10:17 am

Apple Cider Vinegar:
Truth or Scam?

by , in

Apple cider vinegar is something I first heard about after researching natural remedies for joint pains. I'd been told that you could drink two tablespoons of ACV and it would miraculously help with your joints - exactly what I needed. This was backed up by a lot of online websites and blogs too, and so I believed it. But the taste was just so awful that even while I was in agony, I could not get the stuff down. So there I was with a huge bottle of apple cider vinegar and no way I was going to be drinking the stuff again, so I started to research how I could use it in other ways, and to my surprise, (and how I ever missed all of the fuss, I'll never know), there was loads of information about this natural wonder 'cure-for-all', so I started to look a little further.

The research and articles on the internet based on apple cider vinegar seems quite vast, a lot of health websites and blog posts seem to claim -amazing- things about ACV, but either don't show their sources or they show sources that their information doesn't even appear on. So I spent a lot of time trying to track down genuine sources for this, rather than just going on claims that another blog has given us - this is where my university research skills are coming into play! 

So here's what I found... (All sources are listed below.)


- Claims vs. Facts -

I have to say, I was very wary of using this anywhere near my skin, let alone open wounds, acne or even my teeth - but people do believe the claims of online health blogs because, well why you wouldn't you? You see the healthy-looking people behind the blog or even read the claims of education in health they say they have, and think that they must just know more than you, and isn't it nice for them to share their wisdom?! But some of these claims can actually be quite dangerous if you do take their advice.  

Clearing Up Acne

I've seen lots of claims online that Apple Cider Vinegar is a miracle cure for acne, mainly because of it's 'anti-bacterial' qualities. But I actually can't find any scientific research for ACV itself even having anti-bacterial qualities with contact to your skin. In fact, I found two studies that proved it has no anti-bacterial qualities at all and found one that explains it did have anti-bacterial qualities for the prevention of bacterial food poisoning, but only when combined with the right amount of sodium chloride and the appropriate treatment temperature. So not entirely what some health blogs claim.

What articles seem to concentrate on, is the acetic acid that is found in the Apple Cider Vinegar which has anti-bacterial properties. The acetic acid, generally used in ear drops to cure ear infections, can be much too harsh to use on the fragile and delicate skin on your face. A study conducted in October 1997 even showed that 'repeated or prolonged contact' could cause Contact Dermatitis, a type of eczema. 

Another incident was reported in 2010 after a 28-year-old female patient was admitted to hospital with second-degree burns after using acetic acid and flour to make her own chemical peel, after reading about it online. 

The acetic acid is, of course, diluted in the ACV and according to 'experts', should be further diluted with water if you are going to use this to try and cure your acne, and can be dangerous for people with sensitive skin. I've found evidence of chemical burns on skin, and even just a splash of vinegar in the eyes can cause immediate pain and conjunctival hyperemia - sometimes leading to the injury of the corneal epithelium. 

When reading non-investigated opinions online, (less reliable), some did report on Apple Cider Vinegar working for their acne, whereas others reported no change whatsoever, permanent scarring, burns, and one commenter reported on it leaving one spot even to become permanent, and having to have it cut out as it may be cancerous. (I cannot vouch for the reliability of these commenters, but I thought they would be interesting to include).

Although there is no found research for ACV to be anti-bacterial, I have found research to back up both the antifungal and antimicrobial properties. The antifungal properties may have been the reason it has worked for acne in some cases, possibly in fungal acne, but I cannot be sure as there is no research to suggest this, as of yet. 

I also think it's important to say there is actually no research into Apple Cider Vinegar curing acne and is at your own risk if you do choose to follow this.

Teeth Whitening

One other 'magical' claim of Apple Cider Vinegar is that it whitens your teeth, and while there is research that this does work, there is also strong research to show that it ruins and destroys the enamel on your teeth in the process. This could even leave you with no enamel left whatsoever with repeated use. Online blogs suggest that the results can not even be seen straight away, but that you have to use regularly for over a month to start seeing a change in colouration, so be aware of the possible outcomes from doing this.

I found at least one study reported by a dentist, to show the seriously erosive tooth wear of a 15-year-old girl after consuming Apple Cider Vinegar daily to aid weight loss. So I wouldn't like to think of the damage it could cause from applying it straight onto the teeth like some websites suggest.

While ACV seems like a strong hit for natural beauty lovers, I'd recommend you speak to a dentist before attempting any of the suggestions you read online or even in published books.

On cuts & open wounds

Another claim I've read online is how ACV is the miracle cure for cuts, bruises and open wounds. Some people claim that it will help the injury heal faster and without scarring, but research actually shows the opposite. Due to the acidity, Apple Cider Vinegar can irritate the skin vastly and can even cause scarring, especially in sensitive skin.

I read one report of a 14-year-old girl who gave herself chemical burns from applying apple cider vinegar to her own face to remove two moles after the internet suggested that this would work.

Slimming down with ACV

Using Apple Cider Vinegar as an aid to losing weight is another big claim on the internet throughout health blogs, alternative living websites and even mainstream news outlets - but how safe is it really? It is true that Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for a long time to aid weight loss. Reports as early as the 1820's show that people have believed and used this as a slimming method, and now in the modern world, even fitness fanatics and bodybuilders are also claiming they use it.

Not only does your Apple Cider Vinegar taste completely foul but it can also be pretty dangerous. If chemical burns, second-degree burns and serious tooth enamel destruction weren't bad enough, there's more. First things first, if you have an allergy to the vinegar, you need to stop using it immediately; if you take medications, you'd need to check with your doctor beforehand as it can affect how certain medications work; and if you have gastroparesis, consider avoiding it altogether. 

I found one case where a woman had been diagnosed with an esophageal injury in her throat; again, after reading information online and self-prescribing herself the vinegar. It is also thought to be the cause of one 28-year-old woman being transmitted into the hospital with low-potassium levels and osteoporosis, after she consumed 250ml of ACV, daily, for 6 years.

One study, by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Knowledge Center in 2015, showed that it didn't actually have too many benefits in weight loss in itself. But it could help weight loss due to the strong flavour and low-calorie count, if used as a replacement to other high-calorie based ingredients, such as salad dressings. Using ACV as an appetite suppressant was also researched, but wasn't 'well-tolerated' due to severe nausea the patients were experiencing.

The BBC also did a study on whether Apple Cider Vinegar could be used to lose weight, and although they only used a small number of volunteers to base their studies on, they had the same results. Not one single volunteer lost any weight whilst consuming the vinegar. 

-

After reading this, would you still use Apple Cider Vinegar in your beauty routine? I know I wouldn't, after reading so much research into the side-effects and the little positives it actually gives, is really worth it? I think this article really shows how truly dangerous it can be to spread false information about natural ingredients, especially when journalists are either not giving their sources, (which just shows their sources weren't reliable in my opinion), or are giving sources but are claiming the opposite to the research in the source article! - Assuming no one would bother to check?

I'd really love to know what you think about the information shared in this piece, and whether you're going to continue to trust or disbelieve in articles shared by unqualified 'health professionals'. Let me know either via the comments section, through Twitter (@inasensebeauty) or via email at inasensebeauty@gmail.com.

Thank you very much for reading!


PHOTOGRAPH BY SHANNON WOODFIELD.

SOURCES:

[1] http://www.oooojournal.net/article/S1079-2104(11)00077-1/abstract
[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jopr.12207/full - shows acv showed anti-fungal properties
[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002002904594
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9713753https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9713753
[5] https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+40
[6] https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Eczema-%28contact-dermatitis%29/Pages/Causes.aspx
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708991?dopt=Abstract
[8] http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(11)02243-2/abstract
[9] https://www.acne.org/vinegar-as-a-topical-reviews-30/
[10] 'Improve Your Life Expectancy - Live Long Lean and Healthy', (2007) By Edward Chipeta
[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23373303
[12] http://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(15)00547-X/fulltext
[13] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37229792
[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26155328
[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2245945/
[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15983536
[17] https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/45180


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10:48 am

20 Content Creators That Inspire Me:
Lifestyle, Beauty, Style & Creativity

by , in

Hello! Today I'm sharing 20 of my biggest inspirations when it comes to online content creators. There's a range of bloggers, YouTubers and a few Instagrammers too. I split them up into Lifestyle, Beauty, Fashion and Creative creators so you find people to suit your tastes easily.


Lifestyle
1. Haley Ciaro
https://www.youtube.com/user/bellamae09

Haley Ciaro's YouTube channel is a fairly new find for me, but I'm absolutely loving her content and can't get enough of her positive energy and genuinely helpful advice for organisation, health and life in general. 

2. Muchelle B
https://www.youtube.com/user/muchelleb/videos

Muchelle is a lifestyle content creator, making videos on self-discovery and minimalism. She's like a free YouTube version of a life coach, always handing out life advice in the form of videos. Her videos inspire and motivate me whenever I'm feeling a little fed up or tired in general, and she's one of those YouTubers that are great to watch in the background whilst tidying or doing housework too. She also has a second channel called, 'Channel Notes' filled with great YouTuber advice!

3. Aileen Xu
https://www.youtube.com/user/Lavendaire/videos

Aileen at 'Lavendaire' is a YouTuber similar to Muchelle B, making great advice videos with advice and motivation. She also talks about beauty, journalling and has a great blog filled with lifestyle blog posts and advice, too!

4. Samantha Maria
https://www.youtube.com/user/beautycrush/videos

Samantha Maria, formerly known as 'Beauty Crush' is the one out of the Lifestyle selection here that I have watched for the longest time. She's so beautiful, sweet and truly honest about her life, and her content is really refreshing to watch. She still talks about beauty and fashion, but her vlogs are now what I watch the most out of her content. She talks about juggling life being both a parent and online blogger.

5. Claire Michelle
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdSx2rlQo4TAY-VZGthC6Dw/videos

Claire Michelle makes beautiful film/documentary-style videos about life, love and art. She has an extraordinary view on the world and has some amazingly positive thoughts that she shares with the world through her YouTube videos. Her videos are definitely worth watching!

Style/Fashion

1. Nina Webb
http://fashionblur.co.uk/

Nina Webb is a fashion and lifestyle blogger, she has an interesting take on fashion. Her outfits are completely wearable but she looks simply stunning in every photo. She talks about how to wear certain types of clothing and has some great lifestyle related posts too. Definitely worth a read!

2. Kayla Hadlington
https://www.kaylahadlington.com/

Kayla Hadlington is a fashion blogger I've read for years and years. She was one of the main bloggers that really inspired me to feel confident enough to wear clothing that makes me happy, and her blog is just amazing for pink/kawaii-style outfit photography. 

3. Amy Roiland
http://www.afashionnerd.com/

Amy Roiland is a fashion blogger over at 'A Fashion Nerd', her style is alternative and quirky. Her style emulates through her photography and I just fall in love with every new outfit post she puts up!

4. Luanna Perez-Garreaud
http://www.le-happy.com/

Luanna's one of those content creators that you probably have only not heard of if you're completely new to the online fashion world. She posts incredible photos of her gorgeous outfits every single day to Instagram and her blog is just a fashion-lovers dream! She also talks about lifestyle and beauty which is also a recommended read!

5. Ellen V Lora
http://pureevl.com/home/

Ellen V Lora is a style blogger I found on Instagram. Her style is just amazing, with usually a limited colour palette and truly gorgeous pieces. The photography on her blog is notable too!


Beauty

1. Fleur De Force
https://www.fleurdeforce.com/

You're probably pretty new to the beauty blogging world if you haven't heard of Fleur De Force before, I've been watching for years now and whereas I feel as though I've 'grown out of' a lot of the bigger beauty influencers, I still really love her content. She writes about beauty, fashion and lifestyle over on her blog, and has a great YouTube channel too. 

2. Shannon Harris aka 'shaaanxo'
https://www.youtube.com/shaaanxo

This is another huge member of the beauty influencer world, but someone else I've been watching for years and still enjoy just as much as I did when I first found her. She seems so genuine and lovely but also has amazing talent. I first found her channel through her being so open about her acne and how she covers it as well as skincare advice, but even her 'get ready with me' videos are still fun and interesting to watch, and, well, we share the same name too!

3. Linda Hallberg
http://lindahallberg.se/

Linda Hallberg is a Swedish beauty influencer, her blog is filled with simply gorgeous photographs of products, true swatches and her amazing talent for makeup itself. I'm blown away by every post this girl makes on her blog, and she writes in both Swedish and English which I think is really great. Her Instagram @LindaHallberg is really gorgeous too!

4. Kaytee Ellen
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7bcTBC3pdaO_IkYy2r_4qg/videos

Kaytee is a professional makeup artist, she posts very regularly on both Instagram and YouTube, showing off her picture-perfect makeup looks. She uses cruelty-free makeup too so her work and reviews are definitely worth reading if that's something you're interested in! Her makeup looks are completely different to most beauty influencers so if you like something more alternative, she's your girl.

5. Ash aka 'Atleeeey'
https://www.youtube.com/user/atleeeey/videos

This is another gorgeous content creator who shows her amazing makeup skills on both YouTube and Instagram. She has a great combination of really 'out there' makeup looks and more wearable but alternative makeup looks too.

Creative 

1. Emily Fisher
https://www.youtube.com/user/EmilyFisheedesigns/videos

Emily Fisher at Mermaid Gossip is a creative content creator that I've watched for quite some time now. She makes videos on a lot of different genre's including beauty, fashion, lifestyle, alongside home DIY tutorials and advice for bloggers. There's always something new going on between her Youtube channel, blog and phone app, and she has the most vivid and colourful style ever. 

2. Roxanne/By Bun
https://www.youtube.com/user/madebybun

By Bun is one of my favourite YouTubers to watch while I'm doing my work at home. She had a great positive attitude towards everything, has a great music taste and knows how to make vlogs beautiful and interesting to watch. If you're an artist, or interested in art, I'd definitely recommend her channel!

3. Holly Exley
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQRpKldwdkyBW3qgCVZNrMA

Holly Exley is one of my all-time favourite YouTubers. I remember watching her first few videos and haven't stopped watching since. She's an illustrator living in England, like I am, so watching her working always motivates me to get my own work done. She's also so talented that it's amazing to watch her handpainted illustrations come to life.

4. Happy D. Artist
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL1fiPWG7OUD_PcC2w_-B0g/videos

Happy D. Artist is an incredibly talented oil painter, she does speedpainting and talks often about being a freelance artist and tips to do so. She has some really helpful and inspirational videos on her YouTube account and amazing paintings too.

5. Sha'an d'Anthes
https://www.youtube.com/user/WeAreLittlePeaches/videos

I've only been watching this girls videos for a short amount of time, but her enthusiam and positive energy really shows through her videos making them really entertaining to watch. She's another talented illustrator who shares her work through YouTube videos alongside other creative videos too.


Hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope you found a few new people to read or watch online. I'd love to do another post in this style but with smaller content creators, so let me know if you'd like to see that!

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6:22 pm

What Was In My First Ever Makeup Bag?

by , in

Hello! I'd really love to do some kind of series of blog posts aimed at beauty beginners and young people who are starting to experiment with and buy their first pieces of makeup, so I thought I'd start by talking about the makeup items inside the very first makeup bag that I owned.

Of course, I played with toy makeup and free makeup I got in magazines when I was young, I remember obsessing over a two-in-one clear lipgloss/mascara thing when I was in primary school that I wore every single day and thought it made me look amazing. I'd also used a foundation from Avon, and a 'Natural Collection' concealer from Boots, but when I was around 12, my mum bought me a new makeup bag filled with a few 'real' makeup products. Beauty and makeup wasn't a huge thing online like it is now, so my mum didn't really have anyone to turn to while choosing what to put into my mini-collection, but I think she did a pretty good job at shopping for a beginner!

1. Rimmel London 'Stay Matte' Liquid Foundation, £6.49

As I mentioned, this wasn't my first ever foundation, but my first ever decent one with at least a bit of coverage. I remember it drying almost like powder, and often oxidised before I even knew what oxidising foundation meant. I haven't even thought about this foundation in so long, and I doubt I'd ever really try it again now. 

2. Rimmel London 'Stay Matte' Powder Foundation, £3.99

The famous, 'Stay Matte' powder foundation seems to still be seen quite often on beauty blogs and has been for as long as I can remember. I've tried other powders but I always go straight back to this. I have found that some more expensive powders do work better, but it's such a great price for something that works, well.

3. Technic 'Six Nudes' Eyeshadow Palette, £2.25 

This was one I was actually quite surprised about to see that is still being sold! I still use some of Technic's products, including the 'Electric Beauty' eyeshadow palette, (which I reviewed here), but the shadows in the 'Six Nudes' weren't the best. The colours were gorgeous, but the pigment wasn't too strong and they didn't last too long at all. It was perfect for me still being in school as I couldn't 'accidentally' create a dramatic eye-look when I wasn't really allowed to wear makeup at all in school. For the price, I reckon it's not a bad deal for a beginner, but I wouldn't use the same palette now.

4. Rimmel 'Exaggerate' Liquid Eyeliner, £5.29

I used this eyeliner for years after I got it in my first makeup bag. It was pretty good in all honesty, my only real issue was that it was more difficult to use than my more expensive liners now. But I'd still claim it was one of the best drugstore liquid eyeliners, by far. The colour was an intense black and didn't fade, although it did dry quite thick and gloopy and had a tendency to flake off at times. It's not a bad product, but you would need to keep it in your handbag for touch-ups.

5. Rimmel 'Scandal Eyes' Kohl Eyeliner, £3.99


This is another one by Rimmel London, similar to the 'Stay Matte' powder foundation, that I actually still like. In my teenage years when drugstore makeup was all I bought, I'd find it so difficult to find anything that worked as well as this pencil eyeliner did. It works, for a start, which is good for pencil eyeliners on the cheaper side. It's an intense black colour and lasts throughout the day. Nothing bad to say about this one, really!

6. Natural Collection 'Moisture Shine' Lipstick


This was of course when Natural Collection products were only £1.99 in Boots and had fairly nice looking packaging. The packaging always fell apart, the sticks of products broke off in the first use and even when they worked, the product was always a bit crap, but I loved it. I used to use the shade, 'Rose Bud' which was pretty much identical to my lip colour which meant I could get away with wearing it at my school. I wouldn't buy this now, even just to try out because I definitely don't think it was ever worth the money, and I doubt they've improved much even though the price has gone up.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the few products in my first ever makeup bag, I'd quite like to repurchase the products on here that I don't still use and do an up to date review and to see if any of them have improved or see how my opinions have changed since using a whole range of different products and brands. Look out for further posts about beginner-friendly makeup if you or someone you know could benefit from them! 

Thank you for reading.


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3:00 pm

Gift Ideas All Under £15!

by , in

Christmas has always been the expensive time of year, but it doesn't have to be! Sometimes the smaller and quirkier gifts are the ones that are remembered, so here's a few that I think would be perfect for all different personalities and humour. Hopefully, these will help you find something new to buy for your loved ones for a little cheaper too. 



I loved this little 'resting bitch face' pocket mirror as a small novelty gift or stocking filler, I'd 100% buy it if the only person I knew with RBF wasn't myself! Could make a great little present for your siblings or best mate, and I know it'd always bring a smile to my face whenever I found this in my bag!

'Capture Your Style' Book by Aimee Song, Topshop £10

'Capture Your Style' is the first ever how-to Instagram style book, written by fashion blogger, Aimee Song. It was the New York Time's bestseller and gives some great tips on building your brand and becoming a better style Instagrammer! The perfect gift for girls (or guys!) online!

Christmas Penguin Socks, Topshop £3.50

I couldn't do a mini gift guide without mentioning some adorable socks. I love having lovely new socks at Christmas time and the more cute characters, the better! They also do other little Christmas characters so if you know someone who would love these, they're definitely worth a look! 

Silver Chrome Oyster Card Holder, Topshop £6

Little, useful organisation gifts are always great to receive and the perfect gift for someone who travels often. I don't live in London but I have two separate travel cards I have to use for my daily commute so I'd love to receive this at Christmas time - I might even have to buy one for myself!

Haynes Manual on Marriage, Next £8

The quirky Famous Five and Ladybird books were really popular last year but here's a new one I haven't yet seen before: The Haynes Manual on Marriage. I reckon this would be the perfect gift for the bloke in a marriage as they're often the hardest to buy for!

Brass Wire Initial, Next £6

I see a lot of gifts with Initials engraved on them, but I really loved this piece from Next. It's the brass wire 3D initial which I think would be a statement piece that could suit everyone. It's a really great price too, in my opinion! 

Pink Marble Infusing Water Bottle, Topshop £12

This is the only item on the list that costs over £10 in this little gift guide and something a little unusual I'd say for a Christmas list. It's very ...practical, but I still think it's absolutely gorgeous and a great gift that they'll use again and again! It probably wouldn't be my first thought when thinking, 'what should I buy __', but I'd actually really appreciate a gift like this myself!

Beard Lights, Next £9

These beard lights made me smile so much when I saw them, and I don't even know anyone with a beard long enough to use them! I feel like this would be a perfect novelty present for any beardie and they're not too expensive either!

Wooden-Look Phone Sound Box, Topshop £10

This is one of those cheaper gifts that seems a little nicer, a wooden-look phone sound box from Topshop. It's one of those little gadgets that are a little different and great fun to play with on Christmas day! This could also be a great alternative to buying someone a bluetooth speaker if they live in a flat, shared housing or university halls!


So that's it for my own little Christmas guide this year, I hope that gave you a few ideas! I tried to go for things that weren't too obvious - except for the socks, but who doesn't love socks?! I'd love to know some of your not so obvious Christmas gift ideas too!



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11:09 am

How To Be A Blogger
When You Have Other Commitments

by , in

I'm a full-time design student, carer and freelance artist, illustrator and photographer. Also, a beauty, style and lifestyle blogger. Life can be hectic sometimes and that's how I like it, but sometimes it can be difficult. You might be a parent, still be in school, or just looking for a few tips to keep you going, so here I'm going to share with you a few tips on becoming or being a blogger when you have other commitments. 

1. Be nice to yourself!

When you're not blogging full-time, it can difficult to write every day and take gorgeous photos that are up to par with other bloggers, whilst also making sure your design, ideas and marketing techniques are working well enough - it's a lot to do, even if 'blogging' doesn't sound like all that much. The competition is pretty high these days so it's easy to think that you have to be entirely perfect, but you don't.

Both your photography and writing will improve so don't expect perfect results straight away and in time, they will come! You've always got to be happy and open to learning new things, and whether that means you write one blog post a week at first so you can really concentrate on it and make sure it's blog-worthy, or you have the time to write 3 or 4 a week, just see how you work and it'll start to become second-nature for you.

2. Write a few posts in advance

There's been a lot of debate about 'Blogmas' recently, with people wondering whether blog posts are really going to be worth reading when the blogger has written 20 blog posts in one day while others can only write 1-2 worthwhile posts in that time, and I have to say, I do agree with the doubt. Of course, they'll be people that are talented in writing lots of quality blog posts in one go, but mass-writing can get tiring for the most of us.

So, of course, writing loads of blog posts all in one go is not really what I'm suggesting here, but writing a few posts in advance for certain periods of time, might just be a big help for you!

If you know you're about to go through a bit of a heavy time at work or school, eg. looming deadlines, a busy period of time at work, or exams, you know you might not want to prioritise all of your time, to your blog. For these times, you might want to write a few blog posts in advance. This doesn't mean you should write 30 at once, you might write one to post and one to save for later at a time, but it definitely helps for those busy periods!

3. Use a blog planner

This might be something you already do or you've most likely at least seen other people do through photos online but this tip is to use a blog planner. By this, I mean a monthly calendar to plan out when you're posting which blog posts so that you can see exactly how regularly you're posting, which genre's of posts you're publishing often and when, and it just helps you keep it clear and out of your mind. 

You can also use a little star in the corner or a colour system to see which posts you've already completed writing, taken photos for and have published. This helps me first thing in the morning when I need to prioritise what work needs to be done for the day too!

4. Checklists

There's something about lists that I've always loved, I write lists about absolutely everything from blogging ideas, motivational lists to keep me working, bucket lists, song lists ...and this list, I guess? There's something so satisfying about ticking something off your to-do list and I use these tiny little nuggets of happiness throughout my blog writing days. 

If you have a busy life, even just taking the perfect photo for a blog post is an achievement, so make it feel like one! Make a long list of all the things you need to, e.g. blog post ideas to draft up and write, research you need to do, photos you need to take; then another list for the things you've got to get done on each day. I make the effort to add even tiny elements I need to get done so it's a little boost of positivity when I've completed it!

5. Chat with other bloggers!

Sometimes blogging can seem a little lonely, especially if you've taken some time out and you're not getting the same buzz around your work or active readers and followers. Use Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin to get socialising with bloggers again, make yourself a part of the community and you'll be surprised at how supportive and friendly even a small group of bloggers can be!

6. Don't beat yourself up if you don't stick to a schedule

This kind of becomes part of no. 1, being nice to yourself, but I felt it was important to mention on its own! A lot of bloggers and YouTubers will have a set schedule, maybe they post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but you don't have to do this. If you've got a busy life, then post when you can! Of course, it's going to be more effective and fun for your readers if you can post often but no-ones going to be truly upset with you for having a life!

I hope these few tips can help you out if you're a blogger like me with a very busy and slightly stressful life! I'd love to know what your tips are too!



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10:32 am

Liebster Blogger Award Tag 2017

by , in

GRAPHIC MADE BY SHANNON AT INASENSE BEAUTY: 
FREE FOR YOU TO USE BUT PLEASE LEAVE CREDIT ON, THANK YOU!

Hello! Strangely enough, I was thinking about this award the other day, something that I first experienced way back when I had my first blog, 'Shannon Marina'. I saw it around a lot more often then but I actually think it's such a lovely thing to do, I love the idea of having something that connects you with other bloggers and lets you and others appreciate each other's hard work and effort.

I was nominated for Liebster award by Victoria Louise, you can read her award blog post -here!-

Here are my questions to answer:

1. What is your favourite thing about having a blog?

Having an outlet to help people, I think. I love the whole process of researching, analysing information, writing and photography, and the idea of someone finding new information through my blog posts is really motivating.


2. What is on your bucket list?

To start my own freelance illustration business, to start a family and own a farm filled with rescue animals. I'd also love to go travelling again if my health allows it.

3. What are your favourite and least favourite things about Christmas?

For years I really disliked Christmas; I hated the music, Christmas adverts and how everything Christmas-related seems to start in October before my mum's even had her birthday. (Sorry for the Scrooge-ness!) Yet for some reason, I'm really getting into it this year! I've not been remotely annoyed about anything festive and I'm so much more relaxed and excited now I've finished my Christmas shopping.

My favourite thing would definitely be the food. We have a set routine of a cooked breakfast in the morning, huge Christmas dinner and goodies like sausage rolls and cheese on crackers in the evening - I'm a huge foodie so it's just a dream for me. 

I'm not sure what my least favourite thing would be though because I'm just so grateful for everything lovely at Christmas time. It would probably have to be still having to deal with physical health problems on Christmas Day. I mean, can my body not just give me a break for one day. But still, it could be worse!

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I'd probably live exactly where I am now. I'm lucky enough to live in the English countryside and I absolutely love it! We live a mile away from town and my house is surrounded by fields and a nature reserve so it's perfect for dog walks and breaks from work and social media. I'd love to live a little closer to the city so I didn't have a four-hour commute each day, but otherwise, I really do like where I live.

5. Do you have any pets?

Yes! I have a gorgeous old-man Patterdale Terrier called Dex. We rescued him three years ago and he's been like my little baby ever since. 

We actually had a pretty rocky start with him as he's our first rescue dog and didn't know exactly what had happened to him in his past; he has scars on his body and his terrified of most other dogs from being attacked in his old home. He's improved so much over the few years, he didn't even know the 'sit' command when we first got him, now he can jump through a hoop on command. He's also back to normal weight, walks well on a lead (he wasn't walked at all previously), and doesn't try to eat other innocent dogs either. It was definitely tough at first but the love we get from him is unlike anything before. 



6. When did you start your blog?

I first had a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog from 2012 - 2015, but stopped blogging completely when I went through a really rough time with my physical health and wasn't able to function properly at all for around three months. I was then trying last minute to get into university and had just started a new job where I had to live an hour away from home 3 days a week, so my life became completely hectic.

I launched this new blog as, 'Inasense Beauty' in June 2016. So I haven't been here in my little space for too long but of course, I'm loving it all over again! I also created a new Twitter and Instagram account so I wouldn't be starting again with inactive followers, so if you think you might not be following, they're both @inasensebeauty!

7. How did you pick your blog's name?

My blog name was something my mum actually came up with while we were brainstorming together for a name for my new blog. I didn't want to use my name again, as 'Shannon Marina' isn't actually even my name, and my real name is just too long, I think!

8. Describe yourself in three words

Motivated, busy and hungry.

9. What's your favourite blog post you've ever written?

I can't decide between two! One of my favourites is, 'The Lazy Girls Guide to Makeup' because that was something I wanted to do for a really long time. With the images that we're given so often in the beauty community of these wonderful, drag-style makeup looks that just look immaculate, I also wanted to share something much more casual. I love to wear loads of makeup and almost 'dress up' with it, but we all have our lazy or busy days too.

My second favourite is my recent, 'Free Festive Printable Blog Planner' as it's my first ever free printable and as a Graphic Designer, it means a lot to me that people are using my work to help them out!

10. What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

Firsts at university, organised blogging and to keep happy!

11. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you'd buy?

I'd want to be completely boring and put money away for a deposit for a house, but I also do a lot of volunteer work and my biggest dream if I had lots of money would be to help homeless people with shelter, food and care essentials in my local area. It's something that's quite close to me and I wouldn't feel right winning the lottery and not achieving anything with that.

Now I have to share 11 random facts about me, so here we go...

1. I'm a comic book collector
2. I love easy-to-watch reality tv like Teen Mom and The Apprentice
3. I love to cook but hate following recipes
4. My two favourite songs are 'Lightning Crashes' - Live, and 'Hedonism' - Skunk Anansie.
5. I don't have an iPhone - mine got stolen on a night out!
6. I'm a lover of microbreweries and my favourite drink is stout 
7. I love thrift shopping!
8. I always try and find the positives in everything
9. I drink about 15 cups of tea a day
10. My favourite chocolate bars are Penguin bars
11. I'm hooked on Haribo

Phew! I really enjoyed that as something a little different to write about! I want to thank Victoria again!

I'm going to nominate:

@wingingitmum at http://themumwhoiswingingit.blogspot.co.uk/
@JuavanZyl at https://metamorphosis1979.wordpress.com/
@Khushbu978 at http://www.lipstickonmylatte.com/
@PiecesofEnvy at https://piecesofenvy.blogspot.co.uk/
@itsmejust_mine at http://www.thestayhungry.com/

Here are the rules:


1.Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you. (or however many they posted for you!)
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
and here are my questions...

1. What motivates you to be a blogger?
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world without anything stopping you, (money, responsibilities, etc.) where would you go and why?
3. Where do you hope your blog will be one day?
4. What's the geekiest thing you like or like to do?
5. Do you have any pets? & what pets would you like, if any?
6. What would be your dream job?
7. What charity means a lot to you?
8. What's your favourite hobby or past-time? 
9. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
10. What's the scariest thing you've experienced while travelling?
11. What's your favourite blog post you've written so far?

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, thank you!


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