Thursday, 29 August 2013

Specs Appeal - Glasses Direct


Since I started Secondary school in 2002, my eyesight has been deteriorating. Maybe this is from many hours squinting at The Simpsons on a TV screen when I was a kid and even more hours writing HTML codes for MySpace layouts, or maybe it's just what was meant to happen. When I was in Year 7 I got my first pair of (uber uncool) glasses and reluctantly wore them only when I really needed too. Having a surname beginning with W meant that most of my lessons were from the back of the class - alphabetised seating plans - so I'd get major headaches without them. Before too long, my eyesight worsened from -0.75 to  -1.0, and almost ten years down the line I'm now at -3.0.

Just before my 18th birthday, I tried out contact lenses and started wearing them every day. But there were always times when contacts just wouldn't do, like in hayfever season, first thing in the morning or after a few too many cocktails... My untrendy, standard glasses would come out again and I would hate wearing them more than not being able to see. Eventually I switched from my small-town optician with limited range, to one of the bigger high street chains with designer frames, and I finally began choosing glasses which I liked, which suited me, and which made me feel good. But there was a downfall - the price. One pair of frames would set me back over £100 and I'd be stuck with them, no matter what outfit I was wearing. Sometimes, wearing my glasses would completely change how I felt about my whole outfit.


Back in June, I knew I wanted a new pair of glasses so I could switch up my style a bit more. I knew that some online retailers had great deals, but I was dubious about buying online without knowing if they'd suit me. This is when I checked out the Glasses Direct website, and was amazed to read about their Home Trial. Home Trial allows you to pick up to 4 frames to be delivered to your home so you can try them on before you buy. When you've decided, you simply pop them back in the post using the free post label inside. I chose the frames I liked the look of and they arrived 2 days later. After lots of trying on in front of the mirror and taking photos to compare, I settled on Lamia in Tortoise. When I went to place my order, they had an amazing 45% off deal on and Buy One Get One Free on frames! I was in HEAVEN. I decided to order a pair of prescription sunglasses (Scout Festival in Pink/Tortoise with grey tint) for the days when my hayfever was really bad or I just didn't feel like putting my lenses in. After I'd filled out the order form, including my prescription details, I only had to wait 5 days before my new glasses were pushed through my letter box. My two pairs of prescription glasses with scratch resistant lenses cost only £75.


Since they have arrived, I have found myself wearing glasses more than ever before. I rarely used to wear them to work, relying on the air conditioning to keep my sore hayfever eyes at bay, but now I wear them at least twice a week, and take my contacts out straight after work. My eyes feel healthier for it and I feel more 'me' when I have them on.

At the moment, Glasses Direct have an amazing 50% discount when you enter the code "AUG50" at the checkout. More info here.

Do you wear glasses? What do you think of the Glasses Direct Home Trial?
Rosie x

PS. This isn't a sponsored post. Just someone who's very happy with her new glasses and wants to share!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Katy Perry Killer Queen Fragrance Review

First of all - I am no fragrance guru. I understand the 'notes' which makes up a fragrance, but that's almost as far as it gets. In my opinion, if it smells good, suits me and sits on my skin for a good amount of time then it ticks my boxes.

Miss Perry is one of my favourite artists, stemming back from 'I Kissed A Girl' and the amazing show I saw in KOKO, Camden at one of her first UK tours off the back of the 'One of the Boys' album. I bought Purr when that was released a few years ago, and it was always my everyday scent. The best thing about celebrity fragrances is the price tag - they're always cheaper than designer smells.
I preordered 100ml of Killer Queen - named after the Queen song - from Very.co.uk for £39.99. It arrived this morning, and crikey, it smells good.


Now for the 'technical' bits (taken from Fragrantica.com) - "Top notes include wild berries, dark plum and bergamot accords. The main note of the heart is velvety red flower (Celosia), but there are also Sambac jasmine and rainbow plumeria. The base contains cashmere, patchouli and liquid praline." Got that? In real girl terms, THIS SMELLS GOOD. I spritzed this morning when it arrives and I can still smell it lingering around me 6 hours later. The packaging is also beautiful - a dark red jewel shaped bottle, mimicking a Royal sceptre. Much more mature than the pink and purple Kitty Purry's of her previous fragrances.



I know this is going to fit straight in to my morning routine and become my end of Summer fragrance.
Have you smelt Killer Queen yet? What's your favourite celebrity fragrance?

Rosie x

Monday, 26 August 2013

Reading Festival 2013


It's been almost 7 hours since we bundled through the front door this morning, stinking of campfire and wanting a good cup of tea, but I can already safely say that Reading Festival 2013 was brilliant. The important things have been accomplished - longest shower ever and watching this weeks episode of Breaking Bad - and whilst Ash is having a nap I thought I'd have a look through the photos from the weekend.


If there's one thing I really noticed about Reading this year, was that size makes a difference. Security said that they'd made the arena 50ft bigger in every direction. It felt huge! This meant lots more walking around the site and also in camp. Last year the lockers were a lot closer to our camp than this year. Just after Green Day finished playing Dookie on the Friday night I was so tired that I went back to the tent to get an early night. This is coming from the same girl who would have stayed up until 2am every night a few years ago, and still been out of the tent by 9 the next morning - I am getting old! The sheer size of the festival grounds really changed the atmosphere.

 
Once again we camped with friends we met at Reading 4 years ago. It's great to know that there's always people around looking out for each other, even if you haven't seen them for an entire year. When we arrived on Thursday morning, they'd already set up two sunflower gazebos, and by the middle of the afternoon it was four. Safe to say we had the campest camp. #quadzebo



On Friday, we watched Gnarwolves, While She Sleeps, New Found Glory, Frank Turner, Bastille, System of a Down and Green Day, as well as catching some comedy acts in the Alternative Tent. Frank Turner was a massive highlight, after falling in love with Tape Deck Heart when it was released earlier in the year, and it was awesome to see System too. We were stood next to the most rock and roll family ever, and the kid on his Dad's shoulders with a pink mohawk knew every single word to every song they played. Hero!




On Saturday, we saw Decade (a local band) rock the Lock Up Stage, Lower Than Atlantis, Twin Atlantic, The 1975, Johnny Marr, Foals, Chase & Status and Eminem. Johnny Marr was wonderful, and it was amazing to hear some of my favourite Smiths songs live.
At some point in the course of Saturday evening, the bars started to get really packed and Ash and I thought it would be fab to order two ciders each... my feet still ache from the amount of dancing we did, and the fun we had during Eminem! A total once in a life time show.



On Sunday morning, I instantly regretted how fast I'd gotten through those Pear Gaymers the night before (I think I may have had 9 pints that afternoon...) and we headed into the Alternative Tent again to cure my hangover with laughter. Katherine Ryan was HILARIOUS. YouTube her. When I finally started to feel more human, we saw Editors, a bit of The Lumineers, Haim, Disclosure, Fall Out Boy, a bit of Gallows, Funeral for a Friend and Biffy Clyro. FFAF seriously owned the Rock Stage, but those boys have never disappointed any of the 7 or so times I've seen them. The pyros for Biffy were brilliant as well.



Although we both had a really brilliant time, I'm not sure if I can safely say that I'd go back to Reading next year for a fifth time. The novelty of £4.70 pints and £6 noodles has worn off, and there's only so many bum cheeks hanging out of short shorts that one girl can take. Travelling with all our gear is so tiring that it knocked me for the whole festival - my shoulders still ache 4 days after lugging our camping gear from the hotel to the site. The whole atmosphere felt less friendly and intimate.

But then I look back on the music, the laughs and the amazing memories and I wonder if I'd ever want to give that feeling up. So, Reading, maybe I'll see you next year.



Friday, 23 August 2013

Neon Passion Cocktail Recipe


Last Friday night after dinner I found myself staring in to the cupboard, begging for a new cocktail to jump out at me. I couldn't make sense of the spiced rum and whiskey at the front, but after a little poking around I grabbed out the Midori and Bacardi and this is what I made. It's the perfect Friday night wake me up cocktail, packed with fruity flavour.



To make Neon Passion, you will need:
50ml Midori melon liqueur
50ml white rum (Bacardi)
200ml Orange, peach and passionfruit juice

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add 6 or 7 ice cubes, and shake! Pour into a short glass. Garnish with cocktail cherries.

The Midori gives this cocktail such a crazy neon colour, I think it looks amazing! It is quite strong though, so don't be ashamed to halve the alcohol content, especially on a week night ;)


Scheduled post - as you read this, I'll be sipping cider in a field in Reading!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Four Years

 

It's been four years today since Ash moved in to my parents house with me. It was the same night when he asked me to be his girlfriend. As cliche as it is, I'm in love with my best friend.

Here's to the next 4 :)


PS. We are off to Reading tomorrow. I have a couple of scheduled posts ready to go. Have a fab bank holiday weekend! <3

Monday, 19 August 2013

Oh hey, ombre! - L'oreal Preference Wild Ombre Review


If you follow me on Instagram, you'd see that I hastily bought a L'Oreal Wild Ombre kit ahead of Reading Festival this week. As a girl who hasn't seen her natural hair colour since primary school, colouring my hair shouldn't phase me as much as it does, but I was still pretty scared. The last time I dip dyed my hair I used Schwarzkopf XXL in Ice Blonde (00A) and tin foil. It worked out fine, but it was hard work, so I was intrigued by this kit. I chose Number 2, for dark blonde/medium brown - they didn't seem to have one for red hair ;)


The kit itself was wonderful, mainly because of the little plastic brush which I have cleaned and kept! It made the 'natural' application so simple, and there were no harsh lines like the last time I did it. After mixing up the colourant, you simply squirt it in between the teeth of the brush, and comb it through your chosen areas. The highest mine goes is just under my ear. I allowed mine to develop for around 30 minutes, and gave it a good hot wash in the shower afterwards, before conditioning the hell out of it! (Hey, it's bleach, it'll do bad things to your hair!)


Et voila! So what do you think? I really love it, and I've got some lovely compliments. I feel like it really brightens my whole look and makes all my hair seem lighter. My only regret is not doing it at the beginning of Summer! I wouldn't say that the bleach has dried out my ends that much, but I will definitely be taking extra care from now on (Avon Dry Ends Serum is pretty great!)


What do you think of my new ombre hair? Will you be trying one of the L'Oreal kits, or are you happy colouring your hair the old school tin foil way?
Rosie x

Friday, 16 August 2013

Honey Berry Sour Cocktail Recipe


I first tasted a Honey Berry Sour in my favourite restaurant, Giraffe, opposite the train station in Southgate, Bath. They updated their cocktail menu in Spring and on a date with Ash one night I tried a couple of their new mixes. This was one of my favourites and I had to recreate it at home. Although 'sour' is in the name, it's not that bad, especially compared to a traditional whiskey sour.

You will need:
25ml honey whiskey or liqueur (I used Bushmill's Irish Honey)
25ml black raspberry liqueur (like Chambord)
25ml fresh lemon juice
4 or 5 raspberries


To make a Honey Berry Sour, muddle raspberries in the bottom of a shaker until the fruit is pulp. Add the whiskey, liqueur and lemon juice, a handful of ice cube and shake until the ice has melted. Strain over ice into a short glass through a fine sieve (like a tea strainer) to take out any leftover raspberry bits. If you're worried about it being a little too sour, try it before you pour and shake in a teaspoon of sugar syrup if you'd prefer.

This drink is absolutely perfect for after dinner as it really cleanses your palette, and prepares you for more cocktails ;) I'm intrigued to try this with strawberries or blueberries too!

To see more of my cocktail recipes, click on the 'Liquor Love' tab in the side bar.

Rosie x

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Festival Countdown: 1 Week


ONE WEEK TO GO! I am so excited. My head is working overtime trying to remember things I have to pack, things I've already packed and things I still need to buy. ANXIETY OVERLOAD. The majority of my 'to pack' list is clothing. The weather forecast is looking alright at the moment, but I will still be packing for every outcome - and the key to this is layers!


Last year's festival was pretty dry, albeit a bit cold in the evenings. Oh, and the part where it absolutely threw it down during Florence and the Machine! Most days I wore a dress with long socks and wellies. (Above outfit: sunglasses - free from a magazine, dress - ASOS, socks - Topshop, wellies - Iron Fist, bag - Animal) and this year I plan on doing pretty much the same. This makes it easy to layer for the evenings - a pair of black leggings and a cardigan chucked into my bag.

Here's a couple of wish list outfits  - except number two, which I bought last week!


All these outfits would be absolutely fine with a pair of leggings, a chunky cardigan and a rain mac (or 85p ASDA poncho - I am the height of fashion.)

Outfit One - dress/shoes. I love mint, and this tea dress is right up my street. I also really love half-height wellies, they look so much more feminine.

Outfit Two - dress/shoes. Monochrome always ticks boxes. I love that the dress is a little longer at the back, and I am SO happy that jellies are cool again.

Outfit Three - dress/shoes. I love the bright colours in this dress, and smock dresses are surprisingly flattering on my shape... mostly because they hide things! These lovely Hunter wellies are cute, albeit slightly out of my price range.

My parents actually spoiled me a few weeks ago with a gorgeous pair of violet Hunter's, but I'm not sure whether to take those or my half height Iron Fist wellies from last year. In real life, I definitely won't be packing more than one pair of wellies, although if I knew I didn't have to carry everything to camp I may reconsider ;)

What do you think of my outfit choices?

Rosie x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Avon Nail Experts Liquid Freeze Quick Dry Nail Spray



Having a sister who's also an Avon rep definitely has it's advantages ...*cough* discount *cough*. When I was flicking through the last catalogue I thought I'd give the liquid freeze for nails a try, as I hate flapping my hands around after a new lick on paint on my fingers, and anything that's meant to speed that up is worth a try.


The one thing which frustrates me about Avon is there aren't any directions on their packaging so it's always a bit of guess work. After doing my final coat of polish, I gave my finger nails a spray, keeping as far back as I could, and let it get to work. The spray on the bottle is very wide, meaning there was a lot of wastage as it sprayed between my fingers and to either side of my hands. However, after about 30 seconds my nails were completely dry and fine to touch. On the other hand (ha), my fingers were also covered in the spray and felt very greasy - there's so much wastage.



The product does do what is says on the tin though, and I'll keep this near for when my Seche Vite top coat runs out.

The polish I am wearing above is 3 coats of Maybelline's Winter Baby and 2 coats of Rimmel's Metal Rush in Pearly Queen, which I posted about yesterday here.

Do you have any tips for helping your nails dry quickly?

Rosie x 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Pearly Queen Nails


I absolutely love this polish. Rimmel have always been a pretty safe brand to go to, and this Metal Rush shade does not let them down. I picked it up a few months ago in Boots but find myself going back to it quite a lot. It's a gorgeous iridescent purple which turns sagey green in the light. I actually took this photo on my iPhone as it showed up a lot better than on my Canon.

I must mention though, this is definitely more of a top coat than a full colour. I painted my toes with just two coats of this, and although it does look very nice, I found that it looks a lot more striking with 3 coats of Maybelline's Winter Baby underneath. I can't wait to wear it at Christmas with silver glitter!

Rimmel London's Metal Rush polishes retail for £3.99 and are all available over at ASOS.

Have you tried any of these Rimmel polishes?

Rosie x

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Maybelline New York - Baby Lips review


Hey! My first ever beauty review! ;)
When I was placing my festival Boots order (baby wipes, deodorant, plasters...) a few of these Baby Lips slipped and fell into my shopping basket. I'd heard a lot about these and as someone who really struggles to wear lipstick (I just think it looks weird as I have really small lips), a tinted lip balm seemed perfect. At £2.99 each and on 3 for 2 offer, I couldn't really resist. I chose Mint Fresh (green), Peach Kiss (purple) and Pink Punch (pink).


Mint Fresh is a clear, slightly glossy lip balm with a subtle minty scent. When my Coca Cola Lipsmacker runs out, this will be firmly on my bedside table for overnight moisturising.

Peach Kiss is the most gorgeous, subtle peach which gives my lips a hint of shimmer. It's absolutely perfect for work and will be spending most of it's time in my desk drawer, ready to apply whenever to stop the air conditioning drying out my lips.


Pink Punch is a crazy, bright pink - almost neon! When I first applied it I though it was a little garish, but I think it'll be perfect to keep in my handbag at Reading festival. The biggest problem with this colour though is that it really sticks to dry patches on my lips (technical term?) which has put me off wearing it so far.


The formula is okay. Peach Kiss is definitely the most long wearing, but Pink Punch seemed to have faded within 15 minutes. Mint Fresh stays on quite well providing I can resist licking my lips!

Have you tried any Baby Lips? How do the other shades hold up?
Rosie x

PS. This is my 100th post! I can't believe it :)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Festival Countdown: 2 Weeks


It's only 2 weeks until I'll be camped up at Reading Festival! Now I've sorted my transport and accommodation (trains and tent - see 3 Week Countdown here) I can think about the smaller things, which are obviously just as important.



KEEPING CLEAN
I'm not a big fan of camping, so I like to make my experiences as comfortable as I can. The weather will totally change a camping experience - the first Reading I went to was warm and dry. The second was cold and wet. I enjoyed both the same, but it was definitely a completely different experience, mostly dictated by mud!

On my 'To Pack' list:
Simple Kind to Skin cleansing face wipes - there will be no cleansing or toning going on in those fields, that's for sure. I use these wipes a lot at home anyway as they're good for dry skin.
Johnson's baby wipes - because by day 3, I will be glad of a baby wipe shower. Also useful for cleaning mud off the tent, or my new Hunter wellies!
Batiste dry shampoo - aka greasy fringe destroyer! If I can put off washing my hair in cold water for as long as possible, I will.
Carex sensitive hand gel - festival toilets are generally not equipped that well with soap, and it's always nice to have clean hands before tucking in to a sloppy burger!
Sure Women compressed deodorant - you can't go wrong with Sure, and the new compressed cans means it's small enough to carry around in the day.


STAYING SAFE
Funny story - I dislocated my thumb one year whilst gracefully falling backwards into my tent. The pure shock of the dislocation made me pop it back in pretty quickly, but it hurt a lot after. A trip to the medic tent the next morning advised me to put an ice pack on it to try to keep the swelling down, and take painkillers. Did they have either? No. So they advised me to grab a cold cider from the bar and keep the cup pressed against my thumb. The alcohol would numb the pain... Since then, I've gone a little more prepared!

On my 'To Pack' list:
Plasters -  I'll split a pack in half and keep some in the tent and some on my person. Even if I don't use them, I guarantee someone will ask for one at some point. Blisters in wellies are the worst!
Painkillers - Headaches, bruises, swelling...hangovers... a few paracetamol tablets or iboprufen sneaked in my handbag should be plenty - just in case.
Suncream - Maybe good old Mother Nature will be kind to us, and maybe my fair skin will need extra protection! I'll be taking SPF 50 - no more, no less!
I'll also pack other little things which I already have at home like Savlon (campfire burns? unexpected chafing?!), sting and bite relief cream, allergy tablets and chapstick with SPF.


LOOKING GOOD
Festival style is not my forte - but more about that next week. Even if the clothes I'm wearing are there to simply keep me warm and dry, at least I can make my face a little bit presentable! I'll be packing make up which I can put on in the morning and not worry about until the face wipes come out in the evening.

On my 'To Pack' list:
Powder - Liquid foundation can stay at home as I won't be faffing about with that. Maybelline's Fit Me Powder Flawless will do just fine.
Eyeshadow - Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze is really amazing at staying put.
Eyeliner - Urban Decay's 24/7 liquid liner in Perversion has been a firm favourite in the past month, as it actually does what it says on the tin. My cat flick will be in attendance.
Waterproof mascara - I'll be packing my No 7 Extreme Length mini which came in a little gift set at Christmas.
Nail polish & remover - I'll paint my nails before we go and seal with lashings of Seche Vite, but just in case there are any horrendous chips, I'd like to be prepared! I'll be taking MUA's mini £1 polish in Bright Pink and some remover pads.
I'll also need to remember a hair brush, kirby grips, hair bands and a mirror.



What are your festival essential to help you keep clean, stay safe and look good? What have I forgotten? Rosie x



All these photos were taken on a Lomography Fish Eye camera at Reading Festival 2010.