Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum.

This is definitely one of the most popular beauty products I can think of. I see it recommended everywhere and I feel like many years later, it is still so popular! So, I couldn't help but want to try it after reading many great reviews about it.
However, after using for a few months now, I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever. I still feel my Nivea Q10 Night Cream is more effective, at a much better price.
I applied a couple of drops to my face before my moisturizer and I really hated the sticky feeling it left on my hands, that I always felt I needed to wash it off...and the scent isn't that great either...actually, almost a little yucky!
I have dry/sensitive skin and although it didn't leave my skin dry, it didn't feel incredibly moisturized either, although my sister did say that my skin didn't need 'repairing' which is why I may not have noticed a difference...and I don't drink or smoke so, she may be right with that... maybe when I am older, this serum may just be the thing I need!
I am not completely dismissing it as I trust the Estée Lauder brand but right now, this is not for me. Tick. Now what's the next thing I want to try...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Fall 2013.

I haven't blogged much about catwalk in a while purely because it's a lot of work getting all the images together when there are things like Pinterest and Tumblr now where I can post to directly as I see them... so... for my blog, here are some close ups of my favourite looks so far! In order of listing: 1.Dolce & Gabbana 2.Prada gingham shoes 3.Christopher Kane 4.Gucci and everything after is Versace! 
Totally trashy but it excited me which I wish a lot of fashion shows would do!! I don't need to see things I want to wear, I want to see things that will make me excited! Designers such as Franco Moschino, Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier made me look twice!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Giveaway - $50/£30!

DEADLINE: Wednesday 6th March 2013 / 23:00 GMT
CLOSED
I haven't held a giveaway in ages and with it being my birthday last month, it gave me reason to! I am offering the winner $50/£30 worth of goods... and not only can you select from my Etsy Shop (handmade, vintage and supplies) but from my ASOS Marketplace Shop (mainly vintage jewellery) too! Lots to choose from!! This Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE with free delivery! You can also pay the difference if the item you want is over the voucher so you are not just limited to finding something to that value!

TO ENTER (mandatory):
#1 Browse my Etsy Shop and tell me what your least favourite item is and why - yep, your least favourite! Even if it is to do with the way it's been photographed, you should be able to find something!! Be as honest as you can please!!

FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (optional): 
#2 Like my Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/nuvonova (If you already 'like' my page, just let me know so it still counts as an entry!)

#3 Share my Giveaway on Facebook.

#4 Follow me on Twitter. (Again, entry still counts if you're already following me!) - @nuvonova

#5 Tweet about my Giveaway.

#6 Tell me what you would spend your voucher on! 

#7 Opt-in to my email newsletters where there will be discount codes for my online shops, giveaway notifications, new product launches and more! (Just say 'yes' and I will add your email to my list.)

There will only be one randomly picked winner for the $50/£30 prize.

Each thing you do is equivalent to one entry, so there is a maximum of 7 entries! If you do all 7, please leave 7 separate blog comments to indicate each one!
The Giveaway ends on Wednesday 6th March at 11PM GMT. Winner will be randomly picked and announced by Sunday 10th, and will have one week to respond to my initial email so please ensure that there is a way for me to contact you by - Facebook, Email, Twitter etc... Good Luck!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review: Dumpling's Legend - Soho, London.

My friend introduced me to this place a few months ago and I was pretty impressed! As always, I ordered Seafood Ho fun, and it was delicious! She also ordered a variety of dumplings which was great to eat and really reminded me how I loved variety when it comes to food, rather than having one huge meal of the same thing. I think this is why I love Asian food so much!! 
I can't remember any of the names of the dim sum we had but I don't think you can really go wrong with those. The decor was very slick and the service was fast. Overall, nice place for some quick food!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Muay Thai Interclub, London.

If you've been following my blog, or any of my other social sites, you should know by now that I have been doing Muay Thai! It started off for fitness but it is spiraling into all other directions! Click here to read all of my Muay Thai related blog posts.
My sister and I recently attended our first interclub which was held in Kennington, London, which was also the first time we had seen Muay Thai in action, live! We didn't participate as we are nowhere near ready but many of the other people we train with took part, and they were brilliant!!
There was about 5 hours worth of back-to-back fights (although it felt like an hour!) between people of many levels and from different gyms/countries... and it was almost hypnotic... I just couldn't take my eyes off of them!
Here is one of the many recordings I took of a random fight. This one was very good to watch although I felt that it was much rougher than the other fights!
I later learnt that with interclubs, there are lots of rules to keep it safe due to the dominant level of experience between all the fighters... which clarified why I didn't see one person use an elbow attack... because that would cause serious injury! This also explained why when a fight was just getting good, it would get stopped, and the fighters would be asked to 'tone it down'.
This is a very cheesy metaphor but I couldn't think of another way to describe Muay Thai... but, I see it as a never-ending onion...each time I am in contact with it, either at the gym, watching a video, attending a fight, I peel away another layer and it just keeps going, there is SO much for me to learn about it so please bear with me! Hopefully in a couple of years time, I will know much more about it!!
Going back to the interclub. Watching the variety of fighting styles really emphasized everything my trainer teaches us (and my sister agreed). Things we learned in our sessions, suddenly made so much more sense and I felt a lot more aware of it all. One of our bad habits is not keeping our hands up high enough, which we don't even realise we are doing until we are told to hold them higher! Watching the fights at the interclub really stressed how important this was (to block)...as one hit in the face was enough to send you either crashing down, strip your focus and leave you very vulnerable, and also possibly with a bleeding nose! I think I flinched every time somebody got hit in the face, I could feel the pain! It was also very nice to see a lot of the moves we are taught in class being used... some successful, some not. For example, grabbing your opponent's leg when they try to kick you, and sweeping their other leg to leave them on the floor. This was great to watch, although I remember in one of the fights, this seemed like the only thing one of the fighters could do/think of doing (and not having much luck)...I don't remember him doing much punching or kicking at all.
I also quickly realized what I liked and didn't like. I didn't like it when some of the fighters would taunt their opponent - I didn't really see any point in this for the interclub. I felt that the interclub should be used to gain experience fighting someone you most probably haven't fought before (i.e. someone not from your gym) and putting Muay Thai techniques into practice as there was never a declaration of who the winner of each fight was, or a prize....but at this stage, I don't know enough to confidently assume what interclubs should be used for, or if I am being overly sensitive!
Another thing that hit a nerve was when some fighters entered the ring and had no control whatsoever. It honestly looked like all they wanted was to hit their opponent as many times as possible (whichever way they could and most of the time just plain ol'dirty!) or to get them on their backs. It was as if they were trying to re-enact Street Fighter, and that their opponent had health points that they were desperately trying to slice away so that the fight was over. Although this was still interesting to watch, I didn't really learn anything...apart from definitely not wanting to be like that!
My sister and I could also not help to predict the 'winner' of some of the fights. At the start, we typically assumed that the fittest looking would 'win'...but how wrong we were!! Of course, fitness is so important in Muay Thai, but at the interclub, this wasn't the total truth. I can honestly say that we were very often wrong and many of the fights ended up becoming very unpredictable, which made it even more enjoyable!
In a way, I almost liked how the less-fit-looking opponent seemed to be the better fighter because it reminded me of action films where the protagonist would be confronted by someone who is perceived to be a very skilled fighter, for example, whipping his nunchuks around, pulling out a huge samurai sword or something ridiculous like that...only to be knocked out with one hit. So I guess that the main moral of that story is that yes, you can do your five million sit-ups a day and have Spartan-looking abs, but when it comes to Muay Thai, you are still going to need 100% brain power and amazing reflexes.
I think I've mentioned everything I've wanted to about the interclub now but I will be watching a proper fight soon (with elbows woo!) so look out for that post!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Review: Johnson's 24hour Day Cream.

With Nivea being one of my most favourite brands for skincare, I decided to try another that I saw at a similar level, Johnson's. I mainly associate this with skincare for babies, so I thought it would be gentle enough to use for my dry/sensitive skin. I mainly went for this as it offered sun protection, as I am very forgetful when it comes to using suncream (not that there is much sun in the UK!)... but luckily, I don't get burnt easily and as I do not have pale skin, I can withstand it longer than those that do...however, I did begin to worry about long term damage.
I used the cream every now and again, and it was generally a nice cream. However, when I was away from home for a few days and had forgotten my Nivea cream, I only had this one to use. My skin very quickly felt very dry and tight (although didn't look it) and rough to touch...and under certain light, I could see several tiny red bumps. After returning home and going back to Nivea, all of this disappeared. So, to be frank, this cream is not for me.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Review: Carluccio's.

I love Italian food as pretty much all of the time I go to an Italian restaurant that I've never been to, I am very satisfied with my meal!! I first went to Carluccio's (London) a few months ago when I was craving Tiramisu (and before I discovered how easy it was to make!), and it was delicious!! While I was there, I also checked out the menu and made a mental note to go there again for a proper meal, which wasn't a lot long after!  
The Focaccia Al Formaggio (bread/cheese) is a lovely starter and very tasty! I ordered a traditional lasagne which I get all the time now and although I have no photo of it (too busy enjoying it!), I can tell you in total confidence that it was delicious!!
I also wanted to mention that the pear juice is lovely ... I don't think I've had pear juice anywhere else, so definitely try this if you can! Below is of course the aforementioned Tiramisu!! One of the most perfectly made Tiramisu's I've ever had!
Although I seldom eat desserts that are displayed out in the open (who knows what's been on them, who's been touching them!), their displays are a real feast for your eyes! There are also plenty of ingredients for you to buy which I hope to have time to browse properly next time.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Beauty Review: Nivea Visage Q10 Night Cream.

The more beauty products I buy, the more I am realizing that the most simple ones are the best! I have been using Nivea Soft as my standard, daily moisturizing cream for many many years now...and although I dabble with other brands every now and again, I always go back to Nivea. So, I decided to give other Nivea products a go. One of the first is the Nivea Visage Q10 Night Cream which costs just under £10. I worried that it would be the same as the cream I was already using but the smell was different (very nice!), the texture was different and I felt it was much more nourishing on my face...exactly what I needed in a night cream. My skin feels so supple the next morning!! I am currently on my second pot of this now, and think I'd be happy continuing with this for the rest of my life! I have also used other 'popular' night creams which I will blog about separately, but this one is my most favourite. So, from this, I have tried other products from the Nivea Visage range which again, I am totally happy with, but will blog about later!
Just for reference, my skin is dry/sensitive ...I'm not sure how good this would be for those with oily skin...but at that price, it is definitely worth trying.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Review: Shanghai Knightsbridge Restaurant.

Long overdue review of Shanghai Knightsbridge Restaurant. My sister and I only came to this restaurant in Knightsbridge because everywhere else was totally packed as it was Boxing Day (last year)!...and we were both close to fainting from starvation! ... It had been about 7 years since I had last been out shopping in London during the Christmas holidays...and it reminded me why it had been so long! Too crowded, too much waiting!!!
However, Shanghai Restaurant seemed like the only place that had a few empty tables so we decided to give it a try, although a last resort.
Our waiter was snappy (probably stressed, but I was still unimpressed)... so after looking at the very overpriced menu, we decided to just share something to get us through the next hour, until we came across a better place to eat. We went for vegetarian spring rolls and Seafood Ho Fun (something I often order) ...but although it looks nice, it was just OK.  
The decor is also just OK, and I'm sure on a better day, the service would be OK. I think you can see where I'm going with this? Just an OK restaurant in Knightsbridge.... don't think that is good enough unfortunately....and it wasn't just me! There were other tables nearby that I overheard complaining about several things.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Vintage.

I am FINALLY getting round to listing my very exciting vintage pieces in my Etsy shop!! Here is a peek at what I have so far...but so much more to come!!!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Solange Knowles.

I have been listening to the music by Solange Knowles for a while now and kept meaning to blog about it! It is totally up my street and I have just started listening to songs from her new album, True, which is my most favourite at the moment! The song I am probably over-playing, is 'Bad Girls (Verdine version)'. I have also discovered that the guy/producer behind this album is Devonté Hynes. I have also found some great music from him, but will blog about that in a seperate post! In the meantime, check out his Tumblr for snippets of his work. Here is the Solange Knowles version of 'Bad Girls' and also Devonté Hynes' version which is just beautiful... and I rarely like songs with men singing (or sometimes say to myself how much I'd like a song more if there was no singing, or if it had a female singer instead)...besides Michael Jackson and a few others.