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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Afternoon Tea at Gallery Mess






Easter Afternoon Tea for Two at Gallery Mess: £17*

Last week I was invited down to Gallery Mess, part of the Saatchi Gallery, for a lovely little Easter themed afternoon tea. My boyfriend came along with me and although I thought he'd grimace at the idea of something so petite and girly, he was all over it. We started with a pot of Earl Grey each (in the coolest teapots ever!) and a glass of pink prosecco.

Soon after the two tiered cake stand was brought to the table featuring both savoury and sweet. We started on the cucumber & mint sandwiches, smoked salmon & cream cheese bagel halves and egg & cress rolls, shortly followed by the sweet treats! The scones were still warm and were happily slathered with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Adding to our sugar rush were mini cupcakes with chocolate eggs, shortbread, white chocolate filled Easter eggs and macaroons- I couldn't quite pinpoint the flavour of them.. pineapple? Mango? It doesn't matter, they were glorious.

The Easter afternoon tea is running till the 7th April (next Sunday) and was a really enjoyable experience. I don't think the price point is too high, it's not quite a meal but it's nice to have nibbles and a chat and makes a nice change from a big ol' burger once in a while! The restaurant itself is quite small and cosy, yet contemporary with it and is situated right next to the Saatchi Gallery (which is free to visit!) and surrounded by shops- I had an almost hour-long mooch in the Zara close-by afterwards! I just wish it had been warmer on the day as I'd love to go again and try their regular afternoon tea outside, in the sunshine! One can dream eh. What are your thoughts? Are you a lover of afternoon tea?

L'Oréal Confetti Top Coat





L'Oréal Paris Top Coat Nail Polish in Confetti: £4.99

The Illamasqua Speckled polishes are all the rage at the moment and I absolutely love the look of them but for a girl with too many polishes and not enough storage, I got my paws on the next best thing which is also creating a bit of a buzz at the moment. It's L'Oréal's Color Riche Top Coat in Confetti, which I searched high and low for till I finally nabbed the last one on the stand in the Bond St. branch of Superdrug. Confetti is a clear top coat with black and white matte 'glitter' particles of different sizes suspended in it. The mix of hexagonal and circular pieces give the polish an imperfect effect and can be placed over any polish of your choice (perhaps not black or white, as it would be pointless!). I'm really liking the look of it over a nude polish - the one pictured is Barry M Lychee - as it looks so egg-like; which incidentally is perfect for today!

I think this polish is such a great price for something that you can get a lot of use out of, it's kind of a grown up version for anyone who thinks glitter is a bit much. I absolutely recommend this- if you can get your hands on a bottle! Thoughts?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

ALLSAINTS The Biker Project: Series 1





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“The leather jacket has always epitomised freedom and rebellion through exquisite craftsmanship - all things that are key to the spirit of AllSaints. And when you consider the tribal nature of bikers, you’re dealing with a culture that by its very essence sets out to express disruption.”

Wil Beedle, Creative Director

On Monday I popped down to ALLSAINTS in Covent Garden to take a look at the first part of a series of events happening all over the globe, this one being called The Biker Project. The instillation has taken over the ground floor of the Earlham Street store and consists of 50 one of a kind biker jackets. The collection boasts some incredible pieces, one of my favourites being a black and burgundy ponyskin number. The miniature exhibition itself has quite an eery feel, what with all the jackets hanging from hooks on the ceiling. It's hard not to gawk at them - one because you have your neck craned, and two because the designs are all so diverse. I also liked that I could have a browse without the danger of rushing one (or five) to the till, seeing as they're all one-offs. I've been told some designs could make it into the in-store collections though, so time will be the teller of that one. The Biker Project is open for viewing for another fortnight, and is situated at the ALLSAINTS Earlham Street store, just off of Seven Dials. There's a cool little video about the project too, which you can check out here. What do you think of the whole thing? Are you a fan of ALLSAINTS? Is the biker jacket a wardrobe staple for you?

Paisley Print

 




shirt: ASOS
jeans: Topshop
watch: Juicy Couture*
shoes: old (similar here)

I came across this shirt in my 'saved items' on ASOS and noticed it had gone down to a mere £10.50 in the sale. I couldn't say no any longer and promptly clicked the order button. I love the shape and the print of it so much, it's almost pyjama style but still quite dressy. As it's quite oversized (smallest left was a 10) I paired it with my newly purchased Joni jeans from Topshop - which are amazing. The best way I could describe them is a stretchy denim version of disco pants. High waisted, soft and really comfortable. It was only recently I was banging on about the Leigh jeans but I do prefer a high waist most of the time. Mine are from the petite range and I bought a size 10 if anyone was wondering about the fit/length!

Not much to report on the home front today, earlier I made some cookies (inspired by Anna of course!) and later I'm seeing some of the best girls I've met through blogging - Lily, Katie, Lina & Zoe - I'm excited for a good gossip and a bottle glass of wine! Also looking forward to a lazy day tomorrow and yet more drinks (if I'm not too hungover) with friends in the evening! If only the sun was out to top it all off, but alas, I had to rub my eyes when I saw snow falling outside my window earlier. Again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Barry M Greenberry Gelly Nail Paint




Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Greenberry: £3.99

Along with Lychee, I picked up this beautiful shade called Greenberry from Barry M's Gelly nail polish line recently. A gorgeous seafoam green which gives full opacity and brilliant shine in two coats (a double-layer being the standard procedure for me, but it looked pretty good with a single helping- it's all down to personal preference!).

The shade is rather quite bright, almost verging on neon territory and makes me feel so summery. It looks fantastic on the toes and I can't wait to be able to have it on show if when the warmer weather decides to show up! The thick texture of the polish doesn't hinder the application at all, which was unexpected but very welcome! I didn't bother using a top coat with this as it's so shiny already. I've had this colour on for almost a week now, and there's not a chip in sight. Bravo, Barry M!

Another winner in my eyes- have you tried any of these polishes yet? Which shades do you like the look of?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Regent Street 24/7




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images not my own

I'm a Londoner. Although I live on the London/Essex border these days and have done for years, I'm originally from Bow (pie & mash over fish & chips any day of the week!) and central London is a mere stone's throw away. The hustle and bustle isn't for everyone, but I simply couldn't be anywhere else. Oxford Circus tube station is my port of call for anything I need want- smack bang in the middle of central London and walking distance from all the best places to shop, eat and drink.

A trip to Regent Street is well overdue and I plan on visiting pretty soon. It could prove dangerous as the highly anticipated & Other Stories has just opened! I'll probably find myself lusting after Cara's looks and the classic trenches at Burberry, eyeing up new gadgets in Apple and thinking about welcoming a new member to my watch wardrobe at Michael Kors. I'm also making a mental note to pop into Wholefoods Market to grab some Coco Cafe - hard to find but so worth it.

Regent Street have created a 24/7 online social media hub, gathering the news from various platforms; making it easy to see tweets, pins, snaps and videos relevant to the famous street all in one place. If you sign in to your accounts you'll even show up on the homepage! The community page has links to all of the shops' online stores and social platforms, as well as the hashtags to use if you want to be featured on the website! I think this seems like such a cool idea and really gives the street a sense of togetherness rather than all the separate stores doing their own thing. What do you think?

Real Techniques Travel Essentials Kit




Real Techniques Travel Essentials Kit: £20.99*

As a massive fan of the Real Techniques brush range, I'm surprised it's taken me so long to add the Travel Essentials Kit to my collection. This seems to be the only kit that isn't available in the likes of Boots though, which is where I've bought most of mine. I'm guessing, for the same reason, that this is why I haven't heard much about this kit either. Without further ado..

Consisting of three full size brushes, this kit promises to be everything you need when on the go. I'd probably agree with this if I didn't know of the magic Buffing Brush from the Core Collection, but I just could not live without that now. The Essential Foundation Brush (golden handle) is quite small with a tapered end. I've been finding this useful for concealer application under the eyes before buffing into the skin lightly. I'd say this would be good for touchups, but personally I don't like to 'paint' on my foundation as I much prefer to use the buffing method. Next up is the purple-handled Domed Shadow Brush; making easy work out of any eyeshadow application, I usually pat a lighter and a darker shade and blend it all together softly with this brush. A no-brainer. Lastly is the Multi-Task Brush which has to be the standout in the kit for me- and not just because it's pink! A lovely size to apply blush, powder or bronzer.. perfectly suited to application on the apples of the cheeks.

All Real Techniques brushes are 100% cruelty free, made of super soft synthetic bristles. I've never experienced any of my brushes shedding and I've been using them for well over a year now. They're pretty much the only brushes I use and I couldn't recommend them enough. In terms of needing this kit.. well, if you have the Core Collection you might not feel the need to as you can always buy the Shading Brush for eyes and the Blush Brush for the cheeks/face. I do really like the brushes in this kit though, and considering you could just about get some of MAC's brushes for the price of all three brushes here, it's incredible value for money. It's love! What do you think of Real Techniques brushes?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Alpro Deskfest Challenge

I rarely have the time or patience for breakfast, despite the fact that it's probably my favourite meal of the day. You can practically have dessert as a meal and get away with it. Perfect for someone with a sweet tooth like me! The folks over at Alpro recently introduced me to the #deskfest challenge which is doing the rounds on all the social media platforms at the moment. The premise is basically that you share a picture of your breakfast on the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so on and on the competition page. One lucky winner gets to jet off to New York for a weekend so it's well worth entering as you'd most likely be eating anyway. I was sent a pack of goodies (*) to try out, including Alpro's Soya Pouring Yoghurt, Almond Milk and Hazelnut Milk. Dairy often makes my throat feel a bit clogged up so I try to avoid it - especially in the mornings - so I was keen to see how the dairy-free alternatives fared. Here's what I made!





Soya Pancakes with Blueberries, Raspberries & Syrup


I am one of those people that asks for soya instead of regular milk in the queue at Starbs, however the plain yoghurt was not to my taste at all (I tried it first with oats and fruit). After some brief head-scratching I thought I could put this to use in something more food-y so the taste wouldn't be so obvious. What's the most perfect of breakfast foods? PANCAKES!

Makes 4 small (but filling!) pancakes:
65g plain flour
1/2 tbsp. sugar
235ml pouring yogurt
1 tbsp. melted butter
pinch of salt
1 egg
oil for cooking

Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the yogurt and egg and stir into the flour mixture, followed by the same process with the melted butter. Mix until a semi-thick, creamy batter is formed with no lumps.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add a dollop in, flattening with your spoon. Each side only needs about a minute or two, just go by eye and when it's golden brown, flip and wait again for the other side. Easy peasy!

I grabbed a handful of berries along with a unhealthy dose of syrup. These were so simple to make but SO GOOD. Fluffy and thick but not dense at all whilst still being filling. Definitely prefer making pancakes with yogurt to just milk! Bliss.





Hazelnut Frappuccino


This one was a bit of a last-minute deal. I couldn't decide between a hot or cold drink so I decided to try and recreate one of my favourite on-the-go beverages at home- the frappuccino. In retrospect I could have made this a lot more luxurious but it was just a bit of an experiment. All I did was shove a whole load of ice in the blender, along with hazelnut milk, coffee and a spoonful of cocoa powder. It was.. okaaaay and hit the spot as I drank it quickly but a creamier version would have been nicer to enjoy slowly. Perhaps a smoothie-frapp hybrid with a banana and some of the yogurt? Always a next time!





Almond Porridge with Bananas and Syrup


Last up is an oldie but a goodie- the lowly bowl of porridge. I do tend to overdo it with the sugary extras when I have porridge so I wanted to try it using almond milk instead of the regular variation. It worked a treat and was a lot sweeter which is great as I used next to no syrup and it tasted amazing. A chopped up banana along with it and I was full for hours and hours. I also had it in my tea in place of dairy and I liked it a lot more than I expected to- it smells more than it tastes and it'll help me wean myself off sugar in hot drinks. I realise this particular almond milk comes with sweetener, but they do have an unsweetened option too. I think I prefer this milk to the hazelnut version too, it's sweeter and possibly more versatile.

So there we have it! Nothing too adventurous but it's a step forward for me as I tend to skip breakfast a lot. This little challenge has certainly helped me making breakfast more and trying new things! The competition itself is taking entries for another 24 hours so if you'd like to be in with a chance I suggest you upload your #deskfest breakfast at some point tomorrow! Have you ever tried any Alpro dairy-free alternatives? What's your top choice for breakfast?

L'Oréal Caresse Coeur de Perle Nude & Cute





L'Oréal Paris Caresse Coeur de Perle lipstick in #504 Nude & Cute: £7.99

As I said in my last post, the L'Oréal Rouge Caresse range is one of my favourites for high street lip products. The new L'Oréal Caresse Coeur de Perle line has also ranked highly with me and another shade I bought was #504 Nude & Cute.

This shade is a very pretty pinky nude hue, which is on the paler side of the spectrum. I think this might be in danger of looking a bit too light on tanned to darker skins, and I just about get away with it (in my opinion?). I do have a feeling this one will be very popular as it's quite hard to find a good 'nude' lipstick on the high street without it being too garish.

It almost looks like I'm not wearing anything in these pictures apart from a normal glossy balm, but I think it's because the shade mixes with my quite pigmented lips. I do really like this one, but I feel like I need a bit more colour on the cheeks/face to liven the complexion up, as otherwise I can look a little washed out. It's an easy shade to pick out though if I can't decide, as it would pair well with whatever outfit I had on. Not exactly show-stopper material, but if you like feeling polished without the fuss, this might be the one for you. What do you think? Have you tried anything from the Caresse Coeur de Perle range?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder





Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder in #2: £18.50

On a recent browsing session in the Liberty beauty department, while perusing the Laura Mercier counter I was sucked in and left the store with a little pot of a product I've heard rave reviews about, the Secret Brightening Powder.

Where I use a few different correctors and concealers under the eye it can be prone to creasing and wearing off in a short period of time. Used as a setting powder over your under-eye concealers, the Secret Brightening Powder feels super soft to the touch and is almost weightless. It doesn't crease at all and extends the longevity of the products beneath it a great deal. It has a slightly shimmery appearance in the pot but doesn't translate onto the skin other than brightening up the under eye area without noticing any glitter effect. I was advised to get the shade #2 which is slightly more yellow than the original white counterpart, as it would suit my skin tone better and not potentially look ashy on the skin, therefore being counterproductive.

I did gulp at the price at first, but to be honest you only need the tiniest amount and I can see this lasting me absolutely forever. I use my Real Techniques Setting Brush to pick up a small amount of powder - you literally only need the remains inside the lid of the pot, just swirl and tap. I lightly press it down onto the skin and then very, very softly buff and blend. I've not experienced any caked-on effects with this considering it's a powder directly over a cream texture. I'd highly recommend this as I've not heard of that many of these kinds of products, especially with the more yellow shade (I've got Benefit's Powderflage and it does lean a little too pink on me at times). Do you use anything like this?

Monday, March 25, 2013

MAC Brow Set



MAC Brow Set in Clear: £12.50*

I received this in my goody bag at London Fashion Week last month and didn't really think much of it at first. Just like a regular clear mascara, right? In the past I've used similar products, always buying the cheapest option possible because they're 'invisible anyway'. Sometimes I'd notice white flaky bits through my brows during the day, my brows would look too hard and in the end I just gave up on it, and in time forgot about these kinds of products.

The main problem I have with my eyebrows is that one is a lot more angular and squared off than the other- which is a lot softer and more rounded where the arch is. In order to make them more even I use a mix of a pen and a tiny helping of powder. I also have quite long brow hairs though, so they can be prone to moving and looking weird (stay with me here!). Enter MAC Brow Set. It brushes onto the brows like with any old clear mascara, but doesn't flake or stiffen the appearance of the brows. My eyebrows stay put and look just how they did when I put my makeup on which can only be a good thing.

Brow Set is also available in a range of tinted shades, which I didn't know about and I really want to try one now! These gels can also be used on lashes (reminds me of school days!) and any facial hair should you need it in those areas.

Sure there are cheaper alternatives, but I've stumbled across this one, and when you break it down to price per use it amounts to mere pennies so I'll definitely be looking to repurchase this. What do you think? Do you set your brows?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Something To Admire

  
  
  
  
Follow me on Instagram: @milkteef

At a YSL preview for the Baby Doll collection (out in May, it's incredible!) // vampy lips // swatch day // tough day at work // peri-peri // if you fancy winning a designer dress, head over to my giveaway before it ends tomorrow! // cheese; my kryptonite // bunny // my feeder boyfriend made some chocolate Easter nest cakes // BANG! // new from Benefit - Fake Up concealers (review coming soon!) // Beigel post-haircut, wanting to join me in the tub. I said no..


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