Thursday, 26 March 2015

My Blog Makeover (pt 1)


So if you follow me on Instagram you will be aware that my blog is currently undergoing some maintenance and design work. This is such a new area for me so I want to show you what I did throughout the process. I think I will probably have to break this into a mini series as the makeover will be an ongoing project for me.


I see all these other blogs that look so chic and pretty so my first idea was to browse the internet for a template. I Googled "free blog templates" and soon enough found one I liked..for the time being anyway. After a full evening of uploading and figuring out the HTML Code (it came with a handy PDF How To Guide which was a  LIFESAVER) I decided I was happy. Then I noticed how shoddy it looked on the mobile version. As I am aware of how many people read blogs on mobiles / tablets, myself included, I just couldn't have it :'( It obviously wasn't going to work out between me and Mr Template. Also as a side note: as well as the compatibility issues I do like the idea of being able to edit my blog from a design perspective myself, and this template I had wouldn't allow for that.

Blog Header

I did some Youtube research and came across this video which shows how a typical Blogger template can be customised with the use of a header and some cute little HTML buttons. I had a read of a few articles relating to blog headers and at first started making one using Pixlr however this wouldn't let me add in my own images for some reason so I went to the (much easier) Pic Monkey and used the "collage" functions. There's an article here which has a step by step guide. I varied how I did mine a little - I won't lie it was a full evening of trial and error however, finally, I am pleased with the result!

I found the floral graphics on Pinterest by searching for "free blog graphics"... I actually found a really good board with such a pretty collection but I cannot find it now. If I do I will be sure to add it in here!

I think that is all for now. Next up is for me to change the presentation of my 'display' picture and to add some pretty Instagram, Pinterest buttons etc. I'll keep you updated!

You can find me on Instagram @aprilhannahblogs

If you have any words of wisdom, please, please share - you could save me hours! x 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Spotlight: Bobbi Brown

This month I made the incredible discovery that is... Bobbi Brown. Of course I have always known of this brand, but I have never really used any of the products. So during a shopping trip I thought I would pick a few bits and bobs up and I have NOT regretted it :-) Enjoy!

Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick  (Golden Bronze and Shadow) £20.00

Oh my days! I absolutely love a good gold eye shadow, I think its such an easy go-to-sweep-on colour. This gold is utterly delicious, a real dense bronzey-gold. It looks super expensive so it is worth the pennies, it has a glitter / shimmer but nothing too much and cheap looking. It is simply heavenly - I know the swatch doesn't do this any justice so I will do a make up look with this just to show it off! 

The grey is a matte shade. This colour isn't usually something I would go for but I wanted to create a matte eye and try something different. I used this in the outer corners of my eyelid and blended it towards to middle using my finger and it was really lovely, It definitely opened my eyes.

I have pretty oily skin and I did try these without any primer and, true to their word, they stayed. Without primer I would say the grey does have a longer staying power. Both still last all day, but the gold can fade a little. However, when used with primer - both are there for good.

Lip Colour - Pale Pink 21
Lip Pencil - Pale Mauve 

Again the swatches do no justice (but please see the below picture of me wearing the products). I am IN LOVE with this lip liner. I wanted a bold, dare I say it, Kylie Jenner Lip. I got fed up of fighting for a space at the MAC counter so went else where - I'm glad I did! I have dark pigmented lips so I can struggle with lip colours. The liner on its own is beautiful, a nice creamy texture and it goes over my dry skin on my lips - though if you have very dry or chapped lips I would recommend a dab of lip balm beforehand. 

The lip stick is again a lovely creamy formula, for me it compliments the lip liner perfectly. I do wish I could find a lipstick just slightly less pink than this, that would be a winner.

Also, I was SO impressed that the liner came with a sharpener - like outstanding work Bobbi Brown, I think that really shows value for money (applause all round). 

I also got the Smokey Eye Mascara and Lip gloss in Bare Sparkle as freebies. The mascara... its a love hate. It is a fantastic mascara and I probably would buy it, but I have to take my time applying it otherwise it can clump and stick together. But done right, wow..! The lip gloss also is beautiful, so far I have just worn it over the lipstick and it gave a lovely glow/sheen/shimmer - it'll look great in the Summer with a tan I imagine.

Above is me wearing all the products mentioned minus the lip gloss and Golden Bronze Shadow. Let me know what you think and if you have any Bobbi Brown recommendations :-) 

You can find me on Instagram @aprilhannahblogs

Thanks for reading! x

Monday, 9 March 2015

Benefit v L'Oreal

Hello Everyone!

So today's post is going to be comparing the Benefit They're Real Mascara and the L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes So Couture as I do think I may have found a dupe, but better, of Benefit!
I apologise if my eyes are a little red or my cheeks a little patchy in the photos, I had wiped my existing eye make up off before applying the mascaras!

I hope you enjoy!

L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes - £ 10.99 at Boots UK

Where to begin with this mascara! I love it. It is so so so easy to use. As I get up very early on the weekdays for work, I do not like to spend a lot of time fussing with my make up. This gives me lots of length whilst separating the lashes with just a few coats, seriously, I don't even have to put the wand back in the pot once. However, if I want a more dramatic and voluminous look I just layer away. I love the formula of this product also, its almost gel - like... its not runny or fiddly. The only negative I would have to say about this mascara is that it is quite difficult to remove and it's one of those mascaras which comes off the lashes in tubes and bits! Nevertheless it's the best drugstore mascara I have come across so far and I will be repurchasing.

Benefit They're Real - £19.50 at Boots UK.

As you will know, there was a lot of hype with this mascara and I ended up buying mine after I tried my friends and loved it. There is no denying that this is a good mascara, it leaves my lashes looking ultra black and it definitely gives them some volume. However, I feel you need a lot longer play time with this to get it looking its best. I really dislike the formula, I find it too much on the watery side and I just find I am sat layering and layering before my lashes look even slightly voluminous. This mascara certainly gives length, but for me I think the formula can leave them looking spidery and clumpy.  I also find this mascara sets pretty fast and if you then try to put any more product on the lashes  well - welcome to clump city. Having said that, the L'Oreal mascara also isn't too great on the dry application side either.

All in all, I think at a saving of almost £9.00 and just for ease of application and terrific results, you really cannot go wrong with L'Oreal :-) For the following pictures looking face on-  the Benefit is on the right, L'Oreal on the left.

I hope you have enjoyed this. If you have any drugstore recommendations please let me know!