Thursday, 30 July 2015

Benefit Cosmetic's They're Real! Push Liner:











How gorgeous is the colour of this liner? When I saw the Benefit stand at the recent City Girls event, I knew I had to check out what they'd brought with them - which turned out to be these much talked about liners. I remember seeing them launch a few months ago but being a colour-phone (and a staunch smokey eye fan) I didn't pay much attention or think much of them. I think we all have those connotations of coloured liners being those gloopy freebies we got with Sugar magazine 10 years ago! However the colours of the Benefit liners aren't the ice blue I was expecting - they're the most gorgeous, grown up, warm colours that just pack a slightly unusual punch. Myself the Benefit lady (who's name I didn't catch but who was amazing!) decided on the green liner to clash with my every day gold smokey eye look (channelling my inner Khloe Kardashian!) and I was totally wow'ed by the result - I can't say I've ever thought about adding green to my signature look but I love it! The liner also went on a dream, so smooth, and didn't move or flake until I removed my makeup a few hours later. I love the subtlety of these liners and also loved the purple and brown - both great for adding to smokey eyes too! 

I really like these liners and their application is your typical high benefit standard. The only problem is, which colour to buy myself now? I might need all four.... 



G




Tuesday, 28 July 2015

V&A:













It seems like an age since I took these pictures at the V&A Museum!
 In fairness, it was over a month ago now that me and the long-suffering boy headed into London for the Alexander McQueen exhibition. Unfortunately it's no pictures allowed in the exhibition but since i'd never been to the V&A, I found plenty to photograph. 

The exhibition itself exactly what I expected - totally inspiring and a fantastic insight into the mind of the late, great, McQueen but I was so disappointed by how busy the space was; the museum let a group in every 15 minutes which meant you couldn't hang around to study anything but couldn't race ahead to anything - I rushed ahead to see the famous Armadillo heels but ended up stuck behind a bunch of much taller people who had the same idea. The same goes for the main room; you couldn't get close to the walls and if you did, you were immediately jammed in. I just found the whole experience slightly rushed and claustrophobic but hopefully we just went on a bad day. I'd love to visit late night, which is an option the V&A have just announced for the last two weeks and I imagine in more peace it's the best place in the world. 

We also managed to catch the 'Fashion through the Ages' free exhibition which I really enjoyed - I love seeing the history of clothes and how fashions change and sometimes come full circle. It was amazing to see so many donated pieces that obviously had a story to tell and the really rare, vintage pieces that were timeless in their beauty. I also got see some of the set-up for the Shoes: Pleasure & Pain exhibition which looked incredible. I'm not a huge shoe person but, again, i'm so interested in the history of fashion that it looked fascinating - hopefully there'll be a handbag one in time for my move down south later this year! We then wandered around the rest of the museum and saw so many inspiring tapestries, statues and paintings - I ended up memorised by a huge, biblical tapestry and actually sat and listened to the full audio description on a really comfy chair in complete peace (while Sam checked out the furniture section, the boy's taking our move very seriously!) which was total heaven. We then headed to the equally stunning cafe for great coffee and cake before moving onto the Natural History Museum which... well, lets just say you could have left me in the V&A!


I had a really wonderful first trip to the V&A and can't wait to go back. What did you think of the Alexander McQueen exhibition? 




G  


Saturday, 25 July 2015

#25:





Kimono - H&M (similar) 
Dress - H&M (similar) 
Flower Crown - Primark (similar)
Sandals - ZARA (similar) 


"AKA The Lana Del Ray"



It's been a while since I dusted off my flower crown and white kimono combo but last weeks sunny weather has had me reaching for the summer part of my wardrobe.

 For my outfit the other day I paired this H&M kimono that I bought last year (see here) with this beautiful H&M monochrome sun dress. I picked up this dress in the sale last week and have worn it loads already which is a great sign. It works just as well thrown with a leather jacket and ankle boots as it does with this summery look which is what I love about it - I tend to embrace my inner goth much more than my inner flower-power girl so I like to have that balance in my wardrobe. I did pair the dress and kimono with some sandals to suit the weather but I know they'll look great with my Puma's too, especially when the guaranteed rain starts again - what a multi use dress! I also love the really flattering button up front and as far as i'm concerned, Aztec print will never go out of style. 


Which pieces do you love to wear in the summer? Any more H&M sale bargains?



G



Thursday, 23 July 2015

LUSH "Flowering Tea" Bath Soak:








Flowering Tea Bath Soak (Oxford Street Exclusive)



Well, aren't I the fancy one with my exclusive bath soak?! I'm totally kidding, I actually only got this bath soak thanks to one of my lovely friends that works at LUSH and brought me this beauty back from a festival LUSH held (have I ever talked about how awesome LUSH are? I wish my work held festivals...).

I was really interested in the concept of this 'soak'; it's similar to the Christmas wands in that you run it under the water and it's reusable. As you can see from the pictures it's actually shaped like a teabag which I thought was a lovely, novelty effect and made the bath soak really strong - it didn't fall off in the string into the bath straight away like I expected! I simply held the soak under the taps and I have to stay, this product is amazing. It starts bubbling straight away and you end up with a bath full of really thick, luxurious bubbles that lasted really well (even after I tipped in a bottle of bath oil without thinking). I've also read that there's a surprise centre which I can't wait to get to. In terms of the smell, I think this is definitely one of my favourites. Although I love the sweetness of The Comforter (anyone that knows me will know I am notorious for my love of sickly sweet smells) sometimes you just want to relax into a grown up, musky floral bubble bath and that's where the Flowering Tea Soak comes in. I'm rubbish at describing smells but it smells exactly like a mix of Jasmine and Earl Grey- the perfect mix of a subtle, grown up floral mixed with a much muskier tea inspired smell which is just divine. I'd love to see this soak brought out in more stores and a perfume maybe... i'm not even ashamed to tell you all I've been storing this soak in my wardrobe so the smell hits me everytime I open it... heavenly!


This Soak is definitely one i'd reccomend if you're in the Oxford Street store. Sure, it might not be as shiny and sparkling as some of the exclusives, but for a great bubble bath (with so many bubbles!) it's definitely a re-purchase for me.
Have you tried any of the Oxford St exclusives? I'd love to see your posts!



G



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Aveda Smooth Infusion:









I feel as though I haven't talked about haircare in an age which I have to apologise for; I know how hard life is for us Hagrid hair girls and like to share any tips with you all. However, I promise this one has been worth the wait. 

I actually only heard about Aveda's Smooth Infusion cream (which works on straightening / sorting out your natural curls without getting rid of them) when I recently saw a friend who's hair looked amazing. I'm talking super-shiny L'oreal advert hair. In awe, I asked her how she'd got her hair so damn fine and she told me about this little gem. The product is actually called a 'straightener' and you apply it to damp hair before styling. It's sold on the premise of being a natural straightener - to decrease your natural curls and keep the hair sleek and easier to control. However, I found the product didn't make my hair any straighter, it simply defined and de-frizzed my curls and kept them in perfect ringlets minus the flyaways. My hair is also a lot shinier and easier to manage, and actually stays straight when I straighten it (plus I imagine if you use the shampoo, conditioner and straightener you'll see a massive difference). I'm obsessed with the results of using the tiniest amount of this product (be careful, it is super heavy!) and how much it's improved my natural hair. I love any product that helps encourage curls to look their best and this one certainly does that - plus adds so much shine! I'd be really interested to try the full set of haircare to see if my hair continues to improve in condition or if it would become drastically straighter. 

I've played around with a couple of different hairstyles since using this product and have loved the results; as I mentioned my hair actually stays straight when I straighten it instead of starting to curl a couple of hours in and rocking my natural hair no long leaves me looking like cousin IT - what a bonus.

I'm absolutely loving using this product and since a little goes a long way, I can see it becoming a staple for my hair care regime. Have you ever tried it? 



G




Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Primark Haul:








Sandals - £8
Bucket Bag - £7
Brown Saddle Bag - £9 
Ring Pack - £3 
Kiss The Boys Tunic - £2



In all my City Girls excitment this week I almost forgot to post a new, very regular, most favourite post - a Primark Haul! The first thing I want to talk about, though, is Primark's prices! £9 for a cross body bag?! Primark might still be the cheapest around but those prices are going up..

Regardless, I picked up some basics when I headed in this month - I like to wear more brown in the summer as black can be a little harsh, and always have to have matching bag and shoes so picked up both items in a tan shade. I love the sandals and even although they're wide fit, they don't feel paticularly big on my dwarf feet which is a plus. For almost £10 i'm not obsessed with the embossed saddle bag but it is a good size and feels reasonable quality (she says, through gritted teeth). The bucket bag was definitely my favourite buy; i've wanted a bag this style for ages and the black and gold detailing means it goes perfectly with my TOPSHOP Niche Sandals: I actually paired them together for the City Girls event and had compliments on them both! I love it when that happens and it's definitely a bonus for a bargain bag. The rings sort of accidentally-on-purpose fell in my basket - I really don't need them but I love the aesthetic of them and know they'll live on my fingers when the summer finally kicks in. Finally, the tunic was a bargain buy that I'd been eyeing up before the sale (is there anything better than when that happens?) which made me smile and fits great.

Overall a mix of things i'd totally convinced myself I needed and some extras, of course! I love the pieces i've picked up though, I think they look a lot more expensive than the usual Primark bargains and can't wait to start featuring them in some OOTD's.


Have you picked anything up from Primark recently? Any more hauls?


G





The City Girls Event:


























As you probably saw from my instagram and twitter, on Saturday I headed to the Liquorist bar in Leeds for the second ever The City Girls event! I was super excited to go and as a result it's taken me so long to write this post! Hope you're ready...


I arrived at the Liquorist early (which never happens for me!) and got the chance to meet Sarah and Arielle while we hung around the gorgeous bar. I've never been to the Liquorist but I think I would happily move in tomorrow; the decor was a beautiful mix of art-deco and industrial and after we'd ordered a drink we were ushered upstairs which was just as light and beautiful as we expected. I had the 'English Country Garden' to drink which was a beautiful (and really refreshing!) mix of elderflower, gin and pressed apple juice; the perfect fuel for my busy day! We were then ushered upstairs where Lorna and Holly-Lucy, the founders of The City Girls, gave us a quick talk about their concept and their ideas. It was great to hear more about their passion for The City Girls and it was genuinely lovely to see how hard they've worked and how much it's paid off! We then heard from Suzie, from Leeds' Women Aid- the charity of choice to be supported by the City Girls. It was completely eye-opening but inspiring to hear from Suzie about seriously real issues: unfortunately domestic violence is still a very real problem so it was inspiring to hear about how hard Women's Aid work to help victims and £400 was raised by The City Girls raffle which made us all feel as though we'd made a difference - what an amazing feeling! 

After our two inspiring talks we were left to explore and didn't know where to start! The brands varied from Voss Water, Benefit Cosmetics, Kendelle, Manuka Doctor, Nails by Ivy, Michael O'Mara Books, The Body Shop, Virture Drinks, Twig & Dot, Urban Fruit and Oates & Co. We also recieved a heap of goodies from other brands in our goodie bags which i'll be putting in their own post later this week! Phew.. 

We were treated to a eye makeover by the lovely Mel from Benefit (who compared my make-up to a Kardashian's and immediately became my new favourite person) where e were introduced to the 'They're Real' Colour Liners which are amazing! I went for the green, which is a colour i'd never normally go for, but against my signature gold smokey eye it looked so glamorous- I can't wait to feature the look in it's own post! We also met two lovely ladies from The Body Shop who told us all about their new fragrance, Italian Summer Fig, which launches this autumn and smells absolutely divine! I honestly can't wait to see what everyone thinks of it. We also tested some of their 'Drops of Youth' range which is targeted at younger people worried about the first sign of anti ageing. I'll definitely be checking this range out because i've recently started noticing lines around my eyes and I am not happy about it! After a personalised The City Girls cupcake (which were amazing!) we headed over to the insanely talented 'Nails by Ivy' where I added a statement Chevron nail (see it here!) as we watched the raffle. I actually didn't buy a ticket as I had no change on me (what can I say! I'm like the queen..) but there were some great prizes including a Panache set, Twig & Dot candles and perfume!


After the excitement of the raffle the event started to wind down, giving us all a little more time to get to know each other which is my favourite part - there's nothing better than meeting a group of like minded people who just want to have a nice day and as a result we all chatted, tweeted and were laughing together within 5 minutes of walking into the event and it's moments like that that really make these events special and is the whole point of this sort of thing. Lorna then received a very special delivery - a box of Brown & Blond Brownies! I managed to nab the very last Amaretto one (divine, so so divine...) which I devoured before instagramming because it was just too damn good! We carried on chatting over our brownies and it was so lovely to see Lorna's excitement and pride about the event - it was rightly deserved! Also shout out to her sister Kirsty who ran around taking pictures all day and fit right in! After a couple more pictures we were given a goodie bag each and said our goodbyes... I was actually so sad to go after such a good day and already can't wait for the next one!


Huge thanks obviously go to Lorna & Holly-Lucy and organising such a fab event, inviting us all and being such lovely girls too and to all the other bloggers and the brands: I honestly had the most lovely day packed full of meeting lots of lovely people and trying out new make up, nails and skin care I wouldn't normally try - what could be better?


Did you go to The City Girls event? Send me your links if you did, i'd love to see your post! 




G