Mia Klose – London

The last time I spoke about Mia Klose, I referred to her arrival on the music scene as “the return of chick rock with balls” based on her sample EP.   When I saw that her debut EP, London, was finally finished I was filled with excitement to review it.  It has been a while since a new artist has filled me with such enthusiasm.
Mia Klose oozes confidence and sexy charisma. Mia’s pretty face could be misleading for the frame of leather and lace that surrounds it. But her music is a perfect fusion of metal and melody that screams radio hit. Her talent for style and visual expression frequently stops traffic.  The album artwork is something of feisty beauty, but is tasteful at the same time. It is great to see an artist with personal style.
Musically, think young Axl Rose, Madonna, and Michael Monroe treading the hard rock floorboards of Skid Row, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi, with a wardrobe that would impress Cindy Lauper and Lita Ford. Her sound takes you back to the 1980’s, golden era of metal and rock. Mia’s vocals are powerful and controlled, backed by heavy guitar riffs and structured songwriting. The emphasis is on quality, and it shows in every aspect of her performance.
The album embodies everything that a rock album needs and indeed it does rock. It has an oomph of inspiration from the glam rock era and a touch of the infamous 80’s power ballads, but there is nothing cheesy about this EP. Klose’s work comes with an air of class.
London is the running inspiration behind the album and is it any wonder? London has been the inspiration behind many artists and has showcased some of the best such as David Bowie, Queen, and The Rolling Stones. The opening and closing of the 2012 Olympics conveyed to the world that when it comes to music, the United Kingdom is home to some of the best artists in the world.
“London’s a Heartbreaker” and “City of Rock” are both stellar tracks on the album with their 80’s power riffs and eccentricity. They give a great taste of this country’s electric atmosphere.
Possibly my favorite track on the album is “Living for Tomorrow”. The first couple of notes always remind me of “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses.  Lyrically, this is a very powerful song and brings great inspiration to anyone having a bit of an off day.
The guitar on the track “Mama” personifies classic rock music which can be tricky to recreate in modern times.  But with Klose’s vocals and style, it creates a perfect harmonic rhythm and excellent song.
The track that I am most looking forward to hearing live if Klose comes to Scotland is “You Drive Me Crazy”. The sensual guitar riffs provide a great get up and dance vibe and demonstrates Klose’s vocal range at its best. I have no doubt in my mind that this team of talented artists are going to go far!
London was written, recorded, and performed by Mia Klose, Melly and Danny Drama and was produced, mixed and mastered by Danny Drama with Mia and Melly at their studio in London, England and was released via the band’s own label DMD Music Ltd.

Lush Haul – Pass it Forward

A couple of weeks ago I made a visit to Lush in utter despair about the state of my skin.  I have been experiencing quite a few health issues over the last eight months and it starting to take its toll on my skin.  This is not what I would call a breakout because it has been more or less permanent over the last few month and I needed something to calm it down and make it less sore.  I was caking my face in sudocrem to soothe the irritation (which does help by the way) but I needed something more and when I have skin problems I run to Lush – a haven of natural skin goodness.

I went in with the intentions of purchasing the mask of magnaminty but the sales advisor told me that it would probably be too strong for my skin and could make the problem worse.  I have combination skin which is more dry than oily despite being acne ridden and mask of magnaminty is targeted at oily skin. She did sit me down and advised me on which products would be good for my skin though.  One of things I love the most about Lush is that I never feel pressured into buying anything and the sales advisor always take a genuine interest in what it is you are looking for.

Cleansers

Both the cleansers that I were suggested for my skin tone I have reviewed before through samples:

1. Angels on Bare Skin 
2. Ultrabland Cleanser

I purchased a big tub of Angels on Bare Skin and went away with more little samples of Ultrabland.  I would not change anything that I have said in the previous reviews other than adding that Ultrabland is a great alternative to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish if you cannot afford it.

Toners

Tea Tree Water

So far I really like the tea tree water as it is very refreshing on the skin.  You can either spritz it on to your face or spritz some over a cotton pad to wipe it over your face.  Spritizing is good in the morning or after a work out to freshen your skin up. It is really good at removing excess make-up or grime from your face after cleansing.  The sales advisor carried a bottle with her when she went to South America to keep her skin in top condition due to the sweltering heat in the jungle. If I were going to a hot country this would be top of my list of things to take with me – so holiday goes take note.

Moisturiser

Cosmetic Lad

Do not be fooled by the name it is for us ladies.  The name is actually a typo the moisturiser was meant to be Cosmetic Lab but it turns out it is very good for men (especially after shaving) so the name stuck.  I forced some on my boyfriend to test the theory and his skin looked loads better afterwards.  I was a bit envious of the results on him but it does work well on my skin too and I imagine if I had stubble it would work equally as well (insert lol). It has the lovely scent of terry’s chocolate orange and it dries very quickly which I love so it is fine as a base for make-up.  It works really well with my combination skin giving enough moisture to the dry areas but not aggravating the greasier areas like the T-zone.

Pass it Forward


I was advised for many different things for my skin during my visit but I was honest with the sales lady and told her I didn’t have that much money to spend since I had just graduated and had not found a job.  I also told her about my under-active thyroid after she told me that spots round the chin area are due to hormonal reasons and she told me her mother has this as well and has suffered many problems due to it. She sends her mother (who lives in America) the above products every month.

I don’t know if she felt a bit sorry for me or could just tell that I was having a crap week but when I stopped to admire my new products on the train I found the little card photographed above and a full size bottle of the  grease lightening spot treatment that I could not afford to buy. It make my week and I still smile when I think about it.  It was such a lovely thing to do and it just shows how great the customer service at Lush is.  One day I will go back in and thank her for reminding me that not everything is bleak.


Grease Lightening

I have previously reviewed a sample of Grease Lightening here but now that I have had a bigger sample I can say more about it.  It smells very similar to the coal face soap if anyone has tried that? So almost a little like liquorice and the texture is like a gel (this is due to the seaweed) and as you can see from the photo it looks a little ERM…sinister.  However it is beautifully ugly.  It works wonders at cooling down spots and making them less painful but I am probably not the best person to review this as I am now on a 27 day course of antibiotics for my skin and no matter how wonderful this product may or may not be at sorting out spots it probably wouldn’t make a dent in my skin problems. It certainly has not made my skin any worse though and I still use it daily to make my skin feel better. It is like a painkiller for the skin.

So happy ending?  I certainly had a happy shopping trip and I cannot advise people enough to take a trip to Lush if they are having a crap week because I can ensure you’ll leave the store feeling a little bit better. However I am still battling the horrors of my skin and it truly is a bad day when Lush cannot sort the problem out but here is hoping the antibiotics help some.

Black Velvet Nails

Anyone who knows my personally will know how much I adore velvet but since most of you don’t know me personally I’ll let you in on my slight fetish for all things velvet.  Most people I know hate velvet – it makes their skin crawl but I’d love nothing more than to wrap myself up in a big velvet blanket.  I own velvet bags, jackets, tops, dresses and shoes to name a few things. So when I seen velvet nails on: The Black Pearl Blog I just had to try it out.

I headed over to Ebay and purchased 6 flock pots for about £3.  The Flock Pots came under arts and crafts rather than nail art or beauty so if you want to find some your best bet is an art shop. If I ever reach 100 followers I may add one or two of them into a give-away.

Step 1: Find something that you can tip the flock on to unless your pots are flat enough to dip your nail into.  My pots were too tall to simply dip so I poured quite a lot of the flock on to a tea plate and then used a flat ended cotton bud (from Asda) as some sort of spade to get the flock on the nail.

I attempted green flock nails at the weekend but didn’t have the patience to finish it. Velvet nails do take quite a while to get perfect. But do not get hung up on getting the nail looking perfect straight away just get the nail covered in flock and then move on to the next nail.  The excess flock just washes off. Do not press the nail into the flock too hard though because you will smudge the polish the flock is expected to stick to.

The flock I bought also has little speckles of glitter through it which is lovely. I have black, green, white, red, blue and purple. I am excited to do something with the red and white come Christmas time.

I loved the finish result but next time I would try it with a black polish underneath rather than a dark purple. If you are going to try this before a night out do this last because the velvet does not bode well with moisturiser, make-up or water too well.  I would say these nails lasted two days maximum without looking terribly scabby.  They do feel lovely though and it is something a little bit different. If you adore velvet like I do you need to try this!

Lil Bit O’ Country Music. Country Drag Strip – Billy J White.

Nothing signifies for me more that summer is here than country music.  I associate the carefree vibes of country music with kicking back after another hard year of university with a cool drink and the sun beating down on my pale face.
Therefore, Billy J. White’s album Country Drag Strip put my seasonal love of country music straight into touch.  I’m always looking for new country music and a couple of summers ago that led me to downloading the True Blood soundtrack due to being unable to source any decent and new country music from elsewhere.  Obviously there are always the reliable ladies in the form of Carrie, Shania and Sheryl but sometimes you have to trust a man.
Listening to White you assume that he was born and bred in the Deep South but in fact he is from Canada which came as a big shock to me. Who knew that a Canadian could pull off country blues? However, having been a lover of music from a young age he has had plenty of time to hone his talented vocals.  His inspiration to delve into country was procured at hearty family gatherings, in which guitars, harmonicas, and spoons were played in time with the many harmonies.
It is obvious from tracks such as “BBQ” and “Country Drag Strip” that White also associates country music with the sun and having a good time in the sun. Both these songs make great summer tracks to get your party going.  The jazzy piano notes at the end of “BBQ” just complete the spontaneous feeling that BBQ’s can bring up. Well, they do where I live as the weather is so tempestuous.  It is not unusual to be having a BBQ in Britain with a BBQ skewer in one hand and an umbrella in the other.
Alongside such catchy carefree tracks, there are also a couple of classic country ballads fit for a drunken night of singing after the BBQ.  White’s vocals fit perfect with this style of singing and the songs have real depth to them.  My favorite of the ballads are ‘To Believe’ as it is a potentially inspirational song with soothing music to accompany it.
It was really difficult to pick a favorite song off this album as all the songs have something to offer but Rebel without a Cause is my favorite of the day with the great line of ‘That’s when they say it all began like Charlie Sheen or good ole James Dean. I’m a rebel without a cause. I don’t sit around waitin’ for handouts ‘cause I don’t believe in Santa Clause.’ I am such a sucker for a rhyming chorus especially in country music. I feel country music makes it slightly cooler than mainstream music does though.
If you enjoy barbecuing and the occasional jazzy line-dance then get this on your summer playlist and dance away but hopefully not with an umbrella in one hand.

All She Knows – ABC 2 – Glasgow – Live Review

It has been a while since I have seen my favourite local band due to most of this year being filled with writing a dissertation which was followed by the anti-climax of being unemployed. Therefore not having very much money but my souls yearns for live music; so it was really therapy to show support for the guys on their UK tour with That Sunday Feeling by going to the Glasgow show.

The band have grew a lot in the last year and have seen some changes to the line-up but this has not held them back in the slightly. The band have powered on and their sound has definitely improved over the last year (not that they were ever bad) but there has been a growth in confidence and for rising bands this can make all the difference. If a band doesn’t think they are good then neither will the people watching them.  All She Knows are certainly on the rise though.  The band have put a lot of time and effort into touring this year which they cruise through with tireless energy.

It was great to see the band again and from the reaction of the enthusiastic crowd as did they.  The band played their own material along side some covers to get the crowd going such as the hit song ‘titanium’.  A song that I personally cannot stand but really enjoyed when All She Knows but their own spin on it. Great music and great stage presence – the two qualities a band needs in order to be successful.

The band have just finished rerecording their EP with the new singer Seb and I assuming that will be getting released shortly – you can find out more about the band at their facebook page: ALL SHE KNOWS.  If you like what you hear them click like to keep up to date with the band.

The Maddigans – Way To Start This Review

Being a British girl writing for an American music website, I do not usually know the bands before reviewing them.  This is not to say that I do not grow to love them, but to finally review a band that is up incoming in the UK music scene is wonderful.
The Maddigans have been on the music scene for a couple of years now, but I think things are really going to explode this year for this little band from Canada. The band is actually coming to my home town this month and I am anxious to check them out live — especially after loving their first album, Way to Start This.  They are also being supported by a fantastic local band, Picnic Basket Nosedive, so this just adds another reason for me to go see them.
EP, Way to Start This, is a great pop-rock record but these attitude packed songs also give it an element of pop-punk. The album appeals to the angst ridden teenager inside all of us and fills listeners with a new release of energy.  The fact that the band is relatively young also contributes to the oodles of energy their music brings.
“Diamond Rings and Pretty Things” is my favorite song off the album. Its poetic verses will easily get stuck in your head. I have been humming the tune all day despite being at another band’s gig tonight – it’s that catchy! It is bound to be a sure hit with their fans both old and new.
All the tracks have a vigorous beat that commands your attention and the movement of your feet.  On the track “Let’s Keep a Secret,” the bass and drums bring a great intensity to the song. The softer notes towards the end are a reminder of the emotional topic of relationships that the song revolves around.  But do not be fooled into thinking this is a depressing song — it’s not.
This EP is far from being a bore and is actually great to stick on whilst at the gym or doing something mundane like cleaning the house – I tried this out the other day and it certainly made the task a lot more exciting than usual. If an album can make house cleaning fun, it’s good in my book!
The band’s recently released second EP is called Love vs. Passion, and judging from what I have heard from it so far – mainly the new single “Talk This Way” – it seems to be as good as Way To Start This.
The band’s first UK tour starts in a couple of days, and I am excited to see what the British music scene thinks of the Canadian band as well as what the band thinks of things over here.
The British music scene is known for being passionate about their music, so I am sure that the band will have a wonderful experience over here and will leave with a number of new and enthusiastic fans.

Guest Post for Pampered Prince

When Andy over at Pampered Prince advertised for guest bloggers I jumped at the chance having never done this kind of thing before and having really admired his blog.

The blogsphere is so overloaded with female beauty bloggers that Andy is the only male beauty blogger on my list which alone makes him stand out but his blog is rather fabulous to boot. He is a great supporter of British and natural beauty products and despite being male his blog is not just for men. Go on have a nosey.

You can find my guest post here: http://www.pamperedprince.co.uk/2012/08/guest-post-from-glampire.html

Where I review the Nails Inc Kensington Cavier Top Coat and discuss whether a topcoat is really necessary.

The Body Shop – Candied Ginger – Graduation Haul

I received this lovely set as a graduation present from my friend over at: The Beauty Fiend back in July and this is me just getting around to blogging about it but it is not due to being unsatisfied with the set.

The set includes a Body butter, Hand Cream, Shower Gel and a Lip Balm.

As you can see in the close up photo the packaging is super cute with little ginger bread men on it. Once of my favourite scents happens to be ginger so I was delighted to receive this as a gift.  It smells very richly of ginger but it is not overly sweet – which is a good thing -because lets face it after a certain age you cannot afford to be going out smelling too much like a sweet shop.

The body butter is as good as all the rest of The Body Shop butter but in texture is more akin to the shea butter or stawberry body butter than the mango one but this does not make it any less great a body butter.  I have been trying not to use this too much at the moment along with the shower gel (which I am failing on) as I feel it will be a fabulous scent for the coming autumn and winter. Ginger is quite a warm spice and it is associated with Christmas in the form of gingerbread men so come the latter seasons this will be keeping my skin nice and soft against the bitter cold. I will have no doubt used all the shower gel by then though because I cannot stop using it.

I have not used the hand cream very much since I am saving it for when I eventually getting a job – so that I actually have a reason to be moisturising my hands – it’s the novelty of having something else to stick in your handbag. From testing it out a couple of times it is nice though – not too greasy and smells as divine as the body butter and shower gel.

The lip balm is my favourite though and it is my first lip balm like this from the body shop.  It is like Vaseline in texture and leaves the lips truly moisturised – if you can stop yourself from licking it off, that is. 
All in all another great set from The Body Shop.
What is everyone’s favourite body shop scent?  I’m a fan of raspberry and mango. 

Betty Hula – Samples Review – Part Two – The Secret Wonder Oil



Part one can be found here:

As you may know I have been on the quest to try and sooth my angry stretch marks the last couple of months and whilst doing research I discovered that Betty Hula ,a brand I had looked at but never tried, had a product that is said to:  “With a special blend of ingredients working in harmony with your skin, to help repair damaged and tired cells, combat dryness and reduce wrinkles to reveal your most radiant, youthful self.”


The Secret Wonder Oil – £15.99.

I was super excited waiting on the samples arriving and this was the first product that I sampled as it was the one that I had requested for.  The scent is unusual and it is  hard to describe but I would say it is quite citrus based.  The oil contains ingredients like Apricot Kernal, Avocado Oil and Grapeseed Oil – all natural of course.

The sample was enough to get a couple of days use of it on my stretch marks and I would say it works much the same as the highly acclaimed bio-oil and as you can see it costs roughly the same.  However this smells a lot nicer and the oil is a lot darker in colour.  I would almost say the texture is a little different, maybe a little thicker.  

I also tried a little on my acne and there was no problem there so it is definitely good for sensitive skin. Once I have a little money aside I will be purchasing the full size so I can give it a proper review on how it is for treating stretch marks. 

I am thankful to Betty Hula for letting me try the products for I have now fell in love with some gorgeous beauty products. Sadly they are out of my price range at the moment but one day…

Betty Hula – Samples Review



I first came across this brand in my boyfriends bathroom, of all places, the lovely little purple tub obviously did not belong to him but his mother.  I was struck by the lovely purple tub but then by the fact that the body butter was ‘rum and blackcurrant’ scented.  My signature drink is bacardi with lemonade and blackcurrant so it is safe to say that the body butter was tugging on my heart strings a little.

Betty Hula pride themselves on the philosophy of honest natural beauty.  A philosophy I can respect for the idea of putting anything with too many chemicals in it on my skin scares me a little.  The body is natural after all (well some peoples) so I feel it makes sense to treat it with the goodness that the earth has to offer as much as you can. 

“Our lovely skin care products will nurture and rejuvenate your body and each one is made with very sensitive skin in mind.
All of our products have been lovingly handmade using traditional techniques and the finest, quality, fairly traded natural ingredients
Our range is perfect for all skin types. The recipes used are ideal for damaged, dry and sensitive skin. Powered by nature, they leave your skin feeling nourished, revitalised and silky smooth to the touch.
Our stylish range is laced with a selection of delicious and exotic Hawaiian inspired scents to stimulate your senses as your body is pampered”. 
At the moment there is only three products available in the Betty Hula range and I was lucky to obtain samples of all three including the rum and blackcurrant moisturiser mentioned before. However the product that drew me towards requesting samples is the ‘The Secret Wonder’. 

The collection currently only has three products and I received samples of all three after enquiring about their oil for stretch marks – yup I am still on that quest.  Despite the line only having three products it does not limit it for me and if anything it excites me to see what Betty Hula has in store for the future of the brand.  I only know about this brand due to my boyfriends mother purchasing one of the body butters so I am assuming it might not be a brand that you have heard of either but if you enjoy my reviews then you can find out more on: http://www.bettyhula.co.uk but the most common place to find the products for those in the UK is Sainsburys. I know, not somewhere I would associate with up-market beauty products either.

1. Sample One: Rum and Blackcurrant Body Butter – £14.99

I am going to talk about the scent of the two body butters and then go on to talk about the texture as they are both the same in that respect.

Well the rum brings the Hawaiian theme straight into touch but I would say the scent of this is an acquired taste and I certainly could not wear it hungover but it is something a little different. The tones of blackcurrant are strong when compared to the rum notes that are subtly there in the background and combined it makes a charming scent.  You could wear this instead of wearing perfume and I would be surprised if the people around you do not comment on it.  I’m sitting sniffing my arm right now – it is one of those smells that you just keep on smelling because it is so unusual but lovely at the same time.

The cute little pot that I was referring to and isn’t the logo so elegant?

2. Champagne and Spice Body Butter – £14.99

This really is a touch of luxury and the beautiful spiced yet musky scent creates the essence of glamour. I really love this body butter and it will no doubt be getting put on my Christmas list instead of perfume.  The scent lingers all day unlike some perfumes.



Quality and Texture

Both body butters are very rich in texture and need time to soak into the skin but they leave the skin looking so radiant.  The skin is left soft and with a lovely shine to it but a natural looking shine not like a tacky glittery shine. 

The only issue I have with both products is the price – at £14.99 it is quite expensive and I would say because of this it is more of a luxury product when compared to the old faithful Body Shop body butters that you can cake yourself in. However you get what you pay for and they are top quality body butters.

I have decided to leave The Secret Wonder Oil for a review of its own so you will need to stay tuned to find out what I thought of it.

Love

Glampire.


This is also part of a guest post I done for: http://www.pamperedprince.co.uk/ who is a great advocate of British beauty and brings a different beauty perspective in the highly female dominated beauty blog-sphere. Go check his blog out :).