Modelling Internationally| Cape Town

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Considering the amount of photos I post on Insta, I thought it was about time I did a blog on my experience modelling internationally in Cape Town as it was pretty much the best experience in my life!

So mid way through second year of ui my agent at Savalas Models phoned and told me there was an agency in Cape Town interested in signing me called 3D management. They asked if I would be able to fly over from September that year and stay through until January as this is the busiest period for modelling in the city. As I was about to go into third year however, I was only available to fly over during my summer and so agreed to fly out on the 1st August and return on the 26th September.

I booked my flights with the airline KLM and would fly to Amsterdam followed by an eleven hour flight to Cape Town. This was the first time i’d ever flown anywhere completely alone and when my dad dropped me off at the airport there were a few tears not gonna lie. But the flights turned out to be completely fine and KLM really look after you which is great.

Before flying though there was LOTS of things to sort out which I will list as it will be useful to know for anyone planning on modelling abroad.

  • Visa – This is crucial if you are planning on working abroad and requires you having to go to either Edinburgh or London several weeks before to get a working Visa. Always check the country’s rules and regulations of if you need a Visa or not to travel there.
  • Vaccinations – For Cape Town you don’t need any vaccinations but always check before you travel anywhere.
  • Packing – be sure to pack a ton of clothes for shoots as for many portfolio shoots you will need to. Useful items are Leather and denim jackets, and nice trainers.
  • Black and nude heels
  • Nude underwear
  • Inform your bank you will be living abroad
  • Inform your phone company you will be living abroad
  • Buy a spare phone to use a South African sim card on arrival. This is for when your agency message you castings.

Continue reading “Modelling Internationally| Cape Town”

Hong Kong: Best Sites/Bars/Travel Advice

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Hey Guys,

So as you may have seen already from my many Instagram posts, I have recently been on a trip to Hong Kong with my University as one of our third year field trip options.

Despite having very packed schedules for the eleven days we were there, we got a chance to do many touristy things and had nights off to explore on our own accord; so In this blog i’d love to share my favourite places/ experiences and give my best advice for those of you planning to travel there or wondering how I found Hong Kong.

So Firstly, what I packed and would recommend packing aside from a normal trip away. (Bearing in mind we went in November when it was ‘cooler’.

  • As the climate is really warm and humid – As in 20-30 degrees every day and remaining warm on an evening – I would recommend bringing lots of gym clothes; especially leggings which are cool and can dry off in periods of rainfall/ stop you from getting too sweaty. These are to wear for days you are doing tourist activities which require being outdoors and walking a lot.
  • A thin raincoat or umbrella – due to the climate there are lots of random bursts of rainfall so be prepared.
  • Light clothing including shorts or skirts for days visiting shopping centres or spending more time in the city areas.
  • Hand Sanitiser  – Due to the high levels of pollution and the dense population, many residents or tourists can suffer with respiratory diseases or illnesses. To help prevent this, we were recommended to bring hand sanitiser to use after using public transport, and before and after eating. In addition, on arriving in Hong Kong, the airline recommended we wear a surgical mask or seeked medical attention if we had any symptoms of flu or respiratory virus. (Luckily this wasn’t a necessary measure of any of us)
  • Currency – Hong Kong have their own currency of Hong Kong dollars – I personally brought $300 for ten days  – and pre ordered it before the trip from Debhenams due to this currency not being something many places have in stock all the time.
  • Also prior to your trip i would look online at which vaccinations are recommended. We were recommended to get Hepatitis A and B vaccinations so check well in advance.

Transport

  • Hong Kong has an extremely efficient transport system whereby the metro can get you anywhere as well as there being frequent buses. For this you should get an Octopus card from the metro station  – the equivalent of an Oyster card in London.
  • If you are travelling from the airport and aren’t getting a taxi, the airport has a fast train to the island called the airport express
  • Red taxis are available pretty much everywhere if you need another method of transport and are also pretty cheap.

Top 5 things to see:

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Victoria Peak:

This is a Hike near to Hong Kong University which gives you an incredible view of Hong Kong. You can go up by day and by night and both are worth doing for the views and photo opportunities. it is a pretty steep hike so bring water and wear gym clothing. If you don’t want to walk you can also get a tram up to the top and back down and can pay by oyster card .

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Ten Thousand Buddhas:

This is another trail and features ten thousand Buddha figures on a walk up to a temple and other different sized Buddha statues. Again this is an extremely steep walk to get up and a lot of steps but is totally worth it for the views and experience. There is a cafe at the top and a gift shop to buy really nice souvenirs. Also bear in mind you can’t take photos inside the religious temples and buildings but can everywhere else.

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Happy Valley races

if you like horses and horse racing this will be one of your favourite experiences and if not you will love it anyway! They have a meet every Wednesday 7:30 – 11pm and it is cheap to get in. It is incredible seeing a racecourse within an area full of skyscrapers and is such a unique experience so i’d 100% recommend going. They have bars with decently priced drinks for Hong Kong and food places. I’d Dress nicely but not too dressed up.

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Stanley / other beaches

Hong Kong isn’t really a place to go out swimming for hours due to the levels of pollution in the sea, however the beaches are worth going to for a relaxing morning out and to go for a paddle. Stanley is a really nice area of Hong Kong with one of my favourite markets in the city and lovely beaches and restaurants. Id say travel there by bus as it is likely to be the cheapest option and you get lovely views on the way there and back.

Big Buddha:

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Getting a cable car up to Big Buddha is honestly an incredible experience! We pre-booked to prevent long queues, and the cable car took us on the twenty minute Journey up to Big Buddha. Despite my initial thoughts that you would get there, take photos then have to go back down, the Big Buddha attraction actually consists of many other things including a Temples, gift shops and restaurants. Strangely the whole area is extremely commodified and there was even a starbucks which is the last thing i expected to see but it means going to the Big Buddha can be a worthwhile day trip as there are many facilities there.

Continue reading “Hong Kong: Best Sites/Bars/Travel Advice”

Truths about modelling

My first insight into the modelling industry began early in 2015; a time when I was still in sixth form. When I was first scouted I had absolutely no reason to see why they had given me a second look and jokingly told my dad about it expecting him to disapprove of the idea and to just focus on swimming (which I did competitively at the time) and my studies. Despite this, my dad, friends and family told me to go for it and were completely supportive of me applying and respectively getting signed.

Since that time, I have been signed with three different agencies, and have gained experience in both shoots and runway, and experienced the opertunity of modelling internationally.

Despite these experiences which from an outsiders perspective may look wonderful, there are many things I have learned whilst modelling which means there are some flaws in the positive experiences I’ve had, as well as some valuable life lessons and skills I have come across.

So firstly, has been the self confidence of my body image I have gained/ lost with modelling.

To a large extent modelling has made me embrace aspects of myself which I’d originally seen as a flaw- which is of course primarily my freckles. Whilst when I was younger I used to try and cover them up completely, I now embrace them as much as possible as they are a unique feature of myself & a major feature which has allowed me to stand out during my modelling career and to get chosen for specific castings. Furthermore, whilst in the past I hated being tall and completely thought of myself as unattractive/ unappealing, modelling has eventually allowed me to embrace the positive comments from clients/ agencies and outsiders on social media which has really improved my confidence since being at school.

On the other hand, the industry which is known to be ‘brutal’ in the way models are seen as a commodity as oppose to real people, has and continues to knock my confidence over my body shape.

Despite my agency being completely supportive of my look, as well as many clients such as Bridal clients, the strict measurement regulations of the Industry as a whole has prevented me from many opportunities in the past. As a U.K. Size 10, I have been rejected from a top Manchester agency, a Milan Agency, and from numerous runways merely due to my ‘hips being too big’.

Although I try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime, the reality of losing weight to achieve these goals which could be possible, would mean to give up on certain exercise, stop drinking on nights out and to significantly limit my diet. At university this is very unrealistic and so it is difficult trying to get a correct balance of wanting to expand my career as a model, whilst equally enjoying my time at uni. I have seen many models who have an identical diet or exercise regime to me yet hve a naturally slim frame, meaning they automatically fit the modelling ideals and can persue with many top opportunities.

Social Media

Linked to self confidence is the use of social media as a way of marketing myself as a model. At first I resisted posting many photos on my social media due to fears of appearing vain and fearing the response from friends, yet after a really positive reaction and comments really boosting my confidence I started being proud to post photos from shoots and jobs I was doing.

In recent years, many will know that Instagram is becoming the main method of promoting yourself as a model and so Eventually, I chose to separate my main modelling account to my social and home life account and so made a separate account for family and friends.

Overall I have continued to gain a positive response on social media and the comments and likes on my account really do brighten my day, however with the positives there are some negatives I have experienced during this. Mainly, has been the response from people ‘close’ to me who tend to mock the amount I post on social media or laugh at the content of what I am posting. Although they are mainly joking, I often find it frustrating to explain that I am using my social media account as a means of providing an online portfolio to clients and so the more I post , the more business opportunities I am likely to receive.

Alongside this, I have often experienced random messages or experienced real life experiences of people unknown to me or occasionally known to me which have have been responses.

Many are compliments or general support about modelling, yet I have had numerous occasions of people merely viewing me in a sexual nature or because I model, as oppose to taking me seriously or wanting to get to know me. It sounds stupid to say but there have been occasions of people popping up to me for literally one thing which really knocks your self worth. (I know regardless of how I phrased that, it will sound completely conceited, however Sometimes being seen merely as a ‘model’ can be quite demoralising in the way people react to it. )

A major breakthrough which really has improved my year this year and has made my hard work modelling and on social media worthwhile, has been the opportunity of becoming a Boux Avenue and a Coconut Lane ambassador. Both schemes have finally made me realise it is possible to achieve what you think you can’t, or that it is possible to be those people on social media you didn’t think you could ever relate to.

Overall, whilst having the potential to make you love and hate yourself alternately on a daily basis, I am pleased with the progress I have made as a model and the opportunities it has brought me through learning the skills of social media. Although there have been friends or outsiders who have been negative or have mocked me, and times I have considered dramatically losing weight to suit some markets of modelling, the overall experience has taught me to embrace the qualities I have. I intend on continuing learning life skills of trying to be proud of what I have achieved so far and to care less about what people think of me, which hopefully will result in a positive future.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month|Boux Avenue

Hey Guys,

So for those of you who don’t know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month which means it is especially important to donate and to raise awareness of the disease.

Boux Avenue – a company I am lucky enough to be an ambassador for- is currently going into it’s second year partnership with the charity Breast Cancer Care, and is currently aiming to raise over £50,000 for the charity – with our help!

The charity Breast Cancer Care, amongst many other things, provides support and advice to those diagnosed with the disease, provides a helpline to those with family or friends suffering with Breast Cancer, and gives advice on which symptoms to look out for if you are worried you are at risk of Breast Cancer. It also organises many events such as charity walks and bike rides in order to fundraise for the cause.

Throughout this month (October) Boux Avenue has chosen to donate 10% of all sales of its Aimee and Reagan Bra Styles to Breast Cancer Care.  Alongside this, buyers have the option to add a donation of £1 to any of their online and in store purchases.

To show off the products more clearly, I teamed up with one of my favourite photographers Meg Jepson who was lovely enough to photograph me wearing products such as the Reagan Set.  Check out her Instagram here

Personally, I would really recommend donating whether it be directly to the charity, or through Boux Avenue’s website – If you want a further look Shop the Aimee bra here or the Reagan Bra.

Next I will provide some imperative info on checking signs and symptoms of breast cancer yourself.

Continue reading “Breast Cancer Awareness Month|Boux Avenue”

Fitbit Charge 2| Review

Hey Guys!

So a couple of people in the past have asked me if I would recommend buying a Fitbit & if so, which model would be the most suitable for them.

Personally, this is my first ever fitness watch so I would’t be able to compare it to other brands such as Tom Tom watches or the Apple Watch, however I can tell you everything you need to know about the Fitbit Charge 2.

The Basics

I received this watch from my dad for Christmas last year which he presumed would be ‘another white elephant’ in the house that I wouldn’t use such as when I got a Sat Nav and still managed to get lost. However literally, I have worn this watch nearly every day since, including on nights out! Here is information about the style of the watch:

  • The watch strap comes in three possible sizes, Small, Large or extra Large, and I find that the Small is perfect for me and I have room to make it smaller or a lot bigger if I wanted to.
  • The strap is ‘water resistant’ as oppose to water proof, however mine has been soaked in snakebite quite a few times at Sport’s socials and is still fully functioning.
  • Strap’s come in many different colours and can be changed – mine is Lavender with a Rose Gold plated screen – which is still a limited edition option.

As for the fitness side of things, Fitbits are connected to their own app which can be downloaded by any smartphone.

The Daily screen looks like this:

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The basic functions of Fibits are to tell you how many steps you have achieved walking per day, your current heart rate, and the amount of sleep you have had the previous night (tracked by movement and heart rate) . This is a screenshot from my day today showing the steps I’ve walked including my run, my resting heart rate below the heart outline, and the amount of sleep I had last night.

An interesting feature of Fitbits is they can also track any naps you have, and those will be added onto your sleep record; Last night was clearly an example of what sleeping pattern NOT to have and is evidently why I am so tired all the time.

… On clicking on one of these icons, the app will expand a screen showing your full history or days, so for example how many steps you have walked every day that week, last week, and the week before ect. So it’s super useful to keep track of your steps, sleep, and heart rate on a daily basis.

In addition, you are able to track your weight each week, and create a food log, which estimates the number of calories in each item of food and adds them up for you. Personally however these aren’t really features I use.

Continue reading “Fitbit Charge 2| Review”

What to take to a casting/ Photoshoot/Runway Show

Over the couple of years I have been modelling, there are a few essential items which I have found imperative to take to castings and shoots. Most are generic items which your agency will automatically tell you to bring, however others I have learned through experience can literally make your life so much easier.

So Firstly, what to wear.

For a casting the client wants to see the real you, so your natural frame and natural skin and hair. Clothing wise I would always recommend Black skinny jeans (not too high waisted) and a black came/strappy top. These will show off your natural body shape and the colour is good at showing your skin tone. For Make-up and hair, i’d usually recommend leaving it down but bringing a bobble so you can always tie it up. You will usually be asked to show your side profile so your hair needs to be out the way so they can see your jawline. If you choose to wear make-up make sure it is as light as possible and from experience if you have interesting features like freckles DO NOT COVER THEM UP! .Alongside this you must bring a pair of black heels so you can show your walk and how much height you have in them. As for a job you have already guaranteed, it doesn’t matter generally what you wear, however make sure to ask beforehand if their are any clothing items the client wants you to take with you.

Other must have items

From experience I have learned to ALWAYS take to a show:

  • Make up wipes
  • Heat protectant spray for your hair
  • Nude strapless bra and nude undies
  • Bobbles
  • Water and healthy snacks (if you are doing a long shoot)

Most of these are self-explainatory, however the first two listed  I found are essential after a pretty bad experience I had at Durban Fashion week, SA. In between shows, it was a major rush to take make-up off the models and to create the next look and I found myself with liquid make-up remover all over my face/ stinging my eyes, and not enough cotton buds which was NOT nice. I’d definitely consider bringing your own make-up removal product therefore which you know works for you and won’t irritate your skin as it will make your experience backstage a lot less stressful. Furthermore, I cannot stress the importance of bringing your own heat protectant spray or applying it before shows after my hair was completely damaged permanently at this same show. Being a model means your hair and skin goes through a lot, so it’s so important to take care if it while you’re still young.

Other than that make sure you stay hydrated and get enough sleep so that you look and feel your best for casting and jobs – Little things always really make the difference.

Hope this helps 🙂

Sarah x

 

 

 

Becoming a Boux Avenue Student Ambassador <3

 

 

Since about year 11 at school, I have never been the type of girl to obsess over shoes or handbags; yet have always been completely addicted to buying Pretty underwear sets, bikinis and gym wear. Despite the amount I have collected in the past few years being completely extravagant, I continue to spend my student loan on yet more underwear even if the things I really need could be a winter coat or groceries.

I first started buying from Boux Avenue before I Started university, but since moving to Hull I found myself popping in the store all the time- literally using the excuse that it was annoying having to take clothes to the laundrette at uni so often and so it was ESSENTIAL for me to buy new undies. So by the time I saw the opportunity to apply for the 2017 Boux Student Ambassador scheme I was already quite familiar with the products as well as having quite a ridiculous collection of them!

I saw this scheme through Instagram as I already followed a couple of the 2016 Ambassadors who had attended schools nearby to mine & at the same time as me. During my holiday in Lagos with my family, I jumped at the chance of applying and sent in the application to Boux through their website and my Instagram post (showed above).

Soon afterwards I was just finishing a long shift back at work when I read the email that Boux had selected me as one of their ambassadors and literally nearly died with excitement, ringing every possible family member and my modelling agent too.

One month in and the scheme has been a completely incredible opportunity and amazing experience. As well as receiving their beautiful products, the scheme allows you to get involved with students at your university by organising events such as giveaways! Moreover, as an ambassador, you get to attend exclusive Boux Avenue events and meet the other ambassadors, staff and marketing directors. (for those of you who haven’t seen on my Instagram I will hopefully do a blog soon on my Induction event in Manchester).

Within a month I have become familiar with more and more with their range of products which as well as underwear sets include:

  • Bikinis
  • Matching pyjamas
  • Loungewear
  • Homewear such as candles
  • Body Sprays
  • Slippers and Slipper socks
  • Skin and nail care.

Using my unique online discount code SARAHB20 you can all receive an amazing 20% off everything. …Andd just to let you know, deliveries arrive gift wrapped with a personal message, and beautiful white smelling petals which you can put in your drawers! (No I have never bought myself presents from there and written myself a message 😉 😥 )

Some of my fave products are featured below!

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I am really looking forward to what next month has to bring and after receiving amazing news on how I have done this month I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has used my code, recommended it to a friend, or even liked one of my posts on Instagram. I am so so grateful for the support!!

Coming soon will be a gift guide of my fave Boux Products which I hope you guys will find useful 🙂

Sarah x