free-tips

Tips on Writing Characters Without Faces

so yeah, we all know that facial expressions can tell us a lot about how a character is feeling, but what if that isn’t an option? how can you make someone emote if they don’t really have standard facial features? the answer; body language.

let’s consider how emotions are conveyed on a stage production vs movie with Sweeney Todd. First, the stage play:

Note how Todd’s entire upper body goes into his gestures, how he’s single-mindedly focused on his dreams and ideals; how his hands GRAB for each imaginary ‘man’ with these sharp, aggressive, destructive movements and how that contrasts with Mrs. Lovett’s body language; how her hands linger in the air and gravitate towards Todd even after he’s pulled away, and the slow turn she gives him. It does an excellent, though exaggerated, way of conveying their relationship (her focus is on him and making him happy, his focus is entirely on revenge)

Contrast this to the movie:

Originally posted by curiousitykilledthekat

Same lines in the song, much more subtle. Lovett’s eyes still track towards Todds, which reminds us she’s still more focused on the outside, but all of the emotion is in their faces. Were this not a close-up shot in a movie it’d be very, very hard to read their expressions.

While I do recommend you watch a few stage plays (in person near the back row if you can) to actually study body language for yourself or try out charades with your face covered with friends/watch how cosplayers or mascots emote, here’s a few shorthands to get you started (US-centric so expressions may vary on your region):

Head:

  • perfectly still - fear, intense attention, feeling under scrutiny
  • tilted up - recollection, intimidation (looking down nose at threat, aiming to appear taller)
  • tilted down - intense thought, shame (avoiding eye contact), depression/sad feelings
  • turned away - not giving person full attention, avoiding subject/conflict without being combative
  • cocker-spaniel (sideways) tilt - confusion, curiosity, amusement

Hands

  • at the forehead - fatigue (wiping away sweat), illness (checking self for fever, feeling a headache), realization/memory (a ‘well duh’ tap)
  • at the eyes - fatigue or headache (shielding eyes from light), distress (blocking out a painful view, concealing tears)
  • at the nose - disgust (a pinch at the nostrils,) irritation (rubbing at sore spot on nose from glasses wear)
  • at the mouth - nausea, surprise, repressing an emotion/stopping self from saying something
  • at the chin - contemplation, tiredness (face resting in hand)
  • rubbing back of neck - a need to relax tension, embarrassment, slight unease/desire to distract self
  • at the chest - surprise, self-protection (reaction to a wounding statement, sometimes used sarcastically), strong emotions (clutching at heart, could be good-strong or bad-strong), need for security (touching necklace/adjusting clothing to conceal more)
  • at the stomach - pain (clutching, pressing), satisfaction after a meal, protectiveness towards fetus when applicable
  • at the hip(s) - confidence, intimidation, nervousness (if grabbing for weapon)
  • at groin - concealment/unease (usually male-coded as protection of genitals), politeness (hands folded in lap)
  • on thighs - exhaustion (bent over, hands on legs supporting tired upper body)
  • formed into fists - holding back an intense emotion, preparing to fight
  • toying with something - restlessness (bored, nervous energy, craving something they can’t touch) or deliberate disrespect of property (playing with personal objects someone holds dear as an intimidation tactic)

Arms

  • at sides, relaxed - default posture
  • at sides, tense - unease, restraint (soldier at attention, person holding still to avoid being attacked), fear
  • crossed at chest - disapproval, displaying authority, unease (hugging oneself)
  • crossed at stomach - pain, intense laughter (caused by sore stomach muscles from laughing)
  • up, fingers laced behind head - confidence, relaxation
  • one arm on back of furniture - confidence, invitation for someone join them
  • general rule - the further arms are away from body, the more confident/dominant a person means to appear; exposed torso indicates that they don’t see anyone around as a threat to them

Legs

  • square with shoulders - professional, restraint, protective stance
  • wide stance, one foot a little back but planted - defensive stance, expecting to receive blows (knees may be unlocked - seen in swordplay and fencing)
  • weight on one leg - relaxed, tired, may also be leaning on something or pair with one ankle tucked behind the other
  • uneven stance - could indicate old injury
  • foot tapping/bouncing - boredom, nervous energy

Whole Body:

  • stiff and still - fear, unease, standing to attention
  • limp or pliant - relaxed, tired, pleased
  • shoulders back/head up - alert, focused, aggressive
  • shoulders forward, hunched - tired, ashamed
  • leaning towards person - interest, intimidation (looming over them), aggression (usually paired with tense arms or hands in fists,)
  • leaning away from person - relaxation, confidence, disgust (recoiling)
  • smooth/fluid movements - joy, confidence, experience
  • stiff motions - fear (reactive, fight or flight), pain (reluctance to move), anger (either fighting to keep control of emotions or lashing out), cold (conservation of heat by keeping limbs near body)
  • cracking joints/stretching - preparing for a fight, often reading as confidence in abilities
  • general rule - close contact/proximity can read as intimidation (paired with tense body - an invasion of personal space) or affection (paired with relaxaed body language, gentle movement) or passion/attraction while distance can read unease/distaste/fear/dislike.

with those in mind, let’s read this scene from Red vs Blue (a personal fav of mine for body language) featuring agent texas from season 8.

Originally posted by cryingmanlytears

So first of all, very relaxed upper body; limp arms held away from the body, which slowly come back to rest on her hips as she looks at what she’s done. Watch how her lean shifts at the end as her center of gravity shifts, and how she has to move her right leg to restabilize herself when she’s finished pushing it. This reads, in order from the start of the loop; detachment (the least amount of her body is involved in the action as possible), relaxation (smooth movements, the deliberation of those little steps backwards) and confidence (hands on hips.) We can tell a ton about this character just in this gif alone, based on her body language.

in summary! this list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully it gives you some ideas for ways of making characters emote in fics when you can’t see their faces.

It's the Season of Witchcraft so some things for baby witches ☆

• Witchcraft isn’t something you have to do all the time. Sure, magic is always with you if you allow it but you don’t constantly have to do spells or whatever because it’s your magic and your time.
• There’s no lifetime pact. If you want to give it up, it’s 100% okay, nobody should judge you over it.
• Not every book of shadows/grimoire/etc. looks fancy, so don’t feel intimidated
• Cultural appropriation my guys. It’s a thing.
• Anything can symbolize anything if that’s what you associate it with. Cultural differences in symbolism doesn’t mean one is more correct than the other. I mean like, I use super glue to “seal my intent”
• Not everything is an omen
• You don’t need to pray to a god you don’t believe in. You don’t have to be Wiccan or Pagan to be a witch. There are loving Christian/Jewish witches that exist if that’s what you are comfortable with.
• You don’t have to buy everything, especially not some expensive ass stones just to be seen as a real witch
• All you have to do in order to be a Real Witch is just to say that you’re a witch. That’s it. Bippidy boppidy boo ☆
• Some witches on Tumblr? Hella rad. Others? Can be a bit on the iffy side, so don’t feel compelled to follow every witch blog if you’re not comfortable with someone
• Read up on safety! What herbs are ingestible? What can I burn? What stones are safe to put in drinkable potions? Look it up before you hurt yourself, darlings.
• If you live with or around people who you think won’t tolerate magic and witchcraft, please be safe. Your safety is important above all else.
• Have fun with your magic and be comfortable with it, because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about ♡

Casual Witchy Things ✨

🌱 Working in glamours with your morning makeup
🌱 Watering your plants with growth spells
🌱 Making healing soup spells when you’re sick
🌱 Sewing protective sigils into your clothing
🌱 Making herbal teas based on magical correspondences
🌱 Painting your nails with colors to match your intent
🌱 Using shower scrubs to scrub away negativity
🌱 Chanting your favorite song lyrics as spells
🌱 Tying knot magic into your shoelaces
🌱 Writing sigils on your skin with concealer

some makeup tips for lower-budget beginners

hello younger girls, trans girls, and anyone who wants to learn how to do makeup and doesn’t have $3k to drop on a kit, here’s a compilation of things i’ve learned doing makeup on myself and others over the years, and overspending on like, everything

- if you’re going to invest in anything, invest in foundation that won’t clog your pores/irritate your skin
- nyx has good eyeshadow singles
- nyx primer is also a+
- nyx is just great ok
- morphe palettes are twice as big as sephora palettes and half the price, and they’re almost (if not equally) as good.
- if you’re spending over 8$ on mascara you probably have something to prove
- take care of your skin your makeup will look 10x better if you do
- makeup wipes are convenient but overpriced and wasteful: garnier miscellar water is like $6.50, works better, and lasts a long time. put it on a paper towel or a kleenex or a cotton pad.
- beauty blenders are just fancy sponges that soak up your product and grow bacteria. don’t let instagram tell you you need one
- all the brushes you need: foundation (there are lots of kinds, my favorite is a japonesque round tapered synthetic brush), big fluffy powder, little fluffy blender for crease, little flat one for eyelid, medium fluffy cheek brush, eyeliner brush (angle or tiny skinny one, whichever you like better. sephora has an amazing angle liner brush for ~$14), brow brush if your aren’t using gel. the rest are great but you can do a full face with just those 7.
- don’t use creams with natural hair brushes. morphe + real techniques have great synthetic ones.
- maybelline 24 hour tattoo gel eyeliner is $9 and better than every gel liner i’ve ever used
- light-medium foundation with buildable coverage: one foundation for everyday and full glam
- colourpop’s lip products are ~$6 each and they’re amazing
- spray brush cleaner!!!!!!!!! (you can use rubbing alcohol but it can dry out natural hair brushes, and make sure it’s dry before putting it near your eyes bc that shit hurts)
- buy lashes online, buy duo lash glue at cvs
- HALLOWEEN STORE GLITTER (make sure it’s cosmetic grade!)

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More of Aidan “Tiptoe” Turner

GQ Awards 2016

National TV Awards 2017

Interview for The Hobbit - The desolation of Smaug 2013

Bafta 2016

And then there…was also this one:

Have you been hurt by an ex-lover and don’t know how to get back into the dating scene?? Well then HAVE I GOT THE SPREAD FOR YOU. We all have those shit relationships in our life that leave lasting effects on us, and so this spread is here to help make the transition from single to ready to mingle ;).

Please feel free to use and share this, but seriously don’t make people pay for this reading and also don’t take my name off the wee corner there. 

Hopefully this is helpful for some people! This is my first published spread! If you want to show me how you used it, tag me!!!!!!!!!

PS yes I made this with paint. sue me.

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Random healthy eating on a budget tip: go to markets instead of supermarkets, you get so much more for your money! I got a tonne of bananas and strawberries for really cheap yesterday so here goes a big batch to freeze for smoothies and nice cream. :)

my affordable, cruelty-free skincare routine for sensitive, acne-prone skin

I have terrible skin. Maybe it’s the Celiac Disease, maybe it’s the PCOS, maybe I’m just unlucky… whatever the case, on bad days I look a lot like Deadpool without his mask. To top it off, my skin is extremely sensitive, especially on my face, and I’m allergic to benzoyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient in most acne treatments. (Luckily, I’ve gotten pretty good at covering my acne with makeup.) I’ve tried just about everything you can try for acne, from Neutrogena to Proactiv to a prescription cleanser my doctor gave me, and most of it just made my skin worse. Then, when I was just about ready to sell my soul or start bathing in virgin blood, I found these products. All of them are all-natural or mostly-natural, none of them are tested on animals, they’re all fairly cheap and available at most drugstores, and all of them WORK. My skin looks and feels amazing – for the first time in years, I don’t have any big spots or breakouts. 


First of all (and this is probably not what some of you want to hear, but it really is true), what you put into your body effects your health and appearance, especially your skin. Someone who eats a lot of greasy, artificially flavored, or highly processed food will almost always have worse skin than someone who eats a healthy, balanced diet. That’s just a fact of life. And there are always going to be a few people who just have ridiculously good genes, and can consume a family sized bag of Doritos and a two-liter of Dr. Pepper every day and still have perfect skin, as unfair as that might seem to the rest of us. 

My skin has gotten significantly better since I was diagnosed with PCOS (that’s Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and insulin resistance (which is often caused by PCOS and can lead to full-blown diabetes if not treated) last November. My doctor put me on a couple of medications to regulate my insulin and my hormones, and also suggested that I switch to a low-carb diet – both of those things have improved my skin a lot. If you have chronic or severe acne. especially if acne does not run in your family, talk to your doctor. Sometimes, skin conditions like acne can indicate a bigger, underlying health issue. If that’s the case (as it is with me), treating the underlying issue will often improve your skin.

Anyway, now that the PSA is out of the way, here are some things you can do to improve your skin from the inside out:

  • Take zinc supplements. (Just be sure to take them with food – taking zinc on an empty stomach can make you very nauseous.)
  • Take fish oil. (This one is a bit more expensive, but one bottle will last you almost a year, since you only have to take one a day.)
  • Drink green tea every day. I’ve talked about the benefits of different teas on this blog before, but green tea in particular has been proven to improve your skin over time if you drink at least one cup a day. My current favorites are Tazo’s Zen and Green Ginger blends, but Yogi’s Skin Detox blend is delicious and contains other herbs that are good for your skin. 
  • Avoid artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives in your food. 
  • Switch to a low-carb, or even paleo, diet. (This one is a pretty extreme solution, but if you decide to try it, just know that it’s actually normal for you to feel sore, tired, grumpy, and sick during the first two weeks eating low-carb. This is so common that it has a nickname – they call it “the carb flu.” Don’t let those first couple of weeks discourage you – you will feel much better once they’re over.) 


And if all of that sounds like way too much effort, don’t worry, because what you put on your skin makes a big difference, too. Here are the products that I use in my day-to-day skincare routine, in the order that I use them:

  1. Yes To Tomatoes Activated Charcoal Bar Soap - (Please note that, normally, using a bar soap on your face is a very, very bad idea. But this one is specially made to be gentle enough for it, even if you have extremely sensitive skin like mine.) I just rub it on my face, lather it up, (gently!) scrub a bit, and then rinse it off. It’s very convenient and easy. 
  2. Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner, Original - (As you may have already learned the hard way, toners with alcohol in them can be damaging, so even if you don’t use this one, look for one that’s alcohol-free.) I pour it onto a cotton ball or cotton pad (or, in cases of emergency, a folded up paper towel) and swab my face with it. Again, pretty easy.
  3. Yes To Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer - (Part of the reason I love this product is because it smells really good – but it also works really well. My skin looked visibly clearer and less red after one use!) This is EVEN EASIER than the previous two steps. I just apply it immediately after toner, and use my fingertips to massage it into my face. 

Those are the three products that I use twice a day, every day, but if you want to really go all-out, here are a couple of others you can try:

  • Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask - (It looks like mud. It kinda feels like mud. But it also makes my skin feel smooth, soft, and buttery, and does a really good job of clearing up acne and redness.) You just smear it on your face, leave it on until it dries (I usually do 20-30 minutes), and then rinse it off. I like to use it immediately after washing my face with the bar soap, then after I wash it off I skip toner and go straight to moisturizer.
  • Lush Dark Angels Scrub/Cleanser - (Are you picking up on a theme yet? Turns out, charcoal is amazing for clearing up acne. I debated even putting this one on the list, because unlike all these other products, it is definitely not cheap, and you won’t find it at your local drugstore. Honestly, it does almost the exact same thing as the Freeman mask – which is $17 cheaper – but this one has a bit more of an exfoliation factor to it, and smells really nice.) I’m currently out of it (because it’s expensive and I’m a bit low on funds at the moment), but when I used it before I would pinch off a small amount, mix it with water to make a paste, and use it on my face instead of my normal cleanser. Then I’d skip toner and go ahead and moisturize. 
  • Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips - These are really handy if you have a lot of blackheads. You just wet your nose, smooth the strip down on it, wait for it to feel dry and stiff, and then rip it off. It is NOT painless, but it’s not as bad as waxing your legs or ripping off a band-aid. And it removes all of the gunk clogging your pores. My favorite part is looking at all of the nasty stuff left on the strip after you rip it off. It’s disgusting, but kinda fascinating. Glad all of that isn’t in my pores anymore. 


Those are all of the products I like to use on my face. All of them are cruelty-free, none of them give me an allergic reaction, and all of them help my skin a lot. 


Here are some extra tips for keeping your skin as soft, clear, and glowing as possible:

  • If you wear makeup, you might wanna invest in a primer to create a protective barrier between your foundation and your skin. I’m currently using e.l.f.’s Poreless Face Primer (which, btw is sold at Walmart for half of the price Amazon is asking).
  • Also, you should never, ever sleep with makeup on, or leave your makeup on overnight. It will damage your skin and make you break out, no matter how prone to acne your skin normally is. Even if you’re too tired to do your full skincare routine, at least swab your face down with a makeup remover wipe before you go to bed.
  • Look for makeup products that are labelled “non-comedogenic” and “hypoallergenic.” Usually, these products are the safest bet for people with sensitive skin.
  • Exercise has been linked to clearer skin. Even little things like walking your dog or ten minutes of yoga can make a difference.
  • Lack of sleep can and often does cause breakouts. I literally cannot stress how important getting enough sleep is, not just to your skin, but to your overall physical and mental health.
  • Don’t wash your face more than twice a day. Washing too often can cause your face to produce excess oil, which clogs your pores, which causes breakouts.
  • Do not exfoliate more than three times a week, and never exfoliate two days in a row. 
  • Using pore strips too often can be really bad for you. After using one on your face, wait at least 2-3 days before you use another.

And finally, remember that other people do not look at your skin as closely as you do. Most of the time, other people don’t think your acne is as bad as you do. Your friends don’t care if you have a huge pimple on your chin, or if your nose is covered in blackheads. And even if you follow all of the advice in this post, never miss a dose of vitamins, wash your face twice a day, every day, and use masks and special treatments several times a week, you might still have occasional small breakouts or redness. And that’s okay, because no one’s skin is always perfect. Having acne or bad skin doesn’t make you ugly, and investing time, effort, and money in treating your skin doesn’t make you vain. Do what makes you feel happy, comfortable, and confident. 

I’m back with more printables! 

This time, it’s printables to help you organise your classes/schedule, your assignments, revision and meals. For daily/weekly/monthly printables see my previous posts here and here

“Class information”/schedule printable: a simple table where you can fill in your semester, starting/ending date, finals date, classes you’re taking as well as what time/in which room/which professor. Below that, a table to fill in what textbook is suggested for each class. 

Find it here.

“Class information” for one specific class: a printable you can keep at the front of your binder/notebook filled in with all the basic information for that class. Including room/professor, assessment methods, materials and study methods. 

Find it here

“Assignment planner”: to help you keep all of your assignment information in one page. Includes spaces for the title, type, class, due date, worth, outline, sources and milestones. 

Find it here.

“Revision planner”: a weekly and hourly plan of your revision.

Find it here.

“Meal planner”: a weekly view with spaces for your breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a shopping list and notes section.

Find it here.


I hope you guys enjoy/use these! If you do, please let me know by tagging me. 

PS: Please do not redistribute these without credit. They took a lot of work to make.

Did you know if you drink in a morning, on empty stomach, 1 glass of water with lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons oh honey , you will lose 3-5 pounds in a week?