30 August 2016

What I'm Loving In... August

monthly favourites, flat lay, beauty make up books sunglasses OPI
I'm soo sad that my favourite month, August, is on it's way out. But I'm determined not to get too down about summer's forthcoming departure, as I still have a month left before I return to uni and lots of exciting stuff planned. Anyway I thought I'd do a monthly favourites post, as I've been loving a few bits in August that deserve to be talked about! Onto the stellar products...

Heart Shaped Sunglasses
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monthly favourites, heart shaped sunglasses flat lay harajuku
As you may know (I went on and on about it on my Twitter, Insta and the Blog) I went to Japan this month, and whilst I was there I picked up these cute sunglasses from Harajuku! I've wanted a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses ever since I started listening to Lana Del Rey. I love the thin metal rims and the coloured lenses, which transition from purple to yellow. They're such a statement pair and so appropriate for summer!

OPI Tiramisu For Two
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OPI has been my favourite nail polish brand for years now, I find their formula shiny and long-lasting and the brush is really easy to use (unlike their competitor, Essie). I saw this shade in my local pharmacy and fell for the pale nude colour. When I got it for my birthday, I was naturally ecstatic. It looks beautiful on, and is such a fresh and modern colour - unlike anything I've worn before. Also, how cute is the name?!

NYX Lip Lingerie // Bedtime Flirt
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monthly favourites, NYX lip lingerie lipstick bedtime flirt, swatch, beauty blogger, selfie
This liquid lipstick is another birthday present, and I love love it! I've wanted one of these for a while because:
1. Liquid lipsticks are my thing
2. Lingerie is an obsession of mine
3. Everyone has been saying how good NYX are
And I can see where they're coming from! The formula is opaque and super easy to apply. It's matte, a look I've been obsessed with ever since the Instagram baddie trend, AND it smells yummy. I also dig this shade, it's a beautiful dark nude with pink and brown undertones.

The Girls by Emma Cline
Monthly favourites, books, the girls, emma cline summer
Monthly favourites, books, the girls emma cline lifestyle blogger
So many people have recommended this book, both on and offline, and I'm going to have to join the chorus. It was a last-minute airport buy and I'm so glad I picked it up. I started reading it on the beginning of a 3-hour flight and finished it upon landing - that's how gripping it is. It's set in sixties California and is about a bored teenage girl and how she becomes involved in a Charles Manson-esque cult. I love the dreamy, summer feel to the novel and whilst I've never been in a cult, I can definitely relate to the protagonist. I can't recommend this enough - if you read one book this summer, read this one!!

LuLuLun Moisturising Face Mask
Monthly favourites, Lululun moisturising 7 day face sheet mask, japanese, beauty blogger
monthly favourites, beauty, lululun moisturising 7 day sheet mask, blogger
Quick disclaimer: my Japanese reading isn't that great so I can't tell you much about what this mask claims to do or what is in it.

What I do know is that it's v. moisturising and v. convenient. It is super easy to apply - just take it out of the packet and lie it on your face for 10 minutes. It feels nice and cooling on the skin, and pretty much forces you to recline so is very relaxing. I like to do this before bed, and then leave the residue on the skin to sink in overnight. It's also a good excuse to snapchat multiple selfies to your friends. I bought this in Japan, but I found an Amazon link for it ^^ so you can get it too!

What have you been loving in August? What products do you want to get? And have you read The Girls?!
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27 August 2016

JAPAN 2016 | Day Tripping

girl from north london, koi carp fish, ise jingu, travel blogger, mini seriesToday's post is the third and final instalment of my JAPAN 2016 series. If you haven't caught up with my posts on TOKYO and TAHARA go check em quick! Anyway back to this post on day tripping. During our stay in Japan, my family and I went on two day trips: one to a pottery town, and one to Ise Shrine.

Pottery in Seto:
My father was pretty keen on us all doing pottery, as Japan is famous for it's beautiful ceramics. We went to a pottery town called Seto, which is in Aichi Prefecture. Japan has quite a few pottery towns (I've been to a good one before called Tokoname) and if you're interested in ceramics, I'd recommend visiting one. These towns have lots of ceramic shops, classes and pottery walks, where ceramics are integrated into the trail.

Anyway, onto the class! We first chose the crockery we wanted to make (I went for a small bowl and a tea cup) before getting kitted out in a huge apron and shoes. The teachers helped us (with pretty good English) make the objects we had chosen on the pottery wheel. I think they turned out well! Finally, we picked out colours for our pottery, to be painted once they had been fired in the kiln. I'm excited to see the end result when they eventually get sent back to England.
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girl from north london, pottery, seto, mini series, travel blogger
girl from north london, travel blogger, mini series, pottery, seto
girl from north london, pottery, seto, travel blogger, mini series
pottery seto girl from north london travel blogger mini series
girl from north london seto pottery traditional japanese travel blogger

Ise Shrine (Ise Jingu):
On another day, my family and I woke up super early to catch a ferry to take us to the city of Ise. This was a lovely way to get to Ise as we travelled through tiny islands covered in woodland.
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girl from north london travel blogger ise japanese islands woodland ferry mini series
We then took the scenic Ise Skyline road, which you have to pay a toll to use, but totally worth it for the mountain drive and the incredible views. Unfortunately it was rather misty when we visited but it was still pretty amazing. We stopped at the observatory to take in the views and take photos. There is also a free foot bath should you desire to bathe your feet at the top of a mountain!
girl from north london ise skyline view panoramic travel blogger mini series
girl from north london ise skyline travel blogger view panoramic mini series
girl from north london, ise skyline, view, panoramic, travel blogger, mini series
Finally we arrived at the Shrine! Ise Jingu is the Shinto religion's holiet site. People come from all over Japan to pray here, as they have done for 2000 years. The shrine has been newly renovated and the G7 leaders were brought to Ise Shrine in May to showcase this national treasure. When we arrived, we first crossed a beautiful bridge, bowing at the Tōri (gate) before following an ornamental path. My sisters stopped to by lucky charms at a pristine stall before we clapped, bowed and prayed in three different shrines.
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girl from north london ise jingu shrine bridge river travel blogger
girl from north london ise jingu shrine lucky charms travel blogger
girl from north london ise jingu shrine travel blogger
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girl from north london, ise jingu, shrine, travel blogger, mini series
We also stopped to watch koi in ornamental ponds dotted about the grounds of the shrine. The fish were enormous and had such beautiful markings.
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girl from north london, koi carp, fish. ise jingu shrine, travel blogger
girl from north london, koi carp, fish, ise jingu, shrine, travel blogger
Our last stop was Oharai-machi, a bustling street very near to the entrance of the shrine. It has very good street food (we picked up grilled squid, sushi and matcha ice cream) and plenty of souvenir shops. I would recommend wandering down there just to soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant, traditional-style street.
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girl from north london, oharai machi, ise jingu shrine, travel blogger, street food
girl from north london, oharai-machi, street food, ise jingu shrine, travel blogger
girl from north london, oharai-machi, street food, ise jingu shrine, travel blogger

And so that brings us to the end of this post and the end of my JAPAN 2016 mini-series! Thank you so much if you've caught up with all of them, if not then click the links below. I've really enjoyed doing travel blogging, and I'd love to do more but that requires money (which I'm a bit low on atm). However I'm going to Paris in September so hopefully I'll be able to do a post on that! *watch this space*

Until then, I'm looking forward to chatting about my one true love - fashion - in this corner of the internet. Thanks again for reading,
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Read the first instalment: JAPAN 2016 | Tokyo Travels
And the second! JAPAN 2016 | Back To Tahara
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23 August 2016

JAPAN 2016 | Back To Tahara

It's time for the second instalment of my Japan 2016 mini series! If you haven't read the first post on TOKYO then click the link quick! Today's post is on Tahara, which is a seaside town in the Aichi Prefecture which you probably haven't heard of because it's quite small. Anyway, my extended family live here so I've been coming to Tahara since I was tiny. I love it here, the Japanese countryside is so underrated in my opinion. Read on to see what I got up to in Tahara!

Shiroya Beach:
As Tahara is a seaside town, it only makes sense to start with a beach. For swimming, sunbathing and typical beach activities, Shiroya is the best choice. It's only a 10 minute drive from my grandparents house (Tahara centre) so it's perfect for us. We like to go after 5pm because the temperature is just about bearable at this time, and you don't have to pay for parking. They also have a couple of stalls selling ice cream, street food and beach necessities; changing and shower facilities; a good playground for any little ones; and a mini golf pitch!


Mt. Zao (Zao-San):
Another location that we always visit is Mt. Zao, which is the highest mountain in Tahara. It has a wind turbine and a viewing building on the summit, and it's an easy (yet winding) drive from the town centre. It has amazing views of the surrounding countryside and sea, and we always try to spot certain places, like our favourite beach or our grandparents' shop. One of the rooms in the building is a light room, where various projectors cast different effects onto the walls. In the summer, from 8-9pm, the building is lit up in blue and UV paint on the paths becomes visible.  


Tahara Castle: 
A must-see in Tahara is the castle. My sisters and I went on a spontaneous walk on our last night in Japan and ended up here. I've been here many times before when I was younger, and it's still beautiful. The castle is surrounded by a moat, and if you're lucky you can spot turtles swimming in it. Inside, the castle is home to two shrines and the main building which has a museum vibe with the history of the castle and the postcards available.

Akabane Long Beach:
Another beach! Akabane is a Pacific beach which makes the waves huge, so it's too dangerous to swim in. Despite this, it is my favourite location in Tahara because it is so gorgeous. The rocks and the sand and the waves are a perfect combination. The waves make it a popular location for surfers, some travel quite far to surf at this beach. My mother loves the shells that the tide brings in, and always leaves with a few. This is a must-see for anyone that comes to Aichi Prefecture.

Shopping (bonus):
The final section that I wanted to cover on Tahara is shopping. I don't mean like clothes or anything, I just wanted to add a bonus shout out to a couple of places that I've been going to since I was little. Seibunkan is a book shop in the centre of Tahara, which we love going to for the stationary! Japanese stationary is so cute and useful, I always find myself over-spending. I also like to pick up magazines to see the latest Japanese trends and for inspiration.
The other shop I wanted to mention is Chipuzu, which is a sweet shop! It's full of Japanese sweets and snacks, and is really reasonably priced. Perfect for trying Japanese sweets or buying presents for people back home.

And that's a wrap for Tahara! This post was a hard one for me as I love this place so much, but it's off the beaten track so it's v unlikely that any of my readers will visit this town. So I don't know how useful it will be as a guide, but hopefully it was interesting enough just to read and look through the pictures. The next and final instalment of my JAPAN 2016 series will be on day tripping, more specifically Ise Shrine and pottery making!

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