Sunday, 24 August 2014

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer - The Full Collection

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know at the start of the year I reviewed MUA's Lip Lacquer line, however since then they have released four new shades so I thought I might as well do an updated post which includes better photos and covers the whole 9 shades. I did want to do this a few weeks ago however, one of the new shades was impossible to get hold of - Halcyon. Every single time I popped into Superdrug they were sold out - however, I went in after work one day last week and they had one left, and it came home with me!

The four new shades make sure that this collection now has something for everyone - previously they were all very bright shades of reds and pinks - and even a dark purple! But the new shades include pale pinks and nudes so there is definitely a colour for everyone. I'm sure I've said before but I absolutely love the packaging for the Luxe Line from MUA - the sleek black with gold detailing and frosted tubes make these look so much more expensive than their £3 price tag! 

Atomic: A lovely neon coral tone that is very orange based.
Kooky: A dark vampy purple, that I'm beginning to love!
Funk: A deep raspberry shade and one of the more wearable, every day sort of shades.
Reckless: Something every collection needs - a classic red!
AFlush: One of the new shades. A coral toned pink and is brighter on that I thought it would be.
Tranquility: One of the new shades. A light brown new shade and cool toned compared to the other nude.
Serene: One of the new shades. A light pastel pink shade and definitely too light for us pale skinned ladies.
Criminal: A hot bright barbie pink that is definitely perfect for the Summer months!
Halcyon: One of the new shades. The warmer out of the two shades as there is some pink running through it which makes it more wearable in my opinion.

A lot of people I have spoken too have had problems with the MUA Lip Lacquers, however I haven't had any problems and can wear them for 3 - 5 hours before a reapplication is needed. If you are having problems, I highly recommend moisturizing your lips beforehand as they can be drying at times, also I have found wearing a lip liner underneath the Lip Lacquers can help with their longevity. 

Out of the four new shades - Halcyon, AFlush, Tranquility and Serene - I think I would say I liked Halcyon the best (no wonder it was the one that was the hardest to get hold of!) but I think that my favourites are some of the original five shades. Reckless and Funk will also be my favourites out the collection, however as I was swatching these I did fall a little bit in love with Kooky but I don't think i'll be wearing it a lot! Maybe more in the Winter months. 

Have you tried any of the MUA Lip Lacquers?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Bobbi Brown Makeover with Pro Artist Amy Conway

Image take from here.

Earlier this month, I got the opportunity to pop along to House of Fraser in Meadowhall where one of Bobbi Browns Pro Artists, Amy Conway was going to be giving tips to create the perfect look and help with make overs and make up lessons.

Amy Conway is one of Bobbi Browns Pro Artists and has worked closely with Bobbi Brown herself.  Amy has appeared on QVC and has worked globally with the brand so I definitely couldn't pass up this opportunity to learn some tips! 

Myself and Lara
One of make-up artists who works at House of Fraser who did part of my makeup.

Myself and Amy Conway
Bobbi Brows Pro Make Up Artists

Amy opted for blues to bring out my blue eyes - I never thought of doing this as I always stick with the colour wheel method - using opposites to bring out eye colours (for example: browns to bring out blue eyes, purples to bring out greens, and for Browns, blues and greens) - but we went with it anyway, and we used a bit of a sparkle to jazz it up a little. 

The first thing we did was create depth using Taupe in the corner and crease before we used Denim Ink gel liner which is a dark navy shade to line the upper waterline, not being neat as it was going to be blended into the first eyeshadow which is a dark navy as well and then blended that into a purple toned lighter blue to give it an ombre look.

Amy did my left eye, explaining everything as she was going and then Lara did my right eye trying to emulate what Amy had created with the first eye.

They then fixed my eye brows (I had been having a bad eyebrow day and they didn't want to go right at all!) aswell as conceal and add blush and bronzer. Bronzer is something i've always struggled with as I have such Pale skin, but Amy explained that it isn't meant to be a tan colour - it's meant to be the shade you go when you tan. So for me, it wasn't a tan shade it was more a pink shade and she applied that to the high points on my face and also my chest as that's where the sun would hit (I was wearing a low cut top). 


However, once I got home, I noticed that my eyes weren't even AT ALL. The side Amy did was a lovely soft gradient and quite natural considering the blue tones that were used. However, the side Lara did was incredibly darker and not blended as well. It wasn't noticeable when my eyes where open which is obviously why I didn't notice it when I was there. This is the second trip to Bobbi Brown where I have left with very uneven makeup, Surely you can see that it's very different when you are applying it? 

As usual, they gave me a face chart which listed most of the products used (not all of them were written down this time) incase I wanted to purchase any of the products in the future. The one thing I do like about Bobbi Brown is that these makeup lessons are FREE and you aren't under any obligation to purchase anything at the end.

Have you tried anything from Bobbi Brown?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Meadowhall Blogger Event - Cocktail Class at Chao Baby

Last week I was kindly invited down to Meadowhall for the second Bloggers Hub meet. This was arranged to take place at the Palm Sugar bar, which is a part of the Chao Baby resturant which is next to the Palm Sugar lounge, to learn how to make cocktails and mocktails (for those under 18, those who were driving, and awkward ones like myself - who don't drink!) 

We gathered there around noon and introduced ourselves before making ourselves comfy around the circular bar where Matt, who was the Mixologist, showed us how to make cocktails and mocktails after honing his skills in Sydney, Australia (does anyone else think of the Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail?). He even got some of us up to make the cocktails and get really involved with the process which was brilliant. 

This cocktail was a Tom Yam Siam - and yes, that is a chilli floating in the top! This little spicey cocktails uses the same spices that are used in the Tom Yam soup and some of the ingredients include lime juice, vodka, rum, lemongrass - and as you probably guessed from the little red spicey thing floating in the top - this cocktail contains red chillis to give it a spicey kick! As I don't drink I can't tell you how spicey this is, but from the faces fellow bloggers made, it definitely had some power behind it!  

These two were the first mocktails that we made - Mojitos! A raspberry flavoured one and a mint (i think?) flavoured one. Mojitos typically include white rum, however as these were mocktails, the rum was subsituted for something non-alcoholic. They also include sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, mint and as you probably guessed for the red one - raspberries! They were very fancy looking, but I didn't try these as I'm very fussy when it comes to things floating in my drinks! 

Next up was another cocktail - Strawberry Daiquiris. Which includes a blend of Vodka, Strawberries and Ice - I couldn't see what else what put in as they were made in a blender on the other side of the bar. They came out resembling a strawberry smoothie and I know that if I did drink, I'd probably really like this! 

For the non-drinkers, Matt made a smoothie! This contained Mango Juice, Strawberries, Ice and Limes to create a real tropical tasting smoothie that was really nice and I can imagine it being really refreshing on hot days! However, this drink isn't actually on the menu as it was created just for us - so it was unnamed, therefore it's now been dubbed the "Bloggers Hub" - well, what else where we going to call it?

The last drink that was made was a Frozen Margarita which contained Tequila, Vodka, Lime, Ice, Lemon Juice and an Orange Liqueur - once again, as I don't drink I can't comment on how it tasted, but it definitely looked fancy! 

After the cocktail making class we were very kindly given lunch by the chefs over at Chao Baby, it was the first time I had tried Thai food and it certainly won't be the last!

Whilst we were waiting for everything to be cooked, we were told about Chao Baby and how the company got started. A man named Martin was in Bangkok, Thailand and one evening he really wanted Pad Thai, so he went down to one of the main streets to a street vendor selling the food, it was a lady named Kim and eventually they fell in love. The couple moved to the UK in 2004 and that is when they opened their first restaurant in Leeds named Chaophraya before opening another one in Manchester in 2007 and then another in Liverpool. The couple then developed Chao Baby which is designed to go in shopping centres like Meadowhall in Sheffield.

To this day the couple still live, and work in Leeds and Kim can often be found in the kitchen in Chaophraya in Leeds cooking away. We were also told that alot of people who work for the group are from Thailand and so that food is always tradiational. We were told that they consider Chao Baby and Chaophraya to be a group rather than a chain as they work very closely together and consider each other family. Often the people who come over from Thailand, come with relatives or as a couple so everyone who works there often have a strong bond with each other.

Being a hopeless romantic myself, I loved the story and the background of the group!

The food was absolutely delicious. We were given rice crackers, pad thai which was under a giant omelette (I really liked that they made Pad Thai - as if it wasn't for this dish in Thailand being sold by Kim, Chao Baby wouldn't exist today) as well as Beef Curry, Egg Fried Rice, Plain Rich, Fish in Batter, Chips and Vegetable Spring Rolls. Everything was full of flavour and I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it! 

I can't believe that I've worked in Meadowhall for almost 2 years now and gone there so often outside of work that I hadn't tried Chao Baby before, but I certainty know now that I will be going back in the future as their food is incredible and the staff there are so lovely, it's a brilliant atmosphere there and has such a lovely back story.

At the minute Chaophraya and Chao Baby are a northern based group, and only go as far south as Birmingham - but they are hoping to branch out in the future and reach London! If you ever are near one of their restaurants and are hungry - I highly recommend you pop in and sample some of their gorgeous Thai food! 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Argan Oil Pre Launch at The Body Shop with Meadowhall Shopping Center

I was kindly invited by The Body Shop and Meadowhall to pop down to one of the two stores in the shopping center to learn more about the brand new Argan Oil range that The Body Shop have just released ahead of their launch party next week, where there is going to be lots of exciting things happening in store. 

The Body Shop use ingredients from all over the world and in 1987 they launched their Community Fair Trade programme meaning they trade fairly with their suppliers for example they source their ingredients from traditional artisans, small scale farmers and rural co-ops and in turn provide them with good trading practices and independence building prices. To date, their Community Trade programme helps and brings real benefits to over 300,000 people! 

The Moroccan Argan Oil is carefully pressed from the best Argan nuts, that are hand cracked in South West Morocco by the local wommen of the Berber Tribe. The Kernels are pressed and filtered slowly over 48 hours to extract the purest and most high quality oil possible before making their way into the products.

The new Argan Oil range contains 9 products including two "hero" products. 

There is a Rough Scrub which exfoliates the skin to make it feel lovely and soft and incredibly smooth. A Shower Gel which is a lather rich body cleanser but also it isn't a drying shower gel either. There is also a Bubbling Bath! Personally, I didn't even know The Body Shop did bubble baths (although it does make sense that they do), it is a foam rich bubble bath for relaxing indulgence! A Body Butter - which is one of the things I think The Body Shop are famous for (I have literally 10+ body butters sitting on my shelf!) just like all their body butters, this one has a rich and luxurious texture which helps to lock in moisture and leaves the skin hydrated for up to a whopping 24 hours. A Body Lotion which is a light formula and is quick to sink in so you aren't left with that oily feeling that so many leave behind. Another product The Body Shop is famous for is their lip balms (again, something which I have countless of!), which make another appearance in this new Argan Oil range which is the Solid Oil Lip Balm which makes your lips incredibly soft and moisturized.

The two "hero" products are The Radiant Oil which provides instant illuminations for hair and body and it has an easy spray application to make it super easy to apply and means less mess, this also soaks in quickly to make sure there is no oily feeling left behind. The second Hero product is the Miracle Solid Oil for Tips & Toes which is an intensely rich multi-purpose solid oil for those extra dry areas and can be used both on the body and the hair!  

The final product is the Massage Soap, with the rest of the products in the Argan Oil range, they can be bought individually, however with the Massage Soap, it can only be bought in a set alongside a Body Butter, Shower Gel and a Crinkle Lily. The Massage Soap is a foaming soap that provides and excellent cleansing experience and can help to release tension - perfect for a pamper night after a long week at work!

Whilst I was learning about the new range, I was given a complimentary hand massage using the Rough Scrub to exfoliate, once that was washed off, the gorgeous Body Butter was applied and massaged into the skin, which left my skin feels so incredibly soft and I can safely say the whole range smells incredible. 

One thing I found out whilst I was at The Body Shop, was that they really appreciate bloggers and people who support them. On the Argan Oil display was a message from one of the most well known bloggers out there - Fleur De Force - and her opinions on the range, the staff there were so incredibly lovely and clearly love what they do and the customer experience and made sure I was completely happy with everything. I went into the staff room with an absolutely lovely lady named Sam, who told me about the company and answered any questions I had and very, very kindly gave me a gift containing a Shower Gel, Some Argan Oil and some Body Butters.

Whilst I was there I was given some exclusive news - As many as you know, earlier this year The Body Shop released Instablur - a primer to give you flawless skin and make your foundation look immaculate? Well in a few months time, they are going to be releasing Instablur.. for the eyes! Say goodbye to eyeshadows that crease! As well as that, over the next year they are going to be releasing a whole new make-up range - including everything from Foundation, to Lipsticks as well as more products aimed at more mature skin. Incredible! I can't wait to try their new products.

One big question I wanted answered whilst I was there was something that I noticed kicked up quite a fuss in the blogging community over the past few months. Do The Body Shop Test on Animals? This is something I've seen crop up time and time again during blogger chats and over various blogs, as The Body Shop were taken over by L'Oreal and so a rumour arose that they had stopped being a cruelty free brand, so I asked this in search of answers.

The answer is NO. The Body Shop DO NOT test on animals. Although the company have been taken over by L'Oreal, the company is still working independently and have created a product called Episkin. Episkin is made from human skin cells which have been left over from breast surgery and then developed in a lab to create reconstructed skin. Not only does this mean that The Body Shop do not test on animals, it also means that they can create Episkin that is in a variety of different skin tones as well as younger and older skin. This means that safety tests give more relevant results for humans! So no little bunnies are harmed and the products come out better and there is something for everyone! That is something I definitely love about The Body Shop - did I mention all their products are Veterinarian friendly? I know, it just keeps getting better.

If you are near a Body Shop at all, I HIGHLY recommend you pop in and explore the new Argan Oil range, I promise you that you won't be disappointed and you'll find atleast one of the products that you will fall in love with! (For me, it's the Rough Scrub!)

I would like to thank Meadowhall Shopping Centre and The Body Shop for inviting me down, I had a lovely time there and it was a great way to meet the staff and have a little pamper before work. I will definitely be picking up a few items on pay day.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Montagne Jeunesse Peel Off Face Masks in Mango Tango & Runny Honey

I've been using Montagne Jeunesse face masks for a while, both the the Mud ones and the Peel off ones. However, when I was in Primark recently I spotted these where which I assume are exclusive to Primark in the flavours of Mango Tango and Runny Honey, immediately I thought they both would smell absolutely yummy and at 90p each, I couldn't say no! So a packet of each flavour soon made it's way into my basket. 

I've had a few pamper nights since I bought these so I could test them out (like I needed a reason to pop on a face mask!) so here's what I thought...

Mango Tango was definitely my favourite out of the two - mainly because Mango (alongside Cherry) is one of my favourite fruits - both the scent and taste. This face mask is a mix of Mango and Noni Fruit to create a gorgeous tropical scent.

The formula itself is quite thick and gloppy and will go everywhere if you are not careful when applying it to your face. Once it's on your skin though, it stays and I found it took around 20 - 30 minutes to fully dry so that I could peel it off properly. As soon as I peeled this face mask off, my skin felt SO incredibly soft and I could immediately feel, and see a difference in my skin, for the better! Plus the gorgeous scent of the Mango and Noni Fruit lasted so long on the skin and made me feel really refreshed, which is something I definitely needed after a long day at work.

The second mask I tried was Runny Honey which contains Honey and Vanilla - I thought this sounded like a winning combination but as soon as I put it on my skin, I wasn't a fan of the smell. It smelt gone off! The formula was more runny that other Montagne Jeunesse face masks that I have tried, and I put this down to the consistency of the honey that's in the formula. This face mask actually took a very long time to dry, a good 40+ minutes and even then it was completely dry and was still sticky in parts - again, I put this down to the honey.

My skin did feel soft after this, but definitely not as soft as it did after using over varities of Montagne Jeunesse face masks, so for that reason I wouldn't repurchase Runny Honey, but I would definitely repurchase Mango Tango due to how amazing it made my skin feel afterwards! At 90p a pop though, I can't really complain too much if one doesn't work completely right for me!

Have you tried Montagne Jeunesse face masks? If so, what's your favourite flavour?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Blogger Event: Fruition Hair & Beauty Demo night

Monday night I was invited to my first ever blogger event! It was the Fruition Hair and Beauty Demo night at the Revolucion De Cuba bar in Sheffield, just off of West Street in the City Centre. Having lived in Sheffield for almost 8 years now, I had never been to this bar before or even heard of it - turns out it's right next door to my hairdressers! Who Knew! It was a really nice venue with a beachy feel to it that I really liked - the ceiling has big wooden fans which absolutely made no difference to the heat inside the venue. I loved meeting more Sheffield bloggers - I know that they're out there but I never seem to meet any, but I finally did and it was amazing finally being able to match names to those blogs!

The night had different things going off at all times - from Lateysha from MTV's The Valleys have hair extensions applied by Kerri from Fruition Hair & Nails, who were the lovely hosts for the night. There were makeovers, massages, fashion and Lush things going off all at the same time.. so myself and Lucy from LucyLoves went exploring after we got over our initial nerves and tried a bit of everything.

There's Faye, a fellow Sheffield blogger, sneaking through the shot!

They're were plenty of clothes on display - the one we saw most of were handmade creations by Anna Roberts clothing which were made from some absolutely gorgeous materials and were good prices considering they were all hand made. Anna also takes custom orders which is brilliant. 

They're were also ladies doing HD Brows doing both shaping and teaching you how to fill in your brows properly if you asked them nicely. I didn't get mine done as I had just had my eyebrows waxed and tinted that week and I was having a good eyebrow day (which is rare). But Lucy got her eyebrows done by the ladies and they look amazing after! 

Lucy also tried out their gadget - forgive me as I can't remember the name - but it puts electrical currents through the area, which when done on the face, makes the skin appear and feel tighter and look younger. They kind of look like fancy chopsticks to me! Lucy described the weird sensation of the electrical currents as "a mouse giving you a massage" which I loved! 

Also, there's a photo of myself and the absolutely lovely, gorgeous Lucy! Go check out her fab blog if you haven't already!

The ladies from The Relaxtion Den were on hand to give out free massages, with a whole range of things for you to choose from, these included everything from Indian Head Massages to Reflexology! I went for a head massage and it was very relaxing and these ladies definitely know what they are doing. Myself and Lucy did find it absolutely hilarious when a guy got a foot massage and enjoyed it a little too much! 

They also gave you an opportunity to win some goodies by popping your details on a little card and putting in it the cute little post box that they had on the table - the prizes included more free massages which would be amazing to win!  

The lady in pink and white getting her makeup done is Kirstie, another Sheffield blogger.

My Makeup before the Makeover                   My Makeup after the makeover

The very talented Georgina from  was doing makeovers on the night and everyone wanted her to do their makeup, so much so that she had a queue all night of ladies wanting their make up doing! I loved the foundation Georgina used, it made my skin feel amazing and looked flawless - she used MAC's Studio Fix Foundation in NW10 as we knew we were the same shade in Revlon Colourstay Foundation, so we knew exactly what shade to use for me which is handy as I can hold my hands up and say that before this night, I had never tried a MAC foundation before! I know, shocking - but I had no reason too as I adore my Body Shop foundation too much.

LUSH were also their showing their products and giving out hand/arm massages - which myself and Lucy both took advantage of! These girls work wonders with their hands and it was really relaxing, and we had a bit of a giggle when the talc went everywhere (read: my jeans!) and now I definitely have a few things that have made their way on to my wishlist, I swear it just keeps getting longer.

Goody Bags were also given out which contained information on most of the brands that appeared that night, sweeties and a pencil - some other peoples bags contained LUSH samples as well plus an Argon Oil sample bottle but they had ran out of them by the time we got our bags, no bother though! The night was a big success and I have a good feeling that there will be another one in the future, we even made the local paper - The Sheffield Star.

I really enjoyed the night, and topping it off by eating KFC in a B&Q carpark at 11pm with Georgina after the event had finished definitely topped the night perfectly, and it was definiely worth being tired the next day when I had to get up at 7am to do a full days work! I loved my first Bloggers event and I definitely can't wait to go to my next one.. which shouldn't be too long away!