Top 5 Netflix Series – or How to Procrastinate!

My netflix addiction tends to wax and wane. When I first moved to the UK, had no friends, no TV and not much to do, netflix was there for me. It filled my hours, and my brain with quality programming. Now I am a lot busier, own a TV and seem to have a serious addiction to Come Dine with Me and Storage Hunters, so I’ve been watching it a bit less. But I thought I would run through my top 5 things I have watched recently on Netflix.

1. House of Cards

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House of Cards was originally something I picked and thought I would just watch the first one and see how I go, it was when it hard first come out and I hadn’t heard too much about it. Around 4 hours later at some ridiculous AM hour I realised I was onto a gem. Full of amazing characters, plot twists and an excellent filming style, this is really the best thing I have watched in years. It centres around the Whitehouse in America and Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) journey to power through the journalists, scandals and scheming he seems to constantly undertake!

I love Frank whilst also hating him – the best conversation, I love the one liners he throws at the viewers. This is really a show you have to absorb into, you need to pay attention to everything and anything and although things may not click for awhile they will eventually.

I just watched season 2 which although not as epic as season 1, I still loved. I would honestly pay the 4.95 monthly fee or whatever it is just to watch this show. It’s an addiction I am happy to indulge.

2. Orange is the New Black

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I did mention this in my June Faves but thought I needed to pop it in again. This is also an amazing netflix produced show. It is about a womens prison and the inmates and their stories. It is great to see a female led cast and each episode keeps me enthralled as they simultaneously go through what is happening in the prison whilst doing the back stories about how each character ended up in jail in the first place. This is highly entertaining, not as cerebral as house of cards but still something that keeps you watching.

3. The Good Wife

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I remember a lot of hype around this when it first came out but I never picked up on it. I just saw Big from Sex and the City and couldn’t really get past that! However, I was in the need for something and I thought I’d give this a shot. This centres around a politicians wife – he has been caught up in a sex scandal and goes to prison, this leads to her going back and picking up her old job as a lawyer.

I thought this was great as it is serialised – i.e. a different story each episode (think CSI), I have been watching so many series with story arcs (see the above two!) it was nice to watch something where if I was doing something else, I didn’t miss out on a huge aspect of the plot. This is easy watching, pop it on in the background and get something done!

4, Fringe

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Fringe is weird, not going to lie, but I like it. I was a big lost fan and this is by the same people. It is also serialised but there is some weird stuff going on which does arc through the season. This is a long series – each season is 24 episodes. I’m still slowly making my way through but it’s a great back up and I love me some Joshua Jackson – always nice to have some memories of Dawson’s Creek!

5. The Inbetweeners

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Now I think this might only be on the American netflix… or it used to be on British but was recently taken off? But either way, it’s on 4OD as well. I had seen the odd Inbetweeners episode and saw the movie ages ago but I finally sat down recently and watched the whole series. It is so hilarious, it’s just such a typical teenage boy show but it just cracks me up! There are some cringe moments but they are worth it and I’m really looking forward to the second movie which comes out next month!

What are your fave netflix series? What should I watch next? I’m looking forward to Scandal, Dexter and Suits which I really want to start!

JC xx

 

What’s In My Handbag?!

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I love these posts. I’m not sure why I have a fascination of knowing what’s in other people’s handbags but I really do. I know mine can be like a cavern, and I’m always amazed when people seem to extract seemingly anything and everything from there! I will have started my new job by the time I post this and I wanted a handbag which I could fit A4 papers and my notebook in without crumpling them up as my old bag was more of a satchel. So I trotted down to Accesorize and picked this one up in the sale and I love it! It fits a whole heap without being heavy or bulky and the handles are long enough to throw it over my shoulder. So let’s dig in and see what I lug around with me most days:

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Surprisingly not too much as I had a little purge when I moved handbags to the new one! Let’s delve in a bit closer and go through them:

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Right let’s start at the top:

  • Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection 30+ sunscreen – I got this free in my goody bag from Cosmo. After a couple of times when I was caught out and got a slight burn on my shoulders I threw this in my bag as it’s small and light! It is a nice sun screen, it absorbs well and has the typical sun block smell which reminds me of the beach.
  • L’Occitane Rose Hand Cream – I can’t live without taking a hand cream around with me – always needed, more so in the winter but can always use a top up.
  • Monteray Wallet – I mix my purses up pretty regularly, I got this one for Christmas but thought it was pretty cute and different with a flamingo on the front!
  • Kindle – Need to have this on me for my London commutes! This is one of the best purchases I’ve made this year and I use my kindle constantly. I crocheted the cover myself.
  • Polo mints – My gran gave me these but I usually have some kind of mint or gum to freshen on the go.
  • Cosmetic mirror – Of course I need a little mirror. This one is from no7 and fits easily into my bag.
  • Keys
  • Hairbrush
  • Revlon Matte Balm in Elusive – I did a full review on this here.
  • Clinique Mini Chubby Stick in Strawberry – I got this free with the latest glamour so I’m putting it to the test
  • Nivea Pure Milk and Honey – lip balm is an essential and the nivea ones are classic.
  • Pen
  • Compeed blister plasters – I always like to have these, they are so good for a blister and will keep me walking if I have one.
  • USB

And to the other side:

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  • Make up bag – we will delve into this another day, but I love my make up bag which my sister got me from Cornwall. I don’t always have this in my handbag, depends how long I will be out which is why I have some lip products knocking about as well.
  • Umbrella – essential for the joyous London weather
  • Sunglasses
  • Inhaler – I’ve had asthma since I was little so always have at least one inhaler knocking around my handbag
  • Oyster card – Essential for London. I really need a new cover for it but they are actually quite expensive! I used to be adamant that I didn’t need a cover, but I got shoved a little while ago and my oyster actually snapped – it was such a pain to get a new one (as I use a monthly ticket) so I got this one for free and have been using it ever since!
  • Headphones

I do of course have my phone but I was using that to take the pictures! I also cleared out all the receipts and other junk which is usually sitting stewing in the bottom!

What’s in your handbag?

JC xx

Disappointing Products #1

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Now I feel the need to put a slight disclaimer at the top of this blog post – in general I want my blog to be a place of things I enjoyed, products I recommend and other exciting things in my life. However, we always get a bit of bad thrown in with the good – and that helps balance us out! Hey, if everything was amazing then we wouldn’t get that excited when we found just another good product would we. But I do have to state that these are products that didn’t agree with me – but that is my personal opinion and you may love them! A lot of these are from brands that I highly recommend in other products, so don’t let one bad product put down a whole brand. I’ve only got a few so let’s jump in:

Simple Radiance Brightening Face Wipes

Now I know what you may be thinking – I have Simple face wipes in my monthly favourites, after the huge success that is the oil balancing face wipes, I thought I would try one of the other types. so picked up these brightening face wipes. They didn’t live up to the formers success! I found them a bit harsh on my skin and they stung my eyes slightly. I also found that they didn’t leave my skin as clear or really brightened in any way. So I went straight back to my staples and do not regret it.

ELF Lotion Wipes in Milk and Honey

Here is a little secret for you, I didn’t cleanse or moisturise (other than SPF everyday) until I was about 20. I had perfect skin for all of my teens, and although it is still pretty good, I didn’t really start getting any blemishes until my twenties – apparently this is pretty common,and I thought I had gotten away with it! Thus I started with the basics which explains my love of face wipes. When I saw these lotion wipes I thought, great I can be even lazier and just wipe as a cleanse and then wipe as a moisturiser but unfortunately it wasn’t to be! These smell good but left my skin super greasy and just felt a bit icky overall. I do love me some elf make up but think I may stay away from their skin care for awhile.

Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Remover Pads

Can we tell I’m obsessed with wipes yet? I thought it was time for nail polish remover in wipe form! However, these are not to be, the added moisture feels horrible and greasy on my fingers. They don’t add anything to the wipe and is really not needed. I have to wash my hands as soon as I’ve taken my nail polish off to get the gross greasiness off as soon as possible! I’m going to try the normal ones next time which I’m sure are going to be much better.

Collection Big Fake Ultimate Mascara

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Mascara is my favourite make up item for sure. I love trying new ones and I was in Boots (as usual) and thought I would try a cheaper one to see if it lived up. I hadn’t tried anything from Collection before but had heard good things (and their eyeliner is amazing – reviewed here) so I picked this up! I tried to give it a chance, but it was hard. The brush is huge, the formula is useless and all I ended up with was clumpy, slightly darker eyelashes. I mean whose eyes are that big to deem a brush like that useful, I’m not sure. Don’t pick this up, stick with the eyeliner and the concealer instead.

So there we have my disappointing products – have you tried any? Would love your opinions! Feel free to tweet me @jasxcharlotte

JC xx

 

Weekends Away: Prague

Time for another weekend away! I recently headed to Prague with my boyfriend, luckily we had some time of work so this wasn’t technically a weekend but it was over 3 days. Prague has been one of my favourite cities in Europe that I have visited so far, and I really recommend it to all! So read on for my experience and a bit of a city guide.

Getting There:

I’m not sure if I just have bad Europe geography, but I was shocked when the flight from London – Prague is only an hour and a half! We flew with easyjet for a really reasonable price – definitely under 150 pounds return. Getting from the airport to the centre is pretty easy on a bus to the metro station – it is clearly sign posted in English. You can also get to Prague through rail or car directly into the centre.

Getting Around:

After living in London, I expect everywhere to be expensive in regards to public transport, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that the price for 90 minutes on public transport in Prague is 32Kr or around 1 pound! The transport system is excellent, made up of buses, trams, metro and trains. You can buy 90 minutes tickets from ticket machines (keep your coins!) and then you just validate them when you get on.

General Expenses:

In general Prague is such a cheap city to visit! They have not yet adapted the Euro so are still on the Czech Kroner which the pound is very strong against. In general meals were around 5 pounds, beer was a pound or less, public transport is cheap – if you are on a budget then this is the place to be!

Itinerary/Things to Do:

Of course there are a million and one things to do in Prague but I will give a run through of what we did.

Day one:

We arrived around lunchtime on Sunday so the main points of the day were finding the hotel and our bearings! We stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Questenberk which is right next to Prague castle and up a giant hill. We were recommended to get the tram but decided to walk instead –  a wee bit of a hike, but we got some amazing views.

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Day two:

As we were right next door to the castle we decided to explore for most of the day. The castle is made up of many different areas, a cathedral, a church, state rooms, palace, gardens – it’s the biggest castle complex in the world. We kitted up with audioguides as I am a fact junkie and made our way around. I really recommend this if you are interested to learn about the culture, history, religion and political standings of Prague!

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This is the entrance to the castle and always has guards standing outside – the guards swap every hour and there is a changing of the guards at 12pm.

 

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We paid to go into St Vitus’ Cathedral – it wasn’t expensive and had an amazing gothic section. One of the most beautiful cathedrals I have been in!

 

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This is the main room in the palace and state rooms and is where the previous Presidents and Kings were all appointed. It has an amazing vaulted ceiling!

After the castle we had a full wander round the centre of Prague, I think the best bit about Prague was the architecure, all of the buildings in the middle of the town are beautiful. It is one of the only major cities in Europe which wasn’t bombed in the war and you can definitely tell. There are two main squares, Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square:

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In old town square you find a lot of tourists! But you also find the astronomical clock which is gorgeous to look at, it does chime on the hour but it’s nothing too exciting if you’re not nearby.

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Wenceslas square is a bit different, it has a lot of shops and bars and is more modern. On one end there is the national museum but it was shut when we went. I also found the very exciting shop of Sephora! I blogged about my purchases here.

Day Three:

If I have the time in any of the cities I visit then I always like to get out of the centre for a bit and see some of the wider area. Paul is a keen cyclist so I thought a bike tour would be a good way to go. We went with Praha Bike Tours and did the Troja River Tour. Essentially we cycled along the river all the way out of Prague for an hour, we visited the Troja Summer Palace, went to a couple of the huge parks in the area then stopped in the trendy area of Letna for a beer in a beer garden! Even though I couldn’t remember the last time I rode a bike I still managed to keep up! I did have to walk up one hill but it was lovely to be by the river and see a less well known site.

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Here is me and Paul posing in front of the summer palace!

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And cycling through one of the main parks!

Day four:

This was our last day and we did a food tour! I love doing food tours in new countries as eating is one of my favourite things. Sometimes I find it hard to get a handle and really find and eat good food in new places so this provides an excellent remedy. Ideally I like doing this on the first day I get somewhere as it gives you a good idea of where to eat for the rest of the trip, but in this case there was no availability so we did it on our last day.

A food tour essentially consists of eating a lot of food and walking around! There were 7 stops and you tried something Czech at each stop – 6 were food stops and 1 was a brewery stop. It was a really great experience and we got a lot of really good food! Plus we got to see beer being made which was really interesting. We went with Eating Prague Tours.

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Possibly the best soup of my life – sauerkraut soup with bacon and dumplings.

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We went to an old clock tower and ate up there which was amazing!

After the food tour we wandered about and headed to the airport to come home! Prague is an excellent city which is cheap, cultured and full of things to do. I really recommend if you want a weekend away somewhere in Europe.

I have done some other weekends away posts, you can read about Anglesey or Lisbon!

JC xx

My New Eye Staples: Too Faced LashGasm + Sephora Jumbo Eye Liner!

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If you follow me on twitter or instagram then you will know I very recently went to Prague for a few days! I will be doing a full post on that soon so keep an eye out but whilst I was there, I was wandering through the Wencelas square and out of the corner of my eye I saw the black and white stripes of Sephora! This is one of the most exciting sights for someone in the UK because, who knows why, Sephora aren’t there! So I dragged Paul in picked up a couple of items which are quickly turned into staples! I am reviewing the mascara and eyeliner below, then will have a separate post for the little face masks I picked up once I have chance to give them a good try.

Too Faced LashGasm Mascara:

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I’m such a sucker for mascaras, it’s my favourite make up item and I just want to buy more and more! So when I saw the Too Faced section, I had a look through all the brushes and decided to pick up the LashGasm Mascara.

This comes with a small plastic brush which reminds me of the Benefit They’re Real brush and is my favourite type. I find it doesn’t pick up too much product and distributes it evenly. It is also symmetrical which is essential for me in a mascara brush as I always seem to mess up with asymmetrical brushes.

The formula is also great – it sweeps on evenly and really extends the length of my lashes without clumping. It’s not particularly volumising but it’s the length I want! Even after one coat, which is usually all I have the patience for, my lashes look defined and I’m ready to go! This isn’t waterproof and does flake if you rub your eyes (as expected!) but stays put otherwise. I also enjoy this as it comes off easily without smearing everywhere and giving me panda eyes! I have been using it everyday since I bought it and is the new staple in my make up bag!

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Sephora Jumbo Eye Liner in Beige:

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This is one of those make up purchases which really throws a spanner into your make up routine. I have been so into my palettes and mixing it up and wearing lots of colours (mainly neutral on the lid) but this is going back to basics and I love it! This is a jumbo eyeliner but I think of it more as an eyeshadow stick. It is a gorgeous champagne colour and reminds me a lot of the Charlotte Tillbury eyeshadow sticks.

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This goes on so smooth and does not budge. I have been wearing it on top of Urban Decays Primer Potion and it will last all day without a problem, even if I constantly rub my eyes because of hay fever! I have been drawing a thick line alone the lash line, down into the inner corner to brighten it and then along just the outer lower lash line. I think it complements my eyes so well and it so quick and easy to do in the mornings. I have worn this everyday for about two weeks and I really want to pick this up in more colours! I am a true fan girl when it comes to this one. Hopefully you can see the brightening effect in the picture of me below!

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So I would keep your eyes out for the above! Let me know what your eye staples are down in the comments.

JC xx

Ingredients Explained: SPF – What should you be looking for?

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I have wanted to write this post for awhile – and as it is summer this is the best time to start! So let’s dive into sun protection, SPF and what we should be using.

So what is UV and why should we be worried about it?

As we all know the sun produces Ultraviolet (UV) waves – these are like the rays of light except we can’t see them and they have the ability to be absorbed by our skin. Most of these rays are filtered by the ozone layer so we only get a very small fraction (we couldn’t survive without this!), however, some of the rays which do reach us are absorbed by our cells and disrupt our DNA.

Our skin is protected by a substance called melanin, this is a protein pigment produced by cells which stops the waves from being absorbed. When we are exposed to the sun, we produce more melanin, which in turn gives us a tan. However, too much exposure results in DNA damage, the DNA gets disrupted by the waves making it unstable. This can result in freckles, moles, premature ageing, growths and even cancer.

There are several types of UV rays, however the two we are concerned with are UVA and UVB. UVA does not damage the DNA directly, but through producing other substances which harm it and the collagen in the cell which results in premature ageing, whereas UVB causes direct DNA damage which results in the skin burning. Luckily, we can do something to protect ourselves from both of these!

What is SPF?

SPF stands for sun protection factor and is found in products which protect our skin. We can put substances on our skin which block the UV rays and protect our cells from DNA damage. The amount of sun protection in a product is determined by the SPF number on the packaging. This number can range from 5 all the way up to 85!

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How does SPF work?

The sun protection doesn’t come from the SPF itself, this is just a way of seeing how well the ingredients in it work. There are two types of ingredients which protect us from the sun:

  • Chemical compounds which absorb the light, this acts like the pigment in our skin to absorb the rays before they enter the body and our cells.
  • Particles which reflect and scatter the light, this acts as a barrier, causing the rays to bounce back and not enter our skin.

SPF is not measured in a linear scale, so SPF 80 is not four times better than SPF 20. In reality SPF 30 blocks out 98% of the suns rays whereas SPF 50 blocks out 99%. So in reality, it isn’t worth spending extra on a higher number.

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What Should I be Looking For?

  • You need to make sure you are using a broad spectrum sun protection product. This should ideally state on the packaging that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays to get full protection. These are also often labelled sun block rather than sun screen.
  • Do not go under SPF 20 – ideally you are looking for SPF 30. As above, there is not much point in going higher than this, especially if it’s more expensive.
  • Recent research suggests that SPF should be applied then reapplied around 15 minutes later to get the full benefit of the UVA protection. I recommend applying moisturiser with sun protection in as soon as you wake up, then I reapply again when I am doing my make up.
  • You should be aiming for around 1/3 to a 1/2 of a teaspoon to cover your face.
  • PA+ is a different scale used for SPF – it means the same as the SPF number so just keep an eye on that.
  • Sun protection is very rarely effective in water, always apply as soon as you get out of water and do not believe when a product states that it is water resistant!
  • Cosmetic tans, such as through using sunbeds or after a day out in the sun are caused because of exposure to UVA, resulting in already produced melanin to be released, whereas a prolonged tan which develops over weeks is as a result of exposure to UVB. The tan from UVA does not protect our skin in any way as it is the same amount of melanin as when you were not tanned, keep this in mind over summer when you think you may need less SPF!
  • Always remember to protect your skin in other ways – loose fitting clothing which covers the arms and legs, a sun hat, and sunglasses are a great place to start!
  • Try and avoid the sun at the hottest parts of the day – between 10 and 3 in summer.

I hope that was useful to you all – I will hopefully be doing another post on my favourite sun protection products so keep an eye out for that one soon!

I have done some other ingredients explained on collagen, keratin and parabens so please check them out! If you have any suggestions for other topics in this season then let me know.

JC xx

Revlon Colourburst Matte Balms Review!

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I’m not too huge on wearing lip products, I like to wear them for nights out but almost never wore them to work or during the day. I get really frustrated as most lip products don’t last too long and if they fade unevenly then I can look a bit of a mess! However, I have started changing my mind on this ever since I picked up the Revlon Matte Balms.

Not gonna’ lie, the fact Emma Stone models for this did slightly make me want to buy them. I do think she is awesome and usually no celebrity will make me buy a product, but after watching Spiderman 2 and Easy A all in one weekend, she just drew me in! I picked up two colours – elusive which is a medium pink, not too bright and a great everyday shade and audacious which is a bright red coral. I love wearing the bright coral shade out in the sunshine in the summer – the colour just reminds me immediately of summer!

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These come in chubby stick form, which I really like, makes it easy to put on without having to stop and sit in front of a mirror with a steady hand. As you can see with elusive, I really wore the tip down which I regret now as it does make it a little harder to apply. The lighter elusive I can apply without a mirror, the brighter coral I do like to stop just to make sure I don’t have some giant smear down my chin. This is such a win for me as it means I can apply during the day without having to run off to the bathroom or start whipping out mini mirrors at my desk.

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The formula is also a win for me, it is creamy and pigmented. It applies matte but doesn’t dry my lips out which is essential. I am a real fan of the matte lip this year – I think it looks nice and professional for work. I like that it remains feeling creamy during the day and doesn’t dry out. It also fades evenly and lasts a significant amount of time before it does. It’s always a pleasant surprise when you hit a mirror and your lipstick is still in place. This product has really reignited my love for lip products and I am wearing them more and more!

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In the above, I have elusive on the left and audacious on the right!

I really want to try some other shades and will be picking them up! I’m interested to try the different finishes as well in the Revlon range so if you have any recommendations then please let me know!

JC xx