7 December 2017

Thailand - My Way!




I was completely undecided whether to put up a holiday related post of my recent trip to Thailand, however I received so many questions and requests for a blogpost (and had taken so many photos that would otherwise just be using up memory on my iPhone!) I thought it might be useful for those of you that are contemplating a visit to this beautiful country.  I would have liked something like this to read prior to planning my trip since there is so much choice in terms of places to stay.

Thailand is somewhere I've had on my bucket list for quite some time now, definitely sparked by watching 'The Beach' in the year 2000 with Leonardo DiCaprio (didn't we all love that film and the Allsaints soundtrack?!) and it didn't disappoint.

I visited 3 different parts of Thailand during my eight day trip and in hindsight this probably wasn't long enough, especially for Bangkok, you definitely need more than two nights there, but more about that later.

I flew with British Airways but there are plenty of airlines who fly into Bangkok so shop around for the best prices.  From Bangkok Airport I'd highly recommend Thai Smile Airways for any internal flights you need to take. The planes were clean, modern and the service was fantastic (better than British Airways...ahem!)





Racha Yai


The first two nights were spent on the stunning Andaman Island of 'Racha Yai' at 'The Racha'.  The island is 12 miles South of Phuket and was one hell of a trek to get to (1 hour in the car from the airport and a 45 minute bumpy speed boat ride!!) but was definitely worth it.

This is quite an isolated island but the The Racha Resort offers plenty of choice in terms of restaurants and things to do and such a beautiful tranquil setting.   If there's one thing the Thai do very well it's attention to detail.  Prior to checking into the room they even ask you to choose what 'scent' you would like for your toiletries in the room, a nice touch.

I'd recommend this resort if you're looking for somewhere peaceful to relax, sadly I didn't get chance to use the spa here but it did look incredible!

I had my first 'Pad Thai' here too and it knocked spots off any of the ones I've tasted in the UK!








Phuket




After travelling back on the boat (the return journey was a lot less bumpy!) and then an hour in the car we arrived at the next destination - SALA Phuket.  

A stylish and 'uber cool' (for want of a better word!) hotel that had a very different vibe to the first destination.  Everything had a very 'effortless' elegance to it.  Muted colours and a 'not to trying to hard' exterior as if it was just trying to 'blend' in to it's green and tropical surroundings.  The rooms were gorgeous and a great place to relax. 

The food throughout the whole resort was also to a very high standard, from breakfast to room service (they do amazing pizzas!) and I'd recommend trying one of the Thai Curries off the restaurant menu!









Sadly though, this is where my holiday took a little bit of a turn for the worse for a few days, caused by the combination of not so great weather (stormy and overcast - check out the moody skies above!) and me being a veritable feast for the mosquito population of Phuket!  For some people this wouldn't be such a problem, the hotel has an enviable spa and plenty of things to do but for a self-confessed sun worshipper this was a personal tragedy!!  And if you are reading this and considering Thailand, for the love of god pack a high deet insect repellent!

However, needing to get some special bite cream (from good old 'Boots' would you believe?! and thank you to all of you who sent me recommendations for remedies!) was a good excuse to go and explore Phuket Town on one of the cloudy days. 






This is where I encountered some real Thai Street Food and absorbed a little of the Thai way of life and culture.  A highlight was a small little coffee shop in Old Phuket called Rose Espresso where I had one of the best iced coffees I've ever tasted and a green tea croissant. 

Bangkok


Quick mention for the sensational King Prawn Burger in a Squid Ink Burger Bun I had on the way back to Bangkok on Thai Smile Airways (can you read that and not smile?!), probably the prettiest plate of airline food I've ever eaten! I was beyond impressed! (it doesn't take a lot!) 





Now I didn't know quite what I was going to make of Bangkok and I was a bit unsure at first.  Having visited, let's just say I would love to go back there and two days in the city just wasn't long enough to explore and do everything. 

The moment you step out of the airport it feels busy, it feels 'alive' and has 'New York - city that never sleeps' feels to it.  I loved it. 

Our hotel, The 'Oriental Residence Bangkok' was based on Wireless Road (a great location) and conveniently close to the main shopping area of Bangkok.  Also,  I'd be lying if I said I didn't choose the hotel purely based on it's aesthetics and how it would look in photos! think white, classic and very chic!






It's a shame that the pound is so poor against most currencies at the moment because the shopping in Bangkok was nothing short of sensational.  A short walk down the road from the hotel was a fantastic mall called 'Central Embassy' full of mid to high end retailers (including the likes of Chanel and Prada) and an abundance of restaurants and coffeeshops.  This is where I enjoyed my first truffle pizza and it would be worth going back to Bangkok just for that alone!!!

There are numerous malls and shopping options in this area and each mall seemed to almost link up to the next one! I spent a long time eyeing up another Celine Trio Bag at the Siam Paragon Mall but the bad exchange rate would have made it a ridiculous purchase. 

Bit of advice, Bangkok traffic is insane, so if you're planning on going somewhere by taxi ensure you leave plenty of time to get there. I noticed that there are so many mopeds here and this probably due the traffic problem in the city.  

You'll be absolutely spoilt for choice for places to eat and for the less adventurous of you just like home there is a Starbucks and McDonalds on every corner!

I'd also highly recommend checking out hidden treasure, Issaya  that offers an authentic Thai Cuisine experience (but the portions are huge!!) 










I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sunbathing whilst I was in Bangkok to make up for lost time in Phuket (I was not going to be the person who came back from holiday without a tan!!) but as previously mentioned, it's definitely a city I'd like to go back to and there was certainly plenty more to do in Bangkok that sadly I had to leave behind.  Until next time! 

So there it is, a very photo heavy round up of my trip to to Thailand, if you have any questions or advice if you're thinking of going there please just drop me an email.  I hope this has been of some use though!

Thank you for reading. 

Lis x 






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5 December 2017

Current Everyday Makeup Routine


"...the new approach I have to make up these days"


Before I start telling you about the makeup routine that I've found myself in over the last few months I just want to give you a bit of background info into the new approach I have to make up these days.
It got to a point earlier this year where I looked into my trusty old Ikea Malm dressing table drawer and felt completely overwhelmed with the amount of makeup I was stashing in there and never using. Am I a bright lipstick kind of person? No.  Am I ever going to wear anything other than a neutral eyeshadow? No.  Do I need 15 different foundations when my stance on makeup these days is much more minimal? absolutely NOT.  I decided to just be ruthless and realistic with what I like and what I don't like and had a HUGE clearout.  All those crazy colour lipsticks were binned in favour of all my favourite nudes and glosses.  I kept only a handful of my eyeshadow palettes and hung onto only my favourite things.




"I'm more about being 'me' these days and caring less what people think"


Now this doesn't mean that I'm not ever going to buy makeup again because I've just had a big clearout. Oh no no NO! I just want to ensure that in future I'm only buying more of what I love.  I'm very into the whole 'less is more' vibe at the moment, gone are the days of plastering my face in foundation and concealer - so what if I have a few spots on my face or a scar where I burnt my head with my curling iron?! I'm more about being 'me' these days and caring less what people think.

"....sheer, neutral and just enhancing features rather than masking them"


That said, please don't confuse this with me being totally 'anti' make up...this couldn't be further from the truth!  I'm just more of a neutral tone, nude lip, bit of bronze and glow kind of girl these days rather than a full face of makeup. Think the brand 'Glossier', sheer, neutral and just enhancing features rather than masking them and caking them in unnecessary gunk.







So anyway. That was a bit of a ramble! let's get to the good stuff. 

Although these pics were clearly not taken on UK turf, it's the same make up I was wearing before I went to Thailand and what I'm wearing now I'm back and it's what I've been wearing pretty much every day for the last couple of months with a few lipstick / gloss switch ups. 







List of Products Used


FACE

By Terry - BUY

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in 'Dark' - BUY

Glossier Stretch Concealer in 'Medium' - BUY

Marc Jacobs Perfecting Powder (to set T-zone) - BUY

By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powder in 'Beige Nude' (dusted lightly over rest of face to set) - BUY

Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzer in 'Maldives' - BUY

Glossier Cloud Paint in 'Dusk' - BUY

Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter - BUY


EYES

Kat Von D Colour Corrective Eye Primer - BUY

MAC Amber Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette - BUY

Marc Jacobs Highliner 'In the Buff' (popped in the inner corner of the eye) - BUY

L'oreal Paradise Extactic Mascara - BUY

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara - BUY

IT Cosmetics Universal Eye Brow Pencil - BUY


LIPS

MAC 'Stripdown' Lip Liner - BUY

bareMinerals Gen Nude Lipstick in 'Kitty' - BUY

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in 'Amber' (my absolute favourite gloss) - BUY






As always thank you for reading!

Lis x 


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19 November 2017

The Snuggliest Jumper under £25



"Determined to be warm this Winter...."


Determined to be warm this Winter, I've been busy in the last few weeks selling my life away on eBay and Depop (ok, slight exaggeration but I have had a humongous clearout and feel all the better for it!) and replenishing my wardrobe with cosy Winter knits and coats.

There's nothing worse in the Winter than always being the person who is too cold and not suitably dressed for the weather! In the past I will fully hold my hands up and say that was me...the idiot dressing for fashion and not for the weather! Until I realised I can still embrace current trends and be warm at the same time!








I made an another 'Shein' order recently and picked up this snuggly turtleneck cable knit sweater .  It's   soft, snuggly and looks great with jeans but equally as good thrown on over a pair of jogging bottoms for around the house when you still want to look a bit 'presentable'!

"It's soft, snuggly and looks great with jeans..."


It's fairly cropped but long enough to keep you warm (I'm 5ft 7 so for shorter girls it's going to probably be an even better length).  Easy to wash and dries really quickly.  Ordering from Shein is very easy and don't be put off by the fact it's coming from overseas, you will NOT be stung with customs charges.









RAYBANS / CABLE KNIT CREAM JUMPER / ZARA COAT (This season) / FRAME JEANS / GIVENCHY BAG / ISABEL MARANT DICKER BOOTS (aka the most comfy boots in the world! well worth the price tag!)

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you've all had a great weekend. 

Lis x  







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30 October 2017

Little Pick-me-Ups!



Self Love


Oh you know those days, where you just feel a little bit 'meh' and out of sorts and no matter how hard you try you just can't get out of that terrible mood?  These are the times I like to practice the art of 'self love' (a saying that seems to be thrown around a lot these days - has anyone else noticed this?!)  

Now it doesn't have to be something super extravagant, perhaps cuddling up on the sofa and popping on your favourite film or listening to a song in your car that always puts you in a good mood is enough to lift your spirits!

"...giving yourself a little treat is a great way to make yourself feel good."


But....... I also think that giving yourself a little treat is a great way to make yourself feel good.  I normally sit at home and make an 'acceptable' (and when I say this I mean a perfect left hand a very dodgy looking right hand!) attempt at my own manicure but when I'm feeling like I need a bit of TLC I like to go all out and go and get my nails pampered, shaped and painted somewhere fancy!



"...a great place to unwind and be pampered!"


The Champagne & Beauty Bar at The Celtic Manor  is the perfect little place to do this! They offer treatments such as a range of manicures and pedicures (including gels), lashes and eyelash tints, eyebrow tints and threading, make up packages and also offer something for the guys too! The full package list can be viewed HERE.

The room is beautifully set out, it's intimate and relaxing and a great place to unwind and be pampered!







Oh la la! 


I opted for the 'Indulgent Manicure French Finish' mainly because I absolutely adore this look, it's classic, chic and will never date but I can never get a great result when I try to do it myself! 

The process involves moisturising, hand and arm massage, exfoliation followed by the manicure and lasts about an hour and my goodness could I see the difference afterwards! 

My nails looked absolutely perfect and even after a week of hammering my nails on a keyboard they still look great! 






"...spoil yourself every now and again..."


I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Champagne & Beauty Bar and can recommend it if you're like me and like a little 'pick me up' to spoil yourself every now and again or I think it would be great to hire out for pre-drinks and a pamper for a special girls night out or a hen-do!

Sit and sip a glass of bubbly whilst giving yourself a little treat!

You can book directly on the website HERE
















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18 October 2017

All Those Questions About My Hair.....Answered!



"What do you do to your hair to keep it looking so good?"


Well.....the truth is, I didn't really have a lot of appreciation for my hair until I started blogging when so many of you lovely people started pointed it out to me and asking questions about how I look after my hair and keep it looking so healthy!

Since I can remember I've nearly always had long hair (there are two occasions where I cut it short but I prefer not to remember those hideous times and put it down to peer pressure on the first occasion and put total blame on Jennifer Aniston the second time around when she cut her hair super short and I followed suit!)  Let's just say I'm definitely a long locks kinda gal and this won't be changing! 

I get asked this question over and over on my Instagram so I thought it was about time I reveal to you just exactly what I do to keep my hair looking good. 

" I have washed my hair pretty much every day since I was 12..."


Now for the surprising bit.  I have washed my hair pretty much every day since I was 12! Now I know that you're not supposed to but I just have this weird 'thing' where I can't stand the feeling of unclean hair and I love that freshly washed feeling every day.  Yes, I'm weird. Don't judge me! 

So.... with the washing, comes a vast amount of heat styling, particularly because I have fine hair and a LOT of it...my hair takes a long time to dry so I invested in a Parlux professional hair dryer a few years ago that halves my drying time and then I batter my hair daily with straighteners or curling irons.  Sorry hair, I love you really!




I discovered Aveda as a brand some time ago when a concession popped up in my local House Of Fraser and I fell in love with their Shampure range in my early twenties.  I've now got my whole family hooked on the brand, including my Dad who loves their shampoos! (he doesn't have enough hair now for conditioner bless him!)

Last year I was absolutely delighted when Aveda invited me to partner with them, as a brand that I was already an avid user of it was a no-brainer for me and being able to trial their newest products and let you know about the ones I really rate is a real privilege for me. 




What I do daily.... 

As previously mentioned, I do wash my hair every day.  Shampoo and Conditioner-wise I always have an Aveda duo on the go and then another less expensive brand (usually something that is on offer at Boots!) and I alternate between the two.  My favourite Aveda duo is the Damage Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner and that's what I'm using currently.  Once a week I also use the Aveda Purifying Scalp Cleanser prior to washing to keep my scalp in check and to give it a proper cleanse of any product build up. 

After towel drying, I pop some Damage Remedy Daily Hair repair through the lengths of my hair followed by some Thickening Tonic just into the roots because my hair has a tendency to fall a little flat and then if I'm going to be waving my hair I'll mist some of the new Texture Tonic into my hair before drying too.  

I use a high heat setting (because I'm usually in a rush / impatient!) and then chuck the straighteners through my hair (or tongs). 

If things are looking like they need a bit more 'help' I'll also run a little bit of Damage Remedy Split End Repair through the very ends of my hair - just a tiny bit. 





....and Refresh!


If you're not a crazy person like myself and need a bit of pick me up for 'day two' hair or hair that just needs a bit of a refresh then the Shampure Dry Shampoo and Thermal Dry Conditioner are your new best friends! I use these if I need to perk my hair up before going out in the evening and I love love love the scent! 



Maintaining My Colour and Style


So I'll let you into a little secret.  My hair is naturally such a boring mousey colour and for a long long time when I was younger I had it quite blonde, having a full head of highlights over and over and over until my hair was practically screaming for help!!

"adding warmer tones to my hair and cutting down on the blonde highlights..."


Over the past 5 years I've darkened the colour significantly adding warmer tones to my hair and cutting down on the blonde highlights to only certain areas.  It brought back a lot of the 'health' to my hair that was lacking when it was so blonde.

In the last year I've been incredibly lucky to have had the wonderful, Jack Cunningham-Rose let loose on my hair (follow his Instagram HERE where you'll see some of his amazing work, he's Aveda's UK Colour Specialist and you can see why!!)






A couple of weeks ago I headed down to London (any excuse!) and paid a visit to Aveda's London HQ and to meet with Jack again for my Autumnal hair transformation!

He dry cut my hair initially, taking off the absolute minimum, this was music to my ears because so many hair salons want to hack long hair off claiming it's great for keeping the condition which admittedly it probably is, but is this always necessary when a client does look after their hair and perhaps all is needed is a tidy up!

Later, when my hair was wet we also added a bit of shape to the front of my hair, giving it a bit more of a 'style' rather than my usual 'hair all over face' scenario!!!

"the AVEDA Eclipting technique..."


For colour he used the AVEDA Eclipting technique.  This works by contouring the face by playing with light and dark.  He applied a shade to lighten the hair on different sections and twisted them together so the colours melt creating a more seamless effect.

At the front of my hair he added bay lights to give a thicker and fuller appearance and added darker panels through the underneath to add depth.






Finally, to style my hair he used Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair (as I do at home!) to keep my hair protected and it great condition then applied Texture Tonic at the roots for body and grip.  When dry he sprayed 'Control Force' through my hair before he waved it with a curling tong.

And here...is the finished result!




Keeping the Colour


As with all freshly applied colour, it needs to be looked after properly in order to maintain the colour for as long as possible. Of course there is a chance that darker, richer shades are going to fade slightly but using products that can slow this down are key.   

Since getting back to Cardiff with my new 'do' I've been using the Color Conserve Strengthing Treatment and the Daily Color Protect and finding that it's really helping.  My hair still looks incredible and I'm so so pleased with the colour! 

If you're interested in getting your hair done at an Aveda Salon using this unique technique,  you can search your nearest one HERE - just ensure you tick the 'Exclusive Aveda Hair Colour' Box! 




If  you have any further questions about my hair please feel free to fire them this way, I don't claim to be a hair 'expert' but if you're looking for recommendations for products or what I do to my hair please feel free to drop me a line! 

In the meantime, I've put together a shoppable list of all the products I've mentioned and Aveda are doing 15% off your first order at the moment too! Just saying! :) 








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© Elisabeth Rilatt

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