#concealer · brunch · Coffee · exam · Food · foundation · Friends · Makeup · Makeup academy · Shopping · Uncategorized

Ladies who brunch and go makeup shopping (Part 2 / Manchester)

Even before meeting my friend Asha in London for a girls’ day out in May (the topic of my Ladies who brunch and go make-up shopping (Part 1 / London) blog post, we had planned that she would come and stay with us in Manchester for a weekend at the end of June.  It so happened that the joyful event coincided with some very positive news for me and my husband as well.  I had arranged to take that Friday off and shortly before my friend’s train was due to arrive I received a phone call from Cyprus. I was very nervous and anxious about it because I had done 2 interviews via WebEx with an international company based in Cyprus in the days leading up to it and I really wanted to hear if I had gotten the job.

Thankfully I was offered the job and was thrilled and very excited.  I told my husband and that’s when it both hit us! What we both had been wanting for some time now, to return to Cyprus, was finally happening!! So when I met my friend at the train station an hour later I told her the good news and of course we had to celebrate.  We went to my all-time favourite brunch place in Manchester for a late but massive brunch and from there I Vibered the good news to my family back home and my best friends.

My favourite brunch place is Moose Coffee . I love it so much that I have to take everyone who visits me there and give them a taste of the good life! Here is some evidence of what I’m talking about!

Asha’s visit was the weekend before my exam at the makeup academy so we were discussing about practicing a few makeup looks on her face in preparation for it. I also told my friend that my makeup instructors had mentioned that the Kat Von D makeup line had finally arrived in the UK and was only available in one place in Manchester, at the Market Street Debenhams branch so we just HAD to pay a visit before heading home.  During our previous day out in London I was saying to my friend that I thought her MAC foundation colour was a bit too dark for her skin tone (putting my newfound learning from the academy into practice) and so she wanted to see what else was out there.  For years I’ve mostly used Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation as it was the one product I could find that supposedly does a good job of full coverage so I was intrigued by the Lock It products from Kat Von D that promise full coverage (to the extent of even covering whole tattoos).

We both had a makeover to try on the foundation and ended up buying a couple of products. Asha got a foundation and I think a highlighter (it’s been 3 weeks so I may be wrong on that one).  I bought a foundation, concealer and under eye powder from the Lock It line.

I have tried all 3 of the products but currently only using the concealer on a daily basis and I have to say that I am very pleased with it! (Once I get a chance at a later stage, after I’m settled back in Cyprus I will do a proper review of all 3 products).

Once home, we opened a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate the new job/country move while all 3 us helped prepare dinner (a Greek dish, of course) and talked about what it would take to organise the move.

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Brunch the next day was at home followed by the makeup trial. We kept it to a pretty much nude look although I did manage to convince Asha in the end to let me try a bit of burgundy and purple colours on her eyes. I think she eventually grew to like the outcome but sadly I forgot to take a photo of the look.

At 3 pm we had cake and coffee planned at my local Italian coffee place where we met another friend from our university years, Caroline.  Asha and Caroline are in regular contact but apart from the occasional Facebook chat I hadn’t seen Caroline in more than a decade and it was lovely to catch up with her and also finally meet her daughter, her partner and his youngest daughter. The meeting was topped off with some FaceTime with another university friend, Ange from USA.  It was very sweet even though brief.

Our evening plan for Saturday was dinner and drinks at the nearest Solita restaurant, another favourite of ours, that specialises in massively portioned delicious burgers.

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Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re at Solita’s Prestwich enjoying massive quantities of delicious burgers

The realisation soon came to us that moving back to Cyprus meant that seeing my friend would be less frequent. We have, over the years  though, always managed to stay in touch and visit each other in our respective countries.  Asha even visited me in Athens when I was working there for 2 years.  So we know we won’ lose touch. We may even arrange a holiday somewhere else together the next time.

And who knows? Perhaps we may even throw in a makeup shopping spree somewhere in there…

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Beauty · Coffee · Diary · Food · Friends · Makeup · Shopping · Uncategorized

Ladies who brunch and go make-up shopping (Part 1 / London)

I hadn’t seen Asha, my good friend from uni, since my wedding in Cyprus last October. She lives in Surrey (but commutes to London for work) and has a busy schedule so although we now live in the same country again, meeting up is not that often and requires some planning.  We keep in touch regularly, sending each other messages via social media but so far since 2014 we managed to see each other about twice a year. She was due to visit me in Manchester at the end of June but in the meantime she suggested we arrange a meet-up for the day in London sometime in May. So, I booked my train ticket a few weeks in advance to avoid the ridiculously extortionate prices that the Manchester-London trains sometimes charge and off I was yesterday for a girly day out!  We planned to do the things we like the most: eat nice food, chat, have coffee, talk about make-up, look at make-up and eat cake!

We met in Euston train station and took the underground to Covent Garden where we were booked to have brunch at Bill’s in St Martin’s Courtyard.

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Asha in Bill’s

Our nice, filling late breakfasts (Asha had the veggie breakfast and I went for a yummy avocado on toast with poached eggs and streaky bacon) were followed by a cup of coffee and a stroll around the make up stores in Covent Garden.  We had been having a running debate about whether Asha’s foundation number/colour was too dark for her skin tone and we wanted to check it out in MAC where she buys it from.

First off though we visited the Charlotte Tilbury shop. It must have been a very new shop there because although it was very busy with people more than half of them were staff members!  The staff to customer ration seemed to be 3:1! The staff were very eager to service customers but I’m not sure how many sales were being made. We had a good look at the face creams and make up products and asked about the prices (which were a bit high) but we didn’t find anything that we couldn’t live with so we left without any purchases.  I then spotted, on the opposite side of the street, a KIKO store. I first had heard of this Milanese brand in Sweden on a 2009 trip there where while at a shopping mall with my friend Maria we stumbled across it and bought a few colour correcting/concealer products.  Asha hadn’t heard of it before so we went inside to have a look there as well.  KIKO prices are very reasonable and they had a good range of quality make-up brushes and I ended up buying an eyeshadow pencil brush at half the price of a MAC one as well as a loose face powder and a powder puff.  I also bought a few make-up goodies a late birthday present for Asha, one of them was a very promising highlighter.

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Kiki, the happy KIKO shopper

3 shops to the right was the MAC store which felt really crammed and the staff on the first floor were too busy to attend to all the customers.  We almost left with nothing when we realised there was a basement floor. I am SO glad we took the stairs down. It was not busy and that’s where we found a make-up artist who finally put mine and Asha’s debate at rest (the correct foundation number apparently is somewhere between the one she has and the number I suggested).  The make-up artist/assistant even gave Asha a freebie with the suggested foundation to try the lighter tone at home (woohoo!) and I was overjoyed to finally be re-united with the eyeshadow brush no. 227.  It is by far the best blender eyeshadow brush I have ever used.  I had bought it from the Cyprus MAC store 10 years ago and it was stolen from my car in Cyprus 2.5 years ago when someone broke into it at Christmas time and stole my make up bag. Since then I had been mourning that brush more than my expensive sunglasses and other items taken from my car as I was unable to find the same brush in the Cyprus or Manchester MAC stores I looked into.  I couldn’t find it in the UK online MAC store either. So I shrieked with delight when I saw it in the Covent Garden store. The shop assistant there who heard me couldn’t believe how happy I was over a brush!  So the MAC visit was a win for both my friend and I!

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My KIKO and MAC purchases

The last thing on our day’s To -Do list was a must visit to Hummingbird in Soho.  We wanted to have some cake but also take some treats back home but we were still quite full from our brunch so we only bought cupcakes to take home.  Although we both have a sweet tooth we still could not have cake in the afternoon so we decided that we would have them as dessert after dinner at our homes. I chose Carrot, Dark Bottom, Salted Caramel and Red Velvet to share with my husband back home. (He loved them so much he now wants me to go to London again just for the cupcakes).

All in all, it was a lovely day, catching up with my friend, doing some shopping and enjoying yummy things!  Even the weather wasn’t too bad with sunshine most of the day. We ended up using our umbrellas only for a minute as the showers were sporadic and we were indoors most of the time.

Having one last cup of tea at Pret-a-Manger before taking our respective trains back we decided that we could meet more regularly in different towns to shorten the distance between us. However, the next time will be a proper visit in a month’s time when my friend comes to stay over in Manchester to spend some quality time and be make-up guinea pig . So part 2 of ladies who brunch and shop for make-up will be in Manchester at the end of June!

P.S. I do have to try some different eyeshadows for my course homework but I am continuing with my personal make-up challenge and was wearing the MAC Deep Truth and Cien’s sky blue eyeshadows on my London day trip.