Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Cohorted Beauty Box

Beauty subscription boxes are something I'm still getting my head around. I like to spend my hard earned money on products that I really want to try, so when a beauty subscription box doesn't tick all the boxes I always feel a little disheartened. Yet again, when a box arrives and it's full of amazing products and is amazing value for money, they're become a must have for any beauty lover.

I recently spoke about the Latest in Beauty Harpers Bazaar box, this is a one off subscription box with no monthly commitment -unlike a subscription box I knew the contents before I purchased it. Cohorted recently got intouch to see if I wanted to try out their monthly subscription box, it retails at £35 a month which for me is steep and for that price it would need to contain a lot of good stuff. This is what's in this months box...
From seeing what was in the previous boxes I was really excited to be getting my hands on this, a lot of them included brands such as Living Proof, Nars and James Reed. The box I received contained 4 items, a BellaPierre highlighting palette, liquid lipstick, a mini Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and a nail polish from a brand called Kure Bazaar. When looking at the RRP, it would appear that you get a really good deal seen as though the palette costs £40 alone. 

Being completely honest, the brand BellaPierre didn't really excite me. I hadn't heard of it and wasn't really expecting much from the Glowing Palette. However, I gave it a good go and I actually really like a lot of the shades included, they are highly pigmented and feel soft on the skin, plus they've definitely had me experimenting with different kinds of highlighter.
The liquid lipstick is a shade I really like, so again although not mad on liquid lipsticks I tried it and I'm pleasantly surprised. Unlike other liquid lipsticks it doesn't feel too dry and it doesn't show up too many cracks/ imperfections in my lips. I haven't reached for this as much as the highlighting palette, but it's nice to know I have a liquid lipstick in my collection that I actually like.
The mini Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara was definitely what excited me most when I opened the box, and it's safe to say for me it really does live up to the hype. I don't usually invest in highend mascaras just because the high street offers so many good ones, so receiving the mini fab as I can try it before I consider investing. This mascara offers both length and volume and a curl to the lashes that lasts all day.

One thing that lets this box down for me was the nail polish, why does every subscription box include a flippin' nail polish? I have 3 colours that I'll put on my nails and that's about it so this will be donated to a friend/ family member I think.

All in all, although I wasn't too impressed at first I'm actually starting to warm to the idea of a beauty box. The products in this box are such good quality and value for money, so if you do have a spare £35 a month and like luxury beauty then I think subscribing to Cohorted would be cost effective and a good way to try new products and experiment with different brands.

Do you like beauty subscription boxes?
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Monday, 19 June 2017

Getting Engaged... One Year On!

I can't quite believe today marks a year of being engaged...
Wedding plans are in full swing and I wanted to talk about the highs and lows of it all, what I've learnt about planning a wedding and my plans for the remaining time before the big day.

I don't actually live with my boyfriend (...that I'm getting married to next year, anyone else cringe when they hear 'partner' 'fiance' or 'other half'? I can't wait to be able to just say husband). We have been in a long distance relationship for 4 years now, as much as I miss him it's just one of those things we've both had to adjust to. I think with us being apart more than we are together time has become so precious, and it's actually forced us to plan the wedding quicker.

Jay really has been a gem. I feel awful saying it but with working full time and writing my blog I just haven't put time aside to really think about the wedding. I feel awful for being so laid back about it at the moment, but after booking the dream venue in January, I got a little lazy with it. So far we have the venue, catering, the bridal party, photographer, and recently my dress ALL sorted - that makes me feel a little better.... 
Of-course we do still have a long way to go, and all the little bits need to come together. I have lots of DIY things in mind for the table plan, place names and decorations and other bits and bobs which I cannot wait to crack on with. I'm hoping to vlog/ document the process on my YouTube channel aswel as on here too.

One of the main things that springs to mind when I think about this past year is just how quickly it's gone. I remember like it was yesterday getting engaged and I just know the run up to the wedding is going to fly by. If I had one bit of advice it would be to get planning early, if you want to get married within a certain time frame then make sure to give yourself plenty of time so there's no panic and you can actually enjoy it. I've learnt that planning a wedding can actually be terribly stressful and expensive, and there will be a couple of occasions that people don't agree with your plans. A low of wedding planning is not being able to please everyone, but when you're planning a wedding for two people with 60+ guests, that's kind of impossible...

We're getting married next April, over the next 10 months I not only want to make sure I keep on top of wedding planning and get lots of the little DIY plans done early - someone give my daily reminders of this! As I mentioned earlier I'm determined to put my heart and soul into YouTube and this little blog of mine. Jay is actually away for 4 months from November until March, with that time I want to be as productive as possible, keep myself busy and just enjoy the last few months of wedding planning.

If you have any wedding planning tips or one piece of advice I would love to know...
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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Cleansing Tools You Need In Your Routine...

Along with moisturising, cleansing is by far one of the most important steps in my skincare routine.

I wear makeup most days and have reletively oily skin so making sure I cleanse properly is a priority. It was the end of last year I decided to step up my cleansing game and switched to using the Magnitone Daily Cleansing Brush*, since then I've noticed a massive difference in my skin and found a place for cleansing tools in my routine...

A product I've introduced more recently to remove the initial layer of makeup is the Magnitone Micro Fibre Cleansing Cloth*. At first I really wasn't convinced this would work effectively, yet seriously intrigued at the same time. Using just this and warm water, honestly in less than a minute it's removed pretty much all of my base makeup - what's visible anyway... One thing I will say is that it's kind of annoying that I have to remove my eye makeup separately, but it saves me from having to use Micellar water to cleanse my face.

Onto my proper cleanse, in the evening I use the Magnitone Daily Cleansing Brush with a cream, oil or any kind of cleanser I fancy using. I have spoke about this before but it's been over 6 months using it now and all I have to say is good things in how it's changed my skin. I still have some small under the skin bumps, but the Magnitone really has helped to reduce them and keep my skin clear. I know it's the Magnitone as I had a 3 week break as I needed new heads for it (they need to be replaced every 3 months) and my skin just didn't look the same. If there's one cleansing tool I recommend, it's this! In the mornings I don't use the Magnitone, and to be honest sometimes I'll just simply use water and then go on to moisturise. This is just what works for me, and I've found not over loading my skin with products works well.
The last cleansing tool that I've seen everywhere at the minute Konjac Sponge*. This instantly appealed to me as it's 100% natural and said to be brilliant for clearing pores and keeping skin clear. I use this after I've used a face mask to ensure it's been properly removed and it leaves my skin feeling soft, and I have the piece of mind that the mask isn't clogging my skin. If you're not keen on the idea of splashing out on the Magnitone but want to try a cleansing tool, the Konjac Sponges are a really good place to start.


Do you use any cleansing tools as a part of your routine?
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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The MAC Lipstick I Always Repurchase

Anyone agree that there's just something so nostalgic about MAC lipsticks? I remember my first ever MAC purchase so vividly and just how excited I was to finally own something from the brand I'd heard so much about. There has been a whirlwind of hype about this particular lipstick, for me it's the perfect nude and I couldn't help but dedicate a post to it...
Of-course the lipstick in question is MAC Velvet Teddy. The price increases are annoying, but I'll forever be hooked on the sweet vanilla scent and huge selection of shades MAC has to offer. Velvet Teddy is described as a deep-tone beige on their website, which it is for sure - although for me that description just doesn't do it justice. It's a nude without washing out my pale complexsion, and it's pretty cool in tone so doesn't make my teeth look yellow. It's just the most flattering nude lipstick I've ever come across.

It's a matte finish but isn't too drying and doesn't highlight every single crack/ flaw on the lips, it's very comfortable for sure. This lasts me a good 6-7 hours before needing to be reapplied which is pretty incredible and another reason why it's slowly become one of my most used lipsticks. Layered over MAC spice it looks darker and I have a deeper, more red/ brown nude which is perfect for the evenings. Paired with Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk and it's the perfect everyday nude that looks a little more pink on the lips.

If you've been thinking about Velvet Teddy but weren't sure whether it would suit you, a good dupe is the Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in 700 Trendsetter. Honestly Velvet Teddy is better in terms of formulation, but if you want to give a shade like this a go I really recommend it.

Have you tried the infamous Velvet Teddy? Also I would love to know if you have found the perfect, wearable everyday nude shade...

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Monday, 12 June 2017

The New Kid On The Skincare Block...Formula 10.0.6.

Recently I had the chance to work with the skincare brand Formula 10.0.6... Trying out pretty much every single product from them I thought I would go through and share my absolute faves! *quick disclaimer* this isn't sponsored I just thought it would be a good post to do considering I've tried everything. 

There are three things that really stood out to me and have made their way into my routine, the first is the Three Times Sublime* 3 in 1 blackhead wash, scrub and mask. I like using this as a mask and then as I rinse it off it acts as a gentle exfoliator, what I love about this is that it really is gentle. It doesn't strip my skin of moisture and leaves it visibly clearer and smooth.
Another favourite is the Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil Free Mosituriser*. At first I was sceptical of this as it has an almost silicone feel to it, but on the skin it smooths out leaving no residue and makes my skin feel hydrated and ready for makeup. I've noticed that this really does help keep my oily skin shine free for longer than a lot of other moisturisers. Lastly is the Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask*, I have a lot of mud masks and it's a product I use on my chin and cheeks 3-4 times a week. I've been loving this because like the Three Times Sublime it doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and dehydrated but I still get the benefits like I would other mud masks.

I think this brand is perfect for anyone who has 'teenage skin', I'm nearly 22 and it still hasn't left me! My skin is blemish prone, pretty oily, and I'm seriously impressed with what these products deliver for the price.

Have you tried any products or heard of Formula 10.0.6?
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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Summer Style Staples/ Wishlist

Fashion and style posts have become some of my favourites to read and write, with that I thought I would go through my staples for summer that I find myself purchasing/ digging out of my wardrobe each year...

CLOTHES
My summer wardrobe isn't complete without floaty, frilly white tops, pretty skirts or dresses - for the occasional warm weather. A frilly top I've been loving at the moment is this little number from Next* (pictured in the flatlay above). It's so easy to throw on with jeans and sandals and the frill detailing is so pretty. Whilst browsing Next I also spotted this, it's a bargain at £14 and would look so nice on holiday or in the UK.

I've seen so many beautiful skirts online over the past few months, this maxi skirt from New Look went straight into my ASOS saved items. I recently ordered this stripe ruffle skirt as I just couldn't resist, the ruffle trend has been massive this season and I love how although quite a statement this will look good with so many things.

Lastly, dresses... I picked up this dress from Boohoo a couple of months back and it's been perfect for both special occasions and in the day time. Another dress I have my eye on is this number from Mango - you can't deny that this really is the perfect summer dress!


SHOES
Honestly, every other year when it comes to shoes I've been pretty hopeless... However, this year I actually have a shoe collection I really like and I'm never stuck not knowing what to wear. Firstly Vans are a new essential for me, I love wearing slogan tee's, how cute is this one? jeans and Vans for those summer days that are a little cooler.

Along with the Topshop frilly skirt I mentioned earlier I also ordered these stunning pom pom sandals. I spotted a lot of sandals this style last summer but never got round to buying them but love how they jazz up a simple outfit. I think a pair of black sandals are a staple too, I love how these are all black but the tassels make them a little less boring.



ACCESSORIES
Of-course when it comes to summer accessories sunglasses are a must. New to my collection are these beaut Calvin Klein Tortoise Shell Sunglasses*. They've made me realise the importance of investing in better quality sunglasses, they feel amazing and I love the shape and tortoise shell pattern for summer.

Another must is smaller bags, as much as I still love and still use my Kate Spade bag, I seem to downsize and opt for pretty cross-body bags in the summer months. The Chloe Nile bag has been everywhere at the minute and if I could afford it I would definitely invest, however this Topshop half moon cross body bag is somewhat similar and more in my budget for sure.

I wear a watch all year round and think stacked with dainty bracelets they are the perfect accessory to jazz up a simple summer outfit. Daniel Wellington have recently launched the new Classic Petite Collection and I was lucky enough to receive this beautiful white and rose gold watch - yes, white and rose gold! I love how girly and pretty it is, it's the perfect size for me aswel as my wrists are quite small and can often look swamped by watches. If you fancy treating yourself to a Daniel Wellington watch anytime soon you can use the discount code JODIEMELISSA15 to get 15% off, it expires July 15 - my birthday fyi ;) 

Unfortunatly I'm not heading on a summer holiday this year so I won't be needing any new bikinis, although I think I'll be checking out the summer sales ready for my honeymoon next year!

What are your summer style staples?
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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

My Nars Makeup Collection, Wishlist & Giveaway

Over the past year I've had a little love affair with Nars. Although there's still plenty of products from them on my wishlist (more on that at the end of this post) - I have quite a well rounded collection so far...
BASE
I recently wrote a comparison review of the Nars Radiant Creamy concealer and the Soft Matte Complete concealer here, in a nutshell I much prefer the Soft Matte Complete. It is incredibly pigmented offering amazing coverage, it doesn't settle into any fine lines and lasts on the skin all day. The Radiant Creamy concealer isn't necessarily bad, although I've found it can make my under eyes look flat and be quite drying, the soft matte almost has this luminosity to it that looks lovely on the skin.

In terms of foundation I have tried the Nars Sheer Glow but got rid of it as it just didn't work for me. Being an oily skin gal I wanted to find a summer foundation that would keep me shine free throughout the day. The Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint is such a good base. Matte without clinging to any dry/ dehydrated areas this offers a light/ medium coverage with really impressive lasting power. Although, I wouldn't say this is best for anyone with very dry skin as there has been the odd occasion it has clung to very dehydrated areas by the end of the day.
 EYES
The limited edition Long Hot Summer palette is the only eyeshadow palette I own from Nars, although the shades are beautiful and the compact packaging makes it good for travel I'm not overly impressed with the quality of the eyeshadows. When it comes to eyeshadow I like something that's pigmented and really packs a punch, I don't find these shadows to be particularly soft which is such a shame. I definitely do get some use of it, it's just not my fave. I hear a lot of people rave about their blushers, and I kind of wish I had one of their blusher palettes instead!
 (Iberico - The shade you could win!, Cruella, Train Bleu, Torres Del Paine, Yu, Descanso)
LIPS
Along with the base products from Nars they have some cracking lip options too. The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are among the few matte lipsticks I can bear to wear. My favourite shade is Cruella - a beautiful bold matte red perfect for Autumn, although I'm still a little scared wearing something so bold. Admittedly I have kind of neglected these over the past few months, but if you like a bold matte lip then the soft matte lip pencils are a must try. The Satin lip pencils are also a favourite of mine for the summer months. They are moisturising yet have a good colour pay off, they remind me of something between a lustre and creamsheen finish from MAC.

SHOP THE POST

There are a couple of Nars products I have on my radar, which I'll hopefully be adding to my collection over the next few months - mostly enabled by Cliona and Gemma...


Now, on to the giveaway! I actually have 2 of the same lip pencil which I definitely don't need... So I thought it was about time I gave it a new home. To enter, just leave a comment on this post, I will be revealing the winner in a weeks time on my Instagram story (jodiemelissaxo) Good luck. Also, if you have any NARS product recommendations then please let me know, my birthday is coming up and I can definitely see a few NARS products creeepin' on my wishlist...
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Friday, 26 May 2017

The Beauty Box Worth Buying...

It's pretty clear that I love all things beauty, yet never have I ever purchased or really been interested in a beauty subscription box... Until now! When I noticed the contents of the Latest in Beauty Harpers Bazaar Beauty Box it just seemed like too much of a good opportunity to miss.

I honestly don't know where to start with this as I'm truly amazed by what the box contains for the price. First of all it retails at £45 with £3.95 delivery, me being me I had a quick google to see if there were any discount codes floating around - it was my lucky day... The code HB10 saved me £10, it just confirmed that I really needed to get it ordered! Also this is a one off beauty box, no subscription or monthly box turning up at my door, although Latest in Beauty do offer that aswel if you like the element of surprise.
I'll start with what got me interested in this box in the first place, the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray £20. It's certainly done it's rounds in the blogosphere, but splashing out £40 on a texturising spray just didn't feel right to me. If you read my recent 4 to try post you'll know I've been loving the Ouai Texturizing Spray, and that just made me even more curious to try the Oribe spray. I have my fingers crossed that this will be just as impressive as the other sprays I've tried. Another haircare item in the box is the Moroccan Oil, I remember back in the day when everyone raved about this but I always thought that my hair is too fine, nether the less I'm excited to try it.
Onto skincare, the box contains a 15ml tester of the Zelens Essential Anti-Aging Cream, although sold as an anti aging product it contains Ursolic Acid to increase skin elasticity and one of my favourite skincare ingredients Hyaluronic Acid to improve moisture levels - it retails at £95 so I'm interested to see how I get on with it. There is also an impressive full sized version of The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, this is one of my all time favourite masks to combat dehydrated skin so I'm glad to have a back up.

The two skincare bits that I'm most excited about is the Tan-Luxe Illuminating Self-Tan Drops and the Omorovicza Queen of Hungry Mist. If you read my recent fake tanning post you'll know that I haven't been tanning my face, I'm trying to have more makeup free days so I'm hoping this will come in handy for that. As for the skin mist, there is nothing I love more than trying luxury skincare so I'm looking forward to giving it a go.
Lastly are three makeup bits, honestly I'm not overly fussed with the Nailberry nail polish so I'll probably pass that onto my mum. There is a travel sized Laura Mericer Radiance Primer that I'm really excited to try, I've heard so many amazing things so I'm hoping I love it just as much as a I love the Too Faced Hangover Primer. Finally there is also a mini Lancome Hypnose mascara, I rarely splurge on mascara so it's always nice to get a small sample size.

This box really is a mix of amazing haircare, skincare and makeup that suits so many different people, it's definitely got me curious about beauty boxes and I'll be keeping my eye out for others in the future!

Have you ever tried a Latest in Beauty box?

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Current Lifestyle Favourites

No lipsticks or face masks today, instead I'm going through the other non beauty related things I've been loving recently... 

Although I do agree that it's kind of crazy to spend £44 on a candle, there is something about Jo Malone I just love. I have the Peony and Blush Suede cologne and now the candle to match. My lovely mum actually surprised me with this which makes it all the more special. I really recommend Jo Malone candles if you're after something a little fancy! Talking of peonies, I was very kindly sent this beautiful bunch from Blossominggifts.com. Like the weather flowers really lift my mood and peonies are definitely one of my faves. I'm seriously impressed with the service offered by BlossimingGifts, definitely a company to check out if you're looking for beautiful blooms.

Rewind back a couple of years ago I never thought this would be a favourite, but I've been really enjoying a fitness class called Body Pump. It's a barbell workout that targets every area of the body. I love seeing improvements in how much I can lift and just going to the class has been an amazing way to have some down time recently.

Podcasts are a reletively new thing for me but I've really been enjoying listening to them while I do my evening skincare routine. Two that I've found I love so far are Emma Gannon and of-course AtHomeWith... It was the Ctrl, Alt, Delete podcast with Liv Purvis that got me interested in podcasts in the first place - I highly recommend having a listen, she's seriously inspiring and gave me so much motivation!

Finally, I have started a YouTube channel! It's been something I've wanted to do since I discovered it existed way back in 2008, I already regret not starting sooner. I absolutely love the whole filming and editing process and it's just nice to give myself a new challenge.

What have been your current lifestyle favourites?

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Saturday, 20 May 2017

4 To Try

You know the drill, rather than the traditional monthly favourites that are few and far between, I'm going through 4 things that I've been loving recently that you may just want to try out...
Never did I think I would be forking out this much on a hair styling spray, but with my new do giving me all kinds of inspo I decided to cave and purchase the Ouai Dry Texturizing Spray (admittedly when ASOS had a discount code to make it a little less painful). I went for the travel size version to give it a try, and I'll definitely be repurchasing. I love the texture and grip this gives to my hair adding volume and a more messy look. This doesn't leave my hair feeling knotty or dry either like some texturising sprays.  

Another haircare favourite that I never thought I would love so much is the Grow Gorgeous Scalp Detox. I use quite a lot of dry shampoo, texturising sprays and all sorts really when I style my hair, so giving my scalp a good detox is something my haircare routine has probably been missing. It leaves the roots of my hair looking extra shiny and more voluminous.
Onto makeup - shocker, but I've actually found another foundation I like! The Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint has been on my radar ever since it was released so it was about time I caved. I have the shade Alaska which is a light shade with a yellow undertone. This is the perfect summer foundation as it feels lightweight yet manages to cover imperfections and even out my skin tone. It lasts incredibly well on my oily-combination skin, it doesn't settle into pores and almost blurs them. I'm seriously impressed with this! Oh, and it has an SPF of 30, winning!
Lastly is a new nail polish love, as I've been trying to cut back on costs I had to give up my monthly Bio-Sculpture appointments - sad times! However, it's kind of made me rekindle a love for nail polish, Rimmel sent over a couple of their new Super Gel nail polishes, the shade Purple Splash hasn't left my nails since. It lasts well, barely chipping even after 3/4 days of wear. It does take 2/3 coats for an opaque finish, but it's definitely worth it.

What product's have you been loving lately?

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

When it comes to high end concealers there seems to be a fair few on everyone's radar. Concealer is a product that I don't mind splurging on, disguising imperfections is one of the main aims of my makeup routine so finding a concealer that ticks all the boxes is important to me. I thought I would compare the two most hyped about Nars concealers to save you the hassle of picking up both...
SHADE RANGE
I use the shade Vanilla in both concealers. It's the 2nd lightest shade and has a fairly neutral tone, it matches my face well. I just wish there was a shade in-between Chantilly (the lightest shade) and Vanilla so it would be more brightening for under the eyes. The Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer comes out slightly darker when swatched on the skin, but once blended I found the two concealers to be pretty much identical in shade. There are 16 shades in total for both concealers, a plus compared to more affordable brands that usually have anything between 3-6 shades.

COVERAGE & FINISH
The Radiant Creamy concealer provides a full coverage with a matte finish. Although it does provide a good coverage I have pretty bad dark blue around my eyes so I could do with a little more coverage once it has been blended. I find it to make the skin look quite flat rather than illuminated, possibly using a lighter shade that would change?! The Soft Matte Complete concealer is almost how I expected the radiant creamy concealer to look in the first place, it's brightening and super full coverage without looking cakey. The lightweight, creamy texture blends in with the skin seamlessly creating a flawless finish. I've found using my finger then a damp Beauty Blender the best way to blend both of these concealers.

In terms of the coverage and finish I much prefer the Soft Matte Complete concealer, although matte it doesn't look cakey and it's incredibly pigmented so it covers really well. It's surprising because I like it for both concealing blemishes and around the eyes, it works really well for both.

LONGEVITY 
Both concealers do last well on me, after an 8 hour shift in work the concealer around my eyes will still be there for both, however the Radiant Creamy concealer definitely doesn't look radiant, after a while it starts to look quite dry around my under eyes which I don't experience with the soft matte complete concealer. Even though I use the same shade for both the soft matte complete concealer seems to look brighter around the eyes.

VALUE FOR MONEY
Both of the concealers are £23, so they are on the pricey side. I know of a couple of people that agree with me that the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer seems to run out really quick, which isn't surprisingly when the tube only contains 6ml. I'm hoping the Soft Matte concealer will last longer, a little goes a long way compared to the Radiant Creamy so fingers crossed.


I thought that the Nars Radiant Creamy concealer was always going to be a holy grail *must repurchase* product for me, but the Soft Matte concealer has quickly taken its place!

What's your favourite high end concealer?

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Our Airbnb In Barcelona

After looking at hotels in Barcelona and being disheartened by how expensive they were, we decided to turn to Airbnb. I'll be honest, my initial reaction was that it would just be a little too strange to stay in someone elses home, but I had it all wrong! Staying in an Airbnb gave our 48 hours in Barcelona more excitement...
We stayed in an apartment in the Gothic Quarter, so central to a lot of the main attractions (just off of La Rambla). The property owner Joan uses the money he makes from using Airbnb to further renovate his apartment, how amazing is that?! He has had over 200 guests stay at his place from a whole host of different countries and backgrounds. I think his apartment is already pretty amazing with so many stunning features, it's incredibly open plan and a quite, peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy Barcelona streets. 

There's a living/ diner area and kitchen all in one space, yet it works so well. On the same floor was a bathroom and bedroom. Joan didn't stay there over night and we barely saw him in the day so we pretty much had the whole apartment to ourselves.


Having a whole terrace to ourselves was definitely another bonus of using Airbnb. One afternoon we were able to just relax in the sun above all of the city noise before heading back out again later for dinner. Joan was able to give us valuable recommendations so we used our time wisely, something else we probably wouldn't experience in a hotel.


Above is the little spot I found myself getting ready in everyday, the morning sun would beam in and lets just say it's something I could get used to! This trip has definitely opened my eyes to Airbnb - We're now actually considering trying to find one for our honeymoon rather than a hotel...

Have you ever used Airbnb?

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

48 Hours In Barcelona

City breaks have become my favourite kind of holidays, so of-course it was about time I ticked Barcelona of my long list. In Barcelona there's something for everyone, you have the beach, the beautiful weather (most of the time) and of-course the city to explore/ shop in! Here's what I got up to in the 48 hours I had...

First of all, get the metro after your flight to your accommodation rather than a taxi/ bus - fees are pretty high and the metro is quick and easy to use. For that you'll need a separate airport ticket that costs around 5 euros. If you plan on doing a lot of sight seeing I would also recommend getting the T-10 metro ticket aswel, this will allow you 10 metro journeys for €10, we walked a lot but there were a few occasions it came in handy.


SANDALS (old - River Island)
DAY 1
We started off at Park Guell, an absolute must to walk around. We went early in the morning which I would recommend otherwise it can get pretty crowded. There is an area that you can pay to go into but we decided against that, although I have heard that it is worth it. Next stop was Barceloneta beach, if we were staying for longer perhaps we would have spent half a day there, but we did a quick pitstop then walked along. We went back to the beach on our last night to watch the sunset with a take out pizza, a lovely way to finish our short break!

After the beach we spotted a cable car which went from Barceloneta Beach up to Montjuic Castle, there is a mid way point that we decided to stop off at and have lunch and missed going up to the castle. The issue with the cable car is the waiting times, we waited over an hour and it wasn't at it's busiest! We purchased a return ticket but the que to get back would have meant a 2 hour wait so we walked down to Maremagnum shopping centre, there was a Mango that I could have easily spent a fortune in. 

That evening we dined at El Cercle (The Circle). I'll be honest, the service wasn't quite up to the standard we hoped (but it seemed to be similar in a lot of places in Barcelona) but the food and terrace setting definitely made up for it. Perfect if you like seafood or Japanese dishes. 

JEANS (cut off the bottoms)
DAY 2
After all the walking on day one I needed to start day two with a decent coffee, after a quick google I discovered a little spot tucked away out of the hustle and bustle - Onna Cafe. Filled with locals and incredible coffee it made the perfect spot for breakfast (surprisingly affordable too). We had really nice weather so walked down to Sagrada Familia and sat in the park over looking it, another typical tourist attraction but it really is a beautiful church that you would be crazy to miss! 
From there we headed to La Ramblas, definitely worth a visit but we had some advice not to eat there and to keep an eye on our belongings. I couldn't resist picking up a flower ice cream from Amorino Gelato, tasted and looked amazing. We also wandered into the Boqueria indoor market. I didn't really enjoy seeing all of the meat hung up, that was pretty disturbing. However they had lots of lovely fresh juices which were only €1.50, based on this we thought the chocolates would be affordable too, oh how wrong we were! We picked 1 one small chocolate each and it came to €7, lets just say I felt robbed! 

Our last stop of the day before our last evening at the beach was Ciutadella Park next to Barcelona Zoo. Again another great spot to escape the hustle and bustle, we found ourselves having a little pit stop and enjoying the view of the lake. The next morning it was straight to the airport. we crammed quite a lot in, but I'm already itching to go back, it was perfect! We decided to use Airbnb for our stay, so my next post will be all about our fabulous apartment...

What's your favourite city break location?

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