Friday, 16 August 2013

Eyelash & Brow Tint at Russell Eaton

Despite having naturally mousey brown hair, my eyelashes and eyebrows have always been that bit lighter.

When I went through a slight 'goth' stage as a teenager and my hair sneakily went from brown to permanent black, my mum, who was definitely not pleased, insisted I had my 'brows & lashes tinted so that everything 'matched,' (and man, am I glad she did. The word 'thumb' springs to mind). However since then, I've always stuck to makeup to hide and alter them. Think lashings of mascara & plenty of eyebrow powder and you won't be far off. Fast forward a few years later, having recently joined the gym & doing more swimming than a fish, it would be nice not to worry about panda eyes and disappearing eyebrows for once! 

So when Russell Eaton, Leeds kindly got in contact and asked if there was a beauty treatment I'd like to have done; an eyebrow, lash tint and shape was definitely my first choice (I'm still a nail biter so a manicure was unfortunately out of the question)

On Wednesday I trotted round the corner (perks of living in the city centre!) and headed into the lovely & stylish Russell Eaton salon. Even for mid-week it was lively; lots of chatter and very warming. I was assisted downstairs, past the hairdressing area, into a dimly lit cosy sofa reception, where I signed a medical form (skin patch tests are recommended) and patiently awaited my treatment.
The treatment room was, again, cosy, modern and clean. The beautician, also called Sam, was super friendly & made me feel really relaxed - even after the word 'wax' was mentioned. We had a quick chat about what I wanted - to keep my eyebrows fairly natural, just a tad darker and tidied up, while my eyelashes would be blue black (the darkest black they do)
Up first was the tint & wax. Now, I've never had any part of my body waxed before and I'm quite particular about my eyebrow shape - so it's safe to say I had sweaty palms about it all. But after joking about the fact a young girl came in and had the same treatment that day, I had a word with myself and we got on with it... I'm not going to lie and say it was completely pain free, because there was a definite 'sting' as the wax/hairs/paper were whipped off, but the whole thing was so quick, I didn't have time to really think what was going on. My eyes where streaming, on the other-hand, and letting my whole 'this doesn't really hurt' poker face down, badly. Prior to this, a tint had been applied to my brows and they were happily, and pain free-ly, doing their thang.
I still hadn't seen what was going on with the ol' brows when I had my eyelash tint put on. I had small cotton pads placed under my bottom lashes, then another on top, sandwiching in the tint in the middle. This was the relaxing part. I laid with my eyes shut, Sam left the room and dimmed the lights, there was some lovely soothing music on, and I got to ponder about how all this would look when it was over.
Five minutes passed and off came the tint on both the brows & lashes and I was free to sit up and take a look! And I loved them! 
My eyebrows are so much neater, and the perfect shade, nothing too drastic and you can actually see my eyelashes! The skin around my eyebrows was naturally a little red, but that faded in two or three hours. I was advised not to use anything too heavy or oily on my skin/near that area which I took onboard and by the morning all had returned to normal. The lash tint should last for around six weeks & the brows for about three.
It is strange to wake up and think 'ah! I left my makeup on!' when in reality, I didn't, rather than, 'ah! where are my features?'... And it really is useful for waking up and applying minimal products. My eyebrows now barely need anything adding, and my eyelashes are black root to tip, so no need to fear about any blondies peeking out!
Overall? Super happy with the whole experience & outcome. I will definitely be going back for this re-doing before going on holiday or when my eyebrows are just a bit out of control!

Have you had anything waxed? Tinted? Would you have this treatment done?

You can find Russell Eaton on Facebook, Twitter & online here
*This treatment was provided free of charge, but that doesn't effect any of the aforementioned review.


Friday, 2 August 2013

Blackhouse Leeds : Steak & Swing!

Anybody that knows me, will know that I love my food. 

Living in the centre of town, this gives me plenty of options to try, but one place that always stands out to me is Blackhouse - The Grill On The Square - a modern, sophisticated bar and steak restaurant. The last time I dined there was to celebrate that I had a 2:1 in my Spanish degree, so it does hold some lovely memories. Naturally, I was delighted when on Tuesday, 30th July, Blackhouse kindly invited me and my other half to dine with them and enjoy a live Swing band in the form of Dominic Haplin & The Honey B's. 

We sat down at 7.30pm and were eating within fifteen minutes or so. The service was speedy, but not rushed, and the staff were all very pleasant and welcoming. Which always gets a big thumbs up from me, as they are always part of the experience in any restaurant.
The food... Well. 

The food was nothing short of amazing. My boyfriend was in his element with a starter of camembert, crumbled nuts, croutons and cranberries, and the hoisin sauce that accompanied my duck spring rolls was delicious (I'm pretty sure it's not normal to eat the full pot, but I was layering that stuff on like it was going out of fashion).

For the main meals - it would've been wrong not to have steak in a steak restaurant - so I opted for fillet steak, my favourite, with home-cut chips and the other half; 'the special,' sirloin steak with crispy bacon and stilton (are you detecting his cheese addiction yet?) on a bed of mustard mash. Both steaks were cooked to perfection and extremely tasty, plus very hearty (but not overbearing) portions. If steak isn't your thing I think it's also worth mentioning that they have a very impressive seafood menu and a couple of vegetarian options!

If we weren't full enough then, along came the desert menu. And trust me when I say, it really is hard for me to turn down a pudding! It was a hard choice, as everything sounded so good, but in the end I opted for creme brule with raspberry coulis (because that makes it healthy, right?!) and a cashew nut tuille. My boyfriends choice was a no brainer when the waitress described the Fruit Berry Trifle as one of their best sellers and similar to a 'good old fashioned trifle like your grandma makes at Christmas' - he was sold. 

Again, both deserts were genuinely amazing. The creme brule sugar top cracked, like all good creme brule's should, but still melted in your mouth. The trifle was definitely a more modern version than any I've ever seen and it was pretty much gone in sixty seconds - so I think thats also a big thumbs up from him!
Whilst all of this food was being devoured, Dominic Haplin was singing some wonderful 'old school' Swing favourites, such as; Fly Me To The Moon, Moon River and Somewhere Beyond The Sea (all of which had me bopping about in my seat). The live band aspect really added something special to the atmosphere and I really enjoyed listening to him. Blackhouse usually have a piano player most nights, which is also great - you just can't beat live music! 

Anyway, if it wasn't already obvious, we had an absolutely wonderful time. It was one of the best restaurant experiences I've personally ever had, and one of the best I've had at Blackhouse. If you're in Leeds, I would 100% recommend you give them a try!

Where's your favourite place to eat?

*the meal was paid for by Blackhouse, but that doesn't alter any of the above in any way, shape or form, my stomach was extremely happy!
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