tips posts

Get Your Vlog On: 5 Handy Vlogging Tips.

December 29, 2013

Zoella – Arguably the UK’s most successful fashion/beauty vlogger.

Vlogging – a fine way to show your pretty face and yanner on about the contents of your make-up bag to the World Wide Web. I do like the occasional mooch through bloggers’ YouTube accounts, especially anything intrusive, like ‘What’s in my Handbag?’ – but I’ve got to put it out there, I’m no vlogger at heart. Hate/despise/abhor the sound of my own voice and I’d spend the duration of the clip poring over whether my teeth looked particularly wonky that day. However, I have done a good bit of research into vlogging in my time, lest I ever brave the big(?) screen…

  • Keep It Short and Sweet

Yes, I understand that having a 30+ minute video may appear like you’ve put in a lot of effort but, on the whole, I could bet that you’re just waffling on about what you had for dinner last night by 25 minutes in: keep it snappy. In this glorious digital age of lunacy, its a rarity when someone dedicates more than 10-15 minutes of their life to watch the creations of some random Internet person, so be sure to get your point across cohesively in as short a time as is humanly possible. If your clip is ridiculously long, get editing and cut out that major tangent about next door’s pervy grandson at the Boxing Day party…

  • Consider Platforms

If the prospect of sitting in front of a camera for an elongated period of time fills you with dread, look for different methods of video production. If you’re artsy and like to think outside the box, perhaps consider creating a nifty little Instagram piece – something animated or heavily edited, if you’re that way inclined. This way, you can ensure you keep your viewers’ interest and still make sure they know exactly who you are, what you do, and how damn good you are at it.

  • Go Big or Go Home

If you’re one of those lucky famed bloggers – candy coloured hair, stick thin legs and a £1,000+ DSLR type – maintaining the image of a super cool, hip’n’happenin’ fashionista is highly important. Personally, I’m in this for the words – I don’t have the camera for taking fancy pictures, and I don’t always have much patience for leaving my bed – but, professionally-made video production could be a great option for well-known bloggers. If you’re Manchester-based like me, have a gander at this Northern Quarter company. 

  • Create a Series

Creating a series is a brilliant way to get viewers returning to your site. Make it something relevant to now: e.g. a new upcoming make-up product with different colour swatches being released over a short period of time. That way, once your viewers have checked out your first piece, they’ll be more likely to subscribe to ensure that they don’t miss out on the next instalment. Be sure to name each video with the same clause so that people know it’s the next one!

  • Think Pretty – Yes, Really

I know it’s lame as hell, but us fashion/beauty blogging lot – we’re big fans of all things aesthetically pleasing, so make sure that your videos are all-singing, all-dancing super edited masterpieces. The most successful V-loggers out there use all sorts of fades and effects to make their videos stand out from the rest, so be sure to do some homework before you just throw any old thing at YouTube. Remember, whatever you post in connection with your blog will represent you: don’t do a shoddy job!

Internship at ELLE Magazine.

May 28, 2013

Today I applied for the 2013 Edited by the Interns competition on ELLEUK.com, which led me to recall that I’d never actually gotten around to doing a write-up about the week internship that I did there last October. My trip to London/Cambridge was so jam-packed crazy that I don’t even remember the couple of weeks after I returned home – I think I just did a lot of lamenting and hibernating. I managed to snag a placement from ELLE’s Market Editor Bonnie Rakhit after meeting her at a River Island x ELLE event in Manchester last summer, which you can read more about here. After a week or so of feverish email inbox refreshing, I finally got offered a week’s placement at ELLE and started planning (mentally spending) for my London visit.

London is phenomenal. I know it’s terribly, terribly cliché but I’m such a ridiculous city girl and thinking back to trips I’ve done to New York and London literally make me well up. I’m barely joking when I say that I’d chop off a limb, or lick a kitten heel to teleport back to either of them. Big cities bring out some weirdly confident Ebony, who seems to shrivel up in the dreary humdrum of Lancaster city, so I cannot wait until I escape next year and can move to the capital. Anyway, I digress. I’m fortunate enough to have a lovely aunt and uncle living near Camden who let me stay with them for the week, which was an absolute lifesaver because, dang – that city is expensive. If you find an internship but are struggling to find cheap accommodation, you should look into houseshares or hosts, with schemes like Room For Tea. 

Step 1: Buy an Oyster Card. If you’re in the same London-novice boat that I was, you’ll be sounding the ‘Oy-what?’ card somewhere about now. The Oyster card system allows you to top up a card, akin to a phone top-up, which lets you roam the city through the underground/buses/other public transport – lifesaver. Not always the best of systems when you’re running for the bus and it’s at the bottom of a bag even Mary Poppins would think you’re a twat for carrying, though. Also not helpful when you’re late out of work, trying to get your clothes packed to catch the last train back to Cambridge – and stuck in a Friday rush-hour queue to top it up, in Oxford Street station. Even that didn’t dampen my chipper Northern-bastard-in-London spirit.

Step 2: Be proficient with a map (by which, I mean a very small, inconspicuous map) or don’t bother going without a smartphone with maps. Bizarrely, I found my way to the office without a hitch on the first day, but found myself completely lost on the third morning – running around like a prat with the biggest, most tourist-y map you’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I’d just had my iPhone stolen a couple of weeks before my trip, so I was relying on my trusty old Nokia E71, which was pants. Oh, and you might want to get friendly with the tube system too – you will probably go out and get drunk, and you will undoubtedly nearly end up in the wrong place.

Step 3: If you have a Northern accent, you have special preparatory homework before you should go to a fashion internship. I worked with quick-talking European ladies from whom ‘Dries Van Noten’ rolled off the tongue to an almost sexy degree, whereas, my confused equivalent was a more ‘Uh, ‘DREES VAN NOHHHTEN’? And I don’t even have a particularly Northern accent. You need to be damn quick with a pen and the sticky notes too – shiz moves fast in these places, with no room for mistake.

Step 4: You might have to get up close and personal with some celebrities. No, I didn’t get my staple on with One Direction or braid Taylor Swift’s hair – but, I did return underwear that Victoria Beckham had worn on a shoot for the March issue. Geddin’, if that’s what you’re into. You’re going to be doing a lot of this returning too: I literally spent the entire week, bar about an hour (accumulative running up and down to the post-room time) doing returns from shoots. If you’re a fashion-lover though – in the clutches of endless Jimmy Choos and hiding in the jewelled cavern of the fashion cupboard – you’ll stay in your element 9 – 5.

Step 5: Go to Leon. Your mouth will thank me. So will your stomach, come 4pm when you’re salivating with hunger into a Moschino clutch. Trust me, the Pret superfood salad just isn’t going to cut it.

Step 6: Open your mouth and don’t be afraid to dress how you want to. I’m going to contradict myself with this one: I wore a really outlandish but arguably awesome hipster/Japanese-y/secretary/plain-crazy ensemble one day, and got complimented on it by one of the actual writers – which I was absolutely elated about – but instead of being all ‘Oh yeah, thanks! It’s from *insert plethora of stores*’, I giggled like a schoolgirl, squeaked ‘Thanks!’ and dived back into my fashion cupboard of solitude and safety. On the other hand, I did redeem myself towards the end of the week, when one of the other interns was working on a website feature with Bonnie, and I jumped in with a suggestion for them and she loved it. I spent the rest of the evening calling up my mum/dad/best friend/cat squealing that I’d got one whole line on the site.

Nervous and over-secretaried to Hell on the first day.

Step 7: Name drop me, please? I want back there. Pronto.

Find me on Twitter @Ebzo

NOTD: Pretty Polka Peach Sherbet Nails.

May 16, 2013

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It’s been so, so long since I actually sat down and bothered doing anything even remotely funky with nail art and, given that my English Literature exam’s in three days, it’d never looked more appealing. After writing my earlier review on Model’s Own varnishes, I decided to adopt the ‘Peach Sherbet’ colour as a base, with their white base ‘Snow White’ on my thumbs for something a bit different. I really like contrast nails so try to put a stripe on one nail and invert the colour scheme when I can. You’re going to need all the desk/tabletop you can muster with this one – mount it if necessary – slippy hands are a bitch.

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Integrating Music (Through Spotify) To Your Blog/Website.

May 5, 2013

If anyone (and by anyone, I’m probably referring to a handful of my closest musically-minded friends) read my blog before I changed URL and became a relatively exclusively beauty/fashion oriented writer, you’d know that I’m a tad obsessed with music, and my blog was formerly solely based on album/EP reviews. And synthesisers. And strings. And harmonies. So, after doing a little research at the insistence of my boyfriend (who always jokily asks me to write him in to one of these posts – congrats, babe), I found out you can pop little ‘Spotify Play’ widgets into posts – including tracks, albums and playlists – by using this page.

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Beating The Blogger Blues.

October 18, 2012

We’ve all been there. Something messes up in your personal life, or it’s just one of those days – and everything seems pointless. All those countless hours you’ve spent writing posts, collaborating images and data and you’re thinking – why am I bothering? You feel like noone’s reading it, you’re doing it for nothing and can even go as far to think you’re just wasting your time. This happens to pretty much all of us.

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How To Get Your Blog Started.

October 2, 2012

So, you’ve just created your domain name, you’re restlessly scrolling through themes and you’re bursting with the energy that you’re going to be the next best thing. Now what? Starting a blog can be a very daunting task, especially getting those first few sentences down and out there to your audience. Firstly, you need to remember that your blog is yours – you shouldn’t change anything about your tone and you should  let your character shine through with everything you write. I heard a lovely compliment recently that somebody reads my blog, despite having little interest in the topics I feature, purely because of my writing style – which really made my day.

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Leeds Haul and the Evils of Travelling.

October 2, 2012

Today I went to Leeds to grab a Nando’s with a friend and pick up my laptop (nearly a month after I left it in @whenflowersfall‘s car boot after London Fashion Week). It’s been a lovely day, I managed to switch my studded iPhone clutch from Urban Outfitters, which I really wouldn’t recommend that you purchase, for the following reasons: when I went to buy the first one in London, the cashier recommended that I picked a different one as the studs looked like they were about to fall off – which I did and secondly, to add salt to it, the one I actually bought shed two studs within 3 days of taking it home – then my boyfriend dropped one of them under the floorboards trying to fix it, bless him. Yeah, steer clear of it anyway – it looks very cool but unless you don’t fancy taking your manicured paws off it for one whole second, I’d leave it on the shelf. Sorry Urbies…

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New Look/Grazia Denim Styling Event – Manchester Arndale.

September 12, 2012

Yesterday I braved the rain and hopped a few trains to Manchester to check out the New Look/Grazia Denim Styling event in the Arndale – with the hope of having a couple of minutes to speak to the Grazia Fashion Editor Sophie Ferguson Jones – which I did! There was a little talk from Sophie, where she gave some hints and tips regarding the new trends for Autumn/Winter 2012 and what we should be wearing these next coming months.

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Cosmopolitan’s 31 Days of Hot Sex.

January 10, 2012

Check this out.

Let’s get a little background here. I like sex, like everyone should, but I love adventurous sex. Be it in a public place, in the back of my boyfriend’s car or something a little strange – I’ll try anything once. So, finding this article was a bit of a goldmine. I’m thinking of doing each day’s ‘tip’ and posting a brief rating system for each one – I don’t want to be too descriptive, haha.

Watch this space…


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com