Is A Custom Domain Really Necessary?

Saturday, May 23, 2015
Is A Custom Blog Domain Really Necessary?

One thing that I've seen people question time & time again is the question of "is a custom domain really necessary?". I'll be the first to admit that I only used the URL for a short amount of time before I transferred to a custom .com domain, even without knowing the full benefits. If you are in the same boat I was a few years back or even just contemplating the idea, here's my thoughts.

IT GAINS TRUST  Personally, I'm more likely to click through a link that has a custom domain than a regular one as it gains more trust. Custom domains usually demonstrate a level of serious-ness, which then gains the trust of your audience.

IT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL  As I mentioned in the point above, custom domains demonstrate a level of serious-ness. If you're looking to use your blog as a serious career path or just a serious hobby then I'd say it's definitely worth the leap.

IT'S EASIER FOR YOUR READERS  In a non-offensive way, readers are selfish. People will only click on your links if you're giving them something nobody else has, whether that be new tips or just your writing style. Changing your URL to something shorter and snappier will appeal to their lazy side!

IT COSTS  This is more of a minor disadvantage but still one I wanted to include. Depending on what kind of domain you're looking for, prices can range from £4 to £500+ per year. You can check the different prices for your own custom domain using GoDaddy's domain search.

IT CAN BE HARD TO SET UP  2 years ago when I set up my .com domain, I had a nightmare installing it as I had very little knowledge of how the behind-the-scenes of a website worked. Now I know a little bit more it's not too difficult, but you could always pay somebody to install it for you.

Overall I'd definitely recommend taking the leap into a custom domain if you're serious about your blog. Although it can be pricey and difficult to set up, you'll soon start to reap in the benefits!

Do you have a custom domain? Do you think it's necessary?

New In: Wishbone Necklace from Astrid & Miyu

Thursday, May 21, 2015
The truth is, I'm just as big a lover of jewelry as I am everything else beauty-related, so when Jewel Street asked if I'd like to try a piece from the range by Astrid & Miyu, I couldn't turn it down. I chose this Wishbone Necklace* because I love the whole design & concept of the wishbone. Plus, it's meant to bring good luck. We could all use a little bit more luck now & then I think!

Overall I'm extremely happy with this and one of the things I love most about it is that the actual wishbone can be taken off and added onto different chains. Personally, the chain on this was too long for me but I swapped it for another chain and I much prefer it. I've had this for around 3 weeks, worn it everyday and it holds no damage so far. Usually with necklaces similar to this, the silver can show signs of wear but it looks just as good as new.

* indicates PR sample
What's your favourite necklace?

What I Learnt From An Internet Detox

Sunday, May 17, 2015

If you've been checking in back on the blog over the past week (which let's face it, you probably haven't), you may have noticed that I've been absent with no new posts being published. Since starting my 'internet detox' last week, I've taken a step back from all internet forms and to be truthful, it's felt good.

I felt like I became stuck in a rut with my blog, churning out the same content day after day. When my scheduled posts had ran out and I had nothing left in my bank of posts, I did the opposite of what I'd usually do and not stress about it. I gave myself a whole week to do nothing that involved anything mega internet-related and not to stress about things and I've come back feeling much more refreshed. Here's a couple of things I learnt during my mini-break:

-  Relaxing is fun.
-  As much as I love blogging, family is more important.
-  Blogging is a hobby, not a chore.
-  The world will go on, even if you don't schedule anything!
-  I'm a quick reader, to the point where I read 4 books in a matter of days.
-  There are more important things than Instagramming your breakfast.

What do you do when you switch the internet off?

New In: MeMeMe Cosmetics

Saturday, May 16, 2015
MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide and Eye Wand Review & Swatches

MeMeMe Cosmetics Lip Glide and Eye Wand Review & Swatches
MeMeMe Cosmetics is a relatively new brand to me, but I've been seeing more & more people fall in love with their products over the past few months. I've been trying out their Lip Glide in Deep Scarlet* and their new Enchanted Eyes Dual Ended Eye Wand in Burnt Amber*, which launches in June.

The product which I was most excited about was the Dual Ended Eye Wand, which is yet to officially launch. The shade I have, Burnt Amber, has both a gorgeous champage-pink which reminds me a lot of Urban Decay's Sin, and a coppery amber shade that looks like MAC's Woodwinked. If you have both of these shades I'd still recommend picking this up because although the shades are very similar, the creamy consistency and the pigmentation of these make them a dream to work with.

I love wearing this as a duo as the shades really compliment each other. For a day-time appropriate look I use the pinky shade all over my lid & smudge a little of the brown shade into my lash line for some extra definition. As a night-time makeup look, I do the same yet add some more brown into my crease and outer V. If you're in a rush or going straight from work to a special occasion, this would do perfectly!

The Lip Glide in Deep Scarlet* is another gorgeous product but I have to say, I don't think it's on par with the Enchanted Eye product. It's a semi-matte deep red crayon and although I own a lot of products similar to this, I just don't find it as good quality as my others. The shade of it however is stunning - a gorgeous deep red with a slight berry tone that looks super flattering, I just find the formula too drying to compare with some others I own.
* indicates PR sample
Have you tried any products from MeMeMe Cosmetics?

An Ombre Blackstar Dupe

Friday, May 08, 2015
Budget Ombre Blackstar Dupe by No7

A dupe for one of the most sought after beauty products

I've become lazy with my makeup recently. I love sitting down to do my makeup every morning and experimenting with different ways to hide my horrible eye bags but sometimes, 30-45 minutes per day is a bit excessive. Therefore I set myself a mission to find a highstreet dupe to the By Terry Ombre Blackstar, a product that has been on my wishlist for such a long time due to the ease of applying it. Then I found these beauties - the No7 Shade & Define sticks that come it at a mere £8 each, meaning they're a complete steal.

One of the shades I have is called Cool Mink, a gorgeous shade for applying all over the lid. On an everyday basis I use Cool Mink as a base, then smudge Coffee Bean into the crease of my eye & on my lash line to give my eye some definition. The amazing things about these shadow sticks are the versatility - you can create a soft, blown-out look; a heavy dramatic smokey eye; use them to smudge liner; the possibilities are endless! They're also amazingly creamy and easy to blend, meaning you can get a lovely makeup look which would look like it took hours to create when it only took a matter of seconds!

What's your favourite eyeshadow?

Places to Find Free Stock Photos for Your Blog

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

A handful of sites for all of your stock photo dreams

Whether you're a beauty blogger or a design journalist, you're going to need stock photos at some point. For me, they come most useful when it's too late to take a photo (or you're too lazy) and the post needs to go up asap. Stock photos are pictures that you can use on your blog without tip-toeing around any licensed work, but only a handful are free. Here's a list of where I find my favourites.

This is where I get 95% of my stock photos from as I find the site so easy to navigate around. The different categories are great for browsing and again, all are amazingly high quality.

This is not a site that I take photos from personally as they're not my kinda thing, but I'm sure many of you will find some amazing photos on here! All photos are high quality.

DTTSF is different than the majority of other free stock photo libraries as it is not an online gallery, as such. You basically sign up to their subscription service and get sent free, non-spammy photos every month.

Here's another amazing website that is on my list of go-tos for finding a stock photo. Although the images on Unsplash tend to be more nature-related, you're bound to get use from them.

This is the newest addition to my list - an amazing place for gorgeous photos.

Where's your favourite place for finding stock photos?

MAC Shadow Starters

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I've been collecting makeup for a long time and four years of collecting comes with a lot of money spent. Some of my favourite eye shadows that I've been using come from MAC - one of the first high-end brands that I rushed to buy with my pocket money. Since then I've made my own custom palette and have tried my hand at all finishes. Being a beginner in makeup or even being new to MAC can be overwhelming so I've picked out four of my basic favourites that are great to start off a palette with!

NYLON is the intense highlight that's shown in the bottom right of the photo. This is a staple for every beginner quad because it's so versatile. I use this to highlight my brow bone, inner corner and even cheek bones & due to the texture of it, it lasts a long time without fading. The highlight has a yellowish shade to it which makes it lovely for brow bone highlighting.

NAKED LUNCH is only a shade that I've been getting into recently and it's a great dupe for Sin from the original Naked palette. I originally found this hard to pick up any pigmentation but I've solved this by wetting the brush I apply it with slightly beforehand. It's a gorgeous pale pink shimmery shade that makes the eyes look bright when applied onto the lid.

OMEGA is one for the blonde haired girls - this will make your eyebrows look amazing! If you're not blonde you could also have a use for this that might surprise you... Contouring. I use this eye shadow on a small fluffy brush to contour my cheeks as the grey cool tones in it make sculpting cheeks much easier than orange tones!

ESPRESSO is the shade I used on my eyebrows when I first got into makeup and it looks gorgeous when used on brunettes. This is also amazing for deepening the crease for a more dramatic look and also great for packing along the lash line for a smudgy liner look. A definite staple in any MAC palette!

What's your favourite MAC shadow?

8 Simple Beauty Hacks

Friday, May 01, 2015
8 Simple Beauty Hacks, UK Beauty Blog

I'm all for saving time when it comes to beauty regimes because let's face it, we can't always do our Sunday pamper routines every night, no matter how much we'd like to. I've decided to compile a list of my favourite beauty hacks for lazy people like myself including products meant for different things or completely unexpected suprises. Enjoy!

An amazing tip I've found is to shave your legs with conditioner. Yep - real life hair-on-your-head conditioner works amazing when used to shave your legs and leaves them feeling super smooth.

Use a toothbrush sprayed with a tiny amount of hairspray to comb down any baby hairs.

When applying lip liner, instead of going around the lips perfectly, draw a cross (extend the line into the lip) for a symmetrical and easier look.

By far the most intriguing hack for me. By applying a darker eye shadow in a hashtag shape on the outside of your lid, blending is so much easier. A life-saver for the extra 5 minute lie-ins on a Monday morning!

Winged liner can be one of the hardest makeup related thing to do. I've found the easiest way to do this is to follow your lower lash line and then pull the line back to your top lashes and fill in the triangle. Simple!

If you're rather impatient or just in a rush, setting your lips can be so beneficial (and also reduces the risk of the bright pink smear all over your face!). Simply put a bit of tissue over the lips and apply some loose translucent over the top.

Adding a few drops of foundation to your morning moisturiser gives you a fresh, easy and DIY-ed tinted moisturiser. The coverage you'd like depends on how much foundation you add.

If you're running out of mascara, the best thing to get a few more uses is to add a few small drops of eye drops to the tube.

What's your best beauty hack?