Sunday, 8 April 2018

A Week in Seminyak and Kuta, Bali

 If you don't follow me on Instagram, this post may be a little bit of a surprise to you.

I know, I know. I said I was going to Japan. I'd PLANNED for Japan. I'd bought everything for Japan! But then, as is my luck, after an hour of sitting in the airport I was told I'd better head back down to collect my luggage as my flight was cancelled.

And, by the way, while we're on it - Thanks to KLM for dealing with it all so well! I posted back in September that a certain other airline who cancelled my Orlando flights were absolutely awful about it. KLM have been friendly since the beginning, provided a refund pretty quickly and chucked in a bonus flight too. Thanks KLM!

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Monday, 26 February 2018

Benefit's Brow Zings - For Beautiful Eyebrows!

 So I have a bit of a beauty confession for you.

Until a few weeks ago, I had never attempted to do anything with my eyebrows.

  I know. I know.

  I get them waxed, and occasionally if the waxing lady isn't available I grimace my way through a bit of threading, but aside from that I've always left them alone. Then a few weeks ago I decided to pick up an eyebrow pencil, carefully applied it, and laughed at myself as I looked like a ridiculous clown despite my best efforts.

  But once I'd got over that, I headed off to Debenhams to see if someone would be available to help me figure out what on earth I should be doing them. Now when I think of eyebrows, I most definitely think of Benefit, and so I wasn't at all surprised to find out it was them with the biggest range of eyebrow goodies to try out.

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Barry M Under The Sea Nail Polish Collection Review

 If there's one beauty product that I really love, it's nail polish. I like to change mine up 2-3 times a week and have a somewhat ridiculous collection of colours - but my absolute favourite type of polish to wear is anything pearlescent. I LOVE wearing unique colours that change shade and look interesting throughout the day, and so I was really excited to give Barry M's new Under The Sea collection a go. I'd actually told myself I wouldn't buy any new shades for a few months as I definitely overdid it last year, but I just couldn't resist this collection - especially as Barry M are one of my favourite nail polish brands! And as they're super affordable (only £3.99 each!) I figured well, why not!

  The Under The Sea collection is a mermaid inspired set of four colour shifting tones. And as you can see, they look absolutely beautiful all bottled up!

  I gave these colours a try over the week - and they're a fantastic formula, as always. They go on very easily - my only very minor complaint is that the brush strokes are pretty visible on these ones, but I by no means think that should stop you from buying any of them!

   I will say that the colours do not come out quite as bright as the bottle makes them look. I was expecting super vibrant colours and in all honesty was a little disappointed when I first put them on as I was hoping for something a bit more neon - but actually, the fact that the tones are a little more muted than I initially expected really grew on me. Despite being brightly coloured they are actually very wearable and don't stand out as much as I expected them to - but still offer a lot of novelty, and the shade difference is very obvious and beautiful!

  As always with Barry M nail polishes, they're very durable - one nail chipped quite quickly but I think that's probably my fault as the others lasted quite happily over the week. With all of the colours you really need at least three coats to get the prettiest effect.

  Let's take a closer look...
First up we've got Pinktail, and let's be real, this polish is the reason I so urgently wanted this collection. The pink and orange combination is something I don't have any colour even slightly close to and I was so excited to give this one a try. It's not quite as bright as I expected from the bottle, but it's a really beautiful shade and you'll be surprised by how wearable it is. In fact, I'm wearing it right now! I've been surprised by just how flattering this one actually is, and both the pink and the orange tones to it are really beautiful and blend together so nicely. I had the highest expectations for this one, and it definitely pulled through.

 Next up we have Butterfly Fish, and this is actually the colour I was least looking forward to as I thought it would be too similar to Ciate's Part Time Mermaid, however it's actually very different. I'd say that this colour is the one that looks most similar on the nail as it does in the bottle and the blues and purples go together so nicely. This one actually became my second favourite, and is definitely the most vibrant of the set.

 Next up is Angelfish, and I'd say this one is the most disappointing of the set. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely still a very pretty colour, however it just doesn't quite stand out as much as the others do. This one is more of a peachy colour and while it's very flattering and attractive it just isn't as two-toned as the others which I found to be disappointing. If it was part of a different set I'd probably love it, and I'll definitely still wear it, but it just doesn't mesh into the collection quite as well as the others. Still a lovely tone though!

  The final colour is Jellyfish, and unfortunately there's no swatch for this one as something went wrong when editing! However, it's the first polish that you see in the photo below and is purple with green highlights to it. This is another one that's much more subtle than you'd expect - but is very nice! This one reminds me a lot of Ciate's Desert Lights so if you already own that one you probably don't need this one - but it's a very pretty colour all the same!

 As you can probably tell, I am very happy with this collection. Barry M make such wonderful and affordable nail products anyway, and I'm so pleased to see brands trying out more creative colours and combinations. And for only £3.99, is there really anything stopping you from picking up at least one?!

If you'd like to buy one of your own, you can grab one for £3.99 from Superdrug, here!
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Friday, 2 February 2018

A Quick Trip to Lyon, France

In my recent post about Heathrow's airport lounges, I mentioned about my little trip to Lyon. And if you're following me over on Instagram, I've slowly been teasing you with some of my favourite photos from the trip. But I thought it was finally time to tell you a little bit more about my journey to Lyon, France!

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

January's Blog Spotlight Post

If I'm honest, I wasn't really expecting to do a blog spotlight post this month. Don't get me wrong, I love doing them, but recently I've found it a little difficult to round up a good enough number to post so planned on starting to rotate them with Instagram spotlight posts too.

Well, I don't know what happened, but this was just a FANTASTIC month for good blog reads! I loved reading so many posts this month that I actually struggled to work out which posts I should be including. There's a bit of a theme this month - I'm sure we're all aware of the drama with the blogger and the White Moose, and as such a lot of the posts that have been out are to do with brand collaborations. But even if that doesn't interest you, there's still a whole load of other posts and topics so you'll hopefully find something that you enjoy!


001. First up, we've got Chloe, who's talking about how she's getting organised with her new bullet journal. The above photo is from Chloe's post!

002. Issie got hold of a HUGE box of NYX lippies - take a look at her review and all of her swatches!

003.  Amber's had her baby! And here are the 7 things she's learned in her first week of being a parent.

004. Harriet is the first person I'm featuring today on the whole #bloggergate issue - here's her take on the situation!

005. Sarah wrote about why being a brand ambassador isn't all it's cracked up to be.

006. Beth wrote a little bit about the blogging industry, in terms of freebies and pitching, and getting paid!

007. Emma wrote about how 2017 was the year of the toxic call out culture.

008. Primose talked about the 6 things that all bloggers can relate to

009. Chloe P discussed her view on if instagram is killing blogging.

010. Sara gave her ideas on how to write persuasive pitches as a blogger.

011. Yasmin contemplated whether there was any pressure to constantly buy new clothes as a fashion blogger.

012. Laura explained why the blogging world is so upset right now.

013. Amanda posted about the things that surprised her about travelling in Egypt - as well as the thing that didn't!

014. A second from Primrose - this time looking at how you can start earning money from your blogging.

015. A second from Amber - this time telling the story of her elective C-Section.

016. And finally, we have Lisa's review of some current magazines, and if magazines are inherently bad.
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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A Look At The Heathrow T3 First Class Lounges - Food Edition!

 Before our recent trip to France, myself and my friend made sure to get to the airport very early so that we could try out what all the OneWorld first class lounges had to offer in terms of food.

  Due to the time that we were getting there, we made it our aim to have a full breakfast, lunch and dessert before actually leaving for the plane. Because why not?!

  We started off in the Cathay Pacific lounge. As you can see from the above photo, it's a lovely looking lounge and probably the best looking of them all. The views are of, well, an airport (but what else did you expect?!) with big comfortable chairs that face out into it. It's the smallest lounge of the three we tried but with by far the nicest decor.

  We headed off into the restaurant area of it for our first lounge meal - breakfast!

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Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Blogger Panel: 2017 Highlights

Welcome to The Blogger Panel!

The Blogger Panel is a brand new monthly series on this blog, where I'll be asking a question to a group of bloggers. Each month the bloggers will be different (although repeat panel members are definitely welcome!) and will be from across the blogging board. There's no point reading the same answers over and over again, so each month I'll be aiming to get a whole variety of different bloggers in terms of blog content, age, opinions and whatever else to provide their answers on the topic provided.

As we're in January, this month the theme was obvious - I asked the panel to tell me all about their previous year, and let me know what the highlights of 2017 were for them in terms of both blogging and their personal life. So have a read below and meet Cat, Matt and Kelly, and if you like what you're reading do take a look at their blogs or follow them on social media!

Would you like to be included in a future edition of the blogger panel? Then tweet me or send me a direct message on twitter (@pinkconfettiuk) or send me an email at pinkconfettiuk@gmail.com.

And of course, do feel free to leave a comment with your own answers to these questions!

Meet Cat! Cat is a 20 something lifestyle blogger and freelancer who blogs over at MoreAboutCat.co.uk. My favourite posts from her recently include her post on how to be a better blogger in 2018, the three best things you can do for your mental health in 2018, and the 18th instalment of what she's been watching lately! As well as her blog, you can find her on instagram, twitter, facebook and youtube. The above photos were taken from Cat's instagram!

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017?
1.I was nominated and then shortlisted for a which was amazing! Although I didn’t win, it felt amazing to be recognised for my blogging tips posts as they are one of my favourite types to write! I am hoping to write more of these in 2018 2.I started to get to grips with improving my photography – there’s still a long way to go but I’m pleased I can see progress! I have also tried to share more photos of me over on my blog as I think it makes it easier to connect to me and my personality. Again, still a lot of work to be done on improving these snaps though! 3.I’m pleased to see the community come together and support each other, and to help prop up smaller creators to give them more exposure…more of this in 2018 please! I’ll be trying to do my bit even if my reach isn’t as vast as many others! How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally? 1.I started private counselling to keep my mental health in check and it’s been incredibly helpful in helping me to better deal with my emotions. 2017, and early 2018 have been particularly difficult but I have realised now I am stronger for it. 2.I started working for myself as a freelance copywriter and social media manager. Whilst I still work part time on a remote basis for the charity I used to work for , it has allowed me some stability until I am able to go full and proper freelance which I’m hoping will happen this year! 3.2017 was the year I started feeling comfortable with driving, something that caused me a significant amount of anxiety when I was learning and when I first passed. I can now tackle motorways (only because I had to go on a journey that I didn’t realise was going to basically be entirely on a motorway!), and I no longer dread journeys I haven’t done before.

Meet Kelly! Kelly is a lifestyle blogger ever at ThisTattAndTheOther.com. My favourite posts from Kelly recently include her 2018 travel plans, her post on the importance of cervical screening, and her morning routine. As well as her blog, you can find Kelly on twitter and on instagram. The above pictures were taken from Kelly's instagram.

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017?
1. I wrote a couple of blog posts related to Dignity in Dying; a charity which I support and a cause which I feel passionate about following the suffering of my own Dad before he died from cancer aged 59. These posts have been shared by Dignity in Dying on Twitter, and also by many other fellow supporters. My Dad's wife features in their latest campaign and research, sharing my Dad's story, and we've both been invited to a meeting in Parliament to further the cause. It feels good to be doing something positive, and using the sad and difficult experiences of our family to hopefully make a change for people in the future. 2. I started my "Friday Feeling" series in response to all the horrible, miserable and downright upsetting things happening in the world. I wanted to prove to myself and my readers that there are still good things happening in the world, and that even a small happy news story can lift your spirits. 3. I'm happy with my blog content - it feels like a true representation of who I am and the things that I'm passionate writing about. A lot of opinion pieces, social commentary, travel and bargain clothes and shoes purchases. Sure there'll be the odd piece outside of those subjects, but I’m happy with where things are.

How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally?
1. The biggest thing that happened last year was moving house. Not just the moving, but the whole process - selling our flat (and the ups and downs that came with it) and saying goodbye after 11 happy years, negotiating a fair and reasonable price for our new place and turning it from a 2 bedroom apartment into a traditional 3 bedroom house (double garage conversion, building an extension, remodelling the front of our house - currently in the 3rd month of building work and it's been stressful!) It is, and will continue to be worth it; as we now have more space, a beautiful private garden, and the location we never thought we'd be able to get. 2. I travelled "East", which has long been on my agenda, although to a country that wasn't even on my radar! We bagged an amazing deal to Malaysia and saw two sides of the country - chilled out island and beach life on Penang, and city life in the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur. From beautiful temples to towering skyscrapers, with a cuisine taking influences from Malay, Indian and, Chinese, it was an amazing trip. 3. I turned 40! Far from being the rotten decline into old age that I feared I might build it up into, it actually has honestly had no effect at all. I tried to normalise it in the couple of months leading up to it, talking about my impending 40th and making it part of my vocabulary. I think it helped that I was in Rome on my birthday so I was having such a fabulous time that I didn't dwell on my age at all. And I don't feel any different, look any different, act any different or dress any different. Plus it's better to be 40 than dead!
Meet Matt, of MJW.Wales! Mike is a 30-something freelance writer who writes on a whole variety of topics including some poetry and interviews. Personal favourites recently include The Ballad of Brexit, and a look at next level gaming. As well as on his blog, you can find Matt on twitter! The above image was taken directly from Matt's blog.

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017?

1. 5 Minutes With… I launched an interview section called 5 Minutes With, the idea was to have a short, snappy interview with interesting people – ideal for readers with a low attention span! I put out a request on Twitter and I was blown away by the response – I ended up interviewing a Masterchef finalist, two CEOs, some brilliant bloggers and even a Wrestler! I’m planning to do more in 2018.

2. Comedy writing – I did a little bit of stupid comedy writing on my blog, and had some good feedback about it – it’s given me some confidence to do more in 2018!

3. Poetry – I have always liked reading poetry but hadn’t written much in the past, and certainly hadn’t put any ‘out there’ in public. In 2017 I published some poetry on my blog and had great feedback! Similar to my last two points, this has given me confidence to do more in 2018.

How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally?

1. A new job / challenge – I was quite unhappy in the ‘day job’ that I was doing, and sometimes such things can make you feel as if there is no obvious way out. It would lead to my unhappiness overspilling into my personal life, and that’s never good for anyone. I made a change, which was quite a brave move as it was a reduction in take-home pay/walking away from some favourable terms, but it was absolutely the right move. I’m now in an industry that I am passionate about, in a job that I enjoy. It’s made such a difference and I wrote a blog post about Change management and being brave, and prioritising your happiness (it’s on my website).

2. Holidays – I did a bit of travelling with the family last year and enjoyed going to a couple of different places in Spain at different times in the year (enjoying the sun!), France and also some UK places for short breaks. It was lovely to spend the time with my family and friends, exploring new places, eating and drinking too much, and switching off from the normal world.

3. A new car – Yes it’s materialistic, but I bought a new car in 2017 and it was a brand that I had wanted for quite a while. I’m really happy with the car and model that I bought and it makes any commuting a very comfortable journey! I even drove it to (and around) France on one of our breaks.
 
All in all, 2017 was a pretty good year (which got better as the year went on!). I now feel in a good place for some blog / writing goals that I have, and I’m confident that 2018 will be an even better one.


And how about for me?! Above photos from my instagram!

What were your favourite three things about blogging in 2017? 
1. I feel like 2017 is the year that I finally got blog photography down! I've always enjoyed regular photography but struggled with getting the beautiful product imagery down. I feel like in 2017 I finally accomplished that - and now just need to learn how to master the flatlay!

2. It sounds like an odd thing to celebrate, but I finally learned that a routine in blogging just isn't something that works for me. Now that I've stopped forcing myself to write content when I don't necessarily want to, I feel a lot happier with what I'm putting out.

3. I got to know a bigger variety of bloggers. I love having a bigger variety of content on my twitter and my bloglovin feed!

How about the favourite three things that happened for you personally?
1. I started a new job. It's not perfect, but leaving the police was a very good move for me, and it's nice to have some free time and a social life again. I'm still working shifts, but on a significantly better pattern than before which makes an enormous difference.

2. As I've alluded to a few times, the last few months had a pretty significant event occur that I hope to be able to discuss with you all soon. There is absolutely nothing good about that event - but it did show me that I do have some really great friends.

3. Friendships in general! I've made some great friends in 2017 and I hope those friendships continue to develop and strengthen in 2018.

How would you answer the above questions?



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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Why I'm Not Setting Any Goals This Year

It's normally around this time of year that I like to make a whole little series of posts looking back over the past year, looking at what goals I'd set for myself were and how close I came to accomplishing them, and setting myself some targets for the following year.

This year? Nothing.

I honestly thought I would. I started trying to plan a goals post about two months ago, but nothing I came up with quite felt right. I've looked at the lists other bloggers have posted, and I've encouraged them on their goals. I've tried again to sit down and write mine out, and again, it just hasn't felt right.

This year, I'm not going to be setting myself any goals or targets. This year, the only goal I actually have is to just get through the year and to improve, in whatever way seems right at the time.

I don't want to set myself any social media targets this year. I think it takes all the fun out of it, and towards the end of the year in particular it makes me feel like I'm suddenly overusing Twitter in the hopes that I get a few more followers so I can reach whatever target I have, and I'm not really about that. If I don't have anything of use to say, then I'd rather not try and force myself into something I'm not really feeling. I feel like I'm one of the few people who still really likes Instagram, but I sure as hell don't understand that platform. Like everyone else, I gain 30 followers one day but lose 45 the next. There's no real point trying to grow on a platform I don't really understand, when I'd much rather just continue to post photos that I like and look at feeds that I enjoy. And Pinterest? Every year I try and grow on a platform that I just don't enjoy at all and don't like spending time on - what's the point?!

I don't want to set myself any blogging targets either. I always start the year super organised, and honestly, I think that makes me a worse blogger. I find myself forced to write about topics and posts I'm not really feeling interested in, or trying to ensure that posts are evenly spread out so there's not a sudden influx on topics along the same lines. Actually, when it comes to blogging I work best when there isn't a schedule, when I'm writing because I want to write. It's odd as the rest of my life is typically hyper organised, but in this context I'm much better when it's more in the moment. And I think that's just fine - it'll mean I'm going to continue getting enjoyment from writing rather than feel burdened.

I'm certainly not going to try and set myself any blogger chat targets. I enjoy them, when I see them happening. And I really would love to form some better relationships with some more bloggers, but part of working shifts means that unfortunately that is just much more difficult for me. And there's not really anything I can do about that!

How about when we leave the topic of blogging? 

Well, I'm not really planning on starting any targets there either. I'd love to set myself a target to cook a healthy meal once a week, but I know full well I'm not actually going to stick to it and all that will happen is I'll get a bit annoyed with myself and feel like a bit of a failure for not sticking to it. So I'm going to continue to try, with no real target in mind. I'll feel good when I do it, and I'll feel like maybe I should try a bit harder when I don't. But this year, no. more arbitrary amounts that I suddenly decide are the amount I should be aiming for.

It's the same with the gym - I'm not going to try and make myself go a certain amount of times a week this year. Because I'll do it, and I'll hit the targets, but I'll have a crap time. I want to go more often, but when I want to. I know I don't enjoy the gym in general, so I want to find more classes that I like, and I want to WANT to go to them. But I don't want to force myself to go at all, because I'll just have a bad time and dread going the next time.

This year, the only goals I'm setting are going to be pretty open. I want to keep making an effort to see my good friends - the friends who are making an effort to see me, and who have helped through a pretty shit couple of months. I want to try and cut down on spending a bit, but I'm not going to stop myself buying anything at all. I'd like to explore more avenues of where I could change and specialise at work, but I'm not exactly rushing myself to actually move into any of those departments. And that's about it, and I'm happy with it like that.

How about you? Are you planning on setting yourself any targets for this year?

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Sunday, 7 January 2018

MAC Snowball Mini Lipstick Kit Review

I've mentioned probably countless times on this blog that I'm really not a lipstick wearer. I want to be a lipstick wearer, but I've had a lifetime of looking so stupid with whatever colour I try to put on that I just don't bother with it. Even lipglosses or coloured lip seal immediately make me look so ridiculous that for the last few years I just gave in and trying and watched beauty YouTubers in quiet jealousy instead.

Despite all this, when I saw MAC's Snowball Mini Lipstick kit I decided I just had to give it a go. There were so many MAC colours that I wanted to try, and as this kit is a collection of mini versions of their most popular shades it seemed like the perfect choice as surely something in the mix would work for me!

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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Ciate Mini Mani Month - Days 11 - 15

Ready for another look inside my Ciate advent calendar?!

As you've probably noticed, I took a little bit of a break from making these posts. It turns out that changing my nails every single day was pretty exhausting, and even though I kept up with taking the photos each day I just didn't have the energy to be writing about them too! It's sad, but it's actually really nice to be able to just wear the colour that I want to wear right now - and keep it on for more than two days at a time too!

Anyway - let's take a look at what days 11-15 brought.


First up, we have Cosmic Love. You probably know how I feel about polishes like this by now. I won't wear them, because they just don't come off and I don't have the patience to sit there with my fingers in polish remover for the ten minutes it seems to take for me! That being said, if I DID wear them - this would be the one I'd go for. I don't know how clear it is in the photos but it's not just an ordinary glitter - there's lots of little stars and moons in there as well which makes for a really cute mix! I probably won't be wearing this one again, but if you love your glitter this is a good choice.

Oh dear - this week is off to a bad start isn't it? Next up we have Big Top, which is a nail topper. And, I'm sorry, but I won't wear this one - not even for the daily swatch! This was the only one in the entire calendar that I didn't try at all. I just don't like glitters like this, they get everywhere. It's a beautiful colour so it's a shame!


But not to worry, because on day 13 we had Moondust which is absolutely beautiful. In fact, this is the colour that I'm wearing right now! Moondust is an interesting shade as it's purple in some lights and gold in the others, and if you get it just right you end up with a hybrid of the two that is way prettier than it sounds! I absolutely love unique shades like this and it's actually one of my favourites in the whole calendar.

Day 14 was a nail file. And, well, I have very little to say about this one! It's glittery. It files your nails. Yep!


And finally this week we have Palm Springs, a beautiful blue. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this one at first. As soon as I pulled it out of the box I was in love with it as it's basically the nicest blue I've ever seen - but I just didn't think it would translate well as a nail colour. I was wrong! While I certainly can't get away with this for work so it won't be too involved in my normal rotation, it's a stunning colour. Obviously it stands out, but it looks much better as a polish than I ever expected it to!

  Okay, not gonna lie - this week of the calendar was the weakest of the lot, in my opinion. But it wasn't all bad - Moondust has become one of my favourites, and I think Palm Springs is a lovely choice as well!

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