Had A Holly, Jolly Christmas

27 December 2014

Ho ho ho! It's currently 7.30pm on the day after Boxing Day, and my grandma (aka Queen Jean) and I are sitting in our pyjamas - brand new pyjamas that we unwrapped on Christmas morning, of course - drinking tea, channel-flicking, roasting chestnuts on the log fire and digging through the Celebrations tin. Sweet Christmassy goodness is happening right now as I type this, people! My parents - Jean's daughter and son-in-law - have gone to their friends for the evening, so we jokingly gave 'the kids' a curfew and are having a cosy night in. I didn't manage to get any Christmas-related posts written this year which I'm sad about, but hey, here I am - and two days after the big day isn't too late, I hope!


It's a hectic time of year for healthy people, let alone when you're chronically ill and have to get through the festive period without collapsing in a heap and not being able to get back up again. This week has been so magical and special, but that's not to say that its been free from difficulties. Look at it this way - in an average month my diary usually has one event planned, and in the past week I've; had my boyfriend come to stay along with some of my family for a 'pretend Christmas' complete with presents and a big roast dinner, a second 'pretend Christmas' with my brother and his girlfriend, an evening out with my friends and Hayley on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day with all the family - games, drinks, dinner, the lot - and then Boxing Day at my auntie's yesterday. Phew. I'm exhausted just typing about it! With lots of pacing, plenty of energy management and a lot of help from my family I've survived with both fond memories of 2014 and high hopes for 2015.


I'll stop waffling on - Queen Jean is nodding off and I'm in dire need of another rest break - however I did just want to send a little virtual Christmas hug to everyone and say that I'm thinking of each and every one of you, with hopes that you all have had a holly, jolly Christmas. For those of you who also suffer with chronic illness, I'd like to say a big well done, too - it's the most wonderful time of the year, but for us it's also the most challenging. I can imagine that the majority, if not all of you, are feeling pretty darn poorly right now however I hope that the post-exertional malaise is a result of having a lovely, relaxing and well-deserved Christmas with your loved ones. Feelin' fatigued but festive!

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Your Tea Tiny Tea 14-Day Teatox

18 December 2014

As I run a health-based Instagram page called Meg Says Eat and focus on topics such as clean eating, fitness and wellbeing, from time to time I'm lucky enough to try products aimed to help you lead a healthier and happier lifestyle. As someone who drinks anywhere from 3-10 cups a day I was extremely excited when I was contacted by Your Tea and to-tea-ly couldn't wait to try their Tiny Tea Teatox*, of which I was sent the 14-day version.

First of all the packaging is gorgeous and ideal for its purpose, with the teabags individually and conveniently wrapped in hot pink sachets then housed in a pretty cardboard box. The instructions are extremely simple to follow and I also found the Your Tea guide very helpful. Their website also covered every question I could think of and I was glad they'd been so thorough as I'd never tried a 'teatox' before and didn't know what kind of results to expect.


The Tiny Tea Teatox is designed to "nourish and cleanse the digestive system" and "restore your body back to its original health before modern day lifestyles, sugars, fats, stress, inactivity and emotions unravelled it", which I feel is a bold claim and as a chronic illness sufferer I'm probably not the best person to comment on how it impacted upon my health as my body doesn't work 'normally' and how most people's does, but I did notice some improvements that I'll discuss. Some of the various health benefits include:
  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy levels
  • Decreased bloating
  • Clearer skin
Weight loss: As I don't weigh myself and prefer to gauge by the way my body feels rather than the way it looks I can't give any 'facts' on whether I lost weight or not, but I definitely felt trimmer and slimmer. I also saw results from exercise faster - at the time I was in a better place health-wise and during the 14-day teatox I saw more noticeable results from doing Pilates or yoga daily such as better muscle definition, especially around my abs. I've never taken progress photos - although I wish I had at the start and end of the teatox! - but there are countless 'before and after' photos on their Instagram, which you can find here

Increased energy levels: I live with the neuroimmune illness ME - read more about that here - and chronic fatigue is one of the key symptoms, so I was eager to see if Tiny Tea would help my energy levels but can't say that I noticed any improvement. Although, it's important to remember that many other factors play a huge role in my symptoms and to be honest I'd be bowled over if a tea could impact upon an incurable, long-term disease! A notable benefit for chronic illness sufferers however is that it brought a better sense of structure to my life. I suffer from sleep dysfunction and deal with both insomnia and hypersomnia on a regular basis, and having that routine of getting out of bed (if possible) for a cup in the morning, at lunch and then taking one to bed again at night was beneficial.

Decreased bloating: For me personally this is the most notable benefit, as although I don't suffer with visible bloating I often find that the process of eating a meal wipes me out - this is due to having ME - and afterwards I feel even more lethargic and drained than usual. During the Tiny Tea teatox I noticed that digestion didn't hit me as hard and I felt less 'heavy' and weighed down. My stomach was also completely flat, even after large meals!

Clearer skin: My skin is one of my main problem areas and I was hoping that the teatox would help to combat breakouts and congestion, but the only improvement I noticed was brighter and more radiant skin - due to the Tiny Tea's ability to "clear the body of imbalances, toxins and waste" and probably also due to drinking more fluids on a daily basis. In August this year I completed the Whole 30 (here) and was over the moon as my skin was 100% blemish-free, then after reintroducing dairy to my diet I was back to square one. As a result I've now eliminated dairy from my diet and believe that it was the cause of my skin issues, so if I were to try the teatox again minus dairy I'd imagine I'd notice results.


The taste reminds me of rooibos tea, quite 'woody' and herbal and dark in colour. At first I didn't like the 'earthy' taste and added half a teaspoon of organic honey to each cup, but I soon got used to it and was able to enjoy my three daily cups as they came.

One thing I'd like to mention is the price and possible 'placebo' effect, as I think that £20 to £31 is very steep for a box of tea and it's easy to be suckered into thinking that you'll - *Cady Harons voice* "drop ten pounds like that" - but I believe it's better to do this through proper nutrition and exercise. If you're eating fast food vs. greens and drinking cola vs. water, it's unlikely that spending money on a 'quick fix' will give you the long-term results that you're after. Basically, if you're already eating a well balanced diet, can afford to spend this much on tea and would like to try the teatox to supplement your already healthy lifestyle, then go for it. If £31 is a weekly shop to you and you're beginning to improve your health, I'd recommend spending that money on fresh, healthy food and starting from there. For healthy tips from Your Tea click here, and for Natalie Kringoudis' eating plan click here.

Overall I would recommend the Tiny Tea Teatox as I really enjoyed my 14-day experience, would happily do it again and the countless glowing reviews and progress photos (here) speak for themselves, plus I loved having more structure and routine in my life thanks to trialling this product. The packaging is cute enough to buy this for someone as a gift, also!

Have you tried the Tiny Tea Teatox or any products from Your Tea before?

Festive Christmas Party Outfit ft. Folli Follie

16 December 2014

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and honest - please see my full disclaimer here as well as the end of this post for more information. I hope you enjoy reading!

Christmas parties mean glitz and lots of sparkles. Is there anything more festive than a little - read: a ton - of sparkle? This year I'm saving the glitz for New Year's Eve, so today I'm showing you how you can charm and dazzle at Christmas parties - the elegant way! 

I've gone for head to toe ASOS, however you may notice that there's something very important missing from this outfit - accessories! For this festive season I'm thinking simple, smart and monochromatic on the outfit but dazzling, unforgettable and glamorous on the accessories. It's the perfect choice to look 'put-together', classy and effortlessly chic.


Folli Follie create the most beautiful, timeless pieces and are one of those brands that I've lusted after for years - their website is always bookmarked in my favourites for a spot of 'window shopping' - and whenever ultra-babe Mollie King posts about them on Instagram, I'm instantly hooked again and want everything. Their collections are simply gorgeous and so I'm extremely excited to be working with them to bring you this fabulously festive post!

It's quite hard to narrow it down, but their Match & Dazzle collection is my favourite and contains some divine pieces that I think would dress up this outfit and look totally stunning.


I've chosen a fairly plain dress, however for me it's the details that make it - extremely well-made in a 'weighty' fabric, subtly structured in the top and with tons of volume in the skirt. I think it looks and feels much more expensive than it is and it creates a lovely 'foundation' to show the jewellery in its best light. I also paired it with a simple pair of heeled black sandals, which won't detract from the pieces but are all kinds of leg-elongating wonderful.

These breathtaking Match & Dazzle earrings are possibly the prettiest earrings I've seen all year, and I'd be constantly tucking my hair behind my ears to show them off. Alternatively, I sometimes wear my hair up and think that a French twist or chignon would look lovely with the neckline of the dress, as well as letting the earrings do all the talking.


The Match & Dazzle Bracelet is eye-catching without being over the top, and would add so much interest to this simple outfit. The fact it's plated with rose gold is the cherry on top also, as I love rose gold and think it looks especially beautiful against the clear stones.


Along with a small bag to hold all of your party essentials such as the Reflections Bag, I think the outfit would be complete with these two items and they're definitely both firmly on my wishlist. The earrings in particular, as I think they're timeless and would make a great investment piece to wear for years to come. I love the bracelet also, and would pair it with red nails like I've done here in this look. Red lipstick would also be perfect for Christmas!

Heels: ASOS 'Hollywood' Heeled Sandals (out of stock - similar here

However, if you'd like to add a necklace to this look I do also have a few of favourites that I think would compliment the neckline of the dress beautifully - something simple but glamorous such as the Classy Necklacepersonal and in keeping with the rose-gold theme like the Birthstones Necklace or pretty and romantic, such as the Heart4Heart Floating Necklace or if you always wear a watch, the Watchalicious Watch with its intricate dials and midnight blue is rather special - who doesn't love a great watch?

Do you have a favourite piece? Which Folli Follie items would you pair with this outfit?

Meg


This post contains sponsored content. There are no affiliate links used. Any items marked with an (*) were gifted to me. All opinions are 100% my own and honest - please see my full disclaimer here for more information.

P.S. Please ignore my legs! I have Raynaud's syndrome which causes your blood vessels to temporarily spasm, blocking the flow of blood. It makes my legs and feet especially go purple, white and red as the blood flow returns - I massaged in lots of body cream to try and even out the tone and used a filter on the photographs so they don't look as bad, but they still look quite blotchy and sore. 

Why I'm Proud Of Zoella

13 December 2014

The idea for this blog post came to me whilst I was in the shower - bear with me, it's not as odd as it sounds - as I was using a product from Zoë Sugg aka Zoella's new beauty line, the Soak Opera Shower Cream. Some of you may know that I started my blog in 2009 aged fourteen, under the same name of Meg Says. Two years later I deleted my blog - I can't even remember why! - and Zoella started hers. Even though I didn't have my own slice of the web anymore I was still a keen reader, and I fell in love with Zoë's writing, humour and personality. Of course, I was thrilled when she started a YouTube channel.


I don't think any of us could have predicted the success that Zoë has reached today, but I can't say I'm surprised - she has the likability, the charm and the integrity to reach YouTube stardom, something that didn't even exist when she started this as a hobby. Her hobby is now her job - I really wanted to make that into a rhyme with 'jobby' then! - and she has over 6.6 million subscribers on her main channel, an almost incomprehensible number.


There are plenty of other people, I'm sure, who can remember Zoë starting her blog in 2009 and 'zoella280390' - which was 'the beginning'. As someone who feels like they've been there since 'the beginning', it has truly been an absolute pleasure to watch her grow and I feel so, so incredibly proud of everything that she has achieved and built for herself. I feel that she always puts her audience first whenever possible and has remained grounded and 'real', despite being one of the most influential and popular young people in the UK today.


I scribbled the title of this blog post down in a notebook after my 'lightbulb moment' in the shower a month or so ago, but after recent events have come to light I felt it even more important that I sit down and write this. Today I saw a newspaper headline that began with, "Zoella quits the internet" - and I felt shocked. It turned out that it was just the newspaper sensationalising the story, undoubtedly in an unashamed fish for more hits, but for a few seconds I was so sad at the prospect of Zoë not being able to do what she loves because of the amount of negativity directed at her.


What is with the internet these days and trying to bring people down? I don't want this to become the focus of this post as I think Zoë radiates positivity and joy and I'd hate to detract from that, but I do want to touch on it as it's one of the main reasons why I feel so proud of her. The volume of comments that she receives every day, both positive and negative, must be absolutely overwhelming. It might feel endless, suffocating, surreal.


I'm possibly one of Zoë's 'quieter' viewers - I watch and 'thumbs up' every video but don't always comment unless I have something worthwhile to say, I follow her on Twitter but don't see, favourite or reply to every tweet she sends. I still read her blog, the same as I did five years ago - to me, fame hasn't changed her and she's still the same girl. I'm subscribed to her brother Joe (Thatcher Joe), as I think he's hilarious and a successful YouTuber in his own right. I support her and am a fan, but I don't invest a lot of my time thinking about her life and I don't judge her or any decisions that she makes. I imagine many of Zoë's viewers are like me, and it concerns me that we may be drowned out by those who do judge, who do obsess, who do criticise.


I would hate for this to happen, and I urge you to think before you type. As Zoë said recently in her blog post entitled 'Why I Stopped Daily Vlogging - Hate On the Internet', "every time you post something online, you have a choice. You can make people happy or you can take away their happiness".


As I mentioned I don't want to focus on the negativity aimed at Zoë as it's something that I try to avoid reading myself and not what I want this post to be about, but I am proud of her. For facing it all, every day, and not giving up. Sadly there are a lot of sad and cruel-hearted people in the world who would love to see her fall, but I'd like to think that there are a lot more supportive and kind-hearted people in the world who would love to see her succeed.


I'm writing this because I want to add another voice to 'Team Zoë', and to the large group of people who want YouTube to be a happy place. A place where a young woman won't be hated on, picked apart and essentially bullied in the comments of her own video by people who are choosing to watch her content - content that's totally free. I'm sure that 99% of Zoë's subscribers are wholeheartedly supportive, and I so wish that the 1% of people who think it's okay to over-analyse someone's relationship, illness, looks and character just because they're a YouTuber would take a step back and focus more on their own lives.


This is getting very long and wordy, but the bottom line is that I feel unbelievably proud of Zoë. She's paving a path for young people in social media in a way that I've never seen before, and I'm so glad that she has her family, partner and friends to support her through all of this craziness. Holding a product created by someone who I've followed for so many years feels monumental, and I think that's why Zoë is so popular - you feel as if she's your friend. She's an ordinary girl with an extraordinary job, and I couldn't be prouder. PROUD!


In 2012 I was watching SBTRKT play at Reading Festival with my friends, when Zoë and Joe walked past me. I knew that Zoë suffered badly with anxiety and panic attacks - the tent was quite busy and she looked slightly stressed, so I just smiled and didn't stop her to tell her that I'd been reading her blog and watching her YouTube videos for over three years. I don't regret it as I've got a feeling she needed to get out of that tent without being stopped, but if I could time-travel back to that moment I might've said hello, given her a hug and told her - "you got this".


I just wanted to express my proudness - did I mention that I feel proud? - for someone who I feel deserves a round of applause as well as every good thing that life has to offer. If you've got something positive to add however, please feel free leave a comment!

Meg

I Finally Did It...

11 December 2014

...I started a YouTube channel! *dances wildly*

This has been a dream of mine since my early teens, before YouTube became a big 'thing' and way before you could make a career out of it. I loved watching beauty gurus the most and wanted to make my own videos so badly. This dream stayed with me over the next six years but I was too self-conscious and before now, I definitely would've felt far too embarrassed to start. Earlier this year I decided that I'd start a blog and if I still felt the same way towards the end of 2014, I'd bite the bullet and create my own YouTube channel.

And that's exactly what I've done! The longing I had to start YouTube hadn't gone away and it's one of those things where if I didn't try it just once, I would always regret it. So, over the past few months I've been gathering all of the equipment I need to create a decent setup and last Friday, I sat down and filmed my first video. It went live on Saturday and since then I've been on cloud nine as I really didn't expect the lovely reaction that I got!

I won't waffle on as I explained everything in the video, but just to give you the basics - I've started a channel after years of wanting to, I'll be talking about everything that I talk about on my blog but mainly beauty, health, fashion and lifestyle, I'm aiming to post every Friday but may not always be well enough to film due to my chronic illness and I love my cat a lot.

If you'd like to see my first ever video in all its YouTube newbie glory...


Dear everyone who has watched, subscribed, commented and sent me messages of congratulations via text, email, Instagram and Twitter - thank you. I'm so unbelievably grateful. I even got a bouquet of flowers sent to my door from Sian, Hayley, Ali, Charlotte and Hannah with a card saying that they're proud of me. ALL THE FEELS.

I'm still nervous and I definitely haven't found my feet yet, but I've finally done it. Anyone who has ever thrown caution to the wind and gone for something that they've wanted for years will know this feeling - it's empowering and I feel incredibly excited about the future. Even if it turns out that YouTube isn't for me, at least I gave it my best try. I honestly can't express how happy I am that it's being received so well by you all. There are no words.

What's your dream? I want to hear about it!

Meg

Cross the Line

10 December 2014

In August, three friends launched Cross the Line - an Asian fashion designer platform specialising in up-and-coming Asian-based designers. When I was contacted by one of the founders, I was immediately interested as I'm usually approached by British or American brands, not yet having the opportunity to view designs from this part of the world.

After taking a look at Cross the Line, I was impressed by their sleek and minimalistic website and began browsing through some of the different designers featured. One of my favourites is 112 moutainyam, which "expresses the vision of what the contemporary, stylish and independent woman wants in her wardrobe". I'm currently loving all black or white outfits, and I love how this next design - the Black and White Color Blocking Top incorporates the two tones together. If you'd like to incorporate a pop of colour however, the item has been paired with Plate Movement's Landscape Printed Skirt, which I think looks utterly gorgeous. This is absolutely an outfit I'd wear myself and I may need the skirt as it's unique, different and would look amazing with a white blouse and heeled sandals.



Cross The Line also posts monthly inspiration posts, my pick of the bunch being October's Black and White feature. From Coco Chanel quotes - "Women think of all colours, except the absence of colour. Black has it all. White, too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony" - to Cher and Dionne in gym class, their posts are well worth a scroll and I'll be checking back each month to see their current loves.


Have you heard of Cross the Line before? Do you have any favourite pieces?

Meg

Phase Eight Advent Calendar Giveaway

This year I'm so excited to one of the lucky bloggers chosen to take part in Phase Eight's Advent Calendar Giveaway Competition, where each blogger hosts a giveaway of one of Phase Eight's gorgeous accessories, every day leading up 'til Christmas. Fun, right?

Today, Wednesday 10th December, is my allocated day and for 24 hours I'm offering you the chance to win this stunning pewter Bo Necklace worth £30, which goes beautifully with casual and dressy outfits to add a little extra interest. Perfect for the festive season!


All you have to do to enter is;
  • follow Phase Eight on Twitter - here
  • go to my Twitter account - here
  • retweet my giveaway tweet and reply with the hashtag #PhaseEightAdvent
Please see Phase Eight's blog post on the Advent Giveaway here and ensure that you carefully read and understand the full terms and conditions here. Please also note that the giveaway is open to UK participants only

The competition runs for 24 hours on December 10th, so do be quick and enter between 12am and 11.59pm, when the giveaway ends and I choose a winner at random. If you're the lucky winner, I'll be in touch so that your prize can be sent out as soon as possible.

Best of luck!

Meg

Current Favourite Toners

9 December 2014

In last Tuesday's beauty chat I talked about my current favourite cleansers - read that post here - and decided to make it into a little series, so here's the next instalment focusing on the next step after I cleanse in the mornings and evenings; my current favourite toners. A few years ago I thought that toning was an unnecessary 'extra' in my regime, but now it's a step that I rarely ever skip as I feel it prepares the skin for your moisturiser, serum or oil.

Starting with the best affordable toner I've ever used we have the L'Oreal Age Perfect Refreshing Smoothing Toner (£4.49), which I took to university as it smelt like home! My mum uses this and after borrowing hers I fell in love, ignored the 'Age Perfect' part and have been repurchasing ever since. I saw skincare queen Caroline Hirons recommend it on her blog, saying "very refreshing and leaves the skin soft and smooth... if you're on a budget, this is for you" - read the full post here - which confirmed it as a winner. They've since redesigned the packaging, but the product is still the same. Personally I don't mind using an age-related product, but their Skin Perfection Velvety-Soft Toner (£3.99) looks like a good option for younger skin, so I'll try it out and will report back soon.

If you're willing to spend more on your toner, Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion (£20) is my favourite by far and the one that I would recommend most to my nearest and dearest. I currently have a cute little diddy bottle that came in an Origins gift set full of minis, but despite being 50ml compared to the 150ml full-size version it's still going strong months later and I love it even more every time I use it. It's packed full of moisturising Rose of Jericho - does that remind anyone else of the WWF/WWE wrestler? Just me? Okay then! - and a hydrating lychee and watermelon complex that not only smells divine but leaves my skin feeling plump and refreshed. I definitely know why they put 'treatment' in the name, as it feels ultra pampering and luxe.

One that I strictly save for extra-oily skin days when I look as if you could fry an egg on my forehead is the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 (£16.50). I rarely use this as it can feel quite stripping and the scent reminds me a little of this horrid bright blue Clean & Clear number that I used in my early teens which smelt of nail polish remover; my poor face. Anyway, my skin changes throughout the month and a combination of this toner and a clay-based mask are the only things that help to combat the unattractive shine that takes over.

Back to gentle cleansers now, the Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner (£3.29) is one that I picked up on a trip after forgetting to pack a toner and although it's nothing fancy, it gets the job done without any fuss or frills and never irritates my skin. Job done!

Another Caroline Hirons recommendation that "should be in everyone's arsenal" is the beautiful Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (£25), which contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs) to softly exfoliate the skin's surface and reveal softer, brighter skin. I used to plonk this onto a cotton pad and sweep it over my face regularly but as I'm running low and it's rather expensive, I now save said plonking and sweeping for special occasions - e.g. I'm going out and want to look extra radiant, I'm fake tanning (a rare occurrence, but still) and need a smooth base to work on - etc, etc. It's a true gem and you all need it!

I've just finished the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£13.25) too - if you're after something soothing and non-drying, this is lovely. On my wishlist are the Pixi Glow Tonic, the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and the REN Clarimatte Clarifying Toner.

Which toner(s) are you loving at the moment?

Meg

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram - Beauty | Instagram - Health | BlogLovin' | Google+

Any items marked with an (*) were gifted to me. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and honest - please see my full disclaimer here for more information.

Homeslice: Neal's Yard, London

6 December 2014

Last weekend I stayed at my boyfriend Will's and after his friend's 21st birthday on Saturday night, we were feeling quite fragile and knew just what we needed - good food

We often joke that all our dates are based around food and how we get too excited about going out for meals, but what I can I say? We're two keen little foodies and truly appreciate proper grub. I recently saw a quote that made me laugh - "be with someone who gives you the same feeling that you get when you see your food coming in a restaurant" - and after seeing countless bloggers' uploading snaps of this place to Instagram, I thought that we may well get that feeling if we went... and we totally, completely did.


Homeslice - fantastic name, for starters! - is a pizza joint that can be found in the charming location of Neal's Yard, offering handmade wood-fired circles of sweet doughy goodness served either as whole 20" pizzas or by the slice. On our arrival it was plain to see that this place is extremely popular, as inside was a hub of laughter and the queue to get a table had spilled out onto the street - a sight that fills you both with panic that you may not be able to eat there and reassurance that whatever they're doing here, they're doing very well.

Luckily the manager told us that we were welcome to order a drink and wait until a table became available which we happily did, and after twenty minutes - which was spent undergoing some serious discussion over which toppings to go for - we were able to take our seats. As far as decor goes the interior is utterly beautiful; all rustic wooden furniture, crystal chandeliers and a huge wood-fire, which throws out the most amazing smells. 

The table we were seated at was shared and communal, which was lovely as we were able to chat to the people on either side of us yet had more than enough space for ourselves. We were amazed by these huge green wine bottles that were scattered around the restaurant, and couldn't work out how in the world tables of two were going to drink a bottle of red that looked as if it had at least two 'normal' bottles inside it - until the couple next to us asked for their bill and the waitress measured their supersized bottle to see how much she should charge them, based on how much they had drank. Very cool idea!



We (of course!) went for the 20" pizza and chose the 50/50 option, opting for half 'chorizo, corn & coriander (C)' and half 'mushroom, ricotta & pumpkin seed (G)' - see the rest of their current menu here. I overheard the waiter explaining the letters to another table and I'm pretty sure that the (C) means 'chilli base' and the (G) means 'garlic base'. Regardless, whatever they put on that they were positively gorgeous - literally the best pizza I have ever had in my entire life. Underlined for maximum emphasis! Seriously, I had high expectations anyway but the food was ten times better than I thought it would be and we'll without a doubt be back to try some of their other toppings - I've got my eye on the 'calabrian peppers, chervil & Lincolnshire poacher' on (T), a tomato base. Just so, sooo good! 


Priced at £20 per pizza some may find the expense a little steep, but taking into consideration the fact that it's situated in Covent Garden, that they use the best seasonal produce, how friendly and helpful the staff are and simply how freakin' good the food was, I think it's entirely reasonable and would pay that price again. We highly recommend it!

The setting makes the whole experience of dining at Homeslice even more special, as it's located in the heart of Seven Dials and you're able to stroll through the alley and courtyard of Neal's Yard, which currently looks so pretty and festive thanks to the time of year. 


Have you ever been to Homeslice? Where are your favourite places to eat in London?

Meg

Makeup Revolution London Iconic 3 Palette

5 December 2014

As a beauty product tester with Product Testing UK, I'm lucky enough to trial products of interest to me and was extremely excited to receive one of the Makeup Revolution London Iconic 3 Palettes*, which I've heard credited in the beauty blogging community as exact dupes for the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. With a price tag of £4 each compared to UD's rather hefty £37 each, how do they stack up against their more expensive twin?


With four eyeshadow palettes in the collection - Iconic Dreams, Iconic 1, Iconic 2 and Iconic 3 - if you're familiar with the Urban Decay offerings, you'll without a doubt be able to spot the practically identical similarities between those and the numbered Iconic palettes. I own the original Urban Decay Naked Palette and the corresponding Makeup Revolution London palette (Iconic 1) is pretty much exactly the same in terms of shades - see The Scottish Doll's comparison post here for side-by-side swatches - and from what I've seen online, the second and third MURL palettes are just as close in colour to the second and third UD originals. I had little interest in the third Naked palette as I'm not a fan of pink or purple toned eyeshadows on me, and much prefer neutral shades that can be found in the first and second predecessors. That said however, it was a nice change to try this dupe and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the mix of colours.

It definitely wasn't love at first swatch with this product at all - when I ran my ring finger along the shimmery pink shade (second from left) I picked up a lot of what looked like a highly pigmented eyeshadow, but when I swatched it on the back of my hand no colour transferred at all and there was almost nothing there apart from a tiny hint of glitter. Never one to give up at the first hurdle however, I then applied the product using a combination of a flat synthetic eyeshadow brush for the base and a tapered synthetic blending brush for the crease, and the result was a hundred times better; smooth application, no fall-out whatsoever and a satisfactory finish akin to the overall look of the Naked palettes.


(From L/H side of palette: 02 shimmery pink shade on lid, 07 matte lilac-toned shade in crease, 08 pearl taupe shade on lower lash line)



I created eyeshadow looks with these both in the day with and without primer and in the 
evening with and without primer, and found that they lasted a decent amount of time. Although there was a little creasing after a few hours, that's more down to the fact that I have oily lids and no shadows that I've tried last particularly well on me. I love that there's a nice mix of three matte shades along with nine shimmer and pearl shades, although I think that the palette is missing a nice highlight - the first matte shade is light enough and works well on the brow bone, but I prefer my inner corner highlight to have a pretty sheen to it. 

The dual ended sponge applicators that come with affordable palettes are normally rubbish so there's nothing new there, but this one is particularly pants - I used it to apply shadow on my lower lashline for the sake of this review and some black pigment actually came out of the sponge and transferred onto my skin, giving me an unintentional smudgy smokey eye! When I used my own makeup brushes however, I had no problems whatsoever.

Overall, I think these are a fantastic little purchase if you've been lusting after the Urban Decay Naked palettes but don't want to shell out almost £40, as let's be honest - these have clearly been created as copies or 'dupes' and I'll definitely be picking up the Iconic 2 whilst I make my mind up whether I really need the high-end original. As I already own the first UD palette I don't need the Iconic 1 palette, and although the quality is impressive for the price of £4 I do think that you get much better quality with Urban Decay, as their shadows are so beautifully buttery soft and genuinely some of the best I've ever tried.

Have you tried anything or have any recommendations from Makeup Revolution London? Would you choose to save on these palettes or splurge on Urban Decay?

Meg

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram - Beauty | Instagram - Health | BlogLovin' | Google+

Any items marked with an (*) were gifted to me. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and honest - please see my full disclaimer here for more information.
CUSTOM BLOG DESIGN BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS | ILLUSTRATION BY POLLY FERN