Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I have had the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray for a few weeks now and use it on certain occasions where I am going out in the evening or spending all day somewhere. I had been looking for a setting spray for a while but didn’t want to spend money on a product I wasn’t sure of. It was on a recommendation that I bought this one from House of Fraser in Nottingham. As they were going through a packaging change this one was on sale for £7, the going rate for a drugstore setting spray anyway. 

Having never used anything else from Urban Decay before I did not know what to expect but am very happy with the setting spray and the demos I saw of the eye shadows on the day I purchased it. It is definitely an investment to keep your make up on for longer and I would recommend it to others. I also love the dewy effect it gives to top off my make up giving my skin a healthy glow. The blurb about the setting spray says it will help your makeup stay put for up to 16 hours. I haven’t put this part to the test yet but it has done extremely well in the hot weather we’ve been having recently. 

With my dry skin I also find that no matter what makeup I wear by the end of the day, or even a few hours in, I have creases around my mouth and deep lines under my eyes. This spray has also decreased this incredibly helping my skin not to look dried out, tired or looking like I’ve totally overdone the concealer. 

I almost wish I had bought two of them whilst they were on offer, even though it only gets used it for special events. If it runs out before the wedding in four weeks I will not risk trying another product and will stick to Urban Decay. 

If you have any setting spray recommendations or love the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, let me know! 

Thanks for reading! 

Furla Cosmetic Case 

Last summer we spent a fantastic holiday in Italy spending time in Venice and Verona. There is a street paved with marble in Verona and the most gorgeous shops you have ever seen. Famous high end brands are on either side and you don’t know where to look first. Or you can scurry past not daring to look at beautiful things and wanting them all. 

We have some family friends that live in Verona who came over recently and being the generous people they are bought gifts on their visit. This is where I show you the Furla cosmetic purse in all its cream leather glory. Furla is an Italian brand started in 1927 by Aldo Furlanetto and I am all for companies proud to put their own name to their business. They do have a few sellers in the U.K if you want to get something for yourself. I have never had a cosmetic bag from such a high end brand and almost dare not use it but I also know that’s not the point. Having said this only clean products will ever go in it, I’ll have to remember that! 

Thanks for reading! 

The Hen Do

It is Monday morning and it’s the week after the weekend before. Obviously.

The weekend before included my hen night and two days worth of girl time. It started with a bang, quite literally. Me and my mother-in-law to be bumped into each other’s cars when we were trying to rush. It was a complete accident but I think things come in three’s so was waiting for the next ‘oops’ moment. 

Both of us took the trip to my mums as four of us were leaving from there to the train station. On route, and me being me, I remembered that I hadn’t brought the paperwork that of course, was important to the trip to London. After a message to a friend who lives in London she happily printed out the forms and saved us another worry! 

After arriving at the train station there was a highly rushed moment of finding the train, locating two other lovely Hens coming to London and before we knew it 7 of us jumped on the train and we were off. Literally off. Two stops later on the ticket collector came around and pointed out we were on the wrong train. With the rush, two trains to London from the station and a couple of platform changes we had got on the wrong train! 

After speaking to a great station manager and wonderful train manager we were able to get seven seats on the next train into the city. Phew! Only half an hour later we were on the train finally on our way. 

On arrival we met up with our eighth and final Hen and headed to our hotel in Battersea. It was the Pestana Hotel Chelsea Bridge and it was fantastic. Modern with a spa in the basement and prosecco included it definitely exceeded expectations. Our first to-do of the weekend was to use the spa and pool. Consisting of a sauna and steam room it was great to finally relax and start to enjoy the time after the morning of stress. 

It wasn’t long before we were getting ready for our evening out. Cocktail making at the Piccadilly Institute had been booked, we had our goody bags filled with sashes and photo props and off we went. (After a prosecco or two.) It was the first time I had ever got an Uber and I can definitely recommend them if you’re in the city. 

The Piccadilly Institute was a great start to the evening. Our cocktail making host was named Kenny who made sure everything ran smoothly so we had a fun time. Making loads of cocktails, having a laugh and taking plenty of photos all the Hens enjoyed the evening and carried on dancing on the different areas of the club. Starting in the 90’s bar we headed to R’n’B  side of the club and treated ourselves to a couple more drinks before heading back to the hotel. It wasn’t super late and I was more than happy I wasn’t going to be crazily hungover the next day. 

Sunday started with a cooked breakfast and a spa session after packing our bags. A swim, sauna and plenty of water refreshed some of the Hens before our next trip out to Clapham. We were going Biscuit decorating and for an afternoon tea at Biscuiteers on Northcote Road. The two tier cake stand arrived with sandwiches and more sweet treats that could possibly have in one sitting. Including macaroons, brownies, biscuits and more we were also handed warm, fresh from the oven, scones. It was all delicious and as mentioned all of us brought something home to eat later. 
Biscuit decorating was also fun. Having done it before I had a rough idea of how to pipe but I can’t say that anymore skill shone through! The biscuits they sell in the shop are crazily skillfull and each one is perfect it’s hard to see how they do it so precisely once you’ve had a go. 

A tube journey back to Kings Cross to start our journey home and we were done. It felt like a busy weekend and there was a lot of travelling but I had a fantastic Hen weekend with my lovely Hens consisting of family and friends. I would certainly recommend the places we visited including the hotel if you’re planning a trip to London. 

If you’re planning a Hen weekend have a great time! 

Thanks for reading,

But First, Decaf Coffee

As I mentioned yesterday I have taken a break from blogging. About two months or just over and for that time I have also gone coffee free. Some of you will gasp in horror at this and others will think ‘no big deal’, right? I do both. 

I gasp in horror because I was drinking on average 5-6 coffees a day (plus tea) and I mean the strong stuff, I could drink the sludge stuff if it was all that was available. Going from this amount of caffeine to none at all was going to be a huge jump. The strange thing here was that even though I was taking so much on board I was still constantly tired, so I’d drink more. It didn’t affect my sleep and it didn’t change my performance on getting stuff done during the day. 

On to the ‘no big deal’ side of it. When I decided to stop drinking coffee, and even move to decaf tea, I thought going cold turkey would give me the shakes. I thought I’d be exhausted for the first few days and that’s even if I could do it. Two months or so later I’ve had two coffees towards the latter end of the time. One because I pressed the wrong button on a work coffee machine and didn’t want to waste it and the other very weak. 

Now you’re thinking ‘but why?’ 

I read somewhere that caffeine can increase anxiety levels. Previously my anxiety has gotten increasingly worse and OCD started to take over and it needed to stop. I’m lucky in the way that I noticed this and had supportive family that understood my reasoning. Don’t get me wrong I’m not completely cured by quitting caffeine but both issues have been eased by a huge amount. 

There is a coffee pot half full sat on the shelf in the kitchen and I still love the thought of a nice cup of coffee. For now though mainly for my health and sanity I’m staying with decaf and making different choices, fruit teas, hot chocolate and water. 

If you’ve had a similar experience or are thinking about making changes, let me know. 

Thanks for reading! 

Back To Blogging

I have been off of the social media grid for around two months now and I feel ready to return. Still being active on my personal Facebook page and catching up on twitter posts has been it for a while but I have missed the social aspect of blogger meet ups and feeling like part of a group of people with similar interests. 

On my little blog break I have had time to consider what I do and don’t want my blog to be about. I love skincare and always have and I intend to keep writing about it as a main topic. Travel and visiting local (and not so local) areas is also something I love doing and want to see and review as much as possible. Writing is one of the main reasons I need to come back. It was always a favourite lesson in my school years and I can’t imagine not being able to read and write. Whether they are stories, reviews or anecdotes I enjoy reading other blogs and writing -sorry, typing – my own. 

With this in mind there are also a few of my own more personal rules I shall follow. Not applying pressure to myself is one of these and this stands for quantity of blog posts. If one a week goes up, great! If two a week goes up, even better! If I don’t feel inspired about a subject or particular week this is also ok. 

The length of a post may also change. If I just fancy a few sentences on a topic with more photos or a huge chunk of text with only one I’m not going to get on at myself about it. 

After all of this, that’s it! I have returned to the blogging world and it’s going to be relaxed, talking about what I want to talk about whether that’s a little or a lot. I’m looking forward to it and want to say thank you for sticking with me. 
Thanks for reading! 

House of Fraser Beauty Event

A couple of weeks ago House of Fraser in Nottingham held an afternoon beauty event to include all of the make- up and skincare brands. On arrival we were handed a goody bag and tipple of choice to welcome us into the store. When a few more people had arrived we had a little walk round to see what we were able to do at each stand. 

The Urban Decay area at the front of the store was very appealing and having never had anything from the brand I decided to have a good look around. There were a lot of products and I loved the eyeshadow palettes in particular. The make-up assistant at Urban Decay did two lots of eye designs for the group and they were both faultless and perfect in colour. I had my eyeshadow done at the Yves Saint Laurent counter and again, loved the style. I like a natural palette and neutral tones in my day to day style and that is exactly what she did.  

There was also the Benefit and Bare Minerals counters to look at. I already use products from both brands and enjoyed seeing what newer products they had and learning a little more about each. The next eye cream I am definitely into trying is the Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream. The assistant kindly explained it was great for dark circles under the eyes which is exactly what I struggle with. 

From the event we also learnt that House of Fraser holds beauty treatment rooms. I have known that other large department stores did these but hadn’t known that they were at the store in Nottingham and can’t wait to see what treatments are available at their next event. 

There was also a raffle held with some great prizes. From beauty products and skincare to perfumes there was a huge selection and plenty to go around. On the day I purchased the Urban Decay Setting Spray as it was recommend to me by Sophie in Wonderland. I have since used it and can say it is fantastic. It was a bargain on the day at half price and when it runs out, which is hopefully no time soon, I shall be getting another. 

Thanks for reading! 

The Gin Festival at Nottingham 

Around 2 years ago the only Gin I could have named was Bombay Sapphire and that was only because it was my parents Gin of choice. That slowly started to turn around and now, since the Gin Festival came to Nottingham, I have plenty of Gin knowledge.

The festival came into the city over the weekend and held a few sessions both morning and afternoon across Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April. By Saturday lunchtime I made my way across to the Nottingham Conference Centre and the atmosphere was fantastic. There were plenty of people that had already arrived and everyone was given their own Gin Festival glass to take round with them. A great idea as you aren’t continuously wasting cups and it is a memento from the day.

I had chosen the afternoon slot to attend from 12.30 until 5pm and, as it was suggested previously, this is plenty of time to sip and sample gin. The first thing to do was collect your tokens. These come in the form of small cards and works better than taking money out each time. It works out as £5 a drink which for a Gin, tonic and entertainment is a good deal.

The bars were set up in two different spaces and were labelled A ,B, C and D. These were defined with what kind of gin each bar was serving and most people were going in order. Highly sensible, I’m sure. I decided to follow suit and got into the line for Bar A. Along with the glass you are given when you enter you are also gifted a Gin Discovery Book. This was very useful to me at that moment as there were Gin brands I had never heard of or knew what they tasted like. I decided, from the book, to go for a Daffy’s. Described as having a ‘hint of toffee’ and a ‘buttery finish’ I thought this was a very good place to start. You helped yourself to Indian tonic water supplied by Fever-Tree placed at the end of each bar or a flavoured tonic if you wished. The book recommended each pairing including a garnish, I don’t know if anyone went against the book but I certainly left it to the experts. The Daffy’s went down very smoothly as I wandered around the rest of the event and I would suggest trying it in its hometown Edinburgh.

Whilst you have a drink in hand there is still lots to see at the Festival. In another room there was multiple brand stands with a little information about each and plenty of Gin samples being handed out. I went to the most local brand that was there on Saturday which was Two Birds based in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Every stand was busy and this one was no different. They were also holding masterclasses throughout the afternoon to learn more about the companies and the gin making process. I attended the Two Birds masterclass as it was a few minutes away and very much enjoyed learning how Gin was distilled and what elements were included.

After the masterclass I was joined by a couple of friends and we got in line for another drink. The queues, although they looked long, were not bad at all, especially when you’re having a chat. The bartenders were quick to serve you and mark off a token whilst still being cheerful and helpful. There was live music at the conference centre and it really gave the event a festival atmosphere whilst being in the comfort and warmth of the indoors with no fear of getting wet if a downpour was to happen. We got to see two bands while we were there and commented on how good both were.
We got to try a few more drinks over the next couple of hours with my next being the Belgium based Braeckman’s Hazelnoot Jenever. I’ve always loved Irish cream and this sounded like it would be similar. It was, and of course it was delicious.

The only downside to having an ‘after dinner’ drink was that there wasn’t enough of it so we got into the queue for Bar B shortly after. This time I decided to try something more local and went for the Sir Robin of Locksley distilled in Sheffield. This was described as having a ‘lingering citrus finish’ and it did indeed, whilst still tasting sweet and smooth. It was recommended that it go with the Fever-Tree Elderflower tonic and together they made a perfectly fruity drink garnished with pink grapefruit. This was probably my favourite gin and tonic mix from the day and I would certainly have it again.
The one that we didn’t particularly take a taste to was the Black Tomato Gin but I’m sure if you’re a Bloody Mary connoisseur you’d enjoy it as it had a similar flavour.
Other stalls at the festival were the shop to purchase drink tokens and various gin related gifts. You could also have your picture taken at the photo booth. This queue took longer than the ones at the bars but no one seemed to mind and you didn’t have to pay.
The last drink I was able to try was the Two Birds London Dry Gin. After hearing about it in the masterclass I learnt that it had five botanical’s and they had kept it as a ‘top quality gin’. This was paired with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and garnished with cucumber. It certainly tasted the neatest. 

After a few drinks it was time for something to eat so we followed the signs for street food. We stopped at the Alimento tent to have tapas. It was incredibly good food and I wish we could have tried more from the other couple of tents but it was now time to go. Last orders were called and slowly people made their way out.

On returning home the Gin Festival was all I could talk about for the next few days and we are hopefully planning to attend the Sheffield Gin Festival. I would definitely go again as I feel there was so much more to experience and a lot more Gin to try!

Thanks for reading!