#BloggerTikiParty, Birmingham

8 August 2016

#BloggerTikiParty Island Bar

A couple of weeks ago, I toddled off to Birmingham on the train, Radhika in tow, to attend the #BloggerTikiParty. The event was organised by Kirsty Leanne (with the help of Ashton Gibbs), and was her 5th event. After a delightful brunch at The Boston Tea Party (HIGHLY recommend the Sourdough Eggy Bread with Smoked Bacon & Avocado), we made our way to Island Bar, the event venue (after the obligatory battle with Google maps). The venue was very fitting with the event theme, being decked with all the tiki paraphernalia.

#BloggerTikiParty Deborah Mitchell Heaven Skincare
#BloggerTikiParty Love Aroma

When we arrived, we saw the brands dotted around the room. Amongst them were Love Aroma, Lipivir, Toad Diaries, Neal's Yard and Deborah Mitchell Heaven Skincare. I had already worked with or spoken to a few of them at previous events, but in particular I loved chatting to the girls at Heaven Skincare. The brand were actually at the Blogger Hangout event I went to back in February, but I unfortunately didn't get chance to speak to them so I was happy to see them at this event. I loved the sound of their range, particularly their Hydrogels and I also came away with a sample sachet of their Bee Polish.

One of the highlights of the event was having the opportunity to make my own piña colada. As part of the Mailbu piña colada day/week, a ton of venues around the country offered free cocktails, and the owners of Island Bar kindly let us behind their bar to make ourselves a drink. This was great fun and I was surprised that my piña colada tasted very nice indeed. 

#BloggerTikiParty Pina Colada

Because there were only a few brands, we got round them very quickly, and we spent a lot of time chatting. Luckily Charlotte was at the event too with a few friends so we were able to meet some new faces, and we briefly saw Jamie, but other than that, I did think that people stuck with their groups and so wouldn't be the kind of event I would want to go to alone. Saying that, I also thought the same of the bloggers ball. 

Kirsty had put together a raffle, to raise money for MIND. Unfortunately there was a bit of confusion with the raffle prizes as there were piles of products to take dotted around the room also, but as someone that is organising an event in the (very near) future, that definitely served as a learning point for me! 

We did have to head off a little early as we wanted to pop into the Neal's Yard store in Grand Central before it closed (it was Sunday) so we could fill our sample pot. We did not leave the event empty handed. Kirsty did a brilliant job at sourcing products for a goody bag, and we took home two bursting bags of nibbles and beauty stuff. 

#BloggerTikiParty Pink Parcel
#BloggerTikiParty Pink Parcel

Some of the highlights of the goody bag included the Pink Parcel* (£6.99) and Little Bit Lavish boxes. Both contained a number of different products, the former geared towards the "time of the month", acting as a little pick me up with a sweet treat (the Fudge Kitchen Double Trouble* was seriously indulgent!), beauty products (Bellápierre Lip and Cheek stain* and a brow kit) as well as some sanitary supplies to tie you over. The brow kit unfortunately was too red-toned for me, but I think the price is good for a little monthly treat!

I was particularly impressed with the Little Bit Lavish* box. This yet to be launched subscription box aims to promote lesser known brands and in this box was the Miss Patisserie Unicorn Hoof*, the Glow Solid Perfume*, the Evolve Satin Leg Gloss* and the Skin & Tonic Naked Lip Balm*. Out of the set, I was particularly impressed with the lip balm and leg gloss, and would consider the box in future if I wanted to discover some new brands. 

#BloggerTikiParty Little Bit Lavish
#BloggerTikiParty Little Bit Lavish
#BloggerTikiParty Little Bit Lavish Evolve Leg Gloss

There was also some cute prints and post-its from That Lame Company and a beauty blender and eyelash curler from Brushworks. Unfortunately there were a few things in the goody bag that I couldn't use. There was a Heaven Skincare BB Cream which is in Honey, I can't use anything but Poreclain, and bafflingly, there were some coffee pods and I don't have the required machine. I was disappointed to see these, not so much for myself, but because it's a waste for the brand who would be hoping for coverage. Again it had prompted some thought for products in my own goody bags for the #EastMidsMeetUp. 

#BloggerTikiParty Goodie Bag
#BloggerTikiParty Love Aroma

There were also a few duplicate products. I had already worked with DinkiBelle, Love Aroma and I'd met Lipivir at the bloggers ball. I already had the Body Fantasies and Yankee Candle scents so they will all be passed on to friends. I know this is unavoidable, of course, and is more just a personal note than a criticism of the event, but having a few similar events in a short space of time  really made me think about products and yearn for minimalism.

One thing that I did love was the Sugar & Crumbs Pina Colada Icing Sugar* (£3.49). Again it was such a lovely touch as it continued with the tiki party theme. I'm not the most competent baker but I whipped up some coconut cupcakes and made some pina colada buttercream to go on top. They went down a treat and I was really impressed with how natural the flavouring was. I would definitely consider buying some other flavours as they have some amazing sounding combinations and they're not too expensive! 

#BloggerTikiParty Sugar & Crumbs

Another standout of the goody bag was the Paul Mitchell Ultimate Colour Repair range*. Another potentially risky inclusion, but I luckily coloured my hair just after the event so I've added these into my routine to help prolong my colour. There's a shampoo, which gently cleans, the conditioner is nice and nourishing, as well as a heat protector spray. All of the products smell amazing and I like to think I'm protecting my colour. I even mentioned the range in my July Favourites post!

#BloggerTikiParty Paul Mitchell

Also in the goody bag were so many healthy snacks, sparking the inclusion of the Healthy Snack of the Day feature into my vlogs. So far, the Yushoi Lightly Salted Snapea Rice Sticks* and the Nothing But Pineapple & Grape Freeze Dried Fruit* are my favourites. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Sweet Chilli & Lemon and the Soy & Balsamic Vinegar Snapea varieties or the Supertreats Merry Berry Carob Bar*.

I was particularly disappointed by the EarlyBird Snack Box*  (£4.95). Although some of the snacks sound amazing on the site, I really didn't like the snacks I got in my box and I don't feel that it's worth paying more than Graze (although I am a Graze ambassador so it could have been embarassing if I'd loved this one more!

#BloggerTikiParty Snacks
#BloggerTikiParty Snacks
#BloggerTikiPartyThat Lame Comapny

I had a really great day at the #BloggerTikiParty. Thanks so much to Kirsty for putting on such a fab event and hooking us up with some amazing brands for the goody bags. It was lovely to be able to put faces to more of the bloggers I see on Twitter, as well as connect with some great brands. I actually vlogged the day, and you can even see myself and Charlotte shaking our stuff making cocktails behind the bar! That's worth a watch in itself! 

Have you been to any blogger meet ups?

*This post features gifted products.

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