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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*Post contains gifted items
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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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