How Are You Doing? 03

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hello and happy Sunday! It's time for one of my favourite posts of the week; How Are You Doing? I always mention how I feel like the blogging community is being silenced by the use of Twitter and other social media. Yes it's great how you can spark up a conversation with someone so quickly, but where are the days when we'd leave comments as long as essays on a blog post, and actually get a meaningful reply? Anyway, here are my questions for this week!

Home Comforts

Thursday, November 19, 2015

• Being tucked up in bed by the grand old time of 8pm because you're just too wild & can't be tamed  Watching trashy TV. That's right, TOWIE, The Real Housewives & Jerseylicious - you just can't beat it!  Being able to look (and feel like) complete shit but it's totally acceptable.  Fluffy slipper socks. Need I say no more? • Feeling like you're being spied on 24/7 when your cat sits and watches you bathe. And go to the toilet. And sleep.  Fairy lights & cozy blankets.  Being greeted by a purring kitten as soon as you open the door  Hot chocolate in the big soup mugs, not forgetting to add mountains of whipped cream & enough marshmallows to drown in 

5 Things to Do When You're Out and Have No Internet

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is there actually a life offline? So many times when I'm stuck without internet or I've ran out of data, I feel lost. There's times when I've been on 2 hour-long bus journeys with no internet or WiFi, and I've questioned everything from the point of a dinosaur's existence to who names colours. If you're stuck in the same boat as me and are wondering what life was before the Internet, I've compiled a list of fun things to do when you've ran out of internet.

How Are You Doing? 02

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Yay! We're back with another How Are You Doing? post - one of my favourite features on this blog. I mentioned in the last post of this series that the aim of this is to try and get back a fostered community over here, giving us both the opportunity to get to know each other better. So if you have the time to write back a comment to these questions, I would really appreciate it!

01.  How are you doing today?
02.  What are your plans for today? Or what have you done today?
03.  What's your opinion on Kim Kardashian?
04.  Are you a night-out or night-in kinda person?
05.  What's your favourite part of the year?
06.  If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Here are my answers:

01.  I'm doing great today! It's currently a Sunday evening and I'm writing this waiting for I'm A Celebrity, but I'm doing great :)
02.  Today I've been re-designing my blog, chilling and eating food with my boyfriend! They're my favourite days.
03.  Personally, I love her. Even if she does appear in 99% of the news feeds I read.
04.  I'm definitely a night-in person! I live for nights where I can just snuggle in my pjs with blankets, hot chocolates and trashy TV. Definitely beats nights out!
05.  WINTER. Christmas, hats, snow, hot chocolate and I'm A Celeb. Say no more.
06.   Definitely to be invisible! Imagine how many things you could get away with!

Hi... Again.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Let's start by saying that this post is a long time coming. Life has been pretty hectic over the past few months and unfortunately, my blog has been put to the bottom of the 'things to do' pile. I think over the past year, the blogger burnout has hit everyone in the community at some point, but for me, it's been longer than a few weeks.

Some good news - I got a new job! I'm now working as a PR Executive, writing blog posts and general PR-stuff. The blogs I now run (as well as this one!) are Celebricious, a lifestyle blog, and Mozbot for more techy people. So obviously, my job has been put top on the priority list but now that I've settled in, I'm attempting to make more of an effort on this little space.

Like 99% of the time when I have burnout when it comes to my blog, I've changed the design. Again. The lovely Valerie from the blog Moonlit Stories has her own blog template shop (visit it here!) and I'm in love with it. I always find that I feel so much more refreshed when in comes to changing my design, and this is definitely one of my favourites I've ever had!

So, I've got a few questions for you. First of all - do you love the new layout as much as I do? And secondly, what do you want to see? Beauty posts, days in my life, my style - tell me what you like to read!

Bloom & Wild Letterbox Flower Deliveries

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Bloom and Wild Flower Delivery Service by a UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Readers of my blog should know about my love for flowers - it's documented all over the place with the most obvious hint being my name (my blog name, that is... I'm not actually called Peonies although it would be pretty cool if I was). Over the past couple of months I've heard more and more about Letterbox Flowers and new flower subscription services so when Bloom and Wild offered to send me a bouquet of flowers to review, I obviously jumped at the chance.

The Sophia bouquet was delivered through my letterbox, much to my mum's surprise (the actual words she used were, "Elise, why have we just got flowers in the post?"). I was actually shocked about how quickly they were delivered, with the time from them being ordered to in a vase in my bedroom just under one day. 

One thing I loved about this service that you don't really get with other flower arrangements is the ability to arrange them yourself. Flower bouquets usually come pre-arranged to the florist's taste but you are able to style these how you like, adding and/or removing bits you don't like. The delivery itself comes with a mini notebook with tips to advise you on how they would look their best, but the end result is completely up to you. 

For some reason that I can't quite figure out, this flower bouquet took weeks longer to wilt than usual flower bouquets from other shops. I kept them on my windowsill, added the flower food that came with the flowers and added water, but they just would not wilt. The longest I've ever had flowers without them wilting is around 5-7 days. These lasted almost 2 weeks, and even then they were still not fully-dead!

Overall I'm so happy with this bouquet and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a flower subscription service. They're available as a one-off parcel or 3 month subscription. I know what's on my Christmas list!

MAC Soar Lip Pencil Review

Monday, October 19, 2015
MAC Soar Lip Pencil Review and Swatches

One product that has been on my wishlist for the longest time. MAC's Soar lip pencil (and also Velvet Teddy) seem notoriously hard to track-down after Kylie Jenner mentioned she used it to perfect her pout. I finally managed to get my hands on it after trying to find it for over a year, and I'm so glad I did! I'm a bit late to the party with the whole 'KJ lip' thing but better late than never, right?

Soar is such a gorgeous shade and also very unusual. It's a pink-toned, mauvey neutral shade which looks amazing on all skintones. Because my skin is so fair, I find pink-toned lipstick more suiting than that of a brown/beige toned one - if you're struggling and along the same lines of me, I'd definitely recommend Soar. One thing I love about this product is that it's the perfect pencil for over-lining your lips. Due to it being matte it doesn't show the line where your natural lips end, and just looks like a perfectly natural pout.

This is my first MAC lip pencil and as for the actual pencil itself, I'm positively surprised! I've found in the past that although MAC lipsticks are amazing, there are more amazing ones than them - the only reason why I stick with certain MAC lipsticks is if I can't find a good enough dupe for the shade. This pencil is amazing and doesn't cling to dry patches or dry out your lips like most pencils do. I have to say, I think this Autumn I'll be reaching for this over some classic Autumnal shades!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Last year, for me, was the year of the liquid lipstick. It seems like in 2014 every brand from high-end to drugstore had their own take on them. One of the most exciting and memorable makeup launches from 2014 is still a product that I'm obsessed with ten months later - the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets. I picked these up in the early months of last year and they're the only lipsticks I lean towards on a daily basis, so much so that I've come to the conclusion that they're the best lipsticks ever. Big statement, right? Here's why.

The thing I love most about these is the formula. They're liquid lipsticks that dry matte, to an almost powder-like finish. Unlike any other liquid lipsticks that I know of, layering is not a problem at all and you can toss on as many coats as you want without any flaking, smudging or disturbing the colour. The most impressing thing about the formulas are the staying power - seriously, I've never come across anything that stains my lips as much as these! I love that though - it means the color isn't going anywhere.

Another thing I love about these is the colour range. Peach Club is my favourite out of the three that I own, which is a surprisingly bold, opaque nude shade. Ole Flamingo! is a stunning hot pink, again with amazing pigmentation. Hot Pepper is another great shade, a post-box red that looks stunning on everyone. Feel Unique are also doing an amazing deal on these (3 for only £12!) so I'd definitely recommend getting your hands on them if you can!

You Know You're A Beauty Blogger When...

Monday, October 12, 2015
You Know You're A Beauty Blogger When... by a UK Beauty Blog

Ever since starting my blog a few years ago, there's more and more things I find myself doing that my mum likes to define as a 'typical beauty blogger'. Since I began my blog I try my hardest not the fit in the typical 'beauty blogger' mould but come on, can you really resist the new Naked palette? I didn't think so.

○  No matter how hard you try, you'll never be able to just walk past Boots.
○  Checking CultBeauty and Debehams daily just to check there's nothing you missed.
○  When you buy a magazine, you flick through looking for the beauty adverts rather than the actual articles.
○  "This red lipstick is NOT the same to the other 78 I own, trust me..."
○  A spending ban will never work.
○  Wearing a full face of makeup to pop to Tesco, because you NEED to try out that new eyeshadow.
○  Trying your absolute hardest to create an amazing winged liner and when you finally crack it, no photo can do it justice.
○  Your mum will always ask "Elise has anyone reviewed this product?" before she buys it.

5 Ways to Easily Refresh Your Blog

Sunday, October 11, 2015

If haven't been around these parts for a while you might notice a difference - my blog design! I decided to get rid of the pastel pink scheme and just stick to monochrome & it's safe to say that I'm loving it. There's not many things better to get you in the blogging-mood than to have a refresh, so today I'm coming at you with five super easy tips for a blog Spring clean. If you're feeling unmotivated, sick with your blog design or just want to de-clutter your blog, I have a feeling that this will be the post for you!

Declutter your sidebar

y far one of the most satisfying to sort through and it makes such a huge difference once it's been de-cluttered and gotten rid of all the gadgets you don't use. I personally go by the rule of getting rid if I haven't used it personally in over 2 months, or doesn't make a difference to my blog/readers. I also really like to add a lot of spacing between gadgets to make it look as clean as possible & also use a similar colour scheme to tie in with the rest of my design.

Update your photo

I love being able to click on a site and be able to see the person behind the blog straight away; it feels much more personal. I like to refresh the image in the top of my side bar for two reasons - a) it's nice to have a change, and b) I get bored too quickly! I'd also recommend using a clear photo that's not too small to see properly.

Change your fonts

Fonts make such a massive difference when it comes to the design and accessibility of a blog. Personally, I like to stick to easy-to-read fonts like Arial, Georgia or Times New Roman, then leave the fancy fonts to titles and headings. I'd also recommend keeping to two/three different fonts to make your design look uniform.

A new header?

Following on from the previous point, a new header is one of the crucial parts of a blog and updating it now & again will do no harm. Again, make sure it fits with your colour scheme and is big enough (and clear enough) to read.

Revisit your pages

Another great way to refresh your blog is to revisit the pages you use. I like to update my About and Shop pages recently because I'm always changing, getting new ideas or recieving inspiration from somewhere that changes me. About pages are one of the first things I visit when I go to a new blog because I like to see who's behind it and get to know them a little better.

How Are You Doing? 01

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Without a doubt, my favourite blog post this week was Food for Thought by Daisybutter. Michelle has always been one of my favourite bloggers and the way she writes is something I really do love, and this post especially struck a chord with me. She mentioned how the blogging community used to be post-Twitter chats, and I really do miss the actual blog-focused community on blogging. The times where we'd communicate via blog comments, leave actual meaningful comments and get to know each other via our blogs. I feel like more valuable friendships were formed that way, and I'm really going to make an effort to get to know the people who read my ramblings. I don't know why you do it, but thanks! To get to know you a little more I want to do what Michelle did - ask you some questions.

  1. Where are you from? And do you blog?
  2. Do you have any nicknames?
  3. How was your day?
  4. What's your least favourite word?
  5. What made you happy in this past week?
  6. What did you do for your last birthday?
  7. What's your favourite hobby (minus-blogging)?

Here's my answers:
  1. I'm from Manchester (UK) and of course I blog!
  2. Ever since I was young, my dad has always been the person to give me the most nicknames. He calls me Ellie-bellie (I could eat for England), Sweet Pea and when my neighbor had her daughter, she always called me Melise as she couldn't pronounce my name. She's almost 6 now and still thinks that's my name!
  3. So far, my day has been great. I'm meeting my boyfriend later for lunch and a movie date - they're my favourite days!
  4. Moist - even typing it makes me cringe haha.
  5. Getting another job interview! I've been on a job-search for the past month and I've actually got an interview with a company doing social media and digital marketing... Wish me luck!
  6. For my last birthday I had a quiet one eating out at a favourite country pub with my family.
  7. My favourite hobby is probably eating out (surprise surprise). My boyfriend gets sick of the words "can we eat out tonight" hahaha. Sorry Kyle.

5 Tips to Defining Your Personal Style

Thursday, October 08, 2015

One thing I find hardest about the whole fashion dilemma is defining your personal style. I honestly think that you're never too early to change the direction of how you want to style/dress yourself, whether that be in your teens or 50's. Let's face it, your personal style will gradually change throughout your life (would you still wear the fourteen year old-you's hot pants in your seventies? I doubt it, but whatever floats your boat!) but you always need a rough idea of where to start, and that's usually the toughest. I've conjured up a little checklist to defining your personal style with tips that have helped me and that are so much fun to do.

Know your shape & what flatters you

How many times have you seen a gorgeous jumper on someone walking in the street, you finally hunt it down and it looks ridiculous on you? It's all down to trial & error and what flatters your body shape. On myself I steer clear of shorter dresses, strapless t-shirts and anything brightly coloured. I'm a minimalist at heart!

Do your research!

Of course, we're talking about the genius that is Pinterest for this step. Start by creating your account & dedicate a board solely to fashion. The only rule is that you need to pin what you'd actually wear. If you're really into your fashion and enjoy looking at other people's style to be inspired, create another board but don't mix the two! By pinning the things you'd wear, you're more likely to reference back to it when you're out shopping. Personally, my board mainly consists of denim & monochrome.


Can you really afford £100 on a new, plain white t-shirt? I doubt it. By all means purchase investment pieces, but make sure you can seriously justify them so you don't regret them further down the line.

Clear out regularly

Personal style is ever-changing. Would you really wear the bootcut jeans you wore out ten years ago? Nope - clear it out! Sort your clothes into three piles - keep, maybe and throw. The 'keep' pile contains items you've worn within the past 3 months and you couldn't live without, ie. the classic plain white tee or a pair of skinny jeans. The 'maybe' pile is items you haven't worn in the past 3 months but you can still find a use for. This is mainly the pile for special occasion clothes like wedding guest dresses. The 'throw' pile is everything you haven't worn for at least 6 months and you'll never find a use for them. When it comes to the clear out, you need to be harsh. None of this "I'll find a use for it! It's too nice to throw away!" rubbish. You probably won't find a use for it and you don't technically have to throw it away. Sell it or give it to family and friends, then you have a bit more cash & wardrobe space to buy more - it's a win-win situation!

Enjoy it!

Experimenting with fashion is one of my favourite things to do and sometimes, some of the best results come from the ideas you never expected. If you buy something without trying it on first, you bring it home & don't like it - sell it! Nobody's holding you to it. No matter how much you bought it for or what style it is, it will suit someone's body shape/budget perfectly.

Leighton Denny I Am Goddess Collection

Leighton Denny I Am Goddess Collection Review and Swatches: UK Beauty Blog
items are PR samples*
I've forgotten the amount of times I mention how much I love Autumn - the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks, the cosy blankets, the multiple layers of clothes and of course, the hair, makeup & nail polishes. I was lucky enough to be sent a few nail polishes from the new Leighton Denny I Am Goddess range and I have to say, I'm completely blown away.

Leighton Denny are often forgot about when it comes to buying nail polishes and they're seriously underrated - I'd even go as far to say as their formula is my favourite ever (and that's a pretty big statement to make). Everything from the brush, the opacity and the thickness of the product is perfect, making it so easy to apply. I reckon I could even apply this on the train, it's that easy!

The colors I have are Aphrodite's Love, a gorgeous purple/olive hybrid, and Queen Hera, a metallic chrome shade. Out of the two, Aphrodite's Love is my favourite because of how versatile it is. I apply this over something like Rimmel's Black Cherries nail polish to give it a something extra and the opacity is perfect - enough for it to be noticeable but not overpowering.

What's your favourite nail polish for Autumn?

5 TV Series You Need to Watch

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

If, like me, you like to spend your weekends binge-watching TV, you may've dried up Netflix and therefore have nothing left to watch. I've compiled a list of TV series that I think are a must-watch. But be warned, your weekends may be taken up by the TV. Not that that's a bad thing...

○ PRETTY LITTLE LIARS  I don't think a TV series post would be complete with some sort of mention of PLL. I only jumped on the bangwagon with this a few months ago and I'm finally up to date. Guessing who A is every episode really does get my tensions up, though.
○ GOSSIP GIRL  If you're more of a girly-girl, NYC and shopping kinda person then Gossip Girl is a must-watch. I watched all six seasons in a matter of weeks and I'm definitely not ashamed *insert sassy girl emoji*.
○ ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK  This is one of my all-time favourite shows, yet I have to say that the first series is the best. I think Crazy Eyes is my spirit animal.
○ PRISON BREAK  Was one of the first TV series I ever watched and I'll always come back to it. I must've watched the whole programme at least 3 times just to see Wentworth Miller.
○ FRIENDS   How could I include a post on TV series without including Friends?! I grew up watching this programme and I'll be the first to admit that yes, I cried at the last episode...

What's your favourite series?

Chanel Soliel tan de Chanel: Worth The Hype?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I've mentioned before that if there's one brand that screams luxury to me, it's Chanel. I've only just began dabbling with Chanel makeup and although I love their Rouge Coco Shines, I can't say that all of the products I've tried from them are worth the money. I got the Chanel Soliel tan de Chanel for Christmas after it being on my wishlist for the longest time (and after seeing countless bloggers rave about it!) but I just don't think it's up to my expectations.

I have to admit that as with all Chanel products, the packaging is stunning and it looks so pretty sitting in my makeup collection. The bronzer itself is something I've found pretty hard to work with - it's almost a mousse/cream texture that is difficult to get a natural, bronzed look. Before I received this I'd read that it could be a long-winded experiment with trial & error to get this to work for you but up to now, I can't crack it. It looks way too orange on my skin and although it can be used as either a bronzer or primer, it seems way too warm-toned to work as either (on my skin, anyway).

Overall I'm really not too happy with this product which is a shame considering the price! I've done a bit of research and I think if you're looking for a product similar to this but aren't sure if you'd get along with the texture, Bourjois' Bronzing Primer looks almost identical. What are your thoughts? 

Do you own this product & what do you think of it?

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette

Monday, October 05, 2015

If there's one thing I can never have enough of, it's eye shadows. It's almost guaranteed that every time my mum & go makeup shopping she will say to me "Elise, do you really need anymore?! You could open up your own store!" and the answer is always yes. A girl can never have too much makeup, right?

As a matter of fact, my mum bought me the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette for Christmas (if you're reading, mum, it's your fault!) after I saw it in a makeup-browse and felt like I couldn't be without it. I fell in love with the shades & from what I swatched, they look like amazing eye shadows. A few months later and I have to say I haven't used it as much as I'd like but they are of great quality.

I've made no secret that Urban Decay's eye shadows are one of my favourites and I prefer them over brands like MAC in the form that they're much better quality. Just like the Naked palettes, they're much creamier, pigmented and easier to blend than MAC. I have only one issue with this palette: it produces so much excess powder that it just gets wasted & looks grubby. When I dip my brush into the palette, so much extra powder comes off that it just ends up looking so messy and because of the price of the palette, I don't want to let any go to waste!

Other than that, I love every thing about this palette. One of my favourite shades is 'Undone', a shade which looks amazing as a transition shade on fair skin. The palette also has so many unusual shades that I haven't seen anywhere else; like 'Alchemy' and 'Freeze'. Overall I'm a big fan of this but although it consists of bold shades, I can't get as much use out of it as I wish I could have!

Rautken Bonus Box

Sunday, October 04, 2015

A few weeks ago, Rautken's brand new Bonus Box landed on my doorstep. Every so often I get sent things to review, but boxes like this full of small fashion/beauty samples are my favourite as you get to try out a few products at once. This is the first Bonus Box and I was lucky enough to be sent one - here are the products inside.

The most exciting thing in this box for me, was the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask icon as Origins is a brand I've always wanted to try. This is only a sample-sized product but I was surprised when I actually got 3 uses out of it. It dries on the skin and gives that cracking-face feeling but the end result is amazing - silky soft skin all round! On a similar page is the The Body Shop Charcoal Clay Body Mask iconwhich is a concept I haven't heard of before. Its similar to the Origins mask but for your body - you apply it then wash off after 10 minutes. I'm not the biggest fan of this because although my skin loves it, it's a pain to stand around waiting for it to dry!

The Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover was also included, a product that is very much hyped-up in the blogging world. After trying it I can safely say I really do understand the hype - it's amazing! It takes my makeup off in one swipe and is gentle on the skin. A product I didn't really use was the Darphin Ideal Resource iconserum, but I ended up gifting it to my mum and she's loving it!

A brochure from TOMS iconwas also included which I actually really enjoyed flicking through. TOMS is not a brand I buy from but some of the items in this brochure are amazing! You can use the code TOMSBONUSBOX for 25% off your order :)

How I Increased My Twitter Following Fast

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

There's no doubting that an active presence on social media can work wonders for blog traffic. I've been an avid Twitter user since I was about 11 years old, so I think I know how to navigate my way around it pretty well. A question that I see a lot of people getting frustrated about is why their social media (especially Twitter) is not growing. Over the past month I've been trialing some techniques to get some more quality followers, and to my surprise it's not been too difficult.

If you're going to start analysing your tweets, it's handy to have installed Twitter Analytics. It shows you a number of things that you can use to your advantage, such as your follower's interests, interactions & engagement rates. As you can see in the graph below, my Twitter following has increased dramatically. Learning what your analytics mean is simple.

grow twitter followers fast and easy

grow twitter followers fast and easy, twitter analytics
As you can see, my followers' interests are mainly beauty-related, so I like to tweet about beauty. This will lead to more people retweeting and less unfollowing as you're tweeting what they'd like to see. Another thing that Twitter Analytics is amazing for is tracking your impressions and engagements. The higher the engagements, the more people are going to see it (which counts as an impression).

People are now cottoning on to the fact that images could make-or-break a tweet, with a tweet being 150% more likely to be clicked if a photo is attatched. The majority of people are visual people, so adding a photo to break up text in a person's timeline grabs their attention.

I mentioned in my Blogger's Guide to Twitter that Twitter is amazing for promoting blog posts. Before I started this whole experiment, my feed was 50% promotion and 50% normal tweets. I've scrapped that & now I use the 75/25 technique; sharing links to my blog 25% of the time. Nobody likes to follow a person who clogs up their timeline with promotional tweets, so try to balance it out with some normal tweets. It also lets your followers get to know you a bit more!

Don't be silent. Get involved and make friends, start conversations and ask/answer questions. This way you build up connections with other people in your area & are exposed to more people, meaning more impressions & being more likely for a follow. After all, how is anyone going to find you if they don't know you're there?

Are you following me on Twitter?

Getting Yourself Out Of A Blogging Rut

Monday, September 21, 2015

I mentioned in last week's Weekend Notes & Links that the past few months have been difficult for me blogging-wise. I was in and out of a rut, feeling motivated for two weeks and then back to being unmotivated, uninspired and just generally lacking any ideas for another two weeks. My boyfriend and I went to the Lake District last week and it was the first time I actually gave myself a break - no blogging, checking stats or even being active on social media. It felt good to have a break and I feel like I got some valuable tips for getting yourself out of the blogging rut.

Take a proper break
By 'proper break' I mean fully take yourself away from the internet and the blogging world. Stop stressing about not having any ideas - they will come in time.

Join in a Twitter chat
If you're not ready/prepared to step away from the internet, use it as a source of information. I've always found that participating in Twitter chats give me more motivation and talking to other bloggers can even source some new ideas.

Browse other blogs
By no means am I saying it's OK to copy other bloggers (it's most definitely not!), but using them as a source of inspiration is perfectly fine. By reading blogs similar to yours, you are likely to find a couple of post ideas that you hadn't have thought of before.

Utilize Pinterest
Ahh, the ultimate site for dreamy photos, how-to guides and of course, blogging tips. Sign up and get pinning posts that inspire you and come back to them when you're struggling for ideas. If needs be, create a secret board solely for blogging ideas - it always works for me!

Read things out of your niche
This is similar to reading other blogs but try and read those that aren't similar to yours. If you write a  beauty blog, for example, try reading design blogs. Use the categories on the Bloglovin' Discover page to find blogs that aren't similar to your own. You can still use them for inspiration and it expands the potential audience of your blog.

How do you get out of a blogging rut?

Bourjois Colorbands

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Before we start this whole review, I just want you to appreciate how hard it was to track these down. After seeing everyone and their dogs rave about these, I was desperate to get my hands on them (you all know how much I love my No7 Shade & Define sticks!) because the shades look stunning & they're a bit cheaper. So, I went to Superdrug to find them and every single one was either open or used. I went to another and they were sold out, then another to find these three sitting there, unopened. To say I was happy would be an understatement.

The formulas of these are absolutely incredible & everyone has good reason to be raving about them. They're pigmented, creamy and blending is an absolute dream; not to mention the gorgeous shade range. The staying power of these is what really surprised me; when I swatched these on my hand I couldn't get them off for days, no matter how hard I scrubbed it. I much prefer that, though, as opposed to only taking one wipe to remove them as it means it's much more longer lasting.

My favourite out of the shades I have is Mauve Baroque; a dusty lavender shade that looks stunning on green eyes. This shade in particular is much more wearable to the others. A quick dust over the lid is all you need for a simple hint of colour. Gris Graffiti is a soft grey that you can use to line your eyes if you want a softer, less-harsh look. The most surprising shade for me was Noir Abstrait; a rich, black shade. If you're a fan of super black smokey eyes, this little crayon will be your best friend. It looks amazing as a base for black shadows and unlike many others, it's a delight to blend.

What are your favourite eyeshadows?

Weekend Notes & Links 03

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Happy Sunday! This week's Sunday post is scheduled again because my boyfriend and I are off for a weekend away in the Lake District! I'm majorly looking forward to the break due to how hectic this week has been, and as we're camping I probably won't be as active on social media as I usually am. I'll be back soon!

In the past few months of writing this blog, I apologize that my posts have been a bit hit-and-miss. I go from months of posting 18 times to months with only 2 things being published. I think blogger's block happens to everyone but it really has been a struggle to keep up to date over here but I think I finally have my mojo back. If you'd like to see how I get my motivation back after a blogging slump, let me know! They're some of my favourite posts to read.

Links I've loved:
○  How to make your own DIY contour brush.
○  The struggles of teaching your parents how to use a computer.
○  Things to be happy about.
○  A power bowl for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
○  How well do you know the teen internet?

What've you done this week?

The Best Palette for Autumn

Saturday, September 12, 2015

When it comes to Autumn, there's only one palette for me; the original Urban Decay Naked palette. It's the only three of the Naked palettes I own and I think I will ever buy just because it's that good, plus I always find myself coming back to it every year in the Autumn.

One of my favourite eyeshadows is in this palette - Half Baked. It's my favourite for many reasons, including the obvious fact that the colour is absolutely stunning and I've never seen an eyeshadow like it. Like all shades in this palette it's incredibly pigmented, to the point where you only need to quickly dip your brush in he product once and it comes out on your eyelid completely opaque. There's little fall-out and they're super easy to blend, which is why Urban Decay make some of the best eyeshadows out there.

Some more noteable shades include Hustle, Gun Metal and Sin - a more pigmented alternative to MAC's Naked Lunch. I personally prefer these eyeshadows to MAC as I find MAC to be a bit hit-and-miss in terms of pigmentation and finish. Every eyeshadow in this palette is on point and it includes everything I need for a golden Autumnal smokey eye.

What's your favourite eyeshadow palette?

3 Tips to Improving Your Instagram

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Social media is one of my favourite parts about blogging and it's so rewarding when your hard work pays off. Blogging isn't about numbers to me - I'd rather have 10 genuine followers who I interact with me and my posts as opposed to hundreds who don't interact. Over the past few weeks I've put some time into developing my social media channels and gaining loyal, genuine readers. Here are my tips specifically for Instagram (see my Twitter tips here!).

Decide on a theme
One of the most important things that I think make-or-break an Instagram account is the theme of the photos. A theme could be anything - beauty photos, fashion, monochrome or like mine, photos with a white background. I just think it makes the whole account in general look more appealing.

Interact with others in your niche
Just like Twitter, I see Instagram as a place to connect with other bloggers/people in your niche. Like other peoples photos, leave meaningful comments and make friends!

Use hashtags
Hashtags are an important thing on Instagram and can really help you out when finding new people and fresh content to follow. Use the hashtags of the Twitter blogging chats and tag brands in your posts. This gives you a chance for your photos to be used by bigger brands with a potentially bigger audience.

What's your best Instagram tip?

Autumn Lips

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

If there's one season that excites me the most, it's Autumn. Everything from the hot chocolates, rainy nights with the fire on and of course, the darker makeup just makes my heart happy. Almost every year since this blog began (read last year's here) I've done a post on my favourite Autumnal lipsticks and this year it's back! I have a brand new line-up after spending most of this year trying out different makeup in order to write this post.

First up is NARS Cruella lipstick. How could I write a berry lipstick post without including this little gem? It's the classic matte purple/red lipstick hybrid with such an amazing formula. The crayon-like stick makes application a dream and it stays putt all day, only needing a few minor top-ups. Definitely a staple if you're not the best at applying lipstick!

Recently added to my collection is the LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Pin-Up. If you're more of a glossy red lip kinda gal, I'm sure you'd love this. I wrote about these liquid lipsticks recently (with swatches, read here!) and I'm completely obsessed. They're tricky to apply at first due to the applicator but the finished product is stunning.

Another glossy option in Revlon's Colorstay in Parisian Passion. This was included in last year's post but I couldn't help but add it in again because it's such a classic Autumnal shade. This is more on the purple side as opposed to red, but it's stunning nonetheless. This is easier to apply due to the doe-foot applicator and the opaque-ness of this makes it a staple in my Autumn makeup collection.

What's your favourite Autumnal lipstick?

The Ultimate Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit

Monday, September 07, 2015

One thing I remember from starting my whole 'makeup journey' is how overwhelmed I felt every time I went to Boots. I'd have no idea where to start & the whole idea of choosing one product from hundreds quite simply terrified me. These days, I like to think of Boots as my second home - a place where my heart is, a place which makes me happy and a place of which I already own the majority of the products that they stock.

I can tell by my analytics that some of the people who read my blog are quite young & also receive a number of emails asking what product I would recommend for a beginner in makeup so I thought I'd put together a little Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit for you!

PRIMER :  Maybelline Baby Skin { £8 }
FOUNDATION :  Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum { £11 }
CONCEALER :  Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer { £4 }
POWDER :  Rimmel Stay Matte { £4 }
BLUSH, BRONZER & HIGHLIGHT :  Sleek Face Contour Kit { £10 }
BROWS :  Rimmel Brow This Way Kit { £3.99 }
EYESHADOW :  Maybelline Color Tattoo { £5 }
LINER :  Bourjois Intuitive Felt Tip Liner { £6.99 }
MASCARA :  Maybelline Lash Sensational { £8 }
RED LIPSTICK :  Rimmel Kate Moss 107 { £6 }
NUDE LIPSTICK :  Revlon Lip Butter in Cotton Candy  { £7.99 }

Phew, there we go! I only included the basics for makeup application on an everyday basis but if you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to comment them below. I'm always on the lookout for more makeup! PS. You can check my reviews on these products by looking through my Product Directory. Happy shopping!

What's your ultimate drugstore makeup item?

Revisiting YSL Touche Eclat

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Every time I open up my makeup storage and see this beautifully packaged YSL Touche Eclat, I'm always gutted that I don't get along with it. It just sits there looking all pretty yet I never get any use out of it because I didn't like it when I tried it last year. Instead of it sitting there lonely I thought I'd give it another go, to see whether I could finally get to grips with it... Bad news, I still can't.

Much like last year when I first tried it, it just doesn't offer enough coverage for me. Although this is a highlighting pen, it doesn't do anything but add another layer of caki-ness to my skin which I'm definitely not a fan of. It doesn't conceal anything major, nor cover my dark circles beneath my eyes which is definitely something my Collection concealer can do. That one is £20+ cheaper and does both concealing dark circles/spots and highlighting. This YSL one does neither for me!

For the price of this I really am gutted that I can't get along with it. Looks like it'll have to go back in the drawer and I'll try it again in a few months to see if anything changes, but I'm doubtful!

What product have you bought but not got along with?

Guilty Pleasures

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I'm sure it's not only me who has their own guilty pleasures - things that we do but we're actually to embarrassed to admit them. In the embarrasing style that I usually do personal posts (example A) I thought I'd list mine... No judging, please.

○  Trashy TV, especially TOWIE. Love it!
○  Listening to the Scouse accent. I have no idea why I love it so much but I could listen to it all day.
○  Spending hours adding items to your Net a Porter basket as if you're Kylie Jenner on a shopping spree, then getting disppointed when you can't buy those £500 shoes you fell in love with. Or the £19,699 dress.
○  The Hannah Montana movie. Say no more.
○  Reading the showbiz section of Daily Mail just to snoop on what's going on with the Kardashians.
○  As a matter of fact, the Kardashians are my guilty pleasure.
○  People-watching. Give me something to eat in a busy place and I'll eavesdrop like nobody's business *insert sassy girl emoji*.
○  Long, long baths (to the point where your skin looks like it's ages 60 years from all of the wrinkles).
○  Singing my little heart to Whitney Houston when I'm home alone. Yes, I am that person.

What's your guilty pleasure?


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Giveaway is now closed.

Weekend Notes & Links 02

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Happy Sunday! Seen as though last week's post went down so well and was one of the most popular posts of this month (and also one of the ones I loved writing the most), I had to continue the series. This weekend hasn't been as hectic as last - Bloglovin' finally changed my URL on my blog's page without having to start all over again follower-wise and everything seems to have finally been switched. Yay!

This week I've also been preparing for my camping trip (which I'm currently on right now, you'll know if you follow me on Twitter. Hint hint...) so I'm up at 2am on Thursday morning trying to get content scheduled from when we're away tomorrow. Thank the Lord for softbox lights - I spent the past hour and a half taking blog photos and nobody will ever know that the sun set 5 hours ago.

Also, YouTube. I wanted to have a quick chat about what people who read this blog thought about me re-starting my YouTube channel. If you followed my blog back in January of this year you'll know I started up a channel, but got embarassed of my videos and deleted them. Now that I feel my blog is more 'established' (don't ask what I mean because I don't have a clue either), I was debating whether to give my channel a refresh and pop some videos up. Let me know what you think!

Links I've loved:

○  7 things you should know about working in PR
○  How I increased my Twitter following in less than one month
○  Being a teenage blogger in 2015
○  18 things all girls carry in their handbag. Oh how true!
○  The Mystery Hour podcast. I'm obsessed!
 A new favourite blog of mine!
○  Cat bed or your bed?

What've you done this week?

Forever Repurchases

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's not often that I'll fall head over heels with a makeup product but when I do, I fall hard. Over the past few years of writing this blog I've been through hundreds of lipsticks, foundations and even brow products but there's a few that have truly found a place in my heart and I'll continue to repurchase over and over again.

The first one is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. My love for this has been well documented over here because I have been using it for the past 2 years. It's my daily foundation due to the light coverage, dewy finish and the shade range. It's usually hard to find a drugstore foundation that caters to extremely pale skin like mine, but this one suits me perfectly. On a similar note is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. I won't ramble too much about this because I feel like I've talked it to death but it still surprises me how this will be the only thing to cover mega-spots!

For brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills is the only way to go. I bought their DipBrow just before Christmas last year and I've used it everyday since. It took me a while to get used to the consistency of it because I've never used a gel-like formula for my brows, but now I won't be without it. Mascara-wise, Maybelline's Lash Sensational is the only thing I'll use for my lashes. It's surprisingly good for the price and it seperates my lashes perfectly whilst still adding volume.

Lastly is my ultimate favourite favourite lipstick, MAC's Patisserie. Again, I've had this years and been through countless tubes but it still holds the spot of 'best nude lipstick' in my heart. I did a full review of this last year and mentioned that if you have fair skin and struggle to find a nude lip that doesn't wash you out, you need to try this. I still whole-heartedly stand by that and I wouldn't be without it now!

What's your favourite makeup product?

Easy, Simple Tips for Saving Money

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We've all been there - the mad rush at the end of the month when you have too many days and not enough money. Similarly, we've all been there when you log onto Feel Unique and notice that Anastasia Beverly Hills have launched a new eye shadow palette and nothing but the words "OMG I NEED IT" run through your mind because really, we all need eyes like Amrezy from time to time. Whether you find yourself in either situation or are just looking at saving some money, I have a couple of simple tips.

Create a savings account 
The first thing I did when I started to save money was to create a seperate account with my bank. It was all too tempting to have money sat in the account I use to buy whatever I want with yet not spend any. I created a savings account and transfer money from my personal account to my savings account so I'm less likely to spend it.

DIY everything
Well, almost everything... When it comes to saving cash, DIY is your best friend. Instead of paying for ready-made items, buy the supplies and do it yourself. Add YouTube into the mix and you have a much cheaper way of making the things you'd love to spend a fortune. Not only does it save you cash but I also feel such a sense of accomplishment when I do things myself instead of buying it ready made/depending on somebody else.

Set a budget 
How much would you like to save, and over what length of time? Realistically, how much can you afford to live on after your necessary outgoings are out of the equation? Use these questions to find a healthy amount in which you can save yet still live comfortably.

Pay with cash when you can
I've personally found that I'm less likely to go on a spending spree if I don't pay with a card. I know exactly what I've spent without having to log onto Internet Banking to see how much I really went over my budget. When you're stood at a till paying for something with actual real-life money from a purse, it feels much more real than it would if you were to use a card.

Look out for vouchers, coupons and deals
I have a variety of apps on my phone on which you can get money off coupons and special deals in certain shops. This one is especially good if you like eating out - there are tonnes of money off deals on apps like Groupon and Vouchercloud that can save you money!

Clear out old things 
Although it's not really classed as saving money, getting a bit of cash back from your old clutter will be great in your savings account. You clear out space in your wardrobe and make money from it to save up for whatever you like. It's a win-win!

What's your best tip for saving money?

LA Girl Glazed Lip Paints

Monday, August 24, 2015

For me, there's one beauty website that has been my go-to for the past few weeks. I mentioned last week that Beauty Crowd is my one stop shop for American & Australian beauty products that you can't really get easily in the UK. Last week when I ordered my Milani Illuminating Face Powder (review here), I got a couple of the LA Girl Glazed Lip Paints after wanting them since Kathleen recommended them a few months back.

I've never tried a product like this before - the application process is more like a lip gloss but they're much more opaque than a gloss, yet still with the glossy finish. The formula is like a liquid lipstick but they're more difficult to apply without the doe-foot applicator, so I use a brush for more precision. They remind me a lot of the OCC Lip Tars, but on a much cheaper scale.

Out of the 4 I own, Elude is my favourite. It's a gorgeous nude shade that looks amazing on all skin tones (even my own pale skin). I also have Pin Up,  a deep burgandy and Feisty, a very name-appropriate bright red. The only shade I'm not too keen on is Babydoll as it reminds me of a very Barbie-pink, MAC Saint Germain dupe that does not suit me. Overall I'm so happy with these lip paints and I cannot recommend them enough for the price. If you're after opaque, glossy liquid lipsticks, make sure you check out these!

What's your favourite liquid lipstick?