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    IMG_7708 For the past couple of months I’ve been testing a brand new product from one of my favourite skincare brands. I was lucky enough to have a preview sent over from America and so I added into my daily routine and have been watching closely for results. It’s the Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb. It can be used both in the morning and evening to help de-stress skin, smooth out roughness, delete dullness and minimise pores. What initially attracted me to the product was the idea of it being aimed at those of us in our twenties. I feel as a twenty-something we fall into a skincare vortex, somewhere between acne control and anti-ageing. We’re all busy, our skin gets majorly stressed and there aren’t many products aimed specifically at our age group. My skin massively changed at around 22 and some of my basic skincare products didn’t feel like they were doing enough but some of the more anti-ageing products felt too intense for my skin. Enlarged, visible pores and less radiant skin is really common in your twenties and although it’s not as traumatic as teenage acne or not as visible as wrinkles and fine lines, it’s something a lot of us want to target and correct. I’ve really enjoyed using this serum, I’m about half way through the bottle. It’s very, very light so I think it would work on all skin types and it has a nice smooth, gel-like consistency which makes it work well under makeup. It smells and feels fresh on the skin and I’ve used it a lot on recent trips as the small pump is handy for travelling. You can instantly feel the change of texture on the skin and the smoothness it gives, which is great for someone who’s a bit impatient like me. This serum is part of Origins’ #QuarterLifeCrisis campaign and they’ll be giving out 5ml samples on counter nationwide while stocks last. The serum is £32 and is already on a few counters but launches nationwide on 13th March. * This post is sponsored by Origins

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    Here's this week's vlog if you haven't yet seen it. The full Coco Chanel tour, the best food in Paris, shopping in Zara and all the bits in between! Enjoy!  

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    IMG_8184 Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 11.41.06 IMG_8167So here's the review of the new Chanel Rouge Coco lipsticks, finally! They're calling this the 'ready to wear' lipstick, it comes in 24 shades from 6 colour palettes. Each lipstick is named after someone who was close to Mademoiselle Chanel, the people who called her Coco. Whether it was a friend, a lover, a close companion or a muse, they're all in there! I have a whopping 16 shades to show you in this post and I can't believe there are still 8 more I haven't tried... it's a huge collection! I was really impressed by these lipsticks and they came just at the right time. I've been looking for the perfect easy nude and I found it in 'Adrienne'. The formula of these lipsticks are the most hydrating I've ever tried. They glide on the lips and can be worn quite sheer or built up to quite an opaque colour. They're not too sheer though like the Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks, they definitely pack a punch in terms of pigment. The application is supposed to be intuitive and it really is! They're a pleasure to apply, you don't need a mirror and the bullet places the right amount of product just where you need it! You can also use your finger to press on the brighter shades and really work the colour into the lips. I tried on all 16 shades and my lips still felt nice and hydrated afterwards. Because these aren't matte the brighter shades won't last on your lips as long, but I see these as the lipsticks you carry in your handbag and touch up throughout the day when needed. They don't feel like a hassle to apply, it's actually a pleasure! The lipsticks are £26 and are officially released tomorrow on 13th March. My favourites are Adrienne, Coco, Arthur and Emilienne. Which ones take your fancy?

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    IMG_8194The Clarins Instant Concealer really had it's moment towards the end of last year and I'm not surprised that it attracted so much attention. It's a very different kind of concealer to the usual 'concealer in a tube with a doe-foot applicator' that I'm used to. It comes in a small tube and you squeeze the liquid-y product out to apply as you wish. It's a very wet formula but it's also very pigmented so a little goes a long way. I think a lot of people use this as a concealer/foundation hybrid as it's so easy to use on larger areas, either dabbing it with your finger or blending with a brush. It's has decent enough coverage to use on the face and gives enough glow and light to use under the eyes. I do find, though, that I have to go in with a second layer to cover my dark circles and quite a bit of powder is needed to set it in place. It didn't even occur to me when picking up the L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Concealer in America that it would fall into the same category, despite it's similar packaging. Like the Clarins one it squeezes out (in a slightly less user friendly tube) a liquid concealer that's high in pigment and easy to blend. I'd say the L'Oreal one is slightly more satin textured, less 'wet' than the Clarins and it also has a strong pink undertone to it, making it more of a corrector. I have the shade 01 in the Clarins and 301 Fair/Pale in the L'Oreal and they are quite different in tone and the pink works well on dark circles. Unfortunately the L'Oreal concealer isn't available in the UK yet but is rumoured to be coming over later in the year. For us UK girls we need to stick to the Clarins version but if the L'Oreal concealer is available to you and you like colour correcting under your eyes, then give it a go! Oh I do love a good dupe!

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  • 03/13/15--06:00: FINDING YOUR CAREER PATH
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    I've wanted to make this video for quite some time as it's something I feel very passionate about. I was always that person at school that wasn't doing very well, I hated exams and I found the whole thing incredibly frustrating. I often think about how I would do things differently if I were to go back to school and how long it took me to build my confidence back up after failing over and over again. I hope this video is helpful and maybe interesting to some of you. I would have liked to watch something like this when I was at school or university which is why I wanted to film it. Let me know what you think!

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  • 03/14/15--00:00: WEAR LIFE EATS
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    Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 18.34.08 This week has gone really slow for me, which is great! I feel like I've actually had time to tick some things off my to do list and I finally gave my office a good tidy. My desk builds up so easily and before I know it I'm drowning in papers, products and pens. It was worth the two hours of tidying though as I feel like I can breathe and actually concentrate when I'm sat at my desk. I've also created a nice little collection of beauty bits to keep desk-side including the Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist, the Oskia Renaissance hand cream, the BITE Beauty Lip Mask and the ORLY Cuticle Oil. On Wednesday night Rich and I went to the preview of "While We're Young', which was hosted in the Mayfair Hotel. It was actually a really nice film and I knew it would be as I love most films with Ben Stiller in. The jist of the film is about growing up, or growing old and that awkward time in life when your friends all seem a bit too grown up but you're not quite young enough to still be young. It was funny, sweet and just enjoyable to watch. It's mother's day tomorrow and so I have a rather special video going up, which you can see the teaser for tonight at 8.30pm on my Facebook page. I'm excited for this one because I think it's as nice to watch as it was to film. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and meet me back here tomorrow for a nail post and a brand new video! ps. the photo above is of me, my mum and my grandma and it's one of my faves!

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  • 03/15/15--00:00: CIATE ICE CREAM COLLECTION
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    IMG_8330 IMG_8331 IMG_8333 I always like to write about these little nail kits as I think they're a great way to buy nail polish instead of buying individual shades. The Ciate kits especially are always so pretty and this Ice Cream collection is no exception. The kit is £22, out now and includes 5 polishes plus some snazzy "sauce dripping" nail stickers for those feeling adventurous. Double Buble-Gum is a purple-y/blue, Wham Bam Strawberry Jam is a pretty pastel pink, Iced Frappe is a wearable mushroom, Make It Butter Fudge is a muted orange and Pistachi-ooh-la-la is faded pistachio that's right up my street! As we head into Spring these shades will be perfect and it's pretty easy to pick my favourites: Double Bubble-Gum, Iced Frappe and Pistachi-Ooh-La-La. Which one is your favourite?

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  • 03/15/15--06:00: CHATTING BEAUTY WITH MY MUM
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    Happy mothers day!! So if you ever wondered where I got my beauty addiction from look no further... meet my mum. It was handed down from my grandma, to my mum, to my sister, to me and I thought it was about time she showed you some of her favourite products. Just like me, she's a right old fuss pot when it comes to what she'll put on her face and use on her hair so she has a pretty good collection of products to recommend. I hope you enjoy the video. I'm under strict instructions not to talk about age but between you and me *whispers* she's older than you think she is, doesn't she look amazing!? *prays for genes*

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    IMG_8317IMG_8315 Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 16.33.31 Cult Beauty is always the first place I look when I want something new, a bit of beauty inspiration and a product I know comes highly recommended by the Queen of Cult Beauty, Alexia Inge. Lex and her team of experts try all the new products before deciding what makes it onto the site and you can guarantee if it's on there, then it's because it's great! I also love finding something unique and at the moment there seems to be a strong focus on Asian skincare, which is something I'm always interested in. The Mizon Egg White Bubble Cleanser is £19, it comes from South Korea and although it's technically a foaming cleanser, it's the pump that creates the foam, not the product itself. I would usually stay away from foaming cleansers but this one promised a 'mild skin smoothie' and Lex said it made her skin feel like cashmere. It has some great ingredients like papaya which helps to melt away any grime and dissolve dead skin cells. The egg white  helps to purge the pores of impurities and the Hyaluronic Acid helps to retain moisture. I really like this cleanser and it definitely made my skin feel soft. I wouldn't use this to remove my makeup but would rather keep as a morning cleanser. There's no denying the pump is completely addictive and fun to use and when the foam turns into a cream on your skin it's actually a real pleasure to use. The Bio-Essence Miracle Bio Water Jelly Makeup Remover is £16, it comes from Singapore and is a gel makeup remover. It's almost like the next generation of micellar waters as it still has that natural, water-y feel to it but the slight jelly texture means you can use your hands instead of cotton wool. I used this on my eyes, rubbing it into the lashes and it melted away my makeup without stinging or irritating my eyes. I'm not sure it's something I'd use daily  as I'd probably just continue to cleanse with my Oskia Cleansing Gel but it comes in a handy pump so it's something I can keep by my sink and use when I have the time. So finally, the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask or should we call it "that orange mask Anna always raves about"... catchy!  It's great to see Cult Beauty stocking products from the states that we haven't been able to get that easily over here. I was excited to try this but I have mixed feelings after a week or so of testing. So it's a three-in-one, it exfoliates, peels and polishes using pumpkin enzymes, hydroxy acids and aluminium oxide. The smell is horrendous... that's for sure. If you like christmas cinnamon smelling things you'll be alright, but I can't stand it. The texture is interesting, sort of like sand emerged in jelly. I found it to be really quite harsh on my skin and when I applied it I automatically felt a burning sensation that wasn't at all pleasant. I wanted to stick it out though as it's recommended to leave it on as a mask for 3-7 minutes, despite it feeling more like an exfoliator. When I washed it off my skin was really sore and I was thinking, well I'm never using this again! But then once the redness disappeared and my skin calmed down there was no denying that it had completely smoothed out the texture of my skin and removed dead skin cells unlike any other product has done on my skin before. So I'm torn between the unpleasantness that comes with using it and the actually quite amazing results it gave. I'll have to get back to you on that one! So there's three new tries for me and hopefully you found something new and interesting to think about. Do you own research and assess your own skin type before trying these, but hopefully my personal opinion and experience will help you next time you're filling up your Cult Beauty basket! So do any of these interest you?

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  • 03/17/15--00:00: MY PERFECT MAC QUAD
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    Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.56.14 IMG_8237Asking me to pick my favourite MAC eyeshadows is like asking me to pick my favourite child... wait I don't have any children, so that doesn't work. Well you know what I mean! My tactic was to open and grab, picking the first four I felt I couldn't live without. So if you ever wondered what my perfect MAC quad would look like, here it is! Patina is pale, golden sheen with a frost finish and I love wearing this all over the lid. It's quid cool toned and from what I've seen I think it's quite similar to Burberry Pale Barley but with a slight taupe tone to it. It's such an easy colour to wear and catches the light beautifully. All That Glitters is a pale golden-pink that's quite shimmery but not glittery. This shade looks gorgeous with purple liner or a taupe shadow in the crease and it's one I wear all the time. I think it'll suit most eye colours and it's a favourite of so many other beauty bloggers. Cork is a medium-warm brown that's an absolute essential in my palette. It works perfectly in the crease with almost any eyeshadow and I love taking this quite thick underneath the eye. It's like Charcoal Brown but with added warmth. Haux is probably the one you didn't expect me to say but I love the brown/plummy tone of it. It reminds me of a shade in the Naked 3 palette that I use all the time and it works great with All That Glitters. It's a nice change from just brown and is really complimentary to brown eyes. So there's the dream team all cozied up together in one quad. I'm tempted to keep them this way as I'm so happy with my choices! I haven't done swatches because my hairy arms should not be in photos and I failed three times at capturing the shades on my eyes. SO... I'd recommend googling for swatches as they'll all be there or giving them a go yourself if you can get to a counter.   Thanks Catie Newson for requesting this post. If you'd like to also request a blog post, submit your idea here. Thanks!

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  • 03/18/15--00:00: THE SUNDAY SHAMPOO
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    IMG_8320You know when no matter what you do or how long you stand under the shower or how little conditioner you use, your hair just never feels clean? Well even those of us with dry hair get that feeling every now and again. My hair hasn't felt clean for months and for someone who has to spend an hour straightening their hair after washing there is nothing more frustrating than washing and drying just to find a greasy head of hair. I avoided the Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo for years as every would say, "oh no don't use on dry hair types" and I was worried it would completely strip it making it feel straw like. I tried the Ojon Cleansing Conditioner and really liked it but it wasn't a product I felt I could work into the roots which is where I really needed the cleanse. I recently read in Allure magazine that the Sunday Shampoo is in fact one of the more gentle clarifying shampoos on the market so I immediately added it back onto the wish list and picked it up in Paris a couple of weeks ago.

    I wish I could actually use this every Sunday as the name suggests but I hate washing my hair so therefore would not ruin my perfectly good Sunday doing so. I will be using this every other or every third wash from now on as it was fab! I really worked it into the roots of the hair and then followed with a conditioner on the ends. It didn't strip or dry out my hair at all but it did give it that clarifying feeling and remove any excess product build up from all the masks and heat protectors I pile onto my hair.

    I'm a convert and I'm annoyed it took me so long. If you have dry and damaged hair, do not be afraid of this shampoo. Use it sparingly but if you have product build up and you want fresh, clean hair... this needs to be added to your shower asap.

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    Ready for another weekly vlog? This week I also filmed a bit on the weekend and I had such a nice day out and about in London. I hope you enjoy catching up and there will be another video coming your way this Thursday!

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    IMG_8231IMG_8325 The original Beauty Blender never really got me excited. After the hype died down I gave it a try and found the whole thing a bit bouncy and long-winded for a coverage that could have been achieved with my fingers. It's just one of those things I wrote off in the early days and accepted wasn't my thing. But then the Micro Mini Beauty Blender came about and well, look at it! Anything that cute and tiny needs to be given a fair chance and so back I went to the sink, soaked it in water and gave it a shot at blending my concealer. The Micro Mini really is tiny compared to the original beauty blender, it's only slightly bigger than a Mini Egg (I didn't ever think I'd be comparing a beauty product to a mini egg on this blog but there it is). You're meant to soak it in water and then squeeze out all the excess before bouncing it onto your skin for a flawless finish. So I gave it a fair shot and I actually quite liked it, especially for under the eyes. I found the size to fit perfectly under the eye and the pointed side works nicely around the inner part of the eye and also around the nose. The bouncing I so tediously disliked with the large blender and foundation wasn't so bad with concealer as it didn't seem to go on for so long. You're left with a natural finish on the skin that mimics blending with your fingers but without the mess. For £13.50 are they an essential? No. But they're really rather cute and if you like multi-pupose products they can also be used for liquid highlighters as well as cream contours and blush.

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    It's felt like forever since our last beauty chat but we're back for another month and giggly as ever! We answered the questions from Twitter, a mix of beauty and random so make a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy...

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  • 03/21/15--00:00: WEAR LIFE EATS 21.03.15
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    Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 11.36.28This week I'm excited to tell you about an amazing new campaign run by La Roche Posay, it's called #skinchecker. If you've been a long-time subscriber you may remember this spontaneous video I filmed after having some of my moles removed. It's a subject I'm extremely passionate about and the #skinchecker campaign takes some of the pressure of those of us with moles and encourages people to become a #skinchecker for their friends and family. It's really hard to keep track of every single mole, especially the ones you can't see in tricky places so it's really encouraged to get clued up and help out your boyfriend, girlfriend, mum, sister etc with checking their moles on a regular basis. They've put together the cutest video, cleverly using beautiful Dalmatian dogs - definitely have a watch! If you care for somebody, have a look at their beauty spots...  I've been doing quite a bit of shopping recently so as promised in my vlog, there will be a haul video soon. In the meantime I wanted to show you these trousers I bought from Whistles with there 25% discount code they've had with Grazia. They are high waisted, fitted to perfection and make a great alternative to black skinny jeans. It's love. I've also been enjoying catching up with my YouTube subscription box every night this week and wanted to share some of my favourite videos with you. The twins, Lucy and Lydia, or "the angels" as I like to call them put together an amazing Get Ready With Me video. The filming and editing was so impressive and it's so nice to be able to see two looks in one video. Ah, I wish I was a twin! Sammi recently uploaded a tour of her office room and made me desperately want to redecorate mine. It's classy, stylish and the video is such a pleasure to watch. Finally, Amy from The Little Magpie... well she shocked us all this week. I've followed her style blog for ages and when she recently joined YouTube I fell in love with her wee Scottish voice and impeccable style. But then she uploaded a video of her singing... yes, singing!! Who knew she was also an incredible singer? Mind blown. I loved watching this cover and I really hope she does more in the future. So I hope you all have a great weekend. There's no nail post tomorrow because I genuinely haven't worn any thing but Nails Inc Winter Lilac, but there will of course be a new video, so see you then!  

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    This month's Monthly Makeup Routine was a toss up between two makeup looks I've been loving, but when I asked on Twitter most of you wanted the green smokey eye. This is an incredibly easy to wear, daytime green eye using some of my favourite MAC eyeshadows and my current base of choice.

    So I hope you get some good tips or product recommendations from this month's video and hopefully next month I can show you the bright blue eyeliner!

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  • 03/23/15--00:00: MY NEW FAVOURITE CONCEALER
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    IMG_8570 If you're a frequent description box checker you would have noticed that I haven't worn my NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in a while as it's been replaced by Urban Decay's Naked Concealer. I still love the NARS Concealer and would highly recommend it, but now I've tried the Naked concealer I feel like I can't use anything else. Here's why... The formula of both concealers are very similar, I can hardly spot the difference but it's the packaging of the Naked Concealer that really makes it stand out from it's competitors. The applicator isn't just a standard doe-foot, it's long and bendy (sorry there's no other way of describing it). It's very flexible which makes application really easy and enjoyable but it also stores enough product to do your entire face without having to re-dip. I use the shade Light Neutral but next time I think I'll try Fair Neutral it's slightly too dark for me at times. You hardly need any product as the formula is really pigmented so I can imagine it'll last longer than the NARS concealer that I tend to go through far too quickly. At £17.50 it's slightly more affordable than the NARS Concealer which is £22. So my vote now goes to the Urban Decay Naked concealer. Have you tried it?

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  • 03/24/15--00:00: PAY DAY PICK
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    IMG_8581The fact that I love the Sarah Chapman Intense Hydrating Booster is definitely not new news, especially to those of you who had to hear me bang on about it on the Beauty Chat Live tour. It's an incredible serum that instantly adds a boost of hydration that my skin craves in the morning before applying my daily makeup. Whenever I'm asked for moisturiser recommendations I always point in the serum direction as I find this is the product that really helps my dry skin and works better than any moisturiser. I've recently been using the Overnight Exfoliating Booster too and have added it to my routine around three times a week. I don't actually own a physical exfoliator anymore as I don't tend to enjoy using them, instead this serum is a really nice way of exfoliating using gentle acids to remove dead skin cells and resurface the skin. I use the Intense Hydrating Booster for my dryness in the morning but step 2 helps with the texture and brightness of my skin.

    For me, these are there perfect pay day treats and there are three 'Boosters' to pick from depending on what you want and need. These two work great for me as a morning and evening treatment and I'll definitely keep repurchasing because for me, they work. Have you tried the Sarah Chapman Boosters yet?

    Thank you Jodi Cooper for requesting this blog post. If you would like to request a post, please submit your idea here.

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    I'm completely in love with this week's vlog, for obvious reasons. I wanted to get involved with Jamie Oliver's campaign to get learning about food part of the UK school curriculum because it's something I feel really passionate about. Not only is it important for health reasons and the stats for this campaign are insane, I also just think it is so nice to cook with kids and get them understanding food better. My nephew Acer is a great example of a kid who's been exposed to all kinds of food since he was a baby and he's not scared to try anything. He loves cooking and so I wanted to vlog us making our Sunday lunch on the weekend. He really is a little Jamie Oliver, it's very cute! I hope you like it and definitely read up on the campaign and sign the petition here.

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  • 03/26/15--00:00: CEREAL KILLER CAFE
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    IMG_7751 IMG_7734 IMG_7725 IMG_7737 IMG_7726 IMG_7739Last Saturday I spent the day in East London celebrating my friend's birthday and at his request we started the day at Cereal Killer Cafe. I'd never actually heard of it before but you know me, I'm always up for trying something new and a cereal cafe sounds both ridiculous and brilliant. The cafe was set up by two very trendy twins, Alan and Gary who apparently both dreamt up the cereal cafe idea and it really is as bonkers as you'd imagine. The entire cafe is packed full of cereal and both 80s and 90s memorabilia. Old TVs playing Clarissa Explains It All and posters of Eternal, Backstreet Boys and All Saints. It basically looks like a throwback of my teenage bedroom. They have a ridiculous amount of cereal options, both UK and International so there are your standard Cheerios, Frosties and Crunchy Nut but there's also a huge list of cereals that I'd never heard of. You can have your cereal in small, medium or large and can pick from ten different types of milks to have with it. There are syrups you can add in and a huge range of incredible toppings to sprinkle on top. As well as cereal you can order pop tarts, cold and hot drinks and their famous cereal cocktails. So there's a lot going on... You order, pay and then there's a small section of seating downstairs. It's fun, it's different and I'm glad we went but I'm not sure it's somewhere I'd go back to. Personally I'm not a huge cereal lover anyway and I think Cereal Killer Cafe is for the serious cereal fans that want to discover new types or old favourites that are hard to find. It's fun but the queue is seriously long so don't even think about going on a weekend at prime time. It's quite gimmicky, but of course it is, it's a cereal cafe! I think if you know what you're getting, you're prepared to queue and won't get annoyed paying over the odds for a bowl of cereal, then it's worth heading over with some friends and enjoying a good bowl of cereal. Oh London, you do come up with some funny concepts. So what do you guys think?

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