Monday, 28 August 2017

Why I Fell In Love With Kos

Why I Fell In Love With Kos
If you've been reading my blog for a little while, you'll know that last year my partner and I travelled to Kos for a relaxing summer getaway. It was the first time either of us had been to a Greek island and as much as we'd heard amazing things about them, nothing could have prepared us for how much we fell in love with the place and I'm so happy to be telling you why. 


When scouting breaks to Kos, we thought hard about where we wanted to stay. Obviously, as it's a small island, it's fairly easy to get around but we wanted somewhere close to the main town and somewhere quiet enough that we wouldn't be disturbed. We found those things in Psalidi. It's on the North East of the island and about 15 minutes and a 10€ taxi ride into Kos town. Psalidi also had a beautiful long beach with views out to Turkey and the most amazing family run restaurant, Taverna Romeo. 


I knew I'd enjoy Greek food but I never imagined I'd love it quite so much. Yogurt and fruit for breakfast, delicious salads for lunch and Gyros' to die for, for dinner. In every restaurant we visited, the food was cooked to absolute perfection and the staff and owners were insistent on going above and beyond for every customer that sat down. We actually stayed at an all inclusive hotel and only ate there twice because we wanted to try so much more local food.


Not that I ever thought any different but I have to mention, everyone in Kos was so incredibly lovely. The staff at our hotel were incredibly helpful and it was so lovely to actually be able to have a conversation with them. Locals we got talking to in town were so pleasant, spoke so highly of their country and didn't seem pestered by tourists. 


 We frequented the old town a lot on our trip and it seemed everywhere we looked, it was beautiful. There were stunning churches, old ruins and wonderfully aged buildings. Walking around the town was like stepping back in time and it was lovely to sit, with a Mythos of course, and just take it all in. 

I hope this gave you a little insight into why I loved Kos so much. I can't wait to visit more Greek islands and hopefully the mainland itself. Have you ever been?


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Three Outfits With Three Band T-Shirts

How To Style Band T-Shirts
I've been a lover of band t-shirts since way back in my early teens. Back then they were colourful and cartoon-like, paired with pink skinny jeans and converse. My friends and I thought we were the epitome of cool arriving at the local teen rock night armed with Paramore's latest release. 

At sixteen, I was still a huge lover though my style and music taste had evolved. I was socialising with a different crowd and listening to Motley Crue and Kiss. I bought an Iron Maiden t-shirt from HMV and cut the round next so I could wear it off the shoulder. I thought it was my greatest fashion purchase to date and truthfully, I still wear it from time to time.

I'm now twenty two and band t-shirts are still very much a staple in my wardrobe. I purchase them from a variety of places including the likes of ASOS and Topshop, the bands website or second hand from Ebay. They reflect my music taste and are some of my favourite go to's for a dress down day so I thought I'd show you the basics on how I style them.
How To Style Band T-Shirts
The first outfit is my absolute go to on a warm summers day because the white t-shirt and Converse keep the outfit nice and light without making it too feminine. The shorts are high-waisted so the t-shirt can be tucked in with ease adding an extra touch of detail. I'd team this with a backpack or small cross-body depending on what I'm doing.

I couldn't wait to share this second outfit mostly because of this amazing t-shirt. It's so vibrant so I'd tuck it into some black shorts and slip on a classic pair of Vans to mute it a little. It's comfy and casual and will definitely be an outfit I'll sport on holiday. 

The third and final outfit is one I wear a lot - It's so easy to dress up or down for a day to night look. I team my trusty Def Leppard cropped vest with some high-waisted skinny jeans and statement Topshop western boots. This outfit can be styled so many different ways which is why I go back to it again and again. At the moment, I'm loving it for dinner and casual cocktails.
I'd love to know how you style band t-shirts if they're your thing! 


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Ordinary: The Skincare Brand That Works

The Ordinary: The Skincare Brand That Works
The Ordinary. The child brand of Deciem that everyone is talking about and it's easy to see why. It's not just the minimal and aesthetically pleasing packaging or the amazing price point that is drawing everyone in. The big draw is that these products actually work. 

After seeing nothing but rave reviews, I made it my mission to track the products down and make sure they were on my desk the next day. I managed to snap four cult favourites from ASOS and I'm here to tell you how I got on.

The first product I knew I had to pick up was the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution after I'd seen it praised as 'absolutely incredible' and 'the best spot treatment ever'. Those claims were absolutely true. This is an exfoliating treatment designed to unclog your pores and reduce redness of existing spots and blemishes. I've been getting on so well with this treatment and noticed my skin was clearer after just a couple of days. I even bought two bottles just to be safe.

Next, to give my skin the moisture surge it often needs, I picked up the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. I was sceptical about this at first after trying a string of products claiming to do the same but I was pleasantly surprised. It's a lovely smooth texture and as soon as I've smoothed it across my face, I can feel it sink in to my skin. It also seems to make my face feel plumper and more youthful. 

The Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG was actually the first product I pulled out of the box after being intrigued by it's brown bottle - it looks very old school pharmaceutical. I massaged it under my eyes and felt it instantly tighten the skin. From then on it's been a staple in my morning skincare routine because it instantly makes me feel and look more awake. I can't comment on whether or not it reduces the appearance of dark circles because thankfully I don't have any just yet.

The Natural Moisturising Factors + HA moisturiser was something I picked up just as an extra. When it comes to moisturisers, I like to stick to what I know because my skin can be temperamental so I wasn't sure how this one would pan out. I have to admit it's probably my least used product but only because I'm so stubborn. It actually has a really nice texture, isn't at all greasy and from the times I have used it, sits well under make up. 

Next on my wishlist is the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution  after reading such a great review on Pint Sized Beauty.
Have you tried any products from The Ordinary? I'd love to know your thoughts and recommendations.        


The Ordinary: Skincare That Works


Thursday, 10 August 2017

The L'Oreal Paradise Collection That I Couldn't Wait To Share

The L'Oreal Paradise Collection That I Couldn't Wait To Share
It's rare that I love new beauty launches straight away. It's rare because no matter how many great opinions, photos or content there is surrounding said product, there's always the question of whether the '#Ad' or invitation to the launch party has presented a genuine view. 

To cut a long story short, this is how I felt about the new L'Oreal Paradise collection. I'd seen it plastered over social media before it's launch and simply refused to believe it was as good as everyone said. For me, that was the problem. Everyone loved it. 

Anyway, I caved, I bought it and guess what? I couldn't wait to share it. Know why? Because it's absolutely fantastic. 

Starting with the mascara, aside from the beautiful rose gold packaging, it's easy to see why the US has been raving about this product for weeks. The formula is jet black, not too wet and nice and light on the eyes. The wand has a dent in the middle which makes it easy to create volume where it's hard to reach and where it's needed - on the inner corners and outer lashes. I've been using this for around two weeks now and I can hands down say it's one of the best mascaras I've tried. It holds it's volume all day long and doesn't budge but is surprisingly easy to remove. It's a game changer. 

Next up from this genius collection is the brow pomade. It comes with it's own little brush which picks up just enough product for a natural finish though I use it with an angled Real Techniques brush and really, it only gets better. Not to mention that the formula doesn't flake and it applies to the hairs like a dream, it also comes in five shades so finding yours couldn't be easier. I've not experienced any problems with longevity and yet, like the mascara, it's very easy to clean up and remove if necessary. I'm going to pick up the liner when I find it in stock but for now, I couldn't wait to share these.

This collection certainly doesn't disappoint and I'd highly recommend picking it up if you can get your hands on it. I'm still in shock at how, for the first time in a while, the rumours are all true.
I'd love to know if you've tried this collection and what you think? I'd also love to know if, like me, you tend to doubt products that have gained so much hype.


Monday, 7 August 2017

Why Travelling Is Good For You

Why Travelling Really Is Good For You
A few days ago, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about what to do when you feel stuck. Now, I don't mean stuck in sense of choosing between two things, I mean the kind of stuck where you just don't feel like you're moving anywhere whether it's in a job, in a relationship or just life in general. 

So as this conversation went on, we got onto the subject of taking time out to travel and why it might give him the motivation to find something he's passionate about. We're all aware that surrounding us twenty-somethings at the moment is a lot of influence to travel, a lot of content and a lot of people that suggest travelling helps 'find yourself'. Whilst I think that is complete bullshit - excuse my language - I do think it helps you find something. Something like a new hobby, a new safe haven and even a new love. 

No matter how many reasons I gave him to book a one way ticket somewhere new, he still wasn't quite convinced so today I wanted to share my reasons why travelling really is good for you and trust me, one of those isn't to 'find yourself'. 


I always feel most inspired when I'm in new surroundings. The different buildings, weather, sights and culture can just trigger something inside you that you may have never thought about before. It prompts questions that you would have never asked and answers to things you've never thought of. It inspires you to think differently.


On the same line as travelling making you think differently, it also helps you realise things. For me, when I'm away, I realise just how insignificant some of my at-home 'worries' are. While that won't be true for everyone, for me I find being exposed to different surroundings and cultures makes you realise there's so much more to the world than your corner.


This sounds so obvious but you have no idea how many people I come across that literally think life doesn't exist out of the UK. Every country is different, whether it's religious beliefs or cuisine, the traditions or even just the weather. Sorry to offend but travelling to a country and not leaving the westernised complex just isn't for me.


Again, sounds like something you'd do naturally but what I love most about travelling is the people you meet. I'll never forget Romeo, a lovely gentleman who owned a small taverna in Kos. He had worked almost every day of his life to keep the taverna running not only to support his family, but because he just liked seeing people happy. We visited quite a few times and he'd always treat us to a coffee liqueur after our meals and sit down for a chat. He was delightful and inspiring. 


'Take it all in' are words I tell myself over and over when I visit anywhere, even if it's a UK stay-cation. We are so occupied these days with what we can see on social media which is fine - hey you wouldn't be reading this blog otherwise - but it's important to know when to put the phones down. After my trip to Las Vegas last year I was initially a little upset that I didn't take a lot of photos but when I think back, I can remember it all so vividly and that kicks the ass of any Instagram grid. 

Travelling doesn't have to mean working in a banana field in Australia for six months or going to a full moon party in Thailand. Travel the way you want to, to places you want to go and find something that sparks joy inside of you. 


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Favourites Playlist - July

ItsHollieAnn Monthly Playlist
Another few months have been and gone and I think it's time that I brought you my latest favourites playlist.

June and July were funny old months, for starters I started listening back to old You Me At Six tracks between songs from their latest album. Then we came one month closer to PVRIS' official album launch date - August 25th - and I'm so bloody excited to hear the rest when it's released. I listened to We Are Harlot's self-titled album a heck of a lot and Don Broco released a new track 'Technology' which is absolutely great. If you don't remember the band There For Tomorrow then seriously, what did you listen to in 2009? Speaking of which, I can't believe I haven't listened to Lower Than Atlantis since the 'Far Q' days but their latest stuff is on point. Last to mention but definitely not least, Jonas Blue's Mama has been on repeat. What a song!


Someday - We Are Harlot
Technology - Don Broco
Had Enough - Lower Than Atlantis
Staring At The Rude Bois - Gallows & Lethal Bizzle
Mama - Jonas Blue
A Little Faster - There For Tomorrow
Heroes Tonight - Janji
Girls Girls Girls - Motley Crue
Rescue Me - You Me At Six
Half - PVRIS

What have you been listening to this month?

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