Wednesday, 27 July 2016

get that glow on any budget

 I can confidently say that liquid/cream highlighter looks good on everyone. Every age, skin type or skin colour a swipe of creamy glow can just finish off the look adding a youthful and beautiful touch. Luckily these types of products are available at all price points and I have found three gorgeous, great quality highlighters to accommodate everybody's budget.

First up from the high end budget option is the Nars Illuminator in Copacabana. This highlighter has been part of my collection for years, it is a complete staple and something I just would never dream of parting with. I have pale skin myself and find it difficult to achieve that super glowy look on my cheek bones but this product is a fail-safe for that lovely radiant finish. I often mix it in with my foundation or use it as a base for eyeshadow as the consistency is really strong and doesn't move throughout the day. It retails at £23.00 which I know may be a bit pricey for a cream highlighter, but honestly if you have the budget it is a gorgeous multi-purpose product for everybody.

Now this is what I would describe as the middle of the road high street option that is a great price and won't break the bank. Topshop Beauty Glow Highlighter in the colour Gleam is a gorgeous little pot of heaven. I discovered this little gem a few years ago and raved about it to anybody who would listen. This little beauty was also extremely difficult to get your hands on for a while so whenever I saw it I would erratically bulk buy and sometimes give hand outs to my needy glow-less friends. I love using it especially on my brow bone, cupids bow and on the inner corner to give that beautiful highlight across the face. It costs £9.00 and you can buy it in store or I always buy it with ease from Feel Unique. It is one of Topshop Beauty's best products and it remind me so much of Mac in consistency and quality.

Finally a gorgeous and amazing value product from the Boots Seventeen range that is not only a beautiful highlight but a primer too. Seventeen Skin Wow Primer is an amazing product for mixing into foundation or applying to the skin before a tinted moisturiser or foundation. This product has a beautiful pearl glow to it that compliments every skin type and is a great product for underneath a powder highlight to give that extra pop of illuminance. It costs £5.99 which is an absolute bargain any beauty junkie should be getting their hands on this product as soon as they can.


filmvsbook - Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes is a funny yet heartbreaking story of an ambition-less girl finding a job looking after a depressed quadriplegic (paralysed below the chest) man.

As Moyes also adapted the screenplay, we would expect the relationships and characters from the book to provoke the same feelings as they do in the film. However, the rushed nature of the film left me feeling as though a few crucial elements in the development of Will and Lou's relationship were missing. In the end of the book, the way they depended on one another had slowly simmered from an initial dislike when they had met 6 months previous. On the other hand, in the film, their love seemed to develop out of nowhere.

After the first half of the film film I began to wonder how they were going to fit the rest of the story in. But the slow pace picked up and by skipping a few of the larger details from the book, the film was able to cram the rest of the story into the last 30 minutes. Unlike the book, which took the time to carefully explain and build emotion around some very delicate issues, the film seemed to brush through and even ignore some of the crucial elements that contributed to the development of Lou and Will's complicated relationship.

I also couldn't help but feel disappointed with the portrayal of Patrick (Lou's boyfriend of 7 years). Matthew Lewis did a great job as the uncaring and selfish boyfriend, especially as I have know him as sweet and innocent Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter franchise. Again, the film missed out some of the negative behaviour of Patrick that we read in the book. Without these details, Lou's falling for Will was almost unjustified, she looked badly for behaving the way she did while in (what looked like) a reasonably happy relationship. Whereas in the book, his behaviour gave us more clarity and reason to support Lou and helped us to see why the relationship between Patrick and Lou came to an end. For example in both the book and film he offered to pay for their holiday but in the book he made clear that she would need to pay him back.

In saying this, I did leave the film having felt the same emotions. The film successfully gave us the same uplifting yet heartbreaking story. The same brilliantly funny one-liners that had me giggling as I read the book (would be laughing hysterically but I had to contain myself as I was in public) had the cinema audience in stitches. And the same moments that had me struggling to hold back my tears (again I was reading in public.. It was a sunny few days) had me blubbering in the cinema along with the rest of the snivelling audience. It was a rare feeling that I had, knowing exactly what was about to happen as I am usually too impatient to read before I see the film, but it helped me to notice the small, but still important, details that others would definitely miss.

Honestly one of the best books I have ever read. It is so much more than just a sappy love story and has brought to mind a real issue. Although it is focused around a relationship, it really had me thinking.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Political Power of Beyoncé

Let me start this by saying that I am welllll aware that Beyoncé is a touchy subject. Either you think she is one of the most hyped-up singers on the planet or you are bowing down and ready to get in Formation. However, regardless of your crazy in love-booty shaking-dance abilities I think it's fair to say that recently, people have been talking more about Beyoncé's political stance than her world tour.

The #blacklivesmatter campaign is something which Beyoncé has helped greatly to spread worldwide, thanks to her being so vocal about it. Her album 'Lemonade' is largely about the suffering black people have had to and still endure on a sadly, regular basis. Her song 'Freedom,' which she recently performed at the BET awards, powerfully highlights the way in which black people are treated by the police.

I recently attended Beyoncé's Formation Tour at Hampden stadium in Glasgow the day after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of whom died at the hands of the police in circumstances which should never have resulted in either one of them dying. That night in Glasgow, before she performed 'Freedom,' Beyoncé gave a powerful speech about why all lives matter followed by a minutes silence to honour the lives of both Sterling and Castile. 

For me, living in a country were gun violence is virtually non-existent, it's hard to imagine what life must be like living in fear of being shot by the people who are supposed to protect you. It's also hard for many to imagine what it must be like knowing you have a higher chance of being killed by the police because of your skin colour. Racism is something hard to imagine if you haven't experienced it yourself but that does not mean in any way that it should be ignored. 

The point is that Beyoncé has managed to use her fame to bring to light issues that should matter more to not only people in the U.S. but to people globally. Fair enough, the campaign had already been trending on twitter but Beyoncé has managed to make it reach people that may not have read about it otherwise. I'm lucky enough to come from a generation who want to make a change, a generation who do not like to see others suffer and a generation who are hopeful for a future of equality for all.

It's important for people like Beyoncé who have such a powerful influence on so many people to use their voice not just to sing their greatest hits but to help share campaigns such as the above with their fans, who together can help make the change.

N x


Edinburgh eats - Mimi's Bakehouse Royal Mile

Back in November time we visited Mimi's bakehouse on the famous Royal Mile for a quick bite after a bit of filming for a Uni project. It's a gorgeous Edinburgh exclusive bakehouse full of amazing cupcakes, brownise and tray bakes. We initially went in for cake but 'accidentally' ended up grabbing a seat and ordering some lunch. 

The decor is very pretty; full of bunting, pastel colours and cute one offs that give the place a unique and charming feel. Duck egg blue is featured on all the walls and cabinets which gives the place a soft, feminine touch. Every detail is cared for even down to the amazing drawings and writing on the menu chalkboards to illustrate the refined but delicious offerings. 

The lunch menu was great-filled with a good choice of sandwiches and soups with bistro feel to the selection. I ordered a filled roll with ham and red onion chutney which was amazing All the ingredients were of really great quality and the roll was delicious. I also indulged in a salted caramel mocha which was just to die for, it had just the right amount of coffee in it and was the perfect choice for an early start on a cold day.

We also decided to sample some of Mimi's famous baked offerings and so, decided to get them to go. I got a salted caramel brownie which was an amazing mid afternoon luxury for me while revising later that day. Nicole got a carrot cupcake which she reported back that the cream cheese icing on top had thoroughly improved the rest of her day at Uni.

Mimi's is a family run business with three bakehouses across Edinburgh, and also an online bakery. The family run atmosphere runs through all of the bakehouses and give that lovely, homely and warm feeling when you visit. I couldn't recommend Mimi's more for afternoon tea, a lovely lunch or even just a delicious cupcake to take home with you.


the only 3 beauty items you will ever need for a perfect night out

Ladies we have all been there, the taxi is outside you are trying to down half a glass of rose whilst strapping your heels and packing every piece of make-up on your face into a tiny but beautiful hand bag. Its time to put an end to this, well at least the cramming make-up into a small bag part. This is the guide to what you actually need in your bag for any night out.

Besides the obvious keys, money, phone and ID beauty wise all you need is a good mirror, your lip of choice, and some kind of perfume. Let me tell you why...

Do you know how much expensive, beautiful make-up I have lost, given away or otherwise parted ways with when I've had one too many and made friends for life in the loos. Lipliners, powders, brushes you name it I've shared it. Only way to put an end to this is to not, I repeat not bring the make-up out with you. All you need is your lipstick so you can top it up and a powder to fix your melted face.

The other item that makes the cut is a compact with a powder of some sort and a mirror. I won't go into all the reasons these are good items to take out with you because they speak for themselves. Another little tip is if you are desperate to bring out some kind of concealer or foundation, squeeze a little bit into the top of the mirror to use while you are out to fix any imperfections. You can easily clean the mirror the next day and it saves you bringing even more product out with you.

Finally a serious must for me is scent. The last situation you want to find yourself in is buying a spray of impulse from the toilet attendant for £1.50. You can buy lots of tiny perfume decanters that easily would fit into a small bag. A good perfume can cover a variety of sins and if you have a mini version of your favorite then theres no real drama if you lose it, sell it or give it away.


Glastonbury Diaries 2016

First of all, it wasn't really that muddy and it is what everyone raves on about it being the best place in the world.

Glastonbury was during the Brexit build-up and anticipated result weekend as well as being Pride week the week itself was always going to be a bit of a big one anyway. Add in some of the best musicians in the world and most amazing talent on offer it's pretty much going to be amazing without fail. We chose to stay from the Tuesday to the Monday so nearly a week of camping which turned out to absolutely fly by. Although the music doesn't properly start until the Thursday there's endless things to keep your time more than occupied. From exploring underground caves, secret raves and silent disco's time sort of loses itself and is completely irrelevant as soon as you pitch your tent or in our case unpack. 

We decided to pay extra for a tent to be already set-up for us and we got the luxury of clean toilets and showers to use. Although you may laugh and think thats not the real Glastonbury I have no regrets. The car park was also five minutes away from the campsite which as you can imagine carrying a week's worth of alcohol and a solid twelve outfits, three pairs of shoes and all the other random stuff I decided to take with me, was ideal. Being able to shower and have time in front of a mirror to make myself look decent made me feel ten times better. If you're looking to go to any festival and want that little bit of extra cleanliness then Tangerine Fields is the place to be. Honestly so worth the money and you get your own blow up bar dome for the people in the campsite which is pretty cool.

The first night we arrived we ended up in the Greenpeace fields around a fire in a tent with unlimited tea and a really comfy sofa that I'm sure was slowly sinking into the mud. We had a little wonder around and found a treehouse bar and I bumped into a guy I go to uni with who was also wondering about and was the strangest moment seeing him. Two wanted to go home and two (one was me) wanted to stay out and continue exploring random caves and a giant cube than was a rave but we went home and to be honest it was the right decision.


THURSDAY: Our first full day included climbing up the giant hill to take a photo with the actually not that big GLASTONBURY sign made from recycled materials. You feel like it's the iconic Hollywood sign when you're up there and you can see the whole festival in all its glory and beauty. Giant tipi's looked like little white triangles in the very far distance and you could see the perfect lightning strike tribute to Bowie amongst the fields filling up with tents and flags flying proudly. After taking a load of photo's and taking a seat to enjoy a lukewarm cider on the hill we continued our exploring to find food. There's hundreds of food stalls and I don't think I saw the same stall twice over the whole festival. Anything you want they have from Welsh oggie's (still don't know what they are) to thai food and a fresh sushi bar, it's all there. We galavanted for hours getting our bearings and headed back to the tent to enjoy the sunset over the fields and headed back into the main fields. A lot of drinks and mud wading happened, we watched MURA MASA for bit and watched over the Beat Hotel which was literally piled with people.


FRIDAY: Last night whilst I got food Pamela fell off her blow-up bed. I'm not just talking accidentally slipped off I'm talking full on pinged off onto the middle bit after trying to jump on it. This was hilarious and even though I wasn't there to see it I'm still laughing now thinking about it. Waking up hangover free was delightful however waking up to read that we're out of the EU wasn't. Although it was a bit over cast and threatening to rain we were so ready to just get up and go. The showers were free and no queue to I scooted in there, headed back to make myself look festival ready (cue space buns and an entire tub of glitter) and headed back to the tent. We poured unacceptable amounts of alcohol into pouches and water bottles to prepare for the day and I carried a bag of wine. We saw James in the morning who was the first person to talk about the referendum results and he shared his sorrow for the youth of Britain but encouraged us all to stay strong which even though we were standing in a field with thousands of other people made me feel a bit safer when everyone was cheering around me. When you're at Glastonbury you feel like you're in this safe bubble and that nothing on the outside can touch you. You have no worries or fears the whole time you're there and I can say it's the best feeling I've had in a long time. I felt so at peace with myself. After that we headed over to see Blossoms who were without a doubt nothing but beautiful. They're heartwarming tribute to Viola Beach which made it extra special. As an up incoming band they definitely put on a show worth seeing and a crowd more than up for a dance which we provided. We again galavanted around peering into every other tent to see what's on and slugged through the mud to the Pyramid stage to see the end of Skepta which was a good time filler but I was very confused as to why there were so many people riding bikes on the stage. Two drink pouches down already and half a bottle of a sea green concoction Two Door Cinema Club were on and it was raining. Dancing followed suit and the ponchos came out for the first time. After hitting the dab way too many times we decided to head over to see Jack Garrat who was surprisingly in the John Peel tent when after seeing him he deserved to be on a main stage. From watching him you can see he puts in his absolute all into his performance and he was absolutely cheesing with himself. He couldn't help but thank the crowd and his parents who were watching in the wings for helping him get to where he was and he deserves to be that smug guy he comes across as. I also managed to get onto the main screens somehow and I look like a total tube but I got very excited and I'm pretty sure Jack himself saw me a giggled. If you watch it back I'm the girl with the space buns totally freaking out because I can see myself on the screen. After being totally exhausted dancing and enjoying every minute of it we ended up back at the Pyramid stage to see Foals who had an absolute gem of a show. From start to finish they were there to impress and I loved every minute (both the music and their beautiful bodies). So after Foals we went for food and a quick pee before wiggling back into the crowd to see Muse which I'd like to add aren't my favourite band but I heard they are one of those bands you just need to see to experience in life. This was an incorrect statement.


Between me and a friend, he blanked out about an hour of the set and all I wished was to be at Disclosure the whole time. I think if you were a massive Muse fan it would have been utterly amazing but I wasn't and I didn't really enjoy it. But at Glastonbury you can't always get what you want when there's a 20 minute sludge through the mud to get to another stage in time to probably only catch the end of a final song. After a not so exciting headliner we rushed as best we could to go see our DJ Queen Annie Mac. SHE WAS BRILLIANT. We danced into the early hours of Saturday morning, I fell into the mud because my feet got stuck dancing, couldn't get back up so sat quite content until a man in a poncho pulled me out and I saw tiny little hot air balloons as lanterns in a hidden forest.

SATURDAY:  We woke up disappointingly late and missed a couple bands we planned on seeing which was annoying but after a giant cheese toastie and a trusted bacon baguette we were off on a total mission to make today a big one. We're still laughing about Pam falling off the bed and I fear we'll never stop. With a bottle of homemade infused Gin, pouches at the ready and a bag of wine from yesterday we never drank we were totally set. We saw Lapsley first and she provided the edgy sweetness we needed to start the day and along with a cold freshly brewed beers it all went down fabulously. After a wonder around we found ourselves in the Pussy Parlour to see SG Lewis who was one of my highlights of the whole weekend. Such a chilled vibes guy but I can honestly say I was everything but chilled vibes because only Niall bloody Horan from bloody One Direction was in the crowd less than a meter in front of me. Now, anyone that knows me well enough understands I rather enjoy One Direction and this was a very exciting moment for me. I'm saying no more because I'll just embarrass myself but I did call my friend right after and I was very happy and excited for a long time and still am. So after that we walked to get more cold beer and I was still very much high on life. We went to the Pyramid Stage and planned to stay there for the foreseeable evening. 

The Last Shadow Puppets were as seducing and sexy as I'm sure you can only imagine but seeing the way Alex Turner and Miles Kane look at each other did something to me I can't describe. It's like seeing absolute perfection in real life but a thousand times better. Then we finally opened the wine which was actually not as warm as you would imagine and we cheered to such an amazing weekend so far. Followed by some delightfully infused Gin and Malibu Tame Impala came on and a little rainbow appeared which gave the crowd a lot to be excited about. We started to wiggle forward and as it got darker we started to play the name game which actually became a very major part of our weekend whilst waiting for bands to come on. Except you will soon realise there isn't that many celebrities with their first name starting with W or N. What happened next I can only describe as one of the most emotional moments I've ever had. Given that I'm already a pretty emotional person being able to see someone who hasn't only made me realise it's ok to be sad sometimes but has always been there to sing what I want to say this was pretty major for me.


 Adele was perfect. I can't say anymore that would justify her listening to her voice. She's hilarious, witty and real. Although I was laughed at a lot by my own friends and surrounding people I cried the whole way through it but it was so so surreal. Her voice is somehow even better in person and even more moving to listen to. If you've ever seen her live you'll understand. If you haven't please do because she's so capturing to watch. After being an absolute emotional mess and getting myself together we headed to the beast that is Arcadia. This is crazy. It's a giant spider that shoots out fire and lasers whilst a DJ stands inside it and plays the best set to a huge field of people. There was so much fire, so much dancing and I ended up being on the water. Probably from dehydrating myself after crying so much.


SUNDAY: It rained a lot. But not that heavy rain just misty rain that gets you soaked without realising it. Because it was our last day we attempted to make a total day of it so got up early, caked on the glitter and headed straight to the main site. We watched Catfish and the Bottlemen (DID WE ?) who I never really listened to before but they're total indie heaven with a little bit of a heave edge to them which I was all over by the end of it. In the afternoon we saw Years & Years and they were so so beautiful. Ollie made such an inspiring speech about equality and love I honestly don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd. Also as a side note: I was totally mesmerised by Ollie's incredible multicoloured cape he wore. It was amazing and you need to google it ASAP! We also went to see a great guy called Michael Kewanuka who's voice was exactly what you needed on a rainy Sunday afternoon. His little babies were running about the stage area too and he invited them to join which was so heartwarming to watch. Whilst we sucked up the rain I ate the best noodles I've ever had and I can't remember the name of the van but they were so so so good. The tempura veg that went with them too was the best tempura ever.

Cold beer was a necessity today to keep us going and because it was the last day we decided to treat ourselves to ice-cold beverages which were surprisingly very fairly priced. After this we went to see Craig David who I can hand on heart say was one of my highlights. He was insane and there's no other words to describe it. Although he was in a tent that was far too small for him we were in the huge overspill sinking into the mud, in the rain and didn't stop dancing for a good hour. He played all the classics and played a crazy DJ set and did all the best covers both old and new. The atmosphere was pure excitement and there wasn't one person there who didn't know every line of every song he sang and played. Everyone was so up for a good time it just made that hour one of the best moments of the whole weekend. We met a group of girls who has been pitched up for a while waiting for him and I was glad to see they were carrying bags of wine too. After Craig we ventured to the Pyramid Stage and en route picked up free willow stalks to plant at home and followed a secret flower path through hundreds of tents. We grabbed a couple more drinks and attempted to wiggle our way through the crowd to try and at least see the stage. Even though Coldplay got a bit of bad press when it was announced they were headlining it felt like everyone across the whole campsite was there waiting in anticipation. Foals came on and we had a little dance and finished off the infused Gin from last night. As a band Foals have this ability to make you feel like they're playing to you and a few friends. They talked as if they were playing to a little gig down the pub, danced about obviously enjoying every minute of it and played an amazing set that was perfect prep for what was coming. Again we waited and waited till the Coldplay came on, playing our favourite name game with anyone who was keen to join until they came onto the stage. From start to finish it was perfect. I can't say much more than if you've never seen them live and you're not a massive fan and unsure it's 100% worth every minute. The effort and love as a band they put into every song was unbelievable. Even the classics 'Yellow' and 'Clocks' they played as if it was the first time they played them to us. Chris Martin has a talent to make you feel like you're sitting in his living room just chatting one-on-one and you feel so special being able to be a part of something so creatively stunning. Their tribute to Viola Beach was so touching and a perfect gesture from the whole of Glastonbury. I obviously cried and various moments throughout the performance but it was a bit of a blur because I was trying so hard to take every second of it in. Coldplay are a band who play big gig songs and know you'll sing every word to it but they're so humble and so genuinely grateful I felt a part of something really special whilst they played. Unfortunately I had a few too many because I got far too excited watching Coldplay and it all caught up on me from the whole weekend we had to make our way back to the tent. We had planned to adventure to the hidden caves or Arcadia but instead my loving friends took me back to the tent. I hope to my beautiful friends reading this you'll forgive me for cutting Sunday short! When we got back to the tent Pam decided that getting into bed was far too much of a hassle so tried her hardest to sleep with her legs out the tent because her wellies wouldn't come off but Grant came to the rescue and pulled them off. Don't think that this wasn't another Pam flying off the be moment because it was another hilarious moment and I'll never forget the image of Pam's little legs peeking out the tent.

Across the whole weekend there were a lot of emotion shared from speeches about Brexit, equality and me just breaking down at Adele. People spoke about things they truly cared about and people listened. I felt so inspired and happy the whole time because you let go of every inhibition and worry. For those 5 days i've never felt so free before. So many memories were made and I saw so much good music it was totally worth all the planning and saving. If after reading this you're even thinking a tiny bit about going please please do. You'll never experience something so unbelievably great unless you go. The headliners believe it or not are such a small part of the weekend. From healing fields to finding glitter in tiny tents its the best place in the world with so much to offer you. I cannot express my utter love for Glastonbury and what it does for and to people for the 5 days I was there. I saw so much happiness and spending it with my favourite people made it so much better.

PS: Pam falling off the blow up bed is still funny.


Monday, 25 July 2016

musicmonday Alice Kristiansen

I love YouTube for a variety of reasons but the root of my obsession came from listening to people with amazing voices singing covers in their bedrooms. It will come as no surprise that some of the people I've listened to as amateurs singing to their laptops are now have some wildly successful careers behind them, Somebody that I have discovered lately and fallen head over heels for is Alice Kristiansen.

Alice is an New York based singer with the voice of an angel and in my opinion flawless taste in music. She can be found on Youtube, Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify with an array of different covers and originals on each platform much to my delight. She covers a variety of genres injecting her beautiful, bluesy tones into the songs while accompanying herself on either piano or guitar. She tends to cover a artists and bands with a folky, indie pop feeling about their music such as Lana Del Rey, Banks, James Bay and Hozier. She also offers beautiful, slowed down versions of chart songs which I always listen to on loop and end up preferring to the originals.

Like myself Alice is a huge Lana Del Rey fan and has a covered a number of her songs so beautifully. It takes a certain type of singer to take on Lana's song writing because of the almost country story telling factor she commits to her music. Alice meets expectation gorgeously, singing from the heart and her lovely angelic voice is a perfect compliment to the beautiful lyrics.

Links to Alice's music

Alice uploads an extremely versatile range of covers to all of these outlets, at the moment I am particularly enjoying her material on Soundcloud. To top off my complete gush about the extremely talented Alice Kristiansen I'm going to leave some of my favourite covers here at the bottom.

Enjoy and thank me later!

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