Sunday, 15 May 2016

A Manchester Brunch at Evelyn's with Little Mistress

Hey,

So firstly - wow, I've been gone a long time. There's no particular reason for this other than simply just having come out the other side of an incredibly busy time. I've just moved into a new flat and started a new job too! It's been stressful at times but now I'm through it, I'm incredibly happy and content with things.

This post flashes back to a few weeks ago, when I spent a wonderful morning with clothing brand, Little Mistress who took us out for an incredible brunch at the superb Evelyn's Cafe and then onto their new concession at Debenhams in Manchester city centre.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar Manchester menu coffee

I was actually yet to try Evelyn's but it wasn't exactly a hard sell; it was set-up by the folks behind Mughli -  my all time, hands down favourite Indian restaurant in Manchester, so I pretty much knew it'd be great!

It was so hard to choose something from their small but perfectly formed menu (everything sounds incredible) but I eventually settled on the buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and honeycomb butter and was not disappointed - they were definitely among some of the best pancakes I've ever had.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar brunch best pancakes

The d├ęcor in Evelyn's is just as impressive as the food. It's simple but oh so artisan. There's fresh flowers and plants everywhere and hints of copper hardware in the tableware and lighting.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar Manchester decor interior

After a great chat with some familiar and new bloggers, as well as the girls representing Little Mistress, we headed to the Debenhams concession for a first-hand look at the new collections, including a high-profile range in collaboration with Chloe Lewis of TOWIE fame.

Little Mistress Fashion Debenhams Concession

Little Mistress carries a few different lines under their brand. The new Chloe Lewis collaboration is girly with a a bit of a vintage twist. There's lots of pretty pastels and soft floral prints - it's glam but can be worn every day. 

Then there's the Paper Dolls collection which is more based around occasion dresses and formal styles. If you're looking for a great dress for the races or a wedding, or even as a bridesmaid, they've got some gorgeous yet affordable styles.

Finally there's Girls on Film - which is my favourite range. Still in keeping with Little Mistress' glamorous look, the GoF collection is more casual with a bit of an edge. There's lots of great co-ords and plenty of pieces with bold, unique prints and detail like fringing - perfect for festivals!

Little Mistress Girls on Film Collection
Chloe Lewis Clothing Line
Little Mistress Collection SS16
Little Mistress Dresses Concession
Chloe Lewis Little Mistress White Lace Up Top

Above, I'm wearing the Chloe Lewis White Hippy Top with a lace up front, which I wore to the brunch. I don't often wear white (such a queen of darkness) so this is a nice change for me, especially for summer - I've actually been wearing this loads!

I also took home the Girls on Film Light Grey Tassel Jacket from one of the photos above. It's made from a super soft faux suede and makes for a perfect semi-light cover-up with this unpredictable weather we're having. Hopefully I'll get a post up soon with it styled up!

Have you spotted anything you like from the collections?


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Sunday, 27 March 2016

MyBag Spring/Summer'16 Preview

Hey,

So it's officially Spring - and while everyone gushes over the pieces of clothing they plan on adding to their new season wardrobes, my thoughts haven't turned from getting my hands on a new piece of arm candy after attending MyBag's SS16 Spring Preview recently!

I've always been a firm believer in the idea that it's the accessories that make an outfit and MyBag certainly deliver the goods in that department; not just curating an enviable selection of handbag brands (would you believe it) but also offering a beautiful range of sunglasses, watches, scarves and more.

Being a big fan of the online retailer already, I was definitely giddy to see what MyBag had on offer for the Spring/Summer'16 season.

Their showcase was held at one of my favourite Manchester haunts, Artisan - a casual but classy restaurant filled with interesting design detail. Did I mention the most amazing cocktails, too?

On to the bags!

Press event at Artisan restaurant Manchester
Photo credit: Garry Finch

Grafea SS16 backpack clear
Pizza and bespoke cocktail Artisan Manchester
Lulu Guinness SS16 at MyBag
Olivia Burton Watches Spring Summer 2016
Ted Baker bags Spring Summer 2016 at MyBag
Ted Baker SS16 White bucket bag
Karl Lagerfeld totes at MyBag SS16
SS16 lilac Grafea backpack
Grafea SS16 purple leather backpack
Photo credit: Garry Finch

It's difficult to pick out a favourite range! Lulu Guinness has long been a favourite accessory brand of mine (I'm lucky enough to own an LG clutch already) and the new pieces on show from MyBag didn't disappoint with lots of lilac and quirky details. I can't begin to tell you how incredible the lipstick clutch is, there's even a little mirror inside the lid!

I loved the new range from Ted Baker, especially the drawstring bucket style and teeny shoulder bags that would be perfect for the summer's festivals. The large totes from Karl Lagerfeld scream 'fashion' and are certainly eye-catching enough to satisfy the boldest fashionistas. 

However the bags from Grafea were top of my list. Made in beautfiul leather in traditional, minimal shapes but with fun details like metallic finishes, multi-coloured fringe and fur pompoms - I was in love! I particularly adored the baby rucksack in lilac, perfect for spring. I'm soon to become a bonafide commuter a and am on the hunt for a great backpack and Grafea's have definitely caught my eye.
 

We were lucky enough to come away with an amazing goody bag filled with products from the likes of Real Techniques make up brushes, Vita Liberata tan and Wet Brush Pro.

Though I was completely blown away by this gorgeous personalised luggage tag from The Cambridge Satchel Company. I can't wait to take it on my travels!

personalised leather luggage tag

Which bag trends are you loving for spring?

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Monday, 21 March 2016

I'm Getting Married! The National Wedding Show with Rock n Roll Bride

Hey,

Okay so big BIG news right now.

*disclaimer - if you follow me on Instagram, this may well not be big news...



Yes, that's right - I got engaged!!! *ALL the heart eyes, bride and ring emojis*

It happened on Valentine's Day (which seems like an age ago now). Chris completely took me by surprise by getting down on one knee during a walk in our local park. I of course broke down in happy tears in the middle of the park. Luckily not many people were around, though a lovely passing jogger saw the whole thing and came over to congratulate us!

After furiously Whatsapping my favourite people with the news, we went off for an impromptu romantic lunch and picked up a bottle of champagne on the way home to celebrate. I've been on cloud nine ever since.



Of course with this news comes all the planning. Luckily, I come into my element with this kind of thing. I absolutely love planning events. I can't wait to start booking things and concentrating on the small details of the wedding to inject our personalities into the big day and make it truly amazing.

My love for Pinterest has been reborn with a vengeance and I've already got multiple secret boards filled with awesome ideas.

Of course pretty pictures are all well and good but it's essential to get some real world, tangible inspiration from available wedding suppliers; which is how just one week into our engagement (Bridezilla alert), I found myself heading off to Manchester's National Wedding Show with one of my best friends/bridesmaids in tow.

Now, it wasn't actually my intention to be thrown into the deep-end of wedding fairs this early into proceedings but it's not so often that the National Wedding Show comes around and especially with this being the first with its own section curated by the wonderful Kat - a.k.a. Rock n Roll Bride.

I've followed Kat on Instagram for quite some time, which is as easily appealing without a ring on your finger due to her own quirky, colourful style. So, when I found out that this upcoming show would mark her first foray into wedding fairs, I knew I needed to go!

We had a fantastic day gleaning inspiration from some amazing local and national suppliers. I'll leave you with some photos below.


It was great to meet Kat and also Sophie - the founder of Crown and Glory, who I'm sure you'll know for their beautiful headwear (think amazing flower crowns, awesome headbands, colourful bows and everything in between).

For those who don't know, Sophie and Kat have teamed up to create the most sparkly kick ass collection of bridal headpieces: the Rock n Roll for Crown and Glory Collection.

As well as checking out this crazy beautiful collection of veils and accessories, I of course picked up the latest edition of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine - an absolute must-read for any unconvential bride!


The National Wedding Show is sadly over for this season but will be returning to London, Birmingham and Manchester in September.

I'm hoping to document little previews of my wedding plans along the way on the blog so keep a lookout for that!



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Thursday, 3 March 2016

Skate Style with Blue White and Grey

Hey,

Bit of a lifestyle post for you today.

I've wanted to learn to skateboard for forever. I grew up when skateboarding was absolutely massive; when everyone played Tony Hawk on Playstation, listened to Blink 182 and wore huge baggy jeans with a wallet chain (me included). Though despite all this, I never had one! I don't think my mum was keen - I was already enough of a tomboy, spending much of my time in treehouses and riding a mini motocross bike!

Anyway, knowing this, Chris bought me a board for my birthday last year and promised to teach me. He used to skateboard a bit when he was younger but is really into rollerblading so is often down the skatepark.

A few weeks ago once the weather let up, we went down to the skatepark - handily just around the corner from our flat!




Beanie hat - Ragged Priest
Denim jacket - vintage Gap (via charity shop)
Choker - eBay
Volcom baseball tee - Blue White and Grey*
Jeans - Primark
Slip ons - Vans

It's fair to say that I wasn't a natural but I'm definitely looking forward to getting out there in the warmer months and getting better at it.

(The park was locked up this time, hence me not being in it for these photos!)

Having recently discovered skate, surf and snow lifestyle store, Blue White and Grey I decided to go out in my new Volcom baseball tee - which is actually a men's style but I loved the 'Chill to the Bone' slogan on the front.

Definitely check them out for an awesome range of the best lifestyle brands, including

I really love that unisex look that skate style has - effortless cool!

Have you revived any old hobbies recently?




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Friday, 12 February 2016

Current Essential Beauty Favourites

Hey,

Today brings a round-up of beauty favourites that I've tried, tested and firmly added to my list of essentials.

These are all products that have been added to my collection in recent weeks, that I've used long enough to give my full seal of approval.

So rather than a typical review, rest assured that all the products featured below from Urban Decay, bareMinerals, Pixi and Lord & Berry come with a huge recommendation from yours truly. Read on to find out why!

 

SKIN / COMPLEXION

 

Urban Decay - B6 Vitamin-infused Prep Spray*

This is a product I would have been unlikely to buy for myself or, to be totally honest, even consider as something I might need/want. I am so glad that this has been introduced into my regime!

This spray is designed to be lightly spritzed over the face before moisturiser or makeup and preps the skin with a hit of B6.

I find that this spray instantly makes my makeup application look better - it minimises pores and evens out my complexion; I'm usually prone to a bit of redness around my nose and cheeks. In the long run, I've found that using this regularly has reduced blemishes, improved dryness in my skin whilst balancing oilier areas plus, it's a great pick-me-up in the morning and gives a fresh feeling for the day ahead!

Urban Decay - Naked Skin Beauty Balm (BB)*

We're all familiar with the concept of BB creams now - a lighter, skin-perfecting alternative to foundation - though I actually love to wear this UD one underneath my makeup base. I have this product in Medium which is a bit too dark for me to wear on its own (I've heard that UD have stopped doing the Light and Dark shades, does anyone know if that's true?) but I find this product fantastic in place of a primer.

The tone of the product gives a nice glow under my base and it's great at blurring imperfections across the areas of my face with most blemishes like my chin and forehead. I find that some BB creams can feel a little greasy or watery but this one is oil-free and has a lovely velvety texture.


 

Pixi - Glow Tonic

Pixi's Glow Tonic has become a bit of a cult product and is one I've wanted to try for ages. This product acts like a toner, to be swept over the skin with a cotton pad for a deeper level of cleansing as well as toning and exfoliating.

I bought this to replace my Clinique 'step 2' Clarifying Lotion, which I've always found a bit harsh as it has a high alcohol content. Glow Tonic is very different in terms of the ingredients, with no alcohol and containing naturally beneficial elements like aloe and witch hazel, as well as glycolic acid which has amazing cleansing and renewing properties.

This stuff has improved my blemishes, faded scars, balanced my skin and overall, makes me look more radiant. I genuinely can't recommend this product enough!

Lord & Berry - 2Phases Waterproof Makeup Remover*

This product is a 'duo formula' remover, containing two 'phases' that need to be shaken together to combine the liquids for maximum makeup removing results. I've tried a couple of removers like this before (a Garnier and Nivea one to memory) but this is without doubt the best I've tried.

This formula quickly, easily and gently removes tough makeup, including waterproof mascara. The main gripe I have with these kind of cleansers is that one part is usually very oily and even when well-shaken, it leaves quite a greasy residue on the skin. I'm pleased to report that Lord & Berry's feels light and completely non-oily.

Containing natural extracts and with added benefits like moisturising, soothing and and refreshing properties, what's not to love?

FACE


Urban Decay - Naked: Flushed*

I love this palette. Containing a bronzer, highlighter and blush powder, this is the perfect mini collection of products for your cheeks.

I'm a bit of a contour novice and though I love the effect, it can be pretty time-consuming to create a full contoured look; in steps UD's Flushed palette. This is brilliant for a quick and easy everyday look. With just this one small palette, you can apply a soft contour under your cheekbones with the bronzer, a pop of colour to the apples of your cheeks with the blush and sweep the illuminating highlighter over the top to finish the look.

The three powders all have a slight shimmer to them which gives a really glowy look.

bareMinerals - bareSkin Perfecting Veil

The search is over; this finishing powder is the best I've ever tried - and I've tried many.

Firstly the packaging is great. It's got a mirror (check) and the powder pan also lifts up to reveal a compartment where the puff is stored - a much better alternative to it sitting in the powder permanently.

This powder is not only light, it seamlessly blurs imperfections with light-reflecting particles. I always feel good about putting bareMinerals products on my skin; this powder contains vitamin C to brighten and a special blend of minerals to absorb excess oil.

 

Urban Decay - Naked Basics*

The Urban Decay Naked range of eyeshadow palettes have full on cult status in the beauty world, though they come with price tag to match their sought-after reputation. The Basics palettes are a great introduction to the range at a lower price point. These condensed versions contain essential shades from the larger palettes and are ideal for creating neautral eye looks or the base to pair with bolder colours from your collection.

The shadows in the original Naked Basics palette are matte and highly pigmented for creating nude daytime looks or neutral yet bold eyes for the evening using the darker shades.

Blendable and longlasting, this palette has become an everyday essential.


Urban Decay - Eye Shadow Primer Potion (Original)*

Firstly, the packaging of this primer is dreamy, I love the characteristic purple branding and the jewel-esque lid. This product is pretty self-explanatory, it primes your eyes for shadow application.

Whether or not you think you need a primer like this, the results speak for themselves. UD's Primer Potion ensures smooth, crease-free shadow application and in one simple step, evens out the skin on the lid.

I like to use this with my UD X Gwen Stefani palette and it definitely ensures that the colour lasts all day.


 

Urban Decay - Subversion Lash Primer*

Another product that I probably wouldn't have thought to try out but now that it's in my collection, I love it. It's not actually something I use everyday, but more of an extra step I opt for if I'm going somewhere special.

Applying this primer to your lashes thickens them and gives your mascara 'something to hold on to'. It looks a little scary when applied as the formula is bright white, however once you've coated it well in glossy black mascara, you'll look like you're wearing falsies (in a good way).

Urban Decay - Brow Tamer Gel (Clear)*

An absolute beauty essential. Ashamedly, before this, I was using a gross gloopy clear mascara that was defintely a few years too old to finish my brows (I know, ew).

This flexible gel sets brows without feeling sticky or drying too stiff. The slim wand allows for precise application that lasts. Simply, great!

LIPS



Lord & Berry - Timeless Lip Colour (Iconic)*

This liquid lip colour is the ultimate longlasting matte. This formula glides on like a gloss and quickly dries to an on-trend matte finish that lasts for ages!

Usually the combination of matte finish and longlasting would result in a drying formula that cracks easily and feels uncomfortable to wear - not Timeless! The unique formula contains neem oil, sesame oil and frankincense for a moisurising, comfortable liquid.

Iconic is a classic, bold yet muted red that I've been wearing so much recently. The longwear formula also comes off easily with a good remover, like the L&B one mentioned above!

Urban Decay - Matte Revolution Lipstick (Stark Naked)

Another matte lip formula (I'm definitely digging this finish right now) that succeeds in keeping the lips moisturised and comfortable. The Stark Naked shade is a perfect nude.

The creamy colour glides on well and lasts. This nude colour goes great with my other UD products from the Naked range, though I'd definitely like to try the bright Menace and Bittersweet shades next.


Are any of these products on your beauty essentials list? Or have you seen something you're eager to try?


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