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.
Its been four months since the last one and I forgot how satisfying and incredibly time consuming wish list posts are, also quite dangerous when they’re so close to pay day. I’m a click away from buying everything on my list. It also has just occured to me that all these item would make a fab festival outfit – totally unintended of course. I wish I could say there was a star item out of everything on my list but I pretty much adore everything. H&M Khaki silk shorts are just the dream and I’ve booked Thailand for December so I’m buying all my summer holiday bits now. The Topshop boots have been on my radar for the past month, along with the Quay sunglasses – a brand which is totally having a moment in the blogosphere at the moment and all for good reason – I mean just look at them, so beautiful! Now Zara have already released their A/W range – what…?! I’m in no way ready for winter, however the floaty blouse fits into London Summer perfectly. I also love the black backpack – I’m having a thing with backpacks, they’re just so easy to carry and leave both my arms free. I seem to have aged back a few decades. So the flower crown from Rock and Rose, I want this so BAD! I think I’d wear it once and be totally over it but its incredibly pretty. My mind says no but the heart seems to be over-ruling this one.
I see my card across the room – I just have to get up. Trying to resist…not sure how long I can last. Whats your favourite item? It may help me to narrow it down to one/two items.
Winter is all about the berrys, Spring is all about the Corals, then we have Summer a season where I tend to tone down all the makeup, mainly because my skin has the best days and I tend to focus on great skin. Neutral beige and pink tones have recently become my best friends. So I’ve collated some of my favourite nude make-up products. Lets start with eyeshadows, now I’m a one wash wonder kinda girl, and thats exactly what these MAC eyeshadows are. Very easy to wear and blend and just provide you with some shimmer which work perfectly with that ‘no makeup, makeup look’. Expensive Pink and Mulch are my go-to simple colours, wear them as a simple colour or add a winged eye-liner.
With the eyeshadows being quite light and the coverage being quite light I tend to focus on the dark circles under the eyes. In the summer, particularly during the 6 week break my dark circles are at their lightest and the MAC prep and prime in Bright Forecast works perfectly as it covers and highlights at the same time. Very similar to the YSL touche eclat but with much better coverage.
Nars Audacious lipstick in Anita is probably in my top 5 favourite nude lipsticks, it has a beige tone which I feel like would suit most skin tones – but more than anything I blooming love the formula, its ultra creamy and hydrating without being slippy and lasts surprisingly a long time given how much of a creme finish it has. Hourglass Nude Lipstick in shade 06 is a little lighter in both pigmentation and texture compared to the Nars Anita. This is my ‘on the go’ lipstick where I don’t use a mirror. It has that ‘old school’ lipstick taste.
I am through and through a coloured nail type of girl – I love my bright pinks and reds. But sometimes you just need to tone it down and to me the ultimate nude nail polish is Nails Inc. Porchester Sq is the ONE. Its the perfect beige tone with hints of grey/lilac tones. The gel formula is long lasting, super opaque, and dries insanely quick.
I have yet to find a blush which is peachy tone and quite natural but I do have my eye on Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed…
If I could I would spend all my time and money travelling the world! Alas responsibilities have me somewhat tied down for most parts of the year, however after writing my last post about flying out on a budget – it’s inspired me to create a bucket list of places I want to go and also keep track of where I have been so far. My bucket list is more of locations that I have in the pipeline in the near future – the aim is to visit all these places by the end of 2016. A part of me wishes that I had more photos of my previous trips – I never use to be precious about keeping memorabilia from trip. I also had this weird thing where I didn’t really like being in any photos so after each holiday I would destroy them so that I wouldn’t have to see them! But in the upcoming adventures I plan to save every photo & video and take as many possible.
France – Paris Italy -Venice Italy – Sardinia Italy – Rome Turkey – Istanbul Turkey – Marmaris Tunisia Dubai Spain – Barcelona Portugal – Lisbon
Morocco – Agadir
FUTURE- these are places that I have already booked to go this year!
Greece – Santorini / Athens
Thailand – Bangkok / koh phi phi / phuket
B U C K E T L I S T
The land of gorgeous waterfalls and caves. Every photograph that I’ve seen looks absolutely stunning. I did plan to go Croatia May this year but GCSE marking took priority. However June next year I’ll visit for sure.
Closer to home and could be a very affordable quick getaway. I totally invisage myself cycling down the streets of Amsterdam and rowing across the canal. I’m planning to go there in late October for a few days so if you have any suggestions of places to go/see then let me know.
This is the big trip – to the city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle. I have wanted to go New York ever since SITC days. Summer 2016 I’ll be heading down to New York for 2 weeks and then getting a flight to LA for 2 weeks. I’m excited about the food and shopping mainly but everyone that I know that has been New York says its amazing. I’m excited to watch a play on broad way and get on the subway. I’m slowly making a list of places to go/eat.
I’m so intrigued with Hong Kong – my uncle who passed away 12years ago, worked and lived in Hong Kong and a part of me wants to go for that reason. So I can see/experience what he may have done whilst living there. Now that I’m typing it, it sort of sounds silly but in my head it makes sense. This isn’t necessarily at the top of my bucket list but its definitely in the top 4.
Obviously there are SO many places I want to go to, Australia, Switzerland, but I will be ecstatic if by the end of 2016 I have managed to visit all these places! With that being said, I am forever adding to my list of places to go so I would love to know where your bucket list destination is…
One of the few perks of my job is having almost 12 weeks off through-out the year and I try and cram in as much travelling within that space as possible. Buying experiences is much more fulfilling and rewarding than owning a bunch of materialistic goods and travelling also does so much good for the soul.
Unfortunately for myself and many other teaching folk out there, when schools are closed plane prices are increased and doubled to what they would be during term-time so in order to get the best possible deal for my monies. Some simple guideline to flying on a budget.
BOOK IN ADVANCE
Probably the most simplest but once I know when my holiday dates are going to be I go ahead and plan out where I would like to visit. I don’t exactly have the luxury of booking a cheap flight and then requesting time off work, its quite the other way round actually. There are set dates for my holidays and I have to search for affordable flights around those dates – doing so in advance helps reduce the price, not lots but every little helps.
CLEAR YOUR CACHE
Ever looked at a flight and thought ‘I’d book it tomorrow’ and once you come back to it, flight prices have increased? Well, a little tip – clear your internet cache. Apparently keeping the search site and dates saved on your history somehow increases prices. If you look for the same dates several times, the information get stored and prices are increased. Clearing the cache helps to keep prices at the same level. Also looking for flights at 12pm-2pm when its lunch break for most people or in the evening can increase prices. I found the best prices during weekdays from 9am-11.30am or 2.30pm-4.30pm – it really is trial and error but it seems to be when I found the best available deals.
Half-term I get a week off and Christmas, Easter holidays are 2 weeks off so if I’m travelling around Europe I try and fit in two destinations at a time. Easter break I flew out to Lisbon for 4 days and then flew to Barcelona for 3days and the connecting flight only cost £25pp. Our tickets in total were under £200pp. It’s definitely one of the best ways to see more places in a short amount of time.
When booking flights 8/10 I use skyscanner.net its always been the best place to find the cheapest flights, however sometimes cheap flights like Easy Jet & Ryan Air have a luggage restriction and often fulfil their price quota on additional costing so even though upon first glance they may seem like the most ideal airline to use, in the long-run the little costs of luggage/check-in/food all add up. When you want to take 25kg luggage and want decent seats on a plane, I tend to use the cities main airline for example Lisbons airline is TAP airlines and it worked out to be cheaper than Easy Jet and we got to take 25kg. Win win.
I’m planning to go to Thailand during Christmas 2015 – perfect weather to go up there but the flights are around £700+ however if I was to book dates which were 2 weeks before I get my holidays I would be able to book a flight for more or less within the £500 price-mark. On sky scanner.net I found a connecting flight which stops over at Russia for 2 days and even though it means that it will take me longer to get to my final destination, we’re going to check into a hotel for a night and roam the streets of Moscow for a day and half. That’s 2 countries for £500 – pretty pleased with that! If you’re willing to stop over at another country then this is definitely an option to save a few hundred £££.
A few simple tips, I hope these are helpful. I have a few hotel/accommodation tips too so I’ll rustle up a post on that too and get it up soon.
I hate not working in Oxford Street – I pretty much spent 7 years working in various beauty departments and one of the many perks was getting my hands on the newest make-up/beauty items on the market. Now I have to wait till I get a chance to get the train to travel all the way into city and those times are far and few in between. Last week was one of those moments and I made my way straight into Debenhams – I was a woman on a mission. I had my eye on the MakeUp Forever Pro Bronze Fusion, a waterproof bronzer which glides onto the skin and blends seamlessly and stays put the entire day. It’s so beautiful in pan and once applied – a very natural bronzer which can be built up with no red/ashy tones.
With a traditional bronzer I tend to use a tapered blush to apply, however this product needs more of a dense brush which is slightly more compact but a little fluffy at the same time. There’s a MakeUp Forever Kabuki Bronze brush that goes with it too however I have yet to get my mitts on that so I opted for the Real Techniques Bold Metal Collection made for contouring. In all honesty this brush had almost become a show-piece on my dressing table. I had no real use for it and never found it to work for me, until now – it works so perfectly with the MakeUp Forever Pro Bronze Fusion. I brought mine in the shade 30M – the darkest matte shade which can be built up without looking ashy and patchy, the more you apply it the better it looks – sounds bonkers explaining it but its true!
It doesn’t look chalky at all and gives a very natural glow. I did have the Hourglass Bronzers on the list but I much prefer a matte bronzer and I’ve worn it everyday since I’ve brought it, definitely a product worth investing on to put on the ‘wishlist’. There’s also an Iridescent version and they have a bit more shimmer without looking glittery and those look just as stunning. I’ve put myself on a bit of beauty spending ban – which means that I’ll be re-discovering more products within my stash.
MakeUp Forever Pro Bronze Fusion is £28 and available here
I am not going to complain about the weather - I am absolutely loving the sun, heat, ice-creams, sleeping without a duvet and yes even the humidity, love every aspect of it!
Unfortunately my hair does not share the same appreciation for the heat and re-inacts that all famous scene from Friends where Monica has a ‘fro. And after years of embarassing summer days I feel like I’ve nailed it – well sort of, there’s always room for adjustment. In the summer I just don’t feel like running a straightener through my hair which then means I have to embrace the curly mane.
Choice of shampoo is for curly hair is unbelievably important, you want a product which hydrates and but doesn’t weigh the hair down, or cleans but doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils. BIG shampoo for Lush is my saviour during summer months, it has coconut oil which helps to give the hair moisture but it also thoroughly cleanses. There’s an in-depth review here, one pot lasts a few months and I’m out of my 2nd pot! Note to self to go into Lush.
Argan oil in its purest form is my go-to straight after the shower, couple pumps applied onto wet hair. Once this stuff is rubbed into the ends, it just absorbs in without leaving any sticky residue or oily-feel after. Without this my mane would be so frizzy, what’s that saying, you need a strong foundation to build a house, something like that, my hair has the same concept always starting with the base product. Next up is the TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier – I am in love with this stuff. We had an on going affair for about 2 years when I was 18 but then other products came into the picture and I forgot about this. After a recent purchase off of lookfantastic.com this was once again mine and oh boy am I glad.
If I am planning to keep my hair curly then I wash my hair in the evening and let it air-dry. It helps to set the curls in place, I often find that using a diffuser makes a hair a little dry and frizzy. The morning after washing my hair it looks and feels amazing, (if I do say so myself) however 2nd day hair is not so kind, the front parts are looking a bit lacklustre so just to give it a bit of a ‘pick me up’ I spritz a generous amount of Bumble & Bumble Sea Salt spray – which is helps to define the curls without leaving a sticky/hard residue. This is probably the one product I think costs quite a lot for what it actually does – but because I love the results it gives I continue to purchase. I’ve tried some cheaper alternatives and they just don’t do the same thing!
That’s the line-up for my summer haircare which is doing my hair good – I’m always up for changing things around…any alternatives?
I’ve always found visiting MAC slightly over-whelming – especially during a new release (which seems to be every other day) However, when you go to a shopping centre at 3pm in the middle of almost no where, (talking about Lakeside) where there are only a handful of people then you’re almost tempted to pop into MAC and see whats new. Firstly they had a huge stock of Soar and Spice lip liners but unfortunately no Whirl still – which I am extremely eager to add into my collection. Regret not getting it back when I visited Barcelona, they had a lot in stock – clearly they hadn’t got the memo of Whirl being Kylie Jenners lip-colour. During my crazy lipstick/lip-liner swatches I came across Nightingale lip-liner. It’s a little darker with more purpler tones than than Beet which is an amazing berry colour but has a strong pink base colour.
With Eid around the corner a new lip-liner seemed to fit the bill and Nightingale was mine. It’s a beautiful rich purple/pink shade which works well on its own or layered with Rebel which leave a stunning berry, purple toned lip. This is probably going to be my ‘going out’ lip choice for the next month.
If I had a penny for the amount of times I’ve wanted certain products from the MAC LE to become a permanent edition to the makeup line I would be able to buy that Sunday Riley Luna Oil everyone is raving about! One collection that I had on my mind was the Extra Dimension Collection, there were a range of eyeshadows which I really wanted to get my hands on. I brought two highlighters from the range which were reviewed here still massively obsessed over these so when I heard that the eyeshadows were being re-released I put them on my wish-list.
I opted for Amorous Alloy, I saw this Laura’s blog buynowbloglater a while ago and it looked stunning, a typical bronze shade with a little bit of an oomph, a one wash wonder for me as my eyeshadow skills are fairly limited. This is beautiful, pigmented, blends really nicely and just feels SO smooth – I’d like all MAC eyeshadows to have this formula please!
The lipliner and eyeshadow definetly need to be paired together.
Well, I didn’t think I’d be writing about these little beauties. They seem to be everywhere on the blogosphere and you could probably find another post somewhere with better swatches but I thought I’d put in my own two-pence in anyway.
Clinique pop Lip colour and primer (mouthful!) come in the cutest little packaging…I’ve never really been drawn to Clinique skincare/makeup. Once I saw a Clinique consultant use a toner to clean makeup counter and it put me off for a really long time. Then I stumbled across Clinique Take The Day Off balm and my opinion very quickly changed and it became a holy grail product for me, read here.
A couple weeks ago my sister was travelling and I asked her to pick me up a Clinique prep and primp lip pops but the colour I was unsure of…I hadn’t swatched any of the colours previously but managed to do the whole obligatory ‘blog search for swatches which match my skin-tone’ and I ended up choosing Melon Pop, it seemed to be the colour everyone was raving about and haven’t used any Clinique makeup for the lip-sticks so I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of consistency or longevity but the consensus was that these were ultra-creamy and comfortable with good colour pay off.
I adore the packaging – however the colour packaging is a little dissimilar to the actual bullet. I was expecting it to be more on a peachy tone but it was more like MAC St Germaine’s younger sister who is a little shy in pigment. If you’re an olive skin tone then this is definitely one of those lipsticks that will make you look tanned. It reminds me of one of the lipsticks that my mum used to own (she only ever owned 3 lipsticks and the baby pink shade was her favourite) and for that I adore this lip-colour.
Longevity is where this product is slightly lacking, due to the creamy texture it doesn’t last for a long time – and if you’re tucking into a burger then don’t expect this to still be on the lips once you’re done with a meal. However with that being said, it is comfortable, super light-weight and completely appropriate for me to wear to work. I ended up picking up another one – this was totally enabled by blogposts Stacey from Expatmakeupaddict.com and Kal from clutteredcloset.co.uk who both talked about their love for Plum Pop – which isn’t that ‘plum’-like but more on the dusty pink side and quite pigmented – looks so beautiful on its probably my favourite out of the two.
Do I recommend them? They’re a nice alternative if you’re getting bored of MAC lipstick choices but the consistency is very similar to MAC Cremesheens (perhaps a little creamier if anything…) They’re £16 – so obviously not the cheapest available but these definitely aren’t the most expensive out there either and I’m definitely sort of addicted to getting some more.
If you’re a lipstick addict then you’ve probably got a shade or two already…right?