Thursday, February 23, 2017

50 Shades Lighter

naturigin natural hair colour dark copper blonde

Did you enjoy the punny title? Because I sure did. Anyway, check it fam - I have fresh new locks again. It was getting hilarious telling people that my "ombré" 'do was just dark roots that I didn't bother re-dyeing ever since my last (self) dye job in April of last year!

If you stuck around here for a while, you'll know that I'm not a big fan of chemical dyes and usually prefer (if available) to go for the most natural option. Last year, if you remember, the dye I used to get my amazing fiery red hair was cruelty free and vegan and packed with natural oils that won't strip out moisture post-dye, which I loved and raved about endlessly.

Plus the best part: it was under £10. £7.99 to be exact. You know who loves a bargain? (I'd say most people, but it's basically screams me.)

naturigin natural hair colour dark copper blonde

And this year, luckily enough, Naturigin reached out and asked me whether I wanted try out a different colour! I leapt at the chance since I figured it was time for some spring cleaning in my roots, and get the party going... ya know what I mean?

I've done a more detailed walk-through of the products and what the box contains in my previous post so head on over there to find out more if you're interested.

I decided I wanted a more natural colour this time round so went for what looked like if I melted a bit of dark chocolate and caramel ;-) (well officially called Dark Golden Copper Brown but food is always more enticing as names, right?)

naturigin natural hair colour dark copper blondenaturigin natural hair colour dark copper blonde

Post-dye with no more weird black roots, yay.

I did have trouble picking what colour I wanted, especially as they have 19 natural hair colours to choose from! Like the previous dye, the entire process is quick and easy – no strong chemical smells and you just need to have it on for 20 mins if your hair's already dyed (30 if you haven't dyed your hair before) and I didn't have to spend ages washing my hair out till the water went clear.

I know it may come as awkward/soppy whenever a blog sings high praises for a product – but the love is real for this one, you guys. If you're thinking of changing up a new style for spring but don't want to splash that cash and want a healthier alternative, then pop by Lloyds Pharmacy if you're UK-based. They have local stockists around the world as well, so fear not my worldly friends <3

naturigin natural hair colour dark copper blonde

We've touched down in Hamburg as I hit publish on this post, so happy early weekend in advance but let me know what exciting plans you have :-) also it's beginning to warm up in London which I can't wait to go back for (because Germany is still freezing, hah!).

Disclaimer: My new and cool hair colour kindly provided by Naturigin in exchange for an honest review,  all good thoughts my own. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Favourite Travel Savvy Tips #travellessons

It's always strange to think that I've set foot in foreign lands and soil, with dirt and debris, in sleep-deprived or full of energy states and then hope for the best. I'm lucky that I haven't had to deal with any horrifying incidents while abroad, and I'd like to think that part of this is down to a intuitive set of 'rules' I like to stick with.

I'm not usually a list person, but here are some musings that have guided me through safe but adventurous travels... plus, I'm off to Hamburg next weekend so I'm counting this as a routine run through for me!


I'm certainly no travel planner, I can tell you that much. I've never booked my tickets more than 5 months in advance, just because I don't have the knowledge of what situation I'll be in during those weeks. Personally, I find that planning way in advance doesn't really change the price of my routes so I tend to stick to giving myself enough time to sort my work schedule and any ~social plans~ before clicking that buy button.

Perhaps it's also because I shy away from 'countdowns' to my next big holiday – I find it more spontaneous and exciting if on a spur of a moment, I want to go somewhere and where time + expense permitting, I can browse and get that next trip out. It takes out the stress of having a set timeline and overloading myself on planning itineraries... Once, I only started Googling 'places to visit in Prague' the afternoon before I was due to fly off and it was still one of the best trips ever.

Another fun fact: I didn't know when I was next going home (a 13-hour flight) until I decided last week to book my tickets!


Again, a very untraditional thing to do because most people have a solid itinerary and a good idea of what they want to do / see and explore so they can tick off the boxes. If you're that kind of person, go you! Personally, this again stresses me way too much and I certainly can't imagine doing it myself.

Sure, I'll have a few places I have in mind but I usually like to get to know my new surroundings, have a poke around different neighbourhoods to get a feel for it then make my plans from there. I find this method best for me because I'll be comfortable wandering around the areas, instead of following a solid plan or else.

For all of our past trips (Florence, Seoul, Madrid, Brussels) this was what I did and I don't think it made it my experience any less worthwhile. If anything, it gave me a sense of being more adventurous and we would wander round and discover some great gems.


This is more of positive reminder than anything: always carry emergency cash or credit cards with you! And don't (an obvious one) stash your cash in one place. This is true for cities like Rome where many people I know have been pick-pocketed, and knowing that you have a way to get round if *touch wood* anything happens will keep your mind at peace. 

Between the two of us, Matt & I have Revolut (great for European travel! #notsponsored), my credit card (I never use it but it's good to have), and our debit cards. I usually use cash whenever I travel because of exchange rates but there were times when we've had to use our cards and I'm glad we packed them. 

Bottom line: make sure you have enough money for your trip. Once, my friend who visited London didn't tell his bank to activate overseas spending and had zero access to cash from a machine completely. I had to loan him money since he didn't have any way of calling his bank either (his phone was also disabled). 

Travel well, kids! 


My favourite of them all! Often, we get caught up with the glamourous pictures of travel bloggers and the vivacious lives they seemingly lead in exotic locations. Note: I have suspicions that's not real life. Unless you have a wad of cash to spare, it's unlikely that you're going to need three pairs of heels and off the shoulder top for that pool shot. 

Or at least, that's never been achievable for me. Whenever I travel, I wear trainers or incredibly comfy shoes that I know won't hurt my feet because I know I'll be walking around (or getting lost) the entire day. Ain't nobody got that stamina to stomp around in heels. I most certainly don't. While I sacrifice style, I'd much rather pick comfort than pain.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I get frustrated and wonder why I don't as good through my sweaty hair and oily face, but that's not the point of traveling, is it?

You don't travel to look good, you travel because you want to and you want to be in a place of new people, unexpected conversations and making discoveries that you'd never imagine. It's easy to forget that in a world of curated perfection, but it's more important to remember why you got on a plane in the first place. (I mean, if you are going for the perfect insta shots then go ahead, no judging!)

What are your favourite wise travel tips? That said, I've still got to finish packing so I don't end up in a last-minute panic before Thursday!

Disclaimer: I wrote this as an entry for GoEuro's #travellessons, you can enter here too if you're interested. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Walking on The Moon and Driving in the Sky

I used to measure the pockets of my life by the regrets I've made: often times I wish I was suspended in time, pausing and rewinding and crying while ultimately undoing cobbled street nights in Oxford, phone calls to post-earthquake Japan, the pretend high in my mind at 3am talking about the saddest song (note: Let It Die by Feist) I knew. 

But now I do the unimaginable - walk on craters and live in the sky.

(You can read my previous Wild Atlantic Way travels here!)

Poetic metaphors aside, welcome back to the third part of the great Wild Atlantic Way trip! We made our way to The Burren, an area in County Clare where huge slabs of limestones with slits called clints can be found.

It was previously submerged underwater, but over time fissures formed from the tectonic shifts (I'm giving a great Geography lesson aren't I) and sediments fell away and now the modern day terrain guards a network of underground caves (how cool, but we didn't go to any).

I know the pictures don't look it, but it truly felt like walking on the moon - minus the space and oxygen and all that stuff. Also it overlooks the beautiful, wild, untamed, unruly sea that roars without a care. How different they are - rocks and water and yet so together in a single space that they touch to eventually dissolve into nothingness.

It's hard to think of anything else when you stand in nature's tumultuous force.

Our next stop was Clifden and this was along Clifden's Sky Road, hence 'Sky'. Ha ha, you may now laugh at my cleverness. It's a winding 16km loop overlooking Clifen Bay and of course, the Atlantic Ocean. I imagine in summer, the verdant hillside becomes even more alive. Nonetheless, you begin to appreciate the moodiness of winter...

Again, it's hard for me to write w o r d s about this because a lot of the drive was annoyingly made up of Clean Bandit's Rockabye Baby on the radio which played it a million times and the remainder spent reading road signs and trying to live a little.

We descended and made our way through beautiful Connemara, with sunlight reflecting off the window panes and Clean Bandit playing once more... (x1000 annoyed)

Like I keep saying, if you're thinking of a road trip closer to home, make it this one. I love the Wild Atlantic Way and all its breathtaking views, and it's one of the places that built a very special place in my heart.

I hope you enjoyed this slightly different take on the trip (as I've done with all the previous posts, too)! What would you like to see next?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New in: Korean Beauty

New year, new products - am I right?! 2016 was a big skincare year me, from cutting out dairy completely from my diet to drinking at least 2L of liquid every day (the change in my skin was so apparent I don't know why I didn't start doing it earlier!!), it was a momentous few months for me to keep improving my otherwise usually acne-prone skin.

It was also the year I dove headfirst into Korean beauty properly, and it's been quite something. It's been a wild ride trying to find products that worked best with my often confused skin, But on the whole, I find Asian/Korean products to be more effective for my skin personally, and the secret key of layering moisture  worked best for me, and is where I think k-beauty stands apart from the traditional Western beauty products (which isn't to say I don't still love, of course!)

Some of the new additions...


Heimish's All Clean Balm (~$15 for 120ml) made big waves last year in the AB community as the next superhero balm, rivalling the infamous Banila Co. Clean It Zero cleansing balm. The brand itself is very new and reminds me a lot of Glossier, which emphasises the importance of skin over makeup.

I've started using that after I finished my Banila Co. one, and am loving it so far. Compared to the Banila Co one, this one doesn't have parabens (to each their own about their effects eh?) and seems to work well with more sensitive skin, especially with getting off stubborn eye makeup! While it's not the greenest of balms out there with synthetic ingredients and fragrance, it makes up for it with anti-inflammatory tea tree and eucalyptus.

It's also 120ml, which is 20ml more than Clean It Zero which makes it slightly cheaper overall!


Now, both these were pretty hard to track down because they're not part of your typical Korean 'roadstore' (drugstore) brands (think Etude House, Toly Moly) and is usually found in a Boots/Watsons equivalent. I had to scour a few before I found these though!

Neogen is another brand which I've heard so much of, especially for their Peeling Gauze pads (I also have these) but the Green Tea range ($19 for 160g) is supposed to be a great all-rounder for gentle cleansing, which also comes with real infused green tea leaves! Call it a gimmick, I was sold. The only issue is that it might run out pretty quickly, so I'll have to alternate this with a more 'common' product.

Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to trialling this, especially because Neogen collaborated with Charlotte Cho (founder of Soko Glam!) to bring out her Neogen Green Tea Cleansing Stick, so if it's good enough for her... the brand also prides itself to put skin first, meaning no overly harsh ingredients which may be harmful.

With the Son & Park Beauty Water, I go it because of the golden cult status. Hailed as the Holy Grail of a micellar water-toner-cleanser, it's a fabulous concoction of moisturising toner which tones, cleanses and get rids of any leftover makeup before you go in with your skincare routine.

I've already started using this and the smell is great, and the only downside is that it has alcohol so I use it only when my skin isn't feeling overly sensitive. It gives a clean and moisturised feeling, and we'll have to see whether it really makes a difference after a while. I don't have that much to say of it at the moment, other than it's a good toner.


Sorry not sorry about the excessive use of LINE FRIENDS memorabilia in this shot FYI. Too Cool For School has been floating around on the British shores for a while now (Selfridges stocks the brand, but unsurprisingly, is more expensive), and this palette is a firm favourite in the k-beauty community for a long time.

While I love my Hourglass palette, I'm really interested to see how the TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL Artclass palette (£15 from Amazon) fares as a more affordable alternative. It's not too pigmented, and is supposed to be very natural looking which is great for everyday/work use. So far I've opened and closed it twice just to admire it, ha.


This next one is also from TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL but it's their Dinoplatz Escalator mascara (£19 from Selfridges but I got mine slightly cheaper abroad)... (psst, also a cruelty-free product) And you can't fault them for great aesthetic and branding, which makes it all the more palatable and enjoyable when you use the product. It's a collaboration with a New York architect, featuring cute dinosaurs in the concrete jungle, which was inspired by the city's skyline and has since become one of the brand's most enduring product.

I'm interested to compare this too my all-time favourite of the Etude House Curl Fix, but so far the reviews seem good so fingers crossed! 


I used the lego set to represent killing acne (wow creativity 100% there....) but the COSRX Pimple Patches ($4) are another big hit amongst the k-beauty community. It's supposed to be the best one out there, compared to the many brands that also stock them (I've used NexCare before this) and it's just something about COSRX that makes it just that much more effective at getting rid of a pesky whitehead overnight. 

There's 24 in a pack, which is plenty if you don't get too many spots, but I tend to run out quite quickly given my acne-prone skin (sad) but it's one that I have been going back to. 


Aren't these just the cutest?! My best friend sent these over for my birthday and after knowing about my LINE FRIENDS fascination, These were sold out everywhere in stores and online, and it was just a big surprise when she managed to get them. Friends ~ :')

The Brown mascara is a simple and thin wand, which should be good for a fuss-free and casual day look while the Sally lip tint is a pretty light pink, and I'd use this for topping up a simple weekday lip or if I wanted some colour to my otherwise pretty bland lips. Ha ha.

I haven't tried either of these but I'm looking forward to using them soon for more warmer, and Spring weather :-)

An extra Brown and Sally shot because why not?!

By now, it'll seem *pretty* obvious that my obsession with k-beauty is strong, and if you have any must-have recommendations, please send them my way! While I probably don't need any more to my growing collection, it's always good to be in the know...

The regular programming of the Wild Atlantic Way will be back up in the next post, but thought I'd share some lifestyle-y content to shake things up. Let me know if you've tried any of these, and whether you liked them!
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