Tuesday, 29 April 2014

How To Get Bright Photos || Backgrounds

There's no doubt about it, when it comes to blogging photos really do play a huge part and everyone wants their pictures to look bright, beautiful and most importantly to show case off whatever the focus of the photograph is to its very best. This however can be a lot easier said than done, and after two and half years of blogging I've had my fair share of photo mishaps (if you ever take a look back to my very first posts they are completely cringe worthy). Now whilst I am no photography expert, I have picked up a few things a long my blogging journey that have worked for me and sharing is caring as they say! A few months ago I did a little post on what website I use to edit my photos, in-case you missed it you can find it by clicking this link here. Today I wanted to share with you another little trick that I use to get my photos looking bright and as you guessed from the title of this post its about backgrounds.

When I say backgrounds, I'm talking about where we decided to take our photos and what on. I don't know about anyone else, but I have probably tried and tested just about every surface, counter and bit of furniture in my house to take my blogging pictures on. Whilst I found the dresser in my bedroom made a pretty setting for my blogging pictures, there was still a huge part of me that was never really satisfied. One reason being that my dresser was in a bit of an awkward position and I only had a few hours of good daylight there in a day; And we all know the importance of taking your pictures in the correct lighting. Let's face it we can't move our furniture around every time we need to take pictures for our blog. 

Another thing that made me feel disheartened about my blogging photos was the colours of my furniture (don't get me wrong I picked it all out and love how pretty it makes my room look, but beige's and browns didn't make my photos look bright). If I'm honest, I always envied those bloggers that had white furniture or those studio boxes. I know it can be a little cliche with beauty bloggers taking pictures on white backgrounds these days; But I honestly feel that there is good reason for this -Having a white background can make your pictures appear a lot brighter. Having a white background also makes editing your pictures a whole lot easier as your not altering the balance of too many colours, just the products in the photos. Not only does having a white background make for brighter and crispier photographs, I also think that it makes any beauty product really stand out and make it the main focus of your photographs, but that's my personal opinion. 

I thought long and hard about what I could use or change in my home that would create a fabulous white background for my pictures. Buying new furniture was out of the question as that was just way too drastic and I'm terrible at saving, so a lightening studio box seamed out of the question too. However my prayers where soon answered on a trip to B&Q. James and I ended up in the tile section and there I picked up a white and pretty large glossy sample tile that would be perfect for taking blog pictures on. 

Picking up this tile was seriously one of the best blogging decisions that I've ever made, it makes a great surface to take all my blogging pictures on and it only cost me £3.99! The shine on the tile gives all my products a lovely little reflection in pictures. Any of my reviews that use a white background in their photos have been taken on this tile, I absolutely love it! Not only does it make a great little blogging background, but its portable too and I can take this into any room that has the best light for that time of day. 

If your really struggling with your blog pictures right now and feel that something is not quite right, I can't recommend enough picking up a sample floor or wall tile for your pictures. B&Q had a sample tile for every tile they sold in store, so there are so many different ones you could choose for your pictures ad it really does make a big difference. 

I know that this is a pretty random alternative to achieving bright blog pictures, but its something that has really worked for me and I thought it would be mean to keep it all to myself. Who would have thought tiles where just for walls and floors? Ha.

I would love to know what your thoughts are on my wall tile and if your planning on getting a tile for your blog pictures too?

Lots of Love

Find Me
Twitter @sunshinesprkle || Instagram @sunshinesprkle 


Monday, 28 April 2014

Primark Haul

This weekend I decided to do a little spending and paid a visit to Primark. The one in my town is tiny and utterly rubbish, however down the road is Peterborough and they have the most amazing Primark store and I had a lot of fun walking around the shops and popping bits in my basket. I don't know about you, but I love seeing what people pick up in Primark as they don't have an online store, so I thought I would share with you all the little bits and bobs that I picked up.

Black & White Printed Trousers £9.00

I love bold prints and as soon as I saw these black and white printed trousers I fell in love with them. I thought that these would be perfect for spring/summer as they are so easy and comfortable to wear. These trousers are really lightweight and have been made from a silky sort of material. These are going to look perfect worn casually in the day time, or dressed up with a blazer and some heels in the evening.

Printed Coral Shorts £4.00

These printed shorts had to be my top find of the day, as soon as I saw this bright beautiful bold print I just had to take them home with me. I'm really loving printed things at the moment and these are going to look amazing come summer time, especially with festival season just around the corner. Again, like the trousers I picked up these are made from a silky lightweight material which, so they will be perfect for holidays too.

Distressed Tee £4.00

I've been seeing these distressed tees popping up on YouTube and other blogs recently and I had in mind when I went into Primark that I wanted to pick one up. I love this minted green colour, so gorgeous for this time of year. I love these tees for casual lazy days and as they are pretty long, they work perfectly with leggings.

Black & White Stripe Strap Top £3.00

When ever I venture into Primark, I will always pick up some basics which include little black strap tops and among them I saw this black and white stripped one. I love a bit of monochrome and paired with some black trousers I thought I would be able to dress this basic top up a little.

Sports Bra £4.00

You all know by now that I love the gym and working out, so I will never pass an opportunity to pick up new gym clothing. I spotted this neon orange and grey sports bra and fell in love with it in an instant. Primark have some amazing gym clothing in their stores right now, and new gym gear is the perfect way to motivate yourself into going to the gym.

Black Wedges £12.00

I have a love hate relationship with heels and wearing them everyday for work really takes its toll on my poor little feet. However I always find wedges much comfier and easier to walk in, so I was so drawn to these wedges. I love how smart they look with their closed rounded toes, but they also have a summer look to them with their espadrille wedge, super cute!

Handbag £4.00

I love little over the shoulder handbags, they are so convenient for those quick dashes to the shops, food shopping in particular; Sometimes its just not practical to carry a massive handbag around with you. I love the detailing around the edges of this handbag and seeing as its pretty small, it manages to hold a lot of stuff - Tried and tested ladies!

Statement Necklace £5.00

It's been quite a while since I picked up any jewelry from Primark as I went off it for a while. However I fell in love with this statement necklace immediately! I love how its a little bit different with its tribal fabric detailing and I just know that this is going to jazz up so many outfits. 

So that's evening this I bought at Primark this weekend, I would love to know if you've picked up anything from there recently, be sure to let me know in the comments.

Lots of Love

Find Me
Twitter @sunshinesprkle || Instagram @sunshinesprkle 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Scramble Those Easter Egg Calories

Let me start by introducing myself …... I'm Chris Wright an aspiring fitness model and have spent the last few years dedicating myself to getting in the best shape possible. In order to do this I've spent long hours studying both diet and training techniques in order to achieve my best; This has allowed me to use various techniques I have learned, tried and tested with great results across the board not just on my self but other as well.

Enough about me lets cut to the chase and focus on a few easy, yet effective techniques that will assist you in shaking off those calories that we maybe shouldn't have eaten over the epic Easter bank holiday. In this post I will provide you with 3 diet tips and 3 exercise tips that even with a busy and hectic lifestyle you should be able to in-cooperate some of them. 

Remember something is better than nothing so even if you can only do one of them its a start and it WILL help I promise. The first tip I am going to give you before we even start is go to you cupboard or sideboard now and throw away that egg or chocolate bar you have been saving, it will just make things difficult! You must draw a line under the weekend and start fresh ... unless of course you are very disciplined and know you would touch it... Lets be honest you don't really want to waste it...

Diet tips
Hydration ...

In the few weeks following the Easter break try and increase you water intake, I would aim for 4L on top of your normal intake.Have a glass of water first thing in the morning; The reason for this is going to sound mad, but after a period of overeating or eating the wrong foods the body will retain excess water which makes you feel bloated and appear bigger than your are. Believe it or not the way to shift this is to drink more water as this causes the body to begin a flushing cycle, washing out retained water and the toxins that are attached to it ... Just make sure a loo is in running distance.

Breakfast is a must ...

Start the day with a hearty breakfast, not only does this kicks start the metabolism, but causes the body to start burning calories - it is also great for alertness and productivity. You will find you will get more done in a short space of time and therefore less stress which all aids to weight loss. Breakfast also ensures that hunger is satisfied until lunch and stops that temptation to snack on that last bit of egg you have. My personal favourite is oats and almond milk and a tea spoon of almond butter (stevia sweetener to taste) in the morning but omelettes are great too!

Little and often ...
Eat small portions of protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats every 3-4 hours. Try and work on the basis that a portion is about your 2 hands full of food but no more. Eat until you are satisfied not full! The reason for these small and regular meals is to keep the metabolism high and your hormones balanced. Keep the carbs low GI e.g. sweet potato, oats, multi grain bread or green vegetables. Fats can be from Oily fish, nuts or whole eggs and try and stick to lean meats chicken, turkey and fish with protein.

Exercise TipsFasted cardio ...
When you wake up in the morning after a long sleep or period of not eating the body has low blood sugar levels. This means if we do exercise now we will burn our fat stores rather than the sugars floating around our body. Try to do much as much as possible, like 45 mins running. Like I said earlier something is better than nothing so have a coffee, stick on your trainers and headphones and walk, jog or dance those calories off. The coffee before is very important helps break down the fat tissue and also makes you much more focused! You will also feel great for the day.

Leave the car at home ...
If you have to be somewhere, plan to walk or jog make sure you have plenty of time so your not stressing. This is a great way of burning calories and also achieving something at the same time. Just raising the heart rate slightly increase calorie burning and has positive results on fat loss, which means burning off those chocolate eggs!

Activities days ...
If the thought of going to the gym or running makes you shudder. Try organising days out that involve activities. Meeting a friend to catch up for a walk along the river or park, take the dogs for a walk. Go for a bike ride with a picnic (make sure food is healthy) or go to a class together. There are classes for everyone nowadays, take a look at your local leisure centre or gym, I bet you will have a blast! I know you ladies love to shop so even plan a shopping trip, just being on your feet all day will again burn calories.

try and take at least one of these simple tips into you lifestyle, I promise they will all make a difference and before you know it you will be on the road to a better body and feeling on top of the world.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask, you are more than welcome to message me on my fitness page on Facebook – If you could also like the page and share among your friends, I am always putting tips and hints on there too. 

Alternatively, follow me on twitter and tweet me what ever you need answers to I will be sure to answer

Twitter @ Wrighty1357

Chris x


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Urban Graphic Gift Box

When it comes to online shopping I love finding those sites that offer a multitude of different things, cater for everyone, sell products that are a little bit different and quirky and most of all end up like an Aladdin's crave that you can get lost in when browsing. If I'm not browsing for clothes or makeup then you can guarantee that I'm spending my money on others or for the home; When it comes to those two things I love finding items that are just that little bit different. Urban Graphic are an online store (and a real one too, but more about that in another post), that offer us online shoppers the most amazing choice of modern day goodies that are unique, interesting and perfect for treating ourselves or for someone else. I was lucky enough to receive one of their gift boxes recently which showcased an amazing section of bits that they have to offer on their website and as I know you love online shopping as much as I do, I just had to share. 

Being a lover of all things beauty related the perfume samples that I received in my gift box where the first things to call out to me. I love trying out new perfumes and samples are a great way to have a little experiment, work out what scents suit you and of course are so convenient for your handbag. All the samples of perfume that I was gifted came so beautifully presented, wrapped in envelopes with pretty postcards. Another gift that I love was the mug that you can see in the first picture of this post, I absolutely love the little quote on it 'successful women can still have their feet on the ground, they just wear better shoes'.

Along side these beauty gifts, I also received some amazing dark chocolate that was lemon flavoured, gift cards with great slogans on them and tea towel that would look good in any modern kitchen. 

As you can see this is such a great selection of gifts and is only a handful of things that Urban Graphic have to offer us shoppers. Honestly I can't recommend this sight enough as it's filled with all sorts of trinkets and little gifts. I've spent a few hours lost in the Urban Graphic Shop and can honestly say that I'll never be stuck for gift ideas again!

Take a little look for yourselves and visit the Urban Graphic Shop on the link below.

Let me know if you take a little look, and be sure to let me know your thoughts? 

Lots of Love

Find Me
Twitter @sunshinesprkle || Instagram @sunshinesprkle


Thursday, 17 April 2014

MeMeMe Makeup Haul

First of all let me appologise for this picture heavy post, but when life presents you with gorgeous makeup, taking many snaps of it is a must. Trust me when I tell you I hard a hard time narrowing it down to just this few. Now before I go of tangent even before beginning this post, let me get to the point. Recently I was contacted my cosmetics brand MeMeMe asking if I would like to sample some of the popular choices in their line and having tried and loving MeMeMe cosmetics in the past it was an opportunity that I couldn't say no too. I received three gorgeous makeup products in the post and after trying and testing them all out, I can't wait to give you all the finer details of just how amazing these products are. 

Dark and Divine Mascara*

Recently I've been seeing this Dark and Divine mascara popping up in all the magazines that I read and for good reason too. This mascara from MeMeMe does an incredible job at lengthening your lashes whilst adding much needed volume too. I think its rare to find a high street mascara that can do both, but Dark and Divine definitely creates bold beautiful lashes. What I really love about this mascara is how black it is, and I know you fellow beauty lovers will know exactly what I mean when I say there is black and there is really black. Dark and Divine gives your lashes a really dark look to them which only extenuates how long and defined this mascara really makes them. As you can see from the pictures the wand for this mascara is faff free and is really quite simple. However sometimes simple works the best and this wand does a great job at brushing though each lash, separating them and coating them in mascara. The thin brush also makes applying this mascara full proof and there is no extra mess because the wand is too clumsy. I love this mascara and can't recommend it enough.

Aglaea Long Wear Satin Lip Cream - Persian Pink*

First of all let me say how beautifully packaged is this lipstick from MeMeMe? From the detailed box with an image of the Greek goddess of beauty, Aglaea printed on the front, to the Grecian prints on the sleek black casing of the lipstick; MeMeMe have really raised the bar in terms of a high street lipstick. I know packaging is not everything, but when the actual lip product is as good as its first impressions then it really does make for a fabulous lipstick. The satin cream forula of this lipstick glides onto your lips beautifully, feeling more like a luxurious lip balm than lipstick; Although this is no surprise as the lipstick has been enriched with Shea Butter and Vitamin E. The satin finish gives your lips a bit of added shine making them look perfect. This lipstick is a pleasure to use and for a satin finish its really durable - It also has a delicious vanilla scent to it which is another lovely touch. 

Beat The Blues Highlighter - Oyster Gold*

The Beat the Blues highlighters have to be some of MeMeMe better known products, and the shade Oyster Gold is such a pretty and gorgeous highlighter. Beat the Blues comes in a glass bottle which could easily be mistaken for a nail polish, especially as it has a brush just like one too. The brush style of application makes this liquid highlighter really easy to apply and just a few simple dots on your cheekbones is enough to give you a radiant glow. Oyster Gold is a beautiful shade that leaves a golden pearesque finish to your skin; This colour really adds light to your face and creates a lovely dewy finish to your overall makeup look. I love the way that this looks on and I've been using it non stop since receiving it; It takes seconds to apply and blend in evenly into your skin making it the perfect liquid highlighter - I love it.

I've loved trying and testing out these cosmetics from MeMeMe and I can't wait to try out some other products in their range. In the past I owned one of their box blushers and loved it! I would love to know if you've tried anything from MeMeMe and what your thoughts are on these products? Let me know in the comments below.

Lots of Love

Find Me
Twitter @sunshinesprkle || Instagram @sunshinesprkle 


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Bronze Me Beautiful || Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion

To save you all from the long introduction about how much I love tanning and tanning products, I'm just going to put it out there and confess that I'm a tanoholic! Last year I started a mini series on my blog called 'Bronze Me Beautiful'. This series as you can guess is all about my love for tanning products and to give you a little insight on my top tanning tips. Now is the time of year where tanning starts becoming a priority again and I thought I would continue the series this year as I still have so much tan talk to talk about!

I'm going to kick start my first tanning post this year with a new discovery that I made recently, although this is not a new product on the tanning market. When it comes to fake tanning, I love using gradual tanning moisturisers; They are generally faff free and after a few applications give you a lovely sun-kissed look. My current favourite gradual tanning moisturisers have always been the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze and the Dove Summer Glow which you can read about in my full review here. As much as I love these two products I was keen to try the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion as I've been a fan of other moisurisers by Garnier recently. The Summer Body Moisturising Lotion makes for a great gradual tanner for three main reasons. 

The Summer Body moisturiser builds up a lovely looking and natural tan, that in no way looks orange or dirty.

Not only does this gradual tanner make a great moisturiser that hydrates and nourishes your skin, but is also absorbs into your skin so quickly making drying time a matter of minutes not hours.

As far as any self tanner goes, this one smells amazing. When its first applied it smells of fruity apricots and a few hours later once it starts developing your still left with an apricot kind of smell, which is pleasant. 

As far as colour goes, this gradual tanner doesn't make me look quite as sun-kissed as I would like and when it comes to tanning products I usually opt for the darkest shades on offer. However I was a right wally when picking up this bottle of the Summer Body Moistursing Lotion as I picked up the one that was for a 'light' sun-kissed look and since then have realised that Garnier do offer a darker one which would have been perfect for me. But my little mistake means that I can report back and say that this shade would be perfect for those of you who are new to tanning or have fair skin. It takes a few applications to see any real difference in colour and the changes that you do see are subtle and not too over the top.

Overall I'm really impressed with this gradual tanner and although its in a lighter shade, its doing the job wonderfully. I would love to know what your thoughts are on this product? And if you've used the darker shade, please let me know how you got on with it?

Lots of Love

Find Me
Twitter @sunshinesprkle || Instagram @sunshinesprkle


Sunday, 13 April 2014

My Top Style Tip With La Redoute

When it comes to fashion, I honestly believe that there is no right or wrong. Fashion is a form of expression, about our own personal taste and is completely unique to each individual. No matter what clothes we decide to wear or how we decide to wear them, the choices that we make have been inspired by our culture and of course the fashion greats. When it comes to styling no one does it better than the French - Paris, one the of fashion capitals of the world is such an inspiration for past, present and future fashions and with so many wonderful designers such as Coco Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christain Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent all coming from the country that leads the world in the fashion industry, its clear to see that French style really does play a massive part inspiring us in terms of our own personal style. 

French fashion is all about simplicity, elegance, refreshing classic items in your wardrobe and buying key items of clothing that can be worn, mixed and matched with different things offering versatility to your wardrobe. Recently La Redoute, the company that offers us fashionistas the world of French fashion at our fingertips got in touch with me asking to let you all in on my number on styling tip. Now whilst I can think of endless amount of tips to share with you all, styling is unique to all of us; We all have different body types, different tastes and a styling tip that might work for one, just might not be piratical for another. Having said this La Redoute do offer an insight on the secrets to French style which you can find on this link here.

However there is one styling tip that I do have to share, and I feel that its one of the most important. No look, outfit or occasion would ever be complete without wearing the perfect lipstick and I honestly believe that your choice in lip colour can really make or break an outfit. You wouldn't leave the house without a great pair of shoes or matching handbag and you should never leave without wearing that special lipstick either. A bold bright lipstick can make your outfit pop and take that little black dress from nice evening attire to something stunning, sexy and chic; whilst at the same time a pretty pink nude can add elegance and beauty to your outfit. 

Lipstick is so important, it's quickly changeable and is the simplest way to change an entire outfit. No matter what your own personal style is, what clothing you like or how you like to dress, lipstick is a fashion accessory that every girl and woman needs. To show you just what I mean, I've showcased a few outfits for you all, each wearing a different shade of lipstick so you can see how much difference a good lippie really makes

Having somewhat of an obsession with lipstick, I have probably have all the shades that I'll ever need and more. However all you really need is one bold right; Either a hot pink or fiery red or the perfect nude that compliments your skin tone beautifully. 

I would love to know what your top styling tip is, and if you believe that the right lipstick is just as important as I do.

Lots of Love

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Twitter @sunshinesprkle || Instagram @sunshinesprkle

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