Monday, 28 March 2016

A Long Weekend in London | TRAVEL

It was a warm spring day in London. The first day I had not been wearing a coat since last year. I couldn’t believe how warm it was! Today was definitely a day not to be wasted sitting inside. We began the day with a long tube ride to the historic East End of London, getting off at Liverpool Street and walking towards our first stop, lunch. We arrived in Shoreditch and I instantly fell in love with the street art, old buildings, vintage shopping, food stalls and the independent little shops selling adorable random gifts. I couldn’t get enough of this area! 

I had been speaking to friends earlier in the week who had recommended a place called Cereal Killer Cafe on Brick Lane which I thought sounded AMAZING. 

It was a small cafe with the walls lined with all different types of cereal to choose from. The choice of milks ranged from soy to bubblegum flavoured and the toppings ranged from marshmallows to Oreo. 

This is a cereal lover’s dream! We sat downstairs to eat our incredible creations. The seating area was set up as a 90s kids bedroom with old cartoons playing on video and posters from old magazines that covered the room. The seats were beds with Simpsons duvet covers. The Cereal Killer Cafe was definitely a winner and super funky!! If you are ever in this area make sure to check it out!

We continued walking down Brick Lane taking in the atmosphere, food and vintage shopping. Shoreditch is a place for the creative mind to wander. It is known for its art and hipster culture and my favourite part about this area is the graffiti and street art. The street is lines with colour and vibrancy and there seems to be a story being told on every wall we passed.

Right in the middle of Shoreditch is the iconic Spitafields Market. There the locals sell a mixture of handmade jewellery, clothing, skincare and food from all over the world. Shoreditch has a blend of the old and the new making it an incredible place to visit and experience.

We then jumped back on the tube and headed to Covent Garden. One thing you should know about me is that I love architecture and I continue to fall in love with the beautiful old historic buildings that surround me in London. So when I had heard of a place called Neal’s Yard which is tucked away in a corner of the Seven Dials in Covent Garden, I couldn’t resist checking it out. It is a brightly coloured little courtyard with shops and cafes. It is perfect for photos and a must see in Covent Garden.

I had one last stop planned so once again we hopped back on the tube and this time we got off in North West London at Regents Park. 

One thing that I miss about living in a smaller town is the open space and green grass so what a better way to end a warm spring day than for a walk through one of London’s Royal Parks. Regents Park is beautifully designed and full of perfectly placed flowers, fountains and trees. It is also home to many species of wildlife and the London Zoo. It is a lovely place for a walk or run on a sunny afternoon.

Before we knew it we were at the end of the park and found ourselves at the bottom of Primrose Hill. 

We walked to the top along with many others hoping to make the most of the sun. Even with many people around us we were blown away with the view from the top. We could see every part of the city from here including The Shard, St Pauls Cathedral, The Gherkin, The BT Tower, the London Eye, the Thames, and the Fenchurch Building. 

We decided to sit down and take in the sights some more. There were couples cuddling, people sunbathing, and dogs playing all around us. It was a perfect end to an amazing day.


We loved Shoreditch so much that we came back the next evening to the most exciting place I have ever been... A CAT CAFE! Yes, they exist outside of Japan and there is one in London! I heard about Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium a few months ago and knew this was something I had to do. I was not surprised when I had to book 2 months in advance and pay £6 per person just to get a reservation. After the long wait the day was finally here! We made our way back to the exciting culture of Brick Lane and this time continued down Bethnal Green Road until we spotted the cafe. 

We went in and I couldn’t wait to be seated. We walked past a few sleeping cats on the way to our table which was downstairs. 

The walls were filled with cat pictures and play areas for them to climb on and sleep. There was even a book shelf full of magazines and books about cats. 

We stayed for a few hours playing with the cats and chatting to the lovely waitresses about their job (which I am slightly envious of). Just before we left they brought out an adorable kitten named Victor which they had rescued from Brick Lane.  I love that they are helping out animals in need which is something I value and think is extremely important. I will absolutely be back and would highly recommend this experience to other animal lovers like myself.

The best weekends are the ones where you don’t need to spend a lot of money, but you still enjoy yourself anyway.
I am very blessed to have had an amazing Easter Weekend.
Let me know what you did this Easter or if you have been anywhere exciting that you think I should check out!
Once again, thank you for reading.
Amber x

Monday, 21 March 2016

Skincare Routine for Clear Skin | BEAUTY

Clear and flawless skin is something everyone longs to have. The good news is there are ways to achieving this without having to pile on the foundation! I am very blessed to generally have pimple free skin. But that doesn’t mean it is perfect, in fact it’s far from it! My face can be very sensitive so this week I chose to venture out and try some new products. Here are my secrets to clear skin.

My secret is really simple! I try to use as little on my face as possible. I wash my face with water and a facecloth in the shower to get off as much makeup as I can. I will then use a face wipe and gently wipe my face for any excess makeup that the water may have missed. I choose a face wipe that acts as a cleanser as well and one that is gentle on the skin.

I don’t use a cleanser often as I find that the water on my face makes a huge difference. If I do, I will use the Liz Earle Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. The hot cloth cleanser quickly removes make up and leaves my skin clean and incredibly soft. This really does make a difference and my skin feels much cleaner after use.

Eye Makeup Remover:
I tend to opt for something that is gentle on the eyes. I have recently begun using the Lancôme Bi-Facial Cleanser which is an eye makeup remover. It is great for all skin types, is perfect for sensitive eyes and for contact lens wearers. Can we also talk about how beautiful the blue formula is!!

I also like the Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover which is very cost effective and is great for the price. If you are on a budget and need a cheaper alternative to Lancôme I would highly recommend this!

I have very dry skin, especially in winter so moisturising properly is SUPER important.

I love and have always loved the Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream which is what I use as a base each day. It is light on the skin, quickly absorbed and keeps my face smooth and soft throughout the whole day.

After I have removed my makeup at night I use the Nivea Night Cream which is a much thicker moisturiser. This provides more intense moisture to my skin and after leaving it on overnight, I wake up to my face feeling much smoother and softer.

I learnt all about the new Garnier Moisture Bomb last week at the Glamour Beauty Festival. I know how important it is to keep you and your skin hydrated so I wanted to try this out. I have been using the Garnier Moisture Bomb Night Gel-Cream which is super light weight and doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky or oily after use.

My lips are always in need of hydration so I will always carry around with me Vaseline or some form of lip balm. Vaseline locks in moisture keeping my lips looking and feeling healthy.

We can’t talk about skin and not mention our hands! Dry hands are very common in winter and this can be hard to avoid so it is important to keep them moisturised. I have used Vaseline Intensive Care Hand Cream for years and I can’t get enough of it! It is affordable and does an amazing job at keeping my hands hydrated.

I will always have with me a small hand cream in my handbag. I LOVE the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Hand Cream as it is super hydrating and moisturising. It absorbs quickly and leaves my hands feeling incredibly soft.

I also love the Ted Baker Body Lotion and use this as hand cream because it smells incredible and this also leaves my hands nourished and smooth.

·         Have makeup free days! These feel great and your skin will thank you for this.
·         Choose to use a powder instead of a cream foundation as it is a lot lighter on your skin.
·         Make sure to keep hydrated and drink lots of water as it helps with dry skin and keeps your face clear.
·         Eat well. This is super important as what you eat really does affect your body in all types of ways. Steer clear of fatty foods as much as you can as they can cause breakouts.
·         Wear sunscreen as the sun is incredibly damaging.

Every person is different so let me know below of what works best for your skin. Also let me know of other brands I should try.
Thank you for reading.
Amber x

Disclaimer: I realise every skin type is different so make sure to talk to the professionals, read the labels carefully and discontinue use if your skin becomes irritated.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Glamour Beauty Festival + Outfit | BEAUTY/FASHION

The morning began in a rush to get ready. Our power had been cut so a quick run to the gym to straighten my hair was needed as I could not go to a beauty festival with the messy curly fro I woke up with!
I made my way to Sloane Square in Chelsea but not without walking past the beautiful houses on my way to the Saatchi Gallery.

No festival is complete without an outfit to match! My outfit for the day:

Shop my Outfit Below

Because I am not a morning person, I booked the timeslot of 2-6pm. I lined up and the first thing I did when I got in was get my goodie bag. It was perfect to carry around all my purchases as well!

I walked up to the 2rd floor and began there. I grabbed a glass of wine and walked around the stalls. I was immediately drawn to the perfume stand where I met the experts from Jimmy Choo, Annick Goutal, Agent Provocateur and Ellie Saab. I tried on the new Annick Goutal Rose Pompon scent and got a few free samples which I LOVE!
Next I moved onto the skincare section where they had the Balance Me Skin Scanning and mini massage, Garniers brand new Moisture Bomb skin hydrating collection, the Elizabeth Arden mini Oxygen Blast Facial treatment and the Liz Earle Cleansing Station. All of which teach you about your skin and how to properly look after it.

I continued up a floor to the nails where Rimmel, OPI and Sally Hansen were doing complimentary treatments!

It was now time for the talk! I booked to go see Tanya Burr speak who is a beauty, fashion, lifestyle YouTuber/blogger and also the cover girl for the December issue of Glamour Magazine. It was so interesting to hear her speak about her success and accomplishments in the beauty industry and it was very inspiring. To top it off she seemed very sweet and lovely and super gorgeous! If you haven’t already, make sure you check out her YouTube channel and blog. It is absolutely incredible!

It was 4pm by the time I left the talk so I decided it was time for me to explore the ground floor. I started at the Laura Mercier stand where I chatted to some of the experts about their products. I then moved onto the Illamasqua area where I lined up and got my eye makeup done. I chose to go for the smoky eye and the lovely makeup artist even showed me how to get the look myself! I loved it so much that I brought myself the palette.

In the next room I went to the NARS cheek studio where I learnt about contouring, blush and highlight and what colours are best for my skin tone.

Not only was there beauty products and treatments to try but there was also hair products and styles being done from OGX, GHD and Redken all of which I am obsessed with! Unfortunately I ran out of time to chat with these guys but I did get some lovely freebies from the OGX stand!

Speaking of freebies…
The goodie bag was filled with the most amazing products to try out! I am so grateful for everything I was given. Keep your eyes peeled for some product reviews coming up!

Thank you for such a lovely day Glamour Team! I wish I could have stayed longer. I am looking forward to next year!
If you too went to the Glamour Beauty Festival, let me know what you loved the most about it!
Thank you for reading.
Amber x

My Outfit:
Top: Topshop
Blazer: Dotti in NZ
Hat: Topshop
Sunglasses: New Look
Leggings: Glassons in NZ – Similar product from Zara 
Shoes: Primark

Tanya Burr:

Sunday, 6 March 2016

February Favourites 2016 | LIFESTYLE

Living in a new country really pushes you to experience new cultures and try new things. February has been a month of going out with the old and in with the new. As March arrives I thought I would make a list of all the products I have been loving over the last month.
Hope you enjoy x


While I was travelling around America I discovered Sephora! I purchased the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer while I was shopping one day as I had heard great reviews from other beauty bloggers. The foundation has more of a yellow undertone so I do still need to mix it with another foundation to make it match my skin tone.  Other than that they both have really great coverage, are easily buildable and last all day which is perfect!

This is another great Sephora purchase! I feel like this is all I have been wearing this month! I love all the colours on this palette and there are so many great combinations to experiment with. Whether you are looking for a more natural eye look or something darker this has it all.

I have mainly been wearing 2 lipsticks this month. The first one is the Rimmel London Kate Moss 107. This colour is a gorgeous shade of red and has been a perfect for the winter months. The second is the Rimmel London Blush Pink 006. This is a stunning light pink lipstick which is ideal for a fresh spring look.


OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner:
This product is absolutely amazing! My hair felt healthier from the first wash.
Since leaving New Zealand and travelling, my hair was beginning to feel a bit like straw. I tried all types of shampoo and conditioner and nothing seemed to work. I am someone who uses heat on my hair almost every day so finding a product that strengthens and keeps my hair feeling soft and smooth is essential. This product is absolutely incredible. It is also very affordable which is even better!

If anyone gets really dry hair like I do, this is the product for you! Both of these products add moisture to your hair leaving it feeling smooth and conditioned. It can be used on wet or dry hair. I love the way this makes my hair feel and couldn’t recommend it more.


Perfume - Gucci Bamboo:
I got this a few months ago for my wedding and I absolutely love it! It is also small enough to travel with or keep in your handbag and it lasts quite a while which is perfect! It smells fresh and isn’t too overpowering which I enjoy as well.

This is my favourite shower product at the moment. The exfoliating salt makes my skin feel incredibly soft after my shower and lasts until the next day. It also has a lovely fresh smell and makes my skin look and feel smoother. The best part about this is that it is not tested on animals.


The White Company Candles:
I am obsessed with The White Company! They have so many candles to choose from with the most incredible smells. My favourite this month is White Pompelmo. Unfortunately I have used up the whole candle but thankfully I still have the diffuser to keep my room smelling fresh.

Anthropologie Planner:
I purchased this planner from Anthropologie when I was in New York over Christmas. I am someone who can be a little forgetful at times so keeping a planner is super important to me especially when I have job interviews and meetings to remember. This one is super cute and is small enough to keep in my handbag which is ideal!

As I am new to London, I am always looking for new places to explore. I found this book in Urban Outfitters and it has loads of great ideas for what to do and places to visit around London. You don’t even have to be going on a date to use this book as it has ideas for anyone. I can’t wait to begin exploring!

Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading.
Amber x

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