Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Few Bits From Lush: Snow Fairy, Cupcake and Herbalism

Lush snow fairy shower gel cupcake face mask
Lush cupcake face mask herbalism cleanser
lush cupcake face mask applied

I've been finding myself going to Lush more and more in recent months. Two of their skin care products, Tea Tree Water and Grease Lightening are already staple in my skin care regime and I had a good experience with their solid shampoos and conditioners when I went travelling in the summer.

When I found myself with a unexpected free afternoon today, I headed into Lush, with the aim of treating my skin to a face mask to help calm it after a recent break out. I always find the staff in Lush are extremely helpful and after saying I was looking for a face mask suitable to oily skin, I was pointed towards Cupcake, a luxuriously chocolate smelling face mask. The face mask is clay based, or rather has rhassoul mud which works to the same effect, so it's great for absorbing excess oil. It's quite thick to apply and even messier to wash off. It does go a little bit stiff but nothing uncomfortable. It's definitely softening and it did calm my skin although couldn't work any miracle on the beast I have brewing on my chin. And honestly, the smell is a huge attraction because it really does smell so good you could almost eat it.

From one smelly item to another, it is of course the legendary Snow Fairy, the limited edition shower gel that Lush bring out for Christmas ever year. I feel like it almost doesn't need an introduction, it's that well known. It's the sugar sweet candy floss scent that gets most people- you either love it or hate it and after umm-ing and aah-ing about it for the past two Christmas, I finally thought, what the hell and bought a bottle. And I'm so glad I did. It smells amazing in the shower and it smells amazing out of the shower.

Lastly, I was given a small sample of Herbalism face cleanser to try when I spoke to the assistant about my skin care regime. I always appreciate when brands give you sample of things to try that are actually relevant to you! Much like Cupcake, Herbalism is clay based and it's a bit of an odd consistency that I still have mixed feelings about. You mix it with water to form a paste and then use it on your skin. It has a mild exfoliant effect from rice bran and ground almonds but it's not something you could use to take your make up. The jury is out on this one still. I think I prefer products which can do the whole job lot in one and then I can just crawl into bed all the sooner.

Do you have any of these products?
What are your views on them or Lush?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Company Bloggers Style The Highstreet Event

Dress- Sparkle And Fade (Urban Outfitters)
Necklace- Zara
Heels- Topshop Gallop 

On Thursday, my friend Hannah and I headed up to London to attend the Company Bloggers Style The High Street event in Tabacco Dock in London. After successfully navigating the Underground during rush hour, we rocked up just in time for doors opening and I changed into my amazing new shoes in the queue. As much as I love them, I didn't last very long in them. Beautiful but painful, as is the story with most heels!

I have mixed feeling about the event. The venue was stunning and there was more than enough space but all of the stands such as hair styling and nail art were all cramped into a small space where long queues quickly formed minutes after doors opened. The fashion show also ran behind schedule and we were given no information as to when it started, eventually having to ask security if they knew and once in, there was a large group of us that hadn't been assigned a table number leading to a bit of confusion at the doors.

However, it was by no means all bad. The fashion show was entertaining with a nice blend of fashion and dance and we were all grateful of the tapas inspired nibbles they had given us. In true student style, we did not hold back. Free food is always free food. All the drinks were also included and the staff were all really nice. The goody bag at the end included a mix of things from the sponsors at the event and other little beauty samples. As for the fashion side of things, I appreciate that the bloggers had to work within the scope of the shop they were styling but I much preferred eyeballing what my fellow attendee's were wearing. My favourite styled collection would probably have to be Warehouse styled by Amy. We quickly did a sweep of what was on offer in the styling area before scrambling upstairs to where we made the most of the selfie and blog photo opportunities.

Like I said, it's a mixed bag and after a long day, I was just pleased to be heading back home, feeling somewhat underwhelmed. I wouldn't jump at the chance to go again, personally.

Did anyone else go?
What did you make of the event?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Outfit Of The Day- Witchy

Jacket- H&M
Vest worn underneath- H&M
Leather Leggings- Calzedonia
Boots- Topshop
Scarf- Zara (last season)

I do love my all black outfits. As I veer more and more (and comfortably so) to more monochrome wardrobe, I find black jackets like this one all the more appealing. In any other situation, I would naturally grab my leather jacket, but, assuming the same rule as double denim, this jacket gives me the warmth without doubling the leather texture. Of course, I had to throw on my beloved Zara scarf from last winter that is still so warm and comforting and at least there's a small flash of colour.

I've been welcoming the autumn winter trends arriving into the shops and have been picking a few bits and bobs here so look out for more outfit of the days. My timetable doesn't seem so hectic as it was in second year- I tend to have more intense days and then days which are mostly free so I think those will be my blogging days.

What your current favourite trends?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Interrailing Part 2- Slovenia and Hungary

From Venice, we then moved on to Bled taking quite a long train journey through the Alps up to Austria and then back down again into Slovenia, despite Italy and Slovenia being neighbouring countries. From the main Bled train station, you then have to take a bus to the lake and thankfully our hostel wasn't far from the bus station as we were knackered.
We were cautiously optimistic about the weather. The forecast had said solid rain for the whole time we were there and apart from the first day, when we walked around the lake in the rain in some very fetching plastic ponchos, we were actually very lucky, with just a few showers in the day and then normally clearing just in time to see some spectacular sunsets. There was a great cafe down by the lake that faced the castle and where you can also eat the traditional Bled cream cake, which is to die for! So you can sit out on that terrace with a pot of tea and a cream just as the sky clears and the sun goes down.

The highlight for us was easily the day trip we did around the Triglav National Park. Myself, the boyfriend and six more Irish girls were bundled into a mini van and driven to some of the most beautiful spots in the park. Honestly, it was just stunning. Fresh green trees, sweeping mountains and amazing, crystal clear water that was so clean you can drink it. We also did white water rafting which I was a little apprehensive about but it was good fun. Apart from when we all fell into the freezing cold water. Seriously freezing.

From Bled, you can also get to Vintgar Gorge which is an easy walk through the cliffs on a snaking wooden pathway. It finishes with a huge waterfall at the end although you have walk down an extremely muddy path (at the time) to get a good shot of it from the other side of the river.

It's not hard to see why Bled is so popular with so many age groups and it's a great place for people who are really into their outdoor sports, be it hiking, cycling, any sort of water sport or fishing. There's plenty to do but just take good trainers!
The restaurants were also really good at a reasonable price but with huge portions! We were recommended to check out a pizzeria that did a famous burger with a cheese bun and it was honestly bigger than my head! It was enormous!
Our last and final stop was Budapest in Hungary. However, by this point, after all the long train journeys and getting caught in the Bled rain, I was full of a cold for the first two days. Buuut, at least, I was ill in the place where we had the most time and we didn't have to steam around Budapest in a rush and could take it at our own pace.

I really liked Budapest- it had a very modern and cosmopolitan feel in the centre which is amazing considering how recently Hungary came out of Soviet rule. I'd highly recommend the free walking tours that they do every day just off Jozef nador tér. There's a general walk, a communism orientated one and one that focuses on the old Jewish quarter. We went on the Communism walk which was hugely informative and it was great to have a historical explanation of the Communist left overs that are dotted around the city. The best way to see Budapest is really to have a good walk around the place and I'd recommend talking a walk up to Castle Hill for a good view out over the two sides of the city on the river and you can always get the metro back if you're too tired!

One of the biggest attractions in Budapest are the thermal baths. There are several dotted around the city but we went to biggest and oldest, Szechenyi Baths in the north east of Budapest. We arranged to have an half hour massage session which was a dream after 3 weeks lugging a rucksack around and then pottered around all the different temperature pools inside and then outside, making the most of the late afternoon sunshine. It was a bit like a hot bath, just shared between all the tourists and locals there. The best thing is that the exchange rate between pound and Hungarian forint only made it about £20 and once you're in, you can stay there for as long as you like. I definitely had a bad case of pruney fingers by the time we left.
The baths are also right next to Budapest Zoo if you have a big of time to spare and while it wasn't the best kept zoo in the world, and some of enclosures were a bit small in my pinion, it was nice to get up close and personal with a sloth, one of which had a baby!You can just see my excitement here.

The famous ruin bars are the best place to go for a night out, particularly Szimpla which I loved almost purely for its eclectic decorations. Budapest is also a great place to eat. We had a Thai place, a burger place, a Mexican place and a traditional Hungarian restaurant on our road alone, all of which we sampled and all of which we approved. Again, the exchange rate made it ridiculous cheap to eat and oh, did we take advantage of that!

And that was our Interrail trip! The three and a half weeks absolutely flew by and I was very reluctant to come back to reality. It's just made me want to travel even more and I'm keen to explore around the Austrian alps and a lot of Eastern Europe including Czech Republic, more of Slovenia, Croatia, maybe even Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'll have to put it on the back burner for now as I'm only a few days away from moving back to Southampton to finish my fourth and final year of my degree. Hopefully after that, the adventures can start again!

I hope you liked reading about my travels
Any questions, be sure to fire them to me on Twitter

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Nina Ricci- L'Elixir

So, somewhere between moving back from Spain and now, I managed to lose my beloved Vera Wang Princess Night perfume.I have to admit I'm not a bit perfume person, I tend to stick to one at a time which is why I was gutted when my Vera Wang was no where to be found. Therefore, when I had a fair bit of time to kill in Budapest airport on my way back from Interrailing, I started eyeing up the perfumes. I knew the Nina Ricci perfumes were more up my street than the more traditional perfumes like Chanel and Dior and got sniffing. Nina Ricci L'Elixir is what I settled on.

Much like Vera Wang, it's quite a fruity and sweet fragrance that thankfully isn't too sickly or overpowering. Its top notes are lime and lemon making it a bit more citrus-y than Vera Wang but the familiar sweetness comes from the base notes of apple, jasmine and red berries. The scent settles nicely into your skin and that's when the sweetness come out.

Of course, it is housed in the iconic Nina Ricci apple glass bottle with a darker red at the top than the original Nina perfume, which make it very pretty to look at as it sits on my dressing table.

I snapped it up in the duty free and made use of some left over Euros I had so I'm not sure what price that equates to but it normally retails for around the £40 for  50ml bottle.

Do you have this perfume or something similar?
Send recommendations my way!