Lynsay Neil is a 30-year-old writer, podcaster and creator of Miss West End Girl blog, from Glasgow. We chatted to Lynsay to find out how she started her blog, her style tips and tricks and her colourful tattoo collection…
How did you get into blogging? I’ve always had a deep love for writing, ever since I was a kid – when all my classmates wanted Tamagotchis (remember them?!) I was asking my parents for a typewriter. It seemed like a natural progression for me to start a blog as a platform to share my life and stories. I used sites like Livejournal and MySpace when I was younger, like most people – but it was when I took the plunge and got my own domain space that I considered myself to be a blogger.
How did you start? I started blogging under the name Miss West End Girl about five or six years ago. It started off as a fashion blog, because I was reading a lot of fashion based blogs at the time and also because I love to have fun with my own personal style. But over the years, it’s evolved into what I consider to be a lifestyle site as I love to write about all manner of things that make me excited, so much so that I have to share the details with my readers.
What can people expect to see on your blog? My blog is essentially a guide to living life with joy and style, and embracing what makes you unique. You can expect to find guides to Glasgow (my home city), personal and blogging advice, DIYs, interiors, personal style, beauty, food, travel…the list goes on! In a nutshell, it’s the things that make me smile and that I think will make other people smile or feel inspired.
You have a lot of positive messages and upbeat posts, how have you cultivated this mind set? Any important life lessons for our readers? That’s very kind, thank you! I think that happiness is a choice and it’s one that we make each day when we wake up. Negativity is pretty toxic stuff, and even though it’s easy to feel dragged down, I try to concentrate on the things that should be celebrated. We only get one shot at life, and I firmly believe we should make the most of it! Be adventurous, be kind, look after yourself and believe that you can do anything (because you can!).
Do you have any advice for people either thinking of starting a blog or who have one already? Think about what inspires you and go write about it. There is no right way or wrong way to blog – that’s the beauty of it! If you’re writing something that you don’t care about, or for the sake of it, it will show. Don’t put pressure on yourself either – some of my favourite blogs are only updated once in a while, and when a new article drops I get super excited! You’ll find a rhythm and routine that suits your writing style and your life.
How would you describe your fashion style? Where do you shop? How has it evolved? Sometimes I feel like I’m permanently dressed to attend my own birthday party – I love to wear bright dresses and statement accessories. I’m rarely seen without something on my head – be it a flower crown, a glittery slice of pizza or a massive bow. My personal style has been described as ‘cartoon-like’ which I take as a compliment!
I shop in a variety of places because I don’t tend to stick to whatever is ‘on trend’. An average outfit could be a mixture of indie designers, vintage, thrifted, high-street and high-end. I love discovering local design talent and people who are thinking outside the box. I like to have fun with fashion and dress for myself!
When I was a teenager I was a bit of a sulky goth, all black jeans and kohl eyeliner. This has massively evolved – particularly as I studied film and media at university and feel very inspired by some of my favourite colourful characters.
Does your home/homewares reflect your style? Absolutely! After eight years of renting beige nightmare flats, my boyfriend and I bought our flat last year and have been having the BEST time decorating it. I love sharing home tour posts of the flat on my blog so I can document our little interiors journey! After I posted pictures of our living room, an interiors magazine wanted to run a story on our bright and cheerful home – we ended up getting a 12 page feature in a magazine and I still can’t quite believe it! I’m proud to have created a happy home that I can relax in. It’s somewhere I can write my blog and record podcasts, as well as hang out and entertain friends.
What are your beauty secrets? Any tips or tricks for our readers? Finding products that work for you and make you feel amazing is my number one tip. I’d feel lost without my eyeliner flicks and a pop of bold lip colour! The best way to get comfortable with make up is to get in front of a mirror and practice – it’s also fun to experiment with products until you find what’s right for you.
Skincare wise, I am all about the classic advice. Look after your skin so you don’t end up looking like a second-hand handbag! Wear sun protection (minimum of SPF 50, especially on those tattoos!), drink water, moisturise plenty and always remove your make up before bed. Some advice never goes out of style!
What inspires you? I feel inspired by lots of things, but if I had to pick one thing it would be meeting other people that are passionate about what they do. That kind of feeling is infectious and you can really feed off of each others’ good vibes.
Can you tell us about your tattoos? I have 14 tattoos, and have been getting tattooed for just over 10 years. My very first tattoo was my stocking seams, which run from my achilles heels right up to the top of my thighs – go big or go home, eh? They were inspired by my love of vintage glamour and pin-up culture. This was the only grey and black work that I have had done, every other tattoo is very bright!
My tattoos don’t have too many meanings or tributes behind them – with the exception of two! I have two tattoos that are matching ones with my boyfriend. We got them on our fifth and ten year anniversaries.
I like to think that my tattoos are a reflection of my personality, as they are very feminine and colourful with a rock n’ roll twist. On one arm, I have an old fashioned perfume bottle, a Russian doll, a spider web (bright pink, of course!), a cupcake, a sugar skull, love heart candies and a lipstick. On my other arm, I have a swallow, a strip of pink leopard print and a lucky cat. My legs have identical stocking seams and I have a heart-shaped locket on my foot.
All of my pieces have been custom designed, via consultation and brainstorming with the artist so that we get it just right. I’ve never regretted a tattoo and put a lot of planning into each idea.
Do you have any future tattoo plans? Always! I think about getting tattooed all the time, and with so many amazing artists posting their work on Instagram the only question is, who to book with? I feel like a kid in a candy store.