Thursday, 31 March 2016

Bold Lips For Scaredy Cats


About twelve months ago I told myself that I was going to be a bit bolder with my lip choices. So far I have not done that. I don't know why I'm so terrified but my thought process is that I'll put it on, get it on my teeth, have it on my chin and I won't notice because I can't see it. I think I'm just being paranoid (is anyone else like this?) but I really want to get over this 'hurdle' and wear a really WOW lip on a daily basis. I thought I'd share three of the best bold lip options from my lip-drobe and they're the ones I think are best for those who are a bit scared when it comes to going bold.

First up is a cross between a liquid lipstick and a lipgloss and it's the Fleur De Force Lip Gloss in Starry Starry Night. It's a beautiful plum that is perfect for Autumn. Formula wise it's pretty spot on for a comfortable, stay all day lip. It's glossy but has a slight matte-ness to it that makes it stick to the lips and is what makes this such a great product. I want to get Written in the Stars next which is a gorgeous nude but I'm only going to get it if I get more use out of this shade first! Next is something that I actually wore out last week and I really liked how it looked, and we only had one teeth incident! It's the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Pink Passion and it's one step down from a bubblegum pink. The formula is very comfortable on the lips and I even forgot it was there on occasion. I only had to reapply it once throughout quite a long day because even after eating my lunch it had left a slight stain on the lips and I didn't get the awkward wearing away line I'm always concerned about with bold lips. I really want to try out more shades from this range. Last but not least is the Clinique Colour Pop Lipstick in Poppy Pop, This is such a gorgeous colour. It's a poppy red (well done Abz, what a great description) and I think it's the red that suits my skin the most. The formula is creamy and hydrating which is good because I can't feel it on more lips. I don't use a lip liner when I apply this because I don't have one but you don't need one. A lip brush is all that's really needed for a crisp line and it doesn't wear away in a weird way. I need to wear this a lot more often because I'm in serious love with this. I'll keep you updated as to whether I branch out and go bold any time soon. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Bills! (Take Three)



I went through a phase last year of eating at Bills any chance I could but then I think I overdid it because I just wasn't into it anymore. I'm so glad that I gave it a little break because I really loved it. I like the whole vibe of the place and I tried their pink lemonade for the first time and I would seriously recommend it, delish!

I went for the chicken burger with chipotle mayonnaise and sweet potato fries. A word of warning, it doesn't say that it comes with anything on the menu but it comes with sweet potato fries. This dish was amazingly delicious. The bread was sweet and that is my favourite thing to have on a burger. It came with coleslaw inside which was a nice touch. I love coleslaw and it was nice because it wasn't overly creamy and didn't make the bread or the chicken soggy. The chicken was crispy on the outside, moist in the middle with a delicious flavour. The mayonnaise had a really nice flavour that meant it was good to dip my fries in and to have on my burger. The sweet potato fries were amazing, crispy, soft and deliciously sweet. You also get loads to say it's just in a little can. The portion of the whole meal was spot on and I would definitely have this again!


I pushed myself a little to go for a dessert and I chose the pecan pie with malted milk ice cream. It was delicious! The pastry was thin and crisp, the pecans were sticky and sweet and it was just a nice size. The ice cream tasted like banana to me which isn't a bad thing because it was delicious and it went well with the pie. I don't think there's anything else I can say about this other than yummy!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Bringing In The Pink


Spring is here (well on some days, on others it's still cold, winter-y and rainy) and I'm cracking out the pinks for the occasion. I'm not a big pink fan but at this time of year I have this sudden urge to cover my face in baby pinks, matte pinks, sparkly pinks, fuchsias, I go a bit mad. So I thought I'd take you through some of my favourite pink products for the springtime. I might say pink a few more times for good measure...pink, pink, pink. There we go, I've got it out of my system (pink).

My Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette is great for a subtly pink spring look. There's a mix of mattes and shimmers and you can go all out with a smokey eye or something a bit more daytime appropriate. My favourite shades are Trick, a metallic rose gold, and Nooner, a matte rose brown. One of my more recent pink loves is the Soap and Glory Love at First Blush stick in Pink Pop and Pearl. In a few swipes I have a lovely pink shimmer on my cheeks. It lasts pretty much all day and gives a nice highlight that does last all day. I really want to try out the actual highlight stick because that looks amazing! I re-discovered this lipstick the other day and I definitely don't get enough wear out of it. It's the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Pink Passion. I bought it last year but always thought it was a bit too bright for me, but when I wore it the other day with a simple winged eye look I was a big fan! It lasts for a very long time on the lips and has a comfortable creamy formula. Even when the lipstick has gone it leaves a stain on the lips which is great when a food situation occurs!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Why did I buy that?


This post isn't really a products I regret buying but more of a what was the reason behind me buying this product. I have some things in my makeup collection that I either 1. Never use or 2. Use once in a blue moon, so I thought it would be good to see why I actually bought the products and if it's time for me to get rid or not. So let's get into it.

I bought the Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in Complex two years ago after I heard Viviannadoesmakeup rave about it in a fair few of her videos. When I went into Boots to buy this I thought "this looks a bit pale and peachy for me" but I bought it anyway because apparently I had money to burn. When I first opened it I thought the smell was really weird, kind of menthol-y and not what you'd expect from a lip product. When I applied it I was keen on the colour but I thought that I could make it work (*spoiler alert I did but not in a good way*). It didn't last well on the lips and when I applied it it felt like an actual crayon. So if I don't where it WHY DO I STILL HAVE IT?!? Well, I use it, once a year, when I dress as a chav for an Ocean Wednesday because it makes my lips looks like the concealer lip trend of 2009. Next up is something that I've spoken about before and that I just seriously need to get rid of, the Tanya Burr Lip Gloss in First Date. The colour of this isn't something I'd normally go for so I don't why I thought I'd ever where it but that's only the beginning of the issue. The smell is overly sickly (luckily the re-branded ones smell so good) and the formula was sticky and really uncomfortable on the lips. I need to put this in the bin because I'm not using it. The next thing is something that has nothing wrong with it in terms of quality but it's just such a random purchase. It's the Kiko Eyeshadow Stick in 40 Clover Green. I bought this to be a dragon for one Ocean Wednesday. For one thing. It cost me £6.90 and it was nearing the end of term and I did not have that kind of cash! What was I thinking?!?!! It's an amazing product and it worked really well but it was such an unnecessary buy. More money than sense. Last up is another disappointment. It's the Benefit Pore-Fessional License To Blot Blotting Stick. Someone please tell me how this works because I don't understand how I'm supposed to blot my face without smearing my makeup all over my face. Someone PLEASE tell me because I really want this product to work! It's a mini because I bought it from Sephora and it was part of the Benefit Pore-Fessional Kit which came with a primer, powder and all kinds of things like that so it wasn't a complete waste of money.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Cumin!



Curry time! I'm going to give you a massive spoiler, this place was AMAZING! We were going to go to La Tasca for a casual Friday meal but for some reason they are getting rid of the one in Nottingham so it was back to the drawing board on places to go. A lot of suggestions were batted around but then someone came up with this little gem, in the top 20 on trip advisor, and off we were on our merry way. It's in the most random place across a main road but apparently this isn't so random because there are loads of nice looking restaurants surrounding it so they might be getting a little try soon. The staff were really friendly, the atmosphere was really nice and chilled and I'd definitely go back. No, onto the food!

We just dived straight into mains so I had a Murg Makhini which was chicken in a creamy tomato sauce with rice and a garlic naan. It was so delicious! Everything was totally to die for. The chicken was moist (hate that word but it was so moist) and tender and the sauce was creamy and had a bit of heat to it but filled with spices that would make my tongue want to explode. The rice was your standard rice but was nice all the same and the garlic naan was great. You got lots of it which I love because I love bread and dipping it in the leftover sauce. There was plenty of food but I didn't feel over faced and I lapped it all up! I would definitely come back here and try a little bit more, maybe some starters and a few more sides. I totally recommend coming here for a curry and if you don't feel like leaving the house you can get a Deliveroo which is all kinds of amazing!

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Range


For the past month I've been testing out these two products so I could give you my thoughts on this range. February was the month where my Bloglovin feed was choc-a-blocked with pictures of The Body Shop Drops of Youth products and I was so intrigued. I read a lot of reviews on it and when I popped into a store I picked up the Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask and I thought it might be able to fix my dehydrated skin. The texture of this product is a bit like hair gel and is quite sticky and tacky which took me a while to get used to. I use this every night, rubbing it between my fingers, smoothing it onto my face and then lightly patting to help the product soak into my skin. It's nice and easy to apply as it comes with a little spatula. You only need half a spatulas worth otherwise it all gets a bit much! This product has 100% done wonders for my skin in terms of hydration. I always assumed that because my skin was oily that the only products I could use were lightly moisturising but I was totally wrong. Because this product works over night I wake up in the morning to skin that's plumped but not oily. I don't know what I'd do without this. The second product is the Youth Cream. I picked this up because I wanted a moisturiser that was just as hydrating as my new nighttime addition and what would be better than the moisturiser from the same range! This plumps up my skin like no other and I can feel it working from the moment I swipe it onto skin. It's quite hard to explain but although it feels like a normal cream you can just tell that it's plumping.  It doesn't make my skin feel greasy throughout the day and I just think that's it's done my skin some serious good.

If anyone recommends anything else from this range like the Youth Concentrate and the Eye Cream then please let me know because I have fallen head over heels in love with these products.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

My Week With The Naked Smoky Palette



I bought the Naked Smoky Palette back in Florida in Summer last year and although I loved it when I got it, I haven't used it that much since. I've no idea why I never reached for this palette but I never thought, "oh yeah, let's crack out the Naked Smoky today". When my birthday rolled around I was trying to think what new eyeshadow palette I was going to buy with my birthday money. I was browsing round Debenhams and looking at the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and thought, Abz you don't need another eyeshadow palette. So I thought I'd set myself a little challenge. If I could use my unloved Naked Smoky palette everyday for at least a week then I could rethink my palette purchase. I'm SO glad that I did this because I'm now in love with this palette. It's got everything that you need for any type of eye look. Warm shades, cool shades, mattes, shimmers, glitters, it's got it all!

So, let's look into some of my favourite shades. I love Dirtysweet. It's a gorgeous gold shimmer and it is extremely pigmented. I like to use this all over the lid when I do a warm smokey eye. Whiskey is so versatile. It can be used through the crease for a smokey eye and in the outer corner for something a little bit more natural. It's a warm, chocolate brown that is a pure matte. If you want a compact eyeshadow palette that has everything you could ever need then you need this!

L-R: High, Dirtysweet, Radar, Armor, Slanted, Dagger, Black Market, Smolder, Password, Whiskey, Combust, Thirteen

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Deliveroo!



Slightly different food post this week but it's a good'un! I think that Deliveroo started working in Nottingham at the beginning of this year and ever since I heard about it I've been dying to try it out. I've had the app downloaded to my phone for a while and every so often I'd browse through to see what kind of things that I had. The night I took the plunge I really fancied a lasagne and because Bella Italia is one of my favourite places to eat I thought I'd compare and see if there was any difference between a takeaway and what you'd receive in the restaurant. I wanted to get calamari but the choice of starters on Deliveroo is very limited and the only thing you can really get is bread which was disappointed. It only took half an hour for the meal to arrive and it was great because you can track your driver and see exactly where they are (stalker alert!).

I ordered lasagne, onion rings and bread with a garlic butter dip. If I get a Deliveroo again I'd just get the meal and not go for the extras. They were nice but I really didn't need them as the size of the main was enough to make me full and they weren't anything special. The onion rings were very crispy and they made me really thirsty and the garlic breads were very doughy and dipping the bread in the garlic butter was a bit messy. The lasagne, however, is a totally different story. It tasted exactly the same as if I'd gone to the actual restaurant. It was a bit weird the way it came as it was basically just plonked in the box but that didn't effect the flavour or it's temperature. It was easy to eat from the box, it was creamy, tasty and delicious, lovely. I definitely recommend getting a Deliveroo if you can and I'll try out more from some different restaurants in the future and make sure to report back!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation



I did it. I took the plunge and bought my first ever high end foundation. Exciting, scary, and my purse did not thank me for it. I thought I'd write a little bit about my experience buying the foundation and my overall thoughts. Let's start with the TORTURE it was to buy this thing for my face. Okay, slightly over dramatic but it was quite scary. The Too Faced Born This Way Foundation is £29, nearly triple the price of my other foundations, and once you buy it that's it, no take-sy back-sies, it's yours whether you like it or not. The Too Faced counter in the Debenhams in Nottingham never has anyone working on it, near it, within a mile of it. You're literally by yourself unless you want to drag someone from another counter over to help you out. I do quite like that in a way because you can browse at your own leisure but it proved difficult when trying to colour match myself. My usual guide is always go for the lightest one, but the lightest one they had instore here was Ivory, what seemed that a medium yellow toned shade. I really wanted this foundation though so I thought I'd see if I could make the colour work. I put a little pump on the back of my hand and put a little bit on my jawline because I've heard in the past that that is the place to test the colour of a foundation. I could not see a thing. So I went one step further and covered my entire chin because I hoped I'd be able to see if the colour was right. I literally still couldn't see. The lighting just made everything seem to be white and I could not for the life of me tell if this would work. So I went outside. Into the busy Nottingham market square to have a proper look. I took photos of myself and was zooming in, I had my mirror out to see if it looked right but I could not for the life of my see it on my skin. I then decided that if I couldn't see it, the likelihood was that it was my shade and it would work. So, I bought it and I have to say I'm so happy that I did!

This foundation is amazing. From the first time I used it until now I knew it was the one. The coverage is medium-full with it probably being more on the full side. One pump is plenty to do your whole face and a little goes a very long way. My skin has been reacting very strangely to my foundations recently but this just blurs over my face and makes it look flawless, and trust me there are a lot of flaws to lessen. I do have to blot my face throughout the day to get rid of a bit of shine but I have to do that with all of my foundations so that is nothing new. I can't express how much I love this foundation, it is simply stunning. If you are a fan of high coverage, flawless looking foundations then you need this in your life. It's made me love Too Faced even more as a brand and I really want to branch out and try even more of their products.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Things I'm loving from Boots


A couple of weeks ago I did a rather large Boots haul and there were a lot of hits and also a couple of misses. But today we are focusing on the positives and I'll be taking you through what I really loved from the haul (which if you haven't read the post then you can read it here) and what things you should really pick up and try. Some things are new in, some are old that people have loved for a long time that I'm just very late to the party to. Enjoy!

Let's start with brushes and from the Real Techniques Core Collection there are two that I've absolutely fallen in love with. I don't know how I lived my life before the Buffing Brush. It is the perfect foundation brush, dense so that it can foundation can be buffed but with hairs that are long enough to give a nice finish to the foundation. It feels really soft and I don't think I'll be able to use another brush fro my foundation ever again. The second brush that I love from the collection is the Contour Brush. I've never owned a contour brush before because I thought that I didn't need one but I was totally wrong. It makes the perfect cheekbone shape (because if you're like me you need to make cheekbones as opposed to find them and enhance them) and, like the buffing brush, is super soft. This brush works really well with the next product I'm going to mention which is the Maybelline Master Sculpt Contour Kit. I'm still working with the best way to use this product but I'm really liking it so far. The contour shade isn't too warm and isn't too cool, although a light hand is needed as it can easily build up into a very harsh line. The highlight shade is very nice for everyday, and I do use it on a daily basis, but if you want something super shimmery and highlighting then this will be a little too subtle for you. Something that I picked up off the cuff was the Soap and Glory Love At First Blush Stick in Pink, Pop and Pearl. I'd seen something about these sticks on a couple of blogs so I thought why not pick one up as I didn't have anything like this in my collection. I'm so glad that i picked it up because I've fallen in love with this product and use it everyday. It's been described as a cream version of Nars Orgasm Blush and is just a beautiful shimmery pink on the cheeks. It lasts very well on the skin and I really want to try of the highlight of this as well because I can tell it's going to be good. Something that I have rediscovered is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I used to use this all the time but starting using other things but I'm so glad I went back to this one. You've heard it all before so I won't go on about it but if you've never tried it then get yourself down to Boots now, you won't regret it. I used to use the Rimmel Kohl Kajal in Jet Black religiously but I'm sorry to say I've moved on now. My holy grail eyeliner is now the Soap and Glory Smoulder Kohl Eyeliner. It stays in my waterline for a really long time without smudging, goes on smoothly and is jet black. It's insanely good!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Browns Afternoon Tea


So many afternoon teas, I love it! If anyone has any recommendations of anywhere else I can go then please let me know! I love Browns. I think that atmosphere is really nice and the one in Nottingham especially just has nice vibes. I'd never been here for afternoon tea before and my amazing friends were kind enough to treat me to this a couple of weeks ago as part of my birthday present. I had a great time and would happily do this all the time! The cake stand was literally insane. It was a great mix of modern coolness and the traditional-ness of afternoon tea. I just want this for personal use when I move into my own house.

Let's start how all afternoon tea's start with the savoury and the sandwiches. They were quite strange fillings but at the same time normal. The weirdest one was cucumber and cream cheese. Although it doesn't sound weird it just didn't look anything like it was meant to be. The cucumber was chopped up into tiny pieces so you couldn't really tell what it was and it made the cream cheese looked non cream cheese like. However, it tasted very nice and that's all that matters. I don't normally like egg mayo sandwiches because I'm not the biggest fan of overly eggy things but because this sandwich didn't taste much like egg it was all okay. My favourite sandwich was the smoked salmon sandwich with lemon and chive creme fraiche. I just love smoked salmon so it will always be my number one afternoon tea sandwich!

Next layer was the scones (even though they were on the top that's the order I normally eat it in). These scones are some of the best I've ever had, no joke. They were still warm even when we got around to eating them and there was plenty of clotted cream and jam for all of the scones. What I really liked was that you got a fruit and a plain scone which is very unusual because you normally get one or the other. Great texture, lovely flavour and I could have eaten more and more!

Finally the cakes and I was very surprised at the size of these! This afternoon tea is great value for money in that respect. The middle cake was a salted caramel profiterole. It was okay and tasted nice but salted caramel wasn't my favourite flavour and profiterole wouldn't be my pudding of choice, but it was still very nice. The chocolate brownie was huge! It was incredibly rich and chocolate-y and there was no way I could finish it because it was so big and rich, but the bit that I did have was lovely. The lemon cheesecake was delicious. The base was thin, buttery and crumbly and the filling was sweet but with a tang and it was lovely and creamy. The creme de la creme was the white chocolate pot. It had the texture of a posset, like a thin mousse and tasted like a dream. It was like creamy melted chocolate and I loved every spoonful! I think this one was my favourite.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Gym Face


I've been trying to get into shape recently (which is code for 'if I go to the gym I can eat more cake). My usual routine is get up, go to uni, then go to the gym so I kind of want to look presentable when I leave the house. I'm not one of those people who needs a full face before they even step foot in the gym, I would happily go bare faced. But I feel that I need to look a little bit human when I go into uni, you know, for the street cred.

I start with the lightest coverage foundation I have which is the L'Oreal True Match Foundation. I buff that into into the skin and then use my Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer under my eyes and on any major spots. Powder with my Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder to make sure my face has more of a chance of not melting off!  I keep things really simple with the brows. Maybe use a little bit of powder but I mainly stuck to my Maybelline Brow Drama to give a bit of tint. Something that is very unlike me is that I don't wear eyeshadow! I just whack on the mascara, the Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara, and hope for the best. To finish off I subtly bronze and blush with the Soap and Glory Solar Powder Bronzer and Mac Immortal Flower. Nothing on the lips except maybe a lip balm and then I'm good to go!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Lip Balm: Makeup or Skincare?


I was having a little think the other day, what category does lip balm fit into; makeup or skincare? First I thought that if it's tinted then it's makeup and if it's not then it's more skincare. But if I use my Baby Lips in Pink Punch instead of my usual one in Menthol when doing my skincare routine does that mean it's still makeup? Then I thought it could have been the consistency. For example the Baby Lips are different depending on if they are tinted or not. The non-tinted ones are much more deeply moisturising whereas the ones with tint in are a bit more slippy and although they are moisturising they just moisturise the surface of your lips, if that makes any sense.

My favourite lip balm to use when my lips are in serious need of some help is the Lanolips LemonAid Lip Balm. I smother a lot onto my lips and just wait for it to sink in and work it's magic. It's amazing what this does in such a short amount of time, so I'd say that's my favourite skincare lip balm. My favourite makeup lip balm is a new one to my collection and is the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfecter in 05. It feels moisturising on the lips and gives a nice amount of colour that wears really well throughout the day. After writing this post I still have no idea what category lip balms fall into, if any, but I'm interested to know if anyone else thinks that this is a legitimate query. So, if you think they're either makeup or skincare please let me know!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Carluccio's!


I've never been to Carluccos's before but I was expecting to be much like any other Italian. I was right, it was, but in a very good way. You can't beat a good Italian! So sit back, relax, and read on to see what I went for.

I always judge how good a restaurant is on how well they make a lasagne so, because I'd never been here before, I had to get the lasagne. I was very impressed. It looked a bit strange when it came, as you can see in the picture it looks a bit sloppy and like it was just dumped in the bowl, but that didn't effect how amazing it tasted. There was the perfect ratio of white sauce to bolognese and it was really tasty. The portion size was perfect and the pasta was a nice thickness, because believe it or not I've had some very thick lasagne pasta in my time! I'd definitely order this lasagne again, which is a very high compliment coming from me.


I really fancied a dessert that wasn't too filling but that was a little more than just ice cream so I went for tiramisu. I liked this but I felt that there was a little bit too much alcohol in the sponge, especially the sponge at the bottom, making it very hard to stomach. The cream was delicious though and I just ended up scraping it off and just eating that, although I did eat a fair bit of the sponge. It was very tasty but I think that the alcohol was the main problem.

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