Saturday, 30 March 2013

HauteFuture's Final Post...

Hello there,

*One of my India pics, taken in Pushkar, the holiest city in the country*

I returned from India unscathed! Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to Thailand, for personal reasons totally out of my own control. However, I will go one day, so I have to turn my frown upside down and just save some more pennies.

So I’ve been thinking a lot recently… And I’ve made the decision to call an end to HauteFuture. I know this is probably quite surprising, as my blog is the thing I have been most passionate about since I started it a couple of years ago. However, I’ve found that I’ve basically outgrown it and that I’ve totally lost sight of why exactly I started HauteFuture in the first place!

*Photograph taken before a posh dinner out with all of my uni friends when we handed in out dissertations*

Two years ago, I set up HauteFuture because I wanted fiercely to become a women’s lifestyle journalist for some kind of top magazine like Marie Claire or Vogue. I am still really passionate about writing and have never been someone to turn away a good magazine. However, I’m not quite sure that having a blog like HauteFuture is what’s going to get me there, or help me further develop the skills I’ve learned in the process of blogging.

Blogging quickly became about celebritizing myself. I would panic if I hadn’t blogged in a week because how would my readers get by if they didn’t know about my terrible lipstick malfunction?! What if they went and bought that same lipstick and experienced the same disaster?! It was my responsibility, nay, my duty to TELL THEM THE TRUTH. The honest fact of it is, that there are about a hundred other girls in the UK who have written exactly the same review as I would have done, and guess what? No-one really cared! No-one got handed a top London magazine internship for publishing the same uninteresting twaddle that I was angsting about and yet I carried on doing it. For what?

*Just about to head out last year to scout bands for my dad's local music festival*

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE writing, more than the next person. I would love to be a novelist and between you and me, I have started writing up somewhat of an autobiographical novel just for the fun of it. Plus, I’ve written freelance pieces for my local newspaper in the past year or so which have felt like brilliant, albeit minor, achievements. But what made me think that reviewing moisturizer improved my writing skills in any way? How was I ever going to do what I ultimately want to do, and make money from my space of internet? I wasn’t. And before you ask, no, it isn’t all about the money. But realistically, I, like many bloggers out there, started my page because it was the easier alternative to breaking into the impenetrable career of magazine journalism. But what pays the bills?

Having had time to think, I cringe at how much I made blogging all about getting followers and building up my lists of ‘fans’. I have been known to spend HOURS at a time, desperately tweeting and facebook-statusing my link to people who quite frankly, couldn’t care less about what I thought of the latest mascara. If someone unfollowed my blog, I would automatically hate them, even though I didn’t know who they were! A friend of mine even showed me how to monitor my readers by locating them in the world, working out how they had found me and even how long they had spent on my page before getting bored. Now, I know that running a successful website and a blog in particular is all about maintaining a healthy amount of reader traffic, but when you are spending more time trying to hunt for new readers and constantly feeling like the things you write are worthless because you only got three comments per day, I think you’ve slightly lost sight of why you started the page to begin with.

*At my graduation*

For the past few months I haven’t liked the way the women's lifestyle blogging world is going and that’s the honest truth. Anyone who is anyone has a blog, and the majority of those in the UK are in the sectors of beauty and fashion. The lack of creativity with blog posts that have popped up on my blogger dash has made me think, ‘Why do I even bother writing original posts when there are bloggers out there doing nothing more than the generic Instagram, Glossybox and 20 Questions posts who are ranking more followers than me???’ And even after spending so long musing over it, I still don’t have an answer to that question.

Since realizing that I didn’t want to be ‘just another beauty blogger’ I started trying to veer away from beauty and branch out into other areas, like travel, food and film and I really enjoyed it! In fact, I enjoyed it more than I think I ever enjoyed beauty blogging and vlogging. I just assumed initially, that because I love beauty products I would love writing about them. But when you realize you’re not really fulfilling any kind of niche, and are just providing more noise in an already noisy environment, it makes you feel kind of redundant. There are girls out there who are great at beauty blogging or fashion blogging and I salute them. I am just not one of them.

*On the way to my first 'grown up' job since graduating*

HauteFuture has served me well. I practiced my writing in a safe place, set up a successful page with HTML that I never even knew existed and I made lots of friends in the process. This reminds me to say, that I have respect for every beauty blogger out there, even those who like posting Instagram, Glossybox and 20 Questions posts. I actually really enjoy reading posts like this, I just didn’t like being a part of the culture which made me feel like these kinds of posts are the only things that would define me as being a true part of the community.

At the end of the day, without meaning to sound arrogant, I feel like I’ve gotten everything that I can from HauteFuture and to carry on would be denial.

*In San Francisco last summer*

So, what’s next? Am I going to stop blogging entirely? Of course I won’t, I’m not sure if I will ever stop blogging! After all, in spite of feeling like it is time to move on, having HauteFuture as a record of my past couple of years is a great memento! So if not here, where will I be blogging, I hear you ask, and why am I moving, what will be different?

Well, my latest venture is going to be called The NW Midlander and will be another Blogger-hosted page. The NW Midlander will be all about what the North West and the Midlands have to offer, as I have noticed that there are so many blogs out there about how great living in London is but none about how great the North West and Midlands are! And they are, trust me. Sure, there will be foreign travel updates,  book and movie reviews and social networking tutorials (and maybe even the odd women's lifestyle posts...), but mostly you will be able to find beautiful photography, food posts which will make you drool and stay-cation reviews which will make you consider the North West and Midlands for your summer holiday needs.

*The sun setting on Tordi Sagar's sand dunes in India*

And as for my beauty habit, don’t think I’m going cold turkey! Actually, quite the opposite! I’m even considering going on a makeup application course, amongst other ideas rushing around my messy-unemployed-graduate head.

Once The NW Midlander is available to view I will pop the link on here, but until then this is goodbye! Thank you to everyone who has stood by me and supported me in my blogging. I really appreciate your loyalty, but now, onto new horizons!

Lots of love

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Daniel Sandler Perfect Canvas Foundation Review

Although it is slow moving, I AM still planning on setting up my own business this year (as laid-out in my New Years' Resolution post) and unsurprisingly, it will involve makeup! So, I've been trying out a few different brands which I wouldn't normally have purchased from and Daniel Sandler has been one of them. If you don't know about Daniel Sandler then you're missing out, because he is a top makeup artist with his own line of makeup products which are every blogger's dream! His Watercolour Blushes are currently on most bloggers' must-buy lists if not already a much-loved product in their makeup kit. I'm yet to purchase one, but they're on the top of my list for when I get back from my travels...

Anyway, I decided to buy a variety of foundation colours to try out and thankfully, Daniel Sandler's website was offering these little 15ml pots for just £2.50 from £9.50! What a bargain eh? I've only photographed seven, but I actually bought eight... the eighth is in my makeup bag as I am absolutely in love with it.

*I purchased shades 20, 17, 14, 10, 8 (not shown), 7, 6 and 4*

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Can You Wear Glitter in Spring? Topshop Glitters...

I'm loving the fact that Spring fashions are slowly seeping onto the shop floors, really I am. But something inside me misses the glitters which covered our Winter 2012 fashions, so I thought I'd throw together this sparkly little blogpost as a review AND a reminisce. 

I managed to snap these Topshop glitters up in the sales in January and although I'm not 100% sure how I will be using them, I can't help myself from twisting the top of them periodically just to watch them twinkle! 

*So pretty!*

The loose powders come in these little pots with sprinkle tops attached (like you get in talcum powder). However, I took the sprinkle tops off as they just get in the way as far as I'm concerned! I got all four of these powders for just £4 and I think they are so gorgeous...

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Pitch Perfect Film Review

I love going to the cinema. Literally, I love it. Buying the tickets, bickering with myself over whether to choose nachos or popcorn then inevitably going for both and watching the trailers all make my cinema experience one worth repeating every fortnight or so. And so far, 2013, has been a great year for films! Some weeks there have been two or three that I have wanted to see, and I already have a few on my list which are being released later in the year.

*I LOVE singing-related puns... Smack my PITCH up*

Anyway, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to one of my favorite films of January. Pitch Perfect (2013) is something between Easy A and Glee... only, imagine that all of those characters are in university and so are automatically more hilarious and more talented.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

I'm Going On A Journey! India and Thailand Backpacking

So long, farewell! I'm off to the East :)

I know I haven't posted much about my travels so far and my flight date has been creeping up on me much faster than I had expected, so I'm not going to be able to write too much before I head off. That being said, I figured I would just let you know what my itinerary is so that y'all can seethe in jealousy while I'm away :p Just joking! A little bit...

Anyway, here are my plans!


8th February - I fly to Delhi India... I'm booked on a 9am(ish) flight from Heathrow with Etihad. I've never flown with them before, so it should be an experience worth blogging about! I will be flying to Abu Dhabi first where I need to change onto my Delhi flight, hopefully everything will be signposted so I don't get too lost.

Monday, 28 January 2013

January Sales Suck.

I hate shopping at the best of times. There, I said it. But the January sales in particular drive me up the wall. Why should I enjoy battling through chaos in the local shopping centre, fighting my way past nutters who have been up since some ungodly hour just so they could be first in line to blitz their way through a horrific mess of seasons-old clothes which are still overpriced in spite of their offensively unavoidable red signs promising 'up to' 50% OFF!?! I find the red signs unsettling, alarming even. The amount of people in the shops who are downright aggressive needs policing more efficiently! Why are the clothes never tidy, or organized, or even *gasp* in a good condition? Why do brands think I am dumb enough to ignore the 'From £60 to £58' tags on the item and only pay attention to the horrifically misleading, 'up to 70% OFF' sign in the shop window, with 'up to' in the smallest font known to humanity *ahem, TOPSHOP, ahem*? If I didn't want the shoes over a year ago when they were priced at the same 'bargain' price of £30 why the hell would I want them now??? I absolutely do not want to go and waste my Christmas gift vouchers on things I would never normally buy if they were full priced, so why on earth do some shops completely clear their floors of new stock, just to shove the old stuff which nobody wants down my throat??? 

*Look at the state of Miss Selfridge!*

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ted Baker Goodies

Just a couple of months ago I reviewed Ted Baker's Workshop Accessories line here so they reached out to me to say, "Thank You". I think that is so sweet because brands don't often offer thanks when you write nice things about them... its something which would be so easy for them to do, and yet, as not many of them do it, those that do really stand out. On top of the, "Thank You" email, they asked me to send them my home address, so on Thursday, I received this lovely package in the post...

*Even the box is luxurious!* 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Work Experience at Conde Nast

Apologies for my Blog Silence for the past week or so, but I have been doing work experience in Conde Nast Traveller magazine's advertising department! I did work experience in their editorial department back in 2010 and I've managed to keep in touch with one of the top dogs on the mag, so when a work experience girl dropped out before her last week was completed in the advertising offices, he mentioned it to me. Like everybody else, I had to send my CV in and wait. Thankfully though, my wait wasn't too long and within a day I was hunting for London accommodation and booking my trains. 

*The Conde Nast Traveller corridor in Vogue (yes, VOGUE) House on Hanover Square just off Oxford Street*

Friday, 18 January 2013

Creative Writing... Five-Minute Fridays: Cherished

I spotted a hashtag recently on Twitter called '#FMFParty' and as I hate not being invited to a party, I decided to click and find out what I was missing out on. I am so glad I clicked on the hashtag now! Basically, the deal is simple, every Friday, LisaJo Baker posts a prompt word on her blog for us all to whip up a bit of creative writing about. You only get five minutes to write and you aren't allowed to go back or change anything. It is kind of a stream-of-consciousness writing challenge which I love! I've loved writing since I was a very little girl and it is something which I practice regularly, especially as I'd like to try and get a novel published before the time I am 23... a bit ambitious I know, but that gives me just over a year so maybe I can manage. Plus, a bit of ambition never hurt anyone. Anyway, on with the challenge. The word we have been provided with is 'Cherished' so here goes...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

How To Use Up Skincare Samples...

I'm forever receiving tiny skincare samples from fab companies in the post, but without sounding ungrateful, they clutter up my room something rotten! This doesn't usually bother me unless I know that each of the samples are right towards the end of their use... they don't have much product remaining in the tube and I am struggling to squeeze the remains out. So what do I do? Create a SUPER-PRODUCT, that's what!

I had a couple of empty pots left over from previous products, so I washed them out and decanted a mixture of products into them. My favorite pot at the moment has the products above in it and it is currently working wonders for my skin!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

HauteFuture Now Offers Advertising!

That's right my lovelies, HauteFuture is now offering advertising on this page for just £2 a month! After paying via PayPal all you have to do is email me your button, preferably in the same size as the lovely Lucy from Louminous has done recently and I will pop it on the side of my page with a link back to your page. The order in which the advertiser's buttons will be placed will be decided basically on the order that people pay for their advertising.

Just so y'all know, if you go on my blog, you are exposed to between 14,000 and 17,000 unique visitors each month!

So what are you waiting for? It's first come, first served... Let the advertising begin!

Love and snuggles

Monday, 14 January 2013

What I've Been Watching: Les Miserables

As MASSIVE Les Miserables enthusiasts, my father and I were so excited when we heard that the longest lasting musical from the West End would be adapted by Hollywood for a film a few years ago. We clung onto every rumour about the cast list and watched every documentary about the movie in the run up to the film's release on the 11th of January 2013. I even bought my Dad cinema vouchers for Christmas! We set up the Daddy-Daughter date, bought the tickets and packed the left-over Christmas chocolate into my (not-so-inconspicuous) rucksack and headed to our local Vue cinema.

Although we knew what to expect in some ways, we were also a little apprehensive in others... Most of the cast list aren't globally renowned for having the amazingly semi-operatic singing voices which many of the roles required, so we expected that the music-side of the film might be somewhat disappointing. In some ways, we were right. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, (the main character, a fugitive from the law since stealing a loaf of bread to feed his nephew) for example, LOOKED the part. Seriously, his look was SO Jean Valjean. However, the powerful voice which we had come to expect from watching the likes of Alfie Boe and Colm Wilkinson playing the part, just simply wasn't there. Instead, we got a much more raw emotional performance which did redeem the actor in some ways. Having said that, it could be argued that the rawness came not from the actor himself, but from the director, Tom Hooper, who insisted that each part would be sang live throughout the movie, bar one. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

New Year's Resolution: Healthy Lifestyle Update

This year, I'm so keen to make sure that my New Year's Resolutions actually come to fruition that I've been keeping a super close eye on my progress so what better way to log it than to blog it? One of my main resolutions was to have a healthy lifestyle 'most of the time'. What I mean by 'most of the time' is that unless there is a special occasion or one meal a week where I want to pig out, I'm trying to be really good and put the best things into my body and up my fitness levels. It is no secret that I'm not fat. Seriously, I know that. But still, my tummy had pinchable flesh which I'd really rather wasn't there, my upper-thighs touch and my arms have a larger surface area than I'd like. Plus, although I don't think I look any bigger in person and my clothes fit the same as before Christmas, the camera really does seem to add those ten pounds of chocolate I'm sure I consumed over the festive period... So, what have I been doing to claw my way to a healthy lifestyle?

Well, firstly, I've stopped eating things like this...

*I am such a cheese freak and I ate TONS of it over Christmas! No good for cholesterol and very fatty...*

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year's Resolution: Travel Update

On the 31st of December 2012, I posted about all of my New Year's Resolutions (as most bloggers do) but I didn't want to just post what my resolutions are. I think the best way of making sure we succeed in resolutions is by recording our progress, so my first resolution, to get my passport stamped in at least three countries I have never been to before, is the first resolution which I would like to update you all on...

I'm going to India and Thailand in February. There, I said it. I am shocked that I have managed to part-finish one of my resolutions so soon in the year! Particularly when in it is going to cost me about £2500 of my savings to do it as I don't have a job at the moment. Then again, you only live once (#yolo) and I'm only 21... I have an entire lifetime to stress out about money and work my butt off. I always say, there's loads of money out there just waiting to be earned, so carpe diem, live for the day.

*Eating Pizza on the Grand Canyon... More times like these please... just in India and Thailand!*

So what's my plan? Where am I going? Who am I going with?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

GabriellaSofia's 2012 Holy Grail of Beauty... Part 4

Welcome back for the fourth and final instalment of Hautefuture's Beauty Awards or my 2012 Holy Grail of Beauty. So let's get on with it...



In First Place... Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser is winner for 2012. It is really gentle whilst simultaneously exfoliating my skin and opening up my pores. The best way to wash my face in 2012 was with this genius product.
Must Buy In 2013... I really want to try some Origins skincare and they do a foaming wash which is my kind of thing. Also, I want to invest in a Clarisonic Mia... or a cheaper alternative. Does anyone know of a cheap version I can buy?

Friday, 4 January 2013

GabriellaSofia's 2012 Holy Grail of Beauty... Part 3

Fancy seeing you here! Back for Part 3 of my 2012 Holy Grain of Beauty? Well, welcome! I've really enjoyed choosing my favourite products for these awards but I'm even more excited about the products which I am hoping to but in 2013. Its great being able to write my Must Buy list on my blog so I can't forget what I am saving up for. Anyway, let's see what other products are on my 'Re-Purchase For 2013' list...


Eye Liner...

In First Place... I am actually really disappointed with 2012 in terms of eye liner. I have tried many and thought they were fine, but not a single product has really stood out to me this year. Even my beloved Fabuliner felt-tip liner by INCOLOUR in the USA didn't cut the mustard this year as it has been fading and transferring to my upper-lid. Other products which haven't set my loins alight include Maybelline's Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner, Benefit's BadGAL, Soap and Glory's Smoulder Kohl and Barry M's Liquid Liner. Disappointing.
Must Buy In 2013... I just need a good eye-liner that won't transfer to my upper-lid or melt in the outer corners of my eyes. Any suggestions?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

GabriellaSofia's 2012 Holy Grail of Beauty... Part 2

Thanks for coming back to HauteFuture for Part 2 of my 2012 Beauty Awards (also known as my 2012 Holy Grail of Beauty!) Without much further ado...



In First Place... This year I have really learned how to contour my face with bronzer and my best ally in this has been my Hoola bronzer by Benefit. It is really quite dark, but bronzer should be used sparingly and in layers anyway, so it doesn't need to be dark at all.
Must Buy In 2013... People RAVE about NARS Laguna bronzer so this year I think I'm going to bite the bullet and add it to my collection.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

GabriellaSofia's 2012 Holy Grail of Beauty... Part 1

Happy New Year everyone! I'm hoping you all celebrated with your friends and family and are super-excited about 2013, because I sure am. I don't quite know why... I just have a FEELING about this year.

Anyway, I wanted to do a post like this last year, but never got round to it, so here it is, my Beauty Holy Grail for 2012! In some categories I've also listed items which fell into my Bad Books in 2012 and some beauty products which I'm looking forward to in 2013. So sit back, relax, and let the good times roll.