Pack with me: long-haul flight edition

I’m so excited to be writing the words I’m going to New York! I’m mega excited for this trip as it will be only my second time visiting the US and, unlike last time, my boyfriend is coming with me. We’ve never been for a holiday like this together, but we have everything planned out – I’ve been reading guidebooks like there’s no tomorrow. We’re going for a week (I’m there for work AND play), which means I have a packing list as long as my arm and in today’s post I’m going to talk about packing my carry-on for the flight.

I have only done two long-haul flights (to and from Chicago last year) so I’m very new to the business. I have watched so many packing videos and read loads of blog posts to try and hone my packing list: especially loved this video from The Anna Edit as well as this one from Fleur de Force. Having done my research, I think I’m suitably prepared for all eventualities! I’m only taking a back pack so I can’t pack too much or I won’t be able to carry it…

Lisabeth westwood packing new york city flight

Entertainment

The flight to New York is around eight hours so I have packed a couple of different things to keep me entertained. I’ll take my laptop, notepad, and pen in case inspiration strikes and I want to do some work or plan blog posts. I’m a big reader and I get through books very very fast so I have packed my kindle (full up with lots of novels) but also my guidebook in case I want to do a bit more planning. I’ll have my phone with me, loaded up with podcasts (I love The Guilty Feminst, Ctrl Alt Delete, and No Such Thing as a Fish), which will be great for the plane but also for hanging about in airports and trainstations. Another essential is a sleep mask, I find it difficult to get some shut-eye on flights without one of these bad boys.

Carry on lisabeth westwood flight packing new york

Beauty and Body

I’m very happy to travel makeup free so I’m not packing any. I might slick on some mascara in the morning and maybe some eyebrow gel, but nothing on the face.  Instead, I am focussed on skincare. Actually, one of my favourite ways to pass the time in the airport is to slather as many ludicrously expensive creams and serums on my face in duty free as possible! Having very dry and dehydrated skin, I have packed a moisturiser for every body part. Most of these are samples that I have got from BirchBoxes, making them the perfect size for my carry on.

20180303_144609297_iOSFor the face: Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse moisturiser (which is nice and light but still moisturising) and the Simple Hydrating Booster

 

For the hands: L’Occitan Shea Handcream

For the body: Body Shop Argan Oil Body Lotion

For the eyes: Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser

For the lips: Dr Paw Paw Multipurpose Soothing Balm

lisabeth westwood long haul travel

To keep myself feeling fresh I also have a mini Mitchum deoderant, toothpaste, and antibacterial handgel. I also have a teeny tiny sample of the English Laundry scent to spray just before we land.

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Other

There are a couple of other bits and pieces that will go into my rucksack: a pair of thick socks to keep my toes warm, a scarf (blanket/pillow in one!), a pack of tissues, painkillers, and assorted chargers/adapters.

Calling all experienced flyers – is there anything I’ve missed? Send me your long-haul flight essentials.

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My travel makeup

As I write, I am sat at my parents’ dining table with the dog circling round my feet. I am dogsitting for five days whilst my mum and dad are on a trip. Whilst I’m technically away from home, I’m back at the house I lived in from 13 to 18 so I didn’t need to bring much with me, just some books and things to amuse myself whilst the dog naps.

Although I’m spending much of this time in wellies, tramping around muddy fields, and playing fetch, I did bring some make-up bits with me so I thought I’d share what’s in my travel makeup bag. The products I brought are by no means my favourites, but items that suit this low maintenance trip. I didn’t realise until I unpacked my makeup bag that so many of my products are from Maybelline and, for the price, most are awesome.

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Base products

I brought my new Maybelline Dream Cushion foundation (in ivory) which I spoke about in my recent beauty haul. I love this foundation, especially when applied using a beauty blender – I love this Eco Tools one – for a light but flawless finish. Then I have my trusty Maybelline The Eraser Eye (in light) and my Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder (in transparent) to set everything in place. I don’t really go in for bronzer or contour but I have a Manna Kadar Beauty blusher (in Fantasy) that is a wonderful plum shade, which is perfect for winter. 20180224_132043496_iOSBrows, Eyes, and Lips

 

 

I have rather unruly brows; however, I really hate spending time on them. I packed the Maybelline Brow Drama clear gel. This product isn’t amazing, the gel does not keep my brows in place all day so I’ll be investing in something a little more heavy duty soon. Please send recommendations! I also brought a Meech and Mia pencil (in 21), just in case I get invited anywhere and want to look more put together.

For the eyes, I have the Maybelline Colour Tattoo (in On & On Bronze), which I absolutely love. You can apply it with your fingers and bam! – your eyeshadow is done. It stays in place and doesn’t crease, it is perfect for a quick make-up look. Then I have an Essence Volume Stylist mascara for my lashes, which does flake a little bit, but for £3 you cannot complain!

I didn’t pack a lipstick with me for this trip. I’m not planning on heading out much, and sticking on lippie seemed a bit over the top for dog walks! I packed a Body Shop lipbalm in passionberry, it is a pretty deep pink colour and gives a lovely gloss to the lips.

What are you favourite products for quick makeup? Send me your recommendations!

 

Beauty Haul

It isn’t often that I had down to my local Superdrug and buy lots of beauty bits. I tend to be quite minimalist with my purchases because I don’t have a big budget, but when I do shop, I really enjoy trying new brands and products. So yesterday I headed to the shops, with the intention of only buying a lipbalm – as you can see from the picture, I didn’t even get a lipbalm! – but I did pick up some new skincare and makeup. I haven’t tried out all of this stuff yet, so keep your eye out for my beauty favourites posts to see if they make it into the big leagues.

beauty haul skincare makeup lisabeth westwood

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation & Colour Tattoo 24h

beauty haul makeup lisabeth westwood

Last night I went out for a friend’s birthday and was able to give these a bit of a test out. With foundation, I have been using Bourjois’ Healthy Mix for ages so I was ready to try something new – and it was buy any two products for £12. I hadn’t tried a cushion foundation before but, as I have very dry and dehydrated skin, I was interested to test out something quite dewy. I applied the Maybelline Dream Cushion (ivory) it using a RealTechniques expert face brush and I absolutely loved it. The colour match was perfect and it left my skin looking even and didn’t cling to any dry areas. I love that it has SPF 20 and that it is a little more portable than my usual foundation. I’m excited to keep trying it out and see how longwearing it is.

I’m not a big eyeshadow wearer; however, I do like a bit of glitz when going out on an evening. I picked up the Colour Tattoo 24hr in On & On Bronze. It was very easy to apply and didn’t crease (something which I am looking for more now I’m getting older). The colour was really pretty, but you had to build it up to get more of an impact. I think it’d make a good base for eyeshadow so I might give that a try for my next date night.

Nip and Fab No Needle Fix Eye & Skin Republic Bubble Purifying and Charcoal Mask

beauty haul skincare lisabeth westwood

These masks looked really interesting, but I haven’t tried them out yet. I decided to give the Nip and Fab No Needle Fix Eye Mask a try because I am heading to New York in March and was thinking about taking eye masks for the plane. These were only a couple of quid (I can’t really afford the fancy ones) and I thought they might be a good choice. I do want to try them out first in case they are too messy/don’t do much. The Skin Republic Bubble Purifying and Charcoal Sheet Mask was actually a freebie as part of a multi-buy offer. I have seen people like Tati use bubble masks and I thought it might be a fun thing to try. Who knows, I might get hooked on them!

B Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz & Simple Water Boost Hydrating Booster

beauty haul lisabeth westwood skincare

Again, I’m thinking ahead to my long haul flights to and from New York. As I mentioned, I have very dry skin so it is important that I keep everything hydrated on the flight. I have actually used the B Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz before. It is one of those products that always seems to be on offer and I really liked using it before. It makes your skin feel all refreshed and hydrated so very good for travelling and these cold winter months. I had seen a few people talk about the new Simple Water Boost range so I picked this product up (it was on sale!). It is quite a small size so I thought it would be perfect to fit in my carry on.

Please let me know if you have any beauty recommendations!

My Bathtime Routine

Winter really is the season of the bath. The nights are drawing in and the cold weather makes the idea of a warm, bubbly bath seem so much more tempting. It is time to break out the candles and face masks.

I am a big fan of the bath. Like lots of people, I find them a great way to relax on an evening and a good opportunity to do a little pampering. Another perhaps more unusual reason why I enjoy baths so much is that I can actually see what I’m doing! I am very, very shortsighted so being able to keep my glasses on is great and makes shaving my legs much easier and less precarious.

I would love to have slightly fancier bath and body stuff but, as PhD student, that isn’t really an option but you don’t need luxury products to get totally relaxed. In this post, I will chat all about my current winter bathtime routine.

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Ambiance

When it is bathtime, I like to make my bathroom a calm and relaxed place to be. I do a quick tidy up, get my towels all ready, and light a candle. This Oliver Bonas candle is in the Green Tea and Lotus Flower scent, which I love but warning – it can be overpowering in a small room.

Bubble Bath

Every bath needs some bubbles and my current bubble bath of choice is the Imperial Leather pearl rose and forget-me-not. Despite the name, this is not overly floral but the fragrance is pretty and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. This bath cream provides the bubbles and the luxurious bath time feeling we all want for only a couple of quid!

Face Mask

I am rubbish at remembering to use face masks so I find baths the perfect time to apply. I have very dry skin so I only use this L’Oréal pure clay detox mask on my T-zone. You don’t need to use much and it helps to keep my skin clear and blemish free.

Body Scrub

Honestly, I don’t really use body scrubs very often but this Scrub Love coffee scrub came in a recent BirchBox so I thought I’d give it a try. You don’t have to use it all at once as the pouch is re-sealable, which is useful. However, I don’t plan on using it again. It was incredibly messy and although it smelt nice (of coffee and orange oil) in the bath, it left my skin smelling like instant coffee all day long. Also, the scrub did not seem to improve the texture of my skin that much. So all in all – it is a pass.

bathtime routine lisabeth westwood

A Good Book

Whilst my face mask is doing its business, I like to relax with a book. I always have one on the go and I’m currently re-reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford Chronicles. Gaskell isn’t for everyone, as her books mainly focus on lower and middle class life in the North of England, but if you like nineteenth-century writers, like Jane Austen or the Brontës, give Gaskell a try.

bathtime routine cranford lisabeth westwood gaskell

After the bath

I won’t bore you with the details of my haircare or shaving routine. After my facemask is off and I’ve caught up with the goings on in Cranford, bathtime is over. My after-bath routine can be described in one word: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

I first use the Le Petit Marseillais’ body oil with shea butter, argan and sweet almond oil. This is a French highstreet brand that I love and always get my mum to stock up on when she goes away. I’ve been using their shower gels and handwashes for years! They all have such beautiful fragrances and feel much more expensive than they are. After the body oil, I slather myself in Aveeno shea butter body lotion: this stuff has worked wonders for my eczema and dry skin!

Once all this has sunk in, I’m relaxed and ready to snuggle up in my dressing gown with Netflix. I’m currently re-watching Call the Midwife with tissues at the ready! To me, that is really the perfect winter evening routine.

bathtime routine lisabeth westwood

*links are for information only.*

November Favourites and Highlights

November isn’t actually over year but I have had such a good month that I wanted to talk about it now! Here’s a run down of my highlights and favourites from this month.

Crisp morning walks

Lisabeth Westwood winter woods chilly

I love this time of year: it is getting chilly but too cold, the mornings are still light, and I can walk to work not completely bundled up in scarves and hats. I live a few miles from my university and I’m loving my morning walks at the moment. I get wrapped up, stick on a podcast (current favourites are Crtl Alt Delete and No Such Thing as a Fish), and set off to work. I love the crisp, fresh air and I often make a slight detour to walk through the park for that extra autumnal feeling.

Bourgois Rouge Velvet Lipstick

Bourgois lipstick

Lipsticks. There are just so many out there and most don’t live up to the hype. However, I have been loving the combination of this Rouge Velvet lipstick (03 Hippink chic) and the BarryM lipliner in Runway. It is really longlasting, i.e. it doesn’t leave you with that horrible lipstick ring round your mouth after one sip of coffee. I love this colour – I’ve really been channeling my inner Alicia Florrick (another November favourite, I watched ALL of the Good Wife recently).

I’m going to New York!

I’m so excited for this one! I have wanted to go to New York for as long as I can remember. As a child of the 90s, Friends and the like made NYC look like the place to be. I was lucky to win an academic prize that will fund a research trip to the Big Apple in March. It won’t be all fun but I’m really looking forward to planning my stay. I have the hotel booked (I’m staying at the AKA Wall Street and it looks so fancy), next is flights!

Teaching

I won’t sugarcoat it, teaching is hard and I only have a few seminar groups a week. I’m so impressed for all those primary and secondary school teachers out there, it is so much work! Despite all that work and marking, I have loved teaching this year. My students are so nice and seem to be engaged with the subject, the latter is really all that I’m interested in. The extra money has definitely come in handy this month too as Christmas is fast approaching.

L’Occitane Shea Handcream

Birchbox handcream Lisabeth Westwood L'Occitane

I mentioned this handcream in my review of the November Birchbox and I have really been enjoying it. I get very dry skin in winter and my skin has been loving this cream – it is so rich and moisturising. It is the perfect size for on the go but I have mine on my desk. I think I even prefer it to the Body Shop hemp handcream and that has been my favourite for years!

 

My First Impressions: BirchBox X Vogue

I recently subscribed to the Birchbox. Each month you get a five beauty bits, makeup, skincare, and haircare to try for £10 per month: most of them are minis – but you get a decent sample size.

I have to be honest, I’m often a bit disappointed by the contents for example, in two of my recent boxes I got coffee scrubs (that I can’t use because of my eczema) and sometimes the makeup is in colours I’d never wear (shimmery dusky pink eyeshadow anyone?). BUT I was very happy when I opened the November box and I’m going to share my first impressions of the products below.

Birchbox Lisabeth Westwood

Seche Vite: Dry Fast Top Coat

Seche Vite Birchbox Lisabeth westwood

I had heard lots of things about this Seche Vite top coat. Lots of bloggers and YouTubers have raved about it so I was very excited when I got a full-size bottle in my Birchbox. I immediately got out my nail varnishes and went to town. Initially, I was impressed: my varnish dried really quickly and my nails looked pretty and shiny. However, less than 24 hours later, the varnish on one of my nails had flaked off entirely and now (3 days into wear), it looks absolutely terrible. Granted I have only tried it with one nail varnish so I will give it another go with a different brand but I was so disappointed.

Rating: 1/5

Benefit: Hoola

Benefit hoola birchbox Lisabeth Westwood

I have used Benefit’s Hoola before so this is less of a first impressions. It is a good-sized mini but the packaging isn’t great quality – the lid doesn’t stay closed – so I wouldn’t want to travel with it. I don’t wear bronzer very often but I love this one. It is matt, a nice neutral colour (no scary orange bronzer here!), and has great wear time. I’m excited to start bronzing up my very pale face again this winter.

Rating: 3/5 (would have been 4/5 but the packaging let it down).

Percy & Reed: Smooth, Sealed & Sensational Hair Oil

Birchbox Percy & Reed hair oil Lisabeth Westwood

I have wavy/curly hair and use a hair oil everytime I shower as otherwise my hair would be frizz-central. I gave this a whirl yesterday and I was very happy with the results. It smells great and left my hair soft, frizz-free, and didn’t make my roots oily.  I’m excited to add this product into my haircare routine and, as you only use a few drops each time, this mini should last me ages. I’d definitely invest in the full-size.

Rating:5/5

Birchbox: Brush Cleaner

Birchbox brush cleaner Lisabeth Westwood

I don’t know about you but cleaning my brushes is a task I absolutely hate. It takes ages and you end up covered in eyeshadow and goop. Therefore, I was keen to give this brush cleaner a go – anything that will make it quicker to clean my brushes so that I can go do something more fun. It worked really well, especially with eyeshadow brushes. You just spray a little brush cleaner on the brush and swirl it around on silicone pad. Easy and clean to use, it has changed my brush cleaning life.

Rating: 5/5

L’Occitane en Provence: Shea Butter Hand Cream

Birchbox handcream Lisabeth Westwood L'Occitane

This handcream is the perfect addition to your handbag. It is small but a little of the cream goes a long way. As it has shea butter in it, it is a very thick, nourishing cream so it is great for winter when your skin gets dry and uncomfortable. As I mentioned earlier, I have eczema but this didn’t irritate my skin and the fragrance is subtle.

Rating: 4/5

 

Perfect Products for Dry Skin

I’m forever searching for an amazing moisturiser. I have eczema so my skin is always so dry and it is difficult to find products that really hydrate.

I went shopping recently and ended up buying some bits from Boots and Superdrug and the products I got were SO GOOD! My skin hasn’t felt this soft or looked this hydrated since I was teenager!

 Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

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This product is quite new to the market. I was a bit sceptical at first that Neutrogena would do good moisturiser as I associate the brand with spot treatments. Boy was I wrong! There are two versions of this cream and I got the one for dry skin. The ingredients include hyaluronic acid which helps to hydrate the skin and it does exactly that. My dry and flaky skin is gone with smooth, soft skin in its place. It is definitely more of a gel texture than a cream and I love it. £12.99

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

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This foundation has been recommended by so many beauty bloggers: Ruth Crilly did a great video about budget foundations and I thought that I had to try it.

I used to use Bourgois foundations when I was in my second year of university but I wore the lightest shade which was NOT a good look. It is such a hydrating formula and it stays put so much longer than my MAC Studio Fix (at least 6 hours without touch ups).

It is such a dewy formula but doesn’t make you look super oily. I can’t imagine using anything else!

£9.99

 Botanics Triple Age Renewal Firming Night Cream and Hydrating Eye Cream

I have always enjoyed the Botanics products: they are reasonably priced, have a nice variety of sub-ranges for different skin types, and the moisturisers are always top quality. I went for the anti-ageing option because I’m 26 and my skin is showing signs of ageing (so so sad but you can’t avoid it!).

I have never used a designated night cream before and this is so rich but without clogging your pores. The eye cream is similarly great, it is very moisturising, and it plumps up those fine lines.

Night Cream: £4.49 Eye Cream: £4.99

 Optimum PhytoCellTec Intensive Protecting Serum

phytocelltec-serum

I saw this serum in the clearance section of Superdrug and it was only £1.30.

I wasn’t going to let a bargain like that pass me by and I really like this product. It has a thick consistency but it sinks in to the skin quickly and it provides a good base for make up.

I haven’t used it for long enough to see if it has any anti-ageing properties but I will definitely repurchase.

£1.30