Friday, October 31, 2014

The Upgrade

I'm a one-at-a-time mascara type of girl (despite what the image above might show!) so the mascara that I'm using has to really tick all of the boxes. When I first bought the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara it was love - it gave nice length and definition to my lashes, held a curl and just generally volumised them as the name would suggest. However, there was one tiny problem that was a total deal breaker for me - it transferred terribly. I have dry skin - my eyelids are never particularly oily but this mascara would transfer to both my upper and lower eyelids within the space of an hour - definitely not an attractive look. So I popped back to Boots after a few weeks of daily panda eyes and decided enough was enough. Now, I'm not usually one for waterproof formulas because they are usually quite hard to get off, but I had to see for myself whether Bourjois could redeem itself with the waterproof version of their oh-so-nearly-perfect mascara. So, enter the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Waterproof Mascara, the slightly more stubborn cousin that I was relying on to save the day (ah, the wild life I lead). Now, in terms of formula, this is almost as good as the original - it feels slightly different, but I have learnt to accept that because... it doesn't transfer! Hallelujah! I'm a little disappointed that I had to purchase the waterproof version in the first place - but hey! I eventually got what I wanted, so what more can I ask for?


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween: The Dark Fairy

I've never been a huge 'OMG IT'S HALLOOWEEEENNNN' kind of girl, but when Lord & Berry and Mark Kay offered to send me over some bits to play with, I could hardly resist creating a fun Halloween look for you all. The beautiful violet shade of the Mary Kay Midnight Jewels Eye Colour Palette in Sapphire Noir* paired with the gorgeous Lord & Berry 20100 Lip Crayon in Diva* instantly brought a dark fairy to mind - and I kind of just let my imagination run free with this one!

The gorgeous purple tones of the Mary Kay Midnight Jewels Eye Colour Palette, along with a touch of liquid liner, a dab of glitter and a pair of (slightly dodgy!) eyelashes made for the perfect pair of sinister-looking eyes. I also used the same glitter and one of the darker colours in the palette on an angled liner brush to give myself some wild looking eyebrows! I then used the Lord & Berry 20100 Lip Crayon in Diva to really darken up my lips (such a gorgeous colour by the way!) and then dabbed a bit of the lightest violet colour from the eyeshadow palette over the centre of my lips to give them more of a mystical feel. Finally, I drew some random swirls and designs on my cheeks using the same liquid liner, and then dusted a bit of the violet eyeshadow over to add a glow and luminescence to them. Et voila! All you need is an all-black outfit and some battered wings and you're good to go!

Do you like this Dark Fairy look? 
What are you planning to dress up as for Halloween this year? Let me know in the comments! 


The products marked with an asterisk (*) were sent to me for reviewing purposes, but all opinions my own. No payment was received for this post, apart from the products themselves.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

My Favourite Apps

CalenMob (free) -
I'm going to elaborate on my blogging process in an upcoming post, but Google Calendar is a huge part of the planning stage, and this handy little app means that I can access my schedule when I'm out and about without a having to use a browser. A lifesaver when you spend most of your life on the move.

Kindle (free) -
Whenever I have a spare minute to read (which is becoming less and less frequent!!) I love that I have the Kindle app on both my phone and iPad Mini and it's always synced. 

Memrise (free) -
As a language student, you need to be practising continually, and although I don't use this awesome app as often as I should, it's one of the best I've come across. You can make your own vocabulary lists or use one of the thousands already created to improve your language skills, whichever language it may be. Their website is also great for brushing up!

5K Runner (£1.99) -
If you're like I was a few months back and had never run in your life (unless forced) but want to give it a go, this is honestly the most amazing app to help you. I've talked more about it here, but basically each run builds your stamina up slowly, so you start with something like 1 minute running, 2 walking, and then a few weeks later you'll be up to 4 running, 3 walking etc. It is a great app for beginners and I would whole-heartedly recommend it!

Scanner Pro (£1.99) -
This app has been one of the most useful things I have ever purchased. I know, it sounds a tad boring but it has honestly saved my life on more than one occasion. Basically, this app takes a picture of anything you want to scan and creates a black and white version of it so it actually looks like it's been properly scanned. It then turns it into a pdf, and straight from the app you can email it, upload it or print it. It's great for paperwork on the go, and I've also used it to 'scan' a chapter or two of a book from the library that I needed for an essay (quite stealthily I may add!) I couldn't live without this one!

Clue (free) -
Not only is this one of the best period trackers I've come across in my time, but it's also the most discreet. Neither the name 'Clue' or the app icon looks at all incriminating (unlike SO many out there), and the whole design and functionality of this app are on point. Definitely one of the best apps out there for this type of thing. 

I know, I know, I'm a terrible human being for liking this but it's become my current 'click-on-when-bored-or-procrastinating' app, and despite it's ridiculously repetitive nature, it's just so goddam addicting!

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Photography Bible

This book was sitting in my Amazon basket for a good few months, waiting for it's turn in between uni books for it's chance to arrive on my doorstep. A few months back, I finally gave in after admitting that my photography really wasn't where I wanted it to be, and it's has really helped to improve my photography.

The books starts off with a really detailed and helpful guide to cameras - a look at different types and how to drive them, what lenses you can buy, information about the different settings and modes, and then it moves onto extremely important and slightly more advanced topics like aperture, ISO and shutter speed. This was the main attraction for me, as although I haven't really shot in 'automatic' for a year or so, it's all been experimentation so I wanted to really discover how to use and manipulate all the different settings to achieve the perfect shot. It also covers a few aspects like field of depth and metering that I had found confusing in the past, but it explained them in such simple terms which was great. 

Then it moves on to actually taking the picture and deals with topics like composure, as well a covering themes such as 'landscape', 'pets', 'weddings' and many more, so there are tips and tricks for every type of picture, which I think is an amazing idea. One of my favourite features is that throughout the book there are pictures that the author has taken, and besides each one all settings/lenses etc. are listed so that you know exactly how they achieved the shot.

Part three covers post-production - looking at exporting, editing and work flow - which although really useful, wasn't that important for me as I have a lot more experience in that area. However, if this is an area that you lack knowledge in, then it's definitely a great chapter.

Finally, the author touches upon how to make a living out of photography and provides detailed case studies to show examples of real, working businesses. Again, this was another very interesting read. 

The first, more 'technical' section of the book was by far the most helpful for me, but it honestly depends what knowledge you start with and what your natural strengths are. I studied art throughout school so I have quite a good eye for composure etc. (if I do say so myself!), so the other sections were more useful for me, but that might be completely different for you. Overall I think this is a brilliant book for any of you photographers out there, whether you're a complete beginner or consider yourself quite a pro - there's always tricks to learn! My only wish is that the technical chapter was a big longer, but again that's personal preference! 

The Busy Girl's Guide to Digital Photography is available through for about £12.50 depending on the seller. 

Have you read 'The Busy Girl's Guide to Digital Photography' or have you read anything similar? What did you think? Let me know in the comment section!
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

#Use or Lose - Eyes

My last edition of #Use or Lose was just before I moved back from Madrid earlier in the year - well the time has come to reshuffle and reorganise my beauty stash back here in England at my university residence. The concept is easy, I give myself a month with these products, and I either use them, or I lose them. I'm writing this about a month or so before this post actually is scheduled, so that at the end of the post I can update you on what made the cut, and what got passed onto another, more loving home. 

The Suspects:

Models Co. Duo in Goddess
A pretty, neutral duo that unfortunately never really get's it's time in the sun (both literally and figuratively!) The brown shade in this duo is really lovely, but I find the lighter colour a bit clumpy and prone to creasing.

No7 Trio in Cappuccino
Again, another lovely set of shades that gets overshadowed by the likes of my Urban Decay and MAC palettes. The trio contains a nice shimmery highlight colour, a soft taupe and a golden brown (think MAC Tempting but smoother). The upside of getting rid of this is I know that a lot of my friends would use this to death if they got their hands on it!

Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Pink Pearl
This is a tricky one - the colour is gorgeous and very 'me', but I simply cannot work out how to get it to work on my eyes. At the counter, the pigmentation is gorgeous, but I can't seem to get any colour on my lids! Maybe mine's a dud - but I'm determined to keep trying!

Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Aubergine
The colour and quality of this eyeshadow are excellent - it's just not a colour that I ever seem to get much use out of. 

Calvin Klein Eyeshadow (shade unknown)
This colour is slightly peculiar - it's nearly a terracotta colour but with a slight golden tinge to it. It's nice enough but compared to other eyeshadows I own, it just doesn't compare when it comes to quality, application or longevity. I'm sure I can find a nice home for it though!

The Outcome:

Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Aubergine - although I didn't use it much, I still think it's a really useful colour to have in my collection, so it's staying!
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Pink Pearl - I STILL haven't cracked this, but I will!!

Calvin Klein Eyeshadow (shade unknown) - Like I said, this just doesn't stand out enough for my, and if I kept it I'm sure it would continue to gather dust. Off to a friend it goes!
No7 Trio in Cappuccino - A gorgeous trio which I would honestly recommend if you don't have anything similar - but I have a million shades like the ones in this so I think it's only fair that it moves on to someone who will use it more than I have.
Models Co. Duo in Goddess - I got this in a beauty box and I've never been that bothered about it, so I'm not really losing anything by passing this on - hopefully one of my friends will get a lot of use out of it!

Have you got some cleaning out to do? Try this #useorlose method and tell me how you get on!

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