Blogging Q&A

Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been writing on this blog for nearly 5 years now that I thought it was about time to prepare a Q&A style post. I asked on Twitter for a few questions to include in today's post and have a couple of fab ones I'd like to share. Whether you're one of my original readers or are only reading for the first time today, I'd like to thank you for your continued support of my blog.

Here's my blogging Q&A...

Bloggers q&a


When and why did you start your blog? @callikitson

I love this question as it's great way to share my blog journey with my audience, whether you're a new or original reader. I began my blog way back in early 2013 at the age of 16. At this time, I knew nothing about the blogging industry and it wasn't as big as it is today. I started my blog as I've always loved to write ever since I remember which sprung from my obsession with books and words. I wanted to grow my writing and have a place to document it that when I came across a few blogs, I instantly thought 'let's start a blog'. I brain stormed a name (this took a while) then finally took the plunge and began writing: Della Loves Nutella was born.

What is your favourite and least favourite thing about blogging? @coleoftheball


Blogging comes with varied pros and cons but everyday, I still love it that little bit more. My favourite thing is the pure creative aspect behind it, I can write any blog post idea I have, document my holiday snaps, take quirky pictures of the latest products I've been loving and share my voice with the world. There's so much you can do with blogging and as it's the opportunity to own my little space on the internet, I'm able to share my different passions with those of similar interests. I also love the community; it's super friendly and whether you're a new or old blogger, everyone is supportive of your work. The downside of blogging is a tricky one, there's a few things that come to mind. I think numbers are a big weight on every bloggers shoulders. I personally do it for a hobby and love when brands get in contact to work as it's always an exciting project. However, if you try and contact brands where your numbers don't match their criteria, it can feel a bit disheartening. Also, if you've worked hard on a post and it doesn't get the recognition you'd like it to, that never feels good. The pros do outweigh the cons completely though. I've nearly been writing my blog for 5 years now and every time I have a post idea, I can't wait to get typing!

What have you improved most through blogging? @thefrugalfrenchie 


Since beginning my blog all those years ago, I've improved in all areas of blogging. My writing quality had grown a lot, I've learnt to perfect the art of flatlays (still experimenting), I've got a bit better with web design and how I want my blog to look. Through my job, I've learnt about digital marketing which has helped with improving the way I promote my blog. When you look at it, there isn't really one thing that I've improved the most on, together every aspect has improved the complete appearance of my blog today.

@naomirowan_blog - Did any other blogs inspire you to start a blog?

I'm trying to think back to all those years ago if there were any low key blogs that inspired me, however the one that really made me think 'I can do it' was Zoella's. A very cliché answer but it's true. I love how she wrote and the different topics she talked about that it gave me the push I needed. Once I began blogging, there were a few bloggers that I really loved like Parie from Class & Glitter - go check her out.

Which blogs inspire you/ do you like to read the most?

There's so many blogs that inspire me which can range from beauty, travel to even family blogs. I love learning about peoples stories, whether that's travelling the world, talking about their everyday makeup routine or pregnancy announcement. I also really like to read personal growth style posts, mental health stories and Q&As (I guess you can call me a bit nosy). Living in the world that we do fixated on screen time, it's refreshing to hear people's voices though their blogs.

Here's a few of my favourites:

https://www.bethlouise.com/
http://www.charlottespicks.com/
https://sairasays.co.uk/

Do you ever wish you could write about a certain niche that you don't have the knowledge of?

This question is very interesting as I like to think I cover all the topics that I love. However, I think a niche I'd love to write about more would be mental health, to spread awareness even further and possibly recipes. I really want to get back into cooking from scratch and trying out different foods. If I began doing so, it's a writing area I'd love to explore.

Have you ever thought about using YouTube alongside your blog?


Yes I have, a while back around 2014/2015 time when vlogging was on the rise but it certainly wasn't at the level it is today. I really got into watching vlogs in 2013 that I thought why not give it a go? As you can tell I never actually made the plunge but at the time I was interested in exploring making videos.


Have you ever been in a bloggers rut? If you have, how did you get out of it? @whitneylorenxo

As I've mentioned, I've been writing my blog for nearly 5 years now and it hasn't always been a fresh wave of ideas. There's been blips where I couldn't think of any new ideas or what I'd like to talk about next on my blog and at those times, it got me feeling very stressed. This however isn't the greatest approach to getting out of a bloggers rut. Usually when this happens, I take a few days away, read some of my favourite blogs, take inspiration from them and what's around me. Things like conversions I've had, makeup I've worn or how I've been feeling can strike up a blog idea. It's never forced, but when one does come, I write it in my notebook and plan from there. If you're in a bloggers rut, I'd suggest having a few days away from your blog as you'll come back with a fresh look and that'll hopefully bring on new ideas.

What is the most important thing to you in your life? @itismeelizabethThis question made me have a good old think. I'm completely blessed with the life I lead, with a supporting family, loving boyfriend and best friends as well as the holidays and experiences I've had. But, I think ultimately the most important thing is mine and my loved ones happiness. Life can be hard at times for those around me and myself, that making the situation a little bit better is what matters most. Possessions are a great asset in life, however at the end you won't have those anymore, just what you had from the beginning, your loved ones and memories. Which means, my loved ones and memories have to be the most important thing in life to me. 

I hope you enjoyed this blogging Q&A What's your favourite thing about blogging?

Thank you for reading <3

Valentine's gift ideas with Giftsonline4u

Well hello you my reader chums! Valentine's Day is just under a week now and if you've left your present shopping to the last minute, I've got a few ideas for you.

Gifts4u Valentines gifts sets


When it comes to Valentine's, instead of expensive gifts, I think personalised and sentimental presents are the way forward. I'm a very sentimental person as it is and considering it's 'the day of love', there's no better time to show your affection through a thoughtful gift. Giftsonline4u got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to share a few personalised Valentine's gifts of theirs to my readers. After a little browse on their website, I couldn't wait to personalise gifts for my boyfriend and share my thoughts with you all.

They gave me the opportunity to personalise two items and review them. Here's a closer look... 

The personalised glass and alcohol set


Giftsonline4u personlaised whiskey set


When I first had a look at their Valentine's Day gifts, the glass and alcohol set really caught my eye. I love how you're able to write your own message on a glass as a little keepsake and pick a spirit to go alongside it. The 'personalised whisky' set can either come with whisky, vodka, white rum, gin or Jack Daniels in a 50ml bottle. This means if your partner doesn't like whisky, you're able to swap out that alcohol to a drink they'd prefer. My boyfriend is currently at university so a small set like this will really come in handy for house parties. When it comes to the glass, it's big enough to fit a name in bold and a 3 lined message. This allows you enough space to wish them a 'Happy Valentine's Day' and sign off in whichever way you'd like to. The size of the glass itself is one of those typical tumbler glasses, designed for alcoholic beverages including the matching spirit which comes in the set. Also, the packaging of the set is very classy; the items are laid in a silky material and put together in a classic black box. I think this is a great idea, it's simple yet thoughtful. You get to add your own message to personalise up the gift and your other half can enjoy a small drink on you before the Valentine's Day celebrations begin.

The personalised key ring


Gifts4u personalised photo key ring


Your keys are something you carry around everywhere. If you're other half is someone who collects key rings from different places you've visited or loves to buy the candid photo key rings at theme parks, this sort of gift is for them. There's two main things I love about the key ring; one, that you're able to engrave a short phrase on the back and two, put a picture of you and your other half on the back. That means, when your partner is carrying around the key ring with them, they can see a picture of you and read your thoughts. For a picture key ring, it's also a fab size. Not too big that you can't see the image, but big enough that the faces will be clear (I still need to add in a photo). There's also enough space to write a sweet old message. The key ring feels very tough and doesn't seem as if it would break easily. Likewise to the glass, I love the simplicity to this item and how you can convey your love in a sweet, small present.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Would you prefer the glass or key ring as a gift?

Thank you for reading <3

January favourites

Well hello to you my reader chums! With the past few weeks of attempting new years resolutions, enjoying wintry nights in and celebrating birthdays, January has finally come to a close. I've tried a lot of new products this month and many of which have become an everyday staple. 

Here is a look at my January favourites...

January favourites

BarryM 'matte me up' lip kit in 'Go to'

Matte lipsticks are my favourite lip product as they last that little bit longer and I prefer the formulation to a gloss. Liquid lipsticks have become a big trend where every brand have made their stamp on it recently and as one of the little gifts for Christmas, I received a BarryM lip kit. I couldn't wait to give this a go, as it meant having the matching lip liner to a lipstick and rocking them both. 'Go to' is a pink/brown slightly dark nude shade which you can either work for everyday use or to pair with a smoky eye on a night out. The lip liner is very creamy upon application, doesn't tug and lasts a very long time. It's a super light product, that once applied, feels like nothing is on the lips which I like as a heavy lip product never sits as well. The liquid lipstick has a really creamy consistency and feels very wet when you apply it on the lips. However, even though it's very liquid-like, it sets completely matte, quite quickly on the lips and paired with the lip liner, can last a long time. 

Real Techniques miracle sculpture sponge

I'm a big fan of the Real Technique sponges and love to use them for base makeup because I find they give a more natural look. For Christmas, I got a new Real Techniques brush set with a few brushes and the miracle sculpture sponge. It's meant to be quite a versatile sponge and I've been loving it most to blend in my concealer. As it has quite a small top, I found it was the right shape to get under the eyes and onto blemishes easier.

Body Shop strawberry shower gel

I think the Body Shop is completely underrated, they offer natural, amazing quality products for reasonable prices. One of their products I love are their shower gels. They're all nicely scented and feel that extra bit luxurious than your standard shower gel. The one I've been loving these past few months is the 'Strawberry' scent. It reminds me of Calpol weirdly enough which I know doesn't sound that appealing but it's the sweetness of the scent that I've been obsessing over lately.

January favourites


Real Techniques fan brush

In the brush set where I received the miracle sculpting sponge, I also got a fan style brush. I've never been one to use fan brushes, however I was excited to give it a go for my highlighting. Real Techniques brushes are always of a high standard and this was no different. The fan brush was incredibly soft and applied highlighter like a dream. As it's thin, you're able to get the right amount of highlight in the correct areas of the face without glowing all over - I don't know why it's taken me this long to use a fan brush!

Zoella 'Snowella' mini fragrance

I've always been a big fan of the Zoella beauty range. Each product I've tried has been of high standard and with the most loveliest scents. When I received the mini perfume set for Christmas which contained a 15ml bottle of each scent, I was super excited to have the 'Snowella' one. It's one of those scents that I fell in love with straight away. I'd describe it as quite sweet, however not fruity at all and with an underlying muskiness to it. I also love since I travel a lot, the size of the bottle because I can bring it wherever I go without worrying about liquid cabin restrictions and carrying heavy fragrance bottles with me.

Olivia Burton watch

I have been obsessed and wanting an Olivia Burton watch for absolutely ages and at Christmas, my boyfriend kindly gifted one to me. He picked the watch that had a lilac strap paired with a gold rim and even got my name engraved on it. I fell in love with it straight away and couldn't not mention it in this month's favourites. It goes with all my outfits and I feel that extra bit special rocking my new favourite accessory everyday.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Which products have you been loving this past month?

Thank you for reading <3

Marc Jacobs highliner matte gel eye crayon review

Well hello to you my reader chums! A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent a VoxBox  as a complimentary gift by Influenster UK and it contained 2 Marc Jacobs highliner matte gel crayons in the brown (earthquake) and light blue (deja blue) shades.

Here's my review of Marc Jacobs highliner matte gel crayons...

Marc Jacobs highliners review

Marc Jacobs are my favourite all time perfumes that I own quite a few of the collection. When I got sent these eye liners, I couldn't wait to see how their makeup compared. The eye liners are a versatile product in all the ways you can use them. I decided to use the brown liner as a replacement for my liquid liner above the lashes and to fill in the tight line. This made a nice natural change and didn't look as harsh on the eyes that a liquid liner would. I think it's the perfect look to rock on an everyday basis. As the blue liner was super light, it was almost like a white and I decided to give it a go along the water line to brighten my eyes.

Forumlation

The best thing about these crayons is their creamy formulation. As you apply it on they eyes, whether its the lid or water line, the eye liner is ever so smooth, it doesn't tug at all. It has the same formulation as an eye shadow stick, making application easy. Also, since they're a creamy consistency, you're able to apply and then blend them out to rock a fabulous smoky look.

Pigmentation

These liners have intense pigmentation and really show the colour on the pencil. With one swipe, you're able to get the full colour pay off that you don't need to draw the line over again and again. The brown shade is a very natural brown colour but as the pigmentation is so strong, in some lights it can look slightly black.


Marc Jacobs highliners

Pencil design

The Vox Box came with a booklet full of images that show you different ways to use the eye crayons but I felt some of them are hard to achieve given the pencil design. As it is slightly thicker, if you wanted to create a line above the lashes or create a wing, it can be quite tricky. However for lining the water line, tight line and under the eye, they're the perfect shape/size. I think it all depends which sort of reason you'd use the eye liners for and how much you practise you have.

Colour range 
Something Marc Jacobs have excelled in is their colour range. These highliner crayons come in a variety of colours from your standard blacks and browns to vibrant turquoises, pinks and blues. I love this range, as it lets us makeup lovers go wild and be a bit more daring with our eye looks.

Lasting power

As the eye liners were rather creamy, I was a bit concerned how well they would last on my eyes. After a little testing, I found the brown to hold quite well when I've used it on the upper lash line and tight line, however with the lighter blue shade along the water line, it didn't last long at all. I'm not too sure if that's down to the lightness of the colour or how much my eyes watered which took away the colour. I'll need to test out the darker shade on the water line to fully clarify that point. Yet, for super pigmented and creamy gel liners they give off the perfect natural look.

Marc Jacobs highliners review

Overall, I'm very impressed with Marc Jacobs highliner matte gel crayons. The pigmentation is insane, they have the most creamy formulation and their colour range suits everyone. Their lasting power can be improved a bit, however other than that, I'm excited to keep trying them out for different looks. If you'd like to treat yourself to a new eye liner, I'd highly recommend giving these a go. Thank you again to Marc Jacobs Beauty!

I hope you enjoyed this review! Have you tried these highliners?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: 'After Anna'

Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm an avid book reader and even though I read a lot of stories, there's only a few novels that I think 'wow, this book was intense' and 'After Anna' fits that description. I finished this a few weeks back and couldn't wait to sit down and type away my thoughts.

Here's my review on 'After Anna'...


After Anna book review

Plot line

The blurb goes as follows - Five year old Anna vanishes from school without any trace of where she could be. A week later she's found by the authorities without a smidge of evidence to what could have happened and Anna herself having no memory of the ordeal. The nightmare begins here for Anna and her family. It's one of those plots that have surprises and unexpected moments at every turn of the page, that you keep on wondering what will happen next.

Characters

One of my favourite things about novels is getting to know the characters and what happens to them in the story line. Julia is a strong, caring mother figure and shows every difficult task that motherhood entails throughout the book. She's a determined character, who's in and unhappy marriage and goes to every strength (literally) to get what she sets out for. Brian (Julia's husband) is a weaker character I found. Under the thumb and control of his mother, his always done everything in her favour and still tries to make her happy instead of his wife. Brian is conveyed as a man who is content with his career and his home, that he doesn't seek anything more than that. Then we have Anna who is a curious and clever little 5 year old. Brian's mum, Edna is odd and you discover that from the beginning. She is very snobby, likes the finer things in life and turns her nose down at those who don't. As Anna is her main grandchild she is still in contact with, she wants the very best for her including private education. As the novel goes on, you see how all these characters relationships grow and clash with many other low key characters coming in between. It unfolds in such a way, I couldn't believe it.

After Anna book review

Structure
The structure of this book is very interesting and gripping. It switches between the narrators voice of what's going on with the family unit of Julia, Brian and Anna to the kidnappers thoughts. That switch is super intense, however it puts you in the mind of the kidnapper and helps you unfold what actually happens to Anna. I love the way this book is put together and how the chapters reveal different information.

Ending

I won't give away the ending, however halfway through the book, I began to have my suspicions of what happens and I was correct. The last couple of chapters are even more intense than the rest of them and you discover exactly what happens to Anna. What I can say is the book does end with a happy, content finish.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to any enthusiastic reader. It leaves you in suspense, wanting more after every page and has too many unexpected moment to count. The author is a truly clever and creative writer. It's a 10/10 from me.

I hope you enjoyed this book review! Do you have any book recommendations?

Thank you for reading <3

Aladdin themed afternoon tea and west end show!

Well hello to you my reader chums! Last week, my boyfriend Dan and I ventured to London for a day out. As a Christmas present I got Dan tickets to go see Aladdin on the West End as its his favourite Disney film. We both couldn't wait for the show and to spend some time in the city.

Here's what we got up to...

Cutter and Squidge Aladdin afternoon themed tea

A while ago I saw on Facebook an Aladdin themed afternoon tea at Cutter & Squidge (a bakery) in Soho. As we were going to see Aladdin in the evening, I decided to surprise Dan by booking a table at this themed afternoon tea - he had no idea and it was ever so magical. When you walk into the bakery, the staff take you downstairs to this room that is designed to look like the 'Genie's cave'. The dimmed purple lighting, glittery decorations and gold lamps everywhere screamed Aladdin to me and we couldn't wait to see what was in store with the tea. Disney music also rang through our ears from film to film so we couldn't help but sing along.

Cutter and Squidge Aladdin afternoon themed tea

Before the main afternoon tea came out, we got a little starter, a glass of prosecco and this pot filled with candy floss, a yummy yogurt concoction and meringue on the top. We then were able to choose our tea, I went for the 'very berry' and Dan chose 'passion fruit'. Our teas were brought out in the quirkiest jugs that looked just like the genie's lamp (we wanted to bring them home)! The food consisted of an assortment of different sandwiches, savoury pastries, macaroons, 'flying carpet' shortbread, cakes and even more macaroons to finish! Every single nibble was bursting with different flavours from coronation chicken sandwiches, feta pastries, chocolate macaroons to strawberry cake and raspberry tarts. There was so many delicious treats to try!

Cutter and Squidge Aladdin afternoon themed tea

Cutter and Squidge Aladdin afternoon themed tea

This was the walkway that led into the 'Genie's cave'. Every single decoration has so much detail and a lot of thought put into it - you felt a part of the Disney magic.

Cutter and Squidge Aladdin afternoon themed tea

We had the most incredible time at the afternoon tea! If you're a massive Disney fan (especially Aladdin), book yourself a table at Cutter & Squidge as I promise you, it'll be a magical experience. This tea is on for limited time only and I think it stops at the end of March so book before it's too late!

Aladdin show London

After lunch, we had a mooch around Covent Garden, stopped off for dinner at Pizza Express and then it was show time. I'd been listening to the soundtrack prior to the show so couldn't wait to see it brought to life.

Aladdin show London

Aladdin exceeded all my expectations! With the catchy songs, bright costumes, dancing, magical staging and electrical atmosphere, there was so much to take in. It's one of those musicals that make you smile the entire way through! I also love how much humour was thrown into the show and made you literally laugh out loud. The Genie had to be my favourite every character because he had it all - the singing voice, dancing ability and greatest humour which had the audience in tears. The show was phenomenal and seeing the magic carpet fly into the sky to a 'whole new world' topped it all off.

Aladdin show London

Aladdin show London

If you haven't seen it already, I'd 100% recommend getting yourself a ticket! It's such a feel good show for all ages. 


I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you seen Aladdin in London?

Thank you for reading <3

2017 beauty favourites

Well hello to you my reader chums! Instead of posting my December favourites, I wanted to write a round up of all the products I've been loving in 2017. There's been a fair few beauty discoveries this past year, many of which have now become my everyday staples.

Here are my 2017 beauty favourites...

2017 beauty favourites

Revlon  'Colour stay' foundation
My everyday staple foundation this year has been Revlon's 'colour stay' for many reasons. It has the best medium coverage, easy blending ability, a flawless finish and wide range of colours suited for a variety of skin tones. There's also two different foundations for varied skin types and the pump is a God send. I couldn't recommend it enough if you're looking for a foundation that covers any blemishes and gives an even look without caking up the skin. Read my full review here.

Kat Von D liquid eye liner
When I was in New York, I finally got round to picking up the hyped Kat Von D liquid eye liner. I didn't think anything could top the L'oreal super liner, however I was wrong. This liquid liner is a staple black, holds in place all day long and the thin nib makes it really easy to get that perfect wing. Here's my full review.

Maybelline 'Lash sensational' mascara
I'm not entirely sure how long I've been obsessed with this mascara, but I'm pretty certain that everyday I wore mascara in 2017, I chose this one. It's the only mascara I've found that keeps my straight eye lashes curly all day long with the darkest colour. The wand is slightly curved that helps with easy application and doesn't add any thick bits of product to the lashes.

Tarte's 'Tartelette in the bloom' palette
I've tried a fair few new palettes this year but Tarte's 'tartelette in the bloom' has to be my favourite one. There's a variety of colours from nude shades, shimmery options and dark burgundy colours, that the palette can be use from day to night. I've loved rocking simple day looks to full on dramatic smoky eyes with this palette. The colours are intensely pigmented, they blend well and lasts ages on the eyes, I couldn't recommend it enough. View the full swatches here.

Hoola bronzer
I'm a massive bronzer fan and when I finally got my hands on Hoola bronzer, I instantly fell in love. It's the perfect shade to contour the cheekbones and add some colour into the skin. The packaging is super cute and it holds the contour all day long. If you want to treat yourself to a new bronzer, this is for you.

Urban Decay concealer
This concealer has it all. The thick consistency covers blemishes like a dream, it blends pretty easily and is very long lasting. As the concealer is very thick, you only need the tiniest bit to put under the eyes or on a blemish to do the full job. It's coverage, consistency and colour range have my vote. Here's my review.

2017 beauty favourites


Garnier micellar face wash
I'm not one to change my skincare up on a regular basis, however this past year I've been loving a new face wash. Garnier's micellar face wash is ultra gentle and leaves your skin feeling super fresh. It has the ability to take off light makeup and is easy to squirt out the correct amount with the handy pump. If you have sensitive skin and need a face wash that isn't too harsh, I'd recommend this.

Sleek eye brow kit
I feel like 2017 was the year of eye brows for me as instead of just using eye shadows, I got round to purchasing an actual eye brow kit. By using a kit, I've noticed a big difference with how much longer my brows stay in place and the colour being that extra bit prominent. This Sleek palette in 'light' is the perfect light brown shade mixed with the wax that matches my brows like a dream.

Sleek highlighting palette in 'Cleopatra's kiss'
I love a good highlighting palette and Sleek always do the best kits. The 'Cleopatra kiss' palette includes two creamy and two powder based gold/bronzed shades. Even though it's better as a highlight for the summer, I found I could rock this all year round as the shades add that extra bit of warmth to the skin. You can really vamp it up to a full on highlight of go for a simple look with this palette.

Nyx's liquid lipsticks
Matte lipsticks have always been my go to as I've never been the biggest fan of gloss or a sparkle on the lips, that when it comes to liquid lipsticks I can't get enough. The Nyx's version have been a staple all year round and I've constantly had one of them in my handbag just in case I wanted a pop of colour. My favourite picks are 'Cannes' and 'Rome', both different nude shades, one subtle and the other, quite vampy. They do a whole range of different colours and apply ever so creamy on the lips. I'll be sure to buy more to add to my collection this year.

Nars matte lipstick in 'Cruella'
Red lipstick is my favourite shade to rock on evenings out and of course in the festive season. One I've been absolutely obsessed with in 2017 is Nars matte lipstick in 'Cruella'. It's the perfect red shade, has a creamy formulation, is long-lasting on the lips and keeps to its matte name. I couldn't recommend it enough if you're in need of a new red lipstick. Here's my full review.

Lush 'Cupcake' face mask
Lush Cosmetics is one of my favourite brands. There's nothing better than having a bath with one of their products after a long day. Their facemasks are also fantastic products and I've been loving their 'Cupcake' one this past year. It smells great, leaves the skin feeling ultra fresh and cleansed that I can't fault it.

I hope you enjoyed my 2017 favourites. Which products have you been loving this past year?

Thank you for reading <3