30 April 2015

Lifestyle | Voting: the upcoming election

Often described as one of the two things that shouldn't be discussed in "polite" company (the other being religion), politics is somewhat of a tricky subject to navigate because it elicits such strong feelings in people. So why, oh why, am I discussing this on my blog which I created mainly so I could have a platform on which to discuss makeup, hair styles and clothes? Because it's important, that's why and if it isn't your cup of tea then by all means, sit this one out.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months you cannot fail to be aware that the UK General Election takes place on 7th May 2015 and you will have between the hours of 7am and 10pm to cast your vote and cross those all important boxes, something I, and I hope all of you, will be doing.

The reason I'm writing this post is because fewer young people than ever turned out to vote at the last election and it's forecast that it will be the same this time. Whether or not younger people feel apathetic towards politics or just struggle to fully identify with one party, not voting does not solve that problem. Politics affects all of us, it governs our day to day lives: the money we earn, the tax we pay and the services that are provided to us are just a few of the ways in which our lives are impacted every single day.

The fact that numbers of young people voting is expected to fall yet again this year, with even fewer women expected to vote, is very concerning. Whilst I fully agree with everybody having the choice as to whether or not they wish to use their vote, I think it is vitally important that you do use your vote. Many commentators have argued for a "None of the Above" box on the ballot paper for those who do not wish to vote for any of the parties listed but until that comes into play, it's important that people make a choice and vote for a party they can identify with more than the others, a party whose policies they agree with more than the others; they don't have to be perfect and quite frankly none of them are, if you can identify with one more than the other then I urge you to cast your vote for them. 

 Vicky x

28 April 2015

Lifestyle | How to Interview Like a Professional

Job interviews can be quite daunting whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional with years of interviewing and working under your belt it can be a nerve wracking experience putting yourself out there for an interview.
source: weheartit

I can remember every interview I’ve ever had, some of them down to the most random details, and although I don’t want to be that person that says they’ve been offered every job they’ve interviewed for, on the two occasions where I wasn’t offered the role I interviewed for I was offered something else by the company simply because although I wasn’t the right fit for that role (over-qualified, under-qualified, not enough experience in the sector etc.) I interviewed well enough for them to see something in me that would work in their organisation.
 I haven’t interviewed for a new job for over two years now but in my current role we have annual appraisals during which we are basically re-interviewed for our current job or any potential promotion and we have to prepare like an actual interview. Depending on whether or not you’re being put forward for a promotion it can be a two, even three, step process which mimics the job selection process. Prior to my current role I used to recruit my own staff (since when did this become a cover letter? “Hi, I’m Vicky and I’d like to apply for the position of blogger here on Beauty Blogging Brunette!”) so I know a lot about interviews, good and bad, and how to make an excellent impression.
Whether you’re graduating this summer and looking to land a full time role, if you’re currently working but seeking new opportunities or even if you just want to know what other people think is important in an interview, here are my top tips.
 How you present yourself – appearance 
I’ve started with how you present yourself – appearance, because it is the first thing a potential employer will notice about you. Even before you’ve introduced yourself and shaken hands, they will have taken in things so microscopic about your appearance that they will already be building a picture of you as a potential employee; I believe this section can further be broken down into two categories: clothing and grooming. 
source: weheartit

The outfit you wear is so important, that doesn’t mean that it has to be expensive, just that you have to look clean, smart and appropriately dressed for the role you’re interviewing for. If you’re interviewing for something slightly more creative such as fashion or something in the arts, you can get away with showing slightly more creativity in your outfit rather than keeping it super business-like. If, however, you’re interviewing for something in a more corporate environment, turning up in a handmade haute couture creation probably won’t make the best impression.
A simple, well cut, black dress with a blazer is timeless and can be recycled as office wear. You can pick them up in Zara and H&M for anything from £20 so you really don’t have to break the bank. Primark also do a work wear section if you’re on a strict budget and a simple dress or skirt and blouse combination work wonders.
Also, do not underestimate the power of a pair of plain black trousers paired with a black round neck t-shirt and a blazer and how smart this can look, it was our uniform at Harrods and if it passes at one of the most prestigious department stores in the world then it is definitely suitable for an interview.
Jewellery should be kept to a minimum, most work places will have this rule for their employees so it’s best to make a good impression – you don’t need to wear a handful of stacking rings and midi rings and half an arm of bracelets to an interview unless you own your own jewellery business and you’re pitching your product.
Your shoes are also important (I once interviewed someone who turned up in trainers and tracksuit bottoms despite the dress code being business casual not gym casual) and people do pay attention. I always slip into a pair of heels before an interview – I arrive at the location 15-20 minutes early to get a feel for it and then I change my shoes and do a last minute check of my appearance. 
source: weheartit

It’s not just your clothes that the person you’re interviewing will notice but also how you present as a person. Keep your makeup neutral and simple, unless you’re applying for a job on a makeup counter then you do not need a smokey eye and it might not be the best time to wear a bold lip colour although I once interviewed a girl wearing a bright red lipstick, it was her signature look and she worked it well! Make sure the makeup you wear is “you” but still professional.
One thing that is super important for me that many people forget is your nails. You don’t need a full on manicure but do not turn up with chipped nails, it looks unprofessional and frankly a little lazy. People will look at your hands, when you’re shaking hands and when you’re talking so it’s important you don’t have islands of Chanel Rouge Noir polish on otherwise bare nails. If it doubt, it’s always better to remove it than leave it. I always carry a small pot of nail polish remover pads with me, yes they’re oil but they’re perfect for emergencies. 
As for your hair, as long as it’s clean and well presented you can wear it up or down though if you’re likely to fiddle with it, I’d tie it back – there will be more of this when we talk about body language. I read an article once that claimed women who styled their hair into ponytails for jobs got more job offers than women who wore their hair down – make of that what you will!
How you present yourself – body language 
I’m sure most people will be familiar with the statistics surrounding non-verbal communication, if you’re not they are as follows: non-verbal communication is made up of three elements: words in their literal meaning, tone of voice and body language. In face to face interactions, body language accounts for 55% of how we come across in face to face communication, 38% is our tone of voice and just 7% comes from the words we use so body language is pretty important.
source: Google
I always think a good handshake is important, on the occasions where I’ve met someone and they’ve got a bad handshake (usually quite limp or lacking any commitment) that has translated into their performance so a good handshake is important in business. The general rule of thumb if you’re unsure about your handshake is to match the pressure of the other person.
Sitting and standing up straight show confidence and try not to cross your arms, it’s a defensive mechanism and comes across as closed over and defensive – the chances are you’ll already have a barrier between yourself and the person interviewing you (usually their desk or a boardroom table) don’t add another one. 
source: weheartit

Open body language is always good as it represents honesty and openness to your surroundings and ideas. I talk quite a lot with my hands and that’s something I’ve had to reign in a little but it’s also a good sign, if you watch a politician giving a speech they gesticulate with their hands and their movements are always very controlled. I tend to keep my palms upturned and my movements within a shoebox sized space – hands go in to make a point, hands come back when it’s made. On the topic of hands, don’t fiddle with your hair, your outfit or your bag as it shows nerves. 
Do your research!
This is probably one of the most important points of all, you must do your research on the company you’re interviewing for. What industry are they in and what is their reputation within that industry? Are they a major player in their industry? How long have they been operating for? Why do they attract you as a company and what do you think it would be like to work there and why?
source: weheartit

You don’t need to go into finite detail here, when you walk into an interview and parrot a Wikipedia article it doesn’t win you brownie points. For my current role, I did my research and showed this by throwing in random facts I’d discovered “so, as one of London’s oldest established ‘X’ companies, do you feel your history is a help or a hindrance in the modern market?”
Be prepared 
 You’ve done your research on the company so what else do you need to research? Well, you! This will sound silly but do your research on yourself as well; most people write their CVs at the start of their job hunting and won’t look back over it. The person interviewing you will have seen it twice – once when they decided to interview you and then again a few moments before they sit in front of you and there is nothing more embarrassing than them being more clued up on your CV than you are. Take time to read through your CV and make sure you know your dates, your roles and accountabilities and if you’re going for a sales job, your figures. One other thing to make sure you know is your current salary - so many people add on a few extra thousand to their salary in the hope of nailing a pay rise in the new job but if you don't know your monthly "take home" figure you're going to look like you're lying.
Take time to think of some answers to questions they may ask, I’ve listed some common ones below and scenario based answers are always good. Everyone can say they’re a great multi-tasker but if you can back that up with a time when you worked on multiple projects with multiple people, now is the time to bring it up.
Some questions they may ask:
·         Why do you want to work for us?
·         What can you bring to the role?
·         List your three greatest achievements
·         List three weaknesses 
·         Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
There’s always a chance of a curveball question, I once got asked whether or not I considered myself to be a failure for quitting my degree and whether or not I made a habit of leaving projects half-finished! This threw me a little bit but it’s important to remain composed and consider your answer, you don’t have to respond within a heartbeat.
It’s also important to come up with some questions of your own, even if you only have one or two of your own. They can be as simple as: what is a typical day here like?
source: weheartit

Be yourself!
Ultimately, being yourself is the most important thing you can do. This can’t be taught, you just have to let your personality shine through and don’t worry if you’re nervous, everyone makes allowances for the fact that an interview is a very his pressure situation and people don’t always react as they would normally but if you can still get your personality across you’re in with a fighting chance.
Confidence – fake it until you make it
I’m terrible at selling myself and talking up my good points but I’ve learned to develop and interview personality where I’m confident and assured in my presentation outwardly even if I’m terrified inside. I also think this comes with experience, I’m used to the interview process now so the only element of the unknown for me really is the person I’m meeting and now that I’ve gained experience in customer facing roles, the meeting new people aspect doesn’t really faze me anymore.
If you don’t feel confident, take some time to take deep breaths before your interview and visualise yourself doing well. Don’t worry about how you got there and don’t take anything negative into your interview with you because it will show. Just try and compartmentalise everything until you’re done. Smile, be open and honest and just be you!
I hope some of you find this helpful but if you ever need tips or advice on the above, you can always reach me using the details supplied on my Contact Me page.

Vicky x


26 April 2015

BLOG SALE: MAC, Illamasqua, Dermalogica, He-Shi, REN and more!

As I'm laid up for the next few days with a mystery stomach illness I thought now was as good a time as any to post this mammoth blog sale that I've been compiling for the last few weeks. It's a massive post so get comfy!

  • All items are sold as seen and no returns or swaps are accepted.
  • All makeup items, where used, have been sanitised.
  • Payment is via PayPal only.
  • Postage is not included in any of the prices below.
  • If you would like more than one item, we can arrange a flat rate postage cost.
  • All items will be posted within three working days of receiving payment.
  • I will post outside of the UK.
  • If you would like to buy something, please leave a comment below with your email address and I will email you.

Just a side note, nearly all of the items below are from my professional makeup kit. As I mainly do bridal work now, I don't need such a large kit anymore. I am also selling my Zuca Pro Case if any fellow MUAs are interested, please drop me a line below and we can discuss.


Demalogica Multi Active Toner 250ml - BRAND NEW - £18.00 (RRP - £27.30)
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask 50ml - used twice 90% left - £16.00 (RRP - £30.00)

Hydraluron - used once 95% left - £15.00 (RRP - £25.00)

Dermalogica Climate Control Lip Treatment - NEVER USED - £5.00 (RRP £8.20)

Caudalie Eau De Beaute Beauty Elixir 30ml - used as shown, 75% left - £7.00 (RRP £11.50)

Fake Tan

James Read Bronzing Mousse 250ml - used once 85% left - £17.00 (RRP £25.00)
Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs spray 75 ml - NEVER USED - £5.00 (RRP £7.99)
He-Shi Express Liquid Tan 150ml - used once 80% left - £14.00 (RRP £20.00)
St Tropez Instant Tan 50ml - NEVER USED - £5.00 (RRP £8.00)


Illamasqua Freak EDP 75ml - NEVER USED - £40.00 (RRP £59.00)

Lip Products

(from left)

MAC Violetta - NEVER USED - £12.50 (RRP £15.50)
MAC Costa Chic - used 2/3 times - £10.50 (RRP £15.50) SOLD
MAC Naughty You - used once - £11.50 (RRP £15.50) SOLD
MAC Snob - used once - £11.50 (RRP £15.50) SOLD
MAC Creme de la Femme - NEVER USED - £12.50 (RRP £15.50)
MAC Pink Nouveau - NEVER USED - £12.50 (RRP £15.50) SOLD
MAC Blooming Lovely from the Liberty London collection (opened last week for the first time) - SWATCHED ONCE - LIMITED EDITION VERY RARE - £15.00 (discontinued) SOLD
MAC Viva Glam GaGa - used as shown - £13.00 

YSL Rouge Volupte Lingerie Pink - used as shown 80% left - £15.50 (RRP £26.00)

Illamasqua Sangers - used as shown, 95% left - £12.50 (RRP £18.50)

Illamasqua Fetish - swatched only - £8.00 (RRP £18.50)

Revlon Blush - used as shown, 95% left - £5.00 (RRP £7.50)

Revlon Fuchsia - used as shown, 95% left - £5.00 (RRP £7.50)

Revlon Baby Pink - swatched once - £5.00 (RRP £7.50)

Revlon Carnation - swatched once - £5.00 (RRP £7.50)

Revlon Matte Mauve it Over - used as shown, 90% left - £5.00 (RRP £7.50) SOLD

Revlon Matte Smoked Peach - used as shown, 95% left - £5.00 (RRP £7.50)

OCC Lip Tar Demure - never used - £6.00 (RRP £11.50)

OCC Lip Tar *shade worn off but it's a rose colour* - never used - £6.00 (RRP £11.50)

OCC Lip Tar *shade worn off but it's a beautiful nude* - never used - £6.00 (RRP £11.50)

NYX Lip Pencil Fuchsia - used as shown, 90% full - £5.00 

NYX Lip Pencil Rose - used as shown, 80% full -  £5.00

NYX Lip Liner Plush Red - used as shown, 60% left - £5.00

Illamasqua medium pencil in Torment - used as shown, 95% left - £8.00 (RRP £15.00)

Eyes: shadows, palettes, liners and lashes 

Illamasqua Precision Ink Abyss - NEVER USED - £12.00 (RRP £20.00)

Illamasqua Precision Ink Scribe - NEVER USED - £12.00 (RRP £20.00)

Illamasqua Precision Ink Glister - NEVER USED, LIMITED EDITION AND RARE - £17.00 

Illamasqua Lashes Decadance - LIMITED EDITION, VERY RARE - £20.00

MAC Jest - used as shown, 95% left - £8.00 (RRP £13.00)

MAC Honesty (x2) - both have been swatched one - £8.00 each (RRP £13.00)

Illamasqua Sex - swatched once - £10.00 (RRP £15.50)

Illamasqua Feline - swatched once - £10.00 (RRP £15.50)

Illamasqua Debauch - used as shown - £6.00 (RRP £15.50)

Illamasqua Machine - used as shown - £10.00 (RRP £15.50)

Illamasqua Curious - used as shown - £6.00 (RRP £15.50)

Catrice neutral quad - NEVER USED - £5.00

Inglot freedom palette - used as shown - £10.00 SOLD

Ingot freedom palette - used as shown - £17.00 SOLD

Sleek Paraguaya - LIMITED EDITION, NEVER USED - £5.00 (RRP £7.99) 

Sleek Mattes V2 - BRAND NEW, NEVER USED - £5.00 (RRP £7.99)

Sleek Mattes V1 - one eye shadow used as shown - £5.00 (RRP £7.99)

Illamasqua Pure Pigment Conquer - about 80% left - £9.00 (RRP £16.50)

Illamasqua Liquid Metal Stoic - used as shown - £10.00 (RRP £17.50)

Illamasqua Pure Pigment Involve - about 75% left - £9.00 (RRP £16.50)

NYX Pigments and Glitters - £10 for all four or £3.00 each. Only the pink glitter has been opened.

MAC mini pigment Naval Blue - never used - £5.00

MAC mini pigment Dark Soul - never used - £5.00

MAC Teal pigment - 95% full - £12.50


(from left)

MAC Face and Body N5 - NEVER USED - £20.00 (RRP £28.50) SOLD
MAC Face and Body C5 - NEVER USED - £20.00 (RRP £28.50)
MAC Face and Body C1 - used once - £18.50 (RRP £28.50)

(from left)

Illamasqua Skin Base No. 4 - about 75% full - £15.00 (RRP £32.00)
Illasmaqua Skin Base No. 2 - about 60% full - £13.00 (RRP £32.00)

Illamasqua Matt Primer - about 50% full - £8.00 (RRP £24.00)

(from left)

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum 55 - never used - £6.50 (RRP £10.99)
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum 56 - never used - £6.50 (RRP £10.99)

MAC Sun & Moon mineralise blush - NEVER USED - £15.00 (RRP £21.00)

MAC Dame blush - used once - £14.00 (RRP £18.00)

Accessorize blush (shade unknown, it's worn off) - NEVER USED - £4.00

Sleek Contour Kit Light - NEVER USED (highlight swatched) - £5.00 

Sleek Contour Kit Dark - NEVER USED - £5.00

Sleek blush Pomegranate - used once - £5.00

Sleek blush Rose Gold - used once - £5.00

Sleek blush Santorini - BRAND NEW, LIMITED EDITION - £5.00

Illamasqua blush Morale - used once - £15.00 (RRP £21.50)


Illamasqua kabuki brush - NEVER USED, LIMITED EDITION - £25.00

Happy purchasing!

Vicky x

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