Sunday, 25 January 2015

Beauty Blogger Enabled Wishlist and Purchases!

This post was inspired by Fee with her post - but mine's a bit different as I've bought a few of the products on my wishlist. I just couldn't resist! So these are some products that I've bought or (mostly) want to buy, because of what beauty bloggers have said about them. I've found that there are quite a few repeated brands in there!

  • Maybelline The Rocket mascara - I've been using this for a couple of weeks and I like the wand - it's quite a large plasticky one, which might not appeal to everyone but I'm a fan of. Overall I really like it, but it has transferred to underneath my eyes a couple of times, which I've never really had an issue with before.
  • Maybelline The Falsies Black Drama - I really like the original Falsies mascara, so I'm looking forward to trying this one out.
  • Maybelline Superstay 24 Dual Ended Lipstick Cherry Pie- I'm not too sure about this. I don't know if you could really call it a beauty blogger enabled purchase as I've only seen a couple talk about it, but after swatching I realised how long lasting it was and wanted to try it out. I used this on my lips after I got it and it didn't go very well. It's so pigmented it's unbelievable and also seems quite difficult to apply within the lines. I want to try this again with lipliner on a day when I'm feeling brave about a bold lip colour and I'll report back then!
  • Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer - I went a bit crazy on Maybelline as you can see (there was a 2 for £10 offer in Superdrug)! Now I've heard so many bloggers and YouTubers talking about this so I simply had to get it. The light shade isn't really that light, however - it just about works for me, but if I was any lighter it would look ridiculous. On application, this looks amazing - completely blends into the skin and covers dark circles. However, by the end of the day, I've found that it can become slightly cakey, but nothing drastic.
  • Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Honey - I'm seriously not sure what I've bought here as parts of the label have already worn off - I know it's Colorburst, but I can't find any Colurburst balms in this shade. I've linked the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain as it's the only one I can find in the right shade. Whatever the case may be, I really like this! It's not so pigmented that you'd realise it, but after a few applications it becomes quite noticeable in making  your lips look naturally better. It also moisturises the lips to a certain extent - for a comparison point, I'd say it's better than Maybelline Baby Lips. 
  • Body Shop BB Cream - I've seen so many bloggers talk about this - it seems suitable for my oily skin type and I'd love something with a lighter coverage
  • Body Shop Honey Bronzer - This seems like a great bronzer for paler girls as the shade range goes very light and isn't at all orangey!
  • Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil - I didn't realise until I looked it up, there are two types of this - both have the pencil, but one has a spooly and the other has the felt tip. I'd like the one with the felt tip as after swatching it in Boots, it appeared to last well and look natural.
  • Soap and Glory Solar Powder - Another good bronzer for the pale lot! 
  • Soap and Glory eyeliner - A lot of people rave about this and it looks good for an eyeliner novice like me!
  • Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer - I'm really interested in this for the salmon toned concealer, which is apparently very good for under eye circles. There's a 3 for 2 on Soap and Glory Cosmetics at Boots at the moment, so I may be taking advantage of that!
  • L'oreal True Match foundation - I really need a good foundation and it sounds like this is the one for me! I just need to work out which shade I am, which is always tough.
  • Real Techniques eye brushes - I definitely need some new eye brushes, so this may just be the set for me! 
  • Real techniques Sponge - I really like the idea of applying makeup with a sponge, I just think it would suit me very well.
  • L'oreal lumi magique concealer - Another one good for under eye circles.
  • Kiko palette and eyeshadows - I just love the idea of making my own palette! And I've heard that Kiko's eyeshadows are very good.
  • Kiko shadow stick - I think this would be such an easy way to apply eyeshadow.
  • Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter - This just looks so lovely and I really want to try out a cleansing balm.
  • Soap and Glory Shower Butter - I'm just really lazy. I never bother with body butter even though I have heaps of it, so I think if I had this I might moisturise my body in the shower.
  • Kiko Eye primer - or really any kind of eye primer! Does anyone have any (preferably UK) drugstore recommendations? I'm really not willing to spend high-end prices, but they're just so hard to find on the high street.
  • Real Techniques Nic's Picks - After reading this post, I've been tempted to put this in here as well, as it seems to have a bit of everything. 
I've also got a possible ELF order in my basket, as they've got a free January collection when you spend £25 or more (and the Elf eyelid primer is the only one I've tried that does anything at all). I'm considering buying the Body Shop products, as they have offers on, including £25 off a £50 spend or £10 off a £25 spend (I was also tipped off by MakeupSavvy about this!)

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Friday, 23 January 2015

Liebster Award!

So I've been nominated for the Liebster award!! Not just once but twice! By Cal on the Move and Une Belle Fin Thank you so much both of you. If you don't know, the Liebster award is for bloggers with fewer than 200 subscribers, to give them more recognition. I know that after I was nominated by these lovely ladies the views on my blog went up a lot.

So here are the rules:

  1. Thank/link the person who nominated you 
  2. Answer the questions from your nominator
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (link them)
  4. Create 11 new questions for your nominees 
  5. Notify your nominees through social media/blogs
I'm going to answer some questions from Cal and some from F.
  1. What's #1 on your bucket list? This is a tough one - I really want to travel a lot more as the only place I've been outside Europe is Turkey, which I'm not sure really counts! So - travel lots!
  2. What's your favourite social media platform? Probably Tumblr, although I don't spend as much time on there as I'd like to! Facebook is also definitely the best for keeping up with friends and organising stuff.
  3. Cats or dogs? Oh, definitely dogs! I have 4!
  4. If you could only use one makeup product for the rest of your life, what would it be? Without a doubt, mascara. It's often all I wear anyway.
  5. Where do you get your inspiration for your blog posts from? I'm not sure really - obviously other bloggers and YouTubers. In the past I have looked up "Blog post inspiration", which came back with some fairly useful results. Also, just looking around my room can remind me of something and inspire me.
  6. What was your first makeup experience? I think it was possibly when a couple of my friends did a "makeover" on me when I was about 11. It turned out quite well actually!
  7. What's your most loved piece of clothing? If we're talking most worn, it has to be my leather jacket, which I wear practically every day (featured in this post)
  8. What was your first ever post? A haul post, here.
  9. What's your favourite album? At the moment probably (predictably) 1989. I also love Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds.
  10. Why did you start blogging? I think I was just inspired by blogs I read and YouTube channels I watch. I also love having a place I can just use to talk about things I enjoy!
  11. What is your favourite way to unwind/relax? I guess it's just to go on my laptop, watch some YouTube videos, read some blog posts and browse Tumblr!
Nominating people for this has made me realise I don't follow that many blogs with under 200 subscribers! So I didn't make it to 11 nominations, unfortunately. If you're a less well known blogger, post below, I'd love to check you out! There were others I wanted to nominate, but they had already done this post! Honourable mentions go to Alice and another Alice!

I'm looking forward to seeing your replies to my questions which are:

  1. What is your favourite palette?
  2. Who is your OTP?
  3. How long does it take you to get ready?
  4. What book are you reading/have read recently?
  5. What's your favourite type of sweets?
  6. What are you listening to right now?
  7. What's your favourite drugstore brand?
  8. Who is your favourite blogger/YouTuber?
  9. Would you rather go out with nice hair and no makeup or nice makeup with bad hair?
  10. What's something (apart from your phone!) that you can't leave the house without?
  11. What's your favourite hot drink?

Please let me know somehow when you've answered as I'm really interested to read them - my twitter is @polka_dot_penny.

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Reading Challenge 2015

So, although I wrote this post about my New Years resolutions, I've since thought of a couple more!! I've decided to take part in the reading challenge, inspired by The Private Life of a Girl.

Although I love reading, I just don't! For me, it's mostly because I simply can't be bothered to pick out the books, which is an awful excuse. As for time, I think I do have enough time, because I always try to switch off from school work before I eat supper. My favourite time for reading is before I go to sleep, as it helps me relax so much. One thing I definitely have to work on is not reading when I should be doing something else. Sometimes, when I start reading in the morning, I can never stop so I don't get anything done that day!

I have challenged myself to read 50 books. I wasn't really sure what number to go for as I have absolutely no idea how many books I read last year, so I don't really know what's a challenge for me. What I do know is that the challenge has definitely encouraged me to find books to read so far!

Another post including a new resolution will be coming up soon!

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Sunday, 11 January 2015


These are the products I've used up over the past few months!

Simple Eye Makeup Remover
I love this stuff. It removes makeup very easily and it's so cheap! I really love that it doesn't have oil in, so there's no oily residue. Oh, and it doesn't just remove eye makeup - it can remove anything! Apart from waterproof mascara unfortunately. I bet I've used more than these two bottles in the time since I've been collecting empties, I just haven't saved them all.

Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Cleansing and Toning Lotion
I liked this, as it felt like it was really cleaning the skin. I can't say much about it taking off makeup as I tend to only wear eye makeup and this definitely isn't suitable for the eyes.

Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
I'm not sure how I feel about these. I can't deny, it was very satisfying to see all the gunk that used to be in my skin. I just don't know how worth it it was, as these seemed pretty pricey to me,

Alberto Balsam Pomegranate shampoo
This is my go-to shampoo. It's only a pound! I mean come on guys, who can say no to that? However, I think after using it for quite a long time, it's started stripping my hair a bit too much, so I'm using a more nourishing one at the moment.

Conditioners - Dove Intensive repair (blue) and Dove Nourishing Oil Care (golden)
I don't remember any particular differences between these conditioners. I guess I'm not that in-tune with my hair... Anyway, these minis brought me back to conditioner. For a long time I didn't use any because I was worried about my hair being greasy, but I think it was because at that point I was washing my hair too much. Basically, I liked both of these but I don't know much about conditioner. I'm currently using a full size version of the yellow one and it makes my hair so soft!

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Shower Gel
I know this was discontinued a looooong time ago, as it was from last Christmas, but I just thought I'd mention it as I love it so much. I really need to get some more ginger scents in my life.

The Body Shop Mango Shower Gel
As always, this Body Shop shower gel was very nice, as in it lathers up well and.. um... cleans you? But this smell was a bit too overpowering and sweet for me, and I'm normally a fan of those kind of smells but this one just got too much.

Boots Lime Shower Gel
I really didn't like this. I am generally keen on citrus scents but this one just smelt like cleaning product. I actually stopped using it for quite a long time, but then I made myself finish it.

V05 Plump it up dry shampoo
A fairly new discovery for me. I love it! I used a Batiste one before and thought it did a good job but often left white powder in my hair. Then I bought the cherry flavoured Batiste one and the smell is just to much for me; I had to stop using it. So I bought this. It's. so. good. It seems like no matter how much you put in there's never any white powder. But it makes your hair look like it's just been washed! And so much volume! The only thing is, it seemed to run out very quickly. It didn't seem like it was nearly finished, but then I put it in my bag to stay at my friends and when I came back (not having used it), it had product coming out of it and was empty. I guess that's just an issue with the packaging or aerosols in general. Maybe I'll take my Batiste one when I go away again, as I don't want to waste any of this! I considered buying the Batiste brown coloured one, but then this was on offer, so I have already repurchased!

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
I don't know what the hype about this mascara is. I found the brush to make lashes clumpy and not even in a good way. I used a different wand with this formula before it dried out because I really wasn't a fan.

Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Cat Eyes Mascara
I liked this mascara. I've written about it in this post - you can trust it to be accurate as I'd actually finished it at the time of writing that one!

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Friday, 9 January 2015

Focusing on the positive

Today I've had a few knock-downs, and it made me realise how important it is to think about the good things rather than dwelling on the negative, which is so much easier.
Even though today I had many positive moments, a number of disappointing things also happened which made me feel quite down. I'm going to make a list of things that happened today that I enjoyed:

  • We played a really fun card game, which one of my friends invented, based off the game "Oh Hell" or "Diminishing Bridge"
  • Knowing I can improve on my Maths mark
  • My friend stayed in college later than she normally does, so I could spend time with her in my free period I normally am alone in
  • I had an enjoyable discussion in my German conversation class
  • I bought yummy food and ate it
  • My friend bought some Coke and let everyone else drink some
  • Scintillating debate in my French lesson about Charlie Hebdo #JeSuisCharlie

Now that I'm home, I'm listening to music that I love and I know will cheer me up. I've decided not to do any homework this evening, as it seems a better idea to do fun things, like catching up on blog posts and YouTube videos.

Thinking positive can make such a big difference! For example, before an exam, I often tell myself that I have done enough revision and I will be absolutely fine... So far this has worked fairly well for me. But that aside, if you try to focus on positive parts of your life, I find that the rest tends to fall into place. I know it's so much easier said than done, but worrying too much is just not worth it (obviously ignoring those debts building up is never a good idea though!). I know all this is hard - a main reason for writing this was to encourage myself take my own advice! But know that I believe in you! You can get through this tough patch!

Some admin - I will be posting every Sunday and there will also be some other posts, like this one.
                       Follow me on Twitter! @polka_dot_penny

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Sunday, 4 January 2015

YouTube Culture

So today, I wanted to talk about YouTube culture. I'm a huge fan of YouTubers and I think I have a lot of views on this topic. I was inspired by Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter, whose video about this from a few months back is below. I agree with her in many ways, however, I have my own two pennies worth to throw into this debate.

I think it's perfectly fine for a YouTuber to be considered a role model. We know so much more about them and their daily lives than any other celebrity. In vlogs, we can often see YouTubers when they're not at their best (for example Zoe's video), but with celebrities the most you get is an interview in a magazine.Of course, historical figures and people we know ourselves would probably be better as "idols", but when we see someone like Louise, who has made her hobby into a career, it's not surprising we look up to them. However, in my opinion, it's never really right to idolise someone, as that just doesn't seem like a healthy thing to do.

I've never been to a meet-up myself, but it seems to me that they're not that well organised. From posts I've seen on Tumblr, viewers have to wait for hours in queues only to be hurried on by security. Now I love YouTubers (check out my Tumblr aloha_itme to see), but I just don't think it's worth it. Louise's Q&A seems like a great solution, I would absolutely love the chance to ask her some questions! Amity Fest also seems fairly successful, but I worry that as it becomes bigger it could become overcrowded as well. I am with Louise in that screaming at YouTubers seems very extreme, but I can see how if you're in a crowd it seems like the only way to be noticed. I am reminded of these vlogs (Zoe's and Alfie's) when there were viewers crowding around their car. Although they both seemed happy and excited about this, I myself was shocked, especially knowing that Zoe suffers from anxiety.

I feel like hate comments weren't so much of an issue when this video was posted, but now it seems like only a small portion of comments are actually interesting or nice. This seems to be a lot more pertinent for other Youtubers, especially Zoella and PointlessBlog; luckily Sprinklerinos are generally friendlier. However, even if the comments aren't necessarily negative, there is still very often a lot of spam, such as "Let's be YouTube friends" or "I know this is annoying but please check us out". I don't know what the answer is here, but I think it's important to look past thoughtless comments and focus on positive ones.

I will touch briefly on the subject of shipping. I am of the opinion that you should be able to ship whoever you want, as long as it doesn't become invasive. I very often see comments on Marcus' vlogs encouraging him to propose to Niomi. I think this steps over the line.

Recently, advertisement has been a big topic. I personally think it's important that YouTube videos state clearly whether they are an ad or not, but I'm not sure if it's completely necessary to have to put it in the title, because I think it probably puts some viewers off, even when I believe that most YouTubers still give their honest opinions. I appreciate when bloggers make it clear, usually with an asterisk, which products have been supplied by PR companies. Transparency is important when you want to gain the trust of readers and viewers!

I hope that in the New Year, YouTube culture can change for the better!

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions

So, I wasn't going to do this post as I know everyone will be doing this, but I wanted to write down my goals for 2015 and thought my blog was a better place than any to record them.

Now I'm not going to go crazy, I just want to stay active in the new year. I think I'm going to try to do 50 star jumps and 15 squats every night from now on - this is something I always used to do but lately I have been slacking and I think it's important to get your heart going every day.

I'm going to try to do a post every week. This was my aim last year and look how that turned out... I am more committed this time though! I really enjoy sharing my views with the people of the internet so I want to continue with that.

I didn't revise nearly enough last year for my AS levels and this year is the big one, so I'm going to really have to get my head down. To give myself a concrete goal, I'm going to aim to do 5 hours of revision every day when I am on study leave.

I think I already eat fairly healthily, I just need to cut out the snacks that I have started to buy on a regular basis. So this is also a money management issue... I'm only going to buy one unhealthy snack per week at most!

I hope this post inspired you, especially to make clear aims rather than just vague resolutions. I wish you success in the new year!
Thank you for reading,
Penny xxx