I’ve bit the bullet

I’ve been deliberating for some time now to commit fully to my blog or not. I decided I really wanted to give it a real shot, even if it is just for myself ! For those of you that have found my blog, read it, liked it or commented. I am truly grateful as I didn’t think there would even be one person!

I know there have been quite a few interested in my design portfolio but I will try and update this and keep this separate from my blog for the time being. If you’re interested, you will find it here.

So I’ve finally bit the bullet and decided to commit, I’ve finally purchased a new domain, moved my site over and redesigned it to how I really wanted it.

For new posts about beauty, design and lifestyle please visit my new site !

monno life




Thank you so much for reading and hopefully speak to you soon!



How to books you need in your life 

I can be a bit of a book worm. I just absolutely love books! And one day dream of having my own personal attic library. Much like this one, however in the mean time I’m still gathering my collection of favourites/ keepsakes. Here are a few books that I’ve recently purchased some for beauty, food and design. Interesting reads for creative types



I randomly came across this on Instagram, it was actually a post from Dita herself promoting her new book. I instantly had to get it, I thought why has no one said anything about this? I was so intrigued as to how she does her make-up and hair in such an old Hollywood style, it’s a constant upkeep to maintain surely? It really is a unique, glamourised look. I just have to know all her secrets!

So the book arrived, I never actually looked at the size or weight of the item, through sheer excitement. The size of the Amazon box, I thought was ridiculous?! Surely they could have put it in a smaller box as the book isn’t that big, opened the box and realised its actually huge, a coffee table book. I started flicking through and oh it was so beautiful! I haven’t read it cover to cover yet as it’s quite big, but you can kind of just pick favourite sections. I keep going back to the same sections

There is such a variety skin care, make up, tools, exercise, diet , hair tutorials, hair removal, perfume. The list goes on!
One thing that I was surprised at was that for some reason I had expected some form of dated methods or products hard to come by to achieve her look. However everything is pretty modern and current down to the products and application.

Such an interesting and insightful read, especially if you love a glamorous look.



I love Jamie Oliver, I always remember him pushing for better school meals and healthier diets. Honestly, I’m only just now starting to get it and understand food. I was on the hunt for a new cookbook, I wanted fresh healthy recipes and good intentions, I’d seen this book and started browsing through and was loving all the recipes, especially breakfast as I really need to get into a healthy start to my day. His recipes look so delicious, are clearly laid out and gives you a table of calories, fat, sat fat, protein, carbs, sugar, fibre, how long it will take. Which really is crucial if you need to keep in check your sugar levels or need more fibre in your diet, if helps you stay on track.

Although this is a cook book and Jamie provides a variety of meals, a fair amount of veggie ones too ! (my main reason I bought the book). He also includes a section ‘live well’ sharing his insight into nutrition and lightly touching on key topics such as organic food, milk, sleep etc. If you are looking for healthier eating habits and wanting to educated yourself a bit about nutrition, diet and lifestyle then this is definitely the great shout!


This book seriously revolutionised my beauty experience. I read it cover to cover and could not put it down. I think I could re-read it again and again as there’s so much information it’s nice to keep refreshing your memory. I love the tone of voice, it really does feel honest whilst your reading. All I kept thinking this is legit. It does also help that I’ve seen so many beauty bloggers reading it and thought… a big hype about a book must mean it’s a must-have.

Sali, if you don’t already know is a beauty colourist for The Guardian and writes, reviews tons of beauty products and really knows her stuff. In her book she covers a whole range of topics. You learn about your skin type, what suits your skin, how to cleanse, deal with breakouts, what products to use (as sali has tried so many). It’s really solid advice for newbies and some that are not that sure. I wouldn’t recommend or call this book a bible for an eccentric and I think the style quite modern, classy everyday working girl or guy. My favourite part of the book was learning skin type, teen beauty and acne. Even though I’m not a teenager, I feel this chapter would be so useful in hindsight. There is a chapter for everyone within this book and it wouldn’t be one you would throw/give away/borrow to a friend and they never return it after.


As a designer, you really need to educate yourself and keep up to date. Learning new tools, ways of working, inspiration etc. Then I came across this, I literally bought it as the title in itself was hilarious and all designers can relate to. I mean it really is a struggle not to loose yourself when you’re constantly creating for someone else.

In still working my way through this book as I’ve only recently picked it up, but i really do love a down to earth view and an honest and it really does get to the point about graphic design and how to act as a designer. Its also super handy for job advice, which avenues to take and opportunities that are out there. Shaughnessy really touches base on a lot of questions that I ask myself now and when finishing university. I would recommend this to the graphic designers that are graduating, freelancing or within a junior role. Plus it makes you feel like you’re not the only one with the challenging clients and how you can deal with that in a professional fashion.


Do you have any recommendations ? If so, please leave any in the comments below

Thanks for reading!


1 month without…

For 2016 I decided to set myself monthly goals, that were achievable, challenging and experimental.

For January, I decided to be a little bit controversial and give up all meat, apart from fish. Now I’ve had many people question me on this matter, some get damn right annoyed. I really don’t blame them, as I was the same… before I tried it.

PrintLet me divulge into my monthly experiment.

Reasons for giving up meat being a part-time pescatarian.

1. Mostly my diet was an absolute mess. I really wasn’t enjoying meat, having low quality meat day in day out. Sometimes 2-3 times a day. I mean it was excessive and quite frankly boring and unnecessary.

2. I woke up one day and just felt a bit weird about it all. It felt really wrong and quite dirty. How did I know where this came from? How did this die for me to eat it. Strange and a bit surreal to really start thinking about what was on my plate.

3. Food is fuel for your body to work correctly. It was time to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.

4. Vanity. I’m going to be brutally honest, I wanted to see how much my poor diet had an effect on my skin. Of course countless people have told me, how much my diet effects my skin. But how much does it actually? I really want to see results.

Let my journey commence! I actually started my pescatarian diet a couple of days early. To go into 2016 with good intentions.

Week 1

The first week was relatively easy, it was probably the most exciting time as I was going out for dinner, discovering new dishes etc and the fact I wasn’t working. Although I did kind of struggle when we went for an indian and I couldn’t get my standard chicken tikka masala. Opting for a vegetable biriani, I was incredibly proud of myself (a little bit sad, I know) but it was most likely the only time I’ve gone for an indian and not ordered the same dish. I think this really reinforces my diet change.

Week 2

Week two, Oh boy. I was home and back to normality. I really started to crave chicken. I mean, the fact I couldn’t have something was really started to get to me. I was massively struggling, so I decided to give myself some reasoning and watch a documentary. Now, I was never totally oblivious to where meat comes from and how we get it. I mainly chose to ignore this fact that I was eating something that was alive, as ignorance is bliss. I also was never ready to face what I was really eating as I genuinely wasn’t ready for it or wanted to change. However now I felt it was time to face the music, give myself a bit of an education on what is on my plate.

Wow, I mean just pure and utter shock and slightly traumatised. I decided to watch the documentary Earthling (watch trailer here) It’s mainly about us, “earthlings” and how we treat our surrounding environment and animals across the world. It really is hard hitting stuff, so I really do not recommend you watching it if you’re easily squeamish. Naturally after watching this, I wanted to turn vegan. I mean I just didn’t want to eat any meat or any thing to do with animal produce. However, I knew that if i was to keep to my monthly resolution then I really need to take things slowly and see how I go. That being said, I became more curious and wanted more and more knowledge. I turned to Netflix and watched Conspiracy now this was really interesting as to the environmental impact that agricultural farming has. After watching a couple more documentaries, I felt ready and made the motivation to keep going. Then I became ill, I mean flu-like symptoms. I just felt absolutely awful and spent the whole weekend in bed.

Week 3

Now week 3 I was still battling the end of a then cold. I was really struggling but still hadn’t broken. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and I could push through it. By the end of the week I felt a lot better, however still craving chicken.

Week 4

I had a really busy week/weekend, I was nearing the 1 month mark and literally couldn’t wait to have chicken or meat or maybe even just cheat and eat it to see what its like. The cravings was not like anything I had expected. It felt like I was pushing through a mild addiction, which of course is ridiculous right? Having meat nearly every day for majority of my life, maybe it did have an effect on my body and cravings?

I really started to question whether I would continue this food-style choice. It’s not like I wanted to eat and animal, I was just really craving it. An unconscious decision.
So I passed the month mark with a fish only diet, I decided to continue to the end of January and realised I could probably do this longer. I mean I feel as if the worst part is over. However I really feel that meal planing is something that I need to do for February. Possibly find a good nutritionist and see how my body is coping as I’m now starting to feel better within myself.

Did it meet my 4 key reasons?

1. I managed to not eat meat for a whole month. Resulting in trying a lot of new foods and dishes. It’s definitely made me more open to food choices and having healthier options. However, I wouldn’t say that my diet is on top form at all, as I’m still getting to grips with healthy alternatives and need a lot more nutrition in my diet.

2. I felt a bit more educated in what I’m eating, however it’s probably only the tip of the ice berg at the moment and i think I really need to learn some more.

3. I was really intrigued as to how my body would react or if there would be any changes. If i’m truly honest with myself, I wanted a glowing skin of health…. However I actually became run down and was in bed for a couple of days. Then I seemed to perk up and I feel unusually better and a little less sluggish. I don’t feel like its been long enough though to really see and feel enough effects.

4. In the cold winter months, your skin really does taking a beating from the cold. Weather changes are bound to bring spots and shallow looking skin, however I was hoping that a change in diet might help. I would say that it hasn’t really made a huge amount of difference but I’m not sure a month has been long enough to notice a dramatic change, however there has been a slight change. So I’m staying optimistic.



First impressions: My little box

I stumbled across my little box online and was instantly in love. I saw the word French, beauty and all the beautfiul illustrations I couldn’t resist but to subscribe. Especially as some of the previous boxes looked so beautiful. I anxiously awaited its arrival. It takes 3 weeks for your first box to come. It really is worth the wait.

I received the September box ‘My little Fashion box’

  I really appreciated the details of the box as all the contents was wrapped in a bow. Each box contains an illustration card, beauty products, a small magazine and an accessory. The beauty products are within a small drawstring bag, which is really handy to put in your handbag. I was really pleased with products and can’t wait to see how I get on with them! One of the products in each box is a product from my little boxes’ own line, which I was rather impressed by. As you can tell, I love all the packaging, the small blue scarf even came packaged. Also can’t wait for Octobers box!

 Thanks for listening !


How to | 5 tips for Graphic Designer *Basics

So many times we say to ourselves “I wish I had done this differently” or “If I could go back…” This is pretty much what inspired this post. Well, that and wishing someone had told me these from the very beginning and I had actually listened.

So I speak to all of those who may be considering a career in design, maybe a course or looking to pick up a new set of skills but have no idea where to start.

5 top tips. 1

1. Invest in the adobe suite

The main Adobe software you are most likely to use will be Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign. These programs will be your bread and butter. However they are pretty pricey, most education systems will give you a form of I.D and then you can use this as proof in order to gain a student discount on the software. In the meantime you can download the 30 day trial, practice and get to grips with the software. (A good way to practice and test out whether its worth the £££). 

Another choice is having creative cloud and downloading your selected software through there. The cloud also has a bunch of extra’s that you wouldn’t get if you’ve bought just one software package. This is also available with a student discount and is really handy and I wish I had invested sooner!

Lastly you can get hold of ‘cracked’ software, yes this is illegal and ill advised. Do not get it as it will mostly slow your computer down and could potentially ruin your computer.

Of course there are other software programs available but this is pretty much what a lot of creatives/designers are using and will most likely be taught.

5 top tips. 2

2. Know your stuff

You should really know your software inside out, so get practicing as much as you can. Make up a fake project and complete it, try and replicate work you really like (not to publish, just to practice) There is sooo many online tutorials available, search for the basics. You can use the adobe forums, Youtube, Vimeo etc. You will be surprised at what you don’t know and what you can do.

Also there are lots of competitions and online briefs set by agencies. It doesn’t have to be a live brief, you could always just practice on an old one! (This is a great idea to practice and then use the work within your interview, or a nice way to look back and see how far you’ve progressed!) 

*Remember Illustrator is vector images or shapes such as logos and designing, Photoshop is for photos or pixel based, Indesign is for layout and text*

5 top tips 3

3. Pencil and Paper is still your best friend

It can be tempting to rush straight to the computer but it’s probably best when designing you don’t. After all everything was created by hand at one time so still practice drawing. Also get all your ideas and layouts down, practice with colours, if you’re a pretty good at drawing then you can start creating your design and then scan it in.

5 top tips 4

4. Time Sheets

The best ever possible habit you can get into when you first start out is timing yourself. Keep record whilst your practicing and designing of how long it will take you to complete a project. This will help so much! As you can work out how much your time is work, track your progress and when you last was working on a particular project. Apps are available to download, but you can always just use a calendar on your phone or laptop or excel spreadsheet.

5 top tips 5

5. PSD Templates

A PSD template is probably the best idea in order to improve the visual of your work. Such as creating a poster and then downloading a template that has a background and frame in which to place your poster. Creating a realistic finish to your work. Of course you can practice and start making your own and if you do use templates, always see the licence agreement.

I know I’ve only kept it quite short,  really this is just a few handy tips to remember when you’re starting out.

Do you have any tips you could share?


February styling

So February has been a pretty hectic month for me. In terms of now being an official adult and having a full time job!  Whoop!
(This, I hope explains my absence as I’m still adjusting to real life.)
So as a worker, I struggled with my low budget on “what the hell do I wear to work?!” I’m creative but I still want to remain professional, not to look like a slob, also to not appear to still be wearing 4 year old clothing.
I put together a pinterest board of my favourite outfits (with a little help from a friend) voila! Key items where noted and a shop was needed!
Here are my favs:

Some of course are for when the first paycheck rolls in.



As you can tell, I love dark colours and a few adjustments to a couple of the outfits are perfect for the winter/spring transition!


5 Instagram Favourites

I am utterly obsessed with instagram, I’m not even sure that I really read the captions. I just say “ooh that looks pretty !” then *like* I think we’re all guilty but there are so many stand out accounts that I had to mention !

I love all creative accounts, especially beauty bloggers and quirky artists. So here are my top 5 regular insta-visits.

1. Inthefrow – I am utterly guilty of following this purple haired beauty on pretty much all social media. Ever since I found out she was/now has completed a Doctorate and was a lecturer. I  was hooked, knowing she is a creative intelligent girl, with such flawless make up, really drew me in.


If you like very clean, bright, well put together beauty and lifestyle blogging, then this account is for you ! A very all rounder, check out her latest pictures of a disneyland visit!

Inthefrow.com                         Instagram

 2. Beejaedee – Bee stanton is a freelance designer, her account is mostly type and illustrations all within her moleskin book. It’s absolutely mesmerising with all the detailing. It inspired me so much that I even received my first moleskin for christmas and am adamant that I will keep drawing and test out some fancy type.

Beejaedee instagram

Beejaedee.etsy                Instagram

3. Georgina Kreutzer – Based in sydney australia. When I first saw georgina’s artwork, I thought as if that’s real. *Gasp* It really is a real drawing, someone has drawn that, how the hell have they done that?! It was a picture of holographic shoes. They are incredible, as it looks like a picture of actual shoes. I just absolutely love the detailing and colours that are put into her work. (see instagram for image) Just look at how realistic these shells are! So beautiful.

Georgina Kreutzer

Georgina Kreutzer.com               Instagram

4. GHoSTPARTIES – Another beauty and lifestyle blogger called Kate, based in Glasgow. I first started following Kate when I had seen her decorating her new flat and fell in love with it all. Since then I follow Novelle daily which she works on, so many good  DIY tips. I always feel calm and snug when scrolling through her feed. It makes me want to move out and decorate my own place and get extra creative. Just look at all the cute cacti !



ghOstparties.com              Instagram

5. Poppy designs – A recentish discovery of mine. Poppy designs instagram feed, just makes me oooh and Ahhh. It’s so fresh, filled with type and flowers and I love pink flowers. I just want to buy everything, it has definitely inspired me in my work and how to set up pictures.

miss poppy designs









misspoppydesign.com                 Instagram 


Now you know all my guilty pleasures, what’s yours? Do you have any accounts that you recommend? I’m always on the look out for new accounts!





Sketching Emma Stone

Me again!

I know I said I would be practicing hair, but I feel it’s going to take a tad longer than I have assumed. In the mean time, here is a quick sketch of Emma Stone. I think she looks a bit like a duck in this drawing, I definitely haven’t done her justice.







Thanks for viewing !




Sketching Eyes

It’s been a while since I last posted a sketch. I decided to try and focus on eyes and womens eyes. As I find drawing men a lot easier, maybe because I’m too heavy handed and women’s features appear softer.

I’m going to try and focus on quick sketches and practicing features. Next up will be hair !
Here’s some celebrity eyes.


20150122-IMG_7890Personally, I can’t see the resemblance to any celebrity so I definitely need some extra practice!

Thanks for viewing! Please comment links to any of your artwork you would like to share ! I love see different styles and techniques people use.





How to | Create a Design Portfolio

Creating a portfolio can become extremely challenging and daunting task. As I have been researching and scouring the internet and collecting all my knowledge from school and university. I figured why not write a post as a neat piece of advice and reminder for myself as there are some points I had never even thought about until I had done some serious research!

As part of my degree, we had to have our portfolio on display at our end-of-year exhibition. At the time, I seriously rushed this and had no clue what I was doing. Mainly because I was completing my final major projects, like ordering branded mugs, t-shirts etc. My biggest downfall was not realising that I should have researched and spent more time on finalising with the idea polish and layout. Really it’s all a big blur and my third year just feels like a dream.

Now after completing an internship, on the hunt for clients and a full time job. I decided it was time to update my portfolio, making sure it was in tip top shape! (In which I was then offered a job, so I must be doing something right !)

1. Content

This is the point where you need to ask yourself, what do you do? You need to choose your best pieces of work which highlight this. Your portfolio should be a taster, leaving the employer seeing what your capable of and wanting to see more (in a good way).

Can’t decide what is your best pieces are? 

Ask friends, family maybe use your blog, twitter, Facebook, instagram and ask your followers or simply measure but how much engagement/shares/likes a particular project has. It’s also a great way to get feedback to improve on your work.

Once you have decided which content will best showcase your skills, start putting all your work into indesign.

Remember your content can vary from interview to interview. Re read the job description or course requirements and see what the interviewer is looking for and use content best suited for this.

2. Layout

Layout is key ! There are many different ways to layout your portfolio, it all depends on your body of work. The aim is to make your work look at it’s up most best. For instance if your work has been created on large scale and you’re now scaling down to an A4 or A3 size, you could include a full shot and to ‘detail’ shots on one page. Maybe you have just the one strong piece from each project, then dedicate the whole page to it.

Each page should include the project title and a mini summary of the project and do not over crowd and use the same layout style for every page. Always make sure you stick to either portrait of landscape layout as it will leave a continuous flow to the viewer.

You can choose your size and layout on your indesign document, just make sure all your pages are consistent. Start with your strongest piece of work and finish with a strong piece as you don’t want to trail off at the end.

3. Cover page

cover page close up

A cover page is what should be the first page you see in your portfolio. It’s not an essential but it’s a nice introduction to your work. Including your logo and/or name with contact details. You can also include a final thank you page, a good idea if your portfolio is being viewed without you there.

I feel this makes a nice introduction to break the ice within an interview, it gives you that extra moment to explain who you are what you do. I find this page to be useful, as you may be making small talk and you don’t want them glancing at your work before you can even tell them about it.

Remember not to overcrowd your cover page, as this is the first page the viewer will see and you will want to remain as professional as possible.

Within my portfolio, I added a final page. I wasn’t 100% about doing but once I was in the interview I was glad for it. I

4. Portfolio


Everyone knows how important packaging is. Think of a brand that you bought just because of their packaging. The same concept now applies to your portfolio.

You can be extra creative with the exterior of your portfolio, this is 100% recommended if your portfolio is for university or college show. It will really make you stand out. However depending on the job that you’re applying for and the type of company and of course whichever suits your work style and personality.

For example, see the image above of the portfolio I have used is an A4 leather portfolio. As this was best suited for the companies I was interviewing for and also I felt suited my branding.

5. Printing

Printing your portfolio can be a real pain. First of all make sure all of your artwork is set to CMYK and not RGB as this is a printing standard. You then need to decide if you’re going to print using a company or print with your home printer.

I printed from home using a canon printer but it’s what best suits you and your budget. Always make sure your document is set up for print, with crop marks and bleed marks. Your next decision is what you’re going to print on, the weight of the paper, the colour is key. You really need a high quality paper, as you want your work to really pop on the page. Rather than be dulled down by rubbish paper.

The better the paper, means you save more on ink as it doesn’t bleed.

Finally always run a test print and recheck all spelling, colours and alignment.

6. CV & Business Cards

 Always, always, always make sure you have business cards and CV’s within your portfolio. It definitely shows that your serious and here for business. Sometimes the employer or viewer hasn’t seen your CV or may not have it to hand and need a little refresh. It’s important to have business cards, but make sure that all the information that you choose to have will remain in date.

For example for my exhibition I made business cards and then I had changed the web address to my online portfolio. It made the cards completely useless and also made me feel like an idiot. (also couldn’t change the web address back, what a doughnut).

Also make sure you have no spelling mistakes and your CV has all the correct and relevant information on it, with a clear layout. For example my CV has an About, Personal statement, Experience, Clients, Skills, Hobbies and Interests, Recognition (awards etc), Education and Social Media.

charlotte Monnoyer CV


Here is some images of my printed portfolio to give you a visual idea of the consistency and the variety of projects.

I hope this has been a useful and helpful read, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask !