Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Urban Decay vs MUA: Copy or Dupe?

In the beauty world, I believe that there is a very fine line between a dupe and a copy. A dupe is another, usually cheaper, version that has been inspired by a similar product. A copy is a complete duplication - identical to the product at hand. 

I've always been a great lover of my Urban Decay Naked Palette and reach for it pretty much everyday. However, since discovering the MUA Undressed Palette, I'm yet to distinguish whether MUA have committed the ultimate beauty product crime or whether they've merely used my beloved palette as a bit of a base to go off. After all, how many neutral shades are there in this world? 

As you can see below, the shades are VERY similar and arranged in the exact same order Urban Decay's. I noticed this straight away and my first reaction was 'Wow, this SUCH an obvious copy'. Even the name of the palette, Undressed, is a complete synonym of UD's Naked which suggests the MUA team have definitely been basing their neutrals research around Urban Decay. However, I was very shocked when I noticed how pigmented MUA's version of the shades actually were. I usually find that lower-priced high street products in no way compete with the formulas of the more higher end choices however this came as a pleasant surprise and at just £4, you can't argue! I've swatched a few shades below so you can see the comparison for yourself.  A nice touch I also spotted from MUA was the 'Mini Master-Class' which have a few handy tips on the back of the palette to use on a selection of the shades which I think would be great if you're new to the whole eyeshadow thing.

Even though the Undressed palette is a very obvious copy/dupe (you decide!), I think it's a great alternative if you're budgeting yourself. It's also a great opportunity to sample some of the shades on yourself before you splurge on the UD version. For anyone who's just getting into make up or eye shadow, it's a great, well-priced palette to go for that still offers gorgeous results.

Even though both palettes boast very similar shades, I still find myself reaching for them on a lot of different occasions. I find that I take my MUA palette out with me a lot more often as obviously I'm not as afraid to lose that one. I love my neutral shades and I definitely couldn't live without at least one of these palettes! Let me know which one you prefer.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Cake Baking For Dumbies

As most of my friends will tell you, I'm not a culinary genius by any means and can only just manage to make myself some supernoodles. However, I had bit of a craving to bake a huge chocolately, calorific extravaganza earlier so decided to take a trip to Sainsbury's and grab a cake mix. (I know I'm a cheat, but it tasted lovely and I don't care).

You'll need
Cake Mix of your choice
Icing of your choice
6 tsbp vegetable oil
250ml water
3 free range eggs
Tin foil
Two cake tins
Cooling rack
Palette knife
Electric Whisk (preferable)

So, firstly you need to get your hands on some sort of cake mix. There are sooo many to choose from but I decided to put my trust into good old Betty Crocker. For the first section you'll also need your vegetable oil, eggs and water. 

Give it a good mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy. I used my electric whisk for this section as I find it's a LOT quicker but you can also use a wooden spoon - entirely up to you!

Next, you'll need to grease your cake tins by taking a little bit of butter onto some tin foil until they look something like this... 

And pour your lovely, well mixed cake mix into your lovely, well-greased cake tins.

Pop them in the oven at 180 degrees (160 degrees for fan assisted ovens)/Gas Mark 4 for 23-28 mins.

Then OBVIOUSLY help yourself to the left-over cake mix! (Everyone's favourite part)

Once your cakes are cooked - you can test thing by inserting a knife into the centre of one of the cakes and if the knife comes out clean, they' re ready - take them out of the oven and make sure they feel quite firm and not too bouncy.

Next, take your palette knife (I could only find this rubbish wooden one haha) and spread your icing over the top of your first cake so that your two cakes stick together. 

Then pop your second cake on top and repeat making sure you completely cover both cakes. You can then take any form of cutlery and be as creative as you like! 

Then just to finish, pop on anything you can find in your cupboards. 

As you can see, my attempt soon began to disappear! 

If you're like me and are majorly lacking skills in the kitchen, then this is such a quick and easy way to make everyone else think you're the next Delia Smith - just make sure you bin that cake mix box ;)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

How to Prepare for a Job Interview


1  Do your research
Before any job interview it is vital that you know your stuff. Make sure that you spend time researching the company - what they do they, how they do it and what their company values are. Statistics, figures and awards they’ve won are usually a massive winner when it comes to interviews as it shows the interviewer that you’ve really made the effort to do your research and that you want to be a part of it! Researching any new initiatives or recent changes also shows that you’ve kept yourself up to date with the company.

2  Venue
Make sure that you know exactly where you’re going for your interview. If you’ve never been to the venue before then do a little trial run with yourself and take note of how long it takes you to get there. Make sure that you keep in mind if there might be any unexpected delays at the time of your interview and have a plan B route just in case!

3  Appearance
Appearance is KEY to a job interview. Sounds very vein but this is probably one of the most important aspects to think about. Although we don’t like to admit it, our first impressions of people lie with how they look. An employer won’t even look twice at you if you turn up in jeans, converse and last night’s make up. A nice blazer/blouse/skirt or pants ensemble usually does the trick (unless obviously you’ve been asked to wear otherwise). Hair and make-up is also something to consider. A well executed bun or pony-tail with minimal make-up is a great way to portray that you’re a well put together young lady. They don’t have to see your smokey-eye, false eye-lash, red lippy clad alter-ego self exclusive for Saturday nights on the town! I also like to make an effort with my nails aswell, as bright orange chipped nail varnish isn’t the best look.

4  Prepare answers
This is where Google becomes your best friend. There are so many forums and websites that list interview FAQ’s and how to the answer them. The typical ones like ‘What can you bring to the role’, ‘What do you know about us?’ and ‘What are your strengths?’ are what you need answers to in your mind before the day. I find that searching online gives me so many various answers and great buzz words to jot down. Looking at your job description or person specification can also trigger some possible questions that you will be able to think of answers to. I find that clearly writing them all down in a notebook is such a great way of remembering them, and having a quick check through them on the day is also great help too!


1  First impression
This is the time to sell yourself! Saying ‘walk in like you own the place’ is a little extravagant but I would definitely say be confident and believe in yourself. Introduce yourself and make an effort to shake hands with your interviewers. I also like to make a comment e.g about the weather etc to show that you’re down to earth, relaxed and also puts your interviewers at ease from the start.

2  Their questions
It’s always important to take your time when answering any questions. This ensures that you don’t forget to say anything that you wanted to say and also gives you chance to expand on your points. Always try to make at least 3-4 points per question to demonstrate your knowledge and versatility. Also, when asked about your skills, its very important to give examples of when you’ve actually used those skills. It’s all well and good reeling off a list of skills that you acquire, but your point will become a hell of a lot stronger if you find evidence to back it up with!

3  Your questions
This is also a very important aspect to think about. At the end, interviewers will usually ask 'is there anything you want to ask us?'. Whatever you do, do not say no! Here are some possible questions to have up your sleeve;
1. How many other people work in the team?
2. What opportunities are there for progression and promotion?
3. When can I expect to hear from you?
4. Does the job involve any sort of training?
5. What's a typical week like in the job role?


1 Feedback
Whether you got the job or not, it's essential that you ask for interviewer for feedback. Although it might be a little awkward if you didn't get the job, it really does help in the long run. This is your chance to take some notes and remember what to do/not to do if you're faced with the same situation again. You might be sat there calling them every name under the sun because of the fact they didn't offer you the job but a quick call or e-mail for feedback doesn't take long and is so important!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tweet Tweet!


Just a quick post to let you all know that I've joined Twitter! If you want to follow me then click HERE and be sure to send me a tweet!

Speak soon,

Sunday, 9 February 2014


I know I'm massively late on the Beyoncé Heat bandwagon as this fragrance was first released way back in February 2010. But, I recieved this for my birthday yesterday (my friend made me open it early) and I am completely obsessed with it already. I'm not great at describing scents but I just imagine it being exactly what Beyoncé smells like haha. It's a very sweet, spicy scent that would definitely be more suitable for evenings out. As you can see, the packaging is very sophisticated yet simplistic. You can't go wrong with a classic, sexy red. 

Beyoncé herself was quoted; "It's like something you can't get enough of. It's hot, sexy - it definitely makes you feel like you caught the fever" and also added that her fave fragrance is red vanilla orchid due to its "sexy" and "spicy" smell. She went on to say that it was also suitable for her alter ego Sasha Fierce as it was "fiery".

I'm really loving it so far, and it was such a lovely gift to recieve. My friend definitely knows me well!


Friday, 7 February 2014

Pay Day Picks #4

Images sourced from Google

1. Borjouis Bronzing Primer
This little beauty has been out of my life since before Christmas. I ran out of my last pot and never got round to repurchasing. I can’t even begin to tell you how much my pale, un-sunkissed skin has been longing for it to return and come pay day, I will definitely be sprinting into Boots to reunite myself with it. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s basically a primer that you apply before foundation that gives you a lovely sun-kissed glow. I’ve also written a review on it too. I’m absolutely obsessed with it.

2. Canon Powershot SX50 HS
I’ve had my eye out for a decent digital camera for a while now. I feel like now I’ve really got into blogging, I am in desperate need of a brand spanking new camera to be able to share snippets of my life in high definition. However, I didn’t want to go out and spend hundreds of pounds on the newest, state of the art equipment when I can only just manage to choose a filter on my iPhone. I did A LOT of research into different cameras and came across the Canon Powershot SX50 HS. It’s not the newest model, but reading reviews and watching YouTube videos, it seems to be able to do everything I need it to. It even has a rotatable viewfinder if I ever decided to start a YouTube channel ;). It’s also been very convenient l that it’s my 20th birthday on Tuesday and so I’ve pretty much asked everyone I know for money so that I can add it to my camera fund. (Fingers crossed, I might get enough to completely pay it off!) I will obviously write a review on the camera itself when it arrives and I’ve had chance to have a play.

3. Yankee Candle in Fruit Fusion
I’m a definite lover of candles and am always on the look out for new scents when I visit T K Maxx and Sainbury’s. However, being the candle hoarder that I am, I’ve never actually managed to convince myself to spend twenty whole pounds on a bit of wax in a jar. However, a lady in my office at work had a load of Yankee Candles delivered to her desk one day (don’t ask me why?) and my nostrils took over my legs and made me go over. Amongst sniffing every single one for a good minute each, it was Fruit Fusion that really stood out to me. I am obsessed with fresh, fruity scents and Ikea’s apple scented candle has been amongst the top burners in my room at the moment. I can’t WAIT to get my hands on Fruit Fusion and break my Yankee Candle virginity.

4. Tanya Burr’s Nail Polish in Riding Hood
If you’ve been living under a beauty rock then you may not know that Tanya Burr released her first ever Lips & Nails collection. It must have been soo exciting for her and looking on, most of the nail range is already out of stock! I’ve been eyeing up a few colours myself and working out what I’m short of in my current nail polish collection. I decided I might try Riding Hood first which is a gorgeous deep red. You can never go wrong with a classic red nail polish can you? I’m so excited to try it! 

5. Toni & Guy Volume Plumping Mousse
I’ve tried a million and one different mousses to give my hair that all-day volume that we all long for. All have failed me until I discovered Toni & Guy’s attempt. I spray a palm-full size amount on to my hand and massage the mousse into the roots of my wet hair. I find that my hair stays voluminous all day long and it doesn’t leave my hair feeling all sticky and rock hard like some (cheapo) mousses tend to do. I also use the mousse to scrunch into my hair when I feel like having soft just-come-off-the-beach waves. Likewise, the mousse helps the wave stay all day long. I’m coming to end of mine at the moment and it has been mysteriously disappearing from my drawer on many occasions…(Hi Mum.) Definitely worth a purchase!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Cheryl Cole: Through My Eyes

It pretty much goes without saying that Cheryl Cole is the absolute epitome of English beauty. From her Sound of the Underground Girls Aloud days to her current solo career, I've always loved and supported the Geordie lass. Through My Eyes was the first official book from Cherly and I've had it for a good fews years, however, I always find myself reaching for it. I love just flicking through the stunning collection of photographs including informal pics from her own personal collection. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous (could we expect anything less?) and it gives a real insight to how diverse Cheryl actually is. It explores all aspects of her oh so successful career taking us on a journey through photoshoots, award ceremonies, her ambassador work for L'oreal and also backstage at the X Factor. I thought I'd share with you a couple of snaps without ruining the beauty of the book. It isn't a huge read (I read it in a day) but the words coupled with the stunning snaps really do make for a memorable read.  

Well done Chezza, love.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

January Camera Roll

It’s been a great start to 2014 so far with lots of good news and events happening in my life. It’s been very much a family month so I thought I’d share some snaps with you guys.

January 8th // My friend's little kitten found a new bed in our takeaway bag! 

January 9th // I managed to secure a great PR deal with my local Guardian to cover an interview and photoshoot on a group of my friends who are in a band together. Check them out! @ConquerRioMusic

January 14th // Family trip to our favourite Indian restaurant for my Mum’s birthday. Soo nice!

January 15th // My Mum, Dad & I went to watch War Horse in theatre. It was amazing, I cried my eyes out!

January 18th // My Nana turned 80 years old so this obviously called for another family meal out. Only this time we headed to China Town to celebrate the start of Chinese New Year.

January 29th // I went to a social media boot camp in Manchester and this is what I found in the toilets!