June Review

It's the last day of June. Another month that flew by! SO if you read THIS post, you'll be aware of the goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the month! Well let's take a look and see how I got on...

Blogging : My goal was to blog every day in June. I got 25 posts up including this one, meaning I missed 5. I'm ok with that, there were days when I could have pushed myself to write but I knew the content wouldn't be great, so instead of putting up 25 posts that I'm proud of and 5 posts that I put up, just to put something it, I decided to give myself a break. Life also got in the way, there were certain days that I just didn't get time to write. I think I did pretty well and definitely feel like I've got my blogging mojo back!

YouTube : My YouTube plan didn't go quite so well, I uploaded 3 videos with another one going up at the end of this week, so roughly one a week. I planned on two a week but I think I underestimated just how difficult blogging every single day is and how much time it takes. Hopefully July will be better for a YouTube routine.

Spending Ban : I actually did really well! I only bought a few bits that were actually essential, I haven't saved any money though! There were a lot of events and unforeseen situations that just cleared me out this month. July & August should be quieter!

Fitness : I started going to the gym and On average I did work out least 2 - 3 times a week, it's still a work in progress but I'm getting there and I'm proud that I did actually sick to this goal. My eating/diet however wasn't so good but that's ok, I'll get there with that too, Rome wasn't built in a day!

Routine : This is th only goal that I feel I really feel I didn't achieve. My routine was all over the place and I've ended up leaving this month, exactly how I ended last month. Exhausted. I think the blogging every day and working and starting up at the gym and all the family & friends events etc just has me a little bit wrecked. Hopefully I'll get into a better routine in July when I won't be blogging as much.

So how was your month?

Erin X

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How to Start a Blog

Starting a blog can be both exciting and very frustrating! When I started, I was completely guessing how to go about it, a little bit of googling and about 50 YouTube tutorials later and I had figured out how to technically create a blog. From there I was just chancing my arm, hoping it would somehow work out. There are a lot of things I wish I had known before I started blogging and there are a lot of things I would change. Today I'm going to give you a complete guide on how to start a successful blog. If you click on any of the highlighted words/sentences that are a different colour, it will bring you to a post that I have done that's gone into more detail about that particular topic!

Grab a cuppa, it's a long one, enjoy!

Why Blog ? Blogging has taken the world by storm in the last few years, the industry has exploded! THIS post explains exactly WHY you should start a blog!

The Tools
First things first you'll need some tools to get it all set up. Now all you really need is a laptop and internet but there are some other things that will make your life easier and your blog better. Now you don't need to spend a fortune, a little budget will go a long way.

  • A good laptop or computer - Obvious but clearly essential.You probably already have one or the other or at least access to one.
  • A camera - Content is King but good graphics and photos can really make or break a blog. Get yourself some cool backgrounds, use natural light and a decent camera to take clean, clear bright photos. I use the Nikon J1, it comes with two lens and cost around €250 when it was on offer. 
  • An editing program - I use two editing programs, Photoshop and Picmonkey. Picmonkey is free and is an online program, It's good, especially if you don't have access to the likes of Photoshop. I do prefer Photoshop as you have a lot more freedom and can create absolutely anything.

Decide on a Topic 
 Choosing your niche early on, will help you reach your target audience and grow your blog a lot quicker. How to decide on a topic ? Well just think about what  you are passionate about, what can others learn from you? what do you already do/ talk about? There are 'nicheless' blogs out there and if your blog is a bit of everything, that's fine too but be clear about what your blog is, for both your readers sake and yours.

Decide on a name for your blog
This is the fun part, It took me about a month to come up with mine. Things to remember when choosing your blog name is that this will become your brand. It sets expectations and the mood of what your blog is about. Think of names and then go and check if that domain is free. Also check if various social media platform are free too. Tips on a name would be to choose something that appeals to your target audience, something easy to pronounce, simple and easy to remember, something that relates to your core topic but be creative!

Choose a platform 
 The big question is where do you want to blog? Blogger, Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org, Tumblr? If you want your blog to be taken seriously or you want your blog to be monetised, I'd stay clear from Tumblr as it isn't really recognized as a serious platform.I personally use blogger but have used wordpress.com in the past. I found blogger to be far more user friendly than wordpress. If you choose wordpress then you'll need to set up your hosting, I've heard great things about bluehost. Do your research when it comes to choosing a platform. Maybe try them all out, see which one you prefer. I''m not going to give a small tutorial here on how exactly to set up blogger & wordpress etc. There are plenty of great tutorials out there, just google it!

Choose a theme 
This is essentially when and where you will create your brand. The theme you choose and how you customize it should reflect the purpose of your blog and the mood of your blog. Try to create a brand/theme that you will use across all your social media channels, business cards and anywhere that your blog will be represented. I bought my blog design from pipdig and found them to be great. Within 24hrs my blog was transformed, it's easy to customize it myself and nothing was lost when they changed it over.

Writing - what to write, how to write and when to write.

  • A location - Try and have a set placed that is your 'blogging space' whether that's the college library, home office, your bedroom, wherever it is try and have this predetermined. The only reason I say this is because if like me your a college student(or maybe your house is just a mad house in general) then waiting for a rare quiet moment won't help when you're trying to prepare posts, schedule social media etc. I find it easier to goto the library for an hour a couple of evenings a week and get all my stuff done.
  • Find your blogging voice - this is something you might hear a lot, what it basically means is finding your unique way of writing. You may be used to writing academically for school but blogging is very different. A more personal tone when writing is used. For me, I write how I speak. If I was to read all of my blogs posts out loud and you weren't looking at me, you probably wouldn't be able to tell that I was actually reading what I'm saying. A conversational tone works well on my blog.
  • A great post includes - length, most of my posts are at least 300 words long but don't just have a block of writing, no one likes to read that, make it easy for your reader.Break it up into headings, subheadings, paragraphs and pictures. A great post also has great graphics! Use a decent camera and a decent editing program and put time into your graphics. Your graphics and your blog title is what people will click in on so do put in a bit of effort. Lastly you're posts need to have a purpose, what are you teaching people, what will they learn or feel after reading your post. All of these combined will have your writing up to scratch!

It's called 'social' media for a reason. Scheduling is your best friend as in engaging. Engage with your readers and other content creators this will help your blog grow very quickly. A lot of people start out on absolutely every platform out there and wear themselves out. Start with three, maybe Facebook, twitter and maybe pinterest. Build up these platforms and become comfortable before launching into more, especially if you're not used to social media. Don't be afraid to promote your blog, social media moves so quickly that people will enviably miss your tweets or Facebook posts so don't be afraid to promote the same post over and over, but don't spam people either.

If you want to monetize your blog, work with brands or just keep track of how much your blog is growing then you will need to set up some analytics. I'd recommend using google analytics, it is industry standard. All analytics systems or softwares will report different numbers and that is because what they count as a view varies. While Blogger and Wordpress counts can sometimes be a little high, google analytics can be a little low. They undervalue your views just a little, to allow for bots etc. But Google Analytics is industry standard so get them set up ASAP.

Before announcing your blog to the world

  • Fill out the about and contact section, you'll be surprised how many people will read them!
  • Have content already there - Have something ready for your readers to read when they land on your blog for the first time. 
  • Install all of your widgets - As you'll know at the side of my blog, you'll see all my social media widgets which will take you straight to my social media platforms so you can follow me and not have to spend time trying to find me. Do this for your blog before people arrive, so that if they like your blog and they want to follow your social platforms, it's easy to do so.
  • Have some posts scheduled to up - If you have a little fear about putting yourself out there, write up enough posts to last you through the first few weeks, that way when you go to write your first post after launching the blog, you won't get too scared or intimidated, they'll already be done.
  • Set up social media platforms - Do this for two reasons, one so that you can make sure you're blog name isn't taken on any of them and two, so that you have already build up an audience that are excited for the launch of your new blog! 
  • Set up a blogging calendar - I would be lost without mine, here's a full tutorial.
  • Have a plan- if you want to monetize and you should after putting in all this hard work, have a plan before launching about how exactly you're going to make money. Sponsorship? affiliate links? Adsense? Your own product? Have a good think about it, create a plan and implement it!

Lastly have fun! As I said at the beginning, I had absolutely no clue when I started out and as frustrated as it was at times, I wouldn't have it any other way. If you made it this far, well done! I hope you learned a thing or two, if you have any questions or want me to elaborate more on anything, feel free to leave me a comment! 

Erin X

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Blogging Q&A

I asked you on snapchat(chasingrubychat) and twitter(@chasingrubies2) to send in any and all blogging related questions and boy did you send a lot! I combined a lot of them and there were a lot that were basically the same question. So I hope I answered all your questions and I hope that this post is helpful!

How to think of things to write about?
I usually do a big brainstorming session ahead of each month, I'll see what new products I have or what I can review. Some months are easier than others, October and December are usually good months because you can have lots of different themed posts because of Halloween, Autumn and Christmas. Sometimes if I feel I'm suffering from a little bit of bloggers block, I'll either ask my audience what they would like to see or I'll just step back from all things blogging and social media, take a little break and I always come back refreshes and inspired.

How do you keep motivated?
Well I'm very passionate about blogging, I love to write so I have an advantage there. It can be tough to balance everything sometimes, but I just love the feeling when I hit publish on a post! I also get really motivated when I get good feedback from my readers. My advice is to only write when you feel inspired, don't force yourself to write. Take breaks and go out into the real world, that way you won't get overwhelmed and lose motivation.

Why did I start blogging? Any tips for someone who's starting out?
I started blogging because it was part of a college assignment. We had to write two posts about our module and one on absolutely anything we wanted. I wrote about my first two months in college. Afterwards I kinda felt like I wanted to write more, after reading other people's blogs for quite some time I eventually set up my own! When you're starting out, take some time to build up your blog, find your niche and your blogging voice, don't worry about stats or what everybody else is doing just focus on you and your blog. I wrote a post recently on what NOT to do when you start blogging if you're interested. 

Any tips on getting traffic to your website?
Promote promote promote! Social media is so powerful and can really help your blog take off so start building up your social media platforms and use them to promote your posts. Also give readers that do visit you website, a reason to come back or to read more. At the side of my blog, there's always an archive list as well as a popular posts feature. 

What do you wish you knew when you started blogging?
When I started blogging I was comparing my blog to others who were full time bloggers. I would often feel like I wasn't good enough, my stats weren't high enough etc. But I was comparing my two month old blog to blogs that had been around 5+ years! I was also constantly worried about people I knew in real life finding my blog. The fear of being myself was very real and stopped my blog growing because I was too afraid of what people I knew three years ago would think. 

How to get the confidence to share your blog & promote it?
My answer above is quite apt for this question too. As I said, I was terrified of people finding my blog when I started out. But what surprised me was that when people did come across it, they actually reached out and said they loved it and asked advice on certain products or how they should do things, so don't be so hard on yourself! You really do just have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Use the power of social media to promote your blog, it's crazy how much it helps!

Any tips for getting your snapchat out there?
Snapchat is all about engagement. Engage with others, give other people shoutouts because you might get some in return, take part in some of the challenges that happen, promote your snapchat on other platforms. Give people a reason to follow you. If there's a particular day that you get a lot of engagement or new followers, try figure out why that was, what did you do that day to get high engagement, once you figure out what your audience want, do more of that. Ask your audience questions and put in the time and effort to chat to them, they'll probably end up talking to their friends who will follow you and they'll tell their friends and so on. 

How do you grow your blog audience?
This is a tough one, for some people they seem to be an overnight success and have a million followers after a month, please know that this is very very very rare. For 99.9% of us, it takes years to build a big audience. Create content that you would like to read, give people a reason to follow you, take good pictures and have a nice blog design that suits your blog. Utilise social media and try to go out and network in the real world, go to events etc. It takes time and it happens a different way for everyone. 

How do you get invited to events  & work with PRs?
Engage with PRs online. If you write a post reviewing a product that the PR agency represent, tag them. Try and make yourself seen without spamming. If there's a particular event coming up that you'd really like to go to, email them and ask. But don't just say can I come to the event, tell them who you are, what you do and why you think you should be there. In terms of working with PRs if there's any agency that represent some brands that you really want to work with, ask the PR out for a coffee and have a chat. It's much easier to build up a relationship in real life than it is online. If you are not in a position to go and have a coffee, create a media kit and send it to the PR along with a pitch as to why you want to work with a brand and what ideas you have to collaborate.

How often should you blog?
As often as possible but be consistent. Two or three times a week would be pretty good, the more you blog, the faster you'll grow your blog. In saying that content is king, it's better to blog once a week on the same day at the same time and have a fantastic post rather than 6 times a week with 'just ok' posts. Quality is better than Quantity. 

What's the best platform for blogging?
This is completely up to you. I chose blogger as the big bloggers that I was reading when I started out were all using blogger, so I did too. I have to use wordpress for college and it just seems way to complicated for me personally. But I think it's nearly 49% of the world's websites are built with wordpress so that is definitely something to take into account. I'd recommend trying both wordpress and blogger out, see which interface you like more and go from there. 

Any advice on taking pictures?
Try to have a nice background, clean clear photos that are well thought out, aren't blurry and have good lighting!

How do you make time to blog when you're really busy?
It's all about priorities and time management. I always try to do at least an hour of scheduling every week, even if I don't have new blog posts going up, I promote older ones that I've wrote. Keep your social media going even if you're blog goes quiet. Try to fit in some time to blog each week, maybe pick a specific evening that's your blogging evening. If you want to have a successful blog, then you simply HAVE to put hard work and time in. Life can get in the way sometimes and things that are out of our control can take over, but there are 168 hours in a week, try and put two or three aside for blogging.

Who inspires you/ who influences you as a blogger?
I am inspired by so many people, I read an insane amount of blogs. Zoella, Lily Pebbles, Vivianna Does Makeup, Retro Flame, The Makeup Fairy, It's Cherry Sue, Too Dolly Makeup and so many more inspire me with their positivity and passion to succeed. 

What's your favourite thing about blogging?
I love escaping into my blog for a few hours, it's my happy place and has changed my life. I wrote a post on all  the awesome things about blogging here!

So I hope I answered all your questions, if you have any more just leave them in the comments! I hope you learned something from this post, let me know if you did! 

Erin X
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My Current Favourite Products

You may or may not have noticed that last month was the first month since starting YouTube that I didn't upload a favourites video. The reason for this was simply because I felt like I was being forced to like 6-10 new products every month. I hadn't bought any new products and I was enjoying using up the products that were already in my stash and that I had talked about in numerous videos. Instead of boring you I didn't upload a video. So now it's been just over two months since I last shared what I've loved using recently I thought it was about time to put a post together!

Isadora Face Sculptor is one of my all time favourites products. It has a bronzer, blush and highlight and comes in the perfect size for travelling. The bronzer works really well for people who have pale skin like me because it's not too dark or overpowering. It does have a slight shimmer to it but it's not very noticeable once it's applied. The blush is a gorgeous rosey pink colour. A little will go a long way, I usually add a tiny bit and build it up. The highlighter....wow...just wow!!! This highlight is just amazing, it's lovley for daytime makeup or natural makeup because there's no chunky glitter in it, it quite literally looks like a glow from within with a little shimmer on top! Absolutely love it!

NYX Pore Filler and Shine Killer have been a staple since I recieved them. I even wrote a full post on the Shine Killer here. They perform very similarly except that the pore filler feels more like a mouse than the silcone feeling of the Shine Killer. The Pore Filler is also pigmented and the Shine Killer isn't. I've really been loving them both and rarely put on makeup without one of these under it as a base.

PS. Colour Correcting Palette is something that I've been reaching for it more and more lately. I've even hit pan on it. For €2.50 I'm going to go and stock up soon. As I mentioned in this post, I only ever really use the green shade in any of the colour correcting palettes, regardless of brand as I use it to counteract any redness on my face. I love this one from Pennys, it's light cream that's easy to blend, covers your redness but isn't so strongly pigmented that it breaks through your foundation.

B.O.N Liquid Gold is a body oil that I have been obsessed with, none of my body creams have gotten a look in since I started using it. it's an oil that feels really hydrating but it's think or sticky. I apply it just before bed at night and right after the shower. It gives a very slight glow to your skin. It makes it look really healthy. It is supposed to be really good for healing acne scars, stretch marks and loads of other things so I'll keep you posted if I notice any dramatic changes from using it.

Seventeen Stay Time Concealer is a product that I didn't really like at first. I don't find it has great coverage and for someone who suffers with acne, that's not ideal. However I really started using it under my eyes as I ran out of my NYX HD concealer and I have been so impressed by it. It's quite a light consistency so it doesn't cake up under the eyes or sit in any fine lines. It just brightens up the area which is exactly what I want it to do.

Isadora Nude Sensation Fluid Foundation is another product that I didn't like when I first started using it, I've only really started liking it in the past two weeks, but last weekend I opted for this foundation over my all time holy grail Seventeen Stay Time. SO to me that proved that I must actually really like it. I find the best way to apply it is by applying your concealer first, then foundation. I don't know why but it just sits so much better. It is quite full coverage and does feel a bit heavy on the skin. But I'm used to that so yeah, really liking so far.

Dramatic lips is something I've been doing a lot recently. I think after Winter I was so happy to start using bright colourful lip colours, but it's been a good few months now and I'm finding myself being drawn back to my deep plums and dark shades. Two lipsticks that I've been drawn to in particular have been MAC 'Diva' and NYX 'Dirthy Talk' Diva is a gorgeous pupley plum red shade and Dirty Talk is a really dark brown, kinda similar to the colour of Nutella...yup I just compared lipstick to nutella!

Lastly the Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser is something that I have been obsessed with. It's a cream cleanser that foams up a little and acts like a gel cleanser. My face is always squeaky clean after using it. It does feel a little dry and tight afterwards, not enough that it's uncomfortable, but definitely use a good moisturiser with it!

And that's it folks! My fave products of late! What have you been loving recently?!

Erin X
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My 5 Blogging Fails

Even though I've been doing quite a few posts recently about blogging and tips and tricks, I don't know everything and I make mistakes myself (especially when I started blogging). It's human to make mistakes, but try to only make them once, learn from them and don't let them define you.

Proof Reading
This is something even after nearly two years, I'm still not great at. I get too excited about writing a post that I skim back through it and publish the post without a second thought. Until maybe a week or a month later when I might be reading back my post and see 3 spelling mistakes and 2 sentences that juts don't make sense! My advice, write your post, read it over,schedule, read it again a few days later and then publish it. Alternatively ask someone who is brilliant at proof reading to read it over and make sure it all makes sense.

Over Promising
I'm a big dreamer and firm believer in you can do anything you set your mind to. I also love making goals and lists. Sometimes I need to be a bit more realistic. It's not that I need to dream a little smaller or anything like that, I just put myself under too much pressure and then get disheartened when I don't do as well as I'd hoped. A plain example is this month, I thought I'd have no problem writing a post for every single day this month, so far I've missed 5 days! I'll make up for them, but I should have been more realistic, I should have promised myself and my readers that I'd post every weekday. This would give me the chance to allow for those days when I just didn't wanna write, or life got in the way and I just didn't get time to write. My advice, under promise and over deliver.

When I started blogging I was a divil for reviewing products after only trying them a handful of times, it lasted about two months, maybe three. Then I'd continue to use a product and realize either it broke me out or I actually wouldn't repurchase it. Or on the other side, a product that I didn't like I'd end up loving. Now I make sure that anything I review, I have REALLY really tried/used. Advice, don't get ahead of yourself.

This is something I really need to improve on, I love stats and making goals etc. But one thing I don't do is track my analytics, now numbers and analytics aren't the be all and end all but they do fascinate me. Every now and then I'll go through my different social media or my blog analytics, see what got traction, what didn't etc. What I need to start doing is actually tracking them and comparing them month by month. As I said they're not the be all and end all but they are worth noting if you're wanting to grow your blog or work with brands.

This is probably where I let myself down the most. I'm not great at promoting myself or my blog. Maybe it's the Irish culture in me, talking myself down. I'm not sure, but I know certain things work, like scheduling social media weekly to give yourself the best chance of being seen, yet I rarely do it. Or I'll do it for a week, get busy and forget. I need to improve on this if I ever want to grow my blog and get it more well known.

So there you have it my current and past blogging failures, there's lots more trust me but they're the biggies! Tell me in the comments, what your biggest blogging failures are...

Erin X  

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All about the Reds!

What's your safe lippie colour? Mine is red. I know a lot of people would probably say a nude lippie or maybe a pinky brown lippy but for me it's red. I have fairly big lips and red lipstick always looks good on them so over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of red lipsticks. Today I'm going to be sharing my absolute favourites...

Stay Pout in 'Date Night' from Seventeen really is the perfect red for a date night. It's a bright red that's creamy on the lips but stays in place so you don't have to worry about it budging from your lips. It feels very comfortable on the lips and doesn't dry them out what so ever. One of the best things about it is that there's no fragrance from it. It drives me mad when lipsticks have a strong fragrance but luckily this beauty isn't fragranced. It has decent staying power, it won't budge unless you eat something, but when it does wear away, it does so kinda evenly so that you don't end up with patchy bits around your lips, it just fades into a pink shade. It comes in at €5.99 and can be bought in all Boots stores and online. Definitely a must have.

Next up is 'Eros' from NYX. This is a beautiful orangey red shade, perfect for the spring summer time. I usually wear this with a dewy simple base, simple eyes with lashes and leave the main focus on the lips. Similar to the Stay Pout lipstick, it's very comfortable on the lips, however it is slightly less creamy and as a result I think, it's a little bit longer lasting. Such a beautiful shade and for €5.75, you really can't go wrong!

'Soft Paprika' from No7 is a stunning shade of red, very Marilyn Monroe esque. It's quite hydrating on the lips and even has SPF of 15 which is really great! This lippie pairs very nicely with a gold smokey eye and gives you the perfect tah dah! moment! Such a lovely shade and I always get compliments when I wear it. It's very pigmented so lasts quite well too!

Both of the Rimmel lipsticks perform the same way, the only difference being the colours. I have 01 and 107. Both are very popular shades and they're both from the Kate collection. I totally get why they're so popular. They're absolutely gorgeous, 107 is probably my favourite of the two. It's a much deeper red with a  blue undertone. Both have matte finish which means they're not the most hydrating so make sure you moisturize your lips well if you want them to last. They're both very long lasting and all round brilliant reds to have in your collection. My only negative thing about them is the fragrance. 01 isn't too bad but I can't stand the smell of 107. It's grand once it's on your lips as you can't really smell it but it has a very strong smell when you're applying it.

Last but by no means least is my MAC 'Diva'. A very deep plum red shade, perfect for the Autumn/Winter months. It has a matte finish so make sure your lips are well prepped. It doesn't have the longest staying power, but we'll forgive it because it's just so damn gorgeous! Absolutely obsessed with this shade! Diva is around the €20 mark and can be bought from any MAC counter.

From left to right: rimmel 107,rimmel 01, No7 'Soft Paprika', Stay Pout 'Date Night', MAC 'Diva', NYX 'Eros'

So those are my favourite Reds! What's yours? 

Erin X

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Things to consider before you start a blog

Blogging is a great way to express yourself, get your name or brand out there. Personally, starting my blog was the best thing I've ever done. It has taught me a lot about myself and introduced me to an industry I never even knew existed. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Blogging takes a lot of work. It can be difficult, time consuming and sometimes lonely. But the positives always outweigh the negatives in my book when it comes to blogging, you can read why I think that here. Before starting a blog, there are a few things I think you should consider or are worth having a little think about...

Money or Passion?
Why are you starting a blog? What motivates you? What drives you to want to write? Is it money or is it passion? Both by the way are completely legit reasons in my book. It's no secret that there is serious money to be earned from blogging and if money is what motivates you, then more power to you, there isn't anything to be ashamed of in that regard. If you write as a passion then what are you expecting from your blog? Do you want it to be your own little personal corner of the internet that you can go to whenever adulting gets too much? Do you want to share you love of something and share all your experiences? Be honest with yourself with this, so that you don't end up quitting or being disappointed.

What would you write about?
Regardless of what the answer to the first question is, you'll need something to write about. Find your niche, is there a market for it? Where would you find readers? Is there something similar already in existence ? Chances are, there is so what will make your blog different and stand out? Before launching your blog, try writing 10 posts or at least have a serious brainstorming session and see how far you get. Don't worry if over time, your blog or what you blog about changes, mine has and I love that it has changed.

This is a biggie for most people. How much time to you realistically have to devote to blogging. As I said above, blogging is hard work and boy is it time consuming. You also need to think about how long it takes you to complete a post. For me I write quite quickly and once I have an idea, I can get it out of my head and have it ready to be published, usually within and hour, taking photos and getting it ready to be published, I'd be looking at, at most two hours. But I know it takes some people days, entire weekends to publish just one post. Also don't just rush posts, take your time with them, if they take you a full weekend, let it be so, quality content will always win so don't worry if you're not getting five posts a day wrote. Figure out how fast you work and how much time you realistically have. Once you know this, you can create a plan and develop a consistent schedule with your readers. The reason for this is so that you don't quit after a few weeks or months, if you only have time to blog once a month, let it be so but be realistic about your time and how much you're willing to give up.

The Technical Stuff
There's a whole other side to blogging other than just writing. One of the most basic questions being what platform to you want to use? Blogger, wordpress.com, wordpress.org ? Then there's designing the blog, do you want to do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you? Do you have a certain budget? Do you have no budget what so ever? I didn't and had to learn it all myself, no harm in that either. Do you understand social media and how to use it properly? Do you know where you should be promoting your blog or how to promote it? There's so much more to it than you could ever imagine, but that keeps it interesting!

The Legal Stuff
So there's obvious legal stuff like copyright on images and of course content but recently new legislation has come into effect and you need to be careful about how you present yourself online. There are certain guidelines that you need to stick to, it's the law people! For example you now HAVE to disclose when your being paid to promote something(which you should do anyway out of respect to your readers) And there are a few other things you need to educate yourself on so do your research, a quick google search will help you a lot.

As I said above, blogging takes a lot of work but if you're passionate and you want to do it, don't let anything stop you! 

Erin X 
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Girl Online On Tour | Book Review

Today I'm bringing you something a little bit different! A book review. I never usually do book reviews, because I never usually read books. However when Zoe Sugg aka Zoella released her first book 'Girl Online' I really wanted to read it. I have followed Zoe for years and she was one of the biggest inspirations to me when I started my blog. So I bought the first one, read it on holiday and  LOVED IT!  When she released the follow up Girl Online On Tour, I knew I wanted to get it and find out what happened to Noah and Penny! So what did I think....

The blurb reads...
The sequel to the number-one bestseller Girl Online. Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend, Noah, on his European music tour. Penny's bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

Spoiler, I loved it, I knew I would, the first book was excellent and I expected nothing less for the second and I wasn't disappointed! I read the book in two days and probably could have read it in one, if I wasn't trying my best to make it last as long as possible. It's one of those book where you find yourself in bed at 4am, exhausted but can't put the book down.

This book is such a lovely light summer read. Don't get me wrong it's not all sunshine and rainbows, it made me angry, sad, laugh and cry at some points. It's cute and sweet just like Zoe! I think all of her fans will love it, while Zoe herself hasn't toured, she gives a very realistic look into what it's like to tour and Penny's reaction was very realistic too. Even though Zoe hasn't experienced touring herself, if you've been a fan of Zoe for any amount of time, you will notice elements of her personality in the book. Don't let the fact that she's a youtuber put you off, she's a writer by nature and she definitely proves herself in these books, you completely loose yourself in Penny's world and for me that's exactly what a good book does!

Overall I loved the book, it's a very me book and by that I mean, it's cute, light, funny with a good old fashioned love story. I know Zoe is currently writing the third book and I cannot wait to read it!!!

Have you read any of Zoe's book? what did you think?

Erin X
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Blogging on a Budget!

There seems to be a misconception about blogging and needing to have all the latest cameras and lens, in order to have a successful blog. You don't NEED them, if you want them, go ahead, but they are absolutely not necessary. I might sound a bit hypocritical because I do use a DSLR and have purchased artificial lighting. To be fair I mainly bought these so that I could make YouTube videos, but I don't see any harm in investing in hobbies or things that interest you. However there is no point in invest a ton of money at the beginning because you mightn't even stick to blogging. My point is it is NOT essential to spend a lot of money in order to have a successful blog, if you choose to invest in something you're passionate about, there's no shame in that either.

The Basics
Most of you will already have a laptop or computer so you can quite literally start your blog for free. You can start on either blogger or wordpress and it won't cost a dime! After that, you'll need something you can take photos with. I use a DSLR camera, the nikon j1 but before I bought the camera I was just using my phone camera. I know lots of bloggers that use their iphones to take blog pictures and they look just as good as a proper camera. A lot of the time, it's more about the lighting than anything. I use artificial lights , the Glamcore elite. But I will always opt for natural lighting, even though I have invested in artificial, nothing beats it. SO when the sun shines, take photos in bulk, enough to last you the next few posts anyway. And that's really all you need, a laptop, some sort of camera and lighting.

The Products
Depending on what type of blog you have, you'll need a subject for example, I talk about beauty a lot, therefore I need beauty products to blog about. But constantly buying new products when I'm working with a students budget, doesn't always work. This forces me to be a bit more creative. Instead of doing reviews all the time, I do things like round up posts or favourites, or posts where I can use the same products for more than one post. I also think my readers appreciate the more creative posts too.

If you are going to invest a little bit of money into your blog, I'd recommend buying a domain, you can get very cheap ones on Go Daddy. If you are using wordpress, consider being self hosted. If you have a beauty blog, try and find some cool backgrounds, usually I'll just use a big white sheet of paper or maybe my white blanket, but TK Maxx always have really cool designs that you can use as a background for your photos. And lastly, social media is free unless you pay for advertising. I'm blogging a year and half and still haven't given Facebook a penny so don't feel like you have to either.

See, blogging can be very cheap and essentially free if you want it to be, there's no need to go splashing the cash, unless you want to and that's perfectly fine too! Have you any tips for blogging on a budget? Share them in the comments below!

Erin X

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What NOT to do when you start a blog!!!

I see so many blogging tips and tricks posts, but not many blog posts giving advice on what NOT to do. So I thought I'd write my own. Starting out in the blogging world can be a bit scary, especially nowadays because there's just so many and so quickly the market has become so saturated. Don't worry, you'll find your feet and it'll be second nature in no time! The following tips on what NOT to do are just my opinion and I'd love to hear yours too...

Don't Spam -
 I know what it's like to start out in an overpopulated corner of the internet and try to stand out and let people know that you're even there. It takes time and I think it's a good thing that it takes time because you get the chance to really find your blogging voice and build up lots of content. There's no point in shouting about your blog with only a few posts on it, in my opinion. When I find a new blog I want to sit and read it for ages, so have something for your readers to read. If you're twitter page is just filled with links, it can be a huge deterrent in getting people to follow you. If you're posting into every single blogging group on Facebook three times a day, people will get start getting annoyed and for a good reason, no one wants 10 billion notifications all about the same post! There are ways to get your blog out there and to attract readers, but spamming is NOT one of them.

Don't expect samples & invites immediately!
This is something that I've been hearing a lot recently from newbie bloggers. If you're expecting to be invited to lots of events and expecting to be sent lots of products after blogging for a month or two, forget it. It takes time to build relationships with brands and to build up mutual trust. If you are only blogging to get freebies or to go to cool events, don't bother, it's too much work and brands and readers will see straight through it!

Don't spend a ton of money at the start!
Another thing I constantly hear is, I'd love to start blogging but I just don't have the equipment, or I'm saving to get a really good camera, lights, the works. One thing I know for certain is that blogging isn't for everyone. Lots of people stop blogging for various different reasons, so don't spend your hard earned cash on something you don't know you'll stick to. Lots of very big bloggers still take their photos on their phones and edit them on free apps, you don't need to spend a small fortune to have a great blog. Of course, if you're at  a stage where you know you love blogging and you just want to invest to improve the quality of your blog do, but don't rush into it because you see other bloggers with fancy cameras and what not.

Don't copy everyone else!
A simple concept but you'd be surprised how many people fall into the trap of doing the same damn thing as everyone else. Your blog is your space, do what you want on it, write about what you love and create posts that you would want to read yourself. People will generally follow your blog for you, for your personality, your tips, your tricks, YOU. So stay true to yourself and don't worry about what everyone else is doing.

Don't give up!
So many bloggers give up blogging after a short time because they don't see results as quick as they'd like to. Building a successful blog takes time, A LOT of time. But I cannot stress this enough, don't give up. You never know who's reading your blog or when you're blog will suddenly take off. You never know when or if a post will suddenly go viral. SO stick at it, I promise you'll see results eventually but you need to do the groundwork. Blogging is truly one of the best things I've ever done and it can be for you too, just don't give up too soon.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, let me know in the comments!

Erin X
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Why You Should Start A Blog

I often get asked why I blog and why I put myself out there. I always say that the positives far outweigh the negatives and it's true! Luckily I haven't experienced too many negatives. Recently I've been getting a lot of questions on snapchat from people asking whether or not they should start a blog or how to know if blogging is for them. And to that I say, just start one. If you don't like it or it's just not for you, you can always stop and remove it. But I bet you'll end up loving it because the reality is blogging is awesome! I think everyone should have blog, be it public or private, here's why...

  1. It's a great hobby - I never knew how much I actually enjoyed writing until I started the blog. I find it to be very therapeutic and helps me think clearer.
  2. It serves as an online cv - It gives potential future employers a chance to find you and see if you're a right fit for their company.
  3. You meet great  people -  I have made life long friends that inspire me every day through blogging.
  4. Enhances skills - You learn/improve your writing, photography,editing,HTML,social media & a whole load of other skills.
  5. It builds your confidence - The biggest change the blog has had on my life is in my confidence, it's crazy how much it changes! 
  6. It lets you help other people - I love when people get in touch saying I've helped them or inspired them in some way, it's the best feeling ever to just help people and share your knowledge.
  7. It's free - At least when you begin, if you choose to self host and all that jazz you can, but mine is completely free.
  8. It can make you money - Some can and do make millions from their blogs, for me, it's helped get me a few freelance gigs and a part time job.
  9. It helps you document your life - This is one of my favourite parts, I love reading some of my lifestyle posts back that I wrote a year or so ago, it's amazing to see how different my life was then and when I read them I remember exactly what I was thinking and what was going on at that time in my life. 

Have you contemplated starting a blog ? Stop thinking, start doing! 

Erin X
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The Best Micellar Water ?

I'm back with another battle and this time it's between Micellar waters. It seems in the last year they have become increasingly popular and so many brands have come out with their own version. So how do we to know which ones are the best? Well I've tried and tested a few popular ones and the results are in...

Up first we have probably one of the most popular micellar waters, the Garnier Micellar water! Garnier have a few different types, depending on your skin type, I used to have the pink bottle but found it very very drying on my skin. I just didn't get the hype about it at the time, then I tried the green/blue bottle as in the picture above and it was completely different, in a good way. It is aimed towards people with combination to oily and sensitive skin. I have normal to combination skin and it is quite sensitive so it's the option that suited me the most. Mt thoughts? I like it, I don't love it. I use it to remove makeup and it does the job perfectly. I never really use it as a cleanser unless I am being ridiculously lazy. This is actually probably my fourth bottle, they're available in Boots and Pennys and selected pharmacies. They range in price form about €4 to €8. I definitely would repurchase it if I needed to and by that I mean if I didn't have access to buying one of the others (the simple one).

Next up is Bioderma, who have been in Ireland just over a year now. When they first launched their micellar water, there was major major hype about it. I was gifted a small bottle like the one in the picture, at an event. I had heard so much about it, I couldn't wait to test it. But when I did I found myself quite disappointed. Now don't get me wrong, it's a great little product, it completely removes your makeup, your skin doesn't feel dry afterwards, but it was still just a micellar water. I don't know what I was expecting, but after hearing some much hype around it, I thought it would remove your makeup and then some. This is now my second sample bottle that I was also gifted and this time round, not having great expectations, I actually really liked it. At the end of the day,it's still micellar water. It leaves your face feeling clean and soft and what more could you ask for really ?

Le Mara Micellar water is by far the biggest disappointment. I really wanted to like this product, everything seemed great, it's made by an Irish company in the west, it's very affordable at €4.99, it contains things like organic sea minerals & extracts & vitamin B, there's no perfume, no parabens and no alcohol. But it stings my face like nothing else! I'm genuinely surprised I didn't have a reaction to it. My face felt very warm and uncomfortable, it's very very drying, it hurt my eyes so much  and doesn't smell very nice either. If you have sensitive skin like me give this one a miss!

I have saved the best for last, yes that's right it's the Simple Micellar water! My favourite! I picked this up because I read somewhere, a tweet maybe, that the simple micellar water was miles better than the Garnier one. So off I went to investigate which was better. I am thrilled that I picked it up, it's just amazing! What I love about it is the simplicity of it (they clearly stuck to their branding on this one) It's quite simply feels like water, not like the others, but like actual water. It doesn't smell funny, it doesn't sting my eyes and best of all, it works really really well. I only need a small amount to remove both my face and eye makeup. My skin feels fresh and squeaky clean after using it. The only downer about it is that the bottle it comes in is 200mls and I find myself running through it very quickly but at €3.99, it could be worse!

There are still a lot more Micellar waters out there that I haven't tried...yet! So tell me what's your favorite and why? 

Erin X
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Fresh Sorbet Blush

I had never tried a cream blusher before the fresh sorbet blush from the body shop. I don't know why, they just look so scary and I was a bit afraid of going overboard, running my base and looking like a clown with big red cheeks! I didn't need to worry, well not with this cream blusher anyway...

So this little beauty is the Fresh Sorbet Blush in Cuban Watermelon 025 from the Body Shop. My mam actually introduced me to it when I came home for a weekend without makeup and I raiding her stash. I was a bit nervous but there was no need.

So firstly it smells divine!!! It is very heavily scented so if that isn't a scent you like, try another one as far as I'm aware, there are a four different scents/shades available. This one looks quite orange in the picture above but it's actually almost a hot pink colour(now you can see why I was nervous). The texture is a very light cream, almost mousse like, it's somewhere between a liquid and cream. It feels lovely and cool on your skin and blend really easily. I usually use either my fingers or a brush to blend it in and it works great with both.

When you look at it in the little pot, you can see quite a bit of shimmer but once you apply it and blend it in, you don't see any shimmer what so ever. It is very glowy though, perfect for summer. It's not over the top or in your face, more of a subtle glow from within. Once it blended in, it dries with a kind of velvet finish, it makes your skin feel super soft and smooth. Sometimes I apply it before my foundation and add a little extra colour.

The packaging is great for travelling. It's a small glass pot with a black sturdy lid, no fear of it breaking or leaking. It gives a very sheer coverage but it's easy to build up and no matter how much you apply, it doesn't get cakey or uncomfortable on the skin. It's supposed to give hydration to the skin for 12hours, while I haven't tested it for 12 hours, it definitely does give great hydration to the skin. I'd recommend this blush, especially for those of you that have dry or sensitive skin.

I love it! Have you tried it ? 

Erin X
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How to Increase your Productivity | Blogger Edition

Feel like you've been procrastinating a lot lately? Or maybe it's just taking you forever to get small tasks done? Well I have a few tips for you to get your ass in gear and to start being really productive!

Work in Bulk
This is something that I have only recently started doing and boy has it made a big difference! Ever gone to write a post and realised you have no photos, so you go and set up to take photos, take the photos, edit them and by the time you're back and ready to write, you've lost all inspiration! This has happened to me far too many times. Now instead of trying to do everything together, I do certain things in bulk. I take my photos in bulk, usually enough photos to last me four or five blog posts, edit them and just leave them waiting for when I need them. then whenever the creative juices are flowing and I'm in the mood to write, I write the four or five blog posts and leave them waiting to be scheduled or posted whenever the time is right. And the same goes for scheduling, answering emails etc.

Create a blogging Calendar
Creating a blog calendar helps to keep you on track and it's a great brainstorming session for blog post ideas. It will also really help you plan out your month, in relation to posts, when to post and give you some deadlines, some people don't like deadlines for something that is your hobby but for me, it's like a challenge and it motivates me to get the posts done and published!

Schedule Everything
This is absolute essential. Sometimes, between taking photos, writing the posts and advertising the posts, it can all get a bit much and can be very time consuming. Some some time at the beginning of the week, maybe an hour or two and schedule all/most of your social media posts for the week. So even when you're spending time with family, working or just relaxing, your content is being advertised in the background.

Create a workspace that works for you
I use and to and sometimes still do blog, just about anywhere, the sofa, my bed, the library, my desk, in my mams office, anywhere. While this is all well and good once in a blue moon. If you're struggling to be productive, setting yourself up in a good workspace will help you a lot. For me that means sitting a nice, clean, tidy desk with lots of light. What works for me might not work for you, you might feel the most productive sitting in bed with a cuppa puts you in the right mind frame to get shit dome. So whatever works for you, do it!

This is probably 60% of the reason that you're not being as productive as you would like to be. So turn off your phone or at least put it in another room, stop checking your social media every 10 minutes, only check your emails twice a day and do the most important things first thing in the morning, that way you won't be worried or stressed about them. This is probably one of the hardest things to do but it helps so much.

And lastly, love what you do, blogging should be fun and exciting so enjoy it, if you need a break or a small or maybe even big hiatus, take it and return with the passion that made you start your blog!

Erin X
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Summer Lovin'

After a long dark wet winter, it's so lovely to have some good weather for an extended period of time. It actually feels like Summer is a season here in Ireland this year, rather than a few days! With that being said there are a few things that I absolutely LOVE about Summer and here they are...

  1. Going to the beach
  2. Being able to go camping without catching a cold
  3. Having a picnic in the park on a nice day
  4. Going hiking
  5. Having a bbq with friends
  6. Feeling more positive, the sun makes everyone happier
  7. The stretch in the evenings
  8. The smell of freshly cut grass
  9. Having friends home from college
  10. Wearing bright colourful makeup
Let me know in the comments what your favourite thing about Summer is!

Erin X
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The Glow Getters

It's summer time and that means one thing...dewy bases! I personally love the look of a glowy dewy, highlighted base and the following products help me achieve that perfectly...

The Seventeen Skin Wow 3 Way Highlighter makes for the most perfect glowy primer.You can of course use it as a cream highlighter, which I also do but I think it just acts as the most gorgeous primer. It's a little bit thick so when you first apply it, it's slightly tacky which will make your makeup stick it. It gives the most lovely 'glow from within' look. It's not shimmery or over the top but just gives you a little something something.It's mega affordable and can be found HERE and in all Boots stores.

The Botanics Radiance Balm was a majorly hyped product last summer,it was sold out everywhere and I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on it after reading so many glowing reviews(excuse the pun,I couldn't stop myself). At first I was really disappointed. I don't think the packaging is great, it makes using the product quite messy. However over time, I found myself reaching for more and more. The product itself I constantly compared to the Seventeen Skin Wow Highlighter. It's much thinner in consistency and spreads easier, It smells incredible,really fresh. It is much more subtle than the 3 way highlighter so if you're having a no makeup day but still want to brighten up your face,this would be ideal.

The Vichy Anti Wrinkle Foundation has a gorgeous dewy finish to it. I am constantly reaching for it recently, with the weather being so good.  It's lightweight and spreads easily. It gives a medium coverage but is build-able. It is quite long lasting and smells great. This is the perfect dewy foundation for summer.

The Golden Goddess Dry Oil is just gorgeous. It's very affordable around €9.50 and can be found in Pennys and some pharmacies. You can apply the dry oil to your body to give you a gorgeous glow or as a highlighter to the tops of your cheek bones. Be careful not to apply much to your face,as a little goes a long way. My tip would be to put a little onto the back of your hand,dip in your highlighter brush, blend away a little bit,then add it to your face.Otherwise you might find your foundation separating. It looks fab on the body, especially over tan!

What are your favourite glowy products ?

Erin X
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The Battle of the Colour Correcting Quads

I have been on a mission over the past while to find the best colour correcting quad. The reason is, I received both the Isadora and Wet n Wild correcting palettes in goody bags from events and was shocked at the results, considering the price difference...

The isadora quad comes in at over €20, the Wet N Wild one comes in just under €5, The w7one comes in at €2.50 as does the PS one. 

So what's the biggest difference between them? To be honest I've only really been concerned with the green concealer because it counteracts any redness on the face. I find this essential when my skin is acting up. So after trialing them all out numerous times, here's what I thought.

The Wet N Wild one is the most pigmented and stiffest. It's harder to blend in but gives you the most coverage. Be sure to blend it properly though,you don't want a green patch peeking out through your foundation. This is really for those of you who really suffer from redness, otherwise, use a light hand when applying it.

The Isadora correcting palette is by far the most expensive. Considering the other palettes are great and basically do the same thing, save your money and buy one of the others. In saying that it is gorgeous. The consistency is creamy and smooth, very easy to blend and has a velvety finish.

The W7 Hide N Seek palette is the closest replica to the Isadora one. It looks the exact same and the quality of the product is extremely similar. Just like the Isadora palette, it's creamy,lightweight, easy to blend and gives a velvety finish. Considering there's about a €20 difference in price, the only  difference I can find is that the W7 one is slightly more creamier.

Lastly and unexpected gem, the PS color correcting palette. I wasn't expecting much from it to be honest as a lot of the PS range is hit and miss but this palette is for sure a complete HIT. It is quite creamy but stiffer than both the W7 and Isadora palettes. It is also more pigmented than both. I find it gives a better coverage than them too. For €2.50 you just can't go wrong with it!

Overall my winner is the Wet n Wild colour corrector, but the PS one is coming in at a close second! What are your thoughts on the above quads, have you tried them ?

Erin X
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YouTube - A Year Later...

I actually cannot believe how quickly the last year has gone. At this stage I've been making videos for YouTube for over a year. I uploaded my first video to my channel on the 4th of May 2015. I remember being so nervous! I wanted to show everyone but show no one, shout it from the rooftops,but hide it from the world too.
So much has changed since uploading that first video. It's crazy what can happen in a year. One thing that has definitely changed a lot is my confidence. Making videos has made my much more confident in my every day life. I'm better at doing class presentations in college, I'm better at networking at business events, I'm better at a lot of things now. Another thing that has changed is the quality of my videos. Around 6 months into making videos, when the winter came around and the light was non existent, I invested in some artificial lights. I also upgraded my editing program from Windows movie maker to Adobe Premier Pro. I really feel like the quality of the videos has improved a lot.

There are still so many things I want to change or improve. I want to get better at editing, invest in some proper audio and potentially upgrade my camera too. I also would like to get into a routine of uploading videos and have some sort of schedule!

I'm really happy I joined YouTube, I've met so many amazing people, become a part of the wonderful Irish community and made some really good friends from it. I can't wait to see what the next year looks like for Chasing Ruby Chat.

You can subscribe here if you've haven't already, it's free! 

Erin X 
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My Favourite Face Masks

I like lots of different masks and use them quite regularly, depending on what my skin needs. After years of trial and error I have finally found 3 face masks that my skin loves no matter what state it's in...

First up is my all time favourite, Mask of Magnaminty from Lush. I did a full review on it HERE. I love it because, it smells incredible and my skin always feels good afterwards. My skin is brighter the next day and it stops any blemishes in its tracks. It cost just under €10 which blows my mind because it is just amazing and seems to be really popular! I also love how all of the face masks from Lush are made there in the store by one of their staff members!

Quick Fix Facials Purifying Charcoal Mask is another firm favourite for when my skin is acting up or when my skin is just looking dull. It clears out any congested areas and leaves your skin looking much brighter and healthier. It is also super quick, only 8-10 minutes and the magic is done. I notice the biggest difference in my skin the day after I use it. It's softer, smoother, makeup applies better and it just looks nicer.

I had been on the hunt for a good hydration mask for months and then Shiseido Firming Face Mask came into my life. A game changer. You apply it to your face after you've cleansed it, be sure that your skin is dry. Message it into your skin. At first there will be little orange/red exfoliating balls in it,but after you message it into your skin, they disappear. After only 3 minutes, wipe it all away with a dry cleansing pad. Your skin will feel so refreshed and hydrated afterwards.

There you have it my favourite face masks, what's yours ?

Erin X
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My Lazy Day Ritual!

It's bank holiday Monday and I have absolutely no plans! Sometimes we all just need a day to lounge around and do sweet feck all. It's good to take some time out for yourself, relax, unwind and just chill. With that being said I do have a particular routine with days like these as they are so few and far between...

First up is clothing! It is absolutely mandatory on days like today that you wear the comfiest clothes you own. My comfiest are my pyjamas, my Disney princess ones to be exact! They're not too warm, not too cold, perfect for a day filled with relaxing! And to top it off, they're Disney which just makes me the happiest (Yes I am still 3 years old and no I don't care haha)! I got mine in Penny's, cheap as chips and the comfiest pair I own!

Next up is activities. This will take up the majority of the day so make sure that whatever you're doing, you're having fun! For me the perfect me time ritual includes a long bath that's filled with Lush products, face masks and a good book or magazine, followed by a serious Netflix binging session. Some shows that I love to binge watch are ShadowHunters, Once Upon A Time, Gossip Girl, The Flash, Arrow, Gotham,Peaky Blinders.... I could go on forever! I also love catching up on YouTube and listening to some good podcasts.

Of course one of the most important elements to a successful lazy day is the food. I recommend stocking up on your favourite chocolate, Ben&Jerry's icecream and whatever your sweet treat might be. On days like this ordering in is also essential, whether you want pizza, mexican or a kebab from the local chipper. My personal go to is always Chinese (you just can't beat a chicken satay)!

My last few tips for the perfect lazy day would be to make sure you have everything that needs to be done, done the day before, otherwise it'll just be hanging over your head. Try and stay away from your phone, you don't want anyone disturbing your perfect lazy day, unless you wanted to have a few friends  over to enjoy the lazy day together. Lastly enjoy it! If you're anything like me, these days are very rare so appreciate every second of it!

What is your lazy day ritual ? 

Erin X

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NYX Shine Killer Review

Does anyone else suffer with an oily T Zone ? Or is it just me? I have normal to dry skin and for whatever reason, whenever I apply makeup, you can be sure within 30 minutes to an hour, my T Zone will have the makeup sliding off my face. I could keep topping it up with powder to keep the oils at bey, buy ain't nobody got time fo that! Introducing the NYX Shine Killer...

I received this in a goody box from Meagher's Pharmacy at the Elite Munster Blogger Event. I hadn't actually heard of it before so I was interested to see how it worked and how it would stand against my oily T Zone. I had read reviews online and a lot of them were pretty negative but I'm delighted to report that this little potion is pure magic( at least on me)! I am truly impressed with the results and it has become a firm favourite over the past two months. I've been using almost every single time I do my makeup.

I use it as a primer, just before I apply my foundation. It is a silicone based, clear gel primer and feels velvety and smooth when you apply it. It dries in quickly but doesn't just disappear, which is something that annoys me about the Benefit Porefessional. I usually apply it to my nose, chin and the center of my forehead. It leaves my skin feeling super smooth and my foundation glides on over it perfectly.

The main reason I love this product is that I don't need to powder as often, without this product, I need to powder, every hour or two whereas with it I only need to powder once or twice a day. If you have an oily T-Zone then I'd definitely recommend trying it. If you have very very oily skin, I don't know if it would work as well for you, as it has done for me. And the only reason I say that is because of other reviews that I have read. I find it mattifies my face and keeps all my oils at bay. You can buy it HERE FOR €15.50. I will definitely be repurchasing and would 100% recommend trying it out.

Have you tried the NYX Shine Killer ?

Erin X

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