30 March 2014

Sunday Catch Up

A sleepy Sunday roast, small person or big tea cup? Shopping in Chester with Mummy, Shoreditch House by night, Soho Hotel with Emily from Blog Me Beautiful, Cheshire country walk , a simple Sunday make-up look, Birthday favourites, Liberty flowers.

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Honky Tonk- Clapham Common

Last week my boyfriend and I took a little trip to the newly opened Honky Tonk in Clapham Common for some naughty food and yummy cocktails. Before we start I'd like to apologies for the quality of these photos as my camera died so I resorted to using my iPhone instead as this place was just too good not to report back on. If you're not familiar with Honky Tonk it's an all american style grill restaurant that until now was only situated in Chelsea, which was no good for us South Londoners!   

If you arrive early enough you get to take advantage of their half price happy hour and they have pretty impressive and inventive list of cocktails. To start with I had the Gin Tea Party as my sweet tooth was drawn to the mention of cinnamon syrup.

We then moved onto a mixture of Mexican starters to share, we chose the Chicken Quesadillas and Smashing Nacho's, which I personally think both rival any dish from Wahacca. 

For our main T chose the Pork Tender Glazed ribs with Rosemary Fries, Apple Slaw and Corn on the Cob and my God were the ribs good. I know the name says tender but these were seriously fall off the bone melt in the mouth tender and probably some of the best ribs I've had. I had seriously food envy. 

Then for my main I had the Not Fried Chicken served with apple slaw and rosemary fries, which was nice but nothing to write home about as the chicken was a little too bland for my liking and missed a bit of oomph.  

For my second cocktail I had The Wibble which I chose as I really love grapefruit in cocktails and this had a mix of grapefruit, lemon and blackberry liquor so was lovely and zesty whilst packing some seriously fruity flavour. 

Last but absolutely by no means least the most delicious Key Lime Pie topped with Vanilla Cream and Honeycomb. Oh my god was this stuff amazing, this was the most scrumptious desert I've had in a long time. There were definitely no soggy bottoms to be seen here and the vanilla cream was the perfect addition without being too sickly. 

You can find the new Honky Tonk right by Clapham Common tube station and if you haven't already been I highly recommend you pay them a visit. I'd suggest you go before 7 to take advantage of their happy hour.


28 March 2014

Lush Spring Haul

Lush baths are my little treat when I've had a hard day or really just want some down time to relax. It may be slightly childish but they make bath time so fun and much more of a special treat. If you've been into a Lush store recently you'll have seen they're ever so cute Mother's Day and Easter ranges. I popped in recently and picked up a few of the Easter goodies as I just couldn't resist and then some old favourites. Avobath Bath Bomb (£3.25) is the bath bomb I reach for when my skin needs a little TLC as it contains lots of skin loving properties like avocado that leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. Blackberry Bath Bomb (£2.95) is a deliciously smelling treat that turns your bath purple whilst smelling of bergamot and frankincense. The two products I picked up from the new range were a Pop In The Bath Bubble Bar (£2.95) which has a lovely light floral scent and the huge Immaculate Eggception Bath Bomb (£6.95)

I think I may have to go back before Easter and pick up the Bunch of Carrots Bubble bars because well, it's a freakin bunch of carrots and the Tulip Bubble bar Stick. It's true that Lush products are quite pricey when you think about cost per use but they're just so much fun that I can't stay away! Have you guys found any favoruites from the new ranges?

23 March 2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide

I think as you get older you really start to appreciate your mum more and see her as a friend instead of just a mum. I love Mother's Day as it's the perfect time to treat your mum and aside from the usual flowers and chocolates sometimes it can be difficult to think of ideas, so I've put together a little gift guide to make your life easier.  

Bath & Body-
Bath time is where I get my peace and quite and it's the perfect time to pamper yourself so I've got quite the collection of bath and shower pampering products to share with you. I think the Mother's Day releases from Lush are so lovely and there's so many different bath bombs or bubble bars to choose from that there's something for everyone. If you have a bigger budget I think Elemis are the number 1 luxury skin care brand and their Spa Home Jasmin and Rose Bath Milk (£42)* is so, so dreamy and relaxing. I also adore the new Liz Earle Shower Gel (£12.50)* and Body Lotion (£14.50)* in the scent Vanilla and Saffron and the Ren Moroccan Rose Body Wash (£17)* is always a winner.

Molton Brown is one of mine and my mum's favourite brands so I know that she'd love this newly released Rhubarb and Rose Gift Set (£40)* to spruce up the bathroom. Another favourite brand is Jurlique and I think this cute gift set containing their signature Rosewater Balancing Mist and Rose Hand Cream (£20)* is such a lovely gift. 
My lovely mummy has been using Olay since she was 18 and I think they're such a classic skincare brand and some of their higher end products make perfect gifts. Then of course there's Clarins and I think they're newly released Double Serum (£55)* would make a lovely luxe skincare gift. 

I think if you know what kind of make-up you mum likes and the colours that suit her then this can be a really lovely gift. I quite like the idea of putting together a new Spring make-up gift set with nail polishes and lip and face products. The great thing about this idea is that you can spend as much or as little as you like as the make-up doesn't all have to be high end as the drug store has so many beauty gems to pick from. 

As you know I love a good candle and Jo Malone are my all time favourite but they can be on the pricey side so I think a nice alternative would be The White Company candles as they're a bit cheaper but still amazing quality. If your mum is into her beauty treatment then the Braun SkinSpa Epilator & Exfoliator (£113)* is perfect for preparing for summer. 

These are just a few of my gift ideas but it's important to remember that it's not how much you spend it's the thought that goes into a gift. I hope you and your Mummy's all have a lovely day. 


18 March 2014

Tarte Cosmetics QVC UK Launch

I don't think I'm alone here when I say I've been waiting for Tarte Cosmetics to come over to the UK for a long time! Well finally the wait is over as QVC are launching Tarte Cosmetics on the 28th of March, which means we can finally see what all the fuss is about. If you follow American and Canadian bloggers you'll hear them mention Tarte Cosmetics a lot and that's probably where most of us will have first heard about this brand from. All round favourites seem to be the Amazonian Clay foundation and the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blushers. I've been lucky enough to try out a few products from the range before it launches so I can tell you my favourites and what I recommend you pick up. 

Let's start with the Amazonian Butter Lipsticks (£20)*, which come in a trio pack and contain what I think are the perfect mix of colours if you're just starting to build up your make-up collection or for a week away. Soft Coral looks quite dark in the tube but when applied it comes out as a really summery coral shade. Rose is a lovely berry colour which adds a really pretty wash of colour to the lips and Golden Pink is a nice light pink shade, adding a kind of your lips but better tone to your lips. As all the lipsticks are more of a semi-gloss lipstick they don't add too much colour to your lips but contain moisturising ingredients so you're not left with flakey dry lips are . 

I have the Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush (£26.50)* in the shade Fearless, which is a really great rosy cheeks pink shade. I find this works really well if you don't have much going on and just want a pop of colour on the cheeks, perfect for a no make-up, make-up day. As the blush is made from Amazonian clay extracts you'll find that it doesn't feel like other buttery or cream blushes but claims to have 12 hour staying power and nourishing properties. 

I don't tend to use eyelash curlers ($16- currently only sold in the US)* as I've never really found a pair that I think do anything amazing to my eyelashes. However, when I tried the Tarte ones I actually noticed a difference in the curl and overall opening effect they had on my eyes. I think the real test will be whether I continue to use them so keep an eye out for these in future favourites posts!

Another product I kind of take or leave, which I know I shouldn't is facial oils. Again, I've never really been wowed by the effects of an oil but maybe they're more of a long term thing. I do however think the packaging of the Maracuja Oil (£29.16)* is beautiful as it comes in a lovely bamboo like box and then the actual product has a wooden lid with a pipette like applicator so you can control how much you remove form the bottle. The product is an earth prescribed treatment oil, which aims to target individual skin concerns whilst adding moisture for firmer, bright, and smoother looking skin. 

Next is my hero product from the range who Emily from Blog Me Beautiful highly recommended and that's the Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara (£14)*. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know my love for the 2000 Calorie Mascara from Max Factor. I tent to try a lot of different mascaras and even when I find ones I like I still end up going back to my old favourite. I know this is a winner as I haven't even thought about going back and it's 4-in-1 it means it conditions your lashes whilst adding volume, curl, and length.

If I were to recommend products from the new 11 piece UK launch I would suggest the blush and mascara. I've also heard that the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation* is amazing too, and if you want to see a full review Estee from Essie Button posted a lovely one recently.  Apparently QVC are doing two hour shows on the 28th March, one at 2pm and one at 6pm. 


17 March 2014

Urban Decay Ultra Nourishing Lip Glosses

Beso - Lovechild - Walk of Shame - Nooner 

Over the past month I've really converted back to being a lip gloss girl and the new Ultra Nourishing Lip Glosses from Urban Decay have really deepened this love. The Ultra Nourishing Lip glosses have a really lovely non sticky texture that almost feels balm like and applies perfectly over lipsticks. They have a scent to them which I can only describe as the rock you get from the seaside, so minty and sugary. The formula contains shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E so glides on really easily and adds a really smooth moisturising effect to your lips. The longevity of these are pretty good too, they tend to hang around for a good few hours and don't rub off too easily.  

I absolutely love the rose gold packing of the glosses as I think it adds a real luxe effect to the product. There are 9 shades in total in the range and I think it's fair to say that they're not all too different as they all have a nude element to them but some are a little bolder. I have the shade Beso, Lovechild, Walk of Shame and Nooner and I can honestly say I've found them all really easy to wear. Beso is lovely plumy nude colour the works perfectly over deep toned lipsticks. Lovechild is a really pretty pink shade, which is the one I've probably worn the most. Walk of Shame is a pale nude pink colour with some shimmer running through it and Nooner is a browny nude shade again with shimmer running though it. 

If you like the effect of a lip gloss but hate the sticky texture then I'd definitely give these a go. I'd say the two colours I'd recommend for most people would be Lovechild and Walk of Shame as they're both super easy shades to wear for day and night. 

PR Samples

16 March 2014

Sunday Make-up

Sunday's are all about easy breezy make-up that takes 5 minutes to apply, so I like to keep my products simple and multi tasking. After moisturising I like to use the new Bobbi Brown CC Cream* in shade Pale Nude to even out any redness and generally smooth over any imperfections. As this corrects some of the redness on my cheeks it means I can get away with only using a bit of concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes. The concealer I use everyday without fail is Collection Lasting Perfection, which I really can't fault. For the cheeks I'm still loving this pretty pink blusher from Bobbi Brown* (full review here) and as it contains a bit of shimmer it leaves your cheeks looking glowing and healthy. Next I then use the Tarte eyelash curlers and mascara*, which act as a Wonderbra for the lashes by really opening the eyes and lengthening the lashes. Tarte currently isn't available in the UK but if you can wait until March 28th then you can order their whole range from QVC. 

15 March 2014

Percy & Reed Freebie

We all love a good magazine freebie and with April's issue of Elle magazine you receive the newly launched Percy & Reed product, Wonder Balm which is worth £18. The reason I picked up this month's issue was solely to try out this product. Wonder Balm only launched in stores this week and is meant to be an all round styling product that works for all hair types. You're suppose to apply a small amount of this to towel dried hair before blow-drying or leaving to air dry and it acts as a kind of style primer for your hair. Now I'm not entirely sure what a hair primer is but I see it as the product will act as a base for your other styling products to make them a little more effective. So exactly what a face primer does for your foundation. I tried this out this morning and noticed that my hair felt so much softer and sleeker than it did the day before, we'll see if it makes it into a favourites post! 

13 March 2014

Boots 3 for 2 Haul

Superdrug and Boots 3 for 2 offers are my weakness, I find it impossible to resist the beauty aisles when I know there's a deal going on. I do however use the excuse that I need all of these products for blog research, so it's totally fine! 

I've been so curious about the new hair care range from Elvive as it claims to boost the volume of your hair by 80% and last for 72 hours, so keep your eyes peeled for a review of this as I'll definitely be sharing my thoughts. Next I picked up a product that I've probably ummed and arred about most and that's the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash. This is a funny one because it's got a really different scent to anything else I own, I can only describe it as the scent of a margarita, which I think it will be really perfect for the summer. Another item I picked up out of sheer curiosity was the VO5 Give Me Texture product. There's been so much hype about other texturing sprays in the past year so I really wanted to give a budget one a run for its money. I used this the other day and found that it left my hair feeling quite dry and tangled - I don't think I love it but I'll give it a few more go's before making my mind up. I really wanted to pick up the Essie Blue Boy Blazer polish but it was nowhere to be found so I opted for one of the Kate Moss polishes from Rimmel in shade Rhythm & Blues, which is a really great dark navy colour. Lastly I picked up a new release from 17 and it's their Colour Clash polish in the shade Tropical Punch as I thought this was similar to the Illamasqua speckled effect polishes last year. 

Have you guys picked up any good finds recently?

10 March 2014

Scents of Spring with The White Company

This weekend was the first one that finally felt like we're starting to leaving winter behind and enter the crisp and warm days of Spring. What marks the season change for me is when the daffodils first start to bloom and the air is filled with the scent of grass and new blooms. The other week I was kindly invited along to an event at The White Company for the launch of their new Scents of Spring collection. Here we learnt all about the new candles that are launching this spring with a bit of detail behind each scent. 

The first scent we were introduced to was White Geranium* (£26), which was designed to capture the aroma of a spa with soothing lavender and tranquil eucalyptus, geranium, soft rose and thyme. What I love about this candle aside from the relaxing smell is the ceramic pot it comes in. You may have already seen this in the background of some blog photos as I think it looks really classic and pristine and it will definitely be used as cotton pad storage when I've finished burning it. The White Geranium scent is part of a whole range with a number of different products including their spa like bath salts, which again come in this lovely ceramic pot.

The aim of the English Garden* (£16) candle is to encapsulate the fresh and fragrant scent of a glorious summer's day with notes of honeysuckle, rose, jasmine and lilac. If you can imagine as  a child playing in the garden with the scent of a freshly cut lawn, summer flowers and sunshine- this candle smells exactly like that. I really can't wait to burn this in the living room on a hot sunny London day and imagine I'm out in the countryside in the middle of nowhere rolling around in the grass.  

Rose* (£20) is the first rose scented candle released from The White Company and it comes as part of their signature collection, which probably doesn't smell like any rose candle you've smelt before. This original scent is because it contains both white heart of Jasmine and Lily, which adds a little something extra whilst still reminding you of a fresh bloom of roses.    

9 March 2014

Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish

Soho Place- £14*

Yet another release for Spring and this time it's from Nails Inc. They've just added 4 more shades to their gel effects nails collection and they're perfect for Spring/Summer. I've never tried gel nails as I'm scared they'll damage my actual nails so these are perfect for people who want to effect of gels without the hassle of removing them or the damage. These are exactly the same as the originals from Nails Inc in that they're super shiny and last without chipping for a really long time. On me they last around 4-5 days which I find really impressive as polishes tend to chip quite easily on me. My favourite shade from the range is Mayfair Lane, which I mentioned in my February favourites post, as it's just the prettiest pale nude without being too white or milky. I also love Downtown and Kensinton Passage as they're just the kind of go to summer colours for me. 

Debenhams are currently having a 10% sale on all of their beauty bits so all the gel effect polishes are £12.60 instead of £14!

6 March 2014

Burberry Brit Rhythm Fragrance

For me Burberry shows are always a highlight of London fashion week from their impressive line up of supermodels walking the catwalk to the beautiful clothes and location, they just seem to deliver season after season.
Brit Rhythm is the first female fragrance to launch since Burberry took the brand in house and the fragrance is inspired by the famous Burberry fashion shows, which are full of energy, anticipation and the high adrenaline of live performances from artists such a Paloma Faith. The fragrance aims to combine powerful femininity with a rock and roll edge by bringing together classic and unexpected notes in the form of a powdery fragrance. I find the scent to be quite strong and quite masculine as it contains notes of English lavender, pink peppercorn and neroli, with middle notes of orange flower, orris absolute and blackberry leaves and base notes of vetiver, musk and woods. Personally this isn't really to my taste as I opt for quite floral, light scents and this feels a little too unisex for me, but that's just personal preference. If you like scents that contain strong woody notes this may be one for you. 

I do however think the packaging is beautiful, as with all Burberry products it has the classic tweed design embossed onto a glass bottle allowing you to see the dusty pink shade of the fragrance. 
Brit Rhythm is now available in stores and online

4 March 2014

Elemis Skin Lounge at Debenhams

This post has definitely been a long time coming, just before fashion week I was kindly invited by Elemis to try out their Skin Lounge in the new beauty department at Debenhams. This was a much needed treat before the crazyness that lay ahead! To start with I was given a skin consultation by the lovely Tia and this told her my areas of concern so that she could recommend the best products for my skin's needs. I was then treated to one of the best facial and spa experiences ever where it felt like Tia used every Elemis product out there- not that I'm complaining! I opted for the Pro Intense Lift Effect Treatment* as I was intrigued to try it out and this included foot massage, shoulder and neck massage, full facial and then the lifting treatment. I think they've made the treatment rooms so well that you completely forget you're in one of the busiest department stores in London and transporting you to a place of calm. 

If you're looking for a little bit of peace and relaxation to break up a shopping trip the Skin Lounge offers a number of treatments from speedy facials and massages to hour long intensive treatments. You can find the spa lounge at the very front of the store on the left hand side, which you can't really miss as there's a million Elemis products on display- somewhere I could quite easily spend hours perusing. I couldn't find a link to the Skin Lounge on the Debenhams website but I'm sure if you call the Oxford Street store or Elemis they would be happy to help!

2 March 2014

February Favourites

February has been a month of so many new launches that I feel like I should have done a favourites post every week as I've chopped and changed between products so much. I've tried to include a selection of 6 of the consistently loved products this month as I think these are the best of what I've been using. 

Let's start with the most hyped product (and rightly so), the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette* (£36) (see full review here). I don't know if I can gush about this product anymore than I already have, if you've read my full review you'll know how perfect and versatile this product is. It contains 7 matte and 7 shimmer shades which help create the perfect smokey eye or day-to-day look. 

The next product is actually one I've used everyday in February as I bought it at the end of Jan and that's the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (£31.50). This is something that I've had my eye on for quite some time but couldn't decide between this and the Giorgio Armarni Luminous Silk (£35.50) as I'd heard great things about both. This foundation is so lovely, you only need the smallest amount the cover your whole face leaving you with a flawless glowy complexion and it blends in beautifully. My only problem with this product is that it doesn't come with a pump and my Space NK were all sold out so I've found that I've wasted quite a bit of this already.

Next is a product from the Bobbi Brown Uber Pink collection (full review here), which I blogged about yesterday and that's they're lipgloss in shade Baby Pink*(£18). As I said in my post it's the perfect shade for my skin tone and I love everything from the finish to the longevity. I'm not normally a huge lipgloss fan but I find this shade so beautiful especially when paired with my favourite Revlon lipstick

I've probably worn the Nails Inc Gel Effect polish in shade Mayfair Lane* (£14) the most throughout this month.I find it the perfect milky pink colour and because of the gel effect formula I find it lasts for about 5 days on my nails without really chipping. I've got a full review coming of their new Spring collection so I'll go into more detail there. But if you're looking for a pink that's not too pale or white then I'd definitely recommend this shade. 

Ah Bumble & bumble, the haircare hero's for all women. I love their thickening range (full review here), they're dryspun spray is meant to be a pretty good dupe for the Oribe texturising spray, which I haven't tried due to the £38 price tag! When I first tried this range I loved the Creme Countour (£21.50) but now I find that I use the Full Form Mousse*(£21.50) after every hair wash as it's perfect for adding a bit of oomph to limp hair. I use this just before blow drying and I find it gives the perfect amount of volume without leaving it sticky or weighed down. 

Last but not least a Jo Malone candle and scent I've fallen in love with this month. This was a very special Valentine's gift from my boyfriend as he know's how much I love Jo Malone. The Nectarine Blossom & Honey candle (£39) is such a lovely soothing relaxing scent that is perfect for cosy nights in as it creates a lovely sweet, woody aroma that isn't too sicky or heavy.

1 March 2014

Bobbi Brown Uber Pink Collection

Lip Gloss- Baby Pink- £18*

It's no secret that I like pink, I own a lot of pink make-up and my go to nail colour is normally a milky pink, so as you can imagine the new limited edition Uber Pink collection from Bobbi Brown is right up my street. It contains two lipsticks, two lipglosses, two illuminating blushes (or bronzers as they're called) and two nail colours.   

Let's start with the blushes shall we, I love how they're really large and beautifully embossed with 'Be Pretty' and 'Be Bold' as I think it's add a really nice touch to the packaging. I'm a blush girl through and through, I think adding a pop of colour to your cheeks really brightens your appearance and finishes off your look. As they're illuminating powders they contain tiny flecks of glitter which add just the right amount of shimmer to your cheeks. I've mainly been wearing the 'Be Pretty' shade as it's not too in your face for the day and complements a brown smokey eye. 

I have the shade Baby Pink in their lipgloss which is the perfect day shade that works really well over a pale pink lipstick. I have to say, I haven't really worn lipglosses in quite a long time but since getting this I've worn it almost ever day over my favourite revlon lipstick (link here). It has a slightly sticky texture, which I know a lot of people hate but I don't think it's too sticky at all. I find it's a really complementing shade for me and works perfectly for my day-to-day nude lip and brown smokey eye look. 

Next is the nail polish, this is a really sheer pale pink so if you like the look of polished nails without too much colour this is for you. I personally prefer a slightly milky-er pink but that's just my personal preference. This is basically perfect for a barely there pink coloured nail. 

Lastly, the lipstick. I have the shade Pink Kiss and I have to say this really didn't suit me as I found it a little too barbie pink for my liking, that my be down to my skin tone though. As with all Bobbi Brown lipsticks it had a lovely creamy texture that didn't feel drying on the lips and really lovely luxe packaging. 

If I had to pick one product from the range it would have to be the lipgloss as I'm in love with the colour and finish but my second favourite is definitely the blushes as they're so beautiful and have really good colour payoff, which lasts hours.  

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