Friday, 26 July 2013

DIY Nail Art / Ice Cream Sundae

I'M SORRY! It's inexcusable but I've had a week long absence from my blog and it feels like forever. I love the holidays for one reason - I have time to blog more..but it seems that this wasn't the case this week. I seemed to be really really busy...all the time..Am I forgiven? (*Bats eyelashes*) Thanks. Moving on.
  While it's true I've been busy, I have managed to snatch a few spare seconds to paint my nails. I lurrveee nail art, don't get me wrong, but I really don't think I have a foreseeable talent for it. The pens, the nail stickers and all the other nailish nick-nacks out there are incredibly cool but I haven't plucked up the courage to use anything of the sort yet. To be honest it kind of scares me a little, nail art I mean. I see so many gorgeous nails dangling off strangers' hands today and I just wouldn't want to risk a bad DIY job and be the shame of the population (because lets face it that's just not fun for anyone). So I am yet to try the many nail kits out there. I will say 'never say never' because the idea of DIY nails is awesome, but I'm not so sure that the reality would be as fun as the idea. For now I am sticking to the normal pots of nail varnish, no pens, no glitter, no fuss, just simple pots of nail varnish.
  There are a lot  of nail varnishes out there from brands, colours and even textures, the choices are endless. I always potter around the nail varnish sections of beauty brands in my local Boots and guilty as charged, I almost always come away with a few new additions. My newest additions that I have been absolutely loving are the Barry M Limited Edition nail polishes. 


These nail varnishes are summer limited edition shades, so if you fancy purchasing I'd rush out and get them as soon as you can, because in the store near to me they are selling like really good hot cakes. I would say that the only disappointment is their lack of names. These nail varnishes are labelled by their shades 326 (yellow) and 321 (pink). I might be on my own here but I like makeup of any kind to be named to tempt me even more. I don't mean named as in, Melissa the Mascara or Brenda the Nail Varnish, I mean named after foods or cutesy things or stupid fun names. Take Essie nail varnish for example, each and every one of their nail varnishes have uh-maz-ing names. I browse their nail varnishes partly to be amused by the labelling - always a highlight of my browsing. Here, take a look at their names, you'll see what I mean. (click here). My personal favourites? Chocolate cake (food), Jam and Jelly (food), Kisses and Bises (cutesy), No pre-nup (fun). Basically I just wish that the Barry M shades were as creatively labelled and not numbered because numbers are a little blunt and sad..I think I could buy a nail varnish based on its name; honestly who can resist Chocolate Cake? Nope didn't think so. 
  Apart from the name issue I had with the Barry M nail varnishes, I got over it and bought them because they're fun, summery and happy shades. No more reasoning needed, right? I decided to get a little creative with my nails. Something that's rare and requires a lot of patience on my behalf. I used to be hopeless when it came to nails. Even the simple act of 'painting my nails' turned into a massive who-ha where I'd smudge it all off and paint my whole finger before successfully painting my nail. Therefore, after recently overcoming this problem through none other than pursuing the saying 'practise makes perfect', daring to do anything other than simply coating my nails with colour was a little risky to say the least. Nevertheless I powered on with the task. To be quite honest I wasn't really sure what I was doing at first but I sort of went with it and the outcome was better than I could've hoped for....


I would like to think that my attempt at nail art resembles Ice Cream Sundaes. (Again I have to label the design related to food..Oops.) I was pretty chuffed with the way that they turned out. If you want to know how I did it..keep reading ;) ..


    How to DIY Nail Art - Ice Cream Sundae 

1. To start you will need to choose two colours. I chose the two Barry M Limited Edition nail varnishes but you can really choose any colours you want. Preferably one yellow/white to act as the ice cream!
2. Paint half of your nail the 'non-ice cream' colour (Bottom half). My colour was pink. 
3. Once dry add in the ice cream drips using your assigned ice-cream colour (mine was yellow) and randomly stroke the colour down into the (pink) area. This will act as your ice-cream drips. 

VOILA! You have your ice-cream sundae nails! Hopefully my explanations were satisfactory and useful if you want to give my design a whirl. I found it really easy and relatively quick do to and who knows, maybe one day I'll get over my mini fear of the real 'nail art' world including the pens, glitter and discover I am a nail art expert....I doubt it... 

Tweet me pictures of your nail art designs (@iblogthefashion). I'd love to see all your Ice Cream Sundae designs like mine and what designs you've been loving this summer! 


   
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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cream Of The Crop

Not to worry, despite the title this isn't a blog post about the ins-and-outs of gardening and how to produce the perfect crop. This blog post is instead dedicated to my new(ish), glorious beauty finds - Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula & Tesco Moisturising body butter!


I'll start with the Tesco Moisturising Body Butter.


Now before you judge the 'Tesco' aspect of this body butter I ask that you give it a chance despite its supermarket title! I guess like most of you I didn't really believe that a Tesco produced beauty product could be that amazing. I had no doubts that it would be good but I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it is! I'll start with the smell. I like my moisurisers to smell really good which isn't a lot to ask, because the product will be lingering on my skin for quite some time, therefore if it smells less than delightful I won't want to go near it! Part of the initial charm of this product was its utterly amazing smell of mango & nectarine extract. The smell is strong but isn't overpowering when it's actually on your skin, it settles to a nice, subtle but charming 'whiff' of orange.  The actual body butter itself is lovely and cooling when you apply it onto your skin; I have recently started using it as a 'cooling' cream after being in the summer sun. The butter dries reasonably quickly and doesn't have a typical 'butter' texture like some moisturisers after being left to settle for a couple of minutes. The butter leaves skin feeling soft and nourished and another bonus of the product is that it contains Vitamin E which helps to protect and repair skin. While writing up this review and taking pictures of the products, I also noticed that this butter does not support animal testing - fantastic. Instead funding is provided for alternatives. I can't find the product online to link to this post so I also can't find the price (*sniffle*) BUT from memory I can confidently say that this product was ridiculously cheap and I'm pretty sure it was in the range of £1.00 which is amazing for the quality of the butter. You get a reasonable 200ml and I find that a little bit goes a long way. Overall this is just such a luscious smelling, cheap butter that is great for nourishing your skin at a cheaper cost than most other body creams out there!

The next body butter that I am absolutely loving is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula.


Again, I am completely won over by the smell of this, it is the definition of 'amazing'. I have read some other reviews out of curiosity on this butter formula and it's apparent that not everyone likes the smell of this butter apparently but I personally think it's divine! I bought this in Tesco's on a grocery shop while browsing through their cute little beauty section of a select few body butters. This body butter was on offer so I thought 'why not?' and popped it into the trolley to give it a try. I'd previously not tried any of Palmer's products, not too sure why, because they're pretty much renowned for being amazing by bloggers and people of the world, so I was definitely missing out before! Aside from the smell the actual butter is so nourishing and high quality. I've recently been doing some minor exercising in order to get my body a little more toned and I've found that this butter formula is great to massage into my pathetic aching muscles post exercise. Also, claiming to 'tone skin', not only is it relaxing for my tired muscles but it's helping the overall appearance of my legs (*casual shriek of joy*). This butter is also good for smoothing marks and scars. While I don't have any scars I do have the odd teenage stretch mark here and there, nothing too major, but it would be great if they would fade sometime soon, and this butter has been aiding their disappearance. I won't say that I've noticed a major change in the fading of my marks, but they have definitely faded over the past months that I have been using this body butter. The butter is thicker than most other butters but doesn't leave your skin feeling 'tacky' or too soaked in product, it's highly moisturising so you can expect an element of residue but nothing too extreme. Like the Tesco's Moisturising Body Butter, Palmer's contains Vitamin E so you can expect the same level of care for your skin! Palmer's is more expensive than the Tesco cream but like I mentioned above I bought this on offer, it's usually around £4.00 which is quite pricey in comparison, but not unreasonable!

So there you have it, my 'Cream Of The Crop' butters!


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Saturday, 13 July 2013

"The More You Give, The More You Get" / Ted Baker Purse

A purse is essential for anyone who steps outside their front door.  A purse should provide you with security and with the knowledge that your money is safely stashed inside, protected. It sounds like an easy task, therefore, to find a purse that satisifies you with its purpose of safely storing your money until you decide to remove the money to make a purchase of your choice. For most people purse buying is a simple affair, they chose a purse that they like -right? Well it's not an easy decision for me. I'm quite picky when it comes to purse designs. I like a purse to be the following;

1. Sturdy (basically of a decent quality so that it can be used more than once without falling to bits. You'd be surprised how many purses have literally fallen to pieces that I've owned!)
2. Big but not so big that it could be a handbag OR small but not so small that you can only fit a 2 pence piece inside. 
3. The right colour - it must match at least more than three of my handbags.
 4. Easy-to-use clasps/zips/card holders, this sounds slightly odd so let me explain...I'll start with the clasps, there have been far too many occasions where I'll spend a lengthy period of time trying to get my purse to open because the clasps are jammed/dysfunctional for some reason - this is both irritating and not practical AND extremely unattractive while you act like a lunatic having a wrestling match with your purse. The zips also need to function in the correct way, by this I mean that they MUST at ALL TIMES open smoothly. I have to be confident that the zips will open without any sort of friction or struggle and for the same reason the clasps must open, to avoid looking like a complete idiot in public. You may be sitting there thinking what could be wrong with a card holder? Well, let me enlighten you. Card holders are quite often evil and deceiving. Their role is to hold the cards but not to hold them and never let them go. I've had many experiences trying to release a card from a card holder that's decided to arrest the card and not let me use it because the space is too tight. Therefore, all clasps/zips and card holders must be perfect. 

I'll stop the list here because honestly I could go on forever. Basically you get the idea - I'm picky and particular when it comes to purses. It came to the point where I was in need of a new purse. My current purse ticked most of the requirements I asked in a purse but it had one major flaw, it was way too small. I searched for purses high and low but couldn't find anything I liked but I didn't know that my perfect purse was right under my nose....

A little while ago I went shopping with my Mum for a bag and purse for her. We came away successful, walking away with a gorgeous Ted Baker bag and matching purse (no guess that I was a little jealous!) Ever since the purchase Mum had been using the bag and purse religiously and receiving many compliments along the way. Many months went by and I continued to admire her stunning Ted Baker bag and purse combo, then something amazing happened, Mum gave the purse to me. The perfect purse that I'd been slightly envious of, the perfect purse that ticks ALL of my 'purse-checklist' boxes, the perfect purse that was under my nose the whole time.  





Mum gave the purse to me as a post-exam present and as you can imagine I was thrilled. I suppose the engraved message in the purse, 'The More You Give, The More You Get' was right, well when it comes to splurging on a purse anyway. After floods of thanks I pranced off with my new purse and began typing this post about my dream purse...Lets see what it offers:


1. Sturdy - definitely. It's beautifully made and shows no signs of wear from my Mum!
2. Big but not so big that it could be a handbag.
3. The right colour - it matches more than three of my handbags.
 4. Easy-to-use clasps/zips/card holders - Check. All of the clasps open, all of the zips 'zip' and all of the card holders hold my cards but release them without struggle when I need them!

This purse will be around for a long time and I'm not planning to swap it for another purse any time soon because I finally found my perfect purse. Thanks Mum. 


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Monday, 8 July 2013

What's On My Wish List / July

I can't believe that it's that time of the month again, I am of course talking about my wish lists! I tracked down all the things that I am craving this month and they are a little more restrained than normal but still more than most people want...


1. Topshop Wide Leg Culotte Shorts - I have to say I'm guilty, I try and refrain from looking at Topshop things because they're often just a little too pricey BUT that never stops me looking. I tortured myself by looking at Topshop's wonderful and fantastic 'New In' section and fell in love 100+ times with everything on their website - there is literally nothing that I don't like. So, it was inevitable that I was going to find something fabulous and these Culotte Shorts were just that. It's all about Culottes at the moment and I'm loving the new trend. Firstly I can imagine that they are super comfortable just by looking at the picture. The loose hanging material and the wide cut of the shorts would make them casual but add an intense edgy look to an everyday outfit. For this reason I NEED these shorts! 

2. River Island Orange Zip Base Contrast Panel Tote Bag - I've actually been very well restrained when it's come to bags recently. I'm usually quite bad and tend to get a bit obsessed over a bag if I like it but recently I've tried to avoid that situation. However, thanks to the creation of my wish list the obsession has been rekindled and it's done so with this gorgeous bag. I love the shape, the colour and everything about this bag. It's a lovely warm tone of orange that will give any outfit summer vibes even if the weather isn't so summery itself! 

3. Topshop NINA2 Heel Jellie Sandals - I have failed to meet anyone born in the 90s who hasn't at some point in their life owned a pair of Jelly Sandals. As a child I owned a pair of Jelly Sandals, they were the comfiest things ever and smelt amazing (the smell was probably just me being weird but I liked the fresh plastic paddling pooly scent..). I am SO glad these gems have returned as a fashion shoe and they are high on my wish list this month! I can't wait to start wearing these again! 

4. Accessorize Tashie Carnival Sandals - I don't own any flat sandals but when I saw these sandals I really wanted them. I'm not entirely sure why I want them so much, I just do. Maybe because I love the gypsy look that's dotted around through accessories/skirts etc. and these sandals are bringing that feeling of bohemian? A random and unexpected item on this month's wish list but even so I have serious want for these beauties! 

5. River Island Bright Yellow Wet Look Skater Skirt - I'm not too sure how I feel about the whole 'wet look' texture of this skirt which is to be found in literally all Autumn/Winter 2013 collections but I adore the colour on this River Island Skater Skirt! River Island has a whole section of brightly coloured clothes to liven up any summer wardrobe and this was amongst some seriously amazing stuff. I chose the skirt after it had some tricky competition with some of RI's other items.  

6. Boohoo Jasmine Aztec Print Kimono - Just like Culottes, Kimono's are also rocking the summer season and all the high street shops and their sites! I want a Kimono badly. I love the oriental twist that's been injected into both our Spring & Summer wardrobes.  

1. NARS Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette, New Wave - This month's Beauty Wish List is a little eyeshadow dominated admittedly, but bright, heavy eye makeup is all the craze this month. That's why when I spotted this gorgeous Nars eyeshadow palette I wanted it asap. The colours are highly pigmented and bright, not normally what I'd opt for but I'm willing to try new things and this Nars eye palette is one of those 'new things'!

2. Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes - Another eye palette but unlike the Nars Eyeshadow Palette this one is more of an everyday collection of colours! I usually lean towards subtle colours for my everyday make-up and this Benefit eye palette looked like a perfect addition to my everyday makeup collection. 

3. Vaseline - In not too fussed whether it's this specific 'Limited Edition' Vaseline but in general I do need a new pot of Vaseline. For some unknown reason I seem to lose every Vaseline-related product, proabably because I take them everywhere and leave them in some random destination when I'm out and about. The wherabouts of my last Vaseline lip butter is unbeknown to me so a new one is well overdue. 

4. YVES SAINT LAURENT Autumn Look Downtown palette - What's that you say? Another eyeshadow palette on your wish list? Yes - but count your lucky stars it's not full of lipsticks this month! This Yves Saint Laurent Autumn Look Downtown Palette is full of all the 'in' colours this upcoming season - I want it! 

5. MAC lipstick - My wish list wouldn't be complete without at least one lipstick so here it is, my new lipstick 'must-have' - MAC. I'm especially wanting the shade 'Velvet Teddy'. The adorable name could be influencing me a little but the colour was also gorgeous when I tested it on my last MAC visit! 

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Friday, 5 July 2013

June / Beauty Favourites

Earlier this week I tweeted that I would be releasing some new and different blog posts! So far this week I have blogged about Your Questions Asked, DIY Fashion Interior and another 'Cos Wishes Can Come True (on Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner). All these posts are ideas that are fairly new to my blog and some which I introducted just this week. Another type of post that I wanted to introduce to my blog are Beauty Favourites. So, I gathered together my Beauty Favourites of this month to share what  I'm loving and have been using all throughout this month!


1. Phil Smith BE GORGEOUS Glam Shine Ultimate Glossing Shampoo & Conditioner  *- Wow that is one long title..Anyway I have been loving Phil Smith's products lately and half of the charm of Phil Smith's products are the small prices that come with them! This shampoo and conditioner are great because they're nourishing and refreshing with a light and fresh smell. The shampoo basically does it's job and cleans your hair but cleans it really well! I can't say that I've been left with an Ultimate Glossing finish but there is definitely a sheen after using the product!
2. SO...? Sexy Body Fragrance * - A little bit random but this product smells so good. I'm a firm believer in smelling good and think that everyone should smell great and what better way to smell great than with this luscious body spray? I usually wear a perfume on a daily basis but after recieving this body fragrance at Clothes Show Live Tv Launch Party I think that body fragrances are a great way to top up your scent and a cheap alternative even!
3. Topshop Ditsy Lipstick - Ever since purchasing this lipstick I have been wearing it practically every day since! For more on the colour and the lipstick visit the blog post I did on it here but I will just say that out of the three lipsticks I think Ditsy is my favourite! The colour is bold but acceptable for everday use. You can build up the colour with further coats to emphasise the boldness. I usually finish the look with gloss over the top to make it look more casual/glamorous but the finish is really up to the individual!
4.  Burt's Bees Therapeutic Bath Crystals *- These crystals are seriously the most relaxing element of my baths. Again, like most other Burt's Bees products the smell is glorious with one of the main ingredients being Eucalyptus Oil. The ingredients in the crystals are a ridiculous 100% natural and are amazing to add to a bath for tired muscles after a long & hard day at school/uni/work. The tub is really generous and you can add 1 - 2 tablespoons of the crystals to dissolve in the bath - Soak & relax!
5. Nspa Coconut Ice Shower and Bath Gel - Nspa has to be one of my all time favourite bath/shower gel products. All their 'flavours' are fantastically scented and are really nourishing on your skin! My current favourite is their Coconut Ice Shower scent which just smells like a lush coconut surprise. The bottles I have are pretty small which is a little irritating because the bottle is quite hard to squeeze with hands wet from the shower/bath and it also means that it runs out pretty quickly, but aside from that it's perfect.
6. Paul Mitchell Ultimate Wave * - I have mentioned this product in a review that I did earlier this month and it has to be one of the most popular posts that I have written to date. I have had so many people asking me more about this product and I'd just like to repeat what I said in the review earlier this month - this product is INSANE (in a good way). I've been using it as a quick styling alternative and it never fails to please me. I dampen my hair, squirt a handful of product into my hand, scrunch it into my hair and I'm ready to go! The product is so quick and easy to use and I will definitely be re-purchasing it because it's nearly run out!
7. Bourjois Eyeliner - I've used this eyeliner to death as you can see. It actually took me 10 minutes to work out the brand of the eyeliner because it's been sharpened down to practically nothing. The eyeliner has two tips, one for shadowing and the other for the main use - eyeliner. I love it and as you can see I use it pretty much every day.
8. Last but by no means least on my June Beauty Favourites is the brand new Miss Vogue June issue. I read British Vogue every month and I even have a subscription I'm that obsessed. It was last month I received the July edition with Miss Vogue thrown in. I'm not as keen on the Teen Vogues as I am on the original Vogue, but I thought that Miss Vogue looked like a step up from Teen Vogue for a slightly older audience. I have to say I really like Miss Vogue, it's full of interviews of popular celebs like model Cara D (the cover star) and full of interesting but light articles which are more manageable than the original Vogue  for a quick read. I'm looking forward to the next issue of Miss Vogue!

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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Fashion Festival Essentials

The festival season has well and truly commenced as Glastonbury helped kick start it last Wednesday. Glastonbury came and went quickly but many of us are still waiting for festivals such as Reading! There comes the tricky follow up question - what should I wear? Festival weather can be unpredictable from sunshine to torrential rain, but whatever the weather here are some Style Ideas for your Fashion Festival Essentials for whatever the weather and whatever your style! 


Look 1 - This look gives you summer & festival vibes all wrapped into one outfit! The trousers keep your legs lightly layered while the fun candy crop top adds a summer injection into your outfit. Sunnies are a must for festivals and keep the sun-rays out of your eyes, but also hide a tired face from dodgy tent sleeping (one of the pitfalls of festival season!). A rucksack like this Candy Kitten one is also a major essential because you'll be travelling light and wanting to keep your valuables near you and safe at all times. The floral headband adds to the typical festival look but will lock down any fly-away hairs and hide the unwashed bed hair!  

Get the look: 
Sunglasses - Topshop
Crop - Candy Kittens
Trousers - Urban Outfitters
Shoes - VANS 
Rucksack - Candy Kittens
Headband - Urban Outfitters 

Look 2 - If you're lucky, Reading or whatever festival you're planning on going to, will be just as sunny as Glastonbury! You'll need to be prepared for the blazing sun and this outfit is just the way! The all-in-one dress will provide you with a quick, lightweight and easy outfit to throw on. Paired with a small, compact shoulder bag and open-toe sandals you'll be ready for the sunshine! 

Get the look: 
Dress - Topshop
Bag - asos.com
Sandals - boohoo.com 

Look 3 - The weather won't always be fun so you'll need to be prepared with a lightweight parka like this one! I love the cute elephant print adding a little fun and cuteness to your outfit! Wellies are probably the most important fashion decision for festivals. You may find cute wellies but if they don't do their job right you'll be covered in dirt and mud in no time, with cold feet! It's best not to leave the choice to chance and choose quality Hunter wellies even if it means spending that little bit extra! You'll be sure to have comfy, dry feet if you do! 

Get the look:
Parka - New Look
Wellies - Hunter

Look 4 - 'The gypsy vibe'. Tailored for the warmer weather, this outfit will keep you fashion forward and shaded from the sun. The sunhat will be a life saver and keep both eyes and skin away from harmful sun-rays while looking fashionable in the process! A fringed crochet top like this will add a  gypsy vibe while the shorts and sandals will also leave you looking great! 

Get the look:
Hat - warehouse.co.uk
Top - New Look
Shorts - New Look
Wedges - boohoo.co.uk

Look 5 - Similar to Look 2, Look 5 provides you with fashion all-in-one with these cute playsuits. I don't know anyone who doesn't love a playsuit - you look great and put very little thought into your outfit but still look stylish. A playsuit is perfect festival essential, easy to pack and carry and gives you an outfit with one item! Paired with wellies you playsuit will be well adapted to the festival scene. 

Get the look:
Playsuit 1 - River Island 
Playsuit 2 - warehouse.co.uk
Wellies - Hunter

So there it is, your Fashion Festival Essentials to keep you looking and feeling great while enjoying some amazing music or lounging in your tent! 




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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

'Cos Wishes Can Come True / Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

It's the second 'Cos Wishes Can Come True' post that I have done which can only mean one thing - I have been very lucky with my wish lists this month! My 'Cos Wishes Really Can Come True' posts are posts where I talk about the products that were once on my wish lists that I have now bought/received! My first ever post like this was on my Topshop lipsticks which, if you want to have a read, I will link at the end of this post! So, here's post no.2 on another beauty product that I placed on my June Beauty wish list that I have now had the pleasure of trying - Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner.


  For starters both the shampoo and conditioner smell DELICIOUS. I literally want to eat them up. I wasn't sure whether the pomegranate smell would be very strong. I'd hoped that it would be because I love the smell of pomegranate as well as the taste. I'm not saying that I'll be eating the products but it's quite possible that if you closed your eyes and took a sniff you'd mistake it for the actual fruit. NO complaints there. Naturally in the bottle the shampoo and conditioner smell great but when the products are actually on your hair I was left questioning whether my hair would remain smelling like a pomegranate? To my utter delight it did. I found myself sniffing my hair throughout the day. Basically the smell is enough for me to give the product a MASSIVE thumbs up. 
  If the smell wasn't enough for me to fall head over tails in love with this shampoo & conditioner combo, the actual products are great too. I fancied a volumizing shampoo and conditioner because I actually don't use an awful lot of heat on my hair, so I'm all for finding natural, healthy products to use on my hair as a heat alternative! I thought that the shampoo and conditioner did leave my hair more volumized but I did need to blow-dry my hair ever so slightly to experience the benefits fully. 99.6% of the ingredients in this bottle are natural! I've been using this shampoo and conditioner as an alternative to my daily KMS California Shampoo & Conditioner. It offers a more intense and nourishing treatment for my hair. I have to say that I find the Very Volumizing Conditioner especially fantastic because it is so feeding for your hair. 
Overall Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner are amazing products and just reiterate how much of a Burt's Bees fan I am. I love all their natural ingredients and truly wonderful quality products. More brownie points for Burt's Bees from me! 
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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

DIY Fashion Interior

I don't know whether I'll be on my own by saying this but I love change, especially when it comes to changing the interior or layout of my room. I'm 16 so I'm yet to have the luxury of decorating my own house as I please, so for now all I can change is my bedroom. It was after my exams that I felt a change was in order. I'd planned on re-arranging my furniture but I wanted to do something different this time so I decided to create a feature wall. I  quite recently had my room re-painted so I knew splurging more money on paint wasn't really an option. I also wanted to do something that wasn't permanent like the coating of paint. That's when I created this...



I made this wall purely from magazine cut outs, blu tac and scissors! It was a great way to shake up the interior of my bedroom while basically spending next to no money! Here's how to create your own fashion interior:

You'll need:
1. Old fashion magazines that you don't mind cutting up into pieces.
2. Scissors
3. Blu Tac (2 packs depending on the area of wall you want to cover)4. A few hours to spare! 

My new desk area inspires me every time I sit down to work/blog!
The Method: 
1.  Decide what sort of look you want to go for. I chose a mix of old/vintage fashion with black and white images and created a direct contrast with colourful modern day images.
2. Create your base - I chose the black and white images to be in the background and the colourful images to mainly be in the foreground of the feature wall. I'd recommend the subtler images to be in the background of your wall, this way your wall won't be too overwhelming!
3. Once you've chosen the images you want on your wall you should start thinking about including angles. 
4. Start sticking with blu tac to secure the images using techniques such as layering and angling to create contrast! 


Eventually the finished product will look vaguely similar to mine but with your own images and your own creative spin! Tweet me pictures @iblogthefashion of your feature walls and let me know how yours went! 


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Monday, 1 July 2013

Blogging / Your Questions Answered

Being a full-time student and trying to keep my blog interesting and lively is a little harder than some may think. I don't mean that as a complaint in any way - I love it. I love it not only because I get to blog about major interests of mine but I love it when I receive e-mails off my readers. Sometimes these e-mails will be messages about what they like about my blog and others are asking for advice. Because I'm really busy I don't always get a chance to reply to each individual message. As much as I'd love to give you all advice specifically on your blog and give you feedback I don't have enough time in my day! It would take me quite a while to sit down and write back to you all! So, instead of you thinking that I haven't read your lovely messages or that I have read them and just ignored them, I wanted to do this blog post dedicated to your questions. I've taken some of the common questions from the e-mails you have sent me but I have also included some general info about my blog and how I got to the place I am today! So here it goes, your questions answered..


Starting off

Photo taken from Google images
Setting up your own blog for the first time can be a little bit scary. I have to say starting my blog didn't take much thought to begin with. I'd read a few blogs prior to starting my own blog but as I've mentioned before I started my blog on a spur-of-the-moment. I wrote my very first post a few moments before midnight! I generally wouldn't recommend starting your blog off this way but there are some things in life you can't plan and for me that was blogging! I learnt as I went along, gained inspiration from the most random things and blogged about it in the hope that someone would find it even mildly entertaining! Five months later I won Best Teen Fashion Blog in Company Magazine's Style Blogger Awards and that for me was when more opportunities started to spiral and my blog became more popular! My advice to those of you wanting to start your own fashion/beauty blog would be this:

♥  Commit to your blog - even when you take short breaks away from your blog your views will start to decrease.  Readers like regular posts, a constant feed of new material. Not only this but if you're not dedicated to your blog how do you expect your readers to be dedicated either? Building a blog will take time, from the layout to the content. I guess I was probably quite naive at the start and didn't realise how much time and effort blogging took. Luckily I had the time in the beginning to put aside and build the platform of my blog but make sure you do. 

Find your individuality - Carbon copies are both boring and really uninteresting. I've seen so many blogs that are literally twins of other popular blogs. You should find your own way of blogging. Your style of writing will come with time and readers will like that you have your own style. Don't ever copy content off other blogs, this is not only so disrespectful to the blogger who has taken time and effort to create posts that readers enjoy, but it lacks creativity to just copy and paste. 

Surround yourself with inspiration - Just as writers have 'writer's block', bloggers can also have their own form of writer's block. To avoid those days where you have nothing to say make sure you surround yourself with plenty of inspiration. This could be to read other blogs and gain inspiration or tips off them (keeping your individuality of course!), gaining inspiration off a certain product or even (if you're like me) gaining inspiration from a magazine, a picture or even a quotation! Ideas can come from the strangest places in my experience, but it's important to constantly surround yourself with plenty of material to gain the inspiration. 


Your Questions Answered


How do I gain followers? 
I think that some bloggers need to realise that blogging isn't all about the followers. Followers are a plus to blogging but gaining followers shouldn't be your main objective. The advice I would give to this, however, is to always post regular posts so that readers don't get bored and promotion is definitely key to gaining followers. By promotion I mean using tools like social media to make people aware of your blog. Tweet your new blog post links onto social media, join a network like Independent Fashion Bloggers and connect and interact with other bloggers! I, myself, do not have nearly as many followers as other bloggers out there yet but I don't blog just for followers, I blog because I love to blog!

How do I get people to read my blog in the first place? 
Stats come with time. When I first started blogging I'm pretty sure the first few people reading were just friends and family but that was ok. Getting readers can be frustrating at first but I gradually gained more and more through the likes of social media and linking my blog on that! Just keep promoting your blog and keep people updated with your new posts.

How do I get companies to send me stuff? 
I usually get approached by PR companies rather than approaching them myself. However, a good starting point if you want companies to send you stuff is to make sure you have a contact e-mail so that they can get in touch about their product through that. I'd recommend setting up a separate e-mail for this so that you dedicate the e-mail address specifically for PRs to get in touch. Make sure the e-mail address is clear, not too complicated and clearly allocated on your blog so that companies can actually find it! Another little tip that I would give is that you should realise that when companies send you stuff, it's not so that you can get 'freebies'- companies expect you to review their product and in return you get to keep the product that you have blogged about! If you're still struggling after doing all the stuff above the only other advice I would give is to buy the products you want to review yourself! If companies see that you write effective and informative reviews about products the chances are they will want you to review theirs! Keep reviewing even if it means spending a little money here and there!

How do you make your blog popular? 
Winning Company's Style Blogger Award for Best Teen Fashion Blog has probably gained me most of my popularity. I would definitely recommend that people enter amazing competitions and get involved in any opportunities like the Company Style Blogger Awards as they are an amazing opportunity to showcase your blog and gain popularity. I entered the competition on the closing day so I was surprised and really grateful that I gained enough nominations and then votes from readers that I then went on to win the award. If there aren't any competitions that you can find that are appropriate or relevant for your blog I would suggest (again) to promote it through social media, make your friends and family aware of your blog and ask them to spread the word! You'll be surprised how far word of mouth can go when it comes to the popularity of your blog!

What camera do you use? 
I use a Canon EOS 1100D to take pictures for my blog. It's easy to use and I love it, I'm learning as I go along and I've developed a bigger interest for photography through blogging. I would definitely recommend my camera to anyone who is thinking of buying a good quality camera for blogging.
Click here to buy your Canon EOS 1100D!

What are the bare essentials that I need to be a blogger? 
♥ An internet connection is pretty essential. 

trusty laptop that you can edit photos on, save work safely and can travel around with you! A good laptop is the key to blogging! You'll literally be using it more than anything else.

A good camera that you can take photos on. When I first began blogging I was pretty clueless as to how important good quality pictures were to my blog post. At the very start of my blogging days I used to use my iPhone which I thought was a good enough camera to snap pictures on. I was shocked at the difference in quality when I switched my iPhone pictures to a much better suited device, my family Canon camera. Canon cameras are pretty expensive and I appreciate that when you first start out blogging, splurging on a high end camera is sort of the last thing on your mind but they are definitely worth it and readers will notice a big difference in quality, as will you! Your camera doesn't have to be a Canon camera but just make sure that it is capable of taking good, clear, quality photos because photos also make a blog post as well as the writing! 

An organiser - Blogging isn't easy, you don't just sit down, punch a few keys on your laptop, throw in a picture and you're done. Your posts should be thought out and planned. An organiser or a notebook  should be kept so that you can keep track of your posts. I have a notebook in which I've sectioned off different pages with dividers so that I can organise all things blog related! For example, I have a section specifically for jotting down any quick ideas that I have. This is so important because ideas can come at random and at unexpected times so you need a place where you can write them down safely and not forget them! I also have sections for inspiration, PR, e-mails/correspondents and a To-Do list which is probably the most popular section of my notebook! 

A clear working space - Obviously everyone works differently but I need to be in a quiet sectioned off area to write my blog posts. I am awful when it comes to distractions so I make sure that all my focus goes to blogging when I'm writing up a new post! I'm free from distractions so therefore blog on a clear, uncluttered desk so that I'm in the blogging 'zone'. 

♥  An interest - If you don't have an interest in either fashion/beauty or whatever you want to create your blog on my advice would be to resist any temptations to start a blog. Chances are if you have no interest on the topic you wish to blog about you'll have no inspiration to start new posts or to continue blogging. Blogging takes a lot of effort so you should blog about what you're interested in. I started my blog on fashion but I've now branched out to blog about beauty as well. This enables me to blog reviews and also include a bit of lifestyle. It's your blog so you make the rules! 

I hope I've helped those of you who e-mailled me with your questions about blogging. I am not an expert in any way and have only been blogging for 6 months but so far it has been a fantastic and rewarding experience. If you have any questions you would like to ask me concerning blogging please get in touch via e-mail at

iblogthefashioncontact@gmail.com
or
twitter at @iblogthefashion

I will add your question to this post and reply with the post link directing you to your question answer! Good luck with blogging and I'm sure you'll have the most amazing time of your life!





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