Mavala That's My Colour

Mavala That's My Colour

I recently heard about a competition that Mavala was holding over on Facebook and Twitter. If for some incredible reason you don't know who Mavala are let me tell you some more. 

Mavala is a world leader in nail care and have at least 50 years under their belts. Born in 1958 to Madelaine Van Landeghem, the Mavala name comes from the first two letters of her Madelaine's name. 
The Mavala brand now offers not only nail care products but also hands, eyes, feet and eye care products, but it's their Scientifique nail hardener that remains their top selling product, having been one of their first initial proucts. 

Mavala have decided to turn to their fans to find out what colour we want to wear, they are asking everyone to Facebook or Tweet images that show the colours that you would wear on your nails, such as my Lilly image above. 

You may opt to send an image of your baby's blue eyes, your favourite ribbon, your puppy's fur, a stone that is unusual, a leaf that is weathered or well anything to be honest. 

Simply Facebook or Tweet your image followed by the #ThatsMyColour hashtag. Mavala will choose 3 entries to turn in to polish for their Autumn collection. 

If you are going to enter you can do so by heading to their direct page links below. 

I am a girly girl but as much as I love bubblegum pink, I tend to grow bored of it and sway towards the red tones. I came across a colour called carmine a number of years ago, which is a gorgeous red/pink/orange colour so I was going to go for that however, 

Flicking through my images I came across the Lilly image above, I have always loved that photo as it was the taken from the Lillie's my sons gave me for mummy's day last year. I darkened it slightly and voila I ended up with my perfect colour! 

Apparently this colour is called 'Razzmatazz' and was invented by Crayola in 1993, it's the right shade of dusky pink and reddish undertones and I would love to wear this as a fully opaque tone with no shimmer, similar to a Plastikote finish. 

So guys, that's my colour. What's yours? 

Blogging || Ten Tips How To Start Blogging

So You Want to Blog? 

I've recently had an influx of emails about blogging. While I am in no way a huge blogger, I do still want to help anyone who is starting to blog, thinking about starting or has a blog. 

There are plenty of how to posts across the net, almost all of the blogs I have read have them and while the topic is very much a popular topic, I find that everyone's advice differs. I would really urge everyone to read a few blogging how to posts, research it a bit further and then take the bits that have clicked and put them to use.  

Everyone is unique and similarly each blog is (or should be) unique. While there are so many blogs saturating certain genre's such as fashion, beauty and parenting each of the blogs that do well, do so because they show personality and offer something 'new' or interesting to read. So while you're starting out don't get down if you get stuck, you don't feel your blogs getting enough attention or you feel your blog doesn't compare as these things will eventually come. 

Here's my tips, tricks and advice. 

1. Who are YOU
This is the most important aspect of blogging, I feel if you know who you are as a person then it makes everything so much easier. Take some time to consider this before starting, rather than finding a blog you love and copying their theme. Maybe even do an interview on yourself such as your favourite colour, flowers, music, what era you would go back to, who your all time icons are, favourite objects and films are. Use this information by making a cobweb chart and grow it from there. Even thinking of your favourite colours will help you decide on the colour palette of your blog or the colour of your font. 
 Take that little bit of 'you' that doesn't conform to what is in and what's out or what your friends like. Try to access that little bit of unique that you maybe hiding and use that as your starting point. 

2. What are you going to blog about?
 It's easy to write your blog as a series of diary entries. If it's followers you want, you will need to consider how interesting your life and those random diary entries are to everyone else. Taking your theme from the step above start a 50 facts about me post. Take some photo's of your room or house, find your favourite product/s and blog about why you love them and hate them. These ideas are great for two reasons, they are worthy topics and fill your blog with your personality.   

 3. Design and branding. 
It's a blog, so what has design and branding got to do with it? 

Branding and design are really important, think of branding as your packaging. When you click over to the blogs that have huge followers the blogs themselves look attractive, as well as having great content they make you want to stay and take it all in.  Just like a company your 'design' and branding (banners, backgrounds, avatars and buttons) are all part of your brand,  before promoting your blog change your design up a bit, you may find you re-design your blog 2,3 or even 5+ times before it feels like it's an extension of 'you'. Design just as you would your home, taking care to consider your colour tones, wallpaper (background) layout and photos (avatars and buttons). 

There are lots of ways to find design elements and my favourite free places are Shabby Blogs and The Cutest Blog On The Block, you can of course head to Etsy or Folksy for some custom design work if you're great at graphic design. 

4. What to write about? 
That's really up to you, but what I would say is that you should take some time to think or even plan and organise your posts before posting. Don't fall in to the trap of just re-blogging everyone else's posts or writing about a heap of random stuff unless you can tie it up at the end. Keep a blogging notebook, write about things that come to your head, write about quotes you hear, songs you like, fashions you have loved or hated and eventually when it comes to writing, you will find you have enough topics in your notebook. 

5.  And before you publish that post.... 
Have you word processed that post? have you re-read it? have you checked you have included all source links and have you made sure that your photo's are clear and relevant? If not re-do, re-check and alter where needed. 

6. Promoting your blog
This is where it gets tricky. Some say you should just write and wait for those followers to come, but how can they come if they have no way of hearing or seeing you? Joining sites such as Bloglovin is a great way of finding new blogs and offering your readers a way to follow your blog. Twitter and Facebook are also great ways to be found and I personally love Instagram which gives new possible readers a quick glance into your personality and style.  Certainly you should 'tweet' your interesting blog link posts, but don't tweet every single post (if you write lots every day) and don't tweet your link to lots of @username's because it is rude. 

You could also try hosting a giveaway when you reach a certain number, I would advise using Rafflecopter to make it fair for everyone,  don't rely on competitions to keep up your followers as again it can come across as desperate or boring. 

Again Bloglovin really helps, a lot of bloggers also take the time to comment on other blogs which builds up your network and get's your name out there. Don't comment randomly and don't beg someone to come and visit your blog because it can come across as being desperate. If you're a fashion blogger check out fbloggers (Twitter) and similarly beauty bloggers is bbloggers and bbloggers chat, this gets you meeting new like minded bloggers and hopefully finding new followers. I also include my blog, Twitter, FB and other site links in the signature part of my email so whenever I email someone they can always visit if they wish to. 

8. Keeping Momentum 
How do you keep a blog going? Regularity and content is what keeps people visiting, try to post regularly for example I try to post daily and at the least I try to post five times a week. What you can do is use your notebook to type out a heap of ideas so that they are saved in your drafts, you can then alter them as you decide to publish them. This stops writers block also as it's normal to think of a great idea and then forget it as you go to type it. If you're away on holiday also or you're ill it's always handy to have those back up posts in drafts or even schedule them. 

9. Useful things to consider. 
When blogging it's useful to have a network of outlets such as social networking and subscription sites. The most popular are Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, Kik, Keek and Lookbook. Don't feel that you have to use each and everyone as to be honest you will get bored or end up with terrible anxiety. As you start to feel comfortable you can add a site and you can also sync many of them up so that your comments and posts are automatically send to another site. For example Instagram can sync to Facebook, Lookbook, Pinterest and Facebook can sync to Twitter, Blogger can sync to Twitter and Facebook; this takes a lot of work out of promoting each post and keeps these other sites up to date and current. 

If you're a fashion blogger (high street, designer or street style) try joining Lookbook and posting pictures of your outfits. This is a fantastic way of gaining new readers, finding new stylish and inspirational fashion lovers as well as a great way of building your own confidence. You can also publish your looks to your other sites, instant blog posts too! 

If you are a fashion, home, lifestyle or beauty blogger I urge you to join Polyvore. Polyvore is the site to build your own moodboards. Have you noticed those bloggers that have a collection of lovely new clothing, new beauty products or 'wants' then this is how they do it. Again you can publish your moodboards to your blog instantly or even 'pin' them to Pinterest. 

Instagram is great for finding inspiration, seeing what's popular and gets you in to the habit of photographing your favourite but random things. I personally love Instagram! 

10. Freebies & PR 
I would say this is a tricky one. It saddens me that there are so many people who only want to get into blogging for the 'free' items. It shouldn't be like that, you should be blogging because it's something you enjoy and I only say this because if you're only in it for the 'freebies' your blog won't last as you grow bored. 

Also what's perceived as 'freebies' in reality don't come free.I only say this because there is still work attached to receiving them, some bloggers will also accept anything and everything and will blog about a crap product but try to sell it as a great product. You can tell which blogs do this as their fake sell is usually worded differently from their normal posts. I know I wouldn't trust someone who said a product was great for me to go and buy it and it end up a horrible waste of money. Always think of others before you promote a product, if you don't like it tell your readers and the brand why, hopefully the brand will take notice and make changes to improve their product. 

Also you will find that PR companies will contact you, adding your email to your blog page under contacts will make this easier. You can always contact relevant PR companies asking if they can add you to any blogger lists they have but this doesn't guarantee you will receive anything.

Finally I would also say just have fun with it, your blog is simply that 'yours' there is no real right or wrong when it comes to blogging and if you want to keep your blog small and diary-like then that is fine. If your dream is to become a Youtube star or someone who is known for blogging then following some rules and having structure is what's needed. With commercialism you need to always be thinking about the larger picture and keeping on top of your genre, if you're a fashion blogger sign up for your favourite brands newsletters so you can be kept in the loop with what's happening, also visiting their Facebook and Twitter will usually help you find out about new and exciting ranges and products that they will be releasing. 

Also if you are a fashion blogger don't feel that every single post has to be about fashion, most bloggers do blog about other things they like or even other blogs. These types of posts show your readers your personality and are needed to show that you are in fact human. Just try to keep these limited though so it doesn't become random and jumbled. 

In Love :: H&M Conscious, Exclusive Collection

H&M Conscious 
Exclusive Collection 

When the email about H&M Conscious Exclusive collection dropped into my inbox I couldn't not post about it, I love fashion and I especially love high end fashion at affordable prices. Give me a Chloe sale or Jeffrey Campbell's at half the price and I'm sold. 

Clicking over straight away to take a peek at the exclusives myself I wanted to get my shop on straight away only stopping from clicking the 'add to cart' button when I remembered I will be starting my month spending ban, I don't think purchasing more clothes merely days before is the right attitude to take. I did notice that some items are sold out all ready and rightly so they are absolutely freaking gorgeous! I am not sure if these items will be re-stocked but fingers crossed they are and fingers crossed they are available after my spending ban is up. 

Here is a peek at the collections. 

H&M Exclusive Collection

H&M Exclusives

Personally I am in love with this embroidered dress but it was one of the sold outs. You can find it over here

So what is H&M Conscious Exclusive? Here's what H&M say: 

' Hollywood glamour comes to H&M this spring with conscious Exclusive, a party wear collection made from more sustainable materials. Materials used in the collection include organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide and TENCEL.'

Want to take a peek at this gorgeous collection you can head over to H&M on the link below.