The Battle Of The Purple Shampoos
(Photo above is Fudge Clean Violet Toning Shampoo)

There are a serious amount of purple/violet shampoos on the market, some with better results than others and some with not any results at all. But after scouring the internet to find the best, these are the 3 products that consistently popped up.

Pro:Voke Touch Of Silver Brightening Shampoo


KEY INFO: This is probably one of the most popular, well known products on the purple shampoo shelf. The formula itself is sheer lilac with a medium gel like consistency. The purple tones of this shampoo are more diluted than the ‘twice a week treatment’ as it is for daily use and colour care. However the product can aid in maintaining blonde hair in between deep toning treatments.

TREATMENT: The shampoo foams up nicely upon application however I do find that it strips the moisture from my hair and after rinsing it out my hair feels coarse and dehydrated. After slathering on a conditioner and rinses it out my hair feels back to its silky smooth self. I just wonder what damage the shampoo could be causing by drying my hair out beforehand.

RESULTS: The effects of this shampoo are evident after blow drying as it looks to of neutralised some brassy tones. However, for me my hair doesn’t appear any brighter or more toned but that could be because the daily shampoo is more diluted.

VERDICT: This product did dry my hair out after application however it did recover and regain hydration after I slathered on the conditioner. The effects of the purple shampoo were noticeable after blow dry however it didn’t have a great impact on the tone and brightness of my hair even though it did aid in ridding some orange tones. For a budget purple shampoo under £4 I’d definitely recommend the brand Pro:Voke however I’d opt for their normal shampoo/ conditioner and not the colour care range.  

REVIEW: Not the best purple shampoo from the Pro:Voke range, would recommend their normal brightening shampoo and not the colour care as it is quite drying.

Charles Worthington Colour Enhancer Violet Shampoo


KEY INFO: This product is aimed towards cool blonde tones that need extra care to stay vibrant. Before I picked up this shampoo I read mixed reviews on the result but thought I’d give it a go. The formula itself is quite weak with a very pastel lilac shade (for those who don’t know the darker the purple pigment the greater the neutralising results) but I couldn’t see this until I’d purchased the product which retails at £5.99.

TREATMENT: The shampoo foams up nicely and contains guarana (seed of South African tree containing caffeine) which helped to hydrate my hair and make it feel incredibly soft. So much so it felt as though I could have easily skipped the conditioning stage but being an inbuilt routine I didn’t!

FINISH: Of course as the purple/ violet tones in the shampoo were quite weak the formula didn’t really make a great impact on my brassy tones. It did slightly help to cool them down but wasn’t able to brighten, tone or completely rid any warm tones.

VERDICT: This product may not be the best for those who are in desperate need to tone their hair and instantly remove brassiness. However due to its hydrating properties and milky violet tones it would make a great daily shampoo to use in between deep toning treatments such as the Fudge Clean Violet Shampoo below!

REVIEW: Formula is too milky for a strong purple/ violet shampoo, doesn’t tone or really remove any brassiness however would be perfect for daily use in between deep purple shampoo treatments as formula leaves hair incredibly soft.

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo


KEY INFO: This is one of my favourite purple/violet toning shampoos. It is a little more expensive than your high street brands at £10-£13 however the deep purple pigment and the strength of this toning shampoo means a little goes a long way and you only need to use it every other to every third wash. So you’re basically paying extra for the strength and concentrate of the product.

TREATMENT: You only need small amount of this product and be careful not to flick it all over your bathroom wall as you massage it in as the purple can sometimes stain. But the thick, deep purple shampoo foams up nicely and once massaged in you can leave this on for around 10 minutes (as advised). However I have previously left it on for longer to get a brighter more white tone too my hair, but if your hair is already a very light blonde be careful not to leave it on too long as it could take in too much product and have a purple hue (which personally I think looks great!).

FINISH: After using this treatment alongside a regular colour care conditioner my hair feels really soft and it is evident even when damp that the pigment has removed any brassy tones and left a brighter, cooler blonde. The only negative I found with the Fudge shampoo is as it’s quite concentrated the shampoo took to my darker roots and did lighten them so I now only use it from the mid-section down.

VERDICT: This shampoo is basically a fully loaded salon quality toner. It removes all traces of brassiness from the hair, leaves a cooler more ash tone and works its magic in just under 10 minutes. If you’re looking for some serious results and want a deep treatment to give you that then definitely opt for the Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo.

REVIEW: The perfect toning shampoo to remove any/all brassy tones leaving a silky smooth, cool blonde salon quality finish. A little goes a long way so this shampoo will last you a while as only required in between washes to every third wash.

Beki Xo
The Sparkling Spiced Apple Gin Cocktail

Nothing tastes more like Christmas than cinnamon, am I right?

This sparkling, fruity apple and cinnamon cocktail is filled to the brim with downright delicious flavours. The perfect cocktail to freshen your palette before Christmas dinner or give you that little pick me up nudge after you've indulged on your festive feast. It's the quickest and easiest cocktail to make that you can throw together without any shakers, makers and stirrers. 


The Sparkling Spiced Apple Gin Cocktail

50ml Gin
1 handful of fresh cranberries
Top with sparkling apple juice
1 Granny Smith apple
1 cinnamon stick

To make the cocktail look as great as it tastes I added a few cranberries into ice cube trays and froze them for a few hours to create festive cranberry ice cubes. If you haven't got time you could pop a few into the top of your drink just to add a little extra something.

Pour 50ml of your chosen gin over the rocks (Tanqueray No10, Caorunn, Blackwoods Vintage, Death's Door, Elephant, Greenall's and Tesco's finest aromatic gin are well paired with apple)

Add 1 cinnamon stick and a slice of apple

Pour the sparkling apple juice (Appletiser was my choice) over the cinnamon stick and top up the glass.


Stir the cocktail using the cinnamon stick and serve.



Beki Xo
The Rosemary Grapefruit Gin Cocktail (*)

Ableforth’s Bathtub gin is a high quality copper pot-still spirit infused with 6 botanicals; juniper, coriander, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. The gin is developed using a method called ‘cold compounding’ in which the botanicals are infused in a base spirit in a copper pot still before being filtered out. This gives the gin it’s subtle bronze tint before being hand wrapped, strung and waxed.

Initially the juniper-rich gin has a smooth, earthy taste to start but finishes fresh and warm on the palette with the notes from the spiced botanicals creeping in.

Its overall taste is bold and can be carried strongly through other ingredients. Therefor when creating a cocktail I wanted something that would pair well with the gin.

The Rosemary Grapefruit Gin Cocktail

50ml Bathtub Gin
50ml Fresh grapefruit juice
Splash of Rosemary infuser
Top with tonic
Garnish with rosemary and grapefruit slice

Add a handful of ice cubes into the cocktail shaker.

Pour in 50ml of fresh grapefruit juice and 50ml of Bathtub gin
  
Add a splash of rosemary infuser (I used Junip Organics) and shake

Top the glass with a handful of fresh ice cubes and pour over the contents of the cocktail shaker

Top with tonic (Fevertree goes best)

And garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of grapefruit

Serve and enjoy the fresh and earthy cocktail

Beki Xo

(*)As part of this review I was gifted the Ableforth’s Bathtub gin, however the recipe and all opinions are my own 

Dog Friendly Cafes, Bars & Restaurants in Manchester 

There's many things I love about Manchester but as a dog owner one of them has to be how dog friendly the city is (aside from the pesky Metrolink *shakes fist*). Most cafes, bars and restaurants now accept dogs but now shops and convenient stores are also allowing our little four legged friends to wander in too.

I'm always to tweet a place and ask if they're dog friendly so I thought I'd round up as many eateries and drinking spots I could think of and pop them into a dog friendly list/ map.

I'm going to be keeping the list and map as up to date as possible by adding any newly discovered dog friendly places along the way so keep checking back!


Coffee Shops

PORTER AND COLE - 124 High St, Manchester M4 5JY

EZRA & GIL - 20 Hilton St, Manchester M1 1FR


FOUNDATION COFFEE - Sevendale House, Lever St, Manchester M1 1JB


TAKK - 6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF


ZIFERBLAT - 23 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW


SECOND CUP MCR -  Arndale Centre, 100 Corporation St, Manchester M4 3AG


ANCOATS COFFEE COMPANY -  9, Royal Mills, 17 Redhill St, Manchester M4 5BA


NORTH TEA POWER - 36 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA


THE KOFFEE POT - 84-86 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE


SUGAR JUNCTION -  60 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LG


ALABAMA'S - 10 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AN


ANCOATS GENERAL STORE -  57 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5AB


Pizzeria's 

RUDY'S -  9 Cotton St, Manchester M4 5BF


PLY -  26 Lever St, Manchester M1 1DW


CRAZY PEDRO'S (dog friendly until 7pm) - 55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ


Bars


BREW DOG - 35 Peter St, Manchester M2 5BG


ODD BAR - 30-32 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1ER


THE GAS LAMP - 50 Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BW


LOST IN TOKYO NQ -  8 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN


DUSK TIL PAWN -  Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1FB


THE WHISKY JAR - 14 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF

SEVEN BRO7HERS - 3 Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AF


PORT STREET BEER HOUSE -  39-41 Port St, Manchester M1 2EQ


NIGHT AND DAY CAFE - 26 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JN


NO1 WATSON STREET - Great Northern Tower, 1 Watson St, Manchester M3 4EE


FRESS - 62 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

NIGHT & DAY CAFE - 26 Oldham Street Manchester, M1 1JN 

Bars & Restaurants 

CANE AND GRAIN - 49-51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA


TARIFF & DALE (upstairs only) - 2 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FN


KOSMONAUT - 10 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF


PEN AND PENCIL - Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ


BLUU - Smithfield Market Hall, Manchester M4 1BD


YARD AND COOP - 37 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW


THE ABEL HAYWOOD - 38 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ


V-REV VEGAN DINER - 20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN


ALBERT'S SCHLOSS - 27 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR


TROF - 8 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU


THE WHARF - 6 Slate Wharf, Manchester M15 4ST


SOUP KITCHEN - 31-33 Spear St, Manchester M1 1DF


COMMON - 39 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW


THE OAST HOUSE - The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AY


COTTONOPOLIS - 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE


THE REFUGE - Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA


EL CAPO - 12 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF


ELNECOT - 41 Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AF

THE PATRON - 42-44 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

Gourmet Restaurant 

NORTHERN SOUL - 10 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN


Pubs

THE SMITHFIELD MARKET TAVERN - 37 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ


TIB STREET TAVERN - 74 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LG


THE ANGEL - 6 Angel St, Manchester M4 4BQ


CROWN AND KETTLE - 2 Oldham Rd, Manchester M4 5FE 




Know of a dog friendly location that need adding to the map? Tweet me @smocktofrock

Beki Xo
The Cranberry Gin Cocktail ft St Giles Gin 

Whenever anyone asks me which flavours of gin I prefer I always say a floral, fresh and/or citrus tasting gin with either a smooth or peppery finish.


St Giles have completely hit the berry on the branch (I tried) when it comes to their hand-crafted infusion of 11 exotic botanicals. Botanicals such as juniper, coriander seeds, lemon grass, rose petals, black peppercorns, pink peppercorns and the rest remain a closely guarded secret.  

The gin itself has a peppery deep note that forms into a smooth fruitiness followed by a citrus tang and finished with a smooth floral taste. So basically it’s the perfect gin journey from nose to mouth.

When creating a cocktail I was inspired to pull out those fruity and citrus notes and of course create something slightly festive…ever so slightly.

Although I struggled sourcing an additional garnish (fresh cranberries) to add that extra ‘pretty’ factor the actual taste of the cocktail is incredibly refreshing the St Giles gin flavours really pull through.

The Cranberry Gin Cocktail ft St Giles Gin

50ml of St Giles Gin
30ml fresh lemon juice
1 cup of cranberry juice
3-4 cubes of ice
1 sprig of mint

Add the gin, lemon juice, cranberry juice and ice to a cocktail shake.

Shake until cocktail shaker turns misty

Pour into short glass and garnish with mint and lemon or mint and fresh cranberries!

Serve.
Beki xo 

(*) As part of this review I was gifted the St Giles gin however all opinions and the recipe itself are my own
 

Autumn - The season that forces you to dramatically swap your t-shirts for jumpers and your sandals for boots but that's fine because I love it. Along with swapping your ice latte's for hot chocolate and your bare legs for some cosy 100 denier tights, us seasonal makeup junkies have already pulled out our autumn lipsticks and are eyeing up some new shades.

But for me although I love a deep autumnal lip, it can be tricky to find the perfect tone and sometimes those berry shades just don't suit everyone and then there's the maintenance factor, so here's my 5 Alternative Lipsticks For Autumn...


Lord & Berry Crayon Lip Crayon - Dangerous Red
This shade is more of a vibrant red with pink undertones. Lord & Berry have their lip products spot on as the pencil makes it really easy to apply without a lip liner, they're incredibly silky and the wear is long lasting as the product evenly wears off throughout the day leaving a nice tinted lip. 


The Body Shop Colour Crush Shine - 06 Truly Madly Deeply
As an alternative everyday lip shade, everyone knows that a nude tone is key. But this lipstick from The Body Shop has a more festive twist with finely milled pigments that give a shimmering silver 'wet look' shine. The formula is cream based and so along side that fresh shade you get a comfortable wear. 


Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick - 107 Wine
Although this is one of the more autumnal shade, the colour is a little lighter and more reddy toned than the typical purple toned berry lip. It's also a matte shade so can be used as a build-able lip colour, whether you're wanting a tint or a full shade. I usually stray from matte lipsticks as there's always talk about them being too drying, they tend to 'crumble' and they're incredibly tight and uncomfortable to wear however I've found that Rimmel have been the most comfortable and more moisturising matte lipsticks to wear than most brands.



The Body Shop Colour Crush - 105 Coral Cutie
The shade suggests it's more of a 'coral' tone which for me is a peachy/pink shade however I'd definitely say this is more of a bright milky-orange coral. At first I was really unsure about a 'orange' toned lipstick however I actually love it! Again similar to The Body Shop's shine range the colour is incredibly comfortable to wear with it's cream based formula and rich pigment. 



Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick - 15 Rouge Podium
I've had this lipstick for a while and it;'s been my go to red lip for a night out. It's more of a bright toned red with a slight orange undertone. The formula is enriched with 1/4 pure lacquer giving that glide on, radiant glossy finish. I wouldn't say it's as long wearing as some lipsticks however because of it's nourishing formula it's easy to build without it becoming patchy or 'cakey'. 


Beki Xo

(*) The Spiced Orange Gin Martini

A gin made solely of botanicals that have been sent into space? Yeah, you heard it here first.


The Boutiquey Gin Company created Moonshot Gin using the botanicals; Juniper, coriander, cubeb pepper, lemon peel, chamomile flowers, cardamon, bitter orange, cinnamon, liquorice root and angelica  that were shot into the stratosphere where they were exposed the low pressure.

The gin itself has a round citrus, fresh sweetness taste with a savory and spiced pepper edge. So when creating the cocktail I wanted something that would compliment that candied peel scent and pull out those peppery notes.

That's when I stripped back my cocktail recipe ideas and created a simple and classic cocktail with a twist.

The Spiced Orange Gin Martini Recipe:


20ml Freshly squeeze orange

50ml Moonshot Gin
1 Handful of Ice 
1 Pinch of black pepper corns
1 Slice of orange (for garnish)


Pop the martini glass in the freezer whilst you make the cocktail

Add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker

Squeeze or pour over 20ml of freshly squeezed orange juice 

Pour in 50ml of Moonshot Gin


Shake until the cocktail shaker is misty

Take the martini glass out of the freezer and pour in the cocktail 


Add a pinch of black pepper corns and one twist of cracked black pepper

Stir and serve

Beki Xo


(*) As part of this review I was gifted the Moonshot Gin however the recipe and all opinions are my own.
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