A Brand Discovery: Milani Make Up

You know when you discover a new make up range, or website, and wonder why you've never bothered with it before? I feel like I've completely mugged myself off by overlooking the Milani Make Up Range for so long! I recently discovered a site called Just My Look, which stock SO many brands I've wanted to try for ages. Including L.A Girl and Olaplex(!), there's loads of things on there that I want to try...

Anyway, I digress, let's get back to the brand in hand.

Milani. A cruelty free make up range, which is certified by PETA and carries the bunny logo. Not only that but all the products are incredibly affordable, which is what led me to investigate the brand in the first place. 

Drawn in by the reviews of the Milani 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer, I just knew I had to try it. For weeks I've just felt like all my foundations were sitting awkwardly on my skin, making me look a little like an extra from the Great British Bake Off. No matter what primer I've been using, or technique to apply, the finish is just cakey as sin each time. I'm not quite sure where I've been going wrong over the last few weeks, but it's been fairly annoying.

Then I went and tried this little beauty and oh my, where has it been all my life!?

Not only is this the perfect amount of coverage, but applying with a beauty blender makes it the most effortlessly flawless finish I've ever seen from a £12.95 foundation! Usually I need to cake on the concealer under my eyes each morning, but this needs no additional concealer on a good day; and a tiny touch on a bad one. 

The formula is so lightweight for such a great coverage, with not a hint of cakey-ness in sight. It also lasts the entire day, with a water resistant, seamless finish.

Alongside the Milani Foundation, I've also been L.O.V.I.N.G the Milani Amore Matte Lip Cream. I've been living for my Colourpop Matte Lip Cream, but it's starting to run low and I can't stomach the customs charges again.

This Milani lip cream is the closest I've found in the UK and the shade 'Adorable' is a lovely, light nude which is perfect for every day wear. It doesn't dry my lips out like some matte formulas can, but the only slight niggle is that the applicator can tend to deliver a little too much product, meaning you have to be a little more careful when you apply it. 

I still have a few more Milani make up products to rifle through from my little haul, including the Prep, Set and Go Powder. Apparently you can use that before  you apply your foundation as a primer, which is something that both intrigues and scares me a little. But one day I'll get the guts to give it a go. You know, you have to do one thing every day that scares you after all.... Ha.

Have you tried anything from Milani? What else would you recommend?

Chi Kitchen London

When I heard that Chi Kitchen in Birmingham had unexpectedly closed down, I was absolutely gutted! I've featured it a few times on the blog now, and it was one of those hidden treasures which was always a pleasure to dine at.
When Charl and I visited London for a blogger event a few weeks ago, we ended up also visiting Chi Kitchen whilst in the city too. Nestled at the back of Debenhams on Oxford Street, we worked up a hunger after swatching that Too Faced Peach Palette in the store. What can I say? Beauty shopping is hungry work...

The menu for Chi Kitchen in London seemed like a more streamlined version of the ones I'd seen previously in Birmingham. I must say, sometimes it's nice to see a simpler menu when you're so hungry that you simply don't know what to choose! We asked the waitress to serve us her recommendations and some of the most popular dishes - which was a excellent move considering that everything we ate was utterly delicious!

The stand out dish from the selection was the Beef Kushiyaki, which was the most tender meat I've ever enjoyed (*eye roll* at where your mind went then...). Even though the sauce was delicate, it still had a deliciously rich flavour and the fresh vegetables were an amazing variation on the textures.

Aside from this, we also enjoyed salt and pepper squid - which you simply can't go wrong with, and some Tempura Prawns which were served in a Wasabi Mayo. The delicate spice, the juicy prawns and the slight crunch all worked effortlessly together, but made for one moreish dish. I could have eaten 5 bowls of this one!

Chi means 'energy' in Chinese, which is where the name originates from and I can definitely say that this meal provided myself and Charl with a welcome boost of energy, ready for our train home after a long day at a blog event. . Influenced by Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean food, Chi Kitchen takes you on a truly tasty culinary adventure through South East Asia with each and every bite. 

If you're in London and looking for a haven away from the high street, head to the back of Debenhams on Oxford Street and head to the back. You won't regret it.

So You Think You Want a Cat?

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my two cats. Kitty is around 6 years old now and I've had her since she was a kitten, and Stevie is almost 7 months old. I must admit though, both were taken in without giving much long term thought to the responsibilities and costs of having a pet.

The thought process for having Stevie was pretty straight forward. My friend's cat had birthed a kitten, and I'd be considering getting a 'friend' for Kitty for a while. Being at work Monday to Friday and being out of the house for 12 hours a day left me concerned for her loneliness and she was becoming increasingly 'bored' and seemingly frustrated when I was too tired to give her attention. How did I know this? The wee. Cat's generally wee when they want attention and Kitty was starting to do it more frequently on one too many coats.

Kitty has interacted with other cats before. When I lodged at my friends house for a few months, she got on well with the other cats she ended up residing with. In fact, her and Dillon had a whale of a time up until the early hours, with constant chasing and playing. With that in mind, I assumed that her and Stevie would get on fine.

I Was Wrong

One of the main differences between Kitty going to another cats house and another cat coming in to her house, was territory. This house is her domain and coated in her scent. To bring another random cat inside was a thoughtless idea. Especially considering her personality can be rather shy. Stevie is a boisterous male cat with no fear - something Kitty definitely is not.

They're getting along fine now, apart from the odd hiss here and there. They don't have fights, but more rough and tumble 'plays', which have calmed down more now Stevie is older and slightly less playful. Since having two cats there have been unexpected additional expenses which I didn't tend to have with just the one. 

The Real Cost of Having a Cat

Which brings me through to the point of this post. The importance of thinking of the cost of having a cat. In fact, let's scrap that - the cost of having any pet.

I see too many people on social media thinking it's 'cute' for their animal to go produce kittens, puppies and general small bundles of fluff. But what seems cute at first, is absolutely crippling animal charities and not for profit organisations.

Luckily,  I can afford to feed, keep, neuter, and insure my cats. And as soon as both have been ready, they have gone straight to the vets to have the snip. Something which will set you back around £50 and will stop adding to the selfish trend of letting your animal give birth and becoming yet another animal needing a home - when there are already an abundance in animal shelters which are struggling to find their forever home. 

Why this country doesn't have licenses for animals, I will never know. Too often people are treating pets as disposable and giving them away, without even considering the repercussions. When animal shelters are full, they have no choice but to turn the animals away, and if someone is already wanting to get rid of an animal, what do you think happens? Abuse. Plain and simple. 

When Animals Shelters Reach Capacity...

I've seen this first hand, when my friend used to foster for the local cats home. On a daily basis they would have to turn cats away. If there was no one to foster them, the people trying to get rid of them would simply 'dispose' of them. I'll leave the details to your imagination...

Before having an animal, look at the life expectancy, the cost of insurance, save the money for them to have the snip. Within the first 6 months of having a cat you can expect to spend around £150 on set up costs (such as food and litter trays), spaying and toys. I beg you - make sure this money is available before you commit. There is no excuse. On a weekly basis I spend around £10 on cat food and litter in total. I am committed to doing this for the next 18-25 years. Because guys, guess what? Animals need to eat. You know this before you have one. Don't go in to the commitment with ignorance.

Yes, animals are cute and they're absolutely great companions, but consider the real cost of owning one. It's not just money, it can be the guilt of having to give one up when you realise you jumped in without thinking of the long term.

Don't Get Me Wrong Though!

Having cats is costly and a commitment I was initially worried about, but now both are settled it's absolutely brilliant. Not only are they yes, cute, but when you live alone they are endlessly beneficial to your well being. If you're happy, sad or just in the bath; you can rely on your little best pals to be there. No matter what room you're in, no matter what you're doing and when you just need a cuddle, I wouldn't be without Stevie and Kitty and I feel lucky that  I can afford to look after them and give them a good home for life.

Which UK Festival Should I Go To?

It's only the start of February and I'm already aboard the Festival hype train. Choo choo! There's been a shit load of brilliant announcements already and whether you're a festival veteran or a complete n00b; it's going to be a hard decision to finalise which one you're going to invest your money in.

Personally, I cannot fault Leeds Festival or Download Festival, but hey, a leopard never changes it's spots...

When it comes to UK Festivals you're covered for pretty much any genre - from Punk Rock to Folk and a sprinkling of Jazz.

But there are so many more to take in to consideration, so here's your quickie guide to some UK festivals and great music coming to a field near you this summer. Let's start with the big ones, which cover a bit of everything, for everyone:

Glastonbury 2017

Where: Glastonbury, Somerset 
When: 21st - 25th June 
What: Pretty much everything you can think of in one big ol' field. Tag-lined at the Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, it makes me think of a big family fun day... But on mind bending drugs and lasting for a good few days, in a much larger space. With ZZ Top, Adele, Wolf Alice, Cyndi Lauper and even Billy Bragg making an appearance, there's literally something for everyone. Not only is there music, but there is also a range of areas which hold bars, cinemas and all-round entertainment.

Leeds and Reading Festival 2017

Where: Bramham Park, Leeds and Richfield Avenue, Reading
When: 25th - 27th August
What: Leeds and Reading are a mixture of indie, dance and some punk and metal on the alternatives stages. Once again, with a little bit of something for everyone, if you're not interested in the music itself you can always potter around the campsites spotting people who are being sick in their shoes, or head to the bars and parties going on all around the little villages of tents. This year there is Kasabian, Muse, Jimmy Eat World, At The Drive In and Korn(!) announced, with many more to come as the acts start coming through. 

Latitude 2017

Where: Henman Park, Suffolk
When: 13-16th July 
What:  Latitude is a more family friendly festival, where you can enjoy a waterfront view, sheds of stories, faraway forests and so much more! One which is on my festival bucket list, that I still have't experienced, Latitude appears to be all the fun of the actual fair, with music thrown in for good measure. Perfect for your first festival experience, due to the family friendly atmosphere; this year there have been no official announcements yet, but in the past Latitude goers have enjoyed the likes of The Maccabees, Chvrches and Daughter. What I like to call 'Radio 1 indie'....

But what if you're not in to the family or indie vibes and want something a bit more gritty? There's also a ton of rock, metal and punk festivals in the UK this year and here's a few to get you started...

UK Rock, Metal and Punk Festivals 2017

Download Festival 2017

Where: Castle Donnington 
When: 9 - 11 June
What: Rock music, of course. Despite a rather rainy Download Festival last year, that didn't detract from the full metal experience. This year the announcements already include Biffy Clyro, System of a Down and Aerosmith, alongside a load of announcements yet to come. Not only is the music itself amazing (for a little mosher like me), but the festival site is also something to experience. Based on an actual race track, this means that even if it's muddy as sin you can still feel some solid ground beneath your feet.

Ramblin' Man Fair 2017

Where: Maidstone, Kent
When: 28 - 30th July
What:  One for the more mature rockers amongst us, Ramblin' Man Fair features ZZ Top, Saxon and load more classic and prog rock bands. If you're looking for a festival which doesn't have the traditional camp sites, and opt for a more 'glamping' style, then Ramblin' Man might be the one for you. As it's based in a metropolitan town centre there isn't camping available on site, but there's a range of alternatives available.

Slam Dunk 2017

Where: Birmingham, Leeds and Herfordshire
When: 27th - 29th May 
What:  If camping festivals just aren't your thing full stop, but you still want your fill of punk rock music, then Slam Dunk is the one to go and get Slam drrrrunk at. Dodging the mud, you can head to Slam Dunk at multiple locations throughout the UK and so far Don Broco, Reel Big Fish and Neckdeep are on the bill. If you like a good skank, over the traditional mosh, then this is a good one to get your ska punk on to fo' sho'.

If none of the above are for you and you're feeling a bit daunted by the larger festivals, then there are some more relaxed, smaller, festivals, which are perfect for first timers...

Y Not Festival 2017

Where: Pikehall, Derbyshire
When: 27th - 30th July 
What: One of the smaller festivals, Y Not is the PERFECT festival for anyone who's never experienced one before. The weather tends to be nicer, so less mud, and the campsite and arenas are small enough not to get too lost in! This year we have Maximo Park, Two Door Cinema Club and The Vaccines to look forward too. It's also incredibly affordable and set in the more picturesque location you'll find in Derbyshire.

2000 Trees 2017

Where: Withington, Cheltenham
When: 6th - 8th July
What: SLAVES and Pulled Apart by Horses are high on the bill for 2000 Trees 2017, but I do doubt they will come anywhere near to the experience of seeing Refused last year! However, 2000 Trees is definitely still totally worth going to.  With the campsite literally a stone throw away from the stages, you can enjoy a nice swift can of lager whilst you relax watching the bands. Established in 2007, this year marks the 10th anniversary of 2000 Trees, so it's certainly going to be a party atmosphere for all involved.

Kendall Calling Festival 2017

Where: Lowther Deer Park, Lake District
When: 27th - 30th July 
What: Already a sell out(!) Kendall Calling is set in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District. Manic Street Preachers, Editors, Jake Bugg and Tinie Tempah are all making an appearance, Kendall Calling also features a 'Tim Peaks' area - which is the creative brain child of former Charlatans' front man Tim Burgess (fun fact; he also makes coffee and the name Tim Peaks is totally a take on Twin Peaks). Keep a look out for any further ticket releases closer to the date as this one appears to be a festival that's not to be missed!

There are, of course, a million other festivals to experience in the UK this year, with so many more coming on to the radar with each search! There are loads more announcements to come and I'll be covering as many as possible in the run up.

Date Night at The Printworks Manchester

With so many things to eat, see and do in Manchester, in recent years it seems I've overlooked The Printworks as a destination to do pretty much... most things. Nestled down at the bottom of the city centre, just by the new tram stop and paralegal to Selfridges, The Printworks is a bustling building of food, drink, films and even a gym.

This weekend, we avoided the Valentines Day struggles and went to The Printworks to enjoy a relaxing date night without the sickly romance and overbooked restaurants. With the cold, wind and rain making the outside world pretty grim, there's a lot to be said for enjoying a delicious meal and strolling INSIDE to the cinema. 

There are so many places to try in the Printworks that you never even realised where in there! Bierkeller, Wasabi, Hard Rock Cafe, Wagamama's and even a bloody Wetherspoons. 

A taste of Thailand 

One place that I've wanted to try since it opened recently is Busaba - a Thai restaurant, which drew me in with the offering of Tom Kha on the menu. I've been desperately seeking Tom Kha since Tampopo took it off their menu and it's my all time favourite dish. A slightly spiced, coconut broth with succulent chicken and glass noodles it just what you need on a chilly night and the Busaba version didn't disappoint. Although granted, it could have done with a sprinkling of baby sweetcorn or some sugarsnap peas for crunch. Nevertheless, it was everything I had been dreaming of.

Busaba also have a range of specials available at the moment, which are almost too delicious to miss. Wild Black Pepper Venison is one of them. With rich, marinated strips of Venison stir fried with spring onion, chillis and garlic, the pairing of Jasmine Rice completes the dish. Considering the rich flavours, the dish overall was really fresh and light, which made it perfect if you're thinking of following up with a dessert. 

After a delicious meal, we then trotted across to the Odeon in the Printworks to watch T2 Trainspotting. I was 11 when the first one came out, and I remember going to town with my friend and using my pocket money to buy the Underworld single on cassette. Only to take it back 10 minutes later after I decided I wanted a cheapo tamagotchi instead. Showcasing in itself that I certainly wasn't old enough to watch the actual film.

First there was an opportunity......then there was a betrayal

T2 is exactly what you expect and what you need from the original Trainspotting cast. It's hard to write about a film without giving away the entire plot. but I walked away thinking about how brilliant and relevant it all is to 2017. With so many people living their life in the nostalgia of the past still so prevalent, Trainspotting 2 takes all the essence of the first film and does what so many of us adults tend to do nowadays - bring everything back to the past. Everything is better in hindsight, huh?

With a cracking soundtrack throughout and moments that inspire feelings you didn't know you had, it's a must see; especially after you've re-watched the first.

So, if you're looking for a place for a date and neither of you can decide what to eat or what to see, just head to The Printworks, where you can make a decision on the day; without suffering the cold chill of the high street. 

Your Daily Alternative to the Garnier Moisture Bomb Mask

Witch Piggy Hell Pore Control

Okay, I'll admit it; I bought this Witch Piggy Hell Pore Control (yep, that's it's real name) simply for the packaging... Then I noticed the name. Then I noticed the ingredients. Standing proudly on the shelves of TK Maxx, amongst a few other items from the brand Elizavecca. 

Nope, I'd not heard of it either...

From what I can tell, Elizavecca is a Korean Beauty Brand, that has a pretty strong pig theme throughout. From bubbling face masks, to steam creams, they have a load of quirky products in even quirkier packaging.

After parting with £7.99 and heading straight home to try it, I found that what I thought would be a runny, liquid formula was more of a gel consistency. Which reminded me a lot of the increasingly popular Garnier Moisture Bomb Face Mask  formula. 

I then went on to investigate some of the ingredients...

The main ingredient in both products is the hydrating wonder, that is known as Hyaluronic Acid. Which I've mentioned many times here on the blog. Being the perfect ingredient for dry and dehydrated skin, it's an amazing addition to your regime if you're suffering from the inevitable cold-weather complexion. 

As well as Hyaluronic Acid, the Witch Piggy Hell Pore Control formula also contains niacinamide. This is a great ingredient if you need a restorative element to your skin. Helping to tone uneven skin and aid enlarged pores, this helps to combat any signs of aging; as well as keeping environmental damage at bay.

So, should you invest in Witch Piggy Hell Pore Control?

Both the Witch Piggy Hell Pore Control and the Garnier face mask contain caster oil as well, which is well known for anti-inflammatory and soothing properties - making both perfect if you're currently suffering from any angry spots or break outs.

The concentrations within the Witch Piggy Hell Pore Control seem a little higher than the mask, however, both are brilliant if you need a boost of hydration. If you like the mask, then definitely seek this out in your local TK Maxx, as it's a great addition to your daily skincare regime!

About Hello Terri Lowe

A UK Beauty, Lifestyle and Food blog, based in Staffordshire, you can also expect to see reviews of places around the country. Often spotted in Manchester during a day job of Community Management for a PR Agency, you can expect to see a little bit of everything from festivals to food and everything in-between. When not blogging, you can find me having a nice sit down with my cats, Stevie and Kitty, or enjoying a fine cup of coffee. Don't forget to take a look at my 'about' page if you're interested in collaborating on any exciting opportunities!

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