Phantom of the Opera

For my birthday last November my incredible friends got me a gift voucher for a West End Show from London Theatre Gift. Straight away I knew my only 2 options were Phantom of the Opera or The Lion King, 2 shows I’ve been meaning to get to for ages but haven’t been too keen on the price tag. But with the voucher I could get good seats and only pay £35 each for me and the boyfriend. So Phantom it was.

We headed up to London on Thursday morning and first, after much train trauma due to signal failures, we stopped in a pub near Trafalgar Square called The Chandos for a drink. I’ve been in this pub a million times but Boyfriend loved it since he never has, apparently pubs just selling their own companies beers, wines and spirits is unusual? Who knew.

After our quick drink we headed to the theatre for the 2:30 matinee.

The show has been running at Her Majesty’s Theatre since 1986! Imagine all those hundreds of thousands of butts sitting on those seats.

Anyway, the show was incredible. We were lucky enough to see the full cast, Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Christine Daaé played by Kelly Mathieson. Both of their voices were incredible. The staging is so satisfying and although I knew the story and songs well, there were pleasant surprises throughout. My favourite moment was the Phantom singing Music of the Night, just so beautifully sung and done, I’ll admit I did a little cry! I would see this show again in a heartbeat.

(Promo photo taken from Pinterest)

My biggest issue before booking was choosing our seats, so many were considered restricted view, but the ones I chose were very good and within a decent price band. If I go again I’d love to be able to splash out on the top band of seats, I think it’d be worth it but if you are looking at seats, I highly recommend the royal circle for the best views.

After the show we headed to Oxford Circus for dinner at a Japanese BBQ place called Kintan. Each table has a little bbq style grill to cook your own meat on. You can order various things in a tapas style or get one of their set meals. We chose the Meat Lovers and there was a variety of chicken, beef and pork marinated in various sauces. We also got some rice and seaweed and other bits.

It was a really lovely and sociable way to enjoy a meal. We didn’t rush, enjoyed cooking and sharing the food together and everything was very tasty, the drinks menu was interesting too, lots of saké. We’ll definitely be returning in the future.

It doesn’t seem like we did a lot, but we ended up getting home at half 11, so it was a really long day.

My half-term has gone so incredibly quickly, but I’ve absolutely loved the break and especially getting to spend time with the boyfriend for a few lovely days.

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Mid-length hair.

My hair is so limp and sad atm. I’ve been trawling pinterest, which is the best thing in the world for sourcing ideas, for a new mid-length style and here’s what I’ve found:

I want to keep some length so I can tie it up in the summer, but my current layers are so lank I never have it down any more. I’m going for a blunt cut that’ll look good wavy, straight or pony-tailed and with a fringe, since I have one already.

Hair cuts always make me so nervous, wish me luck!

Bye January!

We’re down one month in 2018 already, so heres a roundup of my month.

I read… The heart’s invisible furies by John Boyne.

A good book, I got it because it was in the crime section, and crimes do happen but there’s no mystery or thrill in it. It was very readable, very sad in parts but happy in parts as the gay protagonist tries to find his footing in a very Roman Catholic Ireland. I’d recommend if you like literature that’s autobiographical fiction with some historical basis and likeable but flawed characters.

I wore… Nike Internationalist.

These shoes are so comfy it makes me emotional, and they look cute to boot. I got them in the Schuh sale for £39.99 and I’ve been wearing them with cuffed skinny jeans. LOVE.

My face wore…

My go to face this month has been bought to you by my top 4 products: benefit roller lash, nyx matte liner (cannot bang on about this liner enough!), mac studiofix fluid and skinnydip flawless matte lip colour. Other products pictured have also made regular appearances.

I watched… 3 billboards outside Ebbing Missouri.

A really a good film, very black comedy and award wins are truly deserved with this one. Once again flawed characters who were likeable thanks to their own struggles. Recommend to anyone who enjoys dark humour and open endings.

Best bit… boyfriend staying.

My boyfriend came to stay with me for a whole week and it was lovely. Being long distance can be a struggle, so its always lovely to spend more than a night or two together. We also celebrated our 6 month anniversary and he met more of my friends, spent time with my family and just chilled. He also taught me how to play a card game called shithead and I legit won without his assistance at least once.

Worst bit… pressure at work!

Teaching is a difficult career at the best of times, but work-life balance has been particularly difficult this month. I think its something I can definitely improve though, so not all hope is lost.

And February?

This month I have some cool stuff to look forward to: Phantom of the Opera, Charles I exhibition, half term, family birthdays and some other bits.

Hope everyone has a happy month ahead!

A budget chocolate range…

Primark released a chocolate range last week, following in the footsteps of the original Too Faced and the long-standing makeup revolution chocolate ranges.

I popped in today for no real reason but decided to buy some beauty bargains and saw it on the shelves. I picked up a few facemasks, some cheap earrings (I lose earrings like crazy!), and 3 things from the chocolate range.

I got the cheek palette (£4), highlighter (£2.50) and a lip kit (£3).

Out of the three products, the highlighter is my favourite. It’s a very pretty marbled pink/gold blend and shows up nicely on my skin. The packaging is also quite sweet, if not cheap looking, white chocolate themed, and the shape of the product definitely makes it more attractive. The only really off putting thing is that it has a really strong smell.

The cheek palette is quite pigmented and requires a butt-load of blending. The packaging again is cute, but cheap, with dripping chocolate and gold detailing on the front. It has a nice selection of a highlighter, 2 blushers and a bronzer. But once again, the smell is weird and strong.

Finally the lip kit, which was quite disappointing. The liner is barely there and I didn’t like the feel of the gloss, which was weirdly gritty and slimy at the same time. I’ll be honest, I’m not really a gloss gal anyway- I always reach for matte lipsticks. Also the lid of the gloss tube makes the whole product feel really cheap.

Overall I don’t think this range is anything to write home about. Much more disappointing than MUR chocolate products which are only a little more expensive. The prices won’t really break the bank, but I think would-be shoppers are better off spending elsewhere.

Faces of 2017

​Really I’m just showing you my best selfies of this year.

I enjoyed playing with makeup this year. Cat eye and a neutral lip are still my go to, but I’ve been really enjoying eyeshadows too.

My favourite lip has been Makeup Revolution’s Noble lip kit and the Too Faced Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette has featured heavily this year. I’ve also been loving the MAC burgundy x9 palette which features in selfie #3. I’ve tried new foundations and mascara and all sorts this year, some have become firm favourites and others were instantly bin-worthy.

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My goal this year is to practice eyeshadow looks and head away from my smokey-eye, learn to cut crease and be more adventurous! I also want to share more about my faves and not faves on this blog and post some daily looks- so here’s to more selfies in 2018!

New year, same me.

I’ve never been one for big overblown resolutions. First of all I feel like it’s a weird that you should change yourself just because some dudes decided the numbers on the calendar should change at this time of year, but also I feel like people put too much pressure on themselves around New Years, and when those expectations are shattered it can be disappointing and damaging.

I have a friend in Facebook who has posted “new year, new me!” consistently for the last 10 years of her life. Imagine thinking you’re not good enough, every single year. It must be so mentally draining. This year she posted that she wasn’t doing it anymore, because it was depressing to read her failures every year and she was ready to finally make those changes, transform herself and really take control of her life *eyeroll*.

BUT I definitely think that if you’re ready to make some changes or set some goals, they’re for you and not for anyone else, you should go right ahead. I’m totally rooting for you! New Years seems like a sensible time to do that, to challenge yourself to be better, to improve- not change. And it’s very healthy to set goals, things to work towards, not forgetting that success isn’t linear.

So this year I am setting myself achievable and sensible goals, that I can track and change if and when I need to. Some of them are a little vague since I’m still ironing them out!

Financial goals:

  • Budget every month.
  • Pay off my credit card.
  • Earn money beyond my wage.

Blog goals:

  • Post weekly.
  • Self-host
  • Venture into other social media.

Personal goals:

  • Have a better work/life balance.
  • Start running again.
  • Travel somewhere I’ve never been.
  • Drink more water.
  • Exfoliate and Moisturise.

Some of these are so much more achievable than others and they may change over the year, but I’m looking forward to pushing myself a bit more and working towards them.

Happy New Year everyone and may 2018 be a year of love, growth and success x

Speaking of Lush…

In my last post I mentioned the ridiculous queue outside Lush in town on Boxing Day. So when I went in today I was really surprised to still see some Christmas stock with 50% off that hadn’t yet been snapped up. Now this isn’t the Lush mega-haul of my dreams (one day…) but I’m really pleased with the bits I got, and that I’ll get a few bargain-baths out of them.

I picked up 3 Shoot for the Stars bath bombs, 1 Golden Wonder bath bomb, a Santa’s Belly shower jelly and a Golden Wonder gift set that has another Golden Wonder bath bomb and a Man in the Moon bubble bar. The thing I’m most curious to try is the Snow Fairy naked shower gel (fingers crossed that it’s not just like a soap). I spent about £22 on this lot and I’ll add it to the Jingle Bells gift set my brother got me for Christmas.

I’m getting a bit of a collection going!

Do you hear what I hear?

Usually on boxing day I’ll lay in my pyjamas eating ferrero rocher, then have a bath in the afternoon and step into a fresh pair of pyjamas to waste my day eating left over turkey and listen to my brother’s argue. This year was a little different. My sister and I decided to pop into town since she needed to exchange some clothes and I was itching to check out the Lush sale. Lush is extortionate at full price nowadays so I was hoping to grab a bargain like I managed last year. Sadly when I got there the queue was outside the door and easily a 30 minute wait. My sister, in all of her wisdom exclaimed “no one needs a bath that badly!” And we turned on our heels and walked the other way.

So instead of Lush I popped in Superdrug and Boots to see if anything was worth getting.

In the last part of this year I have seriously eased off buying makeup, my last post from September (EEK) was actually the last thing I bought! BUT the sales have been calling me back.

So here’s what I got. Boots has a half price sale on all of their Christmas gift sets and Superdrug gifts are generally reduced, but to no set percentage.

In Superdrug I got this makeup revolution ultimate blush & light & contour palette.

Reduced from £20 to £3.99. I had my eye on this last year and was pleased when it was re-released for Christmas this year, but I didn’t want to put it down for Santa to get me since I knew it would be put on sale. The colours are pretty, not extremely pigmented, but I do like MUR highlighter and blush. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use out of most of it anyway.

Next in boots I bought the NYX Beyond Basic set (£20 now £10), the Skinny Dip Lip Paints trio (£12 now £6), the Hello Super Spa Soap and Glory set (£20 now £10) and the Soap and Glory Party Popper set (£6 down to £3 I think).

I probably wouldn’t have bought any of these items full price, mostly because I feel like whacking a Christmas label on things bumps the cost up so much. But I do feel like I got lots of nice products for my money. The lip trio has applicators that push too much out, but are very nice, rich colours and I really like Soap and Glory products in general. I’m especially excited to try out the NYX palette though, the colours are really pretty.

Anyway, I have more makeup arriving from the John Lewis sale in a couple of days from BareMinerals and a couple of Benefit bits too.

Looks like my makeup dry spell is well and truly over!

Dripping Gold

I wanted to update with a few things I’ve bought in the last couple of weeks.

First being the makeup revolution I ❤ Chocolate Golden Bar. I saw this in store as my local Superdrug now has a much bigger makeup revolution/ I heart makeup line available in store. It cost £8.99 and not having to wait for delivery was a bonus. The packaging is very cute. I love the design of these palettes because of the large mirror and sturdy case. Also chocolate is delicious so it’s win-win.

The colours in the palette are mostly glittery neutrals. They’re nicely pigmented and there is a good selection of brown/gold tones in the palette. I love Golden and Cocoa the most so far, but colour payoff is very good with all of the shades I have tried. When I use this palette I have been using matte colours from other palettes alongside the colours in this one, as the shades are SUPER GLITTERY so not enormously daytime friendly. But I’m very happy with this purchase so far. I’ve said before that MUR eyeshadows are usually their best products and this palette is a verification of that.

Next I bought this cute denim fur lined jacket from primark for £20. It’s SO WARM. The fur lining is all on the inside, not just on the collar so it’s pretty much like wearing a full on coat. Can’t wait to get a tonne of wear out of this throughout the chilly autumn months.

And finally I got these Mickey Mouse badges. One is already on the denim jacket (if I’m wearing a denim jacket I may as well go full mid-90s) for £3 it’s a good selection they’re well made. Sometimes when I’m in primark now I feel like there’s a bit of Disney-overload. And some of the Disney products aren’t even particularly well made or nicely designed, so I’ve learnt to be much pickier about what I pick up. I’m not sure where I’m going to put all of these but I’ll update when I find them homes!

Thanks for reading!

Birthday Benefits.

My birthday was ages ago now. You know when you’re doing your thing, you blink and suddenly you’re a year older and no wiser! That happened! I got some lovely gifts for my birthday, I always do. So I thought I’d share my Benefit goodies wth you.

Benefit is really the first higher end brand that I fell in love with, the packaging is adorable and instead of saturating the brand with millions of products, they perfect a product and go with it. I dont think I have ever bought anything that was disappointing due to poor quality, which is why I always go back. As usual around Christmas, Benefit was offering some beautiful and good value gift sets, so when the boyfriend and I were in London we popped into John Lewis on Oxford Street for a look. I knew I needed some new Hello Flawless foundation but this Dolly Darling set caught my eye too.

 It came with the Porefessional full size, Roller Lash full size, Hoola bronzer in full size and also a small Gimme Brow. I think full price was around £45, however it’s now marked down in store in John Lewis quite considerably. I’ve been wanting to try Roller Lash for a while, and I am always on the hunt for my perfect primer so I picked it up. The girl who served us was so helpful. I wish I had made a note of her name because makeup counters intimidate me (probably not the only makeup addict this happens to!) and she was so nice. She even threw in a tester size Goof Proof Brow Pencil and a little Benetint.

I haven’t even gotten round to using it all yet, but I always feel like these Christmas sets are a real bargain, and great for trying out bits you wouldn’t usually buy. One thing I can say is that Gimme Brow has revolutionised my eye brows. Honestly, it’s probably my product of the year, so I’ll discuss it in my year round up post which is coming very soon!