Lip Product Must Haves

I am soooo sooo happy with my two latest lip product purchases at the moment that it was a no brainer that I share them on the Balm & Blyss blog!

Both were kind of impulse purchases – I wasn’t really on the lookout for new lip products…I already have too many to count!

The lip liner is Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pilowtalk. It’s such a smooth consistency and genuinely the only lip liner that I have ever used where I can over-line my lips and it look completely natural. The colour is perfect and works well as a base under most lipstick colours.

The NYX product is one of their soft matte lip creams in the colour Toulouse. I actually bought this as part of a set where there were 3 lip creams in total, although in all honesty I only bought the set for this one colour which wasn’t sold on it’s own! This is the first time I have ever use one of NYX’s lip creams and I am so in love with the consistency, pigment and staying power. Like the lip liner, you can get away with over-lining/colouring your lips with this product without it being super obvious.

I also have a lip product that I am dying to test out that I bought when I was in Krakow from Sephora which I will review in an upcoming blog post!

Share any of your lip product/faves/must haves below!

xx

 

Quick and easy vegan pizza recipe

Being plant-based or vegan has never been so easy!

Pizza has become such a staple in most people’s diets and it’s actually super easy and tasty to ditch the cheese and make a vegan-friendly version (almost) from scratch!

Okay so the reality is most of us don’t always have the time to perfect a homemade pizza base so Tesco have made life easy for us and have a ready-made mix that is 100% vegan and a total bargain – all you need to do is add water and follow the instructions on the packet!

Once you have allowed the dough to prove, go ahead and go crazy by adding the tomato puree and vegetable to your base along with any other toppings and then bake for roughly 20 mins. Take out and top with spinach and add a lil balsamic glaze and dig in, I also like to have mine with a side of homemade hummus (find the perfect recipe here).

The perfect fake-away food!

xx

City Break #2 – Montpellier

montepellier-airbnb-2 montepellier-airbnb-4 montepellier-airbnb-5 montepellier-airbnb-7 montepellier-airbnb-10 montepellier-airbnb-13 montepellier-airbnb-15 montepellier-airbnb-16montepellier-airbnb-17montepellier-airbnb-18 montpellier-2 montpellier-4 montpellier-5montpellier-6

Okay so I feel a little bit of a cheat with this one as it was last Summer that I actually visited Montpellier with a uni friend for a few days…however the pictures I have are way too beautiful to not share and technically it was a city break so here goes!

France is one of my favourite places, I love the language, the culture, the architecture – just everything about it. Montpellier is a city in the South of France that’s about 10km away from the coast, so has Mediterranean temperatures pretty much all year round which made it the perfect choice for a quick city break in the Summer.

We stayed in an Airbnb in the Centre Historique, which as you would imagine is full of old, traditional French buildings, scattered with small bars, patisseries and cafes. The nightlife and food was pretty good, and surprisingly there are quite a few retail shops throughout the centre. Reaching the beach was a little more complicated than we had imagined, however once you get to grips with the trams and busses it’s pretty smooth sailing and worth a visit, more so if you are there for a week rather than a few days.

Flights are so reasonabley priced, and Montpellier is perfectly located to then travel on to Monaco (I have yet to still go there but would love to!) and is somewhere I would definitely visit again.

So as mentioned in my previous City Break post (check it out here if you haven’t already!) I am planning to travel to 30 countries before I’m 30 – suggestions are welcome so please let me know your must see places!

xx

City Break #1 – Copenhagen

city-break-copenhagen

Here’s a little recent background to this post for ya…

I recently was having a conversation with someone at work who had recently got back from a weekend in Stockholm (fyi – I love Stockholm) and she mentioned that she was attempting to do 30 countries before 30.

Long story short, I am hooked on the thought and have so far calculated that I have travelled to 14 different countries – driving through/layovers etc. do not count!

And it made me think about the amazing time I had earlier in the year in Copenhagen, Denmark and starting a travel series (mainly city breaks) on Balm & Blyss!

Basically I decided to surprise my boyfriend for his birthday and head on a 2 night city break to one of the happiest counties in the world – Denmark!

Flights cost less than your average train ticket, and with a greatly priced airbnb apartment we were perfectly set!

Copenhagen is a city that you can instantly fall in love with – I could literally gush about the city and it’s people all day long, but you have probably already heard the good news.

It has a very trustworthy, friendly vibe and has so much to offer for such a small city!

I would recommend getting a local map and just wandering about – it is really walkable in ALL weather.

nyhavn-1

[Nyhavn waterfront, Copenhagen]

nyhavn-3

[Nyhavn panoramic view]

christiansborg-palace

[Christiansborg Palace]

carlsberg-road-1

[The old Carlsberg Street]

round-tower-view

[View from the Round Tower]

apartment-1 apartment-2 apartment-3 apartment-4 apartment-5 apartment-6 apartment-7 apartment-8

[The most amazing airbnb find in Copenhagen]

On the subject of this Danish post, I just want to mention a book I have read called ‘The Year of Living Danishly’ by Helen Russell. Such an amazing book that I actually never wanted to end whilst reading it. It was really interesting and insightful in look at the way of Danish life from a British expat’s perspective – it has even encouraged me to start learning Danish!! Thinking of doing a full book review style post and maybe another on the ‘hygge’ concept which i am already in love with!

Let me know if you have any hygge tips!

xx

p.s….next stop Krakow so please share restaurants/things to do tips!

Why You Need A Wooden Hair Brush

Wood for Good

Who doesn’t want healthy hair? And I bet that most of us want longer hair too right?!

You have the perfect hair oil that I mentioned in my previous post, so why stop there on your journey to the perfect hair?

It’s time to put down that tangle teezer and check out why you need a wooden hair brush in your life.

Here’s why…

☽  So a wooden hairbrush helps to absorb your natural hair oils which means when you brush through your hair it helps to distribute these oils evenly that help to keep it conditioned

☽ Helps to reduce static and breakage

☽ Provides a scalp massage particularly along the acupressure points – promoting good circulation and healthy hair growth

☽ If looked after, a wooden hairbrush will literally last you years & years – a definite worthwhile investment!

Tek Hairbrush 1

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush]

Tek Hairbrush 2

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush – Handmade in Italy]

I bought my wooden hairbrush a couple of years ago and honestly love it. It doesn’t drag like plastic bristle brushes tend to, it somehow doesn’t seem to get that unclean/messy, and it genuinely feels almost therapeutic when using it!

The brand I purchased is Tek which is an Italian brand where they hand-make their brushes. Did I mention that they are also FSC certified which means your hairbrush uses responsibly sourced wood. They are kinda pricey if buying direct through their website, however definitely check out your local TK Maxx as I grabbed mine there for a fraction of the price!

Let me know if you guys prefer plastic/wooden/any other type of hair brushes! Also if you have heard of or had any experience of the hair ‘inversion’ method I would absolutely love to know (blog post coming soon!)

xx

The hair oil you need in your life

 

Hair Oil

This shit is real…milk_shake glistening argan oil is legit the real deal.

Let’s backtrack sayyy 5-6 years when I was at University and first discovered argan oil.

I fell in love.

Hair dried quicker – check.

Smoother hair – check.

Hair feeling generally healthier – check.

So yep – I have pretty much used argan oil on my hair ever since.

I haven’t been particularly brand loyal, I’ve gone from using high street brands to the holy grail Moroccan Oil.

But there’s a new player in town, and if you haven’t heard of milk_shake haircare products already then check them out!

Long story short, my hairdresser recommended milk_shake glistening argan oil and that it’s seriously the best hair oil she has used. (She also used it on my hair and it felt aaamazinggg).

So me being me I kept putting off buying it and wanted to wait until I had used up the argan oil I was currently using. Anyway – cue me researching it online for weeks, checking where had it for the best price etc. until I found it on Beauty Bay.

Basically, they had it at the best price then something INSANE happened. I checked beauty bay on Tuesday and…the hair oil had been reduced to £3. Let’s take that in for a moment – this hair oil retails for £20!!

I ordered 5 bottles (they’re 50ml each) and it’s like the best decision I’ve ever made.

Milkshake hair oil 1 Milkshake hair oil 2 Milkshake hair oil 3

And I’m not sponsored or being paid for this post – I seriously sent an email around friends telling them as I feel that I should share this amazing find!

Let me know if you order any – I’m contemplating ordering more (I seriously have like FOMO in a shopping sense!) or what your favourite hair oil is!

xx

Malta Moments

Malta Balm & Blyss

Everyone loves a snoop at holiday/travel pics – am I right or am I right?!

So recently my boyfriend and I travelled to Malta for 10 nights staying in the St Julians Bay area which fyi is probably the most lively area of Malta, with new buildings/hotels popping up everywhere! (Expect views of cranes in certain areas!)

It was a pretty relaxed holiday – most mornings we got up about 9am and alternated days of sightseeing with days relaxing by the pool or on the hotel’s private beach.

My favourite sightseeing moment was travelling to Comino Island and swimming in the Blue Lagoon – legit the most clear blue amazing sea water I have ever seen or swam in!

The weather was pretty perfect too with most days averaging 30+ degrees which was perfect!

Blue Lagoon 1

[Blue Lagoon, Comino Island]

Blue Lagoon 2

[Panoramic view @ Blue Lagoon, Comino Island]

Gozo 1

[Azure Window, Gozo]

Gozo 2

[Pool @ Azure Window, Gozo]

Gozo 5

[Azure Window view, Gozo]

Blue Grotto 1

[Caves @ Blue Grotto]

Blue Grotto 2

[Blue Grotto Archway]

Blue Grotto 3

[View from inside the Blue Grotto cave]

Blue Grotto 4

[Blue Grotto cave view frame]

Valetta 1

[Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valetta]

Valetta 2

[Fountains @ Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valetta]

So this is my share of my Malta moments!

Food-wise there was some great local restaurants (I would 100% recommend Peperoncino and The Blue Elephant @ The Hilton), and if I had to pick any bones with Malta it would be the lack of vegetarian/vegan options, and the high prices for drinks (even just a regular oj will set you back!)

Anyway aside from that Malta was definitely dreamy and somewhere I would definitely travel back to!

xx

 

 

Quick Post – Blog Re-Brand

BeachLife. Balm & Blyss

It has been close to a year since I posted on the blog, and if you haven’t already noticed…I have made the decision to re-brand from TheGlowDown to Balm & Blyss – blog design makeover coming soon!

In the meantime, this is just a really quick post to get the blogger ball rolling again.

Recently something within my life has genuinely made me take a look at my own values and outlook, and what it is I genuinely want from life.

A quote that I have seen this week has kinda struck home with me that I thought would be cool to share…

“It’s not about wanting to escape life, but not allowing life to escape us”

This feels so true to my mindset at the moment! So in keeping with the quote, let’s see where life takes us!

xx

ps. photo credit to my brother who took this amazing picture of the harbour in my hometown!

100th TheGlowDown Post!!

100th post

So I always kinda envisioned my 100th post to be something spectacular but now it’s here and I feel like it’s more fitting to just sort of say thank-you in a simple way.

I aren’t someone who likes to be over the top anyway, and with my new simple approach and mindset to life I feel this way is pretty perfect and fitting.

I absolutely love writing TheGlowDown blog and even when my posts can become a little sporadic, I am always thinking about what I can come up with next for my blog. It has served as an outlet for me in so many different ways, and is starting to open doors for me that I hadn’t even thought possible, so I want to say a huge and sincere thank-you to anyone and everyone who takes time to read my posts and support me/believe in me.

I have always been shy about promoting myself as a brand and as the blog TheGlowDown, but I do take pride in how I have grown from my earlier days of blogging, and hope that somewhere along the way I have shared some inspiration to you guys out there!

So this is it really for my 100th post – just trying to keep it simple here in a world full of crazy/fun/madness – but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

xx

A lil Weekend Recap

Bank Hol Weekend

Because who doesn’t love the weekends?

Okay I feel yaaa sistaaaass who work in retail ( this was me not so long ago!! ) and now I am totally guilty of living for the weekend. Yep. Come 4.30pm on a Friday I am totally lovin life – although you will probably catch me having an early night anyway!!

So last weekend I had one of the best bank holiday weekends I’ve had in a while! I spent Saturday in Leeds, enjoyed a prosseco cocktail in one of the coolest bars ever ( I felt so SATC ) and Sunday night was spent at my cousin and his fiances engagement do – I have seriously never had SUCH a good time at a family party before!! Ooo I also received my first graze box on Saturday too which I have loved!

I also spent Monday day with my brother and sister and had a lil look round town, and then went for lunch which was really sweet – literally. We shared a cookie pizza for desert which was amazing and the waiter was really nice too – I’m a sucker for  good service it can make such a difference!

 

Prosecco Vivant

[Prosecco Vivant @ Angelica’s, Leeds]

Graze Box

[My first graze box!]

Cookie pizza 1

Cookie pizza 2

[Amazing cookie pizza]

I totally appreciate a bank holiday weekend now I don’t work in retail – a 4 day working week yes please!! And I love reading blog posts on what other people have been up to and what cool places they eat out in. I’m definitely going to try do more posts like this (and probably end up being one of those really annoying people who takes pics of food all the time!!)

Chow for nowwww xx

 

 

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