Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Winter Lips | Keeping them Hydrated ft. Revlon | Beauty

So it's the end of November- December is upon us (where has this year gone?!) this means the frost is slowly creeping in and snow will be caking the pavements in no time (please, please, please!) And with this cold weather everyone seems to be rotating their skincare regime, me especially, I have combination skin, which is a total nightmare especially in the winter when it will go all oily on me one day and completely dry the next! So frustrating! But the part of all of us that gets hit the worst (for me anyway!) is your lips. They always manage to get all dry and cracked and more scaly than a dragon. Or at least they used to be..
I used to work in Boots and last year I went over to our Beauty consultant all angry and upset because I couldn't find a solution to my cracked lips. I'd tried Vaseline, Carmex, Nivea, you name it I had been lathering it on, but as much as they did keep my lips hydrated for a while I would find as the day went on they would just crack and I'd continually add product. This is all well and good but what about lipstick! I mean it's winter!! I need my berry lips but that was quite unattainable when I was constantly slapping Vaseline all over my face!
So Kate was my saving grace and she pointed me over to the No7 counter and picked up a bottle of Protect & Perfect Lip care. At the time boots had out their £5 off skin care vouchers so I picked up a tube for around £2 with my discount, would be around £4 for you muggles, and I haven't looked back since. I applied a small amount to my lips and within 5 minutes I could literally feel my lips sucking up all the moisture goodness. Oh I was so excited, yay plump and hydrated lips finally. I never would have thought of buying an anti-aging lip balm but now I would never go back to anything else, it's such a fabulous product at such a reasonable price too!

I use this tube twice a day at morning and night times, I used to just pop it on whenever they were feeling a bit dry but I had decided that this stuff was gold dust so during the day if my lips do get a bit chapped (Which they never do unless I'm snowboarding) I just pop on a bit of Carmex and I'm good to go. It also smells lovely and tastes okay too, I know that sounds crazy, but for me that's such an important factor when buying lip products, because, well, they're going to be right under your nose the whole day...

Once you've conquered the hydrated lips-scenario then comes lipstick, I really enjoy a matte lip in the winter but finding one that isn't dry and doesn't drag across your lips is a bit of a challenge, but then Revlon released their Colourburst collection last year/start of this year? and it seemed like the perfect solution, they are definitely my go to lipsticks when my lips are a bit dry but I still want a bit of colour! It goes without saying, they will all be accompanying me on my snowboarding trip this year! They come in so many beautiful colours, perfect for winter and summer. I only own one of their lacquer balms but it's safe to say I will definitely be adding to the collection!

I thought I'd pop in a photo showing you how much product you get for your money because that's certainly something I'm always looking for when I'm buying make up.

From L to R- Complex, Elusive, Audacious, Unapologetic, Showy, Standout, Striking and lacquer balm- Vivacious.

Swatches- Vivacious, Striking, Standout, Showy, Unapologetic, Audacious, Elusive & Complex
Although a few of these colours are quite bright and those sort of colours people normally pair with summer, I actually love putting on a bit of bold lippy when the weathers a bit cold, especially when hitting the slopes, brightens up my day! Also I find because I am super pale anyway all the dark purples and reds really make me look like casper!.. Where's that fake tan!

What's your winter lip routine? I'd love to hear any other lipsticks you guys use for a bit of hydration!

Catch you later!

Ams xo

P.S Come say hi to me over on instagram- @amyraeburn

Monday, 24 November 2014

MUA lipsticks | Review & Swatches | Beauty

I am a complete beauty junkie, I have bath, skin, eye, lip products coming out my ears, it drives my family insane and my friends absolutely love it and why not? When it comes to getting ready for a night out my sick obsession actually pays off ;)
So I thought I would put up a couple of reviews over the next few days on my beauty favourites, tips and tricks. Starting with my extensive MUA lipstick collection. MUA is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, just because it is so cheap, I can't help but drool all over a good bargain.
I heard about MUA through a friend if I'm honest. Most of my high street make up is done in boots and so brands like Miss Sporty and MUA were just distant ideas, until I was looking for a really good nude high street lipstick and I just could not settle on one, they were all either too orange or too pink or too matte, I just couldn't find a cheap and cheerful go-to when I wanted a quick nude lip.
And then came Shade 14, oh Shade 14. I think I'm now on my fourth fix of this lipstick because I just can't get enough, it glides on so effortlessly and for my skin tone it is so unbelievably spot on. Heaven in a lipstick tube my friends (okay maybe not quite- but I do love it!) And here it is, here is the best bit people, these lipsticks retail at.. wait for it.. £1!!!! One pound! That is all it costs. BUT, not only that, MUA are now doing a 3 for 2 on ALL LIP PRODUCTS until the 7th December. Oh my, 3 lipsticks for £2?! Bargain Beauty, that's what we like.
Anyway enough of my waffling, on to the actual review!
MUA has two different styles of lipsticks, they have their normal, glossy finish lipsticks (black packaging) and their matte collection (white packaging).
(I got my lipstick holders from Ebay, here)
There is currently 7 shades in the Matte collection, of which I have 5. You can check out the two other shades, Fawn Fancy, here. And Lilac Belle, here.
From L to R- Wild Berry, Scarlet Siren, Pouty Pink, Peachy Keen & Totally Nude.

Swatches- Wild Berry, Scarlet Siren, Pouty pink, Peachy Keen & Totally Nude.
 I am not a massive fan of the matte collection if I'm quite honest, you really have to build the colour up and I find they drag across your lips when you're applying them, for me a really good matte lipstick needs to glide on, be really pigmented and have great staying power, but I find the MUA ones do none of these for me and so I find myself never reaching for these lipsticks.
But it's okay because what it lacks for in the matte collection it makes up for in the normal lipsticks! :)
There are 20 shades in this collection covering all your basics, nudes, pinks, reds, browns & purples. I own shades 1-16 in this collection, the other 4 you can view, Raven (great for Halloween!) here, Flamingo here, Persian Rose here and Tulip here. (rest assured, I've requested these shades to appear in my stocking this year- thanks Santa!)
These are named by numbers with exception to the new 4 shades & shades 16, 15 and 14 who also have names as well as a number. It's all a bit confusing really, I rather like it when they all have either a number or a name or both. But I'm just being fussy..
Browns & Corals.
My battered Shade 14 in the middle there...
Swatches, from L to R- Number 16 (Nectar), Number 15 (Juicy), Number 14 (Bare), Number 10, Number 2
 The Pinks
From L to R- Shade 3, Shade 3 again (woops), Shade 12 & Shade 7
Swatches- Shade 3, Shade 12 & Shade 7
Swatches, from L to R- Shade 6, Shade 5 & Shade 4 
Little shout out to shade number 6 here, I absolutely love it, it's so pretty and glittery and such a nice colour! But I have to say Shade 4 is the only colour I'm really unhappy with, I was so excited because it looks like it would come out all bright and Barbie pink, but it strikes me as more of a lip-balm-like colour, not very pigmented at all.
Reds & Purples
L to R, Shade 13, Shade 8, Shade 1, Shade 11, Shade 9
Swatches, Top to Bottom, Shade 13, Shade 8, Shade 1, Shade 11 & Shade 9

These are all my absolute favooooourite shades from the collection at the moment, I mean just look at them! - They scream winter, I love it >:) The ones I'm loving the most at the moment are Shades 8, 11 and 9. Pretty berry colours and sparkles, what more could you want.
So there are the swatches of my lurvereeeeely MUA lipsticks, I have to say for £1 I'm always impressed, their staying power isn't great but they're so easy to chuck in your handbag and reapply as and when needed that I'm not bothered by it in the slightest!
The packaging is plain and simple, I love that its so easy to see the colours, makes the selection process so much easier! It's by no means a luxurious packaging, but it does the job and it's what's on the inside that counts ;)
All in all I think they're a good buy, perfect as stocking fillers/secret Santa presents when you're working with a budget! So hop along to your nearest Superdrug or have a little look online and go crazy my friends. (Now would be a good time to point out their blushes are also £1 and super yummy and pigmented- not that I'm encouraging you to buy more or anything!)
Do you have any MUA lipsticks? I'd love to hear what you guys make of them!
Catch you later,
Ams xo

Come & say hi to me over on instagram- @amyraeburn

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Grey fluff with Missguided | Fashion

Winter crept up so unbelievably quick this year and I am so unprepared! (brb, it's time to jumper shop!) but I was clearly aware I would do this again this year and so post-Christmas sales meant I have a substantial collection of coats/scarfs/all things snuggly stocked up in my wardrobe already (yay for saving the pennies!)
So I found this fluffy goodness stashed away that I had purchased from New Look last year and got way too excited so naturally had to throw an outfit together :) You will have to excuse how uncomfortable I look, I'm far more accustomed to being on the other side of the camera, definitely a new experience for me!

Hat: H&M
Cape Blazer: Missguided
Shoes: Tk Maxx
What clothing are you reusing from the sales last winter?

Ams xo

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Krakow | Day in Auschwitz | Travel

I feel as though you guys may need a heads up that this is going to be a pretty wordy post with not a lot of pictures. When I was at Auschwitz on both occasions, I found it very difficult to just whip out my camera and start taking photos, for me it was not what I wanted to be there for. I have no problem with people who do take photos at sights like these, it is our duty to document places such as these and promote the ideals that mean we would never return to a dark part of history such as that.
It is my understanding that they ask you not to take photos inside any of the buildings as a mark of respect for the one and a half million people who died here, but the tour guides are pretty relaxed about it, I suppose they are used to this doubling up as a tourist site as well as a memorial and haunted part of history. There are however a few places they do ask you to definitely not take pictures, I believe there are only 3 places where this is applicable, so if you do find yourself there please respect this.
I only took a couple of photos this time round, but on my previous trip I had taken more and so I will pop these photos below too.
And so, this would be the day I would visit Auschwitz for a second time. It is a place I have always struggled to comprehend, I have read several books on the Holocaust and I have studied it from a history, psychology and a scientific perspective and I am left finding the only way is for me to look at it as a simple member of the human race. I've seen the films and I've heard the stories passed down through my family, but it is still a very distant idea, almost as though it is just so horrific it can not actually exist. However, being there walking where the condemned suffered so, made it all very real, it took away the boundaries and you could relate to these people who when it comes down to it are just like you or me. They had dreams, fears, passions, family, friends just as we do, but their rights to their own lives were taken away.
Auschwitz marks a significant loss for my family in particular, a vast number of my grandfathers family lost their lives under the sufferance of Adolf Hitler. Knowing my grandpa as the extraordinary man that he is and how he has been such a strong role model for me throughout my whole life, I simply could not understand why, if he was anything to go by, his family were so heavily persecuted merely because of the religion they were born into.
If you do visit Krakow I highly recommend the Galicia Jewish Museum, not only is it a wonderful museum with an amazing bookshop (I naturally bought every book..) they also give you the opportunity to speak to survivors of Auschwitz and other concentration camps on organised dates.
We visited Auschwitz with Escape2Poland who were fantastic, picked us up from outside of our hotel early in the morning and drove us to Oswiecim. In the minibus on the way they played a video about the liberation of the camp, which was a very harrowing and raw video, but very good for some background and preparation for what you are about to see. I would highly recommend this organisation if you're planning to visit anywhere in Poland, they organise your flights, airport transfers, trips everything! The drivers were very friendly, spoke fantastic English and I just could not fault the service!
I'm going to stop waffling on now and leave the photos to do the rest of the talking.
I strongly would advise you to visit Auschwitz if you have not done so before, it is by no means a light hearted or easy day, both physically and emotionally. But it is something I strongly believe everyone should see once in their life, it is important to understand what humans are capable of so we can ensure that atrocities like this are not repeated.
Other places to visit related to the Holocaust
If you have any extra time in Krakow I would also recommend you visit Kazimierz, old Jewish quarter, it was once a bustling community, with 3.5 million Jews once living in Poland, now in todays age, there are only 25,000 Jews in the whole of Poland.
Another place to visit would be the old Jewish Ghetto where you can find a memorial consisting of a scattering of oversized, illuminated chairs that represent old furniture being thrown out of ransacked homes.
If you do visit these places I would advise getting a tour guide to accompany you, to give you a proper insight to the areas as they do not have information plaques at these sites and can be quite difficult to find.
The last place that I have visited that I would also recommend is Schindler's Factory, it is a very good museum, however when we visited we were expecting it to be more about Schindler and his story, but in reality there was only one room about Schindler and the rest was all about the war, which was not a bad thing at all because I have to say it's one of the best museums I have visited.
Have you visited Auschwitz? I'd be interested to hear what you guys think about it all.
Thanks for reading guys! :)

Ams xo


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Krakow | Old Town & Wesele | Travel

One and a half days in Krakow - let's do this.
Emma and I arrived at our hotel at around half 2, we were super hungry having been running on empty since 5 o'clock that morning. But this was soon forgotten once we chucked down our bags and continued our colossal catch up, seeing as we hadn't properly seen each other since we returned from our travels in Europe in the summer.  And so before we know it, it's gone three and with such limited time in Krakow we hardly wanted to spend our precious time staring at the inside of hotel walls.
So we were up, refreshed and ready to rediscover this beautiful city.
Having wandered round the square for about an hour our tummies were really starting to growl for some food and so (with no hesitation) we headed over to the restaurant Wesele on the Main Square. I had previously read on Mollie Bylett's blog about her time in Krakow, in an attempt to grab some recommendations off of her, and this restaurant she rated very highly and of course I totally trust her cause she is a complete foodie like me.
Oh and we couldn't have got it more right.
The restaurant was beautiful, it reminded me of a classic European ski chalet with all the wood features and gorgeous red colours dashed all around. It was quite busy when we went there which is pretty surprising because we were so hungry we dived in at 5. All the waiters/waitresses were lovely and we were seen to so quickly. So with a bottle of prosecco gracing our table we further perused the menu to sample the delicacies Poland has to offer.    
Here's my biggest weakness- if someone eats somewhere and says a dish is amazing, I must absolutely without a doubt sample it for myself and so far it has always worked out amazing for me and why should this be any different right? So following Mollies example, both me and Emma ordered the chicken breast stuffed with plums served on a bed of creamy garlic spinach, which was just heaven, followed by apple pie with some ice cream. Oh I had no problems finishing off every last mouthful. Poland is very cheap in general to those of us who live in England but I do have to say this meal was quite expensive, although I definitely would have expected to pay a lot more in London for a meal of this quality, in Krakow this was pretty pricey, but given it's location and stunning food I had no qualms with forking out for this evening.
After we had sufficiently stuffed our face & regained our energy we wandered round the square again and we stumbled across a jazz bar called Harris Piano Jazz Bar, we are both massive lovers of jazz and cocktails (I don't know if they actually served cocktails but they definitely look like a spot that would!) and we saw they had a show on at 9:30 that evening, us getting classically excited at the thought of listening to some amazing musicians over a couple of drinks in a basement club of one of the most beautiful cities.
So we had decided to trek back to our hotel and laze around for a bit before venturing out again for some music. Unfortunately I had been very ill recently and had only just started to shift it before heading out to Poland and I had not eaten a proper meal in almost a week - not a good idea. Alas I started feeling super rough and subsequently panicking because we were booked in to go on a tour round Auschwitz very early the next morning and I did not want to be overly tired and feeling any more emotional than I was bound to be feeling anyway.
So I did the boring grown up thing and suggested we just have a girly-face-pack-night-in instead and so we stopped off at Carrefour and picked up some face masks and chocolate and a packed lunch for tomorrow cause we were unsure whether we would get the opportunity to eat.
Now, if you ever find yourself in Poland and you're going on a days outing and your hotel offer you a packed lunch for 5 Euro - don't take it. Instead head down to the local supermarket, which is what myself and Emma did, and we managed to get two sandwiches, two raspberry ice teas, one big bottle of water, a big bag of crisps, a big bar of Milka and some Milka cake bars (5 to be exact) this all came to 17 zloty - 17 zloty! That's £3.19 back home for two people to eat lunch. Practically £1.55 each for more food than we could manage! Bargain. I love Poland.
Thanks for reading :)
Ams xo 

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