Tag Archives: london

TFJ TRAVEL JOURNALS: LONDON/WINDSOR/OXFORD

Before even seeing London, I always knew I would love it. This city not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them.

The best part for me was definitely spending time with much loved family who live there, but it wasn’t only that which confirmed my idea to move there some day.

London is a city filled with hundreds of years of history. Monuments can be found around the corner, and the atmosphere is indescribable. I found London to be a welcoming place, maybe because I was completely open to everything that it had to offer as well. In London, we saw the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Covent Garden (which isn’t actually a garden) Shakespeare’s Globe, South Bank, The Shard, The Cheese-grater, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, and Oxford Street. I felt like I was playing real life Monopoly.

During our time we also saw two Shakespeare productions at the Globe Theatre. We watched one of my favourite plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Macbeth. If you are interested in theatre or literature, or are just curious about The Globe, I definitely recommend going to see one of the productions, it was easily one of the highlights of our time in London.

We also went to Oxford and Windsor. Oxford was nothing like I expected, probably because I didn’t actually know anything about it other than it was home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities. As for Windsor, I got quite jealous when I saw how well the Queen lives. By luck, the flag on the castle was raised whilst we were there, which meant that Queen Lizzie was in the building.

For summertime, the weather in London wasn’t the best, it was always jacket weather, except for the one day that we were in Oxford, but regardless I think it added to the atmosphere of each place we went to. I definitely recommend London to anyone who enjoys the city lifestyle and wants a trip that they can fill with historical sightseeing, culture immersion, and shopping.

Have you guys been to London? What were your favourite places?

xx

POST TRAVEL DEPRESSION

It has been a mere three days since my return home from Europe, and although I was only gone for five weeks, it was enough to induce some serious post travel depression, which I assure you is real and frankly, it’s pretty horrible.

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20 things they don’t tell you about Contiki tours

At the moment, I am travelling Europe and yesterday my Contiki tour came to an end, and from the start I had no idea what to expect. I had previously toured Italy when I was 16 with my school, and imagined it would be somewhat like that… I was wrong (but pleasantly surprised)

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MELBOURNE > ABU DHABI> LONDON: Travel hacks and truths

Restless doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. It is currently 10:27am Australian time and 4:27am Abu Dhabi time and I have been on this plane since 10pm. To say that I am absolutely DONE is an understatement.

On the bright side, in an hour and 39 minutes we should be landing at our first stop over before we reach London, and I am more than ready to get the hell off of this plane. Really, I shouldn’t complain, I got the window seat which is super roomy, I’ve got a killer playlist going, decent in-flight movies, and I conquered the entire Etihad Airlines Tetris leaderboard. It’s funny what you can get done in 14 hours.

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Oh, did I mention I slept for maybe a total of 20 minutes? Yeah, I’ve gone a little more than 24 hours without sleep, I am so agitated that I am grinding my teeth and my butt is so sore from staying in the one place for so long.

I think one major thing that people forget to mention when they talk about the glamour and splendour of travelling is the ridiculously tedious trip you have before arriving at your destination.

I haven’t travelled in over three years, and I completely forgot about this part. I mean, that’s probably a good thing, right? that the holiday itself stuck in my memory and the discomfort didn’t, but let’s be real, this is not a fun time.

However, I feel that, from my experience, I can pass on some tips to those of you who have yet to travel, or have and still haven’t figured out the best way to go about enjoying the flight.

Firstly, do activities that will keep your mind buzzing. For me, this was playing Tetris and beating the high scores of everyone who has flown with Etihad this week, though it’s good to keep in mind that too much screen time will really strain your eyes, which is what happened to me, so I needed to take an hour or two just to listen to music and shut my eyes.

Secondly. test our your meds before you leave. My friend and I have sleeping tablets with us, but we haven’t taken them yet because we weren’t sure how it would affect us, and we don’t want to risk being drowsy in an unknown international airport when we’ve only got an hour to board our next flight.

Thirdly, when in duty free, make sure that you either buy a bottle of water or bring a bottle with you for the hostess’ to fill on the plane. This has honestly been my saviour this whole time, especially because I’ve taken sinus tablets to make sure my ears don’t hurt and it leaves your throat and nose super dry.

Fourthly, If you know that you have trouble flying, make sure you prepare yourself as much as possible. For me, the only trouble I have on flights is the pressure in my ears, which hurts so much that I could faint. Knowing this, I had a chat with a pharmacist who recommended I take sinus tablets as well as a nasal spray. Thankfully, I have had no discomfort and am super happy that I was prepared.

Some people also get anxious or experience travel sickness, and if you know that there may be a chance that it would happen to you, I 100% recommend talking to your GP or a pharmacist and asking their opinion on what you might be able to take on the flight to ensure you have a comfortable and pain-free trip.

I think that in any trip, the best thing to do is to be prepared for anything, and to make sure that you’re organised well in advanced. That means bags packed, carry on luggage sorted with the essentials, and a game plan. I’m all for spontaneity, but not then it comes to travelling. Make sure you know your luggage restrictions and that all of your liquids and gels are 100ml or less, and can comfortably fit into a clear plastic zip lock type bag.

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For example, in my backpack I packed my laptop, my travel journal, travel wallet, meds, and my little zip lock bag. In the zip lock bag I put my favourite Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm (trust me, lip balm is a must on long flights), hand sanitiser, my LUSH Cosmetics bubblegum lip scrub, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume, a Proactiv Solutions moisturiser (not my usual moisturiser, but it’s the only one I had under 100ml), as well as toothpaste and a toothbrush. Think about it, if you’re landing at your destination and are meeting up with family or friends, the last thing you want is to feel gross.

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Another super important travel hack that Maddison and I have been trying to do is to avoid jet lag.

We left Melbourne at 10pm, and instead of sleeping after take off, we decided to stay awake as long as possible so that we can sync our bodies to European time. I had a short nap at about 4am, and have been awake since. We are due to land in Abu Dhabi around midday (5am Abu Dhabi time), and then we have another eight or so hour flight to London, which is where we will be catching up on sleep, because we land in the UK at 12:30pm London time. Sounds confusing, but I think this will work.

So, it’s currently 11am Australian time and 5:10am in Abu Dhabi, and we will be landing in about 20 minutes. The view from our little window is gorgeous, and I can’t believe we’ve made it this far already. This trip still feels so surreal, it still hasn’t hit me that In a matter if hours I will be in the city that I’ve dreamed about since I was 6 years old, with one of my best friends, getting ready to explore Europe. Exciting things are ahead, and I’m glad I can share it will all of you.

Much love.

If I lived in London…

It’s no secret that if I found a briefcase with at least $15,000, the first thing I would do is go to the airport with an empty suitcase and move to London.

It’s okay, I’m not being completely unrealistic, I have family there and accommodation can be organised so it’s not a stupid idea, I assure you.

Lately, the wanderlust has been real and every time I shop, a motto runs through my head: “This would look awesome in London”.

With that being said, my “If I lived in London” shopping wishlist continues to grow every time I open a new internet tab.

PS: Don’t try to tell me that these items of clothing aren’t as cool as I think they are. I won’t listen.

I also have devised a list of 10 legitimate reasons why I should go to London.

1. I miss my family who live there.

2. I like cold weather.

3. I can experiment with fashion with desirable results.

4. I speak English.

5. British Pound Sterling. Have you seen how low the cost of living is there compared to Australia? (let’s forget about the crap exchange rates) MAC lipsticks are £16 compared to $36 AUD.

5. There are endless paid internships available in the fashion industry (I know this because I follow @fashionworkie on Twitter)

6. I love Shakespeare.

7. I’m studying probably the most versatile degree ever, London offers plenty of courses that co-inside with my degree (I have also looked into this with great detail)

8. I like British bands

9. I’m happy with the monarchal government (and it’s future leaders)

10. I can do the best British accent ever.

PS: This is all hypothetical, Mum…

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin review!

It’s a known fact that a good base provides the foundation for a good makeup day (no pun intended) and sometimes having a good base requires a lot of time and effort to ensure that coverage is smooth and flattering.

It’s no secret that my skin isn’t the easiest surface to cover, not only do I have way too many acne scars, but because of the stress i’ve been under this year, I also have my fair share of unwelcome blemishes. So, along with the redness and the new oil that has developed in my T-Zone (which never existed until 3 months ago) I have had many difficulties finding a decently priced foundation and concealer that would actually work.

For a few months I was using the Rimmel London ‘Wake Me Up foundation and concealer, and although it was a great product, lately I felt that “good enough” just wasn’t good enough. Once that ran out I switched to the Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation, which is really good, the coverage is great and the consistency is comfortable but also reliable. A few days after purchasing this, however, I was given the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin foundation and concealer. Since hearing about it’s release, I was very interested in trying it, but never got around to buying it, so when the opportunity to review the product came about, I jumped at it straight away!

Firstly, once I got past the excitement of receiving these products, I unwrapped the package as if I were a five year old and was unwrapping the biggest christmas present ever. Looking at the two bottles filled me up with pride – I was finally seeing physical results of blogging! (or as I like to call them – “Blogger Perks”)

Then, once the excitement subsided and I showed the unopened products to everyone on my Snapchat list, I ventured off to try the products!

The foundation at first seemed like it had a very thin consistency, which worried me because I thought “great, imagine how quickly i’m going to get through this!” because one pump didn’t seem enough to cover my face. Before adding a second pump, I thought I should see how much product comes out with one pump. It was actually the perfect amount! Then the second thing that crossed my mind was “Okay, so if the consistency is so thin, but the amount was good, should I use a second pump to make sure that I have a good coverage?”. The answer was no! The SuperStay Better Skin foundation gave me an even coverage that hid a lot of my scars… and this was without concealer!

Then I added the concealer on top of my scars and blemishes (mostly on my cheeks) and found that the scars disappeared and the redness no longer existed! It seemed almost too good to be true! Then I thought “okay so if it’s covering this well, I don’t think it will last in the heat this coming summer” especially considering how thin the consistency really was. Lucky for me, Melbourne weather pulled through to give me a beautiful 29 degree day, perfect product testing weather!

Here is just some background info about the SuperStay Better Skin products:

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin is Maybelline’s first vitamin enriched long wear foundation with skin improving Actyl-C. It provides all-day coverage and even has SPF 14!

So to break that down, it’s a bottle full of facial goodness that not only covers imperfections, but helps to improve them, while protecting your skin from the harsh UV rays that you may encounter!

May I just say that after almost 5 days of using the SuperStay Better Skin products, I am not disappointed! For the price, this product is fantastic! The only (somewhat) negative comment I can make about this product is that sometimes I accidentally dispense too much concealer just from holding the bottle, so honestly, if packaging is the only concern, I wouldn’t worry at all about the abilities of this product.

I am happy to say that I’ve found a economically priced foundation and concealer duo that actually works for me, and provides my skin with the coverage it needs! I can only imagine how great this product would be for people who don’t have as many skin problems as I do.

This product also claims to give you “better looking skin in 3 weeks” – Although i’ve only had it for almost a week, I can see that it actually does help my skin. The oil that I complained about earlier doesn’t build up when i’m wearing it, and i’ve noticed that it hasn’t aggravated my skin like a lot of other products do. I’ve also noticed that I can use this product without primer and the coverage lasts all day!

… To think I was going to spend $59 on a NARS foundation!

I will do a product update in 3 weeks to confirm whether the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin foundation and concealer really does give you better skin… I have very high hopes!

For now though, I do recommend this product to everyone who is in need of a great foundation for a great price!

You can get the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation ($21.95) here, and the Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Concealer ($14.95) here

My space: Surrounding yourself with the things that inspire you most

The bedside table: Necessity central.

Everything you use daily is normally here. If you’re like me, my bedside table needs to be more practical than display-worthy, but I’ve tried to get the best of both worlds by making my essentials look somewhat presentable!

On my bedside table, I have:

  • Vintage beaded lamp (find similar here)
  • iPod dock and alarm clock (find similar here)
  • Jewellery stand from DIVA (find similar here)
  • ‘Italia’ snow globe that I picked up from a gift store just outside of the Vatican walls
  • Ring dish from Ceramiche Picadilly, which I got when I was travelling along the Amalfi Coast
  • Another ceramic dish from F.lli Calzuola in Deruta, Italy which was given to me from my brother, which holds a mini Glasshouse candle (Tahaa)
  • Crystals
  • My most used jewellery
  • Rachel Zoe’sStyle A to Zoe” and “Living in Style
  • Kardashian Konfidential by Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian
  • Ultimate Fashionista: The Young Hollywood Style Guide by Alana Wulff
  • Parisian Chic” By Ines de la Fressange
  • Taschen 365 day-by-day Fashion Ads of the 20th Century
  • Silver Jewellery box from Ishka
  • Be Careful What You Wish For” and “Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone” by Gemma Crisp
  • Italian/English copy of “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare which I purchased at Juliet’s House (La casa di Giulietta) in Verona.
  • My treasured “Lucky Us (For being such good friends)” book, given to me by Miss Emily C. (The book is also printed with soy inks… how cool, right?!)
  • Willowtree Angel figurine
  • Every copy of Elle and Vogue that I have collected so far!

The ‘I have one room to cram all of my things in’ shelf/shelves: This is literally as the title stated.

I am still living at home with my family, and therefore, I have one room that needs to act as a bedroom, study, bathroom, and lounge room.  So every little trinket, perfume bottle, book, or basically anything that belongs to me needs to be stored here. This can make for a very cluttered space. Unlike some people, I cannot tolerate clutter… I can’t focus and I do not enjoy the time that I spend in that space, therefore, I need to be incredibly selective with everything that I have around; this makes things a lot harder, especially if you’re sentimental like I am! However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that light comes in the form of storage! I’ve used this 6 square bookshelf to store my favourite little ornaments, and have also converted it to a display, which comes in handy when I’m getting ready to go out. Here I also have a canvas made by my two best friend’s sister, Jessica C.(You can take a look at, and purchase her other work here), with Paris, London, and New York snow globes displayed in front of it, which I picked up from a cute little gift shop in Greensborough. The rest of the shelves either have photo frames or magazines!

The mini Oval Office: Where all official business is taken care of.

My desk is probably one of my favourite parts of my room. Everything that inspires me is staring right at me, motivating me to continue my homework, blog posts, uni and job applications!

Just a side note, I do not enjoy having dead flowers on my desk… I just don’t want to throw them out until I replace them! My little orchid plant has lasted ages and the flowers should bloom again soon! Plus, dead/dying roses are really morbidly metaphorical and honestly, I kind of find them beautiful. 

I also have swarmed my desk with candles. why? you may ask: because it creates a really relaxing mood when I’m cramming last minute homework!

Included on my desk is…:

These parts are just some parts of my room, I haven’t even shown you guys the other side!  I will be posting a “de-clutter” post soon where I will show a before and after shot of my bookshelf and the other half of my room that isn’t featured here!

All of these things that make up my room, pretty much sum me up too. I’m just a fashion loving, family orientated, friend treasuring person who really likes magazines and owns way too many books!

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week!

Wednesday September 3rd was one of the most stressful night of my life!

Picture this: A stress-prone fashion blogger/budding high fashion magazine editor sitting front row at a designer runway.

Kind of like what you see in movies and on The Rachel Zoe Project, right?

Well I wish I could say that things went that smoothly.

There I was, sitting in my cute little Volkswagen Beetle, with my knees tucked under my chin while wearing my (very high) Windsor Smith ‘Powwer’ heels, draped in this gorgeous printed kimono from Mink Pink, while tugging at my leather top from Mossman, and trying not to make the rips in my Topshop ripped jeans any bigger than they should be. It was 6:00pm and the MSFW Designer Runway 2 was going to start at 6:30. We thought that surely, parking would be easy to find… It wasn’t.

My poor mother and I drove around for one hour trying to find parking! By the time we parked and walked down to Melbourne Town Hall, Designer Runway 2 has approximately 7 minutes until it was over.

Stressed, depressed (but well dressed) and absolutely desperate to see the show, we went to the box office, explained our situation and asked if it would be possible to see the 8:00pm show. After being told that we needed to purchase new tickets, my mum and I turned and left the box office in defeat. Then, we hear the words “guys, hold on”

After the emotional roller coaster that was missing the first show, stressing to find parking, and not being able to get tickets for the 8pm show, a wave of relief rushed over us thanks to this one incredibly kind woman. As we turn around, the MSFW volunteer comes over to us with two tickets to the 8pm show, free of charge. “Take these and enjoy the show” she said. In shock, I replied “are you serious?!” 

So, from then, what I liked to call my night begun, and I got to see the amazing work of Manning Cartell, LIFEwithBIRD, Khalo, Carly Hunter, Alice Mccall, Lui Hon, YB J’AMIE, Neo Dia, and finally, Willow.

Although every collection was great, I did have my favourites, which were Lui Hon, Neo Dia, Manning Cartel and Khalo. (pictured above)

I must admit though that although I loved majority of the collections, there were some pieces that didn’t appeal to me. For example, Carly Hunter’s collection which consisted of a lot of draping and 80’s prom dress silk/satin puffy tops didn’t excite me.

Another thing that I didn’t particularly like was that a lot of the collections used Birkinstock styled shoes from MSFW official partner, Windsor Smith (Slip and Cara sandals) which, for someone who absolutely loathes that type of sandal, really pulled my attention away from the pieces which I was meant to be focusing on.

Windsor Smith, however, did have other pairs of gorgeous shoes on display, specifically their 60’s inspired ‘Largo’ shoe which I have fallen for!

 Looking back, I am so grateful that I got to be apart of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, and I know that Designer Runway 2 was only the first of many fashion shows that I will go to see, and hopefully this time next year I can be writing to you from London, Milan, Paris, or New York!

I would also like to say a big thank you to that MSFW volunteer – I don’t know who you are but I’m sending every positive vibe your way!

Stay tuned: Next week I will be posting videos from MSFW Designer Runway 2 on YouTube!

 

 

 

Latest beauty haul: The best for (a lot) less!

Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Light Nude

Rimmel London Natural Bronzer

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black

NARS Pencil Sharpener

Essence Kajal Pencil in 04 White

So I haven’t really dabbled in the area of contouring until recently, when I went into Mecca Maxima and enquired about blush, and the makeup artist transformed me into a swan using the Bobbi Brown Nectar Blush, NARS Albatross Highlighter and NARS Laguna Bronzer. In a matter of 3 minutes my complexion looked so great and the shape of my face was well defined and flattering!

Unfortunately, these three incredible products are quite costly, so, as per usual, an obsession took over and I had to find a cheaper alternative!

To do so, I ventured into Priceline and spoke to one of the employees, who gave me honest advice regarding the products. She said that a highlighter isn’t necessary, it’s just something to emphasise certain areas of the face, but since we never needed it before, why do we need it now?

So she showed me to the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer, which would compliment my tone, but also the Maybelline Fit Me Blush which I purchased beforehand (Princeline were having a massive cosmetic sale!) The two together are great! Granted, the effect isn’t as prominent as it was with the NARS and Bobbi Brown products, but for now it’s just as good, especially for someone still learning to contour properly! To apply the Bronzer, I use a Real Techniques Contour Brush and I am still looking for a decently priced, quality blush brush (the brush that came with the blush was very rough on the skin and didn’t apply the product properly)

Then, as previously stated in my June Beauty Wishlist, I was very interested in purchasing either a Bobbi Brown or Gorgeous Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner, but yet again, at the moment, spending over $20 on an eyeliner is unjustifiable. Instead, I found my solution in a Maybelline Gel Eyeliner, which is retailed at $16.95 AUD, but I purchased at $15 at Priceline.

I also wanted to try lining my waterline to accentuate my eyes and give the illusion that they are bigger, and so I purchased the Essence Kajal eye pencil in 04 white. At the inexpensive cost of  $2.00, I was surprised by the quality and the easy, smooth application, especially for the price!

Finally, my favourite beauty tool that I have bought is the NARS pencil sharpener! My mum purchased a Manicare sharpener a few weeks before I purchased the NARS one, and I just wasn’t sold. The NARS sharpener is so perfect! I never thought I would love a pencil sharpener! It is a dual sharpener, so it can sharpen different sized pencils, and a cute little pick that you can use when you open up the little removable compartment that catches the shavings so you can clean the blades! I went crazy sharpening all of my cosmetic pencils and was so surprised at how with two turns, you get a fully sharpened pencil with no faults!

Also, because Mecca is so lovely, I was given a sample pot of the Too Faced Primer which is quite good, but I prefer my MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Primer.

These few little products have changed how I apply and think of makeup. It can do a lot more than conceal, and emphasise, but also shapes and contours, and it’s so easy to do!

Let me know in the comments section whether you would like to see a tutorial on contouring or know more about my updated makeup routine!