Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Flatforms and Graffiti

Today's outfit was the epitome of simple styling - I, for one, believe you can never go wrong with the faithful pair of skinny jeans, soft white shirt and great shoes combo.  Considering my 9am seminar this morning, my outfit had to be quick and easy to pick too, so I could maximize my time in bed, which seems to be dramatically shortening by the day as my reading slowly but surely increases.  Oh, university life, why did I pick you?!

Flatforms - Topshop / Jeans - Topshop Jamie / Shirt - Thrifted (see this post on my car-boot bargains!) / Bag - Thrifted (see this post)

These jeans are my ultimate faithfuls, that have most certainly stood the test of time, considering buying them was a distant but fond memory from five years ago when I was only fifteen... I know! I've been meaning to repurchase them for a long time now, but since being back in the clutches of student living, I'll probably have to wait until they're literally falling apart at the seams to justify spending £42 on a few threads of cotton woven together into a leg shape (you get my drift).  Unfortunately, as you might be able to tell, the flatforms were not the most sensible purchase.  I nervously wore them out for an evening last week, and even though it was only a comparatively 'small' night out, there was a few club scum stains that my wet wipes couldn't remove.  I had to shed a bitter tear and learn my lesson - these shoes are strictly not for clubbing.  

I'm going to say goodbye now before I ramble on forever and ever to avoid returning to my books like a good student.  

Ruby x



Friday, 25 September 2015

Khaki Krazy

Good evening and happy Friday.  I never thought there was such a thing as an unhappy Friday, until this day, when I remembered I'm a university student and that means I have to study.  The past few days have been a constant battle for me between my ever-mounting reading lists and the trying to overcome the effects of the night before's wine drinking which makes it difficult for me to actually even see the words.  Only the good Lord knows how I'm writing this, really!  

I'm hoping that now I'm back in a big city, I'll have plenty of interesting places to awkwardly pose in front of a camera, all in the name of, ahem, fashion.  What's also great is that one of my housemates is great at photography, has a fabulously complicated camera and was happy to stand out in the street with me for twenty minutes taking pictures and simultaneously dodging cars (it's a dangerous business, blogging).

Being back at university for me equals being back in the warm cuddly arms of casual-wear all day, every day.  September's temperamental weather has made it a bit of a challenge this week, but yesterday was nice enough to get a final bit of wear out of one of my favourite purchases of the summer, these Zara sandals.  I finally tracked down a pair of these beauties in my size while in Spain, having seen them in the sale in not two, not three but four different stores (yes, I did actually go to four different Zaras in order to find a pair in my size.  I don't give up easily!).  The chase was so worth it too, because these sandals have proven to be very versatile - they go with jeans as well as shorts, dresses, playsuits and pretty much anything else under the sun.  

Hoops - Primark / Black Top - New Look / Khaki Jersey & Bag - Vintage 
Jeans - Topshop Joni / Sandals - Zara (similar here or here)/ Watch - Daniel Wellington

The bag was a fabulous find a few days ago - only £3.99 thanks to the British Heart Foundation.  Bags like this are great because they're the perfect size to fit all my shit in, without loads of extra space, which generally makes me want to fill it up with around 8-12 very unnecessary items.  I love a black accessory as much as the next girl, and I thought the texture was really nice for adding a bit of pizazz to a simple outfit like this one.  

That's it from me, for now.  Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon, don't you worry.

Ruby x

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash So Volume Mascara

Hello hello!  I am writing from a new room in a new house that I moved into last week and will be living in for the next eleven months while I'm doing my second year back at university.  This is all very well and good, but does means, especially after term starting today, that it will be a bit more of, shall we say, a squeeze to fit in blogging.  In between lectures, reading (I was crazy enough to study English literature despite my snails-pace reading abilities), trying to hold a household together, working, etc. etc. etc., blogging is, very regretfully, probably going to move slightly down on my agenda.  That is not to say though that I will let the stresses of life thwart it completely.  I'm going to aim to do one post a week, but I'm sure there will be weeks where I have more or less going on and you will see posts from me according to that.  Anyway, I feel like I've written my disclaimer paragraph - on with another review!

I bought this Guerlain Cils d'Enfer Mascara in #01 Noir at the Duty Free in Gatwick before our flight out to Dalaman... does anyone else find it absolutely impossible to walk through there without buying anything!?  However, I had been on the lookout for a new mascara, waiting patiently for weeks for my usual favourite mascara brand Lancôme to be on offer in Boots.  Typically, that didn't happen, so I took it as a sign of fate, and decided to be adventurous and try another brand entirely.  

I haven't actually tried much by Guerlain at all, aside from their perfumes, Insolence and My Insolence which have proved to be two of my favourites, and take me right back to when I was thirteen or fourteen and got one from my Grandpa as a birthday present.  I do love the sleek packaging though, and, similarly to the Lancôme range, the product is fragranced very delicately with an intoxicating variety of floral notes.  Slightly odd, for a mascara, but I believe it all helps add to the impression of a rather luxurious product.  The brush comprises of short plastic one-length bristles and is tapered; I find these brushes are best for dramatic looks giving both length and volume to lashes as opposed to more feathery (brush-like!) brushes.  

Above are photos without mascara (the eyebrows + foundation combo is looking scary as ever, you may notice...).  My eyelashes are naturally medium length and thickness, and are medium brown at the base then graduating to lighter ends.  I lightly curled my lashes before applying a coat of Cils d'Enfer, and my results are below.

As you can see from the photos, the product gives a great amount of length and volume, which is great for a more dramatic look, or, for example, if you want to wear simple eye makeup with an emphasis on big lashes.  For me, it does take a bit of getting used to using a new mascara, particularly as the brush is quite bulky and only slightly tapered, making it a little harder to get into the very corners of each eye.  As with all fresh mascaras, often the brush comes out coated in slightly too much product which can then leave residue on the tops of the eyelids.  The way I deal with this is by waiting for it to dry, then taking a cotton bud with a drop of water on it to wipe away any smudges.  

Aside from this small issue, I do love the mascara.  It's instant volumising effect means it's very quick to use, and only really takes one coat (more runs the risk of clumping!), pushing it up, surprisingly to a product I now regard as highly convenient and part of my everyday makeup routine.  It is very long wearing, and copes well with hot weather, as I found out in Turkey - I had almost no problems with it smudging in the heat, yet it is very easy to remove with an oil-based or oil-free eye makeup remover.  

Ultimately, for a product that will halve your mascara application time, looks and smells lovely, and gives great length and volume to my pretty damn average eyelashes, I think the price tag of £23 is  one hundred percent, no regrets, justified.  And that's coming from a student, too.

Ruby x

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Unboxing and First Try: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade

Good morning, world! Today I wanted to get my beauty hat back on as there's a couple of items I've purchased recently which I thought might be quite good to review. I always love reading reviews done by bloggers because they are often written in an informal and impartial style, which I am far more likely to trust even if they are sponsored products.

I have been looking for a new eyebrow product for a little while now. When I first started tending to mine I used to use the Elf Eyebrow Kit which was great to begin with, I then started using an ashy brown shade (I believe it was Omega by MAC) for a little while, but found I couldn't get precise enough using just a shadow. I tried a pencil liner once more after hearing Sammi from The Beauty Crush (google her if you don't know!) talk about the Rimmel London Professional Eyebrow Pencil - and she's right, this is a great product, but in my heart, I knew I really wanted to return to using a cream/gel formula.

So last month I ordered a Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown. This is the first item I've purchased from Anastasia Beverly Hills, and one I ordered from Beauty Bay (find the product here) instead of the official website to avoid extortionate postage and packaging from the US. Now, I'm going to be honest, I found this product is not the easiest to use - it requires quite a steady hand and delicate touch as well as a lot of precision as the colour is quite heavy. A few days on, I'm getting the hang of it more, but on my first try my brows did end up a little Hagrid-esque (you'll see what I mean in a minute!). I've taken photos of my eyebrows before and after to try and show how the product can be used.

I do like quite a full brow look but even for me, this was a little bit scary. Although I love the formula of the product, it does just kind of glide on, which means you have to be really careful when applying - it does definitely take a few days to get used to! I would also advise using a hard angled brush, for example MAC 263 - I've found this brush to be the best for application.

Another important thing to note, particularly in relation to using a brush like this is that I've found it better to use less product on the top of the brush fibres but more on the sides so it catches in the brows as it is worked in. I use a small amount of the product at a time, working it through by using a light hand to sweep the brush in the direction of hair growth. Once applied, the product is great: matte but very amplifying, and doesn't budge for the whole day - some people have even stated it's waterproof. For me, then, this is what I believe will become my staple brow product. Getting used to the texture and formula does take a little while, but I've noticed even in the past few days each time I'm getting better, my brows are looking more natural, and staying on all day too?! The product is only £15 from Beauty Bay for a big ol' pot of what I can only describe as joy. Make sure you read the description as it gives a breakdown of the different shades available and what hair colours they suit. And let me know your thoughts if you do try it! As always, thanks so much for reading.

Ruby x

Thursday, 10 September 2015

A Photo Diary: Travel Turkey in Ten Minutes

Greetings!  I am so glad to be getting back into a good blogging rhythm, which will probably soon be completely upheaved by the fact that I myself am, so to speak, upheaving back to Brighton to continue studying there.  Scary, scary stuff.  In order to distract myself from the daunting task of packing the entirety of my possessions, I therefore thought I'd bring you something similar to my Spain Holiday Round-Up post (except in a different country entirely).  This one's a little more visual though; I've pulled together some of my favourite pictures from the time we spent in Turkey and tried to put them in some kind of order to give you a taste of some of the things you can experience in that particular part of the world, hopefully, all within 10 minutes. 

On the second day, we managed to hire a car (we realised two weeks relying on public transport might not have been the most reliable plan in the world) and took a trip to a local town called Dalyan.  We had some lunch by the water, and found a hotel where we managed to book a Hammam (see my post on the Turkish Bath experience here), before heading off in search of Iztuzu Beach (also known as Turtle Beach).  

The drive up gave us a great view of the massive stretch of beach, which sits in the middle of the mountains, bizarrely enough, and is a nesting and conservation area for hundreds of turtles.  This means the opening hours are quite strict (I believe it was 10am - 8pm), but there was still plenty of time to catch the sunset. 

 Sarigerme was another great spot we visited a few times.  A little more touristy, this is definitely a much better place than Dalaman for bars and night life.  One of our favourite places we found in Sarigerme was called Street Bar - we spent a whole afternoon there drinking cocktails, using the pool and lying on big 4 poster sun loungers like celebrities.  We actually ended up coming back to Street Bar on the first Sunday night for a foam party, which proved, well, interesting.  Let's just say don't order a Dolphin Special (a particularly intoxicating blue drink comprising of not four, not five, but six different spirits) after already visiting 3 bars and enjoying a few gin and tonics at home before even going out... unless you want to chunder.

In other news, Sarigerme beach is really, really nice.  We made the slight mistake of sitting quite far up the beach on sun loungers we'd hired from the bar.  It was an absolute sun trap, to the point I was slightly worried about getting permanently attached to the plastic that coated the lounger.  In the afternoon we retired to one of the tables (see below... and the best part is you get to eat while sitting on a sofa) for some lunch.  We probably would've been better off taking food with us to eat on the beach as the food wasn't fabulous, but if you're hungry enough, you won't even taste it - I speak from experience.

The ruins of Kaunos, in Dalyan are well worth a visit too.  This was one of my particular highlights.  I don't know if it was because we went at the end of the season, but I actually only saw three other people I could identify as definite tourists (some kind of miracle).  We got a lift across the river with a lady called Mina who only charged us 5tL each to get to the other side via paddle boat.  Once we were across, we had a great view of the huge Lycian tombs carved into the side of the mountain.  We wandered around for a little bit taking it all in before stopping for a quick pomegranate juice (unbelievable, try it) and heading home. 

One thing we read about countless times on Trip Advisor was the 'Twelve Islands Boat Trip'.  So we bit the bullet and booked ourselves tickets which were £18 each and included transfers to the port and a whole day's trip.  We had a great day, making two stops for snorkelling and swimming in the morning, and we even saw a huge turtle swimming in the water alongside our boat.  We'd bought a couple of snorkels the day before to try out, and once we got the hang of them, it was so cool to be able to see all the different colours and sizes of fish doing their thing under the water.  The boat had a diving platform on the upper level too - all I can say is, definitely hold your nose!  After a barbecue lunch served on the boat, we stopped at three islands in the afternoon for more swimming and snorkelling, and got to see some more Lycian ruins including the remains of an underwater lighthouse.  

We also visited the town of Köyceğiz one day to have a little look around before driving on to the massive lake close by.  The drive was beautiful; we had a great view of the lake driving over the mountain roads, and stopped in a tiny village to have a little swim before heading back home via Dalyan for a drink.

One of my favourite places we visited was the bigger city of Fethiye.  Unfortunately I forgot the memory card for my camera when we visited so I only have the photos below which are from my phone!  Fethiye was great though, with plenty of backstreet bazaars, some amazing real leather fakes and Turkish delight which proved too tempting to resist.  It's well worth looking round the fish and fruit markets, which are bustling, smelly, noisy - the epitome of city life.  For around £2 a local restaurant will cook your choice of fish from the market for you, serving with accompaniments and drinks and cooking according to local recipes and experience.  There are some really nice bars and cafes in the back streets, too - we visited one that did great iced coffee, which we found to be a rareity in Turkey, but it was so welcome on that particular day as it was so hot in the city!

Before  heading back to Dalaman, we drove on a little further to visit Blue Lagoon, a beach close to Fethiye and renowned for it's clear water, stunning surroundings, and a few sightings of turtles.  We got to the beach quite late, which was unfortunate because you do have to pay to get in (I think it was around £5) but again it was really nice to see the sunset.  The beach is made up of lots of white pebbles, which was a welcome relief to me after the sandy beach of Sarigerme, the remnants of which I still keep finding in my handbag.  The water is warm, very clean and so refreshing, and there are plenty of little cafes where you can get a bite to eat if you so wish.  It was really nice to visit in the early evening because it was so quiet and peaceful, although we would've liked to stay longer but the beach closes at 8pm.  All in all though, Blue Lagoon is also well worth a visit, and for me, this topped off a fantastic two weeks in a country full of endless wonders.  Great food, great company, beautiful surroundings, endless good weather - what more could you ask for from a place?!

Ruby x