I'll do it all again if I have to

Stufffffffffffffed!  Just got back from Mum's where we had the most delish Easter meal of Italian-style lamb and now I am well and truly sitting on the verge of a food coma.  How was everyone else's Easter?

I rushed to sit down feeling that I really ought to blog but have now realised that I have very little to say.  I think all that remains to be done is to introduce you to these two.....
Meet Coco and Beau!  Absolutely adorable, I didn't realise how much I missed having cats around the house.  They've definitely made my Easter.



Image taken from weheartit
We bloggers all share a common interest; be it fashion or beauty, it's near on impossible for featured/reviewed products not to be duplicated.  Liz Earle's PR team have obviously been busy sending out samples lately, and my subscriptions list has had an influx of Liz Earle reviews.  I'm not bothered by this, but bloggers bear in mind, I probably will only read the first review that pops up in my reading list.

Actual copycats are a different kettle of fish.  I'm aware that there are only a certain amount of fonts available on blogger, or a limited number of backgrounds available unless you're a whizz with html, but modelling your blog on someone else's just cheapens all of your work.  I never look at a blog which is a wannabe LLYMLRS and think, wow, instead I invariably think that they just ripped the original off and often wonder how more people can't see it.  I mention Lily because she's the one I notice this happening to the most.  I don't want to turn this into an "all hail Lily" post, but she is no doubt an inspiration to many (as evidenced by her following and the sheer amount of people who do rip her off) but it's just not fair to copy her layout, features, style of writing ("001, 002, 003..." I'm looking at you) and pass it off as your own.

So what do you do when you spot a fantastic blog and wish yours was more like it?  Simple, DON'T COPY!  If you get a reputation as a copycat you won't attract the right sort of attention.  Come up with a way you can incorporate one or two of the aspects you like (Golden Rule: don't copy another blog in its entirety) and make them into your own.  Contact the original blogger and see if they would mind you developing their idea and using it on your own blog.  A lot of the time they'll be happy to share, as long as you respectfully include a little link back to them to pay them their dues.  See my buttons on the right hand side?  Inspired by Sofia, as clearly stated underneath.  It's just polite!

And what if you are the blogger being ripped off?  Tricky, but try to remember imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Be it features,style of photography, outfit choices or hairstyles.....it only means you're doing something right.  As I said before, I'll spot the copycat blogs and only respect your work more.  And let me pose this question to you...
Are you nobody until somebody copies you?
I'm not openly inviting copycats, but I can't help but feel the reason I haven't been copied is because I'm not a big enough blogger.  Looks like that's just one of the downsides that having such a huge following attracts.

On a final note, Jen summed it up far more neatly than I, on Twitter last night: "If you think someone's stealing your style (of writing, photography, design, whatever) don't get mad.  Adapt, so you're always unique.  People will always follow.  You have to be the one to lead."  ....quite good, eh?

So let's end this negative post with a little bit of love.  If you're looking for some interesting, original content, stylish outfis or beautiful blogs then check out these ladies below.  But remember, it's ok to be inspired....not cool to copy.  In no particular order.....
Milly, Lily, Morven, Jen, Emma, Claire, Beth, Victoria, Kelly, Victoria (again!), Michelle, Mariannan, Lauren, Chloe and Sofia.

What are your thoughts on this touchy issue?  Have you ever been copied?


Product Review: Stila Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturiser

As I wrote my primer post the other week I started reconsidering my make up regime.  At weekends I use Chanel Mat Lumiere, Body Shop Nature's Minerals during the week.  But lately they haven't been working for me.  I've been getting patchy and hating it.  Something had to change.

I decided to give tinted moisturiser a go, and I'm loving it.  I bought Stila's moisturiser in Medium and it matches me perfectly, blends in seamlessly to my skin and gives an even appearance all day.  It's fragrance-free and you get a hefty 50ml.  Compare this to Chanel's 30ml and you're getting a lot of product for a fraction of the price.

Described as "perfection in a bottle", here's what Stila have to say:

"Stila Tinted Moisturiser is an instant skin-illuminator, combining a tinted moisturiser with SPF 15, and provides barely-there coverage.

Enriched with sweet almond oil and other hydrating nutrients to quench thirsty skin, this featherweight formula is a great alternative to foundation.  Applies easily and without streaking for long-lasting coverage."

I don't tend to stick to one product with my make up regime, but for now this moisturiser is working wonders.  I no longer come home with half my make up worn up.  My one bug bear?  I wish the coverage was ever so slightly heavier.  It does give an even appearance, but not full enough for my liking on problem areas by the end of the day.

You can get this moisturiser here.  I bought mine for the bargain price of £3.70!  What are your thoughts on tinted moisturiser?