Wednesday, 16 July 2014

THE BEST 'NO MAKEUP' MAKEUP


The Body Shop can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. After much experimentation, I've resolved that their skincare and makeup lines are seriously great. Like really really fantastic. I know it's hard to get past the strawberry and chocolate scented shower gels, but just give it a shot. I promise you won't regret it.

Today I'm talking bare faced 'no makeup, makeup' essentials: the mother of all BB creams, and a sheer 'wide awake' concealer-highlighter hybrid.

First up, The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream (£12). I could wax lyrical about this stuff all day long. If you're after a quick, fresh face that doesn't feel at all heavy then this does the job - it's my go-to for lazy weekends that demand a more laid back look, though it definitely sits on the lighter side of 'light to medium' coverage and so to feel fully 'done' I still need a few dabs on concealer on my problem areas. It dispenses from the tube as a white cream which is crammed with pigment-filled beads that burst when worked into the skin (the theory being that they adapt to your skin tone). Foundation? What foundation?

In need of a concealer without the cake? The Body Shop Lightening Touch (£14) has your back. My eye bags are my problem area, so I'm no stranger to under eye concealers. I have tons in my arsenal and often end up reaching for heavier formulas to try and deal with my deep, dark circles - but sometimes I just feel like I need something a bit lighter. This concealer/highlighter pen gives a wash of sheer colour that gives you a bit of comfort coverage, but packs a real punch with it's lightening properties. It feels like you're not wearing anything but everything just looks a bit fresher and brighter. I go with a salmon shade to go that one step further in counteracting my dark circles.

I'm a tiny bit sad I spent so many years dismissing The Body Shop as a one trick pony (the trick in question being those big tubs of body butter) - we have so much lost time to make up for! Lots more on this front to share soon.
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

EATS: HOMESLICE

I reckon I've found the best pizza London has to offer.

homeslice london review

If you fancy deciding for yourself, head for the bustling streets of Covent Garden and escape into Neal's Yard (a small alley which opens up into a courtyard, it can be accessed off Monmouth St.) 


You'll find Homeslice tucked away in the colourful mish-mash of quirky shops and eateries.


homeslice london review

It's a popular place so heading down at peak lunch and dinner times will inevitably mean a bit of a wait. 

We popped in at around 2pm and were seated straight away, so it's sometimes worth seeing if your tummies can hang on for a bit.

homeslice london review

It's a cosy spot filled with wooden tables and utilitarian lighting, and there's a gorgeous wall crammed with moroccan tiles (all of which I wanted to steal for my future dream house). They have an open kitchen with a wood fired oven in the corner and the front of the restaurant opens up as shutters which gives the whole place a lovely chilled vibe.

homeslice london review

You're not offered a menu, you just pick your favourites from the chalkboard near the door.

It's £20 per pizza (they are HUGE) so tackle one between two of you, or you can grab a slice of some for £4 (I wouldn't recommend, you will be green with envy when you spot the full pizzas sitting on your neighbours tables).

You can mix and match your flavours so we opted for half salami, rocket and parmesan and half pulled pork, radish and mint pesto.

homeslice london review

Your pizza is served up on a giant wooden board complete with a slicer so you can decide if you want to tackle it in big or small servings. You eat from paper plates and beware, it gets messy. 

Nothing can prepare you for the size of these beasties. They are genuinely ENORMOUS. 

homeslice london review

We got stuck in. And it was incredible.

homeslice london review

Homeslice pizzas have the best kind of base - thin, crunchy and smothered with fresh tomato.

I'm all for a thin base. Too much dough and you lose all the flavour of the toppings (plus you can't squeeze as much in!)

homeslice london review

We were super happy with our choices. The crunchy radish and tangy mint pesto offset the heaviness of the pork beautifully.

homeslice london review

And the salami was deliciously oily and flavourful, perfect against the backdrop of rocket and salty parmesan. 

We didn't opt for wine this time, but if you fancy it you pick your colour (red, white or rose) and are brought a huge jug from which you have as much as you fancy. When you've finished up they bring over a ruler, measure how much you've guzzled and charge you accordingly. Dangerous!

I'd really recommend Homeslice. It's much like most popular eateries in London in that it's a bit cramped, and the wait can be a bit of pain. But it's worth it. Totally, totally worth it.
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

SEPHORA'S PERFECT RED LIP

sephora creamy lip stain always red
sephora creamy lip stain always red
sephora creamy lip stain always red
sephora creamy lip stain always red

Hands up, who loves a red lip? Me too.

A few weeks back I spent a few days in Milan and found myself picking up one of Sephora's Cream Lip Stains in Always Red after Carrie recommended it so highly

Texture wise, I'd sit it somewhere between Lime Crime's Velventines and Rimmel's Apocalips. It's a bold red that lacquers on smooth and glossy then dries down to a silky, velvet finish that stays put for hours. Happily, I found the finish to be a little more forgiving than some of the other lip stains on the market which I find often end up cracking and generally looking a bit tired.

It took a some scrubbing off with my trusty Bioderma but I had no issues with it drying out my lips, which was likely down to some preemptive prepping with my balm of choice (Nuxe Reve De Miel - which I talk about in this post). 

This has fast become my go-to red lip. It boasts a brilliant depth of colour, feels comfortable on the lips and quite frankly at around £8, it was a steal.

I'm a bad beauty blogger, so I have no super close up on-the-lips swatchin' action for you. But here's a snap of me sporting it on Instagram just in case you'd like to see how the colour sits.


PS. On a side note, how great are the samples I got chucked in my teeny tiny Sephora bag? That's my perfume supply sorted for weeeeeks.
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Friday, 20 June 2014

MILAN


On our first day exploring the city we headed straight for the Duomo di Milano (a big, beautiful cathedral that sits in the middle of the main shopping district) and got our first selfie of the trip nailed.


Then we wandered the piazza, taking in the sights..


And swiftly dived headfirst into our first gelatos of the trip (the BEST ice cream, ever). 


The streets are bustling with people and peppered with street performers (most far livelier than this lady).


Whilst exploring we stumbled across a little piece of Paris..


And this gorgeous Louis Vuitton merchandising in La Rinascente (if you get the chance head here and grab a drink on the roof top terrace, it's overpriced but the views are amazing).


We began to wander a little further afield.. 


And I soon found myself caught up in Sephora. I was impressively restrained with my purchasing, have a nosey at what I picked up here in this post.


And KIKO (a fab Milan based budget beauty brand). If you fancy a peek at the beauty bits I picked up on my trip you can find a post dedicated to my buys here. 

Meanwhile Alex made his escape and stumbled upon a restaurant serving up GIANT pizzas. Our tummies did the decision making and we found ourselves tackling one apiece. 


They served up vast stretches of delicate, crispy base just sturdy enough to hold a drenching of cheese and salty salami.


We are creatures of habit and the very next day we headed back to the same restaurant for round two.

Regrets?


Nope. None at all.


I dragged Alex into near enough every pharmacy we passed on the hunt down for everything on my beauty wish list. If skincare's your thang, I posted about what to buy in European pharmacies here.

SAN SIRO

As a trade off for all the Sephora/pharmacy trips I dutifully skipped off to the San Siro (home of AC and FC Milan) for a whistle stop tour around the grounds and museum.


LAKE COMO

We also spent a day by the beautiful Lake Como, a 40 minute train journey from central Milan. 

The views are incredible and the the whole area is a striking contrast to the bustle of the city.


We found ourselves a little restaurant by the lakeside and settled down to work our way through two huge plates of pasta (mine crab, al's a slightly more conservative bolognese).


Then we hunted down another gelato cafe for dessert and took a wander through the old town.

PEPPINO'S


By far one of my favourite parts of our trip was stumbling across a local eatery called 'Peppino's' which was just down the road from our hotel (in a suburban area 15 minutes outside the centre of Milan). 

Peppino's is a no-frills local restaurant ran by a grumpy old Italian man who serves up the most delicious pasta I've ever tried. By our third visit he had warmed up to us considerably, and on our last evening he sent us off with lemoncillo shots and a huge grin on his face. 


The pasta at Peppino's is simple but delicious. 

One of our favourites was a creamy lemon tagliatelle - fresh and scrumptiously yummy.


Al was a big fan to.

GOODBYES


All too soon our final morning rolled around. We squeezed in some time for a last trip into the centre to pick up souvenirs (plus I was treated to some peachy new kicks).


We grabbed our final gelatos..


And one last slice (or four) of pizza at the airport, before jumping on our plane home.


Addio Milan, fino alla prossima volta! We'll be back soon.
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