Friday, 17 November 2017

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer & Blush

So I have wanted to try the Physicians Formula Butter bronzer for literally years. I have watched many American YouTubers rave and rant about what a bargain and also brilliant product this is. So when one of my lovely friends headed to America and sent me a text saying "do you want any makeup getting?" this was the very first thing which popped into my mind. She did such a fabulous job and managed to get a duo pack where you pretty much got the blush free too. I was so excited to pick this set up from her house, as it has literally been at the top of my wishlist for years.

I instantly started to put the bronzer to the test. First up a few things I am not the biggest fan of. The packaging is it very plasticy, and it comes with a little mirror and brush underneath which makes the whole entire product so much more bulky. It definitely does not have that luxury feel to it. Secondly, as soon as you open up the product it has a very overwhelming scent to it. It literally smells like coconut sun cream and it is very overpowering. It isn't the fact that you can just smell the scent if you put it near the nose, I can smell it even when it is a good few metres away.

Now on to the more positive aspects. I did not realise that this actually comes in two shades - light bronzer and bronzer; I got the shade light bronzer. I love the actual colour of the bronzer, and I realised that this is what the hype has always been about. It is a very light, natural bronzer which has less of those deep milk chocolate tones that bronzers often have. I apply this using my Real Techniques contour brush which works really well with this product. I have always previously struggled with getting the perfect contour, as I never want it to look too harsh or too dark. This shade has cooler tones which suits my skin tone really well. The texture of this is so much softer than any other bronzer which I have ever tried. It has an incredibly creamy and soft texture, which feels like a combination of both a powder and cream bronzer. I think this is where the "butter" aspect of the product comes into play. This has a slight sheen and pearlescent finish, which I really like. It is not a pure matte finish which can make me look a little flat, but on the other hand I do not like glittery bronzers. I want my contour and all over bronzer to add depth and dimension to my face. However, I have found that the hint of glow in this really helps to add all round radiance to my face.

The blush I have is in the shade Plum Rose which is a lovely medium dusty plum-pink shade. It also has the same scent and texture as the bronzer does. The blush contains some cooler plum tones which when mixed with the darker pinker tones creates a beautiful combination. It took me a few weeks after receiving this to start using it, as I just thought the shade was a no-go for me. This blush is definitely not like anything which I have ever owned, as I usually choose a shade which is brighter pink or peach.

The colour is long wearing which is what I always want from any makeup product. A negative to this is as it contains so many light undertones, I think this would struggle to have much impact on darker skin tones. However, I have seen on their website a few other shades within this range which contains darker tones. I found the finish to this is more matte than the bronzer and seems to have a less pearlescent finish to it. I like both matte and sheen finishes to blushes so it does not particularly bother me. Lastly, this also has the overpowering coconut suncream scent to it, which as times goes on and I have smelt both products numerous times whilst writing this post I have realised I pretty much despise the scent!

So what do I really think? I do like both of these products, and the butter texture is definitely something which is unique to the brand. This special buttery texture blends evenly into my skin, and I can see why it is its big selling point. I like how both of the products look on my skin, and their finishes. If I was to get the chance to try out more Physicians Formula products I definitely would as I have been happy with my first impressions.

Do you recommend any Physicians Formula products?



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Making of Harry Potter

So I finally got to go to the Warner Brothers Studios in London, to visit The Making of Harry Potter. Me and my mum had been desperate to visit since it opened, and everyone who we know who has visited had said it was amazing. We simply hadn't been before due to it being in London, which is not exactly on our doorstep. Anyway, back in July we finally got a date together and when Virgin Trains had a £10 train ticket sale we took the plunge and book some tickets. We decided we would be able to do it in an entire day, rather than stay over night due to my working schedule. We got the train from Manchester Piccadilly at 9am and got to London Euston at 11.20am. We then got a 20 minute train straight to Watford Junction. We had read before we went on their website that they offer a bus that goes from the train station straight to the studios. It worked out amazingly as, as soon as we came out of the station there was a bus there waiting. This is such a great service as the studios seem to be pretty much in the middle of no where, and it would be difficult to get there yourself on public transport without the provided buses.

We got there about 30 minutes before our allocated slot which was 1-1.30pm. We ate our dinner, and then got in the queue as it was pretty big. It took about 20 minutes to get to the front of the queue, as when you first go in you watch a short film so they have to count a certain amount of people in. Heads up, I am obviously going to mentioning lots of the things to see and do at the studios, so if you want everything to be a total surprise then don't read on as I think my pictures will spoil it for you. After watching to the film, you enter the grand hall which is the only bit of the studio they did not change throughout the ten years it took to film all of the movies.

We were then led into a huge room which took us over an hour to go round, it had all different displays from the different movies with little scenes and sets set up to look at. It was great as you learnt so much about behind the scenes, and there was TV's which you could watch with outtakes and extras showing how they made all of the backgrounds. I found it so interesting, and all I kept saying to my mum was how long it must have taken to make things as everything was done with such intricate detailing.

There was another section to this room, where they showed how they made all of the different mechanical devices. It was great as the cauldrons in the picture below, moved as they did in the film. It is also had a life size Buckbead, which was just stunning to see and it moved it's head side to side. There was also a dead girl over Malfoy's table which I always thought was real in the film, but it was actually a prosthetic. It also showed how they built all of the sculptures, as well as making the different characters masks such as all the goblins who work in Gringrots. 

The bit that my mum enjoyed the most was the railway setup. I did not realise that there was the actual train which you can go on to, it has the cabins set up as they are in all the different movies over the years. They also have the magic wall at Platform 9 and 3/4 where you can push through your suitcase, it was all so much fun.

There was then a section half way round where you could sit and get some dinner, and also get some Butterbeer which was such a fun idea. You were then led to an outside section where there was the knight bus, and you could go into 4 Privet Drive and see the Dudley household. The house looked so real I thought it was actual bricks, but it shows you how they built up the house using latex to make it look like real bricks. There was also the original Potter household cottage to look at, and the bridge were Harry and Voldemolt had a huge battle in the Deathly Hallows.

You then went into another section inside where they had created a street which you walked up, and it featured lots of the different shops including the Gringotts bank.

The final masterpiece before you get to the end is the huge life size Hogwarts castle. It was absolutely breathtaking, and it took them 8 weeks to put back together as they moved it to the studios after the movies had finished being filmed. It was so pretty, and it was just a great finishing touch to the whole experience.

After the castle you are lead into the huge shop, which to be fair could only be described as chaos. It was sooooooo busy, and I actually lost my mum at one point. The merchandise was all great, but also mega expensive. I left with a chocolate wand and Hedwig key ring, as I could not bear to pay the prices of anything else!

Overall I had such an amazing day and it was so worth the £39 the ticket cost. Me and my mum were both a bit dubious as to how good/not it was going to be, but it was better than I expected. I am so happy I went, and everyone I have seen since I have told that they need to go. The journey back to the studios was just as smooth as it was on the way with getting on the bus back to the station. We then treated ourselves to a meal at Gino De Campo's Italian restaurant in Euston station, and then headed back for the train to Manchester. We were so tired and both had a little nap on the train back, I am so glad that we decided to just take the plunge and do it all one day. If you are a Harry Potter fan no matter how big or small, then it is definitely worth taking a trip to the studios to see and experience for yourself where all the magic was made!


Sunday, 12 November 2017


I have been so excited to write this post, and I have finally found a few hours to sit down and get writing. I am not sure how we ended up in Madrid really! This was a holiday with three of my best friends, we wanted somewhere where the sun would shine and there would be things for us to see and do. We found good flights with a lovely hotel, and within the space of an hour it was all booked.

We flew out with RyanAir on their first flight of the day at 6.45 to Madrid from Manchester. We always get early morning flights on the way out so we get a full first day there. We went to Barcelona in the summer, and public transport was easy to navigate. In Madrid it was a completely different story, from the airport we needed to get an underground tube but there were lots of different maps, and Google maps also sent us on the longest journey ever. It took no exaggeration 25 minutes to walk from our terminal to the train/tube stops in the airport. The airport is absolutely huge, one of the biggest I have ever been in. After being on different tubes for 45 minutes we were all frustrated and made a group decision to skip the public transport and get a taxi. It turned out that the underground was going to take another 30 minutes with multiple changes, and then a 10 minute walk. In the taxi it took less than 10 minutes and cost us 5 euros for the journey. Next time, we would definitely just get a taxi from the airport, we did this on the way back and it was just 30 euros for the entire 25 minute journey.

We were so happy with the accommodation we had chosen, which was the Aspasios Calle Mayor Apartments. I am not afraid to say that it was a total bargain, for the 4 of us to stay for 3 nights it was 120 euros each in total. It was located in Calle de Mayor, which a central part to the city right near Sol. We were super happy, and all weekend we kept complimenting how well we had done choosing it. It had modern decor and looked bright and new, we actually all enjoyed having a little kitchen and a little bit more room than your standard hotel room.

Once having the small battle with public transport, we decided we would spend the entire afternoon shopping. However, first we were all starving and we stumbled across the Mercado de San Miguel which was a 5 minute walk away from our apartment. It had the most amazing food ever, it was a huge food market and it was great as everyone walked around with plates getting different tapas from all of the different stalls, like an all you can eat buffet! I loved the market so much I have written a dedicated post about it here. It is definitely a must visit when in Madrid.

We then headed to the main area of shops, and we were not disappointed. They have every high street shop you could think of or want. They also had a flagship Zara which was huge and we spent ages in there! We all planned to buy a lot as it is always cheaper in Spain, but we were a little disappointed. The shopping trip literally took us the entire afternoon, and then we went back to our hotel before getting ready to go out. On this night, we really struggled to find somewhere to eat. We had found a few different tapas restaurants which we fancied, but the menus contained too much fish for us. We ended up after looking around for literal hours in a tapas bar right near where we were staying called Taste Gallery. The food was actually really tasty, and the portions were huge we did slightly over order which never happens with us as we all love our food. They also sell a fantastic cava sangria, which was definitely 99% alcohol!

The next morning, we decided we would get on one of the site seeing buses which actually turned out to be a great decision. The city is pretty big and there were two lines that the buses offered. We had planned to go to the royal palace and cathedral, so we got off the bus there. The palace is absolutely huge, but also stunning with all of it the original architecture. The absolute star of the show which you might not realise is tucked away behind some trees is the cathedral. I cannot even explain how breathtakingly beautiful it was. We all felt a little taken a back, with how stunning the stained glass windows and the detailings and designing of the roof.

After stopping for dinner we decided to get back on the bus and head to Retiro Park. We had read about it, but this is one of the best, if not the best, park I have ever been to. It was just so beautiful, partly due to the leaves falling off the trees. On this day the temperature was 28 degrees, therefore the sun was shining and the views were stunning. There is one part of the park where there is a huge greenhouse that looks over a lake, which has a fountain as a centre piece. We also hired a boat and spent the hour on the boating lake, and we had so much fun.

We had wanted to go to a roof top bar whilst within the city as we had read that there were many amazing ones dotted around the city. We had been trying to find a particular one for ages but we were struggling to find it. We had read about one called The Roof at the ME hotel, however we knew it was very expensive. We decided that we would go and take a little look and see if we fancied treating ourselves to a fancy cocktail or two. The door men had to take you to the lift in the hotel to get to the roof. When we got up to the roof and we asked me a menu, they stated there was only one menu for the entire bar. It was 18 euros each for a cocktail! The view was not exceptional as they had grids up, and we very much felt as though we were being judged by the staff. It was nothing special in the slightest, we decided we would much rather spend our money somewhere else so we swiftly left.

We already had a table booked at a restaurant, so we decided to order a jug of sangria in a little square we stumbled across until it was time to leave. The restaurant we had booked was called Tacos and Tapas, it had great reviews on TripAdvisor and we were glad we had booked a table as they were turning people away. We got the nachos to share to start with and they tasted incredible. I then ordered chicken tacos which I enjoyed, and there was not too much on the plate.

As we were determined to visit a roof top bar, and after a quick google search we decided go to The Hat. This roof top bar was actually located on the top floor of a hostel right in the city's centre. The cocktails were not particularly cheap and it took at least 30 minutes to take our order. I did enjoy our drink once it finally arrived, however we were not aware that the place closed at 12 o clock so we had to take our drinks home with us!

On the Saturday morning, we had made plans to go to this little creperie which we had seen on the first day. It was great as they did both waffles and pancakes. I had a pancake with sugar, lemon and strawberries, with a hot chocolate and it all tasted great. Everyone enjoyed their food, and it was a lovely start to the day.

We decided we would visit the National Archaeological Museum of Spain. I am very much into visiting historical sites and museums whilst I am on holiday. I have to say this did not disappoint and I think it is a must visit museum whilst visiting Madrid. It was massive, it had five floors and we must have been in there a good few hours. We were all really surprised at just how big and the amount of displays that they had from the different ages.

We decided to fit in a little bit more shopping, and then we stopped in one of their huge department stores called El Cortes. On the top floor they had a roof top bar, (yes we were still on the search for the perfect one!) and this one was great. It overlooked the city, you could have both food and drink, the sun was shining, and there was such a relaxed, chilled vibe. We all ordered cocktails and just enjoyed that true feeling of being on your holidays.

On the last night we went to a burger restaurant called Bacoa which did offer delicious food, however the concept was very strange. You ordered your food before getting a table, and despite the time being past 10pm it was so busy. We then had to wait in this crammed area to be assigned a table, there was some spare benches around the outside of the restaurant and we managed to grab a seat. I had a very tasty burger called the Australian, which was a beef burger with cheese, bacon and beetroot. It was very tasty, and it made up for the chaos of the ordering and seating situation.

Due to RyanAir cancelling our flight back to Manchester three weeks before the holiday, we literally had no other option (except cancelling the holiday) than to get a flight back to London. This was not only inconvenient due to it be at the other end of the country, but this flight was at 11am and our original flight was at 9pm. We had planned to go to this little cafe for some mid morning breakfast called La Rollerie. It was a little cafe right near our hotel which we had walked past everyday during the holiday. I had a lovely pot of english tea with a hot pain au chocolate.
It was then time to head back to the airport for our flight home. All round I had an incredible time in Madrid, it was great as we really did not know what to expect from the city and there was nothing but smiles on our faces the entire time we were there.


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