First Impressions: L’Oreal Products

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I was in desperate need of a new mascara, so of course I went to Boots where I *happily* stumbled across a 3 for 2 sale on L’Oreal Products. I was already keen to try out the Telescopic mascara due to hearing so many positive comments about it, plus I also got an item free so smiles all round! Along with this, I also purchased the True Match Foundation, and the True Match Super Blendable Powder, and today I tried them out for the first time.

To Start – True Match Foundation in ‘Golden Ivory’ 

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I applied this foundation with my Real Techniques Buffer Brush. In total I used 1 pump as it is a thicker foundation which I personally prefer. However, one downside to this formula is that it is a very thin liquid so it did run down my hand which was a bit of a pain when I was trying to apply it! But it’s still manageable to use. When I started to apply the foundation I was pleasantly surprised as it glided onto my skin beautifully, blended like a dream, and gave me really good coverage.

All in all, I think the foundation gives me a really nice flawless look, and did a good job at hiding my under eye circles and various other imperfections. The only downside to this product is that it seemed to really emphasise my smile lines.

True Match Powder Super-Blendable Powder in ‘Rose Ivory’

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I really enjoyed applying this translucent powder on top of my foundation, as it feels heavenly applying to your skin as it’s such a soft powder that allows you to build upon the flawless look from the foundation. This powder also effortlessly blended really well into my skin, which is an added bonus if you’re planning on applying this in a rush! (as I am most of the time). This powder also comes with a little soft sponge and a good sized mirror which will be useful when you’re out-and-about. The powder itself is of a really good size and will easily fit in your handbag, which is always beneficial.

However, I have had this product on now for around 8 hours and throughout the course of the day it’s given me a cakey look which is horrible. It’s made my pores look even larger than they already are, and the foundation looks as though it’s come to the surface of my skin and is just placed there. – Definitely not a good look.

Telescopic Mascara

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Honestly, I was unsure about whether I would genuinely like this mascara as I am very fussy about the brushes and the formula. However, I am very fond of this one. I like the brush size as it is easy to coat every lash, both bottom and top. I applied around three coats of this mascara and I did find it start to clump which I don’t mind too much, however if I were to put on another coat or two they would start to look like clumpy spiders legs.

I will be using these products for the future as I think overall they are good, and at just over £20 for all three is a decent price for the products.

Do you have any of these products? If so, how do you apply them?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

HOW I TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

This year I am going to be backpacking around south east Asia for 2 months, and also will be visiting Kavos for a week. How can I afford that you may ask? I’m a student, i’m supposed to have zero money and continuously eat cardboard-like food and wallow in my own self-pity about how little money I have. Well this isn’t always the case.

One of the best things about life is travelling. So embrace it while you can. What’s better than being able abandon reality for weeks or months, and have the time of your life?

Here are five tips as to how you can afford to go travelling around to globe on a budget.

 It seems so obvious, but you need to plan ahead. 

Save up enough throughout the year from a part-time job and know how much you need to save prior to booking. This way, you can go on your adventures with enough buck in your pockets to have a really great time and live your adventure to the best, without having financial woes.

Buy your tickets in advance

Following on from the previous point, preparation also includes buying your tickets in advance too. Typically, the best time to buy flight tickets is around 12-13 weeks before travelling. This way you could potentially save 100’s of pounds, which could be spent on other amazing experiences!

Plan your destination wisely

Like I said, i’m backpacking through South East Asia for 2 months, the only way this is possible for me is because this is a cheaper location. For example, on average hostel rooms are around £6 per night, and food for the day will cost a similar price. Whereas some places can be a lot more expensive. So look around before you make any decisions, because there’ll always be somewhere cheaper that may be just as good!

Accommodation – Don’t be afraid of hostels!

Hostels can have a bad reputation. You may think of dirty, grotty, hell holes that will be infested with dirt and smelly people. Well this isn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong, staying in a luxurious hotel can be the best part of the holiday; however it doesn’t have to be. If you’re travelling around from place-to-place, look into staying in hostels. There are many private hostel rooms so you don’t always have to share with randomers, and they are a hell of a lot cheaper than hotels (and you will meet great people along the way too!)

Be a Traveler, Be a tourist

When you visit new places, you may want to visit all the main, tourist attractions and buy lots of cheesy gifts for friends and family on the way. I get that. However, you don’t always have to be a target where you get charged a hell of a lot more than travellers/citizens because you look like a tourist. Instead, don’t always go for the main attractions, but look a little further and you will find equally exciting things for a lot less. For example, when I visited Rome, in the main market squares restaurants and Gelato parlous would be double, sometimes triple the amount than other restaurants/parlours that are a few back-lanes’ away.

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Rome’s Gelato that we bought in a back-street

Have you got any other money saving tips?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

A WEEKEND IN PRAGUE: IS IT WORTH THE VISIT?

You think Christmas is pretty over here in England? So did I until I visited Prague.

Even though it feels like a lifetime ago…I flew over to Prague in early December with my boyfriend for a long weekend trip, mainly for a weekend full of fun, exploration and to see some new sights.

However, when I was approaching Old Town Square, little did I know that I would be faced with a 31 metre high Christmas tree. It was breathtaking. A row of little stalls were behind this tree too, which smelt divine. They sold a lot of Prague delicacies, such as dumplings, potatoes and pork.

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As well as Prague being aesthetically pleasing, they also had on offer a lot of ‘different’ attractions that we could not resist going into. The first excursion we did was going to a sex museum. I was a tiny bit apprehensive as to what I was going to be faced with… and yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Hundreds of different and obscure sex toys and instruments back from hundreds of years ago. Despite giggling throughout most of it, it was actually very interesting and now my sex toy history knowledge is tip-top!

To top this peculiarity off, we then went into a little theatre type room which was right at the back of the building. We then sat down with the other tourists who looked just as bemused as us. A few minutes passed and then we found ourselves watching a 19-40- something porno!! We couldn’t not watch it, it was hilarious watching genitals in black and white. I left that place a different person.

We then went to a different museum which I feel more in touch with… the beer museum! Even though I am not a great fan of beer, it was still fun to gain a knowledge about the background history of Prague beer and, more importantly, got to taste lots of it! It’s safe to say I left that place feeling a bit more jolly!

*FYI – The nights out in Prague are amazing, we did a bar crawl and it was so much fun, unlimited drinks in the first bar for 3 hours, which meant only one thing… A very drunk Ellen!*

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Above all of these wonderful experiences, Prague is such a beautiful city. Every angle had something new to deliver, after every hour the sky would turn another glorious shade of blue. Although I felt as though I did a lot during my time in the Czeck Republic, I would definitely return to Prague simply because there are so many more wacky museums and brilliant new experiences that need to be explored.

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Plus, I visited Hamley’s for the first time and I have never seen so many toys under one roof before in my life! There was even a carousel in the middle of the shop, (seriously) and a slide! I couldn’t quite contain my excitement.

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All in all, Prague has definitely been one of the most interesting cities i’ve visited, and would definitely recommend going.. there’s something here for everyone!

Have you ever visited Prague before?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

THE MOST UNDERRATED DRUG STORE FOUNDATION?

It wasn’t until the other day when myself and my friend were flicking through the aisles of Superdrug, swatching all the many beautiful colours on the backs of our hands and swooning over all the new, shiny products, that I discovered the most underrated drugstore foundation – ever. The Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in ‘100 Ivory’.

My flat mate had tried it before and said how good it was, whereas I hadn’t even heard or seen of the product before. So I hastily picked one up since it was on a bargain 2 for £10 offer, plus I thought I had better join the deal with my flatmate (I’m just trying to justify myself spending money) and give this tucked away treasure a try.

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When you think of Rimmel London, to me, it’s all about Wake Me Up and Match Perfection foundation, among others that every single amateur makeup fan would have heard of. However, this one… not so much. Perhaps it’s just me that hasn’t really seen it before in drug stores, maybe I focus on the more liquid foundations in the glass bottles. Or maybe, I just don’t pay enough attention.

I have now been using this product for about a month, and I can tell you, I have been pleasantly surprised. Admittedly, the packaging looks a bit more cheap, as the Rimmel foundations are normally in a Glass bottle with a pump. Instead this one is in a little plastic tube which needs to be squeezed out. However, the formula is a thick liquid mousse which means that a little goes a long way, (trust me, I only use a small amount and I normally go a bit OTT on foundation), which ultimately means the product itself will last a long time which is great. The foundation itself is also very thin feeling due to its mousse consistency which is great as I hate them foundations that feel really cloggy and thick on my pores. Also, one of its properties is that it guarantees shine control which may be great for those that get oily skin.

Another amazing added bonus is that this product blends in like a dream. Honestly, I simply apply it with my real techniques buffing brush and it takes seconds for it to have properly blended in which means it’s a great foundation to use if you’re in a rush, as it doesn’t take long at all for it to completely blend in and ready to move on to the next product, which I love. Particularly because most times i’m running late.

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The only downside to this foundation is that I do feel like sometimes it highlights my pores, which is a real shame as it states that it tries to minimise pores. However, in comparison to other drug store foundations its not that bad, as others have been worse.

I also would not recommend this foundation for those who like a dewy finish, this foundation is quite heavy-going so may not be loved by those who love a more natural look!

All in all I love this drug store foundation and is now one of my favourites. Mainly due to its staying power which means I don’t have to worry about touching up throughout the day, and its lovely matte finish which doesn’t make my skin look dull at all, and its great coverage which can be built upon if necessary.

What foundations do you love that perhaps aren’t that well known?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

MY GO TO MAKEUP

I love experimenting with make up and trying new brands and products; however, I must admit, when it comes to my ‘go to’ makeup, I play it quite safe, by sticking to the same old, trust-worthy products. However, if you are interested in how I create my everyday makeup look like the picture below, then keep on reading!

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Products Used –

  • To start with, I use the Nivea for men sensitive post shave balm. I started using this after watching NikkieTutorials, and I must say it’s the best primer and moisturiser i’ve ever used! I dab a tiny bit into the palm of my hands and use circular motions when applying it into the skin. The consistency will then thicken and go tacky, meaning the foundation stays on for a lot longer!img_5620
  • Foundation – Rimmel London Lasting Finish foundation in 100 ‘Ivory’ img_5636
  • Blended in with the real techniques buffing brush
  • Concealer – Collection 200 lasting perfection (absolute favourite concealer, beats all the others i’ve tested, high end and drugstore!)
  • Eyebrows – Rimmel London Brow This Way in 002 Light Brown. I use the wax on the left side – it’s amazing and very inexpensive!img_5429img_5435
  • Applied with Zoeva 322 Angled Brow Line Brushzoeva
  • For powder I use Rimmel London Stay Matte in 002 Pink Blossom for all over my face (I prefer translucent powder for an everyday look!
  • Applied with Mac 187 powder brush (Don’t sweep brush across your face as it only moves the foundation and takes it off, instead push the powder into your skin with the brush by pressing it in, as this pushes the product into your skin, thus making it more long lasting)
  • I also use Laura Mercier Transcluscent powder under my eyes. I keep it on for about 10 minutes whilst I do the rest of my face, also known as ‘baking’. This avoids my concealer from concealing and keeps it on for a lot longer!img_5409img_5398
  • Next is bronzer! On the hollows of my cheeks I use Ted Baker Bronzer and Blush compact duo. I sometimes also use the bronzer for eyeshadow – it gives a great, glowy look! I apply this with the Real Techniques contour brushimg_5622
  • For highlight I use my favourite drugstore highlight which is the MUA Undress your Skin Highlighter which is applied with Real Techniques Fan Brushimg_5627
  • Mascara – Rimmel London Bold Curves

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Ok, when it’s all listed down it does seem like an awful lot! In reality most of the time I normally just pop a bit of vaseline on my lips and rush out of the door because I’m always in a rush, haha! Anyway, what is your favourite go to make up look?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

MY FAVOURITE LIP PRODUCTS

Over the past few months I have been conjuring up a decent lip collection (finally!), full of lipsticks, glosses and lacquers which I love and wear on a day-to-day basis. However, a couple of the shades I branch out and reach for if I was going to a special event or occasion if they’re on the more daring side!

Firstly lipsticks; I have four in my favourites, three of them are Mac, and one Rimmel London Kate Moss. All of which I adore for different reasons.

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Firstly, ‘Shanghai Spice’ which is my favourite nude shade of all my favourites (ha!) as the cremesheen formula glides onto my lips perfectly and keeps them feeling really moisturised and nourished. However, I particularly love this shade as it has slight peachy tones in it which is great as it makes my face look more vibrant and alive. This product is great as it is obvious that you have something on your lips, but it doesn’t look too dramatic as it is a shimmery nude shade, which is great for an everyday look.

I have only recently bought Mac’s Matte ‘Ruby Woo’, however I have been loving it. This is one of the first matte lipsticks that I have tried out due to my apprehensive and incorrect preconceptions that a matte lipstick would completely dry out my lips and make them look really wrinkly and gross… and boy I can say I was so wrong! This lipstick is a lovely deep red which in fact actually nourishes my lips, despite it being matte. However, one slight problem with this lipstick is that due to its strong pigmentation, if you smudge it or apply it in a rush and get some product around your mouth it does stain it a bit, meaning I had a slight red line down my cupids bow the first time I applied it, (not a good look!). So would recommend using a lip liner before applying the product for those who aren’t comfortable or used to applying deep reds. Apart from that, this lipstick is amazing and love wearing it on nights out to make my make up stand out that little bit more.

Mac’s ‘Sunny Seoul’ was the first Mac lipsticks I ever bought, and it had me hooked right from the beginning! This is such a pretty nude, with more of a pink tone running through it which looks so pretty to wear on a summer’s day! It is also super shimmery which makes it look all the more lovely. The formula is very smooth and applies really easily to the lips due to the moisturising nature of the lipstick. Throughout the summer this was definitely my ‘GO TO’ lipstick. I will definitely be purchasing another one!

Last but not least for my favourite lipsticks is the Kate Moss lipstick in ‘110’. This matte coral shade is beautiful to wear as it really makes my face look more vibrant. It is really easy to wear which is great, however I do tend to wear it more on a special occasion as it is very bright, I personally think it is a bit too dramatic for a day-to-day lipstick. However, I love it all the same. It also tastes and smells amazing which is an added bonus!

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Now onto Lip glosses and Lacquers which I have quite recently discovered and been loving. Lacquers are great and so easy to apply due to the wand being able to reach all the nooks and crannies. Plus, I love how it stains your lips slightly as it means hints of the colour stays on throughout the day, which makes it look like you’ve put more effort into your make up then perhaps you might have actually done – winning!

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Soap&Glory Sexy Mother Pucker

The Soap&Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer is just amazing. It is a shimmery deep raspberry pink with very slight brown undertones which makes it look so unique and beautiful. I wear this all the time as it’s so easy to apply with the fluffy wand, and the durability of it is good. I would normally have to reapply it a couple of times if I were on a night out, which isn’t too bad for the price of the product. However, this lacquer definitely does stain my lips and makes it appear as if I have product on there even after it has all been smudged off. This is supposed to make your lips appear more plump, i’m not entirely sure it does that. But who cares when the colour itself is so good? However, one criticism about this is that the formula is quite thick so I find I apply the product to my lips with the wand and then use my finger to blend it in a bit to smudge out harsh lines and blotches. But this only takes a few seconds so I don’t see that as a major disadvantage.

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17 Ultimate Volume

The 17 ‘Ultimate Volume’ lipgloss is an amazing lipgloss for an everyday look. It is a very light pink/purple shade which takes seconds to apply due to its easy application wand and colour, and lasts a really long time. I love using it as it just brightens up my face completely and just makes me look more vibrant due to it’s shimmery formula, and makes it look like i’ve put loads of time into my make up, when in fact i’ve just whacked this on my lips in no time at all. All in all I love this lipgloss and use it pretty much daily!

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Rimmel London Show Off in 300 Out of this World

I have only had the Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in ‘300 Out of this World’ for a couple of weeks, and I have been obsessed with it since the moment the wand touched my lips. The colour is a beautiful shimmery cherry red, that looks amazing on. Granted, lacquers are supposed to stain your lips, however this one really does and its durability is amazing. The wand is also perfect as the sponge is slightly domed meaning it can reach my lips so easily that it takes application seconds!

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Soap&Glory left, 17 middle, Rimmel London right

What are your favourite lip products? Do you have any shades that you’d recommend?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

HOW PINTEREST CAN INCREASE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours on a really well thought out, interesting blog post for only a few people to read, right? You think you deserve more traffic for all the effort and hours you put into your blog. Well I may have the answer – Pinterest.

Pinterest is different to Twitter and Facebook as it is not a conventional social media platform. Instead it’s a way for promoting your blog through enticing photos and bringing more traffic through clicks.

Here are 6 ways Pinterest can help boost traffic to your blog…

1- Your account type

I recommend creating a business account on Pinterest, as opposed to a personal account. It’s free and means that you can look at analytics and what photos appeal to your audience the most, and what is classed as a ‘rich pin’. If you just have an ordinary account, that’s fine, you can easily change it to a business one, and it does not affect your boards or pins.

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As you can see from my analytics page, out of my top pin impressions, three of the photos here are my own content. This shows what my audience enjoys the most, which is beauty related pictures regarding what products I enjoy the most. Because of this, I can adapt my photos and titles as this is what appeals to my audience.

2- Create a ‘My Blog’ board

Creating a ‘My blog’ board with interesting photos that show off your blog and what it has to offer, will entice your followers to click the board. This means putting fun, colourful and interesting photos that promote your blog and encourage people to click on it. This is mainly done by uploading photos that have a clear instruction of what you’ll get out of clicking this photo.

For example, this photo clearly states what this blog post will be about, due to the text and the relevant image behind it.

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3 – Have a clear bio

A key aspect to Pinterest is to be straightforward and clear in your bio. Let your followers know what you do, what your blog is about, and where they can find it. This way, it allows your followers to get clear, concise information about you and what you’re about, which in turn will encourage your followers to click the button!

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4 – Link photos

Whenever you are uploading a picture, always remember to put in the ‘destination URL’ box, your website link. That means if somebody clicks on the photo, it’ll go straight to your blog/website, and brings in more traffic.

5 – Make your pins easy to find

The most important way for your pin to get ‘out there’ is to use relevant key words in the description of your post. I stress the term relevant, as if there are random, irrelevant photos to what you’re looking for, people won’t click on them. That means if somebody searches for example, ‘sunsets’, they will find your content and save it to one of their boards if it fits the description. If you find it easier, hashtag in the description to ensure you are being concise.

6 – Position your boards at the top

One of the most important features on Pinterest, is to put the boards you want your audience to see at the top. That means having whatever you’re selling or promoting at the top of your page so your followers see them.

For example, on my blog I have ‘My blog’ and ‘my travel endeavours’ as my top two boards, as they are boards with my own content on that my followers will see and be interested in. This means my followers are more likely to click boards that are at the top of my page, and save the pins.

Also another handy tip is to have clear titles for board names. You don’t want to confuse your followers with an ‘out-there’ board name. Instead be concise and straight to the point as to what your board is about.

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I’ve only had my Pinterest account for a short while, but as you can see my average monthly viewers of my account is 401. This means that my blog photos can be seen by a lot of people, and therefore increases my traffic!

 

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Have you found that Pinterest adds more traffic to your blog too?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X