July Favourites

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Excuse me but where did July go?! Here's a quick recap of the month. My birthday is at the end of June and the start of July always includes some belated birthday celebrations. I got back from my holidays at the beginning of the month and much time after that was spent feeling the post holiday blues. During the month of July, the UK has been experiencing what the News has called a 'heat wave', or summer as some of you may know it in other wonderful countries. I love the heat so this was very welcomed as we are all in need of some vitamin D. The products I will be discussing really shone this month, and deserve their place in this months favorites.

Murad Oil Control Mattifier
As I mentioned earlier, July has been hot. I have oily/combination skin and when the heat arrives everything just melts off my face. I have tried many oil control moisturizers and strongly feel that a good cleanser is key when trying to battle the oil. Many 'oil control' moisturizers claim to de-slick but in fact do nothing to help. This one however keeps my face free off any unwanted shine, even the dreaded t-zone didn't require much powder. It also includes a SPF. I will be discussing this product more in an upcoming post, but for now I will say, this is perfect and I'm in love.

Stella by Stella McCartney EDP
This is my signature scent, I'm not one for over powering as they tend to give me headaches. I much prefer fresher, cleaner scents. Stella is just that, and I love wearing  it in the warmer months. I  get many compliments when I wear this and I will forever repurchase it. If you're looking for a light scent this summer I highly recommend Stella.

L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil
With the heat comes the dreaded humidity. I spent a good few days with hair like Monica in Friends when she goes to Barbados. I found myself constantly shouting 'its the humidity!', I tried everything, from balms to Moroccan oil. Honestly this is the only one which made a difference without weighing my hair down and leaving it looking greasy. Thank God I found this hidden away in my hair care arsenal.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (Coral Crush)
Not only is this coral shade beautiful and very flattering for summer, it is also extremely nourishing and lightweight. This lip balm can be built up for a more intense colour or applied lightly for a subtle tint. The most impressive part of this balm is that it doesn't strip the lips of moisture after it wears away. The colour wears beautifully and I would love to try more shades. A staple for my handbag, and actually the one I have been reaching for most. I normally have at least 6 lip balms floating in my handbag at all times (excessive, I know), so the competition is intense.

Lancome Hypnose Drama
Apart from a couple mascaras, I find that most do not do much for my lashes and I can be extremely picky. However with the Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara this is not the case. Even with one coat lashes appear longer and more voluminous, almost doll like. It definitely achieves that fluttery lash look. The colour was intensely black, it did not flake during the day and held a curl just as well at the end of the day as the start. I hope to find a cheaper alternative soon. Overall I do think this was worth the money as no other mascara I have tried has compared.

What have been some of your favorites this past month?

Jet-setters Series #2 - Samples and Minis Are Your Best Friend

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You're off on holiday, whether its for a long weekend or a fortnight, the question of 'which toiletries do I take?' is looming. Now I can probably pack all my clothes and shoes for a holiday within half an hour. However ask me to pack my toiletry back and I'll break out in a sweat!

If you're checking in a bag then you can afford to be a bit more flexible with what you take. If your not then you have to be a lot stricter and try and fit it in the trusty carry on case. 

The good news is you can buy all those mini's that look so darn cute! Or, if your like me and have already bought them throughout the year then finally you can use them (just like you said you would).

If there's a group of you travelling and your each checking in a bag, a good tip would be to split the basics so for example one person take mouthwash and another shower gel and so on. That way you don't end up with 4 giant bottles of shower gel that you will never use up.

Decanting some of your favourite products into smaller bottles is a great idea. For example I love me some pixi glow tonic, so when I go away I buy the small travel bottles. I decant some in there and hey presto I'm ready to go. These travel bottles only fit 100ml so you don't have to worry about being over the amount. I have bought mine from boots, but have even seen them in Primark and Poundland.

You know all those samples you have in that drawer, the sachets and mini bottles. Take them away with you. You're most likely to use them up and try something new.

Some brands such as Bumble and Bumble do fantastic travel sets. These are great because if like me you can't bring yourself to spend so much on a shampoo, you can get the minis for a cheaper price and get to try the brand you've been lusting after. This is popular with skincare brands also. Liz Earle is a great on as she has many 100 ml options.

Lastly try not to worry too much, take your essentials such as skincare. Shower gel and mouthwash can be bought from wherever you are going. That will save on valuable space in your carry on.

What are some of your travel tips?

Whats On Your Nails Right Now?

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Orly Boho Bonnet
I love writing these posts as I'm forever changing my polish. Today on my nails bears this beautiful TK Maxx treasure. Tk maxx is my favourite shop to waste time in. Purely for the fact that you never know what you are going to find. I've been searching for a colour like this for a while now. Orly' Boho Bonnet is a lovely creamy muted blue/grey, it almost has a vintage hue. There is no shimmer and compliments a tan beautifully. As I type this post I can't help  but admire this colour on my nails. The beat part is that it was only £2.99! Orly can be quite expensive and I don't think I've ever bought a full size before, I tend to stick to the mini Orlys. The polish was quite thin but became opaque after the second coat. It dried quickly and so far I'm on day 3 with no chipping. The top of the polish bottle is made of the same rubber the NARS packaging is made of. This is extremely convenient as it make gripping the brush easier, it avoids slipping and allows precision. I can't tell you how annoying some polish bottles can be especially when they become stuck! I'm hoping to pick up more of these.

Are you an Orly fan?

Jet-setters Series #1 - On Board Essentials

I love travelling, exploring new places is my favourite thing to do. With the peak of the holiday/vacation season approaching I thought I'd start a 'jet-setters' series. I'll be sharing my tips about what to take with you and what to keep in mind when travelling.

Firstly we'll be looking at what to take on board. Make-up aside, this is what everyone should take on board. Whether you are flying short haul or long haul definitely take these basics and add to it accordingly.

On Board Essentials 
Antibacterial gel - When you're unable to wash your hands with hand wash and water, this is your new best friend. Take it on-board for the plane and pop it in you bag when your out exploring. It comes in handy when that cheeky ice cream has begun melting all over your hand.

Head ache tablets - There is nothing worse than flying when you have an headache, suddenly all sounds become heightened whether its a screaming child or the person next to you snoring.

Lip Balm- When I fly my lips get extremely dehydrated, lizard lips is not a desired look anyone wants. Take a good lip balm which you know will do the job. If it includes an SPF, even better.

Hand Cream- A nourishing hand cream will make you feel so much better when flying.

Wipes- Wipes are extremely handy when travelling, you can't be too careful with surfaces and keep a little pack with you during the day, you won't regret it.

Go Outside There's Life Out There

Go outside there's life out there.

There's currently a heatwave throughout the UK, the sky is blue and every evening I've been waiting for the ice cream van to make it's presence know. Yesterday reminded me of the days I used to live for at school, because we all knew that the teachers would let us stay in the playgrounds for longer. This good spell of weather has me reminiscing about the summer holidays I experienced when I was younger. I remember playing in the garden all day, myself and my brother would play until the sun went down. I loved being outside, even just having picnics in the garden was so much fun. It got me thinking that nowadays I don't really spend that much time outside. Whether its just the era we live in where everything can be done indoors and with the internet at our fingertips it can be hard to break away sometimes. 

I love social media and blogging and can happily spend a few hours looking at a computer screen. I've recently found myself reaching for my phone more and more when I'm bored or just not knowing what to do with my time. Instagram and Twitter tend to entice us into share and self disclose more about us. This can sometimes lead us to feel down and think how dull our life seems compared to the person posting pictures of a picturesque holiday. This summer I will be putting down the phone for a few hours and closing the laptop, I'll be spending more time outside, whether it's in the garden or the park. I've promised myself I'll go for more walks to clear my head and refocus. So I urge you to do the same too. No matter how tempting it can be to share pictures or tweets about what your doing, just stop and enjoy the moment first. When bored try not to scroll through your twitter feed minute after minute. I promise you it's so liberating. Go outside and have fun, make memories and don't worry about filters or what anyone else can be doing. Join me and this summer take a vow to spend more time outside. Even when hay fever can be a right pain!


Pick Up A Crayon

If you haven't noticed that every brand and their sister have come out with a lip crayon, then where have you been? Some may argue that it's overkill whereas some may like the wide choice available. I'm somewhere in the middle, I love a lip crayon and find them convenient to use, however there do seem to be a lot of them on the market lately, which makes choosing one difficult. Here I will be comparing a few from a range of different prices. The best part about all of these is there is no sharpener needed, just twist at the bottom.

Clinique Chubby Stick £17
The one that inspired them all. Clinique were one of the first brands to bring out a lip crayon. Praised for their innovation, hydration and convention, other brands took note and released their own. I am a fan of the Chubby Sticks, I find the colour selection beautiful and you'll most definitely find one you like. They also have an 'intense' version with more of a colour pay off. The hydrating properties are very impressive, and so is the lasting power. These Chubby Sticks do have a distinct scent which I don't really mind. The only thing I don't like about these crayons are how they wear. I find I have to reapply as soon as the colour and shine wears away a little as it starts to look patchy quickly.
Rating- 3/5

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick £8
Lets try and forget the ridiculous name and focus on the product. These are more of a balm-gloss hybrid and not sticky in the slightest. In fact they feel quite comfortable on the lips. The colour selection is very limited however they are all very wearable and will suit almost any skin tone. The vanilla scent and taste is very pleasant and not overpowering at all. I'm very impressed with this offering by Soap and Glory and keep one in my bag at all times.
Rating- 4.5/5

No7 High Shine Lip Crayon £9
A new offering by No7 as part of their summer collection, most of the colours are very bright and appropriate for summer. One of the most pigmented crayons of the bunch, I tend to apply it and then blend it with my fingers. These are also very glossy and not sticky in the slightest. Very comfortable to wear when the weather is warm. It wears nicely and evenly leaving a hint of colour behind. One thing that annoyed me with this is the colour of the lip which is supposed to match the crayon, doesn't do so. The packaging promises a warm toned pink, but the crayon itself is a more bright pink shade.
Rating- 3/5

Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain £7.99
This is one of my most used lip crayons as I just love the colour. The shade Honey is a perfect 'your lips but better shade' and very wearable. This one is slightly different to the other crayons as it lightly stains the lips with a hint of colour. Once the balm has worn off, lips are left with subtle tint. I find the Revlon Balm Stain to be the most long wearing and keeps the lips hydrated. What I like about these are the colour of the packaging matches the lip colour very closely, unlike with the No7 lip crayon. Taking into consideration the price I think this one is well worth the money.
Rating- 4/5

Are you a fan of lip crayons or are you over it?

£2.99 Well Spent.

During my lunch break, I was wondering how to kill time. Boots was luring me in like a glowing beacon. I caved and popped in. Now everyone knows one doesn't leave Boots empty handed, although I was close. As I was making my way through the aisles nothing really caught my attention, then I saw this little guy hidden amongst many other colours. Maybelline Color show in shade Love Lillac. At first glance it just seems like another lilac which almost every brand has. I myself have many colours like it as I always seem to be drawn to these shades. I picked it up and began comparing it to other similar shades. When holding it next to other bottles I found that no other brand had this exact shade. Others were lighter or much darker, some were more purple or too pink. The closest I found was Essie's Lilacism. I would say this is a very close dupe to that, the main difference being that Love Lillac has shimmer running through it, which when applied is undetectable.
Maybelline Color Show- Love Lillac
At £2.99, this polish is a complete bargain. I will be picking up more from this range as they apply easily and are very similar to other brands almost 3 times the price. The glitter polishes are beautiful and the colour selection is vast and impressive.

Have you tried any polishes from the Maybelline Color Show range?

Barcelona 2014 Part 2

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In this post I will be sharing more pictures of Barcelona. From the historic La Sagrada Familia to the calm beaches and more contemporary W hotel.

Port Vell - Located in the heart of cosmopolitan Barcelona. It gleams like a pearl on the Mediterranean coast.
La Sagrada Familia

"My client is not in a hurry" - Gaudi.
Rent a bike.

Pastel perfection


1-  Sunrise

These 3 pictures were taken from the window of our W hotel room, who would get sick of this? I would happily spend my life overlooking this view. After a fantastic night at the Eclipse bar we headed back to the room to enjoy the view. I'd definitely recommend checking out Eclipse, the music was perfect.
The W is one of the most stunning hotels around, views of Barcelona that no one could get sick of.
The Columbus Monument in all its glory.
Barcelona has become one of my favourite cities, I love the contrast of gothic Gaudi architecture to the cosmopolitan Port Vell. One of the things I loved most about Barcelona is the individual street style, it was so refreshing. I will definitely be revisiting this city and plan to explore in more depth some of the neighbouring towns such as Gracia. All in all it was a birthday and a holiday I will never forget, full of adventure and relaxation. How many cities can you think of that offer both?

Have you visited Barcelona? Where would you recommend I visit next?

Barcelona 2014 Part 1

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Some of you may already know that I recently went on a trip to Barcelona. I'm now back and thought I would share some holiday snaps with you all. Barcelona is a beautiful city full of culture and history, to balance out the hectic tourist days I also took to the beach for some sun. 

Park Guell is a stunning garden which contains architectural elements, it is situated on a hill which makes for some stunning views of the city.  The garden is extremely relaxing and every inch of it is a photo opportunity. The beauty of the mosaics truly glistens under the sun, the mosaic details are not only visually pleasing but the designs are quite inspirational.

Barcelona balconies, I could have taken pictures of balconies all day.
'The skies awake, so I'm awake'. Watching the sunrise from the W hotel on my birthday, a moment I will treasure forever.

That's all for part 1, check back later for part 2.

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