Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Review | W7 "In The Nude" Eyeshadow Palette... Is this An Urban Decay "Naked" Dupe?

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you'll know I'm obsessed with eyeshadow palettes. I love experimenting with different colours and textures, and my go-to makeup is just not complete without a subtle smoke on the eyelids. One of my favourite palettes of all time is the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. I used it to death until eventually the shadows were falling out of the palette and most of them were completely all used up. 

For Christmas, however, I received the W7 In The Nude Eyeshadow Palette from my boyfriend, Dan, and I couldn't wait to put it to the test. I believe this may be one of the older versions of the palette, as the new W7 Colour Me Nude Eyeshadow Palette is on the W7 website which is almost identical in style and shade offering, but you can also pick up the In The Nude palette which I'm reviewing today from Amazon.
The packaging is almost identical to that of the Naked palettes, and likewise there are 12 varying nude shades which can be used to vamp up or tone down your overall makeup look. It's not quite as luxuriously packaged as the Naked palette; the casing feels very tinny and it's quite light, so not as sturdy. There is also no mirror inside and it has a black background which the shades fit into, so doesn't look as pretty. However, it does have a dual applicator tool, with a brush and a foam end. I really like the softness of the brush and the foam applicator is great for smudging darker shades and lining the eyes. 

As with the packaging, the shade offerings are practically identical to the Naked 3 palette. It's actually quite crazy how they can get so unbelievably close to pretty much copying the whole thing completely, but the colourings are slightly more saturated and have a warmer tone in the W7 palette I feel. The purple shades are just a little deeper, the browns a tinge darker. It's a really astonishing likeness though, and I definitely think there's a huge range of shades there, all of which aren't too gothic or dramatic so great for women who want a subtle finish, or young 'uns who are just starting to wear makeup. It gives you a feel for the Naked 3 palette definitely, and I would really recommend trying it out before investing if you're unsure. 
The eyeshadows aren't quite as powdery as its Urban Decay counterparts. You do need to rub the brush along the shadow a few times in order to pick up shadow, but they apply really nicely and evenly onto the skin. The pigmentation, while not as instantly visible as the Naked palettes, is really strong and is nicely buildable, causing no fall-out onto the cheeks or under eye areas. It has really great staying power, though it can gather in the crease of the eyelids after a particularly long day in the office. Honestly, it's not as good in terms of quality as the Naked 3 but I'm seriously impressed with the overall quality and will use it almost daily, especially for the teeny price tag. 

Yep, that's right by itself a W7 palette costs just £9.95. For four W7 palettes in this fantastic bundle that mirror Urban Decay's most popular offerings you can pay just £29.95, which is cheaper than the £38.95 you'd pay for one UD palette alone. It's an absolute bargain buy and definitely dupes the original, so ideal if you're on a budget but fancy treating yourself to something new. 

Urban Decay will always be my true makeup love - I've admired the brand and used their products for years - but I'm definitely going to be looking into W7 a little more having tried this. A great quality product for an even better price!

What are your favourite dupe products?
Lots of love. xoxo

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Five must-haves for a cosy night in.

I don't know about you, but now that January is here, I'm all for snuggling up in my pyjamas and fluffy mermaid blanket on a Saturday night. My heels and party dresses are stashed away and I'm spending my evenings with a reality television series instead of a bottle of prosecco, and I rather like it that way. 

For me, there's nothing nicer than whipping up a healthy meal, soaking in a hot bath or having a piping hot shower, giving myself a little pamper and lighting all the candles so the room is twinkling while I do it. It's so important to give ourselves some love, especially with all the pressures we have going on in our daily lives. January can be a bit of a bleugh month, but I love to make the most of it. Here are my absolute must-haves for a cosy night in this January.
1. Candles: these may seem like a bit of a luxury rather than a necessity, but let's just say a room full of flickering flames really gets me in the mood for a cosy night in. They definitely seem to have a soothing property and I find them really calming, so ideal if you've had a seriously hectic week in work or university. They're also great for aromatherapy - the essential oils mixed into the wax provide a gorgeous scent that help you to really unwind. My favourite scent has to be the Clean Cotton Yankee Candle - who doesn't love fresh bed sheets?

2. Luxury bath products: whether it's a Lush bath bomb, an invigorating body scrub, or a sweet scented shower gel, grab your favourite products and get scrubbing. I love taking my time in the shower when having a cosy night in, giving my hair a really good wash and using a nice conditioning mask to give it a little extra TLC.

3. A facial and mani-pedi: this is probably my favourite part of spending the weekend evenings tucked indoors throughout January. It's all about looking after your health and wellbeing, and what better way than to give your skin some love? I like to take all my makeup off, and give my face a good double cleanse, using my Clinique foam cleanser to begin with, before going in with a facial scrub. Using the fingers to really massage the product into the skin helps to give it a really lovely glow, and then I tone and slather on lots of moisturiser to keep my skin feeling super hydrated. Then, if needed, I give my fingers and toes a nice fresh coat of paint. 

4. Fresh pyjamas and fluffy socks: omg, is there anything better than putting on some fresh pyjamas that are still warm from the radiator and smell of fabric conditioner? The answer is no. It's just amazing.

5. A box set or a good book: I've really been enjoying catching up on all of the new year reality TV these past few weeks (I'm an absolute sucker for a good reality show), but having the time to chill out with no electronic devices and just a TV show, a good book or a magazine to keep you company is bliss. It's so important to take time out, especially after such a crazy busy festive season, and combining all of these must-haves together makes for the perfect evening.

What are your must-haves for a cosy night in?
Lots of love. xoxo

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

JOURNO INTERNSHIPS: MY EXPERIENCE, WHERE TO START AND WHY TO DO THEM.

Okay, I’m just gonna throw it out there, the journalism industry is a really tough nut to crack. Heck, I still haven’t cracked it despite four years of studying and countless internships and freelance work (though I’m determined that 2017 will be the year that I do!). It’s an industry that so many people (especially young women) aspire to work in – the lure of exciting press opportunities and events, and the dream of working behind the beautifully adorned pages of magazines you’ve read since your teen years is definitely appealing – but in reality it’s hard freaking work.

It’s competitive. With so many young people trying to break into the industry, you’re constantly competing for your chance to shine. It’s also ruthless. You’re expected to work super long hours for very little, or even no, pay on your way to the top. And it’s seriously demanding; you need to be completely determined to succeed. But despite all of this it really is everything you imagine it to be. It’s exciting, fast-paced, thrilling and ultimately fun. You get to do so many wonderful things, meet and work alongside so many amazing people. No day is the same and, as technology is ever-evolving, the media industries are too, and you’re right at the forefront.

I have absolutely loved my experience of the journalism industry so far; it’s been so motivating and inspiring. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world and I’m completely sure that I’ve chosen the right career path for me.

So many of you have been so supportive of my journey, and I thought I’d share my experience and some advice on journo internships. I know so many of you lovely readers have the same dream, so I really hope this post helps and inspires you in some way!

MY EXPERIENCE

Ever since I was tiny I’ve always wanted to write. I think this was fuelled from my love of reading – I would read absolutely anything I could get my hands on – and alongside a new book, having a new magazine to read was the absolute best. I loved the designs, how the pages looked, and how they were filled with words. I read everything from Girl Talk to Mizz (OMG WHO REMEMBERS MIZZ?), and when the time came to choose my career path I opted for journalism. I worked so hard, surpassed the A Level grades needed to get into Cardiff University, and in 2012 I moved to the capital to pursue my dream.

I think the first thing I noticed whilst at university was that everyone was seriously determined to make it, as I was too. My course mates all worked on extra-curricular media projects – whether they were working for student media or securing work placements elsewhere – everybody was doing something, and it really spurred me on. It was actually so encouraging to be around such hardworking classmates and in my first year I applied for work experience at my local newspaper; a one week placement which turned into an ongoing internship, where I would go into the office every Friday to write, interview and head out to find willing vox-pop victims participants.

I loved it. I live in a tiny town so there was never any majorly hard-hitting news – the closure of the town post office probably being the biggest story we covered whilst I was there – but after a few weeks I became Lifestyle Editor and my own weekly fashion and beauty supplement to write. It was so exciting to see my name in print and I really learned so much; the editor was absolutely fantastic. I continued to write and produce content for the paper up until my third year of university when my studies really took over, by which time I had been accepted onto Cardiff University’s Masters in Magazine Journalism course.

I had wanted to take the MA course since my second year of university and did everything I could to be accepted, working extremely hard on my studies while doing extra work experience where possible and blogging my butt off too. The course itself was incredible. I met and worked alongside so many fantastic people. I pitched, designed and edited a new interiors magazine from scratch; I learned how to really write, how to edit and design magazines, a wealth of digital and video skills and the whole logistics that come behind a magazine brand. But what I learned most was how determined I was to succeed in the industry.
We had to undertake a two-week placement as part of our studies and I was really lucky to be accepted as an editorial intern at Perfect Wedding and also as a beauty intern at Grazia. I had wanted to intern at these two titles since forever, so having the opportunity to do so was amazing, though it was at Grazia that I really got a feel for the magazine industry and everything it entailed. It was my first “big” internship and one that I value so much. It reaffirmed what I already knew – that this was my passion.

I completed my MA in September, after a seriously stressful summer writing a business plan and designing and creating a new Welsh travel magazine as part of my thesis, and I’ve since had the opportunity to intern at the beauty desks of two of the UK’s leading titles. In October I spent two-weeks at Stylist, which was so much fun as it’s so creative and so forward-thinking, and on recommendation from Stylist’s beauty editor I went on to intern at Elle. This was a real “pinch me” moment. I couldn’t believe I had the opportunity to intern at one of the world’s leading titles! I really cannot put into words how incredible the opportunities I’ve had so far have been, and how much they’ve taught me about the industry.

It’s also worth noting that alongside magazine journalism internships, I’ve also been lucky enough to work in TV after completing a week’s work experience when I was 17 for a local television company. From there I have freelanced for the past five summers with this company, and am currently freelancing as a runner for BBC Wales, and as a video assistant for Superdrug. It’s amazing how the two mediums blend so easily, and video is so up and coming so it’s definitely something to pursue, and something that I would ultimately love to work in.

WHY INTERN?

1. It develops your skills (and you as a person): Honestly, I’ve learned so much through internships, both in terms of digital, video and editorial skills, and about myself. Working grueling hours, essentially at the bottom of the line, for no pay really makes you realise whether pursuing your dream is worth it. For me, I was lucky as it confirmed that the journalism industry was one I was desperate to work in. It also gave me lots of confidence as you’re constantly meeting new people, and finding yourself in new experiences and situations.

2. It’s all about “who you know”: Networking is absolutely everything in this industry. The more internships and work experience you do – whether that’s writing for your local paper or working for a well-known publisher or company – the more people you meet and the more chance you have of securing something in the future.

3. You get a real feel for the industry: I just love how exciting this industry is and being a part of it all, even just as an intern, is incredibly motivating.

4. It leads to more opportunities: From Grazia I was recommended to Stylist, from Stylist I was recommended to Elle, from Elle I secured my first lot of journalism work. Likewise, when it comes to television, I’ve worked with a vast array of people, all of whom have known the people I’ve worked with before. It’s a pretty small industry to be honest, especially in niche sectors, so you never know where one door may lead.

5. It’s fun: Yep, interning is ultimately really fun and I can honestly say I’ve really enjoyed my experiences as an intern, even if my living situations were completely horrendous.

WHERE TO START

1. Make sure your CV is on point: I can’t stress this enough. Make sure its up-to-date with the relevant information. Make sure there is an email address or phone number for people to contact you, and try to keep it to one page. You’ll need to be concise in your writing but squeeze as much on there as possible. List your skills, your experience and your education – and no BS, as you will be caught out.

2. Keep your options open: So your dream internship fell through, but one you weren’t so keen to get involved in has been successful. This may be the best thing that happens to you, so keep your options open. You have to have a little faith that everything happens for a reason.

3. Apply to anything – you are definitely good enough: I found I was quite nervous to apply for jobs at first, but if you don’t ask you don’t get! The worst somebody can say is no, and you can always ask for feedback on where you went wrong in your application, or if there are any other opportunities available. Have confidence in your ability, show willingness and you’ll get far.

4. Work hard: This is an obvious one, but when you do land your internship work your little socks off to impress. You never know when a job opportunity could open up in the future!

I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, because working for free, with nowhere in London to stay, and without any friends or family close by was, at times, awful. I was very lucky that I had my parents’ help when it came to funding, and I also relied on money gained from my part-time retail job. It is really hard out there, but I really believe (in my experience anyway) that the internships I did have been completely worth it. If nothing else I’ve had some amazing opportunities – some I never thought I’d get – and I’ve met amazing people, and learned so many things along the way.

If you have any questions please comment below,
or tweet me @jessieann48 for a quicker response!
(You can also e-mail me: jessieann48@hotmail.co.uk)
Lots of love. xoxo

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Going in a new direction.

I've been thinking of writing this post for a while, and I feel now is the time. New year, new me, all that jazz; I've decided to go in a new direction with All Things Beautiful, and I really hope you'll join me on my journey. 
I've now been writing ATB for almost four whole years, and I've posted at least twice weekly throughout this time (apart from a slight blip when studying for my finals last year). Blogging really has taken over my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's taught me so much - not just in terms of the blogging industry and digital media - but about myself. I've found my writing style, I've learned I have a love for photography, it's made me more confident as I've met new people and have had some wonderful experiences.
Jumper - New Look (shop here)
Jeans - Topshop (shop similar)
Boots - Primark (shop similar)
Jewellery - Pandora rings and Michael Kors watch

As my blog has grown, so have I. In four years I've gone from a 19 year old, worried, homesick student typing up blog posts in my tiny university bedroom to a far more confident and independent (almost) 23 year old, who is ready to take on the world by storm. I'm ready to start new things, to take new directions, and I feel like All Things Beautiful is too.
ATB started as a beauty blog - I'd write reviews on pretty much any beauty products I could get my hands on, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved having my own creative space and discovering new blogs. After a few months I started incorporating more lifestyle/fashion posts - very basic at first, but over the years some of my most popular posts have been the ones I've written about myself and my experiences. Whether it's looking back on my university experiences, sharing advice on how to juggle blogging with full-time education, my goals and dreams, and even my advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle.
Since the summer I've slowly started incorporating look books into my blog. It's something I really enjoy doing as I love experimenting with my personal style, and in 2017 I want to work on these to continue improving my skills and sharing more outfits with you.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that All Things Beautiful has become so much more than a beauty blog. It's now a reflection of my every day life, and I really enjoy sharing it. Personal lifestyle posts are my favourite to read, and to write, and ultimately they seem to be the ones that people enjoy most on my blog. So I'm going to run with it. I'm going to continue sharing little snippets of my daily life in the hope that you guys enjoy reading it. I've got so many ideas up my sleeve, and I'm really excited to share them with you.
Of course, that doesn't mean I'll be saying goodbye to the odd beauty review, as makeup is still a huge passion of mine. I'm just going to be looking at blogging from a whole new direction. Think fitness, fashion, travel, and a whole lotta lifestyle, with beauty bits peeking through in between!

Here's to a new chapter...
Lots of love. xoxo
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