Saturday, 29 August 2015

Big Blogger Conference

Big Blogger Conference
Last Saturday I attended the Big Blogger Conference at the Hotel Russell in London.  It was organised by Lauren from Blonde Vision who runs a variety of blogger meet ups throughout London through the Twitter page @LDNmeetup. Recently, myself and Abi from All Things That Glitter have been getting involved with these events and helping Lauren out, so we were involved on the day as well which I was so excited about! Lauren was absolutely amazing, she put together a working schedule and roles for each of us so we knew exactly what to do on the day. It was an absolutely amazing day which I am so happy to have been a part of, I can't wait to share this post with you all and tell you all about the day, here goes! Big Blogger Conference
Everyone arrived between 9:30 and 10am and took their places in the hotel conference rooms ready for a morning full of exciting workshops. Each blogger was given a lovely notebook from Ohh Deer for note taking and some Jelly Beans to munch on throughout. There were three workshops running from some great speakers. Jasmin Charlotte presented about 'Tech & SEO', Elizabeth Sellers presented 'Pinterest 101' and Sarah Moody presented 'Getting More From Your Blog'. The workshops sounded absolutely amazing and had some amazing feedback - I wish I could of sat in them myself but we were busy setting up for the afternoon! The speakers also shared their presentations with everyone who attended as well so I can't wait to have a look at these.

Big Blogger Conference
After the workshops finished Lauren explained to each group what the plan was for the afternoon, then everyone headed out for a quick lunch break. The hotel provided everyone with these very tasty brownies and flapjacks... Yum!
Flapjacks at Hotel Russell
The second half of the day was a brand exhibition, this was such a great opportunity for everyone to network with the brands and they were all so friendly and generous. The brands that attended were:
Made By Jade
Type The Hype

Lauren has recently opened a new online shop 'The Gifting Lounge' who were showcasing these gorgeous notepads and lots of other lovely products...
Notebooks from The Gifting Lounge
Myprotein provided these gorgeous healthy snacks... Myprotein food

Look Fantastic gave away a Beauty Box to everyone...
Look Fantastic at the Big Blogger Conference London

Heaven Skincare were showcasing these Silver Bee Venom Masks in the most beautiful packaging...
Heaven Skincare at the Big Blogger Conference London

Jewellery Box gave each blogger a gorgeous little package...
Jewellery Box at the Big Blogger Conference London

Bee Good provided yummy treats for everyone at their stand...
Bee Good at the Big Blogger Conference London

One of the absolute highlights of the event for me was having our chosen charity The Scoliosis Association UK come along for the day. Claire from the charity brought along lots of information for everyone to understand what the charity is about and I'm so pleased with how much interest there was. We held a raffle which raised £120 and I'm so happy to give this to the charity, thank you everyone who donated! Scoliosis Association at the Big Blogger Conference London
We also had @Designed By Henna  come along and do henna for everyone which was so popular, she is very talented! Below is mine and Leah's from Devoted To Pink.
Henna at the Big Blogger Conference London

We managed to get a quick picture in between all the madness....
Big Blogger Conference London
The brand exhibition went on until around 5pm and then we announced the raffle. We had so many lovely prizes donated by lots of brands so thank you to everyone! Shout out to Fran for helping us with the raffle!

Raffle at the Big Blogger Conference London
The day finished with each blogger being given a goody bag full of some amazing things. Again thank you to all the brands that provided items for the goody bags! You can see below all the amazing goodies inside. They included Zeo Drinks, Propercorn, Pop Chips, Vivid, The No Bump Bobble, Scent City, Lottie London, Sass & Belle, W7, Crown Brush, Stvdio5 and Invisibobble.
goody bag at the Big Blogger Conference London
goody bag at the Big Blogger Conference London
Some of the brands that attended also put together their own goody bags as well, these included Myprotein, SASS and BeauBronz so everyone went away looking like they had just been on a massive shopping spree! I will be reviewing lots of the items I got on the day over the next few weeks on my blog so look out for those.

The hashtag #BigBloggerConference was trending throughout the day so if you want to see more about the day there are lots of pictures on the hashtag.

Overall, the day was a massive success. The brands and bloggers were amazing and we have had so much wonderful feedback already. Massive thank you to Lauren for organising this great day and I'm so glad I got to help out and be a part of it.

Finally I must thank Marcus F/22 Photography for his amazing pictures from the day! All the photos with 'F/22 Photography' in the corner were taken by him and the rest are mine.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

MAC Lipsticks | Saint Germain & Honeylove

A review of MAC lipsticks Honeylove and Saint Germain
A review of MAC Saint Germain and MAC Honeylove Lipsticks
There is nothing I love more than a new MAC lipstick – I am absolutely lipstick obsessed! So when I got these two for my birthday a couple of weeks ago I was so excited. Saint Germain and Honey Love are shades which have been on my wish list for so long and they seem to be very popular in the beauty world.

Saint Germain
A review of MAC lipstick Saint Germain
I first came across Saint Germain when one my friends was wearing it and I fell in love straight away. It is such lovely colour and I knew it has to be added to my collection of pinks. Saint Germain is described on the MAC website as a ‘clean pastel pink’ and this is exactly what it is. It is a cool toned pink so it can also look a bit lilac/lavender in some lighting.
Saint Germain is an Amplified Sheen formula which means it is very pigmented and semi matte. I really like this lipstick finish, only one swipe on your lips give you such a bold colour. It looks darker in the tube but when applied (and you can see in my swatch below) it is quite a light pastel pink. I don’t think it would suit every skin tone and probably won’t be to everyone’s taste either. I think it suits lighter skin tones better but if you aren’t sure you can always test it out at a MAC counter. I like to apply a pink lip gloss over it which I think makes the shade more wearable. 
As it is pastel and has a semi matte finish it can be quite drying on the lips. To stop this I always make sure I moisturise my lips before and that’s another reason why I like to add a gloss after applying. The high pigmentation of this lipstick means it lasts on the lips for absolutely ages which is a big plus for me – I hate it when a lipstick rubs off straight away.
Saint Germain is such a fun and girly shade of pink, I have already worn it quite a few times and I’m very happy to add this to my collection.
A review of MAC Honeylove lipstick
I mentioned in a previous post that I am completely obsessed with nude lipsticks at the moment and Honeylove is one I have tried to purchase a couple of times but it has been out of stock so I am very excited to have it. It is a gorgeous nude colour and described by MAC as ‘light beige toned with rose’. I’m not sure I can see the rose in it, to me it is a very true beige nude with peachy tones if anything.

Honeylove is a matte formula, which is my favourite lipstick finish from MAC. A lot of matte lipsticks can be quite drying but I have never had this issue with any of the ones I have from MAC, they are always creamy and glide on really well. If you do tend to have quite dry lips you can apply lots of lip balm before applying and possibly a gloss on top which really helps. The reason I love the matte formula so much is because they are always extremely pigmented and very long lasting. Honeylove is no different – one swipe and your lips are a beautiful nude shade which lasts for hours.
I have been applying Honeylove with MAC Boldly Bare lip liner underneath and I absolutely love the combination. Having the lip liner as well makes the staying power even better and I have been so impressed with how well it lasts on my lips.

Swatches of MAC lipsticks Saint Germain and Honeylove
Left - Saint Germain, Right - Honeylove

 Have you tried Saint Germain or Honeylove? What are your favourite MAC lipsticks?

Monday, 24 August 2015

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle

A review of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft and Gentle
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft and Gentle - £24

A review of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft and Gentle
You may have already noticed that I am completely obsessed with highlighting products – I think they are my favourite item of makeup as I just love the effect a good highlighter can give. MAC Soft and Gentle is one which has been on my wish list for such a long time, I tried a few times to purchase it but it was sold out and then I forgot about it for a while as I found a few others I love. One of my presents for my birthday a couple of weeks ago was a MAC voucher, I knew straight away I wanted to buy Soft and Gentle and thankfully it was in stock!

To start with I have to comment on how pretty it looks. I always love the simplicity of the black MAC packaging all their products have but this is particularly eye catching. You can see from the photos above the various tones running through in a swirling marbleised effect which is absolutely gorgeous. MAC describes the colour as a ‘gilded peach bronze’ which in my opinion could be slightly misleading and make people think it bronzier than it really is. Although it does have bronze in it I feel it’s actually more of a lighter champagne shade with hints of pink in it when it is applied. It looks a darker shade in the pan than it does when applied so don’t let this put you off if you have a lighter skin tone.

In the pan it looks quite glittery and I was slightly worried that it was going to be too much and leave speckles of glitter when applied but it isn’t at all like that. It gives such a beautiful shimmery dewy glow to the skin which I instantly fell in love with.
A review of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft and Gentle

One thing I love about highlighting products is how versatile they are and Soft and Gentle is no different. It can be used anywhere you want to add some glow to your face or body. I like to apply it to my cheekbones, lightly down my nose and across my forehead. I do this after applying my foundation and powder as it is the perfect finishing touch to give my makeup some depth and brighten up the skin. I also sometimes use it to highlight my brow bone, inner corners of my eyes and cupids bow which it is great for too.  If you wanted to, you could also use it as an eyeshadow or the pink/peach tones in it would make it a lovely blush to make the cheeks pop. I think I will be trying this out next.

As you can probably tell I am a massive fan of Soft and Gentle and I can’t really see anything bad about it. The only small downside is there can be a lot of fallout from this product, however this is expected with powder highlighters. I also think using a fan brush to apply this really helps and allows you to pick up product without any real fallout.

You can purchase MAC Soft and Gentle for £24 and although this is quite expensive for one highlighter I think it is worth it for the amazing quality. I have read a lot of reviews as well that say it lasts forever which I can believe, as you only need such a small amount of product each time because the pigmentation is so good.

Have you tried Soft and Gentle? What’s your favourite highlighter?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

7 Tips To Get Rid Of Bloggers Guilt

7 tips to get rid of bloggers guilt
Image Source
What I didn't realise when I started blogging is the amount of guilt that comes with it. I have heard bloggers talk about 'bloggers guilt' and this is definitely a real thing. Blogging with a full time job as well can be extremely stressful and can often leave lots of us feeling full of guilt for not putting enough time into our blogs and not blogging enough. It’s hard enough trying to balance a job with a social life as well as keeping on top of general household chores - throwing a blog in there too is not easy and can be overwhelming at times.

Since starting my blog there have been times when I have felt a lot of guilt about not blogging enough and over time I have found my own ways of dealing with it. I have put together some tips which help me blog guilt free and without worry so I thought it would be a nice idea to share these with you all.

1. Don’t set a target of how many times you are going to blog in a week. All this talk about how you must post at least 2-3 times a week is not true – post as much as you feel you are able to. If I only post once a week I just accept that was all I was able to do and don’t put pressure on myself.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. I often find myself reading blogs and thinking ‘how do they have time to blog 5 days a week?!’ Remember everyone is different and they might not have a full time job like you do so therefore they have more time to blog.

3. It’s ok to take a break. I stopped blogging for over two weeks while I went on holiday earlier in the year - I didn’t lose any followers and nothing had changed when I came back. It’s nothing to stress about and completely natural to want a break at times. We have a break from our jobs when we take holiday so we can have a break from our blogs too.

Image Source
4. Don’t sacrifice a social life for your blog. There has been a couple of time when I have thought ‘I can’t go for dinner tonight because I’m behind with blogging this week’. But then I remember it’s hard enough to make time to see friends as it is with a full time job, I’m not going to turn down an evening out with friends for an evening on my own glued to my laptop.

5. Don’t let blogging become a chore. Unless you are a full time blogger it is important to remember that your blog is one of your hobbies and not your job. This means it is something you enjoy and choose to do – you don’t have to blog. Sometimes I have evenings where I would just rather sit and watch Netflix instead of finish writing that blog post and it’s ok to do this – we are only human! Cooking is also a hobby of mine but there are times when I just can’t be bothered and buy a ready meal. If I forced myself to cook every night it would no longer be fun and would become a chore and it is exactly the same with blogging. I will only sit down and blog when I want to - this means it stays as one of my favourite hobbies and never feels like a chore.

6. Remember that no one is perfect. I have sometimes found myself wondering things like ‘how are her photos so perfect?’, ‘I wish my life was as exciting as hers’, ‘how is she so amazing at shooting ootd’s, I’m so awkward in front of the camera’. You might think someone has the perfect life you dream of – but realistically they are probably thinking the same things about someone else. Social media can be misleading and only shows the parts of someone’s life that they want you to see.

7. Stop worrying about stats. During my first year of blogging I kept worrying about my stats, wondering why they weren’t increasing quick enough and panicking about not having enough followers. It's expected that my blog isn't going to grow as fast as others as I don't have enough hours in the day to dedicate to it and I don't mind this. I have already had some amazing things happen through blogging including making wonderful new friends and going to lots of events and there’s really no need to worry about stats when blogging is a hobby not a job.

I’m sure those of you with full time jobs like me have enough stress already in work you don’t need to stress about blogging as well. What I’m really trying to say is blog because you want to – not because you have to. I hope this helps anyone of you that experience a case of blogger’s guilt now and again.

Image Source

What are your tips to guilt free blogging? Have you experienced any of these feelings?

Friday, 14 August 2015

Sleek Highlighting Palette | Precious Metals

A review of Sleek Makeup Highlighting Palette Precious Metals

A review of Sleek Makeup Highlighting Palette Precious Metals
Sleek Precious Metals Highlighting Palette

I am a massive fan of Sleek makeup, I have tried quite a few of their products and have been impressed with them all. The prices are always so reasonable and I love the packaging – it makes it look like a high end makeup brand. Recently I have been reaching for the Sleek contour palette almost every day using it to highlight (mentioned here in my July Favourites), it is one of my favourite highlighters - so when I came across this highlighting palette I had to get my hands on it.

A review of Sleek Makeup Highlighting Palette Precious Metals

The palette is called ‘Precious Metals’ and contains four gorgeous shades, three cream formulas and one powder. Clockwise from top left the shades are – Platinum, Royal Gold, Antique Bronze (the powder) and Renaissance Gold. Sometimes with cheaper palettes individual shades don’t always have names, so I love that these highlighters each have a lovely unique name which is in keeping with the Precious Metals theme.
I have to mention about the packaging which it is such a gorgeous shiny metallic bronze colour – I don’t think my pictures really do it justice! It also comes with a big mirror and a brush inside which is a nice little bonus, although I haven’t tried the brush yet so I can’t comment on how good it is.

A review of Sleek Makeup Highlighting Palette Precious Metals
A review of Sleek Makeup Highlighting Palette Precious Metals

This is how Sleek define the palette on their website “This multitasking must-have creates a gorgeous all-over shimmer that instantly enhances the complexion with a fresh, radiant glow. Includes three luxurious velvet cream formulas and one powder. The versatile face and body highlighting palette complements all skin tones and the iridescent, metallic finishes add a radiant glow and a luminous polish to the skin”.
I love every shade in this palette for a different reason. Platinum gives a lovely bright shimmer which is perfect for highlighting the brow bones and inner corners of the eyes. Royal Gold and Renaissance Gold are rose gold shades that are quite similar. I find these two perfect for highlighting the cheekbones and as they are cream I like to apply them with either my fingers or a small stippling brush. Antique Bronze is the only shade which I wouldn’t use as a highlighter as it is too dark for me, but as it is a powder it makes a gorgeous shimmery bronzer. I think this powder would make a great eyeshadow too so this is definitely something I will be trying out.

Swatches of Sleek Makeup Highlighting Palette Precious Metals
Left to Right - Platinum, Royal Gold, Renaissance Gold, Antique Bronze

This palette has made me love Sleek more than I did before which I didn’t think was possible! Like all the Sleek makeup products I have tried so far, the quality is great and very impressive for the price tag of £9.99. I really love the three cream shades and can definitely see myself wearing them everyday throughout the rest of summer. They remind me a lot of Benefit’s Watts Up - but much more affordable.

Do you like the sound of this Sleek Precious Metals highlighting palette? What’s your favourite summer highlighter?


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Everyday Essential Makeup Brushes

It occurred to me recently that I have rarely talked about my makeup brushes on my blog, I’m always blogging about makeup but never what I use to apply it. So I thought it might be a nice idea to share with you my favourite makeup brushes which I absolutely love and find myself reaching for every day.

USpicy Foundation Brush - I blogged a couple of months ago about the USpicy 10 piece brush set I bought on Amazon after reading Carly's review of it on her blog Carly's Beauty World. Ever since purchasing it I have loved it, I am so impressed with the quality of the brushes and the set only costs £9.99! Although I love all the brushes in this set, there is one which I find myself reaching for everyday to apply my foundation. I have been using it for months now and it is perfect for applying and blending foundation. It is really soft and doesn't shed at all which I might have expected from cheaper brushes. I really recommend this brush set, if you want to read my full review of the set click here.

Elf Complexion Brush -  I use this brush pretty much everyday to apply my bronzer, it is the perfect angled shape which allows you to easily apply and contour. It doesn’t give a defined contoured look as it is too big, but it allows you achieve a quick easy bronzer application so it perfect for everyday when you aren’t looking to spend ages on your makeup.  It was only £3.95 which is so reasonable, Elf currently are refurbishing their UK website, so when it is available again I will definitely need to get my hands on some more brushes.

Real Techniques Blush Brush– I have been a big fan of Real Techniques for years now, they are such good quality brushes and very affordable. I have a few Real Techniques brushes in my collection but there are a couple which really stand out for me. The first is this blush brush. Like with all Real Techniques brushes, the bristles are so soft and it doesn't shed at all. I find this brush perfect for applying blusher, it picks up the product well without much effort and the size allows you to blend it in really well. Although I prefer to use this brush for applying blusher, it can be used for a range of purposes as well. I have tried it for all-over powdering and for applying bronzer, both of which works really well too.
Real Techniques Setting Brush - The second brush from Real Techniques which I absolutely love is the setting brush. This is quite a small brush which can be used for applying powder in specific areas like under the eyes, or for applying powder highlighter. I use it to apply highlighter onto my cheekbones and down my nose. The size of it makes it really easy to get a a precise application and it picks up product really well. Again like all Real Techniques brushes I have tried it is so soft, doesn't shed and washes well.

Topshop Eyebrow Brush - I picked up this brush a while ago in a Topshop sale, I think it was only around £3. For this price I wasn't really expecting much but I have been pleasantly suprised by the quality. It it the perfect size brush to apply powder/wax onto the eyebrows. It is angled and strong as well which allows you to get a really defined line on the brows. I have washed it a few times since purchasing it and it washes well. It still is in perfect condition - I think this is quite impressive for a cheaper brush.

Urban Decay Naked Palette Brush - My Urban Decay Naked palette is my absolute favourite eyeshadow palette ever - seriously recommend if you haven't tried it! As well as the amazing quality eyeshadows, it also comes with a great brush to apply with. It is a double ended brush, with one end larger to apply colour over the whole lid and the other end smaller to apply into the crease or create a more defined look. I wear eyeshadow most days and I always find myself reaching for this brush. It is so soft when applying on the eyelid, it picks up product well and is the perfect size.
Do you use any of these brushes? What are your everyday essential makeup brushes?  

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Coloristiq Monthly Manicure Box 'Summer Getaway'

I am a massive fan of nail varnish, you will never see me without a colour on my nails. They are one of my beauty weaknesses, I often just can't resist picking one up whilst browsing them in Boots, even though I probably have a similar colour already! I love experimenting with new colours, especially bright colours during summer - so I was really excited when I was introduced to this Coloristiq Manicure Box*.
The Coloristiq Manicure Box works the same way as many other beauty box services, they put together a new box each month and allow you to purchase the box for a much cheaper price than if you were to buy each product individually. The Coloristiq box contains a variety of nail related products and each month has a theme to go with that season. Each box has a minimum value of £50 and goes on sale for only £12.49 - an amazing saving! Another great thing about these manicure boxes is that you don't have to sign up to a subscription service like you do with most other beauty boxes, you can simply buy one box if you like the theme.
I was sent July's manicure box called 'Summer Getaway'. As soon as I saw the brands featured in the box I was really impressed. Most of them are from higher priced nail polish brands like O.P.I, Nails Inc and Essie - so considering this box only costs £12.49 all together that's pretty good.

The Summer Getaway box contains the following products:
  • Nails Inc London Designer Matte Finish - Gatwick - RRP £12.00
  • OPI Nicole - Diva Into The Pool - RRP £7.99
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme - Lemon Zest - RRP £4.99
  • Essie Summer Collection - RRP £9.98
  • Nails Inc Soho Silk Colour Enhancing Base Coat - RRP £11.99
I love all the colours in this box, especially the shiny O.P.I polish which is the perfect mermaid shade and I can't wait to try it out.

As well as the nail polishes, the manicure box also comes with a guide to show you some great nail art that can be created with these colours - put together by the blogger Pinkglow’s Pretty Polish. I can't say I will be trying out this design myself as I'm not the best at nail art and I prefer just one colour on my nails at a time - but if you are adventurous this is a gorgeous summer design to try out!
This Summer Getaway manicure box is still on sale here if you like the look of it. August's box also looks amazing - it is a Safari theme and I already know I'm going to love it!
Have you tried one of these Coloristiq manicure boxes? Do you like the look of them?


Monday, 3 August 2015

July Favourites

I can’t believe July is over already, this month has flown by! I am quite excited that it is August now, it’s my favourite month of the year and my birthday month. Here are my favourites from July – most of them are products I took on holiday and couldn’t get enough of, they are definitely hot weather favourites and I will probably continue using them all throughout the rest of summer.

No Bump Bobbles – I received these bobbles in a goody bag from a blogger event and had been meaning to try them out for ages. They are designed so that when you wear the bobble and then take it out, you won’t have any bumps or dents left in your hair. I find this quite an annoying issue when I wear my hair up, so I was excited to see if they actually worked and I thought taking them on holiday was the perfect opportunity! I’m pleased to say they worked really well. I now use them almost every day as they are so convenient, plus they look so pretty! They have so many different designs on their website I’m sure I’ll be purchasing more soon.

Got 2 b Styling Oil I always take a hair oil with me when I go on holiday as my hair often gets dry in the hot weather and when I go swimming in the pool or sea. I mainly picked this up because it was a small bottle so I thought it would be the perfect size for packing in my suitcase and it was reasonably priced. I used this on the ends of my every day after I washed it and really liked it. It really helped to moisturise my hair and prevent it from feeling dry after I had been swimming in the sea. I have continued to use this most days since I’ve got back from holiday and it has lasted really well. You only need a little bit of product each time so it last for ages, I will definitely be repurchasing it.

Nivea After Sun Bronze I never go on holiday without after sun, it is essential to put it on after being in the sun. I always tend to burn a little bit when I go away regardless of how much sun cream I put on, so I always have after sun with me to moisturise my skin and stop it peeling. I picked up this Nivea one as it was on offer in Boots at the time and I’m really impressed with it. It is quite a thin formula, so it blends into the skin quickly which makes it really convenient to apply after the shower without it taking too long. It also smells lovely and fresh and leaves the skin feeling soothed which is perfect if you have any sunburn.

Bourjois Bronzing Powder – This is a bronzer I have loved for a long time, I wrote a full review here. It is such a lovely shade and smells of chocolate which just makes me want to eat it every time I use it! I am using this pretty much every day at the moment and probably will for the whole of summer. From my holiday I have a natural tan now so this bronzer is perfect to make sure my face matches the rest of me. It always lasts so well and is a lovely shade – not orange at all.

Barry M Lip Pencil 'Fuschia' – I picked this up in Topshop before I went on holiday while I was doing some last minute shopping. Topshop on Oxford Street has the most amazing Barry M stand, I had to have a browse and I couldn’t resist picking up this hot pink lip pencil as it was only £2.99. Obviously this colour won’t be for everyone, but I absolutely love bright colours, especially during the summer.  I really like this pencil, it is lovely and creamy when applied – not drying at all and it lasts on the lips really well. I absolutely love the shade as well – it is the perfect Barbie pink.

Sleek Contour Palette 'Fair' - – This is a palette I have loved ever since I bought it, I am a massive fan of Sleek makeup – the prices are always so reasonable and everything I’ve tried I have loved. There was no doubt that this palette was going on holiday with me, it is so convenient to have three products in one. Although I love the bronzer and blusher in this palette, it is the highlighter I am raving about this month. It is a beautiful champagne colour and the pigmentation of it is amazing. I can’t stop using this highlighter – I wish they sold it separately because I would definitely purchase it!

Have you tried any of these products? What are your July Favourites? 

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