Monday, 9 December 2013

London v. North divide: Why going out in the North is so much better

Today I thought I'd do a slightly different post and get back to my Northern roots. I moved down to London a couple of years ago and, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love and it have no regrets about moving down. However, one thing I will always miss is a good Northern night out. And here's five reasons why...

1. You can get super dressed up

Before one of my first nights out in the South, I put on my high heels only to have my wonderful boyfriend joke, "You're not in the North now!" As much as it was liberating at first to not spend an hour preening myself, after a while I began to miss it. I don't have enough time on a daily basis to put much make up or do my hair how I would like as I value sleep too much. But it's great every now and then to really make an effort and feel great about yourself. A night in the North offers the perfect opportunity to this.

2. You can afford more than two drinks

Everyone knows that the price of drinks in London is extortionate. This means you are constantly having to think about what you are spending/ where to hide a cheeky hip flask. In the north, however, drinks are literally half the price (although this club in my home town of Warrington took it too far).

3. Driving is not out of the question

Getting into central London at the beginning of the evening is easy. Getting home after 1pm is not. Especially if you have dismissed point number one and worn heels anyway. Point number two also eats up your taxi fund and don't even think about trying to park in the city centre unless you want to re-mortgage your house. Of course, this doesn't apply in the north. My friends and I went out a couple of weeks ago in Manchester and parked in the city centre all night for £5. Amaze.

4. It's less exclusive

In the North, most reasonably classy places are cheap enough so that anyone who owns at least two pairs of shoes that aren't trainers can have a good night. Which is great because it means you meet all sorts of people and the atmosphere is very laid back. If you put the equivalent of Manchester's Cloud 23 bar in London, it would instantly become at least twice as expensive, practically ruling out the average person.

5. Footballer spotting

I'm not a football fan but who doesn't like a good footballer spot? Owing to point number four, it is quite normal when out in Manchester to see a Man U or Man City supporter in a club with little fuss caused. The second to last time I was out there, Danny Welbeck was just chilling on the table next to ours. My male friends particularly enjoyed this.

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you live in any area of the U.K. which you think is a great night out, let me know in the comments! Now I shall love you and leave you with a photo from our last night out in Manchester.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Percy & Reed No Oil Oil (oil)

One of my friends used to work for a famous consumer magazine and, like many journalists, is not the richest person. So, for my birthday, she gave me a big bag of beauty press samples that she'd saved up. This was actually better than any present she could have afforded to buy as I got to try a whole range of great brands that I normally wouldn't pick up. Among the products was this Percy & Reed No Oil Oil.

Percy & Reed No Oil Oil (R.R.P £14)

It took months before I actually got round to trying it as it got lost in the depth of my bathroom cupboard. However, when the serum I normally use ran out, I rediscovered it and decided to give it a go. I find about two pumps is more than enough to condition the ends of your hair and I am a total convert! I have long hair so it's important for me to make sure I keep split ends to a minimum. This is actually the 'fine hair' version and I most definitely have thick hair but it still works amazingly. I'd like to know what the difference is actually, so if you know, let me know!

My hair is looking really healthy at the moment and I'd like to think this hair oil has something to do with it.

Have you tried any hair serums recently that you want to shout about? Comment below!

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

French beauty products from Yves Rocher

Hi everyone!

So a couple of months ago I found myself in the city of Nantes in France on my own. To cut a long story short, I started a summer job, terminated the contract early and was then stuck there for a week and a half with nothing to do while I waited for the other half to arrive (he had already bought very expensive plane tickets). It was not ideal and cost me a lot of money on hotels and just generally entertaining myself.

Luckily I meant a lovely girl called Lucy and we wondered aimlessly round Nantes together. On our travels, we developed a small obsession with the French botanical beauty brand Yves Rocher. I guess it's like the French equivalent of Body Shop in the UK except Body Shop is more expensive there and Yves Rocher is more expensive here.

Two of my favourite products from the Yves Rocher range are the almond moisturising lotion and the hydrating toner. The moisturising lotion smells absolutely divine and, despite having quite a creamy consistency, actually rubs in really quickly and easily. It also lasts forever as you only need a small blob to moisturise an entire leg.

The toner is even better. It's rare for me to find a product which is genuinely refreshing and moisturising at the same time, but this ticks all the right boxes. It smells gorgeously fresh, feels cool against the skin, but also leaves it feeling pampered and hydrated. This hydrated feeling also means that you need to use less moisturiser which is always a plus for me as my skin is quite naturally oily.

Yves Rocher Nourishing Lotion 3 in 1. R.R.P £9.90

Yves Rocher Hydrating Toner. R.R.P £8.50

As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately Yves Rocher is more expensive for us Brits. However, the good news is that they offer free delivery on all orders over £25 on their website ( I will definitely be trying out some more products come pay day.

Have you tried any other Yves Rocher products before which you would recommend? Or know any other beauty brands which are not widely sold in the UK but which are worth checking out? Let me know in the comments below!

Want more? Follow me on twitter @jobancroft or on facebook.