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travel

HOGWARTS IN THE SNOW.

Harry Potter Studio Tour.

It was recently my birthday, so what better way to spend it than getting into the Christmas spirit at Hogwarts. I always end up doing something Christmassy for my birthday as it’s the end of November and usually that’s when the Christmas events will start. I have always heard about how stunning the Harry Potter Studios looked when they have the Christmas decorations and snow so wanted to see it for myself.

To start with, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, I’ll be honest and say that I do love the books more, but that’s only because there is so much detail in the books and a few loved characters that aren’t in the films (Peeves as a main example). However if Warner Bros were to include all the details then the films would have been really long, so I think they’ve done an incredible job with how the films turned out. I love how even though I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve watched the films, you can watch them over again and still get that magical feeling you get when you watched the franchise for the first time.

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My main facts regarding being a fan: I’m a Hufflepuff through and through, my favourite films are The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Order Of The Phoenix, my favourite characters would be Sirius and the Weasley twins, if I could have a pet to take to Hogwarts it would be a cat, I am actually loving the Fantastic Beasts series (obviously because Newt is a Hufflepuff too) and I didn’t enjoy the Cursed Child book (I haven’t seen the show yet).

If you’ve never been to the studio tour in London before, I would highly recommend it. Just seeing the props and sets in person is incredible and really brings the films to life. You start the tour by entering a cinema room which has a few small interviews on a screen talking to the cast. The screen then lifts to reveal the Hogwarts entrance. You then enter the doors to see the Grand Hall, it looks beautiful! As I was visiting during the Christmas theme, the tables had been set up with Christmas food, decorations and at the back of the Hall is the setup of the Yule Ball.

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The next part of the tour will take an hour or two to take a proper look around. It is full of props, interviews on small screens, costumes, display sets, and interactive zones. You can see Hagrids Hut, Dumbledore’s Office, the boys dormitory and Gryffindors common room, the Burrow, the Ministry, and props like the Triwizard cup, the seven horcruxes, the gargoyle outside Dumbledore’s office and many more. This area is huge and has so much information and amazing areas to see, you really do need to take your time to digest it all.

This area also has the interactive area where you can ride brooms for quidditch and learn how to cast spells with your wand.

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After this main area, you then enter the Forbidden Forrest. If you are afraid of spiders, I recommend you take the path on your right after you see Buckbeak.  If you go to the path on the left, you will be met by large spiders falling above you and Aragog.  There are interactive buttons that let you control the wind and lightning too which look amazing. You can also see a patronus that you can control with lighting up. There is a shop as you exit the Forrest too.

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Now comes an area that made me really happy and excited, the Hogwarts Express! You can hear the sound of the train as you go around the corner and see the smoke. Have your photo taken on platform 9 3/4’s and visit the lovely shops on the platform too where you can pay to have a notebook personalised. You can also hop onboard the train and see what the carriages look like. After this area you will see the cafe which you can try butterbeer and food.

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Finished the butterbeer and ready to go, it’s time to step outside to visit the Knightbus, Harry’s House in Privet Drive, see the famous bridge at Hogwarts and James and Lily’s house. There is also the car and motorbike you can hop on for a few pics. This area had snow in too and felt so Christmassy.

The next part of the tour is so interesting as it takes you through all the prosthetics and how they made the special effects. As a huge fan of makeup and art, I love seeing this part and how they made special features to bring the film to life. Afterwards, is one of my favourite parts, Gringotts. The goblins looked so realistic, and the size of the bank is amazing. There is also the Dragon burning fire.

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After a trip to Gringotts, you’ll find yourself in Diagon Alley. You can see Ollivanders, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Madam Malkins Robes and Quality Quidditch Supplies.

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The last part of the tour takes you through all the film set designs models and paintings which is really interesting to see. There’s so much thought and process that goes into making films you don’t even think about, so seeing it all in real life and the design process is amazing. Finally, you are met by the real Hogwarts model they used in the film for the landscape shots. It was covered in snow due to the Christmas theme and looked beautiful.

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You then walk through Ollivanders shop to be greeted by the amazing shops they have at the tour, including Honeydukes.

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I am overwhelmed by how incredible this tour is, and how lucky we are in England to have access to go and visit. As a huge fan I love seeing the behind the scenes and it brings my Potter love to life. I hope they expand the tour in future to include the Fantastic Beasts sets too.

Have you been to the tour before? If you have, which part is your favourite?

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Categories
Lifestyle

IT’S THE SEASON TO BE GLOSSY.

Sparkle This Christmas

It’s that time of the year again, when all the Christmas festivities start, spending time with family and friends and reflecting on the year gone by while over eating on treats. Another reason I love this time of year is the exclusive beauty products that come out including the beauty advent calendars.

I decided to go for Glossybox again this year as there are 25 products (compared to a few that are only offering 12) and you actually get a few full sized ones too. I personally thought the calendar was amazing last year so I had my expectations that this year would just be as good.

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This year’s Glossybox advent calendar includes brands such as Chloe, Nyx, and Tarte which are worth £370. As I am a subscriber to Glossybox, I managed to get £10 off the calendar which came to £70, however I had points on my account to use from the year, so altogether I paid £40 for the advent calendar.

The Design.

I love the design of the advent calendar, they kept the cute small boxes that you can open each day which makes it feel like a small present. The colours are my ideal colours too which are grey, white, pink and a dark purple so it looks stunning in my room. The front of the box reminds me of a gorgeous 1920’s art deco look with the cute bow detail at the front like they had last year.

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What’s Inside The Calendar.

Spoiler alert!… look away now if you want to keep this a surprise. Here’s what’s inside the calendar in order:

1st: Nyx Ultimate Shadow Palette in Warm Neutrals – full size worth £16

2nd: Chloe Nomade Eau De Parfum – (5ml) worth £7.20

3rd: Glossybox Blending Sponge – Full size worth £10

4th: Nudestix Cream Lip & Cheek Pencil – Full size worth £20.50

5th: The Body Shop Hand & Nail Cream (either Mango, Strawberry, Wild Argan or Sweet Almond). Full size worth £5

6th: Luxie Inc Medium Angled Shading Rose Gold Brush. Full size worth £9.50

7th: LASplash Cosmetics Wickedly Divine Eyeliner. Full sized worth £12.60

8th: MUA Makeup Academy Pro/Base Primer Oil with Gold Flakes in full size, worth £4

9th: Mitchell & Peach Flora No.1 Bath Oil in 15ml worth £8.05

10th: Sleek MakeUp Matte Me Lipstick in Birthday Suit, full size worth £4.99

11th: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day In-Shower Styler in 30ml worth £5

12th: Winky Lux Uni-brow in full size worth £15

13th: Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Professional Grade IPL Dark Spot Concentrated Serum in 7ml worth £23

14th: 3INA Makeup The Cream Eyeshadow 313 Light Brown in full size, worth £12.95

15th: Curaprox BE YOU Candy Lover Toothpaste in 10g, worth £3.10

16th: Nude By Nature in Touch Of Glow Highlight Stick in 5g worth £9

17th: Rituals Ritual Of Sakura Body Cream in 100ml worth £8.41

18th: Dr.PAWPAW Original Clear Balm in 10ml worth £3.95

19th: Avant Skincare Pro-Tense Hyaluronic Acid Illuminating Day Cream in full size worth £98

20th: Barry M Cosmetics Blusher Quad in full size worth £5.99

21st: Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant in 13g worth £17.50

22nd: Kat Von D Beauty Tattoo Liner Liquid Eyeliner in 0.2ml worth £6.18

23rd: Steve Laurant Lip Tint in full size worth £17.33

24th: Nails Inc Nail Polish in Golden Days Ahead. Full size worth £11

25th: Tarte Cosmetics Park Ave Princess Chisel Palette ( limited edition) full size worth £40

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I love how Glossybox have varied the makeup and skincare products in the calendar so there is something for everyone in it. It’s exciting that Tarte has been added too, as I hope that means we might be getting a few Tarte products in a few of the monthly boxes. I will be doing a few blog posts on some of the products I will be trying too. This is a limited edition calendar that I believe is now out of stock.

Which advent calendar are you buying this year?

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ORLANDO

Finding Your Own Magic

I honestly can’t believe I’m even writing a blog on Orlando as it’s a place I’ve wanted to revisit for so long.

When I was younger, my family and I used to go to Orlando and stay in Disney and Universal so we can enjoy the theme parks. I treasured those memories as they were really magical to me being so young, however I always wanted to go back as an adult and enjoy the other aspects of Orlando like the bars and shopping.  This year I was able to do just that thanks to my new business and I feel incredibly lucky. I was only there for a week so I didn’t manage to get to do everything on my list, however that just gives me an excuse to go back..right?

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The pool area in the complex.

The Magic Village

As there was a large group of us travelling (I would say around forty of us), we decided to stay in the same location which was only a five minute drive from the convention centre we needed to go to. The villa accommodation is called Magic Village and was perfect as could hold up to eight people per villa. The villa was roomy, with two double beds and two twin rooms, all of which had an ensuite plus a garden area with BBQ and dining table. There were loads of villas in this complex, with a stunning pool area and on-site restaurant, meaning it had everything we would need.

The complex has a private gate so it is completely safe, however when you get an Uber you will need to explain that there is two gates, as I am assuming recently they closed one side off due to our Uber drivers getting confused.  The complex is a twelve minute drive away from Disney Parks and Disney Springs, and a half hour drive from Universal which didn’t cost much at all when you split with a group in an Uber.

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Magic Kingdom fireworks.

Disney Tips.

While I was out in Orlando, I only had time to go to Magic Kingdom, however I have a few tips on the best advice I can give if you are visiting any of the Disney Parks:

  1. Once you have planned your Orlando trip, make sure to download the Disney World App and book your fast passes in advance. You can connect the fast passes with your Disney tickets and then scan your tickets outside each ride when the time is available. If you don’t do this then you could expect to be queueing for an hour or two for each ride.
  2. You can also book any shows or restaurants within the parks too via the App, again this will limit the queues and guarantee you will get in.
  3. During the whole of October, Disney have their Halloween decorations out and the special Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Nights featuring the Boo-To-You parade, you need tickets for this event as they only do the special events on certain nights so make sure to book in advance.
  4. If you want to ride the Peter Pan’s Flight ride, I would suggest booking this on FastTrack+ as the normal queues were insane. Unfortunately as I didn’t book this in advance I didn’t even manage to get on this ride throughout the day.
  5. The most popular photo opportunities are at the front of the Castle, however the best view would be to get photos from the back and by the ‘wishing well’ if you can find it.
  6. If you want to buy merchandise, I would recommend going to the shops as the park is closing as there is less people and the park stays open for around an hour after the fireworks display.
  7. If you are leaving the park straight after the fireworks, the quickest way would be by the boat. Everyone else usually runs to the monorail which means the boat is quieter too. It wont be as crammed as the monorail and it’s a stunning view to see the lights twinkle on the lake.
  8. This isn’t well known, but if you are in no rush after the fireworks to leave, stay behind to watch the ‘Kiss Goodnight’. This is when the castle twinkles and plays ‘When you wish upon a star’, it’s really pretty and perfect for photo opportunities as the crowds die down.
  9. The fireworks start at 9pm so I would suggest finding a good spot around forty five minutes before. If you can, get one of your group to stay in the spot while the rest grab snacks.
  10. Florida is known to shower all the time, these showers will only last a few minutes but are extremely heavy. I would suggest taking hoodies or buying ponchos as you don’t want to get caught in it.

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My friends who are business partners and I outside City Walk in Universal.

Universal Tips 

As I was only there for a week and had the convention for a few days, I didn’t have time to go to Universal during the day, however I have learn’t a lot about it as I took a course which allows me to 50% off my park tickets for a year. Here are some information and tips:

  1. There are three main parks, Universal Studios, Island Of Adventure and the waterpark Volcano Bay.
  2. It would be a good idea to buy a park hopper ticket so you can travel on the Hogwarts Express between Hogsmeade in Island Of Adventure which features Hagrid’s new ride and Diagon Alley in Studios.
  3. There is an area called City Walk which is free to visit and has a variety of restaurants, bars, mini golf and a cinema making it perfect for a fun day or evening. We went to Antojitos which is a Mexican restaurant.
  4. Island of Adventure is where Jurassic Park is, making you feel like you’re on the actual set.
  5. Buy an express pass to avoid the lines for the rides.
  6. Download the Universal Resort app as you’ll have park maps, current wait times for rides, dining options, shows available and you can buy tickets from your phone.
  7. The best time to visit would be in September as all the schools are back so it’s quiet.
  8. You can use an option called ‘Child Swap’ which means that if your child does not want to go on a ride, you can stay in line and take it in turns for the adults to go on.
  9. Go to Harry Potter attractions in the afternoon. The first place most people run to when entering the parks are Harry Potter so your best bet is to wait until the afternoon when it will be quieter.
  10. Be sure to check out the Volcano Bay waterpark, with the iconic volcano making you feel like you’re sunbathing on a beautiful island.

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Group photos from the convention 

Let’s Talk Business

So if I wasn’t spending all my time in Orlando at the parks, what was I doing there? My travel business had a convention where we celebrate success and this was the first year for the UK team to join.

The convention was held at the Gaylord Convention centre, which by the way is stunning. It had a beautiful tropical garden inside complete with turtles.

The three days were mainly spent learning key strategies to create a successful business and create the right mindset, it was powerful and I am so thankful I was able to go. I met some incredible people through this week from all different places and backgrounds. We then spent the Saturday celebrating the awards being handed to the teams (the UK team collecting over half of these) and an eventful afterparty.

My business has allowed me to travel, meet amazing people, become more confident in myself and make an income. Even if working online is not your thing, I recommend once in your life to go to an event which includes mindset talks, you will come away inspired and ready to take on the world.

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Me at the convention.

On the other days we had spare we ended up having a pool day within our villa complex and went shopping in one of the local malls. I recommend going to Orlando as there is something for everyone, from a large choice of restaurants, bars and shops, to all the theme parks, waterparks and activities. You can have chilled out days by a pool and beach or fun days out, the choices are endless. For anymore information on Orlando, feel free to send me a message.

Have you been to Orlando? which park is your favourite?

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THE CONSPIRACY.

HUGE CONTROVERSY

I’m back! I know, it’s been forever and I honestly don’t have an excuse other than this year has been a massive year for change for me, however I’m back, and what better way to return than with a post on the biggest makeup launch ever.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, I’m sure you’ve heard of the huge collaboration with Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson. The documentary last year that Shane made on his Youtube channel confirmed how this year he wanted to make a palette with Jeffree and learn all the behind the scenes on what goes on in the beauty community, and it’s what we’ve all been waiting for.

Who Is Shane Dawson?

Shane Dawson is Youtube, to put it as blunt as I can. Shane’s content is always above most of the creators out there with his ideas, from funny food videos, vlogs with his squad, conspiracy videos to his amazing Netflix style documentary series including creators like Jake Paul, Tana Mongeau and Jeffree Star. Shane started his channel in 2008 and has since gained his popularity to the 23 million subscribers he has today. I personally love his videos with the squad when they go on outings (the video of the trip to Texas being one of my favourites) and his conspiracy videos.

Shane and Jeffree’s Friendship.

Why is this collection so huge? not only is it with the iconic Jeffree Star, but the story of how their friendship has grown has made the world support this duo. They met through Youtube as Jeffree is also a long time Youtube creator (starting his in 2006). Jeffree is like marmite with his audience and is always in the news regarding drama, last year Shane decided to make a documentary on Jeffree’s life called ‘ The Secret World Of Jeffree Star’ which helped Jeffree in many ways, not only did millions of people support Jeffree but they ended up seeing a whole new side to him, the business man he is and all the ups and downs he has been through. In return Jeffree wanted to help Shane get the recognition he deserves and the success he should be making by helping him launch his merch and a whole makeup collection.

The Collection.

Where to start? When this makeup collaboration was first mentioned in last year’s documentary, we assumed it would just be a palette, however they’ve blown us away with a palette, a mini palette called The Mini Controversy, pig shaped mirrors, makeup bags, 6 shades of lipsticks, a lipgloss and a lip balm (U.S only). Shane and Jeffree have filmed the making of this whole collection with Shane’s cameraman Andrew, from discussing how many units to order and costs, to showing us the first samples of the products and packing and behind the scenes of the photoshoots. This is information that beauty companies haven’t shown or discussed with public before and it’s honestly shook the community.

The costs of the collection: 

Conspiracy palette: £48 / $52

Mini Controversy palette: £25 / $28

Single liquid lipstick: £16 / $18

The Gloss, Shane Glossin’ : £16 / $18

Pig hand mirror: £25 / $30

Double zip makeup bag: £39 / $40

Imprint travel bag: £30 / $30

Full bundle (UK version): £326

Lip bundle : £86 / $90

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The palette without flash.

The Launch.

The launched happened on 1st November at 5pm (U.K Time). I did want to get the Conspiracy palette, the Mini Controversy, ‘Ryland’ (named after Shane’s boyfriend) lipstick and the ‘Are You Filming’ red lipstick too, however when 5pm came and I was on Beauty Bay ready to add my items to the basket and check out, the websites ALL went crazy. The traffic was so huge on Beauty Bay and Jeffree Star Cosmetics that they completely broke and Morphe sold out within minutes. I decided to just put my focus on the main Conspiracy palette and leave the others so I had a chance, and by 5.20 I managed to confirm my order and get the palette.

Jeffree had put in a YEAR’S worth of products on the site and they sold out that day. It was THE biggest launch to ever happen in the beauty industry to date. Yesterday they put another 60,000 Conspiracy palettes and 60,000 Mini Controversy palettes for pre-launch live and again that sold out within half an hour. The next launch wont be until 2020 as they need to order more units.

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The palette with flash.

The Iconic Palette.

Ok, let’s take a moment to look at the beautiful packaging of this palette. The black and white colour that goes into a slight pyramid just shouts Shane Dawson all over, with stunning metal clasps. It’s different, it’s beautiful and I’m obsessed.

The shades are stunning, I love how there is different shades to suit everyone, whether you prefer to keep is minimal with browns and natural tones, go colourful or dark, evening smokey, you can create so many looks with this palette. I love the logo’s stamped into a few of the shades too to match Shane’s personality and to go along with the shade names. My personal favourite are ‘Just A Theory’, ‘Sleep Paralysis’, ‘Illuminatea’, ‘Diet Cola’ and ‘Trisha’.

Swatches.

Below I have swatched all the shades in each row, this is just with one dip in the shades. Please don’t judge how bad at swatching I am but at least you get the idea of what each shade looks like.

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L-R: Ranch, My Pills, Tanacon, Diet Root Beer, Just A Theory, Spiraling. 

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L-R: Conspiracy, Pig-Ment, Food Videos, Trisha, Cheese Dust, Flaming Hot. 

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L-R: What’s The Tea, Diet Cola, Not A Fact, Sleep Paralysis, Illuminatea, My Ride’s Here

A few people have pointed out that on the back of the palette it says that a few shades ‘are not intended for use around the immediate eye area’, however this just legally needs to be stated as the shades are pressed pigments and can stain. I would personally apply these shades listed on top of a concealer or eyeshadow primer. Companies can not call a palette with pressed pigments eyeshadows so most of the time you’ll see it stated as eyeshadow/ pressed pigment palette instead. It is however completely safe.

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When using the palette, the shades felt creamy and honestly wasn’t much fall out at all. I loved how the shades look and being a Jeffree Star Cosmetics palette, I knew the quality would be good. I would recommend this palette if you can get your hands on it in future as it’s beautiful. I am excited to see the rest of the series and find out more of behind the scenes on what goes on in a makeup company.

Have you tried Jeffree Star products before?

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MY RIDE OR DIES

The 2018 Favourites

Happy new year! I know…this is really late, as usual, however I would like to share some of my favourite products of 2018. A few of these products have been available for a few years while others were newbies I discovered throughout the year and they didn’t leave my main makeup bag once (everyone has one of these, right? The ones you take everywhere with you).

So.. these were the products I had a strong relationship with last year and I don’t see the break ups happening anytime soon. I tried to include skincare and makeup to vary it and I think you’ll all agree with me that these products are amazing.

The Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

This lovely mascara made my eyes look much bigger and my lashes looked thicker too. The best part and the reason I chose this mascara to take on holidays with me is the fact it doesn’t smudge. I love the cute packaging and because this one I have is travel sized, its perfect for my handbag.

Iconic London Prep Set Glow

I used this product throughout summer everywhere I went. It’s perfect for adding to moisturiser for a shimmery effect on the body and to help my tan look amazing when the sun hit it. It smells sooo good and summery too.

St Tropez Self Tan Purity

This product is the best product ever for summer. Its a water based gradual tan, it doesn’t smell like tan at all and gives a lovely natural colour. Its also non sticky so you can literally apply and go. Just what you need for a last minute top up.

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

The best shades in a palette ever! The shades were perfect for summer for a sunset vibes look and I took this one on holiday with me, the pigment of the colours are really good. Theres a mirror in the palette which is always a bonus, a brush (so perfect for travel) and it has shimmers and mattes so you can create the best evening looks.

Soap & Glory Lipstick

I tried the s&g lipstick after seeing them in Boots and loved the look of them. The lipsticks can come in many types including satin or matte. I love the matte shade called Super Nude It’s the perfect nude shade and looks stunning. The pigment is amazing on these lipsticks too and actually lasts! My lips didn’t dry out either.

Rose Face Mask

I received the Fresh face mask from the Glamour Beaty Festival last year and since I tried it I can honestly say I love it. The mask smells amazing (a gorgeous rose smell) and makes my skin have a beautiful natural glow. It has real rose petels in the mask too which feel so lovely as you apply on to the skin.

Huda Beauty Nude Palette

This palette has become my favourite palette ever, the tones are stunning! The pigment is so good and the glitters actually go on so nicely with your finger. The beautiful pink shades suit any skin tones too. I love how big the mirror in the palette is as well as you can travel with it. I only recently got this palette in November but since then I’ve used it pretty much everyday.

Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette

I only recently got this product from a friend for my Birthday! Thank you Zee ☺️ The palette is lovely, it has the most perfect blush tones and eyeshadows to match. Its a great size to add to a handbag too. I mostly use this palette for the blusher as it’s honestly such a gorgeous shade.

Benefit Brow Pomade

When it comes to brow products Benefit are literally the best. Their brow pomade was the perfect product for me to take everywhere. The pomade comes with a small angle brush so I took this on my holidays and its perfect for my handbag too, not to mention the stunning silver packaging.

Pixi Rose Tonic

This was another product I received free from the Glamour Beauty Festival and again one non stopped used it. The tonic helps to tone and minimise redness which calms my skin. I also use the Glow Tonic daily too but I have run out 😩 so couldn’t take a photo.

OGX Coconut Miracle Oil

One of my favourite hair brands has to be OGX, not only do their products smell insane, but since I’ve been using the products my hair has actually grown. This coconut oil helps dry, damaged hair to become beautifully soft again. OGX also have every shampoo and conditioner they have in travel sized so you can take them anywhere and not have to worry about the weight of luggage.

What were your favourite products in 2018?

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GLOSSYBOX – DECEMBER

All That Glitters

What better way to treat yourself each month than to a beauty box for brands and products to try out. After taking a look around I decided that Glossybox was for me after loving their advent calendar. This subscription is £10 a month for 5 products which I didn’t think was too bad considering some of the products you receive are worth more.

The All That Glitters box looks different to their normal recognisable pink boxes. With the glittery Christmas theme the box is red with gold metallic detailing. The theme as mentioned was a ‘party’ theme with Glitters and party prep products to get you in the mood. This month also includes a 6th treat too!

What’s inside?

Imperial Leather Unicorn Limited Edition Shower Gel. (Full size) – £1.99

This shower gel smells amazing! It has pink grapefruit, citrus and floral scents and I haven’t stopped using it since getting it. I also love the pretty design of the packaging, i’m secretly hoping this one doesn’t stay limited edition.

Doucce Matte Lip Crayon (full size) in Winterberry – £16.95

The shade is the most perfect Christmas shade you could ask for! The crayon is really pigmented and lasts for ages however I am more of a matte lipstick kinda gal and I don’t usually reach for darker shades so I doubt I would use this much.

Divine hydra Gel Lip Mask – £7.50

For plump, hydrated and smooth lips which is perfect for this weather! Lips start feeling dry and horrible in the winter and although I have my trusty lip scrub it’s good to treat your lips to a mask too. This mask has collagen and antioxidant rich wine extracts to help plump and smooth. You just put the mask over your lips and leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Bellápierre Shimmer Roll – (full size) £19.99

This is my favourite product in this months box by far! The shimmer is a gorgeous champagne colour that glides on with a roll on applicator that can be applied to your cheekbones, eyes or body. The perfect handbag size highlighter to get through the festive party season.

5. Niko Pro Liquid Jelly Blush in Bali – (full size) £12

Over this year I’ve grown to love blusher again so I’m always open to trying new shades of blush. This blush has gold shimmer in a pink hue to give a natural sparkle to cheeks. The jelly formula makes it easy to blend and feels hydrating and lightweight.

6. Maybeauty The Incredible Pore Strip (extra product) £3.50

This sample will remove blackheads and impurities to help skin become ready for the party season! The strip includes charcoal and all you do is wet your skin and leave on for 30 minutes.

Overall this box has a perfect mix of products to help prep and get glitzed up! What product would you love the most?

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Beauty

25 Days Of GlossyBox

All I Want For Christmas, Is Glossybox!

Happy 1st December! We can finally sing Mariah out loud, drink got chocolate while watching Christmas films, and what better way to start the festive month than getting your own beauty treat everyday leading up to Christmas. I chose the Glossybox Advent calendar this year because you actually get 14 full size products, there was 25 days (unlike some calendars that just have 12 or 24 days) and it was under £100! Perfect.

If you are a subscriber to Glossybox, then this advent calendar will cost you £75. If you aren’t a subscriber then you need to be, but this calendar will cost £99. Which is still think is amazing considering what is in it and the fact some calendars have been advertised between £125-£200.

The design of the box is honestly stunning. It’s a metallic rose gold, grey and white pattern that just stands out from wherever you put it in a room. As you open the beautiful ribbon on the front you can see all the individual boxes numbered inside on a couple of shelves with 25 stuck on one of the doors. The other door has lovely writing listing words to do with beauty.

I love how each box has its own design and they are all different sizes. There are stunning gold, deep purple, grey, pink and white boxes all filled with tissue paper inside hiding the product.

What’s inside the box?

Spoiler alert! If you would rather keep it a secret then click off now. Here is a list of what is in each box on the day:

1st – Nars Lipstick In shade Burning Love which is a gorgeous red, pink colour.

2nd – Nip & Fab travel size Dragon Blood Serum

3rd – A small Yankee Candle. They come in different smells. Mine is ‘The Perfect Tree’ which smells like a real Christmas Tree. Worth £6.99

4th – Philip Kingsley Body building conditioner in 60ml worth £10

5th – MDM Flow Greater Than mascara full size worth £18

6th – 3INA The Lip Primer In 10ml worth £9.95

7th – Patisserie De Bain Strawberry Cupcake Bath & Shower Creme in 50ml worth £1

8th – Real Techniques Expert Face Brush in a rose colour. Worth £8.99

9th – Charles Worthington Body Booster Moose in 50ml worth £2

10th – Bare Minerals Vital Power Infusion In 7.5 ml worth £5.99

11th – Bellapierre Kiss Proof Finish Gloss in full size worth £15

12th – Mua 15 Shade Palette in Cosmic Vixen full size worth £5

13th – Karmaneju Charcoal Konjac Sponge 03 worth £5

14th – Refibra Haircare Restoring Mask In 100ml worth £10

15th – INCredible Jelly Shot Lip Quencher In 4.4g shade _ex Revenge. Worth £9

16th – Pop Beauty Metallic Copper Pure Pigment worth £5

17th – Luxie Tapered Highlight Brush worth £19

18th – Lollipops Fluid Glowy Eliminator in 10ml worth £7

19th – Crabtree & Evelyn, Rosewater & Pink Peppercorn Hand Therapy In 25ml worth £15

20th – Steve Laurent Lip Gloss In Eggplant Full size worth £22

21st – Pixi By Petra Fresh Face Blush In BeachRose worth £10

22nd – Zelens Instant Facial Mask 10ml – couldn’t find price.

23rd – Eyeko London Fat Eyestick Satin worth £12

24th – Mitchell & Peach Fine Radiance Oil In 20ml worth £40

25th – Huda Beauty Winter Solstice Highlight Palette worth £45

The products are amazing for the price of the calendar. I love how there is a mixture of makeup, skincare, haircare and makeup tools as there is something for everyone. I will be doing reviews on a couple of the products I haven’t tried before and the ones I’m really enjoying too through December so keep an eye out.

To register to Glossybox and try out their next monthly box with 20% off click here.

Which advent calendar did you go for this year?

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Lifestyle

THE C WORD.

Let’s Talk Cervical Cancer

This isn’t going to be your normal beauty or travel post, but it’s a post about something else I’m passionate about and something I actually hid for a while. Now I want to use my blog to be 100% myself and maybe just help one person feel like they have a friend with them.

The Facts.

There are around 3,200 new cervical cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s nearly 9 every day. In females in the UK, cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer, amd It takes 5 years for cells to fully develop into cancer.

Common symptoms with cervical cancer include:

• abnormal bleeding

• Discharge that’s unusual in amount, colour, consistency

• having to go to toilet more often

• pelvic pain

My Story.

I had just received my letter in the post requesting to go to the doctors for my smear test. I’ll be honest, it took me a couple of weeks to actually pick up the phone and book my smear as I just didn’t think it was important. This would be something I would later regret.

When the day came of my smear I had no idea what to expect, you learn so much at school and growing up but important situations like this was just never mentioned and because everyone is so scared to talk about it, it only takes one google search to see the c word and you expect the worse. I went into my doctors room and got asked to lay down on the bed and choose a comfortable position.

The nurse gently put an instrument called a speculum in, this holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen. A small brush will be used to gently collect a sample of cells from the cervix. I found this really uncomfortable and painful but this is different for everyone, some people aren’t phased at all by this.

The smear sample is then sent to the lab where two experts will check it. I was told the results could take 4-6 weeks to come back.

A week or so went passed and I hadn’t heard any information regarding my smear results. To be honest I had put it to the back of my mind again now as it was Christmas so was just focusing on that.

A couple of weeks went by and I finally received a letter and it wasn’t what I expected. The letter said that my scan had come back abnormal and that I would need to have a colposcopy test.

The Colposcopy

I went to my local hospital for this, on the day I just had to fill in a form and wait to be seen. I got taken into a room with a seat and a screen next to it. They asked me to undress from waist down again and got given a cover so I could feel comfortable.

The colposcopy is basically a camera that is used to see the walls of your cervix. This is so they can determine how far the abnormal cells had spread and which CIN grade you are.

Again this scan didn’t take too long about 15 minutes maximum but I was in terrible pain and discomfort. The doctor told me it was best for me to have a diagnostic laparoscopy test during my op and to also test for endometriosis because of the pain I was in. He suggested it was best I go under general anaesthetic so I don’t feel the pain too.

They found large areas suggesting CIN 3 and they also found a mild iodine negative area on my wall.

The day of the operation came and this was the first time I would of ever been put under anaesthetic and obviously I was worried. As mentioned previously they decided to put me under due to the bad pain I was in during the colposcopy. The wait in the ward to go down to theatre felt like forever. I remember being taken down and slowly drifting off to sleep.

Next thing I woke up in a strange room. That’s it, done. I just needed to make sure I ate, went to the toilet and didn’t feel sick before I would be allowed home. I was told I wasn’t allowed to have a bath or swim for 6 weeks after and I wasn’t allowed to lift heavy objects for a week or so either.

Six months after my operation I was asked to have another smear to check that the cells were all gone. This came back normal and was told my next smear will be in three years as usual.

I urge any female reading this now to go get their smear done as soon as you receive the letter. It takes five years for the cells to develop into cancer, five years you have to get checked and to spread the word to your friends and family. I won’t lie, I cried, I hid myself away, I felt scared and my anxiety was at a bad low, but through it all I learnt that it’s ok and normal. The sooner you get seen to, the sooner you can get treated and live your life. Let’s beat cancer.

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Uncategorized

EAT, SLEEP, BROWS, REPEAT.

Eyebrows Are The One Thing You Can Get In Shape Without Exercising.

Who gets the award for being the worst blogger probably ever? I’m sorry it’s been a while, I could tell you excuse after excuse on why I haven’t blogged but to be honest this is just who I am as a person and I have no excuses. However I’m back, with new makeup so get excited!

If you ask a group of women their favourite makeup brand for brow products, I’m guessing 90% of them will say Benefit, me included. Benefit are known for their famous brow products from ka – brow (a personal fave of mine), brow wiz and that all important Gimme Brow which I nearly had a breakdown over when they discontinued it over last Christmas.

Could they come out with anymore exciting brow product? Yes, yes they can. Benefit has upped the brow world with a four in one pencil, yep you read that right. Four products for the price of one. I honestly felt like they were spoiling us… love you Benebabes!

Available in five different shades ranging from fair to dark this pencil is designed to give you a ombré brow with a lighter and darker shade, highlight and concealer. It’s also the perfect size to take on the go too! Dream. Come. True.

Benefit have kept the design to their silver and simple trend which I love. The pencil reminds me of those pens you used to have at school with the different colours making the product have a fun feel to it. It’s honestly the most simplistic yet fantastic design ever! If only I thought of it and would be rich beyond my wildest dreams instead of eating biscuits in bed watching some strange conspiracy theory on Netflix right now.

I went for the Brown-Black Light shade as my eyebrows are quite dark naturally. I pushed the button down to start trying it out. I found it quite fiddly at first as I’m used to thin eyebrow pencils and couldn’t get used to holding the thicker pencil, but once you get the angle right it’s pretty simple. You are supposed to start with the lighter shade first, then the darker shade, concealer and end on highlight.

The concealer matched my skin perfectly and was so much easier to line my brow with than using my normal method of a brush. I found I could line the Brown right in the arch with the pencil.

The highlight gives a beautiful glow on the arch of the brows and again was easy to apply. You just run the pencil along where you need it and then smudge out with a small brush.

I have found that I do still need to shade in with my ka-brow pomade after as the pen can’t reach all the gaps I need it to but for a perfect contoured brow product on the go I would definitely recommend. As I mentioned earlier, Benefit has always been a favourite of mine for brow products as they give that sharp look I LOVE and this has just added to the list of my must haves.

May we all continue to have ‘fleeky’ brows. Yay!

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Uncategorized

Yachts Of Fun On Boat Week 2018

Oblique Crews Week In The Sporades

Picture this, you’re travelling around a gorgeous island in Greece with friends you’ve just made, eating and drinking the local delicacies while making memories before partying in the evening. Sounds amazing right? Now stop dreaming. Although this wasn’t a dream. My friend Coral and I were lucky to be invited to the Oblique boat week 2018.

So.. you’re asking who are Oblique and why wasn’t you told about this wonderful boat week?. Oblique London are an exclusive members only community. Founded by the three Sumaria brothers, they have grown to have a community of over 300 members and counting with daily activities available from meeting in cool bars, still drawings, yoga and fitness classes, visiting galleries and restaurants and much more. It’s a great way to meet like minded, fun people in London and become a large family. You can also get exclusive discounts everyday with one of their 65 partners throughout London.

Oblique Boat Week.

Started in 2016 this is the third boat trip Oblique have organised. It’s a week long trip where you get to stay on either a 50.5 ft yacht or a Catamaran and travel around the Sporades islands in Greece. Rumour has it next year it’ll be in a different part of Greece 😉. Ageing from 22 to 39 we had a great group of 16 people with 11 different nationalities plus two awesome skippers and a host who looked after us for the week.

I honestly had no clue where to start with writing about this trip as so many activities and fun memories keep replaying in my head but let’s start from the beginning. We took a midday flight to Skiathos on Friday 6th July with three other people from our group and met everyone else at the Alkyon hotel which is about 5 minuets away from the airport. The first night we stayed in the hotel and I can recommend it highly as it’s on the marina and a two minute walk away from the main town. That night we went for food at a restaurant, which served all local Greek food that tasted so good, we had a meze between the table so we’re able to try each of the dishes. We then found a bar called The Borzoi Club which I highly recommend as it has an outside seating area in a pretty terrace area and then an indoor nightclub.

The following day we were able to explore Skiathos town before boarding our yacht late afternoon. The yacht itself was much bigger than I thought it would be, it had four double bedrooms, a room with a bunk bed and a den room at the back, plus three bathrooms (two of which were ensuite), with a kitchen and living area in the middle.

We docked up in a cove the other side of Skopelos ready for sunset yoga on a private beach and a traditional Greek meal.

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After waking up to a beautiful sunrise, we went to Alonnisos in the newer part of town. We had arranged a hike with a local lady who took us around secluded parts of the town where you saw the most incredible views and private beaches. In the evening we went to the old town which was a 20 minutes drive away. We explored and all separated for our meals as there was so much to choose from, two of the girls and I decided on a lovely restaurant at the top of the hill. The group then all met up at the piano bar at the top of the hill which was playing live Greek music, apparently the sunset view here is stunning but unfortunately we missed it. After a few hours we headed back to the port where there is a popular nightclub called The Drunk Seal that goes on until the early morning. I managed to stay awake for the sunrise which was so beautiful. The next morning some of the group went off to go diving and snorkeling.

The next stop was another part of Alonissos which is a small port, this has a restaurant that serves the most amazing seafood. There was dancing from all the locals too. We decided to stock up on food as apparently our next stop was in a cove that wouldn’t have any shops local to us.

I am so grateful for our next destination. It was in a cove in the middle of the sea that had no phone signal. You might think we were mad, but the views at night were out of this world as after the slight rain we had had disappeared, all you could see were the stars lighting up the sky, including shooting stars. We sat up talking to eachother and star gazed. It was perfect. Unfortunately no matter how much you tried the cameras couldn’t pick up the stars.

Morning has arrived and it was time to move on and connect with the world again. We found a small beach which had an inflatable assault course and a little cafe to stop at. I believe this was in Nisos which is still in Alonissos. Our next stop was to visit a shipwreck.

This shipwreck is in Peristera island near Alonissos and is in the sea. Our skipper believes the shipwreck to of been there for about 30 years. This little cove is stunning with clear water that you could see the bottom too. Everyone got on the floats and jumped in and most the girls were wearing Aziina swimwear which is a Greek homemade design that is beautiful. We stayed there that night and as we were the only boats we decided to have a boat party where we just danced and sang the whole night. Again that evening the stars were beautiful and laying on the catamaran trampoline looking up at the sky ended the night perfectly.

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It was time to go back to mainland so we headed to Skopelos! We had booked a restaurant called Agnanti in the old town which is gorgeous. From every direction was old stones, narrow streets and incredible views of the sea. The restaurant itself had the best view of the sea so we could watch the sunset. This town was about a forty five minutes coach drive from the port but it’s worth visiting if you get the chance. When we got back to the port we wanted to watch the England game so found a nice bar and then partied the night away after (despite England’s loss).

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It was our last full day and so we wanted to make the most of it, and what better way than visiting the famous Mamma Mia cliff. Around 200 stairs to climb (warning, they get steeper the higher you get) you are greeted by the famous white church that was in the wedding scene and a large tree with a bell that you ring. The views from the top are outstanding. On the way back down we noticed there was rubbish laying on the rocks which have either been swept up from the ocean or left there from tourists. The Oblique Crew decided to help out and pick up the rubbish, another amazing team effort from the members in the Oblique family.

The last destination on our trip before heading back to Skiathos town was a stunning beach on the other side of Skiathos. The beach had a line of bars and golden sand with a random black swan swimming around. Our last evening was spent on the boats by having a boat party. The skipper had a disco ball and we put on cheesy music to have a dance with, we sang, we drank and laughed. It was that moment I took a second to myself to realise how lucky I was to share this trip with great people from all different backgrounds who I wouldn’t of met if it wasn’t for Oblique and Luxuria.

We ended our trip back in Skiathos and said our goodbyes while people had different flights. The Oblique brothers have already confirmed we are having a reunion night soon and I can’t wait to reconnect with all the inspiring people I spent the most perfect week with. Thank you to the Oblique brothers and Luxuria Lifestyle for a trip of a lifetime. I would recommend anyone to jump on board boat week 2019.