Sunday, 3 December 2017

Free Apps Every Blogger Needs

Many bloggers rely on their phones when it comes to promoting their blog and connecting with new bloggers. Therefore, I have composed a list of all the essential apps you need to make running your blog a little bit easier.

Bloglovin': This is my favourite app to keep up-to-date with blogs that I love. It hosts pretty much every blogging site so you can find all of your favourite blogs in one place. There's also the option to follow people and their blogs so you never miss a post!

Pinterest: I love using Pinterest for makeup ideas and inspiration for blog photos. It's also great if you're going travelling and want to look up the best places to get some snaps for Instagram.

Followers+: This is great for tracking who's followed and unfollowed you, as well as who's not following you back. Ever since Instagram changed their algorithm, I've found it really difficult to grow my followers but this app has a handy graph which shows your follower growth.

GeotagMyPic: Sometimes when I take a photo on my camera and then upload it to Instagram I can't put a location on the photo. However, this app lets you tag a location to your photo before uploading it to Instagram, enabling the location feature to work on Instagram.

Lively: I don't use this app very often since it's for transforming live photos on iPhones into videos or capturing a frame from the live photo. However, this is useful if you want to upload a video instead of a photo.

Layout: Again, I don't use this very often but it's great if you want to create a collage of a few images. This app was brought out by Instagram so I find that it works better when uploading collages to Instagram than other collaging apps do.

Buffer: This app is great for scheduling tweets, for example, if you want to promote a blog post but are busy at the time you want to publish it to Twitter. You can also 'rebuffer' tweets so you can post the same tweet multiple times instead of writing it out again.

Hopefully you find this guide useful! Do you have any apps to help with blogging?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Festive Makeup Look

I always use the festive season as an excuse to wear glitter on my eyelids and a bold red on my lips. Therefore, I thought that I would share how I created this look with you - I also might film a YouTube tutorial of it and post it to my channel.

Firstly, I always use Benefit's The POREfessional Primer and, whilst I'm waiting for this to sink in, I use my eyelash curler. Then I apply the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation - I have quite oily skin and this foundation doesn't go greasy on me half way through the night! To add a bit of colour, I use the Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer, applying it in a '3' shape from the top of my head then along my cheekbones and down my jawline. My go-to highlighter for the festive season is The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer, which adds a beautiful shimmer to my cheek bones, brow bones and down my nose. Before applying eyeshadow, I use Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer - this ensures that my eyeshadow doesn't budge all night. I fill my eyebrows in whilst waiting for the Primer to dry and I always use Benefit's Gimme Brow. All of the eyeshadows I use are from the Naked 1 palette; I apply 'Virgin' right in the corners of my eyes, followed by 'Half Baked' across the main part of my eyelids and then 'Smog' in the outer corners of my eyes and along the crease. To get my eyes looking extra sparkly I applied more of 'Half Baked' once I'd done the rest of my makeup. I then use the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (my all-time favourite mascara!). Although, sometimes I might opt for fake lashes instead and my favourites are the Ardell Demi Wispies. Finally, for my lips I outlined them using MAC's Dark Out Lip Pencil and filled them in with MAC's Sin Lipstick.

I'm loving creating different makeup looks at the moment so I might post some more festive looks before Christmas. What are your go-to festive makeup products?

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Best Black Friday Deals

Black Friday never used to be very big in the UK but over the last couple of years a lot more brands have jumped on the bandwagon. It's not even the big day yet and I'm already getting flooded with emails about deals which have already started so I thought that I would share with you some of the best deals that I've come across.


Beauty Bay: They're offering up to 30% off everything.

Boots: There's a range of savings across their products, with many products having more than 50% off.

Feelunique: They're offering 15% off with the code: SHINE and 20% off selected fragrances.

Lookfantastic: You can get 20% off your order with the code: LFCW20


ASOS: There's 20% off everything with the code: WIN20

Missguided: They've got 50% off everything with the code: CYBER50

Nasty Gal: This is fast becoming one of my favourite places to shop and they're currently offering 30% off everything with the code: LETSGO

PrettyLittleThing: There's up to 50% off everything.

River Island: You can get 20% off when you spend £75 or more.


Office: They're offering 20% off and free UK delivery with the code: SHINE 

Public Desire: You can save 30% on everything with the code: 30CYBER

SCHUH: There's up to 40% off everything and £1 next day delivery.

There are plenty more deals around and lots of companies are changing the deals each day so you need to act quick! Hopefully you can find some great stuff (I know my bank account is going to take a hit!). Let me know if you come across any other deals.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

VLOG: Visiting Paris

Here's the final vlog from my Summer travels (I'm well aware it's nearly Christmas - I need to up my editing game!). It features clips from my trip to Paris, which included a visit to Disneyland! Leave me a comment if you have a YouTube channel so I can check it out.

Also, I made a few changes to my blog design earlier in the week so let me know what you think of it. Those social media icons took me ages to do!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Benefit Hello San FrancisGLOW!

For my birthday (which was over a month ago now I've just been very bad at blogging recently - sorry!), I received the Benefit Hello San FrancisGLOW! highlighter kit from a friend. If you're as obsessed with highlighter as I am then this is perfect for you! It contains a mini Dandelion Shy Beam, a mini Dandelion Twinkle, a mini High Beam, a full-size Watt's Up! and a mini Powder Brush.

Considering the amount of makeup I buy, I had actually never tried a Benefit highlighter before. My favourite is High Beam, which is a gorgeous pink liquid highlighter that's perfect for applying over makeup and gives a radiant glow. Dandelion Twinkle is a paler pink than High Beam and is a powder rather than a liquid. This is great for strobing or it can also be applied all over the face - but I haven't tried this yet. Watt's Up! is a subtle rose-gold cream highlighter which is perfect for everyday use because it's not 'too glowy' - if that's even possible! Dandelion Shy Beam is a pink matte-radiance liquid highlighter, something that I've never used before, and Benefit say that you can wear this alone or with makeup. This isn't as sparkly as the other highlighters in the kit so it probably won't get as much use from me because I'm all for sparkles! The kit also comes with a guide on how to apply each highlighter which is really helpful.

This would make a great Christmas present for someone or if you want to try a few of Benefit's highlighters before buying the full-size version. Do you use any of these highlighters?

Monday, 6 November 2017

VLOG: Visiting Venice

Here's my third and final video from my trip around Italy over Summer. Venice is one of my favourite places and I would highly recommend going if you get the chance. Hope you enjoy it and if you have a YouTube channel then let me know so I can check it out!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

VLOG: Visiting Bologna

It feels like ages ago since I was in Bologna but I still wanted to upload my vlog from my trip there - better late than never, right!? I hope you enjoy the (very short) video and let me know if you've got a YouTube channel so I can check it out.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Visiting Bovey Castle

I'M BACK! Sorry for such a long unintentional blogging break - I've been trying to prioritise uni work and grad job applications but I didn't mean to completely neglect my blog. Anyway, earlier in the week I visited Bovey Castle with my boyfriend and it was so amazing so I have to share it with you guys.

Bovey Castle is situated within the Dartmoor National Park and within it's grounds there's a golf course, fishing lake, driving range and tennis courts. Luckily, when we arrived the weather was sunny so we explored the grounds - which are kept beautifully. Later on in the day we used the swimming pool and steam room. There's also a spa which offers a variety of treatments, however, unfortunately we didn't get to try any of them out. Bovey Castle has two restaurants; The Great Western and Smith's Brasserie. We ate at Smith's Brasserie (the burger there is delicious!) and I would recommend booking in advance because it was quite busy. In the morning, we had breakfast included with our room so I made full use of this trying the Eggs Benedict and American pancakes - both were amazing!

We stayed in one of the Castle rooms which included a king-sized bed, TV, fridge, kettle and coffee machine, bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer, and complimentary sloe gin. The room was very spacious and any blogger would be jealous of the marble bathroom! Our room overlooked the courtyard, however, some of the Castle rooms have views of the woodland.

Bovey Castle is a place that I would love to visit again. The service was excellent and they had everything which I needed. If I had stayed for longer then it would have been great to explore more of the Dartmoor National Park but even from within the grounds of Bovey Castle you could see for miles across the countryside. Where do you like visiting for a short getaway?

Sunday, 27 August 2017

MyVitamins Collaboration

Over the last few weeks I have been sampling some of the products from MyVitamins, which are part of The Hut Group along with Look Fantastic and Beauty Expert. I didn't want to feature these products on my blog until I'd given them a long enough trial period since vitamins aren't something which I usually buy, however, I've been really impressed with the results so far.

Coconut + Collagen:
This is one of MyVitamins best sellers. It contains Coconut Oil, Collagen and Vitamin C which protects against oxidative stress. MyVitamins recommend that you take two tablets a day, however, I've only been taking one and I've still noticed an improvement in my skin.

Catwalk Queen:
These tablets contain a blend of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and Zinc, which improve the health of hair, skin and nails. MyVitamins recommend that you take two of these tablets a day, however, again I've only been taking one and I've still noticed a difference in my skin - I always used to get a few blemishes on my face but I've pretty much been spot-free for the last two weeks now! My nails have also seemed a lot stronger recently. The only downside to these tablets is that I really don't like the smell of them but it's something that I can put up with long enough to take them.

Bean Body Coffee Bean Scrub:
This is probably my favourite product which I tried. The Coffee Beans stimulate blood flow to minimise the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks, whilst the Cacao and Vitamin E help to repair and restore skin. The Himalayan Pink Rock Salt and Demerara Sugar remove dead skin cells, helping to eliminate blackheads and leaving skin feeling so smooth. I read that coffee bean scrubs are best to use after exercising so that's when I normally use this. It leaves your bathroom smelling of coffee for an hour or so after using it but it's worth it for the silky smooth skin!

3 More Inches Conditioner:
I'm trying to grow my hair longer so I was excited to try this product. The conditioner contains proteins and amino acids to make hair stronger and protect against the damaging effects of heat styling, which should in turn mean hair grows faster. This conditioner left my hair feeling soft and looking healthy but unfortunately I didn't notice much growth. I feel like you might need to use this over a longer period of time and also use the shampoo in this range to notice a significant difference.

There are plenty more products on MyVitamins that I think would be great to try. You can get 15% off your order with the code EMMABW15 (valid until the end of 2018). Have you tried anything from MyVitamins before?

*These products were kindly sent to me for free from MyVitamins, however, I have given my honest opinion in this review.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

VLOG: Visiting Milan

SURPRISE! I decided to bite the bullet and upload my first YouTube video. It features clips from my recent trip to Milan. Let me know what you think of it and if you've got a YouTube channel then leave a comment below so I can check it out.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

5 Shows To Watch On Netflix

Thanks to the British Summer weather I have spent a lot of time recently binge watching lots of TV shows on Netflix. So I thought that I would share with you some of my favourites in case you get stuck with what to do on a rainy day.

OMG this is getting so intense at the moment! It's set in New York and follows a drug dealer and his gang. Without giving too much away... in the first series the main drug dealer starts having an affair with his childhood sweetheart who then turns out to be an AUSA agent that's looking for him (but she doesn't realise that he's the guy she's looking for!). It's nearing the end of it's fourth season but it's just started to get really good as they've arrested one of the agents for being corrupt - definitely worth a watch if you like crime dramas.

Pretty Little Liars
I've been watching this since it started and, although it's finished now, you're missing out if you don't watch it! I'm sure most of you know what PLL is about but if you don't; PLL follows the lives of four girls who's best friend has gone missing, they then start receiving anonymous texts and try to work out who the texts are from believing that whoever it is knows what happened to their missing friend. Unfortunately I found the finale a bit disappointing because I was hoping that A would be someone else, however, the show keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout and will make you never want to go into a dark room alone!

Orange Is The New Black
I haven't caught up with the latest season yet, however, the ending to season four was so dramatic I'm excited to find out what happens. OITNB is Netflix's most-watched original series so I'm sure most of you have already seen some of the episodes. It follows a woman who's convicted of transporting drug money for her ex-girlfriend, which happened a few years prior to the start of the series, and she then ends up in the same prison as her ex-girlfriend. OITNB is a comedy but it also touches on some issues that prisons today are facing.

Gossip Girl
Every girl has to watch Gossip Girl at least once in their life! It revolves around a group of hyper-privileged students who seem to get whatever they want (trust me, it'll make you wish you could live like them!). However, there's an anonymous blogger who releases secret information about them. I'm really hoping they do a reunion show in a few years because I love this show so much.

The Vampire Diaries
I've been watching this show since the beginning and I'm so sad that it's over now. The Vampire Diaries follows the life of a girl who falls in love with a vampire and things become very complicated when a past lover from centuries ago who's also a doppleganger reappears. There's also werewolves, witches and loads more supernatural creatures. At times the storyline can get quite complicated but if you like supernatural dramas then you'll love this.

Hopefully I've given you some ideas about what you could watch on Netflix. What are your favourite TV shows?

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Visiting Paris

When Audrey Hepburn said that "Paris is always a good idea" she wasn't joking! Last month I visited Paris for the first time and I would love to go back there already!

Where to visit:
On my first evening in Paris I went for a wander around the Champs-Elysées area (where you can visit the Arc de Triomphe) and conveniently ended up near the Eiffel Tower at sunset - talk about perfect timing! To go to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower cost around €8 and it's so worth it for the views over Paris. Also, if you go to the Eiffel Tower when it's dark then you'll see it lit up and every hour on the hour the lights flash for 5 minutes, which is really pretty. The Louvre is the world's largest museum and has some impressive architecture. Unfortunately I didn't have time to go inside The Louvre but it's well worth the visit even if you only see the glass pyramid - and maybe you can try get a classic tourist photo with your hand on top of it! The Notre Dame cathedral is free to enter and includes a treasury, towers and crypt. Unfortunately it was very busy when I was there so I never went inside. On my last day I went to the Sacre-Coeur and, although there was a lot of steps to climb up to it, the view at the top was incredible. I didn't get the chance to go inside the Sacre-Coeur but entrance is free so if you have the chance then you should definitely do it.

Where to eat:
Paris is renowned for it crepes so obviously you can't leave Paris without trying one! You're spoilt for choice with creperies in Paris and most of them are very similar to one another - I bought one from a place near the Eiffel Tower and ate it whilst watching the flashing lights go off. Another food you have to try from Paris is macarons. I went to Maison Georges Larnicol, which is close to the Sacre-Coeur, and it offers a massive selection of flavours for a reasonable price. I would highly recommend going here.

Day trip:
Can we all take a moment to admire that sunset!? The sky actually matches the castle - I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful! If you're in Paris you HAVE to go to Disneyland. This brought out my inner child and was without a doubt the best day of the whole trip. I would recommend looking into the fast pass tickets before you go because some of the rides I ended up queuing for over an hour, which meant I couldn't see as much of the park as I wanted to. Also, as expected, the food's very expensive at Disneyland so it's worth bringing your own snacks with you if you don't want to spend too much.

Hopefully you have found this post helpful. I would love to go back to Paris to explore more of it. Have you visited Paris before?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes

These are my favourite cupcakes ever and they're perfect for Summer!

(for cupcakes)
- 110g unsalted butter
- 180g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- 120g plain flour
- 125ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp raspberry jam
(for icing)
- Raspberry jam
- 100g white chocolate
- 80g unsalted butter
- 45ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 375g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp double cream
- Fresh raspberries

- Preheat the oven to 160*C (fan)/180*C/350*F/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
- Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it. Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
- Fold in the raspberry jam until most of it's combined but still have a few streaks running through it.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and leave them to cool. Once they have cooled, cut a small hole in the centre of each cake and place a teaspoon of jam inside.
- For the icing, melt the chocolate by putting the pieces in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until it has completely melted and is quite smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
- Combine all the ingredients and beat well. Pipe onto cupcakes and add fresh raspberries on top.

Hopefully you like the look of these, will you be baking them?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Visiting Venice

The last place we went on our trip around Italy was Venice. This was probably my favourite place because of how pretty and different it was from the other places we visited (although they were all amazing so it was difficult to choose!).

We stayed in Cannaregio which is more residential than the other areas in Venice and it's further away from the centre. However, this meant that it was more peaceful and we found some lovely restaurants that were a lot cheaper than the places in the touristy areas.

Where to visit:
The Rialto Bridge is a must-see and if you stand in the centre of it then it gives you a great view down the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge is extremely busy so I would recommend visiting it either early in the morning or late in the evening. The Basilica di San Marco has incredible architecture and you can buy tickets to go inside. The Basilica is based in St Mark's Square, which has loads of lovely shops and restaurants around the edge. If you visit the square at night, it's a lot quieter and is lit up. The Campanile is the tall tower in the square and it gives amazing 360 degree views of Venice. I would really recommend going up this if you have the time. Of course, you can't leave Venice without going on a Gondola! We went around the quieter canals of Venice because if you go down the Grand Canal on a Gondola you'll get stuck in loads of traffic. The Gondolier we had told us facts about Venice during our ride which made it really interesting and, although it was very expensive, I'm glad that I got to experience it.

Where to eat:
On TripAdvisor we found an amazing street food place called La Bottiglia, which was reasonably priced and away from the busy streets. They offer a selection of fresh meats and cheeses, as well as a few other foods, which you can have in focaccia bread or on a platter. Restaurants in Venice were quite expensive so we bought fresh pasta from Giacomo Rizzo to cook in our apartment instead. The pasta from here was some of the best I've ever had and I bought some to take home with me too!

Day trip:
Most people don't go to Venice for the beach, however, if you want a break from the hordes of people then the beach is the perfect place to relax. We got line 2 of the water bus to Lido di Venezia, which took around 40 minutes but it also gave us the opportunity to see more of the Grand Canal. At the beach you can hire loungers and umbrellas for the day and then relax!

This is my last post from my trip around Italy so hopefully you've found these posts enjoyable and helpful. Are you going away anywhere over Summer?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Visiting Bologna

The next place we stopped at on our trip around Italy was Bologna. It's definitely one of Italy's most underrated cities with a lot less tourists choosing to go here, however, it was nice to have a break from the busyness of Milan. We stayed on the main street in Bologna - Via dell'Indipendenza - and everything we went to see was no more than a 10 minute walk from there.

Where to visit:
Piazza Maggiore is the main square in Bologna and when we arrived there was some sort of music festival going on here which was free to enter. If you look up the square before you go then you might find that there's something happening there when you're in Bologna. The Basilica di San Petronio is at the Piazza Maggiore and is one of the largest churches in the world. It's free to enter, however, if you want to visit the museum inside the church then you have to pay for that. Bologna has it's own version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, called the Aniselli Tower, which you can climb up. Unfortunately, when we were in Bologna the tower was closed until July. Although that could be a good thing because legend has it that anyone who climbs the tower before graduating won't finish their degree! Another great place to visit in Bologna is some of the university buildings, since it's the oldest in Europe, and allows the public to visit certain areas of it. We went to see the Teotro Anatomico, which is decorated with lots of statues and is known as the birthplace of cosmetic surgery.

Where to eat:
On our first night in Bologna we found a lovely gastropub down one of the streets off of Piazza Maggiore. The food and drink was great value for money and gave us the opportunity to try lots of different meats and cheeses from around the area. Simoni also have a shop further down the street where you can buy some of the products which they serve. This was by far the best meal we had whilst we were in Bologna and also the cheapest! If you're only in Bologna for one night then I would definitely recommend going to this place.

Day trip:
Only 30 minutes away on the train is the Ferrari Museum in Modena and Ferrari offer a coach service from the Modena train station to the other Ferrari Museum in Maranello. We first went to the museum in Maranello which contains a lot of history about the making of the cars and about the Formula 1 team. We then got the coach back to the museum in Modena which currently has an exhibition called 'Driving with the Stars' that shows some of the Ferraris which celebrity's have driven over the years - I picked out a couple which I liked! If you're interested in cars, the Ferrari Museums make a great day trip as they're not too far from Bologna.

Hopefully this post has given you a good insight into Bologna. Will you be visiting Bologna any time soon?

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Visiting Milan

WARNING: This is going to be a very photo-heavy post! I recently got back from an incredible trip around Italy with my boyfriend so I thought that I would put together a guide on where to visit and what to eat whilst you're in Italy - first stop: Milan.

We stayed in the Navigli district of Milan, which is where all of the canals are, and it was a really nice area because it was a lot less touristy than the city centre but it didn't take too long to reach the centre. There are lots of restaurants and bars in the Navigli district so we had plenty of choice!

Where to visit:
The Duomo is the number one attraction in Milan and it's definitely worth a visit if you get the opportunity. We bought tickets in advance which gave us access to the cathedral, the terraces, the museum, and the archeological area. I found all of these interesting, however, the terraces were probably my favourite because of the amazing view you get over Milan. Also, if you want to go into the cathedral, you need to wear shorts/skirt down to your knees and have your shoulders covered. The shopping centre, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, is right by the Duomo so we had a wander through there  as the architecture is pretty impressive - unfortunately the majority of the shops were outside my budget! Another great place to visit is Sforza Castle and Parco Sempione. You can buy tickets to see the museums and galleries inside the castle, however, we didn't do this. The park behind the castle is massive and contains an aquarium and design museum (La Triennale di Milano) - we didn't have time to visit this but it does look really interesting.

Where to eat:
Italian food is my favourite type of food so ten days in Italy was absolute heaven! Before eating anywhere we always checked TripAdvisor and through this we came across an amazing pizza place called Piz. Not only was the food at Piz delicious but the customer service was also excellent and it wasn't very expensive. However, I would recommend getting to Piz before it opens, which is at 7pm, as we arrived just before it opened and there were quite a lot of people waiting outside already. Close to Piz there's a gelato shop called Ciacco, which had a wide range of flavours and makes a great after-dinner treat. The apartment we stayed in had a kitchen so one of the nights we bought some fresh pasta from Peck and it worked out a lot cheaper than going out to a restaurant but it still tasted just as good. For afternoon cocktails with a view we went to Il Bar. This overlooked the Duomo, however, because of this, the cocktails were quite pricey. I still think they were worth the money though and it gives you a nice break from the busy city centre.

Day trip:
To get from Milan to Varenna, which is a town on Lake Como, only takes around one hour. There's a villa with a botanical garden which you can visit and lots of restaurants to eat at. From Varenna you can get a ferry to various other places around Lake Como so we took the ferry across to Bellagio, which is one of the main towns on the lake. We wandered around the tiny streets and got cocktails at the artificial beach; Lido di Bellagio, which gives amazing views across the lake. There's also a botanical garden near to the artificial beach called Villa Melzi, which is well worth a visit if you have time. For dinner we went to La Fontana and the food here was amazing - I had the lasagne and I highly recommend it! Lake Como is definitely the prettiest place I've ever seen and it makes a great day trip from Milan because it's a lot more relaxed.

Milan is the perfect place to visit if you only want to go away for 3 or 4 days. Hopefully you've found this guide helpful if you're planning a trip to Milan. Have you ever been to Milan or Lake Como before?