31 January 2018

Barry M Brow Wow! | Beauty

Barry M Brow Wow!

If you are a regular reader of my blog you'll know I'm not much of a brow girl. Like don't get me wrong I get mine waxed regular and I fill them in often but I'm not one of the girls who goes to town on her brows. I think it's because my brows are actually blonde and I don't like drawing on dark eyebrows because they just don't suit my skin tone or hair colour. That said I do still need to fill them in a bit just so people can actually see them ya know! 

I have been using the Benefit Brow Wiz that I got a free sample of a while ago and whilst it's a good product the brand ain't cruelty free so when I finally ran out of it I was happy because it meant I could discover a wonderful new cruelty free product and I thought I would go with the safest option which was Barry M. To be honest my Superdrug didn't have the biggest shade range of the Brow Wow Pencil  but I went for this light brown shade, if they would have had a blonder shade I would have purchased that but I thought that this one had a sandiness that might work for my blonde hair. 

I frickin' love it when a brow product has a little spooly on the end, not only is it great for just taming your brow hairs when they get a bit long but I actually use it to buff and blend the product into my eyebrow! I do have to be gentle with this product because if I forget myself I just end up with really dark eyebrows which are slightly wonky (eyebrows just aren't my thang OK?) I would say that Brow Wow is a pretty damn good brow pencil, it's a little low key because it doesn't claim to be super fancy, it comes out and does the job ya know? 

It's a fantastic price considering it's on £3.99, Soap and Glory Archery is £8.50 and the Benefit Brow Wiz is £20 so you are making a huge saving with Barry M, the pencil might not be as precise as the latter two but if you keep this pencil sharpened then it's fine. I think in terms of the actual product there really isn't much difference between them and I'm always happy with the end result of my eyebrows. 

What's your fave brow product right now? 

28 January 2018

Monetising Your Blog | Blogging

Let's face it, if you have a blog and you are on Twitter not doubt you'll hear a lot about affiliate links and making money from your blog. I see so many questions about this and try to answer them because I have actually been in the affiliate industry for 5 years now ,so I get it!

I thought I would create a blog post on how to monetise your blog and just give a really simplified selection of the options...

Join an affiliate network directly...
  • What is an affiliate network:- An affiliate network is a platform that allows brands/publishers to get tracking links to add to their website. If a consumer were to click on that link and make a purchase, the sale will be tracked and attributed to the relevant publisher. 
  • Pros: 
    • You can join as many affiliate networks as you like. 
    • Have direct relationships with multiple brands
    • Exclusive CPA offers from brands direct
  • Cons: 
    • The dashboards are old and clunky, they aren't as sleek and easy to use as some of the sub-networks 
    • It takes time - you have to find different brands and then apply to their programme and they have to accept you. 
  • How do you get paid: if someone makes a purchase through your blog and they don't return the item(s) the brand will pay the commission after 30 days which will be reflected in the dashboard. One thing to note is that sometimes it can take a little while longer depending on how good the brand is as paying their invoices 

Join rewardStyle...
  • rewardStyle is a sub-network that uses affiliate networks for tracking but you don't need to long into different affiliate networks because rS has all the brands in one place. 
  • Pros:
    • You only need to log into one dashboard to have access to all brands 
    • Dashboard looks cleaner and made for content creators/bloggers in mind
    • If you are a big blogger rS will negotiate tenancies with brand for paid campaigns 
    • Instant access to 100s of brands
    • Paid on CPA 
  • Cons:
    • You have to be accepted onto the network - these guys can be rather fussy about who they work with 
    • You cannot get contact details for specific brands on their network, they are very much the middle man between you and the brand
  • How do you get paid: in exactly the same way as working with an affiliate network direct. 
Join Shopstyle Collective...
  • Shopstyle is a newer subnetwork competing with rS a little but they works slightly differently in the sense they pay on a CPC (per click) as opposed to CPA (per sale), if you get a lot of traffic to your blog this might be a good option because you may earn more. However works in a similar way to rS because they use affiliate networks tracking and you have access to all brands.
  • Pros:
    • Quick and easy to sign up - anyone can join! 
    • Really easy to get links and create collages 
    • If you are a big blogger rS will negotiate tenancies with brand for paid campaigns 
    • Instant access to 100s of brands
    • Paid on a CPC 
  • Cons: 
    • You cannot get contact details for specific brands on their network, they are very much the middle man between you and the brand
    • CPC fee is often much lower than the CPA rate
  • How do you get paid: in exactly the same way as working with an affiliate network direct. 
Join Skimlinks...
  • This is another subnetwork that works like SC and rS but they aren't made specifically for bloggers in fact this tool is often used to monetise magazines and lots of different types of content. 
  • Pros: 
    • Quick and easy to sign up - anyone can join 
    • Add a piece of HTML to your blog and this will automatically add an affiliate link behind any brand URL you add to your blogpost, which means you never need to log in and get links
    • Good analytics tool to check your daily/weekly/monthly stats
    • Instant access to 100s of brands
    • Paid on CPA
  • Cons: 
    • Dashboard isn't as visual as SC and rS. 
    • You can't get banners easily
  • How do you get paid: in exactly the same way as working with an affiliate network direct. 
So there we have it a quick snapshot into some websites you can use to monetise your glorious content, seriously guys it's so easy it's worth find more out about these networks. I hope this post helps a little but if you have any questions just let me know.

Link on the following links to read more about Awin (affiliate network), rewardStyle, Shopstyle Collective, Skimlinks

Do you monetise your content?

24 January 2018

Current Skin Care Routine | Beauty

Skincare Favourites

Today I thought I would share with you my current evening skincare routine and what products I am currently loving I have written about my skincare quite a few times before but I think my last post on my Holy Grail Skincare early this year and things have changed since then. For skincare and make up I only use cruelty free products and whilst before I generally used a lot of these products, now I make an active decision not to buy anything that isn't cruelty free. The great thing about this is I have had to discover a lot of new (to me) products to find something that would work for me. 

When I got my products out I was actually quite surprised at how many Body Shop products I have, considering it's wasn't a brand I really used that often until a few months ago. In fact I have been quite vocal about my disappointment with some of their products *cough* Instaglow CC Cream *cough* but these ones I have included here are genuinely products I adore and believe they have made a difference to my skin appearance, anyway enough blabbering on lets get started with...

Monoi Oil

Drops of Youth

The Burt's Bees Orange Essence Cleanser, I have already written about this cleanser and how much I love it but I tend to use this as a first step to get rid of all my make up before really doing a deeper clean. I love how zesty it smells and it definitely leaves my skin looking fresh but it's not enough on it's own it gets rid of the day to day grime but you need a little something extra which is where the Resurfacing Liquid Peel comes in. I have gone into more detail about this liquid peel before because it's so bloody unusual, it forms these clumps on your skin, it's so grim but I just love it! I do have acne scars and I don't think this has smoothed them out much but it leaves my skin looking so bright and feels incredible. 

The newbie to my skincare routine is the Body Shop's Monoi Oil which is NOT a facial oil and doesn't claim to be, in fact I use this oil on my body and I'm obsessed with the stuff. I don't know what possessed me to add it to my face after the first two steps but I am glad I did, I literally added 2 or 3 drops to my face, just a teeny tiny amount but I just feel that it adds a bit of radiance to my face, I love it! I must admit I want to try out some other actual facial oils because I really like the way this makes my skin look. I then go to bed and let that skin in overnight so in the morning my skin is looking all plump and fresh. I then follow up with my final step in the morning with another new addition which is Drops of Youth, Youth Cream because basically I'm getting old now guys, I look 108 already and I need anything to help slow it down. It's a lovely light cream that almost melts into a cool gel like texture without the stickiness. I tend to play close attention to applying the cream around the eye area and after about 3 weeks of using it every morning I have noticed a difference to my skin it looks more supple and overall smoother than before. 

I feel like these products are somewhere inbetween when it comes to prices, not too expensive but definitely not cheap however the older I get/look the more I feel like I need to invest in good skincare. These are my fave products right now and my skin is loving this little routine. 

What are your favourite skincare products right now?
21 January 2018

New Year Goals | Lifestyle

Bee Happy

Ugh! Even the title of this post fills me with dread, but I promise this isn't going to be a blogpost about crazy weightloss/blog growth/travel post filled with millions of different numbers that essentially mean nothing to me. Instead this post is going to be more of a fun quick bulletpoint list of things I want to do more of this year. 

Oh and before anyone starts, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having blog goals or weightloss goals or goals that are filled with numbers, it ain't for me and I get obsessive so it's not healthy for me to focus on this stuff otherwise I miss normal life! 

So moving on, in 2018 I want to...

  • Read at least one book a month 
  • Read more industry related books/arcticles
  • Become more mindful of the environment - cut down on plastics and recycle more
  • Go to the theatre every couple of months - I love it but haven't been for so long 
  • Cut back on processed food again
  • Walk more 
  • Blog consistently for a year without taking a break (!)
  • See friends more frequently
  • Send more cards in the post 
  • See and call my grandparents more 
  • Download Duolingo again - brush up on the ol' Italian
  • Streamline my wardrobe to have a selection of key pieces 

I think that's about it for now, I want to invest more time in loved ones and myself try and find a good balance and feel in control of things again. 2018 could be a good year guys! 

Do you have any goals/plans for this year?
17 January 2018

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation | Beauty

The Ordinary Foundation

You guys know my obsession with my Sleek Make up CC Cream, it's been my go to foundation for like the last 3 years! I just love the stuff but the reality is, it's a deliciously light foundation and recently I just felt my skin looked blotchy and lifeless and this foundation doesn't help because it isn't a "coverage" foundation!

I have heard a LOT about The Ordinary foundations and skincare but haven't ever tried anything from the brand until I realised that they do a high coverage foundation. I noticed that House of Fraser has a little concession in their Oxford St store so I thought I would go in and have a little swatch!! I will say The Ordinary have a pretty good shade range in the sense they cater for different undertones like pink, yellow or nude. The shade I opted for was 1.1N because I'm pretty pasty but I'm fortunate in the sense I have a pretty neutral undertone.

The first time I applied this product I actually used two full pumps which definitely was too much and I applied it with my beauty blender. I would say after two hours I noticed it started to cling in odd places on my face like my chin and around my mouth which I hated bit from a distance I did love the colour match and it actually looked like I had foundation on. It's worth noting that I didn't use a primer so there were a few things that kinda didn't work from an application point of view. The next time I tried it I used my Real Techniques and used two small pumps (or one full pump I guess) and I definitely think this applied better much better than the first time! 

I have to admit, I'm not used to a high coverage foundation so it took me a few attempts to really decided whether I liked it or not. I definitely felt that this foundation kinda sunk into my acne scars a little too much which I wasn't thrilled with but this is why I think using a buffing brush works better than a beauty blender because you can really try and buff this out a lot better. Whilst the application is better using the buffing brush, I just still couldn't get this product to work for me at all. I was so gutted because I wanted to love this product, like everyone else does but I just couldn't get it to work for me. Apart from the acne scars the product just went all blotchy and kinda melted off my face in really weird places 

Even though I am disappointed I think it just this type of coverage, because the colour match is really lovely, I am still going to try out the lightweight serum foundation. The price is so good I think it's worth taking the risk and trying the other foundation. 

Which foundation have you struggled to work with? 

14 January 2018

The New Year Post | Lifestyle

I thought I would reuse this Bestnine2017 picture because I think it sum up some aspects of 2017 in a visual way, it's got a dash of travel, a hint of Italy and a few pretty things dotted around. I know I'm not the only one who has had a bit of a meh 2017 and in all honesty, my year actually hasn't been that bad. I'll keep this short as I always do but I just thought I would share with you guys a summary of my year! 

I was really lucky because I got a job in Jan for a great little agency where I worked from home the majority of the time which was so handy because it meant I could save a lot of money and have a really flexible work/life balance. However working from home was just awful for me, for my physical health and mental, I really bloody struggled but I went and got another job back in London and it is a dream I swear, I love being brand side again! 

I managed to visit some new countries/cities this year, Poland, Portugal, Cologne, Austria, even Lincoln all with the bf of course, we had some really great times this year and I feel so fortunate that I am able to take time off and explore new places. Speaking of new places, me and the boyf not only decided we wanted to live together but that we actually wanted to buy a place together! Our mortgage was approved and we are just waiting on exchange of contracts and completion date, I mean if they could have done that in 2017 that would have been fab but hopefully it'll give us an even better start to 2018 at least. 

I always knew that 2017 would be weird when comparing it to 2016 but I guess that's where I was going wrong, you can't compare the years when I was living in another country, everything is different. I have had a really good year but I know 2018 is going to be even better. 

Happy New Year guys!!!!xx

10 January 2018

Barry M Mist & Fix Setting Spray | Beauty

Guys, I have to let you into a little secret, I've never used a setting spray! I know, but I just thought that setting sprays would on be used on nights out and never for like normal day to day use and almost all of them are matte look and you guys know I am ALL about the dewy/glowy fresh look. That was until I saw this little gem in Boots in Oxford St and thought I would give it ago, it's the Barry M Mist & Fix Dewy Setting Spray

Since working in London again I just felt like my make up wasn't lasting like AT ALL by half way through the day i just looked crap quite frankly and it was stressing me out a bit, I tried other foundations which just didn't work for my skin so I was at a loss until I saw this setting spray and thought I have nothing to lose. You have to bear in mind that I put my make up on at 6am, then I have to get a bus, 2 trains and walk 20 mins to the office in the morning, I then sit in an air conditioned office which gets really stuffy and a little stagnant so it's no surprise that by midday my makeup isn't looking fresh. 

Right from the first day I tried it I noticed the difference it made, half way through the day you could still see my highlighter and contour as good as I did it first thing in the morning. Eyeliner no longer run underneath my lower lash line, and my base just looks so good. At times it makes my skin a little shiny but it doesn't look bad, it doesn't make me look sweaty or anything nasty, just gives me a really lovely dewy finish. 

I give myself like 3 squirts, 2 in a criss-cross motion on the lower half of my face and then 1 just towards my forehead. It's important to keep a good distance between you and the product because if you spray too closely you just end up getting really wet which kind of defeats the objective of the product. My only grumble is that I wish this was in a bigger bottle, that said, I have probably used it for at least 4 of the 7 days during the week for just over a month and it hasn't ran out yet so it ain't too bad! 

It's crazy but this little Barry M Setting Spray has made a difference to my confidence with my make up because it allows me to wear the stuff I adore but just keeps it in place for longer and I don't feel like I look crap when I am walking around the office any more. For me, this product was easily the best product of 2017 - hands down! 

Do you use setting sprays for everyday wear?  
7 January 2018

Why I took a break...| Life Update

So from like November until now I took an unexpected break from my blog. I just felt like I had so much going on that I couldn't even begin to think about writing content, it just kinda felt like my posts had nothing behind them and I couldn't be bothered. I didn't mean to even take a break but it got to the day before my usual Sunday post would go up and  just thought "I have nothing to say"... 

2017 was a pretty odd year for me, I always knew that it would be difficult because 2016 was such a high but that's not to say I didn't have a good year because I really genuinely did, it was just stressful. So today I just wanted to take a moment to just explain why I have been quiet so anyone reading can understand that these things just happen.

Buying a house...
Yep, that's right me and the boyf are in the process of buying our first home which is just a little bit mental but it just takes so bloody long. We aren't even finished with the process, we are currently waiting for the contracts to exchange and for a completion date but it just feels like it's taken forever. It's hard because you get your hopes so high and then your fate just rests in everyone else's hands and we literally have no idea what we are even doing. We are both brand new to this entire process so it's a really big learning curve, Chris has been bloody amazing though because he has just dealt with the majority of it. I would have been so much more stressed if it wasn't for him and his rational thoughts, he is just incredible! Hopefully we will have a completion date soon! 

New job...
I got this job in September so you are probably thinking, "why is she still banging on about it?" but the thing is I joined the digital marketing team of a department store, so we are talking about retail, the busiest quarter of the entire year in the retail calendar is Q4 - October, November and December so I literally hit the ground running. I frickin' love it but it hasn't been easy, you're dealing with "New Job Syndrome" where you get worried that you can't even do the job you have been given or that everyone hates you whilst trying to actually do the damn job and learn the quirks of the company. The new job also means, new industry events and new social evenings that you have to go to because you're new, so you're just exhausted all the damn time. I get up when it's pitch black and come home when it's pitch black which means no time to actually take pictures, when the weekend comes I just want to chill and enjoy it.  

My phone was stolen...
A couple of guys on a moped just took it and also decided to give me a little shove which made me fall over like a right wally. I went out for a few drinks after work and was walking down a normal road in London and the bike just went on the pavement and took my damn phone! I sorted everything out really quickly because I ran into the 3 store on Oxford St to get the sim killed and my number swapped to a new one but the thing is I had loads of blog posts and pictures saved to my notes which I hadn't started writing yet so it's kind of left me with hardly any drafts of back up content which is so damn frustrating.  

So there we have it, that's why there has been a radio silence on Honeypot Blogs, but what happens next? Well I am going to start writing regularly again, I do miss blogging and once we have our own place I can make space to take pictures and do different content, I mean guys, I'll be writing about home and interiors as well. I needed the break in order for me to get interested again. 

What have you guys been up to the recent months?