Friday, 22 May 2015

VIP Press Launch: Leeds Food And Drink Festival

Hello lovelies! Last night, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the VIP press launch of the 10th annual Leeds Food and Drink Festival hosted by Epernay Champagne Bar and Almost Famous Burgers.  I was so excited to go that I was actually there an hour and a half early (haha) so my friend and I decided to pop into Browns Bar and Brasserie for a pre-cocktails cocktail. I opted for the Lime Daiquiri and oh my goodness it was like heaven in a glass. My friend Fern chose the British Royal, which I also tasted and it was equally as good! We had planned on getting a coffee, but who could turn down the opportunity for cocktails?
As the Leeds Food and Drink Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary, it promises to be the biggest and best the city has ever seen. This year, the festival is part of 'Leeds Food Month', a celebration of Leeds' vibrant, ever-evolving food and drink scene and the first event of its kind. The festival spans over four weeks and there are countless events taking place all over the city between 22nd May - 7th June. There really is something for everyone - from the World Feast on Briggate (24th May) inspired by street food from all over the world, to the Thai Cooking Class being held at Chaophraya (30th May). 
The launch night for the festival took place at Epernay in The Electric Press on Great George Street in the city centre. As soon as I arrived with Fern, we were greeted by quite a bustling environment, with cocktails being handed to you from all directions! From the door I spotted Bridie (Upon My Sleeveand headed over to say hello! Soon we were joined by Rhianna (Robowecop) and we spent a moment chatting whilst people started arriving. Within minutes of arriving, we were handed some sort of prosecco based cocktail (pictured above in the tall stemmed glasses). Almost as soon as we sat down, waiters and waitresses began bringing round trays of drinks and before we knew it, we had about 4 on the go at once. 
Half way through the event, Almost Famous popped over the street with trays of miniature burgers for everyone to sample! I tried this one and OH MY GOD IT WAS AH-MAZINGGGGGG! It had pulled pork and coleslaw in it, as well as the burger patty! I may go as far to say it was the best burger I have EVER had!! So good I'm planning on taking a trip there very soon!
 As you can see I was really making the most of the complimentary cocktails - I had three on the go at this point! The one pictured is the Bramley Apple cocktail and this one had to be my favourite of the ones I tried. I think the waitress mentioned it had creme de menthe in it, which is something I'd never tried before until last night. As I was heading out to head back to the train station, I spotted Kayleigh (Very Berry Cosmo) and Alex (Clouds In The Violet Haze) sat around a table and we sat talking for a moment before I had to dash off. 

I had a lovely evening spending the night catching up with my friend and chatting to a few fellow bloggers from the Leeds area. If you are interested in going to any of the events running over the next month, you can take a look at the Leeds Food Month website for a schedule. There are quite a few that I'm interested in, especially the world feast on Briggate!

I hope you are able to check out some part of the festival, it sounds like it is going to go down a storm this year!
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Monday, 18 May 2015

Blogging Equipment & Photography Tips and Tricks

I frequently get sent lots of emails, tweets and comments from you all telling me how much you like my style of photography, asking what camera I use and how I learnt to use it. Well, I have finally got round to writing this post especially for you guys! I don’t often dish out advice on the subject of blogging mainly because I don’t consider myself an all-knowing oracle on the subject. It’s a world that’s constantly changing, there’s no right or wrong way of doing things and I’m still learning something new everyday myself. But when it comes to photography, I like to think I know a thing or two.

In sixth form/college, I decided to take A-Level photography as one of my four subjects. I had always had an interest in photography, visiting art galleries as a kid and just taking random photos on disposable cameras. When I started my course, I didn't own a camera. I saw that as a bit of a drawback considering I needed good grades to get into university. So I saved up, and a few months into my course I almost had enough money to buy a DSLR. My mum kindly put the rest together for me as a christmas present and I went with her to pick out a camera! I chose the Nikon D3100 as until I had my own, I used to loan out the ones belonging to my college, and this (amongst a couple others) is one of the ones I liked to loan out. My 'photography' teachers were actually art teachers and one of them didn't even know how to open the cupboards to get the cameras out, so from the start I knew the course was going to be very self led. I followed tutorials online, looked through the Instagrams of photographers and just tried to replicate their styles. Over time, I developed my own 'style' and I loved the bold, crisp, colourful images that I try and incorporate into my blog posts. 

To start blogging, I’d say you need minimal equipment: a camera and an internet connection. You don’t need to splash out on fancy gadgets at all. Many of the well known bloggers started out with little point of shoot cameras. No matter what you have, whether it's your phone or a £7000 camera, as long as you know how to use it properly you are in business! My camera cost no more than £350 from Argos (I can't seem to find it to tell you the exact cost) and it is just as good as more expensive ones I have tried.

In April, I bought myself the little Sony A5000 for more on the go blogging and tutorial style posts where I need to see myself (it has a flip screen unlike my DSLR). I'm still playing around with it and getting to know how to use it properly, but I used it for the photo of my DSLR in this post and it seems to do a good enough job! It retails at £251, which is a lot cheaper than the DSLR and it does pretty much the same stuff for a fraction of the post. It is cheap because they have since brought out the A6000 (?) which is the newer model and therefore there will be less demand for it. So if you are in need of a new camera for blogging, why not check out something like this rather than a DSLR?

For lighting, I use natural lighting - which is starting to make more of appearance here in the UK! I have used artificial lighting whilst doing my photography course and I know how amazing it is, but you can achieve similar results when natural lighting is used. Especially considering how expensive lighting it! The best tip with lighting that I've ever received is to NEVER… I repeat NEVER… use your cameras built in flash! If your photos turn out a little darker than you want them, you can always retouch them. There are many free photo retouching websites and programs out there. You don't need Photoshop at all! I am fortunate enough to have it (by the way, as students you can get it for just over £100 rather than £800+) but before I bought it I managed just fine!

If you have any other questions that I haven't covered in my post, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email ( and I will reply as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading!

Love Charlotte x
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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Fitspiration #4 - Getting Back On Track

A photo of my friend on our trip!
I know, it's been a while since I last did one of these posts. But it's been a while since I made any sort of progress - or effort for that matter. The last post I wrote for this series was at the start of March, and by April, all of my New Year motivation was gone. It lasted 3 whole months, but was ruined when I took a trip away with a friend. 1 whole week of eating pizza, fish and chips, burgers and donuts reminded me how much I was missing them. If I was more determined, I would have dismissed the week and worked harder when I got home to make up for all the crap that had entered my body. Over the first few days of the trip, I tried my hardest to count my calories, but quickly gave up and put on some (thank goodness not all!) of the weight I lost - now I'm at a 9lb loss rather than 14lb! But that still better than I was! If I'd have put it all back on then I would have probably given up on life ha!

It has taken me a whole month to have some sort of motivation to get outside and actually do a workout. This morning I woke up with lots of energy (probably the 4 hours sleep I had) and went for a run - which I haven't been able to do for a few weeks due to an ankle injury. I only managed half a mile before my ankle was playing up slightly - I decided to stop as a preventative measure just incase. But that half a mile is more than I've done in a month and I decided to slowly get back into it rather than jump in at the deep end!

As the saying goes, you can't change what happened yesterday, but you can decide what happens tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Choose Happy

Happiness is a choice. You have to choose to be happy. For every minute you are sad or upset,  you lose a minute of being happy.  Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, then let them be.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.
If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared, the ability to laugh even as you cry, the nerve to speak up, even if your voice is shaking, the confidence to ask for help when you need it, and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered, then you have everything you need to get yourself to a happier state of mind.
Begin today by taking responsibility for your own contentment.  Here are ten ways to choose happiness:
Choose to be the best you can be. – When I was in college, this was sort of a motto for my head of year. He'd say it at the start of every day, put it on all his power points and just tell us that this is what we should aim for in life. Give everything to whatever you do, commit to your goals, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  "Success and happiness is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”  Never try to be better than anyone else, but never stop trying to be the best you can be. 
Choose to be around the right people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  Say goodbye and move on. Believe me, I've done my fair share of this. 
Choose to focus on what you have, not on what you want. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Being grateful for the good that is already  in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy or acquire anything new (says the girl who wants to own everything).  It makes sense.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for what you already have
Choose a good attitude. – What often screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.  And the reason so many of us give up is because we tend to look at how far we still have to go, instead of how far we have come.  Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.  This moment, like every moment, is a priceless gift and an opportunity.  Be positive, smile, and make it count.  Pretend today is going to be great.  Do so, and it will be.  Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences
Choose to smile more often. – A smile is a choice, not a miracle.  Don’t wait for people to smile. Show them how.  A genuine smile makes you and everyone around you feel better.  The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy.  And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good hormones.  Every year I make a new years resolution to smile more. Every year I work towards by resolution. So by the time I'm 30 I should be a walking, talking happy emoji. 
Choose honesty. – Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Don’t cheat.  Be faithful.  Be kind.  Do the right thing!  It is a less complicated way to live. Don’t get involved with drama that doesn’t affect you and your way of life.
Choose to help others when you’re able. – Care about people.  In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. KARMA.
Choose to embrace the next step in your life. – You can hold on to the past, or you can create your own happiness in the present.  Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.  Every day is a new beginning and a new ending. A new story.  Make the best of it, smile, and keep looking straight ahead with your head held high.  And don’t forget, a smile doesn’t always mean a person is happy right now; sometimes it simply means they are strong enough to face their problems going forward. 
And remember, your mind is your private sanctuary; do not allow the negative beliefs of others to occupy it.  Your skin is your barrier; do not allow others to get under it.  Take control of your boundaries and what you allow yourself to absorb from others.
You are the only one who can create your happiness. The choice is yours.  Choose to be happy.
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Friday, 8 May 2015

Makeup For Glasses Wearers

I've worn glasses since I was about 4 or 5 years old. So when I first started to dabble in makeup, I found that a lot of things I wanted to try out, or had seen other people wearing, didn't suit me. About 6 years ago (I would have been 12/13 years old then), I discovered YouTube. From there on out I started watching videos from the likes of Zoella amongst many others. I learnt that my glasses made my eyes appear smaller (would have been larger for those who are long sighted) and that I should try and make them appear as large as possible. I ditched the idea of lining my waterline and opted to try out liquid liner instead. Granted I probably didn't get the hang of it till I was 17, but nevertheless, I found it made my eyes appear a lot bigger.  

Over time, I have found other ways of doing my makeup. And this is one of my favourite routines! I usually start of with a primer such as the Body Shop's Instablur or the Benefit Porefessional. I'll then use my foundation (either Rimmel Match Perfection or the Lasting Finish 25 Hour foundations), my concealer (Rimmel Wake Me Up, Collection Lasting Perfection or Soap and Glory Kick Ass Concealer) and my powder (Soap and Glory One Heck Of A Blot, Maybelline Matte Maker or the Rimmel Stay Perfect powders). Once I've done my base I'll add a little contouring (Benefit Hoola, Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow, NARS Illuminator or No7 Skin Boost Fluid) and some blusher (NARS Blush in Sin, No7 Perfect Powder or Clinique Cheek Pops). 

Then for the eyes, which is the part of my routine that is the most crucial when it comes to wearing glasses. To enhance my eyes, I usually use a neutral shimmery shade all over the lid and then blend a darker matte shade through the crease. I'll then use a dark brown/black eyeshadow with an angled brush along my upper lash line to line my eyes without being too overpowering. I'll then use my mascara (currently the Benefit Bad Gal Lash) and give a couple of coats to make my lashes look long and voluminous. 
Then to complete my look, I'll swipe a lipstick over my lips and the one pictured is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Amazing Grace.

I hope you like the look! Feel free to try it out and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Music for May

1. Take Me To Church - Hozier
2. Feel - Bombay Bicycle Club
3. F For You - Disclosure
4. Left Hand Free - Alt-J
5. Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People
6. Take A Walk - Passion Pit
7. Let Go For Tonight - Foxes
8. She Moves In Her Own Way - The Kooks
9. Mexico - The Staves
10. Once Upon A Dream - Lana Del Ray
11. Dream Lover - The Vaccines
12. Did You Hear The Rain? - George Ezra
13. King - Years and Years
14. Desire - Years and Years
15. Someone New - Hozier
16. Stronger - Clean Bandit
17. Real Love - Clean Bandit
18. Lean On - Major Lazer
19. The Gospel of John Hurt - Alt J
20. Younger - Seinabo Sey

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

Sunday, 3 May 2015

A Few Recent Buys #2

I have done one of these posts before and you all seemed to like it, so I thought I'd do another one seen as I've done a bit of shopping recently! As my student loan came in, I thought I'd treat myself to few bits and bats I have been eyeing up for a while. 

My eyelash curlers had pretty much fallen apart and were at a point where they were unusable. Not being a priority, I've been making do without curling my lashes which is unheard of for me! So I decided to purchase some news ones immediately after my student finance came in. I bought the NARS Eyelash Curlers (£15). I'm excited to start curling my eyelashes again after not being able to do so for ages!

Besides my eyelash curlers, some of my makeup brushes had starting falling apart. My brushes were malting all over whilst I was applying my makeup so I thought I'd try out the Lottie London brushes that everyone have been talking about! I am usually a Real Techniques sort of gal', but these appear to be just as good and I am dying to go out somewhere so I can apply makeup and make use of them! I bought the 'Best of the Brushes' collection which retails at £20 as I thought it would be better value for money because each of the brushes are worth £7/8 individually. It was just common sense to buy the set!

As I've mentioned before, I was unable to get my hands on the last NARS limited edition palette. They have recently released this one (NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette, £45) and I snapped it up as soon as possible to make sure I could get one! This one comes with a mini wet-dry eyeshadow brush which (at full size) costs £24! You can use the eyeshadows wet or dry which I am so excited to try out!

Have you tried any of these products, if so what are your thoughts on them? What have you all been buying recently?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Friday, 1 May 2015

April Favourites

How is it the end of the month already? The time to write these posts comes around so fast! And to start the post off, I wanted to include the Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara again. I know I included it in last month's favourites posts, but I have used it religiously throughout April and I've fallen in love with it even more! It makes your lashes look super long and fluttery. I really want to get around to trying the new Benefit Roller Lash. But that may have to wait until this one has dried up!

Towards the start of the month, Burberry launched the release of their new Burberry Kisses Lipstick*. They came up with an ingenious Twitter campaign to  give away some samples and I was incredibly lucky to be sent one! I chose the shade Sepia as I am a lover of 'your lips but better' kind of lipsticks. I have worn this repeatedly, and I will definitely be buying the full size when my sample size runs out!

I've been pairing the lipstick with my Charlotte Tilbury Colour Coded Eyeshadow in Dolce Vita and I must say they go together perfectly! The golden tones in the eyeshadows compliment the colour of the lipstick and together they make your skin glow! Been loving wearing the combination for days where I decided to make more of an effort.

When I haven't used the Charlotte Tilbury quad, I have LOVED using the limited edition NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette. It comes with a mini Wet/Dry Eyeshadow brush (the full size one costs £24 alone!) which is incredibly handy for on the go application! The thing about these eyeshadows is that you can use them wet for a more intense look. I am yet to try using them wet as they are incredibly pigmented as they are, however I am excited to see the effects!

Finally, we have the Benefit Porefessional primer. I wasn't a fan when I first bought it, but it is slowly growing on me now! I love the fact that it's tinted as all of my other primers are clear/white. I feel that this gives a little extra coverage so is perfect for achieving a flawless look!

What have you all been enjoying this last month? I would love to know!
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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