Archive: June 2018

Summer Skincare Must-Haves

Y'know that annoying person who feels like they have the right to lecture people on things that do not affect them? The start "you do realise drinking too much coffee is bad for you, right?" before listing the health risks you already knew about but chose to reject because you're a grown adult who can make their own decisions in life. Well, I hate those people but there are three topics that turn me into that kind of person; people who don't drink coffee, people who are bad people and need to stop and skincare. Tell me you don't have a skincare regime you go through religiously every night of your life and my inner voice lets a scream out that you could probably hear. Tell me "I don't know, I just like wash my face with water in the morning haha" and I'm crying for you and your poor, dehydrated, sad skin. I mean this body I am in is hopefully going to last me a good while, I want to treat it with respect and not let it dehydrate, wrinkle, sag and go dull before its time. 

Skincare is so important that's why I am constantly switching up my skincare regime whether it be to adjust to my current skincare issues or to adjust to the weather and climate or just because I want to try some new products and see what else is out there. Right now I am using all cruelty-free products and trying to stick to natural products because 1) animal testing sucks and 2) natural products have always worked best for my skin, that's why Botanics is my number one brand for skincare, everything they create just works perfectly with my skin and that includes the four new products that I have added to my skincare regime for this humid, sunny and dehydrating summer weather. I have added Botanics All Bright with hibiscus eye makeup remover, Radiant Youth with ginkgo day and night creams as well as their Radiant Youth with ginkgo eye cream. 

Summer Skincare Must-Haves

For the most part, I use my Magnitone Wipeoff cloths to take my makeup, they are hassle-free and eco-friendly, but sometimes if I have a lot of eye makeup on or a waterproof mascara on they're just not enough. That's where the Botanics All Bright eye makeup remover comes in. It is perfect for soaking into your lashes and eyelids to easily slide off any makeup that just isn't for budging. It takes the tiniest drop of product on a cotton pad, a second to soak in and then you can wipe it off, with mascara you should just give them a little rub with the dampened cotton pad. It takes two minutes and saves you a lot of rubbing and pain when micellar waters and wipeoff cloths just aren't doing the job. The consistency, like most makeup removers, is quite greasy which isn't a feeling I love to have on my skin, but I usually cleanse straight afterwards and it easily removes the feeling. The bottle, just like all of Botanics products is really minimalistic and pretty which I love, definitely one for sitting on the bathroom sink. 

When it comes to day cream or daily moisturiser I love to find one with an SPF in it, I am terrible at forgetting to put suncream on my face. My olive skin means I rarely burn so I often forget and don't even notice, but as I've begun to read about the damage the skin can do to your skin it's really shaken me. I want to be covered from head to toe in suncream at all times. That is why Botanics Radiant Youth day cream with SPF 15 has become my staple moisturiser for this summer. Not only does it protect my skin from the sun's harmful rays but it also hydrates my skin making it feel supple and bouncy and gives a glow from within look. I have pretty average skin, a little dryness when I'm unwell, a little oily when I am stressed, a little spot here or there during that TOM but this product seems to keep both the dryness and oiliness at bay and instead leaves my skin smooth, supple and glowing. 

Summer Skincare Must-Haves

The matching night cream has also made its way into my collection and I am just as obsessed, not only do I go to bed every night smelling like I am among freshly cut flowers but I don't have to wait hours on it absorbing into my skin. We've all been there, a night cream that promises to absorb in minutes and you're still sat there willing it to dry in an hour later. Using both of these products has definitely brought out the youthfulness in my skin that lack of sleep and a whole load of dissertation stress took away. My skin is luminous, bouncy, hydrated and smoother than a baby's bottom. I don't know if it is the gorgeous smell of these products or whether it is the products themselves but I feel super fresh every time I use them. 

Matching them, I have also been using the eye cream from the same collection. I was never an eye cream fan until I tried Botanic's 100% organic with rosehip eye cream and I can say the same for this one. When you've been up all night doing work for your dissertation and you're feeling stressed 24 hours a day your eyes are the giveaway. No matter how much concealer you pack on, the skin of the under eye area sags, it deepens in colour and puffs showing everyone who can see you that you're tired af. This eye cream helps you keep that secret, it hydrates your under eyes taking away the darkness of the area, it brings back the soft and supple skin texture to remove the puffiness and awaken the elasticity to take away that saggy look leaving you with eyes that say "I can do it all and still manage to sleep 8 hours a night, don't be too jealous" exactly what we are all looking for, right? 

Do I Still Want to Blog?

I took a couple of weeks of blogging and during those two weeks I asked myself this question a lot: do I still want to blog? I wondered if I was enjoying blogging or was I just blogging because I'd been so used to it. It's been something I have had in the back of my mind for a while now, I do enjoy blogging, but sometimes it just feels like a wasted effort and it's a big effort for me to blog. I have so much going on from my masters degree to finding an industry job to dissertation and life in general... it takes a lot of time and energy to keep a blog alive alongside my busy life and I began to question whether it was all worth it. I mean, I am not the biggest blogger out there, I'm a petite blogger with a small following and I'm grateful for every single one of them, but am I even growing anymore or have I hit a brick wall? 

it's weird because these thoughts never appeared in my head in the beginning, when my main focus was just to be happy with my blog. I never questioned if it was worth my time and effort, I never questioned whether I should just stop blogging and let it run its natural course, so why do I constantly think these things now? I've come to realise it's because I am not enjoying my blog in the same way I once did, I have added a whole other element to blogging: stress. I now stress about sticking to a schedule, posting content that people will want to read, I stress about how many views I get, the comments I receive and the following I have. Blogging used to be fun, something I did because I loved it but now it's like a chore, something I have to do otherwise my following won't grow and that's not how I ever wanted this little corner of the internet to be. I want to love my blog, I want to love what I post and post what I love, so why is it not like that? 

I've found it's because blogging has become competitive, we are always comparing ourselves to the next blogger, wondering if she has more followers than I do, how do I make sure I work with the same brands as her? Bloggers are no longer my colleagues, my associates, my friends, they're my competition and for someone who never really saw my peers as my competition, it's taking its toll. I'm competitive in games, I'm competitive in quizzes, I am competitive against myself, but when it comes to real life I've never been one of those people who have to get better grades than the girl next to me nor make more money than the guy with the same title as me, it's just not me but blogging has created this competitive monster ready to scream if other people get what I want before I do and I don't like that person. 

I don't want to be the girl comparing her following to someone else or looking at other people's Instagram feeds feeling terrible because mine isn't as good, I want to be able to do me, be proud, be happy and let others do them. It's tough though because blogging has become a competition, you compete to get brands to want to work with you, you compete to get the most followers, you compete to have the best content. You want the compliments the "She works SO hard" and the "She's one of the most dedicated bloggers there are" so badly that you forget to take a step back and evaluate the situation, or well I have. For a second I forgot I'm not a full-time blogger, I am doing a masters degree and blogging, I am juggling two major aspects of my life, I can't dedicate the same time to it that other bloggers can. I don't live in London so I can't have all these Instagram shots everyone else has effortlessly, I am just a girl writing a blog in her spare time because she loves to write and speak and communicate, is that so bad? Does my blog have to be like a magazine filled with glossy shots and Prada bags or can't my blog just be me sat here sharing my love of all things beauty, fashion and lifestyle? Can my blog me a 22-year-old masters student chatting about her loves, her hates, her knowledge and her woes? My blog is real, it is me and I've become lost among these glamour shots that fill my feed. 

I love blogging, I love writing, I love sharing my opinions, my thoughts, my insights with those who want to read them. I love being able to take a step away from the dissertation I've been looking at for two weeks straight and write about things that don't have to have academic underpinning and pompous words filling every gap. So why can't my blog just be that? Be real, be me. Yes, the glossy shots and the glamorous lifestyles of the full-time bloggers are wonderful and I enjoy reading so many of their blogs inthefrow, Lydia Elise Millen, Fashion Mumblr, but I also love the real life of smaller bloggers who juggle their blog with careers, studies even families. Yes, both sides show their versions of real life but I get so caught up wanting to be just like the full-time bloggers living glamourous lifestyles that I forgot that I'm not them, I'm living the life of a student and I am okay with that, actually I happy with that. I love my life so why can't I love my blog too? I don't have to be like everyone else, I can be me and if I am being honest I'm pretty happy to just be me. 

I do still want to blog, I don't see a time in the near future where blogging isn't something that fills my heart with joy, but I want to blog in my own way. I don't want to focus on content that puts me on the road to being just like those I look up to, I want to focus on content that makes me happy. Maybe I'll lose some followers, people may lose interest, but I know there are so many many bloggers out there stuck in this position like I am wondering why they don't enjoy blogging anymore and maybe just maybe they'll enjoy my blog because I am living a life just like theirs. Who knows? What I do know is that it's time for heythererobyn to change and I am very excited for what's next. 

Do you ever second-guess your love of blogging? Do you think we have to be more realistic about the way we blog or is it okay to compete with the big bloggers?

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5 Reasons to Lose Your Frenemies

You know who I am talking about. We have all had one; maybe it's that girl who is oh so lovely to your face, but everyone is constantly telling you about the nasty things she said about you when you weren't there or maybe it is that friend who can't give you a compliment unless it's backhanded. Frenemies come in all shapes and sizes, they all have their different little habits of somehow bringing you down and making you question aspects of your life you were happy about before their 'advice'. The one thing they all have in common is that although they 100% deserve to get in the bin, you just can't seem to cut the chord. You always think about ending the friendship but then you remember good memories or they act nice again and you wonder if it was maybe just you who took their comments in the wrong way and the cycle goes back around one more time. Well, frenemies are definitely something you shouldn't have and I am here to remind you of why you have to get rid of them and end the friendship. 

If for no other reason you have to cut chords with your frenemy because they hold you back in life. You tell them your new idea to start a Youtube and they tell you how hard it is to grow on that platform, they pretend it is just a piece of advice but underneath they don't want you to do it in case you succeed. Frenemies have a way of putting hurdles in front of anything that might mean that you will succeed and be happier in life and more often than not we allow these hurdles to prevent us from doing what we want to do because the advice was from someone we see as a friend. If you just get rid of that frenemy then you can put yourself out there, take opportunities and be supported by people who are both happy for you and willing to give advice that doesn't make you press stop on your plans. 

We all hate gloaters, those that have to get their "I told you so" in even if you're sat in tears because your heart is broken or your life plan fell out of place. That I told you so makes no one feel better but the gloater. Real friends don't tell you how they were right that that guy would cheat on you or that you wouldn't get the job your heart was set on, even if they actually had told you beforehand. Frenemies love to kick you when you're down instead of offering a helping hand to get back up and brush yourself down. No one needs that negativity in their life, those people are constantly looking for a reason to see you hurt or unsuccessful and that's just completely wrong and not the characteristics of someone you want in your court. 

A friendship cannot exist if there is no trust and frenemies are not to be trusted. Whether they tell your secrets, try to start arguments between you and others or they try to undermine you trusting a frenemy is always a bad idea. I once told someone I thought was my friend about my worries over another friend's toxic relationship and she told her and started a huge argument that led to me cutting ties with all parties, it was not pretty. Frenemies like to make themselves the martyr so are willing to share all your secrets and gossipy comments if it means they look like the good guy and you look like the bad guy, they almost always add more to the story too to emphasise just how terrible a person you are. 

Most frenemies have the ability to cause drama where ever they go, they make enemies where ever they go to. More often than not they are your frenemy for a reason and normally that reason isn't just one you've thought of, most other people see them as their frenemy too. So when you cut ties with this person chances are you will have a much less dramatic life than the one you lead with them in it. You won't have to argue with them, you won't be undermined by people you thought you could trust and you won't have to deal with the drama that comes from them constantly making enemies. 

Frenemies have the ability to bringing out competitiveness in us that we otherwise don't have. They compare themselves to us, they judge their successes based on ours and we start to do the same thing. We start to think "I NEED to get a good job before Janet does" or "I need to gain 5k on Instagram before Delilah". They make us doubt that our successes are worthy because they always have bigger and better news and we start to look at them as our competition instead of our friend which isn't how we should be with friends. If we just sever ties with them we can happier with who we are despite if we are doing better than them or not. 

What reasons have I missed? Do you think you have a frenemy you need to cut off or have you already done it? Tell us your advice below. 

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Getting Picture Perfect with NYX

We are living in the internet decade, the one that has everyone doing full on photoshoots for Instagram in the middle of busy London streets and editing birds into the background of photos of them at the Effiel tower because aesthetic is the key to a happy life, right? Well maybe it isn't but let's face it having a cohesive Instagram account can make us happy, just like reaching 200 likes on that selfie makes us grin from ear to ear. Some people are cynical and call us materialistic, silly, superficial, but who can fault a simple bit of happiness, even if it is superficial and meaningless in life's bigger picture? Isn't all happiness big and small meaningful in life? Well, I think so, so that's why I just can't wait to gush all about the best products I have found for getting that perfect Instagram picture. Not only have NYX got one of the most beautiful, subtle and picture-perfect highlights out there, but they just released new lipsticks that make your lips look airbrushed (sorry Facetune, you are not necessary here). 

A few weeks ago I was invited over to Glasgow Fort to watch a NYX masterclass where I was introduced to these wonderful products that give you that Facetuned look (blurred fingers not included). At the masterclass, the wonderful NYX counter staff showed us how to get the perfect base look with their products and the perfect summertime eye and lip look. As soon as I saw Away We Glow being used on the model I knew I just had to add it to my ever-expanding highlight collection. It took me a bit longer to fall for the Powder Puff Lippie however, it wasn't until after the masterclass when I swatched and played with the samples that I realised I just had to have one in every shade, which I narrowed down to just one to test before I buy the entire collection. Maybe you've heard of the highlight, but if you're confused about the lipstick it might be because they are brand new to NYX. 

Getting Picture Perfect with NYX

I picked Away We Glow up in Crystal Glare, a white champagne pearlescent shade, a lot lighter than I would usually go for. Due to having neutral undertones, I am lucky that I can pick up both cool and warm toned highlights, but because this highlight is a soft, muted, glow from within look I opted to go for a cool toned shade as it compliments my skin better than a warm tone when it is soft and subtle. They also have seven more shades ranging from a white sheen to a deep rose toned copper-toned shade thus a shade for everyone and every season. 

The highlight is a liquid in a tube similar to that of a liquid lipstick with a doe foot applicator perfect for getting the inner corners of eyes and getting a little line down the nose. The applicator scoops up a pretty hefty amount of product so be careful if you're applying to the inner corners or brow bone first. The product can be blended with ease with a beauty blender, a brush or your fingers and can be built upon both with another layer of the same product or by securing it in place with a powder highlight. My favourite way to apply this product is to just go in with my fingers to blend on the cheekbones as I find it can look streaky and not blend properly with a beauty blender or brush. It leaves a gleaming, glow from within look that radiates your face perfectly and looks incredible in photographs with no flashback and gleams perfectly when reflected with natural light to show it off on your Instagram feed. 

Getting Picture Perfect with NYX

Which is exactly what the NYX Powder Puff lippie is perfect for too, showing off those gorgeous puckered lips on Instagram. The innovative lipstick can sound a little scary, I mean, the words powder puff definitely give us all flashbacks to the Claire's days, am I right? Have no fear, this lipstick doesn't actually come with a fluffy, purple glittered powder puff, instead, it comes with a soft, puffed applicator wherein the product is squeezed into for application. I picked this gorgeous lipstick up in Moody, a cool-toned raspberry, plum-y shade, a much more autumn shade than a summer, but I'm in love with it anyway. This gorgeous lipstick has the ability to make your lips look completely airbrushed, no bleeding, no cracks, just pure gorgeous, blended lipstick. 

I can only fault this gorgeous lipstick in one way, it is hard to get used to and navigate. When I first used this applicator I probably looked like a child with her mum's lipstick, I didn't just overline my lips, I missed areas completely. It is a rounded, large applicator so getting used to holding it properly to get your cupids bow perfectly is a mission, but you get used to it after one or two uses. Other than that the lipstick is perfect for creating a flawless looking lip look, it isn't drying, you barely even notice it is there despite it lasting up to 4 hours without a problem even if you are eating and drinking. The product comes in a total of eight colours ranging from hot pink to a mauve, but I cannot wait for the line to be extended, I hope they add a few more nude tones as that's my go to lip look. Right now I am just loving how perfect my lips look on camera without any editing tools thanks to this gorgeous little product. 

So have you tried these lovely items or are you still to give them a go? What other NYX products do you think I should check it out. 
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