Why you should visit Croatia in October

reviews, travel

It may seem like a pretty random time to jet off to a beach holiday, but October in Croatia is literal perfection. It’s the end of their holiday season, which means you can have free reign of the pool, sun loungers and all associated excursions. The temperature at this time of year is comfortable, ranging from 24-26 degrees on average.

My friend Elizabeth and I have just returned from spending one week in Makarska, Croatia. Makarska is a town located around an hour and a half drive from Split airport, it is on the Adriatic coast line and very scenic. You get the ultimate combination of mountains, forestry, plus a Mediterranean style coastline.

I have visited many countries all over Europe, but I must say Croatia really impressed me. Here are the main reasons why you should visit (any time of year really, but October is exceptionally good):

1. Weather

Although the official average for October is between 24 – 26 degrees, it feels much warmer than this. I sunbathed on a day where the temperature was 26 degrees, and developed a bronze tan in under two hours! The sun is intense and there is almost no humidity (nothing like the UK summer sun). The October sun is great as it isn’t too over bearing, don’t get me wrong you can still burn (I have the itches to prove this). But it’s comfortable, especially when sleeping at night.

2. Culture

There are thousands of Croatian islands and I would recommend visiting even a handful when you visit. We did a boat tour to the islands of Brač and Hvar, and each island has unique qualities to offer. Hvar was rural, and it was fantastic to see the locals selling a myriad of Lavender produces (grown naturally on the island), plus many herbs and chillies grown there. The architecture is beautiful, as much of the island contains limestone, buildings and houses are pale which provides a lovely contrast to the deep blue of the sea, and the palm trees.

The island of Brač is the longest Croatian island and has an amazingly beautiful coastline; the length makes it a paradise for divers and water sports fanatics.

(Below – View of the Adriatic Coastline from the Island of Brač)

And here are some from Hvar island:

Not only does Croatia have fantastic produce to offer, there is an array of wildlife on each island too. When travelling between islands we spotted many dolphins, and our tour guide informed us that there are also whales and sharks in the Adriatic Sea. Many of the islands have lizards, snakes and wild cats!

3. End of season

Despite October being the most perfect heat in Croatia, it’s also grand to visit in October as it’s not too busy. There are still plenty of excursions you can experience, but it’s not heaving with tourists. I think that this enhances your experience and allows you to really take in the views and culture (and of course the all important sun bathing!).

If you have ever considered visiting Croatia, and you were on the fence about your decision. Let me make it for you. Go to Croatia, you will have your breath taken away. It is rich in culture, hospitable, and stunning to look at. I may have just found paradise on Earth…

I’d like to give a special thanks to TUI and the TUI Sensimar Adriatic Beach Resort. The TUI representatives and the hotel staff were more than accommodating, they went above and beyond. They each made this trip one in a lifetime.

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Spring fling: Why you need Guerlains ‘Mon Guerlain’ perfume this May 

reviews

Personally I’ve been wearing a rather heavy classic Chanel fragrance religiously since winter, and I thought to myself this week it’s time I switched it up. 

Spring often signifies new beginnings, fresh starts. As the flowers bloom, and the birds sing. We look forward immensely to warmer weather (I say this phrase loosely, as we know the weather in England is somewhat bipolar, to say the least) and longer days. So it’s a perfect excuse to treat yourself to a new perfume to reflect the change in season. 

5 reasons why you should invest in Guerlains latest perfume Mon Guerlain: 

1. Spring fling 

As mentioned it is a fresh girly scent which makes you feel ever so pretty. Perfect for the changing season. Perfectly perfectly fitting. 

2. You deserve it 

Its almost halfway through 2017, we’ve been working hard since the beginning of the year. Personally I’ve been saving hard and being extremely disciplined. 

Working hard is great, but sometimes you need to know when it’s ok to treat yourself. I bought this perfume this weekend to congratulate myself on getting a new job. (I’ll probably be living off pot noodles the rest of the week but hey at least I’ll smell fly 💁🏼) 

3. Relatively cheap 

I’m still weighing up whether I have become de sensitised to what expensive is, or living in London has warped my view of what expensive is? But I found a 30ml version of the perfume in John Lewis for £38, which I believe is outstanding value for such an upmarket brand. I mean the perfume is about the going price for any prestige 30ml bottle – but shopping around you can get it slightly cheaper. 

Also this weekend Boots is offering 10 percent off the fragrance! (Where I purchased mine) 

4. Understated 

I love the fact that I haven’t seen everyone posting this perfume on their Instagram. I love the fact Guerlain still oozes French classic glamour, without becoming too overtly commercialised. Why not be different and classy? 

5. Smell delicious 

It’s one of those fragrances where you can’t stop sniffing yourself. It is a tribute to today’s femininity and was inspired by Angelina Jolie. The fragrance combines fresh raw materials; Lavender from Provence, Jasmine from India, Sandalwood from Australia & Vanilla from Papua New Guinea. And the combination is pure decadence. 

A sweet enchanting smell, fresh and floaty and feminine. Absolute perfection for spring. Go on.. you know you want to. 

Contouring: a review in context

reviews

Contouring; according to the online dictionary is defined as – an outline of a figure or body; the edge or line that defines or bounds a shape or object. Perhaps a term more commonly used in the art and design world, contouring has recently become a massive phenomenon.

It’s been one of the biggest beauty trends since last year; everyone is talking about it, everyone is attempting to create it, it’s the structured look we’re all longing for. But, the fundamental question here is, how easy is it to achieve?

I will give a brief outline of how to achieve the ”contoured” or ”structured” look. And then compare a Chanel contoured make-up look against the humble MUA brand retailed in SuperDrug.

Being a self-confessed avid make-up addict I could go into intense detail here (believe me, just this weekend I spent £320 on Chanel make-up, the addiction is real). Here are my top tips;

  1. You need the correct tools for the job

    Like anything in life without the appropriate equipment, you will end up with a half-done job rather then a professional looking one. For contouring you need a decent primer, concealer, foundation, powder (usually darker then skin-tone for highlighting). A good foundation brush, powder brush, blending brush…and yes, you guessed it, blusher brush. For the ultimate in contouring purchase a fixing spray to keep your make-up in place.

  2. Base to basics

    You need to start with a smooth base. To ensure your skin is in the best condition, always cleanse, tone and moisturise thoroughly. Especially before applying make-up, if you wear it everyday inevitably it dries the skin. Drinking plenty of water will keep your skin nourished from the inside. After moisturising apply a primer which is suited to your skin type (for example a mattifying one for oily skin).

  3. Layering is key

    After priming start with concealer, cover all blemishes. Next layer would be highlighting, you can use a darker tone to highlight cheekbones, hide nose shapes, hide dark circles. After these layers apply your foundation, then powder (before foundation you can also use bronzer to highlight cheekbones, or after foundation application)

  4. Blend, blend and blend some more

    Each layer needs to be dry before the next layer is applied, and needs to be blended in properly. Make sure you have sufficient lighting, and good quality blending brush. So that you don’t end up with the dreaded orange foundation line around the bottom of your face, it’s not pretty, it’s not classy, and it definitely isn’t successful contouring.

Most of the beauty industry would have you believe that the most expensive products are needed to achieve the best looks; but I don’t believe this. MUA, possibly one of the cheapest brands in the cosmetic industry, has coincidently taken the industry by storm. With prices starting from as little as £1 who could argue!?

Now I’m not saying I’m about to abandon my Perfect Lumière Chanel foundation just yet…But MUA gives healthy competition for the more prestige brands, (for any brand with those prices) and I am going to review it against the French fashion, beauty and perfume powerhouse that is Chanel.

Chanel stats

Price range – Products start from £18-£80+

Quality rating- 10/10

Description-

When you think of Chanel, several connotations appear within the mind; I always envisage a dreamy black and white setting, a classically beautiful woman with curves and flowing hair sitting in a Parisian café, sipping a latte sporting cat-eye sunglasses; her hair effortlessly blowing in the wind, and her nose high in the air. Chanel is classic, classy, up-market everything a woman aspires to be. And Chanel products, despite the huge price tag are a great investment. The foundation provides a great coverage for contouring, its light and not cakey as full coverage foundations often can be. Chanel face products are also perfect for contouring as they have developed a new technology which allows them to be light resistant; consequently you don’t look different colours in different lights. The products create a radiant, flawless finish. All in all, I can’t fault the products in regards to creating a contoured look. Only advice I would give is that the bronzing powder is highly pigmented so apply sparingly.

MUA stats

Price range- Products start from £1-£10

Quality Rating- 9/10

Description-

Comparing a much cheaper, but still great quality brand to Chanel is difficult. I can’t decide which brand is better for contouring;but rather advise that you mix and match, taking the best of both and combining (better for your purse strings as well no doubt). MUA has an extensive range of products when it comes to contouring, from £1 face powders and highlighting palettes, to brilliantly helpful hydrating fixing sprays. As you can see the look created is not any less flawless to the one created using Chanel. The quality of the actual contouring kit leaves a little to be desired, the concealer has great coverage, but overall quality is lacking. However, it’s perfect for a base, as it is slightly greasy you can cover with a mattifying foundation/powder to give a less shiny finish.

In conclusion this proves my theory that no matter the price tag every brand has its staple must-have beauty buys. And amazing looks can be achieved on a low budget! Main piece of advice here is: invest in expensive products because they do last longer, however cheaper alternatives could also equally turn out to be some of your favourite products. It’s all about mixing and matching.

MUA contoured look

MUA contoured look

 *For full details of products used please check out my next post.

Chanel contoured look

Chanel contoured look