Monday, 26 January 2015

my new hair | the long bob

Not that long ago, I put up a post about how I was considering chopping off half my hair, and after much deliberation, guess what? I did it!
This is the shortest I've had my hair since I was about 5 so it was quite a big deal for me, but I was surprised how quickly I got used to it and grew to love it.
As you can see in the pictures on the right, my hair was getting pretty long, and I'm ashamed to say that I hadn't even had a trim for over a year before this weekend. By that point, the ends of my hair were literally falling out if I even so much as touched it, so this haircut was direly needed, if only for health (of my hair) reasons.
I think the scariest part for me, was not seeing piles of my hair on the floor as you might think, but probably when I realised that I could no longer put my hair up in my trusty I-couldn't-be-bothered-to-wash-my-hair-so-I'm-trying-to-hide-how-greasy-it-is ponytail.
Despite that, I definitely find my hair 1000x easier to deal with, so if you'd like I might experiment a bit and attempt to do a post full of simple hairstyles for shorter length hair.

In case anyone's interested, I got it cut at Tony and Guy, and I just asked the hairdresser for it to be cut just below the shoulders with quite a lot of layers.  
I've never enjoyed going to the hairdressers, I find that awkward small talk and staring at myself in the mirror for an hour isn't great for my self esteem, but from my experience, Tony and Guy has been the better of many evils. It's also where I got my hair ombred in September and I was happy with the results then too so I'm sure I'll continue to go there in the near future.

Sorry about the photos, I wanted to show you my hair but it turns out I'm not so great at the whole being attractive thing.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Read this when you're feeling down

I know that no matter how optimistic your outlook on life is, there are always going to be times when you feel down, and that's ok. But I've put together some of my favourite positivity quotes from Pinterest, as a reminder, for both you and myself, that everything will be alright. As cheesy as they sound, I do think that sometimes just seeing such positive words can really work as a pick me up on those days where all you want to do is lie in bed all day eating chocolate.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge 2014

Title: BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge
Artist: Various Artists
Release Date: October 27th 2014
My Rating: ★★★
Favourite tracks:
Ed Sheeran - Stay with me
Ben Howard - Hideaway
Sam smith - Berlin
Kasabian - Fancy
Hozier - Do I Wanna Know
Ella Eyre - Come Back

When I found out about this album, it went straight on my Christmas list. I literally love everything about Radio 1. I love the music, I love the presenters (if that's even what radio people are called?), I love 'BBC Introducing', I love the interviews, and I love the Live Lounges. Although it's great to listen to a well put together, polished track, there's something fascinating about the slight changes that are brought to the songs each time they're performed live. Whether it be subtle improvisation, an acoustic version, a mash up, or a different voice altogether, it can really make you see the songs in a new light, and maybe even spark a new found appreciation. I find that quite often I like a song but don't think the artist does it any justice, or the other way round, so it's great that the live lounge provides the opportunity to almost 'fix' this. It can also bring together some incredible pairings of singers and songwriters. I mean, Hozier singing Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran singing Sam Smith... does it really get any better than that?!
After all that praise, you're probably wondering why I only gave it 3 stars? I guess that although I love so many of the songs, there are also a lot that I don't think are particularly special. Realistically I shouldn't really expect to love all 39 songs, but I'm not going to give away those stars that easily! I do think that there is something for everyone on here though and at least worth a listen.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Mac's Velvet Teddy | Worth the Hype?

Ahh, Velvet Teddy. Beloved-Kylie-Jenner-esque, Velvet Teddy.
Ever since the brown toned nude lipstick look has made a comeback, it seems that anyone remotely interested in makeup, either already owns and worships it, or is desperate to get their hands on it.

This is my first and only mac lipstick. I'm not claiming to be some kind of makeup artist, and you've probably seen hundreds of reviews of it already, but here it is from an unexperienced teenager's point of view:  

The first thing that made me love this lipstick is how, as the name suggests, it really does make your lips appear velvety and soft. Sometimes when I look in the mirror with this on, I genuinely just want to stroke my lips, they look that good. As a matte I kind of expected it to make them look dry and bring out the cracks and lines, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The second thing is obviously the colour. I'm not even going to try and describe it because I know I won't get it right, but hopefully you can see from the pictures just how pretty it is.
I think the reason I love the colour so much is that first of all it goes with everything, and also that, although it's pink, it's not too much on the girly side. I have no idea why, but since forever, I've had almost a phobia of looking too girly (the reason I dress like a hobo 99% of the time), so I find this is the perfect compromise. 

I'm not one to go for really hyped up products, so I'm glad that I did find this back in June before it became so popular because I feel like if not, I might have not given it go just because everyone else has it. So if you're ones of those people too, I recommend just swallowing your pride and giving it a go.  Because as much as it pains me to say this, it really is worth the hype.

Friday, 16 January 2015

January Playlist

Only one - Kanye West
Kathleen - Catfish and the Bottlemen
Cocoon - Catfish and the Bottlemen
Blood hands - Royal Blood
The driver - Bastille
The hunter - Slaves
Heavy love - Mali Music
Lampshades on fire - Modest Mouse
Earned it - The Weeknd
Take shelter - Years and Years
Breathe - Years and Years
Cigarette Song - Raury
Home again - Michael Kiwanuka
Every night - Josef Salvat
Savage - Ben Khan
Messed up kids - Jake Bugg

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A New Years Revelation

For so long now I've struggled to come to terms with the fact that there are certain things about my life that I can't change.
I wrote a post at the start of the year (here) with a positive message about how much everything has improved. I really did mean what I said, but then the holidays ended and I had to leave my family again and go back to college. So over the last two weeks I've been feeling really down and homesick, and basically just feeling sorry for myself.

But today I had an 'epiphany'.
Sure I can't change the world around me, but there is one thing I have complete control over; me.
If I can find the time to cry in my room and think about everything negatively, then I might as well use that time to focus on improving myself instead.

This might be one of the cheesiest things you've ever read, and I'm not really one to distribute pretentious life thoughts like this often, but when had this thought I just had to get it down in words, maybe just to make myself to believe it.

This year I'm going to make me the best version I can be. The new and improved Ella. Ella 2.0.

Yes, I'm going to have down days where my confidence and motivation levels are at 0, but right now I am so determined that I'm not going to let myself worry about things that are out of my control any more. It's easier said than done, but worrying never solves anything, and I'd rather put that nervous energy into something with a positive outcome. Whether it be by being healthier, working harder at school, or even improving this blog, I'm going to try and make sure that everyday I am a better person than I was yesterday.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Quick Look Inside My Sketchbook

Yes I purposely made the title rhyme. No I am not ashamed.

I'm one of those people that has phases. By that I mean I'll get into something, be obsessed with it for a few weeks, then forget about it and move on to something else. This happens all the time with my so called 'art'. Every now and then I will spend every second I can drawing, but then something will stop or distract me and picking up a pencil again won't even cross my mind for months.
Apart from the small sketches I posted the other day, I haven't drawn just for the fun of it in what feels like forever. But I thought I would muster up the courage to share a few older portrait drawings I did throughout 2014. If I'm being completely honest, I didn't take photos of the worst ones, but doesn't everyone put everything they post on the internet through their own personal 'will this make me look good' filter really?
My favourite subject matter when it comes to drawing, or just art in general, is quite simply 'people'. I just find it so fascinating how by adjusting one feature in your drawing, even very slightly, you can change the character and emotion completely. In particular I love drawing eyes. I could honestly spend all day just drawing sets of eyes.
Anyway I hope you like them, and that the abnormal length of Benedict's face doesn't offend any potentially present 'Cumberbitches' too much.    

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Week in Brighton | Everything Else

If your not a regular reader of my blog, you may not know that I was visiting Brighton for the first time over Christmas and I'm sharing the photos from my trip over three posts. To see the last two, click the links here and here!

This set of photos is basically just the rest of the pictures that I took over the week. Some are from browsing all the lovely shops and cafes in the lanes. Some are from Brighton's annual lantern festival. Some are from standing outside the Pavillion because my Dad refused to pay to go inside. And some are from walking through Brighton in the evening, admiring the pretty lights, drinking costa hot chocolate, and feeling festive af.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Only One | Kanye West

Title: Only One
Artist: Kanye West ft. Paul McCartney
Release Date: December 31st 2014
My Rating: ★★★★★
Thoughts: I have to admit that my love (verging on obsession) for Kanye West is pretty much unconditional, so making this an unbiased review will be difficult.
I would describe Kanye's most recent album 'Yeezus' as very intense and dramatic, and in his own words "this is what frustration sounds like". But as much as I love 'Yeezus', what I love about this song is that it reminds me of the more old school yeezy.
The lyrics in particular are a lot more heartfelt much like his earliest albums (The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation) and actually evoke emotion rather than just informing us about how highly the man thinks of himself #nohate. He has also substituted rapping for his quintessentially '808s & Heartbreak' auto tuned singing. It's fair to say that, as a rapper, he doesn't have the strongest singing voice, but I think this just adds to the vulnerability of him opening up about such personal thoughts.
In recent years it seems that Kanye West has grown a reputation that can be summed up with the words controversial and disrespectful, so perhaps this song has given everyone a chance to see that maybe he is a decent person after all who realises that he has made mistakes just like everyone else. As the songs says, 'you're not perfect but you're not your mistakes.' 

Overall, I am head over heels in love with this song and if the coming album is anything like it, we are in for a treat.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

2014 Red Carpet Looks: Best Of

Surely I'm not the only one who likes to daydream about what I would wear if I was invited to a red carpet event? It must be every fashion interested girl's dream to have such a good excuse to go all out with dressing up. I rarely even have the occasion to wear anything other than a tshirt and jeans, let alone the chance to wear a beautiful, designer, wedding-like dress.
Over the course of the year, I've fallen in love with some incredible outfits, and there are some celebrities in particular who in my opinion have been completely nailing it this year. I mean, who could forget Kendall Jenner's pink satin fishtail dress, or Angelina Jolie's tailored suit?

Here are some of my top red carpet looks of 2014, tell me in the comments which is your favourite!