Saturday, 28 March 2015


Warning: Picture heavy post!

So it's crazy to think I jetted of to New York City 2 weeks ago today! Oh how time flies. After having the urge to get away, particularly to go to the US. I haven't been since I was 13 and Hutch has never been before. We decided to book a trip in early January for 4 days away in the city that never sleeps at a bargain price and the countdown was on! It seemed to come around ever so quickly. So on the 14th the journey began.

An afternoon drive to Manchester Airport, a flight to Heathrow, food and some duty free shopping and we were ready to board our American Airlines flight to JFK. The flight was fine, not being able to sit next to each other was not great but didn't ruin the journey too much.  I watched a film, had a nap and it was time to land. After arriving at JFK we were guided towards the transfer bus I had booked beforehand. First things first, New York driving is crazy. Drivers weave in and out of each other, I felt lucky to arrive in one piece. After an hour and a half journey in the crazy traffic and another hour and half waiting to check in to our hotel, it was time to get in some beauty sleep for the next day.

Our first day - Sunday the 15th was an early start at 7am. Being a Sunday the streets were so quiet compared to weekdays! We started with a trip to Grand Central grabbing some breakfast there. Then headed to the Chelsea markets, which were lovely. Grabbing a coffee on route from my favourite place Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, we walked along the high line. The high line was nice, although I can see how beautiful it would be in the summer. We then browsed around some shops for the afternoon and I took a trip to Sephora and Walgreens (Post coming soon). We then strolled back to the hotel to get ready to go out to dinner, we decided on Red Lobster as it looked pretty busy.We were not disappointed! I tried lobster for the first time which was delicious and the service was excellent! With full tummies we headed to the Empire State building. I wanted to see the view at night as I had heard it was beautiful. We were kindly given two free tickets by some girls in the lobby which made it even better (apart from the almost 2 hour long queue to the top!). It was freezing at the top and we stayed up there for about 15 minutes before deciding to leave and get some sleep.

On Monday I knew the mister had plans for the day so let him take control. After some lovely breakfast of pancakes and bacon at Tick Tock diner we headed north up to Central Park. After taking some pictures and having a look at this lovely little hut called the Cop Cot, I turned around to find he was down on one knee with a beautiful ring! Without letting him speak I gave him a huge hug and said yes! We then looked down the hill to see a little huddle of people at the bottom of the hill clapping. It was so lovely. We rushed to the nearest Starbucks to tell all our family and friends. Only to later realise how much time had passed and how much we needed to do! We headed to the Metropolitan Museum (The Met), so I could fulfil my need to sit and have some lunch on the steps like Serena and Blair in Gossip Girl. Then for a browse round some shops: The apple store, FAO Shwartz, Tiffany's to name a few. After some recommendations we walked down 5th avenue to Rockefeller and went to the Top of the Rock, a beautiful view that I think I prefer over the Empire State, as you can see it captured in the distance! Afterwards we went for a walk down 5th avenue back to the hotel to have a little nap before our dinner reservation in the the evening. At 9pm I flagged down a taxi (Go me!) and we headed up broadway to Ouest as a special engagement treat. Hutch informed me the restaurant was in a scene in P.S I Love You! It was a lovely atmosphere and I ordered Grilled maple glazed pork chop, it was huge and I think Hutch had a case of food envy! After a champagne celebration we headed home for the evening.

After a late night on Monday, Tuesday saw us have a lie-in, only leaving the hotel at 9! After having such a lovely breakfast the day before we headed back to Tick Tock diner. We then had the pleasure of watching the St Patricks Day parade march up 5th avenue and everyone was dressed for the occasion! Afterwards wandering down south to Union Square and then on to the 9/11 memorial and museum. The museum was really interesting and emotional as you would imagine, but I would definitely recommend it. After a couple of hours there we wandered down to the tip of Manhattan to see the Statue of Liberty, then to Wall Street, ending our day with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and sitting in Brooklyn for a while admiring the view.

Our last day in the city was a chilled one. Checking out of the Pennsylvania Hotel (not so great rooms, great location), enjoying an american style breakfast one last time and indulging in some more retail therapy before jumping in a cab and heading back to JFK for our plane(s) home!

This trip will always hold special memories for me now, however it hasn't diminished my need to travel around the US, I just want go even more now!

Thanks for reading the end of this, sorry it has been so long but I hope it gives you some travel inspiration and if you are heading to NYC in the future: some idea of things to do.

Libi xx

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Real Techniques Bold Metals - 301 Flat Contour

Hello again, long time no post. I've recently been a little busy on the university/life front and just arrived home from a little trip to NYC (Haul up soon!), where I seemed to have caught the most dreadful of illnesses. So whilst I sit in bed feeling sorry for myself I thought I'd write a little post about the new brush that I've been obsessing over.

The Real Techniques Bold Metals collection was released at the end of January and was exclusive to Boots (although now they are available on the Real Techniques website!). Thanks to some ever so helpful Boots Advantage vouchers this little beauty made its way home with me early February and I've been using it almost everyday since.

The blogosphere went crazy for this launch and I, like most were drawn in by the rose gold handles on the finishing brushes. The handles are weighted unlike the other ranges which I think makes them feel slightly more luxurious and allows you to have much more control over the brush and application. None of the other brushes in the range really took my fancy, seeing as they were all new takes on brushes I already own and love.

However the 301 Contour brush just has a really original shape to it, very different from Real Techniques' previous contour brush. It has an almost thin rectangular shape meaning it is great for fitting into the hollows of the cheeks underneath the cheek bone. The brush hairs are very dense and make it easy to pack on the powder, which is great for light powders and bronzers. I find it best to apply my contour shade with this brush and then blend out the colour using another brush. Although it can be used to buff the powder into the skin. I also sometimes use it for adding highlight, adding the powder to the actual flat side of the brush and smoothing it along the tops of my cheekbones

The Bold Metals collection is on the pricier side with prices ranging from £10-£24, the 301 being £22. However putting into context that Mac face brushes are around £27 and that Boots often have 3 for 2 on beauty accessories or 10% off brushes, this is quite the little gem. I look forward to seeing how it works with a recent New York purchase - the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette!

Have you tried any of the Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection? What Contour brushes do you love?

Libi xx
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