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:


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?

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

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

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

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

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


Archery Brows

Above: Left Line - Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil

Right Line - Archery Brow 2-In-1 Brow Filling Pencil

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year and a half, you have probably noticed how popular big, bold eyebrows have become. Long gone are the days of over-plucking and waxing your eyebrows, now the bigger the eyebrows the better.
For a long time I have been filling in my brows using a dark brown eye-shadow with a MAC 266 brush. That habit stuck until a few months ago when I bought two Soap & Glory brow products and I fell in love with one of them.

Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil
I might be alone in this but I really am not a fan of this product. One end of the product is a stain with a fine tip which I thought I would like, but both the look and feel of it really do remind me of a felt tip pen. Where the stain is wet it draws quite a harsh line which doesn't look natural and although I like my eyebrows to look defined, I don't like them to look drawn on. I also found the stain ran out pretty fast, especially compared to the pencil on the other side. The pencil is a little better than the tint, it has quite a waxy feel and doesn't look as harsh as the stain does, making it pretty good for filling in the brows. What I didn't like about the pencil is that you have to press quite hard for the product to actually become visible on the brows, and to keep drawing over and over is quite irritating.
I bought the darker shade of the two available called Brownie Points which is directed at those who are looking to create bold and defined eyebrows. I thought this colour would suit my brows as they are naturally very dark but as you can see in the picture featured above, the product is more of a warmish brown. I think Soap & Glory could do with creating an even darker shade as the two shades available suit warm brown and blonde hairs.
The product was only £10.00 which I am pretty pleased about, now I don't feel like I've wasted too much money... I would not buy this product again but I am pleased to say I found a better, cheaper alternative from Soap & Glory!

Archery Brow Pencil 2-In-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush 
After my disappointment with the first brow product I was quite apprehensive to try this one, especially as it's cheaper! Thankfully this brow pencil is more impressive. I especially love the brush side. I am probably behind with this but I did not realise how big of a difference using a brush on your eyebrows makes! It really allows you to create a nice, neat brow and I've found it helps create more of an arch too. The brush doesn't feel too harsh and it's really easy to quickly comb them into place in the morning's. The opposite end of this product is a pencil and it is much thinner than the previous product, giving you more precision and control. The pencil is very easy to use and the product comes out straight away. I like to line the bottom of my eyebrows with the pencil so they look neat and then fill in the brows where necessary.
I bought the shade Hot Chocolate which is a dark, deep brown - a good colour for me. They also do a lighter shade for those with light brown/blonde hairs called Blondeshell.
I just absolutely love this product, I am such a fan! It makes it so easy to create bold, thick brows and it only costs £8.00! I am seriously impressed.

Let me know what you've loved and hated using on your brows this year and what you would recommend, high-end or budget!