Tuesday, 16 September 2014

PARIS IN (LESS THAN) A DAY


We had just over half the day to get some sightseeing under our belt before we had to jump back on a plane to return to work (boo). First up, Notre Dame.


75004, Paris


A sweet nod to Victor Hugo's 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame'. 

Interestingly, I read that Quasimodo is based on a real person. In his memoirs, a 19th century British sculptor called Henry Sibson described a hunchbacked stone carver who worked at  Notre Dame during the 1820's, around the same time as Hugo wrote the novel.

Next we followed the Seine along Quai des Grands Augustins in search of 'Lovelock Bridge' - which recently partially collapsed under the weight of the all the padlocks left by loved up couples (or in our case, four besties). 


75006, Paris

We picked up an overpriced padlock from one of the vendors on the roadside, scrawled on our initials (G, R, T, G) and locked it on.


A quick group selfie before wandering a little further down Quai Voltaire in search of even MORE culture. Who arrre weee.


75001, Paris

One of the world's largest museums and a historic monument. Yes, I did get one of my pals to take a photo of me pretending to touch the point.  And yes, I chose to maintain a slither of dignity by leaving it off this post.


'I have no idea this photo is being taken, I'm just soaking up some knowledge perched on a cube outside the Louvre.'


Compulsory.


75004, Paris

Obligatory cultural shot. The Pompidou houses a vast public library (the bibliotheque publique d'information), the largest museum for modern art in Europe ('Musee National d'Art Moderne) and IRCAM (a centre for music and acoustic research). We didn't have time to visit this on this trip, but I've been before and it's definitely worth an explore!


A final pitstop for carbs around the corner from the Louvre before rushing off to the airport. 

Short but sweet!

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

CELINE TRAPEZE BAG DUPE




Celine Trapeze bag dupe alert!

Save yourself almost £3000 by snapping up this eBay dupe for £29.99. My heart lies with this nude version, but there's a few to choose from. Dad, if you're reading this please feel free to treat your favourite daughter.

Keep up to date with my latest dupe discoveries on Twitter and Bloglovin'!


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Friday, 12 September 2014

AN ILLUMINATING EYE CREAM


I've tried my fair share of eye creams, but this Vichy offering delivers something a little different.

My eyes are one of my biggest problem areas. I'm talking deep, dark circles that refuse to budge. You just know I'm going to be the 40 year old with the world's crinkliest eyes so I never (and I'm talking EVER) go without an eye cream.

The Vichy Idealia Eye Contour is touted as a 3-1 product that (given four weeks to work it's magic) reduces dark circles, smoothes wrinkles and gives shine - softening the appearance of tired eyes. It contains caffeine and vitamin B. It's pearlescent quality brings a luminosity to the under area, and the viscosity of the cream (it's nice and thick) goes a long way to smooth out puffiness. It's super rich, moisturising, paraben-free and just feels like your putting something good under your eyes, know what I mean? 

Now let's talk about the fancy pants applicator. I can summarise it in one word: gimmicky. Okay so it's pretty jazzy to look at but in reality I felt like the plastic spatular dragged against my skin which is the last thing I wanted going down in the delicate under area under my eyes - so I tend to just squeeze and wipe the cream onto my ring finger tip and pat it on. Fun to look at, but not all that when it comes down to application.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty sold on this. It's currently 25% off at Boots, go go!
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

DISNEYLAND IN A DAY



I recently (ish) finished up a year working at the EMEA HQ for The Walt Disney Company in London, and one of my senior managers was lovely enough to gift me four day passes to Disneyland! So with just one week to go before I took off my ears for good, I jumped on a flight to Paris with three of my best pals for a whistle stop tour around Disneyland, with a little sightseeing squeezed in for good measure.


An excitable Rosy couldn't wait to get in!


And as soon as we got through the gates we zipped down Main St. in search of the castle. Smaller than you'd imagine, but still the. best. thing. ever.


I proudly wore my minnie ears despite a lack of support from my pals ;)

We realised a crowd had began to gather for the parade, so we grabbed seats with a view and settled down to watch the show.


Tired and disheveled (and with hair in desperate need of root upkeep), but beyond excited. How great are their little matchy matchy oufits *SQUEE*


We dropped 1 cent coins into the well and made our wishes with everything crossed!


Stumbled across some beautiful scenery..


..and found a PIZZA PLANET!


Space Mountain is definitely worth queuing up for. It's fast and loopy, and you feel like planets and stars are going to smack you in the face. Really fun. I didn't manage to get a photo, so I borrowed one from this site.


I spotted an ad for Disney Infinity, one of the projects I worked on..


..and had a Toy Story moment.

Whilst you're in the Disneyland Park, be sure to check out the gift shops (they're not hard to miss, they're everywhere). I found one that did amazing baking stuff and had to be severely restrained, equipped as I was with the excuse of 'cast member discount'.

Determined to see as much as possible, after a few hours we headed over to the Walt Disney Studios park (the 'older sibling' of the two) where we discovered two of our hands down favourite rides.


I definitely did not get slightly emotional over Walt and Mickey. Not one bit. Promise.


First up, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Now if you ever plan on going please skip down as I'm about to drop some serious spoilers!

After being seated on a long bench in a clunky, rusty elevator shaft by a frankly creepy attendant you rise up through the levels of an 'abandoned, haunted hotel that was once subject to a terrible tragedy'. This alone scared the crap out of me, but then the elevator suddenly shoots up and drops down a pitch black shaft, then hurls you back up and then down and up and down. It's exhilarating but terrifying. Then it pulls you up one final time and a huge shutter wrenches open and you're near blinded by daylight and huge camera flashes. The view's incredible, you can see right across the park and beyond, but it only lasts a few seconds before you're hurled back down to earth. Phew. A good'un!


Here's a stock image I found on this site of some people crapping themselves on the same ride, to give you a better idea of the set up!


Another top pick in the Studio park was the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, which has the FASTEST kick off and features a fab intro from Aerosmith. It's fast, rocky and dark with a ton of flashing lights and a brilliant soundtrack. Probably our favourite!


In a slightly geeky moment, I was beyond excited to spot the Armadillo from Armageddon - one of mine and my Dad's all time favourite films! Who knew Disney had a hand in movies like this? (Well actually I did at this point but before working for them I totally hadn't got a clue.)


All of a sudden it was 9pm and exhaustion kicked in from our 3am start, so we waved goodbye to the castle and blearily made our way back to our hotel for some shut eye. It was such a fun, nostalgic, and frankly I had no idea the Disney parks had such great rides - definitely not just for kids.


Laters, Mickey!

Keep an eye out for a post on our day in Paris! The easiest ways to stay up to date are via Bloglovin' and Twitter.
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Monday, 8 September 2014

THE 'IT' FACE MASK

I recently got a bit carried away in duty free.


You are looking at one very expensive, very tiny pot of clay mask. The GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD. 'Well was it worth it?!' I hear you cry.

In a word, yes.

It's toted as a ten minute quick fix for instantly brighter, smoother, tighter skin that lasts 3 days and exfoliates and absorbs impurities to boot. It contains no artificial colours or fragrances and is 100% paraben and cruelty free. Basically, it's great skin in a tub. Originally developed for use behind the scenes in Hollywood, it's allegedly become a backstage staple of the entertainment, music and fashion industries. The hype is massive, and whilst there's no doubt an exceptionally savvy marketing team behind the brand, there's also no shortage of personal recommendations.  It's even been slapped with the almighty title of 'Best Mask In The World' by ELLE.

It's expensive, no doubt. I used around a third of my little tub for my first application which works out around £8 a pop. Eye watering, but a heck of a lot cheaper than a facial (that's my reasoning). The packaging's awesome. Texture wise, it's a gritty  paste (french sea clay and volcanic rock, apparently) with fragments of green tea leaf. It smells great, fresh with a fruity undertone.  It dries FAST with a definite tightening and a slight tingle but nothing that bothered me. After ten minutes I used wet fingertips to exfoliate for a bit, then splashed it off. Easy.

Verdict? My skin looks good. Like really good. I'm feeling so smooth and glowy I can't bring myself to cover up with my usual foundation. I've only been wearing a light layer BB cream for the past two days, UNHEARD OF. I'm trying to figure out where I can cut back so I can afford to make this a weekly staple. A girl's got to eat, but a girl also wants great skin. All. The. Time.

I picked up the 15ml tub of GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment for £22.50 duty free.
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Saturday, 6 September 2014

THE COWSHED PEDI


A little while back I found myself in NW London with a seat (or generously overstuffed armchair) at Cowshed with my name on it. My team at Disney had treated me to a voucher as part of a wonderful send off and with a solid few weeks of sandal season taking it's toll on my trotters I opted for the Cowshed Pedicure - sixty minutes of feet finessing for a slightly eye watering (but totally worth it) £48. 


I booked into Primrose Hill, a stones throw from Camden and a lovely little place (albeit slightly snooty) to wander around. The Cowshed concept is a spa/kitchen hybrid complete with a bar and dinky farmhouse menu. It's warm and cosy - a great place to hang out with a pile of your best pals.

In terms of decor there's lots of white, distressed wood and eclectic tiling. It's safe to say they have shabby chic well and truly nailed.


Polish picking: these guys deal exclusively in Essie so brownie points for taste. I fancied tippex tips so opted for 'Blanc', a true white. 

(And just look at that shade grouping. If ever there was a time for a heart emoji..)


The mani/pedi treatment area is inspired.

Great big stuffed armchairs with giant cushions and your very own dinky retro TV.


By this point I had high expectations and I wasn't let down. My therapist filed off my nails to my taste (square), sorted out my cuticles, whipped out a slightly scary looking file drill to tackle my hard skin (tickles like HELL) and followed up with a dreamy exfoliation and massage. To top it off the polish  job was flawless. 

Besides the polish, everything they use is exclusively Cowshed and if you've never gotten your hands on any of their products then girl it is time to treat. yo. self. The brand started up in a cow shed (fancy that) in Somerset in 1998. They use playful naming (Wild Cow, Dirty Cow, Gorgeous Cow, Horny Cow .. you get the gist) and pride themselves on the use of natural botanicals from sustainable resources with zero use of parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, artificial fragrances or colours and animal testing.


My only tiny negative? I left with not entirely smooth heels.  Now I was firmly of the belief that such a luxe treatment should have left me with only the smoothest of smoothy feet, so a couple of days later (and after a second opinion from my flatmate) I gave them a quick call and they immediately booked me in for a complimentary treatment to make up for it. Brilliant customer service.

Verdict? The perfect indulgent treat for you or someone special. Even better if you can rally together a troupe (would be great for birthdays or hen dos). They cover everything from nails to massage to hair removal - or as they so brilliantly put it 'from your horns to your hooves'.  You can find all the details here.
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