MY NEXT TRAVELLING ADVENTURE!

On the 24th July, I will be travelling all around South East Asia with my boyfriend for 7 weeks and I could not be anymore excited!

Considering I leave on Monday, I feel very unprepared. I got my injections a few weeks back; I only received Typhoid as I had my Hepatitis A and B boosters not too long ago. I thought they would cost me a fair amount of money, but they were free which I was chuffed about! I could have had extra ones such as Rabies, but the Sister suggested it’s not necessary as I am going to low-risk areas. It also means i’m going to be extra careful around the stray animals.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been accumulating various creams, lotions, and medical kits to ensure we are going to be safe and organised for anything that may come at us. I know that there’s a lot of shops and malls across SE Asia and everything is pretty cheap; I still can’t help myself buying any kind of bite cream or various forms of plasters (I’m going crazy).

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I stop-over in Abu Dhabi for a few hours en route. It’s a shame it’s a short stop-over as I would have loved to explore Abu Dhabi and see what it has to offer. But instead we’re just going to chill in the airport and have a browse through duty-free. After my 12 hour flight I will land in Bangkok and spend 5 days there.

I’m unsure what to expect of Bangkok. I’ve heard from various places that it is very busy (as expected), there are very little driving laws, and it smells. However, I cannot wait to immerse myself into the culture and to explore their lifestyles.

One thing I cannot wait to do is the floating markets. Despite having to wake up ludicrously early, I’ve never experienced sailing down a market and for people to sell their stock out of boats. It’s also renowned for its amazing food. They cook to order on a boat. How insane is that???

After Bangkok we are then going to explore the ‘party’ islands; the first stop is Phuket, which is one of the larger party islands in Thailand, which is ideal for spending all night partying, and relaxing on Patong Beach during the day. Secondly is Koh Tao, where I’m also going to learn how to dive! I’ve recently bought a go pro so will hopefully be able to share my amazing experience! I’m also visiting Koh Phangan, which is home to the Full Moon Party. This is a tremendous event in Thailand, and i’ve heard it’s a great night. Also perfect for lively bars, a lot of alcohol, and all kinds of clubs. Koh Samui is renowned for its beautiful array of beaches. They also host similar parties to that of the Full Moon Party, which i’m sure I will experience too.

Amongst all of this I will also be exploring Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore!

I cannot wait to get back and share my experience with you.

Similarly, if you have any advice/tips, please feel free to share them! I’d love to know if you have any suggestions of places to go.

Much Love,

Ellen Grace xo

KAVOS 2017

A few months ago my best friend and I spontaneously booked a 5-day holiday to Kavos, Greece, for some well-needed relaxation and to let ourselves go with a couple (maybe more) cocktails by our side.

I personally have always wanted to do a classic ‘girl’s holiday’. They looked fun and wild. Well I definitely wasn’t wrong. I’ll tell you why..

We landed in Corfu, about an hour from Kavos and was greeted off the plane with a blast of hot wind. That’s definitely the most satisfying thing going abroad; leaving the mundane weather behind. We then arrived at our hotel at midnight. We stayed in a studio that was mediocre at best. But hey! it was all part of the experience.

We then immediately hit the strip. This was something i’d never experienced before. If you’re unaware of what a strip is, it is a long road filled with clubs and bars on either side. After having copious amounts of cocktails and shots, we were ready to hit the bars!

Doing this for 5 days consecutively does get absolutely knackering, but I had an absolute blast. There was always something going on, day and night. Be it boat parties, paint parties, pool parties, all the different variations of parties, I did and had the best time.

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The beaches in Kavos were actually very nice too. Most days we would normally sun-bathe around the pool; however, a dip in the sea every few hours felt so good!

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We stayed in a ‘party hotel’ which meant that there was always something going on 24/7 and the pool was always manic.

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All in all I had an AMAZING time, despite it being extremely exhausting, I had the best time and made lots of friends in the process! (we may be in the process of booking Ayia Napa for next year).

Have you ever been on a mad holiday before?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace xo

First Impressions: L’Oreal Products

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I was in desperate need of a new mascara, so of course I went to Boots where I *happily* stumbled across a 3 for 2 sale on L’Oreal Products. I was already keen to try out the Telescopic mascara due to hearing so many positive comments about it, plus I also got an item free so smiles all round! Along with this, I also purchased the True Match Foundation, and the True Match Super Blendable Powder, and today I tried them out for the first time.

To Start – True Match Foundation in ‘Golden Ivory’ 

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I applied this foundation with my Real Techniques Buffer Brush. In total I used 1 pump as it is a thicker foundation which I personally prefer. However, one downside to this formula is that it is a very thin liquid so it did run down my hand which was a bit of a pain when I was trying to apply it! But it’s still manageable to use. When I started to apply the foundation I was pleasantly surprised as it glided onto my skin beautifully, blended like a dream, and gave me really good coverage.

All in all, I think the foundation gives me a really nice flawless look, and did a good job at hiding my under eye circles and various other imperfections. The only downside to this product is that it seemed to really emphasise my smile lines.

True Match Powder Super-Blendable Powder in ‘Rose Ivory’

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I really enjoyed applying this translucent powder on top of my foundation, as it feels heavenly applying to your skin as it’s such a soft powder that allows you to build upon the flawless look from the foundation. This powder also effortlessly blended really well into my skin, which is an added bonus if you’re planning on applying this in a rush! (as I am most of the time). This powder also comes with a little soft sponge and a good sized mirror which will be useful when you’re out-and-about. The powder itself is of a really good size and will easily fit in your handbag, which is always beneficial.

However, I have had this product on now for around 8 hours and throughout the course of the day it’s given me a cakey look which is horrible. It’s made my pores look even larger than they already are, and the foundation looks as though it’s come to the surface of my skin and is just placed there. – Definitely not a good look.

Telescopic Mascara

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Honestly, I was unsure about whether I would genuinely like this mascara as I am very fussy about the brushes and the formula. However, I am very fond of this one. I like the brush size as it is easy to coat every lash, both bottom and top. I applied around three coats of this mascara and I did find it start to clump which I don’t mind too much, however if I were to put on another coat or two they would start to look like clumpy spiders legs.

I will be using these products for the future as I think overall they are good, and at just over £20 for all three is a decent price for the products.

Do you have any of these products? If so, how do you apply them?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

HOW I TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

This year I am going to be backpacking around south east Asia for 2 months, and also will be visiting Kavos for a week. How can I afford that you may ask? I’m a student, i’m supposed to have zero money and continuously eat cardboard-like food and wallow in my own self-pity about how little money I have. Well this isn’t always the case.

One of the best things about life is travelling. So embrace it while you can. What’s better than being able abandon reality for weeks or months, and have the time of your life?

Here are five tips as to how you can afford to go travelling around to globe on a budget.

 It seems so obvious, but you need to plan ahead. 

Save up enough throughout the year from a part-time job and know how much you need to save prior to booking. This way, you can go on your adventures with enough buck in your pockets to have a really great time and live your adventure to the best, without having financial woes.

Buy your tickets in advance

Following on from the previous point, preparation also includes buying your tickets in advance too. Typically, the best time to buy flight tickets is around 12-13 weeks before travelling. This way you could potentially save 100’s of pounds, which could be spent on other amazing experiences!

Plan your destination wisely

Like I said, i’m backpacking through South East Asia for 2 months, the only way this is possible for me is because this is a cheaper location. For example, on average hostel rooms are around £6 per night, and food for the day will cost a similar price. Whereas some places can be a lot more expensive. So look around before you make any decisions, because there’ll always be somewhere cheaper that may be just as good!

Accommodation – Don’t be afraid of hostels!

Hostels can have a bad reputation. You may think of dirty, grotty, hell holes that will be infested with dirt and smelly people. Well this isn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong, staying in a luxurious hotel can be the best part of the holiday; however it doesn’t have to be. If you’re travelling around from place-to-place, look into staying in hostels. There are many private hostel rooms so you don’t always have to share with randomers, and they are a hell of a lot cheaper than hotels (and you will meet great people along the way too!)

Be a Traveler, Be a tourist

When you visit new places, you may want to visit all the main, tourist attractions and buy lots of cheesy gifts for friends and family on the way. I get that. However, you don’t always have to be a target where you get charged a hell of a lot more than travellers/citizens because you look like a tourist. Instead, don’t always go for the main attractions, but look a little further and you will find equally exciting things for a lot less. For example, when I visited Rome, in the main market squares restaurants and Gelato parlous would be double, sometimes triple the amount than other restaurants/parlours that are a few back-lanes’ away.

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Rome’s Gelato that we bought in a back-street

Have you got any other money saving tips?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

A WEEKEND IN PRAGUE: IS IT WORTH THE VISIT?

You think Christmas is pretty over here in England? So did I until I visited Prague.

Even though it feels like a lifetime ago…I flew over to Prague in early December with my boyfriend for a long weekend trip, mainly for a weekend full of fun, exploration and to see some new sights.

However, when I was approaching Old Town Square, little did I know that I would be faced with a 31 metre high Christmas tree. It was breathtaking. A row of little stalls were behind this tree too, which smelt divine. They sold a lot of Prague delicacies, such as dumplings, potatoes and pork.

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As well as Prague being aesthetically pleasing, they also had on offer a lot of ‘different’ attractions that we could not resist going into. The first excursion we did was going to a sex museum. I was a tiny bit apprehensive as to what I was going to be faced with… and yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Hundreds of different and obscure sex toys and instruments back from hundreds of years ago. Despite giggling throughout most of it, it was actually very interesting and now my sex toy history knowledge is tip-top!

To top this peculiarity off, we then went into a little theatre type room which was right at the back of the building. We then sat down with the other tourists who looked just as bemused as us. A few minutes passed and then we found ourselves watching a 19-40- something porno!! We couldn’t not watch it, it was hilarious watching genitals in black and white. I left that place a different person.

We then went to a different museum which I feel more in touch with… the beer museum! Even though I am not a great fan of beer, it was still fun to gain a knowledge about the background history of Prague beer and, more importantly, got to taste lots of it! It’s safe to say I left that place feeling a bit more jolly!

*FYI – The nights out in Prague are amazing, we did a bar crawl and it was so much fun, unlimited drinks in the first bar for 3 hours, which meant only one thing… A very drunk Ellen!*

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Above all of these wonderful experiences, Prague is such a beautiful city. Every angle had something new to deliver, after every hour the sky would turn another glorious shade of blue. Although I felt as though I did a lot during my time in the Czeck Republic, I would definitely return to Prague simply because there are so many more wacky museums and brilliant new experiences that need to be explored.

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Plus, I visited Hamley’s for the first time and I have never seen so many toys under one roof before in my life! There was even a carousel in the middle of the shop, (seriously) and a slide! I couldn’t quite contain my excitement.

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All in all, Prague has definitely been one of the most interesting cities i’ve visited, and would definitely recommend going.. there’s something here for everyone!

Have you ever visited Prague before?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

THE MOST UNDERRATED DRUG STORE FOUNDATION?

It wasn’t until the other day when myself and my friend were flicking through the aisles of Superdrug, swatching all the many beautiful colours on the backs of our hands and swooning over all the new, shiny products, that I discovered the most underrated drugstore foundation – ever. The Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in ‘100 Ivory’.

My flat mate had tried it before and said how good it was, whereas I hadn’t even heard or seen of the product before. So I hastily picked one up since it was on a bargain 2 for £10 offer, plus I thought I had better join the deal with my flatmate (I’m just trying to justify myself spending money) and give this tucked away treasure a try.

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When you think of Rimmel London, to me, it’s all about Wake Me Up and Match Perfection foundation, among others that every single amateur makeup fan would have heard of. However, this one… not so much. Perhaps it’s just me that hasn’t really seen it before in drug stores, maybe I focus on the more liquid foundations in the glass bottles. Or maybe, I just don’t pay enough attention.

I have now been using this product for about a month, and I can tell you, I have been pleasantly surprised. Admittedly, the packaging looks a bit more cheap, as the Rimmel foundations are normally in a Glass bottle with a pump. Instead this one is in a little plastic tube which needs to be squeezed out. However, the formula is a thick liquid mousse which means that a little goes a long way, (trust me, I only use a small amount and I normally go a bit OTT on foundation), which ultimately means the product itself will last a long time which is great. The foundation itself is also very thin feeling due to its mousse consistency which is great as I hate them foundations that feel really cloggy and thick on my pores. Also, one of its properties is that it guarantees shine control which may be great for those that get oily skin.

Another amazing added bonus is that this product blends in like a dream. Honestly, I simply apply it with my real techniques buffing brush and it takes seconds for it to have properly blended in which means it’s a great foundation to use if you’re in a rush, as it doesn’t take long at all for it to completely blend in and ready to move on to the next product, which I love. Particularly because most times i’m running late.

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The only downside to this foundation is that I do feel like sometimes it highlights my pores, which is a real shame as it states that it tries to minimise pores. However, in comparison to other drug store foundations its not that bad, as others have been worse.

I also would not recommend this foundation for those who like a dewy finish, this foundation is quite heavy-going so may not be loved by those who love a more natural look!

All in all I love this drug store foundation and is now one of my favourites. Mainly due to its staying power which means I don’t have to worry about touching up throughout the day, and its lovely matte finish which doesn’t make my skin look dull at all, and its great coverage which can be built upon if necessary.

What foundations do you love that perhaps aren’t that well known?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

MY GO TO MAKEUP

I love experimenting with make up and trying new brands and products; however, I must admit, when it comes to my ‘go to’ makeup, I play it quite safe, by sticking to the same old, trust-worthy products. However, if you are interested in how I create my everyday makeup look like the picture below, then keep on reading!

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Products Used –

  • To start with, I use the Nivea for men sensitive post shave balm. I started using this after watching NikkieTutorials, and I must say it’s the best primer and moisturiser i’ve ever used! I dab a tiny bit into the palm of my hands and use circular motions when applying it into the skin. The consistency will then thicken and go tacky, meaning the foundation stays on for a lot longer!img_5620
  • Foundation – Rimmel London Lasting Finish foundation in 100 ‘Ivory’ img_5636
  • Blended in with the real techniques buffing brush
  • Concealer – Collection 200 lasting perfection (absolute favourite concealer, beats all the others i’ve tested, high end and drugstore!)
  • Eyebrows – Rimmel London Brow This Way in 002 Light Brown. I use the wax on the left side – it’s amazing and very inexpensive!img_5429img_5435
  • Applied with Zoeva 322 Angled Brow Line Brushzoeva
  • For powder I use Rimmel London Stay Matte in 002 Pink Blossom for all over my face (I prefer translucent powder for an everyday look!
  • Applied with Mac 187 powder brush (Don’t sweep brush across your face as it only moves the foundation and takes it off, instead push the powder into your skin with the brush by pressing it in, as this pushes the product into your skin, thus making it more long lasting)
  • I also use Laura Mercier Transcluscent powder under my eyes. I keep it on for about 10 minutes whilst I do the rest of my face, also known as ‘baking’. This avoids my concealer from concealing and keeps it on for a lot longer!img_5409img_5398
  • Next is bronzer! On the hollows of my cheeks I use Ted Baker Bronzer and Blush compact duo. I sometimes also use the bronzer for eyeshadow – it gives a great, glowy look! I apply this with the Real Techniques contour brushimg_5622
  • For highlight I use my favourite drugstore highlight which is the MUA Undress your Skin Highlighter which is applied with Real Techniques Fan Brushimg_5627
  • Mascara – Rimmel London Bold Curves

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Ok, when it’s all listed down it does seem like an awful lot! In reality most of the time I normally just pop a bit of vaseline on my lips and rush out of the door because I’m always in a rush, haha! Anyway, what is your favourite go to make up look?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X