Thursday, 29 August 2013

The world is more interesting in black and white.

I adore the end of summer. I like being able to go out for a walk without being too hot or too cold. I like that autumn is slowly beginning to peek through the sunshine, that summer is finally beginning to relent. Nothing beats hearing leaves crunching beneath your shoes and the lovely dark and quiet atmosphere that autumn has. In England we are lucky enough to not have an overwhelmingly hot summer, but I'm still glad when the leaves begin to turn that wonderful coppery red.

I think I go and visit places more in autumn. Summer is a time for crowds, and I much prefer the quiet. Of course, it is the school holidays here at the moment which means that everywhere is full, but it's nice to know that soon everywhere will be peaceful again. Today I decided that I would brave the crowds and go for a walk on Wollaton Park. It's the home of Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, although the deer were being very shy today and I couldn't get any pictures of them! I used to go here a lot when I was little. I distinctly remember being frightened and fascinated by all the taxidermy displays inside, and trying my absolute best to get as close to the deer as possible (they always ran away and I can't say I blame them). It's a beautiful place. Some of you may recognise it as Wayne Manor from The Dark Knight Rises.

Wollaton Hall was built around 1580 for Sir Francis Willoughby. It was built towards the end of Elizabethan period, so it contains some early Jacobean elements. The exterior of the house is magnificent. I particularly love the faces and gargoyles carved into the stone. I'm afraid that I didn't get many photographs of the interior. One day I will book to go on a guided tour and take a few more interesting ones!

For those of you interested in the paranormal, the house is said to be haunted by the Lady Middleton, in a room known as room 19 or the 'Prospect Room.' Unfortunately, you can only go in this room on guided tours. I imagine that the hall is very eerie at night!

My camera actually ran out of battery just as we were leaving the hall, which is a pity as the grounds are beautiful, and great for photography. I will definitely head back to take some photographs of the grounds and the lake as they are worth seeing! I am hoping to get some of the photographs of the exterior of the house framed as my room is lacking in decoration at the moment.

Have you been anywhere interesting recently?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Lime Crime Velvetines Lip Colour in Red Velvet

I'm not usually tempted by over-hyped products. I'm naturally very sceptical, and usually when something is hyped I'm more inclined to have doubts. However, if there's one product that I'm likely to give into, it's lipstick. Matte lipsticks in particular are a bit of a tricky business. Mainly because it's difficult to find one that doesn't dry out your lips and doesn't settle into your lines. I'd seen a lot of reviews of Lime Crime's Velvetines, and I was interested from the start. I was impressed by their other lipsticks so I thought I'd take the plunge and order Red Velvet.

Red Velvet comes in bright red packaging. The bottle has a frosted look, and like all Lime Crime products, it is very girly. It has a wand applicator. Personally I find the applicator a little too big for my lips, I seem to always have to go around the corners of my mouth with remover because the applicator is too large for me to apply it to the edges of my lips. Instead, I scoop the product off the applicator onto my lip brush.

This lipstick applies wet and dries to a completely matte, velvety texture. The texture is incredibly odd, and not something that I've come across before. The only way that I can think of to describe the texture is that it is almost like liquid powder. It dries very quickly, and it's incredibly pigmented. One swipe of the applicator is enough for my entire lips. It's a bold, classic red shade. I'm going to apologise for my lip swatch as it is all over the place!

One of the aspects that attracted me to this lipstick was its promise to be very long lasting. I wear lipstick on a daily basis, and when I'm at university/work they have to last all day because I don't really have an opportunity to touch up. I'm pleased to say that the reviews I'd read were true to their word as this lipstick lasts at least four hours on me before it begins to fade, including after eating/drinking. Unfortunately, I really dislike how it fades on me. Instead of the colour gradually fading, the product just seems to rub away in the middle of my lips, which is extremely noticeable and annoying. I also don't like applying this over the top when it has faded from the middle. Instead I have to take it off and reapply as I find it looks a bit odd when I touch it up. While this lasts long enough that I seldom need to do this, it isn't very practical for me. I don't think this is a universal problem though as none of the other reviews I have read has mentioned it, so it may just be me!

So, you'd think that this lipstick being pigmented and long lasting would mean that I would love it wouldn't you? Unfortunately, I don't and I don't quite know why. I am so desperate to love it and I've worn it on numerous occasions in an attempt to get accustomed to it, but it isn't working for me. I don't know if it's because the colour doesn't suit me or because I'm not used to a fully matte texture. I am going to keep it and try and wear it a few more times in attempt to learn to love it, but right now I can't see it happening. I think maybe the red is a bit too bright for me, and I'd prefer it if it were darker. I do however think that I would be very interested in a purple one if they ever bring one out!

Lime Crime Velvetines cost £11.50, and I bought mine from Love Make Up. You can also buy them from the Lime Crime website.

Have you tried any of these lipsticks? What did you think?

Disclosure: I purchased this lipstick myself.

Monday, 19 August 2013

William Shakespeare and Book of Shadows Necklaces by Restyle

As a self confessed bibliophile I have an incredibly weak spot for anything reminiscent of books. I frequently use the excuse of being an English student to buy all of these book related items, which means I've ended up with quite a collection of things that I don't really need, but I continue to buy them because I just can't help it. Restyle have been releasing quite a few collections of late, and their latest book shaped additions caught my eye immediately. I bought the Dark Poetry necklace a few months ago and I was looking forward to adding a few new pieces to my collection! I bought both of these from The Gothic Shop.

I purchased both the Book of Shadows and the William Shakespeare necklaces. I very nearly added the Grimm's Fairytales necklace to my basket but I somehow managed to convince myself that I didn't need all three of them! I was most excited about the William Shakespeare locket as I'm currently researching government and authority in Jacobean drama (mainly focusing on Shakespeare, Jonson and Middleton) for my dissertation and this necklace seemed very apt. I think I will always have a soft spot for Shakespeare!

Book of Shadows is intricately decorated with a cover that reminds me of a tombstone. It has a double clasp and features triquetra symbols in the upper corners of the cover. It has the first two stanzas of Edgar Allan Poe's 'Spirits of the Dead' engraved inside. The poem inside is small but readable, and the inside is just as decorative as the exterior.

The William Shakespeare necklace is equally as beautiful. The cover features a decorative border and purple stones adorn the corners. It has a single clasp. The interior features various works of Shakespeare including his tragedies, poems and apocrypha. I was surprised that such a big range of his work was included, as I was expecting only his plays to be listed! Like Book of Shadows, the text is small but distinguishable.

Surprisingly, the quality of these lockets far surpasses my Dark Poetry locket. The hinges feel stronger and the clasps a lot more sturdy, and the lockets are definitely weightier. My only real complaint about the Dark Poetry locket was that the hinge on the clasp felt flimsy and I am thrilled to see that this has been solved.  I was also pleased to see that the text is readable in both of these lockets as it was a shame that 'Haunted Palace' in Dark Poetry wasn't really distinguishable. The level of detail has increased too, as it continues into the interior of the lockets.

These are both wonderful pieces, and incredibly beautiful. I adore unique pieces, and these do not disappoint.

These lockets cost £13.50. You can purchase the William Shakespeare necklace here and Book of Shadows here. You can also buy these from the Restyle website.

Have you ordered anything from the new collections? I'm currently lusting over a couple of the green Vivian pieces!

Disclosure: I bought these necklaces myself.
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