I spent last Sunday in London with a couple of my friends and thought I'd write about what we got up to, from visiting Instagram's most photographed cafe to seeing how a honey-loving bear was brought to life...



One of my favourite places to visit in London is the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Some of the best exhibitions I've been to have been at the V&A, from Savage Beauty celebrating the artistry of Alexander McQueen to Club to Catwalk which explored London fashion in the 80s, but the most heartwarming exhibition I've been to has to be Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic that we had the pleasure of visiting on Sunday.





Most definitely for adults as much as it is for the children, the exhibition features a collection of drawings, photographs and letters that document how A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard created Britain's most beloved bear.  I loved seeing E.H. Shepard's illustrations; the way the sketches were very simple but how he drew the characters with so much expression just shows the talent that went in to creating Hundred Acre Wood and it's residents.  The exhibition is on until 8th April and if you can pop in for a couple of hours of nostalgia, I would 10/10 recommend it.



After seeing everyone rave about Elan Cafe on Instagram, we knew we head to check it out and see what all the fuss was about.  Now, I don't like to be too negative in this little web space of mine, but I also believe that honesty is the best policy, and I have to admit that Elan was a complete letdown... I ordered my favourite, a Spiced Chai Latte, but what arrived was basically just lukewarm, frothy milk; in no way was it "spiced" as so described on their menu.  We were there for brunch and I chose the avocado toast with poached egg, and oh my soul, I wish I hadn't.  I've never had a plate of food with so little flavour.




From the waitress who tried to take our plates from under us as we were still eating from them to the lady who delighted in telling us as we asked for the cake menu that we had 10 minutes until we had to vacate the premises, the service at Elan was so poor.  I know of plenty of restaurants that have a time limit policy, but never have they told us of their policy when we are asking for the dessert, or in this instance cake, menu.  We decided to order a slice of cake each to scoff in the less-than-10 minutes, in the hope that where they had failed miserably at the savoury, they might redeem themselves with the sweet.  (You probably know where this is going) I could have closed my eyes and would have had absolutely no clue what I was eating.  It was just flavourless sponge and cream with a sh!t ton of red food colouring.



Sadly, no amount of fake pink roses and calling us "darling" can make the food taste good, and whilst the cafe is incredibly aesthetically pleasing, I'd probably have to say this was the worst cafe I have ever been to.  Do not waste your money just to get a picture for the 'gram, there's plenty of other gorgeous cafes in London that are much more deserving of your hard earned cash.





After our brunch and exploring the exhibition, we headed to the Barbican to see Tunnel Visions, a free half hour light and sound installation in the Beech Street tunnel.  We stopped off at a pub for a couple of hours on the way and tucked in to pies, mac'n'cheese and a couple of pints of Hop House, much to the delight of our deprived taste buds.  Tunnel Visions was incredible and quite overwhelming.  The digital projections responded to the piece of music, recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and what I loved was that everyone would have a different perspective as they looked through the tunnel, no two people would see or interpret the performance in the same way.  You can find out more about the Barbican and what else is on there here: https://www.barbican.org.uk/

Despite our rocky start at Elan, we ended up having a really lovely day and it reminded me how much I love living so close to London and how fortunate I am that I can just pop in to the city whenever I feel like it.  

Have you visited London? What's your favourite thing to do there? 

I can also be on found on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin!

Thanks for stopping by,

Naomi xx

Last month, I headed to Anguilla and St Martin for a week of sunshine and cocktails, and as a beauty blogger, I couldn't not share what was in my makeup bag for the trip.  I could pretend this was the only makeup I took with me but let's be real for a second, it was not.  I had never been to the Caribbean before, had no clue what to pack and left it all to the last minute so basically took everything I own. But these are the products that I reached for each day and that I would recommend if you want glowy skin and a beaut bold lip...

My freckles came out in full force in the sunshine, and I LOVE my freckles, so I was reluctant to put a lot of base product on my face.  I started with an SPF all over my skin.  Piz Buin is my top pick for this; their oils are my favourite and sun protection is key! I then covered any blemishes and my dark circles with my Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer*, I find this to be a little more hydrating than my other concealers.  The coverage isn't the best, but it works perfectly for a day of sunbathing when you just need a little something to hide those jetlagged eyes. Quite a new discovery for me is the Glossier Cloud Paint in the shade Beam.  I've been loving this as it's sheer enough that it just gives a glow-from-within flush to the cheeks and is a beautiful peachy coral.

I've been rocking a moon face lately (too much beer, not enough cardio) so naturally, I've hit pan on my Nars Laguna bronzer.  I've never been one for a heavy contour, but I do like to bronze my forehead and my cheekbones up to my hair line to give the illusion that I have a stunning bone structure. Laguna is the perfect shade for this, it applies and blends like a dream and has the right amount of warmth for that sunkissed vibe.  I chose to use Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz as my highlight and one of the best beauty hacks I've learnt this year is to apply your highlight with a damp beauty blender (thank you, Amanda Ensing xx).  It gives you the most radiant glow, and is much more natural than when applied with a brush.  If you don't own a beauty blender, try applying with your finger.  I've found the key with highlight is to start with a small amount and build it up, rather than going in with a lot of product, it is easier to correct mistakes this way! The best thing about both the bronzer and the highlight is that they can double up as eyeshadow, something I would use in the evenings to add a little definition to my lids.  After applying any powder, I spritz a little of Urban Decay's setting spray to seamlessly melt everything together!


After curling my lashes with curlers that broke about a year ago and desperately need replacing, I of course applied my favourite Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara* to add length and all-day-long volume to my lashes. Another of my favourite beauty hacks is applying a white liner in your waterline to make your eyes look bigger and brighter.  I recently picked up the Kiko Intense Eyeliner in 01 Pearly White and for £5.50, it is such good value and lasts all day. I also have this in black and the pigmentation is fantastic, I'd definitely recommend trying it if you want an intense black liner but don't want to break the bank! I can't seem to go anywhere without filling in the sparse areas of my brows, and of course I am still using Benefit Precisely My Brow, I doubt I'll ever find a brow product I love as much.  I do have shade 5 at the moment which is ever so slightly too dark, but I've managed to make it work.  I'm a "enhance your own beauty" fan so I don't tend to reshape my brows and just work with the natural shape.  When you are on holiday and it is hot, you want products that are going to stay put and my brows do not budge. 10/10.

Of course I had to finish this look with a bold lip.  I've been after an orange-red lipstick and liner for a long, long time.  I've tried a fair few, but they were either too red, or too coral, or too drying, but then I found the NYX Lip Pencil in Summer Tease and the Kiko Creamy Lipstick in 117 Papaya and I fell in love.  Whenever I wear a bold lip colour, I use a lip liner first.  I have quite full lips so mistakes are obvious, but lining my lips keeps the colour looking fresh and in place throughout the day. NYX's liners are such good value and they have an amazing colour range to choose from! I LOVE this Kiko lipstick.  It is so creamy without being too glossy, and is gorgeously pigmented. I knew as soon as I saw it that I'd be packing it for Anguilla and I'm so glad I did cos it looks beaut with tanned, glowing skin. The colour just screams summer holiday and I cannot wait to wear it more when the sunshine eventually arrives in the UK.

I hope this has given you some inspiration for what to pack in your makeup bag...

Where are you going on holiday this year?  I need some travel inspo! 

I can also be found on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin x

Thanks for stopping by!

Naomi xx




Disclaimer: products marked with a * were gifted but all views are my own xx
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Oxford

Over the last few years, when I've wanted to escape or explore somewhere new, I've hopped on a plane.  This year, one of my New Year resolutions was to make the effort to explore some places closer to home, starting with Oxford...


Oxford

Approximately 40 minutes on the train from my hometown and only £9 for a return ticket with my 16-25 railcard, I'm not sure why I had not visited Oxford before this year.  Famous for having one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford attracts a lot of tourists and for a day, Abi (Travel Tea TV) and I were two of them.

handle bar cafe

chai tea latte

We'd already thought ahead about where to grab some food when we arrived, and after hearing excellent things about The Handle Bar cafe, we decided to stop by to fuel up before a day of architecture and museums.  As you can see, I went all out "blogger" when it came to the food and had their avocado toast topped with almonds, chili and feta, which was delightful, but managed to fail at taking any photos of the decor, which was also really cool.  The bicycles hanging from the whitewashed brick walls, pretty fairy lights sporadically strung up around the ceiling and the exposed wooden beams gave the Handle Bar a really lovely, homely atmosphere.  Everyone in there, both the staff and the customers, just seemed to be in a really good mood.  It was quite busy but we managed to get a little table by the window and it was nice to listen to others doing exactly the same as us; enjoying the excellent food on offer and enthusiastically chatting about anything and everything.  As much as I loved the food and the decor, my favourite part of this cafe was the chai tea latte.  Oh my soul.  I'd probably go as far as to say it was the best I've ever had.  We both ordered one, took a sip, and had that moment where you both look at each other when something tastes really f*cking good and just make an indescribable noise because you can't think of the words to say how you feel.  Part of me wishes I'd ordered another to enjoy with a slice of their homemade cake but I was too full, and eager to explore the city.

museum of natural history











After a good catch-up, we headed to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  I love museums, I find them super interesting and you can learn so much about so many different things.  I was not a fan of school and education at all, but put me in a museum and I absorb the information like a sponge.  One part of this museum that I loved seeing was the elephant skeletons; I'd never seen one before and the shape of the skull, the spaces where the trunk, tusks and the ears would form, fascinated me.  Behind the Museum of Natural History is the Pitt Rivers Museum. Possibly the strangest museum I've been to, there was a real mixture of, well, everything. Totem poles, a cabinet of feathers, masks, pottery, skulls. If you want something a little different, I would recommend checking it out as it is pretty cool, although I spent most of the time worrying my backpack was going to swing in to one of the glass cabinets and I'd be under arrest for destroying priceless artefacts.  The last museum we visited was the Ashmolean. We didn't stay there too long, and mostly looked at the modern art section, but I'd love to go back one day and spend more time there. Plus the building is gorgeous.











I'd been told that Oxford is a really beautiful city, and I was excited to see the architecture.  We stopped by the Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera, neither of which disappointed.  The Bodleian Library, a gorgeous example of English Gothic architecture, was so much bigger than I had expected and was so impressive. There's a Tolkien exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries later this year that I would love to visit.  Built in the English Palladian style, the Radcliffe Camera, which is not a camera by the way, is known as the most iconic building in Oxford and I can see why, it is beautiful. We also stopped to snap a photo of the Bridge of Sighs, opposite the entrance to the Bodleian Library, and had a little wander down the picture perfect streets.



We ended our day with a pint, some sweet potato fries and a good old gossip in the George Street Social, quite a hipster-y bar with craft beers, an innovative food menu and a really chilled atmosphere.  It was lush to have a cultural, fun day out so close to home. Yes, we have London and all of it's offerings on our doorstep, but it was so nice to explore somewhere new!

Have you ever been to Oxford? Where in the UK would you go on a day trip? 

I can also be found on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin

Thanks for stopping by!

Nai
Glamglow, Lush, Glossier, The Body Shop, Charlotte Tilbury, Bourjois, Urban Decay, Nivea

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought Spring would have arrived by now.  Winter seems to be lasting forever and this week temperatures dropped to -10, which for the South of England is pretty damn chilly.  Whilst most of the UK fell apart at the sight of a snowflake, I made sure my skin stayed intact and glowing with my current favourite skincare and base products...