Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My Barcelona Diary and Lookbook

*Don't mind me just posting this a few months late... it's been sitting half-finished in my drafts for way too long!*

Hi everyone, this post might be quite a long one, I wanted to share my pictures and experience from my most recent holiday to Barcelona. It's a really beautiful city, and if any of you get the opportunity to travel there I would recommend you take it! I stayed for five days which was ample time to see a lot of the city - there are a lot of beautiful buildings and things to see, without forgetting of course the delicious foods. I wanted to write a brief recount of each day, but if any of you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! ^^

Day 1

The first day was mostly taken  up by travelling, we flew to Barcelona which took about two hours. I like travelling, and being in airports is always exciting for me - though sometimes the waiting can seem super long. We wandered around duty free, and I ended up picking up a new perfume that I use throughout the holiday and now reminds me of Barcelona! It was already the afternoon when we checked in at the hotel, and we decided to go for a wander around the nearby area. 

Our hotel was very central and there were plenty of places that we could walk to. We actually managed to get down to the harbor walking all the way down La Ramblas. The weather was gorgeous the whole time, and even on the first day I already started to just love being in the city. There's a famous market there called La Boqueria, which is packed with all kinds of food stalls. Unfortunately they don't really offer free samples like many markets in London, but there are plenty of snacks you can buy there for a very reasonable price.

Day 2

We started early the next day, determined to get all the sightseeing out of the way first because there was quite a list of things we wanted to see. A lot of the architecture in Barcelona is super impressive, even some buildings that aren't famous or old can be very intricate and pretty. We of course saw the Sagrada Familia and some other Gaudi works, as well as the Arc de Triomphe which is pictured below. It was an awful lot of walking in the hot weather, plus I developed some monstrous blisters*-* But it was worth the pain, since it's not everyday you get the chance to visit places like this.

We also took a walk along the beach, which if you don't know is incredibly long. It is very pretty, but also crowded in the warm weather. It turned out to be more pleasant to walk around some of the parks in the city, there are a few really nice green areas with lakes and big fountains - although the sightseeing is great, I think it's nice to have some time away from the throngs of tourists.

Day 3

The third day was a day dedicated to shopping, though in actuality I didn't buy a lot. As much as I wanted to stuff my suitcase full of delicious foods and designer clothes, the practicality and funds were a major issue. If you're looking for somewhere that's pretty to wander around and has some more unusual shops and boutiques, head to the Gothic Quarter. There are lots of cute cafes and independent shops, but you won't have much luck if you want brands you recognise. However there are long high streets with designer and high street labels lining each side, so it's worth a look if you've got some cash to splash.

We also decided to visit a big flea market that's held every week in the Encants area, which is close to the Torre Agbar. Although it's not the kind of place you would buy a lot, there are definitely some interesting stalls to have a look at. If you're into antiques and old nick-nacks, you'll be right at home. For dinner we had really delicious burgers at a place called Bacoa that was right outside our hotel.

Day 4

This day was dedicated to wandering around Park Guell, which is another Gaudi work. Although the place is very pretty and nice to walk around, I will say that from a tourism aspect, it's a little exploitative in terms of prices. For starters you can't just go straight into the main park area, you have to arrive and buy tickets for a certain time, just like at the Familia. There are other parts to walk around but there is no artwork along the way. However when you do finally get inside the main area, it is very very small, especially considering what you pay. The artworks are very nice, but it is also crowded and it's hard to take nice pictures due to the floods of other tourists.

In the evening we attempted a trip to the magic fountain, which I really wanted to see. Unfortunately our plans were foiled by an enormous Harley Davidson exhibition right outside the fountain area. It was so busy and loud, plus I looked so out of place among a sea of bearded bikers. Instead we headed back to the rooftop bar on the hotel and enjoyed some cocktails and a nice tapas meal out.

Day 5

Our final day in Barcelona was a Sunday, so certain places were closed. We didn't have any plans, so the days outing was decided at breakfast. In the end we headed towards Barcelona zoo, which turned out to be a really enjoyable day. It's a very big zoo, and thankfully it was pretty quiet all day, which made everything more pleasant. There was a whole days worth of things to see, with all kinds of animals - most of whom were out and about in their enclosures. After we had a relaxing evening and packed up are things to head back the next morning - it was tiring because of how warm it was but even so I left Barcelona with a lot of nice memories and experiences. Spending some quality girl time with my mum was also what made the whole trip so special^^

Friday, 4 September 2015

I'm in Korea!

Hey, yet again I have to apologise for being so terrible at keeping up with posts on my blog - despite promising to keep everybody updated... These past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind and I've been so swept up with it all that the thought of blogging hadn't even crossed my mind! This post may be a little long, but fingers crossed that more regular updates will follow if anybody is interested. Just in case this is all news to you, I'm currently living and working on Jeju island in South Korea. I'm in an international boarding school and assist in many areas of the academic and co-curricular life here at NLCS. This means not only do I get great experience working and living abroad, but I also have the chance to get involved with tonnes of new things and travel around while I'm at it.

This was taken by another Gap but it just shows the beauty of the island!

Oreo Patbingsu*-*
I won't do a day by day recount of what happened, I think the 'highlights' of the experience so far might be a little more interesting. I've settled in so well it feels like I've been on this island for a lot longer, but I still can't get over how beautiful the landscape is - though this is the Honeymoon island... the beaches are gorgeous and I had the chance to visit some amazing temples, as well as the lively city about half an hour away. It's not a huge island but it's full of strange museums and a whole heap of restaurants that I want to try!

Speaking of food, the Korean cuisine is one of the reasons I'm loving living over here so far. Of course I'd eaten instant ramen at home, but the authentic dishes here are mouth watering, and everyone seems delighted that I want to try things - even if the spice level is a little higher than I'm used to! Patbingsu is my new favourite dessert and it's becoming a regular outing with the other Gap students. Thankfully alongside this,  the school encourages involvement and I'm finding it much easier to get motivated and stay active - by picking up a lot of activities and sports I used to enjoy a lot. This way I feel less guilty about eating so much dessert...

Temple at Sanbangsan

While there isn't a great deal of nightlife and youth-orientated activities, our local club known as Monkey Beach is quite an interesting place to spend a Friday night. Waterslides, ball pits, giant skipping ropes and beer pong tournaments are all crazy enough when you're sober! Though if clubs aren't your thing, a night time paddle in the sea is an option seeings as the seas are so warm and clear (though wherever you are, there's bound to be huge bugs everywhere so that's a major downside!)

Aside from the travelling around, I'm having the time of my life, thanks to the wonderful staff and the lovely girls in my boarding house that I look after. Being a girl with bright blue eyes and blonde hair makes me stick out like a sore thumb in an island where foreigners are pretty uncommon. It also means the kids in school and strangers on the street are very surprised when I respond to whatever they're whispering about me in Korean! The girls are teaching me new words everyday and the conversation practice I get is invaluable. All in all, this whole experience was 110% worth the effort, and is something I know I'll remember for the rest of my life. It's only been a few weeks but I already don't want to come home!

Gorgeous Hyeopjae Beach
Please get in touch or leave a comment if you have any questions or just want to chat - I feel like I've not spoken to some of you for way too long and would love to hear from you! 

Friday, 10 July 2015

YSL Touche Eclat Foundation Review

Today I'm writing this review because I recently invested in a new foundation, so I wanted to share my experience and opinions. I'm definitely not an expert in high end or premium makeup, but I do occasionally splash out if I want to treat myself! I have a few YSL products now, and I really love all of them, and think they're definitely worth the money - plus they look so pretty in my makeup collection^^

I use my Touche Eclat highlighting concealer religiously, and so I was very curious about the rest of the range. I was on the hunt for a new summer foundation so I did some research, the reviews for the YSL one were generally very good. I spent plenty of time searching around for advice about what shade to get, the effect on different skin types and the kind of formula. I really recommend doing this if you're thinking of investing in an expensive product, if you can speak to staff at the cosmetics counter, that is also very useful and they may give you samples!

My Verdict:

My nervousness about buying an expensive foundation disappeared as soon as I put this product on my skin. It's not a product I would use everyday, partially because it's expensive and I want to save it. For summer, I really love the finish of the foundation - it's pretty lightweight but the coverage is definitely buildable for those slightly worse skin days. The thing I like the most however, is the super glowy and bright look thanks to the illuminating formula. Although I like to dust a little powder on my oily T-zone, I'm happy to leave the rest of my skin powder-free because it looks so healthy.

Here is a swatch on my skin, as you may be able to tell it is a foundation with beige undertones. For me my shade is BR10, and I will quickly clarify the way YSL organises the shades. There are a lot of colours, which are split into three categories: B (beige), BR (beige-rose) and BD (beige-dorĂ©), these basically refer to the undertone. DorĂ© means golden in French for those wondering. Within these categories the shades simply go from light to dark, I use the palest shade which I find is pretty perfect for me. 


Perfect glowy finish for summer
♥ Good coverage
♥ Wide range of shades
♥ Luxurious packaging

✗ Pretty pricey
✗ Perhaps not great for very oily skin or those who dislike a dewy finish

Thanks for reading my review, I hope you liked it! Let me know in the comments if you have a favourite YSL product, or any other foundation that you love to use in the summer^^

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

My Top Five Summer Makeup Essentials~

Hey guys remember me? I have to apologise for the severe lack of updates on my blog for the past few months, I've been studying hard for my final A-level exams and took a break from my blog since it was just one more thing distracting me from revision. But I've finished now, and have buckets of time with heaps of inspiration, a perfect combination! I hope the rest of you who have been/are in exam mode are doing ok, it's a stressful time but it'll all pay off in the end.

During my semi-hiatus, the seasons have definitely changed over here in England. We're finally getting some summer weather, and now I have time to fully enjoy it, I've been revamping a few aspects of my makeup collection and skincare routine. Recently I've been testing out a lot of new products and have found some new favourites which is exciting. Some of these new discoveries have been added in to this list of beauty products I tend to reach for when the weather is warm and sunny.

1. Precious Mineral Any Cushion - Etude House

I've been showing off this cushion foundation to my friends, telling them it's going to come to the Western market soon, just so they know I had one first. I carry this little baby with me everywhere in the summer, it's so convenient and I think it's my favourite kind of foundation for an everyday look in warm weather. The coverage is light but buildable, and I just love the finish of the product on my skin. I use the shade 'Light Beige No2' if anyone was wondering - but I am now on the prowl for some different kinds of cushion products, if you guys have any recommendations I'd love to hear them in the comments!

2. Touche Eclat Highlighting concealer - YSL

I don't own a huge amount of high end makeup, but this is something that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a good product to invest in. I never really bothered to highlight my face, but actually in the summer I think a little glow can look really pretty. I like how easy this is to use, and just generally I think this is a really good product. I also have the YSL touche Eclat foundation, which I think I might review separately, if anyone would be interested!

3. Hoola Bronzer - Benefit

I think a trusty bronzer is pretty essential on holiday or during the summer. I know a lot of people who swear by the Benefit Hoola box bronzer, and I can see why, I rarely reach for any other bronzer. The application is easy and looks so natural - it can be hard for me to find bronzer that looks pretty on my pale skin, but this really does the job. 

4. Lip Pigments - 3 Concept Eyes

Currently I have two of these, one in Electro Pink and one in Bright Orange. I want to try more colours, but these two in particular are really nice to wear when the sun's out. They last a long time which is great, and the colours are really pigmented. I especially love doing a gradient lip for everyday makeup look - I find using a small lip brush is the best way to apply them.

5. Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencil - Beauty People

There's nothing worse than makeup melting or smudging during the day. I got this eyeliner pencil in a Memebox, and it's by far the most smudge-proof pencil I've used. Mine is a really pretty brown colour with some subtle sparkles, I tend to reach for browns in summer since I prefer a natural makeup look - but there are other colour options with the same formula.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Irene Kim Appreciation Post~

I wanted to write a quick post dedicated to one of my favourite fashion icons, Irene Kim. She's a gorgeous model and fashion blogger, but you might have seen her presenting a show on K-Style that airs on Mnet America. Her personality is so bubbly and sweet, and all aspects of her fashion sense are flawless, that hair as well is to die for! In my eyes she can do no wrong so I made this post to give Irene a but of love and show you guys how awesome some of her outfits are! 

Let me know in the comments who your biggest fashion inspirations are^^

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Things I'm Going to Save Up For

First of all I'd just like to thank everyone for all the support and encouraging comments on my last post. I was really blown away by all the sweet messages, I'll be sure to keep my blog updated as my trip approaches and while I'm there^^ You guys have made me even more excited to go, and I'm less nervous knowing you're all there if I need advice or anything - I really appreciate the kindness! <3

This post is going to be about things that I would buy if I was rich. Well not really, but it's a little list of things that I plan on saving up my money for. Most of you reading are probably around my age and know how hard financing can be while in school/college/university. I work usually two days a week and I'm at college for four days, so I have enough coming in to warrant spending money on myself every now and then! 

I hardly ever buy myself expensive things, usually I'll wait until Christmas or my birthday to ask for it or for money to go towards it - and if it's something I really need my parents are always happy to help me out which I feel really lucky for. I know some people (not most of you guys hehe) don't agree with spending a lot of money on material things, and I used to think the same, but if I earn the money I will spend it on myself if I want. I'm sure most of you feel the same way, to an extent treating yourself with things you really want isn't something to be ashamed of! ^^

Anyway here's a list of some of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle things I would like to use as goals to encourage me to save my money. This way I can start buying things for their quality instead of in quantity because they're cheaper. Let me know what you guys are saving up for, and if you have an opinion on this topic I'd love to hear your stance! Thanks for reading<3

This is the bag I've been swooning over for a while now, and it's nowhere near as pricey as other designer bags so I'm quite serious about buying this for myself! It's the Ted Baker Lilley small crosshatch shopper - I feel like it's my perfect bag, I don't have a classic black handbag and now I'm eighteen I feel like I need one. It comes with a removable pouch which can be used as a clutch or as a pocket inside the bag which I think is so awesome. I really can't wait to get my hands on this!

Some of you might already be ahead of me and have these, but I'm dying to get my hands on one! For those of you who are unfamiliar, these are the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Polaroid cameras. They are the cutest things ever and I love the idea of keeping little polaroids in an album. With my six month trip coming up, I'm trying to think of a cute way to document my time so I can remember it forever, and I think one of these babies would be such a good way to do so. And of course I'll get the pink one because if pink is an option I have to have it lol.

These pictures are just to represent this, but I want to start purchasing more Mac lipsticks. I have one, that's it. I really love it but I'm only just getting into more high end makeup - and wearing lipstick regularly as well. I just love the colour and finish variety that Mac offer, and I feel out of the loop not having a collection of them lol. If you have a favourite Mac lipstick shade I'd love to hear it and check it out because I'm trying to decide which ones to get! If you're wondering, the shades picture are Impassioned (which I've ordered!) and Russian Red.

I feel like some of these are a bit generic, but whatever. I own a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Lita look-a-likes from H&M that you might have seen in my 'What's in my Closet' post. I love those boots to death and I find them so comfortable and easy to walk in even though they look a little daunting. But I've always wanted a proper pair, the pink ones especially are so so cute, but I'd probably get more wear out of the brown ones...

As I mentioned, I'm only just getting into high end makeup, but I've already built up such a big list of things I want*-* This eyeshadow palette is from Lancome, it's the My French limited edition palette. The colours are so wearable and look gorgeous, but I won't lie the biggest pull factor here is the beautiful packaging. It's so pretty but it is limited edition so I don't know how long it will be available for. It might be a little dangerous to let me loose near a lancome counter if these are on display!

I feel like this last one doesn't fit in at all with anything I've mentioned previously, but I included it anyway because it might be interesting for some of you! Basically now I'm driving my own car, I want to build up mu CD collection so I can jam out on the way to work or whatever. I have a pretty odd taste in music, I like Kpop as you all know, but outside of that I really enjoy more alt. rock and some hip hop as well - if you guys would like to know what else I like I can write a whole post about it(:

Monday, 26 January 2015

I Have Some Exciting News!

Hey everyone, I feel like it's been a while since I blogged about anything that's a little more personal. It's probably because my life isn't particularly interesting, and I don't feel like people would want to read about every little thing that I do~ but today is different because I have some actual news. I put off mentioning it to most people until it was confirmed, but now I know for sure so I can share it with you all!

*Apologies if this post is a little wordy~ I'll go back to normal after this*

To start the story off, I'm currently 18 years old and in my last year at College. I know the education system works differently in every country, but in England, I'll finish this year with three 'A-Levels' and then I'm supposed to go off to University and do a degree of some sort, or perhaps an equivalent qualification depending on what I want to be. The problem is that I don't know what I want to be*-* I applied for University and got offers from all five choices, but truthfully I don't feel comfortable going because I don't have my heart set on anything. 

I'm sure this is common for anyone my age, but the College and education system push quite hard for students to go to University, and I feel like that's wrong. Unless you know exactly what you want to become, why waste so much time and money doing a degree you don't truly want to be doing? So with that being said, I basically decided I need to take a Gap year to figure out where I want to be, before I make such big decisions.

But of course I don't want to waste my time off, I want to make the most of it. So, I applied for a place on a Gap year program about three or four months ago, and I'm so happy because I found out today I got a place! To put things short I'm going to be spending six months working abroad in South Korea. It's at an international school where I'll be working for a while just as an assistant, but my duties include things like helping with lessons, organizing activities and working with the other people on the program to help the daily running of the school.

The school is on Jeju island, which looks so beautiful and I'm super stoked to be working there. To me it really sounds too good to be true, I will be staying in my own studio flat on campus with meals and facilities all included. I don't have to pay for anything, and on top of that they pay each member of the program for working there every month. 

I don't know all the details yet but I'll definitely keep you all updated if you'd be interested in reading about it - I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, and I want to start packing my suitcase right now!