Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tanya Burr Cosmetics | Selfie Lash & Selfie Flick Review

I'm really excited to share with you an honest review of two new products I've been trying out recently, which are from the Tanya Burr Cosmetics range.

Despite the fact I love watching YouTube vlogs in my spare time, I'm not usually one to buy into Youtuber products. I think the only "Youtube" product I own is Estée Lalonde's book Bloom - which is incredible if you haven't read it already!

But when I heard Tanya talking passionately about how long she'd spent perfecting the mascara product she was adding to her makeup range, I couldn't help but be a little intrigued. 

There are certain Youtubers whose opinion you just feel inclined to trust, and despite her having every reason to be more than a little bit biased about her own products, after seeing Tanya applying both the mascara and eyeliner from her new collection in a recent vlog, I knew I had to try them.

So, what's the verdict?

Selfie Lash Mascara £7.99, Selfie Flick Eyeliner £4.99 both from Superdrug.

The packaging of the products is really stunning, I love the sleek gold packaging - which looks quite high end - and combined with the black scallop print it looks just the right amount of girly, without looking too young.

I'll start with the eyeliner! 
Now as someone who has worn a solid black flick of eyeliner on their eyes for possibly the past 10 years, I'm pretty picky with my liners.

I've tried everything from pencil, to liquids to gels and then back to liquids again. I used to swear by MAC's Blacktrack gel liner, before switching to Rimmel's Glam Eyes liquid eyeliner.

The Selfie Flick eyeliner is a liquid formula that goes on SO easily. The brush is the perfect size and length to make creating that perfect feline flick seem a breeze. Formula wise, you won't need to layer this up too much, it's a really thick matte black which dries fairly quickly.

At the price point it's cheaper than the Rimmel liner I'd sworn by for so many years, and I'm just as happy with the formula and applicator, so I'm converted!

 Now for the mascara!

I'm quite lucky to naturally have fairly long lashes, but they're incredibly straight and I really struggle to find a product that holds a curl. I've given up trying to find a mascara that makes my lashes curl, so I tend to swear by the Maybelline cat eyes mascara. 

I was a little worried, when picking up the packaging of this mascara, that the wand applicator was going to be really big, as the barrel of the packaging is pretty wide. However, it's the perfect in-between size! Small enough to be able to coat even your littlest bottom lashes, but big enough to achieve thick, black lashes in a few applications.

The finished look of the mascara is really dark, long lashes which still look defined and not clumpy, at all. It also holds a curl pretty well - though I don't think my eyelashes are the best to judge this on!

A huge well done to Tanya for how well these products have turned out, she's honestly created products which I would say are contenders for some of my favourite drug-store and maybe even high end make up products. I'm so glad I've given these a go, and will definitely be re-purchasing.

Have you tried any of the products from the Tanya Burr collection? I'd love to hear what you thought!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Mini Break to Budapest | Day 4

Finally, I'm writing up the final day of our Budapest trip! I've unintentionally spread these blog posts out, but it's actually been so nice going back through our photographs and reliving our mini break to Budapest.

For our final day we'd saved up the most historical tourist attraction, the Buda Castle. But I feel like I should put a little disclaimer right here. We were both expecting to see a castle - clue's in the title right? - but there's actually no 'Castle' as such to see... 

The most fun way to get up to the Buda "Castle" on the hill is to ride the funicular - it even has fun in the title.

As soon as we stepped off the funicular I honestly felt like we'd stepped into Duloc. 
(If you have no idea where I mean, firstly we can't be friends, secondly take a look here for a quick education.) Everywhere was so clean and tidy!

So although we were expecting an actual Castle awaiting us, Buda Castle actually refers to the old castle grounds. This includes a stunning cathedral and the Fisherman's Bastion - the name given to the terraced walkway along the edge of the castle, looking down over Budapest.

After walking around the stunning castle grounds and taking in the amazing view over the river Danube, it was time to eat! We'd heard a lot about Budapest's delicious street food and were ready to try some for ourselves.

Lewis tried a 'Langos' - a very indulgent dish. Essentially a deep fried pizza base, smothered in sour cream, garlic oil and cheese. I was a bit sceptical, but honestly it is delicious and I'd recommend trying it when you're in Budapest!

I went for a slightly safer option and ordered a hot dog. I had instant food-order regret afterwards, thinking I'd chosen something a bit bland, but it was honestly delicious! Hungary are famous for producing paprika, so they like to include it in a lot of their dishes - including this hot dog. 

We ate at Piknik the main outside eatery up in the Buda Castle grounds, it had such a huge range of fresh food. One of my favourite things about Budapest, is all the restaurants seem to have blankets at the ready - as someone who is ALWAYS cold, I seriously appreciate a blanket.

In the afternoon, we headed back over into 'Pest for a spot of shopping and to go on the Budapest Eye. Now it doesn't exactly give the London Eye a run for it's money, it's probably more like a huge ferris wheel, but it was fun and like everything in Budapest, really cheap!

The very last thing I wanted to check off our Budapest bucket list was to try a chimney cake. Chimney cakes are a Hungarian speciality, and something you have to try when you're there. We had a quick Google to hunt down the perfect place, and it took us longer than we expected!

We had in our mind a delicious nutella filled cake, and there was only one place that served up exactly what we were hoping for. Street Cakes!

This tiny shop had a very Shoreditch feel to it, with polaroids of delicious cakes filling the wall, the whole place was very Instagrammable. You can pretty much customise your chimney cake from the start to the finish - choosing the flavour cake, sugar, filling, ice cream and toppings that you'd like!

Here are our creations...

Now I'm naturally a bit of a sweet tooth, but honestly I've never had a sugar rush quite like this. Once we got back to our apartment, I swear I honestly had the shakes. Definitely a once in a lifetime kind of treat!

And that just about sums up our Budapest experience! I'd love to hear if you're thinking of going or if you've ever been before? Share your Budapest blog links below, I'd love to read them and see what you got up to :)

Monday, 30 October 2017

Mini Break to Budapest | Day 3

Day 3 of our Budapest adventure was possibly my favourite! Read on to find out why...

We'd seen on the same episode of Travelman - which btw is back with new episodes, so go check it out! - that Richard and Aisling had been on a chairlift which overlooked the entire city. 

Situated high up in the Buda hills it's such a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. I'm quite a nature person at heart so it was really nice to be surrounded by trees again for a little while! 

Getting to the chairlift proved a little more difficult than we realised... for some reason my Google maps suggested getting a few trams across the city, then catching the Cogwheel Railway - a really steep railway route which gradually climbs the Buda Hills peacefully. What it didn't tell us, is that once we'd got off the trains, after about an hour, we were still a 50 minute walk from the chairlift, and boy what a walk it was! Now, I'd class myself as someone that enjoys a walk, but I was NOT prepared for this. 

Google maps took us down the steepest, cobbled alleyways which snaked through a random residential area for about 40 minutes, before we finally had to walk down a steep main road which eventually ended right outside the chairlift station. Phew.

To say I was relieved to finally get there was an understatement, and although I was more than a little bit unimpressed by the walk - sorry, Lewis - it was 100% worth it for the incredible views we got on the chairlift. I mean just... 

Possibly not one for those scared of heights, as you're literally precariously hanging from a length of wire. Going on these sort of attractions abroad always makes you realise how OTT we are with health and safety in our country, the approach is SO much more relaxed in Europe. We weren't really secured in at all... adds to the thrill though, I guess?

After a very outdoorsy morning spent up in the beautiful Buda hills, we headed back into the city centre in search of something sweet! 

Self-described as 'The Most Beautiful Café in the World', the New York Café certainly lives up to that. The interior is absolutely incredible, you feel as if you've stepped foot into the Ritz and been transported back to London. As we arrived there was quite a long queue, but don't let that put you off. The queue snaked all the way to the front door, but we only ended up waiting about 10/15 minutes for our table.

As we sat down, I soon realised the music I could hear playing was coming from a live piano, and glanced upwards to see a man playing on one of the balconies. At one point he played 'Beauty and The Beast' and it was so perfect I could've cried - yes, i'm an emotional wreck most of the time.

We decided to go all out and ordered three desserts between us to share - if you can't when you're on holiday, then when can you? Naturally, I couldn't resist the pink prosecco.

It was honestly such a special experience and one to remember. It was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me, so if you're going to Budapest you HAVE to go. 

High on sugar we popped back to our apartment to sleep off all the cake with a cheeky nap, before heading out to explore again in the evening.

We actually ate at the most incredible mexican restaurant this evening, but sadly I was so over-excited and hungry - mexican food is my thing and i've made it my personal goal to try a mexican restaurant everywhere I travel - that I forgot to take any photos! 
It's called Iguana though if you want to check it out, and the food is delicious.

After eating our weight in Mexican food, we headed across 'Pest to visit the famous Ruin Bars. Ruin Bars have popped up all over Budapest, occupying old abandoned buildings and are basically very run-down warehouses full of random decorations with seating scattered around. It kind of felt like a huge, slightly odd and twisted playground for adults.

We went to Szimpla Kert which is one of the most famous and largest Ruin Bars in Budapest. Wandering around the bar, exploring the different rooms and seating areas was really interesting and definitely something to experience.

Up to this point we'd explored most of what 'Pest has to offer, so in my next post I'll be sharing the main attractions in Buda which we explored on the very last day of our trip. Let me know in the comments if you've ever been to Budapest, I'd love to read your posts too!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

10 Years in Remission | My story with cancer

Today marks a huge day for me, it's something incredibly personal for me to write about, but I'm writing about it in hope that someone who might be in the same position as me may see this and it may give them some kind of comfort and hope. If that someone happens to be you, please don't hesitate to email me or reach out to me on social media - talking through these things is so, so important.

So ten years ago, not only was this around the time that I launched my first blog, I was also going through something very traumatic. At just sixteen years old I was diagnosed with cancer. Something you truly hope and pray, and don't expect will ever happen to you, especially at just sixteen - it really was the last thing on my mind. I was diagnosed with juvenile granulosa cell tumour - which is a very rare form of cancer.

I am incredibly lucky in that my doctors caught my cancer at such an early stage, which meant after two major operations I didn't have to go through anymore treatment and have been in remission ever since. When I talk about this - and I've noticed I'm doing it right now - I always feel like I play down the seriousness of my cancer experience. Because of how lucky I was, I feel like my experience isn't quite the typical cancer experience you imagine when someone mentions the C word. But I have to remind myself that this doesn't make it any less of an emotional and physical ordeal. My recovery was still tough, and mentally I've suffered for years afterwards with anxiety. It's effects still lingering occasionally now and again, every time I start feeling unwell or not quite myself. Once you've had cancer, which is the ultimate 'what if?' you can't help but wonder - if the worst has already happened, why couldn't it happen again?

Today I had my final check up at Ipswich Hospital, the specialist cancer ward which treated and cured me ten years ago. When I was told at sixteen I'd have to come back for check ups for the next ten years, it sounded like a lifetime away. But ten years have gone by surprisingly quickly, and it makes me stop and realise all the things that have happened in those ten years that I might not have got to experience at all. University, graduation, new friendships, holidays, moving out of home, first jobs, a career, and love.

Here's to the next 10 years whatever they may hold, and the biggest of thankyous to my Doctor, Dr Rufford for essentially saving my life. There are not enough words or actions that can possibly thank someone for that. ♥︎

Monday, 9 October 2017

Mini Break to Budapest | Day 2

We had so much planned that we wanted to do in Budapest, it was tough to decide where to start! So we decided on one of the most traditional Budapest activities - their thermal baths. I did a little bit of research before our trip, to decide which bath to visit as the city has as a fair few, each with different qualities. We decided on Szechenyi Thermal Bath, which is one of the largest baths in Europe, and as we approached the building it certainly lived up to that title! The architecture was seriously impressive.

You have the option at Szechenyi baths to pay a little bit extra for your own cabin to get changed in, which I would highly recommend, as we'd heard from friends that the shared changing rooms aren't very nice - though don't be fooled by the word 'cabin', it's still a very tiny changing room!

We only stayed at the baths for about an hour and a half in total, spending some time in the sauna and outdoor baths, it wasn't completely our cup of tea - but was still an amazing experience and well worth a visit. Walking through the indoors baths was a slightly eerie experience for me after watching the film 'A Cure for Wellness' - if you've ever watched it, you'll know exactly what I mean!

In the afternoon we headed out to Margit Island, the tiny island situated in the middle of the river Danube, right between Buda & Pest. I'd heard that the island was basically a huge park and the perfect escape from the bustling city, so naturally I was keen to visit! As soon as we stepped off the tram and walked onto the Island we spied these hilarious looking tandem bikes - Lewis named them Chucklevision bikes - and we knew we HAD to give them a go.

Cycling around the island took roughly an hour and was the best way to see all the beautiful gardens, and of course do a little bit of dog spotting. We laughed at how ridiculous this tandem bike was the whole way round, and we definitely got some funny looks from the locals who probably thought we looked a little bit insane!

Near the entrance to the island is an amazing musical fountain which does several shows a day. I know what you're thinking.. 'Shows?! It's a fountain?' But honestly, it's incredible! The fountain lights up and the water jets are timed to music. It's actually really impressive and we enjoyed the show just as the sun started setting.

We walked back through the city at dusk - my favourite time to explore, as everything looks kind of magical - in search of somewhere for dinner. All that tandem cycling had seriously worked us up an appetite, so we found a family-run traditional Italian restaurant for dinner. Pomo D'Oro serves up delicious, traditional Italian food that is really quite special. But as with everything in Budapest, it is SO affordable.

Now I'm officially halfway through reliving our Budapest adventure, and there's still so much to come. It's crazy how much you end up fitting into city breaks. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post, featuring THE most beautiful café in the world - their words, not mine!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Mini break to Budapest | Day 1

Just one week ago now I flew home from the beautiful city of Budapest! To be completely honest, up until a few months ago Budapest wouldn't have even been on my list of places I wanted to visit, but after seeing the city in an episode of Travel Man with Richard Ayoade, my boyfriend and I were dying to visit! (Btw if you love travel and have never watched Travel Man before, I'd highly recommend it, not only is it hilarious it'll also give you all of the travel goals - you can catch up on All 4 here!)

We set about to find the perfect Airbnb and booked our flights. As Budapest is just starting to become a popular destination for us Brits, the prices are still super cheap for flights and accommodation - making it even more appealing and a much more affordable option than traditional city breaks, such as Paris.

When searching for an apartment to stay in, something kept bringing me back to the same one. It was a little bit quirky, but spacious, light and airy - perfect. It certainly didn't disappoint in real life either!

Our apartment was based in the 'Pest' side of the city, which is definitely the best side of the river to stay. The majority of the city attractions lie in Pest, whereas Buda is more historical and traditional. Located in walking distance from all the main attractions, and just a 2 minute walk to a main tram line, it really was the perfect base to stay in. (If you're curious I've linked the apartment here.)

After landing quite late in the afternoon, we were both really excited to get out and explore. I'd tracked down a cool Pizza bar on TripAdvisor before we left, which was literally two streets away from our apartment. So we set off there, both full of holiday excitement and very hungry!

As soon as we walked in we had our first - of many - dog spot of the trip, such a little cutie. Budapest is SO dog friendly - another reason that makes it a great city!

Pizzica is a really cool concept, they let you choose your pizza by slice, so you can try as many different toppings as you fancy. They then pop it into a stone pizza oven and serve it on the classic hipster wooden board. Will plates in restaurants soon be 'vintage' - who knows!

High on carbs and cheese, we were dying to explore! I suggested to Lewis it'd be nice to see the river by night, as I'd seen some stunning photos of the Danube River at night and couldn't wait to see it for myself. We dropped a pin randomly on Google maps and ended up stood directly opposite the stunning Chain Bridge.

The view along the river Danube at night is definitely one to add to the bucket list, it looks like something out of a fairytale. It was the perfect way to spend our first night, and made me so excited to explore the city over the next few days.

I'll be posting the rest of our Budapest adventure over the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled to see what else we got up to! If you have any questions about planning a Budapest trip, leave them in the comments :)