A couple of weeks ago I attended Viking’s Picture Perfect blogging event held at The Botanist. The premise of the evening was a photography masterclass taught by Elouisa Georgiou, a professional photographer. I learnt lots of really helpful tips that I believe are helping me improve my photography skills so I thought I would share them with you incase you weren’t fortunate enough to be there yourself. I’m definitely not one of those people who don’t share what they’ve learnt, the more who know the merrier I say, it’s not a competition.

Viking digital photography masterclass, champagne flute

Elouisa’s first tip was to take your camera out of automatic mode, let’s be real here, how many of us shoot in automatic? Personally I have never taken my camera out of it! Guilty.. Elouisa said the reason to shoot in manual is that you have more control over your images which therefore means better images.

Botantist outside bar, spirits

I haven’t quite got the hang of the next tips Elouisa gave us, I’m a massive photography novice so these more complex tips I’m still getting to grips with. Below is word for word the tips as I don’t feel I can put them into my own words yet as I don’t 100% understand them completely myself but I still wanted to share a professional’s tips with you incase it can help you improve your own photography!

Shutter Speed – This is how fast the shutter captures your image. To stop motion, you will need a higher shutter speed number, to capture motion you will need to shoot at a lower shutter speed number to create blur. But remember, a faster/higher shutter speed means less light is being let into the camera.

ISO – The lower the ISO, the less sensitive the sensor it is to the light, the higher the ISO the more sensitive your camera is to light. For clear and less ‘grainy’ photos with as much detail as possible we always want to shoot at the lowest ISO possible.

Aperture – Also known as the F stop, this controls the depth of field, i.e. the amount of subject you will have in focus in the foreground/background of an image. A wide aperture (f/2) or low F stop has a softer focus of the background, letting more light in as well as creating a bokeh (blur) to the background. A narrow aperture (f/22) or a higher F stop has more in focus in the background and lets less light in.

Prism distorted image, bartender

First up we started working on creating interesting portraits using reflection and diffraction. Elouisa’s biggest tip was to get outside, natural lighting is your friend and ambient lighting is most certainly not. In the image above I attempted to use a prism to distort my image, they can add such a quirky twist to a otherwise bog standard image, but I found that I just couldn’t get the hang of it. My friend Shannon who also attended the event created some amazing images using prisms so go over to her if you want to see some successful shots!

Distorted flatlay, chanel perfume, beauty products

However what I did find worked for me was using a champagne flute to create a kind of blur and focal point, don’t get me wrong it isn’t my best picture I’ve taken, but it has released something in me that wants to experiment with my photography more. They had a little competition on who could take the best photograph utilising the evening’s tips and I actually came third!

Camera on tripod, fake plant, cutlery holder

Elouisa always recommends using a tripod when you can as it helps with any motion blur and keeps the shots consistent. She also recommends using the live view to see where the different elements are in the shot and says always play around, subjects don’t always have to be fully in shot and don’t be afraid to put things closer together as large gaps aren’t always aesthetically pleasing.

Passionfruit and strawberry cocktail, viking, snacks

The evening was also full of delicious food and drink, I had a passion fruit and basil cocktail, followed by a buffet of ploughman’s platters. The Botantist’s scotch eggs are the best things I’ve ever tasted! The biggest food photography tip was to perfect the “magic angles”, straight on, 45 degrees and bird’s-eye/flatlay. Also to focus on the food, you can even just focus on a detail of the dish and make sure not to use too many props to draw attention away from the plate.

Botantist food, ploughman's platter, cocktail

I hope you’ve found the tips in this post as helpful as I have! Sometimes taking pictures can feel a bit mundane and I feel like now I have much more creative ideas for my photography. A massive thank you to Viking for inviting me to their event & to Elouisa for teaching us these amazing tips and tricks.

Jeffree Star… Love him or hate him, you cannot deny he makes beautiful makeup. When his beloved blood sugar palette first previewed on the internet, I swooned hard, I knew I needed it at a first glance. Roll on 2 months later, as it took forever to come to beauty bay AND was only available for pre order, I now can finally say I am the proud owner of one. I’ve actually never tried anything from Jeffree Star Cosmetics so its not like I was buying this palette based on the quality of others products I’ve tried, which means the packaging and colours must be pretty darn amazing to make me need this palette like I did.

I know you’re all here for the swatches as that’s the most exciting part and the most helpful when deciding whether you really need to buy another eyeshadow palette to add to the 50 others you already have.. But I thought I’d give you a quick rundown on what I think of the palette overall.

Packaging: This was one of the big selling points for me and everybody else I am assuming. It comes in a red faux leather trunk style case, it’s ridiculously heavy, almost too heavy to use the mirror properly as your arm aches so quickly when holding it. It is extremely luxurious and even though it racks in at £46 (eek!) I still think it feels a lot pricier that it is. You also get 18 shades and the pans are pretty decent size so I personally think it is well worth it.

Shadows: This palette was initially brought out for Valentines Day so the colour scheme is very much what you would expect of the holiday – pinks, purples and reds. However the shades definitely have a Jeffree Star twist on them with a slightly more unusual bright red and fluresent pink. Every single shade is very pigmented and I especially love the pressed pigment shadows as they’re absolutely beautiful but have next to no fallout which is unseen of for pigments.

Overall: I truly have nothing quite like this in my collection and if it comes back around again on sale I would definitely recommend treating yourself to it if you are like me and a sucker for a pretty eyeshadow palette. The colour scheme has a unique twist to it and I believe it is more of a collectors item – of course I will make good use of it, I just think it is one of those makeup products I will never chuck away no matter how old and manky it becomes!

First Row

Second Row

Third Row

I tried not to make this post too text heavy as I think the palette speaks for itself! I hope you enjoyed this post from me, I know its been a little while but I thought this was a nice post to come back with, it has definitely made me want to try his androgony palette and liquid lips even more arggg. Let me know if you’ve tried anything from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, if you aren’t a fan of his then I’m sorry but please keep in mind I’m just reviewing his makeup not condoning any of his actions.

Ruby xox

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Raspberry Ripple Backdrop
Raspberry Ripple Backdrop
Tiara Swatch Stencil
Tiara Swatch Stencil
Star Swatch Stencil
Star Swatch Stencil
Blood Sugar Palette
Blood Sugar Palette
Raspberry Ripple Backdrop
Raspberry Ripple Backdrop
Tiara Swatch Stencil
Tiara Swatch Stencil
Star Swatch Stencil
Star Swatch Stencil
Blood Sugar Palette
Blood Sugar Palette
Raspberry Ripple Backdrop
Raspberry Ripple Backdrop
Tiara Swatch Stencil
Tiara Swatch Stencil
Star Swatch Stencil
Star Swatch Stencil
Blood Sugar Palette
Blood Sugar Palette


Today I thought I’d take the leap into sharing some of my poetry with you.

January is a month where we can be so harsh on ourselves and constantly feel like we are underachieving no matter how much we do.

Expectations and Pause are both poems about this feeling and I hope if you’re feeling the New Year pressure then they put it in perspective that you’re doing great and to not be so harsh on yourself.


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Why do put so much pressure on ourselves

And crumble if we haven’t achieved it by twelve


Our expectations of ourselves are far too high

It’s almost like we’re expecting pigs to fly


It feels like a competition of who can achieve the most

But sometimes even having a shower deserves a boast


Our success should be individual and not be compared

But if you don’t achieve 100 things you can still feel the glare


Take a step back and go at your own pace

Stop tripping over your own shoe lace



– – – – – – – – –



Do you ever feel like your life is on pause

As you watch other people curtesy to their applause


Do you ever feel like your heart is beating

Yet everything else has decided to take a back seating


Do you ever feel like people are seizing their dreams

As you sit in pitiful envy as their smile beams


Do you ever feel like everybody else is achieving

Yet a long time ago you gave up even believing


When things get tough

And you call it enough


There’s nothing sadder

Than being the latter



This was a bit more personal than my usual beauty posts but I hope you find some comfort amongst my words. Do let me know if you liked this as I write quite a bit of poetry and would love to share some more if its something you are interested in!


Empties posts are one of my favourite to do because they remind me of what I need to repurchase and encourage me to use up what I already own.

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The Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturiser:

This is a good dupe of the origins ginzing moisturiser, it will save you £9 but I personally prefer the origins version. I have sensitive skin and find the orange scent a bit too harsh that it aggravates my skin and that my makeup sits just that bit better on top of the origins moisturiser

Maybelline Lash Sensational:

This is a massively hyped mascara and to be honest I just don’t get it. I don’t tend to get excited over mascaras and find they all do the same thing aside from my they’re real and better than sex. Overall it is a good mascara from the drugstore and I would repurchase but will not be rushing out for a fresh tube

Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation:

A pleasant foundation with a natural finish but nothing special in my eyes. I am a lover of drugstore foundations, (I have a review on my youtube channel on Wednesday of an amazing new one!!) so I find the higher price tag doesn’t mean higher quality at all. I think it is worth getting a sample of if you like a more sheer foundation or have mature skin as it isn’t matte or dewy just natural.

L’oreal Infallible 24hr Matte Foundation:

An incredible foundation with an even better price tag! This is in my top 3 foundations of all times so it’s safe to say I will be repurchasing. It is matte without feeling like your face is going to crack and keeps my oil at bay throughout the day. If you’re oily and haven’t tried this out you’re missing out on a gem my friend!

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Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Winter Edition:

Liz Earle is one of my favourite skincare brands, the cleanse and polish is incredible, nothing ever seems to live up to it. However, I didn’t enjoy the festive orange and clove version, it irritated my skin and I think the reason I love the classic so much is it isn’t fragranced.

Garnier Micellar Water:

This is an amazing micellar water for the price, I’ve never felt the need to try another as it does the job and is gentle on the skin. I’m really interested in trying out some of the other cleansing waters in the range!

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Nivea Eye Makeup Remover:

As you can see in the image, this isn’t actually empty… I’m just getting rid as this is ridiculously irritating to the eyes. I thought it might just be me as I do have sensitive eyes but my carer also said she can’t use it as it burns her eyes! Let me know if you’ve tried this and if it did the same or you get along with it.

Liz Earle Eyebright:

I adore this, it’s a multi use product in my eyes and it’s one of those where you don’t know you need it until you have it. Soak two cotton pads in it for refreshed and soothed eyes but then use it to tone your face also as the witch hazel is great for the skin.

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The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter:

In general I live for the body shop body butters but this scent was particularly delicious. It had a marzipan and vanilla scent, which wouldn’t be what I usually go for as I love fruity scents, but I think it has converted me to sweet scents.

Fresh Rose Floral Toner:

This is incredible. Oh my days. I’m just super sad that it’s SO expensive therefore I won’t be repurchasing any time soon. It leaves my skin feeling beyond refreshed and over time it definitely reduced my skin’s redness. I bought this while on holiday as a treat so next time I go to a Sephora I might treat myself again!


Well that was quite a big empties wasn’t it, I’ve been saving them up for a few months due to my lack of blogging so my first installment has come back with a bang. 

*some of the links in this post are affiliate, it doesn’t cost you any extra money, but I just make a very small bit of commission off the retailer themselves. It just helps a girl out and I would be very grateful if you bought through them but if you don’t like that then thats fine also


I may not have the world’s largest perfume collection but I can confidently tell you that it is closely picked and I have a scent for every possible occasion or mood.

Let me explain my logic…

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For me personally there’s 3 staple scents you need in your life.

1. A sweet fragrance for everyday wear

2. A fresh fragrance for everyday wear

3. A sexy evening fragrance

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 15.20.30.pngThe Sweet One

La vie est belle by Lancome is sweet but floral with orange blossom as it’s main note. It’s displayed beautifully, lingers well on the skin and can instantly lift my mood by wearing it. I think that is because I am a massive sweet person so a sweet scent releases similar endorphins.Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 15.20.33.pngThe Fresh One

If you watched my what I got for christmas you would have seen I recieved the Tiffany & Co new fragrance. On first sniff in Debenhams, I knew this was going on my christmas list, I’m a huge lover of musk which is why I think I love it so much. The musk is actually sparkling and very low key so overall it is very fresh with the addition of the floral notes.Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 15.20.37.pngThe Evening One

This is such a nostalgic perfume for me, all my evenings spent with my friends rush back to me when I smell this, any time I ever go out on an evening I spritz my scent of a dream so this scent captures some of my best memories.

Hope you enjoyed having a nosey into my perfume collection, as much as I love these 3 beauties I am always open to new fragrances, so do let me know if there’s any fragrances you think I must have a sniff of!

*some of the links in this post are affiliate, it doesn’t cost you any extra money, but I just make a very small bit of commission off the retailer themselves. It just helps a girl out and I would be very grateful if you bought through them but if you don’t like that then thats fine also