No Money, No Problem! | Blog on A Budget

Blogging on a budget is something thats very achievable. As I said in my previous post a few blogging myths, you don't need a lot of money to blog. Its very tempting to want to go out and purchase the latest beauty products and fashion trends but when you're blogging on a budget, its pretty impossible to do. So, what can you blog about? Here's a few suggestions for blog posts.

* Shop your stash - look at what products you already own and think about how you can use them in posts. I rarely mention a product once - I'll use it for several posts, for example, when it comes to a cleanser I may mention it in a favourites post, skincare 101, best products on the high street, products under £20 etc.

* Ask friends and family - maybe you could swap products with friends or relatives or perhaps they have a product you could sample for review. 

* Think outside the box - do you have products that could be used for baking, DIY or a creative post?

* Do you have any skills you can utilise, for instance an eye makeup tutorial, styling a pair of jeans, how to dress for college etc.

* Can you offer advice? - blogging tips, lifestyle, money saving, job interviews?

* Wishlists - wishlists are great when you're blogging on a budget. Whether its an ebay wishlist, fashion or makeup wishlist.

* Favourite blogs or youtubers - a list of blogs/youtubers you love or posts/videos you've been loving recently.

* Life event/hobbies/days out all make for interesting reads.

* Favourite instagram/pinterest accounts to follow

* Personal - maybe things you want to achieve, do or learn.

Do you have any suggestions for blogging on a budget?

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A Few Blogging Myths...

1. Blogging will get you lots of 'freebies'.
One of the perks of blogging is receiving things to review free of charge. Having said that, theres no guarantee just because you have a blog, you're going to receive lots of products. The reality is that there are far more bloggers than samples. Blogs that only start for the purpose of getting products wont last long. Yes, if you work hard at your blog, put out great content and have passion then opportunities are likely to appear but they shouldn't be expected or taken for granted.

2. Looking like a supermodel will get you lots of subscribers.
Now, this is a tough one because for fashion blogging then I guess looks do play a part somewhat. However, you don't need to look a certain way to gain a readership. I read lots of blogs and for most of them, I have no idea what the writer looks like. If your content is good then people will read it. I've never read a blog because of what the writer looks like, maybe they are some people who do but in my honest opinion those people will get bored very easily if they're not there for the content.

3. You need to make youtube videos to be a blogger.
A lot of bloggers upload videos on youtube. It's something I considered until I actually got in front of a camera and froze - yep its not for me and I highly doubt I ever will. If its something you want to do then definitely give it a go. However, its not necessary and it doesn't make you any less of a blogger because you're not on there. I think some people think they'll automatically become the next Zoella but it takes a lot of hard work and in all honesty a lot of likability (and luck?) to become successful on youtube. 

4. Blogging will make you rich?
Well if only!Ha but seriously blogging isn't an easy path to make money. Yes there are ways to monetise your blog and some people are lucky enough to earn a living from it. However, for most blogging is a great hobby. 

5. You need money to be a blogger.
You dont need a lot of money to blog. You can have a read of my post on blogging when you're broke here. There are lots of things you can blog about without spending a penny. Its easy to think that you need to go out and buy every new product to review but you really don't. Try and think outside the box when it comes to writing.

6. Blogging is easy.
Before blogging, I never realised just how much time it takes to create a blog and all the things that come with it. You're a content creator, editor, admin, social media, all in one blogging machine and that eats up a lot of time. Yes its very enjoyable but like everything, it has its ups and downs, frustrations and all that jazz. If you're passionate then investing time and energy is 100% worth it!

7. Everyone lives in a dreamland of white walls, candles, flowers and cosy bedding.
Despite how things often look on blogs/social media, no-one has a perfect life or lives in a dream house filled with incredible things. Remember people only show snippets - everyone has their bad days and has their own struggles. In reality, I'm sure most bloggers are just like you and me and no-one is perfect despite perceptions.

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Easy ways to refresh your blog design

Sometimes I feel the need to freshen up my blog design, whether its due to just feeling a bit 'meh' in general or because I just like changing things up now and again. Its super easy to change things up without putting too much time and effort into it. Here are a few easy ways to refresh your blog design.

Creating a new header
Its super easy to make a new header. You dont need photoshop either. You can use picmonkey or ipiccy as both have several fonts you can use and picmonkey now lets you use your own fonts meaning you can find free fonts to download and use. You can also add layers in picmonkey too so if you want to add an image to your headers its very easy to do!you can buy pretty clipart from etsy and find free ones via google.

Changing backgrounds
Its easy to change the background of either the main section or sidebar. You can find out how to change the background here and how to change the sidebar background here

Changing colours
You can change text/link colours via your blogger dashboard - template - customise. On some blogger templates you cant change colours via the dashboard so an alternative would be to go into your html template, find the h2 heading or h3 post title tags and add the html for your selected colour under these headings. You can find a great html colour chart here.

Changing fonts
You can change fonts via your blogger dashboard - template - customise. However, if you want to use a font that isnt there, such as a google font you can find my tutorial here which tells you how to add a free google font to blogger. Its really quick and easy to do and a good way to freshen things up.

Adding new social media icons
There are so many free social media icons via google. You can pretty much find anything you're looking for. You could use something simple or go for something with a little colour. You can also add them to your blog posts by adding the coding to the post template box in your posts and comments section of blogger dashboard (under settings). 

I hope this has given you some helpful ideas of how to easily change up your blog design. I'll be making some free headers and icons shortly!

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Trial on Trend | 3 Nude Lipsticks

One of the biggest makeup trends right now is nude lips (thanks Kylie Jenner!). Nude lipstick is a trend I've only fairly recently explored and I've found some incredible ones on the way. Today, I'm sharing 3 amazing nude lipsticks.

Maybelline Tantalizing Taupe
I put this in a recent blog sale and I'm so glad it didn't sell as I've rediscovered it. Tantalizing taupe is a creamy taupe beige from the nudes collection (I think its called the buffs overseas). The main plus point for this shade is that it doesn't highlight dryness. Despite having pale skin, this shade doesn't wash me out either - its a nice nude shade that would work well on most fair ladies. I'm not massively keen on the scent as its slightly plasticky but the wear time (2-3hours) is decent as is the price!

Urban Decay Revolution Naked
The revolution lipsticks are really underrated. They're super creamy, pigmented and comfortable to wear. Naked is a nude pink shade, perfect if you don't want to commit to a beige/brown shade. Its highly wearable - I'd consider it a 'safe' option and one you cant really go wrong with!

MAC Hug Me
I've never heard much about this shade but I picked it up as it seemed a wearable option. Hug me is a medium nude with pink undertones. It looks similar to tantalizing taupe when swatched but its darker and leans more pink. Its an extremely easy to wear shade for fair skin, though I think it would suit most skin tones. This wears for around 3-4 hours on me and has that yummy vanilla scent I love!I generally find MAC lipsticks slightly drying but hug me seems to be the exception as I find this comfortable to wear.

tantalizing taupe | naked | hug me

What are your favourite nude shades?

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Joining The Revolution

Makeup Revolution is a brand thats everywhere at the moment. I recently received a few things to try and had a few mixed results (you may have seen me mention these in recent posts). However, I've also discovered a few gems too. 
The Focus & Fix Brow Kit in medium-dark contains 3 shades of brow powder and a clear brow wax. You also get a mini brow brush and tweezers. For just £2.50, this is a nifty little kit thats perfect for travelling with. I've been using a combination of two shades of powder on my brows and they're a decent colour match. I like that they're not too warm toned but for really dark brows, this compact might not be suitable as the shades don't run that dark. Though the powder isn't as pigmented as other brow kits I've used, you can build up the colour and it stays put all day. 
When it comes to bronzing, I need a bronzer that isn't going to look to dark or muddy on my fair skin. The Baked Bronzer in ready to go (£4) looks a little like a MAC MSF, however its a pretty gold bronze with shimmer. Its pigmented, soft and smooth but for pale skintones like myself, a little goes a long way. I have to be careful with application to avoid looking too orange but applied with a powder brush for a subtle look it adds a gorgeous sunkissed glow. 

The Flawless Eyeshadow Palette has a whopping 32 eyeshadows for just £8. If you like neutrals then you really cant go wrong with this palette - theres a great combination of shades suitable for either a natural look or something a little smokier. Quality wise, well some perform better than others. The matte shades tend to lean on the chalky side, whereas the shimmer shades feel smooth, soft and pigmented. All shades have names (name are printed on a plastic layout). 

Two of my favourite shades swatched - (from left to right) highlight and silver smoke. Also swatched is the baked bronzer.

Have you tried any Makeup Revolution products?

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Makeup Storage on Ebay

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Following on from my post on ebay makeup brushes, I've been searching for some great storage for my beauty products. 
Acrylic storage is not only hugely popular but also highly practical. I really like this two in one lipstick and drawer acrylic set up (1). Theres also a little section at the back for brushes and a side compartment for other bits and bobs. For just under £10.50, its such good value! 
After searching high and low for something to hold a few beauty products, I found this cute canvas bag (2). I think this would be great for storing things like makeup remover, cotton pads and wipes. I'm always on the lookouts for sweet makeup bags and this white floral one is super cute (3). For something a bit more classic, I like this NYX bag (4). I had no idea NYX made makeup bags so finding this was a nice surprise. I've purchased from this ebay store before and delivery is fairly fast. 
I've been considering purchasing a letter rack for holding makeup palettes in and this one (5) is really lovely. Finally, I spied this nail polish display stand (6) which looks really practical and would make a nice addition to a dressing table. It looks like it would hold a few polishes - a better setup than my current stuffing them in a drawer situation!

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8 Tips For New Bloggers

As I always say in these posts, I'm no blogging expert but if someone asked me to give some tips to a new blogger then these would be my top 8.

1. Do what you love 
The one thing I always say but its so true. Write content that you love and believe in - it will make blogging so much easier.

2. Be yourself
Dont be afraid to put yourself out there. Its very easy to want to be the next 'x' but honestly being who you are is what will make you unique and give you that 'something' that will help you and your blog stand out.

3. Be polite
Nobody likes an asshole or a bitchy blogger.

4. Dont get caught up in numbers
I said this in my last post but for new bloggers its very easy to get caught up in views/subscribers etc. It does take time to build a blog and readership. Stay focused on putting out great content and the rest will follow.

5. Network
Join social media - I'd say twitter is a must if you want to get your blog out there, the others maybe not so much. Join in with blogger twitter chats - you can find a list of all upcoming chats here. Its a great way to chat with other bloggers and help to promote your blog.

6. Turn off captcha
If there is one thing that puts off readers from commenting on blog posts its this. Captcha is basically when you have to verify your comment by typing in a number or word in a blank box. Its so difficult to read and to be honest, if it comes up when I'm commenting on a blog, I'll more than likely switch off and avoid commenting in future. You can turn it off by going to your dashboard - settings - posts and comments and setting show word verification to No. If you want to avoid spam you can moderate comments instead.

7. Dont expect 'freebies'
There are thousands of bloggers out there and in general far more bloggers than there are samples. Receiving samples and products to review is a huge perk of blogging and it is very exciting but I would honestly say that if you're only in it for 'freebies' then you wont get very far. 
Very few bloggers receive things at the beginning but if you work hard and build up your blog than the opportunities will come.

8. Dont give up!
There are many times that as a blogger you will become frustrated with your blog. In those moments, I'd say its best to take a break and refresh yourself - think about why you started blogging, maybe try something new, freshen up your design or consider what content you want to produce. If you're still passionate about blogging then keep going!

Introducing | The Garment Rack

This month has gone super fast!I'm already spying Christmas items in the aisles of Tesco - say what?? On the plus side, I've made a few beauty discoveries this month, that I cant wait to share in my favourites post later this week. First, I have this months amazing advertiser Eva and her blog to share with you!

*If you'd like to advertise, you can check out my page here - there currently 20% all packages this bank holiday weekend with the code SWEETELECTRIC*

Hi there! My name is Eva and I am the blogger behind The Garment Rack. Growing up in a major city like Boston, I developed a great sense for street style at a young age. I have been completely head over heels obsessed with fashion for as long as I can remember and just thought one day to start documenting my looks and my style. I do a lot of styling, beauty reviews, lifestyle posts and more! I am so so so compassionate about my blog and just want to share my ideas and creativity with the world! I put a lot of work and am so particular about what goes into my blog and what I display over the internet so I hope you enjoy my ideas and posts as much as I do! XOXO

Twitter: @ evuhhh

How To Feel Positive About Your Blog

Whilst blogging is mostly enjoyable, theres no denying that it can be a real roller coaster of emotions. Everyone blogger has those moments when they're frustrated or just generally feeling down about their blog or content. I've been there several times but theres a few things I reflect on during these moments and in general to help me feel more positive.

Do what you love
This is so important and possibly the one thing that should stick with you when you're a blogger. Write about what YOU want to write about. If you don't like or believe in what you are writing, how can you expect anyone else to? Even if its something you're not sure about posting - if in your heart you love what you've written, then post it. Whether it comes to content, design, photography, if its something you want to do, then follow your gut feeling. If you have passion in what you do, it will make the process of blogging so much more rewarding.

Don't compare yourself
I know sometimes that's easier said than done but comparing yourself to others really wont get you far. Remember that everyone starts out as a newbie with zero subscribers and a blank canvas. I always say this, but what makes you different is what is going to help you stand out.

Don't concentrate too much on numbers
Again, this is probably easier said than done, especially when you're new to blogging. It is exciting to look at subscriber and page view numbers - I remember being really excited when I had five subscribers as it was so surreal to me. However, spending too much time focusing your attention on these things may end up holding you back. Try to concentrate on where your strengths lie in your content - can you do amazing tutorials? great outfits? good photography? Focusing on your strengths and loves is what will make your blog an enjoyable read.

Remember blogging isn't a race
It can take a long time to build up a blog and readership. As I said, everyone starts out the same way. Its perfectly ok to take your time finding your voice and figuring out which direction you want to take your blog in.

Its OK to want to progress
Theres nothing wrong with wanting more for your blog. Though I don't think numbers should be a major concern, its OK to want to improve your blog and content and to become an all round better blogger. I consider myself to be work in progress, I'm not the best photographer in the world but its something I'm trying to improve. Theres so many tips out there on the web that can help with whatever it is you want to build on.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself
Take time out when you need to - everyone needs a break now and then. If you need help staying focused, a blogging schedule and getting organised can really help.

Do you have any tips for feeling positive about your blog?

Beauty Mishaps I've Made

Despite my love for all things beauty, I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best at application. I've definitely got better over the years but theres also been some real disasters. Here are a few notable ones;

Looking like an oompa loompa
I'm sure most of us have dealings with orange foundation at some point or other. It was a passing comment from a school friend saying I always looked ill as I was so pale that led me to discovering my mums foundation, which on me was far too dark. People at school used to ask me if I'd been on holiday but I'm sure they realised when they saw my white neck. Nothing like a good foundation tide mark eh?!!

Brows like tadpoles
Kinda like pringles 'once you pop, you cant stop', eyebrow plucking can be an addiction. I had no idea what I was doing when I started plucking my brows - anything but bushy brows (oh how I never predicted they would become a trend). Every now and again, I still have a little moment when I have to tell myself to put down the tweezers. Luckily mine managed to grow back - thank god for brow products too!

Hello, wonky side fringe
I've learnt cutting your own hair (at least for me) is never a good decision. I can get away with trimming the ends but cutting in a fringe was never going to work. I also have weird hair too so a fringe never sits quite how it should. Yes, I'm the person who will cut a fringe and then spend months growing it back out!

Patchy, Patchy
Being pale and not naturally able to tan, I like to opt for the fake variety. Theres a knack to getting fake tan looking right and I'm not sure I've completely mastered it yet. Back in the day, fake tans weren't quite as good as they are now. Having to wear jeans when its boiling hot outside because your legs are a patchy orange shade just shouldn't happen!

Clown cheeks
Looking at pictures when you have no idea that you looked like Aunt Sally (worzul gummidge anyone?) = massive cringe.

Hair removal + tanning = massive disaster
Oh, how little I knew when I applied hair removal cream to my legs on holiday and went straight out in the sun (I hadn't figured that I don't tan at this point). If I'd read the instructions saying don't sunbathe after use then I wouldn't have ended up with a massive red stripe down each leg. It took months before it faded completely. Total rookie mistake.

A few other mentions to an epic hair colour fail (orange hair brighter than the sun), stuffing my bra with tissue (#smallboobproblems) and block eyeshadow (before the discovery of blending brushes).

I'd love to know your best beauty mishaps!

The Best Budget Beauty Buys

The highstreet (or drugstore if you're from across the pond) have some amazing products. Though I do like a treat and splurge, sometimes you really don't need to splash out to get good quality products. The last few years, many budget brands have massively improved their product line. Whilst, I could talk about many products, I've managed to whittle down my favourites based on how easy they are to find, all round quality, suitability and price. These are the standout gems that are well worth a purchase.

Whilst I have a major love for Revlon Colorstay, the only foundation that can rival it is Match Perfection. The Rimmel offering is more of a people pleaser in terms of coverage, price and being suitable for most skin types. I'd describe the coverage as light to medium with a radiant finish. Oily/combination skins will need to blot their t-zone during the day but despite that, the staying power is pretty good. Its kind of a 'skin but better' result - a flawless base and good colour match. I use light porcelain, which is perfect for my very fair skin. It also has a pump bottle too. A really great all round foundation.

We're on a Rimmel Roll!One of my favourite Rimmel products is the Scandaleyes liner in nude. This is great for brightening the eye area, especially if you suffer from tired eyes. I apply like a normal liner on the bottom lash line and also in the corners before blending. It really perks up the eye area and is a bargain buy!

Though the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is the hyped concealer (I personally really like it), its not for everyone. If you're looking for something less heavy and more blendable then Seventeen Stay Time is your answer. This can be used on blemishes, redness, imperfections and under the eyes. Despite being slightly lighter coverage than lasting perfection, it stays put all day (I haven't tested the 18h claim though) and isn't orange toned. Theres a limited shade range but if you can find one that suits your skin tone then its worth snapping up.

Bar far, one of the best pressed powders I've tried is the NYC Smooth Skin Powder. For the price of £1.99, you get a compact with powder, mirror and puff. The powder does a great job of setting makeup, controlling oil and not looking caked on. I'd even go as far as saying this is on par if not better than MAC's pressed powder, which is about ten times the price. A real steal.

I never know where to start when it comes to eyeshadow shopping on the highstreet. There are a few palettes out there but for single shadows, its a little trickier. Iced fudge is a gorgeous taupe brown with a soft texture and good pigmentation. If you love neutrals, then this is one to consider, especially for just over £4.

Despite being dubbed a blush, halo is really best used as a highlighter. Halo is a gorgeous light pink champagne shimmer, that's considered a dupe for MAC's soft and gentle. Its pigmented, smooth and only £3.99. I'm not a massive fan of the cardboard packaging but that aside, this is a really great product (you can see it swatched in this post).

Have you tried any of these products?

6 Celebrities You Wouldn't Have Guessed Wore Hair Extensions

When it comes to hair care and beauty tips, celebrities aren’t shy about endorsing their so-called ‘favourite’ products. In the late 90s, Jennifer Aniston capitalised on the fame of her ‘Rachel’ hairdo by starring in a string of L’Oreal advertisements, while the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini have taken to the small screen to wax lyrical about the miraculous effects of various shampoos and conditioners.
But in reality, celebrity hair is a lot more high maintenance than ‘lather, rinse, repeat’. It may surprise you to learn that some of your favourite hair icons (including Jennifer, Nicole and Cheryl) rely on hair extensions to keep their locks looking thick and shiny.

So which other stars don’t want you to know about their secret hair extensions habit?  Read on to find out. And if you want to mimic any of these stars’ looks, check out for professional advice on hair extensions.

Blake Lively

The Gossip Girl star is famous for her boho chic red carpet hair styles. She was an early adopter of the messy side-plait look which has since been spotted on everyone from Cheryl Fernandez-Versini to Selena Gomez.
But Blake’s blond locks are not 100% natural. The star, who recently launched her own lifestyle brand, ‘Preserve’, has never admitted to using hair extensions, but archive photos prove that her natural hair is a lot thinner and shorter than her famously tumbling tresses.

   Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is certainly not shy about showing off her assets, so naturally there has been a lot of speculation about what is real and what is fake. She once filmed herself getting an x-ray, just to prove that she didn’t have butt implants, and she claims to avoid Botox due to an allergy. But what about her hair?
Back when she was best mates with Paris Hilton, she sported the kind of synthetic hair which can be spotted a mile away. But now, she favours a more natural look. However, that doesn’t mean that her days of using extensions are behind her. Now, she favours natural human hair extensions and primarily uses them to add volume, not length.

  Reese Witherspoon

American Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon shot to fame playing the bubbly legal student Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. In real life, she is a dedicated mom of three and hard-working actress, who seems a world away from the preening, hairpiece-wearing Elle. But eagle-eyed photographers have spotted a few tell-tale signs that even the ultimate girl next door needs a little help with her hair now and again.

At this year’s Oscars, Reese used natural-coloured hair extensions to give her classic hair style a boost at the crown, while she has also been spotted wearing a fake ponytail in the past.

Sarah Jessica Parker

As Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker was all curly hair and high heels. Every time she changed her hairstyle, it made fashion news. These days she favours a loose wave with blonde streaks, but her mane has a habit of looking noticeably fuller when she hits the red carpet, compared with her pulled back, off duty look.

While SJP has openly admitted to using high quality hair extensions while filming Sex and the City, it seems that a designer wardrobe is not the only thing she took away from her time on the HBO show. 

   Zooey Deschanel

“I’m bangs and eyes – it’s who I am,” Zooey Deschanel has said. The New Girl actress’ bright blue eyes and thick dark hair are pretty hard to miss. But on the set of her sitcom, her hair practically takes on a life of its own. Natural hair extensions are used to add masses of volume to her New Girl look, emphasising her ‘bangs and eyes’ trademark even more.
When she is out of character, Zooey like to keep her hair natural and wavy, but to replicate the super-thick tresses she sports on the small screen, only extensions will do.

  Angelina Jolie

Frequently cited as one of the world’s most beautiful women, Angelina’s look has changed a lot over the years. From sultry Oscar-winner in 2000, to action movie star in 2001’s Tomb Raider, to globe-trotting earth mother, and now sophisticated humanitarian.
While she has largely stayed true to her trademark brunette locks, she has incorporated extensions into her look on more than one occasion.
As Lara Croft, she had a natural weave added to give her a ponytail worthy of a fantasy action star. And more recently, she has turned to hairpieces and extensions to add a bit of oomph to her public appearances.  

*Posted on behalf of Vixen & Blush

Blogging 101

A super quick post this evening as I'm literally swamped with things at the moment. Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow. For the benefit of new readers or those new to these types of posts, I thought I would do a roundup of the 'advice' I've posted. OK, its not particularly advice as such as I'm no blogging expert so maybe tips/things I've learnt/hints is a better name for it. You can click the link on each post and it will take you straight there. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see that I've not covered yet.

Advertise on Sweet Electric

After doing a lot of thinking, I've decided to open up some advertising space to potential sponsors. Sweet Electric has grown more than I could ever have imagined and now I'm in the process of going freelance (more on this soon) selling advertising space is a way for me to cover the costs of giveaways and putting money back into this online space that will hopefully benefit sponsors too.
Adverts are offered on a 30 day basis and can be displayed whenever you are ready - I'm using passionfruit so all info is on my shop page and below.
If you would like some exposure for your blog and more information than click on my advertising page here

These ad packages are for bloggers and Etsy sellers only - for business rates please email me.

Exclusive package - $30 (roughly £18)
A large ad - size 300 x 200px.
Top spot in advertisers sidebar (under popular this month section).
A mention in every blog post during the advertising period.
Top mention in advertising spotlight post - a section about yourself, image and links to all your social media.
One tweet #ff every Friday during the advertising period.
A retweet of two of your blog posts during the advertising period.
I can help with advert image.

Featured - $17 (roughly £10)
A medium ad - 300 x 150px.
Mid position in advertising sidebar (ads will be rotated in the mid section).
A mention in the advertisers spotlight post - a section about yourself and links to your social media.
A #ff on twitter every Friday during the advertising period.

Standard - $8.50 (roughly £5)
A small linked ad - 300 x 75px.
Standard position in the advertising sidebar (ads in the standard section will be rotated).
Links to your blog in the advertisers spotlight post.
Group #ff on twitter every Friday during the advertising period.

A Note on Self Confidence

Since turning 30 at the end of last year, I've been in a reflective mood. One area that I've always struggled with is self confidence. I've never been a particularly confident person, in my teens I had a lot of issues with self worth but as I've grown older I've noticed a change. I guess that's what has encouraged me to write this post and to share a few things that I've learnt/realised about confidence.

Confidence grows with age.
When I was younger, I used to hear so many people say this and I truly didn't believe it. However, I can honestly say its true. As I've got older, I've become more comfortable with myself and that's not to say I wouldn't change anything as I would like to be a bit more toned, have nicer hair etc. For me, self confidence has become about self-acceptance and caring less what people think. Years ago, I wouldn't leave the house without eyeliner and lipstick, whereas these days I really don't care. Worrying what everyone thinks about you doesn't get you anywhere and to be frank,people are too busy to care. Accepting yourself for how you are is an important part of being confident.

Confidence isn't a reflection of how you look
Though I do think things like getting a new hair cut, loosing weight, buying new clothes etc can give you a boost in the short term, I really believe true confidence comes from within. If you don't believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? If you don't like yourself, you're going to be unhappy, regardless of how you look.

Comparing yourself to others gets you nowhere
I mentioned this quote in another post but I love the saying 'dont compare your beginning to someone elses middle'. Everyone is different and I think its wastes so much time when you constantly look at what others are doing. I'm never going to look like a supermodel or have things that others have but that's ok. 

Being around negative people can affect you.
I've learnt its best to walk away from people who put you down. Usually its more a refection of themselves - putting people down to make themselves feel better. Self confidence grows with positive energy and more so when you're surrounded by positive people. A person with a positive mind is more likely to feel better about themselves than someone full of negative thoughts.

Confidence can come from unlikely places.
For me, blogging has given me a confidence that I didn't have before, probably as when I started it was something out of my comfort zone. Sometimes doing things that you wouldn't normally consider (obviously legal things) can break any aspect of self doubt. If you don't give something a try, then how do you know what will happen?

Having a bit of belief in yourself can make you realise how many goals you could achieve (realistic goals - I'm not talking about fame and fortune). I do have a book, that's really helped me to change my way of thinking somewhat (I'll do a post on it soon) but sometimes a bit of reflection on life can give you food for thought.

Dealing With Oily Skin | Products & Tips

Since being a teen, I've found it difficult to find products that don't make my oily skin either look even more of an oil slick or makeup products that stay put. However, recently I've managed to find a routine that works fairly well. 


Starting with makeup, I've found the key to making your base stay put is a great foundation. You can have a good primer but if your foundation has no lasting power than it wont make a massive difference. Foundation wise, I swear by Revlon Colorstay. We'll ignore the 24 hr claim as seriously who wears their makeup for that long? However this foundation has serious staying power. Its the only 'drugstore' foundation I've found so far that stays put throughout the day and doesn't start sliding off half way through. For me, its light to medium coverage but its quite hard to blend as it dries quickly. Saying that, its one I always repurchase as for the price your cant really beat it. For a high end option, I really like Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light - good coverage and again wears well throughout the day. A primer, I use just to make my foundation last that bit longer is the New CiD Foundation Primer* - full review here. To conceal, I use either the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer or the well known Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - the collection concealer has a thicker consistency than the seventeen one so which one I use depends on if I have any blemishes. Both are super cheap though and stay put. 
Despite a good base, I still usually need to set my makeup and blot during the day. I've used so many powders over the years but one of the best is the Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder - a white loose powder that controls oil with a matte finish. I love this powder so much as it really does keep your skin shine free. I only need to blot once during the day with this, whereas with other powders it can be a lot more. Its also non-comedogenic, fragrance free and has an SPF of 30. Its more expensive than some powders but totally worth it.
Finally, a quick note on eyes. My eyelids get really oily so a primer is a must. I really like the E.L.F Mineral Eye Primer (not sure if its been discontinued as its not on site anymore) and also the Soap & Glory Its About Prime Shadow Primer. Sometimes I'll also add a little MAC Paint Pot in nubile (ltd edition but painterly would make a good base too) just to make extra sure that everything stays put.


TIP: when it comes to skincare for oily skin, don't just look at products tailored to your skin type. I find a lot of ranges catered for oily/blemished skin (such as clean&clear) can be too harsh and in the long run make your skin oilier. 

For cleansing, I prefer using cream/balm cleansers as foaming types tend to be very drying. Once a week I use the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser* - its quite a thick cream and too much for me to use on a daily basis but used once a week, it works it magic as a brightening treatment. For daily cleansing, the Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser* is perfect. Its a cross between a cream and gel, doesn't need removing and is 100% gentle. For oily skin, this wont make your skin any oilier or dry it out and its really easy to use. 
Serum wise, I've been lucky enough to discover the Antonia Burrell Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum*. This has really made a difference in balancing my skin and helping to keep it clear. It isn't heavy and sinks in well. Its by no means cheap but so far I'm seeing results. For something a little cheaper, the Liz Earle Smoothing Line Serum is a good choice. This is tailored to mature skins or those with the first signs of ageing. Its very light and can be used on the eye area and in place of your normal moisturiser on very oily skins.

TIP: Don't overspend on a regular toner. You can get some great toners in Boots and Superdrug - I like the organic surge orange flower toner and the No7 soft and soothed gentle toner - both are non greasy and feel light and refreshing. 

When it comes to moisturisers, I prefer light formulas. The Liz Earle Skin Repair Light* and Bioderma Sebium Intensive Purifying Care are both great options. Both can be used under makeup or as an evening moisturiser. The bioderma is better for blemished skin as its perfect for clearing up spots quickly, whereas the Liz Earle is ideal for oily but dehydrated skin.

TIP: Don't skip moisturiser. Even oily skins need hydration - go for lighter options or ones tailored for sensitive skin.

Twice a week, I pop on a face mask - for a deep cleanse, the Una Brennan Tea Flower Pore Purifying Mask is a brilliant option. Una Brennan has some amazing affordable products, I could have mentioned a few more in this post but a clay mask is a good staple for oily skin and this one only needs five minutes to work. Clay is a cheap ingredient so its really not worth spending £££'s on a mask. 
My all time favourite mask is the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask. This isn't cheap but its 100% worth buying. It smells gorgeous, feel gentle and nourishing, great for soothing blemishes. I could go on but trust me, this is a good 'un!

What are your favourite products for oily skin?

Want A New Blog Design?

So I've finally bit the bullet and opened a blog design shop. Despite being self taught at html, I love designing and creating pretty blog templates - you may have guessed that from the number of times I've changed my own blog layout. 
I wanted to create affordable yet chic designs and hopefully I've managed to achieve that. There are currently five designs available - all premade and instant download, meaning you don't have to wait for your design to be ready. Prices are from just £6 (or the equivalent in your country's currency). I'll also be adding some one of a kind templates shortly (these will be slightly more expensive but will be unique to each buyer, meaning no one will have the same template as you.)

You can find my designs here. There's currently 10% when you use the code: LAUNCH.

5 Ways To Solve Writers Block...

If you're passionate about writing, it can be extremely fulfilling. However, when you're struck with writers block, it can lead to incredible frustration. Here I share my top 5 ways for solving writers block.

1. Take a step back.
Take some time to regroup and refocus. Think about what you want to achieve with your writing - what kind of content do you aspire to write. If you need a break take one, its ok to take some time out.

2. Keep writing.
A contradiction from the above but writing away from your regular platform can help to keep consistency. Try writing in a notebook or journal - write anything that comes into your head, whether its thoughts, feelings or even just describing what you can see around you. Once you start doing this, you should find it easier to pick where you left off. Writing can help your ideas and content to start flowing again.

3. Look for inspiration.
Sometimes inspiration wont just land on your lap - you need to actively go out and look for it. Try reading, looking at photographs, listening to music and talking to family and friends. Jot down some ideas from your inspiration on a notepad and see where it takes you.

4. Think outside the box.
Try new things as you never know where it might lead. One of my favourite quotes (and I have no idea where this came from) is 'look at what others are doing and do the opposite'. What can you do differently? Can you bring something new to the table? Where do your strengths lie? Explore new areas and see what works best for you.

5. Think positive.
Its amazing how the mind can work. Chances are, if you're thinking negatively then it will reflect on your content. Your not going to write content you believe in, if you're not feeling positive about your blog or your writing. Writers block usually doesn't last long - stay positive. Perhaps there are things you can do to keep your blog/website fresh - maybe change up your blog design, re-organise your desk or purchase a new notebook.

Getting writers block is natural, don't put pressure on yourself to keep writing content for your platform if the ideas and words aren't flowing. Sometimes having the chance to reformulate can encourage better content in the long run.

Do you have any tips for dealing with writers block?