How To Use LinkedIn As A Blogger

LinkedIn is one social network in particular which I don't think grabs bloggers' attention enough. I login to LinkedIn at least once everyday and rarely do I see any beauty, fashion, travel, food, lifestyle, whatever-you-are bloggers appear in my feed. I always connect with bloggers when they pop as their content can break up my news feed a bit as I get so sick of seeing boring old recruitment posts!

It's definitely an underrated platform and I have no idea why. It can drive traffic to your blog and social media as well as getting your name out there for others to see. Another huuuuuuge benefit of using it, is that sometimes PR companies will get in contact with you through LinkedIn and if you connect with them, then their posts will always appear on your feed where you can then engage with them and comment!

Join groups

A simple search will bring up all the different blogging groups which you can join. The ones I'm a member of are Beauty Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers and The Blogger Programme but there are loads out there!

What I'd recommend doing on those is checking out other people's blog posts as well as posting your own. It's really that simple! I just copy the title, first paragraph and link and post - easy peasy! Then you can start interacting with others on the page and connecting with them if you feel they're suited. It's also worth checking out the digital marketing and social media groups for tips and tricks as you'll find a lot of people posting SEO hacks, etc. Just be aware though that people will post absolute rubbish on there too!

Publish your articles

Now this is debatable due to opinions/facts about SEO but some would say it's good promotion to post your blog post as an article on your profile. Here's an example of one of my posts I wrote for work which is exactly the same content as the post on the blog. Now it's a known fact that you lose SEO points (if it could be explained that easily) for duplicated content so even though I was recommended to do this by an industry expert, I have no idea what the effect on your SEO would be!

If you do go down this route then please let me know how you get on!

Include your links and add media

Don't forget to include your links to your blog and social media (if appropriate) in the personal info section of your profile so if anyone's interested, they can find out a bit more about you that way. It also bulks up your profile a bit more which is always a good thing!

Another way to drive traffic to your blog is to include media on your profile summary and experience sections. It only takes a couple of minutes and adds a more visual aspect of your blog to your profile. The only problem you may have which is why I don't actually have it on there myself, is that sometimes it doesn't show up to date images so it could show your blog image from a few months back which is the wrong size, pixelated, etc. 

Engage with others

Just like any other platform (except Instagram because we all know what that's like *eye roll*), the best way to grow is through liking, commenting and just generally engaging with others and LinkedIn is no different. So every time you login, share a bit of love with some fellow bloggers and hopefully they'll return the favour.

I hope this post has introduced you to the idea of LinkedIn a bit more and please do let me know if you join! The link to my profile is at the top of my blog so connect if you can! It would be fab to see some more bloggers in the LinkedIn community!

Have you got any other top tips for using LinkedIn as a blogger?

P.S. How cute is my new phone case?  Big thanks to Olixar for sending it to me, it's the perfect rose gold colour!


What Happened When I Stopped Shopping On ASOS


I won't be the first person who spends all their money on ASOS and I certainly won't be the last. But when you spend 50% of your monthly income on anything and everything on ASOS, then the warning lights start flashing. If you read my '21 things I want to do this year' post then you will know that one of my goals for 2017 is to properly start saving some money and to do this I'm having to dramatically cut back the late night shopping sessions on my favourite ever website. So I put my resistance to the test for a week and I can confidently say I completely stopped for a whole week!

'How did you do it' I hear you scream. Well it was hard, very hard. First thing I did was remove it from my Bookmarks Bar (a drastic action, I know) so it was out of sight out of mind, kinda. Next step was to delete all my ASOS emails before even opening them. Sorry to anyone on the marketing team there, I'm sure it won't affect your open and click through rates! And finally, mental strength!

The best trick for me was removing the emails from my inbox, normally I'll have a good nosey through them and open every single link in a new tab but as always, it's a dangerous road from there to the checkout button.

So what actually happened?

I saved money

You might be thinking 'well duh obviously you saved money' but I've surprised myself at how much I saved! I'm not really going to go into this too much as it's a bit of a blatant statement. The main reason why I wanted to stop shopping for a week was to work out how much I could save and I can safely say it's a lot!

Stuff got done

You wouldn't believe the difference in my productivity when I didn't spend every spare minute on ASOS. Before, I would naturally open a new tab in Chrome and type a-s and automatically my favourite website would pop up. It became second nature so even when I was deep in checking bank statements, I'd be shopping before I knew it. In the last week I've been able to tick off everything on my list without being distracted. Priorities have remained as priorities and I've just been able to get a lot of shit done!

I rediscovered clothes

I have a mass of clothes in my wardrobe, drawers and boxes under my bed. No matter how many I throw away, there's still a shit tonne in there! By not being able to just order a new top for the party I'm going to at the weekend or buy a new pair of Converse for the sake of it, it meant I had to actually start using what I had. It's made me feel very ungrateful for what I have, despite buying all my clothes with my own money. How can I have so many unused clothes lying around gathering dust when some people have nothing? So I made the most out of what I already had and rediscovered a few key items in my wardrobe that I'd forgotten about for so long! I also discovered some summer pieces in my Mum's wardrobe too!

My attitude changed

My attitude to money has completely changed in the last week. I've now developed the mindset that the £40 I was going to spend on a new pair of jeans which I don't need, could be a week's food shop when I move out. The tenner I bought yet another foundation with could've been used for my petrol money. I used to feel like online money wasn't real because it wasn't cash or a bit of plastic in my hand, please say I'm not alone ladies! But after the amount of money I've saved this week, which I can swiftly transfer to my savings account, I've come to realise the true value of it.

I'll definitely be curbing my shopping habits from now on and reaping the benefits of extra money and time. You should try it too, see what changes for you by quitting the shopaholic lifestyle for just one week!

Could you cope without ASOS for a whole week?


Six Reasons Why You Should Try A Staycation

If you follow me on Instagram, *insert shameless self promotion here* then you will know that a few weeks back, myself and Toby treated ourselves to a weekend away. We chose to go to Whitstable for a night then move onto Margate, both of which are situated only an hour-and-a-bit's drive from where we live. We had the best time and I even felt more excited about going for a couple of night's away in the same county we live in than I did about spending 10 days in Bulgaria last year. Now that just shows you don't need fancy holidays abroad... Even though they are nice!

Our short trip away is what triggered this post. I realised, whilst sat on Whitstable beach stuffing my face with bonbons, that as long as you have great company it doesn't matter where you go on holiday to. So here I am now (unfortunately not sat on Whitstable beach stuffing my face with bonbons), telling you why you should try a staycation.

Save your pennies

One of the biggest reasons you should try a staycation is to save some money. Flights can be expensive and up the prices of your holidays and let's not forget to mention the ever changing exchange rates. Holidays are expensive. Even though hotels or Airbnbs in England or wherever you are can still be expensive, it's still a fraction of the cost of two weeks in Santorini!

You don't need to be abroad to have fun

As I briefly just mentioned, I was more excited for our weekend away than I was for our holiday last year. And I can honestly say we had just as much fun on the Kent coast as we did in Bulgaria. There's plenty of attractions all around the UK where you can spend your day and smile, laugh and joke as much as you would if you were in a different country. It just goes to show that you don't have to hop on a plane abroad to have fun.

Shop all you like

One of my favourite things about our trip to Whitstable and Margate is that we bought a shit load of clothes and had no problem just chucking it in the car and bringing it home. I had the same in Mevagissey a couple of years back when I bought a penny board - if that had been in another country I would've had a lot of problems bringing it home! So that's another great thing about staycations, there's no need to declare anything at the airport (or try and squeeze it into your suitcase)!

Bring back memories

My childhood was full of holidays to Cornwall, Devon and Dorset and every time I revisit those places and I feel a wave of nostalgia hit me. Take a trip back to your happy places to bring back memories. They're great for comparison photos as well, just make sure you take some photos in the same poses and places!

It still makes great photography

You don't have to be sunning it up in Mexico for perfect pictures, you can take the best photos right on your doorstep in the UK or wherever you live. Take the Norfolk Broads for example, you can take some top class blog photography there! Even though we all love to scroll through travel bloggers' colourful and inspirational Instagram feeds full of coconut cocktails and sandy white beaches, there's nothing better than supporting our own country!

You don't have to waste your time travelling

Okay so this isn't strictly speaking for all staycations as I know for sure the journey driving from Kent to Edinburgh isn't the shortest but at least you don't have to wake up at two in the morning when your flight isn't until 7! Travelling can be so time-consuming and can even take days so why not use those days more efficiently and explore with them!

We're so lucky in the UK to be surrounded by so many amazing places whether you're up north or down south. So before you rush off and jump on a plane somewhere, try exploring your home country first. Next on my staycation list is Bath, Edinburgh and of course, Devon and Cornwall, the holy grail of British holidays!

Have you ever tried a staycation? Where would you love to go?

Afternoon Tea Anyone?

Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells Afternoon Tea
Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells Afternoon Tea
Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells
Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells
Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells Afternoon Tea
Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells Afternoon Tea
Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells Afternoon Tea

Avid readers of The Rawrdrobe will know that I'm not a tea drinker at all. However, afternoon tea is a whole different ball game so when I had the chance to join Hotel Du Vin for their 20th anniversary of their Tunbridge Wells hotel, I had to say yes!

There's something very nostalgic about afternoon tea to me and I think it comes from a special trip to Claridges when I was younger for my Grandma's birthday. Ever since then, the idea of finger sandwiches and scones seems like such a treat!

We were welcomed on a boiling hot Saturday afternoon with a seat in their beautiful garden and the choice of tea or coffee. After sipping that down nicely in the sunshine (well, I was sipping down my water), we were whisked away for a tour of the hotel. And here's a fun fact for you, Queen Victoria actually used to stay in the hotel when she was a baby and one of the rooms still has a square of her old nursery wallpaper! Bet you didn't know that! We then took a trip down to the biggest wine cellar I have ever seen and tasted some local sparkling wines.

Now here comes the best part... The afternoon tea itself! We tucked into the most delicious egg mayonnaise brioche buns, miniature quiches and ham and cheese croissants. This was then followed by my favourite element, the scones! It was the perfect food for such a beautiful, sunny day in Kent!

If you're local to Tunbridge Wells and looking for something special to do in the afternoon then this is the one! I would wholeheartedly recommend taking a trip to Hotel Du Vin for their beautifully prepared afternoon tea.


Things To Consider When Buying A Designer Bag

If you follow me on Instagram I imagine you would’ve seen me declare my love for my new Mulberry Lily bag which I was fortunate enough to receive for my 21st birthday. Mum gave me the heads up months before that she wanted to get me a designer bag so I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted. These are the questions that ran through my mind when making that decision because let's be honest, who wants to waste hundreds and thousands of pounds on a bag!

Is it really necessary?

You may have your eye on the most beautiful Diorama bag but if you already have three other black bags that you use, do you really need to spend hundreds on another one? Maybe this is bad example because I'd sell my brother for one of these bags but the concept is there! And if you're really desperate to buy a fourth black bag then consider selling your other three to contribute money from them. 

What exactly are you after?

This goes without saying but what are you actually after? Do you want a glitzy evening bag that you can use maybe once every few months or a bigger, more structured bag for everyday use? How much use do you want to be getting from your purchase? I knew that I wanted a new day bag big enough to fit in my essentials but I also wanted it to be small enough for me to wear to events and it not be too bulky. This narrowed the whole Mulberry selection right down and helped me pick my beauty!

Is it timeless?

Let's be honest, not all designer bags are timeless and you only have to look at Fendi's collection to see what I mean. A classic bag will never go out of fashion, just take the classic Chanel bag for example so if you have an idea that you might have to resell in the future then remember that some bags will sell easier than others.

How much should you pay?

Now I'm not expert when it comes to designer bag prices but what I do know is that if you're investing in something classic that you will use over and over again then be prepared to spend a bit more than you would on a seasonal piece. If you're on a budget then take a look at second-hand bags on websites like Vestiare which will save you a tonne of money!

Do you need the matching purse?

Okay so this is a little bit of a joke but if you buy a new designer bag, does it mean you’re going to want the matching designer purse to go in it? I only say this because after my recent purchase I later realised that my beloved Michael Kors purse was too big to go in it so like any other woman would, I bought a black Mulberry purse to match! You should have a think about it though and instead of splashing out for the sake of it (like I did), why don’t you save and make it your next big purchase? Then you’ve got something to look forward to!

Answered all of these questions confidently? Yes? Well then, you're reading to make your designer purchase!


Top Bronzers For A Summer Glow

I'm really feeling like I need the summer glow at the moment. Without it, I feel pasty and like I'm trapped in the middle of winter. To achieve said glow, I've been reaching continuously for these three bronzers in particular.

MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze

The most expensive out of this selection but well worth the money. You just can't go wrong with MAC! It's completely matte which makes it perfect for contouring as well as but I wouldn't recommend this for darker skin tones. I would say you can get the same look with a cheaper bronzer but for any of you who won't touch high street products (I don't know why you wouldn't) then this is the one!

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer

Ah, the infamous Honey Bronzer! Who else remembers when this was the rage back in 2012? I still love it as much as I did back then purely because it's the best bronzer for me to use when I haven't fake tanned. It adds a subtle glow and healthiness to my skin without being too much. Perfect for those natural makeup days!

Soap & Glory Solar Powder

This is without a doubt my favourite bronzer. I've even had to go as far as buying my Mum one so she stops stealing mine! Not orange, great for building up colour, not overly pigmented and the cheapest out of these three favourites. Also, since taking this picture they've updated their fally-aparty packaging to something more sturdy so there's no chance of it breaking in your makeup bag anymore!

Even though I'm so loyal to my trusty Solar Powder, I'm still open to suggestions so let me know what bronzers or other glowy products you're loving!


My Sunglasses Collection

I've been building up my collection of sunglasses since the sun first shined in February and I have to say, I think I've developed a slight addiction. I just never realised before how much they can complete an outfit and even just look great sat on top of my head!

Top left going across to bottom right:

ASOS Wayfarers*
eBay Mirrored Glasses
AJ Morgan Aviator Sunglasses Wayfarer Glasses
I have got a couple more pairs since I took this picture which include the Quay Australia Game On Sunglasses which are my absolute diva glasses at the moment which I love dearly and a pair of tortoise shell cat eye glasses* from which I will be raving about soon!

What are your favourite pair of sunnies at the moment?


Four Ways You Can Support Other Bloggers

It's time to quit the bitching and start supporting your favourite bloggers! We all know blogging isn't the same anymore which is even more of a reason why we should be helping each other out! There are more ways than just a follow on Bloglovin to support your fellow bloggers, especially when numbers aren't the be all and end all anymore so here are my favourite ways to do it!

Leave a comment

If I'm honest, this is something I've been bad at doing for the last year or so. Back in the day (circa 2013) this was the way to get noticed and how I built my follower base but it seems to have been forgotten about by a lot of bloggers including myself. Try commenting on three different blogs a day with something meaningful, not just the typical 'great post' which let's be honest is nothing more than a copy and paste jobby! A majority of blog posts include a question at the end so use that as a basis for your comment, I can 100% guarantee you it will be appreciated!

Follow their Instagram

We all know that Instagram is a huge part of blogging now so why not give your favourite bloggers a follow? It only takes a moment and then you will naturally start to engage with them more as their posts fill up your feed with likes and comments. Share the love!

Get clicking

A lot of bloggers have affiliate links all over their posts so why not just click them? It's not costing you anything and every little helps! Or go one step further and buy that dress in your saved list on ASOS when you click through! Clicking doesn't just apply to shopping links though, start clicking through to their other blog posts which interest you. This is how I've discovered my current favourite bloggers and whilst you're enjoying their writing, you're giving them an extra view as well!

Share your favourite posts

I've just started getting into the habit of doing this and I love it! Whilst I'm scheduling my tweets for the week, I'll pick a few of my current favourite posts and share them with my followers. It's a great way to boost engagement for not only yourself but also the blogger you're sharing.

I'd love to know who your favourite bloggers are at the moment so please tweet them to me so I can have a look! Also, leave below how you like to support other bloggers. We're all in it together so let's help each other when we can!


Dabbling In Eyeshadow

I'll be honest. I've never been one for eyeshadow or glamorous makeup looks but since the MAC Amber Times Nine Palette made an appearance, I've been loving a smokey eye!

As with any makeup look, it has to start with a good base and for that, I've been reaching for my MAC Eye Primer. This is by far the best primer I've ever tried - no creasing at all (and I wore this look for a good eight hours so that's not bad going at all). 

Next up, eyeshadow. I've been making it up as I go along when it comes to applying eyeshadow really so it just depends on my mood. Generally, I've been opting for 'Kitties' (top middle shade) on the lid and then applying 'Don't Tell' and 'Pepper Please' (bottom left and right shades) through the crease, all with my trusty Real Techniques brushes of course! I'll drag some colour onto my lower lash line and then a touch of the MAC Eye Pencil in 'Powersurge' and it's as simple as that. Honestly, if you're after a palette which can take you through from day to night and doesn't cost a bomb then this is the one! I bloody love MAC pencils as well, I got this one in their sale after Christmas for a tenner and it's perfect!

Soap and Glory's Supercat Liner is my absolute favourite for winged liner and of course the infamous Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline has to be involved! I'll add lashings of it as I don't wear falsies (basically I'm shit at putting them on) and then I'm done!

Even though I dearly love this palette, I'm still interested in other eyeshadow palettes out there that you're loving so please leave your recommendations below!


Five Ways You Can Update Your Look For Summer

We're currently experience a rarity in England at the moment... A heatwave... Yes, you read correctly. It's caught most of us unaware to say the least and I've certainly panic bought a shit load of summer clothes! I've come to realise though that it's not all about buying new pieces and there are other ways to update your wardrobe for summer without going crazy on ASOS or Topshop!

Throw on a pair of sunnies

This is definitely the easiest way to transform your outfit. No matter what you're wearing, with your favourite sunglasses it will automatically update your look for summer. I've been head over heels with my Spitfire Mirrored Glasses (pictured). If you want to experiment 

Invest in some summer dresses

My absolute go to outfit for summer is a cute dress and a pair of converse. I think I've worn that exact outfit at least five times this past week! This may be an option where you do have to spend some money but if you're anything like me then it's totally worth it! Boohoo are my favourite for affordable, cute, lightweight dresses that will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe!

Incorporate colour

Even though we all love a monochrome outfit, summer is the time for colour! Whether that's incorporated into your outfit through bright accessories (I always rely on my bright red Zara clutch) or vibrant nail polish.

Scrap wearing tights

Tights frustrate the shit out of me in summer for many reasons so as soon as it's hot enough, the tights come off! Any look is instantly more summery when you scrap the tights and wear some strappy sandals. Don't forget to paint your toes a bright colour too!

It's all about the denim

One of my favourite things about summer is experimenting with denim - jackets, skirts, jeans, dungarees, shorts, everything! Swap over your black jeans for a pair of distressed white ones or throw a light wash oversized jacket over your cute summer dress!

There's a million and one ways to update your look for summer but these are just a few of my favourites and what I do! I'd love to know what you do to transform your outfit!


21 Things I Want To Do This Year

If you follow me on social media then you'll know I recently celebrated my 21st birthday at the beginning of May. Or you might get the gist from the image above. Either way you know now it was my birthday! Instead of writing some bullshit about what have I learnt in the past year because let's be honest, I haven't really learnt anything, I'm going to write a long old list of everything I want to do this year. To be honest, I could do this any year because I could've done every single thing on this list a year ago but hey ho, I love reading posts like these!

1. Go to the ballet, preferably to see Swan Lake or The Nutcracker around Christmas time!

2. Actually read a book like the whole thing, not just the first chapter - fiction/non-fiction doesn't matter but I've got a shelf full of amazing books and never ever read them!

3. Start scrapbooking! This is something I've wanted to do for ages but just never got around to it because let's face it, it's not cheap! I've got a gazillion photos from the last ten years and I'd like to put them to use. I've been pretty inspired by Gabby as well, just watch this video and I swear you'll be buying stickers and all sorts in no time!

4. Go sailing! I used to sail every weekend for like six years and haven't been in ages so it's about time I stick my wetsuit on and jump in a boat!

5. Cook a roast dinner for the family. I have done this on a few occasions but it's something I'd like to start doing more. I mean a proper roast as well... None of that mash potato malarkey!

6. Go to Iceland or skiing.. Depends on my budget!

7. Always eat five a day. I'm awful at this I'm not going to lie. Some days I eat what feels like twenty different types of fruit and veg and others, I'll be lucky if I eat five.

8. Dramatically cut down smoking! There's no way I'm going to be able to get fitter and healthier when I'm still smoking the amount I am now!

9. Go to a drive-in cinema (or just an outdoor cinema will do) like they do in films.

10. Start properly saving money. I know this is easy to say every year but I'm 21 now and even though I don't need to start thinking about moving out, I'm ready to. This means cutting back on ASOS hauls (unfortunately), not buying a starter, main and dessert when I go out for dinner and just thinking a bit more when it comes to money!

11. Go to one of those trampoline parks.. They look like a proper laugh!

12. Try some different drinks. I know this is random af but I'd like to branch out from just drinking beer! I want to be one of those sophisticated people drinking a G&T with some sort of spiralized fruit in it!

13. Take control of my diet and fitness regime. For way too long have I been eating what I want, when I want and not giving a shit about going to the gym. I've started as I've meant to go on since my birthday and I want to keep things that way.

14. Get a tattoo! I've had a few designed for ages but just never got around to actually getting them done but this year will be the year!

15. Watch Aladdin in the West End!

16. Start viewing flats! This is probably the most exciting of the list.. If you've read any of my more personal posts then you'll know I'm dying to move out. Hopefully this will be the year!

17. Take a road trip somewhere, anywhere! Maybe Bath or Edinburgh?

18. Complete Games of Thrones for once and for all!

19. And Prison Break too!

20. Donate more to charity. I know this sounds like an odd one but I mean more specific charities so instead of just dumping a bin bag of clothes outside my local Hospice in the Weald, I want to look more into donating to women's shelters and charities I genuinely support.

21. Carry on being happy and smiling! *Cringe*


Sort Your Skin Out With Liz Earle

I know it was only a few weeks ago that I was raving about ARK Skincare but naturally I've ended up crawling back to my beloved Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.

This time I've paired it with the Liz Earle exfoliator and I don't know how they do it but together they sort my skin right out! I've gone from what Dad calls it, 'pizza face' to soft, smooth, blemish free skin and it's definitely down to these two products.

You may have to pay slightly more for them than your typical Garnier products but it's totally worth it. Everything about them is so soothing, gentle and actually works, it just blows my mind. 

I would absolutely love to try some more Liz Earle products so what would you recommend?


My Perfume Collection

Anyone who knows me will know there's only one perfume I ever wear. Now take another look at the picture and then guess which one it is? Yup, YSL Black Opium. It's my all day, every day scent but now I'm getting older, I've started to dabble in more fragrances.

Dolce & Gabbana Floral Drops

I'm not going to lie, I'm really regretting buying this perfume. I bought it with my Boots points which I've saved up over the last five or six years and now I'm seriously wishing I had got something else. The smell is a little too overwhelming to me, the kind that gives you an instant headache as soon as you inhale the super floral scent. Maybe I'm being too harsh, it is a lovely fresh smell and perfect to wear around this time of year but unfortunately it's just way too floral for me!

Stella McCartney Pop

I picked this up in a rush at Amsterdam Airport and it's an absolute dream. This is definitely a more youthful fragrance than Stella McCartney's previous releases and I love it. It's floral and woody notes aren't too overpowering and make it the best summer perfume ever. If you're after something light and not too 'in your face' then this is the one for you but do bear in mind that the scent wears off quite easily so you'll have to top up!

YSL Black Opium

Obviously I'm slightly biased towards this but it really is such a recognisable and popular scent. Unlike everything else in my perfume collection, this isn't massively floral! It's so long-lasting and there's never a need to top up as the sweet, musky smell will last all day. I don't know what more I can really say apart from the fact I will never ever not repurchase this despite the cost!

Elie Saab L'Eau Couture

Unfortunately even though I love this perfume, there's not a lot left and right now I'm poor af so it'll be a while until I repurchase. It's a really light and fresh yet floral fragrance (once again it's perfect for spring/summer time). It's not the longest lasting perfume but it's great for the day time and people always ask me what perfume I'm wearing when I have it on so that's a solid 9/10 for Elie Saab!

Holy shit I'm literally high in the smell of perfume in my room right now. I am 100% going to have a florally headache for the rest of the day! I'm still on the hunt to find more musky, woody scents so if you know any then please let me know!


How To Get Back Into Blogging

It's pretty easy to notice that me and The Rawrdrobe have fallen out a bit. We're not seeing eye to eye at the moment and the commitment just isn't really there anymore. But like most other relationships, it's one worth saving and I'm going to do everything I can to do so.

It's so easy to say that I'm going to blog once a week or whatever but when it comes to doing it, it's a completely different story. Often my 'photographing days' are not aligned with my 'writing days' and then it all gets a tad complicated when I realise what I've actually got - a 'becoming an adult' post with a series of photos of beauty products I need to review. Not very useful at all! However, today my pictures and thoughts are both aligned and I'm going to talk about how I'm going to get back into blogging and a few questions I've had to ask myself.

What direction do you want to take?
I feel that my blog needs to catch up with my maturity and stage of my life which means more 'becoming an adult' posts even though the title of it sounds ridiculous now! I want my posts to be relevant to the kind of person I currently am and what I'm up to. With a few beauty and fashion posts mixed in of course!

What blogs do you enjoy reading and what about?
Over the last year or so I have turned my attention to lifestyle and advice blogs rather than beauty and fashion blogs, with the exception of a few. Since I would never write something I wouldn't read if it was on someone else's blog, I figured that the content I should be aiming for is exactly that. Unfortunately I can't create the sort of content that my favourite bloggers write about as we can't all afford two trips to Greece in one month but hey ho!

What do you enjoy writing about?
I touched on this is the previous question but lifestyle and advice posts are my favourite to write. I feel like I can knock them out in one session because I enjoy writing them so it never feels like a chore.

Are your blogging goals achievable?
Posting three times a week is a thing of the past for me and even though I'd love to sit here and say I'm going to smash out a post every other day, realistically it's not going to happen. I need to bear in mind that I now have a full time job and other commitments and my blogging objectives need to reflect that.

Are you actually ready to start blogging again?
I am sure as hell that the last time I 'came back' to blogging I wasn't ready. I felt almost obliged to start blogging again just because I had been MIA for so long. Slap on the wrist for me. Don't come back until your ready otherwise you'll just end up going around and around in circles!

If you're thinking about getting back into blogging just run yourself through these questions and then you'll know exactly what route you want to go down!


Currently Loving: ARK Cleansers

You'll have a good memory if you remember me (well, my Mum) raving about ARK's Reverse Gravity Eye Cream almost a year ago. She's still totally in love with it and even asking for a new one for Mother's Day. So the point I'm making is that ARK Skincare is a working miracle.

What ultimately sucks me into their brand is the fact they have a really positive approach to ageing and each product is specially designed for a number of different ages for anyone from their teens to over fifty. So whatever age you are, there is a product there dedicated to the needs of your skin. I find this so refreshing as I think so many brands these days just recommend anything to anyone but oh no, not ARK!

Both of these products work together to form a two-step cleansing regime and for those days where I have a bit more time to myself , it's perfect. It feels like I'm having a mini pamper session!

First things first, I'll start with the Skin Essential Pre Cleanse and Makeup Remover by gentle rubbing it into my face then rinsing my hands and using that water to delicately wash my face. The idea of the pre cleanser is to prepare your skin for the second cleanse so it removes makeup, excessive sebum and grime and you're skin will instantly feel better for it. Not going to lie, it does a smashing job of removing any traces of makeup, even my stubborn Maybelline mascara! Normally after removing my makeup my skin feels a bit sore but surprisingly I don't get that at all with this which makes a change so there's the thumbs up for anyone with sensitive skin. My only problem with this is it does feel a bit oily/greasy on my skin and after removing my makeup I can feel it on my skin for quite a while.

Now it's time for the Skin Clear Cleanser designed for anyone in their teens or twenties. I generally have combination skin and my cheeks can get really dry which would normally be a pain for most cleansers but this one worked really well! This really helps to balance the oil in my skin and for the time being has done a pretty good job at keeping blemishes at bay. I use this in the same way as a hot cloth cleanser which takes no time at all and also gently exfoliates my face a little bit making it silky smooth once I'm finished! PS. it smells amazing but does sting your eyes a little if you put too much on that area.

I honestly can't recommend this combo enough and even though I haven't tried any other ranges of the cleanser, if they're as good as this one then you need to get your mitts on it pronto! And just remember in this overwhelming world of skincare, that you need to use products suited to your skin, whether that's for age or type. It's so easy to pick up any cleanser which you've heard rave reviews about and slap it on your face but next time, try and tailor your skincare to your skin. The clue is in the name!

Repurchase? Yes.


5 More Beauty Hacks That You Should Know

Since my last beauty hacks post went down so well, I thought it would make sense to hit you up with another one.

1. Don't know where to store your beauty blender when you're on the go? Trying squishing it into the plastic part of a Kinder egg. It works an absolute treat I promise!

2. Apply mascara to your bottom lashes before the top ones to stop that annoying print on your eyelid.

3. Nails taking too long to dry? Just fill up your sink with cold water and ice and plunge your hands in, keep them there for a few minutes and ta da... dry nails!

4. Heat your eyelash curlers with a hairdryer and then use them to make your lashes hold their shape longer.

5. You should always brush your hair starting at the ends, not the roots. I know this is difficult to get into the swing of but it will get knots out without pulling your hair out of the follicle.

Help a sister out and leave your own beauty hacks in the comments or just tweet them to me, I love to find out some more!


Keeping Your Car Healthy

After saving for months, I've finally bought my first car. 63 plate, sky blue, Fiat 500 lounge and I absolutely love it. It's not strictly my first car as I've already been driving a Fiat 500 around for the last two years but it's the first one I've bought with my own money.

With a new car comes new responsibilities and the list is endless. Not only do you have to worry about insurance, MOTs, warranty and the essentials like what air freshener you're going to get or what music you'll play, but also getting your car serviced.

I for one, have never broken down and don't plan on it! One way I'm avoiding this is by keeping on top of car servicing and proactively going to the garage to get it sorted.

So why is it important to have your car serviced?

For starters, it will save you money in the long term with a longer life expectancy for your car and when you think about it, you'd rather pay the money to get your car checked that end up spending double to fix it if you don't wouldn't' you?

The most invaluable thing you can gain though from getting your car serviced is that you'll be safe. Any small problems with your car can be identified and fixed before they become a lot worse.

It can also impact your insurance claims if you go long periods of time without a service and then something happens to your car so you need to speak to your insurance company, if the car is declared a total loss and they take the service history into account when calculating its pre-accident value, then you could be a few quid short when you don't get as much for your car.

By keeping track of your service history, it also means that you'll maintain the value of your car and when you eventually come to selling it, you'll be able to sell it at a good price and who doesn't want more money?

If you forget to get it serviced, or think there are more important things to do then you run the risk of breaking down unexpectedly and no one wants that do they? This servicing could be the difference between having a fuel efficient, smooth running car or a car that doesn't work which will cost a bomb! There are a number of places where you can get your car serviced anywhere from your local garage to a larger autocentre like Halfords or Kwik Fit so it should be no problem finding somewhere!

Even though it can be a pain and you might have to go a few hours without your car, servicing is something we all have to do and it's completely worth it to keep your car fit and healthy! Also, bear in mind that how often you should service your car will depend on its manufacturer, age and mileage so it won't be the same for everyone!

As well as servicing, you can get your car battery checked which is something you can do with Fife Autocentre. It only takes five minutes and will give you a quick indication of the condition of your battery!



What's In My Makeup Bag?

What's In My Makeup Bag
What's In My Makeup Bag
What's In My Makeup Bag

Even though I did vow to be more myself on my blog a few months ago and bin the mundane favourites and outfit posts, here I am writing a 'what's in my makeup bag' post. Hypocrite? Maybe.

The truth is though, I really love most of my everyday makeup and I want to shout about it. So I will. Cue the shouting...

MAC Prep + Prime Fix +
This spray will change your whole makeup routine, I swear. A quick spritz before and after will refresh and hydrate your skin and somehow make your base look flawless. It's also great to spray onto a beauty blender before using it to dampen it before blending foundation or concealer. It's just an absolute essential in my routine from now on.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin
A more recent addition to my makeup collection but definitely one that's here to stay. It's had a noticeable effect on how long my makeup actually lasts and goes hand in hand with the Fix + spray.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (review)
I think I've harked on about this foundation enough in the past few years but as every other beauty blogger says, it really is the best drugstore foundation out there especially for neutral and yellow skin tones.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Zoella's favourite concealer. I say no more.

Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder
This goes hand in hand with the foundation and leaves a matte finish on your skin without looking cakey or powdery. A dusting of this on your T-zone will stop your makeup from budging, I can assure you.

Body Shop Honey Bronzer
It was only the other week I was watching Lily Pebbles declare her love for this bronzer. For starters, it's from the high street, it's matte and for once there's no horrible orangey undertone which I find common in cheaper bronzers.

Stila Baked Cheek Duo in 'Pink Glow' (review)
I've been wearing this non-stop for about two years now and even though it's such a pretty shade, I think you could definitely find cheaper alternatives.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in 'Soft and Gentle' (review)
What can I say about this highlighter that hasn't already been said before? Apart from occasionally using my 3ina one for more natural makeup days, I think this is the only highlighter I will ever use. 

Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner
I'm not going to lie, there are definitely better eyeliners in the world but this is just the one I'm using at the moment. The thing I love about this one though is how it doesn't transfer even without primer.

Maybelline Push Up Mascara (review)
This is hand on heart the only mascara I have used since buying it back in March. I'm completely obsessed with it. In fact, I'm going to make a mental note that I need to buy another one!

Soap and Glory Brow Archery
With Soap and Glory's brow products being compared to the likes of Anastasia's, I don't really need to waffle too much about their Archery range. Only bug bear I have is that I find the pencil snaps quite easily which is a pain.

Maybelline Brow Satin (review)
So the deal with my eyebrows is that I'll faintly draw an outline with my Brow Archery pencil then colour them in with the spongey end of the Brow Satin and it works a treat for me. I also find that the colour of this really lasts and matches my eyebrows perfectly.

What are your makeup bag essentials? I'm in the mood for trying out some more foundations so if you have any recommendations then jot them below!


3 Places I Would Like To Travel To in 2017

Travelling has never been something I've been interested in. When most of my friends swanned off to exotic places on their gap years, I was pretty happy just working in my local pub. Since moving to and back from Oxford, I feel like it's whet my appetite to travel more and get the hell out of Kent. I'm always adding to my 'places to travel' list on my phone and there's certainly an extensive collection of cities and countries all over the world on there. My plan though is to start small and closer to home before I spend the big bucks on flights to JFK and LAX.

1. Amsterdam
Yes I know I've only just been there (you can see my photo diary here) but to be quite honest, we didn't really do much. I'm dying to go to Anne Frank's house, the A'DAM Lookout and just immerse myself more in the architecture rather than the nightlife.

2. Bath
I swear every time I watch The Michalak's vlogs when they're in Bath, I fall in love with the place and I've never even been! I'm hoping to pop down there for a weekend when the weather warms up and experience the Roman Baths, wild swimming at Claverton Weir and a mooch around the centre.

3. Santorini
Even though I highly doubt I'll be able to afford a summer holiday this year, I would love more than anything to go to Santorini. It seems like the type of place where you could take a photo anywhere and it would look picturesque. Victoria and Sammi's photos from their trips this year made me even more desperate to go so depending on my bank balance, I'll be heading there this summer!

Of course there's way more than just these three places I'd love to travel to this year but realistically, they're my top three for 2017! I'd love to know any other places in the UK that would be lovely to go to for a weekend or where you would love to go so please leave your suggestions in the comments!


5 Reasons Why You Need To Buy From Super Facialist

Super Facialist Una Brennan

As I grow up I'm finding it harder and harder to find high street skincare which doesn't break me out. La Roche Posay feels too chemically for me, Nivea brings me out in a rash and the others just don't really do much. Super Facialist is an absolute gem though and I'm a huge fan girl for the stuff, hence this post.

1. There's something for everyone
Does your skin need hydrating? That's fine, use the rose collection. Spotty skin? No problem, just grab a salicylic acid product. Anti-ageing? Pick up something from the vitamin C+ range.

2. It actually works
I'm on my second tube of moisturiser, nearly finished my face mask and a few weeks through my cleanser and I can tell you now, I wouldn't have got through that many Superfacialist products if they didn't work.

3. They're a decent price
And they're also on offer a lot in Boots starting from £7.. It's honestly such a good price, I'd say one of the best drugstore skincare brands for sure!

4. It's created by specialists
One of the most accomplished facialists and skincare specialists in the UK, Úna Brennan, is behind the brand and if that's not enough to impress you I don't know what is.

5. Their salicylic range will sort spots right out
Unfortunately I think the scrub has been discontinued (gutted) but the cleansing wash and face mask will reduce blemishes and give you a much healthier complexion. If you've got spot prone skin like me, this collection will be your new saviour!

Please say you're officially persuaded. Go on, give it a go!


Why I'm Not Making Resolutions This Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you're all feeling sufficiently hungover and reading this curled up on the sofa feeling sorry for yourself. That's how I've spent today anyway!

Just one of the many traditions which New Year entails is making resolutions. You know all the normal ones, "I'm going to get fitter", "I'm going to eat healthier" and "I'm going to save money". Pfft, have I ever stuck to them? Nah. Never.

2017 will be different though and not in the way that I'm going to stick to my resolutions but in the way that I'm just not going to make any. Then I know I won't reach March and have already abandoned all my goals and objectives for the year. Instead, I'm going to live the same way I have been for the last couple of months and change it up if and when I want to. Makes sense doesn't it? This way I can avoid failure which I something I have unfortunately experienced throughout the last few years as a result of my so called resolutions. 

Even though 'twenty-seventeen' hasn't quite got the same ring to it as 'twenty-sixteen', I've got a feeling it's going to be a lot better and I'm going to achieve a lot more.

Actually.. Scrap that. I want to be able to complete the Rubik's Cube by next year!

© The Rawrdrobe

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