Sunday, 3 August 2014

Film Review | Guardians of the Galaxy at City Screen Picturehouse, York

It was with giddy anticipation that I sat down at City Screen in York on Friday night to watch this latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Despite my incessant tweeting whenever a new Marvel Studios film hits the big screen, you might not know that I'm generally a huge fan of these films and their comic book origins (albeit to a slightly lesser degree on the comic side of things).

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely one of the more obscure would-be-hero teams in this particular film universe, so I wasn't entirely sure where this story would go, but I have learned to trust in Marvel Studios.  With the exception of one or two releases that were slightly wide of the mark (Iron Man 3 anyone?) I have never left the cinema feeling in any way disappointed with the experience.


Guardians of the Galaxy
Image Source
Without giving away any major spoilers let me tell you a little bit about the film.  Our leading man for this fantastic space opera is Peter Quill, who really wants to be known as Star-Lord (played to rakish perfection by the Chris Pratt).  We first meet the man trying to steal a mysterious orb from an abandoned planet and thereafter being set on a collision course, not only with several villainous types determined to have said orb for their own nefarious planet destroying purposes, but also his soon-to-be friends and somewhat mismatched team, the Guardians of the Galaxy.


First up is Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), the rather seductive green-skinned assassin, trying to do the right thing in the face of her powerful and evil adoptive father Thanos.  Next up are Groot, the humanoid tree creature (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket, the genetically altered raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), the bounty hunters who are in it for the money (at least at first).  Last but not least is Drax the Destroyer, the muscle bound alien intent on revenge for the death of this family.  This band of criminals and misfits are thrown together by fate and set out to try to achieve what seems like an impossible task, saving an entire planet and probably universe from main villain Ronan (the delightfully dark Lee Pace).

 

Stacked up like this there's no way this film should work, but oh it really does and so well too.  This film has everything I want from a cinema experience and more; from Peter's back story where your heart absolutely breaks to the laugh out loud moments in Groot's joyful destruction of any obstacle in his path and Drax's completely literal interpretation of anything said to him.  Not forgetting the pure childlike awe you experience at the magnificent alien landscapes presented to you, or the spectacle of the immense and absolutely epic spaceship battles and action scenes.


Guardians of the Galaxy has so much heart in each of it's lead characters too, but most often witnessed in the enterprising and foul-mouthed Rocket and his unexpectedly loveable and warm companion Groot.  How Vin Diesel managed to convey so much with just three words (all Groot says is "I am Groot") I really don't know!  Almost another character is the film's incredibly well chosen 70s and 80s soundtrack, blending seamlessly into every scene but making it just that little bit more memorable too.

Image Source
Seeing how the Guardians are fitting into the wider universe already occupied by superheros including The Avengers is just brilliant for Marvel fans and honestly I left the cinema at the end of this film feeling thoroughly entertained and almost elated.  Seriously, you should just go and see it!  I know I'll definitely be seeing it again soon.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is out now in 3D and 2D at City Screen, find the listings here.  You can also find City Screen on Twitter.

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy?  What's been your favourite film so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  If you fancy a natter about all things geeky, come and find me on Twitter.

Sharon x

*Tickets provided free of charge, all geeky gushing is my own.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer Essentials Part 1: Sun Protection & Accessories

Got a summer holiday coming up, or just spending lots of time down at the beach or the park during this surprisingly fabulous British summer? Well then read on dear friends as I bring you part one of my essential kit for surviving the (hopefully) long hot summer looking cool, calm and collected!

THE ACCESSORIES
Whether I'm living it up in the Costa del Sol (like I was a few weeks ago, sob!), chilling out in York's beautiful museum gardens or shopping away the summer, there are a few accessories I need for that relaxed warm weather vibe:
summer hat, flip flops, bracelet and sunglasses
A hat - A hat is a must for those times when you need to be out and about but want to keep the sun off your face. this one cost me €2 from a market in Fuengirola and when I haven't been at work I've been wearing it constantly. If you'd like one of your very own, I've seen some similar styles in New Look and Primark this summer. I'm sure they'll be a bargain too!
Flip flops - Who can be bothered with shoes when the weather is heating up? Certainly not me; flip flops have been a part of almost every outfit I've worn since the beginning of July and that's not likely to change until at least the end of August. These flip flops were one of a two pack from New Look, and I believe they were under £10.
Sunglasses - This one goes without saying does it not? You've got to protect those peppers from the sun as much as any other part of your body. With the sheer number of styles available in sunglasses, and at every budget too, the accessorising opportunities are endless! Personally I love an aviator style the best, this pair are by Storm and were around £12 from TK Maxx.
Braided bracelet - The obligatory leatherette bracelet, it can be either braided or beaded, it doesn't really matter - what does matter is that it's a vital part of the British holidaymakers experience and once bought should be worn with pride until it fades away - rather like that fabulous tan you've acquired. This year I bought three (including the one pictured), all for about €2 or €3 each and will be rocking them for many weeks to come!

SUN PROTECTION
No self respecting beauty blogger can go through the summer without liberally dousing themselves in their chosen SPFss for face and body and I'm no different. We all have our favourite products, those that work like a treat for us, these are mine:
 Clinique Super City Block SPF40, Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Spray Lotion SPF15, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Balm SPF20, Lancaster Tan Maximiser
Clinique Super City Block SPF40 (£18 from Boots) - I haven't been without this marvellous SPF from Clinique all summer long. It's been excellent worn on its own (it's so lightweight but I haven't burned in the sun once) and has worked so well under makeup that I wore it on my wedding day earlier this month. It offers protection from UVA and UVB rays too, perfect!
Hawaiian Tropic Protective Sun Spray Lotion SPF15 (£13 from Boots) - In all honestly the skin on my body never feels like it needs too much sun protection, with the exception of my shoulders I never get red or burn, that being said I like to protect myself anyway, and this is the product I like to do it with. It just smells like summer in a bottle, deliciously coconut-y and fresh - as a bonus it applies quickly and easily and and a bottle this size can easily last me for a two week holiday.
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Balm SPF20 (£2.80 from Boots) - It seems to me that most people forget about protecting their lips from the sun when they're in a hot country - certainly not me, I need a lip balm with an SPF to make sure my lips stay soft and flake free. Ordinarily I'd go for something tinted but not being able to find one I liked this year, I turned back to this fail safe option.
Lancaster Tan Maximiser (around £22 from Selfridges) - After all the sun you've no doubt been getting you need to make sure to take care of that skin afterwards. a good after sun is key to keeping the dreaded peeling at bay. My favourite after sun this year has been this one by Lancaster, which I bought on the plane on the way over to Spain. It hasn't disappointed one bit, has kept my skin looking soft and well hydrated and really feels like it's helping to extend my tan. Of course this is exactly what you look for in an after sun.

That's it for part one of my summer essentials, part two will be coming up in the next couple of days and will feature some of my favourite summer skincare, makeup and the only fragrance I've worn this summer.

In the meantime let me know what you've been loving this summer, I'd love it if you left me links any posts you have.

Sharon x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Spain Haul: Kiko, Sephora & Wet n Wild

Did you miss me?  Did ya?!  In case you didn't know, I've been in the Costa del Sol in Spain for two weeks in July having some much needed R&R.  Apart from the small matter of getting married in Gibraltar in between sunning myself liberally (a post on the wedding will be coming as soon as I get all my photos) I of course did a bit of beauty shopping too.

I was delighted in the first couple of days in Fuengirola to find a Kiko Makeup store, and shortly thereafter found some other great beauty shopping too, namely Sephora and a beauty only TK Maxx type shop called Primor.  Read on to find out what I got (where items are available to purchase or for delivery to the UK I will link them)...

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in Bewitch Me and The Red, Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Colour in Coraline
Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in Bewitch Me (here) - Seriously, how glorious is this deep purple?  It's actually far more purple than it looks in this bright sunny photo, it's definitely not one for the faint of heart but I'll be rocking this a lot I'm certain.  The formula of these lipsticks is ridiculously creamy, and incredibly pigmented making them so easy to wear.
Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in The Red (here) - This is one of those classic bright reds, one I could imagine a screen siren like Marilyn Monroe et al wearing.  Oddly I don't have a colour too much like this in my rather extensive lipstick collection so it was a no brainer to grab it.
Wet 'n' Wild Mega Last Lip Colour in Cora-line (here) - I do love a good coral at this time of year.  To me this one leans more towards the red/pink end of coral, and again I don't have anything too much like it in my current collection of lipsticks.

Sephora Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof in 04 Taupe, Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette
Sephora Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof in 04 Taupe (here) - I don't know what it is about anything, bronze or taupe-y but if I see it I'll buy it, and this jumbo eye pencil is a case in a point.  Did I need it?  No.  Did I lust after it the moment I saw it?  Absolutely!
Wet 'n' Wild Comfort Zone Palette (here - although I think this is way too expensive) - I remember these palettes from Wet 'n' Wild being a huge deal on blogs a few years ago, so obviously I had to try one when I saw it.  And just look at those lovely neutral shades, so easy to wear on a daily basis.

Kiko Rock Attraction Blush in 05 Sound Coral, Kiko Velvet Stick Blusher in 01 Charming Peach, Kiko Loud Night Bronzer in 02 Silky Mat Tan, Kiko Glow Lips & Cheeks in 102 Wave Hibiscus
Kiko Rock Attraction Blush in 05 Sound Coral (here) - although this blusher is a great neutral colour it's got a good hit of shimmer in there so I'd probably only wear it in the summer, I don't mind too much though as this blusher, like each of the ones I got from Kiko was less than 5 Euros.
Kiko Velvet Stick Blusher in 01 Charming Peach - Now I wouldn't normally look at this blush as it's a rather scary shade of orange, but I saw a girl with similar colouring to me swatch it in the Kiko store and it looked beautiful, really sheer and subtle, perfect for the warmer months!
Kiko Loud Night Bronzer in 02 Silky Mat Tan - I didn't expect to find a bronzer at such a bargain price, that I really enjoy using.  The pink splashes you can see running across it are actually shimmery colour so the bronzer can be used one of two ways, either swirling it all together or just picking out the bronzer from inbetween the pink.  Either way I love it!
Kiko Glow Lips & Cheeks in 102 Wave Hibiscus (here) - Considering the price I am so impressed with the creamy, non-sticky formula of this multi-tasking product.  The shade I chose is a lovely pink, that just makes you look that little bit fresher, again it's perfect for a summery/light makeup look.

That's it for my haul of beauty products from Spain.  What have you been buying recently?  Let me know or leave me links in the comments below.

Sharon x

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Yorkshire Grand Depart and Win a Trip to Paris!

Don't you just love how Yorkshire totally gets into the spirit of a sporting event?  We generally get completely behind anything going on in our fair region but right now we've got an event better excuse to get into the festivities than ever as the Tour de France Grand Depart sets off from Yorkshire this very weekend.

 
York is a fantastic example of how Yorkshire as a whole revels in the national (and even international) spotlight shining our way, you can barely walk a few feet without seeing some celebratory bunting or yellow bike decals, it's really like everyone can't wait for the Tour de France to come our way!


The Competition and How to Enter
Yorkshire Building Society are getting into the action of celebrating the Grand Depart too and are currently running a fantastic competition to win a trip to Paris!  One lucky soul will get a pair of tickets for hospitality at the Tour de France finish, aka the Grand Arrivée, on the Champs-Elyssées in Paris on Sunday 27th July.

The competition includes travel and accommodation too and it couldn't be simpler to enter.  All you've got to do to enter is post a Tour de France related picture to your Twitter or Instagram and tag it with #tdfybs - for more details on the competition and to see the entries, click here.

I'm certainly entering, are you?

Sharon x

*Sponsored post

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

For Sale - Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6

Right, well this is my first ever sale of any type on my blog, depending on how this one goes I'll start posting some high end beauty products I have for sale too.

Anyway selling right now, are my Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots in a UK Size 6.  As you can see from the pics below there is some slight scuffing and a bit of creasing in the leather, but the soles are practically pristine as they've only ever really been worn indoors.

I'd love to keep them, but they're just not getting the love from me, so I hope someone else can give them a good home.

I'm asking £90 for these but am open to reasonable offers.  Contact me on stargazyeyes@hotmail.com if you need any further information on these gorgeous boots.

Sharon x

Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots UK Size 6

Monday, 2 June 2014

Review | Zoya Summer 2014 Nail Polish in Rocha & Jesy*

Can you believe that in all of the time I've been blogging that this is my first ever post dedicated solely to nail polish?  It's not that I don't love the stuff, I genuinely do, it's more that I've always felt my nail painting skills were far too lacking to ever be photographed.

When I was sent a couple of shades of nail polish from Zoya's Summer 2014 collections however, I knew I had to change my mind and get practicing, as these were just too pretty not to share.

Zoya Nail Polish in Rocha and Zoya Nail Polish in Jesy

The first colour I received is Rocha from the Tickled collection and is described by Zoya as a classic folly red with warm undertones.  It's a cream formula, and whilst in one coat it's almost completely perfect, a second coat really gives it that 100% opaque look, with some practice I bet I could get a really stunning look with this formula.  I'm in love with all sorts of red based corals and oranges for nail so this fits right in; I think it will look particularly beautiful on both hands and feet when I have a tan so I'll definitely be taking it away with me in July.

Zoya Nail Polish in Rocha

The second nail colour I was sent is Jesy from the Bubbly collection.  Zoya call this one a fiery orange coral and it is certainly that!  It's a holographic finish and the pieces of metallic glitter are perfectly sized so that they apply to the nail nicely but are still eye catching.  I loved this shade layered over Rocha, but it also works really nicely after a couple of coats on its own.

Zoya Nail Polish in Jesy

I used both of these polishes on my toes the day after they arrived and I've been pretty impressed with the staying power.  Jesy started showing signs of wear after about four days (about what I'd expect from a glitter polish) and for Rocha it was at least five or six days.  The formula is a bit different from the average nail polish too,  Zoya polishes are classified as vegan friendly and 5-free i.e. they don't contain five of the nastiest ingredients found in your regular nail varnish; toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and dibutyl phthalate.  All definitely a nice change from my usual nail colours.

The Zoya Summer 2014 Nail Polish Collections start from £10.50, there are 12 shades available and they can be found here.

Have you tried any Zoya nail polishes before?  What are your favourite nail colours for summer?

Sharon x

*PR Samples