Monday, 24 April 2017

How To Get More Followers on Instagram

Instagram has been a hot topic in the bloggersphere this past week, for many reasons. But the biggie was Insta Bots. If you don't know what I'm talking about basically a lot of well known and some less known bloggers, even brands have been outed as buying followers and using bots to unfollow/follow users on Instagram. Which some have deemed cheating and fake. I'm not here to really speak about that but I do feel Hannah Gale and Vix Meldrew spoke about it eloquently in their posts.
There are bigger things in the world than followers, obviously but the more followers you have the more likely brands are likely to work with you. The more likely people will read your blog and frankly I like getting new followers and nice comments on my pictures. 
I don't have the biggest following. I dont have a blue tick or a K next to my numbers but I'm quite happy with what I've got currently and how its grown throughout the last few years. See my instagram here. And below are a couple of tips on how to genuinely gain more followers.

1. Quality Content

I always say you don't have to have a DSLR and photoshop to create a good looking Insta feed but the better quality the photos are the more likely people will want to look at the photos. And the more people want to look at your photos, the more people will be likely to follow you. 
I use my iPhone and VSCO cam to edit my photos. I have now 1900 photos and I've been on Instagram about 4 years. I have spent ages playing around with taking and editing photos so now I have a basic understanding.
Key things for a good photo include composition, lighting and background. For me nothing beats natural lighting and where possible I take photos in the daylight. Grainy night time photos are not cute. 

2. Layout/ Theme 

A theme is basically visual consistency in your Instagram feed. Usually this means colours and subject and how each picture is edited. I like my photos currently super light so I always play around with exposure and brightness and I like a mixture between photos that are bright in colour and then in dark. 
I also use an app called 'Planoly' which you can use to schedule photos, which I tend not to do but it is useful if you're on the go. Instead I use this to map out where photos will go and how they will look next to and on top of other photos. 

3. Engagement 

 I can't stress this enough. None of this follow for follow crap or like for like. Genuinely comment and like pictures because you like and want to interact. Sometimes I'll search a hashtag to discover new users like 'blogger' or 'fashion' depending on what I'm looking for. Or I'll go to discover and find people that way. You know that feeling when you post an outfit and someone likes it or compliments it or you post a new product and someone asks you a question. Give that to someone else. 

4. Posting Regularly 

Obviously this isn't the easiest thing to do but it can guarantee more followers. But equally don't post so much that you're the only thing on their feed. Unless they are super into you they will probably get annoyed by your spam and unfollow.

5. #Hashtag

Using a hashtag is one of the easiest ways for users to discover you. You don't have to use loads just a few relevant ones so others will find you.

My First Few Instagram Pictures VS

My Instagram now
Follow me on Instagram here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Denim Shirt Dress

I've mentioned before that I used to absolutely despise denim and jeans, probably because I spent the first years of my life in denim dungarees, oh the 90's. Then maybe a year ago I bought my first pair of jeans in years, in black and then in white and slowly I've been incorporating denim and jeans back into my wardrobe. 
The other week when I was out shopping for friends birthday presents, I saw this denim shirt in River Island and I really fell in love and since then its been one of the main staples to my daily wardrobe. Its effortless, its perfect for day or night and most importantly, you can eat carbs and bloat and no one will see.

It was only £35 which I think is pretty reasonable, and I've already worn it on 3 occasions, so I can see me, this summer getting good wear out of it. Sadly its now sold out, link below to a similar one, also from River Island!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Mac Lipstick Review- Studded Kiss

I love a Mac lipstick. Without a doubt, my favourite lipsticks to use. When I go to Mac and buy one, I tend to buy two at a time. So recently I bought Kinda Sexy which I review here and then Studded Kiss which is a dark oxblood red. I know its approaching summer and I should be wearing peach tones but something about this shade really got to me. I think its quite similar to Leo by Kylie Cosmetics which I adore but the matte lipsticks always go weird after a while of wearing it, where as this stays put. 
I love that the Mac matte lipsticks are matte but don't feel overly dry. This has a matte finish but my lips still feel moisturised and hydrated. 

Buy Studded Kiss here.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Best Advice For Anyone Wanting To Dye Their Hair Blonde

1. Don't Expect to Have The Perfect Blonde After The First Dye

Especially if you have dark hair. It can take several attempts to lighten the hair fully and it may take place after several weeks/month so not to damage the hair too much. I'm lucky and my hair lightens pretty easy but every hair type is different and you can never tell how the bleach will work till its completed. Don't go in with high expectations and know that this is a process. 

2. Go To A Professional

Hairdressers despise box dyes. I am partial to one every now and again when darkening my hair but never ever going lighter. Always seek a hairdresser you trust. Look at reviews or maybe you know someone who's gone to that salon before. It will cost a bit more but its worth it. Often if you do it at home, it ends up need correcting in a salon anyway. 

3. Protect Your Hair With The Right Products

Bleaching your hair takes its toll on your hairs condition so make sure you buy products to keep it healthy. I use TIGI Bed Head Urban Resurrection Shampoo and Conditioner as well as RedKen Extreme Anti Snap   and always use some form of heat protection. I also use coconut oil as a mask and try to give myself days where I don't wash it so to get natural oils back in it. Drink lots of water and eat the right foods to make sure your hair is getting the right nutrients.

4. Purple Shampoo is A Gift From God

Any purple shampoo will do, doesn't have to be pricey. The purple helps rid of any brassy tones that can appear and keeps your blonde looking blonde. 

5. Hair Does Grow Back But Really Slowly

I once dyed my hair blonde- brunette- blonde- brunette-blonde within a year and all my hair snapped off. On the third attempt I was told my hair was too damaged but I was adamant I wanted it dyed back and then it all fell out and I felt like I had lost all my confidence. Please look after your hair and if its not in fit condition to be dyed please don't do it because it grows back but really fucking slowly.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Desk Tour 2017

It wasn't too long ago that I posted a desk tour, in fact you can see my previous, from November here and whilst the basics haven't changed I have had a few new cute editions. Mostly little christmas gifts like my cinema light box my housemate got me and my lights in a jar my sister bought and recently I bought the cutest little white heart box to store things to do and spare wires etc. And where possible I try to get flowers and candles on my desk as I think it gives me a better atmosphere and vibe when working. And my cats like to attack and try to eat the flowers so that keeps them happy.

I think its super important to give yourself a good working environment to get shit done, thats tidy, clean and motivating to the individual.

I've also recently bought a small set of Alex drawers  from Ikea, in grey, that are soon to arrive, and they will slot nicely under my desk, which is also from Ikea. I think I'm probably going to store make up in there, as currently its all stored in boxes, no where near a mirror and so unorganised it makes me want to cry.
I also have my gorgeous new armchair which I featured in my post here, which is the comfiest thing ever and has motivated me a thousand times more to do work at it. Just look at it, isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

My New Favourite Jeans

I used to hate jeans. I don't know why, but I had an unnatural hatred for them, and denim as well. But these days they're a staple in my wardrobe and although I don't think I actually own any blue denim ones still I do own 1 green, 2 black, 1 white, 1 grey and even a pink thrown in there. 
I've lately seen lots of lace up jeans and I have been absolutely obsessed with them and I knew I had to have a pair. 
Then I spied these Jamie jeans in Topshop and after I couldn't get them off my mind for about two days I went in and bought them. Usually I'm an 8 but they 8's could not be zipped up so I went for a 10 which were much more comfortable and felt like, if I ate a whole lot of food, I could bloat and still be fairly comfortable. 
I love that their a jean that you can wear day or night and can be so versatile. As you can tell I'm absolutely obsessed and their currently my go to jeans. 

Buy a pair here.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Real Techniques Multi-Tech Collection

After getting my make up professionally done at Mac (see post here), I realised how bad I am at doing make up. So I googled something along the lines of "How To Do Make Up Good" and the first point in any post I read is that you need the right tools. Although I have a Real Techniques foundation brush, I still had been using make up brushes I bought from Wilkos nearly 3 years ago, in fact here's the post here
So I went in search for make up brushes and oh god why are they so expensive. Do you remember the days when everyone just used their fingers and everyones make up was shit, can't we go back to that?
I had looked at Mac brushes but then I realised I would have to not eat food for a bit so I decided I'd still to the Real Techniques brand which is affordable and also good quality. Superdrug had a deal on their MultiTech collection, which is currently still 3 for 2 online. I bought the Small Point Make Up Brush set which comes with its own holder, which is mostly for eyes, eyebrows etc and I also bought their L and XL brushes which are for highlighting, blushers and contouring and for powders, bronzer etc. 
I've been using these for about a week and I already see the difference in quality and how my make up is finished and now I have all the appropriate tools I've been experimenting a little more with smoky eyes and contouring. 

Buy yours here.

Monday, 10 April 2017

On Being Blonde

So this week I decided kinda spontaneously to go get highlights in order to gradually start going back blonde again. 
I've been blonde about 4 or 5 times now in my life and its something I always go back to. I've mentioned before as a teen, I aspired to be blonde with big boobs; basically like Pamela Anderson. The boobs never happened but I can always dye my hair and I go to and from wanting to be blonde and brunette every other year. 
My first attempt to be blonde ended up with 'sunset' hair. I basically let my sister use a box dye and it was horrific(see centre pic below). 
The second my sister, now a qualified hair dresser, dyed my hair with a full head of highlights and then we kept going from there. The third time, nearly all my hair fell out and it took several years to grow it all back and repair the damage I created to my hair. Look after your hair kids. And then I've dyed it twice after that.

I just feel like being blonde makes me more confident. It makes me want to experiment with different looks and different hair styles. It brings out a different happier, personality in me. I know at the end of the day its just hair and its definitely a placebo effect but it just makes me feel more like me, even though I'm naturally brunette. 
But for now I'm feeling the blonde life and thats where I'm heading. I'm not sure if I'll eventually get rid of all the brown and go full platinum again but we shall see.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Mac Lipstick Review- Kinda Sexy

I talked about in this post here about when I got my make up done. When it came to getting a lipstick, I wanted something similar to Velvet Teddy, but not Velvet Teddy because I have over worn that shade a thousand times over. So the lovely lady at Mac suggested Kinda Sexy which is like with more of a peach tone to it. 
I couldn't recommend their matte lipsticks enough. I'm definitely more of a matte rather than gloss kinda gal and I own maybe 20 now? I can't remember but Kinda Sexy is my current day time go to lipstick. It works especially well when I'm looking tanned. 

Buy yours here.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Blogging Goals For This Year

Oh hi there. Look at me with my fancy new domain name. I have tried about 3 times to get a domain name and I couldn't figure it out and then today I log onto Blogger and Google asked me if I would like to buy a domain name, and guess what? I did. So with a couple of clicks and typing my bank deets in, I have a domain name. Now I've conquered that, which for me is a HUGE achievement, I've been thinking about all the things I want to achieve with this blog and how I want to change how I think.

1. Don't Let My Mental Health Consume Me So Much I Stop Blogging

 This happens a lot. I have periods where I just don't write anything sometimes it is genuinely cause I'm so busy and sometimes its because I just feel useless. I have voices in my head that tell me what I write isn't good enough and compare myself to people who started around the same time as me but are 'more successful' in my eyes because they haven't gone months without writing because they couldn't summon the energy to. But I've never had anyone say this in real life. In fact I usually get very nice things said so I need to shut them voices up a little more.

2. Be More Honest 

The blogs I like to read are the ones where the writer talks openly and frank about things they're going through/have gone through etc. I just always worry so much about what will people think. But if you meet me in real life, I'm very frank, very honest, I'm crass and I don't give a shit what people think. But in blog world I worry about writing about certain topics. Blog me and real life me need to merge a little more I feel.

3. Stop Beating Myself Up And Be Prouder Of My Content 

I dont have the glossiest looking blog photos. I'm at a basic level of understanding html. I work a full time job and a social life I like to maintain, so sometimes I don't blog every day. I don't have a cute fancy name for my blog like The Flower Fairy Butterfly Princess blog because I'm not very inventive and have zero nicknames. I am what I am, this blog is what it is, I need to just accept that and stop comparing myself to others.

4. Setting More Time Aside To Blog 

In my spare time I tend to aim to write blog posts and then I'll sit at my desk and I'll watch Buffy or play with my cat. And then I tried to remember how I was at Uni, and I was the same, easily distracted and probably still watching Buffy, except when I'd go to the library and take myself away from comfy beds that I end up napping in and distractions. So lately I've forced myself to go to coffee shops and after the initial anxiety of having people read over my shoulder or oh my god, what if I go to a coffee shop, can't find a table and then have to awkwardly drink it quickly and leave and everyone will be like, look at that weirdo. I now have extremely productive days in coffee shops and then when I need to get home, I tend to finish posts off at my desk.

5. Have More Fashion Related Content 

I love writing lifestyle pieces, I like beauty reviews and I want to get better at doing my own make up. But ultimately my biggest passion is in fashion but I don't feel like that always comes across because I don't have a photographer who can follow me around and take candid photos of me in street in cute outfits. Whether I stick to mirror pics or start re-doing outfit photos in my bedroom I want to put more fashion content on here. Maybe a few style posts? I'm not sure but thats the direction I want to start going with.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

My Summer Bucket List

One of my little non-resolution, resolutions this year was to try and do more things I've never done before. I'm not talking like climb Mount Everest/life changing leaps. I mean the little things like travel somewhere first class or go trampolining. 
So this year so far I've been just trying to do a bit more than being sat on my arse watching Netflix.
This includes; getting my make up done professionally, visiting Conwy Castle, going to Shrewsbury twice, going to the cinema, going out for food more etc etc.

Now its getting warmer and Summer's approaching, its making me think of all the things I want to get done whilst the weather is warm and all the things I want to do before the year is over.

Go To A Festival
 I already have V booked so this is pretty much guaranteed to happen. I'm 26 and I've never been to a festival!

Go Away By Myself
 I have this absolute fantasy to just go away on my own and get a really nice hotel and just explore a city on my own. I'm really thinking York or I would love to go to London but I think I would get so scared on my own. 

Go abroad
 I haven't been on a sunny holiday is like 8-10 years. I am determined to get away this year. 

Wear A Bikini
Again I don't think I've worn a bikini anywhere for so long and there are so many cute ones out at the moment

Travel First Class
Ok I actually have once for Disney and it was incredible but I would love to do it again. I think I would especially like to do it back home, which is usually a 4 hour ride. I get so anxious on trains, just once it'd be nice to relax and feel like I'm treating myself. 

Have A Real Tan
Not from a bottle, not via a sunbed. An actual tan I've achieved by sitting in the sun.

Go On a Boat
 In Chester they have boats down by the river; either pedal boats or boats that go down the river and I've still never been. In fact I've never done any of the touristy things you're supposed to do in Chester, and I've lived here 8/9 years

What's on your Summer bucket list?

Monday, 3 April 2017

That Time I Got My Make Up Professionally Done

I think one of my goals always is to get better at make up and for a while I'd been thinking about booking a class or something along those lines. So when my work's Christmas party came up I decided to book myself in with an artist to get it done professionally. 
My ultimate favourite make up brand has always been Mac. Ever since I was younger and obsessed with Christina Aguilera and she collaborated with them for Viva Glam, its always been an iconic brand for me and optimises great make up.

So I booked myself and the girl who did my make up was super friendly and asked me loads of questions about what I wanted and what I was wearing so it would compliment it. I had a pretty strong image in my head of what I wanted as I spent about 2 weeks obsessing about my look for the night. 

It took less than an hour and I absolutely loved the finished look. The great thing was that with Mac is, it costs £40 but you get that back to spend on products, so I bought Studio Fix foundation, Kinda Sexy matte lipstick and also a set of eyelashes which I wore for the night. 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Outfits

I'm kind of loving this weather at the moment other than today's bout of rain. But its starting to get warmer which has meant other than in the evenings, I haven't needed to wear a full on coat, so I've been able to go out in just a jumper and tights aren't always necessary. My goal at the moment is to try and do more outfit posts but I'm thinking of doing them like this in a monthly round up cause other wise they'll just be filled with work outfits and no one wants that