31.10.17

My USA Trip - Pacific Coast Highway

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway is a must do if you're visiting California - it is without a doubt the most scenic drive I have ever completed. I drove almost 900km all the way from San Francisco to San Diego in two weeks, stopping at some unmissable places along the way. If you're planning on visiting Cali anytime in the future, here are my recommendations to get the most from your trip.

Santa Cruz

Places to visit in Santa Cruz: 
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  • Main Beach
  • Walk West Cliff Drive
  • Wilder Ranch State Park 
  • Natural Bridges State Park
  • Explore downtown
Santa Cruz Mural
Main Beach

Monterey
Places to visit in Monterey: 
  • Pacific Grove - Lovers Point
  • Lovers Point Park
  • Monterey Bay - where you can walk/sail/hike and whale watch along the way.
  • Cannery Row
  • 17-mile drive - a drive I really would have liked have known about before I went. It's $10 per vehicle which isn't bad and I've heard the drive is beautiful. I would definitely do this if I ever went back.
Monterey
Carmel
Things to do in Carmel:
  • Downtown Carmel 
  • Carmel Beach City Park 
  • Point Lobos State Reserve - this was unexpectedly one of my favourite things in Cali. The entire walk was so beautiful and there was so much to see. This is defintiely an unmissable stop.
Downtown Carmel
Point Lobos State Reserve
Point Lobos State Reserve

Point Lobos State Reserve

Point Lobos State Reserve - China Cove

Point Lobos State Reserve - China Cove

Point Lobos State Reserve - China Cove

Point Lobos State Reserve

Big Sur
Places to visit at Big Sur:
  • Bixby Creek Bridge
  • Pfeiffer Beach - unfortunately I was unable to see this due to the landslides but I would have loved to have visited.
  • McWay Falls
  • Ragged Point
  • Nepenthe Restaurant - get there early to avoid queues - the view is so worth it.
Bixby Creek Bridge

Bixby Creek Bridge

San Luis Obispo: 

Things to do in San Luis Obispo:
  • Cerro Alto Trail - this is a 2650ft summit of Cerro Alto giving a panoramic view of San Luis Obispo. It has incredible views of volcanic peaks and Morro Bay. The trail itself is a 5.35-mile walk and can be rather difficult at times but, push through! The view at the top is so worth it. 
  • Visit Morro Bay
A rest stop on the Cerro Alto trail
Malibu
Things to do in Malibu:
  • Carbon Beach
  • Carbon Beach Club Restaurant 
  • Zuma Beach
  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Carbon Beach
Los Angeles
Things to do in Los Angeles:
  • Melrose Avenue - I love walking Melrose! You can browse the designer shops for hours,  visit the hipster boutiques and witness the diversity that Melrose has to offer.
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel
  • The Hollywood Sign
  • Griffith Observatory
  • Runyon Canyon
  • Venice Beach -  a place I will never be cool enough to live. Make sure you check out the beach and boardwalk, it's full of murals, cool artwork, amazing houses and some crazy hippy people.
  • Venice Canals - the most beautiful homes I've ever seen overlooking the canals. This is a lovely walk, just do not lose your car and forget where you parked like I did.
  • Rodeo Drive
  • Drive Mulholland Drive
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Santa Monica State Beach
Melrose Avenue

Beverly Hills
The Beverly Hills Hotel

Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Pier
Anaheim
Things to do in Anaheim:
  • GO TO DISNEY! I honestly believe I will never get tired of Disney no matter how old I am. It really is the happiest place on earth. This time I even bumped into two of my favourite YouTuber's outside the castle, Lucy and Lydia. 
The Castle at Magic Kingdom
The Castle

The Castl

Newport Beach
  • Newport Beach
  • Balboa Peninsula - Newport pier
  • Crystal Cove State Park
 Newport Beach Pier

San Diego

What to do in San Diego:
  • La Jolla Cove
  • La Jolla Beach - the perfect place to surf or sunbathe.
  • Children's Pool Beach - if you're lucky you will get to see the seals but try to avoid touching them. They are in their natural habitat and shouldn't be disturbed, I didn't like how close people were getting to them and they did not seem to like either. 
  • Pacific Beach
  • Ocean Beach
  • Ocean Beach Farmers Market - every Wednesday 4-8pm. Best farmers market ever!
  • Mission Beach
  • Sunset Cliffs National Park - just don't get caught jumping!
  • Balboa Park
  • Little Italy
Pacific Beach Mural

Little Italy

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Farmer's Market
Ocean Beach


Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

30.9.17

My USA Trip - San Francisco

This past summer I quit my job in London (which they thankfully offered back to me!), said goodbye to my friends and family and left for a life-changing trip around the USA for three months. It was without a doubt the best decision I have ever made.  This trip brought me a type of happiness I've never experienced before - I felt free and excited to live absolutely every single day.

The first stop was to San Francisco, a place I didn't know too much about before I landed other than the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

I stayed at the HI Fisherman's Wharf hostel, sharing a room with 23 other people and there were a few interesting characters, to say the least. The hostel itself was in a great location, breakfast was free and the hostel held quite a few social events allowing me to meet other people in the hostel, including a bar crawl and a 4th of July BBQ.

The city itself is pretty walkable (although beware of the hills, they can be quite a challenge) but if you're heading out all day and into the evening my best advice would be to always carry a jacket! The days were warm but as soon as the wind came in the late afternoon and evening it was super chilly. The city is also known for being costly so if you are on a budget be prepared for this, although if you do your research there are plenty of things to do that are free or suitable for a lower budget.

My favourite parts of San Fran were seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting Alcatraz (an abandoned prison) and walking through Telegraph Hill. If you are going to Alcatraz, which I would highly recommend, definitely look into booking this in advance, otherwise you can do what we did and queue for a few hours early in the morning and hope for the best. We paid $40 which on a travelers budget can be quite expensive for a 2-hour activity but it was always important to me to see the best bits of each city and visiting Alcatraz Island was totally worth it. Other places I would suggest seeing are Pier 39, Lombard Street, Union Square, Golden Gate Park and the famous Painted Ladies.

San Fran was a great starting place for the trip and I can see myself going back in the future and perhaps I will finally cycle the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Mason:


The Golden Gate Bridge:




Alcatraz Island:




4th of July BBQ:






Filbert Steps:




The first of many mural poses:


The famous San Fran love hearts:


25.9.15

Charlotte Tilbury Launch at John Lewis







And an unretouched photo so you can see just how good the make-up looked!


Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend the Charlotte Tilbury launch at John Lewis in Oxford Street, which meant testing lots of dreamy products! In recent times my mum has started taking a larger interest in make-up (under my influence of course) so I took her along with me.

On arrival we were both greeted by our lovely make-up artists and for forty-five minutes I had the opportunity to talk all things beauty related with the fabulous Sarah-Jane whilst she did my make-up from scratch. We were given a range of ten looks to choose from, which as you can imagine was so difficult, there were so many beautiful looks and products to try! In the end I chose Rock Chick - a bold smoky eye and a subtle nude lip. I will leave a list of all the products I wore at the end of the post along with the prices.

I loved that we were able to experience several skincare products as well as make-up, especially as Charlotte Tilbury skincare is so expensive. It's unlikely I will be spending £70.00 on a skincare product any time soon, although admittedly, after trying the Magic Cream it has been added to my 'When I'm Rich' beauty list. They were also kind enough to give us a sample pot which I have used everyday this week - it literally feels like heaven on your skin.

The Magic foundation in 4.5 is the perfect shade for my skin and I loved the overall look of it for the first few hours but the coverage did not last as long as I would have liked. By the evening I noticed the foundation on the bridge of my nose had turned back into liquid form, a disaster not even my powder could fix. Putting that aside, I would recommend the foundation. It is a good product, it gives good coverage and feels lightweight on the skin, just remember the coverage doesn't last that long. So if you have oily skin carry a powder or a concealer/foundation to top up.

The eyes were no doubt my favourite part of the look, I absolutely loved the eye-shadow and the liner. The eye-shadow quad in Rock Chick is absolutely beautiful and the pigmentation is incredible. The eye-liner also looked amazing. This was partly due to the products but also because Sarah-Jane was brilliant at it, I seriously wish she could do my liner every day! Two liners were used, Rock 'N' Kolh in Bedroom Black for the water line and Feline Flick in Panther for the eyelids. Both these products have incredible staying power and are both intense, bold blacks - perfect for a more dramatic eye look. I definitely rate these products highly, especially the Feline Flick, the tip is very fine which of course makes it easier to get a more precise line.

I ended up purchasing the lip liner, lipstick, highlighter/bronzer compact and a brush, all of which I will review in an upcoming post. In this post I wanted to talk about the products I loved that I didn't actually buy, not because I didn't want to but because the products I did buy took priority. Believe me, I've had my eyes on them all for a while! But let's be honest, I doubt it will be long before the other products make their way into my make-up collection too.

I love all the Charlotte Tilbury products I've tried and I had such a lovely time at the launch. My mum and I went home happy with some lovely additions to our make-up bags and two less happy bank balances!

What are your favourite Charlotte Tilbury products? I just love everything, I mean the packaging is just gorgeous. Rose gold. Need I say anymore?

Skincare:
Take It All Off - 24.00
Multi Miracle Glow Balm - 45.00
Magic Cream - 70.00

Complexion:
Magic Foundation  in 4.5- 29.00
Retoucher Concealer  in 3- 25.00 
Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder - 33.00
Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Light- 49.00
Cheek to Chic - 30.00

Eyes:
Browlift 22.50
Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Rock Chick- 38.00
Rock 'N' Kohl Pencil in Bedroom Black - 19.00 
Feeline Flick - 22.00
Full Fat Lashes Mascara - 22.00

Lips:
Lip Cheat liner in Pillow Talk - 16.00
Lipstick in Bitch Perfect - 23.00
Lip Lustre in Blondie - 16.50

Tools:
Foundation Brush - 30.00
Bronzer Brush - 60.00
Blush Brush - 30.00
Blender Brush - 25.00
Eye-liner Brush - 18.00
Lip Brush - 18.00
Powder and Sculpt Brush - 35.00