The Vuelio Blog Awards; where do I even start? The whole night felt like a dream and not just because I was drunk (see 10 reasons why I will never get shitfaced at a blogger event again), but because I'm not even sure how I managed to get there. How did my little blog, something I started up just because I had spare time, bring me all the way to London to share a room with hundreds of other like minded people? I'm still a tiny little blogger, but just to be in this place with so many successful people made me so proud of everything I've done over the last few years.  



So onto the awards. The night started with me meeting some lovely blogger ladies from all over the UK. We talked so much about things only other bloggers would understand. Obviously I talk to Sean and some of my friends about blogging, but there are just some things that only other bloggers would really get. I had probably already drank too much champagne by this point but let's forget about that. 

After a little while of mingling we were moved into the main room where our tables and first course were waiting for us. At this point I got to meet a few new people before tucking into my starter and eventually my main which was a delicious steak by the way. 



I watched the actual awards on a table nearer the front as so many people didn't show up and there were lots of available seats. Again I got to meet more lovely bloggers and even blogger boyfriends who had come along for the fun. I kind of wished I had brought Sean at this point because I knew he would have been having a boring time at the hotel, and if there were other bloggers boyfriends here I'm sure we could have left them all together and picked them up at the end of the night. Next time I get invited to a blogging event I will bring him as it was just such a good night and I'm kind of sad that he never got to experience it. 


             

After the awards we were moved back into the other room for drinks, icecream and to the use the photobooth. I happened to miss the ice cream and the photobooth as I was more concentrated on the booze but I've learnt my lesson with that one. 

The night on a whole was amazing and honestly in my head I'm still living in this world where I'm an important blogger who gets to go to important events in important places in London. Although that's not my reality I'm going to remember exactly how I felt that night and work my arse off until one day it is. 

Did any of you guys go to the awards?

Thanks for reading! 

xxx

The 2016 Vuelio Blog Awards

Last year I wrote a post all about the best Instagram accounts I follow and it went down pretty well. I thought it was about time I did another round up showing you all my current favourites. I've fallen out of love with Instagram lately as the new timeline has really thrown me, however there are still a few accounts I can't help but stalk! Again I've decided to leave out the accounts with large followings and focus on my fave smaller accounts.



@amandajaaayne - I've been following Amanda for ages now and she's turned into a pretty good blogger friend, you might have even seen our recent collaborations (here & here). Amanda's photography is always fab, it's bright and pretty and the composition is always on point. She posts about all things beauty as well as a little bit of fashion and lifestyle, but makeup is her true calling!



@sophiesierra90 - Sophie is another fab friend I've met through blogging and I'm so glad I did. She is such a happy soul who is always there if you need a chat! Her love of summer and all things colourful is evident in her instgram pictures which always leave me desperate to get down the beach! If you need some mermaid vibes in your life check out her account!



@styleandsushi - Laura is one of the first fashion blogs I ever really got into and I still love her monochrome style to this day. Her instagram is full of the most gorgeous flatlays and pretty little outfit of the day pics too. Although her posts only feature a pop of colour here and there, they work perfectly and inspire me to try wearing more minimalistic outfits!



@ellenatlanta - Ellen's style is just on a next level, I click on her insta whenever I need a little bit of pastel inspo in my life. Her outfits are always on point and her gorgeous peachy princess hair always leaves me feeling a tad jealous. I also don't think you will ever find a girl with a more beautiful shoe collection.



@crimeofashion - Sara has been one of my favorite bloggers for ages. I've followed her since she lived in Ireland but nowdays she spends her time in the beautiful city of Paris. Her wardrobe style is elegant and very sophisticated but always fun to spy on. She also recently got a kitten so that just gives me another reason to stalk her feed!

So that was a little round up of some of my favourite smaller Instagrammers. I really like doing posts like this because not only do I get to share some brilliant accounts with you all, but you guys can see when I get a lot of my inspiration from!

Thanks for reading!

xxx

My Favourite Instagram Accounts - Updated For 2016


I'm writing this on the train home from London after a fab night at the Vuelio Blogger Awards. I'm ridiculously hungover and ready for my bed, but I have a couple of hours to kill so I thought I should make something positive out of the mess I was last night. I'm in the typical 'I'm never drinking again' mindset at the moment so I wanted to write down a few things to remind myself not to get white girl wasted next time I'm at a sophisticated social event. 

1. The more you drink the more you wee and you can't have fun when you're running off to the loo every 5 minutes.  

2. Everyone loves a free drink but let's be honest, no one wants to be seen as the person taking the piss completely. I'm 100% sure I was that person last night. 

3. I love wine however I do not love hiccups. 

4. I think my life is really interesting, hence why I share it online; but not everyone gives a shit. When I'm drunk I want to tell everyone all of the things and I don't realise how much rubbish is spilling out of my mouth until I see people running for the door! 

5. Being a Brummie is a pretty hard thing to hide at the best of times, but after a few drinks I get on a whole new level. I don't hate my accent but when I'm drunk it just sounds like I'm taking the piss and I can't turn it off. 

6. I lost most of the business cards people gave to me. I met so many lovely blogging girls that I'll probably struggle to find now as I've managed to misplace their cards! 

7. Blogging events are really fun but they are also great for networking and helping your blog grow. There's lots of important people at these events and really no one wants to come off as a binge drinker/ alcoholic to the SEO of an important company. I definitely managed to get that profile down to a T. 

8. Trying to get back to my hotel (it was deffo a hostel but whatever) in a city I'm not familiar with it is a little bit scary, but team that up with a bit of wine and I suddenly turn into a perfect target for a serial killer. 

9. I was sick. Whilst walking to my station, which was very definitely closed by that time I spewed my guts all over the pavement. It was literally so red I can't get over it. Unfortunately for me this happened next to a lad who had volunteered to walk me there as I didn't really know my way. He owns a business that works with bloggers and I'm sure I left a lasting impression, just not the one I was going for. 

10. Being in London is a nightmare but being in London with a hangover is so much worse. 

I've learned my lesson and hopefully next time I get invited to a nice event I will be a classy grown up woman who doesn't need to down champagne like theres no tomorrow! Did any of you guys get to go to the Blogger Awards?! 

Thanks for reading!

xxx

Ten Reasons Why I Will Never Get Shit Faced At A Blogger Event Again

You may remember a few weeks back me and Amanda each wrote about our favourite budget and high end foundations. Well this time we are talking all about the mascaras we can't get enough of at the moment! I had a few mascaras in mind for this post as it really is one of the main things I fork out on. I debated talking about my beloved Benefit Roller Lash or even my lesser used Hypnose from Lancome but I settled on my current Too Faced fave.


Better Than Sex is a blogger favourite so I had high hopes when I purchased the travel sized version a couple of months ago. On the packaging it claims to increase the volume of your lashes by 1944% - which I think is a little extreme - it also claims to be smudge proof which is much more realistic.

So lets start with the price. This is a more high end mascara so it is quite pricey but it is available in a travel size for anyone who doesn't want to fork out the full amount. I decided to try out the travel sized version first as I wasn't sure if I would like it. The smaller size comes in at around £10 and the full size is around £19.


Packaging is always a major factor for me when purchasing more expensive products and I quite like how this one looks. Although its pretty basic there is a luxurious feel to this product and the full sized version is even nicer with the text being embossed into the packaging instead of printed onto it like this one.

So what do I think of the mascara itself? The brush for starters isn't one I would normally go for, I usually prefer the plastic wands with very fine bristles, so not only do I get volume but I also get defined lashes. This brush is thicker than I prefer and the bristles are almost like a pipe cleaner, however they give my lashes an incredible amount of volume. I also feel that the curl they give my lashes almost rivals that of the roller lash and the solution itself is much easier to remove too. My only issue with this product is that I usually like to build layers of mascara up but after a few coats of this I find my lashes do start to clump a bit. This isn't too much of a problem as I tend to like the over done look, but I could see it being a problem for others who want to go for a more natural lash style.


All in all I'm pretty smitten with this product. It gives my beloved Roller Lash a run for its money and like I said before it is a hell of a lot easier to remove too. I won't hesitate to repurchase this when it runs out as it is honestly one of the best mascaras I've ever used! It is however not even slightly better than sex!

Don't forget to click here to check out Amanda's post on her best budget mascara!

Thanks for reading!

xxx


High End VS Budget - Mascara

I received the Benefit Air Patrol Eyelid Primer for my birthday after lusting after it for so long. I've been using it for a couple of months now so I thought it was about time I reviewed it for you guys! 

This product is a BB Cream and Eyelid Primer rolled into one, although I've hardly used it on my actual face. The primer which also contains SPF 20 claims to colour correct any skin tone so can be used as a stand alone product. Air Patrol's main selling point is its ability to prolong the life of our eyeshadow and prevents it from creasing but does it actually work?


As always I'm going to start with the price. Air Patrol comes in at a fairly costly £21.50, which is more expensive than the blogger favourite from Urban Decay. This is the most expensive primer I've ever used and I wouldn't mind if it actually worked. Before buying Air Patrol I had been using the Makeup Revolution Eye Primer which I didn't love but at only £2.50 I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase!

The packaging is another big factor for me, especially when buying high end makeup. I quite like the packing, the product itself is appealing and looks nice in a pot on my makeup table. The aspect I don't like is the 'CushionCalm' tip at the top of the tube where the primer comes out, I don't feel that is it gentle enough to be used on my eyelids. I also don't like the fact that you have to twist the bottom of the tube to produce the primer. This usually gets blocked and takes a while for the primer to come out meaning you always end up with more primer than you need and end up wasting a lot of it.


One of the biggest claims of Air Patrol is that it 'Extends the wear of eyeshadow for long-lasting colour that won't crease, fade or smear.' Unfortunately I've found it allows the eyeshadow to do all three. After just a few hours my eyeshadow creases and starts to look very tired. By the end of the day my makeup looks slept in and I don't feel that the primer has done its job very well at all.

Although smudging doesn't occur too much my eyeshadow does fade after only a couple of hours. This however is much worse when I use cheaper eyeshadows,  but still I don't think it should happen at all. Considering the budget primers I've used over the years have worked just as well or ever better I really do think you are paying for the Benefit name here instead of the quality of the product.


I've used Air Patrol as a base for numerous eyeshadows, from high end to budget and I am not impressed. For a product that costs over £20 I was expecting a lot more. Although when I use it alone it does give my eyelids an even tone it doesn't work well as a primer at all. So would I repurchase this product? No.

Have you used the Air Patrol Eyeshadow Primer, what did you think?


Thanks for reading!

xxx

Benefit Air Patrol Review


Last week while watching my daily dose of The Wright Stuff, a topic came up that really got me thinking; is makeup empowering? This particular topic, which could have easily been based around both sexes experiences with makeup, only focused on women slapping the stuff on, which probably got my back up straight away. Now I love makeup. It's no secret that I spend a lot of time buying and applying it so I wanted to share my opinion on the whole thing...

One of the notions that came up a lot on the show and on twitter was that women feel they have to wear makeup. This is something that surprised me as I've never felt like I needed to cover up. I mean yeah if I had a couple of pesky spots I'd feel more comfortable with a bit of concealer, but I would never feel like I had to wear it. A few mentioned that they think makeup contributes to body images issues, but I've never felt ugly when I'm makeup-less compared to women who were wearing a lot. But if a women does have confidence issues, surely it's better for her to be able to make herself feel beautiful before leaving the house, than to brave the world worrying about how she looks?


One thing I did notice was the differing opinion between men and women. A lot of the men commenting believed that women were only wearing makeup for them. Now this is something I've heard time and time again and it always makes me laugh; how vain are you to think the women of the world are getting dressed up just for you?! Believe me we do not spend hundreds of pounds a year and hours of our lives trying to look nice for men in the street. We are also not, as another man suggested, trying to make ourselves look more sexually appealing; I just want ridiculously long lashes, is that too much to ask for?

Another thing (mostly) men tend to say is that women who wear makeup are living a lie. They are lying to themselves about how beautiful they are and they are fooling others into thinking they are more attractive than they really are. Now I'm sorry but anyone who believes I naturally have bronze eyelids doesn't deserve an opinion on this matter.


Generally women were on the side of makeup, although some did say it was fuelling a confidence issue, many talked about the art behind the slap. Makeup is an art, wether you use it to cover spots, enhance your lips, or contour the shape of your face. There is a lot of skill in correctly applying makeup. It's taken me a long time to confidently apply makeup, but now that I'm half decent at it I love creating new makeup looks/ trying out new things and I certainly applaud anyone who can create a perfectly blended smokey eye! 


One thing that wasn't covered surprisingly is that men wear makeup too and in my opinion that is empowering for them. Because men wearing makeup isn't the norm, men who do wear makeup, such as drag queens and some celebrities are praised for doing what they want! This seems like double standards to me, but then again the same men that judge women for wearing a little bit of face would probably be too ignorant to appreciate someone of their own gender wearing makeup.

Honestly the whole debate seemed unnecessary to me. Some women wear makeup and some don't but most of those women have been told at some point that they either 'shouldn't wear so much makeup' or that they 'should make more effort'. This seemed less of an issue for women than it did for men if you ask me. It would be nice for women to get to a stage where we are seen as equals so something as trivial as wearing makeup doesn't need to be debated on national TV. The bottom line is that whatever a women chooses to do herself is empowering to her, whether that be wearing makeup or not as long as she has made that choice her self. That is empowering.

I would really love to hear your opinions on this because I can't personally see why it's such a big issue! Let me know what you think in the comments or over on twitter!

Thanks for reading!

xx

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* All quotes are taken from Twitter

Is Make Up Empowering?

So last week I posted about our first day in Paris and as the post was looking a little long I decided to split it in two. If you missed the first half of my Paris travel diary you can catch up on it here, this post is all about days 2 and 3!

           

Day 2 - On our second day we went to Disneyland! This was one of the only things we had actually planned in advance and something we were so so excited for! This was my 4th time and Sean's 2nd in Disney but do you think that took the shine off it at all? No it didn't! Although it was a bit of a trek; over an hour on 2 train journeys I was just so happy to be going back to one of my favourite places. 

I don't really know what to say about this day, we just spent hours running around jumping on all of our favourite rides and a few new ones too. I also bought another pair of Minnie Mouse ears which dug into my head like you wouldn't believe, however I smiled through the pain and enjoyed every second of my day!

We rode our fave rollercoasters, ate the famous hot dogs and watched the fireworks like we were 5 year olds again. The whole day was just brilliant and even though we were completely out of energy we stayed right up until the park closed at 11pm. Two hours later we were just arriving back at the hotel for one last night.


Day 3 - By day 3 we really were out of energy and ideas. I've never really been one for relaxing holidays but this week we had pushed ourselves to the absolute limit and had nothing left to give. We slept in for as long as our hotel would let us before checking out to wander the city once more.

Without really knowing what to do we headed towards the famous Paris Catacombs. We had heard so much online about them and after watching the film As Above So Below we really wanted to check them out for ourselves. Once we got there the queue was hours long and honestly we just didn't have the strength to stand. We weighed up our options for a bit before going over to Les Invalides which houses a military museum and the Tomb of Napoleon. I don't really know all the much about French history but it was fascinating to see the final resting place of someone who conquered so much of Europe. 

We still had so much time before our coach left on the night so again without really knowing what to do we went back towards the Eiffel Tower to have a picnic in one of the parks surrounding. We ate and relaxed and even fell asleep at one point in the late afternoon sun. Our time in Paris was almost over but all we wanted to do was climb into bed and nap for days. After a few hours of drifting in and out of consciousness it was time to pick the bags up from the hotel and catch our dreaded coach home. It would be another 20 hours before we finally arrived back in Birmingham but thats a story for another time!

There's a bit of me that feels like we kind of wasted our time here. There was so much we could have done but we were just too tired to function. Maybe one day we will get to come back to Paris but for now theres so much more of the world to see!


Thanks for reading!

xxx

Paris Travel Diary Days 2 + 3



So I finally got around to filming a video! I know it's a little out of focus and I probably come across more timid than I actually am but it's done and I hope it's the first of many! Like I said in the video this isn't me showing off the freebies I get, I very rarely get sent blogger mail so I really had to save this lot up!

Products featured:

Bean Body Coffee Bean Scrub - Like I said in the video I have been dying to try out a coffee scrub forever but I've just never got around to it. This little beauty is cruelty free, vegan friendly and contains no parabens which is always good. This scrub is meant to help with rough/ dry skin, stretch marks, and cellulite so I will definitely be putting it to the test! It retails at £14.95 for a 220g packet.

Lloyds Pharmacy Body Care Oil - This lightly scented oil helps prevent the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It is allergen free and enriched with Vitamin F which improves skin regeneration. As I'm a little chunky I have several areas covered in stretch marks so I will definitely be putting this oil to the test! It retails at £5.99 for 125ml product.

Weleda Skin Food - I was absolutely gutted I couldn't make it to the Weleda London Fashion Week party but the wonderful PR team sent me out some Skin Food anyway which was lovely of them. Skin Food soothes and helps restore dry and damaged skin with its gentle formula. It is free of synthetic preservants, fragrances, and colourants. It retails between £4 - £10 depending on product size.

Kiy-oshi Eyelash And Eyebrow Enhancer Serums - I've had these in my 'to blog' box for quite a while now but I'm determined to start using it in the next few days! The serums claim to increase the growth, thickness and depth of colour of eyelashes and eyebrows within just 4 weeks! These are quite pricey, retailing at £25 each.

The White Company Vervine Hand Wash & Hand Cream - Like I said, these aren't technically blogger mail as I picked them up at an event, but I don't often get sent things so I thought I may as well include them to bulk the haul up a bit! These beautifully scented products are both kind to skin and and moisturising. They retail at £25 for the pair.



I really hope you guys enjoyed this video! Let me know if you want to see more of me on youtube and I'll try to get over my camera shyness for you!

Thanks so much for watching!

xxx

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