MAKEUP | My 2018 Autumn Makeup Look

This year my makeup matches my top and I think that's pretty convenient.

In the autumn I love creating new makeup looks. They often include warm shades and lots of shimmer, because Christmas is getting closer and closer and whenever November comes, I can't help starting to feel festive... Yes, I'm one of those people. Sorry.
This year, my makeup look matches the Miss Selfrige crop top I'm wearing: it has some red, some green, and no, it wasn't actually inspired by a Christmas tree. It just features some of my favourite products at the moment, which I'm going to review below, so keep reading!

I've been loving the Botanics skincare range by Boots recently. I am currently using their day cream and its texture is soft, just thick enough and moisturising without feeling heavy on the skin.
The foundation I am wearing on these photos is the FaceFinity All Day Flawless foundation by Max Factor. It was a firm favourite of mine a few years ago and I recently just got it again - the coverage is light to medium, and I love how natural it looks on the skin. The finish is neither matte nor glowy, it just evens out the skin beautifully.

On my eyes, I have one of my favourite autumn/winter eyeshadows: Sahara Dawn by H&M Beauty, a gorgeous deep burgundy shade. It is slightly shimmery and super pigmented, so I only applied a little touch in the outer corners and then blended it out. It's the only eyeshadow I have tried from H&M Beauty, but if the rest of their range is as good, then it's definitely worth trying out. I paired it with a gold glitter eyeshadow from the French brand Nocibé, and on my lower lash line I am wearing the wonderful Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil in the shade Stash. I find that khaki green really compliments brown eyes and I've been wearing this pencil all autumn, it stays put for hours and the formula is gorgeous. A touch of NYX eyeliner for a more dramatic look, mascara, and I'm good to go.

On my lips I've got the beautiful NYX Liquid Suede, a semi-matte liquid lipstick which I wear all the time as soon as the leaves start to turn red. It needs to be reapplied after a few hours (the colour at the centre of the lips tends to fade a little) but for the price tag, it's a really good product. I love NYX as a brand and I've always enjoyed everything I've tried from them. 
In the autumn I love deep burgundy shades. I'm also yet to wear my purple MAC lipstick (Instigator) this year, and when I do I'll probably post a picture on my Instagram - so make sure you're following me there!

What are the makeup products you've been loving this autumn?


LIFESTYLE | You Worry Too Much? Here Are My Top Tips To Worry Less

Otherwise known as: please don't be a stressball like me.

Before we booked our lovely trip to Brugge last August, my boyfriend and I struggled for a few days with our trip planning. Where to go, where to stay, how long, how much... We spent evenings figuring out what to do, and stress was even higher because it would be less than a week before my boyfriend flew back home to California and I moved back to England. We had to think quickly, weight the pros and cons of every idea we had, and of course both agree on our final plan.
To my utmost shame, I was crap at this. I was very stressed, very negative, and ended up shutting down a lot of the time. My boyfriend was a champion for bearing with me until we finally got things together and booked our stay in Belgium. I really wasn't proud of myself for letting stress and worry control my behaviour, and it made me realise the first point I want to get at now: worrying can affect everything. Not only does it affect yourself and your mood, but also the mood of those around you, especially the people close to you like your family, partner, and friends. 
As a worrier, I often feel like this could never change, like it's a trait of my personality that will never go away. So recently I have made it a point to work on how I cope with stress and how I can, in my daily life, set up little things that hopefully will help me with little worries, the every day things that make my heart race and my thoughts mix all up in my head. Here we are...

Sometimes, you are so used to being stressed that you feel like it's a constant. That it's just how it is. But we don't stress for no reason. Every time somethings comes up, that makes you feel worried, pause and think. Ask yourself:
What is the current situation?
How do I feel about it?
What is it in this situation that scares me?
What would make me feel better?

Analyse your feelings and thoughts. Worry is often based on fear and uncertainty, about yourself or others, so don't be afraid to ask yourself difficult questions. Sometimes, I feel very worried before a social occasion. And most times it happens, I as now admit to myself, I worry because I am scared of whether people will like me or not, whether they will enjoy themselves in my company, or whether I will bore them to death. All of these reasons are confidence-related. So now, whenever I feel worried before a social event, I will remind myself where my fears come from and how I can fight them. It is all about finding what you are worrying about. It often comes a different problem, which will need fixing - but first, figure it out.

By this, I don't mean watching vlogs or listening to funky music to ignore your worries and pretend they will just go away. Unless you're very lucky, they won't. I rather mean, do something that is proven to help with relaxation, calm, and mindfulness. Recently, I have found that stretching sessions, that I incorporate at the beginning and the end of my workouts, are incredibly calming. You can find videos on YouTube and create a schedule for yourself to follow as many times a week as you want. To me, a relaxed body helps having a relaxed mind too.

Colouring books are also great, you focus on a simple action and get the satisfaction of accomplishing something (i.e. colouring in your picture.) I would advise doing these activities in complete science, so you can hear your mind slowing down, or with very soothing and quiet music in the background, like this one. The aim is to be alone with your thoughts, not forget about your worries. You still have to tackle them - but with a rested mind, it helps.

I really do think that worrying and stress are only the external factors of deeper problems. You don't stress for nothing. There is always a reason behind it, and unless you find that reason and work towards solving it, you will keep worrying all the time. As I have explained in my first point, I figured out why I would worry about social situations. So whenever you feel stressed, wind down and unfold the stories behind the worrying. 
Sometimes it can be that you need to gain more self-confidence, sometimes it can be that you have to learn how to trust others, or how to embrace the unexpected if you tend to worry about the future and your professional life. Learn how to make yourself happy and safe, step by step, by confronting your emotions. Don't let it go and wait for it to pass. It may go away for a while, but if you don't tackle the issue, it will resurface eventually. Who knows, figuring out your battle may be the start of a new, life-changing and exciting journey in discovering yourself!

Just like with any thing that may be troubling you, you should talk it out. I am a great advocate of figuring things out by yourself and for yourself, but if you are surrounded by people who get to see you worry, and stress, like family members or a partner, you should talk with them. They may see some things about yourself that you don't see, because you are focused on the negativity that you may be feeling.
When we were booking our trip, my boyfriend remarked on how negative I had been, and repeated to me some of the things I would say, that I didn't even realise I was saying back then! Things like 'I'm stressing out,' 'I wanna die,'There's not enough time'... And all the while I was saying those things, I was letting myself fall into my worries. My boyfriend got to observe that from the outside, and him telling me about how I had been acting really got me thinking. Sometimes it takes having someone else to realise what you are doing, and how you can improve. Also, make sure you always seek help when you feel like you need it. It is not a weakness, on the contrary - you share with people who are close to you, and who know what you may not see about yourself.

In the same way, remember to be kind with others. It is easy to get in a loop of negativity and spread it around - like I have done in that episode with my boyfriend. Even when you're not feeling quite right, always take a step back and reflect on what you are doing. If you're feeling stressed and upset, always remember that these feelings will influence your actions and the way you are towards people. Being positive and finding the little things, even in your distress, that will put a smile on your face, will help you, first and foremost, but it will also help the people you live with, share your day with, or interact with in these times of worry. Spread positive messages, and you will only get support and cheering in return. It is easy to put off others with our behaviour, and doing so is only a disservice to you as well as them. Keep your mind open and own your actions. Positivity attracts positivity!

How do you deal with worry? What do you do to relax and relieve stress?


TRAVEL | Forget LA: Five Reasons to Visit San Diego, CA

Grab a snack; this is a looong one.

San Diego is just a couple hours away from LA, and although we all know the latter, there isn't as much out there about San Diego. But with my boyfriend living there, I've had a chance to visit quite a few places around SD and I really want to share with you all you can see there. It's a pretty awesome place, if you ask me. So this post will be full of personal impressions, tips on what to do and see and why I think you should visit SD if you're looking for a bit of Southern California for your next big trip...

If like me, you live in a European city and that going to the beach is a one-time-a-year exclusive event, then you'll love the beautiful sandy beaches along the coast of San Diego. I have been to the beach there in winter, summer and in the autumn, and no matter the time of year, they are beautiful. There are a lot of beaches worth visiting around San Diego, and my favourite is Torrey Pines, which is right near a beautiful natural reserve. You can hike there, and get some rest by laying on the beautiful beach. This autumn, my boyfriend took me to Coronado beach. Coronado is a little island connected to mainland San Diego by a long curved bridge. Let me tell you, Coronado's posh. Like, huge, beautiful houses all around. We went to the beach at around 5, as the sun started to go down, and we had it all to ourselves. It was the most amazing moment. 

If you're lucky, you might see some people surfing around. In Coronado, you can also see the most beautiful Hotel Del Coronado which looks straight out of Disneyland. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants around any of those beaches, so you could easily spend a whole day discovering a beach and its surroundings: Coronado, Carlsbag, Del Mar - all places I've seen and would totally recommend.

In San Diego, animals are a big deal. You can see plenty of them, of all species (more than 650!) at the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park. I have been to both quite a few times as my boyfriend loves these two places, and the Zoo in particular is one of my favourites. I don't do zoos very often, and I make sure to only support places that show the animals the care and protection they deserve. San Diego Zoo is one of these: they keep the public very well-informed about their programmes of development, you have volunteers all around the park that share their knowledge and love of the animals, and the money is reinvested in plans to make sure we keep all these beautiful creatures safe all around the world. The variety at the zoo is quite amazing too, you've got anything from pandas to polar bears and gorillas.

The Safari Park (or Wild Animal Park) is a more extended park where you will see a lot of species in big enclosures that resemble their natural habitat. You can actually do a safari there, and get to see the animals closer than you usually would. Although I have a preference for the zoo because of the variety of animals that they have, the work that has been put in the Safari Park is amazing - you can stand a few steps away from the kangaroos, and that in itself is a pretty good reason to visit.

My absolute favourite area of San Diego, if you've seen my previous posts on the city, is Balboa Park.
Balboa Park. It is right in the area where the zoo is, and it is a beautiful, Spanish architecture heaven full of museums and gardens to visit. This time, my boyfriend and I went there after our day at the zoo, for a little walk. Most landmarks will have a fee, but even just walking around the area and seeing the Botanical Building, the Rose Garden, the Spanish Art Village and the International Cottages. There is always something new to see in Balboa.

These buildings are my favourite, and I always swoon over how beautiful they are every time we go there. I would highly recommend the museums of course - I loved visiting the Museum of Man last year.

The variety of landscapes in San Diego is impressing. You can find the beautiful, dry moutains and cacti galore, but you also have Downtown SD for all things city, cafes, and Comic Con. 
In Downtown San Diego, Seaport Village is an adorable spot where you can do shopping and have lunch. They have an amazing Christmas shop open all year around, as well as a cupcake shop that makes the yummiest treats. Around the Bay, you can also take a boat tour, which my boyfriend and I did with the Hornblower. On some tours, you can see sea lions, or even do dolphin and whale-spotting cruises. At the Convention Center, you will find the biggest Comic Con that is held every year, with tons of cosplayers and actors coming to San Diego for the occasion. Not something I have done myself, but if you're a fan of pop culture, it might be the dream trip to organise!

If you're cheesy like me, and you love a bit of stereotypical Americana, you'd love quite a few spots in San Diego. Old Town Temecula is one of my favourites: think 1800s style buildings, wooden barns used as restaurants, and fairy lights as soon as the night falls. Old Town is also where one of my favourite places to eat in the San Diego area is: Havana Kitchen. I've mentioned it on the blog before, but they do an incredible cubano sandwich, very flavourful, as well as the yummiest lattes you ever did taste.

Apart from Temecula, there's another lovely spot I discovered during this trip, courtesy of my dad's boyfriend: Bates Nut Farm. I had never been to a traditional farm like this before, and it was awesome. Fresh produce, animals (and an emeu for some reason?), make-your-own peanut butter machine, and pumpkin patch. Yes, pumpkin patch. Although most of the good ones were gone already (we went the day before Halloween) it was still fun to walk around. And take a look at the Christmas tree ornaments... It doesn't get more American than that!

I have seen very little of LA, but I can tell you that San Diego is an amazing destination if you're interested in discovering this part of California - so I would totally recommend spending a few days there if you ever plan a big California holiday. Personally, I love it and I can't wait to go again! (After all, it's not like my favourite person in the whole world lives there...)

Which part of San Diego would you like to visit the most?