Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Brand Introduction | Makeup Atelier Paris

As a blogger, I love discovering new brands and trying out things I might not have tried otherwise.  I'd never heard of 'Makeup Atelier Paris' until recently.  I'd seen it appear on a few blogs and was really intrigued by some of the palettes - so I was really excited to be given the chance to give some of their products a try and see what the brand is all about.  Originating from France, Makeup Atelier Paris is a professional makeup brand which offers a vast array of products - from eye shadows of all colours of the rainbow to brushes and skin products.  I thought I'd give you the rundown on what I thought of each product...

Corrector Concealer Palette | £25* | link
I was really excited about this one.  I've recently ran out of one of my beloved Sephora concealer palettes and this one looked like just the thing to replace it.  The palette contains a mix of shades with a green toned concealer for redness, and comes packaged in a neat little plastic box.  The concealers themselves are fairly creamy, and when applied with a concealer brush blend really easily into the skin.  It's great for concealing small blemishes and redness, although dark circles require an extra layer or two. I like the fact that they don't feel oily and remain fairly matte once on the skin.

Cream Blush in 'Ambering Rose' | £12* | link
Of the lot, this has to be my favourite (no surprise there then! I love a good cream blush, me ;)). The shade is so pretty - a rose pink shade with a slight coral tint to it that adds warmth to the skin and looks dewy and fresh when applied.  I found the pigmentation to be really good and it blends really nicely.  It's not quite what I'd call 'cream to powder' but it doesn't feel greasy or heavy on the skin - it's just a nice little mid-ground cream blush that can be built up or worn subtlely. It adds a bit of moisture without looking 'shiny' - the formulation is definitely the type of thing I lean towards. I apply this using either my fingers or a stippling brush - and both ways provide a lovely finish.  I love this one!

Eyeshadow in 'Blue Marine' | £8* | link
I'm still undecided with this one.  I don't tend to wear a lot of colour and I've never really thought of wearing a navy shadow before.  That being said, I headed over to Pinterest (as you do...) and found heaps of inspiration for creating a gold & navy smokey eye.  I'm promising myself I will try and be brave and create more of a colourful look next time I'm heading out for the night and feel a bit daring with my makeup! I didn't find the eyeshadow to be the most pigmented shade I own, nor is it the softest - it took a bit of working up to build up an intense colour but I found it worked better with a really soft blending brush.  

Eyeliner Cake in Black | £12.50* | link
At first, I'll admit I wasn't keen on this one. I found it quite hard to work into and when applied I had to use a few layers before it looked like an intense black. I also found it a little uneven to apply at times. However, when I decided to give it one last try with a wet brush I found myself eating my words! To get the full potential from the cake eyeliner you have to use it wet - it gives a really, deep intense black colour that smooths on really easily and dries quickly.  You can see the difference of colour from the swatches above (the top photograph shows it applied with a wet eyeliner brush, the bottom one shows the eyeliner applied dry). Once it's on, it's on - although it does smudge a little in places throughout the day if you're not careful.  I've never used an eyeliner like this before, so it's been quite a refreshing change for me.  It's really grown on me!

I think it's safe to say the cream products came up tops for me - the cream blush and the cake eyeliner being the favourites by far! I wasn't so blown away by the eyeshadow, sadly - although this may be partly because it's not a shade I'd normally lean to anyway and i prefer a more creamy feel to my powder shadows.  I really want to try more of their cream products - inparticularly the HD Blush and Iridescent Highlighter. And of course I'm tempted to give the lipsticks a try (typical Beth...)   At the moment, I believe you can only buy them online from the actual website (you can find it here) - but I definitely look forward to hearing more about the brand in future and hope to give some more of the cream products a try!  I'd be interested to know other people's thoughts on the products as they seem to be a bit 'hit and miss' for me - but I cannot deny that I have found a couple of new additions to my makeup collection that I know I will use often.

Have you tried anything by Makeup Atelier Paris? I'd be interested to know your thoughts!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Meet My Advertisers | August

The end of August can only mean that summer is on it's way out (excuse me a moment whilst I curl up on my fold-out deckchair and cry into a glass of Pimms).  Summer always seems to fly by for me - It's no secret amongst my friends and family that I am the biggest sun worshipper ever (it's my birthday in August so of course I'm a bit of a hot weather baby!) and I always get a little sad when it all starts coming to an end.  I'm hoping to jet away somewhere in October to get me through the autumn/winter as I'm really not partial to cold weather and rainy days.  That being said, I do get excited for cosy nights in, Starbucks hot chocolate after uni when it's dark outside and all the winter beauty trends - berry lips and nails? Yeeeeees pleaseee! 

Anyway, enough ramblings about the weather n' that (typical English girl...) - I shall hand you over to the lovely folk over in my sidebar.  If your'e looking to expand your reading list, then look no further - there really is some gems to be found this month.  My exclusive advertiser is Laura who writes over at What Laura Loves.  She really is one of the lovliest bloggers I know and her blog is fantastic - there is something on there for everybody and she's currently nominated as 'Best Stylist' for the British Plus Size Awards. She really, really deserves to win so if you have a spare moment then please do throw a vote her way :) *fingers and toes fully crossed*

Laura | What Laura Loves | *August Exclusive Advertiser*
Blog | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

I can't believe August i here already. It is a special month for me as it marks a full three years since I started writing my blog, WhatLauraLoves.  The time has literally flown by and I've loved every minute that I've sat at my laptop to write all about my favourite beauty products, new discoveries and fashion choices.  Blogging has bought me some close friendships and amazing opportunities, like designing a dress exclusively for Simply Be and I've just been nominated alongside Gok Wan as best stylist in the British Plus Size Awards, you can vote for me here.  I'm plus sized but my style doesn't have a size label - head on over to my blog for fashion, style and beauty for all.

Catherine | Maybe Baby XO
Blog | Bloglovin' | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram - Cattxo

Hi beauties! My name is Catt, I'm a dreamer at heart & an old soul with a deep, yet superficial obsession for anything beauty related.  I have a lifestyle & beauty blog, along with a YouTube channel that revolve around all the lovely thing in life including makeup, fashion, health, fitness & more! Just another guilty pleasure for you to add to your list! XO 

Becki | Bows, Beauty & Becki
Blog | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram

Hello Lovelies, I'm Becki and I have a beauty blog called Bow's, Beauty & Becki.  I mainly do beauty themed posts but I also like to add some fashion posts and share my thoughts.  You can expect to read TAG'S, product reviews, hauls, OOTD's and Whats on my face posts as well as my general ramblings.

I've been blogging on Bow's, Beauty and Becki for over a year and I am looking forward to my wee blog growing, I love blogging and I like to put time and effort into my posts so that they are the best they can be.  I would love for you to go over and check out my blog, you may just like it!

Emily | Love-x-Beauty
Blog | Twitter | Bloglovin'

Love Beauty -x- is a blog written by a student living in the midlands. It will feature regular updates and honest reviews about beauty products, exciting trends and general chat. Follow my journey!!

Laura-Beth | Laura-Beth Make-up Artist
Blog | Twitter | Bloglovin' | Facebook | Instagram

Hi! I'm Laura-Beth from, an 18 year old fully qualified Make-Up Artist.  I specialise in fashion and special occasion make-up and I'm fascinated by new collections on the runway every season, my life long dream is to work at fashion week.  However, I am deeply interested and qualified in TV, Theatre, Film, Hair Styling, Photographic and Special Effects Make-Up as well.  I am just 100% obsessed with every aspect of make-up, fashion and beauty!  On my blog you'll find everything from hauls and reviews to 'Get the Look' make-ups and tutorials.  I enjoy every aspect of blogging and the community and I'd love it if you took a few moments to have a look around my blog, if you do be sure to leave a comment or message and I'll check your blog out too! xox

Robyn | The Robyn Diaries
Blog | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Facebook

The Robyn Diaries is a Style, Music and Lifestyle blog with a little bit of beauty, literature and other bits thrown in.  I am a kimono loving Topshop employee who likes floral head wear, vintage clothing, dream catchers, chunky shoes, cats, tequila and live music.  My blog features regular outfit posts, beauty buys, monthly playlists and all sorts of lifestyle adventures.

So that's it for another month! Being a blogger means that you really do notice how fast the time goes by - seems like yesterday I was preparing my July monthly favourites! If you'd like to feature here next month or in the near future then do get in touch. Simply send me an email to and I shall sort everything out with you.  Prices start from just £3 and I have a variety of packages available which you can view here.

Which blogs have you been loving this month?

Also - It's the last day of voting for the CosmoBlogAwards today! Eek! So if you enjoy my blog and fancy nominating me then please hop over and vote here. :) <3

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

St Ives 'Fresh Skin' Apricot Scrub

St Ives | 'Fresh Skin' Invigorating Apricot Scrub (link) | £4.29* - Boots (link)

When it comes to facial scrubs, getting the perfect combination of creaminess, consistency and actual 'scrub power' is important.  It's quite hard to find a good 'all rounder', and it's also difficult to find the perfect blend for your skin type and needs.  I use scrubs/exfoliators all year round and they always remain an important part of my skin care regime - they get rid of all the nastiness, dead skin cells and dullness and just generally perk up your skin when it's feeling a bit worse for wear.  I swear by them to keep my skin looking clear, fresh and feeling at it's best.  If ever it's feeling a little 'clogged' or tired, or if I find I'm getting more blemishes than the norm or I have a little patch of pesky uneven/dry skin, I always reach for an exfoliating scrub to sort things out! Ok.. Prepare yo'selves for a bit of a rave...

St Ives is a brand I've been familiar with in the past.  I remember my mum using the exfoliators when I was at school and I often sneaked into her bathroom cabinet to steal a dollop or two (sorry mother!) I was recently re-introduced to them and can honestly say that this little scrub has been one of the best introductions to my skin care routine for a while.  Having recently got back off a holiday, my skin has been a little dry in parts and sun cream and muggy weather has meant a few more clogged pores than the usual. Well, this little tube of goodness came to my rescue (oo..a little skin-care superhero...whack a cape on it!) - I felt a difference in my skin from the first use.  Yes. The first use!  It instantly smooths and refreshes the skin and whilst it might take a while to see long term benefits, as soon as I washed it off, my skin felt a great deal smoother and softer to touch. It also smells amazing - honestly, this stuff smells good enough to eat - pass me a spoon! The signature apricot smell is just my cup of tea and I find I really look forward to using it purely for the scent - it's so refreshing. The exfoliating beads (which are 100% natural exfoliants - it's worth mentioning!) are just right for me - not too harsh but harsh enough to get rid of any grubbiness! It's definitely on the more 'dense' side - but the creamy consistency of the scrub means that it doesn't scratch the skin and it feels incredibly silky soft and even moisurising to apply and massage in.  It's gentle enough to use 3-4 times a week.  Oh, and did I mention that it's oil free, 'non-irritating' and contains 100% natural extracts? I have sensitive skin and this has been a dream to use - so the 'non-irritating' claim is one I really do agree with. Relief!

Overall, I really do love this scrub.  It's always a good sign when you actually look forward to using a product and I am definitely going to repurchase when this runs out.  I've even re-introduced my mum again! What I love about the range is that they do different scrubs for different skin types.  Fear not if your skin really is very sensitive, they do an extra gentle one. They also do one targeted towards 'blemishes and blackheads' and one to 'renew and firm' - so there literally is something there for everyone, of any age.  Even better though, you still get change from a fiver - so they don't break the bank and are just as good, if not better than higher-end scrubs I've used and you can pick them up on your weekly stroll through Boots.  You can view the St Ives range here and find one that best suits you and your skin type.

It's worth mentioning, if you're a fan of a good bargain now and again (like myself) St Ives can currently be picked up in Home Bargains for £1.99!

Have you tried St Ives scrubs? Are you a fan like me?!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Zara Treats | Messenger Bag & Apple Juice Perfume

So, I hopped into Zara the other day, as you do, and came out with a couple of treats for myself.  I'd tell you it wasn't planned but that would be a complete lie - I'd been daydreaming about the pastel blue Messenger Bag ever since I saw it on the lovely Julie's blog a couple of weeks or so ago.  I have a bit of a thing for anything blue - I wear it on my nails all the time and my favourite blazer is a bright cobalt colour - just anything blue I'm instantly drawn to when it comes to beauty or fashion related stuff.  Therefore, I had to have this bag. Purchase fully justified.  It's quite small but it will fit in all the essentials for a shopping trip or evening out. If I'm ever feeling particularly ruthless with what clutter I'm taking with me I may get away with it for uni on the odd occasion.  Either way - I needed it in my life.  The colour is just stunning and it will add a lovely, subtle pop of colour to any plain outfit - I love the gold chain against the pale shade and its minimal appearance on the whole. Yes, I'm in love. It's love. I could sit and gaze at it's beautiful gold detailing all day *swoon*

I also picked up some Apple Juice. No, not of the beverage kind ;)..ffs. Zara have an array of perfumes and every time I walk on by I always catch a whiff of the gorgeous scents.  There has always been this particular fragrance that has caught my attention but I'd never been able to find out which one it is (spraying perfumes on every inch of your limbs results in a bit of a muddle). However - I finally cracked it and worked out which one it was! Apple Juice is the perfect fragrance for this time of year as it's light and fresh without being too soft. I wouldn't even say it smells incredibly like apples - just a nice, fruity scent with sweet top-notes that aren't so sweet they become sickly (there's a tiny hint of apple-y goodness in there).  If you've ever tried the DKNY 'apple' perfumes then you'll love this one! It's a great deal cheaper at just £9.99 and smells just like any high-end perfume would smell.  Even though it's a lighter scent I think I'll be wearing this well into the Autumn or maybe even all year round - its just my cup of tea for a lovely daytime scent. I highly recommend you give it a sniff if you're a fellow perfume-addict like me and like a clean, fresh scent now and again.   Zara, you have impressed me with your absolutely smashing perfume selection...

Apart from treating myself, I've been interning at a design agency the past couple of weeks.  It's safe to say I'm feeling slightly worn out tonight so I'm just spending my evening having a little browse on the t'interwebs. I'm currently bidding on a Topshop dress on eBay that I really want in my wardrobe... However, it seems someone else is also equally determined to get their grubby mitts on it... Grrr! Keep your fingers crossed for me ;)

Have ever tried Zara perfumes? What's your favourite one? I'm tempted to get another...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Beauteco Box | August

Beauteco Box | Monthly Beauty Box | £10 +p&p* | Link 

Last month, I wrote a little introductory post about the new beauty subscription box in town - 'Beauteco Box'.  I'm sure you've all heard of it by now but just in case you haven't and fancy a read up on the whole concept and why I think it's the bee's knees then you can have a nosey at my last post here. I've been pretty chuffed to say the least, and last month's box actually introduced me to a couple of new favourites of mine - I'm now addicted to Neal & Wolf's conditioning treatment (definitely repurchasing it once I've ran out!) and I've been converted back to a kohl pencil (after using liquid liner for donkey's years) in the form of Art Deco's Soft Kajal Liner. Both products are FULL size which really pleased me - you really do get your money's worth with this box!  I'm sure you'll be seeing those products in my monthly favourites at the beginning of next month...

Anyway, onto this month's Beauteco Box offerings!  Once again, I was really excited about this box. Lord & Berry are one of my favourite brands and I was so excited to see them on the Beauteco Box menus - I definitely think they deserve a more widely known status amongst the blogging world (I've previously reviewed their highlighting 'Luminizer Stick' if you're interested!). Once again, the box contained 3 full size products and 2 generously sized samples for me to get my mitts on - for the price you really cannot grumble and if beauty boxes are your thing then Beauteco will be right up your street.  I'll give you the low-down on what I chose this month...

Lord & Berry Intensity Lipstick in 'Peach Gleam'
This product is the one I was the most excited about.  I've had Lord & Berry Lip Crayons in the past and LOVED them - so was really looking forward to giving one of their lipsticks a whirl.  The shade is just my cup of tea - you know me, anything with a hint of peach or coral and I'm there! I've been using this a lot the past couple of weeks - it's such a lovely muted peach shade - not too bright or too dark - just the perfect colour for an everyday lip.  It seems to perk up my complexion no end and applies really nicely.  The formula isn't so creamy that it applies fully opaque, but the pigmentation is really impressive and on first 'swipe' your lips are coated in peachy-gleamy-goodness.  If you like Mac's 'Shy Girl' or 'Ravishing' - then it's worth looking into this little gem.

Lord & Berry Kissproof Lip Colour Liner in 'Blossom'
I am a big fan of Estee Lauder's Double Wear Lip Liner in 'Spice' - and at £17 a pop (oof...that will send your purse strings running for the hills...) they aren't cheap.  Sadly, I'm almost ran out of my holy-grail favourite so this little addition came just at the right time. It's a little more pink than my usual lip liner but it's without a doubt very similar and it's a colour that I would pair with a load of lipsticks as it's not far off from a natural lip shade.  I can't wait to try this.

Arran Aromatics Lavender & Tea Tree Facial Wash
Again, another full size product!  I always use tea tree products on my skin throughout the month - I find it helps calm any redness and helps prevent blemishes.  This facial wash deep cleanses the skin and gently exfoliates, whilst the lavender in it revitalises and calms.  I haven't used this yet as I'm still getting through a sample size of a Balance Me one, but I will giving this a whirl in the next couple of weeks or so. 

S5 Purity Serum
Of all the products this month, this is the one that really intrigued me.  I don't use serums and oils on my skin that much but am always open to trying them.  I'd love to find one that really suits me.  This one seems really promising - it helps blemish prone skin by controlling breakouts, reducing appearance of pores and generally helping to keep the skin clear.  What I like about this one is that it doesn't feel greasy like other serums I've tried - just smooth, gel-like and almost cooling. 

Melvita Body Milk in 'Rose'
I'm not usually into floral fragranced things but I will certainly be giving this a try in the next week or so.  I really like the fact it's meant to soothe and moisturise the skin whilst providing a calming effect.  

This month's box has been another exciting one for me and I reckon there's at least a couple of gems in there for me.  I love the fact that Beauteco box have introduced me to both new brands and helped me rediscover some favourites too.  I will be sure to report on some of these products in the near future - keep your eyes peeled - some of them may make it into my monthly favourites...

Have you tried Beauteco box? Which product tickles your fancy this month?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Balance Me | Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist

Balance Me | Skin Bright Hydrating Facial Mist | £20.00* 60ml | Link

Face mists have become quite the in thing the past few months, haven't they? So many of you have been raving about them and I must admit, a few times I almost gave into the hype. Having sensitive skin means that I tend to stick to what I know (any new additions often mean waiting with baited breath to see if my skin throws a tantrum or not!) - I'm very much all in favour of a simple skin care routine.  However, when I discovered that Balance Me had their own Face Mist, I was intrigued.  Balance Me have fast become one of my favourite skin care brands and their moisturiser and eye cream are without a doubt among some of my favourite skin care products I've tried (you can find my review of the 'Balancing Face Moisturiser here). It's safe to say then, that I had high hopes for the Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist.

When I first received the Face Mist - I was a little bit unsure as to what to do with it. I definitely think face mists are more of a luxury and not a necessity - you have to find your own way of using them. Balance Me's version 'adds an injection of moisture' and contains 'refreshing pineapple waters' and 'super hydrating hyaluronic acid designed to replenish tired skin' and leave a 'dewy glow'.  I took to using this around the time of having a lot of uni work on my plate - not only did my skin look tired and dull, but I also felt like I needed a little refreshing pick me up now and again.  The first thing I noticed was the refreshing fragrance of the mist - you can really get a whiff of the pineapple in there and it smells very natural and 'fresh'.  It also feels incredibly cooling on the skin - I think this has to be my favourite thing about the product, and it has been such a pleasure to use throughout the hot weather we have been having just recently.  When it's warmer out, wearing makeup often makes my skin feel clammy and altogether not very nice - this mist has been lovely to spritz over the skin as it really does have such a cooling, calming influence.  I can see why so many bloggers have said that using a face mist is addictive - it really is! 

Those with dry skin will definitely find the mist more beneficial than those with more oily complexions due to the moisturising factor. I'm smack bang in the middle and have combination skin, so it all depends on weather and time of year whether my skin feels hydrated or not.  Although, this being said, I haven't had dry patches at all just recently but I've still enjoyed using it purely for an invigorating little boost and refresh throughout the day.  I often use the face mist after applying my makeup -  it puts a little bit of dewyness back into the skin after I've applied powder.  I also use it whenever I'm feeling a little 'clammy' - if the weather is warm and my make-up feels a bit heavy, then I'll spray a little bit on.  Similarly, if I have nothing on my face at all but still feel like I need a bit of a refresh, I find myself reaching for it (addicted much?).  This is the thing about face mists - there's no right or wrong way to use them; you can use them anytime of day, whenever you fancy it and altogether they act as a nice refreshing product in your skin care routine for whenever you need a little 'pick me up'. 

So am I converted to using a face mist? I think so! But I still think it's more for a luxury rather than a 'must have'. I go through stages where I use it more often and I still wouldn't say I 'need' it in my skin care cupboard - but it is without a doubt one I enjoy using and one that I often reach for if my skin looks a little worse for wear - even if it isn't feeling dry. If I'm tired I will use it purely for the refreshing boost it gives.  I've found it to be more of a 'warmer weather' product for me so far - as I find it really cooling when it's warm or muggy out, but I cannot wait to see what it does for my skin in winter when my skin drys out a little.  So far, I've really loved using it and it's something I will continue to use without a doubt.

Have you tried using a Face Mist? What were your thoughts?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Confidence & Comfort Zones | My Tips for a more confident you! to love a good Pinterest quote. Last week, I had a rather interesting conversation with an old friend from work. Without going into too much detail, she told me about how she was really struggling with her confidence and was finding it a bit of a struggle in a new job after a few other major changes in her life.  She's always been a quieter person - (I remember it took me a couple of cups of tea to crack her into a full blown conversation) but I never thought for one minute she'd ask me for a bit of advice.  I am not the most confident person on the planet, let me tell you.  But I have learnt a few things as I've tottled along in life that have become rather helpful to me when it comes down to being a little more outspoken and 'up front' - whether it be at work, presentations at uni or any situation that could sometimes seem a little 'daunting'. I wouldn't class myself as being shy nor overly confident - just 'normal' I guess - I don't struggle too much with new people or speaking up, but I did come up with a few little tips for her that can come in handy with new situations and they're things that can apply to even the most confident among you.  

First off, I really hate how people sometimes define the word 'confidence'.  At school, the 'shy' people are always picked out like it's a bad thing to be a little more introverted and if you don't speak up in class then it means you aren't 'engaging' in a lesson. But you don't need to be a typical class clown/loud mouth/bully to have confidence whatsoever - you don't need to shout from the rooftops or crack jokes at every stranger you see.  I can tell you now from my school experience (going back a bit now but I'm sure a lot of you will agree) that people like this often turn out to be the ones with the most insecurities. It's worth remembering that even the most confident people get a little nervous or scared sometimes. They might not admit it, but they do. I think everybody has a certain 'situation' that makes them feel as if they've lost their voice a little and it's important to remember that feeling a little shy sometimes is perfectly normal and above all it's perfectly fine.  It just helps a little to know how to push yourself into breaking that imaginary 'barrier' in your head.  I thought I'd share a few things that I believe have helped me over the years to become a more confident person...

Consider a job in retail or 'customer service'

My first 'proper' job (after pottering about doing admin work and office based stuff for family) was in retail. In fact, I've only just recently left after roughly 5 years and although I can't tell you I enjoyed it thoroughly, I liked the fact that it allowed me to grow so much as a person and I've taken a lot of good things away from it - skills that have proven so valuable to me both at uni and in life in general.  Any job or work experience you have is good - but I can say I definitely felt thrown in at the deep end when i started my job as it was so customer driven.  Although I worked in a shop, it was very 'customer focused' and sometimes quite sales-y.  We were told from day one to make conversation with every customer, think about speaking positively and being aware of using any negative statements - you get the jist (yes, sorry I was one of those annoying sales assistants that asks you if you're OK or 'just browsing' about 50,0000 times).  And although I sometimes hated it I had to try and deal with some pretty irate folk at times (pairs of wellies never caused so much drama!), I learnt to engage with people of all kinds - old, young, deaf, blind, friendly, rude, charming, sarcastic... the list goes on and on.  I also learnt how to deal with conflict and how best to diffuse awkward situations in the best way I could, and I learnt how to tailor my speech to people depending on their age or needs (the role often meant sitting with people for a good 20 minutes or so - so trying your best to keep a conversation going was vital and I learnt a lot of good tips!)  It sounds silly - almost every job involves this somehow - but the strong customer service side of things really did force me to become more sociable and less worried about what people thought of me. I learnt to build a rapport with people within seconds. Even the most moody people will crack a smile at you if you just try with them.  If I ever got a rude customer and I was in a really productive mood, I'd challenge myself to see if I could turn their frown around by the time they walked out!

Fake it until you make it!

I remember when I was at school and hearing Beyonce telling an interviewer that she has an alter-ego in her head when she's on stage.  I'm not saying pretend you're someone else, always be yourself, but it's true that acting a little bit works.  Remember when you were a young'un and you told little white lies over and over until you actually believed them yourself? A really good tip is to just act like you're fine in the situation - once you've done it a couple of times, you'll realise that it's not that bad after all.  It takes practice, but just think of it as a little 'performance' in your head. I did this with job interviews and presentations until I realised that actually, I was completely fine without acting it at all - by then, I'd learnt that I could do it anyway.

Visualise a situation going well

I'm awful with this one, i'll admit.  If I'm feeling nervous about something, I will think about it and mull it over and over until I've terrified myself to the point where I just want to back out.  I know it's hard - but the more you nip it in the bud and imagine positive thoughts - the more likely it is that the situation will go well.  I sometimes even visualise things I might say, or do - if it's an important presentation I just tell myself over and over that I've done it before, it hasn't gone wrong once and that this time is no different.  What is the worst that can happen?

Remember - Nobody Cares!

How many times have you spoken to someone you don't know too well and said something a little bit daft, or embarrassed yourself in some way? I know I have! Sometimes I think 'why did I just say that?!' - but it's important to remember that people just don't care.  Even if they do, they will have a little snigger and forget all about it 5 minutes later.  If you're ever feeling self conscious just remember that people are thinking more about themselves than what you're saying or doing.  Other people don't analyse your actions as much as you will do.

Speak to strangers. Brighten someones day.

If going all out into situations you aren't comfortable with terrifies you, then take baby steps.  Speak to the lady at the till instead of opting for the self-service.  Say hello to the bus driver even if they're miserable (I'm on first name terms with a good few now...). I remember when I was having a bad day at work it was lovely when a customer said something nice.  For example, if you like the girl's nail polish who's serving you in a shop - tell her and ask her what it is! It's so easy to just say - 'oo I love your nail polish, what is it?' - asking a question is key as it provokes conversation back and avoids awkwardness. (I often do this - I actually found one of my favourite hair products by asking a girl in H&M how she styled her hair - she looked really happy I was interested... It's nice to spread a few happy vibes now and again).


Shyness is more often than not mistaken for ignorance. It's a shame but it's very true. I always remember this if I'm ever feeling a little wobbly.  Even if you don't want to say anything, just have a positive mind and smile at people.  Make eye contact. Little things make a big difference and don't take a lot of bravery at all :) 

Inner confidence.

If you want to be a more confident person, the first step is to learn to love who you are. Yes, it's a cliche. But this cliche is somewhat true. What are your good points? So what if you're not the best talker - what are you good at? Focus on your talents. So what if you're a little quiet sometimes? As I've said - it is not a bad thing.  I like to be quiet sometimes - nobody likes a cocky so and so! 

The conversation 'bank'

If you're going to an event or situation where you don't know many people, it's worth compiling your own little 'bank' of conversation starters or things to say.  What would you like to be asked? What interesting things could you tell someone about you? Everyone likes to talk about themselves - that's a fact - if you ask someone a question about their life they will answer you with enthusiasm - i bet. Similarly, if you need to phone someone and are worried about getting words muddled, it helps to write down what you want to say before you pick up the handset.   

My '10 minute' rule.

If you're having a class discussion, or are in a meeting at work or you have a group interview - have some form of input at the beginning and make your opinion/presence known.  It's a known fact that the longer you leave things, the harder they get - so it pays to speak up in situations like this within the first 10 minutes.  Even if you don't feel like saying much after this and prefer to just take in what others are saying - that's fine.  Little contributions go a long way.

And so there we have it - these are just things I've done since I was younger in order to make myself a more confident person. There's a balance between confident and 'cocky' that's for sure - remember that you don't have to be a loud mouth Larry to feel confident in yourself. I definitely have been a more outgoing person the past 5 years, and I truly believe it's because I made such a focus on it since my later years of school.  It doesn't come in the wave of a magic wand (how nice would that be?) but it does come gradually and the more you do these things, the easier they will become and the more natural they begin to be.  I don't think twice about certain things I used to be a bit nervous of before and I'd genuinely describe myself as a fairly confident person these days. Of course, I still get nervous/shy sometimes but if I ever do then I often use a few of these tips here and find that in a short amount of time, I feel fine again. I guess it helps i've always loved to talk and have a natter but even if it doesn't come naturally to you then just work on it. People will make opinions of you whether you or quiet or not, so why not just be yourself and throw caution to the wind once in a while?  Above all - always remember that people just don't care if you mess up or if you say something silly because they are too busy thinking about themselves (as you are!)  If something doesn't go well - then try again.  Surround yourself with family and friends and have a good support network around you and I promise you that you can get through any situation eventually. Even if you're not naturally a chit-chatty person that's fine - remember that - the key is to think positive, smile, appear approachable and believe in yourself a little more... (and plunge yourself in at the deep end sometimes - it does you good. Promise :))

If all else fails - just smile through it As good ol' Roald Dahl once said 'If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely' - now how's that for motivational, eh?

What are your tips for feeling confident?