Anne Boleyn: Queen of England

This is not an outfit post. With this being my first entry after changing my blog name, I have decided to not limit my blog to fashion. I have always asked myself since I started writing online what sets me apart from the swarm of fashion bloggers—and I couldn’t think of anything else aside from my passion for British literature and culture. No, I have not been to Britain (yet) and my wardrobe isn’t British-inspired (except for my union jack shirts and brogues)—so how does this passion of mine relate to a blog that was initially created to document my style progress? Nothing much really, aside from the fact that London is just one of the most fashionable places on earth. Britain in general boasts of a very rich culture, lots of things can be said about it. As an English Literature graduate, I have witnessed (or studied at least) the rise and fall of the British Empire. There’s so much to tell so I’ve decided to share tidbits about it in my future posts. I’ve observed that our generation has become too focused on appearance, that we sometimes simultaneously neglect to attend to our mental health. Remember that a bright mind never goes out of style, so in the coming days you’ll be seeing more informative posts, aside from British-inspired outfits.

To start off, I’m sharing a ‘story’ which my professor asked us last year to submit for our finals. The premise: we are given the chance to go back in time and interview one prominent British figure. However, we are not allowed to ask or say anything that may alter history.

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So below is what I came up with. I chose Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. She is one of the most controversial queens England had. You’ll know why if you read on. You can also do further readings by looking up the references I cited.

Enjoy!

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15 February 2011

I just recently found out that I have won a free trip back in time to Britain from the lottery we had at last night’s I Hate Valentines Day party at work. I don’t know if I should be grateful or insulted as it seems to be some sort of a consolation for being dreadfully single for three straight years. Ugh. But oh well, does it matter? I’m going to Britain! However, right now I feel more worried than excited, as it is my childhood dream to visit the country. You see, diary, Britain’s culture is very rich (thanks to the monarchy system) and choosing only a single place and time to go to is such a dilemma right now. Anne Boleyn’s death anniversary is in three months though. I’ve been curious about her for years, so maybe I should pay her a visit? What do you think? Now, how to get there…

19 May 1536

3:00 AM

Whew! That was the most horrible ship ride ever. I should seriously report the ghastly service to the management.

4:00 AM

 I have managed to secure a pass to Tower Green, where Queen Anne Boleyn was scheduled to be taken. I couldn’t help but be amazed at how medieval the castle looks, which now turned out to be the Queen’s prison. If today would have not been her execution, this castle would have looked more fascinating. The spiral staircase up to the chamber seemed like a procession. The lighting was so gloomy, as if it was mourning in advance for the Queen’s impending death. The guards didn’t let me in at once as Sir Anthony Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, was still there. I managed to get a glimpse of what was going on inside—Sir Kingston looking quite somber while the Queen managed to smile and laugh once in a while as if she has already accepted her fate.1 I overheard her swore to Sir Kingston though, that she had never been unfaithful to the King.2 I know my opinion did not matter at the time, but I really believe that she did not receive a fair investigation. That’s one flaw of the Henry VIII’s and all the other monarchs past him unfortunately, all accused never get acquitted.

5:00 AM

It was my time to see the Queen. She looked quite perplexed at the sight of me, but she didn’t bother to ask who I was. It would be useless anyway, as she is going to be beheaded in a few hours—and by an expert swordsman, I heard.3 I could sense she felt quite relieved at the information as she was initially sentenced to be burned at the stake. I have never seen a person’s look before he dies, but that moment with the Queen made me think that death is not at as scary as it seems. What only worries her, I believe, is what would become of Elizabeth, her only child to King Henry VIII, after the execution. But being the King’s daughter, Elizabeth would still surely be well cared for. I wanted to tell her that her daughter will be alright and that she’ll reign for over 50 years, but I couldn’t. Instead, I mouthed the question which had been looming over my head since I have heard of her. I knew it was a very inconsiderate question but it’s what I came for:

File:Anne Boleyn London Tower.jpg

Why did you marry Henry VII—is it due to your personal ambitions or your passion for reformation? I asked.

I beg your pardon? I could sense she felt insulted.

Forgive me, your grace. But don’t you think it will put to rest everything, once and for all? People will no longer question your intentions. Some people felt you just wanted to be queen, and they are angry at you for causing the split from the Catholic church.

It was time for England to grow apart from the Roman Catholic Church, she reasoned. England is a strong country and the Catholic church hinders it. Everyone should be free to think and act what is better for them, but Catholicism instilled in our minds that whatever contradicts them is heresy. The only way for England to become independent is to break away from Rome.

 But surely, your grace, you had other intentions? Couldn’t you push your cause without marrying the King?

 Becoming queen is the easiest way, my dear. But of course, people would always say that I am just one ambitious courtier who wanted power and wealth. It’s not my concern anymore, however. As you can see, they have already judged me.

 But which one was the real reason?

 Why are you so interested to know? Surely, in your time, I am no longer of importance.

 I think you deserve to live longer and clarify everything to your people. They had to know. The Catholic Church has been the people’s religion for hundreds of years. They have believed in and depended their lives on it. As pure as your intentions may seem, it is not easy to switch beliefs. Now, people curse you for making them.

 As I have said, I believe in the human mind. Whatever it thinks or feels for me is neither of my concern.

 I wanted to ask another question, but the guards had already escorted me out of the chamber.

A few hours later, Queen Anne Boleyn was dead.

Works Cited

 1, 2 Eakins, Lara E. Queen Anne Boleyn on the Day of Her Execution. TudorHistory.org. 17 April 2009. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://tudorhistory.org/primary/abexecution.html>.

3 Eakins, Lara E. Anne Boleyn’s Speech at Her Execution. TudorHistory.org. 17 April 2009. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://tudorhistory.org/primary/speech.html>.

BBC. Anne Boleyn (c.1504 – c.1536). BBC History. 2011. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boleyn_anne.shtml>.

 Eakins, Lara E. Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy. TudorHistory.org. 17 April 2009. Web. 6 October 2011 <http://tudorhistory.org/boleyn/>.

Ives, Eric William. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn: ‘The Most Happy’. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004. Google Books. Web. 6 October 2011.

All rights reserved © Daphne Benosa

Metamorphosis

As you have noticed, I have changed my blog name from Zeros and Fives to Metamorphosis. For one, I am no longer a size zero kid like I was when I started this blog. Haha. Yes, I got, er, chubby. I don’t really mind though, as I have been trying to look healthier since forever. And two, my feet have amazingly grown from size five to six. Didn’t think it’s still possible, given that I’m nearing quarter life.

This blog was initially created to document my style progress, and true to that I shared photo shoots that I have attended where I styled myself (except for the Nivea Face Affair shoot). I do not have an exceptional style, I’m quite aware of that, but through this blog I have witnessed my fashion sense improve.

I was a scrawny kid with an awful fashion sense. That’s me at the far right, with friends. If I remember correctly, I was 11 in this photo, which was taken while we were at a youth camp in Iriga, Camarines Sur. Saling pusa lang ako sa camp na ito, the guys I’m with were my siblings’ friends and org mates. You can already see, however, my fascination with hats, belts, and colors, albeit I wasn’t aware yet how to mix and match properly. Talk about disaster. Haha

This photo on the left was taken when I was 18 years old. I and my sister (right) were big fans of black, you see.

I was 20 in the next photo—a few months after my graduation. I designed that white dress by the way and picked the textiles myself. I’ve always known what I want since I was a kid, but my family’s state at that time prevented me from pursuing them, particularly when it came to clothes.

My first ‘matinong’ photo taken in 2010

Only when I started earning my own money did I manage to buy some things that I fancy. And so I began experimenting and taking risks, some of which did not actually look okay. But hey, at least I tried.

And this is me two years after (and around 13 years after the youth camp above):

Obviously, I still love hats and colors. I’d like to think that my style has improved. I sometimes incorporate trends in my outfit, but I don’t forget to include something that’s ‘me’. My love for hats and comfortable clothes, that is.

So I think I’m going to use ‘Metamorphosis’ for a long while. It just hits home. My boyfriend can definitely vouch for that, as he has practically known me for almost a decade now.  He always tells me that I changed quite a lot, at least in physical appearance. A number of my schoolmates didn’t even recognize me when I chatted them up on Facebook. It made me a bit sad, but at least they know this is me now. Hahaha. It’s just amazing isn’t it, what a few years can do to a person. 🙂

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DIY Pouty Lippies

Let’s face it, people with naturally pouty lips look effortlessly sultry. Angelina Jolie and Liv Tyler are best examples. But if you are a girl like me who doesn’t possess the same luscious lips as Angie and Liv and who doesn’t know how to do a pout, this post might help you.

Below is a technique I’ve learned (from experimenting) to achieve a natural looking pout, without the duckface.

First thing to do is exfoliate lips. You don’t have to do this,  however, if your lips aren’t chappy. To exfoliate, dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in lukewarm water, and then gently brush your lips. And then wipe with a clean cloth.

Before beginning, make sure you have two lip colors available–one very light  (nude or pale pink is perfect) and a dark red (brick red or royal red is good)–and a lip liner.

Next, create the shape you like by lining your lips with your lip liner. I wanted mine to look as natural as possible so I used Ianti‘s nude lip liner and just traced the natural contours of my lips.

Afterwards, I chose a pale pink lip color from ELF as base. Nude is too light for my lips. Apply your preferred color to both your upper and lower lip.

Third, create a line using a red on the inner part of the lips as shown. The goal here is to create a contrast and a shadow to give the illusion of pouty lips. Make sure not to stretch the line too much, keep the color in the middle.

It is best to start with the lower lip first, and then proceed to the upper lip.

When done,  carefully blend the parts where the dark and light color meet. You should get a result similar to this:

My camera is quite sucky at the moment but I’m telling you this method works, most especially if you’re using a nude color. Hope this somehow helps! 🙂

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You might have noticed that I changed my blog name from Zeros and Fives to Metamorphosis. I will explain why on my next blog post so make sure to come back soon! <3

School Boy

ForMe Top, shorts, and necklace, Forever 21 hat and purse, Asianvogue heels

When I was a kid, I didn’t have much friends. I only had two in elementary whom I could consider good friends, although I did hang out with a bunch of girls who were ‘popular’ at school. They’re popular mainly because they had ‘boyfriends’ from the upper year levels and are relatively from well-off families. For some reason, however, those girls seemed to develop particular hatred towards me, especially when I’m running for positions in school organizations. I never really gave it much thought back then. I had my two best friends anyway. But it’s funny, if you think of it now, how kids view relationships.

Fast forward to high school. I was very intimidated by the fact that I’m in a school full of geniuses. Yes, I was the top student of my batch in elementary, but later on I realized my skills were no match compared to my batch mates in Naga City Science High School. The first days of classes proved to be very difficult; I never understood any word my teachers were saying while my classmates could, especially in Math. How ironic, I thought, that I was awarded the Best in Mathematics medal when I was younger. Haha. Bibo kid lang ako siguro masyado.

I did meet new friends, a couple of them became my best buddies. I was extremely awkward and unpleasant looking back then. I was very skinny and I had ugly teeth (lol). I clearly remember one classmate of mine suggesting that I should comb my hair sometimes, dahil mukha daw akong na-rape lagi. Hahaha. That was in sophomore year. Did I start fixing myself after that? No. All that mattered to me was to study and graduate and eventually find a scholarship so that I could go to college. I did have my crushes, however, but unfortunately all of them were too busy ogling and courting the popular and pretty girls. I was just an ordinary student then, I’m not even sure if people knew I existed. I always carried a huge backpack where I put all my books and an encyclopedia (yes, ENCYCLOPEDIA), which I often used when my school books cannot provide me answers for my homework (Ah, so that’s probably why I have scoliosis now.). Yes, I was aware that the internet already existed at that time, but we didn’t have a computer at home; we didn’t even have electricity sometimes. I have experienced studying by candlelight—too many times that it became ordinary to me. Going to school was always a challenge for me. I won’t mention why anymore, but I used the hardships to rise above the situation.

I received a full scholarship (which I am thankful for) and was able to finish college with flying colors. I may not have taken my dream course in my dream school, but I still consider myself very lucky. Many people don’t even get the chance to study, not that I am taking comfort in their misfortune. All I’m saying is we should not be discouraged to pursue our goals just because we’re having setbacks. Be glad that we have them, because our triumphs won’t be as meaningful if we do not experience hurdles.

School has a very special place in my heart, hence the title of this post. Without it, I won’t be where I am now. I have not achieved all my goals yet, but I’m proud to say that I am at a better situation. It only took me a bit of time, lots of perseverance, and a tough heart to surpass all difficult challenges.

I love how this look reminds me so much of my childhood (cue My Daddy Long Legs, Judy Abbott song haha). It’s very comfortable, most especially the top and shorts. I commute and move around a lot so I appreciate chic pieces that do not compromise function.

Hype this look on lookbook and chictopia!

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Photos by Jash Manuel

DIY Matte Red Lips

Red lippies have been trending for quite some time now. The color makes a person look confident, but not many dare to wear it. I, for instance, only managed to pull it off last year. Red is too bold a color and catching unnecessary attention is the last thing I want. It may not be obvious, but I’m quite the shy girl. Charot, minsan lang. Haha

Aside from  the shade, matte lips are so in demand that many make-up store chains have released matte lipsticks. Matte lipsticks give a non-glossy finish, perfect for today’s season. Why you ask? Since the rainy (and windy) season has begun in the Philippines, it would be a tad bit impractical to wear a glossy lipstick when your hair is being constantly whisked. You wouldn’t want your hair sticking on your lips now would you? That’s kinda gross.

But what if you do not have a matte lipstick and the mall is a galaxy away? Not to worry, as this post is all about getting a matte red lips finish DIY-style. All you need are:

1. your favorite red lipstick

2. a powder (loose or compact, it doesn’t matter);

3. a small brush; and

4. a single-ply tissue.

When you have all the items, apply your favorite lipstick; I’m using ELF’s royal red. Once finished, blot the lower and the upper lip using the single-ply tissue. Do not remove the tissue just yet.

Second, using your small brush, dab on powder. I’m using Blush’s flat brush and Majolica Majorca face powder.

Then, pat the brush with powder on the tissue, as shown. Trace lips as if you’re putting on a new layer of lip gloss and push the powder through the tissue.

Do the same procedure on the upper lip. Afterwards, remove the tissue. What’s great about this procedure is that you’re assured that your lips won’t get the cheese effect, which usually happens when you place powder directly on the lips.

You should get a result similar to this:

Glossy no more! Yay! As you can see, the color looked richer in matte and, erm, fresher? If in case there are gaps after removing the tissue, you can apply a bit of the lip color on the gaps; a lip liner is also a great alternative. This seldom happens, however, if you have previously applied a generous amount of lip color/stick prior to blotting.

So that’s it! Just dab a bit of blush on the cheeks, nose bridge, and chin to get a natural finish. Red lippies are already  attention-grabbers, so make sure not to overdo your make-up. I would recommend some mascara and no eyeshadow. Simplicity is key.

I hope this tip helps. Remember that you don’t always have to purchase new stuff just to look good. ;P Ciao!