Is Primark Make Up Any Good?

Recently I kicked it old school and joined a Facebook Group. It was called 'Mrs Gloss and the Goss'. In this group there are over 50, 000 members, all talking about make up, all the time. I rarely use Facebook, but every time I go on it now, my feed is a stream of people recommending so many new things to try.

One of the brands which kept creeping up and receiving glowing reviews was Primark and their make up/skincare range.

Not one to miss out on bagging a bargain, I ventured in the other day and somehow spent £17 on various make up items.

The two stand out items from my Primark haul...

Any skincare ranges that feature Glycolic Acid is my weakness. Primark have created a small but versatile range which boasts this skin savior. Glycolic Acid is perfect for anyone looking to brighten their skin and gently exfoliate over night.

The Primark Glycolic Acid Oil Free Moisturiser has been perfect for priming my skin, ready for make up in the morning. Despite containing Alcohol, which is an ingredient I steer away from in skincare, due to it's drying effects, the overall product is fairly nice.

It smells really fresh and absorbs in to my skin quickly. Hence why it's great for in the morning when I'm in a rush. As it's oil-free it doesn't toy with my foundation like some other moisturisers can do.

The PS Pro foundation is the ideal partner for using with this Glycolic Acid based moisturiser....

Whenever you use Glycolic Acid products, you must remember to ensure your skincare and make up contains SPF. The PS Pro long wearing mineralized foundation from Primark does have SPF 15 as part of the formula, which makes it great for daily use. 

I was really surprised that not only the coverage of the foundation is great - and will provide you with a medium to full coverage with minimal effort - but the colour is pretty much perfect for my skin tone. I was expecting it to be too orange or too dark, but it's bang on. Better still, if you are a little paler, they also do a shade lighter than the Ivory one I picked up. 

Have you tried any products from the Primark Make Up range? Let me know your recommendations on Twitter @helloterrilowe.

What To Buy The Child That Has Everything

If there's one thing which becomes somewhat of a curse when you have a fresh baby or child in your life, it's the inevitable struggle of what to buy them for their birthday (or any other special occasion). With so many family members have an internal 'ace off' trying to buy the biggest and best presents for the little one, you can find yourself feeling somewhat disheartened when you're trying to buy for them on a budget.

However, through the last 2 and a bit years that my niece has been alive, I have learnt a crucial lesson - it's not always the biggest or most expensive gift that they treasure the most. 

Honestly, from electric cars she can physically sit in, to cute dolls and toys, the kid will just like whatever she likes; regardless of price or even thought behind it! 

With so many toys, games, clothes and books, you've always got to use your imagination when it comes to getting them a gift which is a worthwhile purchase. 

A little tip that I have found always seems to work, no matter what the object, is to make it personalised. Kids just love to see their name or face on stuff. I mean, didn't you when you were a child?

That's where 'Lost My Name' comes in as a lifesaver. When they approached me to see if I'd like to order a personalised book for my niece, I knew it would be the gift for her to treasure throughout her early childhood. 

Ordering 'The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name' is so easy, and you can personalise not only the name, but the features of the kid within the book. Making the recipient feel like they actually had a book written for them! Ordering is really straight forward and easy via the website, from choosing the book through to personalising and on to the checkout stage.

Despite my niece being a little too young for the story itself, as it is rather wordy, she LOVES seeing *herself* in the book and ca already recognise her name in writing at the end! It's definitely a grower and I can imagine when she's around 5 she'll be dying to tell her friends at school about *her* book that someone else wrote about her. Kids do like to show off like that don't they?

Not only does the website have the Lost My Name book, but you can also get some other titles ready for personalisation, including The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home book, where you can pop in your home post code and it will actually print a satellite view of your home within the book! 

You can also find the brand new Fantastic Firsts cards, which are perfect for expectant mums if you're looking for a baby shower gift.

The 'Lost My Name' book was gifted to me for a review, however, the other products are so perfect for people looking for that unique gift that I kind of had to mention them too!

So if you're looking for the perfect present for the kid who has everything, or something quirky for a mum to be, just pop over to the website and have a gander.

Brunch at Côte Brasserie Manchester

Brunch at Côte Brasserie
Hands up if you left Mother's Day prep until the last minute?

You 'orrible little rotter you...

How could you forget to book, cook or buy anything so close to your mum's big day?

If you have proved yourself to be the worst child ever, then fear not, here's a little idea for that last minute Mother's Day treat which you might have a chance at still booking.

Everyone always thinks of Afternoon Tea, lunch or an evening meal when it comes to taking your mum out. But why not get up and 'atom earlier and take mother dearest to a fancy little brunch?

On Sunday I was invited to Côte Brasserie to have the ultimate French Brunch experience, which they're also offering up on a special menu for Mother's Day this Sunday. For £15.95 you can have a Mother's Day Champagne Breakfast.

But don't forget that brunch is the year -round treat for all to enjoy. With this in mind, what is brunch at Côte Brasserie like?

I chose the Vegetarian Breakfast, switching my mushers out for extra tomatoes. Mushrooms are literally the only food I cannot eat. A nice juicy tomato in their place is like sweet heaven in comparison.

Brunch at Côte Brasserie

The Vegetarian Breakfast from Côte Brasserie consists of vegetarian sausage, field mushroom, tomato, avocado, baby spinach and two poached eggs on sourdough toast with a side of Hollandaise sauce. It's basically the best of every item on the breakfast menu all on one plate.

Craving eggs benedict, but still fancy some avocado? Get the Veggie Breakie down ya!

I must say, Côte isn't a place I would usually have thought of for brunch or breakfast, but this has certainly got me craving for more adventures there. Service was great and the food was served super-speedy, which is always a bonus when you're absolutely starving first thing.

Eggs were poached to perfection, the sourdough bread was toasted *just right* and the veggie sausage was like a mini nut-roast, rather than fake meat. Delicious.

So, if you have left Mother's day until last minute, then take a look here and book your brunch! If you just fancy a nice start to your weekend, I can recommend heading to  Côte anyway, just because.

Blossoms and Cabbage: The NME Awards Tour 2017 with Vo5

2017 is going to be a lot more about the music here on Hello Terri Lowe. More gigs, more reviews, more festivals and more recommendations (which aren't just nu-metal).

Despite being in Stoke on Trent for well, pretty much my entire life, I've never been to a gig at Keele Ballroom (aka, the Student Union venue). When Vo5 popped me an email to see if I wanted to see Blossoms and Cabbage as part of the NME Awards Tour 2017, I thought it would be pretty rude not to.

Cabbage the Band

Cabbage is a band which was recommended to me by a friend, and with good reason. I'm a massive fan of anything a bit noisy and anything a bit nuts. Cabbage tick both of those boxes.With music that sounds like a The Hives met The Sex Pistols and had a wife swapping party, Cabbage somehow failed to win the hearts of the audience on what was the opening night of the NME Awards Tour.

I felt like most just didn't get it.

Which is fair enough, as a majority of the audience were there for Blossoms, who are a stark contrast to Cabbage.

However, as a fan I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Despite the singer breaking his 'pelvic rami' and having to succumb to a wheelchair to perform, I still thought it was a bloody good set. Beaming with energy and seemingly politically charged, Cabbage are what 2017 needs. 

What concerned me during the set, was the overwhelming amount of 'youth' in the audience being completely derogatory to him, as they genuinely thought he was disabled.

cabbage the band at keele

''OMG is he actually in a wheelchair, WTF as if they have a (word not for the internet) on stage''
''Is this serious? Timmeeeehhhh''
...And so on. They all thought they were hilarious when they were under the impression they were mocking someone with actual disabilities. 

Thankfully, Cabbage's Lee Broadbent will be out of his chair when the injury is heeled. But that didn't stop them playing on the mocking and deflecting the awful comments by reacting with humour. And humour is certainly a strength of the band, you just have to watch a few YouTube videos to see that.

Anyway, if you like satirical post-punk and Partridge references, you'll like them. 

Blossoms at Keele

I've seen Blossoms twice during the Summer, both times at a festival, so I was keen to see if they could re-create the atmosphere at an indoor venue. I must admit, I'm not a massive Blossoms fan, but when they're on stage there's just... something about them. Tom Ogden's voice is flawless every time. Once again, this performance in itself was without fault.

But is it any wonder that they are faultless during performance, when each gig feels a little bit like groundhog day?

Each setlist appears to be the same and even after the first time they scouted an audience member who'd  'just been dumped', so they could dedicate a song to them, it felt like a tired idea.

If you're a big fan and haven't seen them before, you do need to watch them though, as you will definitely enjoy the experience.

blossoms at keele

By the time Blossoms were on stage though, the lack of air conditioning in Keele Ballroom was becoming deeply uncomfortable. On a cold, wet March evening it was quite amazing how 95% of the audience had looked like they'd just come out of the rapids at Water World. If I, at any point doubted, that the temperature and sweaty hue in the air was a one off, I simply had to look to the ceiling to see large mould spores on the ceiling.

It's a wonder nobody left with legionnaires disease.

Big thanks to Vo5 for hooking me up with guest list, and I'm hoping to see Cabbage as much as possible this year. You can catch them and Blossoms on the NME Awards 2017 tour until the 1st April. Dates and tickets can be found here.

barn//it Manchester Review: A Hair and Cocktail Experience!

barn//it Manchester Review

This is the first of two posts all about the new wonder-hairdressers on the block - barn//it in Manchester. After being invited to have my hair done at the three story realm of hair and beauty, which is tucked just up John Dalton Street, I've not stopped swooshing and swishing my new fiery locks.

In this post I'm just going to go through the actual review of the experience. In the next one I'll tell you all about why you need to choose the L.A Weave as the extension application method you go for next. 

If you've ever strolled down John Dalton Street, you will have no doubt noticed the neon pink sign, glowing from the front window of New Church House. Whenever I mentioned I was going to have my hair done at barn//it this was the first thing people said...

''ooooh the one with the neon sign! It looks SO cool in there!!''

And cool it is.

You walk in to the door to find the standard row of salon chairs, with the addition of some quirky, contemporary art from Real Housewives of Cheshire star Stacey Forsey on the back wall. To your left you then noticed the spiral staircases, which lead you to the downstairs styling room - which is once again filled with the standard hairdressers set up. You might even notice the odd cocktail in front of the never-ending stream of customers having their hair styled and designed (I say never-ending, as I've never walked past and seen it empty). It's not until you venture further in, that this labyrinth of a location really starts to come to life.
stacey forsey art space
Through the door at the back of the salon, you are met with the first beauty room. This is where they provide anything from facials to brows and a bit of everything in-between. With a full range of Guinot products to play with, you can enjoy an expert experience with the in-house beauty consultant who will provide a tailored service, just for you.

As you go up the stairs, the charm of the heritage building comes to life, with the barn//it 'colours' adding a modern day twist. When you reach the first floor, you will see why barn//it stands out as an experience, rather than just being yet *another* beauty salon. 

The first floor of barn//it is home to their soon to be infamous cocktail and nail bar.

Yep, that's right. Cocktails (and nails)...

Whilst you have your hair, nails or beauty treatment done, you can enjoy one of the AMAZING cocktails, made just for you in the in-house bar. 

barn//it Manchester Review

barn//it is all about the experience and wants to make every client look and feel awesome. After my espresso martini and peachy cocktail number, I certainly did feel awesome - but maybe that was down to my hair transformation too? 

Colour Specialist Natasha performed what I can only describe as a work of art, on my very own head. It's been so long since I've had my hair done at the hairdressers, that I forgot what a fresh dye-job and set of extensions can feel like. 

I can tell you now though - it feels bloody wonderful.

4 hours in a chair on a Friday night and I couldn't be happier. 

Using a blue-toned red for the roots and mid-lengths, Natasha blended in a beautiful copper toned red, down in to a peachy, lighter shade. My hair is literally the colours of the fire emoji. When I presented Natasha with my Beauty Works extensions, I was a little concerned that my request to match my hair to them was too ambitious. Clearly at this point I didn't know that Natasha was a hair magician.

Dying my hair and the extensions at the same time, she managed to create everything I had in mind and more. The blending of both the colours and the extensions is just flawless. 

barn//it has only been open a short while and it's already a favourite amongst Manchester Bloggers, celebrities and locals alike. After my visit I can see why.

As mentioned at the start of the post, I will do a follow up all about the method used to attach the hair extensions and also why the L.A Weave is the best method for my hair. 

barn//it Manchester Review

For now, go and follow barn//it and Natasha on Instagram to keep in the loop of the hair-related goodness.

Visit the barn//it website here.

*Disclaimer: I was invited to review the services and experience at barn//it and provided hair extensions from Beauty Works myself.

Zizzi Italian Review in Collaboration with UNiDAYS

The other weekend, when Charl and I popped to Coliseum Shopping Park, not only did we do a bit of trend spotting, but we also refueled before the drive home via a little Italian chain restaurant called Zizzi.

Zizzi gives itself the tagline of 'Individually Italian' over on the website, but does it live up to the expectations of quality and deliciousness that our Italian friends are known for? There was only one way to find out...

Perusing the menu, there was a lot to choose from. From the range of starters, through to dessert, it seemed like a thorough, but simple menu to follow, as well as featuring a few classics alongside more contemporary dishes. To kick things off, we went straight in for a sharing platter. 

The Cicchetti Sharing Board had a selection of the following items: Mini Calzones with spicy Nduja sausage, chicken & pepper skewers, oven-baked king prawn skewers, white bean & basil pesto dip pot with veg sticks & arancini risotto balls. All served with pepperonata & aioli dips. 

Whilst the calzone and risotto balls were the stand out items from the starter and I could have eaten a billion times more of both. The thing that let it down a little was the rather obscure veg sticks and dip presentation, where they were hastily put in a glass on top of the dip... Now I dunno about you, but I do like to have full control over my dippy veg. But regardless of that, it was an excellent starter to prime us for the main course.

For main course, I chose Pollo Prosciutto. I'm not sure why, as when the mains came out I immediately wondered why I hadn't chose what Charl had. Always the case though isn't it? Mine was still fairly tasty, all the same.

With a juicy chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, served with the most perfect little roast Tuscan potatoes I've ever tried, this was certainly the type of dish you need on a Sunday. Warming, homely and kind of healthy (apart from the white wine sauce I reckon), it was just what I needed. The flavours could have done with a little more to liven things up - perhaps more seasoning in the sauce, but overall it was just right after walking around for a few hours.

Then on to dessert. Fully aware that I always tend to over-stuff my belly at any given occasion, I chose the sensible option of gelato. Choosing 3 different flavours, I went for Coconut, Chocolate and Vanilla. Charl, on the other hand, once again chose a dish to make me envious. 

Espresso Affogato is basically the dream dessert I never had. Vanilla gelato & mascarpone cream, is served with an espresso on the side to pour over, alongside amaretti biscuits for a crunchy texture. It looked dreamy. However, I wasn't too disgruntled, as I had polished off my gelato with a lovely salted caramel latte. 

Overall, I have learnt that I should just let Charl choose my food for me, as she appears to give me complete food envy when it comes to choosing Italian dishes...

Speaking of envy....

Did you know that if you're a student, you can get a shed load of offers (including money off at Zizzi) over on the UNiDAYS website? I swear, when I was a student, the best we'd get would be 10% off at Dotty P's or something. If you download the app you can sign up and get so much money off so many things! 

Can I borrow someone's student ID please? 

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration in UNiDAYS who kindly provided the meal at Zizzi.

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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