ABQ London- Breaking Bad Bar Experience

Hello,

If you’re a TV show fan like myself then you would have definitely seen or if not, heard of the television king that is Breaking Bad. A show all about a chemistry professor on his mission to pay for his own cancer treatment through the production and distribution of crystal meth, which leads to some… interesting scenarios.

I watched the show about 3 years ago and was completely blown away with the quality of the production, script writing and the performances by the actors on the show. Who doesn’t love Bryan Cranston?

As me and my best friend, Ellen, are both huge fans of the show we decided that whilst we were in London for a short break, we’d visit the Breaking Bad bar which we’d seen a friend post photos of a few years ago.

The bar is located in Cambridge Heath, close to the Cambridge Heath overground. Although we found it easier to just hop on the tube, get off at Bethnal Green and do the 10-15 minute walk to the bar. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the bar, we ended up having to run in 21 degree heat to make our time slot!

Once we arrived, we found the infamous RV, which was already blasting music and were greeted by energetic staff who were hyping the energy up. After we clambered inside our yellow jumpsuits and felt like true cooks, we stepped inside the RV to be greeted by insane decor. A array of little tables with metal drums to sit on, a massive Heisenberg wall feature, mood lighting and scientific apparatus. Fitting in about 25 people into one RV, they made fantastic use of the space they had.

On arrival, we were met by Z and Becks who, along with the rest of the staff were always in character and helped us feel at ease and made sure we were making our drinks correctly.

We were given two Mojito’s with an extra twist as a welcome drink as the drink list and mixing were explained. We then got a choice of what drink we wanted to make for ourselves first. Being prosecco lovers, the Wendy Martini was a certain pick for us.

With the Wendy Martini, we first had to infuse the alcohol through funnels and beakers. Possibly the most fun/tastiest part of the whole night was then creating white chocolate bubbles by blowing into a beaker filled with a concoction of food science goodness. After, we served up the drinks and maybe overdid it with the amount of bubbles we scooped on!

By this point we were already pretty tipsy (hence the bad photography, I’m sorry im incapable of using my camera at the best of times and a few drinks don’t help).

Our second choice of drink experiment was ‘Blow’. We asked which drink was the strongest and that’s how we came to pick this particular mix. When the ingredients arrived, Ellen and I gave each other a suspicious look…we were definitely in a Breaking Bad bar. But don’t worry it’s just sugar and all part of the fun.

Once we’d finished our drinks, we took a few pictures, had a quick chat to the staff and the lovely couple we were sat opposite too before taking off our jumpsuits and heading off into the night (onto another bar…and then another…and then my head was down the toilet bowl).

We had an absolutely fantastic time at ABQ London and I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend the experience, especially if you’re a fan of the show! Great atmosphere, lovely staff and a whole lot of fun making the drinks. It’s definitely amazing value for money!

You can find the link to their site and more information here.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

 

 

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Arctic Monkeys: ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino’ Album Review

Happy Friday!

It’s here, finally after what seems like a century of waiting, the Arctic Monkeys have released their 6th studio album, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’.

I’m a big fan of the Arctic Monkeys, especially like most of us, the AM album released in 2013. I really can’t find any faults with that album, it definitely is musical perfection, sonically and lyrically and it’s one of my favourites of all time. I’m also a fan of their earlier stuff too, when the band were more interested in the goings on of South Yorkshire and the booming indie-rock scene.

I was headache-inducing excited for the release of this album and discussed every song with a good friend who is also a Monkeys fan. We’d bought tickets to the tour so had high hopes for what we were about to listen to.

Quick disclaimer as usual, I am no music expert nor do I know anything about the technicality of it. I am simply a music listener and lover and all of what you’re about to read is completely my own personal opinion.

The album presents 11-tracks with a collective time of 40 minutes, which is standard for an Arctic Monkeys album as they’ve all been a very similar length.

THE REVIEW:

Track One – ‘Star Treatment’:

My instant thoughts within the space of the first thirty seconds of the song was that it was insanely Bowie-influenced, very ‘Space Oddity’, which is definitely not a bad thing and brings a whole new sound for the band. Of course, Alex Turner delivers on the lyrical front as always and his falsetto sounds great. I’ve definitely missed his voice over the last few years they’ve been MIA.

Track Two – ‘One Point Perspective’

This is going to make people mad, but when I first heard the piano at the start I thought it was ‘Hard Knock Life’ from the Annie soundtrack…

Getting past that, the piano continues across the track and mingles with smooth guitar to create an almost old sort of arcade type sound. I also caught the lyric, ‘they come out of the cracks, thirsty for blood’ which makes me think of the reference to vampires in the band’s first album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not with the track, ‘Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But’. It could be a nod to their first record or I could just be reading into it more than I should.

I especially liked the guitar solo on this track, we don’t get that much from the guitar on this record but it was very welcome in One Point Perspective.

Track Three – ‘American Sports’

Firstly, if you haven’t listened to the album chronologically then I highly recommend you do so. The transitions between the tracks are seamless.

Continuing the space theme, which Turner said was ‘sci-fi’ inspired in his BBC Radio 1 interview, American Sports carries on with the 70’s sounding piano effects. However, without the lack of heavy electric guitar and booming drums it makes me question whether die-hard Arctic Monkeys fans will enjoy or appreciate this new sound or whether it’s maybe just a bit too different.

Track Four- ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’

By the fourth and title track, I was expecting a high energy, jump around typical Monkeys song but instead they’re firmly sticking to the smooth, synthy sound. I feel like this track could fit easily into a slick-crime movie soundtrack. Alex’s falsetto sounds perfect once again, he’s got such a lovely tone to his voice that fits in with the tranquil vibe of the album.

Although, if I’m being completely honest, for a title track this song disappointed me.

Track Five – ‘Golden Trunks’

Upon the first few notes of the song I was once again hoping for an upbeat song, which by this point my expectations of getting any form of the ‘Arctic Monkey indie rock’ they’re so well known for was quickly dying.

Golden Trunks to me is quite an eerie track with the use of the synth. It’s almost Pink Floyd  ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ influenced. I enjoyed the backing vocals on this track they complemented the music nicely.

Track Six – ‘Four Out of Five’

On first listen of the album, this track was my favourite. I feel like this is the track where Alex’s vocals are the most clear and you can appreciate his lyrics the most. Once again, this album to me is extremely 70’s inspired. From the musical style to the references within the song, for example I caught that Alex mentioned ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ which was a music based TV show popular in the 1970s.

I like the play on the ‘four stars out of five’ with the album surrounding a hotel theme. This track to me, if you removed the synth and pushed the bass more is the most similar to the style of music on AM.

Track Seven – ‘The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip’

…is it even an Arctic Monkeys album if there’s not at least one song with a long title?

When Alex said he was inspired by the piano for this album, it’s blatantly obvious. Actually, this song isn’t awful, it has it’s redeeming points, the lyrics are great (as per) and the vocals from both Turner and the other band mates sound lovely but it’s just…similar to Golden Trunks to me. I had more hope for a song with a title as fun as this one.

Track Eight – ‘Science Fiction’

Upon first listen of the album, I didn’t really care much at all for Science Fiction but on a second listen it’s actually a lot more interesting than I initially thought.

This track has a handful of musical influences from different genres. Straight away I pick up on 70s funk and soul with the use of the bass guitar which is accompanied with synth as the song progresses which reminds me a lot of the Ska/Reggae genre (think Ghost Town by The Specials). I think this is a track I’ll find myself listening to quite a lot.

Track Nine – ‘She Looks Like Fun’ 

This song is also interesting, the way the vocals slip from higher notes to a deeper spoken voice during the chorus gives it a darker flair. The best part of this track once again for me is the lyrics. Otherwise, this song is probably a skip for me.

Track Ten – ‘Batphone’

I absolutely adore the lyrics on this track, god bless Alex Turner. This track is one of my favourites on the album, sonically it flows beautifully and breaks into a short guitar solo. If this song was on an earlier album, I think it would have definitely been a stand out track. It makes me a little sad that because the album is all quite similar sounding, this track might get lost in the comparison the rest of the record.

Track Eleven – ‘The Ultracheese’

The final track, ‘The Ultracheese’, is the gem of this record. The slow, melodic track has no synth which has pretty much wrapped its fingers around the rest of the songs on the album and it’s great to just hear Alex singing beautiful lyrics, honestly and with emotion. I can imagine this track will be a favourite for a lot of people who maybe aren’t completely sold on the rest of the space themed album.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

After waiting with baited breath for five years for Arctic Monkeys to release new material, I’m a tad disappointed by Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.

I completely understand that bands evolve and try out new genres, especially Arctic Monkeys but with this album I feel like they’ve lost the indie-rock influences they’re so insanely popular for. Don’t get me wrong some of the tracks on the album are beautiful and Alex’s vocals and lyrics are top notch as always. I just feel like the songs could be more varied in their sound as I think they’re all pretty similar.

I worry that the fans won’t be too impressed with the album so I’ll be interested to see the feedback on Twitter from those that have listened to the record and bought tickets to the shows.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

 

 

 

 

Mannaza Korean BBQ, Newcastle

Hello, Hi, Welcome,

So this week on the blog I decided to try writing a little foodie post as I’m always looking for new and different eating experiences to test out. At the weekend, my friend and I decided we wanted to see if anywhere in the North-East offered a Korean BBQ dining experience as we had both  learned about Korean BBQ through tv shows and online videos.

If you don’t know what Korean BBQ is, it’s basically where you cook chosen meats on a grill which is placed on your table at the restaurant. It’s a little different than just sitting down for a regular meal and it’s a huge phenomenon in Korea for social meetings.

Upon our search, we found Mannaza, a Korean restaurant which provides the barbeque cooking style we so badly wanted to try. Located just next to Blackfriars, the restaurant is easy to find and as it’s close to The Gate, it’s only a short walk to bars and the cinema if you’re looking to add more to your night.

Inside, the restaurant is a nice size. Not too big, not too small and has a friendly, warming atmosphere. We booked our table because I was unsure just how popular a Saturday night could get at Mannaza and I’m glad we did as there was a handful of people waiting for a table and we walked straight in to our reserved table.

The menu is extensive! There’s pretty much something for everyone, from vegetarians to seafood-lovers (I even spied that they serve octopus). It’s pretty simple to decipher as they have a ‘Self-Grill’ column which lets you know what options you can choose for the Korean BBQ dining. If you fancy something from the menu but don’t feel like cooking it yourself, there is the choice to have it cooked by the chef so don’t fret if the idea of self-grill is a bit daunting!

We went for the set menu for 2, which included a starter of dumplings (which were already cooked for us and delicious), a tray of marinated raw chicken (Yangnyeomdak-Gui) and a tray of marinated raw beef slices (Bulgogi) to cook on the grill, a side of kimchi and a side of spinach alongside 2 portions of sticky rice. All together I think the food came to £28.00 which we thought was pretty reasonable for what you were given.

When it came to the time for us to grill our meats, we were a little hesitant on how long we had to cook the slices for and if there was a desired ‘look’ for the dish we were meant to be grilling without completely burning the living daylights out of it. The slices of meat are sliced thinly for quick cooking and I cook quite regularly so I shouldn’t have been so worried about poisoning the both of us but I really am not equipped with any BBQ knowledge.

We managed to get the hang of it after the first few tester bits of meat (we literally cooked on bit at a time just to see what would happen) and ended up throwing the remainder of the meat all on the grill. If not a tiny bit stressful, it provided a boat load of giggles and a lot of fun and the end food product was absolutely delicious and filling!

I noticed on the menu that they also serve Korean wines and Sake, but we just went for the typical Pinot Grigio and Merlot to calm our anxiety after the hilarious food encounter.

I would highly recommend this restaurant if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary to try out! The prices are reasonable, the staff were helpful and the experience was great. I’d like to take a bigger group of friends next time just to see how we all cope. We also didn’t give ourselves food poisoning, hurrah!

Have you tried Korean BBQ or had any other fun dining experiences?

I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you soon,

Chanel

x

Legally Blonde The Musical UK Review

Hello!

The sun was absolutely glorious in the UK this weekend and we got all of three days to enjoy it before the clouds have made their return. Typical.

This weekend I went to see Legally Blonde The Musical at Sunderland Empire on their UK Tour. I’ve been a fan of the musical for going on six years now and was massively excited when my friend bought me tickets for my birthday.

First of all, I’m a big fan of theatre. Musicals especially, so my expectations for this show were a little higher than it probably should have been after years of watching the poor quality video on Youtube and screeching along to the soundtrack.

One thing I must say about this show is that, for a travelling musical, the stage set up and quality of the performance was top notch. I’ve been to a few touring musicals and the show never has the same magic as a proper West End production but Legally Blonde blew me away!

Lucie Jones, who I saw many moons ago on the X Factor tour, played Elle Woods and she did an absolutely fantastic job! As well as insanely great vocals, Jones quirky approach to Elle’s character played out perfectly alongside the ups and downs of Little Miss Woods, Elle’s time at Harvard. Although, Laura Bell Bundy, the original Broadway Elle is a firm favourite, Lucie really lived up to the role and made the show very special.

My favourite character in the musical is Paulette, the beautician with dreams of finding the perfect Irish man. Played by Eastenders actress, Rita Simons, Paulette’s husky tones and loud personality were definitely recognised on stage, especially during the performance of Ireland which was one of my highlights of the entire show!

Of course, all of the cast were amazing and you can really tell they have a close bond not only as colleagues but as friends which comes across in making the performance the best they possibly can.

My highlight of the production, which I’m sure is loved by all audiences, has to be ‘There! Right There! which is both hilarious and wildly impressive. I also still can’t get over the Whipped into Shape routine, how on Earth Helen Petrovna skipped like that and still carried top vocals is beyond me!

Overall, if you’re going to see Legally Blonde in the next few months then you are in for a treat! I’d definitely go and see it for a second time!

If you’re interested in buying tickets then the link for the tour is here

My last blog post can be found here

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Chanel

x

BotF: My Perfect Colour – Primark Perfect Finish Foundation Review

Hi!

Happy Saturday, I hope you’re all well!

A month or two ago I started a series on my blog called Battle of the Foundations and since then I’ve sort of neglected the idea a tad because my skin has just had problem after problem and I’ve not really strayed away from my beloved Nars Sheer Glow.

However, Primark have been making a statement in the beauty community and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their foundations and try them out. I tried their foundation stick and their velvet finish foundation in the My Perfect Colour collection but I wasn’t overly keen on the formula so instead I went back and picked up the perfect finish foundation.

Primark? Who are they?

Primark are a retail store who opened up the doors to a store in Dublin in 1969 and have since became THE biggest name in UK and Ireland for affordable fashion, homeware and accessories.

PS… My Perfect Colour, Perfect Finish Foundation

The foundation claims to be medium coverage and have a semi-matte finish. It is also dermatologically tested and contains vitamin E, which gives the product anti-ageing properties. I also googled to see if Primark are cruelty free and they are! Yipee!

The Review

Make-up free!

As always, here is a photo of me without makeup on so you can see the current state of my skin before I applied the product. I moisturised with Nivea Visage Day Cream and then applied NYX Professional Makeup #NOFILTER Blurring Primer. I apply the foundation with my damp Real Techniques beauty sponge.

I picked up shade ‘Porcelain’ as I used the next shade down for the velvet finish foundation and it made me a little orange, which isn’t hard when you’re as pale as I am!

The foundation applied smoothly over my skin and a little goes quite a long way which is surprising considering the price of the product. I was frightened it was going to be too drying and stress out the drier areas on my face but it honestly applied like a treat.

Unlike most higher end foundations I’ve tested, the Primark formula really impressed me with how it didn’t really settle in the fine lines I have under my eyes and around my forehead. I also added the Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer onto my blemishes and then applied Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder and I didnt feel like the foundation moved at all or flaked off. I added the rest of my makeup to see how it dealt with the pressure of my terrible contouring skills.

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After applying the rest of my makeup

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend you go out and try one of the My Perfect Colour foundations from Primark because the quality of the product for the price is INSANE. This foundation is honestly better than some of the really established makeup brand’s foundation that I’ve tested! It lasts fantastically, isn’t too drying and applies beautifully.

The coverage is actually pretty full, I have quite a few spots of hyperpigment so I always want to make sure that they’re covered and this product is buildable so I was able to achieve that. The only downfall the foundation has is that I’m inbetween shades so the porcelain shade is a little too light but I can just use bronzer to darken it a smidge.

I’ve been looking for a foundation to wear when I’m not using my NARS and I genuinely will be reaching for this product! I can’t believe it’s only £2.50!

If you want to see my other posts in the Battle of the Foundations series just click on the product below:

Battle of the Foundations: The Ordinary Foundation Review

Battle of the Foundations: Dermacol Make-Up Cover Review

See you again soon,

Chanel

x

 

Sam Smith: The Thrill of It All 2018 World Tour Review

Happy Friday!

On Wednesday night, my Mam got to cash in her Mother’s Day present of tickets to see Sam Smith on his latest world tour ‘The Thrill of It All’ (suitably named after his chart topping 2017 album) and of course I went along with her. We are both huge fans of Sam and were super excited that he had chosen to grace the North- East with his talent for one night only.

Unfortunately, due to traffic we missed the support act Bruno Major but I’ve read nothing but positive feedback on Twitter about his performance.

I originally missed the standard ticket sale and was absolutely gutted when I seen the event was sold out as I knew how special it would be for my Mam to see him sing live, but thanks to Twickets we managed to get fantastic seats at face value. A service I would highly recommend if you’re looking to purchase tickets and don’t want to get ripped off!

Firstly, I want to just take a minute to talk about how gorgeous Sam’s staging is. The triangular catwalk protrudes into the seated crowd which makes the concert seem more intimate and personal. Joined with a triangular shaped structure which moves and adapts to suit the mood of the music, the stage is simple but really captivating. Definitely a nod to ‘less is more’ and allows Sam’s talent to shine without any whimsical distractions. One more thing, I love how Sam has his band and backing singers with him on the forefront of the stage and doesn’t just shove them to the back with poor lighting.

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(including the very excited women in front)

Sam really allowed his personality to show during his time on stage, sharing snippets of personal stories about songwriting, talking about his family and all of the times he had spent in Newcastle (big up Powerhouse!) Me and my Mam both came to the conclusion that he’s a lovely lad who shows genuine passion for his art and who we want to have a glass of prosecco with!

As for Smiths’ vocal ability…it’s on another level. This man can SAAAANG. As Sam said himself, his music can be a little bit depressing but he definitely used the upbeat tracks to his advantage with the whole crowd on their feet dancing to Disclosure feature ‘Omen’ and In The Lonely Hour bop ‘Restart’.

When Sam chose to slow the pace down a bit with the dramatic ‘Writing on The Wall’, ‘Lay Me Down’ and the very heartfelt ‘Scars’, the audience respectfully sat and listened, singing along during the chorus’ or when prompted.

During the encore, Sam sang ‘Palace’, one of my favourite tracks from the album and was joined by his backing vocalist Lucy, turning the song into more of a beautiful duet which was without a doubt a highlight of the show for me.

Sam looked amazing and owned the stage creating a relaxed atmosphere which all ages enjoyed. If you’re going to the show you have so much to look forward to and also to help you out I’ve added stage times and the set list to the bottom of this post.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

If you’re going to the show here are the stage times (what we experienced) and set list (found on Setlist.FM)

Doors: 6pm (may change depending on venue so check on their website/ Twitter)

Bruno Major: 7:45pm

Sam Smith: 8:45pm

Show Ends: 10:30-45pm

Baring in mind these are all subject to change depending on the venue/the artist.

Setlist (may also change):

  1. Burning
  2. One Last Song
  3. I’m Not the Only One
  4. Lay Me Down
  5. The Best Things In Life Are Free (Cover)
  6. Omen
  7. Nirvana
  8. I’ve Told You Now
  9. Writing’s On The Wall
  10. Latch
  11. Money on My Mind
  12. Like I Can
  13. Restart
  14. Baby, You Make Me Crazy
  15. Say It First
  16. Scars
  17. Midnight Train
  18.  HIM
  19. Too Good at Goodbyes

Encore

  1. Palace
  2. Stay With Me
  3. Pray

 

 

 

 

Better than GHDs? Cloud Nine Hair Straighteners Review

Hello,

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA these last two weeks but I unfortunately had to deal with the passing of a family member which has been very upsetting and I’ve needed the time to support my loved ones.

Today I bring you a new topic that I’ve yet to explore on this blog which is all about hair! Now I am not the best with my hair, I have thick, long auburn hair which is a nightmare to style without professional help so I usually just straighten it and that’s about as far as my skills stretch.

I used to have naturally curly hair but with years of straightening and blow drying my hair,  I’m left with a sort of frizzy mane with the occasional kink.

I’ve always been a huge fan of GHDs and used their products since I was in high school and I wasn’t really aware of a brand which topped GHDs in terms of quality and popularity. Until my parents bought me a pair of Cloud Nine straighteners for Christmas.

Cloud Nine? Who are they?

Cloud Nine are a haircare and styling brand which was developed by the creator of GHDs, Robert Powls. Launched in 2009, the brand pride themselves on allowing their clients to adapt their tools to cater for their own hair needs. The ceramic and smart technology used in the products promote healthier and happier hair, which sounds ideal to me! Cloud Nine don’t just stop at straighteners, they also have a curling wand, revolutionary heated rollers and a super savvy hairdryer.

The Review: The Touch Iron

The straightener I have is The Touch Iron which was developed in 2015 and claims to be the world’s fastest heating straighteners and they’re definitely not lying! The blades take seconds to heat up and all you have to do is tap them together to get instant heat.

I used a little bit of oil through my hair before blow drying and then sprayed all over with a heat protecting spray in preparation, just to try and keep my hair as less damaged as possible.

Here is my hair before I used The Touch Iron:

 

and after a quick 15-20 minutes of straightening, my hair looked so much sleeker:

My favourite feature on these straighteners are how quick and easy it is to change the temperature from 195°C to 165°C for anyone with finer hair, by clicking the blades together three times.

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The Touch Iron is only £115 which is in the same price range as the typical GHDs but I’m already seeing the benefits from using Cloud Nine, especially in terms of my hair feeling healthier and less damaged.

If you want to find out more about Cloud Nine or The Touch Iron then you can find their product range at https://www.cloudninehair.com/ 

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

 

Battle of the Foundations: Dermacol Make-Up Cover Review

Hi!

I’m back again with another Battle of the Foundation post! I’m hoping to post these every two weeks and get a little routine going but I’m not going to promise anything as my life is a bit unpredictable!

Dermacol? Who are they?

Dermacol started in Prague in the 1960s and is the brainchild of film makeup artists and dermatologists, hoping to provide a cosmetic line which is friendly to all skin types. The brand is globally sold and do not test on animals, yippee!

Dermacol Make-up Cover 

I had seen countless press and reviews on the Dermacol Make-up Cover before purchasing it for myself as it claims to cover most imperfections. Dermacol proudly announce that the product is ‘the first of its kind in Europe’ and has been sold onto Hollywood for use on screen, in modelling and photography.

The 30g product contains 50% pigment, giving the cover an extreme full coverage. The product isn’t specifically a foundation. I think the intended way of usage is more of a concealer type coverage but I have seen Youtubers and Instagram beauty gurus using it as a foundation and decided to give it a go.

Dermacol Make-Up Cover is hypoallergenic, waterproof and SPF 30.

The Review – Shade 207

As always I cleansed my face, moisturised and then applied Benefits’ ‘That Gal’ Brightening Face Primer. I then used just a touch of Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer to cover some blemishes.

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I was a little bit worried about how full the coverage of the product would be as I have freckles and don’t usually cover them completely, so although I like a decent amount of coverage, too much is not a good look for me.

Instantly upon applying it to the back of my hand, the product was a thick paste consistency which meant a little goes a LONG way, you really don’t need much at all.

(I added a side by side of my skin with the product applied (photo 2) and bare skinned (photo 3) for comparison)

The product blended really easily, I opted for more of a dragging and then dabbing in technique to get the skin as even as possible. It settled nicely and didn’t look overly cakey! Very surprising for a full coverage face product!

It also did exactly what was promised and covered all my redness and scarring and it didn’t completely suck all the moisture out of my skin like I had expected when I seen how thick the consistency was.

Makeup blends nicely over the top of the product and I found it lasted a long time, although it did break me out the next day which I was a little disappointed about. However, I really love the dewy finish it gave to my skin!

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Overall, I would only really use this product if I had a special event and needed more coverage as it’s a bit heavy for me personally but I can definitely see the appeal for people who are conscious about imperfections on their skin.

The product is £12.99 and can be bought from here if you live in the UK!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

Battle of the Foundations: The Ordinary Foundation Review

Hello!

So I’ve been thinking of ideas for a blog series and I thought what better than to write about my struggles with finding the perfect foundation? For years I’ve tried drugstore and high end foundations, CC/BB creams, tinted moisturisers and all else to combat the many skin concerns I have and to achieve the flawless base I so dream of. I’m currently using NARS Sheer Glow which has worked well but I’m wanting to explore my options a little more. For each review I aim to keep the same prep, cleansing my face and then applying Benefit ‘That Gal’ brightening face primer before applying the foundation of choice with a damp Real Techniques Beauty Blender.

The Ordinary? Who are they?

The Ordinary are a branch under DECIEM who pride themselves in “Clinical Formulations with Integrity”, presenting a honest and innovative cruelty-free brand. Although being more well known for their inexpensive skincare, The Ordinary also launched two foundations as the start of a makeup line, a serum foundation and a coverage foundation.

Before I review the foundations I thought it only fair to post a photo of my skin bare from any makeup (apart from primer) and inform you I have combination skin with an oily t-zone and dry patches. I also have a lot of discolouration and redness from acne scarring and still get bad breakouts.

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The Ordinary: Serum Foundation (Shade 1.1P)

Firstly, both of these foundation are almost crazy in pricing! £5.75? for 30ml? It’s a miracle!

On the website, the product is described as “lightweight medium-coverage” which is a pretty fair summary. On applying the foundation to the back of my hand I was a little worried at just how runny the formula was but on the face it wasn’t too bad. I’d compare the consistency to a more of a BB or CC cream than a foundation and if you like light coverage or perhaps need something super fresh with SPF then this is the choice for you.

As for how it lies on the skin, I noticed quite a bit of creasing around the nose and eye area and it failed to completely cover my redness. I don’t think this particular formula is for me as I like more of a fuller coverage and found this foundation a little drying.

 

The Ordinary: Coverage Foundation (Shade: 1.1P)

The coverage foundation is just a smidge more expensive at £5.95 but who’s complaining? not me!

On the website, the description boasts that in comparison to the serum foundation, the pigment levels are higher and you can definitely tell in just the formula of the product as it is noticeably thicker which is expected in a higher coverage foundation. It also claims that the product leaves a “semi-matte” finish, which makes for a lovely dewy look that isn’t too greasy.

Although I prefer this formula comparing to the serum as it helped to cover more of my problem areas, I still had issues with my skin feeling dry, hopefully a setting spray or face mist might help.

However, it’s better than a lot of well-known branded foundations that I’ve tried so props to The Ordinary for producing a product that beats some of the beauty biggies!

Overall, The Ordinary have two solid foundations that can match different uses. They’re cruelty free and vegan which is a huge deal for all those ethic-conscious makeup users! For the cost of the products these are great to try out for yourself if you’re looking for a new foundation without breaking the bank.

If you live in the UK, you can purchase The Ordinary from BeautyBay or CultBeauty

I’m eager to try out some of their other products!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

x

‘Camila’ Camila Cabello Debut Album Review

Before I start this review I want to disclaim that I am not a music expert and the comments you are about to read are all based on what I enjoy personally.

Camila Cabello, formerly of US girlband Fifth Harmony, which she announced her departure from in December 2016, has just released her highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Camila’. Since venturing on a solo career, Camila has had outstanding success with her singles, ‘Crying in the Club’ and ‘Havana’, gaining her first number one in the UK and making the 20-year old singer, a global superstar.

I haven’t really had much interest in Fifth Harmony in the past but all of Camila’s solo released material has had eagerly waiting to see what bop she releases next. I listened to the 11-track album and here are my thoughts…

  • Track One: “Never Be The Same”:

This track is definitely the right way to start off the album. A well produced drum-heavy bassline with reggae influences all complimented by Cabello’s crisp falsetto which sound fantastic in the pre-chorus. I actually could see this track fitting nicely in with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album and we all know how popular that project became. The perfect introduction to set up the listener for the rest of the album.

  • Track Two: “All These Years”:

I loved this song on the very first listen. It’s incredibly easy to listen to, definitely what I would describe as a ‘car song’, perfect for driving and nodding along. The stand out section of the track would have to be the vocal flexes during the bridge, Camila’s vocals sound so interesting and it really makes the song. Short and sweet but not disappointing.

  • Track Three: “She Loves Control”:

YAAAAAAAS GAWD! This track has to be a single! The tropical beat sets this number up for a dance hit, a definite stamp from Skrillex who wrote and produced on the song. The touches of Spanish guitar gives the track as Latino flair which Camila is becoming an expert on incorporating into her songs. The lyrics, ‘She doesn’t cry anymore, no, she doesn’t go to the bar’ could also be a nod to her single ‘Crying in the Club’ which doesn’t feature on the album.

  • Track Four: “Havana”:

There’s not much to say on this song because if you haven’t heard it on a radio or TV over the last few months then you must be living in a different world. I love this song, I’ve played this song on repeat, it’s a banger. As a single, ‘Havana’ definitely showed the public what kind of music would be on the album with the dance and Latino influences.

  • Track Five: “Inside Out”:

Inside Out is the first track on the album that I’m not overly keen on. I tired quite quickly of the repetitive chorus and felt as though it was used as a filler track to slow the pace of the album down a tad. However, I’ll continue to listen and who knows it might be a grower?

  • Track Six: “Consequences”:

This is a pretty song, the lyrics are sweet and well-written which could be the hand of Amy Wadge who writes frequently with Ed Sheeran (please listen to ‘Fire Alarms’ it’s a fantastic song). I like that Camila has toned it down here with a piano based song and you can really hear her emotional connection to the track.

  • Track Seven: “Real Friends”:

Apparently this song had been released before a promotional single in December but I had never heard it before? Saying that, on the first listen I knew straight away it would be one of my favourites on the album. Acoustic guitar based with samples of Tropical and Latino flares makes for a very catchy beat. Not to delve too deeply into the meaning of the lyrics but I think Camila could be hinting about her relationship with her ex-bandmates and their loyalty to her. This track is great, I actually think that Camila sounds great on it but I would love to hear a Justin Bieber remix as I think his vocals would really suit the melody.

  • Track Eight: “Something’s Gotta Give”:

The best way to describe this track is – ‘Cinematic’. Put it into a break-up scene on the big screen and it’ll fit the mood to a T. The piano ballad is very lyrically pleasing and Cabello sounds vulnerable whilst showing of her vocals. I have a feeling she could sing the absolute hell out of this live.

  • Track Nine: “In The Dark”:

When this song first began I thought I wouldn’t like it, the beat was interesting but I couldn’t be sure if I was enjoying it. However, the lyrics of this track really pulled me in, telling a story of wanting to be with a person when they’re alone because that’s the one time they’re open about their feelings. It’s definitely the song on the album that made me concentrate the most and because of that has made it one of my favourites.

  • Track Ten: “Into It”:

Seeing Ryan Tedder’s name on any writing credits is always exciting for me. That man can write a bop! Into It has a really catchy baseline and makes for really pleasing, easy- listening. I enjoyed the ‘Oh Na Na’s’ which were possibly a nod to Havana earlier on in the album. This song could be beautiful live with the right staging and I’m sure this is the track that Camila Cabello fans will have a soft spot for.

  • Track Eleven: “Never Be The Same (Radio Edit)”:

Sigh! Camila why?!

I was really hoping this song would be more of a reprise than a radio edit and it majorly disappointed me that this repeated track was what closed the album. I really feel the penultimate track, “Into It” should have been used instead.

Final Thoughts:

This album is fantastically produced for a debut, props to Frank Dukes who produced and co-wrote most of the tracks. Camila’s song writing and vocals have also pleasantly surprised me and I think she’ll gain huge of respect and credit from her peers in the industry.

Using Latino and Tropical sounds within her music makes this a very strong first album and fits perfectly with the current chart toppers. Camila holds her own vocally and continues to impress. This is a project to be proud of and I’m sure she’ll have a successful career ahead.

Thanks for reading,

Chanel x