Wednesday, 29 October 2014

a new autumn lip colour

if you know me, you know i love a dark lip. that said, i was tired of my selection of burgundy and purple toned dark lipsticks and was on the search for a new, more brown toned one after falling in love with the colour of the mac spice lip liner but knowing i could never, ever possess anything mac. after trawling many online cruelty free makeup brands and spending hours in my local superdrug and boots swatching my hands looking for the perfect shade to no avail, i decided to give up on looking for a lipstick and instead turned to lip liners, and that's when i clapped eyes on this offering from collection.

upon first inspection, i doubted that cappuccino would be the shade i was looking for because it looks quite tame and almost nude in the bullet, but after i swatched it i realised that it had a load of potential if i was to build it up. for £2.79 i didn't think about heading to the till with it and it's been a story of nothing but love since then. 

with the product being a lip liner it's of course somewhat drying, but if you pop a little bit of lip balm on before applying it the job's a good 'un. the finish of the liner is a lovely, smooth matte one that actually has pretty decent staying power. of course if you sit down to eat a meal you won't be left with very much on your lips afterwards, but i've sat and drank cups of tea wearing it and it still looks good to go afterwards! unlike other matte lip products, this liner doesn't flake or chap unattractively throughout the day, so you're not left with that awful line on your inner lip that shows where your lip begins and product ends. 

all in all, i am super duper impressed and so beyond happy that i stumbled upon this little gem. i was starting to give up hope that there was a cruelty free option of this shade out there waiting for me, and to find it for under £3 was just absolutely fabulous. collection as a brand generally impress me anyway because the quality of their products is always great for the prices they charge, and this lip liner is certainly no different and has now firmly made its way into my list of favourite lip products. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

sunday synopsis


ok so it's half past twelve on Sunday evening/Monday morning (that weird overlap time when you're never really sure what day you're actually in) and I'm laid in bed making sure I don't miss out on yet another Sunday post due to my own absentmindedness. 

today has been incredibly lazy on my behalf; I started with good intentions, waking at 8am hoping to add to the 1,200 words I'd written of my dissertation on Saturday, but after rereading it and making some slight tweaks I decided to send it off to my tutor for vetting before I perhaps got too ahead of myself without a clear sense of direction. things didn't end too badly as i sifted through my seemingly never ending pile of books and quotes, arranging my thoughts and planning the structure for the rest of my essay so I know roughly what I need to be covering when the day comes for me to sit down and do some solid written work again (probably next weekend, sigh.)

after that, I headed into town with my long time buddy and housemate for some lazy Sunday lunch at a wetherspoons, after which we then headed home to lounge around watching films before finding ourselves within the weird corner of youtube (well, one of them, anyway.) i've gotta admit that I now feel a little guilty for having pretty much wasted my day, but if you can't lounge around on a Sunday, when can you? I'm thinking third year's gonna require days of solid working followed by a single day of complete laziness to help me unwind from the madness of overlapping modules. ah, third year, you're gonna test me, I know it. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

saturday scribbles

this week's been pretty hectic to say the least as on monday we were briefed on our live projects and competitions module, with our first deadline for the week being on friday. we were given a brief to design a logo for a property development company, and as you'd expect it just wasn't up my street at all. i knocked together a terrible logo pretty quickly for the sake of getting it out of the way asap, but after a chat with my tutor he essentially told me to ignore what the company may want and to interpret it illustratively and to give it the signature feel and tone of voice that all of my work has so it could at least serve as a portfolio piece should i choose it to. within the brief they wanted to keep a bridge as a focal point, so i worked around the idea of the bridge and the fact that the company builds homes and thought about the homes that the bridge and the river it crosses provide for various forms of wildlife, and i've included a snippet of the finished illustration here as the bottom right image. it wasn't great, but i managed to knock it together in the space of a few hours, which for me is something of an achievement. i can spend days musing ideas and composition, so to square that off and actually finish the artwork within a matter of hours is something to be celebrated at the very least. 

to the left of that image is a snippet from an illustration that i'm currently still working on which is another live brief for the rail company grand central. their brief asks artists to create an image that relates to the phrase 'direct to london', so i'm working with the idea that the company is all inclusive and anyone can travel to london whether they're travelling by foot, paw, wheels etc. maybe i just wanted to include a dog in the image somewhere, but i think it's a nice message nonetheless to know that anybody's welcome aboard.

lastly (and hopefully more interestingly!) i started work on this year's christmas cards. i wanted some fun, light hearted, animal pun cards and i came up with 'merry catmas', 'seasons tweetings' and 'jingle pug' and i'm thinking jingle pug's my favourite at the moment! i'm still undecided about whether or not the cards are finished as they are, but if they change i'll no doubt share them via my blog/twitter/instagram at one point or another. 

a pretty meh saturday scribbles altogether this week, i'm hoping it'll become a little more interesting once i begin my macmillan competition entry!

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.