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Although I’m a Manchester blogger, you’ll often find me based around various other places at present. I’m recently working in Cheshire, and I spend a lot of time in the Staffordshire area too, meaning the term ‘Manchester Blogger’ is becoming a bit more part-time. It also means that with splitting myself across various different areas, I’m having to move a lot of my belongings to different places, which has lead to a huuuuge clear out.

My most recent clear out wasn’t an enjoyable one, as it involved rummaging through all my recently un-loved makeup and beauty products to do a little bit of a throw out. Yes – it’s as sad as it sounds, piling up unwanted, old, knackered makeup products and labeling the pile ‘for the bin’. However, I do feel so much clearer, less cluttered and genuinely a little bit cleansed after doing it! Over the top? Try it for yourself!

The first thing I did was invest in a fantastic beauty oraganiser from a retailer called Store. It’s photographed in the top photo, and you can see just how simple, classic and clear it is, yet is such a handy little investment!

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The little crystal clear acrylic organiser is fantastic for bringing to my ‘other home’ and saving it for my most regularly used make-up. I’ve planned to position is close to my dressing table so that my essentials are to hand, with its handy pull out draw, slots and sections for keeping all my makeup bits organised. As it’s small in shape, it makes a great portable choice too if I need to carry it anywhere and transport it around with me!

As part of my ‘Summer Clean’ throw out, I’ve replaced some old, pesky pieces of makeup I was holding onto and switched them with some new beauty and make-up loves in my life. Here’s some new bits I’ve been bringing in…

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Skinn: Plasma Fusion Nourishing Serum Foundation
It wasn’t very long ago when I heard about ‘Skinn Cosmetics’ – in which professional make-up artist and licensed aesthetician Dimitri James is the founder of. I got introduced to the brand by hearing about their very first serum-strength foundation called The Plasma Fusion Serum Foundation, which intrigued me because I was yet to try out a serum foundation. Yep, a 7 year strong beauty blogger who hadn’t tried this revolutionary product out. Anyway, I finally got my hands on the set, and I say ‘set’ because this product comes as a duo set featuring two unique shades that you mix together to create an entirely custom and perfectly matching shade – meaning no more foundation lines! It also comes with a Professional Fusion Illusion Foundation Brush which you can buff away at with the liquid, creating a flawless finish and full coverage.

Full coverage is the finish I always want – I have way too many blemishes and marks to go for anything less. Serum foundations always look and feel much more lightweight though, and this is definitely the feeling I get with this. I mix a little bit of the Beige and Natural together and get a super complementing shade for my face. The best thing about this serum foundation – and why I’m currently using it at the moment as my go-to – is that I find the serum formula gives the freshest, dewy finish, and it also feels like it’s moisturising my skin at the same time. It’s so easy to blend and work into my skin effortlessly, delivering a glowing complexion. If you’re interested in hearing about this fuss-free, results driven brand, then You can find out more about the brand and the products here.

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Kiehls Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate
So I just have a little sample of this at the moment, but I’ve heard fantastic things so far. This nightly micro-peel concentrate helps to refine the feel of rough texture and reveal newly radiant, refreshed skin. I currently feel like my skin is always uneven and rough, but would rather leave a product to work it’s magic throughout the night so I was drawn to this after hearing beauty bloggers rave about it.

It’s liquid formula is clinically-demonstrated to help accelerate surface skin cell turnover to reveal fresher, newly radiant skin, while visibly refining. Now I’ve hit 30, I’m noticing a lot more lines forming around my eyes and forehead (does you skin just know when you turn the big 3 0?) so I’m hoping to see some result from this!

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Essence Shape and Shadow Eye Contouring Palette
I have raved about Essence numerous times on the blog, mainly because it’s such an affordable brand which delivers exceptional products that do the job spot on. And did I mention the packaging is always adorable? This latest eye palette is a multi use eye & brow palette and was inspired by glamorous Hollywood women, who influenced style and fashion. It has a fun geometric print and has a nice little shiny mirror making this a great eye compact for on the go, as well as sitting in my new organiser!

Inside you get treated to 4 shadows, a highlighter, a prime & fix brow wax and also a small dual ended brush. One end of the brush has an angled brush and the other a cute brow spoolie, making it easy to keep brows tamed. Three of the shadows are lovely neutral matte shades, which can be used for both eyes as shadow, and brows too. These brown shades really make blue eyes pop, so if you’re a blue eyed girl, you’ll love these! The powder is pigmented and quite soft so they’re easy to blend. I don’t tend to use brow wax too often, but if you do, it seems to be a fairly decent texture and formula so shouldn’t clump up when smoothed onto brows.

The fourth shade is more of a dramatic deep brown, which I’ve been playing around with applying wet as an upper eyelid eyeliner shade. I have to say the highlighter shade is my very favourite though – it’s like a creamy gold shade with dazzling particles which looks fab when dabbed onto the brow bone. Again, Essence have done me proud!
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Superdrug’s 50th Birthday!
To celebrate Superdrug turning 50 (yes… it really is that long-running!), I treated myself to a cheeky little haul a few weeks ago. Amongst my haul included various MUA lipsticks, because at £1.00 each anyone can afford to stock up! It’s when I come across brands like these, I wonder why I ever forked out so much money on lipsticks before. These ones by MUA genuinely do the job just as good. I own that many of them now that I feel I can make that statement hand on heart. My recent purchases include the shades Peachy Keen and Pinky Pout, and are super girly and glossy.

Another product I’m loving from Superdrug is the Make-up Revolution Radiance Palette. Firstly, when it comes to palettes, this is your brand. You can bag yourself eye shadow palettes with multiple colours for as little as £4, and this highlighting Instant Radiance palette is just as much of a bargain costing just £8! Containing three glowing Radiant Light Illuminators, the three different tones can be used to suit your mood or occasion. I tend to use the lightest on on the tops of my cheeks and under my contour so a strong highlight/contour look, but I’ll switch to the softer, bronzed shades when I just want that Summer glow. Each shade applies easily with only the slightest bit of shine, looking incredibly soft and natural. This palette brings instant illumination to my complexion, so it’s staying in a prominent place in this beauty organiser!

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Look Fantastic #LFJETSETTER Beauty Box
Last but not least is the June edition of the Look Fantastic Beauty Box, which is again filled with some lovely beauty treats. My favourite products had to be the Caudalie Eye Creams, which come in small sizes in which I can can keep in the little slots at the front. I keep one in the organiser, and one by my bedside table. The cream is lightweight and absorbs quickly, but leaves me waking up with much fresher feeling eyes. As the Look Fantastic beauty boxes contain lots of little ‘sample’ sized products (well, larger than your average sample…) they make great additions for this little organiser, as they can slide into the draw, or slot into the sections. I’m currently awaiting my next box, which will be August’s, and I just know it won’t disappoint!

So there we have it, a little beauty/cosmetics update. Now all I got to do is remember to keep using these products and to stop buying new ones so I don’t end up with the same hording problem!

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scene indian
I’m a huge lover of Indian food (and food in general, as most of you who read this blog will know!). Recently, I’ve been spending a lot more time in Cheshire and Staffordshire, so when I finally had some time to head back to Manchester last week, I needed a new place to visit for an evening of fine food. In a search for a fresh new Indian, I came across Scene Indian Street Food, nestled at the back of Spinningfields.

I came to Scene on a Friday night at around 8pm, bringing my boyfriend along with me. I have to say I was surprised at how busy it was upon arrival. Those eateries at the bottom end of Spinningfields are so tucked away and away from the main walking routes that its rare you see them as packed out as this place was. Large groups, families, couples… you name it…everyone was seated at Scene (indoors and outdoors) amidst the buzzing atmosphere.

Friendly staff greeted us at the door and took us to our table. My first thoughts was the lovely, dark interior – I could tell instantly that a lot of work has gone into giving this place that authentic Indian feel, with lots of expensive decor and props around the place. Huge painted walls with intricate Indian designs featured, which made me realise it’s randomly a lovely place to just gawp around at!

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The cocktail menu was impressive, as I never really associate Indian cuisine with having a complementing cocktail menu. I decided to start off with a Scene Riverside Garden cocktail, laced with gin, lime juice, cucumber syrup, elderflower and apple juice with cooling slices of cucumber and ice. It was the most refreshing start to my Scene experience! I’d like to go back and try the Dhania or the Bombay Bonfire, as they sound very unique, with a kick of spice which would go very well with the cuisine. Anyway, that’s one I can save for next time…

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Onto the best bit: the food. Before I start, I just want to say that my starter was by far the most impressive starter I have had at an Indian restaurant to date. I’ve been for many Indian meals – take away or stay in – and I’ve also had various versions of the popular ‘chaat’. But this, hand on heart, amazed me. I could have ate this twice over…

So, the menu is extensive in terms of all courses, and I was very happy to see lots of street food inspired dishes which could be great for sharers or starters. Our waiter actually took some time out to recommend some options for us, as we were a little blown away by the choices. The good thing about this is he just gave us a quick run-down on his own favourites and personal thoughts, but we actually ended up going with them without persuasion. I went for a vegetable ‘Samosa Chaat’ starter, packed with potatoes, peas and chickpeas and topped with yoghurt, mint and tamarind chutney. Mark my words: it was absolutely delicious! It looked like a open lid pie when it arrived, which is slightly bazaar but just incredible. I’d describe is as a lightly fried tortilla base and sides (althought I could be off the mark there), loaded with the yummiest filling. Not too spicy, but full of taste and flavour.

My boyfriend went for the Chicken and Red Pepper Samosas: crisp savoury pastries stuffed with chicken and red peppers, accompanied with chana masala. They certainly looked fabulous, with a side dish of mixed veg and chickpeas. He did feedback saying they were slightly ‘too much pasty’ and not enough filling, but all in all had a real unique flavour. The combination of meat and veg for a samosa filling instead of just having the separate fillings was really refreshing to see. Its rare to find that mixture on a starters menu, and I had a little bite and found them really satisfying.

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For my main, I opted for a king prawn curry dish called Tikhey Jhinghey (costing £14.95), which featured juicy king prawns cooked in a tomato and onion masala sauce with mixed peppers, spring onions and coriander. It was super tasty, with a rich spicy red sauce, and the prawns were huge! It certainly had  kick – maybe a tad spicy for some – so make sure you like your spice if ordering this. It was a lovely option with the prawns, and tasted slightly more tomato based than a regular masala, with more of a kick too.

My guest went for the Shahi Murgh Tandoori (£11.95), which contained pieces of boneless chicken breast marinated overnight in fresh yoghurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, fenugreek and lemon juice, seared in the tandoor served Hyderabadi sauce. This was a really nice dish, presented with the chicken and spices in a separate dish to the sauce. Lots of onions and chilli’s for flavour. It wasn’t too spicy but with had a full fiery flavour, and also came with rice, whereas I had to order mine as an add on. I’d probably go for this one myself on a re-visit!

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Attentive, friendly and helpful service, and an all round warm atmosphere, with a laid back vibe. I noticed there were a lot of large group bookings and parties in, so perhaps it’s a great place to go if there are a few of you looking for a bit of a celebration. Plus, you have all the glamorous bars of Spinningfields on the doorstep, which makes it a great place to kick-start your weekend evening.

Huge thanks to all the staff who really looked after us and advised us of some great food options. I’ve been non stop raving about the Chaat dishes ever since leaving…

rhodes
Travelling is one of my favourite things to do and plan, however, it’s not always the easiest thing to fit in. Busy work schedules, saving for occasions and other ‘life’ issues can get in the way. But this year, I was determined back in January to make sure 2016 see’s me visiting some places I have on my bucket list.

One of them may not be the worlds most exclusive and tropical place, but it’s the only Greek Island I’m yet to visit, which is Rhodes. So a couple of weeks ago, I headed there for a little week long getaway with my boyfriend. We stayed in the New Town (Rhodes Town) and ventured out to the historic Old Town on various occasions.

It was a real mix of historic sightings, traditional Greek buildings, and tranquil beaches. Full of washed white walls and clear blue seas, we had the loveliest of times exploring this Greek Island. Here’s a little snapshot of the trip, happily ticking this beautiful place off my travel bucket list…

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If you’re thinking of heading to Rhodes at any point, then I’d strongly recommend visiting Lindos. We took a boat trip to spend the day there, and instantly recognized its beaches, sand and sea was so much clearer and cleaner than that of Rhodes Town. It also has a real village feel to it, but beware – its all up hill and the only way to get around is via donkey!

And now for July, I’ve managed to tick another travel adventure off my list. I absolutely love visiting typical British countryside places across the UK, so earlier this year I took my boyfriend for a nice little weekend in Windermere. After falling in love with the Lake District and it’s natural beauty, I made a pact to visit the lakes again, but by experiencing a less touristy place. So last weekend, myself and the girls heading off for a cheeky spa hotel weekend to Penrith, where we stayed in a rather luxurious hotel called Whitbarrow Hotel.

During our Saturday to Sunday stay, we visited a quaint country pub called The Boot and Shoe Inn, and took a trip around the pretty town on Ambleside. So again, here’s a snapshot…

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So, I guess that leaves one place that is left on my bucket list, which I haven’t yet been to, and that is Mauritius! I’ve recently been doing a lot of reading up on this place over at this Mauritius dedicated website, which has gave me such a good insight of the place, especially as I’d be a first time visitor.

This stunning place is an island in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the island of Mauritius, Rodrigues, and the outer islands (Agaléga, St. Brandon and two disputed territories). The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. I’ve heard so much about the capital- and largest city- which is Port Louis.

I love the whole element of breathtaking views and that ‘paradise’ feel, which is currently how I associate Mauritius. This island is surrounded by more than 93 miles of white sandy beaches, with lagoons that are protected from the open sea by the world’s third largest coral reef, which surrounds the island. Just off the Mauritian coast lie some 49 uninhabited islands and islets, some of them are used as natural reserves for the protection of endangered species.

Have you ever been to Mauritius? It might have to be a place I look into for next year, as I feel it’s one of those places that’s certainly worth saving up for and doing properly! From the Mauritius 365 website I mentioned before, I’ve started making an itinerary of things I’d love to do, which include mingling in Port Louis, checking out the islands art of sugar, tea and rum, and of course, experience the culinary!

Have you ever been to Mauritius? Whats on your bucket list? Do share your thought with me!

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So yesterday I made two new discoveries: one was amazing pizza, the other was a fantastic sportswear collection. Both equally as good, and equally shareable.

First up, I headed out to try a new pizza place in Chorlton, Manchester (well it isn’t new, but new to me!) called Double Zero. I headed there in my monochrome culottes and tight fitted bottle green top as per my outfit shot above, and realised I stood out to be a little too over dressed for Chorlton upon my arrival. It’s a town dedicated the the laid-back hipster vibe, where most of the blokes sport long beards and wear slouchy clothes and beanie hats.

The women, on the other hand, seem to live in their sportswear. The streets of Chorlton are laced with fitness freaks going for a run, or stopping by at the local park to do a spot of yoga. Think leggings. snazzy crop tops and the latest trainers, and you’re half way there.

It got me thinking about being a little more casual during my evenings and weekends, and investing in more sports and active wear which I can wear when working out, and then going off to meet friends after. And that’s when I discovered my newest favourite: Superdry’s SS17 Sports Collection.

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There’s something about black, white and grey which I just love, especially when it comes to activewear. It’s smart, sassy and classy, and these particular ladies sports bras in an array of cool prints have totally won me over. Paired with black leggings, it’s pretty much my sports style all over!

The full Superdry Sport collection is Summer themed, with Summer associated prints (like the palm trees above) mixing with soft pastels and lightweight textures. The range offers essential items for everyday wear as well as more sport specific collections for Athleisure, Yoga, Gym, Running and Cycling.
The performance led collection focuses on quality, and from eyeing up the range so far, I can tell every item has been made with design, quality and performance in mind.

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The new collection is also affordable for those who want premium looking workout wear, without paying for high end branding. Take a look over on the Superdry website to browse the full collection, and let me know what you think!

This is a collaborative post with Superdry. All opinions are my own, and not that of Superdry. 

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For those who don’t know, when I’m not running WhatEmmaDid.com, I’m a Beauty Editor for international beauty retailers. This means that whilst I spend my evenings discovering new products, treatments, and beauty places to visit, I’m also working with beauty brands from around the world during the day.

Recently, I’ve been getting my hands on a few new items which I’m excited about trying out. Each one has been raved about countless amount of times from beauty bloggers, beauty insiders and customers alike, so I figured it was time to tackle them myself. From toning devices to liquid supplements, here’s a little snapshot of what I’m getting busy with…

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Grow Gorgeous Products
OK so my hair is diabolical when it comes to thickness and strength. It grows fairly fast, but I struggle so much to maintain the thickness, or to increase it. Sometimes I suffer major hair fall, and other times it just tends to stay as it is. Aside from taking hair vitamins, I’m putting my bets on the Grow Gorgeous Hair Density Serum and the End Split Ends treatments to mend the condition of my hair, as well as tackle the main problem: thickness.

The Hair Density Serum is to be rubbed into the scalp once a day (I’ve started off with an evening application), and after a 90 trial, is meant to encourage the growth of 13,000 new hairs. I started this trial on the 1st July, so lets see how I get on after 90 days!

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Fountain The Phyto-Collagen Molecule
Next on the trial list is Fountains ‘The Phyto-Collagen’ Molecule liquid, which is taken in a similar way to medicine. This liquid is to be taken as two teaspoons a day, and is used for its beautifying properties to the skin. With 5000mg of hydrolysed collagen in each 10ml serving, the supplement also contains wild phytoplankton, which contains over 65 nutritional properties that encourage cellular regeneration and fight the signs of premature ageing. Meanwhile, L-Glutathione provides powerful antioxidant protection, helping skin to fight harmful free radicals.

So in other words, it promotes a fresher, more youthful complexion. I started taking this last week, so once the bottle is over with, I’ll be back to report on how my skin looks and feels…

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NuFACE Toning Device
Now this is a new one for me! I’ve used cleansing devices before for my face, but never a toning device. This handheld facial toning device from NuFACE is huge in the states, and is clinically tested for improved facial contour, skintone, and reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This FDA-approved device is said to deliver beautiful, professional results in an easy-to-use, at-home system. I could definitely do with toning up my cheeks and jawline – I mean who wants sagging skin? Now I have turned 30, I feel its more important to look into things like this, so I’m certainly excited to give it a try.

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Casual Fashion
As you can see from the photography above, I’m trying to source some smart but casual outfits for my new job (well, I’ve been at the company for 2 months but it can still be classed as recent!). What I’m looking for is to start filling my wardrobes with chic colours, smart black trousers and culottes, and a range of sharp day dresses which are casual enough to wear with a flat sandal, but smart enough to rock up into the boardroom. I recently discovered Tahari ASL – an online retailer which retails some beautiful outfits. I came across some classic pencil style dresses which can be dressed up with a blazer, but dressed down with a cardigan, so it has given me a lot of fashion inspiration. I try to look for colours that aren’t too loud and harsh, such as greys, navys, blacks and whites. Luckily, this site has a large selection, so I’m pretty much spoilt for choice. The price range is affordable too, especially to say that the items are unique designs and of a good quality.

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LQ Liquid Health Supplement
Another beauty supplement for me to try out is this LQ Liquid Health supplement, which can be drank in one mouthful from these handy tubes. Created to support health nails, hair and skin, each daily bottle contains multiple key active ingredients to encourage beauty. It includes marine collagen (7000mg), hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, silicon, glucosamine, selenium and vitamins. Collagen is the most abundant, naturally occurring protein in the body and each bottle contains 7000mg of high bioavailability Peptan™ marine collagen. I have a multipack at present, so I’ll be seeing what my thoughts are once I have consumed the lot!

So there we have it… lots of beauty and fashion related nice-ness to keep me occupied for July. Don’t forget to tune back next month when I provide a little update!