4 March 2015

The Best Cocktail Bars In London

Best Cocktail Bars in London

Best Cocktail Bars in London

It's no secret that I enjoy cocktails, they're my favourite way to catch up with friends after a long busy day at work, and living in London means they're plenty of places to go to. After recommending my favourite London restaurants I thought I should let you in on my favourite spots for cocktails. I've tried to include a range of different places for different budgets so hopefully there's something for everyone!

I absolutely love Kettners, I think it has such an amazing feel to it and makes you feel like you've walked into a completely different era. They do an amazing range of cocktails and Monday-Thursday they have a happy hour 8-close, which is probably one of the best ones you'll find in Soho!

Sushi Samba, has one of the best views of the city. It's located one the 38th floor of Heron Tower by Liverpool Street and has a panoramic view of London. You can go without a reservation, but I would recommend trying to get there before 6.30 to make sure you get a good spot by the window because it does get busy. The cocktails cost around £7-£8 but they're really nice and totally worth it when you see the view!

Earlham Street Clubhouse can be found in Seven Dials in Covent Garden and it's an underground american bar that serves cocktails and pizzas. There is a happy hour between 5-7 and all the cocktails have really cool names that are either 90's song names or the names of classic films like Gangsters Paradise and No Scrubs. 

Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is the secret speakeasy bar that can be found behind a fridge in the Liverpool Street Breakfast Club. Like Sushi Samba, I would also suggest getting here before 6.30 as they don't take reservations and it gets super busy! The cocktails are between £8-£9 but they're really good and their Mac and Cheese is the bomb!

Hakkasan is my favourite restaurant in London but you can also go and sit at their bar for drinks and let me just say, their cocktails are freakin amazing! This is definitely the most pricey from the list so I would say Hakkasan is for special occasions. There are two Hakkasans in London, but I love the one at Hanway Place, which is right by Tottenham Court Road, so it's perfect if you want to go on to somewhere else for dinner.

Bob Bob Ricard is similar to Kettners in that it makes you feel like you've been transported to another era. I'm a big fan of the food at Bob Bob Ricard but I also love their cocktails, plus each booth has a 'Press For Champagne' button, which my friends and I used a little too much at our last visit!

If you have any places that aren't on this list and you love then please let me know as I'm always up for finding new restaurants and bars!


3 March 2015

A Matte Base

My go to base is normally something quite dewy and highlighting but when I want something a little more matte I have two foundations that I want to share with you. Now when I say matte, I don't mean totally matte as I don't think that really suits my skin, but these two foundations are great for people who usually like dewy skin and are looking for a more matte base. 

I've reviewed in full the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour foundation and I really loved this in the summer as it stays put all day but also seems to stop any oil from developing. What I love about this foundation is that although it is quite matte it somehow also gives a highlighted glow to the skin, so it's the best of both worlds! I wore this foundation a lot during my trip to New York in September when the weather reached 32C and I think any other foundation would have just melted off my face but this had really amazing staying power!

The second foundation is a new edition to my collection and it's the Everlasting Foundation + from Clarins. This again is more on the matte side of bases but still has a little glow to it. This foundation doesn't sit too well on my skin at the moment because its quite dry due to the cold weather but I know I'll get so much use out of it in the summer, and it also contains SPF15, which is a huge bonus.

If you have any matte foundations for those who like a dewy base then please let me know! Also, how many times can I say matte in one post?!

2 March 2015

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lipsticks

Biscotti- £21*
Rose- £21* 
Lychee Parfait- £21*
Dry Rose- £21*

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me post a picture of the new beautiful shades Laura Mercier has added to the Crème Smooth lipstick range. I have 4 of the new shades but there are a total of 7 launching in March. All of the colours are very wearable shades for both day and night and they're all very 'Spring like' shades, due to the creamy and pinky shades. My favourite is the second one in on the second picture called Rose as it's such a lovely dusty rose colour, which is the colour lipstick I wear every day anyway.

The formula of the lipsticks is very easy and comfortable to wear. They feel very creamy on the lips and look really smooth once applied. All the lipsticks contain olive oil and Vitamin E, which is what makes them feel super smooth but also hyaluronic filling spheres, which plump fine lines and repair delicate skin and finally rose seed extract to help restore elasticity. I absolutely love when make-up contains something to actually look after your skin as it feels like you're getting so much extra for your money and I'm a huge fan of what these lipsticks do to my lips. 

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lipsticks can be found in nationwide stores or online at Laura Mercier.

25 February 2015

LFW Stripes and Camel

Navy Stripe Dress

Camel Coat

Navy Stripe Dress

Navy Stripe Dress

For my second outfit at London Fashion Week I really loved wearing this striped jumper dress from topshop because the knit was super cosy and the long sleeves kept me warm in the awful down pour we had! I paired it with my camel coat from ASOS, which I think is a really flattering boyfriend cut, my knee high Kurt Geiger boots and black Celine esque bag from Zara. For accessories I'm still really loving layering dainty necklaces for an understated look then I added my cute fluffy pom pom keyring from River Island on my bag.

The original plan for this day was to go for lunch with my boyfriend and then head to Somerset House to meet some friends, but around 10 minutes after these photos were taken the most horrendous rain started. So instead I went straight home after lunch and curled up in front of the TV under a throw.


24 February 2015

Whats In My Bag- LFW Edition

London Fashion Week Essentials

Being half way through the craziness of London Fashion Week I thought I would share with you the contents of my handbag and everything I've been carting around with me. 


Instead of taking my huge Canon 600D camera out with me I've been using my small Canon SX280 for photos and also so that I can try and put together some kind of vlog for  my YouTube channel. Other technology I have is my portable charge, which is so necessary during fashion week due to the amount I use my phone during the day. Then of course I have my trusty iPhone 5S. 

Make Up

In an effort not to weigh down my bag too much I wanted to limit the amount of make up I carried around with me. I have 4 lip products with me, yes 4, my Clarins Instant Lip Balm Perfector, Maybelline Colour Drama Pencil, Mac Rebel, and Tom Ford Crimson Noir. I like having lots of different options as I tend to change my lip colour a lot during the day, and I generally always have a bright lip colour in my bag in case I find that I need to dress up. 

For my face I packed the Clarins Instant Light Concealer as this also doubles up as a foundation, then the new Max Factor baked blushers in the shade Seductive Pink along with one of the beautiful Real Techniques Bold Metals brush.

I always like to have a perfume handy in my bag for when I'm out all day and I love the size of the 30ml Jo Malone London perfumes as they're so small and light to carry around. 


My Reiss card holder, an umbrella (because I live in London), Business cards as LFW is a great time to network, sunglasses in case the sun comes out, kirby grips, a small mirror, a Naked bar in case I don't get chance to eat and any lastly, show invites I have.


23 February 2015

LFW Day One

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

Friday marked the start of London Fashion Week AW15, and if you've been keeping up with me over on my Instagram you will have seen a few bits of what I got up to. Friday was a really long day as I started early for a show at 9.30 and then ended the day at birthday drinks for one of my best friends. As I was out all day I knew I wouldn't be able to handle really high heels so opted for my super comfy almost biker heeled boots from New Look. I paired these will a beautifully printed dress from Zara, a huge cosy high neck jumper from Gap, black trench from New Look and my trusty but very old tote from Prada. 

My first show was J.JS.Lee show at Someset House, which I absolutely loved as there were so many items, which were really wearable for the everyday girl. After that I headed for brunch with some friends at Bills, then went to relax at the UGG lounge at the ME hotel, which served the most amazing Amanzitealondon teas with an incredible view of London. The ME Hotel always have the best lounges during London Fashion Week and are a real sanctuary between shows and meetings.  

My next thing was backstage with Toni and Guy for Jean-Pierre Braganza at Somerset House and this is a show that I'm always so happy to attend. I absolutely love everything he bring out each season but I think this season was my favourite. He had so many long knits, fau furr, jewelled tops and just very wearable items. 

After JP Braganza I had to run to backstage of Sass and Bide before heading out to birthday drinks in the City. My Friday was truly a lot of fun and crazy but I think that's all part of it. I've been trying to vlog my weekend for my YouTube channel so keep an eye out for that! 


20 February 2015

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

Anyone who uses Instagram a lot, will tell you that they don't just take one photo and upload it straight away. Good Instagram photos take time, planning and numerous attempts. So today I thought I should share with you some of my favourite tips and tricks on how to improve you Instagram pictures and gain more followers because of it.

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

1. Natural Light
I find that the best photos are taken in natural light, this doesn't just go for Instagram photos but also blog photos too. If you can use daylight for your photos you'll notice a huge different in the quality and the amount of people that like your photos.

2. Play With The Focus 
By holding down on different parts of the screen it lets you see what the image looks like when you change which part is the main point of focus. I really like doing this with beauty products as it makes them really stand out from the background.

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

3. Straighten Up
A picture looks so much more aesthetically pleasing when it's straight. Instagram has a built in tool to let you straighten your photo, which means there's no excuse for wonky pictures. I think I must have wonky vision or something because this is something I have to do to most of my photos.

4. Sharpen 
This is something that you don't have to go too crazy with, but I always sharpen my images even by just a little as it definitely makes the picture a lot crisper. Just be careful not to sharpen too much because it will make the image super grainy. 

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

6. Add Some Life Into Your Photo
This is something else I do with beauty products as sometimes I find that a photo can look quite boring so by holding the product I find it adds life to an image and makes it a little more interesting. This also works with food too. 

10 Ways To Get More Instagram Followers

7. Choose The Right Composition
I think  photos are a little more interesting when the main focus of the picture isn't it the center and more if it's either to the left or right. I once read that a picture should have a rule of thirds and that if you place the main focal point in one of the thirds of the photo is much more attractive and easy on the eye.

10 Ways To Get More Instagram Followers

8. Less Is More
This rule goes for everything in life (apart from candles) that when putting a picture together try not to over clutter the image. By keeping things simple you're not going to confuse the viewer and they're more likely the like the photo. 

9. Angles, Angles, Angles
This is an obvious one but your image can look so different when you shoot at different angles. When taking both my blog and Instagram photos I always play around with the angle as I find it can take a crappy image to something really great.

10. Take A Bunch Of Photos 
Lastly, I take a bunch of photos until I'm happy with the one I finally post as I find that this helps me get the perfect picture. I find that by taking a lot of different snaps it lets me see what works in the image and what aspects of the photo should change. 

I hope you found this post useful at not just improving your Instagram but also for general tips on taking a great photo. If you'd like to see more of my Instagram images then you can follow me here at GemmaLondonLife.

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