Monday, 30 May 2016

The Patterned Trousers of my Dreams

Its always a bit of a challenge deciding what to wear on a city break, especially if you are only planning on taking hand luggage. This was the predicament I found myself in when I was packing for my trip to Milan (details here) not so long ago. It's always of vital importance to check and re-check the weather as in the city it can be a little less predictable and if you are going to be walking about the city with little shelter its important to consider that it might just rain. I was extremely lucky with my time away as it only rained the last day when I was actually getting on my flight back to Glasgow, but the temperatures did drop quite drastically after the sun went down in the evening...

As soon as I saw these trousers I just knew I had to have them. They were honestly just screaming out at me to buy them, I mean how could that pattern not catch your eye?! I bought these trousers from F&F in Tesco and although I can't remember how much they cost exactly I know they were under £15 which makes them super affordable. I'm also someone who suffers from cold legs more than anything else so it was quite nice to be able to pair these light and comfortable cheese cloth trousers with a crop top and some sunglasses for the scorching day time and then to throw on a big jumper in the evening to keep me warm. I wore these when we traveled to Lake Como which included a total of two train journeys and a Ferry ride and they were honestly so comfortable for the journey. They also managed to stand out against some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever beheld in my entire lifetime.

I paired them with the comfiest pair of tan sandals which were a little bargain from Primark. I don't often shop in Primark anymore ever since they started slowly upping their prices and there's no denying that the main ones in Glasgow are not the most well maintained but I do still quite like the shoe department since I go through shoes like nobody's business. I also used my Kanken Backpack on the journey which is THE most handiest and comfortable backpack for travelling that anyone who likes to travel should definitely have one of these bad boys.Not the most affordable bag in the world but I got mine as a gift from Lewis and there has barely been a day when I haven't used it!

What do you guys think of this outfit? How would you style these patterned trousers?

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Coachella for H&M

Have you ever bought something that makes you feel so ready for something?! Well that's exactly how I felt when I popped into H&M prior to my holiday to check out their Coachella range. I absolutely love festival fashion and it makes me feel so comfortable and confident and just puts me in the mood for summer every time without fail. There is nothing that makes me happier than getting drunk at 3 o clock in the afternoon with all of my friends by my side when I'm listening to some of my favourite bands. I always feel so depressed when I don't have any festival plans for the summer but I still don't hold back from putting together in my head different festival outfits from what is in the shops...

This dress from the range was one of those items of clothing that looks rubbish on the hanger compared to what it looks like on. I mainly only picked this out because of the cute elephant pattern on as I love this kind of pattern. I wasn't too keen on the cold shoulder detail before but I have to say it is slowly but surely growing on me. I paired it with my cute Primark sandals mentioned previously in this post and these cute and quirky Topshop Sunglasses (similiar here)! I'm still not completely sold on them and I always have a real problem finding sunglasses that actually suit me due to the shape of my face (lol!) but they are okay I guess. Lastly, I put on an old favourite cardigan from Urban Outfitters. I've had this one for years but its still in such good condition despite me wearing it constantly.

This is one of those dresses you can throw in a rucksack if you are one of those traveler types who have to pack light (you lucky thangs)and it could also probably take you from day to night pretty easily. The Coachella range is also really affordable and the most expensive thing I could find was only about 20 pounds, which considering how nice some of the clothes are is actually quite a bargain. I can't help but get annoyed though with how small made the clothes are in H&M as I always have to size up. Please tell me I'm not the only one? Despite these small annoyances I still plan on going back on buying every dress in the range. If only I was actually going to a festival this year *crying emoji face*.

Do you guys enjoy festival fashion? Have you bought anything from the H&M for Coachella range? 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

A Trip to Lake Como

I previously wrote about my trip to Milan (post here) and I did indeed mention about how easy it was to get around via the train to visit other parts of Italy. Its not surprising then that I had my heart set on a visit to Lake Como which was only about a 50 minute train journey away! I'm always pretty eager wherever I go to see as many places as I possibly plan in the shortest amount of time and although it can be tiring it also gives me so much pleasure to know that I can tick a destination off of my travel bucket list. This area in Northern Italy's Lombardy area is somewhere I have often seen on postcards and pictures and its stunning scenery has always had me just itching to go...

In order to reach the lakes we took a 50 minute train journey from Milano Centrale to Varenna Esino and got an all day ticket to ride the ferry which I think cost around 15 euros. Varenno Esino in itself is also very beautiful although there aren't many amenities apart from the odd hotel and gelato shop so I'd really advise you to jump on board the ferry which not only will take you to a number of destinations but also the boat ride is a fantastic opportunity to take some good shots of the magnificent scenery which includes a head on view on the snow topped alps. We eventually ended up in Belaggio where we spent most of our day.

The best thing about this trip was the fact that this location is so far removed from the busy industrial and modern streets of Milan where the traffic doesn't stop and everyone is always in a rush. Instead Lake Como is made up of tiny little towns around the mouth of the lakes which host the teeniest wine and cheese bars and authentic Italian restaurants situated by the water side. Quaint little churches and bespoke jewelry stores are everywhere here and the atmosphere is so much more lazy and relaxing.

I'd definitely recommend a trip here if you are planning on going to Milan any time soon. Its such a lovely relaxing break away from all of the hustle and bustle and the best place to go for some really authentic Italian experiences like the tiny wine bars and restaurants; also if you blog it is an incredible photography opportunity!

Have you guys ever been to Lake Como or Milan? What were your experiences like?  

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Pre Holiday Boots Haul

Anytime I am about to go on holiday I always feel the need to splurge a little cash in Boots on things I need want for the trip. It goes without saying that some things are just an absolute necessity if you are flying or if you are trying to pack light and normally its around this time when I have run out of my favourite concealer or decided that there is one make up item I just have to have for my trip. Its also probably essential to buy all your miniature toiletries if you are taking only hand luggage as I did! 

A lot of people have been talking for a while now about how NYX has very suddenly become available in Boots in the UK. Of course despite having never used anything from this make up brand you always want what you can't have so anything that suddenly becomes available in the UK is going to get me excited so the first two things I picked up were the NYX Eye Shadow Base and the Control Freak Clear Brow Gel. Tbh I have tried both of these items now and although I like the primer it doesn't quite beat my Urban Decay one and the eyebrow gel is a little disappointing for the sheer fact that despite the £5 price tag it works only as well as any cheap clear mascara would. I definitely expected the brush to be a lot smaller than it is!

The next two items were things I had run out of that I just can't live without. The Maybelline Push Up Drama Mascara is up there with my favourite mascaras of all time and its definitely a lot better than some of the more expensive or high end mascaras out there. I also bought another Soap and Glory Supercat Liner as its just my favourite for doing eye flicks and at £6.00 its also incredibly affordable. Oh! and I also got some deodorant as I'd run out and no-one likes to be a sweaty Betty. This Mitchum Deodorant Stick is genuinely the most hygienic, freshly scented deodorant I have found that actually does the job. There is nothing worse in my opinion that smelling someones cheap deodorant smell when they start to sweat (yuck!).

Next I picked up some bits that just happened to catch my eye as most of your probably know is quite the regular occurrence on a stroll through any Boots store. I picked up the Collection Contour and Highlight Palette for the bargain price of just £2.99 as I knew it would be handy for travelling and I'm so glad I did as its honestly so good and is one of those rare palettes where both the contour and highlight powders work incredibly well together. I also bought the Maybelline Brow Satin as I wanted something a little lower maintenance but that I could also use for going out at night and to complete this little section of products I really didn't need I also got one of the new Sexy Mother Pucker Lipstick's in a nude shade. The gorgeous packaging drew me in I'm not going to lie here!

Lastly, I picked up the Natural Collection Loose Setting Powder as this is the best drugstore setting powder I have tried personally so I don't really like to spend more than I have to on powder. I also got some Simple Face Wipes which I know aren't the best thing for taking make up off but sometimes in situations where you are sitting on a plane for a few hours or you have very little room in your suitcase for a full skincare routine it just has to be done! And to complete my haul I also picked up a miniature Simple Eye Make Up Remover as this is so gentle yet effective!

What was the last thing you picked up in the drugstore? Do you also buy things you don't need? 


Sunday, 22 May 2016

72 Hours in Milan

Okay guys, so if you know me well you probably already know I am a massive fan of travelling and if there is one kind of holiday I get excited about its visiting all of the beautiful European cities. I am constantly checking sky scanner and looking out for cheap flights in order to see a little bit more of the world. I'm currently saving up to be able to go to some of my slightly further afield bucket list destinations in 2017 so unfortunately I'm not sure whether I will have the luxury of a relaxing beach holiday this summer, but I'm hoping that my boyfriend will sort us out something super cheap and cheerful (I have my heart set on Croatia btw). Anyways I couldn't resist a short break to Milan this month with some of my family. I actually haven't been to Italy before AT ALL so I had no idea what to expect but I had such an enjoyable time! 

To be honest I can imagine that some would find Milan a bit of a meh city at first glance. It lacks the breathtaking beauty of places like Rome and Venice and is more of an industrial city. But those of you who are willing to take a closer look will discover just like me that it definitely has a kind of understated charm. The Milan Cathedral is definitely a sight to behold and is very much on a par with Barcelona's Sagrada Familia! The insane marble detail definitely had me gasping and staring in absolute awe. I also visited the nearby Sforza Castle which is completely free and placed within the beautiful Parko Sempion which of course stares onto the Arco Della. Milan reminded me a lot of Berlin in the sense that it is much more slower paced and relaxing than the busy hustle and bustle of a much more tourist focused city like Barcelona or Paris. Don't get me wrong I enjoy every place I visit normally but sometimes its nice to go somewhere where not every shop sells overpriced souvenirs and there's something also very charming about having a waiter speak to you in broken English and having to use a phrasebook just to be able to order your favourite coffee. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was the fact I didn't get to see Leonardo Da Vincis 'Last Supper' as I wasn't aware before my trip that booking your viewing had to be done months in advance.

Speaking of things which are overpriced if you are going to travel to a fashionable city like Milan I think it goes without saying that you will definitely be checking out the shops. Whilst I didn't have the funds necessary to splurge in the likes of Prada and Giorgio Armani (located in the beautiful Gallerio Vittorio Emanuelle II) I did find that the high street shops were really good and I remembered some of them from when I used to live in Portugal. I actually bought a few bits and pieces from the likes of Sephora, Yves Rocher and Bershka, and I found out literally the day we left that they also have a Victoria's Secrets so I was a little bit gutted I didn't manage to find that one! I wasn't surprised to find that the Milanese people all dress impeccably well, and I spotted many business types in sharp designer suits and polished shoes. I think also its something to think about if you are going to visit Milan as although the weather is pretty nice around this time you don't really want to stand out like a sore thumb in denim shorts and a crop top when everyone around you is so well dressed.

One of the best things about Milan was definitely how easy it is to get around and despite earlier concerns that this would be one of the more expensive city breaks I definitely did not find it to be expensive either for food or travel. Since we stayed in an apartment for 4 nights and a hotel only one night we had the luxury of our own cooking facilities which came in handy for making cooked breakfasts and having chilled wine and cheese evenings, which were definitely more expensive to go out for. I would definitely recommend to stay in an apartment as if you are a vegetarian like me you will find it hard to be able to eat anything in a restaurant other than the traditional pizza and pasta. If you are looking for a little variety then I would definitely recommend the canal side restaurants in the Navigli District as they tend to be cheaper, quirkier and offer a lot more choice.You can also take a boat out on the canals if you want to see more of Milan. Another thing to do is to check out the San Siro Stadium, which unfortunately was closed to visitors in preparation for The Champions League but we managed to see it by going into the stadium shop and viewing it through the glass.

As you might be able to tell I had the most wonderful time visiting a charming city. Far from what I expected I actually found loads to do and I definitely ran out of time towards the end of my trip as there are so many other sites and attractions which I'd love to go back and visit. If you enjoy immersing yourself in another culture and don't mind having to do a lot of walking and navigate your way to some of the main sites then Milan is definitely an enjoyable experience. It is also very easy to travel to other parts of Italy from the main train station Milano Centrale so if you fancy a visit to Venice or Napoli its very doable! Just make sure you take plenty of spending money though as it will cost you a bit!

Have you guys ever been to Milan? What is your favourite city to visit? 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Current Make Up Bag

Who doesn't love a little snoop in other peoples make up bags?! I for one am always so interested (nosey) to see what people are painting on their faces every day! So, even though I have never did one of these posts before, I thought that seeing as I have been using (and loving) a lot of new and exciting things now would be as good a time as any. Also its probably important to mention that I've been wearing a lot less make up ever since I came home from Lisbon and my whole make up look is so much more low maintenance in terms of every day wear...

I always opt for this Simple Light Moisturizer as a base for my make up seeing as its so affordable and is nourishing without being greasy or leaving any gross residue on the skin. I no longer wear foundation for every day wear mainly because I don't like how heavy it feels on my skin. Instead I wear Bourjous 123 Perfect CC Cream which is completely perfect since it offers pretty good coverage for a CC cream and yet feels light as a feather on the skin and so breathable! It isn't the best in terms of longevity so I normally use the Nars Radiance Optimizing Primer which also contains SPF 15 and gives my skin the most gorgeous glow! In terms of concealer I've recently switched from my beloved Collection one to this Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer and I love how good it is for hiding those awful under eye bags! My skin has been pretty good recently so I haven't needed anything too heavy which suits me perfectly!

I always contour no matter how little time I have on my hands and to do so I normally switch between a few products but of all of them Hoola by Benefit is probably my favourite. I used to make such a huge fuss of filling in my brows but now that I get them threaded and tinted on a more regular basis I can afford to use a more low maintenance product and I've been opting for the Glo&Ray Silky Fumo Brow Pencil, which is silky smooth and creamy and so easy to apply that it takes just a few seconds. Something which I don't wear all the time but like to keep in my everyday make up bag is neutral toned eye shadows and this quad Lid Stuff by Soap&Glory (unfortunately it's not available at the moment) literally has all bases covered with three mattes and a shimmer shade.

What I do normally wear on the eyes on a daily basis however is a little bit of liquid liner and currently I've been using the L'oreal Superliner which admittedly isn't my absolute favourite but it lasts okay with a primer underneath. One product I do completely love though is the Maybelline Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara which reminds me sooooo much of Benefit Rollerlash but for just a fraction of the price. It's honestly one of the best mascaras I've ever tried for creating volume and length; its insane how many compliments I get on my lashes when I'm wearing this! Lastly I like to use the Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready which surprisingly gets little recognition here in the beauty blogging community despite being one of the most moisturizing and long lasting lipsticks I have tried. This particular shade is so wearable for any occasion!

Whats in you guys make up bags? Have I mentioned any of your favourites? 


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Fresh! Rose Face Mask

I used to talk about my 'oily' spot prone skin all the time on here and was forever looking for mattifying, balancing products. As you all may or perhaps may not know I battled with cystic acne for a few years and received treatments including roaccutane and various other antibiotics. Recently however, while I can't say I haven't had the odd pimple or two my skin has been well behaved, yet I can't help but notice how DRY it has become. I used to have to powder throughout the day to stop oil building up, but now I can use super radiance boosting foundation and have it stay in place all day. I've also found myself looking towards hydrating skin care to give my skin the boost of moisture it needs and I recently found something which I really enjoyed...

When this little Rose Face Mask by Fresh! popped through my letter box recently I was seriously intrigued to find out whether it would put an end to all of my dry skin woes. I've probably used the mask about 5 or 6 times already since I got it and I have really been enjoying using it.The mask which has real rose petals and pure rose water in it smells absolutely insane for starters. Its quite watery and gel like so I normally use this in the mornings after cleansing with my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. The instructions say to start at the neck and rub in upward strokes in order to 'help the formula penetrate'. I absolutely love using this as it feels so luxurious and pampering to use and I genuinely like spending the time massaging it into my skin knowing that all the goodness from the ingredients, which include green tea and cucumber extract, are working their wonders on my skin!

After around ten minutes is when I will normally use a face cloth and some lukewarm water to rinse off the product. The information on the website says it can be used daily but I use it every other day and I honestly have seen such a difference in my skin. I sometimes suffer from really annoying dry and flaky skin patches around my nose and eyebrows and this mask has sorted it out. It also makes my skin so soft and supple and prepares it so well for the application of moisturizer and make up. The one thing I really have noticed that I wasn't expecting though is an improvement in my overall collection. My skin can look quite dull and grey at times and when I use this I notice a natural flush in my cheeks and I really just look a bit less fatigued in general. I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to try this mask as it has been exactly what my skin has needed.

While this product has lots of benefits it definitely errs on the side of 'luxury' and we all know that luxury products don't come with a small price tag. At almost £50 a pop it certainly isn't cheap and is probably a serious investment for a lot of people especially those of you who are students. Although it is really good and my skin has reaped the benefits from it I'm not sure I will be purchasing the full size of this mask until I have a little bit more disposable income. I definitely love its effects but I'm not entirely convinced that I couldn't find something similar with a slightly smaller price tag!

Have any of you guys used this face mask? Would you purchase this? 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

10 KG of Luggage is NOT Enough!

Whats a gal to do when a cheap mini break in Europe means taking only 10kg worth of luggage?! Does anyone else have a mild (intense) panic when they realize that 'actually 10kg worth of skincare and make up is not adequate for four nights away from home and how do people even do this?!' If you answered yes to that then I'm happy to tell you this is my current situation as I try and get everything into my teeny tiny red case for going to Italy on Saturday. Milan, Venice, and Lake Como in one trip is pretty intense, but I like to travel and people who like to travel know that the worst thing to travel with is a huge suitcase or lugging absolutely everything you own around with you on what is supposed to be a chill experience...

Obviously I haven't included everything in this post that will be going in my carry on but there are definitely a couple of bits in here that I wouldn't travel without including hand sanitizer and nothing smells better than this S&G Sugar Crush one! I like to keep a ten pound note on me for the airport because I hate aeroplane food with a passion so I always grab a coffee and a sandwich before boarding and as you might have noticed I usually pack a fruit and nut bar in my bag for the actual flight. Since planes can be completely gross and sweaty I normally always carry some blotting papers and these Halo Deodorant Wipes come in handy too. As horrible as it sounds no-one wants to have to sit in the same clothes for 4 or 5+ hours without the chance to 'freshen up' and travelling is one of these occasions so I always take some gum, some perfume as well as a hair brush.

I don't normally sleep on the plane going but I always pack an eye mask just in case or if I'm flying with my mum I often let her borrow it as shes scared of flying(lol). What I normally do on the plane is read my book and currently I am reading The Jungle Books which is actually a collection of short stories but I'm really enjoying it. If I get bored of my book that's normally when I have a little pamper session of putting on skincare and doing my make up. Since flying is so dehydrating on my skin I always take a really nourishing cream with me and the Vichy Aqualia Hydra Thermal Light Hydrating Lotion in the miniature size which honestly makes my skin glow! This is also normally when I put on some lip balm and hand cream and the one I'll be using this time is Gardeners Hand Healer Baulm Du Jardinier (Unfortunately it isn't available in the UK so I have provided a link to a giftset instead) which is more of a balm than a cream and smells soooooo amazing!

Lastly, I always pack 'the essentials' which include some socks, a scarf (it gets cold up there), a hair bobble, some headphones and a portable power bank to charge my phone in case of emergencies. There's always a good chance I won't be able to find the hotel and will need to resort to my google maps! Since I mainly take miniatures of everything when I go away I always just leave things like deodorant, razors, sunscreen and bits of make up till I get to the airport; there's always a Boots in the departure lounge ya know!

What are your essentials for a short flight? Do you struggle to cope with only hand luggage?

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Losing Faith in the Blogging Community and Finding it Again

I would guess I'm not the only person who has taken a break from their blog recently. The community hasn't been what it once was and bloggers have been getting disheartened upon realizing that not everyone actually plays fair. Its been widely recognized for a good while now that some people are actively buying followers while the rest of us who play fair are doing everything in our power to grow accounts organically and gradually. I hate to be negative but these kind of people are everything that is wrong with blogging now. I for one started out this blog because I genuinely enjoyed it and if I got a product sample sent out to me then that was just a massive bonus. Those bloggers who moan and groan about having to actively engage with brands or tweet out #prrequest constantly are clearly not in it for the right reasons...

So why have I now decided to start blogging again you might ask. Well its quite simple really. I miss it. ALOT, I have always really enjoyed scribbling up posts on the train to work in my notepad or sitting in my car editing photos. I even enjoy blogging while I'm travelling; there is not much that is more satisfying to me that typing away at my laptop in a different city. MOTIVATION is something that blogging has always given me whether it was to take better photographs, write better content or engage more on social media its always been something to work at, to improve upon and to network a lot while doing so. If I wasn't motivated I wouldn't be able to do all the things I do. I currently study, work from home, volunteer and participate in lots of hobbies and for me keeping busy gives me a more positive outlook in life. I could never be one of those people who just work 9-5 for a company and then don't do anything productive for me personally.

Finding motivation has actually been really hard for me this year because of how stressful my studies have been and there has been times that I genuinely thought I would drop out of my course. But now I technically (basically) have a degree and I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere with this university business. I also have had a few job interviews as well as taking up a volunteering position so I'm excited to see what will happen over the summer. I'm so focused on everything that I want to do and become that I haven't really taken anytime to chill out until recently.

I've not been going to my usual pole class or having any PT sessions because I have felt so guilty going anywhere that isn't the library. I have however been using the Pump Up app to do mini work outs at home; mainly yoga and stretching based routines though to help me get through these exams! I've also been (when I can) reading The Silent Sister which has surprised me as someone got me it for Christmas and I thought it would be quite girly and predictable but its actually pretty intense and I have been gripped! One of the other small things I do is to paint my nails as it always makes me feel more put together and confident. Because of the job interviews I have had to keep it fairly natural but this Kate Moss Rimmel Nail Polish in Mystify Me has been my go to. As you'd imagine I've also been lighting one million candles and spritzing Soap and Glory's Mist You because its such a nostalgic scent for me personally and oh so comforting!

I'd love to know how you guys feel about these issues with the blogging community? What keeps you motivated? 

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