Saturday, October 11, 2014

BENEFIT POREFESSIONAL FACE PRIMER




This month ELLE Magazine was giving away a free sample of Benefit Porefessional Pro Balm Face Primer with every issue. A product which has been hyped-up by beauty bloggers galore, I was eager to try it out and see if it worked for me. Thankfully it didn't disappoint.

With the claim that the produce 'minimises the appearance of pores', I first tried it when I was wearing a full face of makeup and planned on going for the evening. Initially I didn't see a difference, but after a few minutes the effect quickly became clear. Pardon the pun. My pores are fairly open around the cheek and nose area, the balm worked brilliantly and created a sleek canvas for my foundation and concealer. 

Alongside minimising pores, the product blends really well and suits a variety of skin types. For me it also helped increased the longevity of my foundation - that's always a plus point. But what do you think? Have you tried Benefit Porefessional Pro Balm Face Primer? Leave a comment below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews



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Friday, October 10, 2014

THE TRAVEL TAG









THE TRAVEL TAG

Although the summer season is well and truly over, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thinking ahead and planning the places I want to go next year. From visiting Paris in March to sightseeing Milan in June, there's plenty of upcoming trips on the agenda - fingers crossed! In the meantime, I thought I'd get in the spirit and do the 'Travel Tag'. It's a fairly popular one on YouTube and gives viewers - or readers in this case - and insight into your likes and dislikes when it comes to aeroplanes and your must-see travel hotspots. Let's begin!

Where was your first plane ride to?

My parents flew to Paris when my Mum was pregnant, so I'm guessing it would technically be that. However if you're thinking of a time where I can actually remember flying it would of been when I was about 3 or 4 and visited Switzerland for the first time. Again I can't really remember much but the flight is fairly short so I doubt I would have been much of a troublemaker.

Where have you travelled to that you would love to visit again?

New York is one of y favourite cities in the world. I visited twice before and am fortunate enough to be visiting for the third time in January. I seriously love that place and can't get enough. I'd also love to visit Vegas again. It's insane!

What are 3 of your must have travel items?

This is a hard one. I'm not too sure. My items are probably going to be ridiculously boring and very practical but an iPod, a map and money. The iPod would kill all those long and tedious hours spent sitting on a plane. Obviously a map would help you when it comes to visiting all the local must-sees in the town or city you're staying in. As for money well there's always time for shopping right?!

Window, isle or middle seat?

Window seat! Always the window seat.

What place is on your 'places to visit next' list?

I'd love to visit more of Europe. I'm quite fort net in most of the places I've seen are long haul. I've visited so much of America and although it's amazing, I'd love to see more sights close to home like Spain, Italy, France and so forth.

Where would you travel just for the weather?

It would have to be someplace sunny, so I'm gonna say.... Australia! I'd love to visit one day, it looks like such an amazing country and how cute are those kangaroos?!

Do you have an interesting 'I'm lost' story?

Not really. Most of the places I've travelled to in the past are countries which speak English so language barriers have never been an issue. Boring I know! Maybe I should just re-live The Hangover on my next trip.

Where would you travel to just to eat the food?

Mexico! I love Mexican food. It's so yummy and will no doubt taste even better than our lame, half cooked UK take on the dishes.

Is there a place you would never go again?

San Francisco. I don't hate the place but wouldn't necessarily go out my way to visit their again. To me it was a smaller take on New York - although seeing the Golden Gate Bridge was nice.

If you could take one person with you to travel who would it be?

One of my friends duh! Who else would you want to travel with?!

How do you pass the time on the airplane?

The flights I've travelled on thankfully have on air entertainment. Usually I'll watch a couple of films and/or shows if there's anything decent on. If not then I'll plug myself into my iPod and read a few books or magazines.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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Thursday, October 09, 2014

OLD WIVES TAIL OIL TREATMENT






Hailing from the city centre, Old Wives Tail are on a mission to improve the quality of hair in a natural, environmentally friendly way. The brand stock a wide range of shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and oil treatments that aim to recover luscious locks and rid hair of a dry, brittle sensation.

Old Wives Tail recently sent me their Argan and Rosemary Organic Oil treatment to try out. Enriched in vitamin E, the product helps condition hair and moisturise stands, tacking thick, fizzy and unruly hair. Although my hair is fairly healthy - I've never dyed it and rarely use styling products - during the summer it does tend to get a little too fluffy and prone to snaps and subtle breaks. With that in mind, I was eager to try the £13.99 treatment out and see if it would help.

Following the instructions, I used the treatment on damp hair and massaged it into my scalp. Having left it on for just over an hour, I rinsed thoroughly and shampooed with my regular products before brushing my hair through and leaving it to dry. Unfortunately I think I put a little too much of the product on and underestimated just how much oil was in it. Once I shampooed my hair and left it to dry, it became greasy and developed a thick coating, which was far from pleasant to touch. Realising my mistake, I had to wash my hair another two times before it started feeling fresh again.

Despite my mishap, I was fairly happy with the results of the product. My hair is now smooth and soft. When it came to styling it for the day ahead, my split ends appeared tamed and I didn't have to use any additional smoothing products. On top of that, it left my hair with a soft wave, which emphasis my natural style and face shape. Talk about win-win.

Overall I would use the treatment again, as it's made my hair a lot less frizzy, however next time will be using a lot less of the oil. After all, coming out the shower looking like a car mechanic is far from a good look. But what do you think? Have you tried any treatments from Old Wives Tail?

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews
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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

BURBERRY BEAUTY






I admit, for the majority of last week I was lusting over the new range by Burberry Beauty. From creamy eyeshadows to glossy lipsticks, I was on the verge of buying it all. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled into TK Maxx and found last season's Burberry Beauty must-haves piled high on the reduced shelf. Call me a designer snob, so rightly so, but I was beyond shocked that a high street retailer like TK Maxx would stock such high-price products like Burberry. Nonetheless I was quick to pick up a few bits and bobs. Here's what I got.

The first product I bought was the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter Powder in Golden Radiance for £15. Ideal for the summer season, the powder is the perfect shade for me, with it giving my cheeks a shimmery, golden glow without it looking too bright or overly fake. Pictured above, it came with a signature Burberry tartan compact and matching brush - which is amazing for when you're on the go and need a touch up. Usually retailing at £31, I couldn't be happier with the product.

Next on my shopping list was Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Rosewood. Priced at £12.99, the shadow is a pale, metallic pink that can be used as a highlighter and looks great when worn with various shades of brown and cream. Although I haven't used the product overly much so far, primarily because I've been at work and tend to opt for more subdued makeup when I'm on the shop floor, I can't wait to have a play and create some Summery looks for the forthcoming months.

My final purchase was the Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Graphite for £7.99, as the name suggests the colour is a stone grey and is a nice change from the black polish I usually wear. Once I've moved into my new house and hunted down my camera, that's currently stored away in one of the many boxes, I'm hoping to do a more detailed review with a swatch of the colour. Overall I'm extremely happy with my new purchases and plan on buying a couple more things when I'm in town tomorrow. But what do you think? Do you like the products I bought? Are you surprised that Burberry Beauty is being sold in TK Maxx? 

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews


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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

DRESSING FOR YOURSELF




DRESSING FOR YOURSELF

Call me a middle aged woman but somehow I’ve found myself typing up yet another mini tangent about life and society’s somewhat warped, outdated views about it. You can tell it’s been a tough morning. This time my mini rant comes in the form of dressing. A strange topic I know, but bare with me.

Over the years more and more garments have come to develop connotations that supposedly reflect the people or group of people wearing them. Just think about it. If you wear tartan by Burberry you’re supposedly a British chav, who will no doubt accessorise you’re new found love of check with a pint of cider and posse of Vicki Pollard wannabes. If you wear a cross, you’re a bible basher, who probably goes to Church every weekend with polished shoes and modest clothing. Heck we only need to look at specific religions like Hinduism or Seek ism to see how things like the burka and heejab, garments which are respectfully worn out of religious belief, have been scrutinized and judged in society due to people throwing around terms like terrorist.

The world isn’t as black and white as people make it out to be. Just because someone wears a certain symbol or brand doesn’t necessarily mean they follow those beliefs or are associated with those connotations. It happened to be only yesterday, when I decided to wear a leather skirt and knee-high boots. Thanks to Olivia Palmero’s chic Burberry and thigh-high combo, boots have been my go-to shoe for a while now and as far as I’m concerned are here to stay. That being said, I still found myself victimized when a boy cycled past me asking how much I charge. Implying I was some form of prostitute, which quite honestly me and my friends had a good old laugh yet, it wasn’t until a few hours later when I actually began to think about what he said.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no intention of getting rid of my boots. Equally I’m still going to be wearing them with skirts and/or dresses – why could I listen to what someone like him has to stay – but it goes to show how despite living in a fairly open, fairly modern society, people’s views are still dated and they cling onto beliefs that surfaced way before they were born. Just because a girl where’s a skirt with knee high boots doesn’t make them a prostitute, the same way if someone walked into my house wearing a pentagram shirt, I wouldn’t think they’re a Satan worshipper or believer of the antichrist.

So just because I decided to wear something that could be considered slightly provocative – although in reality boots and a skirt is anything but – I’m not a prostitute. Neither am I doing it for a man’s sake. Let’s face it; if women wanted to dress for men, they’d walk around naked. Not fully clothed. The fact is we should be able to wear what we want without getting judged for it. That being said, I’m off to buy a new pair of boots. Later.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Monday, October 06, 2014

MALLORY KNOX ASYMMETRY REVIEW



MALLORY KNOX 'ASYMMETRY' ALBUM REVIEW

As brooding as an artist who's just gone through a breakup with nothing but a guitar for company, Mallory Knox’s follow up album Asymmetry is a release that's an excavation of loneliness, heartbreak and self-reliance.

From haunting opener ‘Ghost In The Mirror’ to soaring second single ‘Shout at The Moon’, the offering has allowed the band to grow into their own and develop a reputation as being an important pillar in the UK alt-rock scene.

Songs like ‘Getaway’ and ‘When Are We Waking’ build on the band’s signature sound of creating emotional narratives, with vocalist Mikey Chapman bellowing; “Baby just tell me you’re okay, that you’re okay, cus you’re dying just to tell me you’re not.” Whereas curveball track ‘She Took Him To The Lake’ is packed with haunting vocals and hostile harmonies which create stark imagery that hits you right where it hurts.

Sure, you might not find the chirper moments you did in previous record ‘Signals’. There’s certainly no sentimental memoir about finding a long lost love or a ballad about cherishing a new partner. Instead, Asymmetry thrives in underpinning the rawness of a relationship in a way fans of a great debut album want yet rarely get: the same again but stronger, deeper and better. Let me know what you think of the released tracks via the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Ellie Mitchell

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Sunday, October 05, 2014

SOAP AND GLORY MOTHER PUCKER



The craving for full, luscious lips had always been there. From Angelina Jolie’s red carpet appearances way back in 2010 to Kim Kardashian's take of chic lipgloss that promises plump puckers, girls have always been fed the idea that big lips are beautiful. In fact it’s only recently with the spotlight being on Kylie Jenner that we’ve seen more and more girls – some successfully, some unsuccessfully – play around with lip liner or question the possibility of fillers.

Although the idea of fillers may appeal to the minority, realistically a lot of us girls don’t want or can’t afford surgery - this where all our favourite makeup products like plumping gels and ultra shiny glosses. One product that I’ve recently tried out is the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lipgloss. Similar to products like the largely popular Lip Voltage, the product is said to aid the size of your lips and make them appear fuller and thicker. But does it work?

Before I go into the in’s and out’s of the product and tell you a little bit about the results, I thought I’d start by explaining exactly how the gloss works. The formula contains ingenious plumping microsphere, which explode in volume up to 10 per cent when they come in contact with moister – a.k.a. water on your lips. See it’s not as scary as you initially think and from experience is completely and utterly safe.

The gloss I bought was the clear version which is a chocolate orange flavor. I wanted a clear gloss as I can wear it daily, however if you’re looking for a specific gloss or one that’s a certain colour the brand offer ‘Candy Gloss’, ‘Pink Apricot’, ‘Half Naked’ and ‘Yummy Plum’ - all of which have their own unique smell and taste.

When I first tried the product you instantly notice a tingling in your lips. This is due to the plumping microspheres expanding and is totally normal. For me the tingling lasted a few minutes but it was over you could instantly see the results, with my bottom lip in particular looking a lot fuller than my top. Once you’ve applied the gloss you can then add any hues you want to, whether that be a lipstick and/or lip liner.

Overall I was fairly happy with the outcome it looks a lot more natural than competiting products.  However I do feel it is one of those products that either works or doesn’t and similar to marmite you’ll either love it or hate it. I have fairly full lips anyway, so although my results were noticeable I didn’t want them too noticeable. Therefore it could be very different for someone who had say thinner lips and wanted the full affect. But what do you think? Have you tried the product? Let me know in the comments below.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Saturday, October 04, 2014

EXERCISES TO HELP YOUR BALANCE


5 REASONS WHY EXERCISES IMPROVE YOUR BALANCE

People often associate the loss of balance with clumsiness or a natural part of old age. It’s seen as something that can’t be helped and we tend to look on it as yet another symptom of our mortality. But the reality is a loss of balance could be an indication that something medically is wrong. If you feel the loss of balance is unexpected or unusual, seek medical advice to ensure there is nothing underlying that could be its cause.

Once you’ve established you are healthy, it’s time to look at fitness – two very different things – and some exercises that could be the solution to your balance problems. First, get in touch with a professional health and rehab company such as Optomo Australia for some free advice on exercise and equipment to help you get into shape. If you’re still not convinced, here are some reasons why you should turn to exercise to help improve your balance.

SIMPLE BALANCING EXERCISES

To learn to walk and stand upright, most toddlers practice first – they hold tables, stand in one spot, stand on one leg and do all sorts of instinctive exercises to help them with their balance. As we get older, our sense of balance comes naturally and we do it without thinking. But as we get older still, some people might need to revisit these once-natural instincts. Simple exercises such as standing on one leg can help us retain our balance as we get older.

WATER BALANCE FIRST

Similarly, allowing our natural balance instincts to take over in the weightless conditions of a pool can help with any issues we have on dry land. Easy balance exercises that you do on land are just as, if not more, effective in the water. And if you are feeling particularly adventurous, try a bit of water aerobics.

CORE TRAINING

‘Core’ is the modern term for the abdominal muscles that are the key to you being able to stand and walk on two feet. It is the very essence that makes you who you are. If they are not working properly, you are more likely to lose your balance, experience greater instances of back pain and be more prone to injury. There are many core strengthening exercises you can do at home, while others are more suitable to a gym. Try some out.

WALK TO A HEALTHY FUTURE

There is an argument that all the mod cons of life have made us a little lazy. And with a tendency toward inertia comes an increase in balance problems. Walking on a daily basis will help you keep your balance, even as you reach old age. And as an added advantage, it will keep your heart and lungs in great shape too.

FOLLOW THE CHINESE EXAMPLE

Tai Chi has been called ‘meditation in motion’ and it is being taken up by older people across the world. This elegant and graceful form of martial arts helps you relax and find your inner peace. But it also has a practical advantage because balance is a vital part of any Tai Chi workout.

Just about everything we do requires us to get up and move about. If we start to lose our balance on a regular basis, it is not only embarrassing, but can also result in serious injury from falls. It is important therefore that you keep up some exercise in your daily routine to help you keep your balance as your get older.

WORDS: Anon
PHOTOS: Emma Matthews

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Friday, October 03, 2014

CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK


CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK

Strangely the reasoning behind this post was a little unexpected. I have always planned on writing about the topic - especially as it's something I feel so strongly about - however was going to write about it in a somewhat structure manner, rather than a spontaneous tangent that I'm hoping still makes sense. That being said, who knows sometimes your most spontaneous posts are your best ones right?

The topic I wanted to talk about was the deep, turmoil trait of caring about what others think of you. I know, I know but bare with me. It might just be me - I really hope it's not - but as I've grown up, I've noticed more and more people seem to pay too much attention to what others think of them. Whether it's the girl who's fretting over what her co-worker thinks of her pink hair? Or the guy that is constantly trying to say the right thing to impress a girl at a club? Don't get me wrong, I know there's a time and a place. For example naturally you would care about what your boss thinks of you? Or your boyfriends parents say about you behind your back? But this little observation is for social situations and I can't stress that enough.

Whether it's going to the pub with mates or a festival surrounded by people I don't know, I've found myself in many places, which again are social ones - not work related, and felt that people were judging me and/or scrutinising my every move. However, the difference of how I respond and how I've seen other people respond though is completely different. Whereas some would change the way they handle the situation, through acting or speaking differently, I haven't done that in a long time and as harsh as it sounds if someone thinks I'm stupid for what I've just blurted out or doesn't like the way I over-pronounce most of my words, so be it. Why should I change just to please or receive validation from someone I've a) never met, b) have no intention of befriending if they don't like the real me and c) probably isn't a very nice person if they're analysing my behaviour that closely anyway.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I wish more people were confident about their personality and how they act around others. I'm not going to go into too many examples, after all we all have our own personal experiences and I'm sure many of you have probably thought of one or two whilst reading this, however I will address a lighthearted one that we can all have a laugh - or cringe I really don't care - over.

Believe it or not it involves shoes, I know... a girls best friend. I'm not ashamed to say I'm pretty short - 5ft 2" to be exact - and often wish I was a few inches taller. Mostly for practically reasons like being to see over a crowd and/or reaching the top shelf in my friend's fridge but also for vanity. Let's face it clothes always look so much better on girls with long legs. That being said when I go out to a restaurant, gig, festival, club and so forth I'll usually whack on a pair of platform wedges that could be anything to 5/6" depending on the occasion. Sounds perfectly normal right? Wrong. Apparently when girls put on massive heels to go to a concert in and/or a day festival it automatically turns them into some wild animal that's constantly on the prowl. The amount of snickers or comments I've received at day festivals because I'm wearing a pair of heeled boots and/or wedges is insane, with the assumption I'm either seeking compliments from the guys who attend the event and/or am looking for someone to hook up with. I've had comments of me putting it about - yes all because I was wearing a pair of heels! - with the assumption that I'm also a bimbo who can't dress herself. Ironically I study fashion... But do I really care what these people think? Would I change the way I dress because of them? Possibly act in a different way and walk in a different way while I'm at it? No, because I don't really care. I dress for me - that's all. The same way you put on your Converse on in the morning, I want to look presentable and like the outfit I'm wearing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is people need to stop stressing over the need to say the right thing and have more belief in the fact they are saying the right thing because if they're happy with the way they behave and people they surround themselves with that's all that matters. As for me, I'm going to totter off to review a band now... Sorry.

WORDS: Emma Matthews
PHOTOS: District Southampton

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