Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Canterbury | Clarins Skincare Consultation

 I recently went to stay with Mary, my best friend from university, back in Canterbury. A few weeks back, she'd gone into Boots in Canterbury and had booked herself in for a skincare consultation at Clarins. Thankfully the lovely lady at Boots had space to fit me in too so we headed down to Boots on the Sunday Morning for a Skin Consultation! My only regret was not having gone sooner, it's a complimentary service and I learnt so much about my skin. Julie, the consultant, was lovely and I could not recommend her enough if you live near Canterbury.

We started off by having the most delicious fruit infused water, and it felt just like we were in a spa! Then we spoke briefly about how we find our own skin and what problems we face with it. My skin is "Normal" on the whole, but does experience dryness during the colder months; including chapped cheeks which can get pretty red in the extremely cold weather. Julie had already laid out some main products for us to try, but after hearing how we found our skin she adapted our routine to fit with how we felt our skin was. It was really great that she did this as it meant she was using products which would really be beneficial for us!

As we went through our routine, Julie went through the benefits of the products we were using, and showed us the best techniques to use those products. It was so interesting, and I learnt a lot - the reason we wipe outwards is because our lymph nodes are at the sides of our faces which help to clear the skin. You should also never use normal moisturizer underneath your eyes because the skin is so delicate it needs creams/balms/gels specific to that type of skin. It was also interesting to learn how important it is not to forget your neck, and that you should only exfoliate once or twice a week; however that once or twice a week is crucial.

Once we had been through the skin care routine that Julie had planned for us, she gave us a light make over with the Clarins BB Cream, Supra Volume Mascara and coloured lip balms. The make up was so nice, and it felt good to be using something that was giving our skin a treatment whilst covering up minor blemishes; rather than using products that will clog my skin up even more.

I'd definitely recommend heading to your nearest boots for a Clarins Skincare Consultation. It was so helpful to really hear about the products, and the benefits of them. There was a huge focus on the product being made by natural ingredients and plants which I really enjoyed. I definitely came away with some skincare treats after treating myself to the One Step Cleanser and a Daily Energizer Moisturiser cream.

Have you ever had a skincare consultation? Was it with Clarins?

Clarins offer complimentary skincare consultations. I enjoyed mine so much that I decided to blog about it.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

New York City | Aladdin on Broadway

 I have always loved going to the theatre, but living an hour away from London, it becomes a pretty pricey trip. Whilst in New York we decided to book tickets to a show on Broadway, and we were lucky enough to get tickets to Aladdin at The Amsterdam Theatre during our stay. Our seats were located on the Mezzanine which was the second out of three tiers, and I have to say we were both very impressed. We only paid $62.50 dollars each for the tickets and we could see the whole show perfectly! For obvious reasons I wasn't able to take any photographs of the performance, so I'll have to leave that part up to your imagination...

The Amsterdam Theatre was a great venue; it was a decent size so there was a good enough atmosphere, without there being too many people because there is nothing worse than places being too crowded. There were two halves of the show with a small interval between these two halves and it was the perfect length. I only wished it had lasted a bit longer because it was that good - I loved it! You were really drawn into the story of Aladdin which was altered as little as possible to be able to adapt it into a show.

I am no theatre critic, but I have to say that the cast was excellent. They all suited their roles extremely well, and they were all incredibly talented at singing, dancing and acting. My favourite character was the Genie, who was absolutely hilarious. I was laughing out loud for a vast majority of this musical, and it really added to the original story which isn't necessarily focused on humour. As huge Disney fans, it was also pretty spectacular to know that Jafar was being played by the man who voiced Jafar in the original film!

The outfits of the cast were unbelievable and it was clear that a lot of thought and work had gone into making them authentic and original! I was a woman obsessed with the amount of sequin glam the cast wore throughout the show; the costume designer was absolutely fantastic. It truly felt like we were watching real scenes in Agrabah because of the excellence of the costumes, and of the set design as well. I was really impressed by the set, but the costumes really were incredible. They stole the show for me!

Of course, it wouldn't be Disney without some incredible music! I am still humming the songs now over a week after seeing the show. All of the originals were included which was great, as sometimes you find your favourite songs being missed out of remakes and theatre. Luckily, they had managed to fit them all in, and some! There were new renditions of classic favourites, and some new tunes too which were very catchy. They finished with some of my favourites from the film and it was just great music overall! The band were actually underneath the stage and it was great to have them playing live whilst the cast sang.

If you are heading to New York and are hoping to see a show on Broadway I would definitely recommend Aladdin - both of us were still in shock about how good it was the next morning. We both knew it would be good, but it definitely exceeded even our expectations. You can get reasonably priced tickets, and it is worth entering the digital lottery which you can find more information about here as you never know, you could be successful!

Have you ever seen Aladdin on Broadway? Or have you seen it in London?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

New York City | Courtyard by Marriott Manhattan/Central Park Hotel

 Whilst we're not a 5 star hotel kind of couple, we definitely appreciate a nice hotel when it comes to a city break. New York was probably our biggest challenge yet; everything was just so expensive! We wanted somewhere based fairly centrally so we could make the most of it but it was seemingly impossible at first with the prices! However, my mum struck gold and found us the Courtyard by Marriott Manhattan/Central Park Hotel which was based between Times Square and Central Park.

We had booked a King Size Room with city views, and I'm so pleased that we did. Whilst our room wasn't huge (I saw people moaning about the size on Trip Advisor, like seriously you're in New York, get the hell out of your room!) it was definitely big enough for everything that we needed it for. The bed was absolutely massive. I could have fitted about 4 more people in it with me! It was also incredibly comfortable; which was ideal as we walked a lot during our stay so a good nights sleep was always very crucial.

The room was kept clean on a daily basis, and the bathroom was always very hygienic too. We had a shallow bath, and a shower too which was so powerful! I could have stayed in it all day. For such a huge hotel, I was so impressed that the rooms were kept so well, and obviously very pleased about it too as it made our stay so much nicer. In our room we had a TV, a safe which was very easy to use and an excellent hot drinks machine - it was very much so a pinch yourself moment looking out onto New York city with a green tea in hand. We were very lucky with this hotel that's for sure! Interestingly, our hotel was actually the tallest hotel in North America, so that was pretty cool...

Whilst we didn't make the most of the facilities of the hotel, there was a gym on the 35th floor, a mini market (although we weren't able to find it!) and a bar too which hosted football nights three times a week. We opted to spend time outside of the hotel, but did notice that a lot of conferences were held at the hotel throughout the week so these facilities would be perfect if you were there for a business trip or event!

The part that really made our stay for me was the fact we had been given a room on the 30th floor of the hotel. The views were incredible, and we were both in awe from the moment we arrived there late on the Saturday night. We even slept with the curtains open on numerous occasions so we could enjoy the view at night, and also when we woke up the next morning! Whilst we couldn't see anything of real tourist interest, we were blessed with our views, and it was incredible to see some of the huge skyscraper buildings from our bedroom. I loved it, and would go back in a heartbeat if I could!

If you're looking for a cheaper, gem of a hotel near the buzz of New York City, this hotel has got you covered. Just make sure to book a room with a city view like the one we had - you won't regret it!

Have you ever stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott Hotel?