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Thursday 31 December 2015

My Big, Fat 2015 Favourites Post!

It's New Year's Eve and so I have decided to tell you all about my favourite things this year. It's beauty/makeup heavy but I'm also including food, tv shows and films too. So strap in... it's a long one!

I'll start with the makeup stuff.

Favourite Eyeshadow Palette

It was a toss-up between 2 this year. Firstly I went with the Revolution Neutrals Vs New-trals palette, because I LOVE the colours in it. A mixture of warm and cool shades, mattes and shimmers. I have used this palette a LOT in the short time I've had it and it quickly became a favourite, that I'd definitely recommend. Also, you get 16 eyeshadows for £6.99! Bargainous.

My second pick was the Tanya Burr Fairytale palette. This one I picked because all of the colours are just so damn useful. You can create a whole eye look with it, or just use the brown as a crease shade, the cream on the brow bone and the black to deepen or as eyeliner. Although I have bought prettier palettes this year, this one is the one that I've got the most use out of!

Favourite Blushers
Revolution have done it again for me. I adore their blush palettes for excellent value, really pigmented blushes. I also love their singles, which are £1 each. (Also pictured is their single eyeshadow, which I also love.)

Favourite Highlighter

Another very close call between theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer and Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector, Pressed in Moonstone. Close because they are so similar!

Here's a side by side swatch, you can see that the Mary Lou (left) is very slightly darker. But there's really not much in it. The Becca one has more shades available, but not all shades are vegan. I don't think you really need both, unless you're a crazy makeup hoarder like me, but they are both stunning. If you wanted to pick one, I'd say go with the Mary Lou, just because it's quite a lot cheaper!

Favourite Cream Blush

Well technically it's a gel, but I love this watercolor gelee by Josie Maran. Now if only they sold it in the UK! Currently they don't, so you'd have to order if from Sephora, who do ship worldwide. They are worth it if you do those. I love this one and will definitely be picking up more, next time I put in a Sephora order. 

Favourite Perfume

Toss up again, between Lush's Honey I Washed the Kids solid perfume (which was limited edish, sorry!) and Eden Perfume's No 15, which is a dupe of Dior's J'adore! The Eden one pips it because it's amazing, lasts all day and is still available. :o)

Favourite Lipbalm

No change, still Crazy Rumours, which you can buy in Holland & Barrett in a metric craptonne of different flavours!  

Favourite Lip Products

Liquid lipsticks were huge this year, with another brand seemingly releasing one every other week! My favourite that I discovered were the Kat Von D ones. Again, unfortunately you cannot buy over here, but you can order from Sephora. I love the formula of these; so comfortable and long lasting. Plus tonnes of beautiful colours (one day, Lolita will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine!) 

Here are just a selection of my liquid lipsticks that I've loved this year....

Speaking of Kat Von D, I'm giving them the title of brand I'm most excited to have discovered this year. I  bought a few bits when I was in the US in October, including the lipsticks and an eyeliner and one of the metal crush shadows and they are all awesome. I will be picking up more from the range in the new year.

I love that Kat is vegan herself and truly cares about the products being cruelty free. She is apparently reformulating some of the older stuff to make the whole line vegan, which would be amazing!

Favourite new skincare discovery

I haven't changed much in my routine this year, except ditching the old, heavy moisturiser I used to use and using only my serum in the morning and a facial oil at night. I really like this one from B. It smells nice, makes my skin feel really soft (my skin is really dry) and you only use a teeny bit so it will last ages! 

Favourite Lip Tar

I love lip tars, I use them often as they are great alone, or mixed. My fave this year was probably Grandma. It's soooo pretty! 

And because of all the liquid lipstick wearing, my lips were quite dry so a good lip scrub has helped, as well as a balm. I like this one from Lush (I wouldn't even like to tell you how old this is, years out of date I'm sure but it still smells ok!)

OK, let's move onto....

Favourite Place

This one is hard, because I went to Berlin AND New York this year and both offered amazing vegan eateries.

I think that Lucky Leek in Berlin is probably the best restaurant I've ever been too, the food was just incredible. In fact, I ate a lot of amazing food there and we were there over Valentine's day.

However, New York won my heart, because as well as the food, I got engaged there.

The meal that stands out for me there was at Vinnie's Pizza in Brooklyn (Williamsburg location).

This vid hopefully conveys my excitement about pizza....

And then my failure 15 minutes later!

Favourite UK Non Vegan / Chain Restaurant

Weirdly I'm giving this to the Toby Carvery. You wouldn't think of a carvery as being vegan friendly but it is. If you are surrounded by omnis in your daily life, it's worth a visit!

Favourite TV Shows

Ooh there's been a bunch of awesomeness that I've started and/or finished this year. We've especially loved Sons of Anarchy, Jessica Jones (not finished yet, no spoilers please), Daredevil, Orange is the New Black and Banshee. There's more, but those were the standouts for me.  Oh and Don't Tell the Bride for some guilty pleasure viewing heheh.

Favourite Films

Star Wars the Force Awakens wins hands down. In fact we will be seeing it again on Sunday, because we loved it so much. 
Honourable mention also goes to Straight Outta Compton, which I thought was insanely brilliant. Acted superbly and took me right back to the early 90s with the music. Loved it. 

We also loved Kingsmen, wait was that this year? I think so. It was bloody great anyway.

So that pretty much covers my highlights of the year. I'd love to know yours, tell me in the comments or come talk to me on the social mediazz, links above ya! 

Midnight tonight/tomorrow morning marks my 8 year veganniversary which means almost 8 years since I started this blog. I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone reading, whether you've been reading since 2008, or since last Friday. I love you all. 

Happy New Year!!

Sal xXx

Thursday 24 December 2015

Christmaaaaasssss... snow's coming do-own...

except it's not, Mr Buble! It's raining and unseasonably warm.

Anyway, enough of that. It's Christmas Eve (does anyone else break out into a verse of Blink 182's Happy Holidays You Bastards everytime they say that? No? Just me then. Moving on) hurrah and here is the makeup I wore to work yesterday and also a bonus of today's because dammit, I'm having a good eyeliner day and the pics from yesterday are pretty pants!

However, now I have a new camera and some editing apps, I'm hoping that my shit makeup pics will soon be a thing of the past and there might even be some videos in the near future! ooohhhh. Stay tuned.

So here's yesterdays sparkly green eye makeup, that I wore for the last full day of work (it's just me and one other in work today and only for a few hours).

To create this eye look I used the matte brown from the MUA Undress Me Too palette (dupe for the Naked 2 from Urban Decay) in the crease. All over the lid and up into the crease, I blended the B. Stunning cream eyeshadow in Poseidon. I also put this under the lower lashes. Over the top for some sparkle I used the Collection Glam Crystals liner in La Freak (which was a bit more turquoise than I'd have liked, but I just patted it in well and it worked out ok). This also went under the lower lashes.

On the waterline is GOSH's Velvet Touch eyeliner pencil in Renaissance Gold. A bit of Revolution liquid liner (the pen with 2 different sized tips) along the lashline and some mascara. Then the lightest shimmery shade from the MUA palette on the inner corner and brow bone finished off the eyes.

The cheeks are the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise. I forgot highlighter!! That never happens. :/

Lips are OCC Femme Liptar and Meta Stained Gloss mixed together.

Do ya like my Rudolph earrings?

And here's my Christmas Eve makeup that I created today, using the Revolution Neutrals Vs Newtrals palette (one of my fave makeup purchases this year!!).

See how much better my new camera is?? Holy crap.

Merry Christmas to all those that celebrate it and I'll be back in a few days with chrimbo food pix!

Sal xXx

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Christmas Party Food

The work Christmas Party... the day that all vegans dread! Or is it just me that has bad luck with the food at these things?

Well here was this year's offering... they didn't do too bad, considering when I said vegan they just sent me a list of allergens in all the dishes, which did nothing but show me that I couldn't eat anything!

So they made some exclusions for me and here is what I got. (Excuse the blurry pics, I normally use Simon's phone for food photos but as he wasn't there, I had to use my hunk of crap, soon to be ex, phone!)

Roasted pumpkin for the starter:

This was ok. Two out of the four or so varieties of pumpkin on the plate were sweet and lovely. The other were totally flavourless. There was some spices on there, that were hard to make out. Except for Cinnamon, which they had used whole ones of, broken up. I got several pieces in my teeth, which was unpleasant.

Rating: 4/10

Barley Risotto for the main course:

I love barley, I love risotto and this was really good. I'm not totally sure what the purees were, I think possibly parsnip, but it was good, whatever it was. The only odd part was the bits of corn on the cob; they were teeny and the centre was rock hard so you couldn't get a fork in there. So I had to pick them up to eat them. Not all that dignified really hehe.

Rating 8/10

Mango crumble* for dessert:

*I couldn't eat the crumble bit so it was left off. Basically what I got was chopped up mango. With mango sauce.  Then they brought me out some mango sorbet to go with it. A mango trifecta!!

The sorbet was good, the rest was a bit pants!

Rating 2/10 (not particularly exciting or tasty).

The pub itself did a great job of getting everyone's food out, still hot and on time. That places was completely PACKED full of Christmas dos. I'm also really glad they were able to accommodate me but more importantly, I'm glad there was wine!

Small portions and wine meant that I was hungry when Simon picked me up. So on the way home we stopped for Chinese food!  haha (terrible bedroom dinner photo!)

How did everyone else do, food-wise, on their festive work events?

Sal xXx

Friday 18 December 2015

Toby Carvery Festive Menu

Last Sunday, Simon & I had our festive dinner out with his family and we went to the Toby. I skipped the starter (only vegan option was fruit salad!) and ordered the vegan main option, which was the Mushroom Pie and it was AWESOME!

The mushrooms were a little bit chewy, but the sauce was really nice and the pastry was great. I love pastry, anything in pastry is a win for me! I of course had it with all the trimmings... was very excited to see parsnips and sprouts on offer!

I tried to get a close-up of the inside for you guys, but it was a bit of a fail! Soz.

For dessert, there were no vegan puddings listed, but Toby do make ONE vegan one. So I asked if I could swap for that and they said it was fine. This is the chocolate cherry torte. This is nice, but not outstanding. The front is quite dense and fudgy, the cherries work really well with it, it's just a shame there's not more of them. The back is a bit like a crumbly sponge, bit dry. Overall though, it's not a bad effort at all!

Also, look what Simon found in H&B for me! That's Christmas Day sorted, woop! What are you guys having for the holiday meal, if you celebrate it?

Have an awesome weekend!

Sal xXx

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Christmas Party Makeup Essentials

Festive Party Season is in full swing and so I thought I might offer a few ideas for essential festive party makeup items:

Face Powder 
For touch ups throughout the night, the easiest thing to carry is a pressed powder. You can pop it in your bag and don't need to bring a brush! However, it's hard to find a vegan compact powder that has a mirror and a sponge to apply with these days. I used to love  my old MAC ones for this purpose. Well don't fret, because GOSH do them and they are awesome.

Pic from Superdrug

This might be a silly one to mention because personally I do not feel like my makeup is done until I'm shining like a disco ball. But I go even more crazy with it for party makeup. My faves are the Mary-Lou Manizer by theBalm, Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector, Pressed in Moonstone and for a more purse-friendly option, the Revolution Highlighters are amazing.

Glitter Liners 
Collection glitter liners (Glam Crystals) are amazing and you need them. Probably all of them. But if not then at least a gold and a silver one. They are a lovely pigmented liner - opaque in pretty much one coat! They're great for the inner corner too or if you want all over lid sparkle, they're great for that and a lot less messy than loose glitter!
Pic from Collection's website

False Lashes
Superdrug make some fab false lashes; from the super dramatic ones, to much more natural ones, just to give you a flirty look.
Pic from Superdrug's website

I also love Kiss Lashes. The natural lashes are one of my favourite for brides and these Trio lashes are fab too and really easy to apply.
pic from Kiss' website

I use duo glue to apply my lashes, as the stuff you get with them is never much cop.

Lipstick that lasts!
For party makeup, I would probably go with a liquid lipstick as you just can't beat the staying power and now there is SO much choice.

My favourite are the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. The formula and applicator are just brilliant and it really does stay on a long time. Only downside is you have to ship them over from Sephora US; however they ship pretty quick and without customs fees this side! Win.

I also love the Jeffree Star ones; the formula is great, there are some beautiful colours and they last. Only downside for me is the applicator - not my favourite, great for filling in but not so much for perfecting the shape and I tend to have to use a lip brush as well.

For a more budget friendly option, check out MUA and Sleek's offerings!

What are your Festive party essentials?

Sal xXx

Wednesday 9 December 2015

80s Makeup

Last weekend I went on an 80s weekend with my ladybros and so of course I had an excuse to do some bright makeup.

I'm very sorry for the crap quality of these pics - the light in every room was AWFUL and my new phone still has not arrived. :(

Anyhoo, you get the idea!

Rubbish eye shot - sorry.

Quick run down of what I used:

Face: Hourglass Veil Foundation, Mary-Lou Manizer, Revolution 'Hotter' Blush (loads of it!)

Eyes: Concrete Minerals "Ember" Pro Matte Shadow (crease), Furless "*" Shadow (inner part of lid), Sugarpill "Royal Sugar" Chromalust Shadow (outer lid). Yellow from the Sleek Acid Palette (inner corner) and a bit of dark brown from the Sleek Au Naturel Palette. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, Makeup Geek Gel liners in Immortal & Electric. False lashes - random ones I found in my drawer (some old Nyx ones I think!). Eyeko Magic Brow Boost.

Lips: Jeffree Star "Blue Velvet" Liquid Lipstick (LOVE!)

Sal xXx

Friday 4 December 2015

Dupes for the Beauty Blender

The beauty blender is one of my absolute, all time favourite tools. I have several in my personal kit and my pro kit. However, although they're vegan, they're not cheap! 

There's quite a few dupes kicking around now, so I thought I'd talk about a couple that I've tried. The B. Blending Sponge and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Here they are dry and in their packaging.

And out of their packaging - still dry

And here they are, wet. I'm not sure if these comparison pics really show how much they expand, but they do. Especially the beauty blender. This expands the most out of the 3.

On the left is the B. sponge and the origingal BB is on the right. Shape wise they are VERY similar and colour wise too - the BB is a little brighter pink.

And here is the Real Techniques sponge, which has the pointed top, but has a flat edge instead of a rounded bottom.

My thoughts:

The B. sponge and the Real Techniques ones are fantastic sponges and they are way cheaper than a beauty blender which is £16 (the B. sponge is £4.99 and the RT sponge is £5.99 - although both are reduced on Superdrug right now!).

The B. and the RT sponges are a very similar to each other in texture but different to the original Beauty Blender. The RT and B. sponges are denser, firmer sponges. The Beauty Blender is softer and springier and expands way more.

My overall favourite is the Beauty Blender. I love the texture of it and I love the overall effect it gives me on my makeup. However, the other 2 sponges are also fantastic and I rotate all 3. I also prefer the shape of the BB/B. sponge, as I like the rounded bottom for finishing my foundation, rather than the flat edge.

Have you tried the Beauty Blender or any dupes? I'd love to know what you think.

Have an awesome weekend. I'm off to an 80s weekend with my girlies, so expect some brightly coloured makeup next week! :)

Sal xXx