My Beach Makeup and What Stayed Put

Its the classic dilemma for girls. Summer poses a whole new problem when it comes to makeup, because gone are the days of winter drying out everyone’s skin like there’s no tomorrow, and instead its the challenge of finding products that won’t melt off your face during the warmer summer days, but can also stand up to a bit of water, whether that’s from swimming in the sea on a beach day, or just the Great British summer showers (read: heavy rain that shows up right when we think its finally getting good).

This year, I was faced with this issue a little earlier as going to Hawaii in April meant I had a little less time to perfect my product choices, but it also meant that I could test run some products before the little summer that hits the UK – which seems to be happening right now – actually kicked in. Some of what I took with me were items that are regulars from my makeup stash, and others I took on recommendation from the Twittersphere, and they all went through a somewhat rigorous test in the 27C heat of Hawaii. But would they all make the cut for future wear?

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I bought this on recommendation from a number of people – I actually bought the travel sized one, y’know in case it wasn’t any good and I didn’t get stuck with a big bottle that I’d spent a lot of money on, but actually the travel sized one is still pretty sizeable which made it seem like pretty good value for money! This product is an absolute trooper. I sprayed it over products that I know aren’t waterproof and knew would probably wash off within minutes and amazingly they held up so well, leaving me bronzed and highlighted even after a whole day on the beach.

NYX Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

I took this with me because I know how well it works. This is the eyeshadow primer that I use every day and I actually believe it to be a miracle product – it turns any eyeshadow waterproof and I’ve even tried running swatches under a tap before and saw absolutely no shadow movement with this badboy, plus at £6 a tube its a steal.

Makeup Forever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner

Call me crazy, but blue eyeliner is my jam, and I’ve always been a Barry M girl but have never been able to find a suitable replacement for my now discontinued favourite shade of pencil, but I stumbled across this one in Sephora last year, and when it claimed to be waterproof as well it was like killing two birds with one stone. The pencil itself is surprisingly soft, so very little pressure is needed on application, and it also blends well which can be fab, but I worried seeing how soft it was that it wouldn’t survive in the water, but was thankfully proven very wrong – in fact, when I swatched it in Sephora before buying, it was several days before that blue line faded from the back of my hand even with daily showering and handwashing.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

So this was another recommendation, and having never tried the cult favourite in its non-waterproof form either, I thought now was a great chance to see what all the fuss was about. Again, I bought this in the travel size tube to save a bit of money until I decided whether or not I liked it. The mascara itself surprised me as I’ve religiously stuck to Eyeko Black Magic for a number of years now and had never found another mascara that gave my lashes the same natural but wow look that Black Magic does for me, but despite being a very different shaped brush, I really liked how this product made my lashes look, so I was buzzed to test it out in the water. Unfortunately, that’s were it fell flat on its face. I felt like just looking at water had it running, and although I wasn’t crying black or anything like that, on more than one occasion I left the poolside looking a bit panda-ish. I’d probably buy the mascara again in its normal formula, but I felt a little let down by this one..

Benefit Gimme Brow

Gimme Brow is not my every day eyebrow product, but I do use it from time to time, and as I feared a little that my usual dipbrow wouldn’t hold up, I took this out with me as well. Now my Gimme Brow was pre product recall, so I don’t know how it differs from the new formula that was re-released recently, and I don’t think either claim any sort of waterproof capabilities, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well this did. I still used my regular dipbrow, but then went over it with this, and I still had decent looking eyebrows at the end of each day, even after being in the sea and the pool, and what more could I ask for?

Other shoutouts go to my current favourite foundation, The Ordinary Serum Foundation, for being SPF 15 so keeping my face a little more protected, and Benefit’s Dandelion Shy Beam and Sun Beam liquid highlighters for giving me a subtle shimmer and glow which held up well thanks to the UD setting spray!

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Hopping On and Off San Francisco

This morning was not such an early start, although I still woke up before 7am. I took the opportunity to eat the cheesecake that I’d taken away from the Cheesecake Factory the night before, because if you can’t eat cheesecake for breakfast in bed on holiday, when can you?

Once ready for the day, Matthew and I started to walk to Sarah’s hotel, but along the way managed to pick up two scooters which made the trip to Union Square a lot faster! The plan for today was to make use of the hop on/hop off bus that we had tickets for, and see as much of the city as we could with the ease of not having to navigate to many places ourselves. We rode the bus from Union Square and around the route through the city til we reached the Golden Gate Bridge. Being on the top deck of an open top bus made the ride across the bridge crazy windy but wow do you get a feel for how impressive that thing is. We got off at the Vista Point viewing stop for some photos, and then got on the next bus to continue the tour.

Undecided on the exact plan for the rest of the day stopwise, we went all the way back round the city til we hit Pier 39, grabbed some lunch in one of the restaurants there and with some food in us it was a lot easier to settle on a plan. We managed to nab a scooter each from around the area, and rode ourselves to Lombard Street (although we had to push the scooters up the ridiculous hill that is Lombard) to see the famous zig-zag road, then scooted back to Fisherman’s Wharf where we bought a quick drink and hopped back on another bus, completing a full loop back to Union Square but then continuing back round a few more stops as we had another adventure planned.

Sarah and I had really wanted to find two things in San Francisco: the rainbow crossing and the rainbow house, and it took some walking but we managed to do both. The rainbow crossing was pretty easy to find, but the house involved many many super steep hills and I still can’t believe we made it up there alive – it was a long walk!

Absolutely knackered, we got an Uber back to the Embarcadero and got dinner at In And Out Burger, then had a true San Francisco experience of riding the cable cars from nearby all the way back to Union Square, where we finished up the day visiting the Disney Store before saying goodbye to Sarah for the rest of our trip and heading back to the hotel.

We fly to Aulani first thing tomorrow morning!

A Proper San Francisco Day

Today has been a pretty great day. Our jet lag actually helped us out quite a lot, as we had stupidly not remembered to book Alcatraz in advance, but as we were up at 5.30am, we could get to the ticket office for 7.30am (courtesy of a very chatty Uber driver) as they release some on-the-day tickets and we got onto the first tour of the day with no problem at all, grabbing breakfast between buying tickets and boarding the boat.

Alcatraz was really interesting – I admit I didn’t know all that much about it before today other than the basics, but there’s a lot to learn even if you do know a bit about it! We started off watching a mini documentary about the history of the island, then walked up to the cell building where audio guides are provided to guide your whole way round and through the building and sharing a tonne of interesting info along the way.

Once we’d seen everything we wanted to see, we got the boat back to the city and walked along to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping for a bit of time to watch the sea-lions, then continued along the waterfront to the Boudin sourdough bakery to walk around the mini factory tour and then grab lunch in the cafe there. SO GOOD.

Next on the agenda was the Walt Disney Family Museum, which we got an Uber to. The museum is in a really pretty area just outside the main city, and we spent a good amount of time learning even more about the wonder that is Walt Disney. As the museum was quite close to the Golden Gate Bridge, we decided to walk from there along to a grassy park area near the bridge, which gave us stunning views of the landmark, although it was quite a walk there and back to a place where an Uber would pick us up from again, but along the way we did discover something pretty cool..

So the night before and during the day today, we’d seen a number of people riding this electric scooters, but also they could be found just lying around the streets, so while we were walking I decided to google them to find out what the deal was. Well they’re kinda like Boris bikes crossed with Uber – you find a scooter, activate it with your phone and pay for the time you use it. Well, we also happened to come across one, so there was some scooter riding involved, but I digress.

We Ubered back to Sarah’s hotel, where she and I disembarked for a trip to the Sephora round the corner, and Matthew left us to it and met us in Union Square to go for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Macy’s.

We were all so knackered from the early morning and busy day that we could hardly keep our eyes open at dinner, let alone tackle those enormous portions so we picked at what we could and I took my cheesecake to go and we got back to the hotel as quick as possible so I could finally get my feet up!

Hello San Francisco

Well gang, another adventure has begun, but as most of today was spent travelling, this is really just a check in to say that we’ve arrived in San Francisco, which is one of my favourite cities in the world and I’m so happy to be here.

We flew with Norwegian for the first time (full scoop on what it was like when I’m back!), it was a 10 hour flight but it flew by pretty quickly as it was essentially a 10 hour catch up with Sarah and my god can we talk for England..

We landed at Oakland airport and got a train into San Fran, checked into our respective hotels and then Matthew and I walked to Sarah’s and we grabbed Panda Express for dinner (another favourite of mine) and headed back for bed as our bodies were feeling the fact it was 4.30am in the UK!

Stay tuned for two more days of jam packed San Francisco fun before Matthew and I head off to Aulani!

Disney Cruise Log: All Aboard and A Day at Sea

Ahoy shipmates! I’m coming to you today from the Disney Magic as I’m cruising round the Med, and as there’s no signal in the sea, posts are gonna be running a little bit behind my daily updates so bear with me!On Saturday morning I flew to Barcelona with Sarah, and met Sammy at the airport after a minor mix up with terminals, and the three of us got a taxi to the dock. At the dock terminal we had to drop our bags, then go through security before checking in and getting our boarding group number, which decides when we get onto the ship. As it was number 23, and they weren’t anywhere near calling us yet, we went to meet our captain, the main mouse himself!

There was a bit of a delay getting aboard due to weather issues, but once we were on the ship our main priority was lunch, so we went straight up to the buffet spectacular that is Cabanas and filled multiple plates with the various offerings, then once we were stuffed headed down to see our stateroom and unpack – 3 girls with several outfits per day and one wardrobe was a bit of a struggle! After unpacking and chilling out for a little bit, it was time for the mandatory safety drill, which was a bit of a drag but oh well!

As the rain had stopped, we headed from the drill to the top deck to take some (actually a lot) of photos, then down to the lobby atrium to see the sail away party – although we had yet to leave port at that stage – and went on from there to explore the ship for a little while. As we are on the later dinner sitting, it means that we go to the earlier performance of whatever show is on, and it was the Be Our Guest welcome show, which gave us a sneak peak of some of the other performances that will be happening over the coming week, and then after the show we went to change for dinner, via the gift shop!

Our dinner was at Animators Palette, and I couldn’t flaw a single thing – the setting was incredible, the food was amazing, and there was even a magical visitor before dessert! After dinner, we went to meet Donald, and bumped into Chelsea while in the line, and after a quick catch up we headed to bed due to having been awake since 3am!

Sunday morning we were up early as we had a Mickey and pals breakfast booked for 8:30am. This was also in Animator’s Palette, and we saw Mickey, Minnie and Goofy – and again no complaints about the food! After breakfast we went to take some more photos on deck, then went down to the lobby atrium to do the princess meet – we actually had this booked for Friday, but Chelsea’s was booked for today, and as her family weren’t bothered by attending, they let us use their slots so we could meet all the princesses twice! It was Tiana, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Belle, and they were all perfect and the sweetest!

From meeting the princesses, we went to change into our bikinis and headed back to the deck to chill out for a bit, then grabbed an ice cream and a drink, and then after another wander around the boat went to another buffet lunch at Cabanas. Post-buffet, we decided to take part in one of the many onboard activities: the Ultimate Disney Trivia quiz at O’Gills Pub in the over 18s part of the ship. Now I’m a pub-quizzing wiz, but some of these questions were hard! We did win one round of the quiz, but our answers to some of the more impossible questions just didn’t match up to some others so we walked away in around about 5th place.

We got over our loss pretty quickly with another ice-cream, and although still early, we went back to our stateroom to start getting ready for formal night a) because 3 girls and 1 shower = time and b) there were going to be a lot of characters out in their formal night outfits from about 4:30 onwards and we didn’t want to miss out on the photo opportunities, and it was a good job because it actually took us until 4:30 to get ready!

Dressed to impress, we went to see Donald, then Chip and Dale with Chelsea and Tilly, and then after a few photos on the deck in our dresses, we made our way to the Walt Disney Theatre for the first performance of Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story. The show was actually much longer than I expected which was great, and the storyline was very similar to one of the Cinderella movie sequels, A Twist in Time, and even included one of the same songs which was cute!

After the show we had to rush to get in line to meet Minnie in her formal outfit, and after seeing her we rushed again to catch Daisy before dinner, which tonight was at Carioca’s. Unfortunately I can’t say much about the food here as due to it being a particularly choppy night, and probably due to my bizarre buffet choices from earlier in the day, I was starting to feel a little (actually a lot) queasy.. I did order a starter and a main, and managed about 2-3 mouthfuls of each but in the end I gave up and took my leave from dinner early. I was pretty gutted as it meant I missed out on meeting Mickey in his formal night attire, but I didn’t want to make myself any worse so early on in our trip, and five minutes after a laid down on the bed I was zzzzz..

Next stop Naples!

My Disney Cruise Bucket List

I feel like I’ve hardly talked about the fact that next month I’ll be going on my first ever Disney Cruise – crazy right?!

Because it is my first cruise, I genuinely have no idea what to expect, and I’ve not done a whole lot of research, which is very unlike me, so I’m essentially going in blind, but what is a trip without a bucket list?

  • Take a photo by the funnels – yes, I want that cliche Disney cruise photo, and any other classic photo that I can get
  • Visit the ship’s gym – call me strange, but I love visiting gyms at Disney hotels and resorts, so when I discovered that the Disney Magic has a fully equipped gym, I knew I’d be adding that to the list
  • See Tangled: The Musical – apparently there is a Tangled show on board the ship, so you bet your butt I’m gonna be there
  • Eat as much as I can without bursting – when all food is included in the price, you’ve gotta get your money’s worth, right?
  • Do all the waterslides on the boat – no, the waterslides aren’t just for kids.
  • Meet as many characters as I can – because is it really a Disney cruise if you don’t hang out with Mickey and the gang?
  • Explore every little nook and cranny of the ship – I want to see ALL of it
  • Take ALL the outfit photos – as per every other Disney trip, I have planned a whole bunch of outfits specifically for this trip, and you bet you’re gonna be seeing a tonne of them all over here and my social media
  • Party like a pirate – did you know that every Disney cruise has a pirate night? Well I do now, and I can’t wait!
  • Order room service, just ‘cos – all-inclusive perks..
  • Hang out with my best friends – as well as the excitement of my first ever Disney cruise, I’m going with some amazing people and I can’t wait to spend this time with them! Best trip ever!

If you’ve ever been on a Disney Cruise and have any tips or advice, please drop me a comment!

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Reasons to Go On Holiday with your Best Friends

Today I am jetting off on yet another adventure with Sarah from Belles Moments, and needless to say I couldn’t be more excited. Its our second holiday together this year, and I already know that its going to be amazing.

I never did the whole ‘girls holiday to *insert party holiday destination here*’ when I was 18/19, mainly due to it not being my scene, but also because at the time I didn’t really have that many friends that I would want to be stuck in a cramped hotel room with for a week or two, let alone spend all day every day with.

In recent years, however, I’ve met some of the best people in my life, and learnt what real, true friendship actually feels like, and now I love any excuse to get away with my friends, and I’ve got one more girls holiday booked for later in the year, and here are a bunch of reasons why you should do it too:

They pack just as much as you

I’m a serial over-packer. I have to make sure I have outfits for every day, plus a few spare bits and pieces, then there’s all the accessories, shoes, makeup etc to go with, and its so much better knowing they’ll have packed just as much.

They double as Instagram photographers

Those not-so-candid ‘candid’ photos that you hope will hit 100+ likes in the first day don’t take themselves you know..

You’ve probably accidentally coordinated outfits

On our first day in WDW back in February, about 20 people asked us where we bought our ‘matching’ skirts. We hadn’t bought matching skirts..

They understand your quirks

They know what photos you’re gonna have to take because it matches your Instagram theme, they know the struggle you went through choosing what makeup to pack, or which camera to take photos on that day, and they might make a joke or two but they get you.

You already have a selfie set-up

Forget taking 6 photos before you find one you don’t like, you guys already know each others best sides and are well experienced in the matter.

You don’t have to have fun all the time

Well, you will, but you also know how much sleep each of you need to be able to function, and sometimes how you’ll need those earlier nights or a lie in or two.

You’re just as weak as each other

There’s no judgement when you’ve blown all your spending money in the first shop you visit, or when you’ve eaten nothing but popcorn all day.

You’ll just have the best time

I mean, they’re your best friends for a reason!

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