Fall Back In Love With Instagram…

Eugh, I hear you groan. Instagram. Probably the bane of everyone’s life at the minute am I right? Follow/unfollow, themes.. the whole shabang (is that even how you spell it). This whole algorithm thing really f***ed up Instagram for most of us “micro bloggers” (I love this name for us FYI)… we see most of the same pictures over and over again, miss out on all our faves, and our own pictures get lost in a deep dark hole. I felt SO shitty about Instagram for a while.. I just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with it and my picture’s weren’t good enough etc… BUT I made it one of my goals to try extra hard with my Instagram this year, and fall back in love with it…

.. And that is exactly what I did. So if you have a love/hate relationship with Instagram.. check out these few points to get yourself back to the love/LOVE relationship.

 
Engage more. And I mean REALLY engage

Seriously .. more meaningful comments on your fave posts compared to the loveheart emoji will help you in the long run. How? People NOTICE these comments more, like them and reply back to them (well.. most people).. plus they know you’re not a bot (win). And in turn.. they’re more likely to check out your feed, absolutely fall in LOVE ’cause girllll I bet your feed is lush.. and you got yourself a new follower! Plus.. I LOVE asking questions on the comments section in Instagram.. it’s a great way to strike up conversation too. In turn.. it’s really made me love Instagram more as I love the interaction.. on top of scrolling through beautiful photos!

Join Comment Pods

These little saviours have also really helped me love Instagram so so much. Created by none other than my fellow blogging babes, comment pods are basically a group of 10-15 bloggers on Instagram in a group, where we all post our latest pics, and comment/like each other’s posts. The result? CRAZY ASS engagement on all your posts, staying up to date with your favourite blogger feeds AND chit chatting with your fave blogger girls. Seriously.. if you are not part of one, start one up… you’ll laaaav being part of one.

 
Have A Theme

Ohhh… I realise that this is a veryyyyyyy personal preference .. but this is how I fell back in love with my Instagram. Feeds with a theme are just so so pretty to look at, and since creating a theme myself I am loving my feed so much too. There is just something so satisfying eh? I have even worked out how to fit in my outfit pictures with it (seeing as I don’t have the perfect white background), thanks to the app Factune. It has been a LIFE SAVER for me… seriously if you want a white theme… you need that app in your life girl. There are also SO many themes you can have… my babe Jade over at JadeAnnLoves has the PRETTIEST pink theme going on! You can also choose minimal, flatlays, monochrome, colourful.. the list is ENDLESS. But hey, I am not saying I don’t love feeds without a theme.. some of my faves are just a mix of different things which I feel like shows so much personality, but for me a theme has really helped me develop my Instagram and love it so much.

Take Separate Photos To Your Blog

For a while, I only would use pictures that had already been used on my blog on my feed, which is fab if you don’t have the time.. but I enjoy taking photo’s for my Instagram. Seriously, it is so much fun setting up my backdrop and taking a whole load of photos JUST for my Instagram.. I feel like I can really play around with my blogging props and create stunning photos. It also helps me keep up with my theme too, and since doing it I have found myself being so much more creative to really make my photos special.

 
Have A Backlog Of Pictures

I guess this kind of fits in with the previous point right? It can be the most annoying thing when you run out of photos to post on Instagram, and can make you feel a demotivated to update your Insta feed. Make sure you always have a few days worth of photos to fall back on in case you don’t get time to take any. Also.. anything you see whilst you are out that would fit with your theme.. snap away. I find it also helps save so much time if you edit them all together too! OH… and my latest trick I have LOVED doing… save a note of all your hashtags for certain things (beauty, fashion, random crap).. I haven’t worked out the snazzy keyboard shortcut way yet (anybody know it make sure to pass it my way, ta), but it saves SO much time when you are updating your feed!

TRY not to give a s*** about the numbers

I had to save the hardest till last right? I KNOW how disheartening it can be when you gain 20 followers,  but actually end up losing 25… I still do not even know HOW that is possible! BUT.. think of it in the sense that you don’t really want people following you who are just wanting a follow back. You want genuine followers who love your content and make the effort to like your photos and comment… THIS is the mindset I have developed and TRUST me it was hard to get my head around at first.. but just remind yourself of that. Once you don’t make this your priority… you lose most of that frustration associated with Insta. Focus on all the genuine followers you gain.. they’re the ones that matter.

So guys.. there we have it. My tips on beating that shitty feeling Instagram can give you and focusing on loving it again. I knew I wanted to focus on my Instagram this year.. which I have definitely been doing.. and focusing on these points has helped me so much. I REALLY hope they help some of you too!

Are there any things you have done that helped you beat this algorthim? Also.. make sure to leave me your Instagram links below and I will definitely give you a follow. Oh.. make sure to leave me your faves below too so I can check them out.

Sending you all the love guys.. thanks for all your support … YOU DA BEST

Love,

Saira xxxxx

Lost my mojo? My most honest post.

Probably one of the most honest, raw posts I’ll ever be writing.. and I literally don’t even have a plan. I’m just writing whats on my mind.. because right now I’m feeling pretty demotivated and a little bit poopy if I’m honest.

I just feel as though my blog isn’t going where I want it to .. I’m pretty unsure whether I want to write about beauty, clothes or just lifestyle rambles… or all of them? I’ve always wanted my blog to focus on fashion … but I just can’t find the time/pretty backgrounds to take my pictures against. Maybe I could give flat lay fashion photos a go?

Another thing that I’ve really struggled with these past few weeks even though I’ve not wanted to admit to it is comparing myself to other bloggers. Gah. I said it. I think.. in fact I’m pretty sure that every blogger goes through this at least once? I always said to myself that I would never let that happen and would tweet about it all the time .. but you know when it just sometimes gets to you? Don’t get me wrong.. I am so so happy and proud about all the amazing opportunities all my blogging girlies get, and the beautiful images they take… but sometimes I can’t help but compare my own blog to that. I’m sure I’m just going through a shitty phase and it will pass .. but I feel like writing about it makes me feel better?

I’m sure you can tell by the amount of question marks in this post that I feel pretty unsure about where my blog is heading. Don’t get me wrong.. I frickin’ love my blog (and YT channel for that matter), but I think I’m just going through a tough phase where I’m just not motivated or inspired.

I ALWAYS try my hardest to remain as positive as possible, both on my blog & social media .. but I’m only human (after all..wow Rag & Bone just came in my head, LOL)… so sometimes I feel shit. I’m sure it’ll pass… I’m sure I’ll have a massive binge of Pinterest & my mind will go crazy with post ideas … but right now, I’m a little bit stuck. I guess you could say I have Bloggers Block (is that what it’s called?!).

I love you all so much. Thanks for putting up with me and my blog… and send some motivation my way girls… I could do with it :). Basically… this post was what’s been in my mind for a few weeks or so… no matter how hard I tried to pretend the new year had me excited to blog, it just didn’t…. not how I’d hoped. It’ll come to me soon guys… I think I just need a bit of time/some amazing inspiration to hit me.

Love you all.

Saira

Xx

Why Winter Is The Best Season EVER

Why I LOVE Winter Time … (and you know you do too!)

Hey there…

It’s come to that time of year guys … Halloween and Bonfire Night have passed (just about!), the clocks have gone forward, and we are all dealing with darkness approaching by about 4pm. The days are starting to feel nippy, and all we keep hearing in the news is ‘be prepared for the COLDEST WINTER IN DECADES’. Although let’s be fair – Yorkshire has already had its first snowfall of the season – so it may happen. I know so many of you are probably thinking why the HELL can we not go back to Summer time.. I’ve seen quite a few tweets of people already getting fed up of the colder weather, even though we probably have a good few months of it yet!

Now… I am definitely a colder weather girlie .. I LOVE the Autumn/Winter time for SO many different reasons! I thought it would be fun to list down why I love the colder months so much.. and maybe cheer up some of you who HATE winter time!

Lush baths become more bearable AND enjoyable

During summer… most of us prefer to have a quick shower as the thought of sitting in a hot bath for half an hour seems like an absolute chore… but when the days get colder (A LOT COLDER) and darker, there is nothing better than lighting some candles, getting a face mask on and settling down in a relaxing bath with your favourite book – absolute bliss!

 

Shaving your legs = Doesn’t happen for the next few months

Lets be honest here guys, not many of us bother with it in the winter time. Nobody sees them..and it provides some extra warmth right? So pack up your razors for the winter ladies and don’t worry about those razor cuts on your ankles for a while!

The feel of a hot drink in your hands

 You’ve been out in the cold for SO long and you finally settle down with a brew… and warming up your hands with a hot drink is literally the best feeling EVER

 

Speaking of hot drinks – The festive drinks menu is back!

Guys … have you SEEN the Costa cups and drinks menu?! I am definitely a Costa girl over Starbucks.. and I think they have definitely outdone themselves with their drinks this year. The only disappointment? The Lindt hot chocolate. And I KNOW most of you agree (thanks to Twitter). It is definitely my aim this year to try EVERY drink on that menu!

Winter mornings are beautiful

How stunning are foggy, frosty mornings? There is nothing better than snuggling up in your fave coat and cosy scarf and heading out for a walk (and picking up a hot drink on your way out to keep you toasty whilst strolling!).

Snow

You might love it, or you might absolutely DESPISE it.. but you’ve got to admit it is bloody beautiful right). FYI – I LOVE IT 🙂

SO MANY FESTIVITIES

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, NYE… not to mention all those extra bank holidays. WIN.

 

Buying New PJ’s

I don’t know about you guys but I always stock up on snuggly PJ’s … especially those Christmas ones ! I am after the most adorable tartan PJ’s in Primark … they just scream Christmas to me!

Watching ALL your fave programmes

When there is an absolute STORM going on outside and the temperature has hit below zero degrees, there is nothing better than settling down in a cozy blanket and binge watching all your favourite programmes (AND Christmas movies!)…. something that just doesn’t feel the same in the summer! I am currently working through the full series of Friends!

Extra Calories Are Allowed

It’s Christmas time, so technically you are allowed all the chocolate imaginable. AND those cosy, over-sized sweaters mean you can afford to let yourself go a little bit. You can worry about shifting those extra pounds when the new year comes around (hehe).

I could probably go on forever but they are definitely my top reasons why I love Winter. Are you a winter girl? I’d love to know the reasons why you love Winter! I am off now to have a chilled Sunday … hope you all have a good one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xxx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Autumn Candle Collection – UNDER £10

Hey hey!

Hope you have had a fab week! Are all of you feeling autumnal yet? If not I can guarantee this post will help AND it will make you WANT to go shopping. I apologize in advance (hehe).

Now… if there is one thing that goes hand in hand… it is Autumn and candles. AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT?  There is just something about getting in after a long day, getting into your PJ’s and lighting a candle. They just make you feel calm and relaxed… and most importantly.. SO FRICKIN’ COZY. I don’t know about you… but I love having a variation of candles to pick and choose from… sometimes I am feeling a fresh, clean scent (apple scented candles are AMAZING), and sometimes I fancy something a little on the spicier side (yep.. gingerbread I am looking STRAIGHT at you). Whichever you fancy… I have a candle JUST for you. So… pack away those summery, floral, pineapple scents.. and get yourself some spicy, pinecone-y (is that even a word) autumn-y candles.

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FYI.. everything I talk about is under a tenner.. and easy to find in your local homeware shops. Thank me later.

Wickford & Co

Where: Home Bargains

How Much: £2.99

Scents I Have: Gingerbread & Apple Cinnamon

This is probably the biggest bargain I found… I actually showed them in my recent haul and I am honestly obsessed. Gingerbread is a beautiful, spicy/sweet scent and literally makes your room smell like you have just baked a batch of gingerbread men. Apple Cinnamon smells exactly like apple pie… I can imagine your room would smell like a bakery at Autumn time if burnt at the same time. If you love your foodie scents (ahem.. my fave type of candle scent).. these are perfect. They also make a nice change to the usual vanilla cupcake/cookie scents that are popular.

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Village Candles

Where: Hallmark

How Much: £5.99 for a small jar (when on offer, usually I think they are £7)

Scents I Have: Crisp Apple & Peppermint Bark

If you want a candle that is an exact dupe of Yankee Candles… you need to get your hands on some of these guys… they are FAB! The scent of these is POWERFUL… you can definitely smell this one for hours after you have blown out the candle. Crisp apple is my fave for burning on a Saturday morning during Autumn time… I just feel like it sets the mood perfectly! Peppermint Bark is perfect for evenings when you are in your PJ’s with a hot chocolate.. feeling ALL cozy. I absolutely LOVE that about candles.. they really can help set an amazing atmosphere, whatever your mood!

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Essence Candles

Where: B&M

How Much: £2.99

Scent I Have: Brown Sugar Allspice

I desperately wanted to get more of these because they look absolutely stunning on your coffee table/dresser… but there was only one scent I liked! The jar and lid combination of this is just absolutely gorgeous (the lid is metal with leaves imprinted on it!)… It is practically a dupe of the Bath and Body Works candles! Now… I was not the biggest fan of this scent when I first tried it.. BUT it has definitely become a favourite of mine! It is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy… and just reminds me so much of a cinnamon hot chocolate! This candle is an amazing dupe for the BBW candles.. but literally at a fraction of the price! They unfortunately do not burn as evenly as the others… but the scent is just as good! I just WISH I could get my hands on more scents!

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Better Homes

Where: Home Bargains

How Much: £2.99

Scent I Have: Pomander & Pinecone

This is probably the spiciest candle of them all… and it literally makes your room smell like a forest at Autumn! I think this would make an amazing candle for your hallway.. so every single person that walks through your home gets the STUNNING scent of Autumn. The only way I can describe the scent is that potpourri that lived in a ceramic bowl when you were younger that had a mix of pinecones, dried leaves and oranges. Yum.

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SO…. these are all the candles I have picked up for Autumn.. I was so tempted to get more.. but I had to stop myself. After all, I’ll  be getting more for Christmas time right?

Thank you SO much for reading.. and let me know if you have picked up any candles for Autumn too! I’ll see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

 

 

 

 

Getting Your Dream Career & My Story♥

Happy Friday guys!♥

Now.. I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I had some news to share with you.. and that is.. I HAVE A NEW JOB. This post is going to be telling you ALL ABOUT how I researched to find the career I wanted AND how I landed my new job as a Buying Assistant.. and hopefully some motivational tips to help you get your career going!

For over a year now, I have worked in HR in a busy head office.. and at first, I REALLY enjoyed it. There was so much to learn and I felt like I had found the profession I wanted to make a career out of. However, a few months in.. I found that I was just not loving what I did anymore.. I was becoming bored of the same queries, there was no place to move up and improve my skills, and I just felt I wasn’t getting anywhere in my job. Now.. I am not the type of person to just grin and bear it… I have always believed that if you are not happy with something.. you need to go out and fix it. Nobody is going to do it for you.. YOU are in charge of your life and how successful you become. So… I thought to myself, I need a career goal to focus on… something that I can be passionate about and love what I do too.

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That is when I came across the world of Buying. I was familiar with the ever so popular career of “Fashion Buying”, ( I am thinking Rachel from Friends here guys).. I did my research.. became familiar with the type of skills/personality qualities that you need.. and do you know what? I knew it was what I wanted to do. So… I am going to give you some tips that I personally picked up on how I found out what was for me, how I went about getting a job.. and even some tips for that dreaded interview (Ooooh, aren’t you all lucky, hehe!).

Do your research

I cannot stress this enough.. sure we can all think about a job we want to do.. and googling it in itself is not enough to go off completely. However.. it is a good starting point. I googled general information about Buying, what industries there are, how to get yourself into the industry, what qualities/skills are required  and whether or not I needed a degree/further study to land a role. Then.. I looked up interviews of people who were already buyers in a variety of fields (fashion, beauty, food) and got an idea of what it would be like day to day. Once I was set on what I wanted to do… I spoke to a lady at work who looks after careers/early training and got some advice from her. The first (and most important) thing she said to me? Network. Onto my next point….

Network

Oh my goodness guys.. I cannot even tell you how important it is to network… now more than ever people are landing jobs because of WHO they know.. not what. This was actually how I found out about my new job (more on this later). Nothing will help you get a job you want more than putting your name out there and making the effort to speak to people you want to work with. So, I got a list of people who were currently buyers at the place I work (including managers), and sent a good 20 emails out to arrange a catch up with them. I probably met with a total of 5-6 people (I also found out buyers are VERY busy and hard to get hold of).. but these catch ups were probably the best thing I did. I got SO much valuable information from them, and it also helped get my name out there and show them how passionate I was to land a role in buying. Meeting people who currently work where you want to be helps you know the in’s and out’s of the job.. all the good and bad bits that articles on Google won’t tell you and helps you decide if it is what you want to do.

Check for internal positions/training schemes

I am lucky in the sense that I work in a head office of a massive supermarket branch.. meaning I was in the same building as the traders, so it was easy to set up meetings. However if you are not in the same position.. email is your best friend. It is so easy to find details of managers/recruiters.. and to be honest the worst thing that can happen is you do not get a response. If you are in a position where you can change roles internally.. check them out. You are more likely to land a role if you are internal.. companies prefer these to external candidates as they are easier to get hold of, they also know the business and have that loyalty to stay with them too. It is also worth checking if your company offers any sort of training/graduate schemes… again if you are internal it helps because you are able to get your contacts together and you will have the advantage of knowing how the company works beforehand. I originally tried to get myself onto the graduate scheme, and met with people who had been on it. However… I actually started my research a week before the graduate scheme started.. so I think it had gotten too late to get myself onto that. BUT… whilst I had been networking, I met a buyer who was actually looking for a buying assistant. THIS is how I found the role I have got … it meant I had a good starting relationship with the buyer, and she knew that I was interested. She was actually one of the ladies that interviewed me too.. which I think helped massively in me landing the role (talk about good timing ey).

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SO… that is how I decided what role I wanted and how I got myself the interview… now for some tips for the interview itself!

Preparation is VITAL

One of the worst things you can do is go into an interview without doing some sort of preparation…  this sort of thing stands out by a MILE when you are being interviewed… TRUST ME. Obviously.. every interview is different but doing some research about the company and the role itself, and also being clued up on your CV and how it matches up with the role profile will definitely help you feel prepared! Also.. finding out what type of interview it is will help (group, value based etc)… mine was actually value based meaning I was asked questions about the values the company holds and how I would fit in and deal with any issues. Giving examples is always really good in these types of interview… so this is where your prep will come in very handy!

Eye Contact

There is nothing more important than making eye contact in an interview… I KNOW how nerve wracking and scary they can be.. but it is your chance to show off your skills and knowledge you have. Making eye contact shows confidence and the ability to hold a conversation well… just don’t stare with wide eyes for too long guys.

Dress Well

Again.. there will be a difference in what to wear to interviews depending on what industry it is.. but for the most part, a smart shirt/dress will work fine. JUST DO NOT WEAR JEANS/TRAINERS.

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OK guys… so that is the advice I have about interviews.. if you want me to go into any more detail.. just let me know and I will be more than happy to help you!

Now … just a few points that I think are so important to consider when trying to find your career path.. again these are all based on my personal experience and is just some general advice! If there is anything that you have picked up … I would LOVE to know!

Take a chance

There might be a job you really want to apply for or get more information on.. just take that chance. You really have nothing to lose.. especially if you are currently employed. If you get it.. WELL DONE.. if not.. you still have something to fall back on. You will not get very far with “what if’s”.. if you are passionate and want to change something enough, go for it girl.

Start from the bottom

Everyone has to start somewhere… so don’t be disheartened if you just start with some filing or picking up the phone. This is your chance to show people you are going to work hard and you can achieve what you have your heart set on. I think this is the same in any sort of job, whether that is buying or even blogging… everyone has to start somewhere right? People will see your effort and it DOES pay off.. I am SUCH  firm believer of this too.. I don’t focus on “good things come to those who wait”, no no noo… “good things come to those who work their ASS off”. Also… another good thing about starting from the bottom.. it means you have access to the industry you want to be in.. so you can focus on research and networking (see above!).

You know what? I feel like that was probably one of the most serious posts I have written.. but I really hope it helps some of you! I am actually starting my new role in a few weeks so will definitely keep you updated on how things go! Thank you SO much for reading.. and I really hope it motivated some of you! Let me know if you have a career you really want to go for..OR if you are already doing something you love!

I will see you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

 

Spectrum Brushes – Worth the hype?

First things first guys… HEYA! I am literally having the perfect evening right now.. my PJ’s are on, fairy lights are lit, I have a Brown Sugar Allspice candle burning (HELLO… autumn in a candle guys)… I literally am ALL SET TO BLOG!

I honestly feel like I have my mojo back… I felt like I lost it for a while but I think there is something about the cozy evenings that just makes me want to curl up in a blanket and WRITE! I think most of you will agree with this ey?

So… having a quick peek of the title again.. it is probably something that most of you are familiar with. You have seen them popping up ALL over social media and they have become quite popular with beauty bloggers recently! Now… I am talking about the beauties that are SPECTRUM BRUSHES*. I will be honest with you all.. I actually sent a cheeky email to their PR inbox.. NOT expecting a response at all.. but they literally got back to me within a few hours saying they loved my blog and would love to send me some of their products to try! Safe to say I was GOBSMACKED… yet so excited at the same time!

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Now… you have seen all the beautiful pictures of them.. BUT… are they really worth the hype? Well ladies & gents.. I tested them out for a few weeks to ensure I could give you all an in depth review…SO let’s see how I got on!

Firstly… some details!

  • Spectrum are vegan and cruelty free.. this ALWAYS makes me love a product/range more
  • You can either buy individual brushes or sets
  • They are only available online (I am 99% sure of this!.. Let me know if you know otherwise!)

What I Got:

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So…I received the 10 piece essential set (retailing at £39.99) which contains face and eye brushes. You are literally covered for tools for your base, blush/bronzer, eyeshadow, brows and eyeliner. They also come in a cute little pink, see-through case (ahem.. which I didn’t actually take a photo of).

First Impressions

Now… let’s admit it guys.. these brushes are FRICKIN’ beautiful. Whether you love them or not,  you have to be insane to not think they are beautiful. They are literally the most stunning brushes I have owned… I almost cried a little when I used them for the first time.

Guess what? They feel damn good quality too.. they feel quite heavy compared to other brushes I have tried, and they also are so much more sturdier and good quality. I know you are probably sick to DEATH of bloggers describing brushes like this.. but they are honestly SO soft. I literally could not wait to use them on my face, ha.

They also make amazing blog props too (when they are freshly washed may I add)… I SO badly want to get my hands on the Marble range JUST so that I can take those stunning Instagram shots with them!

Face Brushes

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Powder Brush: I LOVE this for applying  bronzer all over… it is literally the perfect size and.. as already mentioned (hehe).. it is SO SOFT.

Angled Brush: This little baby is perfect for applying blush… I did try for highlighter but I think it is a little too big (It left me looking like an OVER THE TOP glazed doughnut). It applies JUST the right amount of blush on the apples of your cheeks.. and it is also so easy to blend in product with this!

Flat Top: I decided to use this for my foundation instead of my RT miracle sponge (gasp!)… yes if you all know me, you will know how obsessed I am with my sponge.. so the fact that I have been using this buffing brush for the past month says A LOT about it. Guys.. my foundation has never applied so quickly and seamlessly. I did not have high expectations because I have never been a massive fan of brushes for my foundation.. but this brush has become my new fave for application! It also feels so soft on my skin and doesn’t drag or leave any sort of streaks, which is a massive WIN for me.

Small Flat Top: Now…  I never thought I would find a brush that would apply concealer as perfectly as my makeup sponge..  but I started to use this little baby.. and I have become OBSESSED with it. For those of you who use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer (let’s face it.. this is more or less everyone) , you will know it can be a LITTLE tough to blend. BUT.. this brush has made the blending process so much easier… and works so well for blending in awkward places (under eyes, around your nose etc!).

Eye Brushes

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I never have been much of an eyeshadow girl.. but I am always up for trying new looks out.. so my beautiful Spectrum brushes were the perfect thing to experiment with!

I love the fact that every type of brush needed was included, a dome brush to apply eyeshadow, a fluffy brush to blend, a tiny brush for inner corner highlight, an angled brush for sharper lines, and an eyeliner brush (which FYI.. is FAB with gel liner!). Each brush is so gentle on your eyes and blends eyeshadow perfectly and SO quickly too.

My Final Thoughts

Honestly… are Spectrum brushes worth the hype? DEFINITELY YES.. I never thought I could love a makeup brush range as much as I love this one. I feel as though they really have made these brushes with beauty bloggers in mind (they know how much we love unicorns and instagrammable things). Not only do they look gorgeous, they also are amazingly quality. I had no issues with the brushes shedding, and even washed the face brushes and had no problems with the brushes losing shape or hair. Seriously guys if you are considering them.. just take the plunge and buy them.. I am so sure you will love them just as much as me. Makeup brushes can make such a difference to how good your skin looks overall, and using the right tools can really shorten the amount of time it takes to do your makeup!

ALSO… who wouldn’t want brushes that are unicorn themed?

Right guys.. I am going to love you and leave you.. REALLY hoped you enjoyed this review of the ever so STUNNING Spectrum brushes.. make sure to check them out if you are after a new set… I am so sure you will love them!

See you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

*Products have been sent for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own

My Beauty/Lifestyle hacks you HAVE to try!

Hiya girlies

It’s been a while. Sorry. You know when life just gets in the way? Yep that happened. Work has just been busy, I have been SO tired everyday.. and to be honest it was nice to have a few days away from everything blogging-wise. Sometimes it is just needed, right?

ANYWAY.. I am back and all set to blog properly again (I am aware I have said this for the past few weeks… this time I mean it, hehe). I think now that Autumn is peeking it’s little head through.. I am more motivated to post. If you didn’t already know (lets be real.. you all probably do because I haven’t stopped talking about it since the beginning of August, HAHA!), I bloody LOVE Autumn. I even posted about the reasons why I cannot wait for it (shameless plug right here guys).

Now.. onto this post. I am such a huge fan of beauty/lifestyle “hacks”.. tricks that people use to make their lives easier. There are SO many out there.. it can be easy to drown in them and not be sure which ones to use. SO… I thought it would be fun to talk you through MY “hacks” that I use. I have SO many.. but to be honest, I’d be here ALL DAY if I spoke about them all!

My GO-TO Beauty & Lifestyle Hacks!

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Coconut oil really CAN be used for everything.

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You know when people used to say you can do anything with coconut oil.. I was like .. meh sure. BUT .. I thought I would actually try and see how many things I could use it for. And you know what? You are right.. it can literally be used for EVERYTHING… and I thought I would make a good ol’ list of my fave ways to use it, so you can also incorporate coconut oil into your life. Thank me later guys.

Teeth Whitening

You know that age old trick of oil pulling? Yep it works. I know the idea of swishing oil around in your mouth for 15 minutes would be enough to make some of you vom, but it really is worth trying. I’ll be honest, the first time you try it.. it is weird. A trick to make it easier? Instead of putting a spoon of solid coconut oil in your mouth, try melting it first… it will still feel strange, but not THAT strange :). It is something that takes some time to show results, but it is easy enough to add into your routine (just don’t let anyone make you laugh whilst you are swishing away).

Removing Make-up

I discovered how good coconut oil was at removing makeup once when I was lazing around downstairs and noticed a jar of coconut oil on the fireplace (I don’t know what it was doing there either). I literally just scooped some out on my hand and massaged it over my face. I pretty soon had panda eyes and melted foundation on my skin (exactly what happens when I use my cleansing balms). It did an AMAZING job of removing every ounce of makeup.. although it did leave my face feeling a little on the greasier side. I washed my face as normal.. and noticed the difference in how soft my skin felt.

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Overnight Foot Treatment

I have never been one to invest a lot of money into overnight foot treatments… mainly because people rave about the old trick of vaseline and fuzzy socks.WELL… I am not the biggest fan of vaseline (the smell, feel, taste… OK I am joking about the taste, HA).. so I thought I would give coconut oil a go. Guys… it does an AMAZING job at making your feet feel so soft and hydrated. All I do is put LOADS of this stuff over my feet, put socks on over the top and sleep with them. Seriously, try it.

I wanted to list SO many more uses of coconut oil… but I would be here for days. These are just my favourite things to do.. beauty wise. Let me know if you want another post/video specifically on this!

Showering after work/school/uni

I was always one to either shower in the morning (and end up rushing, getting stressed/sweaty, and thinking WHAT WAS THE POINT), or leave showering right before bed (and then usually end up being too tired, thinking LEAVE it, and showering in the morning.. read above). I am sure so many of you can relate.. especially those who work full time. So.. how have I got myself out of this circle? Shower as soon as I get in from work. This might be what a lot of you already do.. but I always wanted to catch up on social media after work, then have my dinner, then catch up on soaps.. and the time would just keep ticking. Now.. I force myself to shower as soon as I get home.. and it helps SO much. I feel so much more awake after work so feel like I can be more productive.. AND I can get my makeup off straight away (and usually do some sort of face mask too).

My go to makeup for getting up late?

We all know the feeling… seeing that you have slept in and literally have 15 minutes to get ready. S***. Showering the evening before comes in handy now doesn’t it? Now.. unfortunately I am not lucky enough to be able to leave the house without looking poorly.. so I have mastered doing my makeup in 5 minutes with my essential items!

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  • Foundation – I have the most pale, dull skin .. so foundation is a MUST
  • Concealer – Dark circles.. biggest problem ever. Concealer = My bestie
  • Mascara – I look dead without mascara
  • Cream Blush – I find it so much quicker and easier.. and it looks so much more natural
  • Highlighter – Makes such a difference to how awake you look – an ESSENTIAL
  • Brows – I didn’t realize how much of a difference these made – now no matter how much I am rushing.. I ALWAYS do my brows.
  • Dark/Bright Lips – unless it is a work day.. then I will stick to lip balm.

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It might sound crazy.. but I suggest testing yourself to see if you can do your makeup in a rush… it can be fun and will prepare you for those rushed mornings 🙂

Concealer application – the RIGHT way

For SO long.. I would apply concealer by just following the shape of my eye.. BUT .. there is a better way to apply it. It is called the triangle trick.. and yep you guessed it.. just apply your concealer in the shape of a triangle under your eyes (the point facing your cheek), and blend as normal. Why is this better? It helps brighten your face, as well as still concealing your dark circles.

The BEST thing for spots/breakouts

I have mentioned this before but I cannot emphasize ENOUGH how good this trick actually works. Savlon or Germolene (an antiseptic cream usually used for cuts/grazes or bites) is what I have been using on my spots for YEARS.. and it has been a lifesaver. As soon as I see a spot coming along.. I apply a thin layer of this, and it reduces any redness/swelling SO quickly. I swear by it.. and even keep some in my handbag for any  emergencies!

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The yummiest face mask EVER

If you know me, you will know how much I LOVE  a good face mask! I also dabble in some DIY projects here and there, so it is no surprise that I am a huge lover of DIY face masks! I have a go-to face mask that is literally good enough to eat (ahem.. I know from personal experience). It is a worth a try guys.. I am so sure you will love it!

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1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark is BEST .. as it has lots of anti-oxidants!)

1/4 cup honey

4 tbsp cream (both double and single are fine)

3 tbsp oats

Mix it all together.. apply onto clean skin, leave on for around 20 minutes and wash off!

SO.. they are my top beauty/lifestyle hacks.. I hope this can help some of you! I LOVED this post so so much.. let me know if you want me to do a fashion one too?

Thank you SO MUCH for reading loves… let me know your thoughts!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

 

7 reasons I can’t wait for Autumn

Hiya!

Now.. I don’t know about you.. but I am the biggest fan of “list type” blog posts.. and there has been one particular thing that I have been listing in my head. Something that I am literally SO EXCITED for… and I know SO many of you are too!

*cough cough.. Autumn*

I get that some of you may be thinking WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT.. it is still too early to be thinking about the change of seasons. But guys.. I am just SO ready for Autumn… I honestly could not resist sitting down and chatting about it. You know when you are just so excited about something? Yep… that is me right now. You want to know something else? I am sat wrapped up in a blanket, with a cuppa, burning a candle & listening to Fairytale of New York (fyi.. THE BEST Christmas song). I DON’T EVEN CARE, MUAHA!

OK… maybe I am getting a little bit ahead of myself…

Seriously though… Autumn.. here are 7 reasons why I cannot WAIT for it

*BTW.. like my little friend? He is PERFECT for Halloween*

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You are allowed to drink hot chocolate every single evening. Yes you  read that .. EVERY EVENING. And I am not talking cocoa powder and milk stirred up and shoved in the microwave.. NO NO! I am talking Nutella melted with milk in a saucepan, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate wafers… the list goes on. The more sugar/chocolate, (basically unhealthy shit crap), the better.

Dark lips become the norm again. Time to start rocking those gorgeous, berry lips again girls (and not have people give you funny looks/thinking you are a goth).

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Over-sized cardigans. That feeling of being able to chuck on a cardigan that is 3 sizes too big and rock that look like you are the sassiest chic around. You know what? I don’t think I have ever bought a cardigan that is my size. And I love it.. I always feel like I am carrying a blanket around my shoulders during the colder months, HA! Also.. I am not the biggest fan of summer clothes.. there is just something about being able to snuggle up in your clothes and layering up with scarves/gloves (eeeeeek I am SO excited!)

HALLOWEEN. I LOVE Halloween SO SO SO much… if you know me… you will know how much I LOVE scary movies.. and just creepy things in general. So.. it is pretty obvious that I am a huge fan of Halloween. Another thing that I can’t wait for? Carving pumpkins, decorating my desk at work & room (if the hubs doesn’t mind ha!), and posting Halloween themed blogposts/videos (hopefully!!).

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Darker evenings. Cozy evenings in are my favourite! Now.. I know that the clocks don’t actually go back until the end of October (when we get that EXTRA HOUR IN BED), but the evenings do start to get darker when September hits. Don’t get me wrong.. Summer evenings are AMAZING (for the few we have in UK)… but I much prefer cuddling up on the sofa with a hot drink and surrounded by candles, hehe. That’s got to beat all those sweaty, humid nights right?

Autumn walks and CONKER HUNTING. There is just something so nostalgic about searching for conkers… It is such a nice way to spend an afternoon! Also.. going for a walk when all the leaves have started to change colour .. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE OUTFIT PHOTOS!

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I can wear fuzzy socks and PJ’s without getting sweaty legs/feet. I am sure if you have read my blog/followed my social media for a while.. you will know the massive obsession I have with PJ bottoms. I always stock up on a few (erm.. OK.. LOTS) of pairs when Autumn hits. And of course.. I get the warmest, fuzziest, most random printed ones.. as you do.

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SO… If you weren’t already.. I hope my post has you very excited for Autumn (like me!).

Are you excited for Autumn? If so.. let me know what you favourite thing about it is!

Thank you SO much for reading – and make sure to leave me a comment to let me know what you thought! See you all in my next one.

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Metallic Trainers?!

Happy Saturday guys!

Its the weekend!!! And I have a good old fashion post for you all today!

So… I am sure you have all noticed what it is like in the shops at the minute … it is that awkward stage between Summer and Autumn where there seems to 3 types of things out:

  • A small amount of the new season Autumn bits
  • Holiday items and some very summery items
  • Massive sale racks with a lot of the things you wanted in Summer which are now 50% off (including the things you bought full price –  grr).

 

I find this time so awkward when shopping.. because all I want to do is buy everything for Autumn.. even though I know it is a little bit too early, and I will probably look eager (and like I am just wishing the summer away). I know so many of you are the same though… all I am seeing on social media is “Cannot wait for cozy  jumpers/boots/scarves”… lets be honest guys, Autumn really is the BEST SEASON EVER.  BUT… I have made a promise to myself (and also to spare the few people who want to hang on to Summer).. that I will not post a single Autumn inspired post until September, K?

Now… a MASSIVE trend that I saw around Summer (and this will probably carry on into Autumn) was metallics. Honestly.. I have NO idea how I would wear metallic style clothing.. I might have to look up a few blog posts for inspiration guys. ONE THING I have become obsessed with is metallic accessories.. and  I have been on the hunt for some glittery (YES GLITTERY) shoes for AGES. Then.. whilst hunting through the Topshop sale racks, my sister spotted something that I instantly fell in love with.

They were metallic. They were SIZE 3 (it is so rare for me to find my shoe size in the sale). AND .. they were £12! You know that moment where you want something in the sale so badly you don’t care that you look like an absolute lunatic when you go to grab it? Yep, guilty.

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I did try to sneak in some Autumn-ness into this post (I am rocking berry lips.. muaha.). It is Sleek’s Vino Tinto Matte Me Lipstick FYI.

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I also managed to pick up this over-sized shirt in the Topshop sale too – because let’s face it, there is NOTHING better than an over-sized, checked shirt. If there is one item you need for this awkward time between the seasons.. make it this. It’s cool enough to wear when it is slightly warmer.. but also is perfect for layering.

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Seriously guys … check out the sales (especially Topshop).. you can sometimes find some absolute gems (they are not all full of foundation stained, weirdly printed clothes!).

Outfit Details:
Shirt – Topshop
Trainers – Topshop
Jeggings – Zara
Scarf – Primark

Right guys.. have an absolutely AMAZING weekend… I think I am going to try and film a lookbook ..I will let you know if that is successful (ha!)

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Money Money: Budgeting & Saving

Hey hey!

WELCOME BACK GUYS! I hope you have all had an amazing weekend… and are feeling ready to take on this week! I had a lovely weekend doing some shopping, having a BBQ (we had GORGEOUS weather on Saturday) and sorting some blog stuff out!

Now… lets get on a more serious note guys. You are probably thinking WHAT? Saira, being all serious on her blog, really? Well.. yep.. my blog has always been a fun, chilled out place where I babble on about my favourite fashion items and what Lush things I love.. BUT I have never discussed a topic which can sometimes be seen as controversial… and that is.. money money money.

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OK… so money is a very private topic.. it is not something that we like to discuss openly with anyone… because we feel like someone will instantly judge you if they know how much money you have (it’s normal guys.. it happens). It is important to know that everybody’s money situation is different and personal to them, and nobody should be judged based on how they spend their money.

So… me, and probably every single 20-something year old has something they are saving towards.. whether that is a house, car, holiday.. even a handbag they are waiting to splurge on. At the moment.. me and Saj are putting the majority of our money towards a deposit for our first house together… so that, and a few other things really inspired me to write up this post. So… if you want to have read about how I budget and save my money.. grab a cuppa and keep reading!

ALSO… quick disclaimer.. I am NO expert in managing money.. I have just picked up things along the way and I know what works for me. I wanted to share my tips with you all so it could maybe help some of you that need it!

FIRST THINGS FIRST GUYS…..

Have a Budget – And STICK TO IT

Seriously.. I cannot even TELL you how much a budget helps. I know the feeling.. come payday, you have a HUGE wishlist on ASOS of things you have been LUSTING over the past month. The feeling you get when the postman brings your package… it is the best feeling in the world! But.. that’s all your money gone.. and you end up skint for the rest of the month feeling poopy. Now.. I am not saying put all your money away… just set some aside for treating yourself ..  you deserve it. Whether that is £50, £100.. whatever you are able to afford… put that in your spending account and put the rest into savings. Trust me guys.. it is not as hard as you might think to have a monthly budget. All you need is the right mindset.. think of the bigger picture. That money spent on clothes could be put aside to help buy you your new car or put towards money for your new home.

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Know your Outgoings

We all have it.. money that HAS to go out every month.. you have no other choice. Becoming an adult means you have rent/car insurance/council tax/mobile phone bills to pay.. so make sure you always separate this money aside from your spending money. Work out how much each will cost each month.. and see this money as  “untouchable”.

Stop Unnecessary Spending

We all do it.. you didn’t make your lunch so you fork out a fiver for it everyday.. those morning coffee runs… takeaways because you forgot to prep dinner. GUYS… this can all be sorted by a little bit of organisation! Prepare your lunch the night before, make your own coffee at home and buy a thermos so you can have it on the go (Primark have the most adorable ones). Dinner can be also be prepped the night before, all ready for when you come home from work. Seriously guys… tally up how much these “unnecessary” things cost.. and you will notice that you save yourself £100’s, heck even £1000’s every year. It all adds up in the long run.

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Have A Separate Account for Savings

It might seem a little bit of a headache to have 3-4 different accounts.. but it can really help you keep control of your spendings and savings. I personally have one for my regular spendings (the account that I transfer my monthly budget into), one for savings (this does NOT get touched… only in emergencies), and also a Help To Buy ISA (more on this next). Having separate accounts means you can keep track of how much money you have to spend, and also helps to see how much you have saved.

Consider a Help To Buy ISA

Now.. if you are in the process of saving some money for a deposit on your first house, having a HTB IA can really help you. Basically.. it is an account that you can put a certain amount of money in, you are unable to withdraw this money as you can choose to not get a card, and once you have enough and are ready for a mortgage, the government will give you some money back (the more you have in, the more they give you), and this can help towards purchasing your new home. If you are married/have a partner you can both have one, and the government will give you money back on BOTH ISA’s.. meaning you get twice the money back. It really is worth checking out.. I am with Santander, but I know a lot of other banks offer this service too.

Have a Goal in Mind

Having a goal can really help motivate you to save as much money as possible. You know your income loves, so you can set realistic goals that you can work with. Like I mentioned.. we are saving for a house and this is always in my head when I am feeling a bit crappy that I cannot spend my money on makeup/clothes…because I know how satisfying it will be to reach that goal sooner rather than later.

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So guys… they are my tips that I go by for budgeting and saving money. It can seem quite scary and daunting at first..but all it takes is a little bit of planning and patience. Everybody is capable of saving at some point..but remember if you find yourself in some trouble, there are always professional people that can help you.. it is always best to talk to someone and not suffer in silence.

I hope this was helpful to some of you.. it is a little bit more serious than my usual posts but it is such an important topic to discuss.. and I know a lot of my fellow bloggers are in similar situations!

I will see you all in my next post guys.. sending you lots of love!!

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥