Okay, we all know what's about to happen at the end of the week and I for one am on the edge of my seat waiting. Not only is it pay day, but it's also Black Friday; a dangerous combination!
Black Friday is infamous for sending us all barmy over a decent discount on something we probably wouldn't have bought unless those final few pounds had been knocked off.
For me, this is the time I set my sites on some of those high end beauty favourites that I can't really afford on a day to day basis. Let's be realistic here. I might be a beauty blogger, but I'm also saving for a mortgage and don't really have the money to be spending on Chanel, Clinique and Mac so I will be using the Black Friday sales to upgrade my make up collection and give my high street beauty buys some designer sisters.
The great thing about this weekend is that there are so many opportunities to make amazing savings! Not only is Black Friday on 27th November, but Cyber Monday is on 30th November, which is another chance to cash in on some discounts. (FYI: in 2014, Cyber Monday actually offered the best beauty product discounts!)
But the discounts, bargains and everything else going on on Black Friday can be overwhelming, so here are my tips for getting the best beauty bargains on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
SEO is just one of those things and no matter how much research you do, sometimes it just doesn't make sense.
We all know that getting great Google page rankings is an amazing way to increase visitors to your blog without having to spend hours on social media constantly plugging your post. The more attention you pay to your blog post SEO, the likelier you are to be able to improve your page ranking and then you can watch the organic visitors roll in to read your amazing content!
There are so many things you can do for SEO, but I'm starting simple here! So, I've put together a few simple SEO tips that you can do with every blog post in an effort to boost your page rankings and become Google's best pal, all at the same time! Think of it like your beginners guide to SEO, once you've got the hang of this, you can start on the more advanced stuff and you'll begin to wonder what all the fuss was about!
Because my hair is so fine, it's such a nightmare for getting all tangled up. It's always knotty and such a pain that I spend my life flitting between detangling products to try and find the right one.
In one of my recent birchboxes, I got a lovely little sample of John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler.
As you would imagine, the John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli detangler is packed full of natural ingredients, including grapefruit, which has a toning effect on the scalp, Neroli which is amazing for treating a dry scalp if you have one and soy proteins help strengthen the hair follicles, makes the hair look thicker and increases the shine.
It's pay day soon (woo!) and that means my bank will look a little healthier, until I start shopping!
I'm desperate to add some Charlotte Tilbury products to my make up collection as I don't own anything yet. My Charlotte Tilbury shopping list is growing by the minute and although I know I won't be able to afford it all on pay day, I definitely think I'll be purchasing something.
So, I've decided to share my wish list with you so you can help me out with what I should buy on pay day!
Just before I got married, my wonderful cousin sent me a pretty little lipstick to wear on my wedding day. The lipstick was by Love, Honour & Be True, a cosmetics company based in the UK, set up by two sisters, Helen and Kitty, after Kitty's wedding.
They have a range of five wedding lipsticks designed to suit all skin tones and looks while also remaining classic to create timeless wedding looks and none of the ingredients are tested on animals. (Hooray!)
The five shades are aptly named along the wedding theme; Love Story, Blushing Bride, I Do, Just Married and the shade I have is Kiss The Bride.
Body wraps have been around for a while, offering a "quick fix" to losing inches on problem areas, making you skinnier in seconds. I've never been a true believer in them. They may shave the inches temporarily, but, in my opinion, the only real way to effectively lose weight permanently is maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise.
But, my theories were tested when Shrinking Violet sent me their home edition body wrap kit to review.
The kit contains an oil to apply to 'problem areas', a measuring cup, tape measure, a sheet to record your measurements and the extremely trendy shrinky suit.
I don't know about you, but I wear mascara everyday. It gets at least one application in the morning, will definitely get topped up if I go out again after work and I'll even sometimes reapply during the day.
All this lash love means I go through mascara so quickly, so I don't like to splash out too much on my day to day product if I'm going to be restocking so quickly, but I also don't want to be buying something cheap that doesn't do the job.
So, I regularly am on the lookout for a cheap mascara that work wonders, and I've picked 10 of my favourites, and guess what?! They all cost less than £10!
We all know contouring has been a hugely popular trend for a while now, but recently, we've seen celebrities, beauty bloggers and pretty much everyone else embracing 'strobing'. If you haven't heard of it before, strobing is essentially contouring, but with a bigger focus on highlighting.
It's actually pretty tricky to master, but I think the key is getting a good highlighter and that's where this little beauty comes into play.
The Jelly Pong Pong Gel Luminizer is a lightweight and oil free highlighter in a gel form. It's packed with teeny tiny pearlescent pigments for that highlighted effect and orange blossom extract.
I love Autumn and not just for the crunchy golden leaves and pumpkin spiced latte's. I love Autumn because the capes, chunky knits and all sorts of other gorgeous clothes come back into play and our favourite stores release their Autumn collections!
I've been trawling through most of them in a bid to update my Autumn wardrobe and in the meantime I thought I'd write you some wishlists; starting with Boohoo! Let's take a look at my favourite pieces from the new Boohoo Autumn collection:
Today, I'm working with the gorgeous people at Serenata Flowers to give you the chance to win a £40 voucher to spend on their website! Serenata Flowers are the UK's largest direct to consumer online florist and have bouquets for all occasions. Whether you're looking for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or just a pretty arrangement for your home; Serenata Flowers have got it covered! They also do hampers which can be filled with all sorts of lovely items!
Serenata Flowers sent me such a cute little hamper, which I'm about to review, but if you'd rather skip straight to the giveaway then scroll down! The hamper they sent me was filled with some gorgeous flowers, the cutest little teddy and some nut selections, all of which can be bought for £40 on their wesbite.
Phew! August was a busy month for me, look how many products I used up! Since I finished a lot of my favourite products, and because I haven't done one for a while, I thought it was about time I did an empties post for you!
Because there are 9 products in this empties post, it's a bit of a long one, but hopefully you'll stick with me and you might find something you'd like to try!
I was super lucky enough to receive some gorgeous treats from Kiehl's as a Klout Perk recently and I was so excited to try them out. Wrapped up in a cute little gift box were two beautiful little products; Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate & Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate!
So, what better to do than share them both with you in a dual product review?!
We all know the feeling, you know the one, where you can feel something brewing up just underneath the skin and before you know it you've got a great big spot. Sigh. There are so many products promising to target spots straight away and make them disappear before they arrive. The truth is; I've never found one that really does what it promises. The Balance Me Congested Skin Serum is another one of those products aimed at targeting spots directly and when first read the packaging on my little sample, I'll admit that I rolled my eyes.
But, I decided to give it a go anyway, considering I'd never tried any of the Balance Me range before but I've heard some wonderful things. The say that they use high tech natural ingredients and technologies and that intrigues me!
I'm so sorry for being absent for a while! I thought the best was to kick things off again would be with a nice little Life Update so, ICYMI, you will know why I've not been blogging so much recently.
Just over a month ago now, on the 18th July 2015, I married my best friend in the whole world. The weeks running up to the wedding were manic, as you can imagine, and there were plenty of things that threatened to spoil our day (and people, but let's not go into that!), but I knew I wasn't going to let them. The wedding was 2 years of planning and preparing and nothing was going to put a dampner on it.
Hey everyone! I'm Becca over at Queen Bee Becca and because the very lovely Emma is busy planning her wedding I'm doing a guest post for her!
As Emma's getting married soon it seemed only right to do a wedding themed post, plus love it or hate it wedding season is almost here and finding that perfect dress can be a nightmare! I've put together 5 of my favourite dresses that would be perfect for wedding season!
I kinda have a love, hate relationship with wedding guest dress shopping. You want something elegant but comfy but you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb! Just remember to check the wedding colours so you don't end up mistakenly matching the Bridesmaids!
One of my absolute favourite bloggers, Zoe London, just wrote a very heartfelt and honest post about the pressures of blogging, making money and everything that comes along with being a successful blogger and I really felt for her as I read every word.
Let's face it. I don't think I have ever encountered another blogger, no matter how big or small, who has not once dreamt of making it big. Hell, I took even once deleted an entire year's worth of blog, great content and hard work because I didn't have many followers, didn't think anyone was reading and I had failed. I really did beat myself up about it.
There is such a stigma around the blogging world that if you don't make money and you don't have a bazillion likes on your latest picture or your last tweet wasn't RT'd over a million time, that you're not doing very well but we should all remember; that's not what blogging should be about.
As I've said before, I hate all the effort that is required to get the perfect tan. Like, you need to do all the hair removal, exfoliate and moisturise and then you have to wait before you can tan, because you don't want thos awful brown spots. And most of them need to be on for ages to develop, even the gradual tans. And that's why I literally couldn't have run to Boots faster when I heard about the brand new St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan. How on earth could they have developed a tan that gets to work after 3 minutes AND while you're in the shower? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
Before I get on with the review, I'm actually giving one of my lucky readers the chance to win themselves their own bottle of St Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan to try for themselves. Just click here to enter!
The one thing I dislike about tanning is the length of time it takes to get it perfect. Your skin has to be clean, but you can't do it straight after the shower because damp skin will cause streaks and hot water creates open pores and usually when it gets to the point that my skin is ready to be tanned, I'm far too tired to get it right.
But here comes St Tropez, offering an In Shower Gradual Tan and I could not be happier!
I'll go a little bit more in depth tomorrow when I post my review (so check back for it then!) but for now, I wanted to share the joy with you and offer you the chance to win the St Tropez In Shower Tan in my latest giveaway!
I very rarely stick to the same products each time I need to replace something because I love trying new things, but every so often I will come across something that I fall in love with and it joins an elite group of beauty products I can't live without. So, here are my top 5 beauty products that I currently can't live without. Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo
Hello, I’m Tessa and I blog at www.hollysparkle.co.uk. I dabble mostly in fashion on my blog so I was excited to come up with a beauty post for Emma, hope you like it! I decided to have a little rummage around in the depths of my make up draw and see if I could dig out some forgotten treasures or perhaps just clear out some things that are completely naff.
The Liz Earl Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth cleanser is one that I've wanted to try out for a long time. Anyone who is vaguely interested in skincare and beauty will have heard of it. It's one of many two-step cleansing formula's, but this one has won multiple awards and is probably the most talked about but, as I am with all skincare, I was cautious at first because my skin can be so sensitive.
When a sample of it arrived in my Birchbox, I decided I'd definitely give it a go to see what all the fuss is about! I got a cute 30ml tube of the cleansing cream along with the polishing muslin cloth.
The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish cleanser is made from natural, plant-based ingredients such as Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Chamomile, all of which are very calming and soothing on the skin. It's also packed with cocoa butter for some extra moisturising!
Sometimes it's not so easy to come up with blog post ideas, especially if you've reviewed your entire makeup collection or made OOTD's out of your entire wardrobe, and that's when blogger's block strikes!
We've all been there before. Sat at the laptop, ready to write and no idea what to talk about!
The best thing to do is have a list of types of posts that you can dip into when your brain offers you no inspiration whatsoever, so here are 25 of my top blog post ideas for when you are struggling with bloggers block!
Sometimes, it's best to go back to basics. We all should know by now that the best base for beautiful makeup is a good skincare routine and I've found myself splashing out on all sorts of skincare products to try and give myself that gorgeous glow. But in reality, my skin likes what it knows and for me, that's a skincare routine I started in my teens which includes lots of high street products, because that's all I could afford back then. And in reality, not much has changes in that department, haha!
So, on DollfaceBlogs, I've started to talk about what's working, not what's hot right now, unless that's also working, in which case; bonus! I'll be doing a full skincare routine post in the near future, but for now here's a quick review of one of the best moisturisers, in my opinion.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture cream is packed with, you guessed it, Vitamin E. Some of the benefits of Vitamin E for the skin include extra moisture, excellent anti-ageing and can also be fantastic for skin disorders.
Beauty subscriptions boxes are a bloody brilliant idea, although sometimes very hit and miss, it's a little bit of joy through your postbox every month!
My instagram followers and regular blog readers will be fully aware that I am obsessed with nail art and nail polish, so imagine how excited I was when I discovered a monthly beauty subscription box completely dedicated to nail products!
Frenchy May specialises in one off pieces of limited edition accessories, so if you opt to purchase from them, it's likely none of your friends will be wearing the same! Frenchy May offers a whole range of jewellery and accessories, including rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more!
I have so many fragrances and I love displaying them in my dressing room and all over my dressing table; the quirkier the bottle, the better. So, who better to turn to for something that will not only smell amazing, but add something really special to my dressing table, than Gwen Stefani?
The Harajuku Lovers Pop Electric Collection is just one of the projects launched by the gorgeous, multi-talented Gwen Stefani. The whole collection is made up of 5 different perfumes, each in a unique figurine shaped bottle.
It's giveaway time again! I knew I wanted to run a giveaway in April, but I was totally stuck for a prize. However, you guys have been loving my L'oreal Infallible 24h foundation and mattifying primer review and so many of you have said you want to try it, that I thought I would give you the opportunity to win it for yourself!
As per all of my giveaways you need to fill out the rafflecopter widget below by completing the actions. Once you have completed the first few, this will unlock more. The more actions you complete, the more chance you have of winning.
You have the opportunity to select your foundation shade within the widget, but please choose carefully as the prize is non-returnable after it has been posted, so you won't be able to send it back if it's not the right match!
This is a UK only giveaway due to shipping and the winner will be announced via twitter or email on 30th April 2015. All other T's&C's can be found at the bottom of the competition widget! Good luck!
It's Thursday and that means it's time for another 'ten under £10' post! This time, I'm focusing on volumising hair products.
As I regularly discuss it on my blog, you will be fully aware that my hair is naturally very fine and flat. Like, it's unbearably flat. So I have to put my trust into several volumising hair products to help give my hair a bit of a lift and here are 10 of my favourites, all for under £10!
I can spend hours and hours playing around with different nail art designs and absolutely love doing it. I always love it when someone compliments me on my nail art so I don't mind putting the effort in!
Recently I got some lovely nail art accessories from Prairie Charms and fancied trying out some party nail looks. I got two sets of stickers, one with aztec designs and one with lovely gold chevrons, and a nice pack of silver loose glitter and I've created 3 different party nail looks, bound to get you loads of compliments too!
First up, I went for the Lily aztec nail vinyls. These were very different to any kind of nail art I'd done before, which is what drew them to me! I went for a bit of as statement and placed them on top of two layers of Models Own HyperGel White Light so there was a big contrast between the black sticker and the white polish.
We all love a bit of holiday time, but what does it mean for your blog? Whether you're going away for a weekend or a two weeks it's important to consider what will happen with your blog and social media in that time so I've listed my top tips for managing your blog while you are on holiday!
Tadaaaaa! Welcome to my new blog post series :) I've decided that every week, I'm going to tell you all about my favourite 10 of a certain product for under £10!
Hopefully I'll be able to help you find something that works for you and save you a few pennies as well.
First off, I'm starting with cleansers. I've recently been looking for a new one and have been going on and on about how I need to be careful because my skin is relatively sensitive mixed with the fact it is super com. But then I figured, why not just stick with something that has worked before!
A few Birchboxes ago, I received a lovely little 50ml sample of BiOrganics Hair Therapy Perfect Balance shampoo. I'm always a little dubious about receiving hair products in beauty boxes like Birchbox, because my hair is so fussy and I've only ever found a handful of products that actually work well on it.
My hair has always been long and fine, which makes it very flat. Although it's fine, there's quite a lot of it, which makes it susceptible to becoming very knotty. And to top it off, the roots get greasy very quickly and the ends are very dry. I don't help my case by colouring and using heat on it as well. I know, tell me off later.
My hair has been in severe need of a hair care shake up to try and revive it's quality. This ever changing British weather isn't helping my poor hair either. It's just dying to get that natural Vitamin D from the sunshine.
So, I decided to give the BiOrganics Rebalancing Shampoo a go.
The first thing to note about the BiOrganics range is that they use completely organic products, even suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
I haven't treated myself to a real haul in a long time. I've picked up a couple of products here and there, but with my upcoming wedding and all sorts of other grown up things going on, I just haven't had the money to really treat myself to a big blow out.
But wedding planning and grown up things can be stressful, and I really felt like I needed to treat myself to a bit of pampering and it seemed only right that I call on The Body Shop to fulfil my needs! Luckily for me, my mum was having a Body Shop party so I got to have a gander at all of their lovely products before buying!
I grabbed myself some amazing products and I thought I'd give you a little peek into what I will be indulging in while I'm pampering myself!
Having studied journalism, interned in PR and worked in marketing, I have a fair bit of experience in copy writing, but that doesn't make me an expert because there are so many different ways to write something well and the success of the piece determines not only on the quality of writing, but whether the author has taking into consideration their publishing platform and audience.
Still with me?
Content creation is unique to the platform it is being published on and who is going to be reading it, so you need to make sure you are aware of this before you start writing. For example, within tech blogging, readers might expect lengthier posts that are packed full of facts and figures and useful info, however within fashion blogging, readers might be looking for something shorter, snappier and that paints the picture of the art of the fashion being written about either with words or actual imagery.
There is no correct answer, it's all unique to different publishers, but there are a few key elements that will help you create the perfect blog post.
Who else forgot it was Mother's Day this month? *raises hand*
Yep, oops! I've been so busy sorting so many other things out, that Mother's Day completely slipped my mind. Cue absolute panic that I hadn't bought a gift, and then a big sigh of relief when I realised I've still got a week to get hold of something.
In the spirit of helping my fellow forgetful beauties, here's my short and sweet Mother's Day gift guide if you need some last minute inspiration!
I haven't done an empties post for such a long time, so this is well overdue. I've had all of these products for a while now and they have finally come to an end this month, which I'm really sad about but I thought I'd let you know what I enjoyed about them and whether I will be repurchasing!
The Eucerin dermoPURIFYER cleanser is one I got my hands on about 6 months ago now and started using it daily about 4 months ago and it has lasted me right up until last week! It's a light, gel cleanser that is perfect for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. I've used it every morning as a fresh start to the day for my skin and I'm pretty sure my skin has been thanking me for it because it's looking much brighter and healthier.
It's basically my worst nightmare when I'm running out of foundation and I can't find my usual brand in my usual shade anywhere, meaning I either have to take the risk and potentially have no foundation until the shops get their delivery and then queue up at opening time to make sure it doesn't sell out, or I have to opt for a different brand.
Usually, I opt for a different brand. I like a risk, but not a foundation-free one!
Both products come in cute little squeezy tubes with round lids and precise nozzles. I like the branding across both, and that you can see the product through the bottle. They also both have great descriptions on the back, showing you exactly what to expect from the coverage and texture etc.
Yep, I'm talking about a product from Poundland's makeup collection today and I urge you not to click that little x in the corner before you've finished reading!
I know we all love our reputable brands for makeup because we trust them. We invest a lot of money in products because we trust the brands and we even stretch our pennies to that luxury brand because we love the idea of having Dior and Chanel products splashed across our faces.
So, when Poundland brought out a makeup range, I turned my nose up at it. And then I heard a couple of people talking about it, and even Vogue were writing about it. Then, I was getting ready with my sister one evening before going out and realised I had run out of liquid eyeliner. Absolute tragedy.
Luckily my sister had some to hand, and she passed me a tiny little black bottle. I didn't even look at it, just unscrewed the lid and immediately admired the skinny, precise little brush.
Okay, so most of you will have heard of Batiste, but if you haven't I'd say they are currently one of the most popular brands of dray shampoo in the UK.
The Batiste range has a few different dry shampoos ranging in their benefits, so no matter what your hair type, or what look you are aiming for; if your hair just isn't looking as fresh as it should, Batiste is here to save the day.
I've bought the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Big & Bouncy XXL Volume, because I have the finest, flattest hair in the entire world, so anything that's going to give it a boost is welcomed! Especially if my hair is already not looking it's best.
I don't know about you, but this cold weather really dries my skin out. Having to keep it wrapped under all those layers to stay a tiny bit warm, not to mention all the artificial heat going on at the moment. It's playing havoc with my skin, hair and nails!
Anyway, I cannot stand having dehydrated skin. It gets all itchy and doesn't feel so nice, so I've been making a conscious effort to moisturise my whole body every day. Not only has it helped as a base for my new tan, it's also been helping me keep a healthy glow and just feel about a million times smoother.
I've got copious amounts of moisturisers and body lotions that I manage to collect over various periods of time. So I started by rifling through those, but didn't really fall in love with anything I had until I stumbled across the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner which was given to me as part of a Christmas present and fell in love straight away.
Body shaming in general is seriously not okay, and the general understanding of body shaming is that is tends to be an attack on larger or curvier people (I'd say women, but body shaming happens to both genders and that shouldn't be ignored). However, that's not the case.
There have been several instances recently where I've noticed that skinnier women are being berated for being smaller. There was the uproar of the mum who showed off her toned and fit post-pregnancy body being shamed for talking about it as it might make others, and now, plus size brand Taking Shape have taken it upon themselves to set up their #SkinnyBirdWatching at LFW, again ridiculing women for being smaller.
While I see what they were trying to do with their campaign, I do not understand why it is now okay to make smaller women feel uncomfortable about being skinny. You don't know their story. You don't know why they are skinny. And you don't know if they are already having their own body issues and you are just making them feel worse.
For the past few months I've been doing some testing on my blog. Trying out different things and seeing what effect that had on my my blog traffic. I noticed that some methods increased my blog traffic and others showed me a significant drop; giving me a real insight on what works and what doesn't.
While that's helped me really pull together a great schedule for my blog for the next few months (look out for some really exciting things coming up!), I thought I should share what I found out so you can try it for yourself. And I thought it would make for a great revival of my blogging tips post series, so here are my top 6 ways to get more traffic to your blog:
I've never been big on contouring, probably because I wasn't quite sure how to do it before! I decided it was about time I jumped on the bandwagon, and decided to get myself a little contour kit to get practicing.
I opted for the Makeup Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Contour Palette in Ultra Fair and have come to the conclusion that it's probably the best contour kit for beginners!
In the palette are three compact powders; one matte bronzer for contouring, one pinkish matte blusher and one light powder for highlighting.
In case we hadn't been banging on about it enough, it's Valentine's day soon. If you have managed to blag yourself a date for the smoochiest day of the year, you're going to need an outfit, right?
I've pieced together 5 lovely little outfits with some lovely accessories that could be winners for your date night this Valentine's day. Or any other day if you prefer! Take a peek below and see if something tickles your fancy!