The Naked 2 Experiments : #1 Drama

Sunday, 31 March 2013
I've had the much talked about Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for a few months now, and I seem to have fallen into a bit of a routine.  I'd say about 9 times out of 10 my daily eye makeup is exactly the same - I use YDK all over my eye lids and then Busted in the outer corner. As much as I love this combo I feel like I really should start being a bit more experimental, especially as I paid over £30 for a palette with lots of lovely colours that I'm not even using.

So I decided the other day to try out a range of different looks with the palette and write them up as a blog series.  The experiments will range from extreme OTT looks like this first one, to subtle work-friendly day to day looks - showing the versatility of the Naked 2 palette and maybe giving me a few more looks I can work into my routine.

Experiment #1 - Drama

Naked 2 Palette

Naked 2 Blackout Eye Makeup Look

Naked 2 Blackout Eye Makeup Look

Naked 2 Blackout Eye Makeup Look

Naked 2 Blackout Eye Makeup Look

Naked 2 Blackout Eye Makeup Look

Naked 2 Blackout Eye Makeup Look

For the first experiment I thought I'd go to the extreme and do a dramatic eye look using the darkest shade in the palette - Blackout.  This is definitely not a look I'd normally wear, and to be honest I don't think I ever will unless it's part of a fancy dress costume (not sure it really suits me!) but it was fun to try it out anyway!  

I don't think I've ever used an eyeshadow this dark, and I've used blacks before (back when I was at uni and lived in dark smoky eyes) but this is like blacker than black - like you know how when you live in the city and you look at the night sky and you're like, yeah this is what night looks like, but then you go out to the country and look at the night sky and you're like jesus christ that is what a dark sky actually looks like?!  Well, that's Blackout - a proper "holy shit are we in space?" black.

In the pictures above I already had a layer of YDK before I added Blackout (as I couldn't be bothered taking my eye makeup off first.....lazy) but I think it added a nice extra to the look as YDK shines through slightly and gives a lovely iridescent sheen.  Blackout itself is quite matte so I don't think you'd get that shine that you can see in the last closed eye picture without having another shimmery shadow on as a base.

All of the shadows in the Naked 2 palette have a really lovely finish to them, and feel like a high quality product (if that makes sense) - like they feel velvety and smooth as opposed to gritty like cheaper shadows do.  It's definitely been one of my best makeup purchases this year, and I can see me continuing to get a lot of wear out of it.  While the all over Blackout look is probably a bit too much for me, I can see me using it perhaps as a liner or in the outer corners as part of a smoky eye look.

What about you, are you brave enough to rock out a dramatic eye look like this?

Next Home Event: Part 1

Thursday, 28 March 2013
ready to watch the new ad
Gillian and Jenn
me and Gillian
Jonathan and Charlene

Earlier this week I was kindly invited to a Next Home event at their store in Straiton, so popped along after work, meeting up with some fellow bloggers on the way for a wee bus adventure!  Once we arrived (yaaay to not getting lost) we were greeted by the lovely Next PR team and handed a glass of prosecco (I wish all greetings came with a glass of prosecco...).  

We were then free to go for a wander round the store (which is HUGE by the way) to take a look at their fab spring/summer range,  and oh my word there were so many beautiful things - I was like a kid in a sweet shop (as you can probably tell by the fact I took a MILLION photos).  I've always loved Next for homewares and have spent many an hour perusing their brochure mentally planning my dream home so this trip has further fuelled that obsession and I'm now itching to redecorate our flat like NOW! 

We were also rather kindly given a £50 giftcard to spend on anything we wanted from the store which was exciting, although it then lead to the difficult dilemma of what do I buy??! as I literally wanted EVERYTHING. I eventually managed to narrow my search down to some heart shaped plates, a metal jar (for my makeup brushes), an Eiffel Tower statue and a red wallet (couldn't resist a little peek in the fashion section too!).  I'll do another post later this week to show how I've incorporated these in my flat, as well as show you some other things that came in a goodie bag (it's safe to say I was blown away by how generous they were!).

So once we were all shopped out we headed back into town for more prosecco & canapes* at the Hotel Du Vin where we got to see a screening of their new TV ad, as well as a sneak peek at behind the scenes and the making of the advert.  It was also a great opportunity to chat with the PR team and find out a bit more about Next Home - it was really interesting to hear how the whole design process works, from trends analysis to mood boards to the finished product - all the stuff that you just don't even think about when you see a product on a shelf.  It was also really cool to hear about the new ranges that will be arriving in stores in the coming weeks/months - I loved all the shabby chic / Parisian themed products and apparantly there's a new romance range coming soon which ties in with this so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that!

This was the first brand event I'd attended and it has certainly set the bar high - I had an ace time (shopping + bubbles, what a combo) and it was genuinely interesting hearing all the behind the scenes stuff from the Next girls.  Also it was great to catch up with some of my favourite blogger ladies and to meet some new people too.  Thanks to Next for putting on such a great night!

*I'm still dreaming about the mini croque monsiers they had....divine!

Next up in my bloggy social calendar is Zen Lifestyle Spa next week - can't wait!

OOTD: Roses & Care Bears

Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Two outfit of the day posts in a week....I'm getting good at this!

I wore this outfit to work earlier this week.  The dress is from Primark and is one of my favourite Primark buys in a while - I love the on-trend denim with the cute floral detail, and it has a really flattering shape with a fitted top and flarey skirt.  The cardigan is also from Primark - I love how this makes any outfit instantly look summery.  

Onto the accessories - the belt is from Dorothy Perkins (I's very old!), the bag is Primark (last years' summer range), and the ring is from H&M (also very old!).  

Finally we have my absolutely adorable new bag charm - was anyone else a massive Care Bears fan??  I even have the first series on DVD, ha!  My sister got me this for my birthday and it is soooo cute, I love it!  This one is Cheer Bear who is "perky, happy, excited and will turn any frown upside down" - just what I need as a companion on my daily travels :)

Primark Denim Floral Dress Outfit

Primark Denim Floral Dress Outfit

Primark Pink Satchel

Pink Care Bear Bag Charm

My Life in....2009

Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Hello!  Long time readers may remember I started a series way back in October called "my life in..." where I took a random year of my life and wrote a post about what I was doing in that year, complete with pictures.  The first post I did was 2007 and you can find that one here if you fancy a read.

I thought it was about time I got round to doing another one, although the last one ended up being a really long wordy post so instead this time I've decided to keep it photo based (also partly to show off the fact that I'm getting a bit better at the whole image editing business!).  

The year I've picked this time is 2009 - so here we go!


To kick things off, here's a 2009 Facebook profile picture along with a sample of status updates.  Lolz to my early rage at Jedward, and I'm still baffled by that Christmas tree/Moses basket mixup.

In 2009 I..........