Empties #2 | COLLECTION

I think everyone who collects packaging for empties posts will agree that it gets to a point when you just need to throw away the rubbish. This isn’t a particularly exciting collection of empties but I wanted to share some thoughts nonetheless.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser
£5.99 (currently £2.95) | available here
In my opinion, this is the best Liz Earle dupe on the market. I find the texture and formula to be very similar, even the scent is similar. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the same product without the brand name. I find this removes all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised.
Would I repurchase? I already have.
Pixi Glow Tonic
£18 | available here
I finished this sample sized Glow Tonic aaaages ago and have since got through another full size, not long starting on a new one. So I think it’s safe to say that I love this product. A friend of mine recently bought it on my recommendation but unfortunately didn’t enjoy it, as it caused some breakouts. Incidentally she passed on the almost full bottle to me – thank you Victoria!! This made me think about what I like about this product as I am acne prone and honestly don’t find it prevents breakouts. I use this because it really helps to smooth my skin and exfoliate any bumps to resurface my skin. So if you’re looking for an acne-control tonic, this might not be the one for you. But if you’re looking for smoothing, then check it out.
Would I repurchase? Forever.
Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes
£3.49 (currently £2) | available here
Unfortunately I have to say I hate these wipes! For a brand who cater for sensitive skin types, these wipes were incredibly scratchy and made me skin sting. I know they’re exfoliating, but it felt like I was wiping my makeup off with sand paper. The pack in the photo isn’t actually empty but I just can’t use them any more. I’ve decided to use them for cleaning!
Would I repurchase? Definitely not.
 L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Dark Brunette
£6.99 | available here
My favourite brow mascara which I keep going back to. I do like the Benefit Gimme Brow but I think I prefer the Brow Artist Plumper’s formula. As much as the GB is good for filling brows, making them look fuller, the BAP is better for setting and holding brows in place. On an everyday basis I fill my brows with a pencil and then set with the BAP. When I’m feeling really low key, I’ll just use the GB.
Would I repurchase? Already have – and I really must’ve been scraping the old tube as I can’t believe how much better the new one is!
Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask
£7.50 | available here
This mask contains blueberries, calamine and chamomile, rose, and almond oils. I used this a while ago now but I did really enjoy this mask and seem to remember it really helping to clear some breakouts I was experiencing at the time. I didn’t particularly enjoy the scent and found it quite chunky so it did take some time to apply. I do struggle with the Lush fresh masks though, as I pop them in the fridge and forget about them. Would I repurchase? Possibly in the future, although I rarely get a chance to go to Lush so it might be a while.
NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso
£8 | available here
I really love a skinny brow pencil, especially a wind up one which doesn’t need sharpening. This brow pencil is perfect for natural definition and achieving brow hair strokes. I have tried a few shades of this pencil and found they mainly ran quite warm on me, creating an orange cast on my brows, but I tried the shade Espresso to be just right. For a long time this was my holy grail but I’m not sure if I’m having some sort of Mandela Effect moment but I could have sworn that this used to cost around £5.50, and then when I went to repurchase, it had jumped up to £8 which I feel is a little too expensive.
Would I repurchase? Not at £8, especially since I’ve now found the Lottie London Arch Rival which I actually prefer and is a little bit cheaper (review coming soon).
Collection Primed and Ready Mattifying Pore Minimiser
£4.99 (currently £3.99) | available here
I actually use this primer every day and it is one of my favourite primers ever. It’s so cheap and cheerful and I think it does a good job of keeping my oily skin from getting too out of control throughout the day. It also does a good job of minimising my pores, so it really holds up to all the claims.
Would I repurchase? Already have.
The Body Shop Eyeshadow Single in Sand By Me
£5 | no longer available – similar available here
This was my favourite eyeshadow for setting concealer on my lids, and I literally used it every day for about 2 years until it was empty. By the time I went to repurchase I found that The Body Shop seems to have discontinued the single eyeshadows in favour of their create your own palettes with refills so I decided to try out some of the NYX singles instead.
Would I repurchase? Would if I could but I can’t so I shan’t!
Makeup Revolution Arch and Shape
£unknown | no longer available
Bloody hell, another one that’s no longer available – I promise I’ll check before taking my photos next time! This was a brow pencil on one end and a very fine felt tip on the other end. I mainly used the pencil part but I did find the felt tip handy for very subtle infilling of sparse areas. I did like this brow product but as I’ve already said, I have a new fave now.
Would I repurchase? Even though I can’t, it’s a no anyway.
Rimmel #InstaFlawless in Light / Medium
£6.99 | available here
This is my every day base and I love it so much. It’s the product which made me prefer a dewy finish to a matte finish because it looks much more healthy and youthful. This can be used as a primer or on it’s own, which is how I use it. It feels light and doesn’t cake up due to being so light coverage. I’ve also mixed it with foundations when I’m feeling like I need a bit more coverage.
Would I repurchase? Already have, and need to re-repurchase soon as I’m nearly out.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream
£14 | available here
For a long time, this was the only day cream I would use but since finishing this tub I’ve been branching out a lot more. Despite being mainly oily with the odd spell of dry skin, this isn’t too intense for my skin – if anything it made my skin less oily, I guess it balanced everything out. This tub also lasts frigging ages, as you only need to use the tiniest bit and a little goes a long way. I think most people would like using this day cream.
Would I repurchase? Yes, probably in the future.
My empties posts are quite few and far between, because I buy so much stuff and flit between everything that it feels like I rarely actually finish anything! Anyway, have you tried any of these products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…
Thank you so much for reading

Rhi xx

It’s Book And Blanket Time | LIFESTYLE

I go through phases of bookworming but with autumn nights on their way, one of my favourite things to do is cosy up under a blanket with a hot chocolate and a great book. I’m loving reading book recommendation posts at the minute so I thought I would share some of my recently finished books with you.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First off, I want to give a shout out to Goodreads (#notspon). My memory is completely crap so when I see a book I want to check out, I’ll add it to my Want To Read shelf on Goodreads, then when I’m browsing for my next book I can consult my list and pick one. Think of it as the IMDb of the book world. You can also set yourself reading challenges, so I set one at the start of the year to read 10 books in 2017. I know by most peoples’ standards that isn’t much but as I started off by saying, I go through phases where I won’t read a thing for months and then read 3 books in a week. So far I’m half way through, and on my 6th.
I’ll also preface this by saying that I’ve never reviewed a book before and I’m very conscious of not posting any spoilers. I hate when people say things like “you won’t believe the massive twist at the end” so you spend the entire book knowing a twist is on its way and trying to guess what it might be. So I’ll try to give you as much info as possible without giving anything away!
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
“A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again. As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?”
I’m starting off with my favourite of the bunch. I read this whilst on holiday at Easter and I was hooked within the first couple of pages. It really made me think about how parents really do know which identical twin is which from the beginning. It also kept me guessing right until the end. I just couldn’t put this one down.
Stars: *****
The House On Cold Hill by Peter James
“Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House – a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion – Ollie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House, with its acres of land, as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends.Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren’t the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade’s is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House’s dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them . . .”
This is essentially a haunted house ghost story. It’s very well written and made it easy for me to visualise what was happening. I don’t have the best imagination, so whenever I can truly imagine what’s going on you know it’s good!
Stars: ****
The Escape by C.L. Taylor
“The new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Accident, The Lie and The Missing.”Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.”
This book is listed as a psychological thriller, but I wouldn’t say it’s very psychological – as in it didn’t worm its way into my brain! I enjoyed this book enough to finish it, but parts of it were a bit far fetched for me.
Stars: ***
Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
“When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can’t believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true.
But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee’s dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his increasingly erratic, controlling behavior, she tries to break it off; turning to her friends for support, she’s stunned to find they don’t believe her. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.
Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.

Until the day the phone rings…”

 

This is the book which I finished most recently. Similarly to The Escape, there were parts of this book which really annoyed me i.e. the ‘checking’ bits early on in the book – if you read it / have read it, you’ll understand. But once all that was out of the way, I found myself desperate to keep reading it to find out how it all ends. I enjoyed the way it was structured, with the main character’s past storyline and her present storyline running in alternate chapters.
Stars: ***
Tampa by Alissa Nutting
“Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She’s undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.But Celeste’s devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfil her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom between periods.Ever mindful of the danger—the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack’s father’s own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind—the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.”
And finally, my least favourite of the bunch. This is a book isn’t the usual genre I’d go for and I can’t for the life of me remember who recommended it to me. I actually gave up on this book a while ago but decided to go back and finish it as I was quite near the end. The subject matter is very controversial so I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but parts of it were relatively interesting – I am someone who is fascinated by true crime as I enjoy trying to understand how anyone could commit crimes.
Stars: **
I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but here they are…
I’ve recently started Blood Sisters by Jane Corry but I’m only a couple of chapters in so I haven’t got much to say just yet. But please do leave me some suggestions of what I need to add to my reading list.
Thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx

 

ABH Subculture Palette | REVIEW

When Urban Decay launched their Naked Heat palette there was some minor controversy caused by some dodgy swatches which appeared online. But as soon as beauty gurus and influencers started reviewing the palette the noise died down. Then along came the latest eyeshadow palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills and UD could finally kick back and relax with a cup of tea (and there’s been plenty of tea spilled). Anyone who tried the Modern Renaissance palette from ABH (read my review here) will know it always had a bit of a powderyness to it but damn are those shadows pigmented. Well it turns out that the Subculture palette is waaaay more powdery and is still pigmented but allegedly very difficult to blend. And the beauty world is shook. For every 1 positive review I’ve read / heard, there’s been 25 more negative reviews. Now normally this would put me off from buying but when I saw the collection of shades in the palette I fell in love, and they’re nothing like anything I already own (at least I don’t think, should really double check my collection). So I added to basket, I couldn’t stop myself. I bought my palette from Beauty Bay for £41 and it’s still available here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

​OK, first things first… I fully expected the palette to be smashed up to filth when it arrived but actually it was perfectly intact – good work Beauty Bay!

The palette is in the same fuzzy wuzzy packaging as the Modern Renaissance palette which feels lovely but gets dirty real quick. If you’ve ever owned any clothing that’s remotely fuzzy, you’ll know that everything except money sticks to it and this palette is the same.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As I’ve said, it was the shade range which drew me in, despite knowing I probably won’t be wild about the formula. Immediately I see autumnal smokiness but I also see some pretty spring looks with the left hand quad of shadows. I’m not the most adventurous when it comes to eye makeup looks but I think I could create so many looks with this palette. Plus I think these are exactly the tones I need to be leaning towards for my eye colour (I mean they’re brown, just brown, nothing fancy, but still).

But how does it perform? That’s the real question here isn’t it? Is it complete garbage or has everything been blown way out of proportion for some internet drama?

So I found the swatching process to be dead easy. Each one (except Cube…yes, there is a swatch there, you just can’t see it on my pasty skin!) was just one light press of the finger and swatch. From other reviews I had expected the palette to be a complete mess after daring to touch the pans but mine looked just fine. The only one that felt quite powdery was Axis which is a very dark forest green and it felt very soft and I did have to blow away a bit of fallout.

I haven’t delved into the palette properly yet, but I did have a bit of a play around with it last night and did a very quick eye look that I would usually do. I used the shades Roxy, Fudge and Adorn. Having seen so many reviews where people have swirled their brush around or dunked their brush in a few times creating a massive dust cloud, I knew I had to be really careful.

I very gently tapped the fluffy end of the brush which came with the palette into Roxy and there was some immediate indents in the pan showing just how softly pressed they are. That one tap was enough to apply enough colour on the crease of one eye and it blended out pretty easily.

I then tapped into Fudge to add some dimension to the outer corner. I’d seen people struggle to blend Fudge so I was a bit weary of adding too much. I think the trick is to add very little amounts and blend until your wrists are sore, then build up until you’ve got the intensity you want. Never forget just how pigmented these shadows are despite their powdery texture. Even though I was only having a quick play, I didn’t think the result looked too bad.

Then I took the flat end of the brush and patted Adorn all other the lid. I’ll be honest, I’m used to the metallic / foiled shadows these days being really smooth but this definitely took some building to make it show up at all. In the end I spritzed the brush with some setting spray and it did apply better but it still wasn’t as amazing as it looks in the pan.

 I definitely need to use it a couple more times to make my mind up, but so far I don’t hate the palette… I just don’t love it either. Am I suffering buyer’s remorse? Maybe a teensy bit. I just don’t think something which costs so much money should be such hard work. I don’t want a palette where I feel like I’m walking on egg shells and scared of messing up. Makeup is supposed to be fun, not stressful!

 That being said, I really feel like some reviewers are just milking it and going completely over the top for some exposure. Of course if you jam your brush in the pan and start swirling frantically, you’ll make a right bloody mess, but what do you expect?! People seem to love to watch brands make mistakes and that’s just sad.

 From what I’ve seen Norvina from ABH has admitted that the palette isn’t right and has offered refunds to anyone who is unhappy with the quality. Apparently it’s down to a new formula and an automatic pressing machine so you’d expect some teething problems with new processes. I’d just expect those issues to be ironed out pre-launch. I seem to remember that this palette was leaked early on, so maybe there was some rush to release earlier than planned which could explain some things.

 Anyway, I’ll keep playing around and update you in a later post – could it be a favourite or a disappointed? Watch this space! Have you tried the palette at all? Or are you avoiding it at all costs? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

 

Thank you so much for reading

Rhi xx

 

L’Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara | REVIEW

You could have figured out by now that I’m a mascara addict. I’ve always said that if I was stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 things, 1 of them would most definitely be mascara. So when I suddenly saw everyone talking about the new mascara from L’Oreal, I had to snap it up.
L'Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara Lash Paradise wand brush review
L’Oreal are one of those drugstore brands which I know I can always rely on to deliver on the mascara front. So many of my old faves have been by them, the most recent being the False Lash Sculpt (which I reviewed aaages ago here). In fact, I don’t seem to remember a L’Oreal mascara which I’ve tried and haven’t liked.
This mascara has now launched in the UK and is available in all your usual places, but I bought mine from Boots (available here).
My first thoughts on seeing the mascara are that the brush looks very similar to the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which, even after saying how much I love mascara, I haven’t actually tried! But I have seen pics of it all over social media and t’internet. The wand isn’t as large as the Too Faced one, but I reckon that’s the vibe they were going for with with this mascara.
So, whenever I see a mascara review pop up on Bloglovin’, I click on it immediately. Helpful as the reviews are, what I’m always looking for is a before and after picture of the reviewer’s lashes and more often than not, there isn’t one. Therefore I’ve decided to include a before and after here for the first time on my blog. For reference… my lashes are long-ish but uneven and spiky. They’re really not looking their best at the minute as they’re going through a shedding period. Also… not quite mastered taking an ‘eye selfie’ as you’ll see!

 

L'Oreal Paradise Mascara before and after
In short… I absolutely love this mascara and can totally see why there’s been a lot of hype around it. The formula isn’t too wet so doesn’t clump up really easily. I find it adds plenty of volume but still separates my lashes. The brush is really good at manipulating my lashes into the right place. And for me, the true test is when people actually ask what mascara I’m wearing, which a few people have done since I started using it.
One negative point which I have to mention is that it does transfer to my under eyes throughout the day which is not really something I’ve found with other mascaras I use. I always use a waterproof mascara on my lower lashes (MAC Extended Play Gigablack) but I did try this one out – it made my bottom lashes look awesome but they did transfer quite a lot. It’s probably a combination of the mascara itself and the fact that I’ve been skipping setting my concealer to fit in with the more dewy makeup I’ve been enjoying lately but I’ve definitely noticed some dark circles of mascara by the end of the day. Today I’ve tried adding a tiny bit of powder under my eyes to see if it makes a difference, and so far so good!
I also find this quite difficult to remove with my usual micellar water, which again, isn’t something I usually find with my other mascaras.
All in all, this has definitely become my new favourite mascara and I highly recommend checking it out for yourself. It looks like Boots currently have it on 3 for 2 at the minute so why not treat yo’self?!
Have you tried this mascara yet? If so, what are your thoughts? And what is your holy grail mascara? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx

 

Benefit Cheek Parade | REVIEW

Can you believe I’ve never tried a Benefit blusher or bronzer before? As a self-confessed makeup addict, I thought it was a bit shocking really. Benefit blush and bronzer boxes are cult favourites so when they launched the Cheekathon palette (last year?) I really wanted to get my hands on it. Unfortunately I never got around to purchasing it and then it seemed to be limited edition so I missed the boat.

For my birthday back in July, I got a very generous voucher for Boots from my Nain (aka Welsh grandmother). Whenever I receive a voucher or birthday money, I don’t like to waste it on lots of little bits which I could just pick up myself so I wanted to splurge on something I wouldn’t usually buy. I was just browsing online and I remembered that they sell Benefit and remembered that they had launched a new palette like the Cheekathon. One side note, did you know you can’t pay with vouchers online with Boots? How stupid is that?!  Luckily they had plenty in my local store so I went to pick one up.

The palette is priced at £49.50 and is available here. As I said, I wouldn’t have bought this for myself but I was really happy to treat myself using the voucher. That being said, I think it’s actually a pretty decent deal. The palette contains 5 full sized products and a brush (not a brush that I’ll ever use, but it’s in there). Individually they are £24.50 so you really are getting a bargain.  Two of the products are brand new too, Galifornia and Hoola Lite. The other products are Hoola, Dandelion and Rockateur.

My first thoughts about the palette is how great it’d be for travelling, even though it’s pretty bulky, because it has everything I’d need to go with several different looks.

 

Benefit Cheek Parade blusher bronzer palette brush review

 

From swatching, it looks like Hoola is going to be a good bronzer shade for me so I’m looking forward to trying that out. Hoola Lite though, I think that’s going to be way too light but I can definitely use it as an eyeshadow transition shade and for blending out other shadows. Again, I love that it’ll be a multipurpose palette so it’ll be good for travelling. I’m actually away this weekend so I will be taking it with me. I have actually used Dandelion and loved the fresh flush of colour it gave me. Plus I found that it lasted all day, when blush is usually the first thing to wear off me. I’m yet to try Galifornia and Rockateur but from the swatches and other reviews I’ve seen, I just know I’ll love them. Galifornia has a NARS Orgasm look about it and Rockateur looks like something I’ll get a lot of use out of in Autumn / Winter as it has a brownish undertone on my skin.

 

Benefit Cheek Parade blusher bronzer palette brush review swatches

 

Overall first impressions on this palette are very, very good! I’m so glad I finally have it in my collection and I’m looking forward to using all the shades.

Have you tried any Benefit blushes or bronzers? If so, which would you recommend I try next? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx

 

Some Thoughts On Blogging | PERSONAL

f08cf9_68bde524c73b4f3bbb76c97caa9c1e8b-mv2_d_1920_1280_s_2

 

I posted on my Instagram Stories a couple of weeks ago that I’ve fallen out of love with my blog and asked for some advice from others who might have been in a similar situation before. Thank you to all those who sent me lovely messages. One piece of advice really stuck out to me, and that was from the lovely Parie Joshi, from Class & Glitter. She said “Write about the slump, always helps but you don’t have to press publish.” So here I am, forcing myself to write even though I’ve been feeling like I’ve run out of words. I thought today I would explore why I’ve fallen out of love with my blog. As I’m writing this, I’m still not sure if I’ll press publish or not. I feel like the best way to get everything off my mind is to brain dump so this will probably be way more open than you will ever have seen on my blog, here goes…

~ Spending Ban ~
Since the start of my blog, I’ve been pumping so much money into buying new products just to have something to review. When I really looked at my finances and the size of my beauty collection, I realised just how much of a waste it all seemed. I’ve had to retrain my brain to think ‘do I need this’ or ‘can I justify it’ before buying anything because I’m running out of money and space. At first I thought I’d be fine and my blog wouldn’t suffer because I could just work my way through my collection and review things I’d had for ages, or talk about makeup looks, or  put together collections but when I did, there was no where near as much engagement on those posts compared to posts about brand new products, so that was pretty demotivating.

~ Bored of Makeup ~
I never thought I would say this, but I’m actually not as obsessed with makeup as I once was. Maybe that’s what happens when you turn an interest into a hobby. I’m much more into skincare these days, probably because I’ve just turned 32 and I feel like I need to really look after my skin more than pile makeup on it. I also feel like even though I love dramatic, full coverage makeup, I’m just too old for it now, I’ve missed the boat on that one. I can’t exactly turn up the office looking like I’m hitting the club and even on weekends I don’t go anywhere fancy enough to warrant full glam. I thought about focusing more on skincare on my blog, but when the likes of Caroline Hirons are so much more qualified to talk about it and give advice, I wonder if anyone cares what I have to say. I know what works for my skin, and I pride myself on being able to troubleshoot any skin issues I have, but that doesn’t make me an expert for everyone else does it?

~ Time and Motivation ~
Now I’m not a 24/7 busy person, I can’t claim to be. Yes I work full time, and I do have a busy job (believe it or not, I’m a Health and Safety Manager which usually surprises people) but my spare time is pretty spare. I don’t have children, I don’t have hobbies other than blogging, I’m not a traveller or a party girl. But I’m a very naturally lazy person and I’m in a place at the minute where I can’t motivate myself to spend my spare time blogging or taking pictures, I’d rather just do absolutely nothing.

~ Photography ~
Not too long ago, I treated myself to a proper camera. Up until recently I’d always just used my iPhone 6S Plus for blog photos, and although I’d always been pretty happy with them, I felt pressure to have better quality photos which I thought meant buying a better camera. One thing I’ve really struggled with is from the marble surface which I use for a lot of my photos. With my iPhone, I would take photos directly under my main ceiling light (which has a daylight bulb) and there wouldn’t be much glare on the shiny marble surface so I kind of got away with it. But now, I guess because the camera is more sensitive, which obviously it needs to be to take higher quality pics, it picks up all the glare and shadows and everything. I’m sure there’s ways of getting around this by changing some settings but I just cannot get to grips with it. I even bought some more lighting, but I can’t even get that to look good. Another thing about the camera is, I’ve worked out which settings I like best to get a true to life colour to my photos, but every time I turn the camera off it reverts back to factory settings. Anyone with an Olympus Pen EPL7 know how to get around this…SEND HELP!

~ Going Nowhere ~
Don’t get me wrong, I never thought I’d be an overnight Zoella or anything and I’m certainly not expecting Mr Postman to turn up every day weighed down with PR deliveries. My lack of motivation doesn’t come from that place at all. I never started my blog to make money or get freebies, I did it to talk about something I love to a bigger crowd than just my family and friends (and my bored husband!). But there’s still a part of me who sees other bloggers who have been at it for as long as me, getting lots of engagement and brand collaborations. In a world where the new popular YouTube video is ‘look at all the free stuff I’m getting’ I’ve really struggled to stay positive. At first it would inspire me to work harder, but after a while, I can’t help it, it’s turned me off completely.

~ Other Bloggers ~
It felt like there was a spell where every blog post I read was about ‘the end of blogging’ or ‘the blogger world is overcrowded’ and that really made me think there was too much negativity going around and that I didn’t feel very welcome. I’m sure not a single post was directed at me, but I just felt like I was too late to the party and I was standing in the corner while everyone else had already made friends and gone off in their little cliques.

~ Vlogs ~
Even my online habits have changed lately, which I think has either influenced or been influenced by my blog. I’m finding myself skipping makeup tutorials on YouTube and watching mainly vlogs. I’m not clicking on as many blog posts on Bloglovin’ anymore. I don’t think I’d ever start a vlog channel myself (as my life really isn’t that interesting) but I like the idea of Instastories as being like a mini vlog so that might be something I spend some time on.

~ Social Media ~
There seems to be a trend on Twitter at the minute (at least the people I follow) of snide comments and negativity which I’ve tried to avoid and ignore. Of course there’s those who lift each other up and spread positive vibes but I felt like all I was seeing was negative vibes. Also, and it’s been spoken about to death at this point but, the whole Instagram follow / unfollow thing is doing my head in. Instagram is my favourite platform and the one which I focus most of my attention on but when you click on the app one day to see new followers and then sometimes even just 1 hour later that number has gone back down, it’s so fucking irritating. I’ve found myself being sceptical of every new follower I get. If they’ve got a lot of followers, I just assume they’ll unfollow me minutes later, because why else would they follow me? I do have an app which shows you who has followed and unfollowed, so I know who the regulars are.

~ Finding My Style ~
I swore to myself that when I started my blog, it wouldn’t look the same as everyone elses’. I wouldn’t have a black and white design and I would never use a marble background in flat lays. Over time that changed, and in fact I grew to love those styles but also felt that mine had to be the same in order to fit in. Way back before I even published my blog, I had a very pink design to my site because that is just me – pink is my absolute favourite colour and I’m always drawn to it. So what better representation of myself than a hot pink blog? But the more I read other peoples’ blogs, the more I thought mine wasn’t visually appealing enough so I slowly changed it to fit in. I’ve tried to find inspiration in ‘different’ blog designs and thought about how I could do something more unique but again, has it all already been done? I’ve actually started to make some changes, and even though I’m not 100% happy with it at this point, I’m just glad it’s different.

Wow, I can’t believe how much I’ve rambled on in this post but I kind of feel like getting down all my thoughts has helped. I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome all of these feelings just yet, but talking about it (to myself at least) should give me some direction of where I need to focus my efforts. One thing I do know is that I’m not giving up just yet! Last night I did take some photos for a new post, and while I was doing that I had a couple more ideas of things I could write about. Nothing groundbreaking at this point, but it’s a start of getting back into it.

If you’ve stuck around for the whole post, I appreciate it. I know it’s not my usual thing but weirdly this style of writing (just vomiting words onto the page!) is much more like the real me, and how I’d just talk to someone in real life. So maybe that’s the key going forwards, stay true to who I am. I literally have a notepad on my desk which says ‘Be True To Who You Are’… I should pay more attention that.

f08cf9_1bd1b184a44b4e58a8be2c6841faadc2-mv2_d_3024_4032_s_4_2

As always, thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx