Why it's okay to be a 'Sell Out'

Monday, 18 July 2016

When I started blogging all those years ago (I say that like I've been at it for decades, when in reality its been just over three years), I never thought this was a post I'd have to write. Partially because I was pretty clueless when it came to blogs and bloggers and didn't fully understand the opportunities that blogging brings to both bloggers and PRs and because I genuinely think that the blogging community was a nicer, much calmer place to be. Last night I joined the #bbloggers chat on Twitter for the first time in ages, and I'm honestly appalled at some of the things I was seeing. Admittedly, I've been keeping my distance from the blogging world for quite some time now, choosing to slow down and explore other interests, but I just cannot believe that the blogging community loves so much to tear each other down, to tear it's own down. 

A lot of the comments being banded around last night were to do with the age old topic of bloggers receiving 'freebies', and only being interested in getting their grubby mitts of free stuff. Freebies is a word I hate so much, as a lot of the things we supposedly receive for 'free' aren't actually as free as they may seem. Think of it this way, if a brand were to approach a magazine for coverage of their latest launch, they'd be charged through the roof, similarly with other online content platforms. However, when a blogger is doing the exact same thing as said magazine, the product is a 'freebie'? That just doesn't wash with me, especially as 9 times out of 10, the price of the product (sometimes worth as little as £5) is completely disproportionate to the amount of work a blogger puts into the post, and the size of the audience that post is then promoted to. 

I guess my point is that bloggers should not be shamed and made to feel bad about something they've worked for, a lot of the time alongside a full time job. It's not showing off if they talk about the products they've been sent for 'free', it's them doing their job - and to those of you who spend time tearing other bloggers down for receiving these so called 'free' items, just think of how you could have spent that time working on your own blog, instead of ripping someone else's to pieces. 

The conversation then moved on to how bloggers caring about their follower number. I'll be the first to admit that it's not all about having a million followers, and engagement is extremely important in today's saturated blog market, but that's not to say I don't care about my follower number, of course I do. The number of followers a blog has is used as one measure of success by other bloggers and those working in blogger outreach, whether you like it or not. So with that said, it's completely understandable for bloggers to want to increase their follower number and grow their audience size...after all, if you've poured your heart and soul into a blog post, you want people to read it, right? I admit, I care about my follower number and I want to work with brands. Working with brands has opened my eyes to a whole host of new and exciting brands, allowed me to discover some of my favourite products, and it's been a hell of a lot of fun along the way - all of which was because I have a platform on the internet which people follow and read regularly, so yes, your follower number does matter if like me, you want to work with brands. I'm not saying all bloggers want to work with brands and that's okay, but what isn't okay is when you're calling someone a 'sell out' for wanting to work with brands. Working with brands doesn't mean you lose your integrity overnight (I often post negative reviews of products I've been sent) and it definitely doesn't make you a sell out. 

By no means is follower number the only measure of success and if you've not got the biggest audience it doesn't mean I think you're a bad blogger, on the contrary, some of my favourite bloggers have under 1,000 followers - but please, think before you criticise those bloggers with large followings, as usually they've got that many followers for a reason - they've worked for them. 

I could go on for days about this subject, and I know I'm going to get some negative comments for speaking so honestly about something that seems to be a taboo topic - but I will finish with just one thing, it's absolutely okay to care about your follower number and want to work with brands, and that doesn't make you a sell out at all, it means you're working towards a goal. It doesn't make you any nicer of a person or some kind of saint if you spend your day tweeting how much you don't care about your follower number - you do you, and let the others worry about themselves. It's about time we all learned to tolerate each other in the blogging community and work alongside each other, as after all, we all have something in common. You don't have to like everyone in this life and blogging is no different, but as my Mother always said - if you've not got anything nice or constructive to say, then keep your mouth shut. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Tom Ford - Nude Dip Eyeshadow Palette Review

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Owning a piece of Tom Ford makeup has always been my ultimate beauty junkie dream...whilst I love high end makeup and consider myself to be a bit of a makeup snob (there's really no point hiding it), it's always been a little too far out of reach. So when I landed my first 'proper' job I made it my mission to treat myself to something from Tom Ford, no matter how small - fast forward one year and I still hadn't gotten round to it as something had always got in the way, so as an early birthday treat to myself this year, I popped into World Duty Free and picked up the ultimate eyeshadow palette - the Tom Ford Nude Dip. After browsing the Tom Ford counter for what was probably way too long, I decided on Nude Dip. Spending in excess of £50 on an eyeshadow quad isn't a decision I take lightly, so I wanted to ensure that the quad I chose would be something that would work for me everyday but also on a night out, so that I was getting the most for my money. 

If I could describe this palette in one word, it would definitely be stunning. The collection of shimmery pearlized neutrals work so well together, and allow you to create so many looks from just four shades, it's genius. Each of the shades has a similar finish - they're shimmery and almost metallic, without being overbearing and without having any noticeable glittery chunks, which I think gives the shadow a more modern and up-market feel. The colours chosen for this quad are also stunning and I'd even go as far as to say they're timeless. Each of them are the types of nude which I know I'll reach for over and over again...whenever I don't know what to wear, whenever I want to feel special, or whenever I just feel like adding a little oomph to my makeup. The quad contains a soft champagne, a medium peach, a sort taupe grey and a satiny brown, each as unique as the next. The shades in this palette also layer over each other beautifully and work in harmony to create some absolutely stunning makeup looks, I've honestly had so much fun playing around with this quad. As you'd expect with Tom Ford, the shadows are extremely smooth, with a unique texture which helps give each colour dimension. 

On my eyes this palette comes across as neutral-warm, however I've heard that on deeper skin tones it comes across as neutral-cool due to the different pearls within each shadow. However the warm and cool tones aren't strong, meaning that you can get away with this palette either way really and the pearl pigments in each shade mean that in different lights you'll see more of the cool tones shining through, and vice-versa. 

As you'd expect, the packaging is just as luxurious as the shadows themselves, and so it should be for the price. The quad comes packaged in a velvet Tom Ford pouch, which matches the quad itself. The quad itself is fairly simple aesthetically - Tom Ford brown with a golden embossed strip running along the palette. It comes with two double ended brushes, most of which are those silly foam applicators which I'll never use but I did like to see that it included a small blending brush - something that I may find myself using when I'm applying my makeup on the go. 

The whole palette just screams luxury from the packaging to the formula, and I can see this being the beginning of a very expensive love affair as I've already got my eyes on some of the purple toned palettes! One thing about Nude Dip worth bearing in mind though is that it can be pretty difficult to get hold of. Nude Dip is their classic eyeshadow palette, meaning that it's always in high demand and when I'm spending this much on an eyeshadow quad I like to go into store and really test it out and speak to the makeup artists before, which can be a pain when the stores are constantly out of stock. This palette is currently in stock online at House of Fraser and Selfridges, however I decided to pick mine up from World Duty Free, not only because I knew they had it in stock and I could pop in for a free Tom Ford makeover while I was deciding, but because it was only £52 instead of £64 (plus delivery) from the high street. I'd honestly recommend waiting until you're in the airport this summer if you're considering any Tom Ford beauty purchases, it's so worth saving the extra pounds when you're buying something so expensive. 

Have you tried any Tom Ford beauty?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Lancôme Grandiôse Eyeliner Review

Thursday, 14 July 2016

When it comes to eyeliner, I wouldn't consider myself your go-to-gal, as I rarely every wear it. So you may think it strange that I've popped on here to rave about a new eyeliner release, right? Well, the reason I so rarely wear eyeliner is because I find it so difficult to apply. If I even step near the eyeliner, I can almost guarantee that I'll have panda eyes,  a wonky line or smudges everywhere, so really it's never been worth the hassle for me...until now. 

Apart from a shaky hand, one of my main problems is my apparent need for double-jointedness when applying liner. I've never been a fan of pencil eyeliners as they're so inflexible, but in all honestly, liquid liner was only a smidge better - and that's why Lancôme have released their new Grandiôse Eyeliner with a fully flexible brush. As you can see from the pictures above, you can use the eyeliner in the traditional way, however you can also bend and snap the brush into an angled position, making it so much easier to apply and create symmetrical cat-flicks. 

Apart from the obvious positives associated with this product, the actual liner is pretty good too. It's wet, but not too wet, giving you the fluidity you need to create the perfect line, and the thin brush tip is perfect for creating a slim line or an exaggerated wing. Also, long gone are the days of your eyeliner melting down your face - once this stuff has dried (you do need to leave it a few seconds to dry, or it will smudge) it's not going anywhere unless you want it to, and even then you do need a good makeup remover. 

Overall, I think the Graniôse Eyeliner from Lancôme is a great product for eyeliner lovers and novices alike, and I'll definitely be reaching for eyeliner a little more (practice makes perfect after all!) when adding the finishing touches to my eyes. It's so funny how such a simple change can make all the difference! The Lancôme Grandiôse Eyeliner is now available in all major beauty retailers, and online here in three different shades. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

Escaping the City

Sunday, 10 July 2016

London will always have a special place in my heart and it's where I've chosen to call 'home', but I find it's so easy to get swept up in the blur of excitement that is London, so much so that sometimes I just forget to stop and breathe. So this weekend I decided to take a much needed break from the big city and hopped on the train to Brighton to visit one of my best friends. As I was only able to stay for the day, I headed to St Pancras super early to catch my train - with Brighton only being just over an hour away from London, and it only costing me £10 return with Thameslink, it's a wonder I've never been before - and I was in Brighton by 11am ready to explore. 

As soon as I arrived we walked on down to The Lanes, which was a must -see on my list. The Lanes are a collection of small little alley ways and lanes, packed full of quirky little shops, perfect for finding something unique or stopping off for some tea and cake - which is exactly what we did. After a little wander around the North Lane, which is the quirkier of the two main lanes (and a stop in Sass & Belle - obviously), we stopped off at Catwalk Cakes for some Rainbow Cake. I'd never had rainbow cake before despite lusting after it for months, and if you're going to indulge, it should definitely be in Catwalk Cakes a.k.a the cutest tearoom ever. After our little pit-stop, we carried on exploring the lanes, ducking into the cute antique shops and taking a peek at all of the vintage sweet shops, before walking down to the beach and the famous Brighton Pier. 

I lived in Bournemouth for four years whilst I was studying and despite being one of the countries most famous beaches, the pier leaves a lot to the imagination - so Brighton Pier was a must see for me. Brighton Pier is pretty much everything you'd expect from a traditional seaside resort...fairground rides, fish and chips, novelty stores and of course, pier donuts! Having just filled up on rainbow cake, I couldn't quite manage any of the yummy delights the pier had to offer...but I'll definitely be going back to sample the seaside delights. 

After a trip down the pier and a little wander down Brighton's glorious pebble beach, we were feeling a little peckish so we headed down the lanes to Donnotello's Italian Restaurant - a surprisingly large family run restaurant, popular with locals and celebrities alike. The food was delicious and definitely easy on the purse strings - a refreshing change to the extortionate London prices I've become accustom to. 

During the afternoon we headed back down to the lanes to take a look at some of the other stores (Choccywoccydoodah was a personal favourite of mine!), try on a few outfits and have a little catch up as it'd been a few months since we'd seen each other face to face, before catching my train back to London. 

I have to say, I absolutely loved Brighton and it's definitely been one of my favourite places to visit in the UK - everything was quirky and cute, and there's just so much to see and do. If it wasn't for work, I'd definitely consider moving down to Brighton for a slightly quieter life, but alas, for now Brighton will just be my escape from busy city life. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Love Me Beauty | July 2016

Friday, 8 July 2016

It seems as though all I talk about on here at the moment is my beauty subscription boxes, but as a member of so many subscriptions, it's hard to avoid beauty box overload at the beginning of the month! This week, the July Love Me Beauty box dropped through my letterbox and it comes as no surprise that it's just as good as the previous month's box. 

This month's box wasn't a box as such, instead the products came packaged in a cute blue makeup bag, perfect for popping into your handbag on the go. I've managed to build up quite a collection of these smaller size makeup bags now though, so this month I think I'll be passing it on to one of my housemates...there's only so much I can fit into my little London bedroom! 

One of the first products I spied sitting inside the bag was the Pixi Correction Concentrate. Pixi isn't a brand I've really explored yet, so I was happy to receive something from the brand this month as it's always been one to intrigue me. The Correction Concentrate is a small pot concealer in a salmon pink colour to help cancel out any dark circles or discolouration under your eyes and brighten the general area. I've had great success with similar products before (Benefit Erase Paste, I'm looking at you!) so I'm excited to give this one a go, and I'll of course let you know the results! 

This month's Love Me Beauty subscription contained not one, but two Pixi products, the second of which being the Nourishing Lip Polish. Unlike other lip polish products, the Pixi Nourishing Lip Polish comes in a tube form with a plastic exfoliating applicator, so there's no need to spread the scrub on to your lips using your fingers like with so many similar products - you just buff the gentle exfoliating balm into your lips using the added applicator like you would any normal lip balm. I was never really a fan of the Lush lip scrubs as I found them to be a bit too messy, so I'm excited to see how I get on with this one, so far so good! 

July's selection also included two Caudalie product - the Divine Oil and the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I've received samples of the Divine Oil in the past and whilst the sample size is great for taking on your travels, I find the oil to be a little on the thick side for use on my hair and face, so needless to say it's not my favourite. Despite being disappointed to receive yet another Divine Oil sample, I actually do use the Vinoperfect range of moisturisers so I look forward to adding the radiance serum into my routine over the next few nights. 

This month's box also contained a few of my favourite products, one of which was the Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes. I'm not really a fan of face wipes, as I like to sit down and properly remove all of my makeup, but if I have to use face wipes, then these are my go-to, as they're incredibly refreshing and soothing. I always use these wipes on long haul flights to freshen up my skin during the flight and pre-arrival, so this smaller packet size will be perfect for my trip to Dubai in September. 

Another one of my favourite brands included in this month's selection is OPI. OPI are my favourites for nail polish and over the past couple of years I've built up quite the collection. This month I received the shade 'Strawberry Margarita' which is a medium pink shade - nothing special, just the perfect pink which I can see myself getting a lot of use from over the coming months. 

Lastly, this month's box also contained a sample of the La Potion Infinie by ARgENTUM. I'd actually never heard of this product before, probably due to the fact it's an anti-ageing cream and I'm only 22, however after a quick google I can see that the full size product is a whopping £147! It's only a small sample, but I think it's great that beauty subscription services offer these expensive products out to you, that you may not have been able to try previously. 

Overall I think this month's selection of products is pretty impressive...I received three full size products from well known brands, in shades that are actually on trend and wearable, which I actually think is fairly tough to find, so well done Love Me Beauty on another fantastic month! 

Sign up here to receive your own Love Me Beauty box (rep: £10). 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

The 'Miami Box' from BeautyBay.com

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

If you're an avid reader of Lipgloss & Lashes then you'll know I'm partial to a beauty box (or two...) so when I received this 'Best of USA' box from Beauty Bay, my heart did a little somersault. The 'Best of USA' boxes are Beauty Bay's little tribute to the Fourth of July, and they're the perfect way to celebrate for any beauty lover like myself. The Best of USA boxes contain eight products, seven of which are full sized and come in two differed variations - Miami and LA. The LA box is inspired by the warm, golden vibes of a summer spent in LA, whereas the Miami box is a nod to the glitz and glamour of a night out in Miami. I recently received the Miami box in my latest blogger mail drop, and it was too good to keep to myself...

So, what's inside?

Makeup Geek Contour Powder in 'Break Up' - I've wanted to try out some Makeup Geek products for so long so I was excited to see not one, but three makeup geek products included in the Miami box, the first of which was the contour powder in break up. Break up is a little dark on my extremely pale skin, so I'll definitely be saving this for when I've got a little bit of a tan, but I really can't knock the quality. The powder blends out like a dream, and the cool tones are perfect for creating that chiseled look without looking overly bronze. 

Makeup Geek Blush in 'Spell Bound' - Spell Bound is a beautiful petal pink shade, and it's honestly like this shade was made for me. It's the perfect shade of pink and the quality of the powder is amazing. It's no secret that MAC are my go-to for blushes, however I'd even go as far as to say that the makeup geek blushers are even better than their MAC equivalents - so I definitely think I'll be saving my pennies and investing in Makeup Geek next time. 

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in 'Crème Brûlée' - Lastly for Makeup Geek, the Miami box contained Crème Brûlée, a gorgeous soft sand colour that brightens the lids and also makes for a natural crease colour. Again, I'd definitely say that these are extremely comparable to MAC and maybe even a little bit better pigmentation-wise. I often find MAC eyeshadows a little hit and miss, so again, I think next time I'll stick to Makeup Geek as this was pigmented, soft and blended out excellently. 

Anastasia Beverley Hills Illuminator in 'Riviera' - By far the most exciting product in the box, the Anastasia Beverley Hills Illuminator in Riviera is a stunning rose gold shade that gives you that 'lit from within' look that's so hard to find in a highlighter. I often find that brands overdo the sparkle a little too much, but this one looks perfectly natural when applied lightly, but obviously you can build this highlight up for when you want a more glam look. I've been putting off buying one of these shades for months now as they are a little pricey at £28, so I was excited to see one included as it's such an excellent brand. 

Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil - This cult classic has unfortunately never made it in to my makeup collection due to the high price tag so I was thrilled to see the deluxe mini included in the box. Honestly, I don't wear lip pencils all too often so the size doesn't bother me at all, I'm just thrilled to be able to try out such a high end brand for a fraction of the price! The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil is a perfect 'your lips but better' shade, designed to perfectly define your lips and create the perfect base for your lip products, and I can definitely say it does that - although I'm still not sure I'd pay £20 for it. 

LA Splash Forbidden Kiss Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Latte - The Miami box contains two lip colour for you to choose from in order to complete the look, however I found them both to be a little too similar as they're from the same colour family. I'd of liked to see a little more variation in the shades so there was a little more choice if I'm honest. Anyway, the LA Splash Forbidden Kiss Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Latte is a beautiful cool toned brown-nude shade and although I think it's been a little overdone, the perfect Kyle Jenner shade. The formula was also great, although a little wet a first it proved to be an excellent liquid lipstick - the colour was opaque, it was easy to apply, non-drying and light on the lips. 

Coloured Raine Matte Liquid Lip Paint in Mars - Similar to the previous shade, Mars is a brown toned nude, however this shade is more of a brick red nude as opposed to a light brown nude - there's definitely a difference in the shades, however as I said, they're a little too samey for my liking. Again, this liquid lipstick turned out to be lovely as it was opaque, easy to use and long lasting. Apart from the colour being something I'd not necessarily choose for myself, I think the product is excellent. 

Gerard Slay All Day Setting Spray in Jasmine - After seeing Beyoncé at the weekend, I'm completely in love with the name of this setting spray, but besides that I also think this is a great product. It was refreshing to use and I noticed that it improved the overall appearance of my makeup by getting rid of some of the powdery 'cakiness' that can sometimes appear. It is worth mentioning though that the scent is Jasmine in this product is extremely strong for something you're meant to spray all over your face - so if you have a hatred for perfumed products then I'd steer clear. 

Overall I love this box and think it's a great way to try out some stateside beauty and add some new products to your collection. In fact, I love it so much that I'm definitely considering treating myself to the LA box (and I highly recommend you do the same!). The Best of US boxes can be purchased from Beauty Bay online here

What do you think?

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains pr samples

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...