It seems I have fully succumb to dry shampoo's, but still maintain the fact that I am not splashing out £3or whatever for Batiste. I just feel like they run out too quickly to spend that much money on! (but I'm really tight, and a bit poor like that) So, I am forever looking for cheaper alternatives. You may remember by post about the Aldi variety a while ago, whilst that smelt great and did the job I still felt the need to explore alternatives a little more....
Friday, 29 June 2012
Today I bring you, not one, but TWO lip TREATS from Pixi. Well, not technically, but that's what they're called (kind of, add 'rose' in there and they're Rose Lip Treats) and I'm writing about two of them (Jeeze enough comma's in there or what?!) Anyhoo, I've been intrigued about this little brand called Pixi for a while now. A few comments here and there on Twitter/Blogs plus a cute brand name kinda does that. I've not seen them in anywhere like Boots or Superdrug BUT a few times I have spotted them in TK Maxx (if you haven't guessed yet TK Maxx is my favourite shop, ever)
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Just a little video showing you some things! I'm incredibly tired hence the bags under my eyes haha. You'll also notice the new hair colours. It wasn't meant to go like this, it's due to a mad moment where I thought I should dye the ends turquoise and it looked a bit too crazy so I went over with some red dye and this was the result?!
Here's a picture of the stuff I mentioned!
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
I'd never even heard of the brand Green & Spring until recently, but as soon as I opened the parcel containing these little treats I immediately fell in love with erm, EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM. Just look at that wonderful packaging. Green & Spring products are marketed as 'Natural and Active Skincare handmade in the British Countryside'. I've got to say, their whole persona depicts them as a quintessentially classic British brand.
Monday, 25 June 2012
Ooohh Melon, one of my favourite flavours ever. I do enjoy Melon, in most forms, from watermelon to honeydew. Fruity goodness for my tastebuds right there. I've tried this Rachmaninoff Melon Liqueur a few years ago and forgot about it's existence, but then I spotted it recently in Lidl and had to divulge in its alcoholic goodness once more.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
I have been eyeing up some Jelly Shoes for about 6 months now. I don't know why I am lusting after them so much as I remember having some as a kid and they really rubbed my feet! However, the style of the shoes themselves is what appeals to me. I really want some closed toe sandals and couldn't find any anywhere for a reasonable price. Then I remembered about the joy that was jellies and have been keeping an eye out on eBay every since. The problem was that I refused to pay as much as they were been listed for as I'm sure they were only about 99p back in the day!
I wasn't actually going to do a blog post and Easy Nails Fast and Fruity Nail Polish Remover, as when I bought it I thought there'd be nothing special about it and probably just had the same as the one I got from the pound shop. But boy was I wrong. It's about a million times better than that! It's an actual little miracle in a bottle.
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Ciate nail varnishes have been doing the rounds on Blogs lately due to their free offer with Marie Claire. I personally didn't really like any of the colours they were giving away for free so didn't divulge myself, but I probably should have done because now I've tried Ciaté nail varnishes I don't feel that there is any going back!
Is it just me that is sick of seeing 'Festival Fashion' posts where people are dressing like a frigging fairy? You're not Florence and the Machine you know! I don't understand why they're wearing high healed shoes and things like that... It's just makes me wonder how many of the people posting them have actually been to a festival and understand the logistics behind staying in a stinking field for up to 5 days without proper access to warm water, full length mirrors or a dressing table. Maybe I'm being too picky, but these posts should be renamed Festival inspired Fashion, although to be honest I've not seen many at Festivals in the past dressing the way some of these looks are indicating.
Friday, 22 June 2012
I've been a fan of Fentiman's beverages for a while, their variation of yummy drinks in a traditional style bottle certainly stands out on the supermarket shelf amongst the plastic bottles of Mountain Dew or whatever random section they decide to put it in. I hadn't seen the Cherry Tree Cola before though so snapped that bad boy up straight away.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
Now, when I first saw that I'd received some 'Private Lipsticks' through the post I was deeply concerned that it was going to be some kind of new Japanese gimmick for me private parts (you know what that crazy lot are like)... Alas no, it's some super duper lipstick from a brand I have been intrigued about for ages; DuWop! I've been lusting over their Twilight Venom Lipstain ever since I saw it, and no, I'm not a Twi-hard! I really am not a fan of those films, but the product itself looked awesome....
So ah gone done did another vidyo dint ah?
I'm actually concerned at how different my voice sounds in video's than it does in my head. Someone said they expected me to sound like Daria. Well that's what I thought I sounded like!? But no...Anyway does anyone else get annoyed at stupid stuff like this? No? Just me then.
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012
*I'm wearing the stupid headband because my hair looked shit. Yes, shitter than the headband thing looks.
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Hey y'alllll. How are you this fine Wednesday afternoon? I thought I'd share with you today a super cheap yet on 'trend' kinda outfit that I wore to work today. I'm the only girl who works in an office of guys, so I can pretty much get away with wearing anything and pretending I'm 'in'. I have them all fooled that I'm a super fashionable trendy sprite.
So, this outfit comes to a total of £18. Yup, £18, including the shoes and vest top (not my underwear though soz, I'll leave it to your imagination to guess if I'm wearing any.... aaaaand that can be my inappropriate statement of the day right there!)
My nail varnish doesn't count in the £18, but if you must know, one was £1 and the other was £2. I've gone for a block contrast kinda thing with it and although the image doesn't show it the colours are actually lilac and green!?
What did everything cost then? WELL, the cut shoulder T Shirt was £6.99 from New Look. I have been after a T Shirt with open/cut shoulders for AGES. I bought one off ebay which was shit and has never been worn, so when I found this one in New Look for such a cheap price I got 2, I like it as it's a nice slouchy fit but for this outfit I tied in a knot, I put a £2 vest top underneath to cover my modesty as it's a little see through. The skirt was £5 from Primark, I've been waiting for some half nice weather so I could wear it without tights as it looks too granny-ish with (I think anyway). And the shoooeesss were also from Primark for £6. Bargain madness eh.
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Yeah you do! I'm giving away 12 lovely squidgy Strawberry Curlers. If you're not sure what they are then you can see my post about them here. Since that post I've realised how versatile they are. I've started just using 4 of the strawbs in my hair of an evening before bed to create a nice waved effect, which saves me from straightening/styling it in the morning or you can add more to create lotsa curls as loosely or as tightly as you want! Great for long hair, great for short (starting to sound a bit Dr Seuss there). Anyway, I thought it would be a fitting time to do a little give away considering all the positivity I've had around my blog lately. You guys.... oh, you just make me ALL FUZZY INSIDE.
All you have to do to win 2 x packs of 6 is follow me and leave a comment saying how you follow me. It can be on GFC, Twitter, Hello Cotton, Blog Lovin'.... on the road side outside my house... Ok. Maybe not. But just let me know the place and leave your contact details! Simple. You can have an extra entry if you tweet about the competition tagging me and a link to this post too! UK only because I'm a pauper and can't afford overseas postage and I'll announce the winner on Monday 25th June!
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First, I just want to say that I am completely and utterly blown away by all the comments on my last post about Blogging Etiquette. It was so unexpected, I actually almost didn't write the post, never mind publish it. So to receive such an amazing response has actually taken me back quite a bit! I love that all the comments were honest feedback; such as reasons why they don't post negative reviews or like to place an image of themselves on their blog. It's great, really it is! The points I made were all more personal preferences and generally what draws me in to read a blog. Just reveal what you feel comfortable with! I found a lot of the blogs I enjoy reading more are ones that show the person as I'm just nosey like that in general! Just my personal opinion, other people might enjoy an air of mystery. I never used to put pictures of myself on my blog as I didn't feel comfortable compared to 'bigger bloggers' as I've not got that 'look' but as you write more and receive more feedback your confidence starts to develop with it. I definitely wasn't suggesting for a second that they were these are solid RULES of blogging, but it was advice written as if no one apart from myself was ever going to read it! So the fact you guys did... Well, I can't put into words the fuzzy little feeling in my tummy knowing that it's helped a few people out. I really love to give advice and feedback, I'm never going to claim to be a professional at it though (unless someone wants to give me a job being a pro at it!) so please don't put me down as any kind of guru or anything. I know I haven't even got that many followers in comparison to most either!
Anyway, I just wanted to revisit the topic and tell you some other things that came to my mind after I published the last one. Once again, all my personal view and I'm definitely not saying these are things you HAVE to do, the way I see it there are various types of bloggers and I'm guessing this post is only applicable to about 2 in 10!
- First things first (well, first things second, as it's the second post on the topic) BLOGGING IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST!!! It doesn't matter how many followers you have, it's your content that matters!!! A great layout, good quality images, subject matter of posts. If it's all there the followers will follow, give it time, it won't happen over night. I would say if you've gained 300 followers in the first 6 months you are doing a great job. If its more, you're a winner! But please stop concentrating on JUST the amount of followers you have - quality over quantity is a saying that suits followers as well as your actual blog! You want them to interact not just follow for the sakes of it. To give you a rough idea, even though I have owned my Blog since 2009, I only started to USE it (as in post daily) in October 2011. It's taken until now, like literally after writing the last post like this, for me to feel like I'm even being noticed.
- Spreading the word, not all about twitter but making sure you are writing about products people want to read about. If you look at your statistics you can find a good idea of how people are already finding your blog. My main referral site is Google from various searches. Then it goes; Twitter, Hello Cotton and Blog Lovin'. If I look at the main words people have searched for to find my blog the top ones are usually something new. Like when the Body Shop Beautifying Oil came out my blog post covering it very quickly went up to 2nd in my top 3 most popular posts. People want to know about new things and read some honest reviews before they buy it. If you look to the right hand side of my blog you can see my top 3 posts and fathom an idea. All 3 of theses generated their popularity from Google searches.
- Speaking of the above, various people on Twitter who are notorious spammers of their blog have said to me in @'s that they don't use other social networks as they don't have time so have to copy and paste the same message to everyone ever on their Twitter. Really? Don't have time? If you have the time to do that love, you have plenty of time to sign up for other social networking accounts. Ergh.
- Some people said they didn't have time to join site's such as Pinterest. I have to say if you haven't got time to Pinterest you musn't even have time to pee during the day. It is incredibly simple to sign up to and to share content, literally clicks. You can join the site by clicking sign in with Twitter and your profile is ready to go. Add the 'pin it' tab to your toolbar at the top of your browser and you literally click that, click the picture, and it's done. So incredibly simple and non time consuming. I rarely open up my Pinterest account and utilise it to it's actual potential, but the pictures I pin generate that little bit more coverage for my blog.
- Gaining Comments: Turn off Word Verification, in the past few months comment word verification has become somewhat similar to deciphering elaborate codes for MI5... Turn it off. If you're worried about Spam comments then simply make your settings so you have to approve the comments before they are published. I find this much better anyway as I always read them before approval so filters out anything I don't think is appropriate. Also on your posts leave it a little bit open. Ask a question at the end, such as 'have you tried this product, what did you think?' or 'I didn't like this product can you recommend something else that would suit my needs?'. You get the general idea, right? Also reply to comments you have had too. Even if it's just a thank you it's nice.
- Add your other social networking sites to the bottom of your posts. Not to the extend that a majority of the post is how to find you in other places but just 4 simple links will do (like at the end of mine for example)
- Posting your blog link on Twitter is FINE. Sometimes I just tweet my link with hashtags and leave it to people's intrigue to click it and other times I will comment on what is contained within the post. Asking for an RT is fine, but remember people hate to feel like they're being pressured into doing such things out of courtesy, create some form of conversation with them first at least. Or if you're having a give away featuring certain brands ask them for an RT. There's no harm in asking but a lot of annoyance and lack of respect for your opinion comes from mythering.
- Make sure you have a contact e-mail address somewhere on your blog so companies or readers can contact you easily if they want to! I have mine in the side bar over there ---> and on my 'contact' page at the top. An e-mail address and Twitter handle is usually a sufficient amount of detail.
- Layout is also important, a majority of readers (myself definitely one of them) are so shallow and fickle I won't even read your blog if the layout sucks, I'm talking images you can SEE and fonts you don't have to squint at! When it comes to layout's simple is best I feel. Too busy and you detract away from the actually blog (I'm talking thousands of side bar crap) and too few images is also a bit boring, you need to get the balance right. Also make sure the ratio of side bars/other crap isn't more than the post itself! You don't want a boarder of busy rubbish going on around your post so nobody notices the actual post! And no, I'm not saying my layout is perfect but I'm not a web designer so it's the best I can do, thanks.
What I am tired of seeing:
Before you post a blog, why not consider what has been seen before. Yeah posts on the following are 'popular' but there's only so much I can take as a reader when I sign in and see 50 posts all on the same subject! Think about it, you're not going to stand out if your images/blog post title is the same as everyone elses on the page are you? Here's my list of things that literally bore the death out of me.
- A week in Instagram. Seriously, how many more blog posts can possibly be made containing images of: Starbucks > food > cats > Starbucks > your feet > something whimsical > yourself posing > Starbucks > yourself posing > food > Starbucks. It's draining me seeing them. Every week. 40 times.
- Beauty Box reviews: Yawn. Although these are a great way to get started when you are struggling to write content I think they become dated very quickly. What I started to do was not write about the box itself but write an individual review of the things inside. Anything that's particularly good or really bad. Rather than one post touching on all of them, which everyone has done.
- Face of the Day, ok maybe not so boring but when your face pretty much looks the same every day and you use the same products each time then it's boring. Jazz it up a bit!
- Studded shoes, American Apparel Disco Pants, Ombre Shorts, Tassled tops and those disgusting 'Lita' Shoes. No, just no.
What I would like to see more of:
So you know you need to go for something different, you need to find your edge and niche. It's a daunting idea really isn't it? Let's face it, nothing is original (or it is until you google it and find everyone else has done it too!) but here's a run down of a few people/things that inspire me sometimes. (name dropping alert)
- Attitude is their latitude: Bloggers can often be mistaken for ignorant, self loving narcissists. I admit, I have and still think that of a few. And it wouldn't shock me in the slightest if people read my posts thinking that of me. It's human nature. But I don't think enough praise goes to the 'bigger' bloggers who actively engage with their followers and fans. Bloggers like Gem Fatale Temporary Secretary and Essie Button are great examples of popular bloggers who really take the time to interact with everyone. They must get thousands of tweets/e-mails a day but always reply and are ridiculously friendly in general.
- Idea's I wish I'd thought of: Daisy at Pretty Green Tea writes a monthly post showcasing which blogs she has been reading that month. It's a great idea and she doesn't just choose popular blogs but also emerging ones from a range of topics. I really like this idea and will possibly start doing my own as I am constantly adding new blogs to my reading list. Even though more bloggers than Daisy do this it doesn't grow tiresome as each blogger will recommend different blogs I'm sure!
- Ones to watch: As I just stated my reading list grows by the day my current favourite blogs (which don't have 1000's of followers yet are the following ones; Not Just Skin Deep, BDP World, Chipped and Chapped, Caught Up in Cake, frolics and fashion, Fashion Dotty beautys bad habit and Cityscape Bliss. I have no doubt these blogs will be endlessly successful. Have a read, take in their content and the range of layouts on show, they're all a bit different but I enjoy reading them all.
I will let you in to a little secret:
So how do you know who to contact without coming across rude or desperate? Well here's a few programs you can join and places to e-mail. I know there are thousands more but these are the ones I see flying around most commonly. I will point out I haven't contacted all of them as I do not think they fit my blog! And I feel that you shouldn't contact them unless you feel it necessary. PLEASE read about them in detail then decide if they fit your blog or not. And I do hope other bloggers aren't going to be angry at me sharing the 'secrets'! Seriously someone needs to compile a proper list of contacts for us!
- Oasap Fashion Hunter - a blogging partnership for Fashion Bloggers. Create an account and place their ad on your website. They credit you with $40 to spend on their site if your blog meets their expectations and you can spend the $40 on their site on anything you wish. You must create a blog post featuring the item and if it generates traffic to their site you will be credited again the following month.
- Hair Trade - Hair Trade run a similar concept to the above partnership but with hair care, if you absolutely love writing this one is for you as they have different types of memberships from silver to gold. Drop them an e-mail if you think your blog is suitable.
- Sigma Beauty - Sigma run an affiliate program which I assume is similar to the above. I haven't yet signed up or experienced how the partnership works. I'm currently debating whether or not I want or need to review make up brushes. This is a point I need to stress. Do NOT just contact everyone and anyone just to get free stuff. You're wasting their time and your time. If you're emailing someone for make up brushes but you blog about just food and recipes for example. Just don't bother, please!
- If you go on Facebook you can join pages such as Beauty Box Swaps and Bbloggers and communicate with people in their. You all have a comment interest so why not share your link?
- Other contacts - These are just a few, there are countless PR agencies out there for varying clients, Best British Bloggers Immediate PR Monty PR Modus PR Beauty Seen iFabbo Have a look at their client list but I will stress please do not contact them unless you think you are a good fit for their clients!!
- And as mentioned in the previous post, don't be shy to contact companies you have a genuine interest in. A lot of companies will have a 'press' contact on their website so that's usually the person you need to drop an e-mail to. I know there are so many more partnerships than what I have mentioned but these 3 seem to be the most popular ones for emerging bloggers whereas a lot of partnerships will work with you based on your statistics and as a new blogger they may not be that high yet.
- Other names that are blogger friendly (this list may grow, these are just for starters): Batiste, Montagne Jeunesse, Percy and Reed, Rekorderlig,Wilkinsons, Benefit, Matalan, Republic,Concoctions, PURE Facecare and Liz Earle. When I say blogger friendly I don't mean they send you free stuff but they will work with you and let you know of events and opportunities so don't go counting your chickens just yet. And note; I have contacted a few of these I am interested in and not had a response. It's ok though, I can deal with it, as not every blog is to every brands tastes, remember that!
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Now before you start thinking I am writing about any type of Class B drugs, think again. Jeremiah Weed is a type of drink and boy, what an interesting drink it be. I first spotted it in the pub down the road when I was having some lunch but as I was driving and a responsible little sprite I didn't partake in a tipple. The mystery of Jeremiah Weed has played on my mind ever since. WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?? Mystery no more, I can now tell you.
It come's in two different varieties - Root Brew and Sour Mash. I didn't really know what to expect from either. I assumed Root Brew would be something like the vulgar mouth wash-esque drink Root Beer though, and the Sour Mash would be well, sour (I'm not naive enough to think it would taste like MASHed potato though, don't worry).
Alas, I then realised that the repulsive drink known as Jack Daniels is Sour Mash isn't it? I must say I am definitely not a Bourbon or Whiskey drinker in the slightest, the very scent makes me gag due to a bit of a binge drinking mistake as a teenagers (I'm from Stoke, we start drinking early) Alas, when I opened the bottle and had a smell it was almost a...nice whiskey smell. Kind of refreshing? Very very odd. I poured myself a glass making sure it was ice cold as any beverage tastes 40% better when ice cold, and I was pleasantly surprised! Although the whiskey taste remains it's not a disgusting one?! You have to taste it to believe it but I would never have imagined I would enjoy it. It's definitely smooth sippin'! It's a fizzy, refreshing, smooth, almost sweet brew. The only thing that was bad about it was the after taste as it started to develop a horrible smell in my mouth, so beware if you're thinking of having a few before a night out. It's definitely not 'in da club' breath.
The Root Brew had a completely different vibe altogether and I noticed in smaller writing it's actually a Ginger Brew. I've tried many alcoholic ginger beers such as Crabbies, Franks and various others and I am also a fine of the cheaper alternative of Stone's ginger wine with a splash of lemonade of an evening (seriously cheap alternative for a night out that's dead tasty) so needless to say I am a fan of GINGER. The drink is a lot smoother than regular ginger beer drinks (which I always find don't really taste like a classic ginger beer and are a lot less spicy) and easier to drink, it's not got the sharp tang to it and you can tell it's been 'brewed', don't ask me how you can tell, you have to taste to see this indescribable things I'm trying to put across haha. It's a very pleasant drink and unlike the Sour Mash Brew it doesn't give you the old shit breath. Definitely a thumbs up from me on this one.
Each bottle's ABV is 4% which isn't particularly strong, it's best served ice cold, preferably on a nice sunny day when you're sitting in the garden. It's not a 'going out' drink. But it's one you kind of have to try. If you have it in the pub they serve it in a Jeremiah Weed Jam Jar glass which sounds like something I need in my life! You can pick some up from Tesco for £1.79. Make sure you have you're ID though as retails gone retarded and is now 'Thinking 25'... Seriously.
Monday, 18 June 2012
I will start off by saying it's EVERY pun intended when it come's to the title of this post. Oh, the lolz I have had, especially when asking a friend if they wanted a 'eyePad' for free.... How I laughed.
Once I'd stopped laughing at my own joke (an activity that usually takes up around 75% of my day) I cracked out these Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Eye Masks.
I've never bothered with eye masks as my eyes tend to do the opposite of everyone elses! I never get 'bags' under them, but I have like a sunken in bit underneath. Sounds weird doesn't it? But it's there. I wish they would puff out a bit sometimes but hey, that's just the way of my face eh. Anyway I do get quite dark circles sometimes and it can look very dull in that little ditch.
The first thing I thought was how much I absolutely loved the packaging concept! You press down on the liquid pod until it makes a satisfying squish into the compartment containing the pads themselves. It felt sooo good.
You then leave it to saturate and place the pads on your under eyes for 15 minutes. There's two pads in each pod so in total you get 4 'goes' of the eyePADS in every box. The saturated pads themselves are a little slimy feeling, I can't think of anything I've felt that feels quite like it. When you place them under your eyes you feel an instant cooling sensation. After about 10 minutes though it started to feel a little stingy. I'm unsure why, but I took them off at that point. Afterwards my under eye felt quite refreshed and my skin certainly had a little glow to it! I must admit, I was initially very sceptical about the whole thing but I definitely saw some kind of result for sure. What I am unsure about is whether or not it is worth the £35 price tag. The product does what it claims to do but for me personally with my INVERTED EYES I don't think it's something suited for my particular needs. But regardless of that it's certainly a lovely little treat and a great over all concept in both packaging and product!
I noticed Concoctions on Twitter a few weeks ago. Their concept of mixing a shampoo tailored to your own 'liveblend prescription' was a pretty unique idea which I'd never actually heard of a haircare company doing before. I also loved their brand and logo design and I think I described it as a 'rave for the eyes' (or something like that). I quickly developed a dialogue with them via Twitter (see, blogging etiquette in action) and they offered to let me try some of their shampoo to review on my blog.
Sorry these images aren't as crisp as they've been lately, they were taken on my old camera. Anyway, I've given the shampoo around 3 weeks to work it's magic, I thought with a concept like this and with haircare in general it's always better to give it time to work before coming to a conclusion. A bottle of Concoctions Shampoo retails for around £12.50, which is a fair price to pay for something that is quite unique in concept and tailored to your own needs.
You choose your own scent for your personalised blend with a choice of Black Pepper and Citrus, Rosemary and Mint, Lemon and Verbena or Bakhour. I chose Black Pepper and Citrus as the sound of it reminded me of the amazing scent of Molton Browns Black Pepper shower gel, alas though I felt that my blend wasn't quite as fragrant as I expect it to be and although a hint of the scent was there I was really expecting a POW black pepper kick! I understand this though as a lot of people don't like over powering scents. I do though, haha. You then choose 2 shots of super serum to be blended in by the 'mixologists'. You can see for yourself the list of those by clicking here. I chose Ravishing Red and Gimme More Moisture. I thought it was brilliant that you could choose two.
*word just in: concoctions have developed their conditioning creme and it will be released very soon, wooo! Keep a watch out on their Twitter for more news.
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Sunday, 17 June 2012
My blog is looking a lot like it's the 'Terri Show' lately isn't it? What can I say, I'm slowly getting over my phobia of putting images of my face on the internet for all to gawp at. Hope you enjoy it.
Absolutely love love love this dress. It's possibly my favourite dress ever, and I have a LOT of dresses. They tend to be all I wear as I don't feel comfortable in trousers and find skirt's often fit very strangely. But dresses, dresses are easy to wear for my little pear shaped bod. Especially this one. It's such a flattering and unique shape, I wish more dresses were cut like this.
It was from Forever 21 back in October when I attended the Look Show in London. I had never been in a Forever 21 before and my delicate eyes literally couldn't process the layout/colours/masses of beautiful garments everywhere. I ran around picked everything and anything up and this was one of those types of spontaneous purchases I didn't even try on.
I feel a bit like I'm out of Fleetwood Mac when I wear it (not sure why that is though) and it's just so easy to wear in the day or at night. I love it!! I can't remember how much it cost but it was definitely under £20. £20 is my budget for dresses (my budgeting system is quite advanced haha) I think Forever 21 is one of my favourite shops ever, despite it's confusing layout, I never leave empty handed. It's like Primark meets H&M but every garment is bloody wonderful. Oh, and you can check out the post on my new Oasap shoesies by clicking here.
“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.”
― Dr. Seuss
― Dr. Seuss
The world of blogging is a very strange place. It seems awash with a lot of unwritten rules that some new bloggers may be unsure of and established bloggers rarely talk about. Some topics and advice is covered in the weekly #bbloggers chat on Twitter and other things tend to remain unspoken. So, where to begin in the lucrative world? Here's a few tips on how to be a polite and non annoying blogger but still get your blog noticed.
- The first tip is just going to be me moaning about my main bug bear, especially on Twitter. So many bloggers do it (particularly new ones desperate for followers) and I'm trying to think of a diplomatic way to put it but I can't... But basically.... DON'T BEG. I've noticed a few bloggers on Twitter are notorious BEGGARS. DO NOT @ other folk BEGGING for them to stop by your blog, BEGGING them to comment, BEGGING them to enter your competition. A lot of the time in general conversation on Twitter the person you are conversing with checks out your account/link anyway so why feel the need to copy and paste the same message to thousands of people? I personally find it very rude. You can't take the time to small talk but you can take the time to send me a link to something I'm probably not interested in. I don't want to sound harsh but seriously, just quit it! I understand its frustrating and you're desperate to get noticed but coming across as DESPERATE (which this tactic always does) just makes me WANT to dislike your blog before I've even finished the copy and pasted link to your blog. If you follow people on Twitter and actively engage with people about mutual interests then they're much more likely to share the interest you are blogging about and be interested in your posts, followers for the sake of followers are pointless you can people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say and are going to interact on your blog, not a load of people clicking on, thinking WTF, then closing the tab.
- Don't just blog for free stuff. Yes, blogging has it's 'perks' and you do get approached by people who would like you to try their products, but the ones who send out lists to PR companies of items they want to try gives every one else a bad name. The people who do this are probably going to be selfish individuals anyway and won't care about this, but PR companies can often see right through it anyway so you're just showing yourself up sending begging e-mails out. Freebies don't just happen, it takes a lot of time to build up a blog which shows your interests and PR companies will generally send products to people who they think fit the brand they're representing. So less content means less likely you are to receive anything for 'free'.
- This point draws back to the aforementioned one and may sound a little contradictory perhaps, but if you are interested in a particular brand don't be scared to approach a company asking to try something out. Recently I noticed a lot of people blogging about one particular brand after receiving some PR samples, I was genuinely interested in the brand as it had featured on my blog several times before so I thought 'why not' e-mail the person in charge of their PR and tell them this! If you notice people blogging after receiving samples then you can assume that the company is 'blogger friendly' so don't be shy. Just explain that you're a fan, link them to some previous blog posts, show a genuine interest and see what happens. Be polite and honest. Or even if you have tried something and didn't like it, e-mail a brand telling them you didn't and ask if they could recommend a product you would like, they may send you a sample of it.
- This one is more of a personal preference but PLEASE blog about things you DON'T LIKE! I've seen a lot of people lately saying that if they receive a product they don't like they WON'T blog about it.... WHY, WHY, WHY?!?! I WANT to know your opinion, and WHY you didn't like it so I can come to my own conclusion of whether I would like it or not. The idea of writing about products on your blog is to tell people about your experience with something, good or bad I want to know! And the brand/PR company who has sent it to you wants an honest opinion too! I think the main reason people won't post negative feedback is because they're scared of offending the company and never receiving a sample again. Well, that's just a sucky way to look at it. Just be diplomatic and fair and there's not going to be an issue.
- Join the Conversation - On Twitter you can find weekly chats going on surrounding the world of blogs, hashtagging is a genius idea and whoever invented it deserves a big box of donuts. Make sure you stay on top of your field by actively clicking on #bbloggers or #fbloggers (or which ever hashtag applies to you) and converse with others. The power of your social networking skills is going to be your latitude! Discuss discuss discuss!!
- Finally, add personality to your blog. From pictures of yourself to blogging about a niche. It frustrates me when I click on a blog and you can't SEE the person who is blogging. A picture of yourself now and again is a great way to show who YOU are. You don't have to be dead fit, you just have to be a person. If every blogger was a model then that shit would get boring very quickly. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
- Tag brands in tweets when you are sharing your post about one of their products
- Link your social networks. When I post on my blog I use Pinterest to pin an image from the post and it links straight back. I do this on Tumblr too, as some people may not have Twitter.
- Ask for recommendations on social networks for new products. ''anyone know a great foundations for spotty skin #bbloggers'' etc etc.
- ACTUALLY READ other people's blogs and COMMENT on them. But don't just put a comment about your give away or something, at least try to make it relevant! Worse example is probably when you give a negative review in a post and someone comments saying ''great product! need to buy it!'' go.away.
- Popular tags on Twitter for beauty and fashion bloggers are; #bbloggers - beauty #fbloggers - fashion #northernbloggersunite - for northern bloggers and lately I've seen #lifeblogs becoming more popular. Save them to your search!
Sorry for the grubby tube in these images! I've been using it quite a bit since I bought it last week. I've decided things like foundations need a bit more of a trial period before I come to a conclusion on them as first impressions with things like this can be very misleading!
If it escaped your attention then yes, Marks and Spencer DO do make up! And I must say, everything I have tried so far I have been so impressed with, especially as it's all been picked up with either 25% or 50% off the retail price in store. This Perfectly Smooth Moisturising Foundation was no different and cost a total of £3.50 once the 50% offer had been deducted.
What drew me to the foundation was the colour. It's shade name is 'Pale Rose' and it's quite a pink tone! I've never actually seen a foundation with such a pink hue to it, I thought it would be brilliant if only on my cheeks where I suffer from redness and and a few spots. I have found now that rather than going for the lightest option to disguise flaws I'm gonna work with them to cover them up. Like, I've noticed if I use a LIGHTER concealer on my undereye darkness it seems to emphasise it more, whereas if I go a shade darker to a more medium tone it blend in better and you can't see the darkness as much. I figured the same would apply for this! (I've never seen anyone say this either about the light/dark disguising things either, but try it! you'll be surprised!)
The foundation claims to be a medium to full coverage. I would say it's definitely at the medium end of the scale for sure. It's definitely not a light coverage though. I find it works well with the Benefit Oxygen WOW foundation as they blend effortlessly with each other and what one lacks the other makes up for! I apply it to my whole face using my fingers (I've given up on the foundation brush!) and finish with a dusting of the OLD version of Collection 2000 Perfecting Minerals.
It doesn't quite look as pink as it does in real life in the swatch, once again I'll point out this is why I don't like to swatch as I think it's misleading! But you guys seem to like them more than non! Anyway, it's super value for £3.50 and for that price I'd definitely purchase it again. I've used it every day for the past week and it's leaving my skin very soft and supple feeling, it also contains SPF 20 which is a bonus!
Have you tried any M&S make up? What dya think?
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Saturday, 16 June 2012
The other day someone on my Facebook friends list tagged me in a picture, the picture was of this rather awesome T Shirt in TK Maxx. I love it when people do things like that! Saves me browsing the shops myself haha.
I also picked up at the same time as hunting down my recommended T Shirt, this blazer. I was after a jersey material blazer for AGES and got one from Primark the other week in Black that cost me £12. This one, cost me £5. From one of those weird little shops that nobody quite knows what's going on inside...
The T Shirt costs £7.99 and I know now that it is going to become one of my favourites. I mean, it's got a cat on right? He's so street. Look at his little G Unit face.
Friday, 15 June 2012
So, you like creepers and you like platforms, but you can't quite see yourself pulling them off? And you're also a little on the short side so you like a bit of height without the discomfort of a heal? Oh what do you do?! I tell you what you do, you look no further than these bad boys (are they classed as 'flatforms'?).
I'm not usually one for leopard print, but this works. I received these earlier from http://www.oasap.com and haven't had them off my feet since opening the parcel. In fact, I'm sitting on my bed writing this post wearing them.
If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I was iffing and arring about these for a few days, I couldn't decide how I felt about them but I'm glad I went for them because they're so much nicer in real life than they were on the image. I also wasn't sure about the little bow on them but it's quite nice actually!
The great thing about them is that they're just like wearing flat shoes (kind of) and also take a teensy bit of getting used to at first, but you're soon wandering around like a grasshopper. Yes, it's a bit of a Bambi experience, but it's OK in the end, don't worry.
If you follow the link HERE you can go directly to the shoes and see the lovely range of colours they come in, I went for grey as I thought they'd contrast against black tights a bit better than black, but I almost went for green! What do you think? A great solution to the problem of being a shorty or are they not your cup of tea? I'm converted!
Ah, Ikea, the land of Swedish goodness. You may have stopped selling Kopparberg and Daim bars in your Swedish supermarket section, but I can forgive you, really, I can. They've made the entire Swedish Food section exclusively Ikea products now, I don't know why they've done it as the basic packaging on food doesn't really appeal to me. This drink however, did.
Mainly because I didn't know what the hell it was. It seems with all the Ikea packaging they like to remain pretty elusive about what is actually in the plain, no frills design. It works for furniture, but food? Really?
Turns out that this is actually Apple Cider with Cloudberry (*googles what a cloudberry is) Ah yes, it's a pale looking raspberry but a bit fatter. I don't know what they taste like on their own, but at least now I know what they taste like in a 'sparkling alcoholic apple drink' ie; CIDER.
It's a rather sweet taste, not sickly at first but I imagine it would very quickly become that way. It's not a tarte flavour like Pear cider is, and it's not particularly sour. It's hard to describe. Not an offensive flavour but you certainly wouldn't crack open 12 cans on a Friday night. It's more of a light drink in the evening whilst you're watching rubbish TV type thing. I would probably have it again with a tomato based curry. I don't know why but it's the type of taste I think would suit such a dish! I don't think description helps anyone does it?! Basically if you go to Ikea buy ONE tin and don't go mad buying a crate.... It's not 'all that' but at the same time it's an OK beverage.
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Thursday, 14 June 2012
I think I'm actually obsessed with Look Beauty's Double Hit Lip's. After the previous one I purchased in Berry Blast, I just kept THINKING about the other shades. Like, really, dreaming about them. I was really tempted by the shocking pink shade they have, but alas, I already had a bright bright pink lipstick so thought I'd play it a bit smoother and go for a shade I could wear on a daily basis, so I ended up with the more natural shade of 'Rose Riot'.
If you're not familiar with the concept of Look's Double Hit Lip, they're a 2 in 1 lipstick that has a 'matte' colour lip stick on one side and a shiny gloss version of the same colour on the other side. They're possibly my favourite range of lipsticks on the shelves at the moment, but saying that, I've only been 'into' lipsticks for about two months, I never really bothered with them before (lip balm for life! or so I thought until recently)
Once again, like the other colours I have (berry blast and citrus kick so far) the matte colour isn't quite as matte as you'd expect BUT like I said before, I prefer them not to be, they don't dry you lips out like most matte lipsticks would. I do suffer from pretty dry lips so a smidge of lip balm before any lipstick is standard, but with these ones it's not always necessary.
And with the gloss over the top it just adds to the intensity of the colour. At first I was wondering why it was called Rose Riot as I always associate the word Rose with the colour Red, but it's a lovely coral tone of pink and the gloss has a sheer touch of gold in it. I will warn you though that the glosses do have quite a sickly smell, but nothing as extreme as the Collection 2000 Cream Puff lip cream if you've smelt that? It's similar but not quite as strong.
Like my post about the Berry Blast shade, you can't quite see the intensity and vividness of the colour in the above images which is a real shame! But go into store and swatch your heart out. You can pick up Look Beauty's Double Hit Lip and the rest of their range at your local Superdrug and it's currently reduced to £4 from £8 so get at least one! (or two, or three)
Update on my disgruntled products, the Look Beauty Twitter team have contacted me and are sending fresh ones out to see if it was a batch or storage error. And once again note it's the mascara which is the issue nothing else! Lip sticks and nail varnishes - GO GO GO!