Tuesday, August 27

Ending Vlogust

One month ago today, I wrote a blog post called 'Finding Me'. It was the hardest thing I've ever done since starting my blog, but also the most rewarding. I didn't appreciate how supportive my followers/readers were and decided it would be a great opportunity to continue the journey by documenting it on my YouTube channel. 'Vlogust' (essentially vlogging every single day in August), was meant to be fun. It was a chance for you to see and learn about the real me, and was a challenge I'd set myself. Instead, Vlogust ended up being the hardest thing I've ever done since starting YouTube, and was the least rewarding.

I knew that daily vlogging wouldn't be easy and I wasn't oblivious to this. I was almost excited about the challenge and even started thinking about a vlog channel and names. Two weeks into filming, I started receiving more and more 'negative' comments. I was criticised for my appearance, my diet, my exercise routine, my job, my business and even my boyfriend. Apparently, people thought they had a right to dictate how I live my life. I'm absolutely fine with people having an opinion, but I learnt that the line is extremely fine between constructive criticism to pure bullying and hate. 

I tried to take the comments on board as a chance to improve but honestly, they were so cruel that it was extremely difficult to want to get up and film again. I'm an honest person, so I couldn't lie about how I was feeling on camera and started to get myself upset. YouTube is a hobby for me, so when Vlogust ended up feeling like a third job, I knew I couldn't continue. It ended up draining me physically and mentally and I didn't appreciate how much effort and time I'd need. 

I'm currently reading Dynamo's autobiography 'Nothing Is Impossible' and I'm going to quote what he says as it summarises exactly what I'm trying to say.

"I've achieved a lot so far, but I haven't touched where I want to go. It's not easy - you will get knock-backs - but you have to take the criticism. You have to have good people around you. Listen to everyone's advise and take it in, although you don't always have to do what they say. But listening and making a considered judgement on what you hear is so important. I don't take criticism as personal attack. I know when someone's intentions are honest and when they're just being jealous. Even if it's delivered in a horrible way, I think it's still important to think through what someone has said rather than dismiss it straight away as someone 'hating'." 

What I'm trying to say is, the comments were the trigger point for me. Although 90% were positive and loyal subscribers absolutely loved the videos, I couldn't help but think the vlogs were boring. It wasn't the comments that made me stop though, I wouldn't let anyone stop me from doing something I loved. However, I really needed to take a step back and work out if vlogging was for me. I know it was only for 1 month, but what other YouTuber do you know that works a full time job, runs their own business, has a life AND films it, edits, and uploads every single day? Please enlighten me because I'd love to find out how they do it.

I think the hardest thing about Vlogust was that I was essentially filming a 'journey'. I wanted to change how I was feeling about myself and thought Vlogust would keep me motivated and focused. Unfortunately, it actually made me feel worse than I did before I even started. I'm now back to feeling negative, doubting myself and I've realised that I'd much rather continue my 'journey' on my own. I don't want to share my highs or lows anymore, I don't want people judging me and I certainly need to learn and make my own decisions.

Maybe daily vlogging just isn't for me. I honestly wish it was but the pressure got the better of me. People were expecting long exciting videos all the time,  and with the amount I already fit into my life, I currently just don't have time to make vlogs. I can however confirm that Vlogust hasn't put me off vlogging completely. Maybe in December when I've got two weeks off work I can try again for you, but in the meanwhile, I'm going to stick to my 'normal' videos and vlog when I've got something interesting on the odd occasion. 

I'm really sorry if you loved vlogust and are disappointed I finished early. My life is a crazy mess and I just can't commit to uploading on certain times/days. I don't want to forget why I love YouTube and like Dynamo said, this is just a knock-back. It'll only make me stronger and better, you just have to be patient with me. If I'm honest, I think I got caught up in thinking I could do everything all at once, but I'm only human and obviously I couldn't.

I'm genuinely gutted I didn't complete what I set out to do, but I must remain humble and true to myself. I don't regret Vlogust, it taught me a lot and I've even made some fabby friends doing it. Thank you so much for understanding and sticking by me while I figured this out. Lots of people forget that I am only 19, I'm making mistakes and learning along the way. 

I love you all for being amazing. I promise I'll be back asap. 

Ps. The top photograph is from my little Beach Hut that we've had 10 years. It's my favourite place in the whole world where I spent this last bank holiday weekend with my loved ones.

Tuesday, August 20

So...? Fragrance Event

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to be invited to The Penthouse in London by Bloggers Love for an exclusive launch party for So...? Fragrance. I haven't bought/smelt/touched the brand since my early teens, so was really excited to bring my best friend Megan along and take a cheeky trip two hours up from Bournemouth.

It was a great opportunity to smell almost all the body sprays, perfumes and even the new dry shampoos! They had cocktails (I had the most amazing non-alcoholic one with coconut and strawberry, mmm!), sweet trees, goodie bags, competitions, beauty stations and even cupcakes. It was a fantastic evening, we even bumped into a few celebs!

Let me know if you'd like a review of some of the products I received, I've been taking So..? Eternal to the gym with me and I really like it!

Thanks for having us guys!


Wednesday, August 14

Toni & Guy Precision Hair Straighteners

It's been a while since I've reviewed a product but when TONI & GUY contacted me and asked me to take part in their 'hair personality test', I was interested and yes please! As part of the Hair Meets Wardrobe collection, there were four different categories I could have been - Casual, Classic, Glamour or Creative. After a fun little test, I was Classic!

"Kate Middleton eat your heart out, you are the queen of chic. Use the Precision Straighteners to straighten hair from root to tip, before applying TONI & GUY Shine Serums for a super cool Chelsea 'It' girl style."

As I'm sure you can imagine, I was really excited to try these but was immediately disappointed I didn't receive any information about the product, the collection or even the price/where to buy! I've done a bit of research myself and turns out they RRP £30.00 but are cheaper on Amazon at the moment.

My first impressions of disappointment continued when I saw the packaging. I'm not sure if the image below does justice but they arrived in a thin, cardboard box with a horrible plastic lid. I was almost expecting a little bit more from such a great brand.

There's little information inside about the straighteners but this is what it claims and my personal opinion - 
  • 20 mm titanium plates - These are so small! I couldn't work with large parts of my hair and therefore it took ages to straighten. I only did 1 section this morning because I was in a rush and it was just taking me far too long.
  • Easy-to-style from root to tip - I personally found it difficult and time-consuming due to the size of the plates and length of the straighteners. 
  • 210°C max temperature - Despite this claim of heating to over 200 degrees C, I had to straighten sections 2/3 times before it was even slightly straight.
  • Fast heat-up - I couldn't tell when they were fully heated up because they don't flash or beep to let you know they're ready. Although it has an LED light indicator, it only 'indicates' whether they are on/off. 
  • Easy to hold - I agree, they are easy to hold and I really liked the swivel cord. It also has 3m in length which is plenty and doesn't restrict you when using the product.

As you can see, these really are quite small in comparison to my GHD's. Unfortunately, although they are a good price, I just don't think they're worth it. Straighteners are really important to me as I have naturally curly hair therefore, the product just isn't good enough for me. However, it may be more suitable for a younger audience or someone who just wants to quickly do a section of their hair. I tried the serum but as you can see from the images of my hair, I think it made it a little greasy and unfortunately, I don't like serums very much. 

What do you think? Have you tried TONI & GUY products before?


Thursday, August 1

My Top Benefit Products

It is no secret that I absolutely love Benefit Cosmetics. As a brand, they're really fun and interactive, always hosting events and the team are so lovely. Everyone I've met who represents Benefit has been chatty, generally interested in my opinions and always given good advise. I've tried a range of products from their primers, eyeshadows, palettes, brow kit and even the skincare range. But there are 7 items out of all of the ones I own (I've not tried everything!) which just stand out a little bit more. I use these on a daily basis, some quite new to my collection and others I've repurchased over and over again. 

I've been wanting to try this for absolutely ages, so when the MUA at a recent event gave me one, I literally jumped with joy. I knew I'd like it, my pale skin compliments corals and flushes of pink, this definitely didn't let me down. The powder is long lasting, easy to blend and the colour pay-off is pretty good too. I've not decided whether I like this style of packaging yet, I threw away the little brush as I personally didn't like the shape, but at least it has a little mirror - always handy!

I bought this well over a year ago, have used it many times and the product still seems to be going strong, amazing! This matte bronzer is great for dusting all over the face, but you only need a light hand. It gives an all over glow and is great for any time of the year.

My best friend used this for absolutely ages and always raved about it, but I just wasn't sold. Maybe because foundations seem to let me down and I never get excited about them. However, I was matched by Benefit's head MUA's when they toured for their new Hello Flawless Primer, and I was kindly given a full size to try. Optimistic, I ended up LOVING it and have used it almost every day since. The foundation itself matches me perfectly, it's light-weight and hardly feels like I'm wearing make up. I'll be re-purchasing when I'm all out.

This is an absolute staple in my make up bag. Bought at the same time as Hoola (over a year ago!),  there's still loads of product left and it's such a beautiful product. It blends effortlessly and gives me a the perfect glow. Application is easy with the little brush and I love the glass packaging. 

Ultra Plush Lip Gloss - A-Lister
Brand new and available is several shades, this lip gloss is honestly AMAZING. It's not sticky and is perfect for me as I don't wear many lip products. It doesn't have a great colour-pay off, claims to be a 'bubblegum pink', but it smells good and is smooth on the lips.

Stay Don't Stray - Eye Primer
I know it sounds a bit crazy but this is a teeny tiny sample that I've had for months and can't believe it still has product left! I went to purchase this but Benefit have just changed the application from a pump, to this style of brush. It literally keeps my eyeshadow on all day and is so easy to blend and apply. I'll be buying this and know it will last me ages. 

They're Real Mascara
The best of the very best Benefit product is hands down, They're Real. I re-purchase this every 3 months and use it every single day. It's my favourite product in my make up bag and it never lets me down. Thank you Benefit, hats off to you for making a top mascara! You can currently buy it and receive a free travel size mini worth £9.50!

So there we have it, my favourite Benefit products! It was really hard because I think they're palettes are gorgeous too, but these stood out to me above the rest. What do you think? Have you got any favourites from Benefit?

ps. this post is NOT sponsored, despite it looking like it might be. I just LOVE Benefit!

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