BEAUTY | The Manicure Moment: Luxury Nude

As much as love wearing colourful nail polishes, I always come back to nude shades. They are definitely my favourite. Nude manicures are fit for every occasion, from casual, day-to-day looks to more dressy and formal occasions. Hence why a few months ago I felt like investing in a luxury nude nail polish, because it would become a staple for me and I'd always come back to it. 
After browsing through all the nude shades I could find in Sephora, I finally settled on Beige Léger by YSL. Mind you, it is not just your regular beige shade: you may not be able to tell from the photos because it is quite hard to capture, but there is a subtle but really pretty hint of pink that I had never seen in any beige nail polish before. 
The application is super easy and you can go with two coats only. This is my first Yves Saint Laurent nail polish, and as you'd expect, the quality is really good. Nothing an Essie nail polish can't do of course (and I'll be 100% honest with you here), but the packaging is absolutely gorgeous and I'm planning on adding a few more to my collection in the future.

What's your favourite nude nail polish? Would you invest on high-end nail polishes?


TRAVEL | Day Out in Winchester, Hampshire

October 25th was my birthday. As it was also half-term (for those who didn't know, I work in a secondary school) I took the opportunity to stay in Reading with my good friend Julie for the week. And on my birthday, I was left totally free to choose what we would be doing on that day. How fun it is to have power..! Arguably, I didn't go for anything too crazy: my only wish was to spend a day out in Winchester, my favourite city in the whole of England. I've been there quite a few times already, and although the Cathedral and Great Hall are definitely familiar to me now, I never get bored of them. 

In this post, let me take you along and show you why I love Winchester so much! The Cathedral, pictured above, is obviously one of the (numerous) reasons. Although the outside doesn't look like much and England has some more impressive cathedrals, the interior is absolutely fascinating, with a harmonious blend of architecture as early as Norman and Gothic. But what makes the Cathedral extra special for me is that it is the burial place of my favourite author, Jane Austen. Winchester was her last home, and to this day it is a really important place to all self-professed Janeites. 

After having lunch in front of the Cathedral, we had a little walk around the grounds, where you can find beautiful, old cottages and homes left untouched by time. Take the narrow pathway at the right side of the Cathedral, and you'll stumble these small streets full of Tudor homes and colourful bricks. If you keep going right, you'll cross one of the gates of the city and find yourself in College Street.

I really love this photo of me in front of Jane Austen's last home. It is hard to explain how and why someone who's been dead long ago and who is almost a dematerialised figure, can hold such a place in my heart. But Jane Austen is an inspiration, as a writer and - from what is known of her - as a person, and I do look up to her. Taking this photo was important because I have walked in her steps, and it shows that her heritage lives on today. Next year will be the 200th anniversary of her death, and I can't wait to see the events Winchester will organise for the occasion.

My respects to Miss Jane Austen paid, we walked down College Street and visited Wolvesley Castle, the ruins of the imposing house of the Bishop of Winchester in the 12th century. The ruins are mysteriously hidden on a side pathway that you would probably miss if you didn't pay attention. They are totally free to visit, and totally worth it. The signs displayed around the ruins are really helpful to understand what rooms stood there back in the day, and what they were used for. It's important to make time for learning new things every day!

The next stop on our way was St Giles' Hill. Located on the other side of the River Itchen, there's only one tip to find it: spot the spiral stairs and go up and up to the top. At that time of year, you'll be welcomed by a bright mixture of reds and oranges, as the leaves cover the ground like some sort of autumnal snow. That's when you can get the perfect Instagram picture, right?!

Once you get to the top of the hill, go towards to the line of the horizon and there, you'll find a stunning view over the whole city. You'll recognise the Cathedral in the distance, and frantically take pictures of this special panorama.

This last photo could be titled: 'autumn in Narnia' :P
There is so much more I would love to add about Winchester, but that'll have to be for another time. Those of you who have already visited Winchester will know, there is History at every corner and every single building is worth a close look. I'm hoping to go back there in a few weeks for the Christmas market, it is the best one I've ever visited in the UK. Now that we've all transitioned into autumn, let the festive season begin!

What are your thoughts about Winchester? Is it a city you would enjoy visiting for the day?


BEAUTY | My Autumn Makeup Look 2016

Every autumn, I feel like my creativity strikes back when it comes to makeup. In the summer I'm too lazy to use eyeshadows, but when October arrives, I get my makeup brushes and palettes back and I enjoy taking more time to do my makeup. Maybe it is because all my makeup is neutral/warm toned and feels more appropriate for the autumn and winter months? Anyways, this year I have decided to come up with a new makeup tutorial, but you can also check out my 2015 autumn makeup look. (God, I do hope my photography has improved since then!)

This year is all about warm shades for me. Burgundy, brick red, hints of corals and oranges. I describe the eye makeup as a sort of sunset-themed makeup, and I chose to do my lips similarly with a hint of gold. Hopefully you'll enjoy this look, and stick to this post for the step-by-step tutorial!

An Autumn Sunset - Makeup Tutorial
Step 1 | The Face

Because I still have a bit of a tan from this summer, I don't use foundation at the moment. So to even out my complexion, I only used the Fit Me Concealer by Maybelline, in the darkest shade that I got especially to use with my tan. This concealer is great because it has a good, buildable coverage and will cover dark circles quite well. Then I used the Stay Matte face powder by Rimmel, which you must know by now is my favourite. As for my brows, I brushed through them with an almost empty mascara, which is what I always do with my brows.

Step 2 | The Eyes

I used three eyeshadows to create this look. My base eyeshadow is Smog from the Naked Palette by Urban Decay. The Naked Palette 1 is my go-to palette at all times, it just has all the shades I like using for my makeup looks. In the outer corners, I used an H&M eyeshadow called Sahara Dawn, which is a beautiful burnt burgundy colour. The quality of it is amazing, it is really pigmented and blends out like a dream. If you haven't checked out the H&M makeup line, please do because they have come up with amazing products!
To mimic the colours of a sunset, I added a bit of gold in the inner corners of the eyes with Half Baked from the Naked 1, my favourite gold eyeshadow in the world. You might need to reapply a bit of Smog once you're done with the other two eyeshadows, to make sure all the colours stand out and you see the gradient effect. 

This is what the look should look like at that point:

I finished the look by adding a coloured liner, using my (really old) Sephora Jumbo Liner in this gorgeous purple shade with speckles of gold. I also added it in the waterline. I then put mascara, my Lash Sensational mascara by Maybelline which I am in love with (click here for a full review).

Step 3 | Lips & Blusher

To stick with the sunset theme, I decided that coral was the colour that would look the best with the eye look. On my cheeks, I am wearing my trust blusher by Beauty UK in shade n.3 Upper East Side (available in Superdrug). It is a gorgeous warm pink shade with gold shimmer. Finally for the lips, I chose the shade Brick-o-la by MAC, which is actually a sort of burnt red colour but that came out a lot more coral in the photos. To give a little twist to the look, I added a touch of Half Baked eyeshadow in the middle of my lips. The metallic/shimmery lips trend is starting to reach the beauty world apparently so this is a way to add a bit of fun to a plain lip. 


This is what the makeup looks like! As you can tell, I went all out for gold shimmers and pink/red tones. What would make this look even more autumnal?
... A cosy jumper and a burgundy bow in the hair of course!

You're probably sick of my face now after all these pictures haha. Anyways, I do hope you'll enjoy this tutorial. It's pretty simple to recreate, and would look great on a night out if you swap the lipstick for a dark burgundy or a purple for example. Let me know if you try to recreate it, I would love to see what you come up with!

What is your go-to autumn makeup this year?