Friday, 29 June 2012

Life of Leigh-Anne #1

I love having a nosey whenever other bloggers do little posts about what they've been up to so I thought I'd start doing a few myself to see if anyone's interested in the relatively mundane happenings of my life!

So on Thursday I went to see Nicki Minaj at the Manchester Apollo with my friend Melissa. I know she's not to everyone's taste but I adore her and she's an absolute sweetheart, especially when it comes to her fans. I was a little skeptical at first as I watched her set from Hackney Weekend 2012 on BBC3 and she was clearly lip syncing a lot of the songs. I'd heard rumours that none of her performances were 100% live so after over a year of wanting to see her I was scared that these rumours would be a reality for me. But alas I can now dispel these rumours! As soon as she came on stage she did Roman's Revenge and you could tell straight away that there were no lip syncing shenanigans.

She was absolutely brilliant, it was one of the most energetic shows that I've ever been to and everyone was left with a smile on their face! I tried to get some decent photos but I took my little Hitachi camera that only cost about £15, so that plus the amount of dancing both Nicki and myself were doing meant that I hardly got any decent pictures! Needless to say it was one of the best gigs that I've ever been to so I got tickets for her October tour as soon as they went on sale this morning! What can I say? I love her and it's not every month that there's an opportunity to wear her Viva Glam lipstick without looking crazy.

The grand finale complete with a confetti cannon!
Besides seeing Nicki I'd had a relatively disappointing week so as soon as my grant from university came in I nipped into town to treat myself. I went into Boots and got two Barry M nail polishes in Pink Flamingo and Berry Ice Cream as well as a gold nail effects polish for over the top. Together they cost around £10 but I love Barry M, they look really good and last for a long time so they're completely worth it! Also, being the film buff that I am, I've decided to get into the rather expensive process of converting from DVD to Blu-Ray so I'm always on the look out for bargains. St. Helens recently got a 'That's Entertainment', if you haven't been in one it's a little like CEX, only it sells both new and pre owned DVDs, CDs, Blu-Rays and games. So I went in to have a look around and I couldn't believe it when I saw that they had a 2 for £5 offer on certain brand new Blu-Rays! I chose Submarine and Blue Valentine because they were two films that I've wanted to see for such a long time.

L-R: Barry M's Pink Flamingo, Gold Nail Effects and Berry Ice Cream. Submarine and Blue Valentine.

What have you been up to this week?


Monday, 25 June 2012

Violence & Fashion Design Update

I'd like to give a massive thanks to my friend Lauren who designed this amazing new banner for my blog! I gave her complete control because her work is gorgeous and I wanted her stamp to be on it. It's safe to say that I'm in love with what she came up with. She did it in just under a week and it didn't charge me a penny so I really owe her!

All of her stuff is brilliant and she's even worked with Vogue! If you'd like her to design something for you, you can find her portfolio and contact information on Facebook and Tumblr.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Topshop Haul #1

L-R: Speckle Tee Dress, Pony Pendant Necklace, Pony Stud Earrings & Spiked Necklace.

It's been a good few years since I last really took an interest in Topshop, I absolutely love their designs but the prices have always put me off. However, I've recently heard a lot of good reviews about certain pieces that they're released so I decided to take a look and pick up some pieces. I know having so few items isn't exactly a 'haul' but for the money I spent it feels like one! It was definitely all worth it though.

L-R: Pony Pendant Necklace £12.50 and Spiked Necklace £3

The first thing that I had my eye on was the Pony Pendant Necklace that they released one or two years ago and I'd always been envious of people who had it so I was really excited when they re-released it this year! When I went to look for it I also noticed this spiked collar necklace that had been reduced from £12.50 to £3 so I couldn't resist.

Clockwise: Speckle Tee Dress £25, Pony Stud Earrings £7 and Cream Lace Trim Socks £3.50

I couldn't resist getting the stud earrings to match the necklace, they're adorable! They also sell them in a shade of pink. I'd actually been after one of their Speckle Tee Dresses for such a long time but they'd been sold out everywhere. I was lucky enough to get one in my size off the website while they were briefly restocked (I was literally checking a hundred times a day!) They also do it in the petite section in both grey and lilac. I'd love to have it in lilac but I'm way too tall! I hardly saved the best for last but I also bought some lace trim ankle socks so I can make my creepers look a bit more feminine! 

You can buy/find out more about some of the items:

Though a few of them may be sold out I've found that if you keep checking they tend to get restocked!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Sally Hansen 'Hard as Nails' Review

Over the past few years one of my 'go to' products has always been Sally Hansen's 'Hard as Nails'. My nails tend to dry out and crack if I don't look after them properly or if I fall into the bad habit of putting nail polish on without applying an undercoat first and I can guarantee that every time I need something to save them I turn to Hard as Nails.

The back of the packet says 'Sally Hansen HARD AS NAILS WITH NYLON protects your nails against housework, water, detergents and everyday hazards. HARD AS NAILS WITH NYLON forms a super strong, super smooth coating that reinforces the nail surface, edge and tip to help protect against chipping, splitting and breaking. Added silk protein fortifies nails. When used regularly HARD AS NAILS WITH NYLON will ensure that your nails are always protected and thus help them to grow longer, stronger and naturally more beautiful. Available in Clear and Natural.'

I've found that you only need 1-2 coats otherwise it becomes too thick and peels off very easily, especially if you've just had a hot shower or bath. My nails were at an average length but they were cracked and dry. After I filed them down a little I applied just two coats of Hard as Nails to each one then I waited a week and the results can be seen on the picture! I have quite thin nails which break really easily and go very brittle if I have my hands in water so Hard as Nails is a must have if your nails are in a similar condition because it definitely reinforces your nail and makes it harder to break. It also makes them grow a little (there's a growth specific Sally Hansen product but it costs twice the price of this one). As you can see I opted for the 'clear' option as opposed to the 'natural', which has a pink tint to it. This is because I sometimes use it as a top coat when I use nail polish, I also use it as a base coat because it protects and strengthens your nails.

I'd definitely recommend it if you want to improve your nail strength!
What's your favourite nail product?

I bought my Sally Hansen's 'Hard as Nails' from Boots for £4.75.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Prometheus Review

Any true sci-fi fan will go weak at the knees at the mention of the name "Ridley Scott", the very man behind the B-Movie turned classic Alien (1979) and the cult hit Blade Runner (1982). Therefore it was no wonder that there was an uproar of excitement from fans of these hits when it was revealed that Scott would be returning to his sci-fi roots in directing Prometheus (2012).

Upon the release of this quasi prequel there will be a question rooted at the back of every viewer's mind. With the pioneer himself back at the directing helm can Prometheus redeem the Alien franchise from several inferior sequels?

Set in the year 2093 the crew of the namesake spaceship Prometheus begin a mission to follow a star map left behind by several ancient Earth cultures. Their ultimate ambition is to seek the true origins of humanity; but instead they uncover the very thing that could destroy it.

As with many of Scott's previous films Prometheus holds a good, steady pace that gives a perfect balance of dialogue and action. There is never a section in which attention will be lost and the narrative is extremely easy to follow; but could this lead to a downfall? The narrarive, though seemingly using a loose template of Alien's plot, had so much potential as it sees seventeen space explorers set out to challenge religious beliefs and discover how humanity actually came into existence. However, this quest is seemingly forgotten throughout the course of the film in favour of stylistic action sequences. Basically, Prometheus opens more doors than it closes and draws on the forbearing films in a way that renders it somewhat predictable at times.

Aesthetically Prometheus is flawless. For added nostalgia the head designer Arthur Max even took some of H.R. Giger's unused designs from Alien and incorporated them into the film. The subtle use of 3D must be applauded as it helps the viewer fall into the science fiction feel of the film in many scenes (especially in David's solo scene seen in the image below). It meets a new middle ground that is worlds apart from Avatar's in your face effects and the way that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2's rendered it useless.

L-R: Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David (Michael Fassbender).

Michael Fassbender stands out from his co-stars with portrayal of David the android. Though he does not give the stereotypical robotic performance, which comes naturally to certain actors even when playing humans, Fassbender masters the art of playing a machine attempting to be human. From the deliverance of dialogue down to the smooth body language, the role of David is perfected. Aside from Fassbender another favourite performance is Charlize Theron's Meredith Vickers. Though Theron has played the antagonist before in Monster (2003) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), she manages to set Vickers aside from these two films and doesn't fall into the trap of playing the same character but in a different film which many actors do. The same cannot be said for the other characters, though the cast must be praised as they did their best with the script they were given, the characters are poorly written and fail to intrigue the way in which their mechanical crew member does. It must be said that the comic relief of the film; Milburn and Fifield's Laurel and Hardy routine, cannot be faulted. However, the biggest let down of the picture was Shaw, though played by the brilliant Noomi Rapace, she is no match for the franchises original heroine Ellen Ripley and falls by the wayside in comparison, often letting her emotions get the better of her and lacking any type of brute drive that made Ripley so iconic.

Michael Fassbender's portrayal of David stands out in a sea of dull characters.

It seems that from its conception Prometheus was doomed to be compared to Alien and depending on the eyes of the beholder it can either fall into its shadow or rise from its ashes. Overall the potential was definitely there; it's narrative was original, intriguing and provided the franchise with a breath of fresh air but at the same time it was let down by its over presumptuous nature in regards to its reliance on gaining a sequel in order to rectify the many questions that it left unanswered. Though, with all of this taken into consideration, it is a massive improvement on several of the later films in the Alien franchise and can still be enjoyed.

Prometheus is aesthetically beautiful and most importantly it will keep you entertained. But it fails to tie up its loose ends and the lack of closure could leave a bad taste in your mouth. Though it's a sad case of style over substance it prevails over other films in the franchise but won't have the same impact on cinematic history as the original chest bursting sci fi classic.


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Felder Felder Autumn/Winter 2012

I recently discovered the Felder Felder brand after doing some internet digging and I fell in love. Felder Felder was launched by London based identical twins Annette and Daniela Felder in 2006. Though in comparison to other designers their work can be considered fairly simplistic I love the rock and roll edge that their clothing has. I thought their designs were so brilliant I thought I'd write up a quick little post.


The majority of their collections rely heavily on either black or white pieces which I personally enjoy. As I'm not one for wearing too much colour and I'm a definite lover of monochrome so Felder Felder's collections are right up my street. 

The A-Line skirts are trend seen in many Autumn/Winter collections this year and I love Felder Felder's use of them, the leather skater dress in particular. Again, this fits in with their rock and roll style that made me fall in love with them!

The brand has even been a hit with celebrities such as Florence Welch, Jessie J, Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow!
Check out the rest of the collection here.


Friday, 8 June 2012

I'm Back!

So basically I've had an extremely long break from blogging due to University. Having lectures, seminars, exams and assignments made it impossible for me to take time to write up quality posts so I didn't want the standard of my blog to be affected negatively. However, I finished for summer last month (summer in May/this weather, I know...) so I promise that I'll put 110% into getting my blog back on track.

I've spent the past month religiously spending my money on ASOS, Topshop, River Island and more so there'll be no shortage of haul posts, I can assure that. But I'm also going to try to incorporate some film themed posts into my blog to tie in with my degree. So I hope no one minds a film review here and there!

Thanks for sticking around, guys!

Leigh-Anne x

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