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Unique Trend: Pearl Engagement Rings

Traditionally when buying an engagement ring most people tend to opt for diamonds. But if you are someone who doesn’t like to follow the crowd, then why don’t you consider something different?  

 Pearl engagements are certainly worth bearing in mind. Pearls are classic and have long been a favourite in the world of jewellery so you never have to worry about the ring being viewed as unfashionable or outdated. You don’t have to completely disregard diamonds either. A centre pearl with diamonds surrounding it can look beautiful. The options are endless!

Nonetheless, classic beauty is not the only reason why pearl engagement rings are proving to be popular. You should also consider the symbolisation of the pearl as well. The pearl is a symbol of harmony, humility, and purity – which could be the perfect representation of you and your partner's relationship and a beautifully underlying message.  
So, how could we go about choosing the perfect style for your significant other? Whilst the many options and variations are endless, style is obviously important. As just mentioned, you don’t have to go for a ring that just contains pearls. Why not go for a pearl in the centre and then small diamonds around the band of the ring? Take a look online for some inspiration. You are assured to find something you like. 

In fact, going down the custom made route is definitely worth bearing in mind. You will be able to have a pearl engagement ring designed to suit you and you can get custom gift boxes to put it in too. Also, you will be the only person in the world with that piece of jewellery. It doesn’t get much more special than that, does it?!
In addition to this, you should consider the colour of the pearl. There are many different shades for you to select from. Dramatic colours, such as purple and deep green, are undoubtedly interesting and highly fashionable. Nonetheless, most people prefer sticking to the traditional pastel and creamy tones that are associated with weddings. A lovely ivory or pale pink can work a treat.   

Aside from this, you also need to take into account the lustre of the pearl. When it comes to diamonds you are looking for that stunning reflective quality that gives the diamond that beautiful sparkle. This is down to the cut of the diamond. On the other hand, when it comes to determining a pearl’s level of quality you need to be looking for a good lustre. This is how you get that stunning iridescent quality. Without a high lustre the pearl can easily look dull.  
Last but not least, the final point you will obviously want to bear in mind is your budget. The great thing about pearl engagement rings is that they tend to be significantly cheaper than diamond rings. If you look around you should be able to find a good deal. Remember, it’s not about what it costs, it’s about the beauty and the meaning.  

All in all, it is certainly not difficult to see why pearl engagement rings are emerging as a popular solution nowadays. However, make sure you take into account all of the points that have been mentioned in order to ensure you find the perfect one for you. After all, you are going to be wearing it for the rest of your life!
 *Contributed Post

Storage for Home-Based Retailers

Whether you are looking to move house and need to store some of your belongings in order to show your house off to its best potential or need somewhere to store your furniture during the move itself, it seems very straightforward to arrange this for the items we have within our homes. But what about retailers? When it comes to small retailers, it is quite possible that self-storage options are not something that most business owners have considered although they probably should have. Here are just a few reasons why they should take a look at this very practical and ingenious solution to any storage issues they may have!

In recent years’ internet business has boomed and there are many small businesses that operate on a mail-order basis, for example Etsy stores. Quite often for they are run by someone working from home as this is a very cost effective way of running a small business. It keeps costs down with no expensive rent to pay on business premises, however, mail order businesses rely on stock to operate and the best way to make your stock work for you is to buy in bulk. This simply isn’t a practical option for many people who work from home. Local self storage units offer the perfect solution to this problem, with units available in a variety of sizes from smaller empty units to larger ones with shelves. With prices of storage units being significantly cheaper than renting business premises (especially those with extra storage), small business owners are turning to storage companies for the perfect solution.  

Most modern self-storage companies offer state of the art security on site. For the small business retailer this is fantastic news; for a reasonable monthly amount not only are they able to store their stock conveniently but they have the peace of mind that comes with knowing it is secure. CCTV, security alarms, swipe card access and on-site security personnel are just some of the security precautions that many storage companies use in order to make sure that their customer personal items are secure.  

 Customers should also be able to take advantage of a range of insurance options when they store their items in self-storage, making sure that everything is covered. It can often be difficult to store too much stock in your own home because it can add significantly to your insurance or worse still, not be covered by your insurance company. 


Filing and archiving are sadly a very necessary evil of many businesses, whatever their size. Keeping paperwork for a number of years is a requirement. For the small business, this can present a problem if space is at a premium. Self-storage units, however, do offer a very good solution to this problem. Archives, whilst needing to be kept, are rarely something that needs to be looked at on a day to day basis. Storing them off-site can be an inexpensive solution to a problem that faces those small businesses which have space at a minimum. 

*Contributed post

The Two Products That Cleared My Acne

For as long as I remember I have always had bad skin. Not so much as spotty, more so red, blotchy and uneven. Foundation has been a mask for many, many years and I'm ever so grateful that high-coverage foundation and concealers exist. My skin has always been red but I was very fortunate as a teenager not to get too many spots. I would get the occasional one but I never had acne, nor did it ever get me down. Until recently.

I would say the over the last couple of years my skin has become progressively worse. It was becoming even redder and blotchier than before and it was becoming harder and harder to hide with make-up. My skintone was getting more uneven and my once fairly oily complexion was becoming quite dry. I would say the beginning of last year was when it started to get worse and I put this down to stress. Whilst my skin bothered me, no-one had ever commented on it before last March, when I had my Cabin Crew training. We had to do our wet drills in the water (obviously) and we couldn't wear make-up for it. I was quite self-conscious of my skin anyway but not being able to then hide it with a few layers of Doublewear made it even harder. I wouldn't had said my skin was particularly 'bad' on this day but someone on my course did take it upon themselves to comment on how bad my skin was and that has always stuck with me.

I then flew all summer and my skin just got worse. Everyone tells you that flying makes your skin bad and whilst I do agree, I wouldn't say it was as horrendous if you were a passenger as it is compared to if you are crew on board. Being Cabin Crew you work 12+ hours a day, the majority of the time a lot more than that and for that whole time you are wearing heavy make-up. It often gets re-applied during the day so you are having layer upon layer applied and this happens 3-5 times a week. I would always try and make sure I wouldn't wear make-up on my days off but when you try and make plans and see friends on those days, it's not always possible to be make-up free. You also get that catch 22 situation where your skin is bad so you wear more make-up to cover it, but it's the make-up itself that it making your skin bad so you can't ever break free!

My skin was the worst it has ever been in January. I only fly seasonally so I haven't flown since November and I had another job from November until January and I told myself that in January I would get my skin sorted out. Why in January, do I hear you wonder? Let me paint you the scene. I had had an allergic reaction to my eyelash extensions so my left eye was incredibly swollen. I had had lip filler injected so my lips were swollen, and I walk into my house and look at my Mum and all she can say is "wow Louise, your skin is bad" - no mention of my fat eye or massive lips!! So I booked a doctors appointment the next day and was surprised when I was diagnosed with adult acne. 

We all know what acne looks like, which is why I was so surprised when the doctor took one look at my face and said "oh yes, you have acne" as to me, this doesn't really look like acne. I don't have big, deep pores or scarring. I don't have a lot of actual, sore spots typically associated with acne but the doctor explained that there are many different types of acne out there. That said, every time I get a spot now I have noticed that it lingers for a very long time under the skin even though it's not noticeable on the surface. When I explained this to the doctor he said "acne!" and signed off a prescription for me. He said that I also had rosacea which I did think I had and he said that there are tablets I can take to help control that but for now let's just sort out the acne and boy, has that prescription worked wonders!

The prescription I was given was for the tropical cream Duac. This is obviously a prescription which I now have as a repeat and I will probably continue to use it until either my doctor decides I don't need it anymore or they stop producing it! My pharmacist recommended I keep it in the fridge so when I apply it it's nice and cool on the skin. I apply a pea-sized amount to my problem areas (ie, everywhere) after I cleanse my face in the evening and between Duac Cream and the cleanser I use which I will mention in a second, my skin is pretty much cleared!! In the before and after photos above, the photos were taken less than two weeks in between them, so it basically took just under two weeks to clear a problem that I have struggled with for many, many years. Obviously my skin has reacted well to this magical cream and I know that some people aren't as lucky and have to go on Roaccutane etc, which was what my doctor said I might have had to try if this cream didn't clear my skin up but I'm so, so glad it has reacted well to it as I know the side affects to Roaccutane etc are really unpleasant. 

Along with the Duac cream, I only use one other product on my skin. These two products are literally the only thing that touches my face from now on. I even have a different towel now for my face just to make sure that nothing else touches my skin as I don't want anything to trigger it. The doctor suggested I didn't use any fancy, expensive cleansers or anything that was over-perfumed or heavily scented. He suggested Simple products but during a personal training session with my trainer Hebe who is on Roaccutane for her acne, she told me about a charcoal cleanser she had heard about which had really good reviews online. I looked it up and the reviews were amazing and as it was only £6 in Boots, I thought it was worth a try! It is called the Carbon Theory Charcoal and Tea Tree Facial Cleansing Bar and it is essentially like a black bar of soap. I use it morning and night (after I have used it at night time I then apply my cream) every single day without fail. Using a wet muslin cloth, I rub the cleansing bar onto the cloth until it has a black foam, then rub it into my face gently and leave it for about 30 seconds before washing off with warm water. It doesn't make the skin feel tight, it makes it feel lovely and fresh and considering it has tea tree within it, the scent isn't overpowering at all.

It is worth mentioning that I've tried (and pretty much failed) to drink more water since January but also and probably more worth mentioning, I haven't really worn make-up since January. I think I have worn make-up twice since the beginning of January and it's now the middle of March. I have really let my skin breathe throughout that time and it's probably a mixture between the cream, the cleanser and no make-up which has cleared my skin up. This isn't possible for everyone and I go back to work in April so I will have to start wearing make-up again but because my skin is now soooo much better than before, I don't need to wear all of the heavy foundations or concealers anymore. I will probably just buy a really lightweight tinted moisturiser and wear that to work, along with a some bronzer to give my pale skin a bit of life! 

I honestly can't believe how improved my skin is. When I show people my before photos, no-one ever believes it is me. They always say "but your skin is so clear now?" which goes to show how well those two products have helped my skin. My skin is still slightly red and I think I will have to go back to the doctors regarding that at some point but I'm so glad the acne itself is under control. I do still get days where my skin is a little spotty and if I do get spots they tend to linger for longer than usual. But even so, I can't believe how different I now feel about my skin and I don't mind being seen without make-up now which is incredible considering this time last year I wouldn't have been seen dead without it. I always used to think "oh I just have bad skin, I will have to live with it" but no, you shouldn't have to just live with it. I only wish I went to the doctors sooner!

Duac Cream - Prescribed by a Doctor

How To Choose The Best Jeweller

Working in a jewellery shop for 4 years was a real eye-opener for me. Whilst my job title was just 'sales-assistant', it was so much more than that. I learnt so much within my time in the job and whilst I don't do it anymore, it's something that still interests me and even now I still find myself giving people jewellery advice. I was once even on a flight and a passenger was struggling to set his watch so I did it for him as I used to sell the watch he owned!

Choosing the best jeweller is no simple challenge. When you have a special piece of jewellery and a substantial amount of money in the company’s hands, you recognise how important it is to choose with care. This post is here to provide you with all of the information you need to know in order to make the best decision.

First and foremost, it is important to establish what a jeweller actually does. By doing this you will see how crucial their role actually is. A jeweller takes on a wealth of different tasks. They make, clean, repair and even restore jewellery. However, the most creative part of their job is undoubtedly jewellery design. This is where their artistic flair and imagination come into play. Therefore, jewellers must be competent both practically and creatively.

What should you look for when selecting a jeweller?
Reputation – One of the best ways to determine the worth of a jeweller is to read reviews that have been left by previous customers. What do they have to say about the jewellery they purchased and the service they received? This is the only way to get an honest assessment regarding the company. If they have a bad reputation this is something you should surely be able to pick up on.

Bespoke service – The best jewellers offer a bespoke service. This relates to the earlier part regarding a jeweller’s job involving jewellery design. By offering a bespoke service, customers know they can have a piece of jewellery designed and created that fits in with their wishes and their budget.

GIA certified diamonds – In the world of jewellery there are two main adornments, diamonds, and pearls. Unfortunately, there is no official grading system for pearls. However, many companies do use the A, AA, AAA method. When it comes to diamonds, GIA certification is recognised all over the world. This grades a diamond based on its colour, clarity, carat weight, and cut. You should always look for a jeweller selling GIA certified diamonds, as this is the best way to be certain they are of a high quality.

Price –  This certainly does not mean going for the cheapest jeweller you find. If you do this you are almost certainly going to suffer from a lack of quality. Instead, look around online and get an idea of the average price regarding the piece of jewellery you wish to purchase. You can then compare this against the jeweller you are considering. A lot of people wonder how much they should spend on engagement rings. Some jewellers provide payment plans. If not, you could look into bad credit secured loans online. The truth is, there is no right or wrong. You don’t have to spend three month’s wages on a ring. Purchase what you can afford and don't get yourself into debt because of it.

Communication – Your first conversation with the jeweller will be telling. It is not always about what they know, but their ability to communicate with their customers. You need a jeweller who can easily explain all of the ins and outs regarding diamonds, metal choices and alike. This is especially the case when going for a bespoke service, as you want to be fully aware of the process.

*Contributed Post