Sunday, 1 March 2015

The London Tag

Hello lovelies! One of my favourite things to do in life, besides playing around with new makeup, is traveling. Ever since I was little I couldn't wait to go on holiday with my family to explore foreign countries with all their hidden secrets. And even though you try to always explore new cities you can't help but fall in love with certain places and revisit over and over again. For me this place happens to be London. I don't know why but ever since I first visited I fell in love with this city. Besides the lovely people, the beautiful sights and awesome shopping experiences there is so much this city has to offer. So I thought why not do a Tag about London and answer some questions that might help when you're visiting for the first time or just want to see what I love to to whenever I'm in London. 

1. Favourite place for breakfast?
Well to be quite honest with you I've never had a proper breakfast in London before. Whenever I visit I'll either eat breakfast at my hotel, or just grab a hot chocolate and a panini at Costa. But the drinks and snacks in Costa are absolutely amazing (I actually like it a lot better than Starbucks). 

2. Favourite Boots or Superdrug?
Easy. For Superdrug the one on Oxford Street near the Marble Arch Tube station - it's huge, they stock everything and the staff is so lovely. For Boots probably the on in Westfield. I think it's the one in White City but I'm not completely sure, I just know it's right next to Shepherd's Bush. It's very big, they have everything you could ask for and the staff is really helpful. I just love browsing around in these two and I can easily spend an hour or more in there. 

3. Favourite beauty hall?
Selfridges, duh. They have every high end brand you could ask for and the display is absolutely beautiful. It's what I like to call beauty heaven, as soon as you get through the door, it sucks you right in and you want to look (and buy) everything. I can spend hours in there, seriously, if you don't want to stand around waiting don't let me loose or I will disappear, haha. 

4. Your favourite area for everything?
Hm... It depends on the season I guess. In summer I'd probably say Covent Garden or Camden, just because it's nice to walk around. In autumn/winter I'd probably say Westfield. Now, I know this is a shopping centre but it has everything you need. Tons of shops (high end and affordable), lovely Restaurants, Cocktail Bars and it's always so cosy and warm, which is always a plus. 

5. Favourite park for walks?
I usually don't go on walks when I'm in London but I've been to Primrose Hill before which was very nice. 

6. Tip for the tube?
Oh the tube, always an experience. If you've never been to London before, you should definitely look up a tube map online and try to find you way before hand because when you look at it for the first time it's very confusing and there is nothing worse than standing in a very busy tube station not knowing where you have to go. But just in general I'd say take a hand sanitiser with you and always have your Oyster Card (or ticked) ready, believe me you don't want to get to the exit still looking for your ticket, tube stations are always very busy and confusing as it is and you don't want a line building up behind you. 

7. What would your perfect day out in London include?
Depends on the season but let's say it's a lovely spring day - so my day would start with a breakfast to go from Costa (hot chocolate and a panini). Then I would probably go to oxford street for some morning shopping. Next I would grab a quick snack for lunch (not a big lunch lover) and head to Westfield for some more shopping. I would probably go back to Piccadilly around five or six for an early dinner. For the evening, depending on my mood, I would either go to a club, a cocktail bar or see a west end play. 

8. Your London secret? 
Walk! I know this sounds weird but trust me if you know your way around, or even if you don't try to walk everywhere. One thing people don't realise is that the sights and shopping areas in central London are actually quite close together and you see so much more of this beautiful city by walking. If you are scared to get lost, don't be. There are lots of city maps standing at the side of the roads showing you where you are and what's around you and if that doesn't help just ask. 

9. Favourite gallery/museum?
I really like the British Museum near Russell Square. 

10. Favourite bar/club?
I don't go to clubs very often but I have been to one on Leicester Square (I think it's called the Penthouse) a few years ago and I remember really liking it but then again I'm not really picky with clubs, as long as they have a good R&B/Hip Hop floor or area, I'm good. For bars definitely the MayFair Hotel Bar on Stratton Street - Green Park Station. I know it is expensive and posh but I did do an internship there so I always like to go back and have a drink or two. Their drinks are amazing! 

These are some of the things I love doing in London. There is obviously so much more to do and even though I have been countless of times I still haven't done everything so if you know a place I should visit please let me know. And if you know any other city in the UK I should visit please let me know too, I really want to see more of the UK. xo, Marie

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Holy Grails' #3: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

Hi lovelies! I hope you all are doing well. A while ago I started a series about my Holy Grails and even though it's been quite a while since I last shared some some of them today will be all about foundations. Finding the perfect foundation can be quite the challenge. There are countless foundations in the market with hundreds of different benefits, coverages and finishes and in order to find your holy grail you have to try a lot and figure out what suits you best. And even though I own many foundations (high end and low end) the Healthy Mix Serum by Bourjois happens to be the one that stood out to me the most. It is the perfect foundation for a day at the office or a night out with your friends and even better, it's drugstore. 

The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation and retails for £10.99 in the UK and can be purchased in Boots or Superdrug. I'm not entirely sure where or if you can get hold of this brand in the US but you can purchase it on Feel Unique or Asos for about $18.00, same goes for Germany. It retails for about €15.00 on Feel Unique or Asos

According to the Bourjois the Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation is a radiance boosting foundation with a vitamin-rich fruit therapy formula (litchi, goji berries and pomegranates) that supposedly lasts for 16 hours without making you look shiny. The foundation comes in a plastic bottle with a pump to help get the right amount of product. 

I bought this foundation a few months ago when I visited some friends in London because I forgot my foundation at home. I heard many good things about it so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a beauty worlds' cult classic. And it holds up to every expectation. Even though it has this gel texture to it and is a lot thicker that the foundations I usually go for, it doesn't look heavy or cake-y at all. I use between one to two pumps for my face and neck and apply it with a foundation brush by Sephora (one of my absolute faves). It blends beautifully, covers up all imperfections and sets to a radiant finish. It makes you look super healthy and has a medium but buildable coverage. Even though I haven't worn it for 16 hours, I can say it is long lasting (10-12 hours). I have dry combination skin so I don't really need a powder for touch ups but I'd recommend some sort of setting powder if you are more on the oily side. 

I absolutely love this foundation and I've been wearing it almost every day since I got it. I can't recommend this foundation enough and I would love to know your thoughts on it. Have you tried it before? What do you think? xo, Marie 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Mental Health: The Social Stigma

Hello lovelies! I hope you all are doing well, I'm hanging in there! Today is going to be another fairly different post for my blog but because I've seen so many people talking about this issue and having the courage addressing the horrible stigma our society created I really wanted to talk about this topic because this is something very close to my heart. Just yesterday I watched JacksGaps' new video about mental health which made me think about how sad it is that in 2015 mental health is still surrounded by this stigma which is not only bad and stupid, no - it is simply wrong. I find it very sad that mental health problems are still a tabu topic in our society even though so many people suffer from it. In fact one in four people will experience some sort of mental illness in their life time. Mental illness is no longer something that the industry makes up to sell products, expensive treatments or make movies more interesting. It is a thing, it exists - yet it still isn't treated that way. If you personally don't suffer from a mental illness, just look around you, most likely you will have someone in your social circle who has yet they probably haven't told anyone. Wondering why? Because of the social stigma attached to the things surrounding this topic. A stigma that we created.

When you break your leg everyone want to help but when you say you suffer from anxiety or depression everyone runs the other way. Now I understand that breaking a leg is a lot easier for everyone to process because we know exactly what happens but because mental illnesses have something to do with the brain, which not only makes it a lot more difficult to understand but also transfers into the thought that this has something to do with you as a person, we either treat it differently or don't talk about it at all. And this is where the problems begin. 

Somehow society thinks having a mental disorder will have a noticeable impact on someones personality (which it can, in some cases) whereas in reality on most people, who are dealing with a mental illness, it is hardly - if not - not noticeable at all. Don't get me wrong, I know that there are a lot of different illnesses, some of them decently documented, all presented with various symptoms and stages but to be quite honest with you most people will deal with their problems behind closed doors. Not because they want to, because we force them to. Due to the fact that society has such a big problem with addressing these kind of issues the people who suffer from mental illnesses feel very alone and don't want to disclose these matters to anyone, which is crazy. I mean just think about it - to some people, disclosing their illness is a lot harder than dealing with them. How can this be possible? How can we allow this kind of behaviour? 

What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't make people with mental health problems feel like there are less of a person - they have a lot to deal with anyway. There are tons of different mental illnesses out there but many of them can't be treated with medicine yet. So until we find a way to properly help we should give people suffering from mental illnesses a hand, help them and make them feel like they can talk about it, that this is a common issue among many people. As someone who has suffered from issues related to mental health I'm asking you to not sweep this under a rug. Help to make this a well known and often talked about topic because the more we talk about it the easier it gets and besides it probably will help many people. Have a great week, xo Marie. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Fear of Failure

Hello beauties! Growing up in today's society can either be a blessing or a curse. There is so much to do, yet so little time. When you are a child with dreams it's is very cute and uplifting, and the people around you tell you everything is possible but as soon as you get to a certain age all of that isn't accurate anymore. Suddenly you're supposed to be realistic and have it all figured out. But how can you - when there are so many amazing opportunities available? How are you supposed to decide? Especially at such a young age? 

Then, when you successfully fought against all the opinionated people - who think they have a say - and allow yourself to dream, you have to be brave enough to give it a try. But with trying also comes the fear of failure... You're afraid of doing something wrong, disappointing the people who actually believe in you or even worse, disappointing yourself. You are filled with self-doubt and questioning if  this is the right path for you. 

Well this is exactly how I am feeling since I got back from my Christmas break. I'm three weeks away from finishing my first semester which means I also have finals coming up. Five (three hour) exams in one-and-a-half weeks and the pressure is really getting to me. I am constantly doubting myself which I never did before. I always thought I can do this, it's going to work out, but not this time. I'm just so scared of letting myself and my family down. I know this might sound a bit strange to some of you because you should pursue you dreams for no other than yourself but when you tell everyone you can do this you kind of feel like you need to prove it them.

Being really ambitious, like me, has many pros and cons. One the one hand you aren't afraid of trying no matter how scary it might be but on the other hand you take everything way too seriously. Whilst worrying about the 'big picture' you completely forget to take life in little steps - one at a time - which makes you worry even more. When you are under a lot of pressure it's not like you are upset for a moment and forget then about it, no it sets of a whole chain reaction of worries. You ask yourself, how will it affect my future? Will this have an impact? How big will the impact be? And for someone who is finishing her first semester this is not okay. I mean failing an exam is not the end of the world but for some reason to me it is a big deal... I really hope that once I get used to all of this, these worries will go away and I will go back to my normal self.

I really hope you liked this post even though it is fairly different to what I usually talk about. Maybe some of you are going through the same and this made you feel like you are not alone - and if you have any tips on how to deal with the fear of failure, please let me know! We could start a little chat in the comments below! xo, Marie 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Best of 2014 Part 2: Music

Hello beauties! I hope you all had a great week, if not - hang on it's almost the weekend. Welcome to the second instalment of my 2014 favourites, the music edition. If you are new to my blog you probably won't know this about me but I am a music enthusiast who's currently studying music business. I can't start or end my day without listening to music and I absolutely love discovering new songs or artists. However last year I feel like I kinda stuck to what I already knew and liked. So in today's post I will talk about the albums that stood out to me as well as some of my favourite songs that were part of every party.

The album that took over 2014. When he released his second album (that we've been waiting for three years) it went to the top of the charts all over the place, especially after that  amazing Glastonbury performance. And rightfully so! Even though it completely deviates from his older more acoustic work, it is still just as brilliant. Different to his first album + you come across many songs which have more of a groovy/funky vibe to them like Don't, Bloodstream or Runaway. However you can also find songs like Photograph or Shirtsleeves which sound more like his older work. I absolutely love the variety of genres that influenced this album and bring a different kind of energy to the music. I've been listening to this album almost every day since its' release and I still can't get enough. His lyrics are so relatable which makes it really easy to dose off into your own world. If you haven't had a chance to listen to it yet definitely give it a go, you will not regret it - there is something for everybody on this album. 

When I was going through my stash of Cd's trying to pick the ones for this post, James Arthurs' debut album was a no-brainer for me, even though it technically wasn't a 2014 album. He released his first album, I believe, in November 2013 and I've been listening to it and loving it ever since. Despite songs like You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You or Lie Down which are more upbeat and groovy, I would say the album has a more relaxed and slow, sometimes even 'sad', vibe to it. Meaning that it is basically the perfect album for 'not so feel good' days (those days where we just want to stay in bed, listen to music and think about what's on our mind). On the one hand you have songs like Recovery or Supposed which are two beautiful slow tracks that will help you think things through and eventually make you feel better. On the other hand you come across songs like Get Down that are really motivational and help you to get back on track. If you haven't had a chance to listen to his album or any of his work, for that matter, give it a go. His voice is amazing and he is really talented. (I really hope this made sense)

Another feel good album by one of my favourites, Olly Murs. 'Never Been Better' hasn't been on the market for too long (released in November) but still stood out to me immensely. I am a fan of his music for quite a while now and if there is one thing that you can be sure of it's that his music never fails to make you feel good. Like his last three albums 'Never Been Better' is filled with a number of happy, feel good songs like Did You Miss Me, Can't Say No or Wrapped Up which will definitely make you want to dance. However you also have songs like Hope You Got What You Came For or History which are more stripped down and personal but equally as great. All in all this is a great album and one that you definitely should give a go. I love all the songs but if I had to choose a favourite it would have to be Wrapped Up, it makes me want to dance and definitely helps me to get up in the morning. 

Last but not least I created a little playlist with all my random favourite songs of 2014 for you, so if you're interested in what else I've been loving just have a little browse or click play and who knows maybe you can find some of your favourites in this list too.

There you have it guys, my 2014 music favourites. I hoped you enjoyed this slightly different post as much as I did writing it. Music is my passion and I love sharing these kind of things with you. If you fancy reading about the beauty bits I've been loving click HERE or come back on Sunday for my 2015 movie favourites. Hope you have a great weekend, xo Marie. 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Best of 2014 Part 1: Beauty

L to R: NYX Deep Purple, MAC Salon Rouge, Rimmel Moisture Stain 005, MAC Patisserie, MAC Angel, MAC Soar

A few of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar shadows

Hello lovelies and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope  you all had an amazing time celebrating with your friends and are as excited for 2014 as I am. I can't believe it's 2015 already, it feel like the last year just flew by! Since it is the new year and I haven't done a December favourites it can only mean one thing - a best of 2014. I absolutely love reading these kind of posts because I'm excited to see what everyone else has been loving. So if you have done one of these posts, please leave me your links below! Because my blog isn't just about beauty and I want to make sure to mention everything I've been loving, I'm going to split this into three parts: Beauty, Music & Movies. Today will be all about beauty, brace yourselves it's going to be a long one. 

Best Primer: This one goes without a doubt the my beloved POREfessional by Benefit. I've been loving this ever since I started getting into makeup but this year I feel like it has really improved the way my makeup looks. I use this every day before applying my foundation to blur out my pores and smooth out my skin. It's really easy to use, although I do find doing a proper skin care routine improves the performance of the primer even more. 

Best Foundation: I've you have been following my blog since the beginning this will come as no surprise to you. I've tried many foundations this year but the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation has definitely been my favourite. I've done a detailed review about this a while back (click HERE) so my not going to talk about this for too long. I just love it! 

Best Concealer: Among all the concealers I've tried this year the Maybelline Age Rewind concealer is this one that stood out to me the most. It's just amazing. It is really lightweight, has good coverage, doesn't crease, stays on for the whole day and doesn't look cakey at all. Everything you could look for in a concealer, isn't it? 

Best Blush: Since I change up my blush colours depending on the season, I had to choose two. One for spring/summer which has to be Orgasm by Nars and one for autumn/winter which is Peachtwist by MAC. Orgasm is a stunning peachy pink colour with a gold shimmer that leaved the most beautiful glow on the cheeks, whereas Peachtwist is a darker more bronzy peach also with gold shimmer. If you are a bit darker in complexion Peachtwist would be a great one for summer as well. 

Best Bronzer: I've discovered the Hoola bronzer by Benefit around spring 2014 and loved it ever since. It is the perfect matte bronzer/contour powder for my skin tone and I use it every day. I can't live without it. 

Best Powder: Without a doubt the Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot powder. It mattefies my skin without looking cakey, it's translucent, lightweight and longwearing, definitely a winner in this category. 

Best Eyeshadow Palette: I thought about splitting this category in half (best single eyeshadow & best palette) but to be honest I very rarely use single eyeshadows. Palettes are just so much more convenient and I cannot be bothered looking through my stash everyday trying to find eyeshadows that would look great together. With that being said the Too Face Chocolate Bar palette has definitely been my favourite. The shadows are so smooth and easy to blend. The pigmentation is amazing and you can create so many different looks with it - I love it. 

Best Eyeliner: When I first went through my stash looking for all the products I wanted to share I picked up my Essence Liquid Eyeliner but then I though, wait I have something better. I only got the Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner a few weeks ago but sometimes you don't need to try a product for weeks to find out weather you love it or not. It's long wearing, really black and very easy to apply. It makes applying winged liner a lot quicker and looks great. 

Best Mascara: Without a doubt the Maxfactor Masterpiece Mascara in Black. It lengthens, volumises and is really longwearing. It hold the curl very well and doesn't smudge. I just love it! It also is very similar to the Benefit They're Real mascara but only half of the price. 

Best Lip Combination: The reason I called this category lip combinations is because I very rarely wear a  lipstick on it's own. At first I though this is going to be easy but when it came to choosing the products I couldn't decide, because god knows I LOVE my lipsticks! And even though they are all beautiful I chose two options I've been wearing non stop - 1. the Kylie Jenner inspired nude and 2. the perfect dark bold lip. I've actually talked about the Kylie Jenner-esk lip combination before so I will like this post (click HERE) for you to get a more detailed description. The second one however I've discovered in November and been wearing it on a daily basis ever since. Seriously it has gotten to the point where I feel weird without it. I use the NYX lipliner in Deep Purple to like my lips and fill them in, I then go ahead and apply this gorgeous MAC lipstick in Salon Rouge (this was part of the Heirloom Mix collection but I believe you can still buy it online). To top it off I apply the Rimmel Colourstay Moisture Stain liquid lipstick in 005. All of them are stunning on their own already but mixed together they are the perfect, most beautiful and unique berry colour I've ever seen. I just can't get enough. 

There you go guys, these are all my favourite makeup products of 2014 - applause to you if you've made it to the end and read it all. I hoped you liked this post and as I said before please leave me your links down below so I can check them out. xo, Marie 

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My New Year's Resolutions

Hello beauties! Like I said in my last post 'My 2014 Highlights' today's post will be all about my New Year's resolutions. When it comes to making New Year's resolutions I am always a bit careful because, like most people I suppose, I can never stick to them. The first to months of the new year are usually going great but then it all goes back to how it was before and I seem to completely forget about them. This is why this year I've decided to actually write them down and publish them on my blog because that way, whenever I start slacking a little bit, I can go back to this post and remind myself. I don't know it this is going to help in any way but I guess we will see. 

1. Getting Fitter: If there was a countdown of the most popular New Year's resolutions this would probably be among the top three but, hey why not. Being fit and healthy is something every one wants but for some people it's not that easy. So why not use your new year's motivation to get started. I'm going to try to work out at least three times per week and eat healthier but I'm not going to cut out everything at once because, for me, this is not the way to go. 

2. Attending more Concerts: Like I mentioned in a few of my previous posts, going to concerts is something I absolutely love and I hope that next year will be filled with many. I'm already planning on going to a few including Olly Murs, Sam Smith, Nicki Minaj (thank you Santa I'm beyond excited to see her live) and Trey Songz but I'm hoping there will be even more. 

3. Travelling with my friends: Definitely one of my favourite things to do. I absolutely love exploring new countries and going on little adventures such as hiking or road trips. Most of my favourite memories are from travelling and I can't wait to create more! For the next year I'm hoping to see more of the US and UK and maybe some European countries. I would love to go to Italy again. 

4. Being Happy: The one goal I set myself every year, for obvious reasons. I feel like every one should aspire to be happy even if you had a bad year, or maybe two in a row. Always remember everything happens for a reason. I know that this is such a cheesy saying and believing in it is easier said than done but sometimes you just got to have faith. There might be some great things in store for you in the future - you never know. Try to stay positive, I know I will! 

These are my four goals I hope to achieve in the new year and I'm obviously taking you guys along. Before I go and get ready for the night I just want to quickly say thank you to all of you who followed, commented and read my blog. I really enjoy talking to you guys. To every one whose celebrating tonight stay safe and have fun! Tell me about your new year's resolutions in the comments below - see you in the new year! xo, Marie 
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