As the blogging community is continuously growing which excites me so much I have been getting more and more people asking me to do a blogpost with advice on how to start up their own and my personal tips. It feels like it was only just yesterday when I joined the blogosphere and began my journey but its now coming up to its 2 year anniversary which is crazy. To be honest I kind of  just winged it when I started - I had no clue how it all worked, what was right from wrong but since then I have learnt a lot so here it goes - make yourself a cuppa ladies & gents because this is going to be a long one. *sips tea*


1. Decide On What Type Of Content You Will Have
Although I've put this as no.1 I do strongly think that this is something you can slowly work on as you continue your blogging journey, maybe you just want your blog to be lifestyle based for the time being but in the future you may add in different categories e.g beauty, skincare, fashion etc - there is no rush so do things at your own pace. When you eventually decide on what content you will be posting think of ways that will make you different in the blogosphere, why are people going to read your posts? Make your blog unique, as a reader I love seeing how different peoples blogs are from the way it looks to the writing, it keeps me hooked and wanting to come back for more - if you can do that then you are #winning.

2. Designing Your Blog 
When I first created my blog I opted to use Blogger and the templates on there for a while, I edited the gadgets and played with different colour schemes until I stumbled across a website called Etsy that sold many blogger/wordpress templates that were right up my street and at affordable prices. I did some research and within minutes I purchased my very first template which cost me around £9 at the time and I was so chuffed, it came with step by step instructions and it took me no time to install - it was that simple. There are so many to choose from starting from as cheap as £5! Have a browse, there is something that is bound to catch your eye, I think this is something to consider just because it makes your blog look much more professional.

3. Promoting On Social Media
Take advantage of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc and promote when you have posted something new or even old posts you'd like to rack up views on. I keep my readers updated on any new posts by regularly uploading photos of things that relate to my content, what also brings more traffic is linking products I've talked about to the brands on Twitter just by mentioning them, you sometimes will get the occasional retweet which means more bloggers and brands noticing you.

 4. Engage With Your Audience 
Having a good relationship with your audience is one the the keys to becoming a successful blogger, reply to comments, ask your readers what they'd like to see from you next keep them engaged and interested.

5. Managing Time 
I always get questions regarding time management and how I juggle working full time and being a part time Blogger/Youtuber - the truth is I don't. It's really difficult sometimes because life gets in the way, for those of you that still study revision/coursework will do too but I try to remember why I started this blog in the first place. If you study please prioritise revision/coursework first and have a set time maybe during the weekend or after college/uni to spend and hour or so blogging. I'd also recommend scheduling your blogposts, I love that blogger has that feature because it really pushes me to finish the post before it gets uploaded half done and leaves me looking like a slight weirdo. If you're always on the go take advantage of your App Store and download blogger for free and finish posts whilst on the bus/train wherever!

6. Do Your Research
Getting to as far as I am wasn't a walk in the park believe me, I've had to do my fair share of reading online and educating myself about blogging and how it all works from learning about installing templates, adding links, editing html codes, fancy gadgets, custom domain names, making money - you name it I've read/watched it. You need to learn these things in order for you to make your way through the blogging world, it's something you should consider because with blogging you will face some obstacles and by researching you will overcome them as an individual.

7. Make Friends - Empower One Another 
Starting a blog can be very scary and overwhelming but its always a good step to socialise with others that are in the same boat as you. First and foremost remember this is not a competition - comment on someones photo, be friendly and make conversation. I cannot stress how important this is especially in this day and age of blogging where it can get bitchy sometimes, empower one another and spread kindness like confetti.

8. Keep Your Photos Atheistically Pleasing 
If you know me personally you'll know how much of a picture perfectionist I am and just how much I appreciate seeing a blog that makes effort with photos. To me the pictures are just as important as the post you are writing about, it deserves just as much attention. Clear photos, white backdrop and simplicity is what I aim for personally but each to your own - aim to be the unique blogger that you are. Don't rush around and think you need the latest camera, use your the back camera on your phone and find natural lighting and it'll all fall into place, when you feel like you really are enjoying the journey treat yourself to a handy camera. There are so many on the market for reasonable prices. I currently take my photos with the Sony A5100 and my iPhone6 back camera!

9. Stack Up On Posts
I currently have 15 drafted posts, sounds crazy right but its not at all - its actually one of the best things to do if you are a newbie blogger and you find yourself stuck in a 'writers block' quite often  during the first week/month into blogging. Anytime you think of a post to write about pop it into your drafts and come back to it when the time is right or when you fancy writing about it. For example sometimes I do get bored of writing about beauty/reviews and I just want to have a natter with you all about life so I just pick and choose which one I'm feeling up to writing about. It really helps take the pressure of feeling to always come up with something quickly which can eventually lead you to feeling frustrated with yourself. Take into consideration about how often you post within the same category (e.g fashion, lifestyle, beauty etc) try post different things so there isn't too much repetition.

10. Don't Stress Yourself Out. 
This is has got to be the most important one out the 10 tips, do not stress yourself out about followers, views, not being invited to events, no freebies etc etc because in time things will happen. Remember - consistency will always be the key to blogging success!

Tips On Starting A Blog

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I was recently introduced to this foundation and have completely fallen in love! I've heard of Milani Cosmetics but never knew where I could purchase it from here in the UK until my friend told me it was available in Beauty Base (Stratford City Westfield) and now also on Beauty Bay which makes our life so much easier!


Sounds perfect right? Let's start off with the coverage of this foundation which is absolutely mind blowing - as it is a concealer & foundation in one this instantly gives me a flawless, even, smooth base to work with without fail, I don't even have to colour correct under my eyes where I usually have some darkness because the coverage is that good the majority of it is concealed. The formula is so pigmented, a little really goes a long way, 1 pump covers my entire face and neck without looking 'cakey' and like I'm wearing a mask.

The shade that I was matched to was 06 Sand Beige which is slightly light for for me but only in one area which is around my mouth where I have some hyper pigmentation, so what I do is drop a tiny amount of a darker foundation just to make it a slightly darker, what I needed was a 6.5 and unfortunately they just don't have that. There are 14 shades to choose from which I think is a fair colour range to have for the time being but I'm hoping if they do expand their shades they will have in-between shades to cater for my skin tone and others.


As the formula is so pigmented and thicker in consistency unlike other foundations you can definitely play around with how much you'd like to wear day to day or if its a special occasion and you want that full coverage. If you are looking a cheap, full coverage drugstore foundation I would highly recommend this one because it has not failed to impress me, I cannot stop using it!


PROS:
→ full coverage
→ very long lasting 
→ suitable for all skin types 
→ covers dark circles 
→ available online on beauty bay or in store at beauty base

CONS:
→ feels tacky on the skin for a while, best to set with powder
→ shade range 
→ scented - to me it smells a little like paint

Milani 2 in 1 Foundation - purchase here

Review: Milani 2 in 1 Conceal & Perfect Foundation

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I must say over the past few years the drugstore skincare department has definitely upped its game, in fact currently in my skin regime I only use 2 high end products - sounds crazy right? p.s I will be filming a skincare routine soonish. 


These face masks recently caught my eye whilst I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, not only do they look atheistically pleasing (I'm sucker for packaging) but they have been raved by many bloggers on youtube so I did what a typical blogger would do, I joined the bandwagon and purchased them myself. I've been putting them to the test and have a short and sweet feedback for you all because these masks have totally won me over.


3 masks to choose from:
Pure Clay Purity Mask - Purifies & Mattifies
Pure Clay Detox Mask  - Detoxifies & Clarifies
Pure Clay Glow Mask - Brightens & Exfoliates

These masks claim to have about 10 uses BUT do not be fooled, the pots are seriously deep and this might sound a little weird but the masks are really pigmented - one swipe of product on my brush and it gives me an instant opaque finish on my skin unlike some other masks that I've used that can be streaky when applied. These masks each contain three different clays that cater for various problems that can occur on your skin, recently theres been a new craze of 'multi-masking' which basically means using different masks that will be effective and beneficial in the problematic areas on your face e.g my t-zone gets super oily, my cheeks have many blemishes & under my chin I have a swarm of white heads so for example using just an detox mask sometimes isn't what I need in certain areas, often it can make my skin feel tight and dry so this idea is definitely something I recommend you trying if your skin is like mine - I don't know why I didn't think of doing this earlier since my skin is so different in each area.




I'm going to start my review with my absolute favourite from the 3 which is the Exfoliate & Refining Mask (Orange Mask): This was the first time I ever used an 'exfoliating mask' and I fell in love! After washing this off my skin it feels so smooth and refreshed like new skin has just surfaced, I like that when removing this mask you can really exfoliate your skin whilst removing the product too which makes it really work its magic.

Moving onto the next mask which is the Detox & Brightening Mask (Charcoal Mask): 
This mask reminds me a lot like my usual go-to face mask which is the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask, I turn to that when my skin is looking dull and clogged up. Charcoal masks are great at drawing out dirt and any under the skin spots, it really pushes them upwards and the next day as disgusting as it sounds by the time I do my usual skincare regime (cleansing/exfoliating) the spots will be gone and my skin looks perfectly clear ready for a slap of make up for the day haha. 

Last but definitely not least its the Purify & Mattify Mask (Green Mask):
This mask promises to mattify and make your skin look more glowy if used a few times a week so for myself I use this only in my t-zone where I am the most oiliest - and don't worry guys this doesn't strip your skin of its natural oils! I've had my fair share of using face masks that claim to keep the natural oils but instead make your skin feel dry, tight and almost flakey after removing the mask - this on the other hand just simply mattify's my skin leaving it feeling smooth and looking flawless.  

Overall if you are looking for a affordable yet effective face mask I'd highly recommend the Loreal Pure Clay Detox masks, they have been such a skin saviour recently and for such a small price tag. There's 3 for you to choose from but I suggest whilst the offer is still rolling buy all 3 so you can customise the application just the way I did for the areas that need perfecting. For best results try to use a face mask 1-2 times a week!

L'oreal Skin Pure Clay Masks

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As promised I'm back and I'm ready to talk you all through my weight loss journey! 
I don't want to waffle on too much on the subject of 'why' because I did do a full blogpost which you can read here - it covers pretty much everything. I want to now take this opportunity to be honest with you all, I think its vital that you all know that sometimes being in the mind set of loosing weight can cause more cons than pros. So here's my story...


I started to drop weight very quickly just before Ramadan 2016, this was first caused by a lot of stress (work/home-life/etc) and then slowly I began to have weak appetite in general, that then lead me to actually living a very unhealthy life style, missing important meals such as breakfast and then getting lazy to eventually eat at all during the day. It may sound perfect to some of you that are eager to loose weight but it does begin to take a toll over your life. I started to feel very weak, sick, and just not myself because of the constant battle with food, it was almost like I hated the sight of it sometimes. Around 3 weeks ago whilst I was vlogging for my channel I had a complete break down on camera (I didn't upload this vlog because I wasn't myself throughout) I went out to watch a movie with my friend and it was time to get something to eat, now I was starving but my mind and my stomach were just in a war zone. It took me near enough 3 hours to finally then eat something only to later throw up my dinner. It's not been an easy ride for me, as much as its been nice to receive lovely compliments its definitely not worth the trouble I have been through. My stomach has now shrunk, I physically cannot finish a regular meal e.g a meal at Nando's - I can probably eat a quarter of a quarter chicken meal but thats what my stomach has now adjusted to, people always are looking at me asking me 'why don't you finish your food?' 'you waste so much' etc, but its honestly because I can't. I'm full.

 In a nutshell I'm on the 6 stone mark now (6 stones & 11 pounds which is actually a healthy weight for my height of 4 ft. 10) but I haven't lost the weight the way I would have liked to, but from now on I am keeping a balance and am trying my best to keep up with it the correct way.


 I've only just recently taken control over my body by making healthier choices, I went on a huge shopping trip with my mum and bought loads of things that were just better for myself and I actually look forward to eating!

I've cut out things like fizz/sugar/junk in general, I try avoid it as much as I can. I have a 'snack draw' in my room that would usually be full of chocolates and loads of treats but now I've replaced some of that with nuts, dried fruit and some healthier crisps e.g walkers sunbites - they are my favourite! When I'm feeling peckish I'll dip into that draw or toast some wholemeal pitta bread and have it with hummus and that hands down has to be one of my favourite 'snack' meals, it keeps me full for hours. Drinking water is so important I cannot stress how much this benefits your health, I used to be terrible with drinking water but now I choose it over everything, sometimes if I want a little zest to it I add some lemon slices and it makes it so much more pleasurable to drink (weird? haha)

photo credit: tumblr
I've also been drinking a fair amount of thin-tea detox tea for a while which helps with the bloating feeling that I get quite often after eating a meal, not only does it seriously help with the bloating but with time it has speed up my metabolism. If you feel like you are in desperate need of a detox which sometimes we do need after eating so much junk constantly, your body does need a cleanse so I'd suggest investing in a 28 day detox tea or there are shorter periods like 14 days - whatever suits you best. Theres many on the market right now, I know Holland & Barrett stock detox teas. If you are in fear of the taste which mine I wasn't too fussed with (I got used to it and pretty much downed it LOL) but you can add some lemon or pure honey in to sweeten the taste.


Don't get me wrong I do have cheat days where I feel groggy and I just want to drown in pizza and chips but I try to work it off the following day. On the topic of work out I have to add in that I don't go to the gym, yup shocker right? I walk as much as I can in a day, if I'm travelling by bus/train anywhere if possible I will walk past 1 or 2 bus stops just to get that extra bit of cardio in OR I walk around my area for a while, whether it be by myself or I take my niece/nephews along with me and I've noticed how much of a difference it makes, its still a form of loosing weight whether it be a few pounds it does show up on the scales trust me. Not only that it makes you feel so refreshed instantly, I now cannot have a day where I just stay in and do nothing because I just feel so fidgety, I mostly try to do my walks during the morning as it encourages me to continue being good throughout the day. Take advantage of this whilst the weathers still good here in the UK!

That's all for my weight loss journey, I'm now concentrating on getting back into a good shape, toning my body and fixing my eating habits. I'm happier and confident with my body. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via instagram/twitter/email I'd be happy to answer.

Weight Loss Journey: Pros & Serious Cons...

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