Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl 2016!

This year I will be taking part in the Blogger's Christmas Beauty Brawl, organised by Beth at La Blog Beaute. But what is this brawl all about? All of the bloggers involved will be reviewing beauty products which fall into a certain category for the first ten days of December. Each product will be scored on three different levels: on the product itself, the price and the packaging in a Top Trumps fashion. Think of this as a "Vlogmas" for beauty bloggers!

The list of beauty product categories for the next ten days are as follows:
1st: Moisturiser
2nd: Eyeshadow palette
3rd: Highlighter
4th: Mascara
5th: Blush
6th: Brow product
7th: Lipstick
8th: Foundation
9th: Hand cream
10th: Concealer

I think this is going to be a great way to try out some new products and I can't wait to share them with you! As always on my blog, the majority of these products will be affordable, high street products that won't break the bank. There may be a couple of exceptions to this, but all will be revealed in due course!

If you're interested in following the other bloggers involved in this Christmas' beauty brawl, I'll leave all their links below. Other than that, I hope you enjoy the next few days and the influx of reviews on High Street Beauty Junkie!

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The Goods Shed @ Novotel Cardiff: Hotel & Restaurant Review

The Goods Shed food and drink lounge is Novotel's newest restaurant-bar addition to their 4* hotel establishment. I was invited to the launch, but having recently moved away from Cardiff I was unfortunately unable to attend. So when they asked me if I'd like to review their hotel and restaurant on my next visit to Cardiff, I couldn't say no!

The food and drink lounge has a chilled out, modern vibe but encompasses some historic twists to the décor, nodding towards its past use as a goods shed along the South Wales to London railway line. While I started off the evening with a bikini martini (a summery combination of vodka, Malibu, pineapple juice and grenadine), Tim opted for a Brains beer - arguably one of Cardiff's finest creations.

We were treated to three courses for our meal, and so to start Tim and I ordered a sharing platter of meats, chutney and olives. It was really delicious and right up our street! For our mains, I chose the lamb shank on a bed of mash with seasonal veg, while Tim ordered the sea bass. The lamb was yummy, but the mash potato was the highlight for me! It was super creamy and complemented the rest of the dish so well. I tried Tim's sea bass too, which was cooked beautifully - the fish just melted in your mouth. Onto desserts: I opted for a fruit salad and frozen yoghurt as I was pretty full up by this point! Tim went for the chocolate brownie which was beautifully rich. The whole restaurant experience was fantastic and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone in the area, whether it be for cocktails or a full meal.

Apologies for the poor photo quality - I just couldn't wait to tuck in!
Onto the hotel itself! The location is perfect - you're only a 5-10 minute walk from the city centre, yet still away from the noise of Cardiff's nightlife. Upon arrival, we were checked in promptly and given our room keys. The interior of the Novotel is so sleek and modern - and the glass lift was pretty cool too! Our room was pretty big and had everything we needed. The bathroom had both a shower and a bath, along with the usual complimentary toiletries.

The bed was so comfortable - almost too comfortable as Tim and I overslept and almost missed breakfast! Cleanliness of the room was to such a high standard, I couldn't fault anything about it. Our stay also included a full buffet breakfast - probably one of the best I've ever had too! Staff were so efficient and helpful, it was a really relaxed and enjoyable stay at Cardiff's Novotel.

If you're looking for a place to stay overnight in Cardiff, be it for a rugby match, a night out with friends or a weekend shopping, I would honestly say look no further than Novotel!
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Afternoon Tea With An Alcoholic Twist @ Park Plaza, Cardiff

Park Plaza claims their Hendrick's 'G&Tea' is a must for all gin lovers. However, having sampled their afternoon tea a couple of weeks ago, I'd like to extend this claim to also being a must for gin sceptics such as myself. Gin is never my first drink of choice, but the Hendrick's gin cocktail, infused with elderflower liquor, lemon juice and Maraschino liquor, was fantastic and I happily sipped away at it in its dainty tea cup.

Of course no afternoon tea is complete without some sophisticated snacks. A word of warning: visit Park Plaza's Laguna Bar on an empty stomach as I was totally full up after this mini feast! Presented perfectly on a three-tier stand, I think you can agree that the afternoon tea dishes are a treat for the eyes as well as the stomach!
The soft, delicate finger sandwiches are the perfect savoury treat to complement the rich assortment of sweet cakes to follow. The handmade scones are perfectly baked - and residing in Devon, I know what a good scone tastes like! The sweet cakes and pastries were also to die for - the lime jelly was superb but my favourite dessert had to be the Chocolate Opera gateau.

I couldn't review the afternoon tea without mentioning the atmosphere of the Laguna Bar itself. The bar encompassed a chilled and modern atmosphere which felt very sophisticated and really added to the experience. All the staff were very attentive and I really couldn't have asked for more! Thank you to Park Plaza for the whole experience - I can't wait to join you again on my next Cardiff visit!

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REVIEW: Soap & Glory 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush

For a while now, I've heard so many people raving about Soap & Glory's make-up range. In particular I've heard great things about their infamous 'Sexy Motherpucker' range and more recently their eyebrow products which have been compared to the much pricier Anastasia Beverly Hills' range of brow products. So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked if I'd like to review one of their brow products!

I picked up Soap & Glory's Brow Filling Pencil & Brush in the shade 'Love Is Blonde' from my local Boots store. I tend to use a pencil product to fill in my eyebrows so I was curious to try one from a new brand. The twist-up nib of the pencil is super thin and this allows you to be really accurate and create a sharp edge. I like using it to draw in short hair-like lines where I have gaps in my eyebrows to make them look more natural. The shade is a perfect match for my actual eyebrow colour, which I always tend to have trouble finding. A lot of blonde eyebrow products I've tried tend to come out with a reddish undertone, but not this one (finally!). Moreover, the spoolie brush on the other end of the pencil is so handy for brushing out my brows before and after I've filled them in, so I can be sure I've created my perfect brow shape. 

*Please excuse my resting bitch face*
I honestly can't think of anything I would change about this product, and for £8 you can't really go wrong! Soap & Glory have won me over in the make-up, as well as the bath & body, department!

ALSO - calling all students! If you're a University student, you can apply to become a Soap & Glory Glambassador which could also lead to an internship at S&G as well as a visit to their New York offices! If I was still at Uni I know I'd be applying, so why not give it a go?! Find the application form here:
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