Alice-Christina | Twenty Five | North East Fashion & lifestyle blogger.

19 June 2016

New In: Pretty In Pink

Cruelty Free Make Up, Beauty Bloggers, Cruelty Free, NYX, Soap and Glory, Natural Collection

As I mentioned in my sulphate-free shampoo post last week I'm trying to make the effort to buy more cruelty free beauty products when I can. So I thought today I'd share with you a few products I've picked up recently.

This all started with a NYX counter finally arriving in Newcastle and the whole thing just escalated. The one NYX product I'd been dying to try was the matte lip creams, as I'd heard so many amazing things about them. After much deliberation I opted for the shade 'Cannes' which is the perfect rose nude type colour. Its that typical 'Kylie Jenner' mauve-ish shade - I hate myself for just typing that, but its the only way I can describe it. I also happened to pick up a matte lipstick in 'Tea Rose' which turns out to be a really similar colour, but hey they're different products so its fine right? Since buying these they've barely left my handbag, they are the perfect every day lipstick without having to worry too much about smearing it all over your face.

Whilst I was at the counter I also picked up a liquid eyeliner - however it has quickly found itself in my bin, as it had the same colour pay off as my old 9 month old Soap and Glory Supercat Liner after just one use. So I've stuck with what I love and picked myself up my old favourite. Boots also happened to have a lovely 'buy one get the second one half price' deal that I couldn't stop myself taking advantage of. I decided to finally try their Kick Ass concealer as my friend Vicky swears by it and her make up always looks flawless. I'm a huge fan of the peach shade for my under-eyes, however I'm finding the other shade a little too dark and yellowy for my skin tone - but with a bit of blending in it does the job fine. 

Finally I revisited my youth and paid a visit to the Natural Collection counter and nabbed myself a blusher in a gorgeous dusky pink shade called 'Pink Cloud'. I forgot how much I used to love these blushers, which are a steal at just £1.99 and the shades are perfect for my pale skin as I find a lot of blushers on the market a little too intense for my complexion.

I'd love some more recommendations of your favourite cruelty-free beauty products, so send them my way!


17 June 2016

Review: Five Guys Metro Centre

Now you'll have to have been living under a rock to not be aware that Five Guys now have a home in the UK. I remember first hearing about them back in 2013 when I was in Canada and my cousins mentioned the burger chain. But I didn't think much of it until i started seeing them popping up around the UK.  As usual the North was left behind a little and we only got our own Five Guys a few months ago at Intu-Metro Centre, which has had a huge addition of loads of amazing new restaurants such as Thaikhun, and Barburrito, into a newly re-furbished food hall. 

My first every trip to Five Guys was with Laura and Rachel for a quick bite before a summer event at the Metro Centre, and luckily Laura had been before so was able to give us some words of wisdom. Her biggest piece of advice was that the fries portions were very generous and my god she was right. On my first visit I opted for a cheeseburger with mustard, mayo, lettuce and pickles with a small portion of salted fries.

With my first bite of my burger I finally understood the hype. It was moist, it was tasty and the ability to customise your toppings to make your perfect burger is a really attractive selling point. I've got to admit after my burger I was pretty full and we ended up sharing my fries between the three of us - but I would happily have eaten them all myself if I wasn't already so full. I really enjoyed the fact they were, home style, I believe that is what you call it, where the potato skins are left on - which results in a really lovely flavour. A quite note, Five Guys do cook their fries in peanut oil so if you have a nut allergy you're going to have to stay well clear of them - sorry guys.

Since my initial visit I have since been back to the Metro Centre restaurant (and also the one in Newcastle) so as you can tell I'm a big fan. Each time I've gone I've ended up with a different order, which to me is the best thing about Five Guys. With the choice of toppings, drinks and even fries you're able to have a good variety of flavours from what is quite a small menu. I know a number of people have commented on the price of the food, especially given the take away style ordering system. But for me this is restaurant quality food, with generous portions and loads of choice, so well worth the money, plus I enjoy the whole picking up of your order and choosing your own drink. It makes it fun!

Have you tried Five Guys yet? I'd love to know what you think :)


05 June 2016

Sulphate Free Shampoo.

When I changed my hair at the start of April I was made aware by my hairdresser about how certain shampoo's can be bad for dyed hair. I'd always used shampoo for coloured hair but it turns out they're not always as good for coloured hair as you think. Over recent years the dangers of sulphates in shampoo's has become more apparent and sulphate free shampoo's have become more popular and readily available.

Since then I began researching sulphate shampoo's and was shocked at how many specifically for coloured hair contain them, especially as sulphates actually make hair colour fade quicker. So I began my hunt for sulphate free shampoos, spending 30-40 minutes in the shampoo isle of boots reading all the labels. Initially I bought the L'oreal Pure Colour but I wasn't all that keen on the smell, plus i'm trying to be more aware of what brands I am using and trying to purchase cruelty free products where I can. So when I ran out of pure colour I thought this was the perfect excuse to try something different.

OGX was one of the brands that kept popping up when I was initially hunting for sulphate free shampoo but there wasn't any in my local boots when I first went hunting. However last weekend I managed to find some in Superdrug and quickly ran to the till. The coconut scent  is so much nicer than the previous L'oreal one I used. It is without a doubt one of my favourite scents for summer and always makes me feel like I'm on a holiday.

One of the first things I noticed when I used the shampoo and conditioner was how amazingly soft my hair felt. When I was younger I tended not to use conditioner as it often weighed my fine hair done and made it greasy. However with the introduction to reverse washing I use conditioner every time I wash my hair now and I wish I'd done it sooner. 

These smell amazing, they leave my hair super soft and manageable without weighing it down, I've noticed my hair colour fading less and best of all they're cruelty free. You really can't get much better than that!

02 June 2016

The Art Of Being Normal

I'm always trying to get into the habit of reading more often and spending less time on my phone, but I must admit after a long day at work, coming home and cooking tea then going to the gym I tend to be too tired to keep my eyes open. However over the past month or so I've been working a little further away from home, which is giving me about 3 hours of commuting time to finally catch up on some reading. I'd initially started this in March and intended to get it finished as part of The Girl Gang Book Club, but it took me slightly longer to read this than I planned due to my busier schedule. However I finally managed to finish last month. 

I hadn't heard too much about the actual story of this book before I bought it during my month of book splurging back in February. However it was one of those books I kept seeing photos of amongst the book-blogger world so I decided to grab it on a whim. It was only later on when I heard a little bit more about the story and the amazing reviews to follow. Boy oh boy, they weren't wrong there.

The story follows two teenage boys, David and Leo,  who end up crossing paths and subsequently become friends (although Leo protests a little at the start) and form an unexpected bond. David, who I'd say is the main character of this story, has a secret that only his two best friends know about. He wants to be a girl. The story follows his struggle with finding the courage and the perfect moment to let his parents know about what he really wants to be. We then meet Leo, a sulky, moody and mysterious new kid at David's school who's been transferred from a public school in a slightly dodgy area, where he is rumoured to have been kicked out of. When Leo stands up for David in a fight with the school bully they end up forming a really special friendship over the next year. 

Now I'm not going to be an arse and spoil the plot of the story so thats as far as I'm going. I'm just going to say - its amazing. Its the first book I've read that featured issues of transgender and I felt it approached the subject beautifully with respect and research. I felt empathy towards David and often felt moved by the struggles he was suffering through his day to day life. There was two key parts in the story where I found myself crying on my commute to work and It's been quite some time since I've been moved by a book so much that I didn't care I was sat crying on the metro.

I've got to say if you're going to pick up one YA fiction to read this year please please make it this one. So far one of my favourite books I've read this year.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

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