Monday, 29 May 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS

It's been a weird old week.

I wouldn't usually weigh in on what I will mention today but I have all these thoughts and bugbears floating around my head and as my blog is my corner of the internet I just wanted to vent, so grab a coffee and let me know if my thoughts echo yours?

Firstly, I just have to mention the most horrible of news from my beloved Manchester. I woke up in Dubai on Tuesday morning at 7am ish (4am UK time) and read messages from my mum in our family whatsapp group that made my blood run cold. The unthinkable had happened in Manchester. I still can't get my head round it and I am not using this platform for anything other than sharing the fundraising page as I don't believe in making stuff like this about me. What I will say though is that Manchester has my absolute support and if anyone has any ideas as to how I can help then please message me. I felt so so far away from home this past week and I just want to give my condolences to everyone affected. I got home on Saturday and went straight to St Ann's Square to pay my respects.

If you want to donate to the official fund then please click here.

Events like the above put everything into perspective for me and I also want to talk about two very public fallouts with two very popular bloggers. I'm talking about the Gabriella / VelvetBl0cked and Sarah Ashcroft sagas. I am not going to get into what they said/did or my thoughts on it as each to their own, I am an adult and quite honestly I think there is more to worry about.

What I will be discussing though is the terrible online bullying I have seen as a result. It amazes me how nasty people can be to people they don't know on Twitter or other social media. I am not surprised that people are blocked in all honesty, I certainly wouldn't want to read some of those tweets I have seen if they were about me. If you don't agree with something then fine, I understand, everyone is entitled to an opinion. That said, I have to question whether ALL of those people who have so much to say have ever said something that came out completely wrong or was misinterpreted. These girls are normal girls just like the rest of us and no one is perfect. Granted, I accept that being semi in the public eye does mean that you have a degree of influence over younger readers but I am going to go back to the intent. I strongly doubt that the intent of the comments made was malicious so to see tweet after tweet of personal attacks which are malicious I think makes those tweeters worse than the people they are tweeting about in my eyes.

This is the side of blogging that I hate. People are very quick to be keyboard warriors and seem to forget that often these people they are criticising are young girls too. We've all had those moments where you say something that you immediately want to suck right back into your mouth and wish they never came out, we are human it happens.

All in one week I have seen Manchester come together so beautifully that it has been truly inspirational to watch and actually made me feel a little homesick despite only being on holiay for a short time. I've seen people working together and refusing to be scared into submission by some sick bastard with his own personal agenda that goes way beyond religion.

It makes me angry to then witness all the petty bullying tweets going on whilst people are grieving. Why are people wasting energy on stuff like this - let's be honest here, nothing of what has gone on in the bloggersphere has ANY effect on your life. No I didn't particularly enjoy seeing someone say that there isn't room for any more bloggers but equally, how can we be sure she actually said that? I just think it doesn't affect me. I will continue to write my blog and would urge you to do the same if that's what you want to do.

Let's channel all this energy into something more positive and as a blogging community take some inspiration from Manchester in the way we conduct ourselves. Togetherness, support, passion, enthusiasm and don't try and destroy each other from within.

That's my rant over, I am sure some of you will disagree with me and that's fine. I just had to get a few things off my chest.
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WHAT CAN OUR MUMS TEACH US ABOUT FASHION?


Who is the woman who you most look up to? We all have our own personal idols. Some girls may love pop stars such as Ariana Grande or Katy Perry, while others might love strong women from history such as Joan of Arc. But there is one woman in our life who takes the top spot when it comes to influential women: our mum!

If your mum is anything like mine, I’m sure that she will be completely strong and inspiring. But there will also be something else that she can teach you a thing or two about as well - fashion! Your mum will have lived through various different styles and trends already, and will know all about how to dress to flatter her shape. So why not ask your mother next time you need some great fashion tips. 
Here are some that she may tell you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Bold
Mums are good at filling us with lots of self-confidence. And this is the same when it comes to fashion confidence! As our mothers will already have their very own fashion and style, they will know just how important it is to be bold and buy items of clothing that show off your personality. Don’t be boring and buy something that everyone else has. Buy unique pieces that are sure to get heads turning!

Comfort Matters
Yeah, sure those high heels look absolutely fantastic. But how are your feet going to feel after a few hours of dancing in them? Chances are, your feet are going to be in serious pain, and you might even develop some blisters! Comfort in fashion is very important. And not only when it comes to your feet - when you are next looking through a selection of women's lingerie or tight dresses, you should buy items that aren’t going to dig into you or rub against your skin. Generally speaking, natural materials are very comfortable on the skin, so try and buy items of clothing that are made from them.

Less Is Best
Is it better to be underdressed or overdressed? That is the big fashion question on most people’s lips. If you ask your mum, I’m sure she will say that the best option is to be underdressed. For instance, wearing way too much makeup could end up with you looking like a plastic Barbie doll! Ideally, keep your makeup natural and don’t go over the top with your outfit. Otherwise, you might get people staring at you for all the wrong reasons!

Keep Things Bright
Does your mum always prefer it when your outfits are bright and colourful rather than black or beige? She’s got a point! Wearing colourful outfit shows off a lot more of your personality and will always help you come across as a lot more bright and bubbly. So, when in doubt, always pick the colourful clothes over the black ones!

Our mums can teach us a lot of wisdom, but most of their best tips are in the fashion department!
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Thursday, 18 May 2017

TRAVEL BAGGAGE

Luggage



BURBERRY Leather Holdall / Yves Saint Laurent Beach Bag / Backpack Crossbody / Aranáz Pouch Purse, £68 / Top Handle Purse / Brown Leather Tote Bag / Longchamp Handle Backpack / ASOS Bag, £31 / Samsonite Foldaway Duffle Bag, £20 / ASOS Shoulder Bag, £22 / Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis, £1,380 / Lulu Guinness Lips Case

One of my favourite things about going on holiday is planning my wardrobe, luggage, accessories and basically everything...

Today's round up features some of my favourite travelling bags which are suitable for the trip itself, airport, beach, bar, shopping etc!

I like to inject a dose of colour into my 90% black wardrobe when travelling so whilst there are some rather lovely black bags above, I am loving the brighter colours, metallic leathers and kitsch pineapple from ASOS! Considering I tend to carry everything but the kitchen sink in my airport bag I need something that will fit all of my essentials along with the travel pillow, extra socks, big headphones, skincare and entertainment! 

What are your travelling essentials? Am I missing anything?
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

MICROBLADING MYTH BUSTING

BEFORE
DURING: PERFECTING THE SHAPE
STRAIGHT AFTER THE TREATMENT
ONE WEEK LATER
'Before Microblading the therapist will shave off your brows'

'Microblading is really painful'

'You don't get any pain relief when having your eyebrows Microbladed'

'You get really bad scabbing when you have your eyebrows Microbladed'

'The therapist will just draw on hairs wherever they think'

'Microbladed eyebrows are really bold and dark'

I could go on with the various things I thought about microblading before I actually had it done. I think the biggest myth I thought was that they shave off yours to add in the hair strokes which couldn't be further from the truth! This post is all about busting those microblading myths following a fantastic appointment with Cara from Cosmetic Tattoo Manchester!

I liked Cara immediately when I met her and felt at ease, I asked ALL the stupid questions in my consultation and was confident Cara knew exactly what I was and wasn't looking for! In my actual appointment where blade hits brow, I was first of all smothered in numbing cream whilst Cara measured my face and marked up what she felt would be the most flattering outline to stay within and colour matched the pigment.

I love it when beauty becomes technical and Cara made sure I knew what she was doing at all times. When we had agreed on the brow shape and style I wanted, the other brow was marked up and then the first hair 'incision' made!

I'm not going to lie, I was slightly apprehensive as microblading sounds harsh just in it's name! Blades near eyes just don't go together for me but it isn't like a stanley knife like I was envisaging! A small flattened needle is more what I would describe the microblading tool as and it was probably a 2/3 on a pain scale out of 10! Cara goes over each brow 3 times and numbs and tints in between each go. The most uncomfortable part is probably when the tint and numbing cream goes on for the third time as your skin is feeling quite sensitive and it feels slightly stingy but that is probably for 30 seconds whilst the numbing cream works!

One thing I will say is that your first appointment is quite lengthy, but I would much rather someone took their time with something that is semi permanent! I was really pleased with how natural the end result was and I can't wait to go back for my follow up appoint to add in some finishing touches! I have perfect brows that need very little doing to them apart from a slick of clear brow gel to keep them in place. They are so subtly enhanced that people haven't really noticed anything other than commenting that my brows look great so I see that as a job very well done!

As for the days after the treatment there was no pain, no discomfort, a little bit of itching but an application of the ointment Cara gave me soon sorted that. The healing process Cara explained to me in depth as she said that's where she gets the most questions. As the pigment is put almost under the skin, it can appear as having faded alot as the skin closes again after being opened up. As the skin layers shed the pigment moves closer to the surface.

If you want to check out some of Cara's work then have a look at her Instagram Page and get in touch for a no obligation consultation 😍

I will do a follow up post once I have had my second appointment and report back, but for now I am just CHUFFED that my brows are permanently #onfleek!!
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Monday, 8 May 2017

ESTEE LAUDER X YOU CAM MAKEUP

At the end of April I head over to Selfridges at The Trafford Centre to hear all about Estee Lauder's new collab with You Cam Makeup App where you can virtually try ALL of Estee Lauder's Lipsticks!

Now, I don't know about you but I have often wanted to try on all different lipsticks but you can't really do that with testers, it would be expensive if you took the lipstick home and didn't like it on yourself and let's face it once you try a bold colour it ends up all over your face unless you have some proper removal supplies!

I really think this concept is perfect for the perfect purchasing experience. Having sampled the app myself, I am blown away by how real the different finishes translate to the images. Matte, shimmer etc, you get a real idea of how it would look on you! Bottom centre is when I went a little further, changing my eye colour digitally and of course adding some lashes.... 😜

I will leave Estee Lauder's Press Release down below for all the information and the download link but I am genuinely really impressed by this so had to share!!

From April 13th beauty fans can experience YouCam Makeup for the first time in the UK at Estée Lauder Selfridges counters and the Estée Edit Carnaby Street store.

With over 4 million downloads in the UK alone (and over 400 million downloads globally)YouCam Makeup is the smart cosmetic app, harnessing accurate augmented reality and facial mapping technology for a true-to-life virtual makeover.

To celebrate the launch of Estée Lauder’s new Pure Colour LOVE lipstick, consumers can now try on all 30 shades in real-time (or on a static photo) directly through the app.

“Estée Lauder is excited to announce this partnership with YouCam – their first beauty venture in the UK” explains Chris Good, President, United Kingdom and Ireland The Estée Lauder Companies. “As a brand we no longer just sell lipstick. We offer the consumer a unique experience – and YouCam gives us the opportunity to bring innovative technology and a real digital first concept to the makeup loving millennial. And there is no better place to bring technology, social engagement and beauty together than at Selfridges and at our Carnaby Street store.”

“YouCam Makeup is honoured to partner with the iconic beauty brand, Estée Lauder, to deliver a one-of-a-kind instore beauty experience to their UK market,” said Perfect Corp. CEO, Alice Chang. “The seamless integration of YouCam’s virtual instore magic mirrors elevates the beauty shopping experience to a new realm inviting customers to play and experiment with products, discovering the entire Pure Color Love lip collection in a matter of seconds. Together with Estée Lauder UK, we are able to provide the ultimate in store shopping experience of the future.”

Estée Lauder Beauty Advisors will be on-hand across locations to show consumers how to download and use the YouCam app allowing them to immediately try on every Pure Colour LOVE lipstick shade across the finishes - Ultra Mattes, Shimmer Pearls, Cooled Chromes and Edgy Crèmes. This is a true omni-channel experience demonstrating how mobile can drive traffic to services in store.

“We know experiential technology is important to our customer and central to the evolution of beauty
retail. As a beauty tool, YouCam offers a service that is fun, shareable and genuinely useful; we’re
delighted Estee Lauder is bringing this future-gazing partnership to our customers.”
Melissa McGinnis, Selfridges Beauty Buying Manager.

YouCam will also be hosting a competition on their Instagram social channel (@YouCamApps) for UK residents to enter with the chance of winning an Estée Lauder Lip Effect makeup service at Carnaby Street and the entire collection of all thirty Estée Lauder Pure Colour LOVE lipsticks!
Consumers can watch Estée Lauder Beauty Advisor tutorials by using hashtag #LoveLipRemix to search and follow the actions outlined at @EstéeLauderUK @YouCamApps @TheOfficialSelfridges.

Visit the following Estée Lauder locations for the Estée Lauder Pure Colour LOVE and YouCam Try On Now experience:

Estée Edit Carnaby Street: April 13th –May 31st

Selfridges Oxford Street: April 13th – May 31st

Selfridges Manchester Exchange: April 20th – May 31st

Selfridges Manchester Trafford: April 13th – May 31st

Selfridges Birmingham: April 13th –May 31st

YouCam Makeup is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play.


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Sunday, 7 May 2017

#VIKINGARTYPARTY

The Viking Arty Party was one of those events that really make you feel so grateful to the blogging community. I know I work hard on my blog but I am always super grateful for the opportunities that come my way as a result and spending an afternoon being all crafty with like minded ladies was so so lovely!

Hosted by Viking at King Street Hotel we learned how to do calligraphy with Joyce Lee from Artsy Nibs, Block Printing and Notebook Customisation with The Crafty Hen! I am quite creative as I'm sure you will all have read at points as I talk about how my blog is my little creative outlet that contrasts nicely with my day job!

King Street Townhouse is such a lovely venue, we got to see some amazing views across Manchester whilst getting our craft on! I think my favourite session of the day had to be calligraphy, I've been dying to attend one of Joyce's workshops so was really chuffed that Viking made it happen. I thought I would post one of Joyce's creations - the Prosecco written so beautifully that I will have to frame it!

Big thanks to Viking for hosting such a lovely event, you have ignited a crafting passion in me!
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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

TASTE OF BARBADOS


Barbados Comes to South Molton Street on Friday 5th – Sunday 7th May 2017!

Immerse  yourself  in  Barbadian  culture  and  cuisine at Taste  Of  Barbados,  a  culturally authentic experiencetaking place on South Molton Street, London from Friday 5th – Sunday 7th May.

This three - day extravaganza,  brought  to  you  by Barbados  Tourism  Marketing  Inc, will celebrate Bajan  culture,  cuisine, music, art and of course, rum – all  of  which centres on embracing  life  and  happiness.  

Barbados  is  enveloped  in  a raucous  festival  fever throughout the  year with two popular festival highlights; Cop  Over Festival in  July and August  and  the world  famous Food  and  Rum  Festival in  November. 

Taste  of  Barbados will  bring  the Caribbean flavour to your doorstep and provide you a teaser of what the stunning island has to  offer. In  addition, visitors  will  have  the  chance  to  win  holidays  to  Barbados (including flights and accommodation) with daily competitions.

“Our island is a treasure trove of wonderful and very diverse events and activities which cater to all ages. Taste of Barbados is a special event designedto not only showcase our local culture and
gastronomy but also to give potential UK visitors an insight into some of our exciting upcoming events on the island
" said Cheryl Carter, UK Director of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

‘South Molton Street and the surrounding streets in Mayfair areiconic shopping destinationsfeaturing an international mix of stores and restaurants. We are delighted to partner with leading brands to create this event and look forward to an exciting weekend.'

A selection  of  Barbados’  world - class  chefs  will be descending upon  South  Molton  Street to cook up a storm of wonderful Bajan flavours and tantalising dishes. This will include cookery demonstrations from top Barbadian chefs, such as Michelin trained, Jason Howard and Anthony  Cumberbatch, plus don’t miss the Iron Chef Culinary Cook off on Sunday at 1pm when these two chefs go head to head preparing their own creative masterpieces right before your eyes.

Experience  the  ultimate  rum masterclass with Miguel  Smith,  an  Ambassador  for  Mount  Gay Rum, the oldest rum brand in the world. This golden rum offers a taste sensation like no other.

Miguel will  be providing insider knowledge  on  Barbados, the  birthplace of  rum,  while  also providing  samples of some of the world’s oldest distilled alcoholic beverage.

Get  hands  on  with  interactive  mixology  classes hosted  by Global Rum  Ambassador, Ian Burrell.  Ian will  be  lending  his  expert  knowledge  of  rum, teaching  guests  about  the different  styles  of rum  and  mapping  the  flavour  of  each  as  they  sip  their  way  between  the islands.  Visitors will also have  the  opportunity to  create  their  own  bespoke  blend  with  a selection of Caribbean rums.

Londoners  will  be  treated  to  a  medley  of  Bajan  talent  incorporating  calypso,  spouge, contemporary folk, jazz and reggae as some of Barbados’ hottest acts including Arturo Tappin &
Band,  Cool  Breeze  DJ,  a  Barbadian  Folk  Choir,  and  several  vocalists  ranging  from
acclaimed  Calypsonians  Red  Plastic  Bag,  Biggie  Irie  and  Nikkita  and  Jazz,  Gospel  and  R&B vocalists  Tamara  Marshall,  and  Marissa  Lindsay take  to  the  main  stage  to  create  Caribbean
infused vibes. 

This eclectic mix of Barbadian music styles will provide visitors with a taste of Barbados’ exhilarating Crop Over Festival, which celebrates the end of the sugarcane harvest in July and August on the island.

There really  is something  for  everyone  at Taste  of  Barbados including  health  and  wellness fanatics with  a yoga  demonstration on  Saturday  afternoon when  experts  will  be  on  hand, teaching different types of yoga and the benefits of each.

If art is more up your street, talented photographer Raymond  Maughan will  be  showcasing  his  photographic work of all things Barbados.

There will be plenty activities for children including, drawing and dance classes.

British Airwayswill have their very own simulator operated by BA pilots, offering guests the chance to fly a jet aircraft. All ‘student pilots’ will be presented with a certificate showing their flight path and overall score.

Carter  added, “With additional flight routes, Barbados is now more accessible than ever and our  stunning  coastlines  and  rich history  makes  our  island  the  perfect  choice  for  a  relaxed getaway.”
 
Find  out  about  all  the  exciting  events  that  are  happening  on  the  island  at  the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. marquee. With 2017 being the Year of Sport, there will also be lots of information about the new and existing sporting activities on the island plus hotel partners will be on hand to provide details on their resorts and offerings.

So embrace the Barbadian vibes on South Molton Street this May; from rum tastings and cooking demonstrations to music and food - filled festivities the weekend exudes ‘extravagance’.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful event, with plenty of giveaways including trips to Barbados, the idyllic island is right at your fingertips!
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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

CHAPEL STREET SALON MANCHESTER

GALS and GUYS! For those of you who work and or live in the City Centre or just like to learn about tried and tested salons I have a newbie for you, Chapel Street Salon in Salford!

Formerly Glowing Salon, Chapel Street Salon is a Brazilian inspired hub of all things beauty, a stones throw away from Manchester City Centre. Imagine having your hair done whilst being on holiday, fantastic brazilian music and stunning decor... it is this which really sets Chapel Street Salon apart from other Salons nearby!

I popped in for a blow dry and immediately felt relaxed by the music and friendly welcome. A mere 35 minutes later I was out the door feeling fantastic and ready for dinner with my friends. The Salon is a short walk from House of Fraser in Manchester so perfect for nipping to for a lunchtime or after work blow dry or other beauty treatments!

Thank you to the team, I really enjoyed my visit so big thumbs up from me!

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