Monday, 29 May 2017

Blog Photography Props - Inspiration, Affordable Options & My Top Picks

It's pretty rare that I'll take a picture for my blog without there being some form of prop.  I've had a couple of questions relating to blog props recently and thought I would go through all things blog prop related - how I gain inspiration, my favourite blog props and what I look out for, plus some affordable alternatives...

Starting off with a quick disclaimer... Of-course when you're surrounded by other bloggers it's hard not to pick up on and naturally take inspiration from the props they use in their photos. However there is definitely a difference between taking inspiration and copying. I think how you use props can really change an image, placement is always important and will change the look of a photo instantly.

Something else I've quickly realised I'm inspired by is the seasons. If I was to write this post in winter I think the blog props I would have included in the main flatlay would have been different. Naturally the warmer weather and summer months draws me to use more greenery and flowers in my images and continue to use blush pinks. In winter I'll swap that for fairy lights, scarfs and autumnal leaves.

The post that I'm writing is another source of inspiration. I try and link the props I'm using in the image to the post so it all ties well together. An example of this is using stationary, a cup of tea and a candle in my image when it is more lifestyle based rather than beauty products. Finally, I get a lot of inspo from browsing online stores such as Anthropology, West Elm and Oliver Bonas. I've found a lot of the props I use are actually home wear items so browsing on these websites gives me inspiration for current trends and inspires my prop choices and what I buy.
Affordable Options
Sometimes I'll go out and purposely want to buy things just to use them as blog props, but then they always end up having another practical use too. When beauty blogging actually using beauty related products always looks good, I love the packaging of this Rimmel lipstick and I don't think there has been a beauty post without my beloved rose gold eyelash curlers. Some affordable shops that I gravitate towards for props are Home Sense, Matalan, H&M and The Range.

H&M - H&M is good for little dishes, porcelain and some bigger props. I recently picked up a little cactus dish and a gold wire basket. I have my eye on this round metal tray for my perfume collection too. This 'Hello Gorgeous' mug is also very Kate Spade esque with I loveeeee! Going into H&M is basically blog prop heaven, so if you get the chance I highly recommend.

Matalan - Of-course it goes without saying Matalan did well with the infamous (very similar to West Elm) blush pink fluffy cushion! I absolutely love mine, it doubles up as a really pretty cushion and a blog prop. They also have a Pom Pom throw which is similar to one I saw in Urban Outfitters. Another thing I currently have my eye on are the amazing faux plants, I love the look of this hanging spider plant. Matalan is perfect for all of those pretty, affordable homewear bits that just so happen to look fab in a flatlay too.
My Top Picks
There are a few things that always seem to creep into the background of my images...
The Inspiration List 
Stationary - diaries, notebooks, gold paper clips... My favourite place is Kikki
Straws - just a little something to add some colour, they work well to fill a space in a flatlay too!
Washi Tape - There are just too many pretty designs to say no, I think I'll be ordering from here next
Books - I have so many amazing reads that just so happen to be blush pink
Prints - prints are perfect for layering in flatlays or to brighten a backdrop
Candles - Whether it's a £5 Home Sense number or a £44 Jo Malone candle, I love 'em!
Flowers - Any excuse to buy fresh blooms!
Jewellery - I always seem to gravitate towards pretty rings
Makeup - If it's rose gold or has pretty packaging, I'll want it!
Flowers - Peony's, roses, to be honest I'm not too fussy
Perfume bottle - The Chloe Love Story bottle is absolute perfection
Cotton buds - it isn't a skincare post without them for me
Rose gold makeup brushes - So Eco helping me out with this one.
Scarf - An essential prop for the colder months to add colour/ texture
Blanket - Not just for cosy nights.
Mugs - Even in Sainsbury's I'll find a mug I feel like I need
Dainty dishes - I think Oliver Bonas and H&M win with this one...
Ribbon - Not something I use all year round, but at Christmas it's a must
Greenery - Can't afford fresh flowers every week? Most greenery will do!
Sunglasses - I pretty much live in my sunglasses so it's only fair to include them in the odd flatlay
Pretty coasters - TKMaxx/ Home Sense, or Anthropology if you can afford to splash out
Makeup Bags - I have my eye on a MaggsLondon makeup bag, the prints are gorgeous!
Magazine pages - Perfect to spice up a flatlay
Phone/ phone case - There are so many amazing marble/ blush pink phone cases that work soooo well

Lust lust/ similar items
I thought to finish off this post I would include a wishlist of some things I have been lusting over that would work perfectly as blog props.

Other online stores for amazing stationary/ homewear cute blog props

Where do you find inspiration for your blog photography and what is your go to prop?

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Friday, 26 May 2017

The Beauty Box Worth Buying...

It's pretty clear that I love all things beauty, yet never have I ever purchased or really been interested in a beauty subscription box... Until now! When I noticed the contents of the Latest in Beauty Harpers Bazaar Beauty Box it just seemed like too much of a good opportunity to miss.

I honestly don't know where to start with this as I'm truly amazed by what the box contains for the price. First of all it retails at £45 with £3.95 delivery, me being me I had a quick google to see if there were any discount codes floating around - it was my lucky day... The code HB10 saved me £10, it just confirmed that I really needed to get it ordered! Also this is a one off beauty box, no subscription or monthly box turning up at my door, although Latest in Beauty do offer that aswel if you like the element of surprise.
I'll start with what got me interested in this box in the first place, the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray £20. It's certainly done it's rounds in the blogosphere, but splashing out £40 on a texturising spray just didn't feel right to me. If you read my recent 4 to try post you'll know I've been loving the Ouai Texturizing Spray, and that just made me even more curious to try the Oribe spray. I have my fingers crossed that this will be just as impressive as the other sprays I've tried. Another haircare item in the box is the Moroccan Oil, I remember back in the day when everyone raved about this but I always thought that my hair is too fine, nether the less I'm excited to try it.
Onto skincare, the box contains a 15ml tester of the Zelens Essential Anti-Aging Cream, although sold as an anti aging product it contains Ursolic Acid to increase skin elasticity and one of my favourite skincare ingredients Hyaluronic Acid to improve moisture levels - it retails at £95 so I'm interested to see how I get on with it. There is also an impressive full sized version of The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, this is one of my all time favourite masks to combat dehydrated skin so I'm glad to have a back up.

The two skincare bits that I'm most excited about is the Tan-Luxe Illuminating Self-Tan Drops and the Omorovicza Queen of Hungry Mist. If you read my recent fake tanning post you'll know that I haven't been tanning my face, I'm trying to have more makeup free days so I'm hoping this will come in handy for that. As for the skin mist, there is nothing I love more than trying luxury skincare so I'm looking forward to giving it a go.
Lastly are three makeup bits, honestly I'm not overly fussed with the Nailberry nail polish so I'll probably pass that onto my mum. There is a travel sized Laura Mericer Radiance Primer that I'm really excited to try, I've heard so many amazing things so I'm hoping I love it just as much as a I love the Too Faced Hangover Primer. Finally there is also a mini Lancome Hypnose mascara, I rarely splurge on mascara so it's always nice to get a small sample size.

This box really is a mix of amazing haircare, skincare and makeup that suits so many different people, it's definitely got me curious about beauty boxes and I'll be keeping my eye out for others in the future!

Have you ever tried a Latest in Beauty box?

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Current Lifestyle Favourites

No lipsticks or face masks today, instead I'm going through the other non beauty related things I've been loving recently... 

Although I do agree that it's kind of crazy to spend £44 on a candle, there is something about Jo Malone I just love. I have the Peony and Blush Suede cologne and now the candle to match. My lovely mum actually surprised me with this which makes it all the more special. I really recommend Jo Malone candles if you're after something a little fancy! Talking of peonies, I was very kindly sent this beautiful bunch from Like the weather flowers really lift my mood and peonies are definitely one of my faves. I'm seriously impressed with the service offered by BlossimingGifts, definitely a company to check out if you're looking for beautiful blooms.

Rewind back a couple of years ago I never thought this would be a favourite, but I've been really enjoying a fitness class called Body Pump. It's a barbell workout that targets every area of the body. I love seeing improvements in how much I can lift and just going to the class has been an amazing way to have some down time recently.

Podcasts are a reletively new thing for me but I've really been enjoying listening to them while I do my evening skincare routine. Two that I've found I love so far are Emma Gannon and of-course AtHomeWith... It was the Ctrl, Alt, Delete podcast with Liv Purvis that got me interested in podcasts in the first place - I highly recommend having a listen, she's seriously inspiring and gave me so much motivation!

Finally, I have started a YouTube channel! It's been something I've wanted to do since I discovered it existed way back in 2008, I already regret not starting sooner. I absolutely love the whole filming and editing process and it's just nice to give myself a new challenge.

What have been your current lifestyle favourites?

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Saturday, 20 May 2017

4 To Try

You know the drill, rather than the traditional monthly favourites that are few and far between, I'm going through 4 things that I've been loving recently that you may just want to try out...
Never did I think I would be forking out this much on a hair styling spray, but with my new do giving me all kinds of inspo I decided to cave and purchase the Ouai Dry Texturizing Spray (admittedly when ASOS had a discount code to make it a little less painful). I went for the travel size version to give it a try, and I'll definitely be repurchasing. I love the texture and grip this gives to my hair adding volume and a more messy look. This doesn't leave my hair feeling knotty or dry either like some texturising sprays.  

Another haircare favourite that I never thought I would love so much is the Grow Gorgeous Scalp Detox. I use quite a lot of dry shampoo, texturising sprays and all sorts really when I style my hair, so giving my scalp a good detox is something my haircare routine has probably been missing. It leaves the roots of my hair looking extra shiny and more voluminous.
Onto makeup - shocker, but I've actually found another foundation I like! The Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint has been on my radar ever since it was released so it was about time I caved. I have the shade Alaska which is a light shade with a yellow undertone. This is the perfect summer foundation as it feels lightweight yet manages to cover imperfections and even out my skin tone. It lasts incredibly well on my oily-combination skin, it doesn't settle into pores and almost blurs them. I'm seriously impressed with this! Oh, and it has an SPF of 30, winning!
Lastly is a new nail polish love, as I've been trying to cut back on costs I had to give up my monthly Bio-Sculpture appointments - sad times! However, it's kind of made me rekindle a love for nail polish, Rimmel sent over a couple of their new Super Gel nail polishes, the shade Purple Splash hasn't left my nails since. It lasts well, barely chipping even after 3/4 days of wear. It does take 2/3 coats for an opaque finish, but it's definitely worth it.

What product's have you been loving lately?

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