Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Sephora Glow Perfection Foundation


On my last few trips abroad during my visits to Sephora I had been wanting to try their glow perfection foundation. I had not read any reviews or heard much about it and when I went to Italy is was about 18/19 Euros which is a lot of money if I am not sure if I am going to like it or not. I was also not impressed with the foundation shade range which they had. They was either way too light or too dark. When my mum recently went on her holidays to Poland, she popped into a Sephora to get me my trusty high coverage concealer (post here), and she me asked if there was another else that I wanted. I asked her to see if they had this foundation. She found it and got it in the same shade of the concealer which is 22 natural. She was surprised at the prices as they were much cheaper than other Sephoras in Europe. The concealer was only 7 Euros and the foundation was about 11 Euros.

I have been using this on a daily basis and putting it to the test. It is frustrating that the concealer and foundation shades do not match up, the foundation is much darker. When I have looked online there is about 20 shades available which is much better than the selection which I have seen in stores. Even though it is a little too dark, I can just about make it work at the moment. I am hoping it will be a great match when I have a bit of a summer tan. I have mixed this with my L'Oreal true match foundation to make it slightly lighter, and they have been a great combination together.

The foundation is advertised as being hydrating which is something I always look for as my skin is always dry. Matte foundations just do not work for me. It does provide a glow to my skin and gives an overall radiance. It it not too shiny and I think it works well on with my skin type. In saying that, I think it would work well with many skin types whether dry or oily. I also moisturise my skin well using a hydrating moisturiser and primer before I apply any base makeup. It does not feel heavy on the skin and has a light creamy texture which is great. There is nothing worse than the feeling of heavy makeup on my skin. I wear my makeup for long periods of time at work meaning that I want something that feels just like my natural skin.

Overall, I have really enjoyed using this foundation. The texture is great and one of its best features is that it allows you to build it to a coverage of your choice. These days I much prefer a light to medium coverage and this allows me to build up to exactly what I want. In terms of getting a full coverage which covers acne or scarring I am not sure it would achieve that as the consistency is light. If someone was to say whether I would recommend it or not - I would. I have been really enjoying using it and will definitely continue to use it. When I next go to Sephora I would like to pick this up in my everyday shade.

Lucy
xoxo



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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Drunk Elephant and Aromatherapy Associates Cleansers


About six months ago I stumbled into TKMaxx and ended up head deep in their skincare section. I had heard so many good things about Drunk Elephant. However the price tag had been an instant turn off. I found their jelly cleanser which I had read a review about by a beauty blogger a few days before this trip. This has a retail price of £34.99 which I wound never, ever pay. I bought if for £19.99 which I thought was still expensive, but I was on the market for some new skincare as my skin had been through a lot after the roaccutane process and I needed some gentle products. My eyes were then drawn to this Aromatherapy Associates inner strength cleansing balm which I paid £15 for. This was the biggest bargain of all as to buy from their site it costs £40!

The Aromatherapy Associates inner strength cleansing balm is formulated for sensitive skin. It is marketed to gently remove impurities and makeup which helps to restore the moisturise levels. It is exactly what it advertises - a balm which is gentle and non-abrasive. It has an emollient base which contains primrose oil and I like the scent as it's quite relaxing. It comes out as emollient which is soft to touch and quickly melts into the touch of your fingers. I have used this in two ways straight onto my face to dissolve my makeup at night which I think does the job really well. The other way is to wet my face and then apply it in the morning for a thorough wake up cleanse. I have absolutely loved using this and it is one of my favourite cleansers which I have ever used. One of the best features of it is it doesn't leave a greasy residue on my face which you would expect with it's oily texture. It leaves a nice smooth and moisturising feel which is refreshing. If I could find this again for £15 I would definitely snap it up in an instance, but for £40 I just could not justify it.

The Drunk Elephant jelly cleanser differs a lot in terms of formulation and its use. It is a mild cleanser which contains glycerine which is an active ingredient to maintain high levels of hydration. It also contains oils to help with the cleansing process. First up I do not like the screw top to the bottle. You turn it one way and a small amount comes out, however when you close it more comes out meaning no matter what you do you end up wasting product. In my case I end up applying double the amount I actually need in order to not end up just wasting it. I like the texture of this it is soft and light and is nice when applied to the skin. This is a really good first cleanser in the morning and it instantly feels refreshing. I have noticed that is does sting my eyes a little bit which isn't great. You can apply this onto wet or dry skin, I massage a small amount of the gel into my skin, when water is added is creates a light lather which is easy to rinse away. It is a great no-fuss product. It is a great product, but for the price tag it is doesn't have a particular wow factor which blows me away. In comparison to other high street cleansers which do the same job equally as well for a fraction of the price. If the price tag of this was £10 or even £15 I would consider repurchasing it, as overall I have enjoying using it and my skin has felt soft and hydrated.

Lucy
xoxo







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Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Roman Colosseum

If you want to find out all about my recent travels to Rome you can read all about it here. I had such a fantastic time, and Rome is definitely a must visit place. One of the must visit attractions is the Colosseum and I thought I would dedicate a post to it.



Before the trip my family and I had done some research into whether we needed to pre-book to go to the Colosseum or not. My friend had not long been herself and said there is ample of opportunities to buy tickets on the day. She was not joking, when you arrive there are hundreds of people selling tickets but I am always a bit unsure about whether they are all official or just a scam. We had bought a 48 hour hop on hop off bus ticket, and with the same company you were able to buy off them tickets for the Colosseum. We pre-booked a slot of 2pm to go the next day. The tickets were around 30 euros each, which I think is the standard price from wherever you decide to buy your tickets from. 



If possible I would definitely try and pre-book tickets, or if that is not viable then I would recommend at least booking a time slot. We went in April and the queue was pretty big. If you have a slot booked you will stay have to queue. We queued for about 40 minutes, but the other queue was easily 2 hours as it snaked all around the outside of the Colosseum. We found it all a little bit unorganised as there was three separate queues and there was only one person who worked there trying to organise hundreds of people. Once in the correct queue, there was a tight security process which I am always happy to see. You can pay for a guided tour with a tour guide, an audio tour or you can just stroll round at your leisure. We opted for the audio tour which I would recommend. There wasn't much to read inside to find out about its history, whereas the audio tour was split up into sections and you go can round slowly at your pace and listen to the relevant information at each point. For the extra few pounds it definitely brought the place to life.


It was really interesting to find out in much more depth about the Colosseum and its use. It used to hold 50,000+ people at one time. Its main use was for gladiator contests and public spectacles. We have all heard of gladiators but it really brought to life seeing exactly how it was viewed. It's quite barbaric to find out that they use to let prisoners have second chances by competing in the tournaments in order to have freedom known as people vs beast games. It used to be the main source of entertainment and tourists would travel from far and wide to come to events. You are able to see the underground area which is called the hypogeum which is thought to have been where they held the gladiators, prisoners and animals.

Despite it being so grand and such a big piece of history for Rome it was not actually in use for its purpose for that long. It unfortunately became damaged quite significantly from an earthquake in 1349 and has been restored to be a tourist attraction over the years. In 2018 it was actually the most visited tourist attraction in the world with over 7 million tourists visiting it.

As well as the Colosseum you can visit to more sites called Palatine Hill and The Roman Forum. The Forum houses ruins showing different eras from the city of Rome. Palatine Hill is one of the oldest parts of ancient Rome left and was once the home of many emperors.


Overall, we are all had a fantastic day at the Colosseum and if you visit Rome no matter if you are into history or not you have to go. Rome has to keep so much of its history alive and this is a perfect example of how they have done this.

Lucy
xoxo


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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Rome

We booked a 5 day trip to Rome in April and it was a fantastic trip away. My family and I have always been lovers of Italy and after having such an amazing time in Florence (post) last October we decided to book another Italian city break. Rome has been on the top of my travel to visit list for years.

We stayed in the Best Western Piccadilly hotel which was an excellent location on Via Magna Carta.  It is easy to get around on public transport on the trams which are frequent, it was around £3 for all day ticket. Once in the city we could walk everywhere as it was a very pleasant stroll around.

On the first day we decided to explore and see all of the attractions which are easy to get to. We ended up in Piazza de Spagna which is one the piazzas where you will find lots of shops and little cafes and restaurants. We ended up finding the Spanish Steps which is a popular attraction around this area. It is a steep set of steps which at the top has a church which makes the view beautiful. It is gorgeous to look at and makes the whole square come together. Not too far from these steps is the Trevi Fountain. My sister and I are huge Lizzie McGuire fans so we were really excited to go. It was ridiculously busy and unless you are dedicated to push your way through the crowds you aren't going to be able to get your Instagram shot. We made our way slowly to the front and waited for a little slot and then snuck in. It is a beautiful fountain which has been well maintained and it is lovely and clean. It is actually patrolled by police officers to stop people acting like hooligans and to ensure the safety of all tourists. Around this area is lots of little streets and we got our first ice cream of the holiday which as always was delicious. Another bustling area to visit is Via del Corso which is a main street which has narrow alleys and different small piazzas. It also links to Piazza Venezia which a part of the city where lots of tourists gather due to its variety of shops and malls.



If you have read any of my previous travel guides, you will know that when I go on city breaks I love getting on a hop on/ hop off tour buses. We decided to do this on the second day and it once again turned out to be an excellent idea. On the bus we realised that you could hop off at the Vatican and as the sun was shining we decided it was the perfect opportunity. As I am not catholic I didn't really know too much about the Vatican, but from what I had seen and heard it was a must visit place. The Vatican and its surrounding is actually an independent city-state ran by the Pope called Vatican City. As soon as we stepped off the bus we were met with a beautiful site. You have to walk over a bridge to get to the start of the City and the sight was incredible. You enter a big area called St Peter's Square. As well as the main attraction - St Peters Basilica, there are lots of other museums and buildings. The fast track queue to get into St Peters Basilica was approximately two hours and we all decided that we would rather wander round at our pace taking in the outside and its beauty. It is considered one of the greatest and largest pieces of architecture across the globe. Many tourists take pilgrimages to see it and on religious days throughout the year the Pope himself will do a number of speeches and readings. You can also go into inside if you want to see Sistine Chapel which is said to be also stunning. We spent a good few hours wandering around and eating pizza and wine in the sunshine.




Also on the bus tour we got to see the roman forum which is huge. It was once a plaza surrounded by ancient government buildings and now its remains are still there to walk around. We took the entire tour which discussed all of the different areas of Rome and it gave us a good basis of where everything was within the city.

There is no denying my family loves visiting a Zoo. We wanted to take a bit of time out of the city and decided to visit Bioparco di Roma which is the oldest and largest zoological gardens in Italy. It was a fantastic day out, and unlike English zoos it was not busy at all. It was so pleasant to walk round and we spent the entire day there. It had such a wide array of animals and we overall had a really fantastic day.


Before I went to Rome one of my friend's recommended to go into the Trastevere area. It has a variety of bars and restaurants and is lovely at night if you just want a leisurely stroll and to stop for a few drinks and to relax. I don't have any particular restaurant recommendations as everywhere we ate was amazing.

We went to the Coliseum on the last day and it was great. My family and I are all history geeks and it was fabulous to go to.  I am going to write a separate dedicated post to it as there is a lot of information to discuss. My advice is that you can get your tickets on the day if you want to as there are literally hundreds of people selling tickets. We bought fast pass tickets for a specific time which was great as it saved time queuing which was great as it started to rain. Once inside we decided to get the tour which I would definitely recommend. Overall, it was fantastic and is a must see attraction for anyone visiting Rome.

We all had an incredible time eating, drink and exploring in Rome and I love anywhere in Italy for this reason. I feel like we managed to do all the sites as well as take some time to stroll and not be stuck to a strict schedule. I would definitely recommend visiting if it's only for the pizza and pasta!

Lucy
xoxo
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