Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Q&A With Bria Lou

I'm super excited to share this post with Bria Lou from Lou's World. Her blog was one of the first I ever started reading, and I'm sure I will continue to read it as long as she posts. She is a very talented writer and you can tell she has a passion for reading and writing. The effort she puts into her blog alone is a fantastic reason to read it, not to mention the great content she posts.

Now lets get onto the actual questions:

Starting a blog is either a spontaneous decision, or something people plan for a long time before trying it. How long did you want to start a blog before you actually did?

A few years before actually starting my blog, I had the spontaneous idea. However, I had no idea what blogger, or even wordpress, were! So I started a mini blog on wattpad. Then, when that wasn’t working, I tried Tumblr. But I didn’t have any idea how to use Tumblr, and I still don’t! So I put the hope of starting a blog on hold. Then, years later, I was on wattpad one day and I saw that a girl had a blog on blogger, so I looked it up and saw that blogger was a thing – and an amazing thing at that! And the rest is history!

Since Summer's here lets reminisce about holidays. What is the best holiday or trip you've ever been on?

2 or 3 years ago I went on holiday to Devon with family and it was just such a nice time. It was really relaxing because it was a beachy area that wasn’t too touristy. I had my laptop with great internet connection, the view of the beach outside and a town area with shops. It was great!

If you could press a button to gain 1 million followers instantly, would you press it and why?

I would definitely press it! As much as I love blogging for blogging, I obviously want people to read it. Otherwise I’d write a diary. Plus if I had a million followers, I could make a big difference with my posts and maybe be a positive influence on a lot of people!

Who was the first YouTuber you ever watched and do you still watch them nowadays?

The first YouTuber I ever watched was Carrie Hope Fletcher, and I do still watch her today. I think I’ve watched every video that she’s ever made!

It's always nice to feel that sense of achievement when you reach a milestone. What is your ultimate blogging goal?

As of right now, I’d love to reach 100 followers on bloglovin’. But in terms of long-term goals, I’d love to hit 100K views and maybe 1000 followers? That’s something to reach for in the very distant future! And to be able to blog full-time, but that’s an obvious goal!

With that said, what's your biggest blogging achievement so far?

Hitting 50 followers was a major achievement. But recently, hitting 25K views! It was amazing, especially people commenting that my views are really increasing quickly! It’s the biggest sense of achievement for me!

Are you more of a Winter or Summer person and why?

I’m a winter person through and through. I was born in December and I have loved it ever since. I have never been the biggest fan of summer, the heat and I do not mix! Plus, it has the best celebrations. What’s better than Christmas?!

Do you like animals and if so what is your dream pet?

I’m not the hugest fan of animals. I never really had pets growing up at all, apart from fish. If ‘dream pet’ could mean ‘fantasy pet’, I would completely have a unicorn or a mermaid (if you can have mermaids as pets!). If we’re talking about realistic pets, maybe a kitten.

What's the most annoying question you get asked on a regular basis?

Probably ‘What are you going to do with a creative writing degree?’ or ‘What do you want to do in the future?’ just because I think I’ve answered them for everyone I know over a thousand times!

And to summarize, what message are you trying to get across with your blog?

That being a beauty blogger is not the only way to be a successful blogger. I’ve been told that my blog has a ‘little bit of everything’ and that really makes me happy. But more than that, I just want to instil a bit of positivity into the world. And I really hope that I achieve that!

Thank you so much Bria Lou for taking part, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your answers. You can simply tell you're filled with personality! And thank you to anyone who's reading this, I hope you enjoyed. (Also, I'm still on holiday as this is being posted so I'll reply to comments when I get back) xxx

My Holiday Makeup Bag

I can't believe I'm writing this post because it feels like only yesterday I was writing it for last year's holiday. You can check that post out here.

As you are reading this I am in Germany having a wonderful time and I thought I would share the makeup that I brought with me. I decided to bring a minimal amount with me to start with for two reasons: it's Summer so I'll probably just sweat my makeup off anyway (sorry if that's TMI) and I'll probably buy a lot of makeup while I'm away. 

So my makeup items of choice were:
  • Avon Ideal Luminous Blush in Peach- to add natural colour to my face
  • Avon Eyeshadow Quad in Mocha Latte- the brown eyeshadow colours are what I use to fill in my eyebrows so I really can't be without it! Also, it has two other eyeshadows in it that I like to use for natural looking eye makeup. 
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent- in the Summer especially, its important to keep control of an oily face.
  • Essence Sun Club bronzing powder- this is my favourite bronzer to use in the summer because it's shimmery and even smells of coconut! 
  • Avon Ideal Flawless Cream-to-powder foundation in Natural Beige- I like to use this on days where I don't wear foundation just to cover up any blemishes because it looks really natural. 
  • Lasting Finish By Kate Lipstick in 43- this is my absolute favourite nude lipstick and it will last for hours which means I wont have to keep toping it up when I'm out and about. 
  • Lasting Finish By Kate Matte Lipstick in 110- if I want a slightly more glamourous look while I'm on holiday I'll grab this shade because its a lovely coral-red and goes with almost every outfit. 
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara in Extreme Black- it's no secret that this is my favourite mascara so I simply can't leave it behind. 
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Eyeliner- even though its on the verge of running out, I'm determined to make the most of it this holiday. 
  • Collection Lasting Finish Concealer- let's be honest, this concealer is an essential in my makeup bag. 
  • Avon BB Cream in Shell- I don't want to cake my face in foundation so this is a fantastic, lighter alternative with SPF 15
  • Superdrug Powder and Bronzer Brush- I'll be honest, these aren't my favourite makeup brushes but I don't want to take my favourite Real Techniques brushes away because I'm paranoid that something will happen to them. It looks like these brushes will have to do the job instead!
Thank you so much for reading this post and I hope you're all having the best Summer ever! Let me know in the comments what some of your holiday essentials are xxx

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Q&A with Silence The Stigma

Recently, I stumbled upon a lovely little blog called "Silence The Stigma" and I instantly fell in love with it, because I also feel passionately about the topics they post about. There are three people involved in running the blog, but since they want to protect their identity and post anonymously, they post by the letters LF, LR and MG. They post about important topics and stand up for those affected by them. I truly think everyone can learn something from their blog so please check it out if you haven't already.

The members of this blog wrote separate answers so that we could get to know each individual better. MG is not a writer so didn't answer the questions, but nevertheless she contributes to this wonderful blog so deserves acknowledgement. LF's answers will be in green and LR's answers will be in blue

Now lets get on to the actual Q&A:

Some bloggers experiment with different blogging styles before deciding on one genre or blog. Have you had a previous blog or any previous experience with blogging?

LF - I have actually had one blog before. I didnt have a theme really, but I wrote about make up, things I was interested in, advice (not brilliantly) and little snapshots of some exciting days from my summer. I only wrote about 10 posts but it was a very cringy blog so I removed it. I have strongly been considering starting up another personal blog and even set one up, but I am so pleased with how this one is going that I cant be disloyal to it!

LR - I haven't really had any previous experience with blogging, I have a tumblr if that counts (which it doesn't really). My experience I guess, if this counts, is just writing. I do a lot of writing and that's how I came to blogging.

How did you all meet and what were your first impressions of each other?

LF - The three of us all met when we were very young, maybe around 1 year old or before! I dont remember ever meeting the others, but they just kind of have been here since I can remember. The other two are like an additional part of me that I could never be without, although we had been apart for several years due to being at separate schools. I guess if I could make first impressions now, they would be:
MG - quirky, excitable and endearing
LR - gentle, warm and kind-hearted
Both of them  beautiful people. Both inside and out.
I love them both to the moon and back!

LR - This one is a hard one because I think we all met in like playgroup, which is when we were about one years old! So I have to say that I dont know what my first impressions were of either LF or MG, they are my oldest friends!

Was there one specific thing that made you want to start a blog, or were there lots of small things that lead up to it?

LF - We were all sitting in my house having a really deep discussion about how we want to do something good in the world. We also had been speaking about problems such as the negative labels attached to so many issues and the fact that not everyone is aware of such problems. The blog was a bit of an impulse - LR said that she wanted to create a blog maybe, then I think it was me who suggested we all make a joint blog. Together we came up with the name and the about me box, then we wrote our introductory post together. The rest is all history!

LR - I think I had an overwhelming desire to start a blog that spoke about things that I feel arent being dealt with by other people. I guess you could say that it was small things Id noticed up until that point, just more and more issues that passed me, which I could see werent being spoken about, that I wanted to speak about, but didnt know how to go about it.

Do you have a song that you secretly like to jam out to, but never admit that you actually like?

LF - This is really funny actually, because that almost summarizes all the music on my phone! I have such an eclectic music taste, which mainly consists of show-tunes from any and every musical, some Taylor Swift, The Beatlesthe list goes on! I have no shame though, and Im really loving the Into The Woods soundtrack at the moment.

LR - Um, thats a hard one. I dont think so. Im a secret country lover I think. Also I really like s-club7 is that bad? Ooopss.

If you could direct anyone to your blog and they were guaranteed to read it, who would you want to read it?

LF - Oh wow thats so hardId quite like Zoe Sugg (Zoella), Louise Pentland (SprinkleofGlitter) or Carrie Hope Fletcher. They are the main 3 that inspire me on a day to day basis, all for different reasons. Zoe for her uplifting and positive nature, Louise for all the help she has given me with being body positive and dressing to suit my (curvy) shape, and Carrie for motivating me to be the performer that I aspire to be.

LR - Hmm Celebrity wise, I think either Troian Bellisario because I think acting wise shes incredibly talented, and also on a human level, if thats a thing, she is a really inspirational person. She stands for things that I stand for, and is a really positive celebrity role model. Apart from Troian, I think Taylor Swift. I wrote a post about Taylor a while ago, and I think she is genuinely the most compassionate, giving person, and she has a massive fan base, which would be an amazing way of spreading our blog and getting ourselves out there. Tay, if youre reading this by any chance, Id be eternally grateful (wink emoticon)

Lot's of bloggers eventually start to venture off into the world of YouTube. Do you currently have a channel or would you ever start?

LF - I secretly have already set one up (shhh!) which I MIGHT be starting up soon to share music and maybe some beauty/theatre-y stuffthere is quite a lot that is holding me back from doing it though, so it may not even happen!

LR - So firstly, I have to say that I dont really understand vlogging or technology that well aha. So vlogging wouldnt be for me, and also its just not something I would enjoy. Im camera shy at the best of times, so yeah, I have to say I dont see youtube in my future.

If someone invented a time machine and said that you could use it, would you travel back in time or into the future?

LF - I think I would travel to the future - but not the distant future. Id like to see what 21 year old me is up to, not 31+ year old me!

LR - Oh this is a hard one, because I would want to go to the past to see some of my favourite people from history such as Nelson Mandela and Florence Nightingale and witness their awesomeness. But then I would also like to go to the future just to see what its like.

If you had the ability to make any fictional character come to life, who would you choose? 

LF - Probably Phoebe from Friends. The three of us adore the show and I feel like I could learn so much from her  not just her teaching me the guitar, but I could learn a lot from her values and her friendly, outgoing, open-hearted nature that I have always admired.

LR - OhMyGosh. I have to be honest, I have no idea where to start. Id like to meet Jane Eyre after studying her for a year, is that weird? Id also like to meet Katniss Everdeen because I think shes awesome! Oh Spencer Hastings (from Pretty Little Liars) is definitely one. Sorry, I know you said just one, but I cant jut pick one haha. Ooh I think thats all I can think of right now!

Would you rather have thousands of people follow your blog but never leave any comments, or thousands of people leave comments but have no followers.

LF - I would have thousands of people leaving comments. This is because followers may not be engaging with the material that you put on your blog, whereas once people have commented, you can see that they have read the post and responded to it.

LR - I think I would say comments, because then I know that the people commenting are reading my blogs, and I would get feedback. I would know that I would be personally touching people, as confirmed by the feedback, so that would be really nice! I love when people comment now, it makes my day!

What message are you trying to get across with your blog?

LF - I feel that the three of us (this is me not having seen the answers yet) believe that our aim lies within our name. We truly do want to silence the stigma from so many different issues that should not be problems within our society. We have such passionate thoughts through personal experiences and through observing the world around us that we needed to release into the world. We wanted to be able to help at least one person, and then our aim is complete.

LR - I think there are a few messages. The main ones are: It is okay to speak about things that not everyone speaks about because the only way to change how taboo these subjects are, is to speak about them. I also want to educate people about issues they might not be familiar with. And I guess the biggest is that I want people to know that they are important, and any issue that is affecting them is heard, is important and is valid. Looking back, if I had been reading my blog during parts of my life, I would have found it really useful and also it would have made me feel validated. I guess  I just want to give that to other people. What I write almost always has a basis for something I have experienced, and that is really important to me.

Another thing I love about these members is how close they all are. You can tell they're great friends who all get along well. Thank you so much LF, LR and MG for taking part and thank you so much for everyone reading this xxx

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Cara Delevingne Style Appreciation (Collab with Missmakeuptips)

Today I'm doing a collab with the wonderful Al from Missmakeuptips. She has a blog that shares makeup tips, beauty tips, reviews and just general lifestyle posts. If you are interested in those sorts of posts, I would definitely recommend you check her blog out because it's very professional looking. On her blog she will be writing about Cara Delevingne's makeup so please go and check that out.

My post is about Cara's style. In case you didn't know, I'm extremely obsessed with Cara Delevingne. I simply adore her uniqueness and how she seems like such a genuine cool person. Not to mention all the random little talents she has. In some ways, I feel like if you just saw her in everyday life you wouldn't think she'd be a supermodel because she seems to down to earth, but then you see her in a photo shoot and you'd think hells yeah she's a supermodel. Her fantastic style is pretty hard to sum up in one post, but I'll try my best. 

Now Cara's style is definitely a unique one. She can go from being a glammed up supermodel one day, to sporting a rather casual look the next day. Either way she rocks it and still manages to look gorgeous in everything. I thought about how I would describe her style and I came up with "elagant tom-boy".

I know this doesn't really count as part of her style, but you can't have a Cara post without mentioning her eyebrows. They are definitely one of her most destinctive features. As someone who has naturally light hair, but dark, bushy eyebrows I really want to thank her for bringing these eyebrows into fashion. She tends to make them look exaggerated, but natural and wild at the same time. This is a look that's very hard to pull off, but of course she manages it!

Also, when I think of Cara, I always seem to think of hats. She's always snapped wearing some sort of hat, whether it is a baseball cap, beanie, or fedora. No Cara outfit seems to be complete without some sort of head-gear.

Another distinct look that she wears is a lot of Khaki and camouflage material. Although I've seen her wear a camouflage dress, she tends to mainly wear it over her outfit. I personally think wearing a camouflage jacket makes any outfit look more quirky.

When Cara is not wearing those sorts of jackets, she seems to wear leather jackets. This shows her slightly more elegant side. When she wears them, she looks like a rock chick, but a classy one at that.

A lot of the clothes she wears are also oversized and kind of baggy. But who can blame her? I mean don't we all love wearing clothes like that? She wears baggy shirts and dresses. These look so comfortable for the Summer.

Urrghh can I just be Cara Delevingne please? I hope you guys enjoyed this style post. As you know, I love to write about celebrities fashion and I absolutely adore her style. Thank you so much Al for collabing with me, I had a lot of fun. What do you guys think about Cara's fashion sense? xxx

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Girl Online Review

Yes I know, I'm officially the last person ever to read this book. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to review it and share my thoughts on it. Girl Online is the first novel by the world-loved YouTuber, Zoella (aka Zoe Sugg). The 25 year old has already had so much success, including reaching over 8 million subscribers and having a beauty range, but I'm sure releasing this book is one of her personal highlights. She's said many times that as a child she always dreamed of being an author, and you can simply see the satisfaction in her eyes when she held her book for the first time in one of her vlogs

Although I think this book's target audience was young teens, I still enjoyed reading it as a 17 year old. I must say that I thought it was a good read and I didn't put it down until I had basically finished the whole thing. It took me just under a week to read the whole thing, which is saying something because I'm literally the world's slowest reader. 

The plot of the story is that a shy girl, called Penny, has a secret blog. She can use it as an escape when things get too tough in her real life. Only her best friend knows about her secret. Then a magical trip to New York changes her online reputation, and her life, forever. I really liked the story line because its written in a way that almost every girl can relate to Penny. The poor girl suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and it actually gives quite good advice on how to cope in those situations. She also experiences major embarrassing moments which make you laugh but also sympathize with the character. 

One thing I feel I should address is the fact that the book is ghost written. I think she received an an unnecessary amount of criticism for it as she stated from the very beginning that she would be receiving a lot of help in the process. Zoe herself suffers from anxiety, and I can't imagine the pressure she must have been under writing a book that millions of people would be reading and judging. I feel like she wanted to give the best first impression as an author and wanted help in order to make that possible. I'm fairly certain for the sequel she will be writing the entire thing herself. Therefore I'm not angry or disappointed that she received help for the first one because it was only to give her a head start in the world of writing.  

I for one cannot wait for the sequel. This book was so much fun to read and I think it would make a fantastic movie (someone somewhere please make that happen). I think I will even re-read and that's coming from someone who's not really that interested in reading at all. I must say that I'm happy YouTubers are releasing books because its introducing me to a whole new world of reading. 

Usually with reviews, I rate them out of 10 but its fairly difficult with books because its personal preference. I was impressed with this book and it was one of the first books by a YouTuber that I really wanted to read. It most definitely lived up to my expectations. If you're a huge fan of Zoe I would recommend this book to you. What did you think about Girl Online?