Thursday, 29 January 2015

How I Take And Edit My Blog Photos

One of my favourite parts of blogging is the photography. While I am not the best photographer in the world I am always trying to improve my photo's and I feel that in the past year my photography has improved significantly. When I was starting my blog I had no idea how to take my photos or edit them in a way that appeals to your audience, so I thought that I would write a post today about how I take and edit my photos to give you some ideas or inspiration whether you're new to blogging or not.

Apart from my DSLR (which is the Cannon 700D) one of the best things I've ever bought to help my photography is a tripod. I don't always use my tripod and it is in no way essential for you to have one, but it is extremely handy if you have an unsteady hand or you don't have anyone to help you take photos of your outfit. 

When I comes to the actual set up of the photo I tend to vary it a lot. Depending on the product I am taking a picture of I will decide on what props to use in the background and what angle to take to photo from. In this photo I have places the palette on my acrylic muji storage next to this beautiful bunch of flowers, a common prop that features in my photos. 

My main tips would be to always take your photos in clear bright lighting, to use props but not clutter the background of your photos and experiment to find what works for you!

Once I've taken my photos and chosen the one's that I want to use I then go about editing. Editing can seem like a scary process as lots of bloggers use expensive programs like Photoshop but it really don't have to be complicated. I mainly edit my photos using Windows Live Photo Gallery adjusting the brightness, contrast, shadows, highlights and colour balance, though there are other great programs that you could use to do this.





















Another program I like to use to edit my photos is picmonkey, which is a free online photo editor. It's a great editor that has lots of handy features but I mainly use it to crop my photos while keeping it within its original proportions, or to re-size my images so that they are the perfect size for my blog.





















Of course there is no right or wrong way to take or edit your blog photos and everyone has their own style, this is just the way that I do things! Also if you want know what I listen to while I'm blogging you can follow my Spotify profile here!

How do you take and edit your blog photos? If you've written a similar post to mine link it in the comments below I'd love to read it!

Eleanor xx

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Review - Nars Virtual Domination Palette

If you read my last post you would've seen that this Christmas I was lucky enough to receive the Nars Virtual Domination Palette. Exclusively released to Space NK, I had seen this beauty popping up on blogs around November and was desperate to try it out for myself! 

The palette includes 3 blushes (Deep Throat, Sex Fantasy and Final Cut), 1 highlighter (Miss Liberty) and 1 bronzer (Laguna), of which I've only tried Laguna previously. One thing I personally love about this palette is the fact that Nars have decided to include a highlighter and bronzer and well as 3 blushes adding a bit of variation to the palette and makes it perfect for traveling as you don't need to bring hundreds of other face products besides the palette, this also differentiates it from a lot of other Nars limited edition face palettes which have in the past only ever featured blushes. 



While it is a beautiful palette and range of colours, personally I would've preferred to see a more neutral/pink highlighter rather than one with peach undertones, I also would've preferred maybe more finely milled glitter to give more of a subtle shimmer to the cheek rather than the disco ball effect as I personally do not see Miss Liberty as a wearable everyday highlight. This all being said I think it's perfect for a party or event.
Also if your skin tone is any darker than a medium tan, I would be slightly worried that Laguna may not show up on your skin as it isn't the darkest or most pigmented bronzer ever, despite it being a personal favourite of mine. But overall I would happily wear all of the shades in the palette.  

From L to R - Miss Liberty, Deep Throat, Sex Fantasy, Final Cut, Laguna

The Nars Virtual Domination palette is overall a beautiful palette and whats even better is that it is great value for money. In this palette you get more bronzer than you do in a full sized Laguna which is £27 alone, and each blush is only 0.01oz less product than the individual which cost £22.50 alone. To buy all of the products individually it would set you back £117 which is crazy considering the palette is only £45, so if this palette isn't a bargain then I don't know what is!

Have you tried the Nars Virtual Domination Palette?

Eleanor xx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What I Got For Christmas 2014

Happy new year everybody! I'm so sorry for my lack of absence from the blogging community but over the Christmas period I felt the need for a break. I now feel refreshed and ready for 2014 but before we leave 2014 behind I thought I'd show you guys a selection of what I got for Christmas!

Disclaimer - I am extremely grateful for everything I received for Christmas and in no way trying to 'show off' (who would even do that?). I personally enjoy reading these posts and they are some of my most viewed posts on my blog so I assume you guys do too, so here it is!   



When my friends and family asked me what I wanted for Christmas I honestly wasn't too sure, but after a bit of consideration I decided to ask for a new pair of headphones. I am addicted to music, I like to listen to music at every given opportunity so it made sense to ask for a good quality pair of headphones because I knew that I would use them everyday! The Sennheiser CX 5.00i headphones are exactly what I was looking for, they are not only of a very high quality for the price but produce a lovely even sound and also look pretty. 

I was very lucky to receive the Nars Virtual Domination Palette from my sister, which is very funny because I also bought it for her! Needless to say we both love our palette's and I have been using mine every single day since I got it. Stay tuned for a review of this very soon.

Nars Virtual Domination Palette and Sennheiser CX 5.00i Headphones

The other present my sister bought my were these Adidas Superstar Trainers that I have been eyeing up for ages. As you can tell they are a bit dirty because I have been wearing them to death ever since I got them!

Adidas Superstar Trainers





As well as some larger presents I also got a few stocking fillers including the Divergent series of books and a 2015 pug calender. I read Divergent over summer when I borrowed it from my local library but I never got round to reading the last two books, so I'm delighted that I can read the rest of the books before the films come out. As for the pug calender I have a slight major obsession with pugs, so of course Christmas would not have been complete without some sort of pug related present.

The Divergent Series and a Pug Calender


ITunes vouchers are one thing that I ask for every Christmas and are the perfect gift for any music lover. Music is one of those things which I don't ever really buy for myself despite constantly wanting the latest albums from my favourite bands/artists, so finally I will be able to get the new music I've been craving after.

My friends and I decided that this year we'd all do Secret Santa instead of buying each other lots of little gifts. As part of my present from my friend Louise I received this awesome hip flask. While I don't encourage drinking (unless done responsibly) I had to share this with you because it is honestly the coolest most glamorous hip flask I've ever seen. In addition to the 'Lip Flask', Louise also bought me Santa's Lip Scrub from Lush which I have been wanting for ages and I can verify that it tastes delicious.
 
ITunes Vouchers, Lip Flask and Lush's Santa's Lip Scrub


In addition to these lovely gifts I also got a new dressing gown, some money and of course lots and lots of chocolate! As I said before I am extremely grateful for everything I received, I hope you guys were just as lucky and got everything you were hoping for.

This one is for you Ed

Eleanor xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Outfit Post - My Blood Is A Flood Of Rubies

As soon as we enter the autumn/winter months people all over Britain can be heard exclaiming "Isn't it getting dark early?" despite the fact that this happens every year and has done since they were born. It's funny how we all know the darkness is coming yet it continues to surprise us every time. I am no exception and despite it being December I still occasionally find myself saying it, especially today when I came to take these outfit photo's.






Missguided Coat, Forever 21 Scarf, Primark Jumper, Topshop Jeans, M & S Boots and Mac Lipstick (Rebel)



It was about 4 o'clock when I went out into my garden to set up my tripod to take these photo's and it was already starting to get dark. This meant I had to set my camera to the highest exposure which has sadly reduced the quality of the photos but I thought that I'd share them anyway as I'm wearing one of my favourite outfits recently. I love the winter vibes of this outfit and the coincidence of my matching lipstick and my scarf.

What is your favourite winter outfit?

Eleanor xx

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday Nails - Midnight Snowflakes

With 18 days until Christmas we are well and truly in the depths of winter, and I have definitely been getting into the festive spirit. For example today alone I have been ice skating, looking round the Bath Christmas market, wrapping Christmas presents and watched Home Alone 2, if that isn't festive I don't know what is! So in the spirit of all things festive I of course had to do a festive nail art today!

How have you been getting in the Christmas spirit?

Eleanor xx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Battle Of The Colours - Blonde Vs Brunette

Naturally I have very mousy brown hair, it is flat, thin, dead straight and does absolutely nothing for my face. While lots of people suit their natural hair I believe that I'm sadly not one of them so instead I like to dye my hair. But of course this causes me a major dilemma: blonde or brown? While my hair is currently blonde I am toying with the idea of dying it dark brown so to help me make up my mind I thought I'd draw up a list of pros and cons for dying my hair each colour. 



B L O N D E

  • One step closer to achieving my ultimate hair goal of Blake Lively's beautiful locks
  • Blondes have more fun (may or may not be factually incorrect)
  • Light hair doesn't tend to wash out my pale skin as much as dark hair colours
  • With blonde hair it's easier to get away with slightly greasy hair and dry shampoo is virtually invisible 
  • Blonde hair doesn't fade like brown
  • You always have the potential to go a crazy colour like pink

B R U N E T T E

  • It is a lot easier to dye your hair brown at home or touch up roots than blonde 
  • Roots are not as obvious
  • You're never labelled with the 'dumb blonde' stereotype 
  • Blonde hair can look slightly orangey or brassy in some lights
  • I could probably get away with being my sister with dark brown hair 

Of course these are just my personal opinions and will definitely not apply to everyone. Also I'd just like to make it clear that I do not think one colour is better than the other or that you must dye your hair, ultimately it's down to personal preference. 

What hair colour do you think I should have? Blonde or brunette? 

Eleanor xx

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday Nails - Silver Foil

I am a magpie when it comes to anything sparkly, shiny or glittery, there is just something about the way that they catch the light that draws me to them. It comes to no supprise that I'm always decorating my nails with little gems or glitter or like today, foil.




While it sounds quite unusual to put tin foil on my nails rather than on a Christmas turkey, the result is very pretty. I just cut up your average kitchen foil into tiny little pieces and scattered them onto my wet nails and sealed it all with a clear topcoat, pretty simple huh?

What do you think about using everyday household items to create nail art?

Eleanor xx

Friday, 28 November 2014

Autumn/Winter Haul 2014

Online shopping has become a slight addiction for me. While in the past I've never been fond of buying things online because of having to wait days for what I've bought for it then to possibly not fit, recently I've found myself frequently buying things online because I simply don't have the time or energy to go round town searching for what I need. One of the best days of the year for online shoppers is undoubtedly Black Friday with money off in practically every shop you can get all the deals without having to fight your way through the crazy crowds of shoppers.

As a little inspiration for your online shopping I thought I'd share with you what I've bought recently. Also if you stay tuned till the end of the post I've collected all the best Black Friday deals.

Missguided Coat - £59.99

M & S Boots - £69

Primark Polo Neck Top - £5

Primark Polo Neck Top - £5
H & M Jumper - £24.99 



Miss Selfridge Ripped Super Skinny Jeans - £38


Black Friday Deals -

ASOS: 20% EVERYTHING ALL WEEKEND CODE: CYBERWKND20

River Island : 20% EVERYTHING (11am-3pm) CODE: TREAT28

Missguided : 20% off EVERYTHING DATE: 11.27-12.01 CODE: CYBER20

Topshop : up to 50% off + free worldwide shipping 

All Saints: 20% off all styles DATE: 11.28-12.01 CODE: CYBER 

OFFICE Shoes: 20% off EVERYTHING + free shipping CODE: SNOW 

Romwe: Up to $30 off CODE: CYBERMONDAY15

Urban Outfitters: up to 50% off + free shipping DATE: 11.28 CODE: BFDELIVERY

New Look: up to 50% off selected lines  


Motel Rocks 25% off EVERYTHING CODE: CYBER25

Miss Selfridge : up to 50% off EVERYTHING

Marks & Spencer : up to 30% off selected lines

Will you be buying anything this Black Friday?

Eleanor xx

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Nails - Blue Marble

99% of the time nail art can be a bit hit or miss. Unless I've done a particular nail art before I have no idea how it is going to turn out, especially when I'm trying out a new technique as I did today. 

Normally when I'm doing a marble effect nail art I'll use the water technique but I thought I'd try something a bit easier: cling film. To create the effect I painted my nails with two coats of white nail polish and then a layer of blue nail polish. While the blue nail varnish is still wet I lightly dabbed my nail with a scrunched up piece of cling film and then finished off with a clear top coat.


























I seriously love the effect created by this technique and it's a lot easier than using water to create a marble effect, so I will definitely be trying it again in the future!

Have you every tried used cling film to create nail art?

Eleanor xx

Thursday, 20 November 2014

How To Make Your Own Corrector

When you lead a busy life it's easy to lose out on your beauty sleep, sadly that means having to face the daily battle against the under eye bags with a concoction of concealers to hide the fact I've had less than 8 hours sleep. But after watching this video by Gossmakeupartist the battle has become less of a struggle  now I know how to make my own corrector. 

To make your own corrector all you will need is your normal concealer and a cheek or lip tint like Benefits Benetint or Possietint. In Goss's video he suggests using red food colouring but I chose to use a cheek or lip tint because it is less likely to stain and specially designed to be used on your face unlike food colouring.

I then just mix the two products in about a until the concealer turns a more orangey/salmon colour and there you have your perfect corrector. While it may seem like a lot of effort it's really a lot easier than buying a whole other product and trying to find the right shade. 

Do you suffer with dicolouration under your eyes? Have you ever tried making your own corrector?Eleanor xx