Be Part of Female Entrepreneur Week

I am an official Blogger for Female Entrepreneur Week!!! Exciting times ahead.. so what is it all about? 

FEW launches on the 21st June and over the course of 10 days, female entrepreneurs from around the globe will come come together virtually to celebrate FEW!

Yes To Tomatoes Combination Skin Daily Moisturiser Review

With my skin constantly changing, and now becoming very oily I have found it hard to find a moisturiser that works for me. After reading a lot of reviews and doing some research on the Yes To brand, I decided to give the Yes To Tomatoes Combination Skin Daily Moisturiser a try. 

My Little Box May 2017 Friday Night Edition

May's My Little Box was a fun one, and I think they did pretty well this month, with keeping the theme all together. 

Palmers Creamy Cleanser & Makeup Remover Review

After trying and falling for the Tropic Soothing Cleanser  I have been finding myself looking at my products more closely and being more conscious of what is actually in them. I would love to be able to get more of the Tropic cleanser, however it is just a little too pricey for me at present. Hence my search for a more purse friendly cleanser, that is also kind to your skin and body. 

This cleanser retails for just £5.49, which I think is pretty reasonable for the size of the bottle and quality of the product.  It is Paraben, Phthalate and Dye free, all great for my aim of trying to be better to my body with what I am putting on my skin.

First Quarter Lookback

So I know I usually do a monthly lookback, but to be honest my life got pretty boring. I got pretty low and didn't really have much to say, so there wasn't much reason in doing a monthly lookback.
Finally I have something to say because I am actually happy and am out of my rut!

I wouldn't say that I am out of my writers block, I still don't have the same passion for writing as I did before but I am sure that will come back, once I know what style I want to write in. I just don't think I want to focus so much on beauty anymore.

Blog/ Social Media
Over the last few months I have taken my Instagram to a whole new level and really pushed my photo game. This has really helped to grow my followers and communication.

I have been invited to a few events one of which was the Barry Alan Blow Dry Bar, this was such fun night and I loved getting  cool vintage hairstyle!

I also went to a vintage fair with the gorgeous Christie from Christies Lifestyle. It was a little disappointing, as we finished it in less than an hour, however we wondered around the city just to spend some time together. It was a really nice day and was so nice to catch up. 

Life/ Love
I was pushed to meet some new people by my brother of all people, he prompted me to talk to his housemate Nadia. A lovely Latvian girl, who has quickly become a dear friend to me. We get on very well and have a lot of the same views on female friends. 

By association I also got to hang out with his other housemates, who are all Polish. Listening to them has given me a greater appreciation for how hard English is to learn and how amazing it is that they have learnt it! Seriously they are incredible people. I am going to learn Polish *watch this space*.

I actually went out to a Metal Fest (Thrashers) at the Brickmakers in Norwich (first timer alert!), which was pretty good. I am not keen on the rarrr screaming, but the music/ acoustics I like. 

Getting myself out there has really changed my whole being, I am so much happier and generally better in myself. Lets not forget I have met someone I like.... it's very very early days, but seriously I didn't expect it to creep up on me like this! I feel like a teenage girl, all giggly and I can't stop thinking abut him.. seriously I didn't think I would ever feel like this again! 

He actually managed to get me to sing!! Me.. Can you believe it! Seems crazy really.. So anyway I guess you should watch this space 🙈.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Romanovs Views xoxo

Primark PS Pro Silicone Sponge Review

Silicone make-up sponges have been blowing up on the internet and youtube for a while now, and have even sparked a whole range of weird ways to apply foundation. From boiled eggs, bra inserts, condoms to filled water balloons. Honestly whatever next! 

So when I saw these in Primark for just £2.00 I had to snatch them up and give them a try. I had wanted to give this trend a go for a while, I just wasn't willing to pay heaven and earth for a silicone sponge.

These are a little harder to use than brushes or beauty blenders, because you can't easily get into hard to reach areas, such as between your eyes/ top of your nose area. However with a little practice and blending with your finger you're away.

I found that the coverage with these sponges are so much better than with brushes/ beauty blenders and obviously you use so much less product, because it's not soaking into the sponge.

The best way to apply it for me way to do a mix of swiping and patting. They are super easy to clean too, simply wash with water and a little soap and dry. No special cleanser required.

I have had trouble using  my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in the past, because it drys very quickly, however with the silicone sponge it blended seamlessly using a lot less product.

You can safely assume I have been converted to silicone sponges, especially at this price.

Have you tried out these sponges? What are your thoughts?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Romanovs Views xoxo

My Little Box April 2017 Garden Edition

Every month I look forward to My Little Box delivery, sadly this month left me a little "meh" that's the best way to describe it in my mind. I know a lot of people were moaning because they got a duplicate item, but to be honest I was more annoyed that my previous fake tan was running out.

The main thing that sprung out to me was that the team didn't really do too well at making everything match in with the theme. The shopping list for example, doesn't exactly say garden to me. 

Barry Alan Hair Care Products

After my recent experience at the Barry Alan Blow Dry Bar, I was so blown away by the strength of the products that I had to get them for myself. Especially with a 3 for 2 offer on. 

Elements is a wearable styling/ conditioning treatment, that restores your hairs natural condition as it contains three essential oils. Wheat Germ and Argan Oil and Fruit Oils, in addition to these oils it also contains a mousse which helps to maintain the style of your hair; whether it's curls or straight. For a price of £14.80 I think this is a must have, it helps to keep my hair in place for days and has replaced my standard Argan Oil. My hair feels luscious and super healthy. 

Best used on wet hair, rub 1-2 pumps in your hand and then apply to the mid-length and ends of the hair. Blow or air dry as required, but never apply to the roots, as this product is a little to thick for this type of application. 

Liquid Gloss is a gloss treatment that also doubles as a heat protector, perfect for those of us that use heat on our hair. Since using this product my hair has been so soft and shiny, with less flyaways, costing only £8.20. 

This can be mixed with Elements, however I found that it is better to use alone as you can apply it to the roots. Best applied to wet hair, as with elements rub a few pumps into your hands and apply it to the lengths of your hair, from roots to tip. If You need to tame extra flyaways once styled you can use a small amount of Liquid Gloss. 

Blow Drying Spray, perfect for all hair types that provides medium hold and gentle conditioning. Priced at £8.90 this beauty helps to prolong your style, by applying it generously to wet hair and combing through prior to styling. 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Romanovs Views xoxo

Time to get healthy with The Breakfast Bundle by Nutribuddy*

As a Coeliac I always jump at the chance to try new Gluten Free products, especially those concerning breakfast. I have only ever found two breakfast cereals that I like and believe me that can get very boring eating the same thing day in and day out, so when I was offered the chance to try out this kit I couldn't wait!

Do I Write Guys off too easily?

I have tried, scratch that am still trying online dating.. well on and off. Let's face it, the days of meeting people randomly are gone, everyone is glued to their phones.

Online dating is hard, with so many different variations out there too how can you tell which one is right for you. Simple answer is, you can't. What I can say is, whether you try free dating sites or pay for them, you will get just as many creeps on the paid sites as you do on the free ones. So it's really up to you whether you want to splash to cash or not. If you do, I would highly recommend heading over to TopCashback as you can get money back.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation

I got a free sample of the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, which retails for £35.00, quite expensive in my mind. So thought I would share my thoughts. 

The foundation claims to have 12 hours full coverage wear time and highly pigmented colour. A natural photo ready matte finish, that is comfortable to wear and oil free.

Whilst the finish is beautifully matte and does feel comfortable to wear initially, I  found I was very undecided on this foundation. The wear time is defiantly not 12 hours and transfers very easily.

The coverage was good on first application and very easy to apply, however overtime it didn't seem to look so flawless. I applied it using both an oval brush and beauty blender, the beauty blender did provide better coverage but the foundation still didn't wear for a full day, 6-8hours.

My skin seemed to breakout each time I wore this foundation too, even though it is designed for combination skin.

Overall for the price of this foundation and the false claims I certainly wont be making a purchase any time soon.

Have you tried any of the Laura Mercier foundations?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Romanovs Views xoxo

Alternative Easter Gifts for Adults

 This year I have been asked to not buy easter eggs for a couple of my family members, so have had to rack my brains as to what to get instead! Granted this is more for women than men, but I hope it helps those in need of an alternative gift this Easter. 

I have found a selection of really pretty scented/ looking candles in Primark for as little as £1.00, so have picked one up for my Mum.

Succulents can also be a great little gift, these can be picked up from many shops from £3.00. There are faux ones too about, for those that cannot keep anything alive!

A book could be a good gift for the right person, especially with so many stores providing discounted prices or thrift shops having second hand or vintage books.

Photos to update an old photo frame. My Nan doesn't have a current selection of family photos, with the current generation having everything digitally stored. So I thought I would get a set of current photos from all the family to update her photo frame.

Do you have any alternative gift ideas?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Primark PS Pro Large Oval Blending Brush

I have been meaning to get my hands on one of these brushes for a while now, and due to not working in the city centre it is hard to get a chance to pop in. So this weekend when I had my hair booked in I finally had the chance, boy am I glad that I did. For only £4.00, for seriously cannot go wrong.

The hairs are synthetic, but super soft and very dense. I cannot believe how easy it is to apply my foundation and how air brushed my skin looks. You just need to kind of swipe it and blend it in, I find that dotting my foundation on my face then blending it in works best for me. The handle is flexible too, which makes it easy to get into those hard to reach areas.

Cleaning the brush was standard and it didn't change shape which is always good. I would advise drying it face down, so that the glue doesn't get wet or loose.

For just £4.00 I think this brush is a steal! Have you tried these brushes yet?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Estee Lauder The Mattifier Shine Control Perfecting Primer & Finisher

I love my Double Wear foundation, but find that it always separates around my nose and shows my pores as extremely open and enlarged, so here begins the hunt for a decent primer and after getting a few free samples from the Estee Lauder counter I was absolutely hooked.

I tried out the new Smoother Primer because this is supposed to be good for enlarged pores and for blurring imperfections. I thought this was going to be the solution to my nose problem, so gave this ago on it's own but sadly it didn't help at all and didn't give a very nice finish either.

In comes the Mattifier, I love the formula and texture of this primer. It really solved all of my issues and even made applying the DW easier.  I wore it for over 8 hours and had vigorous day of walking with the dog and around the city running errands, so definitely gave this a decent trial run.

This primer is oil free, helps to control shine and excess oil. Provides a heathy finish and prolongs the wear of your foundation. For £25 I think this is a must have in your make up collection if you suffer from combination or oily skin.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Why I think Social Media is ruining our lives

Social Media has been around for a lot of years now and whilst I think it was originally created with the best intentions as all things are, it really isn't used like that these days. 

With the recent terrorists attack in London, it has taken the whole issue to a new level for me personally. I don't want to take away from the fact that it was a tragedy and my thoughts go out to all the family and loved ones of all those involved, but that does not excuse the behaviour of those towards this poor woman. 

To be fair, people tell me there's footage of her helping victims, so the fact she's been turned into a meme is unfair.

Here's my point about Social Media being a force of evil, the person that took the time to take a picture of this woman, just to speculate that she was somehow involved rather than a scared round woman calling her family or friends to let them know she was okay. 

I was happy to see from pretty52 that the woman in the photo above hit back with the below statement. 

"I'm shocked and totally dismayed at how a picture of me is being circulated on social media.
To those individuals who have interpreted and commented on what my thoughts were in that horrific and distressful moment, I would like to say not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, I've also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia.
My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern.
What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims.
I then decided to call my family to say that I was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station.
My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence."

My point here is that people are so nasty and vindictive, I understand that a lot of muslims are behind these tourists attacks, but that doesn't mean that all muslims are terrorists. London has a large population of muslims, so it wouldn't have been strange for this poor woman to have been involved in the tragedy that struck London the 22.03.17. 

The fact that a photo has been plastered all over the internet and small minded people have picked it apart with such vial comments, when in reality she is just doing what anyone of us would have done. 

How could she have helped the victims on the ground? They already had a large group of people around them, when in my experience a hurt person in need of first aid does not need to be swarmed by more people. I would have understood people getting angry if she had of walked passed and there was no one helping the victim on the ground, but that wasn't the case. 

People need to just look past race and religion and just see the person. We need to go back to using Social Media for fun, and communicating with friends and family that live far away.

What are your views on this subject?  

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

My Little Box March 2017 #nofilter Edition

This months My Little Box was amazing, and I know I say it every single month, but my god do I LOVE this subscription box. The theme this month is one that I hold dear to my heart #NOFILTER, a great ideal I think a lot of us forget about, because beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder! 


They swapped the box for a large make-up/ wash bag which is always handy and in this case very pretty. I have it propped up with all my other make-up and will use it to store an overflow of stuff.

Barry Alan Blow Dry Bar*

Having never had a Blow Dry treatment before I was super excited to see what it was all about. Barry Alan Hair Salon are an award winning salon based in the heart of Norwich, they pride themselves on their wealth of experience and personal customer service.

They offer a Blow Dry Bar for those just wanting to have a little pamper, for a special occasion or for group events. A great idea for Hen nights or Birthdays! Prices start from £15, with additional extras on top. I wanted a vintage style and this would have cost £15 for the Blow Dry and an additional £15 for the style.

No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation

I love my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, but you do have to use a lot because it drys quickly and with it being very expensive I can't justify it for every day use. Especially not for work, where lets be honest no one sees me there than work colleagues and who am I trying to impress there??

As a girl we still like to look nice, so not wearing make-up is out of the question. I have extremely pale skin too, so if I didn't wear foundation I would look pretty sick. So I wet on the hunt for  cheaper foundation.

A Mothers Day Gift in Collaboration with Johnny Loves Rosie*

With Mothers Day creeping up on us I always wonder what to get?  There are the standard flowers and chocolates, but that does get rather boring after a while. When I was offered the chance to review an exclusive watch from Johnny Loves Rosie, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine it as a Mothers Day gift post.

My Flat Lay Progress

I dont profess to be some amazing photographer or know what I am doing. I have just researched a lot of flat lays online, looked through lots of feed and experimented a lot. The progress I have made in the past 6 months or so is pretty impressive, yes I am blowing my own trumpet, because if we don't then who else will!

So here's what some of flat lays look like now.

Here's what they did look like. 

So here are my tips for perfecting the flat lay, first of all know that it will take time to learn. You will have to practice and research and find your style. Your perfect may not be someone else perfect, so as long as you know all that you will prevail!

Props & Colour
Use everything and anything. Succulents are great for props, so are flowers which you can pick from your garden or out on walks. You can get fake diamond jewels and rose petals from Ebay, as well as fairy lights. 

Try to stick with a colour theme, even if it's not all the same try to keep to mainly one theme. 

If you're after the marble background you can get this from Wilko for just £5, it's just sticky back plastic that you roll out and voila you have a pretty background. 

Use natural lighting as much as you can, if you can't create your own with whatever you have. If you have the money to buy a lighting set then go ahead. I don't so I have to take my photos at certain times of the day and get creative with my lights. 

Set everything out, consider what shape you want you photo to be, then one onto placement. Create symmetry on both sides of the frame and space between all your pieces. Don't be afraid to have a clean layout with a few items or an organised clutter. 

Tell Your Story
Pick a theme because your photos are meant to tell a story, whether it be this is what my face insists of or I wish I was at home reading a mag with a cuppa in hand. The point is that you want it to speak to people, and grab their eye.

Good photo editing apps are essential. I use Enlight religiously, it is amazing. 

Remember research, play about with your ideas and have fun!

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

TreatBox March 2017

I haven't had a TreatBox in a while, because I found that it wasn't really of me. By some error I had accidentally postponed my subscription till this month and not actually cancelled it, so received this months box. This months box seemed to be themed around bees, which is a spring kind of theme I suppose.

Love Me Beauty February 2017

I am not a massive fan of Love Me Beauty, but my Kat Von D Eyeliner ran out and their February edit was packed with Kat Von D, do how could I resist. Especially when I have been dieing to try one of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks.

I have already tried and tested the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner & Ink Liner, I can't really tell the difference between these two. They both last all day, apply precisely and are very highly pigmented. I don't think I could ever go bag to drug store liners, honestly high end branded liners are so much better!

I had high hopes for the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, in Santa Sangre, but its bled and just kept smudging! I think I am going to stick to Too Faced Melted Matte, because that is simply the best lipstick of them all! Honestly I was devastated.

Because I only had a few credits left I chose to go for these Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Modern Matte Lipstick Samples. I can't say I am that impressed with them. I don't know if its that they are in very small sample size, so you can't get a decent idea of the staying power, but they didn't stay on that long. The colours are pretty though and moisturising.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

My Story so Far

If you have followed me for a while, you will know that I have been in a string of bad relationships.
The guy I was with for 4 years (on and off) was an abusive c**t, and as hard as it is for me I cannot seem to get over all the things that happened. My mind is damaged and I find it hard to open up to men, my mind instantly goes to that I need to make them happy and do whatever they want. Whether it makes me uncomfortable or not. I know not all guys are the same, however that doesn't help when you are trying to date someone. How are you supposed to explain this type of mental damage to someone you have only just met, I know you don't have to spill it all on the first date; but when it comes to later on in dating and sex, it would be kind of important to have them understand you.
Last year (I think) I started seeing someone from work, and it was all about sex. Whilst this was ok for the present I soon wanted to see if it could be more. That proved to be an issue, he seemed to be just as manipulative as my ex. with little things, like on a works lunch, he got angry with me because I didn't sit next to him... he didn't want anyone at work knowing and also what did it matter? We weren't even dating. I asked him to come to a friends BBQ, but even this seemed to be too much trouble for him. Little comments such as saying "I love you" to my brother was considered to be incestual to him. Needless to say that ended when I could.
I stayed away from men for a very long time after this and have only just started to date again.   
Dating is always hard and I haven't ever really dated, so starting to date now is actually very hard for me. I haven't been able to really click with anyone since the major mind fuck and even the one guy I did click with lived over 7 hours away and had one small problem. I think you now what I mean, and size does matter! 

I have also started to get used to living on my own and am getting a little set in my ways. I like that I have my time with Harley and sleeping with her in bed. I don't want someone to come along and change that, I want someone to fit in with that.
Since I have started writing this I have realised a few things that I need to stop comparing my life to my friends, yes they may have homes and babies. But are they actually happy?  Truthfully no I don't think they are completely happy. One friend is stuck in a relationship similar to the one I escaped but is now trapped with a young baby, so why was I comparing my life to hers and letting myself get upset at the fact that I haven't got a child?
I have also had the attention of a few men that are unavailable.. as in they are already in relationships or married. This in itself is totally unfair to me and their partner. To be perfectly clear I have in no way lead these people on, and just speak to them as I would any other friend, but somehow they take it as me flirting. It makes me angry and upset that men have such little respect for me that they would much rather ruin our friendship than just be honourable men. I guess that's the main problem nowadays isn't it.. there are no honourable men any more.  
This leads me to where I am currently, which is right where I started. Single, and this time I am quite content and happy with it. Be happy in your own company and don't conform to the highlight reel of others lives and relationships.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

My Little Box February 2017 Mountains Edition

With it being February and the time of month every usual focuses on Valentines, it was such a refreshing surprise to get this box and not have it focused on Valentines like a lot of the subscription boxes do. Instead it kind of focused on the weather and features over in France where this box originates.

This months box was jam packed with goodies, all of which will be used, as you will be aware as of last month My Little Box did away with the My Little World magazine, so this month's replacement of that was a cute little booklet. The booklet was packed with tips on getting cosy in the cold weather from soup recipes to their book of the month. We also received a pack of post-it notes in the form of mountains and a handy little knitting needle so we can create our very own knitted snood.

I've got Writer's Block Right Now

I haven't been very proactive recently and my blog and instragram have suffered in that respect. My healthy hasn't been great lately, combining that with being a bit low with life and where I am hasn't helped much with writers block I suppose.

For the last year or so I have suffered from growing fatigue, to the point where I am exhausted after a days work in the office. The doctors have just found out that I am low in Vitamin D and are hoping that is the reason for my fatigue and hopefully will the supplements my energy levels will start to go back up.

I just find it hard to talk about at the moment because I don't feel that I have anyone I can talk too, the few people I do have around me I feel think I am making a lot of it up and don't realise I need them to say "yeah sure I hope the Vit D helps you out" or "I am sure it will make you feel better". Instead I have been hit with, "maybe that's just how you are" or "everyone is low in Vit D I doubt this will solve it all".

When I think about how much I am there for others, it really does make me feel sad to feel like I don't really have the support right now.

I have worked so hard to get Romanovs Views to where it is now, and I don't want to let it fall apart now. I guess every blogger has this moment when they have a string of bad luck or are ill and cannot write their usual posts or do their usual good quality photos. Tell me I am not the only one?

So here I am now trying to get out of my writers block, just spilling my guts and letting you guys know I am not gone just had to take a mini unexpected break.  Please bear with me I will get back to it.

I would to hear your thoughts though, would you like to hear more personal posts?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

Hair by Karen at Glo Norwich

I have been so bad with my hair and when I saw Karen, it was apparent that my original thought that I hadn't had my hair cut on 6 months was actually more like a year! I refuse to go to anyone else and just haven't had the time or money to visit Karen since she moved over to Glo.

Karen is an amazing Hairdresser and always does exactly what I want or better. She is so easy to talk to and it's always nice having a little hair therapy session.

I didn't want to change my style too much because I am striving to grow my hair, but I did go for an undercut and an Olaplex treatment. I had heard of Olaplaex on Youtube and from Christie, it;'s a new revolution that is hitting the hair scene like crazy.

Olaplaex can be used in hair colour or on it's own as a treatment, because I had been doing a lot of bleach and dying on my hair I had pretty much destroyed my ends and even when Karen was cutting the ends she said it was like gum, so stringy.

Olaplaex is a 3 step treatment, No.1 is applied first on wet hair or in hair dye, the Bond Multiplier. It works by rebuilding the broken bonds and begins to repair and prevent damage.
No.2 is the Bond Perfector, which is applied after the hair is shampooed or the hair colour is removed. It helps to bond the hair back together and continues to repair any broken bonds, which leaves smooth and shiny hair. No.3 is the at home treatment which you can buy online, it is useless without the first two parts and should be one weekly between chemical treatment or your next Olaplaex treatment.

I can honestly say that the Olaplaex treat saved my hair, it is so much stronger and softer than before, and the ends aren't broken or strangely anymore. It is a miracle.

Karen did a wonderful job, without cutting off too much length, although I knew I couldn't get away with a tiny trim. She was worried about doing the undercut, but once she got stuck in she felt more confident and did an amazing piece.

As always I am happy with Karen's work and would happily recommend her to anyone.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.