Monday, 31 March 2014
I tried to make my cocktails more exciting last week with this science kit, and had a great time doing it. It’s very Heston Blumental-esque, and has all the ingredients to turn your Cosmopolitan into foam, caviar pearls or encased in a jelly bubble.
The easiest one to do was the foam. I just added a powder to some of the cocktail liquid, and whisked with an electric whisk before spooning on top of my drink.
The cocktail encased in a bubble is a really unique way to serve it. It took a bit longer to do, and had more stages to it; but this was all worth it when I tried the final result. Again, I had to mix the cocktail liquid with a powder, and then place in the provided tray into the freezer. While it was in there for 30 minutes, I had to mix another powder with water to create a bath for the bubbles to sit in and form their correct ‘burst-in-your-mouth’ consistency after coming out of the freezer.
The hardest recipe to do was the caviar pearls. I never really managed it- my caviar wasn’t as small and neat as the little pearls in the book. You are provided with pipettes to do this, but for some reason, it was just too difficult for me. This was a shame as it is the recipe that looks the most visually stunning.
This would be a great activity for a girls’ night in, and i’m looking forward to trying it again now that i’ve had some practice. The Cosmopolitan Re-Evolution kit is available here for £29.99.
Friday, 28 March 2014
I have just come across this line. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before. Carat is a luxury jewellery brand, and their rings remind me a lot of the Duchess of Cambridge’s (and formally Princess Diana’s) engagement ring, with the incorporation of coloured precious stones alongside diamonds.
They also have a pretty choice of earrings and bracelets. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite pieces for you (but you’ll need to get raiding that piggy bank)…
Sapphire Borderset Drop Earrings, £325 | Borderset Heart Earrings, £268 | Ruby Stud Earrings, £146 | Fancy Princess Borderset Ring, £267
You can purchase these online at Carat at Harrods.com.
This post is written in partnership with Harrods; but all opinions are my own.
You may have noticed that i’ve been missing all week on this here blog; but if you follow me on social media you’ll know what a jam-packed week of press trips and events i’ve had, plus i’ve been heading up the re-branding (and hellish server-switching etc) of my digital magazine site.
Twinkle Style & Travel Magazine is now Stylecation; focussing solely on UK travel and dining. This means that you guys will get all my beauty, fashion and lifestyle gossip here at A Life With Frills- bonus!
One of the events I went to this week was the opening night of the Glasgow leg of Disney On Ice’s UK Tour Worlds of Fantasy. Now, you know what a huge Disney fan and collector I am, so this was right up my street. I’d been to previous Disney On Ice shows at Braehead Arena and the SECC; but I was excited to see how it would work in the much bigger space of the Hydro.
The atmosphere was great, and nearly full to capacity. The show itself was brilliant also; with the skaters performing some very complex routines and tricky moves such as The Headbanger. One of the highlights was seeing the characters from Cars. They were incredibly realistic, and not characters you would normally see in Disney Parks’ parades or meet and greet sessions. Each of the life-size cars in the show took an amazing 2000 man-hours to build.
The first half of the show features the ‘Fab Four’ (Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy) taking the audience to the worlds of Cars, The Little Mermaid and Tinkerbell’s Pixie Hollow; whilst the second half was made up entirely of Toy Story 3. It was good to see the mix of modern Disney Pixar with classic Disney.
Disney On Ice’s Worlds of Fantasy is showing nationwide until 27th April. It remains at Glasgow’s Hydro until Sunday, before moving on to Liverpool. Tickets range in price from £18 to £45.
Friday, 21 March 2014
How Next Went From Fashion Outsider To High-street Heavyweight (The Guardian) - It was announced this week that UK high-street clothing and home chain Next have experienced a significant increase in annual profits, and are set to have made more profits that retail giant Marks & Spencer. I really like Next’s fashion offerings now; but I never used to. It was once all about tailored suits and practical shoes, along with ‘mumsy’ jersey floral t-shirts. Lately, however, Next has been paying attention to the catwalks and are embracing more trends. It looks like their new fashion-forward approach has reaped benefits.
Thursday, 20 March 2014
I do own various bits of mineral make-up from foundations to blushers and bronzers. However, when it comes to applying my base, mineral foundation is never my go-to choice. I prefer the fuller coverage that liquid foundations offer, plus I find mineral foundations very drying and unforgiving (and messy to dispense and apply). I do, however, sometimes buff some mineral foundation over a lighter BB or CC cream base and find this works well.
Included in this mineral Sheer Cover Studio Introductory Kit that i’ve been trying is a Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation in Light, which has their exclusive Trueshade Technology (‘light-reflecting minerals containing optical filters that pick up your true skin tone and reflect it to ensure a perfect colour finish’).
I found that it provided a decent level of coverage; but doesn’t disguise blemishes and imperfections as well as it claims. Even with the concealer from the Conceal & Brighten Trio also included, I found myself reaching for my Benefit Boi-ing to increase coverage.
The Conceal & Brighten Trio contains a light concealer, medium concealer and highlighter in cream formula. The light concealer is a good match for my skin tone and is definitely one i’ll use up (with liquid foundation) but wouldn’t get again. I do like the highlighter however, and it works well on the brow bone.
Also in the kit is Sheer Cover Studio’s Lengthening Mascara and Lash Extending Fibres in Black. A coat of mascara followed by a fibre coat and then another layer of the mascara is really effective in creating fuller and longer lashes that look natural. It also has vitamin E to condition lashes, and is water-resistant.
The kit also had a Sun-Kissed Bronzing Minerals palette. This, along with the mascara duo, impressed me. There is a shimmer to it, and it illuminates the skin nicely. I found it best to use all of the shades mixed by just swirling a brush over them all- this gives a gentle natural glow.
The travel-size brushes that came with the kit are great quality. The foundation, bronzer and concealer brushes have attractive wooden handles and are easy to work with.
The Sheer Cover Studio Introductory Kit is available for £49.95 here, and comes in four shades- Light, Medium, Tan and Dark.
By Laura Pearson-Smith
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Here are some of the interesting and entertaining articles i’ve been reading online this week…
Are Gel Manicures Putting Your Health At Risk? - this is scary!
The Ten Models of the Moment You Should Be Following on Instagram - drool over these fashion images.
10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Instagram - Instagram is such a fun social media platform. Here’s how to make it useful too.
Cinderella’s Gown Throughout the Decades - which is your favourite?
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
I’ve been really busy lately, so I want to share with you some of the things I been enjoying doing, and some of the products i’ve been loving over the past couple of weeks.
I’ve mentioned before about the severe muscle and joint pain in my legs that I get as a side-effect of my anti-depressant/anxiety medication. I am on prescribed painkillers for it, but lately these just haven’t even really been taking the edge off. I discovered two great products from Chawtons Aromatherapy- Mustard Bath, and Joints Cream with Eucalyptus & Marjoram. Now i’m not going to pretend that they smell nice (they smell horribly potent) but they do work wonders by doing exactly what they say on the tin- ease aches and pains, and soothe overworked joints.
My pain is at its worst at night and has been preventing me from sleeping; but if I have a bath with the eucalyptus-scented Mustard Bath and then rub in the Joints Cream to my legs, the pain decreases significantly.
I also read a great novel- ‘Summer Nights’ by Allie Spencer- which I picked up as an emergency travel read in a supermarket for a couple of £. It turned out to be an amazing book. It’s a romantic chick-lit tale of a young woman who is dumped by phone on her birthday whilst waiting for her boyfriend to join her on holiday in San Francisco. She ends up spending time there on her own, exploring and re-evaluating her life.
I’ve been using up all my candles that I have that are three-quarters finished, so that I can re-stock on new ones. One of my new burns is this pretty Lavender & Thyme vintage jar candle from Paddywax. It’s very relaxing.
Last week, I took part in a fun collaboration with Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries shopping mall where I had to put together a window of three Spring looks in one hour, to celebrate their new late-night opening hours. I went for a clashing of prints and a clashing of textures e.g. bright floral with geometric monochrome, and a leather top with denim shorts.
I’ve also been loving this lipgloss from the Urban Decay Naked Gloss range. The shade is Nooner, and it’s a perfect nude. It smells amazing and isn’t too ‘tacky’ either.
By Laura Pearson-Smith
Saturday, 15 March 2014
I thought i’d do a giveaway for Mother’s Day. One winner will win everything- a Bomb Cosmetics Lavender Musk candle, a Bomb Cosmetics Lavender Bath Creamer and two pairs of Molly Coddles Kitchen earrings.
Entry is via Rafflecopter below, and ends on Friday 21st March 2014. Prize will be posted to a UK address only.
Thursday, 13 March 2014
This post is sponsored by Amazon; but all opinions are my own.
Growing up, I loved children’s TV. In fact, you could still sit me in front of Tracy Beaker and i’d be perfectly content for a few hours.
Amazon Studios (who make original shows for the Amazon Prime streaming service) have asked me to share with my readers their new initiative that let kids aged 4-12 preview and critique the new Amazon Studios Original Kid’s Pilots; so I thought i’d team their video with a look into what were my favourite children’s programmes when I was young.
Amazon Prime viewers of all ages can also critique drama and comedy pilots they watch on the service to help Amazon Studios to decide which to commission.
My favourite childhood shows -
Pob | Ramona | Babysitter’s Club | Pepper Ann | Clarissa Explains It All | Sister Sister
Did you love any of these too?
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
All my Glasgow readers need to get down to Buchanan Galleries tomorrow evening (Thursday 13th March) at 5pm-6pm for a chance to win a £50 shopping voucher.
Come and see me take part in the #LateNightStyle Blogger Challenge as I put together a window display at H&M in just an hour, with my top three Spring looks. All you have to do is take a selfie at my window on Buchanan Street and tweet it to @peoplemakeGLA with the hashtag #latenightstyle. The best one from the evening will win the £50 voucher.
Make sure to give me a wave too!
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
I was delighted when I came across online jewellery store Rings & Tings. Its range is huge; plus the prices are very affordable (in fact most of them are downright bargains).
I got myself a few rings and a bracelet, and when they arrived, they were packaged attractively and were excellent quality.
Flying Bird Bracelet, £4.50 | Cat Ring, £4.50 | Hollow Diamond Rings, £3.50 | Gold Tone Branch With Colourful Bird Ring, £4.00
Expect to wait about a week for delivery however, as they ship from China. If you spend over £35 you get free Worldwide delivery; otherwise it is a rather reasonable £1.59. For an extra 10% off your order, enter ILOVERT at checkout.
They also offer a monthly subscription box; which I don’t think I am going to be able to resist not trying. It costs £36 for 3 months, and each month you get £20 worth of items in your box.
Monday, 10 March 2014
I hope you have been enjoying the new regular posts that I introduced to my blog at the start of this year- What Made Me Smile Last Week, Links I Love Wednesday and Fashion News Friday. These will now be fortnightly posts rather than weekly to give you more to read within each of them.
I’ll still be posting at least 5 posts every week- the usual mix of fashion, beauty reviews, food reviews, events coverage, wishlists, personal posts and interiors etc.
You can subscribe to my blog via Bloglovin’ here, and can follow me on the following social media channels. I look forward to interacting with you.
Friday, 7 March 2014
I went to the new Pizza Express at Glasgow Fort last week with my husband. Pizza is hands-down my most favourite meal and I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven day a week.
I had Pizza Express’ famous Doughballs (£3.40) as starter. These yummy balls, of essentially pizza dough, come with a garlic butter dip. I much prefer this to their Garlic Bread (which is what my husband had with cheese for £3.95) as the garlic is much stronger in the dip.
Pizza Express also serve pastas and salads; but I couldn’t go and not order pizza. Their Romana pizzas are my favourite- they are much bigger than the Classic range (as the dough is rolled significantly thinner) and they contain much more toppings. I had the American Romana (£11.30) which has a pepperoni topping, and my husband had the new Caprina Rossa Romana (£11.95), which was topped with goat’s cheese, beetroot, onion, pesto and rocket. This is a great tasty vegetarian option if you don’t want meat.
For dessert we both chose Chocolate Fudge Cake with Mascarpone (£4.95). This was so yummy and moreish. Despite being incredibly full, I could definitely have eaten more of this.
The staff were so friendly and knowlegeable about the menu. With the new cinema next door, this is the perfect place for a casual post-movie meal. To view the full menu, and other locations, visit the Pizza Express website.
Mulberry Black Antony Leather Messenger Across Body Bag, £595 | Marc by Marc Jacobs Grey Dial Baker Bracelet Strap Watch, £209 | Hoss Intropia Leaf Print Cardigan, £91 | Toast Zaio Ikat Lemon Cornflower Dress, £115 | Joules Wensley Yellow Floral Print Scarf, £19.95
Some other options that i’ve been thinking about elsewhere, is a subscription to OK Magazine (£99 for a year of 51 issues) or a spa day- i’ve been looking at various options on Wahanda. Let me know if you have any unique ideas that you are thinking of for your Mum.
This post is sponsored by John Lewis; but all opinions are my own.
Pradasphere At Harrods (Luxury Launches) - From May you can wear, breathe AND eat Prada at Harrods. The brand is taking over the store for a month with a Pradasphere Cafe, archive exhibition, exclusive collection and much more.
Dior Documentary To Premiere At Tribeca Film Festival (Fashion Beast) - This is the latest in a popular line of behind-the-scenes fashion documentaries. Here we follow Raf Simons as he produces his debut collection for Dior. The film is called Dior & I, and will preview at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
The 2014 horse racing calendar is underway in the UK and for many of us, that means that some of the most exciting fashion events of the year are just around the corner. Horse racing events and festivals offer plenty to spectators beyond the races themselves, and in the UK, the coming Grand National event in early April is no exception.
Before we move on to the culture and fashion of the event, it’s worth noting that the Grand National is also one of the marquee racing events on the calendar. It offers an incredible main event in the form of a challenging steeplechase that runs over three miles. This year’s race in particular looks to be closely contested, with a number of horses poised to contend. There are various odds listed across the internet; but fans interested in tracking the competition can make use of Betfair’s Grand National page to stay up-to-date on not only the listed odd; but the latest news and tips regarding which contenders to watch. Currently, Teaforthree is listed as the favourite for the race, with Long Run and Tidal Bay following. However, as trainers discuss their confidence in the horses and the event creeps closer, news and odds can shift at a moment’s noice.
However, off the tracks is where the real action will take place for fashion lovers. As is traditional of major horse races, fashion plays a major role at the Grand National, and specifically it’s the Aintree Ladies Day on Friday 4th April, one day before the race, that gives fashionistas the chance to strut their stuff. There’s action taking place on the race track, as well as live music throughout Ladies’s Day. However, more than anything, it’s a day that’s designated for fashion. So if you’re looking to attend the Grand National, you may want to start planning an outfit for that Friday!
To help get you started with planning your Ladies Day attire, there’s no better resource to look at than an account of some of the 2013 event’s best looks. Mirror UK has a nice roundup of the most memorable looks from last year; touching on both the classier, more fashionable side of the event; and the gaudier, somewhat costume-like side that many spectators also choose to experiment with. Going off of this recap from last year, here are a few tips for 2014 Ladies Day fashion (as race day trends tend to operate at least somewhat independently of general fashion trends).
1) Wear a big hat! This is rule #1 for race day fashion at any event and will help you to make your boldest statement at Ladies Day. Generally speaking, the bigger and more ornate, the better.
2) Wear bright colours. If a big hat is rule #1, then this is rule #2 for horse racing fashion in general. It’s all about making a bright and cheerful statement, so break out the hot pink and crimson.
3) Dress for Spring. Early April in Liverpool is by no means a guarantee of warm, sunny weather, even if spring fashions will be creeping in. Nevertheless, this is no time for pants, jeans, or bulky outerwear. Stick to dresses, skirts, light tops and blouses.
4) Embellish and accessorize. Racing fashion tends to support excess, so don’t be afraid to pack on the accessories, throw a bow in your hair, or even put on a bit more makeup than usual. High heels are also a common touch.
5) Bring a blazer. Yes, it’s good to dress for spring, and you’ll want to avoid bulky outerwear; but a classic ladies’ blazer sets just the right tone for your look in the event that it’s a chilly day.
Beyond these basic tips, it’s all about expressing yourself how you see fit. There may be a lot of tradition at the Grand National, and in horse racing fashion in general; but the bottom line is that fashion at these events differs wildly from person to person. Take these tips into account, but have fun picking out your own race day style and enjoy the races themselves.
By Laura Pearson-Smith
This is a sponsored post; but opinions are my own.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Happy March! I thought i’d do something different for this week’s Links I Love Wednesday - it’s always good to shake things up a little so that you don’t get bored. These are my favourite pins on Pinterest this week. Why not explore the site they came from and see what other inspiration you can find.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
House of Fraser have some stunning SS14 pieces and new brands in stock. I got a look at them last week at their trend presentation event, so I thought i’d share my favourites with you…
Pied a Terre Amy Lace Dress, £99 | Therapy Floral Print Trouser, £35 | Adrianna Papell Secret Garden Print Dress, £150 | Tommy Hilfiger Vivianne Denim Jacket, £140 | Dune Doven Day Bag, £75
Monday, 3 March 2014
Last week I made my first visit to Glasgow’s Bread Meets Bread burger place for dinner. I had read so many reviews of this, but had just never got round to going myself. I really enjoyed my spicy Pepperoni burger (£8) which has a beef and pork N’Duja sausage patty with mozzarella cheese, grand padano cheese and pizza sauce in a garlic brioche bun.
I also went to House of Fraser’s SS14 Trends Presentation, and they chose a stunning venue in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. Pretty Spring florals and pastels were shown amongst the greenery of the Kibble Palace conservatory, and beautiful food and cocktails came from Thai restaurant Chaophraya on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.
I also settled down on Sunday night and watched the Oscars’ red carpet- one of the highlights of the fashion year.