Current make up routine products

Makeup is no different than clothes and accessories – it’s embellishments for your face. And it also gives you creative freedom. You get to have that moment in front the mirror every morning and give yourself self-love. You’re making yourself up beautiful, which is essentially self-love.

Michelle Phan

You rarely see me without make up. It is something I enjoy doing and something that makes me feel better. My skin is in no way bad and I could probably go without make up, but just adding that layer of foundation, a bit of blush and mascara and you feel like new.

And as Michelle Phan describes it, it is a way of self-love, taking some time for yourself and using make-up as a form of creativeness.

I have a pretty set and simple routine and don’t tend to use too many products. So this post will be short and sweet. Here are my current favorite products:

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  1. First things first: primer. I am using the Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer £12.99.
  2. I tend to use different foundations and I am always on the hunt for the perfect shade. However, the foundation I always seem to go back to is the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation, currently in Cameo £7.99.
  3. This concealer is life. I got it for my birthday two weeks ago and it blew my mind. Great coverage and texture, I’m loving it: Benefit Bo-ing Brightening Concealer. Very tempted to try the Airbrush Concealer as well. At £17.50 on the more expensive side, but as it seems it will last me for a long time.
  4. I am in love with the Benefit Dandelion line and the oldie but goodie posie tint. I like to keep my complexion ‘rosey’ as I feel it goes best with my skin and hair color. And I just simply love pink! Again probably not the cheapest products ranging at around £24 per item, but they will last you a while.
  5.  Posie tint
  6. Dandelion Dew Liquid Blush
  7. On to the lips my all time favorite lipstick is the Chanel Coco Rouge Shine lipstick in 91 – Boheme £28. It is an intense pink color but rather than being matte, the color is sheer and shiny and can be build up in intensity.
  8. Another lipstick and latest addition is the Rituals Lip Shine in Cotton Candy £13.50. Very similar to the Chanel Coco Rouge but half the price.
  9. And last but not least: the eyes. I like to keep them simple with just mascara and cat-eye eyeliner look. The mascara I am using is the Maybelline Colossal Mascara in 100% Black £6.99.
  10. The cat eye look is achieved with my trusty Essence Liquid Eyeliner £2.50.

 

And that’s my daily look done!

See you next time,

Isabella x

 

 

An evening at the Shard

“Nothing is certain in London but expense.”
William Shenstone, 1743

This couldn’t be more true when it comes to this blog post. But once in a while you just have to treat yourself – am I right?

So for this post I thought I share with you my experience at the Shard. I was able to visit the Shard a couple of weeks ago as part of a Hen Night.

The night actually begun a couple hours prior when we, the hen and her entourage, hitIMG_20170729_174648 Dirty Martini at Liverpool Street for a couple of pre-drinks. Dirty Martini is a great place to start of the night as their drinks are awesome and the happy hour even better – two for one martinis? YES PLEASE. Only downside is the wait for your drinks – but good things take time. So order at least four at a time.

So after a couple of martinis it was time to make our way to the Shard. We took a cab and so glad we did. There are multiple entrances, but the cab driver dropped us of at the right one: the entrance for the Oblix restaurant. 

After passing through an airport style security check, we made our way up to the 32nd floor where the restaurant is located. The elevator trip couldn’t be quicker, but shame there was no way to look outside, as you can from the lift at Sushisamba

Once there the friendly hostesses take you to the table – reservation is key as this place gets busy. We had a lovely table near the window. The interior is chic but relaxed – no white linen. 

Straight away a waiter attended our table and introduced us to the menu – short but sweet. We worked our way through it and started off with some rosé, flat breads and cheese. How delicious does that look? 

 

This was followed by our starters. The bride choose lobster & scallop ceviche, I went for the crispy squid with chilli & lime.

Then it was time for the main….and OMG. This was one of the best steaks I have ever had. Mouthwatering.

And just to make sure we were really full, we shared a small dessert – chocolate truffles. 

As the quote suggest the night wasn’t cheap. The meal set me back approx. £75 but I’d say it is worth it for a 4 course meal including wine, view and excellent service.

We stayed for a couple more drinks which are also amazing but shortly made our way onward as there was one last surprise for the bride-to-be: SILENT DISCO!

The silent disco takes place on the 69th floor of the shard – and yes it is as high as it sounds. But before you go up you unfortunately need to make your way down first. There is no direct lift from the restaurant to the silent disco.

So down we went to find the separate entrance to the silent disco, which was just around the corner and a good opportunity to get some fresh air. 

Once you are up on the 69th floor you receive your headphones and you are ready to go. You can choose between three different DJ’s that are playing that night – each of them has their own color: greenn blue or red. Their equipment is also illuminated in their color. This way you can match the DJ with the music you listen to. 

The dance floor area is not large – it is a square with a staircase in the middle. You can walk around and admire the view whilst you listen to your favorite station. And the views are incredible. 

You can even go up to the 72nd floor via the staircase and you are literally at the TOP of the highest building in western Europe. Pretty amazing!

And while you’re up there don’t forget to visit the loo, I promise you will never have a better view when using one 😉

loo

 

See you next time,

Isabella x

48 hours in Utrecht and Amsterdam

Last weekend my girl from ‘I dream, Live, Inspire’  and I went on a little road trip together. And who doesn’t love a good road trip?

We wanted to go somewhere in Europe, but not too far as we only had 48 hours to spare.

So we came up with Amsterdam, which is 3 1/2 drives from Calais.

I live close to Dover, which has the ferry port serving both Calais and Dunkirk. Services run frequently throughout the day and almost all night. I used ‘A Ferry’ to find the best deal – and there we go, a 3 day ticket for £70 return. Can’t complain.

The other option would have been to use the Eurotunnel which runs from Folkestone to Calais and only takes 30min! But being more expensive we opted for the ferry.

The drive itself was great. We left on Friday after work and made our way to the port. It was busier than usual and it didn’t help that we were late – oops. We missed our ferry but were put on the next one. Thanks P&O!

Dover departure

After a smooth crossing of 90min we arrived in Calais. So off we went on our 3 1/2 journey….the playlist was playing and the Red Bull was flowing – it was a long day after all.

The roads in Europe are incredible and so easy to drive. I can only recommend using your car when trying to get around Europe short distance, so convenient.

We opted for a little stop over in beautiful Utrecht which I visited a few months ago and fell in love with. So I sneakily suggested the stop-over.

After a short night at the Holiday Inn Express Papendorp we made our way into Utrecht town. And here is tipp number one from me: Avoid dutch parking houses! I am mean 11 euros for two hours parking. Wow. So where possible use public transport – or do as the dutch do and cycle. Utrecht is a very, very bike friendly city. I mean look at all those bikes:

I may write a post about Utrecht soon, as I simply love this town.

We spent the morning in Utrecht walking around town and having coffee.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t our friend so we soon departed to Amsterdam. It was a short 40min drive and we arrived at the Hampton By Hilton Amsterdam Centre East. The hotel is ideally located, just three stops from the city center on the metro.

So after we arrived and freshened up we hit town. We strolled around by the canals and visited Albert Cuyp Street Market, claiming to be the largest market in Europe. We then stopped in the nearby cafe, called Het Paardje for some beer and bitterballen. And I looove bitterballen.

 

They are little balls of goodness made out of beef (sometimes veal), beef broth, flour, parsley and salt & pepper. Fry them up and you have the yummiest snack to have with your dutch beer.

After some more strolling around town, we were hungry and opted for a rather unhealthy snack: frites. The most famous frites in town are from Manneken Pis. I mean look at these fries! You can also choose from 22 different sauces to go with them. I opted for the traditional durch mayonnaise….it was so good. Give me fries all day, every day!

After finishing our snack we headed back to the hotel where we got ready for the night.

Our first stop that evening was the Skylounge conveniently situated near the main station. The bar and the views are stunning. Due to the good weather we were able to sit outside and take in the hustle and bustle of the streets below us.  And while we admired the beautiful sunset we enjoyed some delicious, but rather expensive, cocktails. It’s definitely worth coming up for a drink, but really not a location you want to spend all night.

We continued the night and stopped off at a few more bars. Amsterdam is great for a night out and offers everything from chilled cafe’s and bars to busy clubs and the ever so famous red light district.

We finished in the early hours of the next day and made our way back to Calais a couple hours later. To say I was tired by the end of Sunday is an understatement, but it was so worth seeing this beautiful city and culture.

So where is your next short-trip to? Tell me your hidden gems for a little road trip!

Isabella.

 

My Top 5 Red Dresses

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Gingham Dress/Smocked Maxi/Polka Dot/Floral Frill/Tie Waist

“There is a shade of red for every woman” – Audrey Hepburn

I don’t think I owe a single piece of red clothing. So far I wasn’t keen on anything red thinking it just wouldn’t suit my complexion.

But here comes the summer and all these beautiful red dresses and I am ready to embrace it.

So I had a look around and came across some stunning dresses. I mean  how cute is this red gingham dress?

Best of all ? Most of these dresses are under £30!

And after all – When in doubt, wear red!

Isabella.

My top 5 views in London

As you know I lived in London for many year. Nine to be precise. Time is flying when you’re having fun! And I certainly did have a good time living in London. I mean how could you not? With all the restaurants, bars, museums, galleries and events going on. Do you see how I put food and drinks first? I got my priorities right…

Over the years I visited some lovely bars, restaurants and venues and some of them had stunning views over the city. I thought I share my top five views that I got to visit and also include some I’d still like to try. So here we go:

  1. Duck & Waffle: The highest 24/7 restaurant in London and famous for their – of course – duck & waffle breakfast. I visited the restaurant, which is located on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, twice over the years. It offers ‘traditional British cuisine with broad European influences emphasizing local, rustic, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.’ And while you tuck into your breakfast, brunch, dinner or lunch you get to enjoy this stunning 360 degree view:
  2. SushiSamba: Also located in 110 Bishopsgate, just one floor below, is Sushi Samba. Sushi Samba offers a fantastic menu combining  a ‘blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine’. And same as it’s neighbor it offers a 360 degree view of London. While Duck & Waffle is popular for their breakfast and brunch, Sushi Samba is popular for dinner and drinks – even offering an outside terrace for drinks. Same as Duck and Waffle, I visited Sushi Samba twice and wouldn’t hesitate to visit again for their amazing cocktails. So make sure you check out their menu and book a table plenty in advance.

     

  3.  Emirates Air Line: It’s a short ride but with some beautiful views over East London, The O2 and the Thames – the Emirates Air Line. The Emirates Air Line is a cable car that ‘crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks’. The ‘cabins arrive every 30 seconds and flights are approximately 10 minutes each way’ – usually shorter during rush hour. As part of London Underground tickets can be purchased via cash, card (including contactless) and Oyster Card. Definitely worth taking a ride to see these views:
  4.  Sky Garden:  Sky Garden is located near Monument Station and is therefore located in the heart of the City. 155m up it offers stunning views which can be enjoyed over three floors. ‘Visitors can wander around the landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace of what is London’s highest public garden.’ As well as that Sky Garden puts on different events, including Sunrise Yoga and live music sessions. Make sure to check their events calendar.And apart from several restaurants and bars the venue also offers a limited number of tickets to visit Sky Garden free of charge each day. Tickets can be booked via their website and are high in demand. Because I had a specific date and time in mind I actually set myself a reminder approx. three months beforehand to book my place. Have a look at my visit here:
  5. Debenhams Roof Garden: Located conveniently on Oxford Circus the Debenhams Roof Garden overlooks the busy streets and shops of the City. So if you are looking to escape the sometimes maniac and crowded shops, stop by the Debenhams Roof Garden. It offers a variety of drink and food outlets including cute bunting and a flower garden. Similar to to Sky Garden it also puts on regular fitness and beauty events as well as a gardening workshop every month!

 

So there you have it: my top five views over London. What are your favorite spots to watch the busy world (or City) go by?

On my to do list are still: Altitude located in Millbank Tower near Pimlico Station, Vista at The Trafalgar which as the name suggests overlooks Trafalgar Square, Aqua Spirit overlooks Regent Street and is a really popular venue at the moment,  and last but not least Madison Roof Top Bar  on the top floor of One New Change with ‘supreme views across the City of London skyline’ and St.Pauls Cathedral.

Thanks for stopping by guys,

Isabella.

 

So here we go…

My first blog post.

It feels weird. Despite knowing that not many (if anyone at all) will read this, it feels strange to write on this blog. Putting something out there into the World Wide Web for everyone to see. Especially since I really don’t know how to start. What to say, what to write? Do I write a post about myself, do I go straight into a blog post about food, fashion or travel? …Someone please help me out here.

But then I thought: Calm down, Isabella. Let’s make this easy and tell them 5 random things about yourself first. Easy right? Okay, here we go then:

  1. Big city, small town. I lived in London for many, many years and loved it. All these things to do and see. Eventually, I started craving the country-side and a slower life-style. I imagined a Stars Hallow life – hands up if you love Gilmore Girls! So my husband and I decided to make the move, well, and move. One of our goals was to purchase our own place. But with London property prices being astronomical we took the opportunity and moved to Folkestone where we bought our home. No doubt you will read more about our new home here.
  2. I love books. No, let’s rephrase this: I love owning books. We have a book shelve full of books and I read 20% of them at most (that includes books I had t read for my studies). To add to my collection I asked my husband to get me a bunch of books last Christmas – which he kindly did. It’s now half a year later and I have not finished ONE of the books he got me. I did start reading two of them though. That still counts, right? But I thought I set myself a challenge on the blog: I will read a book a month. That’s doable, no? To check on my progress, I will post a review every month …. Challenge accepted.
  3. I am a cat lady. I was a cat lady before I had cats. After we purchased the house my dream of having a cat(s) came true. We got our babies Daenerys and Sansa – named after Game of Thrones (we love GOT and many, many other TV shows). The first thing I did when we got our kittens was to take them to the vet of course. I proudly present my babies to the vet and introduce Daenerys and Sansa. The vet takes one look at Daenerys and says: “Looks like Daenerys is a little Danny!” Insert shocked emoji. The vet was brilliant though. Being new to this whole cat mummy thing, she took the time and explained all the important things to me. All I had to do was go home and break the news to my husband…the GOT theme music was playing in the background as I told him.
  4. Don’t ever trust me to book your travel. I mean don’t let me near a booking site if you want to reach your destination. My god, the amount of times I booked flights and hotels wrong. We are talking wrong dates, wrong times, wrong names –  now insert eye-rolling emoji here. I once booked a flight for my husband and me. He was my boyfriend back then. Instead of his last name I used mine, oops. Today I see it as a sign of course, as we did end up married. Since then however I get him to book everything. Better safe than sorry, right?
  5. I like to travel. I know I know … everyone says that. But I genuinely do. I got around a little bit – but still not as much as I’d like to. I admire all these amazing travel and lifestyle blogs out there that take you all around the world and to the most beautiful, secluded places. One thing that sometimes holds me back is my fear of flying. I hear you say: “How do you enjoy travel when you’re sacred of flying?” I wasn’t always scared, but it took one bumpy flight for me and just the thought of being in the air puts me in a state of panic. But not enough enough to hold me back. You can still meet me on the plane, but I won’t be my happy, laid back self.             Travel for me doesn’t necessarily means going half-way across the world. I enjoy trips around the country and weekend trips to the continent. Because how convenient is it to live near the Eurotunnel and the ferry ports? So you will definitely see some travel posts coming up.

So there we go, 5 things about me. That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Guess it’s time to work on the next post.

Thanks for stopping by guys,

Isabella.