summer

Holiday Beauty Essentials

We’ve all been there, you leave the holiday packing until the last possible minute (clever you). Then the minute that you start getting things in some kind of order, the bulging mass that is your toiletry bag threatens  to take up half of your precious suitcase space. My own, sweet, little Cath Kidston cosmetics bag is only marginally bigger than a good-sized pencil case and yet, with just a few extra products it easily swells to football-sized proportions.

As a result of this – and because I hate to fuss at the airport with tiny plastic bags and whether or not cream foundation counts as a liquid or not – I tend to restrict myself to packing pretty lightly on the beauty front when I’m off on holiday. If we’re being honest with ourselves there’s really only so much makeup that you need for a beach holiday, and it’s nice every once in a while to give your skin a bit of a break from all the powders and creams. So here it is, a peak into my recent holiday beauty bag and some of my top essential items for taking with you on your break away….

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  1. OK, so maybe I didn’t start with the most ‘essential’ item. But seriously, packing a little eyeshadow palette can be a great way to quickly go from a  casual by-the-pool look to dinner and drinks, just from simply dabbing a few different colours on your eyes. I received the Urban Decay Naked Palette the morning that I went to Tenerife (also my birthday), so of course I was desperate to take it on holiday so I could try it out. The different shades are so feminine and pretty, and instantly make me look and feel, nice and ready to go out.

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2. I think it might take me a while to find my ultimate product that I go to when I start to get a bit of tan, but this isn’t a bad start. I’m generally quite pale so my regular foundation is a no-go when I’ve got a bit of colour. In a panic, a few days before holiday I picked up this Olay Essentials BB Cream in Light and so far I’ve been reasonably impressed. It feels really light on my skin, smells wonderful, and just gives me a nice bit of coverage without making me feel gross in the hot sun. It’s also quite a bit darker than my usual ivory shades, so it gives my tan a bit of a boost without making me look weird. For now it’s doing the job well, I’ve definitely got a bit more exploring to do as far as changing my usual makeup routine for holiday goes, but for now, this little BB cream ticks all the boxes and it even has SPF 15.

 

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3. I’m sure I don’t know enough about what the sun does to your lips, and whether it can really damage them, I could probably do with getting myself some SPF lip balm… but at the moment this lovely little product is my favourite thing to stop my lips drying out in the sun. I’ve been meaning to write this lip balm its own blog post and maybe I will at some point, it’s the Sweet Cecily’s Mojito Flavoured Lipbalm and I absolutely love it. As you can see from the packaging it’s very well loved and has been banging about in my makeup bag for a long time now. The product itself is a lot more solid than most lip balms, which makes it slightly more preferable to take to a hot place. I can apply it quickly to my lips without getting that sticky, wet feeling AND it tastes like Mojito – what more does a girl want?

 

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4. Once you get a Tangle Teezer, you’ll never go back. They are absolutely amazing, especially for anyone like me who resents sitting and carefully brushing their hair through for any significant amount of time – I’ve got things to do! Obviously perfect for any holiday makeup bag, although it’s a weird shape it doesn’t take up too much space [or you can just bung it in your hand luggage] and will quickly and easily tackle those chlorine induced knots.

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5. Bit of a random one here you might think? I’ve only actually discovered Cocoa Butter recently when I went to Exemouth with a bunch of friends after exams and was silly enough to burn the tops of my feet. If you’ve ever done this it’s very awkward and painful, and after watching me hobble around for a bit my sympathetic housemate gave me her Cocoa Butter. I am (most annoyingly) allergic to Aloe Vera – a plant, the extract of which is [ironically] supposed to have soothing qualities and is often put into beauty products, particularly those such as aftersun. Although there are some after suns that don’t include Aloe Vera, it often either takes a lot of label searching or is expensive to track one down. Cocoa Butter, my lovely friend told me, helps in a similar way to most after suns to soothe the skin and re-hydrate it.

Her Cocoa Butter was a Derma V10 version, which she actually gave me the last of to take on holiday with me. I put it on every night and most mornings, just on burnt bits and it worked wonders – in fact I was the only one in my family who wasn’t peeling by the end of the holiday (result!). When I got home I tried to find the Derma 10 version, but through fear of peeling I bought this Palmer’s one, which I have to say isn’t my favourite as it smells a bit too much like chocolate for me and makes me feel a bit sick. The results however, are still the same and I would recommend to anyone who is allergic to products in after suns, or who has sensitive skin, to try Cocoa Butter instead, it is truly a holiday essential for me.

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6. My sister and I are both big preachers for the Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray and in fact we both took this little product away with us. The perfect size for travelling, and yet a product that seems to last and last, this sea salt spray is great for giving your hair just a little bit of oomph. In hot, humid weather my hair tends to either go frizzy or just a bit flat and shiny and so it’s nice after a good blow-dry, or just before going out to add a couple of sprays of this to your hair to just give it a bit more life and volume.

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6. Ok so this one is more of a pre-holiday essential I would argue, although you could also take it with you if you wanted. My sister laughed so hard when she found me a few days before holiday putting my Cocoa Brown fake tan on. Ofcourse, the point of a beach holiday, other than relaxing, is to get a lovely natural tan. However, that doesn’t stop the first day of looking a bit out-of-place, and pale in a bikini, whilst you wait for your skin to bronze naturally. I learnt this after I went to New York, where everybody was beautiful and bronzed and me and mum were the pale tourists. Similarly on a package holiday you can always tell who’s just arrived…. So I faked it up and waited for my natural tan to arrive  – perfect. This St Tropez Wash Off Bronzing Mousse, I think is particularly good, for if you just want to give yourself a bit of a ‘starter tan’. You can simply put it on in the morning and wash it off that evening.

I hope you might have found this list useful if you’re packing for a holiday yourself, what are your holiday essentials? How does your makeup routine change over the summer? 

Harriette

 

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Tenerife In iPhone Photos

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I had such a lovely time in Tenerife. I hadn’t been before, but I loved the beaches with the really cool, relaxed bars and our hotel was gorgeous. I love a good beach holiday, it’s so nice to just be able to lie and soak up the sun and read. I read A Long Way Down and The Kite Runner, both of which are good – although I think I preferred The Kite Runner. It was great to just be lazy, sitting in the sun, going for a dip in the pool, taking a stroll down to the beach. And if you want to be active there’s plenty to do as well. One day we just hired bikes from the hotel and rode down to Los Cristianos, the next town along from where we stayed in Costa Adeje. After cycling around Central Park in New York, I’ve always thought it’s a lovely way to really see a place and Tenerife was no exception. We cycled right along by the beach, locking the bikes up to grab a drink and sit on the sand. The other day we left our sun beds, we swapped them for the ones at Siam Park [ a well-know water park in Tenerife]. At first I was a little apprehensive, as having the high expectations governed by the Disney water parks in Florida, I wasn’t sure how a park in Tenerife might measure up. It was however, very impressive. Eloise and I spent the day going on a range of different rides, most of them inflatable ones [ my favourite], whilst Dad had a snooze by “beach” area on his sun bed. Overall, I had an amazing time in Tenerife. The food was great, the hotel was great, the cocktails were great, the landscape was beautiful and the company was of course perfect. One lovely week of relaxing in the sun and enjoying books and music.

Have you ever visited Tenerife? What were your thoughts? Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Harriette

 

 

Birthday Celebrations in London

For my birthday last week, Lewis took me to London for a surprise meal out. I’d just got back from University so it was really lovely to get a spend a bit of time just the two of us and it was easy enough to hop on the train and stay over at Lewis’ student accommodation for the night. It was a nice day so we went to Covent Garden for a wander round. I love Covent Garden because there’s always something going on, whether it’s the decorations in shop windows or street entertainment.

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Here’s Lewis proving that he’s a 6ft 5″ big kid….

He wouldn’t tell me where we were going for dinner so I found it a bit difficult to decide what to wear. He just told me it was a sort of casual, cool place as opposed to a posh restaurant. In the end I decided to wear my new skirt (that he bought me as a birthday present) from Topshop and an Urban Outfitters top.

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Top – Urban Outfitters

Skirt – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

Bag – River Island

Necklace – Republic

Shoes – Topshop

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I was so excited when I turned round a corner and saw Jamie’s Italien and Lewis told me that that was where we were going. I’ve been going out with this boy for two years now and he definitely knows how to impress. I was tempted to ask to sit outside as the little chairs and tables and lovely flower beds looked really inviting, however it was a little bit chilly so we decided to stay inside. The interior had a really cool warehouse feel – a bit like an old wine cellar – and cosy lighting. They had really cool copper taps in the bathrooms swell, which probably impressed me more than it should have.

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Of course I was very excited to get my hands on the menu. I’d purposely skipped lunch so I could enjoy every mouthful – knowing that Lewis would pick a good place to visit. There was certainly a lot of choice available, so I was pleased that I didn’t have to decide right away. Lewis went for a “Jamie’s Own” Liberta Beer, which he said was very nice. I was tempted to go for a cocktail but settled for an non-alcoholic Refresher, [fresh lemon, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade] which tasted amazing.

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After scouring the menu for a while, we both went for The Jamie’s Italian Burger [prime British chuck & flank steak with smoked mozzarella, mortadella, balsamic onions] and Funky Chips with fresh garlic and parsley. When the food turned up it was huge – of course Jamie Oliver isn’t know for making delicate little dishes and so I should have expected a good healthy plate of food. It tasted SO GOOD. The chips in particular were my favourite.

I said to Lewis if I could go back in time like the guy in About Time I’d go back and eat that meal a couple more times. I didn’t understand why in the film, he didn’t use his power to re-eat anything. We all have those moments where we eat something amazing and then feel sad when it’s all gone don’t we?

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I have no idea how I had room for dessert, but I couldn’t pass up trying this Raspberry & Chocolate Rippled Pavlova. My nan makes the BEST pavlova in the world, but sadly I haven’t had one in ages so I thought I’d give Jamie’s version a try. It was pretty nice and I especially liked the raspberry sauce, however I think my nan’s is still my favourite. Lewis opted for the Epic Homemade Brownie which was really rich and yummy.

After dinner we were both pretty full so went for a wander around The Strand to stretch our legs. Then we walked back across the Waterloo Bridge. I have been jealous all year of the fact that Lewis has this amazing view that he gets to see everyday on his walk to University.

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We were both quite tired after dinner so we ended the evening watching the last couple of episodes of Breaking Bad together in bed, a great end to the night as far as I was concerned.

The next morning I was eager to get up and out as we had to get the train back home at two, so Lewis and I decided we’d go back to Chelsea.

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We’d been to Chelsea previously and really enjoyed it. There’s a great range of shops and cafes on the Kings Road, and loads of pretty parks and fountains. Sloane Square in particular is wonderful to explore, and it was lovely to just sit and relax in the sunshine and people watch – there’s certainly a lot of people to be watching in Chelsea.

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Dress – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

 Floppy Hat + Shoes – Topshop

After we’d wandered around the shops for a bit, we took a walk slightly off the main road and had a look at all of the beautiful rows of houses. I was particularly impressed with all of the well kept flower boxes.

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We stopped for a bite to eat at My Old Dutch, a really cool pancake place that I’d been to once before with my best friend and her family when I was 11 and really wanted to take Lewis too. The pancakes are pretty big (although admittedly they looked considerably bigger aged 11) and you can pick from the menu or customise your own. Lewis went for the simple, sweet ice cream and maple syrup choice and I chose a savoury pancake.

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It was sad to get the train home as I love London and I’d had such a wonderful couple of days with Lewis, but I felt like we’d managed to fit quite a bit into our day and a half and I was grateful to him for organising it all. Now I’ve just got to get my plans together for his birthday….

Harriette

Photo Credits: Lewis Foster 

The Birthday Wishlist.

So it’s my birthday on Thursday (the 20th of June) and I can hardly believe it’s come around so fast. Although, looking back my little cakes and wine party with all my best friends, and going out in a borrowed gold dress from my sister and a cardboard tiara made by a friend’s boyfriend, does seem like a pretty long time ago. This year probably has been one of the most dramatic of my life so far (duh duh DUUUHH), but first year at Uni has come and gone so quickly I can hardly believe I’m at the other side of it, celebrating a new birthday. 19.

Present-wise of course, my friends and family have had a slightly more difficult time this year as I haven’t been at home to drag them around various shops endlessly hinting that THAT looks very nice. I have however, spent what I think is probably a considerable amount of time, going into shops a ‘browsing’ unable to make my student budget stretch to THAT dress or THOSE really nice shoes.

So to help them out, and to hopefully acquire some of the many, many products I have been coveting I wrote a Birthday Wishlist. Some of things you will see below are actually on the list, a few our other things that caught my eye whilst I was sourcing photos. The original Birthday list, comes with the explanation that these presents are ‘ideas’ and that I certainly don’t expect everything on there, it’s really just a guide if they have no idea.

Birthday Wishlist 1

Clothing 

From top left:

Pins & Needles Floral Playsuit 

I spotted this playsuit in Urban Outfitters, next to the underwear and was a little confused as to weather it was some weird kind of nightie/ sleep suit. I did however resolve that I would wear it as a day playsuit regardless, as it’s so little and pretty. I can definitely see myself wearing this and a pair of wellies at Reading later in the year. I have recently seen a sunflower version of this playsuit, which is really pretty too.

Topshop Stripe Organza Trim Crop Tee

I loved this top when I first saw it in the shop, as I am rather partial to a striped tee in the summer – they’re just so easy to pull on over a pair of denim shorts and make a really cosy, casual summer outfit. This top is particularly nice because it’s cropped, and it has a really pretty lace trim on both the arms and the hem giving it a girly touch. I’ve seen quite a few people wearing this since my local Topshop starting stocking it and it looks great paired with a number of different outfits.

White Chunky Cleated Sole Gladiator Sandals 

My favourite type of shopping is when I can actually completely justify ‘needing’ an item. I’ve recently had a few problems with achey feet and my doctor has told me that wearing flat sandals and esprdrills in the summer is definitely not helping. She suggested that if I could find some shoes with a bit more support on the bottom, then both my feet and back would be relieved from the horrors of wearing flat shoes all summer. I stumbled across this pair of sandals in New Look the other day whilst I was searching for clothes. They come in both black and white, although I thought I might be daring and try the white as it’s lovely and summery and all of my other shoes are black. These shoes weren’t on my original birthday list, however, they might be a bit of an essential if I am fortunate enough to get any spending money.

White No 1 New York Boutique Paris T-Shirt

I saw this T-shirt a pretty long time ago now in River Island, and I am both surprised and thrilled that they currently still have it in stock. I was really, really lucky last year and got to go to New York as part of a joint birthday celebration with my mum and ever since, for no particular reason I’ve really wanted some kind of t-shirt that says “New York” on it. This one for me is ideal, it’s crisp  and simple with the black and white writing and like the striped Topshop tee I can see it working nicely with a pair of denim shorts, or with jeans or skirts in the winter.

Petite Paint Floral Flippy Skirt 

Like probably a lot of people, come the summer time my wardrobe is usually in need of a bit of a colour injection. Black is certainly my winter staple and I love it, but I do like to try and mix it up a bit every now and then. I thought this skirt was a really pretty colour and could be matched with different tops for day/ night outfits.

Pink Floral High Waisted Bikini

After investing in an high-waisted bikini from Urban Outfitters, I have very much fallen in love. I just think the shape it gives me is much more flattering, and it seems to make my legs look a bit longer, which certainly is never a bad thing. Usually I wouldn’t go for a swimsuit quite as bright as this, however I really love this pattern from Topshop, I think it’s so pretty. Just have to watch out for those ‘unfashionable naked scenarios’ as Alexa Chung calls them.

Glamorous Tall Paisley Print Playsuit 

Although I certainly don’t fall into the category of “tall”, I really love the shape and pattern of this playsuit. It’s very summery and pretty and could be easily dressed up or down, for day or night.

 

Birthday Wishlist 2

 

Beauty 

From top left:

Elemis Total Glow Gradual Tan Bronzing Body Lotion

I’ve seen a couple of good reviews for this, and I am both a big fan of Elemis and of tanning products so I want to give this a try. Gradual tanners historically are not my favourite to use, as I find they are typically slightly more streaky to apply, however I thought this might be a good product for topping up my (hopefully natural) tan from my holiday. I’ll be sure to review this if I am lucky enough to receive it.

Benefit Dandelion Blusher

This is definitely one on the duty-free list if I get a few extra pennies. The Benefit lady used this on my face when I had my makeup done at the counter, and it really works for my paler skin. The colour is so light and pretty it’s perfect for summer as well.

Fairy Dust Scented Candle by Lily Flame

Lily Flame make some gorgeous smelling candles and Fairy Dust is by far my favourite. I used all of mine up at Uni, so I’d love to get a replacement so that I can get my room smelling like melted marshmallows again. You can read my post about this candle here.

Real Techniques Finish Perfected Blush Brush

I started out with the Real Techniques Starter Kit of brushes just before Christmas and I’ve really got on with them so well, I’d love to add the Blush Brush to my little collection as it’s just a bit of a better size for blusher that the Buffing Brush.

Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner

After seeing Anna’s review of this new product on Vianna Does Makeup I really wanted to give this a try. I too am a bit hopeless at eyeliner and tend to rely heavily on eye makeup remover to fix my wobbly mistakes and to make it look vaguely like a smooth line. Maybe with this product from Benefit my skills will improve!

St Tropez Face and Body Self  Tanning Kit

I have become rather fake tan obsessed ever since I recieved the Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse in a goodie bag at the Bristol Bloggers meet. And of course, I am curious to try the ‘real deal’ and to compare it to my first love of fake tan.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

There’s a lot of hype around the Urban Decay Naked Palettes and I’ve always taken the opportunity to dabble in other peoples when I’ve had the chance. My friend Rachel is some what more of a makeup expert than me, so when I was having a little eyeshadow crisis she grabbed her Naked Palette, smudged a few shades onto her fingers and one, two, three I had a smoky eye in no time. The variety of shades and how easy they are to use certainly makes this product tempting.

MAC lipstick

Hands up, I’ve never owed a MAC lipstick and I think it’s about time I got my hands on one. At the moment I can’t decide whether I’d rather go for a lighter, nudey pink shade like this one for day use, or whether I want to go for a deep dark red for big nights out. Any recommendations on favourite shades will be much appreciated as the range is so vast!

Birthday Wishlist 3

 

Mugs and Books 

Of course, as an English Degree student there are a few books on my birthday list. The promise of having most of the summer to read whatever I like is certainly a nice thought, so I put a few on my list: God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy; Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby [making myself read this before I watch the film] and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

I have also been in the search for a really cute little mug to fill up with tea and get me through long days of essay writing next year – I really love these sweet designs from Paperchase, Emma Bridgewater and Indigo [sadly I don’t think this one is available for purchase in the UK].

So there you go, that’s a idea of some of the things I’ve got my eye on for my birthday. I’ll have to do an update on what I do get, my friends and family always have amazing surprises for me, so I’m sure I’ll be over the moon with whatever I receive.

Do you ever write birthday lists for your birthday? Or do you prefer surprises? Would your family be clueless if you didn’t give them a bit of help? Let me know.

Harriette

For the Love of Breakfast

I would definitely say, since coming to Uni that I have become a breakfast person. I love everything to do with breakfast, I am obsessed with tea, and toast with Nutella, granola and yoghurt, chopped apple, eggs and bacon, pancakes, French toast etc etc. I try quite hard to make breakfast one of my biggest meals of the day, as usually I forget/ am to busy/ have nothing for lunch, so I don’t eat properly again until dinner. Recently, I’ve also started going swimming in the morning, as the outdoor pool near my student accommodation has opened up, and so by the time I’ve done an hour in the pool I’m usually starving for a good breakfast.

The best thing about self-catered student living is definitely that you can have breakfast at anytime of day. The thought of having to get up before 9.30 to have breakfast in catered halls, especially after a heavy night out, is certainly not an appealing one. And ofcourse, the most satisfying breakfasts that you’ll eat all term will be those after a drunken night out in town. In Exeter, there a few really great breakfast places, but the best one to trudge to with you hangover, is definitely Brody’s Breakfast Bistro.

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Brody’s is basically this American-style breakfast buffet place, where customers can buy certain packages like the pancake breakfast for unlimited pancakes with a variety of toppings, or the ultimate breakfast, which is a fry-up buffet complete with all different types of eggs,breakfast meats and breads. Eachpackage comes with unlimited bread and cereal too, so there’s plenty to fill your boots with, and the long tables mean that you can take your all your hungover flatmates to gorge on the most wonderful breakfast in the world. I have visited Brody’s a good many times and I really like it, although you have to be pretty hungry to get your money’s worth of bacon.

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Another great breakfast place that I have yet to visit in Exeter is Boston Tea Party, which I have heard a lot of great things about. They do a lot of posh, quirky breakfasts such as “Baked Eggs and Chorizo Sausage” and “The Boss”: Smoked bacon, traditional pork sausage, Hogs (white) pudding, garlic and thyme baked filed mushroom, rosemary and smoked paprika roasted new potatoes, roasted vine cherry tomatoes, scrabbled egg with tomato and basil, and baked beans. With two rounds of Sherston white or granary toast. If that’s not enough to make you hungry I don’t know what is! I’ve heard they also do great pancakes, delicious cream teas and cakes, and an assortment of yummy smoothies and teas. I’m certainly looking forward to giving this place a try.

This week,  however, all of my breakfast joys have been realised. I’ve been staying with Lewis in London for the past week and yesterday morning we went to The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields. I have wanted to go to The Breakfast Club for ages, as the likes of Lily Pebbles and Lipgloss and Lashes have very much convinced me via their blogs and photos that it is the ultimate place to go for a breakfast foodie like me.

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The restaurant itself is a little tricky to find in Spitalfields, as it’s slightly off the main road. Going inside you do feel a little bit like your in a ‘clubhouse’ with all the random decorations and bits of furniture everywhere. On the way in there was a wire mesh fence on one side where customers had clipped up passport photos,  old train tickets and scribbled notes on napkins. Lewis and I were seated next to an old TV connected up to a Sega Mega Drive  [according to Lewis ] with all the old games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot around it. We were also near a fluorescent sign, which read “Sex, Drugs and Bacon Rolls.”

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We were so busy looking around and taking everything in, that we didn’t actually pick up the menu, so when the waitress came over I panicked and asked for a chocolate milkshake, which of course wasn’t on the menu. I felt really bad, but the waitress said she thought they could probably make one anyway, so I said ok. Feeling guilty I watched her go a chat to the guy making milkshakes, and then walk over to us with a metal cup – hands down one of the best milkshakes I have ever tasted, needless to say I didn’t feel bad for too long. Lewis just ordered a Coke and he was very envious.

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Our breakfast was basically brunch, as we had been to the New London Theatre at 10 that morning to see if we could get any day tickets to see WarHorse, which turned out to be really worth the gamble as we got two tickets for £30 for that evening, reduced from £120 – and we had great seats too. As a result we got to the Breakfast Club at about 12.30, and so a lot of people were having lunch, but we’d come for the all day breakfast.

Lewis ordered The All American, which was basically a fried breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, fried potatoes and pancakes with maple syrup. I had the Pancakes with Berries, which was a stack of 4 pretty big pancakes with gorgeous fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and this really sweet vanilla cream which tasted like American frosting/ British buttercream. Although, I did sneak a bite of Lewis’ maple syrup pancakes with bacon.

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We were both absolutely stuffed when we’d finished, and went for a long walk around Spitalfields Market before getting back on the tube. The Breakfast Club is certainly up there on my list of great breakfast places to visit – I think another time I might have gone for the full fry up with pancakes too!

What is your favourite breakfast to have? Do you ever go out for breakfasts? Are there any places near your that you would recommend for a top breakfast?

Harriette

 

Grabbing a Burger at Hub box

Everybody loves a good burger. Lewis and I are very much burger and chips people, we’d rather go out and have a nice pizza or a really good burger [more like gastro pub food ], than go to a really posh restaurant. We’ve tried out a few places in Exeter and not really been disappointed with anywhere, but I’ve been hearing a lot about a few nice and actually pretty cheap burger places in town, so I wanted to take Lewis when he visited.

To be honest, I must have walked past Hubbox a million times and not really noticed it was there, although from the outside it’s got a bit of a retro feel about it, I think I previously dismissed it as a takeaway restaurant, and didn’t really associate it with the burger restaurant that I kept hearing about.

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I really loved the retro – American feel of this restaurant, it was really cool and there was lots to look at all over the walls and at other people’s food.We both said it was the type of place that would do really well in somewhere like Camden, because it was pretty edgy and different. Even the guys that worked there looked like hipsters in their green T-Shirts, Lewis was particularly impressed by our waiter’s Foo Fighter’s tattoo on the back of his neck.

And then the food came…. Oh wow. The burgers were good, but not anything too amazing to be honest – I think I still prefer a good Byron’s burger but the chips were SO good. Really salty, American skin-on fries that I could literally have eaten all day – and there were plenty to eat. Lewis and I both only went for regular fries but we seemed to get loads.

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It was actually a fairly cheap lunch, as it only came to £19.00 for the both of us, which I thought was pretty decent, particularly for the amount of food you got. I think they did have a dessert menu, but we where way to full from lunch. It was a really lovely break from a long morning of revision, and I managed to cross another restaurant of my list of places I want to visit over my years here at Uni – I will definitely have to try out rival Urban Burger next time I am looking for somewhere to eat, and Exeter is getting a Byron’s soon, which I’m pretty excited about. Seems that Lewis and I will get our burger and chips after all.

You can check out the Hubbox website here if you’re interested. There’s only two in the country at the moment, one in Exeter and one in Truro but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more crop up around the West Country.

Harriette

This Month I’m Loving… Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Power Cream

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I have to admit that I didn’t actually expect to do a review on this product, and so I didn’t take any good product pictures before I started using it and the bottle got a bit gross. Definitely more from my messiness than a comment on the product itself.

I recieved the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Power Cream as part of my goodie bag from the Bristol Bloggers Meet and I was more than a little dismissive of it, shoving it in my Ted Baker beauty box for a rainy day. I had used one Nairs product before this and I wasn’t majorly impressed with it. I was convinced that hair removal cream didn’t actually work and the only way to get rid of my hairy legs was (a) to have them waxed or (b) to shave them. Usually my method is the latter, primarily because: I have a very low pain threshold, shaving is cheaper, and I hate the idea of letting the hair grow back in between waxes [although this usually happens anyway down to my laziness].

Anyway, in that very long introduction to this post, I am trying to explain that I was more than a little bit prejudice against hair removal products in general and especially Nair. However, I am happy to announce that this product has changed my mind, so much so that I feel inclined to share my love for it on here.

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I finally gave in and decided to give it a try because I was about to try fake tan for the first time ever. I got the Cocoa Brown 1 hour Tan Mousse in the goodie bag also and I was desperate to try it ready for the English Ball ( check out my tanned self here). As this was my first time using fake tan, I wanted to make sure I’d done my research so I read alot of blogs and watched a few Youtube videos – particularly Marissa’s own one. One of the pieces of advice given was to shave your legs well, as hairless legs prevent tan sticking to the hairs.

Now I am definitely not the most careful shaver, and I often find later that day after shaving I still have rather hairy knees or the backs of my legs are a bit stubbly. Not ideal. So I thought that using the Nair cream might be a slightly quicker way of removing as much hair as possible, and would get to those hard to reach areas that I tend to miss – thus providing me with the optimum streak free godess tan.

To apply the product, Nair provide a weird little spatula, which stops you from getting the cream all over your hands, although it does sort of go everywhere anyway – but again I’m not the most careful. It can take a bit of a long time to spread the cream in an even layer all over both your legs, but I don’t think it takes any longer than shaving and I do prefer it. Generally I’d put the cream on, leave it for 5 or so minute and then turn the shower on and wash it off.

The product itself is a beigy-grey colour and certainly is not my favourite smell, although my little en-suite bathroom at Uni has smelt of it for a while so I’m probably just sick of the smell by now. It does smell a bit like the “clay” it claims to be and any unwanted smell is easily resolved by a nice smelly showegel after you’ve washed off the cream. Obviously for covering both your legs like I did, you do use quite alot of product and I think I got about 3 uses out of it before I ran out but this acutally isn’t too bad.

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By far the best thing about this product is how long the effects last. After first applying it on the Friday night, I didn’t see any significant re-growth until the following Friday, which rather impressed me. Plus using the product nourishes your skin, leaving it smooth and silky to the touch – what everyone wants after a shave. You get quite a bit of product in the bottle, despite the fact you use quite a lot each time, so I managed to get about 4 uses out of it, each time doing both of my legs from thigh to ankle. This spa clay retails for about £6.99, which I think is a great price considering that’s essentially a month’s worth of smooth legs.

Overall I have been surprised by how much I love this product. I would certainly consider buying it again, even if it’s just use on the areas I hate shaving like knees, ankles, and down there. It’s especially convient for use a couple of days before fake tanning, as my Cocoa Brown tan looked great on and I didn’t have to worry about hairy knees.

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Harriette

Festival Beauty Essentials

festival 5   Going to a music festival is one of the most exciting things to do over the summer, and its very easy to get excited as the weekend – booked way in advance- draws closer and closer, until it’s the day before. This, from personal experience I have found, is when the panic packing begins. You’ve been so caught up in all of the bands you can’t wait to see and how fun it will be to camp with all your best friends, that you haven’t really thought much about what you need to take. In this instance, it can be difficult to actually think of the things that you might need for the weekend. In particular it might escape your attention that you can’t just sling your usual makeup collection into a bag and hope for the best. Festivals and camping mean adaptation. So lest you forget, here are some key essential makeup items that you should be packing: wet wipes

  1. Wet Wipes

Not so much for cosmetic reasons, as for personal hygiene. Although these babies are good for taking all of your makeup off, they are also great for a weekend where it is highly unlikely that you will see a shower. When you stumble back to your tent covered in mud or urine or beer and see these little clean, white wipes lying in your tent, you will be very thankful.

  1. A Mirror

This is something that I usually forget. Used to the indoor world, we tend to be presented with mirrors everywhere, for putting our makeup on and sorting out our hair. However, unless you take your own, mirrors do not tend to be available in a big field in the middle of nowhere, and although you might not actually want to look at yourself by the last day. Makeup can cover up a lot of the lost sleep and bad skin. N/B If you take a mirror and others forget, you can guarantee that you’ll have lots of bare-faced friends asking to borrow yours each morning. festival collage

  1. UV Face Paint/ Glitter

Very much festival essentials, although one is probably enough, both might make you look a bit like a drag queen. Personally I tend to go for the UV paints, as you can have a number of different styles if you’ve got a few colours. If you can get your hands on UV paints before a festival it’s probably a lot cheaper as they tend to sell them in packs of 3 for about £10 and the tubes aren’t that big. They do however, last for a pretty long time. My UV paints have lasted me three festivals and a few Uni Paint Parties. Above are a few different looks modelled by yours truly, as you can see my posing for photographs has not improved….

  1. Cotton Buds

Not so much an essential as a festival hack. If you’re investing in UV paint it’s definitely worth packing some cotton buds. Whether you’re going for the traditional dots in a swirl across your nose or painting little flowers or whatever, cotton buds make the job a lot neater than doing it with your fingers – and you don’t get covered. batiste

  1. Dry Shampoo

Another absolute godsend when you don’t have a shower. Dry Shampoo will ensure that your hair isn’t looking too greasy after a few days without washing. Hairbands are also very important, as a dirty hair carefully styled into a fishtail plait looks more like a choice, than a must.

  1. SPF Foundation/ Moisturiser

Taking sun cream to any festival is a must, even if it’s forecast to rain. However, if you’re not a fan of putting sun cream on your face, grab yourself some foundation or moisturiser with that all important SPF to stop any unwanted redness ruining your camping photos. On another note, moisturiser in general is a good idea, just to keep your skin hydrated – especially after using all those wet wipes! hand sanitizer

  1. Hand Sanitizer

Another product you’ll be thankful you brought after a few days of using portaloos. Getting a small bottle that you can carry around in your pocket is ideal for giving your hands a quick wash after you’ve been to the loo, or before you snack into some jerk chicken. Picking one with a nice smell will help you feel clean and fresh and you might find yourself using it to clean other parts of your body too.    

  1. Tissues

As everyone knows, the best thing about going to a festival is that you get to use a portaloo (not). For your entire weekend, these little plastic boxes will –especially if you’re a girl – become the bane of your life. Unfortunately there’s not really much to be done about that, however you could make the experience a little bit nicer for yourself by packing a few packs of tissues into your festival luggage. You may think I’m exaggerating, but people have been know to be so elated at the sight of toilet roll in a portaloo, that they have stolen the entire roll for themselves for future use. Be aware of these people and the fact they might take all the loo roll.

Photo Credit: barelyorganizedchaos.com

Photo Credit: barelyorganizedchaos.com

  1. Perfume Samples/ Body Spray

Lack of showers and the hot weather at festivals make a sweaty and smelly combination. To make sure you’re friends don’t start avoiding you after a few days, pack a little bottle of body spray to give yourself the once over every morning. N/B Febreeze is also acceptable for spraying yourself, and likewise body spray can be used to make your tent smell a bit better. On the other hand, if you have any lying around take some little perfume samples with you, it’s amazing how a good smell can make you feel so much nicer and cleaner, even if you’re actually disgusting. concealors 10. Concealer Chances are when you look at your face after a night out watching Beyonce or The Killers or whoever, and no sleep because you were kept up by two boys thinking every tent in your area was actually their’s before realising they were in the wrong camp, you’re going to want to conceal everything. First of all, you need a good corrector. A corrector is just a pinkie concealer, this will cancel out the very dark circles under your eyes. Among the best correctors are the Bobbi Brown one, which is pricey but affective, or if you’re looking for a highstreet dupe Soap and Glory’s Kick Ass Concealer and Sleek’s Corrector and Concealer Palette are also both great. Once you’ve applied your corrector put a concealer over the top, arguably the best high-end concealers are Benefit’s Boing or Erase Paste, best high-street included Collection 2000’s Lasting Perfection Concealer or Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Concealer. With these products handy, you should be looking a lot more awake, ready for the rest of the day.

  Are you going to any festivals this summer? What are your festival beauty essentials?

Harriette


As some of you may know, this year I am lucky enough to be going to Reading Festival as a Festival Reporter on behalf of Studentcom, which is all very exciting. Part of my role as a reporter is to write some articles leading up to the festival itself, so above is my article originally produced for Studentcom on Festival Beauty Essentials, I wanted to post it here so you could have a read.

Throwback Thursday: A Trip to Cambridge

One of the places that I love to visit when I’m at home for a bit is Cambridge, and so in the Easter holidays, my mum and sister came with me on a shopping trip. Cambridge is a really beautiful city, like Exeter it mixes the old and the new, the city and the country,combining huge brands with cute little trinket shops.

Driving in Cambridge I imagine is a bit of a nightmare, as there are bikes everywhere, and actually this is one of the things I love. In a weird way it’s so nice to see everyone cycling around in the sunshine on their old-fashioned bikes, and it really feels a lot a University town, which I like.

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I particularly liked the look of this Burberry print bicycle….

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We got to Cambridge at about 11.15 once we’d driven to the park and ride and got the bus into the city centre (the best way to do it in my view, as car parks are very pricey). We were all starving so we went into Giraffe, for some lunch. Admittedly, I’d never actually eaten at Giraffe before, mainly because I thought it was a vegan/ vegetarian restaurant – not sure what gave me that idea (!) – but my Mum assured me she’d been and really enjoyed the food. We sat down before they had started serving for lunch, but the staff where really friendly and they got us our drinks and menus whilst we waited. I went for a Mango Mama smoothie, which was absolutely delicious and I loved the little giraffe I got in my glass. My sister had the Fresh Lemonade with Mint, which she really liked aswell and it came in a cute little jam jar mug glass.

 

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The menu was really good, there was such a wide selection of foods I found it tricky to pick something – I really love trying new vegetarian foods, which Giraffe caters really well for, but I also love a standard burger when I’m hungry. Eventually I went for the Hot “Thai” Duck Stirfry, this was really yummy with a sweet chilli jam which tasted so good. As usual I did away with the chopsticks and went straight in with a fork.

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I did however manage to spill the chilli jam, on the white shirt I was wearing – major fail just before a shopping trip. Consequently I wore my shirt inside-out, underneath my leather jacket for the rest of the day, hoping no-one would notice. Apologies for the breast pic – but you get the idea.

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Apart from this mini-dilemma I really enjoyed Giraffe, I think I’ll definately have to try out the one in Exeter and sample a few different dishes, the burgers and mexican food looked amazing. We were all too full for dessert, so after our meal we started our shopping trip, me trying to cover my chest as much as possible.

Shopping for me was very successful. At Uni I barely let myself in clothes shops – Urban Outfitters, Topshop, River Island, H&M and Zara are all strictly off limits, as I just know as soon as I walk in I’ll want everything in the shop, and then walk sadly out thinking about that top or dress for the rest of the week. Nope, student living and clothes shopping don’t mix. So when let loose in Topshop with the promise of money to spend I went a little crazy, picking up way too much stuff, and having to politely ask my poor sister to take some bits in with her to the changing room so that I could try everything on.

It was a little while ago now, but I can remember accurately that basically everything I brought was black ( great for a ‘summer wardrobe’….) I got a really lovely floral playsuit from Topshop and new leather jacket from H&M, which I wore on mine and Lewis’s trip to Dedham, a simple black vest top from Topshop, a pair of black shorts from H&M for going out with, a sweet little white striped mesh t-shirt from Primark and a big black floppy hat  and a new laptop bag from Topshop.

As well as getting some new clothes for me, we were also on the hunt for a dress for my sister which meant a visit to Jack Wills.

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Personally I really love Jack Wills dresses, I got two in the sale a while back and wore one to the English Masquerade Ball and got a load of compliments about how flattering it was, so Eloise and I thought we’d have a look in there for her.

 

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I really liked this dress on Eloise, it’s really pretty and summery and the short length shows off the fact that she’s the sibling with the legs in the family.

It was really nice to spend a day out with my mum and my sister shopping, as it’s one of the things I miss doing with them when I’m at Uni. There’s nothing like trying on a dress, walking to the end of the changing room, to have your sister and mum tell you it’s horrible in front of all the people waiting to get in. But in all seriousness it was a lovely day, I loved being able to visit Cambridge, especially on such a sunny day and I liked helping my sister pick a dress. I was very happy with all of my purchases (despite the lack of summery gear) and pleased that I finally had some new clothes.

Hope you enjoyed this throwback post. It’s something a bit different. Where are your favourite places to shop and who do you like shopping with?

Harriette

 

This Week I’m Loving… Lily Flame’s ‘Fairy Dust’ Candle

Admittedly I’ve never really been that crazy for candles, probably because we’ve never really had them around the house. The only times we ever really used them was if we had people round in the summer and we were out in the garden, just to give a lovely little glow around the place. Now however, [and almost definitely because candles are banned in my Uni accommodation] I have become a little bit obsessed…. Not only do they smell uh-mazing, but they’re so sweet and romantic. Being at home this last month I’ve been trying out  a few and I’ve really enjoyed just lighting up a candle on my bedside table, and really relaxing and reading a book or listening to some music. The little glow gives a lovely soft lighting in my room and the sweet scent is always lovely just before I fall asleep.

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I’ve wanted to try out Lily Flame’s ‘Fairy Dust’ Candle for a rather long time, they sell it at the upmarket supermarket that I worked in and I always thought that it stood out on the selves. Also another blogger that I’m friends with is absolutely obsessed with it, so I wanted to see what all the fuss what about. Needless to say, I bought this candle when I got a bit of Easter money from my mum and instantly fell in love.

First of all I love the little tin, the powdery pink colour is so pretty with the silver writing and the gold top. The tin makes it easy to move around, and means it looks cute on my desk, even when the lid is on and the candle’s not lit. The only down side, I would say of having a candle in a tin over a candle in a glass, is that it doesn’t give off very much light once the candle has melted down a bit, so that’s  a little bit annoying if you want the light as well as the smell, but Lily Flame do, do larger glass versions of there candles too. Most importantly, this candle smells absolutely AMAZING. Personally I think it smells like melted marshmellows, it’s sort of a very sweet but clean smell,  so it’s not sickly. I would say it’s pleasant to smell without being too overpowering.

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On the back of the tin in this cute font, there’s some product information. Letting you know that these candles are actually handmade in Somerset, which I really liked because I love to support British brands where I can. It also tells you that this little candle will burn for up to 35 hours, and that for best results you should let it burn for 3 hours at a time, making sure you don’t leave it unattended of course.

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I’ve used about a quarter of this candle now and I’m really enjoying the lovely scent. I’ve just brought it with me back from Uni  (naughty) and I’m very much looking forward to lighting it once I’ve hoovered my room, as a friend of my suggested that burning a candle for an hour or so is a great way to get rid of the horrible vomit smell all Uni-provided hoovers seem to leave behind.

What are you favourite candle brands and scents? Have you tried any Lily Flame products? What were your thoughts?

Harriette