Tuesday, 14 February 2017

We've got some news... | Granite City Baby

Speculations of my untimely demise have undoubtedly crossed the minds of a few, rumors circulating I'd run off and joined the circus had perhaps even done the rounds. Or maybe some of you guessed right and I've just been taking some time off to celebrate and plan for some very big changes coming to the Adams house this year...

Guys...this time...it isn't just a food baby!


Yes, I'm pregnant, I've quite recently crossed over into my second trimester, which means our baby will be due to arrive on (well around) the 25th of July 2017 (fashionably late like their Mum I'm sure or you know...just busy sleeping like their Dad)

We are of course elated, feeling so full of love and understandably also pretty terrified but mostly just very excited to be extending our family.

If you guys are at all interested in reading pregnancy updates, hearing about my first trimester symptoms (sickness and headaches if you need the jist), baby hauls (because the clothes - oh my god I'm excited) or just about my general experiences as I enter this new phase of life be sure to leave a comment below, come chat to me on Twitter and of course you can see regular updates on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, 

H.Elizabeth (and the bump)

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Know the skin your're in | My 8 Step Skincare Routine

Eight steps sounds like a lot but bear with me on this guys. In aid of knowing the skin you're in following Wednesdays post I thought I would share my own skin diagnosis with you and the steps I take to ensure my skin stays in tip top condition.

My skin is characterised by minimal pores, flakiness and dry patches on my cheeks with the occasional feeling of tightness when I use chemical rich products, meaning my skin is dry and quite sensitive.

1. Gentle daily make up removal
No matter if I'm blind drunk, sick as a dog or more tired than ever I will always take my make up off before bed - really Armageddon could be pending and I'd still be removing my make up. I use a gentle cleansing balm by the body shop which you can read more about here, and when I'm feeling super motivated I'll pop a warmed, damp cloth over my face to open up my pores.

2. Exfoliate weekly
Admittedly I'm an over exfoliator, I like nothing more than the polished feeling a rough exfoliator gives you but ideally you should exfoliate once a week to avoid damaging and scraping your skin. As my skin can be quite dull I use a vitamin C scrub from the Body Shop again to give me a bit of brightness. I usually do this in the shower as it tends to get a bit messy!

3. Cleanse daily
Foaming cleansers usually aren't the greatest for folks with dry skin, but I'm happy to say I have found one that works for me by all natural brand Arbonne. Their calm range is specifically formulated for people with my skin type and I use the Calm daily cleanser in the shower every day. I often switch my cleansers around and use Angels on Bare Skin by Lush which is one of my first loves in the cleansing world, which you can throwback to my review of by clicking here.

4. Moisturise twice daily
In keeping with the all natural, specifically formulated for dry skin theme I again use the Calm daily moisturiser by Arbonne though I do switch it up every now and again to some by Lush as my skin can get used to a product after a certain length of time and it'll just stop working 

5. Eye cream twice daily
Well eye gel! I use a cooling eye gel by the Body Shop which helps eradicate any puffiness I have (particularly in the mornings) and is also much gentler on the skin than any other moisturiser I have been known to throw on there. I'm thinking of soon investing in an anti aging cream for my under eyes simply because you can never start too young and dry skin tends to age at a faster rate than oily skin (bummer!)

6. Facial Oil twice daily
Following my moisturiser and eye cream I'll dot oil on both cheeks and down my forehead and rub it all over my face. This helps the skin absorb moisture that bit better and gives me a healthy glow. I love the Oils of Life facial oil by the Body Shop but I have also been known to dabble with some Neals Yard oils too.

7. Sleeping Cream every evening
This is something I have only just started dabbling in but it's a great addition to my night time routine. I'll rub this in circular, upward motions on my face and my neck and it just gives your skin that extra little boost before bed. Every morning I wake up and I'll still continue with my usual cleansing and moisturising but this just helps my skin along the way.

8. Weekly face masks
As you could probably guess, Lush are my favourite when it comes to face masks, I'll tend to buy one a month and use it every Sunday when I enjoy a bubble bath or even when my skin is feeling particularly run down. My favourites for dry skin are the Love Lettuce exfoliating face mask and the Oatifix hydrating mask.
Of course in addition to my skincare routine I also have a few make up tips and tricks that keep my skin looking and feeling great however I'll save that post for another time.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read my updated skincare routine, hopefully you have discovered some amazing products from this or learned a little something about caring for your own skin and I apologise for eliminating an entire readership of oily faces! If you have any skin saving products for dry skin you think I would love be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd occasionally like to see my face be sure to follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, know the skin you're in!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 2 December 2016

I'm Your Venus | Lime Crime Venus: The Grunge Palette Review

Having heard a great many mixed reviews about Lime Crime in the past, I kept my distance opting instead for tried and tested brands that grace my usual beauty sites, Beauty Bay, Sephora etc. It wasn't until this season when I  saw some of my favourite make up artists donning these shades and at a time when I myself was getting very, very into my warm tones, smokey reds and browns that I turned to Lime Crime. 

It was around one week before Lime Crime launched on Beauty Bay that I bought this palette (typical I know!) I bought it as part of a bundle in which I got the palette and their highly coveted liquid lipstick in the shade 'Wicked' which I thought was fairly apt for the time of year I was buying it (October/Halloween/Spooky times in case you were wondering.

The shadows as you can see are highly pigmented but are obviously best applied with a brush - the swatches above I don't feel are truly representative of how well the shadows appear on the eye and how well they blend into one another, though for a single swipe of the finger into each shadow I don't think they did too badly! My favourite and go to look of the moment with this palette is a crease of Creation and Muse, darkened up on the outer corner with Icon, with a touch of the rose shimmer of Venus and of course Aura on my inner corner.

Overall I do think this palette is value for money (considering it's only £27.67 AND it's Vegan friendly), especially as I use at least one of these colours on a daily basis and it'll be great come Spring and even Summer when I can use shades like Aura, Shell and Divine to create lighter and more 'fun' looks. All of that and you know...it looks great on Instagram!

I hope you have enjoyed my short and snappy review of the Venus Grunge Palette by Lime Crime, as a brand of course they do tend to attract a lot of negative press and heat for things they did in the past however simply judging by their products and nothing else then I'm suitably impressed!

If you want to see any looks I do using this palette be sure to leave a comment below, or you can see some of my most common and loved looks on Instagram, Twitter or even Facebook if you fancy!

Until next time folks, I'm your Venus and your fire!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Alternative Advents | My Top 5 Beauty Advent Calendars

Like I could afford a beauty advent calendar! Honestly guys this year I'll be sticking with my tried and tested Poundland or ASDA advent calendars this year, however what kind of beauty blogger would I be really if I didn't at least force you to read my top beauty advent calendar picks from the shops? Not a very good one folks, not a very good one. So in light of securing my status as 'beauty blogger extraordinaire' and proving my salt as a blogger of all things make up I thought I would share my very own top 5 beauty advent calendars from the UK... though can you really say these beat out cheapy chocolate? I think not!

1. Kiehls Calendar (£95 exclusively at Selfridges)
Despite never having tried anything from their brand I'd love this calendar to open every day. It's luxe, it's lush and I'd love to try sample sizes of the Kiehls products before committing to a full size in store given their quite extravagant price tag!
I love Charlotte Tilbury, her products are so beautiful and her advent calendar is even more beautiful! And my make up collection can never have too much Charlotte!

3. 12 Days of Christmas, Lush (£52.95)
I remember seeing this splashed all over the blogosphere last year and being super jealous, a new lush product for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Hell yes!

4. 24 Happy Days Deluxe Calendar, The Body Shop (£80 with £127 worth of products)
The Body Shop, as you guys know, holds a special place in my heart...i.e. my skincare routine. Much of my coveted products in my kit come from there, be it my make up remover, exfoliator and even my eye cream, so the Body Shop - you've got my vote!

5. Tree Advent Calendar, Topshop (£28)
Topshop bring you something a little different for their advent calendar this year (and probably last year too) in the form of a jewellery calendar. I'm not very into jewellery myself so it'd be really nice to get lots of new pieces for my limited collection to jazz up some old outfits.

Honourable advent mentions to Jo Malone, Diptyque, Molton Brown.

By no means nor matter am I suggesting that you need one of these to make your Christmas complete, I for one am quite happy to have an additional chocolate every day as opposed to another sample sized goodie. Of course if you are lucky enough to have one of these for the festive period well...I hate you... obviously!

Hopefully you have enjoyed reading up on my top picks for this years Christmas advent festivities, what are yours? Or are you a bit more like me? ASDA all the way? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, come share your own advents with me on Twitter or if you just want to see my on the weekly / daily be sure to follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, jingling all the way to ASDA!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 25 November 2016

The clumsy girls guide to mending make up mistakes | 5 Make Up Mistakes Beginners make

Somewhere in my deep, dark archives is a post quite like this but now I'm a little older, a little wiser, and let's face it why any of you were taking beauty advice from me when I first started this blog is beyond me (those eyebrows...girrrrl....) So today I'm going to treat this as beauty blunders for beginners volume 2: the clumsy girl chronicles.

1. Rushing your routine;
Mistakes are made when you rush, this is something I took a long, long time to learn. When I rush I fall over, I forget something and in the case of make up I mess up my face. If you're running late, take a deep breath, go at a reasonable pace for sure, but do everything as you usually would.

2. Not wiping off you mascara wand;
Clumpy mascara? We've all been there! Make sure you brush excess mascara off of your wand before diving straight in at your eyeball, but make sure you don't pump the wand in and out of the tube else your product be as dry and barren as the Sahara.

3. Rushing to fix that smudge ASAP;
If you do your foundation (the wrong way) and skin before you work on your eye make up, you'll be familiar with this mistake. Your base - flawless, all that's left to do is give yourself a quick slick of mascara and your good to go but of course sods law, you miss, you smudge and then try to quickly wipe it away. STEP AWAY FROM THAT MIRROR GIRL! Fixing a big, black and wet smudge is recipe for disaster, leave the mascara to dry on your face and come back to it later, trust me you'll thank me for this one! Using a spooly (or a dry cotton bud) gently brush back and forth and scrape the product away. You'll save your base, and your sanity!

4. Rome was not built in a day, and the perfect flick was not fluck in one swipe;Am I aware fluck is not a word? Yes, but it should be! Don't try to do your winged liner in one fell swoop you'll miss and end up with a face full of flick - not a good look.  Do your liner in stages, start with the upper eyelid complete that then move on to a flick. One lightly drawn line upwards from your outer corner, then join the end of your flick (wherever it my land!) to your upper eyelid line. Simples!

5. Not sharpening your tools;
Ever wondered why, despite your best lip lining handy work, your lipstick will still bleed through the day? Odds are that shoddy job was the result of a cracked up lip line. Keep your favourite tools sharp as your winged liner (you know everything going well) and make sure your tools are up for the task.

And clumsy girls? From one clumsy girl to another, remember to keep your make up station free of trip hazards, bring no hot beverages (or perhaps beverages of any kind) into the work room and organise your damn make up drawers! Be sure to leave your biggest beauty tips and hilare make up mistakes in the comments below, come moan about them with me on Twitter or keep up with me on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Until next time folks, make over your mistakes,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Lazy Girls Guide to Getting Ready | 5 Time saving beauty tips

Okay I'll get up in 5 minutes and just shower this evening. Mmmm...I'll get up in 10 minutes and just throw my hair in a fun bun. Okay give me another 20 and I'll forget about eye shadow today and just do something super simple. Nah half an hour and I'll just go to work in my pyjamas.

Sound familiar?

If you're anything like me then mornings are an intense struggle, especially in the winter. No matter how early I go to bed, no matter how I wind down in the evenings and no matter how warm my house outside my covers may be, mornings will forever be a struggle. I begin every day by sleepily bartering and bargaining different aspects of my beauty routine throwing aspects out of the window in order of importance (spoiler - my winged eyeliner ALWAYS makes the cut) So today I thought I would share just how it is I am able to get ready in the morning with a few moments to spare and my little tricks and tips to keeping my beauty station organised.

1. Bag up your face;
This ain't my first rodeo kids, I know myself and I know my body and it needs those extra few minutes so no matter what I have to have my make up organised the night before so I can jump straight in with no faffing. My biggest tip here would be to put together a bag for eyes (liner, mascara, shadow etc) and a bag for your face (foundation, primer, concealer etc)

2. Prioritise;
I do this as I'm waking up. First to go is well polished hair, next eyeshadow, next contouring and highlighting etc etc. Work out which aspects you feel you can and cannot go without for the day and for every 5 minutes extra you have in bed shave one item off of your list.

3. Build around a pre-planned beauty or fashion statement;
Fancy wearing a statement red lip? Or maybe you had a super glittery eye or even a cat flick in mind? (belieive me that can take a long time, a great deal of sanity and hella cotton buds!) Make sure you start there and then build your look around that.

4. Spray bottles within reach;
How many times have you sat down to do your face to realise you haven't dampened your beauty blender? Make sure you keep two spray bottles in your vanity or nearby your make up station, one of water for those spritzing moments and one of an alcohol cleaning solution to keep your brushes and area clean and sanitized. 

5. Dry shampoo and texture spray at hand;
Because let's be honest, in our morning beauty routines, hair is always the first thing we compromise. Despite the grease if you still fancy wearing your hair down keep dry shampoo for those roots and a texturising or volumising spray to give your hair a bit of oomph.

And there you have it my very basic lazy girls guide to getting ready and my top 5 time saving tips for your morning routine. I hope you have found these useful, are able to implement some of these into your own (late and last minute) beauty routines or maybe you're SO late you've just got to throw on a bra and greet the day (yes guys, you too)

I of course always love to hear your thoughts and comments so be sure to leave our own time saving beauty tips below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to hear more lazy girl tips and beauty reviews be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin and Instagram.

Until next time folks, lazy girl OUT!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 18 November 2016

What's Black, White & Offers Kickass Gelato? | Mad Penguin Aberdeen

Who is a penguin's favourite family member?

Aunt Artica!
No we're not talking bad wrapper jokes, chocolate biscuits or even penguins themselves (shocking right?), today we're talking about a brand new business taking the sweet scene in the Granite City by storm and really stepping up the game where frozen desserts are concerned, Mad Penguin!
I had the pleasure of being invited along to Mad Penguin the day after opening to sample their gelato range in store, meet the owner, Mike, and hear a bit more about the brains behind Mad Penguin. And after having a paroose of their Facebook page, seeing just some of the delicious flavours they offer, to say I was excited would be a gross understatement.

We visited the store on a cold, rather wintery evening, but I wasn't going to let a little cool air and wind and rain and you know the general demeanor of Scotland in winter keep me from my cool, refreshing dessert!

When we entered we were greeted by the cheeriest staff members and perhaps the biggest selection of gelato flavours I've ever seen in my life! A far cry from the run of the mill flavours we're used to in the 'Deen, here you'll find no Mars bar ice creams, Irn Bru icicles or indeed Mr Whippys in sight, instead what you'll find is far more sophisticated, far more exciting and FAR more flavorsome (and dare I say healthy?!)

Made from real, natural ingredients, sourced as fresh and locally as possible, Mad Penguin staff can not only tell you exactly what's in each and every gelato in store but perhaps more impressively, can cater to any and all audiences in search of a sweet fix. From a soy range for the lactose intolerant to a sugar free range for diabetics, suffice to say Mad Penguin are changing the lives of many one gelato at a time!
Mad Penguin's Soy, Sugar Free and Lactose Free range!
After sampling what I can only call a ridiculous amount of gelato I secured a few firm flavour faves, namely the Pear and Star Anise, Watermelon, Baileys, and finally the Orange, Lemon and Juniper Berry - these are just some of my personal favourites - if these however aren't for you I guarantee they'll have something more to your taste, and if not? Don't fret as the flavours change as much as owner Mike changes his mind and get his mad scientist experimenting hat on!

It was such a pleasure speaking to Mike after our tour of their premises, it has certainly been a labour of love and has been a long time coming. Having studied the art of gelato in Italy for a number of years Mike wanted to bring an authentic Italian experience to his business and of course cater to the masses without excluding anybody - which he has certainly mastered. Mike and his staff are so friendly, so accommodating and so passionate about what they do it just makes me beam having them as part of the independent business scene in Aberdeen - particularly when what they're selling is so damn tasty! In the future Mad Penguin are planning to cater for breakfast audiences too in the form of fresh yoghurts, granola and all sorts and they already have kick ass coffee connoisseur, Paul covering your caffeine bases (Rose flavoured latte guys..... and that's all I'll say)

If you're up the Deen way please I implore you, take a visit to Mad Penguin, you certainly won't regret it but I can't promise you won't leave without a new addiction!

You can find Mad Penguin in the Netherkirkgate area of Aberdeen and of course on Facebook and Instagram if you fancy a nosy!

And of course you can find me lurking undoubtedly inside Mad Penguin but if you're tastes are more digitally based then you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, why did the Mad Penguin cross the road?

H.Elizabeth x
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