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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

12 Cities In 12 Months | London


I love going to visit London. I think that it is such a beautiful city filled with amazing history, architecture and culture, and I feel blown away every time I go down to visit. 

This past weekend I took a two-day trip down to the capital with James and my brother. The main purpose for the trip was because I had been invited to attend the #BlogConLDN blogging event, hosted by the lovely, Scarlett. So I decided to extend the trip by staying over on the Saturday night and invited the two boys along with me. 

We got the early morning train to Kings Cross on Saturday and made our way over to central London, stopping at Pret for a quick bite to eat before heading off in our separate ways. I headed over to the Queen Elizabeth II building near Westminster and spent the next four hours speaking to various brands, networking and listening in on some amazing talks. Be sure to have a read of Sunday’s post to find out more about what I got up to whilst I was at the event. 


Once the event was over, I met the boys in Leister Square which is one of my favourite places to visit in London. We had originally decided to see a West End production whilst we were down there but everything was very pricey so we decided to give it a miss. It was a shame because I love going to watch a show when I’m visiting the capital, but we drowned our sorrows by eating an amazing dinner at Garfuncle’s, which served the most amazing salmon pasta dish.


We stayed in a Travelodge in Hackney, so after we were sufficiently stuffed, we got the train there to dump our bags and freshen up a little. Beauty and the Beast was being shown in 3D at the Hackney Picturehouse so we wondered over there for our Saturday night entertainment. I was a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast growing up and found the live action version of the film such a joy to watch. 


We enjoyed a nice lazy morning, following our long and busy Saturday. I woke up early and had a coffee in bed whilst looking through pictures from the previous day’s blogging event. We checked out and wondered down the road to Weatherspoon’s for a cheap and cheerful breakfast. 





We decided to head over to Camden Market in the afternoon and had a lovely walk around exploring everything it had to offer including some amazing, melt in your mouth, chocolate brownies. I have given up chocolate and sweeties for lent, but had allowed myself to have this weekend, and my time in Prague next week, off.




After exploring what felt like 1000s of different stalls, booths and shops, the boys were a little peckish so we stopped at Bird for a light snack. We then walked off the brownie and chips with a brisk scroll down by the cannel all the way to Kings Cross station. Just because we hadn’t eaten enough food, before getting on the train we ordered tea from Honest Burger. I had the house salad with my red leicester cheese burger with red onion relish – it was absolute perfection.


It was a lovely couple of days spent exploring the capital and just walking around a different city.

Have you ever been to London? 
What do you like to do when you visit the capital?

Madolyn
xxx

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

A Simple Spring Make Up Look


The weather this past week has really got me in the mood for spring. I love this time of year when the daffodils and snowdrops start to pop out all over the place, and we can begin to swap our heavy winter coats for lighter jackets…


The beginning of a new season always inspires me to change things up a bit when it comes to both fashion and makeup. I like to opt for lighter and brighter items of clothing as well as makeup products. In today’s blog post I have listed an entire face of Spring-inspired-makeup pieces. There is also a new video over on my YouTube channel if you would like to take a peek of me applying this look.


No7 Instant Illusions Primer
NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation
Clarins Instant Concealer 
Seventeen Miracle Matte Loose Powder
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Mac Highlighter in Lightscapade
Benefit Brow-Zings
Seventeen Bronze Block as Eyeshadow
Seventeen Liquid Liner
No7 Midnight Lash Mascara
Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm
Tanya Burr Lip Gloss in Candy Cane


I hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far. I am currently exploring London town for the next few days, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some capital inspired blog posts coming soon!


Madolyn
xxx

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Bloggers Spotlight March | An Interview With Simone From Enchanted Vamp


Below is an interview with the lovely Simone, the writer behind the blog; Enchanted Vamp. Simone is an up and coming blogger from The Lake District who loves photography and writing about a wide range of topics. Be sure to have a read and check out her social media channels for more about the girl behind the blog. 


Introduce us to your blog Enchanted Vamp, what was in the inspiration behind the name?

The name took quite a long time actually. My blog was originally called "Simone Simple Reviews" because I was mainly wanting to do just makeup reviews, but after a week or so I started to want to do more things like different trends fashion outfits things like that so I changed to Enchanted Vamp. I have always loved vampy colours with my makeup and to be honest I'm quite a sucker for darker colours anyways, as I think it suites me a lot more with my dark eyes.

What are your favourite things to blog about?

I love to write reviews, but my favourite thing to blog about is my bullet journal. I love writing in my bullet journal so being able to share what I have been writing the past few weeks is my favourite thing ever.

When you're not blogging, how do you like to spend your free time?

I like spending my free time try new products or finding new products to try. And its quite a good excuse to online shop! Also reading is something I have been getting in to recently, so that's quite nice.

What are your key tips for taking the perfect picture?

Lighting! Natural lighting is best thing for a perfect picture. As long as it sunny and not a cloudy day you sure to take the perfect picture.

What is your go to, can't live without, beauty product?

Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. Its super creamy, bendable and the perfect coverage! Highly recommended!


Be sure to have a read of Simone's Blog and catch up with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Madolyn
xxx

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Rediscovering My Makeup Stash | Things I Forgot That I Love


A couple of Saturday’s ago I had a bit of a clear out of my beauty and makeup stash. I like to have a bit of a tidy and a clear out every so often, rotating my collection as well as getting rid of anything that I no longer use or like anymore. Whilst I was having a sort through, I stumbled upon a few makeup products that I have had in my collection for a while that I had forgotten about.


Base Products 

I rediscovered the NYX Liquid Foundation that I bought quite a while ago now, when I did a little NYX haul. I was yet to try any of their products and so I picked up a few different ones, including this Matte Not Flat foundation. I was yet to try it properly, and after finding it again the other week, I decided to give it a proper go. I have really enjoyed using it at as full coverage product and I feel like it blends really well onto a moisturised base. I have been wearing it for work over the past two weeks and have loved the results. 

Another base product that I have rediscovered is the Maybelline Under Eye Concealer. At the beginning of the year I bought the Clarins Instant Radiance Concealer which I have used consistently over the last few months. However, whilst I was having a clear out, I rekindled my love for this amazing concealer by Maybelline which I have now been using over the past few weeks, again as an everyday work option. 

As well as using the NYX foundation and the Maybelline concealer, I have also been using another drug-store base product, the Seventeen Miracle Matte Loose Powder. I have enjoyed exploring more of my drug-store collection of make up to wear on a day to day basis whilst I’m at work, so that I can save my more premium makeup products for weekends, day trips and night’s out. This powder offers a matte finish that helps to hold my makeup in place all day, which is great as I don’t have to top up my makeup whilst I’m in the office. 


Finishing Touches 

As well as base products, I also rediscovered a few other makeup bits and bobs, including this lovely Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette by Laminau. I felt like I wanted a new neutrals palette and I had my eye on one of the new Zoeva ones, but I am glad I held off buying one as this feels like a great dupe. All of the shades are matte and very warm and natural which is exactly what I was wanting. 

I love using blusher as I think it provides a really nice warmth to the face, especially during the cooler months when I tend to be much paler. I often just grab either my Nars Orgasm blush or my Benefit Hervana Blush by default, which is bad because I have quite a collection of blushers that I hardly use. After my clear out, I rediscovered my Tarte Blusher that I picked up in New York when I had a bit of a Sephora Haul. It is so pretty and I have been making more of a conscious effort to wear it more. 

I have been loving my Essie Cocktail Bling nail varnish over the last few months, so much so it was featured in my February Favourites. However, I had a bit of a sort through my stash and rediscovered my Made In Red polish by Accessorize which I have completely fallen back in love with. It is the perfect red that looks really classic and I love having it on my nails on the build up to spring. 


What’s in your makeup stash that you forgot that you love?

Madolyn
xxx

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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Unboxing The City With Watchshop | Unboxing York


I am so excited to be writing this blog post, all about unboxing my hometown, The City of York. I love living in this beautiful and historic City located in the heart of the north of England with its periodic buildings and picturesque views. 

I am in love with this city and feel so lucky to live here. There is so much on offer whether you enjoy history, shopping, eating out or having beautiful walks in glorious grounds; there really is something for everyone. 


As part of the Unboxing project with Watchshop, I was asked to pick out three main attractions or places that I love in the heart of the city. I have picked a mixture of cultural activities and historical places, which I feel, clearly represents and capitulates what this wonderful city has to offer. 


One of York’s most famous eateries is Betty’s Tea Rooms. Betty’s originated in Harrogate, a town close to York, alongside Tailors of Harrogate, a world famous tea company. The tearooms pride themselves on maintaining a traditional tea room experience from the food and drink to the wonderful service and shop. I wanted to share this iconic company as I feel that it truly grasps the nature and the feel of York with its historical background and traditional feel. I enjoyed a beautiful breakfast of avocado on toast with poached eggs and what felt like a bottomless tea pot of traditional Betty’s blend loose tea. 


Another main attraction, which is a must see in York City Centre, is York Minster. This cathedral is truly amazing. Its vast presence in the City creates a central hub for locals and tourists alike. It really is a beautiful building and is one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe reaching 61meter in height. It was built in 637AD and although it has had many renovations and repairs over the years, it maintains its beautiful and historic presence within the City.  


 The last place that I wanted to feature for this Unboxing My City project is the traditional shopping streets of York. There is Stonegate that is built upon the Roman walkway to York Minster, which later played host as the main shopping street in York in the Eighteen and early Nineteenth Century. This is still an amazing shopping street in York, swapping printers, goldsmiths and corset sellers for the likes of Jo Malone, Whistles and Jigsaw. 

There is also The Shambles, which has been named one of the best-preserved medieval streets in the world. This is another very central and important shopping street in York’s history as it was where the butchers were located, ready with a constant supply of fresh meat. I love this street as it feels as though you are transported through time to another world with its traditional feel and old style shop fronts. Although they are now filled with little cafes and gift shops rather than pork chops… 


I loved being a tourist in my own city and I would really recommend that you try it too. It is so easy to take for granted everything we have right on our doorstep and it was so nice to have an excuse to explore York. Be sure to have a watch of my unboxing York video to get more of a feel of what I got up to. 


Have you ever visited York? 
What are the top places to visit in your hometown?

Madolyn
xxx

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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Ways To Prepare & Be Organised When Traveling



I love to travel, and even though I get really excited and enjoy exploring new places, I can get quite nervous when I’m in a new place or visiting somewhere that I have never been to before. As a way to calm by nerves and make me feel a little more relaxed, is important for me to get organised before I go away and make sure that I am fully prepared in advance. 

James and I are going to Prague for an extra-long weekend at the end of the month, which was my Christmas present from him. We are also heading to London next weekend and I am traveling down to London the weekend after with a friend and so I seem to have a lot of traveling on the cards over the next few weeks. Even though I only have one flight booked, weekends away can sometimes require just as much planning and preparation as you still need to be organised and prepare what to pack, where you’re going and what you’re going to do when you get there. 

As I’ve said, I much prefer to get organised and prepare myself before doing any sort of traveling. It gives me some much needed peace of mind and allows me to enjoy myself a lot more, knowing that I am fully prepped and ready to go, in advance. Here are a few of my key tips to prepare and be organised when traveling:


Print off all Paperwork & Tickets In Advance

It seems that most booking confirmations, tickets and travel documents are sent electronically via email nowadays. However, I always like to print off any paperwork which has confirmation numbers, addresses and important information on as it makes me feel more at ease. I hate the thought of needing a specific number or piece of information and you can’t get the email or website to load on your phone. I would just always rather have a paper copy that is quick and easy to refer to as and when I need to. 

Have A Document Holder/Wallet To Hand

As I like to print off documents and keep them organised, I like to keep them all in one place so that I know where they are and they are easy to get to. I love this one from Emma Bridgewater that my Mum bought for me before I went to University. I keep everything in it such as tickets, maps, my passport and hotel conformations. 

Buy A Travel Guide Book

So this only really comes in handy if you are travelling somewhere that you have never been before. I have bought myself a little travel guide for our trip to Prague at the end of the month. I love these Berlitz ones as they have a pocket guide range that is so cute, compact and easy to pack. I also love that there are lots of maps inside and they are jam packed with information as well as a brief history of the place. I love reading travel guides as it gets me really excited about the trip and helps me to organise what to do whilst I’m there. 


Research The Area Before You Go

This tip goes hand in hand with the travel guide one. I love to research anywhere before I travel there to really put my mind at ease. I like to get a feel of the place before I arrive and get a bit of a picture in my head before hand. Things can change throughout the year and so some things may be closed in spring that are open in summer or unavailable until the start of winter for example. I just like to get a head start on planning my trip so that I’m not disappointed when I arrive. 

Get Money Changed In Advance

Again, this is a tip that is trip specific, but there is nothing worse than arriving somewhere and getting a poor exchange rate or charged by your bank for withdrawing money. I always like to take cash when I travel as it helps me to budget my trip better and I feel more organised knowing that it is one less thing to worry about. 

Keep An Eye On The Weather Forecast 

I think that this is a really important thing to do before doing any traveling. I always like to keep an eye on what the weather is doing when I know that I am going to be traveling somewhere. It helps me to prepare both mentally and physically. If somewhere that you are traveling too has had really bad weather on the build up to your trip then it allows you to organise your luggage accordingly so that you don’t get caught out and have to buy loads when you arrive. 


What are your top tips to prepare and be organised when traveling?
Are you as much of a planner as me?! 

Madolyn
xxx

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Few Of My Go To Beauty Brands


I am a huge lover of all things beauty and as much as I like to try new products and explore different brands, there are a few brands that I constantly come back too. There are a few key beauty brands, ranging from make up to body care that I love and can heavily depend upon to provide me with great, high quality products that I will use again and again and again. 


Make up 

I love to switch up my makeup products and try lots of different things, but I do have a few staple brands that I know I can always turn to when I’m looking for everyday makeup pieces. Benefit Cosmetics will always hold a place in my heart as they were one of the first beauty brands that I worked for, and it was through my enjoyment of working for them that helped inspire me to start a blog. I love their quirky taglines, fun and girly packaging, and their products are always on point. They are a premium beauty brand so their prices sit quite comfortably at the higher end of the scale, but I feel they are worth the price as their makeup is of such high quality and their products last a lifetime. 

Another two makeup brands that are a complete go-to for me are Nars and Mac. Personally, I love the base products from both of these brands. Some of my base staples are the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation and Instant Creamy Concealer, as well as Mac’s Mineralize Skinfinish Powder. I find that these brands offer great base products both for my skin tone and my complexion as there have a huge range of shades and makeup that is suited to different skin types. I am also a huge fan of lipsticks by Mac and I love that I can rely on finish, durability, shade and texture when it comes to purchasing one. 


No 7 by Boots is another go-to brand of mine as I find that they are a little lower on the price scale, yet still offer fantastic products that feel and look expensive and high quality. I am a huge fan of their singular eyeshadows and would really recommend giving their skincare a go as they have a huge range for lots of different skin types. Another makeup brand favourite is Real Techniques which provide the most amazing makeup brushes. Not only are these brushes extremely affordable, they have an extensive collection to choose from. I got a lovely set of their brushes for Christmas which added to my ever growing collection and they are the only brush brand I use to apply my makeup.  


Skincare 

I am a little more focused when it comes to skincare and find that when I like a product I tend to stick with it. I have been a huge lover of Soap & Glory for a long, long time and love their huge range of body products. I haven’t really used any of their facial skincare but in terms of their body care, I think that they are right on point. I think that their Body Butter was one of the first products that I tried of theirs and I was instantly hooked on that iconic and signature scent of theirs. It is soft, fruity and girly and I think that it is a beautiful brand that have brilliant packaging, are well priced and I can consistently depend on the quality of their products. 

When it comes to my facial skincare I tend to buy items that I know work well with my skin and that I like. So although I have a lot of facial skincare, I only have two stand out brands that I come back to time and time again. I am a huge lover of Lush products. I recently wrote a Lush Haul blog post, and I do buy a lot of my staples from them, which aren’t just skincare. However, when it comes to Lush skincare I know that they will not disappoint. I’m not sure if it is because their products are filled with natural ingredients, but they seem to work so well with my skin type. I love their face masks and moisturisers and they are very well priced but feel like luxury products. 

Another skincare brand that I love is Clarins. Again, their products are all plant based and very natural, which again, may be a reason why I feel like they work really well with my skin type. I love to use their cleansing products, and the majority of my evening skincare routine products are by Clarins. I am a very big fan of their Eye Makeup Remover which has been a staple of mine for a long time. 


What are your go to beauty brands?

Madolyn
xxx

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Importance Of Using Weekends To Relax & Enjoy Some Down Time


As much as I crave for productive, well thought out weekends, filled with lots of plans and exciting things to do, sometimes it is nice to just relax, chill and have a bit of a lazy mooch at home. 

Last weekend, James and I had no plans, which was so lovely. It meant that I could get up when I wanted, get dressed when I was ready and I didn’t have to rush around anywhere. 

As I have a full time job in an office, working Monday to Friday, nine to five I often put pressure on myself to make sure that I am really productive on a weekend in terms of my social life, looking after the house, and spending quality time with James. As well as juggling this, I also get the majority of my blogging done at the weekend, which includes filming, planning, taking photographs and writing content. 


Last weekend however I decided to make no plans and just enjoy time away from work. As much as I love blogging it does sometimes feel as though I have two jobs as I am working on Madolyn Thinks most evenings and weekends which can become a little tiring after a while. 

I think it is important to listen to your body and realise when it is time to take a break and just relax and go with the flow, rather than constantly plan and organise your spare time and actually enjoy some ‘down time’. 


I vlogged last weekend so be sure to have a watch on my YouTube channel to find out what I got up to. It was so nice to have the time to chill in bed with a cup of tea, go out for dinner with James and visit our parents and have a catch up without me panicking that the light is fading and I still need to take however many pictures, edit, write etc etc… 

I felt so much better after having a more relaxed weekend as I was able to catch up on my sleep, get lots of reading done and spend some undistracted time with James and my family.


What do you like to do on a weekend? 
Do you like have productive or chilled out weekends?

Madolyn
xxx

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Recent Reads | February 2017


As I mentioned in my February Beauty & Lifestyle Favourites post, I have been putting some time aside for myself to enjoy one of my favourite activities; reading. This month I have read a couple of different books and I wanted to share what I have been enjoying over the past few weeks. 

The Landscape Of Love, Sally Beauman 

This month’s Book Club novel was The Landscape Of Love. I hadn’t heard of this book before I was handed a copy so I had very few expectations of what to expect. It was a very romantic yet tragic novel that revolved around three sisters and the people they interacted with during one particular and dramatic summer. It was ‘romantic-heavy’ drama that isn’t exactly my cup of tea. There was a lot of twists, turns and mystery throughout the book yet the content was a little dry and I felt as though I couldn’t quite connect with the characters or care enough about who was sleeping with who. 

The Investigation, Peter Weiss

I am a huge lover of history and one of my favourite eras is World War Two. My friend lent me this screen play written by Peter Weiss which is a dramatic reconstruction of the Frankfurt War Crimes Trials. These were trails that were aimed to hold those accountable for the events carried out during the Holocaust. It is all based on true events and conversations that Weiss witnessed himself. The play is made up of the Judge, Counsel for the prosecution, Counsel for the defence, eighteen Defendants representing the actual people and nine Witnesses that represent a large group of people.

This is a very graphic read and a little disturbing at times as it addresses real accounts of the horrors that these people were subject too. It was an interesting way of reading about factual events and although it wasn’t a light-hearted Sunday afternoon read, it was very informative and educational. 

Girl On A Train, Paula Hawkins 

I have been putting off reading this novel as there was so much hype about it when it was first published. I was put off further when the film was released, as I tend to stray away from things that I am constantly told that I should read/watch. I know this may sound a little odd, but it puts me off when every man and his dog raves about something, I often wonder if it is the case of the Emperor’s New Clothes…. 

Anyway, I have bitten the bullet and have begun to read this ‘must read’ novel. I have to say, I am not swept away by the storyline so far, I find it easy to put down and I’m not as gripped as I was repeatedly told I would be. I am hoping that it picks up a little as I want to get it read and watch the film, but so far I am not as impressed as I thought that I would be… I will be sure to provide an update in my March Recent Reads post at the end of the month.


What have been your recent reads?
Have you read any of the books I have mentioned? 

Madolyn
xxx

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