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IMPOSTER SYNDROME


Ahem
It’s been a while.
I mean, a while may be an understatement but hey… at least I’m back?
In another post I promise I will address my eerily long absence with a 20 page rant on work schedules, laziness and a fight with HTML I have long since accepted I will always lose, but today, I’m here to discuss something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, and that is the idea of Imposter Syndrome.



To those who don’t know what Imposter Syndrome is, god bless your sweet innocent summer souls, I envy your self-confidence and worth and hope you never lose it. However, the majority of us will completely understand the feeling of Imposter Syndrome, that idea of looking at everyone around you and going “What the hell am I doing here?” That feeling of not being as good as or good enough for anyone and everyone around you.




I go to the University of St. Andrews, regularly listed as a top university in Scotland, Britain and the world. It’s a big name to live up to and I have had a lot of interested oo-ing and ah-ing whenever I tell someone. There’s a reputation; I mean the freaking monarch to be came here so of course I expected a high standard. What I didn’t expect is the sheer level of brilliance – which admittedly was stupid on my part. I am surrounded by geniuses from all areas of the globe (namely America – good lord there are a lot of you here), and for someone who has always been doubtful of their ability, it’s kind of taking an impact.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know that buried way down deep under the self -doubt, insecurity and rage against a system that takes a love of learning and twists it into a fear of failure, there is an intelligent person in my brain screaming “FOR GOD’S SAKE JUST LISTEN TO ME!”. But as someone who got into this university with a questionable work ethic and grades lower than the conditions they set me, that voice has shrunk down to a whisper, unable to compete with the other voice who’s simply and monotonously repeating “Why are you here?”.  The first few times it’s easy to bat it away, ignore it, keep pushing through knowing that you deserve a place. But after two months of it, it can be exhausting.

I’m absolutely happy to be here, and I wouldn’t dream of dropping out or losing a place I did genuinely work hard for, even if the grades didn’t show it, but this battle with myself is something I have to deal with day in day out, the idea of insecurity and fear as I write an essay, knowing it’s not good enough but knowing I’ve left it so late that it’s what I have to hand in, watching friends who are just brilliant tear themselves down intellectually because they believe they’re stupid, while you sit there knowing factually they are more brilliant than you could arguably ever be.


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There’s no real point to this, and I’m fully aware of how depressing this is to kick off my blog again, but I guess I just want to let people know that if you’re going through this, no matter what context or your ability, you’re not anywhere you shouldn’t be, and that’s something I too need to remind myself. I deserve to be here just as much as Prince William did and just as much as anyone else does, otherwise quite simply, I wouldn’t be sat here right now, watching the waves crash into the pier, writing a blog post about how I don’t feel clever enough to be at a top university. I just need to remind myself more often.



When digging through my bases to find a lighter coverage for summer, I came across the  Revlon Photoready BB Cream. Now I don't remember buying this, but I included it in my favourites a while ago, so I decided to go back to it to try out again. Now I don't know if it's my skin or my make up knowledge that has changed since I included this in my favourites, but it's safe to say I wasn't as enamoured with it as I originally was.

First of all, a reoccuring issue for me, the shade. I picked the lightest shade and it's still too dark, a fact I must have missed when I last wore it. It's not too bad, and because it is light coverage it is much less obvious, but it is still slightly too dark for my incredibly pale complexion. I found it gave a light finish, which I was looking for, but had a slightly greasy texture. Because of this I found its lasting power to be very short, only lasting a few hours at a time. This may be due to my skin as well as I have been sweating more than usual (yummy) due to the heat, but I still was looking for something that lasted for longer. 

I did like the coverage, but the texture and shade just didn't sit well with me, so for the moment I've opted for just concealer and powder as my base.

Thanks for reading!
Shannon
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When I started Photography A Level at the start of this academic year, I went in expecting to learn so much more about the subject I loved and to leave with some incredibly pieces of work. Instead, I left with a hatred for anything with a lens and stress levels higher than the Empire State Building, with the idea of picking up a camera tear-inducing. 

The issue with studying an art in an academic situation is that it is looked at as an academic subject, with tick boxes and high expectations. I stopped seeing my work as pieces of art that I loved, and instead compared it to other people's lighting and composition and other small details, to a point where I stopped handing in work because I was scared of it not being good enough. I was an A grade talent student handing in B/C  grade work because I just didn't have the motivation or love anymore. 

However, since being on summer I have been finding that love and letting it grow back, and one of the ways I have been doing that is through reading and flicking through photography books, and so I thought I'd recommend a few of my favourite inspirations.

The first two are by the same photographer, Nichole Robertson, and are different shots of Paris. Paris in Color, like the name suggests, is split up by colour and shows lots of different perspectives and details of the Parisian streets. Paris in Love shows the city at different times of the day, showing again small details, but this time focussed on the more romantic side of things. I am going to Paris next week, and so while also being huge photography inspiration, it is also travel inspiration and things to look out for! 

The next book is 20th Century Photography. This holds lots of different artists, styles and themes and is really good inspiration for all types of photography. It was also a massive help for artist research at A Level, so if you're struggling I definitely recommend giving this a go.

The last book is The Wandering Project by Jonah Reenders. This is probably my favourite one I own. The photos were taken on a roadtrip across America and feature both East and West Coast. It has a very personal feel as there are shots inside the van that they drove in, perspective shots and some really beautiful scenery shots in there. Honestly this really kicks my travel instinct and I have to physically restrain myself from booking flights right now, and I completely recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is sold on Blurb, meaning it comes out more as a magazine than an actual book, but I just seriously love everything about it.

I have definitely gained my photography kick back and cannot wait until Paris next week to really try it out again!

Shannon
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My Naked Palette is one of my most well loved products. A selection of everyday shades that could also be turned into much smokier nightwear with amazing quality and pigmentation. However, I am also aware that for a lot of people the Naked Palette is slightly out of their price range, and so we look to the other palette in the photo. 

w7's In The Buff Palette in Lightly Toasted is pretty much a shade by shade copy for a fraction of the price. The quality of the shades is not as good as the Naked, but still very good for the price, especially with the Toasted, Smog and Hustle dupes. The Naked Palette as a whole has more of a creamy, shimmery finish while the w7 does verge on glittery for a few shades, especially the Creep and Gunmetal shades. However, Lightly Toasted still has a lot of pigmentation in most of its shades and is long lasting and creamy.

Something I do love about this palette is the Half Baked dupe. The Half Baked shade in the actual palette brings me out with an allergic reaction and my eyelid swells up (yeah, it's not fun). However, the w7's shade is pretty much exactly the same shade and I have had no reaction as of yet! 


Lightly Toasted Palette's quality, while not at the same level as the Naked, lives up to the expectations I had when I purchased it and more. While w7 is a US brand, I managed to pick this up by complete surprise in B&M Bargains of all places for something ridiculous like £4. So if you are around somewhere that sells these and you want to give the Naked Palette a go but you don't want to fork out, here's your option!

Thanks for reading!
Shannon
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With summer comes heat, and with heat comes sweat and the inevitable smudging and melting of make up. Bearing this in mind, I decided to expand my matte lipstick collection by picking up three shades of the MUA Velvet Lip Lacquer online to give a try. The shades I got are Criminal, Reckless and Serene (left to right). 

Reckless and Criminal really impressed me. Both were highly pigmented and incredible colours. While slightly sticky at first application, they quickly dried and mattified, and after this you could hardly feel them on. They are slightly drying due to how matte the finish actually is. They do not transfer at all and keep their opacity for several hours, even after eating, drinking and sweating. 



However, with Serene I had some issues. While it applied similarly to the other two, I found after a few seconds of it being matte the product almost seemed to peel off my lips from the centre. It gave a much streakier finish and also did not have the same opacity as the other two lacquers. Due to the picture being slightly off on the website, I found the colour to not match me at all and instead make me look ill or an odd colour. However, on application I'm really not sure who this would suit...


All in all for £3 each, the quality of Reckless and Criminal was unexpected and far surpasses what I actually was expecting. Definitely a recommendation for those two, and maybe stay away from Serene.
Shannon
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I find photos on your phone to be much more personal than a camera a lot of the time. They're easier to carry round and use on the go, plus the quality is definitely getting much better with each new phone release. So today, I thought I'd let you guys see a few of the photos I got on my phone recently, mostly unedited, but still some of my favourites. 














Shannon
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So I'm a nosy person and enjoy learning about people, so I decided to take this nosiness and use it for good! I made a new video on the YouTubes called Identity, which is to satisfy nosy needs about my life!


I hope you enjoy!
Shannon
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