JC Shops: French Purchases + Pondering on High End Beauty

As you will have already read, I went to Paris recently for my birthday. Birthday.. Paris.. Holiday… what more of an excuse is there to do a bit of shopping! I had been saving all my pennies in a little piggy bank as my shopping money for when I went away – it worked very well but I have to say that it is a pain to get coins converted into Euros, it took a long time of packaging coins into bags as the coinstar charges 7% which is ridiculous!

As we wandered around Paris on my birthday we did pop into Sephora and I had a quick look around but decided that I would sleep on it and head back on Sunday. The next day we headed to the Champs Elysee and I headed into quite possibly the biggest and busiest sephora I have ever seen! I meandered down the aisles, dodging people like I was on Oxford Street and even though I saw so many lovely products and things which I have read reviews and seen featured on so many blogs, Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Benefit.. and I just couldn’t buy any! I do love seeing and lusting over these products, and I comment on so many blogs saying I wished I had them but then when it came down to it, faced with the actual cost of these things I just couldn’t justify it. It was almost 30-40 euros per product, and although it isn’t a huge amount, 3-4 of those products can almost pay for a whole hotel stay in Paris for a couple of days.


I have tried some high end products before, some do live up to the prices – my naked palettes are by far my most used make up product and definitely worth the 38 pound price tag, but things such as the Benefit Fake Up concealer which I paid 25 pounds for doesn’t really wow me more than any of my other concealers.. I think that I will stick to my drugstore products and save my pennies for more trips and travel – and continue to lust and read others reviews of high end beauty!

Anyway I did still buy a couple of things at Sephora – I have one of their jumbo eyeliners, so I picked up one off their normal eyeliners in this gorgeous gold shade. These are only 7 euros and are such good quality, don’t budge all day! I love wearing gold on my eyes too, feel as though it really brightens the face. I then picked up a mini Clinique daily moisturiser for only 6 euros – although I am currently doing a no skincare experiment (expect an update on this in December!), I need a better daily moisturiser as the Simple one has run out, so thought I would give this a go. I then got a couple of perfume samples as well.

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I headed to a French Pharmacie as when I was passing (to buy indigestion tablets, as of course I had eaten way too much on my birthday) and noticed they had some amazing brands in there for some really good prices. First I grabbed the Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm – I know I have just had a little rant on expensive products, but this was only 7 euro so was really affordable compared to 12 pounds in the UK. Not only is it a big tub but it is amazing! I have had the worst dry lips lately, been peeling like mad and this has been really good to soothe and help stop that happening.

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I also picked up the Caudalie Beauty Elixir – this is something I have again seen so many people rave about, but I thought it was all hype and that it was overpriced. I sprayed it when I was in Fortnum and Masons the other week and it actually felt lovely – a real pick me up for my face and skin, so when I saw it for 9 euros I grabbed it! Not only that, but the sales lady must have felt that I was a blogger as she gave me so many samples!! I was very excited when I opened my bag later in the day and saw lots of little goodies in there to try.

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Have you tried any of the above? What do you think about High End Beauty? Is it worth the price?

I am prepping for blogmas at the moment! That’s right, I am blogging every day in December, it’s going to be crazy but I am am excited for the challenge! So there will probably only be a couple more posts for the rest of November, then I will be back in extreme force for 31 days of winter and Christmas fun.

JC xx

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Ingredients Explained: MyProtein Protein Powder*

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I feel as though we are bombarded with a whole heap of different supplements, vitamins, powders and potions which claim to make us glow, make us fitter, make us stronger. I always classed protein and protein powder in that camp. Protein is an odd thing, I do associate it with body builders and those who really want to ‘bulk up’. However, since living with my boyfriend Paul he is quite the protein powder lover, often starting the day with a protein shake. So, when MyProtein* contacted me to try some of their protein products – Elle True Diet Protein Powder – which are specially for women and geared towards stopping unhealthy snacking, I thought I would do some investigation!

Now I always like throwing some science into my posts when I can, so lets look at what is actually in protein powder actually is. Protein is what makes up our body, it is made up of amino acids and those amino acids are the building blocks to many of our biological functions. Eating protein gives us fuel, but that fuel is broken down into amino acids which can be used to build our muscles, especially important after working out. Protein powder is usually made up of whey protein, this is the by product of making cheese, essentially all the big protein parts are skimmed off the top and dried to form a substance which is a high proportion of amino acids. These amino acids when consumed then encourage our body to make more cells and grow our muscles.

This protein powder also has fibre along with other vitamins and minerals which are all designed to be eaten as a snack which will keep you full to decrease snacking and help your body build muscle. Now as this was a large bag, I thought it would be best to share it with the boyfriend as he would definitely drink it up! This meant we had to decide on a flavour – eventually we went with strawberry. Now I think this was more a mistake on my part, mainly as I don’t really like strawberry. It is definitely a very ‘fake’ strawberry taste – if you like McDonalds strawberry milkshakes then I swear this tastes pretty much exactly the same! I think next time I would go for something a bit plainer – velvet vanilla. I tried this as a protein powder just with milk and combines well to make quite a thin shake which is easy to drink. I also tried it with soy milk as I am not the biggest milk lover but I would recommend putting less protein powder in as it can clump if there is too much (or I am just a useless mixer!). I think the best way to have this is in a smoothie, with lots of berries and other yummy fruit to make a quick and easy breakfast (I also just bought a new blender and I am in love with it!).

The thing I did like about this, was that it really filled me up! Like actually I was almost too full after drinking a whole one of these. So they definitely meet their objective of stopping the unhealthy snacking! In terms of whether I think it has increased my lean muscle, not so sure, mainly as I haven’t really done much exercise recently…

Overall, I did enjoy this and I do think I will incorporate it more into my healthy eating and fitness routine – especially when I get the exercise up and running again which is my goal for December. It has helped me get through my ‘no sugar November’, though I think next time I will be picking up a different flavour.

Have you used protein powder? What did you think of it?

JC xx


*Now this product was sent to me, but as always, I will share my true opinion on the product whether positive or negative and I will always disclose whether something has been sent to me for review!

23rd Birthday Celebrations and Pressies!


This weekend on Saturday I turned the grand old age of 23. I have to say that I am really enjoying my twenties – 22 was a great year – not only did I get a brand new job which I’m still excited about, start this blog which I love, I also met and moved in with my lovely boyfriend! So 23 has a lot to live up to, but I’m sure it will be packed with lovely things as well. I had a very exciting birthday weekend this year so thought I would share some of it with you!

First on Thursday I went out for dinner with my sister and her boyfriend. We went to Sushi Samba which is a Japanese restaurant on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower in central London. Now I was quite nervous when I found out where we going (as I was being told to get into a large lift) as I am not a fan of heights! The lift felt like a rollercoaster rushing up 38 floors. But I felt a lot better about the height once I was sat inside with a glass of bubbles. I might do a whole post on this restaurant if people are interested, but safe to say it was pretty delicious, the fish and sushi were probably the best I have ever had. As I wasn’t going to see my sister on my actual birthday, I got my presents a little early which is always exciting – my sister always gives such good presents so I was very excited to see the Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream perfume (which smells amazing!) along with a trip to the Harry Potter Experience next year, a cook book and a lovely picture frame off her boyfriend Callum.

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Things then got very exciting as on Friday, Paul and I were off to Paris! I am going to do a whole post on our Paris experience but in short we headed off on the Eurostar on Friday afternoon and arrived in Paris at about 4. It was then my birthday on the Saturday. I woke up to open all my presents which Paul has very kindly carted across in his back pack, and my was I spoilt – all my family and especially Paul went all out for my birthday and I felt very loved! I got some lovely goodies off my grandparents, an amazon voucher, a cute cat plaque and a nail micro buffer (soon to be tried out). Pauls parents also got me a Boots voucher which will of course be enjoyed! My parents were very generous and along with a ‘knit your own dog’ kit, bought me and Paul a spa weekend for two! I’m trying to save some money so will be having less trips away, so this is something to look forward to next year.

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Paul then got me some amazing goodies! Not only did I get two Swarovski necklaces (following my lust at everything in Prague earlier in the year) which I am absolutely in love with, we are also off to the Lion King in December and Sipsmiths Distillery on Wednesday!! He then also bought me an iphone 5 battery (as mine is terrible) and some really interesting books which I will be reviewing soon.

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After I got through all that excitement, I called my parents and both sets of grandparents who all did some lovely singing. We then went off for a really nice day in Paris – went to Notre Dame and the Louvre, then out for a delicious meal in central Paris. I had prawns, duck and profiteroles and I was pleasantly stuffed by the end of the evening.

Overall, this birthday has to be up there with one of the best I ever had! Even though I did miss the family, Paul and I had such a great time in Paris and I have lots of exciting things to look forward to in the coming months.

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Bring on Christmas!!

PS If you haven’t already then if you like my blog you can vote for me in the UK blog awards – just click the big icon on the right hand side!

JC xx

My Reignited Make Up Faves!

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Do you ever have those products which you either once loved but then put to the side whilst you used something else? Or that you tried, convinced yourself it was useless then didn’t touch it again for months? I really have that problem! I love trying new things, but lately I have reignited my love for 5 products and I cannot stop using them.

Naked 3:

I am still obsessed with my naked 3 – I have had it for awhile but it is still in high rotation. I was worried initially that the darker shades were a bit hard to wear, but lately I have been consistently using them. Even just as a wash all over the eyelid or in the crease and through some attempt at blending. My favourite shades lately have been burnout, liar and trick.

Miss Manga Mascara:

I initially bought this ages ago and didn’t really love it. After reading a review saying that letting it dry out a bit makes it easier to use I decided to give it another try – and I love it! I have to say you do need to wipe off the excess on the brush before using it, otherwise you will end up with clumps. But once wiped, it applies smooth and gives such great lengthening and volumising on the lashes. I am a bit addicted – I feel as though it is running down which worries me!

Teeez eyeliner:

I went off eye liner for quite some time as I found it a bit faffy and took too long to put on. But I broke out this eyeliner after receiving it months ago in a Latest in Beauty box and it has reignited my eye liner love. It is really smooth and easy to apply – a lot easy and forgiving than a liquid eyeliner, it has a smudger on the other side as well. I have just been putting a thick line on my eyelids, not flicking it out but just letting it highlight my eyes.

Eyelash curler:

I used to use an eyelash curler everyday, then I moved house, lost it and stopped. I found it again a few months ago and realised what I had been missing! Curling the lashes makes my eyes look so much bigger, but the best bit is that it makes mascara so much smoother to apply – which is essential for when using my miss manga.

Wake Me Up Concealer:

I got this one ages ago as well but it got put in a handbag and forgotten about whilst I was using the collection and nars concealers. But I have pulled it out and I am again obsessed. It is so smooth and creamy whilst also being almost like a highlighter and living up to its name of waking up my eyes! All the writing has wiped off the tube and it is running down so I think this may soon be the first concealer which I have ever completely used up!!

Essence Lip Pencils:

I did write about these recently, but I was ignoring my lip pencils in favour of the essence lip sticks which I really enjoyed. But I finally whipped this out the other week and tried it out on my lips and was so impressed! The colour is actually quite different, more of a darker brown toned pink which I don’t commonly wear. I really love this shade, and think it looks so lovely especially in the colder months – I think this is a new colour to add to my collection, and I hope it will get me trying some different shades!

And here is what all of the above look like together:

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What do you think of the lip colour?

JC xx

JC Eats: A Night Out at Hakkasan

Me and my family have a little tradition – as we all live in different areas of the globe, when we meet up it is quite the occasion. So we always make sure that we go out for a really fancy meal – I am all for the bargain meals most of the time, but I love getting dressed up and going out to celebrate seeing the fam. My dad recently made the 32 hour journey to visit my sister and I in London and the day before he left we all dressed out and went out for dinner at Hakkasan in Mayfair. It was a pretty miserable day, so I got bundled up with my giant scarf (which I am in love with!), some new nude lipstick and headed across London.

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Hakkasan is a Michelin starred Chinese restaurant located in Mayfair near Green Park tube. The first thing I noticed was how hard it was to find! The door was black and there was no sign – just a menu with hakkasan written in tiny writing at the top. We went in dropped our coats off then went to our table. The interior is very nice – small tables with couches and single lights hanging over the middle of the table. It worked well as it highlighted the food we were having but gave us some ambiance for the rest of the restaurant. There was a large bar area opposite where we were sitting and some quite loud but nice music – overall I felt very comfortable and that it was quite the trendy place! I wish I could have taken more pictures of the interior but it was quite dark so my little iphone didn’t fare too well.

They have a variety of menus, from the a la carte to set menus for various prices. We decided to go for a set menu so we could try lots of different things which is always my preference. We started with some delicious cocktails – mine was called a lemongrass aviation and had gin, lemongrass, cherry and lime in it. It was pretty amazing, but then I love most things which have gin in them!

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The starters then came out – the menu was a sharing menu so they sat in the middle of the table and we shared them between the three of us. We started with a lamb salad which was scrumptious – the lamb was crunchy and fried but not greasy layered with mango and apple slices and smothered in a spicy peanut dressing. This was accompanied with dim sum – my favourite! We got 4 dumplings each, with a variety of flavours – scallop, prawn, and duck. They were steamed, soft on the outside but bursting with flavour – spicy, filled with herbs and served with some chilli dips and soy sauce for a bit of kick.

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We then went onto the mains – we had four dishes and two sides. The first side was just plan rice, but the second was pak choi which I loved. It had a sweet and sour sauce over them but were so fresh and still crunchy. The first main was a lobster in black bean sauce, not only was the lobster succulent and juicy – it came with the most delicious crunchy bits on top! I think the waiter said they were deep fried mushrooms, but I don’t like mushroom and they didn’t really taste like them – more like crunchy bits of deliciousness. Some crisp but not greasy at all – pretty sure I ate a lot of those!

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Next we had stir fried rib eye with asparagus – this reminded me of a black bean sauce. The beef itself was lovely and tender and the sauce had that great balance between sweet and sour that was so moreish. This was quickly followed by chicken satay. Now I don’t like peanuts, but I like Satay… not sure how that works but this was nutty but not overpowering. The chicken itself was roasted but the skin was so crispy! They had extra bits of skin on top which I was happy about as it was my favourite bit.

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Our last main was roast cod with champagne and honey – this was the only one I wasn’t totally sure on. The fish itself was gorgeous – the skin was crispy the middle melted on the tongue – almost like it had been poached to cook it, my sister described it as silk.The sauce was a bit odd – sweet but also lots of champagne which isn’t my favourite thing. I did enjoy it as a whole though.

We had one dessert each and I was very impressed with it! I know desserts aren’t an Asian specialty so wasn’t sure what we would get. It was a lemon sorbet with a chocolate mousse, popping candy and candied nuts – all done well and a perfect round off to the evening!

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Overall, hakkasan was an amazing experience. I haven’t done a Chinese degustation menu before so it was a new experience and one I would like to repeat! If you are looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion then I definitely recommend.

JC xx

JC Travels: Five Destinations I want to Revisit!

I have done quite a bit of travel, especially since moving to London where all of Europe is so close by! I have about a million more places on my bucket list to go and visit, but there are certain destinations you go to where I just know I need to visit again and soon. so I thought I would run through my top 5.



Earlier in the year I had a lovely mini break to North Wales and it was spectacular (I wrote a whole blog about it)! The scenery along the coast and especially on Anglesey reminds me of New Zealand and it is a beautiful piece of the UK. All I really want to do there is wander around the hills, do some more walks and visit the tiny village pub down by the beach. It barely has any internet or phone signal but I think this is great – it’s nice to be cut off from the rest of the world and wander nature for awhile. I am planning on going back next year!


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I went to Barcelona in November last year to celebrate my birthday and I was captivated! We did very well with the weather as even in the winter, the sun was beaming and it was hitting 20 degrees everyday. This city seriously has everything, the churches and monuments such as the Sagrada Familia, the awesome bars and resturants in old town, an amazing waterfront and beach and crazy good shopping! I really felt like you could spend a week here and still have things to do, and as I only went for a long weekend. I want to get back there! I also really want to take Paul as he hasn’t been before and I think it would be a great break destination.

Las Vegas

I have been to Vegas twice now, once when I was about 10 – then again at about 16. I really want to go back now that I am over 21 just so I can actually wander through the casinos and spend a bit of time there. When I was 16 we drove from Rhode Island to California so we only spent a couple days there but I really love the city . There is just no where else on earth like it, and I will definitely be visiting when I next go to the States


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I went to Budapest in the middle of winter by myself, and I only went for a couple of nights. It was an absolutely beautiful place but it did snow continually and I was freezing. I also went on a Monday where everything shut which was a bit of a pain. So I really want to go again in the summer and really experience the city and go to the some of the famous baths (which were shut when I was there)!



I have been to Paris when I was about 17 and really enjoyed it but want to go back – and luckily I am going soon for my birthday! So keep an eye out for my birthday Paris diaries very very soon!!

Where do you just need to go back to?

On a totally unrelated note, I have entered the UK blog awards in the lifestyle category! I know it is a huge long shot because of all the other amazing lifestyle blogs, but I figured why not! So if you would like to vote for me, then you can do some by clicking that huge icon on the right hand side saying ‘vote now’ or you can click here – many thanks in advance if you do decide to vote!

JC xx

Keep up to date with my travels on Bloglovin!

Life Lately | 10 Happy Things!

I really want to start doing more life updates here on my little blog. I do write about a whole lot of stuff, but I think every couple of weeks I will start writing a little life update, along with some things that make me happy. I have found that lately I have been a bit bogged down with being busy and stressed, so focusing on some happy things is just what I need. Shout out here to Beckys Bluebell and Bumpkin blog, as I love reading her 10 happy things post each week!

So work has been so so busy lately. We are reaching a really busy and critical phase in the project which is really exciting but also lots of work to do! It has definitely been a challenge trying to balance work along with my Dad visiting from Australia, trying to see have a social life, staying healthy (I have had a pain of a cold!) and blogging. It is Sunday now and I have let myself have a day off everything – sitting, blogging and watching some Come Dine with Me!

The weekend before last Paul and I went up to Manchester to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary where we had a big party with all the family – it was also when my dad arrived! He and my Uncle then came down to spend a week with us in London which has been so much fun – lots of sightseeing and eating a huge amount of food.

I am very excited as well as next Saturday it is my birthday! Woo, I will be turning 23 which I am quite excited for. We are going out for dinner with my sister on Thursday, then Paul and I are going to Paris to celebrate – so we head off on Friday on the Eurostar then back on Sunday – then I have Monday off to recover! I am then off to Manchester the weekend after.

Now, onto my ten happy things this week:

1. My dad has been over! We have had a great week doing lots of sightseeing and going out pretty much every evening which I have really enjoyed. I wish I could see my parents more often!

2. We went out for an amazing meal at Hakkasan in Mayfair which was delicious – expect a full post on this very shortly.

3. Everything is starting to feel Christmasy! I know it’s November but I love it. I have even bought some new Christmas lounge leggings, and some of the best Christmas cards quite possibly ever.

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4. Going along with this, the Body Shop released their Christmas stuff and the glazed apple and cranberry smell amazing – I couldn’t help but stock up.

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5. Paul cooked me some yummy sweet potato and chicken on Saturday. It’s so nice to be cooked something special and it was delicious.

6. It has finally been getting cold so Paul and I have been able to get the big duvet out and snuggle up on the couch which is one of my favourite things ever!

7. We have just started watching Dexter – so behind the times, but really enjoying it so far.

8. I managed to do a bit of sewing during the F1 yesterday – I think I will actually get my London cross stitch finished before Christmas.

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9. The early mornings have meant that I get to see a lovely sun rise on my way to work.

10. It’s my birthday soon and then Christmas and just ah I am very excited about both!! I even managed to make my way to the Fortnum and Mason Christmas shop which was amazing.

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What has made you happy this week?

JC xx