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The Travel Diaries

June 22, 2017



It's been quite a while since I last posted on my little corner of the internet, so rather going straight back to the normal schedule, I've collected some pictures from my travels over the past few months to give some sort of explanation as to why m0llylouise has been very quiet.














































To start with, me and some friends did a road trip around the south of France back in April. As you may know, I was studying abroad in the Northern French city of Lille so it was nice to explore more of the country I called home for 9 months. Over a few days, we went to Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Nice and Monaco.

All the cities were amazing but I especially loved Bordeaux, during our stay we also visited the small wine town of St. Emilion, definitely a must-see if you are in the area. 

We didn't spend too much time in Toulouse but did go for dinner in a tapas place called Borriquito Loco, and I'm telling you, you need to go there. It was probably the best restaurant I have ever been too, the tapas was so good but the vibes were incredible - with people dancing on tables and singing, nothing else compares.















More recently, after finishing study abroad and moving back to England I planned one more trip, starting in Berlin. One of my friends is studying abroad here so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to stay for a few days without having to pay for a hotel. And it was such a great city to explore for 4 days, obviously seeing the tourist sights as well as frequenting the rooftop bars with the locals.










Berlin was such a relaxed trip, unlike the road trip where we were short on time and wanted to see as much as we could. While in Berlin it was all very chill and spent most of the time just walking around and seeing some super touristy spots when we came upon them. I also ate some great food while I was there, most notably Burgermeister for the best burger in the city, Cabslam for a good American-style breakfast to fill you up for the day, and Santa Maria if you want to have the best Mexican food of your life.

Also two of my best bar recommendations for your next trip to Berlin, KlunkerKranich for the coolest rooftop bar ever, also for all you How I Met Your Mother fans you just have to go to Maclaren's Pub - full of cool memorabilia from the show, themed drinks like 'Sex in Ted's Bedroom' and the infamous red booths to sit at while you enjoy your drinks.





Straight from Berlin, I jumped onto a plane to Athens to start my 6-day Greek adventure. It got off to a bit of a bad start once me and my friend discovered we basically chose the worst neighbourhood in Athens to book our hotel which resulted in us ordering a lot of Ubers during our 2 day trip in the city. But this was made up for by the fact that our hotel had a rooftop with perfect views of the Acropolis. Obviously, we made the walk up to see the Pantheon (top tip: it says that the ticket is £20 but once you get to the ticket office make sure to mention you are a student and you can get a ticket for free)










We found a really cool bar called six d.o.g.s. which has an awesome garden area and some seriously amazing and crazy cocktails to sip alongside a great snack menu. Another brunch spot is Mama Roux for great breakfasts as well as the best Freddo Cappuccino I tried while in Greece.



















Next stop was Mykonos, known as a party island it certainly is very touristy which is something I don't particularly like when it comes to going on a beach holiday like this trip was planned to be. It seemed that everyone here was English or American which kind of dampened the Greek vibes I wanted. Although this island is absolutely stunning and the beaches are absolutely incredible I feel like it was just too touristy for what I wanted, everything was very overpriced because of this and the authentic Greek style was very much lost in my opinion. 

Apart from that the hotel we stayed in (Petinos Beach Hotel) was a great hotel, with some of the staff being a little rude which was the only problem. But the room was great, with a delicious breakfast included in the mornings, all that and being a stone's throw away from the beach made it a perfect place to rest for the 2 days.





Now onto my favourite place from my travels, Santorini. I was a little worried before coming here as I knew it was one of the biggest tourist destinations right now so I was worried it would be far too crowded but I was so wrong. Yes there are so many tourists but the island itself doesn't feel touristy at all, you can still find the small little authentic restaurants if you know where to look - it really is an amazingly beautiful place and somewhere I will be visiting again for sure again in the future.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             We stayed in the main city of Fira where most of the restaurants and bars are. Another popular place to stay is Oia, which is where the famous sunset images are always from. Personally, I think that Fira is the much better option, not just because you have everything you need right there but also it doesn't feel as packed as Oia. Another thing is that all the buses leave from Fira and there are no connecting buses between destinations so it's good to be where all the buses go from.   
Someone at our hotel recommended a restaurant called Naoussa, a small family run restaurant with amazing views of the sunset. The food here was absolutely incredible, so much so that we ate here both nights we stayed in Santorini, the food was traditional Greek dishes with really reasonable prices - 100% would recommend to everyone visiting the island.



And that completes my most recent travel diary. I've really had the best time seeing all of these new places. Aside from travelling as I said I finished studying abroad in France and have moved back to England. But there are still exciting times ahead as I have just moved to Brighton for my placement year where I am going to be working for a digital marketing company for my third year of university. 

-Molly

Skincare Game-Changers

May 25, 2017
best skincare products essence pixi glow tonic

I try so many new skincare products all the time, so it takes a lot for something to really stand out for me, even more for me to pen it as a 'game-changer'. But these 4 products have made the cut and really are my holy grail products that have completely changed the way that I do my skincare routine.

The first product that I can remember that completely changed my views on skincare is the Bioderma Micellar Water. Complete 180 from the thick balm cleanser that I used to use to remove my makeup. Forget the inconvenience of removing your makeup with thick cleansers that take up too much time and effort when you're in a rush, instead opting for the micellar water which makes makeup removal the easiest thing ever. Leaving no residue and requiring no water to remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara. Micellar waters, in general, have become a lifesaver for me and make my life so much easier - another favorite of mine is the Garnier Micellar Water.


best skincare products essence french pharmacy


The next is the Pixi Glow Tonic, my first endeavour into the world of using acids on your skin and it completely changed the game for me. Hello bright and radiant skin! A suffer from uneven skin texture as well as dull and blemish-prone skin and this has just improved everything and made my skin so much better.

I've always been a moisturiser floozy, not really ever sticking to a particular one until I picked up the Emrbyolisse Lait Creme Concentrate which is a 3-in-1 moisturiser, primer and moisturising mask. This is the best day moisturiser that I could possibly image - it leaves my skin feeling so moisturised but it also really aids in ensuring your makeup sticks to your skin all day.

The final game-changer is the Origins Original Skin Essence which introduced me to the world of essences, and I don't think I will remove it from my routine anytime soon. It's one of those products where you can't put your finger on exactly what it is doing but your skin just looks so much better when using it. My skin looks so much more healthy and glowing since incorporating this.

THE TRANS-FOAM-ATIVE FACE MASK

May 19, 2017
dr jart dermaclear trans foam clay mask moisturising pink review

I have found face masks to be the most exciting skincare product as of late, every week there seems to be a brand new, totally innovative, mask added to the market - and I am totally down for this. I own more face masks than I care to admit, despite them being a bi-weekly occurrence in my skincare routine I still shell out the pounds on so many of them because I just have to see how they work.

The newest addition to said face mask collection is the Dr.Jart + Trans-Foam Clay Moisturising Pink, a triple functioning wash-off clay mask that turns into a foaming cleanser when it comes into contact with water, providing deep hydration while cleaning pores and lightly exfoliating the skin. 


dr jart dermaclear trans foam clay moisturising pink review

I love pretty much everything about the idea of this mask, a clay mask to help cleanse and exfoliate the skin with the additional benefits of the pink clay to keep my dry skin hydrated, perfect. But the results of using this product are much better than I could have expected. This really makes my skin feel squeaky clean after use, my pores feel cleared and I know that all of my makeup has been properly removed. It doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and tight like some other clay masks can tend to do, but leaves it feeling pretty hydrated - but still, doesn't allow me to skip moisturizer or anything that drastic.

I wouldn't use this mask to initially remove my makeup as I feel like it would defeat the purpose and stop it from working so well. Instead, I think of this almost like a double cleanse after removing my makeup with another cleanser.



I love this mask and the ease of use, but most importantly the results it gives. I think this is going to be a lifesaver for anyone that has dry skin but still struggles with blemishes.


-Molly

WHAT I'VE BEEN LOVING THIS MONTH

May 07, 2017
favourite beauty products

It's been a while since I have done any sort of 'favourites' post, at least when it comes to makeup - I have been trying out a bunch of new makeup recently, as well as rediscovering some old favourites. Here are some of the highlights of the last month in the world of makeup for me.
Tartist Pro Glow To Go Highlight and Contour Palette:
I've always been so dead loyal with the Mary Lou Manizer highlighter, up until last month when I started to expand my horizons in the highlighting world. My most noteworthy foray into this has been this Tarte palette; housed in perfect matte black and gold packaging (because let's be real, could you imagine Tarte ever coming out with sub-par packaging?) you get three powders, two highlights and one bronzer. I really love the bronzer to start with, but be warned all those pale skin; it is pretty warm so be careful not to go in too heavy handed with the application of this. The two highlighters are super pretty; the shade 'burst' in the middle is a very yellow-toned highlighter that is pretty powdery and pigmented - I can imagine this not working too well on darker skin tones as it really is noticeable on the skin. The shade 'gleam' however is perfect, it gives the perfect highlight to the cheekbones with an amazing wet-look to it.
Maybelline 'The Falsies' Push Up Drama Mascara
This is one of those products that you start out hating, leaving it alone for a while, then by chance one day use it again and figure out you were wrong all along and you now love it. I probably used this mascara maybe once when I first got it and found it way too clumpy and thick. Maybe now that it has dried down a little it has become a lot easier to work with. This mascara delivers some serious volume, definitely living up to the false lash-like effect that it promises. That being said you do have to be a little careful with application to avoid it being overly clumpy, I find that you have to focus a little more on really brushing through the eyelashes instead of it being a speedy application. But if you take a little extra time this really looks beautiful on the lashes.
Makeup Revolution Radiant Light Powder:
Supposed to be an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder dupe, I've found that this highlighter works so well as a bronzer on my pale skin. It's radiant without being full of glitter so applied on the cheeks it gives a beautiful natural glow that's not too dark and pigmented - making it perfect for the days when I don't really want to wear too much makeup. For anyone who has darker skin this would make a beautiful highlight, but luckily for us pale girls, it doubles up as an awesome bronzer.
Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick - Dark Taupe:
I love these speedy one-swipe eyeshadow sticks, they make everything so much easier and quicker. In particular the Kiko shadow sticks are one of my favourites. They are creamy and easy to blend out while remaining pigmented. My favourite colour is dark taupe which is a rich brown with a little bit of shimmer, it works so well on it's own so its perfect for the days when I am in a rush,
BellaPierre Cheek and Lipstain - Coral:

I have never been a coral kind of girl, I've always gone for the nude pinks when it comes to lips and blushes but since trying this product out my mind has been completely changed. This is such a gorgeous coral shade which really complements my pale skin and pulls together an entire look effortlessly. It is creamy and hydrating and doesn't apply patchy to either the cheeks or the lips. This is a winning product and its multi-tasking ways makes it a handbag essential for sure.

A DIY TAKE ON SKINCARE

May 01, 2017


At this point I don't even want to know how much money I have spent on skincare during my beauty obsessed years, I think my eyes would water at the thought of it. But why do we all feel the need to spend hundreds on the newest moisturiser that just about promises to give you a brand new face. For a few weeks I decided to ditch the high end products and instead opt for a natural-do-it-yourself routine. The rules? Make all the skincare products yourself and wait for the results. Inspired by this post from the beauty bible that is Intothegloss I had a headstart with the different DIY's I could do to replace the usual suspects of my skincare wardrobe.

  • Makeup Removal: This was a hard one, I'm a die-hard Bioderma fan with the simple idea that simply nothing can remove my waterproof mascara like a micellar water can. But the solution? Olive oil. Now if you think about this, the idea of using olive oil as a makeup remover isn't really that farfetched as it's not too different from your usual cleansing oil, just a lot more natural. This is the best thing I have found to remove all my makeup perfectly, the only downside is that it is pretty messy but that's no bother if you're using it in the shower.
  • Cleansing and Moisturising: From this experience, I have learned that coconut oil is a skin care lifesaver. It's moisturizing and just as hydrating as some of my other far more expensive cleansers and moisturisers. I seriously cover my whole body with this stuff and have no regrets (and neither does my wallet).
  • Exfoliator: I was pretty early to the all-natural exoliator bus, I have been using an oat scrub for years now. Basically, take a hand full of oats, mix with some warm water and you have a scrub perfect for sensitive skin. Oats are an anti-inflammatory and mild cleanser that's easy on even the most sensitive of skins.

The effects of going all-natural are just as good as you would imagine, clearer skin that felt so much less sensitive due to removing the unwanted chemicals from my skincare routine. All in all it was a good experience, though requiring a lot more effort. I am not switching over to a fully natural skincare routine but I am well on my way to treating my skin a lot better.

-M

LETS TALK ABOUT ESSENCES

April 28, 2017

korean skincare essences origins original skin
How many of you have used an essence? More to the point, how many actually know what they are supposed to do for your skin.  I fall into the large category of not really knowing what an essence is and is not. Every day I diligently apply my essence hoping that it's going to work miracles and, although I believe when everyone tells me that it is a crucial part of my routine, I really don't know why.

You just need to type in 'What is an essence' into any search engine and you will be faced with a magnitude of results of people explaining the main skincare question we're all asking. A site I trust when it comes to all things K-beauty is Soko Glam, and so was the base of my investigation into the modern-day mystery that is the essence.
So in the most basic form, an essence is a concentrated formula that targets things like wrinkles, dull and aging skin. Basically, think of an essence as turning back time for your skin and making it appear far more youthful and healthy. This is down to the plethora of active ingredients housed in the watery formula that works to penetrate deep into your skin, making it far more effective than your usual skincare product.

The first essence that I explored was not really a good place to start, it was the Muji Sensitive All in One Essence, which left me feeling even more confused when it came to the topic of essences. This essence is all about calming down the skin with the help of ingredients like chamomile and rose - although this essence calmed my skin down and made it look less red, that was the extent of its effects. It really didn't do anything more than my usual calming toner would do. For a while after this I gave up with essences, thinking they were an unnecessary step.

But then enter the Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion, aka the product that lighted my love for essences. This did everything that everyone had promised me an essence would do; made my skin look more youthful, bright and hydrated. And I was officially sold on all things essence. I've noticed such a significant difference in my skin since incorporating this product into my routine, it's the cherry on top to make my skin look the best that it can be. 

My next step is to explore the world of real Korean essences, as if the Western take on the cult product is anything to go by I'm sure the K-essences are going to be amazing. Below are some links to other essences that, although I haven't tried, I have heard so many good things about.

-M




THE DAISY DUPE: ZARA ORCHID

April 20, 2017
perfume review zara orchid perfume daisy eau so fresh
I am a hardcore fan of the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh perfume, I have been repurchasing it for so many years now and no perfume has ever compared to it. I am such a fan of the really light floral/sweet perfumes that aren't too offensive and strong but still smell really good and I feel like the Daisy Eau so Fresh is the ultimate perfume in this category. The only downside, the high price tag. It's something that I can't just repurchase every time I run out, I have been on the hunt for a similar scent for such a long time but nothing has had the same 'lightness' and freshness of Daisy.
While shopping in Zara I wandered upon their perfumes, I've never really given them a second look before but have heard a few good things, plus for just under €10 for a 100ml bottle it's definitely a bargain. They really do have a huge selection of different scents, one for everyone no matter your preference. 
zara orchid perfume daisy eau so fresh
 
I chose the Orchid Eau de Parfum as it really reminded me of my oh-so-loved Daisy perfume. It's a floral scent with notes of; Bergamot, Rose, Blackcurrant, Lily of the valley, Peach, Cedarwood, Musk, and Amber. Altogether these scents blend so perfectly together to make this perfect everyday perfume that just screams Spring/Summer. The scent lingers so nicely, it is definitely noticeable - getting a whiff of the scent every time you move, but it's not going to give you a headache or anything while you're wearing it. This is what I would describe as a very 'me' scent, and although I am not going to stop buying my Daisy perfume in place for this one, this is just the kind of perfume I want to keep me going when I'm waiting to repurchase my favourite. And for Zara perfumes in general they are definitely something that you should consider giving a go!

NEWEST SKINCARE ADDITIONS

April 17, 2017
skincare review origins essence dr jart dermaclear


I'm currently going through a pretty rough patch with my skin, it's red, has an uneven texture and extremely prone to breakouts. I have always had pretty clear skin that needs little maintenance to keep it looking good. There isn't really any reason for this sudden downturn in the appearance of my skin; I am not being any more unhealthy than I have been before, not added any new products into my routine, generally, all has been the same so this change in my skin is unexpected, to say the least. I've always had my trusty breakout-banishing products like Serozinc, Effaclar Duo, Origins Clear Improvement Mask, but these are no longer doing the job so here goes my journey to sort out my skin and get it back to the way it was once before.

skincare review origins essence dr jart dermaclear

The first thing I picked up to battle my not-so-perfect skin is the Dr. Jart+ Trans-foam Clay Pink Mask. For me I always feel like clay works really well with my skin, it's an ingredient that helps to pull out the impurities from your skin, giving you a deep cleanse that leaves you with clearer skin. Along with this Dr. Jart has always been a brand that I have wanted to try so this product seemed like a perfect match for me. This product is a triple functioning wash-off clay mask, it's interesting because you apply the product like you would any other clay mask, leaving it on for about 10 minutes. But when you add water it turns into a foaming cleanser which makes it easy to remove but also really makes it feel like its cleansing and cleaning your skin. It's packed with moisturising pink clay so not only is the mask really getting all the dirt out of your pores but it moisturises and brightens your complexion at the same time while gently exfoliating. You can actually use this mask to remove your makeup but for me, I think it makes much more sense to use this as you would a normal mask when you have already removed your makeup and thinking of this as more of a double cleanse to finish off your routine.

Then we have the Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment Complex. I am by no means an expert when it comes to essences, I'm not really completely sure on what they do additional to something like a serum, all I know is that everyone tells me that they are something that I should religiously add to my skincare routine. I have been recommended this essence in particular for a long time now, and Origins is a skincare brand that I really trust so these two things combined gave me the hope that this product would really work for me and make essences an essential product for my skin.
This essence is all about boosting the glow and moisturising your skin, it's supposed to make your skin go back to what it was like originally (aka exactly what I am looking for right now). The whole ferment thing may put you off as it's not really the kind of thing you want to willingly put on your face. In this, the essence is fortified with dynamic Dual Ferment Complex that enhances the blend of Willowherb and Persian Silk Tree. The formula of this is a very liquidy lotion that isn't oily and feels very lightweight on the skin, I usually use this as the last step of my skincare routine just before I apply my moisturiser, morning and night.



NEW IN | TARTE TREATS

April 12, 2017
tarte makeup haul shape tape concealer

Tarte has long been one of my favourite makeup brands, ever since falling in love with their Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed after purchasing it in New York it's been a brand that I have admired from afar before it was available to be shipped to the UK. During a free shopping offer, I added to my Tarte stash and am falling in love with everything about this brand even more.

The main reason for my purchase was to pick up the cult-favourite concealer Shape Tape, a lot of products get hyped up but this product exceeds the hype of anything else. I feel like every Youtube video I have watched in the past few months has featured this product. And when everyone is talking, I can't help but listen. And this concealer really is as good as everyone says it is; full coverage, not cakey and creamy - what more could you want. Even after a few weeks of using it I would say that it is up there with my all-time favourite Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I have mine in the fair neutral shade and it is a great light and brightening colour that looks great under the eyes.

tarte makeup shape tape concealer contour highlighter

Because I couldn't just buy one thing I picked up the Glow to Go Highlight and Contour Palette which contains two powder highights and one powder bronzer. The bronzer is a very warm shade and very pigmented so I have to be careful not to go too overboard with this as it can tend to show up a little orange on my pale skin if I go in too heavy handed. The top highlighter is my favourite, it's so shimmery and almost wet looking when applied to the skin which makes it perfect for an intense highlight without looking way too obvious. The middle highlighter has quite a lot of pigment, rather than it being straight up shimmery it is quite a pale colour that shows up on the skin so it's not something that I would wear alone but mixed with the top highlighter it looks great.

tarte contour kit and highlighter palette


Finally just to get my order eligible for the free shipping I picked up a gift set containing two of their Tarteist Clay Paint Eyeliners and also a brush to apply them with. I found the application of these a lot easier than I expcted, the bend in the brush actually made it super simple to keep close to the lashline and see what you're doing - as well as creating a killer wing. I really love the black eyeliner but I feel like the shimmery brown shade doesn't have a lot of pigment. But this doesn't really matter much to me as I kind of like how un-intense it is as it pulls together a bronzey look really nicely without stealing all the attention.