Thursday, 7 May 2015

Beauty | The Body Shop Haul

So, as mentioned in my previous post about The Body Shop event I went to in Leeds a couple of weeks ago, I did myself a little bit of skincare shopping.  Want to see what I got?  Then keep on reading...

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate

Drops of Youth Concentrate (£24.00 for 30ml)
At least three or four people at the event I was at raved about the Drops of Youth range so I felt I really needed to try something for myself.  I was sorely tempted by the Bouncy Sleeping Mask, but as I was in need of a new serum anyway, I thought that was a good a place as any to start.  I haven't tested this serum thoroughly enough to give a full review yet, but from what I've read so far I'm expecting big things!

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (£12.00 for 90ml)
I really enjoyed using the oil version of this cleanser so trying the butter version seemed to be a bit of a no brainer.  So far I like it much more, it's far less messy to apply, but melts into an oil and easily gets rid of your cleanser.  Once I've tested this a bit more I'll post a full review.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet
Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet (£12.00 for 50ml)
This was yet another purchase which was completely enabled by the bloggers that I was with.  I said my skin needed hydration, but without a heavy greasy feeling and this was the moisturiser I was pointed at.  No verdict on it yet, but I'm hoping it goes well.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Cooling BB Cream and The Body Shop Vitamin E Hand & Nail Treatment

Vitamin E Cool BB Cream and Vitamin E Hand & Nail Treatment (gift with purchase)
I was pretty surprised by the rather generous gift with purcase, particularly by the Vitamin E Cool BB Cream, which I've been wanting to try since I heard about its release.  Of course I couldn't be disappointed with the hand cream either, I go through so much of the stuff it's an essential to have as many around me as possible.

The Body Shop

Event Goodie Bag
So in addition to everything I purchased I was given a goodie bag at the end of The Body Shop event too.  As well as samples of all of the products we tried, we were given travel sizes of a few other products.  Needless to say I've got my bodycare and skincare needs sorted for a while.

What have you been hauling recently, anything from The Body Shop?


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Beauty | The Body Shop at White Rose, Leeds

Check me out, yet another beauty event, I felt like quite the social butterfly during April.  This particular event I only really heard about by chance when Leah, the manager of The Body Shop at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds, tweeted about it.

The Body Shop, White Rose, Leeds

The main focus of the evening was to introduce us to a whole raft of newly released and upcoming products from The Body Shop.  There were so many products that were demonstrated and that we got to play with ourselves, but here are my favourites from the night.

The Body Shop, Fuji Green Tea

Fuji Green Tea

The real star of the Fuji Green Tea body range, and I think the product that everyone in the beauty community seems to be talking about is the Bath Tea.  Yep, bath tea... as crazy as it sounds (let's be fair, filling up a tea infuser and adding it to your bath water is completely mental) it's a really nice product.  The aroma once the hot water hits the tea is refreshing, but at the same time really relaxing, I could see myself really enjoying this.  It's one of the more expensive products in this release but if you want to try the range, but not flash the cash, you can get yourself something from as little as £4.00.  Each product is infused with the Green Tea too, so you'll get the same refreshing scent.

The Body Shop Vitamin C

Vitamin C Skincare
If you've been around on my blog for a while then you'll know one of my major beauty loves is skincare, so I always get excited when there's something new on the market.  Vitamin C in particular is an ingredient I always look out for, I mean who wouldn't when it has a reputation for being a great anti-ager and just generally makes skin look more glowy?!  There are only two products in this range right now, the Glow Boosting Moisturiser and Instant Glow enhancer, but after I've given these two a thorough test I hope there'll be further releases in this range.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze

Honey Bronze
I don't own a lot of makeup from The Body Shop, but most of what I do own is from the original Honey Bronze range.  You can probably imagine how pleased I was to see some new additions then, especially in the form of new shades of the fabulous bronzing powder.  The whole range is fab and I'd definitely suggest you check it out, but if I had to choose only one product I could have, it would have been the Honey Bronze Highlighting Domes.  I love a good highlighter and these had a really high end feel, they were glowy but not at all glittery and really easily blendable.  I have all 3 shades on my makeup wishlist.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito

Virgin Mojito - Coming Soon!
Hmmmm mojito!  Just from the name of this range I knew it was going to be my favourite of the evening.  A good mojito on a warm summer's evening is one of my favourite things, so when I got a whiff of this range, which is deliciously full of lime and mint, I was instantly transported.  Sadly Virgin Mojito isn't released yet (I believe it's out in June) so I can't get my hands on it yet, but believe me, I will be getting pretty much the lot of it, from the exfoliator right down body splash!

So after being introduced to all of these wonderful products we were let loose to shop.  Of course I did some damage (look out for a post in the next few days to see what I got, including the goodie bag from the event) and that was it, evening over!  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to play with all of the new products and hope to get to another event at The Body Shop in the near future.

What do you fancy out of the new ranges?  Is there anything you think I should try?


Saturday, 2 May 2015

Beauty | An Evening with Nouveau Lashes

I've never been a confident lash wearer (unless someone else applies them for me) so I've got no shame in admitting that when I was invited to spend an evening with a group of bloggers and the team from Nouveau Lashes a few weeks ago, I approached the event with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

Nouveau Lashes

I was pretty dismayed to step off the train in Leeds into a full on rainstorm, but my mood brightened significantly when I walked into the incredibly luxurious Malmaison in the City Centre and was guided to the lovely rooms where the event was taking place.

Nouveau Lashes

I was probably one of the latest to arrive and so didn't get to socialise and chat as much as I'd have liked, but it was all good when we were whisked away into an adjoining room to hear a bit about the Nouveau Lashes brand.

Nouveau Lashes

Brought to the beauty market in 2005 by Bridgette Softley and Karen Betts, Nouveau quickly excelled in creating beautiful lashes and lash treatments for everyone, including individual lash extensions which can last up to 8 weeks and a system called LVL Enhance, which uses all sorts of modern trickery to create fuller longer lashes without extensions.

Nouveau Lashes
Nouveau also offer training for beauty professionals throughout the UK and we were lucky enough to be offered a bit of a masterclass on how to apply strip lashes at the event.  Corrine was the lucky lady who got her lashes applied for her (and they looked fab); it was over in just a few minutes and then we were off to do our own!

Nouveau Lashes

Like I said, I'm not a confident lash wearer, but the ladies from Nouveau made it easy as pie, guiding me through from choosing the right lashes for my eye shape (mine are hooded apparently, shame!) to using the glue and getting the lashes on.  Honestly it was such a doddle, and of course I had to take my #UltimateLashSelfie to show off my work.

Nouveau Lashes

I left the event feeling rather proud of my efforts and armed with the Nouveau goodie bag, I know that when the occasion arises I'll totally be able to apply these lashes myself.  Bravo Nouveau!

How are you lash applying abilities?  Is Nouveau a brand you've tried before?


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Life | A new look at StargazyEyes

Well good evening lovely people.  I don't know if you've noticed a change around here tonight, but if you haven't I wanted to draw your attention to it.

Of course I'm talking about my lovely new blog design from Hayley at Tea Party Beauty.  Didn't she do an awesome job?  I'm so pleased, and even more excited for the future of my blog now.

If you fancy a new blog design yourself you should definitely go ask Hayley, and tell her I sent you!


Monday, 27 April 2015

Beauty | The Foundation Chronicles

Since my beloved Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has proven rather difficult to get hold of in the last year (has anyone else found this?) I decided it was about time I explored what other foundation options are out there.  I'm envisaging that this will be the first post in a mini series, and as I try out these foundations a little more, I'll do full in depth reviews.  In the meantime though, these are my initial thoughts about the foundations I've been trying...

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30 (available here)
Although I bought this last year for the first time, I only really started using the Nars tinted moisturiser regularly when my usual foundation started running low.  Good news is that it's even better than I first thought; when my skin is behaving itself, it gives me a nice amount of coverage and a really pretty glow.  I think this will really come into it's own during the summer months, with just a touch of concealer and a slick of mascara and lip balm, I've got a really nice basic summer face.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15 (available here)
This foundation is a little bit of a blast from the past for me, it was the first 'proper' foundation I bought when I first started wearing makeup regularly.  I loved it then because it looked just like really healthy skin and I've got to admit to really enjoying it now for the very same reason.  The coverage is light to medium but is easily buildable on those areas where you might need a little bit of extra help from time to time.  I like it best with a buffing brush, it takes no effort at all to blend into the skin.

Laura Mercier Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation

Laura Mercier Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation (available here)
The priciest of the foundations in this list, and the one I've used the least so far.  I was attracted to this foundation as I loved the medium coverage of the old Silk Crème Foundation but didn't like the more matte finish.  The new moisturising version promises to have the same great coverage but with a much dewier finish, I can't wait to get more acquainted with it!

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (available here)

Of course a good foundation is nothing without a good canvass; recently I've been testing out the Foundation Primer from Laura Mercier.  It definitely gives me a noticeably smoother finish to my foundation, but honestly it doesn't compare to the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer I've tried numerous samples of.  I will have to bite the bullet and get myself the full size version soon.

What foundations have you been trying and loving recently?  If you've found a good alternative to Nars Sheer Glow I'd love to hear from you.

Sharon x 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Film Review | Avengers: Age of Ultron at City Screen York

Picture the scene.  It's almost 1am on Friday morning, I should be tucked up in bed so I'm fresh and bright for work in the morning, but instead I'm tapping away at the keys on my laptop, starting this review.  Yeah I could wait until morning, but just over an hour ago I got home from City Screen in York and I want my thoughts after seeing Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron to be fresh.

I've been to the first screenings of countless films at my fave cinema over the years (many of them Marvel films) but hats off to City Screen, the opening night of Avengers: Age of Ultron was hands down the best.  Even just walking into screen 1 clutching the free Age of Ultron poster I'd been given on arrival, it was obvious this wasn't going to be the typically sedate British cinema experience.  The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation; this was a room full of fans who were easily as eager as me for the film we were about to see.  I half expected the energy to be dampened somewhat by the usual round of lacklustre trailers, but there was none of that here.  We saw glimpses of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ant-Man and Jurassic World (amongst others) and after each trailer the room erupted into enthusiastic cheers and applause.  It was honestly so much fun, kind of how I imagine going to the cinema in the US would be.

My Age of Ultron poster

Now I'll admit that as the familiar Marvel Studios ident started rolling I had some nerves.  Nerves, you say?  Well yes, but not for the reasons you might imagine.  I had no concerns that this film wouldn't stand up well against the behemoths that Marvel has released in the last decate, but I know Joss Whedon's work well and I knew that along with a fantastical thrill ride, we'd be in for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster too.  I've been a huge Joss Whedon fan since I was 15 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer first started showing on BBC2 in the UK, I know all too well the pain this man can inflict on his characters.

But anyway, I digress, the Marvel titles ran and boom!  We were off... immediately immersed into the most magnificent opening shot, seriously this single shot action scene was glorious.  It was like I hadn't been waiting 2 years to see my favourite characters again; here they all were, taking down a Hydra outpost and just being generally epic.

Although the sheer scope of this film was stunning and the action that were treated to was a far bigger spectacle than it has been in Avengers Assemble, that wasn't the be all and end all of this film.  Our titular villain Ultron, was both menacing and hypnotic thanks to the dulcet tones of James Spader, but he was all the more compelling with Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch (the modified Maximoff twins) backing him.

Whilst each of the Avengers, our heroes, had their challenges and triumphant moments in this film (most resulting from Tony Stark's actions and the effects of the Scarlet Witch's powers) and Paul Bettany's J.A.R.V.I.S had some great character development, perhaps the most intriguing and unexpected scenes came when we explored the backgrounds of the Black Widow and Hawkeye; it gave us a much greater insight into their motivations and made their characters all the more ineresting.  The brewing animosity between Iron Man and Captain America also stood out, it gave a great sense of foreboding, but we'll have to wait until Civil War is released to see how that plays out.

Image source

You know I mentioned the pain earlier?  Well along with the action and the genius dialogue, that was there too; I won't give away any spoilers about the fates of our beloved characters but what Joss Whedon put them through was as surprising as it was heartbreaking.

Now I did say right at the start of the review that this was the best night of cinema I'd been to, but does that mean it was my favourite Marvel film?  Sadly not.  Although it was brilliant, capitvating and breathtaking, it couldn't topple Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy from the top spot in my affections.  But perhaps it wasn't meant to; although satisfying in its own right and certainly better than some of the Marvel sequels in recent years, maybe the best role for this film will be to usher in what's coming next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We all know there are some exciting things on the schedule, with more films from the current stable of heroes and the introductions of some great new characters.  Personally, I can't wait!

If you fancy checking out City Screen yourself, you can find them here.  City Screen York are also pretty active on Twitter.

Have you seen Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron yet?  What's been your favourite Marvel film so far?  Leave me a comment below.

Sharon x
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