Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Huda Kattan on the Power of Being Yourself | BoF VOICES

Huda Kattan.

I came across this podcast on BoF which was on the topic of ' the power to being yourself'.  I decided to watch it as I feel this topic is something most people struggle with and is definitely something I struggle with myself. I feel that especially in a creative industry, it's a positive thing to be different and original from the crowd. However, in society you're often looked at as weird and many people are scared of not being accepted. Huda Kattan explains her personal story of this exact case.

Huda Kattan is an Iraqi-American makeup artist, beauty blogger and entrepreneur. She is also the CEO of the cosmetic line Huda Beauty. Throughout her time at school, Huda explained a lot of people called her different and weird. She explained many students couldn't even pronounce her name properly. She was unsure of the reasoning that made her appear so weird other than maybe the fact of her culture. She was tired of not fitting in so she changed her name to Heidi ( her middle name) at an attempt to blend in which worked. She spent many years pretending to be like everyone else that she dropped what she loved (art) and studied maths instead. when it came to after graduation, she was fired from her first job being told that she didn't fit the part. She realised that she couldn't seem to fit in anywhere but felt lost and tired of pretending. She started to be herself and do the things she loved. From this, she became very successful and ' limitless'. In the end, she wasn't viewed as being weird. Instead she became an influencer with great following on all social media platforms with a successful makeup brand that became the fastest growing beauty company in the world. Huda explained that her brand "didn't blossom it boomed" and described herself of feeling 'free'.

Listening to this podcast and hearing Huda's story has left me feeling really inspired. It has influenced me to work on being myself, stepping out of my comfort zone and accepting my own inner genius. I also hope its inspired you too.

Here are a few things Huda said throughout her story that was memorable and encouraging:

 " the reality is, you always become your environment but what happens when your environment takes over and you forget who you really are."

" Being different changes the norm."

"Society is pushed to revolutionise and that's how it flourishes."

"Anyone who had a profound impact on the word had to be some content of weird."

"What if we didn't accept our inner weirdo. What if Einstein kept his thoughts to himself? and What if Micheal Jackson danced like everyone else?  Being different is your genius."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Do you believe that creativity is a natural talent? That you are either creative or you're not. Would you describe yourself as creative? Or how can you become more creative? Overall, how did Hegarty become so successful? Hegarty on Creativity - There are no rules answers all of your questions and more. This book is honestly one of the best books I have ever read! I feel that it has some very helpful and motivational points to creating a successful career in something you love. Below are my 5 favorite points that I will be taking away with me:

   1. Respect Don’t Revere
" Revere anyone or any one thing at your own risk. Doing so will over-influence your work and impede your creativity. It will lead to imitation, not creation." This isn't saying to not be inspired or to not have someone successful to look up to but instead, don’t put them on a pedestal or idolize them. This only makes you feel less about yourself and limit your ability to reach their level and beyond. Instead, use them as a stepping stone, learn from what they did and use that to create your own success. 

 2. Originality 
"Ideas borrow, blend, subvert, develop, and bounce off other ideas" Hegarty explains there’s no such thing as an original idea. It had to be inspired from somewhere or something that was created before. We just interpret or develop that idea into our own response. 

 3. Reflection 
"Snap judgments and rapid decisions often lead to poor work. The ability to stand back from your thinking and give what we call the 'overnight test' is essential." When creating a working, you need to give yourself time, even in a world that's so fast-paced. Giving yourself time to reflect will help you look at your work more clearly than making quick and often, bad decisions. 

 4. Remove your headphones 
" To be a successful creative person you have to be fascinated by the world and all its wonders, absurdities, failings, and mishaps. The world can be a constant source of inspiration but you must absorb it through all your senses before you can hope to channel it into fresh ideas." Hegarty explains when he sees one of his creatives wearing headphones, he asks "why are they cutting themselves off from the world?" "As without inspiration, creativity dries up and we start repeating ourselves." 

5. Good is the enemy of great 
" Within this maelstrom of thoughts veering all over the place, it can be easy to settle on something that feels right. Something that seems to make sense of all the confusion. you'll feel relief when you get to this point. You’ll think you've cracked it. You’ll feel good. But then you have to take a step back from what feels really good and ask: But is it great?" What Hegarty is expressing here is, even when you thought you’ve come up with a really good idea, don’t play it safe but instead, push yourself to greatness. Question yourself, could this be better? Its good but is it great? 

Overall, I would undoubtedly recommend this book to anyone whos in the creative industry looking for inspiration but most of all to push themselves succeeded in the industry. 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Tipping Point By Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell. How little things can make a big difference.

Why does some ideas, messages and creations spread like wild fire but others find it extremely difficult to attract the attention of their target audience? In Malcolm's book he gives you eye opening insights into how 'social epidemics' work and how the little things make all the difference when it comes to making that idea tip. 

Malcolm explains how even the minor elements play a huge role in the tipping point. He explains throughout the book that an idea needs to be contagious and to do that it needs to be picked up by a few of the ' right' people. In addition, for the idea, message or creation to tip it also needs to be 'sticky' and it has to be brought in the right context. 

Through out the book Malcolm mentions these few rules to follow if you're wanting to make your idea tip. 

The Law of The Few 
There are three types of people who can spread an idea in a contagious way the connector, the maven and the salesman. The connectors are people who know a lot of people and are capable of brining people from different worlds together. This can help get your idea spread to lots of different people fast. Mavens know their knowledge within the market and love to share this with others. If your product is good you'd be sure to know they would be talking about it. Lastly, the salesman is the persuasive talker who can persuade anyone to buy anything with just their charm. These three people are essential for speaking a word-of-mouth epidemic. 

The Stickiness Factor
The stickiness factor means that your message to your audience needs to stick or be 'sticky'. You have to question yourself, is this message so memorable that it can create change or action? And to do this you need to know your target group and what makes them remember your message.  An example Malcolm explains was with kids.  They watch television when they understand and look away when they are confused. Approaching them like adults made the opposite effect and was what made sesame street tip. 

The Power of Context 
Malcolm explains in this chapter that people are extremely sensitive to changes in context. Small factors such as the environment we live in can change things dramatically. For example, broken windows and graffiti can start a crime epidemic. He also explain there are different contextual factors that enhance change, like peer pressure in smaller groups. He explains the difference between the early adaptors and early majority and how to use that to then translate difficult concepts into ideas the rest of us can understand. Malcolm stresses that to start a word- of mouth epidemic you must completely concentrate on the connectors, mavens and salesmen. Furthermore, he explains our world does not accord with our intuition. Those who are successful in creating an epidemic do not just do what they think is right but instead, deliberately test their intuitions and act on the test results. Lastly, Malcolm explains that by manipulating a size of a group we can improve interest in new ideas and adjusting the appearance of information, we can improve its stickiness. 

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is a book that makes you think and view life in a different way. It’s an eye-opener, inspiring and knowledgable. A book that can change your life.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness

I came across Vex King via instagram and discovered all of his inspiring posts about life lessons and positive outlooks. I've always been interested and intrigued to learn more about life, positivity and meditation. When he released his book Good Vibes, Good Life, I knew I would love his book. 

Throughout the book it explains that had had a tough upbringing as his father died when he was young. He and his siblings were raised by their single mother and they were often homeless. He suffered from racist abuse in a violent neighbourhood but despite this, he did well at school and in his career. Vex King has inspired people from all over the world. He is looked up to for personal development and spiritual wisdom and is using his positive influence to spread good vibes. His motivation in life is to help people unlock their full potential and show greatness in all areas of their life, just like he did for his own.  

Vex's book has really taught me some valuable lessons in life. Personally suffering from many struggles in my own life,  he has helped me view situations in a different and more positive way. I hope to use what I have learnt into practise and to carry on his work in helping and influencing others. If you want to improve your life and learn to be more positive then this is a definitely must read and a promise that you wont regret it! Also, don’t forget to follow his instagram account too @vexking. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Gucci's lipstick campaign

In this generation diversity has become a big focus and particularly within the fashion and beauty industry. Gucci’s new campaign pushes beauty in a new disruptive direction questioning the idea of “perfect teeth” a sector that hasn’t been challenged until now. 

The campaign is four print images, featuring four models showing off their teeth by snarling and sticking their tongues our rather than having a typically forced smile or sexy pout. There's also a close up of Dani Miller's teeth. The teeth have large gaps as she poses with a smile and red lipstick on her lips. The lipstick is then featured in the bottom right of the print. Text is added such as “ For the bold, the bright and the beautiful.” 

It's brave of Gucci being its first cosmetic launch of 58 lipsticks. Creative director Alessandro Michele has said she aims to “flip the scrip in what is considered congenitally beautiful.” Her vision for the line is to “represent complete liberty and self-expression and the campaign conveys a clear message that authentic beauty lies in imperfection.” 

The model Dani Miller has said that she used to be bullied for her teeth and would bet her mom for teeth Implants growing up. Eventually, she learned to embrace her look and has said that “ I hope the ad inspires and reassured people around the world to find confidence and know that it’s okay to be themselves even more.” She says “ Let go it the pressures of traditional beauty and perfection. Your unusual features are powerful and beautiful. Ignore the haters. Embrace your inner freakiness, your authentic self. You are so beautiful and a bright shining star, and you never have to hide or feel unworthy ever again.”

In my opinion, I feel that this campaign is really positive, especially coming from such a high- end well-known brand. I also think that the models used, in particular Dani Miller, who has previously been bullied about her teeth and has felt insecure to make someone feel like there are just as beautiful as everyone else. It also sets a positive example for society and future generations. However, for some they have seen more negatives than positives adding comments such as the image doesn’t make people want to purchase lipstick or even “ calling out” Gucci for promoting unhealthy habits. 

I agree that the print ads are not the “typical” attractive and I feel that people may be shocked by such a big shift in this type of advertising. However, everything positive comes with a negative, especially when someone is new, but the more these big brands keep pushing the boundaries of the beauty standards, the more society will accept and feel comfortable with them. 

Looking back it's positive to see changes such as successful models with gaps in their smiles. However, even they still tend to fit into a type of imperfection, usually with the gap down the middle of the pearly white teeth. This goes to show how the beauty industry standards still need to be challenged and changed as we are now more comfortable with women who look “different” but in very specific ways and I think it's great that Gucci has noticed this and decided to challenge it. 
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