17/06/2017

♥ 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

♥ 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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24/05/2017

♥ The Best Natural Hair Combo? ♥


Natural products with good results and a good price. What else?

It seems like my best finds in Boots are always unexpected! I picked up this shampoo and conditioner combo from Kind Natured without having heard of the brand before, and they are product I'm now recommending to everybody I know. They combine a natural formula, a pleasant, light scent, and immediate results.

Having curly and dry hair, I am used to struggling with knots when I wash my hair. It usually takes ages to detangle it, and a lot of hair is lost in the process... But the first time I ever used this shampoo and conditioner, I was so impressed! The shampoo on its own detangled my hair and left it silky and soft. Using the conditioner on top of it has made it even softer and clean. When I can tell a difference after the first use, it generally means that the product is a good one. 
You can tell that the shampoo is different from your usual drugstore shampoo - there's almost no foam, but the cleaning action is still there. Focus on the roots, which need more cleaning, and don't worry if it doesn't foam as you're used to. As for the conditioner, you only need a tiny amount to run through your hair. 

These two products give so much moisture to the hair, and leave it super soft when it dries. The range has different products depending on your hair type, so do go and have a look in your local Boots. These products might make you want to go for natural more often - at least that's what it's done to me!

Kind Natured, Love Curls Soothing Shampoo and Conditioner, £4.99 in Boots.

Do you use natural hair products? What are your recommendations?
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13/05/2017

♥ A Roman Holiday pt.1 ♥


The post where I show you why Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world.

During the Easter break, my friend Julie and I took a little trip to one of the most exciting cities in Europe, Rome. Why exciting, you may ask? Because of its culture, its History, its atmosphere, its people, its food. Everything. That goes for all of Italy of course, but Rome is such a unique place. It's also huge, spread on seven hills and there is so much to see and do that you'd need months to explore it completely. However we only had a few days in the city, so here is what we've managed to do in that time.
Let's start with my favourite things that we did...

STEPPING IN ANCIENT ROME WITH THE FORUM AND THE COLOSSEUM

In Rome, you'll find traces of the Ancient empire everywhere. At every corner, an old stone, an inscription, a column or even just a bit of pavement will remind you where you are. Of course, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are a must-do. Be prepared: there are a lot of people. My advice would be to go early in the morning, before the opening, and grab tickets on the site. Don't book in advance, that is what we did and we ended up waiting just as long, if not longer, than the people who had not booked. The queue for booked tickets was much longer. If you don't know what you do when you arrive, the staff will be there to help. They are everywhere and ready to point you in the right direction, which is really helpful as I've rarely seen a touristic site more chaotic that the Colosseum.

As for the Forum, it is a vast area so you'll be able to walk around freely, and there are relatively less people in the queue. You can actually go to the Forum first and play a game called 'spot the Colosseum'...


Before getting to that beautiful view, you'll get the chance to walk along the old forum, explore and read about the antique buildings that still stand there proud and tall. Some of the ruins are amazingly preserved, my favourite being the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Vespasian. Ancient architecture is a wonder, and you can't help but feel impressed by the immensity of the buildings as you walk around, catching a glimpse of a life long gone. 




Take time to appreciate the details, look at each column and admire the fine carvings that remain. The buildings were added to the Forum over time, celebrating different emperors, different gods, and slowly spreading. After the fall of the Empire, some temples were used as churches, as the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, which is quite a peculiar temple. The typical Roman colonnade at the front is followed by a baroque church facade, blending in two different styles at time periods. 

Once you've walked around the grounds, climb up the stairs of at the end of the Via Sacra, and you'll find yourself observing the whole Forum from the top. I totally did not imagine that I was a Roman lady while capturing the view. Nope.


Now, it's time for the most famous building of Rome. The Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre, was built in 70 AD and even though some parts of it are missing today, it is still a beautiful, impressive building. You online have a sense of how imposing it is when you are near it. And once you get inside, the view is even better.



WALKING THE STREETS OF TRASTEVERE AND ALONG THE TIBER

On a sunny day, there's nothing more pleasant to discover a city than walking around its streets, discovering cute restaurants and cafés, beautiful buildings and, if you're a blogger and/or you have Instagram, take photos of doorways because that's what we do haha. Trastevere, in the west of the city on the other side of the Tiber, was my favourite area for hanging around. 


Get a waffle ice cream, take a break at the fountain of the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Go inside the basilica to check out the beautiful medieval mosaics. On the facade of the portico, have a look at the marble inscriptions: most of them are Roman and you can see little doodles of birds, wine barrels... yes, Romans were already into street art.



I am not religious, but I love religious buildings for the architecture and beautiful artwork that men put in their construction. Whenever I go somewhere I like to visit the churches, because there's always gems to find: beautiful mosaics, colourful glass windows, relics and paintings... The smell of churches puts me in an undescribable state of mind and contemplation. I do not believe in God, nor do I worship sacred texts of figures, but religious buildings really are fascinating.

After your walk around Trastevere, cross the Tiber river and walk along the old bridges that link the two sides. In Rome, you'll always have your camera in hand: you never know when you'll get that perfect dreamy photograph.


Cross the Ponte San'Angelo, which overlooks the Castel San'Angelo, used as a fortress by Popes in time of political unrest (there is even an underground corridor that links the Castel to the Vatican. The building was originally the Mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian in the second century. As many other Roman buildings, it has been used and reused over the centuries, which is one of the reasons why it still stands in such good condition today.



From the Sant'Angelo bridge, you'll be able to capture lovely views of the Tiber. Can you see Saint Peter's in the distance?


***
Rome is such a rich city that I can't possibly mention everything in a single post. However, there are some other bits I would love to talk about, so be prepared for a part two of the Roman holiday! Hopefully this makes you travel with me and discover all these wonderful places if you've never been there. If you haven't, you should go as soon as possible!

Have you ever been to Rome? If not, is it a destination that you'd like to see one day?
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