Saturday, 6 December 2014

LIFESTYLE: CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND CHOCOLATE SPREE














Christmas Markets are one of my favourite parts of the festive season, and each year me and my boyfriend take a trip to the Manchester Markets for chocolatey food and hot drinks. This morning we took a trip to The Lowry, an outlet mall near Manchester to do some shopping and check out the Victorian markets that had been set up for the past week. I didn't actually end up buying anything, but took advantage of the area to take some outfit pictures! While wandering around the Victorian fair, I came across a handmade bath product company - Flicker and Fizz. I'm a huge fan of Lush, so I just had to have a good look. There was a super cute "pick and mix" bath bomb selection, and a range of bath bombs made to smell like some popular perfumes! I saw one made of my mum's favourite scent and just had to get her some for Christmas. Aside from bathbombs, they had lots of different bath products and I wish I'd picked up a few more things. Flicker and Fizz also have a website where you can order online too, so definitely check it out! The ladies who worked at the stall were also so lovely and said they'd be checking amyjanealice out - so hi if you're reading!

Once we'd finished at the Lowry, we drove into Manchester. I didn't end up buying anything in Manchester too; the crowds were ridicuolous! We had a walk around the Christmas markets are indulged in some chocolate waffles and pancakes. It was all a little crazy busy there too so we didn't spend too much time there. After attending the Manchester Arndale After Dark event, I won an £100 spending spree at Hotel Chocolat so I was so excited to get into the store and pick out some treats. Aside from gifts for Christmas for other people, I of course had to get some chocolate for myself too. White chocolate is my favourite so I made sure to stock up on plenty of that, and I also picked up a Dipping Chocolate set where you can melt some chocolate and dip in the little nibbles such as marshmallows and breadsticks. I'm thinking of using that set with my family on Christmas Eve!

It was a bit of a busy and rushed day, but I love spending time with my boyfriend regardless of what we do. What do you think of me including more lifestyle posts like this? I recently invested in a new camera and have been loving experimenting and taking pictures of everything, so I hope this isn't too picture heavy!









Thursday, 4 December 2014

BEAUTY: SPECTRUM BRUSHES FOUR PIECE CONTOURING FACE SET



I'm sure as most of you do too, I have a huge thing for makeup brushes. I've got that many that some of them don't even see the light of day. In fact, in the next week or so I'm going to switch my brushes round and change the ones in my everyday makeup bag so that I'm getting my use out of them all. This however, didn't stop me buying more brushes... After asking you all in a #bbloggers Twitter chat what your favourite brushes are, one brand that I hadn't heard of before popped up a couple of times in my notifications: Spectrum. As soon as I opened up their web page, their brushes caught my attention. Pink handles with purple and blue bristles? Sounds crazy, but it works. In their Black Friday deals, I managed to snap up the Four Piece Contouring Face Set and a couple of their eye brushes, but there will be a post on those seperately. The brushes arrived in some gorgeous purple plastic zip up bags which I can use again for travelling or for carrying them around in my handbag, and there was also a really lovely personalised note!

Having a very round face means contouring is essential, and it's something I'm really trying to work on. So, a set dedicated to just that sounds perfect for me. Spectrum brushes are all hand finished, vegan and animal friendly. Composed of high quality synthetic hair, the brushes are lovely and soft. The four bruses in the set are: the Flat Top Buffer to achieve an even all over coverage using either cream or powder foundation, the Domed Buffer which creates an airbrushed finish to your skin, the Angled Blush to add depth to your cheekbones and under the jaw and finally the Tulip Powder which you can use for highligher on your brow bone, nose and chin or to contour your cheek bones, hairline and temples. There is a brush for everything you need to create the perfect base, but they're also incredibly versatile meaning you can get creative with your uses for them.

I used the brushes for the first time today and am super impressed!  My favourite has to be the Flat Top Buffer. It buffed my foundation in really quickly and easily, leaving no streaks or patches. The Angled Blush was also perfect for applying a bit of colour to my cheeks. There was slight smell of paint when I opened the bag from the handles of the brushes, but this soon disappeared after being aired for a short while. Before using the brushes, Spectrum advise that you wash the brushes. I found that they washed really well and still stayed nice and soft. There was no fallout either which I was very glad about.

The set is still currently on offer at £24.99, which is just over £6 per brush. I'd advise you get hold of it as soon as possible; I can't see it sticking at that price for very long! Aside from their primary use, applying makeup of course, the brushes will also be a great addition to your makeup brush collection due to their style too.

LIFESTYLE: THE CHRISTMAS TAG





1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie?

This is such a hard question. One of my favourite things to do during this time of year is to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot drink and watch a Christmas film (or three). Of course there are the obvious ones like The Grinch (which I can pretty much quote word for word), Elf, The Santa Clause, Love Actually etc, but I think my absolute favourite has to be The Polar Express. There's just something about it that makes me feel all warm and festive, and even makes me shed a tear or two!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

I open the majority of my presents on Christmas morning, but there's been a little tradition in my family where my mum and dad give me and my sister one small present to open on Christmas Eve. It's almost always a pair of festive pyjamas. I remember when we were younger we'd both have a bath and our parents would tell us to keep our bath robes on until we'd opened our presents, though we never clocked on it's because they were pyjamas until it happened a few years in a row!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

Each year we decorate the house after my dad bringing home the real Christmas tree to "The Christmas Album". It is a bit of a tradition now, but I have some lovely memories of spending time with my family while belting out the Christmas classics. Another Rule family tradition that was kind of expected by family members when they came round for Christmas dinner were the quizzes. My dad is a huge quiz fan, and has appeared on a few TV quizzes himself, so on Christmas day after dinner we would all sit in the living room and play different kinds of quizzes in teams. We don't really do that as often now, but it always brings a smile to my face when I think about it. A more recent memory that still makes me well up was from last Christmas. Usually my boyfriend begs me to tell him exactly what presents I want but last year I decided no, he can come up with a few surprises. Well surprise me he did! He had managed to buy things I actually loved, wanted and had mentioned to him in the past (so he does listen!). I ended up crying over his genorosity and the fact that he really does know me better than anyone.

4. Favourite festive food?

It's not so much a 'festive' food but I love the soup and buttery bread rolls I have as a starter during Christmas dinner. There's also the pork, apple sauce and stuffing muffins I get from the Manchester Christmas Markets! Oh and I can't forget the brandy snaps, also from the Christmas Markets.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

A Playstation 2 with The Sims. 100%. I can distinctively remember ripping open the wrapping paper with my sister (it was a joint present) and squealing and running around giving hugs and kisses to everyone. I'm sure my mum and dad had to drag me off the PS2 to get ready for our family coming round...

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

It has to be my mum's homemade Christmas cakes which fill the house with the smell of fruit, brandy and homemade baking. We also have lots of Yankee Candles dotted around the house. Whereas I love the sweeter smells, my mum prefers quite woody and fruity fragrances, so I associate Christmas with a mix of smells. But, the smell of a real Christmas tree (a Christmas requirement in my house) is just the best.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Aside from the pyjama tradition I mentioned before, this year will be my fourth Christmas that I have been with my boyfriend George. Though we don't have Christmas dinner together, he always picks me up from work and comes round for a few hours on Christmas Eve to exchange presents and just relax together, before coming round to stay over on Christmas Day evening to get an early night ready to hit the shops early on Boxing Day before seeing family! 

8. What tops your tree?

Over the years we've had various homemade angels, made by either me or my sister in school. Some of them have been quite scary really... but now we have a more tasteful angel that my mum chose.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I always asked for a horse. Like my parents would be able to wrap that up under a tree... Now I ask for a more up to date method of transport: a car.

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

I love being able to relax, eating food and binge watching Christmas TV with my family. There's just something about Christmas that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside; the Christmas music, the decorations, the cold nights while you're tucked up warm inside. It's definitely my favourite time of year.