I was recently contacted by UNIQLO with the chance to take part in an exciting challenge.  Their #7daydenim campaign ran all last week, with seven bloggers styling and wearing UNIQLO jeans for the week.  Search for the #7daydenim tag on instagram, or you can click here to see the looks we each uploaded!

As part of the challenge we got to choose three pairs of Uniqlo jeans to style.  I've never shopped at UNIQLO before, and found their size guides a little confusing!  FYI, if you're ever ordering, a 26-27 is a UK 10!  In the end I went for three pairs of the Ultra Stretch Ankle Length Zip jeans; in blue, grey and black....mainly because I've got dumpy legs and figured there'd be more of a chance that they'd actually be short enough for me!  Turns out it was the best choice to make - they fit perfectly (for reference, I'm around a 28-30inch leg) and I really like the zip detail.  They're also really quite soft and nice and stretchy....think of Joni jeans, but slightly less 'suck it all in'!

So above is how I wore my jeans for the #7daydenim campaign.  If you'd like more details on any of the looks, check out the video I filmed as well!

And here's the exciting part....UNIQLO are running a competition giving you the chance to win £200 to spend online at UNIQLO.com!  All you need to do is follow them on instagram (@UNIQLO_UK) and upload your ultimate denim look (be it inspiration or an outfit you've styled) using the hashtag #UNIQdenim and tag UNIQLO in it.  It's running until the 8th of September....worth a go right!  For detailed terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck if you enter!

The #7daydenim challenge with Uniqlo

29.8.14

I was recently contacted by UNIQLO with the chance to take part in an exciting challenge.  Their #7daydenim campaign ran all last week, with seven bloggers styling and wearing UNIQLO jeans for the week.  Search for the #7daydenim tag on instagram, or you can click here to see the looks we each uploaded!

As part of the challenge we got to choose three pairs of Uniqlo jeans to style.  I've never shopped at UNIQLO before, and found their size guides a little confusing!  FYI, if you're ever ordering, a 26-27 is a UK 10!  In the end I went for three pairs of the Ultra Stretch Ankle Length Zip jeans; in blue, grey and black....mainly because I've got dumpy legs and figured there'd be more of a chance that they'd actually be short enough for me!  Turns out it was the best choice to make - they fit perfectly (for reference, I'm around a 28-30inch leg) and I really like the zip detail.  They're also really quite soft and nice and stretchy....think of Joni jeans, but slightly less 'suck it all in'!

So above is how I wore my jeans for the #7daydenim campaign.  If you'd like more details on any of the looks, check out the video I filmed as well!

And here's the exciting part....UNIQLO are running a competition giving you the chance to win £200 to spend online at UNIQLO.com!  All you need to do is follow them on instagram (@UNIQLO_UK) and upload your ultimate denim look (be it inspiration or an outfit you've styled) using the hashtag #UNIQdenim and tag UNIQLO in it.  It's running until the 8th of September....worth a go right!  For detailed terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck if you enter!
This. has. changed. my. life.  I feel incredibly shallow admitting that something as insignificant as eyebrows has made me so happy...but it's true!

I've long been hearing amazing things about Anastasia Beverly Hills.  She is the queen of brows, so I'm lead to believe.  Perhaps most famous is her Brow Wiz, but the thought of spending £15.50 on a pencil....no matter how good....just didn't sit well with me.  So what did I do?  Go and spend £30 (well, £24 thanks to a discount code - but there was P&P on top!) on the Dipbrow Pomade and recommended brush instead.  Lorna Logic right there.

I'll admit that choosing a shade caused quite a bit of angst.  In the end I figured that I've got fairly dark brows naturally, and even putting a light shade on top doesn't really affect the overall colour.  I did read a lot of reviews though, and spotted a couple of people who had purchased a fair too ashy shade (Taupe, I think that was) and looked like they had grey eyebrows.  In the end I went with Soft Brown; bang in the middle I figured, and it's working well for me.

For the past year or so I've been trying to reign my spending habits in and avoid rash decisions when it comes to expensive beauty products.  MAC limited edition collections, I'm looking at you.  But as much as I hate myself for saying it, this stuff was worth every penny.  I've finally achieved defined brows from every angle, in a shape that I'm really pleased with.

It's crazy how much one product can change things.  I genuinely believed that with the right skills, it didn't matter so much which tools were being used.  Not true!  This makes eyebrows so easy, and although it's an expensive initial payout, the brush seems a good quality and I'm hoping it will last me a good while.  And if you're wondering whether you need to buy the brush as well?  Let's just say I've never found one as dense and sturdy as this on the high street.

So it's out there.  Until I break even with cost-per-wear, I think it's fair to say I'm sporting some ridiculously expensive eyebrows.  But I'm happy!  Now tell me....are there any expensive products you're glad you finally bought?  It's so nice when a splurge turns out to be worth it!

Crazy expensive eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills

27.8.14

This. has. changed. my. life.  I feel incredibly shallow admitting that something as insignificant as eyebrows has made me so happy...but it's true!

I've long been hearing amazing things about Anastasia Beverly Hills.  She is the queen of brows, so I'm lead to believe.  Perhaps most famous is her Brow Wiz, but the thought of spending £15.50 on a pencil....no matter how good....just didn't sit well with me.  So what did I do?  Go and spend £30 (well, £24 thanks to a discount code - but there was P&P on top!) on the Dipbrow Pomade and recommended brush instead.  Lorna Logic right there.

I'll admit that choosing a shade caused quite a bit of angst.  In the end I figured that I've got fairly dark brows naturally, and even putting a light shade on top doesn't really affect the overall colour.  I did read a lot of reviews though, and spotted a couple of people who had purchased a fair too ashy shade (Taupe, I think that was) and looked like they had grey eyebrows.  In the end I went with Soft Brown; bang in the middle I figured, and it's working well for me.

For the past year or so I've been trying to reign my spending habits in and avoid rash decisions when it comes to expensive beauty products.  MAC limited edition collections, I'm looking at you.  But as much as I hate myself for saying it, this stuff was worth every penny.  I've finally achieved defined brows from every angle, in a shape that I'm really pleased with.

It's crazy how much one product can change things.  I genuinely believed that with the right skills, it didn't matter so much which tools were being used.  Not true!  This makes eyebrows so easy, and although it's an expensive initial payout, the brush seems a good quality and I'm hoping it will last me a good while.  And if you're wondering whether you need to buy the brush as well?  Let's just say I've never found one as dense and sturdy as this on the high street.

So it's out there.  Until I break even with cost-per-wear, I think it's fair to say I'm sporting some ridiculously expensive eyebrows.  But I'm happy!  Now tell me....are there any expensive products you're glad you finally bought?  It's so nice when a splurge turns out to be worth it!
I'm a little late this month.  Unexpectedly, the summer holidays have almost become a holiday from blogging.  That's not to say I haven't been catching up on my reading list and doing some serious online window shopping though!

Blogs::
 - I'm going to kick off with one that doesn't need too much explaining.  This list.  Aspirational bucket lists are fun, but can sometimes be unachievable.  I love the way this one focuses on the little things that really mean something in life.
- How amazing does Lizzie look here?  Having the pleasure of knowing the lovely lady personally, I can say that this style is a leap out of her comfort zone...but she looks incredible!  I'm debating trying out the ladylike midi style myself after seeing this post!

YouTube::
- I have a serious girl crush on Bee from Idressmyselff.  You know when you find a new YouTuber and gorge on all of their old videos?  Yeah, that.  I'm obsessed with her style, and would basically just like her wardrobe.  Please.
Sammi.  Need I say more?  I'm a longtime fan, but lately it's stepped up a notch.  Her style, her hair, her dog, her tattoos, her LEGS.  Gah, I just want it all.  I think her and Bee are pretty similar actually, which shows a real shift in my tastes of late.

Shopping::
- My compact camera has been playing up for a while now, so this month I decided to get my act together and return it whilst it's still under warranty.  That refund is now the deposit for this camera, which I'm planning to purchase soon. << Edit: it arrived today!
- I've been trying to be good with money this month.  Being off work with access to the internet as and when is dangerous territory and hazardous to my bank balance.  I bought a couple of rings from Regal Rose recently, and I've got my eye firmly on a few more.

General::
- I'm linking to myself here, but my pinterest board dedicated to all things hair has been a real favourite.  In the past few weeks I've gone from ombre to peach, to pink, to white blonde and soon to be brunette.  Now I'm itching for a new cut, and although it's a little short at the moment, I'm ultimately aiming for a heavy, blunt, asymmetric long bob.
- After reading this post on Nishantishu, I've been looking into the possibility of going on a calligraphy course with Quill London.  It looks like the loveliest relaxing day, and I'm really hoping to book onto an upcoming course!

bookmarked #5

22.8.14

I'm a little late this month.  Unexpectedly, the summer holidays have almost become a holiday from blogging.  That's not to say I haven't been catching up on my reading list and doing some serious online window shopping though!

Blogs::
 - I'm going to kick off with one that doesn't need too much explaining.  This list.  Aspirational bucket lists are fun, but can sometimes be unachievable.  I love the way this one focuses on the little things that really mean something in life.
- How amazing does Lizzie look here?  Having the pleasure of knowing the lovely lady personally, I can say that this style is a leap out of her comfort zone...but she looks incredible!  I'm debating trying out the ladylike midi style myself after seeing this post!

YouTube::
- I have a serious girl crush on Bee from Idressmyselff.  You know when you find a new YouTuber and gorge on all of their old videos?  Yeah, that.  I'm obsessed with her style, and would basically just like her wardrobe.  Please.
Sammi.  Need I say more?  I'm a longtime fan, but lately it's stepped up a notch.  Her style, her hair, her dog, her tattoos, her LEGS.  Gah, I just want it all.  I think her and Bee are pretty similar actually, which shows a real shift in my tastes of late.

Shopping::
- My compact camera has been playing up for a while now, so this month I decided to get my act together and return it whilst it's still under warranty.  That refund is now the deposit for this camera, which I'm planning to purchase soon. << Edit: it arrived today!
- I've been trying to be good with money this month.  Being off work with access to the internet as and when is dangerous territory and hazardous to my bank balance.  I bought a couple of rings from Regal Rose recently, and I've got my eye firmly on a few more.

General::
- I'm linking to myself here, but my pinterest board dedicated to all things hair has been a real favourite.  In the past few weeks I've gone from ombre to peach, to pink, to white blonde and soon to be brunette.  Now I'm itching for a new cut, and although it's a little short at the moment, I'm ultimately aiming for a heavy, blunt, asymmetric long bob.
- After reading this post on Nishantishu, I've been looking into the possibility of going on a calligraphy course with Quill London.  It looks like the loveliest relaxing day, and I'm really hoping to book onto an upcoming course!
I'm not being hugely vain covering people's faces....just mindful that they may not want to make an appearance here!

Although the thought of saying goodbye to friends and family, having that bedroom door close on the first night and being all alone terrifies you, you need to throw yourself into this experience.  A part of you will always regret not being brave and taking that step to move away and start afresh with university.

You chose to stay close to home and commute, and you'll always wonder if the money you saved by having a smaller loan and working your way through higher education was actually worth it.  You spent the first two years rushing back and forth to catch a train and never fully embraced uni life.  The decision to drive in in your third year is one you should have made sooner; it'll give you more time to spend in the library and focus on studies.

Speaking of studies...these have to be the most important thing to you.  Leaving it to the last year is too late.  You should have spent more time researching the courses at different universities, because the teaching style at Surrey just isn't for you.  You need to grab every learning opportunity with both hands - mooting, tutorials, work experience, mock exams and coursework.  You need to say yes to everything and give 110%.

Uni is the perfect opportunity to make solid, lifelong friendships....and you didn't manage it.  9 years on, you regret this more than ever.  When you see photos of the girls together on Facebook and it hits you that you're not there it will leave you feeling sad and full of longing for the chances you've missed.  Jump at every invitation.  Spend less time clinging on to your pre-uni life and social circles; they'll still be there when you finish, and if you make new friends just think of the future happiness it'll bring.  So go for spontaneous nights out at the union, travel across the country to see friends in their family homes and go on girly holidays.  Experiences with friends are what life's about.

Above all, enjoy it.  Don't go through the motions and simply 'endure' uni.  It can be the best time of your life, when you learn to grow and discover who you are.  I'll let you into a secret - you're not where you think you'd be when you finish uni, but make the most of it so that you don't live with regrets.

Thoughts on uni:

20.8.14

I'm not being hugely vain covering people's faces....just mindful that they may not want to make an appearance here!

Although the thought of saying goodbye to friends and family, having that bedroom door close on the first night and being all alone terrifies you, you need to throw yourself into this experience.  A part of you will always regret not being brave and taking that step to move away and start afresh with university.

You chose to stay close to home and commute, and you'll always wonder if the money you saved by having a smaller loan and working your way through higher education was actually worth it.  You spent the first two years rushing back and forth to catch a train and never fully embraced uni life.  The decision to drive in in your third year is one you should have made sooner; it'll give you more time to spend in the library and focus on studies.

Speaking of studies...these have to be the most important thing to you.  Leaving it to the last year is too late.  You should have spent more time researching the courses at different universities, because the teaching style at Surrey just isn't for you.  You need to grab every learning opportunity with both hands - mooting, tutorials, work experience, mock exams and coursework.  You need to say yes to everything and give 110%.

Uni is the perfect opportunity to make solid, lifelong friendships....and you didn't manage it.  9 years on, you regret this more than ever.  When you see photos of the girls together on Facebook and it hits you that you're not there it will leave you feeling sad and full of longing for the chances you've missed.  Jump at every invitation.  Spend less time clinging on to your pre-uni life and social circles; they'll still be there when you finish, and if you make new friends just think of the future happiness it'll bring.  So go for spontaneous nights out at the union, travel across the country to see friends in their family homes and go on girly holidays.  Experiences with friends are what life's about.

Above all, enjoy it.  Don't go through the motions and simply 'endure' uni.  It can be the best time of your life, when you learn to grow and discover who you are.  I'll let you into a secret - you're not where you think you'd be when you finish uni, but make the most of it so that you don't live with regrets.
Spot the pyjama pants in the reflection!

Let's start with a disclaimer....I'm not really a designer sunglasses kinda girl.  My habit of not putting things away properly paired up with a dog who loves to eat sunglasses (I wish I was joking.  He's eaten three pairs now) means that designer sunnies have always been something that I can't quite justify.  But when offered the chance to choose and review a pair from Glasses Direct, I threw caution to the wind and went with this pair.

I was overwhelmed with the choice available.  They stock lots of different designers and styles, and making a decision wasn't the easiest!  There are loads of ways to filter and narrow down the results though, so if you know what you're after it's fairly fuss free.  In the end I went with this gorgeous Karl Lagerfeld pair in the (no longer available) brown caramel style.  They had a couple of variations, but I really like how the ombre-effect makes these a little different to the norm.  The gold detailing on the arms fits in really well with my wardrobe and they're a great quality.  It obviously pays to raise the budget slightly!

Now you may be wondering why I'm not showcasing these glasses in situ.  I'm gutted, but they don't really suit me.  I obviously have a fairly large mug, and the frames look a little small on me.  It may also be the gradient effect and the fact that they're quite dark against my newly blonde hair.  I'm going to persevere, and once I dye my hair back brown (soon!) I'm hopefully that they won't be quite as stark.  Expect to see a shot cropping up on my instagram soon!

That aside, I really can't fault these sunglasses and the service I received.  I think part of the reason I always lose pairs is that I don't have any real way of storing them, but the sleek yet sturdy box these came in will, I'm sure, help me to keep track of these.  There's also a cleaning wipe, they arrived quickly and there's the option to have a prescription put into any of the designer frames.

If you need a new pair of sunglasses I recommend checking out the range here.  And if you're quick there's a flash sale on today!
 

first impressions: Karl Lagerfeld sunglasses from Glasses Direct

15.8.14

Spot the pyjama pants in the reflection!

Let's start with a disclaimer....I'm not really a designer sunglasses kinda girl.  My habit of not putting things away properly paired up with a dog who loves to eat sunglasses (I wish I was joking.  He's eaten three pairs now) means that designer sunnies have always been something that I can't quite justify.  But when offered the chance to choose and review a pair from Glasses Direct, I threw caution to the wind and went with this pair.

I was overwhelmed with the choice available.  They stock lots of different designers and styles, and making a decision wasn't the easiest!  There are loads of ways to filter and narrow down the results though, so if you know what you're after it's fairly fuss free.  In the end I went with this gorgeous Karl Lagerfeld pair in the (no longer available) brown caramel style.  They had a couple of variations, but I really like how the ombre-effect makes these a little different to the norm.  The gold detailing on the arms fits in really well with my wardrobe and they're a great quality.  It obviously pays to raise the budget slightly!

Now you may be wondering why I'm not showcasing these glasses in situ.  I'm gutted, but they don't really suit me.  I obviously have a fairly large mug, and the frames look a little small on me.  It may also be the gradient effect and the fact that they're quite dark against my newly blonde hair.  I'm going to persevere, and once I dye my hair back brown (soon!) I'm hopefully that they won't be quite as stark.  Expect to see a shot cropping up on my instagram soon!

That aside, I really can't fault these sunglasses and the service I received.  I think part of the reason I always lose pairs is that I don't have any real way of storing them, but the sleek yet sturdy box these came in will, I'm sure, help me to keep track of these.  There's also a cleaning wipe, they arrived quickly and there's the option to have a prescription put into any of the designer frames.

If you need a new pair of sunglasses I recommend checking out the range here.  And if you're quick there's a flash sale on today!
 
Like it or loathe it, photography has become a big part of blogging.  The majority of the blogs I follow have beautiful, high quality photographs which often border on editorial level.  I'm nowhere near that point, but I do feel like I've upped by game recently in the photography stakes, and seeing the way other blogs set up photos has pushed me to strive to improve.

So let's start with the basics.  The camera I use is the Nikon D3100.  I chose this camera a couple of years ago because Essie used it, and it does everything I need it to do for the time being.  It came with a standard 18-55mm lens which I use most of the time, and I've also got the 50mm lens which I use on occasion.  The only thing stopping me from using it more is the fact that it doesn't auto focus so it can be frustrating to take a batch of photos only to discover when they're enlarged on the computer that they weren't in focus.  For the occasional candid lifestyle post I'll use my Fujifilm Finepix JZ camera - it does the job but the photos aren't great.

The set up of photos is something I'm constantly working on.  I have a softbox on hand for when the light isn't so great and I keep the rule of thirds in mind when taking photos. I prefer a crisp white background at the moment, so a couple of bathroom tiles have come in handy, but in the past I've used wrapping paper or a painted crate to add to create an interesting backdrop.  And props!  Never underestimate the pleasing aesthetic effect a 'casually' opened magazine can have. 

And now on to editing.  I'll keep this brief because I'm pretty much clueless!  I favour picasa for easy editing and resizing, and occasionally use picmonkey when I'm feeling fancy and want to mess around with the curves.  And no, I have no idea what that actually means...

For social media photos, such as instagram or twitter, it's 97% certain I'll have used my iPhone 5.  It takes decent enough photos, but I love using different apps to improve the quality further.  Instagram is a given, but I use a couple of other apps pre-instagram to up my photo game.  Photoshop Express is great for straightening things up, removing noise and adding filters but my absolute favourite for the moment is LandcamSquareSize is another good one for adjusting photos so that they fit into instagram's standard square, while Diptic lets you create collages with multiple images and Picfx is great for adding in bokeh effects.  I promise I'm not sponsored by any of these apps....but use a combination of them and you'll get some fantastic quality images!

And that's my tuppence-worth!  Hopefully I've shared some useful tips with you....if you have any suggestions for me, please do leave them down below!

Behind the scenes: how I approach photography

13.8.14

Like it or loathe it, photography has become a big part of blogging.  The majority of the blogs I follow have beautiful, high quality photographs which often border on editorial level.  I'm nowhere near that point, but I do feel like I've upped by game recently in the photography stakes, and seeing the way other blogs set up photos has pushed me to strive to improve.

So let's start with the basics.  The camera I use is the Nikon D3100.  I chose this camera a couple of years ago because Essie used it, and it does everything I need it to do for the time being.  It came with a standard 18-55mm lens which I use most of the time, and I've also got the 50mm lens which I use on occasion.  The only thing stopping me from using it more is the fact that it doesn't auto focus so it can be frustrating to take a batch of photos only to discover when they're enlarged on the computer that they weren't in focus.  For the occasional candid lifestyle post I'll use my Fujifilm Finepix JZ camera - it does the job but the photos aren't great.

The set up of photos is something I'm constantly working on.  I have a softbox on hand for when the light isn't so great and I keep the rule of thirds in mind when taking photos. I prefer a crisp white background at the moment, so a couple of bathroom tiles have come in handy, but in the past I've used wrapping paper or a painted crate to add to create an interesting backdrop.  And props!  Never underestimate the pleasing aesthetic effect a 'casually' opened magazine can have. 

And now on to editing.  I'll keep this brief because I'm pretty much clueless!  I favour picasa for easy editing and resizing, and occasionally use picmonkey when I'm feeling fancy and want to mess around with the curves.  And no, I have no idea what that actually means...

For social media photos, such as instagram or twitter, it's 97% certain I'll have used my iPhone 5.  It takes decent enough photos, but I love using different apps to improve the quality further.  Instagram is a given, but I use a couple of other apps pre-instagram to up my photo game.  Photoshop Express is great for straightening things up, removing noise and adding filters but my absolute favourite for the moment is LandcamSquareSize is another good one for adjusting photos so that they fit into instagram's standard square, while Diptic lets you create collages with multiple images and Picfx is great for adding in bokeh effects.  I promise I'm not sponsored by any of these apps....but use a combination of them and you'll get some fantastic quality images!

And that's my tuppence-worth!  Hopefully I've shared some useful tips with you....if you have any suggestions for me, please do leave them down below!
 
This weekend I decided to get a little creative with my editing and put together my favourite high end (read: MAC) lipsticks for summer- direct link here.  And if you fancy a giggle, check out another version of this that I uploaded last year - I think we can all agree my YouTube skills have improved since then?!

What's one of your favourite lipsticks for summer?

Video: 7: high end lipsticks for summer

12.8.14

 
This weekend I decided to get a little creative with my editing and put together my favourite high end (read: MAC) lipsticks for summer- direct link here.  And if you fancy a giggle, check out another version of this that I uploaded last year - I think we can all agree my YouTube skills have improved since then?!

What's one of your favourite lipsticks for summer?
Image found via pinterest

Let's kick-start this week with some happy thoughts, shall we?  I read a post over on Superlatively Rude the other day where it mentioned finding your tribe.  I'm at an age now where I'm truly secure in my friendship group; I know who my friends are and while it's always nice to meet new people, I no longer feel the need to please people and have them like and befriend me.  I don't always get the chance to see these girls as often as I'd like, but when I do it's like the mask can come down.  They keep me grounded and I know that with them I truly be who I am.  So who makes up my tribe?

The Cheerleader | Without a doubt she is, and always has been, my biggest spirit lifter.  The first time was probably when I walked into the library and nearly burst into tears over potentially missing the deadline for uni applications...she sat with me and we got it written by the end of the day.  Since then she's stood by me whatever - boys, jobs, weight, blogging.  I can always count on her to be there with a pep talk.  This isn't to say that the others don't back me, but I know she'll always be there in the wings cheering me on the loudest.  I don't come from the most vocal of backgrounds when it comes to positivity, but everyone should have a cheerleader in their tribe.  She helps me to believe in myself and my choices and to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The Organiser (aka The Muscle!) | Ok, so this one overlaps slightly with my cheerleader. I don't rely on her as much to boost me when I'm down (that makes me sound awful doesn't it, but I hope you know what I mean!), but if I were in a crisis and needed somewhere to run to, her place would be top of my list.  She's always been like a mini older sister to me; at school I was happy to almost live in her shadow and in return she's looked after me right from the start.  From being at my side in many a teenage argument, to getting me home safely as we started venturing into drunken nights out, to now organising me (and others!) for this, that and the other.  Without her, I'm sure many a social gathering wouldn't take place.

The Easy Going One |This sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but she's definitely a valued member of the group that shouldn't be forgotten about.  This is the friend who you don't have to speak to for months, but when you do meet up it's like no time has passed.  I've actually got a couple of these; they're supportive and non-offensive.  No clashes, no arguments....just true friends who are there for each other no matter what.

The Brains |I'm not sure if every tribe has this, but I certainly do!  The Brains in our group is highly knowledgeable on lots of topics....as well as opinionated and not afraid to say it how it is.  She's the voice of reason who often vocalises what we're all thinking.  Sometimes the truth can be hard to take, but I know she means it from a good place.  She's also a silent champion of my blog (I think!) who surprises me every time we meet up with just how much she knows about what's going on with me from her lurking on here.  See, I told you she was knowledgeable.

The Blogger Pals |So while these aren't necessarily my core group of friends, they're worth an honorable mention.  It's important to have common interests, which is why I feel really lucky to have met and maintained genuine friendships with a handful of bloggers.  Not every blogger you meet will be a friend, and it's hard to build relationships as you get older...which is why I appreciate the friendships I've made.  I've got Leanne who I speak to and laugh with daily, and Lizzie who's always there for the best shopping and Costa trips.  Without them, blogging would be a much lonelier place. 

Have you ever thought of the personalities that make up your tribe?  This has got me wondering what I'd be to some of my friends!

Finding your tribe

11.8.14

Image found via pinterest

Let's kick-start this week with some happy thoughts, shall we?  I read a post over on Superlatively Rude the other day where it mentioned finding your tribe.  I'm at an age now where I'm truly secure in my friendship group; I know who my friends are and while it's always nice to meet new people, I no longer feel the need to please people and have them like and befriend me.  I don't always get the chance to see these girls as often as I'd like, but when I do it's like the mask can come down.  They keep me grounded and I know that with them I truly be who I am.  So who makes up my tribe?

The Cheerleader | Without a doubt she is, and always has been, my biggest spirit lifter.  The first time was probably when I walked into the library and nearly burst into tears over potentially missing the deadline for uni applications...she sat with me and we got it written by the end of the day.  Since then she's stood by me whatever - boys, jobs, weight, blogging.  I can always count on her to be there with a pep talk.  This isn't to say that the others don't back me, but I know she'll always be there in the wings cheering me on the loudest.  I don't come from the most vocal of backgrounds when it comes to positivity, but everyone should have a cheerleader in their tribe.  She helps me to believe in myself and my choices and to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The Organiser (aka The Muscle!) | Ok, so this one overlaps slightly with my cheerleader. I don't rely on her as much to boost me when I'm down (that makes me sound awful doesn't it, but I hope you know what I mean!), but if I were in a crisis and needed somewhere to run to, her place would be top of my list.  She's always been like a mini older sister to me; at school I was happy to almost live in her shadow and in return she's looked after me right from the start.  From being at my side in many a teenage argument, to getting me home safely as we started venturing into drunken nights out, to now organising me (and others!) for this, that and the other.  Without her, I'm sure many a social gathering wouldn't take place.

The Easy Going One |This sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but she's definitely a valued member of the group that shouldn't be forgotten about.  This is the friend who you don't have to speak to for months, but when you do meet up it's like no time has passed.  I've actually got a couple of these; they're supportive and non-offensive.  No clashes, no arguments....just true friends who are there for each other no matter what.

The Brains |I'm not sure if every tribe has this, but I certainly do!  The Brains in our group is highly knowledgeable on lots of topics....as well as opinionated and not afraid to say it how it is.  She's the voice of reason who often vocalises what we're all thinking.  Sometimes the truth can be hard to take, but I know she means it from a good place.  She's also a silent champion of my blog (I think!) who surprises me every time we meet up with just how much she knows about what's going on with me from her lurking on here.  See, I told you she was knowledgeable.

The Blogger Pals |So while these aren't necessarily my core group of friends, they're worth an honorable mention.  It's important to have common interests, which is why I feel really lucky to have met and maintained genuine friendships with a handful of bloggers.  Not every blogger you meet will be a friend, and it's hard to build relationships as you get older...which is why I appreciate the friendships I've made.  I've got Leanne who I speak to and laugh with daily, and Lizzie who's always there for the best shopping and Costa trips.  Without them, blogging would be a much lonelier place. 

Have you ever thought of the personalities that make up your tribe?  This has got me wondering what I'd be to some of my friends!
Image found via pinterest 

I'm sitting down to write this off the cuff.  I don't know whether you've noticed, but I haven't managed to post as regularly as I usually do lately, and for once in the whole time I've been blogging, that doesn't actually bother me.  I used to stress over making sure my posting schedule was consistent but in all honesty lately, I've just been feeling a little lacklustre.  There's a big part of me right now that wants to delete a whole raft of old posts and just start again.

Don't get me wrong...I love make up, I love beauty, I love trying out new things in the hopes that they'll help reveal a shinier, softer-skinned, more radiant me.  But I'm not feeling inspired to write about that right now.  Not solely anyway.  There was a time when I used to post outfits on this blog, and while I'm not looking to go back to that awkwardly-posed era I do miss the general life ramblings that used to go alongside it.

I want this blog to be exactly that....a web log of my life.  A journal perhaps.  Something I can look back on and remember how I was feeling at that point.  Not a catalogue of make up with no real personality.

I don't want to put off anybody who follows my blog for my thoughts on beauty.  That will all still be here, but what I do want to focus on is more lifestyle.  I recently set up a separate blog dedicated to that but it's actually been quite hard thinking of content and going back to writing with the knowledge that nobody's reading.  Of course I write for me, but it's an odd feeling hitting 'publish' and not being sure whether it'll ever reach anybody else.  So I've made the decision to filter all that stuff onto here and give myself a new direction.  Do you know, I went to town today and returned empty handed.  For so long I got wrapped up in the constant consumerism of blogging and that's just not somebody I want to be anymore.

I want to concentrate on the little things that make me happy.  The people in my life that make it all worthwhile and the experiences we share together.  I want this blog to be a place with personality, beautiful photos and content that both you, as a reader, and I enjoy.

So from now on, things will be a little different around here.  There will still be the odd skincare/make up/beauty bit that I want to share with you, and you can still visit my YouTube channel for all that stuff too.  Some of the other regular features will still run as well.  But what there definitely will be is a whole lot more honesty.  I've never sugar-coated anything for the sake of my blog, but I haven't always shown the dark moments.  The times when I'm filled with self-doubt, lack of direction and general unhappiness with who I am.  By no means am I going to turn this blog into a morbid place to be but I don't think I'll be reflecting away from that anymore either.

I know I could have just weaved in the odd lifestyle post here and there to make these changes subtly, but I've decided to start as I mean to go on.  I hope you'll embrace these alterations and ultimately I hope it'll lead to a happier me.  Because after all, it's never too late to change the path you're on.

Edit: Since writing this I decided to take the plunge and revamp my blog layout....let me know your thoughts down below!

honestly,

6.8.14

Image found via pinterest 

I'm sitting down to write this off the cuff.  I don't know whether you've noticed, but I haven't managed to post as regularly as I usually do lately, and for once in the whole time I've been blogging, that doesn't actually bother me.  I used to stress over making sure my posting schedule was consistent but in all honesty lately, I've just been feeling a little lacklustre.  There's a big part of me right now that wants to delete a whole raft of old posts and just start again.

Don't get me wrong...I love make up, I love beauty, I love trying out new things in the hopes that they'll help reveal a shinier, softer-skinned, more radiant me.  But I'm not feeling inspired to write about that right now.  Not solely anyway.  There was a time when I used to post outfits on this blog, and while I'm not looking to go back to that awkwardly-posed era I do miss the general life ramblings that used to go alongside it.

I want this blog to be exactly that....a web log of my life.  A journal perhaps.  Something I can look back on and remember how I was feeling at that point.  Not a catalogue of make up with no real personality.

I don't want to put off anybody who follows my blog for my thoughts on beauty.  That will all still be here, but what I do want to focus on is more lifestyle.  I recently set up a separate blog dedicated to that but it's actually been quite hard thinking of content and going back to writing with the knowledge that nobody's reading.  Of course I write for me, but it's an odd feeling hitting 'publish' and not being sure whether it'll ever reach anybody else.  So I've made the decision to filter all that stuff onto here and give myself a new direction.  Do you know, I went to town today and returned empty handed.  For so long I got wrapped up in the constant consumerism of blogging and that's just not somebody I want to be anymore.

I want to concentrate on the little things that make me happy.  The people in my life that make it all worthwhile and the experiences we share together.  I want this blog to be a place with personality, beautiful photos and content that both you, as a reader, and I enjoy.

So from now on, things will be a little different around here.  There will still be the odd skincare/make up/beauty bit that I want to share with you, and you can still visit my YouTube channel for all that stuff too.  Some of the other regular features will still run as well.  But what there definitely will be is a whole lot more honesty.  I've never sugar-coated anything for the sake of my blog, but I haven't always shown the dark moments.  The times when I'm filled with self-doubt, lack of direction and general unhappiness with who I am.  By no means am I going to turn this blog into a morbid place to be but I don't think I'll be reflecting away from that anymore either.

I know I could have just weaved in the odd lifestyle post here and there to make these changes subtly, but I've decided to start as I mean to go on.  I hope you'll embrace these alterations and ultimately I hope it'll lead to a happier me.  Because after all, it's never too late to change the path you're on.

Edit: Since writing this I decided to take the plunge and revamp my blog layout....let me know your thoughts down below!
Ahhh hair extensions, we go way back.  If only I had the photographic evidence to show you....it started with peroxide blonde 20inch glue-in wefts on my 18th birthday (a bugger to get out, but the glue dissolver smelt so good!) before eventually moving on to the clip in varieties.  Reserved for nights out, they came in one block colour and I always relied on a friend to help me put them in and blend them with my own hair.  Oh how things I have changed...

When I received my complementary HK hair extensions from Dirty Looks, the first thing my older sister/hairstylist said to me was "ooh they're a good match!".  She's right y'know.  I was sent a full set of Parisian Highlighted Wheat Blonde which I was matched up to all on the basis of a photo I snapped on my iPhone.  I always found picking the right colour a nightmare, so knowing there were experts on hand to help was really useful, and they even have this handy shade matcher to help out if you're going solo.

In terms of length, these are 20-22" and if I'm honest they're a little too long for me.  I have nothing against long locks, I just feel like these don't suit me now that my natural hair is so short.  I was initially sent the 12-14" set as I just wanted to add a bit of volume, but bizarrely they were only just longer than my own hair at the time.  I was advised to measure the length from the top of my ear so perhaps I just did it wrong, either way I sent them back and received the 20-22" as an alternative.  I think 18-20" would be ideal for me, but they were out of stock at the time and people convinced me to go long or go home!

Another good thing about the HK extentions is the packaging they come in.  Sent out in a slim box (great for storage), they come split so the bulk of the hair is in a sealed section with one weft left out for you to test the shade match and length.  This was always the problem I found in the past, as you could never really test the colour against your own without unpacking the whole lot and being unable to send it back if it didn't match.  This new system solves that problem and gets a thumbs up from me; if they're not right you can just send them back provided you've not broken the seal and opened the rest of the hair.

It's been years since I've played around with clip in extensions and I really enjoyed giving these a go.  I'm not 100% sure if they suit me, but I'm impressed with the colour range Dirty Looks offers and the high quality these ones are.  If only I could manage to clip them all in myself....some things never change.

first impressions: HK hair extensions

1.8.14

Ahhh hair extensions, we go way back.  If only I had the photographic evidence to show you....it started with peroxide blonde 20inch glue-in wefts on my 18th birthday (a bugger to get out, but the glue dissolver smelt so good!) before eventually moving on to the clip in varieties.  Reserved for nights out, they came in one block colour and I always relied on a friend to help me put them in and blend them with my own hair.  Oh how things I have changed...

When I received my complementary HK hair extensions from Dirty Looks, the first thing my older sister/hairstylist said to me was "ooh they're a good match!".  She's right y'know.  I was sent a full set of Parisian Highlighted Wheat Blonde which I was matched up to all on the basis of a photo I snapped on my iPhone.  I always found picking the right colour a nightmare, so knowing there were experts on hand to help was really useful, and they even have this handy shade matcher to help out if you're going solo.

In terms of length, these are 20-22" and if I'm honest they're a little too long for me.  I have nothing against long locks, I just feel like these don't suit me now that my natural hair is so short.  I was initially sent the 12-14" set as I just wanted to add a bit of volume, but bizarrely they were only just longer than my own hair at the time.  I was advised to measure the length from the top of my ear so perhaps I just did it wrong, either way I sent them back and received the 20-22" as an alternative.  I think 18-20" would be ideal for me, but they were out of stock at the time and people convinced me to go long or go home!

Another good thing about the HK extentions is the packaging they come in.  Sent out in a slim box (great for storage), they come split so the bulk of the hair is in a sealed section with one weft left out for you to test the shade match and length.  This was always the problem I found in the past, as you could never really test the colour against your own without unpacking the whole lot and being unable to send it back if it didn't match.  This new system solves that problem and gets a thumbs up from me; if they're not right you can just send them back provided you've not broken the seal and opened the rest of the hair.

It's been years since I've played around with clip in extensions and I really enjoyed giving these a go.  I'm not 100% sure if they suit me, but I'm impressed with the colour range Dirty Looks offers and the high quality these ones are.  If only I could manage to clip them all in myself....some things never change.

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