25 January 2014

Reviews | Blackhouse The Grill on the Square Leeds

I have a lifestyle post for you guys where I was given the opportunity to review some of the menu at The Blackhouse Grill also known as 'The Grill on the Square'. This restaurant situated on the East Parade in Leeds is very modern with it's dark leather seats and wooden interior. It was most definitely an inviting environment which was buzzing when I arrived.
What caught my immediate attention when I arrived was the gorgeous lighting along the windows which was extremely inciting. To my satisfaction our table was situated right next to the beautifully lit window... win win!
 For nibbles whilst we were deciding what to have, we chose the Warm Baked Loaf with salted butter (£3). I knew it sounded good, it looked good but when I tried it... it was heavenly! The butter just melted instantly and to my utter realisation I was enjoying it so much I was offered an extra napkin :s
For drinks I was craving something fruity and opted for the Watermelon and Guava Lemonade (£4) whilst my brother had a Apple, Mint and Ginger Crush (£4). Very similar to a mojito but with additional interesting flavors.
 We got the sharing platter for starters (£14.75) but made some adjustments to the options, so what you can see above are Bang Bang Chicken skewers (my fave), fish cakes, and Butler's Mature Cheese and spring onion croquettes. They were very nicely complimented with sweet chili, spicy peanut and mojo sauces.
I was totally in my element when the main course came along :) I chose the Fillet Steak Fajita which came well presented with little pots of cheese, lettuce, salsa tomato and guacamole. When it comes to red meat, I like it well done and no blood for me. I am pleased to say that the meat was cooked to perfection and very succulent indeed. The texture was tender and easy to chew which is always a plus and not always achieved in restaurants. I was umming and arhhing so it must have been enjoyable lol!
 My brother chose the Chef's special for the day which was a Ribeye cut with homemade chips instead of the set butter mash finished with creamed mushrooms (£14.75).  He is a lover of chips in general but thought these were perfecto. The chips finished in no time so I think he probably wished he had a bigger portion. He like me, prefers his meat well done and thought it was lovely but you can ask for however you prefer your meat. The portion size was just right.
Orange + Pineapple £4 | Raspberry + Peach Fling £4
For dessert he had the warm fudge cake and ice-cream (£6) which he thought was standard for Chocolate lovers and a perfect choice for him. I however love my sticky toffee puddings (£6) and knew that option was a must. As the lovely waiter who made sure we were content at all times confirmed, I made a superb choice for dessert and it did not disappoint. 

To end the luxurious evening we had a warm drink each; hot chocolate (£3) with marshmallows and an Americano (£2).
All in all it was a pleasurable evening and the food was amazing. I would definitely recommend because  I really did enjoy my main and the customer service was spot on. I can just imagine how beautiful the setting must be when eating on the balcony in summer...

Will you be dining here soon?

31-33 East Parade 
Tel: 0113 2460669

I also have a current giveaway where you can win your own London Retro Frames (glasses/ sunglasses).
Just Enter Here!!

*All views and opinions are completely my own*

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24 January 2014

Review | Pin Up Beauty Leeds Salon

It is always nice to discover beauty salons on your doorstep so I was delighted to be contacted by the owner of 'Pin Up Beauty' which is a gem found on Great George Street Leeds. 
Pin Up Beauty is located very conveniently close to the iconic Millennium Square in Leeds just below Whiteley Hair Studio. It was officially opened in July 2013 by Award Winning Beauty Therapist Lorna Devlin, the founder of the business. She offers a good selection of different treatments with the mission of embracing clients into her very cosy environment.  She thoroughly enjoys doing everything she has to offer and is a specialist in hair removal.

The eye enhancement treatment I had was insertion of individual lashes with the 'Lets go Lashes' from Nouveau. I am familiar with this brand and know they are super good! I have very twitchy eyes especially if I have to sit still for a long periods of time but I felt completely at ease and didn't experience any discomfort at all. How cool is that ring adhesive holder? Okay, I am easily amused :D

 Black and multi-coloured Nouveau lashes! Trinidad Carnival 2014... here I come!!!
The finished look was very natural indeed so very practical for working on placement. They last for a good 2 weeks and cost £30*. If you wish for professional lash removal it is free of charge to ensure the natural lashes stay safe and healthy. Next time, maybe for a special occasion, I would want to try thicker/more lashes for added volume. 
Lorna's hair removal services range from £10-£68 and even does Intense Pulsed Light treatments. Other services like tanning, dermalogica teatments, massages, manicures and pedicures are available too. Details of treatment packages a prices can be found on the website.
My friend Sokar was treated to the Vinylux manicure £16*. The colour that she picked  was 'Black Pool #105' which suited her perfectly and the finish of the vinylux was so shiny and glossy. What I learnt about Vinylux is that it does not need a base coat and is a long lasting, natural light securing polish. It is resistance to chips over time so has better qualities than a normal polish and easier to remove than shellac. A 'weekly top coat' was applied and a gorgeous scented speed spray/conditioner polish dryer was spritzed. It contained almond oil which is great for the nail beds. She was ready for a evening of dining.
Me and Lorna

Student Discounts (NUS) |  are 10% (Tues, Thurs, Fri) and 20% (Wed)
NHS Staff Discount | 10% all week
Leeds City Council Staff | 10% all week

I had a lovely experience at the Pin Up Beauty Salon and I'm sure you will too!

Why not pop by?

Tel: 01132460756
Email: info@mypinupbeauty.com

I also have a current giveaway where you can win your own London Retro Frames (glasses/ sunglasses).
Just Enter Here!!

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22 January 2014

Mintyessence | What's In My Handbag?

Hi guys!
I thought I would share with you the contents of my bag, because since my last one things obviously change. I won't fill your brain with the contents of my Uni bag right now as that is like delving into a whole new world of things. For now, these are the things I happened to be carrying around with me whilst running some errands.
These have to be amongst one of my favourite posts to read and videos to watch. If that makes me nosey for doing so and you nosey for reading then... so be it :)  I hope you like!

1) Bag
My bag is from the Zara sale which I love! My cousin experienced my Zara addiction over the past few weeks and I was so NOT ashamed haha. I was attracted to the dual coloured tones, burgundy and cream. It will go well with so much outfits I have as I just cannot get enough of burgundy all year round.

2) Purse
I featured this Bagable purse last year in my 'cropped tartan' post and there I expressed how much I liked the bright orange colour and spacious features. It is ever so practical with the many compartments... all the better for receipts.

3) Mirror
In the Boot's 70% sale off Christmas gifts, I treated myself to a mirror. When I say 'treated' it wasn't that much of a treat but I just seem to loose my small compact mirrors. So I got another. It has a large diamond design on it and was only around £1!

4) Foundation
I often like to carry some makeup around in case I need to touch up but hate logging around a big makeup bag, so that is why I had this foundation which is MAC  Studio Sculpt in NC50. I do currently mix it with another foundation which is a bit more moisturising as I find this extremely thick for daily make up.

5) Mascara
I have heard so much about this mascara in the past so I was happy to get it from my mum in one of the Christmas Soap and Glory sets. 'Thick + Fast' mascara is so far just okay, but maybe I need to trial it for a little longer.

6) Portable Charger
This is a life saver to say the least and I would highly recommend it to you if you own an iphone or any electronic device. I bought this last year for my London travels and it worked a treat! I can get at least 5 full charges out of this charging port. It also will be extremely handy for when I attend London Fashion Week in a few weeks time. I am so excited to go and experience it first hand.
Here is the link I bought mine from but since then it has gone up by £10! It must be very popular!

7) iPhone 5
My best friend. It has everything on it and is a necessity. The case as you can see is really bling bling and is from Claire's Accessories. I must say the pearls are dropping off like hot flies so I will be changing to my Disney Character case soon. My dad would always say "If your don't have an iphone, well, you don't have an iphone" before I got one. It meant I didn't need one etc etc but I am so glad I have one now as I do everything on it! And... Publish...

8) 2014 Diary
To keep me organised for the busy year ahead! Last year it was a diary case filled with filofax refills but I thought I would down size and try something small and cuter. I bought this little gem from Boots.

9) Pen
To Scribble, scribble...

10) Spare Canon Battery
You don't know how much you need this until you get one. I got this mainly because I am so lazy at recharging my battery when it dies, so now I am given plenty of time to re-charge one whilst the other is in use. You can get a similar one of these here.

11) Lady GaGa Fame Perfume
This perfume smells amazing and was a must in the Boots sale. It came with a bath gel... which also was jet black...ooo. This bottle is the 30ml as I prefer the size but might come to regret it later when I run out of it. I bought the 50ml for my mum as she kept sneaking mine haha.

12) Carmex
A staple for my bag. I have 3 variations of this same product, lip balm, lip stick and a gel. This is in the flavour cherry... yum. I bought three for £5 at the clothes show live which was a pretty good deal.

13) Blush
I love this compact and the colour pay off even though it is very inexpensive down under. I received it in a Christmas beauty swap last Christmas all the way from Australia. It does a great job at keeping those cheeks rosy LOL!

14) Naked Basics
Initially I thought I would hate this palette but I actually really like it, so much so it has become a bit of a staple for everyday makeup. Although I don't use every single shade, the ones I do use are Naked 2 and Faint on the eye lid with Crave shaping the brows. Plus the compact mirror is so handy for on the go.

15) Whisper Lip Balm
This Colour Whisper lip balm is just so dreamy. Dreamy I tell you! It feels amazing on the lips, smells delicious and leaves a pretty sheen on the lips. This was also in a gift swap I did previously. The shade is 30 'pin up peach' and worth searching up.

16) Car Keys
How else would I get my shopping on? Hehe. The key ring as a memento from my holidays to the Isle of Wight 2 years ago. It kind reminds me of Brighton beach huts though...

17) Earphones
I was lucky to receive these cute earphones from the gorgeous girls at Claire's Accessories at their Christmas party. They haven't left my ears, can you blame me? Look at the strawberry and cherry! CUTE!

I also have a current giveaway where you can win your own London Retro Frames (glasses/ sunglasses).
Just Enter Here!!

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19 January 2014

Review | L'Oreal Professionnel + Rowenta Salon Steampod Diamond Attraction

L'Oreal Professionnel Salon Steam Pod | Diamond Attraction Limited Edition*

I was so so SO excited to receive this exquisite piece of equipment at Christmas. I did make a 'Christmas Wishlist' ready to be published but did not post it because I had so many unnecessary things. Not unnecessary at the time but I went all out. This was on it!  I did mention it on numerous occasions, specifically after my visit to Cutting Room Creatives and the Manchester Mid Summer Meet, but I least expected it on Christmas day. Well done mum and dad!
Th first model of the L'Oreal Steampod was for professional use in hair salons which contained a large box for water. They then designed a home use version with a small box which is much more manageable for any one styling their hair at home. The original versions are black/grey. However this is the 'Diamond Attraction' Pink Limited Edition which is a beautiful hot pink colour. I LOVE it SO much!! I will tell you a bit more about it.
This steampod is chunky which I like. I probably will change my mind when I want to travel with it though.
The little pot is to be filled with water up to the MAX mark and this is used for the steam that will come out from the eight tiny holes for focused high pressure steam to the hair shaft. A common problem with hair straightening is drying out the hair, but the steam produced helps to deeply hydrate the hair follicles leaving a glossy finish.

When the device closes, steam is produced sounding just like an iron... steamy! The little pot has some suction pads at the bottle so it stays firm on a flat surface. It is best if you use a desk, or any hard surfaced platform. It will not stay in place on a stool, which I tried, or the carpet, which I also tried :s  

From the pictures above, you can see that when the hair is steamed, it is de-tangled with the attached comb and straightened by the ceramic straightening plate. It takes 3-4 seconds for the straightener so heat up and about 10 seconds for the steam to be ready. There are five temperature settings to pick from which means it can cater to many different hair types. The results are amazing. 
The whole product
Switched on!
L'Oreal Professionnel have a replenishing smoothing cream which aids perfectly smooth results. I have the 'natural to slightly sensitised hair' cream which I could have used for this demonstration but I think the two products above work just as well. I don't put too much product on as the steam works wonders.

1- Avon Advance Techniques Heat Protection Spray
Prevents styling damage

2. Hask Argan Oil Hair Treatment
Adds Keratin for strength and smoothness
Even though there is a comb, it is best to brush through the hair first especially if you have thick hair or tight curls. Last thing you want is to break the comb. Spritz and add the smallest bit of oil to your hair. 
Then straighten your hair! You will notice there are arrows indicating the direction the gadget should move in which can be fiddly at first, but I am used to it now.

I am very impressed by the results. Managing your tresses with ease, it leaves a smooth and glossy finish to the hair. Very healthy looking and the actual straightening process is extremely quick and efficient. Don't be fooled thinking it is a huge fuss to use. If you do have a lot of hair to go through, make sure to top up the water levels if it runs low.
I have used this on my extensions and natural Afro-Caribbean hair and think it is great for all hair types making styling so much easier. Whether you have coarse, thick hair or thin fine hair, this straightener can tame or add volumes.

This Steampod is available at:
Amazon UK
Look Fantastic
Tony and Guy

If you have tried this or like the sound of this, do let me know!

I also have a current giveaway where you can win your own London Retro Frames (glasses/ sunglasses).
Just Enter Here!!

13 January 2014

OOTD | Leopard Print and Midi + London Retro Frames Giveaway!

Blazer: River Island
Dress: FDavenue
Skirt: Peacocks
Bag: Zara
Shoes: Primark
Eliza Glasses: MyOptique*

This week has been, gone and such a task to get back into the swing of things after the Christmas holidays. In a short space of time entering the new year, I have encountered some highs and lows already. Shopping with my cousin was great and booking an exciting London trip with my good friend was another plus, but starting back Uni and loosing my purse in the library with very important documents in it... so upsetting. But there are worse things that could happen in life, so always remember that if you get down. Oh and that London Trip I mentioned... I am SO excited. I will tell you more about it soon :)
 When a little bit of sun peeps through the clouds, pictures must be taken even if I was freezing my tail off. Shopping these past few days have reignited my love for leopard print. My newest addition has to be my Zara sales purchase which is so compact and perfect for every day outings.
I'm also wearing some new prescribed glasses from MyOptique which I absolutely love the style of. So different, quirky and probably one of my favourite pairs.

I know it might be hard to believe due to the sparse appearance of frames on my blog but I am  a full time glasses wearer. Or I am at least supposed to be. When MyOptique offered to give a pair to one of my readers, I thought what a great idea! 
MyOptique is an online glasses company who sell London Retro frames. There are so many types of frames to choose from and you're sure to find your perfect pair.

As such, MyOptique are giving you the chance to win your own pair of London Retro frames, with prescription included if needed, or with the option of them being sunglasses. All you have to do is enter below and it will run until the 3rd March 2014. The giveaway is only open to those that live in the UK though, so sorry if you don't. 
Good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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