The reason for being awfully absent from consistent blogging? Being out of England since the start of June this year. The reason for finally starting this travel series on Bea-uty Blog? Being out of England since the start of June this year. To kick start this series: Cologne.

West Germany, just over 1 hour by car from the border between Netherlands and Germany.

Season visited? 
Fall/Autumn. Colder temperatures but just as beautiful scenery.

Length of time visited?
Just one day - I was there early and left late but managed to explore much of the city. I would definitely return for a visit longer than a day to explore even more of the city's sites.

Top locations of the city?
The Dom - if you're visiting Cologne, this is one you cannot miss (literally). The structure of the city's cathedral will leave you overwhelmed in all the best ways. Even better, this incredible building is located directly outside Cologne's central train station. Step inside the Dom to experience the wonderful stain glass detailing to every window, take in the sheer scale of its architecture or even visit the Shrine of the Three Kings (yes, really). 
The old town - once you've finished making your way round the Dom, head round the back of the cathedral and down the steps across the square. It will become clear when you enter the older part of the city as the streets under your feet become cobbled. Be sure to stop for photograph opportunities at the many water features you pass in the old town on your way down towards the river (keep walking towards the brightly coloured buildings or ask a local wo ist der Fluss? meaning where is the river?). Once you reach the waters edge take a look back at the views of the city and it's beautiful buildings and then stop for a German beer at one of the many cafe's along the river.

Have you visited Cologne? If so, where are your favourite locations to spend your time during the city? Let me know in the comments. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for quick updates on my travels (link below).

Bea-uty Blog



Left to right: CLARINS Pore Minimizing Serum, LUSH Mask of Magnaminty, GOOD THINGS Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator
After reviewing CLARINS Pore Minimizing Serum, a lot of you said you were always looking to try product’s to help minimise your pores – especially during the warmer summer months, when they seem to be larger. I’m lucky enough to have a pore minimising routine that I have stuck to for several months now and it’s working wonders. Even better, it consists of only three products that are all relatively quick to use and can be factored in to your daily and weekly skin routines.
The first product I use daily is the GOOD THINGS Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator, which was mentioned a while back in my Spring Skincare Favourites. I’m still using this product every morning and it’s hugely helped with reducing my pores. It works by preventing bacteria that causes blackheads (which also causes your pores to become larger, especially across the nose and cheeks). This product is great for all skin types – don’t be put off it’s exfoliating properties even if you have sensitive skin, it’s a gentle exfoliator so won’t aggravate the skin like many other harsh exfoliators!
The second is, of course, CLARINS Pore Minimizing Serum. I now use this product daily. I apply one pump across my t-zone (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin) using my finger tips – you don’t need to rub this product in forever to ensure it works, which makes it even quicker to add to your daily routine. I’m still loving how long lasting this product is and cannot wait to continue using it during the winter months under a fuller coverage of make up – it’s going to make a great base to make those pores smaller all year round! You can read my full review of its ingredients and effectiveness here.
Lastly, I chose to include the LUSH cosmetics Mask of Magnaminty twice a week in my pore minimising routine. I love how uplifting this mask is, plus it’s amazing consistency means it lasts for ages too (oh, and it’s self preserving so can be kept with the rest of your skincare instead of being forgotten about in the fridge). I apply the mask with a fuller application for 15 minutes once a week, using a sponge to rinse off the product for a full cleanse of my pores. I then also apply the mask using a thinner layer of the product for 10 minutes once a week, using circular motions to give my pores a deep exfoliation.

This routine has minimised my pores so well and left me with clearer skin too. Smaller pores and clearer skin – woohoo!

Do you use any of these products in your skincare routines? Or will you be picking them up to reduce your pores? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy your clearer skin and minimised pores,
Bea-uty Blog



Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun, Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Sun Lotion in SPF 30, Hawaiian Tropic Sun Spray Lotion in SPF 20 and Hawaiian Tropic Protective Dry Spray Oil in SPF 15
As much as I love an all over tan during the Summer months (who doesn’t?!), I also love to make sure it is a tan rather than burn. As I have been “blessed” with fair skin, I can’t afford to use sunscreen that doesn’t work better than amazing. I have now used Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen for several years and, touch wood, have not burnt my pale skin once whilst covered in their various sun protection products. Hawaiian Tropic offers several ranges of sun protection and after sun, but here are my top 4 products of theirs that I wouldn’t go on holiday without.
For the first 2 weeks of my Summer I use Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Sun Lotion in SPF 30. Huge amounts of research and testing shows that SPF factors 30 and above actually give your skin roughly the same amount of protection – I’m no scientist or skincare expert but this SPF 30 has given my skin full protection against getting burnt when my skin has been at it’s most vulnerable to burning! However, I use this product over my whole body except my face as I still prefer to use a sport SPF 50 on my face for the first 2 weeks of Summer as I do a lot of physical activities and having a sunscreen that is sweat resistant is a must for the delicate skin of my face.

I then drop down to using Hawaiian Tropic Sun Spray Lotion in SPF 20. I continue to use this product over my whole body (I now start to use an SPF 30 on my face or continue to use an SPF 50 if I feel I need it). I love that this bottle comes in a spray as I find it easier to apply than squeezing sunscreen out of a bottle, which usually results in a huge mess – not cool! However, a spray top does makes applying this product, when it’s near to empty, extremely frustrating and time consuming.
Finally, towards the end of my Summer I will start using Hawaiian Tropic Protective Dry Spray Oil in SPF 15. I only use this product on my arms and legs and would suggest you steer clear of this product if your skin doesn’t tan well – it’s oily consistency attracts the sun to your skin super fast, not a great idea unless you have a base tan or skin that tans easily!
For the whole Summer I apply Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun every evening over my whole body, including my face. The ingredients of this soothing product moisturise your skin all day and all night whilst preserving your tan – woohoo! Plus, it smells incredible.

Tip: Always speak to a pharmacist when selecting sunscreen for your self, especially if you have sensitive skin, as everyone’s skin is different and requires different levels of protection against getting burnt. Also don’t forget to reapply sunscreen when you feel you need to, even if you are choosing to use a ‘once a day’ sunscreen – I usually reapply at least 3 times a day!

Do you use any Hawaiian Tropic products? Or do you have different products that are your favourites for protection against the sun? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy your healthy tan,
Bea-uty Blog

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Left to right: MAC Frost Lipstick in Fresh Moroccan, MAC Lipstick in Fresh Brew, MAC Frost Lipstick in High Strung
As a lover of MAC lipsticks, it’s time for me to show you my favourite shades for summer. Lipstick will often be the only makeup I chuck on during my busy summer months so it’s important for me to have shades that I can wear with different outfits.

The pink – High Strung. This lipstick is from MAC’s Frost range and therefore adds a slight sparkle to my lips. I choose to wear this shade during summer evenings, with a sundress or an elegant alternative. Plus, this shade looks great with a tan and darker skin tones!

The nude – Fresh Brew. My favourite shade to wear during the daytime in summer. This shade looks great with every outfit and is an easy choice to pop on before heading out for a day trip in the sun or carrying with me for top ups during the day. When wearing no make up, this lipstick gives you just the right amount of natural colour on your lips to keep you looking healthy.

The red – Fresh Moroccan. Another one from MAC’s Frost range, one for those summer evenings when it’s time to dress up a little. I love this shade but I feel it only suits me when I have a tan – boohoo! That does mean that would be great for darker skin tones all year round though. This looks great with neutral eye make up shades and a simplistic summer dress to show off that tan.
 Do you love any of these MAC lipstick shades too? Or do you have other shades that are on your favourites list for summer? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy paying attention to those colourful lips this summer,
Bea-uty Blog



LUSH Cosmetics: Seanik Shampoo Bar, Brazilliant Shampoo Bar, 9 To 5 Cleansing Lotion, Honey I Washed The Kids Soap, Karma Soap and Tea Tree Water Toner Water
Although I love prepping for Summer Holidays and the excitement that comes with it, shopping for toiletries with weight restrictions of flying in mind is never something I enjoy. This year I was lucky enough to pick up the majority of my Holiday essentials from LUSH cosmetics – no surprise there!

Instead of carrying huge bottles of shampoo, that take up far too much of my suitcase weight on board, I have chosen to take 2 LUSH Shampoo Bars with me this year – Brazilliant and Seanik. These take up hardly any room in my luggage and I’m confident that they will last me 3 month Stateside this Summer (they last me almost 2 months per bar back home). Plus, the two I have chosen are perfect for keeping my locks refreshed and healthy in the sun. You can read all my reasons for loving these Shampoo Bars here.

Sticking with the aim to not take an overweight case to the airport, I have traded bottles of shower gel with two blocks LUSH Soap in Karma and Honey I washed the Kids. You can buy these two perfectly sized blocks in an affordable set. I love how I now have the choice of a moisturising and soothing cleanse of my body with Honey I Washed The Kids or an uplifting shower for those tired days with Karma. Both these soaps smell better than any shower gel I would choose to take with me on holiday – hoorah!

Although the sun often clears my skin up wonderfully, I love to take a toner with me on Holiday to ensure I start the mornings and go to bed with skin that feels fresh and not still covered in sunscreen. This year I’ve taken the LUSH Tea Tree Water Toner Water with me Stateside. The Tea Tree in this toner works wonders with the sun to keep my skin blemish free during the summer months, super important when you’re applying oily sunscreen all day!

Finally, as a Summer Holiday is a time to relax and stroll down to the beach when you’ve woken up, a quick cleanser is crucial. I’ve taken the LUSH 9 To 5 Cleansing Lotion with me this year. I choose to apply this cleanser with a cotton wool pad in the mornings before I apply my sunscreen – nothing worse than applying to sunscreen to tired skin. This product is perfect for refreshing the face during those super hot summer days.

Do you have any beauty or skincare favourites you take on holiday with you? Or will you be taking any of these LUSH products with you this year? Let me know in the comments below! Enjoy your Summer Holiday, 
Bea-uty Blog



Left: No7 by Boots Naturally Sunkissed Gradual Body Tan, Right: Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Instant Tan in Medium Matte
So, it’s summer but you’re too busy to jet off somewhere sunny? Or you’re still waiting for those painful two weeks, before your flight departs, to fly by? Of course we are all guilty of sneaking on that fake tan in the hope that no one will notice we’ve drastically caught the sun when the weather outside is awful. But which will really give you a more natural glow that stays with you for the length of time you want it too? Gradual or Instant tan?

As I’m normally okay with embracing my pale skin year round, I used to stick with RIMMEL London’s Sun Shimmer Instant Tan in Medium Matte as I could just pop it on before having my legs out for a few hours on a night out or at a Summer event. I do love the look of this tan and it’s main wonder to me is how easy it is to build coverage with it – on a Summer’s day when I’m attending a wedding I don’t want to turn up looking like I’ve replaced my legs with carrots, but when I’m venturing into a dark nightclub for a few hours maybe I need to layer the Instant tan for it to be seen! Be warned though, it’s wash off so not the best idea if you’re heading to a foam party on a girls holiday. My biggest disappointment with Instant tan is how quickly it stains your skin, I am fully aware of what the word instant means but the panic of not blending it evenly into my skin fast enough hugely puts me off using Instant tan on a regular basis.

This year I’ve been super busy leading up to my trip stateside for the summer, so I haven’t been too fussed with being Instantly bronzed for events. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to have a healthy glow before I plunge from England’s cloudy days to Boston’s sunny weeks! Okay, so gradual tan takes a bit of planning and organisation – you won’t notice the different if you cake this on a few hours before heading out! But, if you’re fair skinned I would definitely recommend choosing No7’s Naturally Sunkissed Gradual Body Tan over an Instant tan as it leaves you looking naturally tanned – perfect! I use this product once a day and start to notice my tan develop evenly around day 4 or 5. An added bonus is the lack of panic you have during application about streaks or uneven blending (if you think you didn’t apply it evenly one day, just rectifying the next day). So there must be a downside? Yes, you may smell ever so slightly like a digestive biscuit. I have no idea why but gradual tan just seems to have that scent – annoying! No worries though, you won’t notice that as you wonder round in the fresh air (maybe apply your favourite perfume before leaving the house, just in case).

Which is your favourite way of faking a tan, Gradual or Instant tan? Have you tried the No7’s Gradual Tan or RIMMEL London’s Instant tan, or do you have another fake tan product that you use religiously? Let me know in the comments! Enjoy those “naturally” bronzed bodies this summer,
Bea-uty Blog

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