April 16, 2014

DIY: Decorative Board


Some of you may know I've been decorating my room over the past few months and it's all very simple and pretty. I was planning to cover my wall in pictures and so forth, but after realising that'd be silly as the walls are all freshly painted I found pictures on Pinterest of  decorated cork boards which gave me the idea for this decorative board. It's a really simple and easy idea to creative some fun decor for your room, you make it whatever colour you want and add anything you want on it but I'm going to tell you the basics on how I've done mine!

You will need:
- A cork board.
- Paint (Colour of choice),  It's a good idea to use emulsion for the board and satin for the frame.
- Paint brushes/sponges.

For decoration you may need:
- Polaroids (I purchased mine at polagram.com)
- Rope string.
- Small pegs.
- Cuttings/pictures/cards etc. 
- Push pins
- Washi Tape
What to do:

1- Firstly you'll need to paint your board. Using a paint brush or sponge you need to paint the entire cork surface, after applying all over leave to dry. After it's dry you need to do another coat, feel free to do as many coats as you want, the more coats you do it will be a stronger colour. 
2- After the cork section is dry you need to paint the edges, this is optional if you would rather keep a wooden edge and just want a normal cork, of course you could just paint the edges and not to cork, it's up to you.
3- After the entire board is dry it's time to hang up unless you're not having it placed on a wall. If you are hanging it, you may need help to ensure it's straight and hung where you desire. If the cork board doesn't come with hanging pieces, you can choose whether to use picture hooks or screws and string. If you're not sure how to hang the board, get some help from an appropriate person or source.
4- After hanging the board its time to decorate. Firstly use rope string to hang across the top of the board, this will be used to peg the polaraid pictures on, like a little washing line! 
5- Add other decorations like pictures and quotes from magazines, which you can stick these on using washi tape to make it prettier, or traditionally pin it. You could also add postcards and whatever else you'd like.

I hope you've liked this DIY post, sorry it's not that great but I'm not too experienced with DIY posts yet!

Any DIY posts you'd like me to do?

April 14, 2014

Blogging Tips: Photography


First thing's first, by doing this post I do not want to come across like I'm amazing at taking photos whether it's for my blog or in general. I'm not doing this post to act like I'm some professional photographer, in fact the main reason I'm doing this post is because I took the photo above for no reason and just thought it would make a perfect picture for a post about photography and I'm pretty sure most bloggers likes tips that could help them. You may read this post and think "wow I'm so glad I know these things now" or you may think "well I knew this already this was pointless"  but either way you'll know what's important in blog photos!

You have probably guessed that this is going to be a long post and I'm sure it will, but I'll try and use pictures instead of words when I'm able to!

Equipment

First part of photography equipment I'm speaking about is of course cameras, the three that are most common to use are phones, digital and DSLRs, each are great for taking pictures but all have very different qualities. 


Phone cameras are not the best camera to use, if you have any type of digital camera I would definitely recommend that instead but with the right lighting and focusing, some phone cameras can take photos really well, I tend to use my iPhone camera when I'm going to Instagram a picture.

Digital cameras are a step up from phone cameras, some can be a bit shoddy and some can be great, I have never used mine for blog posts but I know it can bring great quality photos similar to the quality of a DSLR at a much lower price.

DSLR (Digitial Single-Lens Reflex) cameras are the best cameras to get for photo taking of any kind if you want high quality pictures, I've used my DSLR (Canon 1100D) for every blog post since I began blogging and I really want to save up and purchase a Canon 700D or a similar model as the functions and quality is much better than my low model. DSLR cameras are better for photographs as they create a much more professional photo, even if you're rubbish at taking photos you can always take a half-decent one using any DSLR camera and if you're willing to learn about all the functions available on this type of camera you'll be taking amazing photos in no time.

The next part of equipment, mainly related to DSLR cameras is lenses. On my camera I use the standard 18-55mm lens provided with the camera when purchased, this is a simple lens that can be used for anything, but the more money you spend on lenses the more you can do with your camera but you don't need to worry about lenses for standard blog photos unless you want to do extreme close ups and so on. It's very important you do your research before purchasing lenses as you could end up spending a lot of money on something you don't really need.

The last piece of equipment I'm going to talk about is tripods as they can become very important with blog photos. I have had a tripod for ages yet rarely used it for blogging and when I did start using it for blog photos, I realised how better my photos became as I was able to place products in front of the camera precisely, I was able to do birds eye view shots and more. If you don't own a tripod, all you have to do is stack some books on a table or whatever you find easiest.

Lighting


Lighting is an important factor when taking photos, especially product photos. As shown in the photos above there are different types of lighting and each can have a very different affect on photos. 

Taking photos of products in the light can make the product out of focus and unclear. This also relates to photos of people, if the person has light behind them then they are going to become a silhouette and the same can happen to products.

Taking photos away from direct light but still in natural daylight will make the photo a lot clearer. It's a good idea to take photos with natural light as shadows are less likely to appear, colouring stays normal and photos can be brighter especially on sunny days.

Taking photos with flash can make photos look harsher and areas darker which is why a lot of people don't use flash on blog photos. Flash is also terrible to use when taking photos of people, specifically make-up tutorials/looks as it makes the face shine, whitens the face and shows more shadows. The only time you should really use flash on people is if your showing a flash photography tutorial!

Lastly is room lighting, in my photo I have spotlights on but of course everyone has different lights whether they're main lights, desk lights, fairy lights or studio lights. Studio lights are the best option for photography lighting as they create more of a natural light rather than a yellow tinge but you can buy daylight bulbs for lights which also give more a natural light. 


Focus


Focusing is a very important yet obvious factor with any photography as  you need the camera to focus on what you're taking the picture of otherwise there's no point taking a picture at all as it'll be blurred. The image above shows one of my images slightly out of focus, I did this myself to give you an example but it's easy for cameras to auto-focus on the wrong point meaning what you want to be focused on will be blurred. Cameras like DSLRs have a square that you can move and the camera will recognise that square as the point of focus and will focus on whatever is in that square. 

Composition

This subject relates a lot to focus but before I go on, you need to know what type of photos you want to take, do you want soft pretty photos like Milk Bubble Tea? what about clear and organised images like Ghost Parties? Maybe you like the idea of in depth photos like RosyChicc? Maybe you're like me and want to do a mixture of images! Whatever you want to take, the main thing is creating the photo subject in focus no matter what the background is or isn't.


Above are three examples that I hope show difference ideas of composition, first is the picture being taken from a higher angle but surrounded in other items and if this picture was used on a blog it would be unclear what the picture was meant to be of. The second picture is from a straight angle with the item focused and in the centre, yet very far away and all the items in the picture are also focused and in the centre which again doesn't show what the picture subject is. Lastly is with the other items moved away from the main product, more of a white background is shown and the product is centred and in focus.

You can always have different backgrounds, whether it's a plain white background, lying a product on a magazine, fairy lights in the background, multiple products placed as an arrangement, out of focus flowers and more. There are so many ideas of how to compose your subject, if you're stuck for ideas why not visit other blogs?

Editing

The last subject I'm going to be talking about is editing. I have been using editing sites for a very long time so I'm able to use them without an issue, I currently use picmonkey.com and I've used this for years, in fact it was called "Picnik" when I started using it! Pic Monkey is a very easy to use online editing site, its like a free easy to use Photoshop. For blog photos I tend to use this site for changing the brightness and exposure, but I may also change the saturation levels, add text, create collages and more. There's so much you can do to make your images that little bit special. I also use Photoshop now and again if I want to edit my photos more precisely, specifically photos from my travels.

It's now the end of this extremely long post, I do hope it's helped some of you improve how you take photos, if you have any questions or recommendations to help improve my photos then leave me a comment!

What other Blogger tips would you like to see?


April 12, 2014

Make Up Look: One Brush One Palette

I love seeing make-up looks on other blogs, whether they're traditional or completely out there which has led me to do this utterly mad thing on my face! I don't think the pictures do it justice as it's doesn't look as defined in person, but I better explain what exactly this madness on my face is.


I must point out that this was a completely spontaneous look, I wanted to do something creative and although I did a lot of research, I just grabbed my Accessorize Masquerade palette (review here) and my H&M Blending Brush and made a start. I first applied Maybelline's Babyskin Primer and Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation to give myself a good dewy base as I knew I didn't want a matte look. I then started off a normal eye look with shades 1, 2 and 3 and it went on from there, using shade 4 blending with 2 under the eye and around the nose, creating swirls with shade 5 and using shade 4 around the edges of the swirls and creating dots and going a bit crazy to be honest. 


There are a lot of corrections I would of made for example the chin, definition, separating the swirls more and so on. Considering I only used one palette and one brush and had no idea what I was trying to achieve, it's quite creative I guess. When I started the swirls I was planning to just do them on my cheek and leave it at that, but then after trying to do a simple eye design on the other half of my face and lots of smudges around my lips meant I went a little over the top.  If I did this look again I would definitely keep the swirls to one side of my face, preferably keeping them on the cheek.



 I might make this "one brush one pallete" a series, to see how many looks I can get using the same products and then you can follow my changes and improvments regarding design and application!

Have any ideas on make-up looks I could try? Simple or crazy?



April 10, 2014

Katy Perry Goes Green

Katy Perry has turned heads with her new green locks, showing off on Instagram "SLIME GREEN FOR SPRING"  though she hasn't dyed her full head green, instead she has kept her roots, fringe and even some under layers dark making this look much more subtle.


I kind of like it, after all she is my favourite celebrity so I would never speak against her or her hair, I do think it suits her and it's easy to get used to her with funny coloured hair when we've seen her with every spectrum of the rainbow on her head whether it's dyed or a wig!

I decided after Katy's choice of hair colour I'd do a little research and these are some of the locks I found:


Safe to say green is a popular colour for those who want to be different, whether it's a minty green, pastel, slime or whatever other type of green there is! 

I would love to know your opinions regarding green locks, maybe you even have green hair?! Let me know in the comments!


April 06, 2014

Get The Trend: Pastels

In any magazine there's always sections that help you get the latest trend, whether they're modelling entire outfits or simply suggesting shops and it's those sections that gave me the idea to create this post which I hope to make a regular series. I'll basically choose an ongoing trend, scour websites for ideas and choose clothes, shoes and accessories to match that trend all out of high street shops.

For my first post in this series that I'm calling "Get The Trend" I'm focusing on pastels, this may not be a massive trend at the moment, but is definitely still loved by many, including me. Pastel colours have been a massive hit over the past few months and you can't go wrong wearing them especially now spring is here.




Text T-Shirt- Buy it here.
I love how Bershka have used pastel colours to create this simple yet cute text t-shirt. It can be styled with other pastel colours to create a classy outfit or even paired with jeans and trainers for a laid-back style.

Distressed Denim Shorts- Buy them here.
You can pretend your on Spring break in these pastel violet shorts, they are the perfect pastel item to wear on a hot day. 

Pink SatchelBuy it here.
A pastel satchel was an obvious choice to be included in this trend as they can be found in most shops, but I really like this pink one, also available in pastel blue!

Lipsy Stretch Bracelet- Buy it here.
This Lipsy bracelet has three shades of pastel making it easy to co-ordinate with other pastel accessories.

Bow Hair Barrette- Buy it here.
This pastel green bow definitely fits the bill to add some pastel colour to your hair without looking like you're in the wrong generation. As it's a barrette it can really be used to grip hair in a style you like.

Set of Three Belts- Buy them here.
If you're not a fan of pastel clothing, or just want something a little toned down then these belts are perfect. With three colours to choose you can add a hint of pastel to your outfit without screaming it.

Layered Shell Top- Buy it here.
This top may be a darker shade of pastel but I couldn't resist the simplicity of it. A loose fitting shell top, to be worn in the day or dressed up for the night. It's a shade of blue that works well through many seasons.

Pleat Midi Skirt- Buy it here.
Pastel pink skirts are a fantastic fashion piece for this trend, whether short, midi or maxi. This midi skirt is like being in Dirty Dancing, pair it up with a cute pair of heels and learn the tango!

Short Dress- Buy it here.
I adore the colour of this dress, it's a pale mint green that everyone should love. This dress is very simple, a slight v-neck with little designs at either hip. This dress also comes in a light pink, bonus! 

Leigh Jeans- Buy them here
Nothing says pastel then a pair of jeans, plenty of places do jeans in a mixture of pastel shades but this pink ones are my choice for this post. They're not too bold unlike a pair of lavender or pale yellow jeans, which makes them a lot easier to style and match with other pastel shades.

Heart Print Socks- Buy them here.
It would not have been right for me to not add a pair of socks to this selection! There are plenty of styles to choose from in many stores but these purple heart printed laced socks are so pretty I couldn't resist.

Peeptoe Platform Wedges- Buy them here.
Shoes like these are made for the brave and confident girls, not ones like me who could never pull them off. If you're feeling adventurous why not try the idea of them with a pair of skinny white jeans and pretend your in L.A? 

Chain Necklace- Buy it here.
Chain necklaces have been all the rage for a long time and now they're carrying on the trend trend by adding some colour and lucky for me they're pastel! You can find this one in both pastel pink and mint green!

Patent Block Heels- Buy them here.
The irresistible to mention heels, in of course a pastel shade of blue. Easily paired with any outfit but best worn with midi skirts or a little dress to keep the cute but classy look.

Quilted Cross Body Purse- Buy it here.
Last but not least is this purse that I nearly bought myself a few days ago. It's fantastic for styling up your outfit with a little colour on an evening out or to remove the chain and use daily as a purse, though the gold chain and bar makes it a little bit more exciting.

There you go! I've given you plenty of ideas on how to get in on the pastel trend and I'd love to know what you think of this Get The Trend series idea, maybe you have some trends you'd like me to do? I'm not sure how often I'll be doing this post, but time will tell.

Why not follow me to keep up to date on my new posts? 



April 02, 2014

Brighton Affairs

Last Sunday I went to Wales (blog post here) and this Sunday I went to Brighton. I went with my mum and we stayed over night in the local Premier Inn which in all honesty wasn't too nice, especially when our view was mainly bins and bird poo! This was the first time me and mum have been away on our own and it was lovely too have some mother daughter time. 

Once we arrived, we checked in and freshened ourselves then headed to TK Maxx which was right over the road, we then ventured around and had a drink and snack in a nearby café. As it was Mother's Day there were people everywhere, anyone would think women like to shop! 

After leaving the café we walked down to the beach and onto the pier, where we took lots of selfies that shall never be seen! We just strolled to the end of the pier, took lots of pictures and moaned about people not knowing manners, I'm sure we're not the only ones who get irritated by impolite strangers in public.


After walking walking all around the pier, we obviously chose to go on the Brighton Wheel where I got all the following pictures. I took so many it was hard to choose which ones to add on this post but four is enough! It was a clear day and the sun was low which made it a great opportunity to admire not only Brighton's sea side, but the windy roads and old houses that filled the city.


Once we left the Brighton Wheel we walked around for a while, venturing through the Pavilion Gardens, through the North Laines and back to our place for the night. We stayed in for the rest of the night and watched some TV and had an early night as Monday we got up rather early for a day of shopping! 

Shopping was manic, I can't say I enjoyed myself that much as I couldn't find anything I wanted, though I must say the Boots is tremendous and I could have found myself in there for ages! There was so many boutiques, high end shops and the usual high street shops we spent hours exploring. After many long hours of shopping and a McDonalds we got the train home, where we got a little lost and ended up getting off too early, oopsy! 

Even though we shopped for hours on end and only stopped for me to apply plasters and eat McDonalds, I ended up buying a Smashbox sample set, pastel socks and a storage container! I'm very disapointed that out of the hundreds of shops I only bought three things, but I blame the fact that I've been shopping so much lately I've seen everything!

I did have a lovely time with my mum, and I hope you all had a great Mother's day whether you celebrated or not. I Hopefully I'll be going back later this year and I'll enjoy it more and will come away with more than 3 times and maybe I'll find a YouTuber too as I failed too this time, not that I was looking!

What did you get up to Mother's day?

April 01, 2014

March Favourites

The end of the month brings the time to talk about my favourites over the past four weeks. I've really struggled with choosing favourites this month as most of the products I use are the same as I've used for months, but luckily there's the odd new things I really love right now and have been loving over March!


Dove Dry Shampoo
Buy it here.
This seems to be one of the most loved dry shampoos on the high street and as a Batiste lover I wasn't sure on using something different, especially when this costs around £5 a bottle! Luckily for me this was half price when I spotted it on the shelf so quite simply I bought it, tried it and fell in love. I would recommend this to everyone. It might be a little pricey but it smells good, leaves no colour and actually makes your hair feel clean.
Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polish
Buy it here.
I have never used highlighter and I never really had an interest in it, but when I spotted these being frequently mentioned by my favourite bloggers I quickly gained an interest. It's not a powder or a stick, it's simply a cream that you can blend with your fingers to give your skin a slightly glowy finish, hence it's called Glow! I did struggle to find this in the shops but once I finally got my hands on it I've never looked back. 
 Topshop Lipstick in Innocent.
Buy it here.
I was casually browsing the Topshop make up stand and I felt like trying their lipstick range which led me to buy this beauty. When I bought it it looked like more of a darker pink with a hint of purple but once on the lips it had a gorgeous rose pink pigment. I never thought I could pull of pink lipstick but there's something about this I adore. It's so easy to apply, moisturising on the lips and lasts a good amount of time and I've never looked back.
 Soap And Glory Body Mist
Buy it here.
I have owned this body mist for a very long time and rarely used it, but for some strange reason I have started using it frequently! I even purchased the travel bottles as seen in my recent beauty haul post so I'm able to take it in my bag. It has such a gorgeous feminine scent it makes me feel fresh and clean, like I've stepped out the shower. I use it more than I should but I can't help myself!
Tangle Teezer
Buy it here.
When I first heard about Tangle Teezers I instantly went and purchased this sparkly purple one, and although it worked wonders I wasn't in love and kept forgetting about it, I then began to use it a bit more including keeping it in my bag for out of home hair brushing and now I use it everyday as my staple hairbrush. I never realised how good it was until I used it on my hair after washing and it got rid of all the knots with no pain, it's a miracle invention.



Benefit They're Real! Mascara
Get it here.
My biggest favourite this month is definitely this mascara, I recently reviewed it here so go take a look at what I think in a more detailed post. It's a fantastic mascara with a not so fantastic price tag, at just under £20 for the full size and under £10 for the smaller one, it's a pricey purchase. Ever since I've began using it I've loved it more and more, it's easy to apply, makes my lashes longer, doesn't clog and is just fabulous!


Real Techniques Contour Brush
Buy the set including it here.
Last but not least is this ever so lovely contour brush, I love Real Technique brushes and this one came in a set I was gifted for Christmas and I never used it that much until over the last month I've really liked using it for my bronzer on my cheeks to give more of a defined edge than with a large bronzer brush. It's so soft and great for blending I just get on with it really well!

I hope you've liked my favourites from March, do you like any of these items?