Monthly Archives: January 2015

Lookfantastic Beauty Box January | Review

Posted on January 8, 2015

lookfantastic-january-box-review

Hi Guys!

Today I have the first Lookfantastic beauty box of 2015 to share with you! So far I’ve bought every box available since they were first started in September last year, and overall there have been some really great products included. This is of course fantastic, but it also gives Lookfantastic a lot to live up to. Let’s see how January’s box fared up…

  • Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute 50ml full size, £19.50
  • Dualsenses Color Extra Rich 60 Sec Treatment 50ml, 200ml is £11.00 making 50ml £2.75
  • Molton Brown Templetree Body Wash 100ml, 300ml is £18.00 making 100ml £6.00
  • Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence 60ml, 250ml is £22.00 making 60ml £5.28
  • MyVitamins Energise Tablets, full size pack of 20, £4.49
  • Gatineau Strategie Jeunesse Eye Pads, 1 pair. 6 pairs are £34.50 so one is £5.75

Total = £43.77, this is the lowest value box so far.

Ok so value isn’t everything – at all, but on first glance I’m kind of on the fence a bit about this box. On one hand I love that there are some really generous sized products here, including two full sizes (this is the Nuxe and My Vitamins) but on the other I’m a bit disappointed with the Dualsenses 60 Sec Hair Treatment as it’s specifically for ‘thick to coarse colour treated hair‘ and my hair is completely the opposite – fine and not colour treated. It would have been nice to have a less targeted hair treatment included instead. I am though, super happy to find a nice little Molton Brown product in the box, the Templetree fragranced Body Wash smells divine! I’m a recent convert to Molton Brown after trying out one of their gift sets at Christmas and I don’t think I’ll ever look back. The Nuxe mask is also a product I’ve heard of before and after being impressed with the Nuxe Nuxellence Jeunesse Youth and Radiance Revealing Fluid from my November box, I’m really looking forward to trying this product out. Gatineau is another brand I’m familiar with by name only, theses eye pads are supposed to revive and rejuvenate the eye area which is exactly what my tired / baggy / dark circled eyes need right now, so fingers crossed these will do what they’re supposed to! And I’m also interested to try the Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence product as I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with haircare due to my super fine hair. I hope this will suit me and not weigh my hair down. And lastly the vitamin tablets, these are the ‘effervescent’ type that you drop into a glass of water and they kind of fizz. I’ll definitely be making the most of these as I’m out of vitamins at the moment.

I do really love the Molton Brown product, but I have to say overall this is probably my least favourite box so far, which is a shame. So I guess I now need to decide should I buy the February box or not? What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed my review xxx

Ten Ways To Promote Your Blog

Posted on January 7, 2015

ten easy ways to promote your blog

Hi Guys!

After noticing my 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Blog post has in fact been one of my most popular posts (thank you to everyone that’s read and commented!) I thought I’d follow on with some more helpful posts along the same lines. Today I’ve put together a few simple tips for promoting and sharing your blog. Enjoy!

1. Social media. A blogger without social media profiles is like a butterfly without wings – you’re really missing some vital parts crucial to development and growth. Using social media is SO important for promoting your blog. Firstly you need to get yourself signed up to all the social media sites you can – Twitter, Intagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Facebook are the main players but there are plenty more worth signing up to if you have the time. Then use them. Follow like minded people. Interact. Share your blog posts, and in time you’ll see your followings grow, whilst also creating a fantastic audience for your blog.

2. Facebook groups. Out of all the social media sites, Facebook isn’t really the best place for promoting your blog now because they’ve changed the way they work. If you already have a Facebook page for your blog, you may have noticed you’re receiving less views per post than previously, basically this is because Facebook now want you to you pay them for advertising your page. Another (possibly better) way to utilise the power of Facebook is to join relevant groups. The easiest way to find groups is to try loads of keyword searches in the search bar – ‘beauty blogger’ ‘bloggers’ ‘beauty lovers’ are a few examples I might use as a predominantly beauty blogger. Then just join the groups! Some are purely for chatting, you can share your blog post links in others, and some have more specific blogger help, sharing threads and much more.

3. Advertise on other blogs. Many bloggers offer advertising for both companies and other bloggers – and often their rates for bloggers are very reasonable, I love that we’re nice like that!  For a small fee (usually on a monthly basis) you can have your advert in a bloggers sidebar, and they often offer extra perks too, such as weekly #FF mentions on Twitter, sharing your posts on Twitter / Instagram, including your link at the bottom of their posts and some also have a dedicated blog post for their sponsors each month. These will all help to promote your blog. I’d recommend checking out the rates for your favourite bloggers, or you could also do an ad swap with other bloggers that you know, which I think is a great idea as it’s beneficial to you both, with no costs – I’ve done this myself for the month of January 😀

4. Business cards. If you’ve been, or are hoping to go to any events, it’s imperative that you have your own business cards to offer. Business cards hold all your vital info – basically your blog address and details, more if you want, so people can get in touch with you. I had my cards printed at  a while ago, they were really reasonably priced and fantastic quality. I handed loads of them out at the next event I went to and it was fantastic to see people were getting in touch because of they had my card! (I’ll have a separate post written to show you my business cards soon)

5. Linkys. What the heck is a linky? A linky, link up, or blog hop is when a ‘host’ blog invites other blogs to link up to a specific post. Usually there will be a theme – say a giveaway for example – so you link your own giveaway post to the host’s linky giveaway post, with the idea that everyone involved visits each others posts, comments on, promotes and therefore drives traffic to their own as well as each other’s blogs. The more effort everyone puts in to a linky, the more everyone gets out of it. You can search for linkys on Twitter if you’re interested in joining up.

6. Guest post. Guest posting for other bloggers or even companies and brands can be a great way to introduce yourself and your blog to a new audience, and also expose your writing to a mass of new potential readers. Ask other bloggers if you can guest post for them, give them some ideas of what you’d like to write, or maybe you could swap guest posts? Guest posting on companies’ blogs is a fantastic way to promote yourself too, as your blog will be exposed to their customer base. Don’t forget to include some info about your blog and your blog link in your post too!

7. Collaborate with other bloggers. Guest posting is one thing, but what about actually collaborating with other bloggers? I’ve done a few collaborations in my time, the latest one – Makeup To Make Your Blue Eyes POP! was a collaboration with Emma from Not Your average. I have blue eyes so I wrote a ‘blue eyes’ themed post and she has brown eyes so she wrote about brown eyes. We then both linked to each others post, published at the same time, and promoted each others posts on our social media sites. Collaborating with other bloggers is a win-win situation which exposes your blog to new readers. If you have any collaboration ideas, ask around on Twitter using the relevant hashtags (#bbloggers for example) to see if anyone would like to work with you.

8. Comment on other blogs. If you read blogs (which I’m guessing you do) please try to take a moment to leave a comment (preferably 8 words or over if you can, as less than that can be seen as spam by Google so I’ve heard) Every blogger LOVES receiving comments on their post – it shows that people have taken the time to read, think about what they’ve read, and offer their thoughts. This makes us feel warm and fuzzy and we really do appreciate it. So, bloggers, if you want to receive comments, also make sure you take the time to leave some for others, and don’t forget to include your blog link so they can click through to check your writing out too.

9. Include relevant links in your posts to companies, brands, products and other bloggers, and let them know you’ve included them in your post via social media or email. Many people will at least take a look at what you’ve written, and some will also share / retweet your post too. When I mention other bloggers, companies or brands in a post, I always tweet them directly letting them know and include the post link with the hope that they will take a look!

Sorry this was another long post, well done for making it to the end!

I hope this has been helpful – I’d love to hear if you have any other tips for promoting your blog? xxx

NEW Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipsticks Review

Posted on January 5, 2015

jeffree-star-review

Hi Guys!

I’ve been following  on Instagram for a while now, and if you haven’t heard of him, he’s a self made makeup artist, musician, singer, model, fashion designer and all round general fabulous person. I mean just look at his face, and his hair! He’s so beautiful! Anyway, as soon as I saw he was releasing his own line of insanely bright lip products, I was on his site and ordered quicker than a MUA in a makeup sale!

Now in hindsight this was in fact a mistake, and my keenness actually cost me a fair bit of moulah. I had no idea his products would be available in the UK, and as this is his first line, and it’s brand new, I guess I just thought they would be US only. So I purchased the full collection of three Velour Liquid Lipsticks for $48.00 $10.95 shipping (this came to £39.01) and all was good, but I then received a note from the post office informing me I had just over £14 taxes and fees to pay – gah! I kind of half expected it but I’d hoped for the best! So now my total spend has gone up to over £53 which I wasn’t overly pleased about, and just to add to the fun I then found out you can buy them from  for £16 each!! Oh well!!

jeffree-star-liquid-lipstick-review

Anyway on to the products! The Velour Liquid Lipsticks are very similar to Lime Crime’s Velvetines (but the formula is thicker) and Makeup Revolution’s Velvet Matte Lip Lacquers are actually very similar. They’re kind of half way between a lipstick and a gloss, but without being glossy or sticky. Just imagine the most highly pigmented lipstick ever, melted down and put in a lipgloss tube, I think that’s the best way I can describe them. They are also vegan and cruelty free.

jeffree-star-lipsticks

The tubes themselves are closer to a lipstick size than a gloss tube, but thicker, and the barrel is clear so you can see the colour of the product. I love the hot pink casing too!

jeffree-star-box

The outer packaging is also super cute in hot pink with metallic gold stars.

jeffre-star-lipstick-wands

The wands are fairly short and chunky, they have a large sized doe foot applicator and pick up a good amount of product.

jeffree-star-lipstick-swatches

Just look at the swatches! These lippies are SO intensely pigmented, and it’s worth mentioning they do stain, which is to be expected really with this amount of pigmentation.

I’ve also included some pictures of them on my lips below – please forgive me for the totally wonky application, I’ve started dieting and I’ve cut our sugar, and I think my body is having some sort of crazy sugar come down which is making me quite shaky!

jeffree-star-prom-night-swatch

Prom Night is pretty much ‘The brightest matte pink in the world!’ It’s a bright, intense, almost but not quite neon pink. I think this is my favourite of the three. The Velour Liquid Lipsticks apply wet, and you have maybe 30 seconds to a minute to manipulate and spread out the product until it dries. And when it dries there’s no going back! This stuff does not budge at all. I wore Prom night for about half a day on the first day I received the package, I only applied it once, and forgot to remove it when I went to bed (oops) I woke up with bright pink lips, and only a couple of small bright pink smudges on my pillow.

jeffree-star-redrum-swatch

Redrum is a mid toned red that’s described as ‘The perfect red: this matte cool toned red looks amazing on any skin tone’ but it seems ever so slightly on the pinkish side to me. This is a beautiful shade that’s definitely the most easy to wear out of the three. It would be perfect for a classic red lip look with a modern twist.

jeffree-star-I'm-royalty-swatch

I’m Royalty is a blue toned purple, described as ‘A royal purple for any diva who wants to make a statement’. This is the darkest and hardest to wear out of the bunch. You know I’m a fan of purple lipsticks but this one really is quite a hard shade to pull off, and you really need precise application too (which I can’t seem to do at the moment) otherwise the slightest wobble at the edges will result in a clearly obvious less than perfect lip line.

I’d recommend exfoliating lips and making sure they’re in tip top condition before applying, the amount of rubbing to get this stuff off to begin with has definitely helped exfoliate! Jeffree also advises to avoid food with oil in it (I’m not sure what might happen there) and no making out! Overall I really love these lipsticks, the pigmentation and formula is spot on, but, I wouldn’t pay £53+ again for the three! I think if you are interested in trying them, £13 each at Cocktail Cosmetics is much more reasonable – also I’ve linked my  post above, they actually sell some quite similar colours if you look at their site, and the formula is very smilier to Jeffree Star’s Velvet Lipsticks, oh and they’re only £3 each.

So what do you think, will you be snapping these up? I hope you enjoyed my review xxx

Urban Decay Naked on the Run | Review

Posted on January 3, 2015

naked-on-the-run-review

Hi Guys!

I thought I’d give my new Urban Decay Naked on the Run palette a go today to see what it’s like. I was super excited to receive this for christmas from my other half, so I hope it lives up to my expectations! As far as the Naked series goes, I only currently have the Naked 2 palette, which I hardly ever use, and the original Naked Basics, which I use pretty much every day – so fingers crossed this palette is another winner!

urban-decay-naked-on-the-run

The idea of the Naked on the Run palette is that it’s perfect for if you’re on the go. Apart from a base and brushes, it has pretty much everything you need to create or just to touch up a full face of makeup. I love the idea that everything is in one handy palette!

It includes –

  • Pervrsion (black) Mascara
  • 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Stag
  • Naked Gloss in Sesso
  • 5x eyeshadows in matte and shimmer finishes including Dive (metallic rose w/golden micro-shimmer), Fix (soft taupe matte), Resist (medium metallic taupe), Dare (medium brown matte), Stun (metallic bronze w/light gold micro-shimmer)
  • Bronzer and blush pans
  • Highlighter / eyeshadow in 5050 (cool bisque satin)

urban-decay-review

On first inspection, I’m really impressed with this set, it’s pretty big, sturdy and heavy. You could probably knock someone out with this bad boy! It’s well packaged and looks expensive. Also the products are all either full size or larger sized minis, so they’ll last for a while, and the shades look great too!

naked-on-the-run

naked-on-the-run-eyeshadow-swatches

So let’s take a look at the eyshadows first. Like I said, on first inspection I thought they looked great, but when swatched I feel like they’re all a bit similar. I know they’re all meant to follow the naked theme, but the two brown matte shades are very similar, as are the brown shimmers. I do love the warmer shimmer shade (Dive) but it would have been nice to see a bit more variation in there – maybe a very dark brown / almost black matte shade? Regardless of the colour, the formula of all the shadows is pretty much top notch, as expected from Urban Decay.

naked-on-the-run-swatches

The bronzer, blush and highlight are next. I’ll be honest, I gave them the benefit of the doubt in the pans, but swatched on my hand, I’m pretty scared of the bronzer and blush! They are BRIGHT! The bronzer also look slightly orange toned, which really puts me off as I know this shade won’t suit my pale skin tone. I’ve now given them a go and the bronzer doesn’t look too bad as long as it’s applied really sparingly, and the same for the blush. The highlight is definitely my favourite of the three, it gives a lovely subtle luminous glow to the skin.

urban-decay-naked-on-the-run-review

And lastly the eyeliner and gloss. The 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Stag is described as a deep brown satin shade, and I have to say I love it. It’s a great alternative to black, and really easy to wear. The formula is spot on (UD eyeliners are one of my favourites) and it lasts all day. The Naked Gloss in Sesso is described as a rose shade with a pink shimmer, and again it’s a super easy to wear sheer colour which will suit most skin tones. If I was being critical I would probably say the gloss isn’t particularly special in any way, it’s just a nice colour.

Overall I do like this palette, but given the chance I probably wouldn’t have bought it now I’ve actually had the chance to try it out. What I’d love to see is a bit more variation, maybe with a a choice of three base palettes, with interchangeable eyeliner and glosses – a kind of build your own set maybe? Also while I’m thinking about it, UD could even make their own mini brushes to go with the set that could live in a pull out drawer under the pans? Just a thought!

I’d love to hear if you have the Naked on the Run Set and what you think of it?

I hope you enjoyed my review xx

My Blogging Goals for 2015

Posted on January 2, 2015

my blogging goals for 2015

Hi Guys!

Well it’s now officially 2015 – Happy New Year! And just like most of us, I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m actually still working on them so I’m going to save them for a separate post of their own (yes there’s a lot) and keep my goals and resolutions specifically for my blog separate. I’ll have actually been blogging for two years in February – seriously where has the time gone!? So I really want to up my game and improve my blog in different ways this year. Here are my plans…

Blog Less. If you don’t know me so well you won’t know that I currently have a part time job, two freelancing roles, a three year old to look after, a husband, a house to run, a pretty much full time blog, and just to top it off I’ve actually been pretty ill too. I’m sure you can imagine that even though I’ve been trying my best, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to fit everything in. I’m pretty much knackered all the time! In the new year I’m plan to start cutting down on the amount of blogging I’m doing so I’ll have more time for other things. Which leads me on to…

Quality over quantity. I’ve been blogging a lot lately, I know. I’ve taken on tons of projects, reviews and collaborations because I thought they’d be ‘good for the blog’, interesting to read about, and also  because I didnt want to miss any opportunities. Some of them really were fantastic, and I’m thankful for every opportunity that comes my way. But I’ve been taking too much on, and even though I had good intentions I now realise that this has affected the quality of my writing and taken me away from writing about other things, just because I haven’t had the time. My aim is for 2015 to start by upping the quality of my posts, whilst reducing the quantity. Hopefully this will make for more interesting reading for you too.

Be more selective with what I take on. One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve gradually been blogging more and more. I started off 2014 writing a couple of posts a week, which then increased to about 4 days a week, then every day, and then right before Christmas I was sometimes posting twice a day to keep up with everything. I don’t want to appear like I’m complaining, this is all of my own doing, but I’ve decided I’m definitely going to be more selective with what I take on from now on. Collaboration and review posts must really be right for me and my blog otherwise it’s going to be a no I’m afraid. I already turn opportunities down because they’re not a good fit for my blog, or just not worth it with some companies just wanting free advertising / competition entries / links (take your pick) for nothing in return. I hope the combination of this selectiveness, increasing the quality of my posts and decreasing the quantity will all come together to take my blog to the next level in 2015.

Write more conversational posts. I know what you’re thinking, I never write conversational posts, this is probably the most conversation you’ve seen from me in a long time, and you’d pretty much be right. I’ve been spending most of my time putting together reviews and similar posts over the last few months, and as much as I do love reviewing products, I really want to mix it up a bit next year. For the few conversational / opinion type posts I’ve written, I’ve had a fantastic response in comments so I know it’s something that people like to read, and interact with. I’m definitely going to put more effort into these in 2015. (There are a couple of posts you might like to take a look at here and here)

Conquer Pinterest! Ahh Pinterest. I signed up not long after I started my blog, and I have the grand total of 151 followers, YAY! Some people have thousands upon thousands, but I’m just completely flummoxed by the site. I started pinning images from my blog, but it didnt seem to make any difference or bring in any more traffic. I just don’t know what I’m doing at all. I need a Pinterest tutorial! Anyone want to show me what I should be doing? Or link me to a post that explains it all? It would be much appreciated!

Instagram. Ok so I do use Instagram, but no where near to its full potential, and word on the street is that Instagram is the new Twitter, so I really want to learn how to maximise my usage of this app. I also have a Samsung phone, which makes it slightly harder as I think the app is slightly different to the iPhone app (I think – is it?) Anyway my photos aren’t too bad, but I need to make better use of hashtags – and learn which ones I should be using – and just be more active on there in general. If anyone has any Insta tips or advice posts please send me the links over!

Perfect my photos. I must firstly say that I do in fact think my photos have come a long way since I started blogging. I originally just used my Samsung Galaxy, which does have a good camera – for a phone – it just didnt have the capability I needed for for the pictures I wanted to take so I upgraded to a ‘proper’ camera. Now I’m used to how my camera works I feel that the only thing holding me back is my lighting situation. At the moment I’m always using natural light – and we all know how much of a pain that is. I do actually have some lights specifically for blogging, but due to the lack of space in my house I haven’t been able to set them up yet. So I guess this is a kind of ‘get your act together’ reminder to 1. Sort out a space, 2. Set my lights up, 3. Practice photography, and 4. Perfect photography. I guess I also need to make time to do all this too!

Blogging Room. As you’ve just read, I have space issues in my house, so I’ve decided I’m going to convert my spare room into the ultimate blogging and beauty mecca! At the moment my spare room has a desk, which is very small, and storage for my makeup, which is great, but there’s also a massive wardrobe in there full of junk, and a chest of drawers that need sorting out. Oh and the floor and every available space is covered in ‘stuff’. I’m going to get rid of everything – bin, sell or giveaway what I can (and I need to be ruthless because I’m a complete hoarder) and kit the room out with some sexy Ikea Alex drawers and a bigger desk, get my lighting set up, and basically get the spare room organised so I can actually use it. My aim is to have this done by the summer. Wish me luck!!

So there you go, it does actually feel pretty good to get this all written down, all this has been swimming around in my head for a while now. I feel like I now have some clear goals and objectives to aim for in 2015!

Have you got any blogging goals for 2015? I hope you enjoyed my post xxx