Current Haircare Heros | March 2015





The Treatment.

When I’m in a bit of a rush & I don’t always have the time to give my hair the full pamper it needs I have found myself reaching for this little gem in recent weeks. The Aussie 3 minute miracle reconstructor is an absolute bargain at only £4.99, I use it in place of a conditioner to give my hair an extra bit of conditioning between pamper sessions! I’m sure we all know how good the scent of Aussie products are, and this doesn’t disappoint. It leaves my hair feeling really nourished & soft, as well as smelling delicious!

The Toner.

Having recently had more blonde put into my hair using this toning shampoo once a week has become a must have for me. I use this regularly to neutralise brassy tones and counteract the yellowness that may occur. Keeping the blonde looking fresh. There are other brands on the market that offer these type of shampoos. I have used the Lee Stafford one in the past. But to be honest you don’t need to spend too much, that is why this £3.19 bottle is a staple product included in a Boots splurge.

The Frizz Tamer

If I blast my hair with a hairdryer without some form of frizz tamer applied beforehand, my hair ends up looking pretty massive. I’m currently using this Brazilian Keratin hair treatment oil by Organic world, First up a little goes a long way so it’s lasting me ages! I simply take a pea sized amount in my palm and distribute it evenly through the mid lengths and ends of my hair. I tend to favour hair oils like this over serums as I feel they work a little better. This is around the same price range as Morrocan oil, however I have noticed you can get it a little cheaper on sites such as Amazon and Ebay.

The Leave In Conditioner.

Notice a theme with my current hair heros.. Conditioning! Going lighter means I am damaging my hair a little more than I would like, so I do have to take a bit more care of it! The Redken Anti Snap has been a favourite of mine for ages. Not only does it smell gorgeous, it does a great job of keeping the ends of my hair in check between cuts. If you’re someone who uses heat on their hair a lot I would highly recommend getting yourself a bottle of this stuff. It isn’t too expensive at around the £15 mark as even using it daily, it takes a while to use up all the product. A great haircare investment in my opinion.

What are your haircare heros? Let me know in the comments.


Much love, 

The A to Z of Blogging.





ANALITICS. 
I use Google Analytics to help work out what topics are popular, where my traffic comes from, Keyword searches, along with many other things. It's a free statistics tool which you can apply to your blog. Blogger stats aren't always accurate so it's good to have this in bedded in my blog in order to get correct readings of my stats.  Read this handy article on how to get started

BREAKS
Even though for the majority of us our blogs are our hobby, it can still get pretty stressful at times. It's okay to take a break from the blogging world, maybe even social media in general. Use that time to relax & recharge. 

COMMENTS
I always stand by the saying, if someone has taken the time to write a post, it's nice to pay them back with a comment. We all love to get the notifications informing us of a comment on our newest post. It's a nice feeling. Not only are comments a great way to interact with your readers, you interact with the whole blogging community. It's something I think people are getting a bit slack on recently. We need to up our commenting game! 

DESIGN
First impressions count with blogging. If you have a good design then people are more likely to stay on your blog and continue to have a browse through your posts and various pages. You can do this yourself by learning html code, pay someone else to custom design something for you (like I have done in the past with Gillian) or even look for a premade layout on sites like Etsy. A nice clear, well laid out design can really help boost your blog. 

EQUIPMENT
The list could be endless in regards to the equipment you could use to help your blogging. Don't worry if you don't have the most up to date DSLR.. It doesn't matter if you rely on the natural light rather than a couple of softboxes or a ring light. Use the equipment that works for you and you can afford. With any Camera get to grip with the settings. Posts by other bloggers like this one and this one are really helpful.

FEEDBACK
Whether it be general constructive, positive or perhaps even negative feedback. Take note of it and see if you can use it to your advantage. Hopefully there is less of the negativity floating about but something as simple as 'I don't like her blog she posts too much about high end products' could be used in a positive way. Take it on board and vary your content so you cater for people in various financial situations. Not everyone can drop ££ on a pricey lip balm!

GOALS
Set yourself goals. Even if they are mini ones for the day, for example ' Write two blog posts & take the accompanying photographs". Having goals keeps you on track. 

HTML
Not a necessity but it's handy if you know a little bit of HTML. You just need to hit up the google search bar and you will be faced with a multitude of different articles and posts with step by step guides for HTML. It takes some time to get your head around it all, but once you have some basic knowledge you can apply it to your blog.

INDIVIDUALITY
With so many blogs in the blogsphere it's hard to stand out from the crowd. You just have to remember to stay true to yourself and try to throw some individuality into your blog and content.
You don't have to blog about the same thing everyone else does. A post that is a little different to the norm will stand out much more than the rest on my bloglovin' feed. 

JACK OF ALL TRADES
Running a blog means you'll learn new skills and essentially become a jack of all trades. Even more so if you venture into Youtube alongside your blog. We write content, Take photographs, Edit photographs. Film, Edit videos, Socialize, Promote, the list is endless. A lot of those points require a bit of research, trial and error before you get it all right. You will learn new skills (which is never a bad thing!) which will apply to both your blog and maybe even life outside it. 

KEEP AT IT.
There will be times when you feel a bit disheartened with your blog. We've all gone through it at some point. You just have to remember if it's something you are really passionate about it then keep at it and power through.  Of course you may get to a point where you feel your run as a blogger has come to an end, in which case revert back to letter B and take a break. Re-evaluate and see where you want to head from there. 

LOVE WHAT YOU DO
Whether it be how you photograph something, a post topic or maybe blogging in general you've got to love what you are doing or else it can get you down and you will end up hating it. When it comes to content for your blog, if you aren't feeling it it will show through your writing. You might just be sick of writing about beauty and want to focus more on travel. Do it, if it's what you enjoy and want to write about then go ahead and make that change. You've got to love the content you are creating. 

META TAGS
 These tags are embedded into the  HTML code of your blog. These cannot be seen to your blog readers but are read by search engines, Like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. By using Keywords in your meta tags you can ensure that  when someone searches for something in particular your blog will be one of the many that pop up. An example for key words would be 'Beauty Blog', 'UK Based', 'Reviews'. Include these in your HTML coding to ensure you are using the search engines to their potential. Find out how to add keywords into your html here

NUMBERS
They crop up all over the place when when you blog. Whether it be follower count, your page views, how much something costs or how many comments a post received. At the end of the day try not to worry about the numbers. You blog because you enjoy it! I won't lie I love getting the notification from bloglovin' informing me someone new has followed my blog. However it's not the end if your follower count stays a bit static for a while, or your views fluctuate a bit. There is no point getting yourself worked up about numbers. 

ORGANISATION
Try and keep organised. Use apps like Evernote on your phone for lists on the go. Make use of the scheduling option on blogger if you have a bunch of posts written in advance. Heck, surround yourself with a load of pretty notebooks if it means you have some structure to the way you blog. We all know us bloggers cant resist a bit of pretty stationary! 

PROOFREAD
I hold my hands up and admit I sometimes forget this, so I am guilty of it. It is a good idea to check through your post before you hit that publish or schedule button. You may have some really silly spelling mistakes in there, or even linked the incorrect product. 

QUESTIONS
Ask questions. As bloggers we are a community, use that to help you blog. Want to know how someone gets a certain effect on their photos? Send them a tweet and ask. Unsure about a blog post you have just composed?  Send the preview to a blogger pal & ask for their thoughts. If you don't ask you will never know the answer! 

RELATIONSHIPS 
Part of blogging is about building relationships with a mix of people. If you have agreed on a date for a post to go live stick to it. If there is a problem, let the PR know. You want to keep a good relationship with PR's and marketing teams in order to secure future collaborations. Keep on top of your correspondence. Building relationships with other bloggers is key too. Remember to comment on each other blogs, be supportive of one another. I've made some great friends through blogging, one of the few perks of having a blog. 

SCHEDULE
I touched on this briefly before but scheduling is your friend if other life commitments take priority over blogging. Like I said the scheduling option on blogger is great for planning posts in advance. Along with using something like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to plan your tweets/posts to your blogs facebook page. It's amazing how much of a weight is lifted off your shoulders when you know posts are scheduled and ready to go. 

TRUST
Personally I feel it's good to be completely honest on your blog to gain the trust of your readers.
This can apply to a number of different aspects of blogging from disclosures for content and products, to gaining the trust of brands you work with or PR's you email. Once that trust is there it can open the door to many opportunities. 

URL
Remember back in the day when you created your first email address & it was mega cringey? (Guilty "Kute and Kuddly") You don't want that to happen with your blog URL. Keep it relevant, keep it simple if you can. It doesn't cost the earth to nab yourself a .com/.net/.co.uk URL. Use sites like GoDaddy to find something that suits you. - Obviously if you want to keep the .blogpost.com then that is also fine! 

VISUALIZE
As a blogger no matter what your niche is, you will have ideas floating around your head ALL THE TIME. It's no good having those ideas just in your head. Visualize and plan them. Buy yourself a specific 'Blogging Notebook' and write those ideas down. I personally find it much easier to plan when I've got a visual.

WORK LOAD
A lot of time and effort goes into running a blog so be sure to have a manageable work load. Especially as it is a hobby (for most) at the end of the day & you don't want to get yourself stressed. Know when to say no to certain opportunities if you already have too much on your plate. Prioritize and plan your current bulk of things to do before adding even more into the mix.


X
xoxo Gossip Girl? - (Give me some slack it's hard to think of something for the letter X!)

YOUTUBE
It seems the natural progression for some bloggers is to start a Youtube channel. I've seen many bloggers succeed in doing so. If it's something you've thought about doing then go for it. There's a whole new audience out there ready to hit that subscribe button. Youtube is a good way to gain new traffic and readers to your blog. Quite often when I find a new Youtuber I have a look to see if they run a blog too! 

(catch some) ZZZZ
A bit of a random one, but I am probably not alone when I say I have stayed up late in order to get a blog post finished. Sometimes you can have a bit of bloggers block, or a particular task is getting you a bit stressed out. Stop what you are doing, Go to bed and sleep on it. Chances are you will wake up the following morning refreshed and ready to finish that post! 

Much Love,

What's in my new Zara Handbag?





Ah! The post that everyone who is nosey (or has a passion for handbags) loves. The classic “What is in my handbag” blog post. Well it has been a while since I myself did one of these, so I thought it was only fair to share with you the contents of my new bucket bag. I’ll be honest I really didn’t like bucket handbags at first, but let me tell you.. they grew on me the more I saw them and as a bonus  you can fit a lot of things in this style of bag! This particular one is from Zara, however I am about 5 months too late as it is no longer on the website. I actually bought this from Depop. The story goes like this.. Browsing Pinterest one evening (as you do) I see this pin… I automatically assume it is Zara (I was correct) and start the hunt like a crazy woman… I eventually find someone on Depop selling it virtually brand new, so I snap it up straight away! Don’t fret though. Zara along with other brands have a good selection of bucket bags available at the moment so I am sure you can find one to fit your needs if you have a browse!

I won’t lie, there were receipts scattered in the very bottom of this bag, along with hair ties, some sweets that had fallen out of the packet and also more pens than I will ever need, but none of that is pretty so were left out of the photo. Therefore here we have the edited version of what is in my bag! (Maybe if actually decided to make a video you would have got to see the previously mentioned delights! But I am not brave enough for Youtube yet!)


Like I said you can fit a lot into this handbag, even with all this I had plenty of room to add a few more things in if I wanted. Starting with the staples we have my Kate Spade purse I purchased when I was in New York last year (That 25% off everything discount just drew me in!) along with my Kate Spade 2015 diary. My new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S5 – Forever loyal to ol’ Samsung! I do need to get a case for it as I am prone to dropping phones! So if you know of any cute ones let me know in the comments! As I said in my ‘back to blogging post’ I now have a little bit of a commute to work, therefore I have my railcard (also need a cute case for this too), headphones for music and my Kindle. I am currently reading ‘Sharp Objects’ by Gillian Flynn. I am only a couple of chapters in so I couldn’t say if I would recommend it or not yet. I’ve become a bit of a bookworm since commuting to work, So if there are any you recommend do leave their titles down in the comments!

Beauty wise I have a Denman backcombing brush – although I tend to use this as a normal brush! Some bobby pins, S&G hand cream, and 3 MAC lipsticks. I’m sure I am not the only one who just whips a new lipstick out of the draw and throws it into their handbag? The 3 I have on rotation at the moment are ‘Angel’, ‘Crème Cup’ and ‘Cut a Caper’. All fairly similar but all definitely different. I also have the business card for the place I go to get my hair done. I had my highlights re done on Saturday after about 6 months (please don’t judge) so I had some serious roots going on! They stylist I use is Katy and if you are local to Newbury you can check out their website here!

Oh and there’s some gum. Spearmint is my fave.

So there you have it. What I currently carry around with me in this bag. I did miss one thing out and it is this amazing shopping bag from Waldo Pancake. Isn't it just great! Both my Mum and Tom bought me it for Christmas so I have two! So many people stop me while walking out of the supermarket and ask where it is from!

Like I Said previously there are a lot of bucket style bags available at the moment so I thought I’d put a selection together for you in case this post has tempted you to get one yourself!






Much love.