[Makeup and Chatter] Back at University

Hi everyone!

Just like that, the summer is gone.

My new timetable is here, the new academic year is well on its way and for the third year in a row, I have not blogged almost all summer. I spent most of it at work and playing games… I didn’t actually wear that much makeup this summer, especially during the heatwave in July. Now that it is much cooler, I can wear foundation again without it melting off my face, but the long days at work or uni really put me off wearing makeup in case it looks horrid by the evening.

So I took these pictures ages ago but had to share. My boyfriend and I treated ourselves in September to some fancy food at Jailbird Birmingham, which replaces Nosh and Quaff where I went to a few times for their lobster. It was a nice treat after two or three weeks straight serving the back-to-school rush. We ordered the lobster at Jailbird, and we loved it. It was actually his first time eating lobster so I’m really glad he liked it. We’re slowly making our way around all the must-eat food places in the Birmingham city centre area, so if you need recommendations you can hit us up!

My new year at university started about a month ago and honestly, it’s been a little shock to the system. I took my camera with me on one Monday to share what food I ate!

I’d like to write a post about hair products at one point. I’ve recently dyed my ends a deep indigo blue. I was originally going to go green but with dubious looks from my mom when I suggested it, I thought I should go blue first to ease into it. I felt like clipping up my full fringe and showing a bit of forehead. That feeling was nice while it lasted. It’s faded a lot now as it’s only semi-permanent but the colour was so nice and I’d do it again.

I went for a more fresh faced look. No foundation or any kind of base. I was out for a good 8-9 hours, and there was no guarantee a base would have lasted on my face that long, so I didn’t bother. I had a few spots but overall this was a good skin day and nothing to worry about. It was also a good excuse to do my eyebrows which are usually hidden under my fringe. I know it looks like I’m not wearing any makeup, but that’s the point.

Products used:

  • Etude House Drawing Eye Brow in Dark Brown
  • Etude House Dr Mascara Lash Fixer
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
  • Maybelline Fit Me Powder in Soft Beige
  • Revolution Sugar and Spice Blush Palette
  • Etude Proof 10 Eye Primer
  • Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette (on my eyes mostly)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Walkyrie

That morning, I went to meet my friend AT at Damascena Coffee House. It’s my favourite of all the local cafés although as you all know I also frequent the one at Waterstones. Damascena is wonderful and often quite busy. I ordered the grilled halloumi.

I had two lectures that day with breaks in between. The workload hadn’t hit me then so I didn’t have much to do in between. I could have gone to the gym but I didn’t want to carry all that stuff around with me on such a long day, too. It’s the biggest pain when you commute, even if it’s just a twenty-minute bus rise. I’d love some sort of locker system for commuting students.

I spent that evening with one of my societies. We visited a Korean restaurant in the Chinatown area. I’ve been to Topokki a number of times already and I absolutely love it there. I ordered the Pumpkin Croquette Dupbap (i.e. with rice). I’d also recommend their kimchi jeon!

I spent the evening in bed winding down. I took some pictures on the way home to practice editing. I really love night photography and recently I’ve been totally inspired by @noealzii to try some edits on my own shots. Birmingham isn’t exactly like Seoul or Tokyo in terms of having an abundance of pretty lighting but I tried.

The first photo is the original shot, with some edits underneath.

After I did these edits, I found a way to keep the redness of the lamps whilst still having all the other edits apply. I was pretty chuffed, since it was all on Snapseed – my phone handles photo edits much better than my laptop ever will at the moment, although a new one is on the cards for much later on.

Anyway, as you might have been able to tell this post has been a long time in writing. I’m hoping that finally releasing it kicks off some sort of blogging mojo in my head. I often used this blog as an outlet for my thoughts but recently my boyfriend has, in the words of my brother, been taking one for the team!

Until next time,

X

The Gap Year Diary: December/ January 

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So, last month I didn’t put up a Diary entry because I had it written and just forgot to schedule it – So now I have combined it with January events this time around. This is what I got up to…

  • Uni Offers
  • New Camera
  • Progress with revision and languages
  • Novel Progress
  • Novel Editing Workshop
  • Archery Competiton

University Offers
At the beginning of December, the two universities that had yet to respond to my UCAS application finally did… with rejections from both. One of the rejections I was unfazed by, whilst the other was from Warwick, which I have visited a few times and was a place at which I was really hoping to study. It’s a shame (sigh). That said, my remaining offers are all very reasonable so my hopes of actually getting into a university on Results Day haven’t plummeted just yet. I felt a bit dejected but what’s done is done. I have my target grades, now I just have to aim for them and like, not miss this time (*worried laughter in the distance*).

New Camera!
Following the previous part, I then proceeded to treat myself and spend all my summer savings on a new camera. It’s an ‘entry-level DSLR’ from Canon, the EOS750d which is a newer model from that line, and it’s really really nice… Who knows, maybe there will be YouTube videos?? Haha. No.

I’m still using the automatic features a lot, but slowly I am learning about the different components that make up a shot and want to practice as much as possible. I’d like to learn about post-processing too. Whatever it is, it means some great shots for the blog in the future!

Revision Progress
Ploughing along as usual. I am working myself into the habit of picking up my flashcards when I have time and testing myself, and I need to keep it up into the year, especially as I start to switch up the topics and subjects a lot. But I also need to remember to wind down in the evenings to sleep, and to know when to stop.

Now that we are officially about halfway through the academic year, I’ve been rethinking my motivations. I dream of being able to pump a fist at life on Results Day. I think of that image a lot, and I make sure to think of that image day and night, and that has been helping. I also think of that wad of my own money I used to pay for this year’s exams, which is also pretty motivational.

Language Progress
I have now finished my first Japanese course, and have decided not to take on another class. My main issue is that the next course runs through the exam period and I don’t want too many commitments during that time (with my job and archery and all). Over the last few months I have liked having classes as an extra spurt of motivation and I definitely feel more comfortable directing my own self study in the language. I think I have these conjugations sort of making sense in my head, and I have been memorising some kanji, too!

How is that novel going, by the way?
I made some surprising progress this month! I’ve been making more time to just sit down and ponder about how to take the story to where I want it to go, even if my characters don’t seem to want to go there. I’m trying to stick to a daily goal of 200 words on my project, and have finished the first chapter at last. I let a friend read it and she gave me some really good feedback and pointers that I hadn’t thought of. I work on multiple chapters at once because that’s just how I like to write, and just before the end of the month I hit 10,000 words on my draft, which is the furthest I have gone with a project without scrapping it and that is an achievement in itself!

There are some crucial parts of the story that I have found still need developing, like the main characters’ families (!! important!) and since my main protagonists are all Vietnamese, I’m having to consider other aspects of the family dynamic like how they use language at home, the various names they might have, and so on. Thinking about it, it’s pretty interesting and I’m looking forward to developing that part of it more.

 How to Edit Your Novel Event at Waterstones Birmingham 
No, I haven’t finished my novel, but of course I was going to turn up to a great opportunity for advice and insight! I took quite a few notes and it was lovely to hear some authors talk about their processes – it really solidified the idea that writing methods are different for everyone. I have written up a blog post on this, so keep an eye out for that!

Archery Competition 
I have to admit, I’ve been feeling far less enthusiastic about archery than I used to. Main reason being that it feels stranger and stranger to walk into my old school and not be a student there. Thankfully the other students I’m familiar with are usually there and have really helped me feel less awkward.
Anyway, after a Christmas break, I did feel quite under prepared for a competition so Twerp and I did our best to make use of all the sessions by going to every one leading up to it, even if I was suffering from cramps one week and a very bad cold the next!

The two of us were so nervous going in, as it’s our first ever archery competition. We shot a Portsmouth round, and I was one of the scorers on my target. In actuality, I was probably more nervous about the prospect of doing mental arithmetic under time constraints because I kept making mistakes on the score sheets! I was also pretty tense during the first half of the shoot but after resigning myself to doing badly I was able to relax. There’s nothing I can do about arrows already shot!

In my competition category, I didn’t win any prizes. My score was over 120 points from the bronze score. Twerp managed a bronze in her category, though! Right at the end, though, I unexpectedly got a handicap award, which I think means taking into account experience level and stuff like that (I’m a novice, and went up against veterans!) I won a little thing. I’m pretty chuffed~!

All in all, it’s been an eventful couple of months. February should be interesting, as it’s my birthday month and all…!

Until next time,

X