Friday, 30 November 2018

Skincare Lessons I've Learnt in my Early 20s

Skincare Lessons I've Learnt in my Early 20s
It's no secret that skincare is a huge passion of mine, I mean, the clue is in the name of my blog. Throughout my teenage years, my skin has gone through it all with hormonal acne, inflammation, scarring, dark circles, name it it's probably been there. I have always been quite cautious and mindful about what products benefit my skin or what are a complete waste of money, especially now that I am in my early twenties.

Since I am almost 25, *sobs to self uncontrollably* the year of being stuck in the middle of not being close to 20 anymore but also edging that little bit closer to hitting that 30 milestones. I figured now is a good time to share what skincare lessons I have learnt so far.

Even though there have been no signs of grey hairs or wrinkles yet, touch wood, I have started incorporating things into my beauty regime to help postpone ageing and read up on what I should be doing now for my skin.

A lot of people don't believe that creams and gels, impact your skin from ageing, which is fair enough. But if my dad who's in his 50s has no sign of wrinkles and his reasoning is down to moisturizing every day, then I'm going to think there is some truth behind it. 

"Even though your skin's appearance likely won't change much in your 20s, you're essentially living on credit until your 30s, 40s, and 50s."

1. Start Eye Creams When You're Young
I've used eye creams ever since I turned 21 and it has 100% improved the appearance of my under eyes. They're not for everyone, but for someone who unfortunately looks like death if I'd had less than 8 hours sleep or wakes up with puffy eyes, they're really good. My eyes feel really hydrated even after a night out of dehydration with alcohol. I definitely think they work for keeping your under eyes in good condition.

A few favourites:
Origins Ginzing Eye Cream
Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment

2. SPF is SO Important
Unfortunately, growing up I was one of those people who thought 'you only need SPF when it's hot outside' and I was so wrong! SPF is so important to help with not only shielding your skin from ageing (fine lines and wrinkles) but, reduces the risks of skin cancer. I am starting to sound like a doctor, but I want to look as young as possible for as long as possible!

3. Retinoids Are Your Best Friend
Truthfully, I never even heard of retinoid until The Ordinary came around and I researched the science behind these miracle workers. Retinoids stimulate the production of new skin cells, they help with fading dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. They renew the skin and treat acne, reduce the appearance of fine lines and help with skin discolouration. I try to use this ingredient in my skincare at least once a week and I can say it does help with reducing dark spot scars, but I imagine these sorts of products won't show results they will just help prevent future fine lines etc.

A few favourites:
The Ordinary Retinoid 2%

4. Face Wipes, Cleanse
Although it may seem like the perfect thing to use when you can't be bothered to take your makeup off, face wipes do more harm than good for your skin. If I ever use them, it's to remove harsh eye makeup, but I won't ever use them for my skin purely because of how bad they can be. A lot of face wipes contain alcohol or fragrances which can strip the natural oils from your skin's barrier and dehydrate your skin. They also don't remove all layers of makeup, even though they may seem like they do, this can make your skin breakout. I like to remove my makeup with micellar water and then go in with either my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish or the Glosser Milk Jelly Cleanser and my skin feels 1000% clean compared to face wipes.

5. Some Products Do More Harm Than Good
I am not going to throw brands under the bus, but during my teenage days especially, I was so desperate and unmindful on what will treat my spots that I would buy into those overpriced skincare advertisements and only see temporary changes. What I've learnt from this apart from buying expensive products doesn't always mean miracles are going to happen, but also to be aware of what ingredients are actually in the products. A lot of products can contain ingredients that can worsen your skin, so be mindful of that. I always like to use a cosmetic ingredient site to tell me what ingredients are inside products and the harm they can cause before I consider trying them.

Similar Posts...
101 Skincare Mistakes | Link
101 Skincare Ingredients | Link

What skincare lessons have you learnt??

Monday, 26 November 2018

4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide

Four Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Four Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Four Days in Amsterdam | Guide
What's that Katie, you've gone away again? Yes, I know I've had a serious case of the travel bug this year, I need help. 

No more this year I promise...

Once you've had a taste of what the world has to offer you sort of become addicted to exploring different cities, learning about the cultures and trying the local cuisines. It was my boyfriends birthday recently and what better excuse than to go away, right?

This time we decided to take a long weekend break to the staggering city of Amsterdam. We didn't fancy the 12 or so hour journey on the ferry, so we hopped on a plane that took just over an hour to get there. We had 3 full days to explore this beautiful city which was more than enough time to get a taste of the Dam.

Here are a few things we got up to during our stay.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
The Sex Museum
Everything in Amsterdam is relatively close by and you can cycle your way around the city or get a tram, which is what we did 99% of the time with our 3-day tram pass. We were tempted to rent a bike, but my god I wouldn't be here writing this post if I had rented one, they are crazy! One of the first things we did was took a tram to the centre and visit the Sex Museum. This is one of the most visited museums in Amsterdam and is quite interesting and...peculiar. This museum mostly contains pornographic imagery and sexual objects. Definitely somewhere to visit with your partner if you are curious or just fancy a giggle like we did.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Anne Franks House
This was something I wanted to explore, but because of the extortionate pricing and the fact it was so busy, we decided to just visit the place from the outside instead. If you are into your history and don't mind the waiting line to go in, definitely would recommend coming here. Apparently, the home is meant to be very moving and not a lot has been changed, so it very much feels like you are a part of that era.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide

4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Artis Zoo
Probably my favourite part of Amsterdam and not something I would have expected was definitely the zoo. I would go far enough as to say this is the best zoo I've ever been to because it's so engaging with the animals and at times it didn't feel like it was a zoo. There were lemurs running freely around your feet, monkeys within touching distance and elephants splashing the crowd. I felt like a big kid at this zoo I was forever running off from my boyfriend to see the animals. We spent a good 3 and a half hours here, it is huge and definitely takes up most of your time. Would highly recommend coming here if you have a spare day to see the animals.

Tip: Try and come around lunch time when the elephants get fed, it is amazing!
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
Canal Tour
As there are over 165 canals in Amsterdam there are dozens of companies offering canal cruises or tours of the city. I wanted to book the evening tour where you could dine with pizza, but we opted for a daytime cruise around the city. I really enjoyed this tour it took the weight off my feet for an hour or so and we got to learn historical facts about Amsterdam, as well as capture beautiful photos of buildings. I think what made this canal tour so good was the crispy autumnal weather. Definitely check out these tours there are so many options to choose from throughout day and evening.
4 Days in Amsterdam | Guide
The Red Light District
Typically what Amsterdam is known for and something you HAVE to experience in my opinion is the Red Light District. It was an experience for sure and the atmosphere in the evenings is what makes the RLD so captivating. If you don't do crowds, but want to check the area out, go during the day as it is a lot less crazy. I found it really fascinating to take a peek into other peoples lifestyles.
4 days in amsterdam
I personally loved Amsterdam it was so interesting to experience the atmosphere and what this beautiful city has to offer. We would definitely go back as there is just so much more to do and see! 

I have a food guide post going up soon as well if you wondered where all the snaps of the food were, don't you worry it deserved a whole post to itself!

1. Watch out for bikes! Literally almost got killed a million times
2. Don't take or buy any drugs from dealers in the streets
3. Watch for pickpockets around the District
4. Try stroopwafels they are amazing!

Similar Posts
5 Days in Reykjavik, Iceland

Have you been to Amsterdam??

Friday, 9 November 2018

My SOS Skincare

My SOS Skincare
There is nothing worse than waking up with an unwanted friend or two on your face, especially if you have to make contact with humans beyond your front door. Even at the age of 24 I still get unpaid rent tenants living on my face, but I think I've managed to find some zit-zapper treatments that maintain them. FINALLY.

These are my go-to emergency zit-zappers that helps get rid of those spots ASAP.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + 1% Zinc £5.00
Truth be told, my skin gets on more with The Ordinary's Niacinamide than the Salicylic Acid, as it's a lot less drying and harsh on my skin. This product isn't targeted directly to people with acne prone skin, but it does help reduce the appearance of blemishes and balances visible sebum activity. This is my second tube of this stuff, I love it! I apply it onto my skin every other morning and evening before moisturizing and I have definitely noticed it has helped with reducing redness and the appearance of any breakouts I may have. It doesn't necessarily get rid of the spot altogether, but it is a good product for reducing the appearance of spots.

Sunday Riley UFO £68.00
Quite possibly the most expensive facial oil I have and will ever own, I definitely must have been feeling like I was rich when I purchased this! This is such an amazing product and is definitely a cult favourite. Infused with salicylic acid, tea tree and black cumin seed oil, all help with reducing the appearance of and prevents future breakouts. I apply this once a week onto my skin as it is too goddamn expensive to use every day! in the evening before bed and instantly the next morning my skin will feel plumped and dewy. I also find this product brings out any upcoming spots to its surface a lot quicker. This product isn't harsh on my skin or strips it from any natural oils, which is surprising as salicylic acid is usually quite harsh.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion £11.00
A recent discovery added to my skincare cabinet, this drying lotion is the best overnight treatment for quick-fixes. It is, as it says on the front a 'drying' lotion, so bear that in mind when you dab this onto any breakouts. It does contain salicylic acid, so I like to use this whenever a pesky white head spot appears and just dab a tiny bit over the spot with a cotton bud and leave overnight. By the next morning, the spot will have reduced in size dramatically and it helps repair my complexion, as I find with spots I tend to have leftover redness.

I've been really cautious with what I apply on my skin nowadays, I've upped my skincare knowledge so much on what works and what doesn't, which has definitely helped with my skincare. I've linked a couple of 101 skincare posts below that have helped with my skincare story for anyone who is curious!

Similar Posts...
101 Skincare Mistakes | Link
101 Skincare Ingredients | Link

What zit-zapper do you swear by??

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Three From Nivea

Three From Nivea
I can be a little bit of a snob when it comes to skincare, a lot of products I use in my daily skincare routine tend to be on the more high-end as I find these just work for my skin more effectively. However, one skincare brand I always reach for within drugstore is Nivea. I've used Nivea products as a spotty teenager and as a young adult and have always reached for this brand to remove my makeup and to hydrate my body. Plus it's inexpensive which is always a bonus!

For today's post, I wanted to share with you my top 3 Nivea products and why they have become a staple in my skincare regime.

When it comes to removing my makeup I have tried all the micellar waters, but only a small few don't dry or disrupt my sensitive skin. I like to use micellar water to remove the bulk of my makeup and then go in with a double cleanse. Nivea MicellAIR Make-up Remover Wipes are great for removing long-lasting makeup and waterproof mascara without drying the skin out. I don't tend to use wipes in my skincare routine, but these are amazing for removing harsh eye makeup without drying, which is down to the black tea extract that helps reducing skin puffiness.

Once I have removed my eye makeup with the wipes I like to then go in with the MicellAIR Make-Up Remover. This lightweight formula also includes black tea extract as well as green tea extract, which is great for sensitive skin. I remove the bulk of my makeup with this water and it sweeps it away with one step. It doesn't irritate my skin or dry it out, which is why I like this brand. It's so quick and easy to remove my makeup without breaking my skin out.

If I double cleanse my skin or want something lightweight, I occasionally use the Nivea Face Cleansing Lotion. This lotion cleanses thoroughly yet mildly, protecting the skin's natural moisture balance and prevents drying the skin out. You can also use this as a makeup remover, but I have not tried it for that. I tend to use this if my skin is in need of hydration or if I have had quite thick makeup on all day and need some balance put into my skin.

*PR Sample/gift.

What are your favourite Nivea products??

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Colour Palette Transition

Colour Palette Transition
I love when the season starts to change and since autumn is upon us, this generally means I swap my floral dresses for knitted jumpers and nude lips for berry shades. Autumn is definitely my favourite season of all, I love the dark evenings and the chilly air, also all the festivities are almost upon us. I have started to switch up my makeup routine and decided to share what I've transitioned in my routine.

Shimmery Eyeshadow's
Shades usually associated with autumn are mustard, berry, brown and taupe. So when I am wanting an autumnal eye look I tend to reach for my Morphe Palette 350s as this palette has loads of shimmery autumn shades - just look at that burnt orange! The pigmentation on this palette is incredible, you can create some amazing looks for autumn both during the day and night. I also quite enjoy the H&M Eyeshadow's too these are much cheaper and are great for travel. They aren't as pigmented as Morphe, but H&M do have an amazing collection of autumnal eyeshadows as well as nail polish and lipsticks. I like to purchase a couple of shades from them for autumn instead of buying a full eyeshadow palette.

When it comes to blushers I tend to switch them up quite often, but the ones I am currently reaching for are the Laura Mercier Skin Cheek Blusher or NARS Dual Intensity. I love the Laura Mercier and Nars blushers they are definitely both good for shade range and pigmentation. I have the LM blusher in 'plum radiance' which is a gorgeous natural-looking shade that brightens and illuminates the face. I like to use this if am wanting a blusher without any shimmer, but if I am after shimmer I tend to reach for this NARS Dual in the shade 'Fervor'. What I love about this blusher is the silky, wet/dry formula that creates a healthy glow. Both blusher shades are amazing for autumn and are so long lasting!

I do love a berry shade in autumn so for those days I am feeling daring I reach for the classic MAC 'rebel' Lipstick. A creamy lipstick formula with a soft cushiony feel and satin finish. I love how creamy these lipsticks are, I personally don't like matte shades without a bit of moisture in the autumn especially. Another alternative I have been reaching for is the Topshop Everything Stick in the shade 'defiant'. Topshop does some amazing makeup that is definitely worth checking out. This is such a good multi-purpose product that is perfect for on the go and travel. You can swipe this on your lips, cheeks and even contour with some of the shades. I personally only use this on my lips, but the shade is so autumnal and the consistency is beautiful and creamy. I am definitely going to check out more of their shades.

What autumn makeup do you reach for??

Friday, 7 September 2018

End of Summer Favourites

End of Summer Favourites
Summer is officially at an end, we can finally say goodbye to long days and say hello to cold evenings and thick, knitted jumpers. Autumn is definitely my favourite time of the year I just love all the mustard and burnt orange colours and being able to layer up in jumpers. Even though summer is at an end *mourns* we have had a nice one here in the UK (minus those humid evenings!), so I decided to wrap summer up and share what I have loved this past couple of months.

Garnier Sun-Kissed Gradual Tan
As much as I love false tanning I just don't have the patience or the number of bed sheets to be applied every day. Gradual moisturizing tans are something I always reach for as they are just so simple to apply and give your skin a lovely colour. I find out of all the gradual tans I have tried, this one is the one I return to the most as it doesn't leave your skin with a strong biscuit scent and it doesn't apply patchily. I used this before I went to Gran Canaria and it just helped so much with looking healthy and tanned (plus it doesn't stain your sheets - bonus!).

Moroccan Oil
I have used and loved this hair oil for years I think it's fair to say as I have mentioned it numerous times you are probably bored sick of me mentioning it. But I always reach for this hair oil in the summer, especially if I want to achieve healthy-looking beach waves. This oil helps keep my hair in good condition which I think you need especially in the summer. It also gives my hair a gorgeous shine which looks amazing with beach waves on a sunny holiday. Definitely my favourite oil for keeping my hair in amazing condition and something I'd recommend to anyone with damaged hair.

Avene Thermal Spring Water
I personally only use this thermal spray when I am abroad for sunburn or to cool down with, but you can also use this for skin irritation, after removing make-up, after shaving or hair removal too. I have quite sensitive skin so this product is perfect for me when my skin is agitated as it just helps calm it down whilst moisturizing. This travel-friendly bottle is perfect to pop in your bag for on the go and in need of a refresh. Definitely been a lifesaver during the humid evenings!

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter
I have tried a lot of powdery highlighters and out of them, this is my favourite by far heartbroken I hit pan though. This product is a smooth and extremely pigmented highlighter that gives your skin a beautiful champagne colour (perfect with a tan). I find with powdery highlighters that they tend to fall off my face by the end of the day, but with this one, it doesn't budge! Plus, it picks up amazingly in photos and natural light which is why I absolutely loved it when I was on holiday.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
CT lipsticks are so beautiful not only on the outside but on the inside as well. Pillow Talk is the perfect nude pink matte lipstick for every day and for a special occasion. Enriched with soothing orchid and Lipstick tree extracts, lips appear fuller and wider. It is such a long-lasting, moisturizing lipstick for a matte texture. I am yet to try the lip liner that pairs with it, but I have heard amazing things about that as well.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume
My cult staple summer scent has got to be the classic Marc Jacob's Daisy perfume. If you like fresh, floral, succulent scents definitely give this a whiff if you haven't already. It is my go-to summer fragrance and I always feel heartbroken when I am near the end of a bottle.

What has been your summer staple this year??

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

4 Cult Beauty Picks

4 Cult Beauty Picks
I have spent more money than I care to admit on Cult Beauty's website over the years. There's something ever-so-special about spending time scrolling through their website and treating yourself to a brand new beauty product. It's quite difficult to get your hands on a lot of these cult-loves, which is what makes spending your pennies on this website that little bit more special. I've loved everything I've ordered from Cult Beauty, but if I had to choose my top 4, these would be those.

Alpha H Liquid Gold £33.50
I was recommended to try this product years ago and still to this day it fits into my skincare routine, which to me is a cult favourite. I have ordered numerous bottles of this stuff from CB and will continue to do so. This exfoliating, overnight treatment delivers so much better for your skin! I find exfoliating gels/scrubs quite harsh on my skin, so I tend to stay away from those and only use exfoliating acids, that you apply with a cotton pad. This product contains 5% glycolic acid (which is a great ingredient for discolouration and pigmentation). It's amazing for those dark spots that leave redness, acne scars and anti-ageing! I've definitely noticed a difference in my complexion when I've used this product. My skin looks much more glowing and I've definitely noticed this has helped with acne scarring. Definitely worth the 5 stars on their website!

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel £31.00
I've always found cleansing gels a lot more beneficial for my skin type and Oskia's Renaissance Cleansing Gel has really helped strengthen my skin over the years. Containing vitamins C, B2 and E, pumpkin enzyme and much more goodness. This isn't my daily cleanser, but I do like to use this when my skin is in need of brightening or calming down. My skin always feels so smooth and radiant when I've used this product, which is why I only like to use it when my skin is having a freak-out. It probably is targeted towards people with more dry-normal skin, but because I use quite drying spot treatments, this helps to restore balance into my skin.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation £29.00
I was a bit hesitant to try this foundation out, as I am quite picky with how I want my foundation to look, but I took a gamble and gave this 'I woke up like this' foundation a go. First off, this foundation gives you a medium-to-full coverage which is perfect for those long days or as more of an evening foundation as it doesn't give you flashback in photos! This is such a natural, dewy looking foundation that sits on my skin so nicely and is so easy to blend out. I like to use this as my going out foundation because of how flawless, it makes my skin look and how amazing the coverage is. It's definitely up there with my Double Wear as a cult favourite foundation.

Morphe 350S Nature Glow Eyeshadow Palette £23.00
I have been after this palette for so so so long and finally, I joined the waiting list and impatiently waited for that Cult email to say it's in stock. Containing an array of warm neutrals, this 35-pan palette is a must have to be added in your makeup stash. You have every shade you could ever want and can create so many amazing looks for both day and night! These shadows are so pigmented and long lasting! - A little tip I like to wet my eyeshadow brush before applying they shimmery shadows to my lid, just to enhance the colour even more. Definitely, a one to buy if you are really into your shadows.

What are your one Cult Beauty skincare and makeup favourite??

Thursday, 28 June 2018

101 Skincare Mistakes

101 Skincare Mistakes
Following up from my 101 Skincare Ingredients Guide I've decided to write a little 'skincare series' on all the beauty knowledge I have learnt. When it comes to taking care of our skin we aren't perfect, we're all guilty for sleeping in our makeup after a night out or picking a spot every now and then. It is important to take care of your skin, especially when you are younger to help benefit when you are older.

Here are 15 skincare mistakes to avoid in the hope it'll improve your skin in the long run, aka wrinkles, sunburn and ageing.

1. Picking or touching your face
Most of the time you won't even realise you're doing it, but touching your skin or picking at it can be seriously bad for your skin in the long run. I am a sinner for picking a whitehead, it's probably the most common mistake ever. Think of it this way every time you touch/pick at your skin you are damaging it and running the risk of leaving scars and holes, gross.

2. Over-Exfoliating
It might feel amazing at the time scrubbing your skin with an overly harsh facial exfoliator every other day, in the hope, it'll shift those dead skin cells. But it won't be permanent. Once or twice a week is much more beneficial than every other day. I actually avoid facial scrubs and only stick to watery exfoliating substances that require just a wipe over the face (Pixi Glow Tonic). Over-exfoliating can remove your skin protective barriers and strip away the natural oils.

3. Sleeping with a full face of makeup
Guilty as charged. Now I'm going to break this down to you in the hope it'll change your future-drunken self to stop doing. Sleeping with makeup on can cause eye infections, wrinkles, breakouts, broken eyelashes and clogs your pores. Since learning this no matter what state I am in I always make sure to remove my makeup before my head hits the hay.

4. Skipping Moisturizer
I have oily/combination/acne/whatever it wants to be kind of skin, therefore using a moisturizer is crucial. I did however use to fall into the trap of 'adding more cream to my face will make it worse', until I realised how important it is to moisturize. My Dad has amazing skin and he told me all he does is moisturise! I've noticed so many older people with amazing skin and they all say its off moisturizing. I am for sure a believer that what you do for your skin now will benefit in the long run. Hopefully doing this will postpone wrinkles!

5. Not using SPF in your skincare
It's been drilled into our head from our family to wear sun cream and even though we listen, we never really think about applying sun cream on days it's not sunny - or at least I didn't. This article really opened my eyes on how important it is to apply SPF even on days you don't think you need to. My primer has a high SPF so my skin isn't at as much risk of sun exposure.

6. Not washing your face
Seems like such a simple thing to skip out of your routine, but it is so important on how your skin appears. I wash my face every morning and evening and it's becoming a routine for me to do. Think of it this way you wake up with dead skin cells, sleep on your face and if you were to go outside your skin is then hit with pollution and germs! If you don't wash your face you are more prone to breakouts, premature ageing etc.

7. Not changing your bedding often
I think because I've suffered from bad skin since I was around 14-15 I've had the basic skincare tips drilled into my brain and one of which is changing your bedding often. I change my bedding either once or twice a week and I am forever swapping my pillowcases around. A bit similar to No.6, your skin produces dead skin cells overnight as well as your hair, therefore it's important to change your bedding and keep your skin away from bacteria.

8. Not using the right products for your skin type
Your skin could be dry one day so you apply a thick moisturiser and the next week, it's oily so you don't use any. Your skin needs balance and it's important to know what your skin type is before you think about what products to buy. Price doesn't always determine quality, I've bought products in the past after reading highly rated reviews that are not even targeted towards my skin and end up doing absolutely nothing. It's worth reading up or getting your skin checked out on what your skin type is.

9. Having hot showers
Having a shower that is too hot can dry out your skin and make it increasingly prone to irritation. I always try to wash my face with cold water to help tighten the appearance of my pores. If water is too hot my skin actually goes sensitive and very red, so I always try to avoid this as much as possible.

10. Using products with toxic ingredients
It's always good to check what ingredients are in your skincare, hair care and makeup before you apply to your skin. I might do a post all in what products to avoid in depth, but as an overview avoid parabens, phthalates, fragrances if you can. I still use products with these in, just not as much as I used to.

11. Good night sleep
I mentioned in my 13 Things I've Learned in 2017 post that I much prefer my early nights juxtapose to 2am sleeps. Not that I wake up with flawless, fresh face skin, but I do find my eyes don't look tired, my skin doesn't look dull and I've also noticed my skin is much more plumped than it would be if I was to sleep early hours.

What is your skincare 101 mistake to avoid??

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A Foodies Guide to Paris

Paris is such a beautiful, elegant city that got me fallen head over heels in love and lusting to see much more of the world. The Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Couer, Notre Dame and all the other iconic touristy spots are all in well amazing, but what is just as important to do if not more is exploring the food.

Food is so important when you visit different cities as you want to taste all the best and try the local cuisines everyone recommends. I probably spend just as much time researching places to eat as I do for places to visit and I 99% of the time look up quirky little spots to explore.

Here, I have put together a guide on all the foods I was able to try during my time in Paris or spots I would recommend that isn't on a typical Parisians food guide. 

P's I was very mundane with my food choices and practically lived on pastries, just cause why not?

72 Hours in Paris | Guide blog post
French pastries
French Baguette
Hotel Val Girard
Visit A French Bakery
No matter where in Paris we were, we always stumbled across hundreds of French-style bakeries just off the corner of pretty much most streets. You just can't avoid them and the smell of freshly baked savouries will instantly draw you in. I noticed lots of Parisians buying a stick of baguette and just eating it by the stick which was crazy! I pretty much lived off pastries for breakfast at our hotel and I made sure to try a baguette (apparently the pointier the end the better) to see what the fuss was about. Definitely recommend visiting one or two bakeries during your stay and trying all the delicious, sweet treats.

Tribeca (Italian, French)
On our first night, we didn't fancy being adventurous so we went to a restaurant just off Rue Cler. After a long day of travelling, I just fancied a good old pizza, which I can confirm was probably the best pizza I have ever tasted. The service here was lovely and the prices were what you'd expect to pay here in the UK. My boyfriend had a pasta dish which was smothered in a creamy sauce served with chicken, Parmesan and rocket, which he also said tasted amazing. Every restaurant you go to in Paris you are guaranteed a basket of bread to go with your main, so all the carrrrbs.

La Poincare (French, European, Vegetarian-Friendly)
Not too far from the Trocadero metro line, we ate at a local French bistro called La Poincare. I wouldn't really rate the service as great, but the food was delicious! I had the spicy sausage, mash potato and a mustard sauce, which tasted amazing, especially the sausage it tasted a lot different to what we get here and I noticed that a couple of times throughout our stay. My boyfriend ordered a burger which he said was probably the nicest he's ever had, so the food here is definitely one to try!
I've always said if I was to visit France that I'd try snails, you can try them at pretty much any French restaurant, the same with frogs legs. Bistro De La Tour is where we went for the snails which are just around the corner from The Eiffel Tower on the corner of the river. The service was really great here, the waiter helped us with the snails and overall gave a lovely service. The snails had a strange texture to them, almost like a mushroom or mussels, they were smothered in a garlic oil which gave the snails a bit of flavour. Not something I'd eat again, but I liked them, my boyfriend however didn't so I was left to eat 5!
Choco factory
choco factory shake
Amorino gelato
Sweet Treats 
Like I said at the start before I travel anywhere I always look up quirky places to eat and Paris luckily has a few to mention.

Choco Factory
Just around the corner from the Luxembourg Gardens is the Choco Factory, which is a unique little cafe that literally is like a chocolate factory full of dreams. Not only can you create your own chocolate here, but you can eat all the waffles and crepes until you explode. We went for one of the freakshakes which were incredible and definitely a place to go to snap the Instagram shots. So much choice here, I would definitely come back here.

Amorino Ice Cream
There are a couple of Amorino ice cream shops in Paris and are worth checking out during your stay. We went to the one in Montmartre when the weather was lovely and sunny, perfect for an ice cream stop. Quite possibly the best ice cream I've ever had, we each chose three flavours and had them shaped into lovely roses. I went for raspberry, hazelnut chocolate and vanilla, and honestly, it tasted amazing!

Those were most of the stops we took during our time in Paris, there are loads of choices of food to eat. We also made a few stops to local supermarkets where we bought some sweet biscuits to eat on our travels and some Milka Chocolate (which seems to be very common here). If we were to go back we'd definitely try a wine and cheese board and the famous macaroons.

What food have you tried in Paris??

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Top 5 | French Pharmacy Skincare

Top 5 | French Pharmacy Skincare
Last month I took a spontaneous, last minute trip to Paris and during my time there, I noticed on almost every single main street there were French Pharmacies. It got to the point where my boyfriend and I would count how many we saw on our travels. I wish there was a French Pharmacy at the end of my street, it would be great for those 'oh. I've run out of Bioderma water' moments. Instead, I have to get a 20-minute bus journey to my nearest drugstore...clearly, I need to move to Paris.

Anyways, as I went into these pharmacies I noticed so many familiar brands such as Bioderma, La Roche Posay, Caudalie, Eucerin etc, that I already use and love on a daily basis. So I decided to put a little post together on what French brands and skincare products I love and to check out if you visit France. P's they're a whole lot cheaper too!

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil
I have briefly mentioned my love for this oil already here, I should have known it was a French brand just by the name. This cleansing oil has made me want to try more beauty products from this brand, as I always see products getting four or five-star rating. This cleansing oil is such a quick and easy way to remove all your makeup (even the hard stuff like mascara), without leaving your skin feeling dehydrated. I just love how moisturizing it feels on my skin and although it is around £18 per 100ml and I consume it fairly quickly, it's worth it.

Vichy Masque Argile Purifiant Pores
Vichy is a skincare brand I've always enjoyed using, but always forget about when I search for new products to try. I do love their Purete Thermal Cleansing Oil which is also really good for makeup removing and cleansing the skin. However, one of my favourite products that I reach for when I fancy a treat, is their Purifiant Pores Face Mask. A paraben-free clay mask containing Aloe Vera, Kaolin and Bentonite which absorb impurities and sebum. I love this face mask it's my go-to for whenever my skin is in need of a luxury treat. It dries out any pesky spots I have and just brightens up my complexion.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
This French brand has really helped my teenage skin over the years and especially the iconic Effaclar Duo, which I have bought so many times it just had to be mentioned again. Containing ingredients such as Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid and Glycerin, which all help reduce the appearance of spots and blackheads, controls shine and helps protect the skin from discolouration. This product has helped me a lot with nasty breakouts that it's my go-to emergency product that never lets me down, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone with spot prone skin.

Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray
The perfect travel-friendly water spray to take on your sunny holidays to help keep your skin feeling soothing soft and cool. Perfect to use on skin irritation, facial redness, sunburn, rashes as well as a good follow up after makeup removal, shaving, exercise and hair removal. I always have a bottle of this in my bag for on the go as it is perfect for everything and it is essential for the summer if like me you get irritated skin from the heat. A very refreshing and calming, travel-friendly product. 

Nuxe Shimmering Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse
What a mouthful to type, let's just call it Nuxe shimmer oil for the face, hair and body for short. This is such an amazing oil that I reach for in the summer to get that instant natural, healthy glow. A bit sceptical to use on my face, but I heard it makes a great illuminator for the eyes and cheekbones. I like to apply this if I have a tan or if I am going out somewhere nice and have my legs on show. Containing Macadamia oil, Argan Oil, Almond Oil etc, this little beauty leaves your skin feel silky soft and smelling of vanilla and orange. It is a bit pricey for what it is, but it is probably the best body oil I have ever used that is perfect for a healthy summer glow.

What is your favourite French Pharmacy product??

Thursday, 22 March 2018

72 Hours in Paris | Guide

Since coming back from Iceland I had a serious case of the 'travel bug' and needed to get it out my system with a little city break. We were torn between Paris and Amsterdam, but ultimately Paris won with our beautiful hotel view of The Eiffel Tower.

We stayed in Paris for four days and three nights, giving us plenty of time to explore the beautiful (be using this word a lot!) city of romance. During our time we managed to tick off so many iconic sites of Paris and still had time to go on spontaneous late night strolls and eat lots of scrumptious sweet pastries.

Here are a few photos of things we got up to during our stay!
The catacombs
The Catacombs of Paris
Twenty metres below the heart of the city lies the remains of over 6 million Parisians. Transferred there in the late 18th-19th centuries as graveyards were being closed because of the risk they posed to public health. If you are really into your history I'd definitely recommend travelling down 130 steps to explore this eerie, poignant place.

1.) Book in advance to avoid the long two-hour waiting line
2.) Bring a set of headphones to listen to the audio without any disruptions
3.) Wear comfy shoes as you will be walking a lot of steps!
The Louvre
The Louvre Museum
The worlds largest art museum and a historic monument, essentially where the famous Mona Lisa painting is located. Not that we went into the museum, but when in Paris you MUST go visit the Louvre and take lots of touristy photos! We only stopped here for 15 minutes to get a photo, but if we had the chance to go back, I'd go in the evening when it's beautifully lit up.
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
A fine example of French architecture, this Gothic cathedral is definitely a site not to miss! Stained glass windows, quirky sculptures and the beautiful sound of the chime that is reminiscent to The Notre Dame Disney film.

1.) Come here early to avoid all the tourists   
Probably my favourite location in Paris and an area you could definitely spend all day at. After walking up lots of cobbled streets and hills, there you will come across the iconic Sacre-Couer Roman Catholic church. This is an amazing site to see if you want to see the view of Paris up a height. It was lovely and sunny when we came here so we sat on the steps and took it all in.

The streets in Montmartre are absolutely beautiful I sometimes felt as though I was in Italy never mind France. Home to lot's of interesting architecture, stunning views and the Moulin Rouge. I would definitely recommend spending a good few hours here.

1.) Climb the steps to the Sacre-Couer and take a photo of the beautiful city view!
2.) To the left of the Sacre-Couer is a building, if you tilt your phone you can create an optical illusion to make the building tilt. Pretty cool huh?
3.) Visit Amorino Gelato for the best ice cream shaped as a rose.
The Invalides
Arc De Triomphe
Eiffel Tower
Sites At Night
How can you not go visit the Eiffel Tower in the evening and watch it magically sparkle?! I loved all of Paris, but for me, the nighttime was the best as you could really take in the iconic landmarks. Every night in Paris we would go out for food and wander the streets of Paris until our feet were ready to drop off. I found myself constantly looking up at the Eiffel Tower and watching it glow, it really is one of the most stunning views I've ever seen.

1.) At night every hour on the dot for 5 minutes the Eiffel Tower sparkles, have your video record at the ready!
2.) It is supposedly illegal to post online The Eiffel Tower sparkling and you may get done for copyright as it is classed as art. I wasn't sure if this was true, but so many articles online say so, therefore it isn't worth the fine.
Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower
Before we went away I spent ages looking up places with great views of the city (including the Eiffel Tower) and the building that stood out was Montparnasse, which you just cannot miss, it is ginormous - 59 floors to be precise. The Pretemps building is also meant to be amazing (+free), but we went for this one and paid 17 euros just so we could see all angles and spend some time up there without getting cold. It was quite scary to think about how high we actually were, but the views we got were incredible! 

1.) Go in the morning as the prices go up in the afternoon
2.) Maybe book online to avoid the queue as we waited a little while to get up
3.) I would also suggest going in the evening I can imagine the view to look unreal!
Val Girard
Other tips/advice:
1.) Watch for pickpockets, especially on the metro, don't keep any valuables in your back pockets.
2.) Be cautious of street hagglers, people will approach you asking you to buy items (roses, drawings, souvenirs, bracelets) and they don't always take no for an answer
3.) If you are taking the metro look online for metro passes as they are pricey and we were ripped off once or twice.

We stayed at the Val Girard hotel and the view was incredible outside of our balcony. I loved Paris and would love to go back and maybe see Disneyland and spend more time in different areas. This city break has made us want to see more of the world, maybe Budapest/Hungary next? Little fact for you I am a quarter Hungarian so it would be interesting to see where my granddad was from.

Have you been to Paris??


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