Using Cotton Backdrops in Blog Photography

When I buy a backdrop for my photography work, it’s a multi-use purchase. I can use it for blog photography or I can use it for my portrait photography. A backdrop very rarely has one use in my world – maybe because I’m savvy or maybe I’m just cheap. Either way, whenever I do add one to my collection, I always tend to sway towards backdrop paper or vinyl. I’ve never tried material backdrops, which tend to be made from cotton, as I presumed they’d crease easily.

So, when I was offered the opportunity to test and review a cotton backdrop, I was delighted. Courtesy of iBackdrop, I was gifted a backdrop in exchange for a review on my blog.

I ordered a simple white brick backdrop with a pink rose pattern – it’s pretty enough to add something special but it’s also simple enough for me to use it in blog photography and portrait photography. I have hopes of using it in my newborn photography too! I did have a hard time choosing which pattern I wanted because the range of backdrops on the website is amazing – from simple patterns such as wood walls and floors to balloons, bunting, scenic views, fairy woods and dinosaurs.

iBackdrop Rose White Brick Photography BackdropiBackdrop Rose White Brick Photography Backdrop

Whilst a lot of the backdrops are more suited to portrait photography and children’s photography (such as cake smashes), there are a lot of options for bloggers too. I regularly use wood vinyl off cuts for my blog photography, which takes up quite a lot of space. Instead, using a cotton backdrop, which can be folded for easy storage, would save a lot of room and maybe allow you to have a wider range of backdrops for blog photographs!

Here’s a sample of just some of the backdrops they sell:

BackdropsBackdropsBackdrops

The material itself is lovely. It didn’t arrive creased, which I was very surprised about, and it actually feels a lot more like velvet than cotton. It’s a heavy material, meaning it will hang nicely and it’s not remotely see-through which is a problem I’ve seen in other, cheaper backdrops. The pattern itself is not as sharp as I would have liked, but as a backdrop doesn’t tend to be the focus of an image, that’s not a problem at all. In blog product photography, for example, the focus would be on the products, with a lovely shallow depth of field to blur out the background.

Blog photography is a huge part of blogging and any way of being able to improve it is always welcome. People tend to stick with what they know or what a lot of other people also use, which doesn’t easily allow for change! Cotton backdrops are an ideal substitute for the whole range of options that bloggers have out there, whether you’re using wrapping paper, coloured A4 sheets, vinyl cut offs or your shiny white desk. You can add so much more variety to your photography with these cotton backdrops.

Sleek Matte Me Lipsticks iBackdrop Cotton Backdrop

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I’m really happy with this backdrop and I’m sure it will be regularly used in both my blog and portrait photography.

If you’d like to have a look at their range of backdrops, you can find them at www.ibackdrop.com.

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

I was gifted a backdrop from iBackdrop in exchange for a review. As always, all views are my own. 

Patisserie de Bain: Creme Pâtissière Review

If you’ve ever wanted to rub the sweet scent of vanilla all over your body, then you’re going to love me for introducing you to Patisserie de Bain.

I picked up this gorgeous gift set (which includes a shower gel, a body souffle and a vanilla-scented body scrubber) from Superdrug a couple of weeks ago. It was actually a free gift for buying two selected skincare products and I didn’t even realise what a little gem I had my hands on until I got home.

Patisserie de Bain: Creme Pâtissière Review

Before I even gave the products a sniff, I did a quick bit of research to check if the company was cruelty-free, vegan friendly and/or owned by a nasty parent company. I was over the moon to discover that not only are all of the products cruelty-free but they’re almost all suitable for vegans. The exception to the rule here is the lip balm, which does include beeswax. Routine checks, done.

Simply opening up these products was heavenly. The vanilla scent hit me immediately and it’s really, really mouthwateringly realistic. Both products smell equally as beautiful, too. The shower gel does take a bit of effort to lather up nicely, but you really can’t complain too much as the scent lasts on your skin all day. The body souffle, which is just a fancy way of describing a body butter or body cream, is absolutely perfect. It’s thick, it’s moisturising and it dries quickly, leaving you smelling fantastic.

I’m in love with this set. I, stupidly, presumed that these scents would be the company’s only choices but I was so wrong. There’s a massive range of other scents, including lemon bon-bons, cranberries and cream and orange zest. You bet I’ll be going back for some more!

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Have you ever tried any Patisserie de Bain products?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Superdrug Store Opening, Beverley

Being a cruelty-free kitty, Superdrug is my idea of heaven when it comes to buying new skincare and cosmetics. Alongside the shelves of cruelty-free brands, Superdrug even has it’s own completely cruelty-free and vegan line of cosmetics and skincare called B. So, as you can imagine, I was super pleased to be invited to the opening of a new Superdrug store at Beverley’s Flemingate shopping centre.

Beverley Flemingate Superdrug Store

Superdrug stores are always super colourful and this Beverley branch isn’t any different. It’s pretty pink in there! As expected, there are aisles full to the brim with practically everything health and beauty related but it’s not the pretty aisles that make this store stand out, it’s the beautifully mirrored back wall, full of high-street make-up. Each stand towers around six-foot tall and displays such a range of cosmetics that any lipstick lover would throw a wobbly just looking at them all.

Towards the back of the store, you’ll find a Beauty Bar. This little gem offers eyebrow threading and tinting right there in the store. If I hadn’t recently tamed my own eyebrows, I’d of loved to try this out for myself! With it being at the back of the store, it’s nice and out of the way too so if you’re a bit shy (like me!) you wouldn’t be put off.

Beverley Flemingate Superdrug Store

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Whilst I was there, I also picked up up some goodies for myself. (How could I resist?)

I have tried a couple of Superdrug’s  cruelty-free ‘B’ products in the past, but I hadn’t ventured into their skincare range. My trip to this brand spanking new store was the perfect excuse to try something new, really, so as well as a Makeup Brush Cleanser, I picked up the B. Confident Day Cream and the B. Nourished Night Serum. 

Superdrug B Skincare Product Review

I’m still in my early twenties, so I’m not particularly covered in wrinkles but I do have the tenancy to scowl or smile way too enthusiastically. Before these little lines get any worse, I thought it would be a good idea to try something out. Both the day and the night creams are supposed to help with the prevention of early signs of aging. It’s only been a week or so since I began using them but I’ll be sure to share the news if these end up being miracle workers.

Either way, they both smell fantastic and they soak into the skin super quickly. This is especially a bonus for the night serum, as you don’t wanna be going to bed with a sticky, moist face! As far as face creams go, they’re really lovely.

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I really enjoyed my trip to Flemingate! Whenever me and Matthew go to Beverley, we always end up gravitating towards this place because who doesn’t love a shopping centre?

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

I purchased these products with a complimentary gift card for visiting the store. As always, all views are my own. 

Lush Review | Fizzbanger Bath Bomb

Lush is practically famous for the extravagant displays that the majority of their bath bombs perform. The Fizzbanger Bath Bomb is very simple in appearance, but that doesn’t make it boring. It’s a citrus delight! The beautiful yellow outer shell protects a centre of bright blue, which fizzes and pops thanks to all that popping candy – the resulting colour is a toxic lime green.

I absolutely loved the final colour of the water from this bath bomb! I don’t recall ever having a green bath before, so it was a bit of a novelty too. Green is my favourite colour so I was sure to love it, but it definitely was a shock. Looking at that lovely yellow bath bomb, you wouldn’t imagine it creates something so green!

Lush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb Review

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The scent of Fizzbanger is what stands out to me the most. It has a very strong citrus smell on first sniff, but then you begin to pick up the apple and spicy undertones it has. It’s kind of like a sweet apple pie, with a little bit of cinnamon! It’s really lovely. I found that the scent didn’t last the entire time I was in the bath, but it lasted long enough to leave its scent on my skin which is a big thumbs up from me.

It’s a slow fizz meaning it sticks around for much longer! It also means there’s enough time for a very simple display. Unlike the multitude of colours a lot of other Lush bath bombs produce, Fizzbanger sticks with yellows and blues. They can swirl together like a Catherine wheel or the overpowering yellow can creates little rays of sunshine in the tub. Either way, it puts on a good show.

Once the bath bomb has completely fizzed away, you’re left with the lime green resulting water and a white creamy layer on the surface. This is incredibly moisturising so I sat there soaking myself in it’s loveliness for a very long time – it was one of the nicest baths I’ve had in a while! It’s a pretty all-around great bath bomb to be honest. I do highly recommend it.

Lush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb ReviewLush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb ReviewLush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb ReviewLush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb ReviewLush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb ReviewLush Fizzbanger Bath Bomb Review

Lush’s Fizzbanger is a simple looking bath bomb with a simple but effective performance once it’s plopped in the tub and a very, very beautifully sweet scent. I can imagine this will go down a treat in the autumn months!

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Have you ever tried this bath bomb? What did you think?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Sleek Matte Me Haul

Say hello to my make-up must have. When I was looking for a new cruelty-free brand to try, I stumbled across Sleek. Coincidentally, I’d heard a lot about their range of liquid lipsticks called Matte Me and, because I’d never tried one before, I thought I’d give them a go.

The first Matte Me product I bought was Shabby Chic, a pink nude. It quickly became my favourite lip product of all time – it’s equal parts casual and beautiful. I was so shocked that it lived up to the hype, to be honest. It lasts a full day: it’s kiss proof, it’s drink proof, it’s food proof and it’s smudge proof. I couldn’t believe it. After that, I knew I wanted more.

They’re absolutely ideal for work because you really can’t faff about reapplying lipstick when you should be working. On the flip side, they’re also fantastic for nights out, where your normal lipstick is prone to smudge after all that food and drink. For £4.99, you really can’t go wrong. They’re incredibly good value for money as, unlike a lot of lippies, you don’t need to reapply over and over again throughout the day.

Sleek Matte Me Haul

After a a pretty big Sleek haul (which also included the Original eye shadow palette and their volume mascara), it’s pretty safe to say I’ve got a slight collection now. I’ve tried Fired Up, Velvet Slipper, Petal, Shabby Chic, Fandango Purple, Rioja Red and Bittersweet. Believe it or not, I’m not massively in to make-up. I just bloody love lipsticks, so I have a lot of love for these beauties.

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Although Shabby Chic will forever be my favourite, Fandango Purple and Rioja Red are too beautiful not to share. They’re both incredibly bright colours so they’d look immense if you were to dress up, but they’d be equally striking if you were keeping it simple. See, that’s why I love lippies – they’re just the perfect accompaniment to any outfit.

Sleek Matte Me Rioja RedSleek Matte Me Fandango Purple

Both of these shades have a different formula to the initial Matte Me products that I bought. They’re more matte, a little bit more difficult to apply and, like I said, so bright. Shabby Chic and Bittersweet, on the other hand, glide on smoothly, quickly and look way more natural. That doesn’t mean I prefer them, of course. They’re all wonderful in their own way. For me, I’ll be keeping the pinks and nudes for the day and those darker shades for the evenings!

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrum Review

Lips don’t really get a lot of attention when it comes to skin care, I think. Well, mine didn’t used to, anyway.

In the winter, I get really sore and dry lips so I eventually got into the habit of applying Burt’s Bees lip balm every night before bed, just as a precaution. My lips are now in the best condition that they’ve ever been in. They’re so soft and lovely – if you’re looking for a lip balm that works, try Burt’s Bees. Anyway, this post is about Lush, not Burt’s Bees!

Lush’s lip scrubs are just another step towards super soft lips. They’re perfect for getting a ready base before applying liquid lipstick. If you aren’t sure what they are, it’s a lipstick that you apply like a wet gloss, but it dries completely and turns into a matte lipstick. They show up all the lumps and cracks in your lips, so having scrubbed lips before hand is a must. I think all of my favourite lipsticks are liquid formulas, so I use this scrub a lot!

Bubblegum Lip Scrub 2

Because it’s Lush, it’s completely cruelty-free and it smells absolutely sublime. If you have a sweet tooth, this is for you because not only does it smell great, but it tastes great too… you heard me… If you’re a fan of Lush, you might recognise the scent from the Snow Fairy range because it’s from the same family. It tastes how you would imagine Snow Fairy to taste.

To apply it, you just scoop out a little (really little) amount onto your finger and rub it all over your lips. Give it a good scrub until you can feel that your lips are really soft. Then, you can just lick off the excess and enjoy the sweet taste! That’s the dream.

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub Review

Get scrubbing!

I guess it looks a bit silly when you’re doing it, but it’s worth it for the taste alone.

This is actually one of my favourite products. I bought it for £5.50 at Lush around Christmas time and I’ve barely scratched the surface. It’s definitely worth the money.

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Have you ever used a lip scrub?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

6 Cruelty Free Brands I Love

Me and Matt made the choice to only buy from and support cruelty-free companies about a year or so ago, after the gradually overwhelming disgust became too real and too unavoidable. Why companies still test their products or ingredients on animals is beyond me, especially when there are so many alternatives. There are countless incredibly high-end companies that are against animal testing, so the argument that it ensures high quality products is ridiculous. At the other end of the scale, there are so many super affordable brands, that I use daily, which also stomps all over the argument that it’s too expensive to avoid testing on animals. It’s a completely rubbish, barbaric and outdated practice that companies should be ashamed of.

Animal testing isn’t washing fluffy bunnies with shampoo or putting lipstick on beagles… it’s upsetting and nasty. It’s monstrous.

Cruelty Free Make Up Products I Love

Anyway, before I go on a rant, I’ve learnt a lot over the past year. I’ve learnt which companies do test and which companies don’t – there is even a huge grey area. I used to think it was a confusing mess but I’m finally comfortable with what products I buy and what I avoid, making life so much simpler.

Some of the brands that I stumbled across in the past year have provided me with some of my favourite, go-to products! If you’re struggling to find some fantastic cruelty-free products then I hope this snippet of my cruelty-free make-up and toiletries is as helpful for you as it is for me.

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Superdrug

Superdrug’s own brand has been an absolute gem. For a very long time, we were struggling to find a cruelty-free toothpaste, of all things. We then eventually found out that all of Superdrug’s own brand products are cruelty-free (including so many different toothpastes!). All of our toiletries are now bought from Superdrug and they’re all great. I have incredibly sensitive skin, so finding a new brand of make-up wipes could have been a challenge, but Superdrug’s are perfect and my skin hasn’t ever been so lovely.

B. Make-up and Skincare

B. is Superdrug’s exclusive line, taking pride in it’s fully vegan and cruelty-free range of products. From the lipsticks, to the mascaras, to the daily face creams, I’ve never been disappointed and this is one of my go-to brands when I’m running low. Living relatively close to three Superdrug shops is a bonus too!

Lush

I am sure you’ve heard me ramble about my love for Lush… I’m sure of it. Lush is fantastic and it’s, without a doubt, my favourite “treat-yo-self” shop. Not only is this place completely cruelty-free but a lot of the products are even vegan and incredibly natural. It’s a little slice of heaven – the smell of the shop alone is enough to make me smile!

Sleek

Sleek are absolutely incredible. This make-up brand is pretty low-end yet I’ve found one of my all time favourite products from this company – their Matte Me lip creams. These lip products are completely kiss proof, drink proof and food proof, they come in a selection of beautiful colours and they’re only £5 each! They last all day so they’re perfect for work days, when it’s hugely unprofessional to be reapplying your lippy… Like Lush, a lot of Sleek’s products are vegan too.

Gosh

When looking for some new cruelty-free products to try, I recently stumbled across Gosh, it’s great range of mascaras and the many, many shades of lipstick they have to offer. The current mascara I’m using (Crazy Volume Mascara) is amazing and it’s probably the best one I’ve ever tried – it gives length, volume and a deep black colour. I have really pathetic eyelashes, they’re practically nothingness, yet it still works great on me so I can only imagine it’s sublime for people whose eyelashes have a bit of length!

Next

When I was Christmas shopping in Next, I stumbled across their perfume range. They all smell so beautiful but I was wary… I didn’t think a big shop like Next, that isn’t exactly known for it’s toiletries, would be cruelty-free but I had a check anyway. There was an ambiguous cruelty-free logo on the back – I could have left it there, but I didn’t recognise the cruelty-free organisation so I had a Google! It turns out, they are completely against animal testing and don’t participate in anyway. I have three perfumes from Next and they’re all just beautiful – if you wanna feel fancy without a fancy budget, grab yourself “Gold”. You’ll instantly feel magnificent because it’s bloody gorgeous.

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There are many, many more, but I think these six are my favourite.

What cruelty-free companies do you love?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

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