Monday, May 26, 2014

SUMMER SKIN

(Left to Right: Palmer's Gradual Tanner & Garnier Oil Beauty Scrub)
 
I had a moment of sheer panic the other day as I realised Summer is fast approaching. The weather in the UK has been unbelievably hot and sunny this past week, leaving me with no choice but to get my pasty white legs out. The only tan I achieved last year was whilst attending Leeds Festival and let's just say it wasn't the most flattering (upper half of my leg golden brown, bottom half remained white from being covered by my wellies, OH DEAR!) So this year, I'm turning to beauty products and whilst shopping in Boots I stumbled across these two.

Let's start with Garnier's Ultimate Beauty Oil Beauty Scrub £7.15; wow that's a mouthful. I need to tell you now, this stuff is AMAZING. The smell, the feel, the way it leaves your skin; just amazing. Enriched with 4 incredible oils, (Argan, Macademia, Almond & Rose) the product claims to 'visibly improve and perfect the look of your skin' and it really does. I use the scrub in the shower once every couple of days when my skin isn't looking its best and to get rid of any dead skin on the surface. A little goes a long way as the scrub foams nicely onto the body, it exfoliates without being too harsh and you can really feel the difference it makes on the skin. I suffer from dry skin on both my knees and elbows and found the scrub and its benefiting oils helped re-hydrate these problem areas. Out of everything I was very impressed with the scent of the product; fresh and luxurious, I could still smell it on my body a good hour or so after I'd showered. To maintain a good tan it's vital to exfoliate the skin and I can happily say that I'll be popping this into my suitcase to use everyday whilst on holiday as well as now at home. Apparently the scrub comes in a lotion and oil treatment, both with the same scent, so I am dying to get my hands on those too!

Second on my quest to summer ready skin; Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula/Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser £5.35, another tongue twister! I've never had the best luck with fake tan. Back in sixth form, when I first started going on nights out, I went through a stage of wanting to look incredibly tanned; I never really mastered the art of applying fake tan so always ended up looking either too dark or streaky. Up until now I've always just played it safe and remained pale, however, now the sun is here I want a bit of colour to my skin. The cocoa butter gradual tanner gives me bronzed skin without looking orange or uneven. I apply the moisturiser straight onto my skin once I've left the shower and exfoliated, this allows the lotion to sink straight into the skin without being sticky. If you're not a fan of the original Palmer's cocoa butter or scent then I would give this a miss, the scent can be fairly overbearing. I noticed my skin held a natural looking golden glow the next morning once I woke up, and no streaks HOORAY! For those of you who are too afraid to use actual fake tan like myself, then I would definitely recommend this product. The lotion also helped me to maintain the natural tan I'd managed to catch whilst sitting in the garden. If I had one problem, it would be that the moisturiser left stains on my hands and fingers from application but this is my fault for not exfoliating and moisturising them properly beforehand. I'm very impressed with my purchases and think I'll be trying Dove's summer glow moisturiser next to see how it compares with Palmer's. I'll be sure to write a follow up review in a week or so to keep you all updated on my search for summer skin but in the meantime, I'd love to know what your favourite products are for achieving or maintaining that perfect summer glow!




Sunday, May 18, 2014

MAC TAN PIGMENT

I love MAC cosmetics as much as the next girl, but I always found it quite daunting browsing around the pigments with little knowledge on them; so I ultimately kept myself to the good old eye shadow counter instead. However, after recently watching the beautiful Poppy Rawson on YouTube; seeing how amazing her eye makeup was, I came to the conclusion that I desperately needed MAC's Tan pigment. I'd always assumed that the pigments would be incredibly messy to apply and wouldn't look any different to an eye shadow. Boy, was I wrong!
The woman who served me at the counter essentially told me that, "I could use the pigment in whatever way I wished!" and after much playing around with the product, I'm happy enough to just use it on my eyes for the time being.

The pigment can be applied dry or wet. For dry application I would recommend applying a primer or paint pot to your bare lids then the pigment straight over to minimise any fallout and keep the product in tact. I personally prefer to apply it wet with a brush spritzed in MAC's Fix+, this allows the pigment to stick to the lid and create a mesmerising 3D look; if I could describe it in any other way I'd say that the pigment looks like a golden foil. It really is beautiful and I don't think my pictures do it enough justice. The colour is slightly lighter than MAC's Woodwinked (one of my all time favourite shadows) a true bronze shade. You also need the smallest amount, a little goes a long way whether working with the pigment wet/dry, meaning it is in fact great value for its £15 price tag. I'm now very open to the idea of pigments and may even use Tan as a sun-kissed highlight. I know that Vanilla is definitely next on my wishlist for my inner corner and brow highlight as so many bloggers have raved on about it! Do you own any MAC pigments? What are your opinions?


*Please excuse my hairy eyebrows, I'm in the midst of growing them out and getting them groomed!










Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NEWCASTLE FASHION WEEK // COMPANY FASHION SHOW

On Saturday 10th May I attended the first day of Newcastle Fashion Week and one of the main events, Company magazine's high-street catwalk! There were two shows available to attend on the day, starting at 12 noon and 2pm. Both catwalks were hosted by fashion features writer: Alexxsia Elizabeth, senior features writer: Carlene Thomas-Bailey and the amazing fashion designer Julien Macdonald, what an absolute treat! With some beautiful styles on show from a wide range of high-street stores including TOPSHOP (of course), Primark and Oxfam, to name a few; there really was enough fashion to suit anyone's tastes. I was especially impressed by what Next and Marks and Spencer's had to offer; amazing trouser suits, pastel dresses and heels.
It really was an amazing event and I loved every minute, but I have to say that being asked if we wanted to sit on the front row and have our pictures taken for Company's Street Style was the cherry on top of the cake. But that's enough bragging, (sorry! its not often I do!) I've promised myself that I will invest in a better quality camera after my birthday so I'm able to blog about events and include more vibrant and sharp pictures! Of course no event at the Assembly Rooms would be complete without a visit to their exclusive, 'BONBAR'; I chose my all time favourite amaretto sours and it did not disappoint. I've included a little mirror outfit shot of what myself and my friend Amy wore that day. I can't wait to attend 'Get into Fashion' this Friday as I'm sure it will not disappoint. Newcastle Fashion Week is really not one to be missed this year!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

THE FAT HIPPO UNDERGROUND


A little over a week ago, myself and my boyfriend made a trip to a little place called 'The Fat Hippo Underground.' If you live around the Jesmond/Newcastle area then you maybe familiar with the original Fat Hippo restaurant; an eatery that specialises in the most amazing beef and chicken burgers, Newcastle's equivalent to MEATliquor in my eyes! Speaking of the original restaurant, I have to be honest and say that I haven't been. We did venture all the way over there late afternoon to be rudely told that there were no tables available; if we did want one we'd have to come back in 2 hours, NO WAY HOSAYYY! But in the end, fate was on our side and a month later The Fat Hippo opened their second restaurant and this time we actually made a reservation (which I recommend doing as it does get busy!) If you're not a fan of exceedingly good greasy food then please avert your eyes.
Situated on Shakespeare St. in the centre of Newcastle, the restaurant is not hard to miss. A giant luminous hippo hangs over it's doorway as you descend the stairs into the 'underground'. The d├ęcor is simple, clean and in places quirky. But who goes to a restaurant for the furnishings/to look at the walls? For being a new establishment, the servers who spot on, leaving the right amount of time in between our drink and food orders. As the pictures show we hit the food hard, maybe a little too hard. Although a Happy Hour menu was on offer, we decided to go for the full whack and ordered the chilli cheese nachos £7.90 as a starter along with the The Fat Hippo burger £9.90 as our main.
Now this is where it gets embarrassing; The Fat Hippo burger was made of double 4oz patties, topped with bacon, chorizo, cheese, onion rings and its own special fat hippo sauce, with an accompaniment of triple cooked chips! Dear, bloggers, I ate every last mouthful and I left not only weighed down with a food baby, but also with shame at how much food I'd managed to put away in my stomach!If I'd known how big the portions were, I'd have just called it a night after my share of the nachos but I'm not one to give up easily. You really do get your moneys worth and I'll definitely be going again, just maybe after a good 2 month recovery period. Fat Hippo Underground, you've really gone and made a good'un! If you're around the area and fancy a good bite to eat, then you know where it is! Also, I just couldn't resist snapping some photos of Newcastle as we left, such a beautiful Spring day.
*I've been wondering? Do you like my lifestyle/eating out blog posts, I really enjoy making them and just wondered if that enjoyment was mirrored in you reading them?


Sunday, May 04, 2014

NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER

Over the last few months I have found myself fighting a very tricky battle, the battle of concealers. I had resisted the urge to purchase a new concealer after settling into a comfortable long term relationship with Collection 2000's Lasting Perfection, but like most days in my life, I fell victim to my spending urge once again. I had heard so many reviews about the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and always found myself swatching the shades whenever I visited Space NK but never made the purchase. That is until last Monday; feeling particularly adventurous and spendy, I made the plunge (with thanks to £5 off). And I have to say, there's no turning back. Sorry Collection!

Having only ever used one other NARS product; their Laguna bronzer, I was very curious as to how I would like the concealer. Firstly, the concealer comes in 10 different shades, each catering for either warm or cool undertones to the skin. I chose to go with Vanilla (Light2) which is a great match for my skin and NC15 foundation. As always, the concealer is adorned with the signature black rubber material that NARS use on all their packaging (expect it to get messy FAST.) Incredibly creamy in consistency, the concealer glides onto the skin easily with the help of it's doefoot applicator. There is a similarity between the NARS and Collection concealers, I'm not going to lie. They both have a relatively thick formula and good staying power, but there is just something about the radiant creamy concealer that makes it 10x better. It's overall appearance is more attractive, there isn't a plasticy smell to the product and it appears to give more cover with less product than I'd get from the Collection concealer. I have noticed a huge difference under my eyes since using NARS, whereas the Collection concealer would cake up and leave me with dried lines that made me look haggard, I now have a flawless finish that brightens up the eye and just emphasises the skin.

At £22, this is a pricey concealer and not within everyone's price range. I don't think I would have been as easily swayed to buy it if it hadn't been for those Space NK points I'd managed to rack up. But saying that, I am so glad I did. It really is a wonder product and suitable for all skin types and I'll definitely be repurchasing. If you've been working hard recently, who's to say you can't treat yourself to a nice piece of makeup every once in a while? Have any of you tried this concealer, what were your thoughts?