Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Reverse Hair-Washing Technique

 
 

Now I understand this craze came along last year and I am very late to the game. So apologies if you have read about this else where and I am 'so last year' and all that.

I actually only came across this life hair changing phenomenon last month. When I asked friends they seemed as bewildered as I was.

I was reading one of my favourite beauty bloggers who I am obsessed with. So much so that when a new post came up on her daily hair and make up routine my prayers were answered. She casually dropped into it that she reversed washed her hair as though this was common knowledge. Thanks to the help of Google my ignorance was cured and my curiosity fuelled.

It is pretty self explanatory - you first put the conditioner in and leave for 3 minutes. You then splash a bit of water on the hair, but don't wash out the conditioner. Then lather in some shampoo, wash it out, blow dry and ta da! You are then left with fresh shiny hair as though you just stepped out the hairdressers.

Anyone have any other beauty hacks I probably don't know?
 
-Bee-

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

E is for Escape Hunt

The past few weeks have been pretty hectic. I don't know about anyone else but work for me seems to go crazy busy in August and September. So it has been a while since we got time to write on the blog, but also a while since I was able to do one of the A-Z of activities I regularly blog about.

I am currently on the train up to Nottingham for work which means I have an hour or so to get down to some serious TLC for the blog. It's also a good chance to tell you all about the recent activity which was brought to you this time by the letter E!

For those that don't know, I will do a quick recap - my friend and I decided we wanted to try out lots of new things this year and set ourselves the mission to completing an alphabet of different activities. We alternate letters and keep it to a budget so it doesn't get too out of hand and were on a flight to the Maldives for the letter M.

It was my turn to pick this time and I had the letter E to battle with. I never realised how difficult vowels could be when choosing an activity. If you have any ideas for I, O and U let me know because I seem to have picked the short straw and have them to look forward too!

After hours of internet research and harassing everyone I know to look deep into their imaginations I came across gold! Tucked away near Bank tube station is Escape Hunt. The idea of this is to escape the room within an hour through the hints and clues you discover within.

Once you enter the building, everyone is in character. They lead you to your room and explain the case to you. It is your job then as the detective to find out who the perpetrator is and escape the room. Each room is different, I won't explain too much about ours - just in case you ever go and end up with this room. There are random codes and bits and pieces to discover in the drawers, behind cupboards and various places. These are then put together to help you unlock another part of the room. Should you be having any issues there is a phone in the room where you can call for help - however there is a penalty time added to your final score. If they can see you struggling they also phone through to you saying something along the lines of 'Hi there detective have you thought about looking under the desk?'

My friend and I were useless at this game, with them having to call us quite a bit. That didn't stop us having fun though, it was really exciting at the end you solve the code (even with a bit of help) and get out the room with seconds to spare. Although I went with my friend I did think this would be a really good idea for a date - it would test how well you worked together.

The best part is at the end you get to dress up and take ridiculous pictures of yourselves looking like serious detectives in their photobooth.




 
 
As always, any suggestions for the next letters are welcome!
 
-Bee-

Monday, 31 August 2015

Thursday's Beauty: Updating My Skincare Regime.

This decision to shake up my skincare regime came from a work chat on one of my lovely beauty clients that I work on - we were discussing skincare regimes and came to the depressing realisation that I have recently turned 25 and should start taking better care of my skin to battle the first signs of ageing.

This was not a thought process I was ready for. I'm still reeling a little from being officially in my mid twenties and figuring out how to not be a grown up too much, when I constantly see updates of friends from school and old friends getting married and having kids.Truly terrifying.

However, a good skincare regime is important and people don't realise how much your skin goes through and repairs itself to just maintain, so I talked myself round. :) I was one of those people who ritually uses face wipes to remove makeup, which I realise (now) I should spend a little more time gently removing my makeup properly. I decided to look into a regime I was happy with, before I plunged into spending a small fortune on products that will really do wonders for my skin.


Here is what I'm checking out this month - it's mostly by beauty brand B and The Body Shop:




This cleansers acts as a make up remover, including eye makeup. I like to use it in the evenings and use another facial scrub as a morning face wash, but this is pretty easy to use. It starts as a gel and then melts into your skin - when you wash it off, it turns into a white coloured toner and removes makeup with it. I like it but I feel I need to use another cleansing product to reach my pores, as it doesn't seem to cleanse deeply enough. But then again I love to exfoliate the hell out of my face as I worry about my pores.



This is a gel eye cream that contains a live yeast cell extract to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Yeast is supposed to help reduce inflammation, so this should be a treat for the eye bags. It has caffeine and allantonin to reduce this and cool your skin as well. I've been using it for a bout a week and quite like it - it's a nice cooling gel and I think I'm starting to notice a difference. It's usually quite obvious when I haven't had enough sleep as I can have quite prominent eye bags, but this seems to be helping a little. It doesn't feel stick or leave a residue, it melts in quite nicely.
B. Beauty Balm - Medium (£10.99)


I am experimenting with this as my day cream at the moment, as it has both makeup and acts as a moisturiser. It's got a similar consistency to foundation, but has SPF 15 and feels a little lighter. It left a nice even coverage, but I had to be careful when applying it to my neck - nearly left the house with a brown streak. It's my first foray into BB creams, but it stayed on well all day and didn't seem to leave too much of a shine by the end of the day. I do still prefer the even coverage foundation offers, but I will be using this a lot when I go to Croatia next week as a lighter alternative!




This moisturiser is lovely - it melts into the skin and is lighter than it looks. Similar to primers I've used in the past! I've been using this as a night cream and I think it works pretty well. It's not too heavy and leaves my skin nice and moisturised. The only thing about this is that it doesn't have a gorgeous smell to go with it, like all the other products from The Body Shop - their products smell so delicious. I will still use this until it's empty as it's taking care of my skin well!

I hope this was useful to you! I'm in no way a beauty expert, but this regime seems to be working for me at the moment and wanted to share with you all. I'm still fumbling my way through beauty but I've bought more treats that I can't wait to review and show you.

What's your skincare regime? What skincare product can't you live without?

-El-

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Thursday's Travels - Soca Valley, Slovenia

As you know, this summer I took a road trip around Europe. One of the places we stopped off at was Slovenia. Our first stop was a place called Soca Valley. This place was by far my favourite of the entire trip.

Slovenia is such a kept secret and really does not get the attention it deserves. It is stunning!

The river is 138 km in length and flows from Western Slovenia all the way into the North East of Italy. Luckily we had our trusty little campervan which meant we could drive to various spots, park up and take a walk.

The weather was unbearably hot and the water is absolutely freezing due to it being an Alpine River. If you dip your legs in for a couple of moments it feels as though they have gone numb. But don't let that put you off, the walks are stunning and you get to see some incredible views.

On one of our walks we found an abandoned fortress names 'Utrdba Fort Herman' which can be entered at the side of a mountain. Once you have walked further up and capture all the views you come across the fortress which you can enter down a ladder and explore the abandoned ruins.

I could chat away about this but I don't think I could do it any justice... so I will just leave it to the pictures to tell the story.

















Any places taken you by surprise recently? Let us know as we are always looking for new places to explore.

-Bee-

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Thursday's Sounds - Best Song Covers.

It's really rare that anyone can cover a song and do it real justice. I always think if someone is covering a song then more than anything it really needs to blow you away. Covers have a lot more to prove, especially if the original has already been successful.

We've put a list together of the top ten covers which we think have absolutely smashed it!

1. Angus & Julia Stone - You're the one that I want

Image courtesy of Angus & Julia Stone Instagram

Angus & Julia Stone are a brother-sister folk duo from Australia. If you haven't listened to their music then I recommend you get spotifying immediately. Not only are they both absolutely beautiful, they have the most mesmerising sound. They topped the Triple J Hottest 100 in 2010 with 'Big Jet Plane' which is a great accolade for any aspiring musician.

Their music has a wonderful laid back vibe to it. One that makes you want to pack your bags, jump in your car and head for an adventure. They certainly put their stamp all over John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's 'You're the one that I want.' If you aren't a fan of this cheesy classic then maybe take a listen to it... with a lot less cheese!

As well as taking a listen to their music, you should head over to their Instagram page and give them a follow. All their pictures are effortlessly cool.  If you weren't already won over by how great they were, they've also been announced as Fleetwood Mac's support on the Australia and New Zealand leg of their tour.



2. The Bird & the Bee - How Deep is You're Love
  
Image courtesy of The Bird and The Bee

I am surprised anyone would have the confidence to take on a Bee Gee's song. They have such an iconic sound that you would imagine most covers would be a cringey, karaoke rendition. Luckily, a band called The Bird and the Bee proved it can be done. The band are not shy to covering songs with such execution, in 2010 they released a whole album of Hall & Oates songs as a tribute.

The duo, who are from America, formed back in 2006. They consist of Inara George and Greg Kurstin who bonded over a common love of jazz and in their own words 'nerded out for a couple of hours playing every song they knew... and wrote and recorded a record together.'




3. Taken by Trees - Sweet Child O'Mine

Image courtesy of Eclectic-Magazine
Taken by Trees is formed solely of Victoria Bergsman, former lead singer of the Concretes. You might remember this song from the 2009 John Lewis Christmas advert (a combination that is sure to melt your heart). I am such a fan of this song, purely for how far removed it is from Guns N Roses version. Victoria could not be any more different to the man who originally belted out this tune, Axl Rose. Her voice is much softer, in fact I would say a gentle whisper in comparison.



4. Oui 3 - For What It's Worth



This one is a bit of cheat... but is an absolute favourite of mine.  Oui 3 sample the Buffalo Springfield classic 'For What it's Worth' in this song, so you could technically say it's not a cover. I am still adding it to the list because I think its an amazing adaption of the original. The song uses Springfields lyrics as part of the chorus and add their own for the verses, which is rapped by Trevor Miles, giving it the bands unique stamp.

The band mostly produced dance music during the early to mid 90's and consisted of three members: Blair Booth, Phillipp Erb and Trevor Miles. Although not hugely known by todays generation they were cited by Faithless as one of their influences - which is a pretty big deal!



5. Biffy Clyro - Love, Sex, Magic

Image courtesy of Biffy Clyro

Scottish Rock trio covered the well known Justin Timberlake and Ciara track 'Love, Sex, Magic' for French radio station Oui FM. I'm not a big fan of the original but Biffy Clyro won me over completley with their version. They make the song a lot more fun, especially with Simon giggling half way through. If you listen to both tracks you will notice they even copy all the sounds, in the Biffy Clyro version you can hear one of the band whisper 'Simon' in replace of 'Ciara.'

The band have also covered Rhianna's Umbrella, Daft Punks Get Lucky and Lordes Royals. I have to admitt these are not as great as Love, Sex, Magic (Royals is actually a bit odd).



6. Glass Animals - Love Lockdown

 Image courtesy of Billboard

Last year I went to this amazing festival called In the Woods. It's  an independent festival and only holds a 1000 people, this gives you the chance to get up close and personal with some great bands you might not have listened to at a larger festival. I discovered some great bands but the one who really stood out to me were these guys, Glass Animals.

The quartet hail from Oxford, meeting at school they bonded over their love of music. They released their debut album Zaba last year, which is definitely worth a listen too - especially the track Gooey. They combine an element of pop and psychedelic to create their eerie (but great!) sound. This is all topped off with Dave Bayley's soft soulful vocals linger on the tracks like an echo.

They played their version of Love Lockdown at the festival and it fast became one of my favourite songs that year. They initially sung the song for Triple J's 'Live a Version' and then started incorporating it into their live sets. The band wanted to take the song in a different direction than Kanye West did and wanted to create a more bluesy soulful version. This can be heard from Bayley's haunting sound down to the details of the background vocals. They did such a good job of putting their stamp on it - it took me a while to even realise it was a copy of Kanye's song. Job well done!




7. Cat Power - Sea of Love


Many of you will recognise this song from the film Juno. Which not only was a great film, it had the best soundtrack! The song was originally sung by a chap called Phil Phillips in 1959 and has been covered by numerous artists since.

Fast forward over 40 years, and the incredible Cat Power recorded her version for her fifth album, The Covers Record. On the album Cat Power, whose real name is Chan Marshall, covers songs by The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and many others - she isn't shy of taking on some of the best.

Accompanied simply by her guitar, Marshall's version differs a lot from the original. It is much slower and full of the heartfelt emotion that always comes across in her singing.



8. Aretha Franklin - Rolling in the Deep

Image courtesy of MTV


This just gives me all kinds of goosebumps! Aretha Franklin covering Adele's Rolling in the Deep - how amazing! Franklin, a musical legend and well known as the Queen of Soul has inspired many musicians - Adele included.

Franklin is currently touring in the states in conjunction with the release of her latest Album 'Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.'  The album see's below out covers of some of the most iconic songs of all time. These include 'At last' by Etta James, 'Midnight Train to Georgia' by Gladys Knight and the Pips, 'I will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor and of course 'Rolling the Deep' by Adele.

Since the release of her breakthrough hit 'Hometown Glory' which saw her rise to stardom, Adele has been praised not only in the media but by peers in the industry. At a recent Fleetwood Mac concert, Stevie Nicks took to dedicating their song 'Landslide,' commenting 'I told her, you're going to be me in 40 years. You're going to still be up onstage doing what you're doing because of songwriting.'

It seems Aretha is another fan to be added to Adele's growing list.



9. Young Blood - Birdy

Image courtesy of wattpad.com

Birdy, the queen of covers. You might remember her from her tear jerking version of Bon Iver's Skinny Love. Her real name is Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde, (but that's a bit of a mouthful so we'll stick with Birdy!) and she hails from Hampshire.

She jumped onto the music with scene when Skinny Love became her breakthrough hit and since then she has gone on to cover a number of songs including Ed Sheeran's 'A team,' Fleet Foxes 'White Winter Hymnal' and load more.

At only 19, Birdy's vocals sound as though she is much older, they have a sort of haunting feel to them, but in a good way!



10. Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats

Image courtesy of Timeout

Not everyone know that this song, which most of you might remember from the Sony Bravia advert (the one with all the colourful balls going down the hill) is actually a cover. The original was sung by a Swedish Electro duo called The Knife - completely different vibe to Gonzalez.

The Knife, who decided to call it quits last year put together a much more upbeat, elcetro version of the song together. Gonzalez has done a completely different  take on the version - which is why I love it so much. It is as though they are completely different songs. Whilst The Knife go straight in with the usual electro they are known for, Gonzalez slowly picks on his guitar to build us up into his soothing vocals.

I am a big fan of this man's voice! If you are with me on this you should check out his band Junip.



Let me know any good cover you have been listening to recently and what you think of these ones?


-Bee-

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Thursday's Style: Espadrilles.



I've been noticing these for a couple of weeks now - I actually remember espadrille wedges being the staple of some of my more awkwardly dressed school teachers' wardrobes! But there are some really beautiful styles this season and I'm on the hunt for a pair of my own.

Jessica from Prosecco and Plaid's outfit is gorgeous and it got me thinking about how best to style these.

Image courtesy of Prosecco and Plaid
I also love my boyfriend jeans, so this might be a preferred look for me this summer.



Here are my latest picks, with some accessories to style them with. Number 4's are the front runners for me at the moment! I thre a few designer pieces in - I'm a bargain queen but they were too pretty to not include.


Espadrilles.




























1. French Connection, £32 // 2. Pink Queen, £26 // 3. Smoke & Mirrors, £190 // 4. Prism, £170 // 5. Rebecca Minkoff, £26 // 6. Aquazzura, £355 // 7. Via Spiga, £59 // 8. Prism, £200 // 9. Topshop, £54// 10. New Look, £10 //

What summer shoe styles are you loving this year?

-El-

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Pop Brixton.

So if you've read some of our previous posts, you know that we enjoy being tourists in our own area. It makes you feel more at home in the place that you settled in, get in touch with the local community and sub-cultures and have some more interesting places to take friends and family when they come and visit! Brixton is such a great part of South London as it has so many places so close by; we love it more and more with what we find.

The latest addition that we are loving is Pop Brixton, who actually have a really awesome new site (wish we could do some fancy flash bits on here)! It's a new space commissioned by Lambeth Council - it has lots of local business supplying fabulous food and drinks and a cool space to hang out. It was designed by Carl Turner Architects and looks like a cooler version of BoxPark in Shoreditch.

Image courtesy of psfk.com





We thought it was another pop-up, but it turns out it's going to be around for the next 2 and a half years, which is great news. It's only been open a couple of months, but we have been a few times and it's always busy and we even bumped into Sandra from Goggle Box when we came one time. Its even drawing in the (minor) local celebrities.




We've tried Maria Sabina's amazing tacos, Made of Dough's sourdough pizza (rivals Franco Manca's,
and that is a bold statement) and Mama's Jerk chicken, all of which were incredible. So much flavour and really authentic street food cuisine!
 
They also do some cool craft beer stalls and a gin bar, which suits us down to the ground. We also tried some Indian inspired cocktails from Kricket, that included hints of blood orange, plum and Indian spices to give them a little extra kick. Delightful.

Pop Brixton is also being used for kids activities and yoga taster sessions, so we couldn't be happier. Jerk chicken and yoga all in one place. Oh and a glass of wine if we fancied it too - sign us up.


What cool new things have you found in your local area? We want to explore more!

-El and Bee-

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