Friday, 9 March 2018

Glossier Phase 1 Review

It's been the most hyped-up launch in recent times and literally everyone seems to want a slice of something Glossier. The brand seemingly came out of nowhere and has taken the beauty world by storm, pushing the boundaries and offering a completely new kind of product: a product made for the beauty customer and no one else. Launched by Emily Weiss, the brains behind beauty website 'Into the Gloss', Glossier has been a runaway success.

So, what's all the fuss about? I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on the Phase 1 set and after a few months using the products, I thought I would share my thoughts on the most wanted brand of the moment.

I'll be honest, Glossier didn't really pique my interest until I started seeing literally everyone and their mother talking about it. It just didn't have any 'wow' products for me - when it comes to beauty brands, I'm always going to get more excited about makeup than skincare, and as Glossier is very much about that natural, dewy glow, I was unsure if it was the brand for me. 

However, despite being a makeup girl through and through, I do still love and understand the importance of skincare, so I thought I ought to give the brand a go. I was also drawn in by the pretty packaging, the cutesy little stickers and the unique clear bubble makeup pouches you get with every order. It's definitely unlike any other beauty brand I've ever seen!

So, the Glossier Phase 1 set seemed like the obvious first choice for me - it's basically a little starter kit (again, I've never seen another brand that offers this) that gives you an introduction to what Glossier is all about. It comes with the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturiser and Balm Dotcom, in whichever flavour you choose. It costs £35, which is £8 cheaper than if you were to buy all the products separately. 

The Milky Jelly Cleanser is by far my favourite product of the three. I've been using it day and night for a few months now and I just love it. It smells amazing, is super soft and milky on the skin, and leaves my skin feeling so soft and hydrated. This is what Glossier is all about: hydrated, dewy skin, so it makes sense that this is one of their star products. Whilst it's not the cheapest, costing £15, it's not unreasonable either, and I definitely think I'll repurchase once it runs out. I don't use it to remove my makeup, so I can't talk about whether it's good at that, but to actually cleanse my skin once my makeup is off. It's definitely a winner for me!

The Priming Moisturiser is full of skin goodies: Hyaluronic Acid, Mushroom Super Hydrator, Anti-Redness Complex, Oxygenating Agent and Antioxidant Blend - basically, it claims to hydrate your skin, reduce redness, improve texture and help protect against skin damage. For me, however, I didn't really notice that big of a change with my skin - it definitely keeps it hydrated, but I found it quite hard to judge the other claims. For £18, I feel like I could probably get a better moisturiser elsewhere, but I will still continue to use this one until it runs out. 

Finally, the Balm Dotcom has been another popular product and it's not hard to see why: it's super hydrating, comes in six cool flavours and has really cool packaging. For a tenner, I definitely think it's worth investing in if you're keen to try something from Glossier - I have the Birthday Balm and absolutely love it. Okay, so I was first drawn to it because of the holographic packaging, but it also smells like CAKE (I KNOW!) and really does keep my lips smooth and hydrated. 

Overall I think Glossier is a really cool brand that looks good and offers some really unique products that actually work. You only have to take a look at the reviews on the Glossier website to see that the brand is a hit, and as they keep bringing out amazing products people have never seen before, I can't see this stopping any time soon. 

Have you tried anything from Glossier? I'd love to hear your recommendations, as I'm keen to place a new order sometime soon!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is fast approaching and I have to admit, I love this time of year. Spring is on its way, the shops are filled with flowers and Easter goodies and generally things are looking a bit brighter. I also love the opportunity to spoil my mum - I know everyone thinks there mum is the best, but trust me, mine puts up with a lot! 

I thought I'd put together a little Mother's Day gift guide as I was perusing L'Occitane's bodycare shop and it gave me the inspiration for a Mother's Day post; it's not Mother's Day without smellies, after all! Also, I've not done a gift guide in a while and there are just too many cute things out there to ignore. I've gone for a range of more expensive items to more affordable ones, depending on budgets and how much you're happy to splash out on your mum! 

First up, whenever I think of Mother's Day I immediately think Radley London. It's just one of those brands that screams 'mum' to me. That's not a bad thing, it's definitely a brand I'd wear myself, too, but I know a lot of mums love it and I can see why. This 'If you want a rainbow...' purse is super cute - it says 'you've gotta put up with the rain' on the inside which I thought was really sweet. 

Of course, it wouldn't be Mother's Day without perfume, and I love the look of this new one from Victor & Rolf. I love the original Flowerbomb so I'm pretty sure this Nectar version will be just as good, if not better! 

You can't do a Mother's Day gift guide without offering up a mug, am I right?! There are loads of mugs with 'World's Best Mum' etc. scribbled across them but I couldn't resist this cat-shaped one - perfect if your mum is a cat-lover! 

If you're planning on splashing out this Mother's Day, I think a gorgeous floral watch from Olivia Burton has got to be a winner. I absolutely adore all of their watches - they even do a range of vegan friendly ones too! 

I also think another sure-fire winner of a gift for Mother's Day has got to be some smellies/pampering treats. As I said, I was inspired for this post after having a cheeky little look at L'Occitane and I have to say, their Almond Shower Oil is my absolute fave. If you like the smell of almonds/marzipan, you need this in your life. It's pricey, but a little bit goes a long way and it's the ultimate luxurious treat - perfect for mum (or, you know, for you!)

I'm a sucker for cute little bitty bits when buying pressies, and this 'Home Is Where Mum Is' hanging decoration from Paperchase immediately caught my eye - it's only £6 so an absolute bargain. Another 'little bits'-type thing I found was this GORGEOUS 'Mum's Precious Things' dish from Sass & Belle - I absolutely love everything Sass & Belle do and this is so cute. 

Finally, what does every Mum want? A super snuggly dressing gown, of course. I found this cute bunny one on Next and just thought it was too cute not to mention. I might have to place an order myself! 

What are you planning on getting your mum for Mother's Day? I'd love to hear your ideas! 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

8 Years of Blogging

I can't quite believe it, but today marks eight whole years of blogging. Wowzas.

I never thought when I first started this blog back in 2010 that I'd still be doing it today. It was a fleeting thing, definitely just a hobby I did on weekends and during reading weeks at uni. Now it's evolved into so much more, and I couldn't be more thankful.

I started this blog way back when because it was my life-long dream to be a journalist, and I knew the one sure-fire way to get my writing out there would be to set up my own space on the internet. Nobody told me to do it, it wasn't advised by my lecturers or anything like that, I just somehow stumbled into the world of Blogspot one day and loved what I found.

I fell in love with the words and pictures of bloggers like Milly, Anna, Louise, Lily and Zoe, and entered a whole new world - the blogosphere.

Back then it was a whole different ball game to what it is now - then, it was almost like a secret club, something nobody really knew about, and everyone within it was the best of friends - constantly commenting on each other's posts, sending each other supportive tweets and giving each other cute little made-up "awards". It was honestly the nicest community I've ever been a part of.

That's not to say that it isn't now, but boy, have things changed. Now blogging is this mainstream thing that everyone and their mother is doing, and, well, it doesn't feel quite as special as it did to me back then. It's fiercely competitive, over-saturated some might say, and brands are all over it. More and more bloggers are doing it full-time and sometimes it feels as though we're all fighting for collaborations, likes and followers.

There's so much more pressure to blogging now, and comparison is something that affects us all. It's crazy to think that I never compared myself to other bloggers back then - I just focused on doing my own thing, and enjoyed the ride. Now I'm thinking about how I can grow my Instagram, why my blog posts aren't getting commented on, how many likes my latest tweet got. It's crazy.

I went through some of my first blog posts last night and it really made me miss the carefree nature of blogging back then. I had no fancy equipment, no real plan or agenda when it came to posts, I just took pictures when I wanted and posted when I wanted. Now I have to think about props, backgrounds, lighting, when would be the best time to post, how much time have I got to edit that photo... the list goes on.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it, but I do miss the days it was a whole lot simpler. Back then, however, I rarely earned money from my blog, whereas now it's a big source of my income. I think that's where the real difference in blogging came about - when it evolved from being something we did as a hobby, to an actual career. A job.

And honestly, I do think we should be so thankful that something we all enjoyed doing for the fun of it has become so much more. Bloggers are travelling the world with incredible brands, being involved in television adverts and even seen on the shelves in your local Boots and Superdrug. It's crazy how much it has evolved when you think about it.

Sometimes I get a bit down, and think about how back then I felt like a big fish in a small pond, and now the roles have reversed. But then I think about everything I've achieved, and all the opportunities I've been given, and it makes me so happy and proud of myself. I've worked with some incredible brands and got to go to amazing events. I've got jobs I would never have been able to get without my blog. I've even been featured in magazines and on the websites of huge brands.

Sometimes, though,  I feel like over the past few years that has fizzled out a bit. I haven't been as focused on my blog because I've felt a bit like I simply can't compare to everyone else out there, so what's the point in trying. I shouldn't see the mainstream side of blogging as a problem though, I should see it as an opportunity. A chance to give it my all once again and see where it takes me.

So, here we are, eight years later and so much has changed. I got a degree, moved in with my boyfriend, got a dog (although that happened in the first year of blogging), got the journalist job I always wanted and then my blog turned into my job. I only hope it can get bigger and better from here on out. I love blogging, and I hope I'll spend my life doing it. Here's to the next eight years!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Next SS18 Press Day: Fashion Round-Up

So, last week I hot-footed it down to the Next SS18 Press Day in London. Next press days are definitely one of my favourites - they always have so many gorgeous new items on display, and their Spring/Summer ones always get me majorly looking forward to the summer months!

I thought I'd condense (ha, judging from the amount of pictures it doesn't seem like it, right?!) this post down to focus on fashion, and I'll be doing a follow-up featuring all their incredible homeware in a few days time (spoiler alert: it's amazing).

So, what does Next hold in store for Spring/Summer 2018 fashion-wise? Well, if you like pastels and brights, you're in for a treat. I think Next has totally nailed spring/summer fashion, with a gorgeous mix of spring-perfect pastels and beautiful brights, ideal for your holidays.

The pictures speak for themselves really - we're talking a stunning mix of bold colour-blocking and bright tropical floral prints, along with a super pretty selection of sugary pastels in mint greens, baby blues and lovely lilacs.

Among the fabulous clothes was an abundance of adorable accessories to complement the spring brights and summer pastels. I absolutely love slogan bags and shoes, with things like 'Vacay', 'Holiyay' and 'Bonjour' adorned on them. It looks like Next's beauty range is getting in the mood for spring/summer too, as I spied some nail polishes, makeup bags, mini perfumes (ideal for holidays) and gift sets, too.

Overall I am so excited for Next's fashion pieces for spring/summer 2018 - I'm particularly fond of the check floral suit, the Chanel-esque bag and tropical-print pjs. What do you have your eye on?

Check back in a few days as I'll have a run-down of all the gorgeous homeware bits from Next this spring/summer. Trust me, you don't want to miss it!
All images and content © Hannah Vickers 2010- unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.