5 Super Easy SEO Tips for Bloggers

Sunday, March 29, 2015
I know that for some bloggers, the sight of these three little letters can send shivers down your spine. I know, because I was the same a few months ago. I dreaded searching & researching what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was because when I first began blogging, I'd seen a huge ebook on what you should be doing, which totally put me off. I then began dipping my toe into it to see what I would learn and to my surprise, it wasn't that hard. Here's five of my tips to make your blog more SEO-friendly.

This definitely is a major bugbear for me. I think the best tip to creating a great post title is to name it what you would type in Google. If it's a post on how to find a foundation that has the right coverage, undertone & formula, call it "How to: Find Your Perfect Foundation". This way, people have a higher chance of stumbling upon your content because it's titled what they're looking for.

Fleur de Force: The Glam Guide

Friday, March 27, 2015
Whilst on a mother-daughter trip this weekend (isn't that how all new things are bought?), I finally tracked down & bought Fleur de Force's Glam Guide. This has been on my wishlist since I saw Charlee's review, plus I knew that the cover would look gorgeous on my dressing table... I'm a sucker for pink & purple pastels!

fleur de force book review, fleur de force, the glam guide, the glam guide book review

I have to admit, I only discovered Fleur's blog last year & although I don't follow it religiously, I'm still a fan. I still find it so amazing that bloggers are pretty much changing the media - books, TV interviews & tours? It's crazy to me!

The beauty-addict in me was screaming when I saw the contents of the book, with a few whole chapters based solely on hair, makeup and skincare. There's everything from how to chose a concealer, DIY face masks & even how to look good in a photo because let's face it, not everyone can look like a supermodel every day! 

fleur de force book review, fleur de force, the glam guide, the glam guide book review

Another of my favourite sections is the one on fashion. I posted last week about How to Define Your Personal Style which got a pretty amazing response, so I'm guessing that many readers of this blog would love this chapter. My favourite section of this book is the 'how to shop for jeans' section. Before I bought my Topshop Joni Jeans (which I practically live in!), all I wore was leggings. I had no idea how to find jeans that suited me - I wish I had this book 2 years ago!

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One of the things I love most about this book is the lifestyle section where Fleur talks about relationships, body image, and my favourite of them all; self-confidence. There's some amazing tips in here - my favourite being to take risks. She explains that pushing yourself can do the world of good & the process being confidence-building, which I definitely agree with. There's a small section on blogging & YouTube where Fleur discusses how to grow an audience & equipment you'll need to start up.

Overall I'm so happy that I bought this book. If you're into beauty, fashion, cute illustrations and lifestyle tips, this would be perfect for you!

What's your favourite beauty book?

How to: Find Your Perfect Foundation

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
We've all been there - frantically rushing around your makeup store to find a foundation to make all of your skin goals to come true, only to find them looking completely wrong when we get them home to try them on. Finding your perfect foundation doesn't have to be hard if you take these 3 steps into consideration.

Before you even come to swatch a foundation, you need to decide what you want in a foundation formula-wise. Do you want it dewy or matte? I'd say that people with oily skin should go with something matte to counteract the oils; dry skin should chose something a bit more hydrating; and anyone with combination skin could get away with either.

Another important factor in finding your perfect foundation is determining the coverage you'd like. If you feel like you have a lot to hide (redness, imperfections, un-even skintones) then I'd suggest a more full coverage foundation like MAC's Studio Fix. Fuller coverage foundations tend to be a bit thicker than others in terms of consistency.
If you're blessed with naturally clear skin and you'd just like something to even out your skin tone, lighter coverages would be where you'd start. They have a thinner consistency and don't have to be limited to foundation. Tinted moisturisers, BB & CC creams are amazing for keeping the skin healthy whilst still providing a tiny bit of coverage.

"The natural undertone of your skin is key when it comes to chosing a foundation. If you find one that's the perfect shade, it won't look great if it's the wrong undertone."

Personally, I think that the undertone of your foundation is the hardest to get right. There are three undertone categories: warm, cool and neutral. The natural undertone of your skin is key when it comes to chosing a foundation because if you find one that is the perfect shade, it won't look as good if it's the wrong undertone.

People with a warm undertone tend to have slightly yellower skin. In MAC, you'd chose a foundation that began with NW_.  People with a warmer undertone tend to tan easier & have more of a greenish vein shade on your inner wrist.
People with a cool undertone tend to have slightly pinkier skin. In MAC, you'd chose a foundation that began with NC_. People with a cooler undertone also tend to burn easily in the sun & have veins that look more blueish on the inner part of your wrist.
If you have neutral skin, you'll probably fit into both (or neither) of these categories. Generally speaking, you could wear either warm or cool toned foundations... Lucky you!

-  When trying out a foundation in-store, apply it from the middle of your cheek down to your chin. The perfect foundation will blend in to the natural colour of your skin seamlessly.
-  If you're not comfortable with asking someone on a counter to match your foundation, ask for a sample to take home & try in your own time.
-  If you do try a foundation on in-store, head outside into natural lighting to see what the foundation would look like in the "real world".
-  If possible, wait as long as possible in between testing the foundation & buying it to see how the product sits on your skin. There's nothing worse than buying a foundation and not being able to take it back when it isn't what you expected!

What's your best tip for chosing a foundation?

How to: Change Colour of Bloglovin' Button

Monday, March 23, 2015
how to change color of bloglovin widget button

One thing that's been bugging me for the past (almost) three years I've spent blogging, it's that Bloglovin' are still refusing to change the colour of their widgets. At the moment they only have two colours - bright blue & pink. Not everyone has a colour scheme on their blog which these can fit into so it left me to get digging, and find a new code where you can change the colour... Guess what, I found it! I altered it myself but the original can be found here.

<div style= "filter: hue-rotate(65deg)!important;-webkit-filter: hue-rotate(65deg);-moz-filter: hue-rotate(65deg);-ms-filter: hue-rotate(65deg);-o-filter: hue-rotate(65deg);">



Now all you have to do is add this code as a HTML/Javascript widget on your blog. You can change the colour of the button by changing the number in the code, which I've put in bold (these should all be the same number). Find your original code by hovering over your circular profile photo next to notifications & clicking 'Bloglovin button'.

Enjoy your new widget!

3 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting Blog Comments

Sunday, March 22, 2015
reasons why you aren't getting blog comments, blog comment, reader engagement, why aren't i getting blog comments, how to get more blog comments

The one thing that I really care about on this blog is what readers think. You could spend 24 hours a day checking your stats, where your readers are from & what their demographic is but if you have 0 engagement, it's all pretty useless. I've been trialing a few techniques to see if they alter the amount of comments I get and I have to say, I really am surprised. 

YOU DON'T REPLY TO THE ONES YOU ALREADY HAVE   I always make sure that I spend some time replying to comments because I think it's so important in improving audience interaction. If you're not replying to comments, you're almost giving the impression that you don't care about what your readers have to say, making them less likely to leave a comment.

YOU DON'T COMMENT ON OTHER BLOGS  If possible, try & set out a few minutes per day to comment on other blogs in your category. Having said that, make sure your comments are valuable - not something like "Great post! Check out my blog here" which can come across spammy. I know that if someone were to leave a meaningful comment, I'm definitely more inclined to check out their blog and comment on their posts.

YOU DON'T END WITH A QUESTION    This is a tip I've only started doing recently and I think it's made such a difference in terms of the amount of comments I receive. I always end my blog posts with a question relevant to the topic I've discussed and it shows that you value & care about what your readers think. It's a great way to spark up a conversation, also.

What is your best tip for helping your readers to engage?

Cute Home Decor Pieces

If there's one thing I think is my biggest weakness, it's cute home decor. I could spend hours upon hours browsing Etsy, adding hundreds of things to my imaginary baskets. Sometimes these 'imaginary baskets' can go to waste, so I thought I'd make a mini-series of my favourite home decor items.

ONE  This gold foil print is stunning & I think the quote is great for pretty much every girl. I'm a sucker for gold foil, as you can tell by this Pinterest board!

TWO  Another thing I love the look of is this handmade Spice Rack. I don't have that many spices to add to it (takeaways don't usually need any extra spices!) but it looks gorgeous nonetheless. If you're a fan of rural, homely decor pieces, I'm sure you'd love this!

THREE  Again, more gold foil. This mug is from one of my favourite online stores, Gifts & Pieces. This would make a gorgeous gift for any pink & gold lover!

FOUR  I've mentioned before that you can't go wrong with Chanel. This print from an Etsy store looks stunning & would look gorgeous in my bedroom! I think I may just treat myself to this & count it as an early Christmas present...

What's your favourite one?

Ultimate Tips for Red Lips

Friday, March 20, 2015
Red lips can be fussy - I mean really fussy. Up until a few years ago I hated red lips with a passion because I just couldn't find a way to stop them from being so slippery, smudgy and hard to apply. Fast-forward a few years and red is one of my favourite lip colours to wear now that I've perfected how to apply it with no problems. Yay for red lips!

I think that the key to effortless red lips is to prime them. Grab Lush's Bubblegum Lip Scrub and buff away all of the dead skin on your lips, then top off with some lip balm to give a nice base to work with.

Another tip for longer lasting, non-smudgy lipstick is to line them with a lip liner in a similar shade to your lipstick. Something like the Rimmel lip liner in Black Tulip is perfect for the classic red lip that gives enough precision to create a crisp defined line. I'd also recommend using this lip liner to fill in your entire lips - this way if your lipstick starts to wear off, you have an extra stain-like layer to prevent any natural lip colour from peeping through.

I'm sure you need no help with applying lipstick but if you're struggling to get the outside lines nice and crisp, try using a brush similar to the Real Techniques Detailer brush to get right to the edges. You could also use concealer to clean around the lip line.

I like to blot off the excess lipstick onto some tissue, then take a clean tissue and place it on my lips as I press some translucent powder over it. This will set the lipstick in place and leave your lips looking perfect for longer so that you won't have to top-up as frequently!

What's your ultimate tip for a red lip?

25 Things That Make Me Happy

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Curling up to watch some trashy reality TV with a nice cup of tea.
Cosy slippers.
The feeling of satisfaction when you complete an essay that took hours.
Campfires & melted marshmallows.
These photos.
The words, "would you like a cup of tea?"
Or even better, "would you like to try this makeup?"
Blush pink peonies & tulips.
Sitting in the garden with Meenie lay right beside me.
Caramel shortbread.
Kanye's first album.
Having a scrapbook full of childhood photos & memories.
Spaghetti carbonara.
Christmas (sorry - I hate to be that person.)
Red lipstick.
Making lists. And more lists.
Starting a new TV series and being completely hooked (ahem, Gossip Girl)
Hand lettering.
Remembering the days when we young & sold homemade lemonade outside my house.
And the time my friend & I were obsessed with Justin Bieber.
Shoe shopping
The sea, when I can see the bottom & it's warm and frothy.
Exploring new places.
Reading my favourite blogs.

what makes you happy?

5 Tips to Define Your Personal Style

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One thing I find hardest about the whole fashion dilemma is defining your personal style. I honestly think that you're never too early to change the direction of how you want to style/dress yourself, whether that be in your teens or 50's. Let's face it, your personal style will gradually change throughout your life (would you still wear the fourteen year old-you's hot pants in your seventies? I doubt it, but whatever floats your boat!) but you always need a rough idea of where to start, and that's usually the toughest. I've conjured up a little checklist to defining your personal style with tips that have helped me and that are so much fun to do.

1. KNOW YOUR SHAPE & WHAT FLATTERS YOU  How many times have you seen a gorgeous jumper on someone walking in the street, you finally hunt it down and it looks ridiculous on you? It's all down to trial & error and what flatters your body shape. On myself I steer clear of shorter dresses, strapless t-shirts and anything brightly coloured. I'm a minimalist at heart!

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH  Of course, we're talking about the genius that is Pinterest for this step. Start by creating your account & dedicate a board solely to fashion. The only rule is that you need to pin what you'd actually wear. If you're really into your fashion and enjoy looking at other people's style to be inspired, create another board but don't mix the two! By pinning the things you'd wear, you're more likely to reference back to it when you're out shopping. Personally, my board mainly consists of denim & monochrome.

"The key to defining personal style is knowing what flatters you"
{ Click to Tweet }

3. JUSTIFY  Can you really afford £100 on a new, plain white t-shirt? I doubt it. By all means purchase investment pieces, but make sure you can seriously justify them so you don't regret them further down the line.

4. CLEAR OUT REGULARLY  Personal style is ever-changing. Would you really wear the bootcut jeans you wore out ten years ago? Nope - clear it out! Sort your clothes into three piles - keep, maybe and throw. The 'keep' pile contains items you've worn within the past 3 months and you couldn't live without, ie. the classic plain white tee or a pair of skinny jeans. The 'maybe' pile is items you haven't worn in the past 3 months but you can still find a use for. This is mainly the pile for special occasion clothes like wedding guest dresses. The 'throw' pile is everything you haven't worn for at least 6 months and you'll never find a use for them. When it comes to the clear out, you need to be harsh. None of this "I'll find a use for it! It's too nice to throw away!" rubbish. You probably won't find a use for it and you don't technically have to throw it away. Sell it or give it to family and friends, then you have a bit more cash & wardrobe space to buy more - it's a win-win situation!

5. ENJOY IT!  Experimenting with fashion is one of my favourite things to do and sometimes, some of the best results come from the ideas you never expected. If you buy something without trying it on first, you bring it home & don't like it - sell it! Nobody's holding you to it. No matter how much you bought it for or what style it is, it will suit someone's body shape/budget perfectly.

what are your ultimate fashion tips?

Makeup for Eye Colours

Monday, March 16, 2015
makeup, beauty, beauty blog, makeup blog, makeup for green eyes, makeup for blue eyes, makeup for grey eyes, makeup for hazel eyes, makeup for brown eyes

I'm sure it's not a surprise to you when I say that some eye shadow colours bring out the natural colour of your eyes. When it comes to bringing out the most in your eyes, you need to look at a color wheel and chose the colour opposite as the colour of your makeup. I've spent this morning doing a bit of research on which would be best for each eye colour & I thought it'd make for a pretty interesting post.

BLUE:  Because blue eyes are naturally cool-toned, warm shades tend to pull out the amazing colours in the eye. Shades like Urban Decay's Buck and MAC's Woodwinked would look stunning.

GREEN:  I have green eyes & I've found that purples and burgandies look best. Shadows like MAC's Cranberry would really pull out the green and look super flattering!

Tweet: How to bring out the best in your eye colour - http://ctt.ec/8c26s+ via @EliseDopson
BROWN:  Brown eyes are pretty easy when it comes to shadows because the colour is neutral. Having said that, I think that metallic shades look stunning on brown eyes. 

GREY:  I've found that metallic shades like silver and gold look amazing on grey eyes. Shades like Makeup Geek's Mesmerized would look gorgeous paired with grey eyes.


New In: Bourjois Colorbands Review

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Before we start this whole review, I just want you to appreciate how hard it was to track these down. After seeing everyone and their dogs rave about these, I was desperate to get my hands on them (you all know how much I love my No7 Shade & Define sticks!) because the shades look stunning & they're a bit cheaper. So, I went to Superdrug to find them and every single one was either open or used. I went to another and they were sold out, then another to find these three sitting there, unopened. To say I was happy would be an understatement.

The formulas of these are absolutely incredible & everyone has good reason to be raving about them. They're pigmented, creamy and blending is an absolute dream; not to mention the gorgeous shade range. The staying power of these is what really surprised me; when I swatched these on my hand I couldn't get them off for days, no matter how hard I scrubbed it. I much prefer that, though, as opposed to only taking one wipe to remove them as it means it's much more longer lasting.

My favourite out of the shades I have is Mauve Baroque; a dusty lavender shade that looks stunning on green eyes. This shade in particular is much more wearable to the others. A quick dust over the lid is all you need for a simple hint of colour. Gris Graffiti is a soft grey that you can use to line your eyes if you want a softer, less-harsh look. The most surprising shade for me was Noir Abstrait; a rich, black shade. If you're a fan of super black smokey eyes, this little crayon will be your best friend. It looks amazing as a base for black shadows and unlike many others, it's a delight to blend.

Overall I'm so happy with these & I'm glad I managed to track them down! What are your favourite eye shadow crayons? What do you think of these?


6 Blogs Worth Reading

Friday, March 13, 2015

As I mentioned in Sunday's post, the weekends are for catching up with your favourite blogs. I've been compiling a list of my favourite blogs for the past few weeks in order for me to share them with you... I'm all for sharing the love, after all! I'm sure you've probably heard of all of these blogs but otherwise, happy reading!

CHARMED CHARLEE   The lovely Charlee writes one of my favourite blogs. If you're looking for amazing beauty reviews with stunning photos, make sure you check out her blog!

THE ELLE NEXT DOOR  Another one of my favourite blogs is written by Elle. Her fashion photos are stunning and her outfits are gorgeous. She also posts amazing beauty reviews.

KORY WOODWARD   If you're looking for great blogging tips as well as amazing tips for blog branding, Kory would be your girl. Her posts are so easy to read and her graphics make for an amazing read.

FASHION & BEAUTY TRIBES   For more blogging tips with dreamy photography & amazing resources for your own blog, Sinead's blog would be where I'd point you to!

LIPGLOSS & LASHES   Another blog with amazing photography and makeup reviews is written by Becky. She also did an amazing post on her Celine handbag dupe that I'm super jealous of!

AUTUMN LEAVES   If I'm ever having a problem with my blog or I'm looking for blogging advice, Rebecca's blog would be the first I'd turn to. She also has some amazing tips on SEO that makes the whole thing less confusing!

- 5 Things I've Learnt Since I Started Blogging
- How to: Brand Your Blog
- Blogging & Social Media

MAC Rebel Lipstick Review

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of bold lipsticks. Anything from MAC's Russian Red to the Kate Moss 107 lipstick, I'm obsessed with. There's just something about bold lipsticks that I can't put my finger on but I can't get enough of them. An old bold lipstick favourite of mine is MAC's Rebel; one that I loved last year but somehow found it's way to the back of my makeup collection and not been used since. In a bid to downsize my collection and get use out of my old products, I 'shopped my stash' and fell in love with this all over again.

Rebel is a deep purple shade that looks much darker in the tube than on the lips. It's a shade that pulls off a gorgeous, pinky-purple shade against all skin types and it looks surprisingly good on fair skin. My favourite thing about this is how versatile it is. In the Autumn time I wear it plastered all over my lips for the darkest colour & in the Spring, I tap a small bit into some lip balm and it gives a stunning stain-like effect.

It's one of the most pigmented lipsticks I have in my collection and I'm yet to find a shade like it. The finish is Satin; a semi-matte finish that has a slight amount of sheen. I love this finish because it makes my lips look more plump & let's face it, we all want a bit of whatever Kylie Jenner has had recently! The only thing I'm not a fan of is that it dries my lips out slightly but that's easily resolved by popping on a bit of lip balm before hand.

Overall I'm a huge fan of this and I'm so glad I have found my love for it again! What's your favourite all-round lipstick?

5 Things I've Learnt Since I Started Blogging

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
what i've learnt since starting a blog, blogging, how to start a blog

IT TAKES TIME   This is definitely one of the most time-consuming hobbies I've ever had and writing a blog seriously is hard work. When it comes to planning, photographing, editing, drafting and publishing, each post can take anywhere from 2-3 hours. Now imagine doing that for a post every other day! I never complain though as it's also one of the most rewarding hobbies I've ever had and it means I get to speak to so many new people whilst still in my comfort zone.

MOTIVATION CAN BE HARD TO FIND    Don't worry, it will come to you soon! If you're feeling uninspired and don't know where to start / what to do with your blog, take a break. Carry a notepad around with you (or the notes on your phone!) and don't rush it because forced posts are noticeable!

DO WHAT YOU LOVE    This is only a technique I've found and been trying over the past 4 months or so and I think it's the most important. I started my blog as a beauty & lifestyle blog and since then it's gone from food and recipes to cats and days in the life. I've found that once you've decided on a 'theme', it can be quite restricting. On my blog I try to mix in everything that I love and try not to label it, therefore I can have as much freedom as I want with the content I put out.

YOU DON'T NEED A SCHEDULE    The amount of times I read posts that begin with "Sorry I haven't posted in a while but..." drives me insane. It's your blog - it's up to you how often you post, be that once a week or once a month!

YOU'RE CONSTANTLY LEARNING    I'll be the first to admit that I don't know half as much as I'd like to when it comes to blogging. There's no secret formula, no matter how many e-courses promise that your blog will improve massively once you've finished it. It's all about trial and error. Experiment. See what you like, how you want your tone to sound and who you write to.

- 25 Free Resources for Bloggers
- Blogger vs. Disqus Commenting Systems
- 10 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer Review

Monday, March 09, 2015

There's no denying that the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer is probably the most hyped-up product there has ever been in blogging-land. This concealer was the first I ever bought and I fell so in love with it that I won't turn to anything else. This little tube of goodness has good reason to be well-loved; it covers everything yet doesn't cost a bomb. 

I first reviewed it on my blog in what seems like the olden age, but years have passed and I've somehow repurchased it well over 7 times. With my skin being so pale it's hard to find a concealer that actually works at covering blemishes without being a noticeably different colour, but this looks seamless on my skin. I use it to erase my dark circles, prime eye shadow on my eyelids and cover blemishes. To say it's versatile is an understatement!

The formula of this is really something to write home about. Even though it's thick, it doesn't look caked-on when you apply it. I have to say that one thing has gotten better over the years... The packaging! In the past, it only took a matter of touches for the writing to be rubbed off but that seems to have changed. I repurchased this over 2 weeks ago, used it daily and the writing is still readable. Yay!

As I mentioned before, you can't go wrong with this. It's only £4.19 and I much prefer it to my YSL Touche Eclat. Have you tried this concealer? What do you think of it?

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette

Saturday, March 07, 2015
urban decay vice 3 palette review swatch demo, beauty blog

If there's one thing I can never have enough of, it's eye shadows. It's almost guaranteed that every time my mum & go makeup shopping she will say to me "Elise, do you really need anymore?! You could open up your own store!" and the answer is always yes. A girl can never have too much makeup, right?

As a matter of fact, my mum bought me the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette for Christmas (if you're reading, mum, it's your fault!) after I saw it in a makeup-browse and felt like I couldn't be without it. I fell in love with the shades & from what I swatched, they look like amazing eye shadows. A few months later and I have to say I haven't used it as much as I'd like but they are of great quality.

Highlight & Contour for Pale Skin

Friday, March 06, 2015
the balm mary-lou manizer mac omega nylon review highlight contour pale skin

When you're that pale you're almost see-through, highlighting & contouring can be a difficult task. I've made no secret of the fact that I've found it almost impossible to find a routine that works for my skin tone & after almost three years of searching, I think I've found it. It's been a long process but I've found my dream-team!

The product I use to contour is MAC's Omega eye shadow... I know what you're thinking - "why is she telling me to use an eye shadow on my cheeks?" but trust me, it works! I've found that most bronzers in general are too orange toned to be used as a contour shade, which should be a cool, matte, grey-toned shade. That's exactly what Omega is, just in eye shadow form. Because it's an eyeshadow it has a completely natural finish & I personally find it easier to blend out than an actual bronzer. I told you - there's a method in my madness!

For highlight, I've also documented my stuggle with finging the perfect one. MAC's Soft and Gentle was way too orange/champagney-toned for my skin and it just looked like a super-shimmery bronzer... Not a good look! I've found two perfect highlight shades for pale skin, one of which being theBalm's Mary Lou-Manizer. I've been using this since Christmas and every day that I've worn makeup, I've worn this. It's the most natural, healthy-looking highlight I've used that just adds glow, not colour. If you're a fan of an intense highlight, Nylon will be your best friend. It's what I use for a more dramatic look and again, it blends perfectly as it's an eyeshadow!

P.S > I've just launched my Blog Resource Library! It contains hundreds of free resources for bloggers & creatives, filed under different sections. If you'd like any of your links added, email me at elisedcontact@gmail.com. Enjoy! :)

An Old Favourite - Bourjois Colorboost

Thursday, March 05, 2015
bourjois colorboost peach on the beach orange punch review

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of lip crayons & now that pretty much every brand, drugstore and high-end, have their own version of these little sticks, I've somehow built quite the collection. From what I remember, Bourjois were the first drugstore brand to have their own version of this back in the day and I loved them when they first came out (initial review here!) but since then, there's been so many that these have been pushed back in my makeup collection. After some routing around I found these again, started wearing them and fell in love with them all over again.

The formula of these are stunning and when I picked up my first shade, Peach on the Beach, I ran back the next day to pick up the other 3 - Orange Punch, Fuschia Libre and Red Sunrise. I think that they've added more shades to the collection since then and I've somehow lost the last two I mentioned, but these two are still going strong. They're glossy, hydrating and almost like a lip balm with a bit of colour.

The staying power isn't the best but the thing I love about these is the shades. Peach on the Beach doesn't have much pigmentation; just enough to add a bit of 'something'. The darker shades like Red Sunrise do require a bit more building up but you can easily get a wash of colour or a bold lip depending on how you apply it. My favourite of the lot is probably Peach on the Beach... I haven't stopped wearing it lately!

P.S > I've just launched my Blog Resource Library! It contains hundreds of free resources for bloggers & creatives, filed under different sections. If you'd like any of your links added, email me at elisedcontact@gmail.com. Enjoy! :)

Free Phone Wallpapers

Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Hello! To celebrate the new month and the start of Spring, I thought I'd kick it off with a few iPhone wallpapers. All of these were created by me and so have my watermark on, but they're completely free for personal use. To save the images just simply click the link below and save. If you use one of these, feel free to share it on your social media pages and link back to my site. Enjoy & happy March! XO

10 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog

Monday, March 02, 2015
improve your blog, blogging tips, refresh your blog, beauty blog, how to start a blog

As bloggers, we're always looking to be one step up. I've been blogging for almost three years (what?!) and I've learnt that there's a few things which contribute to a great blog. You don't have to be amazing in all areas (you only have to look at my own blog to know that!), but I've put together a few simple tips to improve your blog right now.

1 . Post better content.  We're all guilty of getting struck with the dreaded blogger's block and then rushing around to publish something just to get something up. If you have nothing to post, don't post. Although consistency is great, quality is better than quantity!

2 . Clean up your sidebar.  I think this is one of the most important parts on a blog, other than content. I find there's nothing more distracting than a busy, cluttered sidebar. If the widgets in there aren't being used or aren't beneficial to yourself/your readers, get rid!

3 . Scrub up on basic SEO.   Ok, don't shoot me but SEO is important. Even though those three little words often are a cause for concern, Dana's post on Basic SEO for Bloggers is amazing if you don't know where to start. It makes a big difference once you start applying it to your blog.

4 . Vary your content.  This can be a little controversial. Up until a few months ago, I limited my blog to only beauty things but now that I've implemented some blogging & design tips, I'm enjoying blogging a lot more and I can see the results. Blog about what you love and things will work out - I promise! If you're stuck for post ideas, check out my 20 Post Ideas for All Bloggers.

5 . Use shorter paragraphs.  Unless you're writing a book, nobody is really a fan of long paragraphs. Keep them short, to the point and scannable. Lists are always a great start!

6 . Re-visit your pages.  I mentioned this in my Tips to Refresh Your Blog post and it's a great point. About and/or FAQ pages are the first things I click when visiting a new blog because I like to see who's behind it. It's inevitable that your personality will change so it's important to refresh your pages frequently.

7 . Spell-check is important!  This is a point that can take 2 minutes with some of the greatest benefits. I'm not saying to be the best author with perfect spelling but it really puts me off a blog when words are misspelt. Of course, you will end up with words accidentally misspelt but a quick check before publishing is ideal!

8 . Practice your photography.  I'm not saying to rush out and buy the most expensive camera you can find but spending a little time figuring out the settings on your camera will do no harm. Practice makes perfect, after all!

9 . Be consistent.  I mentioned in my post about Branding Your Blog that your blog is a brand which should be consistently branded. It's not as confusing as you may first think - just make sure your blog is giving the same 'vibe' across all of your social media.

10 . Clean up your design.  Personally, I'm more likely to follow a blog with a simple, easy-to-navigate design. In general I would limit three colours and three fonts - more than this can sometimes be a bit confusing.

Pinned It / 01

Sunday, March 01, 2015
pinterest tips fashion quotes pinspiration

I have a new addiction... Pinterest. It's gotten to the point where I've pinned over 500 things & created 7 new boards in a matter of days. It's replaced Twitter in the fact that it's the last thing I check before I go to sleep and the first when I wake up. To document my love (aka addiction) for Pinterest,  I thought I'd put together a mini-series on some of my favourite pins.

{ 01 } Who wouldn't love waking up to cats? This one I think is adorable, so much so that I now have a whole board dedicated to animals, even though it's mainly cats and French Bulldogs!

{ 02 } Blush pink has quickly become my favourite colour and I've been using it everywhere. This blog, my theme, my Pinterest board covers are all blush pink and I love it!

{ 03 } I've also been loving metals and have again made a board solely for them. I love these metal lanterns and I am obsessed with how blush pink looks with copper or gold.

{ 04 } If there ever was a place to find amazing ideas for decorating your home, it'd be Pinterest. These fresh flowers in on a bright white table look like they'd be amazing for getting you in the Monday morning spirit.

{ 05 } Do you ever just read a quote and it sticks with you? The saying, "You are capable of amazing things" is what I've been thinking of every time I'm having a down-day. The gold lettering looks stunning, too.

Are you on Pinterest? Leave me a link to your profiles, I'm always on the look out for more pinners to follow! You can follow me here. I hope you've had a lovely weekend! XO