Category Archives: Uncategorized

Debenhams Beauty Club Re-Launch & £200+ Luxury Bundle Giveaway!

Posted on September 29, 2017

Hi Guys!

I’m really excited to bring you news about Debenhams’ fantastic Beauty Club re-launch, as well as an amazing luxury beauty giveaway today!

If you’re not familiar with Debenhams Beauty Club, it’s a reward scheme that allows you to collect and spend points across over 200 beauty and fragrance brands both in store and online, and Debenhams have also just re-launched their Beauty Club with the help of the wonderful Alesha Dixon heading up the Let’s talk beauty campaign…

Alesha will be using Debenhams Beauty Club social channels to share exclusive videos where she chats through her beauty favourites and shares her top tips and tricks –

“While beauty shopping is fabulously indulgent it can also be a bit daunting – which products to use, how to do an eye flick, what’s in fashion now? I am here to help the Debenhams customer demystify all things beauty and I can’t wait to get started!” – Alesha Dixon

Whether you are a total novice when it comes to beauty or a seasoned pro, Debenhams have everything you need to be beauty confident. Discover Alesha’s expert guides and how-to tutorials, and get the inside scoop on exclusive launches and hot new trends, whilst earning points every time you shop when you join the club. Expect plenty of exciting extras with the new and improved reward scheme, including monthly product sampling, enabling members to collect exclusive free samples in store with no purchase necessary, extended loyalty points and reward validity periods, and much much more!

To celebrate the Beauty Club Card relaunch, I’ve teamed up with Debenhams to offer you a fantastic GIVEAWAY where you can win over £200 of amazing Debenhams luxury beauty goodies! I’ve picked all the products myself, and I’ve tried to include a range of my favourite products and brands – there’s a fantastic Urban Decay Eye Kit, and a gorgeous fragrance from YSL as well as goodies from MAC, Clarins and Guerlain. You can see all the details below –

Firstly, I’m giving away the MAC Nutcracker Debenhams exclusive make up kit (£35.00) – this gorgeous gift set comprises of a sweet MAC Nutcracker makeup bag with a gold trim and a pink star pattern, which contains a MAC Upward Lash Mascara, a Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in shade Fashion Legacy and a classic MAC red Retro Matte Lipstick in shade Nutcracker Rouge.

Next I have the YSL Mon Paris EDP (30ml worth £50.50) – this is one of YSL’s latest fragrances and it’s just beautiful…

Inspired by the city of lovers, ‘Paris’. ‘Mon Paris’ is a fragrance which urges you to seize the moment transcend the present and prepare to fall head over heels into the arms of a passionate love. A subversive reinvention of the traditional chypre, the new floral perfume turns the traditional model upside down, by introducing a brave, bold narcotic white chypre fit for love today.

I’ve also included the Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator Palette (£22.00) – this handy little palette contains three of Laura Geller’s famous Gelato Swirl Illuminator highlighters – there’s Ballerina, a warm light golden bronze, Gilded Honey, a light champagne gold, and Peach Glow, a light peachy pink shade.

I had to include this amazing Urban Decay Urban Essentials Eye Kit (£60.00 but worth £91.50) – this set contains some Urban Decay favourites, including 3x Single Eyeshadows, in Bordello, Sell Out & Psychedelic Sister, a mini Original Primer Potion, and 3x 24/7 Glide on Eyeliner Pencils in Demolition, Psychedelic Sister & Zero.

I also picked out this lovely little Clarins set. The Clarins Precious Lip Gift Set (£20.00) comprises of a makeup bag containing a selection of Clarins mini lip products. There’s a mini Jolie Rouge Lipstick in shade 742, a mini Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, and 2x mini Instant Light Lip Perfectors.

And lastly, the Guerlain Ecrin 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette (£43.50) – Guerlain is another one of my favourite brands, so I thought I’d include one of their beautiful eyeshadow palettes. The palette in 02 Tonka Imperiale is full of neutral shades that can easily be worn by anyone, day or night.

If you want to be in with a chance of winning this amazing beauty bundle, all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will run for 4 weeks and is open to UK residents only – if you have any questions please feel free to ask, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by Debenhams

My Experience Using an Instagram Bot…

Posted on April 20, 2017

Hi Guys,

Ok so before you start losing your mind. Let me tell you the story from the beginning… (sorry it’s a long one)

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about blogging and social media in general, and the conversation turned to Instagram and bots. This was before the whole thing blew up on Twitter over Easter, I’d heard of bots but never really given them a second thought. From the little knowledge I had, I understood they were one step away from buying followers and really not a good idea. My friend actually made them sound quite appealing though and came up with quite a few positive sounding points…

So this got me thinking. Could this actually be a useful way to help your Instagram grow? Is this like an electronic PA, working on your behalf to get your profile out there and noticed? I don’t use Instagram very much. Apart from the fact that I’ve been unwell recently, I’ve never been a big user, I often go weeks between posts and don’t have a big following, so I decided to sign up and trial one of the services to see if it actually works, and if it could give my profile a boost. It’s not like I was buying followers, so what could go wrong??

I should point out here that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of sites offering a combination of paid for followers (across all social channels, not just instagram) as well as different bots. I was quite surprised at how big a business it really is.

I went to the site that was recommended to me and considered signing up – but it felt wrong. It felt like cheating… or was it? The site told me I’d be growing my following organically, so it can’t all be bad, right? I thought it was worth a shot.

I just want to point out that didn’t intend this to be malicious. I didn’t want to follow and unfollow thousands of accounts every day in order to gain a zillion followers like some people have. I was just curious and wanted to see if this could be a useful tool for bloggers to help grow their Instagram following in a genuine way.

So I signed up, and once I got the hang of using the dashboard I was extremely impressed with how sophisticated the technology was. You could literally specify what you want to do in terms of following accounts, liking posts and commenting, down to the finest detail. You could select which hours you want the bot to run, which hashtags you want to target, wether you want to like, follow, unfollow, comment, or a mixture of all of them, and how many per hour. You could also specify the location of the users you want to target, how many followers they have, and which of their posts you want to comment or like. So just for an example – you could say you want the bot to run for two hours on a Saturday morning starting at 9am. Where it will comment on 10 posts per hour which it randomly selects from hashtags that you input to the system, and like 20 posts per hour. You could also further drill down so it only chooses people in a specific country, and with specific followings too.

It really was very clever. So I set up my dashboard, input some hashtags that I use, which are mostly beauty ones, and let it do its thing by following and liking new accounts. This didnt really do much in terms of gaining more followers, though I did get a few more likes where people reciprocated, but nothing noticeable.

I then decided to try the comment feature. You’re advised to use a ‘neutral’ comment that can be applied to pretty much any instagram image. I went with ‘Love! Your feed is fab!’ which I though is friendly and positive but still quite generic. I then let the bot do its thing again.

This is where I really saw a difference. People notice comments. This definitely drove new users to my profile, and suddenly my followers started to increase, and so did my likes and comments. After my initial ‘yay this is working’ reaction, I looked at my profile and saw I had quite a few responses to my generic ”Love! Your feed is fab!’ comment – and I felt terrible.

These people were thinking this was actually me commenting on their profiles. I received some lovely replies, and this is when it first hit me that bots really aren’t a good idea at all. I felt so bad and that I’d basically duped these people. I try to be a straight up, what you see is what you get type of person, so when I realised this was happening, I just had this terrible feeling of disappointment (in myself) and guilt.

And sure some of these accounts were actually great, and had I had the time I’d definitely have commented on them myself. But plenty also weren’t, or just weren’t to my taste or wern’t of interest to me, and this bot was running around pretending to be me, telling all these accounts that I loved them – it just felt very wrong.

I have to say, there’s no doubt that the way I used this bot did give me real followers. Those that followed me decided to follow me (and / or comment) off their own back – BUT – the method you use to get people to notice you in the first place just didn’t sit right with me. Commenting on random posts, following accounts you’re not actually interested in – and of course there’s f/uf (follow / unfollow) which is something else that people have been using bots for (this is following and instantly unfollowing accounts, with the hope that those people will follow you back) It’s just all quite dishonest at the end of the day. My bot was originally set to unfollow but I changed this partway through my trial to follow to see how it changed the results. I found I received a higher rate of followers when I stopped unfollowing others – surprise surprise.

In terms of stats, overall the bot did over 6000 likes for me, nearly 2000 comments, nearly 2000 follows, and nearly 500 unfollows, all within a couple of weeks. This resulted in just over 1000 new followers plus plenty of comments and likes received (the bot didn’t give stats for these) I can’t even begin to imagine how much time this would have taken if I was doing all this manually.

To conclude, do I think Instagram bots are a good idea? The answer is no I don’t. To make new users discover you, your bot is acting as you, following, liking and commenting on random accounts, and this deceptiveness has definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. It feels wrong and dishonest. Bloggers treat themselves as businesses now – could you imagine if businesses used bots to leave generic comments on customers profiles? Its one thing having a real person work for you and represent your brand to follow and leave genuine comments on relevant users profiles, but bots completely remove the human element, they feel false, repetitive and deceptive, and after trying this one out I don’t think they can be used in a positive way at all.

So where does this leave things? Well my trial is now over, and even though my account technically did receive a boost, I’m now left waiting to see who unfollows me, when they realise that I won’t be liking or commenting on their posts anymore. As well as this, I also now need to go through my profile and unfollow all the accounts that I’m not actually interested in, so in the long run it’s actually made me more work.

In terms of Instagram as a whole though, I’ve learned that it’s pretty much a full time job to grow your account yourself. You need to be constantly on there posting new content, following, liking and commenting on new accounts that you’re interested in and that are relevant to you, as well a liking and commenting on the current accounts you already follow. Who has time for this? Definitely not me at the moment. But if you do, I applaud you and you definitely deserve success after putting in so much work. After this experience (and ending up feeling bad about the whole thing – I’m still receiving replies to my generic comment) I’m happy to just let my account sit there and not do much like it always has done.

I hope you enjoyed my post – please do let me know your thoughts xx

Beauty: Introducing Beauty Pie, the New Take on Beauty Subscriptions

Posted on January 3, 2017

Hi Guys!

Now I love a beauty box sub, and I love the surprise of not knowing whats going to arrive each month, but I also feel that this concept has become a bit stale of late, with many beauty box brands becoming quite repetitive with both the brands and products they use – the whole concept of beauty sub boxes is starting to feel a bit dated and could do with a shake up in my opinion. Anyway, this mini rant brings me nicely on to Beauty Pie – because initially I thought I’d received a new beauty box in the post – which in fact it wasn’t – but it is a subscription service for beauty fans…

Ok so in a nutshell, you subscribe to Beauty Pie for £10 a month, which allows you to be able to purchase their products, at very low ‘factory’ prices, rather than RRP prices.

It’s important to point out that rather than a beauty box, which includes many brands, Beauty Pie only offer their own branded products. Promising ‘luxury cosmetics at factory prices’, they aim to bring the consumer high quality makeup products, cutting out the middle man, expensive promotions and packaging, to bring maximum discounts to the consumer – all resulting in you being able to purchase products at cost prices. So for example, a Beauty Pie lipstick which has a RRP of £20.00, will cost a member less than £3.00 – which really does sound like a great bargain (providing the products are as good as they’re made out to be)

I’ve received a PR a box of five products from Beauty Pie, including a mascara, lip gloss, lipstick, powder and foundation. Here are my initial thoughts –

The Everyday Great Skin Foundation (RRP £30.00, member price £4.75) was unfortunately very much the wrong colour for me – I received Medium Honey was way too dark and way too orange, but by tying it on the back of my hand my initial impression is that it’s a nice, lightweight feeling matte finish foundation, with medium coverage. I’ll see if I can get a shade more matched to my skin tone so I can try it on my face and give you a better idea of what it’s really like. I also want to mention the packaging, which looks pretty. The foundation comes in a frosted glass pump bottle, with a glossy plastic pump at the top – but no lid, which I thought was slightly odd. The look and feel of the product packaging in general is sleek, yet surprisingly lightweight when you hold them. Beauty Pie have explained that they don’t add weights to their packaging like many manufacturers do, which of course is a tactic to make the product heavier, and therefore appear more expensive – I didn’t even realise this was a thing!

Next we have the One Powder Wonder Perfecting Powder (RRP £26.00, member price £3.68) I initially thought was a highlighter as the surface of the powder had quite a sheen with a very slight sparkle. It is in fact a translucent setting powder though – it’s super finely milled and really rather nice. I’ve used this a couple of times now and it sets my foundation well.

The Matte Lipstick in Cowboy Nude (RRP £20.00, member price £2.23) is a lovely mid nude / brown shade which is right up my street – it’s slightly more beige toned than the image looks above. The formula is surprisingly creamy, and easy to apply, and felt neither hydrating nor drying on my lips. And the Superglazy Lipgloss in Sugar Bun (RRP £19.00, member price £2.14) is a nice non-sticky gloss – and the shade Sugar Bun matches the lipstick really well. There’s nothing particularly special about this gloss, but for just over £2.00 I think it’s a bargain.

And lastly the Uber Volume Boost Mascara (RRP £20.00, member price £1.93) – I’m quite fussy with mascaras and I was actually rather surprised with this one as I really rather liked it! My short straight lashes can be a real pain, but this mascara gave a nice curl with a decent level of volume without being to heavy – this is great for every day wear for me.

Overall my initial impression is this is pretty decent makeup (but not particularly outstanding)  and the member prices really are fantastic for the quality you’re getting – BUT – when you consider you’re spending £10 a month on a subscription, and might not buy products every month, the amount you’re spending will soon tot up. Even if you don’t purchase anything for only one month, your £2.14 lip gloss has suddenly cost you £22.14 (£10 for last month’s subscription, £10 for the current month’s, plus the lip gloss cost price) – so though I do like the concept, I think you really need to weigh it up before being bowled over by the Beauty Pie’s crazy cheap prices.

I’d love to hear what you think of this concept? I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

Under £15 Budget & Novelty Gift Guide For Her!

Posted on November 21, 2014

ladies budgetgift guide_edited-1

Hi Guys!

I’ve got a super cute and handy gift guide for you today! Everything is £15 or under, fun and slightly unusual. If you’re looking for a gift or stocking filler for a friend or sister, I’ve got you covered for the gals in your life! I’ve included a Crazy Cat Lady bracelet for your cat loving chum, a fox head necklace for your little sister, a fashion game for your fashionable friend, a novelty bath milk for your mum, and a Lemon Curd High Tea candle for your BFF! I challenge anyone to not like these gifts!!

  1. Fox Necklace by Sugar and Vice, £15
  2. Panda Money Bank from Urban Outfitters, £15
  3. Crazy Cat Lady Bangle by Living in La La Land, £12
  4. Mug Cakes Book from Urban Outfitters, £7.99
  5. Lemon Curd High Tea Candle by Flamingo Candles, £12
  6. Vintage Toys Mug by Truffle Shuffle, £6.99
  7. Clueless Art Print – Cher. by Living in La La Land, £15
  8. Fashion Face Off Card Game from Amazon, £6.11
  9. Kellogg’s 50’S Vintage Tuberose And Jasmine Bath Milk from Truffle Shuffle, £6.99

So what do you think? I hope you like as I’ve got plenty more gift guides up my sleeve as yet! xxx

July Beauty Favourites!

Posted on August 6, 2014

july-favourites

Hi Guys!

Well it’s the end of another month already, and it’s been a hot hot HOT one! I can’t take it! I don’t know about where you are but thank goodness the weather has calmed down a bit here now, my skin has been sweating and my makeup’s been melting, it’s not been fun! Anyway, onto my favourite products from July! Some are newbies and some are old favourites that I’ve dug out of my stash and happen to have been using quite a lot of in the last month, I imagine this is probably mostly due to my July spending ban!

Sleek Gloss Me Lip Gloss in Angel Falls – Oops I just noticed I photographed it upside down, never mind! Ever since reviewing this with the other Sleek products a couple of weeks ago this has been my go-to gloss. Angel Falls is a lovely light nude colour and I just apply a thin coat for when I want to mute the colour of my lips slightly and also have a hint of gloss. This is a great colour to wear with a tan!

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly – You know I’m a massive fan of Indeed Labs products, this Moisture Jelly has been a God send in this crazy heat wave. I don’t function well in the heat so knowing I’m going home at the end of the day to the love of my life (no not my husband!) keeps me going! This Moisture Jelly kept in the fridge, on weary skin is just AMAZE.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara – Officially my new favourite mascara. Bourjois have brought out a whole load of new products this month that have ticked all my boxes. This gets a thumbs up from me all round, it gives fab thickness and length, easy to apply and remove, oh and it won’t break the bank either.

Bourjois contour clubbing Eyeliner in 45 Blue Remix – Yep another Bourjois product, I’m so in love with this blue shade at the moment. It’s like a gorgeous sparkly ocean blue – the perfect summer eyeliner colour. Take a look here to see how I wear this colour!

Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel – This has become my new go-to product for a quick tan fix. You just rub it in all over your body and face wherever you want to be bronzed and shimmery and when you’re done you can wash it off easily in the shower. Simples.

Kevyn Aucoin The Iconic Eye Set Palette – I’ve had this for quite a while but recently discovered it again due to my spending ban. This palette has all the colours I like to use day to day, and it’s really thin and compact, perfect for my ever-bulging makeup bag.

Diptyque Tam Dao and Oyedo fragrances – These are another couple of products I’ve had for a while. Individually I’m not actually overly keen on these fragrances, Tam Dao is a bit on the masculine side for me, and Oyedo is citrusy, which I do like, but also quite sharp. I’ve realised I love to wear them together though! There is still a slight sharpness on first application but after a while they dry down to a lovely warm and fresh citrus scent. Happy days!

So that’s about it for my July favourites, I’d love to hear if you’ve tried any of these products or which products you’ve been loving this month? xxx

My Blue Eyeliner Summer Look!

Posted on July 21, 2014

summer-makeup

Hi Guys!

I had a rare evening out planned at the weekend, meeting friends for a meal at Chiquito’s Norwich and then out on the town fun and drinks after, so thought I’d take a few snaps of my look so I can tell you what I wore!

summer-bronzed-look

I really wanted a tan but didnt have much time to get ready, so I used my Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel – this is such a fab product, you just apply to clean skin an wait 10 minutes to dry so it doesn’t mark your clothes, and you get a gorgeous light bronzed look that just makes your skin glow! It does have shimmer to it, which I’m usually not a fan of but I have to say I love it in this product! It also washes off in the shower which is really handy. I didnt have my legs out so I cheated and basically applied this to the top half of my body and face. I then used my Dior HydraLife BB Cream on my face. This is slightly on the heavy side for this hot weather but it is perfect for evening out your complexion whilst keeping your skin looking natural.

To highlight and contour, I didn’t want to go heavy on the contour as I wanted my skin to look natural and the emphasis to be on my eyes, so I lightly used my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. This has three shades and is perfect for creating gorgeous glowing skin.

eye-makeup-blue-eyeliner

For my eyes I used W.O.S from my Naked Basics palette over the whole eye area, this is a bone / cream colour and a matte shade that’s prefect as a base for any colours. I then used Maybelline’s On and On Bronze swept across the lid – this is one of my favourite eyeshadows at the moment, it’s a cream formula and has a gorgeous high shimmer finish. I love sticking my finger in the pot and working it over my lids! Then Venus (described as a demi-matte but it’s more of a satin) from the Naked Basics Palette in the inner corners of the eye to highlight. To add depth I then went over the crease with Faint from the Naked Basics palette which is a matte taupe brown. For eyeliner I went with Urban Decay’s Smoke, this is one of my favourite colours and the perfect matte grey shade, it’s also great alternative to black for a more subtle look. This colour is perfect for creating a softer look, and I love to wear it smudged and not so perfect. I applied this as a thin line to the upper lashes and added a small flick. I then used my new Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner in 45 Blue Remix to line the waterline. I finished my look with Hourglass Lipgloss in Child, my favourite HotHair Wig, a white vest top and neon orange kimono from H&M 🙂

hot-weather-bronze-makeup

Products used:

Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel

Dior HydraLife BB Cream in 01

Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer in Natural

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and On Bronze

Urban Decay Eyeliner in Smoke

Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner in 45 Blue Remix

Bourjois 1 Second Volume Mascara

MUA Ultimate Eyebrow Kit

Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lipgloss in Child

As you know I’m a big fan of blue eyeliner, I think people can be scared of blue eye makeup but there are so many ways you can wear it! I think it can look great with blue or brown eyes, and can really emphasise your eye colour too. I’d love to hear your thoughts!? xxx