App Review: ActionDash

Our cell or mobile phones are hugely important in this day and time, perhaps especially so to us millennials. I was born in the early 90s, so I’m kind of in the middle of the generation. I got my first phone for my 13th birthday, or a few days before actually. My brother, who is three years younger than me, was 11 or 12 when he got his first phone. Many millennials that I know are proud to belong to a generation that grew up playing outside, as am I, but we’re also proud that we encountered technology like phones and computers at a young enough age for it to become natural for us to use them, we’re not struggling in the same way as older generations, but we’ve also not been enslaved by technology from a really young age like the younger generations. When I was around 15, one of my grandmothers said that the mobile phone was the older children’s pacifier, and when I was 17 and on exchange (and got to experience unlimited texting for the first time) my host mother said that to teenagers the phone was like an extension to the arm. I know there are a lot of millennials who don’t use their phones a lot, but I am not one of them. I’m on my phone a lot. When I’m not on my phone, I’m on my tablet or PC, or in a movie theatre – I even have to put my phone away so I won’t get distracted when reading books. I know it’s bad.

I have seen Apple iPhone users talk on twitter about how their phones are notifying them of the amount of time they’ve spent on their phone. Philip DeFranco tweeted about how much time he’d spent on Twitter specifically, that he tried to justify it with needing to use Twitter for work, but then he said he couldn’t possibly justify spending that amount of time on social media because it’s not all for work. I don’t use iPhone, or any Apple products, and I have no desire to. My phone doesn’t have a built in function to track screen time, so I went looking through the Google Play store, and that’s where I found ActionDash, a free to use app with the option of purchasing a pro version that will remove ads, among other things. The free version lets you see all the info about your screen time over the past week, so of course I went ahead and tracked it for a week straight, not restricting myself, using my phone as I normally would, so in this post I want to take you on my journey of how I’ve been using my phone for the past week!

Introducing: ActionDash

Let’s start with Saturday, March 16th. When I open the app I get the picture you see below, and I can scroll back through the past week, the 16th being the earliest day I could view at the time I took these screenshots.

I made sure to take the screenshots not on the day but the following day, so the data would be complete. And this is what we see: A wheel showing the 4 most used apps of the day, as well as “others”, number of unlocks of the phone, and notifications received, and at the bottom, a graph showing how long each session in each app has been. In this first image, the bottom two lines are missing, but we can still get the gist of what the graph shows: 1 session lasted 20-30 minutes, another lasted 15-20, three sessions lasted 10-15 minutes, 23 lasted between 5 and 10 minutes, 17 3-5 minutes, and what the picture doesn’t show is 1-2 minutes and less than 1 minute, which has been the longest bar on every day that I’ve checked the app!

On this Saturday, the app I spend the most time in was Instagram, followed by Twitter, Google, and then Pokemon GO. From what I can remember, this was a very antisocial day for me, I stayed in bed the majority of the day with the TV playing shows and YouTube, and I was scrolling on my phone the majority of the time as well. I promise, most days I do not spend 8.5 hours actively on my phone!

Let’s have a look at the following few days of the week:

If we’re being honest, I don’t remember everything about all of these days, as I’m not writing it as we go, but I do remember some things so let’s see… As we can see from Sunday the 17th, I spent less than three hours on my phone that day, which was a better day for me emotionally than the 16th, I do remember that. I spent nearly half that time on Instagram, which I can easily see, as a lot of the time I’ll be scrolling on Instagram while watching stuff, it requires little to no concentration as I just take in the pictures and I don’t have to actually read the words like I do on Twitter. But still, we can see the same few apps repeated almost daily, Twitter and Instagram are on daily, which was no surprise. WordPress was on the wheel on the 19th, because I was reading a rather lengthy article, and I kept putting my phone down, and got distracted a lot, so I probably wasn’t actually reading the whole time, I just left the screen on when I put my phone down and the screen doesn’t black out right away. Let’s see, what else… Oh, Friday the 22nd – Google was my most used app! That was a bit surprising, but I know exactly why: I fell down a rabbit hole of wikipedia articles, which happens on occasion, this time it was reading up on Russian history, starting with Stalin, then Lenin, and then the Tsars that ruled the country up until the revolution in 1917. And because it’s wikipedia, every article contains links to other articles so I end up getting side tracked and yeah, that’s how that happened! I also spent quite a lot of time on YouTube that day – I usually watch YouTube on the TV, but we had to have repair people come by and then set up a new TV, so to stay out of the way I watched YouTube on my phone in another room. Saturday the 23rd was Community Day, so that’s why Pokemon GO won first place on screen time then, as the event lasted for 3 hours, although I wasn’t actually playing it the full time…

Now let’s have a closer look at the app itself:

This picture is from Sunday the 24th, if I’m not mistaken. Either way, it doesn’t matter, what I wanted to show you was the graph where you can see the app session length breakdown for the day. Out of 271 app sessions, 203 of them lasted less than a minute! Thinking about how that works in reality… one of two things happened: I got a notification, clicked on it, and went out of the app again, or I opened the app out of boredom and closed it again almost immediately. The first one isn’t that bad, in my opinion. The second one however, that’s the kind of stuff I want to avoid, a habit I really want to work on breaking. All those little one minute sessions, I really want to stop them.

You can also view the whole week in the same way you can each day:

Over the course of one week, I spent 33 hours and 4 minutes on my phone.

168 hours to a week.

56 hours spent sleeping, if I sleep 8 hours a day.

Sleeping and phone stuff comes to 89 hours, so let’s just say 90 hours of the week.

168-90=78. I’ve spent more than half my time sleeping and on my phone. 53%. For only 47% of my week have I been awake and not on my phone. That’s kind of scary.

Let’s have a look at some other ways you can track your screen activity using the app ActionDash.

If you click on the icons in the circle of the opening screen, you can view the stats for that app daily, showing the time spent in it over the past week, and hourly, showing the stats for the day:

At the top of the home screen, you have some icons you can click on and it shows you different things as well:

The first icon, the cake diagram, is the start screen, which we’ve already covered. Next to it you can view the stats for screen time. The next icon shows the stats for app launches. Next to that, you can view notification stats. Lastly, the padlock symbolises unlocks, and you can view the stats for that as well.

So as you can see, there is a LOT of things you can view and track in the free version of this app, which is what I’ve been doing. Like I mentioned at the start, it is also possible to purchase a pro version, which gives you the additional benefits of stats beyond 7 days, enhanced usage graphs, no ads, dark theme, advanced customisation, and the possibility of restoring manual backups. It’s a one time upgrade which will cost you about £5 (my app store which is in Norwegian Kroner says it’s 45,-). Is it necessary? I don’t think so. I don’t feel the need to track more than the past 7 days, and if I were to I’d probably do it manually every day as it goes by in my bullet journal.

Just to show you, this is what days beyond the past 7 look like:

I don’t know if these are accurate, or if they just show that I’ve spent some time in these apps. One of them shows six apps in addition to “other”, while the other one only shows three – it could be that you need to spend over a specific amount of time in the app before it shows in the pie chart, I don’t know. I just wanted to show you what it looks like if you don’t upgrade to the pro version.

Final Thoughts

Is an app like this worth it? Is there a point to tracking your screen time like this?

I think it can be useful, yes. By using an app that tracks your time, you can become more aware of how you’re ACTUALLY spending your time, and that’s not a bad thing.

When I first downloaded the app, I was a bit obsessed with checking in multiple times a day and see how the pie chart and time change. In writing moment, it’s 2.40pm, I’ve unlocked my phone 53 times, had 192 notifications, and spent 1 hour and 17 minutes on my phone. It would probably have been more if I hadn’t spent the past couple of hours working on this blog post. The obsession wore off over time, but the first couple of days… I spent a lot of time checking in on the app to see how I was spending my time!

Have I learned anything? Yes. I’ve learned that I am way too guilty of the crime of unlocking my phone for no reason, and checking in on apps for less than a minute.

Will I change anything going forward? Eventually, I would like to. I’d like to eventually blacklist a lot of the apps in Forest that I’ve had whitelisted for a few months now, to stay off my phone completely when I have a tree or a bush growing, and to spend time on my phone on purpose, not just picking it up out of boredom. Eventually, I would like to change the bars on the stats, so that the “less than 1 minute” bar goes way down, and some of the higher ones go up. I’d like to plan out that I can spend the next 10 minutes on Twitter, that I can go on Instagram in the morning and at night. That I can play Pokemon GO when I’m out on walks. Those kinds of things. I’d like to be more mindful when it comes to how I spend time on my phone, and this app helped me to see that.

Have to  ever tracked your screen time?

What do you think of it, is it useful?

Related posts: SleepTown App (stay off your phone at night) // 2018 in Trees (Forest: Stay Focused app) // A Very Satisfying Forest (Forest: Stay Focused app)

Xoxo

Julie

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Revolution Beauty Order and Free Goodie Bag!

I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people that use online shopping carts as wishlists, I’ll always add a ton of stuff and then never check out. Until recently, I’ve had shopping carts full of makeup and skincare on Revolution Beauty, Superdrug, and Beauty Bay – but last week I purchased the content of my Revolution cart. The reason why? They put up a post on Instagram advertising free goodie bags of stuff worth £25 for purchases over £30!

Now, I’m not stupid. I know shops use goodie bags and “free X if you buy Y” as a way to get rid of stuff that doesn’t sell well, that is going out of stock, or that will expire soon if not purchased. So my expectations weren’t high. However, I’ve yet to be disappointed with anything from Revolution, and as I was buying stuff I wanted to test anyway, as opposed to products I already know and love, I figured why not. This is an opportunity for me to test some new things and get some free makeup and who doesn’t like free makeup?

The Stuff I Ordered

I placed my order and it arrived a day or two later. This was in the middle of my beta test of Anno 1800 (read about that in my previous entry here), so it took a few days before I took the time to test everything. So without any further ado, let me show you what I ordered and what I got for free (I did already post about this on Instagram but that was before testing everything):

My order consisted of 6 things: the conceal and define foundation, the PRO foundation drops, their new cut crease canvas which is a full coverage eyeshadow base, liquid eyeliners in black and white, and the Reloaded Marvellous Mattes eyeshadow palette.

I got the two foundations because they seem quite popular, and my current foundation isn’t working so well with my skin at the moment (and I want to stop supporting brands that test on animals). I’ve watched a lot of people with different skin types on youtube using the different foundations to get their opinions, and I just decided to get both and test them out.

I actually really enjoyed both of these foundations, they both went on my face very well, I’d picked good shades for me (F2, for fair skin with yellow undertones), and they didn’t feel cakey or disappear on my skin which some foundations have done in the past. The application was new for me with both of them, as the drops are obviously in a dropper and that’s how you put them on your face, while the conceal and define has a doe foot applicator, which I’m used to with concealers and liquid lipsticks, but have never tried with a foundation before. I’m used to pumps and squeezy tubes! I found them both to go on my skin nicely and blend out well with a wet sponge (I currently have the Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge), and they definitely both gave me coverage, smoothed out my skin nicely, and looked and felt nice on my face.

I got the black eyeliner because I’m not too big a fan of felt tip pen eyeliners, they dry out too fast, and I used to love a dip eyeliner from Loreal that I had before, except that the tip isn’t very skinny so it’s hard to get a precise line (and Loreal isn’t cruelty free). I found this one a bit hard to use to fill in, but it does draw really sharp lines! And I got the white one because I thought I could use it in artistic ways, or something.

I got the cut crease canvas in white because if I want a more skin colour cut crease I’ll just use concealer (I currently have 3 of the conceal and define concealers so I won’t run out anytime soon). I thought this could be wonderful to use to make those colourful colours really pop and appear true to colour! It’s an old trick, to cover your eyelids in white primer or even smudge white pencil liner all over your lid to make the colours appear more vibrant!

And lastly, I currently don’t have any singles or palettes with these kinds of bright and colourful colours, which is why I got the new Reloaded Marvellous Mattes eyeshadow palette. I have palettes with yellow and orange, I have some reds, I have some pinks and purple tones, and I have palettes with black and white shadows in them, but what I don’t have at all at the moment is any bright green (the ones I have are more olive toned or sparkly), or any blue shades like the two in this palette (fun fact, the darkest blue is an exact match to my iris). I also don’t think I have a hot pink, and I know I don’t have a bright purple like this one. And it was only £4 for 15 shades, so I thought it was a bargain. I did swatches of all the eyeshadows, but I haven’t been able to test them all on my eyes yet. Anyway, here is a closeup of the palette and the swatches:

I rubbed my finger back and forth twice, so four times across each shadow, and I went over each swatch twice. They feel nice, perhaps a bit powdery, but they’re quite pigmented, and I’d say they’re buildable as well which is good. I don’t mind spending a little bit of time building up a shadow. From the shades I’ve tried, I found that they lasted several hours without any creasing or smudging, which is what I’ve come to expect from Revolution eyeshadows. And I can definitely see myself using these shadows a lot!

The Stuff That Arrived

So that was all the makeup I purchased. Now let me show you everything that actually arrived, including the goodie bag:

So I got four products for free. Two palettes, and two singles. One highlight/contour/bronzer palette, one highlighter palette, a single highlighter, and a single gradient highlighter. A lot of highlighters! My initial thought when unwrapping everything was “I’m never gonna have to buy highlighters again if these are good!”

I wasn’t disappointed with any of these products, there wasn’t any that I saw and thought “oh no not this” because I can honestly say I’ve never really noticed these products in shops before (and Revolution is always the first brand I go to whenever I’m in Superdrug). It was quite nice to receive a powder contour kit, it’s something I’d not usually buy, and I’m definitely happy it was powder and not cream. I got the shade light/medium, which is their medium shade; they have one for fair which is lighter and one for medium/dark skin tones which is darker. I’m definitely more on the fair side, but I think I can use all of these shades regardless. Here’s a closeup of the palette:

The top left shade is a nice colour for under eye brightening and other highlight spots – it’s matte so it can be used as a setting powder too actually. The other shades on the top row are quite warm toned so they’re nice for bronzing. They’re all matte too but will add some colour. I’d definitely use more warm tones on my forehead for example, where the sun hits more naturally.

Along the bottom row, the three brown shades are more cool toned, so I’d use those to contour my cheekbones and jaw line, and if I ever get the hang of nose contour too, I think. The 3rd shade on this row is quite dark – but I can actually use that for my eyebrows if I want to! The 4th shade is another highlighter shade, more like a banana powder in my opinion, and I might be able to use this somehow.

The other palette I got was a highlighter palette called the Strobe Lighting palette, and it contains three shades. To the eye they look white, gold, and pink. All three are light enough in colour for me, which is always my biggest concern with highlighting palettes – there are always shades that are just too dark for me, but in this one that’s not the case. This palette also came with a mirror!

I’m not gonna lie, I had some trouble swatching these shades, specifically in that they did not appear on my skin at all. I struggled to see them with my eye, and I struggled to get them to appear on camera. To show you, I tried multiple different angles, and methods of swatching. Here are some swirls on my dry skin of all three in order, if you can see them. The white shade, which is more of a duochrome shade with green in it, shows up alright, but the gold and the pink are barely visible at all…

I then decided to try and swatch them on wet skin, as that’s a trick many use to get highlighters to show up more. At least now I could see them all on my arm…

If you’re curious, this is what they look like just on my fingers, before swatching. They look a bit dry and powdery to me, but when I drag then down my arm, they definitely look a lot smoother, and not chalky at all. But the white is definitely the most vibrant of these three highlighter shades.

I did also look up one of my favourite youtubers, Sophdoesnails, and she spoke about this palette in this video (at 5:28 if my time stamp doesn’t work). She also said that the duochrome white-green shade is more pigmented while the gold and pink are more subtle, so at least I know now that it’s not just my swatches that are messed up, this is how the palette is made. I did use them all on my skin, but I like a more blinding highlight sometimes and had to use the white over the gold to get the result I wanted, but if you like a more subtle look and gold and pink tones, you’ll probably like this a lot!

The third free product was a large single highlighter, the Skin Kiss highlighter in the shade Ice Kiss. Up close it looks like this:

This is one of the three original Skin Kiss highlighters from Revolution, and it’s described as a white with a hint of gold to it. Soph also made a video about these highlighters, which you can watch here if you’re interested. Personally I’m a bigger fan of a straight up white highlighter or more silver toned than gold toned, like the Limited Edition one from the Imogenation Highlight to the Moon palette with Revolution, so if I were to pick a Skin Kiss I probably would have gone with something more like Frozen Kiss over Ice Kiss, but I can make this work too, it will make me glow! Or sparkle…

I swatched this highlighter both wet and dry as well. Dry, it is quite chunky, a bit powdery and chalky. No joke, when I turned my hand to do the wet swatch, powder fell into my lap from the swatch. Granted, I did kind of pack it on here, but still, it was chalky in the pan too and people have commented this in reviews on the Revolution website. Wet, it looks a lot smoother in my opinion, and the gold comes out more as well.

Others have also said it’s quite glittery, which I can see when Soph applies it to her face in the video as well, so some of you might not like that. When dragging my fingers down my arm instead of swirling around on my hand, this is what the dry highlighter looks like:

I think a little goes a long way, and with how huge this pan is, if this is the kind of highlighter you’re looking for, I think it would last you ages!

The last free product was this gradient peachy toned highlighter, the Revolution Gradient Highlighter Sunlight Mood Lights, and up close it looks like this:

This was probably the product I was more unsure of if and how I would use. When looking at it, it doesn’t look like it’s all that glowy or highlightery, it almost looks more like a blush with a little bit of shimmer in it. Hell, I’ve seen blushes with more shimmer to it than this highlighter has! I can use the lightest part as cheekbone highlight if I want to, for a more natural glow, but the darkest part is definitely too dark for that. What I’m thinking is that the darker part might look quite nice as a blush especially when we get closer to summer and I’ll want more glow to my skin than I do right now (too much shimmer everywhere just makes me look oily/sweaty). Here are some swatches from different parts of the pan, as you can see, it’s a very natural glow, not in-your-face at all.

Believe it or not, that darker shade is from the middle, while the one below is actually from the darkest side of the pan! I definitely think this might be more of a blush-highlight combo for summer if I manage to get a bit of a tan or something, rather than a highlight for me, especially now during winter where my skin is white borderline blue… But it could look really pretty with a nice base and just some eyebrow pencil and mascara for a fresh summery look, don’t you think?

Did the Free Stuff Actually Add Up?

Now, the Instagram post from Revolution said the value of the goodie bag would be £25. So was it really? I went on their website to see if I really got free makeup worth almost as much as my original order and the short answer is yes. When everything is full price, the items add up to £25 exactly, with two products costing £8, one costing £4, and one costing £5:

However, I also discovered something when I was browsing the website searching for the products. Each of the products I received was the only one in its category that wasn’t currently on sale! I took some screenshots to show you:

The Powder Contour: I got the palette in light medium, which is £8, but the fair and medium dark palettes are currently on sale for only £2.40 each, which is70% off. I thought it could be a coincidence but it continues:

There are two gradient highlighters, the sunlight one I got which costs £4, and the peach one which is on sale for £1.20. That one is also 70% off at the moment.

And as if that’s not enough:

ALL of the skin kiss shades EXCEPT for Ice Kiss which is the one I got, are on sale, £2.50 instead of £5, which is 50% off (and a bargain for how much product you get in one pan, just saying – if this is your thing go grab some!).

This COULD all be a coincidence, but it doesn’t really feel like it, when EVERY product in each category is on sale EXCEPT for the ones that were in the goodie bag I got. I’m not complaining, I got free stuff, but still… Are they not on sale because they’re in the goodie bags? Do they want people to buy all the other items that are on sale and receive the items that aren’t in the goodie bags? Or is it simply for people like me who wanted to check if the price of the free items added up, so that we can’t complain we didn’t get the full £25 value that was promised? What do you think?

Have you ever purchased items simply to get free stuff with it? If so, what did you think of the free stuff? Let’s talk in the comment section!

xoxo

Julie

7 Days of Extra Spice

I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. Once, when I was very young, I found a red lipstick belonging to my mum, and decided to colour with in on the wall and the door of the wardrobe. I’m pretty sure I got yelled at for doing so… but that’s my earliest memory of makeup. When I was in primary school, my mother decorated a shoe box with purple wrapping paper for me, so I could store all my playtime makeup in it – I had several of those kids’ makeup sets, and my mum gave me some of her old stuff from the late 80s/early 90s to play with as well, and also samples she got that she didn’t like. I still had makeup in this box into my early teens when I started wearing makeup to school. At first, a friend would let me borrow her eyeliner and mascara, and I’d hurry to take it off at home before my parents could see me. I was a few months into my 13th year of life when my mum took me to buy my own makeup for the first time – I’d received a black pencil eyeliner from a friend for Christmas, and mum took me to an H&M in the city when I had a dentist appointment and I got my first mascara (not counting the old dried out one in the set of stuff my mum gave me to play with). I had plenty of lip glosses that had come in all those different magazines, and that’s basically what I wore. I gradually got some more things, and started to spend some of my pocket money on makeup as well, throughout my teen years.

I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m 26. I’ve gone through all of school (13 years), a year of photo school, and 6 years of university studies. But I’ve continued to love makeup throughout these different stages of my life. I’ve always watched tutorials on youtube, and followed people like Tati Westbrook (glamlifeguru) and Marlena Stell (Make Up Geek). The threshold for being a makeup youtuber has changed a lot over the year, there are a lot of makeup enthusiasts and lovers on the platform now, some really talented, in addition to people who have gone to school to become makeup artists. And in the world we live in today, where Influencer is a profession, a lot of these people have released their own products, either through starting their own companies, or working with makeup brands. One of these people, is Sophie from Sophdoesnails, who has collaborated with Revolution (Makeup Revolution), and has released two eye shadow palettes, a highlighter palette, and three lipsticks with them. I have everything except the highlighter palette (simply because I can’t imagine needing all 8 different shades in there, and because I am in love with different products at the moment), and my most recent acquisition was her 2nd palette, the Extra Spice palette, which looks like this:

Tati from Glamlifeguru said in a video not long ago, that in addition to doing first impression videos of products, she also enjoys playing around with them before filming, and really  “getting to know a palette”. I think this is a really good idea, to explore the potential of the palette you’ve just bought, and not just do one or two different looks using the same shades over and over. Of course, there are some shades that will be used more than others, for example for me, a light brown transition shade is in almost all my looks, whereas a black shadow is something I hardly ever use. However, I wanted to put this palette to the test and really see what it can do, because it has a lot of potential. So here is what I did:

I created 7 different eye shadow looks, over 7 different days, and throughout this week I’ve dipped into every. single. shade. in the Soph x Revolution Extra Spice eye shadow palette.

Of course, these are not the only looks you can do, and there are almost infinite amounts of ways you can combine these shadows to create looks, depending on how many different shades you use in one look and what sort of colours you put together. But these are 7 looks that I either came up with on my own or took inspiration from other people for. Some are very “me”, others are quite far out of my comfort zone. I’ve written a little bit about each look, which shadows I used and where, and I hope you enjoy this post!

Also: I decided to include pictures both with and without glasses, as I wear glasses on a daily basis, but I CAN also wear contacts if I want to. I have myopia (I am near-sighted), which means that my eyes through the glasses look smaller than they actually are, which again means that for makeup to really show up I need to make it more dramatic without glasses for it to look the way I want when I wear glasses, so I just thought I’d show you the comparison of these shadows with and without glasses on!

Also also: None of these pictures are edited in any way. I took them using the selfie camera on my OnePlus 6, uploaded them to a cloud server, and added them to this entry from that server, and that’s all. I tried to use as much natural light as possible, standing by the window when doing my makeup and also using the window light when taking the pictures.

The first thing I did with this palette, naturally, was swatch it. Using my fingers and my arm, just rubbing the shadow on in a back and forth motion, this is what the shadows look like:

Picture 1, from the top: Dreams, Cookie Dough, Cheesecake, Infinity, Running Late, Everyday

Picture 2, from the top: Lakes, Enchanted, Romance, Twenty One, Sweet n Sour, Vitamin C

Picture 3, from the top: Reputation, Aurora, LA sun, Mulled Wine, Chocolate Orange, Brownies.

If you want to see the video Sophie made talking about the palette, shade names, and her own swatches, you can click this link here!

Two things I want to say about these shades: They are pigmented, and they are buildable! These swatches are of dry colours on dry skin, so if you think they don’t show up well, such as Everyday and Dreams, remember how you would put them on your eye: probably on top of primer, or concealer, wet or powdered, and maybe even using a brush sprayed with some setting spray, and not just straight onto skin that has nothing on it already.

My most memorable moment from these swatches was after the black shade, the last one I swatched. It went on my arm SO black, and my finger was still completely black too, it looked like when I’d been drawing with charcoal in art class in school! So I was really impressed by that shade, but also quite intimidated, which is why I didn’t use it until my 7th and last look of this experiment.

Day 1: Burgundy Silver

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For my first look, I wanted to use shades that were COMPLETELY different from the shades in Soph’s first palette, which I’ve had since August 2018, and I was immediately drawn to the burgundy purple shades. For this look, I used Mulled Wine in the crease, deepened the colour with Enchanted, cut the crease, used Infinity on the lid, and for my lower lash line I went back to Mulled Wine and Enchanted, and also added a tiny bit of Romance although I don’t think it shows in the pictures, and also Infinity on the lower inner corner. A bit of white eyeliner on my waterline and mascara, and this is the finished look! I also used Soph’s lipstick in the shade Cake for this!

Oh and I actually forgot to take pictures with my glasses on for this look… but I have them for every other look!

Day 2: Subtle Daytime

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Warm tones have been “in” for quite some time now, and Soph is quite into warm toned looks herself, as she has said multiple times on her channel, so these shades were no surprise to this palette. For this more simple, faster, wearable daytime look, which really just adds some colour and dimension to your face, I started off with Running Late all over my eyelid and into my crease. To deepen it a little bit, I then used Sweet n Sour on the outer corner, blending it inwards. I used both shades on my lower lash line as well. Then I added a tiny bit of Everyday to the centre of my eyelid, and the inner part of my lower lash line, as well as on my brow bone. Also wearing Soph’s lipstick in Syrup with this look. And I remembered to take pictures with my glasses on!

Day 3: Dramatic Sunset

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This look is a little more out of my comfort zone than the previous two, and I think the main reason for that is that sunset looks have been SO popular lately and it’s very easy to  get intimidated by the immensely beautiful looks created by both professionals and amateur makeup artists out there. For this look I started out with Vitamin C in the crease, and I was a bit disappointed at first, but as I kept blending and building I did get the colour to be what I wanted it to be. I alternated between adding Vitamin C and Running Late over and over, and then deepened with Sweet n Sour, and then Twenty One on the centre and outer part of my mobile lid. Used all the same colours on my lower lash line as well, and also added some LA Sun to my inner corner instead of a highlighter shade, as I thought it went well with this look. For this look, I think you can really see how much difference the glasses make for my look, the shadows are a lot more intense and in-your-face without my glasses on. Lipstick is Soph’s in the shade Fudge.

Day 4: Smokey Brown

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On the 4th day, I actually decided to pick my lipstick first and match my eye shadow to it, instead of the other way around. I was going out for a meal in the evening, and I wanted to wear MAC Ruby Woo which is a retro matte formula that I know stays put through food and drinks. A more smokey brown look would go well with this lip colour, I thought, and therefore my choices fell on Cookie dough for my crease, Cheesecake to deepen it, a tiny bit of Brownies just on the outer corner and along my lower lash line (smoked out with the other colours), and then I also added a bit of Dreams to the inner part of my eyelid for some shimmer to this otherwise very matte look. This was much more within my comfort zone, and more like the eye looks I would do when working in the reception at a museum when I lived in Trondheim!

Day 5: Lakes and Aurora

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Staying more within my comfort zone still, I did another smokey look for day 5, but this time using green tones. I have done similar looks using other palettes before, including Soph’s original palette, and Jordan Lipscombe’s Trooper palette, but I wanted to see what these shadows could do. I believe I used Cookie Dough in my crease again first, before using a lot of Lakes across my crease and also on the outer and inner corners of my eye. I didn’t want to do a cut crease, but I used Aurora wet on the centre of my eyelid for this look; not cutting the crease made the colours blend into each other more, and the Aurora shade doesn’t stand out as much as it would have if I’d cut the crease, which I could have done, but I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like it on this day I guess. The highlighter around my inner corner was whatever I used on my face that day (so, not an eye shadow from this palette) and I used the Fudge lipstick again for this look.

Day 6: Pop the Blue

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I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like all of these looks have made my eyes pop and look extra blue. Or maybe it’s the lighting? Hard to say. However, according to the colour wheel, orange is the opposite of blue. When I was a teenager, I read in a magazine that most people wouldn’t put orange eye shadow on their eyes however, and it recommended brown tones. In this look, I’ve used a little bit of everything that’s supposed to make blue eyes pop: orange, yellow, and brown shades. I started with Chocolate Orange  creating the outer V, and into the crease, and used Sweet n Sour to soften it up.Then I used three different shades on my lid, starting from the outer corner with Brownies, then Vitamin C on the inner corner, and Running late to kind of blend them together without making the yellow muddy in the middle. On the inner corner of my bottom lash line I added some LA sun for some shimmer as well. I was trying to kind of recreate a look I saw once on youtube for this, but I don’t remember who made the look or if I recreated it correctly, as I wasn’t actively following the tutorial for this look, I just went off memory. And for my lips, yes, you guessed it: Soph’s lipstick in Fudge again today!

Day 7: Silver and Black for Prom

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By day 7, there was only one shade left to use, and it was the one that scared me the most: Reputation, the deep charcoal black shadow that emo me would have loved back when I couldn’t find a black shade that was black enough. For this look, I tried to recreate a look Soph did herself (video here), using browns, black, and silver to create a dramatic look that would look good with any dress colour for prom, for example. I used Cookie Dough and Brownies in the crease first, before going in with Reputation to create that black to brown transition. I cut my crease for this one, and used Infinity on top of the wet concealer across my lid, and went back with Reputation and Brownies again to smooth out the edges. Mine and Soph’s looks are different, her cut crease is a lot neater than mine, and I think there is less of the brown and black visible above after she does the cut crease, and more on the outer corner, but she does makeup for a living and I just wanted to try this look which is something I normally wouldn’t do at all, at least not anymore. A few years ago, yes. I also used a black kohl liner in my waterline, which is something I used to do a few years ago when I did a lot of silver/grey/black eye makeup, as well as when I first started out with makeup which was 10+ years ago! #2009v2019 right? Actually, that was more like 2006-2008, now that I think about it… Anyway! On my lips I wore a L’Oreal matte lipstick in the shade Mon Jules with this look.

So there we have it! 7 Days of wearing the Extra Spice palette from Soph x Revolution! I did a final count, to make sure I definitely had used all the shades, and this is how it looked:

Everyday: used in 1 look
Running Late: used in 3 looks
Infinity: used in 2 looks
Cheesecake: used in 1 look
Cookie Dough: used in 3 looks
Dreams: used in 1 look
Vitamin C: used in 2 looks
Sweet n Sour: used in 3 looks
Twenty One: used in 1 look
Romance: used in 1 look (barely, but it was used!)
Enchanted: used in 1 look
Lakes: used in 1 look
Brownies: used in 3 looks
Chocolate Orange: used in 1 look
Mulled Wine: used in 1 look
LA Sun: used in 2 looks
Aurora: used in 1 look
Reputation: used in 1 look

Final thoughts: I love this palette! I will definitely keep using this palette to do similar looks and different looks, and I want to mix this palette with Soph’s original palette as well. And also, these shadows stay put! I have a MAC duo shadow which I wore not long ago, just the two shades, and I’d done the rest of my makeup as usual, and in less than 5 hours, the shadows had creased and my eyelids were streaky with the colour. It was a horrible surprise to see it in the mirror on my way out the door. The black and silver look, however, which I did this weekend, was done around noon, and I wore it until bedtime, which was after midnight, and I didn’t see any creases on my eyelids at all when I went to take my makeup off for the night! If you want good drug store eye shadows, I definitely recommend both of Soph’s palettes with Revolution! I haven’t tried any other palettes from Revolution, but I can with certainty say that these to palettes are DEFINITELY WORTH IT (they’re only £10. How are they only £10?! I don’t even mind that Extra Spice has “only” 18 shadows and each shadow is 0.8g while her other palette has 1.1g per shadow and 24 of them – they’re just that good!)!

Question for you: You’ve made it to the end of this post! So can I assume you enjoyed this type of a blog post that’s more of a project I worked on over time? If you enjoyed this, would you like to see more posts like this, where I challenge myself to create multiple different looks using the same palette? I have Soph’s original palette, I have all 3 of Jordan Lipscombe’s palettes with Beauty Bay (swatches and thoughts in this entry here), I have two of Urban Decay’s Naked palettes (3 and Heat)… Let me know down below if you have any requests!

xoxo

Julie

13 Reasons Why: My Honest Opinion

Hello, beautiful readers! I know it’s been a while… I was unable to finish a post a day for April, but I don’t care too much. My blog is still here, and I know I can write whenever I want to. And there’s no point in forcing oneself to post every day, or on a schedule, if one does not feel like writing. If you don’t feel like writing, anything you write will more than likely turn out like crap, so it’s better to wait until you feel like writing to write, in my opinion.

Yesterday, I watched all 13 episodes of the Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why. It’s very likely that anything written after this sentence will contain spoilers, so you should stop reading now, if you don’t want any spoilers whatsoever (although, with the Internet being what it is, you’ve probably seen some already anyway).

I watched 13 Reasons Why in one sitting. I started it sometime in the afternoon, and I finished at 1.30am. Naturally, I had breaks to make food and get myself hot drinks and use the bathroom, but I didn’t watch anything else from the moment I started episode 1 until the moment I finished episode 13. I wanted to watch it because I’d seen people tweeting about it, how deep it is, how they couldn’t stop crying at the end of it… So I thought I’d give it a try. Now, you might think that, because I watched it all in one go and didn’t take breaks other than to make food, that I found the show to be so incredibly good.

I did not. I have mixed feelings about the show, actually. I thought it was well made; I kept watching because I needed to know what happened next, whose tape would come up next, why Clay was on the list, when it seemed like he was such a good friend to Hannah, or at least tried to be. He didn’t humiliate her by sending her picture to everyone at school, or publish her writing without her consent, or steal her compliments from her paper bag for revenge. I was glad he didn’t deserve to be on the tapes though. I said I have mixed feelings about the show – I’m not entirely sure I liked it. I don’t think I’ll be rewatching it, at least not anytime soon.

The other students kept saying that Hannah lied, that what she said isn’t what happened. Toni had a good point – she was telling her truth. Because two people can witness a situation and experience it and what is the truth in two completely different ways. That’s why eye witness’ testimonies can be unreliable, right? Every person is different, every person’s mind works in a unique way, making their experiences unique to that person. And everything that happens affects everyone differently. One of the guys, I don’t remember who, said that nothing happened to Hannah that didn’t happen to every other girl in high school, inferring that the people on the tapes can’t be responsible for Hannah killing herself. But Hannah wasn’t every other girl, Hannah was Hannah, and how she experienced these things were different from how other girls did.

I read somewhere that when people kill themselves, it’s not because of one big thing. It’s all the little things, that add up until it becomes unbearable. I know that feeling. You cry, and people ask you what’s wrong, and you say you don’t know because it’s not just this one thing that you can say, it’s many little things, it’s everything. But how people handle it varies from person to person. Clay took a really long time to listen to the tapes, longer than any of the others. Alex listened through all of them in one night, the first time he listened to them. Clay had anxiety. Skye was a cutter. Hannah slit her wrists in the bathtub and died. Alex shot himself in the head but is in critical care. And was it just me, or did Tyler have a gun in his room, at the bottom of that trunk or whatever it was? I remember thinking, “he’s gonna shoot up the school”.

Maybe, to some, this show is deep. I didn’t find it deep. I found it exploratory, in the way that it explored the different ways the mind works. But it wasn’t earth shattering-oh my god this is so deep-deep, not to me anyway. I didn’t cry at the end. I felt sick, watching the suicide scene, but I didn’t cry. The show didn’t make me realize a lot of things. I read a review posted on a Norwegian website, where the author wrote that, at its worst, the show is awkward and full of cliches, but at its best, it is truly heartbreaking. Furthermore, the author wrote that the show is more important than it is good. A little more humor would have been nice, because even at its worst, high school isn’t entirely without it. And the show deals with important topics, such as peer pressure, drinking, sex, sexuality, bullying, and, of course, suicide. But I felt that Hannah was a bit unfair. She says all these people contributed to her taking her own life, that they broke hear heart and spirit and soul. But she couldn’t have thought about what kind of damage she would be inflicting on them by making and sending out these tapes, making each and every one of them listen to them and hear not only what they did but what 12 other people did (well, 11, because Justin had two tapes), threatening that they are being watched and that all tapes will be released to the public if any one of them fails to do what she tells them to. Not her problem, right? Because she’s dead. And you can’t blame a dead girl, can you?

Anyway. I’ve probably rambled on for long enough, so I’ll stop here. Anyone else watched 13 Reasons Why? What did you think? Let’s discuss in the comments!

~ Julie

Return to Android

Good afternoon, readers! I hope you’re all having a good weekend! I’ve not been posting anything because I’ve not been on social media a lot this weekend, as I decided to go home to my parents, for three, wait no, four, different reasons. One of these reasons was phone related.

As some of you might remember, in January I wrote this entry about using an iPhone for the first time due to my Samsung having been sent off to check if the things wrong with it were fixable. They weren’t. After several weeks, I was told that I would be able to get my money back after February 1st. It’s now been over a month since then. I’ve been to England in the meantime, and when I got home I was told to call someone but of course they were closed so I had to call the following day, and the woman I spoke to confirmed that it was a warranty issue and I could get my money back. That was over a week and a half ago, and my money is nowhere to be seen.

However, today I couldn’t wait any longer, and decided to order a new phone after debating and comparing phones and operative systems for a couple of weeks. I knew that I did not want another Samsung, but I did land on a phone that runs on Android. Not iOS. After almost 6 weeks of using the iPhone, I’ve decided that I just don’t want one. So I decided to write a post about why. Please note that this is not an attack on iPhone or its users, it’s simply personal preference, and furthermore I am aware that some of the things on the following list may be changeable in the settings, but the fact that they’re not already default is a minus in my book. Other issues I’ve been having might be due to the fact that I’ve been using an iPhone 4s, which is old, and newer iPhones may have fixes for these; I’m basing the following points strictly on my experience with this one iPhone 4s, so please do not consider this a review of anything else.

  1. The first point on my list is something that I mentioned in the last post I wrote about Android/iOS, and that is the fact that if I write too long of a message in WhatsApp/Messenger (my two most used message apps) the message I’m replying to disappears, and I have to exit the message and go back on it again to see the rest. I can’t close and reopen the keyboard in the same way that I could with my Samsung phone. I’ve been told that newer iPhones have an arrow next to the keyboard that allows for this though, so that might just be the 4s that’s bad.
  2. The fact that you cannot insert a memory card is a huge minus for me. You’re stuck with whatever size memory you choose to get, minus approximately 2GB that are used for software (this one is 16gb, available space was 14.2 before I downloaded stuff, I believe).
  3. The price of iPhones is ridiculous. I could get the 5s 16gb for a reasonable price, but that was about it. The SE with 64gb is where it seemed like I would be able to get the most for my money, but even that was pushing my budget, and I didn’t like the width/length ratio on the newer iPhones, they looked too long and narrow for me, although I’m sure that’s something you get used to.
  4. Going back in apps have been an issue for me sometimes. An example is when I accidentally clicked on something in the Messenger app for Facebook where I could “react” to the last message sent, and I just wanted to go back, but I couldn’t figure out how to and ended up having to give the message a thumbs up before I could get to see what the message actually said.
  5. It seems to me that if I’ve been in a game and I’ve clicked the home button and exited the app, when I reopen the app it takes me to the main page of the app (think candy crush saga, where you have the map – that’s where I’m taken, not back into the game). I know my Android phones do that too sometimes but that’s usually when it’s been a long time since I was in the app, and usually I got straight back into the game as I left it when I reopen the app.
  6. I’ve missed SO many notifications on this phone due to the fact that I have to pull down the tab at the top to see the rest once I’ve swiped and opened one – you know, when you haven’t used your phone in a while and you wake up the screen and have 5 notifications, and you swipe on one to see it, and then you forget that the rest were even there because when you turn the screen off they don’t reappear. This, I’ve bee told, can be changed in the settings, but I don’t want to have to do that, I think it should be default. Furthermore, on my Samsung phones, I could always see that I had unread notifications at the top of the screen where you see the clock and battery and wifi and signal – there were symbols there telling me what apps I had unread stuff in, which reminded me to pull down the tab and view them, which the iPhone doesn’t.
  7. This phone keeps telling me I have unread emails when I don’t. First it was one – and I even clicked my way through all my emails in my inbox (which aren’t many because I keep deleting and moving them to folders several times a day), but it still said I had one unread email. This past Friday, that changed to two unread emails. So now when it tells me I have 7 unread emails, I actually only have 5. I spoke to a roommate of mine who had experienced the same before and it lasted for months before it suddenly stopped. Really annoying!
  8. I absolutely HATE that the iPhone turns itself off when it’s cold. I live in Norway, and Norway is cold. I’ll be walking home from the bus stop replying to a message, and it randomly shuts off. This is NOT something I can live with, and the fact that it’s supposed to be a safety feature… to me it’s just annoying and frustrating and I don’t need this kind of stress in my life.
  9. What do you mean I can’t connect it to my windows computer and transfer my pictures over to an external harddrive?! Actually, this is an easy fix, I just have to upload them to a Google Drive folder, but that’s not how I like to do things, and I like to keep all backups on this one harddrive of mine, together, so I need to then copy them out of the Google Drive and onto the harddrive which is just an annoying middle step for me.
  10. It does not charge properly. And by that I mean that I have to blow on both ends of the charger cable, plus the box, plus the outlet, plus where you plug the charger into the phone, and then, MAYBE, it’ll start charging. My friend told me that’s most likely the cable, because it’s a cheap cable, and she had the same issue with a cheap cable for her 5s, but a more expensive cable works fine. No. That just won’t do. No one is better at breaking phone charger cables than I am, and I expect a cheap cable to charge just as well as a more expensive cable; it may be slower, but it should not do this, and I shouldn’t have to do 7 different things and restart the phone twice before it’ll charge – it should just start charging when I plug it in!

So there you have it – my list of 10 reasons I chose another Android phone instead of an iPhone when finally deciding to buy a new one. And let me tell you: no offense, but I am REALLY looking forward to giving this phone back to the friend I borrowed it from!

~ Julie