Gin Festival Bournemouth*

Last weekend, I re-GIN-dled my love for a much-loved spirit.

Terrible puns aside, the Gin Festival at Bournemouth Pavilion was an absolute delight. The Ballroom was packed with a variety of sights and smells, with over 100 delectable premium gins to sample.

Armed with my trusty partner-in-crime Lisa, we ventured to the Festival on the Friday evening and we were not at all prepared for such an experience! We were kindly looked after by some very hospitable staff and we learnt all about the history of gin and some rather interesting flavour pairings. Oh, and we got to take home our beautiful glasses too!

 

The idea being that you purchase drinks tokens to exchange for your gin and then you choose which Fever-Tree mixer to pair it with (the sponsors of the evening). I opted for classic tonic water whereas Lisa preferred lemonade in her drinks.

My first choice was Pinkster, a dry London gin made with fresh raspberries. Garnished with a raspberry and a mint leaf, it had a very smooth sweet taste. Lisa opted for Silent Pool with lemonade and an orange garnish. It was also very fruity and had a floral, citrusy aftertaste.

Next we wandered over to the exhibitors of the night. Local Dorset brand Conker Spirit was very light, it didn’t have the burning aftertaste that some shots do and went down very smoothly. Next we spoke to James from the Locksley Distilling Company. They were serving their Sir Robin of Locksley Gin with elderflower tonic, which had a really nice blend and a taster of pink grapefruit.

 

 

Our absolute favourites of the night however were Brockmans from Langley. Their gin smelt delectable and got its jam-like sweetness from blackberries and blueberries. Mike from Brockmans told me that they are a brand about the ‘darker side’ of gin, hosting raunchy events and creating some questionable content online. In Mike’s gin masterclass, he told us the story of ‘Mr Gin’ and the creative process that inspired them to combine flavours for a gin you could enjoy over ice. I’ll be buying a bottle of Brockmans for my next night in with friends, that’s for sure!

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Brockmans

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Brockmans

At this point, musicians Holder & Smith took to the stage. Having performed magic tricks amongst the crowd, the duo played some great and fitting jazz and swing covers to liven up the party mood. Having had a delicious pulled pork roll made by the Pavilion’s in-house catering and a bit of a boogie to ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, we then decided to enjoy some drinks outside overlooking the beautiful Bournemouth pier.

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Pier - Jenna and Lisa

 

We opted for two Edinburgh Gin Liqueurs. Lisa had the Raspberry with lemonade and said it was her favourite as it tasted ‘like fizzy squash’. I had the Rhubarb and Ginger liqueur with tonic which was also really sweet with a great tangy aftertaste. This was my favourite too!

 

Bournemouth Gin Festival - Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger, Raspberry Liqueur

 

At the festival, you could also exchange two tokens for a choice cocktail. Lisa chose a ‘Rhubarb Rumble’ which combined Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur with Advocaat, apple juice and fresh lemon. We also got a rhubarb and custard sweet, which the cocktail tasted just like and Lisa said it reminded her of ‘her childhood in a drink’!

I too had a gin cocktail, a ‘Drunken Tulip’ made with Martin Miller’s Gin, Prosecco, pomegranate juice, elderflower cordial and fresh lemon. This was really refreshing and I joked that all the fresh, fruity flavour made it taste ‘almost healthy’…

We had a quick chat to the ladies from Gin Explorer too. They are a subscription service who send you 4 carefully chosen 50ml vials of different gins each month. We tried new Black Shuck gin there and the ladies very kindly gave me a code for £5 off your first order with them. Visit GinExplorer.com and use ‘PASSPORT‘.

You’re welcome!

 

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Gin Explorer Subscription Box

Gin Festival - Bournemouth Pavilion - Gin Explorer Subscription Box - £5 off codeWe had a great time at Gin Festival and I’d recommend that you get tickets to an event near you soon.

Make a night of it!

Have you been to a Gin Festival?
What’s your favourite gin or gin cocktail?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Gin Festival.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
Jazmin’s 15th Birthday (in pictures) – We went for a meal at Frankie & Bennys to celebrate my little sister turning fifteen!
what I did at Christmas – a selection of posts about mine and my family’s Christmas celebrations…
Scissors Christchurch Ladies’ Night* – My Nan and I were pampered for the evening by the Scissors team
the perfect Pimms – I make the Pimms’ cup recipe with a little help from my mum!

Eloquence Pure Luxury Collection* | 10-day Skincare Trial

I was kindly sent Eloquence’s Pure Luxury Collection to review as part of my new focus on skincare. I am a bit crap at keeping up with skincare regimes but I was really excited to give this one a go and actually commit. I vlogged the routine and the effects over ten days of using the products.

(Scroll to the bottom for the vlog!)

 

Eloquence Beauty Cruelty-Free Natural Skincare - Pure Luxury Collection

 

Who are Eloquence?

Eloquence are one of the UK’s newest natural skincare companies. They combine the hydrating powers of Sacha Inchi Oil and hyaluronic acid to restore your skin to a healthier balance. Their products are cruelty-free and contain no harsh chemicals or perfumes. Using oils like cucumber and coconut to nourish and protect your skin, the Eloquence range was also featured in Cosmopolitan magazine last year as a must-try for all skin types.

 

Inside the Pure Luxury Collection (RRP £75.00) is:

Step 1) Purifying Facial Cleanser

Step 2) Firm & Tone Serum

Step 3) Firming & Moisturising Eye Gel

Step 4) Protect & Repair 24hr Cream

 

and their Nourishing Treatment Oil

 

You are advised to use the four-step routine morning and night for the full benefits.
You can buy any of the products separately too though!

Eloquence Beauty Cruelty-Free Natural Skincare - Pure Luxury Collection - Nourishing Treatment Oil

 

 

What did I think?

The Cleanser and Serum used one after the other had a lovely fruity smell and a creamy texture. Instantly my skin felt refreshed and lighter.

Dabbing on the eye gel was a nice little pick-me-up too, as it was cool and easy to apply.

I found the 24hr Cream a bit heavy for daytime use as I usually wear quite light moisturisers. It was nice before bed when I’d had a shower and my pores were open.

I also used the Nourishing Treatment Oil on my hand and rubbed it into my nails, both of which needed some TLC. It was a bit weird at first to use oil on my hands but it definitely cheered my skin up and strengthened my nails.

I would recommend the Pure Luxury Collection to anyone who can afford it (unfortunately, I can’t!) but I’d also say it’s worth trying the products individually for problem areas for a low-cost option.

 

The vlog

 

 

Have you tried or bought any of Eloquence’s range before?
Do you buy cruelty-free, natural skincare?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Eloquence.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
foundation-free fridays series – I let my skin breathe with some awesome foundation-free makeup looks
guest post: Mermaid LookPeter Minkoff of Your Style Forecast talks about the mermaid trend!
FOTD: Smashbox Art, Love, Colour Bestsellers Kit – A makeup look using my prize from Jemma
tag: boyfriend does my makeup – a silly vlog where Josh attempts to paint my face

Smile Makers* : A Very Secret Diary

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

 

Who are Smile Makers?

Smile Makers are a range of stylish vibrators, sold exclusively at Superdrug (RRP £29.99). As a brand, they believe that physical wellbeing, including sexual pleasure, is important for women’s overall health. Promoting the idea that conversations about masturbation shouldn’t be taboo, they hope that by making their products accessible and discreet, women will feel more confident and even empowered about the idea of self-pleasure.

 

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

 

What are the products?

The Smile Makers range includes two external personal massagers (The Frenchman and The Fireman) and two internal vibrators (The Tennis Coach and The Millionaire). All four are 100% phthalates free and made of silicone approved by the US FDA. They are also fully waterproof and only 40db, so this adds to how discreet they are!

 

smile_makers_personal_massagers_sex_toys_masturbation

What are they like?

I have a close friend who agreed to anonymously contribute to this piece. She is a single woman in her twenties who has tried vibrators before. She kept a diary whilst trying out the Smile Makers products and we chatted about it over a cuppa! Her feedback on the two is as follows…

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_fireman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

“The Fireman has what I would call a ‘lily-like’ appearance. It has 5 settings – 4 are basic vibration at different intensities and then the 5th is pulsing. 1 & 2 are basically the same so I’d recommend those for ‘warming up’ as they’re just enough to peak your interest. The third setting is brilliant and I finished on four – with an orgasm! Because of the shape, I used the silicone tip to get that little bit more but the bumpy bit, when rested on your clitoris was good for prolonging sensations. 

I also tried this in the shower, standing with my leg up like a flamingo at one point! They aren’t lying, it is fully waterproof because it still worked afterwards unlike some products I’ve tried before. It isn’t the strongest vibe I’ve ever tried but I can imagine if you’ve not used one before, this would be more than satisfactory. 

My non-shower test I worked through all the settings, sat with my heels to my bum. The more exposed and available your vagina is when using these the better. I don’t think you could have a sneaky wank under the table with them. The bumpy bit I found better to rest on my clit and then I sort of moved it around using some wrist action. Another orgasm here.”

 

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

“I have to be honest and say that I didn’t like the Frenchman, or as I affectionately named it, the shoehorn. The shape was annoying because when you look at it, the ‘cup’ area that I thought didn’t cup how I expected it to… I ended up using the reverse side of the lip. When that’s away from you, it moves loads but when you apply it, there’s not a lot of movement so I had to do a lot of hand work. Trying this in the shower, I gave up on squatting, putting my leg up didn’t work and after 25 minutes with no orgasm I gave up, pretty frustrated!

The Frenchman is also fully waterproof but a bit louder than The Fireman. It has the same 5 settings but I felt like 1 was nothing. The 2nd one was like the first on the Fireman. I found that 3 was best – it felt suddenly stronger! I found that I needed setting 3 or 4 here in order to ‘get anywhere’.

The shape causes problems when standing so I’d recommend using whilst in a deep squat if you can, or in a ‘lotus-legged’ position with everything open. This makes it a lot easier to stimulate. With this one I couldn’t figure out how to prolong sensation or use the ‘dip’ bit properly.I was determined to try The Frenchman again though!

This time I was in the standard ‘missionary’ position, on my back with my legs spread. I couldn’t figure out a solid technique with the pulse setting so I spent 20 minutes trying different angles, wrist actions and positions. I really wanted to judge its performance on its own so I tried to let it do its thing but I just couldn’t get it to the position I wanted to. This might be my error? Perhaps Smile Makers could include some instructions or suggestions for techniques? Still no orgasm unfortunately.”

 

Who should try Smile Makers?

Anyone could try Smile Makers, whether you’re an experienced toy-user or vi-curious and wanting to try something different. I’d also like to point out that not all women have vaginas/clitorises and not everyone with those bits is a woman. Basically, the products are designed to fit those body parts so if you’re comfortable trying those then I say go for it!

 

Do you own anything from Smile Makers?
Do you follow another great sex-positive brand?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Smile Makers.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
collab: Ending Toxic Relationships – Lucie and I talk about removing toxic people and putting yourself first
the empowerment playlists – music to make you feel strong and powerful!
“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…” – things I’ve been told I do that ‘aren’t feminist’…
You Just Keep Doing Other People – a 21st-century sex-positive rant from Cami  

 

guest post: Mermaid Look

Today’s guest post comes from the wonderful Peter Minkoff. Peter is a beauty and fashion editor for Your Style Forecast as well as a freelance menswear fashion stylist and he’s from Brisbane, Australia.

When he pitched this article to me, I begged him to write it as I love the whole look and all the pretty colours!

 

fashion_mermaid_look_makeup_style_couture_trend_peter_minkoff

By Peter Minkoff

Mermaid look is everything right now! Unless you’ve been living under a rock you sure have noticed all the rainbow colored hairdos (eyebrows and beards, too!), outfits and shoes strolling happily down the streets of your city. In fact, wherever we look, whether it’s real life or a TV/net commercial, we sure are seeing rainbow colors and falling in love with them over and over again.

It’s not really clear when and where everything started but the first time we actually noticed it we were reluctant to accept it – after all, it was weird, it was too colorful for anything business-like, it was simply too unusual. However, just as it happens with all cool fashion trends, this one caught up really soon, especially because it was accepted by little Kylie Jenner. It also didn’t hurt it that it came about sometime during spring/summer so the colors forced by the, what will later become “mermaid look”, were perfectly suitable for the hot summer days, beach parties and all those leisure vibes.

So, what exactly is this mermaid trend?

mermaid_look_fashion_trend_peter_minkoff

photo by collage by: fashiongonerogue.com & pinterest.com

 

Coloring your hair unexpected shades of grey, red, pink, blue, hot pink, yellow, turquoise, deep blue and green is a pretty easy way to sum this trend up.

The “granny style” that came before the “mermaid” trend sported grey locks that looked amazing on almost anyone who tried it! Sure, it was advised for younger people to try it out as their skins were still smooth and young-looking so there was no fear of someone actually looking aged due to their new ‘do. It wasn’t long before the “mermaid” trend came about and everyone wanted to replace the grey with some hot color.

Girls, boys – you name it – everyone became obsessed with going colorful on their hair and, apparently, making a statement with it. Like all unusual trends this one too became a synonym for hipster fashion but we didn’t mind. Blue eyed girls with their blue hairs and a huge smile were definitely worth all the head-turning during summer! And the boys, mh! Resembling mythical creatures from the deep, with their fashionable green ‘dos and long pink beards… yum! If only Ariel had known there would ever be a trend like this, she’d definitely think twice before choosing Prince Eric over a hot, turquoise-haired merman.

Is the mermaid trend limited to hair only?

mermaid_hair_trend_fashion_makeup_couture_peter_minkoff

photo by collage by: fashiongonerogue.com & tumblr.com

 

Absolutely not! Many a cosmetic labels launched nail designs, eye shadows, mascaras and lipsticks in mermaid shades (some labels are calling them ‘macaroon colors’) and as it seems, the trend isn’t likely to go away. More and more girls are hopping on the train to mermaid-town and it’s looking fabulous! It may be unusual and it may take some time to get used to, but some shades are simply to die for.

 

How did the fashion world react to the mermaid look?

mermaid_look_trend_hair_couture_fashion_makeup_peter_minkoff_style

photo by collage by: elle.co.uk & pinterest.com

 

Let’s just say it has definitely paid tribute to it! From pastels dominating virtually every designer’s collection to gauzy gowns and sequins, the iconic look of the mermaid became the it factor to dress by.

“Sheer and sexy queen-of-the-sea gowns dominated at Atelier Versace’s Fall Couture 2015 show, while Givenchy showed a flared sequined skirt straight out of Ariel’s dreams for its Resort 2016 collection”.

The last info we have is that the summer of 2016 is going to be mermaid-huge! So, make sure you get your trendy one piece swimsuit on a latest swimwear sale before they are all sold out!

Who should go by mermaid look?

fashion_mermaid_look_makeup_style_couture_trend_peter_minkoff

photo by collage by: fashiongonerogue.com & tumblr.com

 

Well, we’d love to say anyone but we can’t… unless you are working and living in a super easy-going environment, that is. Anyone who is in a “strict” line of business such as government, medicine, economy, education, marketing or anything that has to do with serious matters isn’t really the good candidate for the look. However, it’s a perfect fit for all the free, restless souls out there, artists, stage performers and all others who simply don’t care!

 

Thanks again to Peter for a great post.

 

Do you consider yourself part of the “mermaid look” club?
Would you want to try the look but can’t at the moment?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

Jenna

X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

 
If you liked this post, you should check out:
FOTD: Smashbox Art, Love, Colour Bestsellers Kit – My makeup prizes from the lovely Jemma of Floral Etiquette
how to: coconut oil your hair I talk through (and clumsily vlog) about using coconut oil to nourish my bleached hair
Makeup Revolution: Unicorns Unite Lipstick Collection – I swatch and try-on the magical colourful lipsticks from MR
tag: boyfriend does my makeup
– Josh and I try a very funny tag where he makes me look… interesting

FOTD: Smashbox Art, Love, Colour Bestsellers Kit

So I was lucky enough to win a fabulous giveaway over on Jemma’s beautiful blog, Floral Etiquette. Jemma is a deputy editor, blogger and fellow purple-haired lady and her blog photography is just perfect. She loves pastels (just like me) and has some really aesthetically-pleasing posts about homeware and makeup, as well as some more thoughtful lifestyle content.

jemma_lamble_floral_etiquette_fbl_blogger

Click the image to visit Floral Etiquette!

Jemma’s giveaway prize was this gorgeous Smashbox Art, Love, Colour Bestsellers Kit – how could I not try my chances?

smashbox_art_love_colour_bestsellers_makeup_cosmetics_beauty_kit

I love Smashbox as a brand. Their makeup is top-quality and the price isn’t too arguable for how far it goes. Josh buys me the Jet Set gel eyeliner every year for Christmas or my birthday and if you buy directly from the site, they throw in a free gift too. Because of this, I’ve got the Photo Finish Primer and the Full Exposure Mascara already but I’m glad to have increased my supply with this kit!

smashbox_art_love_colour_bestsellers_makeup_cosmetics_beauty_kit

I thought I’d do a basic day-to-day look using the products in the kit to show what they look like together and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s my FOTD (face of the day):

smashbox_makeup_face_fotd

The primer goes a really long way and is perfect for long days or nights out as your foundation (and your eyebrows if you draw them on like me!) will not budge. The shades in the little eyeshadow set compliment each other perfectly and I find brown makes blue eyes really pop!

I wasn’t too sure about the colour of the lipgloss on me… Although it says it was the ‘Pink Lady’ shade, I think they’d put the wrong one in the box as this was a creamy beige colour and I found it to be a little orangey on me, even on top of foundation.

smashbox_makeup_face_fotd

smashbox_makeup_face_fotd_eyes_eyeshadow_eyeliner

Brows: Collection Intense Colour Supersoft Kohl Pencil in Birdy Song // Makeup Revolution I ♡ Makeup Brow Kit Bold is Best
Base: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer  (oil-free) // Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in Light Porcelain 
Little Touches: Collection Cover Up Stick Concealer in Light/Translucent // Collection Pressed Powder in 18 Ivory
Eyes: Smashbox  Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter // Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black // Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Deep Black
Lips: Smashbox Be Legendary Lipgloss (not sure of shade?)

Do you own any Smashbox products?
Are you taking part in or hosting a giveaway?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna

X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
how to: coconut oil your hair – I talk through (and clumsily vlog) about using coconut oil to nourish my bleached hair
Makeup Revolution: Unicorns Unite Lipstick Collection – I swatch and try-on the magical colourful lipsticks from MR
tag: boyfriend does my makeup – Josh and I try a very funny tag where he makes me look… interesting
foundation-free fridays series – something I’ll be reviving very soon – looks that let your skin breathe

Posting Schedule

As part of my 2016 Blogging Goals, I promised myself that I would stick to a posting schedule this year, posting three times a week. I also did a couple of Twitter polls about what content you guys want to see more of…

@jennalloyd27_twitter_tweet_blog_posts @jennalloyd27_twitter_tweet_blog_posts

As a result of these, I present to you the new and improved posting schedule!

blog_content_posting_schedule

I’m hoping I can stick to it and that it will mean bigger, bolder content in 2016 with a lot more variety.
It will also hopefully encourage me to schedule posts in advance in order to keep to the posting days/topics.

Do you have a blogging schedule? Do you stick to it?
What do you want to see more of on the blog in 2016?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:
2016 Blogging Goals – I set myself some realistic blog goals for the year ahead…
Why I’ve Been Invisible On Social Media This Christmas – I went offline in an effort to spend more time with loved ones.

Queer Bloggers Network

So the lovely Jess, Zoe and I decided that Twitter needs a space for bloggers and creatives with queer (non-hetero/non-cisgender) identities. A space where we could share and promote content but also offer support and advice to those who may be questioning or having problems with their sexuality or being treated differently because of it.

So we present to you…

queer_bloggers_network_lgbtqiap

Huzzah! This network will primarily be running through a Twitter page that Jess and I will co-manage but we are of course open to others getting involved if they want to. Please get in touch if you would want to help with the admin side of things.

The aim is, once we’re up and running, to have a weekly chat with different topics or themes and a monthly newsletter that compiles lots of great content from within the community or about LGBTQIAP+ issues.

We will have DMs on and have an email should you wish to contact us privately and we will never breach something said in confidence.

If you’d like to sign up to our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter, please complete the form below!

 

 

Jenna

X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+