Edinburgh: Oliver Bonas


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1.One of the clothes rails 2.Metallic Zatchels satchel and other accessories 3.Statement necklaces 4.Cake stand full of bracelets 5.Bird jewellery holder 6.Cardboard patterned stag heads 7.Lotions and potions 8.Beautiful velvet chair 9.Kitchen accessories 10.Cutest teacups

When I got an email recently about the launch of a new Oliver Bonas store I was very intriged. I had never heard of the company before, but after a quick browse through their online store I knew it would be exactly my type of shop. The main reason that I'd never heard of Oliver Bonas before is because they're a London-based chain and the new store in Edinburgh is their very first Scottish shop. So earlier this week, I headed over to Hanover Street with Alex and Lianne to have an exclusive look round the new store.

Tucking into delicious summer berry cocktails courtesy of The Candy Bar and cupcakes from Bibi's Bakery, we had a wander round the shop to see what Oliver Bonas has to offer. I was pleasantly surprised by the huge range of different items they had managed to fill the shop with - everything from beautiful furniture to bath and body products, and summer dresses to cookery books. I love shops that have a bit of everything and you can just spend hours browsing through. It reminded me a bit of Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie etc. but with a more boutique feel; it didn't seem at all as though it was part of a larger chain. All the staff were extremely friendly and chatty too, which helped to give it that local, independent feel.

I ended up buying myself a dress (neon orange, eeep!) and a Korres Lip Butter whilst I was there, but I could have easily added half the shop to my shopping list had I not restrained myself! Everything was beautifully laid out, and I particularly enjoyed browsing through the homewares section - one day these velvet chairs will be mine. The shop also catered to a nice range of different budgets, with nick nacks and gifts for a couple of pounds, to reasonably priced £30-ish dresses, and all the way up to gorgeous furniture in the £300-500 range. The majority of things in the shop were very affordable, and could certainly compete with the more well-know high street shops.

I would be here forever if I listed all the products I loved, but hopefully the photos above give a little insight into some of the pretty things I spotted at Oliver Bonas. I really loved the statement jewellery, and one of those metallic Zatchels bags is top of my wishlist right now! The range of skincare and body products all smelled amazing, and there was a rhubarb body wash which particularly caught my eye (nose?). I also loved all the little kitchen accessories - a cheese knife shaped like a mouse! rainbow bowls and plates! a Beauty and the Beast-esque teacup! I very nearly bought myself this Diner recipe book but managed to persuade myself out of it, may have to go back and purchase that another day.

Oliver Bonas is a lovely wee shop, bright and beautifully decorated, and filled to the brim with all the clothes, accessories, homewares and gifts you could possibly want. It's located on 45A Hanover Street, and I'd definitely recommend having a look if you're in town. Oh, and Glasgow girls - an Oliver Bonas store is due to open on Byres Road later in June so keep your eyes peeled!

Gillian x

Review: Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules


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I recently ran out of my usual perfume, so this little package from the lovely people at Cult Beauty couldn't have arrived at a better time. Escentric Molecules have created a range of scents which give you the benefits of a bespoke fragrance without the bespoke price tag. The perfumes are designed smell different on each person so everyone will have their own unique scent. I received the travel size (although, still a very generous 30ml considering it's travel size!) version of the original Molecule 01 scent to review. Aside from water and alcohol, the only ingredient in this is the mysterious sounding "Iso E Super" which has traditionally been used as a base note to add depth to perfumes, but in this case is the sole aroma. I was really intrigued by the whole idea of this as it sounded completely different to any perfume I had tried before.

Molecule 01 mixes with your natural pheromones (or something like that, I'm no scientist) to create your own bespoke fragrance, so what does it smell like on me? I'd say it's a very rich, deep scent which reminds me of Christmas trees and cinnamon. I usually go for fruity or slightly floral perfumes, so this is totally different to anything I would have picked out for myself. The first couple of times I used it I wasn't quite sure if I liked it, but I've been using it every day for the last few weeks and it has really grown on me. It's nice to have something completely different to my usual perfumes and this one feels very grown up! I've tried this perfume out on a couple of my friends as well, and it does smell slightly different on everyone - although not drastically so, it always has a similar woody, almost spicy, scent.

Immediately after you spray it, you can smell it quite strongly on yourself but after about 10 minutes or so it fades away and you can't really detect it on yourself, although other people can still smell it. I can't quite decide if this is a plus or a negative point for me - on the plus side, it doesn't get sickly or overpowering, but on the negative side I usually want to be able to smell my perfume as I wear it because I like it not because I want other people to think I smell nice! This also makes it difficult to gauge how often to reapply it, I'd be tempted to re-spray a few times throughout the day but this probably isn't necessary at all as it seems like a very good quality, strong perfume.

Overall I really like this perfume and I love the concept behind it. The scent on me seems quite wintery so I think I'll be using it a lot during the colder months, or for nights out when you can get away with a stronger perfume, but not sure if I'll use it as much during the summer. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I like the scent as it's not the sort of thing I usually go for. I think £27 is a great price too, it's around the same price as 'high street' perfumes but you get a much more special, unique product. The full size is a little pricier at £65.50, but I like the idea of being able to try out the travel size first to make sure you like the scent before committing to a huge bottle of it.

Have you tried any Escentric Molecules perfumes?

Gillian x

Cocktail Hour: Mangotini


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I'm sure, by now, you all know I love a good cocktail or two. Sadly cocktails are pretty much the most expensive thing you can order in a bar, so over the last few years I've been honing my homemade cocktail skills to save a few pennies on pre-drinks. I've been meaning to do some cocktail-related posts for a while, so when Sourz sent me a bottle of their new Sourz Mango* I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce Cocktail Hour! Club Tropicanaaaaa drinks are freeeeeee.

I remember buying a bottle of Sourz Mango a while ago when it was introduced as a limited edition flavour, but sadly the bottle was polished off as shots (oops) before I got the chance to make any cocktails with it, so I'm glad to see Mango is now part of the permanent line. This weekend I tried out the Mangotini recipe from Sourz and I can confirm that Sourz Mango is just as good in cocktails as it is in a shot glass!

You Will Need (Serves 1):
1 part (35ml) Sourz Mango
1 part white rum
2 parts pineapple juice
1/2 lime (juice only)
Ginger beer (to top up)
1 slice lime (to garnish)

1. Add the Sourz Mango, rum, pineapple juice and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Throw in a few ice cubes, then shake well.
2. Pour into a martini glass and top up with ginger beer.
3. Garnish with a slice of lime and a cocktail umbrella.

This is a pretty simple cocktail to make and doesn't require any weird, specialist ingredients which can be a pain to get your hands on. It tastes great too, just like summer in a glass! If you're not a fan of ginger beer, you could easily swap it for soda water or lemonade. The sour mango flavour and the slight kick from the ginger beer work really well to create a cocktail that's not to sickly sweet, but is very drinkable!

Have your tried Sourz Mango yet?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #74


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1.Edinburgh 2.Watching Arrested Development 3.Illamasqua sale purchases 4.Origins 5.Edinburgh Castle from the bus home 6.Dressing like it's the '50s

After months of waiting, it's finally here: the new series of Arrested Development starts today! I'm not even going to pretend that I plan on doing anything else today apart from lying in bed and watching back to back episodes. I've just finished the first episode so I thought I'd take a break to write up this post before I get completely sucked in. All I need now is a frozen banana or two and I'll be set for the day!

On Thursday I had a big presentation to do for uni, so I spent most of the week preparing for that. Usually I'm terrible at presentations (public speaking, arrrrgghh) but I think it actually went really well, so hopefully I'll get a good mark for it. I was in a pretty good mood after that, and the sun was shining, so I decided to have a jaunt into town and treat myself to a new Origins mask. I ended up getting a facial done whilst I was there and one or two other products may have accidentally slipped into my shopping bag. In my defence, I was actually running out of moisturiser so I can forgive myself for that purchase - the serum and the exfoliator, not so much! I had a slight heart attack when I got home and looked at my receipt, but my skin has honestly never felt so soft, can't stop touching my face like a total creep. Thanks Origins, you babes!

I've also got a couple of new makeup purchases this week, thanks to the Illamasqua sale. I'd never tried Illamasqua products before because there's not a counter in Edinburgh, but when I noticed they were doing a 50% off promotion I couldn't resist ordering a couple of bits to try. I got a brow/lash gel as I've been meaning to buy one of those for ages, plus a blush in the shade Beg (so pigmented, and the perfect deep, dusky pink) and a lipstick in the shade Scandal (bright matte coral-pink and serious staying power). All the products seem amazing so far, I think I'll definitely be ordering lots more Illamasqua things. Oh, and full reviews will be coming soon!

I had a flat inspection earlier this week so had to get the flat all nice and clean, and now I seem to have the urge to tidy EVERYTHING, which is very unlike me. Yesterday I started clearing out my wardrobe in an attempt to get rid of some things I never wear and make room for new things. I've only sorted through about half of my clothes so far, but I've kept 85% of it, put about 13% in the charity shop/Ebay pile, and thrown out 2%. This is not how clear outs are supposed to work! Even though I only wear a handful of different outfits on a daily basis, I can't bring myself to get rid of stuff "just in case I need it one day". Too difficult!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

Mixtape: May


May Mixtape // via Spotify

Can you believe it'll be June in a few days? Madness. It still doesn't feel quite like summer yet, but at least the trees finally have leaves on them and I've been able to wear sunglasses on several occasions (okay, two). There's a couple more upbeat, summery type songs on this playlist than in my usual selections, but I'm definitely not ready to break out the summer jams quite yet. I finally upgraded to Premium Spotify this month so have been listening all my previous playlists lots as well as listening to plenty of new (and old) music.

Bright Eyes // Something Vague
Arcade Fire // Month of May
Transplants // Come Around
Dogs Die in Hot Cars // Somewhat Off the Way
Frightened Rabbit // Snake
The Shins // Baby Boomerang
Ladyhawk // Drunk Eyes
The Decemberists // The Engine Driver
The National // Sorrow
Rilo Kiley // With Arms Outstretched
Listen to "May" here.

What's on your playlist this month?

Gillian x

Wishlist: Dash for the Sun


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1.Pink Asymmetric Fastening Dress 2.Neutral Tuck Front Shirt 3.Battered Torque Necklace 4.Textured Stripe T-shirt Dress 5.Embroidered Skater Dress 6.Pink Framed Kisslock Purse 7.50s Style Sunglasses 8.Yellow Guipure Lace Shell 9.Denim Spotty Skater Skirt

A few weeks ago I snapped up a bargain old season Warehouse dress on Ebay and it's been pretty much the only thing I've wanted to wear since, it's really reminded me how much I love Warehouse. Now that it's getting a bit warmer (well, sort of) I've been feeling really uninspired by most of my wardrobe and browsing the Warehouse website has given me the shopping bug. Warehouse have just launched a new campaign called Dash for the Sun which is all about getting rid of your boring winter coats and scarves and swapping them for shorts and floaty dresses. Whilst my changeover might not be as dramatic (or fun) as the girl in the video, I'm still hoping to pick up a few of these things from my wishlist. On Saturday 25th May Warehouse are giving away special Dash for the Sun kits including label.m and Dermalogica products and other goodies with purchases over £50 (at selected stores, have a look at the list here) to help you get ready for summer. I also noticed on the Warehouse Facebook page yesterday that you can get 20% off online purchases with the code DASH20, so there's no excuse not to do a bit of shopping this weekend!

I can't decide which of these dresses I like best - the pink one is such a gorgeous colour, the navy one looks like it would be perfect for holidays and the stripey dress is exactly the kind of dress I love for warm, sunny days. I already have a couple of stripey skater dresses but I quite fancy another one! I think it would look really nice with the pink wayfarer style sunglasses and a pair of wedge sandals. If only the weather was nice enough for an outfit like that!

You can't beat a good skater skirt in the summer, and this spotty denim one would be perfect for casual outfits. I tend to wear a lot of dresses rather than tops and bottoms, but I'm loving both of these Warehouse tops. The draped shirt looks like it would be lovely dressed up with heels and the statement torque necklace for a nice going-out outfit, and the bright lacey yellow one is completely different to my usual (all-black) style, but it's a beaut!

What's on your summer wishlist?

Gillian x

This post contains sponsored content.

Review: Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in Rose Millesime


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Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in #17 Rose Millesime // £7.99

A couple of weeks ago I went to Boots to buy some shower gel and in a moment of weakness I accidentally spent a small fortune on beauty products and forgot to buy any shower gel at all. Oops. I had seen these Bourjois Rouge Edition lipsticks doing the round on blogs over the last couple of months and thought they looked nice enough, but not something I was desperate to go out and buy. But I was buying something else from the Bourjois stand and they had an offer on (always getting sucked in by those dastardly special offers!) so I had to spend a few extra pounds to get a free gift, and decided to get one of the lipsticks. It didn't take me long to settle on shade number 17, Rose Millesime, as it was the colour that immediately jumped out at me. It's such a "me" kind of colour; pink with a hint of coral, nice and bright without being unwearable. I thought it was a solid colour when I first bought it, but after getting home and trying it out I discovered it actually has a very slight golden shimmer. This doesn't really translate on the lips though, rather than looking glittery it just gives them a subtle shine.

The lipstick is pretty pigmented and gives a fair whack of colour, but it doesn't feel at all heavy and can easily be applied straight from the bullet without the need for lip liner or brushes. The formula feels really light on the lips and you could quite easily forget you were wearing anything. It seems almost like the Revlon Lip Butters more lipsticky big sister - it's definitely not a lip balm, but it feels really moisturising and takes absolutely no effort to apply. If you have particularly dry lips you might want to do a wee bit of exfoliation first, but for most people you could just slap this on and go, without worrying about it settling into any little cracks.

The Rouge Edition lipsticks are £7.99 (although there's usually some kind of special offer going on in Boots or Superdrug), which I think is a fair price for the product you get. It's a lot better than a lot of drugstore lipsticks I've tried, but it's not quite up there with the high end products. One thing that lets it down is the fact that it has that tell-tale cheap lipsticky smell which you can taste a little bit on your lips afterwards. Usually I love the artificial fruity or florally scents Bourjois products have (I've never tried a lipstick before though, so not sure what their other ones are like), but this was a slight let down for me. It's not horrible though, and not hugely off-putting, so the plus points definitely outweigh the negatives.

As for staying power, I'd say it's fairly average for a shiny, moisturising lipstick. You'll get a good 2 or 3 hours out of it, so will definitely have to reapply a couple of times throughout the day. I wouldn't really expect it to last much longer than that though, so I'm quite happy - and it's really easy to apply too so doing it on the go isn't a problem. If you're less lazy than me and did bother to use a lip liner it probably would last a little bit longer.

Overall, I really like this lipstick. The colour is such a beaut and I've reached for it most days - and nights - since I got it. It manages to be subtle enough for wearing through the day, but also bright enough for a night out. The formula is really nice and easy to use, so I think I'd definitely buy a couple more of these if any other the other colours catch my eye next time I'm shopping.

Have you tried any of the Rouge Edition lipsticks?

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #73


1.Strawberry macarons 2.Hi hi hi 3.PizzaExpress wine and pizza tasting 4.Homemade carbonara and a cheeky wee glass of vino 5.Pink Lady apple juice, so good! 6.Eurovision dressing up 7.Denmark and France are now best pals, hiyaaaa

Evening everyone, how has your day been? This post is being written a bit later than usual as I've just got home from Glasgow. As I'm sure most of you will know, it was Eurovision last night so I headed through for Morag's party. We all had to dress up as a different country, so I chose France as a) the costume was easy to put together and b) think of all the food and drink options! I went a bit overboard (as I always do with themed parties, somebody stop me) and made lots of food to take along with me, including mini quiches, homemade French onion dip, baked Camembert and macarons. I'd never made macarons before so I was a bit worried they'd be a disaster, but I think they turned out okay - although, they're not the prettiest macarons in the world, look at all those cracks! I think they're one of those things you really need to master the art of before they start to look like "proper" macarons, but these strawberry ones with vanilla buttercream filling tasted pretty good and that's the main thing! I also took some "Champagne" with me (cough Prosecco cough) and made some French martinis, then we went out after Eurovision had finished so I'm feeling a bit worse for wear today. Nothing worse than getting on a train with a hangover, with the possible exception of getting on a bus with a hangover.

It seems like absolutely ages ago now, but it was just this time last week that I was at the PizzaExpress event which I blogged about a few days ago. I could really be doing with one of those pizzas right now! Trying to persuade myself out of ordering a takeaway, but I am feeling so weeeaaaak today, I'll probably give in. Nothing useful is going to get done tonight so I think all I'll be doing is watching a film whilst clutching my Irn Bru. For once I'm actually caught up with all my usual TV serieses (definitely not a real word) so will have to have a browse on Netflix for a film instead - any recommendations? Speaking of TV, The Office finale OMG SO SAD. I literally cried for over half the episode haha, ~so emotional~ but it was the perfect ending to the show, it will definitely be missed! I also watched the season finale of The Vampire Diaries, a little bit overdramatic as usual but I do love a good teen drama. The Mindy Project finished recently too, waaaah I'm going to run out of things to watch soon and am actually going to have to do something useful instead.

The one day of sunshine this week gave me hope that summer was finally here, but the last couple of days have definitely proved that theory wrong - so. much. rain. I hate this humid, warm weather as it's impossible to dress for; I wish it was either cold and rainy so I could wear proper jackets and scarves, or warm and sunny so I could wear blazers and ballet pumps. Sort it out please, Mama Nature.

As you can probably tell from my TV and weather chat, this week has been fairly uneventful! What have you been up to?

Gillian x

Edinburgh: PizzaExpress Open House


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1.Open House 2.Antipasti platter 3.Restaurant seating 4.Pizzas being prepared 5.PizzaExpress Morningside restaurant 6.Organ 7.Bianca Formaggi and Fiorentina pizzas with Pinot Grigio and Cortese wine 8.Wine expert Adrian with the lovely PizzaExpress waitresses

It's no secret that I love eating and drinking, so when I was invited along to a pizza and wine tasting evening at PizzaExpress in Morningside I jumped at the chance. PizzaExpress are introducing a new concept, 'Open House', to their Edinburgh branches this summer so I headed along to hear what it was all about - and sample lots of pizza, of course!

I met up with Laura and her friend on Sunday evening and we headed in to the restaurant. The Morningside PizzaExpress has only been open for a couple of months so this was the first time I had visited. The building itself is gorgeous; it's located in an old church so has lovely high ceilings, big windows and even an old organ above the pizza ovens! The decor was clean and modern, but with a bit of a retro feel, and I loved the little "Edinburghy" touches like the quotes from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie on the walls. The three of us took a seat and enjoyed some antipasti and a glass of Prosecco before being introduced to the concept of Open House by Emma, the Marketing Director at PizzaExpress. On Sunday evenings, PizzaExpress are encouraging us to make the most of our weekends and head down to our local restaurant with our favourite bottle of wine, which they'll help match to the perfect pizza partner. BYOW (or, Bring Your Own Wine) is a concept that's starting to make its way into a lot of top restaurants across the world, and PizzaExpress have chosen Edinburgh as the first place to take advantage of Open House Sundays, which is lucky for me! The promotion is exclusive to Edinburgh and runs until the end of July - but who knows, if it's successful it might make its way to more destinations across the UK!

After that, PizzaExpress's resident "Master of Wine", Adrian, gave us an introduction to our first wine and pizza combination of the night (there were eight in total, oh the things I do in the name of blogging!). We started off with one of my favourite wines (although I must admit I'm not terribly picky, as long as it's drinkable I'll drink it!), a Pinot Grigio, which matched perfectly with the creamy, salty cheese flavour of the Bianca Formaggi pizza. At the same time we also tasted a Cortese - which was quite similar to the Pinot Grigio but with subtle differences due to the type of grape and the region it's grown in - which Adrian suggested would work well with the Fiorentina pizza, which had spinach, egg, garlic and olives. Many, many glasses of wine later we were finally getting the hang of this tasting business (the warmer the climate, the sweeter the wine!) and we reached the final wine-pizza-combo. I'm not usually a huge fan of red wine, but I must admit when it was paired with spicy pizza it worked really well. We had a Chianti along with a slice of Sloppy Guiseppe and it finished off our tasting session perfectly.

I think the idea of Open House is great, especially as it'll help to keep the cost of a meal nice and cheap but you'll still get to enjoy dining out on a Sunday instead of vegetating on the sofa watching endless episodes of Come Dine With Me. The Open House BYOW (with no corkage, yay!) is currently available at all eight of the Edinburgh PizzaExpress restaurants from 6pm on Sundays, and will run until the 30th July. I had a great time at the preview event and now have lots of wines to look out for in the supermarket, ready to stock up for the next time I visit!

Will you be trying out the Open House Sundays deal?

Gillian x

Today's Makeup #2: Sunset Glow


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Can we all just take a second to cringe at the title of this post? I thought trying to come up with titles for outfit posts was bad enough, but as it turns out makeup posts are a billion times worse. Anyway, this dusky, warm makeup look makes me think of summery sunsets (mostly thanks to the Dallas packaging, I think!), hence the name. Benefit Dallas is one of my all time favourite cheek products; I'm never quite sure if it's a blusher or a bronzer, but that's a good thing as it means it can be used as both. Normally I use it more as a contour shade, but on days when it's sunny outside and I fancy a bit more colour, I'll apply it as a blush instead. It's such a lovely browny-pink shade that's almost matte but with a very subtle glow, so it's perfect for natural, no-fuss makeup especially if you're pale and traditional bronzers tend to be a bit overpowering.

Sticking with the almost-bronze theme, I've paired it with this Arbonne Lipstick in Rose Petal. It's another sort of pink, sort of brown colour which ends up looking like a pretty pale coral on my lips. The formula is super creamy and glides on to the lips really easily. It feels nice and hydrating, but manages to give a really pigmented, solid colour at the same time. Arbonne is a brand I became aware of very recently, after my friend Morag became an Independent Beauty Consultant with them and let me try out some of their products. Arbonne is sold exclusively through consultants, who can give you advice and let you try products before you buy them, so if you're ordering anything from the website, pop in Morag's Consultant ID - 440017741 - when you register and she'll be there to help! The makeup is definitely in the "high end" price bracket, but the lipstick and the mattifying powder I've tried so far seem like great quality and definitely worth the money. Plus if you're planning on buying quite a few items, you can join as a 'Preferred Client' and get 20% off all purchases for the next year. I think I'll definitely be ordering myself some things soon, and I quite fancy trying out Arbonne's skincare range too.

As for base makeup, I've stuck to my usual favourites. Can't go wrong with a bit of Estée Lauder Double Wear Light! A little bit of Benefit Girl Meets Pearl along the tops of my cheekbones and nose helps to give a subtle glow, and this mini version of it is handy for chucking in my makeup bag. As is the baby They're Real Mascara, which helps to add a bit of volume to my cat-eye liner (which you can read all about in my winged eyeliner tutorial from last week). To finish off, I've added a very light dusting of Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre to keep everything in place without becoming too matte and powdery.

Gillian x

Sunday Summary #72


1.Flowers 2.Mini burgers and hundreds of chips for lunch 3.Starburst Martini cocktail

There seems to have been a distinct lack of Instagramming this week, which is very unlike me! I've been quite busy this week, but the kind of busy that involves writing shopping lists and scouring through the library catalogue and replying to emails, rather than the kind of busy when you can take nice pictures of stuff. I did, however, manage lunch out on Monday to the Bristo Bar and Kitchen, where old favourite Assembly used to be. Our waitress was a bit of a space cadet, but the food was pretty good and the chip portions were huge, much to my delight. As it was a Monday lunchtime, I thought I better not indulge in a drink, but I did notice their cocktails were pretty cheap (by Edinburgh standards, anyway) so I may have to go back of an evening to try some out.

Speaking of cocktails, I headed out on Friday evening to catch up with some friends at Tonic. My first cocktail was a Starburst Martini and oh my gaaaaaad it was amazing, tasted just like a strawberry Cornetto! As it got later in the evening, the lights kept getting dimmer and the music kept getting louder, and like the old ladies we are, we decided to head somewhere a little bit quieter so we could actually hear what we were saying - oh how depressing, we're only 22! Luckily there's a Wetherspoons just round the corner so we stopped off there for a couple more drinks before bedtime.

Apart from that, this week has been fairly boring. I had a meeting with my supervisor on Friday, so have now finally chosen a topic for my dissertation - this means I'm actually going to have to start doing the research for it now arrrghhh. I also have a presentation to do for my internship in a couple of weeks, so will be doing lots of work on that next week. I absolutely hate public speaking, so doing a 20 minute presentation is really my idea of fun, NOT.

This evening I'm off to the new Pizza Express in Morningside for a little launch party, ah the perks of being a blogger! My invite arrived through the post attached to a bottle of wine, so I'm already sure it's going to be a great evening - they know the way to my heart!

What have you been up to this week?

Gillian x

How-To: Perfect Cat Eye Winged Eyeliner


Liquid eyeliner is one of those things where practice really does make perfect. A cat eye has been my staple, everyday makeup choice for the last 5 or so years so I've just about perfected my version of the classic look. Even after all this time, on some mornings my makeup looks like it has been done by a small child and I have to wipe it all off and start again - so don't worry too much if your first few attempts aren't exactly perfect!

You Will Need:
Concealer - Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer (Light)
Concealer brush - Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (Starter Set)
Liquid eyeliner - Rimmel Glam Eyes (Black)
Eyelash curlers - Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers
Mascara - Benefit They're Real!
Cotton buds and makeup remover

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1. After concealing your under-eyes, use whatever's left on your brush to sweep along your top lid. This helps to even out the colour of your lid and also helps the liner stay in place.
2. I prefer using a liquid liner with a thin brush, like this Rimmel one. I find them much easier to control than felt-tip nibs or sponge applicators. You could also experiment with gel or kohl liners, but I prefer to use a traditional liquid one. Just use whatever you feel most comfortable with. Use the centre of the lid as your starting point.
3-4. Using the natural shape of your eye as a guide, bring the liner down towards the outer corner. I find it easiest to use lots of short strokes rather than one fluid movement. Don't worry about the end being too neat as we'll fix it later when adding on the wing.
5-6. Go back to the inner corner and fill in the gap. Stay as close to the lashline as possible to keep this part thinner than the outer section of eyeliner. I don't line all the way to the inner corner, instead I usually leave the very corner bare so it's not too dramatic for an everyday look.
7. Once you've finished the first eye, do the same on the second. It's easier to get the 'base' of your eyeliner matching before you add in the wings. If they look uneven at this stage, you can make the liner a little bit thicker where necessary, or remove a little using a cotton bud soaked in makeup remover.

perfect cat eye liner liquid eyeliner tutorial 5
perfect cat eye liner liquid eyeliner tutorial 6
perfect cat eye liner liquid eyeliner tutorial 7
perfect cat eye liner liquid eyeliner tutorial 8
8-9. Now you can draw on the wings. I completely ignore that piece of advice that says you should work out the angle by drawing from the outer corner of your eye to the end of your eyebrow - madness, I'm trying to avoid the Amy Winehouse look if possible! Instead, I just follow the natural curve of my eyelashes (you can kind of see this in photo 8, the liner has the same shape as my outer lashes, just higher up). I also don't pull my skin taught to draw on the wing, as this just distorts it once you let the skin go. Draw on the 'top' of the wing first, then do the same on the other side to match them up before filling in the rest of the wing.
10. Create a triangle from the bottom of your outer corner to the top of the wing you've just drawn and fill it in. Once you've got the basic shape done, you can extend the wing a little further if you need to.
11. Makeup sure the join between liner and wing is nice and neat, and add a little bit more eyeliner if necessary to make sure it's a fluid curve rather than a sticky-out wing.
12. Do the same on the other eye. Match them up as much as possible, but they'll probably never look perfect! My eyes are a slightly different shape so it can be tricky to get them exactly the same, but as long as it's not completely ridiculous I doubt anyone is going to notice!
13-14. Curl your eyelashes and add lots of mascara. My favourite is still Benefit's They're Real!

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Et voila! You now have perfect cat eyes! This is my everyday sort of liner, the wings aren't too big and the liner is a medium thickness. If I was doing my makeup for a night out, I would extend the wings a bit further and make the liner thicker towards the outer corners. For a more natural look, I'd make the liner very thin along most of my lid, and then just wing it out slightly at the end. Once you've mastered the liquid liner, it only takes about 5 minutes to do a cat eye so it instantly makes you look 'done' without having to bother with too much makeup. A good skill to have, I'd say!

Have you got any eyeliner top tips?

Gillian x