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Archive: March 2018

Should Bloggers be Giving Advice?

Scrolling down Twitter I found myself reading through an argument that had struck up on my timeline, as we all do from time to time. This time the argument was between a fellow blogger and a non-blogger, the blogger followed, the other individual I didn't, but I found myself reading the disagreement anyway. They were having a disagreement because the blogger, who had a fairly small sized following of under 1000 people had writing a blog post giving people advice on how to start a blog. The individual who wasn't a blogger had responded to tell her she had no right to share this advice giving how petite her following was and how short a time she had been blogging (about 3 years), it got me to thinking, should bloggers be giving advice to strangers online? 

You can see both sides of the argument to an extent; the blogger had every right to post whatever content she felt comfortable sharing on her blog, blogging had been a learning experience for her and despite her petite following she felt like she had learned enough to share her thoughts and wisdom. The disagreeing party felt that her small following and short span as a blogger meant that she hadn't learned enough to share any wisdom and that her advice may work for her but may not work for someone reading the post. I found myself siding with the blogger, why shouldn't she share content she enjoys on her blog? She felt she had learned enough that she could pass on these lessons and maybe the person reading could move from A to B faster than she was able to. She wasn't pretending to be a master of blogging and know everything there is to know, she wasn't promising overnight success, nor was her blog post titled something egotistical like "How to be a Successful Blogger Like Me", she was simply sharing her story, recalling the problems and barriers she had run into and offering alternative routes for those reading the post so they wouldn't have to run into the same barriers she had when she began blogging, what's wrong with that?

Should Bloggers be Giving Advice?

This type of post may be okay, it may not promise fast routes to success, it may not call the author a master of all things blogging, a guru of life, but there are posts out there that do and are they then problematic? I promise if you scroll down Twitter on any given day of the week you will see blog posts being shared titled "SEO Tips to Take Your Blog to the Next Level", "How to Double Your Instagram Followers in a Week" and "The Secrets to a Successful Blog" (all of these posts are fictitious and if you happen to have a post named any of them, I apologise, this post is not aimed at anyone). These posts have titles that promise something, they promise to take you to the next step in some way, to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be, are these posts any more wrong for someone to write than the one I mentioned above? Well, I guess it depends how you look at it. For me, I personally know that a lot of titles are jam-packed with clickbait. Did that blogger really double their Instagram followers in a week? Was it organic? Or are they extending the truth in the hopes it draws you to read the post? Maybe they did, maybe it really isn't clickbait, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the moves they made will work the same way for you. Maybe you follow their tips and tricks and only gain 20 followers in the space of a week, is that really their fault? 

I don't think so. Blogging originally was created as a 'web-log' a sort of diary where people could write all about their experiences and life. So, if someone wrote a post titled 'Greek Travels with Lottery Winnings", would we expect to come away from that post knowing how to win the lottery and use our money to travel the Greek Islands? No, you wouldn't. A blog stripped down to its truest form is a collection of memories, a collection of experienced writing by the author in such a way that you may gain knowledge, you may be inspired or you may just leave their blog with something new to think about. You are not entitled to anything. We live in a world where FOMO is something easiest to describe by starting "Well it's when you're scrolling down your Instagram feed and..." and you can justify your purchases because someone on the internet that you trust said that it was good. We live on the world wide web and sometimes this leads us to a feel entitled, we expect people to post blog posts when they say they will, we expect videos to be uploaded to YouTube weekly, and we expect to always be learning from our fellow bloggers, but maybe we just have to accept that sometimes we can't take things at face value. 

Should Bloggers be Giving Advice?

When I click on that blog post "How to Double Your Instagram Followers in a Week" I know to take the advice with a little pinch of salt. Maybe it's clickbait, maybe it worked for them, maybe their tips and tricks just don't work for me and that's okay. You won't find me in the comments "OMG THIS IS SO FAKE, IT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME, WHAT A FAKER" because I know that the blogger is telling us their experience. Sure, it might be writing in a way that provokes us to think we can use these tips and tricks to follow in their footsteps, but all in all, the blog post is really "How I Doubled My Instagram Following in a Week". I don't fault the writer for titling it in this way because we all do it, it's clickbait, you are more likely to read the first title than the second version and the blogger knows that. So maybe the fault lies in the reader or maybe I am just biased as a blogger, but I think readers should approach a blog post knowing it is just experience, it may be filled with tips and tricks but whose to say they will work for you? Advice should be taken as just that, advice and not as fact. 

So, should bloggers be giving advice? Why not? You may learn from their advice, you may not. You may not gain anything from the post while 80% of readers do, should that post be taken down, never to be seen because you didn't enjoy it? Should those other people who did gain from the post have never had the chance to see it because you don't think it was helpful to you personally? If your answer is yes, then maybe you shouldn't be reading blogs anyway. Let people do their thing, read posts you enjoy and don't read the ones you don't enjoy, you'll end up way happier this way anyway and who knows, maybe you'll learn something new. 

What is your opinion on this matter? Should bloggers be giving advice? Is clickbait really that big a deal? 

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The Birthday Wishlist

A week today and I will be turning 22, I feel like last week I just turned 18, so to think my 22nd birthday is so close is honestly crazy to me. I've reached that age where presents are few and far between when it comes to birthdays and instead most people hand you a card that contains money inside an envelope. When I get this money I always have a habit of either not spending it at all or blowing it on food, I don't really know why, but I am constantly finding myself buying way too much food for one small person. This time around I have scoured the internet looking for things that I want to buy with this money this year, presents from me to me in a sense and since most of the items I found myself heart eyed over were clothes, I decided why not share these gorgeous finds right here on my blog? 

I have been looking to update my wardrobe for a while now but thought it best to wait it out for some warmer weather before I get my spring wardrobe back out and ready for the season ahead. This wishlist is a look into some of the spring trends and key pieces I cannot wait to get my hands on and add to my ever expanding wardrobe. Some of these pieces are a little adventurous for me considering my very business casual personal style, but I just couldn't help myself but lust over these pieces and hopefully, I can pick them up and pull myself away from my comfort zone by trying something new and unusual.


The Birthday Wishlist

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CHECKED/TARTAN
I love a good checked or tartan skirt, which is exactly why I have two on this list; number 1 and number 5. Number 1 is more of a proper tartan and for that reason I adore it, it puts a girly spin on something that is very masculine and of course being Scottish, I do love tartan myself. I love the buttons, it reminds me a lot of the denim skirts everyone was wearing last summer but the buttons are to one side giving it a little bit of a twist. Number 5 is still a tartan-esque print but it looks a little less kilt and a little more Clueless which if you know me, you know I am a huge fan of. I definitely think this skirt would be perfect for the warmer weather, maybe even paired with some shoes like number 9. Number 7 is a blazer I have been after for a while now, it is the perfect checkered style to give you that Cher Horowitz chic without going into the bright yellow zone. I think it would be gorgeous paired with a nice blouse or slogan tee with a pair of jeans for a more relaxed and casual look.

PINK
I am a sucker for some light, pastel pinks, but weirdly enough I do not wear enough of the shade, I am always a little worried I will look like cotton candy, so the best place to start slowly introducing the shade to my wardrobe is through shoes. I absolutely adore the masculine style of number 9, but by having them in such a pretty pink shade it gives them a feminine twist and I am a sucker for that, plus pointy-toed shoes are my favourite. Number 8 I fell in love with while scrolling through ASOS, they are the most gorgeous pink cigarette trousers, again, a little masculine but with the pink shade, they are perfect for any girly girl. I think these would look amazing paired with a little crop top and some shoes, maybe even a leather jacket to add some extra casual to the look. I am crazy about sheer look blouses as you probably already know if you follow me on Instagram, so number 3 should be no surprise. It is a gorgeous puffy sleeved, pink, sheer blouse that would look amazing with a pair of jeans for a casual look or a skirt for a more night time look. 

RED
Now, red was a massive trend last spring and by the looks of things, I don't think the shade is going to be disappearing this spring either. When I saw number 2 I honestly said "oh my god" out loud because that is how much I adore the dress. It is the perfect spring/summer dress whether you're off on holiday, having food with friends or going to an outdoor party, this dress will make you look amazing. Number 14 is a much more casual approach to the colour and if you know me you know I love a slogan tee, especially when it's French so this tee will, of course, be in my wardrobe come next week. 

BLACK
Now, black is a colour I can't help but wear and buy all the time, I try and I try to add more colour to my wardrobe but for every colourful piece I buy, I buy another 5 black items. I just can't help it, it is classic, it goes with everything and it is easy to style. Number 4 is a little mix of two styles, the black and the red and I have been wanting a pair of boots just like these for months now, they are such a twist on simple black boots and would match absolutely everything. Number 6 again, is such a classic piece, it would go with absolutely anything and you could pair it with black or white shoes, so no clashing! I have almost picked up number 12 a few times now, or similar styles, it's boxy, it's got the classic metal handle and it is black, perfect for any night out or day trip into town. Em Sheldon obviously made me want number 13, the black biker boots that seem to go with everything be it a floaty, girly, boho dress or a pair of jeans, they match everything! 

So what styles are you crazy about this spring? Is there anything on my wishlist you are lusting after too? Tell me in the comments below. 

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Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

I am ambitious. Some may say a dreamer, a fantasist, hungry, fussy, competitive and a thousand other synonyms which take away my fire, my flame, my enthusiasm and work ethic. It doesn't bother me, in fact, it never really has because to me it is nothing but an understatement, a misunderstanding or a realists perception of a positivist. I have always been this way, someone who is always thinking of my next move, a characteristic that I'm told would make me a master at chess, it is who I am, I know what I want and I won't stop until it is mine. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't expect to get things easily, I don't expect there to be no barriers. I am willing to put blood, sweat and tears into everything I do in order to get from A to B and I'd much prefer not to take any shortcuts. The problem is, my ambition, my drive, my work-ethic often overshadows the now. I plan for the future, I execute my moves to make sure I am on the right path but never stop to smell the roses or take in the scenery. 

If you ask anyone that knows me and knows me well whether I am a hard worker I can comfortably tell you their response would be yes. If you asked my parents their response would most likely be that of a story of how I work harder than anyone they know, but it is not always a good thing and I have come to realise that. Whenever I get tired and want to give up, I get frustrated with whatever endeavour I have begun I remind myself of a quote "To be successful you must work harder than anyone else," it is a quote I have come to realise that I probably take all too seriously. I have caused myself headaches and heartaches from focusing too much on where I want to be and too little on where I am now, staying up until the clock has already struck 3am to work on university work when I know I am due to wake for the day ahead only 4 hours later is something I find myself doing all too often and over time it has made me ill, tired, angry and a totally different person from who I want to be. I have lost control of balancing my future with my present.

Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

I realised that I definitely had to readjust this way of thinking once I found myself saying "I have no time to write blog posts" and "I shouldn't be focusing on my blog, after all, university is what is truly important" and although the latter is definitely true, blogging is important to me and my wellbeing, so why should I stop doing it because I am so focused on perfecting every single piece of work I do? I look around I see people juggling their blog with much larger projects, I see people who are able to do their master's degree while juggling two jobs or raising children and it puts into perspective that I too can juggle, if only I let the scale go back to perfect balance. I am so focused on what I see in my future, the successes I hope to succeed that I prevent myself from doing things that bring me pure happiness and joy in the present and that isn't what being ambitious is all about. I focus so much on the successes I want in the future, the job I want to be in, the lifestyle I hope to live that I have forgotten to allow myself happiness in the life I live now, the successes I have and am achieving in the past and present. I have allowed myself to become such a micro-manager of my own life that even I have become sick of the to-do lists and tiny time frames I force myself into. 

I couldn't tell you the last time I truly lived in the moment and enjoyed a full day of fun and adventure without thinking about what work I should be doing instead. I even found myself not reading books, something I have always enjoyed unless they were academic or going to help me get to where I wanted to be in the future. I realised that this just wasn't the best way to be living and things had to change and so I have begun making small changes to how I work my time, trying to let go of the feeling of not working equals failure. I have begun reading more, I have begun enjoying myself more and trying to push away the guilt that seems to form in my mind whenever I am enjoying myself. It came to the point where workaholic really became something I could call myself and it's not healthy. I want to have fun and be happy and do things that allow me to feel pride despite it not fully benefiting my future. 

Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

I have taken steps to get to this place, I have learned that not everything I do has to benefit future Robyn in some way, I have begun reminding myself that I am young and 21-year-olds don't have to have their life perfectly planned until they're 40. I am trying to open up to being able to make mistakes and let things not go perfectly to plan. I want to enjoy myself, blog and be happy and in order to do so, I need to let go of this mindset that if it's not beneficial to my future it shouldn't be happening. I guess I have been this way now since last May and it comes from more than just my ambition and strives taking over, but it comes from an emotional place too and I have to recognise that. After losing my nephew last May I have closed myself off to having fun or being sociable, I have become somewhat anti-social because part of me thinks it's wrong to enjoy my life when my beautiful nephew is no longer able to enjoy his. I have to let go of this guilt and remind myself daily that it's not a healthy way to live.

This blog post turned into more of a confession and a brain fart than I intended, but finding the balance between appreciating what I have and working hard to achieve what I want has been hard and I've not yet mastered it. I need to remind myself a lot of the time not to feel guilty and that no one is expected to be perfect. I have begun reading again, turning my laptop off before bed and giving myself an hour to read each night which has also allowed me to stop working well into the early hours of the morning. I feel healthy and happy again because I am getting a good night's sleep, I am trying to push myself into social situations that I would otherwise have had fun in despite the pure dread that comes beforehand. It is taking some time but I am beginning to smell the roses and take in the scenery and realise that the life I live now is just as important as the one I see in my future. 

So, are you a workaholic? Do you focus your attention on the future all too much or are you someone who fully indulges them self in the moment? 

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The Best Drugstore Foundation on the Market

When it comes to my makeup collection, I have a habit of going for more high-end brands when I am looking for specific products and I opt for drugstore brands when looking to others. I always thought my system was perfect, for the most part, I would go for high-end brands for eyeshadow, foundation and mascara and most of the time I would go for drug-store concealers, highlighters and eyeliners. If there was a high-end concealer I wanted to try I would still pick it up and if I was intrigued by a drug-store mascara I'd add it to my basket, but for the most part, my system ran smoothly. That was until I found a drugstore foundation that almost makes me not want to return to the high-end realm of foundations. I found the perfect foundation and it doesn't even cost £10; L'Oreal True Match.

With 28 shades, this foundation range is definitely one of the most inclusive ranges among drugstore foundations which of course makes it much easier to find your shade. They split the shades into 3 small sub-ranges; cool, neutral and warm. This makes it much easier again to find your shade, all you have to do is narrow your shade down using your undertones; if you're pink you go for cool, neutral is self-explanatory and golden you go for warm. Among these sub-categories, there are a bunch of shades for you to find your perfect shade and with most of the shades available to test out in Boots, you will have no problems finding the shade that suits you perfectly, for me, my perfect match in 3N, also known as creamy beige. A new formula was recently released which also has 3 shade enhancers, which means that the foundation adapts to match your skin tone perfectly, even if the match wasn't 100% at first, however, you obviously have to find your closest match for this to work.

The Best Drugstore Foundation on the Market

This amazing foundation has a medium coverage which looks very natural when applied evenly to the face, it is the perfect everyday foundation that does not oxidise at all and looks like a second skin. It is my go-to foundation for days at university, going out with friends and it has really amazing coverage for such a lightweight foundation. I am not someone who gets a lot of spots or blemishes so I wouldn't be too sure how this foundation would look for much more acne prone skin. Not only does my skin look amazing when this foundation is applied but it feels it too, wearing this foundation is very effortless, it feels like my skin is bare and I often forget I am even wearing makeup. I have used this foundation for months now and couldn't imagine trying any other foundation especially since my last few high-end foundations have oxidised insanely and left me looking like an orange.

I often wear this foundation alone with no concealer and it completely hides all blemishes whether it be a little spot or dark circles, further I very rarely use a setting spray when I have this foundation on for university and it lasts all day long. I only ever find it separates on my chin during times when my skin is much more oily and this usually starts to happen about 6 hours after application. If I do where a setting spray like I would upon going out with friends this doesn't happen as quickly and would take up to about 8 hours to begin separating. My favourite thing about this foundation is there is no sinking into dry areas or fine lines, unlike my MAC or Urban Decay foundations which often sink into smile lines; which by the way are not deep at all, so I find that to be very off-putting. This is perfect as I often get dry areas on my face during the colder months of the year, but this year I have been able to wear this foundation with no issues, no sinking, no dry, flaky areas visible on the skin.

The Best Drugstore Foundation on the Market
Wear after 4 hours
My skin always looks silky smooth, fresh and vibrant when wearing this foundation, it has a tiny shine to it, not too much that it leaves you looking greasy but not too little that it looks matte and unnatural. It has the perfect amount of glow to it to leave your skin looking natural and bright. I find this foundation can be applied with any kind of application and always looks perfect; beauty blender, vibrating foundation brush or normal foundation brush my skin always looks fresh, even and natural. Further, very little product is actually needed to cover the full face evenly and naturally, I usually put one and a half pumps on the back of my hand when using a beauty blender or makeup brush and just one when using my vibrating makeup brush and it always looks natural and even, covering the full face. Upon taking the foundation off it is very easy to remove the full face of foundation either using just one cotton pad and micellar water or my Magnitone WipeOff cloths with some warm water. It doesn't get hard or clog the pores as other foundations have done, it is the perfect foundation for day-to-day life.

Have you tried the foundation? What is your current favourite foundation? Do you opt for drugstore or high-end when looking for a new foundation? 

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Five Blogs You Should be Following

I love reading blogs, I read them at home on my laptop, in bed on my ipad, on the train on my phone, I adore reading blogs and staying up-to-date with all of my favourite blogs. Above all though, my absolute favourite thing about reading blogs is finding new ones to binge read and I usually do this by looking through hashtags, asking others who their favourite bloggers are and just stalking Bloglovin. Lately, I have been reading blog posts wherein fellow bloggers list their favourite bloggers to encourage others to follow them and I really loved this idea, I love the idea of lifting fellow bloggers up, saying "I love their content" and sharing that with others, not only is it lovely for those featured but it also gives others a list of bloggers you love to follow, everyone wins. So, that's what I am doing right now, sharing five blogs I absolutely adore and never miss a post from so you can check them out and give them a follow. 

Five Blogs You Should be Following

COLOURS AND CAROUSELS
Charlotte has been one of my favourite bloggers for as long as I can remember, I've always loved keeping up to date with her content. She is a Scottish, fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger who posts some of the most amazing content, whether she's blogging about her favourite new beauty buys or her latest holiday, everything she posts is so well written and trustworthy. Not only does she have some of the most amazing content out there, but she also has an amazing newsletter which features some very useful and insightful tips on all things blogging. Charlotte is definitely a blogger to watch, check out her blog here

Five Blogs You Should be Following

SOPHIE ROSIE
I first started to read Sophie's blog about a year ago and I just love her upbeat, inspiring but realistic content. She is a lifestyle, career and fashion blogger who is always posting the most useful, inspring and insightful content. Not only is her content incredibly well writing with amazing, inspiring subjects, but her photography is perfect, so simple, but so pretty and girly, if my photography was this amazing I would never stop Instagramming that's for sure. I always feel like I am learning something when I am reading Sophie's blog whether it is how to make the most of my linkedin profile or how to simplify my wardrobe, Sophie's content is so insightful and I always find myself connecting to it. Find her amazing blog here.

Five Blogs You Should be Following

HIYA IT'S ASHLEY
Ashley is my best friend and also a fantastic beauty and lifestyle blogger. Her posts are so beautifully written and easy to connect with and her adoration for all things beauty is so obvious through her beauty content. Not only is her beauty content so insightful and her reviews so trustworthy, but her lifestyle content is so easy to connect with and so incredibly positive and insightful. Not only does she have her own voice and tone that she totally owns but her unique outlook on blogging all together is so inspiring. She is constantly sharing her blogging stories and wisdoms to help newer bloggers find their feet and that is something I admire in any blogger. Want to check out her wonderful blog? Just click here. 

Five Blogs You Should be Following

PINJA K
Pinja is a lovely Finnish blogger who is currently living in Glasgow, so the first thing you will notice about her blog is that it is bilingual with two languages for each post; Finnish and British English, which I think is absolutely incredible, I mean she puts so so much work into every single post she published and it is so obvious in her content. She covers a range of subjects from personal style to beauty reviews, health and wellness and lifestyle. What I adore about Pinja's blog is it covers such an amazing broad range of topics, but each and every blog post is so her, when I read her posts I know it is her post, she has such a unique tone. I love looking to Pinja's profile for outfit and style inspiration as well as what new products I have to try out in beauty and skincare. You can check out her amazing content right here. 

Five Blogs You Should be Following

SOPHAR SO GOOD
I only began reading Sophie's blog about a month and a half ago, but it has quick become one of my all time favourite blogs. She blogs all about beauty, fashion, food, tracvel and lifestyle and all of her posts are so insightful and helpful in whichever topic you are looking to read about. My favourite posts by Sophie are her lifestyle posts, she writes with such a wonderful and unique tone that really makes her stand out as a blogger. I really feel like her content is written purely because she enjoys it and not because she feels it will get her more readers or followers which is always amazing to see. Her content seems to come from the heart and is very honest and unique which I adore. Her beauty content is also amazing for anyone who is looking to expand their cruelty free collection and be a little more caring when it comes to the products they use as she only blogs about cruelty free beauty. If you want to have a read of her brilliant blog just click right here

What I wanted to do with this post was share some of my favourite bloggers but also share some bloggers I think need some recognition. I have noticed a lot of bloggers promoting huge bloggers and Youtubers when they do posts like this, but I wanted to promote bloggers with under 500k followers on social media not your inthefrows and Zoellas, as much as I love their content, I don't think me giving them a shoutout will make very much difference to their followers, y'know? I hope you have found five new blogs to check out and fall in love with like I have. 

Tell me in the comments below five of your favourite bloggers and who you think deserves more recongition. 


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Why You've Lost Your Blogging Mojo

I was lying in bed earlier this week when I found myself thinking about my blog, the future of my blog and of course other bloggers. Blog awards have made a return this year, so many bloggers are being successful left, right and centre and then there is me. I am missing blog posts all the time, university is taking over my life, I have found myself posting blogs I am not proud of, I rush so many posts and I just feel like a complete failure. I lay there for a half hour, overthinking everything there was to think about in regards to my blog, am I good enough? Will I ever grow a larger following? Are my posts even good? Should I quit blogging? From that moment on I was in a rut, I hated my blog, I didn't want to look at it, I didn't want to write for it and I didn't want to think about it. My mojo was well and truly lost and the worst part of it all was that it was my fault, I didn't just lose my mojo, I was the one who threw it out the window. That's the worst part of losing your mojo, nine out of ten times you do it yourself. 

YOU'RE COMPARING YOUR BLOG TO OTHERS
The number one way a blogger falls into a rut and loses their mojo is because they compare their blog to the blogs of others. It is something I find myself doing a lot, we are all doing the same thing, we are all blogging and Instagramming, so why are other bloggers gaining followers faster than I am? Why are other bloggers getting the attention of brands that I am not? Why are companies sending products to brands and not me? Questions like this lead us to believe our blog is not quite as good as the other blogs out there, we doubt our abilities, we start to question why we blog in the first place, we wonder if we should just give up on blogging for good and who wants to blog when your abilities as a blogger are just not up to scratch? This kind of rut tends to be the most common because as humans we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, but it should never be why you stop blogging. Everyone moves at their own pace, just because you aren't winning awards and working with 10 brands a week it doesn't mean you aren't succeeding, your time will come. The next time you find yourself comparing yourselves to others take a step back from the blogging community for a few days, clear your head and remind yourself of the reasons you blog.

Why You've Lost Your Blogging Mojo

YOU ARE TOO BUSY IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
I definitely believe that this is part of the reason I have been in a major rut lately, my blog has taken a back seat to my university work. This is something that most of us go through when blogging is our part-time gig or a hobby, we have other things going on in our life that just seem more important. We spend most of our free time working on other things such as university work or our careers and then suddenly we realise we haven't written a blog post in three days and when we sit down to write our minds go blank. This can be caused by stress, being tired or just because our brains are already overthinking a thousand other things. This leads to a lack of creativity, we end up in a creative rut and we just have no ideas for our blogs. The main way of dealing with this is to just figure out the best way to split your time, but before that, the main thing to do is to figure out whether the thing taking up all of your time is actually that important. If it isn't you should definitely reassess whether it should be your main focus. If it is super important you should take some time off blogging and figure out how to split your time effectively between both your blog and whatever else is going on in your life. Right now, I am trying to figure out the best way to balance university and my blog. 

YOU'VE FELL OUT OF LOVE WITH BLOGGING
Something I hate to see is someone who has fallen out of love with blogging but has continued to blog because they don't want to give it up because of the perks that come with blogging. This is the worst because not only can readers tell 100% that the writer no longer cares for their blog quite as much as they once did, but it is also terrible for the blogger because they are completely wasting their own time. Sometimes people fall out of love with something they once enjoyed, sometimes they fall back in love with blogging, but chances are if you've fallen out of love with blogging pushing yourself will just end up with you resenting it and never finding that passion again. The best way to deal with this is to take some time off, step back and enjoy life, stop forcing it and one day you might go back to blogging, or maybe you won't, but at least you won't be wasting your time by doing something you no longer enjoy. 

Why You've Lost Your Blogging Mojo

YOU'RE FORCING IT
The worst thing you can do is force your content; whether you are doing it because you think the content will be enjoyed by readers more or maybe you are posting content that you once loved, but that you've lost interest in. Doing this will just lead you to hate your blog and then what is the point in doing it in the first place if you aren't writing about the content you enjoy? I've tried to write content just because other popular bloggers write that style of post, I've forced myself to write blog posts that I find myself zoning out of while writing nevermind reading just because I think they will gain more attention, but at the end of the day it just led me to disconnect with my blog. Forcing content is another major way to lose your mojo because you aren't connecting with your blog in a way that you once did. You find yourself losing interest and not feeling confident in the content you post. The best way to prevent this time of burn out is to question who you are posting your content for, and alongside readers, you should be thinking of yourself. What you enjoy writing is just as important as what readers enjoy reading. 

The thing with blogging is that it can be hard at times, people don't always realise how much pressure you can put on yourself as a blogger. We all want to be the best, put out the best content, be complimented for the content we are providing, but sometimes our constant pressure to be at the top leads us to disconnect. Losing your blogging mojo is something every blogger goes through at some point, but what you have to remember is that the main reason you are in a rut is yourself and your mindset. By changing how you approach your blog and the way you think about it you can prevent yourself from going down that path and publish some of the best content you have ever created.

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A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!

About a month ago I was doing my usual stroll through Boots when I remembered I had to pick up a new makeup sponge because I accidentally ripped mine. It turns out all Real Techniques sponges were around £5 in Boots as they had an amazing special offer on. So I opted to pick up myself the original, orange, miracle complexion one and test out the pink, miracle finish sponge. The miracle finish sponge is for applying blusher, but since I am not a huge blusher fan I decided I'd test out how well this sponge works with highlight and liquid bronzer. Since I am a huge fan of the original sponge, I switch between using that and my Magnitone BlendUp, I had high expectations for this sponge and hoped it would give me the same airbrushed finish that the original does. 

On first inspection, the thing that I noticed is this one is slightly smaller than the original, not by much, but there is definitely a size difference. Secondly, they do not feel the same at all, while the orange sponge is smooth, soft and squishy, the pink version is rougher, almost scratchy, especially if you use the sponge dry, but I prefer to dampen it, just like I do my original sponge. When you dampen the sponge it softens it up a little and expands it, but again, it isn't as large as the original when it is dampened. Of course, the change is size is not something that bothers me, in fact, I prefer that this one is slightly smaller, it is much easier to apply a simple, dewy, natural highlight with it, plus it blends liquid bronzer much more precisely than the original. The porous texture of the sponge definitely means this one is a total no-go for applying foundation, but it is perfect for having a much lighter, more natural finish, which is exactly what I look for in my daily highlight and bronzer application. 

I usually apply my highlighter with a fan brush to get that perfect, natural and dewy look, so I was a little apprehensive about using the sponge first time around, I was worried it would apply patchy. I was so very wrong, a powder highlight applies incredibly smooth with this sponge, I use the same bouncing motion, with the side of the sponge, to apply the highlight as I do when I apply my foundation with the original Real Technique sponge. Doing this applies a light glow to your skin and it is definitely buildable using this sponge. I simply tab the sponge into the highlight into the product and tap it onto my cheekbones, nose and under my brows. Not only does the sponge apply it super smoothly, creating a gorgeous dewy look but a lot of highlights can be used both wet and dry and using them wet usually intensifies the pigmentation and since the sponge is damp it can intensify the pigment for a much brighter, brighter and glowy highlight look, think glazed donut. My favourite highlighter to apply with this sponge is Kat Von D's Metal Crush eyeshadow in Thunderstruck which I use as a highlight almost daily. 

A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!
Top; applied with the sponge, bottom; applied with fan brush. 

You would think the best consistency for this sponge would be a liquid highlight, but I'm not really a big fan of liquid highlights, I have found it incredibly difficult to find one that works well with my skin. I have had a play around with Benefit's High Beam using this sponge and although it's not a highlight I wear that often I do think the sponge works incredibly with it. I use the little brush to apply the product to my skin before patting it into place with the sponge. With the liquid product, you do have to be a little more careful, sometimes liquid highlight can appear less natural, the product can look much more streaky and visible on the skin than that of a powder, but doing slight circular motions with the sponge can prevent this from happening. I do prefer the finish of a powder, especially when it comes to using this sponge, which is actually quite surprising considering the best consistency of bronzer to apply with this sponge is liquid and not powder.

A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!
Top; Dew The Hoola liquid bronzer, Bottom; Hoola powder. Both applied with the sponge. 

I love to use Benefit's Hoola, it is one of the only bronzers I have ever used and I have been using it religiously for about 5 years now, so of course, I was tempted when they expanded the range. I picked up their Dew The Hoola a while back and have found it hard to use it as I am so used to the powder consistency of a bronzer and I never want to overdo it and look silly. This sponge is the perfect tool for applying liquid bronzer. What I do is use the edge of the round, flat side of the sponge and carefully almost draw a short, light line under my cheekbone, I then use the same bouncing technique as before to blend it out and create a flawless, natural contour look. I have quite prominent cheekbones already so I don't have to use a lot of product while doing this, but I have built upon the contour using this sponge and it is incredibly simple and easy to do and it never leaves me looking patchy, muddy or overdone like I worried it would. The same cannot be said for using this sponge with powder bronzer, it just doesn't work, I have tried a few times and have always ended up looking muddy, I do think this may be down to the powder consistency of most bronzers which do not work wet, unlike highlights. 

I have been using this sponge to apply both my highlight and bronzer for a few weeks now and have received so many compliments, from questions about my highlight to compliments on my chiselled cheekbones. I think this sponge is perfect for that natural look and despite it being created with the intention of applying blusher it is such a wonderful multi-use product. I haven't tried it with blusher, as sadly I am not a big fan of blush, but I am sure it works just as perfectly as it does with both highlight and bronzer, however, I'd be very interested in how it would go with a cream blush as I'm intimidated with that already. I still revert back to my brushes every now and then, but for a natural, everyday look I find myself reaching for this sponge much more than I thought. The dark pink shade does make it harder to spot how dirty it is getting compared to the orange original, but I try to wash mine once a week and it seems to wash very easily. Maybe it is the type of products I use with it, or how porous it is, but I actually don't have to spend as much time cleaning it as I do the original, despite using the original much less. 
A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!

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What do you use to apply your highlight and bronzer? Would you ever try a sponge? Tell me in the comments below.

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