West Essex’s most stylish Instagrammers
PUBLISHED: 16:45 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:53 31 October 2019
Three super stylish West Essex locals reveal how they are influencing others with their inspiring Instagram accounts
Katie Hedderson, 16, is a make-up artist and college student from Loughton. She shares make-up looks and beauty tips on her account @makeupbykatiesl
Like a lot of people nowadays, I started getting make-up tips by looking at tutorials on YouTube. American make-up artist Jeffrey Starr is one of my favourites and the Kardashian's artist Ariel Tejada. It was a hobby at first but I enjoyed experimenting and learning new skills, and decided that instead of becoming a chartered surveyor, I'd like to pursue this instead.
I signed up for a course at P. Louise Make-up Academy in Manchester at the start of this year and it was brilliant. I picked up loads of skills and afterwards I started my Instagram account to share my work and showcase my make-up artist business. I was nervous sharing my work online to start with but the positive feedback from followers is really motivating. It's also inspiring to see what other people are doing and get ideas. Although social media isn't the only way I come up with looks - it can be anything from someone in the street to looking at the colours of fishes.
Day to day, I wear quite subtle make up and save the bolder looks for Instagram and nights out. What I love about being a make-up artist is how creative you can be and social media has definitely turned it into more of an art form. Friends are always asking me to do their make-up now and I've got lots of clients. I tend to work on weekends and they will book me in for special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Ultimately, I'd like to start my own YouTube tutorials. My dad doesn't really understand it but he's very proud of me and my family are impressed that I've started a business at my age. It shows the good side of social media - the opportunity wouldn't be there without it.
Allie Julian, 35, is assistant manager of a St Clare's Hospice charity shop specialising in vintage and retro fashion. She is a mum-of-two from Waltham Abbey and shares outfit ideas on her account @thestyleallie
People are often afraid of wearing vintage clothes because they worry about looking like they're in fancy dress. I started my Instagram as a way of showing that vintage can be accessible and you won't look like '60s mum' on the school run - unless you want to, of course.I've always loved vintage and pre-loved clothes but it only became a career once I started volunteering in a charity shop two years ago and created a special retro section which went down a storm. I'd been working with vulnerable children before having my own kids, so it was a real change. Then eight months ago, I got my assistant manager job and I absolutely love it. The customers are a real mixed bag - vintage fashion dealers, college students, mums like me. I'd been using Instagram for a while to share family pictures and follow fashion bloggers, but I thought it could be a bit of escapism and fun to share an outfit of the day. There is a lovely community on the site and it is really supportive. I saw a lot of fast fashion posts and accounts dedicated to the latest looks, so wanted to do something to show vintage can hold its own against the high street.
I started the hashtag #prelovedpretties that people can use to share their looks and it now has 11,000 posts and counting. I do a round up of my favourite ones each week. I don't have a specific era that I stick too, I like to mix and match, although I am definitely drawn to clothes from the 80s. They are fun and suit my silhouette, plus there is a bit of nostalgia for me. But it's the style of the 90s that's proving huge with younger girls although I'm still in denial that they regard it as vintage! As well as my own account, I do social media for the shop and we sell items though that. I get to know what looks our regulars go for and can tell them when perfect pieces have come in. I don't talk about my children on my Instagram or share their pictures, but I like to promote being yourself and not being defined as a mum in what you wear. And also being a normal-looking person who loves clothes.
Ruth Harris, 48, and her husband Lee, 45, are both teachers and have three children. They are renovating an 18th century cottage in Epping and sharing their progress on @attheharrispeeps
Doing up houses is something Lee and I have had a passion for ever since we got married in 2005. Back then, I had a full shelf of design magazines, watched Grand Designs religiously and kept a scrapbook of ideas. It was very organised! But now you can just surf Instagram to get inspiration and ideas - and also inspire other people with your own ones.
Before we bought this house we were living in Loughton and hadn't planned to move, certainly not as far out as Epping. But when we saw it, we loved the challenge it presented and the big, lush garden out back. The previous owner was in his 80s and had owned it for about 40 years so it needed a bit of love. Things were a bit botched and the décor was dull. We had to start from scratch, putting in new heating and rewiring to make it safe before we could do the full stuff. The house dates to 1710 and was originally three workers cottages which have been knocked into one. We knew we needed to do it up in a way that was sympathetic to its natural style. Luckily I love bold William Morris wallpaper. We've got a fairly eclectic look and lots of our pieces of furniture have been sourced through Facebook Marketplace and Ebay, as well as Ecco in Epping. My one great sadness is that we had to sell a black velvet sofa that we had moved around with us for years as it simply wouldn't fit through the hallway.
In our previous two properties, we've had the classic big kitchen/diner with the granite worktop but this house needed a traditional country kitchen.
We moved in December 2016 and our kids - who are seven, nine and 11 - weren't fans at first. They were a bit scared of it as it was very dark and there were mice. But they love it now, especially the garden and the fact we are right near the forest. I'm an art teacher so people assume I drive the style, which annoys Lee. He's an economics teacher but has a good eye and does the Instagram pictures. He started our account earlier this year as we were always sharing pictures with our friends anyway. They joke that the house is like our fourth child!