stila soul eyeshadows

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 stila eyeshadow soul packaging stila soul eyeshadow palette swatches stila soul swatches stila soul eyeshadow palette review stila eyeshadow soul palette

Stila Soul eyeshadow palette…The one eye-shadow palette that everyone needs – I tried so hard to not want this, I did that whole ‘if I’m still thinking about it weeks later then I need it’. I’ve only ever used a couple of Stila products namely the Foil eye-shadows but there’s nothing else in the range that was absolutely calling my name however this palette was something else. There’s a total of 12 colours which consist of 5 mattes, 3 of which are quite neutral and 8 shimmers. The idea is that each line of colours will create an eye look which can translate from day to night – my favourites being… ‘thought’ ‘peace’ and ‘essence’ – how cute are the names?

I found that the shimmers have a slight better colour-payoff than the mattes but all shades are very blend able and easy to work with. I own the Lorac pro palette which is insanely pigmented but I feel like you need to actually ‘know’ what you’re doing when you’re applying eye shadows, whereas Stila Soul eyeshadows are slightly forgiving where there’s a little more ease of playfulness. Due to the range of colours, I don’t see myself getting bored of the colours anytime soon. I love that there are a couple mauvey colours along with gold/browns. It’s an added bonus that all colours in the palette compliment brown eyes really well.

The packaging is gorgeous, I feel it’s very Charlotte Tilbury-esque  with the rose gold and the embossing. Quality of shadows is great, packaging is fantastic. Stila soul eyeshadow palette is definitely my staple eyeshadow for the next few months – have you tried anything from Stila yet?

portable bbq

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Summer to me means bbqs and a lot of them… heading into autumn can mean that we start to pack our BBQS away whereas I’ve gone out and got a new one. Slightly unseasonal but just because summer is over it doesn’t mean that BBQs have to come to an end. Infact, I say lets BBQ right until the winter seasons. Initially I used to hate the idea of moving into a flat – I’m so used to having my own garden with a built-in bbq, so moving away into my own humble abode was kind of a pretty big deal to me.

However once I moved into a flat I was lucky enough to have a balcony which gave me a little more outdoor space. I’ve brought this portable Landmann BBQ set – which I was super excited about – it’s perfect enough to cook for 3-4 people, its nice and compact so I can store it away. And I tend to use charcoal bags which you just light up with a couple of matches and they get a good amount of fire going. I loved grilled meat – its healthier, tastier and so much fun to cook and it’s also nice and easy to grill up some vegetable skewers too. 

The bbq grill itself is super easy to clean and perfect if you’re travelling away somewhere and want to take it with you, or if youre like me and live in a flat and still want to cook a yummy grilled dinner/lunch. Whilst the sun is out my BBQ grill is here to stay.

 london sunset landmann landmann1

 

The Landmann bbq grill is available here 

spin the bottle essie nail

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essie nude nail polish essie nail nude polish spin the bottle essie beige nail polish

 

It’s official, 50% of my nail polish collection consist of pale pinkish, beige nail colours and I’m not even sorry about it. My new favourite colour is Essie Spin the bottle. I picked this up from the airport and I tried getting a back up a couple days ago from my local Boots and I didn’t see the colour in stock so I’m really hoping that it isn’t a limited edition colour. It’s a colour which combines hints of pink and beige and they work so well together – I can’t pin point it but it love. This is so beautiful, opaque and lasts a good 5 days before I see any chipping. The best thing about nude nail polish is that when it does start chipping its not that obvious. Seche Vite provides that extra layer of shine which I am obsessed with – a total gem of a top coat. This is probably the shortest post I’ve ever done but I really wanted to show off Essie Spin the bottle – I love it! What are your favourite nail colours?

too face highlight

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too face highlighter too face candlelight bronzer Too faced bronzertoo face chocolate bronzer

I am so glad that Debenhams has started stocking brands like The Balm and Too Faced. All the products that I really wanted from The Balm like the Mary-Lou Manizer and the Matte lipsticks were out of stock however Too Faced didn’t disappoint with their selection of products. I picked up the Candlelight glow which is a golden/silver highlight, it’s so pigmented and blends seamlessly. Initially just looking at it I thought it would be too glittery or pink however the pink translates into a really pretty gold which compliments olive skin tones. I feel like in the past month or so I have gone highlighter crazy and brought atleast 4/5 but the Too Faced Candlelight glow is very quickly becoming my favourite. I love using my Louise Young Fan Brush and swiping it across the top of my cheekbones just finished the entire look for me- I am totally digging this ‘strobing’ season. If there’s one product you need for the festive season to help bring out the ‘oomph’ then the Too Faced Candlelight highlighter is the one!

Even though contouring is slowly but surely phasing out, I still have a weak spot for bronzers, I love my skin when it looks tanned and the warmth comes out on my skin tone. After being tanned for 5 weeks I’m starting to see it fade away and I am not looking forward to it. The Too Faced Dark Chocolate Soleil bronzer smells like chocolate – actual chocolate. At first it kind of put me off using it, I’m really not into heavily scented products but now I’m used to and dare I say, I actually like it. There’s quite a bit of fall out so I have to take extra care if wearing white. The colour has a evident orange/reddish base which doesn’t do much for contouring but works really well as a bronzer. I’ve been using a tapered blush brush to ensure that I get the smallest amount on the brush as its heavily pigmented and if not careful there could be a whole ‘umpaa lumpaa’ situation going on. I am totally digging Too Faced products, what else do I need to get?

Loccitane Lavender

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Loccitane foaming bath wash Lavender foaming bath

Getting back into the swing of work is a tiring job! The past week has been challenging to say the least for several reason. When a teacher comes back work after a 6 week break, it can feel absolutely surreal – going from this full on 24/7 job to then trying to switch off and just when you think you’ve got the hang of not wanting to tell a child in Asda to stop shouting – bang, you’re back at school and it all starts again. I’ve been doing this job for 5 years and each September it doesn’t seem to get any easier. There’s a whole new timetable to remember, new schemes of work, new students – it’s a lot to take in! But for some reason I love it, I’m totally in my element during a lesson but at 5pm thats when the tiredness really begins to hit. I found myself coming home feeling absolutely exhausted so I built a little routine of relaxation to help de-stress. One which consists of lighting up a couple of candles, putting on some chilled  music and running a warm bubbly bath. Now that’s a routine to help anxiety in the butt. 

Another product which has been helping release some stress is the L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath Gel – this stuff is incredible. I pretty much use this atleast twice a week. I pour a bottle cap size full and run it under the tap, I get the most bubbliest bath and for 20mins I allow myself to completely switch off. The scent is gentle enough for it not to be over bearing but enough to ease the mind. Normally Lavender isn’t my cup of tea however this I really like.

There’s something in Lavender that really helps me to calm down and for some reason it also helps me get a goodnights sleep. I’m sure there’s some scientific theory behind itL’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath comes at around £20.00 for 500ml which can seem quite pricey but I justify it with the fact that I’m using the tiniest amount to get a bath full of bubble. Also when you weigh comfort over price – comfort wins. every. single. time.

I made a huge LUSH shop the other day and ended up buying 5 butterballs – they’re my favourite bath bombs ever, however since the launch of new products I thought I’d give it some newbies a go, I’ll be back with my thoughts on some of those. 

little black liner

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Oh this one is definitely for you eyeliner lovers out there - Estee Lauder have introduced a new product called the Little Black Liner and the impact is anything but little. I am in love with this – just going to put that out there. I brought it a couple days before flying out to Santorini and it became one of the only makeup product that I wore the entire holiday. Okay let me actually explain what it is – a pen style eyeliner, with a thin nib on one side and an angled one on the other. Initially I thought I would use the thin nib and didn’t quite understand the thicker style – but I was pleasantly surprised when quite the opposite happened. I now absolutely love the thicker end to help develop a cat flick and I use the thinner nib to fill in the bits and sharpen out the wing. The product itself is jet black and applies extremely evenly. The only downfall I would say is that is has a ‘wet’ shiny look at the end whereas I’m so used to applying my MakeUp Forever Aqua Shadow as a liner which gives me a lovely matte finish. However that is probably the only downfall. I feel like combining my trusty L’oreal superliner and Maxfactor Masterpiece eyeliner in one handy product. Once applied it lasts the entire day, I tested it for about 10 hours and it remained in place. Whether you’re an eyeliner pro or a beginner this will cater for both. Little black liner is a staple for me now and I can see myself forever purchasing it.

Available at Boots for £22

Estee Lauder little black liner easy eyeliner estee lauder little black liner estee lauder Thin eyeliner estee lauder

 

skincare after tan

Posted by & filed under Skincare Edit.

I’ve always been a avid believer of SPF I use it on a daily basis and always turn it up a few notches whenever on holiday. However this year was slightly different, I thought I’d ditch the SPF *gasps* and see what happens when I do the opposite, oil up my skin and go out in 32degree heat. It’s probably the only time I’m ever going to do it because even though I have a beautiful golden tan which I’ve had plenty of comments on, the after effect are so not worth it as my skin feels sahara desert kinda dry. My nose and forehead are slowly flaking aways and my shoulders basically need brand new skin. I’m now trying to maintain it and hope to fix the damage done so whilst in the process I thought I’d share some of my tips. 

Exfoliating regularly is a must and this is probably one of the steps that I enjoy the most, I love using exfoliating gloves on the body and my Origins Modern Friction exfoliator for the face is my go to but I’m making this a twice a week occurrence as opposed to once a week. 

Followed by moisturising thoroughly. My skin is dry and needs all the moisture it can get. I start off my applying oil onto damp skin Argan oil is my HG – our Argan oil is available from most large beauty pharmacies, stay clear away from anything that is a mixture of Argan oil and another ingredient, it’s always best when its 100%. I let that skin in for 5mins and then go in with a body butter which I chop and change but currently Soap and Glory is my favourite. I become super lazy when I need to moisturise my body, always rushing and it seems to be the least important thing to do in my list when in reality its quite the contrary. This is where L’occitane Almond shower oil becomes a godsend because it cuts down the job of moisturising in half and I could if I really wanted to – skip the body butter. For my face I’m using my ultimate rich moisturiser is NUXE 24hr creme fraiche - I love this stuff. It’s full on moisture for dry skin but my skin drinks it up in a matter of minutes and it doesn’t leave a ‘wet’ residue afterwards.

Thats skin and body done – now hair. I feel like most people forget their hair and thats where the sun hits the most. After being in Pakistan and Greece for the past 5 weeks my hair is ultra dry! I need some serious conditioning in my life. Philip Kingsley Elasticiser is one of those hyped products that I didn’t want to fall in love with but I just couldn’t help myself. Its also a product which takes too much effort for my liking but does the job so incredibly well. It has to be applied to damp hair 20mins before washing the hair. So whilst I soak off in the bath I let this sink in and do its magic. After shampooing I go in with the Redken Extreme Strength conditioner mask which helps to moisturise and replenish the ends of the hair. I used Redken about 5 years ago and absolutely loved it, I have no idea why I stopped using it but I am so glad that I’ve got it back in my life. 

Exfoliating tan philip kingsley for dry hair tan aftercare

 

Moral of the post – ALWAYS SPF, it’s not worth the dry, dehydrated tanned skin. 

 

santorini alleyway

Posted by & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

I’ve always been a little traveller at heart. I love going to new places and seeing new things and I really love the sun! I’ve also always wanted to backpack across different cities/countries but without the actual backpack itself. I can’t see myself carrying a massive rucksack – I’d much rather take a smaller suitcase. With that in mind I planned to go Santorini this summer and thought why not visit some of the islands. A couple of my friends had done island hopping and suggested that I look at the ferry schedule and see the route it takes and plan my destinations accordingly. Blue Ferry’s has a typical schedule – Santorini, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Athens. 

I had 10 days to spare and I knew it was impossible to stay in all of those islands so I spent hours researching. Santorini was booked for 4 days and we stayed in Fira in a brand new apartment called Altea Apartments. Originally we were very sceptical to book this apartment as there were no reviews online however it is a brand new place but it’s in a perfect location with easy access everywhere. Fira is the city centre with an immense amount of bars/cafes/restaurants and you can get a bus to the other parts of town such as Oia and imerovigilii every 15/30mins. Iimerovigili is an extended part of Fira, it features the same beautiful white architecture with a gorgeous sea backdrop. Definitely a must see part of town.
Oia is known for its beautiful sunset and buzzing night light but its just SO busy during the evenings and I don’t seem to do well with huge amounts of people in small alleyways.

In Santorini we booked a day boat trip which takes you to all the volcanic mountain and the thermal waterfall which is a muddy brown colour – this is definitely a must do, you get to see so many parts of the island and you spend a whole day on the boat which helps speed up a tan. 

There’s a white beach, red beach and black beach – my favourite was the red beach. Which is basically surrounded by red sand and rocks, more like pebbles. You have to get a bus from Fira bus station which then takes you to a water taxi which then takes you to a beach. It’s a lot of effort to get to beach with no real sand. So I wasn’t too impressed but still glad that I went to see it. To get to the white beach you have to swim for 400m which I can’t really do – which was a shame because I would have loved to visit.

I feel like 3 nights in Santorini was enough, we took in the magic it had to offer and it wasn’t too many days where we ran out of things to do.

Whilst researching and picking islands – I looked at a lot of images on google and reviews. Ios looked super pretty – with the nicest white sand beaches and clear blue water but the island seemed small so we thought 2 days would be sufficient enough. We hired a quad bike for 30euros and managed to get around to most parts of the island. You could pretty much hire out a quad bike in any islands but I preferred to walk in Santorini and take in all the sites. Ios however is completely different to Santorini in that it’s really quiet and a shift from the hustle and bustle of Santorini. Ios came across as a little hidden gem. It had the nicest beach with the most clearest water. There’s not much to do in Ios, the village is quite small, the beaches are probably the best perks but its well worth the visit.  Our hotel was a few minutes away from the port and the beach so we really got to maximise our time within the island.

Next stop was Naxos, which is bigger than Ios – has a couple beautiful beaches and a really quaint old town. Two days here were sufficient enough, we spent days at the beach and the evening exploring the old town – which was probably one of my favourite things to do. It was either between Naxos or Paros and most people seemed to recommend Naxos due to the old town and I’m really glad we picked to go there. The apartment we booked was a 15min drive but next to the beach. By this time I was all beached out and really wanted to explore more of the old town so I’m not entirely sure if I really enjoyed the benefits of being on one of the most popular beaches around. Our apartment was run by a really cute family and they offered a free transfer to and from the port on the day of our arrival and departure. It’s definitely worth checking with your accommodation if they offer this service.

I do wish we had more time to go and explore Mykonos but that’s probably one for another trip. 

In regards to booking accommodation and ferries, because we were planning to go during peak season I assumed most decent hotels would get booked up early. So I planned my route around the islands before hand and booked accommodation accordingly so I knew what hotels I’d be staying in and the dates. When we got to Santorini we booked our ferry tickets which ranged from 15€to 57€ going to Ios and Naxos was considerably cheaper then going to Athens. The speed boats also cost far more. I think if you’re not worried about accommodation, if you’re quite happy to stay in a b&b and you can be flexible with dates then plan when you’re there as online ferry times are very different to when you’re there. 

The trip to Athens from Naxos was around 5 hours and was probably the most painful journey of my life. I constantly felt like I was going to be sick. Sea turbulence is far worse than air turbulence. Athens we used the metro to get around which is super simple – there’s only three lines and the station is quite close to the port – our hotel was called White Lotus which was 4* and pretty much within the city centre. We were skeptical of going into Athens due to the crisis but we felt completely safe. We flew out from Athens using Swiss airlines which were awesome – they give you chocolate!

Food was bloody amazing – the only part of the world (apart from Pakistan) where I’ve gone and not felt deprived. There was only one restaurant out of the 10days where the food was quite bad. Other than that there was a huge selection of vegetable salads, a variety of sea food and I’ve discovered a new found love for feta cheese. Also I found no hallumi anywhere, I always thought that was a Greek speciality?

I feel like we did a really good job of budgeting our trip – even though travelling is an investment for the soul, we do like to do it so that we get the best value for money and the total for the trip was £850pp which includes everything! 

Okay this is a lengthy post so if you do have any questions then please do shoot them across!

 santorini at nighttime santorini greece santorini

Oia sunset santorini at night Oia night alley in santorini ios hotel naxos beach santorini sunset santorini red beach
travelling abroad

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Well hello there, it’s been a while. A month to be exact but fear not, I am well (sort of) and alive. I spent the last month travelling to Pakistan for 3 weeks and Greece for 10 days and I bloody loved it. I now actually have 2 days to sort my shit together for work but the sun is shining outside and my bike is staring at me and I’m tempted to just jump on it and go for a long spin. However I thought I would rustle up a quick post explaining where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. See my nan, the only grandparent I have left and the only one I really ever had a connection with, is ill and not the old age kinda ill. She’s in a lot of pain every day and it sucks that I live so far from her and the amount of times I see her are totally limited. This summer I spent all my time with her, talking to her about her past. I loved listening to her stories and she equally loved sharing them, it was amazing to hear that until 20 years ago she had no idea what electricity was. My nan lives in a small little village in Pakistan and all she’s ever really known is her field and crops, so the idea of TV and phones really confuse her. I’ve been to Pakistan many a times before but this time was a little different – I purposely blocked myself away from my phone and focused on my family and I realised how much my life was dictated by social media. I felt like I needed the latest dress/makeup just because it was being hyped. I wore no makeup and barely looked in the mirror and I was my happiest, theres definitely something in there. Even though I’ve lived in London my entire life I truly feel like Pakistan is my home, I feel a sense of belonging there – it’s sort of left me feeling homesick whilst being at home. Any who I came back to London for a few days and then flew out to Santorini and did a mini island hopping thing – we visited Ios, Naxos and then Athens for a couple days. Greece was absolutely beautiful, everything about Santorini was instagrammable. I’m going to do a whole post on my Greece trip but its was one of my bucket list places to go and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to visit. That’s it for now, next post will be a recap of my Santorini visit – any questions please ask!

There will also be vlogs from both holidays so make sure you subscribe here.

pakistan doors santorini alleyway pakistan alleys naxos port naxos Church

Ios Streets

 

Almond soap Loccitane

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exfoliating soap bar Loccitane Almond soap Loccitane Shea soap Natural Soap Bars

Soap for the body…? Most people would probably gasp and as much as I love shower gels and oils, nothing really makes me feel properly clean than a soap bar. Yes it is true that some soap bars can be really and I mean really bad for you. However there are some soap bars which can be really nourishing for the body and don’t strip the body of its natural PH balance and those are vegetable soap bars made from 100% natural ingredients with no Sulphates and Parabens. Its no secret that L’occitane body care are some of my favourites and their soaps are no exception. They’re produced in the highest quality. Ordinary soap bars tend to dry and crack and shrink over time and they somewhat have a similar effect on the skin however L’occitane soap bars maintain their moisture and hydrate the skin – there are two that I swear by. The L’occitane Delicious Soap with almond particles exfoliates the skin, I seem to go through these quite quick. The L’occitane Extra Gentle Soap in Shea lasts longer and is great for everyone. It’s made from 100% vegetable sources and very lightly lathers up. It has a universal gentle Shea scent (these do also come in Verbena and Lavender if you were looking for something scented) If you have dry/dehydrated skin this product works extremely well. Most soap bars normally cost £2 approx – the L’occitane ones are around £5 which to me for the quality I think it’s worth it. Another option is Le Couvent des Minimes and costs £3.50 – it’s 100% traditional vegetable soap which cleanses without drying the body out and is available from Boots. My husband loves this because of the scent, for me it’s a little too over bearing in the morning so I tend to just stick with my L’occitane products.

I do follow some rules and never use soap on my face and I do still use a (few) shower gels but there are some moments where I just need a soap to do a good cleanse. I’m a bath/body fiend, obsessed with all beauty products linked to bathing so if you have any favourites let me know! I’m quite intrigued with Lush Shower gels, I think I’m all bath bombed out for the time being…