Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NARS Laser Cut Eyes, Cheeks and Lips Palette

NARS Laser Cut Eyes, Cheeks and Lips Palette

Before I start this post I have an awful confession to make... I used the makeup palette BEFORE I TOOK PHOTOS!! I'll never make it as a top beauty blogger will I? ;) I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I'm not an expert at applying makeup as you will be able to see further down the post. I like to buy subtle makeup which doesn't take five different brushes to blend or any kind of skill to apply but it's good to mix things up and I thought this post would be nice break from all the Cardiff foodie posts I've been doing.

The NARS Laser Cut Eyes, Cheeks and Lips Palette is the perfect pallette for me, it has loads of wearable shades and everything I need colour wise  for my eyes lips and face is all in one handy box. Great for weekends away or to slip in to my handbag.

The only things I needed to add to create a full make up looks was some eyeliner, mascara, Double Wear and my *must have* MAC brow pencil in Taupe.

Isn't this pallette a beauty? The packaging on the outside is very attractive and handbag durable but I love the double layers interior and how sleek it looks.

Inside the NARS Laser Cut Eyes, Cheeks and Lips Palette

It includes:

  • Eyeshadow - Neutral Vanilla, Café au Lait, Matte Army Green
  • Cheeks - Daydream Blush, Laguna Bronzer
  • Lips - Dolce Vita

The eyeshadows are all neutral and I find them very wearable. The blush is a limited edition shade in Day Dream and I have to admit, upon first glance I thought it was Deep Throat. The Dolce Vita muted rose shade lip gloss is possibly my favourite item in the pallette. I tend to avoid lip glosses but this one is easy to apply and is great for day or night.

This is a photo of fat frocks wearing the NARS Laser Cut Eyes, Cheeks and Lips Palette

The bronzer and blush duo meant I could try out some contouring for the first time, I brushed a little of the bronzer under my cheek bones and under my jawline and added a flush of the pink on my cheeks.

I picked up my pallette from John Lewis in St David's. Cardiff locals might be shocked to hear that St David's is now 5 years old, can you remember what it was like before it arrived? I have some distant memories of shopping in MVC and Renegades as a teenager...

Since opening its doors in 2009, the centre has attracted over 190 million visitors and put Cardiff firmly on the map as one of the UK’s best shopping cities. It has brought loads of iconic and popular brands to Wales for the first time, including John Lewis, Vivienne Westwood, Hamleys, The White Company, Boux Avenue, Tiger, Cosy Club and Jamie’s.Wahahca has just opened here too (I'm trying it tonight, post to follow next week) and it's nice to see so many big names coming to Cardiff.

What are your favourite make up pallettes? Are you more of a bold Urban Decay kind of girl or into a  more subtle Nars one like me?

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Your Christmas Treat with St David's

I was tasked with finding the perfect party outfit for the festive season for under £100 by the team at St David's Shopping Centre in Cardiff. There are some great shops in the centre for finding glamorous dresses for sophisticated parties like John Lewis and Coast but my work Christmas party involves going to the pub and trying a new burger restaurant in Cardiff. Burgers and a posh frock aren't the best mix so I wanted to look for something comfortable but dressy.

I stretched my £100 budget to the max and managed to find three outfits that take me from day to night.

This is my outfit for my evening in the pub:

I paired a smart dress in festive red with a bold and sparkly statement necklace. I could wear this dress to work and then quickly change and add the necklace before heading to the pub with my colleagues. 

My day time outfit is a Christmas jumper with a skater skirt. I'm definitely going to wear this on the last day of term before we finish work for the Christmas break. I like that this is quite a subtle Christmas jumper which makes it more work appropriate. I'm also going to be packing this for my trip to Budapest, it's the perfect jumper for a wander around the Christmas market there on a chilly night. 

I found some festive PJs in Primark and the set was only £8, bargain! I spend a lot of my Christmas break watching movies in my PJs and these are so cosy and warm, I'll be wearing them all the time.

I had just enough money in my budget to get a little something for Martyn. We can both look festive now. 

Dress - New Look  - £22.99
Jumper - New Look £24.99
Necklace - New Look - £6.99
Skirt - New Look - £12.99
PJs - Primark  - £8
Boots - Primark - £15
Jumper - Peacocks - £11

Total = £101.96

If you spend £100 or more between 6pm and 8pm Monday to Friday, from 10th to 28th November in St David's like I did you’ll receive a £10 Christmas gift card from St David’s. You can treat yourself to cosmetics, a warming latte or light lunch or simply kick start your Christmas shopping.

All you need to do to qualify for your free £10 gift card is:
  • Spend £100 or more at any of the shops in St David’s during the hours of 6pm and 8pm in one evening, Monday – Friday between 10th and 28th November
  • Visit the Reward Station located on the lower level of the centre with your receipts on the night that you shopped and you’ll be rewarded with a £10 St David’s gift card ‘A Treat by St David’s’
  • The value of £100 can be reached by using no more than 4 receipts (excluding those from restaurants and cafés in the centre)
  • Receipts which include the use of a £10 Christmas Treat Gift Card are not valid for use in this promotion
  • The gift card is valid from the day of collection until Christmas Eve (December 24th)
  • 1 x gift card per household per night.
If you're not sure what to spend your £10 gift card on check out the St David's blog because they have put together a post giving you plenty of ideas.

How did I do with the shopping challenge? Are you feeling festive yet?

*St David's supplied me with a gift voucher to take part in the challenge

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

My Cardiff - Victorian Arcades

I love to lose an hour our two wandering the historic arcades in Cardiff city centre. Scattered either side of St Mary’s Street, there are around five and they are a breath of fresh air from all the chain stores on the high street in Cardiff. If you're going to visit Cardiff I highly recommend a trip to the arcades.

There are so many amazing shops hidden in the Arcades but I would say Spillers is the best place to start when exploring them. Spillers stocks a large range of CDs and records, and prides itself on catering to the non-mainstream end of the market. They have lots of in-store gigs promote local talent.
Spillers Records

Duke Street Arcade has great music shop too in the shape of Catapult Records. It stocks electro, dubstep, techno and dance.
Wally's Deli

It's in the Royal Arcade that you'll find Wally's Deli.  Royal Arcade opened in 1858 and is the oldest surviving arcade in Cardiff. Wally's Deli is named after its founder - Walter Salamon.  Walter's family were originally from Poland, and came to the UK in 1939 from Rohrbach (near Vienna) whilst fleeing from the Nazis.

In 2011, Wally’s Kaffeehaus opened upstairs. This Viennese-style coffee house specializes in open sandwiches.  My favourite thing to eat there is the sharing platters of cold meats or cheeses. The menu draws on the deli produce downstairs, so if you particularly like something chances are you can buy it on the way out.  Look at all the lovely 
goodies in the photo below, I wish Wally's delivered this in a takeaway because I would some right now. 

Wally's is a lovely family business, which has become a Cardiff institution. I'm always popping in and buying unusual things to try. I'll be stocking up on continental goodies from there for Christmas.

A place all make up fans and beauty bloggers might want to visit is the only e.l.f in Europe which is in the Royal Arcade in Cardiff. The arcades are full of independent shops so I urge you to pay a visit if you ever come to Cardiff. They have a completely different feel from other shopping areas in the city and you will find some unique and unusual treats in them.

If you want to check out more things to do in Cardiff check out the Millennium Hotels Guide to Cardiff and the Blogger vs Expert Guide to Cardiff that I took part in.

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cardiff Blogs Christmas Social

It's time for another Cardiff Blogs meet (hooray!!) and as it's the festive season it's time for....drum roll!!

"The Cardiff Blogs Christmas Social"

Yes, it's the season to be jolly so we're all getting together to have a few drinks and generally be merry! As it's Christmas we may/may not play a few games (participation optional) to help you all get to know each other a little better. I've been helping to organise Cardiff Blogs meet ups for a couple of years now and they are always fun an informal events. It's great for fellow fashion/lifestyle bloggers like myself to go and meet people who blog about food, SEO, politics etc and make some blogging friends outside of the usual circles.

The meetup will be taking place on Wednesday 10th December at Milgi on City Road and we have the yurt all to ourselves.  There's free Wi-Fi, so tweeting during the event is encouraged and the hashtag is #cdfblogs.

The event will begin at 6:30pm but if you can't make it for 6:30pm don't worry, just turn up whenever you can, we'll still be happy to see you! If you want to come just sign up for tickets below.

Follow us at @cdfblogs to hear the latest information about the meetups.

Don't forget: our events are free to attend and open to everyone so if you're not a blogger (or not from Cardiff!) don't worry! We'll love you just as much if you come, we promise :)

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

#MyCelticXmas - Festive Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the first ever blogger event at The Celtic Manor Resort. It was an exclusive preview of their Christmas Afternoon Tea which was totally delicious and a really fun experience. It was also a launch event for their new blog which will feature guest posts from South Wales based bloggers and be a place you can go to see behind the scenes at the resort.

On arrival we were greeted with a glass of bubbly and led in to a very festive room. We go to learn a little more about the resort and Karl the Pastry Chef explained what went into making the afternoon tea and the inspiration behind the food. They normally serve 100 afternoon teas a week but in the build up to Christmas they serve an average of 250 - 300 festive afternoon teas. That's a lot of cake!

The food was absolutely divine and we given some delicious finger sandwiches, Caerphilly cheese & leek tartlets, miniature brioche with prawns and a miniature bagel with smoked salmon. 

The savoury treats were all amazing but there was more... A Penderyn whiskey and marmalade festive Bara Brith, Celtic Manor mince pies, a white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle. I was feeling pretty stuffed by this point so I took home the top tier of the stand which included pistachio marzipan cones, toasted sweet chestnut bouche Noel and glacé cherry & apricot Florentine.

We were also served a afternoon tea staple, scones with jam and clotted cream. Ours had a little twist and contained candied citrus peel.

The mulled wine was to die for and came served in a tea pot with a Christmas cosy, how cute is that?

I would highly recommend the afternoon tea here, the surroundings were beautiful and relaxed and I loved how the menu was inspired by Wales and used Welsh ingredients. 

I tried to dress for the occasion and wore my dress with a  tea pot and tea cup print on it and my favourite old Topshop shoes.

I want to thank India and Jess from the marketing team at the Celtic Manor for hosting such a lovely event. I had a great time and it was nice to chat and relax with some blogging pals in such lovely surroundings.

If you want to enoy the festive afternoon tea yourself it will be served from 1st - 24th December.

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