Thursday, 27 April 2017

NEW COLLECTION | SkinnyDip Sunglasses Collection

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STOP PRESS - everyone's go-to phone case and quirky accessories shop SkinnyDip have released a sunglasses collection. Yup, you heard it. And they're just as fabulous as you'd have expected. My personal favourites are the oversized cat-eye style, I'd easily buy both colours! They have such a Quay look about them, with SkinnyDip's effortless cool style too.

Prices range from £25-£30, all styles are currently available online via SkinnyDip. Plus, if you're a student you can bag 20% off too!

Check them all out at:

Sunday, 23 April 2017

TRAVEL | 65 Hours in Singapore

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Now, I know this sounds ridiculous. Living in the UK makes the journey to Singapore 14+ hours, which is a lot for a swift 65 hours of time on the ground. So long-and-not-particularly-interesting story short, air-miles funded this maybe slightly OTT trip.

Singapore has always been a place loitering around the top of my travel bucket list. It's always seemed to tick all the boxes for a top travel bucket list contender, and it definitely lived up to it's expectation. 65 hours may seem random, but in answer to that I'd refer you back to afore-mentioned funding of said trip. (To clarify - it's roughly one afternoon/evening, then two full days and a brief morning.)

THE HOTEL

First up the Marina Bay Sands is like something from a sci-fi movie in some alternate universe or another planet. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have been able to stay there. It's even more mind-bending to look at in person, believe it or not!

My highlight: the incredible roof-top infinity pool, how couldn't it be?!

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THE SIGHTS

GARDENS BY THE BAY - SUPERTREE GROVE & CLOUD FOREST DOME

The Gardens by the Bay is one of the top tourist attractions in the world, with it's top highlight being the Supertree Grove. the enormous 'trees' are the most breathtaking construction I've ever seen in person. Also in the gardens are two huge domes, one housing flowers and the other a mountainous ecosystem - otherwise known as the Cloud Forest Dome. A winding pathway takes you from the top down, through incredible plants, water features and displays.

My highlight: The rooftop bar at the top of one of the trees, with the most incredible view of the Marina Bay Sands and the rest of The Gardens by the Bay.

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Asia, ellie etc travels, guide, holiday, Singapore, South East Asia, travel, travel guide, what to do, Marina Bay Sands, Raffles Hotel, Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove, China Town

THE ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM

The hand-like shaped building (seriously, google it) on the marina front is also known as the ArtScience museum a space currently housing the works of Escher as well as the interactive exhibition Future World: Where Art meets Science. And just incase that's not enough wandering, next door is South East Asia's biggest shopping mall, which joins directly back to the Marina Bay Sands.

My highlight: The coolest light installation shown above, consisting of 170,000 LED lights moving and changing to give the illusion of stars moving through space.

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RAFFLES HOTEL

The Raffles Hotel to Singapore is similar to the Savoy or Ritz are to London. It's one of the oldest and most classic hotels in the area. Plus it's supposedly the cocktail the Singapore Sling was born. It's the most gorgeous colonial-style white building, with hundreds of various species of palm tree - aka the Instagram dream.

My highlight: it'd have to be the perfect Singapore Sling sat out on the veranda pictured above.

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Asia, ellie etc travels, guide, holiday, Singapore, South East Asia, travel, travel guide, what to do, Marina Bay Sands, Raffles Hotel, Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove, China Town

CHINA TOWN

The incredible mixed culture Singapore boasts is a unique blend of Western and Asian cultures. Coming up an escalator from the metro to be dropped right in the middle of China Town is the perfect example of this. The classic brightly coloured Chinese decorations lined every street, everywhere marking the year of the rooster with every kind of souvenir possible.

My highlight: The contrast of the traditional Chinese decorations with the high rise buildings surrounding it. It's almost as if you've gone to a different country.

Asia, ellie etc travels, guide, holiday, Singapore, South East Asia, travel, travel guide, what to do, Marina Bay Sands, Raffles Hotel, Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove, China Town

THE FOOD

Singapore is famous for it's fabulous cuisine, and for very good reason. And we ate a lot of it. The main thing they're famous for is their chilli crab, a giant whole crab in a creamy chilli broth. If you're not a fan of crab meat, I'd definitely recommend still giving this a try - it's by far the meatiest and tastiest crab I've ever tried.

My highlight: their carrot cake, which I think you can spot in the top right corner of the photo. Although you'd better forget everything you think you know about carrot cake. Singapore's version of our classic sweet cake is in fact - rice flour and cubed white radish fried with garlic, egg and some other veg. then topped with soy sauce - AKA YUM. I loved it so much I'm genuinely debating trying my hand making some myself.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

WISHLIST | Depop App

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I legitimately think I must check Depop more often than I do Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. And that says something as I do check social media a lot. But Depop is my little haven of cheap, interesting clothes, that are a little different from the usual stuff you get in shops.

So to mix things up a bit, with the consideration of how much time I spend on the app, I've made up a little Depop wishlist so you can see what I'm hankering after. Gotta give a little disclaimer that some of these pieces may have been sold by the time this post goes live, but that's all part of the fun of Depop!

You can check out my account HERE - @ellieetc and feel free to leave your usernames below! (Although my bank balance may not be so happy about that...)

ellie x



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Sunday, 26 February 2017

EVENT | York's Gin Festival

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It's finally time to properly introduce you to another great love of mine. I don't quite know when it crept up on me, but gin has become such a big part of my life. It could have something to do with my parents being full supporters of the G&T lifestyle for as long as I can remember. Or the fact it's such a tasty spirit, which just ticks all the boxes for me. 

Being such a big fan of gin has meant The Gin Festival has been well on my radar since it's popularity has been rapidly rising. The lovely organisers at the York event invited me along to sample some of their huge collection of fabulous gins. With the more-than-willing assistance of two friends of mine, I attend the Friday evening session at The Barbican


Within the cost of a ticket you get your own Gin festival balloon glass to keep and for all the G&Ts you buy on the night. Each gin has it's own recommended Fevertree Tonic which were self-service, so if you fancy yourself as a gin connoisseur you can change it up and try another mixer than the one recommended.

Between us we tried: 5th - Fire, Ampersand, Black Tomato Gin, Braeckman's Vanille Jenever, Brockmans, Electric Spirit Co. Lux, Elephant Gin, Masons, Masons Tea Gin, Poetic License Northern Dry, Poetic License Old Tom, Siderit Hibiscus, Slingsby Rhubarb, Strathearn Oaked Highland Gin, and Tinker.

Phew. It may seem a lot but considering they had over 100 gins, we barely scratched the surface. A particular favourite of mine would have to be the Tinker Gin, a start up based in Leeds but inspired by the Spain's Catalonian city of Barcelona. It's got something extra to it that really sets it apart from the classic gin. The best thing was that every bartender knew so much about every gin on sale, what it's tasting notes are, the best mixer pairing, others similar - the lot. 


Along with all the gin, the Tuck Shop was open for business with olives, pork scratchings and popcorn on offer. Not only the nibbles but there was a full BBQ which smelt and looked beyond amazing. The perfect extras to compliment your G&T.

If you're a gin fan, on the fence or even it's not your favourite, The Gin Festival is definitely definitely one to check out. Unfortunately for any York residents, the events are finished here now but there still are events coming up in: Glasgow, Nottingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, among many more. Plus I'm sure it'll be back for many years to come. 




ellie x




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Sunday, 19 February 2017

BEAUTY | February BirchBox Review

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BirchBox, cosmetics, make up, beauty, skincare, skin, review, February BirchBox, NUXE, Spectrum Brushes, Spectrum C06, POP cosmetics, Smith and Cult, subscription box, monthly box

This is another newbie from me, I've had a Birchbox before a while back, and thought I'd give it a go again. For those of you who aren't that into beauty/skincare, or are but have been living under a rock and haven't heard of Birchbox before I'll give you a quick run through. Birchbox is a subscription box where you sign up, fill in a quick questionnaire about your skin and hair type, what sort of products you like to buy and why you're trying out Birchbox. Then each month (for as many or as few months you'd like!) they'll send you a pretty little box with some samples selected for your preferences.  I absolutely love the idea that you can try out smaller samples before committing to a full size.

This month came with a full size Spectrum brush. This C06 brush is part of Spectrum's Contouring Collection as it fits perfectly around the eye. It's so so soft, vegan and no unicorns were harmed in the making - a factor very close to my heart.

Another highlight is the NUXE face body and hair oil, a perfect multitasker. Plus the little bottle is great for travelling with. The POP Cosmetics trio is one of my top picks too. I'm such a newbie with eye make-up, so I was over the moon to see this trio came in neutral colours. Much easier to work with for a beginner like me!



ellie x



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Sunday, 12 February 2017

WISHLIST | Pretty in Pink ft. ASOS, H&M, Monki and Pull&Bear

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Pink is becoming such a big trend and I am oh so happy about it. I've always had a bit of a love affair with pink. Not that I'm an especially 'girly-girl', but I'm very grey/black/white with my style so I like to add a tad of colour every now and then, and pink is just the perfect colour as it's not too out there.

I'd even wear several items of this wishlist together, I'm that into it. For me I can't think of another colour that can be styled several shades together, well aside from black/grey/white lets be honest here. This could possibly why it's managing to creep in on my solidly monochrome life. The best part about this wishlist though, all of these items are under £35?!?! The easiest way to get a high-end look on a student budget.


ellie x


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Sunday, 5 February 2017

BEAUTY | My Skincare Heroes ft. Boots, ThisWorks and Simple

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I've started to really enjoy skincare, and trying out new products and combinations. It's something I feel I can get on board with, as I am a bit crap at make-up, lets be honest here. Check out my previous 'heroes' posts with my - Everyday Make Up Heroes and End of the Day Heroes editions. 

ThisWorks Charcoal and Brightening Face Mask

I've read about how good charcoal is for blemished skin many times, and one of my housemates has the Origins Charcoal mask so I thought I'd go on a hunt for a cheaper alternative to try out. The brightening vitamin C mask is another Origins dupe. Both are great for when I'm feeling run down.  

Simple Sun-Kissed Moisture Cream

Keeping my face moisturised has been a recent revelation of mine, it's doing it wonders. This little addition allows me to keep up my tan, without damaging to my skin with UV. Win win!

Boots Botanicals Brightening Balm

This adds such an great subtle glow, it's hydrating too but not greasy or overly oily for my normal/combination skin. I like to add it under my make up for a natural glowy look. 

Boots Essentials Under Eye Gel

I have very tired eyes. If I've had a bad nights sleep my eyes will always give me away. This gel is literally £1.99 and the most amazing £1.99 I think I've ever spent. Okay, okay, it's not some miracle cure to under eye bags, but it does a bloody good job for the price of it. 


ellie x



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Sunday, 29 January 2017

NEW IN | H&M Gingham Frill Skirt, MAC Cyber and Anthropologie Candle



ISN'T THIS SKIRT AMAZING. I love it, I'm so excited to wear it, there are been so many outfit combinations I've tried it out with and it's just gorgeous. Sorry for that little outburst. But also not sorry. Gingham is definitely a trend I am fully on board with, not only that but the frill detail makes it extra special. Gotta love some frills.

This gorgeous dark MAC lipstick is the shade Cyber a super dark purpley colour. But the real reason I'm so excited about this addition is, it was FREE. Kinda. The cash-back website Quidco ran an sign up offer for a MAC lipstick of your choice totally for free (via cash-back). Unfortunately the offer has expired now, but definitely one to keep an eye out for as they often run special sign up promos.

Technically it isn't especially new in, but my cute Anthropologie candle is a firm favourite of mine at the moment. It's lemon scent isn't one I'd have initially chosen but it's so refreshing and fills the room perfectly. I can't get enough.


Finally my little copper pineapple trinket pot/shot glass (depending on the day of the week, obviously). I have had a crazy love of pineapples for longer than is probably healthy. This little guy is perfect to add to my collection, and makes a pretty good blog photo prop too!


ellie x

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

SKINCARE | The SmoothSkin Gold IPL

beauty, hair removal, IPL, skincare, smoothskin, SmoothSkin Gold, review,

THE BASICS

So I'm gonna get honest, maybe slightly a bit TMI, but bear with me. I have a lot of hair. Not just on my head but underarms, legs, arms, upper lip, toes. Yeah you get the picture. On top of this, it grows soo fast. I'm talking, shaving in the evening and the next day stubble has already appeared. A bit of a joke really. Plus a massive pain in the a*s throughout my teen years. 

Back in the summer I attended Scarlett's #BloggersBall was one of the lucky winners of this weird looking device, a SmoothSkin Gold IPL hair removal device. In simple terms, it uses energy from light to disrupt the hair cycle, minimising growth and altogether preventing it in areas. Pretty great really.



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MY EXPERIENCE

I've not been as strict with myself as I'd have liked to have been with the first 12 weeks, but despite my laziness there is still a really clear difference. Because my hair is so dark it's be perfect type for IPL treatment as it absorbs a lot of light - this also means there's been a really obvious visual difference to my hair growth. 

Not only this, but I've always been one to suffer from those unsightly grey underarms after shaving. According to a waxer of mine it's due to hairs having deep roots, so shaving leaves these behind causing the grey-ish tint. By nature IPL targets the hair roots, so I've seen a massive difference in this too. 



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THE VERDICT

It doesn't come cheap, but considering it will last between 10-15 years, and results will just think about all the savings from waxes and shaving? Before winning the SmoothSkin Gold I've spend hours researching permanent hair removal and reduction, scouring Groupon and others for the cheapest deals. Even considering asking for it for Christmas. So if you feel like hair removal is something that's been really on your mind, and getting in the way all the time, I would 100% say go for it. 


ellie x


*Disclaimer: This post includes a competition prize. See my full disclaimer HERE



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