Monday, 26 January 2015

History, Culture & Burgers

Morning lovelies! Yesterday I had Sunday far adventurous than most! For Christmas, I bought my parents, my sister and I tickets to the historical tour of Glasgow Central Station, the cities biggest, and one of the oldest buildings. I'd read about these tours on one of my favourite Facebook pages, Derelict Glasgow and instantly knew my parents would interested. 

Whenever I'm about Glasgow with my mum, she's a,ways making reference to what things used to be and what shops and businesses used to be in their place. My dad is originally from London, s while he's got a good 30 years ofGlasgow living on me, he doesn't have the childhood stories that my mum has. The most I read about the tour, I kind of wanted to go along myself and when I told my sister, she said she'd come too so I thought I'd buy us all tickets as a nice little extra for Christmas.

When we arrived at the tour meeting point, we were given an safety briefing, issued hard hats and high visibility vests (yes, really!) and taken down one of the hundreds of dark and winding passages. As you can imagine, a station hundreds of years old in the countries biggest city, the place is huge. Not does it accommodate trains, but in the passed was used for everything from food distributions during famine times to storing the bodies of WW1 soldiers to identified to the importing of exotic produce from abroad. If you think the public areas of stations are big, what lies beneath is at least 10 times that.

It wasn't all doom and loom though, we were told about how apparently the old Glaswegian expression 'hod it and dodit' came from labourers building the station and about how ghost hunting groups have spent weekends camping in the stations underpassages, trying to spot spirits. As it turns out, one of the security guards who was in charge of the ground was mistaken for a ghost on camera and became somewhat of a YouTube hit! 

 It concluded with our tour group being split and each of us being shown the old Victorian platforms, 20 metres or so under even the lowest platforms used today, still tiled and decorated as they were hundreds of years ago. Currently, these are only accessible via a ladder but the tour leader said they're aiming to make a proper staircase in the coming months so they can take people down there too. That part was definitely the most fascinating for me.  

 After the tour finishes, we went to Five Guys which has just opened in Glasgow. A few friends and coworkers had mentioned it and said their burgers were great, and boy oh boy, were they! 

I had a bacon cheeseburger with jalapeƱos, peppers and extra tomato with Cajun fries and pink raspberry lemonade. Not only were the fries probably the best I've ever had (certainly in the top 5) but the ingredients on my burger were so fresh. I definitely want to go back some time soon, it was delicious! 

I had such a lovely day with my family, it's truly amazing the history behind even the most everyday of places and I really hope they do manage to build that staircase as I'm not fascinated now with their oldest platforms. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

COLAB A Model Recommends Dry Shampoo

For someone who loves all things beauty, I'm not a huge user of hair products, I'm usually just a wash and go, or rather a shove up in a bun and go, kind of girl. That being said, I am quite the dry shampoo addict, and my dresser is never short of a can of Batiste's Cheeky Cherry or five. 

My most recent dry shampoo is the COLAB Dry Shampoo Couture. I didn't realise until after I bought it, that it is in fact a product by Ruth Crilly, from the YouTube channel, A Model Recommends. I'll put my hands up and say it, I'd heard of the channel but had never watched it so wasn't in any way swayed by the name. That being said, I can confirm that this is one heck of a product!

The collection consists of 5 scents/colours, each named after big cities - London, New York, Toyko, Rio and Paris. I have the New York scent which is orange. Let's start things off with the packaging. While I love my hair smelling like cherries, I'm the first to admit that Batiste leaves a lot to be desired it comes to presentation. COLAB's however are chic and minimal, I love the brushed metal finishes and cute colour identities. 

The scent of the New York edition claims to be fruity, which I guess it is, although I'd say it just generally sweet but not synthetic smelling. It's a fairly inoffensive scent, and I can't see many people actually disliking it. Plus, it doesn't actually make your hair itself smell anyway.

There's two things I really like about it compared to other dry shampoos which I've used. The first is that it adds volume but in a natural and stylable way. I definitely thought it made my hair feel fuller but it didn't do that horrible thing where it clogging up your roots and makes it almost impossible to run a brush though it. Secondly, it doesn't leave anywhere near as much white residue as others. It claims to be 'sheer and invisible' which I wouldn't say is 100% true, but it definitely leaves much less trace than others and doesn't require loads of brushing to get rid of.

I bought this just after Christmas and I've been using it most days. Since then, I've sent that they also do both mini handbag sized ones, as well as volumising versions, both of which I'll doubtless pick up at some stage. The regular 200ml bottle is £3.49 from Superdrug which isn't a complete steal or anything, but I'd definitely say is worth the money.

What I really love is that this is a product from someone who obviously already has an established fan base, so it'd have been easy to slap her name on any old rubbish product and flog it, but there's clearly been a lot of thought put into this. The formula and scents are good, it's a nicely designed can and most importantly in my opinion, it does the job it sets out to. Two thumbs up from me Ruth, you keep doing your thing cause I am very much in!

Have you tried any Ruth's Co-Lab products?

Monday, 19 January 2015

Boxing Day/January Sales Haul

So, over the past few weeks, the blogging world has been awash with 'What I got for Christmas' posts and while I quite like reading them (namely the non-braggy ones!) and I've done them in the past, I personally don't feel like it's for me any more. Instead though, I thought I'd do a Boxing Day/January sales haul - enjoy!

In Next, I bought these gorgeous black leather pointed court shoes. I've wanted a pair like this for the longest time, and I've been toying with the idea of these. When I saw these Next ones though, I instantly loved them, they're the perfect height and they're leather lined as well as a leather upper so theyre really soft on your feet. They were a complete bargain for only £16, reduced from £32. Seriously, £16 for leather heels? I am so please with them! I wore them out for New Year and they're pretty comfortable too.

I love The Body Shop's Chocomania scent so when I heard earlier on this year that they were discontinuing it, I was heart broken. ('How will I smell like I've smoothed myself in Cadbury's now?!') A month or so before Christmas, a salesman in The Body Shop who shared my love of Chocomania let me into a secret that they'd be selling of their leftovers in the Boxing Day sale so I picked up two of their scrubs. They smell so good and I love The Body Shop scrubs for removing fake tan.

No beauty lovers post Christmas shopping would be complete without a little trip to the holy mothership of Christmas loveliness that is Lush, mostly to stock up on their Snow Fairy shower gel for the year ahead. I bought 5 of their 250ml bottles which were reduced from half price, so that should keep me going until it comes out again for next Christmas around October time, cause God forbid I were to go without!

I also bought 2 of their Christmas gift boxes, Snow Fairy (RRP £21.95) and the Christmas Candy Box (RRP £14.95) which were both reduced to half price too. Gift sets are always more affordable than buying products included individually, but when you're getting them in sale too, they're too amazing value to leave behind. I've been meaning to try out the Magic Wand for ages so January pampers will be pretty and pink!

From Paperchase, I got this washbag with this amazing toadstool print. I don't really need another washbag (although to be fair, I don't need anything in this haul!) but I just loved the print so much, it reminds me of those Paul Smith's gents toadstool print shirts which I just adore. It was originally £8, but was reduced to £4.

In Debenhams beauty sale, I bought the This Works Dream Believers set, which contains full sized versions of their Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (75ml) and their Deep Clean Dream Cream (75ml). I've heard a lot about this spray from bloggers who struggle to drift off or stay asleep til morning like I do and generally the reviews have been really positive. I've used it every night for a week now and I'm loving it so far, but will be doing a full post on it in a few weeks so I'll let you know more then. Each product is normally 
£18.99 each and I got both for £16.66 which I think it an amazing deal.

In Boots, I bought this Jack Wills mug and socks set. I don't like Jack Wills clothing personlly, they're not at all my style, but I do love their signature pink and navy stripes and thought 'who doesn't need socks and giant mug for cozy Winter evenings?' - it was only £6 reduced from £12.

Finally, I picked up the Yankee candle large jar candle in the scent 'Christmas Garland' which was half price from £18.99. It smells like real pine Christmas trees which I love, especially as we also have a fake one. It's really fresh and not too Christmassy to burn all year round. 

What's been your best bargain this sale season?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Products I Don't Get On With

For anyone who loves beauty and tries out a lot of different products, sooner or later you are bound to come across the odd thing you don't get on with, right? I always find it so interesting to see how what one blogger might consider to be their holy grail, another has used once and never batted an eyelid at it since. Today's post is a look at the products which I was disappointed by, not necessarily because the product is bad, but because I didn't get on with it.

Rimmel London 'Wake Me Up' foundation

I know featuring this might ruffle a few feathers, cause this seems to be a firm favourite in many bloggers collections, but I don't get it with this foundation at all. The formula is supposed to be dewy but feel to me more like a gel, and I found it to be oily. I think it looks and feels greasy on my face and because of this, it broke me out really badly across my chin. It also has a really odd almost fruity smell, which isn't exactly unpleasant, is really out of place for a foundation.

W7 Prime Magic Camera Ready Face Primer

Am I correct in thinking that a primer is supposed to be silky smooth in texture and transcend that feeling onto your face? I don't find this does either. It's very lumpy and doesn't come out of the tube easily at all. Once it's actually on, it does an okay job at creating a base for foundation to cling too, but I find the application really unpleasant so if puts me off completely even though the end result isn't all together bad.

Barry M's Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in 'Lychee'

I feel a bit bad featuring this product, as I'm a huge fan of Barry M gel nail polishes, but I feel that this one was definitely the runt of the litter. Admittedly, the colour is one of those hard-to-get-right greyish nudes which just didn't suit my pale skin at all but on top of that, the consistency is really thick and gloopy and doesn't apply well at all. Plus, you know that way when nail polish isn't 100% properly dry for absolutely ages after applying, as in a good few hours? Yeah, that.

MAC lipstick in 'Cyber'

Similarly to the Barry M nail polish, I usually love MAC lipsticks but this is the exception to the rule, I didn't like this at all. The colour is bold and eye-catching, there's no denying that, but I think for such a daring shade, you really do need it to be much more hard wear than this actually is. It transfers really easily and doesn't fade out well at all. Plus, it claims to be a satin finish which is normally one of my preferred MAC finishes, but I found it to be drying and dragged on my lips when it's applied, kind of how some (not necessarily MAC) mattes do.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color in the shade '615 Soft Taupe'

When these first hit shelves, everyone went crazy for their longevity. I wear the shade '185 Rose Dust' all the time, it's an firm everyday favourite of mine, and it last all day without budging, even while eating and drinking. I love the colour of this one too, as its a little more of a brown-toned nude, but it just doesn't last well at all. It's gone after maybe 3 hours at most, and I'm left with a horrible residue around the outsides of my lips. Not a good look! 

Cowshed Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm

I love a good lip balm, there's always loads rolling around the deepest depths of my handbag and I can't go to sleep at night without slathering my lips in something nice and moisturising. This is probably one of the priciest lip balms I own, but also probably one of the worst. It's watery and doesn't sink into the lips at all, but just sits on the surface. On top of that it tastes absolutely vile. I know it's all natural, but so are Burt's Bee's lip balms and they taste devine and work like a dream. I do love the simple packaging of the Cowshed one though, I just wish what was inside was worth packaging so beautifully.

Eek! As I said though, I love some of these brands themselves, and a lot of these are just the weak links in a strong chain. What products have you been let down by?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Barry M 'Ballerina' Nail Paint

One of my minor New Years' resolutions was to buy less nail polish. It's not even 2 weeks into 2015 and I have already broken that resolution. Say hello to the latest addition to my out of control collection, Barry M's Nail Paint in the shade 'Ballerina'.

I saw this in Boots the other day while picking up lunch (honestly, I wasn't browsing makeup!) and I thought it was so pretty. I love a neutral nail but sometimes I feel like an out and out nude isn't the best with my pale skin. I much prefer something a little pinkier, and the cool, lilacy undertones of 'Ballerina' are perfect. 

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Barry M's Nail Paints. I can't fault their Gelly ones or their glitters but I find it's very touch and go with their regular nail paints - some shades are great, while others are clumpy, watery or streaky. This little beauty is none of those things, it applies really evenly and smoothly and I only needed two coats which, for such a light colour, I think is really good. It also dries really quickly, which again I find some Barry M polishes take an absolute age.

The 'good' side of Barry M's Nail Paints have just earned themselves a new team member in my opinion, the colour is so pretty and classy and it applies like a dream. If I'm going to break my 'no new nail polishes' rule, I'm glad it's been worthwhile!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

My 2014 Photo Album

It's still the Christmas holidays to many, so it's still okay to post New Year themed posts, right? I've seen a lot of bloggers and youtubers talking about their year and I wanted to join in too and reflect on my 2014. Overall, it was a pretty good year. Nothing major happened but for the most part, the good outweighed the bad and when looking back in the year, I have a lot of great 

I went to see the Alasdair Gray exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery. He's one of my favourite illistrators so it was so amazing to see a huge collection of his work all in one place, especially his early work from around the city. It's there until the end of February so if you're in Glasgow and looking for something to do, get yourself along!
Baking! Bramble muffins (hand picked the brambles myself!), candy cane lollypops for Christmas and strawberry red velvet cupcakes.

In Summer, I finally redecorated my bedroom. Until then, it'd been decorated the same since I was in my early teens and while the decor itself was fairly neutral/inoffensive, I had very much grown out of it. I'm so over the moon with my room now though, it's perfect.

A friend of my sisters' bought a camper van this year and at the beginning of Summer, we went for drive around Loch Lomond in it. While I didn't actually get to sleep over in it, it was such a nice little day out enjoying the lovely weather and beautiful scenery. 
In May, I managed to get tickets to BOTH days of Radio 1's Big Weekend. It was so amazing, a great weekend with some of my favourite people and I got to see so many bands and artists - personal highlights include Sam Smith, London Grammar, Example, Royal Blood, One Direction, Jake Bugg, Bastille, The 1975, Kasabian and Calvin Harris as well as two of my all time favourite bands, Coldplay and Kings of Leon. Not too many for a fiver!

I went to see Clean Bandit in the ABC Glasgow in May. I had only heard one of their songs then, but they were amazing live and the atmosphere was insane. 

In July/August, the Commonwealth Games came to Glasgow and I was lucky enough to go to not just one, but two different athletes nights at Hamden Park. It was so surreal to be a part of history for our city and see famous athletes complete. On top of that, I was even (briefly) on TV!

Random adventures in Edinburgh. I'm a Glasgow girl through and through but I must admit, Edinburgh's much prettier. Walking through the streets of Stockbridge in the Summer sun is so nice, it almost feels like being abroad but it's only an hour away from home!

 Soup, burgers and Beyonce cocktails at The Butchershop, Glasgow - YUM!

In 2014, Glasgow finally got it's very own Hard Rock Cafe! I visited it for dinner in cocktails with some old friends and had a great night. 

My first ever Coldstones ice cream at Crolla's, Byres Road, Glasgow.

One of my favourite and most surreal moments of 2014 was finally seeing my favourite band, The Killers live. I've been a huge fan of them ever since their first album and having missed out on tickets to 4 previous tours, I was absolutely elated to see them in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow in August.

(I wrote a full post in going to see them here if you fancy a read!)
 Relaxing times by the beach. I'm so lucky to have somewhere to beautiful to escape too. 
(Again, I've done a whole post on it here if you fancy reading.)  I went to see 'Singing In The Rain' in the Threate Royal in Glasgow. The show itself was amazing and had 10,000 tones of real water on stage. It always amazes me how they can do such incredible things in theatre!  
With the Commonwealth Games bringing so much life to Glasgow, the city was full of things to see and do and we actually had some fairly good weather too, despite how pale my legs remained!

In October, a two friends of mine got married! It was such a magical day of love and celebration and I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of their special day!

(Full post here!) 

Good things all round at work in 2014 too - I was accepted onto my companies management training programme and I moved to a new, and much busier store! Onwards and upwards in 2015 too I hope!

Just last week, I went to see Wicked at the Edinburgh Playhouse. I've wanted to see it for years so when a friend of my mums couldn't make it, I didn't hesitate in pinching her ticket and going in her place. It wasn't really what I expected but still incredibly good, great music and outstanding performances all round!

Random Moments

Watching fireworks on Guy Fawkes night from one of the highest points overlooking Glasgow - breath taking!

Hearing one of my idols, Patrick Grant speak as part of Debenhams '#DebsMuse' campaign   

My very first ever driving lesson - users of Glasgow roads, beware!

The chance of finding 4 double yolked eggs in a row is approximately 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 and it happened to me! Ironically, I don't even like eggs!   

All black everything - my (gents) all black Converse, which I've been putting off getting for years, but am so glad they are finally in my shoe collection.

Travelling to Edinburgh with work to meet my companies VM team and help in putting together our model store.  

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair in Wasps Artists' Studio in Glasgow.

Banoffee pancakes in Tribeca, one of my absolute favourite places to eat, but even I struggled to finish this lot!

Adorable pastel huts by the canal.
My first ever 3D film - Gravity. It's a great movie, I urge you to see it if you've not already, you won't regret it.

Random creepy mask in the fence, I really don't know what to say about it!

Fireworks at the beach!

Some of my favourite nail looks of the year - multi-coloured glitter, ombre (well, my attempt at it!) and aztec.

Food, glorious food! (and drinks, glorious drinks!)

Looking back at 2014 has been so nice. I may not have done anything amazing or life changing, but over all, it was a good year with lots of good times and happy memories with lovely people. Lets hope 2015 brings a lot more of the same!