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Sunday, 13 May 2018

To Kill A King and Childcare Bodega Notts Jan 2018

This post is a *little* late but technically it wasn't my fault. I was lucky enough to interview Ralph and Grant from To Kill A King earlier this year, for NTU's FlyFM. For whatever reason my article wasn't posted on FlyFM's website, so I have decided to be a little naughty and post it here, because I loved meeting the guys and was/am proud of my interview (they give good chat haha)...

On Thursday 18th January, the Bodega welcomed the highly talented, To Kill A King. The London-based 5-piece have recently released their new album, The Spiritual Dark Age, after a couple of years away. I met with Ralph and Grant from TKAK to talk more about the album, the creative process and their in-band fist fights.

The guys from 'To Kill A King' looking smart
Photo credit: http://clashmusic.com/live/to-kill-a-king-and-misfires-play-our-clash-x-metropolis-studios-event

Fans have seen them play numerous gigs across the UK, including in frontman, Ralph Pellymounter's home town of Leeds and To Kill A King are also set to take their tour across Germany in March, on their ‘Compassion is a German word’ tour. “We love our German fans”, Ralph and guitarist, Grant, told Fly Fm just before they went on to play their set. They also love their Patreon supporters. Patreon is a service which allows fans to fund the band, in a way. You can choose to give $5 to $50 a month. It’s a mutually beneficial service whereby the funding is rewarded with exclusive recordings, podcasts etc.

As for Nottingham, it’s not the band’s first time here. They have played Splendour festival in the past and were back again last summer to play the ‘Dot to Dot’ festival. They said they thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dot to Dot’ and it helped them grow their fan base here in Notts, so let’s hope they’ll be back again soon. [They will actually be back at Splendour this year and I am hoping to catch their set!]

When asked how creative differences in the band were solved Ralph was quick to say they regularly had fist fights, but luckily he was only joking and the band are much more democratic and peaceful in their decision making. Someone who does have fist fights (probably) is a cage fighter who attended one of their shows, stripped off and proceeded to slow dance with their drummer, Josh Taffel. The guys said that was one of the wildest things to have happened at their shows.

There is an online series called ‘Ralph Gets High’ which isn’t actually as controversial as it sounds. The band take themselves to higher environments, such as the Emirates Skyline in London, and play songs acoustically there. The next instalment sees them inviting all their friends to join them on a rooftop to perform a ‘To Kill A King’ song, much like their previous cover of ‘Choices’ which they did a few years ago now with Bastille and Emily Wood, amongst others.

Dan Smith from Bastille recently tweeted Ralph, asking if To Kill A King would like to join them on their Reorchestrated tour but unfortunately, the guys couldn’t confirm whether this was going to happen and Ralph said he “hasn’t received an official offer yet”. Again, when asked about his much anticipated project with Dan Smith, Annie Oakley Hanging, Ralph apologetically remained tight-lipped. Watch this space to see which TKAK/Bastille collaborations will or will not happen. [I can tell you that the collaborations totally happened and they performed 'Cut Her Down' at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 'ReOrchestrated' tour, and there is a planned 'Annie Oakley Hanging' album in the pipeline.]

On stage all five members were incredible. Such talent! It was so nice to see huge smiles on their faces and lots of jumping around and genuine enjoyment radiating from the band. Grant was so enthusiastic he managed to break two guitar strings in quick succession, much to Ralph's amusement. It was nice to see a varied age range in the crowd too as it demonstrates the band’s wide appeal. They performed a lot of songs from the new album, like 'Good Old Days', 'My God and Your God', and of course 'Spiritual Dark Age'. They also performed older favourites like 'Bloody Shirt' and 'Funeral'. Both songs I adore.

After the gig, the guys all hung around to sell merch and talk to fans, some of whom had travelled as far as Ohio to be there.

The new single ‘No More Love Songs’ has had air play on Radio 1 which is exciting and Huw Stephens is a fan. Coincidentally, another band which have had their songs played on Radio 1 is Childcare, who were supporting To Kill A King on their UK tour. Childcare (Ed, Emma, Glyn and Rich) were fantastic. They were full of energy and seemed to love their debut Nottingham show. They really livened up the crowd, as did singer songwriter Soham De who came on before them.

Considering the album title, most of the songs are surprisingly upbeat. If you like good, loud music, you'll be kicking yourself for not being there. Unless of course you were there in which case well done you. *high five*

Psst..there is an upcoming 'To Kill A King' gig at the Omeara London on 28 May and they are being joined by the equally fantastic Charlie Barnes. It's all for a great charity called Music Support, so get yourselves down there!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Year in Review 2017

This post was actually planned for January but has ended up being very late, so instead I thought I would write a ‘Year in Review’ and a little update on what I have been up to, too. Keep reading if you would like to know more.

I like doing these. It is a nice little way for me to reflect on the year and look forward to the future. I didn’t write one in 2016, because I was ill, but I am glad I can do one now.
Be warned-it’s going to be a long post! I hope you enjoy!

This was definitely the year of Bastille, for me. By the end of the year, I had seen them live at least 10 times. I was lucky enough to see them perform at venues such as the Eden Project in Cornwall and Reading Festival, as well as the Zenith Arena in Paris. I recently saw them on their ‘ReOrchestrated’ tour at the Royal Albert Hall and it was a phenomenal gig.  ‘To Kill A King’ and Charlie Barnes supported and Ella Eyre joined the boys on stage for ‘No Angels.’ They definitely shaped my 2017 and I am thankful to them for all the good times, and good people I met, along the way. It is safe to say I am planning to go to more gigs this year and I cannot wait!

Above: Dan Smith (not my pic)

As I mentioned, I travelled to Paris in February to see my favourite band play. It was the first time I had been to France and I absolutely adored it.

Above: Viewing the world from the top of the Eiffel Tower

This was the year I went back to university after some time away. It was properly nerve-wracking going back but also something I really wanted to do, and so far it’s going really well. I study Biological Sciences, in case you are wondering.

The obsession is still very much real. I love skincare and makeup and, back in January, I took classes makeup artistry classes. It’s funny how nervous I was. My hands would shake when applying makeup on others, but I passed the course and got my certificate. I would love to go back and do the more advanced course one day.

One of the biggest highlights of my year had been, and continues to be, my friends and family. I am going to be super soppy now but they really are the best; 100% there for me when I need them and I hope they know it goes both ways. My oldest friend actually went volunteering abroad for 3 months towards the end of 2017 and she was very much missed! She’s back now, which I am very happy about. Another friend got married this March and that was so lovely to be a part of.

Photo credit: favim.com

Over the summer, I started volunteering in a charity shop which was actually set up like a designer boutique. I worked as a retail assistant and I really enjoyed it. I hope to do more volunteering this summer.

Blogging is still my passion and I have been contributing to other websites and magazines, including my university magazine. I have so many ideas but sometimes it takes me a little while to upload posts, which I need to work on. I hope to continue blogging about the things I love. I have been to some really cool beauty-related events lately and also have some awesome gigs planned, so I will share my experiences on here. I also hope to do some posts on others bloggers I really admire. Keep an eye out for those!

2017 was a fantastic year and 2018 has been equally good so far. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings.

What were your 2017 highlights?

Thank you so, so much for reading!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Amazon Luxury Beauty Box

I received the Amazon beauty box as a gift and I am so happy with it.

Unfortunately I don’t think the offer to get this is still available, but it might be nice for me to share what’s inside anyway.

The box consists of 9 sample sized products; a mix between skincare, fragrance and makeup. You also get a 10% off code to use on a full sized product. 

The first thing that stood out for me was the Rituals ‘The Ritual of Hammam’ foaming shower gel. The Rituals shower gels are some of my favourite products and I’d been meaning to try this eucalyptus and rosemary scented version. I feel like this is a very unisex product and it’s a nice, pampering product. 

I also noticed the skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels which firm, tone and de-puff the under eyes. I’ve wanted some under eye gels for a while, but didn’t know where to get them from. 

The Jane Iredale PureMoist lipstick in Susanna is the cutest thing ever! It’s so tiny. The colour is a lovely pinky nude and it’s perfect for keeping in your handbag.

I was excited for this next product too. It’s the Murad ‘Environmental Shield Essential-C Day 
Moisture SPF 30’ and is described as an “antioxidant-rich daily moisturiser” which improves radiance and firmness. It’s exciting because I don’t have a travel-size moisturiser so this will be perfect for any trips away. 

There are 2 sample sized Miller Harris perfumes: Etui Noir and Lumiere Doree. Lumiere Doree is my favourite. It is citrusy, fresh and has neroli elements too. Etui Noir is nice too and contains vetiver, tangerine and bergamot. 

I’ve never tried Laura Geller products although I have seen them advertised. This ‘Bronze-n-Brighten’ is really interesting. It’s a shimmering bronzer. I have the shade medium but it’s not dark enough for my skin tone. 

The Gatineau ‘Melatogenine’ cleansing cream has a really advanced formula. It is an anti-ageing cleanser, toner and micro-exfoliator in one. It is also soap-free. Again, this is a perfect travel size product for me and I love creamy cleansers. 
The Vita Liberata Ten Minute Tan is an interesting one, because I never actually fake tan. I’m tempted to try with this one, especially since this lotion only takes ten minutes to develop.
Finally, the ultrasun face anti-ageing sun protection SPF 30 is good to have, even in winter, to protect against harmful UV rays. This cream even acts as a primer and is ideal for sensitive skin. 

So there it is-the contents of my luxury beauty box. I’m sorry it’s unavailable at the moment, but I hope you found this blog post useful.

                                                                  Thank you for reading! 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Summer Lovin' Tag 2017

A few years ago Fleur de Force uploaded a video on Youtube with her summer favourites and I decided to write a blog post about it. I thought I’d bring it back with an updated version this summer. I realise it is now December, so a bit ridiculous to upload this post now but hopefully you won’t hold it against me and we can reminisce on warmer days.

1. Summer lipstick I’m loving

I had to have a little look at my lipstick collection for this one as it is hard to choose just one lipstick. I’m going to say Bond Girl by Charlotte Tilbury. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks are some of my all time favourites, in fact, I think they’re Holy Grail status for me. I’m obsessed with them. They are really easy and comfortable to wear and this shade is a lovely neutral rose colour.

2. Summer nail polish I’m loving

White Horse Street by Nails Inc is a really fun pastel violet shade, which is really light and borderline grey. It is actually what is on my nails at the moment. They retail at £15 each.

3. Bikini I’m loving this summer

This one is easy to answer because bikinis are a no no :P

4. Favourite summer Frappuccino from Starbucks

I love a good Frappuccino in the summer and my favourite is very naughty as it’s so indulgent and very sugary. It contains THREE syrups! But I do like a treat every so often. This drink was actually on their ‘secret’ menu a few years ago. It’s a Mocha Frappuccino with caramel and hazelnut syrup. Let me tell you these taste gorgeous! You’ll be addicted, like I am.

5. Favourite fake tan 

I don’t actually fake tan so I can’t really answer this question properly.

6. Favourite summer song

Attention by Charlie Puth is such a cool song and I’ve heard it loads on the radio.

7. Favourite summer accessory


Photo credit: Topshop.com

It’s so random and cute. Found this tiny pineapple ring in Topshop and picked it up for a fiver.

8. Favourite summer fragrance/perfume

I recently rediscovered this fragrance and initially I wasn’t going to talk about it in this post, because it’s a very intense scent. It’s the Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud. Now the cologne only came in the 100ml which was quite expensive so the lady in the store advised me to go for the Body Oil. I just use it as if it was a perfume and it has lasted so long. I have been reaching for it nearly every day and it smells lovely. It’s also great as an evening scent so it’s versatile in that sense. It has notes of damask rose and oud, but also praline, which makes it a very decadent scent. It’s a treat to wear.

The label is a little worn but I've had it for years and it's lasted me. Anyway, I prefer the term 'well loved' :P

9. Summer book I’m loving

I haven’t been reading much this summer, to be honest. I am reading ‘Girl on the Train’ at the moment but I can’t say I’m loving it. I am about halfway through and I’ve lost interest but I will continue reading it and hopefully it gets better. I’ve heard good things from friends who have read it.

10. What are you most excited to do this summer

Ooh, as you may have noticed, I’m a huge Bastille fan and I cannot wait to see them at the Reading Festival on Friday 25th August. I’ve never actually been to a proper festival (I’m not sure if British Summer Time counts) so this is doubly exciting. Everytime I’ve seen Bastille perform they’ve been fantastic. I am biased of course. Kasabian are headlining and I’m looking forward to seeing the Leicester lads do their thing.

Update: Reading Festival was awesome! I actually got to meet Bastille and got their autographs so I was very happy that day! I actually wrote about my experience for BritznBeatz and you can read it here: https://www.britznbeatz.co.uk/single-post/2017/08/31/Narzras-Reading-Festival-2017-Diary

What were your summer favourites? I’d love to know! I hope you all had a wonderful summer.

                                                                Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

The Leibster Award/Get to Know Me

I was super flattered and excited when Jessica Faye nominated me for a Leibster Award earlier in the year. Thank you so much!

The Leibster Awards is given to bloggers by bloggers as a way to spread the love in the blogging community.

The way the award works is that you answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you and then you nominate 11 of your favourite bloggers and ask them your own set of questions. I accidentally answered the wrong questions when I was planning this blog post so there are two sets of answers. I hope you don’t mind.

  • ·         Why did you start blogging?
I love to write and I went through a phase of reading a lot of successful blogs, like Zoella’s, and they inspired me to start my own little blog.
  • ·         What are your hobbies?
I love to read but, being a uni student, I don’t get a lot of time to read for pleasure. 
Anyone who knows me knows that I go to a lot of gigs, so I guess that counts as a hobby? 
I also enjoy watching Youtube makeup videos and listening to music. 

Oh, and I do quite a bit of writing for other platforms, such as my uni magazine and music websites. 

  • ·         What makes you happy?

Bastille, makeup, bastille. I have to admit I am obsessed with the band (and their frontman, Dan Smith). I’m actually listening to their biggest hit, Pompeii, as I type this.

Going to gigs is essentially my ‘happy place’. I enjoy playing with makeup…and shopping! Selfridges is my other happy place. I also love to write.

Spending time with my friends brings me the most happiness. I know a really great bunch of girls and some of whom I have known for over 20 years of my life. We always have a laugh when we’re together.

I also love to travel and hope to do more in future.

  • ·         What are your goals, both with the blog and in your own life?
My blog is quite modest, as in I don’t have a lot of followers (but I love the ones I do have) so my only goal is to post more regularly. I hope loads of posts planned but I’ve been lagging behind lately. In my personal life, I would like to lose weight (for health reasons) and finish my degree.

  • ·         What are the things you’ve done that have increased your blog traffic?
Not too long ago, it was my third blogiversary so I held a giveaway for a lipstick and I saw views on that post increase threefold, compared to any other post I had done previously.
I like doing giveaways and it would be nice to do another one towards Christmas. Watch this space.

  •       What does your daily routine look like?

I     t’s funny because my days vary so much. Some days I have to be at uni for a 9am start and, I commute from another city, so I have to be up as early as 5am! I’ll then have a few lectures or a lab and make my way back home on the train. My days off, on the other hand, can see me staying in bed til at least 10am lol. 
  •        How do you stay on top of managing your blog, writing for it, and promoting it?

Hmm, I’m not really the best person to answer this question, because I have been a bit rubbish at blogging lately. Usually, I like to jot down my ideas and work on one post at a time. I tweet and post on Facebook to let people know when I have new posts up and beg them to read my work haha!
  •       Who are your top 5 favourite bloggers to read? 

The Blushing Giraffe, Safiyah Tasneem, Lily Pebbles, The Anna Edit and Amena Official.

  •       How can you be cheered up if you had a bad day?
Foooood or a nice hot chocolate should do the trick.

  •        Do you prefer taking a bath or showering? 

I love a nice, relaxing bath.
  •         What is “your” smell? Your favourite candle, which perfume do you use?

I love light floral scents. I don’t own it but my favourite candle would be Red Roses by Jo Malone. I’m liking ‘Just Pink’ from Next at the moment. It was a birthday gift from my parents and it is really nice.

The following questions were set by Jessica Faye, aka the questions I was supposed to answer.
·         What is the beauty product you use the most?
It would have to be my L’Oreal Paris Paradise mascara because I wear it on days even when I have no foundation or any other makeup on.

·         How would you describe your style?
Very girly and a little bit vintage.

·         What is your favourite movie? Why?
One of my favourite movies is August Rush. Super cheesy, I know, but it’s such a different story and the songs are lovely. The ending always has me sobbing like a baby.

·         Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Ooh, that’s such a good question. In 5 years time, I’ll be 32 years old (weird!). I’d like to think I will have passed my degree and be working as a professional writer, possibly in London.

·         Do you prefer summer or winter? Why?
Summer everytime! I hate the cold, and the dark mornings and evenings. Give me the sunshine any day.

·         What do you find hardest about blogging?
I guess finding the motivation, and time, to put all the pieces together-typing up a post, taking pictures, uploading pictures, editing.

·         Would you encourage others to have a blog? Why?
I would say definitely, go for it! It’s nice to have your own little corner of the internet to write about things you are passionate about. I would say, however, that It takes a certain amount of dedication and hard work.

·         What is your proudest achievement?
It might sound funny but a few years ago, I abseiled off a 90 foot bridge in the Peak District and I am actually terrified of heights so that was a big moment for me. 

·         What do you like to do to relax?
Face masks!

·         What is your ideal working environment?
I like working on the floor, in my bedroom, which is what I’m doing right now.

·         What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
I’ll keep it beauty related and say lipsticks! Especially liquid lipsticks.

My 11 Questions

1.       Why did you start blogging?
2.       What was your first blog post about?
3.       What are your favourite bands/artists?
4.       What is your favourite book and why?
5.       What was the last book you read?
6.       What are your Holy Grail makeup products?
7.       Whose blogs do you enjoy reading?
8.       Have you ever been to Beautycon?
9.       Who is your favourite beauty youtuber?
10.   What do you find challenging about blogging?
11.   What is on your Christmas wishlist?

I would like to nominate the following people for the Liebster Award: The Blushing Giraffe, Safiyah Tasneem, Rose Beauty Files, LoraHull, Sophie’s Notebook, Paige’s Preferences and Nishi V.
If you have been nominated, it would be awesome if you could tag me so I can read your answers.

                                                                 Thank you for reading!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

To Kill A King and London Shopping

On 10th August, the band ‘To Kill A King’ held a gig in collaboration with Clash magazine at Metropolis Studios in London. Tickets were free so I thought “Why not”?

The gig was in the evening so I met my friend for lunch first and she showed me Old Spitalfields Market. It was so cute and quaint, with loads of stalls selling unique goods, as well as stores like Bobbi Brown and Jo Malone.

We went to the Deciem store. I already have The Ordinary Serum foundation and really love it, so I thought I would try the Coverage foundation in the shade 3.0 R (for red undertones). So far, I’ve only worn it once and really love this one too! I’ve already received compliments when wearing it, which is always nice.

I had some time before the gig and didn’t really know what to do with myself so I went to get my hair blow dried. It was a nice treat to myself.

I then popped into Urban Decay and finally got my hands on their Vice liquid lipstick in ‘1993’. I had been asking around after this shade for months and it was always out of stock, so I was very happy that they had it in store. So far, I am totally in love with the nude brown colour and the wear of this lipstick.

Before long it was time to head to Stamford Brook Station in Chiswick to see ‘To Kill A King’. Metropolis Studios was really cool. It was a little hard to find so I had to ask someone for directions. I later realised the person I had been talking to was a member of the band. I hadn’t recognised him and felt like such a doofus haha. Later, I actually bumped into the lead singer, Ralph, and said hello.
Our names were on a ‘guestlist’ and then we waited in the bar whilst the opening act ‘Misfires’ (from Swindon) prepared their set.

The gig was really intimate and I was really close to the stage at one point, which was exciting. There can’t have been more than 100 people there. Probably the smallest gig I’ve ever been to.

Misfires were excellent! I hadn’t heard their music before but, from what I did hear, they’re set for big things! Their songs were rocky, catchy and loads of fun. The perfect opener.

Then came ‘To Kill A King’. Now, I had heard some of their songs before, but not all of them and I’d never seen them live before. I had seen some of their Facebook Live performances though, so it was a little surreal seeing them in person but, boy, am I glad I did!

Ralph, TKAK

They were amazing! They played ‘Choices’ first, which is actually one of my favourite songs.
The sound quality was brilliant too. I think it was the best I’d ever heard at a gig.

One thing I really liked about the gig was that all the members seemed to be enjoying themselves. Ralph was smiling and joking and it was so nice to see.

Once it was over, I was absolutely shattered after a long day in London. I had to travel another 3 hours by coach to get home but it was definitely worth it.

Have you listened to ‘To Kill A King’?
Do you like them?

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Glossier Event

A few weeks ago, Anna tweeted that Glossier were going to be holding a pop-up showroom in London and I was so there!

There’s so much hype surrounding Glossier. It’s become a cult brand and all my favourite bloggers rave about it, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about for myself. (If I’m honest, I travelled all the way to London just to test out the Milky Jelly Cleanser.)

Skin tint

The pop-up was held on Baker Street in Marlebone and was quite busy, so my friend and I had to queue in the rain for a little while (funny story, somebody actually stole my umbrella, so we got soaked afterwards too!).

Inside was so fancy. There were flowers everywhere and lovely Byredo candles burning. Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier, was there too but I didn’t get a chance to speak to her. All the Glossier products were laid out so we could test them and have a general play around with.

Of course, I went straight for the Milky Jelly Cleanser and absolutely loved the texture. Other products which stood out for me were the Priming Moisturiser Riche and the Stretch Concealer. I wasn’t expecting to love the products as much as I did. The formulas were gorgeous. I can’t wait until Glossier products come to the UK in October.

I had been hoping to purchase some things on the day, but unfortunately nothing was for sale. It was more of an introduction to the products, if that makes sense. There were actually goody bags being handed out, but they ran out before I got there. I should receive mine in the post in a few weeks *fingers crossed*. Let me know if you want me to blog about the products I receive.

Meeeee :)

Have you tried any Glossier products? What did you think?

Thank you for reading!