Saturday, 30 April 2016


The ones that got away.... Those items you ponder for longer than usual, and for an amount of time considerably more lengthy than your boyfriend can understand or tolerate, and then end up leaving on the shelf. 

On my last day in New York I was in Urban Outfitters and saw this Lime Crime palette on display. It was everything I had been looking for in a collection of eyeshadows. My face turned into an emoji...I'm being non specific because it was a mixture of heart eyes, confusion and many others facially unattatractive emotions. But at over $40 I couldn't justify the purchase, particularly as I was already on a holiday I couldn't really afford. Then of course I got home and grieved for the purchase that never was. I'd look at my eyeshadow collection and feel like something was missing....something grungey. I'd made a terrible, terrible mistake leaving it in the big Apple.
Till that chance meeting I had been struggling to find a palette that had all the colours in the grunge eye spectrum. Most have one or two, but then the the rest are either sparkly or colours that would find themselves neglected. I don't have the funds to flitter away money on a palette that will only get 20% used.
Grunge tutorials are my favourite of all the beauty videos YouTube. In part because I look the edgy lived in look sported by the like of Frances Bean Cobain and Brody Dalle, but mainly because it's a look I have a hope in hell of being able to recreate.

You don't need to be too precious when it comes to the application of a grunge beauty look, which is handy for people like me who have a diminutive skill set when it comes to make up. YouTube does have numerous more polished versions of the iconic look for those that struggle to let loose and allow a smudge of powder or kohl out of place. If you are wanting to acheive an authentic look that genuinly references the badass chicks from the dingy rock venues then you'll feel liberated by the fact that nothing has to be too fact if it looks like you've slept in it, than all the better.

Before I get down to reviewing the actualy product lets talk about the outer shell...which actually features a rather lovely shell. It's called Venus, so it quite rightly has their own, more alternative version of Venus inspired by a painting by Sandro Botticelli called the Birth of Venus on the front. It given a luxe feel  thanks to the shiny gold details. 

It's got a very handy, reasonably sized mirror too, which is always a big bonus for me. I often use a palette as a mirror when I want to do my make up in bed still semi wrapped up in my duvet. 

It's also a great size. It's not to combersome - it's almost the same size as a mini diary or organiser than you could fit in the handbag, which will mean it will probably come with me on my travels. 


On first inspection of the colours I thought that Muse and Creation would be the shadows I'd probably veer towards most frequently. They have that traditional grunge warmth to them in a matte finish. Muse is brown with a hint of burgendy and creation a dark terracotta colour. Venus looked to be a slightly less dramatic version of Muse so perhaps would be useful as an intermeddiate colour for blending. 

Divine would be a great everyday matt colour to wear either on my lid or as a crease alongside a neutral lid. Shell and Aura looked like they'd be ideal for create a summery holiday look and softer feminine eye when used without the more dramatic colours in the collection. As you can see from the swatch above Aura doesn't show up that well, so I think it would be great just to lift areas of the eye in the last stage of creating a look....perhaps in the corner of the eye or in the middle of the lid.

 I wasn't planning on creating a proper look today as I'm going to save that for a video (so SUBSCRIBE if you haven't already), but I couldn't resist trying them out and just having a little play today.

I have to be honest I was a little bit disappointed at first. The pay off wasn't as dramatic and bold as I had imagined it to be and it was a little hard to get a noticeable colour on my lid. After a while of layering I realised that they were incredibly buildable and actually the fact that you have to apply a few layers to reach than desired full colour is probably a good thing. If it's buildable it means there is some versatility and flexibility with the shadows. You can be at subtle or shocking as you'd like. 

After realising that Aura was very pale I had used Shell to cover the majority of my lid. I then used a bit of creation and Venus in the crease. To complete this experimental try on session I use Muse in a circular motion on the outside edge of the crease.

Here I am sporting a look more dramatic than my everyday neutral toned eye which usually feature beige and brown matt shadows. But this is no way as impactful as many of the grunge looks you'll have seen on Tumblr and YouTube . Although I brushed some of Muse along the lower lash line, I didn't blend it out that far, so it's still a fairly wearable look. I might go for it a bit more come video time. I can't carry off heavy make up too well, but somehow when my video lighting is on my face I look less like a man in drag.

I'm very intrigued by Rebirth shade. On first look it's fairly vivid - a coral pink - and I can't imagine it working for me. Having searched for Venus tutorials on YouTube though, people have created some spectacular looks focusing on this particular square, so I'm hoping I'll be pleasantly surprised!.

I am writing this post having worn the shadow for the majority of the day. I am happily surprised with it's lack of creasing. I tend to always have a gross line in my crease where sweat and powder combines to create a sliver of gel like substance. It's not a good look. So far my eye's are still matt and blended, and I don't think it's because I just haven't done any sweat unducing activity.

 This is actually the first item of Lime Crime I have owned. I have always liked the look of the products when seen them on the faces on various instagrammers and bloggers, but I'd often see a snarky or negative comment written underneath the image, so was put off from making a purchase. Over the years it seems their have been various controversy's relating to the brand, including it's Vegan/Cruelty Free credentials, as well as a saftey breach for those using their website. 

Due to the website security breach I decided to shop elsewhere and managed to find and extremely good bargain on a site called Light in The Box. It was about a third of the price of the one I'd seen in UO in New York. However, it did take absolutely ages to arrive...I think it may have been shipped from China (it had a suspect black and yellow sticker on the parcel) and I'm worried a big fat shipping fee may be coming by way soon. Time will tell on that....

I did decide to check out the Lime Crime website though and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had decided to deal with the controversy head on with a whole page dedicated to explaining each of the issues that have arisen over the years whilst giving useful info that will hopefully put some customer minds at ease. It would have been very easy for them to try and brush it under the carpet and ignore the swarm of negative chatter surrounding the company, but I think they've done the right thing here. The scale of problem, and the resulting reputation, meant that it wasn't going to just go away...

I think other bloggers more immersed in the world of beauty will have a more detailed and accurate point of view as to whether the brand have actually learned from the mishaps and made necessary changes, but from a newbie to the brand they have definitely given the illusion that they are trying to make amends.

I'd be very interested to hear your experiences and opinons of the brand....

  Are you tempted to pruchase the Lime Crime Venus Eyeshadow collection?
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Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Last Monday I was invited down to The Forge in Camden for an exclusive screening of Jagermeister's latest extreme musical performance starring Matt Tuck of Bullet for my Valentine. 
Before you watch my chat with the frontman, I'll just give you some info about the lengths he and the Jagermeister team went to to accomplish this world first gig.....

March - Tromsø, Norway 2016Jägermeister accomplished a world first by producing a thrilling continuous gig on air, sea and land, featuring Matt Tuck – lead singer of multi-award winning British heavy metal band, Bullet for My Valentine,achieving top ten hits across the world including the US, UK, across Europe and Australia. The adrenalin-filled gig, which marked the fifth and most extreme chapter in Jägermeister’s Ice Cold Gig series, took place amidst (and above) the Lyngsfjord region, near Tromsø, in the stunning setting of North Norway, 192 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Jägermeister, the iconic German herbal spirit renowned for pushing the limits in the music world, invited the Bullet for My Valentine frontman, who has been part of the JägerMusic programme for years, to perform in this exhilarating world first attempt. The epic event encompasses three elements – never before associated with one continuous gig. 

Matt and his unsuspecting audience of three loyal friends - completely oblivious to the adventure ahead until arriving at the dropzone - ascended to 15,000 feet above the stunning Lyngsfjord in a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, set to start the show of a lifetime and truly test the bonds of friendship. Each paired with a specially trained instructor, Jägermeister’s 2016 Ice Cold Gig started in freezing freefall with the band launched into the brutal -30 Norwegian air. After the icy and swift free-fall and with canopy opened at 7000 feet, Matt grabbed his guitar playing the first song of the gig, The Last Fight, recorded on Zaxcom receivers for his floating audience, listening in on Sennheiser G3 headphones; a unique moment in music history. 

Stage two of the Ice Cold Gig saw Matt and his mates whisked across the tranquil Lyngsfjord they had plummeted towards moments before, in a Buster Magnum speed boat. With wind chill factored in at -20 the challenge for Matt to sing and play the guitar was very real, yet spirits remained high with Matt wanting to put on a show deserving of his closest friends, who all sang along to Matt’s second song of the gig, Venom, the title track of Bullet for My Valentine’s phenomenally successful latest album which topped charts across the globe, and hit number 3 in the UK. 

When the quartet arrived back on land they were led by Siberian huskies through the glistening Norwegian snow towards the Gukkesgaissa Mountains with Matt playing his 2010 classic Bittersweet Memories. Ushering his crew back to a traditional Norwegian Sami camp, the friends gathered alongside enthusiastic locals (including a couple of reindeer) – and, toasting to friendship and a world’s first in music; air, sea and land, celebrated with a well-deserved ice cold shot of Jägermeister.
After the gig, frontman Matt Tuck said: “I’ve played some incredible gigs around the world, but that was right up there, literally. Jäger’s Ice Cold Gig was one of the very best and definitely the most extreme! It’s my first skydiving experience, so dealing with the excitement and nerves – even before you add in the ruthless cold – was intense, but totally worth it. It’s awesome to say you did a world’s first in music, but to do it with my best mates, the guys who were there with me from the beginning, made it unforgettable. Now for a drink!” 

In the Ice Cold Gig series, there’s no obstacle too big for Jägermeister to overcome. Jägermeister’s 2015 Ice Cold Gig saw UK progressive rock band TesseracT perform on top of an immense gigantic igloo, thought to be the world’s biggest, spanning the equivalent of 3.5 double decker buses in Ylläs Village in Lapland, Finland. 

In 2014, Jägermeister hosted the world’s first gig on an iceberg with UK metal band The Defiled. The band performed a special set to a host of locals from the nearby town of Kulusuk Greenland, who ventured out to the ice field to watch this once-in-a-lifetime experience from an array of fishing boats and leisure craft.

Tom Carson, Jägermeister UK music manager added: ‘We go bigger every year and because of the nature of this world first, spanning air, sea and land, in extreme conditions, this gig was not only a test of friendship but one of supporting each other too. I think they had a great laugh.The Ice Cold Gigs have become such a prominent feature for our JägerMusic programme and this year we really wanted to celebrate musicians giving back to the people who supported them from the very start; typically their best friends’.
Like Jägermeister’s 85 year old secret recipe, plans like these do not come about overnight. The mammoth challenge of putting this incredible tribute to friendship together fell to Secret Compass, a professional expedition company whose Brand Projects team is adept at conceptualising and delivering multi-platform media projects of this nature in the world's wildest places. Faced with extreme modes of transport, freezing temperatures, high winds and rock stars, the team utilised strategic planning, the latest high tech equipment and sheer human endurance to capture the essence of the project.

Tom McShane, Operations Director, Secret Compass commented: “From having to film from helicopters, skydiving, speedboats to huskies, this project was mammoth in the extreme. From looking after all the filming and audio kit in freezing temperatures, to co-ordinating the permissions to run a really complex project, and getting the logistics in place has been challenging to say the least, but like Jägermeister, we revel in breaking boundaries.’

Thank you to Tom Reast for arranging the chat with Matt.  

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So last week I posted a little video about dressing with Denim Hair featuring some new tops that have made it into my wardrobe in recent weeks. I knew that my new blue tinged hair would be short lived so I wanted to make sure the outfits I chose over the couple of weeks (following my temporary transformation_ would do it justice. I wanted to wear tops that would either compliment the hair by being the complete opposite on the colour wheel, or ones that would fit into the pastel blue/silver colour pallette and create a tonal look. 

This is probably my favourite top from the lookbook, a denim bardot style top from Forever 21, who are fast becoming my favourite high street fashion store. I'm kicking myself for not shopping there sooner, they have so many great pieces, but are extremely affordable too. What's not to like?
Bardot style tops are big this S/S too, and are great for those that don't like to show too much bosom. If you are smaller chested the frill part of the top also gives the illussion of a bigger breast...if that's what your after. I've never gelt comfortable showing off my gazongas, but I am more than happy to get the shoulders out. I actually find shoulders a rather shexy part of the female body, and its somehow less in your face than heaving bosoms. I think it's a personal thing...just do what you feel comfortable doing skin exposing wise. Bra wise...try and hunt down that elusive well fitting and comfortable strapless bra. In it's absence I just had to tuck in the straps of my faithful everyday black bra...unfortunately when I looked at my photos half of them were unuseble due to rogue strap, or cup rearing over the top.

Because I am creating a double denim look by combining my top with my hair, I thought another denim on my bottoms might be overkill. To give the look a bit of an edge I teamed with my faux leather skinny trousers. I'd not reccommend these in the summer months, particularly if like me, the majority of your sweat glands seem to be located in your posterior.

As you guys know by now I always like to give you guys an insight into the realities of blogging, so let me give you a few nuggets about this little photoshoot sess. 

So rather than doing another rather amateur looking shoot in my garden we decided to venture out. I don't tend to do this often because I find the thought of posing in public horrendous. Si is really trying to encourage me to stop worrying about it and try and up my blogging game in terms of the outfit pics. I had said that I was looking for rust/orange coloured background as well as icy silver of blue, so he thought the local industrial estate with all their metal doors and garages might be a good shout. 
It was bitterly cold that day and raining. I had curled my hair prior, but as you can see if feel prey to the wrath of the weather.

We found a good spot to take some pictures so we ran over sheltered by Si's big Zara Puffa, which I'd put on the floor when it was time for posing. Men kept coming out of their offices and warehouse, curious as to what was going on. This did nothing to help me look relaxed and natural. As per usual Si got increasingly frustrated with me, as my awkwardness was clearly visible in all the pictures. I also got heckled a couple times - they're really doing nothing to help sterotypes here -  'she looks scary' I guess referring to my blue hair, and the classic ' get your tits out'. Si kept telling me not to woryr about it, but only girls will get's very offputting.
Then next hump in the road came from the realisation that my comfort eating had had an impact on the bod. In the past I will admit to being one of those really annoying people that can eat what they like and not really put on weight. Unfortunately those times are now in the past, and my penchant for snacking is starting to make a real different to the state of my figure. To be fair to my I was wearing trousers that do hit an unfortunate place on my stomach that means it's cut in and creates a flop over the top - this is why we wear high waisted jeans people!! That said, I've defintely developed a bit of a soft tum over the last few weeks. I'm not stressed about it , because I'm not exactly working hard to do anything about it, but it was a bit gutting when Simon kept having to tell me to breath in, suck in, or pull my top down. 

You'll notice it in some of the photos, but rather than edit or leave them out of the post I've decided to keep them in. As I keep hammering home on this blog, I want this to be a place on honesty, and me and my soft tum is the reality of my current situation. I've got a bit of time before bikini season right?

 Forever 21 Top
 Missguided Trousers
New Look Boots
Claires Accessories Necklace

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