Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Shannon Darko

I know it's not quite 2014 yet but I want to wish you all a very happy new year! Whatever you're doing tonight, have a wonderful time!

2013 was the year that Shannon Darko began and although my posts have been a bit sporadic in recent months due to myself being extremely busy, I'm proud of what I've accomplished on my blog this year. There will be lots to come in 2014 - I'll be posting more often and about a wider variety of topics.

I want to thank every single one of you who has ever read any of my posts - it really does mean a lot to me that people actually read my ramblings! An extra thank you to anyone who has commented or shared my posts and to those who have taken the time to follow me too. If you haven't already done so, you can follow me on Bloglovin' here!

I hope 2014 turns out to be a brilliant year for you all <3

Lots of love, Shannon xxxxxxxxxxx

Life Update #2

Life-Update-Shannon-Darko

Hello everyone! You may or may not have noticed that I haven't posted in a little while so sorry about that! I thought I'd do a little update post to let you know what I've been up to and also to explain my absence!

The main reason I haven't posted is simply because I've been super busy! I've had four uni assignments due in which all count towards a substantial chunk of my final grade for this year, so I've had to spend a lot of time on them. My last one is due in this Wednesday and I'm excited for it to be done!

Supernatural-Energy-Drink-Braw-Snack-Bar
Snacks that I got from the Bloggers Christmas Party which kept me going in the library!

I've also been working a lot more than usual, due to it being Christmas time. I'm on a 0 hours contract but am working 32 hours this week! I have a lot of late shifts so by the time I get home and have my dinner etc it's 10pm, leaving me little time to blog or do anything else, especially since I'm so tired.

On top of all that I have articles to write, Christmas shopping to do, presents to wrap, and trying to find time to see Adam, Lauren and my family. Basically, I'm very stressed at the moment! Blogging has had to take a bit of a backseat but I really want to get back to posting again. I'm hoping that next week I'll have a little bit of time to relax more and do things I actually want to do!

Let's talk about the better things that have been going on now!

Last Monday was my dance society's Christmas social. We had a private room in Moskito and had a Secret Santa so it was very festive! Lauren and I only went for a little while, though, because we didn't want to get a taxi back and Lauren had just had an operation so wasn't drinking or anything. We had a really good night though and it started to get me in the Christmas spirit!

Shannon-Darko
Lauren and I at the dance society social

The next night I had another Christmas party, which was the Scottish bloggers one at October. I went along with Tasha from Drawdrobe and we had such a lovely time! The dress code was Christmas jumpers so I got to wear my wonderful Home Alone jumper for the first time.

Shannon-Darko-Drawdrobe-Scottish-Bloggers
Tasha and I (photo taken by Paula) and my Christmas jumper!

I was lucky enough to win one of the raffle prizes too, and it was the prize I wanted most! It was Vidal Sassoon Shine Envy straighteners, which was ideal for me because my old straighteners were getting a bit past their best and I was going to buy new ones with my Christmas money anyway. I'm loving them so far - would any of you like to see a review on them?

Shannon Darko Vidal Sassoon Straighteners

Photo again from Paula's blog 

Adam and I had a nice little date on Saturday - we went to Jamie's Italian for dinner and it was such a lovely restaurant. We then saw the new Hobbit movie which was really good but we went to the 10.30pm screening so didn't get out til almost 2am, and I'd been working all day so was absolutely exhausted! I had a great night though and it was so nice to have a bit of time off from all my stress.

Christmas Cupcake Royal Exchange Sqaure
Christmas cupcake from my Dad and Royal Exchange Square looking pretty.

I've rambled on a bit more than I planned to, oops! Anyway, I'm going to be really busy again this week but I want to get another post up anyway and hopefully next week will be a bit better. I hope you're all well and are getting excited for Christmas!

What have you been up to? Tell me about your Christmas parties, uni stress and anything else!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream | Review

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Stockholm Antwerp

Recently, I purchased a few NYX products after reading so much about the brand on loads of beauty blogs. I had a lot of things in my basket but narrowed it down to three since it was my first order from them.

I got the Soft Matte Lip Creams in the shades Antwerp and Stockholm. I had read quite a lot of posts about these and they looked like something I would love. Matte lips are my favourite so I thought I'd give these a try.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Stockholm Antwerp

I am in love with these. Especially Stockholm because it's a lovely nude colour and is perfect with any make-up look or outfit. Antwerp is a brighter pink colour but it can still be quite natural if you only apply a little bit. The thing I like most about these is that they last so well - better than most lip products I've used. Even after eating and drinking, these stay put and there's usually no need to re-apply them.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Stockholm Antwerp swatch
Stockholm on the left and Antwerp on the right.

Unlike a lot of matte lip products, these don't feel drying at all. They feel lovely on the lips and definitely creamy as the name suggests. They also smell like cupcakes which I quite like!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Stockholm Antwerp

I'll definitely be purchasing some more shades as these are just the perfect lip products for me. They last all day, aren't drying, and they don't leave the colour on your lips for days like lip stains do.

Have you tried the Soft Matte Lip Creams? What are your favourite NYX products?

Lush Cosmetics To Go

Lush Cosmetics To Go Book Launch Christmas Range

I started this week off by going to the lovely Cosmetics To Go event at Lush, which was to celebrate the launch of their first book as well as giving us a look at this year's Christmas range. I had such a great night and saw so many gorgeous products!

Firstly, we spoke to the author Mira Manga who told us all about the book and the vibe that she wanted to go for with it. It's a lovely looking book as it's so colourful and striking. It's clear to see how much effort Mira put into it - she was even fussy about which paper was used and how it was bound to give it the best look and feel possible! Mira was so interesting to chat to and she signed my copy of the book which was nice of her!

Lush Cosmetics To Go Book Launch
The above two photos are from the @LushGlasgowBuchananSt instagram - nibbles and Mira Manga

We then had some drinks and nibbles - I was more adventurous than usual with my drinks and tried Elderflower soda as as well as Hibiscus and Lemon. They were really yummy, as were the cookies!

Lush Christmas Range

The staff in Lush are always amazing and the evening was no exception. We were shown all the new Christmas products and given demonstrations of several bath bombs - Golden Wonder was my favourite as it creates the most amazing "mermaid bath" and it is definitely top of my Christmas list. We were also able to ask about any other products we were interested in so I got some great recommendations.

Lush Christmas Range

Everyone seemed to agree that Lush have really stepped up their game this year as the Christmas range is bigger and better than previous years. The packaging is just amazing, with some of it inspired by Fred and George Weasley's shop! There's traditional Christmas patterns as well as more unique designs, such as a huge pink star covered in glitter. The gift sets that came inside a large bauble were really cool but my favourite was the Surprise Box, which blasts out confetti when opened! There really are so many great gift options so make sure you pop into your nearest Lush when doing your Christmas shopping!

Lush Christmas Range bath bombs

We were lucky enough to receive amazing goodie bags which contained:
  • Angels On Bare Skin Face & Body Cleanser
  • Ultrabland Face Cleanser
  • Blackberry Bath Bomb
  • 'New' Shampoo Bar
  • Violet Nights Bath Oil
  • Ho Ho Ho gift set which included Father Christmas Bath Ballistic and Snow Globe Soap
I also got some samples of the 'Gorgeous' moisturiser, Blousey shampoo and American Cream conditioner. I'm super excited to try all of these and will do reviews on some of them so if there's a specific thing you'd like to read about, just let me know in the comments.

Lush Christmas Range melting snowman

All in all, I had a fantastic night and I absolutely love the Christmas range. I'm really excited to read the book too as it looks so interesting. I'd like to send a huge thank you too all the staff at Lush Buchanan Street for being so lovely, as well as to Olivia Glorney for the invite and Mira Manga for sharing her writing process with us. Thanks ladies!

What's your favourite product from Lush?

Urban Menu Relaunch Event

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited to Urban's media and blogger event to showcase their new menu. I had never been here before even though it's right in the city centre - it's at 23-25 St. Vincent Place, in between George Square and Buchanan St - but I was very impressed with it!

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow

Urban is beautifully decorated and has a really sophisticated feel to it. The architecture both inside and out is stunning and the whole restaurant has a very luxurious feel. There were candles everywhere which created a lovely atmosphere, as well as keeping it nice and warm, which was much needed on a freezing, windy night in Glasgow! I think it would be the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow

There was quite a large selection of food to try, but as I'm a bit of fussy eater, I didn't brave most of it! There was a lot of fish, which I'm not a fan of but I did try the fish goujons which were very nice. I also had the chips and the mini cheeseburger (so sophisticated on my part ha!). Both of these were nice but I wouldn't say they blew me away or anything. These were just tasters though, and if I was there for a proper meal I'd definitely find something nice on the menu to enjoy. I would have liked to have been able to try more things but like I said, I'm a fussy eater so that's my fault, not Urban's!

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow

I had the lemon posset with thyme shortbread (pictured above left) for dessert and it was lovely - probably my favourite thing that I tried. It was so creamy and tangy, and the little shot glass it came in was the perfect size for me as it was very rich so I couldn't have eaten a lot. The traditional shortbread was wonderful and went really well with the posset. Adam had the banana ice cream with crushed meringue which he really enjoyed. I hate bananas so didn't try it myself!

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow cocktails

The drinks were great too - I was given a lovely glass of Prosecco on arrival, and even though I'm not much of a wine/champagne drinker, I really enjoyed this! I don't like Cosmopolitans either but I thought I should try one of Urban's anyway (all in the name of a review of course!) and I actually quite liked it! I wouldn't drink one often but Urban's was definitely better than any other Cosmos I've had. I tried their lime Daiquiri too, which was very tangy and wouldn't be for everyone but I love lime flavoured things so this was right up my street!

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow champagne

There was a three-piece swing band which really added to the atmosphere and made everything feel even more sophisticated. The staff were fantastic - ready to help everyone and they managed to keep the food and drinks flowing for over 200 people all night. They were all very friendly too, and I can imagine that if you went here for a sit-down meal you'd receive excellent service.

Urban Bar and Brasserie Glasgow Shannon Darko

The event itself was so well put-together by the team at DADA, and it was nice to meet Tracy who was so lovely and welcoming to all the guests. I'd like to thank them again for the invite and hope to see them at the next one! Thank you of course to all the staff at Urban for the excellent service, great food and an introduction to a beautiful restaurant. I'll definitely be visiting again for a special occasion as I can trust Urban to make it extra special!

Have you visited Urban? If not, do you think you will in the future?

Zookie Picks of The Month #1

As you may have seen in my last post about Zookie, I'm going to do a monthly post where I pick out my favourite things for the site. Hopefully this will give you an idea of the diverse brands on Zookie and give you some inspiration for your wishlist!


I really love this vest from Crook & Dagger - it's definitely my kind of style and I'd wear it with black disco pants, black combat boots and my leather jacket.
The oversized aztec skull top from Lillies of the Alley would be perfect for a cozy Sunday lounging at home, worn with leggings and a comfy hoodie.


Another skeleton-inspired top here from Hazelle Doll. I love the gradient effect on this and it'd be great for a day of uni or shopping.
Wilderness Street Apparel's varsity jacket is a must-have for the winter months. It looks super cozy and is perfect for layering. I love the design on the back, too.


How amazing is this jacket from Freebird Apparel?! I love the studs and the unique design on the back. I would layer this over plain a t-shirt and hoodie to keep all the attention on the jacket.


Last skull/skeleton piece, I promise! I would get so much wear out of this necklace. It'd be a great way to add interest to a plain top or layer with shorter necklaces. Find it here, from Southern Culture.
Also from Southern Culture is this anchor bracelet. I really love this and it's another great everyday piece.

So that's my picks for November - I hope you like them and that they've given you some ideas. Let me know of you buy any of these and tell me how you would style them!

What's on your wishlist this month?

Burger Meats Bun

Burger Meats Bun Glasgow

On Wednesday, Adam and I visited a restaurant that we've heard so much about and we really hoped it would live up to the great reviews we'd heard. Thankfully, it did, and we both had a lovely meal at Burger Meats Bun.

This cute little burger place is at 48A West Regent Street (not far up so you don't need to walk up a huge hill!), so was a good location for us since we were going to the cinema afterwards.

Burger Meats Bun Glasgow

The decor is really nice - quirky and original. I liked the fake grass on top of the booths, complete with little cows! I also love the cute little logo of the burger and the bun, and the homely feel of the place overall.

The staff were lovely; I think we were served by Fiona. She was so helpful and answered all my fussy eater questions such as "what does the 'burger sauce' actually taste like?" and even offered to give me the sauce on the side so that I could try it and decide for myself whether I wanted it on my burger or not. She also advised us that we could have a less spicy version of the chips we ordered since I don't handle my spice very well!

Burger Meats Bun Glasgow

Now on to the food - Adam and I both went for the classic "Big Cheese" burger and we got a portion of Thai Chili Cheese chips to share. Unfortunately, I didn't like the chips but as I said, I'm not a huge fan of spice and they were just too hot for me! Adam liked them though, so if you're fine with spice I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

The burgers themselves were so, so nice. A little pink in the middle meant they were full of flavour, and the brioche bun was much nicer than the overly-doughy buns you find in most places. I actually did like the burger sauce, which I was quite surprised about! I was completely full and I hadn't even eaten many of the chips at all, so bear in mind that you might not want a full portion of chips to yourself as well as the burger.

Burger Meats Bun Glasgow

I really enjoyed my Burger Meats Bun experience and will definitely be back. I want to try the "Smokin' Bacon" burger next time, as well as the Sea Salt Chips. Adam and I had to rush slightly to make our film, so I'd like to spend a bit more time relaxing when I next go.

If you live in the Glasgow area, I'd definitely recommend checking this place out - it has cute decor, great service, a nice atmosphere and, most importantly, excellent food! Let me know if you try it out!

Will you visit Burger Meats Bun? Where's your favourite place to eat in Glasgow?


Burger Meats Bun Glasgow

Hot Hair Tousled Ponytail | Review

Hot Hair Tousled Pony Review

Recently, I was very kindly sent out a new hair piece from Hot Hair. Having now worn it a few times, I feel ready to write a review for you all.

The Tousled Pony* easily clips in to your existing ponytail or bun to add length and thickness. It is made of synthetic hair but it looks natural in my opinion - just make sure you don't use any heat products on it!

Hot Hair Tousled Pony Review

My first impression was actually that it looked a bit different from the photo on the website. Online it looks like nice beachy waves, but in person it was hard to explain - the only word I can think of is "flippy"! It was definitely wavy, but just a little bit different than I expected. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, because I do like the way it looked in my hair.

It's very long - on the site it says it can be up to 60cm. At first I thought I'd like to cut it a little, but when I put it on I didn't think it looked too long so I'm glad I didn't chop any off!

Hot Hair Tousled Pony Review

To get started with the hair piece, put your own hair into a ponytail. You could do a bun instead but I think a ponytail would work better. Open up the palm clip and just slide it into your hair, then arrange it so it looks nice and natural. You can comb through it with your fingers or a Tangle Teezer - Hot Hair don't recommend using a regular brush as it could damage it.

The worry with synthetic hair is that it can look really unnatural and overly shiny, but I really don't think that's a problem with this piece - it looked natural in my hair and I don't think it was at all obvious that it was a hair piece.

Hot Hair Tousled Pony Review

Since I have very fine hair, I loved the thickness this added; I've never had a pony tail look this full! I've also never experienced this length in a ponytail before and was quite surprised by the fact that it could easily sit over my shoulder without falling back (I really liked the way that looked too!)

It doesn't feel heavy on your head and is comfortable enough to wear all day, without feeling like it's going to fall off at any point. I like how this is bed-head enough for the day time, but can also be quite glamorous for a night out - especially because of the length. It's a really versatile piece which I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of.

Hot Hair Tousled Pony Review

The Tousled Pony* costs £32 from hothair.co.uk and all care instructions are on the site to make sure you take good care of your product.

I think this is a really good quality hair piece and I'm so glad I got to try it out. I'll definitely be wearing it a lot more as we come into the party season too!

What do you think of the tousled pony? Have you tried any hair pieces yourself?


As mentioned, I was sent this product by Hot Hair for consideration of review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

A/W Clothing Haul

A/W Clothing Haul Shannon Darko


I really needed to update my wardrobe for Autumn/Winter so I wanted to create a sort of capsule wardrobe -  matching pieces which can be interchanged to create a lot of different outfits. I didn't buy all this in one go, I've accumulated it all in the past month or so.

Skirts


Clothing Haul Skirts body con cat print h&m



















l-r: Purple body-con: H&M, Blue Velvet Skater: Boohoo.com, Cat Skater: H&M, Red Velvet Skater: Primark, Black body-con: H&M


Clothing Haul skirts velvet cat print h&m primark



















Tops


Clothing Haul t shirts bats ramones Vans Fall Out Boy




















l-r: Bat t-shirt: Primark, Oversized Ramones t-shirt: Primark, Vans t-shirt: Gift from Lauren! Fall Out Boy top (I cut the sleeves off): Bought at their gig.


Cardigans


Clothing Haul cardigans black leopard print primark



















Plain black and leopard print both from Primark.

Jeans


Clothing Haul jeans primark






















To be honest, these aren't really jeans because they're not denim but I don't know what else to call them! I guess they're kind of along the same lines as Riding Pants? Anyway, they're both from Primark.

Jacket


leather jacket new look
I was in need of a new leather jacket since it's basically the only kind of jacket I ever wear! This one is from New Look.

Shoes

shoes black combat boots leopard print
Boots and leopard print shoes both from H&M.

Accessories

stud beanie h&m tartan scarf primark
Spiked hat: H&M, Burgundy hat: New Look, Black hat: H&M, Gloves: Primark, Tartan scarf: Primark.

That's pretty much everything I've bought to update my wardrobe recently. I'll hopefully get some OOTDs featuring some of these items done soon.

What's your favourite item that I bought? And what are your A/W essentials?

Zookie | First Impressions


I was recently contacted by Zookie and I am so glad that I've been introduced to the site! Zookie features over 30 independent clothing brands (with more to come) all in one place, and they are passionate about promoting what is unique about each brand.

I know from my own experience that it can be very difficult to find smaller new brands that offer unique designs. I have a few favourites bookmarked but I'd really like to expand the number of independent brands that I shop from.



Zookie is the perfect place to do this and I've already found a lot of brands that I can see myself buying from in the future. You can see a list of all available brands, or you can just look through, for example, vests, and see all the brands on one page.

There seems to be something for everyone. There's brands that focus solely on accessories, others on clothes; street wear, vintage-inspired products, tie-dye... the list goes on! Make sure you have a look because, chances are, you'll find something you really love. What I really like is on each brand's page, there is a short description of them and their ideas. This helps customers get to know the brands better and learn about the personality behind them.



This is a great way for up-and-coming brands to gain more exposure so if you run a clothing company yourself, why not get in touch with Zookie about joining them?

I'm going to be doing a monthly post on Zookie which will either be on my favourite brand of the month or a wishlist of my favourite products, so keep an eye out for those!

What do you think of Zookie? What are your favourite independent brands?


I was contacted by Zookie about working with them but, as always, all opinions are 100% my own. I really love this site!