Birthday Wish List

Wednesday, 29 February 2012
My 27th birthday is coming up soon so I thought I'd be helpful and create a little hinty hint list for my family and other half who might be looking for ideas of what to get me.  So here's what's currently taking my fancy:


Cat scarf - Dorothy Perkins
Butterfly ring - Dorothy Perkins
Owl necklace - River Island
Katy Perry Sweetie Pie Lashes
Jelly Belly Bubble Gum Candle - Topshop
Vera Wang Princess Night
No7 BB Cream (normal/oily skin)
Wallet - Accessorize
The Inbetweeners Movie DVD
Macaroons cookbook

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

I have a confession to make: I am a make-up floozy.  I flit from brand to brand, never sticking with the same product for more than one go and I'm always on the lookout for something better.  Mascara has long been one of my biggest weaknesses - I can't tell you how many notches are on my proverbial bedpost - but ladies and gentlemen I have had a breakthrough.....I think I've found THE ONE!

The product in question is "They're Real!", the new mascara from Benefit.  I've always been a fan of Benefit make-up, with it's kitsch product names and cute packaging, but generally it's a bit out of my price range so I don't tend to buy stuff that often.  However, after reading Gillian's review of their new mascara I thought I'd give it a try, and I'm glad I did!

Benefit They're Real Mascara

I got mine from Boots  for £18.50, but you can also purchase directly from the Benefit website or other online beauty retailers (haven't found it cheaper elsewhere though).  

Benefit They're Real Mascara

The brush has a really nice shape, with lots of bristles as the bottom which is handy for doing the corners and bottom lashes.  Also the colour is a proper BLACK black which I love.

The product claims to lengthen, curl, volumise, lift and separate, and I would probably agree with all of those.  My lashes appeared longer and thicker, with a nice wide-eyed feel and a slight curl, also there was less clumping than you get with most other thickening mascaras.  

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review

The only thing I would say though is that with a name like "They're Real!" it would imply that the mascara is as good as wearing fake eyelashes - however if you're used to wearing falsies I don't think the mascara does enough to make you swear off them for good.  For me though, I rarely wear fake eyelashes so "They're Real!" is certainly good enough for me!

I'd like to think that this relationship will stand the test of time, and that my days of trawling the cosmetic aisles looking for hot new mascaras are over, but given the £18.50 price tag can I really make it last?  We will see.

Besides, my search for the perfect foundation still continues, so I'll probably be a make-up whore for a while yet.....

Related posts:
Benefit Stay Flawless Foundation Review
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Review
Avon Super Enchant Mascara Review
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara Review

What a week!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Only 2 weeks in and I've already fallen behind on my plan to keep this blog up to date - however in my defence this is due to fact that some utter bastards broke into my flat last week and nicked my laptop (and my GHD's....the dicks!).

And to make matters worse, I didn't have any contents insurance (.....I do now!), so it's probably going to be a month or so before I can afford to buy myself a new laptop which means for now I'll have to settle for writing blog posts at work on my lunch break.

So to make up for the lack of posts, here's some pics from the last week or so.

Primark Haul Feb 2012
Durham Castle

1) Shopping Spree - I had my most successful Primark trip EVER the other week where I bought all this stuff for the grand total of just £105.  My favourite pieces were the cute doctor bag and the amazing boots (sooo comfortable).  

2) Sad Face - my kicked in front door, courtesy of some thieving scumbags who broke into my flat last Monday.  I hope you burn your ears with my GHD's you c..ts!

3) Flowers - My almost-in-laws sent us these gorgeous flowers to cheer us up after the aforementioned break in - how lovely?!

4) Pancakes - I'm normally really bad at making pancakes, for some reason they always turn out tasteless, mis-shapen and a bit burnt, but this year I somehow managed to turn it all around and they were amazing.  I meant to take a photo of my awesome pancake and nutella tower but it was demolished so quickly that I forgot.

5) Party Face - Ready for a night out with friends at Electric Circus (karaoke and copious amounts of alcohol - what could go wrong?!) on Saturday.  Lips courtesy of Collection 2000, eyes courtesy of the new They're Real mascara by Benefit.

6) Durham Castle - taken from the train on my flying visit to London yesterday .

Cupcakes to the Rescue!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012
After a particularly testing few days at work I decided I was due a treat today so made a lunchtime dash to Bibi's Bakery (37 Hanover Street), which is rather conveniently located about 2 minutes away from my office.

I could have quite easily bought 1 of everything in the shop, but my purse and waistline would not have forgiven me, so I settled on 4 (2 are for B, ok!); Chocolate & Marshmallow, White Chocolate & Vanilla, Chocolate Melt, and Cookies & Cream.  I scoffed the Marshmallow one after my Pret sandwich (which I managed to spill all down my top - classy) and the sugar rush cheered me up for the rest of the afternoon - awesome!

Cupcakes from Bibi's Bakery, Edinburgh 

 Cupcakes from Bibi's Bakery, Edinburgh
Cupcakes from Bibi's Bakery, Edinburgh

Review: Valentines at Tusitala

Monday, 13 February 2012
Due to Valentines Day inconveniently falling on a Tuesday this year, B and I decided to go out for an early V-day dinner on the Sunday night.  We always seem to go out for meals in the same places in the centre of town, so this time I chose us a random little place out towards Fairmilehead called Tusitala (update: restaurant now closed).

Some blurry lift action
When we arrived we were given the choice of sitting in the main restaurant or through in the function suite area - we went for the latter as the main restaurant seemed a bit noisy.  The place looked nice - clean with contemporary decor and a glass wall which, if it was daytime, would have given some nice views across the Pentlands.

Drinks orders were taken as soon as we sat down (rose for me, orange juice for driver B) and food orders taken shortly after, so we had our hopes us for some good prompt service....

To start we shared garlic bread with mozzarella - normally a firm favourite with the both of us (mmmm cheesy garlicky goodness) however this one failed to hit the spot and didn't really seem to taste of anything.  How can garlic bread be tasteless??

Garlic Pizza Bread at Tusitala, Edinburgh
Starter - Garlic Bread with Mozzarella
About 45 minutes later our mains arrived.  I had gone for Pan Fried Scallops with Chorizo, Rocket and Dill, served with Pommes Berrichon.  It looked pretty nice on the plate (if a bit swamped by rocket) and was a decent portion size (around 6 chunky scallops).  Like the starter it was let down slightly though by the taste, or lack of.  Also I was slightly disappointed that it was thin slices of cold chorizo rather than nice chunky fried bits.

Scallops and Chorizo at Tusitala Restaurant, Edinburgh
Main - Scallops with Chorizo
B went for the Calzone Stromboli (which was huuuuge) - filled with salami, pepperoni, mushrooms, tomato and mozzarella.  This seemed to get a thumbs up, although it was let down slightly by the sad side salad (which looked like it had come straight out of a supermarket packet and was already going brown).

Calzone at Tusitala Restaurant, Edinburgh
Main - Calzone Stromboli
When the plates were taken away we were asked if we wanted to take a look at the Dessert menu - B was feeling a bit stuffed after the mammoth Calzone but I had chosen my main sensibly so I would still have room for ice cream so we said yes please!  20 minutes later (!) the menus arrived and I decided on a Honeycomb Fudge Sundae (vanilla ice cream, honeycomb and fudge pieces, fudge sauce and cream - yum yum!).

We got 2 spoons as B's appetite had come back by the time the sundae finally arrived.  It looked awesome, although it was about 60% whipped cream that we just ate around.  The ice cream and fudge bits were yummy, although I don't remember finding any actual honeycomb bits.

Honeycomb Fudge Sundae at Tusitala Restaurant, Edinburgh
Dessert - Honeycomb Fudge Sundae
Once we'd had enough of dessert (i.e once we reached the point of feeling a bit sick) we asked for the bill which arrived promptly so they get some extra points for that (one of my pet hates is having to sit for ages waiting on a bill).

Overall I'd give Tusitala a 5 out of 10 - the place itself was nice, food was ok but a bit bland, and service was friendly but very slow.  At least we tried somewhere new I suppose!