Friday 27 May 2016

My First Ever | NYX Haul Boots Union Square

Union Square Aberdeen

Hallelu, NYX has come to the Granite City, Union Square to be exact and I could not be more excited! I have seen so many rave reviews for NYX products from my favourite beauty bloggers and vloggers out there, but my are they difficult to get your hands on for a good ole swatch sesh especially in the UK. But today the good old Granite has been blessed with a brand new NYX counter in Boots, Union Square and naturally I was first in line to trial and push my very own purse to it's limits.

NYX Jumbo Liner in the shade Milk
I have never seen a You Tuber who hasn't used this jumbo liner. Whether they're using it as a base, as an actual liner or for SFX inspired tutorials this was just something I knew I had to get my grubby wee mitts on!

NYX Colour Corrector Palette
Some may say colour correcting is over but in the world of make up artistry, nu uh honey! Colour correcting has been around since the times of yore and long may it continue!

NYX Yellow Colour Correct Concealer
Dark circles....nuff said. Swatch after swatch I got excited at the quality of the product so I'm excited to see how this stands the test of time...and sweat.... and smile lines.

NYX Vivid Bright Liquid Liner in the shade Sapphire 
As I've been dabbling in a few more dramatic looks, what can be more dramatic than an electric, sapphire blue liquid liner!?! Stay tuned for some of my more quirky, out there looks in future.

NYX Soft Matte lip cream in the shades Cannes and London
No matter how hard I try, I cannot escape these nudey, brown, red colours. Like a moth to a flame! And I've heard through the grapevine that these can serve as fantastic, low cost dupes for some of the bigger, high end matte lip creams....only time will tell!

NYX Liquid Suede lipstick in Stone Fox
Well I wished for a black which was blacker than black but I had to settle for a slate. As I mentioned above I'm looking to practice a few more 'out there' and SFX inspired looks in the coming months so I thought this would do nicely. Stay tuned for the verdict of course!

Once again, thank you for reading and helping me alleviate some of those guilty feelings I've been having since spending a fair bit on these products! I will be posting more in depth reviews of the individual products once I have trialled and tested them for a significant period so do stay tuned for that. As per you can catch me mulling about on the usual channels, Twitter for rants and musings, Instagram for made up faces, Facebook for business and Bloglovin for more of the above!

Until next time folks, sweet dreams my NYX!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Kylie Jenner Lip Kits | First impressions

Yes, sue me, I fell for the hype, yet again, and you know something? I don't regret anything (#noregrets #YOLO) So yes, I stayed up until midnight, yes I furiously typed my card details in at a pace that would make roadrunner puff, and okay yes I put up with the cray, cray shipping charges that cosmetics from America tend to cost all to purchase not one, not two, but three of Kylie Jenner's much coveted lip kits.

After trying a couple of times previously and having my items removed from the basket due to sell outs at the final hurdle I admit I wasn't holding out much hope to get all three shades I had been after, but funnily enough I managed (much to my husband and bank balances dismay!) *Quick tip, I managed to bag mine quite quickly and easily, with time to spare it seemed as I went for the older colours the day Kourt K was released so that might help a little if you're still trying to get yours.  

This time around I got my hands on Dolce K, Koko K and Mary Jo K, all of which were just different enough for me to justify buying all three! Another word of advice, never ladies and gentleman, base your purchases on the colour swatches you see online. I learned this as all three shades look so much more intense and darker on my pale skin tone, which I had expected anyway so it wasn't an unpleasant surprise. Mary Jo K is a red rose red, Dolce K is what I would have expected of True Brown but can be described as a milky coffee and Koko K is a coffee pink colour which I think is my favourite so far!

Now does the formula hold up? In short yes, the wear on these lipsticks and their liners (buttery AF) is incredible, they last all day without needing a top up (as long as you're not oiling your lips up!) and they look fantastic all day too. As with any and all liquid lipsticks they're not magical! So you do have to exfoliate and moisturise your lips properly to give yourself as smooth a base as possible for application, that way you ensure your lips will stay beautiful and pout perfect all day long.

Overall I'm really really pleased with these liquid lipsticks, they're the best and least drying formula I've tried thus far, they look fantastic and they're less than the cost of a MAC lipstick and liner (and that was with postage!). I'm a little concerned with running out of the liner a little prematurely but I hear liners may be in the works to being sold individually as well as in the kits and my only other concern is when the hell I can get my hands on more!!!!

Have you been able to get your hands on a Kylie Lip Kit? What are your thoughts on them, I would love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to leave your mind in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram even, or if you'd like to keep up with the Kylie Jenner lip kit addicts you can follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, obsessed!

H.Elizabeth x

Sunday 22 May 2016

Get it in the bin | Make Up Shelf Life

Now we're all guilty of this, I know we are! I myself have been known to hoard and covet some products WAY beyond the point of acceptance, but for the good of our skin we need to shape up and brush up on the shelf life of our make up. Since posting this on my make up artistry Facebook page I've been pretty inundated with messages of but what will happen if I don't throw away my foundation, but what if this and what if that. Well to put it quite bluntly, acne, blindness, DEATH!!! Okay I'm exaggerating, but the effects of out of date products on your skin ain't good. I mean would you eat a yoghurt covered in mould? Or drink from a separated carton of milk? Nope so why put something like that on your face? Do yourself a favour, make it this months resolution to replace or get rid of any out of date beauty products that you and I both know are lurking in the back of your beauty cabinet and start this summer a new.

Are you guilty? Do the expiry dates on some of your favourites shock you? Let me know in the comments below, come and share your outrage with me on Twitter or as per you can keep up with me and my world shattering news on Instagram, Facebook and Bloglovin.

This has been your weekly PSA by Granite City Girl, stay safe and stay sanitary!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 20 May 2016

Not another blogger event | Spring Grazing with Giraffe

Spring, spring, spring. With each new spring and lamb bleat in the fields there's another new menu popping up at another restaurant, and when that happens, you can bet we bloggers are there with bells on and our forks at the ready. This week Giraffe invited the Abzmeet gang and a few others along to sample their brand new spring menu, featuring starters of all varieties, mains of all tastes, creeds and religions and desserts so delectable you can't help but order one of each! (maybe just me) And let's not get started on the cocktails.

For we Aberdonians and fellow Granite City gal pals (and boy pals I ain't sexist!) our Giraffe restaurant is situated on the upper level of my much beloved shopping centre Union Square. In amongst a sea of Italians, pizza huts and budget restaurants is one of me favourite places to go for a 'nice meal' so when they came a callin' you know I  was one of the first to answer. 

We arrived on the evening and got the choice of sampling a starter, main and cocktail or main, dessert and cocktail... guys is that even a choice?! The food I ended up going for on the night was their main of a new Harissa Chicken Burger which is basically a spiced chicken burger with an assortment of garden weeds and a side of chips...I am of course exaggerating! What I mean is there is a lot of veg in the burger but it's lovely all the same if you're into eatin' greens. And to finish off a dessert of white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake which was DELICIOUS but very very filling and perhaps one to miss if you haven't got the sweetest of sweet tooths. 

Now I dedicate a paragraph to my cocktail.... my cocktail. Finally I chose one that wasn't a bum! Usually I'm a terrible judge of cocktail, I'll see a flavour I traditionally like for example lemon, strawberry or mint and go for it right away only to find it's whisky based, tequila infused or generally just a bit too much for me to handle. Quite a running theme in my life I dare say. Tonight though, tonight I struck gold...well yellow as it was a mango cocktail I went for. The cocktail I chose, mainly because most others chose it, was a Mango Mule, and all I'll say is it's a vodka, mango, long, tall glass of deliciousness and I was only sad I didn't have 2, or 4!

Overall I'm pleased to see Giraffe moving away from the sort of homely, warming dishes I usually associate with their brand and they're offering something a bit lighter, fresher tasting and generally spring-y. Though if you're not into Portuguese style dishes and cooking at the very least I recommend popping in for a cocktail...and a dessert, you won't regret it!

As per you can catch me on the usual channels chatting beauty, travel and probably cats and more beauty on Twitter, see more looky looks on Instagram and Facebook and of course more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, I wanted to pop in a giraffe noise here but I'm not sure they make one!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Hotter Shoe | My #HotterMoment

Hear me out guys. Okay so Hotter isn't exactly the first place which springs to mind when you hear a 20 something lady is shopping for shoes, but why not? A couple of weeks ago myself and a handful of the Abzmeet blogger gang were invited along to Hotter to hear a bit more about the business, try on all of the shoes out little hearts desired and hear just how Hotter stand a part from the crowd in a sea of stilettos!

I came away with these lovely vintage delights, recently I've been loving dressing to the nines (well lets say seven and a halves?) in my midi skirts, cincher belts and let's not forget my cat flicks, so I thought what better way to round off my look than with a pair of vintage inspired heels fresh from the 50s? Usually I have such trouble finding shoes that fit me just right, but in Hotter something just clicked, it fit my width, my length and with the help of half an insole I had my #HotterMoment or what I like to call my Cinderella moment.

I've been so enjoying wearing these with anything and everything! From a hot to trot leather midi to body con dresses and most recently to work with my ever edgy culottes, dare I say comfiest day at work ever!

All I can say about Hotter is this is a classic case of don't knock it until you've tried it, and now you can try it that much cheaper using the code PPATEN before the 30th of June for £10 off all first full price orders as well as benefiting from free delivery. May I make a small recommendation here? Buy their memory foam trainers because... HEAVEN....Heaven!

Until next time folks, go on... have your #HotterMoment.

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 13 May 2016

Granite City Style | Bon Accord Summer Style 2016

Useless. Utterly useless. When it comes to style in summer that's really the only way you can describe a former goth kid like myself. Instead of integrating with everyone else into floral patterns, brights and tanning at the first sight of sun I'm still sat clutching my winter wares, destined for a life in dark knits, greys, varied shades of black and a summer of melting in general! So, any help, as you can imagine, is greatly appreciated, and when I saw an invitation to Aberdeen's Bon Accord Centre for their summer style showcase of 2016 I was pretty intrigued. 

Showcasing all of the hottest summer trends for this year all of my favourite brands were out in full force, everyone from Benefit and Warehouse to newbies such as Jigsaw and scotch favourite Ness, everyone had something unique to offer us for the evening. Focusing on dewy, summer skin, the beauty brands were out in force with new tanning solutions (not my cuppa), highlighters in all shades of the unicorn rainbow and of course glosses, glosses galore which I was only too happy to sample!

The fashion brands gave us such great pointers for how to combine the hottest prints and textures of the season with colour pop bags by Coach which helped me leave with oodles of fashion inspiration and a shopping list as long as my arm. I was glad to see that the brands didn't just throw the top summer trends from the magazines at us, as I feel they so often miss the mark when it comes to weather. Bon Accord were great in that they displayed coats, jackets, handbags that weren't ridiculously tiny and all of it wearable!

Overall I was pleased to find that a lot of this summers trends are pretty up my street, and hey I may even add a pop of colour if I'm feeling super daring, what are your top summer picks? Be sure to leave your summer staples in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter, or if you just can't get enough you can catch me on Bloglovin, Instagram and Facebook

 H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Ooops I tripped! | Sephora Haul

Woops...what can I say guys, I um... tripped and fell straight into Sephora on our travels recently, and then I tripped again and again, counter to counter until I racked up quite a hefty bill. What can I say? I'm just that clumsy, but on the bright side not only have I totally buffed out my kit, got some great new products to play with and found a few new firm favourites, but I've also got something to blog about! Isn't it great when these things work out? So without further ado and going into too too much detail here is my special Spanish Sephora haul.

Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate PaletteToo Faced are quickly becoming more and more known for their eyeshadow palettes here in the UK, and after watching a fair few tutorials and giving it a great deal of thought I decided to go for the slightly cooler toned Semi Sweet Chocolate Palette. Stick around for my full review in the future as well as a couple of looks I've been loving creating recently. And yes really does smell like chocolate and it's awesome!

Too Faced Bulletproof Brows KitI've been on the hunt for a good brow gel for a while and I've got to be honest, I'm not entirely sure this is it, but I'm more than willing to give it a good go for a while. Having been a brow pencil addict through and through I think it'll take an adjustment but hey, I'll try anything once!

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in NudeY'all know how I love my liquid lipsticks. Having dabbled with Revlon, LA Splash and more recently Kylie Cosmetics I fancied picking up just one more to add to the collection and you know for...research purposes! I picked this one up in nude and it was love at first swatch, I'm looking forward to testing out the formula and giving it a good ole comparison post in the future.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in VanillaHype, hype, hype. The higher end version of my much loved collection concealer (a considerably cheaper and amazing alternative for those on a budget) so I'm looking forward to seeing how this holds up compared to it's counterpart.

Nars Highlighting Blush in AlbatrossHaven't we all just gots to get that glow? I've been testing out quite a few different highlighting products recently including creams, blush, colour correct techniques by brands such as MAC, Revlon, Bourjois... all sorts really. When I swatched this Nars product in Sephora (admittedly having never heard of it before) it was love, and I now hold it as my own favourite and a kit favourite!

Sephora EyeshadowsSephora eyeshadows have never been something I've heard raved about, but I'm absolutely baffled as to why. I decided to pick up a couple of gold, coppery shades in a glitter and a shimmer simply because of how darn pigmented my swatches in store were (stay tuned!)

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara (sample size) & Too Faced Hangover Primer (sample size)
As a wee prize for spending so much on Too Faced cosmetics I was given a couple of samples to take away, one being the much coveted and raved about Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara and the Too Faced Hangover Primer.

Well now I have repented my sins and cleansed my soul, I feel so much better, now I just need to give my bank balance a bit of time to heal! What do you guys think of my picks? Is there anything you would have picked up in addition? Be sure to leave your comments below, come share them with me on Twitter, or if you'd like to see EVEN MORE make up you can visit me on Facebook and Instagram!

Until next time folks, repent, repent, repent!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 6 May 2016

Building my Pro MUA Kit | Bobbi Brown BBU Palette

As a new make up artist it can be a challenge working out just where to start when it comes to building your kit and when it comes to specifics like foundations, eyeshadows, blushes, you sort of just want to throw your brushes in the air and hide away from it all, because there is just....SO....MUCH...CHOICE. But I have found that a great place to start is with one great go to palette that can take you through concealers, colour correctors AND foundations without having to fiddle about with individual bottles and go through the dramas and nightmares that come with picking and choosing different shades.

Following some advice from my GC tutor as well as a bit of research online I decided to opt for the Bobbi Brown BBU palette. Bobbi Brown is a brand who focus namely on skin and not masking your natural beauty but rather enhancing it, perfect if you're working with a bride or someone who isn't quite used to wearing quite as much make up as someone like me is. The BBU palette is made up of Bobbi Browns signature cream foundation sticks in all the colours of the skin tone rainbow, as well as creamy concealers and colour correctors that ought to help you handle anything life and face throws at you from dark circles to redness, wrinkles and skin discolouration, this is your go to.

Again this is a product that is best warmed up and placed on the face using your fingers and then going in and working with a brush or damp beauty blender to buff it into the skin. Personally I have been buffing the product into the skin using a Real Techniques Expert Face brush and getting rid of any lines with a damp sponge or beauty blender. Though the foundation is made to offer a light coverage the product is fairly buildable and if you wanted you could go back in with some darker  and lighter concealers and foundation colours to create some contoured and highlighted effects on the face the formula is just that versatile.

Having used this on pretty much ALL of the clients I have had so far I am pleased to report I haven't really ran into any issues, and none of the ladies I've had in my chair have complained of a reaction or anything from the formula (though skin prep is always a useful skill to employ so I will do a post on skin prep in the future for those of you who are wondering)

The palette is a little more on the pricey side, retailing at around £200, and I wouldn't recommend getting this if you're not planning on pursuing a career in make up artistry because DAMN GIRL these are expensive, but they do literally have any and all of the colours you're going to need so as a make up artist consider this as a necessary evil... I mean investment.... woops.

Again I hope you have enjoyed this little, teensy weensey peek into my make up artistry kit,  I of course have a far more extensive skin, foundation, concealer and skincare range than this, so if you are interested in seeing just what it is I use on dry skin, oily skin or even the skin prep I do for any skin types be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below! Otherwise you can catch me and my varying alter egos on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and of course more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, Bobbi, you are bae!


Wednesday 4 May 2016

The Body Shop | Oils of Life facial oil review

How doust I live without thee, one would like to know! Every time I finish one of my much loved beauty products I do tend to channel a little LeAnne Rimes, because honestly, how do I live?! And that is just the emotional roller-coaster I boarded when my favourite, show stopper of a facial oil ran out last week and it ain't even pay day!

Now if you're an avid reader you'll know that way way back in around October I attended a beauty bloggers event at my local Body Shop where I got the chance to sample their then brand new spa range as well as test out a few new upcoming products, i.e. their fresh nude foundation which I am still a strong advocate of! There I came away with what you could call a plethora of products, from exfoliators, to foundations, bath potions and lotions and of course this, my Oils of Life rejuvenating facial oil.

Admittedly when oils first became 'a thing' in the beauty sphere during the last year or so, I was sceptical, I felt like it was the chance for big corporations to jump on the bandwagon and try to sell me a product I simply didn't need, and oil on my face? Come on guys sometimes my face already looks like a slip n slide and I didn't need anything helping that along. But despite my cynicisms I gave it a bash anyway, and guys... it has CHANGED MY LIFE... or, well at the very least my face!

It's a common misconception that facial oils are only made for people with normal or dry skin but this isn't the case at all, in fact one of the main reasons you'll find you have oily skin is because your body is creating more and more as it doesn't have enough, enter facial oils. Oils of life could really help balance out your skin, whether it's not enough oil, an excess of oil, or if you're just looking for a more luxe treat for your skin, you've come to the right place!

With a natural origin of 99% and infused with 3 seed oils from across the globe, (black cumin, camellia and rosehip) the product has a super lightweight, luxe feel to it that doesn't leave your face feeling sticky or in need of a good wash afterwards. Now whether or not this really does reduce the signs of ageing remains to be seen, but I can tell you I have successfully moved house, survived Christmas and all of the family / work dramas under the sun without gaining a single wrinkle. Coincidence? I think not!

For me this works best just after cleansing, so I cleanse with a balm in the morning, put on my oil and then follow with my usual moisturiser / primer / make up routine, and again in the evening just after I shower. I find the oil helps my moisturiser sink into my skin that bit better and I don't have to wait as long to jump in with my usual make up faves. And speaking of make up, mine has been sitting better than ever since investing in an oil so #noregrets!

If you're thinking of investing in a good solid facial oil, the Body Shop have got you covered and I just love the service they provide in my local at least. I walked away previously with a new skin care regime, that admittedly I did tailor a little when I got home but nonetheless felt very content with following their suggestions.

Until next time folks, that's it from me and my wrinkle free (for now) face!

H.Elizabeth x

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