Brows, brows, brows.

They're huge and have been for several years now, and with popularity means never ending products being released promising to be better than the last. 


I haven't tried every brow product out there, my bank balance simply could not support that lifestyle. But I do mix up my routine quite often, depending on mood, time and the look I'm going for. 


However, eyebrows can make or break a makeup look and I see so many girls walking around who don't particularly know what they're doing with big, thick, matte black eyebrows. The only way to avoid this is to know which products do what - This is where I come in. 




Pomade


My personal favourite is the pomade. I use Anastasia Beverly Hills and booooy it is good. For a natural look I outline them, slightly fill in and brush through the product with a spooly. I will complete the look with a brow gel. 


If I want a more dramatic look, I will outline my brows with a pencil first - my favourite is the ABH Brow Wiz and then I will fill in the rest with the pomade.  


My only qualm is that I find this method the most time consuming, meaning I'm not able to wear it for an everyday look. 




Brow Gel


Whether it's tinted or clear, if you have full brows like myself, you can get away with just this product alone. Quite often, I go for a natural look for work, as having thick brows can be difficult to manage as they tend to take over my face. When I'm not in the mood to enhance and dramatise them, I will use the Benefit Gimme Brow
 tinted gel instead to fill the sparse areas and groom them. 




Pencil


BOO my pencil is broke! I'm sure this is the product every girl started with when she realised eyebrow makeup was a thing all those years ago. However, I wish someone had advised me against it as I had no bloody clue what I was doing. I was using a jet black pencil and filling in my entire eyebrow. FACE PALM. Thank goodness for beauty gurus on the internet, because I soon came to realise that the best way for me to fill my brows was to use a colour that is a shade lighter than my brow hairs and to outline them and brush through the product. 


I rarely use just a pencil but if I do, I use it to emphasise my brows for a bolder look. I overline them slightly and shape them with more precision so they look at lot sharper and fierce - perfect for a full face evening look. 




Brown Eyeshadow


Not heard of this hack? You are missing out. Gone are the days of buying endless products for parts of your face when you can use the same one twice. Using brown eyeshadow to fill in my brows is part of my every day routine. 


You will need a colour that is a shade lighter than your actual brows, and it needs to be matte... Unless you want little bits of glitter in there, which tbh I'm not hating the thought of. 


This gives my brows a real natural look as the product is made to be blendable, meaning it doesn't come across harsh and you can easily remove or build on it as you please. However, for this reason you will need to use a brow gel on top to keep it all in place. 


This is my preferred choice as it literally takes me 2 minutes max and is a super affordable option as I'm sure you will all own a brown eyeshadow already. 




Brow Kits


Okay. If you are a novice I will recommend you purchase a brow kit until I am blue in the face.


They!! Are!! So!! Easy!!


I'm talking serious convenience here as you have all you need in one place. The Seventeen Brow Kit is my ultimate fav. For the very very affordable price of £6, you have wax, powder, a pencil and a brow highlighter all in one place. 


Although I wouldn't find it particularly easy drawing on brows with this kit, it is perfect for filling in sparse areas and giving them a really natural look. 



What is your preferred eyebrow technique?

 I constantly find myself residing in the Writer's Block Hotel. 

Thinking of ideas to talk about isn't always as easy as it seems and I am so envious of bloggers who post regular, great content because all I ever think is "don't you ever get stuck?"

My blog posts ideas are all or nothing. I can be sat watching TV and something will come to me, I'll jot it down and then 50 more will follow. But for months later I will struggle to think of any topic to discuss. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. 

With that being said, it is so important to know how to get over it when you find yourself struggling, otherwise you will remain in that rut for a long time and will struggle to ever find motivation. Over the last few months, I have attempted to inspire myself and open my mind to create new, innovative ideas and I have found by doing a few of the things listed below I have made some real progress. 

Shirt - Zara, Bodysuit - eBay, Joggers - Ivy Park, Shoes - Timberland

Read, Watch, Subscribe etc to Your Favourite Bloggers/Vloggers 

Follow the people whose content makes your soul smile. These are the people that will motivate you and inspire you to write things that are close to your heart as they resonate with yourself. 

You need someone you relate to and whose words you can hear yourself saying, it is more likely that you will understand their point of view and be able to write from a similar position. 

I am of course not recommending you plagiarise and copy other peoples content, as that is in no way the point of blogging. By owning a blog, you want your own voice to be heard. So we only use this to take inspiration from topics discussed and emotive language used. 

Blogger's wont get mad if you write about the same thing they have, that's how all topics start trending, but only as long as it is completely your own opinion and words. 


Review Latest Purchase 

Gather all the things you have bought for the current season we are in, scribble them all down or get them out in front of you and see what similarities you can find amongst them and if they inspire a theme you can use.

The things you might want to consider looking out for are; colour schemes, how you intend to style them, what trends you are following, whether or not they are timeless pieces or throw away fashion etc etc.  

And if all else fails, you can always do a haul of your latest purchases - this will always go down well, especially if you are loving a new brand and can show off a few new pieces of their current collections. 



Fashion Designers

I know many of us follow fashion bloggers now for style inspo, but we should never forget that style and trends always originate straight from the source. 

Follow your favourite fashion designers on Instagram and they will fill your feed with all the new, beautiful garments of their collection before they are released. This way you can see the newest fashions being styled and be ahead of the curve with updates on newest trends. 

This gives you a great lead on blogging about trends before they become huge and overdone. 




Recent Life Experiences 

Think back to some of the things you have been up to over the past few months. What did you get up to?

Maybe you visited a new city or tried a new restaurant? Write about what made you happy, what made you sad, what made you angry etc. 

Readers love​ to see personality through posts, so to be able to vent, rant and share details about your life will make you much more likable and attainable. It's good for your readers to know that actually you are a normal person and totally relatable. 

Back To Basics 

There are sooo many blog posts out there listing ideas for you to use when you hit writer's block. These usually include the really generic posts which can sometimes put you, off but there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them. I would never recommended sleeping on posts about hauls, everyday make up routines, product reviews, styling a certain item. As long as you write genuine, real posts your readers will appreciate and respect you. 


Social Media - YouTube and Instagram

The world is high on YouTube at the moment, it is huge and it is only continuing to grow with, presumably, thousands of users signing up daily to post. As there as so many users who are desperate to be different from the rest, we have access to so much material. We see what trends are being created, what is popular and what flops. This is a great place to look for innovative talking points. So if you're stuck for ideas, try spending an hour browsing the trending videos in your area of expertise and take in what they are saying to see how you can channel that into your own words and inspiration. 

Instagram is overloaded with images of beautiful women wearing beautiful clothes in beautiful cities. If you want inspo for how to wear certain things, Instagram and Pinterest are your place to look. Just search the hashtag #PVCTrousers (avoid the sex related images that might turn up) and see how people all over the world style things differently. It's so interesting and educational to see! 

Grab Your Notebook, We're Heading Back To School

How did we all brainstorm ideas when we we're in school? We grabbed our notebooks or giant A3 pieces of paper, gathered a selection of coloured pens and drew the biggest mindmap we could. 

I'm not saying we need to go to these extremes, but it's a great, effective method to help get your imagination going.

I would take some time to sit in a quiet room and just start writing down ideas - they don't have to be good. Just write down anything you can think of. You will be surprised by how much your mind will open up and soon your own hand won't be able to keep up with what you want to jot down. ​

How do you come up with inspiration for your blog posts?

Hooded eye sufferers, CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!?

If you have issues with hooded eyes, then please please please read on.

I have had hooded eyes for as long as I can remember. I always thought I could never find a solution for it and it was just the way my eyes were meant to be. It got to the point where I was considering spending £1000 on botox to actually get it fixed.

My make up was often uneven, my eyeliner would take over my entire eyelid and I was never able to take pictures from my right side without looking like a creep.

It's a real nightmare for myself, and something I was incredibly self conscious of. So if you are in the same boat, I feel your pain!! 

For years and years I ignored it, as I thought I might eventually grow out of it but that wasn't to be the case until one day I decided to google it and see if something could be done. 

I scrolled through pages and pages on Google but most of what came up were temporary results. This included hacks such as using egg whites(WTF?!) and eyelash glue, but nothing that would be a permanent fix besides surgery.

I eventually came across a web page that stated that if you apply a good eye cream every night you will begin to see visible results, but not guaranteeing a cure. 


So step 1, I invested in a Nip&Fab Bee Sting eye cream. I started using it sparingly as instructed, on my cheek bones and brow bone, being careful to dab and not rub.

I wasn't expecting anything miraculous, but I will say I began to notice a difference in the space of 3 days. After continuing this for a few months the elasticity in my upper lids has definitely firmed and I can notice the difference from how they used to look. 

I would absolutely recommend this. Whether it was the product, or the process of applying the cream iunno. But this is something I will never run out of now.


I did continue looking on Google for more dramatic, instant results, and although this cannot be achieved through the use of creams or gels etc, I did come across a really simple and effective technique. It is temporary, but they are so inexpensive that it doesn't pain you to keep stocking up and that is Eye Lash Strips.



Step 2, I headed over to eBay and bought a fairly cheap set as I wanted to test it out. The only thing I would mention is maybe try and get double sided strips as apparently if you wear them for 3 months straight you will create a new permanent fold in your lid.. meaning no hood! 


The results are amazing, unfortunately you can't wear heavy duty make up when you are wearing them but for 3 months I think we can cope. You can still get away with mascara, lashes and wings! 

So, if you have hooded eyes and think this can't be solved please go and buy these products. I obviously cannot promise you amazing and immediate results. It may not even work for you, but it is at least worth a shot. My confidence boosted by a milli.


Let me know how you got on in the comments, and what tips and tricks do you have for hooded eyes?!




I watch a hell of a lot of TV, and American sitcoms and dramas are probably some of my favourites. You often see criticism from the media that there isn't enough shows with the leading characters being female, so I wanted to narrow down the women that have inspired me and taught me lessons on TV and just reiterate why it is so important for us fellow women to encourage and support those who do have their own TV shows. 

Firstly, is my all time favourite TV show which sadly came to an end last year: The Mindy Project. Mindy has taught me countless lessons, that there is no way I could list them all, so I will tell you the one that is most important to me.

The Mindy Project taught me being Indian is empowering af.

My culture isn't something I have always been proud of, and in fact I used to be embarrassed by it. Ultimately it boiled down to being in a school of predominantly white children. I never saw Indian women being bigged up or doing great thing, the only time I saw them was when they were having the piss ripped out of them. 

So this is a huge one for me, I wish there were more Indian women on my screen at the moment, but for now I will settle on Mindy, as she is doing an absolute sterling job.  

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New Girl taught me that guys can make the best of friends. 

You either believe in guy and girl friendships or you don't, there is no inbetween. But genuinely, I wish those that didn't were more accepting of them. 

By being friends with a member of the male species does not, I repeat, does not mean you have to have any romantic feelings towards them. 

Guys make the best friends because: 
1) They will be honest with you when you need an honest answer
2) Their banter is on another level 
3) They aren't afraid to take the mick out of themselves, meaning you can too 
4) They may have hot friends and can give you a way in 
5) You can get genuine relationship advice from the other side - no more confusing bf moments 

and on and on and on. Basically, don't sleep on a male and female friendship, because they rock. 

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90210 taught me that every single person in Beverly Hills is beautiful and when I'm looking for a husband that's where I'll be heading.

There's really nothing else to say on this. 

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Gossip Girl taught me that rich people, although awesome, have the most dramatic stressful lives. So never judge a book by its cover.

I would watch this program and dream of a life in NYC where I could wander around the city all day, go for brunch and to the top clubs and own all the latest fashion pieces before they even hit the stores. 

Of course it is everyone's dream, but I'm not sure I would want that if I had to put up with the amount of BS they do in this show. 

Get kidnapped, drugged and left in a hotel room to die? But you'll have the new Gucci bag?

Actually, yeah probably still would. 

JK. 

The moral of the story is that although it looks super glam and fabulous, everything we see is through rose tinted glasses. We shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. This reminds me of a similar topic that is often discussed all over the blogger world, and that is The Instagram Issue. 

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Desperate Housewives taught me that marrying rich and becoming a housewife is actually goals. 

You don't have anything to prove, so don't bust your balls trying to succeed at being something you're not at the expense of your happiness. 

What will be, will be and as long as you are happy then all is well. Embrace it, happiness is success IMO.

Oh and also, wine is your best friend. 

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Devious Maids taught me never to underestimate 'the help.' 

Just because someone's job isn't as glam as yours, it doesn't make you any better.

You should never look down on someone because of the job they do, particularly when you know very little of their character. 

We are all the same. 


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Empire taught me to channel my inner sass on the regular, don't let anyone dim your light.

If there is one woman who inspires me everyday to fight to keep that fire in my belly alive, it is Cookie from Empire. 

She is such a boss, in every sense of the word. She doesn't let anyone intimidate her, she doesn't succumb to any man. She really is just amazing. 

Love you forever Cook, you taught me to believe in myself and beat anyone's ass who doesn't.

Image result for cookie empire gif sass
So, 2017 was a pretty awful year. Not only did I not achieve the goals I had set for myself, but my family and I also went through some really terrible times. It was a year that I would choose to forget in all honesty. 

But this year, I want to come back bigger and better. I have written all my goals that I would like to achieve down in my little notebook, but we all know it is very easy to write them on a piece of paper and never look at them again. So, by writing this blog post I am telling you all what I would like to achieve and why, and if I happen to completely fail then you all reserve the write to call me out for being a phoney. 

2018 for me is all about letting my creativity out. I have spent so many years of my life without expressing myself through art or my content, and I have so much to offer. My mind is overflowing with ideas that I need to channel into something. 



1) Read 20 Books

It doesn't seem like much, but this is going to equate to nearly two a month which I think I can do. I have finished reading Gabriel's Inferno, and the second one is on its way. I may write a review on this soon. So now I have started The Beautiful and Damned which I have read mixed reviews on. BUT it is Serena Van Der Woodson's favourite book so...

love​​ reading. I get so lost in books and characters, they take me to another world. But for some reason unbeknownst to me, it's not something I ever spend much time doing. I would usually prefer to watch TV over sitting in silence reading, but not anymore. I want to increase my library and read a lot of classics this year too. 




2) Write 40 Blog Posts 

Last year I managed to write 32, which was more than I thought but this year I want to beat that. Blogging is a hard process for me, I love to sit and write and once I give myself the opportunity and I could spend hours doing it.


I am really good at thinking of lots of blog posts and setting dates and targets of when to write and post them but for some reason when it comes to executing it, I bail. Ultimately, it's down to laziness and poor time management. So I have set myself the small target of writing 8 more than last year, which I think I can achieve. 





3) Watch 40 Classic Films. 

I love watching TV, I've been over it before but it is definitely one of my favourite things to do. I'll always have some sort of TV show on the go, and whenever I get the opportunity to sit and watch a movie I will. But, I am someone who loves the glamour that came with old Hollywood and the stars from that time fascinate me. I know all there is to know about Jimmy Dean. But I have watched hardly any films, and I feel a bit of a hypocrite for that. So this year the plan is to watch as many classics as I can, not just from the early eras, but films that will make a 'Must Watch' list. 





4) Drink 2 Litres of Water a Day

For years I have been told how important drinking water is for your health and for your skin, so I plan to take that seriously this year. I saw a video on Facebook the other day of this woman whose skin was quite literally glowing and she said her main secret was drinking lots and lots of water. I'll be frank, I want my skin to beam like an angel so if all I have to do is drink a lot of water and visit the ladies room more frequently than before, then I shall. 

I have purchased a Brita water bottle from Sainsbury's. It was £7.99 I believe? But this means I can take it to work and fill it up there and not be concerned about the gross water tanks etc. They're about 600ml, so if I aim to have around 3 and a half of those a day I should reach my daily target. 

5) Complete 8 Sewing Projects

Sewing is my newest hobby I have taken up. One day I plan to have my very own fashion line, so learning to sew and design will be a necessity for me. 8 isn't many, but I am an absolute beginner. As long as I focus on taking my time on each project I begin, rather than rush and make mistakes, I'm hoping to learn a lot from the ones I choose and next year I may be in the position to begin designing my very own fashion pieces and creating Ripped Glam into a true brand. 

6) Get a Payrise. 

This one is not necessarily in my hands, but I have worked hard in my job for over 3 years now and not once have I been rewarded for my dedication and loyalty to the company. This year I plan to lay my cards on the table and make them aware I am not happy, and I am worth more. This could either go very well or very poorly. But should they not agree, I guess a new goal will be to find a new job! 

7) Reach 1000 Twitter Followers 

I am very pleased with the growth of my Twitter following, considering I'm not that present on there. It grows slowly, but this year I plan to engage more and hit the 1k mark. 





8) Learn To Draw Fashion Illustrations 

I am obsessed with them. I follow so many accounts on Instagram that are dedicated to fashion sketches, and it is one skill I wish I was born with so I have begun practicing sketching myself. By the end of the year I want to be able to sketch properly and design my own clothing. 

And those are my goals for the year. I am currently making progress with a few of the steps, so I will be disappointed if I don't manage to complete them. 

If you have any ideas for books, films, blog posts, beginner sewing projects or guides to sketching let me know in the comments below! 




I am going to try and make this post as detailed as possible, because I know how truly stressful buying a house can be I also know that people find these posts particularly helpful, especially if it's not an easy transaction. 

1. The first thing I would absolutely recommend is ensure you have a decent deposit before you begin looking for properties. This means putting away a set amount of money from your paycheck each month until you reach your target. There's no point house hunting when you have £1000 in the bank, because if you find your dream home, by the time you save the rest of the money it will be sold to someone else. 


There are many schemes out there now that are available to make the process easier for a First Time Buyer, so definitely do your research. For example, the Help To Buy ISA's. It is free money from the government, why would you not do it?


2. Get your mortgage sorted. Yes you can do it online and compare what all the banks are doing, but it's time consuming. My best advice would be to visit a mortgage broker. You can walk into any estate agents and ask to book an appointment to do this. They will talk you through a lot of lenders across the market who are offering the best rates, they will tell you what you can afford to look up to and they will do all the work for you. The downside to this is you have to pay a fee if you decide to proceed with them, but I personally think it lifts the stress.



3. Prepare for the upcoming expenses. So not only will you have the upfront expenses regarding the purchase such as solicitors fees, searches, survey fees, moving costs and deposit monies. But you have to prepare for the lifestyle you are getting yourself into. This means paying all your bills - that's gas, water and electricity. You'll need to account for food shops, furnishings, updating any decor or works and ensuring you have savings in place at all times in case any emergency repairs or replacements need to made. 



4. Now you can get on Rightmove and start house hunting. I would recommend downloading the apps for Rightmove and Zoopla to get notifications as soon as properties go on the market as they can sometimes sell within 24 hours of them being on. So you do need to be quick. 


When you have some free time try to pop into the estate agents in your local area and register with them for email updates. Be very specific with what you are after, and be nice to them too! They're much more likely to remember you and want to sell you a house. A lot of the time, if a property is due to come to the market, agents will call whoever they remember were after something like that before it goes live. So it is especially key to build a rapport and remain friendly.  


5. Prepare, prepare, prepare. When on viewings, you need to ask the right questions, because you don't want to go in unprepared and miss your opportunity. Ask the questions you want to know the answers to, whether it's if it is a nice area, regarding parking or whatever else! Just make sure it is what you are looking for and if it doesn't tick all the boxes you can cross it off your list. 


6. Offering. This might sound like common sense, but negotiate your offer. Never go in full asking price, because more often than not, there is flexibility on price. Don't be stubborn about it, and try to reach mutual ground. If you can't agree, you can always bargain with some of the appliances and fixtures. 


7. Budget for fees. As I mentioned previously, there's lots of fee's involved with purchasing a house, and even more if you are selling too. You need to account for these, of course if you see a mortgage adviser they will be able to work all the budgeting out for you and tell you exactly what you need to spend where. 

8. When instructing solicitors, the estate agent you are looking to buy through will always, always try to get you to use their own. Of course they will, they get a teeny amount of commission for it. I would recommend you don't do this, and use someone who is big and well known - usually someone you know will be able to give you a positive recommendation. The issue with small, local solicitors is that many of them are quite old school and don't do things online. You want to avoid this as things tend to be a lot slower when they are involved with a chain.  


9. Try to avoid shopping. I know buying a house is one of the most exciting things a person can do, and all you want to do is go out and buy everything you see - but don't! There is nothing definitive by having your offer accepted and your sale agreed. I wouldn't even begin to think about looking until you have at least received your mortgage offer and had your survey come back to say that the property is fine. So many things can go wrong, you don't even realise. So if your sale were to fall through, you don't want the added stress of trying to return stuff you might've bought. 


10. The only time when you are really safe and at the home stretch is when you officially exchange contracts. This is the legally binding contract for the ownership of the property. Now you just have to set your completion date.  


11. Completion. Please please be efficient. When the solicitors ask you to transfer your deposit and funds, do it asap. Completion will usually happen mid-day so you need to ensure you have done what they have asked so they receive everything in time to process it. Once you get the call to say the property is officially yours, pop down to the estate agent, pick up your keys and move in.


12. Don't forget to change your address on everything!


I hope you found these tips helpful and if you have any other questions let me know!

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