5 Beauty Products I Couldn't Live Without

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

As a beauty lover, I have so many different products that I've lost count of how many I own. Much to my boyfriends dismay, I've taken over his drawers in the bedroom and many of the drawers in the bathroom with all my products. I know it's all materialistic and many of them I really don't need, however, there's a few I genuinely don't think I could live without.  

1./Micellar Water 
I'm not particularly brand loyal for Micellar Water having previously used the Garnier Micellar Water and now using the Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution (full review here). However, I couldn't be without this product. It's so good at removing make up and cleaning my skin, ensuring all impurities are removed. I don't really know what I used to do before Micellar Water was a thing!

This might feel like a bit of a strange one, but I genuinely couldn't live without Sudocrem. If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know how much I rave about this stuff! It's perfect for healing spots quickly, bringing them to a head and helping to clear them up. I've spoken about this in more detail in my Sudocrem - The Best Skincare Product? post so I won't go on about it too much here, but yes, definitely couldn't live without it!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this on my blog before and following on from the Sudocrem, I apply Bio-Oil once the spot has healed over, but has still left a mark. Whenever I have spots, I always find I'm left with scarring (probably because I'm really bad at picking spots!), but Bio-Oil is great at reducing the scarring and returning my skin back to it's normal form - I love it. 

In general, I couldn't live without facial moisuriser, if I was only allowed one skincare product it would have to be this. However, I'm particularly a fan of this one from The Body Shop because it's so nourishing and hydrating which always leave my skin silky soft, I can't beat it! 

This is another product that I've raved about many times on my blog. For me, lip balm is my safety blanket, it goes everywhere with me. This one from Nuxe is by far the best lip balm I've ever used, it's so good at healing dry lips. I ran out of it a few weeks ago and hadn't had the chance to buy a new one, so had to revert to another brand and it just wasn't the same. The Nuxe Reve de Miel is a firm favourite of mine.

What beauty products can you not live without?

Summer Holiday Wishlist

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Summer is well and truly here, which means it's time to start planning what I need to buy for my summer holiday! I'm not going away until a bit later this year, so I have plenty of time to stock up, as normally my holiday comes around too quickly and I'm not prepared. Here's a few things that are on my wishlist this year.

No holiday would be complete without a camera and this LUMIX GH5 is definitely the Best CSC Camera that I've come across. It's perfect for holidays because it's compact, meaning that it's easy to carry around with you to ensure you don't miss any photo opportunities whilst away. Not only that, but it films in 4K and takes photos in 6K - ideal for providing the best holiday photos. I love taking photos whilst away as the scenery is always so beautiful and the sky is always so blue, I just know this camera will take such beautiful photos and capture all my memories to relive after the holiday is over.  

These glasses are just stunning. I've never invested in a pair of sunglasses, instead always buying cheaper ones that break after a few months, but I've recently fallen in love with these from Dior. I really like reflected glasses and these are just stunning in the copper shade too. They'd be perfect for my summer holiday!

I love Longchamp bags and already have the Le Pliage Tote Bag which is the best handbag I've had. It's so spacious and is great for everyday use. Therefore, when I saw this Jeremy Scott Travel bag on the Longchamp website, I knew it would be perfect for my holiday. I think it would be great to chuck beach towels in and other essentials that are needed when away. Plus, I love the unique design - it's super cute for summer.

I've wanted a pair of Birkenstocks for as long as I can remember. They look so super comfy and look ideal to throw on before heading out exploring / heading to the beach. I like to explore the local area whilst away and simple flip flops aren't always very sturdy, so these Birkenstocks would be perfect. 

I'm absolutely loving these really quirky inflatables at the moment, they seem so much fun! This Watermelon one on ASOS looks perfect for lounging around on in the pool. Definitely on the pricey side for an inflatable, but you can't put a price on fun! 

Okay, this is probably the most impractical swimsuit I've ever seen, but it's also one of the prettiest. I'm pretty sure it would be really hot and not too sure how the sequins would look when wet, but you can't deny it's a beautiful swimsuit. 

I really like this sundress. I'm all about light, airy dresses whilst away. I love being able to throw them on to head to the beach / out exploring as they cover you up without making you feel super hot. I hate clothes that cling to you when it's hot, so this dress looks like just the thing I'm after. 

When I'm away, I love going out for dinner and getting dressed up in pretty summer dresses and this bag seems like the perfect accessory. It's such a beautiful colour and I think it would go with a lot of my summer dresses. I don't like to take too much out with me, so this would be ideal for my phone, keys and money etc. 

There's my summer holiday wishlist. Definitely some pricier options, but you've got to aim high right? What's on your summer holiday wishlist? I'd love to know.

(this is a paid for post, but all views are my own)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

*DISCLAIMER this post contains NO SPOILERS*

Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood. I read all the books (twice!) and have seen the films more times than I care to count. Also, I've been to the Harry Potter studios, which you can read all about here! When J.K Rowling published the last book, I was really sad as there would be no more Harry Potter stories for me to get lost in. However, at least the films were still ongoing, but then they finished and I thought there'd never be anything new for me to enjoy from the world of Harry Potter, but I was wrong.

When Harry Potter and the Cursed Child first hit the headlines, I couldn't quite believe it - a sequel to Harry Potter?! However, it seemed impossible to get tickets and I remember thinking that it was only going to be on for a short amount of time, so resigned myself to the fact that I'd never go. Anyway, much to my delight, they released more tickets in the summer of 2016. One morning, my colleagues and I all sat anxiously waiting for the tickets to go on sale. Once they did, I remember I was stuck in a queue of about 50,000 people, I had no chance! Luckily, one of my colleagues got through and I was able to get tickets, but not until June 2017 which seemed so far away!

However, the next thing I knew, it was 10th June 2017 and we were finally off to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. For those who don't know, it's essentially two plays - it's split into two parts and you buy tickets for both. We saw the first part as the matinee and then the second part as the evening performance. Going into the show, I had no idea of the story. Part of me had purposefully avoided any spoilers, but also there's a massive secrecy surrounding the play with their tagline #keepthesecrets, on badges and the tickets. That's part of the reason why I started my post with the disclaimer of no spoilers, because I really believe everyone should be able to go in and enjoy it without having any idea what's going to happen.

What I will say though, is that it's an amazing show! Whilst I was super excited to finally see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, part of me was unsure how much I'd enjoy spending a whole day in the theatre. Don't get me wrong I love seeing shows, but I'm easily distracted! However, I needn't have worried as the time went crazily quickly. The story picks up from the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and then moves swiftly into a new story line. Without giving anything away, the production of this show is outstanding, it genuinely looks like magic is being performed in front of your very eyes, I couldn't get over it! The acting was also incredible. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to believe the characters, having seen the film actors portray them for so long, but their acting instantly drew me in. I genuinely think it's the best play I've ever seen. It was so gripping and I felt fully immersed in the world of Harry Potter again, something which I truly love.

I know they've recently released more tickets, but I think they've sold out too. If you ever have the chance to see this play, you HAVE to go! I genuinely can't recommend it enough, it's simply amazing! 

Have you seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone | Review

Sunday, 11 June 2017

I recently tried and reviewed the Dr Botanicals Advanced Anti-Oxidant Superfood Facial Oil and absolutely loved it, so I was really excited when I was given the chance to try their Cleanse & Tone Cleanser. For those who don't know, Dr Botanicals is a cruelty free, vegan brand who only use natural ingredients. For me this is becoming increasingly important when I'm thinking about what products to apply to my skin, so I'm always on the lookout for ethical brands to incorporate into my skincare routine.

Having removed my make up in the evening, I then cleanse my face. I must admit, I'm not very good at using a toner because I'm a little lazy when it comes to skincare and as I'm often really tired just before bed, I like to use as few steps as possible in my skincare routine. Therefore, the Cleanse & Tone Cleanser from Dr Botanicals is absolutely perfect for me as it combines two steps into one!

What do I think of the Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone Cleanser?
So far, I've been really impressed. I've been using it daily for a couple of weeks and have really noticed how healthy my skin is looking. It's infused with essential oils and Elderflower extract to restore the PH balance in your skin, helping to prevent oiliness or dryness. Also, it heals and smooths inflamed, irritated skin, whilst wiping away dirt and impurities for fresh and hydrated skin. The pump makes it super easy to apply and it's a cream cleanser which is definitely my favourite type of cleanser. It's not heavily scented which I like as I'm not a massive fan of putting really fragrant cleansers on my face (it makes me worried about the ingredients inside!) This has quickly become part of my daily skincare routine and I've found myself reaching for this way more than other cleansers I own. Once I've removed my make up, I apply this onto my damp face massaging it in, in a circular motion before rinsing it off and then applying my Dr Botanicals Advanced Anti-Oxidant Superfood Facial Oil.

The Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone Cleanser feels so light and refreshing to apply to my skin and always leaves my skin feeling really fresh and clean. I haven't experienced any breakouts since using it and have really noticed how healthy my skin looks. I love how radiant Dr Botanicals products leave my skin, you can really notice the difference when using natural products.

As with all their products, the Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone Cleanser is a little on the pricey side and is priced at £64.90. However, they've very kindly given me a discount code for all my readers. You just need to enter 'BLONDEBLOG at the checkout and you can get the Cleanse & Tone product for just £19.99! This is such an amazing offer and I really think you get a lot for your money with this cleanser, I'm 100% going to stock up on it because I've really fallen in love with it. However, you need to be quick as the code is only valid until the end of June!

Have you tried the Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone Cleanser? I'd love to know your thoughts! 

Bondi Sands | Review

Thursday, 8 June 2017

As a very fair, pale, blonde girl I barely tan. Going on holiday once a year gives me a touch of colour, but nothing more. Therefore, you’d think I’d be super knowledgeable about fake tan in an attempt to add some colour to my skin, but you’d be wrong. Until a couple of months ago, I’d never bought fake tan. A couple of times, I’d stood staring aimlessly at the fake tan shelves hoping that I’d somehow know which one to buy or which one would be most suitable for my skin, but unfortunately, I remained clueless. However, this year I’m not going away until later in the year so knew I couldn’t go through the whole of summer without a tan, so thought it was time to invest in some fake tan. I asked my lovely Twitter followers for some advice on the best brands and products and Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam came out top.

As a fake tanning newbie, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on any product in case it all went wrong and I ended up wasting all my money, therefore at £14.99 Bondi Sands sounded like the best brand for me to try. Even after I’d bought it, I waited a good few weeks before I first used it as I was still so scared. Again, I reached out on Twitter for everyone’s hints and tips and eventually plucked up the courage to fake tan for the very first time.

What did I think of Bondi Sands Tanning Foam?

It’s super easy to apply. I use a mitt and just rub it into my skin in a circular motion like I do a moisturiser and it goes into my skin really well. Every time I’ve used it, I’ve made sure I’ve exfoliated my skin beforehand which makes the application much easier.

Fake Tan is renowned for not having the best of fragrances and this was something that I'd prepared myself for. However, the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam has a really nice coconut scent to it when you apply it, which always gets me in the mood for summer. Having said that, I do find once it's drying it doesn't hold the coconut scent and instead changes to that more 'biscuity' scent that fake tan is known for, which isn't the best.  

Bondi Sands recommend that you leave the tan on for a minimum of one hour and a maximum of six hours before washing off. I must admit, that due to the smell and the unfamiliarity with wearing fake tan, I haven't been able to wear it for more than an hour, instead choosing to wash it off after an hour. Despite this, I've seen really good results. As we're not quite in the height of summer, I didn't want a full on tan, instead I just wanted a hint of colour to take the edge off of my super pale skin. I found that leaving the tan on for an hour and then washing it off, provided me with the glow I was after. Not only that, but it lasted a good few days and faded evenly which meant I didn't have to stand in the shower scrubbing it off. The longer you leave it, the darker the tan is and I think this would definitely last longer too, so I'm excited to try that once we hit the peak of summer.

As I already mentioned, the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is only £14.99, which is such a good price! Admittedly, there are cheaper brands out there, but I'm always a little worried about how good the quality is. Also, there are many other brands that are a lot more expensive and whilst I've never tried another brand, I do think Bondi Sands is really good value for money.

Would I recommend Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam?
Yes, definitely! Whilst I have nothing else to compare it to, I do think it is a really good fake tan. If I can I use it successfully and I'm clueless when it comes to fake tan, then anyone can use it!

Have you tried Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam? I'd love to know your thoughts! Also if you want to share any fake tanning tips with me, I'd love to hear them, I'm still really new to this world!

Thanks Dad

Sunday, 4 June 2017

With Father’s Day fast approaching, I always reflect on the good times I’ve had with my Dad. I’m very lucky because my parents are still together and I grew up in a very loving environment. My Dad has always been very supportive of all the decisions I’ve made and helped support me through university, which without him, I would have found very hard to do. I was recently contacted by the Car People who as part of their 'Thanks Dad' campaign are encouraging people to reflect on their favourite car journey with their Dad. Whilst I’ve had many car journeys with my Dad over the years, I think the trips to and from university are some of the most memorable.

Dad drove me to university on my very first day and picked my up on my very last (with many trips in between!) Going to university in Norwich meant it was about a 2.5-3 hour journey back home to London, which I did countless times over my 3 years at university. However, there’s one car journey that particularly stands out in my mind and is most definitely my favourite journey we shared together.

It was the end of the first term of my second year at university and my Mum was turning 50 on 13th December, which was just before term ended. I’d apologised to my Mum that I wouldn’t be able to spend her actual birthday with her as I had my last week of lectures, but little did she know, behind her back, my Dad and I were planning her a surprise. I’d asked Dad if he wouldn’t mind taking the day off work to come and pick me up from university. I often got the train home, but as it was the end of term and I had about a month off, I had a lot of stuff to take with me! Anyway, he kindly agreed to come and pick me up, keeping it a surprise from Mum (he even briefed his secretary to tell my Mum he was in a meeting should she call!) He arrived to pick me up and it was so lovely to see him. I always missed my parents when I was at university, so it was lovely to be greeted by them at the end of term. Dad and I packed up the car and began our journey back to London. It was such a fun journey, we were chatting about how my term had gone and were both excited to see my Mum's reaction when we got home. Dad always put CDs on when we travelled home, often a new artist he’d discovered and wanted to share with me. I don’t think he realises how much I enjoyed those journeys with him. Once home, I rang the doorbell and to my Mum's utter surprise, there I stood. She was in complete shock and had no idea that Dad and I had been planning this for weeks. It was so lovely for my Dad and I to be in on a little secret that we knew Mum would love. I’ll never forget the look on her face, it was such a special moment, which without my Dad, I’d never have been able to do.

So thanks Dad. I don’t think I tell you often enough how much you mean to me and how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for me over the years. Happy Father’s day, you deserve nothing but the best.

What’s your favourite car journey with your dad? I’d love to know! 

Arbonne RE9 Advanced | Review

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My skincare routine is something that I need to work on. Leading quite a busy lifestyle, it's the first thing that slips. Whilst I cleanse and moisturise in the evenings, I rarely do much else with my skin. For me, this seems to work, but as I'm getting older (sob!) I know it's something I need to take the time to do. I was recently contacted by Becky who is a health and wellness consultant for the brand Arbonne and she asked me if I wanted to try some of their skincare range. She told me it was Vegan and cruelty free, so I was instantly interested. This is something I'm definitely keen to incorporate into my skincare regime as all too often brands are using products that's are harmful to animals, which is never okay. 

When the parcel arrived, I was super excited to see that I'd been sent the full Arbonne RE9 Advanced range which included:
  • Smoothing Facial Cleanser
  • Regenerating Toner
  • Intensive Renewal Serum
  • Corrective Cream
  • Restorative Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen
  • Extra Moisture Restorative Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen
  • Night Repair Cream
Fortunately for me, the products also came with comprehensive instructions and what order to use the products in which I definitely needed! The Arbonne RE9 Advanced range contains Vitamin C and sustainable orange stem cells with anti ageing qualities. The orange stem cells help improve the appearance of skin radiance, elasticity and firmness which help provide truly healthy looking skin.    

What did I think of the Arbonne RE9 Advance range?
I loved it! I really enjoyed following a strict skincare routine and the products definitely helped my skin to feel clean, hydrated and nourished. I'm always a little apprehensive about trying new skincare brands because I'm worried that they're going to cause an outbreak of spots, which I don't need. However, I definitely didn't find this with the Arbonne RE9 Advanced range. As I was sent samples of the products, I only used them on 3-4 occasions so I didn't get to see the long term effects. Despite this, on their website Arbonne have before and after results from some of their customers and you can definitely see how effective the products are. Therefore, I'm sure I'd see these effects on my skin, should I use them for a prolonged amount of time. 

The products didn't feel at all heavy on my skin, which is often the case with some brands. They're lightly scented which is always a plus because if the scent is too strong, it's really off putting and I don't enjoy using it on my skin.

The Arbonne  RE9 Advanced range is a little on the pricier side. The whole range costs £299, but that does include 6 products. Having never heard much about the brand Arbonne, I'm now definitely intrigued to know more. They have a range of products, not just skincare, so it's definitely worth checking them out!

Have you used any products from Arbonne? I'd love to know your thoughts! 

Favourite Products Under £10

Sunday, 28 May 2017

As an avid beauty lover, I can often find I spend a lot of money on make up and whilst I do love high end make up, sometimes it's good to look for more cheaper alternatives to help the money go further! There's so many good options from the drugstore brands, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite products under £10.

I recently reviewed this on my blog and having never tried any high end colour correctors, I don’t have anything to compare it to. However, I’ve really fallen in love with this product from Sleek, I apply it before my foundation to help even out my skin tone. I can definitely notice a difference in my skin when I use this.

Okay, I'm sneaking this one in because it's 99p more than the £10 limit, but it's so good, I couldn't not include it! This foundation has featured on my blog so many times and it’s no secret it’s a firm favourite of mine. It’s such a long lasting and high coverage foundation, I’ve been recommending it to everyone. Also, they have shades that cater so well for pale skin, which is always a plus in my eyes. All this for only £10.99, what’s not to love?

This has been a staple in my make up bag for as long as I can remember. Since discovering it, I haven’t tried any other face powders as this is so good! I have both the 001 Transparent shade (for when I just want to set my make up) and 004 Sandstorm for when I want to add some colour to my skin. This helps make up to stay in place and is so ridiculously cheap, I don’t think I’ll ever find a powder as good as this!

I don’t know a blogger who hasn’t tried this. It’s probably the best value make up product on the market. It’s a really high coverage foundation, that is great at concealing and is really easy to blend. I like to use the lightest shade ‘Fair’ in the Winter and as I start to get a bit of colour in the Summer, I move to 2 ‘Medium Cool’. If you haven’t tried this concealer, you have to! It’s too good not to!

This eyeshadow palette is a perfect dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, but at £4.00 it’s a much, much cheaper option! Whilst the shades are really pigmented, they’re not as long lasting (unless you use a primer), but given the price difference, I definitely think it’s worth it.

The Supercat Eyeliner is my favourite liquid liner I’ve ever tried, to me it’s fool proof for doing winged eyeliner (and trust me, I am a fool when it comes to winged eyeliner!) It has a felt tip like nib, which is perfect for helping with precision. Also, it’s very long lasting and one application in the morning will stay in place all day.

I love all the Rimmel lipsticks, but particularly the Kate Moss ones. I think this is my favourite shade because it’s quite out of my comfort, but is such a beautiful shade. The Rimmel lipsticks are really long lasting and pigmented, they’re just as good as their more high end counterparts.

This is definitely in the higher end of the £10 limit, but at £9.50 it just sneaks in! I fell in love with this lip balm last year and haven’t looked back since. Lip balm is my comfort blanket and I don’t go anywhere without it. Whilst a little on the pricier side, I love this lip balm as it’s so nourishing and has nursed my lips through the cold months.

So they're my top products under £10. It just shows that there are cheaper ways to buy and enjoy make up, it's not always about the high end brands. I'd love to know what your favourite products under £10 are, let me know in the comments below. 

Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A few months ago I blogged about the Nutella and M&M Cookie Pizza I'd made as part of my works 'Bake Off' and announced that I actually won that round. This week was the final and we were told to make our 'showcase' bake that would win us the competition. I instantly knew what I was going to bake - Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin. This is a recipe my friend sent me a few years ago and it's always my 'go to' bake as it's super easy to do and always gets lots of compliments.

What you'll need
100g Dark Chocolate
300g Milk Chocolate
100g Butter
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
275g Digestive Biscuits (crushed)
250g Malteasers

1) Melt dark chocolate, 100g milk chocolate, butter and syrup together
2) Stir in digestives and malteasers and pour into lined tin – flatten
3) Melt remaining milk chocolate and pour over
4) Leave to set in the fridge
5) Once cold, cut into pieces

As I mentioned, it's super easy to make and again, they went down really well. I'm definitely glad I chose those as my final bake. Unfortunately, I didn't win, however, the person who did was definitely a worthy winner. If you're after a really easy, but effective bake to impress you friends or have for a party, I really recommend these Malteaser Chocolate Tiffin.

If you do make these, make sure to let me know what you think!

8 Ways I've Grown my Blog

Sunday, 21 May 2017

For those who don’t know, I first started Ramblings of a Blonde back in 2013. However, due to uni and then new job commitments, I never really had the opportunity to grow it. Not only that, but I was quite naïve, I didn’t realise there was a thriving blogging community and as a rare user of Twitter, I didn’t appreciate it was the optimal place to meet fellow bloggers. Therefore, I've only recently started to have more time to concentrate on my blog and  to grow it, so I thought I'd share some of my tips for growing your blog.

1./Twitter chats
I definitely think this has been the biggest contributor to my blog growing. One Sunday last August, I was sat scrolling through Twitter, which was very unlike me and I came across the hashtag #BDIB. I was intrigued by what this meant and after a bit of investigation I realised it was a Twitter chat. I joined in and gained quite a few followers from it and really enjoyed chatting to fellow bloggers. From there, for the next few months, I tried to join whatever chat I could. As I work full time until 6/6.30 I do end up missing a lot of them, so I can’t take part in as many as I’d like, but whenever I have a free evening, I always join as they’re a great way to chat to others.

2./Scheduling Tweets
Again, this was something that I’d never considered before, but started seeing other bloggers scheduling tweets. I discovered that there were several different apps / websites where you could schedule tweets to help increase engagement and traffic to your blog. I chose to use Buffer as it’s a free app and is so easy to use on the go. Whilst scheduling tweets can be quite monotonous, it’s definitely increased traffic to my blog. As much as I wish I could sit on Twitter all day, I have to work and so this is a great way to engage my followers and direct them to my blog whilst I'm at work.

3./Retweet Accounts
This is something that I was aware of for a little while, but didn’t actually know that many accounts, so tended to use the same one over and over again, but found they stopped being responsive. For those who don’t know, retweet accounts offer you the chance for your posts to reach a wider audience by retweeting the posts you tag them in. Whilst there’s no guarantee that every tweet will get retweeted (the owners of those accounts have lives too!) when they do, it’s an opportunity for readers to be made aware of your blog, who it might not have reached otherwise. It’s a really simple and effective way to grow your following.

4./Increase your presence on social media
For me, I always used to post my blog posts on my personal Facebook account. I didn’t know there were other ways of reaching people (I said I was naïve!). However, I didn’t massively enjoy doing that because I knew not all of my friends were interested in what I had to say. Therefore, I recently set up a Facebook page and then only those who want to see my posts can ‘Like’ the page. It’s a great way to reach the audience that don’t have Twitter and is just another channel by which to attract readers. Also, I use my Instagram account to post photos featured on my blog and again, direct followers to my blog with each post.

5./Ensure all your links are easily accessible
Although I had my links on my blog to all my social media channels, I wasn’t consistent with my links across my other social media channels. I now ensure that in the ‘bio’ sections of all my social media I have all my links. Also, I set up an email address specifically for my blog and again, ensured this was easily accessible across all my channels. Since setting up that email address, I’ve had so much more communication with brands, definitely one of the best things I’ve done.

6./Make a few small investments
This was something I was adamant at first that I didn’t want to do. Being a skint student and then a graduate with a low salary, meant I rarely had any spare cash and didn’t want to spend it on my blog. However, now that I’ve started to establish my career more, I can afford to spend the odd bit here and there on my blog. The biggest investment I’ve made was my new blog layout. Back in January, I launched my new look for Ramblings of a Blonde. As I’m on ‘Blogger’, there’s very little I can do with my layout myself, so I decided to purchase one online. Then, my very talented boyfriend personalised it for me. I was hesitant about buying a layout because I liked the idea of doing everything myself, however, I’m so glad I did. It makes it look so much more professional. 

7./Attend Blogger events
I'd seen a few blogger events on Twitter, but always found excuses not to go. I'm not the best at breaking out of my comfort zone and going to an event with people I'd never met before was definitely out of my comfort zone. However, earlier this month, I saw an event Twitter and was finally out of excuses so decided to go. I'm so glad I did because I had the best time and had the opportunity to meet lots of lovely bloggers, you can read all about it here. Also, it was a great way to gain exposure of my blog and engage with new followers.

8./Be Yourself
This is arguably the most important. If you're not true to yourself, people will see right through you and won't be as warm to you, so won't be interested in following your blog. Some of my favourite bloggers aren't those with the perfect photography, the prettiest theme on Instagram or the nicest looking blog, but instead they're the ones who I can relate to. The ones I know who are just being themselves and aren't trying to be something they're not. I am definitely myself on my blog. I don't try to be someone I'm not and I hope that shines through and encourages people to follow me, for me. 

So that's everything. I'm by no means an expert in this as I'm still a tiny blogger with a small corner on the internet, but it's definitely helped increase my online presence. I'd love to know your tips for growing your blog!

Favourite LUSH Products

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

As with most beauty bloggers it seems, I'm a huge LUSH fan. I have a whole jar of bath bombs / bubble bars and soaps in my bathroom, ready for whatever type of bath I'm after (it also makes a very pretty bathroom ornament!) However, despite this, I do have my favourites that I find myself repurchasing over and over.

I know this is a favourite amongst many. I really like this one as you only need to crumble a bit in your bath and as it's quite big, the bar definitely goes a long way. It's great for those relaxing baths that are needed after a stressful week. It's like a huge berry hug to help make you feel all warm inside!

I think this was the first ever bath bomb I tried from LUSH and it's still a firm favourite. It's a very calming bath bomb full of mimosa and jasmine oils, complemented by lemon oil and orange flower. I find this bath bomb really helpful when I'm after a relaxing bath.

This is my most recent discovery from LUSH. It's definitely the sweetest scents out of all of these and it contains almond chunks and butter which help moisturise the skin whilst you soak in bubbles. I was first attracted to it because I thought it looked really cute with the little flower on it. The combination of the sweet smell and the moisturising element make for a great bubble bath when you need cheering up.

This one is slightly different to the rest as it's body butter in soap form. It's blend of bananas, avocados, oatmilk and butter make the perfect combination for a nourishing and hydrating body butter. I use this after all my baths; smoothing it over wet skin and then rinsing it off which leaves my skin feeling silky soft.

I've definitely left the best to last year. This is by far my favourite product at LUSH (I've actually bought it for a few friends because I love it so much and want to share the joy of it!) I originally discovered this scent when I was given the shower gel for my birthday and I loved it, I then went in store and discovered the bubble bar and fell in love. I'm not normally a fan of rose scents, but the mix of rose, lemon and geranium oil are a magical combination and smell divine. Also, it contains Fair Trade cocoa and shea butter which leave skin feeling soft. Again, you only need to break a bit of this off into the bath, for lots of gorgeous bubbles. A Rose Jam bath, never fails to cheer me up!

What are your favourite products from LUSH?

Styling Trench Coats

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Living in England, you can never quite guarantee the weather, even in the summer. It's one of the most frustrating things when you have an outfit planned and the weather has other ideas. Therefore, I like to have a few staple items in my wardrobe that I know won't let me down when the weather does.

One of those items is a trench coat. For me, it's such a staple for an English summer as I can wear it with a lot of outfits should the weather be a little bit on the chilly side. However, I sometimes struggle with how to style it right, rather than just throwing it over a top with jeans, but with the help of Jack Wills, I'll never have to worry about how to style a trench coat again. They've put together a very comprehensive guide full of tips of how to style a trench coat. It's great as it lists lots of different ways to style the coat as well as information on the history of trench coats and the different types available. As they mention in the guide, a trench coat can be styled with almost anything which means it's timeless, so it's worth investing in one because you'll be able to wear it for many years to come.

I'm always looking for inspiration for different looks and something like this is super helpful. Sometimes staple clothes, like a trench coat, can feel like a necessity rather than a style piece, but Jack Wills help inject the fun back into styling coats. This guide is super useful and I'll definitely be referencing back to it throughout the coming months. Also, I've got my eye on a new trench coat on the Jack Wills website, they have some really lovely styles in their range and with their helpful guide, there's no longer any concerns about how to style it!

What's your staple in your wardrobe? How would you style a trench coat?

(this is a paid for post, but all views are my own)

Just Smile Activated Charcoal | Review

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

My teeth are something that I used to be so self conscious of because they were really crooked. However, thanks to the awkward teenage brace phase, I now have straight teeth, but now I'm seeking a whiter smile (there's just no pleasing some people hey?!). The thing that puts me off whitening my teeth is the fear of putting chemicals on them. I went through quite a bit to get straight teeth and so I don't want to do anything that would risk damaging them. Having done an extensive amount of research looking into natural ways to whiten my teeth, I came across Just Smile who offer an Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder. I was really intrigued by the product so thought it was worth giving it a try.

What do I think about the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder?

At first, like most, I was really reluctant to put charcoal in my mouth. Was it unsafe? Would it taste weird? Would it stain my teeth? The answer to all of those questions is simply, no. Once you get over the fear of cleaning your teeth with a black powder, it soon becomes apparent that there is no weird taste to it, it's pretty tasteless and it's not at all damaging to your teeth.

The product is 100% natural, it contains 96% Coconut Shell Activated Charcoal as well as organic mint and orange extract. As it's such a fine powder, it results in a huge surface area for absorbing stains. Being 100% natural was something that was really important to me when looking for a whitening product and so the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder instantly ticked that box.

Does the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder work?
Just Smile recommend the best way to apply the product is to wet a toothbrush and dip it into the powder before washing your teeth as you normally would. Afterwards, you swish water thoroughly through your mouth to get rid of any of the remaining charcoal. It's recommended that you use this twice daily for 7 days and then 3-4 times a week thereafter. I've been using it for a little over 2 weeks now and I can already notice a difference in my teeth. They're not the 'hollywood white' that would be my ideal, but I know there's no natural way of achieving that, so it's the next best thing. They're definitely a few shades whiter and knowing that I've done it naturally, is reassuring.

Would I recommend the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder?
100%, yes. I've been really pleased with the results of this whitening powder and knowing that I haven't damaged my teeth in the process is a huge bonus. Plus at only £12.99, it's such a cheap way of whitening your teeth - what's not to love? And if that's not enough, I have a discount code that will get you 10% off. All you need to do is enter the code 'ABIP10' at the checkout and the discount will be applied.

Have you tried the Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder? Let me know your thoughts!

BWB Launch | My first Blogger event

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through twitter on a Saturday morning, when I saw everyone using the hashtag #BWBLaunch. I was really intrigued as to what it meant and soon realised it was a blogger event that was being hosted in London. Normally when I've seen blogger events, I've either been busy or made excuses as attending events on my own, isn't something that comes naturally to me. However, this time I didn't have an excuse. It was in central London so was very close to where I live and I had no plans for that date. After debating it internally for a few hours, I finally gave in and bought my ticket. I soon got chatting to other bloggers who were going and started to become very excited, if a little nervous. 

I got chatting to Elle (Bumped Head And Bruised Soul) who was also going and we arranged to meet up before the event, this instantly calmed my nerves. Not long after, Romina (Romina's Little Corner) messaged me on twitter to say that not only were we going to the same event, we also lived in the same building! (Crazy small world) I'd arranged to meet with her and Elle and soon after, Ashleigh (Half Pint Blogger) mentioned that she wanted someone to go with and so our little group formed and arranged to meet prior to the event. 

When Saturday finally came, I was a mix of excitement as well as nerves. I was freaking out about what to wear, was it a smart thing or could I go causal? How should I do my make up? Should I wear a jacket? My mind was in overdrive. I finally settled on my outfit and met Romina before travelling to Farringdon to meet the others. In true blogger style, we found a Starbucks and got chatting about ourselves, our blogs and our expectations for the day. It was so lovely to meet them, they were all so nice and I'm so glad we had a chance to get to know each other before going to the event. 

One o'clock soon came and we ventured around the corner to the venue where the event was being hosted. I was a little apprehensive by this point as I really had no idea what to expect, having never been to an event like this before. We soon found the venue and it was so beautiful. We had a penthouse apartment which was so well decorated with lots of 'instagramable' furniture (a bloggers dream). When we arrived, we stood around chatting for a while, taking in the whole experience and exploring our surroundings. There was a whiteboard where everyone was writing their twitter handle which was really useful! Although I'd spoken to a lot of fellow bloggers who were there, I was really struggling to recognise people as I only had a small twitter picture to go by. Anyway, there were a few who I definitely recognised and I had a lovely time chatting to them and getting to know them. 

After copious amounts of popcorn and juice, we had a lovely talk by LexiLife all about YouTube. I found this super useful as, if you didn't know already, I'm currently trying to get into YouTube so it was great to hear her tips and tricks. We then had another chat by Katherine McMorran all about photography which again was really interesting, her work is amazing. 

Once we had a bit more time mingling and photo taking, we all had a huge group photo before the event came to a close. I can't believe how quickly it went, it flew by. We then left with a goody bag in hand, which was a lovely touch. 

I'm so glad I pushed myself and went to the event as I had such an amazing time. It was organised by Kirby Small who did an amazing job as the event went so well and she'd thought of everything! It really was so lovely to meet everyone, I just wished I'd been able to talk to more people, but the time just flew by! I can't wait for my next one now!!

If you haven't seen, I also tried to vlog the event (though didn't get as much footage as I'd have liked), so make sure you check that out and maybe subscribe whilst you're there ;)

5 Things I've Learnt Since Moving Out

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Many of you may know that in November last year, I moved out of my family home and in with my boyfriend, Emil. I wanted to move into central London so that I was closer to work and to be in the middle of things more. However, I've learnt so much over the past few months that I thought it was worth sharing a few of them for those thinking of moving out of home.

1./It's expensive
I thought I'd get this one out of the way with as it's the most obvious point. I always knew moving out of home was going to be expensive, but I don't think I realised just how expensive it is. There's so many things that's you don't take into consideration when moving out for the first time. For example, Council Tax, the price of a weekly shop, the cost of electricity. It soon all adds up!

2./There's more freedom
Again, quite an obvious one, but it's so nice being able to do things I want when I want. I'm so used to being told when to do chores or when washing needs to be done etc, but now it's all down to me. Whilst this does have it's down sides (i.e. I now have to do it all myself!), it does mean if I don't want to do something, I don't have to!

3./There's so many things to think about
This kind of ties in with what I was saying about the price of everything, but there are so many things  to think about that I'd never considered before, such as, having to pay Council Tax, having to sort out an internet provider, what meals to cook etc. These are decisions and thoughts that never used to occur to me, but they've soon become part of my everyday life!

4./Interior Design is a lot of fun
Okay using the term 'interior design' is a bit extreme seeing as we can't paint the walls or do too much, due to the fact we live in rented accommodation. However, I really have enjoyed making the little homely touches to the flat. Although, we had a lot of the furniture before we moved in, from Emil's previous flat, I've loved adding little bits and pieces to make the flat look nicer. For example, the classic girly fairy lights and candles (we have so many candles it's ridiculous, I even have a cupboard full of spare candles!)

5./Utility companies will become the bane of your life
Again, something I'd never had any experience of until I moved out. They're impossible to get hold of on the phone as you're constantly in a queue of 1000 people and then when you do get near the front of the queue, they cut you off. A lot of companies are only open during office hours too, which is useless for me as I don't have time during the day to stay on the phone for 2 hours!

So there are a few of the things I've learnt over the past few months since I've moved out. If you've moved out, I'd love to know what you learnt!

Spring Make Up

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

As the weather warms up and with spring now in full force, I like to shake up the make up I use. If I’m being honest, I much prefer autumn / winter make up as I’m a fan of the more dark colours for both eyes and lips. However, it’s just too heavy for the warmer months, so it’s time to pull out the more pinky / peachy colours and the lighter make up, to suit the warmer weather.

I tend to wear this throughout the year for work, but during the sping / summer months, I reach for it a lot more. I find that a foundation can often be too heavy for the when it’s warm and so this is a better and lighter option. (However, as I was trying to find the link for this, I couldn't find the product on The Body Shop website so I'm worried it's being discontinued!)

Again, this is a product that I use all year round, but I switch to a darker shade in spring. Throughout the year, I use 001 Transparent, but I prefer this darker shade to add more colour to my skin during the spring / summer months.

I love this bronzer! I like to wear bronzer throughout the year, but I definitely tone it up during the spring for a more 'sun kissed' look. Hoola is definitely my favourite bronzer as it's so pigmented and long lasting, I definitely recommend this if you're looking for a more glowing look for this time of year.

This is such a lovely blusher which is a gorgeous pink shade, perfect for a fresh springtime look. The NARS blushers are super pigmented, which I wasn't aware of when I first used it - cue very rosy cheeks! 

This is my 'go to' eyeshadow palette for the spring / summer time. As a lot of the shades are a pink tone, I don't tend to use this palette much in the winter, however, it's perfect for this time of year. There are a range of shades in this palette so you can create many different, pretty eye looks at this time of year.

In the autumn / winter months, I like to wear a black liquid liner on my upper eye lid to add definition. However, I find this can be too heavy for the spring / summer months, so instead I prefer to use this brown eye kohl from MAC. It provides definition without being too heavy and so I reach for this most days.

What make up do you switch up in the spring? Let me know in the comments below.

Beauty Wishlist

Sunday, 23 April 2017

As a beauty lover, there's always so many beauty items that I'm desperate to get my hands on. However, often my head has to overrule my heart and realisation sets in that I can't afford it all. Instead, I like to make wishlists of products that I'd like and then every so often, I can treat myself to something off that list.  

What's on my beauty wishlist at the moment?

I've worn the same fragrance for years, but it's recently run out and I've yet to get my hands on another one. Also, I'm quite keen to try something a bit different and have fallen in love with this bergamot perfume from Clive Christian. Everything about it is amazing, the packaging is beautiful and the scents are just incredible. The rich heritage of creativity and craftsmanship makes Clive Christian one of the finest perfume houses. However, it's a bit on the pricier side, so it's definitely something I'm going to have to save up for.

This is an eyeshadow palette that everyone, but me seems to have. It has such gorgeous shades and it has received so many great reviews, the fact that it smells like Peach is another draw factor for me. Also, the packaging is super cute and fun as well. However, I have so many eyeshadow palettes and at £39, I'm just not sure I can justify buying it at the moment, but it's definitely on my wishlist.

I've wanted one of these eyeshadow sticks from By Terry for as long as I can remember. They seem so beautiful and having swatched them in store, they're super pigmented and easy to blend. My favourite shade is Frozen Quartz and I'm determined to get my hands on one soon!

Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are all so beautiful, both the products themselves and the packaging. I've wanted a lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury for a little while now and I recently saw Pillowtalk on their website and fell in love. It's only a limited edition one though so I need to get my hands on it soon, before it sells out.

I've heard such good reviews of this foundation so am keen to give it a try. I've never used any products from Tarte, so I don't know a massive deal about the brand, but this foundation definitely takes my fancy. It's quite a lightweight foundation, but with a full coverage, which ticks all the boxes for me.

Have you tried any of these products, I'd love to know your thoughts? What's on your Beauty Wishlist?

  (this is a paid for post, but all views are my own)

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