Wednesday, 10 January 2018

2017 Favourites | LIFESTYLE

For many, 2017 was a year full of many of highs and definitely plenty of lows. For me, last year was incredible and one of my favourites yet. 2018 has a lot to live up to! The good times absolutely outweighed the bad (and believe me there were loads of those too) but I am grateful for the hardships that I went through because I have grown and become a stronger woman because of it.
In 2017 myself and Aaron were able to travel to countries we dreamed of going to, I learnt to say yes to any opportunity even if it scared me, I surrounded myself with the best friends any girl could want and I got to see my family again after living 2 years abroad. There is so much to be thankful for.

Let's begin 2018 on a good note and focus on the best of 2017! Here are some of my favourites:

Beauty:

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick

Anything by Charlotte Tilbury is absolutely gorgeous but for me there is one product stands above all and that is her lipsticks! I decided to treat myself and add a few of her shades to my lipstick collection and they did not disappoint. The creamy consistency applies beautifully to your lips, is long lasting, very pigmented and leaves your lips feeling smooth and moisturised. Not to mention the stunning rose gold packaging that any lipstick lover is drawn to!



Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

I am not one to get hung up on high end brands especially if a similar product at half the price will do the same job but the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara is another story. The mascara darkens, thickens and adds volume to your lashes whilst not clumping them together like a lot of other brands do. It also does not smudge or create panda eyes throughout the day which no one likes. It is more of a pricey item but is worth it for the best of the best! 



NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

This has been a favourite of mine for a few years now but once again NARS has pulled through to becoming a favourite again in 2017! I have honestly never found a foundation like this. It gives my skin natural glowing dewy finish with a buildable coverage. It leaves my skin looking soft and smooth while covering any imperfections I may have, and it lasts all day. NARS Sheer Glow is perfect for those with dry skin whereas the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation gives a more matt finish for those with oily skin.



Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner

For the last few years I have been looking for a liquid eyeliner that doesn't smudge and lasts throughout the day, as everything I had been using in the past tends to rub off after a few hours of applying. After trying drugstore and high end brands I finally found one that does the trick! The Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner stays on throughout the day, is easy to apply, super pigmented and best of all is affordable! In fact, it is so good and reasonably priced that I bought 5 before leaving the UK incase I couldn't find the brand anywhere else!



Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

I came across the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser in a goodie bag I was gifted from an event I attended last year. I had never heard of the brand before but I have to admit I have been pleasantly surprised. I am very cautious of what I use on my skin as it can be quite sensitive but one day I thought I would give it a go. It is an extra gentle cleanser that I use I for removing makeup (even waterproof mascara) at the end of the day and my skin feels better for using it. The calming cucumber extracts soothes the skin and adds moisture. I will definitely be re-purchasing this!


The White Company Day Perfume

The White Company is a store full of the most beautiful candles, diffusers and linen which means I can never resist leaving without making a purchase. One of my favourite scents is their 'Day' perfume which I have mentioned before in a previous post. It has a refreshing sweet scent and is light and subtle. It is perfect for work and brings a hint of spring to your wardrobe. 




Health and Fitness:

Kayla Itsines 

I don't know how I only came across Kayla Itsines last year but this woman is incredible and a huge health and fitness inspiration. Her app SWEAT consists of 28 minute HIIT home workouts and meal plans including recipes which she has incorporated into her new book; The Bikini Body and Motivation & Habits Guide. Although it only came out in November, it quickly became a favourite of mine. It has great tips on how to keep motivated and change your habits which is exactly what I am looking to do in 2018. The best part of this book is the tasty recipes which are simple, easy and realistic for everyday use. If you follow Kayla on Instagram you will be able to see the amazing transformations from those that follow her training program. 




Kew Gardens 10k Run

Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever have a running/sports event on my favourites list... but nevertheless here we are! In the beginning on 2017 I found myself becoming lazier and gaining a bit of weight so I decided to sign up for the Kew Gardens 10k run so I would have a fitness goal to work towards. If you are not careful the busy city life can take over meaning you have less time to focus on your health and fitness. Most of my family are runners but it seems I did not get that gene pool, so running 1km let alone 10km was going to be a huge achievement. After 6 months of training I DID IT!! It is such a great feeling completing your goals and this one has health and weight loss benefits too! If you are looking to hit some of those fitness goals in 2018 I'd suggest entering an event - they are fun and help you stick to your training. Plus what better place to run than the stunning Kew Gardens! 




Travel:

Dubrovnik, Croatia 

Croatia had never been a country that I had on my radar - that was until the I got to London in 2016. Many friends of ours had mentioned Dubrovnik as being an amazing summer destination and one to add to our bucket list. By the beginning of 2017 we had given in and booked flights and let me tell you, Croatia lived up to our expectations and more! From the Old Town, to the beach days, to the food, Dubrovnik did not disappoint and is now one of my favourite places in the world! For those who are Game of Thrones fans this is a MUST!





Amalfi Coast, Italy

Since first visiting in 2013, Italy has become one of my favourite countries in the world, so much so that we keep going back! In July 2017 Aaron and I flew into Naples Italy and began our road trip to the Amalfi Coast - not before stopping in Pompeii first! 
We continued on towards the coast and stayed in one of the most beautiful B&Bs just outside of Amalfi called World Center Resort which I would 100% recommend. We spent the few days we had there driving along the coastal roads (slowly and with caution) and stopping in some of the most picturesque towns and villages I have ever seen including Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Minori.  
Driving Tips: Hiring a car on the Amalfi Coast is very stressful, especially as the roads are incredibly narrow and the drivers can be quite unpredictable. Other forms of public transport between the towns are available for example; buses and boats can be more convenient as finding a car park is difficult and can be expensive. 






Israel

Israel is a country I have always wanted to travel to but never imagined I would actually go due to the conflict surrounding the area but we cannot live our lives in fear! So when the opportunity came up for us to visit we took it and I am so glad we did! Tel Aviv is a lively and vibrant city with plenty of nightlife, restaurants and the most beautiful beach. Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and with the most incredible history. The Old Town in Jerusalem was one of the most moving and peaceful places I have ever been to and it will always hold a special place in my heart because of its biblical background. More highlights of Israel included Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Ein Gedi, Masada and the Dead Sea. 
Israel will, and I believe will always, remain my favourite country in the world! Look out for a blog post coming up where I explain why.





The Best for Last...

London

It is no secret that London is my all time favourite place in the entire world! Over the last 2 years London has become my home more so than the town I grew up in. Of course there are downsides to living in one of the biggest cities in the world but the pros outway the cons in a big way. I fell in love with London in 2013 when we visited for a holiday and I knew I had to come back. Some of my favourite days were spent biking around on Boris bikes, exploring new parts of the city, having picnics in some of the many parks, drinking in pubs along the river with my friends and walking around and exploring the little side streets that you wouldn't think to look down.
But let's not ignore the fact that it's the people you surround yourself with that make a place a home and I hit the jackpot! I am so grateful for meeting the people I have and I hope those friendships will last a lifetime.





Thanks for reading!

God Bless,

Amber x
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