A little post today to discuss a trend I have mixed reviews on. So here is the question: should you ever wear tights with open toe shoes?
Usually, I always go for no. With living in a country where getting bare legs out is quite rare, I tend to wear tights with all my dresses, skirts and shorts on a daily basis. However, there is nothing more annoying than having to limit your footwear choice because those really nice shoes aren’t going to work due to the peep toe. I mean, does anyone really care? I recently got my hands on a new pair of skin coloured tights from Wolford – the style of them are ‘Naked 8′ and come in shade ‘cosmetic’, as I wanted a natural pair to wear this Summer. It has been due to wearing these lovely tights that has opened up this trend debate in my head this week…
Even though it may be Summer, I still don’t feel we have had warm enough days to wear bare legs with dresses everyday – especially not in air conditioned offices. What I love about wearing these are they are ultra-fine with an attractive transparent look; pretty much like make-up for your legs. They are super stretchy, which is ideal because who ever wants ‘tight’ tights? The best thing about them though is that they have an unreinforced sandal toe, making them ideal for wearing with open-toed shoes as the toe line isn’t so obvious. I tried them out for the first time with a new pair of chunky heeled open-toe sandals from Next which I purchased last week… have a see what you think!
In my opinion, it’s really no big deal to ditch the rules and wear your open toe shoes and tights with pride. I felt confident and comfortable wearing these, and would do this more often. If you chose a good pair of soft, sheer tights like the ones I opted for from Wolford, ideally with a hidden obvious toe seam, then in my eyes it’s completely fine.
Although I love a good season of layering up, most fashion lovers appreciate the summer season the most, especially for an excuse to wear lighter fabrics and ‘cooler’ items. Summer is a great time for new designs, but also for the iconic trends that seem to come out of the season year in and year out – the iconic ones that never disappear. So for those of you who love summer fashion trends, here’s a short round-up of those three key trends that keep coming around…
On a first note, home shopping catalogues like Fashion World and Very.co.uk provide a great place to shop online for this summer’s fashion trends. Check out the UK’s top clothing catalogues at Shop2day.
These are the top 3 summer fashion trends to be aware of for SS15:
One piece jumpers, skinny jeans, denim sandals, tops, hats, are all popular summer pieces. Shorts or pants, skirts or dresses, everyone looks good in it, it is comfortable, and the right designer can do wonders with it. Further, the darker blues counter well with bold, bright summer colours, while lighter denim pairs well with a lighter hue or shades of colours. The options are endless.
Consider it the new plaid of 2015. Want to add visual interest to an outfit, this is how you do it. Zig-zags, stripes, patches and floral prints, checkered patterns. The options are truly endless, the design pieces look good, and they work well with any fabric or linen material. So you can go from a long flowing dress, to a two piece suit with a checkered jacket and matching checkered shorts, and you will look good for any occasion for which you are dressing.
3. Belted dresses
They are cool (in appearance and for warm days) they work well with any sandal, flat or heel, and they work well in any colour scheme. Throw in the fact that you can go with long or short dresses, you can match your belt up with shoes and accessories, and can easily counter several colours, making a new outfit every time, even if you only own one belt. A great look, fun for the summer, and perfect for the warm weather which it brings as well.
As most of you will probably know, I post on whatemmadid.com everyday, but last week has been pretty manic to say the least. It’s been the official week I move out of my city center apartment and into my first bought home, which means I’ll be spending the majority of the week with no internet, and moving boxes and bags from my car to the new house. I have also been on a little holiday to Barcelona (I actually got home just a few hours ago) so I have been absent from the world of laptops, wordpress and social media for a change!
And it is my trip to Barcelona that brings me onto the topic of today’s more personal post- things to do before turning 30, true ‘Bucket List’ style. Me and my twin sister have been potentially discussing a trip to Barcelona for our 30th next year, so my first visit to the Spanish city this weekend made me start thinking about the places I need to see and the things I want to do before reaching the big 3-0. It’s only 10 months away, therefore the perfect time to get my head around my own personal bucket list of things I want to achieve before the landmark birthday. Some of them are teeny tiny minor things, and others are much more adventurous!
Here goes… (in no particular order)
1. Experience my natural side
For the next ten months, I’ll be concentrating on getting all the build up of bleach and highlights out of this hair. Throughout my twenties I have longed for naturally, shiny, glossy and thick hair, only to get bored of trying to grow my natural shade through and hit the bleach once again. But thanks to highlighting, I now have broken, damaged hair, with zero shine factor. For my 30th, I am promising myself that i’ll be more than halfway on the journey to a full head of lovely hair. I had the last lot of blonde put through back in March, and had some low lights in the other week to help grow the blonde out. As you can see from below it’s looking lots darker, so now I just need to keep it up…
2. Go to New York
How on Earth have I- a girl who has worked in fashion and the creative industry since being 16 – never been to New York? I am mortified with myself! However, I have started to plan a trip next year with a friend of mine, which hasn’t been booked yet, but it has absolutely got to happen. Get me to the style capital! You read it here first. Next year, i’ll be there.
3. Become self employed
As you all know, I put a lot of time and effort into WhatEmmaDid.com, and not just the blogging side. The blog runs as a boutique too, with a dedicated dress shop running on the website as well. It takes up a lot of time, but it really is my true passion, and every hour I work on the website is an hour I love. Hopefully, by the time I reach 30, I’ll be in the position to go full time with the site and become self employed (yeah that’s right- girl boss!)
4. Re-visit Australia and take a road trip
Any regular blog readers will know I always like to talk about my time in Australia. But I guess sometimes talking about it isn’t enough. I had the best year over there, and need to make sure I re-visit the place again before I hit 30. There are also a number of things I realised I didn’t do when over there that I would make sure to do this time around. One of those is to drive in Australia – I had took so much time away from driving, and obviously the roads in other countries are so different to the UK, that I just hid away from it. This time, I’d love to get behind the wheel and tour the parts of Australia I didn’t have time to see, with me behind the driving wheel. I came across this really cool dedicated page about a travellers guide to driving etiquette. which I find is a really clever creative to check out before you head to your designated country. For example, I hit the ‘Australia’ county option and it tells me tips about the driving etiquette over there, along with video footage and a bloggers opinion.
It’s actually really handy for me to know about for anywhere in the world I may decide to go. I usually don’t enjoy driving too much and shy away from it when abroad, but discovering this has made me feel a little more confident. I’ll be driving from Sydney to Melbourne in no time!
5. Holiday alone
This shouldn’t sound as scary as it will do for some of you. I travelled Bali and Singapore alone, and found that where as of course it’s lovely to have someone to talk to, it’s actually really nice to visit somewhere that you want to go to yourself, do the things only you want to do, and see what only you want to see. I’d love to take a tour of Italy within the next year – so why wait for someone to become free and save up with me if I’m ready to go? It’s not as scry as it sounds, and it’s something I want to try before next May.
6. Write a book
Obviously as a blogger I write everything down online everyday – always showcasing what I have been up to, along with my thoughts and opinions. I am trained in journalism (sometimes you may not guess by the casual tone of my posts!) and I spend a lot of my spare time thinking up storylines of potential book ideas. Perhaps before I hit 30, I can get this started…
7. Indulge in the world of You Tube
If your into the big world of blogging, you’ll know that YouTube ‘vloggers’ are the most recent big thing. WhatEmmaDid.com really should have a channel, although the thought of it does scare me a little bit. But you know what the saying is: feel the fear and do it anyway…
8. Learn to be a good baker
I’m not a terrible baker, but I am up for winning no awards. Biscuits, flapjacks and packet mix cakes are currently my forte, and now I have my own new house with a rather smart kitchen, I could do with brushing up my skills. Once I get some more free time, I’ll start watching YouTube baking tutorials and start perfecting my cake baking skills. Plus, I’m a sucker for scones, so could do with learning the tricks to creating some delicious ones!
9. Go shopping in Toyko
In my opinion, Tokyo is one of the most stylish, quirky and independent cities of the whole world. I need to visit Tokyo to not only go shopping (but that would be the main reason of course) but to see the culture of the place, how the people dress, the food they eat, and experience the general hustle and bustle of the place.
10. Learn to play the piano
Something I have wanted to do for so long! I guess time gets in the way here. A couple of starter lessons are definiltye on my list to try and conquer whilst in my youthful twenties.
11. Camp underneath the stars in a beautiful location
I have camped out a number of times, including at Glastonbury and across Australia’s East Coast, but each time has involved muggy skies, a tiny tent, and crowds of others sharing the same pitch space. I long to experience a beautiful, scenic land area where I could pitch a huge luxurious tent which overlooks a clear, twinkling sky. An experience I really want to have in the next few months. Below is a few photos I dug out from my camping in Australia days!
12. Splurge on an outrageously expensive designer item
And last but definitely not least – to purchase an item so expensive it makes my eyes water. A designer handbag, a premium watch, or shoes that cost more than my monthly mortgage payment. Imagine just owning them and knowing that they were your own purchase. Just imagine…
If you have any ‘bucket list’ things to do of your own that you wish to share, do pop them in a comment below!
Art Deco is a trend making a massive comeback, from movies like Gattaca to the Great Gatsby. Even car manufacturers and technology companies are embracing the visual style once again. And yet perhaps it is the art deco engagement rings that are stealing the show? I recently dressed up in art deco theme for a works annual Christmas party last year, and it was honestly one of the nicest dress up themes for the girls – so glam, glitzy and lavish.
It isn’t just becoming a huge trend in fashion and dressing up, it’s also fast becoming the number one choice for jewellery – engagement rings especially!
What is Art Deco?
Art Deco is a visual style which was popularized in and around the 1920‘s up until around the 1940s. It is a visual style that breathed new life into the lavish ornamental styles which preceded it, incorporating bold geometric shapes, colours, and imagery from the golden age of machines and industry.
Natural Curves and Geometric Shapes
The link to machines is not merely a coincidence. As society moves towards industrial mass production, machine-rendered motifs, and clean repeatable typography, the new Art Deco style simply makes for a more “compatible” look. Long gone were the asymmetrical curvilinear common design attributes. Those seemingly imperfect organic motifs that had been popular up until its introduction aren’t prominent anymore. Now the world favoured the fresh and clean look of Art Deco, which claimed classical motifs and reduced them down to simpler geometric shapes and ornaments.
In its most popular stretch, Art Deco represented glamour and lush luxury while also being easier to attain because of the ease of which the items were being produced.
However when it comes to jewellery, the style of art deco engagement rings Sydney jewellers are selling consists of a lot of detail which is not commonly found in today’s day and age. Art Deco wedding engagement rings are perhaps the pinnacle of craftsmanship and artistry. The smooth geometric shapes engraved in engagement ring bands work beautifully with the unique nature of every gemstone colour and diamond cut.
Art Deco jewellery gained widespread popularity after brands such as Coco Chanel embraced it with fashion and jewellery and the look was complete once it had found its final identity towards the end of the year 1925 and beyond. With white platinum gold, vivid colours, and broad geometric shapes combined with the advanced stone cutting methods which were perfected at the time, the look was almost complete.
Art Deco was defined by its dramatic usage of vertical lines and repetitive geometric shapes. In addition to its mathematical precision, it also combined with colours that contrasted with large intensity.
The final, fashionable twist to Art Deco engagement rings came with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb and the refresh of motifs originally inspired by Michelangelo and Rembrandt. The artists which pioneered the Art Deco look borrowed design attributes from the past and incorporated them into their work, using gemstones shaped into forms such as baguette, half moon, triangle, and trapeze. This was a very welcome change from the Art Nouveau’s pastel-coloured era, and that of the bleached-white Edwardian era.
Combined with modern manufacturing processes, Art Deco became one of the most popular visual styles of all time even seeming exotic to most. As industry rolled on, many tools became available to unearth ancient civilisations which only continued to inspire every facet of the Art Deco movement, if you can call it one.
So the next time you see a jewellery piece that seems to borrow from both the past, and the future, you are probably looking at an Art Deco jewellery piece or one inspired by it. While the Georgian era claims some of the most intricate and rare jewellery pieces in our recent history, the Art Deco era most certainly claims some of the world’s most intriguing jewellery combinations.
Here is a little summer budgeting post for you all today. After doing the financially draining paying both rent on my apartment and mortgage on my new house for the past four months, I’ve had to learn how to cut back on literally everything. One of them being planning my Summer holiday beauty essentials. Have you ever tried switching your more premium branded products to those of a High Street drug store, like Superdrug? Here, I show you the key products from Superdrug I am packing for this years trip to Barcelona, instead of my usual branded items…
Firstly, as much as it’s nice to have trust in a big name brand (I know because I have this myself with certain brands I swear by) it’s always worth giving more affordable brands a go. Take for example, I’m avoiding using the sunbeds this year, therefore have been giving good old fake tan a go every other day. This has involved a July full of exfoliating. When it comes to buffing up your body, you really don’t need to spend a lot of money on these type of ‘disposable products’ – they aren’t going to last too long. I always opt for loofah scrubs at around 99p from Superdrug, and have also been giving this Loofah Back Strap a go too, to ensure my whole body is exfoliated and smooth.
Secondly, I swear by the Tangle Teezer to get rid of knotty hair and tangles. But did you know that you don’t have to pay the hefty £7.50 for one? Because lets face it, although it does the job brilliantly, that’s quite steep for a brush. This Summer, I switched my Tangle Teezer for the Superdrug Detangling Brush.
Now for my next Superdrug Summer haul budgeting switch, I decided to swap my luxury branded haircare products and opt for a new launch from Superdrugs own brand. The Trichology range contains a three step re-balancing regime to look after your scalp and prevent dandruff, as well as revitalising your hair and scalp for a thorough clean. I love that the 100ml bottle of scalp shampoo and intensive condition cost just £3.99 (although currently reduced even further at the moment!) along with a Re-balancing Scalp Tonic product. I have been using these for the past week, and feel like my hair and scalp are both being looked after wonderfully by these lime scented products, yet they carry no expensive price tag.
Next, it’s all about the facial oils! I am guessing if your a beauty fanatic, you may have heard lots of hype surrounding facial oils. They are now packed with hero nutrients and super ingredients which make them nourishing and intensely moisturising for the skin, so you don’t need to worry about them blogging pores or causing breakouts. The B brand at Superdrug is one I personally love anyway, so I had no worries about opting for a number of skincare, cosmetic and beauty products from this brand. I feel like this brand is premium in it’s own right, and some of the items I have already used from this range (the cleansing water and BB cream) already rival some of the expensive beauty brands on the market.
The Replenishing Face Oil is usually £13.99 but is currently in sale – depending what time you come across this blog post – and it really is an incredible facial oil packed with powerful antioxidant-rich formulation to help protect and hydrate the skin. B. Replenished helps calm stressed skin with a burst of moisture and a boost of antioxidants, and helps protect against environmental free radical damage. What I love the most about this is that it has a potent blend of Vitamins C & E, which are vital skin nurturing vitamins.
As most people will tell you – always use a day cream with an SPF. I won’t go into this beauty lecture as I’m sure the majority of you already know why it’s so important, and the best thing is that more and more moisturisers come packed with these anyway. I have been using a number of expensive natural ingredient day creams that are really lovely for my skin, but do get pricey to keep buying. So for my Summer cosmetic bag, I added in this affordable little wonder from Superdrug’s Optimum range, the PhytoCellTec Intensive Protecting Day Cream with SPF 15. It was in the sale for around £6.99, and contains all the powerful ingredients to slough away dead skin cells and increase turnover for a more radiant, yet protected complexion.
With this one, I am sure you will all agree with me – who needs to purchase expensive face wipes and razors for Summer? I have to admit I limit my face wipe usage as they aren’t the kindest for skin. But when it comes to holidays, nothing is more essential than throwing in a pack of cleansing wipes and disposable razors to ensure your beauty-on-the-go is tip top. Superdrug cleansing wipes are kind to the skin and are suitable for a range of needs (dry, combination, spot prone) and you can purchase them on offer all the time. An absolute winner!
And last but not least, the four hero products in the image above are my favourites this Summer from the Superdrug brand. I have honestly never noticed a difference between an expensive, premium branded heat protection spray, to that from a High Street drug store brand, so I have been using the Style Expertise Defence Protecting Heat Styling Spray. For £2.99 it is mega cheap, and lasts for ages! The 300ml bottle is worth every penny of that £2.99. It contains polymer technology to protect from heat damage through straightening and blow drying. It also contains Moringa and UV absorber for help in protecting against sun damage. So important to prevent my over coloured hair break from heat styling too.
Then there is the fantastic Solait sun care range. I have to admit, this isn’t actually such a dramatic switch for me, as I usually begrudge spending a small fortune of sun protection lotions and after sun. My very favourite product is the Solait Moisturising After Sun with illuminating shimmer – it adds the most subtle hint of sparkle to my skin, giving an extra glow and shine too. It does everything I expect from my usual After Sun – it cools, soothes and moisturises, yet it has the most amazing scent of mango. A true holiday sensation product, just lie the rest of the range. Solait skincare starts at around £2.99 for a product, which is definitley affordable to protect your skin this Summer.
So there you go – my Superdrug haul! Are you a high street beauty brand shopper? Or ready to take on a switch?
As I am a super girly girl (most of you will have picked this up by now), I came across this piece of news which I found super sweet and had to share on What Emma Did. Ever wanted to stay in Barbie’s dream home? OK, I don’t mean that in a freaky small child way. I mean it in an adorable, reminiscent, girly-girl way if you are planning a female orientated hen weekend, or just a glamour filled holiday with your favourite ladies.
I jet off to Barcelona on Friday for a fun filled weekend in the sun celebrating my friends upcoming wedding, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am in desperate need for a weekend away with the girls. So from doing a spot of research into girly getaways in general, I came across Ibiza Summer Villas, who are now offering its Barbie House Villa for anyone looking to fulfill their girlhood dreams of living like Barbie in her Dreamhouse. This villa is perfect for any parent looking for a fun getaway with the kids (see – I didn’t mean this in a freaky way, it does have class!), as it is a little different than your normal vacation. Or maybe you’re looking for a unique place to have your hen party, or if you are the chief Bridesmaid and have the pressure of creating a more unique hen holiday for the girls. With its Barbie themed pool area, eclectic furniture, walk-in shoe closet, and pink convertible, it really is a truly lovely place that is kitted out to suit every girls ‘grown up’ dreams!
This type of holiday only works if you group of you are super girly and can appreciate the humour of living in a pink palace for a couple of days, living ‘the life’ of the nation’s favourite doll. I think it’s such a quirky idea- I would absolutely take my hat off to a chief bridesmaid who had arranged this. Embrace the fun! As mentioned before, it’s also the perfect little getaway if you have a family where little girls are involved. Oh how me and my sister would have loved to holiday here -in fact my 10 year old self and my 29 year old self could enjoy it in totally different ways!
Since buying my first house way back in February, I am finally about to move in and set up home in North Manchester. It’s a super exciting time of my life, and a very grown up one indeed, running my own house by myself. However, as with most situations in life, there is always a small negative. And in my scenario, it’s moving out from the city centre and not being able to walk to work, get cheap taxis home from nights out, and be the one arranging catch ups central to my city based flat. I’ll be falling back into the world of driving a car everyday, which has reminded me how lucky I have been to not need to over the past year. Anyhow, with this in mind, I have put together a round-up of the five most important things to keep on top of when choosing to be a driver, with tips on what to do to get around these niggling driver problems…
1. Keeping a car clean
Keeping on top of a cars interior can be a nuisance – especially if you live a busy life and are constantly in and out of your car, pulling in at McDonalds drive-thru’s, keeping spare pairs of flat shoes in the car, storing spare children’s toys in the back… you all know what a ‘lived in’ car interior looks like. Perhaps keep a mini hoover in the boot for when your car starts to gather up dust, hair and all sorts of litter, and also stash a plastic back into the glove box. That way, when you start gathering up lots of paper cups and sandwich wrappers, crisp packets or whatever you may be leaving lying around, you can pop them all in a mini ‘bin’ to at least look a little more presentable.
2. Petrol costs
Everyone’s holy grail. This one speaks for itself. Travelling via bus, train or tram always ends up cheaper, and petrol costs continue to be a constant. I do always notice that when I’m trying to scrimp and save and fill up with £10 at a time, my petrol seems to vanish faster than when I put in a full tank. No idea if this is just a coincidence or not, but it is something I tend to notice often.
3. MOT and Tyres
Every time I take my car for a service or MOT, I end up being taken back by fairly important car issues I never gave much thought to before. For example, I always seem to have nails embedded into my tyres every single time my car has a full check. Doesn’t matter where I chose to park it- car parks, drive way, on street parking, nails just accumulate. It’s actually really surprising too how quickly the tread of tyres can go down if you clock up a lot of miles daily. If the above sounds familiar to you, it’s a good idea to have a car tyre dealer in mind before you carry out a service/MOT, so you can be prepared for the replacement on tyres. Point S are a car tyre dealer who have a wide variety of car tyres in all sizes, from all the top brands available at the best prices. Buyers can check them out and book car tyres online along with tyre fitting appointment at a time of their convenience from their nearest Point S depot, so they offer a pretty good service should this situation sound similar to yourselves!
4. Being the designated taxi driver
You know those scenarios when people look at you for lifts because they don’t currently have a car? Or if your not really a big drinker and there are a few of you heading to a far away wedding reception or event? Yeah… those moments. Not really any advice to offer for this one, it can be really frustrating, but maybe don’t be too generous with offering lifts from the word go…
5. Cost of running vehicles
If you are in a situation where you are lucky enough to pay your car insurance upfront for the year, then I would agree that is definitely the best way to do it. You usually manage to make a little bit of a saving, however, if this just isn’t possible, try to look at dedicated insurance companies for young drivers which are tailored to encourage safe driving and saving money at the same time. More Than Telematics have the key aim of helping young people stay safe and save at the same time, so they could be a good one to look into when it comes to insurance costs. I have to admit, I’m not the smoothest of drivers, and More Than Telematics actually run a Driving Style Scheme; all you have to do is drive safely – by driving smoothly, staying within the speed limits and not braking excessively – and you could get up to 10% of your premium back in the first year.
So back into the world of commuting, taxi-ing, watching spare money go on fuel, and regular car check-up’s again! The joys of out of town living…
There’s no biggest beauty trend right now than that of the eyebrow trend – fuller, thicker, groomed brows to rival that of model Cara Delevingne are everywhere. Obviously, not everyone is blessed with having naturally thick, face framing eyebrows, but even a much more styled and shaped brow is now everyone’s new obsession. I for one couldn’t love the trend more; as a natural blonde child with natural jet black, bushy eyebrows, I was constantly over plucking to try and hide what was not in fashion back then. Thin, light hairs was the ‘thing’, and I just didn’t fit in. So hooray to the fuller eyebrow trend that 2014 delivered, and is still reigning strong throughout 2015…
The above photo is taken using my newest favourite eyebrow product brand – Billion Dollar Brows. I came across them when browsing Beauty Bay for eyebrow products and realised they are absolutely everything a girl is looking for – a complete offering of all products brow related. The brand was created to stop the neglect some people have towards looking after their brows, and help customers all over the globe obtain the beautiful brows they deserve, at a sensible price. At present, they are the only cosmetic brand that are solely dedicated to eyebrows and nothing else, making them a leader and professional in creating ideal products.
After my teenage years were plagued with over-plucking, my brows aren’t as full as they could be, but you can see that from below they are naturally dark but need ‘putting into shape’ so to speak. So this is an un re-touched ‘before’ photo…
To introduce me to Billion Dollar brows and their product offering, I got my hands on the Best Sellers Kit; £71 worth of eyebrow products which is available for £53.45. It contains the hero products you need in your kit to create perfectly filled in, shaped and styled eyebrows for every occasion, whether day or night. The first product in the kit is what I call the essential product, the Universal Brow Pencil: It is formulated to work with all skin tones & hair colours, in a natural brown shade which can be applied with more pressure for the darker brows, and lighter for the fairer. This easy to twist up and apply eyebrow pencil goes on smooth and naturally, creating natural brows whether you are a blonde or a brunette. I love that it needs no sharpening! It just blends into the hairs and onto the skin so easily. If you make a little mistake and apply too much pencil, I just use a cotton bud q-tip and smudge the colour away. The end of this pencil features a mini brush, so I ‘brush in’ the pencil as I am applying, making sure my brows stay neat and tidy.
Second step is to use the Brow Duo Pencil: a duo highlighter and concealer to highlight the brow bone, and a universal concealer to hide any discolourations and to brighten up dark circles. I use the highlighter under my brow bone to add a gorgeous touch of definition and warmth, and also I find it adds ‘shape’ to the styled brow by brightening up the skin underneath, making the brow stand out more. Both of these tips of the pencil work with any skin tone. I also add a touch of the highlighter to the corners of my eyes, helping my eyes brighten up and look widen. Absolutely love this pencil! A great touch-up product to keep in my bag.
The next two products in the kit include the Brow Gel and Smudge Brush. With the Smudge Brush, I use this to blend the highlighter and concealer into my skin. It’s a really good quality flat, synthetic brush that saves me having to use my finger for blending. As for the Brow Gel, this is the ultimate finishing product, which locks in your look, giving eyebrows a long-lasting, radiant glow while keeping them perfectly in place all day. I brush this gel through my brows as my final brow step – it’s not tacky at all and doesn’t';t leave a wet look finish. It’s great for doubling up as an eyebrow brush too!
Billion Dollar Brows also retail a Brow Buddy Kit – a duo set which includes the Brow Buddy tool to help you find where your eyebrows should start, should peak, and should end, and a little white liner pencil to enable you to do all the markings. The set is £22 and is fantastic for those of you starting with a complete blank slate when it comes to brows. If you have eyebrows in serious need of re-shaping and fine tuning to the shape of your face, then this is the best way to star. The Brow Buddy makes shaping your brows incredibly fast and simple; unlike eyebrow stencils, this handy tool takes into account your own facial shape, giving you perfectly symmetrical, beautifully shaped brows.
I used to rave on about owning the best eyebrow tool ever, which I thought was MAC Lingering eyebrow pencil (I last blogged about this here), and don’t get me wrong, this pencil is still one I would recommend, but Billion Dollar Brows and their Universal Brow Pencil has now taken over for me. The Best Sellers Kit is everything I need to ensure my brows are a focal point of my face (that is the trend after all!) and I really feel confident I can achieve my ultimate look now I have the correct tools.
Thank you Billion Dollar Brows – what an amazing brand!
Don’t be fooled by the title of this blog post – I’m not ‘officially’ titled as a full time blogger yet. Although that entirely depends how you define it. The thing is, I actually am a full time blogger, but I also am a full time PR Executive Monday Friday, 8am-5.30pm too. 6am-8am is spent on the blog, as is 7pm – midnight most nights, which means that yes I may have a full time career, but I also run whatemmadid.com full time too. So the big question is – when does it end? When do you ever feel like it’s safe to run the risk of leaving a solid career and becoming a full time blogger? When is it ever the right time to take the leap and become self employed?
Here are a few tactics to think about and fully consider before making the jump yourself. And not just to become a full time blogger, but whatever side business or life change you might be working on…
1. Save emergency money
Before you start to seriously consider making the cut, start saving up an emergency fund. It doesn’t have to be a drastic save to start with. it can simply begin with putting £20 a week aside, and gradually building it up. When you start to set a date in your mind of when you hope to achieve your goals of leaving permanent employment, start upping the money you are adding to the savings, and make sure you have enough to survive for three months incase the first months are slow starters.
2. Don’t be afraid to lend
Most successful businesses take on loans, especially if you are starting a freelance career on your own and need help with just running and affording your life in general. Lending Works is a peer-to-peer lending platform which matches shrewd lenders with creditworthy personal loan borrowers, so both receive a much better deal. It cuts out the middle man, so lenders receive great returns and borrowers receive low cost, flexible personal loans. There are no banks, no big bonuses and no sneaky fees. Lending Works is an ideal platform for lending as they offer fantastic returns by lending your money directly to creditworthy borrowers. They benefit from low-cost loans while you earn interest. When lending through Lending Works, your money is safe by protecting against the risk of borrower default.
3. Have a Plan B
OK so this may sound slightly negative, but it is actually just realistic; always have a Plan B. Think of the worst case scenario, because nothing is ever impossible. If something happens which prevents you from running your business or being self employed, you need a fall back which will pay the bills, mortgage, rent, whatever your situation might be. It could just be making sure you keep in contact with old industry contacts, or keeping a skill running strong so that you can always return to employment if the worst was to happen.
4. Utilise selling sites
There is nothing more satisfying that getting rid of old ‘things’ and making money from them. Work towards having a little bit of back-up money behind you by regularly selling clothes, old furniture, and any miscellaneous items. Try eBay, Depop, Amazon and the good old fashioned car boot sales. You have to be money savvy when it comes to setting up on your own, so make sure you are making smart choices about bringing in extra money.
Do you have any saving/lending/selling tips? Do feel free to share them below!
Because being a blogger isn’t easy you know. Sometimes we feel empowered, sometimes we feel inspired, and other times, we feel plain useless. But that’s OK, the rest of the ‘blogeratti’ all get it…
Here is a top 15 round-up of things that only bloggers will truly understand:
1. Every meal – or anything delivered on a plate – is a piece of art and is the perfect photo opportunity
Yes, it is vital that we take a photo of every meal we eat at a restaurant/bar/take-out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a loaded up burger and tub of fries, or if it’s a nicely decorated plate of sushi and frozen banana smoothie. It is food art, and yes, everyone is interested in seeing a photo of it. Especially from a birds eye view. Nothing looks cooler and more exciting than a nicely styled plate of food, along with that crazy concoction of a drink. Fact.
2. Backgrounds matter
Where we place our full length mirrors in our bedrooms actually has strategic thought behind it. It matters more than anything what is lurking around in the background. Mirror selfies are perfect for quick outfit post shots and outfit of the day social media photos – sorry I mean #OOTD- my bad. We don’t want an overflowing paper bin or an unmade bed in the background. Trust me, that nice wall art and dimly lit candle has been placed there for a reason.
3. We drink coffee because it’s cool and it definitely makes a cool photo
A mug of frothy Cappuccino has never looked so appealing, especially when snapped and uploaded onto social media with a quote about how it’s needed for our hectic days ahead. Coffee looks great on instagram. People dig our photos of coffee and even more so, search for the hashtag. So yes, when we sit in Starbucks, we sure as hell are going to put that Cappuccino on Instagram. Usually discussing how this mug will help us fuel our day of blogging…
4. Crop and Filter. Every time.
What do mean, straight upload a raw photo on Instagram and Twitter? Not until we have edited with VSCO, flipped it, reversed it and re-opened it via ‘No Crop’. And then we use an instagram filter. And play around with the intensity. We don’t always look that flawless in real life (oops did I just admit that?)…
5. 24/7 WiFi
Bar, restaurants, cafes, workplaces, friends houses – we have to know the WiFi code. Because yes, we don’t want to miss a tweet from a follower or fellow blogger friend, we don’t want to miss a blogger opportunity in a Facebook group, and we certainly don’t want to miss refreshing out Instagram feeds. No WiFi equals one agitated blogger (be warned…)
6. We need a cool phone case
We love showing off our shiny rose gold iPhone’s with our mirror selfies, but what is even cooler is when we get an uber cute rubber animal phone case and we take a mirror selfie showcasing it too. Super sweet! Our phone cases matter more than you think. They contribute to our well thought through selfies…
7. We have internet friends
We do indeed. We have our own blog gangs and our own blogger ‘bezzies’. We tweet each other, retweet each other, and favourite each others tweets. Oh and of course, we like each others instagram pictures even if it is a photograph of some fancy blogger party and we wonder if our invite got lost in the post? We all share the same hobby and lifestyle – blogging – so the respect is instant. It doesn’t matter that we might not have actually met them all face to face (yet)… the girl who digs our beauty tutorials and asks if the strawberry daiquiri in the photo tastes as good as it looks actually knows more about us that some of our ‘real life’ friends do.
8. We go on girl dates, which are technically internet dates
We speak over the internet to other blogging gals, and then we arrange to meet at the entrance of a bar in town before heading to an event. Sometimes, we even ask bloggers we have never met before if they want to be our plus one. And sometimes, we even ‘hook up’ during the week and take outfit posts for each other. We are a lovely supportive community.
9. The postman is our best friend
We may work hard for a living, but we can’t afford to buy a new foundation or a new stylish dress to review every week. The postman does come to visit us quite regularly, usually ‘bearing gifts’. He thinks we are crazy. He can’t figure out why every delivery is in the form of a bulging jiffy bag or heavy box. He wonders what’s going on, but he never asks. ‘Whilst you are out cards’ are the bain of his life. Trips to the post office on a weekend are ours…
10. We stalk other bloggers
It’s more ‘crushing’, but sometimes, it is just plain noseying. We can’t help but wonder if the other blogger got sent to that amazing event by chance, or by asking, then we feel sad if we didn’t get an invite (as said above, we totally know a lot of invites get lost in the post…). Then we notice another stunning blogger who has commented on said bloggers post. Then we check out her blog. And we stalk her for a while. And then two hours of our lives are wasted. But it’s all personal research, right?
11. Prosecco and Canapes can make a good meal once a week
Blog events are great, but even more so when we don’t have to buy dinner for the evening! Canapes are more filling than you think, and those glasses of fizzy prosecco on arrival straight from work on an empty stomach can go to our heads fairly quickly. But that’s OK, it’s a bit of dutch courage for ‘networking’ all evening. Hiccup.
12. We also eat a lot of pretty cakes
Whether they come in goody bags, or handed to us on trays throughout events, we can assure you all that we eat lots of cakes. And not just your average slice of Victoria Sponge. We are talking fluffy coloured sponge, whipped icing, intricate topping cupcakes, handmade by a boutique baker. They are way too pretty to eat. But we eat them anyway. But we always take a photo of them before remember. Obvs.
13. Every outfit we wear is a potential outfit post
We don’t just throw on our favourite dress for a night because we like it, we think about what potential photo opportunities we could get out of it during the night too, which could double up as outfit posts and style shots for tomorrow’s blog post. Oh and as mentioned above, as our #OOTD of course. And #WIWT.
14. We spend way too much time on our phones
We really aren’t an unsociable bunch. We don’t mean to be rude and constantly be typing away on our phones. It turns out we are actually being socialable- but maybe just with the internet world. Yes, we may be refreshing our Instagram feed. We also might be sneakily checking our Gmail accounts. But we are listening. Promise.
15. We are posers
Goofiness gets us nowhere. A huge cheesy grin or funny face isn’t going to make that lipgloss desirable, or do many favours for how our faces look. We will tilt our heads to the side a little, and we will only shoot our favourite sides of our faces. We also find windows to shoot selfies infront of so we have the best light. Hey, a girls gotta try! What do you mean you never knew we did that?!
Bloggers – I see you nodding your pretty little heads…