There was a time long, long ago when Instagram was full of boring static photos with rubbish borders and grainy quality. But fast-forward to 2017 and Instagram supports video, galleries and great-looking photos to boot (as well as stories and stickers and all kinds of other great things we don’t have time to talk about right now).

What that means is if you’re an aspiring photographer, a blogger or any other kind of wannabe creative type, Instagram is the best place ever to show off your work.

But it’s also great news for the beauty industry. From brands showing off their products and giving you how-tos about the best ways to use them, through to beauty bloggers and make-up artists using Instagram to share their creations and make great tutorials.

To celebrate what Instagram has done for beauty, we’ve collected together some of our favourite beauty Instagram accounts to follow. If you’re looking for long and detailed how-tos and reviews, head to YouTube, but if you like quick video tutorials and handy beauty tips delivered straight to your Insta-feed look no further.

The best for all things make-up: Charlotte Tilbury (@ctilburymakeup)

Charlotte Tilbury is one of the most famous makeup artists on the planet and counts celebs like Cara Delevingne and Sienna Miller as her superstar clients – as well as so many others, we’ve lost count.

Although Charlotte shares all kinds of stuff to Instagram, like photos of her favourite products and snaps of her star-studded lifestyle, she also likes to show us how she’s creating some of her most iconic looks.

She rarely shows you tutorials from beginning to end with voiceovers on Instagram (you’ll have to head to her YouTube channel for that), but she does share handy snippets, like applying lipstick with ease or creating a perfect metallic eye look.

The best for quick and easy hair tutorials: Kirstin Ess (@kristin_ess)

Double Pony Crisscross Thingy. ✨(starring: @janellehansen 👵🏻. with special guest: my hands 👋🏼)

A post shared by KRISTIN ESS HAIR (@kristin_ess) on

Kristin Ess is a big deal in the world of hair, she’s got a huge following on Instagram, styles the hair of celebs and has a few of her own businesses, including her own hair product line.

So it’s no surprise her Instagram is packed full of photos of her hair creations that’ll make you swoon. But what she does really well that few others do is dead simple, but really awesome, hair tutorials.

Each one is easy enough to do at home, comes with a title screen, so you know what you’re looking at before you click, and the steps make it impossible to mess up – even for complete hair styling beginners.

The best for those who love the Naked eye palette: Urban Decay (@urbandecaycosmetics)

@facebeatbyen showin' Naked Smoky some 🖤 #UrbanDecay

A post shared by Urban Decay Cosmetics (@urbandecaycosmetics) on

If you love make-up, you know that Urban Decay’s Naked eye palettes are the holy grail of eyeshadows. They might be pricey, but they’ve got such a good rep because they’re highly pigmented, silky smooth and come in the most delicious colours.

So where best to find great Naked eye palette tutorials then heading straight to the Urban Decay Instagram account! Here you’ll find how-to videos, inspiration and photos of the brand’s best-selling products. The best bit is that Urban Decay often features other beauty Instagrammers and YouTubers who use their products, which means it’s a great way to discover new looks and new faces to follow.

The best for arty photos and simple make-up looks: Violette (@violette_fr)

Make-up artist Violette isn’t just inspiring because she’s a really talented beauty influencer, she’s also got a dream job, she’s the Global Beauty Director at Estee Lauder. Wow, talk about career goals!

We love Violette’s Instagram feed because it’s really beautiful. She has such a great eye for arty shots and good design, and also puts up make-up tutorials every few weeks, which tend to focus on how to use one product really well – or in a totally unexpected way.

The best for make-up inspiration: Beauty is Boring (@beautyisboring_)

It can be really difficult to find make-up inspiration online you can actually copy yourself that isn’t really OTT or hard to get your head around. That’s why we love Beauty is Boring. It’s jam-packed full of on-trend looks, from the simple to the bold. But it’s great because they’re all easy to replicate and presented on plain white backgrounds so you can focus on what’s important – the make-up.

We love it when the Beauty is Boring account shares a tutorial because they’re speeded up yet simple, like the one above, which shows you how to get to grips with the basics of contouring.

The best for dramatic make-up looks: Nikkie Tutorials (@nikkietutorials)

If you like your make-up to look bright, bold and suuuper glittery, then you’re going to love Nikkie. She posts lots of tutorials on Instagram, which teach you how to recreate her amazing looks.

The best bit is her videos are pretty detailed yet easy to follow because she shares all of the products (with handy links) in the caption. So you don’t need to watch it five times just to catch a glimpse of what she’s using!

The best for those serious about their make-up collection: Mac (@maccosmetics)

Mac is one of the top make-up brands in the world and lots of those working in the beauty business swear by it. So you really need to follow this Instagram account if you’re not already, it’s packed full of top trends as well as easy looks you can create at home.

The downside? You’ll want all of the Mac products in your make-up bag. But remember, although Mac products are great you can just use the Instagram account to find inspiration then head on over to Boots or Superdrug and find cheaper alternatives that look similar, but won’t cost you a bomb.

Happy sprucing!

1. Did I just…?

2. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

3. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. Unlike it immediately!

5. Oh my god! I re-liked it! HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!

6. My life is officially over.

7. Will they still get a notification that I liked the photo?

8. Will it say which photo I liked?!

9. WHY, OH WHY, DID IT HAVE TO BE THE PHOTO WITH THEIR EX?! Do the internet gods have no mercy?

10. I should text Jo and tell her to like and then unlike one of my photos and see what happens.

11. Why won’t Jo text me back?!

12. Urgh and because we don’t even follow each other on Instagram they’ll know I stalked them.

13. And that I trawled through the bazillion Alex Joneses and found the Alex Jones (by the way, thanks for having such a generic name) and that I then proceeded to go through SEVENTY EIGHT WEEKS of Instagram posts.

14. Is it possible they’ll find it flattering?

15. No. Probably not.

16. Maybe I should delete my Instagram account.

17. ORRRR I could move to Latvia! No one knows me in Latvia.

18. I wonder how much flights to Latvia are?

19. What’s the capital of Latvia…

20. Riga? Huh, I wouldn’t have guessed that.

21. I should move to Riga.

22. But then I’d never see Alex again and we would never fall in love.

23. Maybe I’ll just have another look.

Have you ever gone to post something on Instagram but had second thoughts? Maybe because you’ve seen your best friends’ latest selfies or that celeb you love’s holiday snaps and worried that your hastily-snapped photo of your favourite old trainers doesn’t quite live up to them? Or maybe it’s because what you actually want to post is something about how scared and alone you feel at the moment, but you don’t think it’ll fit among all the happy, shiny photos on your feed. Or maybe you want you friends to know that you’re feeling crappy but not necessarily the whole world, y’know? You just might not want to share everything with everyone.

You, my friend, need a finstagram.

A finstagram is a second, locked Instagram account that you only let your close friends see. It’s like those alt Twitter accounts that everyone was making a few months ago; it gives you all the fun of the platform without any of the pressure that comes with having the world and their incredibly photogenic pets (seriously, when did everyone get a French bulldog or a floppy-eared spaniel?!) snooping on what you’re doing. People use them for funny screenshots of WhatsApps, ugly selfies, outfits they aren’t sure about, stuff that they care about that’s not ‘polished’ enough for Instagram, or even posts about how sad or stressed they are. Basically, anything that you don’t want on your public account because those are generally used for fun things, cool things and, let’s be honest, showing off a bit.

So what do we think of finstas? A lot of people are freaking out about them. They say it’s really bad that we are so obsessed with having a perfect persona that we put anything flawed on a secret account, and that they’re proof we’re all going to hell in a vain, self-obsessed handcart. And yeah, there are serious issues around the pressure people are feeling because of social media that need to be addressed, and no-one should be made to feel lesser-than because of the things they see online.

But also, I kind of love finstagrams. I love places that people can go to bitch and moan and be silly and test things out before they unleash them on the real world. I certainly don’t think that the existence of a finstagram makes a public Instagram account less “real”. It’s basically you at the end of year party vs you at a sleepover with your girls; there are some things you just don’t share with people who aren’t your BFFs.

People contain multitudes. Sometimes you’re the showy, glossy, perfect person that’d be on an Instagram account, and sometimes you’re a weepy mess with ice-cream stains down your t-shirt and deely boppers on, and that’s okay. I think it’s naive to assume that anyone is their true, authentic, 100% flawed self all the time, whether that’s online or in real life. Surely it’s better to have a place online to be that hot mess than it is to have nowhere online where you can exist without bringing your shiniest A-game?

If you want to get a finstagram, go right ahead. It can be a good place to express yourself in a world where sometimes it feels like no-one can be less than the 100 emoji all the time. Just remember that the you on your finstagram is as worthwhile as the you on your public profile, and you’ll be fine.

@jimsyjampots

Header: YouTube/SheKnows

There are many things the world needs more of – love, peace, peanut butter Magnums, tights that actually stay up – but one thing we have no shortage of whatsoever is motivational quotes. They’re everywhere. On our walls, on our fridges, decorating our notebooks and cluttering up our Instagram feeds. They are the hot air that powers Pinterest like a jet engine.

But of course, they’re not always helpful. There are only so many times you can be told to ‘be a unicorn!’ before you want to smash your phone screen with your non-existent horn – and of all the genuinely cool and inspiring things Audrey Hepburn did in her time on earth, that quote about believing in pink ain’t one of them.

So as your antidote to all the whimsical sunsets, we’ve dug up 13 truly awesome quotes from some truly awesome women. Go kick some ass today – like yourself, not a unicorn.

(The hooves would just be impractical.)

“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

Marie M. Daly, the first African-American woman to to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

“However many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there.”

Nora Ephron, first lady of American screenwriting

 

“If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I’m going.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at four different Olympic Games.

 

“We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f***ing feminist and wear a f***ing Peter Pan collar. So f***ing what?”

Zooey Deschanel, your fringe icon and all-round comedy babe

 

“Everyone’s got some greatness in them. You do. The girl over there does. That guy on the left has some. But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it.”

Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, from her book Year of Yes

 

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

JK Rowling, everyone’s favourite dream auntie

 

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”

Zelda Fitzgerald, Jazz Age legend, from her Collected Writings

 

“Be brave and fearless [enough] to know that even if you do make a wrong decision, you’re making it for a good reason.”

Adele. You know Adele.

 

“Because you don’t live near a bakery, doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake.”

Hedy Lamarr, 1940s movie star and inventor, who developed the radio wave system that led to the modern creation of wi-fi (thanks Hedy!)

 

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Maya Angelou, author, poet and civil rights activist

 

“I say they should enjoy it while they can. You’ll be happy later to have taken pictures of yourself when you looked good. It’s human nature.”

Margaret Atwood, the Booker Prize-winning novellist, on (you guessed it) selfies

 

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai, female education activist and the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner.

What better motivation could you have before double Geography?

Image: Getty

It doesn’t matter how chill you are, if any one’s going to a party rammed with some of the most famous people in Hollywood, they’re going to get their selfie on. And this includes celebs.

So, this awards season, fill up your hot water bottle, pull on your favourite tea-stained comfies and settle down for a big old social stalk. We may not be able to get you invited to the awards shows, but we’ve found the people to follow on Instagram to at least provide you with enough material for some seriously realistic daydreaming.

Phones out! Here’s whose ‘follow’ buttons to hit ASAP…

The actress and her glam squad

We don’t need to tell you that Millie Bobby Brown is part of the mega Netflix hit show Stranger Things, but you may not know that her makeup artist Gianpaolo Ceciliato loves a BTS selfie with the gorgeous girl herself. So does Blake Erik, the hairstylist responsible for Millie’s seriously slick pixie crop.

Not only has the show got a SAG Awards nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series this year, Millie’s also been nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series – and it’s generally believed that a SAG nod means an Oscar nomination is pretty much in the bag. You just know her speeches would be perfection.

Plus the rest of the Stranger Things crew

Okay it's Childish Gambino home girl drop it like the NASDAQ

A photo posted by Finn Wolfhard (@finnwolfhardofficial) on

Psst… don’t forget to follow the rest of the Stranger Things main cast Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard and Noah Shnapp. Those boys know how to get a good selfie – their insta feeds already feature Emma Stone, Amy Schumer and Justin Timberlake.

The stylist

We won’t find out details about Oscar nominations until 24th Jan, but Emma Stone’s nom is pretty much guaranteed. Earlier this month she won a Golden Globe for her seriously impressive and beautiful performance in La La Land, has been nominated for a BAFTA (the film’s director has also been nominated, as has the film and Emma’s co-star Ryan Gosling), plus she’s got a SAG nomination *round of applause*.

Her stylist Petra Flannery helped the Golden Globe-winning actress pick her pink and silver Valentino dress for the awards earlier this month (did you see it? It’s covered in stars, we see what you did there Em). Petra also styled Golden Globe nominee Amy Adams, who’s also been nominated for a BAFTA for her performance in Arrival.

The hosts

If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars

A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the Oscars this year, so follow him for the next Ellen De Generes-style selfie stunts (don’t forget to follow Ellen too – her film Finding Dory has been nominated for a BAFTA). Plus, Stephen Fry is back taking the mick out of Hollywood at the BAFTAs – one awards show we don’t need to stay up into the wee hours to watch.

The red carpet presenters

#tbt to a few of my favorite moments from Sunday's #ERedCarpet at the #GoldenGlobes! #fb #lb

A video posted by Ryan Seacrest (@ryanseacrest) on

Our eyes and ears on the Hollywood red carpet are E! Presenters Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest, who’ll be all over everything we want to know this awards season – winners, gossip, speeches, dramas and style. Follow for all of it, and serious film and TV nuts can also keep their eyes on #eredcarpet, too.

A rising star

Have you heard of Anya Taylor-Joy yet? The actress has been nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star award, an accolade previously won by the likes of Juno Temple, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart and James McAvoy. At 20 years old she’s already been recognised as a future mega star – impressive stuff, but to be honest she had us at her unicorn-themed insta bio.

And another one

Another BAFTA Rising Star award nominee is Tom Holland, the 21-year-old actor best known for his roles in Captain America: Civil War and How I Live Now. Remember the name for bragging rights, people.

The Cast

Fun times with my Modern Family

A photo posted by Rico Rodriguez (@starringrico) on

The hilarious cast of Modern Family has been nominated for a SAG award this year for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, plus everyone’s favourite fictional Dad Ty Burrell has a nom all of his own, for Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series. The cast are all just as funny online as they are in the show, so keep your eyes peeled for fab Insta stories from Rico Rodriguez (Manny), Nolan Gould (Luke), Sarah Hyland (Haley) and Ariel Winter (Alex). We want them all in our gang.

The costume designer

Colleen Atwood is the multi Oscar award winning costume designer behind that epic pink and orange Alice in Wonderland look, and this year her Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them designs have been nominated for a BAFTA too. She doesn’t post a lot on Instagram, but if there’s the slightest chance of BTS pics of Eddie Redmayne, we will be hitting follow.

The awards

Lastly, don’t forget to follow the organisations that’ll be making it all happen – the BAFTAs, the SAG Awards and don’t forget The Academy for those all important Oscar nomination announcements. Oh, and popcorn. Don’t forget to buy popcorn.

“To err is human,” wrote Alexander Pope in his poem An Essay On Criticism. He was talking about the flawed frailty of the mortal condition, but let’s be honest – he may as well have been about getting your WhatsApp groups muddled. Or DM-ing something bitchy to the person it’s about. Or accidentally liking your crush’s Instagram from 78 weeks ago.

We can’t have been the only ones who got VERY excited at the recent news that we might soon be able to edit and delete WhatsApp messages after they’ve been sent (thank you, merciful social media gods!), or who’ve watched a whole friendship go up in flames because someone hit the ‘live’ button when they really, really shouldn’t have. But hey, let’s comfort ourselves with the knowledge that we’ve all done it (without Ed Balls tweeting his own name that one time in 2011, we wouldn’t have Ed Balls Day, your favourite national holiday after Christmas).

And once the initial burning humiliation fades, what you’re left with is a really, really good anecdote… Here are our faves.

“I tried to stalk someone I thought had deleted me on Facebook, but instead of searching their name I accidentally posted their name as my status. It was there for two whole days before I noticed.”

“Accidentally sent a picture reading ‘I LOVE YOU’ on FB messenger to someone I didn’t know very well.”

“In my first “proper” job I accidentally live tweeted my entire holiday to Japan from my work (GOVERNMENT!) Twitter account.”

“I received an unexpected Snapchat from my ex and in my mild (such an understatement) excitement I pulled a horrifying face that no one should really have to see, to send to my best friend proclaiming that he’d messaged. I sent it to him instead.”

“A friend was showing me an old FB message (from someone inappropriate who had been trying to pick her up), but sent them a massive thumbs-up emoji by accident.”

“Casual Sunday night stalking session on Instagram. I was new to iPhone and not used to the fact that iPhones don’t have the double tap to zoom on everything function… so I ended up liking a picture of the slightly less-than-sane girlfriend of someone I kind of know. Obvs I quickly unliked it, and she quickly made her profile private.”

“My BFF and I spent half an hour writing the perfect message to the guy she liked. After multiple drafts, we composed the *perfect* message; funny and flirty and totally easy breezy. In our excitement, we accidentally sent him one of the drafts and the final version. Easy breezy my arse.”

“Pulling a stupid face that really didn’t capture my best angles, which I meant to send to my bff but instead accidentally ended up adding to my Snapchat story.”

“A very nice boyfriend of mine who I was getting bored of sent me a v. long message lamenting that I’d been off with him for a while. I screenshotted the message and sent it to a friend saying “Oh no, he knows I want to dump him. What should I do?!”. But I sent it to the boyfriend by accident. Problem solved.”

“I once typed a long-winded excuse to cancel plans with someone later that day, but sent it instead of saving it – making my totally made-up excuse entirely implausible.”

“A boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend was stalking my Facebook and accidentally sent me a friend request. I asked him who she was, he asked her and THAT’S how she found out that she had sent the request. I assume she is dead from embarrassment now. Or living in a cave in the desert away from the internet forever.”

“In an exchange with a friend on Twitter I made a casual, bitchy reference to someone we went to school with years and years ago. Had no idea at all that she followed us both… until she replied to us both within five minutes. Ack.”

“I asked someone I really fancied about their recent trip to Wales. The only place they had mentioned the trip was in a long Twitter conversation with someone who I did not know at all. They looked confused, and I said ‘Oh, I think I’ve got you mixed up with someone else! Hahahahaha!’ BUT WE BOTH KNEW.”

“My boyfriend’s ex once followed me on Twitter – for three seconds. Sucks to be her.” 

“Messaged a friend saying ‘You can’t tell ANYONE… but Suzanne thinks she’s pregnant’. Then sent it (you guessed it) to Suzanne.”

 

 

Ahh, Instagram. You big lying wizard, you.

While we know with our brains that all those super-groomed outfit shots, perfect bag spills and dreamy beach scenes aren’t exactly what they seem, sometimes it’s hard to believe it in your heart. Especially when you’ve taken 54 grainy mirror selfies, your mum won’t play photographer anymore and you’ve almost injured yourself falling off a chair trying to snap your breakfast.

The most important thing about Instagram is that things are never as they seem,” says photographer Kate Forster. “It is always reassuring to remember that people are not always where they say they are, the pictures may have been edited 10 times before posting, and that girl’s skin is probably not as flawless as you thought while you stared at your mid-month breakout though the camera lens!”

So in the interests of looking behind the lens, reminding ourselves that perfection is all just smoke and mirrors (and  filters), we asked six Instagram stars to spill the beans on one of their gorgeous photos.

From bloating and bad hair days to location fakery, here’s what was really going on IRL…

Pandora Sykes

Pandora Sykes

I adored this two piece velvet suit from Alice Archer, a designer I have worked with before, but it was slightly too small – and I had my period and was bloated, and was so scared of someone taking my picture from an angle.

I’d been taken to Paris by Chanel for their show which felt like a Big Deal, but I was worried they’d be really glossy and haughty. Imagine my relief when they encouraged me to undo my skirt at lunch, and order pasta? Things are rarely as they seem – whether it be a picture, or a posh designer.” @pandorasykes 

Kavita Cola  

Kavita Cola

In this image I was in glamorous Cannes during the Film Festival. Standing on the rooftop of the 3.14 Hotel, loving my back drop, my friend Annie and I had carefully picked a spot to take a couple of pictures of me in my dress, with my well invested, treasured (expensive) Leica camera. Directly behind Annie, there were two couples (two guys and two girls) in a raised jacuzzi, taunting and splashing their water from over the little rail. Every time we walked to the corner and Annie was about to take the photo they kept splashing us and laughing out load, which felt like taunting. In the end they had managed to soak Annie, soak the front of my dress, soak the left side of my hair and almost soaked my camera. I almost feel a little bit silly saying this now but at the time it really felt like bullying and I was quite upset.

Anyhow, I managed to get my winning shot in the end but left the scene looking like a drowned rat. Eek! #HatersGonnaHate.” @kavitacola

 Kristabel Plummer 

Kristabel Plummer

I was in Portugal for a friend’s wedding but also had a brand project that I needed to create content for. I only had one day where I could shoot the photos but it also happened to be raining and my photographer friend wanted to hurry up and go to the spa. Add to that I rarely see images of myself in a bikini, and you have a very insecure Kristabel indeed.  

The thing about social media is that you’re very often presented with one kind of body, especially when it comes to women in bikinis. I took loads of photos where I wasn’t happy with my stomach; in this one it looks a little bit more toned but still showcases a more straight-up-and-down figure. Not everyone has a Kardashian waist-to-hip ratio and that’s totally fine, we need to see more of it! Even though I wasn’t initially happy with the photos, I had to tell myself that just because we’re so used to seeing one kind of body on social media, it doesn’t make other bodies wrong. We need to reprogram our brains a bit with more diverse imagery. Also we’re in our heads so much, no one else usually sees that flaws that we do.” @iamkristabel

Kate Forster

Kate Forster Instagram image

Beds and duvets on Instagram tend to perform very well. If you’ve seen picture upon picture of legs, in beds with the morning newspaper and first flat white of the day, then you will know what I mean! I myself have indulged in a few Instagram ‘bed’ shots, but most of them haven’t been anywhere near a bed…

Take this snap for example. I was on holiday in a beautiful hotel in The Lake District. Don’t get me wrong, the bed was beautiful – but the lighting was not. I wanted that gorgeous white, exposed ‘Instagram light’, so to achieve this, the duvet was dragged out on to the balcony. My breakfast was by now freezing, the duvet strategically placed to hide the fake tan/makeup leakage and I tried desperately to contort my legs so they looked as lean and long as possible, not to mention my boyfriend hovering above me awkwardly with the camera. ‘Lazy’ morning, huh?” @misskatef

Ella Gregory 

cocosteaparty

I currently live at home with my parents, and my desk (AKA ‘home office’) is in the loft, which is otherwise used as a dumping ground for items that need to be thrown away. It’s not a very nice or glamorous place to work, and my desk is tiny and smushed between lots of old boxes and a sofa bed.

However, for this I styled up my desk with some books and other props to make it look more glossy, made a cup of coffee even though I don’t really drink it any more, and took about 54 photos of the scene until I got something that looked slick enough. I then edited all the colours to improve the lighting and make it more Instagrammable.” @cocosteaparty

Wendy H Gilmour 

Wendy H Gilmour

“Shooting this campaign for Sassoon, the truth is that I had to walk home with my coat over my head in the drizzle to stop my hair from frizzing and then crumple myself under my kitchen worktop to get the shots without ruining the ‘do’. I had it covered in concrete and it comes in very handy as a backdrop – I just can’t sit up straight! So glam.” @thankfifi

So what have we learned? Nothing is really perfect. And sometimes, you should just eat your breakfast while it’s still hot.

It’s been a big week for our screens, both big and small; Bake Off is over, PLL has called a wrap, Instagram has introduced an awesome new mental health feature and the Gilmore Girls returned for a blissful 2:28 minutes.

Here’s our weekly round-up of everything we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.

GBBO desserted us 

On Wednesday night, 14 million people tuned in to watch the Last Ever Bake Off As We Know It (yes, that deserves capitalisation). Somehow the Great British Bake Off managed to out-British itself, with an entire episode devoted to the royal family (who we can only assume were huddled around their TVs, rooting for Candice along with the rest of us).

Fare thee well, Bake Off – it’s been a tremendous reign. Long live her memory, and long live Mel and Sue’s soggy bottoms.

Instagram gets serious about mental health

This week Instagram started rolling out a new tool that lets its users anonymously flag friends’ posts about self-harm. Instagram will then send a message saying: “Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.” Your friend can then ignore the post or click through to see a list of support options, including a suggestion to call or message a friend, access more general tips or contact a help line. Insta, nice to know you’ve got our backs.

instagram-support

 

Women of Iceland melt our hearts

The Northern Lights. Björk. Thermal baths. Iceland seems to have a pretty good gig. But according to a New York Times report, women in Iceland are still paid 14-18% less than men. In a genius move, on Monday at 2:38 p.m., with 14% of the workday left (during which they essentially work for free), women all over the capital city of Reykjavik walked out of work and took to the street in protest.

In the UK the gender pay gap hovers at around 20%, so we should be walking out a little after lunch…?

That’s a wrap: PLL had its last ever day of filming 

This week, our Instagram feed has been overflowing with the cast of Pretty Little Liars paying tribute to the show and each other. But none of them are quite as emotional as Patrick Adams’ tribute to his fiancée Troian Bellisario. We dare you to not tear up reading it.

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Image: @halfadams

Our world collided with Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo

Who wouldn’t love to work with their BFF? You get to hang out all the time AND get paid for it. Rainbow Rowell (author of Fangirl, Eleanor & Park) and her BFF, Leigh Bardugo (who wrote the Grisha Trilogy) have done exactly that with their ‘Worlds Collide’ tour. For the Mancunians out there, the final stop of their tour is heading your way tonight! You can grab your tickets here.

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Gilmore Girls dropped a new trailer

Look, we know you’ve probably seen it but if, by chance, you’ve been somewhere on half term that doesn’t have the internet or if you’ve been living under what we would only assume was a very cosy rock, the Gilmore Girls trailer is here. And. It. Is. Magnificent.

All our old favourites make an appearance and we have so many questions! Why is there a teacup pig? Is it a replacement Paul Anka? Lorlei and Luke aren’t wearing wedding rings? Will Rory really end up with Dean (aka ideal first boyfriend, but maybe not the ideal forever guy), Jess (aka a douchebag made slightly less douchebagy by the fact he reads a lot) or Logan (aka rich douchebag)? We’ll find out on November 25th! Christmas comes early.

Happy weekend you lot!

You probably know the story by now. A few weeks ago, Justin posted a stream of selfies of him and his new lady friend, Sofia Richie, on Instagram.

Lots of Beliebers were less than impressed and started throwing some serious shade at Sofia. Biebs came to her defence, saying:

“I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate this is getting out of hand. If you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.”

Next followed a public spat with his ex, Selena Gomez, who advised him to stop whinging and stop posting pics of his new love – then a few days later, Justin’s account vanished into Instagram heaven (presumably to live happily with the ghost of Ed Sheeran’s social media presence).

What can we learn from this?

Well, for starters, it’s probably not a great idea to feud with your ex in the comments section of Instagram.

But maybe Biebs is on to something. Maybe we should all be taking a bit of a break from social media.

Shockingly, it turns out that all the time we spend staring at screens isn’t amazing for our mental health. The University of Pittsburgh found that the more time people spent on social media, the greater risk they were at of developing depression.

Meanwhile, Anxiety UK conducted a study that suggested people who spent a significant amount of time on social media have increased levels of anxiety and low self-esteem.

Half of the people interviewed said social media had a negative impact on their lives, whether it was because they were negatively comparing themselves to other people or struggling to ever switch off.

The constant pressure of social media; to pick the ‘right’ filter and get the ‘right’ amount of likes, to be seen with the ‘right’ people in the ‘right’ places.

To be funny and smart and interesting and beautiful. And to do all of those things without spilling tea down your front and remembering all your friends birthdays.

It’s frickin’ exhausting.

So this weekend, let’s all be a little more Biebs (but without the face tattoo) and take some time out from social media.

And guys – stay away from your ex’s comments section.

Image: Getty

We’ve all been there – scrolling through Instagram, feeling that our life isn’t quite as pastel-tinted, our outfit quite as perfect, our friends not quite as glamorous as all of the people populating our feed.

It can be exhausting. And irritating. And probably, maybe, quite bad for us.

Whenever I make the crucial mistake of opening Instagram when I’m lying on my bed waiting for the next episode of Gilmore Girls to load, surrounded by Maltesers and half drunk cups of tea, it can feel like a punch to the stomach. Why is everyone so flawless-skinned? And tanned? And chilling on a yacht while I’m in Nando’s? How are these people always travelling? Why do they drink so many smoothies? Does anyone, if they’re being really honest with themselves, even like kale?

So as a lovely antidote, here are 12 Instagram accounts that won’t make you feel terrible about your life.

And I promise, not one of them features kale.

Paul Nicklen bear photo
Image: @paulnicklen

Paul Nicklen

You might not have heard of Paul Nicklen, but 2.5 million people have. That’s right; 2.5 freakin’ million. He’s a photographer for National Geographic and his photos of nature are so beautiful it will make you want to live outdoors for the rest of your life. Maybe.

School of Doodle t-shirt image
Image: @schoolofdoodle

School of Doodle

The School of Doodle is a really cool project that focuses on providing young girls with the knowledge, skills and experiences not taught in high school. You can watch inspirational and informational videos featuring big creative brains and world changers, connect with fellow Doodlers and take part in the weekly Doodle challenge.

Image: @janetomyausten
Image: @janetomyausten

Jane to my Austen

I want ‘Jane to my Austen’ to be the Darcy to my Elizabeth. Basically, we are now in love. Don’t panic, this isn’t just a Jane Austen fangirl feed – it’s beautiful celebration of all things bookish.

The Atlas of Beauty instagram photo
Image: @theatlasofbeauty

The Atlas of Beauty

Mihaela Noroc photographs women from every corner of the world. Through exploring all sort of different cultures, she wants to expand our concept of what ‘beauty’ really. It’s a super inspiring project and her photos are amazing.

 

Mr Pokee
Image: @mr.pokee

Mr. Pokee

Somehow, in what I can only assume is a cruel punishment from the universe, I only recently found this account. The entire account is dedicated the adventures of a hedgehog. A hedgehog! Mr. Pokee is now my life, and he’ll be yours too.

Girl with no job Instagram post
Image: @girlwithnojob

Girl with no job

Sometimes life can get you down. Especially when other people are lying on a sun lounger in the South of France, sipping on organic, macrobiotic coconut water and you are lying in your back garden on an old towel with a warm glass of flat Coke. But luckily that’s what comedy is for. Here’s to Girl with No Job, who uses her downtime to entertain us rather than make us jealous.

History Photographed image
Image: @historyphotographed

History Photographed

This isn’t one of those Instagram accounts that just churns out old black and white images of Audrey Hepburn you’ve seen a million times. History Photographed includes loads of really unusual images that you’ve probably never seen before. Like parents at New York Pride in 1974 carrying signs that say “I am proud of my gay son.” #LoveIsLove

Baby Animalstagram
Image: @babyanimalstagram

Baby Animalstagram

This Instagram account is exactly what it sounds like. But better. So much better.

NASA sky photo
Image: @NASA

NASA

I never used to be that fussed by space. I knew it was out there but never wanted to learn all that much about it – like taxes or Kanye West. But NASA’s Instagram account changed all that. Now, while I would give all of my savings (£67.50) to go to space, this account means I don’t have to. I can see some pretty amazing things from the comfort of my bedroom.

 

Papered Thoughts pebbles
Image: @paperedthoughts

Papered Thoughts

I love everything Paper Thoughts does so much I want to eat it. Yes, even her illustrations. Yes, even her beautiful letters and envelopes. Yes, I would even gobble down her beautiful motivational painted rocks without so much as a second thought. I fully believe it would be worth the indigestion.

Makers Women quote
Image: @makerswomen

Makers Women

Need some inspiration in the your life? Look no further. Makers Women’s feed is brimming with kickass feminists and inspirational quotes like this one from Shay Mitchell: “You have this one life, so go and make the most of it.”

Mental Floss cheesecake post
Image: @mentalfloss

Mental Floss

If, like me, you are a lover of random facts, useless information, and things that will make you say “Really?!”, then this is your holy grail.