23 April 2014

How to Avoid Counterfeit Beauty Products

Counterfeit beauty products are big business and there are lots of dodgy companies out there making fake versions of your favourite products, ready to cash in on those that would rather pay less. We all love a good bargain, but you have to ask yourself at what price? Are you willing to sacrifice your health for the sake of getting your hands on that moisturiser or mascara that you've always wanted to try? I have to admit it worries me when I see some of my favourite beauty bloggers telling the world that they purchased products on an online auction site because they couldn't afford, or worse, were not willing to pay the full price. I'm not saying that all products that are sold on auction sites are fake (that would be ridiculous), but if the brands website doesn't have a link to an online auction shop, or a link somewhere along the supply chain (e.g. a store that's listed on the brands website as an authorised retailer having an online auction shop), then you might be taking a risk if you buy that product.

One thing about buying a fake beauty product that really sucks, but in many ways is the least of our worries, is that we may not realise it's fake, and just assume that the product isn't very good, or that it doesn't work. We could be missing out on a product that is really beneficial, if only we had have bought the real thing! This causes so many problems for brands too, and can really damage their reputation, especially if it's blogged about and published all over social media.

Maybe we've bought a product that could be fake, but we're not really sure. If it seems to be doing its job, then what's the problem? It's no skin off of our nose, right? Well, actually, it could quite literally be skin that's coming off of our nose! Bad reactions from unregulated ingredients in fake products are all too common. Who knows what you're putting on your skin? Buying a counterfeit beauty product could be far more risky than buying a fake designer handbag. Lets face it, you're going to put it on your skin, in your hair or on your nails. Either way it could be absorbed into your body. Yuck!

Personally I would rather save up and buy the genuine article, than risk buying a dud product or put my health at risk, and hopefully you guys feel the same too. Just in case you're worried that you've bought a fake product or you're considering purchasing one that could be, here's what to look for:

Counterfeit products often have faded packaging, missing images or text that just doesn't look right. If you're unsure you could find images of how the product should look on the brands website and compare them to your purchase.

This has to be one of the most obvious signs of a counterfeit product, and sometimes the only give-away when a dodgy company has made a good job of the fake product. Read all of the text on the packaging and look for mistakes such as 'like' being spelt as 'life' and so on. It's a good idea to check any leaflets that are included too.

An incomplete package
You may notice that certain parts of the product are missing, such as a make-up brush or sponge that usually comes with it. My fiance has his own business where he designs and manufactures his products and over the years so many people have created counterfeit versions of his 'best seller'. The item should come with an extra part, but the counterfeit ones are always sold without it because no one has managed to create a counterfeit version of the part! We constantly get e-mails asking if they can buy the part on its own, and we instantly know they've bought a fake one.

Low quality
You might notice that the product and/or the packaging are of a very low quality, and not quite what you expected. I'm talking eye-shadow pans that fall out, lids that don't quite fit, and malting brushes. Again, check on the brands website or have a look at a genuine one in-store to see if the quality looks the same as yours.

Poor workmanship
There could be glue in places that it shouldn't be, or parts that are put on at the wrong angle or maybe there is a box that doesn't quite shut. Most brands won't ruin their reputation by selling products that look like they've been badly put together.

Cheap materials or ingredients
Maybe the packaging is too thin or the product is bad quality. A fake product is unlikely to create the same results as the genuine article. Look out for eye-shadows and blushers with barely any pigmentation or creams that seem too thick or thin. You get my drift.

The best way to ensure that you're buying a genuine product is to either buy from the company direct or check their website for a list of authorised retailers. Here's an example: If you want to buy a Dermalogica product you can buy from them direct online here, or you can click on their store locator here which will show you a list of authorised retailers (salons) near you. You can also use this list to identify salons that sell the products online.

If I come across an amazing offer somewhere, e.g. an advert on Twitter offering me 20% one of my favourite products, I always go the companies website and check that they are an authorised retailer. That way I can pretty much guarantee that the product I'm buying will be genuine.

Have you ever been unlucky enough to purchase a fake beauty product? I would love to hear your stories. Let me know in the comments box below.

20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Hey everyone. This is just a quick post (and is probably more about the pictures) because I wanted to say HAPPY EASTER to you all. Just look at the yummy food that Ollie and I have been eating in the pic above. I've spent most of the holidays indulging in junk food, enjoying the sunshine, painting our outdoor furniture and blogging. It's been pretty relaxing and I only left the house for the first time in three days today to attend a family gathering. I was meant to be meeting a friend on Good Friday but sadly she's ill so it never happened. A few of my friends went out to party and I think they really wanted me to go, but I didn't finish painting until late and I was absolutely covered in it. By the time I had showered and eaten my Chinese takeaway it was quite late, so I never made it. Yesterday we had a BBQ in our garden which was fun. All in all I would say this is probably the laziest Easter I've ever had (in terms of not going out!). Maybe I'm getting old! 

What have you all been up to? Did you indulge in far too much food like me?

19 April 2014

Getting Ready for YouTube

Despite the title of this post I'm no stranger to YouTube and have been using it in one way or another for well over 4 years now. However as you probably know Carly's Beauty World is not even a year old yet and I've only posted one video on that channel. Today I thought I would share part of my story and some of my thoughts about the whole process of getting ready for YouTube. Hopefully some of you can relate to this!

In the past I've had quite a few channels on YouTube and used them for various reasons, but mainly to film fun things that are happening in my life and upload them so that everyone can view them if they want to. I would say that most of the footage was of me out and about partying with my friends, or of parties held at my house. 

When I left university I got a job in marketing and social media, and unbeknown to me, my new company wanted me to be the face of their new beauty venture, which meant I was going to be put on camera, talking, on a regular basis. My new boss kind of forgot to inform me of this, so I was pretty freaked out when in my first week I had to film some footage of me talking all about myself followed by talking in a short advert they were making for a competition. 

At first I couldn't understand why anyone would want to see me talking on camera, and I felt really shy about doing it. I didn't even like the sound of my own voice (but you soon get used to it!). After watching the advert over and over again I started to become comfortable with the whole thing and accepted that this was part of the job, and it was something that I was going to have to do. 

Anyway fast forward a few years and my marketing career has taken a slightly different direction where I've been working freelance from home and have been doing a lot more writing and blogging etc. Mainly for other companies, but also, as you know, for Carly's Beauty World. This is where I have found myself, once again, getting ready for YouTube! 

I now have my own little studio/blogging room (the first picture above shows the background for my videos) and in theory I'm pretty much ready to go. There's just one problem. Way back in November last year I decided to get braces put on my teeth. Being put on camera in my first job made me really aware of my teeth and so I decided to have some more work done on them. Now I don't feel confident in front of the camera. 

As many of you might know, filming yourself is a whole new ball game. For me, it's totally different to when I had to do it for my job. Trying to get the lighting and the camera angles right can be quite a task. In October 2013 (before I got the dreaded metal put in my mouth) I filmed a tutorial for Halloween (as shown in the pictures above) and the results were hilarious. I made so many mistakes. I was going out to a Halloween party that night and thought it would be the perfect time to combine getting ready with filming a tutorial. 

I'm always trying to multi-task so I also thought it would be a good idea to cook a roast for Ollie, his brother and I at the same time. Also, Ollie's brother (a photographer) was lending me his studio lights, and needed them back before we left to go to the party! Talk about putting pressure on yourself. There I was juggling making a roast, with trying out a new look for Halloween, filming it and trying to get ready for the party, and having Ollie's brothers lights packed away before we left to go! What kind of a crazy girl am I? Needless to say we were about an hour late for the party! Oops. 

When I looked at the video footage I felt like my head was far to close to the camera most of the time, and because I was rushing to do so many things at once, I didn't feel like it was the best make-up I've ever applied, even though I was quite happy with the end results. 

Hopefully I will be in a position to make and upload some decent videos for YouTube very soon. At the moment there always seems to be something that stops me, whether it be my lack of confidence due to wearing braces, the sound of building because we're renovating our house or just life generally getting in the way! All I can say is watch this space.

Have you faced similar issues? I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave your comments in the box below.

18 April 2014

Shoes & Accessories Haul - Missguided, River Island, Primark & More

Hey everyone. Happy Good Friday! I hope you're all enjoying the long Easter weekend so far (which has only just started!). It's been really hot and sunny where I live so I thought why not pop down to my local beach at Sandbanks and take a few photos of the shoes and accessories that I've recently purchased. Here's what I got:

White Quilted Tassel Messenger Bag - River Island - £25.00 - Link

I have to admit I'm cheating with this one on every level. Firstly, I got this bag ages ago and secondly, I didn't buy it, I was given it as part payment for a job that I did. If you are a regular reader of my blog you can probably guess what job I was doing, but I can't actually write it here! (Scroll back on my posts if you are intrigued - I'll give you a hint - I work undercover in this role!). Anyway, every time I go to River Island I see that they still have this bag in stock, and I'm not surprised - it's brilliant. I've used it so much since I got it. You can use it as a smaller bag, or if you find you need it to be bigger you can unfold the zip fastening and load it up with your goods. I love it so much I just had to share it with you all. A guy friend of mine made me laugh when he recently asked me 'what an earth have you got in there? It's like a tardis!!'. So you get the idea - this bag is deep!

Necklace - £2.00 - Primark

I don't know what to say about this necklace really, other than I liked it, so I bought it! I think it looks good over the pastel jumpers that I recently purchased. If you've not seen them, have a look at my Pretty Pastel Shopping Haul here. 

Velma Shoe - Rocket Dog - £16.50 (was £32.99!) - Link

I needed to get some new pumps and was chuffed to bits when I found these monochrome starstitch shoes on the Rocket Dog website. I think the black bow on the front is really cute. I've not worn them much yet, but they feel really comfy when I put them on. When finding the link for these I noticed that Rocket Dog appear to have quite a big sale on, so I might be heading back over there in a bit! 

Gold Tone Pink Arm Aviators - River Island - £10.00 - Link

I've got a few pairs of sunglasses, but I never spend much on them because I'm someone that has, and probably will sit on them and break them. It doesn't hurt so much when they only cost £10.00. I think these will be perfect for holidays and those lazy days sat in the sunshine. The little case with flowers on comes with any sunglasses that you purchase from River Island.

Black Pumps - Me Too (TK Maxx) - £34.99

Whilst trying on about a million (okay slight exaggeration) pumps in TK Maxx recently I came across these. They're by a brand that I've never heard of, but they felt so soft and comfortable when I put them on I bought them straight away. I thought they would be good as smart casual wear, for days when I don't feel like wearing heels.

Chlobie Studded Clear Panel Bag In Nude - Missguided - £5.99 (was £14.99) - Link

Whilst cruising the Missguided website ages ago I came across this little gem, so I added it to my wishlist, and when I went back to buy it I was delighted to find it had been reduced. When it arrived it was a lot bigger than I expected. If you look at the picture of it in my collage in the first picture above you can see I put my iPhone inside so you can see exactly how big it is. This bag comes with a detachable chain strap and the matching purse that's inside. A bit of a bargain I think!

So that's everything for today. Have you made any purchases recently? Feel free to leave links to your posts in the comments box below.

17 April 2014

In the Spotlight - Catherine from Catherines Loves

It's that time again where I put another blogger in the spotlight and today's post is with Catherine from Catherines Loves. This blog is all about beauty and nails with the odd home and fashion posts. Catherine has been blogging for nearly three years now, but took a long break after getting pregnant and having her baby boy.

So without further ado let's find out which blogger inspires Catherine the most, where she likes to shop and what her favourite thing to do is when she's not blogging...

How did you get into blogging?
I loved looking at other blogs and loved make up and nail polish so thought I'd start my own.

What differentiates your blog from others?
Maybe the mixture of posts I do. If you like a blog with variety I feature nail art, make up, hauls, home etc.

What's the best thing about blogging?
I really like the blogging community. Most bloggers are really friendly and helpful. It's good being part of a community of people who get you and understand why you get excited about the latest releases etc.

What makes you click the follow button after discovering a new blog?
Firstly, a blog easy to navigate which looks easy on the eye, clear big pictures and if we have similar tastes that will always make me follow.

Which bloggers inspire you?
Oh tough one. Probably Kate from Ghostparties as she runs two sites, plus she does YouTube and they are all amazing. One dedicated talented lady.

What advice would you give to your just-started-blogging-self?
Don't worry what others think and blog about what you love.

Would you ever consider doing YouTube?
No, I wouldn't have the time, fitting in blogging with a baby is hard enough and I hate the way I sound recorded. I don't really watch many either I prefer to read blogs.

What's your favourite clothing label?
I love Primark, I can always find something I want and at the minute they have some amazing pieces in, I literally want to buy the whole store at the minute.

What's your favourite thing to do when you're not blogging?
At the minute it's being a mummy, my baby boy is 8 months old, and it's the best job in the world.

Do you go out without make-up on?
No, maybe to put the rubbish in the bin but I wouldn't go past the drive without any on. I need all the help I can get. It doesn't have to be a full face just enough to look presentable.

If you were restricted to three beauty products for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
Oh this is so tough I could name so many. At the minute I'm loving L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau Teint foundation. It gives a good natural looking base, Illamasqua Tremble blusher - I love this colour so much it's such a pretty pink, and a Revlon Lip Butter they look great and are really moisturising.

Tell us a good beauty tip!
Tame your eyebrows with clear mascara, it ensures your eyebrows stay put throughout the day.

I would like to thank Catherine for taking part in this months 'In the Spotlight', and if you're not already following her blog you can find it here.

Would you like to be part of this feature? If so e-mail me - carlysbeautyworld@gmail.com

14 April 2014

Do I Need an Eye Cream?

Many people ignore the need to moisturise the skin around their eyes, only considering it when they start noticing lines, dark circles or eye bags. Even then, some choose to use their face moisturiser on this area, not realising the damage that they could be causing to the skin. The answer to the question in the title is yes - you should be using an eye cream, everyone should. Today's post, as many of mine are, is based on some of the common questions that I was asked in my salon, and the answers that I would give based on my experience and knowledge. Please note - although I'm using the term 'eye cream', I'm talking about all products that are designed to moisturise the area of skin around the eyes, so that could be an eye cream or an eye gel, eye serum etc. As the skincare industry evolves, so do the constant stream of new eye skincare products. There are probably lots of new ones being invented as I write this! As always, I hope you find this post useful, and remember - prevention is always better than cure!

Why should I use eye cream?
Adequate moisture is necessary for all areas of the skin, and the skin around the eyes actually needs more moisturisation due to having fewer oil and water glands compared to the rest of the skin on the face. Using one will help to prevent lines and wrinkles (aka crows feet) that naturally occur because of our use of facial expressions. These days there are lots of different eye creams and gels on the market that can be used to combat other issues such as puffiness or dark circles, as well as moisturising the fragile skin in that area. 

When should I start using eye cream? 
Personally I don't think you are ever too young to start using eye cream. If I had a daughter I would encourage her to start using an eye cream around the age of 14, if not a little before. As I said previously, prevention is better than cure. Don't wait until you start noticing problems. You can't reverse any damage that is done, unless you're planning on having some risky, costly procedure done in the future.

How often should I use eye cream?
As part of your everyday skincare routine, so morning and night.

How much eye cream should I use?
The beauty of eye cream is that you only need to use a very small amount, a blob around the size of a grain of rice for each eye. This is one of the reasons I don't mind splashing out on eye cream because they seem to last forever!

Can't I just use my face moisturiser on the skin around my eyes?
The skin around the eye area is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, therefore using a face cream on this delicate skin will probably cause it to age twice as fast as putting nothing on at all. Eye creams are designed to be lightweight and perfect for eye skin. I'm always going on about this, but you really don't want to be putting anything on the skin around your eyes that's too heavy. I'm talking face creams, heavy concealers (the sort that are designed for spots and blemishes! - Be warned), and anything that is generally thicker than a good eye cream or gel. Heavy products will weigh down the skin causing the collagen to diminish, therefore leading to premature lines and wrinkles. Wasn't that what you were trying to avoid in the first place?

How do I know which eye cream to use?
First of all you need to identify your needs, then try and look out for certain ingredients that will help to fulfil or combat those needs. The following list might help you:
Promote collagen renewal (generally we all want to do this for strong skin!) - Peptides can help to promote collagen.
Prevent diminishing collagen (again, I'm sure we all want to do this) - Look for antioxidants.
Combat dark circles - Brighteners are great.
Reduce puffinessCaffeine can help by constricting blood vessels.

Where do I apply my eye cream?
Gently pat a few dots of your eye cream from the outer corner of each eye just below your tear duct and just under the brow bone, so that you have created a circle of dots. Rub it in using your ring fingertip (for a light touch), using inward motions (in other words, in the same direction that your eyebrow grows). Always be very careful with this area, and never pull, rub or tug at the skin. 

Should I apply my face moisturiser first, or my eye cream?
I always apply my eye cream first, that way I don't need to wash my hands to apply my face moisturiser. Remember, we're trying to avoid putting our face moisturiser on our eyes.

Do treatments that claim to temporarily remove lines around the eyes work?
Yes some do. I used to offer all sorts of treatments in the salon. My favourite one was a collagen mask which gave instant results that lasted around a week. You could really see the difference after one application, and if a client had one a week over a certain period of time the results were even better. This treatment was really popular and perfect for special occasions such as a wedding.

Today I would like to set you all a challenge. Firstly identify your personal needs for the skin around your eyes. Secondly check your eye cream, or if you don't have one, go out and get one that has ingredients to fulfil your individual needs. I would love to hear how you are all getting on with your eye creams. 

I would like to point out that you can find many answers to common skincare issues on my dedicated page here. I cover all sorts of dilemmas from how to establish a skincare routine to choosing your face products. 

So it's over to you guys now. Do you use an eye cream or is it something that you've overlooked? Also, do you know of any good ingredients in eye creams etc? I've obviously not listed them all as there are about a million! Let me know in the comments box below.

10 April 2014

Pretty Pastel Shopping Haul - SS14

I'm totally loving the spring/summer '14 pastel trend that has been showcased by many designers this year. As my wardrobe needs brightening up ready for summer I thought it was only right that I followed suit! I've been shopping online and on the high street, searching for pretty pastel tones such as candy pinks, mint greens, baby blues and sorbet lemons. I also ended up buying quite a few ivory items because I think they'll look great teamed up with pastels on a hot summery day. There's too much to feature all in one post but here's some of my favourite pieces that I've found so far:

Tara Dip Hem Slouchy Knit Jumpers - Aqua, Pink & Mint - boohoo.com - £15.00 - Link
I've fallen in love with these textured, slouchy fit jumpers, mainly because of the colours! I'm a real girly girl, so as you can probably imagine I really like the colour pink. Once I had one of these I ended up buying more in every colour. Am I the only one that does this?

Cardigans - Mint & Pink - Primark - £6.00
I always have loads of cardigans in my wardrobe because I find them great for layering up. As anyone that lives in the UK knows, we can never predict what our weather will be like from one minute to the next, even when it's meant to be summer! In the winter I have loads of long, chunky knit type cardigans, and then as we head into spring I swap them all for thinner, shorter versions. Great for wearing over cami tops.

Katie Baby Blush Boyfriend Jeans - boohoo.com - £20.00Link
These were too cute to resist, and as shown above I will be wearing them with high heels to give a slightly dressier look. They're quite a baggy style for me, as I'm used to wearing skinny jeans or leggings, but I'm going to embrace the 'boyfriend' look.  

Light Wash Lana Superskinny Jeans - River Island - £25.00 - Link
Skinny jeans are a staple in my wardrobe, and although these are not pastel coloured I'll be wearing my pastel jumpers with them, so I thought it was only right that I included them in this haul. Another item that I wouldn't mind one in each colour! 

Ankle Strap High Heels - Office (TK Maxx) - £19.99
Nail Polish - Barry M Silk Nails - £3.99 each - Link
I found these heels by Office in TK Maxx recently and thought they would be great with my new jeans as previously shown in my pictures above. I've been looking for some exactly the same in white but I've not been lucky enough to find any yet.

Bag - Primark - £9.00
Lastly is this bag which I'm chuffed to bits with and I think it will go well with any of my pastel outfits. It has a zip compartment inside, followed by a much smaller pocket with a zip and two open pockets and it's really well made. I didn't really need another bag but can a girl actually have too many? I think not! 

What do you think of the SS14 pastel trend? Do you love it as much as me? If you've recently posted a haul please leave your links in the comments box below as I love to read these type of posts. 

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