Clinique Southampton

Advice, Beauty, fashion, Gifted, lifestyle, Personal, review, sotonbloggers, south coast, Southampton, southampton bloggers, Uncategorized, women

I was invited to attend an event with the Southampton Bloggers at Clinique Southampton, located in John Lewis and Partners, West Quay.

I love trying new brands, beauty and skin care products so when this opportunity came up to go to the Clinique event I was very excited. I have always heard amazing things about the company, skin care and beauty range of Clinique but haven’t had the opportunity to learn about or try any of them out.

Arriving to the styling suits in the John Lewis store we were greeted with smiles and a glass of prosecco. The room was the room of dreams! Everything in there was styled from John Lewis and had tables filled with the Clinique products.

room image

They kicked off the evening by introducing themselves and what they do for the company. The women who were running in evening were absolutely fantastic! They were so passionate when they spoke but not only this, they really knew their stuff! As a reflection of Clinique as a brand, it was an excellent start. They went though a card with us all to determine what skin type we are; in order to advise us on the best products for us to use. After filling out the form, they explained the number system they use which I never knew about.

Your skin type will give you a number and from there all the products Clinique supply have numbers for you to know which you can use on you skin type! I think this is so clever and such a straight forward idea for a beauty brand. They also take the time to discover what you want to achieve from your skin, not the issues you have with it. This is such a positive way to look at beauty, asking what you want and advising how you can achieve this rather than pointing out flaws.

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It turns out I was Number 3 skin type, Oily combination. This means all the No.3 products or the ‘all skin type’ products are suitable for my skin – they also try and match the colour of your skin type to the colour of the product, so I would be pink. It made me realise if I took the time to actually talk to the people who work here I would have known this a long time ago!

After being given all the information they let us have a little look around the room to see the products they sell. They spoke about what they supplied and how they can help you improve your skin.

Not only this but they supplied us with a colour match service to help us find our perfect shade in their Even Better Refresh foundation, which they supplied us with a full size one to take home and try! I was the shade Bone.

foundation test

Since trying the foundation at home, I think it is great! It gives such a even coverage without being too heavy and gives the fresh glowey look which is so on trend at the moment.

I cannot fault the products of Clinique and even more so cannot fault the amazing service they supply. The staff were absolutely fantasic and were so informative throughout the evening and I can safely say I have been converted to Clinique. Their are so many products I want to try, and not because they were trying to sell them to us, because they were informing us about the benefits.

Clinique is not just a beauty brand but they use dermatologically proven science, hence why the staff still wear lab coats as uniform.

They supplied us with some goody bags to top it all off with some great little samples inside. I cannot wait to try out more of their products.

holding product

I would highly recommend all the products we tried out with Clinique as they are genuinely great. If you are looking for some advise on your skin, looking to try a new brand or are stocking up, get down to Clinique and chat to the advisers. They have so much knowledge and their skin type system could really help you out in knowing a little more about achieving what you want – I know they have certainly helped me!

I can’t thank Clinique Southampton enough along with the Southampton Bloggers for another exceptional event.

Grace

xx

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Annie at the Mayflower Southampton

Advice, Film, Gifted, lifestyle, Personal, review, sotonbloggers, south coast, Southampton, southampton bloggers, Theatre, Uncategorized

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When I’m stuck with a day, that’s grey and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin and say, Annie at the Mayflower was great!

Annie was a film of my childhood so when I got the chance to go along to the opening night at the Mayflower Southampton with Southampton Bloggers I had too!

The show is a fun-filled, family classic with a brilliant cast. There really is not much I could fault with this show and it really got me feeling very nostalgic.

I was really happy to attend the opening night. I always feel the opening night to a show has a fantastic atmosphere from not only the audience but the cast; they really throw themselves into the performance.

I was lucky enough to attend one of the performances with Craig Revel Horwood playing Miss Hannigan. I was very optimistic for him, as I have never seen him act or sing, only ever be brutal to celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing!

When I knew a man was playing the iconic character there was a part of me that worried it would become a little ‘panto’ but I couldn’t have been more wrong! He did a great job and really embodied the familiar role that so many people know and love to hate.

I was pleasantly surprised with his singing voice, especially in ‘Little Girls’ number, who would have known Mr. Horwood was a triple threat!

This great show is only in Southampton for 1 week, so they are really giving us their all!

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I have to credit the amazing cast of children involved in this production. Every time I see young kids in a show, I am always absolutely blown away by their talent and confidence.

I always think it is an amazing thing to have that much ability and flair at such a young age to rival your adult castmates, but the younger cast of Annie gave the older professionals a real run for their money.

Of course, Annie was amazing and for me, she controlled and carried the show, which was just a plus as the show was great in itself. She was even joined by her fabulous co-star of the dog Sandy. She was solely responsible for the dog every time Sandy was on stage and it stuck by Annie’s side like the reliable sidekick she was.

There were so many aspects of this performance to keep it just as brilliant as the classic film. It is so hard to deliver a film to stage and this defiantly outdid itself with stage design, costumes and of course the cast.

I cannot praise this musical performance enough and The Mayflower Southampton has done it again to help the show run as smoothly as possible for performers and audience members.

If you get a chance to see the show, get yourself down there as it’s only around for one week! I am hoping it will be back once again in the future as I would love to see it again.

 

Grace

xx

The Body Shop- Southampton

Advice, Beauty, Gifted, lifestyle, Personal, review, south coast, Southampton, Uncategorized, women

me

I went to The Body Shop, along with the Southampton Bloggers last week to have a little look at their range- especially the Drops of Youth products. I have never been to one of The Body Shop events before, but I love their products so I was really excited to attend and try out some of their ranges.

If you have never tried any Body Shop products, first thing I would say is to go an do so! They are a great British company and are totally cruelty free, so you really can’t go wrong. “We’re a 100% vegetarian beauty brand, and over half our products are vegan.”

One of the ranges they were telling us all about Drops of Youth. Now, I have already heard about this range but haven’t really had the opportunity to try it out. They were so helpful in store and really happy to show us what all these different products do and what the benefits are. I think one of the great things about this brand is their attention to detail and ensuring they find their customers the ideal product.

anna treatment

They were doing full examples on some of the bloggers who wanted it, and some little examples on our hands so we could see what the products actually do. Anna had the Drops of Youth on the back of her hand, as the serum is used to take off the dead skin and reveal your natural glowy skin. Honestly, within moments of her rubbing the product into the skin, you could see the skin coming off and removing the dirt. She wiped away the residue with warm water, and you could see such a difference compared to the hand she hadn’t done.

They were nice enough to give us a little goody bag after with some samples of the Drops of Youth and a full size Himalayan face wash. I got a chance to have a little pamper the other night, so decided to give the face wash a go and my skin was so smooth! I have real trouble with my skin, so I do get nervous using new products but as this is all natural I felt much more comfortable and it was really gentle on my skin.

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I am looking to head down again on pay day to get some more of the products to try out- especially the Drops of Youth.

If you are near by definitely have a little look and the employees would be more than happy to show you and chat about the products.

Grace

xx

Revolution De Cuba Southampton

Advice, Food, Gifted, lifestyle, Personal, review, south coast, Southampton, Uncategorized

me

Last night (Thursday 17th January) I was lucky enough to attend the new Revolution De Cuba Restaurant and bar in Southampton. They have recently launched their new vegan menu, myself and a friend got the chance to try out a main meal and a cocktail.

When we arrived we got shown to our table and the venue is so much bigger than I thought! It was really bright and colorful with all the Cuban influences.

We had a look at their Skinny Cocktail menu and me and my friend both opted for the Margarita! They came in these gorgeous crystal glasses and they were really yummy- one of the best margaritas I have had in a while.

cocktails

One thing I have to mention is the attention to detail throughout this restaurant. The touch I loved, is the main menu in the form of a Cuban newspaper- I am always a sucker for little quirky touches like that!

Moving onto the vegan menu, we had a choice of the mains- I chose the Butternut squash chilli and Lauren went for the Beet Burrito.

meals

I’m not a vegan and I am actually quite a picky eater when it comes to trying new foods, but when this opportunity came up I thought this was a good chance to give something new ago. I normally always have a meal containing meat or something from an animal, just due to it being so easy, but I have been wanted to cut down the amount I eat this year. I decided to go for the chilli, as I have had a butternut squash risotto before and really enjoyed it, so I thought I could ease myself in with something similar.

The chilli was lovely! I am so glad to have tried it and really happy that I liked it. Now, being perfectly honest, it does not top a classic beef chilli in my books, but for a vegan alternative it was delicious. It was really light, healthy, and considering it contained no meat, really flavorsome.  My friend Lauren really liked the Beet Burrito too, and it looked really good and packed full! I always worry about the variety with vegan meals but if I take these as an example I was so surprised! They managed to give us a vegan menu with the Cuban twist, which was just so interesting and different.

We decided to add to the order and have a dessert each…prepare yourselves for….the brownie review. This review is mainly about the vegan menu, but I can’t not mention this brownie. I am a huge brownie fan and it is really the only dessert I order, seriously, if there is no brownie I would rather go without. Because of this brownie passion I have it means I have tried a fair few. This brownie is up there with the best I have had. It was so delicious and the added extra was the rum caramel sauce. My god, the flavor that added to an already banging brownie was insane! Even if you just head down for this, it is worth it!

brownie

All I can really say is that I would 100% go back and I would happily order something from the vegan menu over the main, even if it was just for the health benefits!

Overall this is a great restaurant and the fact they have made a specific vegan menu is great! They are great meals and they also offer vegan tapas, in keeping with the restaurants theme. Definitely get yourselves down there, vegan or not, to try out this lovely little spot!

Grace

xx

Goals and Wants for 2019, A reflection…

Advice, Beauty, fashion, lifestyle, Personal, south coast, Southampton, Uncategorized, women

me grand canyon edit

So I have made myself a list of goals and wants for 2019. I know a lot of people do this, and a lot of people never even get round to doing half of them, the ‘new year, new me’ crap doesn’t really work. I think this year, I am not going to become the ‘new me’ but improve the person I already am.

2018 really did fly past and too be honest, although I had a great year, I don’t feel as if I achieved anything in particular. The biggest thing for me last year was going to America on my own, for a solo tour and that is the one experience that has made me want to focus on myself this year. I am definitely one of those people who massively over think things, and this can lead to me sometimes over looking what I want out of something, as I am more concerned with the people around me. This year I have made the decision to be selfish. Selfish in the sense that I want to spend the year with a smile on my face, and to do that I need to do the things I want to do. What are the things that could make me happy, and make me look back on this year the way I do when thinking about America and the way I felt when I came back. Doing the solo tour really pushed me out of my comfort zone and because I was alone, all my decisions were for myself and no one else. What a great feeling! I’m not saying I am about to disregard everyone and their feelings around me, I’m saying this year is about self love and self care. We all need more of it.

I am feeling really positive when looking to this year, which is more than I can say for 2018. I remember after new year last year, I was feeling anxious and unsure (I’m not saying I don’t feel that way at all) but this year I am going into it with more of a good outlook. I am not saying I have it all together, and I do not think I am suddenly going to find myself in 2019- I am still a little lost bunny with what I want to do with my life- but I am going into it with myself at the forefront of my mind. I do not need to please anyone, I do not need to know what I want to do with my life, I want to make this year, a year of memories. (That was disgustingly cheesy, I know and I don’t care).

I have a few things on my list as I gradually build it up but I wanted to share the couple of things I have that reflect on the ‘self love’ idea for the year:

  • Read more
  • Keep fitness and health good
  • Learn a new skill (hoping keyboard)
  • Do something that scares you
  • Watch less TV/ Netflix!
  • Less Social media

The last two are things to help me become more attentive to whats around me and stop feeling like I always have to have a screen on or something in the background. I don’t know about you, but I find myself always with Netflix on in the background, or put it on to fall asleep. I do this alongside looking at my phone, for what feels like every 10 minutes. I want to remove this from my routine/ life and fully immerse myself in the things I am doing, even if that is just getting ready in the morning or cooking dinner. I want to make sure I am fully in the moment, no matter what I am doing.

Now I know these may seem cheesy, generic or ridiculous to some, but I want to give them a go. I really want to focus this year and complete the things I set my mind too.

There are other things I have set for myself too, like travelling, activities and places I want to visit. Things that are simple, like seeing friends and make time for family, as all these thing effect your mood and these are the things I know make me happy.

Wish me luck! And I hope whatever goals, wants or challenges you set yourself this year, you stick to it and get what you want from them!

Grace

xx

Shrek the Musical

Advice, fashion, Film, lifestyle, Personal, review, south coast, Southampton, Theatre, Uncategorized

Program

By now, I think we all know how much I love musical theatre and last night I went along with the Southampton Bloggers to see Shrek the Musical. We went to see it at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton where the show will be running from 27th November- 8th December 2018.

I had already heard amazing things about this show from its unprecedented success of the first UK and Ireland tour, so when I found out it was coming to Southampton I jumped at the chance to attend the press night.

Shrek was one of my childhood films, based on the book by William Steig so luckily I already knew the story, but the musical was going to be something completely new for me! I had previously heard some of the songs that are in the show (which are different from the movie) so I was waiting for my favorite few, which did not disappoint. My favorite number was ‘Freak flag’ and the staging was so good, even with a little comedic hint to Le Miserables, which they included throughout with references to other musicals which I thought was very clever! The ones I could spot were; Wicked, Lion King, Dream Girls and Le Miserables.

Freak flag

The characterization of every character was spot on, especially Pinocchio- I honestly don’t know how he (or she) kept that voice up the whole night! They thought through every costume to the tiniest details, for example Pinocchio even had a fully functioning extendable nose for when he told a porky! I was laughing the whole way through and the spot on representations from the film added to the entire show. It is such a hard thing taking a cartoon and putting it on the stage but I really cannot fault the production team on this! All the costumes were incredible and so accurate to the film, from Shrek’s ears and belly, to Donkeys hooves the costume department have seriously out done themselves. The main thing I feel for a film adaptation on stage, especially with animation, is keeping the colour and larger than life look to the stage and characters. This show really held onto this and the costumes were absolutely fabulous.

Shrek and FIona

My favorite character in musicals normally ends up being the funny side kick or the main character but this time it turned out to be the villain!! This was very odd for me, as normally you are guided to dislike them (hence the term ‘villain’) but this guy was hilarious and I couldn’t help but love him!  Lord Farquaad, who was played by Samuel Holmes, was absolutely brilliant and you could not fault him throughout the entire show, considering he may have been a little uncomfortable! For this character his costume was bent to his knees, covered by a cape and had two little fake legs on the front. The fake/ surreal aspect of this costume had me in stitches and I couldn’t look away. It allowed him to make any movement look funny, from running with tiny little steps to basically doing the splits. The costume was enhanced by the excellent acting which did not slack at any point; the energy of everyone in fact was incredible for the entire show!

Lord

Last but not least was the use of puppets throughout the show, especially when it came to the Dragon.  When done well, puppets in a show can look awesome, but when done badly it can completely tear apart a show. Luckily for us, these puppets were a great addition to the performance and made some possibly tricky characters from a cartoon transform easily to live action versions. There were little puppets through the show, from the Gingerbread Man to Puss in Boots, but the main one I want to talk about is the dragon. I really didn’t know what to expect with this, but I knew they wouldn’t be able to get rid of such a large character (no pun intended) from the film to accommodate the live performance, so they would have to be inventive.  They basically had a massive puppet controlled in a very similar way to War Horse, but on a bigger scale. They had 4 or 5 people in black controlling the dragon, to ensure it moved like it should but also could move around the space fluently. Honestly I cannot express how amazing it was, it was done so well and was also spot on to the look of the cartoon character.

Dragon and Donkey

I had such a wonderful evening as always at The Mayflower Theatre Southampton, who manages time and time again to impress me with their amazing variety of shows. If you get the chance, make sure to head down and see this great show, it is the perfect start to a family Christmas. Plenty for any age, and I really cannot recommend this fun filled show enough!

Grace xx

Wicked!

Advice, Beauty, fashion, lifestyle, Personal, review, south coast, Southampton, Theatre, Uncategorized

Wicked is back at the Mayflower Southampton for an exclusive and final engagement in the South of England, and I was lucky enough to attend with the fabulous Southampton Bloggers.

Wicked has to be one of my all–time favourite musicals and this happened to be the 4th time I had been to see it! It is such a spectacle and feel good musical, bringing an alternate story to life that I can’t stay away from. I have seen the performance in London and hadn’t had the opportunity to see it when it came to Southampton last time, so when this chance came up to see it with the bloggers I jumped on it!  I love the Mayflower theatre as it’s my home theatre that I have grown up with and seen so many wonderful shows at, so I knew that Wicked would not disappoint. I not only got to see this wonderful musical in my home town but I also got to see the theatres beautiful refurbishment that had done these last few months.

The Mayflower looked insane when we walked into the theatre- red and gold, new chairs and the whole thing felt amazingly grand. I didn’t think it would be that much different but in fact it felt like an entirely new theatre and it was stunning.

Wicked was always going to be amazing, and that is not me being bias but it is the 6th longest running Broadway show in history, so they are doing something very right!

As I have seen the show before, I have seen it with varying actors play the different parts so I can’t help but compare. I knew that in this performance Amy Ross would be playing Elphaba, who has also performed in Kinky Boots and played Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical (another one of my favourites) so I had very high hopes. I love when actresses take the role of Elphaba on and make it their own, so even though I have seen this show before every time is different. Amy Ross was amazing and she managed to give me goosebumps from the moment she did her first song.

After the first half was over we went up to the top suit in the interval to enjoy some drinks and some delicious Wicked cupcakes, and I am a sucker for cake!

cupcake

The Mayflower always does a great job at accommodating for it audience and is another reason I love doing there; they are all such hard and dedicated workers.

The second half was just as good as the first, ending with me standing! I have never seen a performance of Wicked and not stood up at the end, and this night was no exception.

If you are thinking about going to see this show just remember

“Wicked is the winner of over 100 major international awards including three Tony Awards on Broadway and two Olivier Awards in the UK.”

And if you know anything about musicals, you know it’s kind of a big deal.

The show as amazing as always and the Mayflower was the perfect setting to see this incredible performance. With love, drama and comedy you really cannot go wrong, so if you get a chance to see this tour I would highly recommend! The show is on at The Mayflower Southampton until 27th October and there are still some tickets available!!

wicked press

Grace xx