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29.9.16

Kiehl's Calendula Foaming Face Wash


Yes you saw the title correctly, a foaming face wash! Don’t panic, I know I did at first, actually questioning the skincare specialist at Kiehls thinking I knew better… If you have oily/ combination skin and have convinced yourself you shouldn’t be using a foaming cleanser, then this post might just change your mind.

For years now I have been a cream cleanser addict, I wouldn’t use a balm, gel and I certainly wouldn’t touch a foaming cleanser. A little bored with my routine and still experiencing some little under the skin blemishes, I decided to try something new.

The Kiehls Calendula Foaming Face Wash has been developed not to strip skin of it’s natural oils, rather balance the skin so it isn’t as oily. My main concern with using a foaming cleanser was that it would leave my skin feeling tight and dehydrated, but I haven't experienced that at all. After using this my skin just feels clean, not particularly moisturised but I know that it has been cleansed of all the impurities from the day. After using this I go in with some treatments and then the Ultra Facial Cream, and my skin feels moisturised, supple and less oily!

I have been using this both morning and night, it has a nice fresh scent but it isn't too over powering. One thing I would say with this is to make sure everything is rinsed away, there have been a couple of occasions where I have gone to put my moisturiser on afterward and realise that I haven’t rinsed my skin enough because I’m so used to using a fannal with a cream cleanser.

Has this balanced my oily skin?

In a nutshell, surprisingly, yes! Not dramatically to the point where I fall into the "normal" category, but my skin isn't anywhere near as oily as it was! My makeup is lasting longer throughout the day, I'm having less breakouts and spots are at a minimum. It hasn't changed my mind on foaming cleansers, I do think most of them can strip the skin, but there is something different about this because my skin loves it!



23.9.16

How I ended up working in Social Media/ PR


I've decided to do a little series of career related posts, quite a few people on Twitter seemed interested (thanks guys). I'm a little bit nerdy when it comes to all things career and employability related, so I'm actually pretty excited to write this and share my (v short) story so far...

Psychology is something I will always enjoy, I love thinking about "why we are the way we are" and I'm still not bored of that, but throughout uni the thought of becoming a psychologist or counsellor was never something I wanted to fully commit to, which was at one point my end goal and the career I was aiming for. At the age of 13 (8 years ago) I discovered YouTube, and I was hooked, instantly. I have loved beauty and YouTube for a large chunk of my life now, and it took me a while to realise how much that meant and could translate into a career.

In the last year of my Psychology degree, I just couldn't engage with the thought of working outside of the field. At the end of last year I was lost, anxious and annoyed that I didn't have something that made me excited about my future. I can't remember exactly what happened but I remember discovering a whole host of PR roles and jobs titled "Social Media Manager," I wasn't living under a rock, I knew these roles existed, but I just dismissed them as something that I couldn't do. Over Christmas 2015/ January 2016 I realised that promoting my blog through my twitter and Instagram was something I really loved doing, and I looked forward to it! My career path was under my nose for years, quite a few things stopped me from realising sooner, but it was mainly because I was just too worried about what people thought of my blog, and scared that I had wasted my time at uni... Silly I know!

I currently work in house for a online beauty retailer, a typical day see's me organising content for the different social media platforms, PR work which is mainly outreach to bloggers and organising collaborations with digital influencers, taking and editing images for the social media and writing blog posts. I have also worked on some bigger projects alongside this. I did manage to get this job through a really good friend, I was very lucky to have known the right person I guess. I know it's easy for me to say this, but I honestly think if you want something enough then you will be able to get
there! I wouldn't have been able to get the job if I couldn't demonstrate all of the skills needed for it.

One major factor in helping me realise that I wanted to work within PR/ Social Media was being a part of the BloggingGals team, it gave me some good experience to talk about in my interview and also the chance to manage a social media platform. The team were amazing and although it was hard fitting it into my final year at uni, I'm so glad that I did! - I have wrote a post about my thoughts on uni here

The next post will be my tips on getting yourself a job within social media/ pr without a degree/ associated qualification (so if you have any specific questions then please ask!). I'm then going to move onto what it is actually like day to day in more detail. I also work freelance along side my full time job so I will bring that up in a post too I think. I really hope that these posts are helpful (whilst also allowing me to talk careers which I love).
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Snapchat: jodiemelissaxo



21.9.16

50 Things To Do This A/W


I'm already wrapping up and feeling the cold - that's the issue with living up north, and with Autumn starting tomorrow (yeahhhhh, seriously where has this year gone?) I thought this was very appropriate... In no particular order, these are just 50 (very lighthearted) things you could do this A/W...

1) Get one of those roll neck/ turtle neck/ high neck jumpers (what are they actually called?)
2) Wrap up and go for long walks
3) Make a hot chocolate with all the trimmings
4) Have a bath, atleast once a week
5) Treat yourself to a Jo Malone candle - best waste of money ever
6) Carve a pumpkin and put it on Instagram
7) Get the MUG eyeshadow in Cocoa Bear... You do need this.
8) Watch Elf atleast 4 times
9) Rock a burgundy lip, Charlotte Tilbury "Glastonberry", I'm looking at you
10) Make gingerbread men
11) Go to a independent coffee shop and tell Starbucks where to stick their red cups - sorry not sorry
12) Stock up on the festive lush collection
13) Visit a Christmas Market, some of my faves are Chester, Manchester and Birmingham
14) Buy some fluffy socks - to be safe get those one with the sticky bits at the bottom so you don't break your neck on your laminate flooring...
15) Wear red glittery nails atleast once
16) Buy a pretty flask and drink stupid amounts of tea
17) Learn a new skill, I'm hoping to master photoshop
18) Go hunting in the boxing day sales... from the comfort of your own home online!
19) Wear a Christmas jumper for the majority of December
20) Read more books
21) Meet up with someone you haven't seen in a while
22) Kiss someone under the mistletoe
23) Buy some new cosy pj's
24) Eat alllll the pigs in blankets
25) Make a linkedin profile, or if you already have one keep it updated - It is more valuable than you think, and chances are you'll be indoors bored much more than you were in the Summer
26) If you haven't already seen The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, drop all plans, watch them all, binge watch!
27) Buy sparklers and write your name with them
28) Have a mini break in a cosy cottage - preferably one with a Jacuzzi
29) Have a night with your friends that contains alcohol, food and cards against humanity
30) Donate warm clothes to charity
31) Get out the old family photos and dwell on how cute/ awful you looked, and add in some photos from this year
32) Moan on twitter about how early the Christmas songs have come on the radio
33) Buy a pretty winter coat - Miss Selfridge is fab for them
34) Actually get round to sending some Christmas cards instead of a Facebook message
35) Put a car blanket in your boot - A bit of a boring one, but I could have just saved yo life
36) Get a Argos catalogue and get gift inspiration/ relive your youth and circle things that you want
37) Eat a toffee apple and break your teeth in the process
38) Try and head down to London during the festive period, it seriously gets you excited for Christmas
39) Start making plans/ goals for the New Year - Any excuse to buy nice stationary, right?
40) Buy a new moisturising face mask, I recommend the Origins "Drink Up" mask
41) Take a picture of your winter boots mixed in with the leaves, effortless Instagram picture right there
42) Use the hashtag #winteriscoming for every single Instagram post you make
43) Make soups from scratch
44) Buy a new evening/ party dress that makes you feel amazing
45) Do the no spend challenge for January/ try to
46) Put all your old clothes on eBay and have a clear out ready for the new year
47) Buy theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, still my holygrail highlighter and especially for winter, so much glowwwww!
48) Snuggle under a blanket all day with your favourite person/ people
49) Drink mulled wine, or any wine/ Presecco/ Champagne you can find (and nibbles)
50) Spend less time on social media and be with your loved ones

And that's it, 50 things do to this A/W! Let me know your suggestions, both the serious and not so serious ones...

18.9.16

My First Blogger Event




So if you haven't already guessed my first blogging event was with the fabulous brand KISS to celebrate Jess Wright becoming the new brand ambassador. I actually had the opportunity to attend through work, so on Thursday the 8th of September I got the train down to London - feeling pretty nervous - and made my way to the lovely Soho Hotel. Thankfully it was just off of Oxford Street and, making it so easy to find and saving a stress.

THE EVENT ITSELF

The event was held by the PR company Alex Silver, I managed to chat to Alex who is just lovely. The invite was labelled "Cocktails with Jessica Wright," but I didn't quite expect it to be as intimate as it was. The event was held within a hotel suite at the hotel, with two balconies that overlooked London boasting amazing views and a gorgeous sunset as the evening went on. Upon arrival myself (and some lovely bloggers I had met in the hotel lobby) were greeted with a glass of wine - winning, and then we had the choice of either having our lashes done or our nails done using some of the KISS products.

THE PEOPLE I MET

I was pretty shaky walking up to the hotel, partly due to wearing heels, partly because I was really nervous at this point. Before the event I had this image in my head of everyone standing within their groups of friends in this huge room, and me just stood by the bar on my own, I literally had no clue what it would be like. My expectations couldn't have been any further from reality, infact the exact opposite. Every single person I spoke to at the event, whether it be a blogger or other guest was approachable and so lovely. I also managed to finally meet Zeena, the founder of BloggingGals, I helped with the social media platforms of BloggingGals for a couple of months at the start of the year, and it was just fab to meet someone who has worked hard to create a blogging community.

WHAT I WANT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME

Luckily my job and blogging go hand in hand, going to these events I am able to meet lovely bloggers that I can work with on a business level, aswel as make new friends. I'm hoping to attend more events now, if you are a blogger wanting to work with brands and network then you need to get to some. As this was my first event, there are some things that I will do differently next time...


  • Take more pictures... I did take some pictures, but unfortunatly my memory card packed up! I'm really gutted about this and I have decided that I'm going to always carry two memory cards around with me from now on, just incase!
  • Eat before hand. Luckily I did eat A LOT of food for my lunch (I travelled down 1st class, lets just say I made the most of it...) but the event started at 6pm and the last thing I ate was at around 3.30, so I could have done with a little more food. I had around 3 glasses of wine and that was enough for me. It's something small but when alcohol is involved at events the last thing you want to do is be getting slaughtered - which I didn't do, just a heads up. 
  • Follow more people on Twitter before leaving, or get their contact details... There are around 3 people I met at the event that I really wish I could contact, I managed to follow the majority of people I spoke to, but the more people you get connected with, the better.
  • Take business cards... I went to the event representing the company I work for, so I really wish that I had taken some business cards with me. Even if you are a blogger, get yourself some cards and make it easier for people to remember you, especially when speaking to those that work in PR. 

My overall experience at the KISS event was just wonderful, I felt a little emotional leaving as I just couldn't believe how well it went. I love KISS products (I wore the Lily lashes on the night and they're just gorgeous) so it was nice that my first event was with a brand that I really like and actually enjoy using.
Other places I post...
Instagram // Twitter // Bloglovin’
Snapchat: jodiemelissaxo

15.9.16

The Perfect A/W Mauve Lipsticks




1) MAC's Brave 2) Urban Decay Backtalk 3) Tom Ford Pussycat 4) MAC's Twig 5) NYX Soft Spoken

If you follow me on my Instagram or snapchat you'll know that most selfies come with a mauve lip, without even trying it has slowly become my favourite lip colour to wear, if I'm having a bad makeup day then a mauve lip is what I reach for! As the colder months are coming up I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you my favourite mauve lip choices, from £6.50 to £39 - yes I spent that much on a lipstick...

MAC BRAVE - £15.50

This was the first mauve lipstick I bought which was around two years ago, when I decided it was time to stop wearing bright purple lipstick (MACS Up The Amp, I'm looking at you) and go for something with a little more class... The moment I tried this lipstick I instantly fell in love, it is a satin finish, so the colour has amazing pigmentation and leaves a creamy looking finish to the lips. This lasts a good 5-6 hours before needing to be topped up. Out of all the lipsticks in this post this has the most pink to it, so definetly a good one to try if you haven't used a mauve lipstick before.

MAC TWIG - £15.50

On to my favourite autumnal lipstick! Twig is another one that I instantly fell in love with, it is darker than Brave with more of a berry undertone rather than pink. This is again a satin finish, but if I fancy wearing a matte lip I just blot this with a tissue and it is a instant matte, amazingly pigmented and a staple in my collection.

URBAN DECAY VICE COMFORT MATTE LIPSTICK IN BACKTALK - £15

I recently won a giveaway where I could pick any UD lipstick I liked (best day ever)... I decided to go for Backtalk as I had heard so much about it, it has more of a purple/ lilac undertone than I thought it did, but I actually quite like that it's a little different. The pigmentation is perfect, the formulation for a matte is amazing, it is comfortable and I can barely feel it on the lips. It lasts around 5 hours still looking like I have just applied it. I think my go to Christmas red shade will be one of the comfort mattes - Very impressed!

TOM FORD PUSSYCAT 04 - £39

Looking at £39 next to a link for a lipstick still feels very ridiculous. This is a real luxurious purchase, one of the most luxurious makeup items I own. I feel like the formulation is very similar to the Urban Decay lipstick, although I do feel like this applies slightly thicker, providing even more pigment. Looking back at the lip swatches it doesn't look too impressive compared to the other lipsticks which is surprising... Do I think this lipstick is worth £39, definetly not, but if you fancy having a splurge, then maybe... Yes! (very similar to MAC's Twig, infact the perfect dupe)

NYX LIQUID SUEDE LIPSTICK - SOFT-SPOKEN - £6.50

Before buying this I had tried another liquid lipstick from the same collection but hated it, for some reason the formulation of Soft Spoken seems to be so much better. Having quite dry lips I'm not really a liquid lipstick kinda gal, but for the times when I do want something a little more bold then I have been loving this. Being a liquid lipstick is dries incredibly matte, the colour has more brown undertones than the rest of the lipsticks mentioned, but I feel like it just about fits into the "mauve"category... A perfect shade for the A/W months.

I know that I'll be rotating these lipsticks throughout A/W, let me know what your favourite mauve lipsticks are so I can add them to my wishlist.

Don't forget to follow me! I post on my social media platforms everyday...

5.9.16

My Favourite Affordable Jewellery Brands






Affordable jewellery can be a tough one, there are so many different brands and options that it can become so overwhelming. I wanted to share three jewellery brands that I love, all for different reasons. Whether I'm buying a gift for a friend or myself, or thinking of something to pop on my wishlist, these are the brands I reach for.

OLIA JEWELLERY

Olia jewellery does some absolutely gorgeous pieces at such good prices. All of the jewellery comes wrapped in a lovely white bag, making it all the more luxurious. I have had a bracelet from the brand for around 3 years now, and it is still in really good condition, incredibly impressive considering most of the jewellery is under £20. This brand is perfect if you want to buy a nice gift for someone without paying over the odds, my favourite pieces have to be the bracelets (they look amazing stacked up) or the necklaces.

PANDORA

Honestly, at first I seriously didn't get the whole Pandora hype. Every Tom, Dick and Harry seemed to have one of their charm bracelets, but I just wasn't interested. Then my 21st birthday came along and my bestie got me some earrings, and my brother got me a gorgeous ring, since then I have had a change of heart. Of course it is more expensive than other brands, but for the price you are paying I feel like it is worth it. The infinity earrings pictured are Pandora, I love the little diamond detailing inside them, they are small but lovely to wear on a day to day basis. My brother and his girlfriend did good, I don't think I have taken the ring off since receiving it! I love the design as it looks nice stacked with other rings or worn alone, there is just something about the whole Pandora experience that is really special!

THE JEWELLERY BOX*

The lovely people at Jewellery Box kindly sent me some of their pieces to try. Although I did find their site quite hard to navigate, it was definetly worth the hunt as I found some real gems. If you are on a real tight budget then the jewellery box is the place to go, the ring pictured is gorgeous worn stacked with other pieces and it is only £5.25! The earrings are a little larger than I thought but still incredibly pretty little studs.

Annoyingly I forgot to include a picture of the bracelet, but I have to give a shout out to the brand Joma Jewellery too, for my birthday another lovely friend got me a bracelet from there and I actually remember nearly crying because it was so lovely, and came with a lovely little card about friendship! So if you have a specific occasion in mind then that brand is definetly one to look into.

What is your favourite affordable jewellery brand?
Don't forget to follow me! I post on my social media platforms everyday...


1.9.16

September Goals


August was a bit of a "meh" kinda of month for me, I planned to do so much that I actually didn't have the motivation for. I held a giveaway which I hoped would encourage me to get back into blogging, but honestly after seeing all of the accounts that entered which are set up purely for the purpose of winning giveaways, it pushed me even further into bloggers block.

Anyway, some good news from August... If you follow me on snapchat you'll know that I've been decorating for blaaaady ages, well thats all done now and our place is finally ready to rent out. I've also had a fabulous month in work, I got a bonus and I have been given a MAC as my work computer, which has already made me so much more productive... After using MAC's previously I knew how good they were, but I didn't realise how much more convenient it would be having my own. So I'm hoping for September to be a productive month after last months fail, with three things in particular I want to get done...

Shoot and post my first OOTD

I love fashion, but I've always been a little (very) scared of outfit posts. I have decided that I WILL shoot a OOTD in September and have the courage to post it... So brace yourself for some awkward posing, and very typical blogger set up whilst I work out what is best for me.

Start exercising again

This is my main goal for September. When I was a student I went to the gym 4x a week! Now I'm a graduate I just haven't got round to fitting exercise into my routine and work life. I really want to be in a solid routine before the evenings become darker, mainly so I don't get stuck in a rut of being lazy and spending my nights watching Netflix with a packet of dairy milk buttons. Hopefully wedding dress shopping will give me the boost I need to get the body I want.

Save money for my wedding

There are so many new and exciting beauty launches I have my eye on this month, Kat Von D going into Debenhams being the most exciting... However I have decided I will restrict myself to two things  *sobs* (that's if I actually manage to get my hands on them) as I really want to save a large amount of my wage for my wedding. Last month I managed to around 1/4 of my wage towards my wedding, and this month I'm making it 1/3, so it is going to be a long month!

Not related to savings but in the hunt for wedding inspiration I'm shocked by how little Youtube videos there are about planning and general tips, if anyone has any recommendations then please comment and let me in on the action... So far I have loved the "Bridedeforce" videos and found them so helpful.

Do you have any goals or things you would like to accomplish in September?

Don't forget to follow me! I post on my social media platforms everyday...






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