and welcome to the first issue of Gem Says... I’ve created Gem Says out of pure frustration at the lack of magazines aimed at young, stylish and broke individuals like ourselves. I’m tired of seeing pictures of dresses and lifestyles I’ll never be able to afford. I’m tired of being told I MUST go and buy stuff. I’m tired of reading product-placements masquerading as recommendations Why can’t magazines just get real? Well, here’s my little attempt to fill the void. I’m going to chat honestly about things I like (and things I don’t), share the weird and wonderful tips I’ve picked up in my 22 years on earth, and share pretty pictures of things we can actually afford! Above all, I’m going to keep it real. Less bull, more bargains. Enjoy :) x
2 3 4 5 6 8 13 14 16 17 18
Faves & Fails Life’s a Picnic Easy Bleach DIY Truffle recipe Shop outside the box Gemma Correll interview Beauty Call Hung Up My Style Your Style Fun Day Out
The gorgeous Sophie is responsible for the lovely hand-written headings, and the illustrations on p.14. You can see more of her work on her Flickr (flickr. com/mightycurious) and her blog (ohmyclumsyheart. blogspot.com)
This is my little princess, Roxy. Her contribution was sitting in my lap and making me happy whilst I was typing away. She’s in my lap licking my arm as I type!
deg are a m I e s th ing ds in ou ut th All a tely abo bout so y a g a r n e i e b t i S l B ri n’t w l I’m eawould ever fee ucts I f ll n prod ll te need f any bies, I’ what I I . u yo ct ree t affe are f ture d it won’ t them. An abou you. write . swear Pinky
Our Pug cover star was drawn by Gemma Correll
and (Things making me happy and sad atm) (Blush in Neon Rose £6, nails in The Big Easy & Parma Violet £5)
My birthday is just around the corner. I’ve got lots of exciting plans which may or may not including zoos and picnics! (Look to the right for my picnic wishlist!)
<3 Topshop have launched their new makeup
line. I haven’t tried it yet but already want to buy all of it, based solely on the pretty packaging. I am a marketer’s dream and I hate myself for it!
<3 I have decided to take up swimming. Not to lose weight, but as an insurance policy on my current weight to counterbalance my new addiction to cheese and marmite crumpets!
<3 Vimto have launched a new Cherry flavour! I love Vimto so much I could bathe in it. <3 Said Vimto is currently BOGOF in Tesco! My bathing dreams could become a reality for half the price!
Sitting next to the neanderthal playing all of his polyphonic ringtones to his mate on the train. Really glad you spent your dole money on some bangin’ tones, but the whole carriage doesn’t want to hear them! Taking a chance and believing in the liquid eyeliner from the pound shop. It was, unsurprisingly, shit. Financial struggles have led to me making Alex (the livein boyfriend) hide my debit card. I never seem to remember that debit card = real money!
Life’s a picnic
Dress - George at Asda £14 Brogues - ASOS £35 Sunnies - Topshop £15 Socks - House of Fraser £7 Jacket - H! by Henry Holland at Debehams £28 Tote - from Gemma Correll’s Etsy (gemmabear.etsy.com) $18 Umbrella - Topshop £15 Lip balm - Boots £4.99 Suncream - Boots £9.25 Camera - Boots £8.99 Fruity wipes - Fenwick £3 Heart ring watch - Miss Selfridge £6
You will need: 1 x old tee Household bleach Paintbrush Newspaper
ideas: Design a , Polk Hearts l e Chan dots, s phrase logo,
1. Place newspaper under the first layer of the T-shirt to stop bleach soaking through. 2. Chalk on your design 3. Squirt some bleach into a mug 4. Start painting bleach onto the Tee (it can get a bit messy as the bleach has a life of its own but it adds to the effect. Embrace the random splodges!) 5. Leave the colour to take, this happens in about 5 mins, but leave for longer for a lighter result. 6. Wash the tee by hand or in the machine. 7. Leave to try far, far away from any porous surfaces (Over the kitchen/bathroom radiator works well!) 8. Wear your bespoke design with pride!
Messy but idiot-proof chocolate truffle recipe
Kcals: Life’s Fat: Too Carbs: Short!
You will need: 150g Dark chocolate 125g Butter 100g Icing Sugar 2tbsp Water + Cookies/honeycomb/ booze (optional!) 1.Beat the butter with a spoon until it forms soft peaks, then sieve the icing sugar into the butter and mix. 2. Add the chocolate and water to a glass bowl and melt it over a saucepan of boiling water. 3. Mix the melted choc in with the butter/ icing sugar. Add your booze or crushed up cookies now. 4. Lick spoon & pop the bowl in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. Make yourself a bleach tee while you wait! 5. Roll spoonfuls of the set mixture into balls. This gets very messy but trust me it’s worth it. And quite fun! 6. Pop them back in the fridge to set a bit more. Dust with Icing sugar or cocoa powder and you’re done! (Store in the fridge or they go rather squishy!)
These truffles make a super cheap (and thoughtful!) gift. Just buy a box from Paperchase (mine cost £2.50) and pop 2 layers of truffles in the box, separated by coloured tissue paper and scatter some star or heart shaped confetti in there. Lovely!
Unlikely places to find epic bargains This fortnight... H&M kids: I first wandered into the kid’s section of H&M through sheer boredom whilst my boyfriend was trying stuff on a few months ago. I was shocked to see that the clothes were A) awesome and B) big enough for a 22 year old kid like me. Not to mention they were also C) dead cheap! H&M Kids goes up to ‘age 14+’ which I have discovered will fit up to a UK 14 (depending on the elasticity of the item in question... I did try on a pair denim shorts but it was a recipe for disaster. And a muffin, apparently.) Most of the clothes aren’t particularly ‘childish’ as one might expect. There’s cropped denim jackets, leather skirts and crochet cardigans, all under a tenner! It’s basically adult H&M at about 1/3 of the price. If the clothes aren’t your bag, then there’s always the, erm, bags! Tenuous jokes aside, the accessories department is brilliant. There’s oversized hairbows, coral leather studded alice bands and the belts are pretty universally sized (when worn on the waist).
I temporarily splashed out on some kidswear to demonstrate the potential!
ce b £1. ands: Bra 99 cel e Tee : ( ts: £1 b .9 oys tio sec 9 n) £2. 99
Play Sung suit: lass £2.9 9 es: Sand £3.99 H&M als: Perk Doroth y ins £25
sec(boys : t s Ve £4.99 tion) 12.99 : £ Skirt ice ed al d Stud £1.99 band: shop : Top Shoes £35
Cardi : Dress £9.99 : £9. Shoes : Top 99 shop £25
.99 : £9 99 t e k 2. Jac &M £ p £40 H : Top Topsho £50 s: hop Jean : Tops es Wedg
GC I was happy as larry when I stumbled upon the work of illustrator, Gemma Correll recently. On the borderline between cute and awkward, her quirky characters really made a lasting impression on me. Gemma also draws visual diaries of what she’s been up to and what she’s been wearing, which are addictive viewing(/reading)! I was very excited when Gemma agreed to an interview for the magazine, and even more so when she drew her (and her pug puppy Mr Pickles’) favourite outfit just for us! Don’t they look just lovely?
So, how did you get into illustrating? I’ve been illustrating my whole life, really. Even at primary school, I was making my own comics and illustrating all the posters for school plays/ fetes/ sports days etc. So it seemed like a natural career path to follow. There were a few obstacles on the way (I spent a couple of disastrous weeks at a college in Cambridge studying to become a teacher, before I realised that I didn’t really want to do that and quit). After that I studied art on a foundation course for a year and then went to the Norwich School of art and Design, where I studied Graphic Design, specialising in Illustration. After that, I started looking for
wonderful. Visually, I’m inspired by vintage books, folk art, Mexican imagery, screenprinted posters and vintage wrapping paper. What’s a typical day in the life of Gemma Correll?
freelance illustration work- and I was lucky enough to find some! What inspires your work? I’m inspired by the things and people (and animals of course) around me- overheard conversations, funny stories and anybody who is a bit weird and/or
I wake up every morning to find a little pug puppy chewing my ears/hair. So, I get up and make coffee and breakfast and check for any e-mails or post. Then me and Mr Pickles (the aforementioned Pug puppy) will go for a walk, sometimes stopping and the bakery or coffee shop, where he is very popular. When I get home I’ll get to work on orders from shops or etsy. Some days I’ll have so many orders to do that they take me all day. Other days, there won’t be so many so I’ll start on any illustration projects for a couple of hours. Lunch. Then more work. I’ll take Mr P to the Post office around 4 and we might have a quick look in the Charity shop while we’re there. When we get home, I get back to work, with Mr P sleeping on my lap (unless he is upstairs sleeping on my boyfriend’s lap in his studio). I work best in the evenings, so I’ll draw from about 5 until 11pm, sometimes later. If I have a deadline, I’ll work until 2 or 3am. Oh and I’ll have dinner around 8pm. I drink numerous cups of coffee throughout the day. I just love your series of drawings of The Unusual Child. Of all the illustrations you’ve done, do you have a fave? I like that series too. My
favourite illustrations are usually the simpliest and often the ones that I drew in the least amount of time. I like the Unusual Child series because I drew a lot of it while preparing for an exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium last summer. We spent a week there with a few other artists. Antwerp is a lovely city and the weather was brilliant, so it brings back some good memories. I am also quite fond of my “Perils of being an Illustrator...” comic because I drew it when I was feeling really crappy and it has proven to be very popular- so good things can come out of bad times. You’ve worked with Virgin and Macmillan, not to mention heaps of cool magazines. You’re basically a pretty
[Pictures from Gemma’s ‘unusual child’ series]
big deal! How do these types of collaborations come about? Are you part of an agency? I do have an agent, but a lot of my clients I have found myself, through self promotion or having my work in a magazine or annual. Sometimes I don’t know where they found me. The Virgin work I did quite early on in my freelance career and it came after I did my first job for Orange (whose art director saw my work at the D&AD show) so I think that was connected. I have a portfolio on YCN, which is how the Macmillan job came about. Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline that we can look forward to? I am working on a range of embroidered handbags for a company who works with women’s embroidery collectives in Pakistan, enabling them to find work when usually they wouldn’t be able to. I’m looking forward to seeign the finished result of those. I’ve also just finished a poster for Zookimono which is going to be screenprinted and sold online. I love screenprints so I can;t wait to see it. Do you have any advice for illustrators wanting to make their hobby a profession? Work hard and be persistent. It can be really difficult to get your name out there, but just grab any opportunity you can get. Send work to blogs and zines and look out for any exhibiting opportunities. It does start slowly. I only became full time freelance a year 1/2 ago, before that I was working in other part time jobs, and doing illustration work on the side. A
lot of people find this too tiring and give up quickly. But I honestly think it’s persistance that helps you to “make it” as an illustrator. I certainly wasn’t the most talented person in my graduating class, but I’m the only one working as an Illustrator now. Finally, how is your adorable Pug puppy, Mr. Pickles? It must be lovely to finally own a Pug after drawing them for so long! He is perfect. I am so happy to have him- he makes me smile all the time. One of my two life goals is now a reality. Now I need to move to san Francisco! www.gemmacorrell.com
give it a miss
give it a kiss
17 Lasting Fix in ‘Seabreeze’
I bought this in a 3 for 2 deal at Boots the other week. I adore the shade and received lots of compliments on it. It’s a really good consistency, so went on with ease and it also dried quite quickly too. Sadly it didn’t live up to its ‘Lasting Fix’ promise and chipped while I was doing the washing up a few hours after applying.
Nails Inc. in ‘Candy’
This came free with InStyle magazine, which was a good deal considering Nails Inc polishes are normally over a tenner. I have their topcoat which is amazing, but sadly this nail varnish wasn’t as impressive. It was mega gloopy so was a nightmare to apply. It did dry quickly but seemed to dry with air bubbles in it which was a bit strange.
Models Own in ‘Fuzzy Peach’
Models Own kindly sent this to me as a sample. It isn’t as fluoro as it appears in the pic, but my camera was being hormonal. Its thin consistency makes it a bit tricky to apply for the wobblyhanded like myself, but worth it for a perfectly plastic finish. It lasted a good few days before succumbing to nail varnish’s apparent arch nemesis - Fairy Liquid!
I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE ‘Viva La Juicy’ by Juicy Couture. £45 for 50ml This is at the top of my birthday list. I found it in Boots a month or so ago and have been sneaking back for surreptitious squirts ever since!
Secret t ip... Many mak eup coun ters wil you a fr l give eebie of their fo if you d undation ither lo ng enoug & Lancom h. Mac e both g ive a tw trial po o week t. Great if you w try befo ant to re you b uy. Even if you w greater ant to e xploit t and pay he syste the coun m ter a vi time you sit ever go to a y new town ... Skanky? Maybe. Genius? Definitel y.
Tops Iâ€™d like to wear with my lovely new shorts from Topshop
Illustrations by Sophie Davies Polka dot cropped cami - Miss Selfridge £20 Striped tee - Urban Outfitters £28 High-waisted shorts - Topshop £28 Halterneck top - Next £8 Striped tie cropped tee - Topshop £14
fun day out! Where’s hot, where’s not
Beyond Retro - 42 Vine Street
thx for reading! Ad?
I don’t get excited when I walk into a vintage shop these days. I’m always expecting hyperinflated prices. That was until my friend Danielle took me to Beyond Retro in Brighton. It is crammed with fascinating stock at really reasonable prices (most dresses between £12-25) and was very organised. There were whole rails just for playsuits which excited me no end! The staff seemed lovely too - one of them complimented my leopard print platforms I had on. Organised stock, chirpy staff... I can now see why they call it Beyond Retro!
Cyber Candy - 15 Gardner St. Cyber Candy is a shop that specialises in specialty confectionary imported from other countries. Twinkies and Mountain Dew from America, various Hello Kitty sweets from Japan, not to mention some crazy candy coated bugs from godknows-where. It’s such fun browsing all the crazy candy we’re missing out on in the UK, but the prices are high because of the importing. I always make sure I’ve got enough money for a packet of Big Red cinnamon gum, though (seriously, WHY can’t you buy Cinnamon gum anywhere in the UK?!)
Roly’s Fudge Pantry 9a Kensington Gdns The fudge this place produces is so good I am pretty sure there’s some kind of supernatural forces at play. You can watch them making the fudge instore and try before you buy. It’s not your normal Quality Street fudge, it’s crumbly rather than chewy. I recommend the Chocolate fudge, it is insanely good. Perfect. Blissful. Epic. I’d better move on before I slobber all over my laptop and electrocute myself. Then I’d never be able to eat Roly’s Fudge again </3
ShakeAway - 8 Bond Street I don’t get this place. In my experience, no matter what they put in your milkshake, it just tastes like lumpy milk. And if I wanted that, I’d just go to my friend Laura’s uni house. The sell-by date of milk is treated like some kind of urban myth in that household and it makes me rather nervous.
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