Thursday, 20 November 2014

How To Survive A Long Haul Flight

I'm sure I'm not the first to declare that I am not a fan of flying. Taking off and landing has me more nervous than an X Factor contestant at deadlock, which is pretty ridiculous considering the number of flights that I have taken. You would think that I would be somewhat over it by now, but I can tell you, flying and me just don't get on... and don't even get me started on the fact of sitting still, in one place for more than an hour. From a world class fidget, this is nearly enough to tip me over the edge. 

In recent years I have traveled on several long-distance flights and I thought I would create a list of handy hints to see you through this painful experience, (unless you're a crazy kid who loves long-distance flights, and if so, seriously... what's the secret?!) 

1. Make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time. 
The last thing you need before a long-haul is rocking up to the airport late and having the stress of getting yourself organised. Check in online well in advance to secure your seat and arrive in good time so that you have plenty of time to spare once you're finally through to the departure lounge. That way you can pick up any last minute bits and pieces from Duty Free and relax with a glass of wine in the bar. 

2. Stay hydrated. 
It's really important to ensure you stay well hydrated whilst you are flying. I hate the fact that airlines serve you drinks in what are effectively large shot glasses so I always pick up a bottle or two of water from one of the departure lounge shops, before boarding. (Any water bought before hand will need to be thrown when you go through the security checks, so make sure you only pick bottled water up once you're through.)

3. Pack the essentials.
Your hand luggage bag is your best friend on a long-haul flight and I always use a bag that is a decent size, but can still fit underneath the seat in front of you, so that you don't have to stow it away in the overhead lockers, meaning you're not in and out of your seat whenever you need something. The contents of my hand luggage bag are always the same and includes:

- Warm slipper socks. I always remove my shoes right away on a long-haul flight, A for comfort and B because your feet tend to swell whilst flying and so the less restricting your footwear is, the better. Plus, I find it always gets nippy on a flight and so warm socks are essential to keep my toes toasty. 

- A large scarf. I tend to wear this rather than stick it in my hand luggage bag but again, this is for warmth purposes. I find a lot of the in-flight blankets to be pretty static-y, which isn't exactly a word but you catch my drift. Also, they tend not to be the cleanest from time to time so I'd much rather snuggle up underneath my own, freshly washed blanket scarf. 

- Lip balm. Do not, I repeat, do not take a flight without lip balm... ever! You need it. There's nothing worse than being an hour into a ten hour flight, with dry, cracked lips and nothing to soothe them. 

- Medicine. Yes, I'm usually a walking pharmacy when I take a flight. I usually pack a couple of strips of paracetamol, anti histamines (you know, in case there's a rare mongoose on board that might set off a reaction) and 'sore tummy' tablets... just in case! 

- A pack of tissues. Self-explanatory. You don't want to be waiting on a flight attendant if you've had a particularly vigorous sneeze. 

- A very small amount of make up to freshen up with so you don't look like the walking dead when you finally disembark. For me, this usually includes; a pressed powder compact with a mirror, foundation stick for touch ups, eyebrow pencil for a quick fix as I always smudge them off sleeping, and an eyeliner pencil. This may not be an essential for everyone, but I always like to have a few bits to hand. If you're going to pack any liquid products, they should be in bottles no greater than 100ml, otherwise you will have to ditch them at the security check point. I always pack relatively cheap items so that should they not make it through security, I'm not going to be losing any expensive products. Better to be safe than sorry. 

- Hair clips/bobbles. I always start out with good hair intentions but it always gets whacked up on the top of my head after a few minutes. 

- Hand sanitiser. If you've ever been in an airport/airplane toilet, I don't need to explain this to you. Germs... everywhere. 

- Things to keep you entertained. iPad with films downloaded and saved onto it in case you don't fancy any on the in-flight entertainment system. (Plus, it doesn't get interrupted with announcements - first world problems) Ear phones with splitter if you're travelling with someone so that you can both watch a film together from the same device. A book, magazine... anything that's going to kill some time. It's not like you're going to be short of it. 

- Mints. Three hour sleep with your face stuck up against the window breath is never pleasant. 

- Change of clothes. This only really applies if you have a reeeeeal long trek or you're switching climates drastically. On my recent long-haul flight, I was travelling 30+ hours in total from Vietnam to Paris, through to Helsinki and I made sure I had a clean T-shirt and a jumper to pop on when I needed them. 

- Travel pillow. A long-haul flight's best friend. If you don't have one, get one. Trust me. I prefer the ones with the tiny beads inside as they tend to be much softer and more mouldable than the stuffed kind. 

4. Try to get some exercise.
Make sure you get up every now and again to stretch your legs/check that they are still attached to your body and haven't become fused with the seat. It's important to keep as active as you can, especially over long periods of time to avoid any circulation problems, etc. Go on, give those toes a wiggle. 

5. Make sure you can eat.
If you're a fussy eater or have specific dietary requirements, request a special meal when you book your flight tickets. Alternatively, buy yourself a sandwich and a few snacks when you pick up bottled water from the departure lounge shops. I've found myself in a situation where I was unable to eat both options on the menu during a flight, on a couple of occasions, and if you're polite enough about it, the flight crew are often really helpful and will at least bring you small snacks, bread etc to eat. 

6. Ditch the slap. 
Girls, don't apply a full face of make up when you're heading off on a long-haul flight. It's not good for your skin and you're not going to be able to remove it properly. Plus it's going to smudge everywhere when you're lazing about. I tend to slap plenty of moisturiser on my face along with a very light-weight BB cream or tinted moistuiser and keep eye makeup to a minimum. Lipstick is just no. Stick with a tinted balm if you absolutely need some colour. You can always touch up later with the contents of your hand luggage. 

Remember that at some point it will all be over. No matter how mind-numbingly bored you are right now, eventually this whole sorry episode will be a distant, distant dream, or nightmare, depending on which way you look at it. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Envious

Here's the first of my Duty Free purchases that will be featuring on my blog over the coming days, maybe weeks? (Yes, I bought a lot) It's the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in the shade 340, Envious. It's a warm, muted red with subtle pinkish undertones. 

I have seen a fair amount of reviews of the Pure Color Envy lipsticks and naturally, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one to give it a whirl. The minute I swatched it at the beauty counter, I knew I was going to have to have one in my life. Thankfully, I was passing through Duty Free a few days later so I manged to save a few, if not measly amount of pennies on it... but a saving is a saving right? 

Anyhow, the minute I applied this to my face, I got a vanilla-esque whiff that instantly made me think MAC. The formula is very similar to that of a Creme Sheen finish too. It's creamy, smooth and oh so hydrating! The finish is such a glossy, almost balmy one and even from the swatch on my hand it's clear how moisturising this formula is. I've always been a creamy finish kind of girl, (How wrong does that sound?) and this lipstick is right up my street, it has me absolutely smitten. 

The colour payoff is excellent. One swipe unleashes a pop of intense colour. It's super pigmented and according to the peeps at Estée Lauder, multi-faceted pigments create definition and lips look beautifully shaped, sculpted and curvaceous. I'm not entirely sure about the sculpting part, reading that last sentence makes me think of Spanx; all I know is that whatever the Estée Lauder boffins have stuck in this lipstick, it works and it's bloody great! 

A word on the packaging, it's nothing less than what I would expect from a high-end brand. It's weighty, which I like and the navy/gold is definitely a classic look. The lid is also magnetic and clips firmly shut so you know you're safe if you happen to throw this one in the bottom of your handbag. 

It's safe to say, I'm a fan of this one, in case you didn't quite work that one out. Estée Lauder have a whole range of colours to suit everyone and you can check them all out here. (Jealous and Carnal, I'm looking at you both!) 

What are your thoughts on Estée Lauder's Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks? Have you tried any of the range or are you lusting after any shades in particular? 

With my purchase, I was also gifted a little sample pot of this:

I haven't tried it out yet but I fully intend to and will share my thoughts with you all soon. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Where I've Been Hiding - Travel Sneak Peek!

Guess who's back... Back again... I can't believe how long it has been since I was last sitting, staring at my laptop screen, ready and raring to go! For the last few weeks I have been gallivanting around Paris and Vietnam with my Nikon Coolpix, (Which is probably a fossil in bloggersville) and my significant other. But now... we are both finally home after a mammoth 30+ hour journey and one lost suitcase to boot. (Yes, not ideal) but even that can't dampen my mood too much as I am so, SO pleased to be back in my comfy pjs, with a cup of tea and some glorious holiday snaps to share with you. Consider this as a bit of a snapshot/sneak peek into my holiday photo album. There will be a whole series of much more detailed posts to come but I couldn't wait that long to give you guys a little taster. Hope you enjoy...

Keep your eyes peeled for more posts on my Parisian/Vietnamese adventures, coming soon! 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

What's in a word?

As bloggers, writers or serial tweeters, it's safe to say we've got a way with words. Whether it's likening powdery eye shadow to butter or using various expletives to describe our emotions over spilt sesame seeds. Words are our weapons. Okay, that sounds a bit heavy-handed, but you catch my drift. There's always a perfect word for every occasion, a bit like shoes, and hell if you can't find the right word to say or write, just make that shit up... If 'selfie' has made it's way into the dictionary, then I'm pretty sure there's no holds barred. 

What I'm about to write next is probably going to make me sound a few fruit loops shy of a bowl; however there are a tonne of words that I love/hate to say in equal measures. There's just something about the way some words roll off the tongue and I shan't lie, there have been occasions where Scott and I have sat rhyming off all the words we love and hate, for fun. So rock and roll. 

Just for fun, I thought I'd make a list of some of the good ens, along with some of the words that make me physically recoil when I say them. Here we go, (make sure you say them out loud!)

  • Kerfuffle
  • Flabbergasted
  • Effervescent
  • Discombobulate
  • Pamphlet
  • Aardvark
  • Illumination
  • Cumbersome
  • Glorification
  • Moist
  • Blob
  • Clotted
  • Glut
  • Clunge (Not technically a word, but still...)
  • Gurgle
  • Jugular
  • Phlegm
  • Fungal

I'm sure there are many, many more words that I've missed out from these lists. What are your thoughts, are there any words you love/hate? 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Croatia: Discover The Coastal Gems of Europe's Hottest Vacation Spot | Guest Post Travelixir

There's no question that tourism in Croatia has skyrocketed in the recent years.

Cities along the Adriatic Coast of Croatia like DubrovnikSplit, and Hvar are becoming more attainable to celebrities like Eva LongoriaEllen Degeneres, and Keira Knightley than to regular people. Even Game of Thrones has filming locations there!

Being born in the Balkans has been a blessing because it equates to spending my summers in Croatia. Although there's no doubt that the coastal cities mentioned above are worth seeing, there are many undiscovered gems along the Adriatic Coast that you should visit while they're still relatively devoid of tourists!

Having been to Croatia, I've chosen my top two suggestions for you:

1. Korčula

Korčula (kor-chula) is a beautiful, underrated island on the Adriatic Sea; one that few travelers know about. Here, you can find Marco Polo's alleged house of birthcharming alleyways, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of cafés. Croatia thrives on tourism from its coastal cities, so don't be too worried about language barriers, although it's always a good idea to get acquainted with the country's language before visiting.

2. Tučepi

Tučepi (tu-che-pee) is a coastal resort in Croatia located near Makarska and close enough to Hvar Island for a one-day excursion. This resort is know for its beautiful pebble beaches, endless restaurants, and exciting night life. There are plenty of festivals, concerts, and folklore during the summer months, providing a wide variety of things to do. This is where The Travelixir stayed during her most recent visit to Croatia.

I hope you find this post to be helpful in planning your next trip to Croatia. If you would like to see more posts like these, visit my blog: The Travelixir.

Leave a comment below with any of Croatia's coastal cities you would recommend!

xx -

Monday, 10 November 2014

Stocking Fillers For Her | £10 or Less

stocking fillers, women, stocking fillers for her, christmas, xmas, gifts, christmas gifts

Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la, la la la la... Too soon? After spending two Christmases holed up in Qatar where the Christmas build up was, ermmm... Zero! I'm fully indulging myself in all of the festive build up this year. To kick us off, I've rounded up some fantastic, budget-friendly stocking fillers for her. Just don't blame me if a few of these end up in your basket for yourself! 

Wheat Bag Owl - New Look

Ciate Tree Trinket Nail Polish - Ciate

BarryM Natural Glow 2 Shadow and Blush Palette - ASOS

Fairisle Hot Water Bottle - Topshop

Rollerball Perfume - River Island

Floral Notebook - H&M

Mouse Ballet Slippers - George at Asda

Makeup Revolution Contour and Highlight Collection - Superdrug

Embellished Hand Warmers - Tesco

Heart Necklace Bauble - Miss Selfridge

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Maxfactor CC Stick - Dark Circles

When it comes to dark circles, the only ones I tolerate are of the chocolate button variety. Nothing screams, I've spent all night knocking back Jagerbombs than those pesky, under-eye patches and like most of us, I went 'em covered! 

Thankfully, there's a million and one products on the market these days that help to correct wayward skin tones and erase all evidence of the night before using clever make up trickery. Shame the same doesn't apply for those 4am text messages! 

This nifty, little product is the Color Correcting Stick from Maxfactor. 

It's a creamy/white coloured stick that has a subtle yellow tint designed to correct and conceal under-eye circles, leaving you with a flawless, fresh-faced look. I'm going to put it right out there, I actually picked this up as last resort, Halloween, face paint substitute; however I've been reaching for it most days as a quick fix concealing, contouring Jack of all trades. 

The crayon format makes application a doddle, just scribble where you need it. That being said, it's not the most gentle method of applying product to the delicate under-eye area which is partly due to the consistency of the product itself, balmy, but not anywhere near as creamy as a liquid concealer. Once on, it takes a bit of effort to blend the product into the skin as it's not one for budging, but with a little gentle coaxing, you can get it to work wonders.

It's very pale and so you don't need much to get results. It really does hide those dark circles and generally brightens up the whole eye area. In addition to an under-eye concealer, I've been using the Maxfactor CC stick as a makeshift highlighter for contouring, applying it along my cheek bones, under the arches of my brows and down the centre of my nose. I've also applied it directly onto my lips as a base for nude lipstick. It's so versatile and so simple that I can't help but wish I'd discovered it sooner. 

The CC sticks come in a whole range of different shades for different purposes. There's a green stick for neutralising red tones and a purple tone for combating dull skin. You can check out the full range here

Thoughts anyone? 
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