Thursday, 28 July 2011

Bite Blogger/ Press/ PR and blogger ethics.

Eager eyes will have notice the 'Bite Mark' on my blog in recent weeks.  I was invited to join Bite Bloggers.  I read their manifesto and said yes as it was what I was aiming for already.  This is not going to change anything on my blog, but I thought I would clarify a few things.

My blog is my own space to air my views or share news.  It's not the only place I write, but this is is one of the spaces I control.
Bloggers. Integrity. Trust. Ethics.

Any products I am sent are for consideration only.  I do not automatically post on products just because I am sent a press release or sample.  I consider the item/event and if it is of interest to me and this blog.  I do have some ethics and try to only share things that pass my checklist (although I'm not always brilliant at this!)
  • Ideally products are not tested on animals.
  • Products do not contain animals.
  • PR/company representatives are polite and do not pressure me.
  • PR/company representatives are able to answer product questions.
  • The PR company/product relations people have a good conduct and do not have a reputation for bullying or stealing content from other bloggers/writers.

Disclosure!
I normally (unless by accident) mention if I have received the product from a company.  This makes no bearing on my review.  I disclose so that I am not hiding anything from readers.  Magazines are sent nearly everything for free, and don't disclose it, however you open a magazine and expect adverts.  A personal blog is different, and my community integrity is more important than lying about where I bought products from.  How daft would it look if I kept raving about a different face cream each week and 'claimed' to have bought a new one each week. Who seriously buys a new face cream each week?!  You would all think I was fickle for changing my mind each week and then not believe a word I said.


PR Tips!
I do not mind companies approaching me and drawing attention to their product but here is a BIG tip for anyone wanting to promote their products;

Look at the writer and take time to research them, their style and what they stand for.

I have lost count of the number of emails that fly in saying things like;
"Hi Computergirl we really like your fashion blog and want you to let your readers know.... blah blah"
"Hi Musings We are launching (blah blah) can you put this on your website and include links and we will then use the piece on our website"
"Hi We're a car dealer ownership and want to create affiliate links with Mrs Musings Computergirls "


All that happens is I open the letter/email and then it goes straight to "file 10" (Recycle bin).  IF you aren't going to take the time to learn basic things about me then I don't have time to learn about your product, or inflict it on my body!

Also thank a blogger when they write something.  It takes two seconds. If a blogger has some constructive feedback, then listen.  Don't threaten to sue them!!


PR Samples.
I only have so many hours in the day, and most things I purchase from local shops.  This means my brand awareness could be quite limited if I only bought the same things each time.  I also only have a limited income and can not afford to buy one of every item range, just to write about.  This is especially important when it comes to things that I like but won't really use on a day to day basis.  Also some things are useful for comparison but I won't use them again.  I try to test a product several times before sharing thoughts, especially with skincare as you need to test it through your monthly cycle (see small rant).

Any left over press samples are given away to friends or charity (Give and Makeup!)

I like small businesses, especially where products are hand made and targeted individually.  I don't mind these companies getting in touch and supporting their product, if it works.  After all, some of the large 'brand name' companies have rubbish products that don't work, but sell lots just because of the brand name.



Blogger Ethics
I'm not going to beat around the bush.  There are some shocking bloggers out there, and sadly I am not surprised by some of the goings on I see.  Here are some rules for new bloggers/reminders for old one;
  • Don't sell press samples on your blog to line your own pockets.  It's cheeky and spoils trust between bloggers and PRs.  If you are going to sell (used/tested) samples for charity then fire them a quick polite email.
  • Don't badger companies for 'free stuff to review'.  Would you walk into a clothes shop and expect to take items out for free 'because you will be wearing it and advertising their store'? No? Blogging is exactly the same.  Don't get me wrong, I see no harm in introducing yourself (politely), but trying to get free gifts out of them is tacky.
  • Remember, PR circuits are small and lots of PRs know each other through previous jobs.  Some deal with multiple clients.  Either way they are human and will think nothing of recommending a good blogger or sharing warnings.  Think of it like restaurants, you'd think nothing of sharing good and bad experiences with friends and colleages!
  • Don't forget your goal.  The goal of blogging. Sharing.  All too often bloggers get a bit power hungry, follower hungry, greedy.  Keep your heart in the right place and you will be a happy blogger.


I could go on and on but I am sure you have all fallen asleep!  I hope this gets my view across adequately but if it's confusing then I'll happy explain it further!

If you have any thoughts on blogger ethics, press smaples, PR conduct then please feel free to comment below!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Summer Essentials Part 1!

Seeing as we are getting into the summer months in the UK (even if the weather thinks otherwise) I thought I would do a few posts sharing some products I am loving for summer 2011!  Perfect for summer, or for holiday travels!

Medik8 Hydr8 B5
Created to be a 'green cosmeceutical brand' (good for your skin And the planet) and used by stars such as Sharron Osbourne and Simon Cowell!  When Elliot Isaac's sister developed red skin, it became obvious that the very products she was using to try and calm it were actually agrivating it.  He set to creating a serum to aid her skin.  Skip forward a few years and her skin is calm and Medik8 is a fully licensed range available for public use!

Since attacking my skincare in recent years, I have now found that my Oily T zone/normal cheek skin has now turned in Oily and dry T zone, dry cheeks!  I think this is due to a better cleansing routine and hormones.  The girls at Medik8 suggested I tried this serum, and I'm loving it.  I  apply it at night by popping a drop on my fingertip and then smoothing into cleansed skin.  This is going to be perfect for holiday when my skin is dry from the seaside air, sunshine and sea and sand!  For added penetration, I believe this serum can me used with a Dermaroller however I do not have one and haven't tried this method.

For more information and prices visit http://www.medik8.com/en/index.html

Carmex Mint lipbalm
Carmex has been around for ages.  I used to have a pot in my pencil case at school.  The brand recently developed popping the product in a tube, and now has added a few different flavours into the mix - cherry and mint.  Whatsmore they have added SPF into some of the range!  It is very easy to foret to protect your lips with SPF when on holiday!



I have a tube of Mint Carmex and it has gone in my holiday bag already.  Firstly it is in a tube, which makes it sand friendly!  I love the minty fresh flavour and how it brings a cool feeling to my lips.  The balm does contain a little alcohol, which can be a little drying to some lips.  However as I am taking this on holiday, I actually want it to dry out a little so that it reminds me to reapply this sun protecting lip treat.  It is very easy to apply lip protection once in the morning and forget for the rest of the day.

Carmex is available from most chemists and pharmacy stores.  Retails around £2.60


Dr. Bronner's 18 in 1 soap
A soap product that claims to have 18 uses!  Yes, 18!  Now if that doesn't make savvy holiday packing then I don't know what does!  It washes your clothes (great for backpacking, or those who want to pack for three days and stay longer!), it washes your hair, it washes your body, face, teeth (not too sure about this as I haven't been brave enough to try it!), it's pet and baby safe, can be used as deodourant and so much more.



Even more exciting ("and what can be more exciting than 18 uses?" you say!) is that it is a natural product, cruelty free and environmentally safe. No harsh chemicals to pollute the sea for years to come.  I love the lavender and tea tree liquid version, although I would need one of the small bottles if taking it on a plane.  It also comes

Dro Bronner's can be purchased from many places including Liberty and Waitrose.  Prices start from £1.69 see www.kinetic4health.co.uk to find your nearest stockist.


What are your magic holiday space saving essentials?  What are your holiday essentials?

Disclaimer: I have been given all the above products at various stages but have only chosen to mention them because I feel they are worth a mention.  As always I trails products and only mention them after testing.  All thoughts and content are my own words.


P.s. Don't forget my giveaway ends very soon!
Lots of prices and few entrants = large chance of winning!

5 Blogs I'm loving at the moment

Kate Shapland, beauty journalist, lovely, knowledgeable and speaks the truth!  Lots of new products and ideas. This blog is about fighting cellulite and all things leggy and I love her for it.  Begone cellulite!
http://thelegroom.blogspot.com/
(P.s. dig around a little and you'll find me on there!)

Laura (aka Lollipop26) fashion, makeup, skincare, trips to places. Fun!  Makes life look effortless!  I am so pleased she is back blogging!
http://www.buynowbloglater.com/

Caroline Hirons (AKA Beauty mouth) Skincare Guru.  Speaks her mind and knows her stuff.  Loves Duran Duran.  And a glass of wine every now and again.  A beautiful person inside and out.
http://www.beautymouth.com

Muhsine (AKA Bubblegarm) Everything she makes looks amazing, and she is flawlessly beautiful (and pregnant).  I want her knack for making storage look pretty but remain functional.
http://bubblegarm.blogspot.com/

Natalya (AKA Fithy Georgeous Make-up) Her outfit posts are amazing, and she is lovely in real life (and just as stunning as in her pictures!)
http://filthygorgeousmakeup.blogspot.com/

I do read a lot of blogs (and don't always comment *slap wrists*) but I thought I would do a few posts giving out links so stay tuned for more blogs I like.

If you would like to post a link to your blog then feel free to post below or on my designated PLUG YOUR BLOG page!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Chanel Mat Lumiere Vs Pro Lumiere

After reading Sarah's piece on Chanel Pro Lumiere it suddenly occurred to me that I haven't actually written about the Chanel foundations.  I took some pictures when I first purchased both so here you are!

I own several pieces by Chanel but I'll just chat about these two foundations, and if you want more Chanel reviews/thoughts then please comment below!

In general Chanel foundations are loved by professional make-up artist and general public alike.  They are mid to high end in price, but are they worth it?

Chanel Pro Lumiere
Chanel says "A flawless complexion in any light. PRO LUMIÈRE stretches like a canvas that forms a curtain veil of light on the skin. The material reshapes the skin, the color adapts and the density adjusts depending on the desired effect."


Not sure why Blogger shifted this round, but I cant put it up the right way! If you can help, please comment below!


This foundation glides on easily, it certainly fills in a few flaws and creates a nice finish.  The coverage is quite good, and the consistency is liquid but not too watery.  It is more fluidly than Mat Lumiere and has a nice light reflecting finish.

My gripe with this product is that I chose the lightest shade (oddly named 'Limpide' 10), and that it is still too dark on my pale skin.  I think this runs across lots of Chanel foundations- great products, rubbish range of colours.

Runny but not too runny!
I also have seen some pictures of me wearing a full face of this foundation, and unfortunately if you have combination or oily skin, then I would definitely try before you buy!  I am looking mega shiny in the pictures! 

The plus point is lasting power- it does last and did help even out my skin tone.  It comes in a glass bottle (better for the environment and for you (less plastic dioxins!)).  It also has a pump applicator which is more hygienic and helps the product keep for longer.  A last bonus is that it contains SPF15 to hep protect your skin all year round.



Little goes a long way (1/2 pump for full face).


£33 for 30ml


Chanel Mat Lumiere
Chanel says " A silky and comfortable texture for a matte, slightly powdery and radiant makeup result, all day long. The fluid formula of MAT LUMIÈRE blends delicately into the skin."

Another light foundation.  When buffed in it creates good coverage (evens skin tone), and blends well.  I have found this one to have quite good lasting power (but obviously this changes with various primers and skin preparations!)  I have this in 20 Clair which, despite the niumbers, actually comes out lighter than Pro Lumiere 10!  It does stay matte on my skin which is great.

This comes in a glass bottle with pump applicator- exactly like Pro Lumiere (hygienic and environmentally friendly, just not great to lug around in your handbag!) It is slightly more thicker liquid than Pro Lumiere but not 'gloopy'.
Thicker but still moveable and runny!

The downside with this product is that, due to the matte finish, it shows up my pores and scars!  If I have a good primer then this does help, but it did shock me the first time I wore it!  Of course a good highlighter and illuminator can help to disguise crags and craters in the skin.  Also a good concealer helps.

This product also contains an SPF of 15.  If you have dry skin I would probably not go for this product, but my combination (dry cheeks, oily t-zone and chin) likes it.  I have also photographed better with it!

Little goes a long way (1/2 pump for full face).

£33 for 30ml


Pro Lumiere Left, Mat Lumiere right. Colour different: Obvious!
Chanel's foundations feel very light on the skin- I always feel like my skin can breathe but has good coverage from the product.  I hate products that feel cakey and clog my pores- Chanel feels soft and comes off easily with a decent cleanser.

Pro Lumiere left (blended) Mat Lumiere right (blended).  Notice the sheen with Pro Lumiere?
The price is high, but I always think that I should invest in good base products like skincare and foundation.  When I say 'invest' I don't mean spend hundreds, just invest my time in choosing good products with good ingredients.

Word of warning: PRO LUMIERE is being DISCONTINUED!  If you are a fan, grab it while you can!

I normally buy my Chanel from DebenhamsBoots or Selfridges

Disclaimer: This is just my opinion and products change depending on your skin and the time of the month!  Also application has a large part to play.  All products were bought by me and this piece is my own words and my own opinion!


Don't forget my giveaway closes Saturday!!


Do you have any Chanel Foundations?  What do you think?  What is your favorite foundation? Any oily/combination foundation recommendations?

Monday, 25 July 2011

For Sale: Chanel Pro Lumiere: Nude

Same conditions as my blog sale HERE

Used x 2 Chanel Pro lumiere in the shade Limpide (Nude)
Comes in box.
I have oily combination skin and this makes me look mega shiny in pictures.
Plus it is the lightest shade and is still slightly too dark for my pale skin.  Sad times. (Mac NC/NW 20 and darker would be ok)

I have used 2 times (1/2 pump each time).  The applicator is a pump, so this is completely sanatised and hygienic.

Bought for £33 and sell for £25 £22 plus £2 for second class postage (add 75p for recorded delivery)

Friday, 22 July 2011

Computergirl moved...

..temporarily!  Yesterday I had the privilege of appearing on the lovely Lauren's blog AKA Lauren2herself.

Please take a minute to check out her blog and say hello (and read my post!)

Lauren is a lovely, lovely girl and has a lovely blog- worth hitting the 'follow' button!  She is a writer by trade and has lots of insider information!

http://www.alaurentoherself.com/2011/07/guest-blog-post-this-months-glossybox.html

Thanks!

P.s. don't forget my giveaway!!

Back shortly with my holiday favorites!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Aveda care for da earth! (My visit to Aveda!)

(AKA 'A way to care for the earth'.  Excuse the pun!)
A couple of weeks back I had a little time to spare and was invited to Aveda's institute in London.  I had been invited before but was away and unable to go!  I was already a little familiar with Aveda and said yes!  I don't say yes to everything, but this seemed to fit in with my lifestyle.

In their words, "Aveda™, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™, was founded in 1978 with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet.

Aveda manufactures professional plant-based hair care, skin care, makeup, Pure-Fume™ and lifestyle products. Headquartered in Blaine, Minnesota, Aveda is available in Aveda stores, and in nearly 7,000 professional hair salons and spas in 24 countries worldwide."


I turned up at the Holborn Aveda training institute and Spa, and was immediately greeted like an old friend.  The building houses a spa, the training institute and 'Le Pain Quotidien', a cafe/restaurant (more on that later).  Aveda's ethos really impressed me.  The brand is very much into renewable sourcing and recycling- caring for the earth while it is in our generation's stewardship.  I was amazed to learn that every item in the salon is carefully sourced in order to meet Aveda's renew and recyle vision.  All their products are manufactured in a way that does not contain or create nasty non-biodegradable end products or waste.

As I was shown round the salon, the attention to detail really struck me.  The towels they use will naturally decompose after 3 months, and are not created using harmful and harsh cotton bleaching processes.  The salon contains no cut flowers, only live plants (including cacti to absorb any stray electromagnetic/electrostatic rays from computer screens and phones).  There are recycled rugs on the floor to insulate.  Any leaflets and printing are done on recycled paper, that can be recycled again later.  Even the large display posters are not coated in plastic and therefore able to be recycled later in their life.  As I browsed the shelves, I was offered a cup of Aveda tea (in a recyclable cup).  I am not really a tea or coffee drinker, but this tea is made of liquorice root.  It's yummy and very detoxifying.


On the side note of food, I ate a light lunch at the restaurant.  I found it hard to choose but ended up with Spinach and Ricotta puff pastry triangles with mixed leaves and a cooling glass of homemade limeade with mint.  I took a seat at the communal large table.  If you are unfamiliar with 'Le Pain Quotidien', their philosophy is very similar to Aveda's.  Source natural, organic produce and care for the earth.  Their restaurants always try to have a large communal table so that everyone can sit together with friends and strangers.  (After all, a stranger is just a friend who you haven't met yet).  My meal came to around £10, but I would happily pay that for the food on a semi-regular basis as it tasted lovely and came with a clear and healthy conscience!  If you want to know more, then please visit their website ttp://www.lepainquotidien.co.uk


Overall the main room is light and airy.  The large glass front lets in maximum natural light to enable nature's intended environment.  The nail bar is situated perfectly in a secluded but open spot, where you could chat to a friend while having a treatment.  It encourages people to relax but also feel free to interact and mingle.   With a nail bar, hair salon, therapy suite, restaurant and shop all under one roof, this salon can cater for most therapeutic needs all in one go!  To give you an idea, waxes start from £17 , Manicures from £25.  Looking through the treatment menu (on recycled paper printed with natural soy ink),  the breakfast blow dry catches my attention.  A blowdry, breakfast and wifi so you can gently start the day in a relaxed environment while reading your work schedule AND walk out ready for any meeting with lovely sleek hair.  I also like the fact that if you are having a consultation with a therapist, that they will wash your feet as they conduct the consultation prior to treatment.  A lovely touch.

Aveda gave me a little goodie bag of products to try, which I will post about in due course.  I had a lovely time at Aveda and can say that their salons and brands are worth a look.  Some of their products and services might cost a little bit more than alternatives, however if you like beauty with a conscience, then I recommend that you research Aveda's natural, organic and sustainable options.

Disclaimer: If you are in any doubt about the integrety of this post, then I would like to add that I went back to Aveda at a later date.  I liked some of the products and wanted to purchase some others with my own money.  I chose to go back and was in a sense a 'secret shopper'.  The service and advice was just as friendly as when I was the company's guest.  I was offered Aveda tea again and ended up with a free '£20 off treatments' voucher.  I am choosy about where I spend my money and would not have returned out of choice if I didn't like Aveda!

P.s. Don't forget my mega giveaway (click the right hand bar to go to the post!)

Monday, 4 July 2011

NOTD: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

A vampy type of dark polish.  You can wear one or two coats to build up the colour.  It;s a sort of dark raisin / berry colour, although more purpley with one coat (See below).  This is pre-clean up, for which I apologise.  I forgot to photo after clean up and pre removal.

 Word of warning.  Unless you wear dark polish 100% of the time, then treat your nails to a good base coat.  This stains!  Protect your nails, or you'll look like you dipped your hands in raspberries and didn't wash after!  No-one likes polish residue!

This polish can be bought on Beauty Bay (HERE) or Ebay (HERE) or this seller has it for £7.99 inc postage


What are your recommendations for a good base coat? Any tips for removing polish stains?  Any other Vampy polish recommendations?

Want to win an OPI polish?

Don't forget my giveaways (links in right hand box and above).

Also i'm on twitter, facebook and bloglovin.  Click above for links!!

Other posts you might like.....

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