25/06/2017

LIFESTYLE | June in Paris


I'm back in Paris and with a very original (*cough*) post with never-seen-before (*cough cough*) places. No macarons involved.

I said goodbye to my little home of Northampton a couple weeks ago and came back where my French heart belong: Paris! If we set aside the horrendous heatwave that's been going on this past week, I'm glad to be there again and I've made the most of it by meeting up with friends and walking around my favourite parts of the city.
And yes, my favourite places happen to be full of tourists all year round. I can't help it though, it's so pretty!


Fun fact: I almost didn't post this photo because it's such a tourist shot haha. (Not that I have anything against tourists, it's just that you'd think that after all the time I've spent there, I would have gotten over the whole Notre Dame thing. Well, I haven't.)

These days in Paris have been glorious, the weather is beautiful and it's the perfect time to walk around the banks of the river and have an iced coffee. Until the heatwave hit us and the thirty-seven degrees made it impossible to breathe at all. 

From Notre Dame, it is an easy walk to the Louvre, my top favourite. I haven't had time to go inside yet this year, but I am definitely planning to go later in the summer. Cross the Seine, walk towards Châtelet and the never-ending Rue de Rivoli... And you'll find yourself in front of the infamous pyramid and the beautiful neo-classical buildings that surround it. You'll easily guess which one I'm more fond of!


When I'm on my own, I love sitting in a corner of the museum and read a book. Even though it's quite a crowded area, it's so vast that you don't find yourself stepping on other people or feeling too bothered by the noise. Just a charming place to hang out, really! 


On a side note, my friends and I went to the Olympic Games events held around the Seine last Friday, and it was rather cool. Swimmers dived in the river from the Alexandre III bridge, our new President played tennis and there was a giant colouring wall where you could colour the images of olympic sports and leave silly messages, because of course we'd do that. We are against LA for the organisation of the 2024 Olympic Games, and let me tell you: our event was awesome. Paris for 2024!

PS: I'm leaving for California in two days. Reunited with my boyfriend after being apart for six months. I'm all heart eyes emojis. This also means a lot of brand-new content for the blog - you've probably seen enough of Paris already. This is going to make quite a change!

What are your plans for the summer?
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17/06/2017

BEAUTY | How Much Is My Face Worth?


The moment I realised that my money doesn't just disappear: it's all on my face.

I think I've seen this type of post around the blogosphere in the past, and I've recently decided to give it a go! Let's figure out how much money's worth of products I generally apply on my face. I decided to do the test with my everyday makeup, and purposely only used products that are in my daily routine. There's a mix of drugstore and high-end makeup, that I'll list below.
Let's jump in and count the £££...


For my everyday looks, I tend to go for simple makeup, warm pink tones and, as usual, no contouring or bronzer and all that. All the products I use have stood the test of time and I'd highly recommend them.

FACE AND LIPS


Since February I have been using the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation all over my face. It is great at covering imperfections and gives a very natural finish. (read my review of the foundation here) I am sure this foundation would suit most skins, dry as well as combination or oily. Under my eyes, I used a tiny bit of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer, which has a great coverage - even though my current shade is way too dark for me! To set it, I use the Rimmer Stay Matte powder, which has been a firm favourite for years now. Cheap and cheerful!
On my cheeks, I've used a sparkly coral blusher from Beauty UKBlush & Brush in the shade n.3 Upper East Side. That's my go-to shade for warm looks. Under my brows and on my cheekbones, I added some highlight, using a Sephora eyeshadow. It came in a birthday present from the brand, and this shade is the perfect beige tone to use as highlighter, and it has a slight gold shimmer to it.

On my lips, I went for a light lip with MAC Fast Play. It's my favourite pinky nude shade in the amplified finish, and on a day-to-day basis I've been wearing a lot of more glossy finishes recently and steered away from my mattes a little.

EYES


I like a non-fussy eye look, and the Naked 3 palette by Urban Decay is my spring and summer favourite. For this look, I've used two eyeshadows: Trick on the whole mobile lid, and Darkside in the outer corners. In the middle of the lid, I've put a touch of golden bronze eyeshadow from Nocibé, which was a present from the brand. To line my eyes, I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on eye pencil in shade Underground, which is a cool-toned shimmery brown. I use it as eyeliner very often, and use it under the eyes as well to add to complete the look.
My mascara is the amazing Roller Lash by Benefit, which is perfect for length and separated lashes. My eyebrows are slightly brushed with my old Lash Sensational Mascara by Maybelline, as I don't fill in my eyebrows. An old mascara's just great to make them look fuller and keep them in place.

And that is my typical everyday look complete!


Now, as I am writing this I have no idea how much this makeup look is worth. I've got my calculator ready, and for reference I'll be using prices in pounds, and take the price information from the websites of the brands as often as I can for accuracy. 


Charlotte Tilbury, Magic Foundation, £30
Urban Decay, Naked Skin Concealer, £19
Rimmel, Stay Matte Powder, £3.99
Beauty UK, Blush & Brush, £2.99
Sephora, Single Eyeshadow, present
MAC, Fast Play Lipstick, £16.50
Urban Decay, Naked 3 Palette, £39.50
Nocibé, Single Eyeshadow, present
Urban Decay, 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil, £15.50
Benefit, Roller Lash Mascara, £20.50
Maybelline, Lash Sensational Mascara, £8.99
TOTAL ............ £156.97

You know what, that's actually not as bad as I thought! Of course I'm only wearing a fraction of that value on my face, but it goes to show that investing in products that you love and trust enough to use on your skin everyday is essential.
I could have saved that money, I could have gone for cheaper options for a lot of these products, but in the long run, these are well worth the price. Sure, my wallet cried a little when I splurged on the Charlotte Tilbury foundation, but I've still got a good quantity of it left and I've enjoyed using it ever since. So yes, I don't think the money's worth of makeup I apply on my face almost every day is that bad - after all, that's one of my hobbies.

So there you go, the face on these photos is worth £156.97. Figuratively speaking, of course. I hope.


How much do you think your everyday makeup is worth?
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03/06/2017

FASHION | The Old Town


Warwick, round 2.

Back to Warwick a couple weeks ago, with my friend Julie who visited me for the weekend. Warwick is a beautiful town to visit for a day trip, so I was happy to go back - and managed to do some things I didn't get to do the first time!

Like visiting the inside of the Lord Leycester Hospital, which I mentioned in my first post about Warwick here. Most of the structure is medieval, with the chapel on top of the Norman tower built in the 12th century. There have been some Victorian alterations and restorations (we wouldn't want the building to just fall apart, obviously). The Hospital, used as a retirement home for old soldiers, still houses twelve retired soldiers. They happily welcome you and are eager to share the history of the place, and a lovely old soldier named Bill kindly offered to talk to us about the history of the hospital.


There was an Elizabethan play organised later that day, so we had the chance to visit the Hospital surrounded by actors in medieval costumes, painted faces and funny hats. Makes the illusion even more complete!
We went around, exploring every place we had access to, from the tiny chapel on the tower to the hidden back gardens and the meeting hall where you can still find a chair where King James I himself put his royal bottom all these centuries ago. 

It was a windy and somehow cold day, so I went for a practical outfit, overlooking the fact that I am still wearing jumpers in May. But more on the outfit later! For now, follow me along as we walk under the buttresses all the way to the chapel. 


Behind the chapel is the Secret Garden. This place feels so private and intimate, it felt special to be able to explore. There was actually a little garden party going, with people walking around in fancy attire, champagne in hand.


After a wander in the gardens, we went back to the courtyard, where a beautiful part of the building is preserved from the 14th century. You can't do more medieval than that,which is probably why that courtyard was used as the open-air stage for the play!


As we climbed the steps to the meeting hall, I thought how wonderful it was to still be able to use this building, climb the stairs, lean on the railing and walk on the creaky, dusty wooden floor. Inside the meeting hall, it felt like being in a time machine and stepping right back in the 1600s.


After visiting the hospital, we had a little afternoon break at the Thomas Oaken Tea Rooms. This café in an absolute gem! When we arrived, there was no table available to the lady kindly offered to take my number and call us when a table became free. Not even fifteen minutes later we received the said call, and they kept the table for us until we arrived back at the tea room. The customer service is impeccable, the staff is genuine and polite - I understand the popularity of the place!
I had the best Victoria sponge I've ever had in my life, the strawberry jam was delicious and the sponge had a slight taste of vanilla which gave it just the right sweetness. I drank a mocha - the only thing with tea rooms is that I'd never have traditional tea and always opt for coffee!



After our lovely sweet treat, we headed towards Warwick castle and the Mill Garden. These I've already shown in my previous post about the town, so I'll keep it short. This time, there were more flowers around and it was a joy to see the facades covered in wisteria. Proper Instagram dream right there.


Despite it being May, it was a grey day so I opted for a jumper & dress combo that I really like. The white and blue pattern of this dress makes a real statement, and reminds me of Portuguese azulejos - the beautiful ceramics that adorn the walls of houses and churches. This thick cropped jumper is the perfect length to be worn with the dress, and of course allows the collar of the dress to show, which is another statement detail! 

We ended the day at the Mill Garden, to get the prettiest view of the castle. The owner was sat there with his friends, having some kind of afternoon get-together, which frankly isn't the worst way to spend a Saturday when you own a cute pink house and a big garden that overlooks Warwick castle. Lucky guy.


The garden was full of a variety of flowers, from bluebells and pansies to lilac and white lilies. The scent in the air was heavenly, and it truly felt like being in a fairytale. I'm the princess obviously.


After having a little wander around the garden, I finally found the perfect spot. As I said, you can't beat that view. Thank you Warwick for being as lovely as ever!


How is summer going where you live?
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