Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

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I’ve been a firm Lancome Hypnose mascara user for the past year. Having considered it my holy grail mascara (finally) I was happily living my life using it on my stubborn, fine, sporadic, straight lashes.

But it’s so darn expensive. Everyone was talking about Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, so when my Lancome one started to flake and run out, I headed to the shop and picked this one up. This was £19 so slightly cheaper than Hypnose.

I’d never tried this mascara in a sample or anything but, having seen other people rave about it, I thought ‘what the heck’.

Let’s talk about the packaging first.

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Pretty in pink, this packaging of this mascara is really rather heavy. Matte metal, so it’s nice to touch, but really really rather heavy.

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The brush is a really similar hourglass shape to my Hypnose, so I knew it would work for my eye and lash shape.

On first application I was surprised at how clumpy the formula came out. One coat was all I needed to get the finish I wanted. Too Faced say you can do up to 3 coats for maximum drama. I did actually try two coats one morning, and had to take it all off and start again because it looked too spidery. Any clumps that come out on the lashes can be easily brushed back, and do seem to disappear once the lashes are dry. Still, I’d rather not have to work around clumps, thank you very much.

The formula does dry pretty quickly, maybe not as fast as the Lancome mascara I love. The colour is intense and it does hold a curl (after lash curlers) decently – or well, as much as my lashes will ever curl….. But I do find this will flake little bits of mascara onto my face sometimes throughout the day. This isn’t humidity proof and will drop if I do too much smiling – and I like to smile. I have high cheeks and squishy eyes and this will contribute to the drop. I have found that if I brush my lashes after each coat, with my Real Techniques brow and lash groomer, it seperates the lashes and takes out clumps. I like this comb because the prongs are metal not plastic so they glide through and are easily cleaned. The result of doing this is actually the closest to false lashes I’ve seen with a mascara. 

Overall I’m not sad I bought this, and I’m happy to use it until it runs out, but when it does I’ll most likely pick up another tube of Hypnose. Frustratingly, I found out that my September GlossyBox will contain a sample of either this or the Better Than Sex waterproof mascara. I hope I get the waterproof one, just so I can try out the alternative formula. But I kinda wish I’d had the chance to try this before I bought the full size.

This isn’t a bad mascara, but it’s definitely not my holy grail. What I’ve learned: if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

First Impressions: ColourPop

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When I first started watching YouTube reviews from beauty bloggers, I quickly learned about ColourPop. They’re an online only American cosmetics company, who sell amazingly low-cost products with great quality.

They seem to release new products every week and everything’s bright, attractive and I want it….. but until about a month ago they only shipped to US. The only way for people outside the US to get this stuff was to use a company like ShipTo to ship to a US address and then forward on to the UK. But then ColourPop announced global shipping and everything was wonderful again. Until people checked out and realised it would be an additional $25 to ship…… Okay, not happening.

Luckily, a colleague from Wisconsin was about to go and visit her family and offered her family PO Box up as an alternative shipping option. So I went about my way, filled my basket and within a week my order was at her parent’s. I just had to wait patiently whilst she took her vacation and brought my order back to me!

Once my order was in my grubby little hands I couldn’t wait to try what I’d bought. And I must say I’m so pleased with what I’d picked, even if by the time I received it I’d forgotten what I’d bought!

So here’s what I bought, and what I think:

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I picked up a highlight in Wisp. This is a gorgeous and pigmented gold highlight, which I intend to use as an eyeshadow too. It does have some chunky glitter in there, but it creates a breathtaking shimmer.

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I also took home a creme gel liner in Fast Lane. This teal gel eyeliner pen is really soft and creamy and I chose this colour because I have blue eyes and I think if I tightline with this it’ll make the blue pop. And I have red/gingery tones in my hair so I think it’ll go well. I haven’t tried this on my eyes yet, but on swatching I was really impressed with the softness.

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Sorry about the blurry photo!

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Then I had to purchase a selection of lip products, didn’t I? Firstly I picked up Lumiere Lippie Stix which is from the Kathleen Lights collection. It’s a matte lip stick, and promises to be non drying. I’d seen so many people wearing this, including Kathleen, that I knew it would suit me. And it did!

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This is an incredibly comfortable lipstick. I have a lot of lines on my lips and this didn’t accentuate them too much, left a lovely even pigment on my lips and had great staying power.

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Next I picked up a satin finish Lippie called Topanga.I’d been looking for something coral but not too cool and I was the most worried about this colour suiting me, but it’s turned out to be my favourite. A lovely hydrating finish, this is the perfect colour if you want something brighter than nude, but not as daring as red.

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Lastly I chose an Ultra Satin Lip liquid lipstick in the colour Littlestitious. This shade on the website looked like not too nude and not too mauve. Unfortunately this has been my least favourite. I’ve had a hard time getting this to look even on my lips, so I’m thinking I might need to put lip liner on first. It’s a very lightweight, almost mousse-like formula. This shade pulls white on my skin tone and I think the only way I’ll be able to wear it is in the winter with heavy eyes and cheeks. Another thing to note is that the stain this leaves on the lip when it wears down, well at least on my skin, is neon pink. I tried this at work when I first got my package and had to wear lipstick all day (which didn’t really work with my outfit) because I’d been left with neon pink stained lips. I’m not sure how this happened, but it’s worth thinking about if you’re going to wear this to a meal or something where the colour will wear down.

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So that’s my first impressions of ColourPop. I really hope they sort out their global shipping costs soon, because I don’t want to double to cost of my order on shipping (plus still have to pay customs costs).

I’m going to Florida next month so I might place another order when I arrive to be shipped to my hotel whilst I’m there, just to save on postage again.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the quality, selection and cost of ColourPop products. Once they work out their shipping costs, I’ll be a customer for life!

 

I Can’t Keep Calm….

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That’s right, next month G and I are off to Disney World Florida, and we’re beside ourselves with excitement!

Disney World was always somewhere I’d wanted to go but never thought it would be possible. It’s so far and so expensive. Instead we visited Disneyland Paris a few times, and had such an awesome time. But since our 10 year wedding anniversary is also next month, we knew we would have to make the trip. It’s such a good reason for it!

We actually booked our trip almost 2 years ago, knowing that we would have the time to save up and plan for it, and I honestly can’t believe it’s almost here.

We’ve booked our ADRs and Fast Passes, planned where we want to be on which days, and we’ve started buying sunscreen, ponchos and the like too.

We’ve also been watching a lot of vlogs of the parks and area. I’ve been making a list of things I’d like to buy – mainly makeup! – whilst we’re there. I’ve got all the clothes I need to take and I really don’t need any more!

When we hit 100 on our Disney countdown, Gary gave me the challenge of telling him a new fact about Disney World, Universal or Orlando every day until we leave. I’ve been doing really well so far, and only a few of the facts are things that he already knew! I’m having a lot of fun doing it.

To pass the time, I’ve got a few friends and family who are visiting Disney this month and I’m really looking forward to seeing photos whilst they’re away. Anything to help reduce my excitement – or else I’m going to be a nightmare…. I know I am already!

We’re staying at Port Orleans French Quarter which looks rather fun from what I’ve seen. It’s themed on New Orleans at Mardi Gras! The main food court of our resort is closed for refurbishment whilst we’re there so I hope this doesn’t affect the quality of our stay, but to be honest, there are so many places to eat elsewhere that I doubt it will make the slightest bit of difference.

We just so happen to be visiting during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which means there will be double the amount of exciting snacks and drinks to try whilst we’re there. And since we’re going to be doing so much walking, I don’t think even eating 3 puddings in one go will make a difference! We’re also there for Halloween (well park Halloween season) so we’ve bought tickets for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I have my costume all sorted, and we can’t wait to go trick or treating, see the shows and meet the villain characters.

As part of our booking we snagged a free Dining Plan and Memory Maker. The Dining Plan means we can get a lot of our daily meals for free which is really awesome. The Memory Maker means we can receive all ride photos/videos and character photos we have taken during our time, emailed to us to keep and print. It usually costs around $100 so we’re really pleased we got it for free.

There are so many rides I can’t wait to ride at both the Disney parks and Universal. We’re trying to gather as much information, tips and tricks as we can before we go. I just can’t wait!

I’ll try to post a bit more about our trip before we go, and will definitely be posting when we come back. I’ll be adding to my Project 365 on instagram with a photo a day, however there’s a very high chance I’ll be posting more than just the one photo! If you’d like to follow my project, and my trip then head over to my instagram. (I also have another awesome trip planned before this one… but it’s a surprise!)

I’d love to hear if you have visited Orlando, your best tips and advice for our trip. Pop it in the comments, and it might feature in a future post.

My Favourite YouTubers!

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In the last 6 months or so I have become addicted to watching YouTube videos from beauty tutorials all the way to Vloggers. Now my subscriptions list is growing larger, I thought I’d share some of my absolute favourites with you! And I’d love to hear who you like to watch and why:)

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The first YouTuber I watched when I started out was Amy Lynn Thompson (aka AmyLynnButtchin) I had already followed Amy on Instagram and Twitter and decided I needed to see her moving! She lives in California, loves Disney and make up and has an amazing and fun personality as well as being uber pretty. She posts sit down videos as well as Vlogs.

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Next I started following Michelle at Ready Set Glamour. I found her via searching for product reviews and I just loved her style and set up. She’s very town to earth, friendly and informative. She’s gorgeous and has a great personality. Her videos are always fun, and she is a doll on Instagram, twitter and snapchat. She’s very connected with her followers which makes us all feel like a little family!

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Around the same time, I found Kathleen Lights, who films beauty reviews and tutorials and the occasional chatty video. She’s also gorgeous and creates some really pretty looks in her videos. You may have heard of her before as she’s done a few collaborations with ColourPop. She also does an awesome British accent!

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Goo Roo Beauty is an Australian beauty YouTuber called Jodi and I came across her through searching for a product review a while back. I noticed she has a similar face shape and skin type to me and that made me really interested in her reviews specifically, but over time I found I loved her personality and video style. She’s an incredibly real person who understands the importance of being down to earth and beautiful on the inside.

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I have to mention Zoella, as one of the only English people I follow. I watch her standard videos and some of her Vlogs (they’re so incredibly long though). But she’s obviously living an amazing life and is so successful – you can’t help but be pleased for her! So I’ll carry on watching her and following her progression. Of late she’s not been uploading so many of the standard beauty videos and has been vlogging instead, which is a shame.

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As we have been planning our Disney World trip for almost 2 years it was a given we’d search for Disney related videos. The best Orlando based Disney/Universal vloggers can be found at The Tim Tracker. Following Tim and his wife Jenn around the parks (I don’t know how they find the time with full time jobs tbh!) has been wonderful and really helped us plan our trip. But they’re also great fun and really remind me of me and my husband in the way they interact and have fun together. Maybe we’ll bump into them whilst we’re there!

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And finally I’ll mention a new YouTuber who I’ve been really enjoying lately. Sophie Kate has only been blogging and Vlogging for a little while, but she’s uploaded a few videos and it’s great to see her sharing her day and favourite beauty products. She hates the sound of her voice, but I think she sounds just fine!

So they are my current favourite YouTube channels. I’d love to hear who you like watching and why because I’m always up for extending my subscriptions, so please comment and let me know who they are! And if you haven’t already checked any of the above channels out, please go and visit them! They’re worth it:)

July Favourites

July Faves

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July was a super busy month for me. I attended one wedding, one festival and one open air cinema event (blog on this to follow!). The UK had a heatwave, which is still going (yay!) and politically the world is still falling apart. I also placed my first ColourPop order (yay! – more on this when it arrives!) and continued to plan my epic anniversary holiday to Orlando.

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I also tried and continued to use some amazing beauty products and watched some awesome TV. So here’s what I’ve been loving this month:

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Argan 5+ Nourishing Lip Balm has been saving my lips in this hot weather. I suffer from dry and cracked lips and usually need to apply lip balm all the time. This really prevents me from wearing matte lipsticks or liquid lipsticks because I always feel the need to hydrate my lips throughout the day. I picked this up from Waitrose in the hope that I could use it as a treatment. I’ve been applying it every night, just before I go to sleep and honestly my lips have never felt better. The balm contains argan oil and shea butter and soaks in very slowly but doesn’t feel oily or greasy when it goes on. It’s subtly scented and doesn’t offend my nose. I have noticed I can now go a whole day without reapplying lip balm, and my liquid lipsticks feel a lot comfier.

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This month’s GlossyBox was pretty darn good (check out my Instagram @groggits for a full photo of what I got this month) and I was delighted to find this brush included. I’ve been searching for a brush to use with bronzer for a while now, because none of my existing brushes really do it for me bronzer-wise. This brush is awesome. Not only does it apply bronzer really nicely, but the flat top allows me to contour and buff too.

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I saw Makeup Revolution’s Radiance Palette through one of you guys on Twitter (follow me @Shutterbug_Blog) and it was mentioned that it was a dupe for the Hour Glass Ambient Lighting powders. At just £8 I knew I had to give it a try. I’ve not used the HG powders, but I read that these cheaper powders were more natural and less glittery. I’m guessing the powder texture is a lower quality in this palette, but what I don’t know can’t hurt me! The first time I used these I was underwhelmed. There appear to be little-to-no colour payoff and I couldn’t see it on my skin. But then I tried it again and realised it was making a difference but that it was so natural I hadn’t noticed it.

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The darkest shade on the far right is great for a summertime bronze. Subtle but gives my face a gorgeous bronze which doesn’t look fake, chalky or glittery. The far left shade is good for contouring but I think will be better in the cooler months when I don’t want to look so warm. And the middle shade is a lovely subtle highlight. It’s not a crazy highlight but it’s nice and subtle and suitable for day to day. The palette quality is amazing for £8, with a lovely large mirror in the lid, so it’s great for travelling. Go grab one!

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If you watch Michelle at ReadySetGlamour’s YouTube channel, you’ll have already heard of the PUR Cosmetics HydraGel Lift eye primer. This little stick is amazing. It’s an under eye primer, which you can actually use on the lid and any area that you suffer with fine lines, and allows you to apply your makeup without it creasing. It won’t banish fine lines, but your makeup just won’t crease when you use it. You can pop it in the fridge before using, or just use it as is, and either way you benefit from cooling effect. The gel sinks into the skin pretty fast and doesn’t ball up when you apply makeup on top. I actually used it one morning when I’d had a heavy night before, all over the lid and under the eyes. I didn’t put any makeup on, because I wasn’t going anywhere, but the gel cooled and hydrated my eye area and made me feel less sleepy. It’s a little magic stick! I bought mine from Beauty Bay for £18 and this was the only place I could find it in the UK.

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My last beauty favourite this month is the NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee. I mentioned this in my NYX First Impressions post, and I wasn’t too sure about it at the time. The colour seemed to go onto my lips unevenly and settle in the lines of my mouth. But I tried it recently as a liquid lipstick topper and then on its own, and I realised I actually really like it. Not only does it smell so yummy, but once I’ve left it on for a few minutes any unevenness melts away and leaves a lovely subtle wash of colour on my lips.

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It’s a winner. I’m looking forward to increasing my NYX collection when our Boots eventually gets their counter (they keep moving the launch date!)

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Now to entertainment – You’ve probably heard the hype over the latest Netflix series Stranger Things. If you like sci-fi, horror or gaming I think you’ll like this. Set in the 80’s this series pulls from John Carpenter, Stephen King and even from Silent Hill, to create an intriguing and totally immersing tv series. The young actors are amazing, and it’s nice for me to watch something with Winona Ryder in and me not hate her! If you don’t like sci-fi, horror or jumps then steer clear, but if you want to watch something that takes influence from so many places but still comes out seeming totally original then check it out!

And lastly this month, I have a drink! Costa have just released some new ‘over ice’ drinks and I recently had the pleasure of trying their new Pineapple Coconut Water. It’s a refreshing virgin Pina Colada in a cup and now it’s the only thing I ever want to drink!

So that’s it for this month. Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts:)

How To: Bright Eyeshadow Looks

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When Spring was coming to an end I vowed I would start using some of the gorgeous eye shadow palettes that I own, and just don’t reach for. I’m obsessed with the gorgeous colours, but seem to leave my eyelids bare in favour of a colourful lip or cheek. But thankfully this summer I have had reason to use some of the colours, and formulas and now I’m going to share two of these with you!

I promised a post on the eye look I wore to be a bridesmaid a while back, but since I didn’t actually have any photos from that day where you could see my eye look, a post hasn’t materialised. So instead I’m going to show you one look I wore to a family wedding and another I wore to EDC recently.

The first look was to go with a green and navy dress from Karen Millen and used the UDxGwen and UD Electric eyeshadow palettes.

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I primed my lids and went in with Skimp from the UDxGwen palette all over the lid.

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Next I patted Freak from the UD Electric Palette all over my lid.

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I then added Fringe into the crease and to the outer C and blended it into Freak.

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Next I took 1987 from the UDxGwen palette and starting from the inner corner brought the gold colour near to the centre of the lid, blending it in with Freak.

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Once the colours were blended in, I wet my brush and went in with the colours again, patting them in until I got the vibrancy I wanted. And here’s the finished look!

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The next look was for EDC which needed to be neon and crazy. I wanted to use as many of the colours as I could, without looking too mad!

I started by reaching for my eye primer and then applied a white UD 24/7 eyeliner all over my lid. This created a white shimmery base to apply colours from my Electric Palette, which really helps to make the colours pop.

I started the colours by applying a small amount of ghost tape to the corners of my eyes. This helps create a nice line and prevent the ‘I’ve been punched in the face’ look I so often get when I apply shadow too wide.

I went in with Urban first on the crease of my eyelid and bringing it out a little towards the tape.

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Next I added Gonzo to the outer half of my lid, blending it with Urban.

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Next was Freak blended into the other half of my lid.

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Then Thrash on the outer corners. All of these colours were patted carefully for maximum colour impact.

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Next I added savage along the top of the Urban ‘flick’ on the edges of my crease to blend and create another dimension.

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To finish off, I applied a thin veil of Revolt across the whole lid which added a little sparkle and brought the whole look together.

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And here’s what it looked like!

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The day was very warm and humid but I was impressed with how the colour lasted a good 13 hours, with only a little transferring from the bottom lid to the top (which you couldn’t even notice just by looking at me).

So what do you think? I really can’t wait to create some more looks, and hope to use my UD Vice 4 palette more next. What looks have you created recently? I’d love to see them!

Electric Daisy Carnival UK, 2016

Not so many Saturdays ago, I did something very uncharacteristic for me, and went to a dance festival.

It’s not that I’m not a festival person – quite the contrary, in fact it was at a festival that G Man and I met many many years ago. However dance music has never been my thing, though over the last few years I’ve grown a large soft spot for drum and bass.

EDC (or Electric Daisy Carnival) is a large festival, originating from Las Vegas, and for some reason for the last 3 years they’ve decided that Milton Keynes is a good place to hold the UK version. Since Gary was out of town that weekend and two of my friends had already bought tickets it seemed rude not to tag along.

So first things first I bought my ticket. Next I had to work out what to wear. Well, since it’s all ravey and neon I cracked open my Urban Decay Electric Palette and went to town. With a little inspiration from Pinterest I came up with this:

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and for the nails, my speciality, unicorn nails!:

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Clothes were the obligatory denim shorts and a nice bright yellow vest. The day was so humid that nothing but loose clothing would do.

Once we’d arrived and our tickets had been checked, we had a mooch around to look at the various stages and tent. The main stage was amazing. The eyes in the owl which made up the centre of the stage were little screens so it looked like it was looking around – the stage even had a full blown waterfall on one side. Insane!

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We worked out who and when we wanted to see people in the line up and then had a look around the tents. We stayed for quite a bit of Goldie’s set in one of the tents and I had a good dance, and really enjoyed myself.

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We also saw Sigma’s DJ set quite early on and they were excellent too.

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On the main stage we saw a couple of DJs I hadn’t heard of but they played some stuff I recognised, so that was good. It was great seeing people on the fairground rides, whilst the music was being played, right in the middle of the crowds!

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I have to say I met some really nice people at this festival. Obviously some of these people were a little ‘out of it’ but I never at any point felt unsafe. Everyone’s very connected by the music and it felt like a little acid crazed family.

By the time the sun had gone down, it had gotten a little chilly, so we stayed put to watch Avicii who closed the show, and then there was a 5 minute ceremony to say goodnight complete with fireworks!

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All in all it was a great day, and I’d love to go again with G Man – I think he’d have a lot of fun! The only negative I’d say is that once it was over it wasn’t clear where the exits were and the only obvious exit was closed off and guarded by security so that the acts to leave that way in their vehicles.

I’d say to you have to go to EDC with an open mind. There will be drinking and drug taking and the portaloos aren’t fit for a queen, but then this is a festival. If you can get on with the music and are willing to get into the swing of things, it’s well worth the cost of the ticket.