The Worst Beauty Advice I've Ever Heard

Saturday, February 28, 2015
worst beauty advice, beauty for beginners,

I've been reading blogs for around 4 years. If there's one thing I've heard time and time again, it's bad beauty advice. Whether it coming from other bloggers, family/friends or even makeup counter professionals, there are just somethings I still struggle to understand. I'd just like to say that these are my opinions only - if you think you look great doing one of these, go for it! It's all personal preferences :)

DON'T USE CONDITIONER   I've tried this one for myself. I was in Year 8 of high school and it took me 30 minutes every morning to get my mane under control - it was disastrous. I was told that using conditioner would make your hair easier to manage, felt smoother and that it would take longer for your hair greasy... How ironic that not using conditioner did all of those I just mentioned!

EYES OR LIPS   This is one my mum has been waffling on about since I was little - "You should wear either bold eyes or bold lips. Wearing both makes you look a mess". I have never believed that... Have you seen this photo? Case and point.

NATURAL BLUSH   Another one that I've tried first hand. I remember when I was about 13 , I read that pinching your cheeks give you a natural blush. Even though it does give you red, flushed cheeks, it's not a pretty sight when you're sat squeezing your cheeks for 30 minutes. I'm also guessing it's not the best thing to do if you're after healthy skin.

OILY SKIN? NO MOISTURISER!   People with oily skin don't need to moistuise. Again, completely wrong! Just because your skin is oily, it doesn't mean it's perfectly hydrated. All skin types need moisturizing, from dry to combination to oily!

DARKER FOUNDATION  I'm sure I don't have to explain this but I read somewhere that using a darker foundation shade makes your head look smaller.... Let's move on.

SAINT GERMAIN SUITS EVERYONE   I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Saint Germain and I've only seen a handful of people that can actually pull it off. It's definitely not for everyone! If you can pull this off, I salute you!

What's the worst beauty advice you've ever heard?

Makeup Brushes I Couldn't Live Without

Friday, February 27, 2015
real techniques buffing stipiling brush review

Makeup application has come along way since those old sponge-tip plastic applicators and I'm a firm believer that Real Techniques' Buffing Brush changed the way the world applied foundation. Long-gone are the war-paint style foundation brushes that simply smeared foundation all over your face with not a sign of blending in sight, and in come a simple way to apply your base without getting cake-face. Being a daily makeup wearer comes a long list of brushes that I've prayed will make the mundane morning task of applying day time appropriate makeup a little bit more bearable. Not many have stuck around that I've depended on for a while but here are a few that have made the cut.

My ultimate favourite brush is Real Techniques' Buffing Brush. As I previously mentioned, this brush changed the way foundation was applied. It blends the thickest/thinnest foundation to the point that it just looks like skin - no cake face in sight! Another Real Techniques brush I love is the Stippling Brush. I used to use this for foundation and although it does a great job at stipiling makeup onto the face, I think it's best used for cream blush. Simply dip this in your favourite blush and apply it with this - you'll get the most plump, healthy looking skin with no streaks, un-blended areas or patchiness. It's the best.

For highlight I wouldn't be without my Crown Fan Brush. This combined with theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer is a dream combination that I'm completely obsessed with at the minute. It applies the perfect amount of product and so far, no shedding! The next two brushes come from the great ole' site of eBay. The first is an amazing dupe for the MAC 217 brush. I've mentioned before that I refuse to spend that much on a makeup brush, so I had to find an alternative. I have around 4 of these in total and I use them everyday to blend out my eyeshadow. The next is a set of 4 and I use slightly less dense brush to blend out concealer. Again, it's surprisingly soft and does the job perfectly!

What is your favourite makeup brush?

Why I Ditched Blogger Comments for Disqus

Thursday, February 26, 2015
disqus, comment system, blogger or disqus

One of what seemed the hardest decisions to make late last year was what to do with my commenting system. I wasn't liking the traditional Blogger comment form yet didn't want to banish all of my comments that I'd built up over the past two years. The display, ease of use & most of all, not being able to follow-up reply comments were turning me off Blogger and preferring Disqus for commenting. After a quick chat with some lovely bloggers on Twitter, I took the plunge to move over to Disqus & I haven't regretted it since. It's amazing!

T H E    D I S P L A Y   I find the Disqus commenting system much more aesthetically pleasing than Blogger's. I love the colour scheme, size of photos and general fonts that fit well with almost every blog I've seen. If I'm being nit-picky, Disqus also has less spacing than Blogger. This is not a major issue for me but I do think it looks much better.

E D I T I N G   For me, editing is a major plus for moving to Disqus. How many times have you posted a comment then checked back a while later to realize that you've spelt something wrong or missed a word out of a sentence so your reply makes no sense? With Disqus, you can edit your comments after you publish them - no more silly mistakes and yay to being a little more professional!

R E P L I E S   Above all of the points I've mentioned in this post, the main reason I switched was to make replying and follow-up comments easier to tackle. I've found that once I've commented on a blog using the Blogger comment form, I have to remember to check back a few days later to see if they've replied. With Disqus comes a notification system in which you get an update once you've gotten a reply. Genius, right?

I think I can safely say that Disqus is my new love and I'm ditching the Blogger comment form. What do you think? Which do you prefer?

Daily Makeup

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

There's not much I love more than a fresh, flawless base and a natural lip. My everyday makeup is pretty simple and although it looks like I use a lot of products, it doesn't take me that long to do. For my everyday foundation I use Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, an amazing product that I will continue to re-purchase over & over again. I love this stuff as it gives me a flawless base that still looks like skin, and I don't need to use concealer! On top of that I use a little bit of NARS' Laguna bronzer on a fluffy brush to slightly contour my face, theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer to highlight my cheeks and then the Revlon Cream Blush in Pinched to put a bit of colour back into my skin.

For brows I use my favourite ever makeup product (no lie), the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade. I mentioned this in my full review and this is what I reach for everyday to make my brows a little more naturally defined. For eyelids, things are kept simple with a bit of the No7 Shade and Define Stick in Cool Mink all over the lid, then the shade Coffee Bean to give a smudgy liner look & a bit of crease definition. Then I pop a bit of the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara on my lashes. Lips are kept even simpler with either a tiny bit of MAC's Patisserie or the NARS Lip Pencil in Descanso, to give them a nice, plump look. Simple as that!

What's your daily makeup?

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Too Faced is quickly becoming one of my favourite high-end brands and the latest addition to my Too Faced collection is the Chocolate Bar palette. I'm a neutral shadow girl at heart and although I like to think I can rock MAC's Blue Brown pigment on a daily basis, it just doesn't happen for me. Being the neutral lover I am I'm surprised I didn't pick it up earlier, what with all of the hype around it for the past few months!

The palette contains 16 gorgeous eye shadows, ranging from light beiges to deep maroons - there's even a gorgeous purple shade thrown in there! Two of the shadows are highlight shades; one matte, bone colour and the other a pinkier shimmer. One of my favourite shades from the palette is Salted Caramel which I use as a transition shade in my crease. The large matte highlight (White Chocolate) is great for setting eyeshadow bases and the sparkly, deep brown (Black Forest Truffle) looks stunning as a pop of something different on the lid.

The texture of the eye shadows is really something to write home about. Unlike some shadows I've tried from the likes of MAC, they're extremely pigmented yet don't produce a lot of excess powder when you dip a brush in. They're really easy to blend, the shade range is stunning and they look gorgeous on the eyes.

One thing I love about this palette is the smell when you open it - it smells like a real chocolate bar! I love almost everything about this palette; the pigmentation, the smell, the large mirror, but one thing I don't like is how the shadows aren't named. You do get a small sheet of acetate with the names on but silly me threw that away, meaning I have to do a quick Google search every time I want to know the name of a specific shadow. The Semi-Sweet Palette, however, does have the names in the palette so I guess they've learned from their mistake!

Have you tried this palette? What do you think of it?

Chanel Soliel tan de Chanel - Worth the Hype?

Monday, February 23, 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?

25 Free Resources for Bloggers

Saturday, February 21, 2015
free blog resources, freebies, free download, blogging tips

For the past two years that I've spent blogging, I've slowly but surely built up a little collection of resources that I use to help with my blog. Instead of them sitting in my Bookmarks for just myself to use, I thought I'd share some of the sites and tools that I am a frequent visitor too, to hopefully help you with your own blog. Also, all of these are free. Enjoy!

1  FLICKR  is what I use to upload images. Unlike Blogger, it doesn't dull the quality!
 SUBTLE PATTERNS   find hundreds of free, subtle backgrounds.
3  BLOGLOVIN   you probably all know this - an essential for every blogger!
4  TWITTER  is an essential for any blogger. Learn more about the Blogger's Guide to Twitter.
5  CANVA   super easy for creating graphics
6  KEYWORD TOOL   title suggestions and keywords for your post.
7  PINTEREST   pin photos of inspiration and/or share your own content.
8  W3 SCHOOL   looking for help with coding? Look no further!
9  GOOGLE DOCS   is where I keep my editorial calendar as it's accessible from anywhere.
10  DO NOTHING   take two minutes off and chill.
11   FOTOR   want to use Curves without Photoshop? Try this!
12  GOOGLE FONTS   is a place to get hundreds of fonts, for free, that can be used alongside Blogger.
13  DAFONT   another place for hundreds of free fonts available for download.
14  INSTAGRAM   a place for sharing photos and connecting with other bloggers.
15  GISTS   for inserting codes into blog posts without actually applying the code to your blog.
16  ANGIE MAKES   a place for some gorgeous, girly clip art.
17  BUFFER   a life-saver for tweet scheduling. Free for up to 10 tweets.
18  BLOG TOPIC GENERATOR   a perfect site for inspiration when you're lacking creativity.
19  THE NOUN PROJECT   a place for finding icons for anything!
20 POST IDEAS   twenty content-rich, blog post ideas for all kinds of bloggers.
21  XOMISSE  I can't count the amount of times Elaine has helped me with her simple coding tutorials.
22  PICMONKEY  an awesome site for editing photos.
23  ETSY   looking for another blog design? There's some amazing ones here!
24  DISQUS   is what I use for commenting. I'll never return to Blogger's commenting system!
25  FREE BLOG RESOURCE LIBRARY   OK, so I may be a bit biased as I set this up but I have to say, it's great for bloggers.

Phew, there we go! Have fun clicking through and make sure to let me know your favourite resources. Let's all help each other!

Brand Focus / NARS

Thursday, February 19, 2015

There's no denying that NARS has been one of my favourite high-end brands for a while, so I felt it was only right to make it the next feature in my Brand Focus series. I own 3 different products from NARS and although it was love at first sight with most of them, I've had a pretty love-hate relationship with one of the products. I purchased my first product from NARS back when I'd just turned 15 and was determined to put my birthday money to good use - buying makeup. The fifteen year old-me though that was completely logic but looking back, I'm not too sure it was!

The product I'm talking about was NARS' Laguna bronzer, the product I've had a love-hate relationship with. At first I hated it - I thought it was too orange, shimmery and not pigmented enough. After around a year of loving it, hating it, it being shoved to the back of my makeup collection and then repeating the cycle, I love it now! I use this to warm up my skin and although it's not the most pigmented bronzer I've used, I like it because I don't go from looking like I've been on holiday to Antarctica then the Sahara desert in a matter of minutes!

One of my favourite foundations of all time is Sheer Glow. I've loved this since I first purchased it and if you'd like, you can click here for a (very old) full review. This has a special place in my heart and it's only kept for special occasions due to the hefty price tag but I love how healthy and flawless it makes my skin look. The latest addition to my NARS collection are the Lip Pencils. I got these in a set from Christmas and mentioned in the full review that I'm obsessed with them. Seriously, it's all I've been wearing on my lips lately! They're comfortable to wear, not drying whatsoever and the shades are stunning - you can't go wrong.

What's your favourite NARS product? What would you like to try?

A Blogger's Guide to Twitter

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I first joined Twitter back in 2010, when I was 12 years old and wanting to keep up with whatever Justin Bieber tweeted. Needless to say, five years later my need & uses for Twitter have changed. Instead of following fan accounts and spamming JB with "I love you, follow me!", it's one of my favourite social media networks to promote my blog. There are many different techniques that I have been trialing over the past few months in order for me to compile a list of what works and what doesn't, when using Twitter to promote your blog.

F I L L   I N   Y O U R   P R O F I L E   This is definitely one of the most important things.  I mentioned in my post about Branding Your Blog that your blog's brand should be consistent across all of your social media platforms. I like to use the same description of myself on them all and this makes such a huge difference to both your following and interactions. Personally, I am more likely to spark up a conversation / answer someone's questions if I know a little bit about them before hand, even if it's only a matter of 2 sentences. I also think it makes you a little more approachable.

T W E E T   R E G U L A R L Y   Again, tweeting regularly is a massive part of growing your Twitter audience. I'm personally less likely to follow someone if their last tweet was 4 days ago, then 2 weeks before that. You don't have to be online every other hour - scheduling can help with that!

S C H E D U L E  As I mentioned in the point above, scheduling can be a huge help in making sure you're regularly tweeting. You have to remember that there's a chance that your readers are from all over the world and we're not all in the same time zone. Using scheduling apps like Hootsuite and Buffer can queue your posts and they get an even amount of coverage throughout the day. This one comes with a warning to not overshare! I personally schedule tweets with a link to a blog post 4 times a day - 1am, 8am, 3pm and 8pm as these are the times when people usually check Twitter.

I N T E R A C T   Interacting with other bloggers is definitely the most fun thing to do on Twitter and it comes with huge benefits. Participating in Twitter chats like #bbloggers and #fblchat means you're connecting with other bloggers on a weekly basis. If you see someone on your timeline asking a question, try to answer it. If you see someone mentioning a product you love, tell them! Talking to other bloggers not only makes you have more friendships, you can build up a larger following and be part of the community.

Brow Talk / Anastasia DipBrow Pomade

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I've made no secret of the fact that myself & my eyebrows have had a major love-hate relationship over the past few years, starting at the days when I got my first brow waxing & cried all the way through. Many many products have passed through my makeup collection and if you was to compile the amount of hours I've spent watching brow tutorials, it would be enough to shock you. I very gratefully received the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade for Christmas after I sadly ran out of my beloved Brow Wiz & was looking for an alternative. It's one of the few products that I couldn't bare to go without!

Gel liner-like eyebrow products are new to me - I've never tried anything like it, meaning it took me a while to get to grips with on how to use it. Forgive me for completely jumping on the bandwagon but this is seriously one of the best brow products I've used, ever. The only thing people may find difficult with this is it can look clown-like if you apply it the wrong way. I like to take a small angled brush, dip it into the pot & then wipe off practically all of it into the cap. As I only use a tiny bit at a time this will last me months, unlike Brow Wiz!

As far as smudginess, not sliding and the end result, everything is spot on. No smudging (even when you rub your face and forget you're wearing makeup!), it's pretty much waterproof and it looks so natural when I wear it. I'd hate to jinx it but I think I'm finally cracking my brows! What are your favourite brow products?

Branding Your Blog: The Basics

Monday, February 16, 2015

brand your blog, small business, branding

I've made no secret of the fact that I think branding correctly is the key to blog growth, so much so that I've made the topic a regular feature on this blog. I see so many people talk about their blog not "going anywhere" when their blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts are totally mis-matched and all over the place. For me, the two words that I think will see your blog increase in popularity if you use correctly are branding & consistency. They apply to each other - make sure you're consistently branding & your branding is consistent. Make sense?

W H A T   I S   B R A N D I N G ?
Branding is the process of what I like to call 'making your blog yours'. It means that everything from your layout, icons and fonts are consistent amongst all of your social media platforms so that you're recognizable and unique. A bit like Coca-Cola, you see their advert everywhere and you can recognize their fonts meaning their customers are able to spot them anywhere. Making your blog gain in popularity means your blog can become a brand. Once you begin to see it as a brand, branding starts to make a little more sense - it's a brand (or blog's) identity!

W H Y   I S   I T   I M P O R T A N T ?
Branding is key when expanding your blog. I've been recently getting more into Pinterest and the amount of photos I see like the one above when you type "blogging tips" is amazing. I follow that many blog branding boards that it can sometimes get a bit confusing when it comes to remembering who posted what. Branded blogs that have a similar type of photo, colour and fonts are recognizable and it makes the whole blog experience easier & less confusing for the reader.

W H A T   E X A C T L Y   N E E D S   B R A N D I N G ?
I think everything on a blog needs tailoring to suit you. I'd say generally all of your social media icons are the same (including the photo in your sidebar!) are similar; your headers are the same on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube & you have your own, unique photography style. Fonts and colour schemes also play a huge part. If you're in need of some inspiration for photography that I can recognize a mile away, Milk Bubble Tea & Couture Girl are great for beauty lovers. More graphic design-related blogs that I think are great examples of branding are xoMisse & JennyPurr.

I also like to 'brand my personality'. This sounds like an odd one to begin with but I try to keep my personality the same across all of my social media networks & speak in a similar tone, express the same interests and keep everything uniform. For example I won't act like a "girly-girl" on my Twitter account & then post grungy photos on my Instagram. Simple as that :)

That's it! A very brief post on the basics of branding a blog. Have you branded your blog? What's your best tip?

MAC Blue Brown Pigment

Sunday, February 15, 2015

MAC Blue Brown Pigment Swatch 2

If I had to think about the product which has been on my wishlist for the longest amount of time, it'd have to be MAC's Blue Brown pigment. I know - a rather extravagant choice and one that I probably wouldn't get much use out of but after seeing a tutorial on it yonks ago, I knew I couldn't be without it for much longer. I very gratefully received this for Christmas & I'm so pleasantly surprised! I wanted to wait out a while to make sure that it wasn't a post-Christmas novelty but this seriously is amazing. Like, really amazing.

This pigment retails for £17. Although that seems expensive for this tiny pot, a little bit really does go a long way - so much so that I have only been working out of the lid for the past two months & I've used it plenty of times! The colour of this is what drew me to it instantly. I've never seen something that looks so gorgeous! As the name suggests, this pigment looks brown when on your eyelid but has an almost duo-chrome finish that looks blue in certain lights. If you wanted you could wear this alone because the shade turns to a gorgeous, warm red when buffed into the crease, then blue/brown when packed on the lid. It's versatile is to say the least! The only thing I'm not keen on with pigments is how messy this is... Thank God I don't have white carpets in my bedroom!

Do you own any pigments? Which are your favourites?

Photography / The Equipment

Friday, February 13, 2015
Photography Equipment

Photography is one of my greatest passions. I love nothing more than taking my camera on a walk (saying that makes it sound like a pet - I promise, I don't feed or water it...) in the countryside to snap away / probably fill up two memory cards. Recently I've been getting much more questions regarding my photography & seen as though I don't discuss how I edit, take or what camera I use, I thought I'd make a little photography-series. This post will be my equipment, the next will be 'taking the photo' and the final section will be editing. I hope you enjoy it!

Zero-Effort Nude Lips

Thursday, February 12, 2015
Zero Effort Nude Lips
 photo note_zps8248f36e.jpg

Not everybody has thirty minutes every morning to perfect their red lipstick application because although we like to think we have time to think straight on a Monday morning, the truth is usually that we end up leaving 2 seconds for makeup application... Maybe 5 seconds on a good day! This happens to me all to often and over the past few weeks I've whittled my lipstick collection down to three nudes that are perfect for applying quickly with no fuss, effort or time.

T H E   S T I C K   I personally like to chuck these in my bag and apply them on my way to somewhere because they're just that easy. My lip stick of choice is the Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon. This is only the travel size because as I said before, this practically lives in my handbag and only rears it's head for the occasional picture-taking session. This is a beautiful, slightly rose-tinted lip pencil that is so easy to apply & almost feels like a lip balm due to how moisturizing it is. You don't even need a mirror!

T H E   C L A S S I C    L I P S T I C K   For this I like to use MAC's lipstick in Patisserie. Again, another one of my favourite nude lipsticks that I throw on when I'm in a rush and also a lipstick that I raved about massively last year before I'd discovered the next product. It's now come down to my second favourite but it's a gorgeous shade nonetheless that I still love. It's moistursing, soft, glossy & applies like a dream.

T H E   L I P   P E N C I L   Lip pencils for me are a relatively new addition to my stash and I'm only just starting to get used to applying them. They're slightly different to the stick in the fact that they're pencil form (almost like a giant crayon!) & they're sharpen-able. NARS' lip pencil in Descanso has been my most-worn lip product since the beginning of the year and I'm definitely going to have to purchase the full size when I run out of this! If you're a fan of the NARS lip pencils or lip pencils in general, there is currently a set of 5 for just £32. Amazing bargain!

What is your favourite nude lipstick for on-the-go?

20 Awesome Blog Post Ideas For All Bloggers

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
blog post ideas, blog ideas, blog topics, writing topics, blogging, how to start a blog

Blogging is tough and once in a while, a slump is inevitable. I wrote a post a little while ago about how I get out of Creative Ruts but if you've been stuck for post ideas for a some time, I've compiled a list of some go-to post ideas that I use if I can't think of anything else. These aren't the kind of tips which are like 'make a wishlist post!' because filler posts are often noticeable and you're better off avoiding them. I avoid filler posts like that because it drags my content down & I only publish my best work but here's a few ideas to take 'fillers' into content-rich, amazing posts.

1  REVIEW YOUR OWN BLOGGING - what were you blogging about this time last year? How has your writing changed?
2 BEHIND THE SCENES - what's your creative process?
3 LISTS  - everybody loves a good list!
4 GET PERSONAL - what is something your readers don't know about you?
5 TOP 5- red lipsticks, blogs, beauty brands.
6 RECIPES - show me that chocolate cake you made!
7 NAMES - what's the meaning behind your blog name?
8 TIPS - clearing out your wardrobe, applying eyeliner, refreshing your blog.
9 TELL A STORY- I love reading childhood memories & embarrassing moments!
10 BLOGGING - why do you blog? What have you learnt?
11 ORGANISATION - makeup, stationery, craft supplies.
12 TAKE A PHOTO EVERY HOUR & share them!
13 DIY - sharpie mugs, home storage, headbands.
14 GOALS- what do you want to achieve this year or this month?
15 VISIT YOUR ARCHIVES - re-write a post and improve on your photography & writing.
16 CITY GUIDES - create a guide for people visiting your city/town.
17 BLOG POST IDEAS - like this one!
18 REVIEWS - your camera, new shoes, NARS lip pencils.
19 ASK FOR FEEDBACK - create a survey & ask your readers what they think of your blog.
20 SHOW ME WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS! - What does your blogging space look like?

Do you have list of blog post ideas? Share them below!

My Home Office / Blogging Space

Monday, February 09, 2015
Workspace 1

One thing that I was dead-set on when I got my room re-decorated was having a space to dedicate as my blogging area. After over two years of blogging from sofas, beds and living room tables, things started to get a bit hectic. I had nowhere to keep all of my blogging supplies (like notebooks, pens, pretty flowers!) & so decided to make my own blogging-sanctuary in a corner of my bedroom. I've been using this area for a little over 3 months now and to say I'm loving it would be an understatement.

Brand Focus - MAC

Saturday, February 07, 2015
Brand Focus MAC

Since starting my blog way back in 2012, I've accumilated my fair share of MAC products. I remember in 2013 when the blogging world went mad for a little piece of MAC and hyped-up products were everywhere, thus meaning I built a little collection. Now that I've gotten older I have realised that there are more makeup brands which are on par with (or even better) than MAC. Whilst sat in the bath yesterday - a place where all good ideas come from - I had the idea to introduce a new feature, doing small mini-reviews on all of the products I own from that brand. Because I know that this blog has audiences of all ages, I'll be doing both drugstore & high-end versions of this feature. If there's a brand that you'd like to see in this series, tell me below!

STUDIO FIX FLUID  was the second product I ever bought and the first piece of high-end makeup I purchased with my own money. It was a happy day! As you can see I'm completely ran-out of this foundation and have been for the past year but I can't bring myself to throw it away just incase I need it to photograph. Hoarder probs. This is a thick, full coverage foundation that just about caters to my skintone (I'm NW10 if anyone's wondering!) that will always hold a special place in my heart.

MINERALIZE SKIN FINISH  from MAC are not my favourite things. I bought the shade Soft & Gentle a few years back and it's just been sitting, untouched, in the back of my makeup collection for years. As I've said in almost every blog post I've written, having pale skin is so difficult when it comes to makeup. This pulls off so orangey on my cheeks and although it looks gorgeous in the pan, it doesn't look like that on my skin!

EYESHADOWS  are one of the cult products from this brand and for a partly-good reason. I own my own palette (read more on that here!) & have collected around 10 since, ranging from neutrals to purples and shimmers to mattes. I personally find MAC shadows hit-and-miss; sometimes they're incredibly pigmented and easy to blend and other times they're the complete opposite!

LIPSTICKS  Ah, my favourite MAC product of all time. I'm a huge sucker for MAC's lipsticks and the range they have is incredible, from formulas to shades. You can read a more detailed round-up of my MAC lipstick collection here but I think that some notable shades are; Patisserie - a simple, gorgeous, everyday nude; Lovelorn - the perfect mid-toned pink; and Russian Red, a staple red lipstick that any makeup lover should own!


My Blogging Routine In Numbers

Thursday, February 05, 2015
My blogging routine 4

 photo note_zpsf717ddc3.jpg

T H I R T Y : minutes spent planning new posts.
T E N : minutes deciding what I'm actually in the mood to write!
F I F T E E Nminutes gathering items to photograph & putting up my lighting.
O N E :  hour taking photos.
F I V E :  minutes importing photos and filing them into my laptop.
F O R T Y - F I V E :  minutes editing photos.
T W O :  minutes uploading photos to Flickr.
T E N :  minutes thinking of a good post title that will end up completely non-witty anyway.
O N E  hour writing the post.
T H R E E :  minutes spent proof-reading.
F I V Eminutes to label, schedule & custom-link the post.
T H I R T Y :  minutes to schedule tweets.
F O R T Y  :  minutes spent replying to comments.
O N E :  minute doing one last comment check.
T H R E E : hours + spent rummaging around the internet and probably ending up on the cats section of YouTube.

Currently / 01

Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Currently 01

 photo note_zps62afb437.jpg

This week has been a busy one. Family birthdays, appointments and just general life-ness has made this week be a one where my feet have barely touched the floor, all for good reasons. Since we don't get much chance to talk on here other than beauty or blogging related, I thought I'd bring in a new feature. You should know me and features by now - I find it hard to stick to them as I get bored quickly but I'll try my best!

+ A  N E W  L A P T O P  Last Sunday was my birthday and I was very gratefully gifted a new laptop to replace my old one which was clinging onto it's final straws of life (that may sound like I'm over-exaggerating but seriously, waiting 10 minutes for it to turn on is mundane at the best of times!). I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to setting up new technology - I love it! It's nice to have a fresh, clean space to do all my blogging work on that also doesn't break my arm when I pick it up.

+ S N O W  I posted last week about the snow that we had recently (read here) & it actually stayed around for a fair amount of time. One of my highlights from the week was being woken up by my mum screaming "Elise, look at the snow!" and pointing out of my bedroom window. She soon regretted that when I dragged her out at 8am for a Winter morning walk, just me, her & my camera. Although Meenie wasn't a big fan of the snow, I thought it was perfect.

+ I N T E R A C T I O N S  I've also noticed a huge surge in my blog comments, stats and Bloglovin' likes recently & haven't the slightest clue why but I'd just like to say thank you! I don't mean this to sound like the start of an award-winning speech but I am so thankful for the support I get from the people who read my blog, even if you do live miles away! I love how I'm able to turn on my phone at any time of the day and there will be someone with an answer to your question. That's one thing I love about the blogging community.

+ D R I V I N G  Also for my birthday my dad bought me driving lessons which means I should be on the road sometime this year! When I was younger, my dad & I went camping every Summer and I'd beg him to let me drive his car in one of the spare fields. Since then I've loved the idea of being able to drive and it's pretty much first on my bucket list. All I need to do now is start my lessons and get learning - I'm so excited!

What was your highlight of this week?

Easy HTML For Beginners

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

One of the things I found most difficult when it came to creating my first Blogger templates was managing to crack some coding. I'd be up all night scouring Google for tutorials on how to do now what seems like the simplest of things, then re-designing my blog all over again because I'd made a mistake in my HTML coding. These days I have a small notebook which contains all of my HTML / CSS coding in for my blog & I thought I'd share what I think are the basics for any blogger!

Important! Before altering your HTML coding I'd definitely recommend backing up your template. Find out more on that here. The text that is bold in the codes below are customizable. :)

+ C E N T E R I N G   P O S T  &  D A T E   T I T L E S
Personally, I think that centering or alligning post & date titles is one of the key pieces of coding that everyone needs to know and amazingly, it's super easy that you could do it with your eyes closed. Go to your Blogger Dashbord, Template, Customise, Advanced, Add CSS & add the following:
.post-title {
text-align: center

.date-header {
text-align: center

+ R E S I Z E   P H O T O S
Blogger tends to do that really annoying thing where it cannot automatically resize your photos without this piece of code. Go to your Blogger Dashbord, Template, Customise, Advanced, Add CSS & add the following:
.post-body img{
width: 680px! important ;

+ C U S T O M   S I G N A T U R E 
Some people like to sign off their blog posts with a signature in the form of an image. If you don't want to add this photo individually on each post then add this code in your Post & Comment settings. To get there, click through Dashboard - Posts & Comments, Template and add:
<img class= "left" alt= "post signature" src="URL OF IMAGE">

+ S I D E B A R   T I T L E S
Customizing your sidebar can be tricky. Go to your Blogger Dashbord, Template, Customise, Advanced, Add CSS & add the following:
.sidebar h2 {
padding: 5px
background: #ffffff;
border-bottom: 1px solid #eeeeee
color: #444444
font: 16px JosefinSans;

+ I N C R E A S E   S P A C I N G :  B L O G   &   S I D E B A R
Increase space between blog & sidebar
If you want to achieve the clean, simplistic blog layout then I'd recommend adding some spacing between your posts and side bar. To do this, go to your Blogger Dashbord, Template, Customise, Advanced, Add CSS & add the following:
#sidebar-left-1 {
position: relative;
left: -50px !important;

That's all for today! I hope you enjoyed this little HTML post & found it useful! :)

A New Favourite Mascara

Monday, February 02, 2015
A New Favourite Mascara 2

 photo Newfavmascaranote_zpse9a4c06e.jpg

If you've been a regular watcher of my Y O U T U B E   C H A N N E L over the past few months, you'll know that I was obsessed with the Rimmel Wonderful Mascara. It was the only one I used & I thought there was nothing better. I was wrong. I picked up Maybelline's new Lash Sensational mascara whilst on an impromptu visit to Boots and I haven't looked back to my old obsession. This mascara is on a lower introductory price at Boots at the moment so it's an absolute bargain of £6! It's life-changing (as much as a mascara can be...).

This mascara makes my lashes look so separated and fluttery; something which I always look for in a mascara. The thing which amazes me most about this is the brush. The plastic brush is shaped in a strange way that works so well - it has the top section of the brush curving downwards to mimic the shape of the eye, & if you flip the brush upside down you get a brush the perfect shape to apply mascara on your bottom lashes. It's the blackest of black formula and doesn't crisp up my lashes. Although it is much cheaper than many other mascaras in the drugstore, it's gone above & beyond my expectations and would definitely recommend if you're on the hunt for a new mascara!

Favourites From January

Sunday, February 01, 2015
January Favourites

Today's post is coming to you in video-form! You may know that I've been getting back into filming regular videos over on my YouTube channel but if you didn't... Now you do. Anyway, instead of writing up my monthly favourites (which seems like it takes FOREVER!), I've decided to film them and just share them on here. So if you'd like to see some of my favourites from January, just click above :)

I'd also really appreciate if you'd subscribe to my channel, if you like my videos. If you don't, I won't be offended! :)