Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day Sale: New Look Haul

I'm not a big sale shopper fan in all honesty, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to hunting through the unorganised chaos called clothing racks.

But this year I went into my local town centre, for no more than 2 hours. In fact I think I only went into 4 shops, 2 of those I stayed in for a couple of moments only! It was incredibly busy but I managed to bag myself some excellent bargains, all from New Look.

 Ear Cuff £3.99 £2 

 Drop Earrings £5.50 2.75

Gem Studs £4.99 £2.50

Black Block Heel Sandal with Metal Strip £24.99 £10

Black Chunky Heeled Studded Sandal £22.99 £10 

Plum Cross Over Flat Buckled Shoes £22.99 £10 

That means for £37.25 I got 3 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of earrings and 1 ear cuff. It should of cost me £85.45 meaning a total saving of: £48.20! 

What bargains have you grabbed in the post-christmas sales?

Christmas Blogger Gift Swap

I got very excited this week when a parcel arrived with 3 wrapped presents inside. Why? Because I knew they were off Sarah from A Shimmer of Sparkle, who was my partner in the Blogger Gift Swap I took part in. You can see what the gift swap is all about in my previous post here.

Sarah and I spoke about setting a budget, or even a theme between us and set a simple budget of £5. So heres what I got: 

How cute is this wrapping paper?! 

First of all, Dairy Milk Buttons, if you've somehow gone through life without having these chocolate buttons you are missing out, big time!
Next up is a small ball, inside is White Lily & Sweet Rose scented Bath Caviar and Pearls. I haven't gotten round to using them yet but my gosh they smell incredible so I can't wait to have a hot bubble bath with them. 
Finally, is my little red spotted tin, inside the tin is a candle. I'm not so sure on the exact scent of the candle but it smells fantastically festive, perhaps a bit of spiced apple and cinnamon! This one has been lit already along side all the candles in my room. 

This has been such a wonderful thing to take part in, just a little bit different and also a great way to find new blogs. Look out on twitter for the tag #apovgiftswap to see what everyone got.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Nails with W7

First of apologies for the quietness for the past fortnight, I've been having university interviews so have found myself very busy. However, I'm back!

The wonderful people at W7 sent me a wonderful little box full of goodies for me to try out to show you how amazing their products are. Which means, here is my first review!

The product I'm reviewing today is their glitter nail varnish in 'Christmas' shade, fitting for the time of year, right?

This nail varnish is a clear varnish packed full with red, green and silver glitter pieces. It works well on its own however I'm going to show you how I teamed it up with a Seventeen red shade.

This varnish acts great to dress up your nails to give that extra sparkle around christmas time. I personally feel that a full set of sparkly nails may be a little OTT so I've just done one finger nail on each hand with the overcoat. I feel this adds that subtle bit of glam to an outfit.

By layering the varnish over another you get the bottom coat peaking through the glitter. When doing this with any glitter varnish I recommend the bottom coat being a colour that's in the glitter varnish to avoid clashes.

The nail varnish itself is very easy to apply, I did find it hard to get a heavy coverage of glitter on my nails so I did apply a few coats of the varnish. This is the only flaw I found with the varnish! I find it stays on for ages but comes off really easily with a bit of nail varnish remover.

Overall I'm very impressed with the quality and the overall look of the nail varnish; definitely a must have this Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday Party Dresses

'Black Friday? What's that?' I hear all you British shouting. The traditionally American annual crazy sale following Thanksgiving has hit the UK. With wider shops including Amazon and Asda bringing the Black Friday sales over to the UK in the past few years lots more shops have began to join in.

Now, Christmas is coming - no I'm not talking about buying presents - you need to treat yourself to a sparkly dress! With glitsy numbers that're embellished with metallic threads and millions of gems and sequins this years trend can be a pricey one.

I've found my fave deals for this Friday for your Christmas party dress!

First up is Motel: I'm a huge fan of Motel, with their beautiful dresses you just simply can't find anywhere else you can easily find something you love; especially with 25% off EVERYTHING this Black Friday.
My 3 Christmas dresses from here have to be: Gabby Sequin, Gaia and Moonchild.

Next up is French Connection, although they're not overly advertising their Black Friday discounts as openly as other brands if you use code 30FCBF at the checkout you can get 30% off but be wuick it's for Friday only.
My faves have to be: Winter Wave, Cosmic Sparkle and New Moon.

Finally for Urban Outfitters: with a huge amount in their Black Friday sale you are sure to find something you love for a fraction of the price.
I would pick these three: Devore Dress, Vintage Metallic Tee, Vintage Velvet Halterneck.

Happy Thanksgiving and have good fun in the Black Friday sales, let me know what bargains you get!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas Blogger Gift Swap

Yes Ladies-and Gentlemen-Christmas is on it's way, with 5 weeks to go if you haven't started your Christmas shopping already you are being very brave!

Fancy doing something a little different this year for presents? How about A Piece Of Viola's Christmas Blogger Gift Swap?

This Gift Swap is open to all bloggers within the UK, no matter what your blog 'type' is anyone can join. It's really simple to do; just fill out the application form (it takes less than a minute to do), write a post like this one, then you are paired up and its time to buy each other gifts.

Don't worry if you're tight for cash, you decide on your spending budget in your pairs to suit you both.

The application form needs to be filled in by November 28th to be paired up on the 1st December. Then you have a little time to shop to send your gifts off by 17th December.

For more details head over to APOV's post here to sign up and get giving!

Keep up to date on twitter using #apovgiftswap! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nottingham's Music Scene

Nottingham is known for having a fantastic range in music, with international and local artists and bands showing nearly every night in a venue within the city centre there's always some music to see live.

Last Friday night I went to see Example at Rock City.
Example at Rock City 
As I walked into Rock City Main Hall, becoming stuck to the infamous sticky floor, I could hear music from Delta Heavy blaring right away. This music duo are Simon James and Ben Hall who although are from London they actually met at Nottingham University! With heavy remixes of famous songs by Rita Ora, Nero and Example himself with a mix of their own tracks they got the crowd dancing straight away.
Next up was DJ Wire, aka Sam Wire, who was playing up-to-date songs mixed with some absolute classics making everyone go crazy, like their lives depended on it.
Then for the main act of the night, Example. Oh Wow. I caught half of his set at V Festival this year, but I definitely feel that his music is performed much better in a small venue, like Rock City. The crowd, a mix of young and old,  was incredibly rowdy and were clearly enjoying themselves. 
I was overly impressed by the entire gig, the crowd was going crazy all night! 

Now for my Nottingham local favourites: 

First up is Same Streets

These lads I have seen a few times now, they're always playing gigs, even last minute ones (keep an eye on their Facebook page). With some incredibly catchy lyrics, some fabulous musical talent and the wonderful twang of James' voice Same Streets are always a crowd pleaser! 

Babe Punch are an 'all gurl 5 piece Nottinghamshire band'! New on the music scene but still full of style with their fishnets and Doc Martens the girls will blow your mind with their talent, despite being rather young. Look out for their quirky posters all around Nottingham, and give them a good listen! 

Four guys, one band. Being influenced by a range of artists including The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Oasis, Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys the boys have made a unique sound that's fantastic. With their new EP 'This Is' now on iTunes you have no excuse to not check them out. 

and finally we have Adelphia

A four piece alternative rock band; that absolutely smash every show they do. Performing at Rock City at Hit The Deck Festival and even getting themselves a spot at the one and only Download festival this year after winning a voted competition with Red Bull. With huge support from BBC introducing recently you will be seeing these guys everywhere soon enough, so check them out now. 

There is so much music locally within Nottingham, with new bands and developed bands there's always some talent you haven't fallen in love with yet. 

Check out your own local music scene and support your local bands!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mac Cremesheen Lipstick- Dare You

Mac are especially well known for their amazing choice in lipstick colours from perky pinks to powerful purples. They also now do matte lipsticks, extra sheen and gloss lipsticks-the range is truely fantastic!

The review I am doing today is of Mac's Cremesheen lipstick in the shade 'Dare You'. Reds can often be over powering, then when you try the shade up it's too pinky. This red is neither too bright, too pink or too dark; it's just right. 

 At first thoughts I thought it was going to be a little too dark, as much as I do love dark shades this autumn I still like my bold bright colours too.

For the price of £15.50 you are going to expect an excellent quality product here; with the application going on nice and smooth you get no part of your lip gets forgotten about. The shaping of the lipstick also aids the application of the lipstick.

What I would recommend is to use this lipstick with a lip liner as I do find it bleeds easily as it doesn't dry well and stays wet whilst on-which I like as my lips don't dry out and the colour stays glossy all day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ellie Goes To Peru!

Many of those who know me or follow me on my social media accounts will know that I have luckily  been selected to volunteer in Peru for 12 months beginning August 2015. Now I'm not gonna bore you about all the details what I really wanted to do is talk about Peru's culture.

Peru is a beautiful country home to the source of the Amazon River, Machu Pichu and the Andes. My main interest within Peru is it's artistic traditions of elaborate pottery, jewelry, sculptures and, my favourite, textiles. Weaving has been part of the Peruvian culture for thousands of years. Weaving is often used for more decorative purposes now-a-days however the Incan people of Peru use the weavings as a way to pass on knowledge and skill.

Alpacas, which are the domesticated species of South American camelids, are known for their rich fibre which is used to make knitted and woven items similar to sheep's wool. These items make a wide variety of garments such as; hats, jumpers, gloves, scarves etc. However this wool wasn't just used for garments to keep warm. The fibres were dyed and woven into specific patterns that represented the families and regions where they were made. It was also a way of showing the nobility's wealth.

But what were these patterns of?
As the people of Peru lived in harmony with nature then many of the images in their designs reflect nature. Popular designs like flowers, stars, the sun and river can still be seen in more modern woven works today.

Can't see yourself in a Peruvian weaved garment this winter? No? Think again!

Now look these STUNNING Mario Testino bags, how vibrant are those colours? Beautiful, right? now you can see in these printed totes and clutch the intricate patterns within Peruvian clothing. The images you can see are photography from Testino's recent Alta Moda exhibition that depicted life in native Peru.  Teamed together with exciting pom-pom tassels and trims the images work fantastic in showing traditional Peruvian textiles in a modern and western way.

Definitely would love to get my hands on one of these beauties before I go to Peru!

For more information regarding my trip to Peru you can check out my Facebook page Ellie Goes To Peru where you can see how my fundraising is going and exactly what I'll be doing there! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Make Up - Part Two

Last halloween make up a bit too gory, or time consuming, for you? This one needs a few eyeshadows and a little fake blood to give a great 'beaten up' look!

What I used:
Various eyeshadow palettes (mainly my Blush Professional one pictured)
Ben NYE Fresh Scab (or any blood paste/liquid)
 I started by putting a red/pink combination around the corner of my eye.
 Slowly build up layers of purple as well. Get the darker tones in the crease of your eye socket and red tones above this to create a inflamed appearance to the eye.
 Then begin to add more yellow and green going up the side of the bridge of your nose and on your upper brow on the eyelid. I also tend to add pinky red tones on my cheek bone to add to the bruised up look.
 You can add more purples and reds around the eye until you're happy with the look of it.
Tip: have a picture of a black eye to look at whilst doing it to get realistic bruising patterns. 
 Add a few finishing touches, like a nose bleed, and you've got a realistic 'beaten up' appearance perfect for halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Make Up - Part One

Halloween is nearly with us so I'm very excited; I have Halloweentown recorded on my TV, a pumpkin garland hung in my art bay and now I'm spending my evenings making myself look spooky!

Costumes get quite difficult, especially buying one, they're either too sexy or too frumpy in my opinion. However, a black dress/outfit with some gory make up goes a long way (and often works out a lot cheaper too!)

Also; please excuse the lovely blue hair dye stains around my hair line! 

What I used:

Various Eye Shadow Palettes
Ben NYE Nose and Scar Wax/or other brand of skin/scar wax
Ben NYE Fresh Scab/or other brand of blood paste/gel
Fake Blood
Liquid Latex
Spirit Gum (and remover)

Now the list seems a little adventurous I know, however you can pick all these items up pretty cheap, I remember when I first bought some Liquid Latex and spent a fortune whereas now you can pick it up from fancy dress stores, the same for spirit gum too!

Firstly place some spirit gum upon the area you want your wound, leave it for a minute until it goes tacky. Meanwhile get a small ball of scar wax and make a flat shape for your wound. The spirit gum will be ready when the wax can easily stick on to your face by it.
 Next smooth the edges of the wax onto your face to blend it into your skin well, as I'm super pale I've added a bit of foundation so there is less colour change. Using some tweezers start to play around with the wax to create peeling skin and smooth out the centre a tad.

Coat the wax in liquid latex and leave to dry until fully clear.

The wax will be a little easier to mould now so you can create more of a peeling effect with the wax. I then put a light coating of red eye shadow upon the wax.

Using dark purples, reds, pinks, yellows and greens create bruises surrounding the wound.
 Fill the wound with blood paste (Fresh Scab) and fake blood.
 And you've got super spooky gory make up!