Monday, 23 November 2015

CHRISTMAS AT HOUSING UNITS













Last night I very luckily attended Housing Units' first blogger event. For those of you who don't know what Housing Units is, it's essentially a huge department store that sells over 30,000 different products, set across three buildings in Failsworth, not too far from the centre of Manchester. Since opening their doors 65 years ago, Housing Units have prided themselves on their service standards and the lengths they go to to make each and every customer happy. I've been coming to Housing Units ever since I was younger and I can definitely vouch for the fact that their excellent customer service is a huge attribute to the department stores success.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the Housing Units restaurant staff where we were served some lovely drinks, the PR team and the store manager. We all sat down and had a catch up as I hadn't seen some of the other bloggers for a while! *sad face* After finishing our drinks we set out on a tour of the store, and with over 200,000 square feet of home furnishings and furniture to get through in a short space of time, we had to make it snappy! We were showed the different sections of the store, including a bit of background on each and the product highlights. I liked that the store manager was really knowledgeable of the store, it's history, it's products and it's customers, so he was able to provide us with lots of information on the way round.

Now if you know me even just a little bit, you'll know how much I love Christmas, so I was so happy to be shown around the Christmas section. (I'd actually already been when it first opened a few months ago but no amount is too much, right?!) We took some pictures at the Selfie Wall using some props and had a look around the many Christmas products they stock - I'll definitely be heading back to do some shopping! They even sell Cinnamon flavoured sticks for your Christmas tree - yum! After browsing around the second of the three Housing Units buildings, we were taken to see the main man himself, Father Christmas! At 21 it's been a good few years since I've last been in a Grotto, so we excitedly made our way down the queue and popped in to see good old St Nick. I think he was a bit surprised to see so many of us in such a tiny room! 

After saying our goodbyes and Merry Christmas' we headed back up to the Wickentree Restaurant where we were served an array of canapés and deserts to choose from; always a hit with us bloggers! The lovely people from Rumpus PR then ran a little competition of who could take the best Christmas Selfie and the most creative image and then handed us a gift bag each, complete with a personalised bauble! I had such a lovely time, and it was really interesting to learn a bit more about Housing Units after coming here for so many years. I'm pretty sure I'll be back there again soon for more Christmas goodies. Ho ho ho!

Friday, 20 November 2015

MAKEUP REVOLUTION ULTRA CONTOUR PALETTE





I was very late in joining the Makeup Revolution bandwagon, as you can see by my huge haul a couple of months ago. I don't really know what was holding me back from splurging, but I am glad I did! Their Ultra Contour Palette was something I'd heard great things about, so that was a must. On first impressions, I really liked the sleek, black packaging. It's made of a plastic-y material, which means that the inevitable 'make up all over the packaging' marks can be simply wiped away. The huge mirror inside is also a bonus. Come on, admit it, we can't sit at our dressing tables everyday, right? I'm a huge advocate of sitting on my bed with make up strewn around me using mirrors in palettes, so this is perfect.

Onto to the shades. I use the palest contour shade, which is second from the left, every morning and it's a perfect match for me. It isn't too orange or muddy, and is definitely easy to build up and blend out which means you can create the perfect contour for you.. Occasionally I'll venture to a darker shade if I'm creating a more daring look, and I still find the shade selection to be everything I need it to be. As for the highlighters, I don't really have a "go-to favourite". I kind of just swirl my brush into whichever shades I fancy at that moment in time (is that really bad?) and they all seem to do the job for me!

Despite having, one might say "too many", bronzers and contour shades, I definitely need this palette in my life. At £8, it works out that each contour and highlight shade cost only £1 each! One pound! How can you resist?

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR LIGHT FOUNDATION IN 0.5


The hunt for the perfect pale foundation never ends. I thought I'd found "the one" in the Seventeen Stay Time Foundation, but after a while I wanted something new. I did my usual research online and came across so many people raving about Double Wear, so that weekend I went to my local Debenhams to try it out. Unfortunately they didn't have the palest shade of Double Wear (obviously the shade for me) available, but they did have intensity 0.5 in the Double Wear Light, so I very gratefully accepted a tester to try out over the next few days. On my first day of testing the foundation out, I was out on a day trip where the weather was it's usual self here in the UK and I promised myself that if it lasted well throughout the day, I would buy it. So, true to my word, I bought it!

I'm a huge fan of high coverage foundations; my skin is red in some places, paler in others with the persistent little buggers that are blemishes, I like to be able to cover everything up really well, so this is great for me. While it's not as thick as Double Wear, it still provides a high amount of coverage without feeling too heavy on the skin. It blends into the skin really easily, especially with a sponge (my fave is by Real Techniques!) though I would recommend applying a bit at a time so as not to try and blend too much at once. 

For me, the colour match still isn't spot on. I feel like it's a shade or two too dark with yellow undertones, but after spending almost £30 on it, I'm going to get my use out of it! It just means I have to work a little harder than usual to blend it all in, but it's worth it. My skin gets considerably dryer in the winter months, so I'm hoping that this foundation works well on dryer skin *keeps fingers crossed*. I really do like this foundation, but I would love it even more if a paler shade was released. Maybe a 0.25?! I'm on the hunt for a Double Wear tester to test out the two, so I will report back!

What are your opinions of Double Wear Light?

Monday, 2 November 2015

HIS AND HERS CHRISTMAS JUMPERS


Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year, and with Halloween out of the way it'll be here before we know it! The lights, the music, the food, the smells - everything is so lovely, I get such a warm and fuzzy feeling at this time of year. I'll let you in on a secret: I'm already playing Christmas songs in my car! I love getting all snug and wrapping up as the months get colder, so I jumped at the chance to work with Matalan on their Christmas jumper campaign.

Now it's probably no surprise to most of you that I love cats. So how could I resist this jazzy number? Not too thick so that I feel like I'm suffocating under multiple layers, but not too thin so that I can't get all cosy, it's perfect. I really like that it's a modern take on a Christmas jumper; don't get me wrong, I'm all for garish fairy light adorned jumpers, but I quite like the simplicity of this one.

Similarly, my boyfriend loved the fact that jumper gives a sophisticated nod to Christmas without jumping down your throat about it. The polar bear print is not only perfect for the (hopefully) snowy season, it's also classic enough to be pulled out of the wardrobe on more than one occasion!

If you're on the hunt for a new festive jumper, look no further than Matalan. Armed with a huge selection, there's a jumper for everyone (there's even one with a pug on!) What's your favourite thing about Christmas?


*This post is in collaboration with Matalan, though all thoughts and opinions are my own

© amyjanealice. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.