SLIDER

Hi, I'm Holly.



A 31-year old Scottish Lass with a love for highlight, heels and homeware.

hollysturgeonofficial@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER

2.19.2019

Simply Be Beauty?

Say whuuuttt?

Did you know that Simply Be sell beauty, from both drugstore and high end brands? The great thing about Simply Be is that everything can be added to your account, meaning you can spread the cost, which is great for me as someone who wants champagne on a beer budget.



As you all will know by now I am lucky enough to work with Simply Be regularly, and on this occasion they have very kindly sent me a few pieces from their beauty range to see what looks I can create. I'm always up for trying out new makeup looks, so here you go! here's what I was able to come up with using minimal products..

Here's a list of the products I used...

- Maybelline 'The Blushed' Nudes Eye Palette
- Laura Geller Luminous Foundation 
- Benefit Roller Lash
- Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
- Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Gilded Honey
- Babyliss 12 in 1 Hair Styler

The Maybelline palette allowed me to create this brown/black smokey eye that literally looks good on EVERY skintone and received SO many compliments on a night out recently. Never underestimate the power of a smoky eye!

The fact that there is SO much beauty to choose from in the Simply Be beauty edit really makes my job easy - I could happily create makeup looks all day long!

If you're planning on shopping with Simply Be anytime soon, I have two tips for you:-

1 - Pay the £9.95 for a year of free next day delivery. I've saved SO much money using this and I know that my orders are going to arrive really quickly. It's worth every penny!

2 - Join Simply Be Perks! It's free and all you have to do is have an existing Simply Be account. It changes all the time and gives you new perks, but an example of the perks include prize giveaways and free Laura Geller makeup with a certain spend.  Getting something for nothing is right up my street!

Do you shop on Simply Be? 

*This post contains gifted products and affiliate links. Your shopping experience is not affected.
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2.16.2019

Reversing Depressed Scars With Fillers*

A scar can taint the perfectness of your body and negatively affect its general appearance. The effects are even worse if the scar is depressed. Your self-esteem is likely to take the biggest hit in such a situation. But you don't have to live life like this; you can actually meaningfully make a difference through cosmetic procedures that take advantage of dermal fillers. Today, individuals all over the world are getting rid of the scar depressions on their bodies using fillers with amazing results. Making things even better for you, these cosmetic procedures have been perfected over the years and can now even get rid of the most notorious scar depressions.




What are fillers?

Fillers are made from a natural substance found in the skin known as hyaluronic acid. For a while now, collagen has been the most popular filler, but there have been new introductions in the recent past, Restylane and Juvederm. The two newly introduced dermal fillers contain more naturally occurring hyaluronic acid. Fillers have become very popular in rectifying scar depressions due to them being a safe and less demanding option of dealing with depressions on the skin as a result of scars.

To rectify the effects of the scar depression, the fillers are injected into the affected areas directly. These fillers work by restoring mass to the affected area and getting rid of the depression. Fillers store moisture that helps the affected skin also blend well with the surrounding skin to eradicate the effects of the depression. This filling procedure should be done by a qualified and well-experienced cosmetic surgeon for the best results.

Benefits of using fillers

There are many benefits accrued to this method of getting rid of depression on the skin brought by scars. These numerous benefits are what have made fillers a popular option. The benefits include:

A safe procedure

Today, cosmetic procedures that are meant to enhance the beauty and appearance of a person have become to a great extent, very safe. Despite this progress, there are quacks in the industry of cosmetic surgery and procedures that taint the image of the whole sector. Using fillers to rectify scar depressions is a relatively safe procedure, and there are minimal risks involved. The procedure just a matter of injecting the filler in the affected areas, and they will do the rest. So as compared to other options like surgery, using fillers is a much safer option for you.

Relatively affordable

When you hear affordability, your first pick would be money. You are not wrong, but affordability extends far beyond money. Time is also a quite a big part of affordability. The process of using a filler to get rid of a scar depression is relatively affordable as compared the other options like surgery in terms of cost. This is also true regarding time. This filling process takes less than an hour, and you don't need to take any time to heal.

Instant perfect results

By choosing to go to a cosmetic surgeon for a scar depression filling procedure, you should expect instant results. Once the filler is injected inside the affected area, the results are immediate. There is no waiting for healing or for the results to show. Even when the procedure is ongoing, you can clearly see the difference. What's even more exciting is that the results are just perfect.

Things you should keep in mind

Now that you understand the benefits of using a filler to get rid of a scar depression, there are other things that you should keep in mind. This will help you get and maintain the best out of your scar depression filling procedure. You should know that:

The doctors injecting your filler is of great importance

You should note that the result of your scar filling procedure will be a clear reflection of who did the procedure. If you choose to go to an expert cosmetic surgeon, you will get superb results which are an accurate representation of their long-term experience and expertise. If you decide to go to the back streets for the procedure, the result will reflect the inexperience and the lack of interest in perfecting the result of the backstreet injector. If money is what may push you to the backstreets, it's better that you wait and keep saving until you have enough money to visit an experienced cosmetic doctor.
   
The results will last for only a few months or more

The fillers are not a one time permanent solution to your scar depression. The hyaluronic acid fillers are made of a naturally occurring component of the skin. Therefore, they will be broken down naturally by the skin after an estimated period of three to six months varying depending on individuals. Most experts in this field advise on doing the filling procedure at least twice a year to maintain the perfect look.

This procedure does not stop or slow down the natural aging

The filling procedure will only take care of the depression caused by the scar but will not slow down or reverse the effects of aging. You should know that as you age, you are likely to find yourself needing more filler to achieve the same result you were used to in the beginning. This is normal and should not alarm you. You should also know that as you age and you need more filler to achieve the same results the more essential expert hands in doing the procedure are.

About Dr. Miller

Leonard Miller M.D. runs one of the best medical practices for cosmetic plastic surgery in the Boston area. His medical spa is committed to providing each of its patients with state-of-the-art individualized non-surgical treatments. These treatments are aimed at giving his patients a refreshed and perfectly natural look.

Dr. Miller has helped hundreds of patients with scar depressions perfectly get rid of them using dermal fillers. With this doctor's vast experience and expertise in this area, you can expect nothing but the best from him. Please visit his site if you are looking for dermal fillers in the Boston area.

**This is a collaborative article.
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2.13.2019

Get Rid of Sagging Jowls and Improve Your Look*

Smoothing your jowls through a lower facelift is something that you can do when you have sagging skin, you are getting older, and this is the one thing that you have problems with. Many people age well until they start to take a look at the jowls under their chin. They start to notice the skin that is hanging down, and they do not like that it makes them look so much older. They need to do something that will help them remove this one problem, and a lower facelift is the answer.

The Procedure

The procedure is a lifting of the skin around the chin and down. The jowls that are down there can be removed, and the tissue is used to create taut skin that will look smoother, look younger, and make up for any weight loss or sagging that has happened over time. This is often part of a larger procedure, but you might need to rest of the surgery. You can have the lower part of your face done, and it will address the problems that you feel are most pressing. People will not be looking at your chin all that closely, and all they will see is taut skin that has not stretched or been drug down by gravity.

Your cosmetic surgeon will remove all the excess skin from under your skin, and he will reshape the area using the tissue that is left. He will make certain to smooth over the region, and he will give you room to recover. Your skin needs to be taut enough to appear youthful without being too tight. There are a number of people who might get their skin done too tightly by another surgeon, and they need an experienced, caring hand in the operating room.

Ideal Candidates

Anyone can have this surgery done, but they need to get clearance from an experienced surgeon first. Your doctor needs to assess every patient for their fitness, and he needs to see how much tissue there is to work with. You are checked for your overall health, and you are cleared for the surgery only when Dr. Frankel knows it can be done properly. He is an expert in the field, and he will not do any work unless he knows that he can help you. He will give you the best look, and he will show you a computer model of what could be done for you.

This procedure can be done on anyone who is getting a little older or who has lost a lot of weight. A dramatic weight loss could cause the skin to sag as it is left without any fat to fill it out, and the skin needs to be repaired and tightened using this simple procedure. Younger people can have this procedure done when they have trouble with their skin, and older people can combat the effects of time.

What Happens During Surgery

The surgery day starts early because patients need time to recover from the surgery in the office. They can go home with a friend or their spouse only after the staff has made sure they are safe. The surgery day should be a day of rest, and it would be best if the patient took a couple days off of work. The patient is given a chance to recover faster when they are at home resting, and they will find that they need a couple days to get used to having a few stitches under their chin. The patient is given a follow-up date, and they will meet Dr. Frankel at that time. Surgery day is the longest day of the process, but it is not the most important day. You must commit to the full process and all follow-ups before you are healed.

Recovery

Patients are given a recovery care package that explains how to handle their dressings, what activities they cannot do, and how much pain medication they are allowed to take. Patients might be sent home with a prescription for pain medication, or they might want to use PTC drugs to help them with any discomfort they feel. The best part of this package is that the patient does not do it all alone. They can call the office at any time for more information, and they can talk to the doctor in their follow-up about any pain they might feel.

Full recovery does not happen until people have had all their bruising die down. These people need to come back to Dr. Frankel on more than one occasion so that they can be checked, and they will be given a clean bill of health once he has removed the dressings, and check the surgical wounds. He wants people to heal completely before he can approve them for full activity, and he wants them to come back any time they feel as though something is not right.

Conclusion

Come see Andrew Frankel when you are ready to schedule an appointment for your facelift consultation. There are a number of things that you can do when you get into the office to talk over your plastic surgery options, and you can improve your jowls such that you do not have all that hanging skin under your neck. Dr. Frankel has helped many people with this process, and you can reach out to him today.

You have every right to change your body and your life with a simple surgery. This is one of the more basic lifts that you can do, but you need to be cleared for the surgery, see if there are any other procedures you would like to do, and get a new look that you know you deserve.

If you are in need of a facelift specialist in Beverly Hills, see Dr. Frankel.



**This is a collaborative post.
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1.17.2019

Scalp psoriasis update

A while ago I wrote a blog post about having scalp psoriasis and I promised at the time that I would give an update if and when anything had changed.

Since the last blog post my psoriasis calmed down for a few months and has again had s major flare up,  but during that time I took notes on changes to my lifestyle, diet and treatment to try and find things to avoid a flare up.

For those of you who don't know what scalp psoriasis is, it's like a much more severe, painful version of having dandruff. It can cause lumps, burning, itching, scales and flaking. In extreme cases it can cause hair loss. I actually lost 30% of my hair 3 years ago because of it. 

Since then I've only dyed my hair twice and use next to no product in my hair or near my scalp to avoid irritation. Like I mentioned it cleared up for a few months and i picked up on a few things that helped. 

TIPS FOR SOOTHING THE SCALP 

- Dont use anything other than shampoo or your treatment on scalp.
- Wash your hair as often as possible (keeps irritation to a minimum)
- Blowdry your hair after washing.  I find any moisture on my scalp causes lumps.
- Use a light hand when brushing to avoid scraping the scalp
- Dont tie your hair too tight

Whilst my scalp was much better, I've recently had a bad flare up again. To be honest, there was no one single thing that caused it but I have noticed some things that trigger it and wanted to share them for anyone else who is going through the same.

SCALP PSORIASIS TRIGGERS

- Having the cold or flu - Psoriasis is caused by autoimmune dysfunction which basically means your body struggles to fight off bugs and flu's going around. I find that when I have a cold or any sort of bug, my scalp really flares up.

- Change in diet - I'm not saying healthy eating helps, but having a consistent diet helps. I find if I change my diet, after a few days my scalp starts to react, but re-settles again after a few weeks of eating the same way.

- Stress. Goes without saying really, stress affects every part of our bodies and the scalp is no exception. If I'm stressed or agitated, I find it gets worse.

- Sweat. Anytime I exercise and get a bit sweaty, I do find that the heat and moisture on my scalp causes irritation so once you've exercised or feel a big sticky, I'd definitely recommend jumping in the shower or maybe just using the cool setting on your hairdryer over your head to take the heat out and dry up any excess moisture.

So there's my scalp psoriasis update. I've been full of the cold and had the flu twice in one month, I also changed my diet over christmas and was stressed. A losing combination for my scalp! I'll let you know if and when it settles down again..

Until then...

H x
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1.10.2019

13 Things I Want To Do In 2019

A new year means we have a blank canvas for planning things! I thought I'd share 13 things I want to do in 2019!


1 - GO TO A CONCERT

My boyfriend very kindly got us tickets to see Boyzone in their final tour for my Christmas. He has even booked us into a hotel in glasgow while we're there (brownie points x1000). The concert is on January 26th so I don't need to wait too long - I've even had him answering Boyzone trivia questions haha!

2 - CELEBRATE VALENTINES DAY

I can't remember the last time I felt happy on Valentines Day. Hopefully this year will be a lot different and I really want to do something special with Chris. Having said that, having a takeaway and a cuddle on the couch is special enough! It just would be nice to feel happy on V Day, Usually I spend the day drowning my sorrows with a bottle of Disaronno.

3 - LEARN TO DRIVE

I'm not putting any pressure on myself, but I would like to learn to drive and if I could just take the plunge to book that first lesson then I reckon i'd take to it like a fish in water.

4 - GO TO A GIN DISTILLERY

There's a Gin distillery in my local area and loads of people have been ranting about it. I'd love to go and sample everything... obvs.

5 - GO STARGAZING

I love looking up at the stars on a summers night, so this year I want to go to the park with a blanket, lie down on the grass and look at the stars. Sounds ridiculous, but it just sounds so beautiful.

6 -TRY SOMETHING NEW

Whether that be getting into herbal teas or becoming a nudist (LOL!!)) I just want to broaden my horizons and try something new. Life is all about experimenting afterall!

7 - START SAVING FOR MY PENSION

I have no idea where to start or what I'm doing but I reckon by the time I'm 65 there will be no such thing as pensions, so now is a good time to start, even if it is just small change!

8 - HAVE A BBQ

Aye it's Scotland. I know it's unlikely we'll get a heat wave anytime soon, but I would love to host a wee BBQ in the summer time with all my faves. Drinking outside is so much more fun than in front of the TV crying at a David Attenborough programme...

9 - GET MY HAIR DID

I rarely get my hair done and I always play it safe with my hair. I'm definitely not a 'LETS GO BLUE!' kinda lass, but it would be nice to experiment with it a little.

10 - GO ON HOLIDAY

My littlest sister Mandy is turning 30 this June. Whenever one of us has turned 30 we've done something special. I went to New York, Katy & Sarah Jane went to Florida so it's Mandys turn. I think she fancies Canada but who knows where we'll end up!

11 - GO TO A BONFIRE

I must be feeling all naturistic or something but I would love to toast marshmallows by a bonfire! Hopefully someone somewhere will be having one that I can attend without getting a restraining order!

12 - 'NOTEBOOK' MY BOYFRIEND

Do you remember 10 years ago there was this obsession with watching the Notebook and making our boyfriends watch it, knowing fully that they will cry (and hopefully take on some tips to treat us the way Noah treats Ally..)? Chris revealed last week that he has never seen it, so whilst I might be 32 years old, I'm going to 'notebook' him - AKA stare at Ryan Gosling for 2 hours. It never gets old!

13 - GO TO EDINBURGH'S CHRISTMAS MARKETS

I go every year but I never get the chance to stay overnight and experience it at night time. For 2019, I definitely plan on going for an overnight stay.

So there's everything I can think of that I want to do in 2019! What do you have planned?

H x

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1.09.2019

Tips on mentally managing your monthlies

Let's face it ladies, no one looks forward to having our period. Aside from the physical pain and discomfort of mother nature, us women also endure varying levels of psychological turmoil at the same time which is why I wanted to put together some tips on mentally managing your monthlies. You can thank me with chocolate and pink gin...


AVOID EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

Are you one of those people who listens to sad music when you're in a sad mood because you just want to be sad for a little while and wallow in the self pity of having the period from hell? (Me too!) Well avoiding those emotional triggers will help to keep your mood on a straight level without crying over an Ed Sheeran song for no reason. By all means let it out if you want to let it out but indulging in something you KNOW will make you emotional is a fast pass to ending the day clinging to a box of Kleenex. Avoid emotional triggers where you can and you'll feel much more emotionally stable.

LISTEN TO YOUR RATIONAL SIDE

When you have your period, your mood can quite often flip and make you forget to use rational thinking. I remember talking to my friend on Facebook one day and she said "you look great right now. You been dieting?". Instead of thanking her I instantly started to question our friendship. I spent the day convinced that she was being shady and that was her way of saying I look fat and need to lose weight. Obviously it was completely unjust and I was being unreasonable but my rational self was still there in the back of my head behind period brain and I've found that listening to my rational side has really helped me to deal with the mental side of having my period.

DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

Obviously, this is something we all should be doing in our lives in general but especially at 'that' time of the month. whether you enjoy watching the birds outside, watching television or chugging a bottle of sambuca, then you should do more of what makes you happy during that time. It will make you relax for a while.

SLEEP

If you're anything like me, I spend a lot of time feeling tired during my period. I find it difficult to sleep at night but yet could easily nod off into my bowl of coco pops during the day which makes me grumpier than the day I have to take my Christmas tree down. I spoke to a doctor about why this was and he said it's usually because you're overly aware of leaking during the night. His advice was to make sure you go to the bathroom right before bed and turn off social media to allow yourself to sleep quickly. No caffeine before bed either (and aye, there is caffeine in chocolate apparently!) and ensure your room is at a nice temperature. It all helps!

OTHER THINGS TO AVOID
  • Making big decisions
  • Confrontation
  • Having controversial opinions
  • Salad... (Jokes!).

IF ALL ELSE FAILS...

Nutella. That is all.

H x
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1.08.2019

Hello 2019!

Hi everyone! 

A new year always involves making new plans and reminiscing on the previous year. normally I get myself somewhat depressed when I think about all the things that I set out to do, but didn't quite accomplish, which is why this year I have decided to set different goals for 2019.


 
In previous years, I've always been pretty specific about resolutions I have for the year ahead. For example, I regularly set out to lose a certain amount of weight, I planned to save a certain amount of money and my goals were very time and ability restricted which if I'm honest had me feeling defeated by the time january ends. For 2019 I have decided to set some goals which are not necessarily things that can be achieved,  however are things that will benefit my life and improve both my physical and mental well-being.

The first thing I aim to do is to improve my health in general by being more mindful both physically and mentally.  by that I mean I will mindfully eat, I will mindfully exercise, I will mindfully enjoy my life without constantly thinking about what is next. As someone who is generally an anxious person, I regularly feel the need to plan whatever is coming next in my life.  for me being in control of my life and the decisions I make is very important, which is why I also want to be mindful and present in my life as it happens instead of preparing for every eventuality.  Yes, being prepared for everything that might happen has definitely protected me from some hard times but it has also robbed me of some amazing times because I forget to enjoy the moment. Being mindful is something that I touched on a couple of years ago but i fell back into my old habits. It's something that I can do that has no deadline or failure, its something I will work on for the rest of my life. If anyone knows of any books,  blogs, apps or videos that help with mindfulness then please let me know! 

Next up on the list is to work hard without the distractions of everyday life.   As someone who works from home and who needs to spend a lot of time on social media,  it is easy to get distracted. There are times when I head onto Twitter to schedule a tweet or to reply to someone and before I know it I'm checking out what the cast of Made In Chelsea think of the beef between Mark Francis and Ollie Locke (wtf is going on there!?). For 2019 I'm aiming to focus without getting sucked into the twitterverse. 

Another thing I hope to do is to laugh more. during 2018 I found i was taking myself way too seriously and quite frankly life is too short,  which is why this year I really want to laugh more and let stressful things go over my head as much as I can. Everyone always says that you can't live your life laughing like a hyena, but why not? I once asked my 84 year old nana what advice she would give to young people and she said "find the humour in everything you possibly can. No one wants to be miserable". If its good enough for nana,  its good enough for me!

Lastly,  I vow not to sweat the small stuff.  Like I mentioned before,  I'm a big worrier and because of that I often find myself getting stressed about things that really aren't a huge deal.  I remember losing my cool because a bus time was changed and I had plans to meet someone at a certain time. I complained to the bus company,  was almost in tears and apologised to my friend for being 10 minutes late at least 10 times.  All that stress because my bus time was changed to 10 minutes later due to roadworks? Was it really worth it? Of course it wasn't! It was nothing more than a toddler throwing its toys out of the pram.  Stress is a huge factor in how I cope in my life which is why I'm really going to focus more on what is important rather than sweating the small things.

So there are the things I plan on working on in 2019. Hello 2019! Please be kind to us!

H x
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11.07.2018

Wig Love!

Other than for fancy dress, I've never really had much reason to wear a wig but after seeing so many videos on Instagram of gorgeous women having their hair transformed without touching hairdye or scissors AND seeing as I was having a small Halloween soirée, I decided it was time to buy a wig.


Any wigs I've tried on before have always been for fancy dress and have always looked 'fake' (obvs, no one was born with natural long baby pink playboy bunny-esque hair) but I wanted to try something that was more realistic with an edgy twist.

I was on amazon and found one which had a bob style, middle parting, was green and had black roots. The wig claimed to have a natural feel to it, it came with a hair net and it I was able to apply heat to it which I wanted (I was hoping for Kim K vibes, not Dawn French in Vicar Of Dibley circa 1990 vibes. Anyone above the age of 25 knows the score..) so wanted to straighten the ends to make sure it didn't 'bob' too much.


The model in the picture looked all sorts of glamorous and I was hopeful it wouldn't unleash the inner potato in me (Mmm potatoes..) so when the wig arrived, I excitedly tried it on and the inner potato in me was baked, boiled and chipped. I literally looked ridiculous.

You know that state we get into when everything is a DISASTER when really you were actually sitting on the TV remote all along? Yeah, I was in THAT mood for a good three hours until I did my makeup, put my hair in the provided wig net and straightened the hair before putting it on.

GIRLS, LADIES, LADS, EVERYONE, IT LOOKED ALRIGHT!

My life could once again resume without listening to anymore depressing songs on Alexa (who by the way will NEVER understand a Scottish accent, more on that another time!) or downing anymore Pink gin.

I actually quite liked it! Someone on google said that if the wig looks shinier than my face after wrestling into a bra after a shower, then some dry shampoo would do the trick. I didn't need this in the end up but it's an option should you ever need it.

The soirée was a 10, my wig was a 10. My hangover the next day was an 11.

My friend was also wearing a wig and we've now decided we're buying a tonne of wigs and wig heads for a collection to wear them whenever we go out. I feel like I have a different personality when I wear it, so I'm Gretchen when I wear the green wig.

Aye, we're in our 30's but yanno, dirty thirties and all that.

Do you wear wigs? send me suggestions and wig tips! I'm obsessed!

H x
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11.06.2018

Where I've Been..

Hello everyone!


It's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged and prior to that, a few people on Twitter had commented that it was obvious that my heart wasn't 'in' my blog. They were right! I feel like I owe you a bit of an explanation, so grab a coffee (or a gin, I'll have one if there's any spare...) it's going to be a long one.

WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON?

I've still been working in the background on my blog and social media channels. I've been doing some social media management for other brands and that, teamed with the pressures of my own life has been overwhelming.

I'm still working 50+ hours a week, but my priorities are being divided left, right and center which is overwhelming for anyone, but as someone who is easily overwhelmed, is literally stressing me oot ma box. Ten points if you even understand what that means..

My social life has been busy aswell. I'm in a relatively new relationship and I have amazing friends that I love seeing too. Not forgetting about my lovely family.

Mentally, I'm tired but happy. Stressed but excited. Worried but in a good way. Life is going great but my blog content took a bit of a nosedive for another reason...

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR BLOG?

When I first started my blog back in 2010, it was literally just a space where I talked about things I did or didn't like, trends and my life. Since then, the blogging game has changed a shiz load and if I'm honest, I struggle to keep up with the demands of it.

Every industry has competition, it's healthy, but the blogging industry has become oversaturated, fake & contrived. Obviously, I'm not talking about people, I'm talking about the industry where brands won't even respond to your tweet to thank you for promoting them for free unless you have 50k followers, I'm talking about the 'influencers' who buy followers, the bloggers who undercut, steal content, lie and cheat their way through the game.

A lot of my friends tell me "if you can't beat them join them" but that's just not for me. It's not how I started out and I'm not going to play the game that the cheaters want us all to play.

I'll be perfectly honest, some brands that I've worked with closely for 8 years have over the past year in particular, been honest with me and told me my stats aren't impressive enough to work with me anymore. My stats have grown year on year, but sadly, I can't compete with the people who buy their stats. You can even 'buy' your domain authority nowadays. It's a sad and false 'reality' that genuine bloggers have to face nowadays.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NOW?

If you're an OG follower you will remember the days where I would post about my life, use pictures I took with my phone of myself, friends and products, talked about TV shows and beauty products I liked without much structure.

It's what got me to stay here 8 years later, and it's what I'm going back to - reality.

DEAR BLOGGERS, PR'S & BRANDS..

If you are like me and want the industry to be more genuine, you need to make a change to make it that way. It won't be easy to stand out in a crowd of people if nothing ever changes.

If you want to work with someone who isn't going anywhere, who is genuine, who will work hard and isn't here for the 'free' shiz,  then look for the bloggers that started out prior to 2013, look for the bloggers with low, growing stats, look for the bloggers who have conversations and who don't have a filtered life.

Let's strip it back!

H x
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10.16.2018

How Fashion Retail Will Change*

Hi everyone!

Today we're talking about the Fashion Industry.


The fashion industry is nothing if not an evolving entity, and that includes insofar as it exists as a retail business. Ten years ago we were only just getting used to shopping regularly online. Then came extensive, beautiful online lookbooks, easy return options, shopping carts preserved over time, and more that made the experience rich and appealing. Now we’re beginning to talk about virtual fitting rooms! The point is, just as fashion itself evolves, the ways in which we consume it change as well. So I thought I’d use this piece to look at some of the ways in which it may continue to change, say in the next couple of years.

Beacons Will Help In-Person Stores Catch Up

Beacon technology might be the most exciting thing happening in fashion retail. It was explained fairly thoroughly in this take on how fashion retail would change in 2018, though we still haven’t seen it implemented too broadly just yet. The idea, basically, is that bluetooth “beacons” placed around in-person stores will interact with shoppers who allow said interaction via their mobile phones. This will effectively help the stores to become every bit as smart and helpful as online stores. They’ll be able to track the items you looked at, alert you when something becomes available in your size, access your shopping history, and more. All of this - bringing the convenience and assistance of online shopping to in-person stores - may just help these stores to catch up to the internet. In some cases it may even keep them in business.

Online Sites Will Adopt Tab Models

The “tab” model is something we actually don’t talk about much, because there are already all sorts of convenient and easy ways to pay for products online. But this is still an interesting possibility. Right now it’s mostly used in gaming. As explained here, some casino sites in particular are using a “pay-by-phone bill” model that essentially adds costs accrued via mobile gaming to an existing mobile phone bill. It basically allows you to shop without worrying about immediate costs, which - so long as you’re responsible about it - can be a relief. A similar model for online fashion retail would streamline the shopping experience even more than a saved credit card or PayPal account would. Image for instance if you use an iPhone and your shopping apps simply added costs to an Apple Pay tab to be paid at the end of each month.

Our Own Psychology Will Help Us

This is related in some ways to the beacons mentioned above, and it’s also something that’s been true throughout the history of fashion retail. Stores are always working to tap into customer psychology and provide more appealing experiences based on it. Now, however, thanks to beacons, surveys, feedback, browsing history, and more, there is simply more data for stores to access in order to actually get a grasp of what we want and how we want it. Through all of this, our own habits will continue to shape what stores do, such that in a roundabout way, our own psychology gradually produces better and better shopping experiences.

VR & AR Will Be Fun New Features

The most predictable change in the retail industry in the coming years will come through technology, and specifically augmented and virtual reality. Current thoughts on how AR and VR will change fashion retail address everything from manufacturing to marketing, and involve home dressing room simulations, screens at the front of stores that mirror you in clothing items, in-store virtual fitting rooms, etc. I’d agree with all of these things being on the way, and many of them being fairly impactful on the shopping experience. However, the prediction here is that these will essentially be fun new features, rather than fundamental shifts in how things are done.

We May See More Independent Boutiques

This is another somewhat vague prediction. But it could well be that as major stores are more streamlined, they also get consolidated. One store may be able to handle the volume of two, for instance, if it has beacons, AR, VR, and an online component all helping it to reach and satisfy more customers. This may just help the giants of fashion retail dominate even more thoroughly, but it could also open the door for more boutique competitors. Independent shops don’t have all of the same advantages, but they can still be very modern in their approaches, and they may just start to take up some of the space freed up by potential consolidation.

So what do you think the future looks like for the fashion industry? Let me know below!

H x

*This is a collaborative feature
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10.11.2018

Feline Fierce With Boots*

I've been doing a lot of Halloween inspired makeup looks on the blog recently as you might have seen, so when Boots contacted me about their #FelineFierce campaign where they asked me to create a cat inspired Halloween Makeup look, I was more than happy to participate.


When I was thinking about the kind of cat I wanted to incorporate into the look, I couldn't choose! I love cats, I have two wee rescue tabby cats at home and whilst I adore them, they're not the most glamorous of cats. I had a look online at different cats and realised I was drawn to the Cheetah more than others.

HOW TO GET THE LOOK


EYES

When creating a cat look, the detailing is all in the eyes. I was sent a lot of beauty products from Boots to help create the look, and opted to use the NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in 'Brights' on my eyes.

Cat colours are invariably orange, yellow, brown and black. I started by working the lightest yellow shade all over the eyelid and started to warm up the crease with the darker yellow and orange shades. 
Using the  Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner, I did a slightly winged liner and tightlined using the Maybelline Master Drama Khol Liner. I added some Bourjois Volume Glamour Mascara and applied some Ardell Demi Wispies eyelashes.

The bottom lashline is where it got a bit trickier. I used the Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner in 'white' to create an angled, winged liner. I coated the bottom eyelashes in the same white liner so that they blended in a bit.

Below the white liner, I went back in with the black liner and created a dramatic wing. If you're like me and have undereye creasing, try not to 'stretch' your eyes when you're doing this otherwise it won't be an even line (it'll crease as soon as you go back to normal).



SKIN

I used my normal foundation before adding some shading to the nose using a fluffy brush and a matte brown eyeshadow (I used the NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in 'Warm Neutrals' for this.

I then used the same shade to warm the contours of my face (my cheeks, forehead and chin) using a large angled brush.

I then went in using the same Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner to draw some 'half circles' before using a damp detailing brush to press some of the orange pigment from the nyx brights palette into the middle of each half circle.

I also took some of the white liner to draw in 'cat cheeks' before drawing some dots with the black liner.

I also used the black liner to draw in the mouth and nose and in hindsight could have made the 'nose to mouth' area thinner.
I filled in the top lip and added some white eyeshadow to the bottom lip to wash it out.



 

THE RESULT

I'm pleased with how this turned out. I like 'wild' volumised hair to go with it so I just backcombed sections to give it the most volume I could.

What kind of cat look would you create? Which Boots products would you use to create Cat Halloween Makeup

H x



*This post is in conjunction with Boots but all thoughts are my own.
1 comment

Happy Birthday Katy! / Blogtober

Today is my sisters Birthday! So to celebrate, I asked Katy to pick her favourite beauty products and thought I'd share her thoughts..



Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum for Face & Body (£30)

"I have really fair skin and often struggle to find a Fake Tan that would make my skin look bronzed without looking orange. This one works perfectly. It's easy to use and I go back to it time and time again!"

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19)

"I am bad for pulling my eyelashes out and so for me, having a good mascara that will fill out the ones I have left is really important. This one is a bit pricey but it lasts ages and I've never been disappointed by it yet."

Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer (£30)

"Holly bought a travel sized version of this to try out from the Sephora aisle of doom (you know the one I mean right by the checkouts!) and since then, I've been obsessed with this! It's like a serum that primes your skin and makes your makeup last longer. I really like this and would love to find a drugstore dupe!"

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99)

"If in doubt, opt for Real Techniques. It's a brand that never lets me down and I love their Miracle Complexion Sponge. I've tried other sponges but they just don't do it for me. The fact these cost £5.99 means I can replace them quite often too (I can never get them fully clean!).

MAKE UP FOR EVER ULTRA HD INVISIBLE COVER FOUNDATION 30ml (£30.90)  

"I'm often between shades of foundation, so the fact that MUFE have 37 shades of this available is ideal. This feels really lightweight but has a decent coverage. It does oxidise slightly but not too much. I love that this lasts ages but I dislike the price tag! Ahh!"

NARS Cosmetics Radiant Creamy Concealer (£24) 

"I love the Nars concealer and how creamy it is. It has a medium to full coverage which is ideal for my dark undereyes and the fact that it has 17 shades is a big bonus too!"

Garnier Moisture Bomb Mask (£2.99)

"I'm a bit lazy when it comes to skincare so I prefer masks that don't require rinsing off after using it. This is a sheet mask that is covered in a serum. I love the Pink one and sometimes the charcoal one is nice too. At £2.99 it's a steal".

So there you have it straight from the Birthday girl herself!

What beauty bits are your favourites?

H x
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10.10.2018

Mermaid Makeup / Blogtober

Today I thought I would share a makeup look I did for Halloween. It's mermaid makeup where I incorporated a mermaids tail into the look. I thought I would share it and show you what I used to achieve the look...



BASE
I kept the base makeup really simple. I used some Bobbi Brown Brightening Primer before going in with some It Cosmetics CC+ Matte using a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I've found blending this with a brush is too difficult (it sets quickly) so a sponge is ideal. I left concealer until after the eyes were done.

EYES
For this, I used the NYX Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in 'Brights' and I really focused on the aquatic shades (blue, pink, purple, turquoise). I blended in the light purple and light blue all over the lid and worked the deeper shades into the crease.

I added a winged liner using the Bourjois Liner Pinceau liquid eyeliner. I then added some khol liner to my upper & lower lash line to fill any spaces, before adding some mascara (Too Faced Better Than Sex) and eyelashes. For lashes I used the Kiss Look So Natural Lash Iconic.

DETAILING
I used the same Bourjois liquid liner to trace the outline of a mermaids tail. I then used a fluffy brush to blend in a few different shades from the NYX Brights palette, and blended it in towards the outline. I then drew in a few half circles in the tail to look aquatic.

I also blended some of the purple shade down each side of my nose to add shading and then glammed up the look by using press on face jewels from Barry M between the brows and under the lower lash line to look like mermaid tears.

LIPS
I used a purple liner (Wet n Wild Perfect Pout Gel Lip Liner in 'I Got The Juice') to line the lips and also blended in the outer corners before adding Mac Halsey lipstick (I think this is discontinued but it's a grey lipstick with a purple undertone).

Et voila!

I hope you like the look! I've had so much fun doing Halloween looks recently!

Let me know what you'd like to see next!

H x
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10.09.2018

A Yellow Makeup Look / Blogtober

I woke up this morning and realised I hadn't scheduled a post for Blogtober but FEAR NOT, for I have spent the day prepping this post for you all.

I don't know about you, but I have gotten myself into a bit of a 'makeup rut'. I have about 5000 palettes (exaggeration jusy FYI..) but always end up going back to the same eye makeup time and time again. I'd found myself becoming too afraid to try out colour so I gave myself a mental kick up the ass (No chance of me being able to physically do that LOL!) and decided to create a Yellow makeup look for Blogtober.


I used the NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in 'Brights' and used the two yellows and orange shades. I blended the lighter of the yellow shades all over the lid and above the crease, before working the darker of the two yellow shades into the crease and using a fluffy brush to work the colour together. I then worked some of the orange shades into the crease and on the undereye area.

It's actually a really simple look to create and I didn't even need to add a winged liner. The colours made my eyes pop enough and a few coats of Mascara (Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara), teamed with a bit of black khol liner in both the upper & lower lash line really filled in any spaces and made my lashes look fuller without using false lashes.

In terms of skin, I kept this really simple. I used my It Cosmetics CC+ Oil Free Matte foundation and used a damp sponge to apply it (my favourite sponge to use is the Miracle Complexion sponge by Real Techniques). I added some cream blush - I used the Superdrug B. Lip & Cheek Tint in shade 'Say My Name'.

To finish off, I added some highlight (I love Mac Lightscapade) and added some lipstick (Mac Rebel).

The entire look took about 20 minutes from start to finish and I must say it's encouraged me to start using more colour in my makeup! Life isn't monochrome!

I hope you liked my yellow makeup look! Let me know if you'd like to see more different looks from me!

H x

*This post contains affiliate links but does not affect your browsing experience.
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10.08.2018

Pop Art Halloween Makeup - Blogtober

I'm not the most creative person in the world so when it comes to Halloween, I usually find myself stalking the pages of instagram, looking for inspiration. I am a basic ass bish (yup, way too old to say that..) and I'm definitely not artistically talented enough to create anything too complicated, but whilst I was looking at Halloween looks, I stumbled across some Pop art Halloween Makeup, so thought I would try it out for myself and share the results.


I basically did a glam makeup look, using my normal products, then went in with a black liquid liner, a black khol liner and a white liquid liner for detailing.


It might just look like I've whacked some lines on my face and hoped for the best, but trying to get straight lines on each side of my face was really difficult! The natural contours of my face made certain parts lumpy or thicker than others, so having a steady hand and patience was a necessity for this look.

I could have definitely been a bit more dramatic with it but for my first go, I'm pretty impressed with the results.

What do you think?

H x
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10.07.2018

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte Review - Blogtober

Since the original CC+ cream was released, I've been hooked on It Cosmetics. If I'm honest, the original Foundation wasn't my favourite, but they smashed it out the park with their CC+ Illumination which I've been using constantly over Summer.


Now that the colder months have arrived, I'm ready for some matte products. It Cosmetics have released their 'Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte' foundation with SPF 40 right on time and I wanted to share my thoughts on the new release.

My skin right now is going through that transition of being oily at the nose and chin, yet dry on the cheeks thanks to that cold breeze we've been getting. If I whack on a glowy foundation, I find it looks too oily and runs off my face easily, yet a completely Matte foundation sinks into my fine lines and shows up the dryness on my cheeks. Really, I needed a happy medium.

I've been using this for a week or two consistently. Obviously, if this was skincare, I'd test it over a month before giving my thoughts, but I've used this more than enough already to share.

First thing's first, this has a medium to full coverage that covers everything from thread veins to hungover eye bags. With that said, I do find that I need to use a lot of this to cover my face. I find it a little bit stubborn to work with after a minute or two so be sure to work fast with this.

For application, I find it's best used with a dry complexion sponge (I love the Real Techniques one) and it blends seamlessly into the skin.

I definitely don't find this to be oily at all, but I can't say that it's completely matte on my skin either. Because this has SPF 40 in it, I didn't expect it to be matte so this has that 'happy medium' finish that I was talking about.

I did notice this start to settle into the fine lines around my eyes after a few hours but it's nothing that a dust of setting powder didn't sort out. I wore this on a date where I was cry laughing, eating, drinking and walking in the cold air, but this stayed put all day long (from 8am until 7pm).

One thing I love about all of the It Cosmetics CC+ foundations is that none of the formula's overly oxidise. The colour you apply is the colour it stays which I love.

There are 12 shades of this available which is better than some brands, but could still be better. Priced at £30, this is my new 'go to' foundation.

Have you tried it out?

The It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte is available from the It Cosmetics website.

H x
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10.06.2018

How I Stay Positive When I'm Under The Weather / Blogtober

As much as I love this time of year, one thing I dislike is that during the colder months we all find ourselves feeling under the weather.


It might only be the beginning of the month, but already I've had a bit of a cold and I know a lot of you reading this are feeling the same (I see you all on Twitter!). Here's how I stay positive when I'm under the weather.

1 - Embrace It
This might seem ridiculous because no-one likes feeling ill, but life is always so hectic that being ill forces us to slow down. Embrace slowing down with open arms - as much as you physically feel like crap, mentally it gives you a bit of a siesta. If that's not doing it for you, think of it this way, being ill means you can walk around in a dressing gown and Christmas PJ's, you can take an afternoon nap, down a hot toddie, eat takeaways and cry for no real reason all without any judgement. Win.

2 - Take A Long Bath
I find baths so indulgent and rarely find the time to fit one in but being ill means taking 'me' time which is why whenever I'm feeling under the weather, I grab all my favourite products, my kindle, a gin & lemonade (none of that crappy soda!), some candles and head for a bath.

3 - Laugh
The last thing anyone wants to do when they're feeling ill is laugh, but shoving on a Friends boxset or watching something funny on youtube ALWAYS gets me laughing and feeling much more positive. I asked my Nana (she's 83) what her secret to living a healthy life is and she said 'Just laugh, doll. Life's too serious. It'll work out the way it's supposed to in the end up'. She's 100% right!

4 - Go Outside
Now, I'm not telling you to go to town and spread your germs, but going outside and just taking in your surroundings will stop the cabin fever attached to feeling like crap.

5 - Listen To Music
No, not your breakup playlist. Put something on that reminds you of happy times, something that makes you feel powerful and energized.

6 - If all else fails, lie in a dark room and drink some hot chocolate. Always seems to work for me!

Get well soon!

H x
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10.05.2018

Learning To Enjoy The Now / Blogtober

I don't know about anyone else, but I am definitely one of those people who looks so far ahead that I often forget to enjoy what's happening now.


I'm the kind of girl who is eating the lunch I dreamed about at breakfast, whilst thinking about what I'll have for dinner. I forget sometimes to be present. I think it's partly my job as a blogger and needing to think ahead a lot, partly because I like to be in control of everything and need to have everything planned and partly because it's just who I am.

I have been forcing myself to make changes recently. It hasn't been easy, but finally, I am learning to enjoy the now. Here's how I did it:

1 - Social Media Took A Backseat
I'm always on social media. Whether it be for work or just for browsing. I always tried to convince myself that I was on it 'for my blog' but actually, I found myself browsing Twitter and instagram with every spare minute rather than spending some time to actually enjoy the moment and enjoy the now. I made the decision to have an hour, three times a day, where I don't go on social media. I schedule posts for work and I still manage to interact, but I just don't let it run my life and that feels so refreshing!

2 - I Stay Quiet
I sometimes found myself having opinions on everything. The weather, the news, people, everything! I spent so much time having opinions and proving my point that not only was it making me an asshole, but it was also distracting myself from what is important in life. When someone talks about something potentially controversial, I listen and stay quiet. Not only has it stopped me being an asshole, it's also saved me so much stress from proving my point and allows me the time to focus on what is most important.

3 - I'm Tough On Myself
Whenever I find myself looking too far ahead or forgetting to enjoy the now, I'm tough on myself and ensure that I stop doing it as quickly as I can.

Making these small changes and learning to enjoy the now has made so much difference in my life. I feel so much more content with where I am and what I am so lucky to have.

Are you learning to enjoy the now? Let me know your thoughts below!

H x
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10.04.2018

Dainty Accessories / Blogtober

Accessories make an otherwise boring outfit but they can also 'break' an outfit. Too much and you risk looking like Pat Butcher has been let loose in Primarks Accessories section (Which btw, I love. No jewellery snobbery here!).

I'm a lover of wearing dainty accessories. Whether that be a single necklace, small earrings, stacking pieces or otherwise, I like the minimalism of dainty accessories.

Here's some I've been loving recently!


These earrings are from New Look and cost £3.99 which is an absolute bargain. They are much daintier than they look in the photo. I love wearing these with no necklace so that they stand out a little. In fact, I've really been loving a lot of New Looks accessories recently. They can be a bit hit or miss fashion wise at times but their jewellery is always great! they also have these in silver.


These midi rings are from Primark (as are the nails btw) and cost just £3. These are silver and in size medium (I have fat fingers). I like wearing a few of these on one hand and only wearing two on the other hand to stop myself looking like a fortune teller.  


I bought these earrings in Lord & Taylor in New York three years ago and they cost $12 reduced in a black friday deal from over $200. Bargain right? Sorry, I doubt you'll be able to get your hands on them now but they are my go-to 'I want to look like an adult' earrings.

The locket necklace is from Jewellery Box and costs £33. This opens so you can place up to 4 photos inside - sadly mines is empty, so if you know somewhere that does Locket size photo printing then please let me know!

Those are the dainty accessories I've been loving recently. Are you a fan of dainty pieces? or do you prefer a statement piece?

Let me know your thoughts below!

H x
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10.03.2018

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Palette Makeup Look / Blogtober

If you haven't already seen the Charlotte Tilbury Pullow Talk palette then brace yourselves makeup mavens, for I managed to get my hands on one to try out (Thanks Charlotte Tilbury!) and wanted to show you a makeup look using it.


First off, if you haven't already heard of Charlotte Tilbury's Iconic 'Pillow Talk' lipstick then you must have non beauty obsessed lives and that just will NOT do! The range all started with a lipstick (a bit like Disney all started with a Mouse.. When you wish upooon a staaaaar. Sorry, easily distracted) that quickly became the 'perfect' pink toned nude for most skintones.


From there, Charlotte Tilbury expanded the pillow talk range by including a palette and a blush to the collection. I'm holding out for a pillow talk proof mascara but moving on...

The palette has four shades in it - three mattes and one shimmer. It makes the perfect 'no makeup' makeup look and so I decided to try it out and show you the results.

I love the results! it looks natural, yet 'put together' enough to go out. I look a little bit like I woke up like this, but just know that I woke up with my hair in a top knot that makes me look like a meth addict, black bags under my eyes, pillow pattern creases on my cheek and mascara on my forehead even though I haven't worn any in two days (seriously, where does it come from!?)

The Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk range is limited edition and costs £39 - good luck getting your hands on any!!

I hope you like this look and I'll be back again tomorrow!

H x
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10.02.2018

Autumnal Makeup / Blogtober

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I have been using the Urban Decay Born To Run Palette pretty much everytime I do my makeup. The palette is so versatile and has a lot of autumnal shades in it, which is why I wanted to show you an Autumnal makeup look I created using the palette.


It's no secret that I do my makeup according to my mood and more often than not, my mood is 'grungy' or 'Cosy' which is why I opted for autumnal shades (they cover both moods!) of brown, orange and bronzes from the Born To Run palette.


I used:

RIFF - Crease
GOOD AS GONE - Crease
IGNITE - Eyelid
PUNK - Lower Lash Line

I added bronzer to my complexion, a sweep of some plum toned blush and a nude lip.

When it's Autumn, the rain starts here in Scotland (to be honest, it never really stopped!) but because of that, I like to curl my hair loosely and throw it into a loose, low bun where I pull strands out of it to look messy and dishevelled.

I love wearing darker eye makeup! I'm SO ready for a plum lipstick too.

Hope you enjoyed this look! let me know if you have any makeup look requests and I'll see what I can do!

H x
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10.01.2018

Blogtober

It's October 1st and it's officially AUTUMN! Yussssss!


October is one of those months that has a LOT going on, from Halloween to Birthday celebrations, to new Fashion drops & the return of autumnal makeup, I have a lot to talk about, which is why I wanted to introduce you to BLOGTOBER.

You might have seen this series on other Blogs too, but it basically entails a blog post EVERYDAY for the month of October.

I'm going to vary the types of posts I do so that each category (Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle) gets equal amounts of blog posts throughout the month. You might see a review one day, a Fashion post the next and some Halloween things after. I like to spice things up haha!

I hope you enjoy Blogtober as much as I will!

See you tomorrow!

H x
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9.25.2018

Explaining My Job As A Blogger...

I can't remember the last time that I felt comfortable explaining my job as a Blogger. I get a lot of questions about what I do, how I earn money, how many hours I work and if I just lay around in my PJ's all day. I thought I'd talk a bit about my career, what it entails and how I explain it to people.



I am naturally an inquisitive person. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I ask a lot of questions, not because I'm nosy, but because I want to know what makes my loved ones who they are. Everyone I know asks me about my job as a Blogger. It's not a typically 'mainstream' job or one that you would expect me to do by looking at me (I've often had people say I don't look like a blogger. Whatever that means!)

I thought it was time that I would answer some commonly asked questions about my job as a blogger. If you're a blogger - feel free to send this post to anyone asking questions. It might make your life a bit easier!

1 - What is a blogger?
Bloggers are people who write about what we are passionate about. Some people refer to us as micro journalists and others just refer to us as blaggers. Either way, we write online about what we feel passionate about, whether that be Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle or the shape of the spots on a dalmation. 

2 - Why are Bloggers sometimes called influencers?
If you're lucky and work really (REALLY) hard to get your blog 'out there', then you might get a large amount of people reading the things you write about. In my case, because I write about Beauty & Plus size Fashion, sometimes people buy the products I talk about depending on my opinion which is why sometimes Bloggers are referred to as 'influencers'. The term basically means we sometimes influence what consumers buy.

3 - How can Blogging make you money?
It's important to remember that very few Bloggers make money from their platform. It's a very competitive industry and because there are so many Blogs, readers often struggle to keep up. Personally speaking, I make money from my blog by using several different methods:

- AFFILIATE LINKS/BANNERS
These are links that have a piece of code in them that tracks when a sale comes from my blog. So for example, if you click on a sidebar banner, that will take you to the retailer, but will also let that retailer know I sent them there. If someone buys something using that link, I get a very small percentage (usually <7%) as a commission. The brand pays for it, not the visitor so this does not cost the buyer anything.

- INDEPENDENT DEALS
Sometimes a brand will contact me and ask me if I want to collaborate with them to create content which covers blog, photography and social media. A fee will be agreed prior to creating the content (I ONLY choose to work with brands who give me creative control, meaning my opinions are all genuine). This type of work will be displayed as an #AD on many blog posts.

- SPONSORED POSTS
Often a brand or company will ask to have content placed on your blog. Again, the fee will be agreed prior to arranging and will be declared as an #AD.

- SELLING SAMPLES
This is controversial and it does not apply to me, (Still though, no judgement!) but sometimes bloggers are very lucky to be sent products from brands for review consideration. Often we are sent multiples of the products or some products don't suit and so some bloggers choose to sell these. It's not for me, but it is popular and something many bloggers choose to do.

- SOCIAL MEDIA 
Some bloggers, like me, freelance running social media accounts for other companies. For example, answering tweets, posting instagram posts and engaging with people on behalf of that brand. Again, this is a VERY competitive industry and as such is really difficult to get into.

4 - How Much Do YOU Earn?
I wish I could tell you an exact figure but I promise, it's impossible to tell you how much I make. There is no such thing as a regular income. It's unpredictable and some months you will earn more than others. Every blogger who is lucky enough to earn a living using their platform will earn a different amount. There is no set fee's for every blogger. Invariably the larger the audience, the more you can earn but this isn't always the predominant factor.

5 - Do You Just Work When You Feel Like It?
I wish! If I don't work, I don't get paid, it's just that simple. I work a minimum of 9-5pm five days a week and do roughly three hours per evening of engaging on social media on top. Because of the freelancing work I do (social media etc) for other companies, I have set hours so taking 2 hour long lunches or taking the day off to do whatever just doesn't happen.

6 - How Do You Describe Your Job To Others?
It depends on who I am describing it to!  If I'm talking to someone who doesn't know what a Blogger is, I'll say:-

"I write online about my passions for Beauty & Plus Size Fashion. I'm lucky to have a great readership which has led to some exciting opportunities for me"

Alternatively, if I'm speaking to someone who does know what a Blogger is but who is inquisitive about how it works, I will say:-

"I'm a full time Blogger who freelances as a social media expert for other brands."

It is tricky to explain what a blogger is, but if you are a blogger and are struggling to explain it, remember to stick to JUST facts. Don't over-complicate it. I've been blogging 7 years and even I'm still confused so I can only imagine how 'non-bloggers' feel.

7 - Do You Just Sit Around In Your PJ's All Day?

I'm a bit of a party on top, comfort down low kinda lass. I will wear a nice top with comfy leggings most days. What people don't realise is that us Bloggers need to be photo or skype call ready at the drop of a hat, so wearing PJ's all day would be lovely, but just like most other jobs, doesn't happen.

8 - QUICK FIRE ROUND

Do You Pay Tax Or Do Tax Returns - Yes
Do You Feel Obliged To Talk Nicely About Products You've Been Sent? No
Do You Email Brands Blackmailing Them To Send You Stuff? No
Do All Bloggers Like Each Other? No
Do All Bloggers Think Of Each Other As Competition? No
Do Bloggers Just Say Something Controversial To Get Attention? Some do! 
Do Bloggers Buy Followers? Many Do!
Do YOU Buy Followers? NO!
Do You Still Buy Products? Yes

Explaining my job as a Blogger has never been easy but I hope answering these questions will help others to understand it a bit more. I'm always happy to answer questions people may have!

Let me know in the comments below if I've forgotten to mention anything!

H x

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9.19.2018

31 Things From My 31st Year

It's my Birthday today and while it'd be easy to throw together a 'what I got for my birthday' haul kinda post, I thought I would talk about '31 things from my 31st year' instead.



1 - I went to FLORIDA and wore Minnie Mouse ears most days
2 - I saw the thanksgiving day parade in New York
3 - My sisters & I got hammered with my 83 year old Nana
4 - My two sisters turned 30!!
5 - I lost 2 and a half stones in weight
6 - I had my hair dyed for the first time in 3 years
7 - I wore underwear as outerwear WITH a fitted skirt for the first time EVER
8 - I WON AN AWARD as the 4th best blogger in Scotland!
9 - I got to meet some bloggers who I now class as friends - Jordanne, Katie, Jane & Pam! (all linked!)
10 - I realised that inspector gadget is in fact a cartoon. Mind blown.
11 - I grew closer to some amazing people and have the best friendship group ever!
12 - Went back to florida for the second time in one year. My liver is still recovering.
13 - I went to A&E for the first time ever after falling and tearing the ligaments & ripping the muscles in my foot.
14 - I was asked to speak at an event as an inspirational woman of the future.
15 - Had a hot tub night with the girls and wore a swimsuit for the first time in 2723792 years.
16 - I reached 4k on Instagram after a LOT of hard work.
17 - I filmed a video about Body Dysmorphia
18 - I rediscovered alcohol - bit of a weird one, but whereas some people drink to relax, I am the kind of person who would be too anxious to drink alcohol - I'm not drinking a lot, but I can now relax when I have a few!
19 - ... I also got drunk and kept doing 'Stars In Your Eyes' impressions to a guy called Matthew (like matthew kelly.. fail..)
20 - I let go of some people and situations that were toxic in my life
21 - I learned to stop looking so far into the future and living one day at a time.
22 - I worked with some incredible brands including L'oreal, Urban Decay, Lancome, Kiss, Simply Be, Boohoo, Real Techniques, Michael Kors and many many more
23 - Once every 6 weeks or so, myself & my sisters go for a boozy lunch - Best. Invention. EVER.
24 - I started singing again - yay for me, not so much for everyone else in the house
25 - I did my bedrooom up! think pink, grey, gold & navy aesthetics
26 - I stopped taking sugar in my coffee (it sucks but it helps keep the sugar cravings at bay - I'm a 'if I taste it once I want it ALL NOW' kinda lass...)
27 - My friend drew me!
28 - I went to the Edinburgh Christmas markets again (it's a yearly tradition now!)
29 - My Dad turned 60 and we spent the day at my aunts & uncles where my cousins, my sisters & I proved why we shouldn't drink together very often (#messy!!) haha!
30 - I met someone :)
31 - I laughed more than I have in a really long long time.

I wonder what my 32nd year will bring?

H x
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