Saturday, 23 July 2016

July Favourites

July favourites time! I didn't do a favourites in June so it is about time I did one.

Firstly I'd like to talk about Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I have had this book for years but only just got round to reading it. I wish I read it sooner! I was one of those books that I couldn't put down and stayed up at all hours reading. I won't spoil it for you but I will say that it is a fantasy book with angels and chimeras. I'm currently reading the last book in the trilogy.

Next is The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream which you've possibly seen my review on recently. I have been using it every night before bed and it really works to get rid of the dry patches on my face! Everyday I wake up with soft, nourished skin.

Another product from The Body Shop is the Tea Tree Clearing Toner. I have use this before but went back to it recently and I had forgotten how good it is at cleaning off the remains of make up after cleansing. I love The Body Shop tea tree range for my acne-prone skin!

Then we have the only make up item of this month which is Urban Decay De-Slick Make Up Setting Spray. I have been particularly loving this because it has been so damn hot! When it is hot I get worried about my make up melting off and me sweating so I use this and it does a good job at keeping my make up on. No more melting make up in the heat for me! I love to take this abroad with me too and will be taking it to Tenerife with me.

Finally I thought I'd mention the game Pokemon Go. You've probably already heard loads about it but as an avid Pokemon fan I downloaded this as soon as I could and have been playing it ever since. It is so fun to hunt down and catch Pokemon and being able to play against others in the Pokemon Gym! You may be sick of hearing about this but I really do think you should give it a go if you have not already.

What have you been enjoying in July?

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Lush Wishlist

Christmas and birthday come Lush heavy for me so I don't normally have reason to go and buy a few things in Lush. However, there are quite a lot of new things in Lush now that I haven't tried and these are the 4 things I am desperate to buy!

  • You've Been Mangoed Bath Oil- I've never eaten mango but I love the scent so I have high hopes that this will smell like mangoes! I've also never tried the bath oils before so I would like to try one. On the Lush website it seems the water goes a beautiful green colour and I love a vibrant bath!

  • Lava Lamp Bath Bomb- This bath bomb looks super cool! It makes the water orange and has purple orbs floating around on the surface of the water just like a lava lamp. Whoever came up with this is a genius.

  • Don't Look At Me Fresh Face Mask- The colour of this is what originally had drawn me to it. I want to have a bright blue face! The Lush fresh face masks are always a winner. This mask has got both refreshing and moisturising properties in it so I think this would be a nice one to use before an event.

  • Pink Flamingo Bubble Bar- Why wouldn't you want a flamingo bubble bar?! This just screams cocktails and holidays at me which I am totally all about. 

What do you want to try from Lush?

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Empties #13

Last month was Empties #12 which means it is time for Empties #13!

At the beginning of June I went travelling for 2 weeks so of course I needed a can of Batiste dry shampoo to see me through it! This is a 100ml travel size too which means I could bring it on board the plane and it not take up too much room.

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturiser is something I have enjoyed using for years, whether this one or the grapefruit one, as it is good for acne prone skin. It is light, fresh and good for day moisturiser that will soak in quickly so you can start applying your make up!

Just over a year ago I was sent the Amphora Aromatics Seaweed & Aloe Refreshing Eye Gel to review. My favourite way to use this was to help remove my make up. You can click on the name of the product to learn more about it and my opinion!

Another seaweed product (an unintentional theme there!) is The Body Shop Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator. I used this in the shower only to exfoliate my face. I liked this product as it was a great exfoliant however it would sting my eyes a bit even if the product wasn't near them! The packaging of this has now changed.

Lastly is an Impulse body spray in the scent 'Be Surprised' Violets & Red Fruit. This is just one of your standard cheap body sprays that run out in a month or less. I don't like to use this on its own but rather in companion with perfume. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream

You may remember that in April I reviewed The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream. Since then I have finished the pot and needed a new moisturiser to use at night. For that, I chose The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream. I was actually intending on buying the night cream but accidentally bought this one without realising! Still, I've been using it every day and would like to let you know my feelings on it.

The Vitamin E range is for all types of skin but it's best skin type is for dry skin. Vitamin E is perfect for nourshing dry skin with 48hr moisture infusion. This product also has shea butter and aloe vera which also encourage the moisturising benefits. In addition it has hyaluronic acid which plumps the skin. It is to be used after cleansing and toning the skin. 

On the website The Body Shop describe this as a day moisturiser. However, because it's quite thick I prefer to use it as a night cream which I have been doing every night. I just don't enjoy using thick formulas in the day time! I have read reviews that it is a good base for make up so I doubt that it would be an issue for everyone. Even though it is a thick formula it is certainly not greasy and doesn't take too long to absorb.

Although I was enjoying using the Aloe Night Cream for my sensitive skin issues, I wanted to try this out because my skin was going through a stage of being rather dry. My chin was dry, my neck was dry and my under eyes were calling me havoc! I'm not even exaggerating, it only took 2 DAYS of using this cream for my dry patches to go away! I was totally amazed by it. It didn't sting to use around my eyes so I could slather it on my eyelids and under eyes. Every day I wake up with super soft skin and what were dry patches are now smooth areas of skin that don't show up texture when I apply make up. It hasn't broke me out or anything either which is a bonus.

This product is actually one of The Body Shop's best selling skincare products and even won a Vogue 100 Beauty Wall of Fame Award. So as you can tell, it's pretty popular! I can totally see why people like it so much. The price tag is £12.00 which I think is a fair enough price and not too expensive, especially when The Body Shop constantly have sales going on.

If you suffer from dry skin I really recommend this product and the Vitamin E range in general. I have already raved about this to people on Twitter!

Have you used anything from the Vitamin E range?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Travel | Amsterdam, The Netherlands


1st-15th of June I went interrailing where I travelled to 5 different countries by train. I will write a post about each place I visited in the order that I did them. 

Flight & Getting to the Hotel

To reach Amsterdam, our first destination, we flew from Bristol. Amsterdam seems to be very cheap to fly to so would be a great idea for a weekend away! Our flight was late afternoon and only took an hour and a half. When we got there we took a taxi to our hotel which was rather expensive. It was the fanciest car I had ever been in! It was an automatic and had a huge screen in the front for things like SatNav, the internet and reversing. Despite the price the driver was very kind and made sure we got to the front door of our hotel safely.


Because we were travelling we wanted a budget hotel. We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Amsterdam City Centre Inn. As the name suggests, it is situated in the centre which we wanted as we needed it to be walking distance. On the downside it meant that it was noisy all through the night so bare this in mind if you can't sleep with noise! The hotel has no lift and the dreaded Dutch stairs were the only way up. Dutch stairs are very steep and narrow so be careful! The room was fairly small and basic with a tiny bathroom; the room was clean and the mattresses were rather soft. The window overlooked a part of the canal which was nice. If you're looking for luxury then you won't want this hotel but if like us you need budget and won't be spending much time in your room, then I'd recommend it.


There are various ways to get round Amsterdam. Our main mode of transport was a Sight Seeing Bus which we booked beforehand. Sightseeing buses are ideal if you want to be a proper tourist as they will take you to all the noted sights and landmarks which you can hop on and hop off all day. It's easy enough to find the stop nearest you and then work things out from there. It's also nice to just sit on the bus for the whole tour and see all of the sights. Additionally they give you a map of Amsterdam, the routes and an audio or live guide of the city. It was very handy!

As for public transport, there are trams everywhere in Amsterdam. We used the tram multiple times and you can buy a ticket on board then get to your destination with ease. Bicycles are also EXTREMELY popular and you have to make sure you don't get ran over by them because they won't stop for you! We didn't personally travel by bicycle but you can rent them in plenty of places. The other way to travel is by boat through the famous canals. We didn't go on any as I have a fear of boats but there is a boat ride as part of the City Sight Seeing Bus. On our final day in Amsterdam it was very sunny so the canals were full of both tourists and locals on all kinds of boats. It was fun to sit on the edge of the canal watching them go by and pointing out all the interesting looking boats.

Things To Do

On our first evening/night there we decided to look round the centre. There are lots of shops to look at, some we recognised and some we didn't, so it nice to just wander around. Whether you have expensive designer taste or like shops such as Lush and H&M, there are plenty to look at. On our last day we found ourselves going in to a couple of these shops including an American and British sweets/food shop. There are of course also all of the canals to look at wherever you go and you can watch the boats go by. 

Arguably the most famous thing to do in Amsterdam is to visit the Anne Frank House. You have to book a ticket beforehand which we did on Expedia and you have a set time to go to it. It was a very meaningful experience and the part that got me the most was seeing her magazine cuttings stuck to the wall like posters, really emphasising the fact that she was just a young teenager just like you or me have been going through a terrible time. They also have her actual, genuine diary there which was incredible to see. I do think you should take a visit if you go to Amsterdam as it does leave you feeling all kinds of emotions. Word of warning though: the steps through the house are steep and narrow Dutch stairs again so be prepared for those. 

My favourite thing that I done in Amsterdam has to be visiting Kopjes which is...wait for it...a CAT cafe! It was actually on my bucket list to go to a cat cafe and I knew there was one in Amsterdam so we booked a table before we went. The cafe is completely cat themed with cat themed games, books and cushions to name a few! The walls are covered in things for the cats to play in, climb on and hide in which were constantly used by the 8 felines who live there. You get to play with them and stroke them which I loved and we ended up spending 2 hours there. To get there we caught a tram to Marco Polostraat which is the name of the road that it is on. The staff are also super friendly so I do think it is worth checking out if you are a cat lover like me!

Whenever I see photos of people going to Amsterdam I always see them standing beside a large 'I Am Amsterdam' sign. We found this in a beautiful area where there is a large water feature and a well-kept area of grass where people seem to go to chill out and lay out with their friends. This can be found at the back of the Rijksmuseum (a Dutch history museum). We didn't go inside the museum but we did have a walk around the courtyard. It is such a beautiful area and nice to hang out on on a warm summer's day.

The funniest thing we done was visit the Sex museum. It was my idea as I had seen pictures of people visiting and it was, quite frankly, hilarious. Explore the history of the Red Light District and just the history of sex in general, from sculptures made up of stone penises to how porn has been displayed through time. They also have an area about Marilyn Monroe which seemed popular and many other life size models they've built that move around doing acts or wearing certain 18+ costumes. This certainly isn't for prudes! Also, be wary of the room at the back: the photographs are NOT for the faint hearted!

And of course, we had to take a walk down the Red Light District. How can you go to Amsterdam without even taking a peek? We walked down it during the day time which I recommend if you don't want to see too much and don't want to be surrounded by pervy men. It was actually rather intriguing to see all the doors that are like booths where women stand in to lure the men and pick them. We didn't really see any women standing in the door ways, only a couple, and they just stand in corsets and underwear pulling seductive poses. There are also clubs where you can pay ridiculously cheap prices to see shows and dances. Not my cup of tea but maybe for some of the people who visit Amsterdam!

Food & Drink

As a vegetarian I found Amsterdam had the best range of vegetarian food I've ever found whilst going abroad. I really recommend using Trip Advisor to find places to eat as it will tell you places nearby and cater for what you fancy or your budget.

  • Breakfast- The first breakfast I had in Amsterdam we were actually in a rush so we made a quick stop at a bakery. There are lots and lots of bakeries dotted around in Amsterdam which I was thankful for. I had a croissant filled with Nutella and it was stuff made of dreams. The next two mornings we went to the same place called Cafe George which seems to be cafe/restaurant by day, bar at night. We had brioche french toast with fruit and maple syrup which was incredible! I loved it so much I have tried to recreate it at home which isn't nearly as sublime.

  • Lunch- For lunch we didn't really go out for meals as part of our way of saving money. A lot of the time we bought snacks from the supermarket to keep us going during the day. On the first day I ate my own bought food whilst my friend had food that she enjoyed at Cafe Illy. It was a smart looking cafe and it had a cool fixture with teacups all over it! On the next day we visited the cat cafe that I mentioned in my 'Things to do' Segment where I had a brownie and hot chocolate. On the last day I went to a crepe and gelato parlour where I ordered a large pancake with Nutella ice cream to take out. That was amazing!

  • Dinner- On our first night we found a little fast food place nearby called Maoz Vegetarian which did pitta bread with falafels in or salad with falafel in. You then get to choose what toppings you want in it and sauce as well as having the option of sweet potato fries. I thought this was a great idea and I wish we had them near where I live! Other nights I found delicious vegetable pizza at New York Pizza and nachos at a restaurant that I can't remember the name of. Another amazing meal I had was at another fast food place called Wok to Walk. Similarly to Maoz Vegetarian you get to design your own meal, but this time it was noodles! I chose egg noodles with vegetables, pineapple and sweet and sour sauce. We loved it and it tasted delicious.

  • Alcohol- As someone who hates beer but loves cider, I was happy to see that I could find cider in Amsterdam. It was really expensive to drink alcohol in Amsterdam but I did have a Magners cider one night at a bar and Strongbow cider in the day at a pub where we sat and played cards. I really recommend that if you're planning to come to Amsterdam for drinking that you bring a lot of spending money! If you're more of a beer fan you will find Heineken EVERYWHERE so you need not worry!

Our Train Catastrophe!

To leave Amsterdam we needed to catch a train to Duisburg (Germany) to then catch another train to our destination, Berlin. However, whilst we were on the platform waiting for the train to arrive, someone who worked at the station came and collected us and some other people waiting to board the train. Apparently the train we were all going to get on left an hour early! We were all so annoyed and immediately my friend and I were worried: how were we going to get to Berlin? Our train from Duisburg to Berlin was a sleeper train that had been booked, how were we going to make that? The people working at the train station were very rude and unhelpful so we had to try and fix this ourselves. I looked up the trains and the next train to go to Berlin was at 7:01 AM the next day. It was about 9pm at this point. Whilst I emailed the train companies involved demanding our money back my friend tried to look up hotels that we could stay in for the night. Unfortunately it was a Saturday night so all the hotels in the centre of Amsterdam were full. After walking around numerous hotels and getting turned down, one hotel did kindly help us by telling us there was a hotel out of the centre that had rooms free. We then had to get a tram out of the centre and try and find this hotel. Eventually we found it and it was a posh 4/5* hotel so we had to pay £200 just to sleep for about 5 hours. Then we had to get up early to get a tram back to the train station at 05.53 for our train. It was such a nightmare and thank god for our emergency funds! This also meant that we missed out on half of our first day in Berlin. As of now the train company has agreed to refund us our money which will thankfully make up for the money we had to spend on the expensive hotel.

Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed Amsterdam. I had wanted to visit Amsterdam so much so it was great to finally achieve that. It lived up to my expectations and I can see myself going back there for a long weekend whether it be with a friend, my mum or my boyfriend. However, I will not miss all of the cyclists! As for the elephant in the room: yes there is weed there. I had been told by other people that you can smell weed everywhere but I didn't find this to be the case. Yes, I could smell weed but it was only when I walked past certain groups of people or stood close to a cafe that sold it. The cafes that sell food with weed in will normally have a weed symbol outside so you know if they do it or not. The smell of weed was certainly was not everywhere, which was a relief for me! If you go to Amsterdam you will have to make a decision about whether you want to try it or not.

Have you been to Amsterdam? Also, look out for upcoming travel posts: the next one will be Berlin.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Paperchase Haul

Hey all!

I've never written a Paperchase haul before but there's a first time for everything! I noticed Paperchase had a sale on this week so I made sure to buy a few things.

The first thing I picked up is the Galaxy pencil case. I am starting University in September so I needed a pencil case and this design just stood out to me. I love the colours and the galaxy so what more could I want?

Then I picked up a mini diary. I am definitely someone who loves to be organised. I adore making lists and I always make use of the calendar in my room, my to do list app and writing important things on a whiteboard in my room. I thought I would try out a diary and the good thing about this one is that it is small enough to carry around in my bag so I can write down anything on the go. It is also a mid-Year diary meaning it starts from July which works out nicely! It was only cheap in the sale so it doesn't matter if it turns out I don't use it much. We will have to see how useful it becomes for me.

The next two items are travel items. I am going to Tenerife at the end of the month and I wanted a new suitcase tag and passport holder. I embarrassingly admit that I still use a pink hello kitty tag and passport holder from when I was younger and I can't stand the embarrassment any longer! For a luggage tag I chose the Parkano luggage tag. I thought the colours were nice and it has plenty of space for writing your details on the back which I need because I have large handwriting! As for the passport holder I chose the Get Away stamps holder. I love travelling so I really liked how it has different countries stamped on it. It also has a plastic case around it which means it would be good if it got wet at all.

That's that! I love Paperchase and no doubt I will be purchasing from there again soon.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Sephora Avocado Face Mask

Hello all,

I feel like I haven't sat down and written anything in a while! But as you may have seen in my recent Sephora Haul, I bought a few things from Sephora in Paris for the first time and this Avocado Face Mask was one of them.

To explain what it is, this is a sheet face mask which is attached to a pink film. You peel it off the film and place it over your clean face where there are holes for your eyes, mouth and nostrils. You then wear it for 15 mins before peeling it off and massaging in any excess serum for it to sink into your skin. There is no rinsing involved which is a bonus for me!

The Avocado Face Mask is designed to nurture your skin by relieving sensitive areas and giving intense nutrition. The avocado soothes and nourishes with rice extract to moisturise. There is also broccoli and sprout extract which I think helps give some natural advantages to this mask! I personally chose this mask so I could use it when my skin was being particularly sensitive and/or when I had some dry patches that needed nourishing. Because I have sensitive skin sometimes I can have a reaction which leaves areas feeling dry and sore, as well as causing redness. In addition to that I can suffer from acne so I would want to use something soothing to help keep my skin calm.

My first thoughts when I unpeeled the mask was how much serum there was! The whole packet is drenched in serum so you've got to be careful not to spill any when peeling the mask off. I love how it is absolutely soaked because then you know you're going to have a very intense mask. When I placed the sheet over my face it was a little tricky to get in the right places as it is much larger than my face. When I had it in place however I found it easy to press flat against the contours of my face such as the sides of my nose, my under eyes and under my chin. It stayed firmly in place and didn't peel off or slide down. 

When I peeled the mask off there was still serum sat on my face so I massaged it in. I then used some off of the pink film and inside the packet to rub into my neck and thoroughly around my eyes. It didn't aggravate my sensitive skin nor did it sting my eyes. The serum then didn't take too long to soak in and when it did my skin felt so soft! I did this at night time and when I woke up the next day my skin still felt very nourished. At the time I also had a dry under eye and dryness on my chin. After I used this serum the dryness didn't completely go however it did feel softer and like it had some intense treatment! I believe that it did help the process of dealing with the dry patches on my face. 

I used this Friday night as I knew I was going out Saturday night to a masquerade ball and I wanted my skin to look nice. I noted that the mask also made my complexion look a lot brighter than normal and the skin tone was more even so I thought it was perfect to use before an event!

I loved using this mask and my only disappointment was that I didn't think to save the packaging. Even though I used as much as I could all over my face and neck there was still plenty of serum left in the packaging and now I regret not keeping the it so I could use the serum again. I think if I buy one of these masks again I'll save the packaging next time!

If you don't think the Avocado Face Mask is for you there are plenty of other masks in the line with different skincare benefits and different type of masks such as some for your lips! The Sephora masks are definitely worth checking out and I will certainly pick up some more the next time I find myself in the shop. They are $6 which I think is a fair price and that is the same in euros also. 

Have you tried the Sephora masks?