Thursday, 27 March 2014

Lifestyle: History Fun at Hampton Court

Jacket: Topshop
Jumper: Primark
Bag: LK Bennett
Jeans: Topshop
Boots: Missguided
Considering History was one half of my degree I think it is pretty safe to say I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to the subject. I think it gets a bad rap for being 'boring' but in my opinion it is just like the gossip magazines of the past, full of interesting stories plus there are so many different eras and perspectives to look at I think you just need to find the particular part that you enjoy the most. For me it is the Tudor period as it is full of love affairs, notorious personalities, blood and guts and embroiled in mystery. One of the best things about History is visiting land marks or museums as when you see the artifacts or walk down the same corridor as a late monarch or servant it is really humbling and interesting to imagine yourself in that period and bring it all to life. 

Therefore, when Matt surprised me around a month ago with tickets to visit Hampton Court palace I was very excited! Having visited once before many years ago (I think it was year 7) I could only remember a little, so it was great to refresh my memory especially on such a lovely sunny day. Matt is quite indifferent to History but even he really enjoyed immersing himself in the rich atmosphere that Hampton Court has to offer.

The building itself and the grounds are very impressive - there is so much to explore that we couldn't do it all in one day. We learnt a lot about Henry VIII's early life through to the end of his reign which was an education for both of us as I have concentrated more on Elizabeth I in the past. We got to see the rooms that decisions that shaped England where made, bedrooms where the Royals slept, the chapel which was beautiful (you couldn't take pictures in there though boo!), the exact place Henry married Katherine Parr, original documents and portraits, the Royal kitchens and servant quarters amongst many other things. There was even a very convincing Henry VIII look a like strolling about who embarked in role play with other actors every so often. There are lots of different gift shops dotted around at various stages which offered a great deal of paraphernalia - I thought the blog book was very funny and apt!

Where Henry sat in council meetings

Each part had convincing props and sounds, with staff members on hand who were fountains of knowledge if you needed answers. You could also get an audio guide which we used and there was costumes you could wear to really get in the spirit if you wanted to! Finally a thought on the food - we stopped off for lunch in the larger cafe set in the gardens which kept to the theme really well and served really delicious food. Sometimes at places like this it can be over priced and disappointing but we had a really tasty stew and lemon and chocolate cake washed down with a cup of tea and a cappuccino, all of which was fantastic.

If you are at a loose end one weekend or just want to try something different then I urge you to try a day out like this as you learn a lot and have fun too! 

Do you like history? xxx

P.S. Once I had uploaded these pictures to blogger the resolution has been ruined as they are so much clearer and sharp on my laptop - can anyone help me fix this?

Monday, 17 March 2014

February Favourites | 2014 |

I know that we are half way through March now but I couldn't resist posting about my favourites from February now I've got some time to concoct more posts. This installment features make up, nail varnish and body care - I hope you enjoy it whether you read or listen about them. I also added a little bit of an update at the beginning of the video too.

1. Revlon Colour Stay Concealer: I've spoken about this at length on my channel and its definitely taken the place as my new favourite concealer. The texture and pigmentation of the formula is amazing, it is easy to blend, long wearing and not at all ashy or orange. It is the better version of Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer in my eyes.

2. Garnier Micellar Water: Finally, I think I've found my holy grail micellar water! I've reviewed quite a few different variations of micellar waters on this blog and always found fault in them but this offering from Garnier is amazing and for a bargain price of under £5. It removes make up well before proper cleansing (even stubborn eye make up) and leaves no greasy residue, just a lovely fresh feeling.

3. Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation: This is actually a surprise favourite. When these first popped up on blogs I was unsure as the name suggests a very sheer and dewy product. However, while the foundation is very viscous like I thought it would be, the pigmentation is very strong so only a little bit is needed to provide coverage for blemishes and pigmentation and therefore still looks very natural. The lasting power is also great and it is much more matte than I thought it would be too. The only downside is the lack of pump.

4. Revlon JBKBS in 'Crush': Full review here. An oldie but a goodie, I wore this a lot in Paris after shopping my stash. Long lasting, great pigmentation and just a beaut colour this is a great all round lip crayon. Also I didn't realise until I compiled my list that all the make up items are Revlon I'm not sponsored by them, promise!

5. Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter: On a daily basis I prefer body lotions to butters as I find they take ages to sink in so leave them for after the bath on an evening. However, the righteous butter is different - it leaves skin deeply hydrated and smooth like you would expect from a butter but only takes a minute or two to sink in which is great on a busy morning. The signature pink scent is also lovely.

6. Barry M Gelly Varnish in 'Lychee', Essie 'Mint Candy Apple' and Illamasqua 'Freckle': These are the 3 polishes that have graced my nails for the month of Feb. Lychee is an understated shade that is super shiny, goes with any look and can be layered with lots of different glitters. Mint Candy Apple is a blogger fave and I can see why as it is such a perfect mint shade. Finally one of the more unusual polishes that I have is Freckle which is a gorgeous light purple with matte different sized glitter particles in which creates a speckled effect on the nails.

7. Victoria Secret Body Sprays in 'Strawberries & Champagne', 'Amber Romance', 'Mango Temptation' and 'Aqua Kiss': I had been waiting to get my paws on these body sprays for ages and was really happy when I popped to the store near Oxford Street as they have a deal where you can get 3 sprays for around £25. I tried to get a mixture of scents including musky, sweet and fresh. I try and use them sparingly but love every scent I picked up.

What is your favourite product of the moment? xxx

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Review: EcoTools | Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set |

A picture of the 6 Eco Tool Bamboo Brush Set

It was actually completely random that I picked up this brush set - I was going down to Exeter and had forgot to pack certain brushes so picked up this set at Waterloo station. EcoTools had been on my radar before this purchase but surprisingly I'm really stingy at buying new make up brushes so had put off delving into the brand. 

There are five brushes included in this set, all with a different purpose so it was a really nice place to start when trialing this brand. They are all super soft, feature taklon bristles and are cruelty free. The long bamboo handles make controlling these brushes easy and the matching ferrules are made from recyled aluminium. I also love that they come in a super cute cotton and hemp carry case.

Blush Brush: I find this brush a bit big for blusher (I have a small head haha) but I've really enjoyed using it as a bronzer brush instead. I'm not sure whether it is down to the cut or density of the bristles of this brush but I find that it gives just a wash of colour no matter how pigmented your powder is which is great for those who are more heavy handed. It also makes for really easy blending too. As the size of the brush is not too large its been great for popping in my small make up bag for my hand bag to use for powder touch ups. This is definitely my favourite brush in the set.

Eye Shadow Brush: This has thick close cut bristles which makes it easy to pack on colour over the whole lid. I find it quite similar to the brush you get in the Urban Decay Naked palette in shape but I wish it was a little denser. 

Angled Eyeliner Brush: You can use this for your eyeliner or filling in your brows but my favourite use is the former. This brush is super thin and angled so makes drawing a thin line of gel eyeliner or eyeshadow really easy. It is the best eyeliner brush I've tried so far and am really pleased with it.

Lash & Brow Groomer: This is my least used piece in the set as I find the lash part actually makes my lashes more clumpy and the brow groomer is a bit stiff for me. I want to persevere with this though and get it to work for me.

Concealer Brush: I wasn't expecting it to be but this brush is actually my second favourite from the set. I'm normally faithful to the Real Techniques Crease Brush for that job but this blends in under eye concealer really well without shifting it around your face and also make it easy to layer up concealer on your face. 

I'm pleased to say that this brush set pleasantly surprised me and I get use out of nearly all these brushes on a daily basis, making it very cost effective. It's also nice to know that by using this brand I'm not damaging the environment and they are also pretty on my dressing table.

Have you tried any brushes from EcoTools? xxx

Saturday, 15 March 2014

All Used Up #9

Hey guys, here is my very late follow up post which accompanies the video for my empties. I've managed to use up a variety of products this time around so you can either hear or read all about them in this post :)

1. Lush 'Snow Fairy' Shower Gel: An iridescent pink shower gel that features a bubble gum and pear drop scent, this product foams up nicely and leaves your bathroom smelling gorgeous for ages afterwards. One of my favourites from Lush but only available in their Christmas collection so you will have to wait until the end of this year to get your hands on it again, sorry!

2. Vichy Normaderm Micellar Water: full review here. One of the better micellar waters I've tried, it doesn't leave any horrible residue, is paraben free and suitable for oily skin, but it is rubbish at cleaning away stubborn eye make up and didn't blow me away. I wouldn't repurchase.

3. Yankee Candle 'Salted Caramel' Candle: I don't know how Yankee do it but they seem to encapsulate scents so well. This scent is very heavy but so delicious - think warm comforting caramel with a very sweet twist. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but I've loved using this throughout the winter months and would definitely repurchase.

4. Batiste Dry Shampoo: A regular feature in these posts, my trusty dry shampoo of choice. An absolute life saver it refreshes hair and provides volume. A regular repurchase.

5. Paul Mitchell Forever Blonde Shampoo* & Conditioner*: Full review here. The shampoo is more than just a bog standard product, it provides moisture and refreshes your colour without making it greasy. The conditioner is the perfect follow up, a half way house between a conditioner and a hair mask it provides a hit of moisture that won't weigh down your hair. A definite repurchase!

6. Dove 'Original' Antiperspirant: not much to say on this one, I do like Dove deodorants but I normally get whatever is on offer!

7. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer:  A blogger favourite, I love the coverage and the long lasting formula but I find the shade range really lets this product down and it tends to go quite ashy on me. I've repurchased this a lot before but I think I was trying to make myself like it more than I did.

8. Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer:  I originally wanted a lighter shade for under my eyes but instead I used this on my face and it was a good consistency but was quite lightweight so you have to build up the coverage gradually. It also isn't as long wearing as I would like. I wouldn't repurchase unless I could get a lighter colour for under my eyes.

9. Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner: My first foray into pen style liquid eyeliners, I loved the concept but the actual product fell short. It is quite grey and watery so needs to be built up into an opqaue line, which is a shame because at the time I bought it there was lots of hype around it. I'm trying out one by Bourjois at the moment and much prefer that.

Have you tried any of these products? xxx


Blog Design by Bonjour Belle Designs