Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Finding The Right Diary

As all of my fellow organisational freaks will know, it's extrememly hard to find a diary that completely works for you. After years of hunting down the perfect planner, I finally found it last year. The design wasn't pretty, but the inside was perfect and was the best practical choice for what I wanted to use it for. This year, I got there earlier and managed to get my hands on the same diary, with a much prettier design. For those wanting to get your hands on this particular diary (I mean come on, it's gorgeous) it's the Busy B Academic Diary. They have a couple of different designs, and even have family diaries and planners (amongst much more) if you're in the market for any of those.  
For many, diaries are a life saving tool when it comes to making sure we have everything done, or getting ourselves to the right place at the right time. Whether it's handing in assignments, remembering doctors appointments, or even just for seeing when someone's birthday is coming up - a diary can play a fundamental part in the running of day to day life. I love this particular diary as it cleverly has each week printed twice over adjacent pages, allowing you to combine two different schedules, and manage your life more effectively. Personally, I use one for side for university and the other side for life in general (appointments, birthdays, etc). Being able to balance two lives at once is an absolute lifesaver, and means I know exactly what needs to be done and when. I especially love how there is a memo section down the side of each page, so you can write a mini to-do list of all the things you want to achieve over the space of the week. The Busy B diary runs from August-August (13 months) so is perfect for students and those looking for a more academic diary. 

Between rushing to lectures, making sure assignments are submitted on time, and managing everyday tasks, it can be easy to forget something (usually to eat, breath, sleep etc.). But I find a mid-year diary incredibly useful for keeping on top of the academic year. Many of them are slim and lightweight making them perfect for traipsing all over in your bag. In this particular diary, there is a handy little storage pocket after every quarter, for you to put receipts, reminders are whatever you want in. There are even blank timetables, contact pages, and a calendar where you can view the whole year. And what's more it has a beautiful floral patterned cover (there's also a blue spotty one if flowers aren't your thing!) and an elastic closure to keep everything secure! 

What do you look for in a diary?

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Making The Most Of Your Phone Camera

I take, and have always taken all of my blog photos on a DSLR camera. But unlike me, there are many bloggers and even non-bloggers out there who don't have the privilege of owning a camera. Few people will probably agree with me here, but it isn't necessary to have a fancy camera or a DSLR to take good quality photographs. Nowadays the majority of people own some sort of smartphone, and most of them come equipped with a decent built in camera. Some of you may argue that photos taken on a phone aren't exactly high quality, but at second glance you can achieve some cracking images! So with this post I hope to show you how to get best use out of the different functions, to create some incredible photos. 

Tap to focus // This one is possible the best and most useful thing to remember when using your phone's camera. It may seem a bit obvious to most of you, but there are some people that don't even know how to use the basic camera settings - heck some people don't even know how to open the camera app! No matter how still you think you can hold your phone, you are always shakier than you think - otherwise we would all be experts at applying winged liner. Simply tap the screen once and everything will come into focus, or tap and hold on a specific area/subject to bring that into focus. 

HDR // HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This setting takes three different photos at three different exposures, and then merges them together to create a more vibrant image. It is a function that doesn't necessarily work for closeups and portraits, but is great for things like landscapes. 

Timer // Apple have fairly recently brought in a timer function on the iPhone camera. The timer can be extremely helpful when taking images of yourself, or of a subject that requires less camera shake. It is really simple to use, and you can see in the above picture that the third icon in from the left depicts a little clock - this is how you use the timer function. 

Remote // There are many ways of taking images 'hand free' if you will. With the recent selfie stick craze fizzling out, I thought it a good idea to mention an alternative method using the same principles. If you plug in a pair of earphones into an iPhone (it may work with other phones too but I'm not sure) and then open up the camera app, you can use the volume controls to release the camera shutter. 

Exposure // By tapping the screen on an iPhone, it brings up a yellow box with a little sun at the side. By sliding your finger up and down the screen you can adjust the exposure. By sliding your finger up the photo becomes brighter and in some cases, overexposed. By sliding your finger downwards, it darkens the image and underexposes it. 

Editing // Even if your photo isn't exactly how you want it to look, there are various apps on the app store that will enable you to enhance your images. I prefer to use VSCO, even though the recent update has caused uproar amongst the blogging community, I like it because it has the effects that I like the most. 

Have you got any tips?

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Current Faves: Nyx

I've been a fan of Nyx for years, long before I'd even tried anything from the brand. Years ago I received a set of Nyx nail polishes as a gift and I was left highly disappointed. People were still raving about the brand, so I wasn't sure if I just received a faulty product. With this in mind, I was a bit skeptical about buying anything else from the brand, but early on this year I decided to give them another chance. I was right to give them a second chance, because I have fallen in love with their products. I love how affordable and high quality they are! 

First up is the gem that is the HD Studio Finishing Powder. As I mentioned in Sunday's post, I've never tried a loose powder before, but this one caught my eye whilst roaming the aisles of Boots. As soon as I opened it, powder flew everywhere (and I mean everywhere). Once the cloud of powder had settled, I applied my usual foundation and concealer, and then used this in place of my usual powder. Words cannot describe how much I loved this powder! I literally could not stop staring at my face once I'd applied it - my makeup looked so smooth! A few hours went by and my makeup still looked fresh, and everything was still in place. By the end of the night, I could probably have done with a touch up, but my makeup still looked decent. So it clearly has longevity! 

Secondly are the Soft Matte Lip Creams. I've mentioned these a couple of times, but I think they really deserve being written about. I have the shades Prague (dark raspberry) and Antwerp (mid-toned pink) and they are both extrememly wearable. They are not as matte as some of the other matte lipsticks out there, they have a softer appearance and texture. They don't dry out your lips, and are so creamy. The doe foot applicator is tapered and cushioned, making it quick and easy to apply - leaving a crisp, clean finish. There are tons of different shades to choose from and I only have these two as I found the selection quite overwhelming! I've been eying up Stockholm and Copenhagen, amongst a few others, so I may have to take a little trip to Boots sometime soon!

Have you tried anything from Nyx? What are your thoughts?

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