Friday, 31 March 2017

Three Wishes | Luxury Beauty Wishlist

Beauty wishlist

Have you ever thought about what you'd wish for if you found a genie....I of course mean if genies existed (cough) I've often had musings about this myself, from being gifted unlimited riches, to ensuring my loved ones never fall ill to any sort of ailment, to you know having a long lost relative come find me and tell me I am the rightful ruler of Genovia. Sometimes granted, my wishes can be quite extravagant but sometimes we could all use a little luxury. So with that in mind, and given my obsession for all things beauty and make up I thought it would be fun to share my current three wishes when it comes to luxury beauty items available right now.

Pillow talk is of course the lip liner that put Charlotte Tilbury on the map when it comes to cult beauty products. With the shade being hailed as a beauty gurus 'must have' and given that it suits ever skin type in the whole entire world, it isn't any wonder Charlotte has chosen to branch out with the shade into a matte lipstick colour, which naturally I need like yesterday!

Sold. Out. Everywhere. A couple of months ago I remember swithering on buying this highly coveted palette but soon decided against it. Could this be considered my biggest beauty non buy regret? Probably yes. Since it's release this palette has dawned the collections of some of my favourite beauty gurus and they have created some looks that are to die for and I want to too!

In what way does this NOT sound amazing? I think I would buy this for the scent alone. It is on my wishlist, however I haven't even had an opportunity to swatch or give it a go in any way. This one therefore is a bit of a silly one to include but how could I not?

If a genie appeared to you right now...or a beauty guru more realistically, and offered to grant you three beauty wishes what would they be? Be sure to leave your three wishes in the comments below, I'd love to hear about more products I want but can't afford! As always though you can catch me with my regular old drug store make up on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Killer Kyshadow | Royal Peach Palette Swatches & Review

Kylie Cosmetics review and swatches

When I heard Kylie Cosmetics were releasing a 'Kyshadow' and 'Kyliner' range, I was skeptical to say the least. Despite falling head over heels for the lip kits last year and building up quite a substantial collection (about a dozen or so and counting...) I just felt that branching into eyeshadows, liners and goodness knows what else was getting a bit gimmicky, you've found your thing, stick to it. So I held back and waited. I waited for the terrible reviews courtesy of the worlds biggest and best beauty gurus, I waited for critiques ever lack of pigment, patchy, slippy shadows, something, goodness anything! Nothing ever came.

What did however come were more and more eyeshadow palettes, more and more rave reviews, swatches and glowing endorsements from some of my You Tube favourites. Naturally I caved. I recently purchased a Kyshadow bundle which offered the relatively new Royal Peach palette alongside one of their newer lip kits in the shade 'Apricot' for $65 (which is about £52 ish) which considering how much I have previously paid for just an eyeshadow palette it really isn't bad.

Kyshadow swatches and review
Top L - R
Sorbet, Seashell, Peachy, Royal, Queen Bee, Duke
Bottom L - R
Duchess, Sandy, Mojito, North Star, Crush, Cinnamon
The palette boasts 12 shades in a variety of matte, metallics and satins- mainly metallics however you pretty much get the only matte shades you would ever need to create a warm smokey eye in this palette so no complaints there. I have swatched all of the shades down below for you to check out the colours and just what they each have to offer. The shades are all highly pigmented though when you go into the palette with a brush you get quite a lot of fallout from a couple, namely the matte shades as opposed to the metallics. The only shade I can say was quite disappointing would be 'Sorbet' which didn't deliver a great colour pay off, however used as a base or light transition colour it works quite nicely. My favourite shade so far has to be 'North Star' as I'm going through quite a big pink / purple girly phase when it comes to my make up North Star has been right up my street and is great as an inner corner pop of colour and metallic, glittery goodness.

I feel like you can get this sort of quality from other brands such as Too Faced, Urban Decay and of course Make Up Geek so if this is a little out of your budget (particularly when you factor in customs and postage fees) then there are plenty of 'dupes' on the market. For me this has been worth the money as I will use literally every shade in the palette, perhaps not for regular clients and brides but it certainly fits my personal aesthetic. I can't see myself buying another Kyshadow palette any time soon unless of course something is done to DRAMATICALLY reduce the customs fees (not possible I know but a girl can dream!)

Have you ever tried anything from the Kylie Cosmetics range? Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments (good or bad) below, come share them with me on Twitter - oh and as a side note if you've ever created any looks with this or any other Kyshadow products be sure to direct me to your Instagram!

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 24 March 2017

Budget Beauty | KIKO MILANO City Filter Sunscreen SPF 50 Primer

Budget beauty

Now I'm getting older, and hormones are ravaging my body (and not in a nice way like in the teen years!) I've been making some conscious efforts to look after myself a little more, particularly when it comes to my skin - especially since I've started developing some pretty impressive under eye bags! After changing my moisturiser around a little and getting more rigorous and particular about make up removal and maintaining a solid routine I started digging a little deeper and decided to turn my attention to primers.

Many in the make up industry (bar those making and selling it of course) are pretty skeptical about the effectiveness of primers and to be honest after using the same one for almost a year I understood why. Due to the ever changing nature of skin I found my last primer was beginning to feel quite slippy, silicone like and unpleasant to layer on to my skin every day - in short it pretty much just stopped working, and after that I went on the hunt for ' the one ' 

I knew what I wanted, something that wouldn't totally mattify my face, but also not cause my foundation to slip and slide around, something that would protect my skin and preferably have something on the label that said 'brightening' or better yet, 'anti aging' It took a while but, guys, I think I've found it.

At the spectacularly low price of £6.40 for a 30ml bottle, the KIKO MILANO City Filter Sunscreen Primer promises to create an invisible shield for the skin, protect against the first signs of aging (though for me it may already be too late) and soften and brighten the wearers complexion. Oh and of course acts as a smooth and silky base for your foundation (you know like you'd want a primer to do)

Budget beauty

The first thing I noticed about the primer was how gorgeous it smells, it reminds me of suncream from my childhood without the oily, sticky mess that used to come alongside. It also has a silky, lightweight feel which means a little can go a long, long way, I have found I only need one dot on each cheek and one on my forehead to prime my whole face. My foundation sits really well once applied with a spritzed beauty blender and since using this primer I haven't noticed any clogged pores or spots or dryness as a result which is of course the goal.

One of my favourite parts of using the primer is the SPF 50 sunscreen aspect - as I'm quite pale (the palest) it has always been recommended that I wear an SPF daily and given my love for make up and disdain for suncream or heavy moisturisers in general it just never happened- but combine my primer and SPF? Genius!

If you are currently in the market for a reasonably priced primer, need to start using SPF more, or just want something a bit more lightweight for the summer then this might be the primer for you, at the very least do give it a swatch in your local KIKO MILANO store.

Have you ever tried any products by KIKO MILANO? I have swiftly fallen in love with the brand since their descent on the Granite City just last year and luckily so far they haven't been to harsh on my bank balance. Be sure to leave your own KIKO picks in the comments below I'd love to try out even MORE of their products, come share your faves with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to watch the decline in my bank balance in the coming months be sure to keep up with the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Words of Wisdom | Some of the Worst Life Advice I've ever followed

This post was prompted though looking back at some of my more questionable life decisions and looking through some throwback pictures from 2007 onwards (I still have and love big hair so #noregrets there!) Today I therefore thought I would share some of my more embarrassing moments and some of the worst advice I sadly chose to follow throughout my youth and teenage years.

'Wear a bra two sizes smaller so your boobs look bigger' - courtesy of a flat chested friend.
This is something I genuinely did for a period of time when I was about 16 / 17 I stocked up on bras that were simply way, way too small for me in an effort to make my (already pretty sizable) boobs look even bigger. I'm not sure whether I was going for the Dolly Parton look or what between my babydoll dresses, big boobs and giant hair but either way this was so uncomfortable and not to mention quite bad for my back so if any younger ladies are out there reading this - heed my warnings!

'Get a better pout by pulling and stretching the corners of your mouth for one minute each day' - courtesy of either Mizz or Bliss magazine.
I actually remember reading this article when I was younger, it revolved around how to get boys to like you (I was about 12 at the time) and this was genuinely one of their tips. I remember it as if it were yesterday, I used to sit after eating my coco pops before school and pull at the corners of my mouth to achieve the perfect pout - needless to say that while this is safer than the Kylie Jenner lip challenge I've since found more effective and less painful ways to improve my pout.

'Drinking black coffee will sober you up' - courtesy of the friend who led me astray.
The first time I ever had an alcoholic beverage with my friends I freaked so hard (internally of course I had to maintain my ever cool exterior and rep...ahem) and they all agreed they'd be going home to down black coffee. Despite being an avid coffee lover and regular coffee drinker this did nothing for me and if anything the terrible 30p a bottle cider mixed something awful with the black coffee and made me feel ill - not one to replicate.

Sadly this is not the end of the list as we've only begun to see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to life advice I have naively followed throughout the years so let's simply call this part 1 of what I imagine will be many, many more posts of a similar nature.

What has been some of the worst advice you have ever received or followed? I'd love it if you'd leap out with me on to this branch of shame, embarassment and general throwback fondness. Be sure to leave some of your advice in the comments section below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to wait on tender hooks for embarassing life advice part 2 then be sure to keep up with me on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 17 March 2017

First time parents | Things we are not looking forward to about parenthood

Parenthood expectations

A few days ago you may have seen I shared a post written by myself and my husband, Nick, on becoming parents for the first time and the things we are most looking forward to as we embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Today we've decided to share a few things we are not looking forward to quite as much about becoming parents, because let's face it much of parenthood looks terrifying (again all I really need to do is watch Supernanny and I can feel my uterus tensing up!)

Poo explosions and sleepless nights;
Sick, snot, pee, poo explosions, it seems the parenthood package comes alongside all manner of bodily fluids that you really don't think you're going to have to clean up on another person - but as soon as those little lines appear on a pregnancy test it seems these sort of future encounters are just waiting in the shadows ready for you. Of course sleepless nights are already pretty much a reality of being pregnant, particularly when baby decides that nighttime for you is morning for them and decides to have what feels like a rave in your uterus!

The teenage years;
As a once great band said, 'teenagers scare the living..' well you guys know the rest. Now I'm older (and of course wiser) I can personally admit that I was not the easiest teenager and I can't for the life of me work out just why I was so stressed and angry.... because I face WAY more stress on a daily basis today than I ever did during my teen years. Of course the teen years are a long, long way off but I already feel sad at the thought of our little girl distancing herself from us because of such a silly thing like teen angst!

Dealing with bullies;
Bullies, of course there isn't very much you can do now we live in the wonderful world that is of course dominated by social media where you can't say boo without someone accusing you of something scandalous - and I feel often for girls in particular bullying can psychologically be much worse than what boys generally face. To us of course, she is already perfect and we can't imagine anyone wishing to cause her any physical or emotional pain and if this does come whether that be at nursery, at school, secondary, college, university or even later in the workplace I just don't know how I'll cope short of going all Kill Bill on their asses!

Parenting, it ain't no picnic, not all of the time anyway. If you want to read my previous post on what we're looking forward to about becoming parents you can find that here. We'd be interested to know from parents, parents to be or even grandparents and siblings even, what are the pitfalls of parenting in your opinions? Be sure to leave your comments, thoughts and musings below, come share them with me on Twitter, Instagram and you can keep up with the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Adams & N.Adams x

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

First time parents | Things we are looking forward to about parenthood

Parenthood expectations

Parenting, while yes it may be one of the toughest jobs in the world and I won't deny, it certainly looks it, (I've seen more than enough episodes of Supernanny in my time that really I'm shocked I haven't burst a blood vessel, broke a few TVs or at the very least taken a vow of abstinence!) there are a few things myself and Nick are really looking forward to when it comes to becoming parents, and today I thought I would share just some of those things;

Seeing her face for the first time;
Despite only being just over halfway through this pregnancy it already feels like a lifetime when thinking about the end goal. And of course while it of course doesn't matter we're interested to see just whose features she has inherited, eyes, nose, mouth etc - we already know from early scans she has her dad's feet, but everything else is such a mystery and we just can't wait to see this new little person!

Watching her personality develop;
Will she love movies as much as we do? Will she inherit her dad's enjoyment of gaming? Will she be a writer? We simply don't know! But that's all part of the excitement we're feeling for this new personality that already has changed our lives so much and will continue shape our world for years to come. All we can hope is that she'll inherit her dads sense of humour and maybe miss out some of mums sass!

Teaching her the basics;
Walking, talking, learning how to ride a bike, swimming, helping with homework (as long as it ain't maths or science for me!) and coaching her through life - parenthood sure sounds like an adventure and it's an adventure we can't wait to begin!

Of course we understand parenthood will undoubtedly come with it's downsides and don't you think I've forgotten about that (I mean poo explosions come on my house is all white and grey I don't want to have to poo proof!) So coming soon will be another post on the things we're not looking forward to quite as much - but for now let's just bask in the sunshine that is the bright side of parenthood. 

If you're a new mum or dad do feel free to share your favourite bits of parenting in the comments below, or if you're a preggosaurus, like me, what are you most looking forward to about having your baby? I'd love to hear from you all regardless, catch me here, on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Adams & N.Adams

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Power of 'No' | Why I'll be saying 'No' more in 2017


Two little letters with potential of mass proportions, and despite having seemingly negative connotations, 'no' can actually bring you more joy, help you attain richer life experiences and feel more relaxed than you ever have in your life. 'No' takes much more courage to say than yes, particularly when you belong to the generation where saying no even once can bring you down with a serious case of the FOMOs (fear of missing out..s) Fear that convinces you that saying no could mean skipping out on the adventure of a lifetime, missing out on the best night of your life, or simply waving goodbye to the boat of success entirely...

Which of course is ridiculous.

This is something that has dawned on me only recently, at the ripe old age of 23 having gone through a series of life changes over the last year and a half and learning just where real happiness comes from. And where is that? Has Granite City Girl unlocked the secret to lifelong happiness? Well it's different for everyone, so I guess the simple answer would be that happiness comes from within yourself and can be discovered by asking yourself a few simple questions. What matters to you most? What do you love? Who do you love? And finally what brings you most joy in life?

Well what does this mean for Granite City Girl?

It simply means that this year I won't be grabbing every opportunity flung my way. I won't be reviewing more restaurants just because I've been invited along, I won't saying yes to obscure brand deals that have nothing to do with my blog and do little to peak my interests, and I won't be wasting any more time living behind a screen when I could in fact be out there living life and writing about richer and more interesting experiences than what I ate for lunch that day.

Perhaps most importantly I won't find myself stretched for time, driven to madness by blank pages on a screen feeling mocked by a blinking cursor waiting on tender hooks for the latest and greatest blog post only for 10 other posts written about the same event or subject to pop up with the same inevitable conclusion.

This of course doesn't mean to say the end of Granite City Girl, I still very much love writing, sharing where I've been and what I've been up to, but as I'm about to enter a new and very exciting phase of life it just means something a little different and more of what I fancy and less of what I feel pressure from others to write about.

Thank you for having the patience to stick with me during my many and numerous breaks and of course to reading and sharing in my love of writing over these last few years, I look forward to continuing to share my life and passion as I move forward in life.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Pregnancy Probs | S**t People say to Pregnant Women


'You shouldn't be going back to work that soon, or ever'
Genuinely something that was said with regards to my going back to work after my baby is born. As a woman I apparently ought to pack in any and all activities that don't revolve around the development of my newborn human...forget about you know, money, bills, keeping a roof over my baby's head or acting as a role model, no no, that all has to go now I've brought life into the world. 

'Well that'll have to stop'
Getting my hair cut? Eyebrows shaped? Oh no that'll have to stop...for some reason. I'm of course quite aware of the work it's going to take in caring for and raising a tiny human, I am also of course quite aware of how exhausting the process will be, however I ALSO know it has taken two to create this human and I have the utmost confidence that I won't be alone and not everything in life has to halt.

'You're going to breastfeed right?'
Sort of leading with your own opinions there I see. Maybe? Who knows what's going to be best for my baby, if she is anything like her mother she'll be raised solely on a diet of doughnuts and melted cheese and if anything like her dad then pizza and McDonalds it shall be. But if I'm honest what I'm really trying to say is... it's nunyabusiness.

'You've not got much of a bump' / 'Wow your bump is HUGE'
Ah yes I forgot, as soon as I peed on that pregnancy test all of those months ago I SUDDENLY thought it was okay for strangers to comment on my size - way to go personality transplant - you cretin!

'Why are you so tired / sick'
You know...if you've never been through it, just please don't ask a pregnant woman this.

'Oh can always try for the next one'
Said after we told some folks that our baby was a girl (insert middle finger emoji right here)

*Bump touching of any kind without permission*
Fancy keeping those grabby, grabby hands of yours? Then off off off! I never have and never will be a touchy touchy person, even squeezing past people in the streets is enough to eek me out and send me into a spiralling rage so if you value those chubby digits I suggest you keep them to yourself.

Pregnant women go through a lot, pelvic exams, several blood tests and vaccinations that will leave you feeling like an overused pin cushion and let's not forget the squeezing of a rugby ball through a keyhole...but I'm betting the most irritating and painful part of pregnancy in particular is dealing with small minded individuals that only have enough of an IQ to let their mouths open and idiocies such as the above to fall right out. 

Feel free to leave all of the idiocies you've been asked / heard through the grapevine in the comments below, come share them with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to hear my musings, rants and more visit me on Instagram and Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday, 3 March 2017

What bits does our growing human have? | We're having a....

I thought long and hard about how I ought to write this post. In a world where social media reigns supreme and the way in which you announce that you're having a baby, or their gender or indeed what your cat ate that day has never been more important, announcing which bits your growing human has currently stands as one of the biggest things you COULD share online. Needless to say I felt the pressure.

But to hell with pressure. Growing a human is such a special enough experience, and I don't need bells and whistles. Who needs a fancy pants way of announcing it to a bunch of strangers you've never really met or gotten to know? (sorry guys but it's true) So today we're not slicing open a cake which has taken hours, a witches curse and the blood of a lamb to make, we're not bursting confetti filled balloons (and making an almighty mess I may add) and we're certainly not doing a cutesy video (because growing a person is an effort enough without all of the editing!) instead we're simply going to say....

We're having a GIRL!

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Pregnany Update | The First Trimester

I'm going to write this while the hell that is the first trimester is still very fresh in my mind. As you can tell this has so far been my least favourite trimester - and I'll be honest in comparison to some of the stories mine doesn't even seem that bad but hey, this is my experience of those first few blessed weeks of pregnancy.

For those of you who don't know the first trimester generally begins from week 1 of pregnancy and lasts until week 12 so approximately the first 3 months of your pregnancy and is generally considered to be your pregnancy 'danger zone' and funnily enough is also considered to be the most difficult of your entire pregnancy (other than the obvious pushing the baby out!) which, even though as I write this I'm only 19 weeks along myself, I wholeheartedly agree with thus far.

Pregnancy blog

My first trimester symptoms

Following the initial first 5 weeks or so pretty much symptom free it was around week 6 and 7 where things really started to ramp up for me - marked first by me eating an amazing Aberdeen roll, slathered with butter and my fave jam I proceeded to projectile vomit in my kitchen  (sorry guys but pregnancy ain't pretty!) The thing about 'morning sickness' is that it'll pretty much just suddenly hit you without warning or very much of that 'sickly feeling' you normally get (usually accompanied by a hangover or otherwise food poisoning) I must say I didn't have morning sickness all through the first trimester I was only really quite sick about 5 or 6 times and this wasn't even my worst symptom.

My worst symptom came in the form of something SUPER unexpected and something I personally had never heard of as being a symptom of specifically pregnancy before experiencing them myself and those are headaches. Headaches so bad I found it really difficult to function and at times I thought I was maybe being sick as a result of just how painful they were getting as opposed to morning sickness. Working solely with screens at work of course didn't help and most days I just felt as if I wanted to crawl into a pit. I'd come home, grab something quick to eat and go to bed - water and lying in a dark room seemed to be the only things that helped me. Since my midwife had warned me off of having any pills or pain relief I unfortunately just had to suck it up - and the fact I was cutting down on the amount of caffeine I have on a daily basis the effects were not pretty.

Overall, headaches aside I guess compared to some I have been pretty lucky during the first trimester, other than one other tiny scare during my 5th/6th week (which I may do another dedicated post for since the midwives I dealt with during that time were so great at their jobs and just so lovely)  I've escaped with pretty minor symptoms REALLY, though at the time in the throws of sickness, headaches and fatigue it certainly didn't feel like it. 

Hopefully this has given some of you who are still in the throws of morning sickness, fatigue and all of those lovely symptoms that come alongside the 'joys' of pregnancy a little bit of hope -my specific first trimester symptoms went away around the 13th week, so I promise it does get better and far more bearable!

As always I'd love to hear from you all, pregnant, not pregnant, mums, dads, brothers, sisters anyone at all be sure to leave your comments re pregnancy, coping and first trimester woes in the comments below I'd love to hear all of your experiences (and I'm sure my husband would too since he had to cope with my whinging!) Otherwise you can catch me on Twitter, Instagram and more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks,


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