Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Travel blog: Israel

If you're looking for somewhere interesting with lots of culture to visit, Israel is the place for you. Despite all the bad press it gets in the media, most of it is actually pretty safe and it's really worth the visit. I've been twice, once in january and once in july. Personnaly, if you want to do the touristy things and visit sites, I'd go between november and april, when it's not too hot: between 15 and 30°C at the coast and a bit colder near Jerusalem.

Some of the sites I'd really recommend are Nazareth basilica, Masada, Jafa, the citadel and the turkish bath of Acre, the centre of Jerusalem, the diaspora museum in Tel Aviv's university campus, Apollonia national park and Caesarea Maritima national park. If you want a taste of israeli culture, amongst others, these are the places to go. Once you've had enough of history, you could also go to one of Jerusalems zoos or to the souks (markets) that you can find in most towns.

Israel is also ideal if you're a shopper or a party goer. Tel Aviv is considered one of the cities that never sleeps. It also has some huge shopping centres, open all week a part from saturdays (there are a few exceptions).

It's also a must for divers. It has some of the best diving schools and the sea is warm, especially in summer, which is always a plus.

If you like food, you can most certainly find what you're looking for. Due to all the different nationalities you can find in Israel, there are quite a few different restaurants. You can find italian, european, modern and american food, meat bars, fish restaurants and of course the local mediterranean and middle eastern gastronomy.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Skincare: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

This is a lifesaver if you have acne prone or irritated skin. I've used this since I was about 13 years old and it was recommended to me by several people. My sister uses it too and it makes a huge difference. Being 15, she's going through all those horrible hormonal changes that can really disrupt your skin.

When you use this, your skin feels and looks a lot cleaner, healthier and fresher. After the Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser I use the Skin Repair Moisteriser. This instantly replenishes your skin and hydrates it. In the colder months, I use this a lot because my skin gets very dry and itchy because of the wind and dry, cold air. This moisturiser helps that immediately.

The Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser is also good for removing make-up. It's very gentle so it won't irritate the sensitive skin around your eyes and it doesn't take much to remove all the mascara and eyeliner.

I'd highly recommend the cleanser to anyone. It's suitable for all skin types. The moisturiser comes in 3 different sorts. One for dry / sensitive skin, one for normal / combination skin and one for combination / oily skin. They are both fantastic products and have really helped my skin throughout my teenage years.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Last year I had to read this book for my french class at school. To be honest, the size of it really put me off and it took me a while to get into it. It's about 900 pages long. Once you get used to the style and the way the book is written, it's very hard to put down. The story is quite complex because it follows the lives of several couples. To cut a long story very short, it's about a woman called Anna Karenina who cheats on her husband and all the consequences it will have on her but also on the people around her.

It's very rich and it's easy to tell that Tolstoy was a very cultured person. In the book you will find several different languages (one of the reasons I respect this author). There's italian, english, french, german and, of course, russian. He also knew a lot about politics, economics and agriculture. You'll find multiple scenes questionning the political and economical system in Russia and other parts of Europe. There are also quite a few chapters dedicated to agriculture and it's evolution and traditions.

Above all though, this book is about true love and following your heart, but also about saving a mariage that's falling apart. It is honestly a very good read. The chick lit of the 19th century, a must for any romantic.

I also went to see the film that came out a few months ago. The one with Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson. There have been many films about this book. I actually really liked it, it wasn't exactly like the book but if they had represented every detail it would have been about 8 hours long. It's a bit on the arty farty side, the whole thing is in some sort of theater, opera place and it takes a while to understand what's happening. I wouldn't recommend this version if you haven't read the book. I went with my sister who hadn't read it and she didn't understand half of what was going on but I thought it was quite a good representation.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

MAC neutrals palette

I have recently discovered MAC products and I must admit: I'm hooked. I've started a neutrals palette and have a "quad" at the moment.

I currently have Naked Lunch (top left), Patina (bottom left), Twinks (top right) and Carbon (bottom right).

They're really nice, pigmented eyeshadows and they live up to what I was expecting.

They are on the pricey side unfortunately... In Belgium one eyeshadow costs about 15€ (give or take £13), I think. I'm going to build up my collection slowly because I believe that you get what you pay for and it's better to pay a bit more for a good quality product than waste money on a bad one.

I usually use Patina on the lid, Twinks in the crease, Carbon along the lashline or on the outer corner and Naked Lunch as a brow and tearduct highlighter.

I would fully recommend these products, they are worth the money.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A bit about me

Hi! My name is Elinor and I was born on the 11 of June 1995 in Oxford, England. I've lived in Belgium ever since I was 2 so I speak fluent french and some dutch. I also speak some german and spanish. As you can probably tell, I love learning new languages and, of course, getting to know different cultures. Consequently, one of my favorite things to do is to travel.

Over the past few months I have developed another hobby: make-up and fashion. I blame YouTube entirely. The only problem I have with this is the cost. My bank account is complaining and sticking to a budget is proving to be harder than I thought.

Anyway, I've decided to create a blog. I seem to spend far too much time on my computer doing nothing without being able to switch it off, so I thought I'd be productive. I am also incapable of keeping a written diary, so I'm going to try this option instead. It'll be about lifestyle, make-up, travel a bit of everything really.