The 'Perfect Canvas'...

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Getting to try out a new product that is being launched is definitely one of my favourite things - therefore, after seeing several other bloggers receive the new REN release, I was also super excited to try it for myself!

Called the 'Perfect Canvas', this serum appealed to me immediately as the idea of such a product helping my skin to look healthier and smoother was definitely pretty intriguing... so, having been set a 14 day challenge by REN to see how the 'Perfect Canvas' helped my skin, I couldn't wait to get started.


I should probably start by putting forward some of the claims by REN of how I could expect the 'Perfect Canvas' serum to benefit my skin;

  • It would still act like a primer despite being silicone free, which would leave a good base for me to apply my makeup upon.
  • Less makeup would be needed after a while due to improved skin health.
  • Pore size would decrease, and I would also hopefully experience fewer breakouts.
So, after feeling suitably excited by the prospect of these claims, I set about using my 'Perfect Canvas' for the first time - after popping on some moisturiser, I then just massaged a few drops of product into my skin, and then proceeded with applying my makeup (pretty easy, eh)...



Now two weeks after first using the 'Perfect Canvas' serum, it's time to talk about the results of using said product...

  • I have really been loving apply the serum as it leaves my skin feeling pretty lovely and prepared for the makeup that I then apply.
  •  In terms of my actual skin health, I haven't actually seen any major breakouts since I started using the 'Perfect Canvas' a couple of weeks ago (I have only really had one spot appear), but I will definitely have to continue monitoring this as my skin tends to just do what it wants anyway. 
  • What's more, I do feel as though I have been using a little bit less makeup recently too  - it may be also down to the fact that I spent a couple of weeks in sunny Italy not so long ago, but my skin has been looking a bit healthier, and my usual red patches haven't been looking so..well, red.


Of course though, I will continue with using the 'Perfect Canvas' serum daily, as hopefully it will continue to benefit my skin the longer I apply it - I will try and let you all know how I am getting on with it in a couple of months or so though.

In the mean time though, be sure to take a look at the latest REN release HERE!

Olivia xo

This post was sponsored by REN Clean Skincare.

An Italian Adventure

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Bonjourno!!

Apart from that opening hello, I promise that I definitely won't continue to spout Italian phrases throughout this post, although, I will be still sharing lots of pictures and information about my recent visit to Italy!

You may have picked up a mention of my holiday in some previous posts (and if you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, then you will have definitely seen a fair few photos), and today I will finally be rounding up what I did on my recent trip abroad... so get ready for lots of photos of beautiful Italian buildings, and a lot of talk about all the Nutella flavoured ice cream that I ate. 

The beautiful view from our balcony - opening the bathroom window to see Mount Vesuvius is definitely something that I will miss.
Following on from our brief stay in Manchester, me and my parents headed to the airport early (and I mean very early) one Tuesday morning to board our flight to Naples.

After arriving in Naples (and successfully keeping myself away from all the pizza slices that were being sold in Arrivals), we got on a coach to begin the journey onto Sorrento where we would be staying. Our hotel itself was located just out of Sorrento and up in the surrounding hills - although this meant that we had to walk for about 30 minutes to reach the centre of town, we did have the most stunning views from our balcony, and also a bit of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of Sorrento.

As well as having great views, our hotel was of a very traditional Italian style... which of course meant gorgeous tiled floors in the room!
Looking out to sea...
Despite the walk to Sorrento sometimes being a bit difficult because of the incredibly warm temperatures, we did manage to walk there and back almost everyday. This meant that we got to explore the town to it's entirety, and by the end of the holiday I think we had probably wandered down every single little winding street that Sorrento has to offer. 

Away from the masses of tourists on the main street and in the main square of the town, the side streets were really lovely - firstly, they were mostly in the shade which helped us escape the heat a little (my body really can't handle warm climates, and my skin always seems to erupt in a horrible heat rash), and they also contained tonnes of cute little shops full of souvenirs and typical Italian products...

This of course meant that every couple of shops you would inevitably stumble upon an ice cream shop (or a Gelateria as they are known in Italy), and I think that near enough every ice cream that I ate whilst in Italy contained Nutella or was Nutella flavoured, which was perfect for me!

One of the many side streets in Sorrento.

One of the many Nutella-themed ice creams that I indulged in.

Of course, having such a great balcony made for some outfit photos - whilst this one is a little blurry, I still think it looks kind of cool...
Top - Warehouse (not available any more, but there are similar styles on the website)
Culottes - New Look
One of the many beautiful buildings in Amalfi.

For me, it was a must that we made a visit to Amalfi and Positano, due to the fact that I had heard so much about how beautiful both coastal towns are...

Amalfi was of course very beautiful, but was also incredibly busy and packed full of tourists. There were some lovely looking buildings there, but I would probably say that Positano was my favourite destination out of the two, as it wasn't so packed full of people, and there were lots of streets that wound down to the beach which were all lined with lots of pretty shops and restaurants. 

Driving to both places along the coastal road was also rather extraordinary as it provided some stunning views (although, the constant winding of the roads did make me feel a little bit queasy).

Another shot of Amalfi.

A rather lovely view of Positano - that really reminds me of that Galaxy advert with Audrey Hepburn in!

Another photo of me on the balcony (looking rather serious this time)
Camisole - Warehouse (again this colour isn't actually in stock any more, but there are similar styles on the website)
Skirt - M&S (no longer in stock as I bought it so long ago)

This particular building definitely gained extra points from me for being yellow (my favourite colour)!

As well as exploring the surrounding towns, we also went on an open top bus tour of Sorrento itself, which was probably one of my favourite parts of the holiday...

It was really nice to get a different view of all the different parts of the town and also the coastal areas around it - this was also when I managed to get some really nice photos of the hundreds of beautiful buildings that line the Sorrento streets, which seemed to be built in a rainbow of cute pastel colours and also really lived to my expectations of just what the architecture in Italy would be like (if that makes any sense)!

As you may have guessed, I took a lot of photos of pretty buildings!

So, with a bit of a tan, some great photos and some lovely memories, I am now back home in a not-so-sunny England. I will definitely miss being able to eat so much of my favourite foods (e.g. pizza and pasta), and also eating dinner whilst watching the sun set every night (although, I am not going to complain because I do really love Autumn and Winter)...

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

A Trip To Manchester...

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I love Manchester so much, and was therefore super excited to visit once again a few weeks ago. It had actually been a couple of years since my last visit, but since planning the recent trip up North I had been incredibly enthusiastic when deciding on all the different places that I wanted to visit within the city...

Indulging in my favourite dish (Yasai Yaki Soba) at Wagamama in MediaCity

We actually stayed just outside of the city centre, in Salford near MediaCity where the BBC and ITV studios are located. This is pretty much the normal area where we tend to stay whenever we visit Manchester as it's a really nice, chilled out area with lots of places to eat and drink, as well as easy links to the centre of the city via the trams...

And yes, it was also a pretty handy place for me to finally get round to taking some outfit photos, considering that it was pretty quiet (I always feel incredibly awkward having my blog photos took when there's lots of people about).

Jacket - Topshop

T-shirt - ASOS
Trousers - Zara (I couldn't find the exact ones to link, but THESE are pretty similar)

Anyway, following on from a quick photo session (shoutout to my Dad for the photography!), we got on the tram and headed into the centre of Manchester - where we of course got off rather close to the massive Primark that the city holds, so I could pop in to get some essential bits and bobs. 

I knew that whilst in the city I had to make a visit to the Art Gallery so I could take a look at the 'True Faith' Exhibition that was being held there (I think it ended around a week or so ago). Being a big music fan, this exhibition about Joy Division and New Order was something that I couldn't miss, and I must say that it was really great to take a look at all the things that were featured including album covers, handwritten lyrics and also some videos of performance footage by both bands.




Owing to the fact that I just love all the music that has come out of Manchester over the years, heading up to the Northern Quarter was also a pretty good idea for me. Whilst there, I made a trip to Afflecks which again was somewhere that I had never actually visited before, but had heard so much about...

I already wish that Afflecks was a little bit closer to where I actually live, so that I could visit again and again. For me, it was literally like paradise - although I wanted to buy so much more, I ended up coming away with a cute little blouse that is covered in a cute paisley pattern, and also a sweatshirt featuring one of my favourite bands, The Clash (hopefully I will manage to show you both of these soon in another fashion-themed post).

Outside of Afflecks

Inside of Afflecks (I feel like everyone always posts pictures of this wall on Instagram haha)
One regret from this little trip to Afflecks was that I didn't manage to get any vinyl. For me, this is very sad indeed, but because we were heading straight to Manchester airport the next day to fly to Italy, I couldn't really live any records sat in a warm car for two weeks for fear of them warping. Therefore, I had to restrict myself from actually looking at any vinyl at all, just in case I saw anything that I particularly wanted... which is pretty gutting considering I have seen and heard just how good the record stores within Afflecks and the surrounding areas of the city centre are.

Despite this though, I had an incredibly good time in Manchester! It is definitely one of my favourite cities, and all in all I can't wait to visit again hopefully sometime in the near future.

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Beauty - Summer Holiday Essentials

Sunday, 3 September 2017

***  This post was meant to go up whilst I was on holiday but I completely forgot about it (typical Olivia), so although I am now back from my holiday I thought I would still post it...

Considering that I will be off on my holidays soon, I thought it only right to share some of the makeup products that I will be taking with me... Due to the summer seeming to already be over in the UK, I haven't really had much of a chance to experiment with any summery beauty looks, so therefore want to take full advantage of this when I go to Italy, and make the most of wearing some brighter colours!


I particularly hope to add a bit more colour to my makeup using my new Sleek Eyeshadow Palette. Although I did buy this palette a few months ago, I have been saving it for the sole purpose of taking it on holiday, as I think the range of glittery shadows will be perfect to create some colourful eyeshadow looks.

I did actually write a post about this palette some time back and talked about my first impressions of it (you can take a look HERE), but after having said palette sat in my drawer unused for so long, I am now pretty excited to try it out. After swatching the shadows, I must say that I feel particularly compelled to try out the blue and green tones, as I think when applied subtly, they will look really cute!




Considering it is going to be pretty hot in Italy (well, in contrast to the UK anyway), I'm probably not going to be piling on lots of makeup. However, I will still want to make an effort when I go out for dinner etc, so will definitely be packing such products as bronzer and highlighter...

Whenever I go away, I always seem to take my trusty little Hoola bronzer along with me - this travel sized product is perfect to pop into my travel bag, and is what I constantly rely on to add a little warmth to my skin. As well as bronzing, I just love to create dewy, summery looks using highlighter whilst on holiday, and therefore I will definitely be taking my much-loved Sleek Solstice Palette to Italy with me as well! Switching between the four different highlighters within this palette is something that I really love to do, and with such pigmented products included, the Solstice palette makes it really easy to create a warm, summer-time look.


In terms of lip products, I do have a fair few colours within my collection that I feel inclined to take on holiday. My Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in the shade Lovesick is always a pretty good one to opt for, considering that it's cute pink tones will look great with a tan, and the formula is of a lovely matte consistency that will stay on for hours. Other pink lip products I am considering packing include my MAC Chatterbox Lipstick, as well as a NYX Lip Cream in the shade San Paulo - plus, I will of course also have to pick out a nice red lippie too, considering that going to somewhere like Italy makes it the perfect place to add in some timeless red lipstick.


Finally, I thought that I would just have to mention a couple of the nail polishes that I think are perfect for a summer holiday...

Whilst I do plan to take a fair few nail colours so as to mix up my look every so often, my two new Essie polishes (the lilac shade is called Lialcism, whilst the pink is called Backseat Besties) are perfect to pop in my makeup bag. As I get more tanned throughout my holiday, I would like to expand into some brighter colours including oranges and yellows though too, although these will also most likely be polishes from my Essie collection as well, due to just how much I love the brand and their great quality nail products!

***

Well, I suppose that probably marks an end to my summer-themed posts as Autumn is now upon us!! In the next couple of weeks I shall be getting some posts up about my recent trips to Manchester and Sorrento, so please do keep a look out for them!

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Vinyl Love!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Yes, it's time for another music-themed post...

I do love my music, and as an avid record collector really enjoy letting you all know what records I have been buying, and what music I have been loving lately. This time around though, I thought I would just talk about three of my most recently purchased records...


'Aladdin Sane' - David Bowie

It's not unknown that I'm a big fan of David Bowie and his music, and therefore love a lot of his albums. Until recently, I only owned a couple of compilation albums on vinyl, so certainly wanted to expand my Bowie collection... and did so a few weeks ago by purchasing one of my favourite albums, 'Aladdin Sane'.
 
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