50 Women On The Lessons They Learnt From Being a Mother

We spoke to 50 women about their experiences of being a mama (read: actual superhero) and the biggest lessons they discovered along the way, and you might just find yourself nodding along to every single one…

Heartwarming and heartbreaking. Uplifting and destructive. Pure love and pure frustration. Being a parent is perhaps one of life’s biggest challenges. From birth to their university graduation, there isn’t a day that goes by when you aren’t learning something new about them, yourself and what it means to love unconditionally. But despite the highs that come from walking the path of motherhood, there are without a doubt unpredictable bumps in the road too that may see you doubting it all.

If there’s one common thread in the world of parenthood though, it’s that so many of these experiences- be it the 3am wobbles or first day of school scaries- are truly universal. But don’t just take our word for it. We spoke to 50 women about their experiences of being a mama (read: actual superhero) and the biggest lessons they discovered along the way, and you might just find yourself nodding along to every single one…

  • Learn to accept the bad days and not to dwell on them. Every mum has them.
  • You will have to say goodbye to your former self for a while.
  • It’s the loneliest job in the world (sometimes).
  • It’s so important to admit to errors when talking to your child.
  • Make every moment count- my son died last year and I’m sitting now with my living daughter in my arms.
  • There’s no room for spontaneity anymore. 
  • It might not come as naturally as you imagined, and that’s okay. Seek help, learn as you go.
  • Lower your expectations.
  • The decisions you feel best about are made with your instincts. No one knows your baby like you.
  • Everyone is just doing their best.
  • You won’t necessarily be the mother you imagined, and that’s okay.
  • Everything isn’t going to be perfect, no matter how many books you read.
  • You will never again be the centre of your whole universe.
  • Stop romanticising motherhood. I’m not perfect and my baby isn’t either.
  • All cliches are true.
  • You don’t lose yourself, you blossom into someone else- a mother.
  • Appreciate the people who show up for you.
  • You will probably feel like you’re getting ill every single day as your standard.
  • Babies aren’t robots and neither are mamas- go with your instinct and try to relax.
  • They teach you far more than you will ever teach them.
  • There’s no such thing as a perfect mother, trying to be one is no good for anyone.
  • Always follow your instinct and ignore the noise.
  • You will grow more than you ever imagined possible. Enjoy it.
  • No one tells you how hard it is on the dads. 
  • There’s so much to love in all the small, intimate moments.
  • Asking for help is never a sign of failure. It really does take a village.
  • Your emotional and physical wellbeing is one of the most important factors in how you parent, how you engage, how you react to difficulties and how present you are in motherhood. It is exhausting, all consuming, beautiful and chaotic and it’s so important to fill your self-care cup up too. Also peace over perfection, always!
  • It’s not a choice between taking care of only your child or only yourself- you deserve care too. 
  • Take things an hour at a time.
  • A mother’s strength is beyond this world. 
  • Don’t forget to adjust the patience scale for your partner, family and baby.
  • That for so many, the journey to becoming a mother is so difficult.
  • My baby is due soon and I’ve already learnt to do what’s best for me and feels right.
  • Breastfeeding is great but the feeling of your body not being your own any more can be tough and so hard to explain until you’re in that situation.
  • That a bit of a messy house isn’t a bad thing.
  • Time goes past too quickly to worry about the small things. Play with them and be in the moment as much as possible!
  • It’s okay not to know everything.
  • Some friendships won’t survive the journey into motherhood.
  • I have to let go of the things I can’t control.
  • I am not as patient as I thought, and mum guilt sucks.
  • There’s no love like it.
  • Babies do things at their own speed, don’t worry if yours isn’t at the same stage as others.
  • Take it one step at a time and accept that everyone makes ‘mistakes’.
  • Everything is a phase.
  • Give them space.
  • Praise is much more effective than punishment. 
  • There’s no place for perfectionism in parenting.
  • The ability to be flexible is a super power!
  • True love finally makes sense. 
  • Women are *the* sh*t. Period.

Dopamine Dressing and How To Style Yourself Happy

Dopamine dressing is all about injecting joy into your wardrobe in the form of bold colours, out-there prints and clashing items to create an outfit that screams smiley face emojis all day long.

In need of some feel-good in your life? Turns out you need not to look much further than your wardrobe. Introducing: Dopamine Dressing. One of the biggest trends to emerge from the pandemic when good vibes were seriously lacklustre, dopamine dressing is all about injecting joy into your wardrobe in the form of bold colours, out-there prints and clashing items to create an outfit that screams smiley face emojis all day long. With a particular emphasis on Bottega green, candy floss pink and lavender lilac, there’s no way you’ll be lost in a crowd when partaking in this trend!

For some context, Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter created in the brain, and in its simplest form is associated with all things feel-good. Tanya J. Peterson, NCC, DAIS, mental health educator says “It’s part of our reward center, and when our brain produces dopamine in response to what we do, we feel good and want to do more of whatever it is that’s making us feel so mentally healthy. That, in turn, leads to even more dopamine production.” Sign us up!

The colours we surround ourselves with can have a direct impact on our moods, but mostly so when we wear something that has symbolic meaning to us.

Psychologist and Reiki master Ellen Albertson, points out that in the context of Reiki, each colour has a different energetic vibration and is associated with a certain energy centre in the body, or chakra. For example, yellow is often see to boost energy and be associated with optimism and positivity (think Emma Stone in La La Land), orange with enthusiasm, success and self expression, and indigo with intuition. The colours we surround ourselves with can have a direct impact on our moods, but mostly so when we wear something that has symbolic meaning to us. Colours are culturally subjective, and the real dopamine dressing could simply be leaning in to outfits that make you feel truly ‘you’- yes please!

Keep scrolling for the ultimate colourful, bold and beautiful pieces available on the high-street right now, and get ready to smile!

*This post contains ad-affiliate links


20 Books That Can Read Your Every Mood

Today on Zoella, we’re exploring the books to add to your TBR pile if you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotion, be it positive or negative, and the go-tos you can turn to when feeling your feels is hard- be it love, loneliness, heartbreak or anxiety, we’ve got you…

A populated, colourful, busy bookshelf- pure joy! Saving you in moments of panic, keeping  you floating on a high in times of euphoria and providing the perfect escapism when life is too much, the past couple of years have seen a resurgence in public declarations of love for the simple pleasures of a good book and all it can offer no matter the emotions you find yourself experiencing on any particular day. Be it recommended by a friend, passed on by a sibling or frantically bought at the airport 10 minutes before boarding a flight, each book we read not only tells the story between its pages, but also the story of our lives at the point of reading- the relatability of a chapter seeing us in tears or finally feeling understood by characters we wish we could meet IRL.

Today on Zoella, we’re exploring the books to add to your TBR pile if you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotion, be it positive or negative, and the go-tos you can turn to when feeling your feels is hard- be it love, loneliness, heartbreak or anxiety, we’ve got you…

Books For When You’re Feeling Anxious


The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary 


Like a cup of warm tea on a rainy day, The Road Trip is as reliable as it gets for comfort 101 when anxiety is sky high. Author of bestselling reads The Switch and The Flatshare, The Road Trip follows exes Addie and Dylan as their cars collide on the way to a mutual friend’s wedding and the drama that ensues as they’re forced to reunite two years after their traumatic breakup. Flitting between past and present tense and told from the perspectives of both Dylan and Addie, the book revisits the height of romance during a hot and heavy summer in France, and the all-consuming, powerful and sometimes devastating intricacies of falling deeply in love. Addictive from the first chapter, The Road Trip will pull you deep inside its pages and leave you consumed with its messy secrets and complicated history. Get ready to fall in love!


Themes and triggers: heartbreak, friendship, coming-of-age, toxic friendships.


Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn 


After years of feeling that love was always out of reach, journalist Natasha Lunn set out to understand how relationships work, evolve and shape us. Perfect for days when your anxiety is peaking and a slice of connectedness is what you’re seeking to feel truly grounded, Conversations on Love touches on vulnerability, accepting change, loneliness in loss, redefining romance and more. Fundamentally exploring what it is to be human, this book will ignite empathy, joy and sensitivity within anyone that reads it and reconsider what we truly need to be happy. With contributions from Dolly Alderton, Roxane Gay, Candice Carty-Williams and more, the experts and authors that make up this collection of experiences prove that love in its myriad of forms will so often touch us all in the same ways. For those lost in longing, look no further.


Themes and triggers: heartbreak, grief, friendship, sex, loneliness. 


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


Between life and death, there is a library and when Nora Seed feels she has nothing left to live for, she finds herself right there, in The Midnight Library. With the help of an old friend she can now undo every one of her regrets, as the story follows her emotional journey to try and work out her perfect life after feeling nothing but despair, grief and loss in her real world. Emotional, heart-wrenching, fast paced and thought provoking at its core,The Midnight Library will light up a path of understanding for those who have ever struggled with feelings of hopelessness and ignite a warmth that can feel impossible to find in those moments of despair. For those that wonder “if only”, this book is for you.


Themes and triggers: suicide, loss, depression, hope, love, fulfilment. 


The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent


Birdy Finch has felt nothing but uninspired for as long as she can remember, so when the opportunity arises to step into someone else’s life and earn some extra money over the summer, she thinks why not? The life she’s run into, you ask? Her best friend, Heather’s.The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually, there are a few other problems too…


This romantic, witty read will have you captivated with every page turn, with its beautiful Scottish setting and the endearing naivety of Birdy as a protagonist keeping you enthralled from start to finish. Transport yourself out of any anxious spells you’re feeling and into the Scottish Highlands for this refreshing, intriguing and relatable read, which paired with a glass of wine is guaranteed to soothe all. 


Themes and triggers: alcohol, love, friendship, quarter-life crisis. 

Books For When You’re In Love


When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo


“A mythic love story set in Trinidad and Tobago, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s radiant debut introduces two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead.”


Alluring, epic and tender, When We Were Birds may have a common theme of death, but you won’t feel anything but alive when immersing yourself in its world. The story’s dual narrative works beautifully with the dual themes of life and death, and this beautiful coming of age tale will have you believing in the idea of fate and destiny from the very beginning. Written in a colloquial Caribbean dialect, the lyricism of the book brings a vivid atmosphere in which you truly feel like you’ve stepped inside the pages of this poignant love story. 


Themes and triggers: Crime, romance, fantasy, death.


The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 


(Very) sexy, smart and heartwarming, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who is experiencing the intricacies and complications of modern romance in all its shining highs and lows.  Stella Lane is on a mission to settle down, aggressively encouraged by her mother who thinks it’s about time she found a husband, but wealthy and intelligent Stella happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome, making the route to love a little more complicated. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend, and things get steamy pretty quickly.


Perfectly sweet and smutty, The Kiss Quotient will have you falling head over heels for its endearing and authentic characters and at times red faced and hot under the collar. Capturing the joy and thrill that comes from newfound love, it’s a perfect read for anyone newly smitten.


Themes and triggers: autism, dating, sex, comedy.


When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri


When it comes to Cassidy, Katie can’t think straight. This gutsy tale explores the importance of women taking the reins when it comes to sexuality, pleasure, and finding love where you least expect it, and we guarantee you’ll be obsessed with the undeniable connection of two characters you just know are destined for one another. Cute, fun and fast-paced, the story follows twenty-eight-year-old Kentucky Katie Daniels who has just been dumped by her fiance when she finds herself seated across a negotiating table from native New Yorker Cassidy Price, a sexy, self-assured woman wearing a man’s suit. Sparks are destined to fly as you inhale this feel-good read in a sitting or two. 


Themes and triggers: LGBTQ+, love, gender, sexuality. 


Normal People Sally Rooney


Need we say more? For those who are currently in the throes of love and haven’t experienced the emotional rollercoaster that is Normal People, may we encourage you to buckle in for the ride, ASAP. Meet Dublin livingMarianne, the intellectual wallflower and Connell, the boy everyone likes- unlikely friends, and later lovers, the intensity of their romance is felt in every word of Rooney’s storytelling. Intense, sharp and emotional in every way possible, the story of Marianne and Connell sums up everything it is to fall in love as flawed and damaged individuals, navigating a connection so magnetic neither will escape unscathed. Achingly tender, if there’s one book you buy after reading this post, let it be this.


Themes and triggers: first love, sex, social class, viloence, shame, mental health, longing.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


Love isn’t an exact science – but no-one told thirty-nine-year-old geneticist Don Tillman, who’s never had a second date. Feeling stuck, he devises The Wife Project in the hopes of securing a partner for life using an evidence based system guaranteed to secure him a wife. Yet whilst Rosie Jarman isn’t any of the things Don considers ‘musts’, he finds himself falling deeper into a chapter of his life in which love trumps science every time. Funny, endearing, original and poignant, The Rosie Project is everything you could want in a romance novel that pulls at your heartstrings and leaves you rooting for its quirky and addictively loveable characters. 


Themes and triggers: autism, mental health, social norms and reason vs emotion.

Books For When You’re In Need Of a Good Cry


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara


A Little Life took Japanese-American author Hanya Yanagihara 18 months to write and it may take you just as long to emotionally recover from. Profound, moving and difficult to read at times, the story follows a quartet of graduates as they embrace the seemingly limitless possibilities of New York City futures, before going on to explore toxic relationships, the far reaching scars of childhood trauma and explicit violence that will leave you fragile and wholly captivated. It’s powerful, complex, dark and not one for the fainthearted, but A Little Life will absolutely deliver on invoking tears if you’re in need of a big cry, and then some. A book that demands to be read.


Themes and triggers: self-harm, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, drug use, rape.


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera 


A love story with a difference, this book follows the journey of two young strangers who find they have less than 24 hours to live and the final great adventure they embark on during one single day. Heartbreaking, life-affirming and with ‘don’t read whilst wearing non-waterproof mascara’ written all over it, this read is powerful and intriguing at its core. Its flawed and relatable characters are a huge draw of this tale with its only downfall being you’ll likely race through at record speed and be left desperately seeking more. Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss.


Themes and triggers: mortality, life, human connection, LGBTQ+.


Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason


Exploring long-term mental illness in a way that doesn’t feel depressing, Sorrow & Bliss touches on heavy subject matter with a lightness that is utterly captivating. Following the story of Martha Friel- someone whose loved ones see as clever, beautiful and a brilliant writer- she wonders why with seemingly ‘nothing wrong’ she finds being alive harder than most. Heart-shattering but beautiful all at the same time, Meg Mason touches on the hardest parts of being mentally ill with brutal honesty in a way that will help so many feel finally ‘seen’. Described as “for those who loved Fleabag and Normal People”, it’s a contemporary tale of female struggle, unlikely hope and the raw parts of being unwell we may rather squash down. Get your tissues at the ready.


Themes and triggers: mental illness, depression, dysfunctional family dynamics, love and hope.


A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


A novel that explores what it truly means to be human, A Tale For The Time Being combines a contrast of cultures, loss, heartbreak and the familiar threads of what it means to be alive in a way that can only be described as profound. In the wake of the 2011 tsunami, Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home in British Columbia. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes, heartbreak and dreams of a young girl desperate for someone to understand her. Each turn of the page pulls Ruth deeper into the mystery of Nao’s life, and forever changes her in a way neither could foresee. Weaving across continents and decades, A Tale for the Time Being is an extraordinary novel about our shared humanity and the search for home. 


Themes and triggers: death, natural disaster, cultural differences and impermanence.


All My Mothers by Joanna Glen


Between her emotionally absent mother and her physically absent father, Eva Martinez-Green is an only child full of questions about her beginnings. Eva is convinced that all is not as it seems. Why are there no baby pictures of her? Why do her parents avoid all questions about her early years? Her desire to discover where she belongs leads Eva on a journey spanning decades and continents – and, along the way, she meets women who challenge her idea of what a mother should be, and who will change her life forever. Immense, dimensional and beautiful at its core, All My Mothers is guaranteed to trigger ugly crying throughout- not one for the morning commute. 


Themes and triggers: motherhood, friendship, neglect and coming-of-age.

Books For When You Need Pure Escapism


Breathless Amy McCullough


Need to escape reality? Breathless is for you. Set on Mount Manaslu, the eight highest mountain in the world situated in Nepal, journalist Cecily Wong finds herself out of her comfort zone and seriously far from home on a quest for a story that could change her career forever. As their small team starts to climb, things start to go wrong. There’s a theft. Then an accident. Then a mysterious note, pinned to her tent: there’s a murderer on the mountain. The higher they get, the more dangerous the climb becomes, and the more they need to trust one another. And that’s when Cecily finds the first body…


Intriguing from the first chapter, Breathless is a captivating, intensely intriguing and chilling thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last moment. 


Themes and triggers: mountaineering, murder, deceit and personal struggle.


Diary of A Film by Niven Govinden


A passionate director is at a prestigious European festival to premier his latest film when one morning at backstreet café he strikes up a conversation with a local woman who takes him on a walk to uncover the city’s secrets, historic and personal. As the walk unwinds, a story of love and tragedy emerges, and he begins to see the chance meeting as fate: her story must surely form the basis for his next film. Smart, sexy and cinematic, you’ll find yourself transported to the streets of Italy as Govinden explores the intricacies of life as a creative storyteller and the rights we have to take liberties with somebody else’s story.


Themes and triggers: artist obsession, LGBTQ+, love and misunderstanding. 


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Within the black and white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements known as Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. A sparkling tale of the impossible made possible, The Night Circus follows two young magicians, Celia and Marco, and a battle in which, unbeknownst to them, only one can win. An intricate, complicated but undeniably magical love story, this achingly beautiful tale will transport you away from the worries and complications of real life thanks to Erin Morgenstern’s enchanting words that feel like sun on the skin on the first day of Spring.


Themes and triggers: child abuse, death, love, rivalry.


Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang


As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, the 24 year old Days of Distraction protagonist reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and insufferable start-up founders while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. And when her longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to a quiet upstate New York town for grad school, she sees an excuse to cut and run. Moving is supposed to show her commitment to J by way of a grand gesture, but in the process of uprooting she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you? A story with belonging at its core, Days of Distraction is intriguing, witty and daringly original- you won’t be able to put it down.


Themes and triggers: interracial relationships, sexism, identity, culture, love and loss.  


Miss Jane by Brad Watson


Inspired by the true story of his own great-aunt, Watson explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-twentieth-century Mississippi with a genital birth defect that would stand in the way of the central “uses” for a woman in that time and place – namely, sex and marriage. This bittersweet tale explores the brutality of the human experience and shines a light on the women in history we should be celebrating, who survived and redefined womanhood against the odds. Feel yourself sucked into Miss Jane’s world the beauty there is to be found in being unapologetically yourself. 


Themes and triggers: women’s health, stigma, injustice and sexism. 


Between You and Me: Battle of the Baby Names, Boss Favouritism & the Big ‘V’

In this month’s Between You and Me, we’re chatting baby name anxiety/theft (the fear is real), being the ‘non-invited’ wedding guest (always awkward), facing favouritism accusations at work and vasectomy disagreements…

“My partner refuses to get the snip even though we know we’re one and done…”

In this month’s Between You and Me, we’re chatting baby name anxiety/theft (the fear is real), being the ‘non-invited’ wedding guest (always awkward), facing favouritism accusations at work and vasectomy disagreements…

Now you can have your say, too! Don’t miss our BYAM polls over on Instagram.

Lareese’s Advice

Baby name anxiety SUCKS. I feel that to my core as someone who is trying to conceive and has been for a wee while. Ultimately, I’ve made my peace with the fact that it doesn’t really matter if someone else takes the name you like, if you love it you should still use it regardless! It’s hard to find a name that you wholeheartedly love and it’s fine to feel protective of that. I would chat to your pal and just say look just so you know, this doesn’t have to be a big deal but that baby name you said you liked is actually top of my list (great minds think alike and all that) and I’d rather you knew now than run the risk of causing any awkwardness or drama later down the line. And hey, trends change – the names I liked when I was in my 20s are not the same names I’d choose now, so find some comfort in the fact that you or your friend might change your minds when your lovely babies have arrived and you can see what name suits them.

Maddie’s Advice

I totally get it, when you’re pregnant or trying, baby names become a fixation. Without trying you become on high alert for any whispers of someone liking your top pick. As hard as it is to do, remember that things change, tastes change and a name you love now may get the sharp veto when the time comes. That being said if you both end up naming your child the same thing, i also think that’s absolutely fine. If you love it, don’t let that stand in your way. I think if it’s not a family member, it’s fair game. Just have a conversation about it first.

Danielle’s Advice

As with most Qs about weddings, I usually side with the Bride and Groom as people are SO quick to forget that it’s THEIR day. Their one special day where everything is about them and the love they have for each other. So regardless of whether they have kids or not they can decide if they want kids there, maybe they only want theirs there? They also don’t need to have their wedding be all or none when it comes to children, maybe some close family and friends are able to bring there’s but others are not. Kids can be a huge extra cost and honestly quite loud and annoying ha, they also probably won’t even remember it in most cases. A lot of parents are also grateful for the night off from watching little ones. Either way, everyone should just respect the wishes of the Bride and Groom it’s a free party after all!

Darcey’s Advice

I can definitely see both sides for this one! If the bride and groom don’t have kids, I see how naturally they would probably be less inclined to have other people’s kids at their wedding, as the responsibility of them stops the parents maybe having as much fun. However I do really feel like kids can bring a lot to weddings, I really cherish the weddings I went to as a child and also have really enjoyed the excitement kids feel on wedding days as an adult. I suppose if you don’t have children in your close family, having your mate’s kids probably isn’t as sentimental, but maybe to consider close family? A few weddings I’ve attended the kids have had to leave at 8-9pm, they usually went home with the grandparents etc who were happy to leave at that time too and then everyone else stayed to let loose a bit more. At the end of the day, it’s 100% the bride and groom’s decision and I think anyone going to the wedding would respect that.

Charlotte’s Advice

This is tricky! It’s lovely having friends in the office and it seems a shame if you now feel like you need to be careful of showing your closeness, but if you’re confident it’s genuinely not impacted your work or opportunities in a professional capacity then I’d say carry on as you are! Really the responsibility should fall to your friend/manager as the one in the position of authority here, so you could ask them to perhaps hold back a little when it comes to being overly familiar and ‘BFF vibes’ at work and keep the in-jokes and hugs to post 5pm, and really that’s all there is to it!

When it comes to social media, maybe only share any out-of-office hangouts to your ‘close friends’ Stories until things blow over, but as I said the responsibility really falls to your manager to show there isn’t any favouritism happening and everyone is being presented with equal opportunities. Close friendships with those at work means boundaries inevitably become blurry, so do keep that in mind too, especially when that person is your superior!

Darcey’s Advice

This sounds super annoying to me, so I get the frustration! Being accused your manager is favouring you over others just because you are close seems a bit childish if I’m honest. I mean of course, if you were working a sales job for example and they gave you all the best clients, then I’d say that was crossing a line in your workplace relationship, but if nothing like that is happening and you are just genuinely good friends but know where the line is drawn professionally, I see no issue. I think because of blurred lines happening sometimes in workplace friendships, people can sometimes feel threatened by that, but I think as long as you continue on just being good pals but also getting the work done, people will soon realise it’s not impacting them in anyway.

Charlotte’s Advice

Ahh, the age-old dilemma and intricacies that come with living with a friend or partner- it’s complicated! If you’re enjoying your time living with your bestie then don’t cut it short for a boy- if he’s the one he’ll still be there 12 months down the line and if your current dynamic is working then maybe now isn’t the time to shake it up. There’s typically such a small window in our lives in which we can live with friends before it’s the norm to be in a serious relationship and move in with S/O, so I would lap it up and enjoy this time that you’ll no doubt look back on in your 40s and 50s and be so glad of. Maybe warn your friend that once your next renewal is up you’re thinking about a change in your next chapter, but if I were you I’d lean into wine Wednesdays with a rom-com, gossiping about the night before in each other’s beds on a Sunday morning and borrowing each other’s clothes for last-minute plans galore!

Danielle’s Advice

I think when you get to that point with your other half you want to move in with them ASAP! It feels like a nice next step and is a really key progression for your relationship. Your friend may already have a feeling you’d like to move in with him so don’t worry too much about having ‘the conversation’ if she’s your best friend she’s obviously going to understand where you’re coming from, as long as you give her ample time to make other arrangements there’s no reason she should be annoyed or upset with you. People grow and change and move, it’s all a part of life, can’t live with your bestie forever. Make plans to head to the same retirement home so you can be roomies again when you’re old and playing bingo (that’s what my friends I have decided ha!).

Maddie’s Advice

I think it’s incredibly unfair how the responsibility of contraception is often weighted towards women. If both parties don’t want to have children and have made the final decision on that life choice then why should it automatically fall on the woman in the relationship to ensure they don’t fall pregnant? If a man isn’t prepared to wear a condom for the rest of his sex life then why should we take a pill every day, alter our hormones or have coils inserted for them? I certainly think it’s a conversation worth having than something that’s immediately written off.

Charlotte’s Advice

I totally get the frustration that as women it’s somewhat expected we’ll ‘take one for the team’ when it comes to contraception and the pill, but I also think no matter the speed or simplicity of a vasectomy, ultimately it’s your partner’s body and they can’t be forced into a surgery they don’t feel comfortable with. It seems like a simple solution when you know you don’t want more children, but perhaps for him there are underlying anxieties about having a medical procedure that run deeper and he doesn’t feel able to communicate right now?

It’s estimated that 2% of men who choose sterilisation will experience long-term genital pain, and whilst unlikely, I do understand that for some men that’s considered too great a risk. Continue the conversations as I feel this frustration will only continue to manifest unless you can get to the root of the ‘why’, but I’d say try not to be too hard on him about something which ultimately does concern his body.


Decoding Red, Pink and Green Relationship Flags: 12 Telltale Signs to Look Out For When You’re Dating!

Jokes aside, there are some legit red, green and even *pink* dating flags to look out for that can be used to help avoid toxic relationships and signify a larger pattern of behaviour. 

No doubt you’re already familiar with Twitter’s red flag dating system, including but not limited to:

Doesn’t like Grey’s Anatomy  🚩🚩🚩

Intimidated by your sex toys  🚩🚩🚩

Sees no shame in wearing white jeans 🚩🚩🚩

Uses to and too interchangeably 🚩🚩🚩

Talks shit about their ex 🚩🚩🚩

ICYMI the red flag meme took over the internet last year and never really lost its steam.

What started as a wholesome way to warn others of the potential no-nos when dating someone new swiftly turned into a viral trend dominated by lighthearted dating preferences and avoidable character traits, used in tandem with an ironic amount of red flag emojis. 

In internet discourse, the red flag is used colloquially via Twitter to make light of an issue with a person’s behaviour that could signify a larger issue of compatibility later down the line. 

Jokes aside, there are some legit red, green and even *pink* dating flags to look out for that can be used to help avoid toxic relationships and signify a larger pattern of behaviour. 

From love bombing hard in those early days (aka pulling a Simon Leviev) to sporadic ghosting and gaslighting, some red flags are redder than others but in the honeymoon phrase of dating someone new, they can be notoriously easy to miss, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you were once someone who collected red flags (it’s particularly hard to see a red one when you’re facing it, straight on). 

We spoke to Tina Wilson, Relationship Expert and Founder of Wingman app – the app that lets you play matchmaker for your friends – to demystify the mind-boggling world of relationship and dating flags. 

From the red flag deal breakers we should never ignore, to the potential pink warning signs to have on your radar and the giant green flags we should embrace with open arms, here’s Tina’s take on the intuitive traffic light system that’s taken over social media. 

Green Flags ✅

A green flag is when you feel safe, and you feel comfortable in pursuing a relationship with the person. There are no warning signs that deter you from getting cold feet.

1. They check in with you regularly 

Getting the right balance is key. You don’t want them to be too needy or over the top with constant communication and equally, you don’t want intermittent ghosting for days either.  Either scenario can cause awkwardness and arguments. Your partner should also have a level of trust with you that they feel they don’t need to check up on you all the time too – after you both need to respect each other’s boundaries. You need to feel completely comfortable with each other.  If they check on you once a day, such as, call you in the evening to see how your day went, then I am sure you would be thrilled to hear from them and you can both chat away about your day. Striking the perfect balance!

2. You can be open and honest 

You can be open about your feelings and feel mutually respected. Your partner listens to you, and you can be your true self around them, and they understand you.  Openness between couples leads to a higher level of satisfaction in the relationship, therefore feeling you can express yourself and be open with one another is important to a long-lasting relationship.

You are also comfortable discussing previous partners without either of you getting angry or jealous. You both have a level of maturity which is a positive sign for your future together.

3. They don’t attention seek outside of the relationship

Your new partner is completely comfortable in their own skin and being together with you. They are not constantly attention seeking outside of the relationship. They don’t constantly need approval from social media and have what they need within the relationship to feel fulfilled.

4. You are able to make each other laugh 

Being able to have a laugh together is vital in relationships and a big green flag.  You feel comfortable to have a laugh and share jokes.  Having this chemistry and friendship shows your relationship can go all the way. After all, the saying “Laughter is the best medicine” is said for a reason. Laughter releases the happy hormones throughout your body and being able to make each other laugh is important for your long-term happiness.

Pink Flags 💞

Potential warning signs the budding romance could be in trouble, or that you don’t feel comfortable in taking the relationship to the next level.

1. Love bombing

The term ‘coming on strong’ has nothing on a love-bomber. Your new love-interest will be focused obsessively on you and will make you feel like a king/queen with their doting attention. ‘Your new partner is showering you with flowers, words of love, endless gifts and lavish trips – it is really romantic but a little too much too fast?

2. Sporadic ghosting 

Everything is going well and then for five days you don’t hear from them and, when you do, they don’t say where they have been and carry on as normal. You have been counting the hours and their lack of communication is too much to take. You find this sporadic ghosting strange and the lack of awareness around their behaviour does not sit well with you.

3. Not big on PDA  

Don’t get us wrong, you don’t want to feel awkward in public and have people staring, although it would be nice to share a kiss and hold hands from time to time.  But a complete lack of PDA can make you feel undesired and any intimacy and connection you have can fade fast. A pink warning sign goes off in your head and you ask yourself: Why don’t they show affection or like being intimate with me around others? You will start to question if they fancy you, if they are embarrassed to be seen in public with you or make you even question if there is someone else.  

4. You have no pictures together and there are no pictures / mention on his social media of you both 

You either don’t take any photos together or you are the only one taking the pictures of you both – a big pink flag. Your new love interest might just not be into taking photos but check his online socials – do they post regularly and of what? Are they hiding your existence? Most people live their lives online so this could be concerning to you if there is NO trace of you anywhere. You might feel that unsure about the situation and decide not to continue the relationship.

Red Flags 🚩

A red flag is a definite warning sign that something isn’t right, and you should not ignore it.

1. Mix matched views about life and relationship goals

For a partner to be considered long term you must have the same life goals. Having different goals will lead to one of you being unhappy and resentment will just kick in. You must establish if you are on the same page early on to avoid disappointment and heartbreak. If you are wanting to settle down in a long term committed relationship, attention needs to focus on what you both want out of life, such as having children. If one of you doesn’t want children, then the relationship is bound to derail at some point.

2. Stories about “crazy exes”

They for one should be comfortable talking to you about past relationships without malice or bringing any negative issues to new relationships. Crazy stories about their ex or a negative attitude about a past love could indicate unfinished business and bitterness. They could also likely be focusing the blame on the ex, instead of their own behaviours. Patterns can be hard to break and if they are in denial or pushing the blame on someone else then it is likely the cycle will be repeated with you.  

3. Controlling behaviour  

Any hint of gaslighting or narcissistic behaviour should never be brushed under the carpet. Early on in a relationship, small seemingly helpful suggestions over your clothing choices or your friendship groups could indicate a controlling partner who may manipulate all aspects of your life in the future. Put a stop to it now. 

4. Your friends and family don’t like them 

Your friends and family know you better than anyone and you should not overlook any comments or concerns they may have about your girlfriend or boyfriend. Sometimes love is blind, and you may be caught up in the emotions without realising you aren’t right for each other. The ‘honeymoon period’ fades so it is important to take on board your friends and family’s thoughts or concerns. They are looking objectively and only have your best intentions at heart.


Ingratitude Journaling: How The Art of Complaining Can Soothe The Soul

It’s okay to feel sad, stressed, at the end of your tether, angry, betrayed and any other emotion deemed ‘negative’, because sometimes life gives us no other choice, and this is what ingratitude journalling is all about.

Gratitude is great. Focusing on the good, no matter how big or small- what’s not to love? But sometimes things aren’t all rainbows and sunshine and recognising that without feeling the need to look at your life with rose-tinted glasses can be a relief in a world in which it feels like you’re putting out *bad vibes* if you’re anything other than a member of the positivity posse. For those of us who can’t help but feel a little glass half empty at times (spoiler: all of us), let us introduce: ingratitude journaling.  

It’s okay to feel sad, stressed, at the end of your tether, angry, betrayed and any other emotion deemed ‘negative’, because sometimes life gives us no other choice, and this is what ingratitude journalling is all about- letting out the emotions you’ve squashed because they feel uncomfortable or easier to repress and giving them permission to take up space, just for a little bit.

The past few years have been especially heavy, and not acknowledging the hard times along with the good can in fact be detrimental to our nervous system and health- what we don’t feel or acknowledge consciously is likely to show up in our bodies elsewhere at some point, be it tension headaches, upset stomachs or twinges in our back when something goes wrong. Living an experience that isn’t authentic for the sake of ‘staying positive’ is the epitome of toxic positivity, and we’re waving goodbye to it in 2022.

You let it out honey, put it in the book.

Gretchen Weiner

Truth be told, although there are certainly feelings we’d rather not feel, there’s actually no such thing as a bad feeling. Emotions exist as a way for our minds and bodies to communicate something as feeling right or wrong within us, guiding us in a direction that brings us peace or warning us of the things that don’t align with our values. They may be uncomfortable, but there’s always something valuable to be gained from reflecting on why something makes us feel a certain way, and ingratitude journaling is a great way to hone in on this aspect of self-discovery and uncover what makes you tick. Understanding what triggers anxiety, feelings of shame and discomfort can be a superpower in helping you manage your mental health more effectively and set you on a path for healing when you know the true root of an emotion. The journey to knowing yourself is a lifelong one, but digging deeper into the feelings we might immediately want to get rid of will accelerate your journey tenfold. 

“Writing things you’re ungrateful for won’t make them go away, but it will help give you direction.” says Chance Marshall of Self Space, the on-demand therapy service: “It will help you identify patterns, themes and things that are repeated. It will help you focus on the things you can change. It will move you from awareness into action.” 

Here’s why awareness might just be the step you’re missing in your mental health development…

Imagine you’re dating someone new, it’s going well but they’re suddenly going through a busy patch at work and say they’ll be on their phone less in the day. Rationally, you know this is no reflection of your closeness and their feelings for you, but you still find yourself feeling a little rejected after being left on ‘read’ for a few hours and your mind starts running away with you. Instead of pushing down, squashing the feeling completely and arranging last-minute drinks with the girls to take your mind off it, what would happen if you sat with those feelings? If you paused for a moment and looked a little deeper at your past experiences and what this might feel reflective of? Maybe a previous ex whose communication was so lacklustre you might as well have been having a convo with yourself, or you realise it’s reminiscent of your relationship with your mum who you feel never quite acknowledges or hears your needs. If we ignore the emotions trying to signal to us that we’re seemingly in danger or being reminded of a previous situation that hurt us, we move closer away from healing and thus the process begins again. 

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Carl Yung

Interested? Let’s talk about the basics of ingratitude journaling…

  1. Find a quiet spot to sit where you won’t be disturbed.
  2. Grab a journal or piece of paper and a pen. Top tip: hand writing is preferable to typing as our thoughts are naturally slowed along with the pace of pen to paper, making it easier to process our feelings and allowing us to dig deeper.
  3. Start listing the things that have gone wrong, left you feeling disappointed, cheated, hard done by or tearful. The job you didn’t get that you know you would have been perfect for, the ex who cheated with the girl you *knew* was sus all along, the nagging flat mate whose cleaning standards you can never seem to live up to, or the argument you had with your sister over who was responsible for the Mother’s Day card that was never purchased. Let it spill out onto the page in all its messy glory, unapologetically.
  4. Read back your list and divide it into two columns:  things you can control and things you can’t. 
  5. Reflect and think about some small and tangible changes you can make to the things that are within your control, maybe having an honest conversation with a friend about something that’s irked you, and practice acceptance and kindness towards the things that are fractious, knowing it’s okay to feel whatever has come up. 
Writing an ingratitude journal isn’t about going from 0 to 100 on the negativity scale, it’s about balanceMarshall – Self Space

Being honest with the feelings that are naturally part of the human experience doesn’t make you selfish or mean, it makes you self aware enough to understand that we are not our emotions and venting in a healthy way can be just the tonic we all need. And remember, ingratitude journaling isn’t always about giving space to the things you want to change, it can also help shine a light on the parts of your life you’re thriving in and the opportunities and people that make your world go around. “Writing an ingratitude journal isn’t about going from 0 to 100 on the negativity scale, it’s about balance,” continues Marshall from Self Space. “Life is full of good, bad, beautiful and ugly things and reflecting that in our writing can be a really freeing practice. Take it easy, don’t force it. You can continue with a gratitude journal alongside, you could even split a page in half and have ingratitude and gratitude alongside each other.”

Happy complaining! 


8 Books to Read While You’re Waiting for Bridgerton Season 2 to Make Haste!

Until that fine day graces us with its presence, we’ve rounded up the best Bridgerton-esque books to fill the Shondaland-shaped hole in our lives. 

Dearest gentle reader, it’s March which means the social season is upon us, or rather more accurately put: the season we stop being social is upon us because Bridgerton Season 2 (sans the rakiest rake that ever was) has finally made haste and is back on our screens this very month. How we burn for it. Anyone else hoping Madame Delacroix can fix us up with a gown for the occasion? 

Before it was the best thing Netflix ever did, the Bridgerton world was first brought to life in Julia Quinn’s eight-book historical romance series, with each novel dedicated to a different Bridgerton child’s love story. With a canon as rich as that, we wager we’ll be in for at least eight drops of steamy Netflix seasons, if not more. 

The first series debuted in 2020 and was loosely based on the events of the first novel The Duke and I, which centres on the eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. To keep her marriage-minded loved ones at bay, she forms a fake courtship with Simon Basset the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) and it works… until they fall head over spoons and ladders in real love.

Daphne and the Duke will be passing the Bonkerton baton to Lord Anthony Bridgerton for Season 2, which follows the second book in the series The Viscount Who Loved Me, and let’s just say a scandalous love triangle is afoot in the Ton. 

We suspect a certain scribbling author and gossipmonger will have plenty to say about that. Bring on the Pall Mall scene and the Mallet of Death… (IYKYK). 

For those who *still* haven’t seduced their own retinas with Netflix’s most-watched tv show of all time (can’t relate), here’s your chance to redeem your virtue once and for all ahead of National Bridgerton day on March 25 – aka the day Season 2 premieres. Please endeavour to complete all eight episodes of the first series in a timely fashion or prepare to fall foul of Lady Whistledown’s pen. 

Until that fine day graces us with its presence, we’ve rounded up the best Bridgerton-esque books to fill the Shondaland-shaped hole in our lives. 

The Regency vibes are positively immaculate if we do say so ourselves. Psst bring your own snuff. 

1. Reputation – Lex Croucher 

If Bridgerton and Sex Education had a book baby, it would be Reputation. A classic rom-com with a feminist Regency twist, the debut novel from Lex Croucher is this season’s incomparable diamond.

It follows a lonely and vulnerable Georgina Ellers as she finds herself mixing with the upper echelons of society, who introduce her to a whole new world of unfathomable wealth, drunken debauchery, and mysterious young men. 

Buy it here

2. The Bridgerton Series – Julia Quinn  

They say patience is a virtue but if you can’t wait to find out what’s next for the Bridgerton family and the rest of the Ton then why not make your way through Julia Quinn’s eight-book series with page-turning haste. The reading session shall be flawless, my dear. 

Buy the series here

3. A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem – Manda Collins

Both romance and mystery fans will find their bookish match with Manda Collins’ quippy Victorian tale with a whodunit twist. 

England, 1865: Notorious newspaper columnist Lady Katherine Bascomb is determined to educate the ladies of London on the nefarious criminals who are praying on the fairer sex. But when her reporting leads to the arrest of an infamous killer, Katherine flees to a country house party to escape her doubts about the case – only to become witness to a murder herself. When the lead detective accuses Katherine of inflaming – rather than informing – the public with her column, she vows to prove him wrong.

Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham’s refusal to compromise his investigations nearly cost him his career, and he blames Katherine. When he discovers she’s the key witness in a new crime, he’s determined to prevent the beautiful widow from once again wreaking havoc on his case. Yet as Katherine proves surprisingly insightful and Andrew impresses Katherine with his lethal competency, both are forced to admit the fire between them is more flirtatious than furious. But to explore the passion between them, they’ll need to catch a killer . . .

Buy it here

4. Bringing Down the Duke – Evie Dunmore

A brilliant and plucky bluestocking named Annabelle Archer must recruit influential men to champion the women’s suffrage movement and the cold and calculating aristocrat Sebastian Devereux, the most powerful duke in England, is top of her list. A historical romp with plenty of swoonworthy moments, longing glances and brooding dialogue to boot. For anyone looking for a 10/10 enemies to lovers plot, you’ll be flipping pages all through the night with this one. 

Buy it here

5. To Have and to Hoax – Martha Waters

With a cast of intriguing characters, a respectable amount of steam and grade A banter and bickering, Waters’ debut is a feel-good Regency adventure, perfect for those looking for a slice of literary escapism.  

The course of true love – or irritation – never did run smooth.

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and married.

Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since. Their once-passionate love may have dissolved into cold, detached politeness, but when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse, she races to be by his side – only to discover him alive, well, and baffled by her concern.

Outraged, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own to teach her estranged husband a lesson. And so begins an ever-escalating game of manipulation – and a great deal of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought.

Buy it here

6. My Fake Rake – Eva Leigh 

“There’s no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren’t scientific laws when it comes to the human heart.”

In the first book of Eva Leigh’s Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband, only to be blindsided by real desire. That slow burn manufactured attachment trope has had us in a permanent chokehold since Dec 2020.

Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to create the perfect man, to act as her suitor, and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.

To further his own research on English society, Sebastian agrees to let Grace transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing-albeit fake-rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace’s feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn’t asked him to help her marry someone else.

Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he’s faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future-and his heart.

Buy it here

7. The Little Book of Bridgerton – Charlotte Browne

Want to become an expert in the art of the swoon or brush up on your Regency etiquette? The Little Book of Bridgerton is the perfect pocket-sized gift for any superfans looking to add a feather to their cap. Combining bitesize Regency-era history with trivia and fun quizzes such as ‘which Bridgerton character are you?’ consider this your social guide to the topsy turvy world of the scandal-filled Ton. Dear gentle reader, you shall go to the debutante ball!  

Buy it here

8. Something Fabulous – Alexis J. Hall

If your only gripe with the Bridgerton tv series was the lack of queer storytelling and LGBTQ+ characters (the season 1 trailer teased a gay sex scene which suggested we could expect some queer plotlines) then leave it up to Alexis J. Hall to deliver the fabulously gay Regency romp noticeably absent in the land of the Ton.

Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has twin problems: literally.

It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But, unfortunately, too many novels at an impressionable age have caused her to grow up…romantic. So romantic that a marriage of convenience will not do and after Valentine’s proposal she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on him again.

Arabella’s twin brother, Mr. Bonaventure “Bonny” Tarleton, has also grown up…romantic. And fully expects Valentine to ride out after Arabella and prove to her that he’s not the cold-hearted cad he seems to be.

Despite copious misgivings, Valentine finds himself on a pell-mell chase to Dover with Bonny by his side. Bonny is unreasonable, overdramatic, annoying, and…beautiful? And being with him makes Valentine question everything he thought he knew. About himself. About love. Even about which Tarleton he should be pursuing.

Buy it here


Pastel Season Has Arrived! 50 Spring-Ready Manicures to Inspire Your Next Set

Because gorgeous girls match their manicures to the seasons, we’ve handpicked 50 Spring nail art ideas that understood the assignment loud and clear. You’re welcome! 

The first day of Spring is just around the corner – seriously, it’s been winter for 84 years – and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be itching to take a hoover to your coats and jumpers as you vacuum pack them away for another six months (here’s hoping) and banish them to the loft. 

It’s time to reunite with your strappy camis and Teva sandals and prepare to shed ya former sad girl autumn winter personalities in favour of warmer weather, lighter layers and carefree hot girl spring vibes. 

And because gorgeous girls match their manicures to the seasons, we’ve handpicked 50 Spring nail art ideas that understood the assignment loud and clear. You’re welcome! 

1. We’ll take a mini egg mani and nothing less. 

Via @naileditbeauty

2. Pastels for Spring, groundbreaking (but it is though) 

Via @naileditbeauty

3. POV: you’re a Disney villain. 

Via @bw.nails_

4. The pastel tip vibes are immaculate. 

Via @Nailsbyyagel

5. *Cries in Spring*

Via @Nailsbyyagel

6. Gorgeous, gorgeous girls get a different design on every nail. 

Via @nails.bab

7. One with Spring and Summer appeal.  

Via @allnailss._

8. The shade of the season. 

Via @allnailss._

9. Glossy hits different.

Via @bysarah____

10. Holiday mani, completed it. 

Via @nailsbyyagal

11. Just missing an obligatory Margarita. 

Via @gelsbybry

12. Big rainbow energy. 

Via @gelsbybry

13. Is it even Spring if you’re not wearing daisies on everything?

Via @pressedbycharlotte_

14. This is your outfit for today. 

Via @joelyoceannails

15. A moment of silence for this colour combo. 

Via @nailsbyheathere

16. Want something suitably floral? Try these hand-painted Takashi Murakami inspired flowers. 

Via @nuka.nails

17. She understood the assignment.

Via @illustrated_nails

18. Glitter and waves? *Subscribes immediately*

Via @nailsfordais

19. A major Spring mood. 

Via @illustrated_nails

20. It’s giving Starbursts. 

Via @nailartbychlo

21. Manifesting a March heatwave. 

Via @manisbyannie

22. Swirl nails. Sign us up!

Via @tori.nailedit

23. Squiggles and a nude base. Stunning. 

Via @nailsbyyagalstudio

24. You are the vitamin d. 

Via @nailsby_gxx

25. Bridgerton season 2. Let’s go!

Via @staceymachin

26.  Extra is a personality type.  

Via @clawsbysandy

27. A hot Spring take on frenchies. Here for it. 

Via @luvlynailsss

28. Cool pastels to elevate your everyday neutrals. 

Via @vwnails_

29. Nature is the brief. 

Via @vwnails_

30. The shape, the simplicity, the monochrome. They’re a triple threat.

Via @vwnails_

31. A pastel ombre dream.

Via @blush_nailsbytan

32. Goddess mode: activated.

Via @brontesnailsandbeauty

33. It’s the application for us.

Via @blush_nailsbytan

34 It’s all about the Spring swirls. 

Via @nailsbynicole.__

35 Alexa, play Frank Ocean – Pink & White. 

Via @nailsbynicole.__

36. This blue set = god tier. 


37. Micro florals for the beautiful wallflowers of the world.  


38. Tapered square nails with fresh white tips. 

Via @sosweetnails_

39. Pink and red isn’t just for Galentine’s. 

Via @hardasnails_studio

40. Go bright or go home.

Via @hardasnails_studio

41. Queen Melanie can do no wrong. She is the OG manicure extraordinaire.

Via @overglowedit

42. A solid Spring palette. 

Via @overglowedit

43. Sunshine in a mani. 

Via @manikur.brighton

44. Spring equinox isn’t ready. 

Via @manikur.brighton

45. Loving him was red. 

Via @gels.bytia

46 Eyes on the prize. 

Via @the_nail_studio

47. All power to the flower. 

Via @dixie_plates

48. A happy mood right at your fingertips. 

Via @nailpolishsociety

49. Pov: you’ve just discovered the goblincore aesthetic. 

Via @nailsxsonia

50. Mani Monday made. 

Via @blingjewelry


26 Female-Fronted Small Businesses We Can’t Get Enough Of

Today we're sharing 26 of our favourite female-fronted small businesses perfect for treating the wonderful women in your life in need of a pick-me-up, or to congratulate yourself for getting through the oftentimes difficult task of existing in a female body in a patriarchal world. We're doing great, gals! 

The month of March signifies the marking of International Women’s Day in our calendars, and acts as both a celebration of all the wonderful achievements of women past and present, as well as a reminder of the long road ahead of us in reaching a place of equality and justice for women everywhere. 

If there’s one thing we love to shout about more than anything, regularly and especially on days like IWD, it’s the talent, entrepreneurship, determination and creativity of the women who’s small businesses help them build a life they love, and who’s products are simply chefs kiss. From interiors to beauty, fashion to food, and bottles that will keep a whole 750ml of wine cool on a summers day (ingenious), women are changing the game in every industry and we simply love to see it! Today we’re sharing 26 of our favourite female-fronted small businesses perfect for treating the wonderful women in your life in need of a pick-me-up, or to congratulate yourself for getting through the oftentimes difficult task of existing in a female body in a patriarchal world. We’re doing great, gals! 

Keep scrolling to shop unique artwork from Lucy Mahon, lust-worthy loungewear from Après Sunday, statement jewellery from July Child and activewear you won’t want to take off courtesy of TALA. Apologies in advance to your bank balance…

*This post contains ad-affiliate links


The Ride or Die Celebrity BFFs That Inspire Us to Cherish Our Girl Gangs

Today, we’re deep-diving into 10 celebrity best friendships who have stuck by each other through thick and thin, proving soulmates come in more forms than one…

Female friendships make the world go round. There to pick us up when everything else is falling apart – the love, protection and sense of connection they imbue our lives with is simply unmatched and irreplaceable.  They say it takes a village, and the warmth, empathy, kindness, and understanding that can be fostered and cherished in friendships between women is one of the reasons we often feel so seen and understood by the pals who take it upon themselves to prioritise each other no matter what. 

In a world where our romantic relationships have become more complicated thanks to Internet dating and a certain pandemic thrown into the mix too, it seems for many their aspirations aren’t about finding The One romantically, but more so nurturing platonic relationships that know your every vulnerability, quirk and intricacy and will show up for you regardless. If that isn’t goals we don’t know what is.

Today, we’re deep-diving into 10 celebrity best friendships who have stuck by each other through thick and thin, proving soulmates come in more forms than one…

Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez

Long time besties, this iconic duo became pals back in 2008 (that’s a whole 14 years of friendship!) whilst they were both dating members of the Jonas Brothers and have stayed by each other’s side through relationship breakdowns, public controversies and in sickness and in health ever since. 

Their public support for each other’s careers is beyond heartwarming and the longevity of their friendship is one that stands out in an industry that is forever changing. “When your life changes, and you become thrust into this really strange whirlwind where your life is different from what other people think it is. It’s commented on and written about and fictionalised and all that. Both of us have kind of stuck it out and hung in there through all the different changes we’ve gone through.” Taylor said back in 2014, “Longevity is something you really can find very precious and rare in friendships.”

In 2015 Selena took to Instagram, sharing a birthday post for her bestie with the caption: “I don’t know life without you Taylor” and honestly, same. Fans have watched their friendship grow, evolve and strengthen throughout the years, be it via social media, seeing them joined at the hip at award shows or supporting each other live on their respective tours. Speaking of which, a fan favourite moment of their friendship from 2018 came when Selena joined Taylor at the Rose Bowl stop of Swift’s reputation stadium tour, performing a duet of Selena’s hit “Hands to Myself.” Taylor went on to share on Instagram: “To the person I could call at any time of day, who has been there no matter what… you absolutely KILLED IT tonight and everyone was so excited to see you. I love you, and 60,000 people at the Rose Bowl loved you too.” 

Taylena forever!

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya

Stars of hit HBO show Euphoria which captivated the internet, influenced trends across the worlds of fashion and beauty and thrust new names into the ‘it girl’ spotlight, Hunter Schafer and Zendaya aka Jules and Rue share a special bond off screen too. Whilst their characters’ oftentimes toxic and codependent relationship isn’t exactly the healthiest dynamic, in real life the pair have gushed about the sisterly bond they share with Zendaya saying, “She has seen me in every form, the worst, the best, and vice versa. There’s no judgement, it’s all love.” 

The pair are so close Hunter revealed that she visited Zendaya in Atlanta on the hugely secretive set of Spider-Man: No Way Home, cementing their friendship as one that goes far beyond co-stars. With Hunter a mere 22 years old,  Zendaya has said she immediately took on a protective role towards her as this was her first on-screen role, having previously worked full time as a runway model. “Knowing that she was so young and so much of this was new to her, my thing was being as much of a big sister as I could.” This was especially important given the powerful scenes that Euphoria is known best for, in which the two needed to be vulnerable almost straight away. We hope the two continue sharing snippets of this 10/10 wholesome friendship publicly now that this season of Euphoria is behind us, and will be quietly manifesting them joining forces in the fashion world soon. Talk about breaking the Internet.

Olivia Rodrigo and Iris Apatow

The Gen Z besties to end all, star behind the record breaking albumSour and leading lady in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Olivia Rodrigo’s friendship with actress Iris Apatow is seriously goals. ​​“We are dramatic, fiercely loyal, and we both love going to brunch.” Rodrigo told Vice- can we join the gang?

The pair are often seen publicly together sporting iconic 90s and 00s inspired ‘fits, and it’s clear the two are incredibly supportive of each other’s careers, with Iris joining Olivia at the VMAs in 2020 when she was nominated for a mere 6 awards (casual). Other wholesome activities we would very much like to join in on include garden tea parties, Twilight movie nights and dancing to Taylor Swift songs on TikTok, cementing their relationship as one that enjoys the regular simplicities of teenage friendship with a healthy dose of their luxe LA lifestyle too- these two are pretty big time right now.

Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch and Camila Mendes

With these girls it’s buy one get two free, as the Riverdale co-stars make for the true epitome of a blonde, brunette and redhead trio taking on the world- the three even have a joint TikTok with nearly 10 million followers! Their now fan favourite friendship was sparked in 2017 when Riverdale aired for the first time, and since then the three have supported each other through individual career highlights, long term relationship breakups and even spend time walking their dogs together when living in Vancouver as part of filming for Riverdale

In an interview with J-14 Lili described her close-knit friendship with Cami, saying: “It makes me happy to see that people support our friendship and they know that we really are friends and there’s no weird, secret behind the scenes rivalry going on. It’s cool to me that people can see our real-life chemistry translate through our Betty and Veronica scenes.” The three undoubtedly become closer after being forced to stay in Canada for a large portion of the pandemic away from friends and family in America whilst continuing on their intense filming schedule, with Lili and Madelaine moving in together and lifting each other up when times were tough.

The three sported perfectly apt Powerpuff Girls costumes for Halloween in 2020 at costar Vanessa Morgan’s spooky themed baby shower, and are proof that with the right ladies in your life, three is never a crowd. 

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid 

With a friendship over 10 years strong, the fiercely successful pair are star studded colleagues in the modelling world, having been teenage friends thanks to the close proximity of their LA postcodes growing up. Although the two are now peas in a pod, Kendall has said she was originally closer with Gigi’s sister Bella growing up: “Gigi and I just started getting close when we started modelling, but Bella and I were actually really good friends since high school, and hung out every day in high school before either of us started working. It’s just funny because a lot of people don’t know that Bella and I have been friends for like five or six years.”

Both born in 1995, the two caught their modelling breaks at similar times in 2014, rocketing to stardom and featuring in campaigns with Versace, Burberry and Victoria’s Secret. Their iconic 2021 Met Gala looks had all eyes on them as they walked the Met Steps in unison, with both dresses showcasing their sense of personal style as the two reached hands, smiles wide. Still claiming you ain’t ever seen two pretty best friends? We present: G and Kenny, your honour.

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner 

Onscreen sisters on hit fantasy series Game of Thrones and just as close IRL, actresses Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner were both thrust into the spotlight when GOT made it big and have been each other’s ride or die ever since. “We got the role at the same time and we grew up on the show together and it was so amazing to have another person who was going through it at the same time because I think I just would have, it would have been too much otherwise,” said Maisie in a recent interview. We love a coming of age story!

The pair have shared so much of their lives together, meeting at ages 12 and 13, they later marked their deep connection by getting matching tattoos during a day off from filming of ‘07.08.09’- the date they found out they’d be cast for the show. The pandemic has seen the two separated, with Sophie now permanently living in America with husband Joe Jonas and baby Willa, and Maisie remaining in the U.K, but having shared such intimate and unique experiences together, this friendship is somewhat indestructible. 

Rihanna and Cara Delevingne 

Whilst at one time you’d be forgiven for thinking the two were exclusively party buddies, the friendship between Rihanna and Cara runs far deeper than what first meets the eye! Costars in the 2017 Luc Besson film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the pair first met through their shared circles in the fashion world before becoming each other’s ride or die friend. “We have busy schedules but no matter where either of us are in the world, we know we can just pick up the phone and unload on each other, and that we are always ready to listen or offer advice … She is very special to me,” said Rihanna. In 2018 Cara shared a celebratory birthday post for Rih, saying “Time has flown by since we first met and wow has it been a wonderful rollercoaster. Cheers to all the mind blowing memories and all the ones to come.” We love to see it!

Cara went on to walk in Rihanna’s New York Savage X Fenty show in 2019, with photos of Cara’s neon green sheer lingerie, tights and dramatic headdress creating quite the contrast against Rihanna’s all black ensemble. Here’s to all the besties whose personal style couldn’t be further apart- sometimes opposites attract! 

Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby

From the Hollywood hills to British daytime sofas, our very own Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby are the definition of friendships we love to love. Throwing it all the way back, the pair met when they were 17 and presenting children’s TV and have been joined at the hip professionally and personally ever since. From a joint book venture in 2010 (Holly and Fearne: The Best Friends Guide to Life, FYI), to hostingCelebrity Juice together, boozy brunches, stints in America and watching each other transition into motherhood, the pair have seen each other through it all and stayed just as close in the good times and the bad.

Holly joined Fearne last year on her award winning mental health and wellbeing podcast Happy Place in which listeners truly felt like a fly on the wall of their friendship as they discussed everything from success, living in the present, growing older and introspection. The pair are testament to the fact that lifelong friendships are possible, no matter how much change and upheaval you both experience over the years, and we hope this iconic blonde duo continue to share their love affair with us all. 

Kourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae

Despite their over 20 year age gap, Kourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae are proof that age is just a number when it comes to meaningful friendships. First meeting in 2020 after Kourt’s son Mason shared his love for Addison’s TikTok videos, the pair became inseparable and love brunching, dinners and working out together, with Addison seemingly spending lots of time at Kourtney’s home and with her family- even making an appearance on an episode of KUWTK! “I’ve had such an amazing time spending time with Kourtney and meeting the family. They’re all just such loving people that genuinely care about each other. That just continuously inspires me,” said Addison. 

The pair are often seen enjoying a typical LA evening at Nobu or lounging in Kourtney’s pool, laughing and looking endearingly at one another during impromptu photo shoots that offer a peek into what appears to be a wholesome friendship that both are thriving in! The friendship extends into their professional lives too, after Kourtney made a cameo in Netflix film He’s All That (a remake of the 1999 film She’s All That) that Rae starred in. We stan friends supporting each other professionally and personally!

The pair shared photos of a recent games evening on Instagram Stories in February 2022 proving their friendship is still going strong 2 years later! We can’t wait to see the looks they continue to serve this year, especially at a certain highly anticipated wedding…

Lou Teasdale and Lottie Tomlinson

Another friendship with an age gap that hasn’t stood in the way of the professional and personal success the two have achieved by each other’s side over the years, Lou Teasdale (38) and Lottie Tomlinson (23) are a duo no doubt familiar to One Direction fans everywhere.

The pair met in the early days of One Direction with Lou heading up their hair and make-up across shoots, music videos and live performances, taking Lottie under her wing whilst she supported her brother away from home and teaching her industry make-up tips and tricks that no doubt lead to her now successful career in beauty as founder of Tanologist tanning products. “Because of everything that was going on with social media and YouTubers and makeup at the time…she would show me things and I would be like ‘that’s cool, show me more of that, we should be doing that,” says Lou. “We ended up learning from each other.”

The pair have since travelled the world together, attending Coachella, jetsetting in Dubai and Ibiza and establishing Tanologist, in which Lou is Creative Director, as a brand with a cult following. With Lottie expecting a baby this year we can’t wait to see how their friendship evolves, and eagerly anticipate all the magic the pair will continue to create together in the beauty world too!