Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Travel: New York days 3 and 4

So, here's to part 2 of my New York trip. Hope you find it interesting and maybe even helpful!

On day 3 of our trip we went to the 9/11 tribute centre which was very well done and moving. We also trekked to the memorial at ground zero which was very good too. You really get a sense of how huge the site was and of what a tragedy 9/11 was.













After that we went and had a wander down to battery park and had a deliciously fresh lemonade. We decided to catch the Staten Island Ferry which is about a half an hour trip. You get a good view of Manhattan's financial district and of the statue of liberty from the boat. Staten Island is quite a sleepy place. It does have a couple of museums but we decided to just go and have lunch so we got some pizza.

Manhattan was very wet...











Then, we caught the ferry back to Manhattan and walked up to Wall Street. Wall Street is quite dark compared to the rest of Manhattan but it was quite a sight.


We wandered to South Street Seaport which has a few big old boats. It also has a small shopping centre and a relaxed eating and balcony area with some sun chairs and a view on the river and the boats. You have a good view on the Brooklyn Bridge from there too. Near there, there is a Pinkberry so we decided to have one and it was really really yummy.



We wanted to see Times Square at night so we made our way back near there. We walked up Broadway again and Times Square is even more amazing at night. All the lights make it feel magical. We walked back down 7th Avenue and tried to find something to eat. Unfortunately, Midtown is not very good for food. We also popped into Macy's again. We finally ended up eating on the same street as our hotel in a place called Pennsylvania I think. It looked a bit strange but they did some really yummy, healthy(ish) fresh pizza's (are you seeing a pattern here yet?). We had one with cheese, truffles and onions.


The next day was slightly more relaxed because we had to be at the airport by 5 pm. We caught a bus to the Chelsea District and walked the Highline. It's really well done and quite pretty in places. It describes itself as a walk through New York's industrial past and I found it to be quite interesting.



After the Highline we walked around the Chelsea district and into Greenwich Village which is very different and small looking compared to the high buildings in the centre of Manhattan. Chelsea would be the ideal place to eat. It was packed with restaurants and all of them looked like they had some tasty food. It's also renowned to be New York's gastronomy centre. We didn't eat there though because we had decided to have a late lunch/snack and an early dinner before the flight as we had ordered vegetarian on our previous flight and it didn't have any protein in it.

We then went all the way to the other side of town and went to Serendipity. There was an hour long wait so we went to Bloomingdales for a wander. We then went and had a frozen hot chocolate and a strawberry sundae at Serendipity which was pretty fabulous. (Sorry about the picture quality, the lighting wasn't great and it was taken on a phone).


After that it was time to go and pick up our bags from the hotel and catch a cab to the airport. It usually takes an hour, even up to an hour and a half to get there but as it was the 4th of July, the roads were empty and we were there in 40 minutes. The airport cabs have a fixed rate of around 70 dollars.

We had a Quesadilla (one was enough for the 2 of us) at the airport which was actually really nice and then waited for our flight. Once we got on the plane we could see all the 4th of July fireworks along the horizon. It was quite a nice sight and although we missed the main part of the celebrations, we could still feel like we didn't get completely left out.

If you want to watch my travel vlogs then here's the link to my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ElinorsVlogs

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Travel: New York days 1 and 2

So if you're wondering why it's been so quiet here over the last month it's because I've been on holiday. This can only mean one thing: travel posts! I did a lot of tourism for 2 weeks and then had a more relaxed family holiday for the end of the month.

Anyway, right at the beginning of july I went to New York! I was there for 4 full days with my Mum. It was partly an 18th birthday present/graduation present but also just because we both wanted to go.

First things first, we flew from Brussels to London with British Airways then to New York with American Airlines. I would highly recommend American Airlines as they were really friendly, the seats weren't too small and it's not overly expensive. We came back with Iberia and that was not the best experience.

We got there late at night so caught a taxi and went straight to our hotel, the Hampton Inn hotel on west 31st street. The taxi driver, like all of the ones we had when we were there was very friendly. The hotel was really good. It wasn't the most luxurious but breakfast was included and it was nice, the beds were incredibly comfortable, the staff were nice, the location is good and it wasn't overpriced.

The next day, we were luckily only slightly jet lagged. We were up quite early and were out before 9 am but considering the 6 hour time difference it was pretty good. The first thing we did was go to Macy's as it was right near the hotel. Macy's is brilliant. Everything is reasonably priced and if you're not a US citizen you can get a 10 percent discount on almost everything. Just make sure you carry ID around everywhere though.


 After that we walked up Broadway in the rain, which was lovely and refreshing until it really started throwing it down. Walking up Broadway is nice because you can see the lights from Times Square a long way away.


After we stood at Times Square in awe for a bit, we went and had lunch at The Counter which is amazing. Basically you can make you're own burger: you choose the bread, the sauce, the meat/veggie and then up to 3 toppings (you can have more but then you pay more). They also have a fixed menu with fixed burgers. The chips/fries are amazing too. The food is really delicious, and I'll definitely be going there again.


We then went to Grand Central Station which was incredible. You can't really capture how grand it is until you see it in real life. I never thought a station would be so interesting. It also has a food market downstairs which was buzzing and looked really appetising. Then, upstairs, there were a few jewelry and phone case type stalls.












Near Grand Central Station there is a park called Bryant Park. It was really nice and calm and you could play table tennis and they even had a reading corner outside as it was right next to the library. They also have music events there.



We pre booked a tour at the Rockefeller Center which was really really good. We learned a lot about New York and about some of the buildings and architecture of the city. I went there knowing nothing about the Rockefeller Center at came out knowing a lot. It was very well done and not at all boring. We had also booked the Top of the Rock but it was so cloudy that they recommended we reschedule.


After that we walked up Fifth Avenue and went for a quiet stroll in Central Park which is just amazing. It's huge and so quiet considering you're in the middle of a city. It also is really pretty. Then, we just grabbed a slice of pizza as you do in New York and went back to the hotel.











On day 2 of our trip, we decided to go to Central Park in the morning. We went all the way up to west 103 street on the subway which is really easy to use once you get the hang of it. We wandered across to the east side of the park and found the conservatory gardens of the park which were beautiful.











After Central Park we walked down to the Guggenheim Museum which is on Fifth Avenue. We visited the museum which was quite interesting. The whole set up of the building was the main attraction because everything is circular/oval. If you're in to modern art it's a very interesting museum. They do also have some more classical paintings from Paul C├ęzanne for example. We had lunch there which was not that good. It's a fixed menu and we ended up having too much, the food was alright but not amazing and there wasn't much seating space.

Then, we walked down some more of Fifth Avenue and saw the Central Park Reservoir which is quite a sight. Its huge and on each side you can see towering buildings. We decided that our feet were quite sore so we caught the bus back down to 48th or 49th street, near the Rockefeller Center.


At 4.30 pm, we had a ticket for Top of the Rock and about an hour before we went up, the skies completely cleared and the sun came out. The Top of the Rock is a must do in New York. It was incredible. Even if you're scared of heights it doesn't feel that bad because all the other buildings are so high. The view was quite literally gobsmacking.












After that, we caught the subway to Lexington Avenue to go and have a wonder around Bloomingdales. There are a lot of gorgeous clothes, accessories and makeup products in there but it's expensive. Personally, I preferred Macy's.


We decided to get some dinner close to Bloomingdales so we found this amazing restaurant called Brio. We had the most amazing pasta, it was just so yummy and fresh. It was also quite different, it wasn't the usual spaghetti bolognese or penne carbonara. They had homemade canneloni's with freshly cooked cherry tomatoes and scamorza (smoked mozzarella), etc.

I will tell you about the last 2 days of my trip in the next post which should be either tomorrow or the day after. Hope you found it interesting and helpful if you're planning a trip to New York City!



Friday, 12 July 2013

June favourites

Hi guys! Last week I published a video on youtube for my june favourites. There were quite a few beauty related ones. Here's the link: June favourites video

I hope you enjoy it and tell me what your june favourites are!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Prom makeup haul

Hi guys, sorry this is late but I was on holiday in New York this past week so I wasn't able to blog. A travel post will follow, I have quite a few lined up at the moment. The next one will be june favourites and it will have a video in it! I'm planning on filming that either today if I find the time or tomorrow. If you want to check out my vlog channel with some (quiet) vlogs of New York too here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/ElinorsVlogs .

Anyway, on with the haul. I was planning on going into MAC but the only MAC's around me are a real pain to get to if you don't drive. So this is all drugstore/high street makeup.

The first thing I got was a Maybelline 24 hour color tattoo in the shade 40-permanent taupe. This is a cream-gel eyeshadow and it's a taupe colour so mushroomy-brown. It's gorgeous and it does not budge. I used it as a base. It's really easy to apply and it made the eyesahdow I put on top (patina) pop. This would also look great if you just want a neutral wash of colour on your lids or if you're on the go and want a quick fix.


I also picked up a new foundation because I found that the l'Oreal Lumi Magique foundation wasn't quite suited to my skin type. I have dry skin and it gets a bit flakey on me. Anyway, I bought the Bourjois healthy mix foundation and I'm a shade 51 so pale. I absolutely love it. I find it actually benefits my skin as it's quite moisturising. It has a lovely dewy, radiant finish but it doesn't look wet like some "dewy" foundations can. I didn't use a powder with it and it was fine. I think they have quite a good range of shades too.


For my cheeks I wanted something natural so I picked up one of Bourjois cream blushes. I got the shade 01-nude velvet. It's a peachy-pink colour but it just give's you a natural glow and not overly pigmented. I really like it.


Then, for my lips I also wanted something quite nude because I was going quite full-on with the eyes. I got a Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in the colour 101 and one of the Apocalips lip lacquers in the colour celestial. They're both really nice products and they're really long lasting. The Kate Moss lipstick are not too drying and the Apocalips are quite moisturising and not too sticky.


Finally, for my eyes I bought a black Soft Kohl Kajal eyeliner by Rimmel. It's very pigmented and easy to apply. The only problem is, because it's so soft, the nib get's quite bent. I still really like this product though.