Epicured L1.

29.7.15




 





Currently Liverpool is popping up independent eateries left, right and centre, and I am thoroughly enjoying making my way through them. As soon as I saw Epicured pop up just off Hanover Street I was intrigued, mostly because the tagline was 'meat | bread | cheese' I have to admit. 

After weeks of waiting I finally ventured to the self proclaimed 'home of the picnic block' to judge it for myself. The menu has all bases covered, offering breakfast, brunch and lunch but after seeing and hearing so much about the picnic blocks I knew I'd have to go for one of those. One thing that stood out for me before we'd even had food was the little canister of popcorn delivered to the table so we could snack while deciding - so cute!  The picnic blocks offer a selection of meats, fish and cheeses (my main food groups), served with bread, olives, chutneys and nuts. We opted for Picnic Block 2 which contained hand carved serrano jamon, scottish venison and green peppercorn salami, toulouse sausage and the most delicious berkswell cheese and brie on the side. We also got some extra hot chorizo and breads on the side as there were two of us and we were rather peckish! But don't worry they also offer a veggie block so there's something for everyone.

The food was incredible. Honestly. You can't deny that meats and cheeses are popular with foodies at the minute but this place really stood out. The food is served on adorable wooden boards so you can nibble at your leisure or have a full blown munch. My favourites of the food we ordered was the chorizo, the brie and the venison salami, which is something I was slightly unsure of initially. Everything was first class, down to the balsamic vinegar served with the bread (which is the best I've ever had). We were left contently full without being uncomfortably stuffed which can sometimes happen with cheese and bread. 

The excellent service, relaxed atmosphere and the quirky decor means it won't be long before I'm back in this pocket-sized haven of food. I just wish it was open a little later so I could pop in after work for a light bite! Liverpool based or not, Epicured is one for your list! Aisling. xo

Lip loving with Lypsyl.*

24.7.15



Lypsyl are without a doubt a household name when it comes to lip care. But for me, they're never a brand I would run to if I were in need of some lip love. So when they got in contact to ask if I'd be interested in trying some products I was intrigued to see how they lived up to my expectations. I was lucky enough to receive three flavours of their lip balm, Original, Strawberry and Black Cherry.

The three balms claim to protect and care for your lips, with the strawberry and cherry flavours offering a subtle red and purple tint respectively. Enriched with SPF, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera extracts the formula claims to prevent lips from drying out as well as to soothe and moisturise. Any of you who read Rosy Smiles often will know that a good lip balm is something I cannot be without due sore, cracked lips and my vast love of matte lipsticks. But I usually head for something a little bit more medicated, more often than not from Blistex. I decided to give these a go for a solid week to see if they made any sort of difference. 

After a few days of use I did notice that my actual lips were very soft and hydrated. However I am prone to sores and cracking at the edges of my mouth and unfortunately the balm didn't do much to help that. I found myself reaching for my Blistex Relief cream for over night use. In saying that my favourite of the trio was probably the Black Cherry flavour, as it offered the a nice protection throughout the day, but also a gorgeous tint that enhances my lips just enough. The one problem with medicated lip balms is that they can leave a white residue! The smell is also divine and smells like cherry drops! In my opinion these balms will be perfect for people who want to relieve slightly dry lips or who just want to keep them nourished. 

All in all I did enjoy using these and I will keep one in my handbag to pop on throughout the day. But due to my sore and crack prone lips, for real healing I need to use something with a bit more medication in it! What lip balms to you favour? Aisling. xo

*PR sample sent for review. 

Aisling.. Jenner?

21.7.15





Okay so maybe the title of this blog post is a little misleading, but you'll see where I'm coming from in a minute. I'm never one to jump on the beauty trend bandwagons that come and go, but there was just no getting away from the 'Kylie Jenner pout' that everyone and their mum seems to be rocking. Lipsticks have always been my vice and when I was in MAC recently I decided to treat myself to a gorgeous duo that I hoped would give me the full lips of my dreams.

After swatching many a nude in the Covent Garden store of MAC I finally ended up purchasing a lip liner in 'Spice', and lipstick in 'Velvet Teddy'. Velvet Teddy is described as a 'deep toned beige' and comes in my favourite matte finish, and Spice is described as a 'pink cinnamon' shade that complements the lipstick perfectly. As someone who wasn't accustomed to the whole nude lip fad that's been everywhere I was amazed at how much I loved this pair. The colours really flattered my pale skin (something I was worried about) and I was able to make my lips look full and plump without being obviously drawn on, something I hate. I love MAC's matte lipstick range, as they have amazing colour pay off with just one coat and aren't quite as drying as those from the retro matte collection. (Ruby Woo I'm looking at you.) Both 'Velvet Teddy' and 'Spice' are very long lasting and I rarely have to top up my lippy.

I'm obsessed with this lip-look at the minute. You'll find me wearing it at any given opportunity! I have well and truly hopped on the Jenner bandwagon. Damn you Kylie. Aisling. xo

Glamglow Super Mud.

8.7.15




A few months ago myself and a few of the other Liverpool based ladies had a meet-up. Arranged by the wonderful Sammy from Little Fickle, we had some amazing companies involved and were lucky enough to receive samples from them. Being the skincare addict that I am you won't be surprised to hear that my most anticipated product to use was the 'Glamglow  PowerMud' face mask. Every blogger I know has had something to say about this range so naturally I was itching to put it to the test.

Unusually, this face mask comes with a brush to minimise waste and make for an easier application and I really enjoyed using it, it felt much more hygienic on the skin. The first thing I noticed about the actual product was that a little goes a long way and my face had an ample covering with minimal product - win! The product had a lovely rich consistency however it did leave my skin a little stingy at first. I am quite sensitive though so I tend to find this with a number of products (thank-you eczema). After leaving the product for 10 minutes my skin was uncomfortably taut so I was relieved to take the mask off with warm water and a flannel. Although the mask was undoubtedly tightening  I loved what it did, after removal my skin wasn't red or sore to touch and was instantly smooth and looking radiant. 

Glamglow perfectly describes this product as 'a powerfully gentle dual cleanse treatment', all the power when it's working, but smooth gentle skin left behind. Retailing at £49.99 it's one of the more expensive masks out there but after use I'd say it's well worth it. When I can afford to indulge in it I definitely will. The strength of the product means you only need to use it once a week (or when you really need a detox) so it will definitely last long enough to justify such a spend! Have you ever tried the Glamglow products? Aisling. xo 

PS. If you fancy the chance to win some of your own skincare, enter my Body Shop Giveaway HERE. 

Body Shop Sundays: Banana Shampoo & Conditioner.

5.7.15



Hair care is something that I often gloss over both here on the blog and in my life. I've always just got by using any old shampoo and conditioner that was on offer in Boots. But, having been completely won over by The Body Shop's skincare, I decided to give the haircare proper go. (I have used one hair mask a lifetime ago - you can read how that went down HERE.) Of the haircare on offer I decided to try out the Banana Shampoo & Conditioner, mainly because it smells incredible but also because it claimed to leave hair soft and shiny; something I struggle with due to the vast amount of bleach that has built up in it over the years.

I'm really enjoying this shampoo and conditioner duo. My hair is left so soft that even a boy commented on it and always smelling amazing. Being honest I haven't noticed a drastic improvement in the shininess of it but I'm hoping it will come with continued use. And as far as the shampoo goes I think I would prefer if it lathered a little more, because my hair is ridiculously thick I like lots of suds to feel like it's really clean. I can't fault the conditioner though, it feels so nourishing as soon as you put it on and I'll definitely be repurchasing! What are your favourite hair products? Aisling. xo

MAC: Flat Out Fabulous.

2.7.15







It's no secret that I'm a lover of bold lipsticks, but a colour I usually shy away from is pink. I'm not a fan of the wishy washy shades, so when Flat Out Fabulous caught my eye I was more than intrigued.

This shade is from the retro matte collection so naturally, I had to have it. The striking colour is described as a 'bright plum matte' however I find traces of fuchsia in. It's amazingly complimentary to my skin tone, which is something I worry about. Being so pale means pink lipsticks can sometimes bring out the red undertones in my skin. As ever with MAC lipsticks (particularly matte) the colour payoff is fantastic, but the formula quite drying. But that's nothing a good scrub and balm prior won't sort out.

Even though purple lips are my true love I find myself reaching for this colour more and more often these days. Eye-catching enough to get you noticed, but subtle enough to not get those 'Purple lipstick during the day?' glares. I think Flat Out Fabulous is one for everyone. Aisling. xo

PS. Don't forget to enter my Body Shop skincare giveaway HERE!