• Haircare Mythbusting: The “No Poo” Phenomenon

    You are probably familiar with the “no poo” (the “poo” as in “shampoo”) method of cleaning your hair. It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, but it is one that is surprisingly enduring. Barely a day passes without a wellness or beauty blogger commenting on how No Poo changed their hair for the better; reading through such praise, it’d be easy to think that No Poo is the hair care solution we’ve all been waiting for.

    However, the No Poo method is inherently problematic. So if you’ve wondered about trying it, here’s the counter to all those “No Poo Is Amazing!” posts that are still so common in the blogosphere.

    “No Poo” Definitions Vary

    For some, No Poo means stepping away from chemical shampoos and opting for “natural” alternatives that are sulphate, SLS, and fragrance free.

    For the most part though, when No Poo is referenced online, they’re speaking of what we’ll call “the standard method”. It’s this that’s most worrying.

    The Standard Method (And Why It’s Bad For You)

    The most common method of No Poo hair washing is fairly simple:

    • Use bicarbonate of soda as a shampoo, massaging it into the scalp and then rinsing clear.
    • Use apple cider vinegar as a conditioner, then rinsing clear.

    There’s an awful lot of problems with this technique. The first and foremost is that it’s going to damage your hair and potentially cause breakage that only tape in hair extensions will be able to make look presentable. Bicarbonate of soda is extremely abrasive. You need some abrasion when doing No Poo, as this is the only option you have for removing grime from your hair — but bicarb is far too severe to be used on a regular basis. The second issue is regarding pH, which is rather complex, but you can learn more about it here.

    Combine the pH issues together with the excessive abrasion of the bicarbonate of soda, and you could have a real hair nightmare on your hands… er, head.

    Hair Type, Body Chemistry & More

    One of the fundamentals of getting your haircare right is to understand that all hair is different. There are women who will respond well to No Poo; predominantly those with dry and curly hair. On the flip side, if your hair is thin and greasy, then it’s unlikely No Poo is going to work well for you. You also have to factor in very individual things like body chemistry and hormones, both of which vary wildly and mean there is no one thing that works for everyone.

    So if No Poo suits you and your hair seems to be handling it well, then that’s fine! If it’s not working, however, it’s not worth persisting with something that is problematic.

    Whether you’re trying it out or opting for long-term usage, it’s important to remember a few principles for safe No Poo usage. Give your hair a rest every once in awhile if you’re going to be using bicarbonate of soda. There are plenty of natural shampoos that you can use in the rest periods, so that your hair has a chance to recover from the potential breakage.

    *Collaborated post

    Goodbye Pic Monkey – Where to go for free blog photo editing

    Within the last few days we have had to say goodbye to pic monkey (well those who use the free service) as you can no longer export pictures for free.

    I myself will still use it as I do pay for the annual membership, I really enjoy it and I have always paid for it BUT there are plenty of other places to go for picture editing:

    Desktop

    These sites are SO similar to what pic monkey offered:

    Fotor

    editing 1

    I used to use this but the functionality was too basic but they seem to have changed it.
    It’s great for enhancing photos, adding text, putting pictures in to collages and general photo editing. You just edit to your requirements and then you download the picture.
    Again you can upgrade to get other features but it really has got the basics covered.

    Be Funky

    editing 2

    This is great if you have flash player (so it might not work for MAC users). but again has similar functionalities to the others.

    PiZap

    editing 3
    This is a new one for me but it looks amazing! You again get a similar layout to the others. I think once you have used one you have used them all.
    Again there is a pro version you have to pay for but by all accounts you can edit pics and download them to your computer as long as you create a free account.

    Apps (Phone)

    VCSO

    editing 4

    I love this app for editing pics and it really is great for instagram and keeping a theme. I find this works to get your own style and then all you do is copy and paste the edits. I wish all editing programmes has this capability.

    PicsArt

    editing 5

    This can be a little confusing at times but I absolutely love playing with this. I use this to whiten up backgrounds if they are looking dull. Definitely a good one if you are again, editing photos for your instagram.
    I usually send the photo’s to my cloud or through email if I want to use these for my blog posts but be aware that they get compresses when they go that way.
    So what do you think?
    Will you be choosing one of these new programmes for your pics?
    Blog photo editing

    Beauty Dupes – My picks from Beauty Base

    You know I love good dupe so when Beauty Base contacted me to pick some items from their site to show some new dupes, I had to accept their challenge.

    I picked three items from the Milani range and I am really excited to share them with you. Two of the products I have, one I don’t but I have done my research and it seems to be a good dupe.

    Base 1

    The dupe for a cult classic

    Base 2I chose the Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in the shade Moon Glow as I had heard it was a dupe for the classic (and one of my favourites) Soft and Gentle by MAC.

    I have both and I put them to the test.

    Base 3

    Base 4

    Soft and Gentle is on the left and the Milani one is on the right. Although they are not exactly the same in the heavy swatch on the hand but the effect on the face is almost the exactly spot on. You wouldn’t know the difference.

    The Milani one was so good, definitely comparable.

    The Dupe for the hottest palette right now

    Base 5

    This is the Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in the Earthy Elements and it really has similar tones to the much coveted new Naked palette from Urban Decay.

    I have both of these palettes and there are a few looks that you can create that are similar. I swatched the colours that were most like each other with the Heat palette on the right on the Milani on the left.

    Base 6

    Base 7

    Base 8

    Base 8

    Base 9

    Base 10

    The dupe that will be the most exciting

    Base 10

    I don’t have the original product but I have it on good authority that this product from Milani is a nearly exact dupe.

    This Amore Matte Lip Cream in the Shade Adorable (vegan friendly) is a nearly exact dupe, not just in shade but in formula and longevity to the Kylie Cosmetics shade Candy K. One of her first and most wanted lip kits.

    Base 11

    There is a plethora of other dupe products on their sites, including the much loved w7 brand which always have great dupes of higher end products so please go and check them out if you get an opportunity.

    Have you got any dupes of high end brands that I should know about? Do you love getting products that give the look of something more expensive but don’t hurt the purse strings?

    Base 12

    Hobby Bloggers – Top 10 Tips to a Successful Blog

    Hobby

    Since 2010 when I started my blogging escapades I never thought of it as a way to make income or a way out of corporate life. I love the corporate world and I love being in an office environment so for me blogging was my release.

    It started off as something I did to talk about my life and what was happening in it, sort of like a journal. Transitioned in to plus size fashion, then beauty and finally, the blog you see today. Beauty with some fashion and lifestyle sprinkled in.

    I have never taken blogging seriously, never had a blogging schedule or really even had a theme for photos. I did try once or twice but it just didn’t work for me.

    I realised that I wasn’t the only one. There is a whole swathe of Hobby Bloggers out there. Enjoying the freedom of having their little space on the internet for people (including myself) to get enjoyment out of.

    Although I don’t blog in a professional capacity I have managed to successfully grow my blog and following to now have some recognition. Thus, I have recently been contacted by PR companies and it’s quite overwhelming, and of course, very exciting to be considered. What it does mean though is that I am more flexible in what sort of blog post I can do with them.

    I am not looking for an income with my blog, I already have my day job, I am looking for an outlet. Being offered items to review has been so exciting but it’s not the reason I have my blog. 95% of items shown in the blog are paid for by me which I think people really like, makes it more relatable to my readers. I am  also very honest with my readers if I have been contacted to do a post and work on the provision that I get to say what I really think about the things I do review.

    Hobby 2

    I think the Hobby Blogger is becoming a bigger community with much more blogs starting up and less room for people to take it through to a full time job so here are 10 tips from me to you if you are starting out:

    1. Set realistic goals. Not just for followers and engagement but for how many blog posts you will actually write. Do once a week for starters. You might have a tonne of ideas but writing them and publishing them all in one go might not make your blog sustainable. There are so many blogs that you want people to know they can come and find you and you will be there.
    2. Don’t spend tonnes of money on your blog. Find your writing style first, write about things you own or you need to buy rather than ‘for the blog’. You don’t receive any of it back and we all fall foul to it but actually – if you’re not earning money then don’t spend your hard earned cash…unless it’s a necessity
    3. Don’t expect to be flooded with PR opportunities immediately. It won’t happen. I have been blogging for years (7 to be exact) and it’s trickling in only now. It’s great because I haven’t been pressuring myself to get those contacts but recently my little space is being recognised.
    4. Put time aside for your blog and social media. Don’t let it take over your real life. I enjoy writing and I allow myself a small amount of time each evening for social media and promotion of my blog. Blog posts will be written on a weekend or during a lunch hour when I might be feeling creative.. (I send myself so many blog posts in an email it’s ridiculous!)
    5. Enjoy writing. I see so many people get disheartened because their blog isn’t being followed or engaged with and that they ‘fall out of love’ with their blog. The thing is, when it’s not your job then you have the freedom to take time out if it’s too much pressure or you can take it back to basics. Ask yourself these questions; Why did I start blogging? What do I love most? What is fun about it?
    6. Find other ‘Hobby Bloggers’ and build a community. There are so many smaller bloggers out there that will feel the same way about you. Connect with them in Twitter chats or facebook and you can discuss what you find good and what you find frustrating. Community for me has always been a key way of keeping enjoyment in my blog.
    7. Engage. You might be feeling sad that you aren’t getting any engagement and you are not the only one. I have found that if I comment on a minimum of 10 blog posts every few days (included in my time I set aside) I get lots of engagement back. You can’t expect people to just find you. If you let people know you’re loving their blog they will want to know who you are and engage with you back.
    8. Set up a media pack. I honestly think this is invaluable and it’s so easy. I will definitely do a blog post on how I created mine but there are plenty out there. All you need to include is your blogging stats and your social media stats as a basic. If you have worked with any brands (that includes being invited to events) then include them in your pack.
    9. Know your worth. You might just be a small time blogger but you are still providing a service. Of course you’re not going to be charging hundreds of pounds for a blog post if you’ve got small engagement but do try and work out what you should accept. For me, I do accept gifting for review as a way to work with PRs but I have done a couple of sponsored posts that fit really well with my blog and have charged between £50 and £70. Include this in your media pack if you can.
    10. Don’t make your blog too specific. I am primarily a beauty blogger but I chose my blog name to represent me and everything I love so that I could be more flexible and do write about anything I wanted to, if I wanted to. It widens your audience and makes it more personal.

    Hobby 3

    I am definitely going to do a post about why I chose to go self hosted, what I paid, the blog layout I used and the benefits of doing so soon as I really think it would be a benefit to others.

    Are you a ‘Hobby Blogger’? Have you just started out recently or had your blog a long time with small engagement? Is there any of the tips you will take away?

    Plus Size Work Wear Inspo – New Job New Me

    Since I turned thirty (blah blah) years ago, I discovered my love for all things leggings and dresses. Now I want to go out of my comfort zone and I decided to share some of my blogger inspo for the new style I want for my new job.

    I have been wearing leggings every single day for the last dhfjkhfgsjh years and although I enjoy wearing them I don’t feel as professional or as put together as I want to portray in my new role.

    I have been part of the plus size blogging community for a while and I have always been in awe of the amazing way people have their own style and how they can wear different outfits, not just leggings and a dress. Yet I have never ventured out of my comfort zone.

    I thought it was about time to show you some of the outfits I would love to try or I have found inspiration from for my new me ‘look’ for my new job.

    Outfits completely out of my comfort zone

    I am in absolute admiration for these two bloggers as I hold them up as some of the most uniquely stylish women.

    Firstly, this outfit from Chloe In Curve.

    This is a classic shirt and trouser combo but I love how feminine it is yet still saying Girl Boss. The great thing about these are they are cropped wide leg trousers with a soft belt giving it that edginess. I used to wear black trousers and a jumper for 10 years at work and I honestly wouldn’t want to go back there so this definitely softens that almost uniform look for me.

    You can check out the blog post here.

    Secondly is this gorgeous look from Danie Vanier.

    This look is so stunning, classy yet still sexy. I absolutely love the textures and also how comfortable it looks. Sometimes, when I think work wear or business attire I think stuffy and uncomfortable but this looks the complete opposite.

    I have always been scared of wearing wide leg trousers but the pleated texture almost makes it look like a long skirt. Check out the post here.

    Autumnul Work Wear Style

    Another two blogger I have loved for the longest time are the lovely Steph and Nancy.

    I have chosen two styles from their blogs which would make an easy transition through this Autumn time yet still not the styles I would usually go for. However, I would get to stay in dresses and leggings for a little while longer and not be completely overwhelmed.

    The look from Steph (Nerd about town) has that almost classic Chanel feel to it. I always think that Chanel have got classy work wear down don’t you? Paired with a bold duster coat which for me keeps in with my personality and the accent of a cute red bag, perfect again for transitioning in to Autumn. Catch the blog post here.

    This look from Nancy (Sugar Darling?) has all the makings of something I would wear but still work appropriate. The gorgeous pattern on the dress which matches the jacket (which looks perfect for autumn) around the cuffs. Such a lovely statement piece which would stand out and still command the management status I have acquired. Check out the post here.

    Inspo 3

    Alternative Work Wear

    I have never been the alternative type – I am way too boring and unoriginal but there are so many bloggers I really love who manage to keep their style but also slay the office.

    Kitty (Kitty Rambles Alot) has paired up an A line skirt with biker boots and an animal type print top which is so simple yet really effective. You have personality as well as business babe all in one look. Check out the whole look and post here.

     

     

     

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