Introducing Project Rattlebag.

21 August 2014 · 8 Comments

Tell us about yourself Hattie? 

I am 16 years old, from London but I've lived all over the world and will be moving to New Zealand in October. 

What got you into the world of blogging? 

I had always read blogs from a young age but I never had the courage to start one myself so when my english teacher set my class an interpretive project I knew exactly what I wanted to do and Project Rattlebag was born. At the end of the project I realised blogging was something I would miss so I carried it on and here I am three years and a huge amount of opportunities later. 

Tell us about Project Rattle Bag? 

My blog encompasses a mix of things, mainly fashion and beauty but I also do have an interest in cooking and music which sometimes also feature. 

What keeps you inspired? 

I always have a list of blog post ideas so that if I'm stuck one day I have a lot of back up options to write about. If that does not do the trick, pinterest is a great place for inspiration as there are so many lovely posts on there. 

What is your favourite thing about blogging? 

Not only is blogging for me a great thing to put on my CV (I did actually get my current internship because of it) but it also gives me a great amount of pleasure to know that somewhere in the world someone I've never met is enjoying what I have to say. That is something I would never had believed a few years ago! 

What are your current favourite items? 

That's a tough question but I would have to say my monochrome New Look sandals as they go with everything and my slouchy black coat from H&M which is super sophisticated and a bargain at £30. I would also have to say my charm bracelet which I have had for a few years and holds so many special memories. 

A massive thanks to Hattie for answering these questions, you can find out more about her here and find her blog here - hope you enjoyed! 

Looking after Summer Hair.

19 August 2014 · 15 Comments

Around this time of the year, whether it be for going blonde for the summer, being lightened by the suns natural bleach, chlorine or any other reason, it is all too easy for ones hair to take a turn for the worse. If not looked after properly, it can become nasty very quickly, but there is no need to let it be in anything less than tip top condition if you take good enough care of it. From brassy and straw-like to golden, healthy and nourished, these are my tips for getting your hair back into the best condition possible. 

Toning: No-one likes a brassy blonde, but the tones are all too easy to creep in after significant lightening of the hair, so to keep them at bay it is imperative to tone your hair at least a couple of times a week. This sounds way more exciting than it really is, and actually just involves using a specially formulated shampoo and conditioner, which are usually purple or blue in tone (opposite to yellow on the colour wheel) to counteract any yellowness. Try it, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes! 

Washing: Every needs to wash their hair, but when you hair has been damaged, it's best to skip the everyday wash and opt for a more low maintenance routine instead. Shampoo can be really stripping on hair, so it is good when your hair is a bit more fragile to give it a bit of a rest and let it recover in between washes. You should also think about following up shampoo and conditioner with a heavy duty hair mask to really nourish the hair, and let the moisture penetrate. Leave them on for 10 minutes, wash them off and say hello to silky smooth hair! 

Aftercare: It goes without saying that heat is bad for your hair, but when it is in bad condition, you really need to make sure that you step away from the heat tools. It can lead to snapping, split ends and dry, frizzy hair from the dehydration, avoid at all costs. It's also worth noting that you should try and brush your hair as lightly as possible, and avoid dehydrating products like hairspray, unless specially formulated to cater to those who need more moisture. After washing, follow up with lots of oils to help lock in the moisture and keep hair nourished. Best applied when damp, these oils will soak into the shaft providing the moisture that your hair so desperately needs, keeping it nourished and looking its best. 

Recommendations: Morrocan Oil Original Treatment, Organix Argan Oil, Morrocan Oil Hairspray 

So those are my top tips for keeping hair in its best condition, what are yours? 

Everyday Makeup Look #2

17 August 2014 · 30 Comments

I'm not a massive fan of doing these too often, mainly because the makeup that I wear on an everyday basis doesn't really change too much (and I also hate photographing my face), but after trialling a couple of new products recently, I've come up with a new, very simple little routine that I thought I would share. 

Since it's summer, and the weather is really gorgeous and the moment, I have 1.) found that my skin has cleared up dramatically and doesn't really need anything on it and 2.) found that even if it did, I probably wouldn't be bothered to make the effort anyway, #lazy. So, moving straight onto the eyes! I've really been loving my TooFaced Natural Eyes palette recently, as the colours in it are all so gorgeous and with the predesigned trio of colours, super easy to put together a quick little look too. I usually opt for the day time trio, although if I'm feeling adventurous I mix it up a little and break the rules, and I think it just provides a really awakening, pretty look. To provide a little bit of definition, I've been using Benefit's They're Real Liner to tight line my eyes, and add a small line on my top lid, smudged out a little to make it look softer and give a barely there impression. This stays put literally ALL DAY, which is amazing because with my terrible skills, once I have put it there I want it to last! To finish off the eyes, I've been sprucing up the lashes with a bit of the They're Real Mascara, which provides equal doses of length and volume and keeps all my demanding lash criterias happy. 

To inject some colour and glow into the look, I love this peach toned blush from BornPrettyStore. It has just the right amount of sheen in it to highlight the cheek bones and give a luminous, lit within look to the skin, and the peachy pink shade is great at brightening and lifting the face. And finally, for the lips, a swipe of my favourite lip pencil - Revlon Matte Balm in the shade Complex - which I find works even better on my skin tone now that I have a bit of a tan! Definitely number one in my stocks at the moment.

So that's it, 5 products and a super quick and simple way that I have been doing my makeup recently. What are your favourite products at the moment? 

Exfoliation 101

15 August 2014 · 14 Comments

Exfoliation is absolutely key to a good skin care routine. With the amount of cells that die everyday, it is all to easy for your skin to get clogged up, and without a regular dose of sloughing, things can easily get nasty. With so many options out there on the market, it can be hard to know what is right for you, so today I thought I would give you my two cents on the whole exfoliation malarky.

When it comes to exfoliation, you really have two main options; manual or chemical and whilst each is different, they both offer their own unique positives and negatives. 

Manual - Possibly the most satisfying to use, the manual exfoliants are great for scrubbing the skin and giving it an energetic burst of life. They can, however, often be more harsh and irritating on the skin, so for the face use a finely grained one or only use very gentle scrubbing motions. I also like to use them once or twice a week on my whole body to remove dry patches and keep skin looking glowing. My favourite would have to be the Ocean Salt Scrub from Lush, which is suitable for both face and body and smells like avocado and sea salt, mmmmm. I also really like the Blackhead Killers, which I suppose are technically a manual exfoliant as they are pulling off the top layer of skin, as I find them really effective at sucking out impurities and removing all dead skin for a fest and glowing look. 

Chemical - Split into main two parts, AHA's and BHA's I won't bore you too much with the science-y bit behind it all, although it is interesting if you like that kind of thing, chemical exfoliants are a great way to remove dead skin cells and get that fresh and glowing look going on. The idea of putting acid onto your face sounds pretty scary, to me at least, but these new formulas are very effective and not at all irritating, so take the plunge and I'm sure you won't be disappointed - they are amazing at dealing with all skin woes from acne to dryness! My absolute favourite in my chemical exfoliant line up would have to be the SkinChemists Rapid Facial Mask, which is incredible - I have no words! Using glycolic acid, it manages to remove all the dead skin from my face (which contributes to dull looking skin and clogged pores) by breaking the cells down so that they can easily be washed away. Amazingly, it isn't at all harsh and leaves it feeling as soft as a baby's bottom, it's one of the single things that I think has completely transformed my skin! For my body, especially around this time of year when it really important to keep exfoliating (got to keep that tan in tip-top condition ;)) I really love the Karora MicroPeel, which helps remove any dry patches and keep skin healthy. 

The amount of exfoliation needed differs so much from person to person, and it really just depends on the type of skin that you have. For most people once a day to a couple of times a week is enough to prevent congestion, for the delicate skin on your face, doing it anymore than this could be counterproductive as it becomes too harsh for the skin to cope with, but for the body you're probably free to do it as much as you want. Just build up, and see what works for you - good luck! 

How do you like to exfoliate? Do you have a routine? 

unstitchedd designs.

12 August 2014 · 22 Comments

I've alluded to the opening of my little shop several times now over on twitter, and finally the time has come that I can actually say it has opened!! I've been working my little socks off over the past couple of weeks putting everything together, and I'm pretty pleased with the end results, although I'm sure there will still be many changes to come over time, but today marks the first day of being open for business - say a warm welcome to "unstitchedd designs"! I will predominantly be selling phone cases - for lots of different models (inc iPhones, Samsung and Blackberry), not only iPhones - (lovingly hand designed by me and printed on the highest quality phone cases around) although I am looking into expanding my range in the future to cover such things as kindle cases, makeup bags, mugs and stickers - if it's a success, that is

I really hope that you all like the stuff I have designed, and maybe even make one (or two ;)) cheeky little purchases. There are a range of designs from really colourful, to monochrome, and even an option for a custom design if you have something specific in mind, feel free to contact me with ideas too. I think they would make really lovely gifts for friends and families, and they are definitely something that will make everyone smile. To find out more, you can see the whole range here, or email me at . 

Phone cases will be retailing for £14 each, which I recognise is expensive, but I've tried to go for a high quality manufacturer and the designs take a lot of time and love to create, but I'd like to introduce a little offer to my loyal blog readers to get two for £25 using the code BLOG12 - thank you all so much, you mean the world to me! Plus, post about these online and tag me to get 25% off your next order and be in with the chance of being featured on my blog and social medias. 

Here's to a hopefully successful business venture ... 

Let me know what you think. 

Holiday Makeup.

10 August 2014 · 28 Comments

The presence of heat means a drastic change in my makeup routine, I need things that will stay put, but also crave a lighter finish and a different range of colours. Summer, to me, is all about a light base, glowy finishes and wearing as little makeup if possible - for me, nothing most of the time but this is for when I want to make a little more of an effort. So, here's my stripped back makeup look to prevent summer woes like shine and slipping off makeup, as well as packing to a tight travel allowance. 

To prevent any makeup meltage, I use as little on my skin as I can get away with. A concealer is the only thing that I really need, a little under the eyes to hide bags, around the nose and any little spots that I have to cover everything up. To set everything down, I use a good mattifying powder, like Mac Mineralise Skin Finish in Natural to prevent shine and keep everything in place throughout the day. To inject a bit of colour back into my skin, I really like the Revlon Cream Blushes*, and they help to add a bit of a dewy summer glow too. The shade Coral Reef is a gorgeous peachy red, perfect for the summer months. For eyes, a matte palette like the Makeup Revolution Essential mattes* is all I need. A sheer wash of light colour over the lids, brow bone and inner corner, with a darker blended out in the crease and along the lash line is enough to give definition, without having to worry about it smudging everywhere throughout the day. The lasting power of these is great, and paired with some fluttery lashes - thanks to Benefit's They're Real*, it creates a perfect summer eye look. Finally, to finish it all off, a sheer lip in the form of Revlon's Tutti Frutti, a sheer peach lip colour which adds a hint of colour, as well as hydration. 

In terms of tools, I find that the less I can take, the better. My Zoeva Bon Voyage brush set* is more than enough brushes for me on holiday, read my full review here, and to remove everything at night, all I need is the they're real remover - a creamy liquid that melts away even the most stubborn of makeup. Simples!

So that's it, all the makeup that I'm taking away with me for a two week holiday, this minimalistic thing has really gone to my head ... 

Is this similar to what your travel makeup bag looks like?

P.S Don't forget to check out my featured advertiser this month, Project Rattlebag, you can find out more about advertising with me here - and quote SUMMER to get 50% off .