[Makeup and Chatter] Lunch at The Botanist

I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this unintentional ‘Makeup and Chatter’ series. I get to talk about a good day with nice memories at a place I haven’t been to before, as well as share a makeup look. Oftentimes posts with only the former don’t do so well but I really do enjoy writing those so I’m glad I’m finding a way to keep them going. Also, I can’t keep these photos languishing in my computer folders forever.

The Botanist is a bar and restaurant which, in Birmingham, is tucked away on Temple Street, off New Street, just around the corner from Tesco Metro and a bit further up than Ryman’s. I didn’t even realise that it was a place you could eat – it’s one of those places easily overlooked, I think.

The bar has a glass ceiling part (I’m sure there’s another word for it…) which lights up that area quite well for photos, including this gorgeous coloured centrepiece I took a few snaps of, but otherwise, the restaurant is ambiently lit and very cosy. We went in just as it opened and it was still pretty busy for the lunch period as far as I could tell. As orders were taken and the restaurant leapt into action the smell coming out of the kitchen was divine. I stopped regretting skipping breakfast (by accident) right away.

I ordered the Berry Good Times Mocktail and the Butternut Squash, Goat’s Cheese and Mushroom Pie. It was a really nice comfort meal and I totally stuffed myself. The hanging kebabs looked fascinating, though. Maybe next time! I can never make it through a two course meal unless the portions are really small or I am especially starved… Is it just me? Otherwise I would have totally gone for dessert.

I finally gave my friend her Christmas present, a handmade hat like this one but in a different colour scheme, dark green and grey. I might do another post on it. On the other hand, she gave me a few packets of instant miso soup which taste really good and can’t really be found here. We spoke about a lot of things over lunch, like makeup (okay, that part of the conversation was mostly me) and boys (also me, but not normally my conversation topic of choice) and general facts about each other.

The thing about making new friends now is that there’s a breadth of past and potential to talk about as we get to know one another. She’s already finished her year of study here and moves back home soon and I will miss her to bits, as she was actually one of the first few friends I made at university, too.

Her birthday was yesterday and I hadn’t figured out what lipstick to buy for her (I am living my lipstick-buying life vicariously) so we popped around Selfridges, got sucked in by the lady at the YSL counter for several minutes, and ended up popping around MAC and picking a satin nude shade. We also popped by a NYX stand and I spotted a Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm on sale for £4 (it’s on my wishlist for after I finish a certain other product) and I had to tear myself away from the counter, ASAP. In hindsight, that was pretty funny.

I had a lecture in the morning so I couldn’t go completely overboard with the makeup. I did end up a little late anyway (this isn’t usual of me! Don’t worry! I’m normally twenty minutes early!!) but this was because I made the over-excited last minute decision to add false lashes. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either.

I practised last night and it went okay, but that meant nothing this morning. It took me two attempts and then, not being used to using eyeliner with false lashes, the lashes got in the way and my eyeliner wasn’t so great. But I let that pass. Some makeup mistakes nobody else will really notice and this was one of them. The other was that my falsies were uneven.

The weather decided to turn bad just as I began to take photos but I persisted!
It got so dark in the space of two minutes, I was shook.

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer
Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette
Shades Ludwin, Succubus, and Saleos
CLIO Kill Black Brush Pen Liner
Shu Uemura Standard Eyelash Curler
(These are only on trial at the moment but so far, I love them.)
Eyelure Naturalites False Eyelashes
(I can feel them on my eyelids but they’re not uncomfortable, although I put that down to my inexperience. I’m sure these are an old pair, the packaging is different but this box has been lying around unopened for years, I tell you)
Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara

Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Eraser Concealer in Light
Innisfree No Sebum Powder
(Note to self – base was already breaking down by the three-hour mark.)

Lancome 06 Rose Nu
(I am always surprised by how well this lasts and it almost never bleeds… at least in a bad way…)

I never really use eyebrow products these days… I’ve been wanting to try out some eyebrow mascara type products like Boy Brow and so on but my fringe covers my brows, and my brows themselves are thankfully nice if not needing a bit of tidying from time to time.

But anyway, that’s what I got up to today. My exams are over and I’m back in the full swing of uni and part-time work. I hope you’re all doing good!

Until next time,



Review: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare


I own too many lipsticks so, as much as I am always mulling over my next purchase, these days I’ve been very good about only buying when necessary unless it’s a Lee Hi Collaboration that is available worldwide coughMACcough. So yes, I have only just gotten one of the very popular Kat Von D Everlasting range to try.
Just… Look. Look at this packaging. Tall, dark and handsome now applies to liquid lipsticks thanks to Kat Von D.
It retails for £17 for 6.6ml of product.
It has a very long tube and therefore a very long applicator which some people might not like as it offers less control over the application.
Double Dare is one of the more popular lipsticks from the line and is a muted coral. I love shades like Colourpop’s Bumble and Bourjois’ Beau Brun, but I have been looking for something just a little lighter, and this fits the bill.
Talking of Colourpop, I think the consistency of Double Dare is much lighter in general than Colourpop’s (which is hit and miss and can be both light and sometimes thick). It’s a hard-matte finish so you may find it drying, but it’s not uncomfortable in my opinion as it is so light on the lips. As is typical of this type of lipstick I’ve had it on for long days with barely a glance at the mirror unless I have eaten something greasy.
Overall, I really like this and would probably be willing to try out more shades in the future. Although there are some amazing unusual shades of green and blue I think at that price point I might stick to what I know will suit me!
Until next time,

Review: Kat Von D Shade and Light Palettes

One of the most exciting brand launches in the UK for a while (maybe since NYX): Kat Von D has landed exclusive to Debenhams. As I type I think it has been a few months now since the launch and Kat Von D should be available both online and in Debanhams stores now.

I was able to get my hands on her Shade and Light Eye Palette on the day of the online launch. It took about 5 days to come including the 3 days it took just to ship out, which I would say is probably due to the high demand at the time. It was £36, which is practically equivalent to the US price,which is great because we often get import related price markups. You get 16 neutral, matte shades in decently sized pans, a mirror in the lid, and no brushes. So it’s £4 for each pan of product and the base shade pans are double the size, too.

The 16 pans are divided into three quads: Neutral, Cool and Warm sections based on skin undertones. I’m a sort-of neutral warm and I can work with the whole palette. The warm tones are very orange/rust brown and are great for brighter, casual looks whilst the cool quad I find great for darker, more dramatic looks. Of course, I like to mix and match them all and there’s so many combinations you can get from the palette.

The colour selection is well thought out to make a palette to suit many people. Makeup Revolution has matte palettes but they turned me off with its abundance of light shades that I simply wouldn’t use.  Kat Von D, however, has a highlight shade in each quad and base shades too. These don’t show up as well as the browns but they do actually show up and in matte form as well. I still don’t use them nearly as much as the browns, though.

(I wrote this post a while ago and as I edit now, MUR have just brought out an exact dupe for this palette! It’s even called Light and Shade, how creative.)

In this set of swatches, I’ve done them in the same order and layout of the palette, using one swipe of my fingers. As you can see, the pigmentation is generally great, but the base and highlight shades don’t really show up on my skin very much (although they do better on my eyes, funnily enough). Personally, I think the fact that they’re light colours, matte and show up at all is pretty good already. I really don’t need to swipe much with my brush to get enough pigment. In fact, I find that with the darker colours I can very easily go overboard, so I have to be careful. They’re not too powdery although I get a teeny bit of fallout if I am too heavy on them with my brushes.  I’m still heavy handed when it comes to makeup!

The black is great as a defining shade – Q has used the one in hers as eyeliner a number of times for the great pigmentation, and I am a total convert – I use it to define or line my outer corner and it doesn’t smudge onto my lower lash line!

Shade and Light [Face] Contour Palette

My mom, on a trip to the US, came back with a pretty random gift from a friend – the Kat Von D Shade and Light [Face] Contour palette. I have since taken ownership of it, although I wasn’t planning on using it for my face – facial contouring is still pretty much a terrifying notion to me. Luckily, I found that the shades also work pretty well as eyeshadow in a pinch.

What forced me to begin using the palette for its intended purposes, actually, was my purchase of the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, which is so high coverage it can very easily make my face look pasty and flat. With a bit of swishing with my powder brush under my sucked in cheeks I can look human again without the contour being too noticeable.

I have to say, I know nothing about the properties of contour, but this being a powder, it lasted well on my oily skin and didn’t look dodgy throughout the day even as I got shinier. The contour shades are natural and of course since I’m only using a little at a time I can probably get away with using both warm and cool, and this will last me a long time. I don’t think I would repurchase it solely because contour isn’t my thing, and certainly not the thing I’d spend £30 on.

Cardboard packaging. Matte black, with glossy black for main text. Glossy gold for the eye palette and silver for the contour palette and this is the same on the palettes themselves too.
Both palettes have writing on the side with the palette name. Useful since I store my palettes that way now.


I wanted to show the nice design take for ‘Shade & Light’ on the sides too, that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise!


Overall, whilst I am not used to contouring yet and so probably would not have purchased the Contour Palette, I am really happy with the Eye Contour Palette. The range of everyday shades means I have been reaching for it a lot! Would I repurchase it again? We’ll see. I think I really might but that day I hit pan is still far off.

Thanks for reading!