Monday, 30 May 2016

Madame Fromage

Hey All

When L and I went to the Miss Patisserie Spring Event (you can read about it here) and couldn't resist buying half the shop we decided lunch was needed (okay it was half 11 but we'd both drunk the night before and needed food!) and finally remembered we hadn't been to Madame Fromage - how we haven't been before is still a mystery to us.

Madame Fromage is in the Castle Arcade and is a deli and restaurant serving up a variety of food including cheese and tapas platters, fresh salads, tarts, welsh cawl etc. The whole menu looks amazing and is reasonably priced. The deli selection has a very impressive cheese and antipasti selection as well an amazing cake fridge that we were very dissapointed we couldn't fit in. We were very tempted to get cake to take away but as both of us our trying to loose weight we decided to skip it!

Madame Fromage Food Cheese Board Platter Cardiff

Madame Fromage Food Cheese Board Platter Cardiff

As you walk into the main restaurant you are straight away greeted with the amazing cheese selection - there is more seating across the road and outside. We both couldn't wait to get in and decide what we wanted. As standard we both had tea and water and decided on the cheese platter and mini meat selection (really just the cheese would have been enough to share) They suggest their cheese or tapas boards serve two and at £14.99 each are very reasonable. (I've taken my parents recently and sample the tapas and cheese boards with them. I don't think I could choose between them as the selection on the tapas was amazing but I do love the extra cheese on the cheese board!)

Madame Fromage Food Cheese Board Platter Cardiff

The bread selection that comes with the boards are amazing both times I've been I've had raison and walnut, one with sundried tomato, french stick type and others. The bread is all fresh and a generous portion.

Madame Fromage Food Cheese Board Platter Cardiff

Onto the star of the show!!!! Look at all that cheese. There was a great selection of soft cheese, mild, mature etc something for every taste and it was nice to try some I'd never tried before as well as seeing some classics. It also come with a lovely fresh salad! Something else I loved was that when I went back with my parents it was a different variety of cheeses so you always get to try something new. 

Madame Fromage Food Cheese Board Platter Cardiff

The mini meat was something we didn't need as we were totally stuffed but it was a delicous treat, nice chunky slices of ham, parma ham, chorizo and salami as well as more amazing bread. This was a nice addition to the cheese board and would be great if three of you were sharing it.

Madame Fromage Food Cheese Board Platter Cardiff

We can't recommend Madame Fromage enough, great service amazing food and I've already been back since L and I went together, definitely get there early we arrived at 11.30ish or late afternoon if you're visiting on a Saturday as it gets very busy!

Love L and M

xxx



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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Barry M Sunset Gel Daylight Curing Range: Do it Like a Nude


Morning!

Any one else absolutely love Barry M? Always a fail safe purchase for me and I love being able to go to a shop, pick up some new nail colours and still have some pennies left over.

I'm a bit later to the party with their Sunset Daylight Curing polishes, I picked up two nude-ish colours and the first one I've used is 'Do It Like a Nude' - cannot stop singing Jessie J whenever I see this!

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You use these nail polishes just the same as any other, however the top coat has to be the Sunset Daylight Curing TopCoat. Don't make the same mistake as me and forget to pick this up...oops!

I used my normal Essie base coat and then applied two coats of Do It Like a Nude, before applying the topcoat.
The coats of the nail varnish need to be thin, I kind of ignored this but it is definitely worth noting. The first time I used these polishes I was in a rush so was a little heavy handed - I got it half on my fingers and half on the nail, that's the kind of rush!

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Second time round I did use thinner coats and it was much better. I would say that they weren't 100% opaque so you could see some brush strokes and nail colour underneath but they weren't too bad and were only noticeable if you looked closely, maybe three thing coats would be required if you want full opacity.

I was pretty impressed with how long they lasted, my nails chip easily at work and these did last the week very well.
I'm planning on using this on the hen weekend I'm currently on because I don't have the time nor the baggage allowance to take any with me, it will have to last the four days so fingers crossed it will!

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These polishes come in at a bargain £4.99 and can usually be found on offer in Boots or Superdrug which is very handy!

There are 16 colours in all and I'm a big fan of the nudes so far, perhaps I will have to pick up some pinks, oranges and red too!

Have you tried the Sunset Gel range before? What's your favourite colours??


L xxx



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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Cliff Bar Energy Bar

Hey All

A few weeks ago L and I were contacted to see if we wanted to try out some Cliff Bars as they'd also launched a new flavour for spring Coconut Chocolate Chip. As we both love these type of bars as a treat or pre/post gym snack we couldn't wait to try them. I was especially excited as I've currently got a thing for coconut. 

Cliff Bar Review Healthy Snacks

These are different from the normal bars we have like trek and bounce balls as the texture was more cakey due to them being made out of rolled oats. We both love porridge in the mornings so really enjoyed this texture. It also makes it feel more like a cake treat which is always a bonus. 

Cliff bars are great for workouts as they are packed with protein (10 grams in the coconut one) and carbohydrates to help sustain energy during long extensive work outs or they're great for pre workout boost. I know L has especially liked having them in between work and the gym. They're also packed with vitamins that contribute to the release of energy in the body.

We were sent a selection to try pit and none of them disappointed. I'm especially a fan of the chocolate coconut flavour and it's also made using dairy free chocolate! I've mainly enjoyed having half a bar as a snack in the day to fill me up when I'm feeling especially peckish!!

Cliff Bar Review Healthy Snacks

Clif bars are available from lots of places on the highstreet now including boots (it's a snack in the meal deal as well), asda and tesco and they retail for £1.60 each. I've been and grabbed extras since as I need to try the white chocolate macadamia one.

Do you have energy bars as snacks or pre gym workouts?

Love M

xxx





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Miss Patisserie Mineral Mud Mask


Hello there!

Hooray it is almost the weekend! I will be away from this evening on a hen weekend and I'm rather excited. I will hopefully get some time to do some sightseeing whilst at the city as I've never been there before - all will be revealed in another post I'm sure!

In the meantime today's post is about another mask from Miss Patisserie, this is the Mineral Mud Mask.


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The Mineral Mud mask is for drawing out impurities from skin and dealing with excessive oil, so is perfect for those of us with that oily T-zone.

Key ingredients include dead sea clay, kaolin clay and red clay, all of which are well known for helping with oily skin. It also contain Spearmint oil and Mandarin orange oil so you just know it smells good!





All you need to do is use around half to a full tablespoon of the product and mix it with water to create the mask. I've seen lots of ideas of mixing them with other things such as lemon juice or milk depending on your skin type which is a good idea, but not one that I have yet tried so can't comment on it. Lemon juice is supposed to be amazing for brightening though so that would be a great addition to this mask for a double whammy!

You simply make the paste and leave it on for 20 minutes, easy peasy!

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So what does it look like on, and how does it feel?

You can see the image below for how it looks, it does dry on your skin so it can feel your skin tighten with it on so that's one thing to note if you're not a fan of that.

I don't mind it as long as I don't use them all the time, and just find that I need a really thick moisturiser or oil to rehydrate my skin afterwards.

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It washes off really easily and my skin is definitely less oily afterwards. I don't suffer with spots like I used to, probably due to a more extensive skincare routine and also I'm getting old!
My skin needs hydration a hell of a lot more than before but still gets oily, using this once or twice a week has helped a lot and in between I pile on the serums, oils and moisturiser to solve all my skin issues.

I've previously written about the Walnut Stone Face Mask (link here) which you can read if you like, and I wrote that it was difficult to use the powder to form the paste with my hands. I also purchased the bamboo spoon this time and can say it is definitely worth the £1.75 it costs for a perfect 0.5 tablespoon measure without making a mess! I'd recommend getting this too.


The Mineral Mud Mask costs £7.70, and the Bamboo Spoon £1.75. Have you tried any of Miss Patisserie's masks before? Do you have any other favourite products from her?

I'm a huge fan, slowly but surely buying my way around the store! I'd love the try the Facial Oils next, I've heard great things!


L xxx



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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Make Up Brushes.co.uk

Hey All

A few weeks back we were asked if we wanted to try out some new make up brushes from makeupbrushes.co.uk, as I'm sure most beauty lovers will agree you can never have enough brushes. We both decided to try a multi tasking brush but from different brands as they both looks similar to the Real Techniques buffing brush that we love!

A great selling point of Make up Brushes.co.uk is that they have free first class delivery on all orders. I always slightly begrudge paying for delivery and it's great to know that it's not only shipped free but first class so that it will arrive quickly. They also offer same day dispatch if ordered before 2pm. I personally do the majority of my shopping online now as I just find it so much more convenient to just order things during work breaks and know they'll be at my house within a few minutes. Make up brushes.co.uk stock various brands including So Eco, Real Techniques and Japoneqsue.

Brush Works Multi Tasking Brush Review

The Brush Works Multi-Tasking Brush was one that I couldn't resist trying and seeing how it compared to that of a Real Techniques brush.

They are made using Taklon bristles and hand cut to create the perfect shape. They are also vegan and allergy free so that's always a bonus!

Brush Works Multi Tasking Brush Review

Brush Works Multi Tasking Brush Review

Brush Works Multi Tasking Brush Review

The brush is very similar to the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, but is slightly smaller in width and bristle height.
I've been using it with my current foundations (Vichy Dermablend and DiorSkin Forever) and I really like it. The effect is similar to the buffing brush so gives a flawless finish, but I found it a lot easier to control because of the slightly smaller size, it was especially easier around the nose and eye area for blending foundation and concealer.

Brush Works Multi Tasking Brush Review

I am suitably impressed with this brush and would certainly purchase more, on pay day I will be browsing to see what others are available from Brush Works.

The Brush Works Multi Tasking Brush (link here) costs £6.99 which is an absolute bargain when the RT buffing brush can only be purchased in a set for £20.99.




I chose the So Eco multi tasking brush. So Eco isn't a brand I've heard of but after recently deciding to only purchase cruelty free brands it was great to see that So Eco is cruelty free. As it wasn't a brand I'd tried before I couldn't wait to see how it felt. Nothing beats a soft brush and this didn't disappoint. Definitely on a par with Real Techniques.

So Eco Multi Tasking Brush Review

So Eco Multi Tasking Brush Review

As you can see from the packaging above So Eco brushes are also made from recycled and sustainable materials and think about things such as the packaging their products come in which is compostable. 

So Eco Multi Tasking Brush Review

The multi tasking brush is a great all rounder which is a reason I went for it as at least a few times a week I do my make up for work on the bus so something like this is great for those days I inevitably forget a brush. It's full of densely packed bristles and reminds me of a mixture of the Real Techniques buffing brush and expert face brush. It buffs foundation into the skin flawlessly and easily. I've also used it for blush which I love as it's so dense I find it always me to control where blush goes as I've been leaning towards smaller brushes for blush lately.

So Eco Multi Tasking Brush Review

The biggest test for me for a brush is how it washes. No one wants to spend money on a brush for it to shed or not be good once washed. This washes really well and I haven't had any shedding from it. It retails for £7.50 here which I think is a great price!


We also got the So Eco 5 brush eye kit to try. I love how travel friendly this is in the pouch and it's really thing. The brushes also feel nice in the hand as they are lightweight. I do think the colours and the packaging fit the brand theme. 

So Eco 5 Brush Eye Kit Review

So Eco 5 Brush Eye Kit Review

 Though if I'm honest I have mixed feelings about the brush selection. I love the mascara spoolie, the angled eyeliner brush and the fine point brush. All of these are amazing and great at what they're used for (I do use the angled brush for brows rather than eyeliner though and the mascara spoolie to brush my brows with). But for me the eyebrow comb isn't necessary in the set as well as the spoolie and I think it would have benefited from a fluffy blending brush. I do find the shading brush to big for the eyes but do love it to apply concealer.

So Eco 5 Brush Eye Kit Review

So Eco 5 Brush Eye Kit Review

It does retail for £12.50 here which I do think is a good price for the brushes you get especially as a set for eyebrows! 

Have you tried So Eco or Brush Works?


Love L and M
xxx


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Friday, 20 May 2016

Lush Let the Good Times Roll Face Cleanser


Hello there!

We are long term fans of Lush and on a recent visit picked up a new cleanser that I had the chance to smell and knew I just had to have! Let The Good Times Roll (LTGTR from now on).

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LTGTR is a face and body cleanser, it's a thick paste that you need to mix with a little water to create the cleanser. It's also double up as a scrub on account of the ingredients so you're getting double the effects from a single product.

The cleanser contains maize flour and polenta for exfoliation, and cinnamon powder to stimulate your skin. Even without these ingredients the smell is unbelievable; it's sweet, warming and reminds me of cinema popcorn - of which there are bits of it inside!


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I've been using this cleanser for a few weeks now and love the smell and the exfoliating effects. If i had to be picky the bits of popcorn are actually a bit annoying when you are trying to make the cleanser but I'd definitely repurchase this.

Let the Good Times Roll costs £6.95 for 100g of product, so a perfectly reasonable cost. Have you tried this cleanser? What did you think of it?


It's another Lush product that I'd definitely buy again!


L xxx



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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Salon Success Event


Hey all!

We've been very busy recently with events which has been lovely, not only is it nice to hear about new products and get to try them out but catching up with other bloggers and meeting new ones is also a favourite part of any event.

We were kindly invited to an event last week by Salon Success, it was an amazing evening and felt like we were having a catch up meal with friends!

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On arrival we were greeted with champagne and shown to a beautifully decorated table in St David's Hotel. It felt very posh but also cosy, as we had a room to ourselves with a view of Cardiff Bay and lots of friendly faces to chatter with.

After sitting down we could have a look at the products laid out at each place for us to learn about whilst we were there. The event was put on by Salon Success who represent Paul Mitchell and New CID Cosmetics amongst others, here we also had products from Marula Oil, Awapuhi and Mitch by Paul Mitchell.

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First up though, we were treated to a glorious three course meal from the menu above. All courses were absolutely gorgeous and we fully enjoyed it (forgetting alllllllll about our holiday diets!)

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It was gorgeous, the warm apple tart tatin was a particular favourite!

We all ooh'ed and aah'ed over the food and the products for quite a while until we decided to get stuck in and trying everything out. As I've already mentioned it was just like having a meal with friends and we all gossiped and shared stories so I think we went way over our original time!

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We were lucky enough to take all of the products home with us to try, and also a bag of make up from New CID Cosmetics. I've always wanted to try a number of their products after Mia's reviews and so I was very excited by this, especially the i-groom!


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We even managed to sneak outside for a quick selfie outside but it was horrible weather!

We had a lovely time at the event and having a good old natter about hair and make up, which after a day of work is exactly what you need really isn't it??

We will be putting up posts with reviews in future so if anything catches your eye don't forget to check back. I can already tell you that the Marula Oil Rare Oil Treatment smells divine and works a charm!!


L and M xxx


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Friday, 13 May 2016

T2 Tea - T2 Choc


Morning all!

As with most British people, we are also tea addicts. We love a normal Tetley brew but also love trying out herbal and loose leaf teas. My brother knows this and he bought me the T2 Choc loose leaf tea selection box when he went to Bath.

It was a lovely surprise and I've been really enjoying trying out the flavours, but first up, look at the funky packaging!



How funky is it?! I love the contrasting colours and the writing, I wonder what it actually says!

The T2 Choc contains 10 loose leaf tea sachets of varying flavours, I'd say each sachet would make a small pot of tea or two cups. This is extremely useful as sometimes I've botched the first cup by making it too strong or adding milk when I shouldn't!

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Each sachet does have it's own instructions, including the temperature of the water, the brewing time and what you need to enjoy it with.

This was a god send as at the time I was still a novice with loose leaf tea!

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The first flavour I tried was Choc Chip Chai, and it didn't disappoint. However it did have a lot of cloves, and I missed the part when it said to add milk and honey....

My second cup of it was beautiful though, so I was glad that I did it in two sittings. I took out a few cloves and added the milk and honey and it was awesome. I was eagerly awaiting my next cup to try a different flavour.

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Also in the box was White White Cocoa, Terrific Toffee, Red Choc Mint, Cocoa Loco, Caramel Brownie, Chocolate, Jade Mountain, Lamington and Creme Brulee.

I've tried most of the dessert sounding flavours - Terrific Toffee, Caramel Brownie and Creme Brulee all smell and taste really good, although I think the smells are particularly inviting!

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I've still got a few to try out but I've been really impressed with this box and the selection it has to offer so far.
I'm a bit disappointed that I can't find it on their website, it's quite hard to navigate through and I couldn't find it. Maybe it's a store exclusive or something but I would have liked to know if I could buy it again and see how much it is.


Are you a tea fan? Do you like trying out loose leaf teas like this?


L xxx



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