Wednesday, 23 November 2016

KYLIE COSMETICS | The 'Bronze' Palette:

Hi World, long time no blog! I don't really have an excuse for going AWOL on the blog (and going fairly quiet across social media in general) apart from, as i'm sure for a lot of people, this year has been hard work and blogging has been the last thing i've thought about to be honest. But, as 2016 draws to a close i've decided to open up my laptop, crack out my 'photography blanket' and fight the crappy winter lighting for the sake of whatgeorgiadidnext! I toyed with what to post as my 'comeback' post, but since discovering Kylie Cosmetics and placing two orders, I thought the Bronze Palette would make a good place to start.

I bought this palette at the end of September when kyliecosmetics was offering free shipping. I'd just been paid and felt I deserved a treat (tbh I feel like this every day, but who can argue with free shipping?). What I completely didn't factor in was the £20 customs charge I had to pay, but that didn't put me off - although I would definitely consider it if you're thinking of placing an order. I also had to wait 7-10 days to get my order which wasn't too long, but in the age of next-day-delivery was a killer! I actually bought this palette, the 'exposed' liner & the 'Literally' gloss because I wanted to try a few things and i'll be reviewing the gloss and liner in a later post. 

Now, actually on to the palette! There's a mix of matte and sparkly shades - although I did think the ratio (there are 7 matte's and two sheen shades) was a little uneven, but that's because I love a good shiny eyeshadow. AS the name suggests, there's a mix of bronze-y, orange-y golden shades with the gorgeous dark brown / black as well for shading. I've found the pigment and the variation of these shades incredible - I initially bought this palette because my signature look is a bronze smokey eye, which the palette is obviously perfect for but i've also been experimenting with the orange tones - the other day I had a graphic orange eyeshadow look that really made my blue eyes pop. I love the versatility of all the shades - Jasper is a great 'all over the lid' shade and Hematite and Goldstone are perfect for an everyday neutral look. I've also been using the two dark shades, Bronzite& Obsidian as both blending shades and powder eyeliners - they smoke out perfectly and don't smudge. I absolutely love this palette - the shades are creamy, long lasting and are highly pigmented. I'll definitely repurchase this palette once I finish this one and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

The palette is priced at $42 (£34 rounded up to GBP) which I think is reasonable for the quality of the shades.. and that's without mentioning the stunning packaging! I'm a sucker for a good packaging and Kylie has definitely delivered with this. My only gripe (and i've noticed this with the lip products to) is that the mostly white packaging has started to go a bit grubby and orange foundation marks cling to it! Bearing in mind the Urban Decay palette's are £38 for 12 (very similar looking) shades I think this palette is reasonably priced - plus it's so beautiful that it really feels like luxury makeup. I know there's been a lot of bad press about Kylie's products not being 'high quality' and being priced higher to basically exploit her fans, but I do genuinely think these are good products for the price. 

Like I said, I did also pick up a gloss and a liner at the same time as this palette... and then the KoKo Kollection and another liner and gloss this month (someone please just ban me from the site..!) which i'll be reviewing in time, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Brunch at All Bar One:

Is there anything more idyllic than brunch? I love the connotations of it - relaxing either in bed or in a nice cafe enjoying food with all the time in the world (and maybe a cheeky cocktail too!).. it's definitely my favourite meal. So when All Bar One got in touch and asked if I wanted to go to brunch with them, I didn't hesitate to say yes! 

All Bar One  are a chain of bars that they're so aesthetically pleasing (#bloggerprobs) and stylish, it feels like a really special place to go. However we've previously been for drinks and the prices are reasonable and the staff are beyond friendly - you definitely get a small bar vibe, like a local, rather than the forced quirkiness of some chains, ahem *nandos*. Our local All Bar One in Reading, is based on the river front by the Oracle with huge opening doors looking out on the river which makes it a great spot for people watching and for enjoying the sun like we did on our visit. When we arrived we were greeted by a couple of members of really friendly staff who managed to bag us a table by the window. We ordered drinks: Sam went for a classic Americano (that arrived with a small tub of Smarties, such a cute touch!) and I ordered the Mimosa: a orange juice and Prosecco cocktail which was perfectly suited to the sunny weather. 

We both ordered the pancakes although there were so many options on the menu: I was tempted by the Boost Breakfast, a mix of poached egg, avocado and hummus and toast - sounds amazing. However we were both in the mood for something sweet and I knew i'd have severe food envy if I didn't get the pancakes so we ordered two portions and relaxed. The food arrived after a short wait and it was honestly divine. We went for the buttermilk pancakes topped with banana's, blueberries, strawberries with a pot of maple syrup. The pancakes were perfectly cooked: nice and fluffy and thick! There was also plenty of fruit with the pancakes which was great as we didn't run out - and the maple syrup in the separate pot was a lovely touch: i'm not wild about any sort of syrup so it's nice to control the amount that goes on my food rather than be scraping it off! 

After we'd finished eating, we just relaxed - we didn't feel rushed a lot and it was a great way to start the weekend just chatting and enjoying each others company over some drinks. I absolutely loved having brunch at All Bar One and we'd definitely go back - the relaxed atmosphere paired with gorgeous food was the perfect way to start a weekend!  

Have you ever been for brunch at All Bar One? 

* I received this meal at All Bar One free of charge in return for my review, however, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Lunch with Amy Childs:

Hey world, long time no post! 

I would apologise for my blogging absence but in all honesty, i'm kinda not sorry.. i've really enjoyed living my life not through my camera and laptop and spending some quality time with my loved ones without frantically tweeting and instagramming every cocktail along the way. 

However, now i've had my break i'm back to blogging with a vengeance! I think having a break can make you really realise how much you love doing something which is definitely true in this case. 

I was invited to Amy Childs' pop up shop in The Oracle on Saturday and very luckily invited to have lunch with Amy before seeing the shop. I jumped at the chance out of pure curiosity, i've always really admired Amy's strong work ethic but didn't really know much about her or clothing range so I knew I had to go along to find out a little bit more. 

Myself and four other bloggers met with Amy at BB's in the Oracle who provided us with the gorgeous cupcakes and sandwiches photographed.. my diet went straight out of the window when I saw them, although I was totally defeated by the strawberry cheesecake cupcake! Over our coffee's we talked to Amy and her manager Claire a little more about her clothing range, her beauty must haves (Liz Earle skin care, Smashbox primer and regular facials, fyi) and general life. I was so struck by how normal and friendly Amy is, she immediately asked all our names and put us all at ease. She's also so incredibly passionate about everything she does, Amy's face literally lit up when she was telling us about sourcing materials for her dresses and attending courses for her salon! It made me really warm to her to see that passion for the products she produces - Amy is not just putting her name to things, she is out sourcing them and making sure they're the best they can be and that for me, is a real seller and something I really admire. Amy told us all about her salon (where she will often be found manning reception!), her book that she's just realised and her boutique, who's pop up shop we were there to see. Amy talked in detail about how she works hard to make her dresses not just a run of the mill dress but really special, high quality wardrobe staples. 95% of Amy's clothes are made and produced in England the other 5% is in Europe which is an amazing statistic, testimony to Amy's dedication to ethics and to good clothes! She also told us about her boutique's on-line shop and her beauty salon.. maybe a trip to Essex might be on the cards for me, if it can make me look as glowing as Amy did!

Once we'd enjoyed our drinks and sandwiches, we headed to the pop up shop which was full of people. There was also a really cute pop up tent changing room which looked like a spray tent - amazing! I honestly had to walk around the pop up shop with blinkers on, repeating to myself: 'you don't need any more dresses' because there were so many gorgeous dresses! From the bright blue, mermaid inspired prom dress to a few slinky lace pieces, there was something to suit everyone and every occasion. It's payday for me this week and I might just have to check out Amy's website, there was a lace overlay dress that completely stole my heart! After a quick selfie and a rummage through the rails, I headed home armed with a copy of Amy's book and a can of her new spray tan (complete with a 365 nozzle so you can reach your own back, I told you she was good!) really impressed and enamoured with Amy Childs and her business spirit, she's honestly one of the most hard working, friendly people i've ever met - and also spent the entire 8 hour day taking selfies in 5inch heels, what an icon.

 A huge thank you to Amy, Claire and Lauren at Frank for making it such a lovely lunch, I honestly just felt like I was at lunch with friends discussing beauty treatments and fake tan! Also a big thank you to BB's for the food and drinks, i'll definitely be back to enjoy their coffee's and food again, and the staff were so friendly.

All in all, I had a lovely day and can't wait to try Amy's tan - look out for a post coming to the blog soon!