Friday, 30 January 2015

Illamasqua Make Up Haul!

Illamasqua, make up, haul, hollow pigment, pale skin, delirium, cream pigment, justify, vulgar, eyeshadow, my pale skin, em ford


Although I own a few products from Illamasqua, I can't say that I've ever truly dived in and experienced the brand, or it's full range. I've previously bought a few base products from them, such as foundation & concealer but that's about as far as my foray has taken me. 
I love a good sale, and when I heard that Illamasqua had started theirs, I jumped straight in and started adding products to my basket.

I've heard so many things about using the Cream Pigment - Hollow that I just had to have it. For some reason I thought Delirium may work as sort of an edgy contour, but seeing it in person, I'm not so convinced... at least it was on sale... right?
Whilst in a Contour mood, I started browsing the Eyeshadow range for alternative options and picked up Heroine and Justify. It was then that I noticed the Vulgar eyeshadow, and although it may seem a weird choice, I'm seriously into the way Sssamanthaaa blends her eyeshadow out using an orange shade, and when I noticed this was on sale, it didn't stand a chance - the poor little thing. It went straight into the basket. 

So that's everything I picked up! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried any of them before? Let me know your thoughts!

Em xxx

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Everday Make Up Tutorial For Pale Skin!

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Everyday make up, pale skin, lilac hair, tutorial, step by step, my pale skin, em ford, cover acne, cover spots, pale make up, fair skin, lilac hair, silver hair, pastel hair, blogger

Everyday make up, pale skin, lilac hair, tutorial, step by step, my pale skin, em ford, cover acne, cover spots, pale make up, fair skin, lilac hair, silver hair, pastel hair, blogger

Everyday make up, pale skin, lilac hair, tutorial, step by step, my pale skin, em ford, cover acne, cover spots, pale make up, fair skin, lilac hair, silver hair, pastel hair, blogger

Everyday make up, pale skin, lilac hair, tutorial, step by step, my pale skin, em ford, cover acne, cover spots, pale make up, fair skin, lilac hair, silver hair, pastel hair, blogger

This January, there's one make up look that I just keep finding myself coming back to. There's something about this combination of colours and products that I just can't stop wearing, and I wanted to share it with you all. It's so quick and simple to do, and many of the key  products are drugstore! Which means it's not going to break the bank either - so a win win situation!

Here's the video to see it in action...




Products used:

Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow - Siberia
Concealer: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - Chantilly
Contour: NYX Taupe Blusher
Bronzer: Bourjois Delice de Poudre (51) 
Highlight: Me Me Me Beat The Blues - Pearl Pink*
Blusher: Inika Mineral Blush - Peachy Keen*
Eyebrows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade - Medium Brown
Eyeshadow Base & Transition: Make Up Revolution Essential Mattes 2 Palette*
Eyeshadow, Lid: Make Up Revolution Iconic 3 Palette
Eyeliner: Maybeline Big Eyes Eyeliner - Beige & Black
Mascara: YSL Shocking Mascara
Lips:  Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks - Bashful & Raplumzel.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this tutorial! Let me know in the video comments. And of course, don't forget to give it that big thumbs up and subscribe!

Em xxx

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Bloggers Guide To Camera Lenses - Part One.


One aspect of blogging I get asked about the most, by email or twitter is Photography. I love taking blog photos, it's something I enjoy the most about blogging. Although at times it can be frustrating, and take forever to arrange items in a composition you're happy with - when you get it 'right' and can look back at a photo with pride and admiration it's one of the most rewarding feelings. 

You can read The introduction to this series here. 
So i've found myself staring at the screen for the past hour or so, wondering where to begin in this series, when I hit a brain wave. This photography series is specifically tailored towards blogging, and to help you figure out which lens is best for you. I can talk about the pro's and con's of each lens all day long - but it's not very good if you can't see how they all compare to each other. Can you picture the difference between a 10mm lens and a 200mm lens? Or how about a the difference between a 50mm prime lens and 55mm on your camera kit lens?  

If you can anwer yes to all of the above questions, then likely you're a better photographer than me... because I found that I learnt a hell of a lot more than I thought, just by writing this post!

Disclaimer

This post or series is in no way meant to be a brag about my camera kit, or how much any of it costs. I just want to say that I am in no means a photography expert, or tutor, and I'm sure that there are many more qualified people in the blogging world who could write these posts, I wanted to give back and share what I've learnt over the past year. Only half of these lenses belong to me, some of them belong to my work and as a perk of my job I'm able to use them outside of work for my own use
.  

Okay, So in order to facilitate a fair test... we have to set up the environment. The image below details my set up for every photograph in this post. I'm using two different lights to control the light in the room and a tripod to ensure the camera doesn't move from it's spot. Just FYI, I'm using a Canon 600d for the photos. For the background, I'm using the bloggers favourite - fairy lights, and my product is stuck down in postition. I will say that the only exception to this rule is that I couldn't use the tripod for the images with the last lens, as the Ring light would not fit over the lens on the tripod, so I had to hold it instead.



Now that we know what we're getting ourseleves into... let's get started! I will say that I'm not going to explain exactly how your camera works inside out - as there are so many amazing blogs out there that understand that stuff more than me! But to clarify before we begin, the basic premise of the focal length of your lens, is that it determines how 'zoomed in' or 'far away' your photos appear.

  • For the purpose of this post, If a lens is a zoom lens, I'll show you the two opposite extremes of the lens. 
  •  I will be shooting on the lowest f Stop possible to get the 'blurriest' backgound I can. 
  • This post will also be tailored towards blog product photography shots.


Got that? Good! Now here are some examples.

Sigma 10-20mm lens



The 10-20mm Lens is the widest lens of the lot. At 10mm it's verging on Fish Eye, and you can certainly see the majority of the room, which may be useful if you're an estate agent.... but as we're trying to take a picture of a moisturiser, it's certainly less than ideal. You can certainly see the difference between the 10mm and 20mm focal length. 
We have barely any 'blur' from the background, and the majority of the photo is taken up by table.

Marks out of ten as a lens to use for Product photography = 0. 

Canon 18-55mm LENS



The Canon 18-55mm lens is one which comes with the camera. It's the kit lens, and with that, you can't expect miracles or too much greatness. 
At 18mm, It's far too wide to photograph our little tub of cream, but when zoomed into 55mm we're getting closer to the action. With a little brightness and contrast, I'd say we have ourselves a useable image for product photography.
The downside with this lens, is that your limited on the f Stop which means your background won't be totally blurred, and that may become frustrating.

Marks out of ten as a lens to use for Product photography = 6.

Tamron 24-70mm Lens




Where do I begin, this Tamron 24-70mm lens is a dream to use. At 24mm the shot is too wide for our single shot of cream, but would be great if you have lots of products to photograph in one image. Also check out the blur on the fairy lights! You can see a massive difference between the 18-55mm and the 24-70mm on that one aspect alone.
Let's just take a moment to appreciate how beautifully easy the 70mm setting on the Tamron 24-70mm lens makes it to take photographs. Everything about this image is just working perfectly for me. The background is blurry, the product is the right size in frame, leaving just enough space around it, and the edges of the moisturiser are just starting to soften.

Marks out of ten as a lens to use for Product photography = 10. (OH YES!)

Canon 40mm lens (pancake)


The Canon 40mm Lens is one which I previously used almost every time I took photographs,until I received my 24-70mm Lens for Christmas. Although slightly too wide for our product shot from our tripod set up, the background has a good level of blur. I do have to mention though that this lens is Macro, which means you can get super close up (0.3m away!) and get the small print on the product in focus. If you're looking for a cheaper alterntive to the 24-70mm lens, and don't mind moving around to get the shot - get this. 

Marks out of ten as a lens to use for Product photography = 8.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 Lens


The f/1.4 50mm Lens is the mid-range 50mm Lens - There is a cheaper f/1.8 version available, and a more expensive f/1.2
This lens in particular, has an f/stop of 1.4 meaning that it offers 'the blurriest background' of all the lenses I'm talking about today. 
At 50mm, it's the perfect focal length mounted from our tripod, but be warned, you can't get much closer to the products, or else it won't focus at all. 

Also, dare I say it... at f/1.4 - the background is, gulp, possibly too blurry! The majority of the moisturiser is out of focus, which in this case may not be a good thing.

Marks out of ten as a lens to use for Product photography = 8.

Canon 70-200mm Lens f/2.8 L



I don't even know where to begin.... let's just say, you don't ever want to use the Canon 70-200mm lens to try and take product shots, whilst mounted to a tripod, in your bedroom... This is not the lens for you.

Marks out of ten as a lens to use for Product photography = 0. 


Conclusion


So that's it for part one. So what did we learn today? We learnt that you certainly don't want to use a 10mm lens or a 200mm lens to photograph a moisturiser, and the ideal focal length falls between 40mm-70mm. In particular, the  three lenses which performed the best were:


I really hope this post was useful. If i've missed anything out, or I haven't explained something well enough, please do let me know! As I said, I'm not a photography expert, so If there are any mistakes, i'm only human! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this post! Let me know in the comments.

Em xxx

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

So, I accidentally dyed my hair purple...

pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair

pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair

So today's post isn't something I can say I planned for... Like a lot of blonde haired ladies, when my hair is looking slightly brassy, I use a purple shampoo to freshen up my locks and keep those orange tones at bay. In the past 10 years that i've been bleach blonde, I've tried many a toner on my hair.

There are so many 'purple' or 'silver' shampoo's on the market, that without reading a review, you often don't know what you're going to get. You could say that i'm used to toning shampoo's not being very useful. I quite like the Touch Of Silver shampoo which you an often find in the pound shop, as well as the usual drugstores I like it, because it's weak enough to forget about leaving in your hair for 10 minutes and you'll have an even application. I've tried the L'oreal Professional Serie Silver shampoo when a hairdresser left me with brassy roots - they gave me a big bottle to compensate until they could get me back in to fix them. It was a thicker consistency than I expected, but smelt great, and toned nicely. I've ordered the Clairol Shimmer Lights which our American allies seem to rave about for platinum and silver locks, Although it left the hair patchy in places, I did however, put that down to a dodgy home dye!

A couple of months ago, I was asked if I'd like to try anything from the brand Fudge* and their range of hair products, I jumped at the chance to try a few out. The Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo* seemed like a great product for my bleached, dehydrated, hair. The product is billed to 'balance out the yellow tones in your hair to give you a blonde tone you'll love. The shampoo leaves your hair hydrated, replenished, and perfectly clean'. Of course I wanted to try it... and of course, it sat in my drawer for months whilst I used up the other 2 bottles of toning shampoo I had on the go.

It was mid shower (no joke) Sunday Night, that I had a brainwave. I'd remembered the existence of the Fudge shampoo! So, I did what any self respecting woman would do - I opened the bathroom door and requested my partner to get it for me.

I used the shampoo, as directed - on wet hair, and applied it in an even application, the same way I usually apply toning shampoo. I split my hair into sections and applied the product. I kept the shampoo on for about 10 minutes or so before washing it off.... What happened next, when I saw my hair dry, in daylight for the first time, can only really be described in picture form, so I've recreated it for your benefit. 

pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair

pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair

I honestly, don't know what I expected to happen... but after the initial 'Oh shit, what have I done?!' I couldn't stop laughing. I wasn't bothered by the purple too much, It was just completely unexpected. After my Clairol Shimmer Lights patchy dye job, and a lot of googling, I worked hard at washing it a few times in head and shoulders which caused the colour to fade over a weekend - so I knew I could get rid of it this hair disaster... But it left me thinking, what If I leave it for a day before washing it out?


pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair


pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair

pastel hair, blue hair, silver hair, fudge clean blonde, violet toner, my pale skin, em ford. review, pastel hair

Although I hadn't intended for this to happen, After Applying my make up, and attempting to style my purple/blue/grey locks... something strange happened... I looked in the mirror and I sort of, almost, dare I say it - liked it? I decided to share a picture on twitter yesterday, and let's just say my twitter feed went a little crazy. I couldn't believe how many people liked it! Like actually thought it was good... which leaves me thinking... should I make it a little more permanent? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this colour! And if you have any hair mishap stories, i'd love to hear them! Let me know in the comments.
Em xxx



Monday, 19 January 2015

Dinner With.... 'Hello April'


'Dinner With...' is a series I've been looking forward to starting since I first shared the idea with you all a couple of weeks ago. I love going out for dinner and talking all things food, life and internet related. One of my goals for 2015, was to get out more, meet new people and have more fun. I'm hoping to post one 'Dinner With...' every month, where I'm planning on meeting up and hanging out with the writers behind the blogs I love. 

I decided to invite April to my first ever 'Dinner With...' as April was one of the first friends I made in the blogging world. We live seconds away from each other in Central London and often meet up and attend events together.  As I'm currently on a plant based diet- having swapped processed foods for fresh, organic foods. Chocolate for Cacao and caramel for Medjool dates... there was only one place I had in mind to go out to Dinner - Vantra Vitao. In case you didn't know, Vantra is a healthy plant based Vegan restaurant that caters to not only those with mainstream dietary requirements but also those lesser known allergies and intolerance's.



However, on arrival... it seemed Vantra didn't get the memo, and were sadly closed upon our arrival - without any mention of this happening on their website or social media channels. After a lot of expletives, we popped across the road to Primark to indulge in a little retail therapy. I picked up the 'Central Perk' friends Tee which you can see me wearing in my most recent video as well as a e candles from the home section. I was hoping to grab a few pairs of casual flat shoes, but wasn't feeling anything in the range available.
We decided to head to Mildreds (Vegetarian Restaurant) in Soho, and after a ten minute walk, we discovered that it was so busy - you couldn't even get through the door. Perhaps they all found out Vantra was closed too? 

At this point we were starving, so had a 'Screw it' moment and walked a few doors down to Wagamamas - where we discovered their fabulous 'catwalk' entrance walk way.






It may have taken 3 restaurants, and a lot longer than I expected to actually eat something that wasn't going to hurt me (Food Intolerance's), but I eventually settled on the (Yasai Cha Han) brown rice bowl minus a couple of foods I can't eat.




If golden beige food is what you're after... then this is the meal for you. I don't consider myself a picky eater, but I did struggle to find something on the menu that was suitable for my dietary requirements and had I read the menu before heading in there - I likely wouldn't have chosen it as a restaurant. The Edamame beans on the other hand... were amazing. 


I'll admit, at this point in the evening, and being at our third restaurant - any thought of blogging questions went out the window... Instead, we focused just on enjoying ourselves, and having fun. We had a chance to talk about thing we want to improve on our blogs, things we hope to achieve and generally finding happiness with our blogs.  For instance, April found happiness when her Chili Chicken Ramen arrived. (Don't kill me April)





Not forgetting that an evening out with another blogger isn't complete without a bathroom selfie, we made sure we headed to the mirror to grab one. Although the evening didn't quite go as planned, which means that I didn't get a chance to ask April any of the 'Dinner With...' questions, we still had a great evening. Sometimes you need to go 'off piste' every so often to remind you what it is that you want to focus on and although the evening didn't technically go as planned, I feel like we both took a lot away from it. 

Em xxx




Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Few Of My Favourite Things!



I promised that in 2015, i'd have more fun, take life less seriously and learn to let go. I also made a promise to myself to make more YouTube videos, fix my hair, improve my confidence, meet new people and make new friends! 
So with the list of everything I'd like to achieve on a personal basis in 2015,  I got thinking about things I was thankful for, and also the things that I do enjoy and the places I love.

I'm really hoping that you guys can get to know me a little better this year, and as soon as I came across the 'A Few Of My Favourite Things Tag' I thought it was the perfect video to start with in 2015. So without further ado,  here are A Few of my Favourite Things!





I'd love to hear your thoughts on this video! Let me know in the comments, and if you haven't already - don't forget to subscribe

Em xxx



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Bourjois Colour Boost - Plum Russian Review


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Bourjois, colour boost, plum russian, review, swatch, blogger, my pale skin, pale skin, lipstick

Bourjois, colour boost, plum russian, review, swatch, blogger, my pale skin, pale skin, lipstick

Bourjois, colour boost, plum russian, review, swatch, blogger, my pale skin, pale skin, lipstick, pale skin, em ford,

Every time that I try a new Bourjois Make Up product - I worry that their winning streak will come to an end and a product will finally let me down. Luckily that didn't happen on this product, as I feel like I fell in love with it from the moment I opened the tube. The Bourjois Colour Boost, Glossy Finish Lipstick - Plum Russian* is a gorgeous deep berry/plum shade and perfect if you're looking for a new winter lip shade to compliment your pale skin. 

One of the things I love about this lip product, is how convenient it is to use as a 'grab and go' lip colour. They apply incredibly easily, evenly, and they even give you the chance to layer them up to create a stronger colour when needed!

In terms of formula, i'd say it's as easy to apply as a lipbalm - with the shine of a gloss, and the colour of a stain. The texture isn't gloopy, and even after the top layer of 'gloss' has gradually worn off, the stain remains, most importantly in a consistent manner. 

At £7.99 It's an absolute steal, and one you'll be seeing on the blog a lot this season as it's just so versatile and easy to wear.

Have you tried any of the Colour Boost range? I'd love to hear which are your favourites!
Em xxx