(Yes, I know I look super goofy in this pic haha!)

Disclaimer: I literally still know nothing about the process of purchasing a property. I don't claim to know everything, and I am just sharing the very small information I actually know. Take of this blog post what you will, but I am not held responsible for anything hahahaha.

Hi! So the past 6 months have been the most challenging thing ever, and during the whole process, I really WISHED there was something for me to read, to just give me a little bit more information on how the whole 'buying a property' thing works! So here's me telling you what I learnt from the process (if anything).

I really don't know where to begin!

I'm going to start by saying, although this process was extremely challenging, it's definitely doable. I think the reason an average person finds the property ladder quite daunting is because it's not widely educated. I wish there are more resources in educating our generation on how property purchasing works!


I'm gonna start with the finances & keep it simple. You need to bear in mind a few things:
- A deposit
- A mortgage
- Stamp Duty
- The extras

Deposit: The deposit for a property is usually 10% of the price. This is a good place to start, especially when you're searching rightmove.co.uk & looking for your dream house. I spent a lot of time on that site, looking at the prices of properties and what I could actually afford; comparing my savings to an actual property I liked. My first tip will be; don't be disheartened about the property prices. For your first property, you will not be able to get that 5 bedroom detached house by the river you wanted, or that 1 bedroom flat in zone 1 which is SUPER convenient. Get yourself familiar with the prices of somewhere you wouldn't mind living, and set that as your goal! Don't look at the super expensive ones, that you most likely won't be able to purchase, it's better to start somewhere achievable!

Mortgage: now this is where I feel like I could have used the most help. It was a little bit tricky for me as I'm self employed (AKA a nightmare when trying to get a mortgage) BUT there is help out there. Get yourself a mortgage broker. Some charge a fee, and some don't! We chose a no fee mortgage broker, and they made the process run somewhat smooth! The only problem with no fee mortgage brokers is that they do try to pitch you additional things, and kinda try and convince you you NEED to have certain things.
The general rule on how much you can get for a mortgage is your salary x 5. This does vary depending on the bank, but I learnt CURRENTLY, that's the rule. For example, if your salary is £25,000 times by 5 = £125,000! If you are purchasing WITH someone, and both of you have a salary of £25k, that allows you to £250,000 on a mortgage (roughly).
The process of getting a mortgage is easier than I thought it would be. Once they assess your finance, it's all about form filling, and providing documents. They'll provide you with an offer, and then your solicitor takes over - you just have to complete (will explain this word soon) within a certain time frame as the mortgage offer has an expiration date!

Stamp duty - for a first time buyer, a property up to £300,000 has no stamp duty. THIS IS AMAZING. On the remaining value, you pay 5% up to £200,000. Take advantage of this, I am super grateful for this!!!

The extras: find out from your estate agent payments such as the council tax, service charge etc that a property may have. Also find out how much electricity and water bills are roughly to run the property! These are add ons you may have to pay for & don't forget to take this into account, and your estate agent *should* be on hand to help you with this. Also don't forget your legal fees (the solicitor payment) and other things like a 'survey'.

Help to Buy Schemes - if I'm honest, I didn't do much research on this scheme as I didn't opt for this route. I love that the option is there should you need it, BUT do your research on it! All I know is you can use a 5% deposit instead of the 10% required.

Leasehold vs Freehold

Shoutout to my girl Pooja the solicitor who taught me this. From what I remember:
Freehold means you own the property the land is on.
Leasehold means you own some sort of contract the property is on. For example, most flats are leasehold, as you can't solely own the land it's built on, so you own a LEASE. Apparently, as long as there's over 99+ years on this, you are good. IDK DON'T MAKE ME GET INTO THIS SIDE OF THINGS. GOOGLE IT (I tried).

The Estate Agent

Estate Agents will help you find your property. We got in touch with ours online, after searching and narrowing our location down. The properties you're looking at will be registered to an estate agent in that town.
From my experience, Estate Agents are hard work. We didn't really have a good experience with ours, or any we came across, which is a shame! I think their job is super demanding, that they aren't able to hold your hand too much on the whole process. As a first time buyer, a bit more help from the Estate Agents would be greatly appreciated, but don't expect them to help you much! (One day, I might tell you the hassle the estate agent caused us, but right now I'm all about good vibes only x)
What I learnt about the Estate Agents job; they show you a property.. multiple properties.. when you're ready to place an offer, you phone them up with the offer. They tell the seller, the seller then rejects or accepts your offer.
A few bits of paperwork and then the solicitors take over..


I can't stress enough how important it is to GET A GOOD SOLICITOR. Don't use the online companies you come across, and get someone who is close by (should you need to visit in emergencies), and reputable. Again, I LEARNT THIS. I did not do this, BUT I LEARNT IT AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS.

Solicitors/Conveyancers (a fancy word that means someone who will help you purchase your property - I still haven't worked out if these people need a law degree lol) ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING. They basically have to do everything for ya.

They have to carry out some searches, negotiate with the seller on what stuff will be kept in the property (don't let them take your cooker lads), help with your stamp duty calculation etc etc and etc. You just need to communicate with them on what you want, and leave it to them. They also then have to work out when you will 'exchange' which means exchanging contracts with 'the other side' (a word I found out means the seller). Once you've instructed (chosen) a solicitor, they are your point of call throughout the whole purchase, speak to them about everything, call them anytime you want between Mon-Fri 9-5pm. but they might not wanna pick up lol sorry lol getting personal here.

But also, try get a 'no win no fee' solicitor, where if the deal doesn't go through, you don't have to pay them!

Just get a good solicitor and then maybe there'll be minimal stress lols x

For your mortgage, you have to have at LEAST a basic survey done. This is where the bank goes round to check out the property and do some checks on it.
I think this costs around £50 (I don't remember now) and I'm unsure if it changes depending on the property. Your mortgage provider will set this up!
For peace of mind, independently to the bank survey, you can actually get an even more in depth survey done, to find out what's going on in the property you are purchasing.
There's a few different types along with the basic survey and I think they were a homebuyers survey, and a structural survey.
Homebuyers survey: This is pretty self explanatory, but a homebuyers one is to check all the stuff a homebuyer would want to know i.e. any leaks in the home, how the electrics are etc.
Structural survey: along with everything in the basic and homebuyers survey, the structural survey goes into all the nooks and crannies, finds out the structure of the property and I guess a lot more lol.

These surveys vary in price depending on which company you choose, so do shop around! These are optional, but I recommend them. I feel like it gave me peace of mind making sure the property I am purchasing isn't wack. Also, you get a survey where they value the property, and you can use that to negotiate the price of the property if it comes out less than what you have offered, although the seller and estate agent may hate you.

So you've done everything.. now what?

So you set a date to 'exchange' contracts. This means you are now in a legally binding contract and your deposit has gone through. I don't remember if it goes to the sellers solicitor at this point, but it basically means you got the goods. There is a chance it can STILL fall through, but don't ask me how because I didn't even want to get into that lol. On exchange, you set a day to 'complete'. This means YOU GET THE KEYS IF ALL GOES TO PLAN. The solicitors normally advise 10 days between exchange and completion, but I think you can choose a date that's best mutually agreed for the buyer and seller.

On the day of completion.. you just have to wait. Wait for a call from your solicitor to say that you can go pick the keys up from the estate agent! This should be pretty straight forward, but I think if you're moving it's quite hard to be on a tight schedule and have all your moving vans and furniture waiting around for you haha. You then go get your keys from the estate agent, and there you have it.. a property.

So I'm going to turn this into a Q&A with some questions you all asked me on Instagram (I tried to incorporate most of the questions in the post anyway), of course do let me know if there are any other questions you might have!

How much do you need to save?  It of course.. depends on the property you are purchasing but hopefully the finances section of this blog post gives you an idea!

I am Self Employed - What do you provide for your mortgage? This was extremely difficult for me because I did not have many self employed years under my belt. I have to provide my accounts for my tax year. Get a mortgage broker, who will help you with this!

How long is the process? Every single property purchase is different! I found out some people did everything in a month, and some can take a year. Because you are depending on different people at each step of the process, you really can't put a time to it. BUT, if you want to speed (or slow) things down, communicate that with your solicitor, and be ON TOP OF EVERYTHING. If you want to speed things up from your end, just make sure there's nothing outstanding from your end. If they need a form filled, fill it and return it within an hour etc.

What don't people know that they should/Biggest Misconception about purchasing? I love this question. I think the biggest misconception is that it is impossible to purchase. I said this at the beginning, and even I was very doubtful that I would ever be able to afford to purchase. It's all about doing your research and educating yourself on the process so you know what goals to set yourself!

How did you know it was the right time to buy? I didn't. I don't really get the whole 'is it the right time to buy?' thing, and still don't know much about house prices. For me, it was a goal I set. It was more about finding the right property that was perfect for us at the right time. Basically, it all fit into place.

ISA Bank Scheme? Yep - I used this scheme with my bank for a number of years, it only allows you to add a certain amount a year, but a very good scheme!

How many properties did you view? Enough to know this one was the right one haha

How can you afford to buy so young? For a few years now, I have always prioritised purchasing a house. Because of this I deprioritised a lot of other things people my age usually do. For example, I've not gone on holiday for over 3 years now! I knew that saving money, and missing out on a few things would help me achieve my goals, and although I have missed out on other things I would have quite enjoyed, I'm happy with my life choices this far!

How to Save? I wanna write a full blog post about this, so do let me know if you want that!

I hope that this has helped, even a little bit on how the property purchase works, and like I have said.. I still know absolutely NOTHING LOL. The journey was super stressful, and at times I did lose hope on if it would ever happen! Do let me know if you have any other questions though, either here or on Instagram! & let me know if you have any property/home posts you want me to do!

(If you got this far, good luck with the purchase!)

8 July 2019

Buying A Property as a Millienial

I was invited to try out Duck & Dry's new home in Mayfair! I had initially tried out the Duck & Dry Express bar in Primark Tottenham Court so I was familiar to the brand, and loved the treatment I received there!

 The location is great, 5 minutes walk from Bond Street Station, and super close to Selfridges (where you can always find me spending too much money), so I found the location super convenient. 

The first thing that caught my attention were the egg shaped stations, they are SO cute. 

They charge £35 for a signature blow dry, and even do up dos! They're priced quite reasonably at £35, whilst an up do is £45. 

I love how everything is super instagram worthy, including this Duck & Pluck station! But the best thing.. 

The floral bird cage! What better way to show off your newly did hair than by this gorgeous backdrop? 

Getting my hair done and a cute insta worthy spot at the same time? This place is definitely a place to check out! 

I was super impressed with how my hair had turned out! The staff were also super friendly, offering a complimentary drink on your visit too!

Have fun loves! 

20 May 2019

Duck & Dry Mayfair!

Illamasqua were super kind to gift me these products, but as always all opinions are my own!
I have had my eye on this Illamasqua #NUDEREVOLUTION collection as soon as I saw it on Illamasqua's page. This was SUCH a different vibe for Illamasqua. They're usually known for their amazing and original bright and dark colours, but I don't remember a collection like this before.
As you all know by now, I absolutely adore my softer pinky colours and just knew this collection was for me!
In this blog post I'm going to be going through everything that was sent to me, along with a review and some more info about the products. I'll be linking the products as I go along (aff links).

I was sent:
- 4 Iconic Chrome Eyeshadows
- 4 Antimatter Lipsticks
- 1 Highlighter
- 3 Lip Liners
This was all from the Nude Revolution collection!

Lip Liners

From Left to Right shades; Exposed, Undressed and Raw.

There are 4 new liners in the Nude Revolution collection! I have actually never tried Illamasqua lip liners, so was super excited to try these!
First impressions, I love the shade range. There is basically a lip liner for everyone in just 4 simple liner shades. They're a great range of tones! They are priced at £16.

Exposed Lip Liner - This is the lightest liner in the collection. I used this in the middle of my lips, paired with a darker lipstick and it creates such a nice plump lip. Alternatively, if you are lighter in complexion to me, this would be such a fab lip liner for an amazing nude lip.

Undressed Lip Liner - This is more of a pinky toned lip liner which pairs really nicely with some pink lipsticks you may have (when I get to the lipsticks, I'll let you know which lipsticks I paired this with)

Raw Lip Liner - I would describe this liner as an in between shade of the first two lip liners. If you want something that's not too nude, and not too pink, Raw is the one for you! I think one is the most versatile lip liner from the 3 I own, and would look great on all skin tones.

The formula is most definitely super creamy, and they glide on really nice! They are very long wearing and great at ensuring that your lipstick does not bleed!

Antimatter Lipsticks

From Left to Right: Vela, Celestial, Seren, Shaula 

There are 7 new lipsticks in the Nude Collection, and they're priced at £20. I've used this formula before and it's one of my faves. The formula is semi-matte, which I've always loved because it does not dry, but is super long lasting for a lipstick!! The shades in this range are bloody amazing. The best thing about them is that one swipe is soooooo pigmented, all the swatches above are from half a swipe! If you've not tried an antimatter lipstick before, I highly suggest you do! 

Vela Lipstick - This pairs super well with the exposed lip liner for the most perfect nude lip. Alternatively, you can use one of the darker lip liners, and fill in with Vela lipstick to create a darker nude lip!  

Celestial Lipstick - I mean, wow. This shade is super unique. At first, I didn't know if this was going to be wearable on my skin tone but I absolutely adore it. I am super excited to use this in summer for a bright lip, and a nude eye look - I think it's going to look fab. 

Seren Lipstick -  This is such a perfect nude shade. I think this is probably the most versatile shade from the collection, where on lighter skin tones it looks like a lovely brown, and on darker tones it looks like a really nice nude. It pairs very nicely with the Undressed lip liner!

Shaula Lipstick - By far my fave lipstick from the ones I received. I am so so so into my brown and earthy tones when it comes to lipstick, it's always my go to and this one is just perfect. It really compliments my skin tone and I know this one is going to be one of my most reached shades for the unforeseeable future! If you're looking for a nice new brown lipstick, this one is your gal.  

P.s. can I just say I am in love with the names of these shades! 

Iconic Chrome Eyeshadows

I have used this formula before and am not even joking when I say it's one of THE BEST eyeshadow formula's I have ever used. It's honestly one of my faves, and when I saw they made more shades (and pinky ones) I knew I had to get them. One thing I absolutely love these for, is how easy they are to use. One swipe, and you've created such a beautiful look. If you're new to eyeshadows, these are definitely worth it as you need minimal make up skill to use these! The best way to apply these is with your finger, but with one swipe, they're super pigmented. It's a cream to powder formula, and they're all super metallic and glittery. They don't budge ALL day. You can also use them on your lips! 
There are 4 new shades in the Nude Revolution collection and they are priced at £22. 

From Left to Right: Provocative, Alluring, Mesmerising, Captivating 

Provocative Shadow - a dark pink tone, which looks amazing all over the lid. It actually makes you look like you spent ages on your eyeshadow, in one swipe! 

Alluring Shadow -  This shade is nice as an inner corner highlight, as well as all over the lid. It's such a nice champagne colour, and looks really nice with the provocative shade on the outer corner for a smoked out pink look! 

Mesmerising Shadow - a beautiful soft gold shade. I have another iconic chrome in Avant - Garde, and this shade reminds me of that shade but softer! I can't wait to wear this shade to weddings this summer! 

Captivating Shadow - who's been following me since last year when I claimed lilac was the shade of 2019? Well I claimed it and I'm so here for this shade feeding my obsession with everything lilac. This has a really nice duochrome flip too, where in person it looks super lilac, but from different angles it looks like white glitter. This is such a nice shade that I have been missing from my collection and now I feel whole. lol. 


I own so many Illamasqua highlighters already. But none with this marble effect! This shade is called Risqué and what a fitting name haha. There are two shades in this collection priced at £34, and the other one is named Dare which is a lot darker. 
Initially when I saw this shade, I thought it was pretty dark. But I really like the pink shimmer and it looks SO GOOD on my skin. It gives such a nice glow, and the pink glitter really breaks it down. For lighter tones, you could definitely use this as a bronzer. This rose gold highlighter is my summer glow, for sure. 

Overall, this is probably my fave collection from Illamasqua to date. It's so nice to see Illamasqua do something so different, but still so up there with the quality. This is a nude collection done right, which caters for all skin types, and I'm SO here for it. I am so happy to see additional shades of the iconic chromes most definitely, and if you were try just one thing from this collection, I'd definitely recommend them!

P.s. Illamasqua have also kindly given me a code, MEHSHAKE, and if you spend £50 you get a free brush of your choice. I highly recommend this highlighting buffing brush worth £26, it's the only thing I use for applying my highlights! But if you really wanted to make the most out of this deal, get the £40 powder brush haha! 

All week, I'll be playing around with this make up, so make sure to check out my Instagram @mehshake for looks I've created with all this new good good make up & do let me know if you have any questions about this range! 

24 April 2019


Hi! So Bioderma were kind enough to gift me these items I am about to talk about, but as always this review is completely my own!

I am not new to Bioderma, and actually if you ever get to the first few blogs I ever wrote, Bioderma has been a staple in my skin care routine. I sort of lost my way for a VERY long time, so no surprise when I have been breaking out really badly :( When Bioderma asked if I wanted to try their range, I was super super excited to explore their acne/oily skin range called Sébium..

For the past 2 weeks, I have been using 4 products and already noticed a difference in my skin appearance and texture. So let me take you through them. You can also purchase these items through this link! 

Bioderma Sebium Micellar Water

I have been using this every night to get rid of the rest of my make up! It's a really good micellar water, and has really helped to control my oily skin!! Also, with some drying products, it helps regulate the dryness the acne products have given me!

Bioderma Sébium Gel Moussant

To further remove my make up before the micellar water, I've been using the cleansing foaming gel. I absolutely LOVE a good foaming face wash, and this does the trick. I sometimes do a deep cleanse with my Clinique brush, and this works really well with it. 
I use this morning & night! 

Bioderma Sébium Global

This is to eliminate spots and blackheads, and is some pretty nifty stuff. I read up on it, and it biologically acts like sebum, to stop the process that happens which causes acne. I have actually noticed fewer breakouts with this stuff! 
I use this in the evenings usually! 

Bioderma Matt Control

A moisturer and primer all in one! I've stopped using any other primer, as this BEAUTIFULLY acts like a primer. When I put this on, I instantly see a mattifying difference. I wear this under my make up, and I actually notice a visible difference to keep my shine away, and keep my make up in tact throughout the WHOLE day.

This has probably got to be my favourite moisturiser I've used. I've never got on with moisturisers in the past, so was pleasantly surprised with this one!

Bioderma Pore Refiner

This is some good stuff! If enlarged pores are the problem, then this really does help. I tend to use this more concentrating near my nose area, where I have some HUGE pores. Using under make up, and also in my night time routine has helped massively!

Overall, this skincare regime is absolutely perfect for anyone battling with acne/oily prone skin. In the range, it has something for all the concerns you may have, from blemishes and scars, to active acne, to too much oil and even the appearance of your pores. I love how they all don't feel too heavy, and they're all very very easy to use. That makes a huge difference, because sometimes you can have horrendously long steps with skin care products.

I'd highly recommend this range, and I'm not surprised as I've been a huge Bioderma fan for years! Let me know what else you think I should incorporate into my skincare routine?

Byeee x

13 April 2019

The Skincare Regime You Need for Acne Prone Skin!

I have been using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Riviera palette for a week now, and finally had some time to sit down and write my thoughts on this palette! 

This palette is SO refreshing to see from ABH! I think everyone was really ready for a colourful palette from ABH, and they did not disappoint! 

This palette contains some really interesting formulas!
It contains: 
- 5 normal matte shades 
- 3 pressed pigment matte shades 
- 2 duochromes 
- 4 metallics 

Firstly, I've never seen so many different formulas from ABH, so that's a great start! 

Here are the swatches! I've actually put up live swatches on my instagram @mehshake, if you want to check that out!

I wanted to run through the formulas one by one, and explain how they work, and the best way I found to use this palette. It doesn't have just the traditional fomulas in this palette, as it incorporates pressed pigments, so I think this would be helpful!


Initial thoughts: super buttery and are VERY similar to the traditional matte formula in other palettes.

Sails: the first matte shade which is a PURE matte white shades. Uh, I'm obsessed. I LOVE a good matte white shade for my base after a primer or concealer, and this is EXACTLY what I need. Especially when you're playing with colour, this shade is SUPER helpful.
Cabana: a matte mustard shade. Beautiful. This shade is super versatile, and can be used in the crease as well as all over the lid.
Estate: described as a soft pastel peachy pink, I'd say this runs more like a nude, which is a PERFECT transition shade!
Coastline: a matte pastel soft peach. Very similar to estate, but not quite. It's a few shades darker and although they're pretty similar, they're not the same! I feel like one of these could be replaced with a different colour matte, but I also am not complaining as it gives variety of the two 'pastel' shades!
Monte Carlo: a cool mid- toned pink. My fave shade in the palette so far. I'M OBSESSSSSED with cool toned pinks, and this palette just does it right! There's not many pinks in my collection like this one, and I am so happy with the uniqueness of this one!

Pressed Pigment Matte Shades

Initial thoughts: these pack a punch, but don't swatch very well! When applied to the eye, they need to be pressed down for maximum pay off, but also applied a few times to get the best application. They're not hard to work with at ALL, they just need to be applied differently. These shades are what takes this palette to 'artistry' level, but also if you're a beginner with eyeshadows, you'll get the hang of these formulas pretty quick, so no need to get overwhelmed! I must say, these do stain due to the nature of the pigment!

Bahamas: a matte hot pink! I don't have much to say but LOVE.
Cannes: a violet purple - this goes on so so so good with 2 applications. This shade all over the lid, with Bahamas in the crease is a LEWK.
Palm: a matte chocolate brown. This compliments alllll the shades so so so well! This shade was needed to bring all the shades together. LOVE.


Initial thoughts: love love love love love this. What I like about them is that they're not your usual duochrome shift colours. They are duos that I've never seen paired together with. When you own over 75 eyeshadow palettes, this is honestly appreciated.

Yacht: a duochrome mauvy taupe with a violet shift - OMG. When I swatched this, I have never seen a taupe compliment my skin so well before. The violet shift just makes it so so so good so if you have neutral to olive tones in your skin, you're going to love this one!
Seaside: a duochrome silver with a subtle blue shift - this pairs so well with so many shades in this palette and just gives me Riviera vibes. This is probably irrelevant but it reminds me of the outer packaging this palette comes in - the blue and white stripes. Norvina, is that what you were thinking with this shade? Pls confirm because am onto you and love you.


Initial thoughts: buttery as usual! One swipe gives you great pay off, and VERY happy with the metallic selection in this palette!

Seychelles: metallic aqua marine. This shade makes me step out my comfort zone. I never wear blue on my lids, but maybe I'll do it now ha.
Palmero: metallic jewel pink. Not your usual pink, more towards a red than a pink, but I'm OBSESSED. I do feel like I can dupe this shade very easily in my collection, but still a nice addition to have in this palette!
Inheritance: metallic true gold. This shade was needed. If the brights in this palette overwhelm you, this is GREAT. It makes this palette such a good travel palette, because you can VERY easily to a natural gold smokey eye, but also colour it up when you need to. Love.
Mediterranean: metallic sky blue. More of a purple blue, but I appreciate that. In the pan it looks like a sea blue to me, but this is more of a wearable blue that I would not be afraid to wear AT ALL.

Final Thoughts
One thing I LOVE about this palette, is that although I think it's great for artistry make up, you could actually really also achieve a one swipe make up look with nearly all of these shades. What I mean is that most shades you can use just one shadow, and it'll look SO good. Especially the pressed pigments which are really bright!
I also prefer this palette to the Morphe x James Charles palette - I didn't like the formula of that palette unfortunately, but if I had to pick out of both, I'd choose this one (albeit more expensive)!
It's such a great travel palette, because like I said you can create a neutral look, as well as a very colourful look! The colour combinations are absolutely endless with this one!

Let me know if you have any questions about this palette, and I'd love if you come check out my live swatches on Instagram! Byeee.

16 March 2019

Anastasia Beverly HIlls Riviera Palette Review!

This contains a gifted ad! Eyeko were kind enough to send me their mascara range to try out and I'm here to guide you through them! It can be so daunting when a brand has so many different mascaras, but also a blessing as there's so many different types to choose from!

So let's get started:

Skinny Brush Mascara £19

Long & Tall - purchase here!

This mascara is great for people with short lashes as the long and thin brush catches even the smallest of lashes! The bristles are dispersed for that particular reason, so if you have small inner lashes that are never caught with any brush, this is your guy.

Rock out & Lash Out £19 

Purchase here!

If your mascara tends to smudge, crumble and flake, this is the mascara for you! The gel like formula prevents this, but is still easy to remove. The guitar shaped brush is great for curling and thickening your lashes!

Fat Brush Mascara £19 

If volume is your thing when it comes to lashes, this is the mascara for you. It's actually fab at providing the most voluminous lashes! 

Sport Waterproof Mascara £19 

Purchase here!

This IS SO SO SO GOOD for a waterproof mascara. It does as it says, is great for swimming and the best thing about it? It's not even that hard to take off with a make up wipe!

Black Magic £19 

A personal fave of mine. When I look for a mascara, I look for something that curls my lashes. This actually provides a near 90 degree angle to my lashes. This has become one of my fave mascaras out the bunch! 

Lash Alert £19 

Purchase here

I saved one of the most innovative ones to last! So this is actually a treatment and mascara in one! It contains fibres to lenghten your lashes, but also has beeswax, shea butter, carnauba wax, silica, castor oil, caffeine to stimulate your lashes. 

Caffeine works wonders on hair growth, and if you're looking for something to look after your natural lashes as well as provide your volume, this is the guy for you!

Lastly, can we appreciate the most innovative thing I have used in a LONG TIME.

Eye Boost Serum £40 - purchase here.

So, an eye serum, but also a massage tool in one. The serum comes out, and is massaged in to your under eye. It's the nicest feeling EVER. I honestly come home, take my make up off and instantly use this. It's SO relaxing. I've never purchased an eye serum that is built in to actually massage into your skin. I've been using for about 2 weeks now, and am majorly impressed. My under eye appears smoother, brighter and softer, and honestly if you're looking for a new under eye treatment, this is definitely worth a try

I hope this helped, let me know if you have any questions!

* this post contains affiliate links!

12 March 2019

Eyeko Mascara Range! Which one is best for you?

I was invited down to the RW Perio clinic near Bond Street to try out the Polish & Perfect treatment!

The clinic is a private clinic, 7 minutes walk away from Bond Street! The address is:
RW Perio
Lister House
11-12 Wimpole Street

They do a range of treatments, so if Polish & Perfect isn't what you're after, have a look here for other treatments!

I was seen by Dr Reena Wadia, and what makes Reena different, is she's a gum specialist. I've never seen a gum specialist before, so she was so knowledgable and informative about my gums and general oral hygiene.

The appointment was split into three parts:
1) Assessment - Reena asked me about my previous dental health, along with what I do currently in terms of oral hygiene. I did explain I noticed my gums bleeding earlier today, which I never took notice of before!
2) Advice - Reena went through some great tips on how to better clean the gums and teeth. She diagnosed me with early gum disease, although pretty serious, it can be reversible. I'm so glad it was picked up now rather than later! She gave me some great tips on how to clean my teeth, in between my teeth, my toothbrush and even how to clean your tongue!
3) Airflow - The airflow is the polishing treatment that was used on my teeth. It's used to remove stains and polish your teeth. It was not uncomfortable at all, and my teeth instantly felt cleaner!

Overall, my experience at RW Perio was very pleasant, and SUPER useful, as she told me tips I've never been told before! If you're looking to improve your oral hygiene, and even have any specific concerns, this is your place!

5 March 2019

RW Perio Clinic!

I have been trying out the Lipstick Queen new Rear View Mirror Lip Lacquers for a few weeks now!
I have always been a huge fan of Lipstick Queen lipstick formula's, so was so excited to see they were coming out with a new formula!

The packaging is to die for! It's so refreshing and nice to see something so different and innovative when it comes to packaging.
I have been trying out the shades Fast Car Coral and Little Nude Coupe. They are priced at £22 each.

They are inspired from the shine of a car, which is SO interesting. They provide a really high shine, a long wearing coverage and also full of Vitamin E to act as an antioxidant for your lips!

Here are them swatched. They really do provide a high shine!
I am usually not a fan of high shine lipsticks, only because I find them super sticky, and not comfortable to wear.
This formula glides on so easily and stays smooth all day. When I initially applied it, I was shocked with how effortlessly it applied, but also how good the coverage was for one application.
Longevity of the lipstick is good, lasting a couple of hours! As it's not drying at all, there is some transfer so repplication is needed to keep the high shine!
I love how this formula is not completely matte, and not a 'lip gloss' type of formula, it's somewhat in between!

Here is me wearing little nude coupe, I paired it with a darker lip liner, and LOVED this combination. Light nudes usually don't suit me, but I found this super wearable.

What's your fave lip combo these days? Let me know if you've tried any Lipstick Queen formulaes!

This post includes a paid for advertorial and contains affiliate links!

Trying The New Lipstick Queen Rear View Mirror Lip Lacquers!

I am not stating that I have everything worked out when it comes to Instagram, but I thought I'd share tips that worked for me to grow my following (especially as so many people have asked). This is going to be super lengthy but hopefully informative so brace yourself.

A message to fellow Instagrammers and brands
It takes 1000 hours of practice, to master a skill’ - Unknown Instagram quote from a cute profile.

Let’s sit on the above for a second and do some quick maths If the average (although it’s probably way higher) time spent on the app is one hour per day, and we do this everyday that’s:
1 x 7h= 7h per week x 52 weeks = 364 hours on Insta per year.

That means If you’ve been using the app for just less than three years, then congratulations! You’ve just earnt a three year degree in understanding how Instagram works.

Moral of the mathematical story is, I want to explain how EASY it is to detect Instagrammers who purchase/use bots to 'grow' their profile! If we can spot it then you definitely know big brands with big analytical software can spot it faster! Saying that, influencer marketing is still in it’s start up phase so some (sadly even big) brands haven't caught wind yet and do pay/sponsor profiles who's followings are totally not real! This is shocking, but sooner rather than later big brands will realise when ‘bot’ followed accounts genuinely have lower engagement and that ‘50k follower’ account won't look so sassy compared to their return on investment.

Social media, brand and influencer marketing managers if you stumble upon this post, please feel free to take note, lol.

How to detect fake likes/follower on Instagram Profiles

I'm sure that most people know these tips already - but I was talking to a friend about it, and surprisingly she had no idea, so this may help some people. The easiest way to detect fake followers would be to literally click on the followers of a person, scroll a bit, and see if you notice anything suspicious..

Fake follower symptoms:
  1. Many profiles with no profile picture
  2. Random letters for usernames that make no sense; for example ‘eyofdsbgfy' or something along them lines
  3. Accounts full of stock images e.g from google
  4. Accounts with no photos/one photo
  5. Many accounts with either a high following or high followed number or both,  E.g 6237 followers, 6123 followed
  6. Many accounts from a certain demographic or country - a) If the instagrammer is from the UK then it's suspicious if they have thousands of Russian (фдчййкклл) or arabic followers *

* obviously there are REAL Arabic and Russian profiles, but firstly, does it make sense that these accounts are following these people? If the Instgrammer is for example a beauty blogger in the UK, why are random old russian and arabic men following them? Lol. Also it's not limited to just Russian and Arabic profiles, but they're the current examples I could find.

Fake likes symptoms
Spotting fake likes on pic is similar to spotting fake followers. If they uploaded within the hour:

  1.  Are the likes coming from any suspicious profiles? Are loads of the likes from a random demograph (like the arab and russian profiles I spoke about above?) 
  2. Are the suspicious profiles even following the Instagrammer? The algorithm usually won't show your profile on the explore page in a matter of seconds. 
  3. Do their likes surge out of proportion in a matter of seconds? 

Of course, likes can come from hashtags and the explore page (which is great), but if you’re suspicious than they’re probs mostly from bots!

Also, I think lots of 'organic and real' profiles attract a minimal amount of bots and fake profiles, so if you see one or two on your page, I think that's just something that happens. A good tip though, is if a 'bot' follows you, block them! They aren't real, it will only lower your reach and dilute your engagement.

Free bot finding software
So let's go onto my fave site ever - Socialblade. This is the best thing lol. Again, I'm sure so many people know this! You can see when people are bulk purchasing followers by going on this site, and searching a profile. Let me use examples.

Here's an example of socialblade stats of someone who is buying bots. One day, they lose followers, but the next day they gain +522. Then, they lose around 1000.. and then purchase 1000 again. lol. Basically, the reason they lose so many is because Instagram are somewhat good at removing bots from accounts. Not always, and that's why people still manage to grow their accounts, but for example on this profile, Instagram deletes them, but the person just buys more. Vicious cycle.

Let's give people the benefit of the doubt sometimes too though! If they sometimes grow by 500 or 1000, they may have been reposted by a big account or have had REALLY good engagement on a pic, or for example held a giveaway! But if there's too much inconsistency, mad increases and losses - that's bot buying. I wouldn't base one search on socialblade as someone bot buying, check it for a few days/weeks and also check their followers and see if you can spot fakes!

Let me show you an account that is being consistent.

You could also consistently lose followers, it doesn't mean the profile is fake - the person may just be inactive/having a bad week lol.

Please also note - if you use social blade and look at the 13th Feb 2019, nearly EVERYONE lost Instagram followers from an 'Instagram glitch', but in the next few days Instagram gave them back; just a FYI.

You can also spot people who use follow/unfollow bots or 'technique' when they follow +250 people on a day, then remove 250 people in the next few days - also not a good thing to do these days. There's actual sites and apps to do it too, where people put their details in and then a computerised system will then follow people automatically. You can target to follow people of the same niches etc but again Instagram knows you're doing so now!

Why Buying Fake Likes & Followers Won't Work

I think this will be a pretty quick topic to address. Ages ago you could get away with doing stuff like using third party apps to automatically follow and then unfollow people. People could also get away with sending fake followers and likes to their profile and still seem 'popular' and be shown on the explore page etc. This is all inauthentic and Instagram knows ways to detect that now.

But now, sabotaging your own profile with fake likes and followers is the biggest mistake you can ever make. Instagram can EASILY tell and weed out who is buying their likes. Think about it, they have the algorithm watching your account, seeing who's growing +1000 every day with no hard work. What do you think they'll do with that info? They'll limit your reach babes. They won't show your uploads to organic people, won't post you on the explore page, and do everything in their power to limit your reach! That then turns into a vicious cycle, where you'll be constantly sending fake likes and followers to your account, therefore ruining your profile :(

Say for example you send likes to your most recent post, in the first hour. The algorithm will 100000% detect that and it'll flag your profile up, hence reducing your limited reach. Organic is key!

Instagram also put out a statement saying they're going to delete fake likes and followers from people's accounts at the end of 2018. What happened this week with the Instagram 'purge' was linked to this I reckon, but I don't think it worked the way Instagram wanted it to. For example, it said I lost 500 followers, but then my actual 'number' on my profile didn't take into account them 500 losses. I suspect there was an error in showing the correct following numbers when they did the purge. So my opinion is that they will do another purge soon, and that's just another reason to not even bother trying to get instant gratification and sending bots to your account! They're coming for you!

The 'Algorithm' and why you need 'modernise' the way you use Instagram

So let's start by me explaining what I mean by the term 'modernise'. Like I've already mentioned, a few years ago it was really easy to not get 'caught' with these tactics. Therefore, getting instant gratification, making your page look 'organic' and without Instagram itself cottoning on. You need to change the way you use instagram now, especially if you want to grow your profile. You can't simply just post and leave, and expect to grow. You really just can't, and that's because of the algorithm..

I really don't want to touch on the algorithm, because this is all Instagrammers talk about nowadays. But here are some things that will affect the way the algorithm treats you:
- Not being active
- Not regularly posting
- Inconsistent following trends. Randomly following hundreds of people, then unfollowing them!
- Not engaging with people

Now, this is just things that I've noticed that helped me with the algorithm, and I know it's probably SO much more complex than these few points, but I think I got the fundamentals pretty spot on!

Tips to Grow Your Instagram

Again, I'm just going to put a few tips that I found really help me grow on Instagram. I'm still a really really small account, in comparisons to others, but I think it's important to remember it's not always a numbers game, and it's definitely not a competition. I'm also not trying to claim that I've worked everything out, because I most definitely have not - just sharing some tips that helped me!

1) Do stuff your followers like. If you find an image of yours did better than your usual, DO MORE OF THAT STUFF. For example, my make up flat lays don't do as well as my outfit posts, so I of course post more outfit posts. When I visit places around London, mainly places that haven't been seen before, I'll get more saves, hence the picture does better!

2) Niches - basically, I don't actually agree with the term 'niche'. I just think, if you're on Instagram and want to grow a following, you need to know what you're growing for. If you're on instagram just for likes and follows and instant gratification, what's the point? Do you have a message to convey? Are you passionate about something i.e. makeup, travelling, fashion? Find something that no one has done before, and make it your own!

3) Follow people, but don't just follow people for follow backs. Use the app like the social media app that it is. Follow people you are GENUINELY interested in. Follow people who's feed you love, and those who have similar accounts to you. Don't expect a follow back, and also don't unfollow them once they follow you - that's probably the worst thing you can do. That's why it's important to follow people that genuinely interest you, so you can comment, engage on their pictures, get to know them etc without having to unfollow them. For example, if I come across someone's feed I love, I follow them, irrespective of if they have less or more followers than me! I don't expect a follow back, but it's great if they do as then I can engage, they can engage, and everyone's engaged. If I notice someone engaging with me a lot, I always check their feed out, and most likely always follow them back!
Here’s a tip - spend 10 minutes a day trying to find 10 profiles you genuinely like, irrespective of if they are a big or small profile.

4) Engage - this seems like such simple stuff, but it is very very important. If you're not gonna show love to people by commenting on their stuff, saving their stuff, liking their stuff, you're not gonna get much back loves!

5) Don't worry about numbers - Honestly, don't. If you want brands to work with you, they'll work with you usually irrespective of the amount of follows you have (not all, but some will, which will get you the experience to go places!). They'll see your work, especially if it's some good good work, and they'll WANT to work with you. Go at your own pace, don't think you need to reach a certain level to get 'sponsored' and 'paid'. Along with that, don't make sponsored and paid work your end goal. Your instagram page should ALWAYS start off as a hobby and something you're passionate about - not just a career. Please, don't wake up one day, quit your day job/university and think you can start a career on Instagram - you'll set yourself up for failure that way. Put in the work, and watch your page literally grow. You're also never going to wake up one day with 100,000 followers.

6) Focus on your content- I did just touch on this but instead of focusing on your follower number, focus on your content. Make sure your content is what you want it to be. Let's take a make up blog for example, create that content. Take swatches and flat lays, write reviews of products, do make up related content, take GOOD content and people will find you!

7) Engage with the brand you're posting and writing about. Ok so this is my biggest irk. So, let's say for example someone posts an outfit from Fashionova. Tags Fashionova, wants to be reposted, but doesn't follow the page?! I'm sure brands see that. I know some brands have openly explained that if you're not gonna even follow the page, you're not gonna get reposted/a like from the brand! These are small changes you can make that may open up wider doors for you!
Further, if you want a brand to work with you, the best thing to do is to show them you already love the brand. Create content for them before approaching them, for example I was posting Charlotte Tilbury related content since 2014 and 4 years later the brand contacted me. It took me 4 years, and I'm still not even remotely a large account, but I guess they notice hard work!

8) Tags & Hashtags - don't overuse them & don't tag nonsensical (oooh big word) tags. Tag related to what you're posting about but don't over use them.

9) Use Instagram the way it wants to be used. If they introduce a new feature, you'll get more reach. For example, start creating content on IG TV, use polls, use instagram stories, follow hashtags etc. I'm sure it all helps!

10) Don't put your eggs in one basket - pls. Instagram could make any change which can affect anything. Take your content to a blog, to YouTube etc and it'll probably be the best decision you make!

11) Followers. And. Growth. Isn't. Everything. (Bit of a silly message to convey when you read the title, I know)

Ok so I know that was SUPER lengthy but I hope it helped. I'd love if you could share this with your friends, especially so we can make sure we are supporting organic profiles and I'll love to know if this has helped you at all?! Leave me a comment, or a DM over on insta, and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch!

P.S. I'd love to do one on how to contact brands and how to monetize your blog etc, but I'll only do that on request so please let me know otherwise it's never happening!

17 February 2019

How to Grow Your Instagram: Why Not to Buy Fake Followers & Likes

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