New 2014 Summer Street Art by Otto Schade

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Artist Otto Schade is a regular stencil street art painter in London, and this summer brought some new work to the streets which I am only just now getting around to publishing on my blog. I originally posted about the artist here: Street Art: Otto Schade. This summer, new works included colourful fishes, political/social pieces, and a nice mural of ET on the bike riding across a purple moon. Enjoy.

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Otto Schade - fishes

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Otto Schade - gun fishing

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Otto Schade - ET

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Otto Schade - Evolution

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Otto Schade - butterfly and skull

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Otto Schade 

Secret Cinema "Back to the Future"

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Last month, I went to one of the final screenings of Secret Cinema's "Back the the Future", which was showing for nearly a month and a half this summer in a secret location in east London. (However, once looking at my photographs below, the many will recognise the location as the Olympic Park.) Secret Cinema built a replica of the 1955 version of Hill Valley, the town where "Back to the Future" took place. Each night, approximately 3,000 people attended the screening, and actors and actresses were on location to bring the 1950s town to life. 

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All visitors were immersed into the 1950s Hill Valley experience. This included dressing up in 1950s clothing, which 90-95% of visitors did, and by not bringing along modern technology (mobile phones and digital cameras). I did miss having my camera, but disposable cameras were allowed and on sale, so I took some photographs with them. Most of these did not expose or take well as disposable cameras are useless, so I only have a limited selection. The best of these are posted in this blog entry.

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I dressed up in a 1950s-style light blue polka dot dress with red lipstick and nail polish. I'd just come from work, and my hair struggles to hold a style, so I didn't do anything with it. However, for those not minding the queue, hair dressers and barbers were available in Hill Valley.

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The replica of the 1955 Hill Valley featured the buildings and businesses that were in the film: Lou's Diner, Roy's Records, Texaco, the cinema, etc. There was also a High School, complete with American-style lockers and an "Enchantment Under the Sea" school dance. The cinema was also showing the film advertised. Another area, hidden between two of the buildings, contained a bar and game room dedicated to the 1980s. 

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Upon entering, we walked through Peabody's Farm, through the housing area, and to the village. McFly's, Doc Brown's, and Tannen's houses were on show, and you could walk inside them. Some of the actors and actresses were around to interact with the visitors and each other. The large billboard for the housing estate Lyon Estates was also in this area, and there was a queue to get photographs with it. The school bus came here and picked up "students". (Upon registering for tickets, each visitor received a job and an identification. My name became Sandra Rogers and I was a student for the day.)

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We headed for Lou's Diner to get a bite to eat before large queues. I ordered a cocktail and shared some fries. Lou was also hanging around, and later I saw him with Goldie Wilson. Goldie was sweeping the pavement, and the mayor Red Thomas came around and started to speak to people. Unfortunately, photographs of these (or of Doc Brown) did not come out at all.

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Some people, like my partner, simply marked out a spot on the fake grass and waited for the film to begin. Doing this misses out of the whole experience as the actors wandered around Hill Valley and created their own stories. I have seen the film so many times, so I wanted to experience the experience. I was on my own then and walked around to see what was going on and watched some of the interactions.

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I did meet George McFly, carrying binoculars. He was apparently "bird-watching". I got him to meet my partner. This is the only actor photograph that I photographed that turned out alright.

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They also had a fair with some food stands, a merry-go-round and a Ferris Wheel. I got a slice of apple pie with vanilla ice cream a bit later in the evening. 

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The actors and actresses spoke with American accents, and most of them were fairly good. They also used American phrases and pronounciations. Example: Zebra (as in zebra crossing) is pronounced with a long 'e' in American English and a short 'e' in standard British English, though Americans do not call it a "zebra crossing" and prefer "crosswalk", though this may change depending on the region of America. 

I asked where I could throw my trash away, and one of the actresses said that there are "trash cans" all around the area. In British English, the word "bin" is preferred. And yes, the trash cans were the metal American style with lids.

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The word "dollars" was used quite a lot instead of pounds, but some of the sellers did say "pounds" instead. Old cars drove around the square, and actors and actresses made the visitors feel immersed into the experience. They also hosted a parade with some of the visitors.

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Finally, it came time for the film. Everyone went to the artificial lawn area that was the town square, with the clock tower ahead of us. I will not spoil it too much, but the actors and actresses acted out parts of the film as it was being shown. The cars, such as the DeLorean, even made an appearance. Some stunt work was also done.

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This was a fun evening. I wish we could have done and seen more as the time just went so quickly. I bought a rosette of the 1955 town fair as a souvenir. We stayed in a hotel for the evening and then went to a well-known department store at Stratford's mall and got some photographs of the replica Hill Valley the next day.

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A couple of weeks before our trip to Hill Valley, we visited the pop-up Hill Valley stores on Hackney Road. A frock shop (selling accessories and souvenirs), barber shop, and diner made up the complex of shops, and we ate at the diner. I had American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and my partner had a burger with a milkshake. 

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I have wanted to go to a Secret Cinema event for so long, and we were lucky to get tickets as Secret Cinema is always popular and sells out. I recommend it, and the atmosphere was good here. 

London's Street Guitars - Rock the Boat

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In 2012, street pianos were placed around the city of London to encourage people to play (London Street Pianos Encourage "Play Me, I'm Yours"). This summer, the City of London Festival brought us street guitars placed in wooden boats, called "Rock the Boat". Twelve of these are located in the square mile, the City of London. The significance of using a boat marks the importance of the river Thames. 

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For "Rock the Boat" guitar locations, view the website: http://www.colf.org/streetguitars

New Street Art by Conor Harrington

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Normally, good street art in London lasts a little while. This new piece by Conor Harrington (originally covered in my post Street Art: Conor Harrington), painted only a couple of weeks ago, did not last long at all. I am unsure as to why it was covered, but it possibly has something to do with violence; sadly, a lot of violence is going on in the world at the moment. The artist's work uses this theme quite often in his work, showing motion and old-style costume. The piece is titled "Once Were Warriors". It currently looks like the piece below, but it has more recently been tagged over. 

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Before the piece was covered with too much white paint, it looked like the image below. (Image courtesy of StreetArtNews.net.)

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This wall/door has contained work by Conor Harrington for a long while now. I do hope that the artist comes back to London and paints something else here.

London Travel & Food: Boundary Rooftop

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Rooftop cocktail bars / restaurants on a nice sunny day are worth finding in London. I visited the Boundary Rooftop bar in Shoreditch with my colleagues a couple of times early in the summer. The downstairs is the Albion cafe and shop on the corner of Redchurch Street, right behind the station. The views over Shoreditch in the sun are inviting, even if it was a little too warm in the conservatory-area (covered glass). We had cocktails and lunch. This was one of the first warmest days of the year.

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Boundary Rooftop bar

I had a peach bellini. The cocktails are not the best I have had in London, and they are a little strong. The previous visit, I shared a pitcher of cocktails with a colleague, and we felt the same way about the cocktails - a bit disappointed.

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Peach bellini

Steak, fish, lobster, and chicken are some of the mains. The food was pretty decent, but the prices for it are a bit steep. I think that you pay for the views, and it is a fairly prestigious place. When you enter, you are greeted a bit like you would be to check in to a hotel. I felt a little bit under-dressed in my jeans and t-shirt, and my colleagues felt they were as well, but there's no formal dress code as they did let us in and other patrons were very much the same.

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Chicken

I had the chicken, and it was tender enough and the vegetables were nice. I could have had a little more food, though, as it was not quite enough. Most of my colleagues had steak on our first visit, and they said that it was alright but the cost was steep. Service was also slower than we'd like, but it was fairly busy as the weather was nice and it was toward the beginning of summer. Many were out wanted to enjoy the weather, and one can certainly enjoy the weather in this rooftop restaurant/bar.

In July, I subscribed to 'Love Me Beauty' box, a subscription beauty box that allowed the consumer to choose between a set of four or five set menus with varying products to best suit their needs. This beauty box differed from the others on the market because the consumer could make a selection on their box, so the products were not completely a surprise. 

However, 'Love Me Beauty' changed their process (business plan) in September. There were actually a lot of problems with their website. It took some time to register their DNS (website migration), which meant their website was offline for awhile and is only accessible if you put the 'www' in front of their web address. Also, it appears that they failed to test the website or put processes in place to migrate users and data. Many were left frustrated, and I also had some issues and could not place my order for a few days.

I am not too happy because the reward points that I had earned for the past two months no longer exist. Their website is also not easy to use.  Bad website and technical issues aside, they changed their business plan. Instead of allowing consumers to choose between one of four or five set menus, consumers can now custom-build their box from a number of products based on "credits". Each user gets six credits each month to use, and products cost either one credit or two credits each, depending on the size of the product. When I reserved my products, most of the products were two credits, and that would only limit me to three products instead of the four or five in past boxes. I ended up spending extra to purchase one of the items I wanted. In addition, they have also hiked up their prices, so this subscription box is now less value for money.

September Box

September was the first box that allowed the consumer to customise their box. However, six credits for each box is a bit tight. I ended up ordering four items using my credits and paying an additional amount for a fifth item. This box also came with the items in a drawstring bag, similar to Birchbox. Apparently next month will see a new box design launch.

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Swedish Spa Cooling Shower Mousse: This foamy shower gel is easy to use and lathers up for a quick shower. [2 credits, full size]

anatomicals sleep balm: I loved the quirky packaging and decided to give this product a try as it is meant to aid sleep. The lavender-scented lotion should be massaged into your skin. I gave this a try, and while it does calm, the product did not last long. [2 credits, full size]

Murad Exfoliating Mask: This mask made my face feel fresh and clean. Too bad that there's only enough for a one-time use. [1 credit, sample size]

Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo: I like peppermint scented products, so I decided to give this product a try. The product smells nice, but the shampoo feels a little dry on my scalp. I like shampoo that makes my hair feel soft because it tangles so easily. [1 credit, sample size]

anatomicals 'London, New York, Paris and Foam' body cleanser: This was the product that I purchased, and it is a nicely-scented shower gel. [purchased separately]

August Box

August was the last month of the set-menu box choice format for 'Love Me Beauty'. I was not such a big fan of August's choices. All four box set-menu options included the same brow-liner in blond. First of all, I don't use brow-liner. Second, I don't have blond hair. 

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Marsk Mineral Eye Shadow in Foiled Again: This silver eye shadow is amazing. I applied it with a brush, and the silver colour shimmers. This product is great for going out and draws attention to my eyes. This is my favourite item in the box by far.

Mirabella Lip Definer in Tart: This product was actually meant to be a different colour than the one that was sent. This one is brighter and more 'red', and in my opinion, it isn't as nice as the colour of the one that I was meant to receive. I used this liner when I wanted bold lipstick, and it works alright. It is similar to other eye-liners that I have used.

The One Eye Liner: This was a nice product and similar to other eye-liners that I have used.

A La Carte Brow Ink (in blond): I don't use brow-defining products, and this item in this colour (blond) was in all of the options for the "Love Me Beauty" box. I tried the product, and it is a brown shade, which could work well for people with lighter hair colour. The colour is still too light to look good on my brows. I've read other posts from bloggers with the same dilemma, and they suggested using the product as an eyeliner instead. The product is a good one and leaves fine lines. I'll be giving it away.

July Box

Hot Spring Sauna face mask: I loved this product. Face masks are always good, and I have used this brand before. I have not used this particular mask, though. The product is orange in colour and it heated my skin as soon as it came into contact with my face. I gently moisturised it, as that is what the packet said to do. My skin felt moisturised afterwards whereas it was extremely dry prior to that. With these face masks, I only ever need about half of the sachet. I keep the other half to use at another time.

Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash: This facial wash has a pleasant smell and left my face feeling clean and fresh. I have a lot of different facial washes, so I cannot get too excited because I use other brands.

NYX Cosmetics Nail Polish (in Beach Glitter): This nail polish is a blue-grey colour and is very sparkly. I applied three coats to my nails, and it leaves them sparkly with a light blue tinge. I like the product, and it does not take too long to dry.

Beauty UK High Brow Kit: This is probably the least favourite product in the box because I don't spend time on my brows. In fact, I've never touched my brows or added any makeup to them. I've used the product, and it does fill out brows, but I feel that this looks just odd on me.

Model Co Eye Define Pencil: This is an eyeliner with a built-in sharpener for the pencil, which is perfect. I do not like when I have to hunt for a sharpener to sharpen other lip/eyeliners, so I like this product. Other than that, it is the same as any other eye definers that I have used.

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Do you subscribe to 'Love Me Beauty'? What are your thoughts on the product or the subscription boxes?

Street Art Masks by Yazz

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A few weeks ago, reddish-brown faces started to appear out of the brickwork in London's east-end. Some featured eyes and nose. Others featured just the mouth and chin. They seemed to form out of the bricks, as if peeking out with their own expressions. These plaster masks are the work of French artist Yazz and appeared on or just off of Brick Lane in east London. Earlier this year, we had similar sculpture masks appear by French artist Gregos, which I covered here: Street Art Masks by Gregos.

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The difference between the two artists is that Yazz's faces and torsos appear to be coming out of the buildings and brickwork. Certainly, his larger pieces based in other countries show the figures appearing to walk out of the walls.

For more information about the artist and to see more of his work, visit his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/street.yazz

Several weeks ago, I popped down to Adventure Bar in Covent Garden (London) with the bloke after work. I had seen a voucher for cocktails and decided to take advantage of it. A while had passed since I have stayed late in London, after work, to take advantage of the selection of pubs and cocktail bars. A night out was overdue, especially as I have been working so hard.

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Booking was easy, and I sent a couple of emails back and forth with a lovely staff member who took my reservation and then rearranged it a couple of days later after the bloke told me that he had just arranged a series of medical treatments. I had then rearranged it for a Tuesday toward the end of July.

When we entered, there was a couple at one of the tables, and our reserved table was at the bar. We were told that we could sit anywhere. We had the place to ourselves.

The bar looks small from the outside, but it is actually in the basement and brick archways extend into the distance. There were plenty of seats. We kept out seats near the bar as that's where the action was, and more and more people were starting to arrive as the evening progressed. Actually, the voucher seemed to prove popular as others were visiting with it.

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As it was a Tuesday evening, and Tuesdays are known as "Takeover Tuesdays" at Adventure Bar Covent Garden. We were told that we could have a try at making our own cocktails! This was fun. We also picked four songs to play as "Takeover Tuesdays" means that you can learn how to make your cocktail (with help from the bartenders) and choose the tunes to play. I choose to play Will.i.am, Britney Spears (with Will.i.am), Scouting for Girls, and Flo Rida. After some cheesey 1980s songs, they played my tunes. 

We were entitled to four cocktails each, so we got down to ordering our first drink (June Bugs) and ordered some bar snacks off the menu. We ordered rosemary chips, a beef burger, and a haloumi skewer. The food is made in the restaurant next door, and we were both surprised at how tasty the food was.

Next, we got busy with the drinking and cocktail-making. I ordered a couple of Woo Woos, a second June Bug, and the bloke had Long Island, Grounds for Divorce, and Any Given Sundae. Yes, he was more adventurous. Grounds for Divorce is a combination of fruit juices, apricot brandy and Jack Daniel's. Any Given Sundae combines ice cream, vodka, Bailey's, and Kahlua.

Loads of photographs of cocktails, cocktail-making, and the bar are below.

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The atmosphere was fun. After my tunes played, a song from "Dirty Dancing" played, and the bar staff acted out the jumping embrace scene. They also got the guests involved.

The cocktail menu does offer a few surprises and quirky drinks. One of the drinks that you can try includes a real cricket. Eww! That one is not for me. Other fun cocktail items include shots infused with different types of British sweets (Skittles, Flying Saucers, Rhubarb & Custard, Strawberry Bon Bons, and Glacier Mints). Other types included a "Sharing is Caring" cocktail package. 

There were two packages we could choose from, but they also have a package for up to eight guetss. Ours were 2-3 guests, and we had no trouble having that in addition to the four cocktails we had already had. "The Poppy Horror Show" came with a vodka-based cocktail, popcorn, hand-cuffs, and lipstick. The other choice was "Popzilla", a rum-based cocktail served with popcorn, two fortune cookies, and a model plane. Both cocktails would be served in a large glass shaped like a popcorn bag.

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We went with the "Popzilla" option, and we received a green-coloured cocktail. The bartender also put a slice of passionfruit on the top of it and lit it. We ate the caramel/toffee popcorn and built the little model foam plane. We also opened the fortune cookies. I got a free hug from one of the bar staff, and the bloke got one about "bad things happen when you party naked". Ops. I felt sorry and let the bloke have my free hug. 

Anyway, we had a fun evening. It always makes me wish that I had more time to have fun and that I did not have to live so far out of London...yet commute every day into London.

Adventure Bar is located at 20 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9HP. For more information about their hours, visit their website at http://www.adventurebar.co.uk/covent-garden-bar/ 

In July, I subscribed to a beauty subscription box 'Glossybox'. Basically, I get a sample of approximately five or six beauty-related items to try each month. The items can range from skincare, haircare, or makeup. I try each item before I provide a rating for it, and sometimes I find a nice product. (You may have read my previous post about Birchbox.) 

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So far, I have received three boxes. My first box was received in July, and I got my most recent box just last week. I have decided to rate the items between 1 (awful) to 5 (awesome). Of course, these are just my own opinions on the product.

September - Karen Millen

This month's box was designed by Karen Millen, and I love the watercolour-esque London skyline buildings. I have subscribed to Glossybox for three months now, and unfortunately, this box was my least favourite of the three:

Skin Pep Brightening Peeling Gel (x2): (4/5) This product removed dead skin cells. The sample came in a small sachet, and it's the most expensive item in the pack when considering how much a full-size product costs. The gel is massaged into the skin and then taken off after a couple of minutes (or longer, depending on how oily your skin is). I could feel the product making my skin firmer, and it also had a slight sting to it. My face does feel cleaner after using it.  

Skin Pep Dark Circle Eraser (x1): (1/5) This sample also came in a sachet, and it is meant to be massaged under the eyes to rid dark circles. I am not really a fan of eye creams, and although I used this, I did not see any results. I am not sold on this type of product. Perhaps a difference can be seen over time.

Nails Inc Matte Polish Topcoat: (5/5) This full-size product does exactly what it says it does. The product (matte) is to be used on the top coat of your polish, and it replaces glossy nail polish with matte nail polish. I tried this using the "Glossy Seal" nail polish that I received in the July box, and I compared the result. I am amazed. However, I would not really use glossy nail polish if I wanted a matte finish, unless I really liked the colour but did not want the glossy option. 

L'Oreal Mythic Oil Masque: (4/5) This hair masque provides conditioning to the hair. It did make my hair extremely soft and tangle-free. I have fine hair, and it tangles easily. The product did not make my hair look or feel greasy like some products have, but the product is costly. 

ModelCo More Brows (medium/dark): (3/5) This eyelash definer makes only a subtle difference, but I did really like the application brush. The brush is angled slightly and smaller, so it is much easier to apply to lashes. The larger application brushes are always a nuissance for me because getting the angles needed to cover all lashes is a pain. I liked this for the brush.

Vichy Laboratories Day and Night Cream: (1/5) I received two small sample-sized products of skin day and night cream. I have so much of these, and I'm not really a fan, but this product claims to defeat acne, which I do sometimes get. Unfortunately, after using the products for three days/nights, I got acne where I was using the product. This is a disappointment.

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September Glossybox

August - Glossybox's Birthday Box

The August Glossybox celebrated Glossybox's birthday. Here are the contents of the August box that I received:

Kryolan for Glossybox (Highlighter in Cashmere): (4/5) This highlighter should be applied to the cheekbones or browbone to give a natural glow. The texture is creamy, but don't make the same mistake as I did when I first tried it and over-massage it into your skin. The highligher does brighten up, and I used it just above my eyelid.

Figs & Rouge Mini Hand Cream: (4/5) The shea butter hand cream absorbed into my skin without feeling greasy at all. I love the light sweet scent, and it reminded me of sweets/candy. I also loved the bright and colourful package design, which I'll describe as modern vintage.

Yves Rocher Nail Polish in rose: (3/5) This bottle of nail polish is the birthday bonus item. The colour is 'rose', and the colour is a pale shade of pink. The polish dries quickly, and it took between two and three coats to cover my nails. I believe that this colour would look best on darkly-tanned skin, and my opinion is that it does not really suit my colouring.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer: (2/5) This is a pre-shampoo treatment, but it is a product that should not be used in a hurry as the instructions recommend keeping this on your damp hair for 20 minutes or more before resuming shampoo and conditioning. On my first trial, it had the opposite affect on my hair and made my hair look greasy and go "limp".   

Lalique L'Amour perfume: (5/5) This perfume has a soft floral scent, and I like the smell. I like perfume, and I cannot fault this product.

SkinPep Hydra Sun Defence SPF30 Day Cream: (1/5) This is a skin protector cream. I seem to get a new one of these with every beauty subscription box that I receive, and I am not really keen on this type of product. I was also not impressed with the product design as it looks "cheap".

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August Glossybox

July - Stars and Stripes

This was my first ever box from Glossybox. The box celebrates all things American and came decorated with USA 'stars and stripes'. Here are the contents of the box that I received:

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara: (4/5) This comes in a cute plastic case with a snakeskin effect. I could always use another mascara as I do not own a lot, and this seemed to do the trick. At the moment, I am quite partial to Mary Kay mascara.

Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick (in Manderina colour): (2/5) The lipstick is soft and glides right on. I am not really sure about the colour with my pale skin. 

Absolute New York Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer: (4/5) I have never used an eyeshadow primer before. The idea is that this is put onto the eyelid before eyeshadow. The primer acts like a highlighter when used on the crease above the eyelid, and the colour of the eyeshadow did seem to hold better when I used the product as a base, and it did seem to hold the eyeshadow better.

Color Club Nail Varnish (in Glossy Seal colour): (5/5) The colour of this polish is a bright blue and leaves a glossy finish. Only one coat was needed to paint my nails. The colour is bright, and I've had polish that takes at least two coats of a similar bold colour. The product smelled a little wrong to me, but I guess I did not get the strong 'nail polish' smell. It is a good product.

Carmex Lip Balm: (5/5) I have seen this product around before, but I have never tried it. It did make my lips feel soft and moisturised, and it has a minty taste. I have been using this product a lot and enjoy it.

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July Glossybox

Do you subscribe to Glossybox? What do you think? What is your favourite item?

Days Out: A Visit to the 'Cutty Sark'

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Can you imagine England without its national beverage - tea? Tea first became popular after King Charles II's wife brought it with her from her home country of Spain in the mid 1600s. In 1669, the East India Company broguht its first shipment of tea from China, and in 1706, the first tea room in London opened. By the 1830s, teas are then shipped from India for the first time. The tea trade is actually what brought about an important part of history of the ship 'Cutty Sark', which was known as a 'tea clipper'. 

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'Cutty Sark' below deck

In late 1869, the 'Cutty Sark' was launched. The ship was named after the cutty sark, the Scottish name for a short night dress that women used to wear. It was also said to be inspired by a poem written by Tom O'Shanter about a witch named Nannie who was wearing a cutty sark. The figurehead on the ship is supposed to represent the witch.

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The ship made eight voyages to China. The quickest time to Shanghai in China was 89 days. The ship would usually stay about a month in China, so the ship would be on its voyage for about ten months. 

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Tea was shipped in exotic and colourful boxes with Chinese writing on them. Replica tea boxes were located on the ship so it appeared that they were stacked in the ship and visitors could walk over them. How the tea was packed onto the ship was also illustrated.

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As the ship is very old, a lot of restorative work has been done to her, including building on her steel frame. To inform people about which parts of the ship are new materials (and which are original), the original ship's metalwork has been painted white. In the photograph below, the evidence of the wear and tear of the ship is obvious.

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Below deck are interactive exhibits and artefacts from the ship, including a star of India and the ship's bell. The exhibit also describes other items that were shipped on the boat, in addition to tea. These included other goods and items from the far east, sheep, and furniture. 

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One of the interactive exhibits was to 'pilot' your own 'Cutty Sark' electronically using a mock ship's wheel and a map that detailed the currents of the ocean, and the objective was to get the ship back to its London destination in the quickest time that the 'Cutty Sark' achieved in reality (and without being ship-wrecked)!

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The 'Cutty Sark' did not have too long of a career as steam-powered boats started to be in use to collect tea shortly after the ship was built. The Suez Canal was opened, and this cut the number of days it took to reach the east from Europe. The 'Cutty Sark' then turned to other trade, such as sheep and other goods and luxuries that were shown in the exhibition below the deck.

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The top decks could also be explored, and these included living quarters, the captain's room, and other areas for the crew and captain. Cards next to the equipment on the deck told what the item was.

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There are also some nice views from the top of the deck, and we were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day. Canary Wharf could be seen from the deck. It is amazing that this ship is here, after its fate led it to different countries and places in the world as a working and tourism ship for some time, before eventually coming back to London to be displayed as a museum.

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The shape of the hull is what made the ship so quick. It was plated with copper. In fact, the ship resting on the ground and gravity was beginning to warp the shape of the hull, so a lot of time and money was spent on suspending the ship in mid-air so that it does not rest directly onto the ground. This is why there's a large steel structure with buttresses around the ship so that visitors can walk underneath it. On this level is the ship's longest wooden plank. It is part of the original ship and is shown in its fragile condition. Burn marks can also be seen on this piece of wood from the fire that happened a few years ago. (After a large restoration project, the ship was finally reopened to the public in 2012.) 

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The scale and length of the 'Cutty Sark' is evident below. There is a restaurant here, and there's also a few more exhibitions, including how the alcoholic drink 'Cutty Sark' got its name; it was, of course, inspired by press about the famous ship. One of the most interesting exhibits on this level is the figurehead collection, known as the Long John Silvers Collection. This is the largest collection of ship figureheads in the world and was given to 'Cutty Sark' by Captain Long John Silvers (Sydney Cumbers). This collection and the 'Cutty Sark' is dedicated to the Merchant Navy. 

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Figurehead collection

A plaque is located in the area to identify each figurehead; some of them are modeled after famous people. One was Abraham Lincoln. Figureheads were regarded as important, and the crew would always keep them clean and look after them as they believed that the ship's soul was embodied in its figurehead. Not all of the figureheads are human.

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After our exploration of the 'Cutty Sark' ship, we went across the street to the Gipsy Moth pub, which we could see from the top deck of the ship. The restaurant/pub was busy, and all of the seats outside in the garden were taken, but we were lucky to grab a table and enjoyed our lunch. I had the chicken pie, and everything tasted nice.

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Have you visited 'Cutty Sark'? What did you think? Leave me a comment.

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