Monday, 31 August 2015

Sweet Cecily's - Rose Body Butter

sweet cecily's rose body butter

One of the generous sponsors of the most recent North West Bloggers Event gifted us all with a personalised box upon arrival that contained a full sized tub of Rose Body Butter by Sweet Cecily's. Who doesn’t get excited about a personalised gift?

Sweet Cecily's started out back in 2010 when their founder was looking for some affordable, natural skincare to deal with troublesome skin. From hand creams (the first thing they created!) to body butters, lip balms (including a Gin & Tonic flavour!) and even create your own kits, they have created a little something for everyone. They also specialise in personalising their products, from event favours to personalised lip balms for weddings. I'm all for keeping it local and I love a good, home grown brand. 

sweet cecily's rose body butter

The Rose Body Butter smells divine. It has a really heady, earthy scent that just melts into the skin beautifully. Containing rose essential oil, shea butter, rose hip oil and St Johns Wart, it is a luxurious body butter that is packed full of natural oils and essential fatty acids. It’s also brilliant for reducing inflammation and treating redness and reducing bruising - perfect if you’re a bit of a klutz like me!

The body butter itself is very thick and creamy, so a little really does go a long way! If you’re suffering from dry skin, especially with the weather starting to get a little cooler, this body butter is brilliant for nourishing dry and cracked skin. I find it’s most effective on dry knees and elbows! Being so thick, it does take a while to sink into the skin, but once it does, my skin feels silky smooth and soft to the touch. You really do need to let it dry in before you dress - I tried getting into a pair of tights after moisturising my legs and ended up on my ass! 

sweet cecily's rose body butter
Currently on sale for £12

I’ve been having a nosey through their website and already have my eye on a few pieces that would make great Christmas gifts this year, both for friends, family and myself of course! Their gift boxes are a great, affordable way to try out a range of products and their create your own kits, especially the face mask kit really has me intrigued! Who doesn’t love a little homemade beauty?

Have you tried Sweet Cecily? Are you a sucker for a personalised gift like me? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Manzo, Lunch Menu - Liverpool

manzo lunch menu liverpool review

After hearing and seeing what Liverpool’s first Italian grill house has to offer online, I was quite literally chomping at the bit to get a bite for myself. This past weekend the Mr and I managed to dodge the rain and make our way over to Liverpool One to check out Manzo!

I’d heard they had a lunch menu on offer and for me, that’s like all my Christmases come at once - what better way to get a taste for what a place has to offer than a set menu of their chosen delights to showcase the magic they can make in a kitchen. Two courses for £10.95 or three for £13.95 - bargains!

We opted for mains and dessert, not that nothing on the starter menu took my fancy, I just didn’t know what to expect portion size and I didn’t want to overdo it and miss out on dessert - I’d instantly spotted what I wanted and was keen to save some room!

manzo lunch menu liverpool review

manzo lunch menu liverpool review

I went for the ham burger (forgive me but I didn’t note down the actual Italian name for anything we had, a bad blogger I know!). I picked it because it wasn’t a burger as I know it! Not a pattie in sight, the burger was jam-packed with lashings of cured ham, a sweet potato puree, salad, onions and smoked cheese, all bursting out of a toasted brioche bun. Serviced with a side of fries and lots of ketchup and mayonnaise - lovely not having to ask for the condiments!  I couldn’t eat it like a normal burger or even cut it in half, so I opted to take the top off and dig in. It was delicious the ham had a smokey taste to it and there was so much of it. Everything and anything with sweet potato involved instantly get a thumbs up from me, the puree was so creamy! 

manzo lunch menu liverpool review

Mr went for the ham and mushroom pizza. You really can’t beat an authentic Italian, stone baked pizza that’s for sure. He thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t find it too filling so had plenty of rooms left for dessert. I did sneak a bite of his pizza and it was lovely. One thing we have noticed is mushrooms - when you get mushrooms in an Italian restaurant they always taste a little undercooked. I think it’s because when I cook them at home, I must seriously overcook them - any tips foodies out there? Mr’s pizza was delicious, simple, and not greasy at all. 

Here’s a question - when you order pizza in a restaurant, do you eat it with a knife and fork or do you pick up the slices with your hands? Our dinner date conversation is riveting hehe!

Now, here’s what we were really waiting for, dessert. We had a choice of three tempting treats; tiramisu, ice cream or homemade dessert of the day, which for us was a baked vanilla cheesecake. I went for the tiramisu, Mr picked the vanilla cheesecake, so we could both have a little taste of the others! Hey, what else are dinner dates for? 

manzo lunch menu liverpool review

The tiramisu was divine, just the right amount of coffee and cream in a perfectly decadent portion. 

manzo lunch menu liverpool review

The same went for Mr’s vanilla cheesecake with a very puffed up profiterole on top! If every restaurant was judged on dessert alone then Manzo would certainly place pretty high in the rankings!

One thing I’m sad to say we didn’t notice was their 2 for 1 cocktail offer! Some of those cocktails looked oh so naughty but terribly tasty at the same time. We’d already ordered a beer and wine by the time we noticed - so you can rest assured we will be back to give them a taste…or two! We also watched one couple eat the juiciest looking steaks we’ve seen for a while, but for us, steak is more of an evening meal, we wanted something a little lighter for afternoon lunch. Suffice to say, we will be back!

Have you dropped by Manzo yet? 

Until next time,

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

When to use Micellar Water

using micellar water

Micellar Water has been the beauty thing to be blogging about and hanging around in your beauty stash this year and for all its songs of praise, when do you reach for the micellar water? When I first picked it up I wasn't really sure how it fitted into my overall skincare routine at first but now I’ve found a few uses for it I couldn't be without it!

Here’s five times I find myself reaching for the micellar water!

Pre workout!

If I’m hitting the gym first thing in the morning, I prefer to give my face a quick wipe over with the micellar water instead of doing a full cleanse. It’s a great way to remove any dirt and build-up from sleep, products you’ve popped on before bed and helps wake your skin up too. I know I’m going to do a thorough cleanse after the gym to remove all that sweat (sexy!) so I don’t want to overwork my skin.

Post workout!

Post gym but pre-shower (I shower at home so I have a quick walk back from the gym to get through first) I give my skin a quick micellar wipe over to remove excess sweat - the thought of it drying in just urgh, no thanks!

Ditching the face wipes!

I cannot stand face wipes! I know they’re convenient and great if you're travelling, or at a festival etc but just no! They always leave my skin feeling dry and pulled and raw, I just can’t do it! A little micellar water on a nice cotton pad is so much softer and gentler on my skin. Popping some micellar water in a handy travel bottle with some cotton pads is just as convenient travel-wise as taking the face wipes anyway!

When you’ve already cleansed!

I know that after an afternoon by the pool, all that suncream and chlorine means I’ll need to give my face a thorough cleanse before heading out for the evening. That being said, I don’t want to over-cleanse my face in a couple of hours so, instead of another cleanse, I will just use the micellar water to freshen up my face before bed. Sorted!

Post mask!

Sometimes just rinsing a face mask off doesn’t always feel like enough but using a toner to remove any mask residue is just a bit much for my skin. The micellar water was a kinder option that effectively removes anything that’s been left behind without drying my skin or going against the benefits of the mask I’ve used. 

using micellar water
My micellar of choice: Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Water

How does micellar water fit into your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Pre Holiday Skin Prep!

holiday skin prep

I’m in full-on holiday countdown mode right now, with just over two weeks to go until I am having some serious fun in the sun! With booking a holiday comes all kinds of wonderful things, from new clothes, to new swimwear, those extra sessions at the gym we never admit to but gruelling put ourselves through, to the oh so intense pre-holiday pampering sessions and purchasing of very miniature toiletries. 

I love the pre-holiday prep. Let’s face it, we all want to look like a Bond girl every time we climb out of the pool - the reality is that our hair will be in a knot, our waterproof mascara turns out to be very not waterproof and our bikini bottoms are up our ass somewhere. We’ve all been there, but if our skin is glowing, our eyes bright and our swagger just right we can pull it off, panda eyes and all as we make our way back to the safety of the sun lounger. 

Starting at the top 

I’ve been deep cleansing and exfoliating my face every other day, boosting circulation, removing dead skin and creating a sun welcoming base to soak up all that vitamin d. As I’ve been exfoliating more often than usual I’ve been sure to use my ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser (£30); it contains soft, pearly jojoba beads that melt into your skin as you exfoliate, meaning it’s very gentle and not too abrasive. 

holiday skin prep

On the nights I don’t exfoliate, I’m cleansing with my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser (£14). A nourishing and thoroughly deep-cleanse that leaves skin hydrated and soft, thanks to the eucalyptus and cocoa butter. My skin has been getting quite dry lately, but this will butter it back up without causing breakouts or excess oil.

Twice a week I’m multi-masking with my most trusted duo - Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Mask (£15) and GlamGlow (on sale for £35.99). GlamGlow pulls out any excess dirt and reduces redness and inflammation while Liz Earle moisturises the areas suffering from dryness. Together they make one amazing skin clearing team - and both are on their last legs *disaster*. They should see me through until the holiday but after that I’ll be on the market for something new! Any suggestions?

And down to the bottom

Like the face, the body needs a good scrubbing too. I’m keeping up with my daily body brushing (£7) to boost circulation and cell regeneration, a pre-scrub to my scrub. Every other day I’m using a body exfoliator in the shower before my shower gel, usually Soap & Glory's Scrub Of Your Life (£7). Not only does it smell great but it’s jam-packed with tiny exfoliation beads, so much so it’s almost sand like. 

It’s no secret that well-hydrated skin always looks better with a tan, and we want to help our skin keep its elasticity lest we end up looking like a Bull Dog in our 40s. I want to give my skin an extra helping so I’ve gone for the most moisturising body butter in my arsenal; Sweet Cecily’s Body Butter (on sale £12). Keep your eyes peeled, a review is coming up very soon, so I don’t want to give too much away! Suffice to say it’s giving my skin a damn good drink and helping to store up that hydration like a camels hump. 

holiday skin prep

Sometimes I think I’m like one of those giant tin foil tanning boards, the sun quite literally bounces off of me. I’ve never really come back from any holiday with any kind of bronzy all over sun-kissed glow unless it’s come from a bottle (and that’s never ended well). So, when my friends came back from their latest poolside adventures all tanned au natural they let me in on a little secret; Elemis Tan Accelerator (on sale £18.40). It’s designed to prep your skin for the sunshine by stimulating your skin's natural melanin production before you hit the sun lounger. Used every other day for 2+ weeks before your trip, daily during and back to every other day post trip, they say it will not only get you a gorgeous tan, but it will prolong it too. Now this I really have to see for myself! 

Touch your toes

A combination of all of the above really, I use my body brush on the soles of my feet, some Soap and Glory body scrub all over them and then slather on the body butter and pop on some socks for a while before bed to help my feet absorb all that goodness and stop me sliding Risky Business style all over the living room. 

The holiday is so close now I can smell the sunscreen and the sangria!

What are your pre-holiday prep tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 24 August 2015

Boots Skincare Haul

boots skincare beauty haul

With coupons and offers burning a hole in my pocket and my skin care drawer finally starting to look a little forlorn (it’s only taken me 8 months!) it was about time I treated myself to a little skin care haul!

My skin has been going through some serious changes of late, most noticeable, dryness. This is not something I’m used to dealing with, having had oily skin since puberty. I’m well into my late twenties now, the thirties are in sight and with age comes beauty, wisdom (so they tell me) and clearly, a new skin! 

No7 Early Defence (£13.50 & £19.50)

I’ve dabbled in the No7 skincare range before but having tried about a zillion in-store testers, their new Early Defence range found it’s way into my basket. The night creme seems rich but lightweight and the eye cream has a lovely thin consistency that should wear well under makeup. I figured start at the bottom and work my way up. The Early Defence line is targeted at a younger skin, and I do consider my skin to still have quite a bit of youthfulness about it, as well as being as temperamental as my teenage self. 

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense facial sun protection spf30 (£14.50)

With some serious fun in the sun on the horizon, I went through my holiday drawer and found my facial sunscreen from last Novembers trip to be looking somewhat worse for wear. I wasn’t totally enamoured with it when I used it so really wanted to try something new. The No7 sun care line has had some rave write-ups this season so I figured it was worth giving a go! A quick tester showed it to be lightweight, quickly absorbed and, most importantly, not greasy. No residue or shimmer left behind either. Bonus!

Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish (£14)

This was easily my go to cleanser last year and oh Liz how I’ve missed thee! I was in need of a more heavy duty cleanser for my evening routine that would clean and nourish my skin without exacerbating this dry patch I’m going through. I’ve always found the hot cloth cleanser to be gentle and moisturising, but at the same time giving a really effective deep down clean.

Nivea Sun Protect lip balm spf30 (£4)

I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible sunburnt lips would be! *shudders*. I’ve got myself a fantastic No7 SPF lip gloss but I wanted something that will care for my lips a little more to wear underneath and double the poolside protection. You can’t really go wrong with a Nivea lip balm. 

Olay Complete day fluid normal/combination skin spf15 (£5)

I’ve been buying Olay Complete longer than any relationship I have ever been in, it’s my soulmate. (Yes, it’s perfectly normal to form this kind of bond with a product!). Anyone who has been following the blog for a while now will know this little beauty well. No matter how many other moisturisers I try, nothing has ever worked as well on my skin as Olay Complete. Quickly absorbed, no greasy residue, doesn’t clog the pores, great under make-up, the list goes on. On offer for just £5 for 200ml, I had to pick up a spare bottle!  

I walked out of Boots feeling just a little giddy with my new purchases, that’s normal, right? 

What have you been filling your skincare drawer with lately? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Friday, 21 August 2015

Currently watching #1

I’ve been loving reading Jessicas (Pyrefiles)currently watching/reading round-ups lately so decided it was about time I shared mine too! Who knows, you might find something to curl up with this weekend!

Vampire Diaries

OK, last on the bandwagon with this one as usual (yay Netflix!) but I’ve got 5 seasons to sink my teeth into. I’m close to finishing season 1 and am completely addicted already. Not so fussed on Stefan and his too Edward-like forehead and general moodiness but Damon…hello! I’m not one for the bad boy, but surely he’s going to go all vampire redeemed a la Spike from Buffy? No spoilers! 

Great British Bake off

I never seem to catch it live so I have to avoid Twitter like the plague, but it’s worth it. From forlorn looking forest gateaux to grrrrreat loaves of bread (holla if you see what I did there!), I have to watch every episode with a snack because it gives me serious munchies. My top three bakers are; Flora, Ian and Alvin! Who are you guys cheering on?

Falling Skies

I’ve been following this show since season 1, I think we’re on the final 5th season now and I’m really intrigued as to how they’re going to end it. I always find show endings to be very hit and miss. I could probably count on one hand how many I would say have ended well. I’m hoping this is going to be one of them, but I’m not getting all the good vibes. Here’s hoping Noah Wylie pulls through and saves the humans once and for all!

PBS Documentaries 

Secrets of Henry VIII castles, Secrets of Highclere, Secrets of the Tower of London and Secrets of Hampton Court - do you see a theme here? I love me some historical fiction and I’ve always been obsessed with the 14th - 19th century period. Surprisingly I did learn a few things from these documentaries that I’ve never come across before, especially regarding the Tower of London! Perfect Sunday, brew and pj's watching!

The Scandalous Lady W

Continuing with my period drama binge, I picked this up on the BBC iPlayer and I’m so glad I did. Natalie Dormer in any period costume drama instantly gets a tick from me. The Scandalous Lady W tells the true story of Lady Seymor Fleming, a very wealthy heiress who marries a distinguished English gent. thinking it’s all about the love, she soon discovers keeping her husband happy is more than her duty, it’s a downright degrading chore. They relationship ended up being one of Georgian Englands most scandalous divorces. I loved it so much I’ve gone and got the book it’s based on; Lady Worsley’s Whim - Hallie Rubenhold all packed and ready for my holiday read!

What have you been watching lately?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Cau - Liverpool

cau restaurant liverpool review

When the creators of Cau fell in love with the vibrancy and spirit of Buenos Aires, they set out to make a restaurant that captured this, infused with fun, chaotic energy and a melting pot of flavoursome comfort food. Cau came to Liverpool - a city that can match Buenos Aires for all its vibrancy and then some, this had to be fate, no?

When my most indecisive buddy left the dining choice to me for our latest get together I went through my to-eat list and fell upon Cau. I was in the mood for good company and really good food. Everything I’ve heard about Cau has been nothing but positive and being famed for its Argentinian mouthwatering steaks I put on my most elasticated waisted dress and headed down there.

Saturday night, 6pm, no reservation, we chanced a walk up and used our best Bambi eyes on the hostess to get ourselves a table. Ding ding! We had a winner and were quickly taken through the already bustling restaurant to our table. From the minute you step in the door, not only is Cau bigger than it looks on the outside but so stylish. From its high gloss finishes to striking land/air decor - even the dining chairs are something special, just give them a whirl. It has that European modern decor that instantly takes you away from it all, you could be in a city anywhere in Europe and I like it!

cau restaurant liverpool review

As soon as we sat down we stuck our heads behind the menus and made some agonising decisions. Everything sounded so good. I sipped a Cau Cooler; raspberry, passion fruit, apple and grapes as I oohed and aahed over everything. Eventually, I settled on the Cau Classic Burger; I’ve always thought you can judge a place pretty well but something that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, so a burger it was - and I really wanted to check out their infamous beef!

Before our mains arrived, we split a hummus and crisp bread slate: hummus with homemade aubergine caviar, chilli and roasted nuts. The crispbreads were crunchy and light, plain so as not to take away any of the flavours of the hummus. Oh, me oh my! There was do much going on in there I didn’t know where to start! it tasted fantastic, the chilli was there, just a hint of a kick but nothing too overpowering. It was easily enough for two to share but let’s be honest, I could have comfortably finished it on my own it was that good.

The mains come with a side option of chunky fries, skinny fries or sweet potato. I went for the sweet potato, how could I not? Boy, was I glad I did when it came out. Before I could even be impressed with my burger, the sweet potato stole the show; a simple baked potato cut into 3 thick chunks and garnished. Not what I was expecting but delicious and different none the less.

cau restaurant liverpool review

Now, let’s get to the juicy stuff! The Cau Classic Burger was a no muss, no fuss, no bells, whistles or neon lights burger, it was plain and simply an awesome on its own burger with a little salad and some side sauce. Handmade fresh each day with prime cuts and top notch ingredients, every bit was flavoursome, juicy and moorish. I’m not entirely sure what they cook it in but the seasoning brought out every inch of succulent beef cuts. Cooked medium, it was as juicy as you can imagine but without the overflow that usually causes your brioche bun to go soggy. Yum!

cau restaurant liverpool review

My buddy ordered the Cau Steak Sandwich; served on homemade jalapeño bread with lashings of double mustard mayo, salted onion and grilled tapa de cuadril. She was silenced (all be it briefly for this chatterbox!) by how good it was. She also had a side of the chunky sweet potato slices.

cau restaurant liverpool review

Our boots were getting pretty full but we managed to find a little more room in order to try dessert. We went for the Alfajores Ice Cream Sandwich to share. A classic Argentine cookie with a generous helping of ice-cream sandwiched in the middle, toped with coconut shavings and chocolate sauce. Maybe a little too small to share but it was tasty and a nice palette cleanser. I do have my eye on the Cau Cornflake Ice Cream Sundae, though, which gives you all the sugar rushes and the good feelings when you find out 20p of every sundae sold goes to a local hospice. nice one Cau!

Though they asked us to be at the table no longer than 1hr30mins, at no point did we feel rushed, they kept topping up our water glasses and asking how we were doing. The dishes came out with ample time in-between each course to digest them a little and make some room, and most importantly, my buddy and I got to have a great, relaxed, food fuelled catch up in what’s quick coming to be known as a hot spot in Liverpool. Next time, I will be sure to book a table!

cau restaurant liverpool review

Here’s a question; how do you pronounce CAU? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Friendships and Facebook

facebook friends

Go and have a look through your Facebook friends list. Now, how many of them on there do you actually consider friends? Friends in the now, not old primary school pals who might remember you eating the PVA glue but probably wouldn’t notice you on the street if you walked right past them? 

How many do you actually talk to on a daily basis? See in the real world? Interact with away from the blue and white page? How many of them do you actually take pictures with instead of just liking them? The exceptions being close friends or family who lives in another country unless you have a Tardis. 

I had a Facebook cull. I scrolled through my friends list and unfriended everyone who I couldn’t remember actually seeing, speaking or interacting with in any way over the last 12 months. Sure, we might keep some people on there because we’re nose or we want to look popular by having a big ol’ collection of friends - but they’re not really friends. They’re virtual little avatars of people we might have known once upon a time. 

Real friendships vs Facebook friendships

Real friendships take work, interaction, WhatsApp group chats, nights out, copious amounts of tea, cake, prosecco. A shoulder to cry on, a pillow to scream into. Real friendships provide a sounding board for advice, a voice to call you out when you’re being a dick. Facebook friendships involve pokes, thumbs up and an obligatory omg so cute! comment every now and again. I can’t get drunk and cry about being drunk with a comment dammit!

And for those I might have known once upon a blue moon ago? Am I really that interested in ultrasound pictures? Holiday snaps? Relationship updates? Once upon a time, maybe, but right now? Nah, not so much.

Focusing on the friendships we have in the HERE and NOW

Friendships take work. Friends are the family we choose - and we all know how hard family can be at times. So choosing who to put up with when one or both parties could be having a really crappy day is pretty important. When it comes to my friends, I will give myself fully, I will put down the phone, close the laptop, put the kettle on and quite simply be there for them. And it works both ways. But it takes work. 

Friendship isn’t about being inseparable. It’s about being separated and nothing changes.

It sucks that I can’t spend as much time as I would like to with everyone I love. If I could split myself into a little piece for them all to have, hold and drink gin with, I would. But alas I am but one mere mortal being, restricted by time, work, life, toilet breaks and delayed trains. We can’t be in each others pockets 24/7 but with real friends, that shouldn’t actually change anything.

Take this past weekend. I met up with my buddy. We’ve known each other for over 10 years. We don’t get to meet up often, she’s all free spirited and wild, a lady of the world with no strings holding her down. But when we do see each other? Damn, it could have been months and we literally pick up the conversation where we left off. No awkward silences. It’s like the time that’s passed hasn’t even happened. We both take the tomatoes off our burgers, split the dessert and put the world to rights until next we meet. 

It’s not all about loyalty.

One thing I noticed during my epic Facebook cull was the loyalty. Some of these people, I had on my friends list because we were once friends and I felt loyal to them. I felt like I owed them something, even just that recognition on an online friends list. Something that screamed to the world we had once known each other, no matter how long it might have been since we last spoke. Yes, we had once known each other, and yes, it might have been all rainbows and lollipops, but that was then and this was now. The people we are today don’t owe anything to one another, so let’s cut the ties, forgo this weird sense of loyalty and put our efforts into the people we have in our lives today.

Not so long down the line I rarely think of these people. I have no urge to pop their name into the search box and see where they are now. If we see each other out in the real world and there is some recognition there, a re-connection, no matter how brief, that to me will mean more than just a digital number on my profile page.

Then again, culling all these people from my Facebook page might make my debut on This is your life a little difficult for the researchers. Swings and roundabouts people!

Do you need a Facebook cull? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Monday, 17 August 2015

Mr Miyagi - Liverpool

Mr Miyagi Liverpool review

From the fomb (food-womb) that gave us Lucha Libre, comes Mr. Miyagi - a fusion of Japanese and Asian food; buns, skewers, tapas style small plates, sushi, ramen and more, all to a Motown soundtrack. Is there any box they haven’t ticked so far?

I met up with the Bro midweek for a catch-up and insisted we headed on up Bold Street to check Mr Miyagi’s out! After all the pictures I’d seen floating around Instagram, my mouth was watering!

We arrived close to 6 pm and got a table no problem. The decor, so stylish and swanky hit us both; I’d been in work for 9 hours, looking somewhat frazzled, and the Bro was all comfy casual in jean shorts and Converse. We both felt a little underdressed for a casual tea but thankfully not everyone who arrived was dolled up to the nines. We did sit right in the back though…just incase. 

Mr Miyagi Liverpool review

From low hanging traditional lanterns to Ghetto graffiti over Victorian fireplaces, art adorning the walls, traditional imagery in the chairs and a funky newspaper covered corner, the clash of tradition vs modern was spot on. Side note; real wooden chopsticks, not those throwaway jobs you get in Wagamammas! This really won me over - what can I say, it doesn’t take much haha!

Mr Miyagi Liverpool review

Drinks! I ordered a Kyoto Cooler; fresh melon, lychee, lemon juice, coconut water and jasmine tea. It was delicious, so light and refreshing. Bro got himself a Ghetto Geisha; pineapple, coconut water, lychee, Havanna 3 year and coconut rum. Not the manliest looking of drinks but it was really good! Heavy on the rum which he liked, me, not so much.

We got a little lost in the food menu but our waitress was able to help us out. Though I’d gone in fancying sushi or the small plates, I ended up perusing the big plates side of the menu. Greedy guts much? In the end, I settled on the Karate Katsu with pineapple and chilli egg fried rice and the Bro got a Chicken Satay noodle bowl. 

Mr Miyagi Liverpool review

A katsu is a katsu wherever you go it turns out, but what made the Karate Katsu stand out for me was the rice. Fried rice mixed with pineapple, chilli, candied peanuts, spring onion and whatever else they had on hand by the looks of it, and damn, if that wasn’t the best rice I have ever tasted! The chicken was fine, nice and crispy coated, the katsu was katsu with a hint more kick than I’m used to, but the rice really was something special.

Mr Miyagi Liverpool review

Bro was bowled over by his bowl, filled to the brim with satay chicken and veggies, more candied peanuts and pineapple. There was an option for an egg too which I think would have gone great but he refuses to eat eggs (and mushrooms, he’s weird!). He worked his way through the yellow noodles to the broth which he said tasted great too. 

Though we skipped out on dessert, I did have my eye on their Round the campfire - smore's, marshmallows, campfire, all at your table? I really want to know how that works! There’s my excuse to go back to Miyagi’s sorted. 

All in all, the guys have done an amazing job on this place, formally a not so hot buffet spot, they  have well and truly put a unique mark on the building and brought something new to Bold Street. Service was top notch, the girls couldn’t do enough for us and the food was piping hot, full of flavour and something we haven’t really seen around Liverpool. 

Mr Miyagi Liverpool review

I’ll be sure to do some extra wax on - wax off training to build up more of an appetite for next time! (C mon, you had to see that coming, right?!)

What’s your favourite Japanese or Asian dish? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Saturday, 15 August 2015

GOSH Primer Plus+

gosh primer plus review

According to Mr. Internet, GOSH are actually pretty famous for their primers. I feel like I’ve failed at being a girl for not knowing this! GOSH Primer Plus+ is a hydrating primer (hence the plus). My skin has been so weird of late, bouncing between oily and dry like a hyped up kid on a bouncy castle - I can’t keep up. I didn’t want to invest in anything too hydrating in case me skin decided to have an oily day, likewise too much oil control and you could probably sand a wall down with the dryness. The drama!

It has a very similar consistency to Benefits Porefessional - without the pore blurring pigmentation. The primer itself is extremely lightweight, the consistency is quite creamy but it’s so soft and silky. A little goes a long way which is great, probably around 2-3 pea sized amounts cover my face and neck. As you smooth it out across your skin it does have a very wet feeling, you can actually feel the primer melting into your skin. As it dries it has a slight tacky consistency but if you wait a couple of minutes it continues on to feel noticeable smooth and cool to the touch. I’ve found the longer you can leave it before you start applying your make-up, the better! So prime up and pop the kettle on!

gosh primer plus review

Though it doesn't blur pores and imperfections, it does make a fantastic base. No matter what tantrum my skin is throwing, this primer seems to send it swiftly to the naughty corner for a time out and keep it under control. It sits nicely on top of my moisturiser and, being so lightweight, it doesn’t clog my pores. It does, however, contain snow algae. Yeah, I pulled the same face you’re pulling now too! Another marketing ploy no doubt, but this skin wonder apparently keeps skin looking youthful and rejuvenated with anti ageing properties. Where the heck do they find/come up with this? I’d have bought it regardless of it’s Olaf features.  

I wear mineral make-up which has a tendency to look rather sweaty without a good base and clump in any dry areas. I can happily report that the GOSH Primer Plus+ provides a good enough base that the minerals stay put as long as I need them to, and a quick pressed powder top up every now and then keeps shine at bay and doesn’t go clumpy or weird looking. Win!

gosh primer plus review

Coming in at £13.99 for 30ml it’s not the cheapest on the high street but I really don’t have a problem with the price point, and Superdrug almost always have some sort of offer on, be it a discount, 3 for 2 or some cheeky little gift with purchase which can sweeten any deal.

Have you tried GOSH Primer Plus+ or any other primer from the range? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Thursday, 13 August 2015

*SeroZinc - La Roche-Posay

la roche posay serozinc for oily skin

I’ve always had a love - hate relationship with toner. I’m torn between the years of magazine skin care advice that tells us to cleanse, tone and moisturise, then the emerging advice that toning isn’t actually all that great, especially if you have oily skin! Always looking to bust a beauty myth, when La Roche-Posay asked me try out their SeroZinc toner, I was keen to investigate!

SeroZinc is an aerosol toner that contains zinc sulphate and sodium chloride (salt) to treat oily, blemish prone skin. It's supposed to tighten pores, minimise oil, grease and keep your skin hydrated and moisturised. Zinc is one of those miracle skin workers, an anti-irritant that soothes and reduces redness, effectively reducing the appearance of a breakout. 

There was a huge hype around this some time ago, so as per usual, its took me forever and a day to see what all the fuss was about.

I took to using SeroZinc twice a day, after cleansing and before slathering myself in serum. You mist it directly onto your face, being as liberal as you like, but as I found, less is more! I gave my face and neck a light spray and was instantly reminded of those MagiCool mists! It felt like it had been kept in a fridge and my skin felt really cool and refreshed. So far, so good. You can wipe any excess with a cotton pad, just like you would a normal toner but I preferred to let it dry on its own and pat my skin when it was almost dry, making sure everything was absorbed. 

la roche posay serozinc for oily skin

Breakout wise, my skin hasn’t been too bad, but the warmer days have certainly sent my sebaceous glands into overdrive - I wasn’t impressed with the ol slip n slide forehead that’s for sure!

SeroZinc did seem to control that. My skin didn’t get as oily throughout the day and when used overnight, my face was still pretty matte in the morning. Hurrah!

Now, the downside. Ah, I really did want to love this product 110% and be converted back to using toner again but after 2 weeks of twice daily use, my skin started to feel really tight and dry. I switched to using it just once a day but the tightness didn’t improve. This was the only new thing in my routine at the time so what else could be the blame?
Though I don’t think it works for me in the long run, this would be ideal for a short break of summer holiday, especially to soothe my skin when I’ve played too long in the sun or spent too much time in the pool!

If you’re suffering from excessive breakouts, irritated skin and redness, then this is well worth trying out, at £8.50 a can, it’s not too high a price point for a little skincare experimentation.

Have you tried SeroZinc or zinc sulphate in your regime? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

ESPA Beauty in the Bag

ESPA beauty in the bag

When ESPA invited myself and some lovely local bloggers to an exclusive event in Beauty Bazaar, Liverpool, one of our little treats was a detailed skin analysis with one of the ESPA beauty therapists. After my analysis, it was decided my skin was a little dry and in need of some hydrating TLC. I was presented with this adorable little cosmetics case that contained a little bit of everything ESPA I would need to replenish my skin and give it a hydrating kick up the derrière!

ESPA’s Beauty in the Bag have been fantastic little ‘gift with purchase’ (GWP) for sometime now and they are a brilliant way to introduce you to an entire skin care system based on your skin type. Most GWP’s tend to be tote bags, like you get with almost every bottle of perfume you buy - don’t get me wrong, these are useful, until you find your home overrun with tote bags! I love a more useable GWP - and as you know, I’m a huge fan of their introductory kits, which give great value for money if you’re looking to try out a few different products from the same brand without forking out a fortune!

ESPA beauty in the bag

My little beauty bag contained; Optimal Skin ProCleanser, Hydrating Floral Spafresh, Optimal Skin ProSerum, 24-hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser and 24-hour Replenishing Moisturiser. It also contained some handy little flash cards that told me step-by-step how to recreate a ESPA facial routine. You know me and my home-spa evenings! I’m all about the at-home pampering!

Though I received the Replenishing collection, there are several others, all designed to treat your skin for any and all ailments it might have. They also have slightly bigger versions of these beauty bags for purchase, including one for men that I really want the Mr to try out!

Everything in the bag works in harmony, balancing benefits and fragrance to create a pleasant and uplifting little skin care routine. I was weary of using so many rich, moisturising products on my usually oily-prone skin but have found that by using them once a week or so, I can give my skin and intensive, nourishing treatment without getting all slicked up. Turns out even oily skin can be dry! Who knew!

ESPA beauty in the bag

I find this is a great little skin SOS kit and ideal to have on hand when the morning after the night before hits and you need some extra TLC from top to toe! I’m even keeping it all in the little cosmetics bag, as well as a few extra skin-mergency products as my go-to SMS kit - Save My Skin!

What’s your favourite kind of GWP? Do you have an emergency skin care kit? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,