Saturday, 25 April 2015

Trend: Minimal


Your guide to Minimal Style

If you follow me over on Pinterest, you'll probably already be aware of my favourite trend for SS15. Black, white, nude, camel, khaki. Anything neutral with a classic look that can be worn over and over again, season after season. 

I'm calling it a 'trend' but really the minimal look is one that will be sticking around for seasons to come, so make sure to invest in a few key pieces that won't fall apart after two washes (I'm looking at you, Primark clothes). 

If you're looking for them on the high street, Warehouse are really nailing it this season without any hefty price tags. Also keep an eye out in old favourites like Zara and Reiss, who always stock killer investment pieces for a slick minimal look. I particularly love these wide leg white trousers from Reiss, which are perfect for a summer's night out.

I'm also really loving All Saints at the moment too. Their SS15 collection is full of chic basics, great knitwear and my favourite pair of high street dungarees! They've ditched their old look and are giving The Kooples a run for their money.

Check out my favourite picks below to rock the minimal look for yourself and if you're looking for outfit inspiration, take a look at my minimal Pinterest board.


Are you a fan of sporting the minimal look?

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

My Top 3 Must-Have Primers


Hey Smooth Skin, where ya been?

I existed for 21 years without ever knowing I was missing something pretty important from my makeup routine. Primer has kind of taken the beauty world by storm the past few years, with a tube of the good stuff becoming a regular in most of our makeup bags, but it can be so confusing at first. 

Will it make my skin oilier? Which one is best for dry skin? Are their ingredients gentle enough for sensitive skin? 

I've tried quite a few, with all of these questions in mind and here's my little guide to my top 3 foundation primers that hopefully will work for you too. There's gel and cream primers in here and all three are oil-free and translucent. 


Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
£25, Boots

First up is one of the most well-known primers out there. The Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer was even named as one of Marie Claire's "25 products that will change your life", which is a pretty bold claim!

I've used this for a while now and it was my go-to primer, before I started using the Hourglass one (more on that further down!). It has a thick clear gel consistency and helps create a silky soft base for you to be able to apply your foundation smoothly. It also helps with the longevity of your foundation, usually keeping it in place for a couple of hours more than normal.

As it's oil-free, this is fine to use on oily skin but if you're looking for something lighter, especially if you also have sensitive skin, you might be better using the light version.


Benefit The Porefessional
£24.50, ASOS

Another very well-known and loved primer is The Porefessional by Benefit. This is the sample size, but I actually bought the full size version a few years ago as my very first intro to primers.

As with all of these primers, you only need a pea-sized amount to cover your entire face. Although this one does come out of the tube as a sandy beige colour, it's definitely translucent once applied to your skin so don't worry about that! 

I'd say this one is good to grab a sample of if you're new to using primers. It's suitable for all skin types and, although I wouldn't say it makes all of your pores disappear, it really does help create a smooth and shine-free base for makeup application.


Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
£52, Net-a-Porter

This is my absolute guilty pleasure when it comes to buying makeup. The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is pure luxury. A runny but silky fluid, packaged in a glass pump bottle, which really does create the most dreamy feeling on your skin.

I found that when I stopped using it, after being put off by its £52 price tag for a new bottle, my foundation really didn't last as well or look as good. It's one of those Holy Grail makeup items that you hate for being so expensive but love for working so well. When my skin is feeling a bit dehydrated, this helps give it the lift it desperately needs without making it oily.

One to pick up when you're feeling seriously spendy or have a birthday coming up! The Hourglass Tinted Moisturiser is also the perfect partner foundation for this primer.


What is your favourite primer to use? Let me know in the comments below!
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Friday, 10 April 2015

East Asian Eats at Tampopo


Tampopo, Manchester

When I need to catch up with one of my best friends (hi, Ros!) and chat all things guys, blogs we are ~obsessed~ with and other stupid nonsense, we always seem to gravitate towards this little underground gem in Albert Square.

Tampopo serves up the best of East Asia, with dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and more. There's so much choice and there always seems to be a new flavour to try, whether you're a spice wimp like me or a little more adventurous.

With five locations across the UK, they're due to launch their third Manchester restaurant soon in the newly restored Triangle centre near Selfridges, Exchange Square. But for now, they're running a Tam Pop-Up in Exchange Square, so you can get your East Asian food fix whilst out shopping, and also frequent the #FRIDAYFOODFIGHT in the Great Northern Warehouse (which is amazing, FYI!).

We headed down to their Albert Square restaurant with two very hungry tummies to take a look at their redesigned menu and try out some new dishes.


The Appetisers

You know you've come to the right place when you're offered food the moment you sit down. We parked ourselves on to one of the benches and chose the Thai Prawn Crackers for a pre-dinner snack, but if you're not feeling those, they also offer some moreish Japanese Wasabi Peas! Then a bottle of their prosecco, of course.

The dishes on the menu haven't changed, but they recently redesigned the menu to make it much easier to interpret for those who aren't quite so familiar with East Asian dishes. They want to help people cheat on their favourite Pad Thai with some of their other dishes, which are all just as delicious. 

Tell your server your favourite dish and ask for some alternative recommendations if you're looking to branch out and try something different. They'll be more than happy to help you out!


The Starters

When we'd had our fill of prawn crackers, we deliberated over our starters. Ros went for the Thai BBQ Chicken (top picture) and I opted for the Thai Coconut Prawns (bottom picture). 

The Thai BBQ Chicken was chargrilled to perfection and served with sweet chilli sauce and a Thai side salad. My starter, the Thai Coconut Prawns, were huge fleshy prawns, coated in a breadcrumb and coconut coating that was super flavoursome. 

I really recommend them, even if you're not a massive coconut fan, as the flavour is not overpowering at all.


The Mains

Time for the main event! My usual dish of choice is the Singaporean Fish Curry (Mahi Mahi Molee Curry) but I decided to be brave and try something different this time. Ros recommended the Thai Tamarind Duck, which turned out to be right up my street and very much in keeping with our Thai themed dinner choices.

Cooked in a zesty tamarind sauce, the duck breast was juicy and tender with lots of flavour. The fried onions on top and choi sum below balanced out the zest to give it a more savoury flavour. It might just be my new favourite dish!

Ros opted for the Thai Rare Beef Salad, which gave me instant food envy when it rocked up to our table. How amazing does it look?! Thinly sliced rare beef, served on a bed of spicy salad, it was clear to see how good to tasted from her face!

I also went for a Vietnamese Side Salad to kid myself that I'm super healthy.


The Afters

You can't not have dessert, even if your jeans have become uncomfortably tight, amiright? We love the churros but this time opted for the Chocolate Coconut Fondant, for some extra indulgence. A melt-in-the-middle, rich chocolate pudding, with a creamy coconut centre, which disappeared in about 3 seconds... woops.

Not content with finishing there, we ordered a couple of hot drinks. Vietnamese coffee had been on my to-try list for absolutely ages so it was the natural choice. It contains condensed milk, which sounds a bit strange but is actually really tasty. Ros had their Match Green Tea Latte and started some sort of tea trend, as everyone seemed to follow suit after she ordered it!

We left not possibly wanting any more food for at least another 2 days and armed with gossip about each other's strange lives. The perfect night! Have a look at their full menu here.

My meal was complimentary of my friends at Tampopo, but as always, all food lusting thoughts are my very own.

What's your favourite East Asian dish? Have you ever visited Tampopo?

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