Thursday, 25 December 2014

Manchester | Curry Mile, Mockingjay & Markets | Travel

Me and Ems headed up to Manchester from London Victoria end of November to have a bit of a reunion with our friends and to surprise one of them for their birthday. Since university and work has taken over all our lives, it seems as though we rarely get the chance to all be together & even in this instance a lot of our lovely bunch weren't able to make it but nether the less it's still lovely when even a small handful of us can get together.
We weren't in Manchester for a very long period of time, and admittedly, most of it was spent having colossal catch ups in pubs rather than doing a bit of sight seeing. We did trek out however to see the Christmas markets and to pay a visit to the curry mile (what with us all being insane curry & beer lovers) and also to go and see the new Hunger Games movie, The Mockingjay, which I thought was so, so, so good! Although having read the books I didn't find it as thrilling as I thought I would, but you can definitely tell it's leading up to a massive explosion of everythinggg in the last movie (cannot wait) Anyway so I thought I'd jot down a couple of pointers from our trip up North, how to get there, what days to avoid the markets and how to get free beer down the curry mile.


First things first, megabus is so amazing. £14 for a return ticket to and from Manchester, I am such a sucker for a bargain. Catching the train could have put me out of pocket by about 40-80 pounds, which means (yay) more money for shopping and nights out. I would definitely recommend using this service, the journey is pretty comfortable and when you've got a bag of snacks and in good company it's just really the perfect place for a cosy catch up and to grab some shut eye before your destination. I get pretty badly travel sick in cars but this journey was absolutely fine for me, not at any point did I feel sick, I just caught up on plenty of gossip, sleep and listened to plenty of new music.
Once you're in Manchester, getting around is so easy, everywhere we went had pubs, cafes and shops in walking distance but if you wanted to venture further afield the buses are super easy to navigate and if you manage to get a 'magicbus' it will only cost you £1 for a single.
Family Bus Selfie


The curry mile actually amazes me- it is literally an area concentrated with shisha bars, kebab shops & (yay) Indian restaurants. The perfect spot for a cheat weekend. However, all the restaurants are halal, now I have always respected other peoples religions and beliefs but animal cruelty is something I cannot understand and have extreme difficulty accepting, which of course is a struggle, as a lover of good food and meat I constantly have battles with myself swaying from vegetarian to non-stop meat eater on the daily. Now this all made me very uncomfortable and everyone was just eager to eat whereas I was umming and ahhing about giving my money to people who promote this practice. And I know you'll all say what difference would it make, the animal is already dead- however I have always believed change starts with one person. And spreads like wildfire. Anyway all my hesitation outside the restaurant meant that one of the waiters came up to us and said if we ate there we would all get a free drink.. Sold.. Yes I know how very fickle of me, but hey at least I'm honest!
So there's a little tip for you all, because there are absolutely tons of Indian restaurants down there, they will do anything they can to make you eat at their restaurant as opposed to the identical one next door! Everyone was so lovely and friendly to us that we went back the next day and were greeted as 'family' and they gave us a free little slice of cake for Hannahs birthday. Now that's a nice bit of customer service.
How big is this Cobra bottle!!!??


If you are headed to Manchester any time soon I would 100% recommend their Christmas market, it's so beautiful and absolutely massive. Me and Ryan managed to home in on a Baileys tent (I swear I can smell that stuff from a mile away..) and it was absolutely the best find. Ever. We showed our ID to the bouncers followed a crowd of people landed at the bar with two free shots and a cheeky polaroid picture to take home- all free. Heaven! Definitely my highlight! I absolutely loved the Christmas markets, full to the brim of delicious drinks and food and amazing hand crafted unique presents, it's definitely the spot to go shopping. Especially when you can dive in and out of the high street shops too! All your Christmas shopping in one place, convenience in the busy holiday period, definitely what I like to hear. Having said that, I did absolutely no Christmas shopping as it was heaving. Even in London Oxford Street I have never seen that many people flocking around. (I'm not sure how much of this had to do with the fact it was the day after Black Friday) A couple of us had a look around the markets on Friday afternoon and it was quite pleasant and quiet. However when we all decided to go and have a look around on the Saturday evening, we were quite literally overwhelmed with how busy it was, you couldn't even see what the stalls were selling and getting from one place to another turned into a military mission, ducking and swerving, dragging everyone along making sure no one gets left behind (and me being small normally meant that I was the one that got separated- thank god for bright blonde hair!) It just all became too stressful and the queues for mulled wine were ridiculooooous! So we all admitted defeat and went off to find somewhere to grab some dinner. With no reservation- Bad idea. I had no idea Manchester was so busy but every single restaurant we went to told us we had a 2-3 hour wait (there were 6 of us) we had exhausted all the local restaurants and so decided we would head back to our favourite hotspot-  the curry mile! Definitely head over here during the week days and if you want to eat definitely book ahead!!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Bare Minerals Moisturiser | Beauty

I've always struggled to find a moisturiser right for my skin, I have somewhat of a phobia of it all blocking up my pores and making my skin greasy - I think a fair fear from someone who suffered pretty badly with acne in the past. And so I had never actually touched moisturiser until about a year ago (disgraceful, I know) Until I decided to purchase some products from bareMinerals so popped in to the big boots in Croydon to pick up one of their Starter Kits, I got the customisable one, so I could get matched for a colour pale enough for me! When I was talking to the lady and she was trying out the colours on me I was telling her my woes with moisturisers, so she suggested the bareminerals one and I looooooved it!
It's super light, smells amazing and really is hydrating! I honestly swear by this moisturiser now, it gives me no problems and makes my skin feel so great A++++ from me! The packaging is pretty and the pump is great for convenience, I won't be venturing towards any other moisturisers any time soon!

What moisturisers are you guys loving?

Come say hi to me over on instagram- @amyraeburn

Catch you later!
-Ams xo

Fluffy Cape & High Street Makeup. | Fashion

I am constantly trying everything I can to save the pennies, and so I spend most of my days on sale pages and counting the days down to Black Friday. I always figured why buy something for £40 odd when you can easily find something similar in a sale on another website for a quarter of the price, yes, I am the ultimate bargain hunter.
I chucked together an outfit of my favourite sale pieces from this autumn (they may not be available on all the websites but I will link similar ones!) and pieced them with my luuuuurverly fluffy cape from Missguided (that I managed to get for half price:D)
Also in keeping with the saving money theme I thought I would do my daily make up routine using my high street make up and ditching the nars and mac, and if I'm honest did not notice the difference, bar the need for a better primer!
A quick heads up- the quality of the photos are a bit naff! I was dog sitting and did it all in a bit of a rush cause I was running out of light (why is it so dark?!) still adjusting to being on the other side of the camera, someone teach me how to pose pleaaaase!

Fave nail combo everrrrrr. ft Barry M & Bourjois

Make up wise, I swapped all my everyday essentials to see what look I could get for less.
Eyes- L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows in black & a white shade, the dark brown shade from the Beauty UK Eyeshadow Palette for the crease, Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil and my absolute favourite mascara, Bourjois Paris Twist up the Volume.

Cape- Missguided
Jeans- New Look, similar here
Cami top- Topshop, but could also style with this or this for something a tad more daring.
Shoes- New look, but could also work with this or if you're loving the chunky boot look at the moment, these
Watch- Michael Kors

Keep an eye out for my upcoming blogs, a travel guide to Manchester, DIY xmas hampers & the lip liner you cannot afford to live without!

Meanwhile come say hi to me on instagram- @amyraeburn

Catch you guys later!
-Ams xo

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Winter Lips | Keeping them Hydrated ft. Revlon | Beauty

So it's the end of November- December is upon us (where has this year gone?!) this means the frost is slowly creeping in and snow will be caking the pavements in no time (please, please, please!) And with this cold weather everyone seems to be rotating their skincare regime, me especially, I have combination skin, which is a total nightmare especially in the winter when it will go all oily on me one day and completely dry the next! So frustrating! But the part of all of us that gets hit the worst (for me anyway!) is your lips. They always manage to get all dry and cracked and more scaly than a dragon. Or at least they used to be..
I used to work in Boots and last year I went over to our Beauty consultant all angry and upset because I couldn't find a solution to my cracked lips. I'd tried Vaseline, Carmex, Nivea, you name it I had been lathering it on, but as much as they did keep my lips hydrated for a while I would find as the day went on they would just crack and I'd continually add product. This is all well and good but what about lipstick! I mean it's winter!! I need my berry lips but that was quite unattainable when I was constantly slapping Vaseline all over my face!
So Kate was my saving grace and she pointed me over to the No7 counter and picked up a bottle of Protect & Perfect Lip care. At the time boots had out their £5 off skin care vouchers so I picked up a tube for around £2 with my discount, would be around £4 for you muggles, and I haven't looked back since. I applied a small amount to my lips and within 5 minutes I could literally feel my lips sucking up all the moisture goodness. Oh I was so excited, yay plump and hydrated lips finally. I never would have thought of buying an anti-aging lip balm but now I would never go back to anything else, it's such a fabulous product at such a reasonable price too!

I use this tube twice a day at morning and night times, I used to just pop it on whenever they were feeling a bit dry but I had decided that this stuff was gold dust so during the day if my lips do get a bit chapped (Which they never do unless I'm snowboarding) I just pop on a bit of Carmex and I'm good to go. It also smells lovely and tastes okay too, I know that sounds crazy, but for me that's such an important factor when buying lip products, because, well, they're going to be right under your nose the whole day...

Once you've conquered the hydrated lips-scenario then comes lipstick, I really enjoy a matte lip in the winter but finding one that isn't dry and doesn't drag across your lips is a bit of a challenge, but then Revlon released their Colourburst collection last year/start of this year? and it seemed like the perfect solution, they are definitely my go to lipsticks when my lips are a bit dry but I still want a bit of colour! It goes without saying, they will all be accompanying me on my snowboarding trip this year! They come in so many beautiful colours, perfect for winter and summer. I only own one of their lacquer balms but it's safe to say I will definitely be adding to the collection!

I thought I'd pop in a photo showing you how much product you get for your money because that's certainly something I'm always looking for when I'm buying make up.

From L to R- Complex, Elusive, Audacious, Unapologetic, Showy, Standout, Striking and lacquer balm- Vivacious.

Swatches- Vivacious, Striking, Standout, Showy, Unapologetic, Audacious, Elusive & Complex
Although a few of these colours are quite bright and those sort of colours people normally pair with summer, I actually love putting on a bit of bold lippy when the weathers a bit cold, especially when hitting the slopes, brightens up my day! Also I find because I am super pale anyway all the dark purples and reds really make me look like casper!.. Where's that fake tan!

What's your winter lip routine? I'd love to hear any other lipsticks you guys use for a bit of hydration!

Catch you later!

Ams xo

P.S Come say hi to me over on instagram- @amyraeburn

Monday, 24 November 2014

MUA lipsticks | Review & Swatches | Beauty

I am a complete beauty junkie, I have bath, skin, eye, lip products coming out my ears, it drives my family insane and my friends absolutely love it and why not? When it comes to getting ready for a night out my sick obsession actually pays off ;)
So I thought I would put up a couple of reviews over the next few days on my beauty favourites, tips and tricks. Starting with my extensive MUA lipstick collection. MUA is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, just because it is so cheap, I can't help but drool all over a good bargain.
I heard about MUA through a friend if I'm honest. Most of my high street make up is done in boots and so brands like Miss Sporty and MUA were just distant ideas, until I was looking for a really good nude high street lipstick and I just could not settle on one, they were all either too orange or too pink or too matte, I just couldn't find a cheap and cheerful go-to when I wanted a quick nude lip.
And then came Shade 14, oh Shade 14. I think I'm now on my fourth fix of this lipstick because I just can't get enough, it glides on so effortlessly and for my skin tone it is so unbelievably spot on. Heaven in a lipstick tube my friends (okay maybe not quite- but I do love it!) And here it is, here is the best bit people, these lipsticks retail at.. wait for it.. £1!!!! One pound! That is all it costs. BUT, not only that, MUA are now doing a 3 for 2 on ALL LIP PRODUCTS until the 7th December. Oh my, 3 lipsticks for £2?! Bargain Beauty, that's what we like.
Anyway enough of my waffling, on to the actual review!
MUA has two different styles of lipsticks, they have their normal, glossy finish lipsticks (black packaging) and their matte collection (white packaging).
(I got my lipstick holders from Ebay, here)
There is currently 7 shades in the Matte collection, of which I have 5. You can check out the two other shades, Fawn Fancy, here. And Lilac Belle, here.
From L to R- Wild Berry, Scarlet Siren, Pouty Pink, Peachy Keen & Totally Nude.

Swatches- Wild Berry, Scarlet Siren, Pouty pink, Peachy Keen & Totally Nude.
 I am not a massive fan of the matte collection if I'm quite honest, you really have to build the colour up and I find they drag across your lips when you're applying them, for me a really good matte lipstick needs to glide on, be really pigmented and have great staying power, but I find the MUA ones do none of these for me and so I find myself never reaching for these lipsticks.
But it's okay because what it lacks for in the matte collection it makes up for in the normal lipsticks! :)
There are 20 shades in this collection covering all your basics, nudes, pinks, reds, browns & purples. I own shades 1-16 in this collection, the other 4 you can view, Raven (great for Halloween!) here, Flamingo here, Persian Rose here and Tulip here. (rest assured, I've requested these shades to appear in my stocking this year- thanks Santa!)
These are named by numbers with exception to the new 4 shades & shades 16, 15 and 14 who also have names as well as a number. It's all a bit confusing really, I rather like it when they all have either a number or a name or both. But I'm just being fussy..
Browns & Corals.
My battered Shade 14 in the middle there...
Swatches, from L to R- Number 16 (Nectar), Number 15 (Juicy), Number 14 (Bare), Number 10, Number 2
 The Pinks
From L to R- Shade 3, Shade 3 again (woops), Shade 12 & Shade 7
Swatches- Shade 3, Shade 12 & Shade 7
Swatches, from L to R- Shade 6, Shade 5 & Shade 4 
Little shout out to shade number 6 here, I absolutely love it, it's so pretty and glittery and such a nice colour! But I have to say Shade 4 is the only colour I'm really unhappy with, I was so excited because it looks like it would come out all bright and Barbie pink, but it strikes me as more of a lip-balm-like colour, not very pigmented at all.
Reds & Purples
L to R, Shade 13, Shade 8, Shade 1, Shade 11, Shade 9
Swatches, Top to Bottom, Shade 13, Shade 8, Shade 1, Shade 11 & Shade 9

These are all my absolute favooooourite shades from the collection at the moment, I mean just look at them! - They scream winter, I love it >:) The ones I'm loving the most at the moment are Shades 8, 11 and 9. Pretty berry colours and sparkles, what more could you want.
So there are the swatches of my lurvereeeeely MUA lipsticks, I have to say for £1 I'm always impressed, their staying power isn't great but they're so easy to chuck in your handbag and reapply as and when needed that I'm not bothered by it in the slightest!
The packaging is plain and simple, I love that its so easy to see the colours, makes the selection process so much easier! It's by no means a luxurious packaging, but it does the job and it's what's on the inside that counts ;)
All in all I think they're a good buy, perfect as stocking fillers/secret Santa presents when you're working with a budget! So hop along to your nearest Superdrug or have a little look online and go crazy my friends. (Now would be a good time to point out their blushes are also £1 and super yummy and pigmented- not that I'm encouraging you to buy more or anything!)
Do you have any MUA lipsticks? I'd love to hear what you guys make of them!
Catch you later,
Ams xo

Come & say hi to me over on instagram- @amyraeburn

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Grey fluff with Missguided | Fashion

Winter crept up so unbelievably quick this year and I am so unprepared! (brb, it's time to jumper shop!) but I was clearly aware I would do this again this year and so post-Christmas sales meant I have a substantial collection of coats/scarfs/all things snuggly stocked up in my wardrobe already (yay for saving the pennies!)
So I found this fluffy goodness stashed away that I had purchased from New Look last year and got way too excited so naturally had to throw an outfit together :) You will have to excuse how uncomfortable I look, I'm far more accustomed to being on the other side of the camera, definitely a new experience for me!

Hat: H&M
Cape Blazer: Missguided
Shoes: Tk Maxx
What clothing are you reusing from the sales last winter?

Ams xo
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