Sunday, 11 January 2015

Girl Online | The First Novel By Zoella



 I started watching Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella)'s videos back in around 2010/11. I've always loved her videos and I've always looked up to her in a way; she is someone I aspire to be like. I am so proud of her for hitting 7 million subscribers. It really is an amazing achievement! She clearly puts so much hard work into all of the things she does; not just videos alone, but other projects too. Like Girl Online!

I know there has been some stigma about this book and who exactly wrote it. This isn't what this blog post is going to be about, but I thought I would express my opinions anyway, even if they are similar to a lot of other peoples.
Zoe is not an author. She is a Youtuber, and that is her job, that is how she makes her living. She has a passion for writing, sure, but that isn't her profession. Therefore, she hasn't had much experience in that department. Many authors use ghost-writers, for help and inspiration. Lots of celebrities use ghost-writers for their autobiographies, because writing isn't their main choice of work. 
Zoe thanked her ghostwriter - Siobhan Curham - in her Acknowledgements at the end of the book, so it isn't like she completely ignored the fact that she did get help.
I don't believe the whole book was entirely written by Siobhan because I could clearly see Zoe's own personality and flair in the writing, as well as the mention of things Zoe enjoys or relates with which only she could write about herself to really express how she felt - through the eyes of Penny.

Anyway, I thought this book was amazing. I'm not going to add any spoilers because I think that's unfair. I was surprised that I didn't find any spoilers on the internet whilst I was reading the book, as Zoe's fanbase is huge and I think every girl/boy and their mothers probably owned this book as soon as it came out! 
At first, I didn't really have many huge expectations. It felt quite cliche and corny, to be completely honest. But, before you all send me hate messages, once I got into it, it really turned itself around and became an amazing book. A lot of authors place their plot twists in the middle of the book, but with Girl Online, the plot twist didn't come until quite near the end. I had to fight the urge to flick to the back of the book to find out what happened, because I couldn't wait. I stuck it out though and connected with the characters more and more, through all the twists and turns - which can I add, there were many plot twists! 

Zoe included many issues which teenagers face today. From panic attacks and the struggles of coming to terms with your sexuality, to finding out your 'friends' aren't really your true friends, the book covered a lot of topics - which I could relate to on different levels. I think that's what made this book so enjoyable for me. I've never read a book which made me feel like I was in a certain situation. At one point, I was that engrossed that when something bad happened, I started to feel really hot and flustered, and it felt like once I put the book down, I would have to face what Penny was facing! That may not make a lot of sense, but if you've read the book, you might be able to relate. 

There was a lot of hidden advice throughout the book, which Noah gave to Penny or which Penny gave to her readers of her blog, "Girl Online". The advice will probably stick with me forever, and if I ever have a bad day, I'm certain my mind will cast back to the book and some of the tips in it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Zoe signed a two book contract with Penguin, so hopefully she will bring out a sequel to Girl Online because I literally can't wait to find out what happens next with all the characters, especially Penny, Noah and Elliot. 

Have you read the book? If you have, who is your favourite character and why? 
(No spoilers please, unless you state "spoiler alert", I don't want to ruin the book for people who haven't read it yet!)




Sunday, 28 December 2014

Barry M Natural Glow Palette | Shadows & Primer


I was gifted this gorgeous little Barry M eyeshadow palette for Christmas. I adore neutral colours as they are so easy to wear; a subtle, natural look for daytime or a heavy, deep combination of colours for the evening. This palette features three matte shades and three shimmer shades so there is a lovely range of colours and textures in there. 

I am so excited to use the third shade, which is a beautiful, matte almost-plum colour. I think it would look gorgeous in the crease, possibly as a transition shade. I also think the fourth shade - a shimmery champagne colour with a slight gold undertone - would look stunning as a highlight!

Personally, I would use the three matte shades for a daytime look and the shimmery colours for a nighttime look as I think the last three eyeshadows are much deeper and the shimmer makes them seem so much more glamorous!

As for the pigmentation, when I swatched the colours, I had to swatch them a couple of times for them to really show and, as you can see by the photograph, the first matte shade doesn't show up on my arm so I'm not too sure how that will apply. The darker shades were slightly more pigmented but they didn't really amaze me. However, as they aren't that pigmented - but they are buildable - this palette would be perfect for beginners who are only just starting to dabble in eyeshadows because it would be much easier to gradually build up the colours and I suspect they will be very easy to blend!

I haven't tried the primer out on my eyes yet, but I did do a slight swatch and it feels very creamy so it will be nice to apply as a base. I'm not sure if it will make the eyeshadows appear more pigmented, but if not, I can always use my usual Elf eyelid primer in the future.

I think this palette is very sleek and professional looking - the packaging reminds me of the Naked basics palettes. As it comes with a primer, it will be super handy for travelling as I wouldn't need to take a separate eyeshadow primer or any loose shadows. I can't wait to try the eyeshadows out!

What's your opinion of this palette if you own it? If you don't, would you go out and buy it?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

My Hair Care Routine!


I filmed my hair care routine today! I don't have a specific routine as such, but I explained what products I've been using, the ones I've been enjoying and the ones I'm not such a fan of. I really need some suggestions of different hair products as I really want my hair to become healthier, so if you know of any good products for damaged hair please let me know in the comments. 
Also, I was thinking of filming a truth or dare type video so please leave me some questions or dares!

Friday, 7 November 2014

October Favourites! | 2014

It feels like I haven't blogged in so long... I've been so busy with school - what with Spanish assessments and tons of Drama work. Today, I finished my ten hour drama exam! In total, we did six hours of acting and four hours of writing notes and beginning our portfolios (which we mainly get marked on). Obviously this was spread over two school days so I missed two days worth of lessons - aka, heaven. Drama is my favourite lesson so it literally didn't even feel like an exam and I was genuinely excited for it. I could do Drama all day every day for the rest of the school year, until I leave!

Anyway, lets talk about my favourites for this month. My November favourites that I posted last year is one of my most popular blog posts so I thought I might as well do an October favourites for 2014, if that's what you guys like the most. I haven't got too many 'physical' favourites (products etc); most of my favourites for this month are TV programmes and music.

Clothing!




I have literally been obsessing over my low white Converse throughout the last part of the month of October. My boyfriend actually bought me these for my birthday - which was on the 21st - and I am so grateful for them! I've been wanting them for so long and, once I got them, I wore them with everything. They're so easy to pair with outfits because they are so simple but they're really difficult to keep clean - I have to get the baby wipes out every time I wear them! At first they gave me super bad blisters but now they're becoming so comfortable and ahhh, I'm in love. :)




I've had these trainers for so long but I absolutely adore them. They're called Nike Satire trainers and as I have small feet, I can still buy Junior trainers from JD so these were only £30! I'm not sure if they do them in adult sizes because I can't seem to find anything like that on their website. Also, I can't find the same colour of these on the JD website either so they might've stopped doing them in these colours? However, like I said, I love these trainers so much and I tend to wear these with jeans and jumpers. They are one of the comfiest pairs of shoes I own! I wish I'd got them in all black because I think they would match more outfits but I do like having them in grey and mint because it livens up an outfit a little, especially if I want the main focus to be the shoes. I am such a trainer person - I find it difficult to find boots and pumps that I really like - so these are perfect for me.

Makeup!



I used to use this foundation all the time when I was around thirteen or fourteen but I stopped using it for a while because of the colour range. I use 100 ivory and it can be quite orange - I'm extremely pale so it's difficult to find foundations that match my skin tone but still make me look decent and doesn't make me look like I'm half dead. I can only really make this foundation work when I've got fake tan on, which is a lot of the time so it's not too difficult to use. I just need to say though that I love this foundation (apart from the fact it makes me look like an oompa-loompa). It has a good, full coverage and it really does last for a very long time. I'm not too sure about 25 hours as I tend to not leave makeup on my face for that long but it always stays put throughout the day and doesn't go patchy - which I've found with a couple of different foundations. It can feel quite heavy on the skin as it's so thick but as it has such a high coverage, a little can go a long way. If you'd like a seperate review on this, I'd be happy to do it!

Music!



I recently jumped on the Spotify bandwagon and my, oh my, why did I not download it sooner? It's the perfect platform to listen to a wide range of music - for free! Recently, I've been loving 5 Seconds of Summer's album - of course - and, in particular, the song Long Way Home. I don't know why but that song does something to me; it's so perfect. 
I've also been enjoying Ariana Grande's My Everything album. I have to say, I'm not a fan of some of the songs but I really like the majority of them and I've listened to a couple so many times, I'm actually sick of them now! I just think Ariana is perfect and her voice is mind-blowing. It's honestly such a great album.
Finally, I've been listening to Fantasy by Alina Baraz non-stop recently. It's such a relaxing, easy to listen to song and it's perfect to put on while I'm working as I'm someone who easily gets distracted by music so I prefer to work in silence, but this song is so soft so it creates the perfect amount of background noise!

Youtubers!



I've been watching Sophie Foster's videos for weeks now and she is literally the best! I love her style and she's so real in her videos - you can tell that she isn't putting an act on, like a lot of Youtubers tend to do. She's so funny - I follow her on Snapchat and the things she sends out are hilarious! She's one of those people who you wish you could meet and you think that if you did meet you'd click really well and you'd have so much fun! Is that weird? Maybe... I don't know. :)


I discovered Emily's channel through glitteralittle and I'm so glad I did. I'm in love with her videos; they're always so interesting and they don't last for half an hour, they're always short but sweet. I love to keep up to date with her vlog channel - I think vlogs are so fun, even if the person isn't doing anything particularly interesting. She just seems like such a lovely, funny person and oh my goodness, she's gorgeous too!


 I only discovered Rclbeauty101 about half way through October and literally binge-watched her videos. They're so unique and funny; she doesn't do the usual run-of-the-mill beauty tutorials or hauls every other video. Also, when she advertises products in her video, she doesn't do a long review, she subtly incorporates them into the video. For example, instead of stopping the video and speaking about Audible.com for a good five minutes (like a lot of Youtubers do), she'll show herself using it instead for a short amount of time.  I just feel like this is so much more effective than someone droning on about the product and how much they like it.

Television!



I recently re-watched Skins (series 3 and 4, aka the best generation) and afterwards I had nothing to watch so I started watching Gossip Girl because I heard a few people raving about it a while ago but never got round to watching it. I'm near the end of the first season and I'm hooked already! I absolutely adore Dan, I think he's the cutest but I think Serena takes him for granted sometimes... Again, I'm still on the first series so I'm not sure what unfolds in the later seasons so no spoilers please! I love Blair as well, she can be such a bitch but there are times when I really empathise with her and I just want to give her a hug. I can't wait to carry on watching but as I've been so busy with coursework in general, I haven't gotten round to it!

Other Favourites!



On the 15th October, my drama group and I went to watch the Blood Brothers musical at the Hippodrome in Birmingham. As I live in Nottingham, the journey took a while but I didn't mind it because my drama class is so amazing, I get on with everyone so well and we have such a laugh together!
We started reading the play in September and did bits of drama work on it but then we finally got to see it in the theatre! Our exam (which we did yesterday and today) was based on the themes and issues which are shown in the play and actually going to watch it helped so much, especially as, in parts of the exam, I had to act like Mickey when he was seven years old. Watching Sean Jones do such an amazing job, pretending to be a young child, really inspired me so I was much better portraying Mickey than I was when we first started studying the play. At first, I was so stiff and played with my hair a lot but today, I jumped around, pretended to shoot people, fell on the floor, mimed spitting and wiping it off my own face...I loved it! 
The play is absolutely fantastic and I would love to go somewhere like Manchester next year to see it again. I've been watching parts of the play from a couple of years ago - I watched the ending again on Youtube last night and I was in floods of tears, just like I was when I watched it at the theatre. There's so much tension throughout the play and I just think it's a must-see, whether you study it for drama or not. I can't express how much I enjoyed watching it - I wish I could go and watch it every day!

That's all my favourites from this month! Leave a comment letting me know what your favourite things from the month of October were. :)

Monday, 3 November 2014

SNEAK PEEK OF MY FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO???

video

Hello everyooooone!
EXCITING NEWS: I'm currently filming my first ever Youtube video! Ahhh, I'm super excited but also so scared because I don't know how it's going to go down. It's a lookbook consisting of my four favourite outfits to wear in Autumn. I've only filmed two outfits yet (apart from the top from the first outfit) and I've already edited them because I'm so excited. I should get the next couple of outfits filmed this week - which is quite difficult seeing as it gets dark early so the sun might've gone by the time I'm home, but I'm going to try and get it right.
I CAN'T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT.
I've always been so wary to upload a video because of people from school and what they might think of it but I don't really care as much anymore. :)
It would mean the world to me if you could subscribe to my Youtube channel so you're notified when my video goes up: makelovepretty or follow my Twitter to keep up to date with me: theperksofgee
I really hope you enjoy this little sneak peek (sorry for the ringing sound at the end) and I really can't wait to upload the finished video!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A Sneak Peek into My Art Sketchbook!

The front of my sketchbook is decorated with Charlie & Lola and Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom stickers.
An elephant I drew - I used watercolours to paint the ears. This is on the title page.
One of my favourite pages - my lyrics & quotes page, full of meaningful quotes with small drawings.
I used a ripped up piece from an envelope to write where the quote came from - in this case, it came from the song Youth.
Another elephant I drew - complete with tribal patterns and painted with watercolours (inspired by Marion Bolognesi)
A collage of makeup products etc with information on the history of cosmetics! This was so fun to make. 
A page dedicated to fashion sketches.
A drawing of Alice from Alice in Wonderland - outlined with coloured pencils.
Envelope with a piece of paper (painted using watercolours) stuck to it on my Alice in Wonderland page. 
I wrote quotes from Alice in Wonderland on pieces of paper and included original pictures of some of the characters. 
One of my artist research pages: Marion Bolognesi. I used watercolours to mimic her style of painting.
I took Art as one of my options for GCSE and these are some photographs from my Identity (Me, Myself & I) project. My book isn't exactly how I want it because I'm still working on it, but the photos include just a few examples of my favourite pages/the pages I'm most proud of. Sometimes I regret taking Art because there is so much work that goes into it - especially the whole coursework side to it - but most of the time I really enjoy it and I love flicking through my sketchbook and looking at the paintings I did last year. It's only really enjoyable for me when I'm feeling very creative - which isn't too often, I hate to admit. However, once I feel like painting and I sit down and work solidly, I'm usually pleased with the end result. I've still got lots of work to do yet but I still thought I would give you a little sneak peak. If you'd like to see my sketchbook in more depth, I'd be happy to do more blog posts or possibly film a video of myself speaking about each page and why I decided to do what I did! I hope I've given you some inspiration if you take Art as a GCSE or maybe you just like seeing what other people do when they're feeling creative - I know I do!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Mind Maps! | Revision & Study Tips




Creating a mind map is my favourite way to revise because I find it's easier to find the key information which means it's much easier to remember. I mainly make mind maps for history because there is tons of information that can be quite daunting once you start revising! My favourite way of setting out a mind map is to write the topic in the centre of the paper and draw a bubble around it - so it stands out and it's quicker to pinpoint exactly what you are revising. I tend to use felt tips pens - mainly because I like everything to be colourful but also because it's easier to memorise certain information, if you write it out in different colours. Once I've written the topic in the centre, I do a few arrows coming off the bubble (I usually do all the arrows in the same colour) and then I pick a sub-title, which I can have various arrows branching off of. Then, I write down the appropriate information and I always write the key words in a different colour - in this case, all the key words are written in pink. Normally, I use A4 paper to draw mind maps on but for topics which require a lot of information that needs to be remembered, I used big pieces of paper like the one above. I'm not sure what size this is but I got it from my teacher at school so I'm sure if you ask around, someone will be able to give you some.

Before I create a mind map, I always make sure I know exactly what I need to put on it. My history teacher gave me a big booklet with all the information - on the history of medicine - that I will need. The first thing I did was to go through the booklet and highlight the key information. This made it much easier and simpler to record the things I need to remember. It was also a good way to test myself as I highlighted the information and then tried to recall it on the mind map, without looking at all the information in the book.

Another way to record information is by using a 'target sheet'. This was given to me by my teacher but you could also create one yourself (on something like Microsoft Word) by drawing different sized circles and placing them on top of each other. The target sheet I completed included information on Galen and why he was important. This is quite a common topic in the History exam. The question is in the middle and in the next circle, I wrote a point: one thing that he did - he proved things about the human body. In the circle after that, I explained the point: he proved the brain controlled speech. In the empty space, I wrote extra information which could be used to pick up extra marks. By creating a target sheet, it helps to plan out answers and now I know exactly what I need to write to get full marks. I coloured each segment in a different colour so it appears more interesting - I get attracted to colour so I find revising more enjoyable whereas if the page was plain, I wouldn't look at it as often.

Click on any of these links below and they will take you to my other Revision & Study Tips posts:

❤ Tip One: Getting Started! ❤
❤ Tip Two: Stationery! ❤
❤ Tip Three: Revision Books!
❤ Tip Four: Mindmaps!
❤ Tip Five: Organization! ❤