Review: ‘Oils of Life’ by The Body Shop

I recently decided to switch up my skincare routine. I didn’t have a problem with my previous regime, I just felt like my skin could be better. My face felt a bit dull and dry so I decided to start searching for a different moisturiser, (along with replacing my cleanser and toner.) I was originally using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, a cult classic in the beauty world. It was working fine for me but I wanted to something richer in consistency and cheaper in price.

I opted for the Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Cream by The Body Shop. What drew me to this product was the ‘oils of life’ title. I was considering investing in a facial oil or serum as well as a moisturiser for added hydration, but this product seemed to be the best of both worlds. This moisturiser infuses, “3 oils from around the world, known for their revitalising and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile.” (thebodyshop.com)

Here is the low-down:

Packaging: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I love the luxury feel of the packaging, there is something about glass that makes something feel classy. This product would definitely look great on your dressing table. Unfortunately it misses out on a final star for not being very travel-friendly.

Price: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

For 50ml you’re looking at paying £26.00, so no, not cheap but I believe the price is somewhat justified. I personally judge value by quality and quantity, this best seller is made from plenty of rich ingredients. It’s thick, creamy consistency also means you only need a small amount, it has lasted me for a couple of months and I use it twice a day.

Performance: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

In regards to the claims made by The Body Shop…

  • Leaves skin feeling silky-soft – agree
  • Ensures almost affinity to skin – agree
  • Comfortable but light and non-greasy – agree
  • Revitalises skin – agree
  • Reduces appearance of ageing – this brings me on to my next point…

Who is it for?

This product is for anyone and everyone, it is anti-aging but also works great on my 21 year old face. I have combination skin which means i have dry areas and oily areas, it nourishes my dry patches and doesn’t add to any oily areas.

Is it ethical?

The Body Shop does not test on animals.

 

Have you tried this product or any other product in the Oil of Life range? If so let me know what you think below!

The Life of a Wedding Planner – Stylish Events

On Saturday the 12th of May I attended the ‘Introduction to Wedding Planning’ course hosted by Dominique Douglas (Stylish Events: Wedding & Events Management).

Established in 2002, Stylish Events is one of London’s longest running, independent, luxury wedding planning and event management companies. (stylishevents.com)

If you are looking for a Wedding Planner course, I would highly recommend Stylish Events. Dominique was attentive and eager to teach us everything we needed to know about the life of a wedding planner, I was shocked by the amount of detail and information she was able to share with us in just one day.

The course included:

  • The Journey of a Wedding Client
  • What do we do for our clients?
  • Wedding Services and Fees
  • Proposal
  • Event Budget
  • Venue Hunting
  • CV & Covering Email

While there was an abundance of information to take in, Dominique ensured we fully understood each element, especially the more complex content like the legal requirements of marriage and the fees & budgets.

We were also shown some beautiful examples of the creativity that goes into weddings. At Stylish Events, Dominique and her team are very hands on and even create many items that are used by their clients on their big day. We were also shown unique, bespoke pieces such as invitations, place cards and table settings that I had never seen before.

Most of all I learnt that there is far more to being a Wedding Planner than I had first anticipated. While it does involve cake tasting and attending posh lunches, it is very hard work. It is filled with organising seating plans, on-the-day schedules, negotiating with suppliers, taking care of clients budgets and some weddings/events call for 20+ hour days.

Overall the course taught me everything I needed to know as a beginner in the industry and made me even more excited and interested about being a potential wedding planner.

Why Writing Skills Are Vital To A PR Role

Due to my recent change in my career aspirations, I have spoken to various PR professionals about the difficulty of a transition from Journalism to Public Relations, (read my blog post about it here.) Every single one of them mentioned the transition being simple due to one vital skill both industries have in common: writing. Why is this?

1. Press Releases

The staple task of most PR professionals,  they are short, factual news stories written in the third person and given to the media to encourage editors/journalists/broadcasters to feature the story in their publications and programmes. A press release is not very forgiving when it comes to grammar/spelling errors and it must be clear and concise. If you can’t write clearly, put the story into context and write a newsworthy headline, your press release will get little to no attention.

2. Communication

PR is all. About. Communication. As well as verbal, written communication is vital. Whether it’s in an email to a client or a blog post, you must communicate your message clearly. You can’t expect something to gain publicity if your audience is unsure about what you’re trying to tell them.

3. Social Media

Social Media is a vital platform to many industries today, and PR is no different. With social media, when writing you should be asking questions, maybe use extra punctuation, avoid abstract titles and tell people what to expect.

4. Writing Styles

You should know how to adapt your writing style for different platforms. Brands can be a large part of PR, let’s say the brand you’re representing has a very specific personality, it is important to adapt your writing style to fit theirs. The way you email should be different to how you do a press release and so on.

Also, if like me, you have got into the habit of writing academic essays, practise writing in a more concise style, make your writing sound as if you’re talking to someone. Practise this by writing blog posts for example.

Writing styles also come in styles that can vary on different platforms: expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive.

5. Persuasion

Many will argue, the most important writing style in PR is persuasion. Often your role will be to persuade: persuade journalists to write an article about your artist or product, persuade a radio to give your band some air time, persuade clients you are the right person to work with. Most of this is achieved through effective writing techniques.

 

 

 

 

Top Tips For Picking A University Degree

If you read my last blog post ‘A Change Of Heart : From Journalism to Public Relations’ you will know that I am about four months away from graduating with a Music Journalism Degree. I will admit I did rush into choosing my degree and although I don’t regret my decision, I do wish I had followed some of these steps:

1.Do your research

Looking at the University website’s course details isn’t enough. You should look into the industry you’re interested in working in too. For example if you’re interested in doing  a Public Relations course, visit PR Week, read books, visit prospects.co.uk to look at job roles, skills and challenges. This will help you to decide if you’re the right person for this industry.

2. Speak to people who are in that industry/ on the course you’re interested in

Getting advice from people who have been through it helps massively, some universities (like mine, Southampton Solent) do phone-ins where you can talk to students currently on the course you’re interested in. They can give you a real-life walk through of how the course will be, which should help to decide if it’s for you.

3. If you want to do a degree in Advertising, look into all the Communications degrees, and so on…

All degrees fall under certain job sectors, in communications we have Marketing, Journalism, PR, Advertising etc. You may have thought you wanted to do Advertising but after looking into other communications courses, you found yourself more suited to Marketing. This the same for all university courses, you may want to study nursing, then after a further look into the Healthcare sector, find yourself more suited to a Paramedic Science degree.

4. If your dream degree sounds really difficult, don’t let it put you off

University isn’t meant to be easy, it is supposed to be a big jump from college or school, the whole point of university is to challenge yourself and to learn, I say go for it.

5. Don’t let grade requirements put you off applying for a certain course either

If the course you’re interested in is asking for a number of UCAS points that you think you’ll struggle to achieve, don’t let that scare you. At the end of the day universities want students, in fact they need them. It has been known that many students get into their top choice university without reaching the exact UCAS requirements, sometimes universities are interested in more than just points.

“Greatest. Ever. Maybe?” – Interview with band Bad Waves

 

Bad Wave’s Tucker Tota is rather modest when it comes to considering the Los Angeles band’s appeal, a common attitude new bands have towards their success. When asked to describe the duo, his three-word response: “Greatest. Ever. Maybe?” is cheeky, certainly, but also indicative of the confidence he and Patrick Hart are afraid to possess.

The self-confessed tech junkies describe themselves as: “Run of the mill nerdy guys pretending to be musicians.” They’re hoping to use 2017 as a fresh start to their music: “We’re ready to take Bad Wave to a new level and try some new stuff, we started out last year in a really specific genre and now we’re just whatever we want to be.” The pair have recently released two new singles called ‘Time to Get Lost’ and ‘1955’ that both occupy a very different style to their previous efforts.

They offer something for both fans of Vampire Weekend and Joy Division, their sound is a fine line between vivacious indie-pop and gloomy synth-pop, a genre developed from the 1980s. Members Tucker Tota and Patrick Hart take influence from the ‘80s/’90s eras not only in their music but also in their aesthetic, from their single artwork: “Our inspirations come from a comic book or a painting that we like.” To their music videos, that are entirely directed and created by the song writing half of the band, Tucker Tota, who even admitted to tossing up between being a musician or film director during college.

Bad Wave, which coincidentally comes from the Chilean phrase meaning “bad vibes” did possess quite a cynical attitude towards their talent. Tota declared that calling music their career is a “push” after predicting no one would turn up to a UK show if they journeyed over here. So when did the cock-sure persona of the ’80s bands, like Pet Shop Boys and Spandau Ballet end and this doubtful, almost bitter attitude begin that a number of bands seem to have today? Many contemporary bands idolise these kinds of artists but are too afraid to compete against them and would rather just admire them from afar instead of getting stuck in and saying: “We’re the greatest ever, definitely.”

Or is it just that our generation has more to be cynical about? When asked about their motive for their lyrical choices, in specific their new very politically motivated track ‘Time to Get Lost’, Hart explained the catalyst for the song creation: “It’s like my political frustration, if people can relate to it that’s cool but I don’t think I aim to make a political anthem. I think a song about Donald Trump and a song about falling in love can be equally as powerful, it’s just about sharing human experience.

Bad Wave may not follow in the footsteps of classic stars in the way they carry themselves but admire them whilst still being cautious of being “too weird”. They are very aware of taking inspiration but dulling it down to appeal to people today: “We definitely listen to a wide pallet of stuff, our sound is cool cos it’s hip and happening right now but it’s not what we want to stay as, we want to experiment, it’s always about a balance of not being too weird but still pushing and challenging listeners and ourselves, which I do think comes from people from the past.” Synth-pop arose from the duller, ominous sounds and transformed into more exciting, fresh synth-pop. It was a time for experimentation in music through elements such as futuristic sounds that were probably considered “weird” at first but people had the guts to try it out.

The pair are rather dissimilar, Tota’s taste favours the singer-songwriter style whilst Hart’s is on the: “weird production side”. The duo believes this contrasting combination is what makes them appeal to a contemporary audience.

Bad Wave have many things left to prove if they want to continue to grow. What they retain in talent and flair, they lack in confidence. The music industry is highly competitive, but as artists you can’t be so open to rolling over to make space for your competitors whilst knocking yourself off the shelf in the process. Bad Wave, you suspect, haven’t yet found that conviction that will keeping them afloat rather than sinking in this competitive music industry.

Fleetingwood Mac @ The Talking Heads 03/02/17

Fleetwood Mac earned their place at rock and roll’s top table in the 1970s, with albums like Rumors and Tusk. They continue to explore new music, releasing original material as recently as 2013 – and older records regularly receive remasters. Evidently, interest in such iconic acts will never burn out – but are tribute bands, playing those stellar hits for significantly smaller crowds, such a good idea?

Enter Fleetingwood Mac, a tribute band exuding a breezy personality, steering clear of any tacky imitation with wigs and fancy dress outfits. Most of the men are sporting loud floral shirts whilst drummer Sean Kennneally adds formality with a waistcoat topped off with a piece of red ribbon around his neck.

Guitarist Paul Carunana leads with the bluesy track ‘Black Magic Woman’ from Fleetwood Mac’s 1969 album titled English Rose. The alluring song is brought back to life with younger vocals while still preserving its ‘60s smoky, rocky quality in the guitar solos.

Attention to detail is noticeable throughout the gig. Lead singer Bethany Raine holds a silver crescent moon shaped tambourine with a delicate piece of black lace attached, subtly hinting at Stevie’s persona rather than copying it.

After some crowd-pleasers including ‘Dreams’ and ‘Isn’t It Midnight’, Raine ushers us forward for the jolly ‘Hold Me’ number, assuring us she doesn’t bite. This track feels incredibly nostalgic with the gentle twinkling lullaby introduction perfected and Raine throws in some Stevie-esque spins and twirls in her witchy, flowy black dress.

Over the rowing crowd, the set changes to a softer tone, ‘Landslide’ is introduced as “Just a little number Stevie Nicks wrote.” Only the lead vocalist and one guitarist fill the stage while the other members turn inward to watch. The first line, “I took my love, I took it down”, comes across with a real rawness, Raine’s voice cracking with emotion.

Fleetingwood Mac remained free from gimmicks and is a prime example of why tribute acts matter, they give those who once loved a band a chance to reminisce and others the chance to discover these bands. Fleetingwood Mac state on their Facebook page: “As much as we aim to create a genuine Fleetwood Mac sound, we can’t help but give it a modern edge, it’s just the way we are.”

 

Interview – Martin James

I am waiting outside former Music Journalist and Solent’s Popular Music Journalism Course Leader Martin James’ office for our 11:30 interview. Half an hour goes by and after shooting my head up from my phone every time I heard footsteps, eventually the face I was waiting for arrives. A flustered Martin comes flying around the corner, in his usual smart-casual attire of jeans dressed up with a tweed blazer. “Sorry my meeting completely overran, come on in.”

James chucks down his bags beside him as he tilts back in his chair. It’s clear the 53 year old Professor has had a long morning.  We are in his third of the office, it screams: “passionate music journalist”. James had worked on the editorial teams of some of the biggest magazines on the market plus also having written several published and critically acclaimed books, including biographies of The Prodigy and Dave Grohl. His corner of the room is cluttered with a colourful array of books and music posters, plus a few random star wars figures on the wall just to add to the chaos.

James grew up in Marlow, a town in the South-East of England. His father was a religious man, “He was going to go into the church as a lay preacher, so hats off to him for not forcing religion down our throats.”

I spot a few proud-parent photographs amongst the music prints on the wall. James tells me he had to quit his job as a freelance journalist when his second child Felix was born. “Music takes up your life, and I know a few people who have managed to balance it quite well, but I’m a bit obsessive”.

Is there anything about Martin James that isn’t already on the internet? “What a horrible question!” he says. “Iggy Pop pissed on me, Goldie punched me, but they’re things people know.” Eventually he tells me his real ambition was to be a fashion designer. “It was the post-punk new romantic time, with people like Boy George and Steve Strange, my best friend used to design all their clothes and I got really interested in fashion at that stage.”

Whilst trying to compete with the chatter of two other lectures with whom he shares an office, he tells me the most embarrassing story of his career. “I’m a feminist, but there’s something quite embarrassing at my own identity when I’m happily sitting in a strip joint with Cypress Hill, Ant and Dec and various other music industry people.”

He seems surprised when I ask him about his worse experience of his career. With a big sigh he says “Eminem.” Then suddenly he gets a call. Are Eminem’s ears burning? He had interviewed Eminem for his first ever UK interview. “I said to him, you don’t like women very much do you? Or is it your character Slim Shady as a misogynist?’ “And he stormed off, ranting about how much he hated the UK.”

For a man whose life has revolved around music since the age of 12 when he and a friend formed a Dr Feel Good covers band. Does he ever get sick of talking about music?

“I still love music, it’s driven me since I was tiny and it still drives me now. Drives me insane sometimes.”