Turin.

Following my previous post on my trip to Lyon, here are the photographs from my trip to Turin. Turin is a beautiful city in the North of Italy surrounded by the Alps. I tried to keep the photographs to a minimum but its so beautiful, I took so many photographs it’s difficult to narrow them down.

I went on to Turin with my sister, dad and brother. Me and Tiegan stayed with our aunt who lives out there. It ended up being a very inexpensive trip and visiting our aunt who we barely see was good for the soul. Hopefully we will be returning soon when its warmer and for longer than just a few days. Its amazing how much you can do in such a small space of time when visiting another city.

 

I also still have the photos to share from mine and Tiegan’s trip to Budapest which will be up next week! If you like the look of any of these photographs, some of them are available on my Redbubble page, available to buy as prints! Please have a look:

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EcoTools 6 Piece Eye Set vs Real Techniques Starter Set

In my last haul I mentioned that I had bought two eye brush sets. One for my little sisters birthday and one for me. Everybody knows about the Real Techniques brushes but I wanted to do a comparison between the Starter Set 1406 and the ecoTOOLs 6 Piece Eye Brush set.

On Amazon, which is where I bought both the sets from, the prices didn’t differ much at all. They were both priced at around £12 (Bargain!). In Boots there is around a £6 difference with the ecoTOOLS priced at £14.99 and Real Techniques at £21.99*.

 I thought I’d talk you through what I did and how each brush worked and which worked better. In general though both sets are pretty good, especially as starter sets. They’re both relatively inexpensive and not too difficult to get your hands on so if you’re not sure where to begin either set would be ideal. If you’d like to know more in more detail then you can read along.

I’ve sorted the brushes into pairs. By whether they are similar in size, shape and use but NOT by their names. Just remember this when reading, I’ve included the names so you can see which brush I used.DSC_0022a

Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush and the ecoTOOLS Large Eye Brush.

Both brushes work well and do the exact same job. The ecoTOOLS brush is slightly more dense so it’s much easier to pack a good amount of colour onto the eyelid. They both create a little fallout so you have to be a little careful. I found that the Real Techniques brush isn’t true to its name as it doesn’t fit in my crease at all! It is much better for applying a base shadow all over the lid.DSC_0021a

Real Techniques Shading Brush and the ecoTOOLS Angled Crease Brush.

I find that the Real Techniques brush is easier to use because it has a longer handle, but the ecoTOOLS brush is slightly bigger so it blends out quicker. These brushes actually work really well together by applying the chosen eyeshadow into the crease with the Shading Brush and blending out with the Angled Crease brush.

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Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush and the ecoTOOLS Highlighting Brush.

The Real Techniques brush creates quite a lot of fallout whilst the ecoTOOLS brush has little to no fallout. I’m not sure why? I use the brushes in the same way and I always tap excess shadow off before applying. This makes both of them quite frustrating to use and you must have some patience. I like to use these for highlighting my brow bone and inner corner.

DSC_0017aReal Techniques Accent Brush and the ecoTOOLS Smudge Brush.

This type of brush I don’t really get a lot of use out of. These are great for smudging out eyeliner if you’re going for a smokey eye and/or applying shadow under the eye. They are slightly different shapes but both work equally well.

DSC_0016aReal Techniques Fine Liner Brush/Silicone Liner Brush and the ecoTOOLS Petite Eye Shading Brush.

The Real Techniques liner brushes work much better with gel eyeliner as this is what they are for. The ecoTOOLS brush works better using a black shadow and creating a smokey liner. I paired these up because the ecoTOOLS set doesn’t come with a liner brush like the Real Techniques but you can still create a look with eye liner using both.

In my opinion I think that you would get more use out of all the brushes in the Real Techniques kit. Two of the ecoTOOLS brushes I don’t get a lot of use out of since they are so tiny, I don’t need them for everyday make-up looks. For the price though you can’t go wrong and it’s a great little set for travelling. I love both the sets and Tiegan uses the Real Technique set every day. I had fun comparing them both. Thank you Tiegan for letting me borrow your set for this comparison!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it was somehow helpful if you’ve seen either of these sets and thought about getting them!

*prices could have changed since writing this post.

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Having A Bad Week.

Last week was bloody awful. Definitely not one of my favourites. I have no reason for having a bad week though. It started off as just feeling super tired and wanting to sleep in, but by the end of the week I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone. I wasn’t inspired by anything, which you may have read about or noticed in my Photographers Gallery  post and I just felt like nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I did get up and dressed because I knew I’d only feel worse if I stayed in bed all day. I tried talking myself out of it and even talking to someone else about it. But nothing was working and by the end of the week I had had enough. It was time to pull myself out of my weird little funk.

So, I spent an entire day doing nothing. Well, not exactly doing nothing, just taking the time to rejuvenate. Pull myself together. Let myself feel crappy for one last day and get it out of my system. So if you’re in a weird funk and everything seems to be getting you down, I’m going to share with you my favourite things to do which help me feel better and I hope that it gives you some ideas for when you’re having a bad day/week.

Here’s what I did:

The first thing I did was get changed. Out of my pyjamas and into some jogging bottoms and a clean t-shirt. You can stay in your pyjamas if you like. it doesn’t matter, you’re probably not going anywhere. I cleansed my face and brushed my teeth to make myself feel some-what presentable and to feel a little fresher. Then I made my bed and tidied up a little bit. It always helps to have a tidy space to relax in because mess can be frustrating. If your space is tidy then your thoughts will be too.

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It was a rainy day so I lit a candle (Grapefruit by Yankee Candle) and made myself a cup of tea. I pulled out my Darling magazines and grabbed my favourite throw and made my bed comfortable. I like to be cosy. Darling is my favourite thing to read when I’m feeling fed up. It’s full of encouragement and inspiration for all areas of your life. It’s all positive too which makes it perfect for those not-so-great days.DSC_0086a

I’m pretty creative and I can get annoyed with myself when I’m lacking inspiration and interest in the normal things I love to do. I have a few creative books that I’ve collected over the years and they’re always my favourite things to go back to. The don’t require much thinking and just help to get the creative juices flowing.

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The Big Colour by numbers book is my favourite one to pull out. All the designs are right there for you and all you have to do is grab your pens and get started. There are a tonne of books like this going around now and they’re not expensive here are a few that I’d love to add to my collection.

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Animal Kingdom

Mindfulness Colouring Book

You can find all of these and loads more like it here.

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Two more of my favourite creative books are these 642 Things To Draw and 712 More Things To Draw. These are great for doodling. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to have and complete these books, they’re just great if you love to draw but need a little inspiration to get started.

These kinds of books are great for unwinding. They don’t require much thinking and are great for de-stressing.

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Another thing I love to do is give myself some retail therapy. Online shopping is my favourite since it’s so quick and easy to do. I know a lot of people prefer actually going out to shop but it gives me anxiety and makes me feel rushed and under pressure to find things I like. Most of the time I am filling up my basket and not actually buying anything but since I was feeling so down I did really buy some stuff so you can expect a mini haul at some point.

At the end of the day I ran myself a bath and used my favourite products. Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed is perfect. Aromatherapy products are awesome. If like me you have trouble sleeping then stay away from tea! Stick to decaf as an alternative or try something new like chamomile or even cherry juice.

Other things you can do which can help to make you feel better are taking walks, listening to upbeat playlists, being with friends etc. Whatever makes you feel good. It’s also important to take time away from technology, turn off your phone and your laptop. They can both be distractions from what is really important to you, once you take them away you can begin to clear your head a little better.

Often advice I see is that when you’re feeling low you should make yourself get up and out no matter how you’re feeling. In my experience though it’s not always easy and you should never force yourself to do something you don’t want to. If you need to, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t have a pity party but make sure you let yourself feel the things you need to feel. If you keep putting them to the side or ignoring them, they’re not going to go away. It’s OK not to be OK.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have liked my advice and little tips that help with making me feel better. It took me a while to get to writing this because it seemed quite personal but I thought it was important and something that I wanted to share. If it helps me then it could help someone else.

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The Photographers Gallery

Last Thursday was one of those awful rainy days that we have here in the UK. The ones where its beautiful. sunny and warm the day before and then the next the heavens open and you remember what it’s like to be British again. Me and my Dad took our monthly trip to The Photographers Gallery to visit the new exhibition for the month. We’ll usually visit the gallery first, have some lunch, visit the bookstore and then wonder around Soho and take some street photographs.

The current exhibitions are The Chinese Photobook and DEUTSCHE BÖRSE. The Gallery is made up of Five floors, you start on the first floor and make your way up. By accident on our second visit we started at the top and worked our way down, since then this is what we’ve been doing. We love to be different. The exhibitions are separate, the third floor dedicated to the Chinese Photobook, the fourth and fifth floors dedicated to the DEUTSCHE BÖRSE photography prize. The first floor was holding a private exhibition or some sort of class, I can’t remember.

The photography prize was compiled of several runner ups and the winner will be announced on the 28th of May with a book signing on the 29th. The Photographers Gallery always pulls off the most incredible exhibitions, holding some really wonderful art. Please click here  if you’d like to read more about the artists and their displays. I won’t go into too much detail on my thoughts on each one, since there are 4 different sections to talk about.

The one that stood out most was the work of Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.  “Their collaborative publication presents a, ‘photo/graphic’ album of images and text which uncover the history of a once elite, now abandoned high-rise apartment block in Johannesburg”. The images were heartbreaking with a contrast between the apartments before they were abandoned and after. There were also photographs of the doors, the windows and the televisons of each apartment, presented in light boxes  .

 17728005982_27065b5c6a_nDSC_0012AViviane Sassen’s display was also really interesting. I particularly like this landscape photograph with the red filter. Each individual display was interesting but the photographer’s gallery is something which is probably easier to absorb in two trips since there is often two separate exhibitions to view.DSC_0011A

After we were done in the gallery we decided to take some street photography. I really like this little shop, we didn’t buy anything in there though but they had some pretty cool stuff. Here are some of the photos I took. I took more but I wasn’t that pleased with them and I’m still feeling uninspired when it comes to photography.
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Thank you for reading!

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The Isle Of Wight.

Last weekend it was a bank holiday so me and my family decided to take a trip away to the Isle of Wight. Every year there is a bike ride around the island called Randonee (I think!). This year both my dad and brother were participating so the whole family used it as an excuse to have a mini holiday.

Here are some of my favourite photographs from the weekend:

Saturday

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Appley Tower. I remember walking along the beach many times when I was little. It’s about 15 minutes away from my grandparents house, so a quick walk to the beach was a regular occurrence. I love walking along here, the sea is so calming and I always feel little again.DSC_0042A

My brother-in-law being a fabulous model outside of Appley Tower.

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Mark decided to walk along the sea by himself. We all turned around wondering where he had gone and then we saw him waving at us like this.DSC_0060A

My brother in-law, my niece and my dad. They were walking up the hill with her like this and I had to capture it. DSC_0023A

Before leaving my grandparents home I wanted to get a photo of all of us together. It was important to me because it is likely to be the last time that we ever see this house, since my grandparents are moving and selling it. It makes me so sad since I have so many memories in this house but I’m glad we have all left we some extra happy ones with lots of laughs and love.DSC_0011 (2)A

A quick photograph of all of us in our tiny caravan before going out to eat. This photo makes me laugh and my brother in-law looks like he is having the worst time!
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One of the best photographs from the weekend! We took this because my Grandad told us that he always remembers us as a TEAM, because of our names; Tiegan, Ella, Amber and Mark. One of the sweetest things I have ever heard and we had never thought about it like that before! We don’t have many pictures of all of us together like this either.

Sunday

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Dad, Toni and Mark

Sunday was ride day and it was a few hours in and me and mum had to drive 40 minutes across the island because my brother thought he was going to have to change one of his wheels. After an hour of waiting, they appeared and told us that the wheel was alright and they didn’t need the spare! But it was OK because it was lunchtime and they had made it halfway so we decided to sit and have lunch with them.

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A few words of encouragement and they were off again!

I don’t have a photograph of them at the finish line! But they all did really well. I’m so proud of them because it was a 100km ride and my brother’s PB was only about 60km! If you would like to read more about my brother’s experience then I am sure he will have a blog post talking all about it at some point – His Blog.

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After getting back to the camp-site, me and Lisa decided to go for a run on the beach. We were so tired and feeling so lazy that we walked most of it!

Monday

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Monday was our last day and we had to be out of our caravan by 10am. Our ferry wasn’t until half 5 so we had to make the most of the day. Plus the sunshine came out for us so it was extra lovely! We went for breakfast at Driftwood at Sandown Beach.

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Probably one of my favourite photographs from the weekend. Sandown beach is so pretty in the sunshine!
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Some cute pictures of Mark and my niece to end with. I got lots of pictures of my family but I didn’t want to put them all up because you’d be sitting here for hours! I loved this mini holiday, it’s always nice to have time with loved ones and just really appreciate them. I had lots of laughs with my sisters and it was really nice for all of us to be under the same roof. The Isle of Wight is one of my favourite places for a little get away, even when its raining it’s still a lot of fun because its cosy! Where is your favourite place to go for a weekend away?

If you have time then please check out my sister, my brother and my dad’s blogs if you want to read about their lives and hear their opinions on lots of different topics, and follow me on the social media below to keep up with me, my blog posts and my photography.

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Feeling Uninspired.

For a week or so I have lacked inspiration with Photography. Looking around, nothing jumps out to me. Nothing. It’s pretty much the same as writers block.

I recently read a book called the War Of Art by Steven Pressfield

Which basically states that all forms of creative block are down to our own resistance; fear, self doubt, procrastination, self-dramatization etc. All forms of resistance but ultimately it all comes down to whether we do it or we don’t.

So bearing all of that in mind, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and go out and do it.

In part of the book, Steven explains that to overcome his own resistance he would sit down and write, regardless of how good or bad his writing would be. He would simply write, to get it out of his system and to be satisfied with himself for overcoming resistance.

So, taking this advice and applying it to myself, I went out with no expectations to take good photographs. Instead, just to go out and take photographs because I love it and because I’d be unhappy if I didn’t.

Part 2 of overcoming my resistance is to post the few that I took that were semi-decent. The following photographs are from over the weekend, about a 20 minute walk from where I live.

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“What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead. I was developing symptoms. As soon as I began, I was okay.”

More photos on my Flickr – here.

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Rome.

Around this time last year me, my parents and my little sister took a trip to Rome for a long weekend.

I was already in love with Italy but the country’s capital is so magical that you can’t help but fall in love a little more. There is something about the way Rome’s architecture takes you through time all the while the city goes on with modern life.

One of my favourite parts of the trip was visiting the Colosseum. Looking into the Colosseum is fascinating, you find yourself imagining what it would have been like to be viewing the gladiatorial contests in such a huge space, it’s incredible to just think about; to actually be inside is something else. Not only is it great to look inside of, but its also amazing to look out of. To be taken back into history and then to look out and see modern city life, with Rome’s residents going on with their normal day to day business, is a serious incredible experience. A piece of history, slap bang in the middle of Rome. There honestly is nothing like it.

Here are photos from the trip.

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I have finally uploaded some of my photographs to Flickr!

If you would like to see photos I have taken on different trips then click here!

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