Starting Make Up Courses for my New Career!

It’s been a while since I updated my blog! I’m now in my third year of university and my attention has turned to my future career. Although I am studying graphic design, I’m not totally sure my heart is in it. I’ve found myself really enjoying makeup – I’ve been collecting it for a few years now, and my room in our uni house is pretty much filled with all of my fave brands like Too Faced, Kat Von D and MAC. Whenever we go on a night out, the girls all come round and I end up applying their makeup. It started off as simple requests – ‘can you put on my eyelashes?’ ‘Can I borrow this lipstick?’ and it’s turned into me giving them a full face. I love it, and they’ve even started offering me payment in forms of a drink or a takeaway at the end of the night. I find it super therapeutic to spend 45 minutes concentrating on just the makeup, and it allows me to practice my creativity – I’m constantly looking for new inspiration. I especially love the PLouise Takeover group on Facebook – you can post in there and get some constructive criticism from other makeup loving girls. I’ve posted in there a few times and got some great feedback, so it’s really got me thinking about whether I could make cosmetics my career?

I’ll be graduating in a few months, and I know I’ll be able to easily find a job in graphic design back home in Liverpool – there are so many great graduate schemes around. I really think that I’ll miss spending nights applying makeup to my friends, and not just for the social aspect. So, I’ve been having a little look into makeup courses, and I found that Chill Out Beauty Training Academy (based not far from my parent’s house) offers a range of make up courses. I’m particularly interested in the Make Up Pro course, which is a shorter, more affordable introductory course. I’m hoping to learn a bit more about how to find clients. I know you have to get insurance, so it would be amazing to get some advice on this. The course teaches you all about colour correcting and different skin tones, and about how to apply makeup to different eye shapes – I imagine the versatility of the course will really prepare me for the MUA life.

I think at first I’ll just be taking clients on the weekend as I build up my business, so it’s going to be a hard slog. Eventually, I’d like to get to the same level as some of my favourite local artists like Kate Hayes Makeup and Laura Hitchen, where I can teach other aspiring makeup artists on weekdays. Spending my whole day doing what I love would be a dream come true, but I’m realistic enough to know that it’ll take a while to get there.

I don’t feel like my degree has been a waste, as I have the skills to design my own branding and my website, so that’s a pretty cool asset to have.
Anyway, watch this space! It’s definitely very exciting, but I have a degree to finish first.

Alicia x

Finally passed my driving test !

I finally passed my driving test!

OK, so I haven’t updated my blog as often as I had hoped. Oh, the innocence of a pre-university fresher! My first semester, and the first year FLEW by. I managed to get a 2:1, which I am really pleased with as the jump from A Level to University was harder than I expected. You have to pretty much motivate yourself and there’s so much independent study. I’m really pleased with my course and choice of uni- the social life is great and I’ve even joined some societies. At York, we actually have a society dedicated to Taylor Swift! It’s so fun; we meet up, eat pizza and talk about all things Swiftie.

In other news, being so far away from home is a struggle. It takes me hours to get back to Wales on the train and it can be so expensive if I want to go last minute to see my friends and family! However, I’m pleased to say that this will be a thing of the past as I have finally passed my driving test!!!  I had a few lessons with my dad back at home in Wales, but when I arrived at university I decided to use some of my student loan to learn properly, with an ADI approved instructor. Needless to say, I was terrified; the busy city roads are quite different to the quiet hills of the Valleys! I also decided to learn in an automatic car as I had previously really struggled with the clutch control (co-ordination really isn’t my strong point!). Taking away the stress of changing gear lets me properly concentrate on the road and my surroundings. My instructor was really patient, he encouraged me to go at my pace and I will be going back to him to do my Pass Plus! The Pass Plus includes motorway and night time driving, which will be really useful for the long drives back home.

It took me just over a year to learn, which seems like a long time but I was only doing an hour a week and I wanted to only take my test when I felt that I was fully ready. Plus, the backlog of driving tests at the moment is terrible! I actually had to book 12 weeks in advance and my test date finally rolled around at the beginning of May.

I can’t believe I haven’t even said anything about the theory test yet! I purchased the official DVSA app on my phone and swotted up on it for a few weeks. It was really great as it has test questions and hazard perception clips which are actually used on the real test. I managed to pass first time, so I could book my practical straightaway!

I had some extra lessons in the run up to the test day to make sure I was feeling confident about the test routes and manoeuvres (mind you, I don’t think I’ll ever feel confident about reverse parking!) and on the morning off the test, my instructor picked me up and I drove to the test centre. Before the test started, I had to read number plates from a distance to check my eyesight and then he asked me two questions about the tyres and lights. Then, we were off. I was so nervous when he got in the car, I was shaking! I had to follow the road and drove around for 35 minutes whilst he assessed my performance. Then, I had to follow the road signs towards Leeds for 10 minutes as part of the independent driving part of the test. Eventually, the moment of truth came. I pulled up at the test centre and he said “I’m pleased to say you have passed!” I COULD HAVE CRIED! I got 4 minors, which isn’t bad considering you are allowed up to 15.

I’ve sent my licence off to the DVLA and I’m waiting for it to come back pink! So exciting!

Now, I just have to get myself a car! Luckily, I have been saving up my loan and my parents are going to lend me some money, so I am shopping around for a second hand car. I’d love a Fiat 500 but I may have to wait until graduation!

Anyway, I think I have rambled on enough. Plus, there’s a SwiftSoc night out tonight, we’re all heading to Kuda so I better go and get ready!

A x

Finding accommodation is a nightmare!

So it’s only a few weeks to go now until I move to York and I’ve only just sorted out my accommodation and let me tell you, It’s been a nightmare! As I joined York University quite late, I wasn’t able to find a room in student halls as they were fully booked up so I’ve been looking for student houses and accommodation off campus to live in. Ideally I’ve been looking to live as close as possible to the campus as since this is the first time I am moving away, I don’t want to get lost in a new city every day! So I took the decision to actually drive up to York last week and check out many of the rooms available.
My first impressions of the city were fantastic as I was driving in! All the old stone houses and medieval theme of the place just made fall in love with the city straight away.

I lined up a few viewing with some student houses in York for the day but when I arrived the rooms were either taken already or the location was just way too far to commute by bus. As I was running out of places to view and the day was wearing on, I just wanted to get the accommodation sorted so there wouldn’t be any issues when I move there in a few weeks. I became a little desperate so I jumped on Google on my phone and googled ‘student houses and lets in York’, praying for a miracle literally. I called a few of the student agencies and available rentals and some were quite unhelpful and even rude in one case!

However I did end up talking to some guys at a place called Union Lets who did an AWESOME job at helping me find the right accommodation! These guys found me accommodation within no time and even offered to drive me to the viewings. After about 4 viewings I found a great little place which was only 15 minutes for campus and some of the flatmates were already there so I had a chance to meet them!

All in all I now have a great student let in York waiting for me come September and I couldn’t be happier! Counting down the days now.

As they were all running out pretty fast I had been panicking pretty bad.


Preparing for York University

york universitySo it’s only a number of weeks to before I make the big move to York and already I have got into planning mode! To describe myself as excited is a complete understatement! I really cannot wait to make the big move and settle in ASAP. I am nervous and excited at the same time as this is a new chapter of my life opening up, it is a transition period. I have been writing up endless lists of ‘essentials’ I need to take with me but I have a feeling it may not all fit in the car… only one way to find out! I’ve also been kitting myself out with the latest graphics design equipment. This includes the latest Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Suite for my MacBook, the latest drawing stylus’s and drawing pad which can connect straight to my Mac and allow me to draw away and show all my work on the screen.

All this preparation is making me happy as just in a few weeks I will be able attend classes and put my skills to the test, learn new tricks and tips and be on my way to becoming a qualified graphics designer. I just hope I will be able to keep up with all the work and still have a reasonable social life. Only time will tell I suppose!

Welcome to Alicia Harpers blog!

Hi there, you have arrived to Alicia Harper’s blog! This is my personal blog which I have set up to document my time at York University. I have recently been accepted to start a Graphics Design course in York and I extremely excited to moving for the first time! Deciding to graphics was easy for me! Since I was young I’ve always been on the creative side and would be doodling rather than paying attention in class! I hope by doing this course, that one today I will run my own graphic design agency.

In this blog I will be hoping to document the ups and downs of my time at University and sharing with you all my graphic designs. I hope by the time I finish University that this blog will be crammed full of art work, memories and interesting stories from my time in York. I have never been to York before so this was a bit of a whim deciding to go to York University. I am originally from a small town in Wales with lots of sheep, hills and very few people so York will be a stark contrast to what I am use to. So please do keep checking back on this blog to hear about my transition from the small country life to the big city.

This is an exciting time for me and I can barely contain my excitement! I will check back in with everyone soon with another update on how my preparations are going.