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    One of the most common blog/YouTube related questions I get is "how do I make it grow?". There really is no secret formula, I wish there was. Some people are just lucky, some have been doing it for years and some work really hard and finally get their big break. Aside from just working hard and being consistent a bit of self promotion does also help. 

    My theory is, if you don't tell anyone about it, how are they going to know? I spent the first year being very secretive about my blog until I felt proud of it and comfortable promoting it. Then, despite being embarrassed in front of friends and family, I told everyone and anyone I could about it. Some people loved it, some weren't really bothered but at least I knew I was doing my bit to get it out there. Self promotion is fine, you just have to do it tastefully... 

    Word of mouth
    I don't know about you, but where I live word of mouth is a very powerful tool. One person tells another, they tell their mum who tells their sister, who tells their cousin. All it takes it someone to start the chain so don't be afraid to tell all your friends and family in person or on your personal Facebook. Be proud of it, you'll be surprised how impressed they are! 

    Tweet, tweet
    Before I had a blog I didn't understand the point of Twitter, but as soon as I has something to promote I began to love it. I mainly use Twitter to keep updated with blogs and random shenanigans from online personalities I love but it's also a great tool to promote your blog/YouTube. The thing with Twitter though is that you don't want to ram it down people's throats. A Twitter timeline is a precious thing and you don't want to spam people with self-complimetary retweets, or constant self promotion. Sandwiched in between your usual, natural tweets it's ok to update people with your new posts or videos. Tell them a bit about them, what they can expect and don't forget to add a clickable link! Change up the 'self promoting' tweets so they're not all the same, you don't want to irritate people. I also think involving yourself in the community is a great way to self promote. Get involved with conversations on Twitter, reply to tweets you love, you don't have to sit back and wait for people to discover you. I often notice the same girls tweet me and get involved with conversations and it's so lovely! 

    I'm a big fan of Instagram and I'm very picky about only uploading photos I love, so you won't catch me taking photos of my screen as a self promoting snap. Instead I like to self promote on Instagram in a more subtle way. The 'profile' section is a nice place to add in a bit about yourself, a link to your blog or most recent video. This is the only place on Instagram where you can add a clickable link, so if you post a photo about a recent blog/video, you can direct your followers to your profile to find the link. Seeing things repeated on social media platforms can get a bit boring so instead of posting your video thumbnail or your blog post image, take another photo like a behind the scenes or a photo from a different angle and use that on Instagram.  

    Business Cards
    I've printed out different blog business cards time and time again but I personally never end up using them. If I get into conversation with someone and end up talking about my blog then we usually end up following each other on Twitter and that's how they can find my blog if they want to. If though, you're a little shy, business cards are a good way to direct someone to your blog without having to say too much. If it comes up in conversation and you want to give them a friendly reminder to check it out, hand them a little memorable card to keep in their purse. Like I said, it's not my thing but if it's yours I'd highly recommend Moo to print some off! 

    I feel like I could keep rambling on about this but there's a lot of information to digest so I'll leave it there. As always with things like this, this is just my personal opinion from my personal experience so if something else works for you, keep doing what your doing! 

    I hope this was kind of helpful and answered some of your questions. 

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  • 07/07/14--23:00: AIPORT BEAUTY BARGAINS

  • Beauty shopping in the airport is one of my favourite things to do. The beauty halls are usually huge, very inviting and packed full of limited edition kits. Despite not actually travelling that often, I have a full on obsession with travel minis. They're just so cute! 

    Here's a small selection of some of the limited edition and airport exclusive kits available in the airport so that you know what to look out for next time you find yourself browsing the aisles with time to spare before a flight.

    Let's get the men's stuff out the way. Rich loves this kit because he's a big fan of Clinique skincare. It has all the good stuff in compact travel sizes; the eye gel, face scrub, cream shave, post-shave soother, moisturiser and fragrance. Everything you need in one, it's a man's dream.

    As you all know I'm a big fan of Origins, but mini Origins? *angels sing*. The Make A Difference range smells incredible and it's great for dry skin types that need extra moisture. In this kit you get two moisturisers, one is the treatment and the other is the rejuvenating moisturiser. You also get the serum in a really easy to travel with tube and the travel sized cleansing milk. 

    Not only can you get minis at the airport but travel exclusives means you get a pretty amazing deal that you can't get anywhere else. If you're as obsessed with Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair as I am you will love this ANR for face & eyes kit. You can't buy these both together as a set anywhere else and both products are huge favourites of mine. They've recently revamped this kit to include the new reformulated version. 

    For makeup there are two little kits I really love and think are worth looking out for. The Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick Set is worth it just for the mini face blender brush! Good travel brushes are hard to find but this one works so beautifully with the shimmer brick adding just the right amount of blush and highlight where needed. Smashbox do a brightening kit that includes a baked bronze/blush/highlighter a mini kabuki brush and their under eye brightener. I'd never tried this before but it's a gorgeous sheer highlighter that works really nicely over your concealer. 

    These kits are a really nice way to try a new brand or to stock up on travel minis from your favourite brands. So next time you're heading to the airport, leave a bit of extra time for beauty shopping... you won't regret it. 

    Clinique Men's Kit £33 // Origins Kit £57.80 // Bobbi Brown Kit £32.98 // Smashbox Kit £31.37 // Estée Lauder Kit £80.33 

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    A haul straight after a haul? Whoops. 

    I had some time to spare before our NARS meetup last week so I found myself 'accidentally' browsing the aisles of Boots and perusing around Liberty's Beauty Haul. I couldn't help myself! 

    I found some nice little bits to pick up so I thought I'd run through it all in a haul video. Enjoy! 

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    Bobbi Brown collections are always favourites of mine, she just gets what women want from their makeup. This Summer's Surf & Sand collection is right up my street... neutral, neutral, neutral. 

    Let's start with the palette. There are two in the collection, the Surf Eye Palette which is nude with a touch of ocean blue throughout. Then there's the Sand Eye Palette which is the one I have. Both come in the most amazing and unique textured packaging and include 8 different eyeshadows, 3 of which are new shades (7 are new in the Surf palette). There's a mix of mattes, sparkles and shimmers but all shades reflect the sandy theme; easy neutrals to wear on the beach or by the pool. I love the quality of Bobbi Brown shadows so no complaints there and the giant mirror inside the palette would come in very handy on holiday too! My only complaint would be that there are a lot of 'base' shades and not that many shades to blend into the crease and make new combinations. A deeper brown/orange  would have been really nice! 

    Also in the collection are two limited edition Brightening Blushers. One is mainly bronze with a small highlight section, the other is more of a pink, highlighting blush. Both are very shimmery but would look very pretty on a summer's evening. The Sheer Lip colours are also limited edition and are really nice and easy to apply. They leave the perfect amount of colour on the lips and there are four shades available in this collection, all of which are nude/pinks. 

    The Bobbi Brown Shadow Sticks are gorgeous cream eyeshadows that are grey for when you're by the pool or on the beach and a new pretty golden shade is included in this collection. There are also two new Long-Wear Eye Pencils, one of which is a beautiful Bronze and reminds me of the MAC paint pot in 'Eclair'. The other shade is 'Black Chocolate', a deep dark brown. 

    So whether you're already a Bobbi Brown lover or yet to be converted, I'd say this is definitely a collection worth checking out. It's already in stores so head to your nearest counter and have a play! Just a warning though, you will want that palette so if you're on a spending ban stay far, far away. 

    Eye palettes £48 // Lip Colours £19.50 // Eye Pencils £18 // Shadow Stick £20 // Brightening Blush £34

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  • 07/09/14--23:00: THE COMFIEST FLIP FLOPS

  • Just a quick little post today to tell you about my all-time favourite flip flops. I'm not one to wear uncomfortable shoes and I have found the Havaianas really rub on my feet in the past and even after wearing them in, they were still uncomfortable. For years I have repurchased the same flip flops from Hollister as they are by far the most comfortable I have ever worn. 

    They are pretty simple flip flops. They are waterproof, incredibly lightweight and the strap never ever rubs on me. They come in lots of different colours, but this year I went for mint blue and I love them! 

    They're £15 which I don't think is bad considering my last pair lasted 5 Summers! 

    I'd definitely recommend them if you're looking for some Summer flip flops. 

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  • 07/10/14--05:00: VLOG: A GLAMOROUS WEEK

  • Last week was a bit crazy! In between the days at home I was out doing some very fun things! 

    Anna and I met lots of you at our meetup, Rich took the camera with him to a premier, I got my hair done (again!), I went to Wireless festival... It all happened. 

    Click play to come along with me. Enjoy! 

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    NARS have some pretty amazing new eyeshadows out and if you came to our Space NK event or watched my vlog you would have seen me sporting the shade Dione, a beautiful champagne beige. 

    So there are 12 shades in this new Dual-Intensity collection and if I'm honest I was skeptical at first. When NARS asked us to work with them on the event I wanted to make sure I really liked the product first and when I first saw them, I wasn't sure. The shades look very metallic in the pan which isn't something I usually go for. The idea is that you can use them dry or wet so I gave them a proper test to find out whether they'd get a thumbs up or a thumbs down from me...

    I found that using my finger works best when using them dry and the shades come out a lot more sheer than they look in the pan. The lighter shades leave a beautiful soft shimmer across the lid and the darker shades give a subtle smoke. But using them wet? Wow. That's when the magic happens. 

    I made my blending brush damp with a makeup setting spray (you can also just use a water spray) and then covered the brush in product. I found the shadows applied so smoothly and blending them out was just a dream. It left a sort of foil effect but one that you can wear quite sheer or build up to something quite opaque if you want to. I really love the effect it gives and I couldn't stop looking at my eyes in the mirror. Something I noticed at our event when all the girls were having their makeup done is that the same shade looked different on everyone, which I thought was really cool!

    The packaging of the product is really cute and the little squares are magnet so if you want to stack up your collection you can.  It's an exciting launch by one of my favourite brands, so even if you're feeling skeptical like I was, let them try it on you at a counter and I think you'll change your mind! 

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  • 07/11/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    So we haven't seen this beauty mentioned on here recently but don't worry, it's still a firm favourite. I've been wearing Diptyque's Philosykos sent a lot recently and I still absolutely love it. It's green, it's fig-gy, it's delicious and it's subtle. Definitely still a top 5 for me! 

    LIFE //
    Obsessed! Since Malta, I haven't been able to stop listening to Ed Sheeran's new album X. My favourite songs are Affire Love, Tenerife Sea and Thinking Out Loud. I'm the sort of person that listens to an album over and over again, listening to every lyric and harmony, looking up the meaning behind the song on Wikipedia (such a reliable source!) and just obsessing over it. 

    EATS // 
    This week Rich and I went to a restaurant called Fika in Brick Lane, London. We thought it was a pop up after seeing a review somewhere online but it turns out that it's been there for a while, they just change the theme every now and again. It's a Scandinavian restaurant so you can expect some delicious meatballs! I had a mushroom risotto that was literally packed with wild mushrooms and Rich had gravlax. The restaurant was decorated beautifully, like something from A Midsummer Night's Dream and there is a cute little roof terrace too for Summer drinks. Definitely a great London find!

    So I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you're getting up to! See you tomorrow with a new nail post and this week's Sunday video! 

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  • 07/12/14--23:00: ESSIE STRUT YOUR STUFF

  • Seeing as my nails were otherwise engaged this week I thought I'd bring someone else's into the spotlight for this week's nail post! 

    When I met up with Anna she had this incredible blue on her nails. It's called 'Strut Your Stuff' and it's part of the new Essie summer range. It's a gorgeous bright blue that sits somewhere between a royal blue and a sky blue. It's one of those shades you just can't take your eyes off. 

    Essie, as always, have also brought out a mini set of their summer collection which has been spotted in Boots so if you're unsure of your favourite from the collection the minis are a must-have. 

    What do you think of Strut Your Stuff? Any of the other shades from Essie Summer catch your eye? 

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    For today's Sunday video I wanted to do something based around graduation. For a lot of you, this month is graduation month and some might graduate towards the end of the year. Either way, I wanted to give you some tips and tricks for how you can do your makeup on the big day! I wish I had a video to watch when I graduated... my eyes probably would have looked less *tiny* if I had. 

    I hope you find some good tips and most of all, enjoy! 

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  • 07/13/14--23:00: THE BALM: TRIED & TESTED

  • The Balm is a brand that I haven't really spoken about before. Until now, the only product I had tried was the Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter. It's actually one of my all-time favourite highlighting products, perfectly pigmented, soft and buttery, subtle but still noticeable. You know how the Dior Amber Diamond palette has a really nice side, well this is like one big Amber Diamond nice side. Does that make sense?

    I've recently tried out a couple of their palettes and first of all can we just talk about the insanely cute packaging?! Usually I find this kind of packaging a bit of a gimmick but because it's not at all bulky and is lightweight and functional, I actually really like it. 

    The nude eyeshadow palette comes with 12 shadows ranging from light highlighters, to wearable browns/taupes and then deeper dark eyeliner shades. The formula? Insane. The shadows are incredibly buttery and easy to apply and blend. The only downside to this palette is the pretty useless brush and I find the shadow pans to be quite small to use with a blending brush. This palette is £26.50 on Feel Unique

    The cheek & lip cream palette is unlike anything I've seen before. A palette of cream blushers? Well that's my dream right there. The first thing I noticed, aside from the packaging *insert heart eyes emoji*, is that unlike most cheek/lip products this actually works well on both cheeks and lips. On the lips it feels like a slightly matte balm, it starts glossy but dries down and lasts nicely on the lips. For the cheeks they also apply nicely and if you blend quickly they then dry down to a sort of powder finish. The range of shades are gorgeous too and there isn't one that I wouldn't wear. This palette is £26.50 from Superdrug.

    So my question to you is, what else is good from The Balm? Have you fallen in love with any of their products? Please share! 

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    Here's a little video that I put live on my channel, just to say thanks to all of you who have subscribed and been watching my videos! 

    The video says it all really... xxx

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  • 07/14/14--23:00: £3 WELL SPENT

  • Ok, so are you prepared for this? I'm about to rave, like seriously rave, about hairbands... 

    These aren't any old hairbands, they are the only hairbands I've ever found that are perfect in every way. They're made from silicone so they grip to the hair and don't slip out throughout the day. They're also really thin and unnoticeable, especially the clear ones! If you, like me, often have a hairband on your wrist you'll love these as look a lot more subtle and less hairband-like than most. 

    I know it's strange and I know they're just hairbands, but it's by far the best £3 I've spent in a while! 

    Have I tempted you? 

    I picked up the Scünci no-slip grip hairbands from Boots

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  • 07/15/14--05:00: BEAUTY CHAT WITH ANNA

  • Another month has passed and it's time for a beauty chat with Anna! 

    Warning, we were in a weird mood whilst filming this one. There's singing, laughing and well, you'll have to watch to see what else.. 


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  • 07/15/14--23:00: GET 'EM QUICK!

  • A quick pop into Whistles on the weekend ended with my best sale purchase of the year! I wasn't expecting to buy anything but when I spotted these sandals in the sale I had to try them on. 

    I always love the Whistles sandals but the price tags? They're just silly. I'd put them out of my mind, but then these gorgeous green Limited Maya Gladiator Footbed sandals went into the sale and I couldn't resist. They went from £225 (!!!) down to £80 and although £80 still isn't cheap, for a really good quality pair of 100% leather sandals it's not a bad deal. 

    They are super comfy, I love the colour pop and I know they'll last for years as the quality is so great. So although there aren't many left on the website I'd recommend running to your local store if you like these. The shop in Bond Street London had quite a few pairs when I went so you never know! 

    I'm so happy with the purchase, what do you think of them? ps. Sorry for the close up shot of my toes - gross! 

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  • 07/16/14--23:00: #LilyAnnaPicnic MEETUP!

  • So Anna and I have been promising a London meetup for a while now and we've finally decided on a place, date and time. 

    It's going to be a super chilled picnic so bring a blanket, some picnic food and any friends you like and we can hopefully have a nice picnic in the sun! Rich and Mark are hoping to pop by so your boys are more than welcome to come along with you. 

    Here are the details...

    Location: Grosvenor Square (nearest tube, Bond Street, Green Park or Marble Arch)

    Date: 27th July, 2014

    Time: 1pm - 3pm

    Weather depending: If it's absolutely pouring down with rain we might have to cancel as there is no covered area. 

    Please follow us both on Twitter @lilypebbles& @viviannamakeup to keep updated the day before and the morning of. You can also check the hashtag #lilyannapicnic for updates. Bring a waterproof/umbrella just in case though as we'll only cancel if it's pouring, we don't mind a bit of drizzle! 

    We'd love for all of you to meet each other as well as us, share your blogs or YouTube channels and just generally enjoy chatting with like-minded women. We're really looking forward to hanging out with some of you, so hopefully see you then!  

    ps. It's right by the store where they sell Marc Jacobs makeup. I know where I'm heading after!! 

    Photo Credit: Amy&Pink

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  • 07/17/14--05:00: THE BRITISH TAG

  • For today's video I gave The British Tag a go. Created by Sammi, it's a lovely jubbly tag as we Brits would say... 

    So if you want to know how I take my tea, who my favourite British person is and hear me signing some UK songs, click play! 

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  • 07/17/14--23:00: LET'S TALK CONCEALERS

  • Aside from eyeshadow I find concealer one of the more addictive and exciting beauty products in my routine. Finding a good concealer is life changing for a beauty addict so I'm always trying new ones and when I find one I love it usually has a permanent spot in my collection for years to come. 

    So let's talk about some of my favourites and how I use them... 

    Under Eye //
    The Bobbi Brown Corrector has been a love of mine for about 8 years now. I use the shade Light Bisque and it's great for dark circles under your eyes. Using a peach/salmon tinted concealer will cancel out the blue/purple tones instead of just trying to cover them. The correctors come in a range of different shades depending on your dark circles and the creamy formula is spot on. I apply this with a flat concealer brush just where I need it on the inner and outer parts of my under eye area. 
    On top of the corrector I usually use the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I blend this out using the Real Techniques Setting Brush and I find it moisturising and not at all cakey. The shade Vanilla is great under my eyes and mixed with Custard I can use it on other parts of my face too. It has a nice radiance to it without being too detectable on the skin.
    Recently I've started using the Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer in Fair instead of the NARS one on days when I want more light under my eyes. It's easy to apply, it gives nice coverage (more than the YSL Touche Eclat) and is light enhancing which lifts your whole makeup look. 

    Spots //
    The Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer is the most non-heavy, heavy duty concealer I've tried. It covers everything but somehow manages to look light and moisturising on the skin. The name Full Cover is completely wrong because I think it implies a heavy coverage whereas you get more of a blur with this product. I either use my finger to apply this or the Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush. I couldn't live without this one, even on sheer foundation days it's this I rely on. 
    I recently picked up the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage thanks to the initial temptation by Lisa Eldridge and the final push from Sandra. I got the shade SC-3 which has a light and medium toned concealer inside. It's a funny product because it's quite stiff so you have to warm it up on the back of your hand but then I like to use this for pinpoint concealing. So I take a small brush like the Louise Young LY13 and take product from the back of my hand and apply a small amount directly onto the spot. The great thing about this concealer is not just how it covers, but how it lasts... It's a great one for oily skin and for those who need their makeup to last long days. 

    So although 5 favourite concealers might seem like a lot, I think it's an important part of anyone's makeup routine. What concealers do you use and love? 

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  • 07/18/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    How have I not mentioned these t-shirts to you yet?! I wear them on a daily basis, I own all three colours and I'm desperately waiting for more colours to be released. They're the Topshop Viscose V Tees and they're perfect. I usually avoid viscose as a material because it can make things a bit sweaty but for some reason these don't. They are really nicely weighted so they hang well and the V neckline is really flattering. 

    LIFE //
    This week I was lucky enough to attend the launch event for the Clinique Chubby Cheek Colour Balms. Yes, Clinique have released even more chubby sticks but this time for your cheeks! I think cream blushers work best in a stick form and it also makes them really handbag friendly. I'm looking forward to trying the "Creamy, oil-free formula" so I'll report back when I do! 

    EATS //
    Whilst Rich and I were walking around Brick Lane we came across a chocolate shop called Dark Sugars. It was open late and the window was filled with chocolate blocks so of course we had to go in! They literally sell giant slabs of chocolate that you can cut up into smaller pieces. It's like LUSH, but with chocolate! They also sell a load of other smaller individual chocolates in a huge range of flavours. All are made in store and there are tasters galore. Definitely worth a visit! 

    Have a lovely weekend! 

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    You guys know by now how I feel about pastel nail polishes, so when I saw this collection I literally "oooooohhhd" out loud. 

    Soigné is a brand I've seen around but have never actually tried. I've always admired the sophisticated bottle shape and labelling, there's just something so appealing about it! 

    The Spring 2014 collection was inspired by the pretty little French dessert, the Macaron. There are 5 French named shades in the set, but translated by moi they are caramel, lavender,  pistachio, passion fruit and rose petal.

    There isn't one colour I don't like, they are all perfectly muted down so they're not too in your face and not too young feeling. If it's chic pastels you're into, you'll love these shades. 

    The quality is really nice and I found the brush really easy to use. My favourite combination of colours is Pistachio on all nails and Lavender on the ring finger. 

    The whole set is £38 and will be available from the Soigné Nails website at the end of the month. It would make a beautiful gift for anyone who loves nails. 

    What do you think of the collection? 

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