Monday, 31 July 2017

MONTHLY BEAUTY + LIFESTYLE FAVOURITES: JULY 2017


Beauty products I've been loving in the month of July...

Skin: My beauty routine has been pretty low maintenance over the last couple of weeks, simply because most of the time I was sun-seeking on the beach, swimming around in the ocean or simply couldn't be bothered. One product that I have called upon time and time again for reason or another is the iconic Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. A legend in its own right, I bought a new tube in duty-free, knowing full well it would come in handy for dry, chapped lips on the plane, over sunburn or any other ailments from scratches to insect bites. Of course, I used it for all of the above reasons and my bathroom cabinet simply cannot be without a tube of the apricot coloured, multi-purpose goo.

Hair Removal: Being naturally dark haired with pale skin, hair that is anywhere but on my head shows up pretty prevalently and often in areas I don't want it to. Er, hello mustache! For these instances, I have found a wondrous solution by way of the Nair Nourish Cherry Blossom Waxing Strips. These mini strips are perfect for those more delicate areas where a few dark hair rear their ugly heads. I use them on my upper lip as they are quick and highly effective leaving minimal redness or reaction once applied. 


Scent: I broadly love amber and white floral scents when it comes to perfume. You can check out my perfume collection in this post if you're interested. My perfect summer scent this year is Sexy Amber by Michael Kors. It is sensual, sexy and very alluring, especially when you've spent all day on the beach and you're heading out for some delicious food and cocktails. It has powdery, balsamic notes thrown in the mix to give you sass and sex in a bottle.

Face: Haven't caught a little bit of a tan in Portugal I was looking for a multi tonal shades in a similar style to the iconic Body Shop Shimmer Bricks. Well, once again Rimmel London answered my wishes and sent me their new Radiance Brick*. Packed with numerous bronzey/ highlighting shades, I apply it all over my cheeks, down my nose and onto my neck. It doesn't make you look orange and really amplifies that sought after holiday glow.  
Eyes: I have recently been calling upon warm purple shades to wear on my eye lids. A tan always brings out the green in my eyes so I like to compliment and enhance that with a lovely lilac / rosy shade swept all over my lids. To achieve this I have been using the L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Eyeshadow in 'Nude Rose.' With a mix of matte and shimmer shades, it's perfect for a throw-on-and-go look. I talked about it in more detail last year, have a read if you're interested.

Hair: I have been using a mixture of semi-permanent hair dye and henna on my hair of late. My choice of henna is from Lush and I recently wrote a full review on the 'Caca Marron' bricks. Whilst I was on holiday, the sun lightened my hair to a gorgeous warm strawberry/honey blonde. I decided to give the 'Caca Rouge' brick a go to add red tones to my hair, it really worked this time as well and I am so happy with the result.



Life. TV. Music + More...

Netflix: Having found Making a Murderer fascinating, frustrating, confusing and thrilling all at the same time, I was ready to try another, similar series. This month I watched The Keepers which I have to say, is a slow burner but once the story starts to unravel, it is hard to believe what you are seeing and hearing. The story follows two American ladies, now in their 60s piecing together clues, evidence, and accounts following the murder of their teacher Sister Cathy Cesnick in the 1960s. As the story unfolds, it is apparent that this isn't a cut and dry unsolved murder case, there is so much more to it involving authority corruption, some very damaged minds and the harrowing sexual abuse of young girls and boys and a very, very sinister Catholic priest.

Listening: I highly recommend listening to Stella McCartney's episode of 'Desert Island Discs.' Stella comes across as a very zen lady and it is a joy to listen to her recount meeting David Bowie as well as details of her childhood growing up as the daughter of Linda + Paul McCartney. It is also pretty awesome to hear about her friendships with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell and their recruitment in that infamous graduation show.

Reading: We all know I am a big fan of the journalist and beauty writer Sali Hughes. I pretty much love everything she puts out however, I was mostly in agreement (Read: nodding my head along furiously) with her article for The Pool 'Rejecting the bikini body.' It has some excellent key takeaways in it and I particularly love the following line:

"I don’t mind that I’m as pale as copy paper, or that my stomach is as soft as bread, not tambourine-taut. I’m relatively happy with how I look day to day, so I’m pretty sure it’s not embarrassment or body shame that prevents me from ever wanting to wear a bikini. And nor is it low self-esteem or perfectionism or shyness. I’ve just never fancied it and even I’m not entirely sure why."

Sali really hits the nail on the head for me when it comes to swimwear choices. I just don't fancy a bikini either, probably because i'm quite lazy! See quote: "I simply cannot be arsed with the prep. I reject the impulse to be thinking, even briefly, about keeping my stomach in while reading a Danielle Steel and planning my next Magnum Almond."

I also really enjoyed the candidly honest and controversial piece written by ex Director of fashion at British Vogue, Lucinda Chambers. Lucinda clearly has a few things to get off her chest in her piece: 'Will I get a ticket?' The article for Vestoj has since been edited following action from Vogue lawyers but the crux if it remains the same - British Vogue is actually like what we see in The Devil Wears Prada.

Finally, the topic of hustling hard and being a total #GirlBoss has been doing the rounds lately by way of opinion pieces written by bloggers and journalists alike. I really enjoyed Lucy Mangan's piece for Stylist magazine: 'Relentlessly, tirelessly ambitious isn't for everyone.' Lucy explores the pressures that (inparticular) young women have thrust upon them to be a 'girl-boss' and never stop working. I like how Lucy states: "But everyone ultimately shares the same ambition: to be happy. And if that means being able to leave the office at six and pick up some extra loo roll on the way home." - A really touching sentiment that rings true for me, yep I love working hard and progressing my hobbies and career, but I do like to take a break also and not feel guilty about it.



What have you been loving this month?


*Post contains gifted items


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Friday, 28 July 2017

BEAUTY: BABEIN' BRONZER FOR EVERYONE - 3 TO TRY


Since returning from my holiday i've craved that sun-kissed, healthy glow that comes with a day spent on the beach. I love that feeling when you shower off the salt and sand and your face looks seriously radiant! Of-course no bronzer is going to replicate an intense dose of Vitamin-D, but anything has got to be better than my usually slightly blue-tinged, pale skin. 

Babein' bronzer...

Today I am talking bronzers that rock my world RN. The glow-givers that help me keep alive the glow I got from my holiday to Portugal. First up it's the Rimmel Radiance Shimmer Brick* in the shade 02 'Medium.' This bronzer captures all the shades on the spectrum that your skin goes through on holiday. It has those youthful glowy, highlighting shades, deeper dynamics and a lovely subtle shimmer. If you're after a multi-tonal look, then definitely call upon this one. You can find it in Superdrug for £5.99. On some nights, I wore nothing else on holiday, simply dusted this bronzer over my cheeks, nose and collarbone. 


Wearing only the Rimmel Radiance Shimmer Brick 02 - L: With flash + R: Without flash


I have dedicated a blog post to the Max Factor Creme Bronzer in '05 Light Gold' as it is one of my absolute favourite bronzers. Ideal for paler skin, this is my go-to bronzer when my skin ain't so sun-kissed. The creamy formula presses nicely into the skin and isn't orange in the slightest. Subtle and sexy! This one is a little more penny pinching at £9.99 but SO worth it and it lasts ages.

Finally, if you like a look in a palette I recommend the Rimmel London Sculpting Palette by Kate Moss in the shade 02. Containing three shades for highlight, contour and blush, for £6.99 you get a nice little trio of wearable peachy/summery shades. My only qualm about this product is that it is hard to put a dome shaped brush into the pans without mixing with other shades - they're simply just too narrow! The bronze shade is a nice warm colour without too many orange vibes going on and the highlight is subtle - I like to wear it layered over a cream highlight.


What is your favourite bronzer at the moment?




*Post contains gifted items

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

LIFESTYLE: WHAT TO DO IN ALVOR, PORTUGAL



I recently had the pleasure of holidaying in The Algarve, southern Portugal. For 10 days my boyfriend and I soaked up the sun, swam in the Atlantic ocean and ate like Kings and Queens - not to mention daily cocktails and for me anyway, a whole load of shopping in the boutiques. If you want to have a nosey at the jewellery and accessorise I bought, check this post out

Today I am sharing a few thoughts on our summer holiday, where we stayed, what we did and the general vibe of the place we stayed. If you're thinking of booking a holiday somewhere sassy, or considering a holiday to Portugal, give this a read and see what you think.


Where we stayed in Alvor...

We booked our holiday through onthebeach.co.uk - yup, we booked a package holiday! Well, onthebeach actually offer 'dynamically packaged holidays' where you can pick and choose what elements you want from your holiday - but you get the point! Flights, accommodation, transfers etc were all bundled up together.

With the power of influencer marketing channeled through social platforms such as Instagram, as well as everybody and their cat calling themselves a 'wanderlust travel blogger' - There is far too much emphasis these days to 'travel' to exotic and famous Instagram-able destinations, Santorini? LA anyone? It is often just so that somebody can upload a posed picture that's been recreated a thousand times for likes. Is it Instagramable? Some bloggers aren't even doing that in today's world, choosing to instead use photoshop to superimpose an image of themselves in-front of a wanderlusty background..but alas I digress and that's a whole different kettle of fish!.

Back to package holidays...

For a moderate price, we booked flights to Faro and found a charming one bedroom apartment at the Prainha Clube in Alvor. I was super sold on the sound of the cliff top fresh water pool overlooking the crystal clear water and charmingly rugged rocks below. You know when you just get a feeling? Well, I had one and so our holiday to the Algarve was booked around 7 months before we flew out.



The Prainha Club is a large resort which comprises of a hotel and a large village of privately owned whitewashed villas spanning an entire cliff top. Standing on-top of the cliff to the backdrop of endless azure water was literally breathtaking. What I also loved about the Prainha Clube was how green it was, lots of lush grass, beautiful pink flowers and palms. The site also included access down the rugged cliff to a gorgeous covey area of Alvor beach, two pools, a well equipped supermarket and 3 restaurants (Highly, highly recommend the Miss Pasta pizzeria!) but not at all impressed by the Atlantic pool bar or the cliff side beach restaurant, Canico, which in theory look gorgeous, but the service was pretty shoddy for one reason or another.


Back to good things Our apartment was super spacious and very charming, featuring a fully equipped kitchen, 1 double bedroom with loads of storage and a huge lounge. We also had a private balcony and gorgeous views over the bay. There was a lot of Moroccan influence in the decor also which I loved. If you stay at Prainha Clube, you are around a 20-25 minute walk into central Alvor, though taxis are only around 3-5 euro and there are bus stops outside.

So why Alvor? Well, I must admit I wasn't entirely sold on Portugal in the beginning, but my boyfriend suggested that he'd like to visit there and I knew my parents really enjoyed their time there also. Before we booked, wherever I went, whoever I spoke to, Portugal kept coming up time and time again. I had worried it would be too Benidorm-esc - which, if you like that kind of resort and vibe that's awesome, but for myself, I was looking for something different and definitely not too much like Blackpool in the sun. Right up until the holiday I was concerned I wouldn't find the historical architecture, the tiny fishing villages, the authentic food and pockets of culture that I'd craved from a holiday. My preconceptions, however, couldn't have been more wrong!

Whilst Alvor is geared up towards the summer holidaymakers - the entire vibe of the place was perfect! A little bit of everything and definitely not what I expected. As soon as we began exploring Alvor itself and I found myself walking up the tiny, narrow cobbled streets lined with beautiful ceramic tiles and watching the fresh fish being caught by the fisherman - I knew I'd found a lovely place.

What we ate...


Ah! Just thinking back to the food we devoured in Alvor whilst currently sticking to a strict diet is really tough. The food in Alvor is amazing. Of course, a large portion of this is seafood and it was literally the best seafood I've ever eaten in my life. I recommend Ababuja on the waterfront for traditional seafood. The prawn curry and clams were both delicious and there were locals queuing out of the door to get a table. If that's the case you know it must be good!


There is also a ton of Italian food in Alvor and you'll find the best of it at Paesano and Medetaraniam (which is just down the road from Prainha Clube) In Paesano, ask to sit in the little courtyard at the back and get the Truffle mushroom lasagne! You won't be disappointed. Another beautiful outside space to sit in can be found in the Silmar restaurant, the food and service were both incredible. I didn't actually have a bad meal in Alvor and there is something for everyone. Definitely, try cocktails at Mouriso (very Moroccan inspired venue) and the Bolan bar where measures don't matter as I found out via half a glass of Campari mixed with a millimeter of lemonade.


What we did...

Aside from the usual shenanigans eat, sunbathe, drink repeat we took a trip to the beautiful town of Lagos. I have to say, this place was entirely my vibe all thanks to the historical buildings, beautiful tile work and narrow cobbled streets houses a myriad of little bazaars. We caught a bus from outside the Prainha Clube and it took around half an hour to get the little marina town. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves here, but it really was a gorgeous, quaint place.

We also took a boat trip on the Ophelia Catamaran which was a full day boat trip that took us to the Benagil caves and to a beach where we had a BBQ. I must say, the entire day was brilliantly and precisely executed by the Ophelia team however, I was a little underwhelmed by the Benagil caves and they weren't all worth going in to.

Yep, there were some cool aspects of them i.e the beach cave that was surrounded by rock with just a small hole above - but I have seen more interesting caves on my travels. The beach we had a BBQ at was lush and I even launched myself off the side of the Catamaran and swam in freezing cold and extra salty ocean to the shore. The food was delicious too, probably the best beach BBQ i've ever had #Bigstatement!

Overall, Alvor was such a beautiful place to visit and I am so glad we chose to go on holiday there. I you're thinking of visiting, I highly, highly recommend as there is something for everyone, couples, families, you name it! It just goes to show, package holidays can be #Instagramable too!


Have you ever visited Portugal?

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Friday, 21 July 2017

STYLE: JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES HAUL - LAGOS & ALVOR PORTUGAL

I recently found myself in the beautiful Algarve in southern Portugal. I'd never visited Portugal before and I had all kinds of preconceptions about what the country would be like. They were all wrong - but more on that next week. One thing that really surprised me was the vibe of the place I stayed, Alvor and the town I visited, Lagos. Both were well up my street, especially when it came to shopping. 

Today i'm talking about the jewellery and accessories I bought in Portugal, taking a similar format to the blogs i'd written on shopping in Turkey and the Ibiza Hippy Market.  I noted a lot of Moroccan influence in the architecture and feel of Alvor and Lagos but then again, I guess that Tangier is not all that far away from the Faro district that I visited. You probably won't be surprised to see a few Moroccan/Turkish/Far Eastern inspired pieces that I bought when shopping in the markets and boutiques in Portugal. So without further ado

Here are a few things that I bought...


Jewellery...
My jewellery collection is getting a little out of hand at the moment, but the truth be told - I really do wear every single piece at least once a week! For me, more is definitely more and my arms, ankles, fingers and neck are all often adorned with multiple pieces of jewellery.

For me, jewellery evokes memories and I like to be reminded or a particular place or time. Every single piece of jewellery that i've bought on my travels, I still wear and I wanted some souvenirs from Alvor to mark my time there.


Cork is an extremely popular material in the Algarve and Portugal in general is the largest producer of cork in the world today. Many of the gifts, trinkets and souvenirs in Alvor were made from cork and having received a cork bracelet from my parents a few years ago, I wanted to add to my collection. 

I sourced the two necklaces above at an ocean side market in Lagos. Both were 5 euros each (bonkers considering the quality!) and each have a cute pendant. In Portugal there is a lot of tiling (again, more on that later) and so I wanted a neck piece to symbolise the beautiful tiles I set eyes on whilst wandering the streets. The silver pendant is a piece that I know i'll get a lot of wear out of as it goes with everything. I wore it on the beach, I wore it with evening dresses and everyday more casual outfits. 

My favourite necklace that I bought in Portugal is the super sweet and dainty wishing tree pendant featuring a green stone housed on a fibre rope. I bought this in Lagos from a bohemian looking couple selling handmade jewellery from a cart in the street. It was around 8 euro and looks so cute when layered with other pieces and worn with floaty maxi dresses. I pretty much wear this pendant everyday, all day. Here's hoping it can help make some of my wishes come true eh? 


The more bracelets on my arms, the better! I love the little leather and beaded bracelets that most countries abroad sell. I also found an antique metal bracelet with gorgeous amber/green coloured stones that is almost identical to a bracelet I bought in the Ibiza Hippy Market. I also chose a few leather/beaded bracelets that snap shut with a seriously satisfying magnetic snap - these were around 3 euros from the ocean side market in Lagos.
I wear a ring on every finger and it is often a mix of my more sentimental rings and costume jewellery. I found two super interesting rings in a cute little bazaar in Alvor town centre, think lanterns hanging from the ceiling, incense burning and the relaxing sound of chimes. The rings are interchangeable with gems. Simply twist the cap off, pop in a new gem stone and screw back on. Sooo cool! I loved the silver one I bought so much...I had to have it in gold too!

Accessories...

Aside from the cork, there were a lot of leather goods to peruse and Lagos was the perfect place to pick up leather bags, purses, shoes and more.
I'm rarely seen without a leather (or faux leather) studded or fringed shoulder bag, especially on weekends when i'm hauling around a lot less in my bag than on a work day for example. I love this little satchel which is surprisingly roomy. 

I also bought a new purse in a a cheery mustard shade. My Biba purse that I have used for many years now is starting to get very worn and i'd like to keep it forever as I bought it with one of my first ever pay-checks. Therefore, for everyday use I bought a leather purse from Alvor that has enough room for loads of cards and coins, as well as sneaky pockets. 

Finally, a pair of fuchsia sandals from Morocco. I had a nasty fall in a street because I was wearing sandals with no grips and slipped over on the shiny cobbles. A very kind lady gave me the sandals to wear so I could walk home in one piece. Turns out I bloody love them and haven't taken them off my feet ever since.


Have you ever visited Portugal?

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Friday, 14 July 2017

BEAUTY: HOLIDAY PACKING - THE MAKE-UP BAG


There's something about the scent of a hot summer night abroad that is just divine. The warm air, the cool breeze from the ocean and the smell of food combined with a fuggy heat. Ella Risbridger's Fresh Morrocan article for The Pool describes what I'm talking about so beautifully. It's on these lovely evenings that I like to shower off the salt and sand from a day at the beach, apply a generous lather of after-sun and apply a little make-up. I really do it mean it when I say, a little - just the essentials to look a little more pulled together.

Here's what's in my make-up bag...


Base...

Of course, I am taking my favourite moisturiser which is the Olay Complete Moisturiser Fluid SPF15. I love the texture and consistency of this moisturiser which is non-greasy and very lightweight. I am also swerving foundation and just taking a simple trio of creamy concealers from Rimmel London. There are three shades ranging from light to dark and are perfect for mixing together to create a bespoke colour. 

I really love that glowy, sun-kissed look that the sun naturally applies to your cheeks, however, because I do a lot of shade-bathing, I have to amp up that glow somehow. My favourite cream bronzer is the Sunkissed Luxe Bronzed Shimmer from MUA. I simply roll it over my cheeks and blend for a lovely golden glow. 

Talking of glow, I take my highlighter game up a few notches with the MUA 'Undress your skin' highlighterthe pearlescent shade looks particularly gorgeous when dabbed on the top of the cheekbones. Of course, not all glow is good glow so I combat any shine with the Rimmel Insta Matte Fix + Shine it gets the job done and is perfect for slipping in your clutch bag for midnight touch-ups.


Eyes + Lips...

My favourite eyeshadow duo is a little MAC palette I created which comprises of the shades; 'Mythology' and 'Texture' two beautiful summer shades in pink and orange tones. They really make blue eyes pop whilst adding warmth and depth. I accompany these with a gel brown eyeliner, my favourite is from Rodial, it sits comfortably in the waterline and stays put all day long. I finish off my look with lashings and lashings of the Maybelline Great Lash mascara - a true icon and a staple in my make-up bag.

If you know me, you'll know I love lipstick and on holiday, the bolder, the better! I love to wear the Jelly Pong Pong lip crayon in a cute, bold pink. Or work a fiery orange, The L'Oreal Colour riche formula is a firm favourite. After all whatever lippy I choose, it has to hold up sipping on one too many Aperol Spritz'.



What make-up do you like to wear on holiday?

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

BEAUTY: HOLIDAY PACKING - THE BEAUTY BAG


Over the years, i've gotten so much better at packing for holidays! On numerous occasions in the past i'd be stood at the check-in desk frantically unloading half a suitcase into hand luggage to avoid a weight charge. I also realised that packing more, means less room for shopping!

When it comes to my beauty bag, this year i've stuck to only packing the real essentials. What's missing from the photos is my toothbrush, toothpaste and razor - simply because at the time of writing this, I need to head to town to buy them! Other stuff such as shampoo, conditioner and shower gel - we'll just buy when we get there to save on weight.



If you're interested in everything else...This is my beauty bag

The bag itself is from Primark - It was only a couple of quid and I instantly loved the cute cactus print and glitter perspex. It is a decent, deep size and holds everything for every occasion, from a weekend away to a holiday! I also like the little handle so you can haul it around from place to place more easily.



I love coconut oil at the best of times, but I especially love it when i'm having a day at the beach. Before I head off, I dampen the mid-lengths to ends of my hair and apply a generous slathering of the Superdrug coconut oil. I then whip my hair up into a messy bun and throw on a head scarf. The coconut oil really helps to keep my hair soft and nourished, especially when it is prone to drying out in the sun. Once I have a shower, I shampoo it all out and repeat again the next day. It is also awesome as a masque if the sun, pool and sea have given your tresses a-bit of a battering.

Hair oil is another vice of mine, I apply it every night before I go to bed. It has really helped me with frizz, as well as split ends and damage. As the bleach damage on my hair grows out, the mid sections are pretty ropey atm. Whilst i'm not brand loyal, I have recently been dabbling with the Dabur Amla Hair Oil which I found in Superdrug. The oil is intended to promote long, healthy hair and according to Dabur, regular application can assist in split ends and minor hair loss. It contains extract of Indian Gooseberry (Amla) and other mineral oils. I like the smell of it and it leaves my hair looking shiny in a non-greasy way.


Beach holidays are pretty sweaty occasions and deodorant for me, always has to be Mitchum. I am especially gleeful when I see it on offer in Superdrug. For me, Mitchum works the most effectively for and doesn't smell of that awful sickly scent most deodorants offer. I love the 'powder fresh' scent, it smells reminiscent of my favourite talcum powder scents - which is probably why I like it.

I couldn't mention a holiday beauty bag without mention of the Wild Argan Solid Oil from The Bodyshop. I apply it to the dry skin around my knee's and elbow's, on my lips, on my hair - pretty much everywhere. It is just one of those seriously diverse products that you can call upon for a multitude of purposes.

I also like to have a pack of make-up wipes to keep my face feeling fresh. My favourites are the Superdrug Micellar Cleansing Wipes with argan oil. They're wet, non-drying and moisturising whilst fully capable of shifting stubborn make-up.


I love the midnight recovery concentrate by Kiehl's. I won't harp on about it too much, as i've previously done a full post about here. I do swear by it though and I think it is the perfect piece of skincare to take on holiday with me when my face might be parched from the sun.

The second contraption on the photo above is a 'Cellulite massager' lol! I threw this in my bag knowing full well it barely has an effect. However, I figured that each morning a little buffing can't hurt before I whip on my swimwear and hit the beach! I never trust topical creams that claim to eradicate cellulite, as it's simply not possible - however a little manual massage teamed with exercise and a healthy diet must have some benefit right?

What is in your holiday beauty bag?

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Friday, 7 July 2017

STYLE: HOLIDAY PACKING - SWIMWEAR & BABEIN' BEACH ESSENTIALS


By the time you're reading this, with a bit of luck, I'll be sitting serenely under a parasol, shade bathing, hopefully with some kind of Aperol Spritz to sip on. Sounds blissful! And after a crazy busy (in a good way) 2017 - this holiday has been so, so welcomed. 

Today I'm talking about my babein' beach essentials.

Before I go away, I always have an idea in my head about how I imagine myself looking on holiday. The first part is all about looking and feeling confident. I like to promote feeling body confident on holiday as I am by no means an Insta-worthy beach babe. I have curves and I have lumps and bumps. I also have very pale skin that reacts to the sun through prickly heat. To help with my skin, I found the Boots Soltan Sensitive sun lotion in SPF 30 - specially formulated for sensitive skin. I also carry the Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel which helps soothes any prickly heat and also any areas that may have caught the sun. When I was a teenager, I would purposely try and burn to 'get a tan' - which as I've gotten older i've come to realise the hard way that, this is NOT the way forward and very dangerous.

I also have a cute little straw hat which is from ASOS, not only does this help alleviate the danger of sunstroke, but as my hair is quite red and I don't want it to fade with the sun so I wear a hat. My sunnies are Moschino via TK Maxx and I love the cheery, red frames. They're quite oversized with a feline silhouette which is a look I like.

Sitting on the beach is the only time I feel uninterrupted and completely able to devour a book. I know this is pretty sad and whilst I do get through at least a book, a month in any usual routine, on holiday I can whizz through two or three. This year I am reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts which is a monster of a book and hopefully, The Muse by Jessie Burton which I saw Laura Jane Williams recommend. Both novels seem like a little escapism and I can't wait to get my nose in them.

The second most important thing to me is feeling comfortable, I like to style up swimwear that promotes my good bits, and hides anything that I don't want on show. I also love floaty, printed kaftans to cover my shoulders so I don't burn. I am taking three pieces of swimwear with me, all from Primark. Two of them are full pieces with cut-out detailing and one is a high waisted two piece - all ideal for accentuating your proudest areas and covering up any bits you're not so confident about.


If you've met me in person, you'll know that I am absolute jewellery fiend. I tend to wear as many pieces as I can possible fit around my neck or on my arms. - This doesn't stop when I'm on holiday, in fact, my inner Saggitarius wanderer comes out and I end up piling on even more! All in the name of boho! I usually wear some plastic beads and some hoop earrings - the ones pictured above are from Marks + Spencer's and my beads are from a charity shop. (The best places to find beads IMO).


I absolutely love the print of this bikini set, so much so, I bought the matching kaftan also! I am a real sucker for anything tropical print and pink and green paired together is one of my favourite colour combos this year. The top and bottoms are separately and I believe all together, they cost around the £12 mark. I am quite pear-shaped in figure with larger hips than top half so I like how the racer style neckline balances out the high-wasted bottoms. The added mesh detailing is also pretty special.


Surprise, surprise - another tropical print piece! I think this was around the £6 mark and I was absolutely sold on the cut out detailing on the back. Our of all of the swimsuits, this definitely comes up the most skimpy and I recommend sizing up if you don't like too much bum-cheek on show.


My third piece is the most 'substantial' of the lot. Very secure, very figure flattering your tummy is completely supported in a similar way that spanx works and the cut of the leg is quite high, which makes your pins look even longer. I will be wearing this for when we head out on trips, many times in the past I've had some shall we say, compromised situations all thanks to a skimpy bikini. lol.

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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

BEAUTY: NEW RIMMEL LONDON '#INSTA COLLECTION' - CREATE THE PERFECT INSTA SELFIE


Can you tell it was golden hour?

I very rarely take a 'selfie' anymore, even writing that feels a touch cringey. However, back when MySpace was the thing and having a sassy profile picture to help you essentially beg for pic comments(PC4PC anyone?) was a surefire way to become the most popular girl in year 9. My Mum will vouch for this, I would spend hours in front of the bathroom mirror with my pink Nikon 'CoolPix' camera, trying to capture the perfect selfie. Things have moved on a little since then and a killer selfie can make you Insta-famous before you can say 'Clarendon.'

Rimmel London recently added to their Insta make-up line* to complete the roster which is made up of babein' base products to help you create the perfect selfie. I was lucky enough to receive some of the range to try for myself, after all, base makeup is having a little moment in my routine at the moment.

#Insta Collection - Create the perfect Insta selfie...


#Insta Conceal + Contour: As you can see above, the trio palettes come in 3 shades suitable for a range of skin tones ranging from light to medium and dark. Obviously, I could only comment on the performance of the light trio as that is the collection that best fits my skin tone. Each palette includes 3 cream shades within - one to highlight, one to conceal and one to contour.

The texture is creamy and is pretty lovely. Each shade also blends so easily into the skin. I have found the concealer shade to be especially effective when it comes to covering over blemishes. The highlighter shade is simply a lighter cream concealer and due to its lack of sparkle/shimmer - it makes a great shade for applying under the brow bone. The conceal and contour palettes are retailing at Superdrug for £6.49.


#Insta Duo Contour Stick: I'm all for products in sticks, they are easy to travel with and you get more makeup to play with for the same space two products would take up. The dual ended contour stick also comes in 3 shades light/medium/dark and is made up of a matte contour shade and a pearlescent highlight shade. The light and medium highlight shades are cool, icy tones and the dark highlight shade is a warm, honey tone. I must admit, I haven't used to contour shades as they aren't a part of my usual make-up routine and tend to look a little muddy on my face. The duo contour sticks are retailing at Superdrug for £6.99. If you're new to the whole contour and highlighting process - you can give it a try for under a tenner for both components. 


#Insta Conceal + Correct: I've always rather liked the idea of using the colour wheel to make your make-up application more intelligent. The conceal and correct palettes is made up of three shades, all designed to correct a particular tone within your face. The peach shade is for dark circles, the green for redness and violet for dull and sallow tones. I use all three shades at particular points around my face before applying foundation to even out my skin tone and create a more flawless base. The conceal and correct palette can be found in Superdrug for around the £6 mark.

Insta Fix and matte: My favourite product from the newly extended #Insta range. This is a lightweight, pressed, translucent powder that has been a God-send during this hot and sticky weather. It doesn't dull any dewy highlight you may have applied and doesn't leave a white residue on top of your base. I use it for through-out the day touch ups on a fluffy, domed brush. Superdrug are currently stocking the powder for £4.99. 

Insta Fix + Go 2in1 Primer + Setting Spray: Who doesn't love the sensation of applying a fine, cool mist over their face? The Urban Decay All Nighter has had us all hooked on setting sprays and Rimmel's variation is just as good. The oil free formula can be sprayed onto bare skin as a primer, or over make-up to set everything in place. I have noticed when using this spray that my foundation hasn't creased around my eyes and my face looks super healthy and glowy. You can pick it up at Superdrug for £6.99.


Have you tried the Rimmel London #Insta collection?


*Post contains gifted items

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