Sunday, 18 March 2018

My First Trip To New York 10 Day Itinerary & How To Create Your Own

new york itinerary 10 days

I don't know about you but New York has always been at the very top of my list of places to one day travel to. And last Summer I finally made my dreams a reality by embarking on my first piece of solo travel to visit New York for 10 days.

As someone who loves a to-do list and just lists in general, I spent many weeks contemplating and coming up with an itinerary, one that would hopefully allow me to check off as many of the things I wanted to see and do whilst I was there and today I'm here to share that exact itinerary, as well as the tips and tricks that I learnt when I was actually there.

So here are my tips for how to create your own New York travel itinerary, whether you're there for a few days, a week or even longer, along with the actual itinerary I used during my own trip. Be sure to bookmark this if you're planning a trip to NYC in the future or are looking for places to visit on your next holiday there.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The Best Bargain Concealer I've Ever Tried

makeup revolution conceal and define

If you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for years now, you might remember how much I used to feature Makeup Revolution, especially when they were first starting out. Since then they have released so many incredible products, that many that it's been tough to keep up at times. It's also been a while since I dedicated an entire blog post to one specific product but here we are and for good reason, might I add.

So let's find out why this is easily the best bargain concealer that I've ever tried;

After weeks of trips to every Superdrug within about 20 miles of me, I finally managed to hunt down a tube of this much lauded concealer in the lightest shade, C1. Having heard some of the hype surrounding this particular product, I was expecting there to be quite a buzz around the Makeup Revolution stand but I in no way expected it to be as difficult to get my hands on as it was. If you're struggling to find your shade in-store, it might be worth checking out the Superdrug website as they do tend to restock quite frequently but as I was only really looking to purchase this one item, it didn't make sense to pay for P&P when the product itself was only £4. You can also purchase directly from the TAM Beauty site, which was seriously tempting as I have so many of their products on my current wishlist but I was trying to be good with my spending, which is the only reason why I didn't indulge this time.

makeup revolution conceal and define swatches

This is a great shade match for me and my insanely pale/fair skin, which was quite the surprise. So if you're as pale as me, I'd definitely get yourself down to your local Makeup Revolution counter in Superdrug to give this a try. It almost matches my beloved and current favourite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in terms of colour and consistency, which kind of blows my mind given the price.

It provides great coverage without clinging to any dry patches or looking too cakey, doesn't really settle into any fine lines and doesn't irritate my typically sensitive eyes either. For £4 you really can't go wrong with this concealer! It's creamy, blendable and the shade range is incredible. Not only have they got a broad range of shades but they've also taken into consideration different undertones, which again for the price, is pretty unbelievable.

makeup revolution conceal and define concealer

Many have compared this to the iconic Tarte Shape Tape Concealer but sadly I haven't been able to try that one out for myself as of yet, as they didn't have it in stock in any of the Sephora's that I visited when I was last in the US. But from what I have seen online, this could definitely be a great dupe, especially when it's pretty tricky to come by Tarte here in the UK. The applicator is considerably bigger than any other concealer that I've ever tried but I do now tend to apply my concealer directly onto the back of my hand, to warm up a little, before then applying to my face, so it's not really a big issue for me. Shape Tape seems to have a similar sized applicator so that might be the reason why this one is as large as it is but saying that, it does make application incredibly quick and easy as you don't need to double or triple dip to get enough product out with this concealer.

Basically, if you've been thinking of picking this up or hunting it down; DO IT! I have a feeling that you won't regret it.

I've also got my eye on the newly released Fast Base Foundation Stick but again, I want to wait until it comes into store just to double check that it is in fact the same shade as the concealer. It's priced at just £5 too!

Have you tried Makeup Revolution before? If so, what's your favourite product from them? Have you managed to track one of these babies down? And what's the best budget concealer you've ever found?


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Some Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas (& A Thomas Sabo Giveaway)

Despite January dragging on for what felt like five hundred days, it's now somehow already March. Seriously, how did that even happen? And even earlier than normal, it's almost Mother's Day with just a few days until Mothering Sunday this weekend. Which is why I'm here to share some last minute gift ideas for your Mum, at a variety of different price points, all of which should put a smile on her face and make her Mother's Day that bit more special.

So here are some great gift ideas and be sure to stick around to the bottom of the blog post to be in with a chance to win a beautiful Thomas Sabo necklace;

mothers day gift ideas 2018

I managed to do most of my Mother's Day shopping at one store this year and that was Home Bargains. I hadn't intended on looking there for gifts but was really pleasantly surprised when I popped in to do some shopping. I mean, how adorable are these blush pink fluffy pom pom slippers?! As soon as I saw them, I just had to get them (and even picked up a pair for myself too)! I also found some other great gifts whilst I was there. The pretty prosecco keyring, floral fridge door list notepad and gorgeous rose gold mirror were all too good to ignore, as were the brilliant bouquets of chocolate flowers, which you'll see scattered throughout today's blog post, along with little chocolate hearts, which I may or may not have already eaten. Oops. Hehe. I mean, has there ever been a more apt Mother's Day gift that a chocolate flower bouquet? I don't think so!

I also always think that Mother's Day is a great time to pick up some pieces that will actually be of use to your Mum, in addition to the traditional flowers and chocolates. My Mum routinely collects and uses recipes, either from some of her favourite magazines or ones that she's found online but then they're inevitably thrown away, lost or get ruined as soon as sauces are involved or some serious cooking is done. This recipe box* from Kate Spade New York is the perfect solution and looks brilliant sat on our kitchen windowsill.

Another practical but great gift idea; a reusable water bottle. If you've not already made the switch from drinking out of plastic bottles, a reusable metal water bottle like this one from S'well* should give you that much needed push. My Mum has always been pretty envious of my large S'well bottle, as seen in my packing tips blog post, so I have a feeling that she'll be over the moon with this one, also from Amara Living.

last minute mother's day gift ideas

My Mum's birthday also tends to fall about a week after Mother's Day and this is when she traditionally asks for a new perfume. She normally likes to try something new instead of picking out one that she's already worn in the past and this year my Mum will be receiving this gorgeous Penhaligon's scent* thanks to the team at World Duty Free. I have a feeling that I will be in her good books for quite some time with this one and how beautiful will it look on her dressing table?

Another fail safe gift idea has to be something skincare related. Whether it's something from the drugstore or the department store, you can pick up some lovely treats either for everyday use or for a bit of a pamper. My Mum has been dying to try some of Charlotte Tilbury's skincare so I decided to treat her to my favourite Goddess Skin Clay Mask for her birthday this year (hopefully she's not reading this as that might spoil the surprise) but it would also work wonderfully as a Mother's Day gift. The Gift of Red Carpet Skin Travel Kit is also a great way to let your Mum try out some of Charlotte's bestsellers at a fraction of the usual price.

The fantastic team at World Duty Free also very kindly sent me out this brilliant skincare set from Clarins*. With a 50ml of the Double Serum and two great travel sizes of the extra-firming day and night creams, I can see this going down a storm with lots of different Mum's, especially those looking to turn back the clocks or at least slow them down a bit, when it comes to their skin.

best sheet masks uk

A selection of sheet masks would also make for such a great Mother's Day gift and I got her a few different kinds from some of my favourite brands to try out for herself.

I've also linked to some of Charlotte's offerings as well, as I have her dry sheet mask on my wishlist and I have a feeling that many Mum's will too.

lush mother's day 2018 review

Much like for the other special holidays and occasions throughout the year, Lush have got you covered for Mother's Day. I'm so in love with the special limited edition products they've released this year. I mean, how good they all look?! Additionally, they smell equally as great. I also picked up The Comforter, my Mum's very favourite Lush product as I know that will go down a treat with her.

And last but not least we have a special something for that special someone all wrapped up in this lovely little box. Talk about a gift that your Mum will cherish forever! And I'm so happy to give one of you the chance to win this absolutely stunning Thomas Sabo Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Together Forever Heart Link Necklace*.

thomas sabo mother's day heart necklace review

All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter entry form below;

a Rafflecopter giveaway
There will be ONE winner picked at random - Prize provided by Very - UK only

Hopefully this should give you some ideas for what to get your Mum this Mother's Day and all of them should arrive in time for next Sunday, the 11th, if you order as soon as you can.

What are you planning on getting your Mum this year? Or have you already done your shopping? And what do you think of my Mother's Day picks?


Sunday, 4 March 2018

What I Got For My Birthday This Year

what i got for my birthday 2018

Normally I like to do a bit of a wishlist post when it comes to my birthday and what I'd be over the moon to receive, as you'll have seen in previous years. But if you saw my Why I Feel A Bit Meh About My Blog At The Moment & How I'm Hoping To Change This blog post, you'll know that I've been struggling with all things blog related recently. I've just not had the motivation to get blogging like I normally do. I did get as far as putting together a bit of a Polyvore set (that's where I make the majority of my wishlist imagery) but just never got around to finishing it or finding the words to accompany it.

I am a bit disappointed in myself as it's always nice to look back on those kinds of posts so I've made a real effort today to share what I actually got for my birthday this year instead of the usual wishlist-style post. I think the last time that I shared what I got for my birthday was back in 2015 so I'm definitely happy to document it on here this year. So here's what I got for my 26th birthday;

marie primark

There were only a couple of things that I actually asked for this year and one of those was a cosy throw for my bed because my bedroom is literally like a freezer in the Winter months. Seriously, I can sometimes see my own breath even though I'm indoors, it's that bad. Anyone who knows me knows that I simply adore anything palm print so my Mum did a great job picking up this throw for me. Plus it was a total bargain at just £4 from Primark.

She also managed to hunt down what might be the best bedding set that I've ever seen, even though I'm now well and truly into my mid twenties. Marie is easily one of my favourite Disney characters so to have this just made my entire month. Plus it was pretty difficult to come by as they keep selling out of the double in my local stores so that made it even more special that my Mum had managed to track one down for me, after I mentioned how amazing it looked a few weeks back.

hello kitty pyjamas

Keeping on the cosy, 'am I a grandma or am I a toddler?' vibes, I also got this beautiful pair of pyjamas from Tu at Sainsbury's. If you don't already check out the pyjama section at your local supermarket, you are seriously missing out. I really rate Sainsbury's in particular and you might even have spotted them (yup, that was a totally intentional pun right there) in that Why I Feel A Bit Meh About My Blog blog post.

My Mum and Dad also got me these brilliant Hello Kitty pyjamas after spotting them at Aldi of all places. I think there is definitely a theme going on with some of my presents this year and my love for cats, both of the cartoon and the real variety, as you're about to see with the rest of my gifts below.

a streetcat named bob review

I also always like to receive a DVD or a few when it comes to my birthday and there are normally some pretty good releases to coincide with Valentine's Day, which is just a few days after my birthday. Instead of the usual rom coms, this year I saw that a horror movie that I'd actually really wanted to see when it was first released but for some reason never did, was being released in my birthday month and that was Happy Death Day. I'm going to be watching it this weekend so I will be sure to share what I think of it with you in next month's What I've Been Watching blog post.

The same can be said for the next movie, which also came with the book that inspired it, all for the same price; A Streetcat Named Bob. I watched this almost immediately after receiving it and I can already let you know that it was just such a great movie! I mean, where can I get myself a Bob?! My parents had heard me go on and on about the fact that I wanted to see this so I was really happy to unwrap it this year.

In previous What I Got For My Birthday blog posts you'll have seen that I normally get some sweet treats for my birthday and this year was no different. How incredible is this pack of mini eggs? It says that it's meant for egg hunts but I'll definitely be consuming all of them myself. Haha. They're such a great little size that I'll be able to take them with me as a snack for when I'm out and about too.

kate spade mini backpack

And last but certainly not least we have my birthday present to myself. At Christmas my parents bought me a beautiful floral Kate Spade backpack (it's this one here for reference). So when I saw that they had released a smaller one, I just had to get it for myself. It really is the perfect size for everyday use and goes with absolutely everything. I never really treat myself to anything other than when I'm on holiday and that's normally at the Kate Spade outlet or TJ Maxx so I felt like this 'treat yo' self' purchase was totally necessary especially when I've been saving recently.

It is the Small Hartley Backpack in black, if you also like the look of it and if you haven't shopped on the Kate Spade website before, or have more than one email, be sure to sign up for their newsletter as you'll get 10% off. That's exactly what I did and it just convinced me further that I had to have it.

Did you enjoy this take on my birthday blog posts? If so, what was your favourite item that I received this year? Have you seen Happy Death Day or A Streetcat Named Bob? And what are you hoping for when it comes to your next birthday?

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