Monday, 30 September 2013

Zedd feat. Hayley Williams 'Stay The Night' Single Review

Ahead of the re-release of his ever so popular album, 'Clarity,' Zedd has teamed up with vocal powerhouse Hayley Williams, lead singer of pop-rock band Paramore, to release his new single called 'Stay The Night'. This is the second venture that Williams has taken in terms of featuring on other artists records, the first being on B.o.B's hit song back in 2010, 'Airplanes.'

On the surface, this track is pretty much everything you would expect it to be. Upon first listen, it is a radio-friendly dance number with an infectious chorus and drops in all the right places. However, there is something a little special about this song. Whether it be Hayley's infamous vocals or Zedd's injection of a synth nearer the end of the track, 'Stay The Night' is a breath of fresh air compared to all other dance tracks on the market right now. Accompanied by just a simple piano melody, Williams starts the tune with serene vocals mimicking that of a ballad-style record. Yet, the song steadily builds to a conclusive crescendo when the beat finally kicks in.

On top of this, the timing of the single also conincides with Paramore's sold-out worldwide tour which makes this great publicity for the band too. Overall, with both artists individually on top of their game in their opposing musical fields, combined they are definitely sure to hit the big time with this record. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Benefit and Bare Minerals Miniatures

A few months ago, my friend and fellow blogger Coco Mykel, gave me three miniature samples that she did not want herself. These were Bare Minerals 'Stroke Of Light,' as well as Benefit's 'Posie Tint' and 'Stay Don't Stray.' Now I must admit, for a long while I forgot I even had these samples as they stayed pretty hidden within my enormous make-up bag due to their tiny size. However, over the past month or so, I have been using these products on quite a regular basis. Being that I am currently unemployed and therefore short of money, I do not have the spare cash to splurge on higher end products, so I have really enjoyed the luxury of using these samples instead of purchasing the full-size versions (I'm sure I will be very sad when they eventually run out.) So, without further ado, let's get to it!

Bare Minerals 'Stroke Of Light' Eye Brightener
This product is my new favourite under-eye brightening concealer. For years, I have been a sufferer of discolouration and dark circles under my eyes which I cannot not seem to shift or completely cover up. Up until now, I have been using Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer which is still a great product, but this one tops it by a mile. The main difference between these two concealers is their consistencies. Stroke Of Light is a lot thinner than Wake Me Up, which means that it's coverage is a lot more buildable and never runs the risk of looking too cakey or thick on the skin. Although it does not say on the packaging, by looking online I have come to the conclusion that I have the shade 'Luminous 2,' which matches my complexion perfectly. The full size version of this product is £22.00 but I think it is definitely worth the investment as it is such an amazing illuminating concealer.

Benefit's 'Posie Tint' Lip & Cheek Stain
Out of the three products in this review, this one is probably my least favourite and the one that I do not use that often. That being said, the great thing about this stain is the fact that it is multi-purpose, as it can be applied to either your cheeks or your lips. I have tried and tested both of these methods and I much prefer using the Posie Tint on my lips as opposed to my cheeks, where I like to use powder blushers instead. The pretty rose-colour leaves a nice and natural tint to my lips. This is great for days where I wear quite natural make-up but still want a subtle hint of colour to make my look more complete. For what it is, I really do not think this product deserves its £24.50 price tag for the full version but it is still nice nonetheless.

Benefit's 'Stay Don't Stray' Eyeshadow Primer

Last but certainly not least, I am not one to wear eyeshadow that often (I prefer a simple cat-flick using eyeliner myself) but this primer is great for days where I do like experiment with my eye make-up. To accompany my combination skin, I also have oily eyelids with is extremely annoying. I hate the way that my eyeshadow creases throughout the day and it never ends up looking as good as it did when I first applied it. Although this primer is not 100% effective in my opinion, it did stop the majority of the creasing and any oiliness from surfacing. 'Stay Don't Stray' is the same colour as what a foundation or concealer would be, which is also makes this product a good base to even out any uneven colouring on your lids. The full size version of this product is £20.50 which could seem pricey to some but a little goes a long way, so this product would last for ages and so it is a good investment.

I hope that this review has helped to give you all a good insight into the effectiveness of the products above. If you have used any of them before, I would love to know your opinions of them via a comment below. I would also like to thank Chloe (Coco Mykel) for giving me the samples of products that I would not have been able to get my hands on otherwise!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Twenty One Pilots 'Vessel' Album Review

Twenty One Pilots, a musical two-piece from Ohio, first formed back in 2009. However, they have only just made their way into the limelight. After finally gaining some recognition and being signed in 2012 by Fueled by Ramen, the same record label who manage the likes of rock giants Paramore and Fall Out Boy, the duo have gone from strength to strength. Now, two EP's later, Twenty One Pilots have released their first studio album, 'Vessel.'   

At first listen, it is clear that the band have a very distinctive and original sound. Lead singer Tyler Joseph's mixture of rap and alternative vocals with fellow band member Josh Dun's powerful drumming, the two are definitely a force to be reckoned with. The opening track of the album, Ode To Sleep, is the perfect track to set the tone for the rest of the album as it really showcases what the band are all about. The contrast between the rap and electronic elements of the album is definitely a refreshing change, as it constantly keeps the listener on their toes as Tyler switches between the two styles.

The second song on the record, 'Holding On For You,' is the bands most successful song to date and with it's incredibly catchy melody and lyrics, it's no wonder as to why. This is the duos current single in the UK and ever since they played the infamous Reading & Leeds Festival last month, the bands fan base this side of the pond has grown exponentially. Another firm favourite on the album is without a doubt 'Guns For Hands.' In a recent interview, front-man Tyler admitted that this song is very honest and is all about extremely common emotional issues such as depression and self harm, which are topics that affect so many adolescents and young adults. For a band to release such hard-hitting and honest material is such a breath of fresh air and this is just one of the many reasons why Twenty One Pilots are set for even more success in upcoming months.

The track listing for the album is as follows:

1. Ode To Sleep
2. Holding On To You 
3. Migraine
4. House Of Gold
5. Car Radio
6. Semi-Automatic 
7. Screen 
8. The Run And Go 
9. Fake You Out 
10. Guns For Hands
11. Trees
12. Truce

Overall, this album is riddled with many sure fire hits and after recently being nominated for several newcomer awards, it's plain to see that the band are definitely one to watch out for in the near future! Ultimately, if you have not done so already; go and pick up a copy of Vessel today!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

My Favourite Autumn/Winter Nail Varnishes

My taste in nail varnish differs a lot throughout the year depending on what season it is, which I'm sure is the same for many of you too. In spring and summer, I prefer to wear bright and fun colours on my nails. However, during the colder autumn and winter months, I much prefer to wear deeper and more vampy colours on my talons. Today, I thought I would share with you my top five favourite nail varnish shades that I will definitely be reaching for this season.

Jessica Nail Colour in Vamp
I got this varnish free in an issue of Company magazine a few months ago. I really adore this shade as I much prefer deep, wine coloured reds as opposed to the more bright and 'true' red colours. This varnish also has a slight shimmer to it, which I think would look lovely during the Christmas party season too.

No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Totally Teal 
Teal nails are an acquired taste but I think that these deep green colour is really sophisticated and is perfect for winter. The thing I love the most about this varnish is it's consistency. It glides on like a dream and as the colour is so opaque and dark, you need only apply one coat. 

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine 
Nail Paint in Blackberry 

I have a love/hate relationship with this nail polish but I cannot deny that I absolutely love the shade and the finish of the ever so popular Barry M Gelly Hi Shine formula. The only anything thing about this product is that it can stain your nails a little and tends to chip, so I would recommend that you use a base and top coat just to be safe.

No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Vivid Purple 

Purple is my favourite colour and it is also one of my favourite colours to wear on my fingernails, especially during autumn and winter. As this varnish is the same brand and formulation as the teal shade above, it again has a fantastic consistency. The only difference between the two shades is that the teal is a more solid colour, where as this purple has hints of glitter running through it - which adds a little extra something to this polish.

Barry M Nail Paint in Black 

Lastly, you can never go wrong with a coat of black nail varnish. Obviously, there is not much that you can say about a plain black polish but out of all the drugstore brands, Barry M does the best formula in my opinion. I also own Rimmel's 60 Second varnish in black but it is a lot less chip resistant than Barry M's version. It is a must have staple in any girls nail collection!

If any of you have tried any of the products mentioned above, I would love to know what you think of them. Also, I would love to know all of your favourite nail varnishes for this time of year, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Rimmel's New Colour Rush Lip Crayon

(Shades from left to right: Rumour Has It, Give Me A Cuddle, Drive Me Nude, Keep Mauving, Not An Illusion, On Fire, The Redder The Better)

As well all know, chubby sticks have taken the beauty world by storm this year and over the past few months, it has become a pretty saturated market. We have Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balms, Bourjois' Colour Boost Lip Crayons, Clinique's Chubby Sticks... I could go on and on. However, whilst browsing in my local Superdrug today, I remembered that I needed to re-purchase my Rimmel Stay Matte powder as I accidentally dropped it and it has since smashed into smithereens. When I approached the Rimmel stand, I saw that Superdrug had a 'Buy One Get One Half Price' offer and so I couldn't resist having a little look for a new product to try out. This is when I stumbled across the new Colour Rush Lip Crayons. As a devoted fan of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balms, (especially the gorgeous berry shade called Crush,) I knew that I had to try this version.

I hadn't heard anything about this product until today and after doing a touch of research upon my return home, this product was only released in stores about two weeks ago. However, I am surprised that I have not seen a single advertisement for this lip crayon yet. This product comes in a total of seven shades, all of which are absolutely lovely but one shade in particular jumped out to me almost instantaneously.

I opted for the deep pink colour from the range called 'Rumour Has It.' What struck me most about the product is the formula, it is so moisturising and does not dry out your lips in the slightest. I swatched all seven shades in the shop (I probably should have taken a photo but I didn't have my camera on me) and all of them are highly pigmented and buildable. Also, I think that all the colours quite versatile as they can be muted down a little if necessary for during the day time, or amped up for the evening by layering a few coats on to the lips. Another aspect of the product that I really enjoyed was the scent. I cannot quite put my finger on what the scent is, possibly something similar to cocoa butter, but I love it nonetheless. 

Overall, after only using this product for the first time today, I am a huge fan of it already.  From what I can tell so far, it is very long-lasting and moisturising. I recommend that you go into your local drugstore and try out this product for yourself, I guarantee you will not be disappointed! 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Deaf Havana's 'Old Souls' Album Review

Deaf Havana first formed in their hometown of Hunstanton in 2005, however, over the past couple of years they have well and truly burst on to the ever so popular pop-rock scene and have gained an extremely loyal fan base in the process. With it being just under two years since the release of their much-loved album 'Fools And Worthless Liars,' which featured hits such as 'I'm A Bore, Mostly' and 'Leeches', there was a lot of anticipation surrounding their new album. Now, the band have finally released their long awaited album 'Old Souls' and it has certainly lived up to my, and hopefully everybody elses, expectations.

At first listen, it is clear that Deaf Havana have done a lot of growing up since writing their last album, as both the sound and lyrics of this album are seemingly much more mature than usual. The album kicks off with 'Boston Square,' which I believe is the perfect angst-ridden song with a incredibly catchy chorus, to transition seamlessly between their old and new album. 

In general, this album is filled with many ready-made hits such as 'Lights' and 'Speeding Cars,' however there are two much more subdued tracks that really jump out at me, the first one being 'Night Drives.' This song starts off very simplistic with minimal instruments, yet this builds gradually throughout the song, with the final chorus becoming a lot more like the Deaf Havana's punchy songs that we all know and love. 'Saved' is the second slower song on the album and it really tugs on your heart strings. After carefully listening to the lyrics, it is apparent that this song is all about the struggle of growing up in a small town like Hunstanton and how unstable it can be. The final song that caught my attention, which is also coincidentally the last song on the album, is 'Caro Padre.' This number has a few subtle gospel-like qualities to it, including an atmospheric middle-eight complete with a choir and some heavy drumming, which makes this song a direction that Deaf Havana have never previously explored, as well as it being a great conclusive song for the album.

Here is the full track-listing for the album:

1. Boston Square
2. Lights
3. Everybody's Dancing And I Want To Die
4. Subterranean Bullshit Blues
5. Night Drives
6. 22
7. Speeding Cars
8. Saved
9. Mildred (Lost A Friend)
10. Tuesday People
11. Kings Road Ghosts
12. Caro Padre

Overall, Deaf Havana's sound has really matured and come into its own, and 'Old Souls' is a great showcase of this. I would really recommend listening to or purchasing this album as every song featured is, in my opinion, a sure fire hit. I would love to know your thoughts on the album and what your personal favourites are, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below letting me know what you think. Thank you!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

My Holy Grail Product: L'Oréal's Skin Perfection Micellar Solution

Hi guys! First and foremost, I want to apologise for not blogging for well over a week now. The reason for this is that lately I have not been buying any new products to talk about or review. I am currently saving up as I am going to be doing a three day intensive nail course in mid October, so I need to pay for the course and buy all the kits required for the course very soon. In addition to this, I have been a little ill this week and so I haven't quite been in the right mindset for blogging. However, with this being said, I thought that today I would share with you my holy grail product (L'Oréal's Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution,) which I use day -in, day-out without fail. I did include this product in my 'Recent Beauty Buys' post all the way back in May when I first bought it and gave it a mini review, however, now I can give you all my true opinion of the product.

This purifying micellar solution claims to do three key things: dissolve make-up, unclog pores and remove impurities, as well as tone & soothe the skin. In my honest opinion, this product does all three of these things incredibly well. Whenever I have used cleansing and toning products of this nature in the past, my skin is always left feeling very tight and irritated afterwards. However, this solution is very gentle and is great for those with sensitive skin too. Although this product can be used on the face, lips and eyes, I tend to use a separate eye make-up remover and simply use this water on my face and lips if need be. To ensure that every scrap of my make-up is taken off properly, I normally have to use two cotton pads worth of this micellar solution. I have also found that using the products has made my skin far less oily, which is a great thing for those with oily/combination skin such as myself.

Another reason why I love this product is the price. It is usually priced at £4.99 but in my local Boots or Superdrug, it is usually on special for around the £3 something mark. I really think that this product is a great alternative to the Bioderma range, as it is a lot cheaper and more widely available too. I have never used the Bioderma range myself but from reading a couple of comparative reviews between these two products, many beauty gurus actually prefer L'Oréal's version which goes to show that expensive products are not always superior to high street brands.

I hope that you all enjoyed reading about my holy grail product. I would really like to know what your holy grail product is; whether it is a skincare, make-up or hair care item, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I love reading them and discovering fellow bloggers opinions on different products :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

My Month Via Instagram - August 2013

Hi guys, I literally cannot believe that August is over already. it only feels like yesterday that I was sitting at my desk writing about what I was up to during July! Knowing that we are now nine months into 2013 is crazy, the next thing we know it will be Christmas! This month hasn't really been too busy or interesting for me in terms of activities, my life is a little samey at the moment but I still wanted to write this post regardless, as I have been doing so every month since I first started this blog and I can't go breaking tradition now can I?! So,without any further ado, here is what I have been up to throughout the month of August.

1. This is a little bit of a random post but I am proud to say that I have finally found all three variations of Coke bottles with my name on them. When Coca Cola first started doing this advertising technique, they only release the top 100 most popular names in the UK, and my name sadly didn't make the cut as it isn't that popular here. However, they have recently added over 100 more new names and mine was luckily included. Have any of you guys found your names yet? Let me know :)

2. Secondly this month, I went to one of my favourite nightclubs with my friend Sarah. I think it's safe to say that we had a really good time and had a good drink (or several drinks!) Apart from the actual night out itself, one of my favourite things is the process getting ready beforehand. I really loved my outfit this night (I borrowed the bralet from my friend Laura,) as it made me feel really confident. I am definitely an extreme girly-girl who loves spending their time doing their make-up and so on for a night on the town!

3. I recently bought this stunning dress from H&M and I had to share it with you all, as I love it so much. Not only is the dress a bargain, coming in at £14.99, but it's cut-out details are so gorgeous. The cut-outs are both at the side of the dress and atthe front at the top of the stomach area, as you can see in the photo above. It is an extremely flattering dress. They also do the dress in a lovely green colour if that's more up you're alley! 

4. I posted this photo on Instagram last weekend as a throwback from 2010 when me and my friend Laura went to Reading Festival for a day. We saw acts such as the likes of Blink 182, Paramore, You Me At Six and many more. Seeing a lot of my friends go to the festival this year made me definitely want to go next year. I spent a lot of my weekend watching the live streams and wishing I was there, sad I know! I hope that I can save up some money and go next year, otherwise I will be very upset! (P.S - I cannot believe how bright and red my hair was back in the day!)

5. This is just a picture I took on a day that me and my Mum went on a girly day out shopping. We spent some mother and daughter time browsing through all of our favourite shops and we found some lovely bits and bobs! We don't often get manyopportunities to spend the whole day together due to my Mums's strange working hours and so I was really happy to spend such a lovely day with her.

6. Last but not least, I spent a really nice day at my friend Sydney's house. As she completed a nail course last year, whenever we hang out she tends to do my nails for me. This time around I went for a gold, glittery Shellac polish and I love it. I hate how often normal nail varnish chips and so Shellac is perfect for me. I haven't posted a picture of my nails to Instagram yet but I am sure I will, so keep your eyes peeled! Afterwards, seeing as it was beautiful sunshine, we decided to do a spot of sunbathing in Sydney's garden. I also think that I made a new friend in her gorgeous dog, Ossie. Isn't he just adorable! 

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about what I have been up to this month. Please stay tuned to my blog as I have a lot of content ready to post in the next few weeks. Thank you :)