Wednesday, 31 July 2013

New Additions!

As per usual I have been buying more nail polishes! Thought I would show you what I have been buying!

Last week when I was in London I got to go to Whole Foods. I loved it so much, I want there to be one near me :'( You could make your own nut butter! What?! 

Anyways whilst there I saw that they sold Zoya polishes. As Zoya are one of my favourites and I had some spending money I decided to treat myself at £11.99 a bottle! Here are the two I got Julie and Stevie.




Both these colours are gorgeous and my current manicure is using Stevie (below). It's a textured polish that is a beautiful purple with silver glitter.


Although these polishes are expensive, and they are not sold widely in the UK, Zoya is one of my favourite brands and if you get the chance to try them you should!

More recently I went to Superdrug where they currently have 3 for 2 on all nail products, I couldn't resist. So here are my three products.


I decided on Barry M - Sequin White, Maybelline - Forevermore Green and some new nail polish remover - Superdrug's Nourishing Nail Polish Remover (I am currently using acetone polish and it's drying my nails out!).

I've never had a Maybelline - Forever Strong polish but I loved the colour. I've tried it on a swatch stick and the formula was great, one coat probably would have done the job. The brush is quite chunky so you can paint your whole nail.


I'd heard a lot about the Barry M Sequin polishes, seen them a few times in the shops so I finally decided to buy one. The white caught my eye as I love the colour sequins against the white and it is similar to a Gloss and Sparkle polish I own. After swatching this colour I found the white polish to be quite grainy in texture, but the colours of the sequins looked great. It's unfortunate the polish is grainy but I think this would look great over another white polish.

Finally here are all the colours on swatch sticks. Tell me what you think, you like them? :)



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Monday, 29 July 2013

Rocky Horror Picture Show - Darlington

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - One of my favourite films and theatre shows. If you haven't seen this then where have you been?!

Me, my mum and sister went to see the performance at Darlington and thought it was amazing. We had been to see it previously a few years back but I don't think I was old enough to properly appreciate the many innuendos this show throws at the audience and that the audience throws back! The audience interaction was very funny and the cast were able to give as much back all the way through.
Me and my sister before the show. Dress from Dorothy Perkins, Kelly's playsuit is Topshop.
After the show we waited for the cast to come out for pictures! Here are a few snaps...

Ben Forster - Plays Brad. Last year won Jesus Christ Superstar on the telly!

Dani Harmer - Plays Janet - It's only Tracey Beaker!

Oliver Thornton - Plays Frank-n-furter
If you have a chance to see this production with the current cast make sure you do. If you haven't seen this film at all then get buying or lending and watch it! You may think it is a bit strange at first but by the end you will see why it is such a cult classic.



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London - Alpha Papa

Wednesday evening we strolled into Leicester Square again to find another premiere! This time it was Alan Partridge's Alpha Papa. When we arrived he was just pulling up in his Radio Norwich Van!

Alpha Papa Film Premiere, London
Alan Partridge chatting to Jenny Falkner
This premiere was much smaller than the Red 2 one so we managed to get much closer to the action! Here are a few people that I saw :)

Alpha Papa Film Premiere, London
Of course Alan Partridge!

Alpha Papa Film Premiere, London
Chris Hoy

Alpha Papa Film Premiere, London
Anna Maxwell Martin (in the film and also in Bletchley Circle)

Alpha Papa Film Premiere, London
Al Murray

Alpha Papa Film Premiere, London
HUGH GRANT!
All in all a good celeb spotting experience! Also saw Alan Carr, the guy from Pointless, Stephen Fry, Julian Barratt and Sally Phillips.
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The Diner, London Restaurant Review

On one of our nights in London we decided to go for tea at a restaurant called The Diner which Mum suggested. This restaurant has a few locations in London but we decided to go to the one just off Carnaby Street located on Ganton Street.
The Diner Restaurant Review London

We went in at quite a quiet time as there were only three groups of people inside and a few sat on the outside seating. We were sat in a booth and as soon as we received our menu we got to ordering our food straight away. As I had had burgers all week I thought it was time to get something different, even though the burgers sounded so appetizing! I decided on chilli con carne whilst Mum picked the ribs. We also got a portion of onion rings to share.

The Diner Restaurant Review London

The food was lovely but I was so full afterwards! The chilli was very nice, quite spicy but full of chunks of beef. I can't comment on the ribs but I did have some chips which were yummy! Also the onion rings were lush!

I would definitely visit again to see what else they have on offer!

Update: I did visit again, to find out what I had on my second visit click here!
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Sunday, 28 July 2013

London - The Making of Harry Potter

Wednesday was the day we got to go to Hogwarts! Had to be at Victoria bus station for 7.30am but this meant we got there for around 9am and were back in London for around 3pm. This is me and the bus were taken on!

The experience had three parts to it, two buildings and an outside section. I won't spoil it all for you as there is a lot that surprises but here are a few things you will see!

Butterbeer! You will get to try Butterbeer. My opinion...so so sickly, if they were to make it in shops it would be called caramel-ade as it seems to me to be fizzy caramel liquid.
Lots of clothes that were worn in the film!


And lest we forget the shop! Lots and lots of Harry Potter related goodies you can get your hands on, including the sweeties from the books/films!


If you are a Harry Potter fan then this is definitely a must. If you are thinking about this and wonder whether it is worth it I would say go for it! It is a half a day out that in which you can see lots of original parts from the film. It will make you look at the films differently!

Let me know if you have been and what you thought!

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Meat Liquor, London

Before going to London in February, we had been looking for quirky places to eat and came across a really useful website called The Nudge. I found Meat Liquor and decided it was definitely worth a visit. Having thoroughly enjoying it the first time I decided to take Mum along when we went to London later in the year.

Meat Liquor is just off Oxford Street behind Debenhams, easy to find if you know its there but hidden enough that you don't have lots of tourists finding it! When you walk in it is dark and slightly gothic with graffiti adorning on the walls and lots small tables.



I got the standard cheeseburger, Mum chose the mushroom provolone cheesesteak and we shared a portion of fries. The burger was amazing, so juicy and tasty filled with the lots of cheesy goodness. I'd go as far as saying best burger I've had. Mum really enjoyed her cheesesteak although it was too big to attempt to eat with your hands! It's quite dark in the venue so you have to be careful not to spill anything on your but that's part of the fun!

After visiting I'd recommend this restaurant and am keen to visit the others in the chain! This place definitely won't suit everyone but if you want somewhere quirky to eat this is it!
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Red 2 Premiere, London

After Covent Garden we decided to wander down to Leicester Square and boy are we glad we did as we stumbled across the Red 2 premiere!

We arrived about 5.30pm and found a spot in which we could stand and see people pass us as they walked the red carpet. We had reservations about staying as we had no idea how long it would be until people started turning up. Never the less I wanted to see Bruce Willis so I convinced mum to stay! I had never been to a premiere before so was excited to see what happened.

I'd say everything starting kicking off around 6.30pm and when the guy off the cinema adverts (a picture of him below) announced the premiere a flood of people came and stood around where we were.


It took a while for the 'celebs to get to us' but they had to walk over the bridge in front of us. Here are a few of the people I snapped! :)

The Midnight Beast - Chipmunk

Russell Kane - Mary Louise Parker


 David Haye - Helen Mirren


Finally the one and only Bruce Willis! He was so nice, he turned around to wave at us all! 

If you spot a premiere, definitely stick around, you never know who you might see!




Me and Bruce!                                                       Me after the premiere! 

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Shake Shack Review in London

This week I went down to London with my Mum for four days and they were quite eventful! Monday we arrived by train and got set up in our hotel. The weather was so humid but we decided to carry on and venture out to Covent Garden. Here we did a bit of shopping and then tried out Shake Shack.

We couldn't seem to find Shake Shack at first but as we wandered the central part of Covent Garden we finally stumbled across it in amongst the other shops. If you are going, don't make the same mistake!

The process of ordering is a bit different, you enter the shop, place your order and then get given a buzzer that will alert you when your food is ready. When it does buzz you then have to pick it up from the window and find a seat. There is inside and 'outside' seating available. Due to the fact it was so hot we thought inside may be cooler.

We both ordered 'Cheeseburgers' thinking it would be the Shake Shack Cheeseburger, turns out they have a plain one on the menu too. Here it is with crinkle fries...

Shake Shack Restaurant Review London

If I am honest I wasn't too impressed, the burger was fine as were the chips but I felt there was something missing from the whole experience. To add to this there were too many staff mingling about not really doing much which just makes the place feel cluttered and the whole colour scheme was grey...boring. That is just me being picky though!

If you are hungry for a burger whilst at Covent Garden then check it out and see what you think. There menu is bigger than just plain burgers so you might find something more exciting.
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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Striping Tape Nail Art Tutorial

A few months back I purchased a lovely sparkly orange/red colour from Avon and I hadn't got round to using it, until now. As I'm off to London tomorrow I had to do something to my nails that was a little bit special. I knew I didn't want to paint my nails in just one colour, so I had a think about what I could try.

After a nosy through my nail box, I came across my striping tape and thought it was about time I perfected the technique. I'd tried to do a striping tape manicure previously but I failed miserably!

Striping Tape Nail Art Tutorial

This time before I started I decided to do some research and watch a few Youtube videos. I came across a video by SuperWowStyle which worked perfectly. The key to a striping tape manicure is being prepared and taking the tape off a few seconds after applying the top colour coat.

To try this nail art you'll have to get yourself some striping tape (you can get this super cheap from Ebay), your chosen nail polish colours (one for a base coat which you'll see when the tape is taken away and another for the top) and a pair of tweezers (to peel away the tape).

The steps for this manicure are simple:
  1. Apply your base coat as normal and then paint on your base colour. I've used Colour Club - 38.
  2. Make sure this layer is completely dry before applying anything else. As I am too impatient to let it dry itself I added a coat of Seche Vite to ensure it was fully dry!
  3. Cut your strips ready to apply. I stuck mine along my table as I would with sticky tape when wrapping a present. You can then apply these with your tweezers. Apply onto the nail in any style you like. Make sure they are stuck down well or else your colour will seep under with enough excess at the end to be able to pull it off.
  4. Paint your top colour on.  I used Avon, Apple of His Eye. Then take your striping tape off with your tweezers. The manicure will work better if you paint one thick coat rather than two as you need to remove the tape after around 10 seconds. If the paint starts to dry you'll mess your whole nail up. Make sure to remember the order in which you stuck down your pieces of tape so you can take them off in reverse, i.e the top one first to prevent smudging the nail varnish.
  5. When you have completed all nails simply paint your top coat over and you're done!
I hope this tutorial helps you out if you are going to attempt this nail art! I'd love to see if you try this out.
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How to: Ombre Nail Art Tutorial

I love to take time to paint my nails but trying out new techniques is not something I often have chance to do. I don't have much patience, so if I mess up my nails I'm in a terrible mood. I like to do the people's nails and when I asked my sister what nail art she wanted me to try on her nails she asked for more multiple colours. I'd seen ombre nails on Instagram so suggested I could try this technique and see how it turned out.

Ombre Nail Art Review

In order to understand how to create the look I used this a Youtube tutorial which was really easy to follow and created the desired look. To help you recreate this nail art look I've written a short tutorial below:

You'll need:
- A white nail varnish (I used OPI Alpine Snow)
- A sponge cut to the size of your nails (make up or household)
- Three nail varnish colours to be used in your ombre (I used Sinful Colours - Blue - Sweet Nothing, Purple - Candy Coated, Pink - Sugar N Spice)
  1. First paint your nails a base coat of white. 
  2. Paint the three nail varnish colours in lines one after the other onto the sponge. Make sure you get enough polish on the sponge so that it will apply nicely.
  3. Press the sponge on to your nails, you can either roll it on or press, I think a combination of the two works best.
  4. Then as the sponge will have been slightly bigger than your nails you need to clean up! Do this will some nail varnish remover and a small nail art brush.
What do you think? Fancy trying this out? Let me know if you do!
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© gingerbread smiles.

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