Friday, 28 September 2012

September Glossybox...or should I say October?

I was really excited about the September Glossybox, the limited edition box design by Maggie Li, the Rodial samples I was hoping to get etc.  However, the anticipation was almost drawn out to breaking point when the box itself didn't arrive on time.  Not only did it not arrive but I had trouble getting through to the customer services department and my emails went unanswered.  Finally the Glossybox arrived over a week late and with the wrong name on the box!  Ah well better late then never!

This month's box contained:

1. A sample of the Lady Gaga Fame Fragrance which to be honest I didn't like and I kind of wish that Glossybox didn't include perfume samples in the boxes as we can easily get them from good department stores.  The smell itself is very flowery and sweet whereas I like clean, fresh smelling perfumes.

2. RODIAL Glamoxy Snake Serum and 5 Minute Facial - now these samples I was really looking forward to receiving.  A friend of mine tried her samples when she got her Glossybox last week and was raving about her skin after.  I can't wait to try them.  (NB: No actual snakey bits in the product!!)

3. Balance ME Wonder Eye Cream - just in time as I'm sleeping so badly at the moment, I could really do with some help in the undereye area so I can't wait to try this.  The Glossybox also contained a £5 off voucher but only until 01.10.2012 which, given how late I received the September Glossybox seems a bit unfair to me.

4. Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Complex - Have passed this on to my mum to use.

5. Sexy Hair Spray and Play - I'm looking forward to trying this volumising hairspray, although it doesn't smell that nice which is a shame.

Lets see how we get on!

Monday, 17 September 2012

3 Dot Eyeliners

See if you can spot the difference:

1. Bourjois Intuitive Liner, approx £7
2. Clarins Limited Edition 3-Dot Liner, approx £20
Now, I'm all for cheaper alternatives, however, in this instance the Clairns wins with a much stronger colour. Although having said that I've been using Bourjois liquid liners for years and if you don't mind dot-to-dot eyeliners then it is definitely a good alternative.

Personally, I'm not a fan of these eyeliners, I like my nib to have just one point, however this could be just because I've been wearing eyeliner for years now and a couple of quick sweeps and I'm usually done.  With the 3 dot eyeliners you need a little more time and patience. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The search for black shoes

I know that this sounds ridiculous but I have been looking for the perfect pair of black shoes for the past 3 years.  I have a fairly extensive shoe collection, but I literally have one pair of plain black shoes that are on their way out.

My problem has been that I just want a pair of shoes that won't date, have a 'walkable' heel and are comfortable to wear without looking clumpy and cheap.  They also have to have just the right amount of front, not too much toe cleavage but not too much covered up either, oh and I don't want a platform, you get the idea, the list goes on and on.  I have been to many shops (and have dragged along very patient friends with me) and more often then or not I have come home with a pair of shoes that are NOT plain black shoes.

Luckily the A/W 2012 collections on the high street have come up trumps and I have found a few pairs that look promising - now I just have to decide which to buy!
1. River Island £45.00
2.Ash: £135.00
3.ASOS: £128.00
4.Carvela £85.00
5. KG Kurt Geiger: £90.00

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hurray for Ping Pong

Sushi or dim sum, that was the question and dim sum in the case won, helped along by the fact that I had just received an email from Ping Pong offering every 4 dish for free!  The girls and I went to the St Christophers Place branch on James Street near Bond Street station and we were not disappointed by the food on offer.  Unfortunately I didn't take that many pictures, but suffice to say that the dim sum looked pretty.

Freebies :)
The restaurant itself was 'typical' Ping Pong, all dark wood and stools to sit on.  The one thing that let this branch of Ping Pong down was the toilets which for my tall friend were a hazard as she has to semi crouch to get to the toilet without incurring a head injury.  The toilets themselves were clean although strangely arranged with a communal sink and the men's cubicles off the left and the women's off to the right.  One of the toilet cubicles had a strange hole in the wall which had been covered offer with gaffer tape?!?
Chicken shu mai
Back to the food:  Things got off to a good start when we were offered free prawn crackers and dipping sauces.  The three of us went a little crazy with the pencil and paper and chose 13 different dishes.  Stand out dishes were the roast pork puffs which were just amazing dipped in chilli sauce, the spicy vegetable dumpling and the spinach and mushroom dumping which were just light mouthfuls of delicious-ness!  I was also told that the chive dumplings were amazing.
Roast pork puff
Not such a success, for us anyway, were the crispy duck spring rolls which were a little dry and chewy and the squid in satay sauce which really didn't taste of anything.

We finished off with the praline layered chocolate cake which was lovely and light with a slight biscuity texture which I loved and dragon eye tea which looked beautiful but tasted as you would expect like a flower patch! 
Dragon eye tea
Praline layered chocolate cake
The service at Ping Pong was great, really attentive but discreet service which was just right. We had a bit of banter with our waitress which is always nice too.

Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Price: 4/5 -although the voucher helped!
Ambience: 3/5 - let down by the toilets.
Ping Pong St Christopher's Place on Urbanspoon

Friday, 7 September 2012


So I finished up a project for one of my clients and as a thank you he took me to lunch at Amaya which is an Indian bar and grill in Knightsbridge.  Amaya is part of the MW Eat Group collection of restaurants which includes Veeraswamy, Chutney Marys and the more affordable Masala Zone chain of restaurants.

First impressions of Amaya were good, my client and I were meeting up for lunch and it was quiet when we arrived up soon filled up with people as time went on.  With the dark, modern interior, your eye is immediately drawn to the kitchen at the back of the restaurant where all of the magic happens.  Huge tandoor ovens (see picture below), a grill or 'sigri' section where food is cooked over a coal flame and the hot plate where food was griddled.

We went for the £29 Business Lunch menu which let us try 8 different tapas style dishes made up of various types of meats, fish and veggies cooked on the three different stations.  Each dish that came to us was a work of art and tasted amazing.  The nan bread was lovely as were the chutneys on offer.  Stand out dishes in particular were the chicken biriyani and the venison kebab which was filled with a lovely spicy sauce.

Dessert was a shared platter of small desserts including a rose sorbet, a lime tart and coconut brulee.  The desserts were not as good as the mains in my opinion and lacked imagination and flair, although they did look lovely on the 'Polo' plate.

Overall, the food was great, if in my opinion slightly overpriced.  However, the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff and just the general ambience made this lunch quite special and I would definitely go again.

Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Ambience: 5/5
Amaya on Urbanspoon