Pages

Sephora Haulin'


Better late than never hey?! 





A trip to America is not complete without a trip to the one store that the UK is severely deprived of....and of course we are talking about Sephora! In fact, it seems that many countries are blessed with these beauty 'treasure troves' except for (not so) Great Britain!! Jealous? Me? Nooooo! 


It does make travelling abroad a lot more exciting though! I have a little list on my phone that I add to when I spot a must-have product on a blog or a youtube video, titled 'Sephora'. Let's just say that being almost a year since I last went to Sephora in Dubai, the list was pretty lengthy!


And the results of this 'ongoing' list?  Well, read on.... (and yes, I have started another one since coming back!!)


Since it's been a fair few weeks since I bought these products I've also had chance to use them all, so think of this as a little haul 'show and tell' type post, not too detailed, just a quick rundown on what I think is great and perhaps not so great!




Sephora Formula X Nail Varnishes  - as you may see, these feature quite heavily, nice little selection here too although admittedly not the greatest pic so you can't really see the colours.  I want to give my views on the formula more than anything though, because these are some impressive nail varnishes.  They go on really opaque (you could probably get away with one coat with some colours if you were in a rush) and look great on, they're long wearing and don't chip.  Very impressed. I shall be picking up some more next time. I stocked up on my winter shades, so some nice dark reds and berries, a khaki colour and some greys. Winter nails sorted!


Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation - a repurchase for me. I love. Could of bought this in the UK but slightly cheaper in the US. Great formulation although the shade I got is perhaps a tad too light for me, but I'm mixing it with my Chanel Velvet Perfection Lumiere B30 at the moment to darken it up a bit. 


Hourglass Blush (Mood Exposure) - I already own one of these in 'Luminous Finish' and I adore it.  This is also another 'love at first swipe'  blush, it looks lovely paired with dark berry or red lips.  I've used nothing else on my cheeks since buying it!


Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder - meh, I dislike this, too chalky and doesn't leave any even finish on my face. Luckily, it's only a little pot from 'the aisle of doom'!


Make Up For Ever - Smoky Lash Mascara - I bought this because Laura from Buynow/Bloglater had been banging on about how great it is... and she wasn't wrong! This mascara is quickly becoming my favourite.  It creates über thick voluminous lashes in one swipe. Lasting power is great too. It also seems to get better as it dries up a little.  If you haven't tried this and are on the fence about it. Get it. 


Make Up For Ever Full Coverage Concealer - I'd heard this being raved about by so many different bloggers and you tubers and because I need another concealer in my collection (to sit with the 20 others I own!!) I decided that I would finally cave into this.  Verdict, yes, its good....but...I still prefer my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for covering spots.  This just goes on a little too wet for me and I find when I dust a powder over the top to finish it, it moves and my little pesky red spot that I was trying to cover up is on show again.  I also find it too dry to pop under my eyes to conceal bags.   Also, trying to pick the right shade for me was like solving an incredibly hard maths equation (ie. near impossible!!) 


Tate Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara - I wanted the one in the gold tube...do you think they had it in stock anywhere in New York??? No. So I settled for a little mini version to try of this mascara instead.  Pleasantly surprised, very different to the MUFE Smoky Lash Mascara.  Much more separating and creates a more 'fluttery' effect. Very good though. 


Boscia Cleansing Oil-gel - first things first, this smells amazing.  I was a little unsure at first but had heard Amelia from Liana Beauty talk about how good it was, and she's always pretty right about skincare.  I love this stuff, it breaks down make up with ease and leaves the skin beautifully soft and fresh afterwards. Definitely will repurchase. 


Gifts Galore - I also manage to bag a few Beauty Insider freebies for points and also my annual Birthday gift.  My favourite was the Make Up For Ever set which included a mascara and mini lipstick.  The mascara was the Smoky Extravagant Mascara - which is one up from the Smoky Lash mascara, wow, seriously impressed with this!! The full size version is already on my next list!! 


So I think I was pretty well behaved don't you think? Not to excessive, however this was the only bit of Sephora shopping I did.  I may have also hit the American equivalent of Boots and Superdrug and also made a last minute pitstop to Ulta...products revealed soon! 


Hope you're all having a great week!


Lis x 






A (very) Belated American Blog!

Ok, ok...it's been more than a while since I've been around these parts (and I'm not talking about New York yet!) First things first, I need to apologise to those of you who used to look forward to reading my blog and missed my weekly ramblings! (not many of you I know, but there were a few! haha!) Since starting my new job in October things have got a lot busier for me plus some bad news from a personal perspective also meant that my focuses have needed to be elsewhere for a little while, but I'm back now with a helluva lot of things to catch up on, so let's go! 

At the end of October I went on a trip to Las Vegas for a family Birthday celebration for a few days followed by a week in New York.  I'd been to Las Vegas before and although I enjoy it, it's somewhere I can only spend a few days before I feel very overwhelmed by the sheer craziness of the place! I find the mix of pure luxury mixed with complete and utter tackiness hard to understand, it's the best and the worst all mixed up into one big place. So surreal! Having said that, I really enjoyed it and here are a few snaps for you...

Starting with the famous Vegas Strip, we had a great view from our hotel (and advantage to spot the best sun hitting spots by the pool too!) ...







Ok, I must explain the following picture before you al sit there and think..hmm...So I'm of the era of Britney Spears....and I may have kept a little torch for the nutty woman who shaved all her hair off and whacked a photographer with an umbrella some time ago.  Despite Britney being ridiculed and at the risk of sounding extremely uncool, I actually really like a lot of her music so when I was in Vegas, my other half kindly bought me tickets to go and watch her at her residency at Planet Hollywood.  I loved every single poptastic minute of it too! .... Sorry not sorry! :) She was awesome and I had very good seats near the front.  Fangirl right here!




On the last night we had a big Birthday celebratory meal at Smith & Wollensky  Wow. What a place! The food was absolutely incredible. It's an upmarket steakhouse chain they have in the USA and I couldn't fault my food at all.  We shared a huge seafood platter to start, followed by steaks of all different shapes, sizes and varieties. I opted for a trio of fillet 3 different ways.  And the Mac and Cheese side......ahhh I want to go back there NOW just thinking about it!!





So after saying goodbye to everyone we hopped on a jetBlue plane back to New York (I can highly recommend this airline if you're flying internally in the USA - free snacks and WiFi on the plane - a plane ride that doesn't interrupt my addiction to social media, I'm sold! haha!) I also got to eat blue crisps?! 



After checking into our hotel we discovered we had a great view of the Empire State Building from our window :) and because we stayed during the week Halloween was being celebrated, they lit it up Orange (pumpkins - get it?!) for a few nights.  Being in New York in Halloween week was also quite a treat, I've never seen so many pumpkins lining the streets! 




This was my second time in New York and most definitely my favourite, we did quite a bit of research before we went to make sure we headed over to some great spots and stayed away from a lot of the 'touristy' areas that to be honest, just don't do it for me.   There was however an unplanned / planned (depending if you were me or my other half!) hour trip to a busy Sephora (thank god for WiFi in Sephora to keep the fellas busy whilst we spend hours deciding what colour foundation to buy!!) this will be featured in separate blogpost of it's very own next! :)

On the first night we booked a helicopter ride followed by a boat trip to get some great views of the city and boy was this worth it!  The views were sensational and we were lucky enough to have the helicopter to ourselves! I took some fantastic pictures and it was a chance to see New York and Liberty from a totally unique angle.   The boat trip was very chilly but romantic and I enjoyed it just as much as the helicopter ride.  The tour guide was also great, and had a good sense of humour!















The choice of places to eat in New York is absolutely insane. There are places to buy food everywhere, literally on every corner! I should imagine it's a very hard place to be if you are dieting! Luckily for me, I wasn't! 

Breakfast is a big thing over there and one morning we'd been recommended a restaurant to try for breakfast and a great recommendation it was! It was called Norma's and its within the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. LINK HERE If you are thinking of going though you do need to book, it's very popular! I opted for a special egg white omelette with King Prawns from the specials menu - served with fantastic coffee, orange juice and fresh chunky toast.  I was in heaven! I love a good breakfast and this was not disappointing! 







After Laura from Laura etc.. recommended Doughnut Plant I was determined to find it because she has fantastic taste! :) We then stumbled on it by accident and let's just say I'm very sad that it's going to be a while before I see this place again.  It's an independent speciality doughnut shop that blows Krispy Kreme completely out of the water (in quite a major way!!) I did plan on taking a picture of the peanut butter and strawberry jam doughnut and the Creme Brûlée doughnut we bought, however they didn't stay around long enough to have their photo taken! If you're in New York I urge you try one of these doughnuts! Especially the square filled ones! 




We'd got tickets to go and see the New York Knicks basketball team one night during the week, and hadn't realised we were attending the Knicks' opening match to the new basketball season! The place was packed and there was a great atmosphere, Madison Square Garden is a great venue too.  Amongst the crowd were the likes of Heidi Klum and Taylor Swift (and some other American celebs that I didn't know!)  Now I don't know the first thing about basketball but I thoroughly enjoyed watching them play and it's not too difficult to understand either! Had they won it would have been the perfect night! 




We hired a car for part of the trip and headed to Woodbury Common Outlets for the day.  The Americans certainly know how to do outlet malls.  They are a million times better than any I've ever visited in the UK and the discounts far greater.  I picked up some J Brand jeans at a snip and quite a few jumpers and basic tops in Ralph Lauren.  I needed to be quite strict with myself though because I could have spent a LOT more. 

Whilst in New York we spent quite a bit of time in Greenwich Village, The Meatpacker District and Chelsea.  Whilst on Bleeker Street we fancied a bit of pizza for lunch and came across the famous Johns.  A rough and ready type of restaurant where the emphasis is on the pizza - a really authentic old school pizza joint with booths and graffiti on the tables and walls. The pizza was yummy and I enjoyed the experience of eating in a restaurant like this.  (interestaing fact - I've actually spotted this place on a Friends episode recently!) 






I was very jet lagged in that picture by the way, hence Little Miss Pokey Eyes making an appearance! :D 

Whilst wandering around the West Village I suddenly remembered (and this really wasn't planned!) that Carrie Bradshaw's house from Sex And The City was situated around here.  So a quick google on the trusty iPhone and I'd found out the exact address.

Fangirl Lis made a second appearance and I dragged the other half to the house to have my picture taken in front of her steps! (Pokey eyes again!)




So after watching the Summer series of Made In Chelsea in New York I'd spotted them eating in a funky looking restaurant called Tao Downtown.  After doing some research beforehand I'd discovered that this was a very popular restaurant and after managing to get a table I can see why.  The whole experience was sensational from start to finish.  When walking in, it's like walking into a swanky night club and you feel as though you're going under ground, then suddenly you open a door and you enter a humongous room filled with fabulous and opulent decor.  My photo doesn't really do the sheer size of the room much justice but check out some of the pictures on the website. HERE  The food too matched up to my expectations. Just perfect....and the cocktails...don't even get me started on those! :D







On our last night we went to Chelsea Market (highly recommended) and then found a cute little Italian restaurant to eat our last meal in New York (after much traipsing up and down Ninth Avenue much to the dismay of my other half who probably would have eaten my arm at this point given the chance!) 

The restaurant was called Pastai LINK and wasn't anything hugely fancy, but had a lovely 'homely' cosy feel to it and a great atmosphere with a little bar overlooking the kitchen. We had a window seat, watching all the hustle and bustle outside whilst eating lovely homemade pasta and drinking Prosecco.  Too full for desert we opted for Espresso Martini Cocktails to finish off our meal. Perfect. 







Sadly, the trip had to end at some point, although I could have quite happily stayed in New York forever! So much more to explore....I will be returning soon I'm sure!

Sephora Haul next on the agenda....prepare yourselves!

Lis x 

Life Lately #13 - The Birthday Edition



Firstly, huge apologies - I have been downright neglectful when it has come to my blog lately.  I've had a few busy weeks and have been a little bit stressed out with changing my job and haven't had a lot of free time, but things should resume to normal soon! 


So this week was my Birthday, now I have a little bit of a love / hate relationship with my Birthday, another year means I'm now the grand old age of 35 (eeek!!) however I've gotta say I feel better now than I ever have, and I'm a firm believer that age is nothing but a number! ;) I don't like Birthdays mainly because all the attention is on me and I'm not good with that, however, I kept my Birthday low key and really really enjoyed it :)


1.  New Car - I had a BMW up until around 3 years ago (when it bit the dust in a very tragic way!) and because I live in the middle of a city and walk to work I decided to not get another car for a bit.  However, recently and especially as the weather gets cooler, I've decided that getting a little car would be a good idea again.  I have my gorgeous other half Joe, to thank for enabling this absolute beauty of a Mini Cooper S and yes, I am going to be a massive poseur and get my retained private plates on it as soon as possible! haha! Thank you Joe such a wonderful Birthday prezzie :)


2. Bubbles with my Faves - on the Friday before my Birthday we went out to a few local bars for some drinks to celebrate, including this yummy bottle of Bolly, well if can't have champagne on your Birthday, when can you have it? :)


3. Vintage Lissy - such a fantastic Birthday present, my Uncle managed to get an old long lost VHS video of my sister burnt onto a DVD.  I watched this in bed in the morning whilst eating my Birthday breakfast.  Various little clips of me aged 1, 2 and a very bossy 3 (my poor little sister!) - very nostalgic and a great gift!


4. Birthday Cards - I'm one of those people who loves cards on their Birthday, of course I love presents too, who doesn't? But I love cards and the thought that goes into them. Probably why I love sending cards too and spend hours traipsing around several card shops every time it's someone's birthday to find the right one!


5. Retro Cake! - My Mum never fails to make me smile - and this cake was no exception! at lunchtime on my Birthday we went over to my parents for a special Birthday lunch.  Bucks fizz and lots of yummy food followed by this lovely cake.  So great to see my parents on my Birthday. 


6. Spoilt - I honestly was not expecting such a lovely array of gifts on my Birthday.  Anya Hindmarch and Zara featured heavily as well as some lovely personalised coasters from my best friend Sian and some fantastic NYX beauty bits that I'll be blogging about soon!


7. Birthday OOTD - I wanted something relaxed and comfortable for going out for some dinner (and since we were walking to the restaurant flats were essential!) I opted for Zara black blouse / Zara beige trousers / Valentino Rockstud flats and Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette on the eyes! 


8. Arbennig Restaurant - this is one of our favourite little restaurants in Pontcanna.  The food is always fantastic and really reasonably priced.  I had smoked beef salad to start followed by duck breast with a blackberry sauce and leek & potato crumble (photographed) highly recommend to those of you visiting Cardiff!


Promise to be back with you soon! 


Lis x 










Last Friday Night OOTD

Gotta say it, I'm loving September so far.  It's definitely my favourite time of year. Not only is it my Birthday this month but I love the fact that everything gets back to normal after the Summer and the weather is usually pretty nice in September, this year has been no exception.  One of the other things I love is the chilly mornings and evenings, it's a great excuse to bring out the warmer clothes and get cosy again! 


Last Friday evening I went to the cinema.  The cinema means a few things for me - firstly, eating copious amounts of crap (before the film even starts!!), secondly, it is always freezing in the cinema because they whack up the air con so high.  These two factors mean I want to be warm and I want to be comfortable :)


This was the perfect outfit for this, and a chance to don my new Nike Air Max 90's, Topshop ripped jeans and Zara T-shirt ;) I look a bit haggard in some of the pics...it had been a long day and I couldn't be bothered reapply my make up!! (lazy I know, but it's dark in the cinema right?!) 








What I'm wearing....


Tshirt - Zara - New York backwards, kinda cool, get it HERE 


Leather Jacket - few seasons old from Muubaa - they still do very similar ones though


Jeans - Topshop - Jamie - get them HERE


Trainers - Nike Air Max 90's - get them HERE


Watch - Gucci - years old - I had this for my 21st!! 


I can't recommend the jeans enough, it was like wearing leggings they were that comfortable!



Hope you're all having a great week! 

Lis x 

Life Lately #12


A fairly eventful week! Cardiff has been pretty hectic due to the NATO Summit taking place in South Wales and the city has been buzzing consequently (quite literally! more about that in a bit!) 


1.  Most Used This Week - let's kick off with some make up ramblings shall we? I gave the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet another go this week and I'm still having a love / hate affair with it.  Some days it looks fantastic, other days it just looks goddamn awful.  I don't get it! Also really loving the L'oreal Magique Highlighter this week, does a great job of lightening dark circles, very similar to the YSL Touche Eclat if not better! Also re-kindling the love with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush, this is a great great blush, bit of a more intense "MAC Well Dressed" for me. Love it, it's been on my cheeks all week!


2. Isabel Marant Dicker Boots - cooler weather means flip flops get pushed out of the way in favour of boots again! I forgot how much I love these, so comfortable and well worth the money.  If you're on the fence about these I'd definitely recommend them. They look great with skinny jeans also. 


3. Jo Malone Perfume Launch - During the week myself and Sian went to the launch of the new Jo Malone perfume Wood Sage & Sea Salt.   More about this on my blogpost HERE.  I'm definitely going to be purchasing :)


4. HMS Duncan - As I mentioned previously, South Wales has been host to the NATO Summit this week.  Our City has been subject to metal fences, search points and aircraft buzzing above the city pretty much all week.  It's been a great atmosphere though and has really put South Wales on the map.  On Thursday Barack Obama was eating dinner less than a mile away from my house! Pretty surreal! Before going to the cinema we went down to Cardiff Bay to check out the HMS Duncan, the newest British Warship and all I can say is wow, I'm not normally in to things like that (let's face it, you can't buy it in Zara and it doesn't make my face look better!) but this was pretty impressive! 


5. The Inbetweeners 2 - great film, made me laugh a lot.  Ate my own bodyweight in popcorn and nachos though. Not good. 


6. Tragic Haircut - poor poor Clicquot! Not only has she been in season for a month which meant she couldn't go and get her hair cut when she really needed it, she also developed quite a few nasty knots in her coat that unfortunately couldn't be brushed out...and this is the result.  She looks hilarious! hopefully it will grow back very soon!!! 


7. Homemade Pizzas - nothing beats a pizza you've made yourself! On Saturday instead of ordering a calorific Dominos's we decided to make our own pizzas. They were fantastic, I couldn't finish mine though! 


8. Hed Kandi Summer of Sax - you all know how much I love a bit of house music, I'm also a huge fan of the Saxophone.  This equals a match made in heaven for me! I've been playing this a lot today and can highly recommend for something very easy and uplifting to listen to :) 


And that's it, I have an outfit of the day for you next...


Have a great week! 


Lis x 












 

Jo Malone New Fragrance - Wood Sage & Sea Salt




Ahhh Jo Malone, the shop that couldn't be more aesthetically pleasing to me with its gorgeous combination of cream and black interior, sharp lines and neat edges! For a person with a bad case of OCD and likes things in order....it's an absolute dream! 


I do like a little bit of Jo Malone in my life every now and then.  The candles are gorgeous, albeit don't last as long as some of their cheaper counterparts, but who cares?! really.  I also have a penchant for their hand wash in my kitchen, an expensive habit to have I know, but we can blame my Mum for getting me hooked on that!  The bath oils, particularly in Nectarine Blossom and Honey are also very good.  I'm not normally too keen on their perfumes as I find them very overpowering however I did really enjoy (and finish!) a bottle of Peony & Blush Suede recently. 


So anyway, enough waffling...


I was recently invited to the launch of the newest addition to Jo Malone's perfume range - Wood Sage & Sea Salt.  Myself and my partner in crime, Sian went along for the evening to experience the new perfume and I have to say, I was rather impressed! 


On arrival we were presented with a glass of champagne and a piece of sea salt fudge (FYI there were subsequent pieces of fudge guzzled later on!).  We were also given a rope bracelet that had been doused with the new scent.  Nice little touch! 






Now onto what it actually smells like.  Definitely a unique scent and nothing like anything else I've ever smelt before.  However it's very addictive and very wearable.  I'd say it's more of a day perfume, something you'd throw on at the weekends when you're not really doing much but still want to smell nice.  It's fresh and will appeal to those of you that enjoy fresh, crisp scents. It does have a very slight musk to it on the dry down though and I like this. 




The way Jo Malone describe it is very accurate.  The base note is sage and probably what you initially smell along with the sea salt, which is the heart note.  The top note is ambrette seeds (say what?! for those of you who didn't have a clue, just like me, they provide a woody musky note!) They also recommend layering it with the likes of Peony & Blush Suede or Nectarine Blossom & Honey, I'm excited to try both of these. 


It dries down to something very non-offensive and mellow, my only criticism would be that perhaps it doesn't last quite as well as some of the other scents in their range and you'll probably end up using more of it because of this! Never a bad thing though, who doesn't enjoy dousing themselves in perfume! :) 


I'll definitely be picking up a bottle when I'm in duty free at Heathrow next month :) 


More on the fragrance at Jo Malone HERE


Oh and here's a cheesy picture of me looking a scruffy mess and very tired (straight from work!) 




Back tomorrow with a weekly round up for you :) 


Lis x 

Life Lately #11



So apologies in advance...most of this week has been pretty yawnsome and boring (and that's not even an understatement!) and consequently a lot of thinking / reflecting / pondering has been done and this is the outcome! 


1. Tom Ford Bronzer - I have been using this a lot this week, mainly because I've been feeling so drab and lack-lustre (you know the feeling you get when your hair needs cutting, your eyebrows are a mess and you desperately need a tan, plus you're suffering the consequences of the eating enough food to feed a small village the weekend before - yeah, that!) now I'm not saying the Tom Ford Bronzer solves all of these 'problems' however there is just something so satisfying about pulling out this bronzer, swirling a huge brush into it and applying liberally all over the face! It's a great bronzer despite being slightly glittery and I've loved using it this week. 


2. Trans-seasonal Cardigan - well, that's a mouthful isn't it?! The weather over the last week in the UK has been our first taste of 'Autumn' (having said that today has been gloriously sunny - UK weather is more confusing than a woman with PMT at the moment!).  It's been quite chilly so this little cardigan I picked up in the sale at Hallhuber (in House of Fraser - link HERE) has been really useful, it's a great little shape (shortish with three quarter length sleeves) and made of really fine wool.  It's great for throwing on over little tops or dresses for work.  The brand, although pricey, has some great pieces for Autumn too - think an upper class Zara! 


3. An Oldie - I walked into a trainer shop recently and they were playing this song that I instantly recognised as something I listened to when I was at Secondary School and it really took me back.  I used Shazam to find out what it was because I couldn't remember (and if you don't have the Shazam app on your phone - hello? where have you been for the last couple of years?!) and it turns out it was Souls of Mischief - 93 'til Infinity  As many of you will know, I like all types of music but this falls into the rap / hip hop genre and has such a great Summer chilled out vibe to it.  I can't wait to the play this in the car! 


4.  Weather - I'm British.  I talk about the Weather, it effects my mood. And what?! lol So as I've already mentioned (I did warn you that not a lot had happened this week!) the temperature this week has dropped quite considerably and during the week it did feel like winter to the point that I revived my old slipper boots from the Winter and snuggled under a blanket to watch TV.  Have to say though, there is something so satisfying about this and I am quite excited now for Autumn Winter type clothes and the nights drawing in. 


5. Return of the XFactor - I love the XFactor and I'm not ashamed to admit it. For me, it's yet another sign that Winter is on it's way (sorry!).  I know a lot of people dislike this show and I do understand why, however I love a bit of trash TV and the fact that both Cheryl and Simon are back in it has made me more excited to watch it! 


6. A Tipsy Train Journey - myself and my partner in crime, Sian, hopped on a train this weekend to visit another one of my friends for her Birthday (more about that coming up!) Whilst waiting for the train to arrive we did a little refreshment shopping at Marks & Spencers and came up with these delights! It was a really funny train ride and I don't think I've laughed so much for a long time! Those little cocktails in cans were actually very good too!


7. Birthday Celebrations - My friend Lian turned 30 this weekend and to celebrate we all went up to Gloucester for drinks and food.  It was a great night and I also got to meet her gorgeous little baby, Sonny for a cuddle before we went out :) Happy Belated Birthday Lian! :) x 


8. Getting Excited - so this week I'm officially getting excited for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas and New York.  Las Vegas for a few days and a big Birthday celebration and then a week in New York.  I'm starting to research good restaurants, bars, shopping and things to do (and buy!) so any recommendations are more than welcome, please pop in the comments box below! :) 


And that's it folks! haul post is still on it's way soon, I promise! 


Lis x 






Elisabeth Rilatt. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.