Friday, September 19, 2014



Whether it is a sleek Beckham like bob that takes for fancy, or a cascade of Olsen style beach waves, hairstyles are often the be all or end all. Sure, that claim may sound dramatic, but there’s no use denying it, they can change a look within seconds – for better or for worse.

Constantly leaving us riddled with intense paranoia, it’s not just the bravery to go under the scissors that’s a challenge for many of us. It’s also the after-math and the constant questioning of: “Does this cut really suit me?” After all, I'm positive you’ve all come face to face with that near heart-attack moment when your hairdresser cuts a good five inches off your locks, for all the wrong reasons.

In bid to avoid the endless tears and deep desire for your long hair back, I've composed a guide that’s introduces you to the different face shapes, showing you a variety of hairstyles that are sure to be the perfect match.


Defined by a wider forehead and prominent cheekbones, if you have an oval face you’re one lucky girl. With the oval shaped face pretty much anything goes. There are no restrictions. From Jennifer Aniston to Megan Fox, cuts can be as dramatic or as subtle as you like. The only thing that I would recommend is to try to stay away from bangs as they will make your face look square. Other than that, feel free to enjoy that ultra-edgy pixie crop or masses of boho curls.


If you have a round face the width and length is most likely to be the same, with the widest point being the cheekbones. Similar to the likes Scarlett Johnson, this face shape is often considered the cutest due to the curved jawline and full cheeks. When it comes to re-styling, opt for simple Mila Kunis like layers, or for those feeling a little more adventures a Cameron Diaze-esque bob.


Those with a long, diamond shaped face will have a small chin, small forehead and prominent cheekbones. The face will be narrow with elongated features. Just like our friends who have round faces, almost all cuts suit this face type. Blake Lively and Sarah Jessica Parker have proved swept bangs look particularly nice on you girls, but hairstyles which reach your top and sides are a massive no-no as they will make your face look longer.


The most exotic of the bunch, the square face features a prominent, sometimes angular jaw line with the forehead and cheekbones being the same width. I recommend playing down the jawline and trying to stay away from styles that draw attention to your cheeks. Instead opt for soft curls or choppy ends. Not only does this give hair volume, it also creates the subtle Angelina Jolie-like look every girl desires.


Known for a prominent chin and slightly narrower forehead, those who have a triangle shaped face should look up to the likes of Rihanna and Reese Witherspoon. If you’re for a short, punchy do, go for a haircut that’s fuller on top and reaches the chin. This gives the illusion that your face is longer and strays the attention away from your jawline. Equally for longer hairstyles, you can divert the attention away from your more prominent features by donning swept bands that place all focus on your eyes.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Thursday, September 18, 2014



Last weekend I went to Butserfest Festival in Hampshire - which you can read about here. The event was no alcohol, no drugs, day-long music festival, that's catered for teenagers and young adults. This year there were a variety of rock bands performing including Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout, Feed The Rhino and many more.

Eager to try out my new GoPro, I decided to make a little vlog of the day. It's my first one and I was a tad hungover/tipsy so please be nice! I'm hoping to do more of these in the future, so keep your eyes peeled and subscribe! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Emma Matthews
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014



As most of you know I have a serious love-hate relationship with Boots. I always find myself popping in there to pick up bits and bobs that quite honestly I don't really need. Recently I was exposed to a new service the store are offering where Boots have teamed up with No7 to create a new Match Made Lipstick Service. Sounds fancy right?!

The service uses an electronic gun to match up your skin tone. All you have to do is take off a little bit of your makeup and lay it across your cheek. Once it's read your skin tone, it will then give you your skin colour and a list of lipsticks which No7 think will suit you best - a.k.a your perfect match.

I first tried the service in my local Boots and couldn't have been more disappointed with the result. Similar to the actress featured in the video above, my skin tone was also considered to be 'Honey' - a shade which I think is a little too dark for my complexion.  Although I tried to tell the sales assistant this and showed her my base products in my makeup bag, she quickly dismissed me and stood by the electronic gun's reading. Something which I thought was a little rude and almost forced.

The lipstick I was recommended was a red shade called Blushing Tulip. Again, I didn't really think I suited the colour - I like bright, bold lipsticks and the red is a wish-wash hue that I couldn't see myself wearing - but despite my distaste, again I almost felt almost forced to buy it due to the pushy sales assistant. She clearly wasn't taking no for an answer!

In the end I reluctantly bought the lipstick and thought that maybe I could try and dress it up or down with different colours and shades at home. After all, I'm sure many of you have grown to love a certain lip colour with certain eye make up, vice versa. But unfortunately I couldn't get anything to work!

Don't get me wrong, I liked the lipstick itself and though the texture of the product was amazing. It's lovely to apply to your lips, with the pigment being rich and smooth, however I definitely wouldn't let Boots 'match' me again. Instead I'd rather opt for my own choice of colour and end up with a lippy I could actually use. But what do you think? Have you tried Boots No7 Match Made Lipstick service? Let me know in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014



There's no denying it, when it comes to starting a blog things can seem a little daunting - particularly the whirlwind task of trying to find a layout or template that gives your blog a professional boost of character. When I first started Beauty and Rags, I made all my templates from scratch with the basic HTML skills. But as my readership started to grow, I wanted my 'virtual space' to have a polished finish, so invested in a layout that was created by a professional blog designer.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a paid layout is the be all or end all, but for me it helped me transform my blog into something that has managed to generate money and be a form of income.

To help all you newbie bloggers out there, I've put together a list of my favourite blog designers. There are some great ones about online however they can often be tricky to find if you don't search the right places. Hopefully this post demolished the doors to those 'places' - so to speak - and will give you an insight into what companies are around and the type of bloggers they cater for.


For those of you who are looking for a custom made design Berry Vary is the place to go. Sure, the designs are a little more expensive than your usual pre-made ones, but believe me when I say they're worth it. Lashed in artistic license, they're ideal for those wanting to stand out from the crowd and create a niche design that no one else has. Prices start at $180 for Blogger and $400 for Wordpress.


As you can see from my current layout Pipdig is one of my favourite blog designers. The company offer a range of sleek pre-made and custom-made templates for both Blogger and Wordpress. It wasn't until I bought my Pipdig template that I began to work hard on my blog and maintain the motivation to do so. I love the way my posts look now and for the first time feel proud and completely content with my work. Price wise, the company have pre-made layouts on sale for as little as £29. All prices includes instillation and all my queries have been delt with within 48 hours. What more could you ask for!?


Where as Pipdig offer minalmalistic designs, for those looking for something a little more girly, I'd definitely recommend Pretty Wild Things. The company have been created gorgeous layouts for years now - all of which feature stunning pastel colours and dainty little illustrations. Cute, right?! Similar to Pipdig, Pretty Wild Things also offer a range of pre-made and custom-made designs - with ready-to-buy blog designs costing as little as £23.


Honey Bunch designs also offer a custom-made service, where each layout is completely unique. Ideal for the bold bloggers out there, each design features heaps of colour and daring graphics, that raise an eyebrow for all the right reasons. Again compatible for both Wordpress and Blogger, Honey Bunch are definitely the place to go if you want a layout that's a step outside from the usual blogger norm.

So there we have it, four of my favourite blog designers! Let me know who designed your blog layout in the comments below. Do you have any recommendations?

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Monday, September 15, 2014



This weekend I was at Butserfest Festival in Hampshire. Overall the day was a blast - expect from the killer hangover I acquired from the night before - and there were some great bands performing. More footage of the day, as well as my very first video vlog, will be posted in the next couple of days. In the meantime I thought I'd share with you my reviews of the day and give you an in sight into the three bands I wrote about for Hit The Floor Magazine.


With a microphone in hand and an leather jacket at the ready, as I Divide front man Tom Kavanagh hit the stage to the first chord of rowdy crowd-pleaser ‘Runaway’ Butserfest attendees knew he was here to conjure up trouble.

Soaring straight into the song’s catchy gang harmonies and powerful medley of riffs, the vocalist wastes no time roaming the small stage, as he jumps up and down with the five-piece's boisterous guitarists Josh Wreford and Henry Selley.

“This side how you doing?” he yells, raising an arm in bid to get a response from the relatively still, pokerfaced cluster of people staring up at him. “This side how about you?” he continues, only to be met with the same unimpressed expression as the last.

Like true professionals the band refuse to give into the moody aura of teenage angst. Hurdling on top of an amp, bassist Kristen Hughes is joined by drummer Dave Mooney, with the pair working together to provide the thundering backbone of intense anthem 'Cold At The Bottom'.

As the set quickly moves onto current single 'I'm Not Leaving' and the equally vigorous 'Follow Me', Kavanagh's distant demand of "Are you ready to party? I said are you ready to party?!" echoes off the stage's scaffolding. Despite all their efforts, the audience seems far from captivated by the amount of passion and energy the band have put into today's performance. Nonetheless the band gave it their all, the only wish being that the crowd gave a little more back and as the saying goes -unfortunately - it takes two to tango. Or should we say "party"?


As Welsh rockers Kids In Glass Houses grace the stage for their last ever festival performance, it's quickly made clear that for some members of the crowd, tonight's set is sure to be an emotional affair. Having been a band for over 10 years, the five-piece decided to call it quits way back in February and with their last ever farewell tour taking place in three weeks time, tonight's performance highlights how the end is quickly on the horizon.

Rather than dwell on the past, frontman Aled Phillips makes it clear tonight should be a celebration."Where the fuck you at Butserfest?" he demands, encouraging the crowd to join along in opener 'Give Me Want I Want', as he reaches out to the audience, taking in the chorus of chants which surround him.

Equipped with infectious riffs and catchy lyrics, that could easily be a drunk - or in this case very sober - singalong, it's easy to see why Kids In Glass Houses are a band that are going to be missed. Their punchy take on alt-rock and energetic live performances have become a somewhat signature, with fans in awe of their every move as they soar straight into 'Artbreaker', 'Youngblood' and hugely popular 'Sunshine'.

Throwing the microphone stand down half way through the set as he leapt across the stage in all directions, it wasn't like Phillips would be going quietly and as a band you wouldn't expect Kids In Glass Houses too either. Sure, their were plenty of dry eyes in sight, with each member remaining fairly composed, but as the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens, and by the looks of things for the future, this door looks like one which that's optimistically about to be sealed shut.


If there's one band you can count on to pump up a crowd and turn a group of overcharged teenagers into a frenzy, where they stick their middle fingers up and rapidly collide with each other in the middle of a circle pit, it's Welsh six-piece The Blackout.

Known for their bold stage presence and even bolder use of language, tonight wasn't any different as co-vocalist Sean Smith hurdles his way into the crowd dragging metres and metres of microphone cable behind him. "I'm a fucking riot you're a fucking riot," he screeches, while getting grabbed around the neck and pulled in to capture a selfie with a mass of fans, who seem more than enthused about his crowd debut.

On stage, the energy is just as fierce where second vocalist Gavin Butler is around, encouraging the front row to put their fists up and jump in time with the track's ample riffs and thundering backbone.

As the set ascends into a rapid blur of older material - classics 'We're Going To Hell... So Bring The Sunblock', 'This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things' and 'Higher and Higher' to name a few - the two frontmen hastily begin to do what they do best and work up the crowd to the point where they're wrapped around their little fingers.

As they ascend and begin to draw the performance to a close with piercing anthem 'Top Of The World', fans sprint to the top of the hill only to do forward rolls down it on Smith's command and with security hot on their heels, as they chase after the throng, you can easily see how the band have got more than a few members of staff hot under the collar.

Despite being together for over 11 years, the amount of energy and intensity that The Blackout pump into a crowd still remains their signature. Judging by tonight's performance and the fact they've got a new EP Wolves out this autumn, none of that looks set to change. The only difference being we'll probably start seeing more walking sticks in the mosh pit rather than iPhones. Roll on 2025.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: George Powell

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Sunday, September 14, 2014


Admittedly summer may be over but that hasn't stopped me from adding to my somewhat ridiculously sized, somewhat ever growing sunglasses collection. I'm jetting off to Florida this Christmas, before heading out to New York after, so have been on the look out for a statement pair of sunnies that will not only provide me with all the fashion quotient of the season, but also serve the essential purpose of protecting my eyes from those harsh Orlando rays. Cue: Atelier Eyewear.

Founded in 2013 by Tim and Kate, Atelier Eyewear are a luxury eyewear specialist that provide consumers with a wide range of custom-made designs, where they can change things like the colour of the frame and tint of the lenses.

Recently I was asked to review the Atelier Eyewear service and make a custom buy for my holiday. Obviously I jumped at the chance - after all who's going to turn down the chance to make their own personal pair of shades? - and thought I show you the process I went through to get the stylish pair of shades you can see photographed above. Let's begin.


The first thing you need to do when you visit is select a frame. The brand have a wide range of sunglasses and optical frames that can be styled up or styled down in the 'Customise' section later - so don't worry too much about the colour. Instead focus on the shape and whether it's a style you would see yourself wearing. From oval frames to sleeker cat eye ones, there's plenty to chose from! Once your happy with the frame you've selected click 'Customise Now' to move onto the next step.


As previously mentioned the brand specialise in custom made eyewear, this means you can change the colour of the frame and tint of the lenses. Sure some other brands may offer the same service, but what makes Atelier stand out even more is the fact they let you 'virtually' try on the frames before you buy them. Great right?! In the 'Customise' section you can either upload a photo of yourself, use your webcam or select one of the pre-existing models to try the sunglasses on. This is a great way to see if the colours and tints, pictured on the right of the screen, suit you and/or are hues you could see yourself wearing.


Once you've overcome the battle of picking the frame and the colour, it's time to measure your face. At the checkout, the website will direct you to the screen featured above. This is where you take 2 webcam photos of yourself holding a credit card under your nose and just below your ear. It's important you follow these directions carefully as they will result in the size and shape of your glasses. After all there's nothing worse than buying a new pair of frames that slip down your nose every second!


Once you're done, you have the option of personalising your sunglasses even further. I got my initials E.J.M engraved on mine, but you can have any message as long as it's a maximum of 20 characters including spaces. Overall I think this is a great little service and definitely gives the glasses a personal touch if you plan on giving them to a friend or loved one as a present. After you've done that simply pay via your card or PayPal. See it really is as easy as one, two, three.

So I've discussed how you make your glasses but do they live up to the hype and more importantly the £265 price tag!? Well the answer to that question is a hands down yes. To me, the product is high quality and the frame I selected fits my face perfectly. I no longer have to face the fear of my shades falling off in the sun - pardon the pun - and/or worry about having to readjust them when they begin to slip.

Equally all the designs are stylish and can be teamed up with a variety of different outfits. In addition, the glasses aren't emblazoned with outlandish designer logos. Many high price brands love featuring their logos on the side of the arms and sometimes I think it can look a little tacky. With Atelier you have none of that. Instead they offer a high priced, quality product that's logo free yet still looks expensive and in some way 'designer'.

The service of the company is excellent. When I had issues taking the photos for the measures, the staff were quick to reply to me and responded to my emails in a friendly yet professional manner. They even went the extra mile and added a sunglasses case and cleaning cloth to my order. Now that's 10/10 in my book!

Overall I love Atelier and would definitely plan on investing in another pair of sunnies when the time comes. But what do you think? Would you ever buy Atelier glasses? Do you like the sound of custom-made frames?

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Saturday, September 13, 2014


There's nothing worse than your favourite necklace snapping or your go-to ring turning your fingers green - yuck! So with that in mind, I've been on the hunt for quality yet affordable jewellery pieces that not only quench the thirst for this season's cosmpolitan-esque fashion quotient, but also last a lifetime. Case in point: Laney Del Jewellery.

Founded in 2014, the brand specialises in creating chic sterling silver pieces that mix together on-trend aesthetics through girly motifs and statement symbols. Ideal as either a gift or stylish treat for yourself, the Laney Del have a range of designs that suit a variety of styles, including rings, bracelets and necklaces.

Recently I received the Laney Del Love Ring. Priced at £16, the affordable buy is great for everyday wear and the design is both flattering and comfortable. The ring itself is sturdy and durable. Best of all it's made from sterling silver, which means it can stand wear and tear without turning an off orange or green colour like cheap jewellery does. Let's face it girls, there's nothing worse than having to take jewellery off to do tedious tasks like hoovering or even worse... washing up. 

Personally I wear rings on a daily basis so plan to dress the design up and down. For the day, you can easily create a stacking affect with other silver jewellery and/or statement gem pieces. As for the evening hours, there's nothing stopping you from letting the ring do the talking, by letting it fly solo with nothing but a bold manicure and tall glass of your favourite cocktail for company. What do you think of Laney Del Jewellery's pieces? You can shop the collection at

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Friday, September 12, 2014


When it comes to an ultra-glam night out I think many of us will agree that long, luscious lashes are a must. After all they go hand in hand with sultry eyeliner and a smokey eye every girl hope to achieve when they get dolled up to go our for the night. Personally, I'm not a massive fan of falsies. I've only worn them twice and the times I did I felt more like an extra in TOWIE than a Hollywood starlet.
Thankfully there are many alternatives for girls out there who like me aren't too keen on dabbling about with glue and spider-like strands. One of them being, the eyelash curler.

Sure, it may be considered a little old fashion - after all it is most definitely a classic when it comes to beauty tools - but don't let that put you off as it can easily create a subtle swift that adds bold impact to your lashes.

I use an eyelash curler on a daily basis and can honestly say - heart on hand - that the results are amazing. I love the way my lashes look and it's most definitely one of my go-to face tools. However, after a freak accident with my last curler - probably my own fault for shoving it in a makeup bag full of all my other gel and liquid products - I was on a desperate hunt to replace it with an equally long lasting, equally effective product. This is where the Eye And Mighty Eyelash Curler by Bella And Bear comes in.

Designed by the same retro, pin-up brand that sell the popular Hair She Goes Removal Kit, which I reviewed in a previous post, the curler is an amazing little tool that has made it's way into my makeup bag for good. Priced at £29.99 - now in the sale at £12.99 - it has a similar shape as your everyday curler, the only difference being that the grip is far more sturdy than the old Superdrug one I was previously using. Not only does this make the spring flexible making it easy to grip onto your lashes, but also comfortable. Let's face it, there's nothing worse than curling your lashes only to end up pinching your lids in the process. Ouch.

The frame itself is fairly sturdy with the handles being plastic and easy to use. In addition they're a bright pink colour, which adds to the feminine packaging and makes a change from the boring old silver ones which grace the shelves of many drug stores.

Sure to some of you the price of the curler may be a little hefty, after all Boots and Superdrug are selling basic curlers for a couple of pound, but if you want a tool that lasts and actually gives you effective results I'd seriously recommend Bella and Bear. Especially as it's now in the sale! Talk about bargain!

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Thursday, September 11, 2014


Sure summer season is over but that doesn't mean we shouldn't maintain our skincare regime. Yes, soft, flawless skin is associated with sunny rays. It's bikini season after all . However even on those dark gloomy nights, where were trekking back to our houses through rain, wind and god knows what else, it's still important to have well maintained, healthy looking skin. Not only does this improve self confidence - who wants a breakout in their 20s? - but also decreases the chance of skin-related illnesses.

Recently I was sent two products by leading skin care brand BioDerma, which aims to help skin on a daily, day-to-day basis. The first product I received was the BioDerma Hydrabio Exfoliating Cream. Priced at £7.39 the cream is a gentle moisturising scrub aimed at dehydrated and senesitive skin. Just like most scrubs the cream is easy to use. First start by applying it onto damp skin, scrubbing it in circular motions. After you've done that and are happy with the result, leave it on for 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing it off and drying your skin with a towel.

The solution itself is made from tiny particles which is a drastic change to the sugar came scrubs I've used in the past. Not only do the size of the particles make exploiating skin easy, as they don't scratch your arms or legs like harsher and larger scrubs do, but it also means a little goes a long way. That's always a plus! Equally the smell of the product is amazing and it gives off a soapy scent that adds to the fresh, silky smooth feeling. Swoon.

The second product I received was the BioDerma Hydrabio Moisturising Mask. The product is a face mask that again targets dehydrated and sensistive skin. Personally, I'm not a massive fan of face masks, as I've explained in previous posts when I was younger I suffered from acne and my skin has been prone to the odd break out now and again. However in true beauty blogger fashion, I decided to give it a go and hope for the best.I applied the mask after using the scrub onto and followed the instructions, leaving it on for 10 minutes. After, I simply washed my face in warm water and patted dry. Over all I was fairly impressed with the results. My skin definitely felt a lot smoother to touch and I haven't had a breakout since using it. With instant results, the brand recommend using it once a day for a week and then once or twice a week. And with these results, who could say no?! Have you ever used any BioDerma products? Leave a comment below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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