Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Benefit Cheek Parade Palette





I bought the Benefit Cheek Parade Palette recently as I had been wanting to treat myself to the Galifornia blush for ages, and then Benefit go and bring out this amazing palette. I am so glad I picked this up as I have been using it on a daily basis. It includes the new Galifornia blush and the new Hoola Lite bronzer, as well as three other best-selling products.

I have been using the original Hoola to contour my face and it is a great match for my skin, it is not too dark and it buildable. I have on occasion used Hoola Lite to contour my face just to add a little dimension, but I find it is a great all over bronzer for simply adding colour and I will be getting a lot of use out of this over the upcoming summer months.

It has come to a surprise myself how much I have used Dandelion on a daily basis. It is a beautiful light pink shade which looks lovely with my complexion. I have been using this more than Galifornia which I did not expect, however Galifornia is a really gorgeous darker peachy shade with a hint of gold shimmer. The design of the sun imprinted into the blusher looks super stunning to look at. However, it can be a little bit of a pain when it comes to colour pay off on the brush, I find I have to try a little bit harder to get an equal amount on my brush.

The shade which I have not used a lot is Rockateur. I initially thought I would be able to use this as highlighter, but I have found it does not quite give me the glow which I want compared to my other highlighters. This does however work at adding a healthy glow to the apple of my cheeks.

For £49 this is such excellent value for money considering you get 5 full sizes in the palette, each costing £24.50 individually. Your basically getting 3 free (this is the reason I have no self-control when it comes to buying makeup!). I do find that most of the blushes and bronzers do have a little fall out, so I always take a little and build it up to my desired amount.

All in all, this is a great palette and if you are wanting to treat yourself, then this is the perfect option.

Lucy
xoxo




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Sunday, 23 April 2017

30 spring blog post ideas


At points throughout the year we all face the dreaded bloggers block, and finding inspiration for new posts can be very difficult. I have brought you a selection of blog post ideas to reignite your imagination. 

Beauty
Holy grail spring makeup items
Switching up your makeup bag
Top 10 lipstick choices
New releases for spring
Updated makeup collection
High end vs dupes
Going out makeup look
Everyday work essentials
Makeup must haves in your handbag

Lifestyle
Recipes
How to be productive
Juggling your life/work balance
Get to know the blogger
Favourite Instagram accounts
Fitness routines
The best apps for blogging
Updated personal blogging goals
How you take your photo blogging photos/ behind the scenes
Blogging props

Fashion
Best on the high street
Your favourite current trends
High end wishlist
How to shop for less
Where to spend and where to save
Updating your wardrobe on a budget
Spring fashion tips
Must have accessories
What I wore to... (e.g. wedding/birthdays)
Reworking your own wardrobe

Lucy
xoxo
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Friday, 21 April 2017

Sephora Haul





If you have been reading my posts lately you will know I went on a city break to Prague which you can catch up with here. Whilst I was there I obviously took a trip or two to Sephora and here is everything which I picked up. I did not have too much in my mind as to what I wanted to get so I went in with an open mind, and as always it did not disappointed.

First up, I was super impressed with all of their new skincare offerings. I was drawn to a new charcoal collection which is great for acne prone skin like mine. I picked up the cleansing and exfoliating wipes, cleansing water and 2 lots of their nose strips. I can't wait to try out this range and I will definitely report back. I also picked up a lotus face mask as I was simply drawn to the moisturising aspect as my skin can get very dry, and I love a face mask which packs moisture back into my skin.

I did not plan to buy so much from their lip range but I am really happy with my choices. I picked up the goji lip balm, simply because I am always on the hunt for a new lip balm and I have never tried any from their range. I always check out their liquid lip stain range as I already have a few and I like them a lot. I was instantly drawn to the colour of sweet raspberry. This is a purple toned shade which is not too dark and still has pink undertones. I can report that I wore this out at the weekend and I totally smitten with the shade, it is such a beautiful colour. I also picked up two of their lipsticks from their rouge creme line totally on the whim in the shades R17 and R19, and I cannot wait to try these out as I have heard excellent things about this range.

In the aisle of doom next to the till area I saw these mini antibacterial hand gels from the brand Merci Handy, and I instantly started rooting through looking at all the different colours and scents. They don't seem to be available on the Sephora site so I am guessing that they are concessions in certain countries. These are so cute and handy and are great to keep in your handbag.

What have you picked up recently from Sephora?

Lucy
xoxo



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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A city break in Prague

If you have been keeping up to date with my travel week posts, you will know this is my last installment. If you missed any you can catch up on my what I ate in Prague post and also my how to write travel posts as a newbie post. Today's post is all about my whole trip to Prague and what we actually got up to I went with my mum and dad.

We flew out on a Sunday evening quite late in the afternoon which was actually a great time. We got to the airport at 4pm and had some food before our flight at 7pm. The flight time from Manchester to Prague was just over the 2hr mark; there is also a one hour time difference when you arrive. We organised to be picked up from the airport by Prague airport services and I have to say they were brilliant. The service was exceptional and the driver gave us a guided tour of the city on the way to our hotel. We had booked to stay in the Jury's Inn in Florenc. This was a very last minute holiday we booked it about 10 days before flying which we have never done before. It was the first week of the Easter holidays (so it is always going to be a little more expensive than usual) it cost just over £300 each for flights and 5 nights in the hotel.


The first full day we spent looking around the Easter market located in the main square of the old town. We were those classic tourists who decided to buy tickets for the hop on/hop off bus. We often decide to go on these tour buses on the first day of our city breaks and holidays as it gives you an insight into where everything is and you are able to get your bearings. You also get some background history into where you are visiting which is great if you are only visiting for a few days. As the bus advertises the hop on/hop off aspect is a great way to see the city, we found it extremely helpful in Prague and we did get on and off throughout the day.  As part of your ticket their was a free river cruise ride included. The weather was okay this day and it was a nice extra treat to go along the river and see the sites from a different perspective.

After exploring the full city on our first day, we decided on the second day to go to Prague castle which is one of their main attractions. We got on the tram to the castle and the system is very easy to follow.  We bought a 3 day transport ticket which cost approximately £10, this was great and there was no restrictions and you could use it as many times as you wanted. We were able to buy the tram tickets from out hotel which was even more convenient. Once we got to the castle which was only about a 10 minute journey from our hotel, we had to queue for 20 minutes to go through the security system before we got into the castle to buy our tickets. Once we got into the castle grounds the process of buying the ticket was not simple in the slightest, there was no signs telling you where to buy the tickets and everything was a little bit hectic. The place where we were queuing to buy the tickets from closed then everyone manically moved into another box office where we felt as though we were in a cattle market. Throughout visiting the sites in Prague if you are a student/ have a student card take it with you as you get discount on all the main attractions. The tickets for the castle were 250 crown for adults and student tickets were 125 crown. The castle itself was such a beautiful place to visit and there is so much to see and do. They have a market within the castle grounds which had amazing food. The castle was very busy but it was half term and there were lots of tour groups. As there were lots of different parts to the castle, there was not too much queuing and we were able to see all of the sections without too much difficulty. This is a must see attraction!








We also try and always go to a city zoo on our breaks. I know that we can go to zoos in the UK but we all love family trips to the zoo and this one definitely did not disappoint. We found out that the tram ticket which we bought the day before also worked on the buses which was great as we got a quick tram ride to the closest station, and then the zoo provided regular buses which started at this tram stop to the zoo. We were not sure how the big the zoo was, and we were really surprised at just how big it actually was. It took us a good 6 hours to get around the entire zoo. They had polar bears which totally made my visit as they are just such beautiful animals. We managed to walk 15,000 steps this day and my feet were killing!




On the 5th day we took a visit around the Jewish quarter part of the city. Instead of buying tickets to go into all of the different sites we instead decided to just have a gentle wander around and see all the variety of buildings. We also managed to fit in a little bit of shopping on this day to my delight. There is a huge shopping centre called the Palladium located at Namesti Republiky. This centre has over 200 shops and the biggest Sephora, there are actually 3 Sephora's in various locations across the city (and yes I went into them all!). The shops are more high street than high end which I loved as I had some money left to spend so I had a little shop around and picked up some great things. There is also a street just off the square which hosts lots of high end designer shops.

On the last day we had an evening flight so we didn't want to waste the day, but we also did not want to venture too far. We went back into the old part of the town for a last look round. We also went to Charles Bridge which is a main tourist attraction, it is lovely and you can see some really beautiful views from standing on the bridge. The weather was awful on this day and we were not wanting to tramp around in the in the pouring rain, so we went for some lunch and then headed back to the hotel to collect our suitcases and head to the airport. 

We overall had a good time in Prague we were all impressed as to just how well priced everything was. If you read my what I ate in Prague post you will have seen that we were as surprised as to just how well affordable yet great quality the food was. As already mentioned we found that with the attractions within this post, nothing was overpriced and we really felt as though we were getting value for money. 

On the way back home me and my mum were discussing whether we would recommend to others to visit Prague or not. Since I have been back I have found myself saying the same thing numerous times to people who have asked how my holiday was. I thought it was important to mention that as soon as we got into our taxi in Prague, the driver informed us to be careful with pickpockets. He stated that unfortunately they have had an influx of people coming into the country and especially into the city who have created this kind of unfortunate pick-pocketing culture. I know you get pickpockets wherever you go, its life. I have been to Venice which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited and we were warned of the same the problem by the tour company. However in Prague I have never seen anything like it. 


On the first night in the supermarket 50 metres away from our hotel, a man approached me in a very strange way I instantly grabbed hold of my bag tight and I felt extremely uncomfortable as he tried to put his arm around me. Thankfully my dad was there, but he followed us outside and we were all shocked by what had happened considering it was such a public place. Unfortunately, it left a really bad taste with us and we were all constantly on edge the rest of the holiday. I saw someone get pick pocketed at the metro stop, they simple rife through wallets and purses for cash and then throw them away instantly. I would not have left the hotel or gone anywhere in fact on my own as I simply did not feel safe. I do not want to end this post on a bad note but I think it is important to inform my readers and be honest as to how I really feel about the trip. On my return home I have said to people I would suggest visiting Prague as the place overall is great and there is so much to see and do. However, I would not necessarily rush back.

Have you ever been to Prague?

Lucy
xoxo
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Friday, 14 April 2017

How to plan travel posts as a newbie


I really wanted to try add some more posts to my travel section of my blog. This week I have already published my what I ate in Prague post, and I also have a whole summary of my Prague trip coming on Sunday. I thought that I would put together a post all about how I have found writing travel posts as a newbie, and the tips I have picked up along the way. Travel is definitely a newer category on my blog, and it can scary venturing out from the your safe place and into something new.

My first tip is probably that the notes section of your phone will become your best friend. I had a page where I wrote down all the places we ate, what we ate, prices, locations and what I loved/hated. It is so easy to forget names and places and the simplest of details when you are on to go and that can be so frustrating. I found just really simple key words helped me write my posts so much easier. I also had a page of what we did and things I don't want to forget to mention. When people read travel blog posts they want to know the little things you love that's made your trip different to everyone else's. I found writing down locations was really important as the names were very confusing in Prague, and there was no way I would of remembered them when I got home and ready to write the posts.

When your writing your post make sure you put life and personality into the post. Travel posts can be hard to write and say what you did without repeatedly saying "we went here and we did this and then that". This can get really repetitive especially if you've been on a longer trip which has been busy and a lot going on. I think splitting the trip up into smaller sections and reasonable sizable chunks to work with is much more manageable. I took each day and wrote it up with all the notes which I had made on my phone. This helped me to trigger all the extra information from the trip which I wanted to ensure I got in as I did not want to miss any important details.

I thought that writing travel posts would not be too different to my usual style of blog writing, but it was quite the opposite. I think you have to be more concise and to the point as it very easy to be rambling which is fine when you are writing a beauty post on how much you lovely a certain glitter golden eyeshadow, but on a travel review I prefer all the information to get across to me without have to scrawl for days to find the nitty gritty details. People want to read the highlights, the places you are saying people must not miss on their trips. Readers also want to know whats not worth the visit, and also the reasoning's why as you have to remember what you might not like, someone else might really enjoy. I think including prices can be really helpful, as it is so hard to know how much money to take on a weekend trip. Prague was very reasonably prices and for some that is a main factor when choosing where to go on a city break.

For me personally. I found writing up the posts within a week of coming back from the trip, with all the details fresh in my brain and still having that excitement about the trip worked really well. I think that if I had left it a while post coming back, the posts would not be as in depth and my personality regarding the highs and the lows would not have shined through the same. This may work differently for everyone, but it is definitely something to bare in mind when planning your blogging schedule. I am doing a week of travel posts, as I think its great to have a little series altogether which readers can follow. They will also therefore be in an order on your blog if people are just having a general read or are having a catch up.

What are your tips for writing travel posts?

Lucy
xoxo



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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What I ate in Prague

 This is the first post all about my recent trip to Prague. I thought I would do a what I ate post to tell you the ins and outs and places I recommend you visit to eat.

We had a late flight on our first day which was the Sunday so we had a meal in the airport before we flew out. On the Monday which was out first full day which we spent there we walked into the old town part of the capital. There was a huge Easter market which was on which had lots food stalls. I bought a huge crepe with strawberry jam which was delicious! One thing I was impressed which you will find throughout this post is how good value for money the food is. It is much cheaper than Britain. On the first night we ate in an Italian restaurant named  Green Tomato Italian which is located just off Vaclavski Namesti (near Sephora!). This was our first evening meal and we were surprised at how good value for money for the food was. It cost 170 (£5.50) Czech crown for spaghetti bolognese and 60 (£2) a cider. The exchange rate is currently 30 crown = £1. The food here was delicious and if you are in the area I would definitely suggest visiting.



On day 3 we ventured to Prague castle where they have outdoor markets. I had a lovely chicken skewer with vegetables and my mum had potatoes with ham and cheese. Even though this is one of the biggest attractions in the city the prices were very much still reasonable. I also had an amazing white chocolate covered waffle with smarties which was amazing! If you visit the castle I highly recommend you treat yourself to one as it was totally delicious and you can choose the different toppings yourself. We stopped for a drink in the afternoon at a little cafe just off the main square next to the palladium which was called Cacao where I had a strawberry ice tea. This was a lovely little cafe and they have outdoor heaters and blankets. On this night we were struggling to find somewhere to eat so we went in to the palladium shopping centre and found an Indian restaurant called Taste of India. The food here was okay nothing too special, and it was one of the most expensive meals.







On the Wednesday we headed to the zoo and once again the food was a good price. I had Chicken schnitzel and potatoes (which I forgot to photograph!). On this night I definitely had the best meal of the entire trip. We were staying in a place called Florenc and we decided to stay local and headed to a restaurant called Loco In. I had a local chicken dish which was lovely and you could choose your own sauce and potato option. It was also complemented with vegetables. It was seriously delicious and the chicken was the stand out part of the dish, it was cooked beautifully. My dad had the beef goulash and dumplings and he highly recommended it. The meals were about 200 crown each (£7), which we all thought was excellent value for money as we found throughout the holiday. If you are a wanting to try local cuisine which is mainly meaty dishes, this is somewhere I would definitely recommend. Me and my mum also shared a bottle of strawberry prosecco which was delightful.



Day 5 we headed towards the Jewish quarter side of the town. It was a particularly cold day so we headed to a coffee shop named Kafka Snob Food where I had a lovely hot chocolate which cost 75 crown (£2.50). As you can see I also managed to sneak in another trip to the crepe stall, this time sharing with my mum and we went simple with sugar and lemon. Every time me and my family head on a city break we always try and find a Hard Rock Cafe. It was such a treat and I really loved the swiss mushroom burger which I had, I was totally full afterwards. It is always an expensive place to eat wherever you go in the world, but the food was great as always. In the afternoon the temperature really dropped and it was really cold, we headed back to the Cacao cafe from the day before as we were just around the corner from it. My mum recommended the hot chocolate with cream, which she had loved the day before. It is made of pure chocolate melted down - very nice but very filling, and a little sickly! Due to the weather forecast being dull, we decided not to venture out too far so stuck within the Florenc area we found a little Italian called Rialto. My mushroom pasta dish was quite dry and lacking taste. I would not recommend visiting here, the food was nothing special and I think there are so many other places to go where there is a much higher quality of food and service.






On our last day we were around the Charles Bridge area and needed somewhere quick to eat before heading back to the hotel to get our cases. There was a little restaurant called Fatcat which we stumbled across and we were pretty desperate at this point as it was pouring with rain. We didn't quite realise until we got in that it was another burger joint. However with the rain being so bad we decided it would be a good hearty meal before heading back home. I somehow missed the photo opportunity, as I was so dam hungry!

We found that most of the restaurants in Prague were very similar as to what you get in the U.K which is a variety of different cuisines. I would say that their traditional cuisine is different types of meat with potatoes and vegetables, all coming in different styles and dishes. As a family we did not struggle to eat at all and very much enjoyed a lot of the meals which we ate. Keep you eyes peeled as this week I have a post coming all about the places which we visited in Prague, and another on Sunday all about writing travel posts as a newbie.

Have you been to Prague?

Lucy
xoxo

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Saturday, 8 April 2017

ASOS floral embroidered shoulder bag





I was recently browsing the lovely Hannah Gale's Instagram which I do must days, and I stumbled across this amazing ASOS floral embroidered shoulder bag. I was so happy to see that it costs just £30 as I thought it was definitely from an upmarket designer and it was going to be cost a lot more money due to all of its fabulous features. I instantly ordered it and sent a picture to my friends group text and they all gave it the seal of approval.

I am still in the stages of debating over which Gucci bag to buy which means I am scrolling through their website daily, and they have very recently dropped their brand new line called the Sylvie collection. It is full of beautiful embroidery and bright, colourful designs and this definitely seems to have some influences from that line. I have ASOS premier so I was super excited when this arrived on my doorstep the next day, but unfortunately my first one had a big dirty mark on the front. I sent it back and instantly ordered a new one as I wanted to take it on my holidays. My second one was in perfect condition and I was super impressed as to how big it was inside, you can definitely use this as your everyday bag. On my trip to Prague I used this regularly and I managed to fit in all the essentials - phone, purse, sunglasses, guide book and lip balm.

I think the bright pink shade is beautiful and perfect for the spring/summer, and the embroidered detail is really eye catching. A brilliant feature is the big, thick gold chain detailed handle. It makes the bag very sturdy and there is no way that it is going to come off anytime soon. The thickness and length of the chain makes it super comfortable to sit on your shoulder, I hate it when shorter chains don't fit snug on your shoulder and it is bundled up when you have outer layers on.

I have found that there has been a few loose threads that have appeared around the outside skirting of the bag. This was a little bit annoying as they came from no where, and it happened after only a few days. I cut them off easily, so it is not much of a hassle but still it shouldn't really be happening. I have also noticed that this can get scratched very easily due to the outer material of the bag being quite delicate. I have just tried to keep it away from anything which can cause it to dint/ scratch if possible.

I have worn this bag during the day and I wore it to a night do of a wedding and I love that it has that versatility. It is definitely going to get its good use over the next few months, as I love how you can just throw it on with most outfits and it will instantly add some colour and vibrancy to your look.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Roundup for March


March has been a busy month at work. As I write this I am coming to the end of my first week of annual leave, and as you read this I am on holiday which is very exciting. I have not been on holiday since last Summer and I am glad to have a week away. I am super excited to let you know how I got on my holidays and I will let you know for definite in upcoming posts.

 I also gave up alcohol for 4 whole weeks - 28 days in total. I was originally doing it for Lent but I had some special occasions coming up so I decided one month was the ideal opportunity. I have come to realise that whenever I socialise 90% of the time it involves alcohol, not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. What I can say is, that I have just about managed to fill my time in. I was kind of doing it to see if it has had any direct correlation with losing weight. I did find that I lost a few pounds, however I am not going to lie instead of drinking on a Saturday night, I was filling my face with other equally calorific foods. I have enjoyed doing it and I have to say there was only one or two occasions when I actually wanted something alcoholic, but that was just because I fancied it with what I was eating. I have also given up crisps for lent and I am doing so well, I tell you there has been way more occasions where I have wanted a dorito over a kopparberg!

I really do not feel like anything excited happened at all this month, but sometimes they are the best months when time just flies by without realising. I have been making some exciting plans recently and there is nothing that makes me more happy than the prospect of making more memories.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 2 April 2017

March Favourites


I have made a few new beauty purchases in March, and I have a few on trial which you can read here. I have also as I do every month hand picked my monthly favourites for you...

I have been really enjoying using the L'Oreal infallible total cover foundation this month. I have been after a really good new full coverage concealer for ages. When I saw the release of this new range I was really intrigued. I actually really like this and I wrote an entire post about the primer, foundation and setting spray which you can read here. I have found that this blends really well with a brush rather than a beauty blender. It is full coverage and has more of a mousse texture over a classic fluid consistency.

The Seventeen stay time concealer has been a real hit since I bought it. This is a full coverage concealer which works really well in combination with lots of different foundations. For the price of £4.49, I think is it a real gem on the drugstore market. I am going to write a full review in a few weeks, but my first impressions is that it is really great, and not cakey which is always the biggest thing I look for in a concealer.

I have been delving into my lipstick collection for more everyday shades to wear to work. This month I have had MAC's please me living in my handbag, and I have been grabbing it on a daily basis. This is a rose tinted pink and also has a matte finish. The finish is not too drying and the colour is not too bold, but is a classic pretty pink for everyday wear.

I have been wearing nothing but the Elizabeth and James nirvana white perfume this month, I have completely fallen back in love it. The scent is so different to everything else which I own as I usually always choose something fruity, but this is a musk which is still very feminine but stands out from many of fragrances out on the market.


What has been your favourites this month?

Lucy
xoxo
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