Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June Favourites

Hello everyone! As promised, this post is my about my June Favourites. Most of this post is going to have quite an emphasis on the summer, sun and this darn heatwave - seriously, it's killing me! 

Anyway, Since it's difficult to tell from the picture I'm going to start with the Body Shop pieces I've been loving. The first item is the Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream which actually adapts to your skin tone. It's ideal for the summer when we go up and down in shades, I personally don't like wearing makeup in the summer so to have something so light is great. It just evens out my skin tone so I feel better about not putting much makeup on. I've also been using the Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser as it's a fantastic primer and it tackle my issues with my pores - it smooths out the skin so that makeup sits better and lasts longer. Last but certainly not least of my Body Shop favourites is the Tea Tree Blemish oil as it reduces redness overnight and speeds up the blemish recovery process. 

Moving onto Rimmel, I've mentioned before that I just love the Wake Me Up foundation as it gives off a really bright, healthy and dewy look that looks gorgeous over summer. I was actually just stocking up on it when I saw that it was on a special promotion so if I spent a certain amount I would get a bronzer for free. To make up the money I picked up the Wake Me Up mascara as I've been dying to try it out, it's fantastic! It makes my lashes look thicker, longer and it doesn't clump up, it may even be my favourite mascara of all time. Of course, since I went through the effort of choosing another Rimmel product for the promotion, I just had to try and make use of the Natural Bronzer. Usually I avoid bronzer because I'm so pale but I wanted to try some out and see how it would look so I took the chanks and I'm glad I did. It gives me a healthy summer glow and it really shape my face when I apply it properly, I've loved wearing it this month. 

This was a selfie that I took today after work, it's relevant because the Primark sunnies I'm wearing in the image have wormed their way into my favourites. The suit my face shape, the peachy neutral tone of the frames compliments my hair and skin colours and I really just love the simple style. I bought them to go to Majorca with but since we've had a heatwave I just decided to wear them and use them whilst I can. I could always buy more before I go away because they only cost a few pounds and it's a popular style. 

Lastly, I just wanted to mention the film Jurassic World because I went to see it earlier in the month and I adored it (movie post here). Anyway, that's it for this months favourites, I haven't taken a liking to any more new music and tv has been fairly boring. Until next time, ciao! 

Purple, Purple And More Purple

Hello everyone! It's nice to be blogging again after a few days break, I always miss it when I leave it for a while. What you're probably wondering is why the post is titled 'Purple, Purple And More Purple'. It was only when I started shaping this post into what I wanted it to be like that I realised the general purple theme. This post is actually a sort of late post-weekend catch-up post if that makes sense because I had yet another fairly relaxed few days off. 

I spent Saturday at the garden center, hence the image of the purple lily (I didn't bother to remember the actual name!). I just thought they were beautiful and sort of wanted some myself. I helped my gran choose some flowers for pots she bought to stop kids from playing on her lawn. It was a sight to behold when she started potting the plants with a ladle... Other than that I just chilled out because I was the only one in the house once I got back home.

Sunday was a little more busy, I visited my nana after breakfast at Wetherspoons and then went to annoy my friend Leanne. This is where the next breadcrumb of purple lies as we decorated her birthday cake in a Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story theme). The baby of the group is finally turning 19, I'm nearly a year older than her because I was born at the end of the year and she was born the next summer. 

Anyway, we decorated the cake and then we went to the cinemas to see the Minions movie. Judge all you like but I only saw three kids in that screen room, the rest were adults without an excuse. 

Next I would like to talk about the 28 day detox I ordered for July. I got the free three day trial and loved it so I'm going to do a longer detox to get me ready for my holiday at the end of July. It's good for energy, skin/hair/nails, weightloss, reducing bloating and a whole bunch of other stuff that I'm looking forward to seeing. 

I'm also going to be trying Raspberry Ketones to aid the detox. I paid for the detox but I got the Raspberry Ketones for free from the Bloggers Required site. For this reason, I will be doing a post covering both right before I go to Majorca. I just want to get it put straight that I'm not interested in losing a lot of weight, I just want to feel healthier and possibly tone up a little before I have to wear a swimsuit. I'm not looking for drastic results, I just want a little boost. 

The selfie to the right is awful but I just wanted to mention the state of my hair. It had started to go a little yellow is on the bottom layer so I went out and bought some new toning shampoo... It took me a few washes to realise that it was turning my hair silver, purple, blue and white. It's kind of cool but at the same time it's annoying because it's in streaks and patches. 

On the plus side, though, my hair feels lovely and soft compared to how it felt before I started to use the shampoo. I'm going to start using the silver shampoo inbetween normal washes so that the colour doesn't build up because it's going to be a pain when I get my roots done... If I don't decide to grow it out and cut my hair short... I've been trying to decide which way to go but I'll probably chicken out of cutting it short. 

Well, that's it from me for now. My June Favourites post will be up tonight so keep an eye out for that if you're interested in summery makeup and holiday clothes. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

RECIPES: Mojito + Tequila Sunrise

Since my last post was quite straight-forward and practical I thought I would balance it out a bit and brighten up your Monday by doing a cocktail recipe post. Mojitos and Tequila Sunrises are very simple to make and you don't really need many ingredients to create them. You might as well get your practice in before the summer holidays because these will be perfect for barbeques and cocktail nights.

I'm going to start off with the mojito, I made mine slightly differently so it was to my taste but it was refreshing all the same.

Also, please drink in moderation and don't drink and drive. 

Mojito

Ingredients:
  • White rum (1 1/2 oz)
  • Mint (6 leaves or less)
  • Soda water 
  • Fresh lime juice (1 oz, I used a lime flavoured syrup instead)
  • Sugar (2 teaspoons)
  • Ice (crushed or cubed) 
Instructions:
  • Start off by adding the mint, lime juice and sugar to the mixer. If you prefer a more minty taste you can use a blender instead, it gives the drink a stronger taste than just dropping them in a mixer and shaking. 
  • Add the rum and the soda, add as much soda water as you think you'll need depending on the size of the intended glass and the desired intensity of the rum - the soda water in a way just dilutes the rum and gives it a fizz.
  • Shake/mix/blend and pour over ice, you can then add straws, umbrellas or whatever you like to make the drink pretty. 
Tequila Sunrise

Ingredients:
  • Orange juice (3 oz, preferably fresh)
  • Tequila (1 1/12 oz)
  • Grenadine (1/2 oz)
  • Ice (crushed or cubed)
  • Pineapple, lime or lemon (sliced)
Instructions:
  • Add ice to a glass and pour in the orange juice and tequila, stir it well to infuse the orange juice with the tequila.
  • Pour in the grenadine and don't stir, depending on taste you can swap the measurements of the orange juice and the grenadine but the steps can not be mixed.
  • Last but not least for this pretty drink, garnish with either pineapple, lime or lemon and add straws umbrellas or whatever.
Thanks for reading this post, it was fun to write and even more fun to try. I'd love it if you could leave links to similar posts or comment with your tips below. Until next time, ciao! 

Ways To Increase Your Reach On Twitter

If you’re familiar with my blog you may have already enjoyed my post ‘5 Mistakes You Are Probably MakingOn Twitter (Blog Promo Edition)’, I went through quite a wide spectrum of how to avoid making mistakes on Twitter whilst running a campaign. What I didn’t really go through is how to reach your audience and how to engage with them in a way that could increase reach.

The first thing you need to do is know your audience, you should already know your readership persona so you just need to go into more depth about it and figure out how you are going to target the right people. If you don’t know who your readership persona is, research is the next step and Google Analytics (GA) can help you there, if you don’t use GA this can be done manually through Twitter chats, lists or even just social monitoring – the chances are that you will spot someone tweeting about your niche. You can go the other way and try to get onto your readers lists and streams, this is where relevant hash-tagging comes in. I touched upon that in the other Twitter post but it's certainly a good way of going about it. I should also mention the Twitter accounts made specifically for sharing content between bloggers and blog lovers or even the outreach accounts created by PR companies. 

Once you know your customer persona you can work on your tone and strategy, this involves answering a lot of questions. Is your audience going to engage with a more light-hearted account or are they going to be drawn in by a more professional manner? Do you have the resources to rely on visual content or are you going to have to rely on your words? Should the tone differ depending on the circumstance or does it need to be consistent? The more you think about the answers to these questions, the more you are likely to find more questions about the tone and style of the account.

Continuing with the style theme, how are you going to visually aid your Twitter account? You need to make your banner and profile image consistent with your blog/site, this is the way you establish your personal brand. To do this, you need to think long and hard about the colour scheme you are going to implement – is there an existing scheme? Can it be altered or are you starting from scratch?

Another way of ensuring you are getting your desired reach is to share your content, it’s a general marketing rule to offer something when you post and what you are doing is essentially just digital marketing. Create the content that your readers want, do the research and see what’s in demand and on-trend. It all needs to be current so that people are still searching for what you are writing about, just make sure that you stay true to your niche and consistent tone.

Connecting with larger companies or accounts that match your purpose and have a high social reach or influence can encourage their audience to check out your products or services. Just retweet their content or show appreciation of it and they could be likely to check out and share your content in return. If they don’t feel inclined to return the favour, it still looks good on your account in a way that shows you are connecting with the right people and know the space.

Well, that’s the end of this post, it’s not something I planned on writing but because I was working on reach and engagement it just happened. Thank you very much for reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Jurassic World (SPOILERS)

After the long wait and the anticipated hype I managed to go and see Jurassic World at the weekend and I'm so glad that I did. It's no secret that as a kid Jurassic park was on my list of favourite films and, I have to say, they didn't disappoint. I was never really a girly girl so whilst others raved on and on about chick flicks and princesses, I went on about dinosaur films and creature features. To this day I still visit my gran weekly so we can watch some bad horror films and it's not a way of spending my time that I regret. 

Flashback to last November when I first saw the trailer, I even blogged about it (here), I mentioned a the fact that I was excited to spot the connections between the original films and the latest one. It was based on the same island and the main characters even visited the old site when they were hiding from the D-Rex (indominous rex), one of the original scientists appeared, and a guy even wore one of the old merch shirts. As a side note, my dad noticeably flinches when I say 'merch' rather than merchandise, it's fairly amusing! 

The trained raptors were fascinating, the writers gave them a very positive image this time. Though, I have to say that I wasn't shocked when they switched their loyalties to the part raptor d-rex. The revelation that the dinosaur was part raptor was incredibly obvious, it was something that I had guessed when it was first spotted in the film. The idea of a dinosaur so big - with the mental capabilities of a raptor was terrifying but, hey, the d-rex was eaten at the end of the film so it all worked out for the best.

To be honest, I was quite worried about how they were going to produce the film but it exceeded expectations and I absolutely LOVED the film. I geeked out the whole time I was watching it and I swooned over Chris Pratt - why not? Anyway, the thing I probably love the most about the film was the epic dinosaur battle at the end - the d-rex fought the t-rex, the raptors and the jurassic croc and it was awesome. I'm getting excited about the film all over again as I type this so please excuse the slightly up and down nature of this post. 

Well, I've geeked out enough for one day, thanks for reading this post. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the film if you have a spare moment to comment.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Product Review: The BeFri Brush

So, as anyone who knows me will already be aware, my hair is and utter frizzy mess when I just leave it to do its thing. I personally blame my hair dye obsession but, hey, life's too short to have boring hair. Am I right ladies? Anyway, I was sent the BeFri Brush to try out and review (unpaid) and I was quite excited about it to be honest. I've wanted to try a product like this for quite some time as I'm trying to let my hair settle before I re-bleach it or whatever. 

What intrigues me most about this product is that it relies on its kinematic design to defrizz the manes of those who use it rather than some form of argan oil coating or something of that effect. The 'bristles', though they don't really fit that word, are flexible and manage to softly condition hair without causing damage. As I have previously mentioned, I'm particularly focused on the condition of my hair at the moment so I'm more than pleased with the way that the product has been working so far.

Due to the fact that the brush has been created to cut down frizz and condition hair, the product actually has usage instructions. Instructions to brush hair? Imagine that! Anyway, the instructions say 'Hold BeFri Brush in a vertical manner and gently brush dry or wet hair from the roots downwards. Follow by holding the brush in a horizontal manner and brushing entire head once again'.

Going back to the design, the way that the brush is structured makes it perfect for blow drying and whilst I'm trying to cut down on that it's a feature that's more than welcome! The structure itself is 'vented', as the site describes, and allows the hot/warm air to flow through the structure so that the brush still keeps frizz at bay. 

Sorry about the relatively short nature of this post, I don't want to get too science-y on my blog because I don't understand parts myself and this is simply not that kind of blog. Either way I love the product and I've been using it since Friday.

Monday, 8 June 2015

My Latest Chilled Weekend: Facials, Fortune Cookies And SEAHAM

I have to say that this weekend was perhaps the most chilled I've had for an awfully long time. Usually I spend my weekends stressing about work, family or something I've dedicated myself to. This weekend was an interesting breath of fresh air and I only hope that I'll get more chances to relax fairly soon. On Saturday I paid my weekly visit to my great-grans house before going to a Body Shop party. It was there that I got a relaxing facial as I sipped mojitos, I'm glad I volunteered to be the guinea pig for the products because my skin was feeling awful. It's safe to say that I'm now feeling much more positively about the condition of my skin. We used products from the chamomile range as well as products from the vitamin c, vitamin e and tea trea ranges. I then returned to my great-grans where we ordered a Chinese takeaway, I ordered a chicken curry whilst my gran ordered something with prawns and a sweet and sour sauce. My fortune cookie said 'Look for more outlets for your own creative abilities' and I plan on doing just that, I just need to figure out how. The message was eerily potent as I have been trying to figure out what I want to do as an extra hobby, I just knew I wanted it to have a creative element. Anyway, by the end of our meal it was too late and too windy to consider walking home on my own so I stayed over hers, I borrowed a nightie of hers (made of satin, so comfy!), and we relaxed as we watched a few horror films. 

Backtracking a little bit, I received this Instant Hair Revival brush last week which apparently helps the hair through the use of kinetic energy. I had a chance to test it out over the weekend and it's actually really helped out with my frizzy mane, I'm trying to remember to use it when I get a chance but I do revert back to my trust paddle brush. I plan on posting a review for this hair brush later in the week so look out for that. I'm trying to keep my hair in good condition because my hair needs to be redyed sometime soon and I want to limit the damage, what I'm really saying is that this brush couldn't have come at a better time. Anyway, without saying too much on the matter, I also have some raspberry ketones from a different brand to review but that will likely take longer as I have to trial the product for... 28 days, I think. 

Last but certainly not least in the agenda for today's lifestyle post is the details of Sundays trip to Seaham. After Sunday lunch my dad suggested a trip out to take advantage of the good weather. My mum had a nap and my brother decided to do some exam revision so that just left my dad, myself and my little sister to have a little adventure. We didn't really decide we were going to Seaham until we got lost in Sunderland but it was lovely once we got there, we hopped from rock to rock, my sister fell in a rock pool, we collected pretty rocks and then we had a wander around the town. All in all it was a very pleasant trip, it always seems to be the three of us that end up wandering the most random towns, it's getting to be quite a habit! Anyway, thank you very much for reading about my chilled out weekend... What do you like to do to relax? I'm quite partial to a Montagne Jeunesse facemask and a chocolatey treat myself.