Why Beauty Blogging Was Important to Me, and Why It Isn't So Much Now

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Following on from my post on feeling lost in the world of blogging, I've been trying to work out just exactly where I stand and how I feel about my place in the beauty blogging world. I know, I know, that sounds melodramatic, but honestly, I don't think you can understand the attachment we bloggers have with our blogs and the blogging community unless you're a blogger yourself! But when you feel totally disenchanted, lost and (frankly) uninterested, where do you fit into the equation? Is it time to take yourself out of it? Then I saw this quote on Instagram...


Remember why you started. Well, why did I start beauty blogging? I was young, in college studying media make-up and totally enthralled with everything makeup and beauty. Makeup was truly an art form to me, it was self expression, it had absolutely nothing to do with trying to improve my 'natural beauty' - to me, 'natural' or 'neutral' makeup was the definition of dull. Everything seemed magical, fascinating - I spent all of my free time playing with makeup, talking my friends into modelling for me, posting to online makeup forums and watching Youtube tutorial and I never got tired of it.  Then, one day, I stumbled upon Lipglossiping - the first UK beauty blog I had come across. I spent hours and hours reading through as far back as I could, this magical makeup world seemingly opening up even further with every mention of a product or brand I'd never come across before. I realised there must be even more UK people out there as hooked on beauty as I was, and right then, I decided to make a blog.

Those first few years were incredible. I loved everything to do with blogging - planning posts, photographing products, writing, reading everyone else's posts, keeping up with the latest products - it was so insanely fun it was all I thought about! I loved casual Twitter chit chats with other bloggers, replying to all the comments from readers, even emails from people asking advice! 

So, to sum it up, I began because I LOVED makeup, I LOVED blogging and I LOVED the community. But these days...well, everything has changed - and no, I don't just mean in the blogging world, I mean personally, too.

These days I barely wear makeup, I'd definitely not just do it for fun like I would back then! I have a drawer rammed full of crazy bright eyeshadows that I used to wear almost daily, but now I just grab whichever neutral palette is closest. The idea of spending an hour or so on some intricate look makes me feel more 'ugh' than 'YAY!' and I'd rather spend dollar on clothes, books and fitness than the latest release from whatever new brand. Getting glammed up to just sit at home feels more depressing than fun and when I write, instead of it sounding enthusiastic and full of personality, I can't help but feel it comes across as flat and bland (so three cheers for you if you're still reading!)

There's also the whole 'adulting' thing, which makes the time you "have to" put into blogging so much more valuable when there's 'real life' stuff to worry about which you never had to think about as a young blogger - work, building your skills for work, job hunting, networking, keeping your finances in check, keeping appointments, making sure you see x or y family member or friend. I admit I now feel a pang of guilt if I'm writing about a lipstick instead of brushing up on a new piece of software, fixing my work portfolio or checking for job listings - but that is real life, that is the stage of life I'm at right now.

So really, beauty blogging isn't that important to me now because...well, I grew up. I'm no longer that bright eyed 16 year old entirely amazed by new MAC releases, daydreaming about working with Pat McGrath and spending every waking moment doing makeup. I'm a slightly stressed 23 year old who spends more time writing food plans, wandering through museums and reading up on history. 

Life is wonderful in its unpredictability - it's exciting and unnerving at the same time. It changes, we change, and I've learnt we can either accept this or keep trying to jam ourselves into a mold which we've simply outgrown. So for now I will keep wandering, a bit lost, debating writing about a new topic - but that's entirely okay, after all, you miss all the fun when you stick to a set path, right?!

Are you still as passionate now as you were when you started beauty blogging? Has a new interest taken its place? Do you think feel a bit guilty writing blog posts instead of 'adulting' too? Let me know! Comments up top!

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OOTD: He Is Legend

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Here's on of those posts where I wear clothes and strike dodgy and awkward poses! I did, however, have some fun taking these pictures - especially since my tripod has vanished and I had to use a toddler's patio table in its place...Gotta be inventive sometimes, folk!





CHOKER - Ebay
TOP - He Is Legend gig
SHORTS - Primark
FISHNETS - New Look
BOOTS - Missguided
BRACELET - Actually a necklace, from Primark
SASS - All mine

Sometimes shorts are just denim underwear, aren't they? I mean - when did it become all hunky dory to stroll about in shorts that just about cover your butt? Who knows. Who cares! Combine with a band shirt, fishnets, a choker and some boots and you're good to go!

What's your take on short shorts? Are you a band shirt fiend, too? Let me know! Comments up top!

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My Top Ten Favourite Blogs

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While I'm feeling slightly lost on my own blogging journey, I thought I'd share my favourite blogs - the ones I've never gotten tired of! Some of these I've followed since I first discovered blogs, some I've followed since they started up, some I've only just discovered, but they all have one thing in common - being simply brilliant!


Many of these blogs are already well known (with good reason), but I hope you find a new favourite! Now, lets get started...

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Makeup Savvy' Bloglovin' feed ] 

Makeup Savvy
Makeup Savvy is one of the blogs I've followed the longest. The lady behind it, Fee, creates wonderfully varied content paired with simply beautiful photos. Whenever I need to read something fresh or a break from post after post of the newest launch from 'brand X', I'll head to Makeup Savvy.

[ Image - Screenshot of 'The Sunday Girl' Bloglovin feed

The Sunday Girl
How Adrienne posts so often without losing any quality is beyond me, she is a power house! I swear she must never sleep and be fuelled by the glow of her laptop screen! Always up to date with new launches, super honest reviews and a very approachable writing style. If I take a break from blog reading, I always read the Sunday Girl first to update me on everything I've missed!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Fashion Influx' Bloglovin Feed ]

Fashion Influx
Lydia is a beaut' and her simple, chic style and love of monochrome speaks to me. She's also got one of the most down to Earth, 'say it as it is' online voices out there in the fashion blogging world right now which is insanely refreshing! Plus, three cheers for a fellow Northern lass, whey!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Media Marmalade' Bloglovin Feed

Media Marmalade
I only started reading Media Marmalade this year after seeing her posts constantly popping up on Bloglovin under 'What's Popular'. Her blogging advice posts are hands down the best I've read - well informed, friendly, realistic and not at all patronizing. Plus, her photos are lovely!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Zoe London' Bloglovin Feed ]

Zoe London
I've followed Zoe from the beginning and it has been incredible to see how far she has come! She is constantly improving - from her writing to her photos and everything in between. You can tell how hard she's worked. It's been lovely watching her grow as a blogger and in many ways, as an individual, too.

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Jazzabelle's Diary' Bloglovin' Feed ]

Jazzabelle's Diary
I find Jazmine's blog quite unique in that her personality shines through in every aspect. Her sense of style is wonderful, her pictures are beautiful (as is she!) and she seems like such a lovely, genuine girl - I'd happily invite her for tea and cake any time!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Le Happy' Bloglovin Feed ]

Le Happy
Out of all the style/ fashion bloggers I follow, this girl's look is my idea of perfect. A fellow lover of leather, black, band tees and vintage...now, if only I could work out how she always looks so damn awesome while I look...well, like me!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Ambitious Kitchen' Bloglovin Feed ]

Ambitious Kitchen
You didn't think I'd go without including some food blogs, did you?! Ambitious Kitchen is dedicated to healthy, nutritious food, fitness and nutrition and is jam packed with delicious veggie recipes, too! And don't let the name fool you, they're mostly super simple to make!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Cookie and Kate' Bloglovin Feed ]

Cookie and Kate
A vegetarian food blog which always comes up with dishes you might not have seen elsewhere. I love their creativity, mouth wateringly perfect food photos and the emphasis on good, clean eating! It's so hard to pick out specific recipes to try as they all look simply incredible!

[ Image - Screenshot of 'Fit Sugar' Bloglovin' Feed

Fit Sugar
I mainly enjoy Fit Sugar for their food recipes these days, but back when I actually exercised (whoops, there's a habit I need to restart!) Fit Sugar was ace for grabbing a bit of workout inspiration and finding new things to mix up my regular routines. I do think some of their articles are a bit misleading, so take Fit Sugar with a pinch of salt!

And that, my friends, is my top ten! Do we share any favourites? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know! Comments up top!

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Feeling Lost in the World of Blogging

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This past year, I've been a feeling a pretty lost in the blogging world. I used to feel like a part of something inclusive and community based, but more and more, I feel I'm just watching from the outside as it heads in directions I'm not sure I want to follow.


When I started blogging about six years ago, it was very different indeed. I remember the majority of 'top bloggers' when they had just started out around the same time, how everyone's pictures were poor quality, getting an event invite was a big deal and the idea of money hadn't even entered anyone's minds. These days blogs look like classy magazine pages, with perfectly lit images and photos which must have taken days if not weeks to plan, everyone has become an expert in marketing and branding, agencies represent bloggers, people make enough money to rent flats in London and buy designer shoes every week. Blogging is making a more definitive switch from 'hobby' to 'career' for many - and I love that!

However, this leaves a lot of 'old timers' like me feeling unsure about what exactly it is they're getting from their blog anymore. We all started out because we had a passion we wanted to share - we were getting enjoyment from writing and sharing our thoughts and that's what mattered. But after so long, the passion fades, the interest fades, and honestly that's no way to run a blog at all.

So I guess I'm saying I have no idea which direction this blog is going to head in - or even if I'll continue to keep it up! Maybe I'll redesign and relaunch, maybe I'll become a lifestyle blogger...who knows...

Hopefully, eventually I'll find the right path...

Do you feel a bit lost in the blogging world too? Let me know! Comments up top!


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Travel Pictures from Asia!

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A little over 2 months ago, I set off on a journey which would take me further from home, family and familiarity than I had ever dared to go on my own before. After all, life is not meant to be lived inside a comfort zone, right?! I've sifted through the ridiculous amount of pictures I took in South East Asia and thought I'd post my favourites! 


THAILAND

Thailand, Travel, Anthong Marine Park, Travelling, Backpacking, Tropical, Islands

Thailand, Koh Phangan, Travel, Backpacking, Tropical Island

Thailand, Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai, Waterfall, Nature

Thailand, Chiang Mai, Thailand Royal Gardens, Insects

Thailand, Bangkok, Sky Bar, City, Night

LAOS

Laos, Vientiane, That Luang, Temple

Laos, Vientiane, Wat Sisaket, Buddha

Laos, Vientiane, Buddha Park

VIETNAM

Vietnam, Hoi An, Lanterns, Street Photography

Vietnam, Hoi An, Street Photography

Vietnam, Hue, Hue Citadel

Vietnam, Hanoi, Turtle Tower

Vietnam, Sapa

CAMBODIA

Cambodia, Kampot, Old Bridge, Street Photography

Cambodia, Kampot

Cambodia, Angkor Wat, Koh Rong Samloen, Angkor Wat Sunrise

The entire trip I had to keep convincing myself that I was actually there. Every day I felt ridiculously privileged to be on such a journey, experiencing, seeing and learning so many new and incredible things!

Next stop? Who knows? Maybe Morocco...But until then, I'm very happy in good old England, drinking tea, eating cake and wandering around Manchester!

If you'd like to see more pictures from my time away, check out my Instagram, which I updated almost daily the entire time :)

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Sugarpill 'Kitten Parade', 'Frostine' and 'Darling' Eyeshadow and Chromalust

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A little while ago it struck me that I only owned ONE thing from Sugarpill - how scandalous! I've been following Shrinkle since the Livejournal days and absolutely loved her unapologetically bright, fun, bold makeup looks and dress sense. Her brand, Sugarpill, is not only equally unapologetically bold, but the quality is simply incredible.
I opted for two pressed 'shadows from the 'Sparkle Baby' collection, as well as a chromalust (loose 'shadow) from the original line-up of colours.

'Kitten Parade' is a stunning golden peachy pink, one of those Nars 'Orgasm' type of shades which everyone has been obsessed with at some point! I love the versatility of golden-pinks as they're ideal for everyday looks, evening looks, highlights (use a soft hand!), layered over black for something punchy or even as blush. 'Kitten Parade' is the glowiest golden pink I own, I mean - it is practically beaming. Blends like a dream, incredible shade...you just can't lose!
'Frostine' is a soft purple with what I can only describe as a subtle pink-purple glow. It's a strange finish to attempt to describe...like a pastel purple satin with a duochrome overlay. I think this would look incredible as an alternative to white or soft golds to highlight the inner corner of the eye. It blends beautifully and is surprisingly pigmented for such a pale shade!


Oh, 'Darling', how I have craved you since your release. At last, we have been united. I mean...*ahem* 'Darling' is a bright, bold, cheery teal-ish turquoise with turquoise sparkle which I just love. Turquoise is such a fantastic shade for those of us with brown eyes, I like a simple sweep of 'Darling' on the lower lashline paired with my usual black cat eye. Pigmented, blendable, just a corker of a shade!

I purchased these from Love Makeup, a UK supplier of Sugarpill, while they were on sale. Regular prices are as follows -

Pressed eyeshadow - £8.50 for 3.5g product
Chromalust - £8.95 for 5g product

All around a great (cruelty free, indie) company with amazing products. Give them a shot if you haven't already! Have you tried any of these? What's your fave Sugarpill shade? Any you're lusting after? Let me know! Comments up top!
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REVIEW: Dr. Shedu Keratin Collagen Dead Sea Salts Shampoo

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If you're in the market for a SLS and paraben free, PH balanced, cruelty free shampoo which nourishes your hair, leaving it strengthened and healthy - Dr. Shedu has the answer!


Dr. Shedu are a pretty young company, with their Keratin Collagen shampoo only having been released a few months ago. Enriched with minerals such as calcium. magnesium and sodium from  Dead Sea salts, plus keratin and collagen, this shampoo improves elasticity and 'repairs' little nicks and tears in the hair shaft making hair smoother, shinier and more manageable. I say 'repairs' as hair CAN NOT be repaired - just patched up - so no, a shampoo will not solve your split ends or ragged locks, but it can mask the issue until you get a cut.


Now although it's been called a shampoo, I'd probably say that in reality it is a cleansing mask - why? Because for the full effects of all those lovely dead sea minerals you need to leave it to soak into your hair for three minutes. I treated it as regular shampoo at first and kicked myself when I realised I'd been using it incorrectly!


I have now used Dr. Shedu's Keratin Collagen shampoo for roughly two months (maybe more, I only have a little left!) and overall my hair feels thicker and more resilient than usual. I didn't notice that it became shinier or smoother as to be honest that's not much of an issue for me anyway! My super sensitive scalp didn't have any kind of reaction, which was wonderful, I guess that's what you get when you take all the 'nasties' out of hair care!

I had to use quite a bit to get through my thick semi-afro hair, and personally didn't find it as moisturising as shampoos I usually use. This is probably best suited to those with normal - fine hair with light, day to day damage.

Available from Amazon at £8.99 for 200ml.

Have you tried Dr. Shedu's shampoo? Do you choose SLS free products? Let me know! Comments above!

* Product received for PR purposes. All opinion 100% my own and 100% honest, as always! *


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