Nude Nails - Essie Fiji

Monday, 21 July 2014

Fiji is one of my all time favourite shades. It's a very-pale pink, which sometimes looks almost white. I wore this last week for my graduation as it's the perfect nail polish to wear for a memorable occasion. I imagine many brides wear this on their wedding day and it's the kind of polish that goes with any outfit. As with all Essie polishes it has a thick creamy formula which becomes opaque after two coats. It glides on easily and dries fairly quickly (10 minutes) I've been wearing this for 4 days and its chipped only once. I also love wearing Fiji on my toes especially in the summer, it compliments both pale and tanned skin. Fiji is becoming a go-to product for me and I will be re-purchasing when this bottle runs low. With a nude polish I tend to wear simple silver jewellery like these rings from Fashionology.

Dissertation Photography

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Being on a art course such as Photography means your degree does not centre around exams and essays. As part of our final year dissertation we were able to choose from various options - whether to write the full 8,000 word essay or split it in half and submit some visuals alongside the text. I wanted to discuss modern self portraiture and my exact discussion was titled 'The Purpose of the Contemporary Photographic Self-Portrait'. So submitting photographs seemed like a good fit.

I thought I'd share some of the final square crops with you guys. They're all self portraits. I feel like I have a good grasp on this subject after writing this blog for a few years, taking many many self-portraits and being a social media addict! I actually even set up an Instagram account and created a small book via Blurb to go alongside my submission. Who says dissertations can't be fun!

Print Your Memories with a Selphy

Friday, 18 July 2014

The printed photograph is quite different from one seen on a screen. I posted about polaroids and photo strips and how being able to hold a photograph in your hands is a special feeling. So today I'm sharing my new gadget with you guys, it's a Canon Selphy Printer - which prints 4x6 prints using thermal printing techniques. At home we have a shared printer that's very expensive to maintain so we use it mainly to print Word documents and letters. This little printer is designed purely to print photographs on a semi-glossy paper, quickly and efficiently. You can print from your laptop, or straight from your camera. With some of the newer Selphy models you can even print straight from your phone using WiFi/Bluetooth.

I found the Canon Selphy CP760 on eBay for a bargain price of £30. There are always lots being auctioned off for low prices so if you're happy to buy a older model you can save yourself some money. I also purchased a refill pack from Amazon for around £25 which comes with 100 photo cards and enough ink (3 refills) for 100 photos. You can only use this Canon specific ink and paper in this printer but it works out that each photo will cost about 25p so I think that's a fair price.

The thermal printer works by coating the paper three times in primary colours. Once you send your image to print, it goes through the printer with the yellow ink coating first, then a coat of magenta (looks red mixed with the yellow) and then a coat of cyan blue. The printer will take the image through one last time to coat your photograph with a protective top coat. This top coat dries super quickly (10 seconds) and prevents finger marks or smudging. You'll see your image whizz backwards and forwards, the paper comes out at the back too and the whole process takes about a minute.

I was really impressed with the colours achieved (especially skintones) and the magical moment when the three primary colours come together to form your photo! I'd say it prints slightly on the cool-skin tone side which is very flattering and means no red faces! You can print in black and white but I find they look more sepia toned as the ink cartridges are colour only so it has to make up black/white with the 3 colours it has.
The first couple of prints came out with small imperfections which looked like dust spots but the more photos I print the less of a problem that is so I'm guessing it's just because it's been unused for some time. Each 4x6 print has two break-off tabs at each end. These snap off very easily without leaving a rough edge.

Now I have this mini printer I have no excuse not to print off photographs. Yesterday was my Graduation and I was very eager to get some of the images printed! I've currently got them pinned to a cork board whilst I find some frames. How do you guys feel about printed photographs vs digital?

*This was not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share my new favourite purchase!

4 Ways to Feel #BrandNew

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

To celebrate the launch of the new Ryman website I've paired up with the stationery supplier to talk about what makes me feel brand new! I love stationery and before starting a new year of education (which sadly I won't be doing this September) I always treat myself to new pens and notepads. Using their hashtag #brandnew I was set the simple challenge to write a post on all the things that give me that brand new feeling. I loved the concept of this campaign so here are my top three (guilty) ways to feel brand new...

My spirits are always lifted if I come away from a shopping trip with something that I love. Especially clothes or new gadgets - if it's an item I've been wanting for a long time, even better. The best mood-boosters are shoes. New shoes never fail to cheer me up. Makeup has a similar effect, and new lipstick means I'm definitely a better person now (right?) But alas, the overall shopping-high is short lived. Then I have to go out and shop again...

I recently got a 3rd tattoo and there is nothing more thrilling and nerve-wracking than adding something to your skin that will be permanent! I always think carefully about any tattoos and never rush into getting them which makes finally booking the appointment so exciting! Believe people when they say tattoo's are addictive. But I'm stopping at three now, for quite a while at least. Changing something about yourself always comes with that #brandnew feeling whether it's a new hair colour, piercing or tattoo. You can feel like a whole new person just by making small changes.

Tweaking my blog design, layout or colour scheme always gives me a brand new feeling. I make the effort not to do this too often because it can be distracting for you guys when you get used to how something looks but I love adding simple widgets or bits of html code that improves my blog. Designing a new logo is the biggest step! I've been blogging for 2.5 years and I've changed my logo maybe four times? I'm really happy with how it looks now but I know in another couple of months I'll be getting the itch again...

Cleaning and tidying my desk space or my bedroom gives me a brand new feeling. I hate the thought of doing it but once it's done I feel so much better! A tidier space to live in helps you to think clearly and I feel more productive when I'm not surrounded by piles of notebooks and scraps of paper.

As you can see, it's easy to buy into the feeling because having new things makes you feel new too! But it's possible to be excited and improve your mood by doing little things that make you feel more in control. Change is a very good thing you don't want to be stuck in a routine for too long, when you do get a break from the norm, cherish it!