Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Halloween make up ideas: Zombie-Vampire Snow White

It's about to get spooky! Halloween is this weekend and if you're still panicking about your costume or how to do your make for that Halloween party, I'm here to help. One of my all-time favourite Halloween costumes that I've worn was my adaptation of a Zombie-Vampire Snow White a few years ago.

Halloween is one of my favourite excuses to wear fancy dress, because I get to play on my natural paleness and it's the perfect excuse to contour like you've never contoured before! Go for that lovely Zombie look with chiselled cheekbones to envy Kate Moss and layer on the eye make up for dramatic, scene-stealing eyes. Fake blood optional, but strongly recommended!

You don't have to be a make up wizard to do spooky Halloween make up and here are some of my top tips and ideas.

Halloween Zombie Vampire Make Up Guide

  1. Invest in some face paint. This is the easiest way to create a blank canvas and give you that dull skin look. The key colours you want are white, grey and black. You can order face paint online or even find it a the supermarket!
  2. Skip the moisturiser. You want a matte surface to put on the face paint.
  3. Take a small sponge or a foundation brush and dip it in water, then work this into the white face paint. Apply this all over your face as you would foundation and let it dry. A dab of loose face powder will make this last all night.
  4. Take the grey face paint and a small brush or sponge and start contouring! Apply to the hollows of your cheek, either side of your nose, along your hairline and jaw. Then take it all around your eye socket. Unlike normal contouring, you're trying to make yourself look tired and haggard!
  5. Take the black face paint or a black eye shadow and draw a line under your check bones and around your lash line. This is where the blending starts! Take your foundation brush or sponge and gently blend the black line to create a hollowed out look.
  6. A bold red lipstick will add to the vampire look and really pop against your white face paint. I love Mac's Ruby Woo lipstick for this look.
  7. Finish your strong eye look with loads of mascara or go all out and add some doll-like fake lashes. Go for the false lash look with Benefit's They're Real! Mascara.
  8. The fake blood is really realistic now and nothing says Vampire like some blood dripping from your lips. And you're done!

What's your favourite Halloween make up look?


By Carina Sullivan

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

How To Lose Weight: The 7 Easy Ways I Lost 30lbs

This is an odd post to write, as it feels like I lost 30lbs accidentally. That's not to say I haven't worked bloody hard to lose the weight, it's just that I never set out to lose that much weight, or any weight really. But I have seen real results in just three months and as other people start to notice my weight loss I'm getting endless questions - How can I lose weight? What diet are you on? - I figured it was much easier to just write a blog post about how to lose weight and how I lost over 30lbs.

This healthy makeover started in the oh-so-stereotypical way of me wanting to look and feel my best for my wedding in May next year, but was also for my health and most importantly, for me. I've always had a very hourglass figure and it's ranged from a size 10/12 to a 16/18 since I was 14 years old to now (I'm 28 now, you nosy beggar). I'm not really one of those girls who's had an issue with her size, I have my wobbles, but I was generally happy with what I had and I always knew what worked for my body shape and what didn't. I'm also lucky to be 5ft10", which as everyone likes to tell me "you can carry off being size 16 because you're so tall".

I've tried healthy eating and diets now and then, but never really seen results. So when I was asked to review some detox shakes from Almased I thought why the hell not! I've never tried shakes before, but people's reviews were really good so I thought I'd give it a go. I lost 8lbs in two weeks and it really spurred me on to keep going. You can read my tried and tested review of Almased here.

So how did I lose the other 22lbs I hear you cry! Well I'll tell you. This isn't about before and after pictures, this is about changing your lifestyle and your relationship with food. Here are my seven easy ways to lose weight, from what keeps you motivated to diet ideas and what exercise will work for you.

I'd love to hear all about your weight loss experiences and if you try my guide above. As for me, I'm still going and want to lose another 15-20lbs. This should get me down to a size 12 which is where I feel my best. I'll update you all soon. Any diet questions? Just leave a comment on this post.


By Carina Sullivan

Thursday, 23 October 2014

My Autumn Style: Wax Jackets

Something has happened to me in my old age. I've gone all sensible! I never thought I'd see the day where I went out walking wearing sensible footwear and a waterproof coat (with a hood, no less!) but there you are. And do you know what? I bloody love my wax jacket from F&F. I got it last year as a Christmas present and it's become an autumn wardrobe staple, so much so that it got me thinking what other essentials items do I have in my autumn wardrobe? And thus a new blog series was born.

Introducing 'My Autumn Style' where I'll be bringing you ... well, you get the point. And what better place to start than the quintessentially British wax jacket. While I do wish I could upgrade to a classic Barbour for my next wax jacket, I'm definitely a convert to this preppy, practical style of outerwear.

This F&F version is a really rich navy blue and has a gorgeous and cosy checked lining, elbow patches and a very roomy hood. I can also confirm it really is waterproof - sadly rare with a lot of wax jackets on the high street, which is especially surprising as it's only £40.

Next week I'll be showing you my must have jeans for autumn, how I'm wearing them and where I buy all my denim!

What are your autumn essentials?


By Carina Sullivan

P.s. if you're wondering where the devil I am that is so darn pretty, it's Minadew Fields above the pretty Cornish coastal town of Kingsand.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lily Collins Looks Incredible In Elie Saab On Love, Rosie Red Carpet

This red carpet look from Lily Collins is everything. I may go so far as to say this is my favourite red carpet look so far this year. And definitely my favourite red carpet look from the elfin Lily Collins. This ombre Elie Saab dress is just magnificent and Lily's short bob with vintage waves and no jewellery just makes this look pop even more. Just look at her smile, that's a girl who knows she's going to be on every best dressed list for a few weeks.

I just can't take my eyes off this gorgeous dress that Lily wore to the premiere of her new film Love, Rosie. The dainty belt, the square cut out neckline and back detail, the detailed train, the billowing chiffon, ... I could go on. Let's all take a minute to look at this dress again. You may want to grab a cup of tea...


By Carina Sullivan

Monday, 20 October 2014

Five Freelance Copywriting Sites Perfect For Fashion Bloggers

I started my blog Carina100 five years ago and didn't see it as much more than a hobby, definitely not something that would lead to paid copywriting jobs. It was the safe place I could come and write all my ideas and interests that I wanted to share but wasn't able to in my day job doing marketing for fashion retailers. Basically my diary, which I forget other people can read! But now people are contacting me and asking them to write for them, to create blog posts for their businesses and to help with their content. This is awesome as that's exactly what I love to do! From writing about fashion trends and creating interesting beauty articles to compiling travel guides and varied lifestyle pieces, I've been writing about all sorts of amazing topics lately and stretching myself with new challenges - and you can to.

So how have I taken this leap into becoming a freelance copywriter and content creator, turning my hobby into a paid gig? Well besides reaching out to business and pitching for work, there is now a huge selection of online copywriting sites where you can supplement your main copywriting projects and earn a bit of extra cash. The best bit? No endless pitching and emailing - just lots of content creation and writing to hopefully attain the elusive "working from home" holy grail.

A worldwide platform which was started in 2005, Textbroker has processed over 100,000 orders for unique content. Like many of the other content sites this is a no-bid site, so once you're registered and accepted as an author the orders come to you. Their client base is really varied, from small independents to huge SEO companies. You could be writing about anything from computing to beauty, but you get to pick what you do and don't want to write. The amount you're paid per word depends on your level but the average pay per word is €1.3 cents, so on a 500 word blog post you could get paid €6.50.
While not a pure copywriting site, this virtual assistant company looks for people with copywriting and marketing skills and matches your skill set with companies who need someone just like you. You set the hours you can work and as long as you have somewhere quiet to work at home and have a few years office based experience you can apply. The pay is quite good, at £11 per hour, but work isn't guaranteed. There are opportunities to do blog posts and social media for companies so perfect for fashion bloggers!

Founded in 2009, Copify has completed over 50,000 orders and has over 1,000 copywriters registered on it's site. Similar to Textbroker and, Copify offers no-bid copywriting work after completing a registration phase to test your copywriting skills. While the jobs can be quite low paid and the turnaround is a tight 24 hours there is a constant stream of jobs and the payment is very reliable. While it's stated that you can get up to £20 for 500 words, this is rare and you're usually looking at around £0.01-0.02 per word, so you'd get roughly £5-10 per 500 word blog post. But not having to chase invoices is a big bonus!

BloggingPro Job Board
If you're a blogger like me, then this job board will get you very excited. Put your blogging skills and knowledge to good use and find jobs that are perfect for you. The pay varies from job to job, but is generally pretty good, but you may need to check back regularly to find the right fit for you. This is a great resource and the plus side is that you're doing exactly what you love - blogging!
With copywriters in the UK and the US, is similar to Copify and Textbroker, with up to 30 jobs available at any one time, so you really can pick and choose what you want to work on and what you want to write. They say you can make £11 per hour, which puts this site above the competitors in terms of pay per hour. While the back-end is slightly clunky to use, their client list is really good and as they're part of an SEO agency the work will always be there.

While the per word price can be a little on the low side using the no-bid copywriting sites, it's a great way to build your portfolio and to see if a copywriting or freelance content marketing role really is the right fit for you.

Have you tried any of these copywriter sites? Are there any other sites I should add to the list?


By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Winter Coats From Boden

My must have purchase at the start of autumn/winter is a lovely new winter coat. I now have quite a selection of different styles and colours, but somehow each year I convince myself I need a new one. I've been having a shop around - so you don't have to - and I'm hooked on the bold, bright and sharp styles from Boden.

I'm a long time fan of Boden and they offer exactly what I want in a winter coat. Colourful styles, quality finishes and subtle twists on classic coat styles. So whether you want a double breasted pea coat, a classic trench or a classic wool coat, I think you'll love my Boden selection. But back off the Kate coat in navy and red - she's mine!

Have you got your winter coat yet? Which one of these is your favourite?


By Carina Sullivan

Friday, 10 October 2014

Wedding Inspiration At Brides The Show

I'm worried I may be going a bit wedding crazy. I've spent the last two weekends in a row at wedding shows in London. I'm drowning in a sea of chiffon, cake and candy colours. But I can say this, Brides The Show was well worth a visit. It felt like a very carefully edited selection of wedding suppliers and specialists, very different to the mass-produced, national suppliers you get at other wedding shows. Everywhere you turned you had a face-full of pretty!

I knew some of the suppliers already from doing my own research. The lovely Dottie Photography was there, check out her photos immediately if you haven't already, Bubblegum Balloons, in the words of Winnie the Pooh "No-one can be uncheered with a balloon", and Aurus London, who we have booked to make our wedding rings. But what I really loved at Brides The Show was the catwalk. Not your everyday meringues or dull wedding dresses, but a beautiful and varied selection of gowns from designers such as Halfpenny London, Naomi Neoh and David Fielden.

Stephanie Allin Couture

The catwalk was transformed into an enchanted English garden thanks to the unnaturally beautiful floristry of Zita Elze Flowers. Eerie, stunning and delicate - the wild meadow flowers and undone bouquets were exactly what I'd like for my wedding. I won't say the dress which stole my heart, as I'm still looking and don't want to give the game away for what I'll be wearing down the aisle next May.

Charlotte Simpson

Halfpenny London

Stephanie Allin Couture

Naomi Neoh

Halfpenny London

David Fielden

Which dress is your favourite?

Need some more wedding dress inspiration? See Kate Moss, Kate Middleton and Lily Allen wedding dresses.


By Carina Sullivan

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Day To Night: The George Snake Print Skater Dress

I'm a girl with many dresses. Many, many dresses. But there's always room for another, right? And there's no better excuse to add to the collection than the new season. Despite the warmer than usual weather we've been having I'm getting excited about dressing for autumn/winter and gladly excepted the challenge from George to create a day to night look featuring one of their key dresses for the season.

My dress of choice is an incredibly versatile snake print skater dress, which is a ludicrously affordable £12. Animal print was seen all over the A/W14 catwalks, but not just any old animal print. This season animal print has been updated with varying scale, colours and textures. And if you're unsure about going wild for animal print, snake print has to be the most luxurious and easy to wear option of them all.



So how can you take a simple skater dress from day to night? That's easy! For day just add clever, unexpected layers like a crisp white shirt to create a seriously high fashion look. Keep it preppy by layering the shirt under the dress and don't forget to button right up to the neck. Team with chunky ankle boots and a continue the preppy feel with a satchel bag.

To take the dress from day to night lose the layers and add some sparkle. A statement necklace in muted colours will really work with the cool greys. Swap your chunky boots for delicate ankle strap sandals and your satchel for a fold over monochrome clutch and you're ready to party the night away!

How would you wear this dress?


By Carina Sullivan

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and content are my own*