Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Beauty | Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil

"Awaken the goddess within!"  If ever a strapline on a beauty item was going to make me desperately want to buy a product it would be this one.  It almost makes me feel that a simple slick of this eyeliner could transform me from an ordinary creature into something divine.  If only beauty products could really do such things...
Eye of Horus have been creating some really covetable pencils in recent months so I was incredibly excited to try their latest offering, the Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil*.  It's not often an eye pencil will be so regularly used in my makeup stash (I'm usually more of a gel liner girl) but this one has been making regular appearances in my most used drawer for weeks now.  Let me tell you why...
Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil

The Packaging?
At £17.00 for a pencil Eye of Horus is definitely a premium brand so their packaging should stand up well to other high end favourites of mine, including my beloved Nars.  I can't say I'm disappointed with this brand on that front, both the glossy black box and satiny black pencil carry mirrored gold lettering alongside the iconic Eye of Horus emblem, it could be gaudy but it's just enough gold and is very chic.

The emblem is really quite a clever symbol to use too, automatically making me think of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, and the dramatic eye makeup she is always wearing in her various depictions (definitely something I'd want to emulate).  The thing I like most about the packaging of this product is that it's double ended; one side has the colour and the other end has a handy foam smudging tool.

Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil

The Formula and Colour
Of course a good product doesn't end with the packaging, it's got to work above all else.  Thankfully this pencil really does and it is the definition of creamy!  It glides onto the lid allowing me to get a nice precise line, but is soft enough that it can smudged out for a smokier look.

Once the product sets however, it's not going to move without the help of a makeup remover; just what I look for in a good eyeliner.  I completely adore the colour too, it's a beautiful indigo blue which looks pretty great (even if I do say so myself) with my light brown/hazel eyes.

Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil

Would I Purchase?
Absolutely I would.  I've already got my eye on the Bronze Amulet Goddess Pencil among many other things.

Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil

More information on Eye of Horus is available here, their products are available to buy in the UK here.

Have you tried anything from the Eye of Horus range?  What is your favourite type of eyeliner?

Sharon x

*Pencil provided for review purposes, thoughts and opinions 100% my own.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Beauty | Illamasqua Blushers in Rude & Hussy

So here we go, two days into December and I'm publishing another blog post already.  It's not a huge deal to most people I know, but I've been so busy recently I've barely been able to post at all, so it's a bit of a new thing for me.  I'm not going to jinx myself by making any grand pronouncement about posting every day or anything, but I'm going to try and keep it more regular from now on.

Illamasqua Blusher Rude and Hussy

Anyway, it seems like an age since I reviewed a makeup product on here so for today's post I wanted to bring you two of my absolute favourite blushers of the last year, Rude and Hussy from Illamasqua.  I picked up these beauties in one of Illamasqua's sales last year and have pretty much loved them ever since.  I don't know what it is about this brand, I haven't tried a lot from their range, but have absolutely adored everything I have been able to try.

My first love out of these two has to be the Cream Blusher in the shade Rude.  It looks almost scarily orange in the pan but on my light olive skin skin, it is the perfect peachy pink/coral.  I don't have a great deal of experience with cream blushers, but I suspect the formula which Illamasqua have come up with is a very good one.  It's incredibly soft, with a rich pigment but perfectly balanced with just enough colour.

Illamasqua Blusher Rude

The blusher applies smoothly using either a stippling brush or a ring finger (my preferred method) blends easily, and lasts really well on the skin, giving really pretty colour and a hint of glow. As you can probably imagine, I got a lot of use out of this blusher during the summer paired with a coral lip, even now I still use it on those days where I'm wearing minimal makeup.

A close second in my Illamasqua blusher affections is the rather wonderfully named Hussy, a Powder Blusher.  I was equal parts excited and apprehensive for this blusher to arrive with my order, it's so far removed from the shades I'd normally go for.  I don't regret buying it for a second though, the candy pink/watermelon shade is the perfect pick-me-up for tired looking skin and can't help but bring a bit of a cheer to your day.

Illamasqua Blusher Hussy

In terms of formula, Hussy is equally as brilliant as Rude, it's a matte shade with a powder that is buttery soft and silky smooth to apply.  The pigment here is not for the fainthearted either, a light hand is a necessity, I find that the Real Techniques blush brush works perfectly in this case.

Now I've had the opportunity to sample these two, I've got my eye on plenty more Illamasqua Blushers for the future, watch this space for more reviews!

Illamasqua Blusher Rude and Hussy - swatches

What are your favourite blushers?  Have you tried any from Illamasqua?  I'd love to hear from you.

Sharon x

Monday, 1 December 2014

Restaurant Review | Breakfast at Bill's, York

One of the very best things about living in York at the moment is that there are always new and exciting shops and restaurants cropping up all over the place.  One fairly recent addition to the scene was Bill's restaurant on Coney Street, right in the centre of York.

Bill's Restaurant, Coney Street, York

Bill's started out in Lewes, East Sussex less than 15 years ago and since then has grown to have nearly 30 restaurants throughout the UK, obviously with the York as the latest offering.  Now I'll be straight up here and let you into a little secret; Bill's menu for lunch and dinner is really not at all up my alley, I don't find anything on there which makes me say 'wow'; it pretty much just leaves me cold.  Their breakfast and brunch options, on the other hand, are another story entirely.

Bill's Restaurant, Coney Street, York

The sheer number of menu items is what attracts me first of all; from the full English to eggs benedict, granola and everything in between, there's easily an option for almost every taste.  It's a fair bet that that Gaz will always go for anything that includes sausages, bacon or a combination of the two, but after much sampling of Bill's breakfast menu, I've got to say my favourite is the vegetarian breakfast paired with an iced tea.

Bill's Restaurant, Coney Street, York

The breakfast includes 2 poached eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms, on lovely crunchy sourdough toast that has been generously smothered with hummus on one slice and guacamole on another.  The plate is finished off with a generous swirl of sweet chilli sauce and a little basil.  Everything is really fresh and always very well cooked, and although it looks like a small plate it's surprisingly filling, particularly washed down with the iced tea, usually packed with fresh peach and mint.  Price wise it's not too bad at all either, the basic version of the breakfast is £7.95, but if you're extra hungry you can add on baked beans or crispy potatoes for £1.00 and £1.25 respectively.

Bill's Restaurant, Coney Street, York

Apart from the food, the other thing I really enjoy about Bill's is the decor, it's this really interesting mix of the industrial and the glamorous, pairing loads of metal and wood with leather chairs and chandeliers dotted throughout (and don't forget that giant lit-up Bills sign in the window).  Even though it's a large restaurant, having a few head height (when you're sitting down at least) dividers throughout the place gives it a more intimate feel, particularly when part of Bill's is a little shop/deli type area.

Bill's Restaurant, Coney Street, York

Aside from the lunch and dinner menus not appealing to me I do have one other negative thing to say about Bill's in York, and it unfortunately relates to the staff.  For the most part they have been friendly and helpful, just as you'd expect in any restaurant, but there have been two occasions (once at lunch and once at breakfast) where I've been unfortunate enough to get served by some singularly unhelpful and pretty darn sullen individuals.  Don't get me wrong, I can understand people having a bad day but maybe some people just shouldn't be in the service industry.  Anyway, it hasn't been enough to put me off the place thus far, but who knows for future visits.

If you fancy paying a visit to any of Bill's restaurants, or if you want to check out the menu, you can find them here.

Have you been to one of the Bill's restaurants around the country?  How did you find the food and the staff?

Sharon x
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