Tuesday, 28 February 2017

MONTHLY FAVOURITES: FEBRUARY 2017


Beauty products i've been loving in the month of February...

Hair: Continuing to treat my tresses well, I have been dabbling with more products from SHOW beauty, this time with the 'Sublime' Repair range which I will be talking about in more detail soon. The conditioner is an absolute stand out product from the range and has really transformed the dry ends of my hair. It not only smells delicious, but it also makes my hair super soft and silky. I have also been revisiting an old favourite, by way of the Garnier 'Ultimate Blends' strength restoring serum which I apply through the lengths of my hair, every night before bed. Not only does this keep it shiny and supple but also super manageable. 

Scent: Whilst I never stray from my classic favourites, when it comes to daytime scent I like to shake it up every now and again with something new. As Spring is on the horizon I have been wearing a lighter, fresher scent by way of the DKNY 'Be Delicious - Fresh Blossom' Eau so intense which is a gorgeous feminine scent with floral, woody and rose notes.



Eyes: I couldn't write a monthly favourites post without giving a nod towards the amazing Laura Mercier 'Kajal D'Orient' eyeliner in 'vino' I spoke it's smudgey, creamy formula earlier this month and whilst it is pretty spendy at £22, I absolutely love it. 

Lips: Since watching '50 Shades Darker' I have been super inspired by Ana's red, stained lips. Nothing too fancy just a pinched, red lip that looks super chic! To create the look i've been using the Soothe.Me red berry lip tint which stains the lips beautifully without too much effort. The formula is 100% natural too which is lovely and feels super comfortable on the lips. 



Life. TV. Music and more...

TV + Film As you can probably guess from my comment above I absolutely LOVED 50 Shades Darker, much more romantic, much less creepy and Ana's styling in it is gorgeous...Jamie Dornan is still an absolute dream and under the new directorship, the second film is royally much, much better than the first one.

I also saw T2 Trainspotting which was bloody amazing also, it really is the same...but different and the references to the original film are so cleverly done. The soundtrack is ace too, a must see even if you haven't seen the first one. It's seriously moving with a gritty tone and I hope it stands the test of time as well as the first film has.

I was also really gripped this month by 'The Moorside' which was a BBC drama featuring the fabulous Sheridan Smith re-creating the kidnap of Shannon Matthews in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Whilst the Yorkshire accents were seriously questionable, the story and writing was very good, though I do agree that it was too soon ( just 9 years) since the incident happened and Shannon herself will be a young adult at 18 trying to pave her life, my question is if it was entirely ethical from that point of view? 

Lifestyle: I don't think i've ever worried as much as I do now i'm in my 20s! I really appreciated this article by Cosmopolitan on '11 things all 20 somethings need to stop worrying about' - most of it really resonates with me, especially the 'I don't own a house yet', 'I feel guilty for feeling sad without a proper reason' and 'i've barely seen any of the world.' 

I also loved Marisa Bate's article on The Pool which discussed loneliness and how it is interpreted. I particularly liked this quote: 

"Loneliness in the presence of others is not only near-impossible to see or articulate, but it can be sharper, more humiliating."

I have to say I was also wowed by Rosie Londoner's ' 24 hours in Paris' proposal blog post, yeah I admit i'm an absolute sucker for anything remotely romantic and a proposal in Paris? You had me at hello. 

Music: As a long time Erykah Badu appreciator, I loved BBC 6 musics '20 years of Baduizm' celebrating Erykah's style, music and influence. 

This months playlist features a lot of George Michael, i've been listening to his 'Ladies and Gentleman' album non stop in the car, best tracks? Of-course 'Fast Love' and 'Too Funky'. There's also a ton of pretty alternative stuff in there including 'Jessica' by Major Lazer and Ezra Koenig, as well as some awesome newer tracks from Lady Gaga including 'Hey Girl' which features Florence and the machine.


In-case you missed them this month...

Primark, TK + Maxx - homeware and style haul

23 of my favourite song lyrics of all time

These boots were made for sassin' - Topshop ankle boot haul

LVL Lashes + Brows at Woodlands Beauty Clinic

Review: SHOW beauty Lux volume shampoo and conditioner

Review: Laura Mercier 'Kajal D'Orient' eyeliner

My minimal bed to desk make-up routine

What have you been loving in the month of February?

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Friday, 24 February 2017

BEAUTY: MY MINIMAL BED TO DESK MAKE-UP ROUTINE


The older i've gotten, the more low key my everyday make-up routine has become and I have to admit, that is a good thing. These days I can put all of my products and brushes in my make-up bag and have everything I need for a full face of make-up for a day or night look. It's 

B A S E

I am currently coveting the Illamasqua 'Skin Base Foundation' which I have previously talked about here. It's extremely lightweight with good build-able coverage. It goes without saying that my concealer choice is the iconic 'Lasting Perfection' from Collection - brilliant at covering a multitude of sins.

I have also been using sticks and crayons for speed, my current blush and highlighter of choice are from the Collection 'Speedy' range and are applied and blended in seconds using my beauty blender. If I want my blush even more intense I will use the Bourjois 'Little Round Pot Blush' in 16 Rose Coupe De Foudre. For bronzer, I have been using another stick product by the way of the MUA 'Bronzed Shimmer Stick' which I know will be amazing for the summertime when my skin has a sunkissed glow. 

As my brows are looking (for once) pretty sassy right now all thanks to The Woodlands Beauty Clinic I have simply been lightly powdering them with the Rimmel 'Brow this way' duo in dark brown and setting them with the Essentials 'Make me brow' dark brown gel. I will set my base with the George (at ASDA) 'Silk Finish Pressed Powder' in the translucent variant which I can highly recommended to try at just a few quid.


E Y E S

On my eyes, a quick wash of colour will do - I am still very fond of my custom MAC duo 'Mythology' and 'Texture' combined with with my new squeeze, the Laura Mercier 'Kajal D'Orient' liner amazing at creating a smudgey, bedroom black liner. Again, as i've recently had LVL Lashes, my need fore mascara is minimal and a quick swipe of the Clinique 'High Impact' mascara on my bottom lashes is all that is required. 

L I P S

And for lips, a quick glossing of the MUA 'Sweet Sheen Balm' in the coral or red shades is all that's needed to complete my look. They're ridiculously comfortable and super long wearing. 


What are your everyday make-up essentials?

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

BEAUTY: LAURA MERCIER 'KAJAL D'ORIENT' EYELINER





I think eyes are the most beautiful and interesting feature on everyone - I love the different tones and colours in each and every iris and the way that no two eyes are ever the same. As a woman I am extremely lucky that I can regularly experiment with make-up to enhance the shape and colour of my eyes without stigma or judgement passed. If I was about to be marooned on a desert island, my luxury item along with some sunscreen (alabaster skin problems) would have to be eyeliner, just to keep me feeling like myself. It's just one of those beauty products I feel passionate about. 


When it comes to spending money on make-up, i'll spend it on eye make-up and I recently had a serious splurge. Not so long ago, I was on the train down to the big smoke and my train buddy Danielle pulled out a super interesting eyeliner from her make-up bag that applied a gorgeous, creamy and super pigmented line to her eyes, she told me it was the Laura Mercier 'Kajal D'Orient Eyeliner'. I was sold immediately all thanks to that seriously smokey and sassy application that could be done, even on a wobbly train!

At £22 this beauty a'int cheap but doesn't it look pretty? I bought mine from the Laura Mercier counter at the Harvey Nichols beauty bazaar and whilst the customer service was pretty terrible it hasn't deterred me from loving this product. 
The paraban free kajal liner is extremely creamy and comes in 3 variants black, aubergine and graphite grey. I tried them all and realised that the 'vino' purple shade had a little something extra to it when applied. It's hard to pick up the purple pigmentation but I was instantly drawn to it over the black. 

The liner moulds itself use by use into a point so there's no need for sharpening and whilst it may be more of an efficient tight/water liner, you can achieve a sassy flick with it too. In terms of longevity it sticks around all day though it is particularly smudgy and creasing is a thing if you don't lightly powder over any lid liner you've done.


In my opinion you can achieve the same look with a much cheaper liner however, in terms of a treaty high-end make-up spend it is definitely worth it.

What is your favourite Laura Mercier product?

Have you ever tried the Kajal D'Orient' eyeliner?
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Friday, 17 February 2017

HAIR: SHOW BEAUTY 'LUX VOLUME SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER'



When it comes to hair-care, i'm always very interested in trying and discovering new products. As much as I self destruct on my hair, it's also my canvas for experimentation. For the most part i'm pretty loyal to drugstore shampoo and conditioner, Pantene Pro V is my currently squeeze. that being said, I do like to have a 'treaty' duo to use also. I've previously mentioned my long standing crush on the 'Shampure' range from Aveda, and it is fair to say that is my default spendy choice, but I have recently been opening my eyes to other high end hair care brands.

I was recently invited to experience Tamara Ecclestone's luxury and super decadent SHOW beauty brand at the Harvey Nichols beauty bazaar where I was treated to their 'SHOW Dry' by stylist, Becky. It was here that I experienced the SHOW Beauty 'Treatment Oil' and the iconic 'Premier Dry Shampoo.' I was instantly sold on the scent (Developed by the perfume house behind YSL Opium and Dior Poison) and the opulent packaging, I can't get over how stunning it is! I came away intruiged with the SHOW Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner* - at £30 and £33 a pop it sure is spendy. But is it worth it?



So as you can see from the picture above, this was my hair having not had it cut for 5 months and a few weeks of ravenous bleach throughout that time. Becky did an amazing job to even get it to look that good with a cute straight blown half up, half down do! I've now since had it cut and is much better condition, you'll be pleased to know. Naturally very straight lank and soft, my hair doesn't retain much volume and as I have a razor cut bob, this often looks seriously naff when there's no oomph. 

The SHOW beauty volume products are formulated without parabens and sulphates and work to lift from the roots. They're also blended with wheat protein based copolymers to increase lift. For the nourishing part, the formula also includes a combination of caviar and white truffle extract to condition and make your tresses smell divine. Ofcourse, i'm sure this is what bumps the price tag up.


I found that the gel shampoo took a little work to lather which is obviously thanks to the lack of sulphates however, I like a good soapy lather to really feel like my hair is being thoroughly cleaned. Unfortunately the shampoo left my hair feeling seriously, seriously dry, granted my hair was already pretty dry but this felt as though it had dried it out even further to the point where it started to knot and matte together. Fear not, it was time for conditioning! It takes a few pumps of the applicator to get a satisfactory amount of conditioner out of the packaging however, once you do, it glides through the hair nicely and when worked in starts to soften the overly dry, coarse ends. Did I mention that it smells SO good too. 

I blow-dried my hair as normal, upside down (for extra boost) and I found that my hair had a texture that felt quite gummy, which is not uncommon as that's how volumisers work by coating the hair. My hair certainly was volumised but this didn't last long and fell flatter after an hour or so. This may just be to the nature of my hair, which never holds a curl and if it's not straight, doesn't know what to do with itself. 

I reckon these volumising products would work super effectively if used in a salon where you can have a professional blow dry afterwards to make them work to their best ability, but for everyday use I think i'll stick to the drugstore. I am however in the process of testing the 'Sublime Repair' shampoo, conditioner and mask which I feel is much better suited to what my hair needs. I'll report back with my thoughts in due course, but for me, the volumising products haven't wowed me and I have donated them to my Grandma to see how she gets on with them because she not only deserves a treat but also has short, voluminous hair.

Have you ever tried anything from SHOW beauty?

What did you think?



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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

BEAUTY: LVL LASHES AND BROWS AT WOODLANDS BEAUTY CLINIC - BALTIC TRIANGLE


Before + After

To say i'm a devoted advocate of all things beauty, I very rarely have treatments. Obviously, this is mostly due to not being to afford to have everything done to keep me looking sassily enhanced... and a small part of it is laziness however, whenever I do have a beauty treatment, whether that be taming my eyebrows or having gel talons, I always wish I kept up to doing it more often. 

It's such a treat to head to the beauty salon and I always come out feeling a million dollars more than I did when I walked in. So when the team at Woodlands Aesthetics + Beauty Clinic got in touch to see if i'd like to try their LVL lashes and brow services which cost £40 and £16.50 respectively, I was very grateful and pleased for the opportunity. 

As a city gal, I was invited to experience their Liverpool city centre salon, based within the Baltic Triangle, but for any suburban honey's out there, it's worth mentioning that they also have other salons outside of the city in Aigburth and Woolton.



Due to the nature of the treatments I was going to have done, a number of different solutions would need to be applied to my skin and around my eye area. Because of this, I had a few different patch tests done 24 hours before my treatment. This involved applying a drop of each formula behind my ear and on the crooks of my arms which were held in place with medical tape. I was pretty confidence I wouldn't have a problem, but the patch test is very important to avoid a nasty reaction - especially if you're having a treatment around your delicate eye area. 


On the day of my treatment I was greeted by the lovely beauty specialist Antonia who works from the Woodland' Baltic Triangle clinic and is incredibly friendly, she comes highly recommended. I've often found beauticians to be a little stand off-ish and uninterested but this is not the case with Antonia who made me feel comfortable as well as giving me the impression she was truly happy to see me - customer service like this goes a long way! It's also worth mentioning that the salon itself is very serene and quiet and there wasn't a rushed or bustley feeling. Instead the only sounds that could be heard were the chimes of the relaxing, tranquil music.

The treatments...

The LVL lash treatment involves adding length, volume, lift and colour to your natural eyelashes with an amazing effect that lasts 6-8 weeks! I've never had anything done with my lashes before so I was very intrigued to see how the process unfolded. Working by straightening your lashes upwards,the treatment is essentially a 'perm' for your lashes and yep, that instantly recognisable perm solution smell is prevalent. As for my brows, I had them waxed, shaped and tinted to give more definition as well as a good old tidy up. I've recently been dabbling with threading but unfortunately this always tends to break me out and I will not lie, hurts me more than the pain of both of my tattoos put together.


Before, after and during my treatments...

The LVL treatment began with Antonia removing any grease or make-up residue from my lashes before putting a silicone shield over my lower lashes to keep them out of the way. I then closed my eyes for the next 40 minutes. Next a shield went over my upper eye lids to determine the lift and my lashes were pushed up onto the shield ready to apply the formulas which included perming lotion, tint colourant and moisturising serum. It was during the developing / processing time that Antonia got to work on my brows which consisted of a simple wax, shape and tint.

The treatment itself is painless and only feels only a little strange as the therapist works on your lashes which have a number of sticky things holding them down, but if you keep your eyes shut and relax it's difficult to stay awake! I often get panicky if I know I can't do something i.e open my eyes, but you can and no part of the LVL treatment is uncomfortable.

Before...


After...



As you can see the results are absolutely incredible! You don't need my words as the pictures speak for themselves, I was truly very, very surprised to see my own lashes looking so amazing! And as for my eyebrows, I can't believe they're mine, they're full and lush but without veering into scouse brow territory. I have been feeling pretty down about my appearance recently so it's nice to feel nice again!

I highly recommend the Woodlands clinic if you're in Liverpool / surrounding area and looking for beauty treatments, I am already pencilling in to go back to try their other treatments, perhaps a detoxifying facial? It's also worth nothing that they do medical aesthetic treatments such as botox and lip fillers too if anti-ageing is your bag.

Find Woodlands on Instagram: @woodlands_baltictriangle

Have you ever had LVL lashes? 

What's your favourite beauty treatment?

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Friday, 10 February 2017

STYLE: THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR SASSIN'



It's not secret that if something looks absolutely outrageous, I want it in my wardrobe and I want to wear it. I'm not sure where my love of quirky clothing came from, but I shy away from anything monochrome and if it ain't lurid, or has a ghastly print, I don't want it. 

So when I saw some pretty shiny, bold boots selling for a tenner in the Topshop sale, my inner magpie swooped down and took the last two pairs of size 5's in bold pink and bronze. They were originally around £39 pounds so there was a sassy saving to be made.


I like styling mine up with faux leather leggings, dresses and tights combos and plain ensembles where a pop of colour is needed.

What do you think of statement ankle boots? 

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

MUSIC: 23 OF MY FAVOURITE SONG LYRICS OF ALL TIME


It just sounds so naff to say "I love music" doesn't it?  Pretty much everyone will tell you that they have a connection with music and can tell you about tracks that are personal to them, taking them back to a time and a place in their lives. And whilst it is fair to say that I do really love music, it's probably better to tell you that I love it because it has a great influence over me which transpires through what i'm wearing, the books i'm reading and the way I get on with my life. 

I was recently reading the blog of one of my old journalism classmates, Bethan who shared 36 of her favourite song lyrics and I thought immediately that this was the perfect way to express an opinion on music. So that's exactly what i'm doing today, sharing 23 of my favourite song lyrics of all time. A lot of these tracks aren't my favourite songs of all time but simply have particular lines in them that really click for me. 

Maybe through reading this, you'll learn something about me from the list, my key take-aways are that Noel Gallagher's songwriting most certainly hits a nerve... and I should have been 23 in the 1980s when the music matched the time!

*Excuse the formatting, Blogger is totally outdated as a platform now and can't handle the sass!



1.

Made of stone - The Stone Roses
Sometimes I fantasise
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me 
Don't these time
Fill your eyes 
--

2.

  Kooks - David Bowie
Will you stay in our lovers' story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing
--

3.

505 - Arctic Monkeys
But I crumble completely when you cry
It seems like once again you've had to greet me with goodbye
I'm always just about to go and spoil a surprise
Take my hands off of your eyes too soon
--

4.

Come undone - Duran Duran
Mine, immaculate dream, made breath and skin, 
I've been waiting for you,
Signed, with a home tattoo,
 Happy birthday to you was created for you.
--

5.

Juicy - Notorious B.I.G
Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay
damn right I like the life I live
'Cause I went from negative to positive
--





6.

Roll with it - Oasis
Kiss the girl she's not behind the door
Do you know I think I recognise your face
But I've never seen you before
I know the roads on which your life will drive
I find the key that lets you slip inside 
--

7.

Everybody wants to rule the world - Tears for fears
Welcome to your life
There's no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you
...
There's a room where the light won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, i'll be right behind you
--

8.

She sells sanctuary - The Cult
The sparkle in your eyes
Keeps me alive
And the sparkle in your eyes
Keeps me alive, keeps me alive
--

9.

I knew you were waiting - Aretha Franklin feat. George Michael
Like a warrior that fights
And wins the battleI know the taste of victory
Though I went through some nights, consumed by the shadows
--

10.

Rooms on fire - Stevie Nicks
Well there is magic all around you, 
if I do say so myself
I have known this much longer than i've known you
--




11.

Sunrise - Simply Red
 I don't know if it's even in your mind at all
It could be me
At this moment in time
Is it in your mind at all
It should be me, it could be me forever
--

12.

Name of the game - ABBA
Your smile, and the sound of your voice
And the way you see through me
Got a feeling, you give me no choice
But it means a lot to me
So I wanna know
What's the name of the game? 
--

13.

Ordinary World - Duran Duran 
Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly.
I turned on the lights, the TV and the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you
--

14.
Love will tear us apart - Joy Division
When routine bites hard
And ambitions are low And resentment rides high
But emotions won't grow
And we're changing our ways
Taking different roads
--

15.
Supersonic - Oasis
I need to be myself
I can't be no-one else
I'm feeling supersonic
Give me gin and tonic
You can have it all but how much do you want it?
--




16.
You overdid it doll - The Courteeners
I heard you coming in from town,
stilettos scrape the ground,
I saw you in your overcoat,
a random on your throat,
I know you this is not the girl,
that I used to whirl
--

17.

Don't dream it's over - Crowded House
There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me
--

18.

Only when you leave - Spandau Ballet
Laying in the after glow,
I only want to learn what you know,
But now you're leaving...
How many hearts must you break?
--

19. 
Talk tonight - Oasis
All your dreams are made
Of strawberry lemonade
--



20.
Don't be so hard on yourself - Jess Glynn
I came here with a broken heart that no one else could see
I drew a smile on my face to paper over me
The wounds heal and tears dry and cracks they don't show
So don't be so hard on yourself, no
--





21.

The dying of the light - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
And the cold against my shoulder
And it seems to last forever
And it makes me want to,
It makes me want to cry
--

22.
Last Christmas - Wham
A crowded room,
Friends with tired eyes.
I'm hiding from you
And your soul of ice.
My god I thought you were someone to rely on.
Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on.
A face on a lover with a fire in his heart.
--

23.
Native New Yorker - Odessey
And love, love is just a passing word
It's the thought you had in a taxi cab that got left on the curb 
When he dropped you off and he stated firm

What are your favourite song lyrics of all time?

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