Thursday, 31 January 2013

Claire Richards for Fashion World

The online plus size fashion e-tailer, Fashion World, has appointed Claire Richards as its new brand ambassador and on Tuesday, I got to travel down to London to meet her and get the scoop on the collection and fashion in the Celebrity Big Brother House.

Held in BB Bakery in Covent Garden, the press conference was a quiet affair after the rabble of paparazzi had attended their photo call, with many journalists from the Daily Mail, Fabulous Magazine and alike waiting patiently to get their story for their publication.  From what I could see, Claire was more than willing to chat to everyone and could be seen laughing and talking openly about her collection, her time in Steps and of course, her time in the Big Brother House.  It struck me that she actually looks smaller in real life than she does on TV and in photographs, maybe it's true that the camera really does add some extra pounds? She looked incredibly beautiful, naturally pretty and her smile, adorned with MAC's Impassioned lippy, literally lit up the room.  Perhaps it is a little forward of me to start with something so subjective as my opinion on Claire but it was my initial perception of her that put me at ease, having grown up listening to Steps, gave me the confidence to talk to her and ultimately, helped to set the mood for our chat; open and honest and that's what I believe Claire was.  Now, let me tell you what she had to say...

For this spring and summer, Claire Richards has selected her favourite formal and casual pieces from the new Fashion World collection.  There's a great selection from the gorgeous floral print prom dress that Claire is wearing in these snaps to a bandeau jumpsuit that's great for dressing up or down to suit the occasion.  Claire explained the selection process to me, which sounded like every girls dream as she was invited to the Fashion World offices, got to see the full collection and pick what she wanted from racks upon racks of clothes.  There was no fashion concious, designer inspired  decision making involved, she did what most of us do when we're out shopping- picked what she liked the look of and wanted to try on.  The hard part was narrowing down her selection into what was to become 'Claire's Picks' and if the Fashion World website is anything to go by, she chose very well.

The real testament to Claire's style will be shown later this year when her own autumn winter collection is released full of pieces she has designed herself.  If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm actually working on my own dress design at the moment and I was really interested to know what advice Claire would have for me.  She said that it's really important to know what your best bits are and which areas you're not so confident about and looking to disguise.  Not only is that great advice to consider when I'm creating my own dress but it is great advice for every woman who is choosing clothes for herself as it's so much easier to look great when wearing clothes that emphasis your great parts and conceal your not so loved areas.

Claire is an advocate of wearing 'support undies and a good fitting bra' regardless of your size as she believes that they give you much more 'scope' to wear different items of clothing by creating a smooth silhouette.  She believes that shape underwear can transform your shape, allowing you to wear clothes that you never thought you'd be able to as they boost your figure and give you a smooth line.

Fresh out of the Celebrity Big Brother house, Claire was happy to hear that so many of you loved the clothes she wore when she was on the show.  She said that she thought LOADS about what she was going to wear before going into the house.  If she was in her own home for that amount of time, she would be more than happy in her comfy PJs or her onesie the whole time but at home she's not on TV in front of thousands of people.  Claire said that when choosing the clothes to take into the house, she wanted pieces that would give her some 'scope', enough variety if you will.  Each house mate was allowed to take two suitcases into the house with them and she joked that she thought she should be allowed an extra suitcase to Rylan as her clothes are much bigger than his!  She kept with the 'comfy' theme of clothes to take into the house with her but looked for items that she would feel and look good in, choosing pieces that were good for her shape, colourful and of course, she wasn't without her Spanx and some great fitting bras.  Claire wore many a pretty dress in the Big Brother House, she chose them because they were pieces that looked good but allowed her to feel comfortable too which in turn, made her feel confident.  When asking her what three items she would miss the most if she'd had her suitcase taken off her, it was no surprise that she answered with, 'Spanx, a good bra and a comfortable dress'.

Claire spoke quite a lot about a feeling of being comfortable in her own skin and feeling confident.  Reflecting back to her days in Steps, Claire spoke about a time the group were at a photo call to launch their line of dolls.  At a  usually slim size 10, Claire looked a little more tubby around her stomach area on this particular day and sure enough, the next day the press had concocted a pregnancy storyline.  Claire talked openly about battling her weight issues whilst she was in Steps and especially after leaving the group and described how brutal the press can be.  It took the filming of Slave to Food for Claire's opinions on food to really change and for her to look at her thought process around food and comfort eating.

Claire Richards cup cakes given out at the press launch
I asked her what advice she would give her younger self, what has she learnt over the years and what has really helped her.  Claire responded with something that many of us could take notice of, me more so that anyone; 'don't worry about others'.  Those who think, write or say bad things about others 'project negativity', they don't care about how you feel and they [the press] have nothing else better to write about.  'Being bigger doesn't mean you can't be attractive, if we were all the same, then life would be boring.'  Claire wouldn't want her daughter to grow up to feel the way she has done, self concious.

Claire has reached a turning point in her life where she isn't constantly thinking about food.  She's a healthy size 16, comfortable in her own skin and is able to consistently maintain her weight.

When asked if she would describe this as being happy, she responded simply; 'yes' and that's all I think any of us need to know.

Claire's Picks are live on the Fashion World website now in sizes 12 to 32.  Go check them out and let me know what your favourite pieces are.

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Monday, 28 January 2013

WhatLauraWore: Fashion Geek

Yesterday was a chill out day for me and Mr WLL.  We took a walk in the countryside, stopped at a little restaurant for Sunday lunch and then snuggled up on the sofa to watch the movie State of Play starring Helen Mirren who I adore; she's such a fabulous actress.

With plenty of snow still kicking around, I wanted to make sure that I stayed warm on our walk.  After catching the dreaded flu (the actual flu not a cold!) at the start of the year, I am determined to keep myself fit and healthy this year as I don't want to end up in that state again.  With that in mind, it was time to pop on a pair of UGGs from my rather sizeable collection and paired it with some knitted denim leggings, my beautiful floral scarf and my new Geek jumper.

This Geek jumper was a really lucky find from an ebay seller known as Shazyfashions.  I'd been on the look out for a Geek slogan t shirt for weeks but couldn't find one for plus sizes.  It was by chance that I came across the Shazyfashions ebay shop and saw that they were selling Geek jumpers in black, cream, grey, coral and light lime green, the latter of which I bought immediately.  I love the Geek slogan tops everyone is wearing and I'm so pleased that there is a plus size shop out there selling something similar so that we can all get a slice of the trend.  Granted everyone is wearing them but I think they look great.  Lovely and warm, well made and with an eye popping colour, whats not to love?

Geek Jumper from Shazyfashions on Ebay
Knitted denim look leggings from New Look
Speedy 25 in Damier Azure by Louis Vuitton
Floral scarf from Primark
Bailey Button UGG boots
Rose gold watch by DKNY

I've worn my Bailey Button UGG boots the most this winter out of all of the ones in my collection.  I've been buying one to two pairs every winter for the last five years.  They're an investment piece for me as I get so much wear out of them.  I like to do a lot of walking to keep fit and they're perfect for me as they're so comfortable, warm and dry.  They're so readily available now that companies are doing great deals on them but it is so important to make sure you're buying from a reputable dealer as there are so many fakes on the market.  Shops like Littlewoods offer a great service as well as some fantastic money off deals.  I find all of my deals and lots of other super fashion discounts at netvouchercodes.  Its a great website that has a whole host of money off vouchers and discount codes.  I always check on there before ordering anything online as they have some of my favourite brands; if I love something enough to buy it, then why not get it even cheaper?  That's my motto!

What vouchers have you used recently?  What are your favourite pair of UGGs?
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Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Weekend Edit #4: Winter Lip Therapy

As I write this, the weather isn't much better than it was at the time of writing last week's Weekend Edit which was all about the make up, skincare and hair products I took away with me on a recent business trip.  This week, I thought I'd focus on something many of us suffer with during the winter months and that's dry, chapped lips and cold sores.... or as many people incorrectly say just to drive me around the bend, coldslaws.

Cold sores aren't something that I'm accustomed to, for some reason I just don't seem to get them but I know that many, many people do- 70% of the population infact, including Mr WLL.  He suffers really badly with them, particularly during the winter and we've managed to work out a formula that really helps him to combat them.  I thought I'd share it with you all as I'm sure some of you will be in the same boat as my Mr.  I'll also cover treating dry, chapped lips too.

There's four easy to follow steps; treat, scrub, soften and moisturise.  Behold my at home, winter lip therapy masterclass.

Step One: Treating Cold Sores
I find the best way to treat a cold sore is to attack it just as it is starting to rear it's ugly head.  The Blistex Cold Sore Cream is perfect for this as its pharmacy strength formula starts to work from the first tingle and it is anti-viral too so it helps to block the spread of the virus to healthy cells from it's first application.  It contains docosanol which is a unique active ingredient usually found in the best selling cold sore treatment in America and it is now available over the counter in pharmacies in the UK for the first time in this little tube of Blistex. Mr WLL has tried it out and he's really surprised at how effective it is.  When we first got it, he already had a cold sore and applied the cream straight away.  He found that it healed much more quickly than it usually would and his lip didn't split either which it usually does when he gets one of the little blighters- very painful!  From then on, he has applied the cream whenever he felt like he was going to get a cold sore and he hasn't had a break out of them since.  It keeps his lips moisturised and protected which is exactly what he has been looking for in a cold sore treatment for so long!

The Blistex Cold Sore Cream is available for £6.99 from independent pharmacies, Boots, Superdrug, Sainsburys and Tesco.

So now you've treated the cold sore, it is important to keep your lips flake free to stop them from becoming dry and chapped which can lead to them splitting.

Step Two: Lip Scrubbing
There's three different ways that I scrub my lips.  The first is with a product called Prep and Prime from MAC.  I reviewed it AGES ago here, but essentially its a balm with abrasive particles that scrub your lips and it has a balm on the other side to moisturise but I'll come onto moisturising later.  The second way that I scrub my lips is by using one of the lip scrubs from Lush.  My favourite is the bubble gum, I simply splash a little warm water on my lips, rub it in and wipe it off.  This lip scrub is edible so it could just be licked off but in all honesty, the idea of eating chapped lip skin doesn't really appeal to me somehow...! The final and most cost effective way to scrub your lips is simply with a face cloth.  This is perhaps my favourite method.  I first apply a coating of a thick lip balm like the one from the Body Shop that I talk about below.  Then I run a towelling face cloth underneath the hot tap until it is as warm as I can comfortably stand it, without it burning obviously.  I then press and hold the face cloth over my lips for a minute or so, allowing the heat from the cloth to soften the skin on my lips.  Once the face cloth has started to cool, I then rub a dry towelling face cloth over my lips which removes the dead, flaky skin.  Another way is to use a clean tooth brush to scrub the lips.  Lip scrubbing is also fantastic prep for when you're planning on wearing a quite drying, matte lipstick... yes I'm looking at you Barry M Marshmallow.

Step Three: Softly Soften
Now your lips are flake free, I find that it is best to apply a thin balm that will stick close to your lips and soften them, usually the solid lip balms are best for this.  My pick is the Nivea Pure and Natural lip care balm from Boots, most specifically, the Milk and Honey lip balm.  This one is 90% full of natural ingredients like Jojoba Oil, organic shea butter, honey and milk, oh and it is 100% free from preservatives too.  I apply this directly after scrubbing my lips and I use it in the morning as part of my skincare routine.  This lip balm is a great choice to pop in your bag to keep your lips soft all day and to apply before matte lipstick to aid a smoother application.  If you do have a cold sore then I would skip this step as using a product from a bullet, and that includes lipstick and gloss too, can cause the cold sores to spread.  Fear not though as the Blistex Cold Sore Cream will give you all of the softening you need during this time.

Step Four: Deeply Moisturise
Now we've all got our favourite lip balms and there are hundreds available out there from the delightful high end By Terry Baume De Rose from Space NK to Vaseline from Boots, the latter of which I would avoid like the plague if you're looking for moisturising your lips as I find that it just doesn't do the job sufficiently.  Regardless of which one you choose, we all need one to keep our lips hydrated and moisturised, ensuring that the skin on our lips is so soft, it can't chap and dry out.  I opt for one of the Born Lippy lip balms, like this one in Pink Guava, from The Body Shop to deeply moisturise your pout.  I pop this on as the last stage in my evening skincare routine and it's thick consistency gets to work on my lips over night, meaning I wake up with deeply moisturised, soft lips.  The little pot can get pretty fiddle when my nails are long so I keep a cotton bud on hand to scoop out a sufficient amount and get to work on applying it to my lips.  Again, if you've got a cold sore, I'd recommend sticking with just the Blistex until it has gone and then I'd hit your lips hard with a thick, rich lip balm.  Deeply moisturising your lips is so important, particularly in the winter time when you're subject to the harsh, cold elements and the drying central heating.

Following these steps will really help to keep your lips in good condition so that they don't become dry, chapped and home to a cold sore over the winter period.

Now that you've had your winter lip therapy, all that's left to decide is what lipstick to put on... decisions, decisions.

What are your tips for perfect winter lips?  What are your favourite lip products?

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Friday, 25 January 2013

Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub Review

When it comes to body scrubbing, Soap and Glory know how to hit the spot.  I never thought that a scrub would be able to beat my favourite offering, 'The Breakfast Scrub' but Soap and Glory have really pulled something spectacular out of the bag with this one; I give you, Sugar Crush.

Sugar Crush is a super duper body scrub made up of smashed brown sugar, sweet lime, almond oil and macadamia grains.  Just a small scoop goes a long way and polishes the body to perfection.  I use body scrubs all year round but especially in winter when my skin is super dry from the central heating and freezing snow mash up that I tend to have going on and this scrub has seen me through many a bath time pamper.  It doesn't leave my skin feeling overly oily or with too much of a film like some other scrubs I have used and not liked as a result but I can definitely feel it on my skin afterwards, in more of a moisturising way.  Not only does my skin feel incredibly smooth after use but it feels moisturised, super soft and supple.  I usually have to apply a body moisturiser after I use a body scrub, as I do most nights but when I've used this, I don't need to apply a moisturiser until the next morning.  It also doesn't leave a scarmy film around my bath which is a huge plus point for me as I tend to scrub one day and tan the next and if I haven't had the chance to clean the bath out in between then the scene isn't very pretty.

This pot of abrasive goodness smells AMAZING too, just like Key Lime Pie which just happens to be one of my favourite desserts.  I'm dying to try the Sugar Crush body wash now, simply because of the scent. Mmmm!

Soap and Glory is available to buy from Boots.

Which is your favourite Soap and Glory scrub?  I know I'm asking a lot here, it's hard to choose between them all!
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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Empties #09

It's been quite a while since I last did an empties post but in the meantime, I've actually used up loads of products.  For some, I've thrown the empty packages away but for the most part, I've kept them so that I could show you what I've managed to get through and today I thought I'd show you a selection of my used up goodies.

Clarins Hydra Quench 
I used this moisturising cream up on holiday in December so although it is designed for normal to dry skin and mine is more combination to oily, it worked well for my sun drenched skin.  This is a lovely moisturiser that is very thick and sits on the skin after application.  It does sink in after time and provides a noticeably softer appearance of the skin.  I probably wouldn't repurchase it but I'm pleased I got the opportunity to try it and I would definitely recommend it for dry skin types.

Clarins Water Purify One Step Cleanser
This is one of my favourite cleansers.  It is so fuss free, I simply pop some onto a cotton pad and sweep it across my skin and it removes all dirt, make up and excess oil.  Whenever I go to a Clarins counter to pick up my favourite products, I always ask for samples of this cleanser so that I have lots to take away with me when I travel.  I regularly buy the full size of this cleanser so of course, I'd definitely repurchase it.

Imperial Leather Foam Burst Oriental Calm with Cherry Blossom and Rice Milk
I love the concept of the gel to foam shower gels.  This one is gorgeous, very moisturising and cleans my body really well.  It smells great too.  I'd definitely repurchase it.

MUDD Gentle Cleansing Peel Off Mask
I love the peel off action of this mask as it removes lots of my dead skin cells, making my skin smoother and softer.  You can read my full review here. I wont repurchase it at the moment, only because I have so many masks to use up but I would look to repurchase a resealable mask like this in the future.

Schwarzkopf Gliss Liquid Silk Shampoo and Conditioner
These have featured in a previous Empties Post and I stand by my thoughts now as I did then- I absolutely LOVE this shampoo and conditioner.  They leave my hair clean and looking healthy and full of life.  I've already repurchased them.

Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden Body Butter
This is my favourite product from the Sanctuary Spa range from Boots and I have quite a few in my box of body moisturisers as I always seem to receive them in gift sets at Christmas time.  I adore the scent of this body butter- it's the signature Sanctuary Spa scent that I've known for years and love.  This body butter is so moisturising.  It contains coca butter, shea butter and macadamia nut oil which combine to create a super softening, hydrating formula.  The body butter is so thick and creamy and provides long lasting softness to the skin.  I won't repurchase it at the moment as I have so many back ups but I definitely would in the future.

All of the products mentioned in this post can be purchased from Boots here.

What products have you used up recently?
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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

WhatLauraWore: Winter Wonderland

My faithful friend, Mr Snow, has landed this week in dramatic form for this time of the year and as anticipated, the UK has come to a standstill.  I must admit I was expecting it a little earlier, perhaps before Mr Claus made his appearance but the snow has arrived nevertheless.  The citizens of Canada must think we're all absolutely pathetic in the UK as they deal with snow on a much more severe scale on a daily basis whereas we have a light shower and the whole country goes into lock down.  It sounds as though the snow is here to stay so I may as well get used to it and crack out the cute knitwear in protest to the cold- thou shall not be beaten!

Here I'm wearing my cute stone coloured Zebra Knit Jumper from AX Paris which is warm but original as the zebra design always gets a few compliments.  It has black sequins sewn on making it look girly and glam for a daytime jumper.  I've paired it with some black leggings from Simply Be but it looks equally as cute when worn with jeans.  Other than that, my outfit is a bit of an UGG  Australia overload as I've accessorised with my favourite winter brand.  Black ear muffs to mirror the colour of the zebra, stone coloured Bailey Button boots to match the stone colour of the jumper and to keep my feet warm and toasty and an UGG bag (I don't know the name, sorry) to compliment the outfit.

Zebra Knit Jumper from AX Paris
Leggings from Simply Be
Bailey Button Boots by UGG Australia from the UGG Manchester store
Bag by UGG Australia via Cruise
Ear Muffs by UGG Australia via Daniel Footwear

Are you enjoying the snow? Be sure to check out the gorgeous AX Paris knitwear to keep you nice and warm this winter!

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The 2013 Fresh Start Skincare Switch Up

In recent weeks, I've really switched up my skincare routine and added more products to it that I haven't tried before.  Over the last few years I've been working really hard to reduce down the amount of products that I have and not purchasing new ones until I've used up the products that I have and now the time has come to start introducing some new products into my skincare collection.  Today I'm going to show you three of my newest products from the brand Good Things which have really helped to give my skincare routine an over haul in 2013.

About Good Things
Good Things as a brand was developed by award winning beauty writer Alice Hart-Davis using her years of experience in the beauty industry.  I love the Good Things philosophy of producing gentle, super effective products that use superfruit extracts to make the most of young skin.  I'd say that they're all designed for those who are in their teens up to mid twenties.  All of the products are free from parabens, sodium laureth sulphate, animal ingredients and mineral oils.  Plus they're suitable for the vegetarians and vegans amongst us.  I've featured some other Good Things products on my blog before, let's just say I'm a little addicted- there's the Five Minute Facial Mask and the Bright Eyes Eye Cream, the Stop That Spot! Clearing Gel, the Deep Pore Anti-Blemish Cleanser and the Ultra Rich Body Butter.

Good Things
Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser

The Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser is light weight to the touch but feels thick when applying it, it is silky, creamy and full of goodness.  It contains superfruit extracts of grape and pomegranate which are skin-boosting antioxidants and make the cleanser smell amazing as well as perform really well too.  It also contains moisturising mango-seed oil which cleans the skin and prevents it from drying and also cactus extract which has skin calming benefits.  There's a couple of ways I use this.  The first way is to massage it into my skin before leaving it for a minute while I run a towelling face cloth or muslin cloth under the hot tap, wring it out and then hold it over my face to open up my pores and then using the cloth to polish off the cleanser.  Massaging the cleanser into my face ensures that my skin is thoroughly cleaned and the massaging action helps to boost circulation and improve lymphatic drainage.  The second way I use Fresh Start is with my Riosonicleanse which is very similar to the Clarisonic.  It's a face brush so I apply the cleanser to my face and then use the Riosonicleanse to buff my skin and then rinse my face.  Regardless of which method I use, I splash my face with some water afterwards to make sure all of the cleanser is off my face.  My skin feels really clean and moisturised after using this cleanser.  My skin isn't left feeling so squeaky clean that it is stripped of its natural oils making it tight.  It's lovely and softening on my skin and very gentle so I have been able to use it twice a day, once on a morning to clean and wake up my skin and once on an evening after I have removed my make up to clean my skin.

The Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser is £4.99 for 150ml.

Good Things
Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator

The Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator is just the right amount of abrasive I need for regular use.  Whilst directed on the packaging to use twice daily, I use this morning and night on the days when I don't use my Riosonicleanse, so as to avoid over exfoliating my skin.  I apply it after cleansing when my skin is damp and my pores are open.  Using circular motions, I massage the exfoliator into my skin all over my face, paying particular attention to my problem areas- chin, nose and cheeks next to my nose, where I get the most blackheads, before rinsing with warm water and then splashing my face with cold water to close up my pores.  Like the cleanser, the exfoliator smells fruity too and contains superfruit extracts of papaya to boost skin radiance and skin soothing licorice and willow bark which help to reduce the levels of bacteria in the skin.  This really smooths out my skin and tackles my drier areas really well.  I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll always have some black heads but this little beauty does a great job at smoothing out my skin and cleaning out my pores.  My skin certainly looks loads clearer now that I've started using this.  My skins surface is much more make up ready too and it's looking loads brighter so I'm finding that I can go out without make up more often as my bare skin is looking great!

Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator is priced at £4.99 for 150ml.

Good Things
Face The Day Moisturiser

Out of these three products, this is the one that is the most strongly scented, very fruity and comforting.  Face The Day Moisturiser contains superfruit extracts of goji berry which is an antioxidant and papaya which is great for skin radiance.  It has an SPF 15 making it a great product to protect the skin from the suns rays.  I'm a little lazy when it comes to SPF... unless I'm on holiday, I don't apply it as a separate product which is terrible I know but that's why I like to look for skincare moisturisers than include sun protection instead.  I apply this in the morning after I've cleansed and exfoliated with the products above and find that it leaves my skin super smooth, soft and supple.  It is quick to sink into the skin and keeps it feeling moisturised for hours without leaving a film on the skin.  I have oily skin and I find that this moisturiser works great for me as it makes my skin feel moisturised and hydrated without making it greasy and extra oily.  It's a great option for all skin types this one.

The Face The Day Moisturiser is £7.99 for 100ml.

So that's all of my new Good Things products that I've added to my skincare routine recently.  Do let me know if there are any others you think I'd love.

You can read all about Good Things on their website and their products are available to buy from BootsSuperdrug and Sainsburys.  I tend to get most of my Good Things products from Boots as they always have the best offers on, plus I like to collect my advantage card points- I'm a sucker for a loyalty card.

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Blogging Apps and Organisation

Today I'm going to share with you the apps that I use to keep me organised as a blogger.  Last month, I posted about blogging on the move and a few of you tweeted me to ask what apps I use specifically to blog so I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on the apps that I use.  If you'd like, I can do a post on all of the apps on my iPad but today I thought I would focus on the apps that help me with blogging.

My iPad is the New Ipad with Retina display from the Carphone Warehouse but the apps that I have on it are available for all iPads and many are suitable for the iPhone too.  The majority of the apps I use are free to download from the Apple App Store.  It's not that I'm adverse to paying for apps, it's just that there are so many good apps out there that don't cost a penny!

Home Page

I keep all of my blogging and social networking apps on the front page of my iPad, I like to call this my 'Home Page' as it is the first one that loads up when my iPad wakes up!  I have some of the social networking apps that I use most frequently on here standing alone and then I have two folders that I have categorised apps into to keep them separate as they're for specific purposes.  I call these folders 'Photo & Video' and 'Blogging'.

A couple of the apps that came preloaded onto the iPad are the Calendar and Notes.  The Calendar is a great way for me to organise my blog post schedule, forthcoming events and the dates of product launches, as well as what is going on in my personal life, like my shifts at work and when my holidays are.  This app helps me to manage my time effectively and maintain a healthy work/life balance.  The Notes app is used to record random thoughts, key bits of information and ideas quickly before I either use the information, or organise it at a later date.  I love that my iPad transfers the Calendar information and Notes from my new iPad to my iPhone 4s and vice versa.  This is great because I always have my most up to date information to hand, regardless of what I'm using.

The camera feature of my iPad is also located here so that it is within easy reach for when I want to take a quick snap of a product.  I save all of my photographs and vlogs to 'Photos'.  

Within 'Photos' I have an album entitled Blogging in which I save all of my outfit and beauty photos to until I've uploaded them onto my blog.

I take lots of photographs so having a separate folder really helps me to stay organised and to keep the photos I've taken for my blog separate from all of the other ones that I take so they're quick and easy to find.

My email is also found on the Home Page.

I have three email accounts, two of which are personal email accounts and one, my Gmail, is specifically for my blog.  Within my email, I have created folders to organise my emails to keep them logically place and easy to find.

I have folders such as 'Blogging' and 'Products to Review' which are home to emails that are directly concerning my blog.  If I am sent emails regarding product launches and events then I tend to pop them in the 'Blogging' folder and anything to do with products that I've received to review or that I've bought online with the view to review them and have been sent a confirmation email, then I pop them in the 'Products to Review' folder.

Oh and if you would like to, you can email me at


Safari is the internet on the iPad and iPhone.  I use it to view my blog online, to approve and reply to comments and to conduct research for my blog.

I sometimes use Safari to access my website and write my blog too.  I used to solely use Safari to write my posts when not on my computer however one of my other blogging apps has been greatly improved recently so I've started using that more too.


When it comes to blogging, it is really important to me to interact with my readers and to publish my posts to the wider community.  Twitter is a great way of doing this and I love how I can keep in touch with my followers on there while I'm out and about.

I like to tweet regularly, whether it's to let people know about my latest post, to join in a conversation, to reply to a tweet or to let someone know that I enjoyed their post, or to let my followers know of a new product I'm loving.

Twitter is one of my most used apps on my devices as I use it to tweet content from my other social media networks like Youtube and Instagram.


Part of writing my blog involves me running my Facebook Page as I have lots of people who catch up with my blog on there.  My Facebook audience is really important to me as a blogger and I don't like them to miss out on my latest posts.  It's also a great way to create an online photo album of all of my WhatLauraWore outfit posts.

The Pages app really gives me great control over how I do this.  The app itself has been greatly improved in recent months and I can use it in the same way as I would do if I were on my page on my computer which I love as there's nothing worse than a mobile or tablet app that is substandard to the usual website.  With the Pages app, I am able to receive and respond to notifications, update my status and share photos on my page as well as keep in touch and interact with the pages I follow and those who 'like' my page.  Like Twitter, this app really helps me to organise my time more effectively as I can tweet and Facebook on the move.  I also have the normal Facebook app on my Home Screen so that I can keep in touch with my friends, colleagues and family.


I'm a big fan of Youtube and have a list of beauty gurus as long as my arm that I like to watch on a regular basis.  The Youtube app really helps me to stay on top of the videos that I have to watch and also provides a great source of research and inspiration for my blog.

I also have my own Youtube channel and in 2013, I'm planning on making lots more videos so I'll really need to rely on some of the apps on my iPad to keep me organised with my video schedule and to promote my videos once they are live.


Pinterest is a social network that I have only recently started using.  It allows the user to upload photos and share them and also to view others photos and save or 're pin' them if they like them.  I have two folders at the moment, 'WhatLauraLoves' which I use for pins to do with my blog and 'Wedding Scrapbook' which I use to pin photos that give me inspiration for my forthcoming wedding.

So far, I'm enjoying Pinterest and I can't wait to start using it more for my blog.  I'll be able to categorise my photos for different purposes, gather lots of inspiration for future posts and share my photos with others too.  Creating a wider social network will help to open up my blogs audience too.


My favourite photo app has to be Instagram.  I love uploading photos and sharing them with my followers just as much as I love checking out the photos of those I follow.

I have lots of photo apps which help me to create attractive Instagram photos and the majority of which I need to use more often!

Photo and Video

I have my photo apps organised into a folder entitled 'Photo and Video'.

This folder contains the apps Pic Stitch, Photoshop Express, InstaEditor, Colour Effects, A+ Signature which I use for editing photographs, iMovie that I use for editing vlogs and videos and Photo Booth and FaceTime which I don't use for blogging but they're in here because they fit in nicely under the heading 'Photo and Video'.  I really don't use these photo editing apps enough and writing this post has really given me the inspiration to start using them more!

Pic Stitch and Picfx

Pic Stitch is my most frequently used photo editing app that I use to organise multiple photos into one frame before importing the photo into Instagram and saving it to my Blogging album in Photos.

One app that I use often but doesn't appear on my iPad is Picfx which allows me to add colourful light effects to my photos.  I have this app only on my iPhone 4s.

Lots of people comment on others Instagram's asking how they put hearts on their pictures, for example.  There are many apps out there that do it but Picfx is one of the most commonly used.

Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express really allows the user to enhance their photos.  This is one app I want to take advantage of this year as I've got my photo organisation down to a T, now is the time to really make the most of the photos I upload to my blog.


This is another photo editing app that can be used to improve the appearance of photos and add cool effects to them.

Colour Effects

This is a great photo editing app that can be used to turn an image grey scale and then pick out certain areas of the photo to be in colour, like I have done here with this AX Paris chain print skater dress.

A+ Signature

When posting photos online or on any social networking app, it's really important to make sure they're credited to you.  A+ Signature allows me to add a watermark or logo to my photos quickly and easily and then I can save the photo to one of my organisational folders within 'Photos'.


iMovie is the app that I use to edit my vlogs and videos quickly and easily.  It is very simple to use and it is really straightforward to organise clips into the correct order for the video.


Moving onto my folder that organises my apps that I use directly for blogging.  My 'Blogging' folder contains the following apps; Blogger, Bloglovin' and Wunderlist.


The Blogger app has seriously improved with the last couple of updates and I'm now thoroughly enjoying using it for the most part.  I was recently away on a business trip and was able to blog all about the products I took with me right from the comfort of my hotel room on my iPad.

This simple, easy to use app allows me to write my posts in almost the same way as I do when I'm on my computer.  I can organise my posts, schedule them and save them as drafts too.


When blogging, it is really important to me to have a good mix of content on my blog.  WhatLauraLoves is all about fashion and beauty and I like to have a good mix of WhatLauraWore outfit posts, product reviews, tips, make up looks and 'how to' posts.  I'm always getting inspiration when I'm out and about and surfing the net so I like to keep a quick note of my thoughts on the Notes preloaded app and then when I've got time to sit and think about them, I organise them into a list.

Wunderlist is one of the most useful apps on my iPad as it helps me to organise ideas of posts and to categorise the types of posts that I am going to blog about for example, the  products that I have for review or the items I want to put together in an outfit post.


The final app that I use for blogging is 'Bloglovin'.  This is the app that I use to read my favourite blogs on.

It's really easy to use as all of the posts are organised under their respective bloggers which makes it really easy to find a post to read.  There's also an unread section which displays all of the posts that I am yet to read.

I have Bloglovin' on my phone too so that I can keep up to date with my favourite posts regardless of which device I have with me.

So that's all of the posts that I use to blog on my iPad and to keep me organised as a blogger.  If there are any other apps that you use that you would recommend for these purposes then please let me know as I'm always on the look out for quality apps.

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //
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