Friday, 23 June 2017

Beside the seaside

*insert stereotypical line about going to the seaside, British weather, blah blah blah* What a way to start a blog post, if that hasn't enticed you to read more i don't know what will.. 
On Tuesday i hopped on a train, waved goodbye to the shard and ended up at the beach, otherwise known as what is becoming an annual summer trip to Brighton. (Although it was a little less "hop on train" and more "train was cancelled on the way out and 3 hours to get home" but that's besides the point, i must've hopped at some point. Anyway without any further ramblings, here's my day in pictures. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

Like every time i take a day trip i had researched restaurants in advance, and had decided on The Breakfast Club; anywhere that serves breakfast food all day is my type of gaff so that was our first port of call. This place is a must visit if you're in Brighton, and fond of both breakfast foods and cool interiors. The owner wanted to create a Miami vice kind of style and they definitely nailed it, that wood panelling made me feel like i was in 1984 and i didn't hate it, quite the opposite actually, i love somewhere that has a clear image behind it. Also the food is pretty damn good too and the staff were lovely, which is probably the thing i should've started off with but you know interiors, instagram, all of that. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

After being filled to the brim with an all American breakfast we headed out into the lanes for a little walk around, this is my *second* favourite part of Brighton, and i'm 99% sure that's down to the little flag bunting - i'm easily swayed. The lanes also have some really great shops, lots of little independent boutiques but also things like SpaceNK if you're looking to splash some cash on a beauty purchase while by the sea. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

As it got to about midday it did really feel like we were walking around the actual fires of hell, so we decided to retreat to Brighton Pier and get a little bit more of a sea breeze. The Pier is my favourite spot in Brighton, you know the ice cream signs have been there years and everything is just classic British seaside. Although this hasn't stopped me constantly wondering if i could fall into the sea at any given moment in time, every time i step foot onto the pier. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

My outfit:



My outfit pretty much sums up my UK summer wardrobe, anyone who can dress up in the heat i applaud you but it's just not for me. If i had the choice my summer uniform would be my current outfit of pyjama shorts and a 3 year old harry potter T-shirt, but that isn't quite "outside of the house appropriate" so i'll stick to a top tucked into a skirt for now. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

Does anyone else get an uncomfortable feeling in their stomach when they see the weight of the rides and what they're being supported by? No? Just me then.. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

Ah here i am, surrounded by so many attractions.. the pier, the pavilion, and i take a photo on a metal chair. #Goals. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

Ice cream was available there and you'll be happy to know i made use of it, but i didn't get a photo because it seemed to disappear quite quickly into my stomach. All of the photos in the line above are quite a random collection but they show everything i love about the pier, with the bright colours and the fonts. 

brighton day out guide to brighton the breakfast club bloggers ootd

Finally we have the pavilion. It's really weird in a nice way when you come across the pavilion, because you're on a normal shopping street and all of a sudden theres this huge ex royal residence that looks like it's come straight out of India. I've never been inside so i can't say whether that's a must do or not but i would say go and visit the grounds just for a look around, you can't go to Brighton and miss it. 

Have you ever been to Brighton? - Maria x

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Accessories for summer

As i sit writing this it's 31 degrees. You may have an image of an Instagram worthy poolside shot, of me typing away on my MacBook firmly positioned on a sun lounger in the shade, sipping away on a botanical cocktail. (Vogue says they're in for the summer) You would be wrong if said image popped into your head, it's 31 degrees in London, i'm sweating and i've spilt baked beans down my top which, coincidentally i also wore yesterday. 

Introductions aside, if you couldn't quite grasp what was going on in that last paragraph, i was trying to hint that summer is now here in full swing. (That is until the next downpour, which is scheduled for tomorrow apparently) And what comes hand in hand with a change of season? New clothes! Or new accessories in this case. 

Outfits for summer 2017 accessories primark bag daniel wellington classic petite bondi ootd

I've finally grown the confidence to wear sunglasses, it might seem weird to some that wearing sunglasses would require confidence but to me it does. It's kind of like how i can only wear a hat outside of the UK.. I always thought sunglasses didn't suit my face and that they drew attention to you, but i've found that they really do the opposite. Also i now understand why celebrities wear them so much, because they do make you look so much better when you're not looking your best. I certainly won't be squinting anymore in S/S17, these sunglasses have been pretty much surgically attached to my head ever since we've had the slightest bit of sun. You won't catch me wearing them inside quite yet though, that's reserved for special types of people and by those people, i mean idiots. 

Outfits for summer 2017 accessories primark bag daniel wellington classic petite bondi

Let's face it, the star of the show is the new Daniel Wellington classic petite bondi watch. I've had the same watch for a year now, and although i loved it and wore it everyday it was due an upgrade. Daniel Wellington watches have been on my radar since around 2015, so to get sent a release from the new summer collection was possibly one of the most exciting things to happen back in May when i got this. I have not left the house without this on my wrist ever since i got it, the white and rose gold goes with everything i wear and i don't think you can get a combination more perfect for summer. 

Now i've got a nice watch i can't help but roll up my sleeves so it gets seen, and now it's properly getting into warmer weather i can wear it with dresses and t-shirts and have my new pride and joy on full display. You can get 15% off everything on the Daniel Wellington site, including my watch with the code MARIAJ15 until the 30th June. 

Outfits for summer 2017 accessories primark bag daniel wellington classic petite bondi

Outfits for summer 2017 accessories primark bag daniel wellington classic petite bondi

Bags aren't something i actually buy very often. But recently i decided to up my bag game (is that a thing?) and invest in a new little bag i could bring with me to events, that would make it look a little less like i had brought the kitchen sink to the party. I saw this bag and i knew instantly i was in love, it's not my usual style but there was something about it that i loved and the flowers scream summer. It's even better that it cost £7 from good old Primark. One thing i will say is that it is very small, and if you're a glasses wearer like me you'll have to fight tooth and nail to fit your case in, it's a glamorous life isn't it? I do manage to get the essentials in though, and that's good enough for me when i'm trying to look a lot more sophisticated than i actually am. 

Outfits for summer 2017 accessories primark bag daniel wellington classic petite bondi

Outfits for summer 2017 accessories primark bag daniel wellington classic petite bondi

What do you accessorise with in summer? - Maria x

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Friday, 16 June 2017

Subscription box beauty : Cohorted

Subscription boxes have become a little bit of a series over here haven't they? We've covered the best of the £10 boxes, but today we're here for the big one, you don't get more high end than this .. it's Cohorted

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

Although i love my bargains and my drugstore beauty, i know just like the next person there's nothing better than a good old high end makeup splurge, and a beauty box dedicated to just that? Sign me up. (literally


I know packaging isn't everything but i had to start here because i think it's worth noting how much thought and care is put into these boxes, even from the packaging alone you can tell this is a high end box. The box has it's external packaging obviously, but inside you find a matte black, soft magnetic-close box, tied with a silky black ribbon. Everything is very high end and very "on brand" if you will, it's the type of box you'll want to keep, i know i won't be throwing this away any time soon. You also get a pretty thick little booklet describing the products in the box, introducing you to a featured brand and explaining the choice and value of the products.  

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

The first product that jumped out at me has to be the palette, i mean if that didn't jump out at me first i would need an eye test. I'm a highlighter obsessive, but I'm yet to own an entire palette dedicated to the shimmery stuff, that is until now. This BellaPierre glowing palette with 6 highlighter shades is in my opinion, the star in this months box; it's rare that i find a palette with a use for each shade but i've found it with this.

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

Out of all the shades above i can safely say i would use all of these as highlighters, except "Gilt" on the end. I'm too pale to use such a bronze shade on my face but this would look gorgeous on a deeper skin tone, "Gilt" won't go unused though, i'll happily use this as a rich shimmery bronze eyeshadow. The formulas are super soft, and as you can tell from above, pack a really good pigment. BellaPierre cosmetics are a natural mineral makeup brand and cruelty free international "leaping bunny" certified, so it means no animals were harmed and your skin won't be either! Products like this make subscription boxes worth while, the palette alone with an RRP of £40 is worth more than the price you pay for the box, so if you're looking for a new highlighter palette this is one for you. 

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

*Close your ears if you're easily offended* I've never tried Too Faced better than sex mascara. Gasp. I've been a loyal user of Charlotte tilbury legendary lashes for about a year now, but i was in the market for something new and here we are, fate. This is a cult product and i can now see why, I'm converted. I'm a lover of a big brush and this is perfect, the slight curves at the sides means it isn't too much, but allows you to get that volume we all desire without going clumpy. Also this is a drier formula than my previous mascara, which was something i was looking for in my search for a holy grail, i'm pretty happy with it if you couldn't tell. 

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

I feel like all subscription boxes have a nail polish in and Cohorted didn't disappoint. I couldn't think of a better summer colour than this; i love pastels and muted colours, but my inner barbie girl jumped for joy right out of the dream house when she saw this. Kure Bazaar are another natural cruelty free brand, which is rare when it comes to nail polish, but it doesn't mean you compromise on quality. This polish is vibrant, opaque and long lasting - right now i'm sure it'll be the colour I'm wearing on my nails when i go on holiday this year. 

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

Finally we have another product from Bellapierre, and this time it's my second favourite makeup product behind highlighter : lipstick. Not only is it a lipstick, but a liquid lipstick in a shade i would 100% reach for in a shop, brownie points to Cohorted. This retails at £20 which is pricey, but not the most i've ever paid for a lipstick, and i have to say it preforms pretty damn well. It's insanely pigmented, (i have the shade "antique pink") creamy and long lasting, what more would you want in a lipstick? One thing i will say is that this took a while to dry down completely but i don't really see that as a negative point, it usually means it's less drying which is actually a plus point for me. 

Cohorted beauty subscription box review june 2017

I'm very impressed with this months cohorted box, all of the products are of excellent quality, they're all products i use on a daily basis and all come from cruelty free brands. With a total value of £85 for my box with 4 items, the £35 you pay means the box is a luxury but perfect for beauty obsessives.

Subscribe here.

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What do you think of June's cohorted box? - Maria x

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A growing obsession with nail care

I used to be that person, the one with stubby fingers and bitten nails. That was up until a few months back when i decided enough was enough and wanted to grow my nails. Since then my nails haven't gone unpainted even once and i've grown an obsession with nail care; and in the middle of my obsession some Leighton Denny products arrived at my doorstep for me to try out, now thats what i call good timing. 

Leighton denny review

Treat: 

To treat my nails i've been using the products from the brilliance treatment trio. I've always had a collection of nail polishes but i had never really delved into caring for my nails before growing them out, so i have to admit i broke into this packet pretty quickly. 

Immediately i noticed using the brilliance remover was really different to a regular nail polish remover, it was clearly more powerful in removing the polish but was much softer on the nails. I don't quite know how to describe the feeling, but it doesn't have that harsh almost stripping feeling you get with other nail polish removers; it left my nails soft and completely free from any remaining polish in seconds. Keep an eye on the instructions with this though, it does instruct you to wash your hands after which i've found is a pretty important step, otherwise it'll leave your hands sticky. 

After i remove the old polish i like to treat my nails with the brilliance serum, although i usually don't get staining it does help to maintain the nails natural colour and keep them bright and healthy. Initially i did apply this wrong (bad blogger) so don't make the same mistake as me and treat this like a nail polish, you're actually supposed to massage this in until it's absorbed and then carry on.

The final and pretty crucial step within the set is the brilliance shield, which helps to seal the serum and protect the nail as a base coat before nail varnish. I used to go straight in with my nail polish without even so much as a base coat underneath, and now i'm doing all of this, i'm pretty proud. I wouldn't skip any of these steps now, particularly the base coat, i can't imagine applying a colour to a bare nail.. oh how i've grown.. 

Leighton denny review

Hydrate:

I've said it before and i'll say it again - i'm obsessed with hydration, but now it isn't just limited to my face and my hands, i'm all about the nails and feet too. 
A cuticle oil is something i've always wanted, it's a product i feel like people own when they really have their life together but maybe that's just me.. I've been using the slick tips cuticle oil whenever i remember really, usually before bed, to hydrate my cuticles. It comes with the same brush application as a varnish so it's really easy to apply and means you don't get any wastage, the tiniest bit goes along way and leaves you with cuticles to kill for. 

If there's one part of my body i neglect it's my feet, i mean does anyone really want to spend 10 minutes touching feet? But if anyones going to convince me to get touching my toes it's going to be Leighton Denny. I've been using the well heeled foot masque and the little socks it comes with (yes it comes with socks) about once a week after a shower. This leaves my feet feeling so soft and clean but not sticky and it's suitable for me even with my sweaty feet .. (Too much info? I like to keep it real here, say it with me s-w-e-a-t-y-f-e-e-t) Also you can just use a small amount and use it like a normal cream if you're not looking for an intense treatment. 

Leighton denny review

The last thing i have is an actual nail polish but with a glitter finish. I've tried glittery nail polishes before and they've never pulled through, they've always been really transparent and never managed to actually cover the nail but this "twinkle twinkle" polish is different, this created a completely opaque glitter layer - the finish was so professional it really didn't look like something i had done myself at home. I wouldn't use this on every nail but i have been using it as accent nail and i love the finish, it's definitely not for everyone but i love a bit of sparkle so it's definitely for me. 

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Are you into nail care? - Maria x

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Beauty arsenal for the festival season

Ah festival season, bring on the memes about English vs American alternatives, constant talk of rain and probably not taking a shower for two days. I have to admit i'm not going to a festival this year, (unless it involves fully plumbed tents) but if i was doing the whole experience i wouldn't be without these beauty essentials...

festival essentials beauty what to bring to a festival 2017 institut esthederm

Dry shampoo:

I wanted to put this first, it's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of festivals isn't it? Dry shampoo has come a long way from the original idea of wacking baby powder in your roots, but some still leave a white residue and leave your hair smelling unclean. Even if your hair is unclean you don't want it to smell like it. Like my ever growing collection of So...? fragrances the dry shampoo collection smells amazing, so you get that clean feeling without that weird dry shampoo scent.  

festival essentials beauty what to bring to a festival 2017 institut esthederm

Skincare: 

It's no secret that i've got an extensive skincare routine but even i know you need to pair it down when it comes to festivals. I'm not sure how i'd amend my routine (i'd probably eliminate one product let's be honest), but there are a few i'd definitely incorporate into it, to try and scale it down. 

Bioderma would be my #1 time saving skincare essential, although on a day to day basis i use Garnier micellar water, at a festival you want to use as little product as possible and this gets makeup removal and cleansing done in the best and quickest way possible. There is now no excuse not to take your makeup off, ever.. Festival or no festival.

You can never skip SPF but it's especially important when you're being exposed to light outside for a long period of time; at a festival you want to use the most minimal amount of skincare so the Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair is perfect, it combines your moisturiser and your sun protection. This has the most amazing skincare benefits covering anti ageing, perfecting a natural tan and improving firmness and tone, while also having all of the cellular and DNA protection of an SPF. Bonus points because this has amazing skincare benefits you can use this as your night cream too - hello 3 in 1.

You can never forget hydration elsewhere so a small lip balm and handbag sized hand cream would also have to come along with me, these two are from Decléor and are my current faves.

Suncare:

festival essentials beauty what to bring to a festival 2017 institut esthederm

Carrying on from the moisturiser SPF i spoke about above, institut esthederm have some other seriously revolutionary suncare which all combine multiple products into one. If i was heading to a festival this summer Adaptasun would definitely be in my bag. Not only does it protect you from a range of sun exposures, it'll help your tan develop and optimise your skin for the best possible tan. I'd also pack one of these little minis of the Micellar after sun shower gel, after you've been applying suncare products all day you need to use a shower gel that has the power to remove them. So if you do get a chance to bag a festival shower, you might as well use a product that'll not only remove the mud but will care for your skin after sun exposure as well.

Scents:

festival essentials beauty what to bring to a festival 2017

Expensive glass bottles of perfume are not ideal when it comes to throwing your stuff into a backpack, when it comes to travelling and festivals the So...? body sprays are perfect. These come in 100ml plastic bottles and the tiniest amount goes along way, from the whole collection i'd chose white petals, floriental or sparkling tea for a festival. They're the perfect mix of sweet yet fresh, and a fresh scent is what you need when you're.. not so fresh. White petals is one i received recently and it's become my favourite from the collection, it really is a beautiful scent, read my full review here

It's probably better that i'm not going to a festival .. i'd probably have to buy two tickets, one for me and one for my bag ..

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What are your festival essentials? - Maria x

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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Giving the gift of smooth skin with Braun

I'm not one to spend money going to the salon for waxing every few weeks, but because i'm lazy (or "time saving" ) when it comes to hair removal, i've always wanted a way to remove my hair that means I won't have to do it again for a number of weeks. Lately i've been using the Braun Silk-Épil 5 to do just that, hello more time in the sun and less time making myself ready for the sun!

Braun Silk-Épil 5 review gifting ideas hair removal methods summer
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Monday, 5 June 2017

Getting a Glamglow

Glamglow seemed to spring up all of a sudden in 2016, and quickly became a cult brand that you couldn't miss while scrolling down your Instagram feed. The only problem was that you'd have to travel 3000 miles across the Atlantic to get your hands on a tub, that was until they became available in boots and on UK websites. Can you hear the cries of happiness from British beauty bloggers? 

Glamglow gravity mud firming treatment mask review

Glamglow helped me fill the Galmglow shaped hole in my skincare cupboard, when they offered to send me the gravity mud firming treatment mask or "the purple silver one" as i have been known to call it in the past. I feel like this mask is classic Glamglow, it's the one i've always had my eye on so i'm excited that this is the first one i've added to my collection. 

Am i the only one who didn't know Glamglow masks are peel off? You know me i love serious exfoliation and the satisfaction of peeling off a good mask is something that never gets old, the bottle instructs you to apply a generous layer and peel off so i knew i was in for a fun 30 minutes. 
The first thing i couldn't help but notice with this is the colour; i don't know if the silver serves a purpose or whether it's just a gimmick, but i sure as hell enjoyed looking like a cross between a spacewoman, and what i think an alien would look like while i had it on. 

Although this is a peel off mask this didn't feel drying at all which is a definite plus point in my book, the mask did completely dry down after about 20 minutes but it wasn't drying on my skin and there is a major difference between the two. After sitting in the bath looking like an actual spacewoman alien i started peeling the mask off, it was easy to grab a hold of and peeled off largely in one go which is something that a lot of cheaper masks find hard to achieve. A lot of the time with peel off masks, i have to give up and wash them off because they just won't do what they say on the bottle but i had no problems with this. 

Immediately after peeling the mask off my skin did feel firmer, without feeling tight - who knew i actually needed a firming agent, not me up until now! The biggest thing i noticed was how glowy my skin looked, i really thought Glamglow was just a tag line but really my skin was way more glowy than prior to using the mask. My face wasn't left shiny or greasy, it just had a radiance boost and the overall skin quality was better. 

Glamglow gravity mud firming treatment mask review

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Have you tried anything from Glamglow yet? - Maria x

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