My Current Beauty Faves | July 2016

Beauty FavesMy Current Beauty Faves | July 2016

Confession time! I don’t like watching beauty videos (unless it’s 100 Coats). I know I’m going against the grain here, but they just don’t appeal to me. That said, I’ve always appreciated a monthly favourites video. Basically I want my information short and sweet. I wanna know which products you loved this month, and which you hated. Since I don’t have the time to review every single beauty product I’m currently loving, I decided that a monthly Beauty Faves post was the best way to go about it.

My Beauty Faves | July

  • Sephora Express Drying Oil – Place a drop on newly painted nails and they dry within 1 minute. The perfect solution for clumsy ol’me.
  • Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream | Birthday Suit – The perfect matte lip cream. My perfect shade. The Sleek Matte Me lip creams do not budge through drinking and eating – no lie! I love it so much I’ve stocked up.
  • YSL Vinyl Couture Mascara | I’m The Clash #1* – I only ask for 2 things in a mascara. That it holds my lashes up – they point downwards usually – and that it doesn’t smudge. YSL have certainly come to my rescue with this one.
  • YSL Touche Eclat Concealer & Highlighter | Luminous Radiance #1*- Yes I know I’m late to hop on the bandwagon, but now I’m on it, I ain’t gettin off! This is the perfect tool to add a bit of luminosity to my face.
  • Barry M Gelly Nail Paint | Almond – This is a dupe of my favourite Nails Inc polish – everyone compliments this colour – and I honestly can’t tell the difference when it comes to shade or wear.  At £11 cheaper than it’s twin, I know which one I’ll be sticking with from now on.
  • Canmake Day & Night Treatment Lip Scrub – I picked this up in Japan and haven’t put it down since. It exfoliates my lips gently (it’s a sugar scrub), and prepares them for lipstick. Alternatively, I use it at night after removing my make-up – to prepare my lips for the following day.
  • Trilogy Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF15* – For a pale lady such as myself, a moisturiser containing SPF is a must! This day cream is thick, but absorbs quickly, and is the perfect base for my make-up.
  • CHANEL Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Toilette – I’ve always loved this scent, and so does everyone else! I get numerous compliments when I spritz this on, and everyone says it’s lovely.
  • Collection Precision Contouring Crayon – This one is sneak peek! It isn’t out yet, but it will be soon. Trust me, if you contour, you NEED this crayon in your life. It applies smoothly, and blends like an angel.

There you have it! My July Beauty Faves. Keep an eye out for more beauty reviews and recommendations here.

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A Wanted Man Cafe… and Brow Bar Waxing Salon?

a wanted manA Wanted Man | Cafe & Beauty Salon | Website
330 Kings Road, SW3, Chelsea, London

Ever popped by your local cafe and thought you’d get an espresso and a wax to go? No probably not, and whereas the concept may sound a little odd, it’s utterly brilliant. At least that’s what I realised when I stopped by A Wanted Man last week, and did just that.

A Wanted Man | Beauty Salon

In my opinion, any kind of beauty treatment should always be followed by immense relaxation…and food. So a beauty salon located above a cafe is the perfect solution, no? Yes! Say hello to A Wanted Man, the new location from the Ministry of Waxing – yes, THE Ministry of Waxing. Located on Chelsea’s Kings Road, the brow bar and waxing salon sits above a modern, cosy cafe, with an old Western theme.

The Wild West theme flows through to the salon reception upstairs, and through to the treatment corners. I went for a slightly more “private” treatment, so I ventured even further upstairs to a private room. My booking was with Kanada, who was extremely professional, and very friendly. I won’t go into too much detail, but I was left feeling very content with both the service, and the results.

A Wanted Man | Cafe

After my treatment I headed downstairs for lunch. Coz that’s what you do at A Wanted Man. Unless you decide to do it the other way around of course (which is fine too, no one’s gonna judge ya). There’s a very prominent laid-back, 70s vibe to the cafe; I love contemporary interiors with a classic influence.

The coffee here is roasted by Singapore-based specialty coffee roasters, A Common Man, borne out of Five Senses Coffee of Melbourne. I ordered a flat white, which to me is the perfect way of testing coffee – even better if you can have an espresso alongside it. The coffee itself was smooth and went down a treat. Whilst I sipped on said beverage, I waited for my Rainbow Salad. Honestly it was very difficult to choose what to order. The menu isn’t too extensive – that’s a good thing – but everything sounds absolutely mouthwatering. And Instagram-friendly too! My salad arrived in good time and tasted fresh, wholesome and delicious. You can’t really ask for more. Still it’s really no surprise when you find out that the menu is crafted by Michel Bras-trained chefs, Benjamin Darnaud (previously at Viande & Chef in Paris) and Vincent Dery.

Final Thoughts

A Wanted Man is a wonderful addition to Chelsea, and the Ministry of Waxing. Whereas combining both the luxury of a beauty salon, and the comfort of a cafe may still be relatively new to the UK, it’s certainly not lost on its customers; be them new or loyal. Let’s just say that I don’t always go for a wax, but when I do it’s the Ministry of Waxing (brownie points to those who get the reference).

I would highly recommend A Wanted Man, whether you want a beauty treatment, coffee & food, or both! You won’t be disappointed.

 

You’ll find AWM on Drip App – so don’t forget to use “EXG878” to get £4 free credit and “BLOOMZY20” for an additional 20% off!

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Good and Proper Tea – The New Afternoon Tea in London

afternoon tea in londonGood and Proper Tea* | Brunch/Afternoon Tea in London – Cafe | Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane | Website

One of my favourite anecdotes from my time in Japan is the afternoon tea tale. Whenever I met someone for the first time (who had not been to the UK/had any British friends), they would without fail ask me “what time is afternoon tea?” This question came up again and again, and I quickly realised that people genuinely see afternoon tea as a part of everyday life in the UK. Unfortunately most of us Brits know this isn’t the case, but I do love to indulge a little every now and again.

The New Afternoon Tea in London

For me, brunch is the new afternoon tea, in London anyway. I love to spend a weekend morning – or a weekday if I’m feeling particularly luxurious – just relaxing with a cup of coffee, and a decent selection of hot food and pastries. In fact I enjoy it so much, I’m constantly searching for new brunch places. Luckily for me, I was invited along to the launch of Good and Proper Tea‘s new Leather Lane store.

Crumpets and Tea!

Ok let’s get to the food! VA and I shared a selection of G&P’s famous handmade crumpets and cakes:

  • Egg, Mustard, Ham and Cheese Crumpet – Subtle flavours on top of a pillowy crumpet. A unique take on the Croque Madame!
  • Marmite & Cheese Crumpet – Melted cheese oozes over a soft crumpet, whilst everyone’s favourite yes-no condiment adds a tangy edge.
  • Blood Orange & Poppy Seed Cake (vegan friendly) – Sweet and a little tart. Stodgy, but in a good way. I could eat this everyday.
  • Honey and Orange Madelines – These were so delectable and flavoursome. They are definitely my favourite sweet treat at G&P.

Alongside our food I tried the Dragonwell Tea and a Chai Latte, both are personal favourites of mine. Dragonwell tea (aka Longjing) is a roasted green tea. It went extremely well with my breakfast, as it isn’t too bitter or strong a flavour. My Chai Latte was made using milk, however dairy-free versions are available, which I do appreciate. It was a little spicy, and very creamy. Just the way I like it.

Let’s round it up

First things first, I’m the realest… Wait no, that’s not right. The decor! The decor is insanely gorgeous – there are some definite #interiorgoals going on here. Luckily Good and Proper Tea are as much about substance as they are style; as is reflected in their food and tea offerings. We may have gone for brunch, but you could easily while away an afternoon here chatting with friends, “working”, or of course, for afternoon tea.

You can visit Good and Proper Tea in Clerkenwell, Old Street and Brockley Market (find them here).
Read more: Where to Eat in London | A London Life

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Where to Eat in London: Hurwundeki

hurwundekiHurwundeki Cafe | Bethnal Green | Nearest tube: Bethnal Green/Cambridge Heath | Website

Where to Eat in London: Hurwundeki

A couple of weekends ago I was invited to stop by Hurwundeki’s cafe, to try out their new brunch menu (Tues-Sat until 3:30pm). For those that don’t recognise the name, this Korean cafe-come-salon-come-restaurant is almost a Bethnal Green institution. Believe it or not, as big of a fan of Korean food as I am, I’ve never been to Hurwundeki. As a resident of East London I have no excuse. Luckily for me I chose the perfect sunny weekend to head over with Ffi, to finally see what they had to offer.

How is the food and coffee?

We ordered two dishes to share: the Avocado & Bacon with chilli, and the Homemade Falafel with beetroot and sesame, both of which came on toast. The former was slightly spicy, and used good quality (crisped) bacon; a well loved favourite that has been executed well. The latter falafel dish was my favourite though. The unique flavours (for a typical brunch) really made this dish stand out. Both came in light, smallish portions, which were the perfect serving sizes for us. That said, they may be a little small for some people. On the bright side, this does leave room for cake – so no need to worry! We tried the Gluten Free & Vegan Peanut Brownie, and the Almond and Chocolate Bread Pudding. Neither were overly sweet or heavy, which I loved. I also appreciated the options for coeliacs and vegans – nice one Hurwundeki!

I grabbed a coffee (easy to do when I have Drip App), which uses Workshop Coffee’s Cult of Done espresso. I loved how smooth and flavoursome (sweet notes of cocoa and maple syrup) this Brazilian coffee was.

Final Thoughts

My only complaint is that Hurwundeki doesn’t carry over the Korean food into their cafe. I would have loved to have seen some Korean-inspired dishes or ingredients pop up on the brunch menu. I imagine this is because a lot of people expect certain foods at brunch in London, which is a shame really. That said, the food here is presented well, and tastes delicious. With dishes starting at around £4.50, this is more than affordable. I’ll definitely be stopping by for brunch again.

 

You can visit Hurwundeki at 296–299 Railway Arches, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9HA or online here.
Make sure to check out Drip App for some of London’s best independent coffee shops!

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The Fabulous Adventures of 698b | London Supper Club

london supper clubThe Fabulous Adventures of 698b | London Supper Club

A London Supper Club…

You may remember me listing The Fabulous Adventures of 698b as my top London supper club to attend  in 2016. And that was only based on their canapés! Of course I had to remedy this, and luckily for me I was invited only a few days after meeting the lovely people behind the supper club. It’s fair to say that I was ridiculously excited. You all know how much I love food, and this was one food event I could not wait to attend.

The Food

The food. Oh the food. Where do I begin? How about the fabulous amuse bouche? As delicious as they are beautiful, these paired perfectly with the seasonal prosecco bellini. The starter of Asparagus with quail eggs and yoghurt was light and fresh; the caramelised yogurt was the star here. The fish course: Steamed Halibut with barley samphire and sea purslane, was again light, and carried subtle flavours throughout the dish. My favourite course of the night was the Rib of Beef with wild garlic; tender high quality beef was accompanied by wonderfully fresh seasonal produce.

The dessert. I don’t want to say much, as this is something you really need to experience yourself. I will say though that it involves an awesome soundtrack, a variety of delicious desserts, and a completely immersive experience. It’s not to be missed!

The People

We were sat next to two couples, both go whom were absolutely lovely. We laughed and joked, and exchanged stories. Some people might say we were lucky, but I believe that the kind of people who attend supper clubs tend to be more outgoing and social. So you’re basically guaranteed a night of good food and socialising. There was a general atmosphere of good cheer all around. Four of us attended, but it’s fair to say we left with more friends that evening.

Final thoughts on The Fabulous Adventures of 698b

From the warm welcome, to the plating in front of the guests, and the adventurous dessert, The Fabulous Adventures of 698b is one of London’s best supper clubs right now. The accomplished Guillame and Maja – what a power couple – are using high quality ingredients, seasonal produce and innovative ideas. I genuinely felt like I was dining with close friends. Close friends who are extremely talented in the kitchen. At £44 per person, this is one treat I would gladly partake in again. This isn’t just good food. This is The Fabulous Adventures of 698b.

You can book tickets to The Fabulous Adventures of 698b at Grub Club and Tabl.

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clueQuest Live Escape Game London | Giveaway

cluequest-3clueQuest Live Escape Game London – Revenge of the Sheep 169 – 171 Caledonian Road, N1 0SL | Nearest Tube: Kings Cross

Team 12 Minutes. That’s what they called us. Legends who will go down in clueQuest history… Ok I may be exaggerating slightly, but we certainly did leave our mark when we recently took on clueQuest’s new Revenge of the Sheep (RoS) live escape game.

What is clueQuest?

Simply put,clueQuest is a real-life escape game where teams of three to five players have to race against time and escape from a locked room”. Since it’s opening clueQuest has been rated as Tripadvisor’s number one London attraction, been featured in Time Out, and has further expanded rooms. Currently there are 9 rooms, and 3 games available to play: PLAN52, Operation BlackSheep, and the new Revenge of the Sheep (open from March 2016).

How good is Revenge of the Sheep?

It’s pretty damn awesome! My team consisted of myself, Jasiminne, Natasha, Erin, Katie and Amanda. Most of us had experienced live escape room games before, however we were in for a pretty big adventure with RoS. After we arrived we were de-briefed and told about our top secret mission. Professor BlackSheep is back, and he is determined to mutate all of humankind into sheep! We had to enter the room, solve all his puzzles and de-activate his sheep mutator – in only 60 minutes! Did we do it? Well, what do you think Team 12 Minutes stands for? Yes, we made it, and we did it in style too. Unfortunately I can’t share too much with you, as I don’t want to spoil anything. But I can tell you that the room is the most detailed and immersive yet! You’ll need logic, common sense, and a lot of teamwork to beat this game. I would highly recommend visiting, whether it’s with friends, colleagues or family. We had such a great time, and I would head back in an instant. After all, it is down to you now to stop Professor BlackSheep, and his plan to rule the world!

Win clueQuest tickets!

Yes, me and Team 12 Minutes are giving one lucky winner the chance to take on Revenge of the Sheep themselves. All you have to do is enter the giveaway below to be in with your chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize: 1 x game for 3-5 players
Rules: Follow the Rafflecopter Instructions. UK entrants only!
Closing Date: May 11th

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This post is in collaboration with clueQuest however all views, photos and words are my own.
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The Canary Hair Salon and Vegan Cafe | Beauty

The Canary hairThe Canary Hair Salon & Cafe* | Bethnal Green, E2 6QA | Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green | Website

You know I love lifestyle stores. So imagine my joy when I was invited down to The Canary hair salon in Bethnal Green. Now I wasn’t giddy purely because I was getting a hair cut – although I do often feel like that – but because The Canary is a little different to most hair salons in London. Attached to their salon is a cafe. A vegetarian and vegan cafe at that! Good coffee. Good food. Good hair. You can’t ask for more!

The food

I popped by on a Saturday around 12. We grabbed a chair in the well lit space, and ordered a couple of coffees, which I handily paid for with my Drip App. I was introduced to my stylist Emma as I sipped on mine (flat white, no sugar), and I automatically felt relaxed. After my haircut we had a bite to eat. I had a blueberry muffin, and Ben tried a mushroom and tarragon croissant. We both agreed that the food was fresh and delicious. Even better, it tasted homemade.

The haircut

When I did eventually hop in the seat, we chatted about what I wanted done. I asked whether I should get some layers put in; something I hated years ago but somehow felt might finally suit me. Emma told me that she thought my sharp bob suited me style perfectly, and that layers might ruin what I was going for. She was so right, and I’m glad she said it, because it stopped me getting a hair cut I would have undoubtedly hated afterwards. No one was rushing me, and Emma seemed very professional and easy going. Conversation flowed smoothly throughout, so there were no awkward silences, and I was done in about an hour.

Final thoughts on The Canary hair salon…

As I suspected, Emma was very professional and did a wonderful job on my haircut. My fringe wasn’t exactly how I like it, but I’m pretty fussy about my hair. That said, overall I was happy with my hair cut. The Canary is still a little quiet, but with such friendly staff it comes to life. I have my favourite hair salon (because it’s directly under my apartment), but I would still go back for a coffee and to chill out. Whether you’re after a cut, or some sustenance, The Canary is worth stopping by for sure. Prices for womens cuts start at £56 and mens at £45.

You can visit The Canary at 61 Old Bethnal Green Road, London or online here.
Make sure to check out Drip App for some of London’s best independent coffee shops!

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