• Blogging 101
  • HOW TO BLOG WHEN YOU’RE BUSY

    Trying to blog when you have a million other things to do is no easy task. Whether its work, academic studies, loved ones..theres always something that can make it difficult time wise to blog. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break now and then – I think it can actually help to refocus and refresh your ideas, obviously unless blogging is your primary source of income and then it might be a little more difficult. However, how often you blog is really up you. Putting pressure on yourself to blog is never good but blogging regularly can be achieved without compromising the quality of your posts.

    LISTS, LISTS, LISTS…
    Being organised and prioritising your workload is the key to blogging regularly. I write lists all the time as it helps me to stay focused. Keeping a notebook or several notebooks and writing down blogging ideas, lists for what you want to blog about, products to review, photos that need to be taken etc is a great way to stay organised. Making these into checklists so you can tick off when completed helps to keep everything flowing.

    CREATE A BLOGGING SCHEDULE…
    By blogging schedule, I mean a monthly chart where by you can state what blog post you are going to publish on a certain day. There are lots of free monthly calendars on the net that you can print off to do this. I use one every month but I don’t stick to it religiously – sometimes I’ll change the day of a post but its a good way to plan out your posts in advance.You can find a free printable monthly calendar here which is perfect for making a blogging post schedule.

    CREATE AN AREA FOR PRODUCTS TO REVIEW
    I always have a few products that I want to write about and need to test out. The best thing I did was buy a small basket from Morrisons (for about £1.50) to keep these products in. Its just a much easier way of keeping everything organised, rather than having all your products jumbled together. You can get things like plastic storage from pound shops and places like wilkinsons so its not something you need to shell out loads of money for but it helps to keep lists and schedules in sync.

    MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FREE TIME
    If you have a free day or even just a couple of hours, use that time to take pictures, write blog posts and be productive. I always take my blog photos in bulk and try to write several posts in one go – it doesn’t always happen as I’m easily distracted. Scheduling your posts throughout the week allows you to still be an active blogger without eating into your time.

    REMEMBER TO GET YOUR BLOG POSTS OUT THERE
    Once you’ve posted your blog posts, remember to get links to your posts out there on the web. I would highly recommend having a twitter account if you don’t already have one as its a good way to help increase your views. You can schedule tweets via various apps, such as hootsuite and if you use bloglovin, you can sync it to your twitter/facebook account so the links to your recent posts are published on your social media accounts.

    I hope this was helpful in some way. Don’t worry if you really don’t have time to blog and don’t put pressure on yourself either – its your online space and blogging is meant to be fun!…

  • Makeup
  • A LITTLE RADIANCE PLEASE…

    Glowing skin is something I rarely achieve without a bit of help. Using a good highlighter really perks up my skin and adds that little something extra to my makeup.

    I’ve found some great highlighters at both ends of the price spectrum. Today I’m sharing my the majority of my collection.

    makeup_highlighters_review

    E.L.F BAKED BLUSH – PINKTASTIC £3.95
    This is meant to be a blush but on my pale skin, its far better as a highlighter. Its a pale pink highlighter with subtle gold tones and its meant to be a good dupe of MAC’s MSF in soft and gentle. The texture is soft, smooth and pigmented and it wears for around 7-8 hours on the skin before fading. Really nice for adding a subtle glow on cheeks and under eyebrows.REVLON HIGHLIGHTING PALETTE – ROSE GLOW £8.99
    On the outside, it looks similar to one of  Bobbi Browns shimmer bricks – on the inside this is billed as a mix of blush and highlighter. Rose Glow is a mixture of five complimentary shades of pink, champagne and beige, which combined makes a pretty light pink shade. The texture is powdery and theres a lot of shimmer in here so its one probably better used in the evening.
    BEAUTY UK BAKED BLUSHER – HALO £3.99

    Like the ELF product, whilst this is billed as a blush, its far more suitable as a highlighter. Its a very light pink champagne shimmery highlighter that looks stunning when applied to the face. Again I’ve read its meant to be a dupe of MAC’s MSF in soft and gentle and its similar to the E.L.F blush so you don’t really need both. For £3.99, you really cant go wrong with this product – its highly pigmented and smooth, without being too powdery. I can imagine it would suit a range of skin tones too!
    HIGHLIGHTER_SWATCHES

    The E.L.F swatch is slight blurry – blogger problems!You can see a better swatch is this post.

    higher_end_highlighter_review
     

    KEVYN AUCOIN CELESTIAL POWDER- CANDLELIGHT £35
    Typically, my most expensive highlighter is my favourite. This is just such a subtle powder that it adds a beautiful luminosity to the skin. Its a golden apricot powder that gives a soft focus finish. It kicks up a bit of powder in the pan so I prefer to apply it with a different brush to the compact (you don’t get a brush with it anymore but I recommend a fan brush to apply). Perfection.

    BARE MINERALS FACE POWDER – TRUE RADIANCE 
    A quick mention for this powder as you cant seem to buy it anymore. I’ve had this a while and I’m not sure if it came as part of a kit but its still a product I use from time to time. True Radiance is a pinky brown powder that adds a little bronze and radiance in one. I only use a tiny amount as it can look too obvious on my pale skin if I apply too much. You can get different coloured versions of this powder and its definitely one to look at if you don’t mind loose powder products.

    MAC EXTRA DIMENSION SKIN FINISH – SUPERB
    This is another product you can get hold of at the moment – well unless you give ebay a try but I wanted to mention it as its one of my favourites and MAC have released this a few times since I purchased mine so no doubt it will show up again at some point. This is a highly pigmented champagne/peach metallic highlighter, similar to Estee Lauders Gelees Illuminating powders. Definitely one to pick up if its re-released!
    HIGHEND_HIGHLIGHTER_SWATCHES

    LIQUID_HIGHLIGHTERS

    BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR – OPAL £33
    Probably my least used highlighter as I only have a mini sample and I think this is possibly too warm for my skin tone but its a water based liquid highlighter in a warm gold shade. It gives a gorgeous glow and can be mixed with foundation, moisturiser or used alone.

    MAC STROBE CREAM £22.50
    A brightening cream that helps revive tired looking skin. This can be used under makeup or mixed with foundation. I love mixing this with a powder concealer and using under my eyes as its really helps conceal and brighten my dark undereye circles. It adds a really gorgeous glow to the skin and perks it up for a naturally radiant look.

    LIQUID_HIGHLIGHTER_SWATCHES
    Whats your favourite highlighter?

  • Blogging 101
  • The Best Free Online Photo Editing Sites

    Editing your photos can be a big blogging chore. Luckily, there’s a few free online sites that can help make your blog photos so much nicer. Whether its brightening a photo, making a blog banner or mocking up a collage, I’ve got a round up of the best free photo editing sites on the net.

    Pixlr
    This is very similar to photoshop in its layout. Its more complicated to use than other free sites but there are a few tutorials on the web. Pixlr editor is the main section you need for doing everything from photo editing to making collages for wishlists etc. There aren’t as many features as photoshop but it has what you need for brightening photographs, cropping, resizing. For fonts, you can use the ones stored on your computer or new ones you download.

    Picmonkey
    Probably the easiest editing site to use. There are limited basic features but you can pay for extra ones – for photo editing I personally feel that the free functions are fine. There are a few different fonts to use and the you can crop, resize, and brighten though there are no curves/levels feature. A lot of the time I find that picmonkey doesn’t load or certain features wont load so it isn’t the most reliable.

    ipiccy
    Similar to picmonkey but with some extra features, such as levels/curves for brightening photographs. Its also really easy to make collages with the collage tool and some nice fonts. Its definitely my favourite editor as its simple to use and always loads quickly.

    Fotoflexer
    Similar to ipiccy but some less features. There are some really nice handwritten style fonts on here so its nice for adding text. I think ipiccy and pixlr are better for actual photo editing though.

    A few others to mention are photoscape which although free, needs to be downloaded – I’ve only just downloaded it so I haven’t used it much but first impressions aren’t great. I think you’re better sticking to the online editors to be honest. Another is befunky, which I’ve only used once but it looks similar to picmonkey.
    Overall, free online photo editing sites are definitely good enough to use for editing blog photos or making a blog banner/collages. Photoshop is much more advanced but I don’t feel you should splash out on it for the benefit of blogging. If there’s any other site you can recommend let me know in the comments!…

  • HTML TIPS
  • html tips: how to resize blog photos to the same size

    Today I have a super quick tutorial on how to size all your blog post pictures to the same size without having to manually do it every time you post.

    First, its a good idea to back up your blog template in case anything goes wrong. You can do this by going to the template section in your blogger dashboard and clicking on backup/restore which will give you the option to download your template.
    To resize your photographs all you need to do is add a little coding and this can be easily done by clicking on the customise button in your template section – go to advanced – scroll down to add css and add the following code;

    .post-body img {
    width: 600px!important;
    height: auto!important; }

    The text in yellow is the blog post photo width and you can change this to your desired width if its too large for your blog. I currently use 600px images in my blog posts so you have an idea of how wide they are. As the height is set to auto, your images wont be distorted. This coding will make the images in all your blog posts the same size. I hope this was helpful and if you have any problems just let me know in the comments below.…

  • Blogging 101
  • HTML TIPS & TRICKS: SIDEBAR BORDERS

    Its been a good few months since I wrote one of these posts but I thought I’d continue with the series as I still have a few things to share. If you want to see previous html posts click here.

    I thought I’d continue where I left off which is styling the sidebar – you can find out how to change side fonts and backgrounds here and here. As I’ve said before, I’m not a professional web designer – I’ve simply found a few ways to customise a blogger template by endless searching and trial and error.

    The sidebar is good for showcasing aspects such as subscribers, the blog archive, sponsors etc. There is a very easy way to make to the sidebar look attractive without having to mess around with your html template. Firstly, its a good idea to save your current template in case anything goes wrong. That way you don’t have to worry if you make a mistake. (To save – just go to the template section on your blogger dashboard and backup/restore. You will then be given the option to download your template to your computer!)

    Adding a border (like I currently have) is a great way to make your sidebar standout and separate it from all your other content. To add a simple standard border around your sidebar, firstly you need to go to the template section on blogger – customise template – advanced – add css. In the blank box add the following code;

    .sidebar {
    border:  1px solid #000000;
    }

    This coding will give you a standard black border around your sidebar.

    If you wish to change the thickness of the border, all you need to do is increase the value of the px in yellow.
    To change the colour – just change the colour code in blue to the one you desire – you can find various html colour codes here.

    If you dont want a solid line border, you could add a dashed border instead. To do this just use the following coding (again the thicnkess and color can be changed as above).

    .sidebar {
    border:  1px dashed #000000;
    }

    Or to have a dotted border use the coding below

    .sidebar {
    border:  1px dotted #000000;
    }

    I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions leave them below and I will do my best to answer. If theres any other html tips you’d like to see just let me know and I will see if I can help!…

  • Makeup
  • NEW REAL TECHNIQUES BRUSHES FOR 2014

    Look what I’ve just spotted!new real techniques brushes. I actually found these on amazon though they’re not available to buy yet so I’m guessing in the next few weeks they’ll be able to purchase. From left to right;

    1. Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush – £12.99
    Expertly blend bronzer or finishing powder. Load up the brush, pop the lid on and go!

    2. Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush – £11.99
    Evenly apply powder, blush or bronzer. Load up the brush, pop the lid on and go!

    3. Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush – £5.99
    High tech silicone tip for effortless enhanced eyes. The ultimate tool for smooth,precise application of liquid or cream liner.

    4. Real Techniques Retractable Lip Brush – £6.99
    Ultra-firm tapered tip applies colour smoothly and expertly lines the lips for added definition.…

  • Makeup
  • SLEEK VINTAGE ROMANCE PALETTE & SWATCHES

    I’ve had my eye on Sleeks Vintage Romance palette ever since I saw the pre-release information about it. Everything about the palette drew me in – the shades, names and of course, the affordable price point.

    The palette contains rich shades of bronze, berries and purples. All shades are incredibly soft, smooth and pigmented.



    I like all shades in this palette which is rare, usually theres one or two I’m never keen on. The only shade here that I found a little powdery was propose in prague – a matte brown but I do find that Sleeks matte shadows tend to lean that way. This is a great palette for autumn/winter and perfect for creating a dark smokey eye. For £7.99 its a perfect buy!I got mine from Sleek online but it should be instore at Superdrug too (its not yet online)…

  • Makeup
  • MAC DIVINE NIGHT COLLECTION SNEAK PEEK!

    Here are a few photos from MAC’s Christmas 2013 collection entitled Divine Night!

    As yet there is no official colour story but the Christmas collection will feature mini sets as well as a colour collection.

    The mini sets include lip glosses, lip balms, pigments and glitters.

    A gold eye palette in limited edition packaging includes five shades, two other makeup sets includes 3 shadows, powder/blush, 2 lipstick shades and a pencil.

    Big Dolls Eye Set features In Extreme Dimension Lash 3D mascara, blacktrack fluidline, two further products and makeup bag.
    The Beauty Lips Set features a lipstick, gloss, lip pencil and cosmetic bag.
    Finally three makeup brush sets include the Mineralize Brush Set with 4 brushes – 187, 286, 159, 287
    Smokey Eye Brush Set with five brushes – 219, 266, 227, 214, 211
    Brush Essential Set with five brushes – 212, 239, 217, 193, 168

    The Divine Night Collection will be released in October for US and November for international…

  • HTML TIPS
  • FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATE!

    Today I’m offering a free blog template that I recently made. I’m not a professional web designer but I enjoy making them and thought it would be nice to share. You can see a live preview here.

    You are more then welcome to make alterations if you know how – I have some tutorials here and will be uploading some more shortly. All I ask is that you don’t sell it on as your own work as that wouldn’t be cool.
    You don’t need to use a header as the font is installed in the template but if you want to use your own all you need to do is upload it in the dashboard layout area of blogger – the widths of the template can be changed easily via blogger dashboard!

    To get this template, just click download below – you’ll need to unzip the file. Then upload the template via blogger dashboard!

    Let me know what you think – I have some others too which I may share depending upon the response…

  • Blogging 101
  • BLOGGER HTML TIPS AND TRICKS #1

    I’m by no means an expert when it comes to blog design but I thought I would share a few easy html tricks I’ve learnt. The good news is that these are super easy to implement – you don’t even need to mess with your blog html coding!

    To use any of the following coding all you need to do is go to the template page in blogger > click on customise > go to the advanced section > add CSS > copy and paste the coding you want into the add custom CSS box > click apply to blog button.

    *Make sure you save your template before making any changes, then if anything goes wrong you can just upload it again*

    Centreing Post Title
    .post-title {
    text-align: center;
    }

    Centreing Date
    .date-header {
    text-align: center;
    }

    Centreing Sidebar Titles
    .sidebar h2 {
    text-align: center !important;
    }
    *To align to the right – just change the ‘center’ to ‘right’*
    Centreing Page List/Menu Bar
    .PageList {
    text-align: center !important;
    }
    PageList li {display inline !important; float:none !important;}

    I hope this was helpful.…