Friday, 19 December 2014

A Saturday in Kingston

I spent this past weekend in London staying with my sister. She moved to London in September and since I hadn't been to see her yet, I thought a few days with her would be a nice way to finish my uni term and I was right. We had such a lovely weekend exploring new areas of London, doing some Christmas shopping and of course eating lots of food! My original intention was to take lots of photos of our weekend; pretty views of London at Christmas, outfits of the day and show you what we got up to but I'm sorry to say that that didn't happen. We were so busy having fun and catching up that the only thing I managed to photograph was the food but it was rather delicious so I'm going to show you anyway.

We actually avoided central London on Saturday afternoon as two weeks before Christmas we thought it would be unpleasantly busy so we set off for Kingston. For lunch we went to a cute cafe called The Terrace Eatery. We started with some hot drinks to warm up after coming in from the cold and, soon after ordering, our sandwiches arrived.

I went for the Milanese and Tara chose the smoked salmon and cream cheese. (I think I won!)

The Milanese was a dreamy combination of salami, mozzarella, olives, sunblushed tomatoes, pesto and salad leaves.

It was delicious and if you're ever in the area I would highly recommend stopping off for a spot of lunch. I think you'd struggle to find a better sandwich or, if it's something sweet you're after, their cakes and traybakes looked pretty great too.

Feeling nicely full and fuelled for shopping we went on our way and spent the afternoon wandering around the shops and browsing for Christmas presents. I had never been to Kingston before and I have to say I thought it was so lovely! If you're lucky enough to live nearby then I am rather envious as we had such a nice afternoon.

As the shops began to close and our hunger returned we made our way to Ealing for dinner. Tara suggested Turtle Bay, a Caribbean restaurant with a really cool vibe. There were no tables available so we sat at the bar stools which was fine by us. We quickly ordered some cocktails and a starter to share of Pulled Jerk Pork.

This was a nice salad with pulled pork, mango, orange and coconut shavings.

The main was the real treat though. I chose the Trinidad curry chicken and Tara went for the Jerk chicken with the BEST sweet potato fries.

 Tara's Jerk chicken - this was smoky, soft, barbecued heaven.

My curry of chicken in a fruity, coconutty and slightly spicy sauce.

We had such a lovely meal - great food and the loveliest of company!

Again I would highly recommend Turtle Bay. It had such a nice, lively vibe, great music, friendly staff and, of course, delicious food.

We had such a nice day and I cannot thank my sister enough as she thoroughly spoilt me!

On Sunday we ventured to Chelsea and tried out a celeb fave healthy eating spot - can you guess what it is? Post to come soon..

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Boots Haul

It started with the eyebrow pencil. My old one was too dark and too warm so obviously a trip to Boots was on the cards to get a new eyebrow pencil and nothing else... But how boring would that be?

I'd heard great things about the Soap and Glory Archery eyebrow pencil from Lily Pebbles and when I found it in store it looked like exactly what I was after - a thin pencil to draw individual hairs. a light grey-ish taupe colour (much better than the warm brown I was previously using) and not to forget the spoolie on the end and the ease of a twist up pencil - what's not to love? I bought the colour "Blondshell" and so far so good. It's much lighter than what I was used to but I think I need to accept that blonde hair and very dark eyebrows isn't the best look. Also I love how thin the tip of the pencil is and that I'll never be lost without a sharpener.

So eyebrow pencil in hand, happy with my choice, mission complete, yeah? Don't be silly, as soon as I saw the 3 for 2 signs covering the stands in Boots it was never going to be a one product shop, was it? So I asked myself what I could justify purchasing because I "needed" it and I decided on an eyeshadow brush. I managed to leave lots of mine at home so my uni makeup application has consisted of a few very well loved brushes doing all the work and lots of finger blending. I chose the No7 Eye Colour Brush and so far I really like it. It's made of synthetic hairs which are very soft and it's nice and dense. I've been using it to pack colour on to the lid and it's doing the job nicely.

The lipstick was not necessary but I got it for free so who cares! If you read this blog post you'll know that I was after a 90's inspired brown lipstick and this one fits the bill quite nicely, It's Seventeen's Stay Pout Lipstick in the shade "Fond Farewell". It's a deep brown with a lot of red in it and a slightly metallic finish. It's not the sort of colour I usually go for but I actually really like it. It's dark enough to be quite vampy and bold but something different to the usual plum and burgundy shades. I've never heard anyone talk about this range and I think they deserve some blogging love! They're nice and creamy, very opaque and last well on the lips. Also, at £4.49 a lipstick, they're an absolute bargain!

You can see the eyebrow pencil and lipstick in action in the pictures above and for good measure I'll tell you what else I'm wearing.

Lips - Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in "Fond Farewell"

Today I received a double points Boots coupon in the post so I'm sure it won't be long until I make another sneaky purchase. Let me know your favourite products from the drugstore in the comments below :)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

My Current Skincare Routine

I think it's about time I shared with you all my current skincare routine as I've stuck to the same four products for a few months so I feel like I've given them long enough to give my two cents on what I think. As a bit of background information my skin is very dry and dehydrated, mostly clear with the odd little spot here and there and is prone to being very flaky and dull. (Sounds lovely, doesn't it?) I keep things pretty simple with no fancy products, nothing that breaks the bank and nothing that takes more time than is entirely necessary when I'm desperate to get into bed or have slept in in the morning. So here you go - a step by step run through of my skincare routine.

Step 1 - Makeup Removal
In the evening the first thing I do is remove my makeup, if I've been wearing any that day, using the Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. I massage it into my skin and well in to my eyes and eyelashes to lift all my makeup, then using a hot, damp facecloth wipe it off and then pat my face dry. I find that this cleanser is very good at removing makeup and even gets most of my waterproof mascara off but I do still need a second go to make sure everything is completely clean and makeup free.

Step 2 - Second Cleanse
Next I use the La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Milk to do a second cleanse. This is a creamy lotion and feels so nice on my skin. I massage it in while my skin is dry, making sure to get any makeup off that is left around my eyes. I love that both this and the Body Shop cleanser don't sting or irritate my eyes. They both feel very gentle and soothing so I don't have to worry about using a separate eye makeup remover. After the cleanser is well worked into my skin I wash it off with a hot, damp face cloth.

Step 3 - Serum
The final two steps are all about hydration. First of all I use Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum from Indeed Labs (btw this is a third off at Boots at the minute). This is a clear gel like liquid which is made of hyaluronic acid so is meant to be super hydrating. It dries down on the skin to a slightly tacky finish which in a way I like as it makes me feel like my moisturiser will then cling on to my skin to hydrate it more than normal. I doubt there's much truth to this but I enjoy using it and until I can afford Sarah Chapman Skinesis I think I'm gonna have to make do with the cheapy version.

Step 4 - Moisturiser
So here is where things go slightly downhill and I'm not loving what I'm using. I've been using The Body Shop's Vitamin E Moisture Cream and let me start by saying this is not a bad product - it has a lovely texture, it smells nice, it doesn't irritate my skin and hasn't broken me out. The problem with this is simply that it isn't right for my skin. I was advised in the shop that the Vitamin E range is for dry skin so thought that this would be rich enough to moisturise my dry skin which it definitely isn't. This sinks in as soon as I have finished applying it (something that might be a good thing for someone with oilier skin but for me I like something thick and rich that sits on my skin) so it leaves my skin feeling dry. I end up putting on layer after layer of this waiting for my skin to be hydrated enough that the product doesn't soak up immediately but I don't ever reach that point. Maybe the night cream or intense version of this would work better for me but I think I'm going to try another brand next time. I'm nearly finished this now so if any dry skinned girls have a better recommendations let me know.

In the morning all the steps are the exact same apart from the makeup removal (except after the odd night out when my makeup remains fully intact until the next morning but we'll brush over that for now).

So that's it - everything I use on my face to keep it clean, clear and as hydrated as possible. Let me know what your skincare staple products are and if you have any recommendations for a new moisturiser let me know :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Topshop Lusting

I should probably start this post by apologizing for my lack of blogging. I don't have a real excuse other than I've been back at uni and haven't managed to fit blogging in to my routine yet. This magical thing seems to happen when I get back from lectures that I'm stuck to my sofa from arriving home until bed, any other students experiencing this? Anyway, hopefully that will change now and I'm going to make a real effort to blog more regularly.

I thought I would get started with a wishlist post. I read lots of blogs and watch lots of youtubers and as much as I would love to show you all the lovely clothes and makeup I buy on a weekly basis like they do, unfortunately my student budget doesn't stretch much further than a weekly shop and the odd bargain (speaking of bargains I have bought some really good things recently - post coming soon). For now though, I'm going to share what I'm lusting after and what I would be purchasing if my student loan didn't disappear so rapidly.

While perusing the Topshop New In section, as I seem to find myself doing far too often, I found these beauties..

1. Snake Foil Mini Bodycon Dress - Something you will quickly learn, if you continue to read my blog, is that I am obsessed with sparkly and shiny things. Show me anything metallic, sequinned, beaded etc. and you can almost guarantee I'll love it. This dress is so fun and is perfect for Christmas parties and nights out.

2. MOTO Bleached Super Ripped Hayden Jeans - I have been on the hunt for boyfriend style baggy jeans for literally years but have never taken the plunge and bought a pair. I think these ones are perfect though. They would be equally as gorgeous with a crop top and strappy heels as they would be with trainers and a T-shirt. (Can you see how I'm justifying purchasing these already?)

3. Metallic Leather Skinny Belt - This one's pretty simple in that I need belts (especially after reading this) and why not go for a fun silver one over a plain black or brown?

4. Ribbed Funnel Neck Top - I am all over high neck tops right now and I love the clean look and simplicity of the white.

5. Tala Knee High Boots - After purchasing these boots a few weeks ago my eyes have been opened to the world of heeled boots as they are SO comfortable and after getting used to wearing them I feel very short in flat shoes now. I love the fine shape on the leg of these.. I might have to keep an eye on them in case they go on sale.

6. Leather Pony Effect Wallet - I love mini purses like this as they are so easy to carry around and they still hold all the essentials. I really like the leopard print on this one too.

7. Embellished Collar Shirt - I think this would look so pretty under a jumper with the collar just showing from underneath.. again all about the sparkle!

8. Sequin Crossbody Bag - I love the size and shape of this bag and think it would look so fun to make any outfit more interesting in the day or would be perfect for nights out!

9. Clean Rib Knitted Dress - I think this would look so cute and cosy paired with thick black tights, black boots and a big blanket style scarf.

10. Rachel Strappy High Sandals - Possibly one of my favourite picks, I love the intricacy of the design and think these look much more expensive than what they are. I think that black strappy high heeled sandals are an essential and these are a fun alternate to the classic two strap style.

11. Beauty and the Beast PJ Set - A bit of a random choice but I think these are just so cute! Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favourite movies so of course I would love these but if you're not a fan Topshop have other Disney classic pyjama sets which I think are perfect for Christmas presents if you're already thinking that far ahead.

12. Petite Exclusive Velvet Bonded Tunic - Why is this only available in petite?! I love this - the colour, the shape, the double layer effect and have been after a velvet dress for a while. If only I was a good bit shorter.

13. Lips in Boardroom - I know this is mostly a fashion post but I saw this online and really liked the look of it so thought I would include it anyway. I, along with most people, am loving Kylie Jenner's look at the minute and I think this colour lipstick is very fitting with her 90's brown lip look she's been rocking. I might have to check this one out in store to see how "Kylie" it is in person.

14. Marabou Feather Box Bag - Thanks to some of Sarah Ashcroft's latest Instagram posts I have developed a love for fluffy things. Her dreamy pictures of fluffy strappy heels, faux fur colourful jackets and striped scarves have made me very envious so as soon as I saw this bag online it was only a matter of seconds before it was bookmarked.

15. Feather Hem Bodycon Dress - This is such a perfect LBD - a classic shape but still unique because of the feathered trim. I think the long sleeved style is so demure and simple and I love the scooped back.

So there we go, a (rather long) roundup of what's on my wishlist as of now. Knowing me though I'll find myself online browsing very soon and come up with a whole new list. Let me know if you like this style of post and also what's on your current wishlist?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Day At Sea

One of my absolute favourite days of the entire holiday was this day in Kotor. We took a boat trip out through the bay and visited the island known as Our Lady of the Rocks before stopping off at a cute town called Perast to have a quick swim. The scenery was ridiculously beautiful out in the bay but as I seem to have said that about everywhere, I'll just let the photos do the talking this time.

Bikini is available here and here from Oysho.