Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Harts + Crosses Rings

I know for a fact that in previous posts I've mentioned finding online sellers of lovely jewellery through other bloggers and Twitter. Well, it happened again! A couple of weeks ago an online store named Harts + Crosses started following me on Twitter and I just had to have a good old nosey at their items, especially since I've been on a ring collection spree for weeks now (which is clearly what this particular post is about!) Seeing as I discovered them when I only had about £10 to my name I only bought the Purple Glam Ring and the Blue Glam Ring for an amazing £1.50 each! This was made even sweeter by the fact that you can currently get 15% off any order, so in total I spent less than £4 for the two lovely rings pictured on the right! Later on I couldn't help buying the Quartz Ring (in black) and the Rough Ring which are £5 each, I got them during a 40% off sale so everything was almost half the price of what it should have been which I was incredibly happy about. The rings are of such an amazing quality for the bargain prices and these four are all adjustable, which I like because then I can pick and choose which finger I feel like jazzing up!

You can have a nosey at all of Harts + Crosses' jewellery, which also includes bracelets and necklaces, as well as clothing and accessories here. There's information on the homepage about how to get either free delivery or 15% off your order so it would be a crime not to treat yourself!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Benefit Haul #1

Hello everyone! I've been slightly MIA over the last couple of weeks or so because I've been cramming all of the uni work that I should have been doing over summer into the last month, oops... Anyway, here's a little post so that you know that I'm not gone forever.

L-R: "that gal" Brightening Face Primer £21.50, Foamingly Clean Facial Wash £16.50 and The Porefessional £23.50

Benefit are by far my favourite make up brand, considering they're not a high street company I personally don't find their prices to be anywhere near as extortionate as other brands and you get more than your moneys worth when it comes to the products themselves. Over the past month or so I've picked up these three products so I thought that I'd show you guys! Firstly there's the "that gal" Brightening Face Primer which I got to try out when I went to a Benefit Brow Bar last month and I loved it. It's a pink tone instead of the classic white primer and it smells divine which gets it major points from me! Secondly is my third bottle of their Foamingly Clean Facial Wash, after being sent some free samples last Christmas I've been hooked on the stuff and my skin has dramatically improved. Not to say that I don't get crazy breakouts every now and then, I'm only human! Finally is the famous The Porefessional balm. This is another product that I got hooked on after they let me try it out at the Benefit counter. It's the greatest product in my make up bag! Whenever I put it on I feel like a magic act is happening on my face because my pores just disappear (if only they'd stay gone!) I hope that this little post satisfied everyone for the time being! I have a huge list of drafts that I'm going to try and finish over the weekend so I still have meaty posts for you guys to read whilst I'm slaving (ha!) over my dissertation.

I'll be writing reviews on these in the future, I thought that I'd mention that in case anyone thought that this post was me doing a lazy three way review, if you want to hear about one of them just let me know so I know what my blogging priorities are! Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Born This Way Ball - Manchester Arena - 11.09.12

My past music related posts have included Nicki Minaj and blink-182 gigs so I think that I've made it quite clear that I'll actually listen to anything! So, last week, after months of waiting, I finally went to see Lady Gaga on her Born This Way Ball tour. I've already been to the Monster Ball tour back in 2010 so it wasn't like I'd never seen her before, but I've been obsessed with her for about four years now so seeing her again was blatantly a matter of life and death. Between dancing around and throwing my paws up I managed to take a few pictures so I thought that I'd share the better looking ones with you all!


Saturday, 15 September 2012

J.W. Anderson for Topshop

Boy In Mask Print Tee  by J.W. Anderson
Cat Print T-Shirt  by J.W. Anderson
Anchor Badge  by J.W. Anderson
Zebra Print iPhone Case  by J.W. Anderson
Duffle Bag  by J.W. Anderson
Tortoise Notebook  by J.W. Anderson
Sharpie Pen  by J.W. Anderson
Eyes Handknit Sweater  by J.W. Anderson

I'm sure that by now everyone has gone through the process of seeing the Topshop email which said that the J.W. Anderson collection had finally landed yesterday morning and then become a drooling mess after seeing everything. I love designer and high street collaborations (the first collection that Versace released from H&M brought tears of joy to my eyes), it's always nice to have statement pieces like these in your wardrobe. I thought that since I have no disposable income whatsoever I'd just put together the pieces that I'm obsessed with. I love the fact that as well as clothes there are also amazing accessories such as duffle bags, badges, phone and iPad cases and stationary, which I'm obsessed with. If anything is still in stock by the time I get my student loan I'm definitely going to have to at least get the J.W. Anderson Sharpie!

Is there anything in the J.W. Anderson collection that you've got your eye on?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Wish List #4

1. ASOS Sweatshirt in Barbie Print - ASOS. I'm sure that by now everyone has seen the bad boy Barbie sweatshirt and jogging bottom combo that's on ASOS! I know that it's completely garish but there's something about it that I love. Sadly it's sold out but if they restock it and I'm feeling brave I might have to go for it!

2. Megadeth Tee By And Finally - Topshop. I already have one of the Metallica tees by And Finally and it's so comfy, I love it! So I don't see the harm in throwing a Megadeth one into the mix too.

3. Animal Strappy Grunge Dress - Topshop. This dress is a massive example of me carrying on my leopard print love affair. I love the cut of it and I'll never be able to get enough of the grunge look so this is definitely up my street.

4. Models Own Hedkandi Nail Polish (Ibiza Mix) - ASOS. I've seen this featured in an incredible amount of nail posts recently and I definitely need it, I don't even care that it's a summery polish, I'll make it work for A/W! It was sold out when I nipped to Boots this week so I'll have to keep an eye out.

5. Large Washed Clip Backpack - Topshop. I'm still on the look out for new bag for when I go back to University and I love this one. I saw it in store recently and unfortunately it's a bit too small to hold all of my paper pads and other stuff but I refuse to break up with it...

6. River Island Helen Owl Face Watch - River Island via ASOS. Okay, so I basically picked this out because it reminds me of the Urban Outfitters squirrel watch that I've been after for months. If I can I try to buy my River Island items from ASOS because that way I can be cheeky and get 10% student discount through them.

Is there anything that you've had your eye on?

Friday, 7 September 2012

Cheap Frills

At the beginning of summer I discovered Cheap Frills after seeing their jewellery featured in a few bloggers' wish list posts and I instantly fell in love. Each piece of jewellery is very vintage inspired and there is a large selection of cameo pieces, which I'm a huge fan of. Every order either comes in a lovely candy bag or ring box that come featuring the gorgeous Cheap Frills seal of approval!

Over the past few months I've started a nice little collection of Cheap Frills jewellery so I thought that I'd make a post about it to show everyone!

Prince Puss Necklace

The first piece that I bought was the lovely Prince Puss Necklace which I'd had my eye on for weeks beforehand. I fancy myself as a bit of a cat lady so it's a given that I need cat themed jewellery in my life! I've had an insane number of compliments whenever I wear my Prince Puss, people can't seem to get enough of him! I got 20% off this piece because I follow a blog whose followers received a special code for Cheap Frills!

Peepo Kitty Ring
Pink Cameo Necklace

I made my second order last month after deciding that I need more cat themed jewellery. This time I went for the Peepo Kitty Ring which features a lovely white cameo cat on a pink background. To make ordering a cameo cat ring even better, over August you could get either a pink, purple or turquoise cameo necklace free with every order. As you can see I went for the pink one because I'm on a little bit of a pink hype at the moment, plus I needed something to match the ring...

Gone with the Wind Cameo Ring

After wearing the cat ring non stop I just had to get another one and I couldn't say no when you could get 20% off your order over the August bank holiday weekend, could I? I opted for this Gone with the Wind Cameo Ring which I absolutely adore, it's a huge black and cream cameo which is definitely a bit of a statement piece.

Overall I've collected some serious bargains with my Cheap Frills collection and I definitely plan on expanding it as soon as I get some pennies. You can check out the store here as well as follow the lovely lady behind Cheap Frills, Georgia, here! She's treating us all to free delivery this month so make sure that you go and treat yourself!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Moonrise Kingdom Review

Since the mainstream release of Bottle Rocket (1996) sixteen years ago Wes Anderson has captured the hearts of film lovers everywhere with his clever, witty and quirky brand of filmmaking. Anderson practically embodies the definition of auteur and constantly wins his fans over with trademarks such as bright colour palettes, distinctive musical soundtracks, flawed characters and dry humour. It's easy to say that his latest release Moonrise Kingdom (2012) doesn't fall short of any classic Anderson traits and could easily please new and old fans alike.

The year is 1965, on a small island off the coast of North America two pre-teens, Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman) fall in love and agree to run away from their respective 'homes' in order to be together. In the wake of their escape a search party including a troop of boy scouts and their leader, a husband and wife in a crumbling marriage, a Police Captain with a hidden agenda and Social Services soon set off to find them.

Moonrise Kingdom undoubtedly proves that Anderson hasn't lost his touch whatsoever. It clearly has a beautiful narrative, which like many of his other films, wouldn't work in any universe other than the Wes Anderson one. Instead of focusing on flawed adults the narrative brilliantly follows younger characters, who will undoubtably grow up to become standard Anderson-ite problematic adults, which is like a breath of fresh air. There's also no doubt that the film is by far the funniest that the writing duo that is Anderson and Roman Coppola have produced so far; from weapon wielding boy scouts to acts of shoe throwing, Moonrise Kingdom does more than enough to tickle funny bones.

Whereas his previous films are clearly aesthetically influenced by the 1960s, Anderson has gone all out in Moonrise Kingdom and actually created a film set in that decade. This will be a plus for many of his long time fans as it allows him to go all out with off the wall costumes, colour schemes and sets. The extreme eye for detail that he has when it comes to films is evident in the film. From the breathtaking vintage style costumes to the way that simple outdoor shots are made as detailed as decorated interior ones, thanks to Wes Anderson's classic style Moonrise Kingdom is definitely a 'pretty' film. The same can be said for the cinematography which is full on Anderson's signature sweeping pan shots and also has a few stylistic zooms that pay homage to the time honoured films of Satyajit Ray.

L-R: Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman).

There are no words to describe just how brilliant Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman truly are. As two unknown newcomers they could have easily crumbled under the pressure of acting as the protagonists of a film directed by such an established director but instead they rose to the challenge and held their own amongst the already established cast members, some of whom make up the legendary Wes Anderson alumnae. They easily slide into and understand the feel of the film and are masters of the blunt dialogue delivery that makes Anderson's films stand out.

The amazing supporting cast sees two of Anderson's most frequent collaborators Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman return alongside an impressive group of Hollywood masters; Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and France McDormand. Murray and Schwartzman return respectively for their sixth and fourth Anderson films, yet amazingly manage to avoid playing any of their previous characters which must be applauded. As with the younger leads Willis, Norton and McDormand fall into the world of Wes Anderson perfectly and they too deliver amazing performances. Last but not least the group of young male actors who made up the troop of Khaki Scouts deserve their share of praise for stealing the spotlight during several scenes with comic antics such as irresponsible tree house building.

Moonrise Kingdom is possibly Anderson's greatest film to date. From the brilliantly written script full of humour and wit to the aesthetic beauty this film is absolutely perfect and will surely recruit many new members to the Wes Anderson fan club.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Lush 'New' Shampoo Bar Review

When I decided to start growing my hair out one of the first things I did was look everywhere for a shampoo that would help it to get longer. After a long search I decided to go with Lush because their products are completely natural and didn't think that pumping my hair full of chemicals would help it to grow. I went into my local Lush store and was recommended their 'New' shampoo bar. Before we get started I'd just like to apologise for using a stock photo, I forgot to take a picture before I used my bar and it become a little unpresentable!

I'd heard positive reviews about their other shampoo bars so I decided to try it out. To use it you can either lather it up in your hands like a regular bar of soap or you can rub it straight onto your hair. I think that the actual shampoo bar is a great idea because it doesn't have packaging so it's good for the environment, as is every Lush product in its own way. And you can't forget that Lush are 100% anti animal testing which is a massive pro for me because I'm a vegetarian, but sadly that's where the praise stops.

Photo Credit:

 Though it definitely kept my hair clean it wasn't for me at all. I have very thick hair so I needed to really lather it up in my hands, which seriously dried my skin out. This also meant that because I had to use so much, it only lasted for about 2 weeks. Since I'd read that other peoples' reviews that said theirs lasted well over a month I was slightly annoyed! I also didn't notice any hair growth. I've mentioned before that I'm not naturally blonde so it's easy to see how much my hair has grown by looking at my roots. I started using this about two weeks after I dyed my hair, which is the period when my roots really start coming through, and if anything they stayed back! It also has a really spicy scent which, as a personal preference, isn't for me at all. I prefer sweeter scents, especially when it comes to shampoo.

Overall I'm disappointed in this particular shampoo bar because it didn't do what it said on the tin and it made my skin really dry. This being said, I love Lush and can't be mad at them. Though I didn't have a very enjoyable experience with this particular shampoo bar I'm definitely up for trying another. I wouldn't recommend the New bar if you have thick hair or dry skin.

You can find out more about New here.
Are you a fan of any Lush shampoo bars?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Benefit Brow Bar Review

The last time that I got my eyebrows waxed was almost a year ago, and after I got them done I wanted to hide away in shame. I was left looking a little bit like Marlene Dietrich, but only she can pull off super skinny brows. As strange as it sounds I decided to grow them out and then maintain myself, which I did up until June when I gave up and just let them go crazy, so please excuse the horrific state of them in the before picture. I'd heard so much about Benefit Brow Bars and decided that I needed to make an appointment with my local one ASAP.


The first thing that happened, and that surprised me because I was only booked in for a tint and wax, was that one of the lovely make up girls told me that the first thing that they did was have a chat to you about your make up. Firstly she put some of their 'That Gal Brightening Face Primer' on and, after I cheekily asked about it, some 'Porefessional' primer on my t-zone. Porefessional was amazing, she showed me how it filled in my pores to make them disappear before she applied the foundation and I was really impressed, I even caved in and bought a tube of it. I have a really hard time finding foundation that works for me because I'm really pale so she used Ivory, the lightest shade in their 'Hello Flawless Foundation' range. The coverage was really impressive and combined with the two primers my skin looked great but I still felt that it was a tad too dark for my skin tone. I did an outfit post on the day that I had it done so you can see the results of my make up here.

When it came time to have my eyebrows done they sat me down and explained where the three points of your eyebrow (start, arch and end) should be. The start of your eyebrow should be aligned with the side of your nose and you can see in the photos that the eyebrow on the left isn't quite there yet (boo!) so there wasn't anything that they could do about that. I was asked what colour I'd like them tinted and I opted for the lightest brown because I have blonde hair and as much as I love dark brows I think they'd look a little odd on me. After this came the moment of truth; the wax. I'm being completely honest when I say that I didn't feel a thing, and considering the lovely woman tamed my slugs she must have took off an incredible amount of eyebrow hair. When it was all over I was passed on to another make up girl who used their Boi-ing concealer to cover up any redness and then coloured them in using Brow Zings, which I luckily already had myself. I do think that she put the Brow Zings on a little heavily because I've coloured them in using the same kit myself ever since and they've never come out looking like the after picture.

Overall I'd definitely recommend going to a Brow Bar. I'm really pleased with how my brows turned out. It cost £18 for a wax and tint which isn't too bad considering how they came out, it's only a little more than I used to pay at the old place that I went to. All of the girls there were lovely and really helpful which is always a bonus and just makes you want to go back. I plan on attempting to just maintain them for the time being but if they ever get out of control again I'll definitely go running to Benefit!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Life of Leigh-Anne #3

Hello lovelies! I've had Instagram on my phone for months and I've never bothered using it, but I realised that I could basically take rubbish update pictures with the camera on my phone and then jazz them up with effects so it's not a shabby app to have at all. My username is leighanneashton if anyone fancies following me on it. Make sure you leave your usernames in the comments so I can follow you too!

1. Picking up bits from the Topshop sale whilst it lasts 2. Cheap Frills goodies
3. Blu-Ray Bargains 4. Dusty dissertation file (oops!)
5. Susie taking over my bed 6. My new jewellery frame

I gained 100+ followers a couple of weeks ago and I was overwhelmed that so many of you were interested in my blog! I'm now around the 150 mark and want to thank everyone that follows me. I've been picking up a few bits here and there and thought what better way to say thanks than have a giveaway? So I'd just like to hear your thoughts on having one, I don't want to host the world's lamest giveaway that no one enters!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wish List #3

1. Tall Studded Textured Jumper - Topshop. I nearly bought this jumper in store a few weeks ago but I just about stopped myself. Then I found this Tall version online and I've fallen in love with it all over again! But £42 for a jumper is a little off putting right now.

2. Tall Neppy Tee - Topshop. I love this top, it's so casual but I think it could be easily dressed up with accessories and jewellery. Things like this will be perfect for when I go back to University and have to get up early and throw things on to go to lectures. Plus I have a little obsession with pink lately and the colour in this is so pretty.

3. MADAME Tapestry Slippers - Topshop. I'm pretty sure that these babies sold out in about 5 seconds because I haven't seen them online for a while and I've never seen them in store. I love anything that's tapestry print so these are right up my street. Sadly I don't think that I'll ever get my hands on these lovely shoes!

4. ICONS: Grace Kelly - Jewellery By Jaymie. I absolutely adore both Grace Kelly and Jaymie's jewellery so I think this necklace has my name all over it.

5. Medium Glitter Hair Bow - Crown and Glory. You have no idea how much time I spend on the Crown and Glory store, just staring at all of the lovely headbands etc. These lovely bows come in 30 different colours and I'm very tempted by the Candy Floss one. They're only £6 so i may have to cave in at some point.

6. Nails in Beam - Topshop. So here I go again with my new found love of pink, it would be rude not to have nails that match, right?

What do you think? Is there anything that you've had your eye on?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

There's A Brand New Dance But I Don't Know Its Name - Outfit #1

 Happy Saturday! I thought that I'd throw out my first ever outfit post this weekend! I've always wanted to have a go at doing a post like this but I don't have anyone to take pictures for me and balancing my camera on shelves didn't cut it for me so I bought a cheap tripod from eBay for a wopping £7. I'm borderline 6ft tall (I'm a long lost Amazon Woman) so to get a shot that had both my head and feet in it meant that I had to stand about 5 miles away from the camera to get everything in the frame. These shots didn't work out so I got fed up and just went for this landscape torso shot instead. Seeing as I don't plan on getting shorter I'll be doing the rest of my outfit posts in this manner and I want to know what you lovely lot think! Next time I'll throw in a decapitated shot (gruesome) so you can see what I'm wearing on the bottom and on my feet, I promise.

Boucle Sweater - Topshop
Wayfarers - Ray Ban
Ankh Bracelet- Topshop
Spike Bracelet - Junk & Disorderly
Peepo Kitty Ring - Cheap Frills

I bought this sweater from Topshop a few weeks ago and I love it, it's thinner than it looks so it'll work well for both [England's excuse for] Summer and Winter. I also love the cheeky little rainbow pattern that's worked into it. I wore it with plain black leggings and my creepers, as I promised above I'll try to work the rest of my outfit in next time! I'm also rocking my new Benefit eyebrows thanks to the lovely ladies at the Brow Bar in Speke! I absolutely love them and I'll definitely be going back! I'll be putting up a post on my Brow Bar experience ASAP.

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

VO5 Hot Oil Moisture Soak Elixir Review

It's no secret that I'm not naturally blonde- shock/horror. I've been dyeing my full head blonde for four years now and I've been lucky enough to not have had any problems with its condition and its always looked really healthy, until recently. Last year I decided to grow my hair out so I stopped getting it cut on a monthly basis and instead just got my roots done when I went to the hairdressers. It's grown so much in that time, it went from touching my shoulders to chest level! But because it had gotten longer and I'd stopped cutting it as frequently as I used to it started to get quite dry and it did look noticeably different. After browsing through a few blogs I noticed that so many of you were raving about the VO5 Hot Oil Moisture Soak Elixir so I ran down to Boots and opted for this in shower treatment version.

There's no fuss whatsoever involved with the Hot Oil. You simply apply it in the shower before you wash your hair and leave it on for up to a minute. There's no pre-heating required, which I didn't expect seeing as it's a 'Hot' Oil treatment. The bottle has white arrows down the side to indicate how much you should apply which is such a clever idea, I didn't realise what they were at first (I'm brilliant that way). I was only going to review this once I'd used to whole tube, but so far I've only used it three times (out of a possible five) and already my hair looks and feels so much better. It used to feel horrible and dry at the back but now it feels so smooth I can't believe it's changed so much in only three applications! The only word of warning when it comes to this is don't exceed the one minute instructed. The last time I used it I left it on for about two minutes and even though I washed it all out, my hair was a little greasy on one side when I dried it. If your hair is dry and damaged or you just want a little shine I seriously recommend that you try this! It's cheap as chips and does the job! You can't ask for more.

I bought my VO5 Hot Oil Moisture Soak Elixir from Boots for £4.29.

I'm always on the look out for products to keep my hair looking healthy, what products do you use?

Friday, 3 August 2012

Nails of the Day #2

Happy Friday everyone! Here's my second 'Nails of the Day' post. I'm not too sure on this one but I thought I'd share it to see what everyone thinks.

For this I used Barry M's Nail Paint Black No. 47 and Barry M's Instant Nail Effects Nails Paint Gold No. 320. I used two coats of the black and one of the gold. Though I think the colours look pretty darn good together I'm not really impressed with the way that the gold has gone on, it applies a little sparsely towards the tips and you can only use one coat otherwise the cracked effect won't work properly.

What do you guys think? Have you tried any Barry M Nail Effects?
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Monday, 30 July 2012

Little Nell Haul

I'd seen Little Nell jewellery featured on so many blogs in outfit posts and the likes and thought that it was so pretty that I had to check it out for myself. Over the past few weeks I've built up a nice Little Nell collection that consists of; two necklaces, two bracelets and a set of rings and I couldn't be more happy with them. Little Nell orders come in gorgeous packaging and what's on the inside doesn't disappoint either!

I decided to buy these two necklaces, the Rainbow Quartz Crystal Pendant in Dusty Pink and a Crystal Quartz one. The Rainbow Quartz Pendant was supposed to be £16, excluding delivery, but I got 30% off thanks to a clearance code, so all together it cost £13.70! Originally I wanted it in the Petrol design but it had sold out so I opted for this lovely pink one because it's a colour that I never wear so I thought it would be nice to have a change. You also get to choose between a gold or silver chain which is such a nice touch. The Quartz necklace was only £6 in the sale! I think it had been reduced from around the £18 mark, I'm not sure because the listing has been taken down now so I don't have a link for it. It has a really long chain and no clasp so there's no fiddly business when you put it on, which is ideal for me!

I loved these necklaces so much that I went back a week later and ordered a few more pieces. I've been in dire need of bracelets for such a long time so I couldn't resist these Studded Friendship Bracelets for £3 each! The colours are sent at random so it's a bit of a nice surprise to see what you got when they arrive. I also bought the Gold Ring Trio - Heart, Star ans Cross that had been reduced from £6 down to £3! Their title is pretty self explanatory so all I can add to that is that they're also adjustable and look lovely either all together or on their own!

Little Nell offers a wide range of jewellery including bracelets, earrings and necklaces! You can check out the store here as well as follow her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Have a look and let me know which items you like!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

It's easy to say that upon the release of Batman Begins (2005) Christopher Nolan let it be known that a film adaptation of a graphic novel such as Batman didn't have to be something light hearted and unrealistic that only children and comic fans could enjoy. Nolan's Batman trilogy is far from this, it touches on the darker side of human nature and is set it a world that is all too real. After the massive critical and commercial success of The Dark Knight (2008) four years ago, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) has a lot to live up to, but the question is whether this is possible or not.

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) still has his Batman persona in retirement after using it to take the blame for both Harvey Dent's murderous rampage and subsequent death in order to maintain Gotham's faith in Dent's status as a symbol of hope. However, he is soon called on to bring the Bat back after the franchise's latest antagonist Bane (Tom Hardy) and his army plan to detonate an atomic bomb in order to destroy the city. With the new girl about town Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) throwing in some drama of her own, Batman must juggle both the terrorist and the feisty feline.

The beginning of The Dark Knight Rises starts off at a relatively slow pace and is full of throwbacks to the aftermath of the mayhem caused by the previous antagonists; Ra's al Ghul of Batman Begins and Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. At a staggering length of two hours and forty five minutes it is easy to say that at least an hour passes before the viewer is given narrative that they can truly sink their teeth into. The Nolan brothers have succeeded in creating another intricate and interesting narrative that the previous two films were acclaimed for. Well written, clever and funny it the right places the script is brilliantly written. The Dark Knight Rises is full of very smart twists and turns, brilliant characters and intriguing dialogue.

Nolan's style can't be questioned. From the sleek suits to the fighting choreography to the police chases through Gotham city, this film is an absolute treat. The slow but sure demise of Gotham city during Bane's urban warfare is stunning in its own disastrous way and looks brilliant up on the big screen. Though the editing gets considerably rapid throughout the film this is not necessarily a fault, whether it be a chase scene or a fight scene, the rapid movement looks brilliant and it definitely calls for the actors to be put through their paces.

The two main newcomers to the trilogy are Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway as Bane and Catwoman, respectively. Though physically menacing, with his face obscured behind a mask and his mammoth physique, Tom Hardy's Bane fails to carry the torch left behind by the late Heath Ledger's Joker. One major flaw that comes with Bane is dialogue issues, thanks to his mask his vocals are extremely muffled which leaves some of his lines completely unintelligible. Whereas The Dark Knight gave a psychologically complex villain who brilliantly questioned human morality, The Dark Knight Rises simply gives a more physical sense of a villain. The intentions of Bane are also slightly confusing; he claims that he wants to 'give the city back to the people' whilst at the same time he threatens them with a nuke. The true scene stealer of the film is the amazing Anne Hathaway. Often cropping up at opportunistic moments, armed with her killer heels and sharp one liners she'll leave the entire theatre wanting more of her. Her slight anti-hero status is brilliant as it lingers throughout the film as she has to choose between saving her own skin or doing the right thing and give a helping hand to stop Bane.

Friendly, familiar faces also appear throughout the film. The loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and technological genius Lucias Fox (Morgan Freeman) appear in their small yet mighty roles as Bruce Wayne's somewhat surrogate fathers and general go-to-men. The new kid on the block is police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Gordon-Levitt gives a great, feisty performance and as we see his character coax Wayne out of retirement, save some under privileged kids and to top things off he gets a pretty impressive scene that will leave fans on the edge of their seats at the end. This being said, deep down there's the feeling that his character was somewhat irrelevant and his contribution was a little lacklustre.

It's clear that Nolan set the bar incredibly high with The Dark Knight, and it's also clear that he himself couldn't overcome it. The sense of perfect closure was at his fingertips but was ruined by a slight cliffhanger ending to one of the supporting character's story arcs. Instead of closing all of the doors and locking them Nolan leaves this particular one left open, even though he's confirmed that he won't be venturing back to Gotham city again and the trilogy will indeed remain a trilogy. Though the film can easily be seen as a slow burner it makes up for this as it progresses and the latter part of the narrative certainly packs a punch.

It's fair to say that The Dark Knight Rises sadly didn't rise and remains buried under the legacy and success of its predecessor thanks to its ruined attempt at full closure and poor choice of antagonist. Negativity aside, this film is packed to the rafters with beautiful cinematography, brilliant performances and perfect style. Devout Batman fans will be able to overlook its bad points and truly enjoy the final piece of the bat puzzle.

As I'm a massive fan of Marvel and an absolute DC novice, I'd like to thank my friend Dan for giving me a crash course in all things Batman and Chris Nolan before I wrote this review! You can check out his blog here.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Wish List #2

1. Black Coated Molly Jeggings - River Island. These slightly remind me of the American Apparel Disco Pants, which I can't buy because I'm too tall so the leg length would be way too short for me. So something like these would be an ideal substitute because they come in a long leg length and are almost half the price.

2. Strappy Grunge Midi Dress - Washed Blue - Topshop. I love midi dresses and this one is so simple and I think it would work well even in Winter. I recently bought the Aztec dress from my last Wish List and wish I'd have seen this one first!

3. Tall Bleach Denim Leggings - Topshop. I've been looking for some acid wash jeans for such a long time but these bleach denim jeggings are lovely. I've never bought any leggings/jeggings from the Topshop Tall section so I don't know if they'd be long enough. If I decide to treat myself  I guess I'll find out!

4. Black Madonna Print Tank - River Island. You can't beat a bit of classic Madonna and I love the image on this tank top.

5. Studded Leather Hobo Bag - Topshop. I'm on the look out for a bag for when I got back to university in October and I think this one is gorgeous. I always opt for a black bag because it makes it easier to match my outfits with.

6. Vans Authentic Lo Pro Trainers - Schuh. I already have a pair of these that I bought when I started college in 2008 and I think now is the time to buy a replacement pair. I used to wear them everyday and every night, so whilst I got my moneys worth they also got trampled to death at gigs. I remember spending less than one weeks EMA on my last pair so they've gone up from £25 to £40!

Is there anything you've had your eye on?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Life of Leigh-Anne #2

Hello everyone! I've actually been up to a few things lately so I thought I'd write another one of these update posts.

L-R: My blink-182 wristband and Mark Hoppus and his Nyan Cat speakers!

First off I went to see blink-182 for the first time since Leeds Festival. I bought the tickets at the end of 2010 for last summer, but they cancelled the all of the European dates in order to release their new album so it wouldn't be a 'greatest hits' tour so I'd been waiting for almost two years to see them again! Being the genius that I am I forgot my camera so I only got a couple of pictures on my phone. They were absolutely brilliant and I really want to go again. Crowds in Liverpool are always rubbish, but I'll live!

L-R: My gorgeous Jewellery By Jaymie pieces and my Effie's nails.

I also bought a few things from Jewellery By Jaymie (I'll be doing a proper post on what I bought soon!) after seeing her jewellery featured on so many peoples' blogs. I also bought some false nails, I usually avoid wearing them but I fell in love with these ones designed by Effie. My nails have been in a rubbish condition lately so I haven't put them on yet, but as soon as I do I'll write up a post on them too.

L-R: Trying out a centre parting and my Topshop Haul #2.

I also spent some time fuelling my new found Topshop addiction and picked up the Aztec print dress from last weeks Wish list as well as a few more things, which were mainly from the sale so I got some bargains! You can check out my haul post here.

What have you been up to this week? I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Topshop Haul #2

Hello everyone! I know it must seem like my last Topshop haul was only two minutes ago but I have no excuse, I'm a little bit addicted. I recently made some money on eBay and got a grant from university, so this plus the Topshop sale got me quite far.
I've basically been living under a grey cloud for over a week now so please excuse poor lighting in the pictures!

Overall I bought; one tank top, two dresses, two necklaces, one bracelet, one headband, a pair of socks and a pair of shoes.

L-R: Speckle T-Shirt Mini Dress, Aztec Print T-Shirt Cross Back Dress and Metallica Tank By And Finally

Ever since I got my grey Speckle Tee Dress last month I've been in love with it and I was so happy that it came in different colours/designs. Firstly I got the Speckle T-Shirt Mini Dress that's only £10 in the sale, and thanks to student discount I got it for £9! It was advertised as navy blue but it's definitely more of a purple colour, but I don't mind. Then there's my favourite of the two, the Aztec Print T-Shirt Cross Back Dress, which was in my last Wish List post. I wanted this for so long that I caved in and bought it the second that I got my grant. And finally there's the Metallica Tank by And Finally. Metallica are one of my favourite bands in the world and I couldn't believe it when my local store actually had this in stock, it's usually absolutely rubbish. It's really baggy so if you could probably pull off ordering a size down.

I think that I benefit most in the jewellery department when it comes to Topshop sales. All together this should have cost £39.50 but I got it for £13! The skull necklace and ankh bracelet were both reduced from £6.50 each to £2.50, the triangle necklace was £12.50 to £3.50 and the headband was £14 down to £4.50 so I seriously suggest going out and seeing what you can pick up. Also, I bought a pair of Black Lace Trim Ankle Socks which were £3.50 (or 3 pairs for £8).

Vectra Canvas Slippers

Finally, I'd seen so many posts saying how amazing their Vectra Canvas Slippers were so I had to buy a pair. I opted for the black ones because we all know that black goes with anything and seeing as they were £28 I want to be able to get my moneys worth out of them. I'm usually a size 8 in shoes but had to go a size up because they're a little short in the length, besides that they're super comfy!

Have you found any Topshop bargains recently?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Submarine Review

From East is East (1999) to Cemetery Junction (2010), there is no doubt that over the last decade or so British cinema has had a penchant for producing refreshingly unique comedy gems. However, no matter how brilliant these films are, the sad matter of fact is that they are constantly overlooked in favour of more mainstream, Hollywood blockbusters. Sadly this is a hole that Submarine (2010) may have fell into as it was forgotten by many casual cinema goers upon its release, but by no means does this mean that it's a bad film.

Set in Wales in 1986, Submarine is narrated by its protagonist Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) who recounts the story of how he had to juggle his first 'romance' with his pyromaniac girlfriend and the possible demise of his parents marriage due to a suspected case of infidelity which involves his mystic neighbour.

Even though Submarine marks the directorial debut of The IT Crowd actor Richard Ayoade it is an extremely confident film that shows no signs of his lack of directorial experience. Not only did he direct the picture, he also wrote the screenplay, which was adapted from the little known novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. Nothing but praise can be given to Ayoade for this particularly stylish feature. The film is extremely well edited and is split into three parts, reminiscent of chapters in a book. Certain moments of the film feature speed manipulation; a brilliant yet subtle trick that emphasises the urgency or loneliness of the characters' situations.

The script is brilliantly written, comical, witty and smart. In no way does Submarine resemble the typical teenage romance/coming of age dramas that are constantly being pumped out which tell the tale of two relatively popular, ridiculously good looking teenagers falling in love who must overcome an epic obstacle to be together. Instead, this film follows two protagonists who, maybe only on the surface, appear to be completely normal. The central love story of the film isn't necessarily a traditionally romantic one and this is what makes Submarine stand out from its peers, a romance film is far more interesting when the lead male and female hate the prospect of actually being romantic. Aside from this tale of (almost) romance, there is a brilliantly funny subplot in which Oliver attempts to understand the mechanics of his parents' marriage and just how their mystic, new age guru neighbour is seducing his mother.

L-R: Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige) and Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts).
Craig Roberts' portrayal of Oliver is flawless as not only does he do the brilliantly written script justice, he also brings in a sense of nostalgia for other favourable yet downtrodden male youths such as Bud Cort's Harold in Harold and Maude (1971), even to the point of having a slight physical resemblance to the young Cort. Oliver Tate is a protagonist who leads a relatively mundane life yet is an incredibly interesting character who partakes in activities such as; 'light arson', surveilling his parents and, in a typical cocky schoolboy manner, he also fantasises about how much people would mourn his death. Oliver isn't a stand alone protagonist; cue his girlfriend Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige). Jordana is seemingly similar to Oliver, though somewhat slightly more confident than he is. A pyromaniac who finds acts of bullying amusing, she is a slight sadist in her own strange yet empathic way. Being a female character who hates the prospect of romance, she's a rare character for a teenage romance film, yet another trait that makes her so perplexing. Just as Roberts does with Oliver, Paige brings the role to life in a blunt yet fantastic way.

Though Submarine may not be as memorable as other films from its time of release it's a thoroughly enjoyable film that fell into the sad trap of being shunned, most likely due to the lack of big names, CGI effects and explosions that most 21st century cinema frequenters crave. Despite this it's extremely difficult to find any faults. The style, cast and script are immaculate; all the things that a perfectly enjoyable film requires.

Submarine is ultimately a very funny, witty and clever film that can be enjoyed with ease. Its made greater by its protagonist, who is one of the more unique and interesting characters in film. Though its humour may not meet the tastes of international audiences it is British comedy at its best. We can only hope that Ayoade continues his phenomenal work behind the camera and makes a follow up film. It's also a must see if you're a Wes Anderson fan.


Monday, 9 July 2012

Nails of the Day #1

Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a happy Monday!
For my first post of the week I thought I'd start doing Nails of the Day posts because they seem quite popular and I spend a ridiculous amount of time painting my nails these days! I recently bought some French Manicure nail tip guides from eBay so I've been painting them with different colour tips for a few weeks now.

My nails, complete with glitter polish on spilled on my thumb.

I've fallen in love with the idea of using a glitter polish for the tips, it stands out and looks really cute. For this design I used my new Barry M Ice Cream Berry polish for the entire nail and then used Pink Fizz by Models Own for the tips. I'm a little addicted to Models Own polishes right now and I'm dying to buy more!

Do you have any favourite nail polishes?

Friday, 6 July 2012

Gold Sparrow - Indie Braclets Review

About a month ago an independent boutique called Gold Sparrow started following me on Twitter. After I had a nosey on their page I saw pictures of a couple of their simplistic yet absolutely gorgeous bracelets so I was pretty happy that they'd somehow found me in the massive world of Twitter because their jewellery was right up my street. Their actual website didn't launch until the 1st of July but they did a giveaway a couple of weeks beforehand, sadly I have terrible luck and didn't win anything! So I had to sit back and patiently wait for their bracelets to go on sale.

L-R: Heart and Hand and Wing bracelets.

Their website launched on Sunday 1st July and I was there as soon as they put the link up! There collection is really impressive and there's so much choice. After thinking it through I decided to go for the Heart and Hand and Wing bracelets. Currently all of the jewellery is 20%, that's just £3.99 for one bracelet! You can also get free delivery by doing little things such as following them on Twitter etc. This means that I paid £7.98 for these two gorgeous bracelets, so I can't complain!

The bracelets don't have fiddly clasps or anything complicated, you just pull on a little tie depending how tight or loose you want it to sit. I have a really wide hand span and they still go on perfectly so there's no issue with sizing at all! The charms look gorgeous and I was really impressed that the Hand and Wing charm has the design on each side so it doesn't matter which way it falls; I hate having to constantly readjust charms on necklaces and other jewellery so I think this is ideal.

I can't wait to see what else they design as time goes on. I'm a bit of a necklace fanatic so I'd love to see some other types of jewellery from them in the future.
You can check out the complete range of their bracelets on their website and also follow them on Twitter.

The Robyn Diaries Giveaway
One of my favourite blogs, The Robyn Diaries, is currently hosting a giveaway! You can find out more about the lovely Robyn and her giveaway here.
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