Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Petals Of Perfection Is 3 Years Old!

Where have those 3 years gone?! I started Petals Of Perfection on a quiet Saturday afternoon, in bed on the 28th September 2013! I remember the day so clearly... I was sitting in bed watching endless amounts of YouTube (nothing has changed there haha) and I remember thinking that I really wanted to give YouTube a go. At the time, I was still at school in my last year of GCSEs and didn't have much confidence. The idea of sitting in front of a camera and making videos for the whole world to see, including people at school, scared the absolute crap out of me. I had been watching YouTube since I was about 11/12 years old and I really liked the idea of making content, but due to my low confidence I thought blogging would be the best way to start ... I mean, Zoella started as a blogger, why can't I!? 

I typed into Google "Free Blog" and of course Blogger came up. At the time blogging wasn't that big, it was all about YouTube, so I had no idea how to set up a blog. I tried my best to throw together a template and to set it up as much as possible! I remember my template being SO messy! The background was covered in an ugly floral print and the text was all curved and 'pretty' and the colour of the font was so light, you could barely read it! We've all made those mistakes... these mistakes are like the equivalent of wearing Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse and thinking you were the next makeup up artist for Vogue! 

I had the idea for this blog post just before I went to sleep last night; I thought I could relate my blogging experience/milestones so far to the same milestones that a 3 year old toddler has. Yes, I know... blame the late night thoughts haha! So I googled what milestones do 3 year olds develop in their 3rd year of existence and these are some that came up!

They make more friends as they begin to start nursery ... 

Over the years, I have made SO many friends through blogging, some of which I've met and others who I am hoping to meet in the near future! When I first started my blog back in 2013, I didn't promote it at all... I didn't have any social media for it whatsoever! I think it was in 2014, maybe even 2015, I made a Twitter and Instagram to promote my blog and to interact with other bloggers. A year or so later, I've managed to somehow gain over 5000 'followers'/friends on Twitter and over 1100 on Instagram! My followers are going up in dramatic amounts daily... I've gained nearly 100 followers on Twitter in only a couple of days! It is absolutely mental but I'm so grateful for all of the support I get! 

Toddlers begin to start getting involved in more activities...

Blogging has allowed me to be invited to a number of events such as; the Makeup Revolution Birthday party, the Beauty Blogger Awards (which I'm also a finalist in... crazyyy) and many more! Although I still get quite anxious at events, I'm so so grateful that blogging has allowed me to get involved in more activities... I would never be able to experience these things if it wasn't for my blog! 

Toddlers can also make more choices...

Blogging gives you so much freedom! It's your little place on the big world wide web where you can do purely what YOU want to do and you have no limitations... which is very rare in todays world! You can work with so many brands and make the choice whether you want to work with them or not. This is one main thing I have got out of blogging; I am now able to say that I have worked with some massive brands, to name a few; Microsoft, The Body Shop, Nokia, Tangle Teezer, Hello! Magazine, John Frieda... the list goes on! This is especially good for me as, I want to go into the advertising and marketing/PR career, so to have these companies on my CV is going to open plenty of doors for me... I have blogging to thank for this! 

Toddlers also sleep a lot at this age, after a busy day at nursery...

I had to think hard about how I could relate this to my blog but then I thought... sleeping is sort of like taking a break?! Yay... Nay!?!? meh... I have had many breaks from blogging in the past few years. When I first started blogging, I used to just blog whenever I felt like it. Then I got more into a schedule and I'd blog every week; which I think went on for about a year, until I started uni and if you go to uni and have a blog, you'll understand how hard they are to juggle! I've had a long break recently and this is the first post I've done in ages that I have actually enjoyed writing! 

Lastly, toddlers become more independent... 

As I said at the start of this post, I always wanted to do YouTube but never had the balls to do it, until 5 months ago. After my break up (which I guess you can say, this is where I became more independent) my mental health deteriorated dramatically and I needed a creative outlet to help me get through it all, so I started YouTube. At first I really enjoyed it and I got addicted to making videos. I still enjoy it now but I'm finding it hard to come across like I'm happy and obviously when I'm anxious/depressed, I'm not very exciting to watch. I am hoping that I get back into it and fall in love with it again; but similarly to blogging, vlogging has allowed me to become more independent and create the content that I have always wanted to create!

So that's it! 3 years... with hopefully many more years to come! 

I don't know where this blog is going to go from here, but what I do know is that I am so so glad little 16 year old Sophie started this, because little did she know how far it would get her and what amazing experiences it would bring! 

Thank you all for the support over the past 3 years!
Happy 3rd Birthday Petals Of Perfection!
(yes I did nearly cry just writing that)


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Body Shop Make up* #AD

When I think of The Body Shop, I think of the mango scented shower gel and the strawberry body cream; I forget about all of the make up that they have on offer! So when The Body Shop got in contact with me and told me that they wanted to send me some make up, of course I did not turn that offer down! As you may know, I am a make up addict... my Alex drawers are over filling and I have no room in them at all. But, that doesn't stop me from getting new make up; I need to feed my addiction in some sort of way ;) 
For a few years now I have been watching Velvetgh0st (Gabriella) and she has always mentioned The Body Shop make up, so I was very eager to try it all out! They were so so generous and sent me ridiculous amounts, which I am honestly so grateful for! In this post I am going to just show you what they sent me and where you can buy it yourselves and my first little opinion on the products. Then, over on my YouTube I have filmed a first impressions/testing the make up in a tutorial and I have given my full overall honest review... so make sure you go and watch that after you've read this! 

The thing I was most excited about when I opened the package was the InstaBlur Primer! I have been wanting to try this for SO long but just could not justify spending £14 on a primer that might not have worked for me, if I had income then I would not mind haha! However, since using it I would say it's definitely worth the £14 and it's for sure the best primer I have used so far! 
I have really oily skin so layering primer, foundation and concealer on my face is risky business, because the oil in my skin just washes it all up and makes it look cakey! However, this primer is 10000000000% mattifying but not drying; which is certainly what I look for in a primer... and to top it all off, it makes my foundation look soooo silky smooth! 
I also got sent the InstaBlur Eye Primer! If you are subscribed to me on YouTube and watch my videos, you'll know that I am a big fan of the Makeup Revolution eye primer... however, I think this one has topped it! Not only is it an eye primer, it's also conceals! What more could you want?! The consistency is quite think and as you initially apply it it does go quite crumbly but once it's all worked in, it works a treat; and it's only £10! 
To go on top of these primers I've been given a Fresh Nude Foundation in the shade Bora Bora; which is hands down the best colour match I have ever had with a foundation! This foundation is very similar to the Revlon Colourstay one, which I have raved about in the past; although, it is a lighter coverage and does not cake up as much as the revlon one! It is 10000% build-able if you want more coverage, but it is a great foundation if you just want to make yourself look more awake! 
You can't feel it on your skin and it sits nicely on top of the InstaBlur Primer, it also blends out easily leaving a silky smooth finish! Not forgetting the scent!!! The Body Shop are famous for their scents and they even managed to make their make up smell good enough to eat! I can't explain the scent at all... but just go into the store and smell it for yourself... the scent alone is worth the £15.00!
If the foundation did not match my shade then fear no more... They sent me the Shade Adjusting Drops which are honestly going to save me so much money! I'm useless at colour matching and my skin is constantly going from tanned to Casper the fricking Ghost! 
They kindly sent me both the lightening and darkening drops, which I will certainly be using when I buy a foundation that doesn't match my skin at all! I'll no longer be wasting my money on foundation that doesn't match my skin... hallelujah to the make up Gods! 
A bonus on top of this is that you can also use these for contour, which is what I did in my video and they also mention it on their website! The darkening shade is the perfect tone for my skin and blends so easily to create the most subtle and natural looking contour! It feels nice and light on the skin as well, especially compared to cream contours that I usually use! These drops retail at £10 each and they are worth every penny as they do a variety of jobs! 
The Body Shop also sent me their Lip & Cheek Stain! I had never tried a cream/stain blush so I was very curious as to how this would sit on my oily skin! They sent me the shade Vineyard Peach which is a very stunning, vibrant colour and when you initially put it on, it can be quite scary but once you blend it in, it gives you the nicest flush of colour and healthy glow! I would definitely recommend this as a cheek stain however, I don't think I am very convinced about using it as a lip stain. 
As you will see in my video, it picked up on all the dry parts of my lips and it doesn't have much consistency (due to it being a stain) so really, if you've got dry lips like me, what you're really doing is making the chapped part of your lips a different colour and making them more obvious! But for £8 you can't go wrong and it is a great alternative for a powder blush and the colour variety is amazing!
This next thing I was VERY excited about... They sent me their Down To Earth Eye Palette!!!! If you know me and you've seen my Alex drawers, you'll know that I am OBSESSED with eye shadow... I have a whole drawer (which is now running out of room) filled with palettes and I'm so excited for this one to join the eye shadow family! 
I couldn't actually find this palette on their website so I'm not sure if it is new or not but you can buy them as quad palettes and build up your little collection like mine ;) I love this palette... the purple tones make my hazel eyes pop! It has got a great variety of matte and shimmer shades which are super pigmented and easy to blend and work with! 
*EXTRA BONUS* the shade on the left bottom row is PERFECT for contour if you have fair skin! I used it for contour in my video and it is the perfect cool/ashy tone that doesn't leave you with that typical orange line that contour usually gives you!
Now this next thing, I am not a massive fan of but that is only because I am absolutely useless at using it and I need a lot more practice! They sent me the Smoky 2 In 1 Gel Liner, retailing at £10! I had never tried a gel liner before and now I know why... I just can't get the hang of it. So I apologise now for the appalling eye liner in my video! 
It is definitely not the product that is the problem, it is just me... oh god, that sounded like the cliche break up line "It's not you, it's me" ... yep that has been used on me before *rolls eyes*! The consistency of this product is like a pomade. It is very hard to work with in my opinion, however if you use a different brush to the one that is with the product for the flick part of your eyeliner, then it might work for you. But personally this is not one for me (Sorry, The Body Shop)! 

Last, but certainly not least was their Super Volume Mascara, retailing at £10! I am a fibre lash wearer so I was very sceptical about this mascara! The wand is a standard narrow mascara wand with brush like bristles which help to fan out your eye lashes so you can flutter them at everyone in sight! The bristles are spaced apart to create that volume and curve! I think this mascara would work perfectly paired with the Maybelline Lash Sensational! 

I hope you liked this post!
Thank you so so much to The Body Shop for working with me and sending me all these lovely products to try!

Don't forget to check out my video where you can see me testing the make up; and it would be great if you could give me a cheeky subscribe, like and comment while you're there!

Have you tried The Body Shop makeup?
What is your favourite product from there?
Let me know in the comments below :)

*This post is in collaboration with The Body Shop. All products have been sent to me as PR samples however, all opinions are my own and have not been influenced by the brand. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Hello! Fashion Monthly*

Remind me, what's the essentials for bloggers again?! Marble, cacti, light boxes, rose gold and.... oh yeah, magazines! I am a massive lover of magazines, any form of easy reading is my kinda thing, so when I saw that Hello! have brought out a new monthly fashion magazine, I fell in love! 

I read Hello! magazine like no tomorrow, especially when I'm on holiday so this looked like my kind of thing. I have bought Vogue and other fashion magazines before but they all seemed a bit over hyped! They basically included endless amounts of adverts and those scratch and sniff samples of perfumes (who doesn't love them though ahha). They have the odd article but it's never anything too fulfilling and most of the fashion is designer and catwalk, where as Hello! Fashion Monthly (HFM) has the perfect blend between high street and high end! It has got the same feel as a 'high fashion magazine' but it remains to target the high street shoppers and current readers of Hello! Magazine. 
I am constantly looking for a new style, with the constant pressure from social media to look good, I feel like cinderella in my rags from the high street! I want to be more Cinderella at the ball than Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight. But it has been proven that you do not need designer labels to look like a VS model... high street fashion can also transform you to the Cinderella who goes to the ball! After all, high street fashion does come from the fashion you see on catwalks, and HFM confirms that. There are endless pages of designer clothes paired with high street alternatives, which inspire and educate you about all the new trends (which realistically we all need because there's some new kind of trend every single day)! 
Not forgetting, it is only £1... yes you read that right, ONE POUND! A 196 page of pure fashion heaven! Perfect for all of you bloggers out there *wink wink*! As well as a FREE 50 page catwalk guide... this is personally my favourite part because it's so visual and vibrant! 

To jump on this fashion heaven bandwagon and to nab a new blog photo prop *wink wink, nudge nudge* order your copy below or subscribe to get the Fashion Special for Free and on top of all of this you get 7 Free Lee Stafford hair products which are worth £43... a blogger can never have too many products ;) 

Sorry but £6 for 6 months and FREE delivery of every issue (and before it's available in stores) WHAT IS NOT TO LIKE!?

Have you got yours?!

Thank you Hello! for working with me on this post and thank you so so much for the gorgeous HFM branded Aspinal of London Keyring ... I am in love!

*Disclaimer: Hello! have sent me these products to review as a PR package however, all opinions and content are my own and have not been influenced by the brand!