Thursday, 22 January 2015

My Day Trip To Paris

Hello my lovelies, I am so excited to be writing this post.  It is my first lifestyle post and of course to tell you all about my trip to Paris.  It is my 30th Birthday next week arghhhhhhh!!!!!  So I decided to save for a whole year and book a once in a lifetime opportunity (well for me) a trip to New York City to celebrate.  However, my best friend who I am so close with and have known since I was three, couldn't make it to New York to celebrate with me, so we decided to go to Paris for the day.  I headed over to Groupon and found a great deal for £120.  It included the Eurostar, a cruise down the River Seine, a city coach tour and a queue jump up the Eiffel Tower.  We booked it straight away but had to wait for three months until we went though.  I love a bit of Groupon, you can find some great deals.

We met stupidly early (6.15am) and headed to the Eurostar for our 8.31am train with coffee and bacon sandwiches to try and wake us up.  Not going to lie, for 6.15 in the morning, I was like a big kid and mega excited as I had never been to Paris before.  Two hours and twenty minutes later we arrived at Paris Ga du Nord train station at 11.47, as it is one hour ahead in Paris.  We needed to meet the tour company Paris City Vision Link Here at 2.15pm, so we had a few hours to pass.  I was adamant that we had to go on the Metro and experience their underground.  The lines are identified by colours and numbers on a map and the direction of travel is indicated by terminus.  We still did a bit of guessing but on the whole it actually wasn't that confusing, as long as you do your research before you go, as to which trains to get.

We arrived at a place called Pyramides and found the street that our tour company was on and still had a bit of time, so we stopped from some lunch as we was starving at this point!  We found a lovely little restaurant called The Royal Opera and had a yummy burger with chips (typical Brits).  The service was first class and they couldn't do enough for us.  The food was lovely but I think a tad over priced, 8 Euros for a Coco Cola is a hell of a lot if you ask me!  


Feeling stuffed to the brim, we went for a little walk and took some beautiful pictures.  I brought a selfie stick a few weeks back, as I wanted to get some really good pictures of us and to incorporate the views when we were up the Eiffel Tower; so we took this to have a little practice!  Being the typical tourist that I am, I had to buy this jumper from H&M Link Here when I spotted it on their website and I'm glad I did because the Parisian loved it!!

All the walking made me parched, so we stopped at a cute little cafe and had a Caffe Cream....a lush creamy latte!!

We then headed to the tour company for our Paris adventure.  It started with an hour on a double-decker coach with your own headphones for an audio tour.  We did chuckle at this because in between each landmark we were seeing or when sitting in traffic, we listened to French classical music.  Bearing in mind that I had been awake since 4.30am, it was very relaxing and difficult not to fall asleep!!  We drove past Concorde Square, Champs Elysees, The Arc de Triomphe, The Lourve and many other famous marks of history.  We drove past the famous Jardin du Luxembourg, which is described at the most romantic gardens in Paris.  I let out a little squeal when I saw how beautiful it was, as I had done a blog post on the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in shade Luxembourg (link here) which is named after these stunning gardens.  Now looking back I am gutted that we didn't get to actually get off the coach and go and explore it all, but we only went for the day and it is a lot to fit in.  I did thoroughly enjoy seeing all the famous landmarks and learnt a lot of interesting facts.  I did manage to get a few pictures on the coach but they don't give these landmarks the merit they deserve.

After the coach trip, you can do a one hour cruise down the River Seine, however we decided that we wanted to experience the views from the Eiffel Tower, during the day as well as at night, so we gave the cruise a miss.  As I've said, it is so much to fit in, in one day and we wished we had booked to stay overnight but that a lesson learnt!!

We then headed to the Eiffel Tower, with our queue jump passes and it wasn't long before we were in  the most scariest lift I have ever been in and shooting up the Eiffel Tower.

The views from the lift really were amazing.  I couldn't wait to get to the top.  The staff fill the lift to its maximum weight, so if you have a problem with tight spaces, I would highly recommend taking the stairs.  Once we reached the second floor, everyone rushed out and it's crazy how big it actually is when you up there.  It has a inside section with a little cafe, which we became very thankful for, as it was bitterly cold up there.  The closer to the edge you went, the wind really would cut you in half but the views, ohhhh the views are breathtaking!  You can see the whole city floating beneath your feet, from the Arc de Triomphe to Sacre-Coeur.  We stayed up the Eiffel Tower for nearly three hours.  It truly was amazing.  We managed to get some beautiful pictures of the sun setting and even had a cheeky beer whilst watching the sunset.

The Bestie
The Beautiful Sunset

Having a cheeky beer!

After taking lots of photos and a couple of beers later, we headed down.  This took a lot longer than we originally planned.  It's great having the queue jump to get you to the top, but there is no queue jump to get you back down and unfortunately they only had one lift working!  So by the time we got down, we needed another drink, so we had the most delicious hot chocolate, I think I have EVER had!!!

We had one hour left to play with before we headed back to the Eurostar.  We decided to end a fabulous day by watching the Eiffel Tower light show.  Five thousand light bulbs on each side of the tower sparkle for five minutes every hour, on the hour.  What a beautiful scene to watch and I am so glad we stood in the rain, I must add, to watch it.  The pictures really do not capture it as beautifully as it to watch, so if you're heading to the Eiffel Tower this is a must to see.

By the time the light show had finished, we were drenched and ready for home.  We jumped in a taxi and headed back to Gare du Nord for the Eurostar.  I had the best day with my bestie and words can not explain how tired I was by the end of it, but it was so worth it.  I am now officially saving my pennies again, so I can go back for a few days and really explore and live the Paris life.  Hope you all enjoy this post and I thought I would leave you with a picture that sums me and best friend up haha!! 

P.S This is what being over tired does to you!!
P.P.S The train was freezinnnng!!

Samantha x

*Some of these pictures are taken by my beautiful best friend.  Here is the link to her website 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

My December Favourites

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a fab New Year!  I can not believe how fast December actually went, Christmas was all over in a blink of eye!  Yesterday, I just had to run to Costa and grab a Gingerbread latte before they finished selling them, well, until next Christmas.  The Christmas tree is officially down and packed away till next year and all that is left of the Christmas chocolates is the ones that no one likes!!  Okay enough of the Christmas blues Sam, you have lots to look forward too and I can't wait to share it all with you.  Starting off with my favourite products I was loving in December......

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + (plus)  First up is this amazing little moisturiser I have stumbled across.  This product couldn't have been discovered at a better time as my skin has gone to pot.  I have been really poorly recently and my skin just loved to show the world this fact!  Breakouts, dryness, oiliness, dehydration, wow the list is endless.  However since using this, my skin has cleared itself right up.  No more breakouts and it also cleared up post blemish marks within weeks.  It is a gel-cream moisturiser which gives the skin 24hr hydration with a lasting matte effect whilst battling those dreaded acne scarring.  It is oil-free but soaks into the skin leaving it feeling moisturised without that tight, drying feeling some moisturisers for oily skin can do.  Effaclar Duo + is my new best friend and think it might be a holy grail for me.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick In Diva Red  This colour was just perfect over Christmas and for the winter months.  It is a beautiful blue-toned red lipstick and really does suit the name 'Diva Red".  It glides across the lips leaving them feeling lovely and moisturised and the staying power is great.  It doesn't feel heavy or sticky and gives a sheeny look to the lips.  'Diva Red' now sits perfectly in my ever growing red lipstick collection.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF10  I am loving this foundation at the moment.  It is a sheer to medium coverage and stays put all day.  It is not like the famous Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation which is a maximum coverage foundation with amazing staying power, it goes on more sheerer but has the same staying power.  It feels lovely and lightweight and gives a very nice natural finish.  It stays matte for a good 4 hours or so before I need a little powder blot on the nose. I wanted a more natural foundation to wear during the day and this little beauty fits the bill.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder  I purchased this because I run out of my favourite powder, the Mac Blot Powder just right before Christmas. What a great little find!  I am sure so many of you have either heard or have used this powder before as it is so raved about.  The product does exactly as it says! It keeps my foundation matte for hours and it doesn't change the colour of my foundation like some cheaper makeup brands do.  Would highly recommend ladies!

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder  Oh I do love a good bronzer and thank you to Benefit, I have officially been Hoola-ed!  I always think bronzers are going to make me have that just tangoed look but Benefit Hoola Bronzer manages to gives a subtle warmth to the skin.  This bronzer is completely matte, so no shimmer in sight.  Not only have I been using Hoola to give me a all over glow, I found that it works perfectly for contouring.  I might do a post on how to contour with this bronzer, what do you think?

Have you tried any of the products featured in this month's favourites?

Samantha x

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." Steve Jobs

This year has taught me many things and made me realise I don't need the 1st of January to make a change.  2014 has been very and up down for me, so I am really looking forward to saying goodbye and welcoming 2015.  I have the most amazing family and friends around me and we are all in good health. So I am going to take each day as it comes and learn from what life throws at me. 

Happy New Year to my readers and all my fellow bloggers.  I hope 2015 brings you joy and happiness.

Samantha x 

*Photo Taken By My Amazing Best friend. Her website is here

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Top Tips For Healthy Hair This Winter

Christmas is nearly here and the Christmas parties are upon us. This is the time I need my hair to be looking its best. Winter is one of the most damaging times of year for our hair. With the chilly weather outside and the central heating on inside, I find my hair becomes very dry and it can lose its natural healthy shine, leaving it feeling limp and brittle. However, by looking after my hair I can stop this from happening. So I have written my top tips for you, to help your hair prevent this winter weakness.
Regular Trims 
 I am in the process of growing my hair and I hate having to go get it cut. I feel like I spend six weeks growing it, to go in to my local hairdressers for her to cut it off! Makes me want to cry when I look at the floor and see my blonde locks laying there, but it is a massive essential. The best way to keep your hair healthy is to get rid of those dry split ends.

 I am terrible at remembering to protect my hair with a heat protection spray. I wouldn't lay in the sun without protecting my skin, so I need to remember to protect my hair when blasting it with heated appliances. Blow drying, straightening and curling tongs can really dry the hair out but a lot of brands do a heat protection spray that is so lightweight you can not feel it in your hair. I just divide my hair into sections and give it a light spritz.
Wearing a woolly hat is a great way to protect your hair, although they can cause havoc for perfectly styled locks. Try wrapping your hair in a silk scarf under your woolly hat. There is less friction to your hair as the silk is smooth and it will also help to keep your hair looking pretty underneath.
Wearing your hair in protective styles will also make a difference. Plaits, twists and buns are a great way to protect your hair as you are minimizing how much hair is in the elements and you are less likely to use heated appliances to achieve these looks.
Good Hair products 
I use a different shampoo and conditioner in the winter months to the summer time as my hair needs that extra moisture. I opt for a more milder, alcohol-free shampoo and lather less as shampoo can strip the natural oils from the scalp. Also try not to over rinse hair, as the squeaky clean feeling can mean the natural conditioning agents have been stripped and this can cause those pesky split ends.  I find if I reduce how many times a week I wash my hair, it helps my hair a lot. I have very fine hair and it frustrates me when it looses it's volume. So I wash less and opt for a volumising dry shampoo.
  Include a hair mask at least once a week and if you can leave it in overnight, it works wonders. I love a DIY hair mask. A great one to try is a banana homemade hair mask. Bananas are super rich in potassium, vitamins, anti-oxidants and contain natural oils and moisture. A banana hair mask will help strengthen hair to prevent split ends and breakage and add that all important moisture. Blend together two overripe bananas, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Make sure you blend it so there is no lumps, as trying to comb banana out of your hair after is no fun! Your hair will thank you after this mask!
A spray leave in conditioner I find is a must in winter. Towel dry hair and give the ends of your hair a good spritz with a leave in conditioner, it will give a replenishing boost that instantly helps to detangle your hair and make it more manageable. My favourite leave in conditioner is Schwarzkopf Gliss Liquid Silk Express Hair Repair This makes my hair feel so soft and makes combing wet hair a dream. 

Low Heat
Blow drying at a low heat make take longer but the heat from the hair dryer vaporises the water in our hair making it dry, so keep it low. It's a simple one, but if you can, don't use heat at all. I try really hard to only blow dry my hair once a week or for special occasions. Since leaving my hair to dry naturally I have noticed a massive difference in the overall condition.
Washing your hair the night before and leaving it to dry naturally avoids going out with damp hair, as this can cause split ends where it dries in the cold air. 

Eating lots of fruit and vegetables will provide your body with the necessary vitamins to make your hair stronger and healthier. Also drinking plenty of water helps to keep your hair hydrated from within. 

So here's my tips to battle the winter weakness and to maintain healthy hair.

Do you have any tips for winter healthy hair? 

Samantha x

*Pictures from this post are sourced from Pinterest

Sunday, 30 November 2014

My November Favourites

I am very excited to be sharing my first monthly product favourites with you. I can not actually believe it is the 1st of December tomorrow, seriously how fast has this month gone! All of these products I love and a couple of them I have been using longer than a month but I just had to tell you about them.

Tresemme Platinum Strength Leave In Conditioner This leave in conditioner by Tresemme leaves my hair feeling silky smooth. It reinforces hairs naturally protective layer, restoring your hair and preventing future damage. I am a huge fan of leave in conditioners as I don't always have time to stand in the shower and let my usual conditioner work it's magic. This is where this bottle is a great time saver. Tresemme claim, when used correctly with the Platinum Strength shampoo and conditioner, it will reverse up to two years visible damage to your hair with just five uses. I can not say it has made that much of a dramatic result but what I can say is that after years of bleaching my hair, this product helped with my dry split ends and made my hair more manageable, softer and easier to style. 

Lancome Hypnose Mascara I don't think there are enough words to explain how much I LOVE this mascara. I have used this mascara for the past seven years and it would take a miracle of a mascara to take this one away from me. With just one coat your eyelashes are so unbelievably volumised and thickened.  The formula allows you to build and build your lashes and it never clumps, using Vitamin B-5 to keep the lashes soft and subtle all day long. I recommend this mascara to my clients, friends and anyone who will listen for a day time or evening mascara.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara

Trilogy Rosehip Oil can be used for a variety of skin concerns, such as dehydration, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles. I use a lot of natural oils on my skin and I have been using this for dehydration and acne scarring. I apply this at night time before my moisturiser every couple of days and I awake in the morning to plumped and glowing looking skin. It has improved the overall appearance of my skin and has helped to heal old blemish marks from previous breakouts. You only need a few drops of this as a little goes a long way with this product, despite it being a oil it absorbs quickly and there is no oily residue in the morning. Would highly recommend it!

NARS Blusher In Orgasm ohhh NARS with their very controversial names! You can see my love for this blusher as I have started to hit the pan. This blusher in the colour 'Orgasm' is renowned in the blogging world, bloggers went crazy for it and I have to say I followed the hype. The compact itself is so light and sleek. It is a gorgeous peachy-pink coral colour with a golden sheen that blends effortlessly over my cheek. It suits my skin tone perfectly and I would probably say I wear this every day as it gives such a lovely natural look.

Mac Cremesheen In Loud & Lovely I know this colour isn't your typical winter colour but I have to admit I have been wearing this a lot! Mainly because my lips can get really dry in the winter and this gloss keeps them so moist.  The Cremesheen formula is just lovely, the gloss is so creamy without being overly thick and is nice and sheer when first applied to the lips. Loud & Lovely is a medium-deep pink, a great pop of colour and easily buildable. When used alone, it looks just like a stain on my lips as it starts to wears off , but it looks fab over the top of any pink lipstick.

Have you tried any of these products? What have you been loving this month?

Samantha x

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