Friday, 19 December 2014

Honest Burger Review





I’ve been meaning to share my thoughts on this little burger joint since discovering it whilst working in London over Summer. Restaurants specialising in burgers seem to be cropping up all over the place at the moment, and Honest Burger is the best I’ve sampled so far (controversial, I know).

When I first visited Honest Burger in Oxford Circus, I wasn’t aware that it was part of a chain, but it would appear that these little restaurants can be found in Camden, Brixton and Portobello to name but a few. There is a no booking policy, so the process involves giving your name and number on arrival and receiving a text when your table is nearly ready. This has worked well in my experience, and I have only had to wait around 20 minutes maximum before being seated by the friendly staff.

The simplicity of the name of this restaurant is reflected in its no-nonsense approach, with an unpretentious menu offering a choice of 7 burgers. I went for the simply named ‘Cheese’ option (costing £8.50), which consists of a beef patty, red onion relish and lettuce with a choice of cheddar, red Leicester or stilton. As you can see from the photos, the burgers are cooked medium pink served within a small shiny bun. I do not profess to be a food critic, but this was a good burger, with the combination of succulent beef, gooey cheese and tasty relish making it a real winner. Despite the burger’s triumph, the star of the modest paper lined bowl were the rosemary salted fries, which are crispy on the outside, soft in the inside, and a general taste sensation. 

My only little nitpick of Honest Burger was the cocktails. Me and my friend Charlotte opted to try 'Honest' and 'Kaam and Ting', but they had quite a peculiar and sour flavour which we didn't appreciate as your average fruity cocktail drinkers.

If you find yourself in the vacinity of a HB joint whilst wandering around London, I would definitely recommend popping in if you are after a humble, tasty and honest meal.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Autumnal Lips

MAC Amorous Givenchy Gloss Interdit Velvet Purple

MAC Amorous Givenchy Gloss Interdit Velvet Purple

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Velvet Purple

Swatch MAC Amorous Givenchy Velvet Purple

So…I know I’ve been slightly MIA recently, but now summer is over and I  have moved back up to Uni, I'm aiming to post weekly and finally get back into the swing of blogging!

In this post, I want to share my two favourite Autumn lip shades, as when the leaves begin to fall and the woolly scarves and hats are donned, I feel a compulsion to dig out my darker lip colours. One of my favourite makeup looks for autumn and winter is natural dewy skin with lashings of mascara on the top lashes and a vampy berry lip shade. However, the darker lip shades come with the looming possibility of smudging, particularly for those of you like me who tend to stick to low maintenance, natural shades in satin formulas.

I think that my chosen autumnal shades are a nice compromise between comfort/ practicality and looking suitably festive by sporting a safe, yet striking berry shade. 

Mac Lipstick in Amorous:
This pick is described by MAC as a 'lovestruck cranberry', but I consider it to be more of a deep mauve, plum hue. This lipstick is one of MAC's matte formulas so a drawback is that it can be a bit drying, however this can be easily avoided by using a lip scrub and hydrating lip balm first. The main benefit of matte shades is definitely their longevity, and the drier texture means less chance of smudging, so it's a definite win all round.

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Colour Plumping Effect in 15 Velvet Purple:
Tongue twister name aside, this lipstick is the most beautiful deep berry, fuchsia shade with an abundance of very fine glitter. As the colour is a purple hue, it has a blue undertone, meaning that teeth look whiter, which is always a bonus! I normally tend to avoid lipglosses because of their notoriously sticky texture, however this formula is very comfortable and easy to blend but doesn't feel gloopy. Another common association with lipglosses is that they are disappointingly sheer, but this Givenchy offering is very opaque but can easily be patted on and sheered out or painted on for a more dramatic look.

What are your favourite lip shades for autumn/ winter?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer




Having been dealt the life card of frizzy and thick hair, I’m always on the market for a product that is going to make my hair feel and look silkier and more nourished. Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer is a hair product that I’ve had my eye on for a while, as it’s such a cult product that I’ve read many a rave review about over the years.

As well as being well known for its hair softening qualities, Elasticizer is notorious for being a pricey addition to any hair care routine. 150ml of this product will usually set you back around £28, however I managed to snap it up when it was on offer to celebrate 40 years of sales and I also had a £5 discount code to use. The limited edition gift set I bought included a 250ml tube of Elasticizer and a towelling wrap to cover the hair while the treatment is on.

The product itself is a thick white cream with no scent that is to be used as a pre-shampoo treatment for dry or heat damaged hair. This cream is to be applied to damp hair, so I wet all my hair in the shower, towel dry it and then comb it through before applying a generous layer all over, from root to tips. I then wrap my hair in the towel provided and leave it on for anything from 30 minutes to a few hours and I like to use this time as a pamper session on a Sunday (I’m talking nail painting, fake tanning, eyebrow plucking, the works).

After the treatment has been on my hair for as long as possible, I wash it out and then shampoo and condition my hair as normal. Whilst washing out the cream, my hair doesn’t immediately feel any softer or silkier, however, as I wash it, the texture changes and my hair feels much softer and less thick and coarse. When I move on to drying, my hair does feel significantly more moisturised and more bouncy and light in texture. I was slightly disappointed that Elasticizer made little difference to the frizziness of my hair, as I expected that the flyaway frizz would have been more smooth after the treatment, however I didn’t notice it to be any less frizzy than when I use my regular conditioner.

Overall, I have enjoyed using Elasticizer, and definitely felt a difference to my hair after use, however I’m on the fence as to whether I would repurchase it at full price, as it didn’t make quite as much difference to the appearance of my hair as I’d hoped.

What are your thoughts on this cult hair treatment? Can you recommend any hair masks to calm frizz and add moisture?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Origins Super Spot Remover Review




This tiny bottle of spot treatment has got a lot of attention over the past few years, and, having taken the plunge a few months ago, I thought it was high time to review Origins’ answer to blemishes. This tiny 10ml bottle costs £15, which, considering it looks small enough to be a sample, felt like a very extravagant buy (especially considering it was £12 just two years ago!)

Anyway, the gel itself is clear and quite thick, which means that very little is needed, and for each blemish I just use a tiny dab. Because of the salicylic acid in this treatment, when the gel is applied, the spot stings for a few seconds until the gel sets in. Oddly enough, I actually like that there is a sensation on application, as it feels as though the gel is actually doing something and contains active and effective ingredients to tackle the blemish.

If I put the treatment on before bed, when I wake up in the morning, there is the usual dryness that is associated with blemish treatment, due to the ingredients drying out the spots. However, the dryness can be easily remedied by a layer of moisturiser before applying makeup. I do find that if I use this product regularly and target a breakout, spots do appear much less red and smaller in size after repeated use.

In general, I don’t think that there is a miracle gel or cream out there that is going to truly banish blemishes, however there are products that will minimise the redness and size more quickly than Mother Nature, and the Origins spot treatment is certainly one of them.

Have you tried the Origins spot treatment? What do you find the best treatment for blemishes to be?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Simple Summer Nail Art





Nail art has never been a strong skill of mine, as, being left handed, I can create intricate designs on my right hand, but when it comes to replicating them on my left hand, the result looks like a toddler has been let loose with a felt tip marker. However, since buying the black Barry M Nail Art Pen a few months ago and getting the white one at the same time (buy 1 get 1 half price), I’ve used the black pen quite frequently, but I managed to lose the white version at the back of a draw. I really enjoyed using the black pen and created a leopard print glitter design (blog post here), so thought it was time I attempted a design with the white pen.

Because of my inability to create anything more adventurous than dots or dashes using my right hand, I tend to stick to very basic patterns with nail art pens, and what could be simpler than random short lines? Despite the extreme simplicity of this nail look, I think that the faint white lines look suitably summery over Essie’s Bikini So Teeny, a beautiful shimmery pastel blue shade.

I found the pen itself to be easy to use, and, despite the lines looking quite faint on my nails, if pressed harder, a more opaque line can easily be created. My only slight criticism with this nail art pen is that occasionally a lot comes out in a blob at the top of the nib, but this can be rectified by keeping a tissue nearby and dabbing this away before applying the nib to the nail. These nail art pens aren’t the cheapest at £4.99, but Barry M nail products are often on offer, so I'd recommend waiting for a 3 for 2 deal (a.k.a the classic beauty addict's justification for buying more makeup than they need).

What's your opinion on DIY nail art? What designs have you attempted?