Jamie's Super Lunch.*

14.9.16





Jamie's Italian is one of those restaurants that although I walk past almost daily, I never think to pop in. As a lover of an independent restaurant I tend to avoid chains and look for something a bit more quirky. I was recently invited to try the new lunch deal Jamie's is offering, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to suss the place out.

I popped down midweek to try the new selection (mostly because any time I walk past on a weekend it's absolutely heaving!). There was a light atmosphere, not too busy because we were eating at 5.30, but still enough around that we didn't feel like the only two in the restaurant. The interior is decked in more rustic pieces, with the iron chairs and exposed woodwork making the environment feel more vintage than your average chain.

Jamie's new Super Lunch Menu oruns Monday- Friday (12-6) and offers a fabulous 2 courses for £10.95, or 3 courses for £12.95. The menu covers a wide range of items that should cover even the most picky of eaters.

Truffle Tagliatelle
Fritto Misto

Starters: 

To start I opted for the Truffle Tagliatelle - it's my favourite type of pasta and the black truffle butter and nutmeg sounded too good to miss out on. It was a rather light starter, which was good as post-ordering I was concerned the pasta would be too heavy. It curbed my hunger for a little while longer, but I didn't find the flavour particularly overwhelming. It was a little bland for me, and I really needed the parmesan to give a bit of a kick.  Mike went for the Fritto Misto, a fried fish and squid dish. This was really light and just what we were looking for in a starter. The garnish worked really well and made for an all-round crowd pleaser dish.

Tagliatelle Bolognese
Fries. 
Mains: 
After choosing pasta for my starter, I opted for the Italian Steak and Fries for my main. I take my steak medium - rare, so when the waitress said it came pink anyway I was happy enough to have it cooked like that. I was so disappointed when I cut into my steak to see that it wasn't pink, but brown and clearly almost well done. I was pretty gutted to be honest - and if you're willing to pay a £2 surcharge for steak it should be cooked right. In saying this it was a lovely cut of meat, no fat or gritty bits, and the fries on the side were light and crisp. I also got some peppercorn sauce - because what steak is complete without?


Italian Steak.
Garlic Bread. 
It was Mike's turn to choose pasta this time, and he opted for the Tagliatelle Bolognese. He's helpfully described it as 'alright, a bit heavy and tough pasta in some places'. We both found it slightly disappointing. The flavour was tasty however the meal wasn't really as expected. As a restaurant named after it's Italian food, that's the one thing they really ought to get right. 

We got a side dish of garlic bread with our main's and this was probably the most successful part. It was full of flavour and perfectly toasted. 



All in all - the meal was very good for the price. You really can't beat two courses for £10.95 and although the food didn't blow us away, the staff were incredibly polite, the atmosphere was lively and the drinks - in particular the cocktails - went down a treat. Mike thoroughly enjoyed his craft beer and I loved how the wine came with the option of a carafe as oppose to the bottle.

I think this menu would be perfect for anyone looking for an early bite or a large group of people, and I can see myself taking advantage of this brilliant offer again soon. I just might not go for the steak! A. xo

*Complimentary meal provided in exchange for review, but all words and thoughts my own. A massive thank-you to Jamie's for having me. 

Recent Zoeva Purchases.

13.7.16









Of late, Zoeva is my one stop shop when it comes to brushes. My Rose Gold set continue to be my most reached for brushes so I thought I would widen my collection with some singular purchases. I know the sets tend to be better value for money, but I didn't need a completely new range as they're incredibly well lasting.

I bought 2 brushes for the face and 2 for eyes. For the face I oped for the 104 Buffer brush. Having already got the Silk Finish brush in the Rose Gold set I was intrigued with this as it has a much flatter surface and the bristles seem much more dense. This is lovely for buffing in foundation but it really packs it on and gives a very full coverage. I haven't been using this as much since the weather's been getting warmer as I like my skin to look somewhat more natural. Although for a long day (or night!) it's perfect as the foundation really stays in place.

I honestly don't know how I lived without my 129 Luxe Fan brush. To be fair, this is probably due to my new fangled highlighter obsession (thank-you Jeffree Star) but this brush applies it like a dream. The bristles are incredibly soft and using this flat along the tops of the cheekbone gives you that perfect glow.

For the eyes, I opted for the 227 Soft Definer (vegan too!) and the 221 Luxe Soft Crease because really, it's impossible to have too many fluffy blending brushes. I love the soft definer for applying my base shadows as the bristles, although still super fluffy, are slightly more compact and so really get the colour on the lid. The Luxe Soft Crease is perfect for  blending out the fade of your eyeshadow into the brow bone, and I also love it for applying my highlighter on the tip of my nose and the inner corner.

Not the largest Zoeva haul but I'm really happy with my purchases and how reasonably priced they are. It's no wonder they make up majority of my brush collection!

What's your favourite Zoeva product? A. xo

My Sister's Wedding Make-Up.

16.6.16

  
Our lip combo: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk & Illamasqua Lipstick in Climax.

I haven't made much of a secret about the fact that my big sister/best friend/agony aunt was getting married. As well as being the only bridesmaid I took on the task of doing her wedding makeup! I was quite nervous but I've done her makeup for countless night's out and I know what she likes so it only made sense. People doing their own wedding make-up seems to be on the up so I thought I'd share the product's I used, because our makeup did not budge all day.
Base:
To me, the base is the most important part. It needed to be flawless without looking cakey, and dewy without going shiny in a few hours. To moisturise I used the Vichy Aqua Thermal day cream, it's thoroughly hydrating and has an SPF of 25 - the sun was scorching that day! I followed this with my new god-send primer, the Nivea for Men Post Shave Balm in Sensitive. After using this, makeup does not move! When applied simply wait until it's a bit tacky on the face and then apply foundation. 

Foundation was a worry for me as in previous trial's I had been too heavy handed. To combat this I bought the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to buff in Carla's usual foundation - Illamasqua Skin Base in 07 (I used my NARS Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc). It perfectly buffed the foundation into the skin without picking up too much product. To conceal I used the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand. It's double sided with one side offering an eye cream that I used to hydrate the under eye and ensure there wouldn't be any dryness, and then applied the concealer to brighten. I also used a little bit of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in  around the nose and into the forehead.  I blended it all together using my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

For contour and highlight I stuck with what I know, Illasmasqua Gel Sculpt in Silhouette and The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer. I used my Real Techniques Contour Brush and Zoeva Fan Luxe Brush respectively to apply, I do this every day and I know it works. I then placed a little blush from my Zoeva Pink Spectrum palette on the apples of the cheeks. I used shade PK030 for a pale pink pop. 

To set everything I then used my Illamasqua Setting Powder in 010.

Eyebrows and Eyeshadow:
Again - we kept this quite simple. I used my failsafe Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe and set them with the Rimmel Brow This Way Gel. For the eyeshadow I stuck to the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette, the perfect spectrum of shades for a natural glowing look. I used Blonde and Skimp all over the lid to give a subtle shimmer, and then the matte shade Stark as my transition colour on the outer corner. I then mixed Zone and Anaheim to give a subtle defined shadow in the crease. 


I used an Illamasqua Precision Ink Liner in Havoc - a perfect aubergine colour that didn't have the harshness on the lid that black can sometimes have. We'd previously had individual eyelash extensions put on so we didn't have to worry about mascara which was an absolute godsend in the madness of the morning.


Lips:
We couldn't decide for ages what lip colour to go for, our usual McGarrigle sister look is a deep purple or red but we knew this may not work for 12 hours of wear. So eventually I splurged on Charlotte Tilbury's infamous Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, and paired it with Illamasqua's Climax lipstick, a dusty rose pink with a matte finish. It was perfect. Both of us had a full, plump pout that lasted all day, and didn't transfer anywhere all. I don't think I reapplied lipstick until about 7 o'clock!

And I think that's everything covered! I apologise it was so long, but it took me a lot of trials to get to this combination and everyone commented on how nice it was so I was glad my research paid off!

What I've learned with this is that you're honestly better to stick to what you know and what works for you. We didn't run to buy a whole new make-up range because unless you're super organised, you won't know how it will take to your skin or if it will break you out, how long lasting it is or if the colour is right.

Also I don't have any good pictures of the make-up because there was literally no time, but here's us with out lovely Dad, two nervous wrecks before walking down the aisle! Hopefully this can help anyone who may have an upcoming wedding or rather long day out soon. 
Do you have any tips for long lasting makeup? A. xo


Laura Mercier: Foundation Primer Protect

14.6.16



Having never used Laura Mercier before and needing some UV protection for the summer months (and just my skin in general) I picked up the Foundation Primer Protect a while ago. Laura Mercier is a beauty god to a-lot of bloggers so I was intrigued to see how the products would work with me.

To cut to the chase - I'm not fussed. It's a creamy primer, quite light in consistency gliding on the skin smoothly, and although it does make my base more nourished for applying foundation it doesn't really make any difference to the longevity of it. Which albeit isn't the main selling point of this, but when you hear the word primer it's kind of expected?

The product was lovely and hydrating and obviously the SPF30 is fantastic benefit so I can see myself continuing to use this - but probably only if it's a scorching day or I'm on holiday. Unfortunately I'm a matte - long lasting primer gal, and this just doesn't do it for me.

Hopefully I'll have better luck with other Laura Mercier products, what are your favourites? A. xo

Illamasqua: Gel Sculpt in Silhouette.

9.6.16






I feel like every Illamasqua post I write starts with 'new product - I wanted - I bought.' But to be honest, that's usually what happens. I went a bit contour crazy a while back and bought every contour product I could, from high street to high end, but when I went to Illamasqua (my most anticipated purchase undoubtedly) this was out of stock.  Luckily, my lovely Dad was with me when the heart break occurred and bought me it as a surprise (what a babe).

The gel sculpt is like no other contour product I own, it's almost like a stain that offers a subtle definition to the skin without looking cakey or muddy. I love it because it doesn't really have any coverage and you're still able to see my own complexion through it which looks so much more natural.

I apply this using my Real Techniques Contour brush to the hollows of my cheeks, temple and slightly under my jaw and I'm just obsessed with it. It's perfect for everyday contour as it takes a-lot of product to make it look unnatural. I usually pop this on first, then my Mary-Lou Manizer, followed my my Zoeva blush and my cheeks look flaw-less. (If I do say so myself.)

At £22 it isn't cheap but I've been using it every day since February and I'm not even half way down the stick yet! Well worth an investment or at least an in-store swatch if you struggle with your contour. I'll never look back!

What are your favourite contour products? A. xo

Jeffree Star: Velour Liquid Lipstick

7.6.16




Top - Celebrity Skin, Bottom - Gemini.

The lip products that I've been lusting after (for longer than I care to admit)finally landed on my door last weekend. Jeffree Star first came on my radar after my weekly YouTube session, when I saw him on NikkieTutorials' channel.  A quick browse of his channel and the love affair began, albeit with majority all the love coming from my end.

To get my hands on my Velour Liquid Lipsticks was not easy. I was constantly stalking any Jeffree Star social media to find out about the next re-stock, and when I eventually found one I set many alarms to ensure I got my hands on the shades I wanted. Although I was advised not to - I ordered the products directly from Jeffree Star Cosmetics. The postage was only £7 ($10) so I wasn't too worried about having to spend customs as the postage had come in much cheaper than planned. However, when they arrived I didn't have to pay anything - huzzah! I was quite possibly the happiest girl in Liverpool. 

I ordered the shades Gemini and Celebrity Skin which are both highly sought after and both from the more nude spectrum of the shades on offer. I was delighted to open the classic pink packaging to discover the products smell incredible. And the formula is so thin and easy to apply. The applicator isn't like that of a normal gloss, it has a little curve in the tip that allows the product to be perfectly applied across the lips. And speaking of the product - it applies like a dream. One sweep across the lips offers a fully opaque colour, I am talking pigment for days! And a massive perk of being a liquid means you're not dragging it across the lips constantly (like some of my usual matte bullets). 

The shades are both so flattering on the skin - Jeffree doesn't lie when he said they're made to suit any skin tone. And although the formula is incredibly matte when dry, it doesn't dehydrate my lips, and it really lasts. After eating and drinking I did find a small amount of product came off from the centre of my lips - but it wasn't enough that it was extremely noticeable. 

All in all I'm so happy with my purchases - sure they took a little longer to come than they would've had I ordered them from the UK, but over all the pricing wasn't that different. My first liquid lipsticks have gone down extremely well, now to keep my eyes peeled for the next re-stock! 

What's your take on liquid lipsticks? A. xo


Soap & Glory: Scrub Your Nose In It!

26.5.16





One of my favourite beauty regimes of the week is exfoliating my face. There's nothing quite like literally scrubbing away any grime and dirt that has lodged itself into your pores and feeling thoroughly cleansed after. I tend to mix up my scrubs, purely because I use them quite sporadically and just like to try different brands. I've only ever tried one Soap & Glory skincare product before - and because we had quite the love affair, I popped Scrub Your Nose In It! in my basket.

The pore refining formula uses products like micro mud, clay and fruit acids to help dissolve pore clogging dead cells, purify the skin and absorb excess oils on the skin. My skin feels so fresh after I've given it a good once over with it, albeit a little tight, but no more than any usual cleanses or washes leave me. You apply a pea sized amount of this on your t-zone, massage in circular motions and leave on for 2 minutes. I've not come across this method of leaving the scrub on before, but I quite enjoyed it. As this happens I always a feel a very cooling, almost menthol sensation come across my t-zone and I feel this may be why it makes me feel so clean.

I was concerned that the ingredients in this (being quite acidic ) may flare up my eczema around my eyes and nose but thankfully I haven't had an outbreak since using it. And perhaps my favourite thing about the product? No plastic! I panicked when I purchased is as the microbead element hadn't even crossed my mind, but after researching the product I'm happy to say it's all natural. And they don't test on animals!

Bearing all this in mind, I may actually repurchase this scrub; no eczema flare-ups, no cruelty, no plastic microbeads. Soap & Glory - you've got a good'un here!

Have you tried any Soap & Glory skincare? A. xo