Hello!

I’m Shannon and www.shanylou.co.uk has been my corner of the internet for the past 5 years. It all started out as a hobby whilst I was studying at school. I wanted to write about all the budget friendly finds I had found whilst only spending my £30 a week from my small Saturday job and share it with like-minded budget finders. Over the years, my blog has grown and expanded to feature an array of different topics from cruelty free beauty, mental health, music and to travel.

Shannon is an A Level graduate of Media Studies and Photography and is currently working in financial services. (not her ideal job but it’s a job for now) Shannon dreams of becoming a self employed photographer or working in a photography firm either photographing wildlife or whilst travelling.

Shannon has a massive passion for animal welfare and has turned her blog cruelty free by only using cruelty free products and brands. She has also gone vegetarian with her food and tries to be vegan were possible.

FAQ

What is your blogging schedule?

I try to post every other day unless I am running low on content and need to work on some new posts. It’s very hard to do blog photography and work on new content as well as my full time job. I try to do my blog photography at the weekend which is the only time I get to use the natural lighting that comes into my bedroom. (I am looking into getting some decent lighting set up for my bedroom sometime soon.) My posts go live at 8:30am.

What do you blog about? What is your blog about?

My blog is based around budget/affordable topics for those who love a good bargain, who are students (as I was one myself) and those who are working with a budget. I blog about beauty, lifestyle, music, travel, advice and any other little thing that pops into my head. I am also a newly turned Cruelty Free blogger so I will now blog about all cruelty free brands and makeup products.

Do you get paid for your blog/writing content?

No, I do not get paid for writing content. Everything featured or written about on my blog was paid for with my own money. If any post/product is sponsored or sent to me by a brand, I will disclose so in the post. My opinions on products are completely my own, whether it was purchased or sponsored.

Are you under an agency?

No I am not under an agency. I am a completely independent blogger.

When did you start your blog?

I set my blog up on the 24th November 2012 but my first blog post was published in January 2013.

What camera do you use?

I use either my Google Pixel 2 or my Olympus PEN EP-L7 with either my pancake lens or wide angle lens and tri-pod.

What brands are cruelty free?

I try to feature only cruelty free brands on my blog but the odd few do slip the net. You can either browse my favourite cruelty free brands using this list here or check out my cruelty free start guide.

Which are your favourite blogs to read?
My favourite blogs which I follow the most are featured in my newsletter which you can sign up to here. I always feature 3 of my favourite bloggers posts in my newsletters so make sure you sign up to see who my favourite ones are.
Story behind my URL?
My URL comes from my first and middle name, which is Shannon Louise. Shany always used to be my nickname when I was younger and Lou which is short for Louise; so I put them together to create shanylou and I’ve always liked the sound of it.
What is your lighting and photographing set up?

I am currently exploring and trying to find new ways of making my photos look better at the moment, but for now I am using as much natural lighting as possible which is difficult working full time during the week and the only time I can take photographs is at the weekend. I also use flash on my camera and some minor editing to help brighten up the photographs.

Do you do any photo editing?

I do a little bit of editing, mainly I edit my photos in GIMP (which is a free, permanent and easier to use version of Adobe Photoshop) I also use photo collage apps such as iPiccy and Canva on the web to create collages I use in posts. If the photos I take come out too dark I will always bump up the brightness and sometimes contrast using GIMP. I’m not an editing pro!

When and why did you turn Cruelty Free?

I recently turned cruelty free in June 2016, after hearing so many stories in the news of animals being treated horribly and being killed for things they didn’t do it gave me a kick up the backside to finally make a change. I have always loved animals from being a little kid and I have always supported the welfare of animals. Even from watching animals being killed in movies, I have always hated it. You can read up on more reasons why here!

Who designed your blog and blog features?

My blog design and features were all designed by Giada at Miel Cafe Designs. She was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t recommend her more. She was very efficient and worked really quickly but also produced high quality work for a really reasonable price. You can read more about what she did here.

How can I shop the products you use?
In most cases, the products I use are featured in the blog post in the SHOP THIS POST section, especially if it's beauty related but if not you can check out my SHOP page here to browse my favourite fashion, homeware and lifestyle pieces that I enjoy using daily.