A Month in Beauty | August 2014

Its been a funny month beauty wise - I haven't used much makeup but I seem to have invested more time in using skincare. Hopefully, there will be lots of new autumn releases to look forward to. 
Even though the weather has cooled down, I've still been using the Vichy Dermablend Powder to blot my skin and keep any oily patches at bay. Let me tell you, this powder is amazing for shiny skin. Despite it being a loose white powder, its not too messy and blends well without leaving any white residue. Its keeps my makeup looking fresh and intact throughout the day. An all round great buy for oily skin.

Next up, I've been trying out some new skin care in the form of the Antonia Burrell Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum*. This oil has made a real difference in balancing my skin and making it feel less oily. Despite it being an oil, I don't find it too heavy and it sinks in fairly quick too. My skin feels less congested too and just all round brighter. Two other products I've been using this month are the Skinchemists Rapid Facial and Venom Mask*. These products are best for anti-ageing use. I'll be honest, I dont think these two are worth the £115 price tag as they haven't wowed me but I have enjoyed using them both. The rapid facial is a light mask that you rub off once dry. It really does make me skin feel balanced, soft and smooth, as does the venom mask. I'll be sharing more about them both soon but moral of the story is basically they're worth buying if you can get them on offer (I have a feeling they pop up on sites like groupon etc). 

For makeup, theres only one nail polish I've been using, which is MAC's impassioned. I'm pretty obsessed with this polish, despite it not being a particular unique shade. I'd describe it as a coral pink/red - I don't own the lipstick shade but I'd say it looks more red in tone than that. Its basically a classic summer shade with good wear and great formulation.

My most dreamy buy of the month has to be Urban Decays Naked Flushed Palette in Streak. This palette is perfect for pale skin - it has a bronzer, highlighter and blush. The peachy gold highlighter is stunning as is the pink coral matte blush. A real beaute of a palette!

Finally, I've been using the new CID I-Glow Compact Shimmer Powder in Ice Pop* - I've been using this as a blush as it translates to a pale pink shimmery hue. On darker skintones, I can see it working really well as a highlighter. Either way, its add a gorgeous glow, without being disco ball shimmery. In the pan, it reminds me of a MAC MSF but I actually think the formula of this is better - smooth and pigmented. A real surprise!

Have you tried any of these products?

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A Free Blogger Template!

Today, I have a free blogger template to download. I offered a free one a while back but this one is more classic and suitable for everyone. Mono is a simple white but chic template for the blogger platform. The blog title is customised so you can just type in your blog name and your good to go. However, if you already have a header, you can of course use that too. To see this template live click here.

To install, go to your blogger dashboard - go to the template section - click on the backup/restore button (on the top right hand side) - click on choose file and add the template file - then click upload and the template will be installed for you.

*If you're looking for a different design, I'm currently offering all templates in my etsy shop for just £6 each for a limited time only. 
To check out my shop click here.*

Twitter | Bloglovin | Google +

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No Money, No Problem! | Blog on A Budget

Blogging on a budget is something thats very achievable. As I said in my previous post a few blogging myths, you don't need a lot of money to blog. Its very tempting to want to go out and purchase the latest beauty products and fashion trends but when you're blogging on a budget, its pretty impossible to do. So, what can you blog about? Here's a few suggestions for blog posts.

* Shop your stash - look at what products you already own and think about how you can use them in posts. I rarely mention a product once - I'll use it for several posts, for example, when it comes to a cleanser I may mention it in a favourites post, skincare 101, best products on the high street, products under £20 etc.

* Ask friends and family - maybe you could swap products with friends or relatives or perhaps they have a product you could sample for review. 

* Think outside the box - do you have products that could be used for baking, DIY or a creative post?

* Do you have any skills you can utilise, for instance an eye makeup tutorial, styling a pair of jeans, how to dress for college etc.

* Can you offer advice? - blogging tips, lifestyle, money saving, job interviews?

* Wishlists - wishlists are great when you're blogging on a budget. Whether its an ebay wishlist, fashion or makeup wishlist.

* Favourite blogs or youtubers - a list of blogs/youtubers you love or posts/videos you've been loving recently.

* Life event/hobbies/days out all make for interesting reads.

* Favourite instagram/pinterest accounts to follow

* Personal - maybe things you want to achieve, do or learn.

Do you have any suggestions for blogging on a budget?

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A Few Blogging Myths...

1. Blogging will get you lots of 'freebies'.
One of the perks of blogging is receiving things to review free of charge. Having said that, theres no guarantee just because you have a blog, you're going to receive lots of products. The reality is that there are far more bloggers than samples. Blogs that only start for the purpose of getting products wont last long. Yes, if you work hard at your blog, put out great content and have passion then opportunities are likely to appear but they shouldn't be expected or taken for granted.

2. Looking like a supermodel will get you lots of subscribers.
Now, this is a tough one because for fashion blogging then I guess looks do play a part somewhat. However, you don't need to look a certain way to gain a readership. I read lots of blogs and for most of them, I have no idea what the writer looks like. If your content is good then people will read it. I've never read a blog because of what the writer looks like, maybe they are some people who do but in my honest opinion those people will get bored very easily if they're not there for the content.

3. You need to make youtube videos to be a blogger.
A lot of bloggers upload videos on youtube. It's something I considered until I actually got in front of a camera and froze - yep its not for me and I highly doubt I ever will. If its something you want to do then definitely give it a go. However, its not necessary and it doesn't make you any less of a blogger because you're not on there. I think some people think they'll automatically become the next Zoella but it takes a lot of hard work and in all honesty a lot of likability (and luck?) to become successful on youtube. 

4. Blogging will make you rich?
Well if only!Ha but seriously blogging isn't an easy path to make money. Yes there are ways to monetise your blog and some people are lucky enough to earn a living from it. However, for most blogging is a great hobby. 

5. You need money to be a blogger.
You dont need a lot of money to blog. You can have a read of my post on blogging when you're broke here. There are lots of things you can blog about without spending a penny. Its easy to think that you need to go out and buy every new product to review but you really don't. Try and think outside the box when it comes to writing.

6. Blogging is easy.
Before blogging, I never realised just how much time it takes to create a blog and all the things that come with it. You're a content creator, editor, admin, social media, all in one blogging machine and that eats up a lot of time. Yes its very enjoyable but like everything, it has its ups and downs, frustrations and all that jazz. If you're passionate then investing time and energy is 100% worth it!

7. Everyone lives in a dreamland of white walls, candles, flowers and cosy bedding.
Despite how things often look on blogs/social media, no-one has a perfect life or lives in a dream house filled with incredible things. Remember people only show snippets - everyone has their bad days and has their own struggles. In reality, I'm sure most bloggers are just like you and me and no-one is perfect despite perceptions.

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Easy ways to refresh your blog design

Sometimes I feel the need to freshen up my blog design, whether its due to just feeling a bit 'meh' in general or because I just like changing things up now and again. Its super easy to change things up without putting too much time and effort into it. Here are a few easy ways to refresh your blog design.

Creating a new header
Its super easy to make a new header. You dont need photoshop either. You can use picmonkey or ipiccy as both have several fonts you can use and picmonkey now lets you use your own fonts meaning you can find free fonts to download and use. You can also add layers in picmonkey too so if you want to add an image to your headers its very easy to do!you can buy pretty clipart from etsy and find free ones via google.

Changing backgrounds
Its easy to change the background of either the main section or sidebar. You can find out how to change the background here and how to change the sidebar background here

Changing colours
You can change text/link colours via your blogger dashboard - template - customise. On some blogger templates you cant change colours via the dashboard so an alternative would be to go into your html template, find the h2 heading or h3 post title tags and add the html for your selected colour under these headings. You can find a great html colour chart here.

Changing fonts
You can change fonts via your blogger dashboard - template - customise. However, if you want to use a font that isnt there, such as a google font you can find my tutorial here which tells you how to add a free google font to blogger. Its really quick and easy to do and a good way to freshen things up.

Adding new social media icons
There are so many free social media icons via google. You can pretty much find anything you're looking for. You could use something simple or go for something with a little colour. You can also add them to your blog posts by adding the coding to the post template box in your posts and comments section of blogger dashboard (under settings). 

I hope this has given you some helpful ideas of how to easily change up your blog design. I'll be making some free headers and icons shortly!

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