Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Castle Leslie over Easter thanks to my adventurous and outgoing boyfriend, Philip. So off we went for our overnight stay in what was to be the most relaxing location I've ever had the pleasure of visiting.

All was good until we got into the car and Philip said, "So, how do we get there?" Cue an extended journey through towns and villages we'd never heard of, going back and forth on the same road, and being confused as to whether we had passed over the border yet. We eventually arrived in time for our horse riding session that Philip had eagerly booked and made our way to the stables. On our way, I spotted a huge horse which happened to be Philip's riding partner, and mine wasn't much smaller. Apparently Squire and Percy are pals though, so all was good.

After being given a helmet and some riding boots, up I climbed onto Percy and while waiting for Philip to get onto Squire, Percy was curious as to who was sitting on his back. He eyeballed me sideways for a few minutes and I thought he was sizing me up, which made me slightly nervous that he was going to bolt and make his way through town. He didn't. He was actually very gentle.

We enjoyed an hour long trek through the estate and my nerves were calmed by the lady I had guiding my horse. I think she sensed I would be incapable of controlling such a huge animal if it were to take off. She gave us some interesting information about the castle and its grounds, pointing out the wild garlic along the way. It smelled delicious.

It took me two attempts to get off Percy, although he was calm and I thanked him for his patience during my disaster of a dismount. Both Philip and I really enjoyed the horse trek, and would recommend trying it if you plan on visiting.

After the trek, we went for lunch in the bar just around the corner of the reception, as our room wasn't going to be ready until 3pm. Both the food and the service were fantastic, and even though almost all of the tables were taken, it still managed to maintain the relaxing atmosphere that is prevalent throughout the estate.

As soon as our room was ready we were escorted by the lady from reception, who informed us it had only been renovated two weeks previous to our stay. It was pretty impressive, with a huge bed, a great big sofa, and a bathroom straight out of a glossy interior design magazine. We left off our bags and went to explore some more, ending up at the castle itself. (Our room was located in the lodge, much closer to the entrance of the estate).

We wandered through the many rooms of the castle, and you feel like you could live there. It's so peaceful and each room has its own theme. We ended up outside by the lake, sitting on a step taking in the views. It's easy to forget you are sharing the place with other people because the grounds are so vast and it doesn't feel busy at all, something I really loved.

That evening we returned to the bar where I had the best raspberry mojito I think I have ever tasted. The staff were really helpful too, and not once did we need to stand up to go and order more drinks, as they were extremely attentive and nothing was too much hassle.

We had dinner and dessert and afterwards made our way back to our room. It was literally round the corner from the reception area and the bar, however it wasn't noisy in the slightest and was actually really convenient for getting breakfast the next morning.

Philip and I are children trapped in 20 something year old bodies, so of course we ordered pancakes for breakfast. They came with fresh fruit, raspberry compote and maple syrup and I've been dreaming of them ever since. There was also the choice of any fruit juice you could possibly think of, and lots of cereal, fruit, pastries and yoghurt.

Northern Ireland's most thoughtful boyfriend had also booked us into the estate's spa where we had a choice of treatment, I chose a facial, he chose an Indian Head Massage, much to my surprise as he puts a lot of effort into his hair...

After being robed up, we were taken to separate rooms. I have never visited a spa as I didn't think I would enjoy it, but I was proven wrong. The facial was really relaxing, my skin was unbelievably smooth afterwards, and my fake tan survived the ordeal. Oh, and Philip's hair wasn't too badly out of place following his head massage.

We were given fruit tea and left to our own devices to chill, after which we ventured outside to the hot tub. It's located above the stables so you can look down and see all their cute faces, and get a whiff of horsey hay every so often. I loved the hot tub as it was just us two in it so we were able to really enjoy it. We paid a quick visit to the sauna but I felt like I was being cooked up as a Sunday roast so that didn't last long.

After our relaxing spa experience, it was time to go home. For being only an hour from Belfast (an hour and a half if you get lost like us), it felt like we were really far away from any hustle and bustle. It is such a lovely setting and you don't feel like you're staying in a hotel as such. The staff can't do enough for you, our room was immaculate, and we couldn't fault the food.

If you are planning a night away but aren't sure of where you'd like to go, definitely give Castle Leslie some consideration. I would highly recommend and can't wait to return, although next time we plan to stay in the actual castle as I'm told that is where the ghosts wander...

Also, an extra special thanks to Northern Ireland's best Tinder match for booking, organising and taking me there. You're a catch!


Monday, 29 April 2019

Blue Monday

Primer: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Retouch Primer
Foundation: Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation in Warm Beige and Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Light Beige. Mixed with one pump of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Champagne Pop.
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light 
Powder: Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Loose Powder 
Bronzer: Smashbox Bronze Lights in Warm Matte and MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Dark Tan. Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer to lightly contour.
Highlighter: MAC Soft & Gentle 
Blusher: MAC Modern Mandarin
Brows: NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate and Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper in Brunette
Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer. Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Sidekick in the crease, Tuscan Sun all over the lid, with ColourPop Star Girl pressed over the top. MAC Costa Riche Kohl pencil to line the upper lashline, and KIKO Jelly Jungle Eye Pencil in 01 on the lower lash line, blended out with MAC Electric Eel. MAC Nylon on inner corner. 
Mascara: ColourPop Mind=Blown blue mascara on lower lashes. 
Lashes: eBay
Lips: Rimmel Tiramisu lip liner and ELF lipgloss in Cosmo Pink 


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Glitterly Obsessed

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Stick
Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear in Cashew
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light 
Powder: Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Loose Powder 
Bronzer: Smashbox Bronze Lights in Warm Matte and Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Powder in Shadowplay
Highlighter: Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy
Blusher: Benefit Galifornia
Brows: Benefit Gimme Brow shade 3, Nyx Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate 
Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer. ColourPop 143 eyeshadow, blended out with ColourPop Poodle, ColourPop Pressed Pigment in Seeing Stars in crease, and ColourPop Pressed Glitter in 19C1 down the centre of upper lid. ColourPop Body Glitter in Avenue of the Stars on inner corner. KIKO Long Lasting Shadow Stick in 44 on lower lashline, blended out with MAC Electric Eel, and ColourPop Quantum Sleep pressed along lower lashline. MAC Nylon on brow bone. 
Mascara: Maybelline Colossal Big Shot 
Lashes: eBay
Lips: Rimmel Spice Lip Liner, ColourPop True Lyfe lipgloss and KIKO Fall 2.0 Lipgloss over the top.


Monday, 1 April 2019

Spring Giveaway!

To celebrate the fact we all got through winter, here's some goodies to see you through spring!

You can enter on both my Facebook and Instagram pages (links at the top!)

Prize list:

Shay & Blue Black Tulip Natural Spray
Pixi By Petra Glow Booster
Creightons Bronze Ambition Tanning Cream
Benefit High Beam
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Grow Gorgeous Thickening Hair & Scalp Mask
Grow Gorgeous Scalp Detox
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Clinique Facial Soap
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Benefit KaBrow
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion
Cetaphil Moisturising Cream
YSL Touche Eclat in Luminous Peach
HD Brows Contour And Colour Pro Palette
Benefit Benetint
A selection of Inglot SPF & Foundation sachets.

Bobbi Brown Ultra-Violet & Infra-Red Palettes

Purple tops the list of my favourite eyeshadow colours. So when I spotted Bobbi Brown's new Ultra-Violet palette there were internal squeals of excitement. 

The palette contains eight shades; three mattes, two glitters, and two satin shades. My personal favourite is of course the violet in the top right corner. I love most of the shades in this palette, however I do feel it is missing a blending shade if you were to use the warm brown in your crease. Five of the shadows contain some form of shimmer or glitter, perfect for all over the lid but not suitable as a transition or crease colour. When I created the look below I did have to reach for a lighter, matte, purple shade from another palette in order to blend the colours out.

That being said, the pigment of the warm brown and black eyeshadows are not to be sniffed at, and the majority of the shimmers and glitters give some serious colour payoff. Two of the glittery shades are more sheer, and don't have a particularly strong colour base, but these are perfect for using as eyeshadow toppers to add a touch of sparkle to your smokey eye.

A look created with the Ultra-Violet palette
For fans of warmer tones there's the gorgeous infra-red palette. This would be amazing on blue eyes, as it's packed with orangey, golden shades and a beautiful deep, chocolate brown. Again, the colour payoff is great, and I feel that creating a full look with this palette would be easier than with Ultra-Violet. 

I love that both palettes are so different to each other, and that Bobbi Brown have stepped out of their neutral palette box and created such exciting shades. If you want to get your hands on one of these, or maybe even both, they launch this Thursday (4th April) in stores and retail for £39.50. 

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