The Ordinary - The Cheap Sister Company To Niod & Fountain You Need To Know About

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Today I want to talk about the latest skincare brand on the block - you may have heard of them.

The new skincare line is called The Ordinary, but they couldn't be further than that, offering high quality ingredients at some very affordable prices and possibly changing the way we think about high end skincare... well what we spend on it, anyway. 

The new brand from Deciem - founders of Niod, Fountain and Hylamide, have so far released 11 products, mainly consisting of serums, priced between £5.00 and £12.70 (plus free p&p!) but have many more exciting products in the pipeline! The key element of this new line is that each product only contains a few active ingredients and though with quite a scientific approach in both the names and packaging, if you can suss out which serum will work best with your skin it will most likely do wonders! 

After lots of looking at all the individual serums The Ordinary offer I decided to treat myself (if spending £5 can be classed as that) to Niacinamide 10% + Zine 1% which is a blemish formula aimed at reducing the appearance of blemishes and congestion as well as balancing out sebum in the skin. From having a quick look at other products on the market that also contain 10% or less of Niacinamide (by Paula's Choice and Alpha-H) you would be looking to pay around £30-50... so you can see you get quite the saving with The Ordinary! 

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zine 1%

High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula 

£5.00 (shop link

Onto the serum itself now, which comes in a glass bottle with a pipette in quite a silky rubberised feeling box. Again this doesn't feel like a £5 product at all.

With The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zine 1% serum expect a light quite gel-like fragrance-free formula that leaves the skin tacky for around 10 minutes before it fully soaks in. I've been applying this both morning and evening for 3 weeks now and even though I saw good results in the first few days of use I wanted to hold off until now to give a more in depth and full review. 

From constant use I have noticed my skin to look and feel less oily, especially on and around my T-zone area, pores are also less noticeable... but that is probably due to them not being filled with oil, and no small blemishes cropping up!
In the entire 3 weeks I've had only one blemish on my chin, however that appeared after spending the day in a shopping centre... so I'm going to blame the lack of fresh air! And with the use of the serum I noticed it disappeared after 2 days! 

Unlike other blemish treatments I haven't found my skin to become dry or flaky in areas leading me to only use them occasionally, in fact it feels more balanced and like a normal skin type for the first time in years - this really has impressed me. 

Other amazing sounding serums include "Buffet" - an all-in-one anti-ageing wonder formula, Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% - a good chemical exfoliatant and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - ideal for anyone with dehydrated skin. 

Yes, the name of the products are confusing, unless you're a skincare whizz, but don't let that put you off... a little Googling will tell you what ingredient does what. Plus The Ordinary have created a table of when each product should be used here, which does make things a little easier! 

As you may be able to tell I'm very much impressed by my first purchase and I'm 100% looking forward to what The Ordinary have in store, especially as they have 8 new products coming soon. Including a very interesting sounding High-Adherence Silicone Primer which will be priced at only £3.90! 

Due to the nature of the brand and their scientific approach I don't think high-end skincare brands have much to worry about. But for those that can suss out their skin needs and buy accordingly The Ordinary is a brand to get excited by! 

What are your first impressions of  The Ordinary

Fee xo. 

A No-BS Guide To Making Money As A Blogger

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This post has been in the pipeline for some time, I've had it part wrote for weeks now. But in light of Mode Media declaring bankruptcy and knowing thousands of bloggers will ultimately go unpaid (including myself!) along with losing an income stream, I was motivated to get this post wrote!

Side note - I'm presuming you're a blogger if you are reading and know about the news surrounding Mode Media (Hayley at London Beauty Queen has an in-depth post all about it). This post really is aimed at bloggers already seeking ways of making money from blogging which means there is some more in-depth info here and I won't be explaining the basics such as how affiliate marketing works etc.


Recently I've been trying to up my game as a blogger. This has meant endless scouring of Pinterest for informative blog posts and motivation stuffs if you will. But the thing is... I kinda feel "How I make $50,000 per month as a blogger" and "How to Become a Six-Figure Blogger within a Year" type blog posts just aren't that helpful. Motivational? yes, Actual info to help to get there? no. You see unless you want to be an all singing all dancing blogger that branches out into coaching, e-book writing or event talking or you're one of the lucky select few that started back in the day and are now part of the main talent agency in the UK (you know the one!). Then it's actually pretty damn hard to make a full-time wage from blogging, though it is doable!

So I decided to do the opposite of all the blog posts I've been reading recently and give you a no BS, no-nonsense yet fairly simple guide on how to make money as blogger. Whether you're only just starting out or you're looking to increase your income, especially if you've been let down my Mode Media, I hope this post can help.  

Sponsored Content 

Sponsored posts are a great way to boost your yearly income as a blogger. Yes, you need to be careful not to annoy your readers by over doing them or blogging about cheese when you're a beauty blogger (just an example, I hope no one has!) but done correctly you can produce interesting content whilst making a good amount of money. If you are lucky enough to contacted by a company and then work with them on sponsored content make sure to keep that relationship going - offer your stats on that post, let them know if it goes a bit viral 6 months on etc. It's just a good way to say - I'm still here! 

As for how much you can earn from sponsored content it really is based on your reach/page views and the amount of work you will be doing for them. Even if you class yourself as a small time blogger and don't do it full time, never accept anything less than £100 - ever! For the average blogger £200-500 is the norm, however if you can build up your monthly pageviews then you really can earn quite a bit more. 

I've personally found since the change in Google's rules in which paid for content cannot contains follow links (they most be no-follow) there has been a drop is sponsored content and it's not something I can rely on as a monthly income. It's still an income stream for me but it now makes up 25% of my income compared to 50-60% in 2014/15.

Key tips to take away
  • Know your worth
  • Keep your integrity
  • Always request a purchase order (PO) number to secure and track payments more easily. In the rare case of non-payment the purchase order can be used as a legal document.

Affiliate Marketing 

I often think affiliate marketing is over looked especially by beauty bloggers, which is a shame because it's something that can become a good passive income and not require too much work other than blogging consistantly and recommending products you love! 

My main tip here to maximise monthly income is to join as many related affiliate programs as you can so that all the products you talk about and love, earn you at least something, be it a few pence sometimes! The main affiliate programs that work for me are - Skimlinks, Affiliate Window, Rakuten and Amazon,  but there are so many more and to find them I often visit the product website on the products I want to mention and find the affiliate details/link in the footer. 

Wish list and round-up product posts always do well. However honest in-depth reviews shouldn't be overlooked! Also if you do well with a certain brands you can sometimes negotiate a higher commission rate with the affiliate program or you could consider including a display ad of your highest earning brand in the sidebar of your blog which will bring you extra affiliate revenue.

Key tips to take away
  • Be consistent
  • Join multiple affiliate programs (it all adds up!)
  • Only features products you love/believe in!
  •  Update out of date links and naturally place links in posts that receive the most traffic 

Ad Agencies 

Ahhh, now onto the sticky topic of ad agencies that take a cut of what you earn but take the the effort and negotiation out of the equation. But who can we really trust?! Often ad agencies come with rules (example - no other outside ads above the fold) and make themselves more appealing than they actually are, in terms of how often ads will be served on your page (it's never 100% of the time but more like 30-40%) and how much they pay per CPM. I currently don't feel I can recommend any ad agencies as I haven't trialled any other the Mode Media. However I would suggest to proceed with caution, always opt to trial ads out for a month first and never solely rely on it as your main source of income.

Key tips to take away   
  • Make sure the ads aren't intrusive and Google-friendly (no-mobile pop-ups!)
  •  Don't solely rely on one income, have other revenue streams
  • Backfill ads with another ad agency or Adsense to aim to have ads showing 100% of the time, making the most you can for each ad space.

Goodle Adsense 

If you are looking for a totally reliable way of making money through ads then look no further than Google Adsense. Adsense is often the first thing bloggers put on their page and then with a small amount of pageviews feel it's not for them due to their low revenue. However building on pageviews definitely increases ad revenue and with the correct placement and ad sizes you can really maximise earnings. It always a good idea to place your largest ads above the fold and include individual ads into the html of your most popular posts/posts. I personally know a few people that earn a full time wage just through Adsense ads alone. Get placement right and aim to increase your pageviews and this could become a good portion of your income!

Key tips to take away

  • Include ads above the fold
  • Try different ad sizes monthly to find your most clicked ad size
  • Be aware of the guidelines/rules, Google do ban people! 

These are the 4 key areas in which you can earn money through blogging, however social media sponsorship is becoming much more popular so this may be another area you want consider. There's also the option to seek out private ads with smaller businesses.

I'm definitely no expert in this field and my pretty limited knowledge comes from blogging for over 5 years now. 

If you do have any questions however feel free to ask them in the comments below and I'll try my best to answer them! 

Fee xo.

eBay Review: Zoeva Style Rose Gold Makeup Brush Set

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I think it's fair to say that I love budget makeup brushes from eBay. Yes, I've tried Zoeva, Sigma, MAC and lots of the other high end branded brushes but as long as the brush quality is there, whether cheap or expensive, I think it's down to application technique!

So with that being said, I'm more than happy to pick up inexpensive brushes and brush sets from eBay because they are pretty great on quality, for the most part, and look amazing! Here I have a stunning 8-piece set that consists of both face and eye brushes and looks extremely similar to the much more expensive Zoeva Rose Golden brushes. The best thing about them... they cost only £5.22 here - I know, crazy! Or if you don't mind branding on the handles of the brushes (they say 'Gujhui') then they are only £3.95 here

Psssst! I've been asked by a few U.S readers now to include US links in my eBay posts so here's the link to these brushes - only $6.77

If you read my review of the Zoeva -style rose gold/pink brushes then you will know that I particular loved the foundation buffing brush in the set. This was because it's the loveliest duo-fibre brush. So I was more than pleased that this set contains 4 duo fibre brushes, which are extremely soft I must say! 

What you receive

Face brushes (left image) 
Powder brush, foundation buffing brush, small buffing brush, angled blush brush
Eye Brushes (right image) 
Large blending brush, angled liner/brow brush, lid brush, fluffy blending brush 


Hopefully you can see from the images that these are absolutely stunning brushes without any flaws to them. The rose gold ferrules are just gorgeous and very well made, feeling secure and sturdy, in fact two of the duo fibre buffing brushes seem to have extra strong ferrules and really do feel expensive... I would have been fine to pay £5.00 for these two brushes alone! 

As for shedding of the bristles it's all been very minimal and only with the two cream eyeshadow brushes, but nothing I don't expect from any other brush set. I also feel I need to repeat about how soft these brushes actually are - I think you will be as impressed as I am! I also love how dense the duo fibre brushes are, which makes them ideal for creating a flawless base.

Favourite Brushes 

I really could have picked them all as my favourite brushes as I'm been using them equally and cannot fault them. However there are a few that really stand out to me as excellent brushes. Okay, I did still pick 5 out of the 8 in the set (bottom left image) but they are amazing and worth talking about in more detail. 

Without sounding like a broken record, the duo fibre buffing brushes in this set are a-mazing. They come in large, medium and smallt, with the larger ones being ideal for liquid foundation and the smaller as a concealer buffing brush or as an eyeshadow blending brush. They neither soak up too much product or just smoosh it around the face, but perfectly blend over the skin to create a flawless finish every time. So these three for me are like gold dust! I've also been enjoying the angled contour/blusher brush, I would say it's not structured enough for full on contour but for a light everyday look or if you aren't into contouring but more bronzing then this will be fab. I've been using it with my favourite Make Up For Ever bronzer and due to the angle of the brush this gives a perfect application - love! I've also been loving the angled brow brush to fill in my brows with a brow powder, it does the job perfectly.

If you love high end brushes but decide to snap this set up I'd love to know you're thoughts and if I've converted you! 

You can also find more eBay finds on my dedicated Pinterest board here

Fee xo. 

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