Amazing Advertisers | March

Hi guys! I've been a bit MIA these past few days as I've been so busy and just haven't had time to get to my computer and blog. It totally sucks! However, I've got lots of posts planned and am looking forward to the Easter break so I can get my blog on and get some posts scheduled in. Talking of Easter, I hope you've all got exciting plans for the long weekend. I'm going for aftenoon tea at the Hilton and to a wedding so I'm very excited. Plus, who doesn't love a four day weekend? Anyway, before I start rambling, meet my March advertisers ...


Hello everyone! My name is Sophia and I write Sophia Meola, a Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle blog. I am a 22 year old Business Management graduate and Marketing Executive from Bedfordshire who has an obsession with rose gold and red velvet cake (yummy)! After many years of reading blog and religiously watching beauty gurus on YouTube I finally decided to create my own blog and give it a whirl myself. I officially started blogging during July 2012 as a creative outlet whilst studying at university and it has grown into a little place where I can ramble about all of the things I adore in life and I love being able to share it with everyone. I have lots of exciting things planned for 2015 – one of which is starting YouTube (finally) so I would love it if you would stop by and say hi! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my introduction on my little ol’ blog, it means so much to me. I would love to hear from you all, discover any new products and make new friends…so don’t be shy! 

Lots of love, Sophia xoxo



Hi guys, my names Arna Rose and welcome to my little space on the interwebs; where I journal about my recent beauty and fashion dabblings and also share my little life snippets - Such as food, I'm a massive foodie!

Hi everyone, I’m Carly and I blog at carlysbeautyworld.com. I set up my blog a couple of years after I gave up my beauty salon to pursue a different career. I had been in the beauty industry for 15 years and wanted to continue to share my knowledge and help people. My friend suggested that I write a blog and I’m so glad that I did.

At Carly’s Beauty World you will find that amongst the product reviews and fun posts, I also write about and specialise in specific areas such as skincare and other beauty related topics. If you want to diagnose your skin type or learn how to choose skincare products you can come to my blog and find the advice you need easily.

I’m always chatting to people on my various social media sites so come and say hi. I look forward to meeting you all. I’m having a giveaway to win a Lush Cosmetics gift voucher so don’t forget to enter when you visit my blog (see here).

Carly x




Hey everyone! I'm Nimisha and I'm the girl behind Nimi Notes! I'm a 24 year old Londoner currently in working in Surrey in the pharma industry. I started my blog back in 2013 just before I went back to University to complete my masters. I realised I love science and had a passion for healthcare but I also love fashion, makeup, beauty products and also writing- which in essence for me was the perfect reason to start a blog.

From a young age, I have loved combining ingredients together (particularly indian food ingredients) to make effective beauty products and to this day, they are my go-to fix. Primarily, this is why I started my blog- to share this with people because who knew that turmeric is perfect for getting rid of blemishes! My blog has eventually evolved into a hub for all my passions in fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

On my blog you can find, fashion favourites and OOTD's, reviews, homemade beauty recipes, lifestyle posts and literally really random posts such as '8 simple reasons you need a male friend in your life'. I hope you enjoy!! xoxo


Hello my lovelies, my name is Anne-Marie and i'm a early twenty something law grad. and actress. I started the the Twenty Sumtin' Sumtin as an outlet to talk about my other passion - Fashion & Beauty. I'm a sucker for all things make up and fashion related and working for an online Fashion brand made me even more determined to start the Twenty Something.

On my blog I talk about all things beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle related. From finding the perfect Foundation to fab OOTD's and Healthy Recipes, you'll find everything on my blog. 

The Twenty Sumtin' is a place for everyone and I'd love for you to stop by :) x 



You may have heard of Rule1 before! We are a clothing boutique that sells gorgeous items & are LOVED by celebrities & bloggers! With small beginnings just over 2 years ago, Rule1 has grown and widened our range to include footwear, bags, jackets and items that are 'every day glam'. Everything we hand pick has that 'something' about it - easy to wear but eye-catching, like our over the knee boots & pencil dresses spotted on ITV2!

If you've visited our website before, then thank you so much for stopping by, & if you're a Rule1 virgin then take a look herewww.rule1store.com I'm certain you'll find something you NEED!

We are looking for bloggers to work with so if you think this is your style then please get in touch. Rule1 has lots of exciting things ahead and I'm sure you'll see us around much more soon! :)

Rule1 xo

The Detangling Hair Brushes


If you have very long hair, you'll know just how frustrating tangles are. Mine is almost down to my belly button now and it gets tangled at the slightest gush of wind, after its been tied up or after I've been lying down. Oh and let's not forget after I've washed it, that's the worst. Getting out of the shower to a tangled head of hair is very frustrating and there's been many occasions where I've almost hit breaking point after not being able to get a brush through my knotted mane. However, I have found measures to prevent this now with lots of conditioner being one of them and good quality detangling brushes being another.

I seem to have quite the collection of brushes that claim to detangle the hair without causing any damage so I thought I'd give you a little overview of them in case you're in the same position I was a few months ago dreading to wash your hair because you have to face the unbareable tangles! Trust me, I've been there and dry shampooed one too many times just to avoid the laborious task.

First up we have the Denman Tangle Smoother and Wet Brush which are both great for using on wet hair. They both look like standard hair brushes and whilst  I'm not overly keen on the design of the tangle smoother, the brush itself has metal pins which means the brush glides through tangles with ease. The Wet Brush on the other hand has slightly more gentle bristles so it's great to use on wet hair when the hair is more vulnerable to breakage. The brush has 'Intelliflez' bristles which are thin, strong and flexible as well as 'Soft Tips' which are gentle on the hair and massage the scalp as well. It's firm whilst still being gentle which I really like!


Next up is the Tangle Angel which was designed by award winning hairdresser Richard Ward. This is the first detangling brush I ever bought as I love the heart shaped brush and angel wing design. It's so cute! The design has a purpose too - it's been designed this way so you can hold it around the wings for more control and detangling or by the handle for every day brushing. The bristles are soft and flexible so it's really gentle on the hair. It also has anti-static and anti-bacterial properties as well as being heat resistant.

Finally we have the Tangle Teezer, the classic detangling brush that I'm sure you've all heard of. The Tangle Teezer was the first detangling brush I'd ever heard of and the beauty world went a bit nuts for it with it being hailed a holy grain hair tool. Now I have to say, although I do like it and it's conveneient for popping in my hangbag due to its compact packaging, it would have to be my least favourite from the four I've mentioned. I feel I can't really get through all the tangles in my hair with this one so it isn't one I'd use on wet hair or when my hair is particularly tangled but I like to use it for general day to day brushing as it's more gental on my hair than a regular hair brush. 

Do you have trouble with tangled hair? Is there any other brushes or products you would recommend?


Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque Liquid Lipsticks


I was lucky enough to attend the Bourjois S/S15 press event recently and one of the products we were introduced to at the event are the new Rouge Edition Aqua Laque liquid lipsticks. These are the latest addition to the Rouge Edition line and after being seriously impressed by the Rouge Edition Velvet's with their highly pigmented matte finish, I was super excited to here about the launch of the Aqua Laque's which unlike the Velvet's have a super shiny and glossy finish.

The first thing I wanted to mention is the packaging which is the same style as the Velvet's with the addition of a shiny lid to represent the glossy formula. I personally prefer this packaging as it makes them look more luxe and some of the pale pink / neutral shades have rose gold lids and as you know, I'm a big rose gold fan.


Moving on to the actual product, I really like them. They're still a liquid lipstick like the Velvet's in the respect that they do stain the lips but on initial application they feel more like a gel and have quite a wet and very glossy texture. However, when the gloss wears off, I'm still left with a hint of colour on my lips which I like. I've never really been into matte lips so this kind of finish definitely appeals more to me.

The only thing that isn't as great as the Velvet's is the pigmentation - these are definitely less pigmented so if you want something very bold, I'd go for the Velvet's and just add a gloss over them if you like shine. On the other hand, I feel these are much better for day to day wear and are the kid of lip product you can throw in a handbag and re-apply throughout the day without worrying about precise application.


In terms of colour rage, there's eight shades available in this new formula and I received four of them in my goody bag after the event. From left to right in the swatches above we have 'Appechissant' which is a gorgeous nude pink 'my lips but better' kind of shade, 'Babe Idole' which is a barbie bubblegum pink, 'Fuchsia Perchie' which as the name states is a bright Fuchsia and finally 'Feelin Reddy' which is a vivid orange toned red. They're all gorgeous shades and due to the glossy formula, they're easy to wear both day and night. I noticed there isn't any true nude shades in the range and they all fall into the pink / red category but I don't mind that as I'm more of a bold lip kinda girl anyway.

Do you like the look of the latest lip product to join the Rouge Edition line up? You can get them here for £7.20 (currently reduced from £8.99).

The Spending Ban Tag with TSB


When TSB recently contacted me about a spending ban challenge, I was more than up for it as I'm one of those people who spends money completely unnecessarily. Whether its eating lunch out instead of bringing a homemade meal, buying a morning coffee or 'treating' myself more than I should whilst browsing online, over the course of a few weeks, it soon adds up. I'm also one of those people who thinks I'm rich on pay day, gets all spendy and then spends the latter half of the month complaining that I'm skint. Not good!

With this being said, I was excited to take on TSB's challenge and cut one thing out of my life that I normally spend a lot of money on to see what a difference it could make to my bank balance. I thought long and hard about what this could be and in the end I decided on taxis. Yep, taxis, of all things. As someone who doesn't drive (I really need to pull my finger out and pass my test) the temptation to have some extra time in bed and get a taxi to work instead of using public transport is very strong. However, a taxi from my flat to my work isn't cheap - it costs between £8 and £10 a time and I've been known to get up to 4 taxis a week sometimes. I know, shocking. That works out at £40 a week and £160 a month. I don't even want to know what that adds up to over a year but you get the point.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've gone tee total on taxis and have given myself the rule that I'm only allowed to get one if I have a good reason to. For example, if I'm going home to the lakes for the weekend and need to take a suitcase to work, I'll allow myself to get a tax instead of trying to cart a heavy suitcase on and off public transport. However, sleeping in, being lazy and wanting an extra 30 minutes in bed definitely don't fall into the 'good reason' category. 

I've already saved so much money just by cutting taxis out these past couple of weeks and I certainly intend to keep it up. My boyfriend and I are wanting to get our own house as soon as we can so all of our extra money needs to go into savings for a mortgage, not on taxis to work. We were recently discussing setting up an account we can put money into whilst saving and a Cash ISA from TSB is a great option as you don't pay any tax on the interest you earn which is a big plus. You can find out more on the TSB Isa page.

Myself and TSB now challenge you to go on a week-long spending ban and see how much you save! What do you spend money on that you don't really need to? 

I'd love to hear about your unnecessary spending in the comments below!

collaboration with TSB*

Spring Primark Haul


It occurred to me recently that I hadn't been shopping in Primark for ages. Since I moved to Manchester I've not made a big point of going in as I'm not overly keen on the store here - it's always too busy and I think the general layout of the shop in completely confusing - I end up walking around in circles not knowing where the heck I am. The only bonus is that it does have a Costa so if worst comes to worst, I know there's always coffee to see me through. Anyway, with this being said, I decided a trip to Primark was well overdue to when my mum and sister came to visit last weekend, we decided that would be our first point of call. I didn't come away with too much as it was hectic in there but I did pick up a couple of Spring pieces as well as some home ware.


 I'm a bit of a candle addict so every time I go to Primark, I have to buy at least one of their candles as they're so affordable and they smell so good! I thought this duck egg blue and silver one was lovely and the Vanilla scent is very comforting. I've been burning this none stop in my living room recently and it makes the room smells amazing and feel all cosy!


So this has to be my most random Primark purchase ever but when I saw this little artificial plant in the home ware section, I knew I had to have it. I thought it would make a super cute prop from my blog photos!


This 'essentials' wash bag is probably my favourite purchase as its absolutely perfect for travelling with. I love the mint green colour and geometric print and the faux leather it's made from feels very soft. I've already used this multiple times since I bought it as its just the right size to fit all my beauty essentials in when I go travelling. I'll definitely be packing this full of hair, skin and body products when I go to Greece in May!


I'm a bit obsessed with lace up shoes at the moment so when I saw the lovely Zoella feature these sandals in her recent Primark haul video, I knew I had to have them. I think these will look great in the Summer months and they're just that bit different from the other basic sandals I own. I wish I'd gotten them in black now too!


More home ware! If you haven't already guessed, I'm really loving Primark's home furnishings at the moment and these cushions are no exception. My bedroom is grey and white so I thought these would add a nice bit of colour to the room and the Peach and Mint shades are very Spring appropriate. I also got the matching bedding to go with these but it was a bit of a pain to photograph so you'll have to head over to my Instagram @kayleighjcouture if you want to see that! 


Finally, I bought this cropped knitted vest and again, this purchase was inspired by Zoe's video. I think this will look so lovely paired with a maxi skirt and some sandals when the weather warms up. It was also available in white and navy and white stripes but they didn't have my size in those!

So that's everything I've bought from Primark recently other than a plain grey maxi skirt which again was too hard to photograph! I always love having a nosy at what people have bought from Primark so I hope you enjoyed!

Have you been to Primark recently?

A Blog Design Overhaul by Pink Pot Designs


Hey guys! So you might have noticed that my blog design recently underwent a little overhaul so I thought I'd just give you a quick update about it - what's changed, who did the design and why I'm so so so happy with it! I'd been thinking about getting a new design for the past few months as I wanted a few things updating and new features adding that my old design didn't have.

With this being said, I started to put a few tweets out to find out what features you guys look for in a design and I started jotting a few ideas down. That's when I was contacted by the amazing Chaitra from the blog Pink Pot and she offered to help me out with my new design. I was so grateful to her for this and couldn't wait to get started as I was seriously impressed by other designs she'd created.

I sent Chaitra all of my eyes and we then went back and forth on emails (a LOT!) or spoke on google chat so she knew exactly what I wanted. She was so patient with me as I'm a bit of a perfectionist and quite particular about how I want things to look. There were a few things I definitely wanted adding to the new design which included a recent posts scrolling image at the top of the page, pages along the top of the blog, a 'read more' option to make things look a bit neater and the LinkWithin widget replaced with something more chic looking. As you can see from my screenshots below, I think she managed to achieve all of those things absolutely perfectly.



I can honestly say that I can't recommend Chaitra and her blog design services enough - she's a true professional and took everything I wanted on board without complaining. She also got things done really quickly and the installation only took 30 minutes so my new look blog was up and running in no time. I really hope you all like the new look as much as I do - I feel like my blog is a lot more user friendly now and that's exactly what I was hoping for!

If you're looking to get a new design, you can check out Chaitra's Etsy design shop Pink Pot Designs where you can buy fabulous pre-made templates or a custom design like mine for very reasonable prices. I'm considering making my blog mobile friendly next as this is another service Chaitra offers. Is that a feature you like to see in a blog? Any feedback at all would mean the world to me.

I hope you like the new look, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

SS15 Swimwear Trends From Sunbain


One of my favourite things about Summer would have to be pretty swimwear. If you follow me on Pinterest (follow me here) you'll know that I have a whole board dedicated to pretty bikinis and bathing suits as I'm just completely obsessed with them. There's so many different styles and shapes out there and I usually end up buying new ones before my holiday every year. Would you think I'm crazy if I told you I have a drawer dedicated to bikinis in my bedroom? Don't judge me!

With this being said, when I was contacted by Sunbain and asked if I'd like to share some of my favourite swimwear pieces from their site (which is a complete swimwear lovers dream by the way), I was a bit excited. Its safe to say I spent a good while looking through their site and although I loved so many of their pieces due to their vast range of stock, I narrowed it down to the six on the collage below. I've tried to pick six that are all a different style and all of which I think are going to be big trends for Summer 2015. 


First up is the bandeau bikini which is one of the most classic bikini shapes and one that never goes out of style. I'm in love with this two piece as the neon yellow colour will really accentuate a Summer tan and I love the cross over detail. I've seen lots of this cross over style around recently so I definitely think this is one trend to watch!

Next up is the colour block trend and this is another one I've seen a lot of recently. I love this one from Sunbain and think the mix of electric blue, aqua and white is a great combination - it reminds me of the ocean, very Summer appropriate! I also love how the top looks like a little bralet with bust support and that it has removable straps to avoid any of those pesky sun tan lines. 

Back to the bandeau style but this time with the addition of fringing. Again, fringing is always a huge trend in the Summer months so why not incorporate it into your swimwear? I love this one as its a very simple shape and I find black bikinis to be really flattering. The addition of fringing and gold studded bust line take it from simple to super chic!

Next up is a few swimsuits that caught my eye and although these aren't great for sunbathing in, I'm a huge fan of how they look from a fashion point of view and they're especially great if you're going on a party holiday and want something that bit cooler to wear to a pool party! First we have this cream number and I love the plunge front and multi-strap detailing on this one. I also think its perfect if you want to go for that boho look - pair it with some layered chain necklaces, denim shorts and ace up sandals to complete the look!

Another trend I think will be huge this Summer is the mash / sports luxe look so this swimsuit with mesh panelling is perfect to work the trend. Finally we have the classic monokini and this one is great as its a simple design but the pink colour and cut out sides really makes a statement. I own a few swimsuits in this style and find they're really flattering on the figure and great if you're having a bit of a bloated day!

Do you like these pieces? Which is your favourite? You can check out the Sunbain site here for lots more gorgeous pieces!

*Sponsored post

365 Blog Topic Ideas by Dana Fox | Book Review

365 Blog Topic Ideas For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About, 365 Blog Topic Ideas For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About Book Review, Dana Fox Wonder Forest Book
I don't know about you but I often find myself going through fazes of complete writers block where no matter how hard I try, I just cannot come up with any blog posts that leave me feeling inspired or write a post that sounds coherent. I'm pretty sure all bloggers have been through this from time to time so that's where Dana Fox's new book '365 Blog Topic Ideas For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About'* book comes in very useful. Dana writes the blog Wonder Forest and I've been a big fan of it for years now - she has a beautiful layout, stunning photography and she posts about a variety of topics from beauty to DIY and blogging advice. With this being said, I was very excited to here she'd released a book and felt slightly proud (is that weird?) that such a great blogger was doing great things. I think its so important for bloggers to support each other and I wish her all the luck in the world.

Dana kindly sent me the book to have a look at so I thought I'd write up a quick post as I know it will be helpful to a lot of bloggers out there. The first thing I'll say about this book is that it has a very basic concept. The book has a different blog topic idea on each page and nothing else - no other writing is included. I like this format as its straight to the point - it gives you a title for a blog post and you can then go away and adapt a post from it or put your own spin on it.

I also love how the book has topic ideas that fall under the 'lifestyle' category as that means all genres of blogs can incorporate them in some way - wether you run a fashion, food or beauty blog, you'll be able to get inspiration from this book. So you can get an idea of the kind of ideas you'll find in the book, I've popped five of them below. Obviously this is only a very small glimpse into the book as there's another 360 ideas in there but you'll have to grab yourself the book to find out what they are ;).


- A typical day of your life in 10 photos
- How to do something on a budget
- Your favourite apps
- How do you stay productive
- Your newest obsession

There's not much more I can say other than this is a great book that I think all bloggers should own as its great for those moments when you're lacking in inspiration and need a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing! You can get it here from Amazon for only £8.45 and its worth every penny in my opinion.


Will you be getting a copy of this book?

Working with PR Companies | 10 Things To Consider

Working with PR companies, Tips for Working with PR companies, Blogging and PR, How To Work With PR Companies, Working with Public Relations Teams and their Clients
I really enjoy writing these advice posts and it seems you guys enjoy them too. My Instagram tips post received over 900 saves on Bloglovin (thank you all so much) so I'm going to try my best to incorporate these kind of posts into my blogging schedule more often. I love sharing my advice and things I've learnt over the past three years and I know how helpful I find these posts myself. Even to this day, I love to read a blogging advice post as they always encourage me to be the best I can and develop myself and my blog further. 

Working with PR companies and 'free samples' is something that not many people talk about as its seen as a controversial subject. The idea that bloggers get sent 'freebies' isn't welcomed by some but at the end of the day, that's just how it is. Companies are always going to want to promote their new products and bloggers are always going to want new things to try and share on their blogs - the two go hand in hand. I often get emails from new bloggers asking how they can work with companies so I thought I'd put this post together with a few tips. I hope you enjoy!

1. Free samples are only a small part of being a blogger 
I feel like a lot of people, especially new bloggers get very consumed by free samples and feel they signify your success as a blogger. I was guilty of feeling the same when I first started and whilst it is very exciting to be gifted lovely products, it really is only a tiny part of being a blogger. The amount of effort and passion required in blogging completely outweighs any amount of freebies and if you don't enjoy what your doing, all of that effort won't be worth it for any amount of free stuff. Its important to remember that before starting a blog - if you're in it for the wrong reasons, it won't be something you can stick to.

2. Samples are limited
When brands release a new product, they have a certain number of samples they can send out to bloggers and press. Now if you think about how many blogs and press are out there, there definitely won't be enough samples for everyone. Even now as a blogger with over 18,000 bloglovin followers, there's plenty of things I'm not sent that other people are. That's just the way it works - when brands are researching bloggers, they might not come across yours due to the huge volume of them out there. Don't take it personally or think your blog isn't as good as other peoples just because they got sent something and you didn't. 

3. Introduce yourself but have something to back up your proposal
If you do see a product doing the rounds that you'd really love to try and feature on your blog, why not introduce yourself to the PR company who looks after that specific brand and let them know you'd love to work with them in the future. Its important to not go in all guns blazing and demanding free samples as that will come across rude but if you're simply introducing yourself and making them aware that you're interested in their clients, that's absolutely fine. Just make sure you have something to back up what you're saying - let them know a bit about you, your blog and your stats. For example, if you just started a blog that day and approach a company, it won't look great. Wait until you've built up a loyal readership and then get in touch.

4. Some will ask too much, know your place
As a blogger, I often find that brands think its okay to try and take advantage of our influence by demanding a whole list of things in order for them to send you a sample. In these instances, I often say thanks but no thanks. If I'm being asked to do three blog posts, various social media posts and a giveaway, that's a lot of work and a freebie just isn't worth it in my eyes. They wouldn't get that much exposure for free in a magazine so why should we as bloggers do a lot of work for not a lot of reward. Always know your place as a blogger and never let someone take advantage of you 'just because your a blogger'. Blogs are a large part of the media these days and can often have more influence than traditional media so if they aren't willing to play fair, its their loss, not yours.

5. Set out some guidelines
Following on from the point above, its important to set some guidelines when agreeing to review something on your blog. A lot of PR companies will send an item and expect you to review it within days but that's just not how it works. For example, I also have a full time job and a flat to maintain so blogging isn't always my number one priority. Working full time also means I can only take photographs on the weekends so if I receive a product on a Monday, it won't be photographed until the Saturday and I then need to give it a good trial before it even makes its way onto my blog, especially skincare products. This means it can take up to 3/4 weeks for me to blog about something I'm sent so I always tell them that before they send the product - that way I don't feel rushed to post within a few days. I feel its very important to be clear about the way you work or you will only end up getting stressed out and trying to do too much at once. Bloggers have lives to lead as well as a blog and I do feel some PR companies forget that. Be fair but also firm I say!

7. Don't accept everything just because its free
Its very tempting when you first start blogging to accept every freebie you get offered as it can be a bit of a novelty. However, this is a bad move because if its something you're not all that interested in, you're not likely to feel inspired to write about it and that will show in your review. Instead, the best thing to do is to only accept products you have a genuine interest in and feel your readers would be interested in too. I get a lot of emails offering me free products and turn down a good 50% of them as they don't suit my personal taste.


6. Thank and acknowledge gifted items
If someone has been kind enough to send you something for free, be sure to say thank you and show your appreciation. I always say thank you for any gifts I receive in the post whether that's by sending an email to the person who sent it or tweeting / mentioning the brand on Instagram. I think this is common courtesy and good manners. As someone who actually sends samples out to bloggers (I work for a fashion brand), it's always so lovely to receive an email being thanked for the sample and it makes me much more likely to work with those people again.

8. Tweet
If you've posted about a product you were sent, tweet the link and tag the brand as well as the PR company who sent you it. That way they can see it and report back to their client with the link. I always do this when tweeting about my new posts and I find most PR companies have Twitter accounts.

9. Send a link
Much like the above, when you've posted about a product you were sent, its always nice to send the person who sent you it a quick email to make sure they've seen it. It can be hard to do this every single time if you're super busy but its important to try and let them know one way or another.

10. Disclose and be honest
If you're working with a brand, its important to be honest with your readers about this. I don't see anything wrong with bloggers reviewing samples they've been sent or writing a sponsored post but I do have a problem if it isn't disclosed. It makes the blogger appear dishonest and this then makes me question their post too - are they lying about liking a product just because it was free? Whenever I feature a gifted item in a post, I add a * next to it which is explained in my disclaimer. If a post is sponsored I'll add something to say so at the bottom of the post. For example, I was recently sent the Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes and I stated this in the post. I also still gave my complete honest opinion and said that I was disappointed with the brushes. Whether the product is free or not, its so important to be completely honest as I wouldn't want to influence my readers to purchase something I don't really like myself.


Is there anything else you would add to this list?

Mother's Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day fast approaching I thought I'd pop a little gift guide together in case you're lacking inspiration as there's still a few days left to pop to the shops or order something online. I love treating my mum on Mother's Day and making her feel special and I think all of the products featured in this post would be perfect to do just that!

Sanctuary 'With Love' Gift Set
If your mum is hard to buy for, a pampering gift set is always a safe bet. Who doesn't love a box full of various pampering lotions and potions? This limited edition Sanctuary With Love gift set is amazing value for money - it includes ten  of Sanctuary's bestselling products and is currently on offer for only £22 (original price is £45) while stock lasts. A-maz-ing or what? I'm very tempted to keep this for myself but I know my mum will love it so I'll be giving this to her this weekend. Also, how beautiful is that box with those 3D butterflies? *swoon*.

LUSH Mother's Day goodies
Having a nice pamper in the bath is the perfect way to unwind so what better way to treat your mum this Mother's Day than with some bath products from LUSH. They're known for their fabulous array of bath bombs, bubble bars and shower gels so I was very excited to receive some bits from their new range which has been designed specifically with mums in mind. From the 'yummy mummy' shower gel and body conditioner to the Mother Superior Bubble Bar, these products are the perfect Mother's Day gift!

Candles
Another product that's a total must have for relaxing is candles. I'm a HUGE fan and light them most nights as they help me wind down and feel cosy after a long day at work. These two from Chantel Martin and Pretty Twisted are perfect - they smell amazing and will look pretty in any room. Pair these with the LUSH goodies and your mum can enjoy a night of pure relaxation!

Elemis Skincare Products
I'm a HUGE fan of Elemis and so is my mum so I just had to include this cute little 3 Piece Quiet Mind Night Time Skincare Trio from QVC in this gift guide. It includes Quiet Mind Temple Balm (15ml), Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm (20g) and Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream (15ml) and they all come in a cute little drawstring bag. Priced at only £30, I think this is the perfect Mother's Day gift as its something she can give her skin a pamper with an also use to relax. The cleanser absolutely amazing and because you only need a little bit each time, this 20g size will last a few weeks at least. The same applies to the moisturiser so its a great way to try the brand before splurging on the full size products. I've also been loving using that temple balm before bed recently and its found a new home on my bedside table!




Perfume
I think most women love a new bottle of perfume - there's something about spritzing yourself with a new scent and displaying a pretty bottle on your dressing table that feels so special. Plus, perfume isn't something us women tend to buy ourselves all that often so receiving it as a gift is always such a lovely treat. The new Chloe Love Story fragrance is the perfect option - it smells amazing, the bottle is super pretty and its been designed to symbolise love.

Ted Baker Stationary
If your mum is a busy lady, why not treat her to some stationary that will help to keep her organised and look pretty in her handbag or on her desk at work. This leather Ted Baker notebook and Pink Touchscreen Pen from Flamingo Gifts are absolutely perfect and will help your mum to keep any important dates, notes or shopping lists together in one place.

LVNDR Jewellery
Much like perfume, all women love receiving jewellery as gifts as its not something you buy yourself all that often. I'm a big fan of LVNDR for cute jewellery that's super affordable. You could get your mum a whole range of new jewellery from LVNDR and still not break the bank - perfecto! They do really cute animal themed pieces and gorgeous stacking / midi rings. If you really want to do something cute and thoughtful for your mum, some matching jewellery from LVNDR you can both wear would be so lovely!


I hope you enjoyed this little gift guide and got a little bit of inspiration! If you haven't yet bought your mum a gift, all of the above are great options and there's still time to get it delivered on time!


What will you be treating your mum to this Mother's Day?



Products included are PR samples but all opinions are my own*

New Bourjois Spring Beauty Launches

Bourjois is definitely one of my favourite drugstore beauty brands so I'm always very excited to hear about their new releases. I was very kindly sent some of their new Spring beauty bits recently so I thought I'd give you a little overview of the new launches you can expect to find at your local Bourjois counter. There's new products for face, eyes and lips and I've been very impressed by some and not so impressed by others! I hope you enjoy finding out a bit more about them. 


First up is the product I was most excited about, their brand new 'colourband' eye shadow and liner pencils. The reason I was so excited to try these is because I'm all about convenience when it comes to my makeup and I love using products that I can swipe and go and that's exactly what these are. Due to the crayon style applicator you can swipe them across the lid and you're good to go. The shades are all fairly neutral so will suit all skin tones. 

I have 'Beige Minimaliste' which is a peachy champagne shade, 'Mauve Baroque' which as the name states is a pretty mauve colour, 'Brun Dadaiste' which is a gorgeous bronze and finally 'Noir Abstrait' which is a jet black and can be used to create a smokey eye or as a liner.' My two favourites are Beige Minimaliste as this is lovely for creating the inner corners of the eye or as a wash of colour all over the lid and Brun Dadaiste is stunning worn underneath the lower lash line for a smokey evening look as I find the bronze shade really compliments my blue eye.


Next up is a few new additions to the Color Boost lip crayon line up. I absolutely love these lip crayons - they're pigmented, glossy and moiturising on the lips so perfect for day to day wear. I really like the new colour additions too - they're more grown up and mature than the previous range. The shades I have are 'Proudly Naked' which is a beautiful pale Peach, 'Sweet Macchiato' which is a gorgeous brown nude (very Kylie Jenner) and finally, 'Pinking Of It', a beautiful berry toned pink which is right up my street! I love all of them!


Finally, there's two new liners and a face powder. There's both a liquid and pencil liner and both are labelled 'Ultra Black' so if you like a super black liner look, these are for you. I have to be honest and say I'm not keen on the liquid 'Liner Pinceau' liner as it has a brush nib which I find really hard to use. Unless you're very good at applying liquid liner, I'd stick to a pen style applicator. However, the Liner Stylo pencil is lovely - its a super black shade which is just how I like my pencil liner to be and it applies nicely to the waterline. I also like that its a twist up style as that means I don't need to mess around sharpening it. 

As for the 'Silk Edition' face powder, I'm in two minds about this one. I really like the compact it comes in and the fact it has a 360 rotating mirror but I'm not entirely sold on the powder itself. Bourjois claim the formula is inspired by silk and that it blurs imperfection and mattifies the skin whilst providing ultimate comfort and a bare skin sensation. I'd definitely agree that it feels very light on the skin but my problem is that its just not very pigmented and doesn't transfer very well. I feel I have to apply a lot of it before I get the matte effect it claims and even then, I wouldn't say it does an excellent job at setting my makeup. Its not a terrible product but when compared to my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish natural, it doesn't even compare and I'd much rather spend the extra on that!

L-R: Beige Minimaliste, Mauve Baroque,  Brun Dadaiste, Noir Abstrait, Proudly Naked, Sweet Macchiato and Pinking Of It

I hope you enjoyed having a little look at Bourjois new releases - do you like the look of anything in particular?





Monthly Favourites | February

Happy March guys! How on each it is March already in beyond me - wasn't it only just Christmas? Anyway, I'm not complaining as Spring is now well on its way and the weather should hopefully *fingers crossed* start warming up soon. It also means I'll be able to start wearing BB creams, cream blush and pastel nail polish again very soon. Yay for Spring beauty. For now, here's my Feb faves ...

Clarins Everlasting Foundation+* | Link
I love trying new foundations but I'm quite difficult to please as I don't like anything too matte or anything too shiny, it has to be somewhere in between. I also like it to have a good coverage but also let my natural skin show through so my face doesn't look caked in makeup. Well, I'm in luck because Clarins new Everlasting+ foundation does all of those things perfectly. It has a gorgeous Satin semi-matte finish, great coverage and is really long lasting. I love it!

NARS Copacabana Illuminator* | Link
I recently featured this in my favourite highlighters post as I've been really enjoying mixing it in with my foundation to give my skin a radiant glow. Its a beautiful champagne silver shade with a metallic finish and it has a really light texture. I also love using it on my collar bones and down the fronts of my legs! I'd love to try the multiple version of this now!

Chanel Incandescente Rouge Allure Lipstick* | Link
I love a red lipstick and this one from Chanel with its beautiful orange undertone has definitely been my favourite since receiving it at the start of Feb! As I said, its the most gorgeous orange toned red and the formula is beautiful too - its matte without being too matte (lets call it a Satin finish) and don't even get me started on the packaging. Totally swoon worthy! 

 photo January Monthly Favourites 2_zps0eos18fd.jpg
 photo January Monthly Favourites 4_zpsssz2wq8c.jpg

Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon* | Link
I was recently sent a selection of Bourjois new Spring beauty releases (keep your eye out for a post on those soon) and I've been really enjoying giving them a try. I already loved their Colour Boost Lip Crayons so when I saw they were adding some new shades to the range, its safe to say I was excited. I've been loving the shade 'Sweet Machiato' recently as its a nice brown nude - a very nineties and Kylie Jenner kinda shade!

The Vintage Cosmetics Company Eyelash Curlers | Link
These are the best eyelash curlers I've ever used, hands down. There's not a great deal to say here other than they curl my lashes really well and hold the curl nicely too. Plus, they're rose gold, what's not to love?
Zoeva Powder Polish brush* | Link
I'm a big fan of Zoeva brushes and lately, my favourite has been their relatively new Powder Polish brush as its perfect for applying liquid foundation. Before I got this brush I was using my Real Techniques Buffing brush of Zoeva Silk Finish but I find this one works better than them both. The bristles are quite dense but exceptionally soft on the skin at the same time which I love as the dense bristles mean product doesn't get sucked into the brush instead of going on the skin. I can't explain what it is I love about this brush in writing - its just one of those things you need to try for yourself. All I'll say is that if you want a flawless finish, this is a little gem!


 photo January Monthly Favourites 3_zps2cwh0d2n.jpg
Invisibobbles | Link
Throughout the week, I always have my hair tied up. I'm really lazy in the morning and would rather have that extra ten minutes in bed - don't judge me. With this beign said, I'm absolutely loving using Invisibobbles instead of regular hair ties in my hair as I find they're more gentle and the clear ones in particular are great as they blend in with the hair nicely. I don't find they leave my hair kink free like they claim to but I'm not too bothered about that as my main reason for using them is to prevent my hair snapping from wearing my hair up too often.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream* | Link
This is a bit of a cult product in the beauty world and for good reason, its such a great little multi-tasker. I've featured this in a previous monthly favourites so I do apologise if you're bored of hearing me talk about it but I've been loving it this past month to keep my lips in good condition. Admitedly it doesn't taste great but it does such a good job at hydrating my lips - better than any lip balm I've ever used before. However, I'd recommend keeping this well away from boyfriends - mine decided he'd smear it all over his face and hands last night as they 'felt a bit dry' - what a waste! Haha!

Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence | Link
I bought this from Feel Unique at Christmas time as it came with a sample of Elasticizer too and was only £5 - total bargain! Since then, I've gone through a whole bottle of it and have bought another. I'm not sure why I love it so much but I think the scent alone plays a big part. It smells absolutely gorgeous and I love spritzing it on my hair before using heat to ensure its protected. I'm not sure if it actually works as its hard to tell but I like to think its doing my hair some good!

What have you been loving lately?


My Tips for Better Blog Photos

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

I get a lot of emails from my readers asking how I take my blog photos and whether I can share any tips. Its also the thing I get the most compliments about which is so flattering as I certainly don't consider myself a photography pro. I often look at other blogs in total awe of their photography so trust me when I say, we're never happy with our own photography! However, I know when I first started out, and even now, how useful photography tips posts can be so I thought I'd put one together and hopefully offer a bit of inspiration. With this being said, I hope you enjoy reading ...

Equipment  
Before you start taking any photographs for your blog, you're going to need a camera. I feel like one of the biggest misconceptions about blogging is that you need a big fancy pants DSLR to take good photographs or to be considered a 'proper' blogger. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not denying the fact that DSLR's are amazing - I use mine daily and can't imagine blogging without it. However, I didn't start blogging with the intention to get a DSLR or buy one specifically for blogging. I was actually very lucky and my dad managed to get me the Canon eos 600d through his business while I was visiting him in Australia a couple of years ago. However, before receiving the camera, I'd been blogging for almost a year and not doing a bad job with the Canon IXUS HS 115 - a standard digital camera. Yes my technique was a bit dodgy looking back at older posts but the image quality itself was perfectly acceptable for someone starting out in the blogging world. I've even used my Iphone for quite a few posts (the main photo in this post was taken with my Iphone) and as long as you get some decent lighting (which I'll talk about soon) and focus, it works perfectly fine. I also don't think there's a huge need for fancy lenses - yes they can help add a different look to your images but other than the 50mm lens which I use for outfit photos, I manage just fine with the basic kit lens.

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog PhotoImage source: Link




Look at your settings
The biggest photography game changer for me was working out how to actually use my camera and how to achieve the kind of photos I want - light, bright and clear. Although the auto settings on a DSLR work perfectly fine, they won't create the light and bright images you want, despite the lighting / equipment you have. To really get a control on the lighting, you need to change your settings. I always take my photos on the AV setting and then use the AV button on the back of the camera to up the lighting. All you need to do is turn the dial on top of the camera to AV, hold in the AV button of the right hand side next to the main camera screen and then scroll up or down with the thumbwheel on top of the camera until the lighting is to your liking. I usually set the lighting to around 1 (on that dial in the right image) so my images come out lovely and bright. I know lots of bloggers take their pictures in the manual setting but that's just far too complicated for me and AV seems to work just fine!


Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

Take your own photographs 
This may seem like a fairly obvious one but I still see a lot of blogs using stock photos (images that can be found via google) instead of photographs they've taken themselves. For me personally, this is an instant turn-off as it looks lazy and it isn't personable. The only time I would ever use a stock photo is for a wish list post as I clearly don't have the products infront of me to take the photos. Lets face it - anyone can go online and search for an image but it shows you've put effort in and your personality if you take your own. Even if you put a lot of effort into the written content of your posts, a lack of images will reflect badly. Just something to think about!

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo








Lighting & Exposure
Its probably the most obvious photography tips of all but natural light is your best friend when taking photos as it allows your camera to pick up more detail and make images appear crisp. Take photos by a window or outside if the weather is nice! I take my images on my dressing table as its right next to a window and allows me to create bright and detailed images. Admittedly its harder in Winter when the weather is dreary but a bit of editing can solve that which I'll talk about shortly. Its also important to ensure your images have the right amount of light - you don't want them to be over exposed or under exposed like the images above. You can usually adjust the amount of light your camera lets in on the settings.I do this using the AV setting as I mentioned above.

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo








Don't shoot into the light
Its important to remember that when you're taking photos you should always shoot away from the light and not into it. What I mean by this is make sure the light is in front of the object you're shooting and not behind it. As you can see in the photos I've taken above, when the light is behind the object, all the camera will pick up is the light behind and not the product itself. However, when the light is in front of the object, it will ensure the product is the focal point and all of the necessary details will be picked up.


Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

Avoid Flash
Unless you really need to use it, try to avoid flash at all costs. Flash has a habit of washing things out or reflecting off surfaces and creating an unattractive glare. If you want your photos to be really crisp and pick up the true colour/detail of a product, natural lighting is key! As you can see in the example above, whilst the left image isn't bad, the flash has created a glare on the bottom half of the lipstick and reflected onto my dressing table. Its also created a reflection off my lipstick holder in the background. In the right photo, the focus is completely on the lipstick and the packaging looks nice and even in tone.

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

Focus, Focus, Focus!
Another obvious one but I still see a lot of blurred/out of focus images on blogs and like the stock photos, its an instant turn off. As you can see in the example above, the out of focus image just doesn't look appealing - you can't see the detail of the product and it looks sloppy. I guess the reason out of focus images are such a turn off is because it comes across like you've not put any effort in. I always try to take at least ten photos of the same product just to make sure I've got one that's nice and crisp. It takes a bit more time but it will pay off!

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

Angles & Composition
I'm a very creative person and love photography so playing around with different angles is something I enjoy. However, if this isn't your thing it can be easy to fall into a trap of plonking a product on to a plain surface with no thought put into the angles or composition of the image. Its so important to remember that a photo speaks a thousand words so let it tell a story. Add props (flowers, candles, ornaments) into the surrounding areas and take your images from various angles - a birds eye view shot, one straight on and a close up are always good ones to go for. A range of images will make your blog post a lot more interesting! This also brings me on to composition which basically means how much space there is around your image. As you can see in the photos above, the left picture isn't focused on the product - there's too much space and distraction around it whereas the right image is focused in on the product which is what my blog post is about.

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo








Background & Props 
Its important to think about the background you're taking your photos on as this is the basis for the whole photo and will give your images a personal touch. I've done a lot of experimenting with image backgrounds since I started blogging as I often like to change things up and make my images more interesting. A few backgrounds I'd recommend include a glass or plain white surface, a wooden floor or some pretty bedding. I used to take my photos of the TV stand in my living room because its glass and I now take them on my white dressing table. I find glass or white backgrounds look lovely and bright which makes the overall image more pleasing to the eye. Bedding, wallpaper and tile samples, fluffy rugs, flowers and cute items blurred in background all look lovely too!

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

De-Clutter
As I mentioned in my previous point, its sometimes nice to add some pretty accessories in the background of your photos but there's a huge difference between strategically placed accessories and clutter. By clutter I mean general mess that we don't really need to see in the background of an image. You can see what I mean by the photo above. Make sure you find somewhere clutter-free or have a tidy up before you start snapping. For example, the dressing table I take my photos on is often covered with makeup, perfume bottles, cotton pads and what not but I make sure I tidy most of that away before one of my photo taking sessions.

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo 

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photoresized to same width as the post

Resize 
Most of my favourite blogs have one thing in common - large images. Images are one of the main features of a blog and the first thing our eye is drawn to so make sure they're large and clear. You can resize images using the standard 'Large' 'X Large' tabs when you hover over a photo but the way I increase the size of my images is by flicking over to the HTML tab when composing a post and changing the 'widths' and 'heights' of my photos. Its best to have a play around until you find a size that suits you and the design of your blog. For reference, the width of my photos is 765 as this matches the width of my post header. 

Keep it Consistent
I also think its important to ensure all images are the same width. I'm not sure why but I find it really off putting when reading a blog if the images aren't lined up nicely. What I mean by this is that some of the images will be wide and line up with the font and others will be tall and skinny so they don't match up with the others. If you look at my posts you'll see that all of the images are the same width across as I find it makes my blog look more symmetrical and pleasing to the eye.

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog PhotoBefore cropping and adjusting brightness, shadows and contract on PicMonkey

Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

Editing 
After you've taken your photographs, the next step is to edit them! I don't spend a great deal of time editing but I do make a few basic changes such as cropping, brightness, contrast, shadows and highlights. I do most of these thing on iPhoto but I also use PicMonkey as I find I can get my pictures nice and bright without over exposing them. I also use PicMonkey if I want to add text / a shape to my image or make a collage. I edited all of the images in this post using PicMonkey. Its super simple to use and does the job well. 


Beauty Blog Photography, Blog Photography Tips, Blogger Photography Tips, Canon dos 600D Photography Tips, My Tips for Better Blog Photo

Renaming
Not a lot of people realise how important it is to rename images. I never used to do this when I first started blogging but I read a post about SEO and it mentioned that search engines won't find or list your images if it has a name like 'D54802' which is standard with most cameras. If you want someone to find your post about a MAC lipstick, rename your images 'MAC lipstick Review' so google and its little spiders that crawl our blogs for info will know what the image is. I also like to add a little summary of what my post is about into the 'properties' section of my images too. I've popped an example from this post above!


So there we have a few of my photography tips! I know most of them are fairly simple but sometimes its the simple things that really do make all the difference. Let me know your top tips in the comments below :)

© Couture Girl

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig