Sunday, 24 April 2016

Review | Barry M That's How I Roll Mascara

Barry M, mascara, Barry M That's How I Roll, makeup, makeup reviewBarry M, mascara, Barry M That's How I Roll, makeup, makeup review

I normally do a fair amount of research before buying any new beauty product, but I went into this one pretty much blind. Superdrug were doing 3 for 2 on makeup (and still are, I believe!), and having ran out of my beloved Kiko mascara I was in desperate need of a replacement. I generally go for maximum volume mascaras, but this time I wanted something a little more daytime appropriate - a slightly more natural look. I also needed something budget friendly, we're talking under the £5 mark here. Barry M is a brand I've only really ever associated with nail varnish (for which they are ah-mazing), but when I noticed that one reviewer had called this a dupe for Benefit's Roller Lash I decided I had to give it a whirl. Coming in at just £4.99 it passed the price test, but how does it fare in terms of quality?

I actually love the packaging, it feels quite heavy for some reason which I like as it makes it feel sturdy and good quality, whilst the shiny purple tube is easy to find in your makeup bag. I also love the font they've used (nerd alert) and perhaps because the colours are quite dark, it also feels quite sophisticated which may not be the impression everyone gets given the tube is covered in little pictures of roller blades but hey, I like it. The wand is quite thin, and allows for a good level of precision in getting each and every lash coated and separated with no clumping at all. It's also easy to use, especially for those of us (read: totally not me) who tend to get more mascara on our eyelids than on the eyelashes themselves. Barry M claim that this will "capture, lift and roll lashes upwards and outwards for ultimate volume" - I'm not sure about ultimate volume, but it does a pretty good job! I personally find that this gives a nice amount of curl, volume and lift which lasts throughout the day, and is exactly the effect I had in mind for a work friendly, subtle yet still effective mascara. Your lashes, but better. My only criticism is that the wear time is good but not amazing. At the end of a day at work, the mascara is still working its magic but there's a little bit of transfer onto my eyelids, and when I went out after work last week I found that there was a slight panda eye effect going on. Not the end of the world, because it certainly doesn't claim to be super long wearing and rarely do I expect a non-waterproof mascara to last a busy day running around in a café followed by a few hours out and about, but worth a mention.

Overall this is a fab budget mascara, and I'm really happy I picked it up. I haven't tried Benefit's Roller Lash so can't comment on how it measures up as a dupe, but in it's own right it's a great product which I'm really enjoying using.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Afternoon Tea at The Forest Side

Afternoon Tea, Lake District, food
There's been a lot of buzz surrounding a newly opened hotel here in the heart of the Lake District. Nestled in amongst the rolling hills and beatiful countryside of the little town of Grasmere stands The Forest Side, a recently refurbished hotel under new ownership and with a kitchen which has been the focal point of many rave reviews over the last few months. When I heard they were doing Afternoon Tea, and after a number of recommendations from friends which just couldn't be ignored, I decided I was going to have to try it out for myself.

I booked through Twitter, which couldn't have been simpler, and before we knew it my sister and I were driving up the gorgeously understated driveway, sheep quietly grazing in a field on one side and on the other, the hotel's well kept kitchen garden (which provides ingredients for the restaurant's menu). We were welcomed and shown to our table in the lounge, which overlooked fields below and hills in the distance. Relaxing into some seriously comfy chairs, bubbles in hand, we were ready for the magic to begin.
Afternoon Tea, Lake District, foodAfternoon Tea, Lake District, food

And magic it was. First things first, tea.  The choice is extensive, and I went for Rosebud whilst K had the White Peony. Both with subtle yet distinctive flavours, served in beautiful glass teapots. You're given an hourglass, and when the sand has run through, your tea is perfectly brewed and ready to drink. We were advised that the flowers could be topped up with water 3 times before losing their flavour, and took full advantage of this. 

Afternoon Tea, Lake District, foodAfternoon Tea, Lake District, food
Next up: a lovely wooden stand full of deliciousness. So much care and attention has clearly gone into each and every piece and the result is an array of treats which offers something a little different, and quite special too. Perfectly made sandwiches; fresh cheese scones; sourdough crumpets with the most delicious jam; and those cakes. This is afternoon tea on another level.
Afternoon Tea, Lake District, food
We sat and relaxed, feeling totally at home and looked after, before heading off for a little nosey around the grounds, peeking into the kitchen garden and admiring the gorgeous views. I can't recommend afternoon tea at The Forest Side enough - and everyone else I've spoken to since has agreed. In such a luxurious setting, the whole experience is totally chilled and down to earth whilst also being unique, wonderful and memorable. Now I'm just wondering whether it's too soon to go back for round two...

Afternoon Tea, Lake District, food

Friday, 15 April 2016

Instagrams To Follow | Travel

I don't know about you but I am a total and utter Instagram addict. It's by far my favourite social media platform, and I could spend hours stalking browsing, finding new people to follow and catching up on those I already do. I love the visual aspect, everyone creates such beautiful images and I enjoy trying to do the same, it's such a brilliant way to share whatever passion you might have and I always find so much inspiration on there as well! I follow quite a few different kinds of accounts, and so thought I'd do a little round up of some of my favourite Instagrams and share the love! First up, probably my favourite kind, travel accounts! I get so lost in all the photos of different places, I always get the strongest desire to get out a see the world a bit more when I see these accounts and their beautiful feeds brimming with wanderlust inducing food, views and destination inspiration.

Travel, instagram, instagrams to follow, wanderlust

The_hostelgirl

Her photos are stunning and as her handle might suggest, this account is all about that hostel life! Katie's Instagram (and blog) provides so much inspiration and whilst she visits some totally lust worthy destinations, she does it in a way which is accessible. Escapism on a more realistic budget, celebrating the brilliance of hostels, and being a hostel fan myself this is definitely one of my favourite accounts to catch up on on a regular basis.

Travel, instagram, instagrams to follow, wanderlust
Glographics

Gloria has a brilliant blog which I love reading, and a witty writing style which translates itself into her Instagram captions perfectly. Her photos are gorgeous, with beautiful landscapes and images of all her travel experiences along the way. I love how bright her photos are, and her feed is just so fun - be warned: you will want to hop on a plane immediately.

Travel, instagram, instagrams to follow, wanderlust

Worldwanderlust

Always visiting somewhere new, beautiful and exciting, Brooke's feed is full of lust-worthy destination snaps and bright, colourful photos. She seems like the kind of person you'd want as a travel buddy, she's been to some amazing places and shares it all on her Instagram in a way which makes you want to be right there with her.

What are your favourite wanderlust inducing Instagrams?

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Lake District Walks | Coniston Old Man

Travel, Lake District, Coniston Old Man, walking, outdoors, wanderlust The best adventures are the spontaneous ones. The ones planned at the last minute, the ones when you say 'let's go and explore' - and then do so almost at once. The Lake District offers so many opportunities for such adventures, with its countless hills, mountains and little towns and villages just waiting to be discovered. So when Becky messaged me a few weeks ago with the suggestion that we climb one of the South Lakes' most popular fells the next day, I put the endless amounts of Pilates revision I had to do to the back of my mind and let myself be talked into it almost immediately.

The Coniston Old Man is well known and well loved, but in all my years living in the Lake District I had never climbed it. Monday dawned with clear blue skies and sunshine: I hastily scrambled together a rucksack packed with snacks, water and an assortment of cosy layers, throwing on my walking boots as I left the door. A 15 minute drive and we were stood looking up at a snow capped summit, ready to blow away the cobwebs and prepared for some stunning sights along the way.

Travel, Lake District, Coniston Old Man, walking, outdoors, wanderlustTravel, Lake District, Coniston Old Man, walking, outdoors, wanderlust

Every step closer to the peak offered a more beautiful view than the last. We stopped at Low Water, a gorgeous little water just over half way up, to refuel and allow a fell runner to overtake us. So far, the walk had been easy. Above us, snow covered the path and suggested we'd need to be more than a little bit careful. I can't stress enough at this point the importance of common sense when out walking. I'm by no means a pro, or even an experienced walker, but I'd advise going with at least one other person, making sure your phone has plenty of battery, and not moving beyond your point of comfort. If you don't think it's safe to continue, don't continue. Normally a fairly easy family friendly walk from what I'm told, on a snowy day like this one, the going was slippy and in parts icy: nothing major, but one wrong move and you could easily find yourself on your bum (guilty) or injured. Also wear the right kit: we're not talking gear which costs hundreds and wouldn't look out of place on Everest, but a good pair of walking boots and warm layers make all the difference.

Travel, Lake District, Coniston Old Man, walking, outdoors, wanderlustTravel, Lake District, Coniston Old Man, walking, outdoors, wanderlust

We carefully wound our way to the summit, and stopped: the sound of absolute silence washed over us as we slowly did a full 360 to take in those views. The crystal clear blue sky meant we could just make out the Isle of Man on one side, whilst white tipped mountains stretched as far as the eye could see on the other. All good walks include a picnic, so we unpacked ours (sausage rolls, peppermint tea and chocolate hobnobs) and rested our legs as the crisp, cold air surrounded us. Re-energised, neither of us were ready to head back down into the reality of the world below just yet. We decided to extend our original plans, and a few hours later made it back to our starting point, via another Wainright, Swirl Howe, and the beautiful Levers Water. Our initial agreement to be home 'before lunch' was a long forgotten resolution, but when the sky is this blue and the views so stunning, who could ever want to leave?

Travel, Lake District, Coniston Old Man, walking, outdoors, wanderlust



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