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Monday, 31 March 2014

Blogging | April A-Z Challenge

At the #HullBloggerMeet the wonderful Mars told me about the April A-Z challenge which I promptly ran home and immediately signed up for. And I wasn't the only one - at last count there were nearly 2,000 of us with number #1519 as Rambling of a Beauty Blogger - what I was a little late to the party okay?

So what is the A-Z challenge? During April, everyday of the month there'll be a new post up on the blog under a different letter of the alphabet, so 1st April is A, 2nd April is B and so on. Except for Sunday's because there's...



Come on. I HAD to!

Admittedly the titles aren't strictly A, B, C but I promise they're sensical enough for me to take part. So far I have managed to schedule way up until the 19th - so it's safe to say you guys won't be bored: we have beauty, lifestyle, reviews and a dash of fashion and travel thrown in too so hopefully there's a little something for everyone. It's been really fun writing the posts a really great way of getting me out of my "blogging comfortzone" and gives me plenty of free time to work on my revision plan over Easter (remind me why I did that again?).

If you want to get involved tomorrow's the first of April so you best be quick! Click the banner below and add your name to the list.



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Friday, 28 March 2014

Giveaway | Friday Freebie!


Dear lovely followers,

As you're all wonderful people I have decided to start this new blog series called Friday Freebie in which, every Friday I'll be giving away a brand new header design to one lovely follower of mine. Neat huh? I really do miss designing headers - for fun not money - but I can't bring myself to reopen my Free Headers post that I made during the summer as it'd be far too much work for me to take on with my degree!

The Rules:
1) Please only enter if you (or a friend) wants a new header designed. I will also edit existing photos and create sidebar intros and signatures if you prefer.
2) Obviously it's international.
3) The winner will be contacted the following Friday when the competition closes. All I need from the winner is your e-mail address, your blog URL and any requirements.
4) Typically the header will be completed the following week after the competition closes and will be showcased along with a link to the blog in the following Friday's post.

It's as simple as that! You can enter in a number of ways on Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and I'll see you next Friday.

 

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Review | Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation


  
Finding a drugstore foundation that matches my skintone is a rarity for me. But Rimmel's Match Perfection Foundation in the shade 010 Light Porcelain is just that - match perfection.

The formula is a little liquidy for my taste but it applies well using my Real Techniques Stippling Brush follower by my Real Techniques Buffing Brush for blending. It takes around 1 1/2 pumps to give medium coverage but I find as the colour matches so well I can get away with dotting this around areas of breakout or redness for a natural finish, without having to cover my entire face. And on days where I am looking for a little more coverage this pairs great with my Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. It's a great all-round, everyday foundation.

Once applied my skin feels silky and light but still as though I'm still wearing something. I've heard that this is a great dupe for those lusting after the Estee Lauder Doublewear Stay-In-Place Makeup and I'm afraid I have yet to compare the two. As for it's staying power Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation remains somewhere between average and good. It fades somewhat on my oily skin but I can still manage a full day of work before the coverage fades below critical levels.

This is definitely a little drugstore gem I recommend!

 

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

FOTD | Natural Beauty


Lately I have been adoring the combination of metallic eyes and nude lips paired with a naturally flushed face. This look is perfect, it's fresh-faced and light and most of it can be picked up for a couple of pounds from the drugstore. It's the perfect everyday look for spring!

Base:

Eyes:
Seventeen Trio Eyeshadow in Enrage (inner and outer corner)

Cheeks:

Lips:
P.S Love Lip Crayon in Peach

What's your go-to makeup at the moment?


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Haul | Mad for Metallics


These statement shadows are fabulous great dupes for the new Stila Metal Foil range. they're extremely pigmented, last an age and come in a wide range of colours. Go buy them!

Typically I avoid bronzers like the plague, in fear of what they will do to my fair skin. But this was such a gorgeous shimmery shade I could hardly say no! I use this on the bridge of my nose to give me that sun-kissed glow.

Seventeen Solo Eyeshadow in Statuesque £3.89 // Seventeen Trio Eyeshadow in Enrage £5.49

Whilst not as pigmented or as long lasting as the Look Statement Shadows, Seventeen's choice of metallics are a lot more wearable, adding a subtle sheen. My favorite is Statuesque which I pair with Stila Kitten for the inner corner, some winged liner and voluminous mascara for everyday elegance.


Seventeen Skin Wow Primer £5.99

I had been eyeing up this highlighter/primer since its release but was a little disappointed when it came down to it, I would have much rather save my money and invested in Topshop's Highlighter for a more subtle glow. As a primer it's very shimmery with huge chunks of glitter and as a highlighter it works best when dotted relatively sparingly across the cheek bones. Perhaps it'll get a little more use during summer.

What do you think of metallics for spring?



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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Review | MOA: The Green Balm


I would have loved to receive skincare as a gift during my teens right now. But it's all a little bit of a touchy subject isn't it? So what if your best friend spends all her time moaning about that humungous zit that's about to ruin her date with what's-his-face - it's still not okay to turn up to her next birthday with hamper of Clearasil.

That's what I love about MOA's Daily Cleansing Ritual* featuring The Green Balm* - it is not only gift worthy - it's pamper worthy and comes in some of the cutest packaging I have seen to date (that's great for storing cotton wool pads in afterwards!). Whether buying for yourself or for another, this little pot of goodness makes the perfect gift or sleepover treat. And here's why: according to their website it is practically a miracle productCold sores, eczema, acne, dry skin, itchy skin - poof, all things of the past. And you tell me it can be use after shaving too? My first thoughts are simply: where have you been all my life?

The Daily Cleansing Ritual* RRPs at £14.99 and for price you get a super soft bamboo face cloth and a 50ml Tub of the Green Balm. Admittedly 50ml doesn't sounds like a whole lot, but you really don't need a lot but and can always purchase the Mini MOA (15ml) for £4.99 or the 50ml for £9.99 (and make sure to check out their website for free P&P over £5!).


Now, I'm no skincare expert but reading the ingredient list I can see my beloved Tea Tree and some yummy Coconut and Sweet Almond Oil. So I could not wait to see what my skin made of this little beauty...

I mainly use this as a hot cloth cleanser though it has a multitude of other uses including as an overnight blemish treatment. I use this either at night to refresh and cleanse my skin or in the morning for a fresh faced look after I have wiped off any excess makeup using my L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3-in-1 Purifying Micellar Solution. Next I apply generously all over my face, watching the balm melt to oil in my hands and wring out the beautifully soft bamboo cloth under the hot facet.

Cue a minute of relaxation until the cloth goes cold as I feel the gunk being drawn out of my skin. Finally (and this is probably my favourite part) I get to use the super-soft side of the cloth to rinse away the balm  using cold water.

Afterwards my skin feels amazingly soft - even in the morning! - and my makeup applies ten times better! I'd highly recommend this product for anyone wanting a little it of pamper time!


 

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Accessories | Pandora Bracelet


know this title sounds a little braggy, but I am nothing but grateful for my wonderful red leather bracelet that was gifted to my by my flatmates for my birthday last year. When it began, the Pandora trend was something I just couldn't get into - who in their right mind knowingly set out on an expensive thirty-pound-a-pop collection contest? Well, apparently me for one...

It was the month before my 19th birthday and I'd just been whisked away into university housing and was pretty sure I was going to end up friendless and alone on Skype to whoever would have me. Instead I had my best friend over, visiting all the way from Germany and my new found housemates to keep me company with our teeny tiny flat-bound party.

Thankfully by this point I had already opened my present. We did it the way all impatient teens should, and opened them 00:00am on their official birthday. I remember because we all sat around and counted down. It was a beautiful moment, sat around with all these people that, less than 30 days prior had all been strangers to me. The Pandora bag was rather conspicuous to say the least, but I was still amazingly surprised to find a beautiful red leather bracelet (two guesses what my favourite colour is!) and a gorgeous little Owl charm that I had been admiring.

A couple of days later after an insane amount of time browsing the catalogues in my room, I purchased the Pumpkin and Ghost charms. With my birthday being so close to Halloween I have always loved the holiday and it's always been celebrated with fancy dress parties, festively themes food and countless Trick o' Treat parties whilst I was growing up. In fact, in my family it used to be a running joke - I was over a month premature, just to squeeze in one more Halloween. These two were just too cute to say no to, so after debating for an age I ended up walking away from the store with the both of them. Enabling at it's best.

Then my 20th birthday I was lucky enough to be given the Camera charm, once again by my beautiful friends and flatmates. They knew I wanted it and made me promise to not buy absolutely anything until my birthday was over. *Hint hint*. I have always been a budding photographer and remember begging my Dad to use his brand new bridge back in 2005. From there my love of cameras grew and grew and I think I've actually collected more than I can count - and with blogging that only increased!

 

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

#HullBloggerMeet - Meet the Bloggers


Hello lovelies, and what a busy weekend I've had! As you all probably know by now I hosted my first #HullBloggerMeet on Saturday. There'll be a gushing ramble of a post later in the week, but first meet the wonderful and witty bloggers I had the pleasure of spending the day with...

Megan www.student-stylexo.co.uk
Jennie www.jennieemma.co.uk
Alex www.champagneandlemonadeox.blogspot.co.uk
Mary www.letsstrikeapose.co.uk
Emily www.daily-blush.blogspot.co.uk
Hannah www.ha-pea-days.blogspot.co.uk
Jo www.simplyredhead.com
Mars www.curlingstonesforlegopeople.com
Kate www.piecesofkate1.blogspot.co.uk
Lucy www.lucyjanewebb.blogspot.co.uk
Abbey www.abbeywilson24.blogspot.co.uk
Jade www.thebeautybutterfly.com

I had a wonderful time and I hope you did to! Cannot wait to get cracking with our next project, but for now a week of putting my feet up and concentrating on those other things in life - like my degree!

 

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Tips for Organising a Blogger Meet


Happy Saturday morning to you all! And what *hopefully* good weather we are having! Today is the day of my #HullBloggerMeet and I am super excited - which is blogger code for scared and stressed out of my mind! Right now I'll be running round getting ready, transporting the goody bags to the venue and putting on those last finishing touches. So today, I thought I'd share with you my top tips for organising your very own meet. As we really do need some more of them - especially up North!

Be sure to check out the #HullBloggerMeet hashtag for updates throughout the day!

#1 Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
Twitter is a key part of the blogger network, so why not use and abuse it for your own purpose? Tweet asking if anyone would be interested in a meet. Tweet getting people's opinions on style - cocktails or coffee - that sort of thing. Tweet once you've got a venue sorted. Tweet looking for guests. Tweet when those very same guests drop out a matter of weeks later (we all do it!). Tweet asking brands to get involved. Tweet under an event hashtag so people can get to know each other. Tweet photos of the parcels. Just tweet.

#2 Venue is Key
Don't go organising anything until you've got a venue sorted, else you could end up with some very any brands and bloggers alike. E-mail a couple of venues you like, see if they're a good fit, see if they're nice, see what they're asking of you. Some will let you in for free, others will ask for a little something in return like some attention on social media attention or a small fee - it's really up to them. Just please don't turn up on the day expecting them to accommodate you. You'll most likely be having your meet up under the beautiful British weather.

#3 PR is Your Best Friend
Anyone who has organised a meet will know what I'm taking about. A good PR agency can save you hours of research and e-mailing each individual brand, so why not e-mail a few whilst you're at it? It's their job to attract the brand's attention and they'll have plenty of contacts, plus you'll be doing them a favour in return!

#4 Stay in Touch
You've got the guest list. You've got the venue - but what you don't have is the attention of your bloggers - drop them an e-mail, get them excites, show them teasers of the goody bags. You want them to be bursting with excitement by the time the meet comes around. Not questioning why they put that calendar appointment there in the first place!

#5 Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
This tip was a bit of a last minute addition but I cannot tell you how many cardboard boxes have come through my front door in the past few weeks! All of which are being slowly added to the recycling bin to become pencils, notebooks and the like...

Hope this helps you!

 

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Beauty | MAC Haul


I'm currently fighting the urge to say 'One does not simply haul from MAC' - but it's true really isn't it? Unless you're filthy rich, you can't exactly walk into MAC and say 'Ooh, I'll have that - in every colour' like you can with some drugstore brands. Hello MUA and Barry M Nail Lacquer.

This was only the second time in my entire life that I have entered anywhere with a MAC counter. So to say I was restrained on the spending - and the swatches! - would be an incredible understatement. I hate not being able to swatch products before I buy them as I find what I think will look great looks more like an angry child took a crayon to my face, so I take full advantage when in store.

For months now I have been lusting after the MAC Prolongwear concealer in NW20 after seeing it in one of the lovely Beauty Life Michelle's tutorials and being awestruck with its amazing coverage! So after a quick colour match session with the girl at the counter this went straight through the till.

I was also dying to try a MAC lipstick in - well, anything! Although I'm particularly partial to my nudes and deep reds so I decided to stick with what I know instead of testing out some of the courageous corals and popping pinks of spring. After much debate I finally went into the chair with Cream Cup and Russian Red and after I little persuasion *ahem* enabling from Georgina, walked away with Russian Red, my favourite of the two. It was pigmented, moisturising and lasted all day on my lips. Full review coming soon!

What are your MAC recommendations?

 

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review | Smith's Minted Rose Lipbalm


What beauty blogger doesn't love a good rose lip balm?

On a recent impromptu American Apparel haul I picked up this little beauty, Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm for £6 - admittedly a little steeper than the average pot of Vaseline - but for your money you do get a decent amount of the sweetest smelling, tingling, tinted balm.

I'm on a bit of a peppermint kick of late, after the purchase of Dr Brommer's 18-in-1 Peppermint Soap, it's got such a zingy refreshing and clean scent about it that instantly wakes me up. And who knew it would smell so gorgeous with rose? Smith's has definitely created a modern twist on what I otherwise identified as a rather outdated and 'grannified' scent.

The balm's consistency is very similar to the Vaseline tinted balms but packs a punch when it comes to how nourishing it is. As soon as you apply it to the lips you get a fabulous tingling sensation that plumps up your lips, making them feel more voluptuous, whilst locking in moisture and keeping them kissable. And it's also slightly rose tinted which giving your lips smooth and natural sheen that's perfect for those low-maintenance spring days!

 

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Trick to Low-Maintenance Hair



Recently I've been getting a lot of compliments as to the condition of my hair and what products I use to get that slightly messy bedhead look. Truthfully the answers is a lot less spectacular than a lot of people think. So today I wanted to outline my incredibly low-maintenance hair routine for you all and hopefully inspire some of you to use less product and just rock the naturally messy look.

In the Shower: I'm not particularly fussy with what products I use provided I have a nourishing conditioner. At the moment it's Herbal Essences Bee Strong Shampoo followed by their Hydrating Conditioner or one of their hair masks. Though some of my favorites are Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle range and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free products to keep my colour vibrant (even if they're terrible at lathering up!). I just apply the conditioner as soon as possible and really massage it through the ends my hair, leaving it until last to rinse off.

Aftercare: I try and let my hair dry naturally as often as possible, after all if you're not using heat then you're not going to damage your hair nearly half as much. If I'm leaving it to dry naturally I won't bother with the brush - this is the miraculous secret to how I achieve my messy bed head waves. But if I plan to use a dryer I always use my Tangle Teezer to keep from pulling, however I'm probably running late and usually forget all about heat protectant (what? at least I'm honest...). Although I always remember to smear a little Fudge urban Miracle 3-in-1 Moisture Stuff that contains argon oil - the secret to a little lock pick me up. I love this little product as you can use it on both wet and dry hair, so it's no-fuss and perfect for travel.

Styling: When it comes to styling I rarely surpass a simple down-do or bun with some fancy accessories, leaving my curling and waving wand and straighteners abandoned in favour of just a few simple products. Hairspray: Flip your head over, strap and scrunch for a voluminous look that any Victoria Secret model would be proud of. Herbal Essence's Tousle Me Softly Finishing Cream: A similar idea (flip and scrunch) but gives a much softer texture to the hair and leaves waves looking luscious. Got2B Beach Matt Texturising Hair Spray: same technique but for beach hair, this adds a little crunch, more hold and a little less volume.

It's as simple as that really. what can I say? I often favour the extra ten minutes in bed rather than attempting to curl, straighten or even attempt to deal with my unruly hair!

 

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