Benefit seem to continually churn out new products that generate a huge amount of buzz - justified or otherwise. It may be their pretty packaging, quirky names or innovative offerings, but there's something about a piece of Benefit makeup that makes us all go 'oooooh!' This February it's the turn of Roller Lash, the much hyped mascara that's been previewed with Elle Magazine in an industry first; no other place could you get your hands on this latest launch without buying the glossy mag and self-indulgently flicking through the pages. I've had a preview of this little magic wand for a week or so and have been putting it through it's paces, ready to pick its performance apart for the good of all you lovely readers. Knowing their previous 'cult like' mascara is not a favourite of mine by any means (am I the only one that just doesn't get on with They're Real?) I was incredibly skeptical... But my skepticism was unjustified as I soon discovered Roller Lash is really rather fabulous and well worth a try.
Technology is a big a part of my life as coffee (and that says a lot about my relationship with coffee,) as I rely on it so heavily to keep me connected and on top of my workload. I have too many gadgets to mention, all of which have been purchased to save my mind from carrying too much information and my shoulders from carrying too much baggage. Oh how much stress I could’ve saved if I’d have known about the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet sooner! Combining the best of a computer and tablet in one portable, sleek and shiny package, this is one piece of tech that makes working both from home and on-the-go as easy as pie. I recently committed to staying ahead of the beauty news throughout Awards Season and London Fashion Week, bringing you the top trends and ways to integrate them into your routine. I want to translate what's happening on the red carpet and catwalks, helping you to identify what elements you need to pay attention to and what you can ignore as totally irrelevant; looking good and feeling great starts with fabulous products, but it also ends with the right application and perfect hair style. I've been using the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet to start that journey and this is how I've been getting on...
Ever since we were kids it's been drilled into us that we need 'five a day' to keep us functioning properly, but did you know we're actually in need of more like 'twenty a day' if we're to be in tip-top health and get all the nutrients we need? Obviously this message is slightly intimidating and much harder to achieve, but there are simple ways in which you can inject much more fruit and veg into your diet without inhaling a vegateble patch alongside every meal. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (including folate, vitamin C and potassium,) as well as being an excellent source of dietary fibre (which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent digestive problems.) Consuming a respectable amount of fruit and veg can help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity, so why are we not shovelling as much as phsyically possible down our throats at every given opportunity? Put simply, because it's quite hard to do so. Juicing and smoothie making has become incredibly popular over the last year, thanks to the adoption of celebrities and mainstream press, and for good reason - it isn't just a fad, but an easy way of ensuring a decent level of goodness in your diet with very little effort.
The bloggersphere is currently exploding, with more of us than ever competing for a piece of the pie. With bloggers making careers out of sites that were once a hobby, scoring book deals and cosmetic launches, there's always something amazing for us all to strive towards achieving. I love blogging because I love writing; sharing my thoughts and opinions, documenting my brain blurb all over a page and sharing it with others. I love reading blogs that have a story to tell, a fantastic writing style or that make me think - be it about feminism, politics, page three or the latest lipgloss launch. However, if their writing isn't up to scratch then I simply don't go back for more; although you can be a successful blogger without an excessive writing talent, we all have the capacity to write better blog posts and ensure our readers are as engaged with us as possible. Here are my top tips for improving your writing and increasing the quality of your blog posts.
I would love to be one of those people that jumps out of bed at 6am, ready to face the day with a hop, skip and a jump - but I'm not. I've never been a morning person, preferring to peel myself away from the sheets as slowly as possible while I mourn the lost hours of bed comfort having to make a living brings. Ever since I was a child I've needed at least eight hours of sleep; any less and I don't function as well, greeting everything with a grump and a frown. Over the years the problem has gotten worse and I found it progressively harder to jump-start my day without feeling constantly exhausted or like I needed a mid-afternoon nap. The winter months are the hardest, greeting me with a wet and dark, dreary day that doesn't scream 'jump out of bed and come out to play' like a bright flare of sunshine can. For some time I'd been thinking of investing in a Lumie Light Bodyclock to help inject a little energy into my mornings and start the day off as I intended it to progress, but this January I took the plunge and finally placed an order.
Bronzer can help contour, highlighter can add a touch of light, but a great blusher can help our skin to radiate a healthy glow from within. I'm a huge fan of blush, using it to add natural contrast and tonality to my otherwise whiter-than-white complexion; a touch of colour on the cheeks can also wipe years of our faces (as we naturally associate flushed cheeks with youth) so it's a great tool to have within your repertoire. I have a huge number of blush palettes and boxes within my collection, never overlooking the power of a quick swipe across the apples of cheeks, but this Sleek Blush-By-3 trio offers an affordable alternative that provides a healthy spring-appropriate glow.
As we all start to recover from a period of over-indulgence, the winter blues and biting chilly winds, it becomes even more important to look after ourselves - both on the inside and out. Seven Seas have developed Perfect7 Woman to help women look and feel great from the inside out; targeting seven different concern areas, these supplements are designed to provide nutrients that help maintain normal skin and nails, marine oils to help maintain normal heart and brain function, as well as a blend of vitamins and minerals to help contribute to reducing tiredness and fatigue. I've been putting them to the test for around two months (read my intro post here,) taking the supplement duo daily as part of an ongoing healthy routine (juicing and swimming has become my addiction) to see if they could make a different to my overall wellbeing while targeting specific concern areas. So, have they started to make a difference already?
The art of film can provide an insight into an event, moment in time or simple piece of commentary like no other medium. Instagram may provide us with beautiful imagery and inspirational content, Twitter may be awesome for quick conversations and a flurry of information, but there's definitely a gap to provide that instantaneous connection through the medium of the moving image. Veeemotion is a new social video app that allows you to film, edit, upload and share video content via your smartphone, rather than having to faff with an editing program that can take hours and be incredibly confusing to use. Veeemotion keeps it simple by providing a variety of filters to add a more professional or fun edge to your films, as well as allowing you to add titles and captions to ensure your videos are as engaging as possible. There's even simple editing functionality where you can join videos together or chop off boring ends, adding music and playing around to ensure you're creating amazing videos in a matter of minutes.
There's no doubt about it, I'm addicted to lip balms. The one part of my beauty collection that's bursting at the seams, and has no chance of dying down any time soon, is my beloved lip treatment repertoire that's more expansive than Boots. I'm never without at least a couple of little tubes in my bag, prepared for any dry-lipped moment that may take me by surprise, sometimes even emptying out the double-digits after a couple of busy days on-the-go. Although I'm loyal to a few products and brands that I can't live without, I'm always fascinated when new exciting things land on my desk to try. With the cold winds brewing and the spring sunshine seeming more distant than ever, our lips are suffering and are in need of an old fashioned pamper; here are five fab lip balms that have made their way into my handbag of late - and for very good reason.
We're once again coming up to one of the busiest periods in fashion when British brand Burberry takes centre stage; the world's fashionista's eyeballs are temporarily on London for all of the ten minutes it takes for Burberry to showcase their forthcoming season's trends. Although their shows are always somewhat thrilling (even just to see who's on the front row,) my attention always turns to the beauty... What nail polish are they wearing, what gloss is on their lips and how have they done their hair? If we take a scoot back to this time last year you may remember a multitude of tones and boho-chic making a comeback, all brought together via this quartet of colour. With spring around the corner it's time to finally embrace a pop of coral, a slick of blue or even a touch of green within our otherwise muted wardrobes - and Burberry are here to give us a helping hand.
These past few weeks have been the longest I can remember; it seems like months ago I was huddled around with loved ones eating as much turkey as I could manage, sipping champagne at every opportunity and integrating glitter into as many outfits as possible. January is always the longest month - not helped by chilly air, empty bank accounts and failed resolutions that lasted as long as that opened box of After Eights. I always find the opening few weeks of every year a struggle, bogged down by endless messages from the media about the fact I should be revolutionising my diet and exercising in my sleep in order to kick-start another year with a bang. For most of us it's not that simple, but making small steps towards looking after yourself a little more can make a cumulative difference overall. As we near the end of the worst month of the year and step into February refreshed, this week I'm going to be talking about the little ways in which we can be good to ourselves throughout 2015. From hard working products and juicing, to gadgets that can help you sleep and supplements, there are really easy ways in which you can look after your body and mind. To kick start my 'Be Good To Yourself' Week, here are five ways in which you can make a difference without committing to something unrealistic.
Every day in the UK, eight women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and three will lose their lives to the disease. It's hard to fathom that cervical cancer still claims the lives of around 1000 women in the UK every single year, but research has shown that one in five women don't attend their screening appointments when invited. It's an illness that is largely preventable thanks to cervical screening and the HPV vaccination programme, but the uptake of smear tests is now decreasing year on year as we become complacent and 'too busy' to attend appointments. Although smear tests aren't enjoyable, they're so quick and painless that we should all be making the time to get tested and look after our health. However, it seems that we all make excuses to delay our appointments - from not having the time, blaming work commitments, not being able to get a convenient appointment or simply prioritising everything else over a smear. Today marks the start of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, an initiative from Jo's Trust to help raise awareness of the importance of smear tests and the symptoms associated with cervical cancer, and it's something I'm wholeheartedly supporting.
I adore the power that a slick of lipstick brings, but half way through the day I inevitably regret my choice as my pout becomes dry and the colour fades away. Glosses are great at adding a touch of shine to lips and subtly bringing a look together, but they're super sticky and wear off often within minutes. This new launch from Smashbox provides the best of both worlds, coating lips in a powerful colour that's glossy without being sticky and long-lasting without being drying; 'Be Legendary' long-lasting lip lacquer contains the maximum amount of pigment Smashbox could squeeze in for serious impact, paired with comforting Vitamin E and glossy-finish pearls.
I have a very special relationship with the Be Delicious fragrance franchise, and seeing as it's one of the most popular global perfume brands it appears a lot of you do too. The original Be Delicious apple scent was the first I ever really truly chose for myself and paid for with my hard earned cash; it wasn't a gift or what someone else thought I may like, but something I knew I loved instantly as soon as I inhaled the delicate fruity notes. The brand just keeps on expanding with DKNY launching extensions to the core range every year, and this March they expand their reportoire even further with a trio of Delicious Delights that are set to get you all in a tizz. Inspired by cool and refreshing sweet sorbet treats that are delicious, fruity and comforting, these three scents provide a delicate twist on the perfumes we know and love so well.
My love for blogging will never cease. Having your own little corner of the infinite internet to share your thoughts, news and views is like nothing else ever seen within the modern age; never before have we been able to catapult our voices around the world with the click of a button and reach out to others that may share our passions. Blogging has changed my life, like many other millions of people globally, and opened up a plethora of opportunity that I couldn't be more grateful for. With more and more of us clicking that 'start new blog' button and embracing all that it brings, more and more of us are juggling a growing site and our full-time jobs, as well as busy social schedules and the demands of keeping in touch with readers via social media. If you're struggling, don't know where to start or just need a helping hand to organise your time a little better, I've pulled together some of my top tips for juggling a blog with a full-time job and still ensuring you're kicking ass.
As someone who spends their days attached to a combination of laptop, smartphone and tablet, technology is an essential part of my life. Running a blog, maintaining my social media channels, researching new trends, collaborating with brands and staying one step ahead of the latest launch means I rely on hardworking tools to provide me with the experience I need. However, I could do without the weight or inconvenience associated with gadgets that weigh the same amount as a small child - there's enough lipgloss in my handbag to do some serious shoulder damage alone. The new and innovative Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the perfect tool for anyone wanting the best of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet, without scrimping on performance. In the spirit of a new year, I'm going to be using the tablet to help me execute my blog resolutions in 2015 and I'm inviting you along for the ride.
If you're a fan of the classic Bobbi Shimmer Bricks, that provide a combination of bronzing and highlighting within a subtle portfolio of colour, then you'll love their Brightening Bricks that work on the same concept but help to add a touch of flush to the face. Available in six different shade combinations, each palette contains six individual complementary tones that can be used individually or together for a natural finish. From a delicate pink, to a shimmery nude, peachy bronze and deep summer glow tone, there's something for every stage of your seasonal skin. Although the pretty pattern does start to disappear after the first use, underneath is a pan of shades that really work together to create a healthy spring glow without overdoing the need for colour - these provide just a flush of something beautiful.