Monday 13 February 2017

Event: Stila Glitter Undergound Collection Launch at Harvey Nichols Birmingham

What do you think of when you think of the Seventies? Is it flares, Saturday Night Fever and Studio 54? How about the glamorous side of the decade? Think David Bowie and Cher, the sparkle of the disco ball and that of the dazzling disco era itself.

For Spring 2017, Stila has gone glam with the Glitter Underground collection. These modern metallics, inspired by the dazzling 70's come in gorgeous jewel tones to make eyes, lips and cheeks shine bright, no matter what your skin tone.  

I was invited to a special Stila preview at Harvey Nichols to meet Kaci Harabedian, International Director for Stila Cosmetics and Sascha Jackson, UK Lead Make-Up Artist.

Hosted in the Style Concierge, I headed to the Stila counter to experiment with some of my favourite Liquid Lipsticks before being whisked away to a hidden room to meet the Stila girls.

In the Style Concierge, Haci and Sascha were sat waiting to show us the beautiful new Stila Glitter Underground Collection.

The girls showed us the new products including the Matte 'N Metal Eye Shadow Palette, Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, Heaven's Hue Highlighter and Glitterati Lip Top Coat.

Magnificent Metals is a stunning sparkling glitter eyeshadow, that's so intense and pigmented. Glitter can often be difficult to pull off or look sparse, but this is intense and rich. With a lightweight, water based texture, this dries quickly and doesn't leave any fallout.

Here's a swatch of all the colours from the Magnificent Metals Eye Shadow Collection. The shades include Diamond Dust, Molten Midnight, Smouldering Satin, Rose Gold Retro, Bronzed Bell, Smoky Satin, Gold Goddess and Kitten Karma.

The Matte 'N Metal Eye Shadow Palette is full of wearable shades, with six subtle matte nudes great for everyday, and six metallic shades to amp up the volume. This is everything you need for day to night glamour! Even better, each vertical line of four shades is designed to be worn together, so no guessing!

Heaven's Hue has an incredible texture, almost like a soft bouncy pillow! These unique highlighters are soft, light, and literally melt into the skin, making the skin look warm and glowing. Available in three colours, Kitten, Transcendence and Bronze, these are so wearable for everyday illumination or bronzing.

Lastly, we were shown the new glitterati Lip Top Coat. In two shades, one for neutrals and one for berry shades, this top coat is perfect for wearing over matte colours, like my favourite Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, to add a sparkling finish.

What do you think of the new collection? Which one is your favourite?!

Friday 3 February 2017

Food Review: Indico Street Kitchen, Shirley

Shirley is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment, with a shiny new shopping centre and host of shiny new restaurants to go with it.

The latest restaurant to open at the Parkgate Centre is Indico Street Kitchen. Another Indian restaurant, you may say, but here's one with a difference.

Inspired by Indian street food vendors, the interior is unlike any Indian restaurant you've seen before. An explosion of primary colour, pop-art inspired paintings adorn the walls, whilst the real talking point is the ceiling covered in red, yellow and blue umbrellas.

Onto the food, we arrived for a midweek meal only to find filming to be taking place by Hajra Lalljee for The Place to Eat on AndTV. After a brief stint being interviewed(!), we returned to the menu's. Starting off with drinks, I opted for a non alcoholic Mumbai Mojito (£4.50) whilst my dining companion went for the Cashew and Banana Smoothie (£4.50). We also tried out the Goa beer (£4.95), recommended to us as it's gluten free.

Although the menu does state which dishes contain nuts, dairy, are spicy or vegetarian, it doesn't state which dishes are gluten free. However, the manager was able to show me a print off of which dishes I could eat.

To start, I picked the Aloo Tikki (£4.50) whilst my dining companion went for the Lollipop Chicken (£4.99). The Aloo Tikki was presented in two large patties, covered in chickpeas and a tamarind chutney sauce. The Aloo Tikki themselves were plain potato with coriander, onion and spices, and I would have liked to have seen these made with peas. However, the addition of the sauce and chickpeas made it a much more substantial starter and stopped it from drying out, as the dish does benefit from a sauce. The Lollipop Chicken was in a league of its own. Attractively served with a clean bone, the chicken itself was soft and encased in a sweet, sticky, crunchy batter. A delicious sweet starter, I see why these are called lollipops!

For our mains, I had the Chicken Biryani £9.50) and a side of Daal Makhani (£5.95), whilst my dining companion had the Mattar Paneer Tiffin Box (£11.50). There was also a huge selection of meat including tandoori chicken, grilled kebabs, salads and kathi rolls. 

A Tiffin Box is a traditional Indian lunch box used by street food vendors to deliver hot lunches to city office workers. At Indico, the Tiffin Box includes a curry, in this case Mattar Paneer, a portion of daal, rice and 2 chapattis as well as salad and raita. For me, this was the star of the show. For the price, it offers excellent value, whilst the novelty of being able to sample a little of everything is something that I'm drawn to. The curry itself was just right, mild and not too creamy, instead offering up tomato flavours.

The biryani was flavoursome, packed with spices and vegetables, it is served with raita, a yoghurt dip. This benefitted from the addition of the lentil Daal as it kept things interesting. If I'd have been hungrier, I would have tried the masala fries too! 

Unbelievably, we still had just a tiny bit of room for desserts. My dining companian opted for the Pistachio Kulfi, which came served on a stick and dressed in chopped pistachios. I opted for the Gajar Ka Halwa, carrot grated and cooked in condensed milk, served with vanilla ice cream. We were both very happy with our desserts, and I recommend ending on a sweet note.

Overall, Indico was a great dining experience. The music and atmosphere when we visited was just right and the decor is eyecatching and a real talking point. I also love the way that the kitchen is open and framed by painted buses to reference the Highway Dhabas who inspired this kind of street food.

Bright, lively and full of fun, Indico is a fabulous addition to the dining scene that's perfect for relaxed midweek meals with friends and family.