Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Favourites

So it's finally time to type up the post I look forward to the most each month; my monthly favourites. I love to compile a list of favourites whether they are beauty based, fashion based or even lifestyle based. So without further ado, I'm going to start with my beauty and skincare loves of March.

Before this month I had never jumped on the Soap & Glory bandwagon, I figured their products were probably not up to the hype. Anyway, for quite some time I've had issues with my pores being to open and clogged so when I came across The Fab Pore range I decided that it was about time I gave the brand a chance. The first product that caught my eye was actually the 2-in-1 Facial Mask & Peel which needs to be left on for twenty-five minutes. I loved the fresh feeling that it gave me once it was washed away, it's actually an exfoliating product as well as a mask which worked for me because I was in need of a good deep cleanse. As more of an everyday product I purchased The Fab Pore Daily Micro Smoothing Moisture Lotion which did the job that my Garnier Skin Perfection Day Cream usually does so I'm very pleased about that. I also got the No Clogs Allowed Super Self Heating Deep Pore Detox Mask which, if left for five minutes, brings out impurities in the skin and for the most part unclogs pores. Suffice to say I was very pleased with Soap & Glory, you go Soap & Glory! (Mean Girls? You go Glen Coco!)

I was sent the Insta Natural Hyaluronic Acid Serum in February and, whilst I wasn't keen on it at first, it's something that's wormed its way into my favourites post. During the colder months it's important to keep your skin hydrated which is exactly what this has done for me, I've been wearing it under makeup to avoid letting my skin getting dry. Something else that I've been sent is the Zuka Eye Zone Intensive Repair Balm which is a product I chose out for my under eye shadows, it's certainly helped perk me up after long days at my new job.

This month I've also been really into bath bombs which is unusual for me because I don't usually like to have scented baths or anything that could possibly damage my hair. My absolute favourite at the moment is the Sweet Cherry Pie bath bomb from Bomb Cosmetics; it smells amazing, leaves the water a slightly rosy tint and doesn't make my hair feel bad if it gets touched by the water. 

Another staple item this month has had to be dry shampoo, it sounds gross but I just haven't had the time to wash my hair every night as I had when I wasn't working. Instead I have still bathed but kept my hair up and refreshed it with either the Blush or the Tropical Batiste Dry Shampoo. I've alternated between the two because I like my hair to change in scent and both of them smell divine! Before this month I had been using the Fudge Urban Dry Shampoo which, whilst it also smells amazing, it didn't quite work out as well as the Batiste. It didn't rub in as easily as the Batiste and a few times that I wore it I spotted that I hadn't quite disguised it as well as it could have been. Also, the Urban Fudge stuff comes in a much smaller tin and doesn't last longer so you really get more value for money with Batiste.

For as long as I can remember I've loved The Little Mermaid, in fact, it's my all time favourite Disney movie so when I came across this t-shirt in Primark I couldn't help myself. It's an adorable design and I loved lounging around in it during the weekend; the material is lightweight, it's a baggy design and it's easily paired with pretty much any trousers. I also love the rolled up short sleeves, it just added to the casual style of the tee so I didn't really need to do it myself, I bet this would be great to wear in the summer. Primark does have quite a cute range of t-shirts adorned with slogans, cartoons and logos... I saw a few Harry Potter t-shirts that I have my eye on for next payday including a varsity jersey styled tee with Hogwarts written across it. This just proves that you don't need to break the bank to buy cute tees, nice try pricey fandom design sites! 

Last but certainly not least is the vinyl that I saw last month in HMV but couldn't afford. It's the My Chemical Romance May Death Never Stop You album which is their greatest hits collection from the start of the band (including demos) to the end in 2013. I was determined to buy this, anyone will tell you how crazy I got over it, I was so ill when I went out to buy it but I really wanted it so... Here it is. In my bedroom. Playing as I type this up. Best £30 spent of the year, even if the staff did look at me a bit funny when I brought it up to the till. I'll probably invest in more vinyl over the course of the year so this won't be the last favourites post featuring my turntable. The sound system is amazing!

Anyway, these are my March Favourites and I'm sure I'll end up switching things up before my April post but, hey, I'm only human.

Monday, 30 March 2015

The Button Front Skirt Trend Ft. Nicola Da Rita (PerfectPeonies)

Hello again! After Nicola from Perfect Peonies and I enjoyed our last collaboration (Beauty Q & A) so much we immediately set on to write another, we have decided to do a few collaborations over the span of the year so I look forward to seeing what we can create together. 

Last time we collaborated I received the most adorable 'Thank You' card not long after the post went live along with a Tarte blush sample so, yeah, Nicola is a lovely blogger! I really recommend that you check out her blog because she's really good at what she does and she has some fantastic content up on there. 

This is going to be in the same format as the last one, my text will be in the usual colour and Nicola will have her text in grey.

I am so excited to be doing another collaboration with Aymie today. We are going to be talking about a fashion trend here and then over on my blog (Perfect Peonies) we are going to be chatting about a hair trend. Also next month myself and Aymie have a really cool Emma Stone tutorial collab going up so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Anyway, since we decided that we would post a beauty trend on hers and a fashion trend on mine I chose the topic for this post. I've seen button front skirts all over the place and I've admired from afar until now because I wasn't so sure whether or not I liked them, this collab has given me an excuse to sort of assess them in a way before investing in one.

Essentially the button front skirt is an investment piece, it's very much like denim shorts or jeans in the way that you can wear one with just about anything. You can get button front skirts short in length or mid length but I personally prefer the shorter style because it's actually quite a flattering item to wear. A button front skirt doesn't have to be denim either, you can get them in cord, suede, leather or even cotton depending on the style and design. The denim ones are my favourite though because it's a way of wearing a skirt without looking to over the top and girly, the versatility of a button front skirt is just so useful for those of us who sleep in and don't have time to co-ordinate an outfit. 

I will definitely be investing in a denim button front skirt next pay day, I just need to work up the confidence bare my legs for the first time this year. I guess it just depends on the weather and how things play out but I could also wear a button front skirt with tights if I really wanted to. As an example I've found the ASOS PETITE Button Front Mini Skirt because it's exactly what I've been talking about, notice how casual the look can be? I love it.

Ok so the button front skirt, I actually think they are really cute. Personally though I don't think they would suite me. I am only 5'3 and very petite so a lot of skirts and dresses drown me. I m also a lot smaller on top than I am down bottom so it think the buttons may accentuate my bottom half too much. I think though paired with some heels for a more dressy look or with converse for a casual look they are great. If I were to wear one I would go for a plain colour to really show off the feature of the buttons. All in all I would say if you are any taller than me they will look great, just be wary if you are petite because you may look like you wearing your mums clothes.

Thanks for reading our collaboration, there should be up on Perfect Peonies to do with the long bob at some point soon so keep any eye out for that!

Vanessa Hudgens Inspired Wishlist

So it's that time of the week again and the next installment of my Celeb Inspired Wishlist series is here, this week it's inspired by Vanessa Hudgens. Last weeks wishlist was based on the cute and trendy style of Taylor Swift, it was a little different to what I usually go for but I still enjoyed creating it. 

To create Vanessa's hairstyle I would really just play about with my natural hair texture and use a little product. Her hair tends to be in very boho sort of tousled waves, which I love, and it usually looks really done up yet still effortless. Since I have naturally wavy hair I would use some Fudge Urban Sea Salt Spray to enhance my natural texture. For those of you who have naturally straight hair I would add some of the Got2b 2 Sexy Big Volume Mousse whilst your hair is still damp after washing and scrunch the hair as it air dries.

As for makeup, as usual I'm not going to create a whole makeup look but I, personally, would focus on her bronzed complexion and use The Balm Betty Lou Manizer Bronzer/shadow. It's very fresh and shimmery so it should give you a really healthy looking summery glow, alternatively you could go for a cheaper product but I just really love this one for its consistency and ease of application.

The Embroidered Frayed Hem Playsuit is something I could really see Vanessa going for during festival season, she would probably style it with some cute wedges and a kimono. The beauty of this item comes from its simplicity, it's fairly plain apart from the embroidery so it can be dressed up or down really easily. Vanessa has quite a boho chic look anyway but it really comes together during festival season, this piece is ideal for that because it's such a laid back take on the boho/hippie style. Despite its black colouring it's ideal for the hot and humid festival weather due to the fact that it's such a lightweight material. At the same time it would also look fantastic with some cowboy style boots for if it rains. Taking that idea further, you could really play on the Western style with reddish brown cowboy boots and perhaps a denim jacket with embroidered designs on the shoulders of the jacket.

The Spiritual Hippie Maxi Kimono With Aztec Festival Print is another item I think Vanessa would love. I have a feeling she would style it with denim shorts and a crochet bralet or crop-top, I'm fairly certain I've seen her create a similar style for herself. It's a really easy look to recreate and you can do it in a number of different ways, you could switch up the look just by changing the colour of your crochet top or wear coloured denim shorts instead. This item could even just be worn as a dress due to its wrap around design and drawstring waist, in this way it can really highlight your legs as it gives off a sexy thigh-high split sort of look. It's also perfect for lazing around abroad near a pool, you could just wear a bikini underneath and simply wrap it around you when you want to venture elsewhere. In terms of accessories you could go really simple and just get a black fringed bag, just like the one in the site image, which would be ideal for this sort of look. Fringed bags are on sale at a lot of places so you could really just get one from anywhere. It could be staple item for summer!

I don't usually add in jewelry to to the mix but I couldn't resist when I found this ASOS Boho Stone Cuff Bracelet, it's just beautiful and it would tie in with Vanessa's festival style really easily. You could wear this on one wrist and stack up cute beaded bracelets in blue and grey on the other wrist. I just really love the frosted metal vibe on this piece, it makes it look less shiny and new as well as giving it a vintage essence. The jewels are really nice colours too, they are jade green/blue shades so they can even add a tiny colour accent to a black or white outfit. It's a pretty effortless way of dressing up a festival/boho outfit so it's a good investment piece. You could wear this with a number of different outfits to give your style just a bit of a boost. 

The River Island Molly Gem White Flat Sandals are adorable and have a really clean and feminine vibe to them which makes them a fantastic addition to your summer wardrobe. These would look great with any of the previously mentioned outfit ideas, they are so neutral yet they can also be considered a statement item because of the bling. The gems on the straps really drew me to these sandals, I've seen Vanessa wear similar ones before and they are really just handy to have in your wardrobe. You can wear them for weddings, holidays or even just a day out with the girls.

Thank you very much for reading my latest wishlist, I feel like I'm really getting into the swing of things when it comes to this blogging series. If you have any celeb requests just let me know and I'll try to compile a wishlist, I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this series if any of you get a chance to let me know. Next weeks wishlist will be based on Emma Stone so watch out for that!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Product Review: Dolled Up Hair Extensions

If you've visited my blog before you may have noticed my new profile picture, it's the photo from this post that I liked so much that I decided to use it for my blog identity pic. My eight year old sister is a surprisingly good photographer, she made me stand in the best light and everything. 

Anyway, following the relaunch of the Dolled Up site their team ran a campaign to find bloggers that would be interested in reviewing their hair pieces. I spotted their ad on Twitter and asked if I could help them out, they said yes and since then I have been happily enjoying theses rather delightful hair extensions.

The bloggers involved, me included, were given a choice of hair piece and because I'd never tried clip-in extensions I decided to go for some of those in their ash blonde shade. On the site they are down as 'Full Head Curly Heat Resistant Synthetic Hair Extensions' and cost £22.99 which to be honest is a deal considering the quality of the extensions. As I mentioned, this was the first ever set of clip in extensions that I've ever tried so I didn't really have any expectations but I was pleasantly surprised. 

Dolled Up sells a wide range of hair pieces, including these clip in extensions, in various shades. The ash blonde shade actually blends in really well with my natural colour and whilst my hair is growing out a honey sort of shade right now, I still found that the clip ins managed to make the whole look seem more natural.

If I'm being honest I think I would prefer a set of human hair extensions rather than the synthetic set but that's because the synthetic set is a very glossy and shiny texture so it's a bit more difficult to blend in with my own hair. It can be done, it just takes quite a bit of effort. The actual application of the extensions is very quick and easy, I simply just sectioned off my hair, opened up the clips and gradually clipped in each piece. It impressed me how easy it was to secure them because they didn't fall out or really loosen throughout the day.

I really like the way they look, they are just the right thickness and density for my hair type so they don't look daft or too thick/thin at the ends. That was a concern for me because my hair has a weird natural texture and I don't usually find pieces that match so easily which is why I hadn't tried clip in extensions before these.

I just want to say that this review is completely honest and I seriously wouldn't put out a false opinion, I do genuinely love these extensions. They're well worth the £22.99!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Bloggers Fashion Week Tag

The Bloggers Fashion Week is just around the corner and, as always, I live too far away from anything cool that goes on in the blogging community. The Bloggers Hub will be arranging multiple activities for bloggers to be getting on with at the event including networking with brands but for the rest of us, who will no doubt be sat cuddled up in pyjamas, we have The Bloggers Fashion Week Tag. 

I have to admit, they have created fairly a quirky set of questions, the theme being a tea party (Alice In Wonderland). To be honest, I've always been a fan of Alice In Wonderland and I've been wanting to create a themed post for quite some time now. I guess I should probably get on with the questions now then! I hope you enjoy my take on the tag as much as I'm enjoying writing it.

Are you more of an Alice, a Mad Hatter or a Queen of Hearts?

Ooh! That's a hard one, I'm stuck between choosing Alice or the Mad Hatter. I am like the Mad Hatter because, as my friends would most likely tell you, I can be rather eccentric and I sometimes struggle to concentrate. Alice is probably closer though because I'm a curious soul and if anyone was going to fall down a rabbit hole it would be me! 

If you could only take one possession down the rabbit hole, what would it be?

I would probably take my diary with me because I imagine that Wonderland would be full of inspiration for blog posts and, to be honest, since I've started keeping one on me I've really depended on it.

If you could choose one Youtuber to have a tea party with, who would it be?

That's another hard one to answer, I love to watch so many that it's a really difficult question to answer. My top 3 favourites are the BeautyCrush, Leanne Lim Walker and Zoe London so any or all of those three.

How would you verbally slay a real life Jabberwocky eg. anxiety, confidence issues etc?

If it was a topic I felt strongly enough about I would consider both sides, choose points of the side I didn't agree with and then counter-act it with my own opinion. For confidence issues I would most likely pick apart different body issues and personality 'faults' and explain why they should be embraced. 

Which brands would you add to your teapot to create your perfect Bloggers Fashion Week brew? 

I would add Motel Rocks and Jaded LDN because they are both very diverse and quirky brands as far as their style go, besides, I don't like the sugary sweetness of ZARA and Topshop because they're way too out there and a lot of people buy their basics from there. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Mani Monday: Models Own Hyper Gel (Naked Glow)

I know it's been a while since I last did a Mani Monday post but I've been trying to give my nails a break. My nails are fairly short right now but I've been feeling rather bare without nail polish so I figured that I might as well try something a little different. Yes, neutral coloured nails aren't new to me. In fact, they're just about my favourite nail trend. What is new to me, however, is that the Models Own Hyper Gel is as the name suggests; a gel effect polish.

I've tried a Barry M Gelish polish before but I wasn't keen on the consistency or the amount of time that it took to dry. It's because of this that I didn't have high hopes for this polish but, then again, I'd never actually tried a Models Own polish before. I tend to stick to Rimmel London or the Claire's Accessories range because I love the colours and durability. 

The first thing that really struck me about this polish was the colour, I love nude/neutral colours for my nails but rather than having a pinkish or tone this one has a faint peachy one. I would say that it's a pale skin sort of tone which is why the name fits so well; Naked Glow. Since I work I try not to go to bold with my nail colours, if I wear any at all. It's a total step down from what I was like when I was younger, I used to go for black, dark blue or red because I loved dark colours at the time, I still do but it's just easier to maintain for work if I go for something subtle.

As for drying time, this polish is fantastic. It took less time than most of my others and before long I was able to add a second coat which, if I'm being honest, it didn't really need. I figured it would take a long time to dry because it's a gelish effect polish but it surpassed my expectations and I love how shiny and, well, not smudged my nails have turned out.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my Mani Monday post and my thoughts on the Models Own Hyper Gel in Naked Glow. I'm curious to hear what everyone else thinks, if you've tried it out (in any of the colours) I'd love to hear how you got on with it and if you're equally as in love with it as I am.

Taylor Swift Inspired Wishlist

Week number six of my Celebrity Inspired Wishlist Series and this time around I'm putting one together based on the look and style of Taylor Swift. Last weeks post was my Jesy Nelson Inspired Wishlist which actually topped my previous favourite which was based on her band member (Perrie Edwards Inspired Wishlist). I went back to Little Mix because that seemed to be the one that was most enjoyed so just let me know if there's a celebrity you want me to compile a wishlist for. 

Taylor has an incredibly cute but mature style, it's easy to recreate her style for anywhere; work, school, a party... Really you can just go for it wherever you are going. She just has very timeless and classic taste in every aspect of her style, you won't see her wearing a steak bikini.

As usual I'm going to start with hair, for Taylor's look you can either go straight or curly but for the sake of this wishlist I'm just going to go with curly. I would use a styling tool like the TRESemme 2804KU Salon Shine Waves curling tong because it has a fairly wide barrel so the curls you create aren't going to be tight and spiral like. You just need to section off your hair into multiple parts and curl each part one by one, gently comb through your hair with your fingers and then set the curls with hairspray. As an optional part of the look you could use a clip to create a half-up half-down look which is what I would personally do if I was to recreate Taylor's style.

I'm really just going to breeze through the makeup section of this wishlist because Taylor is very subtle when it comes to makeup. You could really just conceal any blemishes you may have, add mascara and some pink tinted lipgloss. Either that or you could finish off the look with Taylor's staple makeup piece which tends to be a well defined red lippy. I would go for Mac's Russian Red along with a red lip liner to create a more clean and long-lasting look because it's the closest to her shade that I can find.

For a more dressy look inspired by Taylor I would buy the ASOS SALON Crystal Bodice Jacquard Prom Dress which is similar to the one you can just about see in the first image I used. It's £95 but really it's a fantastic investment piece because it can be used for weddings and parties again and again. I just love how shimmery and feminine the piece is, it isn't bold but if you were to wear it you would definitely be noticed. It is adorned with the most beautiful metallic flowers on the bodice which makes the dress seem less plain. The design simply would not have worked with low cut style, the boat neckline gives the dress a more appropriate and mature vibe than it would have with any other cut. It's also allows for the perfect amount of skin to be showing because the chest is not on show but a modest yet not too covered amount of leg is on show.

For a more casual look I would go for a sleeveless blouse because it's an item that you can wear all year round with the addition and subtraction of a cardigan/jumper. Taylor Swift, on multiple occasions, rocked a cute blouse such as the ASOS Sleeveless Blouse which is a surprisingly versatile item. It can be work with jeans and canvas shoes or a high-waisted skirt an heels... Really the possibilities are endless. You can't really go wrong with a blouse like this one unless you wear it with tracksuit bottoms but I can't imagine anyone doing that anyway. I've unintentionally gone quite light and pastel-y in this post but I just think Taylor really suits lighter colours. Not that she doesn't suit dark colours but I just prefer her lighter looks to her dark ones.

The ASOS Midi Skater Skirt reminds me of Taylor and her 'chic' and classy style, in fact, I'm sure she has worn one in a similar style before. You could wear it with the shirt that I previously mentioned, you could make the look nautical by wearing a blue and white stripey top... Yet again, the possibilities are endless. Taylor's style is really easy to mimic and change up, investing in pieces inspired by her style is a great idea because you can use them as a statement item whilst still varying the look. I would tuck in a plain blouse and wear it with a bright statement necklace to break up the block colours. This skirt is amazing, it's cut just above the knee and fairly high-waisted so it's a really flattering piece. It's also a really lightweight jersey sort of material so it's really comfortable and the right material for Spring and Summer.

The ASOS MIGHT YOU Cut Out Leather Jazz Shoes are very 'Taylor', she's been spotted wearing jazz shoes and brogues on countless occasions. I adore the cut out feature of the shoes, it's just a trend I really jumped on board with and Taylor seemed to think as highly of it as me. Flat shoes are always a good idea, they're great for posture, comfort and general day to day style. 

Thank you for sticking around until the end and reading through this post, next week I'll be compiling a wishlist inspired by Vanessa Hudgens so that should be a fun boho style to put together. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

When I got into work this morning I found out that Maya : Maybabysblog.blogspot.co.uk had nominated me for the Versatile Bloggers Award. I'm just so pleased that she visits my blog enough to nominate me so, thanks Maya! I love your blog too! I've seen this floating around for a while and I thought it was fairly similar to The Liebster Award which I was nominated for last year but it's very different. It's still about the discovery of new and undiscovered blogs but this post is supposed to be fairly brief and basic. As always though, I will ramble on a bit - SORRY!

Anyway, Maya is a very lovely blogger with an adorable and very expressive blog that really highlights her personality, the regular mention of unicorns is reason enough to revisit her blog. Another reason would be that her content is very varied, it's never all just the same and she posts fairly regularly - what I'm trying to say is that she's consistent. 

Rules for the award:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
  • Tell your readers seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers that you have recently discovered.
Seven facts about me:
  • I started running a blog when I was doing a diploma in Journalism and PR - Since then I've had at least two other blogs!
  • I left after my first year of sixth form to got to college instead, I thought I should be a journalist but I realised that it wasn't right for me.
  • I met some of my best friends at college, we don't see each other as much as we used to but when we catch up we always have a laugh.
  • I did a voluntary work placement at a furniture scheme charity and that's where I found out that I'd like to do something in social media.
  • My favourite TV shows are Sherlock, Dr Who, American Horror Stories and Emmerdale. I know Emmerdale is completely different to the rest of them as it's a soap but I've really gotten into it this year.
  • My favourite YouTubers are The Beauty Crush and Leanne Lim Walker, I particularly love their more chatty videos.
  • I love to read, I've always loved to just sit and relax with a book and now I also love to read other blogs.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

McBusted's Most Excellent Adventure Tour (16/03/2015)

For Christmas my brother and I got tickets to go see McBusted on tour again because lets face it, we grew up listening to Busted and McFly. It's one of the few things we can agree on and I'm so glad I went to see them with him. I mean, it was awkward when the kiss cam came on but he sat down so he wasn't in view. 

Anyway, the support acts were Symmetry The Band and New City Kings. I loved Symmetry but I didn't think much of the New City Kings, I guess they just weren't my sort of thing. It turned out that whilst I couldn't name them, I actually knew one of the songs that they performed, other than their Katy Perry cover. Sam did say they looked like "the sort of crap" that I listen to, as you can see he obviously respects my music taste. Nuisance. 

The mix between new and old songs made sure I sang the whole way through and loved every minute of it, I'm fairly sure that I embarrassed Sam a few times but I really didn't care at the time. I was the first person to stand up in our block and I danced about like an idiot for the whole show, it wore me out for work as I had to be up early the morning after! 

The main theme of the concert was the 80's, that included video games, films and general effects. At one point they even used the stage as a giant games console and split up into teams against each other. The general theme carried on from the last tour when they filmed a load of Back To The Future stuff only this time they included the time machine from Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Adventure - hence the name of the tour. 

Since I saw McBusted last time they were on tour I almost thought they wouldn't be as good because last time they were AMAZING. I was wrong. They were so different, it made it seem like a whole new experience and I think they definitely made the right choice with the light show. When I heard that they weren't having as many props as last time I did worry but no need - McBusted know what we want! 

Rather than using all of the 3D props they used last time they put a lot of effort into the screens and the light show which was, at times, a little bit intense. It all really just added to the 80's atmosphere, especially when What Happened To Your Band started playing and the screen showed a giant Voltar machine - perhaps a play on the Zoltar machine from Big?

I would definitely go to see them again, it's just an amazing experience. I saw McFly YEARS AGO when 5 Colours In Her Hair came out so that just speaks volumes in terms of my love for McBusted as a supergroup. 

Which brings me onto the next point, why are some McFly and Busted fans still angry that they merged? Really they were always, sort of, part of a team. They co-wrote songs and practiced together a lot back when both bands were popular and in the same sort of circle. 

Apparently before the merger happened McFly had an album just about ready for production so that will probably go out when they part ways again. Busted on the other hand, as a trio it will never happen again but as a duo, they could probably do their own little project and carry on touring. 

Either way, I don't care as long as neither bands are putting their talents to waste because that would be such a shame. Well, that's all from me on my second McBusted experience. I hope you enjoyed reading about it because I certainly enjoyed going to it and writing about it.

10 Ideas For Lifestyle Bloggers

The final installation of my mini "10 Ideas For..." blog series is finally here, today I'm going to be sharing with you 10 ideas for lifestyle blog posts. 

Since I post a mix of topics I find it easy to think up ideas but for those of you who are solely lifestyle bloggers there's a very wide yet limited range of topics for you to choose from. By that I mean that by giving yourself the defined niche of lifestyle you are limiting yourself to posts of that nature. I describe myself as a lifestyle, beauty and fashion blogger to give myself that freedom to post about EVERYTHING that interests me.

This is actually the hardest of the three posts because really, if you're a lifestyle blogger you just post about where you've been and what you've done. My 10 Ideas For Beauty Bloggers and 10 Ideas For Fashion Bloggers posts both did rather well and I'm told they were helpful so hopefully this one will follow in the same pattern.

Really to get started we should look into what a lifestyle blog actually is, sometimes the lines do get blurred. A lifestyle blog is the closest of the blog family to a diary, if you're looking for the most simple way of describing one then that's certainly the best way to go about it. A lifestyle blogger gives his/her readers a glimpse into their lives and as both a writer and a reader I can see how interesting that can be. Realistically, most bloggers aren't going to be dotting around at exciting events and places everyday. It's just not possible both financially and physically to be able to do something worth blogging about everyday. A lot of people who aren't bloggers seem to think that it's just a life full of freebies, events and collaborations which, believe me I know, is major source of frustration. That sort of life sadly does not exist so here are 10 ideas that will hopefully crash through your writers block.
  • A travel bucket list is a really great one to do, you can even make reference to it as you tick off your dream destinations. In the post you can add images from previous holidays and explain why you want to travel more as well as listing off the places you want to go.
  • Compile a list of favourite bloggers, it's always nice to share other bloggers work. It's important to remember that it's difficult to break into the blogging world at first so with gentle nudge towards the right readership it can make the journey so much easier.
  • Try something different and blog about it whether it's a restaurant, a concert, a type of sport or literally anything else you haven't done before. It creates a rapport with your readership because they feel like they almost experienced it with you.
  • Review something. Good, honest and reliable reviews are highly in demand because people want an opinion or a review on certain products before they invest in it themselves. You don't get sent products? Buy some or have a rake around your house and review something you've had for a little while.
  • Into DIY projects? Create a tutorial and go through how you achieved the end goal in an easy to follow step-by-step form. It adds a creative essence to your blog and you could even turn it into a series depending on your dedication and spare time.
  • Money saving tips are always in demand, the amount of struggling students that desperately look for tips and tricks to survive student life is unreal. Sick of living on pot noodles? If you're a student blogger find alternatives and blog about it.
  • Go shopping with a friend, set a budget and share what you both found. Turn it into a challenge and see who gets the best value for money.
  • Do a tag. It's easy enough and you can start a chain of bloggers doing the same tag, it will gain you all traffic because you link to them and they link to you. The TMI Tag and The British Tag are both good ones to do, I particularly enjoyed those two myself.
  • A Day In The Life post could be really interesting because, yet again, it gives your readership a glimpse into your life and gives us nosy people something to read and enjoy. I like to read these posts because I like to compare how I live with the lives of other people, I guess it's just human nature.
  • Write about a tough decision you've had to make, it might help someone who's trying to make the same decision. It would just build on the rapport between the you and your readers because then they feel like you have something in common.
So that was my final installment of blogging ideas, let me know what you think. I'd love to read some of these posts if any of you decide to actually do one of them.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Jesy Nelson Inspired Wishlist

Fifth week into my celebrity inspired wishlist blogging series and this week I'm creating one based on Jesy Nelson from Little Mix. The first post in the series was inspired by Jesy's bandmate, Perrie Edwards and that one was VERY well received and is actually my most viewed post to date. 

Jesy has always, since she stepped out into the public eye, been a big fan of big hair with lots of curl and body. To create her look I would buy some thick full-head hair extensions to build up thickness and volume. You can get some really good ones for this look from Bellami Hair or for less at Dolled Up Hair Extensions, it really just depends on your hair colour and budget. Once those are applied I would use a thick barreled curling tong and then carefully brush out the curls to give the look a softer effect.

Another staple part of Jesy's look is her eyelashes, she always has big, thick and full lashes so to mimic her look you really want to keep that in mind but still not go overboard. I would choose false lashes that add volume but don't look too thick and dark. The Eyelure Volume 101 set is thick but not quite as thick as some of the others you find. I would mainly go for Jesy's lash look on a night out but you could go for it at work if you don't add too much mascara. The key is to thicken your lashes but not go overboard.

To go with her lashes, Jesy tends to go for a bold red lip so the Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick Kiss Of Life along with a lip liner would create the desired look. Either that or you could go with the Collection lipstick from the Little Mix range that was specifically designed to create Jesy's look. Which ever you choose I would still recommend that you use a lip liner to make the colour last longer and to prevent a colour bleed.

The Sorcerer Sheer Maxi Dress in Black By Motel is something I really think Jesy would love, in fact I think she has worn one similar or even the same before. It's just so simple and paired with some chunky sandals or heels it's really easy to create a simple yet classy gothic look. That's one word to describe Jesy's style: gothic. It's not a bad thing because she does it in a subtle way, in fact, I really like how dark and blocky her outfits are because she still puts emphasis on her shape and curves. I have a feeling that Jesy would either wear a leather jacket or warmer in-style statement jacket with faux fur or a cute basic pattern. 

If you don't like the sheer part of the Motel dress then you could go for the sort of dress that has a silky texture and lace trimmings. I know it sounds like a night dress but you could really dress one up or down to create a fantastic night look. You could pair one with a long flowing kimono or for a more edgy and casual look you could add a dark looking plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

The Vagabond Avery Black Leather Strap Heeled Sandals are the perfect shoes to buy if you adore Jesy's style. They are a little pricey at £80 but they would last a really long time and because they are raised at the front as well as the back they should be really comfy. What I also love about these shoes is that they are flat at the front rather than almond shaped or pointy which makes them different. I think that Jesy would LOVE these shoes, they capture the essence of her look and can be styled with most outfits. One thing I don't actually like about these shoes is the fact that the big toe is separated from the other toes which, whilst the feature is cute, if you're not used to wearing shoes like that it could get uncomfortable. 

To add a pop of colour to the look you could always paint your toenails a nice bright red colour because the toes would be on show in these shoes. Then of course you can match up your fingers and toes to give the look a more put-together vibe. If you're not into the bright pop of colour you could always go with white or a nude shade just make sure your nails look fab whilst they are have attention drawn towards them. 

The Ted Baker Distinguish Rose Print Cape is an item that would go so so well with the sheer dress, it's just so simple yet different with the gorgeous pattern that it is adorned with. Plus, it's Ted Baker so why the hell not? It matches really well with Jesy's mature look and it's another one of those items that cost a little bit (£99) but would last you for a long time. Now it's Spring and we can start to look forward to Summer it's a great transition item as the weather slowly gets warmer and the need for heavy jackets gets lower. It's just a really flattering piece that's great for the awkward inbetween weather that occurs in most countries, particularly the UK.

Alternatively you could go for a budget dupe, I know I can't afford to spend £99 on a cape right now. I imagine that River Island, Topshop and Primark will have similar items in their collections fairly soon. You could even go the opposite way and go vintage which can be either cheap or expensive but it will have a fantastic worn in sort of vibe to it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this weeks edition of my celebrity inspired wishlist series, next week it will be back with a Taylor Swift inspired one so keep an eye out for that! Also, I'd love to hear your suggestions. Who would you like to see featured in this series? 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Get Started With Your Blog: A Guide For Newbies

A very good friend of mine asked me to type up a post on starting a blog so, of course, I'm giving it a go. 

It can be very difficult to get started with your own blog, especially when you don't have friends who are bloggers or total tech wizards. Personally I started out without any support, I didn't get involved in any blogging communities and I certainly didn't do all that well. Since then I've started a NEW blog, worked with brands and actively engaged with both my readers AND other bloggers.

The first thing you need to think of is which platform to use. The main ones are Blogger and Wordpress, I use blogger but I do see why Wordpress has such a large user base. I actually used to use Wordpress but I found that it was better for those of us who are brilliant with code and plug-ins. Blogger, however, is great for connecting all google accounts. Google Analytics, Gmail, Google +... They all come in handy when you're running a blog and they are so easy to set up along side Blogger.

Once you've chosen a platform you really need to thing of WHY you're starting a blog, by that I mean you need to choose a niche. Are you going to market yourself as a beauty blogger? a fashion blogger? a lifestyle blogger? a food blogger? a travel blogger? The possibilities are endless. Choose something you are passionate about and run with it. I'm a lifestyle, beauty and fashion blogger so I have quite a broad range of topics but it does make it easier if you have a set niche.

Once you have a niche or a purpose then you can start to look out for names, I stuck with my first and middle name 'Aymie Louise' because my topic reach is so broad and diverse but a brand name would be fantastic for a blogger. For example, Samantha Maria better known as The Beauty Crush has nurtured her personal blog/vlog brand and draws in new subscribers all the time because she markets her content towards women looking for beauty videos. Since the start she has grown and she now has a broad topic reach much like my own and regularly posts about fashion and home life as well as beauty and blogger events.

Blog design is something you need to do next, I experiment with mine all of the time. I'm currently updating it because the orange colour scheme bored me but I will move out of this awkward stage fairly soon. I would advise making a header image for your title so you have an image to use on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or wherever else to keep up an image of continuity. 

You should also create a 'Contact Me' page so brands, readers and other bloggers know how to get in touch for enquiries, opportunities and blogger/brand interaction. It will be different depending on which platform you choose so there isn't a simple way to explain the technical side of this step.

Once you are up and running you need to create your first post but "What on earth do I write about first?" you may ask. Simple. Tell everyone who you are, why you started a blog and what sort of topics you plan to cover. It gives potential readers a chance to see what you are all about and determine whether or not your blog is right for them.

Those were just some basic steps and tips for starting a blog from scratch, if you have any other questions please just ask. Would you read a post about using all forms of social media for the purpose of gaining traffic?

Fashion Q&A Ft. Luke Donovan (Not Your Average Nerd)

Since I enjoyed collaborating with Nicola and Rita so much I decided to do it all again, this time however, it's going to be a bit different. Hopefully you'll enjoy seeing both a boys and a girls view on fashion, I for one found it very interesting to find out how Luke from Not Your Average Nerd expressed his style. Just like in my collab with Nicola I have kept my text in the usual colour and I've made Luke's grey so it's a bit easier to tell the difference.

Hello readers of the blog of Aymie Louise, I'm excited to be part of this blogger collab and glad you are reading. The other half of this post will be on my blog, I'm pretty much a tech fashion and fitness blogger from the west midlands, basically there's something for everyone on my blog, anyway enough self promotion, on to the questions...

How would you define your style/fashion?

I would define my style as casual yet (I hope) cool, basically 50% of my style is band merch and the other half is some lesser known but awesome brands. Basically My preferred type of clothes are ones which are very graphic and have eye catching imagery on them, sometimes darker imagery also.

I would define my style, if I really had to, as smart casual. It sounds rather boring but I work all week and then at the weekend I just carry on with the same style of clothing. I love monochrome and nautical looks as opposed to bright and obnoxious colours and prints.

Do you follow the current trends?

No, simply put, I do not follow current trends at all, I try to shy away from current trends and attempt to have my own individual style that no one else has, at the end of the day its my style, I don't want to be influenced by no designer or trend.

I don't mean to but I do update my style quite often, like I said before, I tend to stick to monochrome and nautical styles so you can't really go wrong with those looks. 

Do you think there's a link between style of clothes worn and music listened to?

Yes one hundred percent i do agree with this statement, I think music influences the type of clothes that we wear, you don't really see a man who listens to deep deep reggae walk around in skinny jeans and rocking a beanie, it just doesn't happen, music definitely affects the clothes that we wear.

It's difficult to answer that one, I would say yes but you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. If you looked at what I wear and then checked out one of my playlists you wouldn't really expect me to have that sort of music on there.

If you could work with any brand who would it be and why?

If i could work with any brand in the world it would have to to be Abandon Ship, I love their range of clothes and the darker imagery they have on some of their designs, I currently own a couple of their products but I reckon I would spend hundreds on their clothes.

I would say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would LOVE to work with MOTEL ROCKS. I haven't seen one item of theirs that I wouldn't wear myself and that's saying something because they have some bright hues in their collections. They have some fantastic pieces and they just seem like an amazing brand to work with.

Would you let your other half shop for you?

Yes, I reckon that my other half would be able to buy me some decent clothes, she knows my style very well and I reckon she would be good enough to get me something I like, besides its not that hard to shop for me. Its pretty much buy me band merch and that's it nothing else haha!! 

Well, I'm single but I don't think I would if I wasn't (if that makes any sense). I'm quite lazy in the sense that I just wear whatever is clean and looks good but at the same time I like my style to be my own.

Well, that's it for this fashion collaboration. Opinions and suggestions are appreciated, I'd also love to hear your answers if you could spare a minute to comment.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Outfit Of The Day

It's the first time I've worn this jumpsuit since I took it on holiday last year but I just really fancied wearing it today. It's comfy and it's one of those minimal effort outfits that don't really require much extra styling. I originally bought it from the Miss Selfridge online store as a wedding outfit for my dads best mates wedding. I wasn't sure about it at first but it grew on me and when I got sunburned on holiday I wore it to keep covered for a recovery day. 

I adore the pattern on the soft cotton material which is saying something because, as I've said plenty of times before, I don't really experiment with bold patterns, prints or colours. I am a big fan of the simplicity of monochrome fashion which is probably why it caught my eye when I bought it. The pattern itself is a very mature and classy pattern that excuses it for its lack of colour. It just means that it's easy to style up really, I could pair it up with a brightly coloured cardigan or blazer to break up the black and white theme or I could wear it with pastels or neutral colours. Either way it would look fantastic so it's not something you would have to fuss about with. 

I'm actually wearing this for work but it's not an item with many limitations, I have worn it for a wedding, on holiday and at plenty of weekend events and meet-ups. I would almost say that it's my favourite item of clothing, the only thing that lets it down is how thin it is because it's Spring now and it's freezing!

I paired it up with this lovely fluffy cardigan from ASDA George, it just proves that you don't have to splash out to buy a decent warm and stylish cardigan. It's great to wear over something like this when it's cold around the office. I would say that it's not particularly flattering but the jumpsuit flatters my figure and makes me look rather slim, even if I do say so myself. I'm quite pleased with how they balance each other out in the way that the jumpsuit takes away the effect of the massive fluffy cardigan and the cardigan stops me from looking too figureless. 

I'm wearing my everyday wedge boots which I believe were from a market (I got them for Christmas). Since they were black they didn't end up looking like a statement item which it good because that would have taken away the effect of the jumpsuit. I was going to wear the strappy wedges I got from Select when I needed to go to that wedding but it's WAY too cold for those.

This outfit actually looks quite put together but what you can't seeis my Batman socks that are hidden away in my boots. What?! I didn't have any plain ones this morning, I left the house at half five!

Thanks for checking my OOTD post, it's the first one I've ever done so let me know what you think. Any opinions or suggestions are very much appreciated. 

Part-Time Blogging: How? (5 Tips To Help Schedule Blog Posts)

I was approached by the lovely Rita Guerreiro about collaborating and we were going to create fashion based posts together but the more we got to talking, the more it seemed obvious that we should blog about fitting blogging in with work/school. I work as a full-time apprentice and Rita is a college student so we both understand the drawbacks to part-time blogging.

As glamorous as it seems, blogging isn't all about freebies and events so if you're not willing to put in the effort then I would just say don't bother. Those bloggers you admire? Their lives aren't all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. They have fast paced, busy and stressful lives too. Nothing is gained by sitting back and waiting for the views to roll in because without promotion, networking and a lot of hard work it's just not going to happen. Not all bloggers can do it on a full-time basis, personally I have to balance it with work and home life so sometimes it gets quite difficult to find the time.

I'm going to share with you 5 of my "life-hacks" for keeping up with your blog on a part-time basis, they may not work well for you because everyone is different but these things really help me.

Tip #1
If you are including images in your post I would advise that you keep a camera or at the very least your phone with you so you can take them as you go along. Scheduling a certain time for taking images can be difficult and time consuming so by taking a camera with you it means you aren't taking time out of your day just for that. I know it's important to a lot of people that they have good quality images but when you are fitting it around school, college or work it's really difficult to find the time.

Tip #2
Keep a notebook with you at all times, inspiration can come from literally anything so you should really keep a notebook (no matter how small!) in your bag so you can quickly scribble down your ideas and side-notes. If you're not a full-time blogger then it's unlikely you will be able to type things up straight away so the notebook or even a diary is a compromise.

Tip #3
Serious about blogging? Use your lunch break. I tend to end up blogging through my lunch break because sometimes that's the only point in the day that I have a chance to do it. If you already have your images and notes handy then it's really easy to type up the post to go with them, it shouldn't take too long and you can eat as you go along.

Tip #4
Stay connected to your audience and other bloggers using Facebook and Twitter, give them updates and let them know when you plan to have your next post up. It just means that your blog doesn't go stale whilst you're busy and it makes it easier to share your content. This tip isn't really just for part-time bloggers but it's just something you really should keep in mind because a good percentage of views come from social media.

Tip #5
Consistency is key if you want to keep your blog going along side a busy schedule, I would advise setting specific days of the week so your readers know when to check back on your blog. I get to impatient most of the time but it does take a lot of pressure away if you know you have content already waiting to be published. 

Those were my top 5 tips for running a blog part-time, look out for Rita's take on the subject over on her blog page. I hope this has helped some of you who are struggling with running a blog part-time because I know how difficult it can be. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

10 Ideas For Fashion Bloggers

Following on from my 10 Ideas For Beauty Bloggers, this installment is a post full of ideas for fashion bloggers because even the best bloggers can get writers block. Some of these ideas are really simple and maybe what some people would call obvious buy hopefully this post will be quite useful. I've looked at similar posts before and been inspired to write by them so this post is in the hope that some of you will be the same in that respect. I also hope to create a lifestyle edition of this post next week so stay tuned for that if you're a lifestyle writer!

The next ten ideas are just, as I mentioned in the beauty version of this post, just outlines of what you could write. I advise that you don't make "carbon copies" of any examples that I provide, it's important to give your post an essence of your own personality. For tips on blog structure and writing, check out my post on Constructing A Blog Post.
  • OOTD. Outfit Of The Day posts are very popular and the #OOTD of Twitter is a very fast paced stream of exampled if you are looking for inspiration. Just simply take a photo or photos of what you are wearing and write about where you bou bought them and why you like them.
  • Expanding on the OOTD posts, it's a good idea to do a "one item five days" set of posts because that can cover five whole days plus a roundup if you want to summarise the one week fashion challenge.
  • Wishlists are fun to do, you can even just scroll through your favourite online shopping site and pick a few of their newest items. My Celeb Inspired Wishlist blogging series has been really fun so far, it might be a good idea to do something similar. My latest one is my Hayley Williams Inspired Wishlist that, admittedly, isn't solely about fashion but you get the idea!
  • Clothing or brand reviews are great for traffic, they are fun to write and people actually enjoy seeing what fashion bloggers say about sites before they buy from them. Check out my American Apparel Crop Top Review for reference if you need it. 
  • A fashion haul is always great to see, I would go for a haul from a specific brand or shopping center because it gives the post a bit more credibility and there's always a chance that the brand or community may share your content on Twitter.
  • A fashion tag of some sort could be fun to type up, I did THIS OR THAT: The Fashion Tag a while back and it was great fun to tag other bloggers and actually think about my fashion choices.
  • You could always collaborate with another blogger and do a Q&A or something along those lines, they are another style of post that drives traffic and can help with blogger networking because it shows you are open to collaborations.
  • Compile a list of Top 5 Fashion Bloggers and say who your favourite fbloggers are and which of their posts are particularly enjoyable. Of course try to get their permission to use any images or at least give them credit.
  • Street style posts are another fun thing to do, just get up the courage to ask people if you can take a picture of what they are wearing and ask them about where they got their outfit from.
  • Suggest outfits for specific themes like parties, holidays or whatever you see fit. You could even turn it into a sort of "Get Ready With Me" post as you talk through your thought process as you put together your outfit.
Look out for the lifestyle edition of this post that will be out next week, until then I'd love to hear if you post any of these ideas or if you already have some up that are similar.

The "Me Time" Tag

I found this tag whilst browsing through Boston Beauty Buzz and I really wanted to try it so I'm going to give it a go. It's been a little while since I've done a tag post so I'm really pleased I came across this one when I did. Anyway, I tag AJ from Writer's Block and Broken Lenses and Tamara from Me Just Talking To You so get on with it ladies! 

What do you watch/read during your "me time"?
I like to watch Impractical Jokers, it always makes me laugh and it's something great to watch after a long day at work. As for reading, I tend to read whatever is passed onto me be friends or relatives because I'm not picky, I just love to read. Also, if I'm being honest I read the odd sneaky fanfiction when I come across a good one.

What do you wear during "me time"?
I have some ridiculous checked leggings that I bought on ASOS like an age ago that have faded and I just wear those with an old band t-shirt or the over-sized onesie I ended up claiming from my friend when we went to Comic Con last year.

What are your "me time" beauty products?
I like to buy a Montagne Jeunesse face mask to cleanse and detoxify my skin whilst I get on with whatever else I'm doing, I also like to use a cleanser (Micellar Water, no particular brand just whichever one I'm trying at the time) and then moisturise thoroughly with either a Nivea Night Cream or a Tea Trea moisturiser from Superdrug.

Current nail polish?
I'm not actually wearing any right now because I'm giving my nails a break, most recently I was wearing a shimmery kelpy sort of green tone from Claires Accessories.

What do you drink/eat during "me time"?
I absolutely LOVE to drink coconut water or smoothies during my "me time", I actually have a Nak├ęd Superfood Smoothie (Red Machine) at my desk with me right now. Yummy. As for food, I like to snack on popcorn or almonds so I tend to stick with those unless I fancy chocolate and then I just eat a massive amount of chocolate.

Current favourite candle?
I love anything vanilla, I have random vanilla candles lying around all over the place in my room and they smell gorgeous. 

Do you ever have outdoor "me time"?
I don't get as much outdoor "me time" as I used to, before I started work I used to go out for walks all the time with my phone and headphones so I could listen to music whilst I walked. I really fancy going for one now but it's just not convenient.

Would you ever go to the cinema alone?
I probably would if I wanted to see a film and no one else did, I don't really get a chance to do that anyway. The most recent film I went to see in the cinema was Focus and that was for a friends birthday so I had to clear time from my Saturday schedule/routine.

Favourite online shop?
I love the Wildfox site, it's amazing. I particularly like their slouchy jumpers and comfy t-shirts as they are both cute and comfortable enough to lounge around in. I also love ASOS because there is such a range of different styles and you can buy beauty products from there too. 

Anything to add?
I love to sit and watch YouTube tags, tutorials and hauls when I get a chance. My particular favourite YouTubers are Leanne Lim Walker and The Beauty Crush because they are really wordy and their personalities shine through in their videos.