Joan Collins Timeless Beauty

I still remember receiving my very first make up palates from my Aunty Chris. I think I was 14 and I got three perfectly beautiful pallets from Marks & Spencer. They were mine all mine and I coveted them as though they were the crown jewels. If I look hard enough in my old bedroom which is back to being the storage room I’m sure I would find these empty golden gifts.

Receiving that makeup made me feel so grown up, no more stealing mams (that didn’t last long of course). Fast forward almost three decades and I still feel special when I get new makeup. So whilst mooching around in Marks & Spencer’s beauty hall, which is an absolute must I must say as there are so many testers but there aren’t any of those assistants to turn your huge effort that you went to this morning seemingly pale to insignificance with their perfectly applied makeup.

There are 36 brands in place at M&S and I selected one of them to try; Joan Collins an icon if ever there was one. Strangely the year I got my first makeup was the last year Dynasty was produced but Joan seems not to have aged and Alexis Colby, will forever be etched in my memory.

The range by Dame Joan Collins who is 83 is named Joan Collins Timeless Beauty. Oh lordy if I look like her at 63 I’d be very happy. I tried out the foundation, concealer and a lip and powder compact. The packaging screams Hollywood glamour but will the contents live up to the look?

Fade to perfect concealer; Currently I suffer from puffy dark eyes so it was good to read that this concealer is to aid the reduction of dark circles, soothe irritation and calm puffiness around the eyes. This indeed worked to a point but I by no means expect miracles. This concealer comes in three shades; fair, medium and dark and I tried out fair which worked for me. I use concealer before and after foundation so I do go through quite a lot so will need to consider a repeat purchase as it is £18.

First base foundation; I go between powder and cream foundation for day and night. Cream is most definitely my go to evening foundation. First Base is said to be youth promoting skincare and a foundation in one. The finish is lovely, quite natural and breathable but the tingle I get from what I presume is the hyaluronic acid is a little disconcerting. Despite the tingle first base has never left my skin reddened and the tingles do die down. This comes in eight shades and is £25 it would be difficult to choose between this and Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation.

I liked the coverage and the dewiness on my skin on my dry skin days though it did stick to the pores so more exfoliation needed for me.

Lipstick and powder compact duo; This is one of those products I like to flash as it looks so good. The opulent packaging is distinctive. Top tip: project it in your makeup bag as it does scratch easily.

I chose Katrina which is quite a deep brown shade. The lippy glides onto the lips and leave them instantly moisturised. I do wish I’d picked a lighter shade as this is one for an evening but the formula is so lovely I want to use it all of the time.

Katrina is combined with pressed powder and a mirror both of which have become a god send as recently the tip of my nose seems always to be red and the powder helps to combat it. I love the fact that you can marry any of the 16 shades of lipsticks with the compact. I think Marilyn will be my next choice and the lip stick retails at £18.

I’ve already chosen to try out Rosie for Autograph on my next Marks & Spencer visit. .




Joan Collins Timeless Beauty items were gifted for review purposes but all opinions are our own.

Roxanne by Hotter

I recently took the plunge and delved behind the front line of Hotter shoes. Yes I am talking about the brand as though it’s my enemy but at 40 years old I saw the brand as one ‘for the grandma’s’ and I’m not talking sirens like Joan Collins or Helen Mirren but rather characters like Nora Batty or Hilda Ogdon.  Sorry but that had been my perception and if my children follow in my footsteps it will be another 28 years until I don that title, but could this brand change my thoughts or at least alter them?

Because I had never seen the brand as one I’d wear I have NEVER ever researched the company and it’s provenance. Turns out they are UK-based and were possible for the last eight years I’ve been celebrating all things UK made but Hotter I’m sorry you didn’t get on my radar but now I’m well and truly tuned in.

Hotter has been in INTU Eldon Square for five years but the first time I even noticed it was when Lush moved in next door and I was completely honest and told deputy manager Hazel this when I visited the branch for a ‘getting to know you session’.

As I entered the shop my eyes were drawn to what I had always perceived as the core of the brand ‘cosy comfortable’ but as my eyes scanned the shop and the associated graphics I was pleasantly surprised that the shop could quite literally have been split in two, into a, ‘Yes I’d like to take you home’ and ‘No thank you, maybe in 30 years time’.

I had free-reign of the whole shop along with very knowledgeable staff to help us on our #HotterMoment journey. Considering my initial preconception and my definite misconception of the brand I must have tried on 20 pairs from sports lux, heels, wedges and sandals.

Sandy was my first crushMy first crush was on Sandy or was it Molly, Hattie or Megan, well they could have all come home with me but alas in some of the shoes I was more Anastasia (ugly sister not the singer) then Cinderella and my foot simply didn’t marry together with the shoe. Hazel said that I have quite wide feet to the front and narrow to the rear. I had never realised that but it explains so much as I can’t keep a heel without straps on my feet. Roxanne caught my eye and my heart went all a flutter and I well and truly had my #HotterMoment and Roxanne became my glass slipper. The height was perfect and the wedge made the shoe stable. I’m looking forward to not only running after my children in them but also wearing on date days and a mooch around the shops.

Some facts and figures about Hotter

1959 Thomas Houlgrave decides to use his experience to set up his own business to manufacture slippers and Beaconsfield Footwear was born.

1992 Thomas Houlgrave’s son dream was realised when he started to produce shoes as comfy as slippers and the Hotter Comfort Concept was born.

1997 Call centre opened to process the increasing demand for the brand.

2002  First shop opened in Southport

2013  Fiftieth  store opens

2015  Awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and named UK Manufacturer Of The Year.

90 days The length of the guarantee at Hotter. That’s right you buy the shoes, you wear them but within 90 days you realise that the love wasn’t really love and just lust and they really weren’t a perfect fit then you can take the shoes back – no quibble leaving everyone 100 percent happy – guaranteed! I can’t imagine Hotter getting their hands back on MY Roxanne’s though.

20 seconds – one pair of shoes is made by Hotter every 20 seconds

2016 The year I found a ‘go to’ UK brand with amazing ethics in supporting the UK economy with genuine year on year growth.

The photo above is from a lovely day spent with Nicola and our partners where we met at 12 noon and were in taxi’s by 8:15 pm and we walked and talked from Newcastle’s Quayside and up and around through town and they were so comfortable.

Now have I convinced you to go and at least have a look? Good, thought so then why not grab this discount code PPATEN and apply it at the check out and not only will you get £10 off your first order (full priced) you get FREE delivery too.

* T&C: Minimum order value £25. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers. Expires 30/6/16

Turtle Bay, Newcastle

As eating experiences go, this was a hot one! Turtle Bay, the Caribbean restaurant opened its doors in Newcastle with the same pizazz and panache as on their menu. When you think Caribbean, what comes to mind? I’ve never been before, but my imagination conjurers up balmy weather, white beaches, sunshine, cocktails and lots of coconuts! This new eatery had a lot to live up to.

As soon as we walked through the door, the well rehearsed staff greeted us personally, shaking our hands and introducing themselves. Nice touch. Immediately offered a cocktail, we were onto a winner.

So let’s start with those cocktails. Wow! They pack some punch (pardon the pun). With plenty to choose from, and some including a 63 percent proof white rum, you definitely need to leave the car at home when you’re having a night out in the Caribbean.

As a bone-fide rum lover, I was in absolute heaven as the rum stocked bar offers a choice of over 40 varieties.

Wandering around, there was a great atmosphere, busy, eclectic, colourful. I was already looking forward to trying the food. Having never eaten in a Caribbean restaurant, I didn’t have any expectations. But if you love all things spicy, I imagine you’ll want to move in.

Turtle Bay Cutters

To the food. The sheer volume we got to sample was staggering (thank you Turtle Bay Newcastle for looking after us so well). Deliciously spicy, the ‘Cutters’ (starters) are inspired by Beach Shacks & Street Hawkers across the Caribbean Islands… Jerk Pit Prawns, Duck Rolls, Jerk Chicken Wings, Pulled Pork Salads, Flat Breads, there are any amount of choices to nibble at and washed down with a soothing Banana and Peanut Butter smoothie, this first course was a real hit on our table.

(I wasn’t sure if that smoothie would work, but we couldn’t get enough of them. Like a pudding in a glass it tempered the spices).

The main courses kept on coming, ‘One Pots’ rich, slowly simmered & uniquely Caribbean of Goat Curry and the scrumptious coco-nutty Run Down; my personal favourite, creamy, flavoursome with just the right amount of kick. A variety of salads and Jerk Pit BBQ food, there’s enough on this menu to satiate any appetite.

Run Down

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay to sample the sweets, but we left with brownies packed in a cute little brown boxes so we were happy ladies.

Nicola and Suzanne

As you’d expect, the staff were lovely, informative and friendly. We really did appreciated the time everyone took to greet us personally and shake our hands. Great customer service always makes the difference when dining out, and this service was great.

Unapologetic Caribbean really works. The décor is great, the eclectic mix of colours and murals represent the food; loud and made to be seen. This restaurant, like the food is not shy or retiring. Fun and frolics, a place to enjoy with friends and go cocktail-tastic.

This taste of the Caribbean in Newcastle has made me want to book my plane ticket to the real place. But in the meantime, I’ll be back to sample the other 39 or so varieties of rum.

Nic  x