Archive | May, 2010

Colour pop

9 May

Bored of your every day makeup? Why not try something new?

I have always been fascinated by over the top makeup and used to experiment on myself, but recently I have got a bit boring with my everyday makeup. I decided to try out some of my bright eyeshadows to create some new summer looks for days and nights.

Bright eyes are an easy way to stand out from the crowd, so if you’re trying to blend in this maybe isn’t the best way.  Any colour goes whether it’s in the form of eyeshadow, eyeliner or glitter dust. For the best vibrant selection of colours try MAC or if you’re strapped cash and need a cheaper alternative try Barry M who boast a great collection. Shop around for the best shades and prices.

Before applying bright colours, use foundation as a base so it will be easier to get off after and use layers of mascara to finish of the looks.

Two tone eyes work well with any contrasting colours, here I have mixed pink and purple, framing my eyes with a lilac eyeshadow and using this as a base and then working over the edge of the eye with a bright pink.

Green eyes work well with lots of mascara, Barry M do a great selection of green eyeshadows, mix two shades for a blended look. The darker on the bottom helps open up the eyes.

Orange and yellow is something I would never usually be brave enough to try, the orange works well with the yellow by calming the colour down; the ultimate summery look.

Layer two blue colours to make the blue as bright as possible.

A metallic take on the smokey eyes. Smokey eyes have been around for a long time now, the key to the style is by blending. Mix lighter base colours with dark colours to create a flawless look. Here I’ve mixed white, grey, silver and black.

Two strokes of eyeliner give an alternative to a classic look. This look would work nicely with false eyelashes.
A brown and white mix together to create a mushroom colour, the neutral colour means it could accompany any outfit and would be a good everyday look.
I enjoyed playing around with the different colours and I love the fact that anything goes! My favourite is definitely the blend of yellow and orange!
Eyes are usually the first thing people look at, so believe it or not they are a great way to revamp an outfit. Why not try something different on your next night out and go a bit outrageous with a pop of colour!
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Parliament still hanging?

8 May

Britain have been left with a Hung Parliament for the first time in 36 years. A Hung Parliament is not the result that Britain was hoping for. And no it doesn’t mean that the winning party went out and got stupidly drunk resulting in a bad hangover! It means that we are still waiting for a decision to be made and us as a country have been left ‘hanging’ to know who will take over (or remain) as Prime Minister due to the fact that no Party gained an absolute majority of seats.

Neither party reached the necessary 326 seats to win so at the moment Gordon Brown remains where he is until a joint decision can be made. The Conservatives won most votes (306) falling short of the majority, they have asked the Lib Dems to support them in order to form a government.  If the Lib Dems were to join with the Tories then the majority of seats would be settled, however many people are scared at the prospect.

Nick Clegg has said that the party who gained the most seats in the election should have the right to take charge. However he still stands by his word saying that the Conservatives need to prove they have strong enough policies to govern the country.  Clegg states “It is now for the Conservative Party to prove that it is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest.” (BBC)

Brown have offered the Lib Dems talks if no agreement can be reached with the Tories. However Gordon Brown might decide his best option is to resign, in which case it is likely the Queen would invite David Cameron to form a government.

So is this what the UK really want? Can the Lib Dems actually form a coalition with the Tories, the two most opposing parties of the three? Clegg has called for the UK’s electoral system to be reformed, saying it is “broken” believing it “simply doesn’t reflect the hopes and aspirations of the British people.

So who is to actually blame for this situation. Is it us? The queues at the polling station proved that people flocked to vote, but are people actually voting for the right reasons. Students complained that they were put in ‘slow queues’ because it was imminent that they would choose to vote for the most fashionable and liberal party by supporting Clegg and the Lib Dems. Others simply may vote because they have heard one policy that strikes a chord? After all the continuous media coverage in the run up to the elections did make it hard to understand who stands for what!

It leaves the question of what is the best outcome of this hung parliament, Clegg to join forces with Cameron and Brown to step down politely? (Will that actually happen) Or Brown to take a stand and prove to the Lib Dems that he should remain PM. There are a number of options but they will have to hurry with their decisions that must be made by the time the Queen declares the new Prime Minister on the 25th May where she has the final say.

Now all we can do is wait until the so called leaders of our country reach a mature and joint decision on who will run the country best- like that’s going to happen anytime soon!

For up to date news on the 2010 Elections visit the BBC website, click here.

TV Script: Dance with me

8 May

This television script was written for my Professional Writing Unit, the script in 1250 words sets up the opening scenes of a Crime drama in the UK. I was inspired by popular crime drama such as The Bill and Silent Witness.


1. INT. LAP DANCING CLUB.

Establishing camera shot. A dark dingy nightclub with poles and chairs set out. A number of ladies dancing in skimpy clothes and platform heels are watched by the eager eyes of middle aged men. Loud music plays in the background, no clear conversations can be heard due to the volume of the music. Flashing lights. Establishing shot changes to a close up of a young lady with long curly auburn hair in hot pants and a bra. Camera zooms back out.

2. EXT. RAINY EVENING. CLUB DOORWAY.

Exaggeration on the heavy rain falling on the ground, camera zooms to the club doorway where the auburn haired girl is standing, fully clothed, sheltering from the rain. It is late at night, and the street is quiet. A man in a suit walks directly past the doorway but pays no attention to the girl.

SADIE (on the phone)

Babe, I’ll be fine, I’ll only be 20 minutes, I’m just waiting now.

SADIE

Yep, see you soon babe (pause) no I won’t be late tonight (pause) yes I love you too.

SADIE puts her phone in her pocket as a black cab screeches round the corner and pulls up in front of the club; she runs through the puddles and opens the taxi door.

Lightning and thunder in the distance.

CUT TO:

TITLES & CREDITS

For the full version click here

Think before you ink

8 May

After reading an article in a magazine, I was re- faced with the question of do I actually want a tattoo? I know exactly what I want but the main problem is that I’m dead scared of needles and pain! (So yes pretty useless). Even the sound and thought of the machinery makes me cringe, let alone actually sitting down to have one!

There are more than 2,000 tattoo and piercing parlours in the UK. 1 in 8 adults over the aged of 18 have a piercing somewhere other than their earlobe. and in the USA 50% of over 21s have a tattoo! The growing popularity of tattoos means that the stats are sure to reach that high in the UK soon. Programmes such as Miami Ink and London Ink have helped towards the rising statistics, pushing the body art mainstream.

A tattoo for most is a way of expressing their individuality, people want something that is personal to them or something that relates to a personal achievement or special occasion.  There is one problem with our culture and that is the fact that is that we are living in a celebrity endorsed world. Some people will go into a parlour to copy a piercing or tattoo of their favorite celebrity. That is fair enough, but remember that is likely to go out of fashion and could make people regret having them done in the first place.  A lot of tattooists today will refuse to copy a Cheryl Cole-esque tattoo and you may find yourself getting turned away.In my opinion a tattoo should be unique and have a story behind it.

Today many people refer to their art as a collection, it is said once you get one you wont stop and that body art can be an addiction. A tattoo is a way of expressing yourself but if your’e finding yourself planning one after you’ve just had one done you will most likely be getting one for the wrong reason.

So if you are thinking about getting a tattoo why not go in to a shop and talk over what you would like and where before making the big decision.  Search through Google to learn the procedures and do a bit of background reading. It’s something that will be with you for life (unless you have lots of money to get it removed when you’re old and wrinkly). Ask someone that already has a tattoo to recommend a place to get one done. It may sound silly but why not try a henna before hand just to make sure you’re happy with your chosen design.

And remember a tattoo WILL hurt. So think before you ink!

Please buy me these

6 May

The summer holidays are lurking nearer and nearer (after exam time of course)! As always any time on the computer has been spent looking at clothes I can’t afford. Here are some of my must haves that will definitely be gracing my summer wardrobe soon.

Bright Nails

The sun is shining so what better time to reveal your toes (after a pedicure that is). Barry M have some really cool ice cream colours. I’m loving the pink, blue and mint green.

Florals

Flirty florals are in, whether its in the form of  a top,dress,shorts. I’m liking this bandeau dress from Asos £38. If you don’t have the dosh why not shop around for a floral scarf or bad that will jazz up any plain outfit.


Clogs & Wedges

Yes they are back in! I was about 7 years old the last time I sported my lime green clogs. But this year I’ve gone for a neutral brown pair from New Look at only £30 to stomp around in. They will go great with bare legs and floaty dresses or cut off jeans for a more casual look. Asos have some nice ones (but at £85 they could leave a dent in the bank account) shop around for the best price and style.

Plimsoles

Any colour or design goes. Great for everyday or team with a bandeau dress or oversized tee for a evening in the garden. I like these floral ones from Schuh.

Chain Necklaces

Statement pieces will totally dress an outfit up. I’m in love with this French Connection one from Asos, but can’t justify pending £25 on something that might not get worn as much as it should. Shop around for a better price. Any chain goes.

What Election Party are you going to?

5 May

It’s nearly crunch time and Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and David Cameron are sure to have a restless night as election voting gets under way tomorrow.

I have never been that interested in voting, but it is believed that more people will vote than ever before and I don’t like to be left out of things.  After all it is something we haven’t been able to get away from what with the continuous news coverage and manifestos broadcasted continually on radio stations and now the all of a sudden interest in Social Media to attract us ‘young people.’

If you’re having a bit of trouble and are confused about who to vote for why not visit Yahoo’s elections PARTY MATCHER (Click here). The short quiz style questions allow you to select what you most strongly support and oppose matching the beliefs to the parties. The Party Matcher definitely helped confirm who I will be voting for tomorrow.

These people are running our country and the decision is in our hands, so get to your nearest polling station and vote!

Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm tomorrow (06/05/2010)

Story time – Bully

4 May

As part of our Professional Writing we were required to write a 1000 word story on any subject of our choice.

The story deals with real life issues of sexual and physical abuse means it can be presented anywhere that includes real life stories.

The story is aimed towards anyone that knows of anyone or has ever been involved with abuse at any time. The subject was chosen due to it being an issue that is very much prevalent in the news today. It is there to teach a lesson and provide help for its readers.

Research on the internet proved to be very successful when writing the story, it allowed a great insight of other people’s abuse stories and the hurt and anger they had gone through within their relationships.

He held my hand tight squeezing it as he dragged me through the front door. I didn’t want to go in but he insisted it would be fine and otherwise I was dressed up for no reason.  Billy wasn’t the possessive type which I was thankful for, it was almost as if he wanted to show me off to his friends.

As I walked through the door the smell of marijuana hit my nose, the air was thick with smoke. Mum would definitely be mad at me; she was expecting me home in an hour or two.

“Come on babe,” Bill tugged at my dress and led me through to the living room. I had told him I had a piercing headache, but my excuses soon ran dry and I had been forced to accompany him to the party.

“Stay here, I won’t be a sec.”

I sat down on the sofa as Bill went upstairs leaving me alone. I was used to it. The music in the house shook the walls. My head pulsated as I tried to ignore the drum and bass and concentrate on other things.  A small fresh-faced blonde girl came and sat beside me on the other side of the cigarette burned sofa. I introduced myself. Sophie was the girlfriend of one of Bill’s friends. Bill had never spoken about her before. She seemed kind hearted; her voice was soft and timid.

I felt more comfortable at the party. I ignored the music and spoke with Sophie.

“Wow this is gorgeous,” I said as I admired Sophie’s silver charm necklace which coiled round her neck.

“Thanks.”

As I looked at each charm individually, Sophie smiled pleasantly. As she continued to show me her dress strap fell down revealing a raw purple bruise on her shoulder. She shuddered away from me. I didn’t say anything. Our eyes glanced at one another. Moments passed before a group of boys entered the room.

“Alright ladies, we’re going now, hurry up,” Bill’s voice suddenly brought my headache back on.

As he dragged me out the door I smiled at Sophie, unable to say a proper goodbye.  Bill insisted I stay at his tonight. I knew Mum would be mad but there would be no point in saying no.

I didn’t look forward to the weekends much; I preferred being in college, spending time studying, I dreamed of getting into University next year. But Billy preferred I didn’t talk about it, and for me it was easier that way.  He always said I was wasting my time.

Bill’s eyes were glared and his stare pierced my skin as he forced me to get into bed. I daren’t argue I knew he had been taking drugs at the party.

I lay in bed, fully clothed. I hoped Bill would fall asleep or pass out in the bathroom, but I could hear him in the kitchen. I had half drifted off until I felt his tight grip around my body.

“Come on princess.”

Billy pulled me towards him resting his hands on my lower back, my body stiffened as he slowly pulled my dress up. I wasn’t in the mood. He grabbed my waist pulling me closer and locking his lips to mine, he moved slowly to my neck; the kissing became rough and unnecessary.

I tried to struggle free, pleading with him that I was not in the mood; that was no good. His cold hands ran over my body, every touch making me shudder with fear as he thrust his body towards mine. I felt his hand against my cheek with a burning slap. As I tried to get away from him and leave the room he grabbed me and head-butted me to the bed. I cowered away from him, holding my tender head. I lay under him crying, utterly desperate for him to stop, my face red and swollen. After Bill had fallen asleep I tried to leave, but he had locked the door. I sat in the bathroom like a prisoner, contained between four walls, towering above me.  Without thinking I grabbed a razor blade off the side.  I pressed the tip hard into my skin but the pain didn’t break through the numbness I was feeling. Crimson red blood poured out from my wrist and my breath became shaky. I can’t do this. I felt helpless.

The next morning Billy woke me up with breakfast. I forced down some toast with a fake smile, each crumb of toast repeatedly scratched my throat; it was sore from where I had cried myself to sleep. I was scared to go home, Mum was sure to say something about the raw purple bruises on my cheek and forehead. Billy left me to eat while he went to shower. Without thinking twice I left a note on the side, and went through his jean pockets to find the keys to let myself out of the house. I caught a glance of my reflection as I left.

Tears began to prickle down my cheeks as I left the complex, my pocket vibrated and an unknown number flashed on the screen, composing myself I answered.

“Hello Lauren,” a muffled voice said. “It’s Sophie, from the party.”

“Oh hi, how are you?” I was pleasantly surprised.

“I got you’re number from Jake’s phone, I was wondering if you could do me a favour,” she paused

“Yeah, anything?”

“I need someone to come to the police station with me,” she paused again.

My mind clogged itself with images of last night, did she know? Had Bill already told Jake what had happened last night? Surely not?  I panicked.

“Lauren, are you there, this is important to me, Jake hurt me last night, he split my lip and I had to go to accident and emergency, I met a really nice lady, we’re not alone Lauren, we can get help.”

Had she just said “we”?  I was so confused; my head went into overdrive as Lauren arranged a place to meet. The morning frost stung my cheek as the salty tears streamed down my face.  Before I knew it I was running towards Pine Park, I fought back the tears as Sophie came into view. She stood up from the park bench and threw her arms round me. We stood there for minute before either of us said anything. I had met Lauren the night before, yet it felt like I had known her all my life. We were both in pain. Her once vibrant face was hidden behind bruises and stitches; she passed me a tissue as we stood studying one another’s battered faces.

“We’re not alone.” Sophie repeated.

“Let’s go,” I replied

I didn’t want this for my life; I was ready to take a stand.

“Interview conducted at 18:40 Tuesday February 24th.

Mr Billy Davis we have evidence to believe that you have been abusing Lauren Hodges for the past year in your relationship. You have used your power to gain and uphold total control over your victim. You abused Lauren physically, sexually and verbally to the extent where she self harmed in the hope to kill herself and end the violence you have forced upon her.”

“You are a bully Billy Davis.”

Beautiful!

3 May

Kayvan Novak known  as the man behind the voices of his TV hit Fonejacker has graced our televisions again.

Kavan no longer has the safety of hiding behind a phone line to outtake his prank calls. Facejacker allows Novak to go the next step and with the help of  prosthetic masks he can morph himself into a range of characters. The masks mean that Kayvan is unleashed into the real world to come up close and personal with the public. The series have already seen car salesman Terry Tibbs do Come dine with me, Augustus Kwembe beeping behind a Morrisons counter and Brian Badonde giving his opinion as an art critic.

The first 3 episodes have had me in stitches and I’ve found myself repeating phrases such as “How many bacon rolls are you wantings sir” and “BOH” (which is maybe not a good thing). Facejacker is a upgrade of Fonejacker and so far I’m loving it! As Terry Tibbs would say “Beautiful!”

Catch Facejacker on Friday’s at 10pm on Channel 44od or check out Youtube for some classic clips!

Time to analyse

3 May

The Times is a daily national newspaper which has been being published in the United Kingdom since 1785. The Times has a dedicated website which provides its users with a database of news stories, new and old as well as extra features that are written especially for the website. Well known organisations such as The Times must be “aware that they have to give their visitors good reasons to visit their site and good reasons to return to it.” (Geest,2001, p1) There are a number of aspects of a webpage that if not done successfully can automatically put a reader and viewer off.

Searchability

In order for a site to be effective it must be searchable. When typing ‘times’ into Google, the Times Online is the first webpage that is presented. As well as a link to the site there are direct subject headings that will take the user directly to a specific type of news category for example “sport”. A search bar means that if the user is looking for a specific news story the Times Online search bar will allow the user to make a search before even entering the website.

Navigation

A website’s navigation scheme should be intuitive, predictable, and easy to find. (Summers & Summers, 2005) The Times Online site is simple to use, its main toolbar makes it easy for a user to navigate to their desired topic of the website, whether it is ‘businesses or ‘travel’ for example. Once selecting the desired toolbar the link is highlighted and another toolbar underneath gives a number of further options.  A Clearly labelled navigation bar is one of the easiest ways to create a satisfying navigational experience for its users (Cox and Koelzer, 2004).

Usability

A professional website must be faultless when it comes to the links. All the links on the Times website work fast and efficiently, taking the user to and from their selected topics of news. The simple layout of the toolbar allows the user to navigate around the website successfully. There is no overcrowding on the site and although at times attention may be given to the adverts bordering the page, the main information is centred in the middle of the homepage making it easy to gain the user’s attention to the most important news stories and features.

Design

According to Burgess (2008) a “website needs to objectively promote visual, functional and design consistency.” The design of a website is the first aspect that pulls a user in and persuades them to read on further.  The Times Online uses a plain design with blue, green and clear black font and a number of different headlines and images all placed on a white background.  The Times has a well known reputation so therefore the design of the website must work with the newspaper and its reputation in the industry. The majority of the layout suits the newspaper, and the plain white background promotes maturity. The green, white and blue colour scheme is kept across the whole site to follow through with the theme of keeping the site simple and business like.

Content

Content for the Times Online must be rich and informative to follow the reputation that the newspaper has held for many years.  At an initial glance it is clear that the site will fit within this requirement, the amount of news stories is ongoing, and when reading them they match closely to what would be expected of the Times newspaper; mature yet engaging news stories which are well written and presented.  The website boasts a high quantity of feature articles and other articles such as recipes, league tables, reviews, and interviews to name but a few. The news stories are sorted correctly under the specific headings on the toolbar. Burgess (2008) says that “content should be organised clearly and in a logical manner so information context is maintained.”

Video/Audio

A large variety of the news stories are supported with images or appropriate media, allowing for the user to support their reading with other mediums. Any media on the website which is provided in the format of audio, videos or slideshows load fast and play effectively on a regular internet connection.

Interactivity

“Interactivity” describes communication with a medium (Jucker, 2002, cited by Janoschka 2004). It allows a user to get involved with news topics and debates. The Times’ website allows people to comment on every news story published in a “have your say” box at the bottom of each story.

User Generated Content

User generated content comes from the “my profile” section, once registering with the Times Online the user is able to set up a personal profile and manage their own account. By registering the user is able to take part in competitions and promotions and sign up for free email bulletins.

To conclude, it is the clear that The Times Online works closely alongside the theme of The Times newspaper which has a high reputation in the newspaper industry. The website follows a simple yet effective design which reeks professionalism. Not only is the website easy to function but the straightforward layout makes it easy to navigate to a specific area of choice. On the whole The Times Online and its effective database provide its users with a satisfactory website experience.

For the full version click here

Yum

3 May

I’m not the biggest fan of Mars Bars, but I was still pleased when I was given a Mars Easter egg this Easter. It came in handy in making one of many of my weaknesses: MARS BAR CAKE. It’s so quick and easy to make, and once set usually hangs around for the same time it took to make it!

Ingredients:

2 Mars Bars

75g  Butter or Margarine

2cups Rice Krispies

1tbsp Golden Syrup

Big bar of Chocolate to cover (dairy milk tastes the best)

Method:

Place syrup, mars bars and butter in a microwave bowl and cook on high heat for 2-3 mins until melted.

Stir in 3cups of rice krispies

Press over the base of a greased tin (or grease proof paper if your’e lazy)

Melt chocolate and pour over the top of the krispies

Refrigerate until set

Then enjoy, but try not to eat it all at once as it is very moreish and the calories aren’t kind!!