Thursday, October 30


Meeting other bloggers can be a scary and daunting idea to some, including myself, but after attending my second local meet up, I have found the experience to be very enjoyable and I am already counting down the days until the next event. For a couple of months now I've had the #SotonOctMeetUp on my calendar and I've been so excited to be reunited with some of my blogging babes from the last meet and also meet some new faces. After a few slight mishaps the day had finally arrived with Alice from Annie Writes Beauty stepping in as the new host for the day. 

This event was held at the exclusive and luxurious Room Service cocktail lounge which is available for hire within the Orange Rooms, Southampton. A quirky and unique bar in Bedford Place offering delicious gourmet burgers and sticky buffalo wings complimented by the most dynamic cocktail menu with something to suit everyone's tastebuds.

There was a lot of last minute changes to the event with the original host dropping out so there wasn't a lot of organisation to the day, it was very casual and relaxed with people being able to come and go, grab a drink when they want and eat whenever they chose to. First up on my agenda was food shockingly! I had the nacho chicken wrap with fries with onion rings which did not disappoint as per usual! Next up was catching up with everyone and chatting away about all things blogging. Everyone was so friendly and chatty and I definitely felt like I spoke to most people who attended.

The afternoon was filled with demonstrations from the 4 brands attending the event: In Situ Cosmetics, ESPA Skincare, Lush and Merumaya with each doing something slightly different helping to break the day up. First I had a skincare consultation with ESPA where the lovely ladies introduced me to the brand and the products on offer before taking me on a sensual journey to determine which products would be most beneficial to me. Next up was a talk from In Situ Cosmetics where we were introduced to the concept of customising skincare to our personal preferences. Personalised skincare products are something I have never seen before but I am very intrigued to try. Lush were showcasing their Christmas and Halloween collection, which we were able to play with and test and see in action! I was one of the luckier ones to receive the most relaxing arm massage I have ever have had and its safe to say I will definitely be stocking up their massage bars ASAP!

The stand out brand from this event for me has to be Merumaya! I had never heard of this skincare brand before the event but I am so glad that I have now been introduced to them especially by such a friendly and welcoming member of the Merumaya family. Lekha is the most passionate and enthusiastic ambassador for the brand with her excitement in the products really encouraging us all to want to try them and find out more. Although anti-ageing is not a worry for me at the moment, one day it will be and products that give me a head start in preventing these signs are welcome with open arms. I could have sat and talked to her for hours as the idea of integrative skincare really interested me and I am very keen to get my hands on the other products in the range. Its fair to say Lekha created quite a buzz between us bloggers and thats down to her clear belief in and dedication to Merumaya. If you haven't heard of them I would 100% recommend taking a look at their website and finding out more, you won't be disappointed!

After everyone had visited all the brands and made any last minute purchases, the goodie bags were handed out and the raffle was held. I was lucky enough to win one of the prizes available which was a package of skincare saviours from a brand called Bee Good that I am very excited to try. There will be a post to follow showing everything I picked up on the day and my first impressions going live over the weekend so keep an eye out for that!

Tanya Noreen xo

Saturday, October 18

New York | Sephora Haul

Sephora is without doubt the most amazing, magical place I have ever visited in my whole entire life! I did spend a small fortune in there but this is only a fraction of what I wanted to buy. My weakness was definitely the travel size section when your in the queue and you see all these cute fantastic little bargains that we don't have in the UK like the Nars Laguna/ Orgasm duo and the Smashbox Full Exposure travel palette. Both fantastic products that have been on my wish list for a while but because of the price I've always been a bit weary however when I saw the travel sized versions they were in my basket straight away!

I had a couple of items on my list which were must haves as they are not available in the UK including the Fresh sugar passion lip treatment, the Kat Von D tattoo liner, the Sephora cream lip stain and of course the Tarte contouring face slenderizer. I absolutely love all of these, I understand why everyone raves about them so much! Why are beauty products so much better in the US than here gahhh?!

There were a couple of splurge items which I didn't have on my list but there were so cheap and they've been on my wish list for so long I thought why not treat myself. The Clinique cheek pop is such a warming, complimentary colour for my skin tone and I really like the formula of this. I also picked up my first product from the Naked Urban Decay range in the form of the Basics palette which I am loving for everyday wear at the moment. 

If I had to pick two favourites they would both be lip products: the Nars satin lip pencil in 'Palais Royal' is pure perfection. The colour is amazing and the formula is so long lasting and moisturising, I will definitely be picking up more of these. I also really love the formula of the Bite lipsticks, especially the one I picked up 'Tannin' which is a bright red that is perfect for Autumn. 

The Clinque 3 step great skin kit has always been a favourite of mine but I've rarely been able to afford all 3 steps, however when I saw this set containing all 3 for $45 I had to stock up. Between me and my Mum we cleared out the shelves but for such a bargain price how could you not?

I will be doing reviews of some products in more detail in the future as I want to try everything out properly before I make my mind up but from what I've tried so far I love everything! Now Sephora ship to the UK I will definitely be taking full advantage of this and you can expect another Sephora haul in the not to distant future!

Anybody visited a Sephora recently? Make sure you leave a link below as I love reading what everybody else picked up!

Tanya Noreen XO
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Sunday, October 12

New York | Drugstore Haul

Bath & Body Works is one of those places that everybody raves about. When reading up on where to go shopping and essentials to pick up, their pocketbacs where mentioned in literally every post I read so as soon as we walked in I made a beeline for this stand. They were on offer 5 for $5 so of course I had to get 5 but the hardest part was choosing only 5 as the scents available were incredible...I must've spent a good hour sniffing each one and making sure I didn't miss any! I went for quite citrusy, fresh scents as I prefer these in Winter but I couldn't leave without the vanilla berry sorbet which smells insanely good. If your ever around a Bath and Body Works I would 100% recommend picking some of these up as there such a bargain and so handy just to throw in your handbag.

I also picked up a couple of items from their True Blue Spa collection including the body cream and hand cream. I have to say the hand cream is slightly greasier than I would like but the smell just distracts me from this flaw and the body cream is so luxurious and thick, it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and silky and it smells absolutely divine. Finally I picked up a mini of the Wild Madagascar Vanilla Eau de Parfum as I just thought this was so cute and perfect for travelling or throwing into a clutch for a night out! The scent is not as sweet as you'd expect but very sensual and feminine just what I go for!

EOS balms are so hyped about as soon as I spotted them at the tills I popped these two straight into my basket. They smell so incredible and so far so good! I love that they are organic and natural so I'm not slathering any harmful formulas on my lips and they provide the perfect amount of moisture for these colder days, I just wish I picked up more of these! I also wish I picked up more of the compact, Wet' N ' Wild Colour Icon eyeshadows as these are so pigmented and have long staying power plus they are such a bargain and there are so many different colours to chose from. I will definitely be picking up more of these when I can. 

The last few items I was introduced by Amelia Liana in some of her haul videos. Jergens was a brand I wanted to try and I've head such good reviews about this bb body cream I had to grab one when I spotted it on the shelves. I also picked up a couple of the NYX Butter glosses in 'Cherry Pie' and 'Strawberry Parfait'. I'm still undecided about these so I will keep you updated when I make my mind up but they smell divine: if you love sweet treats like me these are perfect for you! 

So that's everything I picked up from the drugstore, watch this space for my mahoosive Sephora haul!

Tanya Noreen XO
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Monday, October 6

New York Diary Days 5 & 6

Saturday was our last full day in New York and the most jam packed. We started the day with a gigantic portion of pancakes and bacon at the hotel before a morning full of shopping! First stop was Macy's where me and my Mum wanted to buy the handbags we had had our eye on all week, and my Dad and Bro wanted some jeans and baseball jerseys! We split up so me and Mum could take our time in places like Victoria Secrets, TJ Maxx and of course Sephora (for the last time *sob*) and even had to pop back to the hotel twice to drop off shopping bags! We regrouped for lunch where we picked up a quick sandwich from Europa Cafe - mine was spicy chicken with a mango chutney in a flatbread and it was delicious!! Then it was back off for a final look at the shops!

Our stay in New York had coincided with New York Fashion week by chance and I was devastated I did not realise this sooner or have any spare time to visit the the Lincoln centre and see who I could spy! However me and my Mum were lucky enough to bag two tickets for one of the Couture New York catwalk shows happening in our hotel! For the last few days of our stay at the Crowne Plaza the hotel was buzzing with models, makeup artists and designers galore as each day several catwalk shows were showcased and I was attending one of them: words cannot describe how excited I was. 

[Photo credit Designers - Couture Fashion Week]

In our evening showcase there were 4 different collections. The first was UpScales Fashions 43 collection created by Evelyn Suzette (Scales) Johnson. The clothes in this collection were very wearable and comfortable with interesting use of denim. A common theme throughout the collection was the retro silhouette and style of the 1960s. Overall a very comfortable yet stylish feel to the whole collection. 

The second collection created by Narine Tovmasyan and named "Live for Beauty", is a gorgeous collection of evening gowns inspired strongly by the Renaissance period incorporating the current dynamics of the modern day. Each piece was absolutely stunning with a flawless, luxury finish and simple accessories complimenting each outfit perfectly. The colours and materials used really added a romantic, fairytale feel to the whole collection and the sophistication and elegance of each piece made this fit for a Queen. 

The third collection was a debut collection by Martha Fadel including mainly evening wear with one bridal piece at the end. Each couture piece was glamorous and elegant fit for any trendy women and silhouettes created will certainly make heads turn! Some of the pieces were so simple yet unique and elegant whilst others incorporating lace and intricate embroidery were more on the risky side but each and every piece was exceptionally stunning. 

Vo Viet Chung was the final collection to be showcased and boy did they save the best till last! This Vietnamese designer showcased his new collection "Cochinchina's Beauty" including 30 designs made with traditional Vietnamese material similar to nylon. Each piece in the collection was beautifully crafted to create unique, one off pieces incorporating traditional and classic Vietnamese design and modern culture. Every single piece in the collection was elegant and sophisticated and truly highlights Vo Viet Chung's distinctive and original style.  

After the show it was a quick stop in the room to change before heading back out to the Broadway. Before we had arrived in New York we had discussed watching a Theatre show and looked into buying tickets but had agreed we would decide whilst we were there because of the cost. As soon as we arrived we booked tickets on the first day: after walking around and seeing all the theatres it was clear we couldn't leave the big apple without seeing a Broadway show first! So here we were queuing outside Chicago waiting for an evening of fame, fortune and all that jazz! I love the film and was thrilled to be experiencing the show live on stage! The staging complimented the show perfectly, the acting was spot on with the right amount of humour added and the singing and dancing was just astonishing - I would highly recommend watching this show given the chance. 

Whilst the show was on the craziest, loudest thunderstorm had been going on outside as we found out when everyone left the theatre! Luckily we were having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe which was only a few blocks away so we made our way there in the downpour and waited for a table to dry off and indulge in some yummy cocktails! The food was to die for and although they are notoriously famous for their legendary burgers I opted for Steak and waffles and I definitely wasn't disappointed. After a few more cocktails and a very long wait for the rain to stop we headed back to our hotel to begin packing for the long journey home.

In the morning we had to check out by 10am and as we had a few hours to kill, we decided to head to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I absolutely loved the exhibitions in this museum, there were some really interesting and original pieces as well as some very famous original paintings. Some of the exhibitions were so interactive and unique there really is something for everyone to enjoy! After a few hours we slowly made our way back to the hotel for our airport transfer and that was it, our amazing time in New York had come to an end!

After being excited about this trips for months New York is without doubt the most incredible city I have ever visited, being everything I dreamed about and more! There is so much to do and see and there is always something happening it really and truly is the city that never sleeps! I've definitely caught the travel bug as I've already started planning my next trip and I will 100% be returning to New York again sometime!

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