Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Beauty Bay Wishlist

After browsing the Beauty Bay website for some time, I decided to make a wishlist to put together all the beauty bits I've been looking at buying. Whilst I've only just returned from America and picked up a lot of things, I think a little haul is due in summer. I tend to stick to picking up the same things - eyeshadows and concealers, but there are a few items in here that are a bit different to what I typically go for.

Morphe 2S Soul Of Summer Palette £11.95

I'm already annoyed at myself that I didn't visit the Morphe store in Burbank, California so the least I could do would be to try out one of their palettes. I did have my eye on the 35OM Matte Nature Glow palette but I feel like I'd have to try out a smaller palette of theirs before dedicating myself to a 35 colour palette. The Soul Of Summer palette contains a lot of pink and warm toned shades that I'd use more on a daily basis.

Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick £9.50

I always try to make a mental note to pick up something from Gerard Cosmetics but since I've not shopped on Beauty Bay before it's probably the reason why they keep slipping through the net. I do love the look of their lipsticks but the Hydra Matte Liquid Lipsticks are what I have my eye on, especially the shade Aphrodite which is the most beautiful nude shade, inspired by the Greek goddess herself.

Violet Voss Glitter £7.25

I've not seen this brand before but from what I've seen, the make some of the most pretty cosmetic glitters I have seen so far. They don't stop at one shade either, combining multiple colours for a unique look. I think the glitter would look amazing for special events and could really finish off a look.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan £4.95

When I was in Los Angeles I picked up a blank Z Palette and ever since it's been sat empty. I already have a separate Mac palette that has a about 8 pans filled but I don't want to mix up brands. I decided when I was in Sephora that I'd have a large Z palette dedicated to Makeup Geek and potentially Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows so it's about time that I begin to build it up. As the MUG pans are half the price of Mac shadows I plan to have a palette that varies in colour so I can get the most use out of them.

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette £18.00 

This palette contains warm tones with both matte and shimmer shades which seems to very popular in the blogging community at the moment. I can't vouch for Zoeva as I haven't tried their products yet which is ridiculous considering every year I promise that I'll buy their Rose Golden brushes. Considering they get amazing reviews, this would be the palette I'd add to my basket when I eventually come round putting an order in.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade £15.00

I recently picked up the ABH Brow Wiz which is far better than the other similar looking brow definers out there and I think the Dipbrow Pomade is my next step in improving my brow game. I've tried a pomade from Nyx, and pomade sticks from Maybelline but I have the feeling that the Dipbrow Pomade will make my brows look incredible, especially as it's hard when you've got naturally blonde eyebrows.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher Duo £26.00

Now I've only tried a few Illamasqua products but these boast to be highly pigmented and to blend seamlessly so I may as well try them when it comes around to it. They include two shades each and the packaging includes a mirror which would be so handy to have in your makeup bag. Despite it being £26 I think you'd get your money's worth for two blushers in one compact.

LA Girl Pro.conceal HD Concealer £5.00

I've seen a million reviews of this concealer around the internet, especially as it's easily accessible as you can purchase it from Amazon. They do a ton of shades that includes darker ones to contour with and a green colour correcting concealer too. For £5 it would be worth a try, and if I didn't like it then it isn't much money wasted.

Dose Of Colors Matte Lipstick £14.50 

Dose Of Colors only seems to have entered the beauty blogging world this year but their Matte Lipsticks claim to have high opacity and high pigmentation and I've seen a handful of positive reviews. I am mad for liquid lipsticks and have around 40/50 up until now but I'm always looking for the next brand to try out.

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Friday, 20 May 2016

Dinner at Crust Liverpool

 Both myself and Andy were invited down to Crust Liverpool on Bold Street to pop down for a meal and as soon as we accepted we began to look at the menu on their website. Upon first impressions we were ready to delve into the pizzas so we booked in for 6pm on a Thursday night. Once we arrived we were promptly seated and handed menus to have a look at including their drinks menu that had more than plenty to offer. Looking at our surroundings it was clear that attention to detail was important at Crust, with the rustic vibe in the brickwork and the bright yellow feature colour to match their logo.

After looking at the drinks menu for quite a while as I couldn't decide what to have, I opted for the Blackberry Lemonade which consisted of fresh lemon juice, sugar juice, blackberries, basil, soda and ice. It was true to word and was most definitely refreshing. Next time I visit I think I'll opt for a sweeter option as I have a huge sweet tooth and it was more on the tart side than sweet. Andy opted for the Penny Lane Pale as he was intrigued to taste the local craft ales available. You can click here for his review that goes more in depth to how the ales tasted, as a 'the more sugar, the better' type of person I'm not one to drink beer etc.

For starters we decided to split a Focaccia with garlic and cheese and it was the size of a small/medium pizza, leaving us relieved it wasn't any bigger or we wouldn't have had rooms for mains let alone a pudding. This is certainly the best starter I've ever tasted; the mozzarella was beautiful to pull apart and the garlic wasn't overpowering, finished with a thin base. I'm left with no doubt in my mind that I will return purely just for the focaccia, and that's a huge compliment from a foodie.

For our main course we decided to split both dishes as we were both torn. I chose the Sausage Burger which included homemade sausages, sweet potato mash, fries and salad, topped with an Organic bun. Crust offers tour types of pizza bases and I was impressed to see this also relayed onto the buns for their burgers. The organic dough is their premium dough made from imported flour from Italy. Aside from not expecting to have a choice in this, which gains extra brownie points, it was a nice surprise to not have a standard burger bun. The chips it came with were seasoned to perfection and I could have eaten another portion. Andy chose the Pollo pizza on a Five Grain base that is a blend of flax, wheat germ, oat, spelt and rice flour to 'nourish from within'. The toppings were fior di latte mozzarella, chicken breast, grated potato, parmesan and rosemary and it was lovely but I felt it could have used something colourful to add to the presentation of the dish.

Before dessert Andy decided to try another ale out so chose the Toxteth IPA. I should have tried a cocktail out on retrospect but as I'm not a big drinker I kept sipping my lemonade. We decided to share a dessert and opted for the Ravioli Chocolate which was handcrafted sweet ravioli filled with a chocolate sauce, dusted with icing sugar and cocoa powder. It was unusual but delicious and finished off the night beautifully. In total it came to just under £40 which is outstanding for the amount of food and drinks you receive and is definitely one for students to take advantage of. I've promised myself I'll come back in the summer to try out their cocktails and Nutella pizza too.

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*Complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

April Degustabox Review

This is my second box I have kindly been send by Degustabox* and after being really impressed with the March box, I was keen to try out what this month had to offer. 

With the weather picking up recently, it was a perfect time to receive the Pimms (£2.29) to enjoy on a sunny day. The strawberry and cucumber flavour is a nice sweet addition and was very nice to drink over ice in the sun. The Rejuvenation Water (£1.99) is designed to help create a natural resilience to stress, depression and anxiety. I received the apple and mint flavour and it reminded me a little bit of Vitamin water. Another drink I tried was the Green Lady (£1.99), which uses green tea leaves to create a drink to be enjoyed as an alternative to alcohol. It was very refreshing and again is great for this time of year. While I don't use Canderel (£3.00) is cups of tea, it comes come in very useful for baking. Having the same taste and appearance as sugar but with zero calories, its a good option to maintain a healthy diet. 

Meal Items
The Levi Roots (£1.00) sauces come in very handy when cooking as you don't have to marinade it, but just pour over whatever you are cooking and away you go. I had the Jerk flavour which worked nicely to flavour the chicken, and I'd also like to try the BBQ flavour. For this meal the Veetee Basmati Rice (£1.29) was perfect to use as it had 2 good portions and is ready in only 2 minutes. These quick cook packets would be great to have stocked in the cupboard for when you need a quick addition to a meal. I also received a Veetee Wholegrain Brown Rice & Quinoa (£1.49) which would work well with other meals. 

The Milkybar Milk & Crunchy 4 Pack (£1.00) are a good size if you fancy a little something to eat. The crunchy version of the Milkybar was surprisingly nice and something a bit different to other white chocolate. Something a little different was the Smarties Sharing Block (£1.29) which was always going to be something that I would enjoy, and came in useful on a recent long car journey. The Bebeto Fruit Strings (£1.99) that have reduced levels of processed sugars, plus the fact the are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. These were lovely and have travel sized packets which made it a good snack option. The last item was a savoury option which would be enjoyed as a snack or alternatively a light lunch. The Parle Rusk (89p) is a crispy and crunchy toast and I really enjoyed them with Philadelphia for lunch.

Once again, I was really impressed by what was in this months box, and it gave me some new ideas for meals, drinks and snacks. I think the Degustabox is a great opportunity to try out new brands and get a taste for different items that you might not normally buy. They also provided me with a discount code to offer you £6.00 discount, and all you have to do in enter BLDEG15 when you order!
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*This post contains a PR sample. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Funkin Cocktails Range Review

Not long ago I was offered to review a selection of cocktails mixers from Funkin Cocktails to try with friends and family. Usually when I go out I'm completely swept away by anything fruity so this was the perfect chance to try more flavours out and see whether they changed my mind.

Personally I'm not a huge Mojito fan, however this didn't stop it going down with friends who really enjoyed it. It's a simple combination of Persian Limes, mint and sugar and can be perfect when combined with white rum. From their opinions it seemed like a true Mojito.

Strawberry Daiquiri
Although it suggests adding rum to this strawberry and lime combo, I found vodka was a very good choice and I really enjoyed this one. It was a sweet and easy to drink cocktail, and is my normal choice whenever I go out for cocktails as you can't really go wrong with strawberry cocktails. It tasted like strawberry laces which is an added bonus if you have a sweet tooth.

This is pretty much like drinking tropical juice which makes it very easy to drink. As the taste is already perfect, having this mixer with vodka is the best combination as you don't need any flavouring to come from the spirit. 

This has to be my favourite mixer that I tried out of the ones sent. It's a mixed berry combination and I wish they did more of these type of cocktails in bars as I'd go for it every time. If you're a fan of berry drinks definitely go with this one, it will not disappoint.

Elderflower Collins
This was a very smooth and easy to drink mixer and worked perfectly with gin. A mix of Sicilian Lemons and British Elderflower provided a very refreshing taste and this went down very well and was popular with friends. To describe it overall it's light drink and could be drank at any occasion. 

Strawberry Woo Woo
The Funkin version contains fresh peaches and strawberries added to the original woo woo to give it a smooth, sweet flavour. We tried it with both gin and vodka and both worked well and again tasted a bit like strawberry laces which you can't complain about.

Raspberry Mojito
This was a very refreshing choice, and the addition of raspberries, mint and lime gave a great taste. Once again, as the flavour was already nice prior to mixing, I found that vodka worked quite well with this. Although I really don't like the classic mojito as it's just too minty for my taste, this raspberry version is well balanced.

Sour Mix
A good combination of lemons, limes and cane sugar provides the base for a perfect sour cocktail. The favourite option with my group was to mix it with amaretto. The other good thing about this mix is that instead of having to add egg white to the cocktail, you just have to give the mixer a quick shake for the thick foam on top.

I was really impressed with all of these mixers and the whole idea behind them makes it very easy to make your own cocktails. Each of the mixer cartons come with a handy guide on the side for which spirit to add so it's still easy to whip up your favourite. Make sure to keep an eye out in bars as Funkin Cocktails are stocked in a lot of places. Overall the Elderflower Collins and the Hollywood were a huge hit so if you get the chance to try them, let me know how they were for you.

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*This post contains a PR sample.