Valentines Day Glam | Eylure & Elegant Touch

eylure elegant touch nails and eyelashes valentines day glam look

I never know whether to dress up for Valentines or not. This will be my 5th with my fiancé and I have no idea what we're doing or if we're even going anywhere! Apparently this year is my 'turn' to organise something, but I'm pretty sure I treated us to a spa day last year... but oh well.

We're quite mindful of money as of late with our wedding approaching next year and I just think the hospitality industry ranks up their prices for this one day when it's really not necessary. Friday nights are super busy for restaurants, yet their prices don't change.. so why do they on Valentines? It's hard enough to FIND somewhere that has a table free, but when you do you're hit with a bill that's double the normal price. Like, what is this?!

Much like New Years, we prefer to stay in and have a home cooked 'romantic' meal together, which in reality is both of us cooking, or one cooks and the other watches TV, and then dinner is either eaten on the sofa or at the table with headphones in watching our own TV programmes. A real loved up, modern-day couple...

This year I think I'm going to dress up, seeing as I don't really go out anywhere any more. I'll just go all out.. dress, heels, hair, nails, eyelashes.. the whole shabang! 

I absolutely love these lashes from Eylure in No. 117 (RRP £5.25). They're so fluttery and full, and to be honest, I would wear these all day every day if I could. I LONG for long, thick lashes, but alas, I was cursed with short ones. But what better excuse to apply some than for Valentines!

eylure elegant touch valentines sweetheart limited edition

Worn with a sparkly smoky eye (which I've been practising like crazy!), my eyes are going to look incrediblleeeeeee.

elegant touch nail guards

Recovering from a time under acrylics, my nails are really short at the moment, and despite every attempt to grow them back, I keep either biting them or they break! I can never win! I really need to get back using my Nail Envy. I love these Limited Edition Sweetheart nails from Elegant Touch (RRP £6.95), released especially for Valentines, which are so cute! I adore the hearts and they just look so sweet! Used with nail friendly Nail Guards (RRP £2.95), there's certain to be no damage on my already recovering nails. Simply peel back the film, stick it on your nail, remove the other sticky side and press on the false nail! Easy peasy! Makes them easy to take off to and means I can re-use the false nails!

elegant touch polished nancy garnet red valentines

If you're not into the whole cutesy love hearts and glitter, there's loads of other Valentines inspired shades to go for. Sticking with the glam theme, two shades come to mind from Elegant Touch and they are Garnet and The Hamptons - Nancy. Both bold and would go well with any smokey eye and long luscious lashes! There's nothing I love more than the colour black, so I'll be wearing an LBD teamed with one of these combinations. Just got to wait and see what we actually do to celebrate! 

(most likely a dinner at home, but hey.. a girls' gotta look good either way!) 

I'll be sure to take pics on the night and upload them for you to see!

Which shade and lashes would you go for?

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Best Blogging Apps | Our Most Used

best blogging apps

Blogging on the go can be extremely useful if you're only a part time blogger like me. Having the ability to upload photos straight to blogger/wordpress for later, or just to jot down some spur of the moment ideas; apps can be super useful. They can also monitor page views, followers, schedule tweets and posts and even edit photos on the go. Who needs a laptop?!

Whether you do it straight from your phone or on a tablet, they can really help you and are great to have, even if you only use them once or twice. Technology has advanced so much in the past few years, making people more and more reliant on their mobiles and making even more possible from the palm of their hand. 

Here's the low-down on our favourite/most used blogging apps on iPhones/iPads. Most of the apps are also available on Android.

The first app of our favourites is Crowdfire. This is fabulous for monitoring followers.. both gained and lost, loyal 'fans' and inactive users. You can see who's recently unfollowed you, blacklist people etc. You can connect both your Twitter and your Instagram.

The second app has become quite useful in recent weeks as it allows us to keep track of our follower numbers, check whether people are following us, compare our stats with others etc. Friend Check is a must have. Although, you do also have similar functions on Crowdfire. Again, this works for both Twitter and Instagram.

The third, and probably one of the best apps to use is Hootsuite. This app is used by many bloggers to monitor feeds, schedule tweets and track hashtags; great if you follow twitter chats. You can connect this to pretty much all of your social media accounts, which makes it one of the most useful apps in our use.

Google Analytics is another useful app to have. This gives the most in-depth analytics of your blog, telling you how many views, the conversion rate, viewer demographics, acquisition and even live stats. This info is a lot more accurate than that on blogger, but only tracks from the moment the tracking code was applied to the blog, rather than from the moment the blog was created. It's certainly one to use.

Publish is another app we use to schedule our posts. This app however, allows you to schedule Instagram posts, which as far as I've found, is the only one that is able to do this. Want to post to more than one account? No problem!

VSCO is one of our absolute favourites for photo editing. It's many filters and plentiful adjustment tools make the most stunning images. We use this app for both Instagram posts, blog photos and for Tumblr and Pinterest too. It makes photos super pretty and can turn even the worst lit photo into a bright, white work of art.

Perfect365 is an app which I found out about from the Kardashians! An app that can make your imperfections and dark circles disappear with the swipe of a finger. This app essentially is an airbrush that can photoshop your face into looking its most gorgeous self.

iWatermark is needed more than ever these days with illegal use of photography online, breaching copyright etc. This app allows you to watermark your images to ensure people cannot re-use your images without your permission. With a wide range of colours and fonts, you can keep your photos safe and secure.

Layout is an Instagram extension which allows you to place images in a grid, combine photos and create collages. It can be very useful to bloggers when posting about events, giveaways, hauls or just things they've done that day. Not one we use often, but it's always useful to have it!

Blogger is our host site of choice so having the app on our phones can be extremely useful on the go. We can upload photos from our phone without having to back up to our laptops, create posts when inspiration strikes and ensure that scheduled posts have gone live. Having your host site in a handy app really is invaluable, if you're able to do this with yours, it will be so useful.

I've come so reliant on Periscope for my daily British Beauty Blogger fix and live broadcasting of events I've been to. More and more bloggers are using this app and I can't recommend it enough! I get to watch product reviews live and if i miss it, I can easily catch up within 24 hours of their stream.

Bloglovin' has fast become THE go to site to get all your favourite blogs in one place. To keep track of new posts, discover new blogs and track who follows you, Bloglovin' is super useful, especially on the go. Scrolling through my newsfeed, as I would with Twitter, it makes my journeys to work so much more interesting!

Pinterest and Tumblr are other social networks we use to discover things. Pinterest is my favourite for coming up with ideas, inspiration and blogging tips. Tumblr is my go to app for funny or pretty pictures, not used that much, but it's great to have it!

OneNote is a Microsoft Office app that keeps all my ideas in one place, whether it be pictures, tables or blog post ideas, it allows me and Kirsty to share our ideas seamlessly across all our devices!

Other must-have apps include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Google Photos. Google Photos especially helps us in storing the huge amount of photos we take on a day to day basis. This unlimited amount of storage means there's no limit to how many times we back up and means we can share images across devices easily and frees up space from our phone storage!

What are your favourite apps? 

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Coffin on Cake PR | SS16 | Press Day

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

Having gone to their SS14 Press day  when I was at uni, I was super excited to have seen Coffin on Cake PR hold an SS16 press day last year. Knowing they manage some amazing brands, I couldn't wait to go along to see what they had in store for this year's spring attire.

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

Surfdome always have amazing lines, full of bright colours, thin materials and bold prints which are perfect for the Spring/Summer months. with stripes looking hot this upcoming warm seasons, many of their pieces, especially their co-ord's, are certainly on my wishlist! 

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

Saucony Originals have a range of brightly colours trainers which just seem so retro. I love them!
Teamed with a black jean or with shorts, this range of colour pop footwear is sure to get you noticed this summer.

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

Quba Sails actually use reclaimed canvas sailcloth to create their pieces. This press day showed both homewear and outerwear in the SS16 collection. How cute are these stools! They also had a range of nautically inspired sailing jackets for men and women, which are custom handmade-to-order.

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

We've all heard of the brand OBEY. These prints are top of my home decor wish list, and their range of women's clothing is even better! With their range of tees and slogan jumpers, they've got a piece for every type of weather the UK can throw at us. They've even got a super cute range of swimwear to look forward to. The jewellery and pins on show were also stunning!

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 cat

These are so pretty and would look amazing with contrasting socks and jean shorts; a real summer must have! CAT have come up with some floral, bright designs for this spring/summer and teamed them with coloured laces to complete the look.

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 quicksilver

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 quicksilver

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 quicksilver

Quicksilver and Roxy have always been a favourite of mine, even as a young child, I loved their brand. Their surf/beach wear is always so colourful and bright! Their use of palm tree and flower patterns and thick neoprene material are perfect for long summers on the sand. It just makes me want to learn to surf so I can wear these cute pieces! 

They also have a range of active wear that fits in with the bright and colourful theme and would make working out a pleasure and a catwalk! I mean, just look at the patterns on those leggings! *in loveee*

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 juju jellies

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 juju jellies

These were my favourite things growing up.. Jelly shoes! Oh how I loved my purple sparkly heeled pair! They were my life. I'd wear them come rain or shine! I'm so happy the trend was brought back last year and that so many different style are emerging. JuJu Jellies have dominated this trend by introducing a wide range of colours, styles, and collaborating with other designers to bring you even more choice this summer. I mean, look at that baby range! Adorable. I know I want one in every colour, shape and style!

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

coffin on cake pr press day ss16

Quay Australia were back for another year of style with their wide range of sunnies. I can't wait to grab my self a pair! Featured in numerous magazines and worn my multiple a-list celebs, I've definitely got my eye on those cat eye ones. Although I am partial to an aviator or two..

coffin on cake pr press day ss16 happy plugs
Finally, Happy Plugs will be bringing out a wider range of colours, styles and patterns in their headphones, charging cables and portable speakers ready for next summer. Match your pair to your mood or even to the weather with the endless rainbow of colours! I really want a silver pair!
Did you go to this press day? What's are you looking forward to the most this SS16?
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#BloggersXmas Giveaway Winners

Earlier this month we ran a giveaway for 4 lucky bloggers to win one of four goody bags from our event #BloggersXmas back in December. We had a great number of entries and we can now announce that four lucky bloggers have been picked at random to take home the goody bags up for grabs.

The winners are:

Sarah Trademark
All or Nothing
Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me
A Balanced Belly

Congratulations girls! We will send them out to you as soon as possible! Do let us know when they arrive and tag us in any posts you may do so that we can share!

Take a look at the original post to see what you'll be getting!

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Removing Makeup Before the Gym | Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier Micellar Water Bobble Fitbit

You may have seen my recent post on my winter skincare routine, explaining the importance of taking make up off before bed. The same goes for taking it off before a workout. 
I know quite a few girls that wear a full face of make up with fake eyelashes etc to the gym, and even reapply before and after their workout. It may make you feel good. But is it good for your skin?

Personally, I try not to wear make up at the gym, but sometimes my skin is already bad, so try and cover it up as I'm quite insecure about my skin when I break out. If my skin is okay, I don't mind going without. Either way my face turns bright red! In reality, applying makeup for the gym, or not taking it off, is a complete waste of make up, as you'll just sweat or wipe it off.  Think about how much money you'd save if you didn't wear it at the gym! You need to make sure it's completely removed.. I know my gym towel is always orange by the end of the workout even if I've spent a couple minutes wiping as much off as possible! It really isn't good for your skin!
Rather than clogging the pores as you sleep, a layer (or several) of make up clogs the pores and forces the skin to harness even more bacteria while you sweat. The bacteria from your skin, from your makeup, from your hands when you touch your face, those floating around in the air.. and then your sweat.. its a germ fest!
As you workout, your pores that contain sweat glands become active as you start sweating. Wearing makeup forms a layer, almost like a plug which will stop the sweat from being expelled, but instead being blocked within the pore where the bacteria can be brewed, forming a spot.

Now it's much easier to prevent spots than it is to get rid of them! Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is my makeup remover of choice. It just seems to effortlessly glide the makeup right off my face in one sweep! I've used it for a few months now and I will definitely be buying it again. It lasts for absolutely ages and gets about 99% of my foundation off, which is a damn sight better than most of the removers I've used. I can't recommend Micellar Water enough!

If you start taking off your makeup before workouts or going to the gym, you'll see within a few days that your skin will really improve!

Do you wear makeup at the gym? What are your thoughts on Micellar Water?

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My Chocolate | Chocolate Making Workshop | Islington

As a birthday surprise two years ago, my Fiancé (then boyfriend) bought me two tickets to a chocolate making workshop through, and I only got round to actually booking it April last year (a whole 12 months after I was given them! :O Oopsie!!). 
A short walk from my place of work, situated in North London, the venue is beautifully placed on the Regents Canal with large glass windows so you feel like you're on the canal itself! 

The class began with a good old scrub of the hands (who wants germy chocolate- ew!), covering up with an apron and sitting down at a table with around 3-4 other couples and friends.

You could smell the melted chocolate already. I was salivating, like, uncontrollably. 

On our tables were examples of the different stages of chocolate; from the cocoa bean to cocoa butter that's extracted as well as pieces of chocolate of different strengths. These were either super bitter and gross or creamy and yummy!  There were also loads of marshmallows.. which I couldn't help but snack on!

Learning the history of the cocoa bean, the process and going through the different qualities you can find in the shops, we learnt what brands to stay away from if we only want to eat the highest quality.

The first bit of chocolate making we got to do involved three bowls of delicious liquid chocolate; milk, white and dark. Pure, rich, creamy chocolate with incredible flavour, melted into creamy goodness was put in front of my widening eyes.. dangerous.

Our task was to make a giant chocolate button.. out of whatever was on the table. My Chocolate had everything ready; chocolate curls, flakes, sprinkles, nuts, coconut, marshmallows and the three chocolate flavours.. I was in heaven!

I initially did a nice design with dark and milk chocolate, but then I went a bit choco-mad and just kept layering it on. Topped off with white chocolate flakes, this was honestly the best button I have ever tasted .. not to toot my own horn or anything..

Next we got to make fudge and chocolate coated marshmallows using cutters and pattern transfers. We chose to coat them in dark chocolate as it has a higher melting point and drizzle milk on top for decoration. 

Lastly we made truffles.. I literally had no idea how easy it was! You just need to mix it with double cream.. who knew! Piping these into little.. well.. they looked like little poos... we then dusted them in cocoa powder and rolled them into little balls. To finish, we coated them in drizzled milk and dark chocolate and pink chocolate curls.  Before leaving, we began packing them in a golden gift box and plastic gift bags so we could take them home and gift to family and friends.. or just eat them ourselves later!

This workshop is perfect for all foodies and chocolate lovers alike. It combines knowledge and practice and lots and lots of chocolate consumption! You can even book it for team building events and hen parties! If you've not done something like this before, I definitely recommend it. If you're looking for a gift for a loved one, you can buy gift vouchers as my fiancé did. They're without a doubt going to enjoy it!

Have you been to a workshop like this? What would you put on your chocolate button?

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Couch to 5K | Week 1 | Day 1

couch25k couch to 5k app iphone

Days keep passing me by and still I am not down to my pre-Christmas weight. I really need to step up my game with more exercise. We've joined the gym again, but with S still recovering from his key hole surgery, he can't quite go to the gym yet and make full use out of it. But I still don't want to go to this new gym on my own! I may pluck up the courage this week. After all, I have actually been there before with my old personal trainer - Tyler. Sticking mainly to weights, with a small bit of cardio intervals, I stuck mainly to one area of the gym. Now I've got to reintroduce my body to the concept of exercise, I feel I'll be adventuring round the cardio section a lot more to start off with.
A friend told me about this Couch to 5K app that she'd been trying and at first I was sceptical. But with a little research, I soon found out it was actually provided by the NHS. It's a 9 week programme designed to.. well.. its in the title.. get you from the couch to running 5K in just 9 weeks! The plan is very simple, you start off doing intervals and gradually you start running for longer and longer until boom, you've run 5K in one go. That's something I can only dream of at this point as I absolutely hate running and have never really seen the attraction of it. Well, cardio in general has never really appealed to me. I'm much more suited to heavy lifting than sweaty, red faced, out of breath cardio. 

So on Monday this week, I finally plucked up the courage, despite having really bad stomach cramps, nausea and a migraine, I went for it and completed day 1 of the Couch to 5K challenge. 

It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, and only actually took 20 minutes. It doesn't help that it was about -4 degrees, so breathing in the cold air at such an accelerated rate was painful. The programmes starts off with a 5 minute brisk walk and slowly introduces you into a slow jog. This is just for 60 seconds, so its manageable! You then slow down back to the brisk walk for 90 seconds and so on. You do this 8 times and then do a warm down 5 minute brisk walk.. how simple and easy is that?!

You need to do this three times in the first week at the least, to really see the benefits. In the second week you are running for 90 seconds and walking for 2 minutes, in the third you alternate running for 90 seconds, walking for 90 seconds and running for 3 minutes and walking for 3 minutes. In week 4 you are running for between 3 minutes and 5 minutes, and finally ending up running 3.1 miles (5K) in just 30 minutes with a simple warm up brisk walk. There's even a 5k to 10k app to use afterwards if you're feeling daring!

It's actually quite a good way of introducing yourself to running if you've not done it before, or if you just want to kick start your fitness regime. You can do this either out on the street or on the treadmill at the gym, whatever suits you better! I'm definitely going to try and keep this up as well as fitting in the gym and other workouts such as yoga.

Combined with a healthy diet and lots and lots of water, hopefully this will be the start of the new me and see me fitting into a size 10 again in no time!

Have you used the Couch25K app yet? What are your 2016 fitness goals?

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Writing a Joint Blog | Q&A TAG

Since 2011, we've been co-writing this blog and absolutely love it! Last year, we reached a 'make or break' point and decided ultimately, it's what we enjoy and we really want to make a go of it and be successful! As the saying goes, 'by doing what you love, success will follow'.

We've noticed more recently, as we've started attending and organising more blogging events, getting involved in blogger chats and been targeting our efforts in perfecting our social media outreach,  that we're constantly being asked questions about the dynamics of it. How we work, how we manage our time, how we share the products etc. so we thought we'd do a quick Q&A/FAQ here!

Q1: What made you want to write a blog together?

J: It was so long ago now, I can't actually remember our first conversation about it! All I can remember is deliberating about what to call it! We had a mutual obsession with cosmetics and nail polishes and thought it would be great to share that with others!

K: After watching numerous Youtube videos on topics like "Whats in my handbag" back in 2011, I thought blogging would be fun and a way of justifying the hideous amount I was spending (and continue to spend) on makeup!

Q2: Who does most post writing?

J: Recently, mostly me, but I don't have uni work to be getting on with as Kirsty does. We both have such a huge backlog of things we want to blog about, but it's finding the time that's the issue! I spend most evenings working on the blog and am on twitter 24/7 too. Hopefully once Kirsty has graduated this summer, she can concentrate more on the blog :)

Q3: Is it easier generating content when there's two of you?

J: Not really! But kind of! We basically blog about our own separate things, in our own individual style about our own products, and even each go about collaborating with brands on our own, but all the content goes in one place. It doesn't necessarily mean there's more content either, as we both get quite busy and if both of us are busy, it's a disaster! 

K: I disagree because there's loads more to write about when there's two of us. We don't tend to buy the same things or go to the same places and if we've been sent something, we normally take turns to review so we're never in a position where we both want to blog about the same thing.

Q4: Who does what with social media, who are we talking to each day?

J: I spend most of my time on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest, so it's usually me you're talking to.

K: People always have fun trying to guess who's posting, we try and make it clear but 8/10 it will be me on Instagram and Tumblr and I more or less leave Twitter to Jasmine.

Q5: If you're gifted anything or approached by brands, who gets first dibs?

J: We tend to do our own individual collabs with brands, so we keep what we review, unless there's two of a product, or if we want to give different accounts of a product, some brands are kind enough to give us one each to review - saves us having to meet up and exchange products etc. So we're kind of joint bloggers but kind of separate! After about 16 years of sharing things, I think we're used to it!

K: Jasmine usually gets in there first and gives her address, so that's usually me cockblocked. We try and do it fairly but we are sisters after all and cannot share nicely.

Q6: Do you ever argue about content?

J: There has been some disagreements in the past, after all, we are sisters! But we basically just do our own thing and post about what ever we want as long as it fits our blog theme.

K: uh, yes. Our writing styles are very different and sometimes Jasmine's posts annoy me because she is overly fond of exclamation marks. My writing can often be a little stiff rather than conversational but I'm a History student so it comes with the territory. 

As you can see, we pretty much wing it most of the time, and just do the best we can to keep our posts regular and our readers and followers engaged. You can see our New Year's blogging plan to find out how we're going to better manage our time.

We hope to turn this into a TAG, where other joint bloggers can answer the same or similar questions about the dynamics of their blogging relationship! We're so interested to know how other bloggers get on, how they know each other, how things are shared etc! So we hereby TAG Elle and Mimi, Fashion Du Jour and Original Minds. Go forth and answer the questions! Make sure you tag us back so we can read your answers!

Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Blogosphere Magazine | Issue 7 Launch | Hoxton

Back in November I took my friend Emily to the Blogosphere magazine launch for their newest issue... issue 7, featuring Samantha Maria

Having been so fortunate as to work with the magazine for our BloggersXmas party in December, we can't emphasise enough how great this magazine is. Jam-packed front to back with amazing articles by talented bloggers from across the UK, shedding light on different issues, events and such like. 

Arriving at Hoxton Overground Station, I was quick to get the map out to navigate our way to this venue.. tucked away in a side street under a bridge arch, Motel did't take long to find. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a red carpet and some welcoming, friendly faces. With as much wine on offer as you could drink, my friend Emily and I grabbed a glass and started to look around. 

This was the first time I'd really seen the magazine up close. It really was high quality and felt similar to the likes of Vogue with its thick gsm and weighty feel. A real bloggers mag! I was even more surprised at the level of content that it had, with bloggers with followings both big and small and a well known blogger as the main feature. The celebrated blogger of Issue 7's face was prominent and stunning, adding yet another high end vibe to the print.

We were lucky enough to give bloggers the chance to read Issue 3, starring Fleur de Force, by adding them to our goody bags for BloggersXmas.

We met some lovely people at this event, including Claire Eastham from We're All Mad Here and has a feature on Mental Health within issue 7.

Flicking through copies of past issues featuring bloggers and vloggers like Essie Button, Liberty London Girl, Louis Cole,  Thatcher Joe (Joe Sugg) and Marcus Butler, we noticed the venue had gotten quite a bit busier and louder, so decided to mingle some more. Introducing ourselves to fellow bloggers, editorial staff, and even Samantha Maria herself! We actually managed to talk to the photographer behind Issue 7's cover and learnt of his experiences as a photographer and how he got that cover shot. He gave us a few pointers on photography and we continued to mooch around, drinking wine and meeting new people.

They even had a photobooth at the event, which we couldn't help but take advantage of!

Getting invited to an event like this was a real privilege and I'm so glad to have gone! We each took a copy of Issue 7 home to read and then add to our coffee tables ;) Samantha is so down to earth and lovely, it was so great to meet her!

Did you go to the launch event? What do you think of the Blogosphere magazine?

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