Friday, 24 October 2014

autumn: what's not to love?

autumn well and truly has us here in the uk in its grasp now, and all i've seen these last couple of weeks is an abundance of blog posts celebrating its return. i'm adamant that i can't be the only brit alive that hates autumn/winter, so i thought i'd pop by today to share a few of my autumn related gripes in the hopes that someone, somewhere may feel the same way!

dark mornings
isn't getting up on a morning hard enough without then feeling like you're waking up in the middle of the night?

dark evenings
as soon as the sun goes down i go into chill out mode, meaning pyjamas go on and a cup of tea is made ready for me to snuggle up in bed to chill out watching a tv series or reading blogs, but when the sun's well and truly gone by 5pm you really can't be affording to sack the rest of day off like you'd desire to.

struggling to maintain a reasonable temperature
dressing for autumn is the worst. as the temperature drops, of course you want to pull out all of your knitwear to keep snug outside, but you'd better then believe that entering any heated building is gonna be like entering the fiery pits of hell. 

defrosting your car
obviously it's only applicable to those who own cars, but come on, does anybody like defrosting their car? of course not, and autumn so kindly* brings the frost and the need to defrost cars with it. 

*not kind at all, fuck you autumn.

a deceptive sun
just to rub the change in seasons in your face, of course the sun will be shining coldly while you stand defrosting your car. do not trust the autumn sun, it tells nothing but lies. 

soggy, leaf trodden paths
ah yes, the age old idea that with autumn comes the falling of crispy leaves that we can all frolic around in happily, however if you're a brit, you'll know that the reality is more likely to be soggy, trodden leaves filling the streets that ruin your shoes and get dragged into your house for you to clean up later. not so lovely after all. 

it's funny to read through my list of gripes and know that some of them were listed in others' blog posts as things they love, because i cannot for the life of me work out why anybody would enjoy any of them! if you're also more of a spring/summer baby and are mourning the loss of summer, please do share some of your own autumn/winter gripes below – i'd love to read them!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

e.l.f. volume plumping mascara

mascara's not something that i purchase all that frequently, simply because it doesn't behave differently if you're having a bad skin day like things such as foundation, concealer and powder may do, so generally i find something i like and i stick to it until it runs out, and i think my new favourite to stick to is definitely this e.l.f. mascara. 

the mascara is branded as a volume plumping one, however i've found it to be great for creating volume, definition and length, so for £3.95 you really can't go wrong if you're looking for a good three-in-one mascara. another great thing about this product is that it stays put pretty well; it's not described as a waterproof mascara, but it definitely does take a lot of moisture to make it budge! i've cried with this on and it's gone absolutely nowhere, which really did take me by surprise (pleasantly so, though!) application is also a breeze because i've only ever had to use one coat to achieve incredible lashes, and i've been more than happy to wave goodbye to old mascaras that've required multiple coats before my lashes were looking up to standard. 

for a volume plumping mascara, the brush itself isn't unpleasantly big and i think it'd be suitable for most people to use because it easily coats top, bottom and inner lashes well without making a horrible mess. i'd wholeheartedly recommend this product to anyone who's in search of a new mascara because for £4 it's incredible value for money and it's easily as good as (if not better than because it's cruelty free!) benefit's they're real mascara that i used to use before making the switch to cruelty free cosmetics. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

collar full

hat: h&m
necklace: lilac edge
shirt: charity shop
dress: hand-me-down
boots: primark

when adding items of clothing to my wardrobe, dresses in particular, it's important to me that they can be teamed up well with a good ol' collared shirt to be taken through into my a/w wardrobe, and this hand-me-down dress i received from my mum over the summer fits the bill perfectly. teaming what i think is a slightly sophisticated floral print with a shirt and leather gives it a more casual feel that is more appropriate for day to day wear as opposed to evening wear, as i like to wear the dress alone with some chunky sandals. when finished off with my trusty bowler hat and a statement red lip i'm good to go!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

saturday scribbles

today i've an assload of sketchbook/development work to share with you all to apologise for last week's sorry attempt at a saturday scribbles post.

so, first up: the top illustration is scary similar to some of gemma correll's work, i know. it wasn't until i began applying colour that i realised it, but then i thought what the heck i may as well go ahead and finish it off anyway for ~development~ purposes. if anything, putting that together has once again seen me be slapped around the face by the 'simple but complex' stick, where in which if something looks like it was thrown together, i can assure you that hours of work most definitely went into it; tessellating dogs into a repeat pattern is hard work

in other news, i'm thinking self promotion might be taking a dogs vs. cats slant because if there's anything that divides folk, it's the dogs vs. cats debate (dogs are superior though, just fyi) and folk of the illustration/design type are often known for freelancing amongst their canine and feline friends, so hopefully it'll produce some materials relevant to the people i'm trying to target, and probably beyond those too! 

while i'm happy with the direction of my thinking, once again i'm pulling my hair out over my ability to illustrate. i've had moments this week sat at my desk crying over how i couldn't draw a dog, moments crying because i can never develop anything past sketch form into something worthy of merit, and moments crying because at the minute i feel like throwing in the towel and giving in altogether because i just can't seem to produce anything that doesn't fill me with dissatisfaction. i've said it once, i'll say it again: drawing well is hard. i'm struggling so bad at the minute, but i'm hoping i can keep my head up and work through it until i see the light at the end of the tunnel and a finished illustration that i'm not so horribly ashamed of. 

while i'm not overly happy with anything i've shared above, i do understand the importance of sharing the intimacy of failed work for purposes of self reflection and being honest with and engaging your audience, so hey, i've tucked away my ego and laid it all out here for you to see how horribly embarrassing a place my sketchbook can be at times.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

keeping your makeup on your face

as you've probably guessed from my oh so eloquently worded title, today i'm going to talk to you about the importance of a primer and setting mist when it comes to making your makeup stay put for the duration of the day. 

it probably makes sense to talk you through the products in chronological order of application, so first up is this gosh primer that i've been using since the beginning of the summer. the product itself is of a nice, light consistency that applies easily and smoothly, leaving your face mattified and feeling a lot more smooth and perfected to touch. it's not often i skip primer when slapping on a full face of makeup, but on the days where i have done due to forgetting i've definitely known about it; without the smooth base the primer creates, i've found that foundation and concealer just don't work into the skin as well as they should. blending them in takes much longer, and i find that concealer in particular is much more drying and tends to flake more around my nose when i don't first apply a primer. i've found primer to come in handy on days where i don't want to wear makeup too as applying a little bit helps to reduce the oiliness of my skin and keep my face looking matte and fresh all day rather than a big ol' oily mess. 

as well as primer making makeup application much easier, it also helps with the longevity of your makeup. when i haven't worn a primer, i've noticed that my base tends to rub off in patches and it becomes really bloody obvious where i have and haven't got makeup left on my face, yet when i wear it it seems to sit perfectly in place all day, and while my makeup may wear off a little throughout the day, it seems to wear off somewhat evenly as i'm not left with horrible patches that highlight where the makeup has rubbed off. altogether i find that a primer helps to maintain an even distribution of product all over your face rather than allowing it to collect in places, and i'm all for an even, more natural looking coverage. 

moving onto the makeup mist and set, and i'll be honest, i don't find this to be as vital as a primer for keeping your makeup in place, but i've found that it's a nice finishing touch to end your makeup routine on regardless. this elf mist is odourless and non-sticky and it feels like you're spritzing your face with water, but obviously it has the added benefits as mentioned on the packaging. while i don't think this setting mist alone keeps my makeup on my face all day, it does help to tackle the oiliness of my skin as when i've missed this step i've noticed a bit of shine on my forehead and cheeks forming throughout the day. it's probably because a spritz of this after applying your makeup helps to form a seal that mattifies your entire face, making it less likely for the oil to work its way through your layer of makeup, but i really am in no position of expertise to be making such bold claims, i can just tell you that it definitely works for me. 

i've never branched out into more expensive setting mists or primers so i couldn't compare these to any high end rivals, but i think the fact that i've never felt that i needed to says enough about the quality of these products; at the end of the day, if it ain't broken, why try to fix it?

Monday, 13 October 2014

electric together

 fedora: depop
crop top: topshop
choker: lilac edge
necklace: primark
jacket: ebay
belt: primark
jeans: primark
boots: primark

when the going gets tough, i'm finding it's pretty easy to still maintain a more personal style focussed blog, probably because i have to throw clothes on at least four days a week and half an hour is easy to find to snap and edit pictures and throw together a paragraph or two about whatever's relevant on the day. i've felt a bit disconnected from my blog, work and the internet in general lately due to freshers and now my dissertation work, and i'm getting to a point where it's beginning to bother me. i want to be creating and writing interesting things, but i'm struggling to find the time to do so when books take hours to read and gathering and analysing information, quotes and references ends up taking days at a time, which ends in me feeling too exhausted by the end of every day to even want to think about blogging/drawing. meh, third year, right?

whiny excuses aside, i headed out in this ensemble last friday and i've never felt more like i was trying to look like a blogger. ripped jeans are everywhere at the minute, and when i spotted these in primark i was too curious to not try them on, and after a bit of deliberation i decided that i loved them. i ended up grabbing a size up and although they're far too big around the waist and can only be worn with a belt, they fit like a dream on my legs because i prefer a little bit more room and less of a skinny look. when teamed up with some chunky boots and a fedora i definitely felt like i was ticking all the relevant 'fashion blogger' boxes. i don't know if i found the whole thing more funny or sad, but i felt good regardless and i'm sure that's probably the most important thing!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

sunday synopsis

well, this sunday evening i can share a positive and a negative with you. the positive is that, god damn it, i've actually managed to grow my fringe out and am more than satisfied with how it's looking! a strange positive you might think, but for the last two/three years i've attempted to grow it out, got so far and found to too awkward to deal with before giving in and cutting my fringe back in, so altogether it's a pretty good personal achievement of mine, hell yeah

the negative is that i'm feeling just as lost in regards to my self promotion work as i did last night. i've done a bit of doodling throughout the day and have resolved the issue somewhat with a bit of an idea about where i should attempt to push myself next, but i still just feel so horribly disconnected from it and fear that because self promotion is the brief that runs throughout the year at the back of other projects it'll just become neglected throughout the year and then rushed in the final couple of months and just end up being an altogether shitty module, which i really can't afford if i want to go for a first overall. i know, i know, grades aren't everything but i know i can achieve a first, so why the hell not try?

while i'm finding myself unenthused by a self promotion module, i'm really looking forward to getting my teeth sunk into the macmillan competition again this year. over the summer i conjured up some ideas for a picture book which tackles my thoughts and feelings in regards to my new york visit, and while i'm thinking visually i might struggle with producing the artwork for the book, i know i can have so much fun with my main character, storyline and the characters my protagonist will bump into along the way. this enthusiasm is encouraging for me because it reminds me that my mojo hasn't been lost altogether, it's just been a little dampened as of late.

huh, i don't really know. it's not just my work i'm feeling a little disconnected from, but life in general, really. i don't much feel like myself recently and don't really have the get up and go to do much, whether it's uni work, personal work, blogging or working out, and it's no good for me at all. it's weird, i tend to get like this towards the end of summer/beginning of autumn every year so maybe for the sake of my mental state it makes sense to flee somewhere with a pleasant temperature all year round if and when it becomes a possibility for me. it's bloody tough putting up with yourself at times, ain't it?