Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Blogging // 6 Month Anniversary & What I've Learnt

It only registered with me today that i have been blogging at Pieces Of Kate for 6 months now and it's an incredible feeling. The blog i had when i was in my teens was a world apart from the one i have today, the differences between them are pretty remarkable. Back then i would treat my blog like an online diary and talk about all sorts of crap that a teenager would typically come out with but now, 11 years later, i am blogging as an adult and it's so different.

So what have i learnt about blogging this time round? Well...

Blogging is extremely popular - When i had my original blog, there was very little press about it. You wouldn't read about it in magazines and it wasn't something that was brought up in conversation. But these days, blogging is a common hobby and in some cases a career path. I couldn't believe how many people blog around the world, owning their little piece of the internet to talk about subjects that they want to talk about.

It opens up alot of opportunities - Blogging to me is a way to talk about subjects that i take an interest in yet others might not but i was surprised to see that the topics of some of my blog posts were not only popular with other bloggers but with brands/companies. I didn't even consider the possibility that well known brands would look at my little Blog and ask me to review their products for them. Even being invited to blog live from a fashion show and be invited to make up launches is an overwhelming feeling. 

Friendships can be made - This has to be one of the best things i have learnt. I'm fortunate enough to have made some great friends through blogging and alot of them live close by. I'm 28 this year and alot of my school friends and people i have grown up with have moved away or i don't see them very often now we all have families and work commitments but knowing that i have made a group of new friends and that we all share the same hobby is such a good feeling. I wish i could name everyone but you all know who you are.

There is so much support out there - This ties in with making friends but it stems out to my family aswell. My boyfriend Carl was supportive of my blog from day one and has encouraged me everyday to keep at it. My mum loves the idea and my daughter thinks it's 'cool'! No matter what i post, how i'm feeling or what is going on in my life, i have support from every direction.

There is a dark side to blogging - 99% of the time, the blogging world is a happy chilled out place but there is that 1% that has to ruin it for others. On Twitter specifically, i have encountered a few bloggers who can get very defensive and accuse others of 'stealing their ideas'. Considering how many blogs there are out there, you can't be expected to come up with an idea that hasn't 1. Already been done or 2. Someone will copy afterwards. Blogging is not a competition, it's a fun hobby and it should stay that way. 

Numbers become the be all and end all - I have seen so many people say 'I am 5 away from 500 on Bloglovin' or 'Ooo i'm nearly at 1000 followers on Twitter, help me get more' and i think it's wrong. I see it all the time and i wonder why it is so important to have so many followers to your blog or Twitter. Ok so you get alot of traffic this way but to me that's not what's important. Many people see it as such a competitive industry and i can't understand why it has to be seen that way. 

These are the main things i have learnt over the last 6 months and compared to how it was when i was a 16 year old blogger, it's a very different world. 

I'd like to thank all of you for helping me get where i am today with all the support and encouragement. It's been a great 6 months and i can't wait for the rest.



Saturday, 19 April 2014

Taking On YouTube

Hey everyone

Starting a YouTube gaming channel has been on the cards for a while now and i'm really passionate about it. With working full time and having a family, i've simply not had the time to put in 100% to recording, editing and uploading and it's only now that the Easter holiday is around and i have 4 days off that i have really had the chance to knuckle down and start making the videos.

Unfortunately because i want to put all my effort into getting my first few videos live, i will have to put blogging on the back burner. I'm not happy about it as i love creating new ideas for posts and sharing things with you all but i don't have the time to commit my time to both and i have to concentrate on the thing i am more passionate about. That's not to say i'm not passionate about blogging because i REALLY am. I love taking 10 minutes out of my busy life to tip tap away at my laptop and rant or ramble but until i can establish a decent balance between work, family and Youtube i will have to sacrifice blogging.

If i ever find the time to make a post or i have something i really want to share then i will be back posting, this isn't permanent, just a little holiday i guess.

Hopefully i will still have your support and maybe you can support me just as much on my YouTube too :)


Kate x

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Benefit Gimme Brow || Review

Well done Benefit, you sucked me in for so long and i eventually caved in and bought something from you. Honestly, i have never been able to justify the prices for their products and after reading a fair few reviews on some of their items, i'm kinda glad i never shelled out on them. But this is very different...

I will hold my hands up and say that i am guilty of plucking my eyebrows within an inch of their lives and after learning how to properly look after your eyebrows at college, i think my tutor would smack me if she saw the state of mine now. 

After researching eyebrow make up, i came across Benefit Gimme Brow and i was intrigued by how it works. The micro fibre solution clings to the hairs already on your eyebrows giving the impression that they are fuller than what they are. Was this the case? See for yourself...

As you can see, the difference between the before and after is evident. My eyebrows look fuller without looking like they are drawn on and fake. It stayed put all day even when it rained so there were no long streaks down my face once water touched it and even better, it doesn't smudge whatsoever but is easy to remove with any cleansing products.

Application was incredibly easy. The product comes with an instruction leaflet but i just went with my instinct and gently brushed through the eyebrow with the wand and it came out brilliantly. I have naturally dark brown hair which is now dyed black so i chose the Medium/Deep shade but you can also get it in Light/Medium which is suitable for blondes. 

At a price of £17.50 for 3.0g of product, it's very much on the pricey side but for once i am happy to pay it. The product does what it says on the tin and i know that i will get plenty of use out of it to justify the cost. If you are guilty of ruining your eyebrows and want something that will bring them back to life, then Benefit Gimme Brow is the magic weapon for you.

You can buy Benefit Gimme Brow here

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sleek Blush || Review

Blusher has never been a staple part of my make up arsenal simply because i have a natural flush in my cheeks and the thought of adding to it filled me with apprehension because i didn't want to resemble a clown! But out of curiosity while on the Sleek website, i decided to bite the bullet and purchase one just to see if my feelings were correct...they weren't.

After a long time looking at the different shades, i settled on Flamingo 937. I'm fortunate enough to tan very easily and when i do, it stays so i took this into consideration when choosing which shade i thought would be right for me so i opted for one that had a plum undertone and this one was perfect and really fit the bill.

 This blush is very matte with a miniscule amount of shimmer which to me is the best blusher to have as when there is too much shimmer, you look like Edward Cullen glittering all over the place.

As with all blushes, you don't need much so i applied some to my brush and blew off any excess which left a perfect amount which i was able to build up if necessary. Application was easy and it gave great results with just a couple of brush strokes.

The end result was fantastic and looked natural which is exactly what i was after. It gave just the right amount of 'flush' that i wanted after i had applied foundation. The only drawback is that it doesn't really last that long. I set my make up with setting spray and a couple of hours later, the blush was barely visible. This wasn't a massive problem for me in the long run but if you prefer to have a constant blush then you would definitely need to keep re-applying this.

The blush cost £4.49 from the Sleek website here  and once again at that price you can't go wrong as this will last me ages. It comes in 11 shades to suit everyone but just remember to take into account what skin tone you have as the wrong blush for your skin can make you look like coco the clown!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Sleek Eau La La Liner || Review

Have you ever been asked ' What one make up item would you take to a desert island'? Well mine would have to be eyeliner. It's so versatile and you can transform your look with just one swish.

I have used Collection 2000 Kohl eyeliners since forever but i fancied a bit of a change so when i came across the Eau La La Liner from Sleek i snapped it up. It's a cream based pencil, something i have never used before and since using it i am a complete addict and have put my Kohl pencil away in my make up box in favour of this little treasure.

Application is so easy, there is no need to keep going over it to get a darker colour which is the case with many eyeliners. It reminds me of a felt tip in a way which i know sounds strange but it glides along the eyelid and you barely feel it!

Another good thing about this eyeliner, is that you can sharpen it like a regular pencil. I have read reviews of cream eyeliners before and sharpening them often left a gooey mess in sharpeners but this is the polar opposite. I sharpened it in my regular eyeliner sharpener and it came out perfect. I can't fault it!

At a price of £4.99 you really can't stick your nose up at it, it's an absolute bargain and it comes in 20 different shades! 20 SHADES!! WOW! The shade i am using is in Noir 289.

I have never used Sleek make up before but i'm so glad i found them because they are one of my new favourite brands. They are cheap but you get excellent quality and they have a massive range of products too. You can buy the Eau La La Liner from here

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Rimmel STAY MATTE Foundation || Review

After using mineral foundation since the stone age, i decided to go against everything i know and love and buy a liquid foundation. When you have excessively dry skin like mine, liquid foundation never looked right on application and in some cases it would make my skin look worse so buying this was a massive stepping stone for me and i was sceptical about the results.

I gave it a good run for it's money and i must say i am pleasantly surprised! It says that it is a liquid mousse in consistency but i would say it is more liquid on application. The coverage is pretty good and blended well but a little definitely goes a long long way. 

 If you use too much of this, it will go way too orange in tone and the wotsit look is never a good thing lets be honest.

Back when i was a teenager before i used mineral foundation, i would apply the liquid foundation and set it with powder but when using this i realised that powder wasn't necessary as it gave a pretty flawless look hence the name Stay Matte i'm guessing? It lasted pretty well through the day but it would need an occasional top up in my opinion as it's not 100% long lasting.

Overall i'm quite happy with this product. I'm still in 2 minds as to wether i will convert to this from my beloved Sheer Cover but i would say it's a good contender right now. 

You can buy it here for £5.99 and it comes in 6 different shades. I used 201 classic beige 


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Disney's Frozen - Worth The Hype? *SPOILERS*

I grew up watching Disney films and consider the franchise a major factor in my upbringing. I remember them all being on VHS tapes and always being really annoyed when opening the box and finding i hadn't rewound it back to the beginning and having to sit there for half an hour waiting to see that infamous Cinderella castle at the start of the film. 

Disney these days has become a lot more advanced in it's style and stories. Back then i would watch Beauty & The Beast and be mesmorised by a rose that dictated the longevity of a spell, a young woman who could dance and sing through a village and somehow get everyone to join in, even a singing bloody candlestick! But if it were to be made these days, it would be a very different story altogether. 

Frozen is the most recent product of Disney and it has had an incredible amount of hype surrounding it. I would watch YouTube and encounter so many people singing the soundtrack or trying to copy the look of the characters in make up tutorials. Is it really that sodding good? I had to find out for myself...

Myself and Saz sat down to watch Frozen over the weekend and i was really hoping for something good...

It took a while to actually get into the story and when the accident happened between Anna & Elsa, it never really explained why Elsa had this gift and no one else did. I actually had to ask my 10 year old daughter what the hell was going on!

I recognised the songs instantly. When you hear people constantly singing 'Let it go' & 'Do you want to build a snowman' you do get a sense of what is coming. 

All in all i think Frozen has it's good points and bad in equal measure. I can see why alot of people get so excited about it because it's very different to other Disney films in that it includes dark(ish) moments i.e when Anna freezes and we all think it's the end for her..OH NO! Ahem...but the whole prince charming appearing out of nowhere, turns out to be a bad egg and she realises she loves the 'mere mortal' type is too over done.

One thing i did love about the film was that it didn't over dramatise the humour aspect. Olaf the overly friendly yet simple snowman from Anna & Elsa's childhood was the only character i laughed out loud at. Everything else seemed a little too.....Disney!

If i was to rate it, i would give Frozen 7/10