Brighton

Brighton has always been one of those places that I knew I would love even having never been there. Something do to with the mixture of city life, sea and CUTE shops I imagine. A little while ago, myself, Tom & his family made the 5 hour treck from Cardiff to Brighton for a weekend away. We got a perfect AirBnB right by the sea and spent the weekend eating & exploring.

IMG_7497

To keep it concise, here are my 5 favourite things about Brighton:

Lydea’s – Brighton is the best place for vegan & veggie cafe’s and Lydea’s was my fave by far. It’s located in the North Laine and has a very relaxed, cafeteria feel to it. You grab a tray and pick what you want from behind the counter and we sat outside on a wooden picnic bench. The food was UNREAL & I would highly highly recommend going there.

IMG_8603

The Sea – Coming from a seaside town & now living in a city, any time I get a waft of sea air and I can hear the waves, I immediately feel at home. The sea is a definite selling point for Brighton, as well as the glorious sunsets and it would definitely be a reason for me to move there.

IMG_8607

Interior Shops – I could have spent an absolute fortune in these shops, so it’s a good job I was at the bottom of my student over-draft really. Around every corner, usually next to a DELISH bakery, there’s an amazing homeware shop!

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 14.10.39

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 14.10.09

Street Markets – Even though it’s such a big city, Brighton had such a community feel and I think part of this comes down to the street stalls and markets. On one of the streets, residents just put a table outside their front door and sell their old bits & bobs. It was so so fun rummaging through.

IMG_8606

Dum Dum’s – I’ve never been a big fan of doughnuts but I had to try one from here. It did not disappoint. I had a caramel/fudgey one – a strong 10/10.

IMG_8604

Holiday Diaries: Los Angeles

After a glorious, foodie & relaxed week in San Francisco, we hoped on bus down to the City of Stars. Once again, I could write a novel about how much I loved LA. Weirdly, my first impression was not great and I decided that I wanted to go straight back to San Francisco but I slowly got used to the sprawling size and the craziness of the city. Now, when I think back, the whole trip just seems magical.

IMG_6456
Here are my top 5 favourite snippets of Los Angeles:

  1. Venice Boardwalk: this was possibly the most diverse, eclectic area I’ve ever encountered. As we were out there doing Geography research, I was obviously looking at the area differently to how I would if I was just on holiday, but I was completely besotted with the Boardwalk. The palms and the skate park to the sunset and the street art, the whole stretch had such an awesome buzz to it.IMG_6452DSC_0648.JPG
  2. The Griffith Observatory: we were conveniently in LA around the time La La Land came out so coming here was so surreal. I loved the film (& definitely did not watch it twice on the flight) so seeing the set and being able to see the Hollywood sign alongside such an EPIC view was amazing. DSC_0633IMG_6607IMG_6617
  3. The People: I LOVE Californians. The people we met were so so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us. I know for some people (my boyfriend included), think the over-friendly, forward nature is irritating but I loved it!
  4. Santa Monica beach: the ocean, the sand and the sun could never get boring. Our hostel was on 2nd Street so we were one block from the beach and right next to Santa Monica Pier. Waking up to 20+ degrees everyday and getting off the metro just in time to see the sunset was the perfect way to start and end everyday. IMG_7225DSC_0684
  5. The Feeling: this sounds so bloody cliché and pathetic, but the whole feel of LA is just magical. There is a reason it’s called the City of Stars, because honestly, there’s just this feeling and buzz to LA that you can’t put into words. It’s what makes you look back on it and think “wow”. It is surreal.

Eliza Days xo

Holiday Diaries: San Francisco

In February I went on the absolute trip of a lifetime. My 2 best friends & I flew 11 hours to San Francisco for the week before embarking on a lengthy megabus journey down to sunny Los Angeles (which I’ll talk about in another post because MY GOD there is too much for one).

So here’s my top 5 snippets of San Francisco:

  1. THE FOOD: so I expected the food in America to be good but it surpassed every expectation I had. On the first night, due to jet lag, we had an “hour” nap at 4pm which turned into us waking up at 9pm confused and delirious.  By the time we made it out it was late so we wanted carbs & convenience. We found this incredible, all-American diner and ate all the fries, grilled cheese and milkshakes we could. UNREAL! IMG_6123
  2. Sausalito: we took a bus trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to a small town called Sausalito. It was beautiful. There was a little harbour full of swishy yachts and cute little boat houses lining the water front. We had lunch in a lovely cafe looking over at San Francisco city and the bay and wandered around the cute shops too. IMG_5783
  3. The Golden Gate Bridge: I mean, I could not write about San Francisco and not mention it’s identifying feature. No picture in the world will do it justice. The size and colour is amazing! We didn’t walk across but we drove over it a few times. I love that from every hill in the city (& there are A LOT) you can always see it peeking through. DSC_0038
  4. Twin Peaks: we wanted to find a view point before we left the city and so many people recommended Twin Peaks. We ambled through the Castro, which was such a cool, relaxed area and up some steep streets all the way to the top of Twin Peaks. It was possibly the best view I have ever seen. We essentially had a 360 view of the city. The sun was setting to our left and we got up there at such a perfect time because all of the lights started coming on in the city. Market Street was lit up and looked so beautiful. DSC_0511DSC_0509
  5. The Streets: this was the first time I had ever been to America so I guess this isn’t reflective of San Francisco itself, but one of my most memorable moments of the trip was stepping outside the hostel on the first day, early in the morning, and looking down the street. We arrived late at night so this was the first glimpse of the city I’d seen. I felt like I was in a film. Probably a mixture of buildings higher than I’d ever seen, the noises and the yellow taxi’s planted me right in the middle of Princess Diaries and it was AMAZING. I will never forget how it felt.     IMG_5502

The best thing of all was that I got to spend it all with the 2 best gals I could wish for (puke). That’s all for now folks,

Eliza Days xo

Ready for a Rant: Stop Apologising for Not Wearing Make Up

Recently, as I’ve scrolled through Instagram, watched Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, scrolled through my Facebook & Twitter feeds there seems to be hundreds of women apologising for having no make up on, or for “looking crap” or god forbid, for having just woken up, women saying “excuse my face” or “sorry about the state of my hair” as if it’s the most offensive thing in the world. Youtubers so frequently begin their videos with “sorry, I’m not wearing make up” as if we, as viewers, are disgusted about it, when in all honesty, WHO CARES?  

It’s sad that women feel the need to apologise for not looking perfect before going on to saying something genuinely interesting. It’s unfair that women are continuously reduced down to the way that they look to the extent that we are apologising for not wearing make up, or for having eye bags or for having a hair out of place. 

We all have a face. A face that sometimes has spots, wrinkles, bags, freckles, moles, dry & cracked lips. We all have hair that doesn’t always look like we’ve just came out of the hairdressers & often resembles a pineapple. SO WHAT? 

Can we just embrace this and stop bloody apologising for being human. It’s starting to piss me off.

Eliza Days 

Urban Decay Naked UltiMatte Basics: all matte, all naked

Happy New Year!

I thought I’d start the new blogging year with a rave about my new favourite palette.

13 year old me would have been ashamed to wear any eyeshadow that wasn’t the most pigmented, glittery, shimmery blue thing she could find.

We’ve all been there, and back in the day we weren’t lucky enough to have youtube and tutorials to tell us that wearing sparkly blue pigment all over your eyes and under neath was a B A D idea!

Strangely, I’ve come full circle at the ripe old age of 21 and now I so rarely wear any shimmery eye shadows. So to hear that Urban Decay of all brands were being out an ALL MATTE palette, well, I was over joyed let me tell you.

 

Firstly, the packaging is so lovely and also really sturdy so it’s great for travelling. And the mirror inside is gigantic, so handy. It comes with a really good brush, one end that’s great for blending and the other end is quite short, dense and stubby so it is really God for applying colour underneath your eye.

The range of colours are beautiful. They’re all fairly warm toned, with a few browny/taupe colours for blending, some lilacy/purple grey colours and the standard black and dark grey but my fave by far is ‘extra bitter’ which is the rusty, red orange colour. I’m obsessed and I’ll probably hit pan before the month is out.

If you’re in the market for an all round, great Basics palette with creamy formulas and amazing staying power then I wouldn’t think twice about making a cheeky order. Treat yo’self (I’m such an enabler…)

Eliza Days xo

My Favourite Winter Foundation

In the winter months, my skin gets really dry on my face so I tend to lean towards a more hydrating, liquid foundation. I also change up the way I apply my base in the winter. Throughout the summer I use either my fingers or a beauty blender all over my face, but now I like to spread the product all over my face with this stippling brush from Eco Tools and then blend all of the edges out with the Real Techniques sponge.

For the past few months I’ve fallen head over heels for the Loreal True Match foundation. After I moisturise, I apply a pump and a half of the foundation to my hand and dap the brush in it before applying the product over my face in a stippling motion.

Once the product is well dispersed over my face, I go in with the damp sponge to really blend it in to my skin and down my neck, making it look as seamless as possible.

This foundation gives a really natural finish, whilst being slightly on the glowy side, which I love. It also lasts all day and doesn’t go patchy or oxidise at all.

It’s a winner for me,

Eliza Days xo

A £6 Face Palette? Primark Make Up Review 

I’m going through a phase where I’m kind of living out of a suitcase a lot of the time so I’m trying to stream line all of my things to make lugging everything around much easier. In terms of make up, I thought I would try out an all in 1 face palette, consisting of everything I need for contour, blush and eyes. I didn’t want to splurge on one without trying it first so when I spotted this PS Complete Face Palette fro Primark’s Nude Collection for £6, it was going right in my basket.

image1-1
The outer packaging is such a pretty blush pink colour and then palette itself is matte black with gold writing. Considering it has 3 eyeshadows, a contour, a highlight, blush and a matte lip colour, the palette is so compact. What made me LOVE this palette before even trying the products themselves is the huge mirror that is the size of the palette, it is so convinient.
Like i said, the palette has 3 eyeshadows which are quite cool toned neutral brown shades that work together really well. A shimmery pink blush which is very pretty, a dark pink/plum matte lip colour as well as a light ashy brown contour powder and a shimmery champagne highlight.
The eyeshadows are very soft, blend really well and don’t actually have much fall out. They aren’t very pigmented though, but I don’t think that’s such a bad thing because if you aren’t very good at doing your eyes, they’re very good to build and also it’s hard to make a mistake.
The blush is very subtle and pretty. Like the eyeshadows, there isn’t really much pigment and it is a bit powdery but you could make it work if you were only to take this palette away with you. The contour shade is a really good colour because it’s ashy and not at all orange. However I found it really hard to blend so I found that using a small amount and building it up worked better than piling loads on and blending it out. When you swirl your brush in the powder, it is very loose and does get a bit messy but overall its a decent contour powder.
I am in LOVE with the highlight! It’s so warm and glowy and has the same kind of shimmer to Becca’s Champagne Pop highlighter. It isn’t the heaviest of highlights, but it is so pretty and is perfect for every day. The same goes for the matte lip shade. I really didn’t expect much of this but it is so creamy and moisturising. It’s not too dark and is almost like a tinted lip balm.
All in all, this is a pretty decent palette & for £6 you can’t argue!
Eliza Days xo

My Favourite City in the World: Tales of Amsterdam

I could talk about Amsterdam for hours and hours, I’ve never been to a city, walked out of the train station and thought, ‘I never want to leave.’ There’s just something so magical and calming about the city that makes me want to pack a suitcase, get on the Eurostar (I am petrified of flying) and spend the rest of my life sipping coffee & reading Dutch newspapers outside a cafe before cycling home along the canals. I can dream!


I went to Amsterdam for the first time last year & even though it rained from the moment we arrived to the moment we left, I fell head over heels. We stayed in a hostel on the edge of Vondelpark which, can I just say, is an amazing location. It’s within walking distance to the Leidseplein and Dam Square and the park itself is incredible! Although in fairness, Amsterdam is pretty compact so everything is within walking or cycling distance. We spent the days wandering around and stopping in cute cafe’s when we got hungry or needed ANOTHER hot chocolate and in the evenings me & the girls ate dinner in restaurants usually along the canals. I can honestly say I have never eaten so well on a city trip in Europe.

From the time I set foot back in Cardiff I needed to go back. So this September I booked another trip to go back (obviously on the Eurostar this time, did I mention I hate flying). We stayed in the Jordaan district in Oud West, which is a quieter, more residential area of Amsterdam but still has a buzz surrounding it, with great bars, cafe’s and restaurants. This time, I lived off pesto bagels. I don’t think the Dutch are famous for bagels globally, but in my eyes there is nowhere better to get a pesto, mozzarella and tomato bagel than in Amsterdam, no lies! We hired bikes and cycled around as if we were locals (even though the massive garishly red rental bikes & our terrible cycling told a different story).


Behind Central Station is a section of the River IJ, where free ferries cross to different parts of Northern Amsterdam every few minutes. We picked up our bikes from the rental place in Central Station & headed across to the NDSM Ship Wharf. This area is probably the coolest area of Amsterdam that I’ve seen. It seems to be an old ship dock with loads of warehouses dotted around and an amazing cafe on the river side. The warehouses all have different projects going on, with the main one being turned into a mini city inside for freelance workers all over Amsterdam to set up a work area for themselves. It is SO cool! I would highly recommend going over. It’s free to get in and you can just wonder around for hours.


We obviously went to the Red Light District, which fascinates me, & the IAmsterdam sign, the museums and Dam Square but my absolute highlight was spending the evening drinking rosè in Vondelpark after cycling around the city all day. For the 5 days we were there, Amsterdam had its hottest 5 days of the year so Vondelpark was crammed full of people playing football, having barbeques and drinking, it was the best evening!


I could literally write an essay on Amsterdam but you probably stopped reading 3 paragraphs ago! I’m now going to continue looking for an apartment & a job so that I can pack my bag as soon as possible (or as soon as a graduate even).

Vaarwel,

Eliza Days

My Favourite Brunch Ideas 

Brunch is always always a good idea! It’s most definitely my favourite meal of the day & I’m never really up in time for breakfast (#studentlife) and can’t wait long enough until lunch so it’s the most perfect meal!


Here are some of my favourites for brunch:

Scrambled eggs on a toasted croissant: this is a fancier version of eggs on toast but it’s just as easy & tastes so lovely! I’ll fry up some mushrooms in butter and pepper too and toss them over the top.

Poached eggs & spinach on a toasted muffin: without blowing my own trumpet, I think I’m the queen of poached eggs (ok, I blew my own trumpet). This is my favourite breakfast at the minute. I sometimes add a bit of basil pesto to it as well, which tastes so good!

Baked eggs: for this I chop up mushrooms & tomatoes and put them in an oven proof dish. Then I throw in a handful of spinach, a pinch of salt and blacken pepper and then crack 2 eggs into the dish and bake in the oven until the eggs are cooked but still runny (7-10 mins). Also, there’s hardly any washing up! Win!

French toast: I soak thick white bread in whisked eggs and milk before frying the bread in A LOT of butter! Once it’s browned and crisp on the outside, I pile it on a plate and top it with raspberries, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of Nutella, so bad but tastes AMAZING!

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-20-21-57

Writing this has made me hungry, so I’m off to make brunch!

Eliza Days

My Cold Weather Beauty Essentials 

I tend to switch up my body & face lotions and potions when the seasons change and obviously from summer into autumn and winter, my skin needs a lot more moisture and hydration so I banish the light serums and gels to the back of the cupboard & bring out super thick creams and lotions, gradual tanner and ginger spice fragrances!

Here’s a quick low down of my top beauty & body essentials for autumn/winter:

1. The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Shimmer Lotion: this is a good few years old by now, so old in fact that I thinks it’s been discontinued…but I have a stash of it because it is my favourite & it emerges every year so that from late September until at least February I smell like a ginger bread biscuit and I LOVE it!

2. Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion: oh the irony. My natural skin tone is quite pale and while I don’t have a problem with it, I do love a teeny bit of a glow, especially in winter! This is perfect as it is a moisturising body lotion that leaves your skin slightly glowy and a tad darker after every use. WIN!

3. Soap & Glory Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream: I’ve got a whole post dedicated to this stuff but I really do love it! I don’t use hand cream often but I cycle quite a lot now and my hands get so cold & dry that I need it & this smells amazing!

4. The Body Shop Hemp Face Protector: this is a seriously thick cream that packs a ridiculous amount of hydration. I use it in the  evening before bed as it doesn’t tend to sit well underneath make up in the morning. But try this once, and no other moisturising  face cream compares. (It doesn’t smell that lovely through.)

5. Lip Balm: I have lip balms coming out of my ears so I just use whichever one is closed to me but my favourite is the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Nourishing Lio Care lip balm because it absorbs quite quickly and it also seems to make my lipstick last longer on top.

6. Soap & Glory Solar Powder Bronzer: a similar story to the gradual tanner, I just feel much better about myself when I’ve got a bit of a tan! This bronzer is perfect because it’s not orange toned at all & it is quite ashy which means it’s perfect to act as a contour too!

What are your cold weather essentials?

Eliza Days xo