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The 'guru' generation

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Photo by Chaitra @ PinkPot Design Studio - someone who definitely knows their stuff!

Is it just me, or has everyone turned into a self-proclaimed expert in one field or another recently? The internet and its ever-growing web of information have become an excellent resource for all of us over the last decade or so, but a recent wave of blog-related success has appeared to bring out the inner 'guru' in many, leading to a never-ending list of posts with titles along the lines of '10 ways to grow your blog now!' or 'How to edit your Instagram feed to create more traffic'. Now, I'm all for people sharing their hard-earned knowledge in their area of interest/study/work with the rest of us (what would we do without them?!) but where I'm finding myself having a problem is with bloggers by the hundred writing up 'advice' posts when a whole bunch of them aren't even slightly qualified to be giving said advice (without a disclaimer, anyway.) It may seem harmless, but the amount of newer bloggers who have clearly googled 'how to be a successful blogger' and have treated every post they've found as truth is extremely evident. Through these posts, it seems that there has become a kind of criteria for the 'perfect blog' which has been totally taking away from the originality and freedom that the world of blogging is based on, as well as creating hundreds of look-alike blogs who only churn out content that 'fit' the criteria. *News flash!* There isn't a set formula for creating a successful blog beyond hard work, dedication, and a passion for what you're doing. In fact, many of these advice posts promote behaviour that would actively encourage me to unfollow a blog rather than help it grow - a bazillion hashtags and spam-commenting on every blog that ever existed or will exist, anyone?

Like I said, I'm totally for giving advice when you feel like you have the experience or expertise to back it up, but beyond that I'm sick of reading the same generic advice posts scattered through my Bloglovin' feed. This is the precise reason that I tend to stay away from these types of posts on Isobel Rose, so if you ever see one pop up then be damn sure that I feel like I am qualified/experienced enough to be sharing that information. What's more, if you ever spot me posting about something that you don't think I know much about then please call me on my bullshit - I'd rather be shot down than spread unproven 'advice' to those out there who are unsure to filter out useless information. 

Before I wrap this up, I wanted to provide a short list below of bloggers that I know are experts in their field. I don't have a long list purely because I have unfollowed a lot of 'guru' bloggers in the past, but the lovely ladies below are definitely worth bookmarking.

- Jen @ Jen Carrington 
- Elsie & Emma @ A Beautiful Mess
-  The girls @ The Nectar Collective

What do you think about the new generation of self-proclaimed gurus? Which blogger's advice do you trust? 
Let me know in the comments!


Pick me up - a giveaway

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let's face it, it's been a bit dreary round these parts as of late; my mood has been as dreary and relentless as the winter weather, but I know I'm not the only one feeling this way. Therefore, today's post is aimed at helping one of you lucky so-and-sos beat those winter blues (or summer blues, if you're in the southern hemisphere - let's not lie, you're having a great time!!) and fast forward your mind to feeling fuzzy and festive!

What's included?
- A bunch of Origins samples including; Checks and Balances (30ml), GinZing Eye Cream (5ml), High Potency Night-A-Mins (1.5ml sachet), Drink Up Intense (7ml), Make A Difference Treatment Lotion (7ml), and GinZing Moisturiser (5ml).
- A sample of the St Tropez In Shower Tanning Lotion (50ml)
- A sample of the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
- A sample of the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (15ml)
- A sample of the NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer (8ml)
- A sample of the Eve Lom Brightening Cream
- A mini Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy in 340 Envious
- A Ciaté Mini Duo in Sugar Plum and Matte Top Coat (2x5ml)
- A Nuxe 'Essentials Kit' including the Eau Démaquillante Micellaire (35ml), Youth and Radiance Revealing Cream (15ml), Huile Prodigieuse (10ml), 24hr Soothing and Moisturizing Cream (30ml), Fondant Shower Gel (30ml)
I've mentioned in the T&Cs of the Rafflecopter giveaway that I will be approving all of the entires before I pick a winner, so if you are here from a money saving website or have an account just for winning giveaways, then expect your entry to be deleted. I had a lot of this with my last giveaway, and I've bought this stuff for loyal fans, not for someone who's out to save a bit of money on their Christmas shopping. To all of you lovely readers out there, sorry for the above rant but it's just got to happen otherwise the giveaway will be flooded with invalid entries! 

Moving on, the giveaway is open internationally and will be running for 3 weeks (so I can hopefully get the prize to you by Christmas!) My hope is that this prize will make one of you very happy, so get entering for your chance to win!

Isobel x

An update

Monday, November 16, 2015
Oh, hey there! So, I'm going to level with you, the last few weeks have been tough. My depression has set in again with avengence because I literally have nothing to do; as explained in this post my anxiety is making it somewhat challenging to work in a full time, stressful position, and I'm somehow overqualified yet underqualified for part time/Christmas job positions which has left me running out of ideas as to why I should even get out of bed in the morning. You can only help yourself if you want to lift yourself up out of depression, but as insensitive and selfish as it seems given the horrific week we've experienced globally, it really feels like the forces of the universe don't want to help me recover. 

When it comes down to it, blogging isn't even inspiring me because when you feel like this, a post about lipstick seems so irrelevant and trivial. But what do you post about? People don't want to hear you whining about why your life sucks, but at the same time you don't want to pretend like everything's hunky dory when it's not. What I really need to do is figure out what exactly I want to do with my life, because this lack of direction and drive is a major spanner in the works. Got any ideas as to how to figure that out? I'm all ears. Until then I'm going to try to use all of my willpower to reconnect again with blogging, because I know if I can fall back in love again with something, then I'll be on the road to better things.

Meanwhile, as stupid and desperate as it sounds, if you've got a spare minute then I'd really appreciate it (more that you could ever imagine) if you send me over a quick hello once in a while. You obviously don't have to, but it would mean the world.  

The 'Extras' Drawer

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Any girl who has ever had a makeup favourite has had a back up. Let's face it, we all have our own little corners of our rooms or bathrooms where we store extra products - whether they be travel minis for the holiday you've been planning, freebies from a magazine or extras from a beauty box that might come in useful one day, or backups of your favourite lipstick that you keep just in case the company decides to ruin your life and discontinue that shade. As someone who not only does the fair bit of globetrotting, but also has stumbled across beauty favourites from all over the world, I have built up quite the collection of 'extras' that sit neatly in a draw, just waiting for the day when they will be finally called into action.

Half of the products that I have in my draw are essentials like shampoo and conditioner for travelling and extra razor heads, but there are a few that are more treasured than others...

Products worth mentioning:
- A mini Bioderma bottle that I refill for travelling
- A spare of my favourite Koji Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner
- A Travalo or two for fragrance on the go
- Some Listerine Breath Strips that I like to keep in my bag
A spare bottle of the Skin79 Super + BB Cream

Do you have a place where you keep your spare/extra products? What back ups do you always have?

I x

Your questions answered!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

So, a few weeks ago I gave you guys a free reign to ask me whatever you wanted, and you sure delivered. Below are some questions I recieved from some very lovely readers, so read away and let me know if you have any more!

What's the thing you're most proud of in your life?
I reckon making it through my year abroad was pretty spectacular - if you've read about my anxiety problems then you can imagine how hard it was moving to Russia and literally not being able to come back until I'd been there for four months - yup. 

Which celebrity would you fangirl over?
Hrmm, tricky. I'm not a huge celebrity-worshiper but I guess if I bumped into Rihanna or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who plays Jamie Lanister from GoT my ultimate crush!) then I would probably trip over myself. 

Do you feel different about life online than you did say 5 years ago?
So much has changed it's unbelievable; ever since the media has realised - and therefore harnested - the advertising power of blogs and sites like YouTube, things have gone downhill for me personally. Gone are the days of MAC Hauls recorded directly onto YT with your webcam (guilty!) - now it seems that you need a DSLR, professional studio lights, and a handul of marble surfaces to even break into the online world of vlogging/blogging. I'm all for making a living by doing what you love, and I would consider myself lucky if my blog ever became profitable enough to support me, but now that there's a *chance* that your blog can become monetised there are way too many blogs out there trying to do the same thing, and trying to find a genuine voice can be tricky. Luckily there are still loads of blogging babes out there though so don't be discouraged!

16 year old me filming for YT vs. 22 year old me posing for a blog post!

What's your biggest pet peeve?
Selfish people - sitting on the outside seat next to a free seat on a bus/train when others are having to stand, being really late and not letting you know, not having basic manners - the usual!

Was your prom dress as embarrassing as mine?
Mine were both actually really nice luckily! I had a dance after my GCSEs at 16, and another once I graduated (a day before my 18th so heading to the club with my actual ID rather than my fake one was brilliant!) I wish I had a picture of the back of my second dress because it was amazing!!
Prom dress at 16 vs. prom dress at 18

What are your goals for blogging? Do you set yourself goals with your blog at all, or do you find that takes the fun out of it?
At the back of my diary I have a list of 50 things I want to achieve during the year (number of books to read, new places to visit ect.) and I usually put a vague blogger-related goal (mine this year was to reach 1,250 followers, and to continue blogging 3-4 times a week when possible) but I try not to focus on numbers and growth too much. I've found that in the past, the more I talk about gaining followers, the more I actually lose, so I try not to think about it, otherwise I become obsessed! 

What is the #1 tip that you'd give someone doing Erasmus? (a student exchange program in the EU)
I didn't have a huge amount of help from either my home university or my host university when I was on Erasmus in Madrid, so the biggest bit of advice I could give is to do your research thoroughly. Things are usually a lot more laid back than you expect them to be, so as long as you're prepared (you know what's expected of you, you've researched the city, you've sorted out your modules and know where you're going) then you should be fine! Also - make sure you make the most of the trip - what I would do to be back in Madrid again!!

Who is your role model?
This is quite a tricky quesion, and one I don't know if I've ever thought about until now. There have been lots of strong people in my life who I respect and love, but I honestly don't know if I would label any of them as a role model. I feel like we are all so different, so aspiring to someone else's life/ideals/success isn't necessarily productive or useful. Am I the only person without a clear role model? I doubt it, but if I ever am able to answer this question then I'll be sure to let you know!

What's the best advice you've ever received?
However cliché it may sound, the best advice I've ever been given (and try to give myself) is that 'everything happens for a reason'. This has always helped me through the harder times I've had because I can tell myself that things will always work out, even if at first it's not in the way that you expect.

Isobel x