Beauty and The Beast, I Love You

Cover photo taken by me at Regent Circus Cineworld in Swindon. 

On Saturday night, I went to watch the new Beauty and The Beast film, and oh my god it’s amazing
So, I decided why not dip into the lifestyle side of blogging, which I rarely venture into but I’d like to do more posts like this (it really doesn’t help when you never leave your room).  My life is going to have to start being a little more interesting though! 

We went to Swindon’s Regent Circus Cineworld, which is lovely, and I kid you not I have found my new favourite restaurant.  Coal grill & bar, you are divine. I haven’t eaten as well (or as much, rip my stomach) all year.  I had amazing food.  I went with my mum, dad and brother – as you can imagine, it was hard to persuade my dad and brother to come watch it, probably safe to say they didn’t enjoy it all too much!  For starters, we all shared some nachos, which quite frankly are my one true weakness in life; if I could live off of any form of nachos, I would.  My main was this amazing chargrilled chicken stacked on top of new potatoes with nachos (surprise surprise!), salsa and sour cream on top.  I never usually finish any meals – quite frankly I find eating a chore, but I practically inhaled this.  Chargrilled chicken is so damn good, and I have to have sauces with everything to make it digestible and this just came with it already, made my day.  I’d say if you were going, venture into the more ‘unusual’ areas of the menu which you may not usually go for; Mum got quesadillas but she didn’t really like them, she thought they were a bit boring but the chips were so good – I did try them, and can totally agree! It was more Mexican themed food, which I’m always down for (Mexican & American type foods, e.g. TGI Fridays, are my favourites!), but there was pizza, pasta and burgers too, so loads for everyone.  My desert was divine, I had the ‘Coal Mess’ which was their name for the best Eton Mess I’ve tasted in my entire life.  Now, I’m a bit of a desert fanatic & Eton Mess comes on top as one of my favourites: cream, ice cream, fresh fruit, sauces and mirangue – how can you go wrong? It was amazing, and they present the food so well! I admittedly couldn’t finish it all, having devoured my main course, but I did give it a good stab and got some help from my Mum and brother! 

 

It was so amazing! (That’s the desert I’ve been talking about for the past fifteen minutes, by the way.) 

So, after I felt suitably full (as in quick get me to a dark room where I can sit and be fat and burst out of my jeans full) we headed just across from Coal and into Cineworld. It’s a nice cinema, and we’d booked our tickets online so we didn’t have to buy any, but the man at the doors just scanned the code from my phone, which was really handy! They were playing songs from the movie in the cinema which only escalated my excitement even more (Belle is my favourite Disney princess and her film is the best).  We got sat down and it was pretty comfy, the trailers lasted for ages but then again when don’t they, and then we finally got to the film! 


I started crying halfway through and I did not stop.  I think the man next to me was laughing, but it was just too nice!  A friend had warned me I was going to cry, but Jesus Christ this was titanic levels – I practically flooded myself with tears.  I cry at the Disney film, and I cried at this.  I feel so sorry for the beast when they’re all being horrible to him because he’s so nice! It breaks my heart when all his ‘servants’ are sad for him also, but mostly I cried out of happiness.  Can I just say that Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts, Chip, Plumette and all the other household objects are amazing! How they were made to be so realistic I do not know (some clever person please come teach me about CGI things!).  Lumiere as always remains a favourite character; he reminds me of myself & I just love him! Also, Gaston was amazing, Luke Evans was so well cast: his sideckick LeFou (Josh Gad) is bob on & sounds just like he does in the original.  

Also, not only is Emma Watson the perfect Disney heroine – she can sing? Yes, she can, and she can do it so well! I loved Belles storyline: her love of books (and Romeo and Juliet only my favourite Shakespeare is mentioned at the start of the play and throughout, more on that soon!) and her wit and intelligence just killed me.  The fact that she invents things too, which was rumoured to be part of the storyline a while ago, is so amazing to me.  All her costumes are as perfect as it gets.  My favourite Belle moment has to be when she is teaching one of the little girls in the village, and my favourite song of hers is ‘Bonjour!’ Which is the song that starts the film, and possibly my favourite in the film. 

Okay, so my favourite Belle & Beast moment overall, was when Belle is nursing the Beast back to health in bed after he quite scarily fights off wolves for her and saves her life (this made babies in the cinema cry, which made me want to scream because please shush), and Belle recites a Shakespeare quote and the beast finishes it.  I can’t remember which quote it was and I’ve hunted it down on the internet to no avail.  But it was such a beautiful and unique moment which was really touching of them to put in. 

The film was incredibly musical, which my Mum didn’t enjoy but I loved; I’m such a sucker for Disney songs! So beware, songs have been added but they’re so lovely and left me smiling and crying and I loved it! 

Best thing I’ve watched all year, undoubtedly. 

Soph xx

Beauty UK Review

The lovely team over at Beauty UK have sent me some products to try and review for you guys, and I’ve really loved all of them!  Some of the colours are quite out there, and not necessairly what I’d choose but it’s always really fun to experiment.  It included lots of pink shades, which are perfect for spring but as I’m more of a neutral shades sort of girl, it’s helped to push me out of my comfort zone and try new things (like the hot pink nail polish which I’m absolutely loving!).  Sorry for the constant reviews at the moment guys – I will be getting some more varied posts up soon but for now I’ve been really excited to review all these gorgeous products.

IMG_3826

Starting off with the product I was most excited to receive: the Ultimate Pro Contour Palette.  I’m not good at contouring at all, but I’m very excited to start practising!  This palette has a really wide range of colours, which are both contouring and highlighting ones.  The undertones are quite cool for the contour shades though the very far one has got a slight orange base, which could easily be used to bronze the face.  The shades are highly pigmented and as it is a cream formula they blend really nicely and have flawless application.  I’m sure that after I’ve used this a little more I’ll be able to contour like a very bad pro – the infographic on the back of the packaging is really helpful to let you know where to contour, bronze and highlight and provides useful information on the product.  The packaging is matte black, meaning it could be a magnet for makeup covered finger prints though it can be wiped down easily and it looks very luxury.

IMG_3854

IMG_3860IMG_3859

Next up is another cream product.  I’ve never really ventured into the world of cream face makeup, but I’m really glad I’ve now got some products which are of that nature as they are really versatile and lovely. I was sent a cream blush to review, the Sweet Cheeks cream blush in the shade peachy cream.  This cream blush is easy to blend and has great pigmentation, the colour is perfect for spring and suits a range of skin tones. I’m really pale and it gives me a nice, healthy glow and I imagine it would look lovely in summer with a nice tan (a girl can dream!)

IMG_3845IMG_3835

I was also sent a matte lip cream, which as we all know, are huge in the beauty world and I too have latched onto the trend and purchased a few too many.  My favourite brand is NYX for matte lip creams, though the ones by Beauty UK are quite comparable.  I was sent the Lips Matter matte lip cream in the shade Mauve Your Body, and it really is great.  It dries matte almost instantly and has great pigmentation.  One thing I find with liquid lipstick/matte lip creams is that they can be sticky when dry, but this isn’t, which is always a major plus.  However, I wouldn’t say this is true to shade.  It definitely is not a mauve shade, but more of a hot pink, and I would definitely compare the shade to NYX’s soft matte lip cream in Milan (review here). Whilst it’s still a nice shade and will be lovely for summer when you really want a bold, vibrant pop of pink, it most definitely is not a mauve. The packaging is lovely and really professional looking, I especially love the white banding and writing; it’s very modern.  The applicator is a doe foot style so it fits to the natural shape of your lips nicely allowing even application.

IMG_3848IMG_3830

I was sent a lipgloss, which was a real surprise to receive as I haven’t used one in a long time!  I was never a huge lipgloss lover, I often found them sticky and annoying as my hair would get blown into it and stuck there.  However, when I opened this I was excited to try it out and maybe find a new love for lipgloss?  The lipgloss I was sent was the Glacier Gloss in Peach For The Sky.  This is not a super pigmented shade, but it does give a nice peachy gloss to the lips and is perfect for an everyday wear.  It is very moisturising and isn’t super sticky but still quite sticky and not all smooth on the lips.  The application is nice though and it glides on quite effortlessly.  I adore the packaging – the glossy black lid with the clear top to it is very luxurious and the design process seems to have been very thorough for the lipgloss and all these other products!

IMG_3852IMG_3847

The very last thing I was sent was a nail polish.  Now, I am not a nail guru in any way shape or form and my nails are not nice; they’re usually never painted and are never one length.  If I do wear nail polish I chip it within a day or smudge it; I’m really not very dainty.  However, getting this through the post has inspired me to paint my nails and while I didnt use this exact colour, I used a blue/turquoise/green from Avon, I’m really loving it and so far there’s no damage!  Anyway, onto the nail polish I was sent in the shade Pink Pop.  This is a really bold shade and could make a real statement to an outfit, which I’m all for.  The colour is highly pigmented after a couple of coats on the nail it is fully opaque.  The formula edges a little towards the gloopy side but if you give a good shake to the bottle before you use it, you should be fine.  I look forward to using this colour more and more as we edge into the spring and summer months and I think it’ll be really nice to make an outfit that bit more exciting; nail polish can really finish off a look.

IMG_3850IMG_3844

Finally, here are some swatches of the blush, matte lip and gloss in order!  As you can see, the peachy blush is very soft and delicate (on the very top) and so is the gloss (on the very bottom) but I wouldn’t say that the middle shade is very mauve, as it was described to be.  Nonetheless it is lovely and I will be wearing it lots!

IMG_3861

Have you ever tried some of beauty UK’s cosmetics before? Hope you enjoyed the post and leave any suggetions you have for upcoming posts below as my ideas are fast depleting!

Soph xx

One Lovely Blog Award

My post from my nomination of the one lovely blog award & my nominees for it!

Featured image taken by me of a stream near my house.  

The lovely Alanna from imagalaxygirl nominated me (in a fashion) for the One Lovely Blog Award!  I loved the way she nominated people for this: it was so that if you were a particular like, so say you were the 20th like, and she had said that the 20th like was to be nominated , then you were nominated.  It was really creative, I just explain things atrociously so you’ll have to go check out her post to find out how she did it! Again, thank you to Alanna and I’ll get onto the rules of the award.

Rules:

  • Each nominee must THANK the person who nominated them and link their blog in the post.
  • They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image
  • Must add 7 facts about them.
  • Then nominate 15 people!

 

Image from Alanna’s post here

 

Seven Facts About Me:

In all honesty, there isn’t much to know about me that I don’t think you all know already, so some of these facts are a little weird and random as I’ve had a really hard timing coming up with them!

  1. I am not a very creative person.  That’s right – I may be a blogger but I am the least artistic person I know.  I used to be into writing stories a while ago, and would like to do that a little more sometimes but I always get stuck halfway through, give up and forget about it.  My dream was to be an author when I was a lot younger and first got into reading, but now I’m not at all sure what I’d like to do.  I envy people who can draw well or have a natural gift at writing narrative!
  2. I often indulge in a little retail therapy.  I love shopping, which may or may not be a little sad though I feel like many of you are in the same boat.  Ever since I was younger, one of my favourite activities was to go shopping but back then I’d just raid Disney Store and Claire’s Accessories and waste my money.  Now, I love to shop in Topshop and Hollister mainly.  I actually went shopping last weekend and did some pretty serious damage to my bank account – I consider myself on a spending ban for the rest of the month!
  3. I am really bad at falling asleep on a nighttime.  I find it so hard to fall asleep at night, and then I end up staying awake all night long and waking up in the morning feeling like pure rubbish!  I have improved slightly since I’ve started taking melatonin more often and limiting myself to the time I have on my phone before I go to bed (a quick tip for anyone like me would be to turn the brightness of your phone all the way down and turn night shift on when you’re looking at it in the dark as it is less of a strain on your eyes!)
  4. I’m doing DofE.  That’s right, lazy old me is completing my Duke of Edinburgh award!  I’m at the bronze level, and I was regretting it whilst we were on our ten mile practice walk a couple of weekends ago; the weather was horrible!  It rained the most part, and at one point we were climbing a hill which was really muddy and it started to hail and I fell down the hill! It was a great laugh and I enjoyed being with my friends but it was equally tiring and freezing.  For my physical section I’m doing walking/hiking – I’m not a sporty person so this was an option I felt was good and I can achieve easily on weekends with my family.  My skills section is gardening which is actually more fun than I’d expected and since this is the section I’m doing for 6 months it means I’ll get to enjoy my garden in the summer more.  For volunteering I’m looking to volunteer in some local charity shops and someone got back to me today and arranged a meeting on Saturday which I’m slightly nervous for but all in all everything is turning out pretty good!
  5. I still play Pokemon Go.  Yep, I’m that guy!  I got hooked when it first came out and although I don’t leave my bedroom very often (living a really fun reclusive life if any of you were wondering) to go catch pokemon, I do enjoy it whilst I’m out and about!  I’m a level sixteen now & I have caught some pretty decent pokemon – I still have a small moment of joy when I see a pikachu!  It may be sad, but I’m not giving up on it any time soon!  Do any of you still play it or am I alone in this game?
  6. One of my biggest obsessions (aside from cats!) is makeup.  Like you couldn’t have guessed this, I’m a bit of a makeup fanatic.  I have a whole dressing table drawer brimming with the stuff, and it never stops growing!  I’m thinking of maybe buying the Alex Drawers from ikea in their five set to store some of my makeup in, as I don’t think I’ll ever collect enough to fill the nine drawers but I reckon that five full drawers is pretty achievable!
  7. I would love to travel when I’m older.  The idea of continuing school after college and going on to get a more ‘professional’ job like a doctor or a vet really doesn’t appeal to me.  I haven’t actually got a single clue what I would like to do after college, but I’m 99% sure it’s not going to be university.  I’d love to travel, and I’m always so inspired by Charlotte from CHARLOTTE J.  She’s travelling solo at the moment and I would love to do something like that!  The place at the top of my list is Iceland to see the northern lights and go in the lagoons, though I’d also love to go backpacking around Europe and try to visit as many of the cities as I can.  The one place I’d really love to go is Italy, because as of this far in my fourteen years I’ve never been!

  My Nominees:

  1. Charlotte from CHARLOTTE J
  2. Harriet from Harriet Day
  3. Jess from Sunshine and Teacups
  4. Naomi from Withlovenaomi
  5. Najida from The Average Gurl
  6. Jules from Blonde’s Tea
  7. PaleGirlRambling

I only have seven nominations for this post, and of course I can understand that blog award posts become slightly tedious – do not worry, I won’t be offended if you don’t post it!

Soph xx

 

 

Technic Makeup Review

Technic is a brand I love and have worked with before in this post, so when they offered to send me out some more of their amazing products to try I was really excited to say yes! I’m really excited to review all the products for you, and if you’d like to see these used in a makeup tutorial on my blog soon then make sure to leave a comment so I know you’ll want to see that. I’ve really loved using this makeup over the past few days and I hope you’ll all enjoy hearing about them.

img_3997

Starting with my absolute favourite; Mega Lash Mascara!  I first saw this mascara and thought, oh my god, the packaging.  It’s matte black and has silver, bold writing.  It sticks out in my makeup collection and looks so pretty.  The brush is so amazing, it’s really thick and chunky but has lots and lots of tiny bristles all over it which hook your eyelashes and ensure every single one is coated jet black. It gives length to the lashes, all the while creating a beautiful, glamorous, voluminous look.  I think this has become a definite staple in my collection when I want voluminous eyelashes without compromising on the quality of a product; this doesn’t go clumpy, doesn’t make my eyelashes stick together and it never makes them feel heavy, which I feel can sometimes be a bit of a downside to these sorts of mascaras.  Mega Lash ticks all the right boxes!

img_4009-3

Up next  is something I was really intrigued about, the Brow Pen.  This is in the shade medium brown, which is actually quite dark, my eyebrows are dark brown and this matched pretty well.  it’s confusing, as it’s a felt pen sort of a nib, so replicates an eyeliner, except the actual tip isn’t flexible and has quite a flat shape to it.  It’s very fluid though, and does an excellent job at defining my eyebrows and giving them structure – it’s easy to create precise hair lines making this ideal for filling in sparse brows.  It does seem to last a long time, the formula actually reminds me of a lip stain or something of a similar longevity.  I really love how thin it is as it’s really comfortable to hold and the packaging is very aesthetically pleasing.  My only downside is that this smells quite alcohol like and therefore could be irritating to some people.

img_4003-1

Next up is something I’ve been sent by Technic before, but it was received with open arms! I adore this Get Gorgeous Highlighter and since I have a duplicate of it now I shall be giving it to my Mum as she also really likes it and often pinches mine!  It’s a gorgeous bronze shade, which is very out there for a highlighter in my view – I’m not yet fully confident with wearing such bold highlight!  However, it will look gorgeous in summer and give a lovely bronzed glow to the cheekbones, and could easily be used as an eyeshadow as this has insane pigmentation (swatches to follow!).  The product in the pan is very luxurious, arranged in varying swirls, it looks really impressive!

img_4006-3

The next product that Technic sent was their eyeshadow primer which is specially formulated for use with shimmer eyeshadows.  This is really good, and I honestly didn’t expect it to be.  I was thinking along the lines of creasing and not working, or just sitting on the lid awkwardly like a weird liquid eyeshadow but it actually creates a really nice, tacky base for applying eyeshadow to.  Plus, it’s pearly pink shade looks really nice underneath lighter shaded eyeshadows, and you can’t even notice it under darker ones.  It definitely helps eyeshadow to stay on longer.  The packaging is again very attractive – well done Technic on the packaging front, it’s gorgeous!  Again, my only downside would be the slight alcoholic scent to this which isn’t ideal considering it’s going around the eyes.

img_4010-3

Finally, I was sent the colour correcting loose powder.  Now, the first thing I do whenever I get a loose powder is I smell it – weird, I know, but you’ll see why.  I hate it when they smell like flowers and old ladies, it really puts me off.  Guess what? This one doesn’t!  Plus, it’s actually so amazing!  It’s not too full coverage but because it has a yellowy tone to it, it really helps to calm and cover some of my mild redness, and it’s really good at absorbing oils and keeping you matte all day. It’s super finely milled so it creates an airbrushed, flawless finish to the face when it’s on.  I really love this, and while it wont ever take over my beloved Rimmel Stay Matte, it’s a close competitor!

img_4004-2

And finally, for the swatches.  From top to bottom we have the eyeshadow primer, the brow pen and then the get gorgeous highlighter.  Let’s applaud my artistic skills in drawing that abysmal love heart!

img_4005-3

You can find Technic’s products over on Love Thy Makeup, but they also sell on amazon!

Have you ever tried any makeup from Technic?  What did you make of it?

Soph xx

 

Blog Awards

A couple of blog awards I’ve recently been nominated for!

Featured image taken by me: Tribute wall of tiles dedicated to aids in Bournemouth.  I thought it was really creative.  

I’m dropping you in an extra post this week, you’ll (maybe?) be pleased to hear!  I didn’t think that a post such as blog awards constituted for a Saturday/Wednesday post however I really wanted to do this and I’m going to start doing the blog awards which I do receive during the week as extra posts instead of being lazy and ignoring them as I always do – I think they’re really positive ways to express your admiration of a blog and get blogs you value noticed by others.

The lovely Chloe from Marble Beauty nominated me for two blogger awards, which I am extremely grateful for!  Chloe’s blog is one I love so much – she’s incredibly active and posts quality content literally every day.  You really do need to go follow her, I guarantee you’ll love her posts just as much as I do.  I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award and the Versatile Blogger Award.  Like Chloe, I’ll be leaving my nominees for both awards at the end of the post so make sure to stay tuned!

The Mystery Blogger Award

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominator.
  • Nominate 10 or more people
  • Notify your nominees by leaving the nomination link in the “comments” of their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (specify)

The creator of this award is OkotoEnigma.

Three Things About Myself:

  1. I used to really love reading when I was younger (like 10,11,12 years old) and would devour a book in a day.  I never really read much anymore, unless I’m on holiday when I can finish a good ten books in a week!  I’d love to get back into reading though, but I read in school and it’s so boring there so I’m never in the mood to do it at home.
  2. I love more literary subjects at school like English or History.  My brain is definitely not mathematically or logically minded; I’m horrible at chemistry, maths and physics but I can do biology and actually really enjoy it.
  3. I like to think I’m a tidy, organised person and a bit of a neat freak but in reality I’m such a mess and that definitely reflects in the state of my bedroom!

Questions From Marble Beauty:

  1. What is your all time favourite makeup item? – I absolutely adore mascara and couldn’t live without it, my favourite has to be Benefit’s Roller Lash.
  2. Best holiday you ever went on? – My favourite holiday has to be my two and a half weeks I spent in the south of France in 2015 in the French Riviera.  We went to St. Tropez, and visited lots of rivers which I swam in (they were pretty chilly but it was warm when you got out, so it was fine).  My favourite place has to be Pont Du Gard in Avingon area, it was so lovely and swimming in it was amazing – there were lots of little fish and the water was so warm.  Plus, the supermarkets in Avingon are insane, they’re great all over France actually.  Hopefully we’ll be going back when I’ve finished my GCSEs!
  3. Favourite way to spend your free time? – This sounds like a question from my recent French speaking exam! I usually like to cosy up in my bed or on the sofa with my laptop and phone and just browse the internet and maybe play some Sims which is my complete obsession.  I usually have chocolate with me too, my diet is just shocking!
  4. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose? – I have two cats, whom I love so dearly and couldn’t live without.  Cats are my favourite animal, but I wont be classic crazy cat lady and answer this question with ‘more cats’.  I’d actually really love a tiger for a pet, they look so fluffy and cuddly, although I’m sure they’d probably rip my face off!
  5. What are your top 3 staple clothing items? – I’d probably say black joni jeans from Topshop, I wear these literally all the time.  Then a light jacket, such as one I’ve been really loving from Hollister recently – it’s khaki and goes with almost everything.  Finally, I’d say white converse – I wear these with pretty much every outfit and they always go!  I’m so basic haha!

My Questions:

  1. What are you wearing?
  2. What is your ultimate comfort food?
  3. Which song reminds you of a holiday?
  4. When was the last time you went shopping?
  5. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

 

Versatile Blogger Award

Again, this nomination came from Marble Beauty!

The Rules:

  • You have to thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog!
  • Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice.
  • Link the nominees and inform them about their nomination.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself (being truthful!)

My Facts:

  1. I don’t clean my makeup brushes and tools anywhere near as often as I should.  I can see them now and they really need a clean!
  2. I’m absolutely addicted to Ed Sheeran’s new album, Divide.  It’s playing right now, and my favourite song has to be ‘What do I know?’ or ‘Nancy Mulligan’ – I especially think Nancy Mulligan is so sweet as it’s about his grandfather, William, and Nancy is his grandmother!
  3. I’m the biggest procrastinator that you’ll find! All my homework is left until the very last minute, e.g 10:30pm the night before it’s due, or at lunch on the same day it’s due.  However, I do sometimes  have extremely productive days, which can be odd and quite disconcerting!
  4. I’m a big person in writing things down!  My desk cupboards are filled with beautiful, half filled notebooks of random ideas.  The thing is, I never finish them and I still buy more.  I have enough to sink a ship!
  5. My favourite country I’ve been to has to be France, and I would really love to visit Australia and the Maldives.
  6. When I’m older I honestly have no clue what I want to do for a job, but I was thinking about doing biology A-Level.  I know I don’t want to go to uni, and I’d love to work with animals.
  7. I really don’t want children, they annoy the hell out of me and I don’t think I could stand having any!

 

My Nominees For Both Awards:

  1. Alanna 
  2. Elin
  3. Amelia
  4. Madi
  5. Tash

I only nominated five, but of course if you’d like to do one of these awards feel free – you’re all nominated!

Soph xx

 

My Top Tips For New Bloggers

I’ve been a blogger for two years plus now, and my blog is definitely not the greatest, although I feel like I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way to make blogging easier, some which I really wish I’d known earlier.  I also have some general advice that probably stands for every single blogger.  So here it all is, compiled into one, huge messy post which may or may not help you.

my-top-tips-for-new-bloggers

1. Always Check Your Posts

Before you post something, make sure to read it over, even if only skimming.  It’s important to know what you’ve written, and try read it from a viewers perspective.  Is it engaging and down to earth, do you think the reader will enjoy reading it?  Of course, only ever post what you want to post and post which reflect you, but make sure they’re interesting and you’re passionate about whatever you’re talking about; from a book, to a lipstick to poetry or even current news in the world, always be passionate.  Also, spellcheck before you post!  Spellings are really important, as not only do they infuriate the common grammar police when they’re reading, but they make your blog seem unprofessional.  We’re all humans and we all make mistakes but they can be rectified due to the lovely internet, it’s red squiggly lines and your best friend the spellcheck button.

2. Be Active With Other Bloggers

You can’t expect to grow your blog and have people who want to visit it unless you interact with other bloggers.  I always check out lots of blogs in the comments of other peoples posts, like and comment on some posts and if I like what I see, I follow them.  You can do this on wordpress pretty easily, and platforms such as Bloglovin’ (which you really should get right now) allow you to easily interact with blogs from blogspot or ones which have their own domains.  Some of these people are going to come back to your blog and check it out, maybe even give you a follow.  You shouldn’t beg for them to come follow you in comments, as this genuinely can be annoying, however a ‘I really enjoyed this post & would love for you to check out my blog!’ isn’t going to be too annoying – I know I don’t find these sorts of comments annoying as I like to help blogs grow, but it varies from blogger to blogger.

3. Social Media Is Your Friend

really wish I had known this sooner, because it was only at the one year mark when I got twitter, and even more recently Instagram.  Personally, I prefer twitter for promoting my blog and interacting with other bloggers but Instagram is great for discovering other blogs.  Twitter is my main social media, and I love it because you really can get good engagement from there.  Promotion accounts are great and I’d really encourage that you used them (I love @thebloggershub_) and hashtags such as #bblogger, #lblogger or #fblogger, can be really useful for finding blogs and having people discover yours.  The hashtag #PRrequest is also great for finding brands to work with, which will make your blog seem a lot more professional, and lets be honest, it’s just too exciting when you get free stuff!  I’m going to plug myself now, because how can I not, so follow me on twitter here and Instagram here.

4. Don’t Compare Your Blog To Anyone Else’s

This literally can be so damaging.  I used to compare myself to people with 100 followers, back when I only had about ten.  I try not to compare myself to anyone now, because someone is always going to be more successful than you and you can’t change that, but you can grow your blog and improve it.  If you love the way someone takes pictures, learn from it and try improve yours! Find somewhere which has good lighting, search for good editing software and apps, and get inspiration from places like Pinterest!  You can always improve, learning from other people’s blogs instead of comparing yourself to them is so much more constructive.

5. Photography Is Key

Having nice looking pictures on your blog is something that I think really matters.  As people, we like to look at things and make split second decisions as to whether we’re going to take the time to look at something, and I think this choice is greatly influenced by pictures; if they look nice and Instagram worthy, if they’re eye catching and show something we want to see – all this tells us if we’re going to click something.  Therefore, you should make your images as good as possible in order for people to want to click something.  If your pictures are dark and hazy and grainy, nobody will want to look at it but if it’s bright and airy with a flawless white background, or bold and exciting, chances are people will want to see what you’ve got to say.  It doesn’t take much to make a nice photo, and don’t put me up there as the queen of photography because as we all know, I’m pretty shit, but all you need is a decent camera on your phone.  You don’t need to have a really huge canon DSLR camera and studio lights, your phone camera will do fine.  Some great editing apps are VSCO, or the editing features within Instagram.  I usually use my IPhone 6 to take pictures, or a larger canon camera which I have.  You need some basic props which you more than likely have or can get really cheaply, and this post outlines some of my favourites, all the while giving some great advice on photography.

I hope these tips were useful to you, what tricks and tips do you know of which I haven’t included?

Soph xx

 

February Favourites

I feel like I haven’t blogged in a while which is probably true as I have missed a week, but it was my first week back at school and I had lots of tests and quizzes (all of which I did okay on, even getting an A in Chemistry which is my weakest subject so I was so happy with that!).  I should be back into the swing of things after this week, as I sit my Food Technology GCSE on the very day you are reading this – in fact, I will have done it by the time this is posted.  I can’t wait to have it over and done with and I really hope I can achieve the merit or better still distinction I am hoping for.

Onto the actual post, I’m coming at you with a February favourites and what I’ve been loving in this month.  I’m not sure how everyone feels about favourites posts – I feel like they can end up all too common at the end of the month, every man and his dog are doing them and your readers are littered with very similar posts.  Nonetheless, they can always be interesting to see what someone has been loving! Make sure to tell me in the comments if favourites posts are something you’d like to see more often.

img_3990

So, first off I’ll start with makeup products.  There isn’t too much here but definitely some things I have really been enjoying!  First up is the NYX Lip Lingerie in the shade ruffle trim.  This is a more recent purchase which I bought in Bournemouth at the weekend, but i have been wearing it ever since and it is becoming a staple in my lip collection!  It’s a very natural colour, a dark pinky-mauve-nude and I will say one thing; it is very, very matte.  And with extremely matte things not only comes a gorgeous look but insane dryness of the lips.  I try not to use this too often just because it does in fact make my lips feel like the Sahara desert (a good lip balm is very necessary – I reviewed these ones the other week which I’ve been using and they’re great!) however I’m willing to sacrifice my lips to it because it’s so damn pretty!  The formula dries matte very fast and is very lightweight so not noticeable at all apart from if you smack your lips together, which is when it can be quite sticky.  The applicator is long and quite thin which makes it relatively hard to apply, unlike a doe foot applicator, however it is still rather easy.

img_3991

Then I have this lipstick from Jack Wills which I got for Christmas from a friend but have just recently started to use as it is a very pink-nude spring time colour and although right now the UK is not screaming spring (thanks Doris for ruining my week!), I for one cannot wait for warmer weather, which naturally I reflect in my lipstick taste!  It’s very moisturising and the colour payoff is lovely – it does tend to look bad on chapped lips so do make sure they’re treated with lip balm for a few days before you wear this.  The packaging is a matte navy with silver accents which I think is very chic and appropriate for Jack Wills.

img_3994

Last is not a lip product but actually an eyebrow gel by Pixi.  I never before realised just how crucial an eyebrow gel can be in your makeup routine until I got this in my M&S beauty calendar and have used it ever since.  I think it really polishes off a makeup look, and the copper lettering on it (although it has slightly worn off now) is absolutely gorgeous.img_3993

Next up is skincare.  I’ve recently been using the Neutrogena grapefruit face wash and not only is the bottle very aesthetically pleasing, the product is amazing!  The scent really wakes you up on a morning, but isn’t strong enough to irritate even the driest, most sensitive skin (aka mine).  It makes your skin feel very soft and super clean!  I’ve also been using the Superdrug hydrating face mask which you can see my review on here , but it has totally been my skin saviour during these freezing storms we’ve been having.

img_3988

img_3987.jpg

Next up is the Garnier Micellar Water which I’ve re-purchased and been using again.  I cannot get over how amazing this product is, it’s hyped up in the beauty world for such a good reason – it hydrated your skin whilst literally removing makeup with one stroke.  It’s such a miracle product, everyone needs this in their skincare routine.

In my apparent hunt for spring, I’ve been loving fresh, fruity scents.  I’ve been using the body sprays from hollister more and more often than usual this month and one which I often use is Pallisade Beach.  This smells so fruity and tropical, very reminiscent of summer for me!  I always have one in my school bag and a couple at home and I seem to go through these like wildfire – it’s a good job that hollister have offers of 3 for 2 on them more than often.

img_3996.jpg

Last but not least is my diary. I got this for Christmas and have loved using it to help me organise my week and all the homework I have.  I think that especially for GCSE students, a diary is essential.  My school uses an online homework facility but as great as it is for accessing it anywhere and a good functioning tick list system, it never keeps me fully organised.  I love to use my diary to plan every aspect of my week, from school work to blog posts to what I’m doing at the weekend.  I’ve also included a picture of what a typical weekly spread in my diary might look like, although it’s not super artistic like some you see!

Hope you enjoyed this post – do we have any of the same favourites this month?  Sorry about the appalling pictures, it was dark when I took them and that was the only free slot of time I had to write and produce this post.  I’ll update them by the weekend when I’ve got much more free time!  Wish me luck on my GCSE, lets hope it went ok!

Soph xx

My Holy Grail Face Mask

My skin is naturally quite dry, but certain factors can make it a lot drier; cold weather being the main one, which is why I’m looking forward to summer so much!  As you can imagine, the UK in February isn’t exactly boiling so my skin tends to get a lot drier, especially if I’m trying out any new skincare products which my face might disagree with a little.  At this point, I pull out my favourite face mask to tend to the issue.

The Superdrug Vitamin E Moisture Mask is amazing, and at only £2.95 it’s a total bargain.  I love everything about this mask, from the packaging to the way it makes your skin so soft and moisturised.  This mask just really does it for me.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Starting with the actual application of the mask, it at first had me a little confused: it says to massage it onto a cleansed, dry face and allow it 10-15 minutes to quench the skin, patting the remaining residue off with a tissue.  I decided I didn’t like those rules, so adapted it a little to meet my needs.  I apply it either quite thinly as a normal face mask or a little thicker and let it sit on my skin for as long as I can keep it on for (usually ends up being about an hour because I literally have nothing to do with my life other than sit with face masks on and stare at a computer screen) and then I tend to just wash it off or wipe away any of the residue with micellar water.  It does absorb really nicely into the skin and leaves it feeling so soft and supple and left my complexion looking so glowy and fresh.  It doesn’t have a super thick or super thin formula so it moisturises amazingly without clogging up your skin, making it oily or feel heavy.  It smells really nice but isn’t so scented that it will irritate your skin.

I love the packaging, it’s really sleek and the actual size of the product makes it nice and travel friendly – I use this a good three times a week so I’d need it if I were to be away from home!  It’s great value as a little definitely goes a long way so it will last for ages; I’m sure you could get at least ten masks out of this which is amazing for £2.95!  Superdrug also have a de-stressing aloe vera mud mask and a cucumber peel off mask that I’d love to try out and intend on doing so, if they’re anything like this one I’m sure I’ll love it!

Soph xx

T-Zone Nose Pore Strips Review

I love sharing products with you guys that I’ve found which I think are really good, and it occurred to me that I don’t ever really share anything I don’t really like.  I decided to bring you a quick extra post explaining why I don’t like the T-Zone Nose Pore Strips.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I purchased these for £3.00 whilst in Tesco, and I was excited to try them as I thought I’d potentially found a really good budget beauty product which I was looking to incorporate into my routine.  I have pretty dry skin, and because these seemed a little more ‘natural’, what with the tea tree & witch hazel ingredients, I thought they’d be nice and gentle unlike other nose pore strips I’d read about.

These did nothing other than dry out my already dry skin!  They barely stuck down to my nose at first, so it was a real task trying to get that to happen and when it finally did it still kept peeling away at the edges.  It didn’t feel like it was doing anything at any stage, and when I lifted it off (after much struggling over the bridge of my nose, it was practically glued on) it hadn’t removed any of the dirt and oil it claimed to remove.  All it did was make my nose look red and the skin on and around it feel dry and tight for the rest of the week.  I have actually found an amazing face mask from superdrug which is curing this dryness but it was really annoying to find this happen.

There’s not very much I liked about these, considering they didn’t do much for me.  They smell quite nice and clean and fresh which was nice and the packaging seemed quite luxurious for the price with each strip being individually wrapped in it’s own packet.  That was a nice touch.  The shape of the strips themselves fit quite comfortably on my nose

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Overall, these nose pore strips are good value however they don’t really do much – I’ll be trying some more soon from brands I’ve heard great things about so make sure to follow me on twitter here to keep up with how I got on with those.  I wouldn’t recommend these, though if any of you have had more positive experiences with them then I’d love to hear about it in the comments.  Maybe they work better on oilier skin?

I hope you enjoyed hearing a more negative opinion on something on my blog for once and enjoyed this sneaky extra post – I’m on my half term so I’ll be posting a little more frequently this week.

Also, a quick thing to ask you guys very kindly if you’d nominate me in the teen blogger awards which you can do here.  Of course you should also go and nominate all your other favourite teen bloggers (13-19), I know I have!

Soph xx

Lypsyl Valentines Day Lip Balms

img_3850

With Valentines day coming up, what better time than to grab an amazing lip balm which not only smells divine but does an amazing job! Lypsyl have very kindly sent me their new valentines releases – two beautiful lip balms perfect for Valentines day!  The first, ‘Uplifting strawberry and pomegranate’ is the one I’m going to talk about now, and I’ll do the next one later in the post.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Strawberry and pomegranate is the most amazing scent combination which is fruity and fun and always remains smelling great, even whilst it’s on your lips!  As soon as you pull off the lid you get a sniff of this scent, which I personally love however I imagine some who are not into very strong scents don’t.  It does remind me a lot of spring and summer, which makes me very excited for the upcoming seasons.  The packaging is a pretty reddish pink colour, again perfect for Valentines day.

“Who needs Cupid when you have Lypsyl’s luxurious lip balms? Pucker up with Lypsyl’s uplifting Strawberry and Pomegranate, your smooth and soft lips will be the perfect gift for your Valentine’s date.”

This lip balm also contains SPF15, which is very important all year round as our lips can get burnt and using a nice, protective lip balm can obviously help that not happen!  It is made with aloe vera, vitamin E and avocado oil which does all sorts of wonderful for your lips.  This lip balm is intensely moisturising, which of course is perfect for February as it is very cold – I’ve been putting lip balms to the test recently and cannot wait to fully try these out and battle them against the elements.  The packaging is also really sturdy and compact, which is perfect to grab and throw in your handbag before you leave the house.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The cherry and almond lip balm has a slightly more subtle fragrance but nonetheless still smells wonderful.  It is a much more natural scent for anyone who doesn’t like super fruity scented things, and personally I much prefer the darker red colouring of this lip balm and think it is much more suited to Valentines day.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, Lypsyl Cherry and Almond will revitalise you! The delicately scented SPF lip balm will gently hydrate and soothe your lips for an ultra-kissable pout.”

As with the other lip balm, this is too made with SPF15 and contains aloe vera, vitamin E and avocado oil.  I do find this one slightly more moisturising, and whether or not that is down to the almond part of it I do not know, however it does seem a lot more moisturising.  Again, the packaging is really nice and sturdy whilst still being small enough to put anywhere for maximum convenience.  I think this is a great lip balm and they’ve totally convinced me to rekindle the love I had for Lypsyl’s products way back in primary school; does anyone remember the lip balm they had that was raspberry scented or something and was a purple colour and used to smell (and taste!) divine?  Everyone had one of these I seem to remember!

Neither of these lip balms are tinted, so they sit on the lips really nicely and lightly, you hardly notice they’re there.  They also don’t have the nasty tingling sensation that some others do.

You can buy Strawberry And Pomegranate from here , for only £1.89 along with Cherry And Almond here.  I’d really recommend picking one of these up if you’re looking for an affordable, super moisturising and great smelling lip balm to make your lips ultra soft for Valentines day!

Soph xx

This post contains PR Samples