Currently coveting

15 May 2020

Beauty Pie — First Impressions


Undoubtedly one of the key contenders in a nuanced world of beauty is the concept behind Beauty Pie. Different from others, the brand gives complete transparency of the cost of their products without the fancy packaging, celebrity endorsements etc. and works in a different way to most. Instead, they use a membership scheme (you get a monthly allowance depending on your membership level that could be from £5 a month to a heftier annual amount) and retail their products at the price it actually costs to make them. Essentially, you get a great deal on everything for premium quality but you do have to commit to buying with them every month for at least three months. Although it's a relatively new brand, they have a huge amount of products to choose from, from make-up to skincare to candles, there is a lot to be tempted by and they are consistently releasing new innovations. One of the best things about the products they offer is that they are always up to par with the latest 'it' ingredients and technologies, particularly in skincare, with most things having very technical product names that sound too good to turn down.

As a self-proclaimed beauty addict, I can't believe it's taken me until now to make my first order with them as this kind-of kid in a sweetshop with a monthly allowance situation is right up my street. I have a solid skincare routine going at the moment so wanted to go down the make-up route (with one exception) on this order. It was very difficult to choose what to go for initially, particularly within an allowance that doesn't go as far as you'd think, but I thought the below were good basics to begin with...

THE UNBEATABLE CONCEALEr (£7.68) more here.

This concealer is definitely on the oilier side of the concealer-texture spectrum, making it very easy to build up if you're using it throughout the day - which I love! A lot of the reviews describe it's application as 'glide's on' which is very accurate. It's pretty long-lasting as concealers go and blends well with foundation if you're using it as a base and particularly good for colour correcting. 

SUPER HEALTHY SKIN™ SHEER TINTED OIL-FREE SPF20 (£6.77) MORE HERE.

 This is my first tinted moisturiser in a long time and it did not disappoint. The formula is not dissimilar to a lightweight foundation and gives a really glowy, sheen finish. I got the medium shade which is a touch too dark for me, so next time will be getting the light. Love that it has SPF however I still am applying my daily SPF 50 as 20 is a little low for the whole day. Comparing it to Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, I think the formula is slightly thicker with more coverage, but a similar finish. I'm sold.

ÜBER VOLUME BOOST MASCARA (£4.30) MORE HERE.

From the packaging and size of this mascara, I thought it would be a similar take on Benefit's Bad Gal Lash - but actually it's really different and much more delicate. I wouldn't say it's particularly volumizing and thick, but applies nicely and is actually great at separating lashes rather than clumping them all together which isn't cute and common with value mascaras! It also more-or-less lasted through an entire workout without smudging all over my face and I think will be my go-to for every day mascara (but maybe not an evening one). 

SUPERDROPS™ HIGH INTENSITY HYDRATION (£11) MORE HERE.

I actually couldn't resist this one as my skin is really dry at the moment (which means dullness - sad face) and the reviews are insane for both qualms. It contains hyaluronic acid plus lots of other science-y sounding ingredients promising moisture and plumping. On application, it's quite a tacky consistency and slips onto skin really easily. I've only used it for a couple of days so can't speak on the results just yet, but it feels just as good, if not better, than similar serums I've tried before. 

Get your first month free here by signing up with this link


All photos taken by myself. 
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2 Apr 2020

Inside My Bedroom | April


What better time to spruce up your interiors than during an indefinite quarantine. Spending so much time in this room which is both a bedroom stroke infrequent office, I didn't want it to be too busy or try out any colours I'd inevitably get sick of, so calming neutrals it was (the walls were originally blue). It's always a work in progress and I am quite fickle-minded when it comes to design, so it is bound to change soon (hence why I've documented which month I'm writing this in).

The first thing I bought for the room was the rattan bed from the La Redoute Waska collection. I'm obsessed with rattan furniture and loved how the headboard wraps around the bed. This is the Walnut version, but there is also a lighter shade called Oak (which is the only one in stock when I last checked). I've had off-white bedding on since I've had this bed but recently switched over to this tobacco coloured waffle duvet set to warm up the room a little. It slightly irks me that the bedside table wood colour is much lighter than the bed frame shade, but these tables were incredibly affordable Ikea gems that have glass tops -- which I like as you can see the piles of books underneath. I'm a bit of a vase hoarder so there's usually a vase either side of the bed which I change around all the time, depending on what flowers I've got. Since it's tulip season I've got white ones on the left side at the moment in a beautiful vase new in from H&M. I've also got a carafe there at the moment which I'm using to try and make sure I drink enough h20 while staying at home. Another recent addition is the Wayfair natural lampshade (currently sans light bulb as the fixture has broken) but it was the best value rattan-esque one I could find and I like how it ties everything together. 





My other favourite part of the room is the window seat. 
It's the ultimate sun-trap to lounge and read on in the summer and since Spring is here already it's becoming more and more in-use. There's also a ton of storage underneath which is where I keep all my skincare/make-up/beauty hoarding. I'm torn between adding a cushion the entire length across to make it more comfortable as a reading spot, but keen on leaving the wood exposed as it's such a nice colour; so meeting in the middle with some dishevelled-looking cushions and blankets.

It's right next to a little get-ready spot (cringe - sorry - I don't know what else to call it) with a full-length Wayfair mirror, and a short rail above where I hang some semi colour-coordinated clothes (mostly jackets) or anything new. I've also got a magazine rack and some pampas grass down there in my favourite tall vase which took me forever to find. There are lots of similar ones around at the moment--I love how they look when they're in the sun. 



If you have any questions, send me a message on Instagram!


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23 Mar 2020

Weekend Photos | 23.03.20


Some photos from the weekend just gone in a very sunny, very quiet London. A weekend that featured a couple of socially-distanced walks around North London, some pottering around the flat and a lot of reading during the days. In the evenings, we binge-watched the Tiger King on Netflix (the Wondery podcast on Joe Exotic is just as good but this is a must-watch), as well as catching up on Liar on ITV. If you have any TV or film recommendations, and since we have a lot of time on our hands, please let me know! 








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10 Mar 2020

Things to Do in Lisbon | Portugal

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The best thing you truly can do in Lisbon is let yourself get lost; wander the cobbled streets aimlessly with no end goal, because I promise you you'll stumble upon local cafes, off the beaten track restaurants and views you'll want to photograph with much more easily than trying to navigate google maps—although I would emphasise wearing comfy footwear as Lisbon isn't known as the city of seven hills for nothing. However, if you're after some structure in your aimless wandering, we went to a few places during our trip that we'd definitely want to go back to on another visit...


THINGS TO DO 

Time Out Market | This place was recommended to me a few times before we left, and it didn't disappoint. So many incredible options for food, delis, stalls to wander round and my favourite spot was the kitchenware and beauty pop-up shop that housed so many things I could have bought (and a lot I did...), including the Portuguese toiletries stocked in our hotel. A must for lunch while you're in Lisbon and definitely go when you're hungry! 

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Sintra | I'm going to do a longer blog post on Sintra as there's too much to say, but if you have a day spare in Lisbon I couldn't recommend visiting this magical town more. Like nowhere else I've ever been before, Sintra is a pastel-coloured town built up in the mountains, home to the Pena Palace up in the clouds and world heritage site Quinta da Regaleira. Prepare to do a lot of steps, and set aside an entire day to make the most out of everything it has to offer. Because there is a lot. 

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Belém | An absolute must in Lisbon is getting your hands on a traditional Portuguese custard tart. We got an Uber from central Lisbon to Belem as the bus we waited for never showed, and it's about a fifteen minute drive. Belem tower is the main attraction and a tourist hot-spot; you can go inside the tower but be prepared to queue. A short walk from there is home to the best custard tarts in Lisbon - Pasteis de Belem - which you can either sit in or takeaway. Each tart is just over a euro and comes with a packet of icing sugar and cinnamon. Almost salivating at the thought of them. A really lovely place to spend a morning. 

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Placa do Comercio | Right on the river, this is one of Lisbon's plazas and a very pretty place to stop by either in the day or evening. There's lots of cafes and restaurants, as well as a viewing point; a really good place to come for sunset. It's also at the top of the shopping district. 

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RESTAURANTS + CAFES

Zero Zero Pizzeria | This was one of the places we went to after walking past one night and seeing the queues of people outside—a sure sign it must be good. We also saw they had a pop-up at the Time Out Lisbon Market (a much smaller menu) if you were there and fancied trying it out but couldn't get to the restaurant. The pizzas are huge, I had a delicious burrata starter and there's an extensive drinks menu (I think I saw they had prosecco on tap...). You can't book, so prepare to wait a little while on busy evenings. The restaurant kitchen also has a deli attached so you can buy cheese, meats etc. afterwards, too. We went in February, so naturally sat inside, but there is a beautiful terrace which would be dreamy for the warmer months. 

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Tapisco | Probably our favourite restaurant experience in Lisbon, we saw Tapisco recommended a couple of times online and were tempted by the Portuguese and Spanish tapas menu. You can't reserve a table for dinner and turning up around 8pm, we waited around 45mins for one (although they do serve bar snacks and drinks to you while you wait outside). It's worth the wait; the food was delicious (lots of seafood on the menu), and we were seated at the bar so could watch the food being made which was fascinating. 

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Romana | Another place we stumbled across while exploring Alfama, this was my first ever burrata pizza and it was incredible. We didn't do any research in where to eat in this part of Lisbon, and I'm sure there are tons of places, but if you want a carb-refill pit stop during a day of exploring the Old Town, this was very good. 

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Caffe di Marzano | There are so many beautiful and "insta-worthy" places for a late morning coffee in Lisbon, and it just so happened that this one was on our path of exploration for the day. Had we not just had a huge breakfast, we'd have been more than happy choosing from this brunch menu (especially great for vegetarians), and there were so many delicious smoothies to pick between. It goes without saying the interiors are incredible, particularly with the sun blazing through the windows. 

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Read all about where we stayed in Lisbon here
All photos taken by myself. // @aestheticalblog
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