-This post contains PR/gifted items, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've already talked about Naturopathica before when I tried their Citrus flavoured CBD Lozenges for the first time but I recently got an email asking if I'd be interested in trying out their Natural Strawberry flavoured 350ml CBD oil*. Although I usually prefer a higher strength CBD oil for my daily pain I thought it sounded interesting and strawberry is one of my favourite fruits. Because I have been using a CBD balm recently I thought I could use the CBD balm for my chronic pain (on my pelvic bone and lower back) and then use the 350ml CBD oil for my anxiety and/or sleeping problems to test it out properly.

What I love most about the Naturopathica 350ml CBD oil* is that it tastes exactly like strawberry. It doesn't taste fake or over the top and it also doesn't leave a "natural" CBD after taste like some flavoured CBD oils do. I'm personally not that bothered about the taste of CBD oil because I know it helps my pain, so I'd rather put up with the taste and help relieve the pain a little. But I know some people don't like the taste of CBD and that's what puts them off trying it long-term.

I've found the the Naturopathica CBD oil has done well in terms of helping to calm my mind when I'm feeling super stressed and believe me, it's definitely been put to the test over the past couple of weeks! I also find it helps settle my mind a little before I go to sleep which helps me to get to sleep because my brain likes to overthink things a lot at night. I do hope to see a stronger strength version at some point but I would repurchase when it runs out because I really like the taste and I did find it helped with my anxiety. So because of that I would recommend it trying it out if you're wanting to try a lower strength CBD oil.

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I'm really into writing about blogging and insta tips at the minute and I have plenty more planned over the next month or two. So I thought in today's post I'd talk about how to get a sponsored post. I do sometimes get emails and DMs about how I reach out to brands and how I get sponsored blog posts often and I'll be honest it can be hard, especially when there's quiet spells. But in this post I'm talking about how to make your blog more appealing to brands and companies, being prepared to pitch to a brand and also where to find paid opportunities too.

Work On Increasing Your DA Score -
A lot of brands want at least a 20+ Domain Authority (DA) score in order to work with them on a paid collaboration. If your DA is below 20 or has dropped below 20 then it will be harder to find paid collaborations unfortunately. So working on your DA score is a must no matter what your DA score is! Moz predicts how well a website is performing and ranking on search engines and it is then scored on a 0-100 scale. It measures the links pointing to your site and also any linking root domains. I find that commenting on other people's blogs, linking one or two older posts in your latest posts and also checking for broken links often all help to increase your DA score. I know that Wordpress has plug-ins that can check and remove broken links but if you're on Blogger it's more time consuming. I use
Broken Link Check and I try and keep on top of it by checking it once or twice a month and removing any new broken links.

Cover Different Topics - 
If you cover a variety of topics then you've probably got a better chance at getting sponsored blog posts as they'll be more brands/companies to work with. I cover quite a few different topics but my main ones are currently beauty, lifestyle and fashion. However I do like talking about mental health, my chronic illness/pain (to raise awareness) and also home and interiors because I bloody love anything to do with restyling rooms and I love homeware shopping too.

Have A Media Kit Ready - 
Sometimes if you get in touch with a brand first about potentially working with them on a paid collaboration then they may ask you for a media kit. So it's always handy to make sure you have an up-to-date kit at the ready at all times. In the media kit you should mention about your blog (when you started it and things like that), it's niche, your blog views, social following and DA score. If you've already worked with some brands in the past that it's a good idea to mention some brands you've worked with too. I've even put a part of my media kit on my "Work With Me" page on my blog, so any brand checking out my blog can see an overview of some well-known brands/companies I've worked with over the past couple of years. You don't have to cram everything onto one page either as a lot of fellow bloggers (myself included) have spread their media kit out onto 3-5 pages. Mine's personally 3 pages long. So I have page one which is all about my blog, it's monthly views, social following, DA score etc. Page two is about brands I've worked with and page 3 is about how I can work with brands - from sponsored blog posts, insta ads, giveaways, social media takeovers and also what I charge for each service. I always make my media kids on Canva as it's free but there are people who do media kit templates or will make you a media kit from scratch on twitter and Etsy. But just be careful because some people are a bit cheeky and they make them on Canva for free and then sell them on. So you could just make it yourself and save some money.

Follow Opportunity Pages/Accounts -
Make sure you're following accounts which post about new opportunities. I run BloggerOppsxo on twitter which I try and update every other day. I post various different opps from gifting, paid and events. I'm also following two blogging pages on Facebook where I've applied for numerous sponsored posts before. Just search for Official UK Bloggers and UK Influencer Opportunities and request to be added as they are both private groups. Also make sure you check the #BloggersWanted or #BloggersRequired tags on twitter often as a lot of brands and PR's use these tags to reach out to suitable bloggers.

Email Brands You've Already Worked With -
If you've already worked with some brands on paid collaborations in the past then pop them an email to see if they're looking for bloggers for any relevant campaigns. I find this is always a good way to get sponsored blog posts if you've had a quiet month or if you really want to work with a particular brand again. I always leave it for 2-3 months before emailing them again though. 

I hope you find this post helpful! 

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-This post contains a PR/gifted item, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
If you read my blog often then I'm sure by now that you'll know I have an oily skin type as I'm always banging on about it. So when I got an email about trying out new skincare brand Tamaar Skincare who are a Natural, pH Balanced and Pharmacist led brand I was excited to see that they have a product which is aimed at oily skin and blemish prone skin which helps to balance excess sebum - which sounded ideal for my skin type!

Tamaar was founded by a pharmacist who has been researching the ingredients of these products for years. The main ingredient of all Tamaar Skincare products is Tamarind Seed Extract. Tamarind is a safe and effective skin brightening agent which actually outperforms hyaluronic acid in moisturising the skin and helping to improve and smooth out wrinkles. Also all of Tamaar Skincare's products are formulated with a climate responsive emulsifier which is based on patented technology that transforms natural waxes to automatically adapt to the local environment and climate. The products are also free from parabens, SLS, artificial fragrance, preservatives, GMO, alcohol and are cruelty free too!

The Sebum Balancing Cream Complex RRP £47* has a multi-action formula which contains Neem (which I know works really well with my skin already!), Grape Seed Oil, Tamarind Seed, Annatto and Curcuma Longa extracts which have all been carefully selected for their antimicrobial, skin calming and nourishing properties. This means that the product will help to balance out excess sebum without over-drying skin. I hate buying products which are all about reducing your oiliness but then they basically strip your skin of everything and you're left with flaking skin. This is why I don't like to use facial soaps anymore. I used to be a die-hard fan of the LUSH Coalface soap but I realised it was really drying out my skin so I stopped using it and I haven't looked back since.

I feel like the product has been helping with my skin's excess sebum, although I do still have quite oily skin in general so it hasn't completely stopped me from having an oily skin type. But I can see and feel a difference when using the Sebum Balancing Cream Complex* so I know they ingredients definitely help reduce sebum. I also like that it's a very lightweight cream as I find that heavy creams can block up my pores and make me break out quite bad. Also with it being a lightweight cream, it dries quickly and it doesn't feel sticky or tacky after application which I prefer in a moisturiser/cream. Something which I do want to mention is that it does have a weird smell which I'm not super keen on, but it isn't that much of a big deal really as the smell doesn't stick around for long, but I just thought I'd mention it anyway. It's not a horrible smell but it's just an odd smell to me personally. It smells very natural if you get what I mean? 

I know it's not all about how the product looks and it's more about how it performs but I think the bottle design is really pretty with it's frosted glass bottle and gold lid and pump. It looks nice sitting on my bedside table with my bedside beauty bits. It is obviously a high-end product with it being priced at £47 for a 30ml bottle but I do think I'd repurchase it. It probably isn't something I'd be able to buy at a drop of a hat and as soon as I run out (woo, self employment life) but if I had the money spare and I wanted to splurge on a beauty product I would probably buy it then as I do see and feel a difference when using it.

If you don't have an oilier/blemish prone skin type then Tamaar have also got you covered as they have their Rejuvenate Anti-Ageing Cream and their Lighten Lightening and Moisturising Cream which is supposed to be great for dark under eye circles!

I really like that Tamaar Skincare are also proud members of B1G1 - Business for Good. For every product purchased, a forest tree is planted to help support the environment! So it's a nice feeling knowing that your purchase is helping the environment a little too. 

They've also kindly given me a discount code to share with you (not affiliated) but if you're interested in getting 20% off all products then use my code: astoldbykirsty20 
(offer ends 31st July)

Have you heard of or tried Tamaar Skincare before?

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-*This post is in collaboration with Cash Lady-
Sometimes, in order to make your dream a reality, you have to think outside of the box. This is especially true when it comes to saving up for your dream holiday. Getting to your ideal destination probably won’t be cheap, so you’ll have to think of how you’ll get the money together.
Securing a short-term loan is one of the best ways to finance the trip of a life time, and there are plenty of fantastic rates available and useful online tools that will help you balance your budget. And if that still isn’t enough, here are another 5 ways to fund your dream holiday.
1. Create A Travel Fund
One of the easiest ways to start saving for that dream holiday is to start putting money directly into a special account. Especially ones that make it more difficult to withdraw from. Using something like the Digit app means all the hard work is done once you set it up. The app automatically takes small amounts of money from your account every day and stashes it away. And anytime you want to stop you simply set a limit, or just hit pause.
2. Get Budgeting
You’ll be amazed how much money you can save by cutting back on some of your outgoings. When you take a step back to realise what is going out of your account every month, you’ll soon find there are plenty of ways to cut back so you can put the extra money aside. If you need some help with your budgeting there are plenty of sites that can help. You might not be able to enjoy all of the same luxuries, but when you are booking that dream holiday, it will all seem worth it.
3. Make A Change Jar
If you put away as little as £2.74 a day into your change jar, by the end of the year you’ll have saved £1,000. That’s £19.18 a week, or £83 a month. The small change that hangs around forever in your purse or wallet can finally be put to good use. Save your daily coffee money for a year and you are guaranteed to hit a grand. Stick a photo of your dream destination around the jar for motivation, so you always know what you are doing it for!
4. Sell Your Old Junk
With sites like Ebay and Depop online, it’s easy to sell old clothes, shoes and anything else you think might be of value. Over time we all hang onto items we no longer use, but usually for no good reason at all we let them sit there collecting dust. Rather than giving your stuff away for free to charity, trying selling them so you can use the money to reinvest in your dream holiday. Recycling is the buzzword of the moment and this way everyone wins.
5. Get A Part-Time Job
If after all the budgeting, cutting back and saving you still can’t raise enough money, it might be worth looking at getting a part-time job. Of course, you probably already have a full-time one, and getting a second job isn’t exactly the most exciting idea. However, it won’t be forever and all of the money you earn can go straight into your savings. Even a few hours a week can make all the difference. Failing that, ask your boss if you can put in some overtime. Just picture yourself lying on that beach, drink in hand, without a care in world – you’ll be there sooner than you know it.
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If you read this post back in March then you'll know that I decided to go on the pill to see if it'd help with my chronic pelvic pain/suspected endometriosis. Unfortunately during my last doctors appointment back in April my doctor kicked off about my weight (instead of actually discussing how my pain has been since being on the pill) and she took me off the combined pill immediately. She switched me to the mini pill instead which is commonly known as the POP pill. It contains progesterone only and you take it daily as opposed to the combined pill which you take for 21 days and then have a 7 day break. When she told me she was putting me on Cerazette I literally muttered "Oh shit" under my breath because I've read and heard so many horror stories about that pill in particular from irregular bleeding, cystic acne, continuous bleeding, weight gain, mood swings and so on. But I know that going on the combined pill helped relieve my chronic pelvic pain a little and I personally felt that the side effects I had from going on the pill were worth it in exchanged for less intense pain every single day. 

As I write this I've just started my third month of Cerazette and once again it's been a wild journey. I definitely feel like I've experienced more side effects on Cerazette but I also feel like it's been helping my pain a little bit more than Microgynon did so I'm still kind of weighing up the pros and cons if I'm being totally honest. 

So let's talk about what side effects I've been dealing with over the past couple of months... 

First of all I've got to talk about my skin and what's been going on with it. When I was on the combined pill I went about 2 months with pretty much pristine spot-free skin, which was amazing! Especially as I'm quite prone to spots normally and I have oily skin. Literally within about 3 days after going on Cerazette my skin started breaking out like crazy and it also got super oily. I was so pissed off and I almost stopped taking it there and then. Then about a week of being on it I noticed I was getting these weird bumps on my cheeks (mainly on the left side) and since then they've got bigger and have spread out more across my cheeks. You may have seen this tweet when I was asking if anyone had any ideas on how to help get rid of them (p.s I look rough AF in the photo but please ignore that lol). So it's probably something I'm going to have to talk about with my doctor when I go and see her again because they're really affecting my confidence which isn't great anyway as they're really visible through my high coverage foundations and concealers. I'm currently trying various different skincare acids from Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic to see if any of them will help but so far I haven't seen much improvement.

I also had really bad pain in my boobs for a week straight during my first month of being on the mini pill. If I accidentally knocked them or lay on them without a cushion supporting me I would literally yelp out in pain. I couldn't wear any sort of bra for that whole week either. But I'm guessing that my body was adjusting to the mini pill as I didn't experience it during my second month. Thank god. 

Another symptom which I think is pill related is that I feel bloated more often and you can literally see my belly bloating up and down. I also gained another 8lbs like I did when I first went on the combined pill. So I'm guessing an 8lb gain is the norm for my body and if/when I switch pills now. How fun... Not. Especially when I already have the doctors banging on about my weight instead of actually trying to figure out what's causing my chronic pain. I've also been experiencing nightmares quite often but I don't know if that's immediate side effects of the pill or if it's just because I've been dealing with a lot of stressful things over the past couple of months. But it sucks either way. Ugh.

So let's talk about the positives... I haven't had a period in two months. Absolutely nothing. Which I suppose is a good thing but I feel like if I was in a relationship right now then I'd probably be in full on meltdown most of the time thinking I'm pregnant. I still get period-like cramps around the time of the month I'd be getting a period but it's nowhere near as bad as it normally is. I just stick a BeYou patch on and hug my hot water bottle for a few hours (lol) and they both help to settle the pain. I've also not been having the bad mood swings that Microgynon gave me when I'd either feel super angry at nothing or I'd be crying over something silly so I don't feel as if I'm going completely crazy on Cerazette. Another big positive is something I've already mentioned which is that I *think* it's helping my daily pain more than Microgynon did. I still have pain daily and it still affects my quality of life but I know for a fact if I come off the pill I'm going to go straight back to the way I was before I was on the pill and I was not in a good state of mind back then, to the point that the way how I was feeling mentally was scaring the shit out of me. I still have bad mental health days but I don't feel like I'm in a constant depressive mood. It's either that or I'm just getting used to chronic pain life.

So overall even though I've been dealing with a lot of side effects I feel like I'm just going to stick it out a little longer and see how I go. I'm hoping my skin will clear up or settle down or that I'll find something which helps get rid of the weird bumps/spots and I'm also hoping that I don't gain any more weight. I also hope that the boob pain stays the hell away because that was brutal. I don't need any extra pain thank you very much lol.

Have you been on the mini pill before? 
If so, did you have any of the same side effects as me?

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-*This post is in collaboration with Elite Aesthetics-
HydraFacial is the new facial skincare solution that is sweeping the nation. With dedicated followers all over the world, and a HydraFacial being performed every 15 seconds, it’s one of the most popular aesthetic and beauty treatments on the market. Suitable for all skin types and tones, and able to treat a huge variety of skin problems and conditions, it’s one of the most popular and effective facial treatments available. 

What Does HydraFacial Do? 
HydraFacial can be used to treat the appearance of a variety of skin complaints, as well as to promote long term skin health, and give you smooth, healthy, glowing skin with instant results, and in the long term too. 

HydraFacial can be used to: 

● Reduce the appearance and severity of fine lines and wrinkles. 
● Make skin look plumper, younger and bouncier. 
● Even out the skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation and uneven pigmentation. 
● Reduce redness in the skin, including redness often seen by sufferers of rosacea
● Make the skin appear brighter, glowing and more vibrant. 
● Smooth skin texture, including acne, congestion and blackheads on the skin’s surface. 
● Reduce the appearance of brown age spots. 
● Reduce the severity and improve the appearance of sun damaged skin. 
● Combat oily and congested skin, reducing the appearance of acne. 
● Reduce the appearance of active acne by cleansing and extracting impurities from the skin. 
● Reduce the appearance of clogged or enlarged pores. 
A treatment that can be used to improve almost any skin complaint by using its revolutionary cleansing and extraction technology. 

How Does HydraFacial Work? 
HydraFacial uses its own patented, revolutionary vortex technology to effectively apply a variety of cleansing, exfoliating and nourishing serums to the skin. 

HydraFacial is so popular as it can be tailored and customised to your skin specifically, making sure your treatment is highly effective for your skin complaints. By using different tips of the HydraFacial device at each stage of the treatment, HydraFacial can effectively cleanse, tone, exfoliate and nourish the skin. HydraFacial can also be combined with treatments like facial massage or LED Facials to further improve the effects of the treatment. 

During the basic HydraFacial treatment, the treatment begins with Vortex Exfoliation, which uses gentle hydradermabrasion techniques and vortex technology to exfoliate debris from the skin’s surface and cleanse the skin entirely. 

The tip of the device is then changed, and a serum of rejuvenating skincare acids is applied to the skin. This helps to loosen impurities like blackheads, dirt and other substances in the pores, cleansing the deep layers of the skin and encouraging faster cell turnover to brighten and boost the skin. 
After this, gentle suction is used to remove all the dirt and debris from the pores, cleansing out congested areas of skin and clogged pores. 

Then, serums are applied to add hydrating ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, effective antioxidants and concentrated peptides into the skin to refresh and rejuvenate the skin, and leave it looking and feeling clear, soft and smooth. 

After treatment you can get back to your day straight away, and it can take as little as 30 minutes! 

Why Is HydraFacial Right For Me? 
HydraFacial is such a popular treatment as it can be tailored to any skin type or concern, with the same beautiful, glowing results every time. Loved by customers and practitioners alike for its consistent, beautiful results, there’s no reason not to try a HydraFacial today. 

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-This post contains a PR sample/gifted item, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
I've tried the original Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm quite a few times and it just doesn't seem to agree with my oily skin as it just seems to a bit too rich. It's so annoying because the products itself is lovely and Moringa is one of my fave scents too and I can understand why it's such a cult skincare product. So when I found out that Emma Hardie were releasing the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel* I was so excited because it's aimed at more oily/combination skin types with it being a lighter consistency (but it is suitable for all skin types). 

They describe the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel* as a lightweight gel-to-oil daily cleanser which is suitable for all skin types. It also purifies and balances the skin and it hydrates and moisturises too - all of which sound perfect for my skin! It's priced at £34 for 100ml bottle so it is what I would call high-end in terms of a cleanser. It contains Moringa, Grape Seed and Sweet Almond Oil which all help to nourish the skin as well as Omega 6, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids which all help to smooth, soften and moisturise. Sea Fennel extract improves the barrier function of the skin which restores the water balances and the Moringa Seed peptides protect the skin from pollution and also purify. Sounds pretty great, right?

 With it being a more pricier cleanser with beneficial properties I've been using it as my second cleanse in the evenings to get the best results. I tend to use two pumps and that seems to be enough. I use it on damp skin and then I apply some water to help emulsify the product and then I work it into my skin and to remove it I use a warm flannel. I'm literally obsessed with this right now! It seems like the perfect mix for my skin as it definitely makes it feel well cleansed but it doesn't make my skin feel as if it's been stripped and it's been leaving it feeling super soft and well nourished. It also smells gorgeous like the original balm cleanser too. I just find Moringa a very calming scent.

If you found that the original Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm wasn't for you then I'd still say to consider trying this as the consistency is a lot lighter as expected and it just feels like a very luxurious and beneficial cleanser to use. You can buy it from the Emma Hardie website, Feel Unique and Marks & Spencer.

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-This post is in collaboration with Knix, all opinions are my own-
I thought I'd share a Summer Clothing Wishlist with you because I haven't done a clothing wishlist for a while and there's plenty of things I've got my eyes on right now. This year I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone by buying and trying clothing items I wouldn't normally wear for various reasons. I'm doing this because I want to gain some confidence wearing dresses, bodysuits and also just getting my chubby arms and legs out more often and stop worrying about what other people think. So in this I'm talking about colours which I wouldn't normally go for, a bodysuit with built in bra, wide leg shorts and why I want to try a smock dress again after my last disastrous smock dress purchase.

New Look Floral Spot Tea Dress £25.99 /  Knix "The Every Bodysuit" $88 / Joanie Watercolour Plant Design Tee £22 / New Look Blue Ripped Acid Wash Denim Skirt £9

I tend to go for more darker colours when it comes to dresses because sometimes I find that lighter colours make me look wider but I really want to stop thinking like that and buy dresses that I like the look of and not worry about if the colour is going to make me look bigger. I really like the New Look Floral Spot Tea Dress and I think it's a nice shape and I love the floral and spot design together. I also think it would go with my red-brown hair.

 I used to shy away from bodysuits as they show off all your curves but I picked up my first one recently to see what the hype is about and it's so comfortable and I find that they are handy if you're wearing a skirt or shorts as you don't have to worry about the top half of your clothes ruffling up underneath because you don't have to tuck it in. Which is why I really like the look and sound of Knix's body suit with built in bra particularly in the Violet Dusk colour option. I like that it's kind of killing two birds with one stone and working as a bodysuit and also a bra at the same time and it looks so comfortable which is what I'm all about! The bra is wire-free and has removable padding so it gets a thumbs up from me. You can also pick the bodysuit up in various different colours from Lava, Beige, Black and Passion and they go up to a XXL. 

Joanie are one of my favourites places to shop so I knew this post would contain a few pieces from them. I would've bought the Watercolour Plant Design Tee featured above already but they don't seem to have it in stock in a XL which is a bit annoying. But I think it'd look nice with pretty everything from skirts, shorts and even leggings for a more casual look. Talking of skirts I like the look of the Ripped Acid Wash skirt from New Look which is only £9 right now. Unfortunately it's not in stock in my size as I write this but if it does come back in stock I'm definitely going to pick it up and try it out!

Joanie Zou Bisou Tee £12 / ASOS Curve Button Front Midi Skirt £30 / Pink Clove Dalmatian Spot Wrap Dress £24  / New Look Floral Red Wide Leg Shorts £9.99

Another Joanie top which I have to talk about which is currently in their Summer sale is the Zou Bisou tee which again I think would look nice tucked in a skirt or even under a pinafore dress. I really like the look of floaty midi skirts which everyone seems to be wearing right now. I don't know what type of style/pattern or colour to go for but I am planning on buying a few soon to try out and see if they suit me but I think they may look a little long on me as I'm only 5"3 (on a good day) but then if I am having a day when I feel self conscious at least the skirt will cover the majority of my legs. I've come to realise this year that wrap dresses seem to really suit my body shape and I've currently got my eyes on the Dalmatian Spot Wrap Dress from Pink Clove. I like that it's got a frilly hem rather than a straight across hem and I think you could easily dress it up and down too. I rarely wear shorts but when I do I have to make sure they are wide legs as I do have chunky legs and I need all the space I can get. So I was happy to see that New Look have started catering for wide legs and I also really like the pretty floral pattern too. I'm hoping to see more patterns and colours in the upcoming weeks!

Joanie Lobster Print Dress £45 / ASOS "Bye" Motif T-shirt £20 / 
Joanie Belt Button Skirt in Pink £38 / ASOS Curve Mini V Neck Smock Dress in Stripe £22

How cute is the Lobster Print Dress from Joanie? I saw it on their instagram and I was like *heart eye emoji*. I don't really go for sun dresses as they are sleeveless and I'm quite self conscious of my arms as because I have Keratosis Pilaris (aka Chicken Skin) but I'm currently trying some different ways to reduce it and it's definitely helping. I may do a blog post about it soon! I also have a few thin knitted cardigans which I like to wear in the summer which I think would look lovely with the dress along with some tan coloured sandals. I had to put a typical slogan tee in this post because I'm such a big fan of slogan tees. However I don't know why ASOS have slapped £20 on a mostly grey t-shirt with a tiny slogan motif saying "bye" but I do think it's cute and I think it would look nice with the Joanie Belt Button Skirt which is on the right.

And lastly we have the ASOS Curve Mini V Neck Smock Dress. I thought I'd given up with smock dresses as for some reason they tend to look like I'm wearing a bin bag most of the time because they are so big and floaty. However I thought I got lucky with the last one I bought which was also from ASOS. However they made the shoulders that small I got stuck in it and I literally had to get my mum to help me out of it and she was close to getting the scissors on it lol! So I obviously returned it. So do I dare buying another one from ASOS? I don't know. But I do think the Mini V Neck Smock Dress looks comfortable and kind of effortless too.

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-This post contains a gifted/PR sample, no paid content. All opinions are my own-

Tropic are definitely a brand who have been piquing my interest a lot lately. I love that their products are natural and cruelty-free and most of their products are within my price range too. I've tried various different products from them already and I've enjoyed using the vast majority of them and for someone who has temperamental skin, that is a big deal! I was recently emailed by Tropic's PR and was asked if I was interested in trying out their new Tropic Colour Palette which I had already seen popping up on my insta feed and I liked the idea of it being customisable and travel friendly. So here are my overall thoughts on the ease of use of the palette, the shades and products I chose for my own palette and also my thoughts on the two surprise brushes which also in my parcel when it arrived.

Making your own Tropic Colour Palette is super simple to do. There's four different case configurations to choose from and I chose the C option so I have 1 large, 2 Medium and 2 Small in my palette's layout. I did this so that I had a nice selection of products to try out. You can choose from eyeliner, eyebrow pomade or powder or eyeshadow in the smallest sections and then cream concealer, pressed blush, pressed bronzer, pressed highlighter, cream blush, cream highlighter, cream contour or powder contour for both your Medium and Large sections.   

In my palette I chose two of the Pressed Eye Shadows - Cashew* and Copper* (RRP £8 each), Blush Crush Pressed Colour in Golden Apricot* (RRP £16), Way To Glow Pressed Highlighter in Afterglow* (RRP £16) and the Undercover Cream Concealer in Macadamia* (RRP £20). Altogether my palette came to £68. It would of been £84 but Tropic are offering the Colour Palette case for free (worth £16).

Idk why my arm looks blue-ish in this photo btw lol 
I decided to opt for a more neutral, everyday kind of palette as that's usually my jam anyway. The eye shadows are nice and are definitely on the pigmented side, however I wish the Cashew shade was more similar to how it looks in the pan (a little more warmer). It's a lot paler when in use and I wanted a shade which was wearable on it's own but it just doesn't look right on it's own on me personally, so I've just been using it as a base shade. The Copper shade is what I would call a muted copper and it's really pretty and nice to wear alone and I think it helps to make my blue eyes pop!

The Golden Apricot looks like it's going to be super full-on but it blends out into a nice warm shade which definitely adds some colour to my pale complexion. It's also got a very slight golden sheen to it which is why I think it'll be a blusher I'll be using often in the summer months to give me a slight sun-kissed glow. I'm a big fan of the Way To Glow Highlighter in Afterglow. I did think it would be a scary blinding highlighter when I saw it in the pan but it's actually a subtle sheen with a golden undertone. It looks really nice when you're opting for a more natural, minimal day-to-day makeup look. I'm already a bit obsessed!

The Undercover Cream Concealer in Macadamia did have me worried when it first arrived as it looks quite warm but then once I took away the "top layer" it revealed a shade which is a lot more suitable for my skin. I do think they could expand the concealer shade range more though as of right now there's only three shades and Macadamia is the palest shade. I can build it up quite easily to a medium coverage and it stays in place well once it's powdered down a little. But if you do have some serious dark circles under your eyes you may need to go in with something else to give it a boost but it's good on redness and blemishes.  

So overall I think it's a great little palette which has a large mirror and you could easily pop it in your suitcase or overnight bag with a couple of brushes and be sorted (depending on what products you choose). 

The surprise brushes which came with the parcel have been so nice to use over the past couple of weeks. Particularly the FB2 Precision Face Brush priced at £18* which kind of reminds me of the It Cosmetics Hevenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7 which is a whopping £35! So the Tropic version is a lot nicer on your bank balance if you're looking for a precision complexion kind of brush. The brushes I received are both made from wood and soft vegan fibres and the FB2 brush can be used with creams, liquids and powder and I've found that it works really well with the concealer in the palette and it also works well with my CC Creams or Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint which I've been using a lot over the past few weeks.   

The 3IN1 Eye Brush priced at £16* is a super handy multitasking brush as it contains an eyeshadow brush, an eyebrow brush and a spoolie brush. I haven't used the eyeshadow brush much as I tend to use the double-ended Lottie London Arch Rival (Similar to the ABH Brow Wiz) which you don't need a brush for and it also has a spoolie on the other side. But the 3IN1 brush is handy for products in which you need a spoolie before or after using the product. The eyeshadow brush is a great one to use for buffing, blending or packing on a colour as it's quite a flat brush which you always in your makeup bag. You can also use it with Tropic's Eyebrow Stencils too. 

What kind of palette would you make with the Tropic Colour Palette?

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-*This post is in collaboration with Screwfast-
It’s easy to ignore things you can’t see. However, if you don’t protect the foundations of your home, you could end up with some serious structural issues including leaks, cracks and subsidence. These are costly and inconvenient to repair. Below are some tips from a foundation solutions company to help you understand how to protect the foundations of your home from any future damage. 

Firstly, be sure to assess the boundaries of your home regularly and check that the ground slopes away from the property. This will ensure that any water on the ground will flow away from your home as opposed to pooling around it. Too much or too little water can change the consistency of the soil beneath, which can cause the foundations of a building to shift. 

With that in mind, sufficient drainage is important. Every now and again it’s worth clearing away any dirt and debris that has gathered in your drains or gutters to prevent blockages. After all, it’s important that water is properly flowing through them and therefore routed away from your building. When clearing your drains, check them for damage so that they can be repaired as soon as possible. 

In the summer months when the weather becomes hotter, you should try to keep the land around your home moist. This will prevent the soil from drying up and shrinking which, as mentioned above, will lead to movement in your foundations. If this happens, you will likely see some cracks in the walls of your home, as well as your paving. Use a hose or sprinkler system to maintain the moisture in the ground and avoid planting trees too close to the building. 

-*This post is in collaboration with The Stained Glass Window Company-
Stained glass windows date back thousands of years and are typically only associated with churches and other religious buildings. However, many contemporary artists have beautifully demonstrated how they can also be used in homes, both traditional and modern. In fact, the juxtaposition of historical stained glass and more avant-garde design elements is a fantastic way to add something unique to your home.

Even if your house is fairly small, stained glass windows will still look great. You could have one incorporated into panels in your front door so that the light shines through the brightly coloured glass and gives the illusion of a spacious entrance area. As long as you’re a little creative with the design, you’re sure to add a modern feature to you property. In other words, a geometric pattern might be trendier and more unique than traditional flowers and leaves. 

Stained glass doesn’t have to be limited to your hallway; there are lots of places you can have it that are equally as stunning, and often quite quirky. For example, you could replace the frosted glass in your window for something a little more colourful. As well as adding an undeniably beautiful element to your home, stained glass windows are often used for practical reasons. Perhaps you have an ugly view that you’d like to conceal, or maybe you want to increase privacy. Either way, a stained glass window will do the trick.

If you’re feeling inspired to give your home a little revamp and unsure where to start, a stained glass window might be just what you need. The best thing about it is that you can make some design suggestions and infuse your personality into it. The finished result is sure to add spectacular quality to your home that might otherwise feel quite featureless.

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-This post contains PR sample as I'm part of Dermalogica's Skinfluencer Programme, no paid content. All opinions are my own-
 As I mentioned a few weeks ago in this post Dermalogica are one of my go-to brands when it comes to skincare. I'll admit that a lot of their products are a little more pricier than I would like to spend ideally but when I find a good product that works for me, I tend to stick to it. So when I got the opportunity to try out their Breakout Clearing Skin Kit RRP £26.50* which contains three products from their popular Clear Start range, I was obviously excited to try them out as I've not tried anything from their Clear Start range before but I have heard great things about it. The products in the kit are also gluten-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free, vegan and contain no artificial fragrances or colours.

The kit comes in a cute little travel case that you could reuse if you wanted to. Inside the kit is their Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash 75ml*, Breakout Clearing Booster 10ml* and the Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion 30ml* which you should apply in that order. All of the products are travel-sized and are available to buy in full-size if you so wish to. I feel like the kit is a good way to try out some of the Clear Start range because investing in the full size versions.

Since switching to the mini pill (which I am doing a blog post about really soon) my skin has been going a little crazy. It was really clear during my three months on Microgynon and then literally within days of starting Cerazette my skin broke out bad, it also went blotchy and oilier than ever, which was not ideal but I did kind of expect it because my hormones were going crazy as I adjusted to the new pill. So I thought this was a golden opportunity to start using the Breakout Clearing Skin Kit from Dermalogica and see how it worked for me during this time.

So the first product I tried from the kit is the Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash* which I was feeling a little anxious about trying as my skin seems to have mixed feelings about foaming face washes. It contains Salicylic Acid, Tea Tea Oil, Lavender, Camellia Sinensis and Orange Peel Extract and you can use it on your face, neck or back or wherever you find you need to use it (within reason obviously!). I find that foaming face washes are nice as a quick cleanse in the morning but if I use them for longer than 3-4 days in a row, I get dry and flaky skin around my nose and in between my eyebrows which isn't great. But in terms of clearing up my skin, I definitely started to see a difference within a few days of using the Foaming Wash which I think is really good! Whilst my skin has been going through a bad spell, I've been using the Foaming Wash as my morning face wash for 3 days and then I take a break for 2 days and use an alternative basic face wash like Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser in the morning and then something more nourishing in the evenings. It does say you should use it A.M and P.M for best results but I guess it depends on how your skin reacts to foaming washes. I'm also a fan of the smell of the Foaming Wash but it's strange because I think it smells like Ginger but it doesn't say anything about ginger in the ingredients. I will be buying the full size once I've used up my other foaming face washes as it's definitely my fave out of the few I currently have in my skincare stash. I don't think it's too pricey at £17.50 for the full size version either.

Next up is the Breakout Clearing Booster* which is formulated with Salicylic Acid which is known to attack and kill bacteria and also calms angry spots. The instructions say to apply to blemish or breakout area or alternatively apply a thin layer all over for breakout prevention. I feel like the small 10ml bottle wouldn't last long at all if I was to apply all over every day (especially with my moon face lol) so I've just been applying it to either blemishes which are already there or on my chin and/or forehead where I tend to breakout the most as a preventative measure. I found it to be okay and it did help to take down any angry whitehead spots but it didn't seem to do much to one of those throbbing under the skin spots that seemed to pop up recently. So I'd say it's a good one to try if you get a lot of whiteheads because it did soothe and take down the swelling and redness a little overnight but it didn't work that well on the under the skin papule spot (aka the devil spot). I'm still kind of on the fence about this one if I'm being honest. I think if I started to breakout a lot and nothing was helping I would pick up the full size version at £19.50 but I feel like the Foaming Wash works well on it's own in terms of fighting any bacteria and breakouts too, so the Breakout Clearing Booster is definitely a booster as it's described.

Lastly is the Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion* which contains plant-based Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid and is formulated with gentle botanicals such as Ginger, Orange and Grapefruit which are known to soothe and protect the skin. After reading that it contains Ginger, Orange and Grapefruit I was hoping for the moisturiser to smell lovely and fruity but it doesn't. But it smells vaguely like the Foaming Wash which I do like anyway. It's a very lightweight, sheer moisturiser and sinks in the skin quickly. I've been using this more at night as I tend to use my Glossier Priming Moisturiser in the morning as it preps my skin for any makeup I may apply and smooths out my skin a little. Overall I do like the moisturiser, I don't know if it's something I'd immediately buy again once I run out but it's good that I know I like it and that it agrees with my skin because as I've mentioned before I do struggle with finding moisturisers that hydrate my skin enough but don't break me out. The price of the full size Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion is £19.50 for 60ml so it's around the same price of my usual Glossier moisturiser.

Overall I've enjoyed trying out some of the Clear Start products and I've now also got my sights set on the Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask which loads of people rave about and also the new Clearing Defense spf30 Mattifying Moisturiser which I'm sure I'll pick up and try soon. 

Have you tried any products from Dermalogica's Clear Start range?

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