If there's one thing I learned from the fashion blogger Megan Ellaby while spending five days with her sailing around Sicily as part of #TheInStyleYachtWeek, is not only is she a dab hand at nailing a selfie on a swaying boat but also she is a pro-packer. With no full length mirror on-board, while the rest of the InStyle team flung an outfit on and hoped for the best, Megan calmly emerged from below deck in a carefully curated head-to-toe look. Her secret? 'While planning and packing for a trip, I'll try everything on and then take a photo in it. Then I can just scroll through my phone when deciding what to wear. It's super helpful in remembering what works with what and how I styled it. And especially useful when you discover there isn't a full length mirror.' For the stylist turned full-time blogger, regular and often last minute trips have become all part of the day job and often provide an opportunity to shoot looks for her blog and Instagram. 'If I'm going away for a week I'll pack 7 day and 7 evening looks with a couple of extras in case I change my mind. I blame the fact I need to shoot them but it also stems from when I was little and my mum would deck us out in a brand new holiday wardrobe!' Here Megan chats packing, plane beauty routines and why blogging isn't as easy as it looks. Plus check out the video above for Megan's clever take on beach cover-ups...
I've always wanted to work in fashion. I think it comes from my mum. Growing up she was really handy on a sewing machine and used to make wedding dresses. As kids we were dressed really well.
I decided to study Fashion & Communication at the University of Huddersfield which was a four year course. Year three was an internship year and six months into it I remembered I was meant to be keeping a diary. I remember naively typing into Google 'Online diary,' and blogger came up. So I started one where I was really honest about where I was working and how I was feeling, thinking it was just me and my tutor that were reading it. I was working at some great places like House of Holland and Alexander McQueen so I think people searching around those drove the initial traffic to my site. It was all by accident.
A couple of months later I stumbled across Lily Melrose’s blog and was like woah this is cool. Then I thought, actually I could do what she was doing. So I started my blog properly while I was still interning. I kept it going while I was working full time at ASOS as a personal stylist too.
In February 2016 I decided to go full time on my blog. It was petrifying but I'm quite good at saving money so in my mind I was like 'It's fine, I can live off my savings.' My mum was like: 'Megan, you need to earn more than you're savings, you can't just live off them forever!' So I freaked out a bit at the start but it's been the best thing I ever did. I love the way no day is ever the same and all the exciting projects I'm getting involved in.
I think there is a lot of pressure from other bloggers to do what they do but I’ve realised blogging isn't a one size fits all approach. Some people are like if you’re full time you need to post everyday, but as soon as I discovered that doesn’t work for me or my readers and let go of it it was a lot easier. Now, I just do my own thing.
I produce two videos and two blog posts a week. I love being based in Manchester. I'm very much a home-bird. Living in London while working at ASOS was great, but it wasn't home. Manchester is where my family and friends are. So when I took the plunge to go full-time I also took the decision to move back. My audience is also quite Northern so I think they really relate to me. It's nice to follow someone that lives in the same city as you.
My boyfriend George will take my photos if we're on trips together. He comes from a modelling background so we've also done some things like The Kooples campaign together. I also have a photographer that I work with in Manchester for my shots there.
On the plane I won't ever wear a full face of makeup. I'll just do eyes and brows. I'll take a packet of face wipes with me too. That's the only time I'll ever use them. I'll then layer on a moisturiser. At the moment I'm using Origins GinZing which is really refreshing especially for flying.
I have two holiday essentials. Espadrilles are my fail safe. They work with everything. And I love a sun hat. I have a fringe but I don't want it in my face in the sun. However, without it I don't really feel like me. So with a hat I feel like I can still have my quirky vibe but without looking sweaty.
Makeup wise for the yacht suncream was my main essential. I love La Roche-Posay Anthelios anti-shine sun cream gel. It's really silky. I never go anywhere without the Caudalie face elixir. It's so refreshing. Dream Screen by Benefit is like a face cream but much less oily. It also mattifes the skin which was a huge bonus at sea! And the Bumble & Bumble dry oil finishing spray was a bit of a lifesaver. With no hair dryer or straighteners it gave some much needed shine back to my hair.
Unless, it's a sponsored post I only post things that I actually own and have bought with my own money. I feel if I don't own it physically, then it's wrong. It's like lying to my readers. Take my Prada handbag. That was a big investment, but I really feel like I can talk about how amazing it is because it's mine and I've really tested it out. Bags have always been my thing but it's only recently I've started dabbling in the luxury market. Last year on my 24th birthday, I went into the Gucci store and bought the Dionysus bag. I was so happy as I've always wanted that full store experience. It weighs a ton so I rarely wear it but I'm going to keep it forever.