Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Hair Products I Wish I Had | Lust List

Who thinks they've got the most annoying hair in the world? *Waves both hands frantically in the hair, whilst jumping up and down screaming* My hair could give yours a run for its money. It's no secret to those who know me (I yarp on about it enough), my locks and I have some deep, deeeep issues!

I am forever trying to find the perfect hair product to combat the frizziness/moulting/breakage/ downright fluffiness that occurs on a daily basis. Sadly, as of yet, my searches have yielded little results. I absolutely love the products I've tried - I am an Aussie Miracle fanatic, having tried almost all of what they've brought out and loved them all (apart from the Miracle Shine shampoo, that did not do wonders for me) and Herbal Essences and the John Frieda 'Frizz Ease' Collection also get the thumbs up - but none of them seem to go any further than the others in improving the quality of my hair.

Naturally, I have come up with quite the list of products that given some time (and money!) I would love to try out! Here are a few of them:

Bumble and bumble 'The Surf Set'

(Picture from Sephora)

I have been lusting after this ever since I read 'The Craft' by Lou Teasdale - a brilliant book for anyone interested in experimenting with hair and beauty! I'm hoping this would combat the fluffiness of my hair by adding some much needed texture, and I also L O V E beachy-style hair, win win! Words cannot explain how much I want this set in my life.

(Picture from Aussie website)
I actually discovered this whilst I was looking at the Aussie website for this post, and am already lusting after it!  I love post-washing sprays as I find that with a good one, the shampoo/conditioner you use can be immaterial as you get the same effect! You can probably tell I have a slight obsession with texture creating products at the moment!

(Picture from Reese Atomic)
I fell in love with this product when reading The Sunday Girl's recent post on Biotin. I have tried other OGX products, and really liked them (I'm currently trialing their 'Argan Oil of Morocco' shampoo and conditioner - review up soon!) My hair is quite fine and extremely prone to breakage and from what she's written this collection could be my dream come true! Fingers crossed! (I've just looked at their entire list of products and I think I may have to buy it all!!)

Well there you have it! Just a few of the products on my hair Lust List! Although now I've explored each of their websites a little bit more the list is on the verge of becoming a full blown novel! My poor bank account!!

Have any of you guys tried any hair products you've loved, or got any you wish you could try?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Bridget Jones 'Mad about The Boy' by Helen Fielding | Review

At university, I study English Literature and Creative Writing, which basically means I have to do a lot of reading (whether I do it all or not is a different matter)! So when I was perusing the book shelf in our holiday villa, I made the decision to read something that I genuinely really wanted to, and that's how I came to pick up Helen Fielding's new Bridget Jones novel.

We all know, and LOVE, Bridget Jones. There's something about her that just makes every woman feel happier, because she gets the struggle that is just being a girl! I am a tad late to the party on this, the third 'diary', as I was worried it would ruin her for me. How could Mark Darcy, the love of Bridget's life, the man who gave hope to millions of women worldwide that there was someone who would "like you very much. Just the way you are." not be in the book? Wait, no, not just 'not in the book', but not in Bridget's life anymore? *Sobbing*. HOW COULD IT POSSIBLY WORK WITHOUT HIM? These were all my emotions when I read an interview with Fielding about the release of 'Mad about The Boy'.

But then I read the book, and it is wonderful. Perfect, even. Bridget is back and at her absolute finest! Jones/Darcy is now 35 (51) and struggling to cope with technology, being a single mother, being a woman, dating, work, grief, and power mothers at school, creating a novel that is soul-crushingly sad, rib-splitingly hilarious and above all genuinely moving and heartwarming. Even though I had an inkling it would end the way I thought it would, this is no way lessened my enjoyment of the book and it was still a far better ending than I had imagined anyway! I feel like I could read it again and still laugh (out loud) as much as I did the first time, and I finished it sixteen hours ago!

The beauty of the book, and Bridget, is that Fielding has this power of expressing every crazy, ridiculous part of being a woman in the modern day in a way that is so hilariously true, that you can't help but fall in love with it. I really heart Bridget.

Also, anytime I read a Bridget Jones novel, I end up thinking in her diary-esque way of writing. Does anyone else do that? Or am I just going crazy..?

Star Rating /5: 4.5 stars (I'm still a teensy weensy bit emotionally crushed that Mark wasn't in it.)

Have any of you guys read any new books that you've loved/not loved so much recently? I'm off to find myself a new one, hopefully it will be as good as this one!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer Is Not My Most Attractive Season | Digital Diary

I love being on summer holiday. The sun, the sea, the pool - it’s paradise! The problem is, Summer and I, we don’t get on that well. By not well, I mean if Summer’s the pleasant, sophisticated family gathering, I’m the drunk uncle that everybody kind of wishes wasn’t there. I just don’t get how one is supposed to look attractive, or even respectable, whilst allowing the sun to slowly cook you. Yet, somehow, some people seem to manage it.

I feel like I’ve missed some exclusive invite to the ‘I look hot whilst sunbathing and swimming and just generally in life’ club. We all know them. These bronzed goddesses just lie there, looking P E R F E C T. Any sweat that their bodies may dare to produce only serves to make them look inexplicably hotter than they did before. When they swim, they do so gracefully, without getting water in their eyes or spitting when they come up for air, looking more at home in the water than a mermaid would. Whereas watching me exist in 30 degree plus temperatures is like watching a spontaneous combustion in slow-mo. Hot, pink, and above all, disastrous.

To try and make up for what I lack in raw sunbathing sex appeal, today I even attempted to adopt a Cara Delevingne-esque sass when strolling around the pool, until I realised I don’t have sass - I have sunburn. Sunburn, sweat and squinty eyes (either from the lack of contact lenses and therefore blindness, or chlorine in said contact lenses). It makes quite the beautiful combination I’ll have you know!

Now this isn’t an “I’ve tried this product and it really helps with this problem” kind of post, this is a genuine plea in the hope that someone, anyone, feels my pain. Will my love of summer heat ever be united with my dream of a poolside scene that doesn’t involve me looking like a cooked ham on a sun lounger? Who knows.

If you enjoyed laughing at my troubles in this slightly different, more rambly post, please feel free to comment below! Also, if you feel my pain/have any tips, I urgently need you help.

Yours in desperation,

Challot :)

(Now because that was quite a Debby Downer of a post, here's a picture of a sunset).

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Gillette Venus Spa Breeze Razor | Beauty Must-Have

I’m going to just put it out there now: I cannot use disposable razors. Whenever I try I end up looking like I’ve been attacked by an angry porcupine. Cuts everywhere, not pretty. It may be because my mum has always used Venus razors, so you could say I have quite high standards (joking!). Her fancy has most definitely led to my adoration of my first ‘Beauty Must-Have’ product, the Venus Spa Breeze Razor. It was love at first sight… use?

My extra special holiday purchase!
My love affair with this razor goes back quite a while now - since they were released more than a year ago in fact - so you can rest assured knowing that when it comes to talking about how amazing they are, I am not lying!

The razor head is surrounded by two strips of lubricating solid soap like substance, which lathers when it comes into contact with water, meaning you don’t have to use any shaving soap or shower gel, hurrah! This helps it glide over your skin, giving you the smoothest shave of your entire life. If you’re worried about the quality of the shave, don’t! I am yet to find a razor that gives such a close shave, or leaves my skin feeling as silky smooth as this one does, and all without cuts! Another brilliant power of this, the queen of razors, is that it almost negates the use of moisturiser! I VERY rarely bother to moisturise my legs post-shave (a beauty cardinal sin, I know), and have found other razors leave my skin feeling all scaly, but I have never experienced this problem with the Venus Spa Breeze one. And finally, the ‘white tea’ smell. Argh, it just smells so good!

I think this is probably the only beauty product that I have used consistently since first discovering it, and I am a person with major FOMO when it comes to trying new things! You really cannot improve on the perfection that is this razor! I quite honestly miss it if I have to use something different for a couple of weeks. 

Its one flaw is that it is a little on the pricey side, with a pack of eight razor heads costing between £18 and £20, and the original razor with two heads around £10. However, I think it’s a small price to pay for something that is so reliable!

Basically, my review of this product is: almost perfect! If only they did a student friendly one… I hope you enjoyed this slightly different style of post, if you did please feel free to comment below! Have any of you tried this product, or do you think you’ve found one that could rival my personal fave?

Friday, 25 July 2014

Holiday Beauty (not so) Essentials | Panic Packing

I am getting on a plane to Turkey at quarter past four today, and I am still yet to pack, obviously. Seeing as I still have loads of time (haha) before I have to leave, I thought I'd quickly share with you what make up/beauty items I am taking with me - even though I normally give up wearing make up about twenty minutes after arriving (I overpack, it's a disease).

Sleek 'Blush By 3' in LACE 367
Barry M Summer Love Shadow & Glow Palette
Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
Carmex Cherry Lip Balm (SPF 15)
Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub
Benefit 'Hoola' Bronzer
L'Oréal Paris 'Color Appeal Holographic' Eyeshadow (it's a shiny purple/pink)
Max Factor 'Eye Brightening Tonal Black Volumising Mascara' for blue eyes
Barry M silk nail polish in Blossom
Bourjois 'Healthy Mix Serum' Gel Foundation in 52 Vanilla
Real Techniques Buffing brush, Blush brush, Deluxe Crease brush and Base Shadow brush
Rimmel London 'Wake Me Up' Concealer in Soft Beige
Rimmel London 'Exaggerate' Eye Liner in 001 100% Black
Bourjois 'Color Boost' Glossy Finish Lipstick in 01 Red Sunrise
Revlon 'Colourburst' Lip Butter in 027 Juicy Papaya
Maybelline New York 'Colorsensational' Lipstick in 422 Coral Tonic
Bourjois 'Rouge Edition Velvet' Liquid Lipstick in 05 Olé flamingo!
Rimmel London 'Moisture Renew' Lipstick in 200 Latino
Maybelline New York 'the Mega Plush Volum' Express' Mascara in Very Black
Make up sponge

It may not all be necessary, but you never know! My suitcase is probably going to be double the luggage limit haha! Bye for now, expect many more posts whilst I'm in Turkey!

Top 10 Things To Do | Budapest

It's the final Budapest post! This time, it's my list of favourite things we did when we were there, hope you enjoy!

1.  Go inside Szent István Bazilika (St Stephen’s Basilica)
I know I mentioned that St Stephen's was my favourite building to look at it my last post, HOWEVER, you can go and explore the church, for a small donation! Inside are the most awe-inspiring ceilings, stained glass windows, and statues. It proves itself to be just as fascinating on the inside as it is the out.

2. Experience the nightlife
If you only visit one bar in your entire life, make it Szimpla (I'm probably exaggerating how good it is slightly, but it is THAT amazing). One of Budapest's ruin bars, and named as The Lonely Planet's 3rd best bar in the world, it is one of those places that just can't be done justice in pictures or words. There are speciality cocktails, a maze of different rooms and levels, graffiti and awesome decoration everywhere, a stage, a food booth and even a leaflet of Szimpla's Guide to Budapest! Ahhhh, I want to go back so badly!
Asides from Szimpla, there are many other great destinations, two others I visited whilst I was there were Kèkló, the self-proclaimed "coolest bar ever", and a club called Instant (it has the most insane house music room in the basement, but if you're scared of a little (a lot) of sweat, it may not be right for you!) The Budapest nightlife really does have something to offer everyone!

Here's Ella and I looking extremely happy in Szimpla

3. Go on a free walking tour
Walking tours are by far the best way to learn about a new city, and these ones are great because they run on tips, meaning you pay what you can afford to. It isn't for the faint hearted, lasting about three hours (make sure you take some snacks and have breakfast beforehand, we didn't and suffered!), but you get invaluable background knowledge to all the most famous landmarks, and some you wouldn't know existed without their guidance! Some of the best information they gave us was that all the fountains and taps out and about in Budapest are drinking water, meaning you don't have to pay for bottled water!

4. Visit Gelarto Rosa and get an ice cream shaped like a rose
If you haven't seen my post on these wonderful creations, here it is. I cannot describe how brilliant these ice creams actually are, and I am yet to hear about anywhere else that makes anything like them, especially for the same price! For 500 HUF, which works out at less than £1.50, you can get two delicious flavours, which I think you'll agree is a bargain!

5. Spend some time in a bath house
We visited Széchenyi Fürdõ, the biggest bath house in Budapest, which is located at the end of Andrássy Avenue near Hõsok Tere. There was a huge selection of baths, including two outdoor pools (hot and cold), heated and non-heated indoor pools, rapids (inside and out), steam rooms, different temperature saunas (we accidentally went in the hottest one, which was 60-80 degrees, I felt like my insides were on fire) and hot tubs. It was heaven!

6. Sziget Eye
The Eye was located in our favourite park, to the right of St Stephen's. We saved going on it till the final evening, and I really would recommend doing this for the beautiful view you get of Budapest at night. It was under 2000 HUF, and you get at least three trips round - great value for money!

7. Get a pedal bike/car and go round Margitsziget (Margaret Island)
We were a bit too excited doing this, especially seeing as we went round during a thunderstorm! However, if you're looking for a bit of shameless fun and a lot of laughs, rent one of these beauties and pedal away! By far the best way to take in the beauty of Margaret Island.

8. Take Tram #2 and go down the Pest side of the Duna
For great views of the Buda side of the river, this is a must! You can buy a single tram ticket at any tube station for 350 HUF - a ticket can be used on either a tram or the underground. Make sure you stamp your ticket using the machine as soon as you get on the tram, ticket inspectors are often plain clothed! Go towards Margaret Island from the Chain Bridge and you will also get a close and personal view of Az Országház (the House of the Nation).

9. Visit Fõvám Tér Piac (the Great Market Hall)
I love food, and exploring foreign markets and supermarkets, so this was a no-brainer for me. They literally sell everything here, from linens to Russian Dolls and paprika spread (a Hungarian delicacy).

10. Try all the food you can!
Gulyás leves, langos, strudel - you have to try it all! Hungarian cuisine was a thousand times better than I expected it to be, and I'm so glad we spent time tasting it all! We also tried to eat where the locals ate, and bought a picnic style lunch from supermarkets, experimenting with different meats, cheeses and breads.


Bread rolls; salted bread (we thought it was sugar); two HUGE purple apples; Hungarian cheese
(delicious but salty); mineral water from a fountain; children's chocolate animal biscuits.

Gulyás leves! In English 'goulash', it is supposed to be a soup, not a stew, and I really miss it!

Seeded and non-seeded scallop shaped bread; cheese baguette; brie; pâté; mineral water from one of the fountains;
coconut chocolate bar (delicious) and a truffle chocolate bar (tasted so strongly of the Hungarin rum Palinka that I
couldn't eat it!)

Langos with garlic (top) and sour cream and cheese (bottom). It is essentially fried bread and
is a Hungarian dish that you definitely have to try! We found ours at the Great Market Hall.

Our starter on the last night: mixed hams with tomato salad and Hungarian bread

Our final meal! Ella had a spicy sausage casserole and I had pasta with 'fat bacon' (fried bacon
fat) and Hungarian cottage cheese - it was a lot nicer than it sounds, but quite heavy! The bread
was free, another brilliant part of eating in Hungary!

11. Soak in the culture
Some of my favourite parts of the holiday were when we just sat in a park in the city centre and soaked in the atmosphere of Budapest, or when we took some time to wander round the streets and see what we could discover!

A park near the Széchenyi Fürdõ where we sat and had lunch

There's Matthias Church in the background

Ella playing in a massive water feature we discovered on the way to Parliament

Okay, so maybe there are 11...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Top 10 Things To See | Budapest

As promised, here is my first Budapest post! It really is a fantastic city, and here are some of my favourite things that I got to see. (N.B. This list is my no means exhaustive, we only had four full days to explore!)

1. Szent István Bazilika (St Stephen’s Basilica)
This is the largest (and in my opinion, most beautiful) church in Budapest. It’s dome is 96 metres high, the same height as the one on the Parliament building, and it sits proudly almost opposite the Chain Bridge. It is hands down my favourite building in all of Budapest.


2. Margitsziget (Margaret Island)
This island sits in the middle of the Duna, the river which separates the two sides of the city, Buda and Pest (I find the fact that the two different sides are called this a bit too funny). It is a beautiful expanse of sculpted green parkland with flowers, trees and shrubbery everywhere, and beautiful views of the city on either side.

3. Halászbástya (Fisherman’s Bastion)
On the Buda side of the city, Fisherman’s Bastion really is gorgeous. The cream-white walls and pillars and fantastical curving buildings, coupled with the fantastic view you get of Pest, prove it to be a photographers dream.

4. Mátyás-templom (Matthias Church)
If you visit Fisherman’s Bastion you will no doubt see Matthias Church. The roof really has to be seen to be believed. The tiles are native to Hungary and self-cleaning, meaning they don’t lose their colour, and cover the entirety of the church roof.

5. Széchenyi Lánchíd (Chain Bridge)
The most famous of Budapest’s many bridges, and you can see why. Guarded by two lions at either end, it’s architecture is really one that has to be seen to be fully appreciated, but rest assured it, and the view down the Duna you get from walking across it, are beautiful.

6. Az Országház (House of the Nation)
This building is the third largest Parliament building in the world - two metres longer than the Houses of the Parliament in the UK, which it was modeled on. As a result, it is very difficult to photograph, but it is a truly spectacular building, one that is definitely worth seeing.

7. Hõsök Tere (Heroes Square)
You may have seen a picture of this on my Instagram. Heroes Square is a little way out of the centre of Budapest, at the very end of Andrássy Avenue, but is very much worth the walk. Built in 1900 to celebrate the 1000 year anniversary of the seven Magyar tribes arriving in the area of now-Hungary, it is a Unesco Heritage Site, and also boats the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts.

8. Budavári Palota (Buda Castle)
We didn’t actually go and have a proper look in the grounds of the castle, however I wish we had spent a little more time there. It rest on Castle Hill, and has not only beautiful architecture, but beautiful views of the Pest side of the river. Next time!

9. Dohány Utcai Zsinagóga (Dohány Street Synagogue)
It is the second largest synagogue in the world, and actually influenced the architecture of the largest synagogue, New York City’s Central Synagogue.

10. The Architecture
You can’t help but glimpse Budapest’s wonderful, eclectic architecture as you’re walking round, but try to pay extra attention to it, as in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

I hope you're all feeling a major urge to jump on the next plane to Budapest, I know I am! Thanks for reading and happy travelling!