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Lifestyle, Travel, Beauty, Reviews.


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Revolution’s New-Trals vs Neutrals Palette: Review

Orangey red eyes have been all the range this season and since the pre-release of a certain flame coloured palette a few weeks ago the blogosphere has been lusting after this look like crazy. While I was skeptical at first, I am now completely sold!

I bought the New-trals vs Neutrals palette about six weeks ago now as a budget alternative to the internet's craze over Urban Decay's Heat (Who else is seriously poor rn?).

Within the sixteen shades, Makeup Revolution have manage to produce a really useable mix of colours; from smokey and shimmery nude shades to the seasonal must-have orangey reds.

When it comes to staying power, I honestly expected especially the reds to fade rather quickly through the day and on my first, slightly hesitant application the colour impact did lessen over time.

But since then I have tried to build the colour up a little more on initial application and with the help of a decent primer it sticks in place well past the end of my working day! I use Benefit's Air Patrol.

The colours themselves are easily applied and blend nicely, though I tend to use a different brush to the double ended one included in the palette.

Although it doesn't contain the range found within UD's Heat, it also doesn't have that price tag. New-Trals also benefits from the inclusion of shimmery golden colour, which the Heat palette lacks.

For £6.99 I definitely think Revolution have produced a worthwhile alternative and a great budget buy for this sensational seasonal colour craze.


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Jaunty Goat Coffee Company

 

 

Yesterday my friend Amy and I met in Chester for shopping, coffee and exploring the little back alleyways. Instead of heading to the usual likes of giant chain coffee shops we sampled the delights of the Jaunty Goat.

Head down to Bridge Street and the Jaunty Goat is a delightful independent with beautiful coffee and generous cake portions; the icing on the red velvet cake was delicious. The food and refreshment choices are varied without being overwhelming and they even supply their own range of coffee beans to other local businesses and stores.

 

Spot Amy in the mirror 🙂

The place was pleasantly bustling and, considering they made local news when the shop closed to move to new premises in 2015, the coffee and friendly service is obviously loved by many. Inside, the copper detailing, low hung lighting and bright frontage creates the perfect mood for coffee and chats.

 

Jaunty Goat, Bridge Street


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Book Review: His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials trilogy, stacked books, photo

His Dark Materials stacked books

 

Ever since a young age I’ve loved to read and can often be found with my nose in a book and, more recently, a coffee in hand.  My favourite stories have always been fantastical, and the intertwining universes of the His Dark Materials trilogy are as fantastical as they come. (Side note: plural of universe? Universes?)

 

I’ve done my very best to keep this review spoiler free. Although the first book has celebrated it’s twentieth birthday and was adapted in to a star-studded film which ultimately flopped (remember The Golden Compass?), it is my opinion everyone should read it at least once and I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone yet to experience it for the first time, because that feeling is the best.

 

Golden Compass Movie poster

Summary

The first of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights, is set within a parallel universe whereby people’s souls live externally from their bodies as animals.  Each soul, known as their dæmon, takes a different species depending on the individual’s traits.  The story centres on a young girl called Lyra Belacqua …

When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuring quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.

Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences, which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights.

Characters

Like many of the greats, each character within the series is detailed, motivated and serves a purpose to the narration and growth of the story in a beautiful way.

 

Lyra is an adventurous yet innocent rebel, making her the perfect protagonist and heroine for the story arc; humanity’s fight for the acquisition of knowledge and experiences from childhood to adulthood.

 

By The Subtle Knife, the second lead character is introduced; Will Parry is strong-willed, decisive, and mature beyond his twelve years as a young carer. Unlike Lyra, he is from our world.

 

Alongside armoured bears, witch-queens and a Texan aeronaut, he and Lyra embark on a quest, which impacts a myriad of universes.

 

DaVinci's Lady with an Ermine

Pullman used DaVinci’s Lady with an Ermine as a source of inspiration for the character’s daemons.

 

 

Plot

The plot is complex. You’ll need your basic Bible knowledge of Adam and Eve’s Fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden. While the Church attempts to retain the blissful ignorance of childhood in the people opposition forces strive to ensure humanity’s right to knowledge and free will beyond the control of a higher authority. It can take quite a bit of brainpower to keep up with which characters are where at any one time. But once you get your head around it, the intertwining character arcs manage to keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Through tackling themes such as religion, sex positivity, free will, the abolition of Destiny, friendship, courage and the coming of age, His Dark Materials weaves a fantastical story, which by the end has the potential to be plausible; at least with a stretch of the imagination. This potential plausibility is one of my favourite things. In my opinion, it is what captures people’s hearts and minds and enable the stories to live in us forever.

 

Lyra and Will's Tree artwork

I love it when people create beautiful artwork based on characters. 

 

It’s fascinating that authors can lace concepts and characters in to enchanting stories, which can break your heart and build it all at once. This series is a prime example of storytelling at it’s finest.

 

If you enjoyed Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, or The Divide Trilogy by Elizabeth Kay then you’ll love His Dark Materials.

 

4 Star Rating!

I give the His Dark Material trilogy 4 stars!

 


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Three Face Masks Review

Three Face Masks; No7, Lush, and Quick Fix Facials

 

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask £6.50

  • I dubiously bought Cosmetic Warrior last week upon the reassurance that it was good for prone-to-nasty-breakout-skin, a stereotypically teenage problem which unfortunately didn’t disappear overnight as I turned 20. I say dubiously, because it contains garlic.
  • However, I need not have worries. The garlic and tee tree active ingredients in this mask are subtle; it doesn’t overpoweringly smell of garlic, and applies on easily (be generous).  Actually, it’s rather pleasant. It dries well and so is not as easy as some to wash away, but I believe it’s benefiting my skin; it definitely looks clearer than before!

No7 Heavenly Hydration Moisture Mask £12.50

  • I apply two or three pumps of the bottle like a face wash, before leaving it on for a couple of minutes. Beware though, the mixture is oily and when easily washed away it separates from the water, leaving mask particles behind.
  • Although at the higher end of the price range, (at least on my budget) this looks pretty in the bottle, all corkscrew curls, and works wonders for making your skin seriously soft!

Quick Fix Facials Purifying Charcoal Mask £4.99

  •  Simply designed tube with up to 10 masks in?! Brilliant! Apply generously though the easy squeeze bottle and leave for a few minutes. It’s pleasantly cool on your skin, and washes off easily afterwards. Active ingredients are; Charcoal to rid the skin of impurities, Dragon fruit for vitamin C, and antiseptic cinnamon.
  • The slightly cheaper option, but just as good at making your skin feel clean and fresh without drying or tightness.

Remember to avoid delicate eye areas with all facial masks!!


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Theatre Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

For as far back as I care to recall I have held a love for theatre. I’ve seen a wide range from stunning musicals; one which originally started out as Wizard of Oz fan fiction, another an interestingly staged dark humour play, I admit I only when to see because of the star-studded cast.
But on Friday night, my theatre expectations were blown to pieces and rebuild higher than before.
I have strived to make this post spoiler free!

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

For years my family has owned a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. One of those you vaguely recall enjoying as you read it, and its sat on a shelf since. However, when I found out that the National Theatre’s Curious play was coming on tour to my city’s stage, I found the book and re-read it before booking my tickets.
Good gracious.
I was not disappointed.
For those who don’t know, Curious Incident tells the story of an exciting murder mystery adventure through the extraordinary eyes of Christopher, a fifteen year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He loves maths and astronauts and hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched.
Because the story centres around Christopher’s perceptions of the world the scriptwriter knew that the play would have to bring those experiences to its audience. The original author, Mark Haddon, doubted his novel could be adapted for the stage or screen, but was miraculously and very successfully proved wrong.
In 2015 alone, it has won four outstanding play awards, including the prestigious Tony Awards for Best Play, Actor, Director, Scenic Design, Lighting and Choreography. This comes alongside its seven Olivier awards in 2013!

 

 

Using electronic sound, light and dark, motion choreography and incredible performances by talented actors, the audience is drawn into Christopher’s mind as he solves the mystery of the dog which takes him so much further than the end of his street.
And you leave with Christopher drawn into your heart. Five stars!