Colorpop Swatches + Review

Sunday, August 20, 2017
A month or so ago I made my first order from Colorpop which is a US based cosmetics company and they are famous for their incredibly cheap and very long lasting lip products so when they were offering free UK shipping as well as three lip products for $12, I couldn't say no! There is just one issue...

The customs fees are rumoured to be terrible for some unlucky orders and after searching around and talking to people who've made orders, it seems that if you order is less than £15 then you won't have to pay customs fees and thankfully my order came to less than £10 and I didn't have to pay any customs fees *yay*.

My order came really well packaged (maybe too much packaging) from LA and it took about ten days to get to me since I ordered. Another point to mention is that I used PayPal to pay for my order and I think that helps to reduce the risk of customs fees but I'm not sure.
L - R: Echo Park, November, Lost
I ordered three of the ColorPop Ultra Satin Lip ($6 each or 3 for $12) which are long lasting liquid lipsticks in the shades: Echo Park, November and Lost, although there were so many others that I want. I adore the packaging, they don't really have a scent and I'm so happy with the three shades that I purchased, now I want to make another order.

Echo Park
This is the shade that seems to be one of their most popular shades and I can definitely see why as it's a lovely natural neutral pink shade with brownish undertones. It is a 'my lips but better' shade that I cannot stop wearing. It's a perfect everyday shade, it has such a smooth and comfortable formula and glides on well with a creamy, pigmented finish. Unlike their matte formulas, these have a satin finish so they don't look or feel too matte. I cannot recommend this shade enough!

This next shade is is one of the Kathleenlights x ColorPop shades, it must have been a collection. It is a warm pink shade that is a little brighter and pinker than I usually wear but it is gorgeous and just perfect for the spring and summer months. The formula is so creamy, they all feel light and comfortable on the lips and they are all incredibly pigmented.

The final shade is a rich classic red shade which comes in so handy for making any simple look a bit more polished and put together, especially for blog photos. The only negative about this shade is that as it is much darker and bolder than the other, you can't hide when it comes to mistakes - the fuzzy applicator can make the edges a little less shape and neat which is annoying as otherwise it would be the perfect red.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my ColorPop order as it came quickly, I love the packaging and the price as well as the fact that I didn't have to pay customs fees! The two natural shades are perfect and I have been using them so much since I received them but the red is a tiny bit disappointing but still definitely worth a try as they are so cheap.

Have you ordered from ColorPop? What do you think of these shades? 

*Blogging Tips + How To Keep Your Blog Current

Friday, August 18, 2017
Image from My Scandinavian Home 
Okay, so you’re getting people reading your blog and interacting with you! You may think that all the hard work is done now and you can relax,but the truth is the hard work has only just begun. You have to continue to work hard to keep your blog popular and up to date, if that's what you want for your blog. It’s difficult to know how to go about this but if you carry on reading you’ll not have to wonder!

Introduce New Content 
This is one of the most important things when keeping your blog up to date and interesting. This can all be avoided if you change your content up every now and again. If you’re a beauty blog, write something that is still linked to beauty but slightly different, perhaps linked in with a similar hobby. This keeps your audience engaged, maintaining what you have earned! There is very little guidance with this purely because it depends solely on what you’re going to be blogging about, so do whatever you see fit but new and exciting content will always be well received.

Constantly Upload Photos 
Photos can’t be used to completely make up your blog, rather they are a force multiplier, they make what is already there much better. Photos can either enhance a post or be a post all in itself as it is able to convey a simple message without any explanation! It’s good to learn how to take proper photos and selfies due to how personal blogs can be, so read this selfie guide by MyTrendyPhone to give you the knowledge you need to take the right selfies! Getting it right means that your blog posts are going to be much more eye catching.

Host Giveaways 
Giving away products that you enjoy can really boost your audience. People are always after free things, and if you're going to host a giveaway you can turn it into a competition and make up the rules yourself! Of course it has be legal, so read this on how to achieve a legal and safe giveaway. Giveaways attract attention because people like free things, and if you put on the giveaway that there are certain conditions to enter such as sharing the post on a social media site, you can get free advertising out of it and a little boost to your followers which doesn't hurt - this is a bit of a controversial topic within blogging but I'd say that you should go for it.

By hosting giveaways to potentially attract more readers and by posting interesting and new content on your blog, it will keep your online space unique and current. Of course there is an art to taking photos, especially when it comes to festive ones to fit the season, so read my guide to learn how to do it.

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any blogging or photography tips? What have you learnt from blogging? 

*This is a collaborative post
*Image from Pinterest 

London Photo Diary: Tower Of London + Buckingham Palace

Thursday, August 17, 2017
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you will have seen my photos and video clips of my trip to London earlier this week! I went with my parents and one of my aunties on the 14th and the 15th, the latter was my birthday! We stayed in the London Euston Premier Inn which is so incredibly affordable, the location is amazing, there were vegetarian options and it was so clean - the staff were also so helpful, I'd definitely recommend it.

We traveled down with Virgin Trains from Manchester and it's my first time on Virigin Trains; it was fantastic, we had a table each time and it puts other train companies and quality to shame! On the first day we took the tube, which was a bit of a nightmare as we didn't know what tickets to buy and my contactless card wouldn't work at the barriers but we eventually arrived at the Tower Hill tube station and walked over to the Tower Of London.
Tower Of London
Tickets were a little expensive but in my opinion it was definitely worth it! We decided to wait and go on a tour with one of the yeomen of the guard which I'd definitely recommend as our guide *Steve* was so funny but with so many people in the group, it was a little difficult hearing everything. The tour was only an hour or so then we explored the white tower, the bloody tower and we saw the crown jewels!

As we were queuing up to look at the crown jewels, one of the famous ravens that live at the Tower Of London came right up on the railing where we were standing which was slightly frightening! It was amazing to walk around and we went inside the chapel where Anne Bolyn is buried too. I think if you do want to see everything at the tower and go on a tour then it will take up at least half of your day as we were there until the closing time.
From the Tower Of London you can see the Shard which was amazing as you get the view of the 900 year of tower and buildings with the modern buildings soaring overhead. Inside the white tower there are amazing displays of royal suits of armour, weapons and more so it's well worth going inside. They had suits of armour that Henry VIII wore!

Even though my feet were absolutely killing me *literally every step hurt*, I couldn't recommend visiting the Tower Of London enough and especially the Yeomen of the Guard tour as well as it's so informative and funny. Seeing the crown jewels was incredible, the displays inside the towers were too and despite the number of people, it was easy getting around, we didn't have to wait too long queuing and it was an amazing thing to see (it's definitely not enough to just see it from the outside). You can also see Tower Bridge from there too and it's a short walk to Tower Hill tube station.
St James Park
The next day we took the Victoria line from London Euston to the Victoria tube station as we wanted to see the houses of parliament, big ben and Buckingham Palace as we had a tour booked for later that day. I also wanted to go inside Westminster Abby but the prices were a little high, the queues were insane and you weren't allowed to take photos inside anyway so we didn't bother and walked to see Big Ben, Parliament and House Guards Parade and then came to St James Park which is a park I haven't been in before but it's definitely the nicest and most relaxing park in London.

There was a little Swiss looking cottage in the park with vegetable patches outside, lakes and a water fountain as well as so many beautiful flowers. We stopped at the cafe there and if you are looking for something to eat then definitely check it out as there were so many options and the location is fantastic. You wouldn't expect such a relaxing and quiet space like that within central London.
Buckingham Palace Tour
The final stop we had was a tour of Buckingham Palace which we booked a couple of months before and for four adults, it was about £90 and we went through 19 state rooms and the gardens. Before we went inside Buckingham Palace, I expected it to be a tour of about 2-3 hours with a guide taking small groups around but instead we were all given headsets with videos to listen to as we walked around the massive state rooms which was unexpected and I wasn't a fan of that style of tour!

Around a quarter of the way through the state rooms, I took of the headset and just walked around reading the plaques as it was so annoying having these headphones on and trying to watch a video while looking around. Also my feet were so incredibly sore so in pretty much every state room I had to sit down (thankfully there were benches set up in almost every state room).
As you walk around at your own pace rather than with a guide, you can take a while or as we did, you can move through at a normal pace (with the headphones on you are pretty much at a snails pace) and we were finished within about 70 minutes. We headed to the gardens where there is a shop and cafe, both of which were quite busy. The cafe had lovely views, the weather was so nice for the two days we were in London and I had strawberries and cream although on the website it shows macaroons but there weren't any *I did want a macaroon on my birthday but there wasn't a lot of choice, in my opinion* and the prices were ridiculous!

The gardens were so gorgeous and on the way out you get to see more of them but the last part of the day was pretty much ruined for me as I felt so physically sick (I think it was the heat and tiredness as I hardly spelt thanks to snoring) and my feet were so painful. I felt like I was either going to throw up or faint which wasn't a pleasant end to a lovely trip but thankfully we got a taxi to the hotel and it took us down The Mall, Regents St and some of the most exclusive and fancy streets in London.

Overall, I had an amazing time, we saw some incredible historic sites, Buckingham Palace was amazing, the weather was great and the hotel/train were both perfect. The only downsides were the prices, my ridiculously painful boots and not knowing what tickets to buy for the tube (the staff were great but there were only a couple of people around to help with lots of customers waiting around not know what to do!). I cannot recommend the Buckingham Palace and Tower Of London tours enough, I can't wait to visit again albeit with comfy boots!

Have you been to London? Have you visited Buckingham Palace or the Tower Of London?

Bomb Cosmetics #BombBabeSquad

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
I have been a fan of Bomb Cosmetics bath products for a few years so I'm very excited to announce it's that I'm one of their brand ambassadors! The first product I tried from them was the Violet Bath Mallow which was so impressive as it lasted for so long in the water, it looked so cute and the scent was amazing! 

I was very kindly sent an amazing package from them including some of their new products which came in rainbow coloured polystyrene - it was a very colourful package to brighten up a dull rainy Saturday. I've tried a couple of the products so far and I love them so I can't wait to share my thoughts. If you follow me on Intstagram then you will have seen the unboxing and the demo of the Cherry Bomb Blaster too. 
It's my birthday today! The package contained so many amazing smelling products and the first one I gravitated towards, as it was so cute, was the *Bomb Cosmetics Cherry Bomb Blaster (£2.99) which is a new product! It smells like sweet cherries but it isn't over powering which some cherry scented products can be. It looks so adorable and it contains bergamot and cedarwood essential oils.

Bomb Cosmetics has a range of bath products including bath mallows, bath melts, bath creamers and bath blasters, which is what I have here. It's basically a cute bath bomb and the others are much smaller and somehow even cuter! It fizzed away fairly quick, it left a slightly tinted bath and the scent was subtle. It is the first bath blaster I've tried from Bomb Cosmetics and it was quite impressive.

Another product that I've already tried is the gorgeous *Bomb Cosmetics Hand In The Cookie Jar Hand Treatment (£4.99, 25ml) which is honestly one of the nicest hand creams I've ever used. It comes in a  L'Occitane style tube which makes it great for travelling and it smells so nice! To me it smells like vanilla, coconut and sweeter fruity notes which I love and it's subtle too.

I use hand creams constantly as I have eczema on my hands which makes them perpetually dry and sore and most hand creams leave some kind of greasy look or feel to my skin but this doesn't. It is incredibly moisturising, smoothing and nourishing but it does make my hands feel greasy, oily and sticky in anyway at all which impressive!
Next up their almost iconic soaps of which I always see in more boutique and smaller beauty or home stores. The one I received is the *Bomb Cosmetics Summer Cherry Handmade Soap (£2.99, 100g). The soaps are so striking as they have various colours and opacities within them which looks so unique and interesting. The 'summer cherry' scent is sweet and fruit but again it's not overpowering or cloying. It works really nicely as a hand soap as it lathers, it smells lovely and it doesn't irritate or dry out my skin.

Now onto a very exciting and very unique product that I haven't seen anywhere else! The *Bomb Cosmetics Shower Mixers (£1.50 each) are giant fizzy tabs that you place at the bottom of your shower and they fizz away with the water releasing a gorgeous scent. I think they are amazing for those who want a bath bomb but who don't have bath tubs, these solve that issue!

I have the Vanilla Shower Mixer with Nutmeg & Ginger essential oils which looks like a giant pill and smells so musky and lovely, the Cookie Shower Mixer with Nutmeg & Cinnamon essential oils that almost looks like a cookie with sprinkle in it and the Cherry Shower Mixer with Lavender & Marjoram essential oils that might have my favourite scent of the three.

I've only tried the latter so far and ==========
Another shower based product is the *Bomb Cosmetics Vanilla Shower Butter (£7.99) which is an unusual product as it's basically a rich, semi-solid body wash that has a really creamy consistency. I don't think I've used anything quite like it before! I like the cute, ice cream tub packaging and the scent is so delicious, I'm tempted to eat it...I won't! The scent is me is a mix of vanilla ice cream, caramel and bananas, it has a rich texture and is quite unusual to use. It does lather slightly and leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean, smooth and moisturised.

Last but not least one of the most impressive little bath products ever! The *Bomb Cosmetics Mon Cheri Bath Mallow (£2.99, 50g) which is a new addition to the range. I haven't tried this yet but it's so cute so I can't wait. I'll always share videos of the products in action on my Instagram Stories.

Have you tried anything from Bomb Cosmetics? 

15 Years Of Essence

Monday, August 14, 2017
Essence has been one of my favourite brands for the past three or so years, since I was invited to the brand launch in the UK! The event was amazing, I received an incredibly generous goodie bag and met some lovely bloggers; it also started my love of Essence!

The brand recently celebrated it's 15 birthday which is amazing and I was very kindly sent a gorgeous box filled with party hats, confetti, sweets, balloons and of course, Essence makeup which made a dull monday morning much more exciting.
Today I wanted to share some of my favourite products from Essence over the years as there are so many and they are well worth checking out! My favourite product by far is the fantastic Essence All About Matte Fixing Compact Powder which I've gone through at least two of already and I'm now on my third. The powder just makes my skin look amazing and it helps to keep my makeup in place all day - if you only buy one thing from Essence, make sure it's this powder!

Another favourite is more of a category of products and that's mascara. I've tried so many mascaras from Essence and they are all fantastic. They are so inexpensive, they work really well and I particularly love the waterproof mascaras in their range. I'm now using the Essence Volume Stylist Mascara which I'm loving.
Another category is lipsticks and while they aren't the most long lasting, they are so comfortable, inexpensive and pigmented. The same goes for their eyeliners, I love the Liquid Ink Liner and the pencils too. Lastly, I have to mention their nail polishes which are so fantastic and pretty much everything I look for in a nail polish - pigmented, easy and quick to apply, great shade range and as with everything from Essence, they are so cheap!

Here's a short video of the amazing box of goodies and some swatches too!

Have you tried anything from Essence? If so, what are your favourite products? 

New In Homeware ft. Hello Canvas #1

Sunday, August 13, 2017
I posted about the kitchen redesign a few months ago and now it is finally finished with amazing oak doors, grey walls and gorgeous pearlescent wallpaper from Inspired Wallpaper. We do have some photographs hung up in the kitchen as well as the star certificate but there was one wall that was completely empty, until now thanks to the lovely people at Hello Canvas.

I was very kindly sent the *Hello Canvas Vintage Blue World Map (£46 - SALE) which is the full colour and 36x48 inch version, without a floating frame. They come in numerous sizes but I chose the largest as the wall I wanted to hang it up on was quite large and I thought it would be the best option to fill the full space.
You could also choose various colour options but since our kitchen is mainly oak, cream and a blue toned grey, I thought the blue, creamy and grey tones of the map would match well in the kitchen and I think it does - I love the way the map is a feature in the kitchen and how well it blends in. I also love the white boarder around the canvas, it makes it look a bit more formal and finished off, if that makes sense!

It's surprisingly heavy but it was easy to put up on the wall as it comes with a small tool to attach to the canvas frame that allows it to hang on the wall easily. It only took a few minutes to measure the frame, attach the plastic, hammer in the nail and hang the canvas. I think it looks amazing in the kitchen!
The canvas also comes with red flag pins that can be used to mark on the map the places you've visited which I think I will be adding to the map. I've been lucky enough to visit many european countries including Sweden, France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Slovenia and many more; also we are visiting Norway later this month so I can add it to the map as well.

I couldn't be happier with the map as it looks amazing in the kitchen, it fits so well and it makes the room look more homely and lived in rather than having an empty space on the wall. The delivery was also quick and I couldn't recommend Hello Canvas enough. They have various options to choose from, not just maps but also framed photos, printed canvases and you can even have photos printed onto metal and wood which I think would make a great gift!

Have you bought anything from Hello Canvas? What do you think of this canvas map?