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

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Home Sweet Home?

Where the hell have I been?
Wow, it's been a while hasn't it?  I don't think I've ever gone this long without blogging, it's felt weird, but honestly has given me some time to think about what I want to do with this blog moving forwards and if I even want to continue it at all.

You might be wondering what the reason for my absence has been in the first place?  If you don't follow me on Twitter then you probably won't know that Gaz and I moved house in February and only 3 weeks later we got home from work one night to discover that we'd been burgled.

There aren't really words enough to describe how we felt, but you know I'll give it a go.  We were undoubtedly shocked and just couldn't believe that we'd lived in this beautiful house in a fantastic area for less than a month and then this had happened.

We moved swiftly from shock to anger.  How dare someone come into our home and take the things we'd worked so hard for.  On top of this I was furious that the police weren't doing more, and honestly still aren't.  There wasn't much evidence to go on, but still surely something more could be happening and couldn't they be in touch more?

If it had only been material items that were taken I probably would have gotten over the burglary sooner, after all I'm insured, but as well as the expected things being taken (laptops, cameras, games consoles etc.) the bastards took sentimental items we simply cannot replace; a hard drive with the only photos from our wedding on it, a watch I bought Gaz years ago for a birthday, a necklace Gaz got me for my 30th, the list goes on.

I'm still heartbroken at having lost those things, but I think we've both accepted that we can't change what happened now and with the help of our landlord and letting agent have been able to make the house more secure.  People have often asked us if this turn of events has put us off living here but I can honestly say it hasn't, I think we're stronger than that, we still love this house and we want to make the best of living here.

The future of StargazyEyes
Obviously having my laptop, camera and hard drive stolen, it was hard to do anything on this blog, I couldnt even get any of my draft posts up as all my documents and photos were on my laptop and external hard drive.

The only positive thing to come out of this in terms of blogging was that without the necessary accoutrement and with the insurance company dragging their heels over our claim (they took bloody weeks) it gave me time to think about what I wanted to do with StargazyEyes.  I really hadn't been as into it as I used to be and I questioned whether I even saw myself blogging again at all.

I finally came to the conclusion that whilst the same old beauty review after beauty review theme wasn't going to work for me I still love the whole world of blogging; I particularly enjoy the creative buzz and the catharsis of writing, and frankly I've met some bloddy awesome people in my time blogging and worked with some brilliant brands.  I'd like all of that to continue!

So that's the decision made, StargazyEyes will absolutely go on (cheers?  Applause?  Anyone?!) but with a few changes.  There will still be beauty reviews (I cannot leave my love of makeup and skincare behind me) but there will be a lot more lifestyle posts, possibly including things like the exercise I'm doing, the food I'm eating, the books I'm reading and the films I'm loving.  Also look out for a new design coming soon, something perhaps a bit more me!

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about what the future might bring.

If you've got anything in particular you'd like to see me waffle on about on my little old blog in the future, let me know in the comments below.

Sharon x 
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