Wednesday, 25 June 2014

No More Manicure Rage, Thanks to Julep

How many times have you painted a perfect manicure, only to completely screw up the last nail, scream in rage and rampage around the room bemoaning the folly of painting your nails with your non-dominant hand? Just me...? Nah, it can't just be me.

I've been speaking to US nail varnish brand, Julep, about their newest invention which is supposed to make painting your nails (particularly with your non-dominant hand) an easy, enjoyable experience...rather than one filled with blood-curdling shrieks of 'OMFG I'VE SMUDGED IT AGAIN', which is what mani time usually sounds like in my house.

Launching today, Julep's exciting new product is the Plie Wand, and here's what all the fuss is about:

The Plie Wand is set to revolutionise the way you apply your varnish, making it easier to achieve neat manicures and fun nail art at home. To find out more about the Plie Wand, here's a video from Julep's CEO, Jane Park, talking about the product:

Looks pretty snazzy, right? It's definitely something I'll look at picking up the next time I'm in the US. I've got a couple of Julep polishes in my stash and they're really lovely, unique colours - I just wish they were easier to get hold of on this side of the pond!

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Very Bertie Photoshoot

I used the new lens for my camera for the first time the other day - and it was love at first click! I desperately needed something, anything, to take photos of so I went straight for my favourite subject - my long-suffering and eternally patient pet, Bertie.

Now, I talk about Bertie a *lot* on Twitter and Instagram but he's so darned awesome it's impossible not to. He makes me laugh every single day and he's the smartest dog I've ever met in my twenty six years - not that I'm biased or anything. He just turned four in April and, if I do say so myself, I think he makes a pretty perfect model. I did just snap these photos to test out my new lens but after seeing how great they turned out I decided to share a few of my favourites.

I can pretend this was a yawn until the cows come home but I'm pretty sure I snapped him mid 'stahhhhp taking photos' face
So there we go, another post dedicated to that fluffy-eared fuzzball that is my loyal hound. Now, er, did someone say walkies?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Blogging Stationery Saviours!

So I think most book lovers are also stationery lovers, am I right? I don't know about you guys but I can't resist the lure of a shiny new notebook, even when I have a whole shelf of the empty blighters languishing at home.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk to you about three of my stationery saviours that really help me to stay organised when it comes to blogging - especially book reviewing. 

Organisation is key when it comes to running a blog so I'm never without a pen and notebook, wherever I am! You never know inspiration is going to strike and I've got ideas for posts in the weirdest places so I always like to have something on hand to jot down a few notes if the mood takes place. 

My notebook of choice at the moment is this lovely pink and white beauty, which my best friend gave me for Christmas last year - she always gets me the nicest notebooks! To go with it I've got a neon pink fountain pen...because nice handwriting doesn't have to be boring. And yes, the ink cartridge inside is also pink. I actually signed my resignation letter with this pen when I left my previous job to start up my copywriting business so it's been a bit of a good luck charm ever since!

The notebook and pen are obvious choices, but I'm guessing you're wondering what the sardine tin is for. Nope, it's not an omega 3-filled snack on the go, it's actually the last part of my blogging stationery holy trinity! Meet the 'Tin of Sardines - Clip On Page Markers'* by the lovely That Company Called IF.

Each handy little tinned is filled to the brim with fifty gorgeously designed, brightly coloured fish-shaped page markers. How's that for jazzing up the humble paperclip?

And look how pretty they look marking all the different sections in my notebook - these are also a massive lifesaver if you're writing a book review and need to mark out pages with relevant quotes etc. I know most of you don't like to dog ear your books, so these are the perfect alternative - I think they might even convince me to stop folding down the corners of pages...and you know how dedicated I am to that ;).

So let me know, what are your top three blogging stationery saviours? And what do you think of the Tin of Sardines Page Markers? To have a proper look at them hop on over to their page on the That Company Called IF website. You can also follow them on Twitter at @IFgifts.

(Disclaimer: The Tin of Sardines Page Markers were sent to me in exchange for an honest review)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Summer Ponytails

So it looks as though the warm weather of summer is well and truly upon us, hooray! Though, as we're in the UK it's more of a cloudy, muggy heat than a bright, sunny day but, well, beggars can't be choosers, eh?

To combat the humid weather and stay stylish a ponytail is the perfect answer, but they can be a little bit dull, can't they? For inspire me to jazz up my summer ponytails I scoured Pinterest and found some brilliant ideas, so I wanted to share a few of them with you.

Ah, the humble ponytail. So easy to do and fuss-free, but what do you do when you want to make it a little more interesting? It's surprisingly simple to make this style look much more chic than just a rope of hair hanging down your back. Adding a hairband, scarf or flower to your hair can really make a difference, or something as simple as wrapping hair around your hair tie can make this look more put-together.

For more ideas and a few daring approaches, have a look below:

I definitely want to try a more textured ponytail like the middle two at the top, as I find mine usually fall a little limp because my hair's so straight1 I love the idea of the bubble ponytail on the bottom left for something a bit different.

So, what do you guys do to make your ponytails a bit more interesting, and do you think you'll be trying out any of these styles this summer?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

South West Blog Social!

Last weekend I headed down to Exeter for the #swblogsocial, organised by the very lovely Jodie from A La Jode and Albertine from Dippy Writes. I'd been looking forward to this meet up for ages and ages, as it looked like the girls had so much planned for us. Did it disappoint? Abso-bloody-lutely not!

I headed down to Exeter with my blogging buds Amy and Emily, and we met Hannah and Becky at the station. I'd never met Becky before but I've been reading her blog for ages and ages, so it was so lovely to meet her in person!

The event itself was an absolute blast. We drank cocktails, gossiped about all things blogging and got the chance to attend talks from all different industry professionals. My favourite talk was about getting into print, which was particularly useful for me and I picked up a few great tips I'll be taking on board.

Oddfellows had produced a special BLOG cocktail for us. Can you guess what the ingredients were? Spoiler: B(lackberry

It tasted even better than it looks and I could quite easily have sampled a few more glasses!

Me and Becky very much enjoying our BLOG cocktails

All the names of the gorgeous bloggers who attended!
I had an absolutely brilliant day and I'm so grateful to Jodie, Albertine and all of the speakers at the event. It was so much fun and I had the best time hanging out with some truly lovely ladies - murder mystery night soon, yesss?

Oh, and to top it off, we were given the most generous goodie bags - including four full-sized Yves Rocher products. I cannot wait to try these bad boys out so look out for some reviews soon!

Monday, 9 June 2014

One Brand Face: Rimmel

So while I was rootling through my make up drawers the other day I decided to have a go at doing a full face of make up using only one brand. At first I figured this'd be super easy but when it came down to it there was only one brand where I owned a full range of products: Rimmel. And, to be fair, even that was pushing it as I realised I don't own any cheek products from the brand - eek! 

So, here's a look at the products I used:

I went with a natural-looking eye, using the Scandaleyes Kohl pencil to line my waterline, a dab of the silvery colour from the palette in my inner corners and then a couple of coats of the Retro Glam mascara...which is only okay, if I'm honest.

For my face I was pretty sorted, using the Match Perfection foundation, Wake Me Up concealer and Stay Matte powder. Then on the lips I used my only Rimmel lip product, a lipstick in a shade called Screamer. Nice.

However, that left my cheeks a little unloved as I don't own any Rimmel blushers or bronzers. In the end I got creative and dabbed some lipstick on the apples of my cheeks and blended it out. It's a bit ropey but it did give my cheeks a little bit of warmth.

So there you have it, my make up look using only Rimmel products. Ta-da! What do you think?

Friday, 6 June 2014

Five Under £5

Using high end products is always so enjoyable but the price tag usually makes me flinch, which is why I think we're so lucky to have such amazing high street brands that release gorgeous products for teeny weeny price tags. So, to celebrate our brilliant British high street I wanted to share my top five products that cost less than a fiver!

1. MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter: As you can see, my product is pretty well loved and I lost the lid months ago...oops. This provides a lovely wash of shimmer that looks great dusted across the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and in the cupid's bow. It's not too glittery but just gives your skin a little boost on days where you need a little pick me up. You can pick this up for just £3.

2. Sleek Blush (pictured: Pixie Pink): Sleek blushes just cannot be beaten by anything else on the high street. There's a huge range of colours, they're pigmented like whooooa and you get a whopper of a product for £4.49. Of course, anybody looking for a Nars Orgasm/Benefit Coralista dupe can pick up Sleek's famed Rose Gold shade, which is absolutely beautiful.

3. Maybelline Baby Lips (pictured: Cherry Me): Lip balms are an absolute staple and my lips do get a bit dry so I always have a couple on hand. I know these have been a bit love/hate with people but I'm firmly on the love side. They keep my lips hydrated for hours, come in a range of gorgeous scents and tints and only cost £2.99.

4. Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow (pictured: Pink Gold): I've sung the praises of these brilliant pots of colour before but I cannot reiterate how much I love them. I've got four now and each one I buy is ever better than the last. I don't see myself falling out of these any time soon! These will set you back a mere £4.99 each.

5. Collection 2000 Lasting Perfect Concealer: Who would ever write this type of post without including this wonder product? It's the top of everybody's list for a ruddy good reason - it provides great coverage, it blends like a dream and it lasts and lasts. Best of all? It's only £4.19.

So there you go - my top five products under £5. What would you put on your list?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Five Product Face!

After seeing a fair few bloggers and YouTubers complete this challenge I thought I'd give it a go myself - and I actually underestimated how difficult it would be to create a whole face of make up from only five products!

Anywhere, here's how I got on and underneath the picture I'll let you know the products I finally decided to use:

So, as you can see, it's not quite a polished look but I'm still pretty pleased with my effort. To create this five product face I used the following:

Foundation: There was only ever going to be one! My favourite ever foundation, Rimmel Match Perfection.

Concealer: I could have done away with concealer if I really needed to but my pesky under-eye circles will ruin any make up look, so I decided to use up one slot of my product allowance with Benefit's Fake Up...which I'm liking more the more I use it, but I still don't love it.

Eyeshadow: The cream shadow I can't get enough of lately, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze is my daily staple. It gives a subtle, finished looked to the eye and only takes a couple of seconds to swipe across each lid.

Mascara: YSL Baby Doll is one of my favourite mascaras to use if I'm only wearing a little bit of make up. It curls, lengthens and separates my lashes but keeps them looking natural all day long.

Cheeks/Lips: Well after I realised I'd used four of my products up on face and eyes I wasn't quite sure whether to pick a lip or cheek product for my final product...then it hit me - Benetint! I don't actually ever use Benetint on my lips and if you look at the photo above you can probably see why. It doesn't look great but it gives my lips a little wash of colour so I look a little less corpse-like.

So there you go, that's my five product face! What products would you use in this challenge?