Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Dirty Martini Cocktail Masterclass

Hey All

Last week we were invited to a cocktail masterclass as Dirty Martini. Of course we said yes, we were both gutted to have missed opening night and couldn't wait to try it out. If you've followed us from the early days you'll know we are big cocktails fans (the blog used to be cosmetics, shopping and intoxication) and used to post recipes to our favourite cocktails weekly.



There are five Christmas Cocktails on the line up this year. We got to make two of them the Christmas Cheer and Mince Chai. The other three include the Ambrosia Martini on the far left which has an amazing combination of cognac, white chocolate liqueur, licor 43 (this stuff smells amazing if you've never tried it), yellow chartreuse and butterscotch schnapps. In the middle we have the Sticky Toffee Fizz (the flute is covered in powdered yoghurt and berry!!) With rum, tequilla, caramel, pimento dram liqueur and prosecco this sounds like a winner to me. The 4th cocktail along in the picture above is the Quince and Walnut Old Fashioned this one has whiskey, sherry, bitters, quince jelly, walnuts, mandarine napoleon and sugar in. I'm intrigued by this one and definitely want to try it out.


Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini is set on St Mary Street and an ideal location. I wasn't sure what to expect even though I've been to the one in London but when I walked in I was so impressed, even though it's a big open space it doesn't feel it. The decor, furniture and bar are all amazing.

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

How amazing is the artwork!!


Dirty Martini

The cocktail masterclasses are £30pp and include making two cocktails, festive sharing platters and a Bellini on arrival. You also get your own bartender for the duration of the class. Considering the Christmas cocktails are £9 each it's a bargain and such a great experience. We loved getting behind the bar and making our own.


Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

As we got being the bar we were so impresses by how many fresh ingredients there were. The bar area was also super clean which is always nice to know! Look at all the dried fruits and different bits that also get added to the cocktails!

Dirty Martini




First of all the different equpiment was explained and what cocktails they were used for as well as how to seal the shaker! Nobody wants that leaking out on them!

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

First up we made the Christmas Cheer. This has two different Gins, Cherry Liqueur, Raspberry Syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, Orange Bitters and Pomegranate in! This was sooooo tasty. The cherry was a good flavour and didn't taste artificial. I find cherry such a hit and miss flavour. The orange bitters in this really make the difference. I was surprised how much two splashes can add. How pretty is this garnish. We got to spray paint a cherry gold for the occasion. The finishing touches that go into the cocktails is so impressive.!

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

The food was amazing on the festive platters, we got polenta chips, mac and cheese balls, fried chicken, beef sliders, salmon nicoise and tomato arancini. It was all so good!!

Dirty Martini


Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

Then we got to make our last cocktail the Mince Chai (I was really looking forward to this one!) This contained Bold London Spirit, Pimento Dram Liqueur, Ginger Bread Syrup, Chai Tea Syrup, Apple Juice, Egg Whites, Cherry Bitters and Citric Acid.

I'm always a bit sceptical of cocktails with egg whites in but when shaken well the eggs create and amazing foam and it really did taste delicious. It smelt like a Christmas yankee candle and I mean that in a good way! We had to try to float the dried apple and the star anise on top!

Dirty Martini

L and I were so impressed we're going back for our annual Christmas Night out. We can't wait to tuck into the platters and try some more cocktails from the menu.

They also have great happy our deals we can't wait to try. Mon - Thurs happy hour runs from 3pm-10pm, Fri and Sat 12-9pm and Sunday all day long. Happy hour includes 2 for £20 on sharing platters (L and I are planning to sample two from the menu and pig out!!) and half price Dirty Dozen Cocktails and Martinis! We can't wait to try out the iconic Martinis. We've been looking for somewhere to replace our once beloved Ten Feet Tall (anyone else been disappointed with it lately) and we think we've found it!

Have you been to Dirty Martini?

Love M

xxx


SHARE:

Monday, 28 November 2016

Boux Avenue Haul

Hey All

I definitely don't buy new bras as often as I should. When La Senza closed down I've tried different shops but not found one's I liked enough to go back and re buy. When I was feeling spendy the other day I decided to pop into Boux Avenue, L is a big fan so I decided it was about time I gave it ago.

They had an offer one where if you bought the bra you got free matching pants. I love buying sets but always find the knickers seem really expensive so when I saw the offer I was sold. I went to be measured as I've not been for ages. I have actually been wearing the wrong size...ooops. The lady doing it was great and picked out different styles and sizes to try to find what I was comfortable in.



Boux Avenue Haul

Boux Avenue Haul

I ended up picking up two styles. I went for light colours as I really needed a new white bra and the floral print was too pretty not to pick up.

Boux Avenue Haul

I ended up going for the Chloe Lace Balconette Bra. I never used to choose a balconette style but I really like the shape this gives me and it's so comfortable. I'm surprised how much my tastes have change. The matching knickers are soooo comfy too plus they look good. 

Boux Avenue Haul

The floral print bra is a boost bar so enhances cup size. I always favoured these bras a few years ago and love the shape it gives me but not sure if now it makes my boobs look too big. It's comfortable but I probably wouldn't buy this style again unless my boobs shrink a bit again. It's currently on offer as well for cheaper than I paid but lets not mention that! 

Boux Avenue has won me over and I'm already eyeing up my next buys. The Anoushka bra is next on my list!!

Where do you find best for bras?

Love M

xxx

SHARE:

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Living Nature Lipstick in Wild Fire


Morning all!

A few weeks ago we were sent some lipsticks from Living Nature, so I chose the lipstick called Wild Fire.

Living Nature are a company from New Zealand who produce products that do not contain any synthetic compounds including parabens and only use beeswax and honey from animal derived products. In fact the list of products that aren't in any of their cosmetics is pretty impressive! In fact, here's the list so you can see yourself:

No Synthetic Preservatives, No potentially harmful chemicals, No Mineral Oils, No Herbicide or Pesticide Residues, No GM ingredients, No Animal Ingredients or testing, Only Use Recyclable, Reusable Packaging. The Living Nature preservative system is a synergy of potent plant extracts which are strong antioxidants, bactericides and fungicides. Living Nature aims to create a sustainable, profitable, ecological, educational and inspirational business that impacts on the individual by promoting healthy skin. 

All sounds wonderfully promising don't you think??

Living Nature Lipstick

Living Nature Lipstick

In addition to this, the lipsticks in particular have a 100% natural formula containing beeswax, certified by BDIH and produced in recyclable plastic tube. They are not tested on animals either which is always a great bonus, there really isn't any excuse any longer for animals to be tortured for humans to wear make up.

The packaging is black and rubbery on the outside, hopefully this means it is a little more hard wearing than other black plastic packaging we are all familiar with. It feels a lot sturdier and has a satisfying click so you can be sure the lid isn't going to fall of these - which you would think is an odd point to make but I've lost a few lipsticks to my hairbrush and keys recently and I refuse to lose any more!

Living Nature Lipstick

Wild Fire is described as a semi-matte red with an orange undertone, it is a very wearable lipstick. The colour is quite sheer so it is more like a stain or a tinted lip balm than a traditional 'lipstick' but I really like it.

It's very comfortable to wear which is a welcome change from many of the matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks that are available now that I can find are very drying.

My lips are quite small and I always prefer a lip product with a cream or glossy finish to give the appearance of more volume so the semi-matte finish is a perfect compromise for every day wear.


Living Nature Lipstick




Living Nature Lipstick

The lipstick colour doesn't last all day with eating etc but to be honest it is so easy to reapply owing to the sheer finish that it isn't a problem.

The range of lipsticks from Living Nature contains twelve colours altogether and a lip hydrator. Botanical Brands (the sole distributor in the U.K. for Living Nature) carries all 12 of these which is great! You can find them at www.botanicalbrands.com 

The lipsticks cost £19.50 each which is perfectly reasonable for a lipstick with minimal chemicals and no animal testing in sight!


Have you heard of Living Nature before? Have you tried out some of their lipsticks?


They have a huge range of skincare too, some of their serums, oils and masks sound wonderful and I've spotted some gift sets that would be great on a Christmas list!


L xxx



SHARE:

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Pestle and Mortar Skincare Deals

Hey all


When we were contacted to see if we fancied trying some Pestle and Mortar skincare items we of course said yes. We have both taken care of our skin with full skincare routines started from our early 20s in the hope prevention is better than cure.



We couldn't wait to get out hands on the Pestle and Mortar products as not only are they cruelty free (a must for me now), they are suitable for all skin types, both of our skin needs seem to be changing so a product suitable for all is great, they also free from parabens, mineral oil, silcones, sulphates and propylene. When we first started the blog we wrote about parabens, sulphates and silcones in products and what it means, you can find these posts here.





Pestle and Mortar is an Irish beauty brand that have a great range of skincare products all in gorgeous packaging. I love the simplicity of the packaging and the monochrome it looks great on my bedside table.



We were lucky enough to be sent the Hyaluronic Serum. I'm so excited to give this a proper try. L has tried the alpha h liquid gold before which contain hyaluronic acid so was excited to try this to see how it compares.



The serum is formulated from the salt of hyaluronic acid. This is a smaller molecule and is said to be even more penetrative than hylauronic acid. I can't wait to give this a proper trial and see the results. As I'm getting older even though I have oily skin I'm still finding my skin dehydrated. Serums such as this one are great for getting moisture in my skin without drying it out. 



It leaves the skin feeling really soft and the perfect base for makeup. We will be doing a full review once we've been able to try it for a while but wanted to go on and share it as with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner Pestle and Mortar are offering some great deals. It's worth signing up to the mailing list as you get 20% off. Non-subscribers still get 15% off thought.



Have you heard of Pestle and Mortar? Will you be taking advantage of the deals? They can be purchased from pestleandmortarcosmetics.com.



Love M



xxx



SHARE:

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Sleek Matte Me in Old Hollywood

Hey All

Lately I've been very spendy so expect a few hauls coming up!! I was meeting some friends in town the other day and have 30 minutes before they arrived and accidently ended up in boots and superdrug and before I knew it I'd bought 2 lipsticks, a lipstick palette, an eyeshadow palette, a contour palette and a nail varnish. Clearly a lack of self control that day ha!

I tend to go to Superdrug more these days as they have a great selection of cruelty free brands (NYX keeps me going to boots though!). With the weather getting colder I'm getting drawn back into the darker shades and can't seem to resist the liquid lipsticks everyone is loving at the moment. As soon as I swatched old hollywood on my hand I knew I was going to buy it. It's such a deep red colour and perfect for the colder weather.

Sleek Matte Me Old Hollywood Review

Sleek Matte Me Old Hollywood Review

It comes in the traditional lip gloss packaging with the doe foot applicator you would expect for a liquid lipstick, It's really easy to apply direct from the applicator and get that straight line to the lips. It dries really quickly. I love the colour and love how easy it is to apply but it's not my favourite formula. For me it's too drying and does the flaking off the lips from the middle and leaves staining around the lip line. I prefer more mouse like formulas like the NYX lip lingeries and the liquid satins. 

Sleek Matte Me Old Hollywood Review

Even though I'm not sold on the formula the colour is so amazing I will definitely keep wearing it. It just needs reapplying throughout the day to keep the colour looking it's best.

Have you tried the Sleek Matte Me lip products? Any tips on stopping it being so drying?

Love M

xxx

SHARE:

Sunday, 20 November 2016

MUA Luxe Enchanted Palette


Morning all!

I've been testing out some new palettes recently and the first one I've decided to share is the MUA Luxe Enchanted palette.

I'm sure you have seen these palettes before over on Instagram and Pinterest, or the original ombre type palette that was released by Hourglass. However with the Hourglass Modernist eyeshadow palette costing £56, this isn't affordable for most people and MUA Luxe have released their own version, which is always exciting when an affordable dupe comes along!


The Enchanted palette contains 5 silk eyeshadow shades in a variety of soft pink shades.

On a first glance the palette is so pretty - everyone loves a marble effect and this is beautiful. You can see way there is such a hype surrounding them, and not even starting on the dupe factor!

The outer packaging is quite simple and obviously a lot cheaper than the Hourglass counterpart. Sometimes I think that the cheaper brands could put a bit more into their packaging than making everything black and basic, but I am certainly not complaining about the range of products on the market now that are much more affordable than before.

MUA Luxe Palette




MUA Luxe Enchanted Palette

Looking at the shades, they look very similar and I wasn't sure how wearable they would be nor how pigmented and therefore whether they would even show up properly. My first thought was that the palettes will at least be great for pretty pictures!

You can see the colours swatched below, without and with flash:


MUA Enchanted

MUA Enchanted

How pigmented are they???!!!

I was so impressed! They are very pretty and the colour is so intense, they are perfect rose gold colours ideal for day wear especially weddings.

The only downside I can see to this palette is the colours are very similar and I do wish there was one less lighter shade and one more darker shade to help with creating an entire look. It means I need to use another palette for a dark shade to line my eyes - I look really weird if I don't do this!

MUA Luxe Palette

I've been really impressed with this palette and how pigmented the colours are.

Unfortunately the pictures I took of me wearing these shades were too blurry to share, not sure what happened to my camera that day but I don't have any more to share right now. I will put some on our Instagram though, you can see them by looking for @thecsigirls

Have you tried the MUA Luxe palettes? Which one do you prefer?

Check back for my thoughts on the other palette, called Enrapture



L xxx



SHARE:

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Cruelty Free Skincare Holiday Essentials

Hey All

As I've just got back from holiday there will definitely be a few holiday based posts coming up. I'll be sharing what I got up to soon but as well took over 2500 photos across 4 cameras there are a lot of photos to sort through.

This was my first holiday since moving to cruelty free beauty so I knew I needed to pick up a few bits and find substitutes for old favourites.


Hair Care

My hair is something I  try my hardest to keep in the best condition. It's died a lot so I was concerned about the effect of sun, sea and chlorine on it. To keep it in the best condition I made sure to pack these!

Tangle Teezer

If you don't have one of these you need it. I wasn't convinced at first as £10 was a lot for me to spend on a brush but since I got it I'm totally convinced. It easily gets through the worst knots without struggling too much. I've recommended this to colleagues, my mum and my sister law who have all bought them. My mum even bought on for the cat as in his old age was getting really dirty!

Marula Oil Rare Oil Treatment

L and I went to an event a while ago and were lucky enough to have this gifted to us. It is amazing. I love it so much. You only need about two drops and my hair loves it. I use the shampoo and conditioner as well. It makes my hair shiny and helps with the dryness. Even though it's expensive it really lasts. I'm still on my first bottle and I spilt about half of it over my dresser (there were almost real tears!!). As a holiday travel product it's also great as it can be used on the skin too.

Hair Clips

These are from New Look but I know they have similar in Primark as I was telling L to purchase them the other day. These clamps make putting the hair up so easy and especially in heat when you just want it off the face.

Facial Skin Care

Miss Patisserie Goji Youth Preserve Face Cream

Miss patisserie along with Lush is somewhere I turn to for a lot of skincare and bath needs both are totally cruelty free and have a great selection of products. This Goji Face Cream is a bargain £8.99 and I love it. It sinks into the skin so easily, it's got a lightweight texture but leaves my skin really well moisturised. I loved applying this at night to really replenish the moisture in my face.

Neals Yard Wild Rose Moisturising SPF 30 for face

I purchased this with holidays in mind but also for everyday. I'm not getting any younger and I do think a good high facial spf will help prevent wrinkles (prevention is better than cure and I'm hoping my skincare routine since I was 21 will help me in later life!!). This is heavier than I'm used to using everyday and for the first 2-3 weeks of using it I was a little spotty. It has calmed down now though and I'm happy with it. Even though I have oily combination skin and this is quite moisturising it hasn't been a problem. I use this everyday religiously now and it was amazing on holiday, My face didn't get burnt once and applying it in the morning was enough which considering I was in mid 30 degrees heat was amazing. I can't recommend this enough for holidays as well as everyday.

Body

Lush Sparkle Toothy Tabs

Toothpaste and deodorant have been the hardest cruelty free adjustment for me. (for the record for deodorant I use Dr Organics, post here) The toothy tabs were the first ones I bought. Lush Cardiff were helpful as always and gave me a few flavours to try out and this was my favourite. It's strange getting used to not having mint. These are perfect for travel as it's one less thing to worry about exploding in the suitcase!! The tooth powders are also great!

Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm

We shared this on the blog a few weeks ago and this was a saviour on holiday!!! I used it on mossy bites and sun burn religiously and it really helped put moisture back into sun burn and soothe the skin. So far I also haven't peeled on my sun burn yet. This is a holiday must for me now as it's great to have a multi use product,

Now I'm back from holiday I still use most of these products on an everyday basis! I can't recommend them enough.

Have you tried any of them?

Love M

xxx

SHARE:

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation

Hey All

Whilst in duty free I couldn't resist a few cheeky purchases (who can!!) I'd been eyeing up the Urban Decay All Nighter foundation for weeks and had planned to purchase it. In my excitement at the airport of seeing the Urban decay Shop and Foundations there I just grab Naked Skin not paying any attention to the packaging thinking it was the All Nighter foundation. Initially I was a bit disappointed but it's actually really impressed me.


SHARE:

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer in Reckless


Good morning!

Today I have a quick review of a new lip product from MUA Luxe, this is a Velvet Lip Lacquer




I purchased this in three different colours because of those really handy 3 for 2 deals we all love. This particular one is called Reckless and is a perfect Taylor Swift kind of red, I love it.

I've seen quite a few lip products like these with a semi matte finish but I haven't yet found one that I like. I just can't seem to get on with nude colours that give you a 90s look, they seem to look good on everyone apart from me so instead I'm going to stick with reds, pinks and berry tones that I know suit me best!

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer Reckless

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer Reckless

The red is beautifully bright and flattering on my pasty skin - it's exactly what I was looking for! See a swatch below.

The finish is indeed semi matte and this I also prefer. Some of them seem to be so dry in both finish and on the lips over time, this dried but didn't seem to dry my skin either.

As for wear, it does dry and crack a little over time but this is easily solved by applying more. It doesn't seem to flake off, but rather cracks begin to appear in the dried product.

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer Reckless


Laura FOTD


And above shows the lip product on, I really like it!

It was perfect for a night out and the best part was the price itself.....a bargain £3! And at Superdrug they are currently on 3 for 2 so an even better bargain. I also picked up a pink and a berry colour so expect posts of those soon!

What do you think of the semi-matte finish? Do you love the lip lacquer finish?
Have you tried any other of the MUA Luxe range?


L xxx



SHARE:

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Dior Masterclass Splendour Event


Well hello there!

Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to a Dior Masterclass with one of our favourites, the lovely Anthony from Ant Gorgeous

He put on a lovely event where we were able to sit and watch him create a make up look on his gorgeous model and learn a few tips and tricks!



Untitled

We sat down in the meeting room and were offered champagne and cakes, it had an afternoon tea theme which was lovely.

We sat and went through a number of products and got to try them all out on ourselves, which as we all know is the best thing you can offer make up obsessed people!


Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

The Dior Hydra Life Pro Youth Sorbet Creme felt lovely on your skin and absorbed really well. The lipstick and Lip Maximizer lipgloss were both gorgeous too, I have heard so many good things about the Lip Maximizer and apparently Kylie Jenner uses it so you know it must be good!

A particular favourite was the DiorSkin Forever and Ever Wear, Extreme Perfection and Hold Make Up Base. This was a lovely thin fluid and created a lovely base on your skin, it didn't feel tacky but it did feel like it would hold your foundation for a full day.

Untitled

Untitled



Untitled

The DiorSkin Nude Air Luminizer powder is stunning, such a pretty glow but the pattern is so pretty it would be hard to use!

The Dior Show Brow Styler was a big hit for everyone, it's so thin that creating brows from nothing is so easy. The styler allows you to draw on individual hairs to create a really natural look and it blends easily too.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

The collection that everyone couldn't take their eyes off was the Splendour collection, this years festive range was beautiful and the colours are stunning. The eyeshadow palette containing five colours is a highlight and I know will be popular. There are also single eyeshadowsavailable in 8 colours, 2 different types of lipsticks, a lip and cheek tint available in four colours, a blush, nail varnish and illuminating pressed powder.

The colour ranges are typically reds and pinks for the lips and nails, and shimmery metallics for the eye products. Whatever you think of when you see the word Splendour, these are exactly the type of products you would expect.

Untitled

Untitled

You can see the swatches on my hand above, the liner, the eyeshadows, the lipstick, lipgloss and blush. Beautiful colours!

Untitled

It was a lovely evening, I picked up a few things including my favourite DiorSkin Forever  Foundation and also a lipstick. I love the DiorSkin Forever Foundation and the finish it has, but also love that it has SPF35 and no flashback at all. I chose a Dior Addict lipstick in Be Dior, it was my first lipstick from this range so I'm looking forward to using it.

We were also given a gift bag containing a few things I haven't tried before so cannot wait to try them out too!

Dior Masterclass

Dior Masterclass

Have you seen the new Splendour collection? What's your favourite product?

Have you tried the Dior Addict lipsticks and Forever Foundation?


L xxx



SHARE:
© The CSI Girls. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig