10th March 2017

The Instaview | Liv Purvis on her picture-perfect feed

By Jessica Vince
Liv Purvis Instagram tips advice Image credit: @livpurvis

I’m often asked what the most valuable thing I took from my time at Grazia is. After working at the magazine as Digital Editor, I could write click-baity headlines in my sleep and had developed a nifty knack for identifying K-Middy’s coat dresses (handy, no?). But the greatest thing I took from my almost-seven years was a big bulging contacts book. Colleagues had become friends, acquaintances had become mentors and the network of people I’d built up was invaluable.

One such lady I came across during my Grazia days was Olivia Purvis. Then a little-known blogger, her stylish outfit posts mixed with a good dose of girl-next-door friendliness made her stand out. Cut to several years – and a gazillion followers! – later and it’s incredible to see Liv dominating the digital landscape while still being as lovely as ever.

So I was delighted when Liv swiftly responded to my Instaview request. “Of course!” she said, before whizzing over advice for creating such a dreamy Instagram feed. Read on for her top tips…

Hey Liv, you’ve created such an engaged community on Instagram, how important is it to your career?

Thank you! Initially it wasn’t something I really thought of as a huge element to what I do, but I think as the industry grows and develops it’s become a huge part and definitely something I try to consider more carefully.

Are you conscious of telling a story? Or is it more impulsive?

It’s definitely a mix of both. I think it’s easy to become ‘governed by the grid’ and only post things that work collectively as a whole, but I think having that element of spontaneity and storytelling is so important whilst trying not to edit things down too much.

What kind of content does your community most respond to?

Delicious looking food, travel, outfits and style and the rare selfie, which is strange, especially as I hardly ever post them!

Do you think it’s important to have a unique voice on Instagram? And if so, how did you create it?

Absolutely! I think the thing that makes my voice unique is that it’s coming from me. I didn’t create it per say, and I’m definitely the least strategic when it comes to social media, but I think considering captions and making sure they still have that element of personality to them is important.

What do you enjoy most about Instagram compared to your other social outlets?

I love the fact it’s so visual. I like how it can be a showcase of some beautifully curated images, or a candid scrapbook for day to day moments. I also love how it combines words and images, if you want it to, and can really allow a user to tell a story.

And how do you keep it feeling so fresh? 

I try to not consider things too much really! If I’m stuck for inspiration I love scouring Pinterest for image ideas, especially if I’ve been stuck inside for a few days, but I think being super active on the platform just encourages you to get out and really see things. You definitely start to appreciate the smaller details, which is ironic as people say social media can switch you off to those!

You are excellent at finding a good backdrop! What’s your secret?

Google maps! And Instagram! Scrolling through feeds dedicated to cities I’m in or visiting is an amazing tip off for finding beautiful spots.

Joe is a constant presence on your feed, what’s the best thing about working alongside your boyfriend?

Just having someone there who understands wholly what I do and is always there to support me and tell bad (ahem, good) jokes to make me smile.

We've arrived for wedding of the year, #carrieandmiguel 💍👰🏼🎩

A post shared by Olivia (@livpurvis) on

Who or what inspires you to make a purchase because you saw it on Instagram?

Oh my God, SO many people. I’m currently obsessed with @sophia_rosemary, @bubblyaquarius, @pandorasykes and @thefrugality for ultimate shopping enablers.

How do you deal with the pressure of maintaining such a dreamy feed?

I don’t! Not that I feel the pressure, but I sometimes feel that I can be a little lazy to maintain it, but I’m definitely trying.

Is there anything you would never Instagram?

A half eaten burger in sepia light – quelle horreur!


Liv’s top tips for…

…taking the perfect #ootd shot: Get that strut on! And don’t mind passers by.

…editing Instagram photos: VSCO cam, Afterlight and a bit of patience.

…writing a good caption: If I can, humour is always number one- and if not, try and tell a bit of a story or a cheesy anecdote.

…dealing with FOMO: Switch off, grab a gal pal (or Joe) and get out there and do something fun. Or watch Gilmore Girls, there’s always Gilmore Girls.


✩ INSTA’CRAM! ✩

In my dream selfie squad, there’d be… Oh god HELP. Probably Alexa Chung because she’s great with the jaunty angles, Taylor Swift because what’s a squad without a Swift? And Craig David because my God, can he Insta Video well.

My most Instagrammable outfit… Anything I feel happy and comfortable in! Colour helps too.

My favourite shoes… At the moment I’m obsessed with ballet flats so either my Charlotte Olympia kittys or Chanel flats. (I’m not normally so fancy, I promise).

I can’t live without… My family and friends. Cheesy, but true.

The emoji that best sums me up… In my head I’m the sassy dancing lady.

MORE: THE POWER KNIT BLOGGERS LOVE

My favourite place to travel to… New York, New York!

My biggest pinch-me moment… I pinch myself every day that I’m able to call blogging my ‘grown up adult job’.

My favourite beauty product… Kate Sommerville Goat Milk cleanser. Y U ONLY AVAILABLE IN US?!

I switch off by… Watching rubbish T.V; read: anything at 8pm on Channel 4 (or First Dates).

I’m most excited for… Christmas! And hopefully having my own little pad next year.

MORE: CHIARA FERRAGNI’S INSTA SECRETS

Thanks, Liv! We’ll see you on Instagram 🙂 Follow Liv at @livpurvis and you can join us at @dressr.


We do the scrolling. You do the shopping.

Love shopping? Hate scrolling? No problem! I’ve done the hard work for you and found where you can shop the selfies of Instagram’s biggest stars. Thanks to my hand-picked edit, it’s never been easier to get the fashioninsta look directly from the ‘gram. Go on, you know you wanna…

P.S. Let’s be Instagram friends! Follow @Dressr here or find me at @jessica_vince

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