Friday, 18 July 2014

Real Techniques

How do you create the perfect makeup look? 

Well having makeup that suits your complexion is a good start. Getting your hands on the perfect tools and having someone to show you how to make the best of what you have all helps. 

Sam and Nic Chapman who started out as makeup artists and who helped design Real Techniques are well aware that the end result is only as good as your techniques and tools. They have their own blog and YouTube channel too, Pixiwoo offering tips; tools and techniques.

I recently replaced some of my beauty tools; mainly because they were about to grow legs and walk out of my makeup bag by themselves. They were that old. 

Choosing makeup tools is a mind field, sometimes too much choice is not a good thing.

I decided on Real Techniques for a few reasons; their brushes; sponges and makeup come highly recommended; they are 100% cruelty free and they don't over complicate things. 

Each brush comes colour coded corresponding with: base coat; eyes and finish.

I am so glad I settled on these beauties, on doing so I have found some beautiful new tools that have really helped me to perfect my makeup look.

The two items purchased: 

1.The Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99)
Miracle Complexion Sponge

I have always used a sponge to apply my foundation and my view was always what difference does the shape make. Opting often for the cheap little triangles that come in a multi pack.  

How wrong I was; I now use the rounded sides of the sponge to blend my foundation perfectly around the contours of my face. Using the flat edge of the sponge in a dabbing motion to cover up dark circles under my eyes. The precision tip also comes in useful to cover up blemishes.
Miracle Complexion Sponge

If your keen to see it in action check out this clip. 

2. Expert Face Brush (£9.99)

Expert Face Brush
Brushes I have an entirely different view of. I have learnt from experience that a cheap brush gives a cheap uneven finish. The powder brush is aluminium;  has soft bristles that don't fall out on applying and the result is a great flawless finish.

Expert Face Brush

Have a look at this clip to see it in action. 

I am really looking forward to using many more of the Real Techniques range, they do beautiful beauty products and I can see why everyone raves about them. 

Next purchase has to be the limited edition makeupkit

What other tips do you have to share? Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. Any nice plans?

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Yalla Yalla

Yalla Yalla Oxford Street
Oxford street is best known for its shopping exploits more than for its culinary scene.

You could however have judged it to quickly. Hidden down Winsley Street is Yalla Yalla offering wonderful Beirut street food. 
Restaurants Oxford Street
Sister restaurant to the first Yalla Yalla in Green's Court Soho. It serves Lebanese and middle eastern food at its absolute best. 

Yalla Yalla

Yalla Yalla

It is a great place to stop half way through shopping, relax and eat wonderful food. 

We always start our meal with a refreshing watermelon and lime juice.  
Yalla Yalla

For starters the choice is always easy as there is so much to choose from. 

We opt for Hommos Shawarma: Chickpea purée topped with marinated thin slices of lamb fillet. With Lebanese flat bread it is a yummy starter to share.  
Yalla Yalla

Jawaneh Meshoue: Charcoal grilled marinated chicken wings with garlic and harissa sauce.
Yalla Yalla
Halloum Meshoue: Grilled Halloumi Cheese with tomato, black olives, fresh mint and olive oil. 

Yalla Yalla

Before we go any further I need to hold my hands up and admit something. FoodieForce got so carried away with the food that I started eating 
dishes before taking pictures. Now don't judge me. If you haven't noticed to this point carry on. 

For the mains we share two meals. Kreidis Meshoue: Charcoal grilled marinated king prawns with citrus scented rice and spicy tomato and coriander sauce.
They have the largest king prawns. 

Yalla Yalla

Mixed grill: Charcoal mixed grill of a chicken skewer, lamb and kafta with grilled tomato, sumac, parsley and red pepper salad. 

Half way through the mains we see a number of photographers running backwards down the street and shouting "look this way". 

Ever the journalist, I grab my camera and begin to take pictures, with no idea who I am taking pictures of. 

Denise Van Outen
It turns out that it was Denise Van Outen as she left Magic FM studios. Now if I look this fashionable at 40 I will be mighty happy.

A wonderful meal had by all. Time Out has rightfully included Yalla Yalla in the top 50 restaurants in London and I can easily see why. So if you are in Oxford Street or Soho you know where to head.

Square Meal
12 Winsley Street
London W1W 8HQ
T: 020 7637 4748
Monday to Friday 10am –11.30pm
Saturday 11am – 11pm

1 Green’s Court
London W1F 0HA
T: 020 7287 7663
Monday to Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am – 10pm

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Back to the Future

Secret Cinema Back to the future

If you had the choice to travel back in time, would you? 

Maybe you long to wrong the rights that you might have done in your past, have a conversation with someone you have always wanted to meet, or to share one last moment with a loved one. 

All of you who were thinking about putting the lottery on, to make a couple of million, it didn't even exist, it was betting on sports in those days. For being so greedy you need to go and look in the mirror and have a long hard talk to yourself.

This week, I was invited to the launch of Secret Cinema who run large scale film events for film lovers in London. They show secret films, in secret locations their new adventure is Back to the Future showing July 24th - August 31st 2014

When I was little I remember watching the Back to the Future films and loving them for their time travelling antics, who couldn't really love Marty and the Doctor going back in time in the DeLorean.  

I didn't really appreciate when I was little watching it that one day I might want to actually relive my past. The innocence of youth, what I wouldn't give now to go back and have one last conversation with those that I love. 

Hill Valley Stores is a fully theatrical pop-up shop (59 Hackney Road, London, E2 7NX) as part of their Back to the Future production. 
Back to the future secret cinema

The stores include Ruth's Frock shop...

Back to the Future
Secret Cinema

Secret cinema

Roy's Records...

Secret Cinema Back to the future

Secret Cinema Back to the future
Roy is said to have the best taste in music this side of the Californian Mountains. 

Back to the Future secret cinema

1950's vinyl stock

Secret Cinema Back to the future

There is also the Elite Beauty Salon with grooming for men and beauty sessions for the ladies. 

Back to the Future secret cinema

Secret Cinema Back to the Future

If after all this shopping you get peckish, 'Lou's Dinner' from the Back to the Future can make you a refreshing drink or milkshake. 

Back to the Future Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema Back to the Future

If you live in London and haven't been to a Secret Cinema event I can't recommend them enough. I have had some brilliant nights out with them.

As the largest theatrical live show of its kind, over 84,000 people will attend Back to the Future this Summer. They have built Hill Valley in a secret London location, that will transport audiences into an imagery world. Audiences will travel back in time and become citizens of Hill Valley living between 1955 and 1985 with secret alleys and entrances into the town will allow them to travel back in time. 

You will have to get on your hoverboard quickly as tickets are selling out quickly. Secret Cinema presents Back to the Future July 24th - August 31st at a secret London Location. 

Back to the Future

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Glamour Beauty Edit

The Glamour Beauty Edit

Every year I see 'The Glamour Beauty Edit box' and normally by the time I've got my act together to buy one, they've sold out and all gone. 

This year however as soon as I saw it had been launched on "Latest in Beauty", I was busy ordering mine as quickly as possible. 

On Saturday the little beauty arrived and I thought I would share with you what came inside. 

The Glamour Beauty Edit

The box this year is jam packed with beauty products to try. One thing I can instantly say is that for £16.95 (free P&P) this box is a steal. The total value of all items is £86.15. There are many full size products that on their own cost more than the price for the whole box. 

The Glamour Beauty Edit

So this is what you get inside. 

The Glamour Beauty Edit
Products I am most excited to try:

1. The Crabtree and Evelyn nail polish £6. In the Glamour box it comes in two potential colours pink or red. I am pleased to say that I got Apple red, which is a lovely rouge colour when painted on. 
Crabtee and Evelyn nail Varnish
Crabtree and Evelyn do loads of other lovely polish colours and for a limited time you can get two for £6. Get your skates on.   

2. Bourjois Cream Blush again comes in one of three shades. The blush is the Beauty Insiders Winner 2014. I got Nude Velvet 01 which is quite subtle,
perfect for me who is a little bit pasty, it retails at £7.99. 

Bourjois Cream Blush
It is a cream blusher which I haven't tried before but I am a definite convert. To apply it I used the real techniques stippling brush which makes applying it a joy.  

3. Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick Rosepout £18.50, this
little beauty hasn't even launched yet. 

Illamasqua Glamore
This lipstick when applied is creamy in texture, lots of lipsticks dry my lips out making me lick my lips. It also has good staying power when applied for a night out the colour lasts. I definitely will be buying one of these again they have some wonderful colours on their site. 

4. Magnifibres Brush- On False Lashes £18.50 - £21.
I have tried falsies only once I loved the look they really made my eyes stand out. However taking them off was a different story, torture beyond belief. I tried everything oily eye makeup remover, but they simply would not budge. I have to admit that there were a few tears and shouts of agony before the little buggers eventually came off, along with a few of my lashes with them. 

So when I saw Magnifibres which claim to instantly lengthen your lashes I was keen to give it a go.     

Magnifibres lashes

I was actually really rather pleased with the end result. Take a look:

Magnifibres lashes
Overall it has definitely added volume to my lashes and additional length. It is like having falsies on however due to the fibres, you are aware of your lashes, but probably much kinder to your lashes with no glue and tugging to remove them. 

I can't wait to use it on a night out. 

Overall a superb box from Glamour that allowed me to try new items and the best bit at a really good price.

Is there anything in the Beauty Edit that you would want to try?

If you had one beauty product for your dessert island what would it be? 

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