31/01/2012

Socially Awkward

I guess with a blog you decide what you want the content to be. Even though I review the odd item or two, I still categorize ASHLLYD as a lifestyle blog. I share weekly photos, updates on my life and college work. I'm still amazed over three hundred of you want to hear about my life. If I saw myself as a person I'd think she's well boring!

I woke up this morning, logged onto my laptop and remembered it was my ex best friend's birthday today. We haven't spoken in two years and as much as I loved all of the other friends in our 'group', she was honestly the best friend I could ever ask for. I don't even know why we all stopped talking but out of the five people in our group (one moved country) I don't talk to any of them, yet I know that they all still talk to eachother! It just seems like we all left school, I dropped out of sixth form and we all got into relationships. I'm one of them people that puts ~chicks before dicks~ and considering I had known my friends for three whole years and then met Todd, I wasn't going to start losing out on a friendship all due to a boy. However, circumstances changed and it looks like they did just that themselves. I haven't seen any of them since March 2010.

*tried to look for a picture to include... i have none.

I didn't go to the #zomgbloggersbash yesterday and I can't even explain why. I planned to meet a few others before hand (first blog event!) and even got ready to leave. Then I just bottled it at the last minute. Considering I haven't been out with any girls other than my mum, sister and my boyfriend (obviously he's a boy!), it was really hard for me to go and meet other girls, especially who I've never met before. I know if you went to the event and you're reading, you're probably thinking 'well it was hard for most bloggers as nobody knew anyone' but I feel like my circumstances and reasons are different. I have no confidence with friendships. I'm a lot more shy, awkward and anxious around people compared to who I used to be. I used to be so outgoing, loud (ish) and genuinely a lot more happier knowing I had two girls that I could talk to about anything. I have a boyfriend, don't get me wrong, and he's the best person to have ever walked into my life. I will never put any new friends before him and he knows that. (Funny how things change?) Knowing him for four years (dating for two) is such a precious thing but he's not exactly someone I can talk to about let's say.... relationship problems! He gets bored shopping with me and dreads it when I say 'fancy going Oxford Street?'. 

I really do want to attend my first blogger's event. I feel like I missed out on such a great one yesterday and resulted in spending my evening cleaning my makeup brushes; fun(!) I probably sound like such a wimp but it's a huge thing for me to leave my front door and meet people which could result in a new friendship blossoming. However, I need to grow balls cos the only way I will ever find friends is to leave the front door! 

Looking for a magic pill that will give me confidence & balls(!)
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29/01/2012

My (lazy and stressful) week in photos


nandos with the family · me & my sister · shrek? · nandos cheesecake · first MAC purchase · blush cosmetics sponsor · friday night's reward · lazy weekend

Had another long, stressful week but I'm now spending my whole weekend in my bed, literally and talking to Bobby from Take Me Out. Only Vicky will understand how exciting that is. I now need to start planning my next photoshoot! Hope everyone's had a lovely weekend!
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28/01/2012

FAKE BENEFIT HOOLA BRONZER









I tweeted a few days ago regarding a "Hoola Bronzer" by Benefit which I bought on ebay for around the £5 mark. I got it from this seller who ended up giving me a full refund but it isn't the point. The actual picture they used to advertise the product is different from what I received. Although they didn't actually list it as 'genuine'; they listed it under Brand: Benefit and even included a RRP price! I knew it was a knock off straight away! 

How did I detect it was fake? Let's compare it to bubblegarm's review.

I have never tried Hoola Bronzer by Benefit but it was a lot smaller than I expected it to be.  I gathered it was probably a mini version for the price that I paid. The actual "by benefit" subtitle gave it away. It's in a cheap looking font almost like 'arial'. On the back it has a "peel here sticker". After researching about fake hoola bronzers, a lot of people said that the peel here sign won't peel. It's true! It ripped! I opened it and the lid was not attached, which I believe Benefit introduced a while back. The genuine ones also have a mirror inside (as far as I am aware!) which this didn't. The plastic tray inside was loose and didn't seem to fit the box properly. The brush itself is cut wonky and all the hairs just fall out EVERYWHERE. As for the actual pigmentation, it's crap! Luckily, I ready beauty blogs so I knew this was fake straight away. However, someone who isn't aware of fakes would buy this and totally disregard Benefit as a load of rubbish which is obviously putting Benefit out of business. It's now in the bin! I wouldn't recommend using fake products as you never know what kind of chemicals they've used to conjure up the counterfeit. It also smells like plastic!?

I'm lucky I got a refund. The seller only sells so called Hoola and has 100% positive feedback which was another reason I bought it. I left negative feedback and checking it now, another two people have. I hope my feedback is warning people to steer away from that seller in particular and all the other fakes on ebay. I wouldn't not recommend buying products from ebay, but definitely do your research first. I bought a MAC mineralized skin finish natural the same day as I purchased the hoola fake, and it's a genuine product (paid £15 for it though so not exactly saving that much).

As the saying goes... if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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27/01/2012

Happy go lucky


Bye bye to another busy week. Hello to a relaxing weekend. Submitted two projects today and now only have one project to do which is due in the end of next month. I've literally had to work my bum off to get three assignments in two weeks, plus a portfolio ready for my University interview. I've done it and now I can sit back all weekend and stuff my face with chocolate. I wore my Gryffindor jumper today, it's so cosy. I got it from here.
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23/01/2012

Outfit Virgin



BAG: EBAY
JUMPER: PRIMARK
FAUX LEATHER TROUSERS: H&M
SHOES: TOPSHOP VECTRAS 
LIPSTICK: BARRY M #52 (101)

Yo! I've done it! I've grown some balls, got dressed, set up my tripod and snapped what I'm wearing. However, it was really rushed as I went to my Sister's college interview tonight and then onto Nandos! (shall talk more about it in this week's "week in photos" post). Not entirely sure I even like my first attempt at photographing my outfit. I like this jumper but it's one of them cropped ones that only look acceptable with a black top underneath so I never really wear it. The trousers are faux leather and I wear them all the time however I have to hand wash them which is a pain! The bag is from ebay and I've been using it non-stop for about 4/5 months! Should probably look around for a new one soon. 

Would you like to see more?
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22/01/2012

A very busy week in photos!






tuna and sweetcorn pasta // gryffindor jumper from ebay // dad's roast dinner last sunday // audience whilst i ate it // spontaneous trip to the forest to walk the dog // met a horse who said hello, then farted // buttered crumpets // page of 'wrecked my journal' // paul from s club 7 followed me! // colour dark room measurements // white chocolate dips // friday's reward for a long week!

Back to my usual weekly posts running from Sunday to Saturday; being posted every Sunday! Was actually going to start last week but realised I hadn't taken many photos! I'm always travelling so taking my DSLR about is a bit of a job! This week has been so tough but I've pulled through and now having a lazy Sunday!

This week has consisted of everyday being busy. I got a letter last week informing me my University interview was on Friday 20th which was short notice considering my portfolio wasn't even halfway finished so I was stressing so much. Even shed a tear or two! However, by Thursday I decided to ditch all of my Grandparents project and just have my Brick Lane project instead. I wanted it to show my creativity and obviously something I want to go into as a career. I am predicted DDD for my final grade which I'm really happy about. Super excited about my next project too which is a studio project so obviously I'm going to do something fashion related! As for my interview, I was really nervous and had 'butterflies' all morning but everything went perfectly and I have been offered a place (still going to work for that overall DDD grade though!). So happy!

I also have some really exciting news. You may already know considering I tweeted about it with excitement but I am going to London Fashion Week! I really wanted to go this year as the collections seem more exciting and obviously more colourful compared to LFW a few months ago! However, it's not open to the public so applying for a pass seemed pretty pointless! I have been recommended to work with a fashion photographer and I am literally still starstruck. Not going to reveal who it is but his work is amazing and I will do a blog post all about it once it comes! I will be there on the Sunday. Super thrilled to be seeing Mulberry's and Vivenne Westwood's Red Label collections. So grateful for this opportunity. Now I just need to plan what to wear!

I'm also going to the #zomgbloggersbash next Monday (30th), hopefully. My work rota doesn't come out till tomorrow evening so I hope I'm not working. A lot of bloggers I talk to are going so I'm going to be literally stoked all evening but it will be really good to meet the faces behind the blogs I read! Really excited to meet AbbyMichelle and lots of others! Please let me know if you're going! Now I need to plan another outfit...

Got hardly any time to blog next week so have a few guest bloggers lined up. If you're interested in writing a post for ASHLLYD, feel free to email me!

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20/01/2012

Review: The Accessory Stand

masquerade mask ring* (£3.25) / white rabbit ring* (£2.95)

The lovely Eleanor from The Accessory Stand sent me some rings for consideration to review and I love them! All of the items are vintage inspired and adjustable meaning people with weird, small fingers like myself don't have to worry about purchasing size 'S' rings and them still being too big! They do have a website but purchases operate through ebay so you do need an ebay account!

I chose the rabbit ring (described as white but it's more on the gold side) as it's Alice in Wonderland inspired and that's one of my all time favourite books/films! I have wanted something like this for ages but they're not the cheapest things to buy (anything Disney is always a rip off, but worth it at the same time!) so I was really happy with this! I love the mask ring too. They both fit perfectly and I can't wait to wear them properly. Maybe they will be featured in my first outfit post (I will start soon, I promise)!

Check out their website here and follow them on twitter!
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19/01/2012

Review: NIVEA Day cream

Nivea day cream (Boots £4.19)

Since running out of my holy grail Liz Earle moisturiser, I had to dash to Boots to buy something to temporarily use until I get a new Liz Earle one. However, it's going to be a moisturiser that I stick to using and always fall back on (even though Liz Earle's skin repair moisturiser is my favourite! review here) as it's a lot cheaper, possibly just as good and comes in a handy squeezy tube. I prefer tubes to pots/tubs as I feel it's more hygienic and just generally easier! They have different tubes for different skin types too. I picked up the dry/sensitive (pink) tube as that's generally my skin type. I don't really have dry skin but it often feels tight if I'm in need of moisturising, usually after exfoliating. 

Honestly, I wasn't expecting great things as it is so cheap and I literally only picked it up as a temporary replacement but it's one of the best things I have ever randomly bought. I actually went in Boots to pick up Simple's moisturiser, which wasn't in stock.. so this was the next best thing! I haven't broken out for about a month and I've probably been using this for about three/four weeks now! Obviously it's really moisturising too and doesn't smell overpowering which I find Nivea products sometimes have. I think I'm going to try out the night cream too!
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18/01/2012

Make up storage/Vanity area


I have a relatively small area where I store my makeup/perfume/skin care items (one day i will own something like this). I used to keep everything in my top drawer but everything was getting overcrowded so I finally bought some Muji acrylic storage systems, two of each, so I now have four drawers in total. I have ~recycled~ the drawer from Fearne Cotton's christmas nail varnish collection and used it to store more lipsticks as I was running out of room. My top drawer is face and base products, aswell as cheek products. The second drawer is my single eyeshadows and small eyeshadow quads drawer, the third is my eye drawer including eyeliners, mascaras and my one primer and the bottom drawer is a mix match of more lipsticks and my collection of rings (random!). I have really cute patterned boxes which were actually all part of a chocolate storage tower that my boyfriend's mum bought all of us as a christmas present, which again I have ~recycled~ . They're too pretty to throw away and besides, they match my room! The largest one contains all of my nail varnishes which is a bit of a pain as I have to take off the lid and balance everything but I work with it! I also have a tall cylinder one which holds my hair brushes, a small cylinder one which contains hair bobbles and bobby pins. I have quite a large skin care collection, simply because I believe everybody should look after their skin, no matter how young or old you are! I remove my makeup every single night for example and cleanse everyday, exfoliate every other day and exfoliate my body twice a week. I have built up quite a bit of a perfume collection, nothing too big but enough to last me throughout the year. I refuse to buy myself perfumes because they're so expensive so I always rely on Christmas which always sees me getting about 3-5 new bottles. My all time favourites were re-purchased for me this year. My signature scents being Chanel Madamoiselle and Dolce & Gabbana The One. So expensive, but so lovely.

Have you posted your makeup storage? I would love to have a nosey!*
nosey - "to have a look/intrigued to see something".
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16/01/2012

Review: CHEAP FRILLS



 Cat Ears Ring* (£7) & Fabulous Fox Ring* (£7)

Received a lovely gift from Cheap Frills a few days ago. Cheap Frills is an online jewellery based shop that is from Brighton, selling vintage inspired pieces and exclusive hand made items. I love the concept behind everything and they're super lovely too. It's a cherry on the top when a company contacts you and they're really polite! :-) 

I chose the cat ring as I've seen a similar version in Topshop before and I've seen a few in magazines. I adore animals so you will notice the whole theme. I also chose the fox ring! Surprised? I adore the jewellery and it's something I have already paired up with outfits and worn out. I really support the jewellery brand as everything is of a high quality, affordable price tags, super fast delivery (cutest gift bags too!) and generally great custom.

Have you tried out anything from Cheap Frills? 
Check out their shop and follow them on Twitter!

P.s You can get 20% off with code JAN20
(currently valid, no idea when it ends)

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15/01/2012

Violent Lips






Violent Lip tattoos (Boots £7.99)*

Been wanting to try these out for ages and so excited I've finally got my hands on some! I actually only got them yesterday and rushed to try them out straight away. The instructions are pretty easy. You pop out the top lip and bottom lip and then line them up to your own lips and cut around the guidelines on the back, depending on how thick/thin your lips are. Peel off the back, apply to your lip and then use a flannel soaked (not pouring obviously) in water and dab the back of the applique and it magically appears on your lip. It's basically the same process as a temporary skin tattoo! They don't budge either. You can rub them as much as you like and they stay put which is great if you use them for a party/night out etc (they roughly last 4-8 hours, maybe more!).

They're really fun and come in a range of designs! I have the leopard print ones and the pinky red polka dot ones. I did a mini photoshoot with my sister yesterday as the lighting was beautiful and the sun was going down; creating a beautiful back drop. There's no specific theme and they're not really anything special but I really like them! I edited them in Photoshop incase you're wondering. Sometimes I mess with colours a lot which you can probably tell but sometimes I literally just sharpen and tweak the contrast!

Have you tried Violent Lips? What do you think of them?
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14/01/2012

Primark SS12 Collection



Images from Look magazine; collaged by myself.

Spring/Summer 2012 sees the return of pastel colours and repetitive patterns, fun clashes of playful colours and prints and let's not forget about the stubborn re-currence of the cute peter pan collar. There's so many button up shirts in the new collection which I'm probably most excited about; I want them all! I have already made a cheeky purchase and bought the heart print shirt which looks lovely on but I'm saving for the warmer months! The snake print trend isn't budging as you can tell from the shoes which I love. They almost look designer inspired?! How lovely is the clutch bag? I don't own a clutch because I never really go out but this is something I would probably buy, not use but not regret. The colour would go with everything! I'm really loving the return of coral and duckegg shades, just because they contrast so well together and just shout out SPRING. I'm most excited for the polka dot shirt as shown above. I am yet to get my hands on and when I do I probably won't stop wearing it! It's so me! Compared to the A/W11 collection (i posted about it here); the colours are a lot more fun to work with and now I cannot wait till the weather warms up.. but I think we have snow next week so I shall be extending my use of chunky knit jumpers and endless layers!

What do you think of the Primark SS12 collection? Will you be purchasing anything?

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11/01/2012

New work: Graphic Design: Community in art: Final piece

Exactly one month on in my project (last update here), I have completed the final piece for the graphics side of the project. I was umming and ahhing over what to do as we had to create a poster advertising an exhibition we will be holding next month to showcase the photographs we've taken for the other half of the project. 

I decided to create a cork/notice board in a kitchen to advertise it. My first draft was a basic poster (title, image, information, logos) which looked really boring; partly because I had no inspiration! I was discussing ideas with my boyfriend and finally sat down for a few hours and designed this! The blurred out bit on the paper is my college logo and the information blurred out on the post-it note is the information where the exhibition is being held. I obviously had to blur it out for privacy reasons and the exhibition venue is in partnership with my college! The images were purposely made into polaroids to fit around the theme of a notice board but I have also included polaroid imagery all thanks to my instax camera!

Click for a bigger view.

I did add several old granny wallpapers instead of the kitchen tiles but nothing would tile (if you understand photoshop, you'll understand what I mean!) properly. I think a cork/notice board is usually in the kitchen or an office though? I still have so much to do for the project; complete graphics research, print it all off, order my A3 display book, print in the darkroom for about two days and loads of process book work; all ready for  the 27th! As a result, blog designs will resume soon but please be patient.

 Let me know your thoughts!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a customised blog design!

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09/01/2012

Blog Design GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

I reached 200 followers a while ago and fast approaching the 300 mark so I thought I would say a huge thank you to everybody who has followed my blog, commented and emailed me lovely things. The positive feedback I get is really rewarding and makes me want to blog regularly!

I have been thinking over and over again what to include as a prize for my giveaway. I have a few unwanted Christmas presents but nothing amazing to give away. Yesterday I was thinking about it some more and I am going to be giving away a blog design! It will be my £25 deal (which has currently been set to 'sold out' and will be up for sale again when I have got through the queue of blogs to design) but obviously free of charge! Not everybody is going to be interested in this, especially people who only have blogs to enter beauty giveaways and don't necessarily blog themselves. It can be hard to start blogging and grab attention from readers if your blog isn't very eyecatching to look at. It would be lovely to help out a blogger who reads my own blog to get on the road to blogging with a lovely looking blog. Or maybe one of you just fancy a re-vamp!

So, if you fancy winning yourself a complete blog design with a free installation included here's what you have to do:

  • Be a follower of ASHLLYD via GFC (Google Friend Connect) - Click Follow at the top or Click Join This Site on my followers widget.
  • Finish this sentence: "I really want a blog design by ASHLLYD because.........."
  • Leave a contact email.
Extra entries (+1 entry for each):
  • Follow me on Twitter (link here)
  • Like ASHLLYD on Facebook (link here)
  • Like Daisystreet on Facebook (link here)
  • Tweet about the giveaway and mention @ashllyd so I can see it!
Winners will be chosen via random.org and the giveaway will end 11:59pm 31st January. I will contact you on the given email address. The winner will have 48 hours to reply otherwise I will pick a different winner, so check your inboxes!

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