Thursday, 10 April 2014

Adventures in Graphic Design.

Since just after Christmas, I've taken on a lot more 'graphic design stuff' at work and I suppose I've felt a bit weird about it for a time now because it's not something I ever really considered as an option before. That said, I bloody enjoy it.

Here's where I think having a blog can be a really wonderful thing, I can express myself creatively and ultimately it doesn't matter all that much. I can change my header and background and the way I do things and it either looks better or it doesn't but nobody really cares. Obviously it doesn't work quite the same way when doing things 'for someone' but it really has helped me practise.

That's why, and I'm a bit nervous about it, I'd like to share a few things I've worked on with you. I've just given my blog a little spring facelift and changed a few things too but I'm quite proud of these things. Sure, they're just silly emails and flyers but I'd like to think a little part of me can shine through with them in terms of style and tone.

It's not like I want to jump head-first into freelancing or anything but I've been thinking that it would be cool to take on a few side-projects. Depending of course on whether there's any consensus that I'm even any good, it would be good to know what you think.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Review: Maybelline Baby Skin Primer

I've had this sitting in my drafts for quite a while now. I feel like I'm actually enjoying blogging again and want to make a bit more of an effort to upload slightly more varied things like I used to.

God knows it's been a long time since I talked anything beauty, but truth is, I haven't had the time to faff with this kind of thing. I'm pretty out of touch, I haven't really read any magazines in ages and I don't really read that many beauty blogs anymore either. I don't even really paint my nails that much any more, which has not helped with not biting them. These are all things I'd like to at least change a bit, so here we are.

I picked up this Maybelline Baby Skin Primer as a replacement for my wonderful Collection 2000 Primed & Ready. What can I say? Wokingham Superdrug was out of stock of my usual and this one was on offer, not very brand-loyal. When I initially made plans to write this, it wasn't going to be kind, but we're around a month down the line and I don't hate it. I don't recommend it, but I don't want to completely slate it either.

I had initially found this to be a little greasy, it didn't do all that much priming and my foundation felt slippery. That said, using it now, it's fine, it just works much better if you only use a tiny amount.

For an extra £2 more than Collection 2000's Primed & Ready, I wouldn't say it particularly offers anything different. They are both adequate if you're not willing to fork out for Benefit's Porefessional, from my point of view anyway, and the Baby Skin Primer has lasted well. I don't think I would buy it again, not at full price anyway. It does a good job of blurring pores but I think my BB cream does quite a bit of work to help it out with this too.

From a packaging point of view, I think I was definitely swayed by the pretty colour combination, but when it comes down to copywriting it's not that cool. The fact they've had to put a disclaimer about being 'only for adults' is pretty stupid, why'd you call it 'Baby Skin' then?

I dunno, maybe this is a little negative. For a drugstore product, it's fine, it can be greasy but it can also do its job, just not much better than another primer that costs less. I suppose it depends on whether you're more about brands or saving pennies, I would say when it comes drugstore brands there's not all that much difference that can be made.

Have you given Maybelline's Baby Skin Primer a go? What did you think?

Monday, 7 April 2014

Last Weekend: Ludlow

Here are the last few photos from our weekend trip to Ludlow last week. Goodness knows what I'll write here now, hermitting about and watching Game of Thrones doesn't exactly make for exciting things to talk about.

I feel like I'm more into it (whatever 'it' is) at the moment though, it must be the longer days. I've definitely noticed a pattern over the years, things slow down at Christmas and don't generally build momentum until about now.

Anyway, back to Ludlow, it was so great to get out and snap away again, I'll be looking to do it more and more as the weather improves. Ludlow seems like a lovely place for a mooch and we did a fair amount, despite one of our tour guides having a bit of a sore head from the night before. The markets, all the food, I'm looking forward to Ludlow Food Festival already.

These silk flowers were very good pretenders.

We took an unplanned detour to Ludlow Castle after finding out it was just £5 admission. I'd certainly recommend it, if only for the beautiful views. We were also treated to some massacred pigeons courtesy of a wild sparrowhawk - that last bit I guess I was less happy about but it was quite interesting, plus, nature innit?


Such pretty streets - that are apparently okay to drive down too(!)

Oh, 'almost Wales', you have such wonderful daffs

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls...

Next on our whistle-stop tour of our friend's local tourist attractions was, oh you know, just Wales(!)
I remember trips to Wales that took hours from Surrey and we had so many lovely family holidays to Llansteffan and Tenby. How lucky Richard and Fran are that such a beautiful part of the UK is so close-by.

I went for butternut squash pasta with pine nut salsa and vegetable tempura, Fran's fish and chips were eyeing me up but it was still delicious all the same.

That view.

With a little help from Fran's parents, via a vague telephone call that would have been really specific if we really knew where were going, after a pretty special lunch at the picturesque Harp Inn, we made our way to Warren Wood. Set in Radnor Forest, Warren Wood comes complete with it's own (hilariously named) waterfall called Water-Break-Its-Neck.

We were so spoilt to have the place pretty much all to ourselves, particularly the waterfall. If it had been as rammed with tourists as I'd imagine it would be at a warmer time of year it probably would have been terrible. The photos, including the goofy 'look at what a fun time we're having' ones, don't really do the place justice, I haven't seen anywhere so beautiful in such a long time.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Film Club | March.

Only nine movies this month, feels like a pretty poor effort on my part, plus I didn't even really like any of the films I did watch! You can probably definitely blame this on my discovery of Game of Thrones that I mentioned last month. I did manage to finally make it to the cinema for the first time this year though, and to see a Wes Anderson film on the big screen was nothing but a total joy - I really (and I mean really) enjoyed the aspect ratio shifts almost as much as The Grand Budapest Hotel itself.

  1. Boogie Nights
  2. Delivery Man
  3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
  4. The Grand Budapest Hotel*
  5. About Time
  1. Aliens
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. Static
  4. You're Next

I'm not sure what else I can say about a set of films that mainly consists of horrors and rom-coms but I'll do my best.

Favourite: The Grand Budapest Hotel What can I say, I'm a sucker for Wes Anderson, have been since I discovered him. GBH is not quite up there with The Royal Tenenbaums or The Life Aquatic for me, but it's much better than Moonrise Kingdom, which I feel like I should have enjoyed more. It was just fun, and beautiful and even gruesome in parts, I loved it.

Least Favourite: About Time (although if I could pick everything, I would). This film was the actual worst. Like, the main character was not leading man material at all, he was a total slimeball who (spoiler alert) basically tricks Rachael McAdams into being the love of his life. Like, it's a time travel film without any reasonable butterfly effect. The sad bit about his dad did break my heart a bit but ultimately it was just stupid, I didn't care about the characters or storyline, not Richard Curtis' best.

Any recommendations for this month? I haven't sat down to watch a film in a couple of weeks now and have seen a lot of what's been recommended to me so far. You can see my build up my list as I go along over on Pinterest, open to suggestions.

Look Back –
Film Club | January
Film Club | February

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