Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Benefit Cosmetic Event.

A big thank you to Laura from Ellefleuence for hosting another fantastic event, and Laura p for making me like a glamorous starlet and for capturing the entire event. So far I think Laura has done an amazing job bringing more blogger events to the North East. So the future is looking interesting for the North's blogging community. 

I was fortune enough to get invited to Benefits Cosmetics events, held in Debenhams. Like usually, I was running late, despite living so close to Newcastle. The lovely Benebabes took care us. They taught us make-up tutorials and performed some eyebrow wizardry. The ladies weaved their magic transforming our natural brows by shaping and a Lil' sprinkle of  Benebabes dust into a dream.

 I was greeted to the friendly and dazzling Benebaies  with their immaculate make-up and brows. They kindly greeted me with some nibbles of appetising pizza. A massive thank you to Manny's for quenching my hunger. Awaiting was a glass of Prosecco, it turns out I'm addicted to the stuff. I couldn't resist tempation to sneak back for the occasional helping, of sweet nectar and scoffing my face with delicious ham and mushroom pizza; it has to be one of the best I've ever eaten.

I had a quick wander and saw a couple of familiar, friendly faces. We had a quick a gossip and catch up. Laura P gathered all of the group to pose for a few photos. 

Next, we opted into smaller groups for our makeup tutorials.We were introduced to the beautiful teal hair Beneibabe, Laura , wow so many Laura's. A thank you to both Amy  for sending me the pictures and Macara for taking the photos. On that night, I got to meet the gorgeous and delightful ladies on the left. Beauty bloggers Chloe Hxx and Toni Fashprenuer who I recently met via social media. I was really happy to meet in reality. These are super lovely ladies. Chloe's extensive knowledge of Benefit cosmetics is out of this world. She later confessed being a former Benebabe. So, fantastic for a makeup novice like myself. 

Our Benebabe Laura treated us to a luxurious pamper session, thoroughly explained the products and how to apply the makeup. 

Amy volunteered to be our group's model and she got a full makeover including her eyes, lips and brows. The highlight from her makeover was Amy's eyebrows  looked stunning our Benebabe Laura had used the Benefit Defined & Refined Brows Kit,  everybody complimented her brow, even Laura Elle and Laura P couldn't help noticing them.

One of my favourite products was Benefit's Lip Stain a dual product that combines as a lipstick and a blush. I love products with multiple uses.

The shades included :
1) Lolli Tint, a medium candy pink,  
2) Benefit shade (my favourite shade) an intense burgundy.  Originally used by exotic dancers as a nipple tint.  

Laura showed us a little goes a long way and how to lightly apply the tint on Amy's cheeks.  

My ultimate must have is Benefit's They're Real Eyeliner liner . The pen has a unique taper design making it easier to create the perfect eye wing. That's ones on my Christmas wishlist. 

The final result, I need this eyeliner. 

 The photos from Macara's makeover;  she had her eyebrows done in an HD style of brows,  eye makeup, blush and highlighter applied. 

Laura applied the Wot's Up Cream highlighter in champagne, a stunning complementary colour for most skin types. 

After her transformation. 

With everybody getting a makeover I  decided to get in the action by admitting I rarely use blush, so I was the perfect candidate for their range of blushes, contours and bronzers .The word bronzes terrifies me, and the only thing I know about contouring is something Gary Newman did in the 80's. Our Benebabe Laura convinced me to have a go and is incredibly talented by making feel at ease . Laura allowed me to choose a colour blush from Benefit's Blusher (pictured below)  they had a beautiful range of nudes colours ranging from a peach, subtle pink to a light bronzey colour, feeling relieved not to see the bright pink. Laura used Dallas Bronzer (pictured below) that can double as a blusher, this was a lovely colour that was beautifully subtle and give me a light glow.   

Since the event was focused on brows I opted for mine to be transformed, I chose  a natural look  since I'm not a fan of the HDs or thick brows. Despite my fears, Laura did a fantastic job .

 After feeling ultra glam Amy, Macara and I posed for a selfies. 

Thanks  Amy

With Christmas coming up our Benebabe Laura showcased their limited edition makeup collections. I'm thinking of getting for my lil' sister one. Below on the far right is the  Girls Go Wow, the design is based on Jackie Kenndy. Next is a Girlesque  design was inspired by the 1960's air hostesses.

We were shown Benefit's Exclusive Advent Makeup calendar, a coveted items amongst beauty bloggers.  To the point, there is even a waiting list for the item. 

It's A Gal's World has to be my favourite as it includes The Porefessional Primer which becomes wonderfully smooth and has a slight sparkle.It has my favourite Benefit product, They're Real Eyeliner liner and even comes with a selection of eye shadows. I couldn't help think Laura was the inspiration for the lady of It's A Gal's World.  

Benefit uses spectacular vintage artwork on their packaging throughout their products and the package looks enticing to purchase alone. Which got thinking about our vintage gal Laura P who seems to don a different hair role every I see her. For the night she sculpted a victory roll. Patriotic ladies wore in the 1940's and adopted the name in honour of the military troop returning home. 

The treats kept flowing at the event, as a  little memento , given a little goody bag.  Contained  Benefit 'BROWVO!' conditioning eyebrow primer and Benefit Roller Lash mascara

Benefits have produced the Benefit  Wow Brow App allows the user to locate their nearest brow bar and book an appointment for  treatment. By presenting the app after each Brow wax service entitles the person to build wow brow points for free treatment.

I'm still a makeup virgin and novice when it comes to certain things. I will admit, I've never used Benefit previously and the event was a fantastic introduction to the brand. I learnt so much about a whole new world of the product that's been developed for the perfect brows. I'm intrigued to purchase a couple of their products, which is The Porefessional Primer and  They're Real Eyeliner. The Benebabes were such an astounding ambassadors for the brand, they are so knowledgeable and helpful catering to all ours to needs. I plan trial out their waxing service.  Most importantly I had a great night and got the chance  to some lovely bloggers. Thanks again to the bubbly Laura from ELLEblonde  for hosting another fab night. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Review of Goth City Festival - Launch Weekend.

Last weekend, I've had a blast in Leeds, at the Goth City Festival. This was the launch weekend for the event but the first of its kind for Leeds and West Yorkshire; I feel I've  just experienced history in the making.

The Goth City Festival was based on celebrating the rich history of the post-punk and goth movement within Leeds and Yorkshire. For the celebration, Leeds hosted a series of events from Gigs, acoustic sets and social events, providing something for everyone. I felt the most interesting event to attend were a discussions panel about Leeds Goth in perspective,  and readings featuring the acclaimed Rosie Garland. The perfect concoction of creativity to honour and induce a bit of dark culture to the city.

 The festival showcased a range of alternative bands associated with the goth scene who have been long established, in the underground scene or to the newest and upcoming acts. The event has been a collaboration of Goth City Promotions,  Carpe Noctem and the local goth/ alt' community.  The festival wanted to maintain DIY ethos chose to work with more independent venues that have supported the music scene.

The most important reason, the local scene wanted to give something back to the community was part of the festival'a fruition. All funds raised will be donated to PAFRAS, Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers a local West Yorkshire charity that provides support to destitute Refugees and Alysum Seekers.

Launch Night 

 Friday night the first gig was held at the Pack Horse, on the outskirts of Leeds. The boyfriend had booked the Kingston Hotel, a couple minutes from the venues not too far to wobble if we got too inebriated.

 We enter the upstairs room and greeted by a trad goth looking Joel ( the founder of Goth City Promotions) dressed in black and haddonned his buckled winkle pickers for the night. The first night was  dedicated to Leonard Cohen, whom sadly died in the same week. On the table was a loving requiem tribute, comprising of a photo, a black rose and candles burning on the table in his memory. 

We also offered the option to purchase raffle tickets with all proceeds being donated to PAFRAS, the boyfriend purchased a couple, I was looking forward to hopefully, winning something.

 I anticipated a huge turnout there fewer  people than expected, but there were around forty people, still a good.

Isolation Diversion

 The night started off fashionably late but so worth it with Isolation Diversion making Goth City Festival history as they were the first band to perform.

Isolation Diversion a Manchestain band that started off as the solo project of  Mark  Thrope  vocalist and guitarist .  They've been building their reputation up since they starting gigging in December 2013 and have released several EPs. The band were highly influenced with  by post-punk and alt music.

The band had an old style of alternative sounds which has a beautiful solemn sound with hints of dirge-like melodies and lyrics. They've developed their own distinctive sound with a harmoniously blending of male and female vocals which become very androgynous and soft sounding. The songs are simple, yet complex working on a number of different levels.

My favourite track was Prodigal Son, I fell under Isolation Diversion siren spell. This song has more of ethereal tone while maintaining their solemn sound. I can't stop listening to it.

The was a short intermission to draw the Draw prices, with Joel and his lovely assistant Martin Aylward, the drummer from The Expelaires. The prizes were donated from, an array of people like Joel,  Rosie Garland and other members of the scene. I wish I had recorded this was an absolutely hilarious with everything going wrong at every turn, from reading the ticket out nobody claiming the prizes, to at point the hat being dropped, some of the interesting banter about the prize and the chemistry between Joel and Martin was priceless. I couldn't help thinking the raffle may have been fixed as the same people kept winning prizes. Joel reassured nothing like that had happened and its just a coincidence. Logistically the number of people who attended with the number tickets meant a few people were likely to win more than once. I even won a set of tarot cards, and one guy won a sparkly spider ring, he was kind enough to pose for a photo.

The Expelaires

The next band were Leeds very own punk band  The Expelaires,.They established in 1978 and split in 1981.  The bands former members include Craig Adams (The Sisters Of Mercy, The Cult and The Mission), David ‘Wolfie’ Wolfenden ( Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Mission) and Grape (3000 Revs and Groovin’ With Lucy) The band reformed in 2012 and have been touring ever since.

The music was punk with some general rock influences through their melodies. The band was a lot more energic performance which great for a good pogo. In the Punk fashion, their lyrics more were about creating anarchy and rebelling against the establishment.

 My favourite was Poundland. It had a satirical theme based on someone losing their job from Poundland and that person is now forced to volunteer in the same job or risk losing their benefits. This sadly resonates truth at the present  state of the UK. Ok, no more politics.

During and after the event, we got the opportunity to talk to some of the other patrons about the awesome launch event, music and general life. With some really interesting exchange of anecdotes.

I think the launch night has a fantastic start to the Festival and was a great introduction  to  the bands and upheld the DIY ethos. The choice of bands was astounding from The Expelaire representing leads musical heritage and Isolation Diversion reflecting the of talent that's emerging at present time.

The night had a simple but intimate affair, which gives me some experience of the fledgeling alternative scene.  I can only imagine as I was born in 1988. The most important thing was over £128 was raised.

Second Night of the Launch Weekend. 

 Saturday night was a collaboration event with Carpe Noctum that featured three bands which seemed were more goth orientated than the previous night. The event was held in the Lending Library, a larger venue, able to accommodate a bigger audience.

Doors opened from seven and the first band were  Caffeine Kill, sadly we missed most of the band and caught their final songs.

The Bristol based band have been established since 2002 and built a reputation for their lively energetic performances. The locals have described the band as "Bristol's answer to Rammstein kidnapping Gary Numan and forcing him to sing at knifepoint". This review had in me in stitches.

Upon entering the band had a lively performance. The lead vocalist captured my attention with his hand claw emitting beams of  light. I can't really review the band except what I heard they sounded decent, and it's a shame we missed them. Their style was more 90's industrial with heavy guitar riffs, and a lot of electronic influence; they sounded similar to Orgy. The vocalist sounded like a more twisted and disturbed version of Gary Numan.

The next band afterwards were the Lesbian Bed Death the band were formed as a sideline by the guitarist Mr Peachces in 2004 the band has performed ever since and often changed their sound along with musicians due to commitment reasons.  Their current line-up includes the affable Mr Peaches, vocals Sienna Vernon, guitarist Vik Voodoo and drums Aaron Samdi.

The first thing that stands was Sienna's voice, had a tremendously powerful voice that suits the lyrics and melody.  The band's melodic theme with heavy guitar style riffs. All their lyrics inspired via classic horrors movies. The band's dark and macabre style lyrics offer a gothic quality, despite not being goth.

The weekend had a wonderful choice of bands with such diverse performances but my favourite has to be  Rhombus.  I have soft spot male and female vocalists. Rhombus is native to West Yorkshire. I didn't realise how large they were but I've not been into the music scene for awhile. The Band starting performing live and eventually supported large bands like The Damned. Gaining recognition as a contemporary goth band.  In their first album Remberance Day, they first added a female vocalist, who ended up joining the band permanently. The band have gained international acclaim and often tour Europe.

The band captured a range of darkwave influences, and use a combination of deep droning male vocals and more airer female vocals. The female vocals  a haunting whisper compliments each other wonderfully. The use a range of  traditional driving base, textured brittle occasionally flange style  sounding guitars and electric violins. The songs produce an upbeat medlies a great rhythmic energy   that made me wanna dance. After hearing their first song I was an immediate a fan.

Afterwards, I purchased a couple of albums from  Lesbian Bed Death and Rhombus. I managed to get the CD's signed and my photos taken with the band members. So I was feeling pretty stoked. All  the band's members were amazingly friendly and happy to chat. This one my reason for preferring smaller gigs as you get a more personal and intimate experience, usually get a quick chat.

Just as I thought the excitement had died down and ready to leave. We an extra special treat of  Carpe Noctum, Leeds local Goth night. This is one of  the most welcoming and awesome goth nights I ever attended. They played an array of post-punk, 80's Goth, electronic and some mainstream metal. There was ample room to dance and move. What I loved the friendliness of the venue and astounding positive vibes.

The weekend was a fantastic launch to the festival, listening to incredibly talented musicians, highlighting the diversity of music within the goth scene, enjoying ourselves, meeting friendly people, most important raising essential funds and awareness for a deserving charity. I hope this festival is the start of many to come as such a worthy alternative for a Goth festival, if you're like me and hate big crowds. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Leashes, The Dystopian Nightmare

I got the opportunity to review Leashes debut album, I really can't waive about this band enough.

Leashes are the latest underground band emerging from the London music scene. Leashes anticipated debut album is released on the 18th November.

When I first listened to their tracks, I was unsure what to make of it. I had a swirling emotion of apathy and hate with a sudden an epiphany, where I finally connected with the album . They shared my sentiments of fear, anger and frustrations. I realised this was a rarity amongst all the bland and repetitive generic music on offer. The album was phenomenal.

The album is a hybrid of music styles from nu metal's, mixing of music genres to the textured, low sounding guitars and bass riffs of savage aggression. To the gloomy themes that dark wave captured in the early 80's of the decimated North. The vocalist sings in an electronic denigrate style which intensifies the trepidation of the songs.
The lyrics have a satirical theme reflecting the darkest side of society and the turbulent destruction it impacts on the human psyche; enhancing the distorted and disturbing sound of the band. Resulting in each song weaving, it's own agonising mini storey of a conflict for the battle of supremacy we experience both inside and out.

Drowning spoke to me most, it has to be my favourite track on the album. The songs intro' starts with drum and base styling that leads me into a disorientated path of aggressive guitars riffs and painful androgynous vocals portrait the daily struggles of existence and the suppression of the self to conform to society. Until the pent up aggression builds to the extent it becomes too much has to be realised with roaring death growls. I think this precisely sums the state of being that we all experience every day.

The album is a dark and honest piece of music crafted from rage, torment and horror of the turmoils; we encounter in every day with living in a world of fear and extremism. This renewed my faith in the modern metal scene and takes us into a vehemently exciting new direction.

I look forward to following this band for many years to come. They're ready to blow your mind.

To support this independent band out check their website out Leashes

Support their journey via social media.


Disclaimer, All opinions stated are that of my own. I love to support independent bands, especially ones like Leashes, who have tremendous talent. In exchange for the review, I received a mp3 copy of their debut album for the purposes of the review. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

An Unforgettable Night at Urban Decay

 I attended the Urban Decay Make-Up event, for the winter collection launch. The night was organised by the lovely Laura from ELLEfluence it was the first brand collaboration event for her new platform that launches in the in 2017.  ELLEfluence platform
 connects bloggers and brands together, so, definitely worth checking out.

I can only sum night up as fab, fun and informative.

My confession is I've never really been that into make-up . It's only been in recent months I've wanted  to experiment with lipsticks and more dramatic eye makeup. Personally, I've never used Urban Decay products previously, I've heard such amazing reviews from Vloggers. My favourite os Black Friday who swears by Urban Decay and uses All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray and Naked 2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette. My curiosity became too overwhelming, so when I found out the event I couldn't resist. 

This was first make-event. I've really wanted to attend more  blogger events to meet people, especially more local bloggers.

Originally, the event was meant to be on the Keyside and was changed at the last moment to Debenhams in the city centre. Personally, I was elated to hear that, it's by a far more convenient location. 

 It turned out to be a great a night I felt incredibly apprehensive to point of nearly opting out. I still get nervous about going to new places alone, despite travelling by myself. My biggest regret would of have been not attending.  

 So the night began all the attendees lining up for a professional shoot, that was provided by the awesome Laura Pearman as a little memento of the night. I opted out and asked if I could think about it, Laura P was really sweet and said to come back if I changed my mind, has a great way of making people feel at ease. 

We were greeted by Larua from Elle blonde who was  just as bubbly in real life as she is on her blog.  A selection of Lindt D'or truffles (woo, I'm truffleholic)  and  drinks including juice (boring me went for)  and a bit of bubbly adding more glam' to an already glamorous night. 

I decided to sit at the back, not the best idea for a tutorial, fortunately, I had my trusty camera zoom to watch the tutorial. With sitting at the back meant I got to meet Nicola from   Geordie Kisses and Gemma from Missuswolf. Who were both very sweet and thanks listening to my repetitive meanderings wheater to purchase the UD's Perversion Lipstick

I ended metting the amazing Macara Macara Space, and Amy Anchard Teapot (this one of the best blog titles I've heard).   These lasses are amazing and kindly invited for a drink afterwards. It really made my night and created so much laughter, thank you so much.

For an Urban Decay Virgin like myself, the event was an exciting introduction to the Brand and products. The night started with the Urban Decay regional manager welcoming us for attending. The make-up team introduced themselves and started by showing how to create a subtle day time look. Even sitting right at the back, and with my camera's zoom the colour had a lovely intensity perfect for the autumn season. 

   For me, the star of the show  the gregarious and affable Micheal, who thoroughly walked us through explaining each product and every step of the makeup tutorial. It's was hard to believe he was the newest member team from his vast product knowledge. 

Below is the finally look; I really love the completed day look for a more simple and subtle style 


So I got a closer look at their make up brushes, I was surprised but happy to learn that Urban Decay are committed to delivering high-quality products while maintaining an eco' friendly ethos by turning recycled plastic bottles into makeup brush bristles. Urban Decay refuse to test their products on animals, which is really persauding me to become a convert. I also fell in love with their eye makeup brushes and the mention of angled blending brush, definitely on my ever Christmas list.   

I got to have a quick tester of the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation, after testing the foundation on my hand the coverage was a gorgeous flawless matte finish. The foundation has designed for people with oily skin for lasting coverage, definitely enticing me.  I prefer  a heavy matte finish  that lasts all day  and have the ability to covers up my rosacea and acne scarring without the need to apply. The foundation comes in a usual foundation bottle which is meant to be air tight not requiring a pump, permitting for every drop to be used. 

My one concern is that the foundation tends to oxidise, after reading a lot of reviews it seems to be a common issue . The team did reassure us that didn't happen. But for someone as pale as me, it's already nightmare finding the right colour the one thing I don't want is something that's going to darken on my skin. The best thing will defiantly get a tester.  

My favourite was the captivating ombre smokey eye  just by blending the darker shade (sorry I can't remember the name of the colour) into the creases created a more dramatic impact, more my style. 

As an extra treat,  Rub generously catered a selection of delicious nibbles. Rub is American Style Steaks house who are celebrating the opening of their new restaurant in Newcastle. 

After the tutorial, I decided to take Laura P offer of a photo, I don't regret, I absolutely love the photo it's a great  little memento. I think the picture reflects how amazing her talents and Laura P even made the delectable Rub's food look even more appetising. I regret not taking a picture of her donning her vintage rolled fringe, doesn't take much guessing she's a vintage gal. 

Afterwards, we invited to the UD's makeup store to purchase some of their goodies. 
Below I couldn't resist checking out their shades of lipsticks, and some of the colours were mind blowing beautifully. I was still debating over the Perversion. Next to me is Gemma from Missuswolf.

UD's Naked Vault range, and the new release Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette retailing at £38 before becoming a homeowner I wouldn't have thought twice about purchasing it. Sadly it's going on the Christmas list, you never know the fellow might come through . I absolutely adore the intense purples and greens, how far I've come since my safe neutral shades.  

I even left with UD Goody bag full of fun samples to trial. A

My most coveted item was the sample bottle of  Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray, I'm so excited to try this item out, it a great as I think it is It have to became a makeup-up  staple. 

Life Update.

Hi, it's been a very long hiatus, not to say the least. Since my last post, a lot happened in October. I had a death in the family ...