Wednesday, 26 October 2016

RECENT READS #1

Reading is one of my favourite ways to spend my time. I've always loved getting completely engrossed in a good book. I will often read countless books over the summer months however when I return to uni, it takes a backseat as the deadlines take over.
There's still been a couple of good'uns lately though that I wanted to share and hopefully I will be able to (or, at least attempt to) juggle fictional reading with my course textbooks to keep updating you in the future with the books I have been loving.

1. Behind Closed Doors
I downloaded this on my Kindle as it was a suggested read after I finished What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Between May and September I was commuting daily on public transport to my job so it gave me a good 30 minutes every day to read. 
I loved this book. The plot may be a little predictable at times yet it is also completely shocking. It kept me hooked but didn't confuse me, it was simple yet brilliant. This was a book of extremes and I would highly recommend it - many people have said if you liked The Girl on the Train, then you'll enjoy Behind Closed Doors - and I would definitely echo that. I do agree it isn't the best written book and for the most part, quite unbelievable in it's storyline. However, I didn't mind that at all in this instance.

2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I guess this is slightly cheating as I'm only just over half way through but boy is it good. J K Rowling, the woman can do no wrong. I was just so excited at the news of a new Harry Potter book, I didn't even realise it was a play script but I am really enjoying this aspect. I'm imagining how the stage looks and how the actors are performing their lines. I just wish I had more time to read because it would be done and dusted in a matter of hours.

3. Lonely Planet

I got this little book for my birthday as I plan on doing a little travel adventure next summer after university. I've enjoyed just flicking through this on my odd essay break, there's definitely some useful tips and tricks that I'll be using when planning my trip. I absolutely love Lonely Planet books and it would make a perfect present for any travel enthusiast. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. What have you been reading recently? I'd love to hear your book recommendations!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

BIRCHBOX REVIEW | 3 Month Subscription

For my 22nd birthday I was gifted a 3 Month Subscription to Birchbox by my boyfriend, having now received my third and final box and tested the majority of the products, I thought I'd share my review on the brand for others considering signing up to this luxury beauty service.

The first box that got sent my way was the August 'Dive in Birchbag' which included five products plus an extra full-size make up product and exclusive scuba Birchbag.
The products I received were the Balance Me Radiance Face Mask, the Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo, the Yes To Coconut Hydrating Cleansing Wipes, Anatomicals Smoother Butts Love Coconuts Coconut and Mango Body Lotion, the Rituals Hammam Body Mud and the Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Mulberry.

Three of the six products stood out to me from August, the Anatomicals Coconut Body Lotion, the Philip Kingsley Dry Shampoo and the Marcelle Eyeliner. I am yet to try the Rituals Body Mud but if it is of the same quality as the other products, it should be a really lovely item. 

Next up was the September 'Heroes' box which included five products, one of which was again a full-size makeup product. I had updated my profile before I was sent my September box in order to receive items that were picked for your skin, hair and preferences.



The products I received in September were the Polaar The Genuine Lapland Cream, the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, the Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener, the NUXE Prodigieux Shower Oil and the ModelCo Highlighting Trio.


I have tried every product except the Lapland Cream however the product that really stood out immediately was the ModelCo Highlighter and it is my favourite of the month - purely for the highlighter shade, its gorgeous! I also like the blush shade however I wouldn't wear all three shades at once because of how shimmery they are. I also love the NUXE shower oil and the amika Blowout Spray, I've been using it as a heat protection spray before straightening/curling my hair however it also makes my hair super smooth and adds volume.

The final box *sobs* that turned up at my door was the October 'What's Your Sign?' box - unfortunately my birthday didn't seem to be registered in my profile so I received an 'Air' box rather than an 'Earth' box which was linked to my sign.

My 'Air' box included the Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil, the Whish Renewing Mud Mask, the Doux Me Pure Spring Mist, the Aromotherapy Associates Body Gel, the Birchbox Eyebrow Brush and the free full-size makeup product which was the LOC One & Done Shadow Stick.


So far I have tried the Aromotherapy Associates Body Gel and the LOC One & Done Shadow Stick but I am also really excited to try the Number 4 Restore & Repair Oil and see how it compares to my Moroccan Oil. I would probably say this was my least favourite of all three boxes (my favourite being September's) however this may be purely because I haven't got round to trying the other items yet.

Overall, I absolutely loved having a little box full of amazing products delivered each month and whether it be a present for someone or a treat for yourself, it's a brilliant concept that would suit any beauty product enthusiast. I think if I weren't now back to uni and living off my student budget, I would have considered carrying on with Birchbox however I would definitely recommend to my friends and will most likely treat some of them to one for their birthday. 

For £10 per month (+ postage) I think it is value for money, however two out of the three months there was a budget/cheaper product included yet this didn't downgrade the quality or standard of the service, in my opinion. It's the perfect opportunity for people to try out and test expensive, luxury beauty products that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford or splurging on a full-size item without knowing what it's like. I was also super impressed with the size of the products, I wouldn't call them samples or testers as you get a lot of product, often around 1/4 or 1/3 the size of the full-sized version.

Have you ever tried Birchbox? What do you think to the brand and service they offer?

Saturday, 17 September 2016

WHEN IN...Liverpool

I recently spent 24 hours in Liverpool to celebrate my 22nd birthday and the day was filled with the Beatles, food and viewpoints - here is my guide to spending one day in the city.

10am - The Beatles Story
Whilst it's probably possible to go to Liverpool and ignore all references to the Beatles - why would you do that? Liverpool completely embodies its music heritage and as someone who wanted to lap up this side to the city - this museum is a fantastic place to start. The design is awesome and it keeps you listening and reading the entire time. I knew a bit about the band but after my trip to the Beatles Story I fee I could have them as my Mastermind 'Specialist Subject' and be pretty confident of winning. 
Just make sure you put aside a good couple of hours - you'll get sucked into the history and not want to rush!

12:30pm - Tapas Lunch at Neon Jamon
This Spanish themed joint is one hell of a treat for the taste buds. The menu is so good you'll undoubtedly spend ages choosing what to have because you'll want it all. 
They have a really decent lunch offer of 2 tapas dishes for £9 on weekdays with a great selection off the main menu. Oh and if you happen to be lucky enough to catch Liverpool whilst the sun is out, grab a seat in the beer garden.
(Sorry for the pretty awful photo but I much prefer eating the food than taking photos of it!)

We ordered the calarmari, the spinach and pine nut dish and the Ox cheek and mash dish (which came out after the other two) and it was all so delicious! However, not that I ever thought I'd say this, but the spinach was by far the best, the flavours were insane - just make sure you have some gum for afterwards as boy, there was a lot of garlic!

2:30pm - Radio City Tower
Head back into the city centre and take a tour up the tallest building in Liverpool for panoramic views across the city and beyond.
This was a great way to really get your bearings, the staff let you take as long as you want and answer any questions you throw at them. 
Make your way around the glass tower with your little map and pin point all the sights you can see!

3:15pm - So many shops, so little time!
Liverpool has a strong reputation for its shopping and it was obvious why. It all looked ultra modern and really reminded me of Manchester in the way it's designed and laid out. 

5:30pm - Rooftop Bar (two words which were just meant to go together)
A city break is not complete without a trip to a rooftop bar in my humble opinion. Rooftop bars always seem to be secretive, they want you to hunt them down avoiding the world and his wife turning up. 'Goodness Gracious' is no different - there's no outside signs and nothing pointing you in the right direction, but it's all worth the little hunt to find it.
Overlooking the Liver Building, it had some impressive views but the design of the bar shouldn't be overlooked either. I loved the vivid pastel shades, the decking and the patterned cushions - all right up my street!

7:30pm - Wahaca
Now obviously, you don't have to go to Wahaca for your evening meal however if you've never tried it and you like Mexican, then actually, you do have to go. I'd only ever been to Wahaca once before and that was the one in Brixton last year and it instantly became my favourite Mexican restaurant so it was a no-brainer to go again in Liverpool.
The tapas theme from lunch ran into the evening as again I chose a couple of dishes, Quesadillas and Tacos to be exact, both were so yummy - topped off with a Margarita!

9:30pm - The Cavern
Finish the day the way you started it, with the Beatles. Pop along for a drink to the club where they performed over 300 times in three years and where Cilla Black worked the cloakroom. You'll have learnt loads about it in the museum in the morning and it makes it become real when you see it for yourself. They have live music so grab a drink and spend a while looking at all the memorabilia and perhaps sign your name on the wall (if you can find a space!)
I hope you enjoyed this guide to spending one day in Liverpool - what are your favourite spots in the city?