Thursday, 23 October 2014

Winter Reading List

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I had a completely different post planned for today that i was really excited to do but thanks to the miserable weather we've had lately i was unable to get the photos taken on my day off yesterday which is so annoying. Despite how much i love Autumn/Winter, i dislike how much of struggle it can become for lighting. Thankfully, i had a couple of photos saved for some other posts i was planning to do over the next few weeks rather than not posting at all.

If you read my Recently Read #2 post i did the other day, you'll know that i seem to have the reading bug at the moment which I'm so happy about. I don't know why but it seems that if i pre-pick out a few of the next books i want to read i seem to work through the pile a lot quicker so i thought I'd share with you what books i plan to read over Autumn/Winter.

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Evermore by Alyson Noel (Immortals #1)
"Sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom is the sole survivor of a car accident that killed her family. Exiled to sunny California. Ever is haunted by her little sister and by the ability to see people's auras, hear their thoughts and know their entire life story by touching them. She wants to hide from the world, but when a stunningly handsome guy arrives at school, she can't seem to keep away. Falling in love with Damen is dangerous - he's not what he seems. But if Damen is her destiny, how can Ever walk away?"

The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen
"Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough. Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realising her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby? Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?"

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About a Girl by Lindsay Kelk
"After accidentally answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, why shouldn’t she try out being Vanessa? With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?

But Tess is soon in big trouble – she isn’t a photographer, she isn’t Vanessa, and the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster. Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…"

What a Girl Wants by Lindsay Kelk
"Tess Brookes was the girl with a plan. Now she's the girl with a choice. Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick? For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants."

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It Felt Like a Kiss by Sara Manning
"Ellie manages a swank Mayfair gallery, but it’s her life that’s a real work of art. Great job, really good hair, loyal friends, loving family. It’s only her succession of lame duck boyfriends that ruin the picture. Oh, and the world-famous rock-star father she’s never met, who won’t even acknowledge her existence. Then Ellie’s perfect life is smashed to pieces when her secret is sold to the highest bidder and her name, face (and pictures of her bottom) are splashed across the tabloids. Suddenly everyone thinks she’s a gold-digging, sex-crazy, fame whore.

Enter David Gold. Charming and handsome David Gold. On paper he’s even more perfect than Ellie, if only he wasn’t her father’s ruthlessly ambitious lawyer whose job is to manage the crisis – and her. He certainly doesn’t think that Ellie’s the innocent party and she doesn’t trust him at all. So why is it that every time they’re alone together, damage limitation is the last thing on their minds?

Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon
Last year, Bronte left Sydney for a wedding in England, where she met newly single Alex. After a night of passion they parted ways, and Bronte returned to Australia.
Now working on a picture desk for a magazine in London, Bronte is about to meet her new colleague, who turns out to be all too familiar. Although awkward at first, as Alex is now engaged to the girl he was on a break from when they met, they soon become friends.
But as the two get closer, and the wedding day looms, it is clear that Alex and Bronte have unfinished business…

I've decided just to include the book description that is on goodreads just because it'll be easier than me trying to explain what the book is about. I'm looking forward to trying all these books and if you'd like to follow my progress with these books feel free to add me on Goodreads, i will also be doing a post reviewing all the books once I've finished them too!

What books are on your To Read List?


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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

How I Blog #4 | Promoting my Posts

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In my last post (here) i asked if you would be interested in a 'how i blog' post on how i promote my posts and a few of you seemed interested. I'll be honest and say promoting posts isn't one of my strong points but these are just a few of the steps i like to take in promoting my posts.

Twitter
I like to post a tweet about my posts (feel free to follow my twitter here); it's the most easiest ad one of the most successful ways to get your posts out there. Adding the relevant hashtags to the tweets are a great way of getting your tweet out to the right audience of people - for example, i use #bbloggers and sometimes #lbloggers but there are many out there to cater all the different topics.

Also, if I'm featuring a product from a particular brand i mention them in the tweet, a lot of the time they retweet the tweet which then exposes the link to their followers. Not only that but keeping up interaction with brands or featuring them often can sometimes lead to them wanting to work with you in the future.

Hootsuite
Continuing on from my last point - i don't really have time to post out tweets every time my posts go live so i like to schedule a tweet after I've scheduled a post so that i know it's done and ready to post. The website i use it Hootsuite, i find it really easy to use and to navigate but there are other websites like this too, if hootsuite doesn't quite take your fancy.

Instagram
I don't actually use this for promoting posts but i do want to get into the habit of doing so because i love instagram in general and it's another great way to get posts out there (also using hashtags) and it also reaches a different set of followers too. (Feel free to follow my instagram here)

Pinterest
This is the one I've only been doing in the recent months; i have a board on pinterest for my blog that i pin all the photos onto and i link those to the relevant posts. People love to spend hours browsing on pinterest and if the photos are eye catching enough chances are people are going to click through to the blog.

Blogger
This may sound like a strange one but i use my own blog to promote my posts. If i mention a product in my post that I've already reviewed i link it - chances are if someones interested in that product they're possible going to want to know more about it so in a way its possible to promote your own posts through your own blog.

Groups on Facebook/Linked In
I'm fairly new to this one but they're a lot of groups available for bloggers for example, The Beauty Blogger Bunch, the Blogger Program or Bloggers Helping Bloggers - the groups are their to post your link into, not all groups will like it but most of them are their for that purpose of helping each other promote their blogs and posts.

Comments
I like to comment on other people's blogs - not only does that makes the other blogger feel good and appreciated but at the end of my comment i leave a link to my blog in the signature so that should the blogger or their readers wish to check it out, the option is there. I always make sure that my comment is genuine and that I've not posted it for the sake of leaving a link and i definitely do NOT do follow for follows.

How Much is Enough?
How much a person chooses to promote their blog is their own personal preference - i personally keep it quite minimal mostly because i don't want to spam non-bbloggers that follow my account but its also because i get quite irritated myself when people post the exact same thing a million times over. Ive actually unfollowed someone on twitter because they kept post the same tweet constantly and i just found it highly irritating. So it is a personal choice how much you want to promote your blog but do be aware of how much.

So that is how i like to promote my logs and my posts. As I've mentioned i am no expert and I'm still learning what are the best ways but at the moments these are what i find are working.

How do you like to promote your posts?



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Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself, they were either gifted to me or items I've received at events. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review | Honeycomb Natural Sponge & Giveaway

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When it comes to sponges i tend to look the other way because despite being an really cheap option they are usually quite rough, not very durable and generally just very shoddy quality but i was recently given the opportunity to try out a Honeycomb Natural Sponge* which is supposed to be one of the most luxury and long lasting sponges available and also one of the most expensive which at £24.00 is definitely a hefty price tag for a sponge.

Sponges have been around for millions of years apparently it's earliest documentation was by Greek Poet Homer 8th Century BC and they have been in commercial trading since 19th Century - so definitely a very long time. The natural sponges are collected from the ocean floor but are cut off above the roots allowing them to regrow, and they have a vigourous 10 stage cleaning process so that all stones, algae and marine debris are removed.

When i first got this it immediately reminded me of Sea anemone (i have severe difficulty trying to say that out loud) and the exterior was quite rough feeling but it the perfect texture for exfoliating - i love to exfoliate my legs after shaving and this was amazing for that, it left them feeling so smooth and once I'd continued with my usual routine of moisturising my legs honestly felt incredible.

Not only does it prove to be an excellent exfoliator but once immersed in water it absorbs the water and becomes really soft and gentle - it's quite a drastic contrast and not one i expected. It's so gentle to use and wash the skin with and when used with my body wash it lathered up really lovely.

I'll be honest but the thought of paying £24.00 for a sponge does make my eyes water but this is definitely a lot more high quality and much more durable and long lasting so it's much more luxurious than your typical sponge - the lovely people at The Sponge Market have offered 15% off all orders with the discount code 'ALICE' if you are interested in trying some of their products out (they have many other types of sponges too) they are available for the public to buy.

Onto the giveaway; The Sponge Market have very kindly offered to give away one of the Honeycomb Natural Sponge (the same one i have) to one of you lovely viewers - so if you'd like to win all you have to do is follow the rafflecopter below and be sure to answer the question too - the answer can be found on this web page here and I've also mentioned the answer in this blog post too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!


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Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself, they were either gifted to me or items I've received at events. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Recently Read #2

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I don't know if you remember but a little while ago i did a post called 'Need To Read #1' in the hopes that it might help encourage me to read the books id picked out. I don't get to read half as much as I'd like to because I'm always quite busy lately but I've done my best to make time for it, whether its squeezing in a chapter or two before i go to work or turning my laptop off a little earlier and reading before i go to sleep. Either way i seem to have gotten the reading bug back and I've made my way through the four books id selected so here is my thoughts on each of the books.

You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
"Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob - the man she's about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben - best man and the best friend any two people ever had. And that's the problem.

Because if it wasn't Rob waiting for her at the altar, there's a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right? Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it..."

My thoughts:
I feel like it took me ages to read this book as i was only picking it up for short spells at a time but i did actually really enjoy it. It's a quite a girly rom com type of book but the view point alters between Maddie and Ben so it's interesting to get the different view points. The book is very emotive and i find that the characters are really relatable and also the situation that the book is based around is definitely something many people will be able to relate to in some way.

I do actually prefer Giovanna's first book Billy and Me over this one, but i really enjoy the way she writes so it was still a very enjoyable read and if you are into chick lit type books I'm sure you'll enjoy this also.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
"On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favours with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behaviour. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?"

My Thoughts:
This book is pretty much everywhere at the moment so I'm sure many of you will have already read it or at least heard about it. I don't normally go for thriller style books but it made a nice change to what i normally read. The constant rave reviews is what made me want to read this and i can't lie all the questions, the unknown and the suspense is what kept me reading.

I did really enjoy reading this book and as I've already said it made a really nice change from what i normally read but if you do decide to read this prepare yourself for a ridiculously bad ending. I can't express the disappointment i felt when i discovered how it ended, i almost felt like id wasted my time reading it because it was just frustrating.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
"Ever since her parents began fighting, Auden has been unable to sleep at night. Now, spending a summer at a charming beach town with her father and his new family, she has to find new places to pass the time she spends awake. And so she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac who becomes her nighttime guide. Together, they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she has missed; for Eli, to come to terms with the death of a friend. In her trademark blockbuster-style, Sarah Dessen creates a powerful and irresistible story of two people learning how to connect."

My Thoughts:
I really enjoy Sarah Dessen's books - i know this are aimed at a more younger audience and are classed as Young Adult. I find her books really easy to read and i just generally enjoy them. The story to this is nothing groundbreaking; it's a very typical girl meets boy kind of story but as i said it's such an easy read and i really enjoy books that i don't need to think to much about and i can just lose myself in and this is exactly that.

By The Time You Read This by Lola Jaye
"This is a manual for my daughter Lois. Here are the rules:
1. You must only read each new entry on your birthday, there is one for every year until you are thirty.
2. This is a private manual between you and me.
3. No peeping at the next entry unless it's your birthday!

When Lois Bates is handed the manual, she can barely bring herself to read it as the pain of losing her dad is still so raw. Yet soon his advice is guiding her through every stage of her life - from first love and relationships to her career. The manual can never be a substitute for having her dad back, but through his words Lois learns to start living again, and discovers that happiness is waiting around the corner..."

My thoughts:
I found the concept of this book quite interesting and it made a change to the usual girls meets boy being the focus - there is still an element of that within the book but its not the main focus. I'm in two minds about this book because on one hand it was an easy read but on the other it was quite predictable and sometimes a bit corny. I also hated how the main character was written as being so closed off and i know grief affects people differently but at sometimes i found it irritating to read. She has a manual off her father telling her to embrace and live life yet she's avoiding it all costs by only focusing on work. Its not the worst book in the world but it's not on the top of my recommendation list either.

and that is what I've read recently! I quite like doing the two posts; showing you want i plan to read and then reviewing them once I've read them - in a way i feel like it's kept me motivated to read them.

What have you read recently?


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Any Items marked with a * were not purchased myself, they were either gifted to me or items I've received at events. All views are my own - read my full disclaimer, here!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Review | Rimmel Lasting Finish with Comfort Serum Foundation

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I actually had no intention of buying anymore foundation because i have more than enough for just one face but after seeing Velvet Gh0st trial it out in one of her vlogs curiosity got the better of me. Also, the fact that it was on offer for £4.98 in Savers just made it that much more appealing. I have the serum version (red top) of this foundation; I'm not quite sure how this differs to the other version (white top) as I've not tried that out but i do however really like this version.

In terms of foundation i tend to go for a very light coverage so this is very different to what i normally go for and to what I'm used to wearing because it has quite a high coverage. It actually blends out really nicely and gives the skin a flawless finish whilst still looking natural - which is very important to me. I don't like foundation that is cakey or that looks really obviously on. This does feel a little heavier on the skin in comparison to others I've used but once it sinks into the skin it barely feels like you're wearing anything.

This foundation is available in 7 shades - unfortunately it doesn't have the widest selection and for people with a much darker skin tone there doesn't seem to be an option which is quite disappointing and Rimmel are definitely limiting their audience by not catering for all skin tones. I have the shade '100 Ivory' which is the second lightest shade - this shade seems to match my skin tone really well and I like to apply this with my RT Buffing Brush as it works really well at working the product into the skin and blending it out to create a flawless base.

It claims to last for 25 hours - I've not worn it for that long so i can't quite comment on that theory but it does last really well for the length of time i have worn it. I do also set it with face powder though so that could also be a factor in it's lasting power.

I honestly really like this foundation; I particularly enjoy wearing this on nights out because it leaves my skin looking flawless whilst covering blemishes and i really like how it looks. It's definitely a change to what i normally wear but I've been enjoying the finish and the coverage it gives and i can see this being my go to winter base.

Have you tried this foundation? What's your favourite foundation to wear in the winter months?



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Friday, 10 October 2014

Review | The Library of Fragrance in Licorice

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When it comes to perfumes i tend to wear fruity and floral scents but sometimes it's nice to branch out and try something different. The Library of Fragrance offer just that - a wide range of different and unusual scents; seriously, they have scents like snow, gingerbread, marshmallow, playdoh and so many others. There is something for everyone.

The scent i have is Licorice* I'm not very good at describing scents - the website says 'Our Licorice fragrance smells just like the sweet candy version of licorice - rich, intense and hopelessly more-ish' I think this is quite an accurate description, it does smell exactly like the sweet.

The scent actually reminds me of Bonjela - if you don't know what that is, it's something you use to help ease mouth ulcers (it's tasty) and it also reminds me of Sambucca too - this isn't going to be to everyones taste in fact, i still find it quite a bizarre scent to wear but i do actually quite like it. The scent is quite rich and it's unlike any other perfume that i have. I also think the richness of the scent makes it quite wintery too.

I've been wearing this as my day to day scent and I'm quite impressed with how long it lasts too, even after a couple of hours wear i can still get hints of the scent. The fragrances are available to buy from here for £15.00.

What scent would you most like to try?


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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review | N07 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Rose Berry

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N07 isn't a brand i buy from often and truth be told i only went to the counter for the N07 Matchmade Lipstick Service as i was curious as to what my 'perfect' lip colour would be.

I was actually a little disappointed with the Matchmade Lipstick Service as i was under the impression that you'd be matched to just one shade so i kind of felt a little cheated by it because they basically match your skin to their foundation and from that they give you a card with a list of shades that suit that skin tone. You then choose two shades and they try them out on you; i opted for 'Rose Berry' and 'Soft Cherry' - i have no idea what Soft Cherry looks like on because i ended up liking Rose Berry so i kept it on and purchased the lipstick too.

I'll be honest and say i did feel quite pressured into buying the lipstick, initially i only wanted to to know what my perfect shade would be which is why i did the colour test but in doing it i kind of felt like there was an expectation for me to buy the lipsticks which is part of the reason i ended up buying it. Thankfully i had one of those £3 off vouchers for N07 that Boots are always giving out so i got it slightly cheaper.

Despite my hesitation to buying the lipstick, I've actually found myself wearing this quite a lot especially on nights out. It's from the Moisture Drench range so it's very moisturising to wear on the lips. I'm not quite sure how to explain the finish of this lipstick either because it's not quite matte and it's not quite glossy either but it does have a kind of sheen to it - it's kind of in the middle. It is a lovely finish though.

I find that the lipstick lasts pretty well on me too, the colour does start to fade after a few hours but it is still visible on the lips, i just reapply the product to top up on the colour. The shade of this lipstick 'Rose Berry' is a beautiful bright red toned pink and it's does actually look quite scary in the bullet. I personally (despite owning many) don't usually go for bright pinks but this is a really lovely lip colour and it does actually really suit my complexion. Also, whenever I've worn this lipstick when Ive been wearing my contact lenses it also really brings out my eye colour - i don't really know why though.

As well as wearing the bright pink shade i sometimes like to apply it with a much lighter hand to get a more subtle version of the shade so it's not as intense, i really like that it's quite versatile in that respect and that you can get multiple looks from it. I'm actually really glad i ended up buying this because it's a really lovely lipstick, it's has a really good formula and it's really good quality too.

Have you tried N07 Matchmade Lipstick Service?

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

How I Blog #3 | Posting

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This is the third instalment of my 'How I Blog' series - this is also potentially the last one for now - i will definitely try to do more of these if i think of another aspects to cover or if i ever change up the way i blog. This particular post covers how i like to actually write my posts - obviously, this isn't anything particularly fancy and I'm not trying to suggest that this is the right way to do it, it's just a method i find the more helpful.

Initial Drafts
Once I've planned what posts i want to do and when i want them posting using my post idea notebook and my think, write, create organiser and I've gotten most of the photos ready for the posts too i like to write an initial draft.

Before i write anything on blogger i actually like to physically write up my posts in a notebook. I actually find this a really helpful way to do my posts because i get them written up a lot more efficiently - if I'm writing it directly on blogger i find it can sometimes take me hours to do and if I'm having a particular productive evening i can get a lot of posts drafted up in advance.

Blogger
When it comes to writing the post up on blogger i refer back to the notebook with the handwritten draft and type up my posts. I really like doing it this way because i usually type it up a few days after writing so it's like seeing the draft with a pair of fresh eyes so i can edit it and make it much better. I personally find this a really good way to correct any bits that don't make sense or add in any bits i may have missed out and i can just generally improve the post. I also like to try and make the post relevant to the time that I'm posting so this way i can add bits in when I'm typing it up too.

Scheduling
I do schedule a lot of my posts just because I'm busy quite a lot of the time so scheduling posts is a life saver for me and without it I'd barely have any posts. I don't schedule every single posts, there are times when i just feel like doing a post and will write and publish it there and then but the vast majority, in particular product reviews i do schedule most of the time.

I was going to include how i like to promote my posts too but i might make that into it's own post? - let me know if you'd like me to do that. As always this is just how i personally like to blog - if you find it helpful in anyway that is awesome, if not i hope you enjoyed reading it anyway.



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