Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Vintage Northumberland, a visit to RE in Corbridge

Andrew and I have some time off work together this week as it's my birthday tomorrow, so we decided to make the most of it and headed to Corbridge for a spot of vintage shopping.

Corbridge is an old village in Northumberland about 25 minutes drive from where we live, we'd driven through a couple of times on our way to nearby Hexham but we'd never stopped other than once to walk the dog by the river, so we decided to see what the shops had to offer.

It's no secret that Andrew and I are lovers of all things vintage, we can frequently be found at flea markets and vintage fairs, and make upcycled jewellery and homewares out of things we find. When I asked around at work for things to do in Corbridge, I was told "go to RE, you'll love it!" And so we did.

On our walk across the bridge to Corbridge, we spotted this cute little gallery and popped inside for a nose around.

But it was the hidden gem of RE that we were most excited for.

I must apologise in advance for the pic-heavy post, there was SO MUCH to see in here, it was sensory overload!

RE has a website so, where possible, I'll link items for you to purchase. But I can not stress enough, how wonderful it is to walk around in here and soak up the atmosphere. 

The way the stock is merchandised is absolutely exquisite, there was so much more that I didn't photograph (like French beauty products and FRENCH STATIONARY - I mean, come on.)

If you're ever within an hour or two's drive of Corbridge, you must make the effort to give RE a visit and a good hour of your time, you won't regret it.

Assorted matches - not available online

Blooms - not available online

I'm not entirely sure what this wicker person is supposed to be (although it was half price so I'm guessing at one point he / she had a head!) but it was too cool / kinda macabre not to get a quick snap of.

Visual relief map of the World - not available online

Assorted candlesticks - not available online

Fruit tart candles (can we just think about this for a second? Those are CANDLES.)

Chandelier light - not available online

Bone china (geddit?) skeleton plates

Old glass cake stands

French stripe fabric // French stripe deckchairs

The Curious Bartender book - not available online

Coloured pressed glasses

Pink American Milk glass cake stand

Phew! We ended up buying a bone-shaped cookie cutter for doggy baking, and I bought Andrew a vintage flour scoop for his birthday (he loves vintage kitchenalia) but we had to resist buying so much more! We'll definitely be re-visiting RE post-payday.

We had a wander around Corbridge and poked around some other vintage shops, particularly good ones include:

Vintage at the Tower
Corbridge Antiques (just next door to RE)
Retriques (upstairs in Corbridge Antiques)

We also stopped for lunch at Tea and Tipple which was nice, we both had the vegetable soup (which was delicious!) and I had my favourite Fentiman's Rose Lemonade.

Hope you've enjoyed this post, let me know if you have any recommendations for vintage shops in the North East!


Saturday, 22 March 2014

REVIEW - Foreo Luna Mini facial cleansing brush

Ahhh, LUNA mini, you thing of beauty. If you've never heard of this nifty little device before, prepare to have your life changed. 

I got my LUNA late last year in an attempt to ramp up my skincare routine.

I'd been looking at the Clarisonic range, but I thought it looked a bit harsh on the skin and I didn't fancy forking out £100 a year for replacement brush heads when I'd already stumped up a hefty chunk of cash for the device itself.

That's one of the things I love about the LUNA mini. It's made of silicone, so the part you use to clean your face just rinses clean and never needs replacing. Once you've paid for the device, that's it, no further expense, brilliant.

I've obviously never used a Clarisonic, so I can't compare the two, but I am a total LUNA convert, and haven't looked back since my first use.

The device is small (this is the mini version after all) and fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Its miniature design and lightweight feel also makes it the perfect travel companion. Forget packing extra heads and chargers, just chuck this in your washbag and you're ready to go.

How does it work?

According to Foreo, the LUNA mini channels "transdermal sonic pulsation across the skin" to transform the look and feel of your skin in three days. I don't know what T-Sonic technology is. I don't even know if it's a real thing. But I do know this works, so let's just go with it.

How do you use it?

Use the LUNA mini as part of your normal cleansing routine, morning and night for maximum effect. I like to think this device 'activates' my cleanser and really puts it to work.

I apply my cleanser to my dry face as usual (you can't use an abrasive cleanser with this as it will damage the silicone, so stick to milks, balms and creams, I've used it with Cleanse & Polish, Origins Checks & Balances and Soap & Glory's Peaches & Clean and it's worked great with all three).

Next, rinse the device under hot water, and press the button on the front of the device once to start the cycle.

A LUNA mini cycle runs for one minute which is enough time to make a difference to your skin and not so much time as to become a nuisance in your routine. The cycle has four 'phases' of fifteen seconds each. For each phase, focus on one section of your face:

Phase 1 - Cheeks & chin
Phase 2 - Forehead
Phase 3 - Nose
Phase 4 - Under eyes

So once you've pressed the button once, the device will start to buzz.

Run the silicone nodules over your cheeks and chin. Once the first phase is up, the device will pause for a second and the transparent base of the device will flash to let you know to move on to the next section of your face.

The LUNA mini has a whoooole bunch of these silicone nodules (1,300 to be exact), which are grouped into three zones for different parts of your face.

The nodules on the back of the device are bigger, so you could use those on your cheeks and the smaller ones on the front of the device for under your eyes, just go with what works best for you.

Once you've completed phases 1 - 3 and are going in to the delicate under eye area, press the button on the device a second time to activate a lighter, slower cycle which is gentler on the skin.

After the fourth phase is complete, the LUNA will pause and flash, signalling the end of your minute. Press the button again to switch off the device, rinse your face and continue to stoke your baby soft skin for the rest of the day. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Another great thing about the device is that you don't have to buy batteries for it as it's rechargable. The leaflet says you get about 150 uses out of one charge, but I got this in September / October and I haven't charged it, it's still running on the charge that it came out of the box with. In fact, perhaps the only bad thing about it is (if you're anything like me) you'll probably misplace the charger before it needs powering up.

Foreo say you'll notice a difference in three days, in my case, the change was apparent from the first use. I love what I call 'instant gratification' products, you know like a conditioning treatment that leaves your hair feeling silky soft as soon as you wash it out? This is one of those. I was so blown away after just ONE use of the LUNA mini, I actually couldn't believe it and made everyone (even people at work) feel my face which I'm sure they all enjoyed. 

Even now if I get a bit lazy with my skincare and don't use this for a couple of days, boy do I know about it. Without this, my skin feels dull and congested. One use, and I'm back on the fresh skin bandwagon.

Ok, so at £99 it's not the cheapest thing in the world. It does come in a variety of colours (petal pink - which I have, turquoise, magenta, purple and grey) and it's still cheaper than a Clarisonic Mia 2. And remember what Caroline Hirons says, you only get one face, and if you're going to spend it on a handbag, spend it on your face. And this is worth every penny.

The Foreo LUNA range also includes a 'full size' model with anti-ageing mode, and even a 'Luna Luxe' which has an 18k gold base! You can also get a Luna for men which might be a good idea if the man in your life is anything like mine as he will steal it.

You can buy the LUNA mini from the Foreo website, Cult Beauty or at Harvey Nichols.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

REVIEW & VINTAGE MAKEUP LOOK - ArtDeco Dita Von Teese Golden Vintage Lip Lacquer

I would like to preface this post by saying: IT IS SO HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH SHINY THINGS.

I'm sorry. I took a bunch of photos to try and demonstrate the golden beauty that is this lip lacquer, but I feel like none of them really do it justice. You'll just have to take my word for it, this stuff is GORGEOUS.

This lacquer is from Dita Von Teese's collection for Art Deco. I got the shade 70 which is part of the limited edition Golden Vintage range.

I picked this up in my local Debenhams on Thursday, where they were selling off a bunch of stuff from the range at half price. This thing was COVERED in stickers, you know those really sticky stickers that never come off? Yeah, those. The original price was £16 but it was reduced to £8.25 on the sticker, and then a random 50p came off at the till so I ended up bagging this for £7.75 which is a total bargain.

You can't tell too well here, but the lacquer is just what you would expect from the Queen of burlesque, a deep, glossy, true red which translates perfectly on the lips. The shine on this is exceptional, and it's not at all sticky, the perfect formula.

I've been wearing this for a few hours today and it's still going strong. It did transfer when I had a drink which I was totally expecting, but it has a nice stain quality to it so some colour was left behind on the lips even after the majority of the shine wore off.

I thought I'd do a simple 'vintage' style face of makeup to showcase this on the lips:

For my base I used Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation in the shade Fair 1 and a smidge of Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer under the eyes.

I used Maybelline's Master Brow in Dark Blonde for my eyebrows, I just picked this up too as my last eyebrow pencil ran out in a disastrous moment after I had filled in ONE EYEBROW. Panic stricken is not the word. This pencil's alright as far as they go, it's a decent colour match and for less than £3 I can't really complain.

For my eyes I used Clinique's All About Shadow Quad in Pink Chocolate to create a really light, wearable smokey eye. I then lined the eyes with Soap & Glory's Supercat and used Soap & Glory's Smoulder Kohl to finish off my upper and lower waterlines. Then for mascara I went with Benefit's They're Real (which is amazing).

The cheeks are a mixture of Soap & Glory Solar Powder Bronzer and Chanel Joues Contraste in Pink Explosion and I finished off the whole look with a light dusting of Soap & Glory (are you sensing a pattern?) Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder down my nose, under my eyes and across my forehead. Voila. What you can't see is that despite the glamour you see before you, I was also wearing sweatpants. Hey, that's what weekends are for, right?

I can't find this particular lacquer online, but Debenhams is still stocking some of the DVT range online, and I'm sure if you hot-foot it down to your local store, you can pick up a bargain too.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

REVIEW - Origins 24 Hour Glow set

I've been after a 'proper' night cream for ages after not using one (I know, what would Caroline Hirons think?) It was my new year's resolution to get nice skin, so I've really been upping the ante in the skincare department since January, and a night cream felt like the missing piece of the puzzle.

I'd heard about Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins on the blogosphere (I thought it was a recommendation by Tanya Burr but now I'm realising it might have actually been Zoella) and I'd been wanting to give it a go for a while, but at £34, it was a bit on the steep side.

This week, Debenhams has been having a store-wide event with money off across all departments, so I thought I'd have a look around for any bargains. Lo and behold, here was this little beauty, the 24 Hour Glow set which contains the full size pot of Night-A-Mins PLUS extras with 10% off! Yes, that's right, I got this set for £30.60 and I could not be more pleased with it.

Obviously, I was all about the Night-A-Mins. I already have a cleanser (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish in grapefruit & patchouli) and day cream (Clinique Dramatically Different gel) I'm perfectly happy with, but there's nothing wrong with a dabble in something new so I was pleased to receive the added extras of Checks and Balances frothy face wash and GinZing energy boosting moisturizer, as well as the cute canvas bag.

First up, the Night-A-Mins. This little pot contains a bunch of vitamins (as the name suggests) including C, E & H, as well as minerals and 'moisture-rich replenishers.' It's said to be time-released so it works on the skin all night, sloughing away dead skin as you sleep. 

It also smells delicious, as Harvey is expertly demonstrating here. It contains natural orange peel oil which really comes through, it's like a delicious creamy orange smell with a subtle hint of chocolate, divine.

The consistency is also really nice. I have typical combination skin, I get really dry around my nose and across my cheeks, but my forehead tends to get oily and this doesn't irritate either. It's a thick, luxurious cream which sinks in quickly and doesn't feel heavy, sticky or 'claggy' on the skin, but one you can feel so you don't over-apply.

I've been using this for just under a week and I'm seeing a real difference already. When I wake up my skin feels and looks smoother and plumper, and it has a natural radiance to it. This does leave a little bit of a 'film' on the skin but it's nothing your morning cleanse can't handle.

Speaking of cleansing, the set also comes with a mini (30ml) bottle of Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash. I normally steer well clear of anything frothy or foamy and stick to milks or balms, but I thought I'd give this a go and I'm really pleased I did. 

After my first wash, my face was, quite literally, squeaking clean. Like it was actually squeaking. For this reason, I was a bit concerned about dryness or that the wash might be stripping my skin so I've started using this as my evening cleanser and going for Cleanse & Polish in the mornings. It actually works out really nicely as I was lucky enough to get my hands on the very last limited edition Grapefruit & Patchouli C&P in my local John Lewis. The grapefruit scent is really zingy and uplifting, which makes it perfect for mornings, whilst Checks & Balances has a gorgeous peppermint scent which, paired with its deep cleansing qualities, makes it the ideal night time cleanser. 

I take a blob (about the size of a grape) in dry hands and rub all over my dry face. I then take my Foreo Luna Mini Facial Cleansing Brush (I'll do a review of this soon), run it under hot water, and let the t-sonic silicone bristles 'activate' the cleanser. This makes the cleanser foam slightly, but it's the final massage and rinse with hand-hot water which really brings this baby to life.

It takes a while to rinse off completely as it's so frothy, but my skin is left feeling so clean and pure afterwards that it's worth the extra effort. I use this after eye make-up remover and micellar water to remove any make up residue that's lurking around and give my skin a good cleanse.

At £18.00 for 150ml it's about the same price as my usual Cleanse & Polish (£13.25 for 100ml), but I don't think it's one you could use twice a day, unless you had really oily skin then you might get away with it, so I don't know if I'll repurchase just yet.

Next up is the Origins GinZing energy-boosting moisturizer (15ml). I usually opt for a gel moisturizer during the day as I find they're more easily and quickly absorbed ready for make-up. This is a thin cream, which is absorbed quickly which I was pleased about.

The Origins website says it's oil free and contains ginseng and coffee bean to give you a boost. It smells really similar to the Night-A-Mins cream and on further inspection of the packaging it looks as though it contains a bunch of oils like lemon, grapefruit and spearmint. Origins lists these as 'essential oils' so I guess when it says 'oil free' it means synthetic oils. Essential oils can break out some sensitive skins so be careful if that's you.

Other than that, I feel fairly 'meh' about this moisturizer. It's nice, non-greasy, non-sticky, easily absorbed and doesn't make my make up smear around my face. I don't find it particularly zingy or uplifting, but maybe it's just me. It's nice, but at £23 for a 50ml tub, I don't think I'd repurchase. My usual Clinique moisturizer is £29.50 for 125ml which is much better value and gives immediate results. 

All in all, this is a really nice set, and if you're thinking of purchasing a tub of Night-A-Mins anyway, why not opt for this?

It all comes in a super-cute canvas wash / make up bag too, with a famous landmark design in blues and greens.

I'm really happy I found this little bargain, I'm not sure how long the Debenhams event is on for so if you're looking at purchasing, I'd be quick about it! Debenhams is also offering free delivery on orders over £30 too, so you don't even need to leave the house to snap up a saving. Score.

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