Reviews

Review: Beyonce Heat Rush

Smell is a strange thing. One whiff of a scent, and you’re instantly transported back to a specific time and place. If I ever smell Jean Paul Gaultier “Le Male”, I instantly think of a summer job at uni. I still own my mums last bottle of Chanel No 5 (and I will never be able to throw it out!, of course). But, when it comes down to it, I’m pretty rubbish at wearing perfume myself. The last two perfumes I bought for myself were because they smelled like parma violets, so when Fragrance Direct offered to send me a perfume of my choice, I tried to choose something that I wouldn’t have normally picked myself.

Beyonce Heat Perfume

Beyoncé has put her name to quite a few fragrances, but the one I chose was Heat Rush. (As much as the idea of Mrs Carter in a white lab coat creating her perfumes is a brilliant one, I highly doubt she was that involved. I would very much like to be proven wrong here!)

Heat Rush is described as a “fun and fruity” fragrance with top notes of Blood Orange, Passion fruit, and Brazilian Cherry, middle notes of Mango Blossom, Orange Hibiscus and Yellow Tiger Orchid and base notes of Teak Wood, Honey Amber and Musk. Honestly, I have no idea what that means. What it smells like – on me – is a fresh, fruity smell which is heavy, but not too heavy. It lasts a few hours, which is about average for me, and at ¬£20 for the 100ml bottle from Fragrance Direct, isn’t too expensive that I feel guilty at reapplying this or wearing it everyday!

Beyonce Heat Perfume

Review: Fashion 2.0

There aren’t many books around that are targeted at fashion (and beauty) bloggers – in fact, I think it’s just this one. Fashion 2.0 was written by Yuli Ziv, a blogger in the US who has been able to grow her blog into a business. She founded Style Coalition in 2008 as a network to help bloggers monetize their blogs.

I grabbed this book from Amazon just before Christmas when it was offered for free on Kindle. I enjoyed the book so much that I knew I would want to be able to quickly refer to parts so bought it in paperback.

The main chapters in the book are planning, content, relationships and revenue. It might seem strange to have panning before content, but I find that when I plan out what I want to blog about, then the actual writing of the content is a lot easier. Even as a long time blogger, I still found sections of the planning section to be incredibly relevant – it is crazy to think that just because you’ve been doing this for a while, you don’t need any help.

The first part of chapter 1 is about commitment, and it seems like a scary sort of thing – this almost put me off because I don’t want to be a full time blogger, but reading into it, it was more about what sort of commitment you can give – we all know far too well that blogging takes more time than just dashing off a post here and there.

Writing a blog business plan is one of the suggestions in this chapter, and it might seem like a bit of an extreme thing to do, but sometimes, getting things written down is the best way of planning out what you want to do next.

Each chapter is separated by a Q and A section with some successful bloggers – people like Gala Darling and Jessica Quirk are asked about how they started, and how they built their audience. At the end of each Q&A, there are action points – quite a handy list really!

The relationships section is about not just the obvious of connecting with your readers, but fellow bloggers (“Make other bloggers your daily sources of inspiration, not your daily source of envy”) and PR’s. It then goes on to talk about attending industry events (like LFW!), building relationships with brands and then deciding who you want to work with in the future as a motivational tool.

The final chapter about revenue which is usually quite a contentious issue in the UK blogging community at least. It seems like whenever someone is making money off their blog, there are others trying to tear them down – and while I hate the argument “they hate because they’re jealous”, in this situation, it’s usually quite true. This chapter talks about when to and when not to ask for money – things that are relevant to everyone, not just bloggers.

This is a great book, one to read and dip into constantly. I’d recommend it not just for people starting a blog, but for those who are unsure of where they are going (I feel like I’m in this group!) or just want some extra guidance. You can get it from Amazon in paperback* or on your Kindle*.

As an aside, you’re probably thinking “Why buy the physical copy when you got the digital one for free?”. I’ve blogged previously about how I love digital copies of books for the ease of transport, so this might seem an odd choice. Firstly: having read more and more ebooks, I find that its a great form for books that you read in one go, much less so for books you want to pick bits out of. This is definitely a book for me where I read it cover to cover, but I can see that I will probably want to reference specific bits in it at one time. The other reason is that I am really unimpressed with the Kindle app, and I worry that I wont be able to read the books I’ve bought in the future. This story is from 2009, but shows that Amazon have quite a bit of power – perhaps the cloud isn’t the best place sometimes. I actually went back to the Kindle app (on iPad) a few weeks after starting the book, and couldn’t find my book. For some reason, the Kindle app decided to archive the half read book…why?!

Who’s That Girl

It’s Jessssss!

From billboards to buses, you can’t avoid Zooey Deschanel’s pretty face staring at you with 10 foot wide eyes.

Channel 4 are desperate, desperate for you to know that they will be the UK network of choice for the latest US comedy about boys and girls living together. (Let’s face it, Channel 4 had kinda given up with the new American shows after Friends ended, then E4 turned up and nicked everything anyway.)

The show starts tonight at half 8 I believe, but has been airing for a few weeks on the 4OD that’s on your computer but not any of the ones on your iPhone, iPad, Virgin on demand, PS3 or any of the ways you would normally choose to watch something on 4OD.

The first episode opens on Jess, saying how when you’re watching a horror movie, you’re shouting at the screen because it’s so obvious what’s going to happen. Flashback to a week or so previous, where she’s in a cab, wearing hipster glasses and a mac, and whispering into her phone not very well. She’s talking to her best friend, who, of course, wouldn’t be an average looking girl but a model. Jess is saying how she is off to surprise her boyfriend and model friend says something like how that’s a great idea. Obviously, this is the shouting-at-the-screen part. You know it’s all going to fail horribly.

So Jess goes into her boyfriends apartment, he comes out of his bedroom in a skeevy pair of pants, and she drops the coat and starts doing a dance and singing about how she’s going to make lurve to a plant. (I feel like I’m mixing this bit up with Chef from South Park’s songs). Of course, the girl her boyfriend is obviously cheating on her with comes out and asks what’s going on. Cut back to the present day, where we see Jess is chatting to some blokes who are looking for someone to move in.

After a bit of “wah I don’t want a GIIIIIIRL to live with us”, she moves in and sits on the sofa watching Dirty Dancing 500 times and crying because of her breakup. So far I have put up with her random little singing, her overdone hipster look and the fact that Deputy Leo is in this (I was always more of a Logan fan) but this? I instantly started to dislike it.

The blokes all take Jess out to hook up at a bar, she says how pink wine makes her slutty (How cool! Pink wine makes me slutty too! Oh Jess, we could totes be BFF’s) and then…well, I watched this a month or so ago, along with a few other episodes, and couldn’t get into it then. I tried watching the pilot again last night and ended up switching it off about here. I just couldn’t do it anymore. (Also there was brand new Extreme Couponing to watch. Oh I love Extreme Couponing SO MUCH.)

Its a show that feels like its trying too hard to hit all the points of other successful sitcoms. “Move a girl in with a load of blokes!” “The blokes should be varying stereotypes – the player, the sadsack and the angry black man (who is then replaced by the second episode)” “She should wear those glasses all the kids are wearing!” “She should be photographed for all the promos with her arms in the air because SHES THAT CRAZY!”. I’ve been told that the series does get better, but I couldn’t even make it through the first episode on a second watching. Doesn’t bode well.

If, after this, you still want to watch it, its on Channel 4 tonight from 8.30pm, or can be watched here on 4OD. Here’s a trailer to warn you…

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