long as you do. Silicone based lubrication is hypoallergenic meaning most people won’t experience any reaction to it. All you have to worry about is which lingerie set you’ll be wearing at said sexy time!

Oil-based lube:

The true slip ‘n’ slide of lubrication, oil-based lubes will keep going, and going, and going. Oil-based lubes can double up for both sex and sensual massages, but the biggest thing to know about them is they’re not compatible with latex condoms as they undermine their strength and therefore are not safe if this is your primary form of contraception.
Whether it be for sex, foreplay or alongside your favourite toy, an oil will keep things hydrated and ready for whatever it is you have in store. Bear in mind that they can stain bedding and clothing due to their consistency, which is also harder for the body to clear out in comparison to their natural counterpart meaning they have greater potential for vaginal infections or irritation if you are prone to this.

Natural lubes:

Some decide to opt for natural lubricants to avoid using potentially harsh or irritating ingredients on sensitive or easily irritated skin, however what counts as a natural lubricant can vary. Natural lubricants may have a shorter shelf life which is something to bear in mind, however in general they are compatible with most condoms and silicone toys making them extremely versatile. Organic-based coconut oil is typically the preferred natural lubrication as it possesses antibacterial properties, but aloe vera, olive oil and avocado oil are also great (but remember they cannot be used with latex condoms).

What not to do…

Now we’ve spoken about the dos, it’s time for the don’ts. It’s best not to use flavoured lubes for vaginal intercourse as they contain sugar (glucose) which can be a big trigger for yeast infections- something best to be avoided at all costs. Ouch. Below are a few ingredients also worth looking out for and avoiding because of potential irritation or inflammation:

  • Glycerin
  • Nonoxynol-9
  • Petroleum
  • Propylene glycol
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate

If you’re trying to conceive then be sure to look for a lubricant that says it’s “sperm-friendly” or “fertility-friendly” on its packaging, as lubrication with certain ingredients (namely petroleum, propylene glycol, glycerin, parabens, silicone, and Nonoxynol-9 ) can impact sperm motility- the ability of sperm to move properly through a woman’s reproductive tract.

Lubrication and chronic pain:

Sex can be painful for those with chronic pelvic pain problems and conditions including Vulvodynia and Vaginismus, but the right lube can alleviate some of the symptoms that make sex difficult and in general create a more positive and pleasurable experience. Brands such as YES create lubrication especially for those dealing with these problems, helping to provide relief from burning, irritation and discomfort, maintain a healthy pH balance in the vaginal environment to offer natural protection against thrush and also hydrate the necessary delicate tissues and general vulval and vaginal areas.

Finding the lubrication products that work for you and keep sex pleasurable for longer is the aim here, because no matter your criteria, there will be something that works for you!

To summarise, lube can be everything when it comes to positive sexual experiences and a real game-changer whether you’re having fun alone or with a partner. The vagina’s natural lubrication depends on hormone levels during our monthly cycle, pregnancy or menopause, and can be affected by things such as contraception, breastfeeding or stress, meaning the need for lubrication can be far and wide-reaching, and can benefit almost everyone in the bedroom. Anything that makes for an experience as pleasurable as watching Normal People for the first time is more than fine by us…


Hair Styling Tools For Every Hair Type

Achieving a fresh outta the salon look for those of us who can only just manage holding a round brush and hairdryer at the same time isn't easy, but a man is only as good as his tools, meaning arming yourself with the right equipment is key for any hope of achieving hair styling success.

Achieving a fresh outta the salon look for those of us who can only just manage holding a round brush and hairdryer at the same time isn’t easy, but a man is only as good as his tools, meaning arming yourself with the right equipment is key for any hope of achieving hair styling success. And if Love Island has influenced us on anything positive this season, it’s the girls and their hair wizardry, from Faye’s bouncy curtain bangs to Mary’s spiky 90s bun, is anyone else itching for a switch in the hair department? If so then you’re in the right place, as we detail the best tools in the biz for the main styles out there right now, waves, crimping and mermaid curls included.

Mermaid Waves of Dreams

Beachy waves have always been big on the hair lust list, but mermaid style waves took over Instagram (particularly following Molly-Mae’s beautiful collaborations with Beauty Works) in 2019 and have been here to stay ever since. This universally flattering style is one that works on short and long hair alike, and looks effortlessly undone both on the first day of styling and brushed out and tousled in the days following too- perfect for those of us back in the office for whom having presentable hair is now a requirement (anyone else forget how to use a hairbrush in 2020?). Somewhere between a crimper and a curler, the mermaid waver creates fuss free waves that are perfectly suited for the summer season and add both texture and volume to even the flattest of locks. 

For ultimate cool girl mermaid waves, make sure to leave the bottom of the strand you’re waving slightly less tight than the rest to give a more natural and balanced look, particularly when working with shorter hair. Add some mousse to define the waves and minimise frizz and voila, you’re ready to hit the beach clubs and bars in an instant!

Straight and Sleek

If you’re thinking straight = boring then you couldn’t be further from the truth, and the likes of Kate Moss, Jennifer Anniston and Ariana Grande would certainly be inclined to disagree too. A sleek and straight hairstyle is a classic look for any hair novice out there, with the promise that you can’t go far wrong with some ghd’s and Argan oil in hand. Whether you opt for a poker straight, striking evening look or add a playful twist by flicking out your ends, the fun you can have with hair styling isn’t just reserved for the curly haired ladies amongst us. Add some butterfly clips, a chic hairband or keep it simple with a middle part and you’re well on your way to achieving hairstyle heaven.

ghd is the ultimate in hair straightener magic, but you also can’t go far wrong with staple brands like Babyliss or Remington that offer more budget friendly options that still deliver killer results.

Straight Outta the ‘80s Crimped

According to Celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan, crimped accent pieces are coming back, and we’re kinda here for it…

For those not afraid of a throwback look and whom are after texture and volume for days, crimping might indeed be the style for you. The zigzag style waves are mostly synonymous with the ’80s or ’90s but tend to make an annual appearance when festival season rolls around, offering a fun and flirty alternative hairstyle that certainly stands out. Crimping is one of the more time consuming styles out there, but the results usually stay locked in place and last for days, especially with a spritz of your fave hairspray too. Friendly reminder: Don’t brush out crimped hair unless Hermione Granger is your style icon.

Va Va Va Volume

If battling fine and flat hair is your styling nemesis, having the right tools in your collection to challenge your hair’s lacklustre ways might be all you need to take your look to the next, volumised level. Get in at the root with a heated round brush or 2 in 1 dryer and styler and watch your locks transform into bouncy blow dry heaven. A little bit of lift can go a long way in helping transform your look, and depending on your budget, ghd, Revlon or the good ol’ folks at John Lewis have your back in giving you the confidence big hair naturally brings. Psst: for that extra extra bit of volume, try crimping the underneath layers of your hair at the root and watch it stay bouncy all day!

Who Said Drying Your Hair Was a Chore?

Drying one’s hair is certainly not high on the list of most people’s things to do for fun, but needs must, and with the right tools in tow it need not be too much of a struggle. High-tech hair styling is serious business now and if you’re feeling a lil spendy lately than a Dyson hairdryer might be one to add to basket … we promise we won’t tell. Fast drying, without using extreme heat, engineered for multiple different hair types and with a new flyaway attachment, it’s seriously the bees knees when it comes to multitasking in the drying department. For those simply looking to get the job done without the £££ price tag, Babyliss and Remington can once again be relied on for budget friendly offerings that arguably do the job v well too. Grab a paddle brush and some hair oil for a sleek look, or dry upside down for all the extra volume you can get your hands on- you look great, we promise!

The Creme De La Creme of Curls

From ringlets to undone waves or big barrelled curls, there are endless hair curling tools out there depending on whether you’re aiming for Taylor Swift in her Fearless era or Dakota Johnson’s effortless waves. Beauty Works is a classic go-to for all of your curling needs, offering wands with different barrels and attachments to switch out depending on your desired look. Life is truly better once you’ve found the wand or tong that really speaks to you, and almost like the perfect LBD or pair of jeans, knowing you can rely on it through thick and thin is nothing short of a styling dream.

Non-Electrical Essentials

You don’t always need heat to get your desired lewk. Embrace your natural curls by using a curling cream from the likes of Shea Moisture or Cantu which provide crunch-free definition and shine. You can also create beautiful curls with a heatless curling rod hairband (we thank Tik Tok for this). Edge control gel and styling brush will mean those baby hairs are always snatched, these can also be used for any flyaway hairs when styling a sleek bun or high ponytail. We mustn’t forget the powers of a good comb or hairbrush too; anti-static combs keep frizz at bay and elevate heated curled looks when you are after loose beachy waves. Paddle brushes have anti-frizz properties too and are the ideal tool for anyone wanting sleek straight hair, they are the best hair detanglers too, 10/10!

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Between You & Me: Your Problems Answered Part 19

Another month, another meltdown. It wouldn’t be BYAM without them would it? The August edition sees us handing out our best advice for body hang-ups (you will need: zero fucks), how to come out as non-binary to your family, breaking up with your partner for the sake of your mental health, how to focus on […]

Another month, another meltdown. It wouldn’t be BYAM without them would it?

The August edition sees us handing out our best advice for body hang-ups (you will need: zero fucks), how to come out as non-binary to your family, breaking up with your partner for the sake of your mental health, how to focus on the here and calling quits on a situationship because chasing him when he’s not willing to chase you is not a 2021 vibe, no way, NO WHEY (Chloe Love Island voice).

Repeat after us:

I will love thy big beautiful boobs
I will be true to myself, regardless of other people’s unsolicited opinions
I will put my mental health first
I will savour the present moment
I will protect my energy and walk away from the things that no longer serve me

Good, commandments done, let’s get down to BYAM business…


We Tried: Tarot Card Reading

In this edition of our 'We Tried' series, we had the pleasure of sitting down with tarot reader and all-around cosmic hun, Simone Stevens, for our very first reading. All cards on the table… here’s how we got on!

During the 14th century, tarot cards were just another playful parlour game invented by the Italians for fun. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that they rose through the ranks and underwent an enchanting evolution.

Ever since their magical glow up, people have been captivated by this mysterious fortune-telling tradition, turning to the tarot deck for divination, self-discovery and guidance on what the future holds.

The standard modern deck we know today consists of 78 cards divided into two groups: the major arcana (representing significant life events and influences) and the minor arcana (for everyday matters, like the supporting cast members of the deck). Nowadays, tarot is widely used as a tool to discuss the past, present and future, the trials and tribulations we face along the way and the lessons we need to master in order to thrive.

Despite its witchy roots and stereotypes, it’s less about theatrical fortune-telling, and more about holding a mirror up to our lives so that we can connect with our inner wisdom, access what is happening in our personal orbit whether that be money, love or career goals and gain some support with our daily decision-making.

Each card is packed with implied meaning and symbolism linked to psychology, astrology, numerology, alchemy, Kallallah and many other religion and traditions but ultimately, it’s up to us to dig into our experiences to determine what the cards are showing us.

In this edition of our ‘We Tried’ series, we had the pleasure of sitting down with tarot reader and all-around cosmic hun, Simone Stevens (you can follow her at @sensesbysim), for our very first reading.

All cards on the table… here’s how we got on!

Lareese says…

I’ve never had my cards read before so as a total witchy newbie, I had no idea what to expect and I loved going into it that way – no high hopes or preconceived ideas to muddy the waters. Other than knowing it involved shuffling a pretty deck of cards with some nice pictures on, I was 100% clueless about what it entailed, but also completely geeking out because I love this sh*t.

There was no beaded curtain, candles and sage sticks on this occasion, just a couple of Brightonian humans sat in front of each other over a table, holding space, opening up energy and chatting about it. Wholesome stuff. The lovely Sim asked me to think of a couple of open-ended questions and, I’m no mind reader but I sensed she wasn’t referring to the ‘should I have finished that entire packet of Jaffa Cake Nibbles last night’ kind of question (an elite snack if you’re keen to explore).

I decided to focus on fertility and creativity. I wanted to know if motherhood is something that will find me in the future after a somewhat relentless road of going at it like rabbits to no avail, and if I’ll ever get round to writing that bloody book I’ve been threatening to write for the last 5 years (if an ex is reading this, sorry pal, what can I say? My memoir, my material. You should have found my clitoris sooner).

Pretty much all of my cards related to some form of a juggling act – spinning all the plates, work-life balance, saying ‘yes’ to everything (guilty as charged) and burning the candle at both ends. Well, the cards don’t lie people because… IT ME. It’s an ever-familiar theme in my life but what to do when you have a smorgasbord of glorious people around you, you’re terrified of letting anyone down and you have all the fingers in many, many beautiful holes and you need to give every single one of them your all. You turn to wine. That’s what you do.

Whilst I didn’t find out everything I wanted to know or make sense of in this tarot reading, Sim explained that not all messages will resonate with you in that moment, sometimes we need to sit with our readings for a while and let the cards, well, work their magic I guess!

As a full-blown Pisces, I’m so open to any form of spiritual guidance and I think getting your tarot cards read is a great way to give anyone peace of mind or clarity over certain areas and events in their life past, present and future. Much like other forms of healing meditation or mindfulness, it gives you the space and intimacy to tune into your thoughts & feelings above anything else, something that can quickly fall to the bottom of all of our priority lists. It welcomes introspection and the opportunity to confront difficult truths or big arse dreams. Whether you’re a believer or not, it’s a big ol’ intuitive nudge in the right direction and you bet I’ll be going back for more wise ‘n’ witchy insights with Sim quicker than you can say Hocus Pocus.

What the cards had to say for me:

Past – Knight of wands

Full steam ahead, charging in to all that came in the past. Ready for action and you’ve taken every opportunity. This firey, creative energy is what has led you to where you are today. It’s a brilliant way to be, passionate and strong determination to succeed. But perhaps sometimes this approach is too much, saying yes to it all and jumping right in without a rationale plan or idea what you’ve taken on.

Present – Two of Pentacles

A balancing act, juggling too much and being out of kilter is what this card represents. And although you’re sailing this stormy looking sea, and have your coins under control, are things still just a bit too much? We are not balanced. Is it work life or social life balance you need? Emotional balance to the physical balance? Or a bit of it all? It’s time to look at your spinning plates and prioritise those that matter, bring you joy and happiness and really light you up.

Challenge – Eight of cups

This is about going inward, and looking at perhaps at what you need to or can walk away from. What do you need to move through, overcome or move on from? Also remember things change, we go through phases, like the moon reminds us, what is no longer serving you? This can be a bit of a path of self-discovery but given your present card I think this makes total sense.

Future – Four of Pentacles

This card is about stability. You have a good, or better balance. You’ve got a solid foundation. The beautiful red robes and crown also stand for material wealth. You’ve worked hard to get here and you know it, you feel it and you’ve earnt it.

The way in which our person holds their coin to their chest can also flag a sense of holding on too much, it’s okay to loosen the purse strings occasionally. Perhaps a fear of losing it all, but that won’t happen if you stay stable and balanced in the situation. Money is a great part of life but life needs to be enjoyed. Be flexible, treat yourself. The triangle shape the pentacles make can also stand for the elements, the things that keep the world moving.

Danielle says…

I was super excited to get my cards read, I’ve only done it once before at a Christmas party but I loved applying the cards to my personal life and doing a bit of introspective work! I don’t go ALL in for the cards knowing all and predicting the future, I personally look at it as a way to think about my life in a way that I usually wouldn’t, and to look for perhaps some signs in my future that may relate to what the cards told me, without giving the experience too much stock.

Sim has wonderful energy and I instantly felt cool and calm when I sat down with her. I didn’t really have anything specific that I wanted to ask the universe about but at a push, I’d say the two things that cause the majority of conversations/uneasiness in my life is fertility and money. They’re the big conversations I have with my partner Harry, like when should we have children, should we re-arrange our cancelled COVID wedding, should we be saving for a holiday or to get the garden landscaped! So those were the kind of things I had on my mind going into the reading.

Overall I loved the experience and have popped my cards along with my thoughts about them below:

Past – Five of wands

There has been some chaos, setbacks and delays… but nothing you couldn’t handle because it was handled well, no balls were dropped, no one got hurt and it all worked out, your support network held you through it and this is how things got sorted.

I really liked this card and I felt like it was telling me how crazy the last 18 months has been in all areas of life due to COVID. The anxieties of cancelling our wedding, working and managing the team from home, buying a new house. All crazy things that I got through because of my family and friends helping me!

Present – Nine of wands

This is nearly at completion, you may feel like you’ve been through a lot, some hard blows and setbacks…(ha see card above) but now you’re in a good place, content and happy. Take time to look at what you have achieved and pat yourself on the back. This card is big self-confidence vibes and having a lot of courage. All your hard work and effort is paying off, yet there is more to come, believe in yourself, you can get there and you will, and when you do you will truly know you’ve made it! The nine can also represent still having many options and being open to what they could be, so keep an eye out 😉

I think this card is exactly what I needed to hear, instead of wondering what’s next all the time I should just be looking around at how much we’ve managed to achieve in the last couple of years and be grateful for it. I’m pretty hard on myself sometimes and find I find it difficult to give myself that breather and praise.

Challenge – Queen of swords

Get your ducks in a row, get a bit more organised and logical with what it is you truly want to achieve what are the steps you need to put in place to get there. Plan. Plan. Plan. She is strong no BS vibes so this is the approach to take. She is also open to opportunity but is firmly in her place too, she is strong independent female vibes all the way. You can make anything you want to happen, just get this no fluff, no BS plan to get there off the ground! We also have abundance, new life and rebirth sneaking in with the butterfly and child’s face. All positive hints.

The Queen of Swords is such a badass, I love everything she stands for! I’m choosing to believe that she means I should decide what I want and what I need to be saving for and just DO IT. Instead of dilly-dallying, I need to get on with it, learn how to drive, start a new savings account, and stop wasting my money on rubbish that only brings short term happiness!

Future – seven of wands

Successful and stable. Facing life full-on. You stand in victory of what you’ve achieved. You’re not afraid to take anything on. You stand and speak in your truth, and it’s very powerful. You have big dreams for the future and you will get it. You’ve worked hard, got through some challenges but now you stand tall, proud and confident.

Obviously, this card sounds fantastic for anyone’s future, and I love what it stands for, however, I’m wary that to get to this place I need to put in the work. This stability and success won’t just fall into my lap, but it’s mine for the taking.

Darcey says…

I’ve always wanted to have a tarot card reading but like a lot of things in life, it was just something that I never got around to doing with busy life schedules and not having the time to really research who I would like to have it done by. So, as you can imagine I was super excited when the opportunity came about to get my cards read finally!

I sat down with Sim who was the lovely lady reading our tarot cards that day, she had some crystals dotted around which I instantly noticed as a fellow lover of crystals and their powers. I’m quite a spiritual person in some ways, so I do find myself drawn to crystals and their healing powers so it was nice to chat with Sim about that too. I went in with a fairly broad question around whether I am on the right path, I find as a 23-year-old, you can sometimes feel behind others who are of similar age to you. Some of my friends live at home still (like me), some have mortgages, some are in long-term relationships, some have never even kissed someone. It’s seriously such a confusing age and can be hard to not compare yourself to others. So I was hoping to find some kind of clarity around that, whether the cards would say I was where I was meant to be.

The cards reallyyyy got my past and present spot on, to the point I was actually quite shook by it! Basically, they said in the past I didn’t fully deal with something that happened and therefore it’s still taking up some headspace in my present (all definitely true). My present is all about feeling outside of the institution, the card shows two people standing outside a church in the snow. This was really interesting to me because I do sometimes have feelings of being an outsider, as I don’t have a strong desire to get married or have children or just to do more conventional things in general, so that really got my attention!

But what truly, truly shocked me within my reading was my future card. It was the four of wands which is all about a beautiful union, whether that is a relationship, friendship, who knows! But for me I see it as a relationship, even though marriage isn’t something I see for myself, I do want a life-long partner. However, when Sim pulled the card she had this urge to check the time, it was 11:22 and do you know what the four of wands represents? 11:11 and 22:22, I couldn’t believe it! Just felt it was a true sign from the universe to trust the path I’m on. I’ll absolutely be going back to Sim for more readings in the future when I’m feeling uncertain about something happening in my life!

What the cards had to say for me:

Past – Four of Swords

Perhaps something from the past wasn’t dealt with, that need you to retreat, rest and recover from it? And although this is very much in the past it is good to go back and deal with things, let them go and make space for more in your current life. Take time out for it, mediation is always a good way to work with this card. Take care of yourself, and work through this in a place of calm and stillness.

Present – Five of pentacles

This card is about being on the outside, perhaps of institutional ways. But it is okay to be on the outside. Being part of tradition, ‘cults’ or set out paths is not for everyone! We don’t have to conform. Because these ways exist doesn’t mean they are right or right for you. This card does also mean there is change, perhaps change to be the outsider? Other key points of this card are about communication, being open and speaking your truth.

Challenge – Ace of Pentacles

This gift/wish card is the universe gifting you the permission to go for it! Abundance is yours for the taking. Whatever and where ever you want to be, or not be, it’s all yours for the taking. This card is about new ventures and the power to succeed. A setting for a new, exciting path. It is also linked to fertility, joy, happiness and pure abundance.

Future – Four of Wands

This wonderful card is about union, a partnership, marriage or a beautiful relationship. Two people working together that complement each other, pull and push each other in the right directions. A soul connection. And more opportunities on the horizon in this beautiful partnership.
The colours also represent abundance too! The wands can also represent number sequences 11:11 or 22 – just like the time was!! This is about intuition and moving forward, the guides and universe really giving you go ahead.

Charlotte says…

I have ALWAYS wanted to do a tarot reading and since learning more about manifestation and the law of attraction during lockdown I definitely feel more spiritually connected, so when the opportunity came up to have our cards read I was so excited. Sadly I had Covid at the time so had to complete my reading digitally rather than in person, but I actually don’t think this detracted from the experience at all and I was still able to feel just as connected and moved by the outcome. I chose to focus on health and relationships going into the reading as I’ve struggled with long term, chronic pain for a few years now and came out of a really long term relationship about a year ago, so love, connection, health and happiness are really at the forefront of my mind and focus. I had actually googled in advance what to expect from a tarot card reading as the whole world of it felt very new and foreign to me, but even having done some research I was not expecting the outcome that unfolded!

I was so overcome with emotion when I saw my cards and I really didn’t expect to be. Having both The Magician and The Star felt so powerful and was really the positive boost and indication I needed to know that the universe has plans of happiness and connection for me and has truly made me excited for the future. I felt like the Seven of Pentacles being my past card was also really accurate as it spoke about putting a lot of hard work into something and being okay now with a different outcome, and I really do feel like this relates to my previous relationship and the progress I have made in therapy and in reflecting since then. The idea of being able to take a fresh perspective was really useful and aligns with the vision I already have for myself, so this again was a great confirmation that I’m on the right path.

My final card, The Ten of Wands, again was something I feel like I needed to hear in terms of setting boundaries and definitely linked back to my past card and the idea of a fresh start and knowing myself well enough to take care of my mental health properly. It definitely left me with a lot of food for thought!

Overall the experience is one I would truly recommend to anyone as it left me feeling so enlightened and ‘seen’ but in a really positive way. I felt the reading was really specific to me and where I’m currently at in life, and I know some sceptics would say that similarly to a horoscope you can relate it to anything if you really want to, I do genuinely think this reading was meant for me and the plans the universe has in store. I loved the whole experience and would love to go again in the future if I feel I need some more guidance.

Past – seven of pentacles

This card represents the planting of seeds and watching them grow. It can often mean a lot of work has gone into something and you now need to wait patiently for the outcome to flourish, hard work in the past is now paying off? Be proud of the hard work you’ve put in, maybe treat yourself to something that will remind you of all you achieved. It can sometimes also represent a new perspective, perhaps something you worked hard for or on in the past didn’t quite go as you’d hoped but it has given you a new perspective and that is then the lesson to take from it. Or perhaps what you planted in the past is now not what you want, your dreams have changed and this means perhaps now looking at things with a fresh mind and perspective.

Present – the magician

Wow this is a powerful card! It confirms you’re in the right place at the right time. You’ve got yourself to this point and you contain all the magic to achieve whatever it is you truly want. This card isn’t just about mystical things it’s about pragmatism too. So all the things that you dream about, inspire you and maybe feel so out of reach are in fact not! The message is you’re magic and that if you set your mind to something you can make it happen…just like magic. This is manifesting big goals, concentrating on that achievement you really want to reach. As you can see in the card the magician has all four elements of the tarot; swords, pentacles, wands and cups. This means you have all that you need to achieve this. When this guy shows up in a reading, especially in the present it means truly anything is possible, you now just have to get in that mindset and make a plan to get it!

Challenge- The Star

This challenge card is what can help or be blocking you at the present time. But wow to get the Star with the magician is a double high five from the universe. The star is about making wishes come true, the water represents love, inspiration and tenderness. It’s about dreaming big, hard work but anything is possible. Coupled with the magician I would say the universe has something exciting planned for you very soon, you just need to know what it is you want and go for it. Stay motivated. This card can also mean that our creativeness needs rest. So if you have been unwell this is a sign to take the time you need to be truly rested and feel rejuvenated again. The water going in and out of the card is about ensuring we stay balanced and keep our own intentions and dreams full. Try some meditation with water sounds or hanging out at the beach to replenish.

Future – the ten of wands

Try to avoid taking on too much responsibility, or at least try to share it out so the burden isn’t all on you. You may need to take a break from having so much on your plate. Perhaps even look at if some of these people or things even truly need you anymore, and could set you free? Perhaps you often take on too much and it’s a habit that in the future you will need to break free from. Perhaps you notice you do a lot, more than others and that you don’t always get the thanks you deserve? Watch out for these signs in the future, it will be a good time to break away and set your own boundaries, look after yourself more. Tens represent new chapters and phases too so for the future this is a sign that you will break away from unnecessary burdens and be free to be you.