Sunday 22 June 2014

Penny Blacks relaunch at The Mailbox Birmingham

Just before I headed off on my summer holidays, I dropped into the launch of the newly refurbished Penny Blacks in The Mailbox.

Baileys cocktails in mini milk bottles

In homage to The Mailbox's history as a Royal Mail sorting office, the interior of Penny Blacks features quirky slogans and images that touch on the history of the building. Coupled with retro cool neon signs, comfortable booths and rustic wooden details, the revamp has definitely given the bar and restaurant a new edge.

Sliders for days...

As well as the interior, we were lucky enough to be able to sample the fabulous food and drink on offer too. Every new dish that came out was met with gasps and awe; little did we know that the new food and cocktail menu was so retro and fun!

Bubblegum cocktails with popping candy

Here's a few quick snaps from my phone; I can never remember to take my camera out with me!

Picnic jug cocktails

We were lucky enough to enjoy treats such as loaded potato skins, 3 foot long stone baked pizzas, an assortment of sliders such as Chipotle Pulled Pork and Goats Cheese and Red Onion as well as cocktails such as Bubblegum cocktails and a picnic jug!

Loaded potato skins

Perfect Friday night food right? I'll see you there!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Murad Travel Kits: Balance and Protect Review

At this time of year, naturally our thoughts turn to holidays. Since I've already been on mine, I was thinking about sharing some outfits, tips and advice with you before you jet off.

First off, let's talk about skincare. If you're anything like me, my make up, hair products and toiletries end up taking up half of my suitcase. 

Murad have just released three cabin sized skincare kits that are perfect for packing. Available in Smooth and Soften, Youthful You and Balance and Protect, I was lucky enough to receive the latter for review.

Murad Balance and Protect Travel Kit available here 

The Balance and Protect kit contains 5 individually wrapped Clarifying Wipes, Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 10ml (even more essential when you're in hot climates) and Skin Perfecting Primer 5ml.

Enough for a 5 day break, the size is just fantastic and at £10, it's a great way to trial the products too.

So how did I get on with these?

First of all, the clarifying wipes are really good at removing all your make up and leaving skin refreshed. Although I'd usually cleanse using micellar water and a wash off cleanser, I always seem to end up with a wet washbag as something always leaks! Wipes are most definitely the most convenient way to cleanse whilst travelling and the individually wrapped wipes make them even more perfect for the job. They do smell a little medicinal and don;t get them in your eyes, but otherwise, these are fab!

Next up, the Oil Control Mattifier. Again, this is a great size and super moisturising lotion that was easy and to use. It did a great job of moisturising my skin and left it feeling soft and comfortable. As an oil control product, I noticed less sebum on my nose and chin too.

Finally, the Skin Perfecting Primer. A skin coloured primer, this "can be used under or in place of foundation". Sadly for me, it wasn't enough coverage for even a good skin day so I used it under a medium coverage foundation and concentrated the application on my nose and chin. After a full days work, I can find my make up slipping in these areas but with the primer, this was noticeably reduced.
During the five day trial I didn;t have any new blemishes and afterwards I still had some primer left.

This is a great kit for any overnight or travel bag. The clear bag is perfect to reuse once your products have been used up too. I love being able to try samples before I commit to a full sized product and these are great for anyone wanting to sample Murad products too; I'm already eyeing up my next kit.

The kits are exclusive to Marks and Spencer.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

NOTD: Urban Decay Nail Color Chaos and Urban Decay Launch in Selfridges Beauty Hall

Following on from my review of Urban Decay Bang, here's this season's other standout nail colour, Chaos. 

A tough, opaque, vivid blue, Chaos is an intense and highly pigmented nail polish and perfect pairing with the new Electric Palette.

A real cobalt blue, like Chaos, the formula is smooth, the brush is thin but precise and the bottle itself is seriously sexy. I love the quality of these polishes and would definitely purchase them again. Even better, they are toluene, formaldehyde or DBP free. The colour is much more accurate in the first picture.

Urban Decay Limited Edition Nail Color in Chaos available here

Speaking of Urban Decay, the brand hosted a special event this evening at Selfridges Birmingham Beauty Hall. Working with a UK grafitti artist on a live canvas spray, guests were able to have a picture taken in front of the finished canvas and come back for a complimentary makeover. 

If you've been to Selfridges Birmingham recently, you may have noticed it's had a shiny new makeover. Now twice the size, it's home to new brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford Colour and Chanel Espace. 

Urban Decay is known for experimental shades and innovative, high performance products. Established in the mid 1990's, Sandy Lerner, David Soward and Wende Zomnir unleashed a 
line of lipsticks and nail enamels inspired by seedier facets of the urban landscape. 

Producing one of the biggest shade ranges in the industry as well as the cult Naked Palettes, I can't wait to try out more of the range, in particular the Naked Complexion foundation.

Keep an eye out for more reviews coming soon!