Sunday, 12 April 2015

saturday scribbles

just a quick post this morning as i completely forgot to blog yesterday! i thought i'd quickly share a few screen grabs of what i've been up to this week regarding self promo, and now i've got my characters designed i'm onto drawing them up into a bigger scene together but it's taking a bit longer than i originally planned so i'll have to save that for another week...

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

carino | argan oil treatment

 carino argan oil treatment: £2.99

if you read my blog it'll be no secret that i love a good bargain, which is why i always do my food shops at aldi. aldi have what i like to call 'shit aisles' where they sell a variety of 'special buy' products ranging from clothing to dvds, and during one of my more recent food shops i stumbled upon this carino (aldi's own brand, and cruelty free!) argan oil and decided to give it a go for just shy of £3.

the product's multi purpose and can be used on wet or dry hair as a leave in conditioner or an intense hair mask, so from the get go i was preferring it to coconut oil which i find is too heavy to use as a leave in conditioner. i've been using this on dry hair twice a week as an overnight treatment on the lengths and ends of my hair, and every other day of the week as a leave in conditioner again on the lengths and ends of my hair just to add a bit more life and shine to it in between washes. i've found that my hair's been insanely soft and easy to manage since using this, and i even discovered that i can go four days without washing my hair and it still look clean and fresh by teaming this up with some dry shampoo, which is definitely convenient for those days when you just can't be bothered with washing your hair.

you only need a few drops of product to generously coat your hair, so i can see this bottle lasting me quite a while. the only issue with aldi special buys is that they come and go, so i'll be checking out the 'shit aisles' religiously every time i pop in now in an attempt to stock up on a few bottles of this. 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

saturday scribbles

this week i've been working through my initial self promotion ideas and figuring out what i actually want it to be and say about me as a person and an illustrator. my initial theme was cats v. dogs and the 'archetypes' within both of the species, but i was being too obvious about it and so i thought about how i could link these archetypes with gods from greek mythology, but the further the idea developed the less it linked with my original idea and the more jumbled and confusing it became, which kinda detracted from my idea in the first place and rendered the whole theme a little pointless.

in a panic, i ditched this idea completely and just took to my sketchbook documenting my process and woes in a comic-like fashion, and the more i drew, the more i realised that i'd abandoned a theme and was just drawing, so i became less worried about the project overall and i realised that, actually, there could be some visual potential in linking greek gods and dogs without it having to be too elaborate a project.

so now i'm working with a simple theme of 'if dogs were gods' that i think offers me a chance to create some silly characters that i think will show off what i do visually and characteristically without me having to stress too much about it. i'm also working with a limited colour palette which is new for me so we'll see how the project progresses over the next week...

Friday, 3 April 2015

glasses direct | free home trial

since starting my journey into short-sightedness back in 2013, it seems that my loss of vision has become a detriment to my bank balance as well as my eyesight because i just can't help myself trying out new frames whenever the opportunity arises. i saw on facebook that glasses direct offered a free home trial on their frames, and before i knew it i'd picked out four pairs that were on their way to me to try out. much to my delight the frames arrived within 24 hours of me placing the order, and within 3 days i'd placed the order, tried the frames out numerous times and had them safely posted back. so, how did i get on with them?

i was browsing with the intention of trying out some cat eye frames as they're a style i'd never tried before, and first up i settled on london retro's 'eliza' frames. i decided in the end they were a little too secretary (or roz from monsters inc.) for me as they're a little too thin, but it was nice to see how i look in such a different style – pretty grown up, i think?!

second i picked out the scout 'marilyn' frames in purple/black, and they were a cat eye style that i could definitely get on board with. they're a lot larger and less angular than the eliza frames, but they still offered enough of a cat eye for me to get the initial look that i was lusting after. because they're larger i find that they even out my face's features more and look softer and more complimentary against my face, which makes me look a lot more (in my opinion) approachable instead of sour faced secretary.

once i'd exhausted their cat eye frames, i decided to move onto their round frames. i first chose london retro's 'nancy' frames, and although i love them as a pair of glasses, i think they're way too thick for my face and its small features, which further accentuates my pea head; honestly, finding hats that fit my tiny head is a nightmare. lovely glasses, but not for me, unfortunately!

last up i chose london retro's 'fitzrovia' frames which are essentially a thinner framed version of the nancy frames, and i think they suit my small face perfectly. i think they look really professional, dainty and perfectly jessica day, and are essentially exactly what i was looking for when i bought my cheap monday glasses around this time last year.

my final verdict is that all the glasses i tried on were great, and i think that the free home trial that glasses direct offers is fantastic because you can try frames out from the comfort of your home with absolutely zero commitment to buying any of them. of the four pairs i tried out, my favourites are definitely the scout 'marilyn' and london retro 'fitzrovia' frames, but if i were to purchase any of the four it'd definitely be the marilyn frames. if money wasn't an issue i'd splash out on yet another two pairs of glasses, but for the mean time me and a friend are thinking of placing a shared order and splitting the cost because, you know, money doesn't grow on trees (well, not for us, anyway.) all in all, i've been really impressed with the service received and would recommend the free home trials to anybody who's looking for a new pair of affordable glasses.

*i seem a little silly for including this, but i thought it worthwhile to mention that this is not a sponsored post, i was just really happy with the service. i've never received compensation of any sort for any of the posts on my blog, and i honestly can't see that changing – just a heads up in case you were wary!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

wet n wild | 'cashmere' silk finish lipstick

my attention was brought to this product after seeing it on on coco's blog, and after seeing how stunning it looked on her i headed straight to amazon and started pricing up how much it'd be to get my hands on one of these seeing as wet n wild products aren't sold within the uk. a quick browse told me that i could get my hands on this lipstick for a little less than a fiver with postage included, which i thought was a fair price to pay for such a pretty, unique colour that i'd not seen anything like on the highstreet. 

the lipstick applies easily and is very moisturising on the lips, however the wear time isn't great and requires fairly frequent reapplication to keep the colour looking opaque – something i was expecting from a $1 lipstick, and i'd probably compare it to the MUA lipsticks. on its own i find the colour to be a little bit too metallic looking, so i like to apply it over a nude lipliner to mattify the colour and mute the sheen slightly, giving a dark lip which is a little different to the usual red/purple dark lips i like to wear, and perhaps a little more grown up looking.

although this isn't the best lipstick i've ever used i've really been impressed with the colour, and from a quick browse of other wet n wild lipsticks on amazon i've noticed that they have a really nice shade range which could tempt me to order a few more to try out in the future. i'd quite like to try out some more wet n wild's products now i know that they're fairly easy to acquire, so if you're a lover of wet n wild and have any recommendations for me, please feel free to leave them below!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

saturday scribbles

this week i officially finished off the first complete draft of my picture book, and in doing so i've been able to highlight the definite weak points within the book and then set about rethinking a couple of spreads prior to tutor feedback as they're busy until monday with istd business. after reworking a couple of spreads i think they're looking a little better, however i'm still not convinced that they'll make it into the final book. at the moment i'm literally about 50/50 with spreads that are working and spreads that aren't, so i'm hoping that after a well needed feedback session i can pull the struggling half out of the land of mediocrity and finish off the book to a consistent standard that i'm happy with – fingers crossed!

i thought i'd share with you today some patterns that i've thrown together throughout the week, the final two being potential endpapers from my picture book. while i like the patterns as simply just patterns, i'm not sure they're gelling all that well with the book's narrative so they potentially won't make it into the final cut, and for that reason i've decided to upload them to my society6 account where they can thrive simply as what they are – nice (i hope, haha!) patterns! below are a few products that society6 offers with the above patterns on them, so if you like what you see, please do feel free to have a nosey through my profile!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

primark | p.s. love 'strong nails'

primark p.s. love strong nails: £1

generally i don't mind wasting money on cheap products that make bold claims (because if they don't work, what have you really lost?) but this primark nail strengthener has really impressed me over the last couple of months. 

while at school i always had such lovely, long nails, but working at wilkinson's from the age of 16 until 19 really wreaked havoc on them and they've never been the same since, or at least that was until i picked this product up (believe it or not!) i've been using this product every morning and night now for the last two months or so, and i've seen a really dramatic difference in my nails' strength and growth. i often have to file my nails right down because even when they grow they chip and peel, but since using this they've strengthened considerably and the peeling has reduced significantly, which has meant that my nails have had the chance to grow properly and start looking nice again instead of stumpy and down to the nib. previous to using this product, if i pressed on my nails i could bend them right down to the skin, but now they're much stronger and don't bend at all which is definitely an impressive improvement.

i'm pretty lazy when it comes to my nails simply because a) wearing falsies ruins your natural nails, and b) painting them becomes a daily chore when your nails chip as much as mine do, so i generally leave them au natural. previously this has meant that my hands looked and felt a little scruffy, but since seeing a difference in length i've begun to feel much more put together and feminine, which is crazy – who knew nails could make such a difference?! so for extra strong nails and added confidence, i'd say that this product is an absolute god send for a mere pound. 

i'm going to continue using this product indefinitely now i know that it's crazy affordable and seemingly works wonders – never again will i have to deal with stubby, grubby looking nails! if you struggle to grow your nails or are just generally looking for a product that will strengthen them without breaking the bank, i'd definitely recommend getting yourself down to primark and getting your hands on this product because it's bloody brilliant.