Monday, 30 January 2017

Instagrams worth clicking

I believe photography is at the heart of the blogging community and with photography comes instagram. Theres something about instagram that makes it more than just a social networking site for us; while others might take a photo on their iPhone, wack a filter on it and upload it without a caption, its a different story for bloggers. I know how much effort many of the accounts i follow put into their posts and this is kind of like an appreciation of that. Yeah i know your breakfast is luke warm because you spent 10 minutes trying to get a good photo of it but don't worry, people like me are here admiring your instagram dedication. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

I went to Lush i bought some things = Lush haul.

I'm not really one for a haul usually, but January means Christmas gift vouchers and when its a lush gift voucher you can't just "buy one thing and save the rest" can you? 

Even though i've shopped at lush for years now i realise i never really stray from my usual favourites, this time round i decided to step out of the ultra bland and intergalactic bath bomb box and pick up some things i had never tried before. 
(Okay so maybe i have had the tea tree water before but the rest are new to me.)

 As i've said multiple times my skin is oily and acne prone but I'm also obsessed with cleansers for dry skin; to make sure I'm covering all skincare bases I picked up a new tea tree water so i can give my skin an antibacterial spritz after cleansing and attempt to keep spots at bay.  

Before this i had never owned a lush shower gel, yeah i know, shoot me. I went about smelling every shower gel they had to offer and if I'm honest i wasn't keen on them all; some lush scents i absolutely love but they're not all for me . In the end i went for the olive branch because i do really like a fresh scent when it comes to shower gels, also i think i had the comforter scent covered with the massive bubble bar in my basket. 

The last of the little bottles is the American cream conditioner, once again i had never even owned a lush hair product so I'm excited about this one. If I'm honest the name really got me, for some reason it makes me think suddenly my hair will turn into the hair equivalent of the American dream. We'll see..

I'm proud to say i only purchased one bath bomb, i really don't know how i did it other than the fact i compensated with three other bubble bars. This is the blackberry bath bomb, i think i picked this out of all of the rest because of how aesthetically pleasing it is, is it just me who finds the word bomb embossed on it really inviting? Also I'm a big believer in the colour blue, i look at this dusty colour and immediately feel relaxed. 

Yep i did it, i caved to the stereotypical gods and picked up a unicorn horn bubble bar. I mean look at it; you can already tell my preference for colours with the other products but this is just so pretty, despite its bright colours the lavender scent will also lend its hand to relaxation in the evenings.

I realise now i actually would rather buy bubble bars than bath bombs because you get so much more use out of them, are you imagining me on my tip toes trying to find the biggest comforter bubble bar possible? I'm having flash backs. With a bath bomb i always use the whole thing but with bubble bars I'm much more inclined to get loads of uses out of them, while still getting the amazing scents and pretty coloured water. 

The last thing i picked up is this creamy candy bubble bar, I'm a sucker for a sweet scent and this is perfect. I can't wait to put this in my bath but at the same time i never want it to end, it smells like candy floss to me and bathing in candy floss bubbles sounds like my idea of heaven. 

Do you have a favourite lush product? - Maria x

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Monday, 23 January 2017

What you should be doing to your blog behind the scenes.

It wasn't until recently i realised how important blog maintenance is, it's all very well publishing multiple posts but if the foundations aren't right it can ruin the experience someone has on your blog. Here are the things that i do behind the scenes to look after my blog and make it the best it can be:

Thursday, 19 January 2017

New ins and old favourites

Once i find an item of clothing i really like i'll wear it for years and when i get something new i'll probably wear it repeatedly over the course of the next month. I wanted to share my latest go to outfit which combines my urge to wear the same thing over and over again, a mixture of new ins and old favourites. 


Monday, 16 January 2017

Summer glow in the winter months

The whole of january is a bit dull isn't it? Usually i don't get the whole "January blues" "blue Monday" thing but i think whats getting me down is the weather - January would be alright if it wasn't so rainy and summer wasn't a good 6 months away. Thankfully this Madame LA LA bronzing ball* came though my letter box at the perfect time to put a summer bronzed glow back into my skin. 


Saturday, 14 January 2017

My top cleansing picks for different skin types.

Out of all the skincare products i purchase cleanser has to be my #1; i go through phases of using the same one for months and then using a different one every 2 days. While it means my bathroom cupboard is at bursting point, it also means i can narrow down my favourites into categories dependant on skin type. So when my temperamental skin is being well, temperamental i can use the right cleanser to help.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

All in a clutch.

Until now i had never owned a clutch bag, i had the common stereotype of a one lipstick wonder stuck in my head but this Koko couture clutch is set to change my mind. 

Koko couture kindly asked me if i wanted to try out one of their bags; for once i thought 'branch out a little bit Maria for once in your life don't go for a black shoulder bag'. I have to admit i was very difficult to pick a bag, i mean have you seen their selection???? In the end i went for the Harper clutch in beige.*


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Real life on the internet.

We live in a world where Melanie Murphy wasn't allowed to monetise her youtube video because it contained "graphic content", what was that graphic content you might ask? Acne. Where Luke Cutforth couldn't monetise his video because he talked about his struggle with depression. I'm not talking about the money making side of things, i'm talking about the fact that stopping monetisation is acting as a filter to stop people talking about real life issues.

More and more of social media is being white washed (literally) through algorithms and is becoming more and more like traditional media; real life is being pushed out and replaced with a false image of 'beautiful' people with perfect skin and perfect lives.

Social media used to be the place where anything goes and while that isn't always a good thing it largely is; it means that opinions spark discussion, a hell of a lot of learning can be done and above all real people watching videos and reading blogs could relate to the real people making them. With the lines between social media and traditional media becoming blurred its starting to throw up issues that people are starting to speak out about; obviously lives that are portrayed on the internet are edited but that shouldn't mean when someone does want to share something personal that it should be deemed as inappropriate because it doesn't adhere to the perfect youtuber stereotype.

These thoughts never really crossed my mind until i myself considered making youtube videos, although i really wanted to start a channel the thing stopping me was my image of what a "youtuber" was. A 5 ft 2 girl with acne, crooked teeth and a tendency to be too lazy to shave her legs was not what i pictured when i thought about "youtubers". 
Thats where the problem is, youtube and the internet in general has morphed into a world of perfection. Its going so far that its taking control away from creators and moving away from the original reason it was so great. Everything has become warped, some videos are being flagged because of acne and others people are photoshopping acne on to their faces to make an eye-catching thumbnail. 

I took the liberty of searching a few phrases on twitter like "acne youtubers" or "acne youtube", it pulled up multiple different tweets with the same message: acne is so common but it would be difficult to name 10 'big' beauty youtubers who actually suffer from it. Why is it in a world where 80% of people suffer from some form of acne in their lifetime, do they only have the 20% of people to look to for advice? 
Obviously there are multiple other issues such as race and disability under representation which i, as someone who cannot relate to can't realistically sit and write about but i just want to let you know I'm not ignorant towards them and are not ignoring their huge importance and relevance to this subject.

I understand flagging and disliking are there for a reason, if someone is doing something wrong that shouldn't be on the internet then it should be removed. But thats just it, the things that are getting removed or "demonetarised" aren't things that shouldn't be on the internet; they're things that have every right to be on the internet not just because theres absolutely nothing wrong with talking about mental health etc but because those videos are created with the intention to help others. Just because a video talks about real life things, things that might not be happy or funny doesn't mean they're inappropriate, how have humans suddenly decided that real life is no longer appropriate?

Youtube starting to not allow people to monetise videos that talk about real life issues is the internet equivalent of adverts for women's razors or shaving products; you see the woman shaving her legs but there was never hair there in the beginning. Its like they know the issue is there and it effects people but they don't dare show it and their answer is to deem it as inappropriate. 

I dont really know what i wanted to achieve by writing this, i just felt like it needed to be talked about and I know I'm not the only one talking about it. I wanted to bring in Louise Pentland here (formerly sprinkle of glitter), she's kinda why i started to notice these things because quite bravely she's had a rebrand. Louise has openly admitted she is going to start talking about topics she didn't touch on before and it leans itself to realisation that before even her channel missed bits out about life such as swearing or politics so as to not offend or loose subscribers.
Youtubers and youtube as a whole is a huge media outlet now, the biggest youtubers are becoming 'celebrities' and brand representatives and it means they're sometimes expected to act in a specific way, either to appeal to an audience or so as Louise put it "not to offend".
 Its hugely positive that a big youtuber like Louise is talking about these issues and it reassures me that someone i've followed for a long time is staying true to themselves and going against societies constant pressure to appear perfect.

I also talked about this in a youtube video you can see it here:

- Maria x

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Monday, 9 January 2017

5 hacks for quick and easy makeup!

Its not unusual that i'll spend 10 minutes just blending out my eyeshadow in the morning and don't even get me started on eyeliner. However most people value sleep over the perfect cut crease so, these are my 5 hacks for quick and easy time saving makeup!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

5 Ways to grow your blog's audience

There, you did it! You published your first blog post. You refresh the page.. "view count = 0". The biggest problem for new bloggers isn't always what to write about or how to make your blog look good but is how to get people to actually read it. After all you can spend hours writing your blog posts or taking your photos but if you don't already have an audience, how will it reach anyone? 
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