Saturday, 28 May 2016

Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review

Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review

We all know how much I love an eyeshadow palette.

Providing the combination of shades are right, they can be handy, practical and perfect for taking away.  I travel a lot as I live for my holidays so finding eyeshadow palettes that I can create a multitude of looks from is really important to me and thats exactly what I found with the Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette.


Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review


Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review

The Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 palette* contains 32 stunning eyeshadows in a sleek black palette with a huge mirror in the lid making it an ideal choice whether you're at home or travelling.

There are so many shades in the palette and they compliment one another perfectly so you can feel confident in getting creative with your eyeshadow looks, safe in the knowledge that the shades you're using go together.

As you can see from my swatches above and below, the vast majority of the eyeshadows are highly pigmented.  Some of the lighter shades don't swatch as pigmented as some of the others but when used on the eyes they provide a beautiful light wash of colour that neutralises the lid and lifts and highlights the eyes.  A lot of the lighter matter shades look quite similar when on the eyes so once you've used up one shadow, you can still continue using the palette without needing to carry around another highlight shade with you.


Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review


Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review

The Flawless 2 palette has a fabulous mix of matte and shimmery eyeshadows across its shade range which is great as it gives you the option of, for example, having a shimmery brow bone highlight or a matte brow bone colour.

As well as being pigmented, these shadows apply strongly and true to the colour that they appear to be in the pan.  They're really buildable so you can go in with a light hand and then work up the colour if you so wish.

I don't think that these shadows have a lot of fall out from them at all.  I've used plenty of palettes before from brands that are priced far more expensively than Makeup Revolution and have found their to be a lot of fall out from their shadows which results in having to clean up around the eye, often disturbing the base makeup underneath.  I don't get that at all with the Flawless 2 palette.

The shadows blend incredibly well which is something that I often struggle with when working with drugstore eyeshadows.  The eyeshadows being very blendable helps with the application as it ensures that the shades blend evenly into one another rather than having a clump of colour in one spot.  Plus working with great quality shadows that blend effortlessly means that it actually takes me far less time to apply my makeup which is always a good thing.

Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review


Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Eyeshadow Palette Review

What is unique about this palette in particular is its fabulous combination of cool and warm toned eyeshadows.  Makeup Revolution have got the mix perfectly right here, more so than any other palette I've owned before as they all tend to be cool or warm, not both.

My favourite look is using the warm bronze/rust/red/orange shades from the top right of the palette to create a look like the one in the photographs above.  Each time I do it, I create a slightly different look as with this palette, there are lots of options so I tend to switch eyeshadows in and out of my routine when I feel like it.

I didn't have any eyeshadows that were these kinds of colours and to buy them all individually from other brands would have ended up being really pricey plus a big risk in case I didn't end up liking the effect.  Now that I've tried them out, I really love the look that these warmer shades give my eyes; sultry, sexy smokes with a twist.

Love this look and want to try the palette out for yourself?  You can grab it here and from Superdrug for only £8 which works out to be only 25p per eyeshadow... what an incredible bargain!

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What are your favourite eyeshadow shades?

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Friday, 27 May 2016

How To Look Put Together: Monochrome, Grey & Rose Gold

How To Look Put Together: Monochrome, Grey & Rose Gold

My wardrobe has been that monochrome over the last few months that I've even surprised myself.  It looks chic, stylish and really put together.

This outfit here is very much a typical look that I've been going for and it is very much the key to looking put together; wearing black and white and then pairing it with another neutral shade like grey with a metallic detail such as rose gold.  If you have such staples in your wardrobe then you can mix and match them without much thought and you'll always look on point.

I've posted a number of times about the Evans Black Sleeveless Trench and my ASOS leather look leggings (similar here) as they're very much wardrobe staples for me, even as it is approaching summertime with our weather being quite hit and miss.  I've paired them both with this short sleeved white t shirt from Evans which brightens up the outfit and provides a lovely contrast against the black.

If you love the monochrome look, I'd suggest breaking up your outfit like this and playing with different textures in the pieces that you choose.


How To Look Put Together: Monochrome, Grey & Rose Gold


How To Look Put Together: Monochrome, Grey & Rose Gold


How To Look Put Together: Monochrome, Grey & Rose Gold

I paired my monochrome outfit with some accents of grey; firstly with this amazing grey and rose gold foil scarf from Oliver Bonas.  I bought it when I was actually shopping in their Kings Cross Station store for a birthday present for my bestie.  I picked one up for her as I knew she'd love it but I couldn't resist choosing one for myself too.  While actually pretty simple, its totally different to anything else I've seen out there and I always receive lots of compliments whenever I wear it.

My grey bag is from BB Bags* who make the most gorgeous personalised suede bags.  You're able to completely mix and match them as you can choose the colour of the suede and the colour of the tread used to embroider the bag with your initials.  I picked grey and rose gold which looks SO pretty!  These bags are so affordable and my lovely gifts.  You can find them on Facebook here or on their Etsy shop.

My last grey addition to this outfit are these boots from Missguided which I reviewed in this post.  I've had these for over a year now and they're still going strong.  I love the cut out detailing and the chunky heel which ensures that they aren't painful to walk in.  They only have a size 7 left in these for £10 on the website here but I'll link to some other grey boots that I love below.


How To Look Put Together: Monochrome, Grey & Rose Gold

To compliment the rose gold in the pattern of the scarf, I added rose gold accessories in the form of my DKNY watch, River Island rose gold stud earrings and my Lucky Eyes heart bracelet which I reviewed here.  I can't seem to find a direct link to this piece online but I've linked some luxe and budget alternatives below.

I'm often complimented on looking put together and its really easy when you know how.  Wearing monochrome is ideal as it goes with everything and then if you pick out another base colour and a metallic to pair with it as an accent, it really pulls your whole look together and makes it appear as though you've spent far more time deciding what to wear than you actually have!

SHOP THE POST & MORE

What are your favourite outfit combinations?

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Thursday, 26 May 2016

How To Look Luxe with Chanel

How To Look Luxe Expensive with Chanel Designer

In today's post, I'm going to share three ways as to how you can look luxe, without spending a hundreds of pounds, specifically with Chanel products.


For as long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed the finer things in life. I'm the kind of person where I'd rather get one thing for my birthday that I consider to be a classic luxury that'll last me a lifetime than lots of pieces that might only last me a season or two.

During my adult life, I've always favoured luxury brands and love to invest in designer handbags that I can see myself using for years and years to come. I also love to invest in what is inside my bag too as I take great pleasure in the quality and luxe aesthetic that comes with luxury beauty products and accessories.

It can really enable you to create a high end look that can become a part of your style and what you're known for style-wise.  This not just applies to how you dress and what you carry but to your home too.

So many people ask me how I do it and the best place to start, in my opinion, is with beauty products.


These are usually at a much more affordable and realistic price point for a lot of people, they're even things that wouldn't be considered too expensive to ask for as a birthday gift and with that in mind, they're an easier entry into the world of designer brands.


How To Look Luxe Expensive with Chanel Designer

Two pieces that I want to share with you today are my handbag staples from the creme de la creme of luxury brands; Chanel.

The first piece is the Chanel Double Sided Mirror which comes in a beautiful black velvet type pouch with the CC logo on it. The mirror itself is very useful whether you're using it out and about to touch up your lippy or at home plucking your eyebrows. It has a regular mirror on one side and then a super magnified mirror on the other.

The casing of the mirror is a hard wearing black plastic with a high gloss finish and it has the classic Chanel logo on it in white. This is a statement piece as it is instantly recognisable to luxe lovers and those who aspire towards high end pieces.

You'll only ever have the need for one mirror in your handbag so if you were to get this one and take care of it, it could last you a lifetime.  


High end beauty products have instantly recognisable packaging, especially from the likes of Chanel and Dior but as this mirror is something that not everyone knows is available from beauty counters, a lot of people do automatically think that it is far more expensive than it actually is.  At £26, it wont break the bank and the cost per use would definitely make this mirror a worthwhile handbag investment.

The second piece handbag staple for me is a Chanel lipstick.  High end lippies not only tend to perform better than many cheaper alternatives but they also have the most luxurious, recognisable packaging too and if you're wanting to create that luxe handbag look, that is what you need!

This is the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in Mighty which is a limited edition shade for spring/summer 2016.  In the bullet, it looks as though its going to be a really intense lipstick but the formula is very sheer so it actually looks like a really light wash of pink colour.  Very pretty and perfect for a natural makeup look.


How To Look Luxe Expensive with Chanel Designer

The last piece is actually something that you can use to achieve a more luxe look within your beauty stash at home and that's with the Chanel Nail Colour Remover.

At around £14, it is far more expensive than any other nail polish remover I've ever seen but it comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with a high quality, hard wearing black lid with the Chanel CC logo in white on top.  Set out on a tray with cotton pads in an acrylic pot, it looks so luxe and very high end.  Plus the bottle will last forever so once you've used up the remover inside, you could always refill it with a pink tinted, cheap nail polish remover from a budget shop which is what I'll probably do once I've used this up.

So thats my three ways to look luxe using affordable designer pieces without breaking the bank.  You can pick up all three items here for around £65 although there is a small sale on at the moment so you may be able to snag yourself a bit of a bargain from time to time.

For those who love the luxe look, I hope my handbag and home essentials have inspired you!

SHOP THE POST & MORE LUXE

What are your handbag essentials?

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Thursday, 19 May 2016

BEAUTY | Caring For Different Skin Types

Caring For Different Skin Types Decleor

If you regularly read my blog, you’ll know that I love cosmetics, skincare and all things beauty. I’m always trying out different brands or experimenting with new makeup trends. However, it’s true that this can sometimes take its toll on your skin. This got me thinking about the different skin types and how to care for each. I've definitely picked up some tips and knowledge in my time so today I wanted to share a bit of that with you.

Dry Skin
We’ve all experienced the nightmare of dry, flaky skin — it can ruin even the most perfectly applied makeup. I have very oily skin myself but when I'm ill the skin around my mouth, nose and on my cheeks becomes so dry and flaky.

What many people don’t realise is that the type of cleanser or face wash you’re using can be drying your skin out. So if you have naturally dry skin, or if you skin is try because of an illness such as in my case, then you could be making it worse and if you actually have normal skin, you could be making it drier!

Soap and cleansers that include harsh chemicals and alcohol can really dry your skin out, so you should always choose a gentle cleanser. Available at Pure Beauty, Decleor products are a great choice, as they include natural ingredients and essential oils which are kind to skin.

Once you’ve washed your skin, pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth. Try to avoid using rough towels, as these can damage your skin further. You’ll also need a hydrating lotion to lock in moisturiser.

I've been using Decleor products for years and years and I can tell you first hand how amazing they are, especially if your skin is dry or sensitive. I reviewed the cleanser and toner in this post many moons ago, the Rose D'Orient serum oil here which is actually what saved my skin after it started cracking and peeling from using another skincare product from a different brand, and the moisturising body lotion here.

Caring For Different Skin Types Decleor

Oily Skin

While everyone wants a natural glow, nobody wants a greasy shine. Oily skin is usually caused by overactive sebaceous glands, which produce the oil.

You may be tempted to scrub away the oil, but doing so can trigger more oil production as it can irritate your skin. Instead, choose a gentle cleanser and oil-free moisturiser.

When it comes to makeup, the best option is to use a really good primer and then opt for base products that have oil free formulas or ones that have a higher powder content, as these will help to remove the sheen without drying your skin out.

Caring For Different Skin Types Decleor

Combination Skin

Combination skin, as the name suggests, is where you have a mix of both oily and dry skin. Generally, oil tends to build up across your T-zone, while you may have dry patches elsewhere on your face.

To begin, choose a balancing cleanser — this will help to even out your oil levels, hydrate dry patches and reducing oil build up in problem areas. You’ll also need to apply a balancing moisturiser after washing your face too. Don’t be attempted to avoid moisturising your T-zone — doing so could make it even oilier.

It’s important to remember not to wash your face too often — once in the morning and once at night will suffice. If you do wash it more regularly, you could strip your skin and make your skin oilier, as your pores react to the constant cleansing. Instead, use blotting sheets or a translucent powder to wick away the oil.

What are your top skincare tips for dry, oily or combination skin?

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

LIFESTYLE | Curry for Lunch at Le Raaj, Sedgefield

Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

For the last few years, one of mine and my hubby's favourite Indian restaurants to dine at in the North East has been Le Raaj in Chester Le Street; the curry is to die for.

When I heard that Le Raaj were opening a second restaurant in Sedgefield, I couldn't wait to go.  As both of our schedules tend to be quite full on, we were unable to find an evening where we were both free to go and so we decided to book in for their Lunch Menu instead.

In all our years of visiting the Chester Le Street restaurant, we did not realise that they had a lunchtime service too.  Now that this is available in both this restaurant and the new Le Raaj in Sedgefield, as well as the evening service, we feel spoilt for choice and for two people with conflicting schedules like we do, this option is ideal as it gives us the chance to have a date day if we can't quite manage a date night!


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

The Le Raaj restaurant in Sedgefield is very easy to find as its right next to a roundabout, just off from two main roads.  This makes it so easy to access not only from nearby places such as Bishop Auckland, Wynyard, Wolviston and Billingham but  from all over the North East too.

The restaurant looked so grand as we drove up to it. There's ample car parking which is shared with the hotel opposite, making it an ideal spot for dinner if you're ever staying at the Travelodge in Sedgefield.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

Upon entering Le Raaj, theres a short corridor and another set of doors to walk through before you get into the actual restaurant which is warm, friendly and inviting.

This might seem like a strange thing to pick up on but I've sat in so many restaurants where the tables and chairs are right next to the entrance which means that you either have to put up with the commotion of people coming and going from the restaurant, cigarette smoke drifting in from outside or the cold air causing a terrible draft, that I have really started to appreciate the design and layout of a building!

Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

The first thing that immediately sprang to mind when I first saw Le Raaj Sedgefield was, wow this place is stylish.  The feel is very modern, contemporary and opulent.  Yet it doesn't feel pretentious.

It is clear that A LOT of money has been spent on the refit of the building to turn it into Le Raaj and the attention to detail is absolutely superb; even the toilets are beautiful!  A local company, TCL at Home, carried out all works on the building and it is clear to see how skilled they are; Le Raaj really chose the best of the best to create their restaurant.

Aesthetically, my favourite part of this restaurant is the way that it has been designed.  With the use of partitions, the restaurant has been divided up to create different areas; on the right of the reception space, theres a waiting area with small tables and plenty of seats where customers can enjoy a drink before being seated.  Theres also another dining room to the right of the reception area.  On the left, theres a full bar, along with the toilets and the larger of the two dining areas.  You'll find booth seats as well as tables large and small here, all set looking simplistic yet classy.

The great thing about there being two different dining areas is that if you have a large party, you could actually ask to be seated in a particular area and this would give you more of a private dining feel.  I don't believe they charge extra for this either.  Its a great idea, especially if you're coming with a large party to celebrate a birthday, family reunion or something similar.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

We were seated to the far left of the restaurant by the polite and friendly waiter who had welcomed us to the restaurant.  He gave us our menus and took our drinks order; a diet coke for me and a sparkling water for my guest, as you can probably guess, we're not very rock and roll these days.  The drinks arrived in record time and the order was complete and correct; I had asked for mine without ice and its usually hit or miss as to whether the drink arrives as requested but at Le Raaj, it did!

The seats we were on were very comfortable and had a great view of the  spacious restaurant and out of the huge windows behind and to the side which made the restaurant feel light and airy.  My hubby and I loved the decor, especially the giant elephants, and both agreed that it felt very sophisticated and classy; definitely somewhere we would like to visit at night.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

At lunchtime, Le Raaj Sedgefield offer their full a la carte menu as well as their four course lunch menu which is fantastic value at only £8.95 per person.  This was the option that we went for as usually lunchtime or happy hour menus come with smaller portions and we thought that would be more than adequate for lunchtime.

The selection on the lunchtime menu was more than plentiful.  We could pick from a selection of starters, a main course curry each (chicken or vegetable but you could pay £1 extra to change to a different meat), a basmati rice or nan bread each (plain, but they give you the option of upgrading to one of the other flavoured options for £1 extra) and a choice of ice cream or coffee to finish.

When dining from the lunchtime menu, customers do have the choice of adding anything else that they would like from the regular menu if they would like to.  However we stuck to the lunch menu with one exception... papadoms and pickles!


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

Of course, no Indian meal is complete without papadoms so we added one each with a pickle tray to our order.

It arrived quickly and the papadoms tasted fresh and crispy and not greasy in the slightest.  The pickle tray that accompanied them came with lime pickle, mango chutney, onion salad and raita.  The mango chutney is always my favourite and this one was lovely; sweet with just the right amount of tangy flavour to it!


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

For our starters, we chose Sheek Kebab, which is lightly spiced minced meat in a sausage shape and the classic Onion Bhaji, which is a total classic; lightly spiced onion savoury balls that are deep friend in gram flour.

Both dishes came with a side salad and raita for pouring.  As you can see, the presentation is impeccable.  When food looks as good as this did, we could only hope that it would taste as great and it certainly did.  The Sheek Kebab had a really delicate flavour while the Onion Bhaji was crispier than I have had in the past and definitely my favourite of the two.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

Naturally, we decided to split them half and half so that we could enjoy both  delicious tastes.  We always do this when we're in a restaurant regardless of where it is, sharing is caring after all!

After we had finished, our table was promptly cleared and it wasn't long until the main event arrived...


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

When choosing which curries to go for, we really were spoilt for choice as all of the popular favourites are on the lunchtime menu, from pChicken Korma and Madras to Biryani and Rogan.

In the end we decided to go for one fail safe bet and one that we hadn't tried before.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

Chicken Tikka Masala is always an easy option for either of us when we go to an Indian restaurant as we usually find that we always like it.  However the dish that we had at Le Raaj was without a doubt, the best Chicken Tikka Masala I had ever tasted.

This dish is a special tikka chicken that is barbecued in tandoor and then cooked with fresh coconut and almond together with a mixture of medium spices.  The result is a unique taste and a richly flavoured curry with flaked almonds on top for a crunchy texture.  I loved how bold and sweet this curry tasted.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

My hubby's favourite dish was the second main course that we picked; Chicken Bhuna which is a medium dry curry thats made from chicken with garlic, tomatoes, onion and freshly ground spices.

It was packed full of flavour and like the rest of the food that we enjoyed, it was fresh and delicious and not oily at all.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

To accompany our food, we upgraded our rice and nan option to Keema Pilau and a Keema Nan Bread which is the standard option that we pick whenever we have a curry.

Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

We definitely picked well as both were absolutely delicious.

The Nan Bread was light, fluffy and packed full of flavour; the keema meat inside was plentiful and had just the right amount of spice.  The keema pilau was so tasty and miles better than the one that we had had the month before at another indian restaurant; we had a takeaway from Akbars in Newcastle for a friends birthday and the rice was that oily we couldn't eat it!

Again, we decided to share all of our main dishes between the two of us so that we could try everything.  There was so much to go around and we just kept helping ourselves until we were full.

I was a little unsure as to how curry for lunch would work as I thought a meal like this would be far too heavy for lunchtime but I was wrong.  The portions were just right and we both finished our meal feeling comfortably full.


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

After a little bit of a rest, we decided that we did have a little room left for dessert (I'm sure someone once told me that we all have a separate stomach for pudding...!).

I picked the ice cream while my hubby opted to go for the coffee as he had a long drive for work to look forward to.  The coffee was strong and the ice cream sweet, just how we like it!


Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East



Over the time that we were in there, it became surprisingly busy for a lunch time which is a great sign given that the restaurant only opened in February this year.  There was a man dining alone as he was staying at the Travelodge on business, a family of 8 celebrating a birthday, a young couple presumably on a day date like we were and then two other couples, one elderly and one more middle aged, all of which looked to be thoroughly enjoying their food.  This just goes to show how Le Raaj is a place that everyone can enjoy.

I cannot speak more highly of this restaurant.  The food is simply out of this world and it made a lovely change going out for lunch for a curry rather than keeping that for a date night.  After our plates were cleared away, we left with full tummies and huge smiles after having such a lovely time.

Le Raaj indian restaurant curry house in Sedgefield Teeside North East

You can find this Le Raaj restaurant just off the A689/A177 roundabout, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, TS21 2JX.

It is open Saturday to Thursday 11.30-1.30pm for lunch and every night from 6-11pm.  Tables can be booked by calling 01740 623 030 and you can order take away for collection on that number too.  You can visit their website and check out the menu here.

You can follow Le Raaj on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where they regularly post photos of their delicious food, events and great moments at the restaurant, news and offers.  They're currently holding a competition here where the lucky winner will receive a night out at Le Raaj!

Everything at Le Raaj was absolutely faultless from the location and decor to the service and food.  We simply cannot wait to go back!


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