Saturday, January 25, 2014

#beautypost - StriVectin Clinical Corrector Anti-Ageing Lip Tint

I've been having trouble with my lips for a while now and I've tried absolutely everything to get them back to normal.... trusty Vaseline, pharmacy recommended lip balm, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, honey based products. They've all worked temporarily but the balance has never been right; too oily, too greasy, too sticky, short-lasting.

It's all good when I can slap it on before bedtime in the privacy of my own home looking like a wax model horror show but during the day I need something a little more subtle that doesn't draw everyone and their sister to my chapped lips. So... after doing a little homework, I went purse in hand to Sephora and purchased myself StriVectin Clinical Corrector Anti-Ageing Lip Tint SPF20.

The CC lip tint comes in two shades, Rose (the one I bought) and Plum for a darker, richer look.
Since trying this product I haven't looked back... the redness has relaxed on the corners of my lips, my lips are super smooth & soft and the shade really does add a healthy, natural glow. I was initially worried that with it being tinted it would be too shiny and overdone giving it a 'lipgloss look' but it's proven me wrong. It's also thick enough to know that it will last a while and not so thick so that it's gloopy and sticky when applied. 

Although it's not the cheapest of options 19 euros (Sephora & online), it comes in quite a large tube, it's backed up by medical research to hydrate, restore and repair and I've noticed a huge difference within the first 5 days. It's been a big feature with Vogue Paris this week too as their Beauty Buzz of the Day Picture Perfect Pout... if my word's not enough, take Vogue's!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#travelpost - USE-IT MAP EUROPE

There are seven continents in the world, with plenty to see and do (and eat) and with friends in all corners of the globe it's hard not to get itchy feet, it's only natural.
However, truth be told I've realised that I'm not actually as independent as I thought I was and for me, 'home is where the heart is.' The thought of being thousands of miles away from home, thrown into a different culture, is certainly overwhelming but there's nothing quite like it and with Europe... you are only ever 3-4 hours away from home (the journey from Sussex to Manchester is longer!).

So... yes in a year or so I'll be sending my compass in the direction of Chile, Peru and Argentina but until then why not make the most of Europe?

Before arriving in Cordoba we'd heard little about USE-IT maps and we weren't sure just how 'local' they'd be. There's nothing worse than being treated like a tourist in the city you live in, no matter how bad our Spanish accents might be. They're written by locals for young people and claim to be no-nonsense, commercial free and up to date and they stick to their word.

So... in our first month here we set off with our map and we've never looked back. From tiny bars with loud atmospheres (La Bicicleta try their zumos and guacamole tostadas) to 'old school' places such as Taberna Sociedad Plateros for some good grub to mop up with your bread. It's introduced us to the student district Ciudad Jardin, the Bullfighter's district Santa Marina and it's fancy hotspots and it's taken the secret corners of the Historical Centre and handed them to us on a plate. Without our USE-IT I don't think we'd know our city half as much as we do now.

My love for USE-IT got me thinking where else has created one?

Sadly, we'd missed out on the Granada map by a few weeks before Christmas and once we venture to Barcelona it's going to be our first port of call. If you are planning on a city break at some point this year or you're lucky enough to be moving somewhere for a while then it's so worth checking if they've got a USE-IT map... you'll soon feel at home.

Do your research and check their online map....

So many places are covered...
(even better.. a lot of the places are usually the cheaper RyanAir destinations)
Glasgow (the only city in the UK!)

Before I finish with some trendy cover arts I'm going to say that I can't believe Manchester doesn't have one in progress... maybe I'm biased but I couldn't think of a better city with better local knowledge and as many free things to do as Manchester. Let's get applying!!

All covers have been taken from the USE-IT Europe facebook page... give them a like if you can!

Monday, January 20, 2014

#stylepost - Metallics & Coloured Leather Spring '14

I think that I'm a little late on the metallic bandwagon but better late than never eh?

I always saw it as a Christmas trend, something to sparkle in front of the fairy lights, but now I'm finding it hard to say goodbye. As it's still only January I'm still sticking within the Winter guidelines (minus the boozy Christmas parties) but I know, as Spring will soon dawn on us, I need to find a new way of wearing metallics...

It's fair to say that during January/February my days are spent lounging in a pair of Topshop jeans (that's after prising my pyjamas off of myself) and after having seen Versace's SS14 spread in DAZED digital I'm now definite that my jeans aren't going to budge. Even better, Versace are also repping pastel leathers this Spring/Summer.
I couldn't think of anything easier than throwing on a t-shirt and leather jacket, especially with some of H&M and Zara's versatile, key pieces.  

If you're looking for a cheaper option after the party season then keep your outfit simple and opt for metallic eyes or nails. Team with jeans and a thick knit jumper or even reuse your party blazer and a white tee... keep your hair loose or shove the top half straight up with a crocodile clip for a fresher look.

Zara pastel coloured faux leather zip jacket (£69.99) - Actually in love with this jacket

Zara sequinned t-shirt (£39.99)

H&M belt with metal decoration (£12.99)
H&M Metallic T-shirt Silver/Bronze (£14.99)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

#tvpost - 5 returning TV shows 2014 for TV lovers and English students

My nickname should be square eyes.

I love TV. A lot. I don't know why, but I do. 
I know I should be banging on about how great cinema has been in the past year and how much I love the experience of going etc. etc. (and paying a fortune) but nothing compares to curling up on my couch and watching that episode I've been itching for for the last 6 days. Maybe that's just me?

(I think I should state here that I am a sociable person and I do leave the house... occasionally...)

As an English teacher my students ask me a lot about which TV series they should watch, especially British ones, to improve their English but, also, to get a feel for a different culture. As I grabbed my pen and paper and began  racking my brain for recent programs, I realised that I'd forgotten just how good some of them actually were. Even better, after a spot of 'Googling' (not sure that word exists), I discovered a handful of them are returning to our small screens this year... 2014 has never looked better.

So, here goes a little list of programs that are well worth a watch... If you're an English speaker or not. Some are British, an American and even a French.

Sherlock (BBC ONE)
Series 3 January 2014

I know, it's already started (and two episodes in) but I didn't want any English students missing this.
It's British, story of Detective Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, it involves a lot of Benedict Cumberbatch and there's a new villian. 
Only downside... there's only three episodes. My sister says that this ain't no biggie but three episodes hardly seems fair.

Broadchurch (ITV)
Series 2 Winter 2014

I was late on the Broadchurch bandwagon but better late than never. A small town murder, a classic case of who done it? and some British acting to be proud of... and that's about all we know except that David Tennant might not be returning due to filming of the American remake.

The Fall (BBC TWO)
Series 2 Winter 2014

A bit slow at first glance but stick with it. 
A serial killer on the loose, creepy acting and a cliffhanger to continue.

The Returned (Les Revenants)
Series 2 Winter 2014

A slow burner which finished it's first series with more questions than answers; however, there's nothing like it at the minute. 
Twin Peaks eeriness and a beautiful cast.

Season 3 January 2014

Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow... need I say more?
Down to earth, feel good, genuinely hilarious and I really do think boys will love it as much as girls.

These are my top 5 but there's plenty to see...

The Americans (a must see)
Orange is the New Black
The Walking Dead (mid-season break)
Doctor Who
Mad Men
Game of Thrones
Parks and Recreation

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#stylepost - Bagged a Falabella

Every Christmas I gorge on chocolate until I start to resemble a Lindt bunny, eat my body weight in nibbles, nuts and mince pies and spend a large portion of my wage on sale items that I definitely don't need and/or are really not worth the 40 minutes I queued up for....
And this Christmas was certainly no different.

However, beneath the Zara shopping bags and H&M pyjamas (why are they always so cheap?) I bagged myself a sale bargain like no other in the form of a small SSENSE parcel. I've been a fan of SSENSE for a while now but with them being a Canadian company I've never thought it worth the while to buy from them when Selfridges is down the road (I say this like I do it on a regular basis, I really don't. I promise.) but this year, after looking at their 'up to 70% off' sale, I was too far gone.

I bagged myself a Stella McCartney Brown Velvet Embossed Falabella clutch with over 50% off.

Happy days.

And by looking at their current site there are still some huge bargains from a Proenza clutch 
under £270, a Damir Doma pochette under £120 and a 3.1 Phillip Lim clutch under £180. So, like me, if money doesn't grow on trees when it comes to payday, and there's a bag you've got your eye on and you're patient enough then keep a look out on, it will be worth the wait.

Monday, January 6, 2014

#beautypost - You Glow Girl


Today I returned to Spain after two weeks of heavy drinking, non-stop eating and an uncomfortable footwear overkill; not to mention my make up bag having taken a beating throughout the festive period. 
My skin doesn't know what's hit it.

So, with a suitcase full of goodies and a fridge to be filled, it's time I wound in my appetite for party food and mulled wine, rum, cider (in fact, anything I could get my hands on) and gave my skin the break it deserves.... and it couldn't come at a better time.

With early Spring in the distance (*far distance) I've decided to take advantage of the quieter season and make a conscious effort to lighten and brighten my make up. Say 'hi' to my new best friends... water, bronzer, illuminator and my bike. And with that, I've purchased some new make up, stocked up my fridge with fruit, veg and plenty of water and I've even bought some new gloves to keep me going on my morning cycles to work... 
A better diet, daily exercise and a trip to boots for an extra boost.
If my skins radiance doesn't improve, it never will.

I think all of us ladies dream of having glowing, minimal effort skin but having stumbled upon a photo of Malgosia Bela sometime last week (which ended in a major Google spree) I wanted to throw my whole make up bag away and start from scratch.... until I realised I do not and will not resemble her and maybe the make up could come in handy.
The same applies to Emma Leth and Elizabeth Olsen. If you know their skin secrets please forward them this way.

Current Essentials
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant Lips & Eyes
The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver Brightens up dull skin, smells of oranges (great for sleepy mornings)
Sanctuary Youth Boosting Facial Oil Use at night or after a shower
Chanel Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF15 Light cover and adds natural glow

On my wishlist... Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate