A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Back In London | Lifestyle



Yes you read that correctly, I have given up the "work from home job" and decided to head back into the commuter chaos of London and I literally couldn't be happier! A few weeks ago I wrote about wanting to make some changes in my life and there were 5 key things that I wanted to change and one was definitely my career. It wasn't so much of a career change but more of am attempt to find my passion again, I missed being brand side and I missed fashion so I applied for a couple of role and got my utter dream job! 

Don't get me wrong, getting a new job is always hard because it's new and you have to make a good impression and then you have to pass probation but this was without a doubt the correct decision for me to make! Some people would think that giving up working from home daily is crazy but honestly it's just not for me! I missed people, I missed that routine and when I worked from home I just kinda felt like I let myself go and kinda forgot who I even was because it didn't matter because no one ever saw me! 

I work close to Oxford St which mean I get to pass all the wonderful fashion shops but I also get to see the street styles and different influences, I am not the most fashionable person at all but I do like fashion, I do like the latest trends even though I may not wear them, if that makes sense!? Also, now I walk around a lot more and eat less, I feel like I am looking more like me again, still early days though need to lose a lot more weight to feel more me but I am heading in the right direction!  

One thing I have been more cautious of is making sure I still have a good work/life balance, I don't want to get too obsessed with London again, I still have my wonderful bf that I want to spend time with and my glorious pals but it's just going to take a little time to get the right balance! 

I just thought I would give a quick update, I'm still new into my role so I still have lots of hard work to do but I'm so much happier and feel like I'm going in a positive direction! 
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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Autumn Nails | Beauty

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine


If you have been reading my blog for recently you'll know that I love all things autumn, in fact I might do a little post on the exact things I like and I promise it won't include pumpkin spiced anything! But these Barry M Gelly Hi Shine polishes just scream all kinds of autumn!!

Since moving back from Italy I have been getting shellac on my nails just to cheer myself up really, I love getting beauty treatments done and because I was WFH every day I had a little flexibility to get them done whenever I wanted. However I recently got a job in London again which means that I have to get them done on Saturdays and right now I just can't be bothered to do that so I soaked my last set off and decided to start painting them again. Don't get me wrong this is far less convenient for me because my nails are very thin and weak and I cannot stand chipped nail polish so it means I have to paint them 2 or 3 times a week but it is cheaper and it means I get my weekends to do whatever I want.

Gelly Hi Shine - Almond

Gelly Hi Shine - Peanut Butter


This year I have change to cruelty free products only which means that walking into a standard high st store the selections are more limited but I frickin' love Barry M polishes so I don't mind at all!!! Personally, I think every girl should have a light grey nail polish in their collection, It's so simplistic but looks incredible on nails of all lengths. The first colour is called Almond which is odd because to me it looks nothing like an Almond colour. Then I bought this gorgeous orange toned nude that I just love right now because it's so different to what I have worn before and this one is called Peanut Butter... I mean, Barry M are really struggling with the names I think but as you can see it's a really lovely shade.

I opted for the Gelly Hi Shine ones because I heard a lot of good things about them in terms of longevity, however if you have very weak nails these won't last incredibly long, soz guys!
Whilst I have short nails, I actually have quite long nail beds so when I paint them it creates the illusion that my nails are longer than what they actually are. This is why I like to go for these kinds of shades purely because it draws attention to them in a more subtle way.

What nail shades are you loving this Autumn? 
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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Suda Thai Cafe Restaurant, Covent Garden | Food



My name is Toni and I love Thai food and I don't care who knows it! Now that's out of the way, I think it's time to write about my utterly delicious trip to Suda Thai Cafe Restaurant near Covent Garden. All this year I have been banging on about how much I want a good chicken pad Thai to my bf and because he was probably sick of hearing me moan he decided to book a table at this restaurant for my birthday and I was bloody thrilled! 

I've never been to Suda before but after reading the menu I literally couldn't wait and had decided what I was having before we even turned up to the place! We booked the table online but to be honest the place is pretty big so if you went at like 7ish I would think they could probably squeeze you in anyway but it's always best to book anyway! 




Doesn't that just make your mouth water?  For starters we opted for the Suda sharing platter which has actually changed a little since we had it, online the menu says that the platter includes A selection of our signature starters :chicken satay, kanom jeeb, duck roll, fish cake, prawn cake & chicken on toast but as you can see ours had these little sweetcorn cake things but basically everything else was the same and it was heavenly! The flavours were so good and it was just enough for the both of us but we did also order some Thai crackers as well, for good measure! 

For main I just had to have my chicken pad Thai, slight disclaimer I started eating before I took a picture and realised last minute which is why it's a cropped picture of the pad Thai because the parts out of shot were devoured by me! The chicken breast was cooked really well, juicy and even had a little bit of skin on! The peanut dressing had a real sweetness to it which mellowed out the chilli a little and then coupled with the noodles this dish was an utter delight! 

Of course this all HAD to be washed down with just one or two cocktails, I had the Lady Gaga and the bf had Suda Passion! Yummy and strong! What more can a gal need? In total the meal came to around £60 (I think) which isn't the cheapest but it is London and the meal was incredible! I would definitely go to Suda again! 

What is your favourite cuisine?  
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Cleanser | Beauty

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser

As most of you will know I have recently moved to using Cruelty Free products for my skincare and make up, which means I have to try lots of wonderful new products that I haven't used before! I tried out the Melting Gel Cleanser which i actually really loved because the more you worked it into your skin the more it changed to an oil so felt so good on the skin. That said I was really keen to try out more Burt's Bees products because all I have ever tried is the lip balm which we all know is fantastic! 

I was in Boots recently and just thought I would browse the Burt's Bees skin care range as it was on offer with 1/3 off the whole range so I had a little look at decided to give the Orange Essence Cleanser a go because I do love fresh citrus scents and this cleanser smelled bloody divine! I have to say that I thought I was gonna be buying a cream cleanser, I have no idea why I thought it would be but I was quite surprised that it was a gel cleanser, I just wasn't expecting it to be! Anyway, once I got over that I slapped it all over my face and was kinda expecting it to melt into my skin like my other cleanser but this does not, it stays as that gel like texture. 

I think after my first use, I wasn't that impressed because the Orange Essence just wasn't what I was expecting but that said I still wanted to continue with it! The second time I used it, I definitely liked it more, the scent is incredible because it is very natural, it doesn't have that artificial scent like some others do, this is a lovely zesty scent but also a little earthy! It is a little tacky but once your wipe it off your skin does really look fresh and clean. I have to say that since I have been using this product I have developed a couple of spots, I don't know if this is directly linked to the cleanser, you have to consider diet and periods too but it is a little unusual. 

So my first impressions are positive on this Burt's Bees product but I just wish it melted into your skin more or was a cream cleanser! 

Which Burt's Bees products would you recommend? 
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Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Remedy, London | Lifestyle

The Remedy


I almost don't wanna tell you about this little gem because it is just so cosy and perfect, today I am talking about possibly the best wine bar I have visited in London called The Remedy. I know that is a pretty bold statement I know, but the reason why this bar is so good is because it is unknown, small and personal. It's in this little corner of nowhere that you could easily walk past without a second thought but my pal works really close there so he decided we had to pay a visit. 

One thing I really miss about being in Italy is to be able to walk into a wine bar and just have wine and have some nibbles, to be presented a random wine list where the staff actually ask you what you are looking for! Oh my heart!!!! The staff were really lovely and we were lucky to find a seat in the corner of the bar! The wine list was bloody long and had some great options from across the world, we of course needed a little help from the staff who were more than happy to share their knowledge. I have to be honest with you guys here, this place is not cheap, this night was very indulgent so much so I felt a little bad but it was 100% worth it. We opted for a dry red wine from Tenerife which is a region I never considered for wine, and whilst is was a very dry red it had a light fruitiness to it that I really loved and needless to say it was just over the £50 mark (eeeek) but it was delicious! After shelling out for the wine we decided to have a few nibbles to go with it. 


The Remedy Meat and Cheese Platter
  
The Remedy Crostini

I love meat and cheese and I don't care who knows it!! When I see a meat platter you best believe I'm gonna order it. The only problem is I can't quite remember what the exact meats and cheeses were but they were also served with a selection of bread. Some of the cheeses were soft that you could spread which included sheep's cheese. The Blue cheese was rather pungent that gave you a bit of a slap as soon as you bit into it, personally not a fave but the softer blue cube and the hard cheese were perfect. Of course the meat selection was great as well including a variety of different salamis and if that wasn't enough we ordered one extra thing which was the burrata and speck sourdough crostini! The combination of burrata and speck was just so Italian that I had to have it and I was NOT disappointed. The burrata was so creamy it almost seemed melted or spreadable, just perfect with lashings of speck. The one tiny thing I would have changed were the red onions, they were raw and I would have served this is either balsamic vinegar drizzled with honey or the onions cooked and caramelised but this said it was delicious regardless. 

There we have my little review on this incredible wine bar in London, where I easily spent far too much money but The Remedy was totally worth it!! 

What's your favourite wine bar? 
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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Instaglow CC Cream | Beauty

Instaglow CC Cream


A couple of weeks ago I had a little splurge in The Body Shop, it's a place I have have only just shopping again and after my first successful trip I thought I would take a browse in the make up section. You guys will have seen my post on the Honey Bronzer which I was left a little underwhelmed by and unfortunately this is going to be another slightly meh review! 

The reason I picked the Instaglow CC Cream was because generally speaking I do love a CC cream but I guess I was expecting something similar to a tinted moisturiser like my Sleek Make UP CC Cream which this product is not. It definitely leans more towards the moisturiser/primer type of product which you can see in the picture below, there isn't any tint at all so can only really be used underneath make up for me. 


Instaglow CC Cream

I tried using this product in a few ways but could never wear it on it's own, I have a lot of scarring from acne years ago and have a bit of redness as well so to go out with just this product is not an option. I would say this is something you need to consider when pruchasing, if you have great skin anyway then this might be a nice product but if you have a few areas of concern then this product will not cover it up at all. I tried using it combined with my other CC cream for a more natural/minimal make up and I just found myself adding more make up on top of it. I then used it as a primer and to be honest I still wasn't that thrilled with it, it didn't make my make up last any longer in particular 

The product does have SPF 20 in it which is a positive and when you apply it to your face it definitely has a brightening quality to is but it's not shimmery at all more just white. This product sells for £15 which personally I think is too much for what it is in my opinion, maybe I'm just not using it in the correct way or maybe it just doesn't suit my skin but whatever the reason I just couldn't get it to work for me. 

What products have you been disappointed with lately?
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Sunday, 8 October 2017

5 Reasons Why Florence Spoiled Me | Lifestyle

Tuscan Sunset


It's amazing what a year abroad can do to you, a year doesn't sound like  massive amount of time and in the grand scheme of things it's not but I must admit my year in Florence really has had an impact in these funny ways....

Coffee Snob...
Yeah, I really am! Like I can tolerate, even enjoy,  mochas or lattes because the coffee is watered down but imagine ordering an espresso and getting what actually turns up, it's a bloody shock to the system! This isn't localised to England, I've had them in Berlin and America, all just terrible!

Relaxed Lifestyle...
There was no rush for anything, if you were meeting pals it was always an Italian time which differs to an English time. For example, here I would meet a pal at like 8 but in Italy 8 could mean anywhere between 8-9 and that my friend is an Italian 8 o'clock! The pace was so much slower such a stark contrast to the chaos of London that I used to love so well. 

Work vs Home...
I literally lived a 15 minute walk away from my office, what a bloody glorious commute that was so now the thought of a commute longer than 15 mins fills me with dread! I feel like you waste so much of you time just getting to and from work that overall actually makes your working day far longer and I can't help but feel that is just a waste! To be honest, I can't blame Florence entirely with this one, I was very lucky but still! 

Getting a proper glass of prosecco...
Like what the hell? Why is it that in England I can only get a teeny tiny flute of prosecco, we treat it as if it's bloody champagne and it isn't! I want to walk into a bar and get a glass, not a thimble, but I proper glass of prosecco! Is that so much to ask for?

Cheap rent...
My apartment cost me 350 Euros a month, I rented one bedroom of a 3 bedroom apartment that had a large loft, balcony, a bathroom, a wet room along with the standard kitchen and living area which was also about a 30 minute walk to the Duomo! We have to consider the exchange rate was a little better last year but still seeing one bedroom apartments for like £850 a month in crappy awful locations is kinda hard to swallow right now! 

Florence you bloody spoiled me but I wouldn't change a damn thing about it!! 


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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Solait Express Dark Tan | Beauty

Solait Express Dark Tan


It's been a while since I wrote about fake tanning on my little blog, so much so I don't even wanna delve through the archives to find the last one but I must admit recently I just kinda fancied trying the whole fake tan things again so I purchased the Superdrug Solait Express Tan As you guys know, I only use cruelty free products and fab news that all of the Superdrug own products are cruelty free! 

I was looking for a tan that would be quick and just do the job which is why I opted for the express version because the minimum amount of time you need for this product is 1 hour and the max is 3 hour before you can wash it off so pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I will just say that I'm not really into the rebrand of the lilac packaging, but that is a personal preference I like sleek, simplistic designs and this looks a little young in my opinion. 

Moving onto the actual product, I found this fake tan to have the same standard biscuity smell but with a slight tropical hint, pleasant but noticeable. Immediately I was really impressed with how easy the product buffed into the skin, I applied with a mitt but it smoothed over the skin perfectly and more importantly it was even! So I smothered my body in the stuff and left it for an hour before I jumped in the shower. As soon as the water hit me it was like the tan washed off completely, I was so annoyed and thought it was pointless but after reading that the tan continues to develop up to 8 hours after but I was so skeptical because I felt like it washed off entirely! HOWEVER, I can confirm it definitely did develop and left me with a very natural looking tan and the next day I thought I would whack some more on for good measure just for another hour again! Just to bear in mind, I'm pasty as hell so personally I wouldn't leave it for the maximum amount of time but I have used it for longer than an hour and I'm just as happy with the result. 

I frickin' love this fake tan, it doesn't look orange and fades incredibly well, it's possibly the most natural looking tan I have ever used and because it's a mousse consistency, it's so easy to work with. 

What fake tans do you like to use?
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

Picture Diary of Cologne, Germany | Travel

Cologne Cathedral


I've been away recently to the very lovely German city of Cologne and whilst I would usually do a "5 Things To Do in..." style of post I think I just wanted to do a little photo diary instead so I hope you enjoy!  

Hohenzollern Bridge
Padlock bridge 

Cologne Flea Market
German flea market

KolnTriangle



Cologne Zoo!

Kolsch!!

Jazz Bar

Sculpture Park 



I just love how dark this Cathedral can look against a stormy sky! I had such a great time in Cologne and if you want a little weekend get away the Cologne could be the place for you! 

Have you visited Germany?
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