Friday, May 27, 2016

Cheerz Photo Album - Print Your Instagram Photos

Hiii everyone! It isn't often I accept requests to review things anymore. I'll only say yes if it's something I think looks really good. So, when Cheerz contacted me again asking me to review their new Photo Album*, I said yes straight away! Not only do they print your photos in high quality, but they also offer a range of products which have clearly all been well thought out and carefully designed. They go the extra mile & that's why I would only ever go to Cheerz to print my photos and nobody else. Their designs are modern and so cute and they make incredible gifts! I also have a discount code at the end of this post so be sure to check that out if you want to buy something.

The focus of today's post is the photo album, which is a brand new product. It consists of several pages filled with your photos. You can add up to 150 photos, though I think to have the full amount you'd have to add to the cost because additional pages cost extra. The standard has a lot of pages, however, and I really didn't need any of the extras.

The paper quality is amazing. It's a really thick sort of matte paper - the sort of paper you really want to stroke (or maybe that's just me because I have an obsession with paper textures). The pages are literally fun to turn because the paper is so nice.

They really think of every detail, such as this little ribbon which slots underneath the album (which also comes with its very own box to keep it safe in) so that you can pull it out easily without having to dig around the edges and potentially damage it. The box is a nice grey with little tiny polka dots on the front and a band across in whatever colour you choose for your album, with the picture and name you chose for it too. Speaking of the colour, there's a few nice colours to choose from, but I opted for this pastelly bluey purpley colour (v accruate description of colour there) though I was quite torn between all of them.

The above image gives you an example of the layout of pages, though it changes depending on how many photos you add to the page. On some of the layouts you can also add a message. I personally decided not to get messages on any of mine & was planning on adding my own messages with some extra paper to stick on there and a sharpie or something.

It looks nice when displayed on a shelf, as I've done, but it's also perfect for storing away since it's in a box which will stop it from any damage.

It retails for £35.00 and can be purchased here - you can also see all of the different colours and the design on the spine through that link. 

As I've said, I'll only accept gifts from brands if I truly like that brand, so I'm not just hyping up their designs because I'm doing this post in exchange for a product. You should definitely take a look at their website if nothing else because I think it's so beautiful and it gives me (as a Graphic Designer) lots of inspo. Also have a little look at my previous blog post to have a look at some of their other products & what I think of them!

OH, and if you want to buy something from the site yourself, my discount code is XSUM0J & it'll get you £4 off whatever you order!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Maisie Williams' Normal vs Feminist suggestion

I've wanted to write this post for a while, but I've sort of been on a break from my blog. I know I want to post more about things I actually think about on a daily basis, rather than solely beauty, fashion, and food. Of course, I'll still be posting about those things because they're three things I love. I do plan on branching out, however, and hopefully you don't mind that!

So, a few weeks or months ago, Maisie Williams suggested getting rid of the 'feminist' label. Since then, I've had a number of people bring that up with me and suggest that I shouldn't call myself a feminist, I should call myself normal. I just wanted to do a blog post on it, so that maybe I can direct all of those people straight to my blog to let them know why I definitely will not be abandoning the term 'feminism', and why nobody else should, either.

Of course, I'm no feminist expert. All I know is what I feel, what I've experienced, and what I've read. If you have a different view to me, feel free to leave a comment because hearing other points of view can only ever be helpful.

So feminism has this negative stigma around it, because people think if you're a feminist you're crazy and you hate men or whatever. I think that this was born from people who didn't understand feminism, and were annoyed at feminists for trying to initiate change when society was quite happy to remain oblivious to inequality and continue as it was. Anyway, I could write a whole other blog post on that, but I'm not going to right now. Because of the stigma, people (such as Maisie Williams) might be afraid to call themselves a feminist because they're scared of the hate they'll get. Honestly, I just think that's cowardly and stupid, because you should know what feminism is and be prepared to explain to people that it isn't about hating men or whatever, it's simply about equality.

So as for referring to people as 'normal' or 'sexist', I feel like feminism would be forgotten. "Get rid of feminism because feminists are crazy and not helpful." I feel like that's the message that sends out. It would be great if we could all either be labelled normal or sexist, but we really can't right now. There's misogyny ingrained in our society which you don't even realise exists until you research it, and it's through speaking out about it that it could be abolished.

I'd also like to say now, that simply by putting that I'm a feminist in my profile has led to a lot of people asking me questions about feminism, and saying they'd learnt a lot after I explained it to them. So just that alone proves that it's helpful to use the word rather than simply 'normal'. 'Normal' is a completely meaningless word that could refer to anything. You can't put in your Twitter bio that you're normal and expect to help reduce sexism.

Another thing to consider about the word 'feminist' is what all of the feminists before us have done. Many women have gone through a lot of crap in the past in the name of feminism, and I think that needs to be remembered. Identifying as feminist joins us to them as part of a group, as well as present day feminists, so that we're all working towards the same goal.

I could say more on the topic but I feel like I've rambled a lot already. I hope this helps you understand why I am a feminist and not 'normal', as Maisie Williams has suggested.

On a final note, in case you didn't know, feminism is about EQUALITY. In identifying as a feminist, I strive for men and women to be equal, as well as people from all cultures, all races, able-bodied or disabled, every age, every gender and sexuality, whatever the background and location. Everybody. So it isn't at all about hating men... it isn't about hating anybody.

(More blog posts coming soon)

P.S. I love Maisie Williams and can see that she was coming from a positive place in what she said, I just don't agree with it, and I think she should reconsider.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Dog Lover's Date Animation

As you may or may not know, I'm a Graphic Design student in the times I'm not blogging or gaming. I don't post about it much on this blog, but I thought that today I would. So here's a little animation I made. All text was created with the voice of PewDiePie in mind. Probably weird, but... it happened. Best viewed in 1080p.

Have a great day.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Smoke BBQ Blogger Event In Leeds

Are you in love with the look of those desserts? Because same. I will just set you up for the tone of this post by letting you know that the brownie was legitimately 155% definitely the best brownie I have ever consumed in my entire life. That is 20 years of brownies. 

Desserts aside, I spent Thursday evening at Smoke BBQ, a restaurant which has just opened in Leeds. A bunch of bloggers were invited to the event, so I had the pleasure of seeing some familiar faces for the evening and enjoy various meats, beers, and desserts. What more could you want?

I'll just say that the owner of the restaurant was the nicest person ever! Everybody who worked there was lovely, actually, and we had some good chats. I learned was brisket is, which I had no idea prior to this. I'm not a big beef fan, but still... I guess it's good to know.

I can't remember everything we tried, but definitely included was brisket, a turkey leg, chicken, and sausage. The sausage was INCREDIBLE! I told the owner about my passionate love for the sausage, and apparently their recipe was entered into some sort of sausage-related competition and it won. So it is pretty darn good sausage. If I could recommend anything from the menu (aside from the brownie, obvs) it would be the sausage. I know that Carl (A Bloke's Eye View) appreciated the brisket and the turkey leg.

I heard a number of people suggesting that it was better than Red's which, if you're from Leeds (or London or Sheffield, as I think they have restaurants there) you know is the place to go if you're looking for BBQ meat. Personally, I have an intense love for the chicken at Red's and it can't be beaten, but the desserts at this place definitely made it competition. Plus, I like the vibe of the place a lot, since the lighting is nice & it's pretty and it was so friendly there.

Here is a picture of the glorious peanut butter cheesecake. If you're a peanut butter and cheesecake lover, you'll love this. I enjoyed it, but I found the combination a little weird. I think my love for peanut butter is such that I basically just wanted to eat a slab of peanut butter and it really wasn't that at all. The brownie, as I've said, was the actual king of life. I bow down to the brownie. It was the gooeyest thing, and it was warm, and just so delicious. The S'more was good too, if you're a marshmallow fan. We also tried the Pistachio Ice Cream, but I am neither a fan of pistachios nor ice cream, so I can't comment on it really.

Anyway, if you're in Leeds and looking for somewhere to eat with a nice atmosphere, I would definitely recommend Smoke BBQ. It's just outside the Merrion Centre.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette Review

I can't remember ever being as excited for a product to be released as I was for this. Possibly for years, I've wanted the Sigma brush cleaning mat, but at £32.00, I couldn't justify buying it when I could just use my hands at little extra cost. When I found out that Real Techniques would be releasing their own take on it for just £12.99, I pretty much had to get it.

For me, cleaning my brushes is a real chore. I tend to put it off, and by the time I finally come to do it, my foundation brush is completely packed full of product and it takes a good 15 minutes just to clean one brush. I don't spot clean either, I just give them a good thorough wash about every two weeks (I know that's bad, but I'm lazy and it's the truth). This cute little palette aims to make that easier with a design to comfortably fit on your hand and a multi-textured surface to cleanse the brushes deeply.

The palette claims to help sweep away makeup, oil and impurities from bristles to give you truer, more consistent colour application. All you need to do is pop a bit of your brush cleanser of choice onto the palette, add some warm water, and swirl your brush through it until the brush is clean. You can also rest your brushes on the tool to air dry your brushes.

As you can see, it fits well on the hand, and it's very comfortable and doesn't slip off or anything. It also has three different textured surfaces - one for big brushes, one for medium, and one for small. I tested the product out on the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which I use for foundation, and found the texture in the middle to be the most useful for that, but I did make use of all three surfaces.

I found that, because it's made of silicone, it sort of helps the makeup come off more easily than if you were to do it on your palm. It's more 'sticky' than your hand, if that makes sense. but in a good way. It also really stops the pain / discomfort of constantly rubbing wet makeup brushes into your palm for an hour. So it was already a good product in my books just from the first instance I put my brush onto it.

I used a little baby shampoo and some warm water, and swirled my brush across it until clean. It took about a minute, or a little more, to get the brush completely clean. And it's completely clean, it doesn't just look it on the outside but have a little left on the inside, deep in the bristles. I'm so impressed. I don't know if it's my imagination, but the brush actually seems a little softer and shinier than it does normally. Maybe that's just because it got such a thorough cleaning.

I only tested it out on the one brush since I'd only recently washed them, so I didn't test out the cleansing gel, which you get as a sample. I can't wait to use it on the rest of my brushes though. I've never been excited to wash my brushes before now!

Would I recommend this product? Definitely! I would say that anybody with a lot of makeup brushes actually needs this in their life. It will save a lot of time, and a lot of water since it won't take as much to clean them as it would using just your palm. It's quicker, more comfortable, and more effective. 100% recommend. If you've got the money, go buy it now. Right. Now.

Have you tried the palette yet? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to tweet me your thoughts too, and check out my Instagram for more pictures!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bristol Aquarium Visit

A couple of weeks ago I headed to the aquarium with a friend I hadn't spoken to in years but wanted to reconnect with. I'd always wanted to go to the aquarium in Bristol and it was such a nice day out & a great opportunity to whack out some gold sparkly shoes (which I defo need to blog about soon).

The fish were so cute & I love them all. There was a little octopus but I didn't manage to get a picture of him since he was hiding, which sucked. I've been to an aquarium before in Plymouth, but I can't remember it all too well. Anyway, the one in Bristol was really nice & they had stingray, and sharks, and seahorse and a creepy eel and a load of other things too.

I managed to get a nice blurry picture of me swimming with the fishes. Well... I poked my head up inside a little hole in the tank anyway. Shame I'm pulling a weird face. Shame you can't even see my face anyway.

I'd defo recommend Bristol aquarium for a day out! It's so close to the centre of Bristol so you can go shopping afterwards, or go to @ Bristol, or whatever you want really, since it's a great location. It'd also be good for kids because there's lots of facts on the walls and stuff, and a lot of the children I saw seemed very excited about identifying the different fish.

Friday, January 22, 2016

My 2016 Chill Music Playlist

I am a huge lover of music and always have been. The first casette I ever bought (yes I'm genuinely THAT old that casettes were a thing. Or tapes. What were they even called?) was a Fast Food Rockers single. The first CD I bought was S Club 8's album, which I listened to on repeat every single day for a good year. But I think my music obsession started when I began listening to Linkin Park, Billy Talent, and The Used. Still love them all, but my taste in music has certainly changed since then.

Keeping up with new music is hard. So I listen to music which I can chill out to, and just enjoy it rather than keeping track of all the new releases like I used to. Honestly, I have a handful of artists I'll just listen to on repeat, because I find it hard to find new music that I actually love.

In case you have a similar music taste to me, I thought I'd do a little post which might introduce some people to some artists they like, and maybe you can tell me some of your favourites in the comments too. I'm going to list the artist with a song I'd recommend listening to, but the chances are, I listen to their whole album all the time.

troye sivan

1. Troye Sivan - The Quiet. I've been watching Troye on YouTube for a while. Not religiously, but sometimes. His music, however, I absolutely adore. When he released Happy Little Pill, I swear my whole body set on fire. Since then, he has not disappointed me with a single track. I've been listening to his album a lot lately and loving it, but The Quiet probably sticks out to me the most. I'd image you've heard his stuff before if you're reading this, but if you haven't you should. It's got a very chill, electronic, sort of sad feel to it... but in the best way possible. The emotIONS.

2. Chvrches - Afterglow. Obsessed with this song. Lauren Mayberry has the most gorgeous voice in the world. It's cute, and she's got a great accent too. Chvrches are my perfect artist, to be honest, and since I first heard their music a few years ago, I've been hooked. I think I've now seen them live four times. I also love the songs where Martin Doherty sings just as much. I'm sure you'll know the songs Recover, and The Mother We Share, since I think both were played on the radio a lot two Summers ago. Their new album is even better.

lights bokan

3. Lights - Child. I've loved Lights for YEARS. I used to be active on the forum, I've made some great friends through the fandom, and I go to concerts and see people I know purely through seeing them at concerts before. The Lights UK fandom is insane. She's a hell of a lot bigger in the US and Canada, so I'm sure it's a lot different there. She's features in songs by Owl City, Bring Me The Horizon, Kaskade, Shad, Seven Lions, and more. She does great covers too, and I feel like her music is endless. I'm always discovering old gems from the past. Honestly I could write a dissertation on Lights, and I don't want to spill my feelings for her out too much because it's A LOT. But she's incredible, and you need to listen to one song from each of her albums. Like now. Lights is her name, by the way. Not a band. Yep, her real official name. And her baby girl is called Rocket. So is my car.

ellie goulding

4. Ellie Goulding - I Do What I Love. You've definitely listened to Ellie before. I feel like I Do What I Love is a song which maybe a lot of people wouldn't think of as their favourite song, but I adore it and it's my favourite from the album. I love Ellie, and I've loved her since Bright Lights.

purity ring

5. Purity Ring - Sea Castle. Purity ring are sort of similar in vibes to Troye and Chvrches, and I love them. Very chillable. I'm all about the electronic vibe.

So that's a top five for the moment, and all time, really. I'm also listening to Ariana Grande, Bring Me The Horizon, The Darkness, The Struts, One Direction, Selena Gomez, Die Antwoord, 5SOS, All Time Low, and a lot more. So... my music taste is pretty varied.

Tell me your favourites in the comments, and if you like any of these artists too!

P.S. I've probably used the picture at the top before but I've left my camera lead at uni so can't upload any at the moment!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

How To Dye Your Hair Pink From Dark Brown

Ever since I was a young sprout / scene kid, I've always wanted to do fun things with my hair. Recently I decided I'd just do it, because soon I'll have a job and pink hair will probably become inappropriate (I really hope it doesn't though). In this video, I show you how I got this pink colour and review the Bleach London The Big Pink hair colour.

If you want details on how I went from dark brown to silver, check my post here. If you want to know what I'll be using to maintain my pink hair, check my post here!

If you liked my video (and what I hope is detectable sarcasm though people tend not to understand my sarcasm a lot), please subscribe to my YouTube channel! Remember you can also follow me on Twitter if you fancy a chat, and Instagram to get updates before anywhere else (and also what I think are pretty pics).

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Pink Hair Essentials

I've recently been changing my hair up quite a bit. It was dark brown, then I went silver, then I bleached it a few times, and now it's pink! I'm going to be putting a video up on my YouTube channel of dying my hair pink. This post is all of the things I'll be using to maintain my hair while it's pink! It's also sort of a Boots haul because they were doing 3 for 2 on professional haircare (which I'm pretty sure is still on) and I just couldn't say no.

The dye I used is the Bleach London The Big Pink. It's a really, really bright pink if you start out with bleached hair. If your hair was a light blonde (but not white bleached) colour, I think it would turn out as a peach colour. I used it just as it is, but for a lighter colour you could mix it with conditioner. I also used the Total Bleach Kit and it took me all three packs to cover my whole head, so if you're looking to use them, I would definitely recommend having a spare on hand in case it runs out, especially if your hair is long. In all of their bleach kits, you get the Reincarnation Mask which is absolutely incredible and the best hair mask I've ever used! Would  completely recommend buying it if your hair is damaged or dry.

To keep my hair healthy between washes, I've been using the John Frieda Frizz Ease Leave-In Conditioner. A leave in conditioner is essential in my opinion. Lou Teasdale (One Direction's hair stylist and author of The Craft) said that she would even recommend putting a bit of conditioner on the ends of your hair after you've washed it and not rinse it out. The roots are all good for me as my hair gets pretty oily, but the ends don't get any of that at all so it's good to give them a little helping hand. 

A dry shampoo is also essential, and I've been using this Lee Stafford one. Just remember not to use it too much because dry shampoo is not good for frequent use.

Rest assured, I'm going to be using hair masks every time I wash my hair and that leave-in conditioner is going to be my new best friend! I can't say my hair is in great shape currently. Admittedly, it isn't terrible, but it could definitely be better. It isn't crispy yet, which is good??

Life is too short not to dye your hair!