Sun, Sea & Cocktails…

Sun, Sea & Cocktails…

Where do I begin? I know I’ve been slightly MIA lately, I will explain all this in the next while and you should also expect a few throw back posts of things I hadn’t quite shared at the time but first….its time to talk cruise!!!!

Yes you guessed it myself and my other half headed away on a 7 night Mediterranean cruise. This was my first time on a cruise and his 3rd or 4th!!!! Needless to say I had heard so much about it and watched enough videos for everyone on the ship, (I’m not joking), but I still wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Everyone had said numerous things such as you’d put weighed on, there’s so much to do and you don’t feel it move…all things I had been concerned about and everyone was right with what they said!

We had 5 stops on our cruise which departed from Barcelona to begin with. Our itinerary was as follows:

Day 1: Depart from Barcelona, Spain

Day 2: Marseilles (Provence), France

Day 3: Villefranche (Nice),  Francecruise map

Day 4: La Spezia(Florence/Pisa), Italy

Day 5: Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Day 6: Naples (Capri), Italy

Day 7: Day at sea

Day 8: Arrive back in Barcelona, Spain

 

Lets begin…

Day 1:

We flew to Barcelona that morning, with an obligatory airport check in and of course a fry as well as a beer…it was 5pm somewhere! #holidaymode

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We arrived in Barcelona around lunch time, thankfully it’s only a few hours to get there and we were whisked away to the ship! I couldn’t wait to see the size of the ship. I had lots running through my head, not one to often express anything outwardly.

A short bus ride and we were there…

It’s hard to actually describe how big the ship was. The photos by no means do it justice. I felt even smaller than I usually do! 🙈

We boarded the ship and headed for our cabin to drop of our bags and then the tour began. Our ship was freedom of the seas with Royal Caribbean. I think I just about managed to visit most of the ship in the 7 days but definitely didn’t get to do everything….I feel another cruise coming on. This day was mainly sailing and getting to grips with the ship. There will be photos…ha

Day 2:

On day 2 we arrived in Marseilles. We had already decided that we weren’t doing a tour here as we had so many to follow. This day involved cocktails and some time at the pool. ☀️🍹

Our evening consisted of a formal dinner…and then a show. Before heading away I was very apprehensive as to how formal I needed to be as I hadn’t been. I opted for a midi cocktail dress from Asos as you can see below. Oh isn’t he so handsome 😍😍😍

 I can honestly say anything goes. Some men wore a tux others a suit some even ditched the formal attire and wore shorts. The same went for the ladies, full length gowns to a causal dress. The choice is yours.

The food was unbelievable all week!! I am probably fussy compared to most and it even made me step out of the box. You definitely won’t go hungry for the week.

The show was a medley of Broadway songs by the ships singers and dancers. It was great. I didn’t quite know what I was going to see but it definitely was better than I expected…think west end style!! A week flies in so we tried to make the most of it and headed to the casino afterwards. All fun and games in there…you just have to enjoy yourself, if you are worrying about what you are losing it isn’t worth it. We had branched out and had the premium drinks package…which we definitely took advantage off this night. 🙈

Day 3: 

We woke up in Villefranche and we were heading to Monaco and Monte Carlo. Yes I was excited, slightly hungover and nauseated. The fun and games of an all inclusive drinks package, being on a boat and going to Monaco. What more could you want?

Our morning was spent with me feeling sorry for myself, not being able to eat and worrying about being sick. All things Jonathan had experienced with me on previous trips, so he was use to it. We were heading on a tour at 13.15pm, so I had to man up for it but as we queued to get on the tender boat to port there was some waves. This meant that they had stopped the tender boats for a period of time…thankfully they were holding the tours until we arrived. However this was not helping the nausea…off for a walk I went. All was good after this…I came back better than I was and we eventually were allowed on the boat to port. Next stop Monaco.

Below are a very small selection of photos from this day…I don’t want to bore you just yet, we have 4 more days!

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In Monaco we went and saw the Prince’s Palace of Monaco which apparently use to be called ‘the pink palace’, I didn’t think it was very pink. We also went to Saint Nicholas Cathedral which is where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier were buried. It was beautiful to see, definitely worth a trip. Getting to see the Grand Prix race track was brilliant, now I just need to go back for the actual race….if only!! After this short visit we headed to Monte Carlo where all the big yachts are and lifestyle of the rich knows no bounds! Casino square is where all the action is, from the main casino to Hotel de Paris…not to forget the shopping! It was fabulous! I would definitely say we needed more time here to get to go into the casino and possibly stay in the hotel next time…..hint hint, (definitely not happening but I can dream)! 

This evening was a casual dinner which was great for us as we were back slightly later due to our tour leaving later etc. A lovely dinner and off we went to enjoy our evening with the excitement of Pisa the next day.

Day 4:

Waking up somewhere different each day still hasn’t quite sunk in to me. Today we were in La Spezia, Italy and we were heading to Pisa. Who doesn’t want to pretend to push a tower up? And yes I did do this as best I could….see below for proof! Spot the tourist!

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The amount of people who attempt something like this is crazy but totally worth it…ha

Our Pisa tour was doing it ourselves once we arrived to the tower which suited us. We bought a ticket and went and seen the baptistery, cathedral and camposanto. The baptistery was by far my favourite. It is such a unique building as was the cathedral. I even managed to rub the door for luck…fingers crossed. Once I seen the tower I was content, I didn’t feel there was any real need to go inside and much preferred spending our time visiting the other landmarks. I would say that is all their is in Pisa if you just want the tourist attractions and for myself I do. I wouldn’t be rushing back unless I want a better picture of me holding the tower up.

As Pisa was an early morning tour for us we were back on the boat for lunch time. We spent the rest of the day eating, drinking and relaxing. Exactly what a holiday should be. We headed for dinner and then went to the evening show which was a magician, (Hector is magic). He was brilliant. I really enjoyed this and I was so happy to see the diversity in the entertainment each night. There is definitely something for everyone.

Day 5:

Roma, Roma, Roma!!! Yes I was a little bit excited. Pizza, Ice cream and Rome, What more could you want?

This day involved an early start….super early! Up next was a bus journey but at least I knew we would be in Rome then. We had decided to do a full all day tour mainly because I was so happy to get to go here. The main stops on our tour included the Trevi fountain, Colosseum, ancient Rome and the Vatican city.

Rome was simply amazing. It is definitely on my list to go and spend a few days in. With being on a cruise and only having a limited number of hours in each place you really only get a snapshot of each place. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go into the Colosseum or Vatican City, you would probably need a good half a day at least to do each of these sights.

I did however get to make a wish in the Trevi Fountain, probably a highlight of the day for me. One thing I never knew though, once you make your wish and throw your coin you can’t look at the fountain again or else your wish won’t come true. I can attest this is extremely hard to do!!! All I wanted to do was look at it. Thankfully I have gelato to keep me occupied….it was amazing everywhere we went. Ice cream is such a good reason to go to Italy if no other.  There is so much to see and do in Rome  that I would recommend going on a tour so you can learn more and actually understand what you are looking at. You won’t have a shortage of church or cathedrals either if that’s your thing…..they are everywhere!

Once we arrived back on the boat we headed for dinner and to the evening show. It consisted of music group called ‘The Flyboys’, they sang modern music with a swing twist….brilliant. The entertainment on the boat each evening was great and thoroughly enjoyable. Expect by now our evenings to end with drinks, music and the casino….we were on holiday after all.

Day 6:

We arrived in Naples, Italy. We were heading to Pompeii on an tour in the afternoon so we decided to go for a walk around Naples and get lunch. Yes this means PIZZA!

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Oh it was delicious and I love my pizza. I would go back just for this. I didn’t think there was much else in Naples, excepts shops and crazy drivers…like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I will say everywhere we visited was very picturesque, very instagram worthy images however very antique and vintage. Nothing ever seemed to modernise, you felt like it was exactly the same 20-30 years ago.

We headed to Pompeii in the afternoon which was absolutely boiling…make sure and bring water and suncream, you’ll need it. This day will also include plenty of walking so make sure you wear sensible shoes…yes even I said that! The streets all around Pompeii are uneven and cobble like.

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The pictures show just how amazing it was. It is quite difficult to put into words how incredible it was that so much was still in one piece or at least recognisable. At certain points you are definitely lost for words and wonder what it must of been like to experience what they had gone through. Part of the city is still uncovered as they are trying to preserve it for future generations. If Pompeii hasn’t been on your bucket list, add it. It is a must see as far as I’m concerned.

Our afternoon was spent in Pompeii and we arrived back at the boat in time for our 2nd formal evening. I had never been on a cruise and I was unsure what to bring so I only brought one formal dress and used it for both evenings, however when I go again, (Yes I will be going again…hint hint boyfriend), I will be bringing two, mainly as by the 2nd evening I’d had so much food I almost felt uncomfortable in the dress. I’ll not make that mistake again. The evening show was a variety act, who was great. He was very unusual and unlike anything I’d experienced before.

Day 7:

Day 7 was spent at sea. We only had one sea day and I think if I’d go again I’d like a cruise with more or else I’d just not get off the boat. There was so much to do and see on the ship that I don’t think we made the most of it as I also wanted to go and see so many places. It’s hard trying to decide what you want to do more. Spending the day at sea meant the shops and casino were open most of the day. You were almost spoilt for choice as to what to go and do. In the morning we went to a ‘bottomless brunch’, this included a galley tour and lunch. If you are in any way nosey enough to want to see how things get done go and tour the ship. This was really interesting. My favourite part of the bakery area, shock I know. They explained how they made the bread fresh everyday which was usually 30,000 rolls!!! Crazy!! I think I’m good if I made one loaf. We went to the ice show in the afternoon, yes there was an ice rink on board and mainly relaxed and took it easy.

This holiday was unlike anything I could of imagined. I would recommend anyone going does their research or goes with someone whose been before. I was lucky I had both of those covered. Expect to put weight on and eat all round you. I think the key thing to remember is you are on holiday, you don’t need to do everything, enjoy yourself and relax. All I’m thinking now is where to next?

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Until next time…

The Fashion Hideaway

Oh Charlotte…

As you’ve probably guessed this is about Charlotte Tilbury!!

Charlotte Tilbury is a British-born make-up artist. Charlotte started her own beauty and skincare collection in 2013. Initially this was launched in Selfridges, with the brand later expanding to other department stores throughout the UK and USA, in fact 37 countries in total by 2016. Charlotte Tilbury did open a flagship store in 2015 in Covent Garden, London, (I need to visit).

Now we’ve got a brief overview out of the way, lets talk products!

I have tried some products within the Charlotte collection.

  1. Magic Cream

I couldn’t resist! And yes it really is magic! Before deciding upon magic cream I had researched many, many, many products. My skin would always tend to break out from time to time and I wasn’t particularly sure what I was doing wrong or how I could improve it? My diet probably leaves a lot to be desired…..coffee addict right here!

I decided to go into a Charlotte counter and speak to someone about the product as I wasn’t totally set on it at this point, reading reviews can only tell you so much. I appreciate that people working to a brand are obviously trying to sell that brand to you, but they didn’t even need to. As soon as I tested the cream I knew I needed it. The feeling on your skin is unbelievable, incredibly soft and a good rich cream. The cost however was not very appealing! At £70 for a 50ml container it is probably on the higher end of a scale for what I was looking to pay. My previous creams had been round the £40 mark. Since I was hoping to help my skin I decided why not?

Magic Cream

The one container lasted me approximately 4 months and that was using it twice a day, morning and nighttime. I am quite annoyed at myself as I did not take pictures…when I bought it initially, I didn’t know I’d be doing this! I can safety say my skin has improve two-fold. The fact so many people have commented on the change in my skin has been proof to me, not just my word.

2. Multi-Miracle Glow

Now I did not use the magic cream on its own. I had initially used magic cream once i’d removed my makeup with other products. I had tried this when I visited the counter and I did fall in love with it however due the accumulating cost I had decided to hold off on purchasing. This lasted about 10 days, then I bought it.

This is described as a cleanser, mask and balm. I use this when removing make-up. Basically you apply it too your face and remove with a luke-warm wash cloth or flannel. It seriously works. My make-up comes of with such ease. You can also apply this to your face as a mask and leave it on overnight. I have only really done this a few times mainly because I enjoy the magic cream so I tend to use it at night more so.

This product is £45 for a 100ml container however I do tend to use it more and have required multiple purchases over the last 4 months. As my skin is much better I will continue to use it because I think the benefits outweigh the cost. You can get some samples in stores so if you aren’t 100% sure on what you want to use, try them before you buy.

Multi-Miracle Glow

3. Magic Foundation

I know at this point you are all probably thinking how much did she buy but I promise it isn’t a regular occurrence. I had been contemplating changing my foundation for a while mainly due to the fact I kept experiencing breakouts and was unsure how to combat it, so thought why not change everything? I have used multiple foundations from MAC to Chanel, Estee Lauder to Benefit and I just couldn’t find one right for me. I will say this no matter what I write about this foundation you need to try it for yourself, what works for one person will not work for everyone!

I decided to try this foundation mainly because I was changing my skincare routine to these products above. I felt that if anything was going to help it would be best to stick with the same brand as you’d think that’s why they make them. Well in my head that’s why. I would have fairly pale skin, (mainly as I haven’t seen proper sunshine in years…roll on September) so Magic foundation enabled me to find a really good shade match to my skin. They have an extensive range of colours to choose from and you can try out whatever you want in store, they will even give you samples to make sure you are selecting the right tone.

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At £30 for a 30ml bottle, I felt this was quite reasonably priced. You’d be hard pushed to find as good a foundation not around that price mark. Plus many would also be the same size. I honestly can’t say if this product would be as good if you are using a different skincare range but it is very light and stays on all day. I am one of those people who needs to feel their make-up on their face within feeling caked on! Foundation is really the type of product that will need replaced depending on how often you wear it. For me that’s usually daily as I feel more confident with some war paint on.

4. Brow Lift

This was the last Charlotte product I purchased on this splurge. I am majorly obsessed with my eyebrows, so for me this product just doesn’t cut it. I love a brush and a pot, (Can’t beat Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, £18), I find you are able to define your eyebrows better and into a shape that fits your face. In saying that, a brush and a pot takes time and practice, (I’ve had caterpillar eyebrows many times).

Dipbrow Pomade

 

I know many people like quick and easy with their make-up and not being an expert myself I thought this would be perfect. I do still carry it with me if i’m out and about, as it is much more compact. For me personally I found it wasn’t heavy enough for my eyebrows.

My sister had also purchased this product and she loves it, so again it may just be trial and error until you find what best suits yourself.

This product costs £22.50 and is described as a three-way tool for shape, lift and shade. If you do try this and find it works for you, let me know, I may just need a better technique.

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The girls at my local Charlotte Tilbury counter are always extremely helpful and give lots of free samples so make sure and ask! The lippys are dream but I already have too many to purchase anymore!

If you have tried any products from this brand let us know your thoughts!

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The Fashion Hideaway

xo

The Revival

Many designers ride a high and then filter into obscurity for sometime. This isn’t uncommon in the fashion industry. For most it means they are working on their next collection or taking some much needed R&R.

The past few years have seen this happen for designers such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. I can help but love both of these iconic brands.

Louis Vuitton rose to fame in 1854 in Paris, France, (someday I will get to go!). They began by making their famous trunks later developing the much loved suitcase. These items can take up to 60 hours to make.

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Louis Vuitton continued making different styles of trunks and introduced different patterns over the years to prevent others from imitating his design, which many tried to do. Louis Vuitton passed away in 1892 which lead to his son George taking over management of the company. His vision for the brand was to make the company a worldwide corporation. In doing this he created the signature monogram canvas and patented it, successfully stopping counterfeiting during the 19th Century. In later years, Louis Vuitton ‘fakes’ were very popular accounting for high numbers of goods seized, approximately 18%.

The brand continued to grow which lead to the introduction of the first handbag in 1930, “The Keepall Bag”. In 1932 “The Noé” came to be with “The Speedy” following soon after, both of these bags continue to be manufactured today and firm favourites within the fashion industry.

Over the years the company has grown and gone from strength to strength developing not only trunks and handbags but also menswear and womenswear. It has done multiple collaborations over the years with advertisements frequently featuring famous faces. This has lead to an increase in brand popularity with “The Neverfull” becoming a favourite amongst many bloggers and celebrities.

Handbags such as the Speedy and Neverfull, not to forget the Pochette Meis, are all highly sought after nowadays with many posting about them on blogs and instagram, (Yes I realise I have just done this). I will not hide the fact that I am very bias toward these bags. I purchased the Neverfull GM with Pivoine lining about a year ago. It has been the best bag I have bought and I love a handbag.

For those contemplating this purchase…..DO IT!!

This bag is extremely spacious and lightweight. Essentially this means you can grab it and go. It goes with any outfit. And it also comes with a small detachable pouch inside. The cost of this bag has increased over the past year, it’s now £925 whereas I paid £840, so if you are thinking about it, I wouldn’t wait unless you want to pay more!

I definitely have a few Louis Vuitton items on my wishlist compared to what would of been on it a number of years ago. Make sure and check out the new Louis Vuitton Collection: MASTERS LV X KOONS.

Another high end brand I feel this has happened to is Gucci. Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci, in Florence in 1921. Gucci become one of the world’s most high -end manufacturers in leather goods, clothing and other fashion items. Guccio, together with his sons, Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo, expanded into Milan and Rome. Gucci continued to grow from 1950s to the late 1970s, moving into New York and developing iconic fashion lines.

In 1964 the double-G logo was used for belts and other accessories. The Gucci belt has became a major player in today’s fashion world seen daily on bloggers and celebrities alike.

Unfortunately Gucci faced controversy in 1980’s for a fair number of years due to tax evasion scandals. Following this Gucci brought Tom Ford in to revamp the brand, he later got promoted to creative director. Ford was with Gucci until 2004. Gucci is currently under the direction of Marco Bizzarri.

Since joining Gucci in 2014 the brand has gained a greater following and more admired by its peers. It has became a constant in the fashion blogs, (Yes I’ve done it again), and fashion news. I believe it has became one of the most pursued brands within the last couple of years, not only because I want half of their collection, (I really do!).

Alessandro Michele, current creative director at Gucci, reintroduced the iconic double-G logo in 2015. The flamboyance of the new direction of Gucci  was what made it appealing. Pops of colour, flowers and cartoon emblems made way for a younger audience to have an interest in the “new” Gucci. Accessories became a focus of Gucci, shoes, handbags and belts to name a few were all and continue to be popular items for all fashionistas.

Gucci’s anonymity is certainly no more, the playful approach has brought Gucci back to the forefront of fashion making it one of the hottest and most coveted brands today.

As a lover of fashion and new trends the one thing I understand more than most is trying to keep current. Forever saving for the next item on ‘my list’, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are firm favourites of that list. Along with many other designers from Mulberry to Christian Louboutin, I doubt my list will ever be uninhabited.

What designers are you coveting the most? Share with us below, on Instagram and Twitter.

The Fashion Hideaway

xo

Slip & Slide

One of the biggest trends for summer has been the introduction of the slide shoe. From designer labels to high street brands, everyone is getting involved. Below are some of our top picks that you don’t want to miss out on.

 

What will you be wearing your slides with this summer? From retro denim to chic summer dresses, slides have became the must have shoe to wear. Lets not forget the classic summer sandal and much-loved espadrilles, they continue to be a popular choice year after year. I for one am in awe of the Chanel espadrilles, (I will get them….eventually). ♥ A simple shoe to go with every outfit. Whats not to love? This is the part when I try and plan how i’ll not eat for a month to buy these…if only!

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What is your summer shoe must have? Leave us a comment and share with us!

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Love,

The Fashion Hideaway

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Patterns, stripes and big frills

Since the start of the year many trends have came and went. Our catwalks have seen the introduction of head to toe patterned ensembles as well as extreme minimalism, not to mention the comeback of the stripes and it certainly looks like the big frills are here to stay.

The high street has followed suit with the likes of zara and topshop stocking their shelves with co-ord outfits. The M&S jumper came and went in the winter, (yes I had this as well), are theses new trends just fads for the season?

The floral arrangements are perfect for the spring/summer, whether its raining or the sun is shining bright, the bright colours are sure to make anyone feel like a breathe of fresh air. I doubt this trend will survive long after the summer months. A major fan of stripes right here, such a versatile pattern for those who like a causal outfit or love to dress up.

As for frills…who doesn’t love a frill? It all started with trumpet sleeves and now you’d be hard pushed to find a piece of clothing without a frill somewhere. From peplums to ruffled necklines, the frills look like they will be around for the foreseeable future.

Zara 25.99 Top with flowers and frills
Zara £25.99
Stradivarius 35.99 Stripped strappy jumpsuit
Stradivarius £35.99

People always say fashion comes back around and this is very evident with the latest trend to be seen on multiple catwalks….tie-dye. This trend has always caused much controversy, you either loved it or hated it. Who knows what we will see next?

It’s hard not to find a pattern, stripe or frill when out shopping at the minute. Are the plain patterns gone for summer? Do we all need to jump on the bandwagon now?

Let us know what you all think,

The Fashion Hideaway