TRAVEL | Henley-on-Thames, England

Typical example of someone thinking 'it sounds better in French': calling 
their boat 'The Big Cheese' haha

It is time for my third (and last) instalment of my England trip series! On our last day before going back home, my friend Julie and I set sail for Henley-on-Thames. Well, I wish we went there on boat, but we actually just took the train (boring!). Henley is a cute little village at the very South of Oxfordshire, and is known for his River & Rowing Museum, as the place is bordered by the Thames and home to a lot of boat-related events. Although I am not particularly fond of rowing, I adore small, peaceful villages so this is the main reason I knew Henley was right up my street! We went for a pleasant afternoon stroll and coffee break. The weather was not as good as we'd hoped, but the scenery was so perfect it didn't really matter. 

If you were to visit Henley, I'd advise you to keep it simple. Walk along the tiny streets, take a look at all the beautiful houses and enjoy the view. There are a lot of little coffee houses there, like Hot Gossip, which is a tiny coffee house in the city centre that would make a nice spot for a break. Henley is also a great spot for a shopping afternoon, with quite a few vintage shops (although we failed to spot these when we were there, probably because we can't use a map properly haha) and really cool independent shops where you'll find cards and stationery, candles, clothing or books.

Speaking of books, we stumbled upon the cutest second-hand and antiquarian bookshop everRichard Way Bookseller. Although the Visit Henley website says the bookshop specialises in books about rowing, they do have a great selection of fiction and non-fiction books. We rummaged through the shelves, looking at vintage books and maps, and I would have taken all the books home if I could! 

After our (much needed) coffee break, we went for a walk along the river, taking photos of all the boats we saw and wondering how it felt to actually own a boat and maybe live in it. There were quite a few people having a walk there as well, I feel like Henley is a place most people in the area know about, and I surely know that if I lived in the surroundings, I would go there for weekend days out. I'm hoping to go back to Henley-on-Thames in the summer one day, so maybe I could enjoy a little boat trip, see what the rowing thing is all about! ;)

Do you know any similar villages as Henley? And do you also enjoy walking around peaceful villages and towns instead of facing the bustle of big cities?


BEAUTY | Review: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red

I finally did it. I got a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick! I had been convinced to buy one long ago, after reading half a dozen very positive reviews on various blogs, talking about how gorgeous the shades were and how good the quality was. When I went to England, I knew I'd come back with my own little rose gold bullet! I chose a Matte Revolution lipstick in shade Red Carpet Red and here are my thoughts about it, honest and (I hope) comprehensive, as usual.

Do I need to tell you how stunning this lipstick looks? Charlotte Tilbury is high end so obviously, they take great care of their packaging. The lipsticks are rose gold (they know how to appeal to beauty bloggers!), with the logo of the brand carved in the cap. This definitely feels sturdy and good quality, with high-end brands a good part of the price goes into packaging so it's always a good point when the brand does pay attention to it. 

Shade and formula
I went for a classic red shade, because I didn't have any and wanted something different. Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are very drawn towards nude/pink shades, at least that's the impression I got when I visited the shop. This colour really stood out to me, and the formula is also something very different from my usual finishes. The lipstick is described as follows: 'A cashmere cream texture with a soft-matte finish, enriched with papaya and orchid. Lips appear fuller, wider & lit from within thanks to 3-D glowing pigments.' The texture is indeed super creamy, and if you avoid wearing matte lipsticks because you fear dry lips and uncomfortable feeling on the lips (like I did), you should try out the Matte Revolution lipsticks. The finish isn't completely matte, it still has that bright - but not glowy - look to it, so it doesn't dry out the lips at all, even after a long day of wear. I was really impressed with how easily it is to apply and how good the formula is. Plus the shape of the bullet is so much more practical to embrace the shape of the lips than the usual lipstick shape that we get, they should all be cut like that! 

Is it worth the hype?
This is always a delicate question, because with this type of product you can't help but think that nothing really justifies the price of it. To really answer, I should try out other matte lipsticks from different brands and price ranges, and see if this one stands out. However this is the only matte lipstick I've tried in years so I can't really compare to cheaper ones that are good quality as well. All I can say is that I haven't been disappointed, the quality is great and I was even surprised at how good the staying power is - the colour doesn't disappear from the centre of the lips after hours of wear, as most lipsticks unfortunately do. One could argue that any lipstick that passes the £20 mark is overpriced anyways, but for that you get really good quality, a 100% cruelty-free product and a beautiful addition to your collection. So I feel like it is definitely worth its price, and I'd love to get one or two more from that collection!

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red, available in Harrods, Selfridges and Charlotte Tilbury's own shop in Covent Garden.

Have you ever tried Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks? What are your thoughts on high-end products in general?


TRAVEL | A Glimpse of Reading, Berkshire

I'm not sure many people outside of the UK know about Reading. It is a big town, thirty minutes away from London by train. It has no particular cultural landmark, except for Reading Gaol, the prison (now closed) where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for being homosexual - which, to be honest, is not a cool thing to boast about! Reading is a great economic centre though, a lot of companies have settled there and apparently, the town has been developing a lot during the recent years.
This is not a city I'd tell you to visit, because there's just not that much to see, but I really wanted to dedicate a blog post to it, it has been my home for a year and I was so excited to come back. The first photos of the post are photos of the Forbury Gardens, which are quite beautiful. The lion reminds me of Aslan, if any of you have seen the Chronicles of Narnia films! ;) Another thing that I like there are the Abbey ruins. The building dates to the 12th century; I love ruins and old buildings, so seeing these old stones full of History makes me happy. I wish the Abbey was in a better state though, it must have looked so grand back in the day!

The place where I spent most of my time last year was the university. And if I had to choose one word to describe Reading uni, it would be nature. The campus is huge, much bigger than a lot of other English campuses I reckon. There is nature everywhere. Above are photos of the view from my window, as I lived in a hall that directly faced the Whiteknights lake. The last four photos were taken on my holidays in the Harris Gardens, which are a peaceful, vast area where you can find many different species of flowers and plants, and this year we got to see the blooming cherry blossoms. People hardly ever go to these gardens, which makes it even better because on sunny days, it is far quieter than the centre of campus, where everybody goes to find a spot in the sun during revision time. 

It felt so good to be back in Reading, go to all these spots again and see some of our friends. I'll always feel at home there, and I hope I made you discover a little this rather unfamiliar town!

Had you actually heard about Reading before? What is the city that makes you feel like home?


FASHION | Crochet & Trainers

I first wanted to call this post 'A Casual Outfit', because trainers automatically make an outfit casual to me. As I don't like streetwear, sports clothes, hoodies and everything like that, my vision of a casual outfit goes down to comfy shoes and a top that I feel comfortable in. I recently got this pair of Stan Smith trainers by Adidas with the hot pink detailing, mainly because I wanted good trainers for my holiday in England, as I knew we'd walk a lot. I initially wanted to get a Superstar pair, but they made my feet look so huge - this often happens with shoes, I always find they make my feet appear bigger (I'm a size 5-6). The advantage of these trainers is that they go with everything I wear: jeggings, shorts, dresses or skirts. 
The day I took these photos, the weather was quite warm and felt amazingly like spring. On days like that I love wearing light colours, so I went for my Mango crochet crop top, that I got in the winter sales. I remember a lot of you who read that post liked this top, so I hope you'll enjoy the outfit I put together with it!

It is around this time of year that I bring back the hair accessories too. This pale pink bow headband is one of my favourites. I know it can look somewhat childlike to wear a pink ribbon on your head, but why the hell not? Paired with the light shorts and the light top, it is an outfit very fitted for the season! 
By the way, this is my first time wearing my new glasses on the blog! I love the change they make from my old ones. No more black and rectangular frame, I went for a bigger shape and a brown colour, which is exactly what I had in mind before finding these! They are Tom Ford Eyewear, I don't know how glasses work and if collections are sold worldwide though, but there's the link to the Tom Ford website, in case you wanted to check them out. I was quite happy to know my eyesight hasn't got worse. I always worry that being so often in front of screens will worsen it. The struggle of being addicted to technology, I guess!

Do you wear like trainers or is it just not your style? What is your definition of a casual outfit?