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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: Radical Skincare Hydrating Cleanser

I have incredibly dry skin. It plagues me all year long, but, as the days get colder, my skin seems to get more and more parched, and it's never long before it's in dire need of some TLC. This Autumn, that tender, loving care has come in the welcome form of Radical Skincare's Hydrating Cleanser. I'm always on the lookout for a cleanser that's soothing and hydrating, gentle enough for everyday use, whilst still effectively cleansing the skin, and this one definitely fits the bill.

Radical's ethos is to provide powerful and potent skincare, using a new technology called trylacel to deliver products that are antioxidant and anti-ageing. Now, I'm not going to pretend I know what trylacel technology is, but I will tell you that it works a treat!

The directions tell you to massage the cleanser into your face and neck, then rinse off with warm water. When you first put it on, it feels divine, almost like a moisturiser. It has the consistency of a lotion in the tube, but once massaged into the skin, I think it feels more like an oil, without being at all oily (riddle me that, eh!) I much prefer cleansers like this to things like micellar waters that you wipe on with a cotton pad. The action of physically washing your face is one that makes me feel a lot more fresh. 

I'll be honest, I can't really testify to how well it cleanses - worst cleanser review ever, I know - as I'm a double cleanse kinda gal, and this has always been the second cleanser in my routine. However, I can tell you how amazing it is for hydrating the skin, leaving it looking clearer and feeling softer. You don't get any of that horrible tightness that I often seem to get in between cleansing and moisturising. Also, my favourite factor, it smells incredible! Like chocolate oranges. Delicious! Apparently this is because orange is the smell that has been proven to make people happiest, and so Radical have decided that that's a good enough reason to whack it into their cleanser. I'm not sure how much truth there is in that, but hey, it makes me happy, so there you go! 

So, if you're looking for a heavy duty cleanser, then I have no idea whether this is for you or not (sorry!). But if you're in the market for a soothing, hydrating cleanse that leaves you smelling rather delectable, then the I'd highly recommend that you try the Radical Hydrating Cleanser. You can get it from SpaceNK or the Radical website for £30.

Have you tried the Radical Hydrating Cleanser? Or anything else in their range for that matter? What did you think? Let me know!

S.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Book of the Week: Dark Places

"The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty - we all have it."

First of all, let me start by apologising, once again, for the distinct lack of posts over the past few weeks. It's been a pretty manic month for me, as I got myself a cheeky internship (finally!) which, along with my regular job, has pretty much wiped me out. I also took my driving theory test last week, so I dedicated the little spare time I had to revision for that. But now that that's all out of the way, and I'm feeling a little more settled and a little less wired, I'm going to try my best to get back into my routine with regards to blogging (wish me luck!) starting with this here book of the week.

A while back, I wrote a post on Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, in which I mentioned that I also enjoyed one of her earlier novels, Dark Places, so that will be the subject of today's ramblings. 

Dark Places focuses on Libby Day, whose family was massacred by her brother, Ben, when she was just seven years old. Years on, she is presented with evidence which causes her to doubt everything that she once believed, and she forces herself to consider the fact that maybe her brother wasn't the murderer, and maybe she helped to put the wrong person behind bars. 

The story is told from three perspectives; present day Libby, as well as Patty, Libby's mother, and Ben's accounts of the months leading up to the murders. I really like the way that this was executed, with all of the clues unfolding for Libby as we find out more and more about the Day family and the circumstances which led to the incident. I did find potential murderer, Ben's storyline a bit too odd for my taste, all devil worship and animal slaughter, making him my least favourite character, but it's obviously all necessary for the narrative. I thought Patty's view, however, was a really nice touch - it's really interesting to read her opinions on her children, including her worries about Ben, who she thinks is going through a rather troubled phase (more troubled than she realises). I love how the chapters all work together, and the accounts, both past and present, slot together like puzzle pieces. It's not until the very last chapter that the whole story falls into place, keeping you guessing until the final page. 

I also really like how gritty the whole tale is. Even more so than Gone Girl, everything is really morbid, and there's not really any happiness to it whatsoever. The family live on a run down farm and can barely afford to support themselves, so Patty's accounts are shot through with money woes and her upset at her shoddy mothering skills. Ben's are filled with resentment at the life he is forced to live, working on a farm with no prospects, with no father figure, surrounded by a family of young girls he finds irritating. Additionally, contemporary Libby leads a bitter life, which, in lieu of her horrible childhood, is understandable, but it doesn't really make for an uplifting read. It's not a quality that I'm usually a fan of, feel good reads being my first port of call, but for some reason, I find it a really enjoyable quality in Flynn's writing. 

As I said before, Flynn keeps you on tenterhooks until the closing paragraphs, and I found myself jumping back and forth with my opinion on Ben's guilt until I could hardly stand it any more. Now, the majority of the book, I didn't love as much as Gone Girl, but Flynn is definitely a gem when it comes to shock endings, and I much prefer this one. It's not that it's more unexpected, both are pretty gasp inducing, but I feel that there is more of a sense of closure to this one than to Flynn's more famous tome.

Speaking of closure, that's really all I have to say about this suspense laden thriller. If you've read it too, please do tell, as I'd love to know what your views are! Are you a fan of Gillian Flynn? Do you prefer this story or Gone Girl? Let me know!

S.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Obs'essie'd: My Favourite Autumn Nail Varnishes

Ahh it's that time of year again. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling and I'm once again curling my mitts around a delicious pumpkin spice latte. Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love when the days become shorter, everyone wraps up just that little bit warmer and the festive excitement in the air becomes that bit more palpable. One of the things I love most about the transition from summer time is the switch to those beautiful fall colours. The golds, the berries, the russets and the rusts make it the most warm and beautiful of the seasons, when the bright and fun colours start to disappear for another year,  making way for the darker, more vampy tones. And as I had such fun writing my Summer nail varnish post, I thought I would do the same for Autumn, sharing with you four of my favourite polishes, which I'm so excited to wear for the months to come. And it just so happens, they're all from Essie...

(Just a little side note, I've taken all of the pictures of my nails with my phone rather than my camera, as is true of my previous post. The picture quality isn't as great, but my camera seems to be butchering the colour in every photograph I take as of late. Naughty camera.)

Bordeaux

First on my list, and my absolute favourite, is the aptly named deep wine colour, Bordeaux. A sultry and sophisticated browny red, I think it's the perfect autumnal colour and everyone should own something like it. Hailed as a great dupe for Chanel's Rouge Noir, I think that this vampy colour looks particularly great on pale skin tones, creating such a stunning contrast. It's one I'll come back to year after year.

Bahama Mama

Not all that different from Bordeaux, this gorgeous plummy red looks delicious on the digits. I received this as a recent birthday gift as part of an Essie duo, and I have fallen head over heels for this beautiful shade. I love this warm, rich purple for vamping up an outfit, or bringing a bit of autumnal colour to your office wardrobe. I'm definitely going to get a lot of mileage out of this beaut over the coming months.

Chinchilly 

I feel like grey can often look rather harsh and cold, much like the Winter months to come, but this polish has a softness to it which lends itself wonderfully to the Autumn season. The second in my birthday duo, Chinchilly is a really muted yet beautiful grey colour and I feel like it's the perfect shade for adding a sense of subtle sophistication to a look. Although it has not long been a part of my collection, this understated babe has already pushed it's way up to one of the top spots on my Autumn favourites list. The friend that bought me the duo, one of my closest, was concerned that I'd hate the colours. Needless to say, she shouldn't have worried.

For The Twill Of It

An olive green in some lights, a steely purple in others, this petrol looking polish is such an interesting addition to Essie's Fall collection. Rather new to my polish stash, I originally wasn't going to buy this at all, but as Boots were in the middle of a 'buy one get on half price' offer, I decided that I had nothing to lose by picking it up. Evidently I had so much to gain. The duo-chrome colour is a hundred times more interesting on the nails than it is in the bottle. This shade offers something a little different for the Autumn than the usual berries and wines, and, in this case, I'm loving a little variation.  

So there you go. My four favourite shades for Fall. I've always loved Essie polishes. With the exception of a couple, I find them to be long lasting, chip resistant and very opaque. I didn't plan for them to be the stars of my fall line up, but it turns out they just do the best darn Autumn colours around! I absolutely cannot wait to wear these shades all season long. You can get all these shades from Boots for £7.99 each.

How excited are you for this Autumn? What are your favourite Autumn shades? Are you a fan of any of the Essie colours? Let me know!

S.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

How To Glamour Guide: 3 Looks From The Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette


This summer, I spent rather a lot of time in various Sephora stores in Singapore, being the culture vulture that I am. As well as the unnecessary purchase of many a make up goody (see my recent haul post if you're at all interested) I thought I'd treat myself to an Urban Decay Naked palette, as I have never had the pleasure of owning one! Alas, it clearly wasn't meant to be as they seemed to be sold out absolutely everywhere. I went to a total of four Sephoras whilst I was there, and not one of them had either the Naked or Naked 2 palette in stock. Disappointed, I resigned myself to a palette-less journey home, but on my last day there, this cheeky little number caught my eye. It's the Too Faced palette, Pretty Rebel, and it is filled with a really eye catching spectrum of shades, ranging from matte brown to shimmery silver, with the questionable addition of a bright pink. There's always one colour which makes you question the brand's sanity, isn't there? Now, I love a good smoky eye, but I'm not very adventurous with the colours I use, always opting for browns, golds and bronzes, as I know that they will complement my baby blues. But, as this Too Faced palette came with a look book, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and have a play around with all of the shades on offer. I even braved the pink! Here are the results:

Look #1 - 'Rebel 9 to 5'
This eye consists of Dainty, the matte bone colour, washed on from lash line to brow bone, followed by Girly, a mesmerising iridescent green/brown shade, smoked onto the lid and through the crease. Add a touch of Charming, a matte chocolate brown to the upper and lower lash line and there you have the finished look. 

The colour, Girly, was actually the reason I was drawn to the palette in the first place. The shimmery mix of olive green and dark brown offers a helping of duo-chrome deliciousness which I've never seen anything like before. As I was 99% sure it would be, this is my favourite of the three looks, as it is the most flattering for my eye colour and skin tone, as well as being the least adventurous. What a surprise! I love this make up and it's become my go to evening eye as of late.

Look #2 - 'Pretty Rebel' 
You can't really see the shimmer on the brow bone here as I didn't use a flash. But trust me, it's there, in all it's 80s glory.
The instructions here tell you to sweep Ringleader, a pretty rose gold shimmer, all the way up to the brow, and follow by packing plenty of the bright pink, Totally Fetch, onto the lid. Next, blend Gangsta, a dark antique gold, not dissimilar to MACs Woodwinked, through the crease and proceed to line the upper and lower lash lines with Badass, the dark blue shadow. 

This is the look I was most sceptical about, as I was worried it would look like I was recovering from a nasty bout of conjunctivitis. But actually, it wasn't hideous at all. Quite pretty, in fact. I don't think I'd feel comfortable wearing it in public, I'm not that daring, and the combination of colours was one I found a bit odd (pink, brown and blue?!), but as I was expecting to look diseased, I'm rather impressed! Surprisingly, the pink was the thing I liked most about this look, and it was two of the other colours that held the issues. Firstly, I think Ringleader is one of the most beautiful colours in the palette, but applying the shimmery peach all the way up to the brow bone was way too 80s for me. I also wasn't keen on Badass. The navy shade was just a bit too glittery for my taste, and dropped down on to my face very easily - considering I used next to none, it's not ideal. Also, I'm so glad someone's finally made 'fetch' happen. I was worried it was never going to happen. I will reserve this look for Wednesdays.

Look #3 - 'Rebel Rocker'
For this look, apply Dainty all over once again, then push Jailbird, the metallic silver, over the lid. Afterwards, blend Charming into the crease, and finish off the look by lining the upper and lower lashes with Miss Sparkles, the glittery black shadow.

This eye has a really futuristic, space age feel to it, and I was really impressed with how pigmented and metallic the silver looked on my lids. I really like the silver when combined with the glitter in the black liner, but I'm not sure about combining it with a brown. I think it makes it all look a bit grubby, and it's a bit of a strange combination of warm and cool shades. I think I would have been better off blending some grey through the crease, but as there isn't one in the palette, I guess their hands were tied and they had to make do. Either that, or they think it looks good, I'm not too sure.

My first foray into Too Faced shadows has proved to be a successful one. Sure, my favourite of the looks is the safest one, and the one I would have most probably gone for on my own to begin with, but at least I gave the others a try! All of the colours are so densely pigmented and a dream to blend, so I would not hesitate for a second before recommending this. It's around the same price as an Urban Decay palette, and, actually, the products are very similar. So if you're looking for something a little more adventurous than the Naked offerings, but at the same quality and price range, definitely give this one a try. I had a lot of fun experimenting with some rather rebellious looks. Get it online at Beauty Bay for £40.

Have you tried any Too Faced products? How do you think they compare to Urban Decay? Have you got this palette? Would you buy it? Let me know!

S.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Book of the Week: A Place Called Here

"Sometimes that's all people ever really need. Just to know."

Well hello there, my loves. For this week's Book of the Week instalment, I have picked something that I read rather a long time ago, and that actually, I wasn't really expecting to like all that much. It's A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern. I bought it on a whim a few years ago as part of a '3 for 2' deal, and it sat on my bookshelf for at least a year before I decided to give it a go. I had heard good things about it, but I was still rather sceptical, as I'd also heard amazing things about Ahern's bestseller, P.S. I Love You, and I wasn't all that blown away by it. I found it to be the most underwhelming novel I had ever read - soppy, kind of dull, and not nearly as moving as everyone else claimed it to be. But I was in the process of deciding which tiny selection of non academic books I should take to university with me one year (reading for pleasure being a huge luxury during term time, I'm sure some of you will be aware), and I just thought, hey, might as well give it a chance! And actually, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! 

Firstly, the premise of the book is a very clever and interesting one, in which everything that ever gets lost materialises in this place called, you guessed it, 'Here'. It begins when protagonist, Sandy Shortt's childhood bully goes missing, never to be seen again, which leads Sandy to question where she has gone, and where everything else that's disappeared goes for that matter. She obsesses over every sock, every pen lid, every tiny little thing that vanishes mysteriously, much to her parent's exasperation, until she grows up and turns this fixation with all things lost into a career. It is when she hired to investigate the disappearance of Jack Ruttle's brother that she stumbles into the land called 'Here', and realises she has been on to something all along. The place is populated with the subject of every missing persons case she has ever studied, and piled high with hundreds of the mislaid miscellaneous. Now we've all been there. We've put something down and we can't remember where, and frustratingly, it vanishes, never to be seen again. I think it's so intelligent that Ahern has managed to turn this irritating everyday occurrence into a colourful, well imagined and captivating story, with a complex and rich fairytale world to match. The idea alone merits a good review in my eyes. 

I found that the two central characters, Sandy and Jack, added a real element of warmth to the story. They are both really interesting and likeable people in their own right; Sandy, the slightly flaky missing persons investigator whose characteristics could not be less suited to her name, and Jack, the stressed and distant Dubliner who wishes he'd spent more time with the little brother he now can't find.  But the thing that really got me the most was the way that they really looked out for each other, and worried about each other, despite having only ever spoken on the phone. Sounds a bit strange to say, but it gave me a bit more faith in humanity to know that these fictional characters were willing to go out of their way for each other, even though they are, effectively, total strangers. I think there's something quite comforting in that, and it was lovely to read. 

As well as this, there is a really chatty style to the way that Ahern writes, also apparent in P.S. I Love You, which makes you instantly warm to the story and the characters - you feel like you know them and you're just listening to them natter over a good cuppa. This quality was actually the only thing I liked about P.S. I Love You, and it lends itself equally well to this story of mystery, intrigue and discovery. It adds a more friendly layer to what could be a rather chilling story. It could have been a tale of people trapped in some parallel universe, desperate to get back to their real lives, but actually, they've all developed a warm, comforting community of their own and, although there is an element of melancholy to the whole thing, the way in which it is written makes it really quite heart warming. None of the characters are dwelling on how long it's been since they last saw their family, or how worried they might be - they have made themselves a new family, creating a life for themselves out of a terrible situation.

Another thing that I really liked about the book was the ending. Obviously, I won't give it away here but, like the whole novel, I found it to be very bitter-sweet, something which endeared me even more to the entire story. It was the perfect conclusion to a surprisingly great read.

So, if you're looking for a really easy read to break up the monotony of studying, then this book certainly did the trick for me. I loved the mystery and intrigue, the warmth of the characters, and I was more that a little enamoured by the beautiful fantasy backdrop that 'Here' provided. It just goes to show what you can gain if you just give things a chance. So if you've got something lingering on your shelf that you just don't have the motivation to open, don't leave it, because you might just end up loving it.

Have you read this book? Did you love it? Have you read anything by Cecelia Ahern? Let me know!

S.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Review: Fishwife by Butter London

I've said it a few times now, but Butter London is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite brand of nail varnish. I love the colour range, the consistency and opacity of their products, as well as the names and the sophisticated packaging. At around £12 a go, they're not what you would call an affordable brand, but I still have rather a few in my collection, despite my bleeding debt card. Here is most recent addition to my Butter London brood, and what was definitely my favourite shade for Summer - Fishwife.

Fishwife, which I actually quite like the name of, weird as it sounds, is a colour that I had been lusting over for quite some time prior to actually getting my hands on it. Sadly, being unavailable in England, I had to shelf it and get on with life. However, during my summer trip to Singapore, I saw it nestled happily in amongst the nail polish displays at Sephora, and ran to grab it so fast I think I might have scared the sales assistant a little. It is now safely back home in my collection, and, having now given it quite a lot of wear, I can tell you that it's a keeper.

The colour itself is the most beautiful holographic sea foam green, with a streak of gold to it, as well as a huge array of other shimmery particles, so that in some lights, it can look really fitting of it's name, and in others, more muted and warm. I'm writing this before I have taken any photographs, so I sincerely hope I can capture it well on camera, although I think I'm being a bit too optimistic. You'll just have to take my word for it. It's a beaut.

As for it's quality, it takes a few coats to really look fantastic, but I think, for the end result, it's so worth the effort! I mean, you could get away with one, but it just looks a little meek and by no means show stopping. I usually go for about 3 coats, which I think looks perfect. The consistency is that of the least streaky polish I have ever owned, and, I'm not entirely sure why but this stuff just does not chip! I don't use a top coat with it, as I feel it impairs the effect somewhat, and I'm curious as to whether this is why it lasts so long. Odd, considering the opposite should be the case.

I am head over heels for this shade, and it's definitely my favourite colour for the Spring/Summer months. Sadly, Autumn has arrived rather abruptly, so I doubt I will get much wear out of it now. So farewell Fishwife, we will meet again next Spring. I will miss you dearly, but until then, I'm excited to start rocking some autumnal berry tones and burgundy shades.

Are you a Butter London fan? What is your favourite Butter London shade? Do you own Fishwife? Let me know!

S.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

My Birthday Shenanigans

For this post, I thought I'd do something slightly different because.... it's my birthday!! Yay! At least it was last Friday, but it's close enough. I'm quite partial to a good lifestyle post, and so I thought, given that it was a special occasion, I'd try my hand at it, with a little birthday gift haul thrown in for good measure. So I hope you enjoy this change from the norm. I had such a lovely birthday and it seemed a shame not to write about it all. Also, as a little side note, I'd just like to say that I'm rubbish at taking photos when I'm out, but I'll stick in the very few Instagram snaps that I did get.
Cupcakes! They had sparklers on them, but they took so long to light that they went out before I could snap them.
So, on my actual birthday I stayed at home with my favourite person - my mum. We gorged on pizza and cake, spending the whole evening watching old school chick flicks. Hello, Notting Hill! I know, slow down, crazy party lady! I could have gotten dressed up and gone out for the  night, but I just feel like I'm past clubbing now (sign #1 that you're getting old), and, as all my friends live in London, it's quite an expensive ordeal, particularly as we were all so used to student prices once upon a time. And it was lovely to just lounge around in our lazy clothes, and eat about a months worth of calories in one sitting - if you can't on your birthday, when can you, eh? I couldn't think of a more enjoyable way to spend the evening, and I'm so pleased that I didn't feel at all obligated to go out.

My Parma Violet tasting drink!

Loving this birthday card.

The following day, which just so happens to be my brothers birthday, I actually did go out, but only for dinner with friends. We went to a place called Bubbledogs, a novel little restaurant which only serves hot dogs and champagne. And let me just start by saying, hands down, best hot dog I've ever had. And you can never go too far wrong with a cheeky bottle of champagne. You might have to queue for about an hour for a table, but I would definitely urge you to put your name down, send someone on a sly alcohol run to the Tesco around the corner, and enjoy the wait whilst sipping on a G&T, because the food is worth hanging around for. The hot dog I chose was the 4th of July. Piled high with spicy BBQ sauce and delicious coleslaw, it was a messy yet wonderful affair. I keep telling myself that the reason I took no photographs is because my hands were too sticky to touch anything, but, lets face it, I was never going to remember to get my camera out. They were really sticky though... It's not the type of  the type of place to go on a first date, unless your idea of romance is having someone lovlingly pick the coleslaw out of your hair (how did it get there?!), but I was in the company of my nearest and dearest, so I wasn't afraid to just get stuck in and enjoy the delectable experience. I overcompensated with sides, as I'd read a few reviews online which claimed that the hot dogs were tiny, and not very filling. Lies. They're normal sized hot dogs.So learn from my mistake - one side will be enough. As for which sides we ordered, not known for our frugality, we went for the lot: tots, sweet potato fries and coleslaw, all of which were deliciously moreish. The type of food that you can't stop eating, even though you feel like you might explode after every mouthful. The tots were my favourite because they reminded me of when I was a tot - they taste exactly like those potato smilies that we used to have as kids, only crispier and more delicious. Remember those? Good times. We washed it all down with a couple of cocktails to end the evening. I went for the Aviator, which tasted exactly like Parma Violets, and then headed home with a full tummy and a huge smile on my face. I had such a lovely birthday, and it made me feel so blessed - I have the most amazing people in my life, both friends and family, and I am so glad I got to spend my special day with those I love the most. 

And speaking of feeling blessed, over the two days, I was spoilt rotten, and I got such a lovely collection of gifts that I just had to share.
The first on my birthday wish list and my main gift was an ever popular Michael Kors watch. I know, everyone and their grandma has got one of these, but I just think they're so beautiful. They're feminine yet substantial, if that makes sense, and I'm so ridiculously happy that my parents treated me to one. I actually took a leap of faith and just said I wanted this particular brand, and that they could choose the watch, and my Dad picked out the exact one that I'd been swooning over for months! They know me too well! I would have been happy with anything they picked out, but I'm so pleased it was this one. It's the MK 5799 if you're interested.
As if that wasn't enough, my parents also got me a handbag and shoe combination from New Look. My mum claims it's because I knew I was getting the watch and she didn't want me to know what all my presents were. I love that woman. For some reason, I always opt for brown shoes, never black. So whenever it comes to anything remotely formal, be it an interview or similar, I always end up having to wear stupidly high shoes, the only black ones I have, and come home complaining of blisters and aching legs. I think my mum chose these with this in mind and I'm so pleased to own some black flats now, with a bag to match. They will be office staples. If ever I get a real job, that is. 
My brother has always been good at picking out things that I love. He thinks it's a fluke that every year he picks something I've secretly been pining over, but I beg to differ. We did live together for 20 years, he must have just picked up on my tastes. This year was no different, as he got me a beautiful Jo Malone cologne, in the scent, Blackberry & Bay. I've actually never smelt it before, and although everybody raves about it, I'm very picky with my perfumes, so this could have all gone horribly wrong. To my little bro's relief, I adore it. It's very fruity, and quite tart, and I think it will be absolutely perfect for Autumn. It will take pride of place on my scent shelf. 
At dinner on Saturday, my friends also gave me a few cheeky presents. They kept saying that they were only little things, but in my eyes, there's really no such thing as a little gift. If someone puts thought and effort into picking something out for you, it's a lovely gesture, and all of the gifts they got me were so perfectly suited to me that it made me feel absolutely wonderful.  

Firstly, I got an Essie duo, which contained the shades Bahama Mama and Chinchilly, which are perfect shades for the season. My friend was worried that they wouldn't be my cup of tea, but she got it so right - I love them! So much so that, the day before, I was dangerously close to buying Chinchilly for myself, but at the last minute, I put it down and picked up one from the Essie fall collection instead. Thank god for that, eh?
Speaking of cups of tea, as my friends are aware, I am a huge tea drinker. So they also got me an adorable little 'tea for one' set. I always get these as gifts for other people, but I've never owned one myself, so it was such a perfect gift idea. I can't stop using it, it's so beautiful. The pattern is perfect too - it has little woodland creatures all over it, which I love, and the colour scheme is so well suited to me, with a mixture of greens and purples, one of them being my favourite colour, the other being the colour of pretty much everything in my bedroom. I don't know whether my friend considered this when she bought it, or whether it was a subconscious thing. Either way, it's like it was made for me. 
Last but certainly not least, I got a beautiful little notebook, with the words 'Love and Luck' emblazoned on the front. The friend that got it for me thought that the words were fitting because it's what she wishes me all the time, and now I'll see it every time I write something down. Now, I don't know about you, but I thought that was the sweetest sentiment, it made my heart swell in my chest a little bit.
So that was my birthday - I had such a wonderful time, and everybody made me feel so loved. I love celebrating birthdays, even if they aren't my own. It's so great to do something a little bit different and to celebrate life every once in a while, so I can't wait for the next one to come knocking. Have you recently celebrated a birthday? Is yours coming up? What is your favourite way to spend it? Let me know!

S.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

To Read...2013

All pictures from Goodreads
Firstly, I would again like to apologise for being on such poor form for the past month. I made big plans to get myself more organised and to blog on a more regular, structured basis, but I've just been so busy for the past couple of weeks that, yet again, I've let my poor little page fall by the wayside. In all fairness, it was my birthday on Friday (23 doesn't seem as bad as I thought it would!) so I feel like I can let myself off a little. As I only got home from flitting around the south of England about an hour ago, I don't have a Book of the Week for today, just as I didn't last week (again, sorry), so instead I thought I'd put together a quick list of all the books I want to read before the year is up. Some may call it a rather ambitious list, but aim high, I always say.

Here are a few books that have been on my 'to read' list for far too long now, in no particular order:

A Song Of Ice And Fire - A Dance With Dragons, Part 1 & 2 // George R. R. Martin
Captain Corelli's Mandolin // Louis de Bernieres
The Beautiful & Damned // F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Godfather // Mario Puzo
The Cuckoo's Calling // Robert Galbraith
One Summer: America 1927 // Bill Bryson
A Thousand Splendid Suns // Khaled Hosseini
The Book Thief // Markus Zusak
The Night Circus // Erin Morgenstern

That's all for the moment. No doubt I've forgotten one or twenty, and the list will inevitably grow as the days shorten. I always value recommendations, so I would love to hear your suggestions. Have you read anything amazing recently? What's your favourite book? Have you read anything from my list? What should I read first? Let me know!

S.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Not Worth The Hype: Products That I Found Disappointing

I'm usually pretty confident that I'm going to like a product before I buy it. I read blogs, consider the recommendations of friends, and pay attention to what is being talked about, so that I don't waste my hard earned cash on something I'm going to hate. But sometimes I make mistakes (I'm only human after all), and every now and then, a dud product slips into my collection and I find myself thinking, 'ohh, this is such a disappointment.' We all do it, so I thought I'd share my disappointing purchases with you, in the hope that I can help you to make a more informed decision before you buy one of those oh so raved about products, that actually might end up falling short. Or, so that you can agree with me and make me feel better about my pointless spends. On we go.
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips Combo Pack - £10.99
The first on my hit list are the Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. These do nothing. And not only that, they hurt too! So you peel it off, revelling in the promise of lessened blackheads and a clearer T-zone, and you're left with watery eyes, looking a bit like Rudolph, and you still have clogged pores! It's not on really, is it? And actually, I thought I was the only one that thought this, until I saw it mentioned on Imogen's blog, The Bluebird & The Robin. Subsequently, I mentioned it to a fellow beauty obsessive, and her reaction was, 'ugh, yeah they're s**t'. So what I want to know is why is everyone still raving about them , if no one thinks they work?! What type of mind game is this?! I have since been told that even though these awful things are nothing more than torture weapons, the Boots own brand are much more effective, and a fraction of the price. You're welcome. 
Maybelline Fit Me Foundation - £7.99
Next to take a verbal beating is Maybelline's Fit Me Foundation. I actually didn't go out and buy this. A friend who has a much darker skin tone than me, knowing full well that it would be way to light for her, bought it - no idea why. I always struggle to find pale foundations, particularly those that have a more yellow tone to them, so, after noticing the rather huge flaw in her foundation selecting routine, she gave me this to try out. Now actually, the colour is a pretty good fit, but the foundation itself is just so watery that I struggle to get any kind of coverage at all without looking like I've dipped my face in cake batter. Another aspect that irks me, is the fact that it has no kind of pump or dispenser. You just pour it out of the bottle. It's so messy and you get way too much product - I found it to be quite a traumatic experience actually. Now, I know you can go out and buy pumps for your products, but why should I have to? Why doesn't someone have the sense to put one on it before they try and sell it? I mean, honestly! Also, it has SPF 18 in it. I mean, yay for SPF and everything, but 18? I thought they went up in multiples of 5? Don't confuse me so. I have heard good things about the powder in this range though, and as I know the colour is such a good match, and I sincerely doubt that I'm going to have the same consistency issue with it, I think I might give it a whirl. 
Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers - £6.49
Next up is the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer. This is one that really irritates me, because I actually think the product is amazing, apart from one flaw which ruins the whole thing. The colours are super pigmented, as well as leaving a decent stain once the glossiness has faded, and they don't dry and leave your lips looking all cracked and flaky, like a lot of lip lacquers tend to. Sadly, the fact that it doesn't dry means that the instant a light breeze catches you unaware, you end up with your hair stuck all over your lips, and any attempt to rectify the situation, more often that not, results in some Joker-esque style of pout, where your hair has left stripes of highly pigmented product all over your face. Thank goodness it stains, eh? I also seem to get a lot on my teeth as the day goes on, and I'm struggling to think of a situation where I'd want to rock that look. So I'm confined to the house if I ever want to wear these. Such a shame!
Benefit Porefessional Primer - £24.50
Another product that I was expecting to love and was left really disappointed by is Benefit's Porefessional Pro Balm Primer. Now, I'll put my hands up and say that I could have probably avoided this one. I saw it at duty free, and when the woman on the Benefit counter saw me looking and asked if I wanted a sample, I panicked, refused and bought the full sized product. It seemed perfectly logical at the time. If only I could remember why. Now this primer is OK, but it isn't great, and the one thing it claims to do, it doesn't do very well at all. With this on, I don't think my pores look minimised in the slightest. It does make my skin feel smoother and silkier, creating a lasting base for my make up, but I don't think it stays put any longer than other primers I've used in the past. I think that if this product wasn't so hyped, I might have enjoyed it a bit more, but as I was expecting spectacular, and all I got was spectacularly average, unfortunately it's getting the boot.
Benefit They're Real! Mascara - £19.50
The last is probably the most controversial of my disappointments, and it's Benefit's They're Real! mascara. For something marketed as the fastest selling mascara in the UK, I was expecting amazing things from this product, but it's just all wrong for me! For starters, the shape of the mascara wand is sound in theory, but in practice, I just don't think it works. The weird mace looking bit at the tip would be perfect for coating the lashes vertically, and I thought it would be particularly good for bottom lashes and getting right into corners, but it just picks up wayyy too much product for it to be effective. I end up with clumps all over the place and a lot of wasted product. I also find that it's difficult to layer when wet, and absolutely impossible when dry, which is rather irritating. I can't be getting that false lash effect with only one coat, and let me tell you, the only thing 'unreal' about this stuff is the colossal amount of flaking and clumping when you attempt a second. It does lengthen my lashes, but no more so than other mascara's I've used, and it isn't particularly good at holding a curl either. So yeah, I just don't rate this mascara. At. All. I much prefer my trusty MaxFactor False Lash Effect mascara's, which I've been going back to for years now. 

So that is my list of products that, in my opinion, aren't worth the hype. Suffice it to say, Benefit took a fair bashing there. It's odd, because I love Benefit. Their eye shadows are amazing, and their blushes, to die for, but their two most hyped and loved products, I think are so underwhelming it's ridiculous. The Benefit products, and the rest, may very well suit you, and I am by no means trying to say that they are universally rubbish, they're just not for me. So if you love any of these products, and feel like they need a bit of defending, then by all means, leave a comment. I'd love to hear everyone's different opinions - it's so interesting to hear how different everybody is when it comes to cosmetics!

Do you agree with any of the products I've mentioned? Do you disagree? What are your disappointing products? Let me know!

S.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

September Glossybox

Sadly, I was unable to get last months Glossybox. The courier that delivers it annoyingly doesn't knock and just leaves the box on the doorstep and, as I was on holiday, and I didn't want it to just sit there, braving the elements and alerting nearby burglars to our absence, I reluctantly had to cancel my subscription. I renewed as soon as I returned, however, and I must say, I'm so glad it wasn't this month's I skipped, as I think that this British beaut is my favourite so far. I usually get something that's not to my taste, but there is nothing that I wouldn't have considered in the September box! Jumping on the theme provided by the presence of London Fashion Week, the box is filled with some fantastic, home-grown products.
The products I received this month were:
Be A Bombshell Onyx Eye Liner
Toni & Guy Classic Shine & Gloss Serum
Elizabeth Arden Untold
Eyelure Pre-Glued Lashes
Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips
First things first, I received an eye liner from Be A Bombshell Cosmetics. I'm dead chuffed that I got a black eye liner as I've been on the lookout for a new one - I'm not particularly happy with the Bourjois one I'm using currently. This wasn't a brand I had heard of before, so I wouldn't have considered buying it if it hadn't been sent to me, but I must admit, they've made a rather good first impression. The liner looks a bit thick and daunting at first, as if you're about to go at your face with a permanent marker, but it's actually fairly easy to control the thickness of application. This is the main plus for me, as I usually really struggle with liquid eye liner, but with this product I was able to create the perfect feline flick in an instant. It's very pigmented, dries almost immediately upon application, and lasts all day. And what more do you want from an eye liner, really? Upon visiting the website (which is actually www.beabombshellcosmetics.com, the one printed in the box isn't a registered domain - oops!) it looks like the brand is actually American, which is a bit confusing, but never mind, eh? But after a bit of exploring, I discovered that another plus from the brand is that the founder, Tonya Thompson, says that it was born out of  a desire to provide cosmetics suitable for the most sensitive of skins. Struggling with highly sensitive skin herself, she was sick to death of being so limited in the products she could use, and so she pioneered the brand to combat the problem. Now I don't suffer with sensitive skin, so I can't really preach about it, but all of the Be A Bombshell products are tried and tested by her, so if you do struggle to find products that work with your sensitive skin, maybe it's worth giving this brand a go.
The second product I found in the box was the Toni & Guy Classic Shine & Gloss Serum. The limited edition packaging, designed by Lulu Kennedy, is really lovely but, to be perfectly honest, I'm more interested in the product inside. The serum is similar to the Frizz Ease range, in the way that it is designed to tame frizz whilst adding a healthy shine to your hair, and actually, it really does! You put it onto dry hair, which felt a bit unnatural to me, as I'm used to putting serum on before I blow dry, but I went with it, and I was left with soft, silky smooth locks and a reinforced love for Toni & Guy products. It's perfect for getting rid of those annoying flyaways that make me look like a baby owl, and I was so impressed by the fact that it left absolutely no residue on my hands when I had finished working it through my tresses. Added bonus - it smells like the Toni & Guy Sea Salt Spray! Wohoo! Love that stuff!
Next up was a 5 ml sample of Elizabeth Arden's new fragrance, Untold (Also American, no? I think I've misunderstood the theme). First of all, the bottle made me want to cry a little bit from the cuteness of it all. It's just so dinky and adorable. I love elegant perfume bottles, and if you make them mini, well then I just can't help myself! As for the smell, it's a very soft, sweet floral scent, which is just beautiful. It's not what I'd usually opt for, fruity fragrances usually being my ideal, but that's the reason I like Glossybox - for discovering little gems like this one that I might have overlooked at the perfume counter. I think this delicate scent will be perfect to pop in my handbag for evenings out, and I'm sure it will get a lot of use, despite it being rather different from my signature scent.
The fourth item I was given was a set of Eyelure Pre-Glued Lashes. I love wearing false lashes. I think they add a wonderful element of glamour to a look, although I only tend wear them on special occasions, as I feel like they're much too much effort to be fussing around with on a regular basis. I haven't had a chance to wear these yet, but I'll be really interested to see how well the glue compares to the normal Eyelure lashes. I would hope that they are easier to use, and if that does turn out to be the case, who knows, I might start wearing falsies much more frequently. As a matter of fact, it's my birthday next week, the perfect occasion to give these fluttery babies a test run. 
Last, and sadly, least in this months box was the Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips. I've heard a lot about this product, and although I wasn't about to rush out and buy it, I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. Not that I had much of an opportunity to! The already minuscule sample had barely any product in it. It was like the grapple you have with your toothpaste when you're down to the very last dregs. Not what I want from something I haven't even used yet! The product itself is rather dense, and, although not sticky, it's quite difficult to apply and move around. And once it's on, I didn't find it to be particularly moisturising, soothing or hydrating. I'm not even sure what it's supposed to do to be honest, but it didn't really do much of anything. I mean, it's OK, but it isn't great, and definitely not a product I'll be purchasing any time soon.

Et voilĂ . I hope you enjoyed my round up of glossy treats for this month. I think it's probably the best I've received so far, but what do you think? Did you get the same products as I did? What was your favourite? Let me know!

S.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Book of the Week: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

"Aim higher in case you fall short."

Firstly, let me apologise for dropping the ball a little bit with these Book of the Week posts. I've had a very hectic past few weeks with not a lot of time to read and, to be perfectly honest, I didn't really have anything that I was that excited to write about. I could have just picked a book and scribbled down a few thoughts about it, but I thought it was far better to take a couple of weeks off, and come back to my weekly musings with a refreshed energy. I still haven't really read anything new (I'm actually still working my way through the Game of Thrones series, and loving it), but I did think of a series that really caught my imagination a while ago, which has since become a bit of a phenomenon. So for this week, I thought I'd write about the The Hunger Games trilogy, and my fave of the three, Catching Fire.

I read The Hunger Games series a fair few years ago now. At the time, I hadn't heard anything about them, but a friend and fellow book addict had read them, and knew they were acquiring quite a substantial following, and she insisted I read them, as she was positive that I'd love them. And as soon as she explained the premise of the books to me, I knew she was right. I love the gladiatorial aspect of the whole thing, and I'm always quite intrigued by dystopian, 1984-esque stories, so I was more than a little excited to get started. Needless to say, I devoured the two that had been published in as many days, and bought the third as soon as it was released. I would absolutely say that this series has more than earned it's title as one of the most popular young adult books of its generation. It's just brilliant, and here are a few of the many reasons why.

My first reason for loving all of the books is the hero of the piece; Katniss Everdeen. I love how independent and determined she is. There are far too few strong female role models in young adult literature these days, the majority of them focused on boys and looking pretty, but I think that Katniss sets a fantastic example for younger readers. She gets things a little bit wrong sometimes, and she is definitely flawed, but her concerns are for her family, and the good of others, making her a lot more deep, interesting and likeable than her contemporary equivalents (*cough* Bella *cough*). I just love her, and welcome the rather refreshing perspective she brings to the female lead. I actually think that popular books with a strong and healthy female presence, owe a lot of their success to this fact, although I'm not sure how many would agree with me. For example, Harry Potter captured the hearts and the imaginations of pretty much every one of my generation, but I don't think the books would have had half as much longevity without that strong female foundation - Hermione, Mrs. Weasley, Luna, and J. K. Rowling herself make those books what they are, and I think this is also the case with Katniss. 

I also really enjoy the way the books are written. The style is quite choppy and abrupt, which really lends itself to the content of the book. The whole thing is very fast paced and gripping, at times a little nail biting, and I think the fact that the writing style is so exhilarating is probably one of the many reasons that I couldn't put the books down until I had finished them!

Catching Fire, the second in the series, is my favourite of the trio for a few reasons, one of them being that it is far more cleverly constructed than the first. A big part of that is obviously owed to the fact that so much has been set up for the reader in the first instalment. But I just enjoy the premise a lot more. I massively prefer the arena in this one (which I think will translate fantastically to the silver screen), and I love the fact that the contestants turn against the Capitol and the arena itself, giving all of the players a chance to get to know each other, and, by proxy, the reader gets to know them too. There wasn't much opportunity for that in the first book, as Katniss was so isolated for most of the time. I particularly liked Finnick Odair and his back story, and I've yet to meet anyone who didn't! I also loved Mags, the 80 year old, wise little lady from Finnick's district, as well as Wiress and Beetee, the kind of adorable duo who figure out the arena. To be honest, all of the characters had something wonderful about them, and I'm grateful that we were given the chance to get to know all of them this time around. 

So there you have my opinion of the well loved Hunger Games. And although Catching Fire is, without a doubt, my favourite,  I couldn't really fault any of the three books. I think they're brilliant, and  I cannot wait to see the hotly anticipated film adaptation of my favourite in the series. As for the Book of the Week posts, I have a pile of books as tall as me just desperate to be read, so next week, I'll be back with a renewed zest and enthusiasm, as well as some exciting (hopefully) book reviews for you all to read. I'd better get cracking!

Are you a Hunger Games fan? Which one is your favourite? Are you excited to see the new film? Let me know!

S.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Singapore Part Two: Theatre, Elephant Rides And A Bit More Shopping

Picking up form where I left off with my Singapore Part 1 post, I'm just going to dive right into it and tell you all about my second and final amazing week on holiday. So here we go.

Fresh back from sunny Indonesia, we decided to throw ourselves right back into the active lifestyle of Singapore with a day trip to Singapore Zoo. I love visits to the zoo. It's one of my absolute favourite things to do. In fact, at one point in life, I was adamant that my dream job would be as a zoo keeper. It didn't work out, but I still adore visiting. To be in a warm and sunny country, surrounded by a huge variety of tropical and amazing animals was just a dream. And it was here that I experienced the highlight of my trip. When we were in Bintan, I got hugely excited by the fact that the hotel offered elephant rides, and struggled to hide my disappointment when I was told that you needed to book at least a day in advance, and the that elephants didn't ride on Sundays. Saddened by the lost opportunity, I told myself that it was OK, it was just a sign that I'd have to return someday to enjoy this experience and all of the other wonderful adventures the resort had to offer. It turns out that I needn't have been so disappointed after all, as when I opened up the Zoo map, there it was! Elephant riding!! It might not seem that exciting to those of you that live in places like Asia, where the opportunity probably presents itself all the time (I mean, you only have to go to your local zoo!), but for me it was absolutely amazing and by far the most memorable part of my trip. The elephants were so playful, so intelligent and so beautiful! I'd never really considered how magnificent they were before, but I think they are definitely one of the most amazing animals I have ever had the pleasure of being so close to, and the trip has sparked in me a desire to learn so much more about the majestic creatures. It makes me grin just writing about the experience, it was so wonderful!
Me on a frickin' elephant! Ahh!
The cutest little meerkat you ever did see!
The following day was equally action packed. I think by this point we were aware of the end of the trip, making us determined to cram in as much as humanly possible. We journeyed over to the island of Sentosa, which is about a 5 minute monorail ride away from the Singapore coastline, and spent a fun filled day at Universal Studios. Lacking a Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this place has nothing on Orlando, although I'm kind of glad for that as I feel as though it would have taken away from the magical experience of my previous year's trip to Florida if it had been at all comparable. Despite that, this theme park is amazing in it's own way. It features some of the same attractions as it's Western counterpart, The Mummy roller coaster being a particular favourite of mine, but it also has some new elements including an entire area dedicated to Shrek, as well as a Madagascar section and a Sci-Fi City featuring a rather exciting 4D Transformers ride. It was such a fantastic day, that really made me happily nostalgic for last year's holiday (I spent a week and a half at Universal Studios Resort, Orlando, and then a week and a half visiting my aunt in Miami). 


Wednesday took us to the relatively new Gardens by the Bay. If I'm honest, I preferred the Botanic Gardens, which were free, and absolutely breath taking, but the Gardens by the Bay had their own charm. Something I found particularly interesting, and kind of weird, is that the main attractions of the Bay are two large, domed, greenhouses that are home to plants from all around the world. Now, to me, greenhouses are supposed to get hot to help the plants grow, but here, they are made colder than the outside climate in order to house exotic displays like the English country garden! Ha! I cannot tell you how odd it felt to be standing amidst rose bushes and the like, thinking about how similar it is to your own back garden, with a load of Asian people ogling at how interesting and different all of the flowers are! It's so odd to consider that what is normal, almost boring to some, is fascinating and new to others! The gardens also had these really interesting structures called the Skywalk, which looked like some kind of futuristic forest. It was really nice to be able to see the surrounding bay from atop these quirky structures.
On Wednesday evening, we went back to Sentosa, this time taking the scenic Cable Car over to the island. We got popcorn and drinks for the journey, and it was fantastic to get a birds eye view of the place. Once we arrived, we went luging, which was a really fun go kart thing, down to the seafront and had dinner on the beach. The restaurant was beautiful, the food delicious, and it was such a relaxing and enjoyable evening. I wish I could do it every night!
They had one of those cool weather signs haha!
On Thursday, I took myself on another lone shopping trip, but during the evening, I was very much in my element, as we were taken the see The Phantom of the Opera. Dressed to the nines, we head out to a cute little restaurant called Au Chocolat, which featured, you guessed it, chocolate, in all it's food. I was desperate to try out one of their many beautiful desserts, but the meals were kind of huge (see my brother's beast of a burger), and I thought it unwise, considering the impending theatre trip. Phantom was on at the Mastercard theatre, which is inside the Marina Bay Sands shopping centre. Shopping and theatre in the same building - bliss. A huge fan of everything musical theatre, it had never really been high on my must watch list, but I absolutely loved it! The music, the costumes, the story - everything was just perfect, and it was a fantastic evening out.
The Beastburger
Friday was another day for shopping. First of all, me and my Mum (not really a guys day out) went to a place called Bugis Street, which was recommended to me, and described as a bigger, better version of Chinatown. A large sheltered square littered with all kinds of market stalls, it was all a bit to claustrophobic and crowded for my liking, so we didn't stay long and decided to go and see what else Singapore had to offer. So we picked a direction and took a leisurely stroll which landed us on Arab Street, followed by Haji Lane. Now these were more my kind of places. Lined with cute little boutiques, brimming with beautiful handmade jewellery and sweet little trinkets, we whiled away the afternoon exploring all the fantastic little corners of these roads.
After a lovely days shopping, we went for dinner at the Singapore Cricket Club, and then went out for drinks at a bar called One Altitude, which perches on top of One Raffles Place and is the worlds highest outside bar. 64 floors up, the drinks are good, but the views are breathtaking. You feel like you're on top of the world, and we had the best time pointing out all of the places we had visited over the past two weeks. I  had never been to a rooftop club before, England not exactly offering the best climate for it, and I only wish that my friends had been there to enjoy it with me - they would have all loved it! Oh well, I'll just have to go back there with them, won't I?
My camera's crappy attempt at night photography
On Saturday, we spent the morning taking in the history of Singapore at the Asian Civilisations Museum. As an Ancient History graduate, I absolutely love this kind of thing, but admittedly it isn't for everyone. We then took a river cruise, and were able to get another wonderful view of the bay from the water. As we were heading home the following evening, and the boys wanted to watch the Grand Prix (yawn), we decided not to go out for the evening, instead opting for a tasty barbecue on the terrace. It was delicious, and reminded me so much of my childhood, as it was kind of traditional to have as many barbecues as possible whilst we were on holiday. The perfect end to the perfect trip. 
On our final day, I zipped out for the last of many trips to Sephora, before heading back to the apartment for another afternoon at the Botanic Gardens. There, we had a fancy lunch in the centre of the Gardens, where I had a Caesar Salad in a bowl that I could have feasibly worn as a helmet. Delicious, but huge. After a leisurely afternoon, wandering around to the places we didn't have the time to explore during our first venture, we went back to the apartment to pack and drove to the airport. I was so sad to go, but I'm sure I haven't seen the last of this magnificent island.
There is still so much that I want to do in Singapore, and I will most definitely be venturing back there, hopefully sooner rather than later. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with the beautiful city island, but it is safe to say that those two weeks were two of the best in my life. If you are ever given the opportunity to visit Singapore, grasp it with both hands! I promise, you'll have the time of your life.

Are you considering visiting Singapore? What would you be most excited to do there? Let me know!

S.

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