Saturday, 30 May 2015

SO...? FRAGRANCE // BEAUTY


One of the staples of being a girl at school in the 00's was owning a So...? body spray. When I was given the opportunity to review their new fragrances, I wanted to experience the nostalgia and get back into this particular beauty trend.

First and foremost, the recognisable branding and bottle is a winner. The compact size means they're easy to chuck in your work, college, gym bag and be good to go. The four new fragrances are based on major cities London, Rio, Paris and NYC so being a big fan of European travel I went Parisian (just without the beret.)



So...? Paris has a strong violet scent which to me is usually more of a night out fragrance rather than throughout the day, so I stepped out of my norm and wore it all week - night and day! I really like the scent however, I popped into Boots and grabbed myself a So...? Rio fragrance too as that was my second choice. I much prefer that for Summer because it is SO fruity and light.

I definitely want to try out the others in the range, at (roughly) 99p for each body spray it's really not breaking the bank and it's much more practical than lugging an expensive perfume around with you. The eau de toilette scent lasts all day so if you find a scent you love, it's worth investing in a bottle.

Check out the whole range for yourself here.


my windowsill is mucky, they are not marks on your screen. sorry.
this post features products that were sent to me for review: all opinions are my own and let's be honest if i didn't like something, i would say so.

Friday, 22 May 2015

FESTIVAL FASHION #1 // FOOTWEAR


A staple at any festival is a good pair of shoes and a cosy pair of socks.

It doesn't matter if your tent has holes or that you've forgotten the suncream and you burn if it reaches over 10 degrees. You can buy all this for a ridiculous amount of money somewhere in the field. But your shoes? You gotta have them to get anywhere.

I finally caved in and purchased something I've been wanting for years
- a sturdy pair of Timberlands.

socks - BONSAI // boots - TIMBERLAND (bought from ASOS)
parka - ASOS // dress - TOPSHOP // jumper - NEW LOOK // bandana - EBAY

One of the first things that springs to mind when people think of when it comes to festivals is the portaloos weather and the mud. YOU NEED TO TAKE WELLIES. Without a doubt.

However, if you are lucky enough to be graced with glorious sunshine as I have been in the past, there is nothing better than being able to wear something that doesn't require three friends to prise off your feet.

Timberlands are a well known brand and something so classic is always going to look the part. However they're also waterproof which believe me, you'll be thankful for when the weather turns in seconds as you're watching Biffy Clyro open in the pouring rain whilst wearing a see-through poncho. Or some similar situation.

I love the timeless wheat nubuck style and managed to nab these from ASOS whilst they had a 30% off offer. At £160 RRP, they are pretty pricey and more than I'd normally dream of spending on a pair of shoes. A staple like this though is definitely worth an investment and I know I'll be getting plenty of wear out of them over the summer season!



The first thing in my rucksack are always a few pairs of welly socks. Regardless of what footwear is weather appropriate, you want to be comfy and
a long pair of socks is the answer.

Bonsai socks are made mostly from bamboo (yes, you read that right) so are thermal and they STAY UP. They're also odour-free due to the material which is why I'll be taking them along for the Glastonbury ride with me this year and wearing them for the week. That's right, ALL WEEK. This particular pair came in 'Big Red Bus' red which is the perfect colour to go with my boots.

Take a look at their range - complete with quirky colour names which is always a winner - here.

I am counting down the days till I'll be wearing this look again and can we all pray for sunshine, please?!



All prices are correct at time of publish.
This post features items that were sent to me for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own. Not my dog's opinion or anything. Obviously.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

TEMPLE NEWSAM // LEEDS

Leeds has an adundance of lovely parks and gardens and I am lucky enough to live right down the road from the beautiful Temple Newsam House and Farm. It's home to the famous (well, up North) Party in the Park and the setting for various ParkRuns and the Race for Life. On a sunny day, you'll find me laid in the field with an ice cream or in the cafe with a scone and a brew.

Here's a lovely little photo post of Spring at Temple Newsam.












leanne

x

Friday, 15 May 2015

INSTANATURAL EYE SERUM // BEAUTY REVIEW


I mention way too often that I have been cursed with under eye circles that no amount of Boi-Ing concealer can hide. InstaNatural heard my outcry and kindly sent me the
'Youth Express Eye Serum' to try out.

I'm going to be honest, as much as I attempt to cover my face in makeup to hide these pesky bags, I've not actually tried many under eye creams or serums - often believing it's all a lot of hype. Of those I have tried however, none of them have made enough of a difference to become a staple in my skincare routine.


 InstaNatural offer all sorts of serums, gels and creams for various skin types and problems. I'd heard a little about the brand on the social media grapevine but never used any of their products. The package was sent to me super quickly after a mix up with the order and their customer service was spot on. That's certainly a good start to trying a new product from a brand you've not used before!



The first thing I noticed on opening the serum was the colour. A luminescent orange is not what I expected but hey, anything to counteract the darkness, right?!

It has a pipette applicator which is something I didn't find altogether useful to apply directly to my face but instead used the excess to apply it in semi circles underneath my eyes. The consistency is like Calpol (for all you UK readers!) therefore a little gloopy but won't run down your face. I found it an odd formula to get used to putting under my eyes if I'm honest but you don't need to use a lot as the coverage is great. 

This product claims to:

- Reduces appearance of dark circles, puffiness & saggy eyes 
- Diminishes the appearance of wrinkles & fine lines 
- Increases elasticity, firms and plumps the skin around eyes 
- Provides improved tone and texture of skin 
- Hydrates the delicate eye area to prevent premature ageing 
- Helps you achieve a more radiant, brighter complexion


Of the above, I'd agree with the fact it plumps the skin around my eyes a little without making them look puffy and tired. It definitely hydrated my skin and dries pretty quickly but I didn't feel it 'brightened' my complexion, unfortunately. I've found that using it morning AND evening gives slightly better results than once a day.

As for the colour, the serum needs to be rubbed in thoroughly to avoid any orange patches which is a downside.

At a normal RRP of £39.95, I think this product is overpriced in comparison to some of the better known brands out there with very similar products. It is on sale on Amazon at the minute however, so may be worth a try if, like myself, you really struggle to find a solution.

I think I'll continue the search for brighter eyes but I'll definitely be looking into moisturisers from InstaNatural - hopefully the hydration aspect continues throughout their range!



This review is for a product I was gifted, however all views are my own and unbiased. Obviously. Otherwise I'd just say it was perfect. Read more here: disclaimer.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

LE CHALET, LEEDS //


Leeds is a hub of quirky and quaint places to grab a bite to eat and there are many a cafe to choose from. I visited Le Chalet earlier in the year with some friends and vowed to take my mum for afternoon tea in the future because it was so lovely.

Last week, we arrived earlier than our booking on a Saturday afternoon but were welcomed straight away and perused the set menu for the 'Afternoon Tea' experience. There were a selection of sandwiches to choose from and drink options including a pot of any of their speciality teas which take up an entire page there are so many.

NOTE: Their Vanilla Tea is divine. Trust me.

We opted for tuna and sweetcorn and salmon sandwiches and they arrived shortly after on a platter along with canapés, sweet treats and scones. Afternoon tea never looks like much more than nibbles but believe me, it is filling trying out so many different cakes!




I had my first ever macaron (shock, horror that I've never tried one before) and I'm sad to say I don't think they're my sort of dessert. My mum however, has a super sweet tooth and loved her electric blue selection.

I'd say the 'Afternoon Tea' experience is good value for money at £12.95 per person. You get a wide selection and let's be honest, you're definitely not going to get the quality and the choice at a Costa Coffee round the corner. I bought my mum a gift voucher previous to our booking which is a lovely little something to put inside a card if you want to treat a loved one. These are available on their website or just pop in - they'll help you out!

Although it was fairly busy on a Saturday afternoon, the seating arrangements are 'cosy' to say the least. Opt for a larger table than your party, if available. I imagine it would have given us more room to manoeuvre with our huge stand of food, too! They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options, 'tea tasting sessions', as well as a selection of cakes and hot drinks to takeaway if you're in a hurry.

The staff are friendly, they're happy to help if you ask and the food was definitely a winner.

Overall, Le Chalet has a lovely atmosphere and is a great place to treat your mum to this selection or simply catch up with a friend over a chocolate eclair.

source: here

leanne

x

Saturday, 9 May 2015

CRABTREE & EVELYN, YORK //


Last week I ventured a little further on my train home and headed to York to a beauty event at Crabtree & Evelyn.

I adore York not only because of the history but how lovely everything looks here. It's full of beautiful, timeless buildings down winding, medieval streets and it's as if you've stepped back in time, with the addition of a Topshop and Urban Outfitters round the corner. It's one of those places that disguises even a garish bank logo to look somewhat like a boutique store.

I'm going to be honest, I am not the most knowledgable on any of the Crabtree & Evelyn products and the only things I'd bought from here previously were gifts for men. What better way to be introduced to new beauty products than a beauty blogger event?

This particular one was based around 'Garden Celebration'; embracing lovely floral scents for Spring and nourishing hard-working gardener's hands and skin this season!




I was greeted with a glass of prosecco and an introduction to the 'Garden Celebration' theme and range of products. After a wander around the store it was clear Crabtree sell more types of hand cream than you'd ever think possible. We were offered hand massages using various 60 Second Fix for Hands sets and a lot of us spent the remaining time smelling our hands and being in awe of how soft our skin was.

Hand cream is not all they offer - they have beautiful scented ranges of everything from shampoo to body powder. It is also THE perfect place to buy beautiful gift sets for any occasion; there's definitely a range for everybody.

I love the whole atmosphere of the store itself. With the floral theme throughout, it resembled the feel of typical English rose gardens and a hint of Cath Kidston. Just look how lovely the packaging for the Summer Hill range is, I was genuinely tempted to buy the powder just to keep on my dressing table and look at!



 Something that makes Crabtree a unique shopping experience is they actually also sell food and tea, which you can have a cup of whilst you wander around the shop! They have a huge range of speciality teas and biscuits to dunk, along with mints and sweets and whatever else that managed to get past me whilst I had my face in a plate of scones. 






The staff were all lovely and so knowledgable when it came to every product. I'd like to thank Jamie and the Crabtree & Evelyn York team for hosting such a great event. It was super informal which is fab, people could drop in and out as they pleased or stay until closing time drinking tea to their heart's content (as many of us did!)

Next time you're in York, pop by and have a chat and a brew and browse their range of products.



I'll leave you with my parting image of York at dusk, how lovely. I also apologise for the lack of 'proper camera' photos, I forgot and made do with my nokia.

leanne

x

Monday, 4 May 2015

DAYS OUT // LIVERPOOL & THE CAVERN CLUB


LIVERPOOL

Liverpool is without a doubt one of my favourite cities and I had the opportunity to visit again the other weekend. We were greeted with a grey sky but no matter the weather, Liverpool always offers a fun day out.





We had a wander around the docks and there's many a photo opportunity, as you can tell!

The Beatles Story exhibition is something that I've never actually done.  I'd love to plan a Liverpool weekend entirely revolving around The Beatles some day. They offer magical mystery bus tours around the city, pointing out the star's old family houses and where they used to perform.

Obviously, The Beatles are huge in Liverpool and it's not likely you'll ever miss a reference to John Lennon on your travels.


there he is *swoon*

We finally found The Cavern Club after a few wrong turns. I have always wanted to visit here and it was amazing to finally see it in person! Being taught about The Beatles from a young age and watching 'Cilla' more recently, it is definitely a landmark location for me.

Inside, it's like stepping back in time. Due to the place being so iconic, I'd recommend getting there early in the day to grab a seat, particularly if you're in the city on a weekend or bank holiday. We managed to nab a table and our first round of drinks were ordered by 12pm on the dot. Huge thanks to the lovely bar staff, my mum was smitten.




We spent the majority of our time here and didn't even bother exploring Liverpool any further (plenty of other opportunities for that!) With fantastic performers every couple of hours and a (fairly) cheap round of drinks, we couldn't have asked for a better afternoon. Someone in our party was celebrating her 21st birthday and managed to get herself up on The Cavern stage a grand total of three times, singing her heart out to 'She Loves You' with the help of a jagerbomb at 1.45pm. That's certainly a memorable birthday!

We had the pleasure of meeting Anna-Maria from Argentina who, without a doubt, was the biggest Beatles fan in the room. Speaking little English did nothing to deter her from a rousing rendition of 'Hey Jude' and she was absolutely overwhelmed. It was an amazing atmosphere, therefore this is the one place I would DEMAND you go if you're ever in the city.

Have you ever been to Liverpool? Where would you recommend?

leanne

x