Wednesday 7 December 2016

Know the skin your're in | My 8 Step Skincare Routine

Eight steps sounds like a lot but bear with me on this guys. In aid of knowing the skin you're in following Wednesdays post I thought I would share my own skin diagnosis with you and the steps I take to ensure my skin stays in tip top condition.

My skin is characterised by minimal pores, flakiness and dry patches on my cheeks with the occasional feeling of tightness when I use chemical rich products, meaning my skin is dry and quite sensitive.

1. Gentle daily make up removal
No matter if I'm blind drunk, sick as a dog or more tired than ever I will always take my make up off before bed - really Armageddon could be pending and I'd still be removing my make up. I use a gentle cleansing balm by the body shop which you can read more about here, and when I'm feeling super motivated I'll pop a warmed, damp cloth over my face to open up my pores.

2. Exfoliate weekly
Admittedly I'm an over exfoliator, I like nothing more than the polished feeling a rough exfoliator gives you but ideally you should exfoliate once a week to avoid damaging and scraping your skin. As my skin can be quite dull I use a vitamin C scrub from the Body Shop again to give me a bit of brightness. I usually do this in the shower as it tends to get a bit messy!

3. Cleanse daily
Foaming cleansers usually aren't the greatest for folks with dry skin, but I'm happy to say I have found one that works for me by all natural brand Arbonne. Their calm range is specifically formulated for people with my skin type and I use the Calm daily cleanser in the shower every day. I often switch my cleansers around and use Angels on Bare Skin by Lush which is one of my first loves in the cleansing world, which you can throwback to my review of by clicking here.

4. Moisturise twice daily
In keeping with the all natural, specifically formulated for dry skin theme I again use the Calm daily moisturiser by Arbonne though I do switch it up every now and again to some by Lush as my skin can get used to a product after a certain length of time and it'll just stop working 

5. Eye cream twice daily
Well eye gel! I use a cooling eye gel by the Body Shop which helps eradicate any puffiness I have (particularly in the mornings) and is also much gentler on the skin than any other moisturiser I have been known to throw on there. I'm thinking of soon investing in an anti aging cream for my under eyes simply because you can never start too young and dry skin tends to age at a faster rate than oily skin (bummer!)

6. Facial Oil twice daily
Following my moisturiser and eye cream I'll dot oil on both cheeks and down my forehead and rub it all over my face. This helps the skin absorb moisture that bit better and gives me a healthy glow. I love the Oils of Life facial oil by the Body Shop but I have also been known to dabble with some Neals Yard oils too.

7. Sleeping Cream every evening
This is something I have only just started dabbling in but it's a great addition to my night time routine. I'll rub this in circular, upward motions on my face and my neck and it just gives your skin that extra little boost before bed. Every morning I wake up and I'll still continue with my usual cleansing and moisturising but this just helps my skin along the way.

8. Weekly face masks
As you could probably guess, Lush are my favourite when it comes to face masks, I'll tend to buy one a month and use it every Sunday when I enjoy a bubble bath or even when my skin is feeling particularly run down. My favourites for dry skin are the Love Lettuce exfoliating face mask and the Oatifix hydrating mask.
Of course in addition to my skincare routine I also have a few make up tips and tricks that keep my skin looking and feeling great however I'll save that post for another time.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read my updated skincare routine, hopefully you have discovered some amazing products from this or learned a little something about caring for your own skin and I apologise for eliminating an entire readership of oily faces! If you have any skin saving products for dry skin you think I would love be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd occasionally like to see my face be sure to follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, know the skin you're in!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 2 December 2016

I'm Your Venus | Lime Crime Venus: The Grunge Palette Review

Having heard a great many mixed reviews about Lime Crime in the past, I kept my distance opting instead for tried and tested brands that grace my usual beauty sites, Beauty Bay, Sephora etc. It wasn't until this season when I  saw some of my favourite make up artists donning these shades and at a time when I myself was getting very, very into my warm tones, smokey reds and browns that I turned to Lime Crime. 

It was around one week before Lime Crime launched on Beauty Bay that I bought this palette (typical I know!) I bought it as part of a bundle in which I got the palette and their highly coveted liquid lipstick in the shade 'Wicked' which I thought was fairly apt for the time of year I was buying it (October/Halloween/Spooky times in case you were wondering.

The shadows as you can see are highly pigmented but are obviously best applied with a brush - the swatches above I don't feel are truly representative of how well the shadows appear on the eye and how well they blend into one another, though for a single swipe of the finger into each shadow I don't think they did too badly! My favourite and go to look of the moment with this palette is a crease of Creation and Muse, darkened up on the outer corner with Icon, with a touch of the rose shimmer of Venus and of course Aura on my inner corner.

Overall I do think this palette is value for money (considering it's only £27.67 AND it's Vegan friendly), especially as I use at least one of these colours on a daily basis and it'll be great come Spring and even Summer when I can use shades like Aura, Shell and Divine to create lighter and more 'fun' looks. All of that and you looks great on Instagram!

I hope you have enjoyed my short and snappy review of the Venus Grunge Palette by Lime Crime, as a brand of course they do tend to attract a lot of negative press and heat for things they did in the past however simply judging by their products and nothing else then I'm suitably impressed!

If you want to see any looks I do using this palette be sure to leave a comment below, or you can see some of my most common and loved looks on Instagram, Twitter or even Facebook if you fancy!

Until next time folks, I'm your Venus and your fire!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Alternative Advents | My Top 5 Beauty Advent Calendars

Like I could afford a beauty advent calendar! Honestly guys this year I'll be sticking with my tried and tested Poundland or ASDA advent calendars this year, however what kind of beauty blogger would I be really if I didn't at least force you to read my top beauty advent calendar picks from the shops? Not a very good one folks, not a very good one. So in light of securing my status as 'beauty blogger extraordinaire' and proving my salt as a blogger of all things make up I thought I would share my very own top 5 beauty advent calendars from the UK... though can you really say these beat out cheapy chocolate? I think not!

1. Kiehls Calendar (£95 exclusively at Selfridges)
Despite never having tried anything from their brand I'd love this calendar to open every day. It's luxe, it's lush and I'd love to try sample sizes of the Kiehls products before committing to a full size in store given their quite extravagant price tag!
I love Charlotte Tilbury, her products are so beautiful and her advent calendar is even more beautiful! And my make up collection can never have too much Charlotte!

3. 12 Days of Christmas, Lush (£52.95)
I remember seeing this splashed all over the blogosphere last year and being super jealous, a new lush product for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Hell yes!

4. 24 Happy Days Deluxe Calendar, The Body Shop (£80 with £127 worth of products)
The Body Shop, as you guys know, holds a special place in my heart...i.e. my skincare routine. Much of my coveted products in my kit come from there, be it my make up remover, exfoliator and even my eye cream, so the Body Shop - you've got my vote!

5. Tree Advent Calendar, Topshop (£28)
Topshop bring you something a little different for their advent calendar this year (and probably last year too) in the form of a jewellery calendar. I'm not very into jewellery myself so it'd be really nice to get lots of new pieces for my limited collection to jazz up some old outfits.

Honourable advent mentions to Jo Malone, Diptyque, Molton Brown.

By no means nor matter am I suggesting that you need one of these to make your Christmas complete, I for one am quite happy to have an additional chocolate every day as opposed to another sample sized goodie. Of course if you are lucky enough to have one of these for the festive period well...I hate you... obviously!

Hopefully you have enjoyed reading up on my top picks for this years Christmas advent festivities, what are yours? Or are you a bit more like me? ASDA all the way? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, come share your own advents with me on Twitter or if you just want to see my on the weekly / daily be sure to follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, jingling all the way to ASDA!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 25 November 2016

The clumsy girls guide to mending make up mistakes | 5 Make Up Mistakes Beginners make

Somewhere in my deep, dark archives is a post quite like this but now I'm a little older, a little wiser, and let's face it why any of you were taking beauty advice from me when I first started this blog is beyond me (those eyebrows...girrrrl....) So today I'm going to treat this as beauty blunders for beginners volume 2: the clumsy girl chronicles.

1. Rushing your routine;
Mistakes are made when you rush, this is something I took a long, long time to learn. When I rush I fall over, I forget something and in the case of make up I mess up my face. If you're running late, take a deep breath, go at a reasonable pace for sure, but do everything as you usually would.

2. Not wiping off you mascara wand;
Clumpy mascara? We've all been there! Make sure you brush excess mascara off of your wand before diving straight in at your eyeball, but make sure you don't pump the wand in and out of the tube else your product be as dry and barren as the Sahara.

3. Rushing to fix that smudge ASAP;
If you do your foundation (the wrong way) and skin before you work on your eye make up, you'll be familiar with this mistake. Your base - flawless, all that's left to do is give yourself a quick slick of mascara and your good to go but of course sods law, you miss, you smudge and then try to quickly wipe it away. STEP AWAY FROM THAT MIRROR GIRL! Fixing a big, black and wet smudge is recipe for disaster, leave the mascara to dry on your face and come back to it later, trust me you'll thank me for this one! Using a spooly (or a dry cotton bud) gently brush back and forth and scrape the product away. You'll save your base, and your sanity!

4. Rome was not built in a day, and the perfect flick was not fluck in one swipe;Am I aware fluck is not a word? Yes, but it should be! Don't try to do your winged liner in one fell swoop you'll miss and end up with a face full of flick - not a good look.  Do your liner in stages, start with the upper eyelid complete that then move on to a flick. One lightly drawn line upwards from your outer corner, then join the end of your flick (wherever it my land!) to your upper eyelid line. Simples!

5. Not sharpening your tools;
Ever wondered why, despite your best lip lining handy work, your lipstick will still bleed through the day? Odds are that shoddy job was the result of a cracked up lip line. Keep your favourite tools sharp as your winged liner (you know everything going well) and make sure your tools are up for the task.

And clumsy girls? From one clumsy girl to another, remember to keep your make up station free of trip hazards, bring no hot beverages (or perhaps beverages of any kind) into the work room and organise your damn make up drawers! Be sure to leave your biggest beauty tips and hilare make up mistakes in the comments below, come moan about them with me on Twitter or keep up with me on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Until next time folks, make over your mistakes,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 23 November 2016

The Lazy Girls Guide to Getting Ready | 5 Time saving beauty tips

Okay I'll get up in 5 minutes and just shower this evening. Mmmm...I'll get up in 10 minutes and just throw my hair in a fun bun. Okay give me another 20 and I'll forget about eye shadow today and just do something super simple. Nah half an hour and I'll just go to work in my pyjamas.

Sound familiar?

If you're anything like me then mornings are an intense struggle, especially in the winter. No matter how early I go to bed, no matter how I wind down in the evenings and no matter how warm my house outside my covers may be, mornings will forever be a struggle. I begin every day by sleepily bartering and bargaining different aspects of my beauty routine throwing aspects out of the window in order of importance (spoiler - my winged eyeliner ALWAYS makes the cut) So today I thought I would share just how it is I am able to get ready in the morning with a few moments to spare and my little tricks and tips to keeping my beauty station organised.

1. Bag up your face;
This ain't my first rodeo kids, I know myself and I know my body and it needs those extra few minutes so no matter what I have to have my make up organised the night before so I can jump straight in with no faffing. My biggest tip here would be to put together a bag for eyes (liner, mascara, shadow etc) and a bag for your face (foundation, primer, concealer etc)

2. Prioritise;
I do this as I'm waking up. First to go is well polished hair, next eyeshadow, next contouring and highlighting etc etc. Work out which aspects you feel you can and cannot go without for the day and for every 5 minutes extra you have in bed shave one item off of your list.

3. Build around a pre-planned beauty or fashion statement;
Fancy wearing a statement red lip? Or maybe you had a super glittery eye or even a cat flick in mind? (belieive me that can take a long time, a great deal of sanity and hella cotton buds!) Make sure you start there and then build your look around that.

4. Spray bottles within reach;
How many times have you sat down to do your face to realise you haven't dampened your beauty blender? Make sure you keep two spray bottles in your vanity or nearby your make up station, one of water for those spritzing moments and one of an alcohol cleaning solution to keep your brushes and area clean and sanitized. 

5. Dry shampoo and texture spray at hand;
Because let's be honest, in our morning beauty routines, hair is always the first thing we compromise. Despite the grease if you still fancy wearing your hair down keep dry shampoo for those roots and a texturising or volumising spray to give your hair a bit of oomph.

And there you have it my very basic lazy girls guide to getting ready and my top 5 time saving tips for your morning routine. I hope you have found these useful, are able to implement some of these into your own (late and last minute) beauty routines or maybe you're SO late you've just got to throw on a bra and greet the day (yes guys, you too)

I of course always love to hear your thoughts and comments so be sure to leave our own time saving beauty tips below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to hear more lazy girl tips and beauty reviews be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Until next time folks, lazy girl OUT!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 18 November 2016

What's Black, White & Offers Kickass Gelato? | Mad Penguin Aberdeen

Who is a penguin's favourite family member?

Aunt Artica!
No we're not talking bad wrapper jokes, chocolate biscuits or even penguins themselves (shocking right?), today we're talking about a brand new business taking the sweet scene in the Granite City by storm and really stepping up the game where frozen desserts are concerned, Mad Penguin!
I had the pleasure of being invited along to Mad Penguin the day after opening to sample their gelato range in store, meet the owner, Mike, and hear a bit more about the brains behind Mad Penguin. And after having a paroose of their Facebook page, seeing just some of the delicious flavours they offer, to say I was excited would be a gross understatement.

We visited the store on a cold, rather wintery evening, but I wasn't going to let a little cool air and wind and rain and you know the general demeanor of Scotland in winter keep me from my cool, refreshing dessert!

When we entered we were greeted by the cheeriest staff members and perhaps the biggest selection of gelato flavours I've ever seen in my life! A far cry from the run of the mill flavours we're used to in the 'Deen, here you'll find no Mars bar ice creams, Irn Bru icicles or indeed Mr Whippys in sight, instead what you'll find is far more sophisticated, far more exciting and FAR more flavorsome (and dare I say healthy?!)

Made from real, natural ingredients, sourced as fresh and locally as possible, Mad Penguin staff can not only tell you exactly what's in each and every gelato in store but perhaps more impressively, can cater to any and all audiences in search of a sweet fix. From a soy range for the lactose intolerant to a sugar free range for diabetics, suffice to say Mad Penguin are changing the lives of many one gelato at a time!
Mad Penguin's Soy, Sugar Free and Lactose Free range!
After sampling what I can only call a ridiculous amount of gelato I secured a few firm flavour faves, namely the Pear and Star Anise, Watermelon, Baileys, and finally the Orange, Lemon and Juniper Berry - these are just some of my personal favourites - if these however aren't for you I guarantee they'll have something more to your taste, and if not? Don't fret as the flavours change as much as owner Mike changes his mind and get his mad scientist experimenting hat on!

It was such a pleasure speaking to Mike after our tour of their premises, it has certainly been a labour of love and has been a long time coming. Having studied the art of gelato in Italy for a number of years Mike wanted to bring an authentic Italian experience to his business and of course cater to the masses without excluding anybody - which he has certainly mastered. Mike and his staff are so friendly, so accommodating and so passionate about what they do it just makes me beam having them as part of the independent business scene in Aberdeen - particularly when what they're selling is so damn tasty! In the future Mad Penguin are planning to cater for breakfast audiences too in the form of fresh yoghurts, granola and all sorts and they already have kick ass coffee connoisseur, Paul covering your caffeine bases (Rose flavoured latte guys..... and that's all I'll say)

If you're up the Deen way please I implore you, take a visit to Mad Penguin, you certainly won't regret it but I can't promise you won't leave without a new addiction!

You can find Mad Penguin in the Netherkirkgate area of Aberdeen and of course on Facebook and Instagram if you fancy a nosy!

And of course you can find me lurking undoubtedly inside Mad Penguin but if you're tastes are more digitally based then you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, why did the Mad Penguin cross the road?

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Eat Local, Eat Filthy | Filthy Gorgeous Aberdeen

You know those mad food combinations you often dream about, you know the ones, cookies with crisps, fries in chocolate milkshake (this apparently is a thing!) deep fried delights and cheese on pretty much everything?  Those combinations you think, no that's mad I'll just settle for a plain chips and burger? Well dash it all to hell, in Filthy Gorgeous nothing is off limits and I for one am thankful, hungry and admittedly a little terrified of what this new Aberdeen eatery may do to my waistline. But on this day, this day of the #FGbloggerbrunch I didn't give two hoots.

Filthy Gorgeous comes from the (probably filthy) mind of Darren Campbell who, having spent much of his working life in various restaurants and all walks of the foodie scene, saw a gap in the market and decided to fill it with his very own Filthy Gorgeous. Not to be mistaken with popular dive burger joints, Filthy Gorgeous has a neatly presented distinctly indie decor complete with a sparkling chandelier and rounded off with a very modern photo booth (you know in case you want a before and after photograph of your culinary choices) and was a joy to sit in with my fellow bloggers for the afternoon.

The menu however, is quite another story. Distinctly filthy food, burgers and hot dogs with cereals, maple syrup and cheese galore and crazy culinary creations such as fries topped with marshmallows (correct fries TOPPED with marshmallows) sugared bacon milkshakes and even dead unicorn sundaes (we'll get to that later) of course I couldn't wait to give all of these a go, but alas my stomach cannot contain so much food so some tough decisions had to be made, but here are were my choices for that particular afternoon;

Main Event; I Dream of Weenie, a frostie crusted Chicago style smoked beef frank, cheese fondue with maple onions

Sides; Sweet Potato Fries with marshmallow & bacon shrapnel

Dessert; Dead Unicorn Sundae, jack and chocolate ice cream, a scoop of bitter cherry sorbet, Persian fairy floss, marshmallow, magic sprinkles and a sugar cone.


Unfortunately being the ninny I am and being altogether too excited for the food I didn't notice their milkshakes on offer so I had to sit through my meal staring jealously at the other girls who weren't too impatient to order one. Luckily I managed to get a great shot of Sarah's (blogs vlogs etc) Moopocalypse Cow milkshake which boasts chocolate fudge milk and chocolate ice cream topped with crumbled brownies (below)

As far as burger joints go, usually I'll roll my eyes and go 'ugh not another one'  but Filthy Gorgeous is unlike any burger joint I've visited thus far, unafraid of delving into the unusual, unabashedly filthy and what can I say they're simply a gorgeous new eatery all round and well worth a visit if you're up the Granite City way!

You can find Filthy Gorgeous on the booming Netherkirkgate in Aberdeen's city centre.

And of course you can find me and my very own Filthy Gorgeous self on the usual socials, TwitterInstagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, eat filthy, eat gorgeous, eat mallow fries!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 11 November 2016

Buying your first home | 6 Things to consider

Since publishing our new home post just last month I have been pretty inundated with emails and messages asking for advice on buying your first home - a topic, which despite having underwent the whole mortgage process quite recently, I am still a bit sketchy on myself (my other half is a financial jargon wizard - thank goodness lest I be out on the streets begging for lipstick money!) But there are a few things I have picked up and learned along the way which you yourself may want to consider before buying your first ever home.

Expect it to take double the length of time you at first think
We visited the banks (every single bank who offers a mortgage) at the end of May / beginning of June. We then started looking at houses back throughout June, with the thoughts of finding our dream home around July and going through the process of applying for a mortgage end of July / August and moving in by the time September rolls around.... that was wishful thinking. 

There are lots of people involved in your mortgage going through, where finding the house was relatively quick for us there were lots of other parties who unfortunately dragged their feet. From the housing agent communicating with the buyer regarding our numerous offers, to our poor solicitor trying to get a straight answer from our mortgage providers solicitors, you've got to wonder if it's a case of too many cooks? Either way we made it JUST in time for our rental lease ending at the beginning of September which made our move very quick, very stressful and now we're VERY thankful it's over.

Try to see beyond the existing decor
It can be quite disheartening when you see a house you thought online looked perfect and may just be 'the one' in person and it just doesn't have that quality you thought (i.e. perfectly instagrammable photography and a lighting crew fit for Beyonce) Sometimes you have to compromise and see past the present tenants decor. So orange walls aren't for you? Try to imagine it with plain white walls and look at it as a space to make your own rather than a ready made home.

Always read the home report thoroughly and learn to decipher potential issues I remember when we were looking at houses I fell in love with one in the same area we are in now. It was perfect, the decor didn't need changing, hard wood floors throughout the downstairs and the bedroom spaces were to die for. I thought I had found my one at least, perfect. On the surface. After a browse of the home report the house was found to be needing a new roof in the next year or so, have damp issues throughout and there was a chance the heating and electrics would have to be redone... perhaps not so perfect after all.

Don't jump in and spend more than you can afford
So you've been to the banks and it's fantastic news, they can lend you all the money you had budgeted for AND more, but that doesn't mean that's what you can necessarily afford. The banks are letting you know that if you stripped yourself of all luxury, that's right, no more Nandos or Netflix and you can pretty much kiss goodbye to the bus pass that'll be getting you to and from town, then that's what you can realistically afford.

Too often I've seen people jumping in with the biggest loan from the banks only to get into their lovely house only to find they can't afford to make it a home. Be sensible, not greedy.

It doesn't have to be Pinterest worthy right away
You know in the movies where the couple move into their new home and everything is perfect straight away and they can just start going about their days just like that? Yeah I'm still sorting our house out. From buying (me) and building (Nick) furniture, organising wardrobes, cupboards, keeping fridges and freezers ticking over and the cleaning (my god it's constant) in addition to getting the family pet (Marble) settled in

Budget, budget, budget
I never, ever, thought I would say this but I don't know where I would be without (Nicks) spreadsheets. Write down all of your monthly bills, mortgage, electricity, gas, council tax and of course all of your expenditures, food , phone bill, cinema passes, travel expenses and whatever you've got leftover each month is what you can save and put towards new furniture, decorating or even just a little treat for yourself.

I hope this, relatively long post has given you a bit of an insight into my mortgage experience anyway and perhaps even helped you understand what your next steps might be if you are looking to buy your first home. I'd love to do another one of these maybe on the process of looking at houses or even the process of buying (though that may not be for the faint hearted!) Let me know if you have any questions you'd like me to answer in a follow up post or if you'd just enjoy reading one of my famed 'people are rubbish' rants.

You can otherwise catch me lurking on the usual channels for example Twitter, having a rant, Instagram, having a pose (where there will also be a cat by the way...) and Bloglovin, doing what I do best.

Until next time folks, happy house hunting.

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 9 November 2016

My Rent Experience | Shit landlords say

Quick disclaimer:
Okay I'll admit, the following post was written in anger. Anger that may or may not have been spurred on by the excessive stresses that come with buying your first home, so where all of the below is true, my feelings towards them may be exaggerated...a tiny bit...

In celebration of our emancipation from the shackles of renting properties from thieves, crooks and downright con artists, here are some of the funniest things I've heard from my previous landlords in relation to housing issues, costs and their general idiocy and refusal to undertake their jobs or duties.

Upon the shower going cold after 10 minutes and calling to get this fixed

* Showers only stay hot for 10 minutes, that's the nature of showers, I don't see why you and your partner need more then 10 minutes of hot water.

Upon pointing out there is no extractor fan in our bathroom and damp had started surfacing

* Damp isn't a health risk.

After letting himself and a trades 'friend' in to have a look at some repairs that needed done...while we were out with no prior warning!

*Ach I just let myself in.

Upon finding out that their coveted 'counter lights' feature in the kitchen doesn't even work

* You don't need under counter lights to live the property is livable without them.

After living in the property for a total 30 seconds and noticing the fridge doesn't even close

* You don't need a fridge to live, just keep it closed with some heavy books.

After meeting with the landlord to discuss the damp, leaks, creaks and disrepair in his structure...

* That weed in the driveway is 'out of control'

After meeting number 2 about the damp, leaks, creaks and disrepair in the house

* Oh no damp, that leak from the previous tenant is back is it?

After refusing to lower the rent despite the structure quite literally falling a part!

* £900PCM

After being too embarrassed to show potential new tenants around the property himself because of the damage he had left for near 10 months!

* Just you show people around to re-let the property

(Said on a Thursday) Less than 1 week until our big move we should drop everthing...

* Can't you show 2 / 3 people around before Saturday?

Honestly guys sometimes while I was renting I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or become a homicidal maniac (could you really blame me) all I have to say is my thoughts and prayers are with those still renting from private landlords. I have literally never come across one who is willing or able to do their jobs correctly, or care for their tenants in the slightest (oh and did I mention the costs they're attempting to charge for their 'services' yeah see ya!)

As you guys know I love a good rant so please be sure to share your thoughts, musings and heinous landlord experiences in the comments below! But as per you can catch me and my shiny new home on Twitter and Instagram as well as more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, I'm free at last!

H.Elizabeth x

Sunday 6 November 2016

I Dream of Gin | Cocktails at Orchid Aberdeen

It's so refreshing when you meet people who are genuinely passionate about their craft. People who could sit and chat for hours about their business and who always greet customers with a smile, this sums up city centre cocktail bar and Aberdeen hot spot, Orchid, to a tee. Home to the inventive minds behind Porters Gin and no stranger to the odd award winning bartender, Orchid is always first on my list of nightly hot spots.

Recently the Aberdeen bloggers and I had the pleasure of being invited along to Orchid to have a chat about the business,  learn a bit more about the brains behind the bottles (Porters Gin that is) and of course enjoy some stellar cocktails from their new winter menu, and with my other half in tow for his first ever blogger event. Here's how we got on.

Mini masterclass & the pink orchid
To start off our evening I got behind the bar and showed the other bloggers how it was done...Nah I'm just kidding but I did get to make a pretty fantastic Pink Orchid Cocktail (THE cocktail of the Aberdeen drinking scene if you didn't know) We were given a brief history of the drink, a rundown on how to create your own version of the pink orchid and we even came up with a rather fantastic tasting melon daiquiri!

A history of gin
Being the 'in drink' of the moment, Orchid have fully embraced the spirit with their own Porters Gin (delish!) and we were treated to a trio of gin's from throughout the ages. Suffice to say these guys seriously know their stuff, from conception to creation and all of the nasty, gritty bits in between it's amazing to hear just how far gin as a drink has come and changed into the sophisticated beverage we know and love (a little too much sometimes) today.

Brand new Winter Cocktails
For our groups grand finale we were treated to three new cocktails from Orchid's winter menu. The Religious Robbery (my favourite)  a gin based, spiced pina colada and a new take on the sweet and vanilla pink orchid from earlier which is unlike anything I have ever tasted for sure. The Honey Rice, a rum lovers dream full of dark notes and warming to the core, and finally the Beerlini, a long drink, which is exactly what it sounds like and unfortunately not my cup of tea or indeed cocktail of choice.

During the winter months Orchid will be releasing 8 new winter cocktails, and each cocktail will be associated with a location in Aberdeen, for example rum based Honey Rice is associated with Fittie for it's piratey connotations (clever huh?) Originally inspired by a New Orleans bars idea, Orchid have placed their own Aberdonian twist on this clever piece of marketing which encourages cocktail connoisseurs and visitors alike to get out and explore the city. A badge will be presented with each cocktail and customers will be encouraged to go and snap a selfie at their given cocktail location which may win you a prize when you next visit.

Thoroughly buzzed and happy with the evenings events we stumbled home, ending another holly jolly night at my favourite cocktail bar. I'm so looking forward to visiting Orchid over the festive period and much as my liver may not agree I'm feeling pretty determined to attain every badge and tick every place off of Orchid's list. What can I say? I want to be the very best... like no one ever was...

Hopefully once again you guys have enjoyed this small glimpse into Granite City life and perhaps have found a new Aberdeen haunt if you've never visited Orchid before (say whaaaat?) If you like what I've done here I do even more! Right here on Twitter, right here on Instagram and of course more from the Blog, here on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, spice up your gin?

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 4 November 2016

Saks x Manic Panic | Maintaining Coloured Hair

In case you hadn't noticed, I have pink hair.

Okay as you all know I'm the first to admit that I'm not the greatest with hair and the extent of my styling abilities goes as far as a messy bun and on good days a high pony. Otherwise, nada. So it was probably a surprise to my hairdresser (and myself if I'm honest) when I walked into my tried, trusted and much loved Saks and said, 'make it pink' since you know coloured and brightly coloured hair in particular is one of the most high maintenance things you could probably do to your hair ever.

But not one to be discouraged from being a pastel princess I decided to enlist the help of my hairdresser and throw myself mercilessly at her feet and ask her for the top tips for maintaining brightly coloured hair;

1. Weekly top ups with Manic Panic;
Saks gave me my little Manic Panic tub home with me to give myself at at home top up for when the colour does fade - just as well too as I'm a serial washer! I've made up a couple of little tubs (using my recyclable Lush pots) of the colour I need, pastellised using colour protect conditioner by Tres Emme.

2. Wash sparingly;
Perhaps the most difficult thing for me was coming to terms with not washing my hair daily, my head can be a bit of a grease ball when it isn't washed so I've had to do some serious 'training' I started with once every second day and attempted to move it to once every three....let's just say it's a work in progress.

3. Rinsing with cold water;
When I do dye my hair at home I rinse with cold water as the colour doesn't run quite as much with a colder temperature. Hey don't ask me to explain the science on this - I just work here!

4. Colour protect shampoo;
This is pretty much a given for anyone who not only has brightly coloured hair, but coloured hair in general, this will keep your colour looking more vibrant for a good few washes more than traditional colourants.

5. Visit Saks Hairdresser in Union Square! Since firs visiting the salon three long years ago can't you just tell how much love I have for them?

Do you have colourful or even simply coloured hair? How do you keep your colours looking vibrant and vivacious? Be sure to leave your tips and tricks in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter or you can keep up with me and the blog on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, colour me pink!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 2 November 2016

MAC Facebook Giveaway | Hannah Adams Make Up Artistry

MAC Lipstick giveaway

In celebration of reaching 500 likes on my business Facebook page and the relaunch of Hannah Adams Make Up Artistry following our big move in September I'm hosting another MAC giveaway.7

How to enter:

Visit my Facebook page right here to enter, all you have to do is like my page, the post and comment which MAC lipstick you'd like, to be in with a chance of winning!

Thank you again to all of you out there keeping up with my weekly beauty and make up artistry shenanigans right here, and of course everyone along the way who has supported my new venture. I hope to have lots and lots of big news and updates for you in the coming months as I'm working alongside new businesses and really trying to give it my all, but for now good luck in my second MAC giveaway and be sure to find me on the usual channels, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin' and of course Facebook.

Until next time folks, 

H.Elizabeth x

Tuesday 1 November 2016

October Overview | My month in Instas

Catch up

Here's to another month of 2016 gone, seriously where has the time gone? This has been another whirlwind month in my life, particularly in terms of blogging and the Aberdeen scene which continues to blow up with exciting new businesses, concepts and of course even more new blogger faces I had the pleasure of meeting. But enough about them! We're here to talk about me, and my monthly roundup in images.

1. This month I was pleased to dabble with even more great products as well as revisit some time honoured classes, and put them to good use and posted my first ever eye make up tutorial, which you can find right here.

2. Lush launched their Christmas range in stores and I was so excited that I went a little overboard and came out carrying 2 bags of goodies. Bears store food and fat for the winter, I store fresh bath bombs!

3. I had the pleasure of visiting Revolution earlier this month (on what can be described as the final day of the Scottish summer) to sample their brand spanking new pizza menu with my fellow bloggers. I was pleasantly surprised at how innovative they were with the flavours and how easily they put some creative twists on a time honoured classic. You can read my full review on that right here.

4. As well as sampling the culinary delights of the 'deen I was lucky enough to work alongside the BBC Good Food Show Scotland again this year to deliver a fab competition to win tickets to this years show, and to all you winners I look forward to seeing you along at the show!

5. And if food wasn't enough this month I also attended cocktail bar Orchid to sample their new winter cocktail menu, learn a bit more about their business and taste some gin.

6. In preparation for Halloween I bought a truckload of products to practice 'weenie make up on my face and came up with a couple of looks, one being my half skull half zombie...wait no...just my regular face...

7. And if food AND drink wasn't enough we also had our first ever Aberdeen Bloggers Halloween Party at Bo'sn in the Academy Shopping centre which was great fun, we sure are a creative bunch here in Aberdeen.

8. This month I re-launched Hannah Adams Make Up Artistry on Facebook and attended a fantastic Women into Business event with Amy Hardie of Amy Hardie Designs where we enjoyed an evening listening to Linton and Mac share their top business tips and networking with fellow business women in Aberdeen - and I can't wait for the next one in November!

9. Okay maybe this isn't big news to many, however I started watching Stranger Things this month and I am HOOKED and now finished - in about a day! About a year or so behind everyone else I know but hey, better late than never right?

Hopefully November will be just as exciting as October was and of course as usual you can keep up with me, my posts, my life, face and cat on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, this has been my October overview.

H.Elizabeth x

Sunday 30 October 2016

This is Halloween | Scary Skull Make Up

For a few years now I have been interested in character and SFX make up but I just never had or found the time to have a dabble myself. I marvel at make up artists on You Tube with their spooky special effects, melting faces, nails through noses and let's not forget the zipped faces (though admittedly some of these I'm a bit too squeamish to try out on myself) This year however, continuing with my endeavour to improve my overall skills as I venture forth into make up artistry-dom I set aside a bit of time at the weekend to play around with a few of my new make up goodies from this post right here.

This year the most popular Halloween inspired make up seems to be skulls, half skulls, melting skulls, sugar skulls you name it you can't move on instagram for seeing skulls. So I decided to be oh so different and do a half skull, half vintage inspired make up look for Halloween party number one of the season! 

The products I used to achieve the above look (the skull side!) were:

  • Generic brand black liner pencil to mark out the 'black areas' including my eye socket, my 'cheekbones' the teeth and to mark our one half of my face.

  • Snazaroo facepaint in plain white to go all over my face, which I applied around 2 / 3 coats to give it a less sheer quality and more opaque and 'bone like' appearance.
  • Snazaroo facepaint in black to carve out the mouth, teeth, fill in the eye socket (not the lid or waterline!) and mixed together to create a bit of shading for the jaw and teeth.
  • Black eyeshadow to go over the eyelid and give a bit of dimension to all of the little details like the teeth, nose, eye socket etc.

Of course it isn't perfect, but for a first attempt I'll say it wasn't half bad and I had so much fun playing with brand new products and you know...scaring my husband when he came home from work that day! I managed to create this look in around 20 minutes for the Aberdeen Bloggers Halloween Party (Aberscream) when it rolled around last week and I'm planning on giving it another go this weekend for our besties annual Halloween party.

Though this of course wasn't a tutorial or review of some sort I thought it might be nice to continue this weeks Halloween theme and just share a little bit of what I'm up to as I don't often do that anymore, hopefully you've found this interesting, learned something new or at least got a little into the spooky season. If you want to keep up to date with my latest looks, posts and every other little thing you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, stay creepy.

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 28 October 2016

This is Halloween | ASOS Wishlist

Halloween fashion

It has been a hot minute since I published a fashion post of any kind, namely because I generally spend my days in pyjamas or stretchy, comfy sweats and baggy t-shirts, nothing to write to Vogue about if you catch my drift. But this, Autumn time, October time, Halloween time is also my time to shine and ever since the season began, ever since it was socially acceptable to drink pumpkin spiced lattes, dig out your winter coats and of course dress your home in all things 'weenie I have built up quite a list of Halloween goodies that I fully intend on splurging on for the big day... and you know living my spooky wee life in general. So below are my top picks from fashion blogger fave ASOS for the spookiest season of the year.. and you know.. my new wardrobe staples...

Did some of your picks appear on my list? Share your favourite Halloween haute couture links in the comments below and be sure to find me being my same old spooky self on the usual socials, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, creep up the good work!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 26 October 2016

This is Halloween | Halloween Make Up Haul

Make up haul

As a kid Halloween was not my thing. After a traumatic experience where I had a panic attack at a party in my plastic bag costume, in addition to my mum (falsely) telling me I was allergic to Halloween make up, I hung up my cat ears and whiskers and declared the seasons activities were not for me. Things of course changed as I got older and now I grab pretty much any opportunity to dress up and be my witchy little self.

And this year given I have gotten even more into make up artistry than ever, I decided why not give some of those Halloween make up tutorials a bash? And with that I headed into my local Halloween HQ store and of course Boots, and stocked up on the essentials.

Snazaroo Face Paint black and whiteI'm planning on using these two pans for detail work, the paint is quite thin so not really up for an expasive area.

Snazaroo Clown Make Up in whiteThis is a thick, heavy duty cream make up, designed for large, full coverage areas you know like my chubby cheeks!

Nyx Eye Primer in blackThis is going to be great for blackening my eyes for sallow, creepy looks. Or detail work should the paint fail me!

Nyx Eye Liner in black and whiteInstead of simply using these for Halloween looks, I'll use these for a variety of looks throughout the year.

Barry M Lipstick in blackThe HARDEST thing to find in the beauty world ever!

I'm looking forward to seeing just what looks I can create with these few bits and pieces, I'm also debating picking up some spirit gum, liquid latex and fake blood but for now I think I'll see just how I get on with paint - and see if what my mum told me as a child really was true! Be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram pages as well as my make up artistry Facebook page to see what I'm up to looks wise and just what I am able to achieve (as a virgin SFX'er) Have you been experimenting with SFX and Halloween make up recently? Be sure to leave links to your looks in the comments below and share the spooks!

Until next time folks, stay creepy!

H.Elizabeth x

Sunday 23 October 2016

Getting Political | Are you the proud owner of a Vagina? Reg PMS?

Tampon tax

Do you or one of your friends or family members own a vagina? Good then you'll want to hear this. For centuries, in fact guys let's get real here, since the dawn of time, ladies have undergone a monthly menstruation cycle, known as the 'period', where a woman will shed blood from her uterus commonly once a month for between 3 and 7 days - but as we all know every body is different and isn't that just beautiful?

But did you know that throughout all of these years there has been a tax on being the proud owner of a vagina? A tax you pay undoubtedly and without thought on a monthly basis that bleeds your purses and wallets dry in the form of sanitary items and pain relief. An expense that government has never thought to supply us with free of charge, as they do with contraceptives such as condoms, despite a period being a natural health issue completely outwith our control, unlike of course sex which we can't possibly abstain from.... A woman will spend an average £6,000 on sanitary items in her lifetime and an additional £2,000 on pain relief in relation to the pains that come along with our monthly bleed dry, but today us ladies of the UK have an opportunity to change all of that.

By signing this UK Gov petition, asking the government to make tampons and sanitary towels free in the same way in which health care and contraceptive products are free, and sharing it with all of you I'm ensuring I have my say on the type of future girls and women will have. Now of course, I'm not an idiot, these petitions though so, so valuable and such a great quality of democracy, may not even see the light of day in parliament since 100,00 signatures only means it will be 'considered', but guys.. you just never know so please do have your say and don't be discouraged.

Until next time folks, 

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 21 October 2016

Waterproof Foundation? | Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation Review

Waterproof Foundation

Waterproof foundation? When I heard these two words put together, and in a press release from Urban Decay Cosmetics, I KNEW I had to have it. The Urban Decay All Nighter was launched only a couple of months ago now and I have been trying it now in the shade 0.5 (the lightest shade FYI) for a couple of weeks since buying it ages ago an being too unwilling to use it because the packaging, the packaging was just too beautiful. But then I had a day. One day that I thought would be just perfect to test out a waterproof foundation.... the wettest day of the season so far!

The foundation itself is marketed as a full coverage, matte formula with waterproof properties and promises not to feel cakey or uncomfortable. Matte is actually not something I have a great deal of experience with given my skin type is generally quite dry however after doing a bit of research I found girls with dry skin, oily skin, combo skin, all skin types generally got along with this foundation  and the swatches had me sold! 

Waterproof Foundation

I know I say this a lot as a beauty blogger, and as a beauty blog reader I imagine you read this a lot too, but I'm not kidding when I say a little of this product goes a long, long way (and if you can think of another way of me to write that please tell me in the comments below) Usually with my Naked foundation by Urban Decay I'll dot, blend and then dot all over again and then go in with concealer, with this foundation however I dot sparingly blend and then I can right away go in and contour / highlight and all of that glitter bomb jazz! The coverage is amazing and having used it with my go to primer I was super impressed with how long it lasted through the day (yes through the wind AND rain) and didn't oxidise as badly as I thought it may.

Now, I know I read in many, many places that despite it's matte quality that this foundation is absolutely fine for drier skin, well I'm calling it... no, no it is not. The day I chose to debut this I didn't have a visible patch of dry skin on my face, however when I got home in the evening and went to take my face off I had dry patches on my forehead. So this foundation WILL find a dry patch on my face and WILL cling to it - not a great look. However I do think I'm going to persevere as the finish and the look it gives my skin is just so damn good an porcelain looking that I'm willing to undergo a more intense moisturising routine.

Have you had a chance to try out Urban Decay's All Nighter Foundation, I'd really love to hear what you thought of it in relation to your own skin type. Be sure to leave all thoughts, comments and musings below or come find me on the usual socials, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin to have a good ole chinwag about it.

Until next time folks, I could go an all nighter!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Copper Smokes | Autumn Eye Make up Tutorial

Autumn Copper Make up geek

Some like copper in their homes, some like copper accessories, phone cases, key rings, jewellery etc. Me? I like copper where you can see it, right on my eyeballs (or thereabouts) So today I'm bringing you my first ever make up tutorial featuring some of my favourites by Bobbi Brown, Make Up Geek and one of my fave tubers Manny MUA (and of course...lashes, lots and lots of lashes!)

Make up geek

1. Make up Geek X Manny MUA Cosmopolitan & Frappe
Use Cosmopolitan to define your crease using a fluffy brush in light sweeping motions to build up the colur - this will be your transition shade.
Darken up your crease with the shade Frappe using the same fluffy crease brush.

2. Make up Geek X Manny MUA Mars & Aphrodite
Using a smaller domed brush sweep Mars along the crease and lightly in the outer corner of your eye, blending with your larger fluffy brush when required.
Using that same brush go over your outer corner and crease with a touch of Aphrodite and blend as required again.

3. MAC Fix+ & Make up Geek X Manny MUA Luna  & Artemis
Spritz a flat shader brush with MAC's Fix+ (not a necessary step but helps the pigment come through more vibrantly) and pack on the shade Luna from the middle of your eye to your inner corner.
Blend together your outer corner and your mid shades with a small, dry shader brush.
Highlight your inner most (demons) corner with a light dusting of Artemis.

4. Make up Geek X Manny MUA Mars & Aphrodite
Using a pencil brush pick up a light dusting of Mars and Aphrodite then drag ad blend this underneath your eye - just under the waterline. You can take this as far along as you like, I personally always go halfway along as I feel it opens my eye up that much more.

5. Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Liner in Black Ink & Mascara
Use a damp winged liner brush to line the top of your eyelid and create a 'cat eye flick' then use your favourite mascara (I use both Arbonne Mascara and Benefit's Roller lash) to make your lashes blacker than black.

You can then finish off your look by applying a set of your favourite false lashes, here I have used Eylure Definition Lashes in style 121.

Now you're all set to conquer those dark autumnal nights, sparkling, shining and wearing copper in a brand new way (also you may even now be able to match those oh so chic homewares and accessories we spoke about earlier!)

Hopefully you have enjoyed my first ever eye make up tutorial, I post looks like this all the time over on my Twitter and Instagram so do comment below or even on the socials if you'd like me to do another. Otherwise I thank you for taking the time to paroose this particular post and I look forward to catching you on the next one.

Until next time folks, colour me copper!

H.Elizabeth x

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