24 Hours in Cowes, Isle of Wight

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Travelling whilst working full time is hard work, and it seems the more of this world I see...the more I want to see of it. So this summer I've decided to make the effort to see more of the world, starting with my own little island - I have a holiday to Dubai planned later this year, so more overseas excursions are unfortunately off the table, but that doesn't mean that I can't travel and create amazing memories with the ones closest to me...they just need to be created a little closer to home. 

So last weekend, me and five of my housemates set off to the Isle of Wight for a sailing holiday. On Friday night we drove down to Gosport in Portsmouth, where we'd hired a boat from Commodore Yachting, to set up and have a few drinks on board before an early night. Unfortunatley Friday ended up being an extremely long day as we were all up at the crack of dawn to watch the Brexit results roll in (I'll keep my opinions on this matter to myself for the time being), so instead of having a heavy night, we went to a local 'all you can eat' Chinese restaurant for dinner and a few drinks before heading to bed.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to start our mini lesson in how to sail as 5 out of the 6 of us had never sailed a boat before. The lesson was quick as one of my housemates is an experienced sailor and reassured us that we would learn as we go. However just as we set off, the heavens opened - I've honestly never seen rain like it, it was so heavy that at one point I wasn't sure whether I was on the boat or under the water! Despite the rain absolutely soaking us (I'm pretty sure my jeans are still damp!) we didn't let it dampen our spirits and we sailed away over the the Isle of Wight. I'm not really tall enough to help out with the sail, so I steered the boat into the wind as we sailed over to Cowes. I didn't really think I'd enjoy the sailing part of this mini-break but I absolutely loved it, and I really think it made this holiday special - it was a new experience for me and one I'll never forget.

Cowes was extremely busy when we sailed over (I think there was an event on the island) so we ended up staying in East Cowes Marina which meant we needed to get a water taxi into town for the night. After drying off on the boat and getting glammed up, we called ourselves a water taxi and headed over to Cowes town centre for dinner and drinks. After doing a little research on the local bars and restaurants, we headed over to The Mess Canteen + Bar on Cowes High Street and I really can't recommend this place enough, it had a lovely relaxed vibe and the retro decorations were brilliant. I had the Halloumi, Beetroot and Pesto burger and oh my gosh it was amazing, I don't think I've ever had a halloumi burger that I've enjoyed as much. The main selling point of this restaurant/bar though, was the jam jar cocktails - we loved them so much that we ended up having way too many and staying until closing before heading back to the boat for the night. If you're ever in Cowes then you *need* to try their 'Messy Mai Tai'.

The next day was a lot calmer weather-wise so we explored Cowes a little in the morning, taking time to take in the quaint little streets which are littered with cute homeware shops and souvenirs - a typical English seaside town I'd say. After we were done in Cowes, we headed over to Hamble for lunch before heading back to Portsmouth. As we were setting off and attempting to get the sales up, the wind picked up and a couple of planes were flying past doing loops and tricks, which was amazing to see and really added to the excitement of the sail back! When we docked in Hamble we headed to the King & Queens head for some traditional Fish & Chips which were amazing but as time was tight (we needed to be back in Portsmouth for 6pm) we didn't really have time to hang around so we headed back on over to Portsmouth before a long drive back to London.

The trip was definitely tiring (nobody told me sailing was hard work!) but so rewarding. As I said, it was a new experience and it was honestly such great fun - I'd recommend it to anyone looking to get away without getting on a plane!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

New In from Caudalie

Thursday, 23 June 2016

When it comes to skincare, I truly believe that french is best, and the new Caudalie Vinosource range is no exception. The Vinosource range is packed with Caudalie's famous grape seed polyphenols - powerful antioxidants which stimulate microcirculation and help the skin to maintain hydration. The formula is also enriched with chamomile to soothe and calm the skin, and next generation peptides to help desensitise the skin with their painkilling properties. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourites from the range...

My favourite product from the Vinosource range has to be the Moisturising Sorbet. This light, almost whipped, cream sunk into my skin straight away and provided instant relief from my tight, dehydrated skin. One concern I always have when trying out new moisturisers is that it may increase the oiliness of my skin, however the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet effectively hydrated my skin without leaving a tacky feeling behind, and without increasing the oil levels in my skin, making it perfect for the summer months.

Another product from the Vinosource range which I've been using a lot lately is the Moisturising Mattifying Fluid, which has been perfect for these hot and humid days we've been having here in the UK. This ultra moisturising fluid has a weightless feel making it perfect for the summertime when you don't want anything too heavy on your skin. The fluid contains flax seed powder which gives you an instant and long lasting mattifying effect, and the added grape seed oil also means that while the fluid mattifies your skin, it won't dry your skin out in the process, as the grape seed oil helps the product to react to your skins natural hydration levels. In addition to this, the Vinosource Mattifying Fluid also contains Vinolevure which strengthens skin over time to become less sensitive and more resilient to the elements.

If you need an extra moisturising kick, the grape seed water is also a brilliant extra touch. Much like the Clinique Moisture Surge spray, Caudalie's 100% organic Grape water is a refreshingly cool mist which tones and moisturises the skin, to keep it looking and feeling fresh throughout the day. The mist is enriched with moisturising polysaccharides and mineral salts to provide an instant boost of hydration either under or over your makeup. I wouldn't say that this is a completely necessary product, as it's more of an extra step, but it's been brilliant on these hot and humid days and you just need that little mid-day refresh.

Overall, I've been really impressed with the Vinosource range from Caudalie, and thats something coming from a girl whose been using the same moisturiser for three years. If you're looking for some extra hydration this summer without overloading your skin, I'd highly recommend you try out this range from Caudalie, available here from £6-£23.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

Urban Decay XX Vice Reloaded Palette - Review & Swatches

Monday, 20 June 2016

When it comes to eyeshadows, Urban Decay are up there as one of my favourite brands...and trust me, I've tried the lot! The buttery smoothness of the shadows and the dreamy way they blend out make Urban Decay my shadow of choice - so when I heard they were launching a brand new eyeshadow palette to celebrate their 20th birthday, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. 

To celebrate those special 20 years, the XX Vice Ltd Reloaded Palette contains 20 shades, each representing Urban Decay over the years. Urban Decay were actually one of the first brands I ever used back in my early teens, and I'll always remember how excited I was when my Mum gave me their 'Ammo' palette as a present, so I absolutely love that this palette contains some of their vintage and 'cult favourite' shades, some of which have been discontinued for years, along with some brand new shades to mark the occasion.

Shades and Swatches:

Moonflower is described as a 'metallic rose gold with gold micro-shimmer' and wears as a shimmery copper shade with warm undertones and a soft, frosty finish. Much like all UD shadows, the shade blended out excellently and the pigmentation was brilliant. 

Smog is described as a 'deep coppery bronze shimmer' and is a rich, bronzed shade with a beautiful metallic sheen. Smog is one of my favourites from the original Urban Decay Naked palette, so I was so happy to see it featured in the Vice Reloaded. I'd say that out of all of the shades in the palette, this was one of the softest and most pigmented. In fact, it seems that all of the metallic shades seem to wear better in terms of colour payoff and their blendability. 

501 is described as a 'deep metallic blue with copper micro-glitter' and wears as a medium-dark cobalt blue with a slight sheen and a little sparkle. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed with this shade as the sparkle that you see in the pan didn't quite translate on to the eye. I found that the glitter got lost on the brush or fell off after application, leaving a lightly shimmery shade behind but nowhere near as sparkly as I'd have hoped. The texture of this shade was also slightly drier, making it harder to blend. 

Suspend is a muted medium taupe shade with a matte finish. I'm always more of a fan of shimmer eyeshadow shades, however this one was soft and blended well, making it an excellent crease colour. 

UV-B is a bright violet blue shade with cool undertones and a gorgeous shimmery finish. Much like smog, hot pants and some of the other bright shimmer shades, this one really packed a punch and the pigmentation was excellent. The swatch above is just one swipe from the pan, so you can really see how bright this shadow is. I find brighter colours like this slightly harder to wear, but recently I've been liking this one lined above a strong cat-flick to add a slight pop of colour. 

Misdemeanor is described as a 'deep olive green matte with green micro-shimmer'. However, I'd say it was more of a deep turquoise with a green base, and it definitely isn't a matte on me - it tends to wear as more of a frosty, shimmery shade on me. I did however find that whilst this one swatched excellently, the pigmentation was a little sheer when I applied it to the lid, meaning that I needed to layer the shadow up slightly more than the other shades. 

Shallow is a really pretty taupe-silver shade with a satin finish. It has natural to cool undertones and a beautiful sheen to it, making it a really pretty everyday colour when you want to stray slightly from everyday neutrals. 

Oil Slick is a shade I already own in the Ammo palette, and is one I often use as a liner shade. It's a deep black shade with silver glitter running through, and really does make an excellent liner as its seriously pigmented and lasts all day on my oily lids. 

Goldmine is a beautiful yellow-gold shade with a seriously shimmery finish, making it appear almost like liquid gold. Much like the other bright shimmer shades, the pigmentation was amazing, and it lasted hours on my lids. This shade is slightly crumbly though, making it slightly messy to work with, so I'd definitely recommend doing your eyes first before your face makeup to allow you to clean up a bit!

Freakshow is described as a bright purple satin, however I'd say it was more of a dark violet purple than a 'bright' purple. Again, the shimmer was brilliant and the pigmentation was amazing, and the soft texture meant it blended out like a dream. 

Laced is a muted pinky-taupe shade with a matte finish. This shade is probably one of the more 'boring' shades in the palette, but it does make an excellent base for some of the other brighter shades in the palette. I did however find that it was slightly harder to achieve a good colour payoff with laced due to the light nature of the shade. 

Roadstripe is an iridescent white with a blue-violet shift which I think is just so pretty. The violet sheen catches the light whenever you flutter your lashes and is so beautiful without being too over the top. It's a shade I've never tried from the brand, but it's definitely making its way into my favourites now. 

Twice Baked is described as a 'rich brown satin with gold micro-glitter'. I'd say it was a shimmery dark brown which would look amazing used in a smoked neutral eye or as an everyday liner if you're looking to switch up your usual black shades. 

Asphyxia is one of my favourite shades in the palette, and if you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I'm fond of a purple eye. Asphyxia is described as a 'hyacinth shimmer with a blue shift' which I'd say is pretty accurate, as it's a lovely iridescent lilac shade. It was slightly more sheer than it appeared in the pan, which I actually liked as it made it slightly more wearable. 

Hot Pants is a pearly medium pink with a silver sheen. It has warm undertones and a frosted finish, and despite the fear that pink is a difficult colour to work with, I absolutely love this shade and think it would look lovely used as part of a rose gold eye. 

Gash is an Urban Decay old favourite, returned to this palette to commemorate their 20th birthday. This metallic brick red shade is rich with warm orange undertones and has that buttery consistency  Urban Decay are known for. I know a lot of people will be happy to see Gash return however I'm not sure it's the one for me - it's just a little bit too 'out there'.

Anonymous is described as a pale peachy cream matte, but on me it was unfortunately just invisible. I've heard a lot of US bloggers rave about how this shade is an excellent highlight shade or transition shade, however it's just too sheer to really do anything for me. Unfortunately I think this was the dud shade of this palette. 

Acid Rain is a pale yellow-green with a golden sheen and one of my favourite shades in this palette. Neutrals, purples and greens are some of my favourite shades to wear for nights out, so this palette is pretty perfect for me, and this green is, despite looking slightly scary, unbelievably flattering. The shimmer makes this perfect for adding a pop of colour to the lid and the light green goes perfectly with my murky green eyes to brighten them up. 

Next to Acid Rain is Mildew, a deep metallic green shimmer shade with warm undertones and a frosted appearance. I actually already own Mildew as part of the Ammo palette however I'm almost out so this has come at an excellent time. Mildew looks amazing paired with Maui Wowie from Urban decay (unfortunately not included in this palette) and also Acid Rain when going for a golden green look. 

Midnight Cowboy is a pink champagne shade with a beautiful shimmer and a silver glitter, which definitely makes it the most wearable shade in the palette. I either like to wear this on its own for an everyday look or use it as a brow bone highlight or inner corner highlight when wearing a more 'out there' glam look. 

Overall, I absolutely adore this palette. As a neutral lover, at first I found it quite intimidating seeing all of the bright colours in the palette, but I've really grown to love the selection and think there are some really special colours included in the palette. 

If you want to get your mitts on this special palette though, you'll have to be quick. The Urban Decay XX Vice Reloaded is extremely limited and at the moment, it's only available at World Duty Free - so if yo've got any summer holidays planned, make sure you grab it while you can at the airport!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Kate Spade Sale Finds

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you'll know I love a good bargain - I mean, why pay full price when you can get 50% off?! So when I saw that my favourite brands, Kate Spade, was having a sale, I couldn't resist popping a few items into my basket. I visited the Westfield London store as the Regent Street store is always so busy, and the staff were so lovely and helpful, going above and beyond to make sure I left the store with everything I was looking for. 

There was honestly so much I wanted to buy when I was in store (pretty much the whole store if I'm honest) but as I'm saving up for my holiday to Dubai right now, I decided on just two small items. The first thing I picked up was this stunning little card holder. I already have one of the larger Kate Spade wallets, but sometimes all I want to take out with me is my bank card and ID so this little card holder will be perfect for those occasions, or for cards I don't often reach for - so I know they're in my bag, but they're not taking up space in my purse. The card holder has a larger space in the top which would fit around 3 cards if you wanted to carry that many, and two single card holders on the side for things like your bank card and ID. Although it looks slim and compact, it's definitely big enough to carry everything you need for popping to the shops, and I think the polka dot print is just adorable without looking childish. For £25, I just couldn't leave it behind. 

The next thing I picked up was this 'glitter is my favourite colour' clutch. I've loved this slogan range ever since I saw it in the stores months ago, so I was determined to pick something up. Luckily, the store had one piece from the range left in their store cupboard and the lovely sales assistant was more than happy to retrieve it for me. Although I had little choice, with it being the last one left, I love that I picked up the smaller size pouch/wristlet as this will be perfect for when I'm just popping out to the shops or out for drinks and don't need too much stuff with me. I already have a medium size Kate Spade bag which I use as an everyday bag, so it's nice that I now have a teeny tiny option for those days when I don't want to carry everything with me - and honestly, I've always loved the more novelty items which Kate Spade design! 

Overall, I'm thrilled with my purchases and I'd definitely recommend you take a look at the Kate Spade sale, as this lot only cost me £68, which I think is an amazing deal considering the quality of the items. The Kate Spade sale is currently online here and in stores. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Skin Tone Perfection from Avène

Monday, 13 June 2016

When it comes to skincare, I truly believe that the french do it best. The mild, simple formulas and reliable ingredients work wonders for my skin and I'm a true advocate of the simple skincare routine, especially when you have difficult skin like I do. Having suffered with severe acne for years as a teenager and young adult, my skin has been left with marks and darker patches, an oiliness I just can't shift and pores so large you can see them from the moon...in fact, I pretty much look like the moon with all of these craters on my face! Most of these things I have learnt to deal with and cover up, however the darker patches and marks from my acne are the one thing I just cannot conceal...the only way I've been able to deal with this so far is by wearing a serious amount of makeup, which in the summertime is just not ideal. 

So when Avène got in touch to let me know they'd just released a hydrating skin tone perfecter, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I just had to try it out. I'm a big fan of Avène, particularly their light hydrating creme and hydrating serum, so I was excited to see whether the skin tone perfecter would deliver the same results. 

The Avène Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector is subtly tinted to suit most complexions and is said to provide optimal hydration and a healthy glow while perfecting the complexion thanks to it's winning combination of two actives, Meibosérine and Lipomucine, which ensure an even diffusion of the Avène Thermal Spring Water and prevent it's evaporation. The product also contains a combination of mineral pigments and illuminating pearlescent pigments to instantly correct skin tone imperfections and the powerful antioxidant rich formula also protects skin from environmental aggressions and living in London, that's exactly what I need from my skincare. 

But did it work? The short answer is yes. Although the cream looks extremely dark on the swatches, it blended out and melted into my skin like a dream, leaving no 'tide marks' or orange streaks behind. At first I was concerned that it wasn't really doing anything as it's so sheer, however once I'd applied it to my whole face and let it sink in, I really noticed the difference. My skin instantly looked more even and it went some way to conceal my darker patches. While it's way too sheer to use as a foundation or on it's own, it definitely make my foundations job a lot easier, as my skin was already even and slightly concealed.

My skin is also quite dehydrated, meaning it feels tight and uncomfortable, so the hydrating properties of this cream were perfect for creating a barrier to keep moisture locked in, and it also gave my skin a bit of a glow.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who sees their uneven skin tone as a real problem, as it definitely goes some way to solving the problem, however if you're not really in need of it, or your foundation is doing a good enough job on its own then I'd say this is a 'nice to have' instead of a 'need to have'. If you are interested though, the Avène Skin Tone Perfector is available for £16.50 here.

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

*post contains PR samples

How To Find Designer Shoes for Less

Friday, 10 June 2016

When it comes to shoes, Carvela and Kurt Geiger are some of my favourite brands, as they allow me to own high-quality shoes but at a price which is still within my budget. Now I know they aren't cheap so to speak, but they're hardly up there with the likes of Louboutin and I really do think the quality matches the price. So, imagine my excitement when a friend told me that I could get the brand up to 70% off all year round with shoeaholics.com. 

Shoeaholics is owned by Kurt Geiger, and is essentially a discount version of it's online store. However, as well as Kurt Geiger shoes, you'll also find Carvela, Ted Baker, Miss KG, Butterfly Twist,  Nine West, etc so there's definitely something for everyone on the site. But I guess what you really want to hear about is the discounts. The site offers some really big discounts on all of it's shoes, with some selling for as little as £9. For example, the 'Lotty' shoes pictured above which I picked up recently were £180 down to £19 - which is amazing

Now I realise this is pretty unbelievable, but fear not, all of the shoes are 100% legitimate Kurt Geiger, it's just that a lot of them are ex-display or they're last season. I have no problem with this, as I don't buy new shoes every season and often wear the same heels all year round, so I'm not precious about wearing things which are last season. In fact, I love this site so much that I've now ordered two pairs of shoes in the past week, and each of them have turned up absolutely perfect and with no cosmetic damage at all, in fact, they've all been brand new. 

Needless to say, I'd completely recommend taking a look at the site, and I can pretty much guarantee that you'll find something you'll fall in love with - I know I found about 5 pairs! It's also worth sharing that if you use the code AFF15 at the moment, you'll get 15% off your order, and if you sign up to their newsletter, then you'll also get 15% off your first order - which is how I ended up getting the shoes above for as little as £16! 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Nars Lip Glosses in Turkish Delight, International Velvet and Ophelia

Monday, 6 June 2016

If you hadn't already guessed by the title of this blog, I love me some lip gloss, so just imagine my excitement when I spotted these Nars lip glosses in TK Maxx for £7.99 each! Nars is one of my favourite makeup brands, but it's fair to say they're a little pricey, so it's not often I get to add a new Nars lip product to my collection (I have about three holidays to save for instead!), so you bet I took the opportunity to add three new glosses to my collection at this bargain price. 

My local TK Maxx had a whole host of shades available in all different formulas, but it was Turkish Delight, International Velvet and Ophelia which really caught my eye. Turkish Delight is one of the Nars cult classics, made famous by none other than Kim Kardashian when she revealed that it was her go-to gloss, so you bet I needed it in my collection. Described as a pink sherbet, Turkish Delight is a pinky-beige shade with subtle warm undertones and a creamy, glossy finish. The colour is semi-opaque meaning that it's beautiful worn alone or over the top of a light pink/nude lipstick (It works so well with creme cup by mac). 

International Velvet, from the Andy Warhol collection, is one of the Nars Larger Than Life lip glosses. Designed to provide brilliant shine and intense colour, the larger than life lip glosses provide a high shine finish which stays in place for hours (they're my favourite Nars formula for this reason alone). The innovative formula also provides your lips with the moisture and protection they need, all while naturally plumping your lips (without that horrible tingly feeling). The Larger Than Life Lip Glosses also have a shorter, bristle brush, unlike other Nars glosses, for a more precise application. Much like Turkish Delight, International Velvet is a light and milky pink shade which works perfectly when paired with lighter pink lipsticks such as Creme Cup and Angel from MAC. Out of the three, this one is definitely my favourite for a cute, everyday look. 

Lastly, I decided to pick up Ophelia for the summertime, which is when I get the most use out of glossy lip products. Ophelia is a light watermelon shade with pink sparkle which I think will look so pretty with a peachy blush and beachy waves over the next couple of months, and I can definitely see Ophelia getting a lot of use in Dubai this September. I love that Ophelia is slightly sheer, allowing you to really tone down your look or build it up over the top of a coral lipstick. If you're a fan of their Orgasm gloss, then I'd definitely recommend Ophelia for a lighter, more subtle look. 

Overal, I'm thrilled with my latest Nars purchases, as they're all perfect for the upcoming summer months. I'll definitely be continuing to check out my local TK Maxx for similar beauty bargains, and I'd urge you to do the same. 

Lots of Love,

Becky xo

Nude Lipsticks for Fair Skin

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Nude lipsticks are honestly pretty much the only lipsticks I buy. As I've gotten slightly older I've become more certain of my tastes in makeup and fashion, and try to only buy the things which I know I'll wear a lot of. I still have lots of pinks, bright reds and purples from my days of experimentation, so if there ever was a need for a particular colour I can pretty much guarantee I've got it, making it a lot easier to only buy the colours that I wear on an everyday basis. With that said, I've become pretty good at picking out a nude lipstick which will work on my fair skin in to time at all, so today I thought I'd share with you my favourite four. 

MAC Peach Blossom - Peach Blossom is my all time favourite lipstick, and it's the one I wear almost everyday for work and at the weekends, which is why there's so little left. It's a beautiful creamy peachy/pink nude which complements my skin beautifully, and makes my lips look that little bit plumper. I could honestly rave about how great this lipstick is for days, and I tell all of my friends to go out and buy it whenever we're near a MAC counter. Honestly, if you buy one thing this month, make it this lipstick. 

MAC Without Your Love - Unfortunately 'Without Your Love' was a limited edition lipstick so I umm-ed and ahh-ed about including this, but it's such a pretty colour I couldn't leave it out. Without Your Love is a beautiful peachy-pink nude which works so well with my fair skin tone and love for pink blush. It's slightly lighter and more pink-toned that peach blossom so if you found that a little too peachy then this may be the one for you. Although this was limited edition, I know some MAC counters do still have it in stock (particularly the ones in Duty Free stores) and if not, I'm sure you can find it on blog sales or eBay/depop - just be careful it's not fake. 

YSL Nude Beige - Nude Beige was my first YSL lipstick and I can already tell it won't be the last. The formula is ultra moisturising and creamy, and the colour is so opaque, which I wouldn't necessarily expect from something so moisturising and shiny. The shade is a little more warm-toned than the rest of the nudes so can sometimes be a little hard to pull off, but when I've gone ultra simple on my eyes and blush, this is the perfect nude for the occasion. 

Clinique Sugar Pop - Sugar Pop is the latest addition to my lipstick collection, and a very welcome one at that. Edging more towards the 'Kylie Jenner Nude', Sugar Pop is slightly darker and more mauve toned than the others and works excellently with my fair skin. I often find that the more mauve-toned nudes don't work so well with my skin, but the lightness of sugar pop works so well. This is definitely more of an autumn-winter nude for myself, as I like to go lighter for the summer, but it's definitely one to watch. 

What are your favourite nude shades? I'm always looking to add more to my collection!

Lots of Love,

Becky xo
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...