Beauty | Makeup | Lifestyle

Sunday 31 August 2014

Barcelona Haul | Sephora

I'm not the kind of person who spends most of their holiday shopping, but I spent a few days in Barcelona and ended up grabbing a few treats. Here's my mini haul. 

I started off in Sephora. We don't have one in the UK, so obviously I had to check it out. The Sephora in Barcelona is not as amazing as the ones in the US.

Friday 29 August 2014

Travel Guide - Barcelona

Hi everyone! I'm back home after a very relaxing holiday in Barcelona. I absolutely love that city and think it's a great place to travel to for a short break. I decided to make a different post from my usual beauty stuff and tell you a little bit about the places I've been to and really enjoyed visiting. 

I think one of my favourite places in Barcelona is 'Las Ramblas', as it's the most central location of the city. I stayed in a hotel in the area called Catalonia Portal de l'Angel, and I fully recommend it. Breakfast is expensive at €15 per person, but if you enjoy having a full continental meal first thing in the morning, it's worth it. Food is amazing! 
Las Ramblas, Barcelona
Las Ramblas for those who don't know is basically a long street, with lots of great shops in and around it, an awesome atmosphere with street artists, little market stalls, restaurants & the harbour. There are also some other interesting things around to explore, like Plaça Reial, Parc de La Ciutadella and if you go up the street by Plaça de Catalunya, you'll be able to see some of the buildings designed by Gaudi, a famous Spanish architect that has such a unique style. Find a list of all his buildings here
Plaça Reial
Here's another reason why Las Ramblas is one of my favourite places in the city. ;-) At the top of the street, just by the Plaça de Catalunya, you will find the best places to shop for cosmetics, which are Sephora (of course!) and El Corte Inglés (the equivalent of our House of Fraser, with loads of high end brands like Mac, Bobbi Brown, YSL, Chanel, etc). Sephora is a must go to place for me, as we don't have any in the UK. Watch out for a mini haul coming up on Sunday! ;-)
Eating Tapas is another must, as it's a traditional food in Spain. There are many Restaurants in and around Las Ramblas. My favourite was Ocaña, in Plaça Reial. Such a beautiful place, candle lit, nice spanish music... Tapas and drinks are really nice there. If I had to choose one dish, I'd recommend ordering the Grilled Beach Squid with Tomato Sauce (€7.80). So good! And I loved the Wonderland drink, which is a mix of vanilla syrup, mint, ginger beer, lime & passion fruit. You can choose to have it with or without alcohol. It's delicious!

I also highly recommend visiting is La Sagrada Família. This is Gaudi's most famous creation. It's a beautiful church that is still under construction. You won't find anything like this building anywhere in the world. You can pay to go in. The queues are very long, It was a very hot day, so I chose not to go in, but I've heard it's even more gorgeous inside. So maybe next time! 
Sagrada Família, Barcelona
Another one of Gaudi's creations I love is Parc Güell. This park is amazing! Again, it's got the quirkiest and most interesting architecture I've seen so far. 
Parc Güell, Barcelona
You also need to see the Magic Fountains of Montjuic. Such a pretty place to visit at night. Unfortunately the fountains got turned off just as I decided to take a photo, so I don't have a shot with the fountains on. I hope you can still see how beautiful the place is. The fountains operate this time of the year Thursday to Sunday, between 9pm - 11:30pm. Musical displays at 21:00, 21:30, 22:00, 22:30 and 23:00. The place lights up and becomes alive with hundreds if not thousands of tourists from everywhere across the globe. (click here for full performance times)  
Lastly, the beach, of course! Not much to say other than it's pretty crowded but a great place to relax and cool down.  
Beach, Barcelona
If you love animals like me or if you are travelling with little ones, I'd also recommend having a look at the Zoo. The highlight for me was the dolphin show, which I have never seen before. I loved it!  
Barcelona Zoo - Dolphin Show
Barcelona has more to offer than these things, but these are the places I really like and recommend seeing. I hope this 'guide' will be helpful to those of you who might be travelling there soon and also to those who haven't been to Barcelona yet, but might be interested in getting to know the city a little bit better.

Have you been to Barcelona before? What has been your favourite holiday destination so far? X


Tuesday 26 August 2014

In Flight Essentials

I never manage to sleep when I'm travelling, so I have a little routine to help me get distracted whilst I'm high up in the clouds. 


Saturday 23 August 2014

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag

Well, I'm off to Barcelona on holiday and I thought I'd let you have a sneak peek into my travel makeup bag. ;-)

When I travel around Europe, for a short period, I prefer to pack lightly. I don't wear that much makeup when I'm away, especially if I know I'll spend most of my trip by the pool or at the beach.


Thursday 21 August 2014

Holiday Outfit Ideas

I'm really excited because I'm going to Barcelona next week. A well deserved break for me and my hubby. The weather there is lovely at the moment and I have been searching online for inspiration on what I should pack for my trip. I found some amazing pieces and put together outfits that I think would be perfect for a summer / beach holiday. 

I love this casual chic outfit to wear for a walk by the beach or to lounge by the pool. 

Zara Long Print DressRay Ban Black Wayfarer Sunglasses | Navy Blue Floppy Hat | Accessorize Bikini Top | Accessorize Bikini Bottom | H&M Black Tote Bag | Ipanema Gisele Bundchen flip flops

I always tend to go for an urban look for sightseeing around town.

Religion Ice Cream Top H&M Denim Shorts | Forever 21 Long Silver Necklace | Zara Animal Print Messenger Bag | H&M Suede Sneakers  

This one is a little bit more glammed up while still looking young, colourful and fun. Perfect for night time.  

Zara White Dress | Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch | Asos Silver Flat Sandals | Missguided Yellow Woven Clutch

I hope you enjoy my picks! 

Let me know what clothing item(s) you can't travel without. X


Tuesday 19 August 2014

Best High End Foundation | YSL Touche Éclat

I have to admit I'm a bit fussy when it comes to my makeup. I hate powdery foundations that stick to dry patches that I didn't even know existed. I always go for something that will make me look as if my skin is naturally dewy and flawless. 

Saturday 16 August 2014

Makeup Revolution First Impressions

There's been a lot of hype about Makeup Revolution, so naturally I wanted to test some of their products. This is a new Superdrug brand, with very affordable prices and a promise of high quality. 

For now, I picked up only 3 face products: the Baked Bronzer in Golden Days (£4), the Baked Blush in Loved The Best (£2.50) and the Highlighter in Peach Lights (£3).


Thursday 14 August 2014

My Current Self Tanning Routine

I've become quite conscious about sun damage in the past few years so most of the time I wear SPF, which means I don't tan much anymore. I now rely on gradual tanning products, 2-3 times a week, to give me a nice summer glow.  

I always shave the day before I apply the products, as I think it's too much aggravation for the skin to cope with at the same time. I've been using Gillette Venus (£7.49) and it's so much better than any other razor I've ever used. I know... how can I rave about a razor? It has gel bars that glide on smoothly and it never irritates my skin. No more cuts or that horrible burning feeling after shaving.  

The next day I start by scrubbing my body. It's essential to get rid of the dead skin, otherwise the product may look patchy and streaky. I've been loving Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish (£32). It's a fine sugar with rose extract. Smells lovely and leaves your skin feeling so hydrated, sometimes I don't even feel the need to moisturise afterwards. I apply just before jumping into the shower, when my skin is still dry. The texture is rough at first but the grains start to breakdown and turn into a smooth consistency. It's a very good way to stimulate the circulation. Such a luxurious product!

I sometimes alternate it with Palmer's Cocoa Body Scrub (£4.99). It contains pure cocoa butter, shea butter, vitamin E and natural crushed cocoa beans, which moisturise and polish the skin. And I suppose I don't need to mention how chocolatey it smells, do I? ;-)

Finally, I apply Palmer's Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser (£5.49). The chocolatey smell on this one does turn a little biscuity after a while, as most tanning products do, but I find it very mild. It doesn't bother me at all. Really good and affordable. 

Recently, I also started using Nip + Fab Body Glow Fix (£9.95 at lookfantastic or a travel size with the Cosmopolitan Magazine that is out now for £3.70). This is a fast drying tanning gel that disappears on the skin almost immediately, without leaving any stickiness behind. It gives you a golden glow within 4 hours. It's easy to apply and can be used both on the face and body. It's got white tea to brighten the skin and Vitamin E to moisturise. The smell is very subtle. I have only been using this for a week now but I'm already in love! 
Even though August rain and strong winds are here to remind us that summer is nearly over in the UK, I think there's still some time left to enjoy short dresses and look our best. 

What's your tanning routine? X 

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Tuesday 12 August 2014

Amazing At Home Facial

I recently spotted this product online and was very intrigued by its promises. Since Boots had a 1/3 off promotion on all skincare products*, I decided to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did! 

Sanctuary Leave On Exfoliating Cream is amazing! If you saw my recent post about my holy grail face masks (here), you will know how much I love exfoliating products. Using them on a regular basis encourage cell renewal and brighten skin tone. This leave on cream is no exception. As it says on the box, it's essentially a grain free exfoliator that revives a youthful glow. It's got a blend of 5 botanical fruit AHAs, peptides to reduce wrinkles and ceramide complex to replenish skin lipids. You can leave it on all day, under your usual skincare and makeup, or over night. I personally prefer to wear it at night. I apply it all over the face, including the under eye area, following with my eye cream and sometimes a night cream on top. Make sure you wear at least SPF15, as the acids in it will make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.  

My skin has been feeling so soft since using this. It's like a facial at home! I could see the difference after less than a week of use. I'm sure I'll be going back for more, as soon as it runs out. 

*Unfortunately the 1/3 off promo is now over but it has been replaced by 3 for 2 on selected Sanctuary Products, here in Boots

Have you tried anything like this before? I'd love recommendations. X

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Saturday 9 August 2014

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain

After being initially released only in the US, a few months ago, Revlon Colorstay Moisture Lip Stain finally hit the UK shelves. I couldn't resist and had to pick one up to see what the hype was all about. 

Thursday 7 August 2014

My Holy Grail Face Masks

Face masks have been an essential part of my beauty regime for at least 3 years now. It's amazing how adding this simple step to my weekly routine has made such a huge difference. I just love how masks can get rid of dull and damaged skin to instantly reveal a healthier, glowy look, without any aggravation. I have quite a few masks, varying between hydrating ones, exfoliating and mud masks. Here are my absolute favourite ones, that I have repurchased and will continue to.  

Glamglow Supermud Mask (£34.99 at lookfantastic) is a holy grail mask for me. It's a mud clearing treatment mask, filled with Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic Acids. It's supposed to even out the skin tone, improve collagen and elastin, minimise the appearance of pores, exfoliate and absorb impurities. It's some sort of an 'all in one' wonder mask. And it does what it says on the tin! I haven't yet tried a mask that gives better results than this. After leaving it on for around 20 mins, my face feels so fresh and unclogged, it's incredible. This mask is fairly expensive, considering the size (only 30ml), but it's so good, I recommend trying it out.   

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant is my other 'can't live without' mask. I bought this after watching Lisa Eldridge's skincare video a couple years back. Lisa knows what she's talking about. This mask is really, really good!! No grains or scrubbing going on here. It relies on Lactic and Salicylic Acid to remove all the dead skin cells and help stimulate cell renewal. It's amazing! I can clearly see my skin looking brighter, softer and plumped up after only 15-20 minutes. A must have for me. I use it 1-2x a week. It lasts for ages, as you only need a small amount. You can find this mask now for £31.84 - 75ml (free delivery) here.

Sometimes I will also use a little sponge to remove the masks and help exfoliating further. It's nice and really cheap. I got mine from Liz Earle but you can find them in pharmacies/drugstores for less than £2 (here).  

Which masks do you like the most? X

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Tuesday 5 August 2014

Cleansing Oil - The Body Shop

I have never liked the idea of removing my make up with an oil before. I don't know why but I just had this misconception that it'd break me out and I'd feel greasy. How wrong was I? Seeing it was being so hyped up by the people I follow and I had a 40% off discount code, I decided to give it a try. 

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil* is a cleanser that simply melts any trace of makeup off your face, including waterproof mascara, leaving your skin silky and soft. It is seriously easy and quick to use. I apply it once, massage it onto my skin, damp my fingers with water and massage again. It turns into a milky texture, which I wipe off with a hot muslin cloth. I usually repeat the process a 2nd time if I'm wearing quite a lot of makeup and SPF, just to make sure there's nothing left behind. But I think it's safe to say that if you wanna clean your face only once, this guy will remove everything for you.

It's suitable for all skin types, including people with oily skin. Yes, don't be afraid of becoming more oily by putting an oil on your face. It's quite the opposite effect. It's got a very subtle chamomile scent and you only need 1 pump of it every night, so it will last for ages. It's an excellent product and really good value for money, especially when compared to other high end cleansers of the same quality.

After my experience with this one, I will definitely continue to use cleansing oils.

*The Body Shop has 40% off at the moment (just use the code 14319 at the checkout) and another offer to save £10 when you spend £30. The things I'd recommend buying, along with the Camomile Cleansing Oil (£10), would be the Vitamin E Face Mist (£8.50), Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder (£13 - amazing!) and the Body Butters (£13 - my favourite ones are Shea Butter and Coconut). The 2 offers can't be used at the same time. 

Have you tried The Body Shop products? If so, which ones are your favourite? X

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Saturday 2 August 2014

Top 5 Pink Summer Lips

Pink is my favourite colour when it comes to lip products. No matter what season, you will most certainly find me wearing this colour. This week we celebrated National Lipstick Day and I decided to post my most loved lip products of the summer. 

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