GRWM: Full face of Essence & 2019 Youtube plans

GRWM: Full face of Essence & 2019 Youtube plans

Sit down and get ready with me as I do my makeup with pretty much only Essence makeup products and talk to you about my plans for my youtube channel. That is what this video is all about. I did a full face of Catrice get ready with me a few months ago and decided I couldn’t leave out Essence. If you are curious what my favorite Essence makeup products are and what my plans are for my Youtube channel in 2019, then click on through.

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May plans

May plans

After some very busy months with more birthdays, family visits and job interviews than I dare to count, the next month will not slow down much yet. I have a bunch of fun things coming up and I thought I would share. Here are my plans (other than work and gym stuff) for the month of May.

First of all I’m starting off this month with a small vacation. Yesterday it was Queens Day in the Netherlands. Since I’m not one for the big street parties that go on on this national holiday, I decided to go a bit further south and go to Antwerp for some shopping with my best friend. The rest of the vacation will be quiet. I may go to Primark later this week, but other than that it’s just some errands, a visit to a hairdresser and one class at uni. I’ll also be going to see Band of Skulls tomorrow and I’m having some friends over for dinner on Saturday.

Band of Skulls isn’t the only concert I’ll be seeing this month. I will be going to three others: Perfume Genius, Tim Christensen and the Damn Crystals and White Denim. They’re all pretty much spread out over the month. I am curious about all of them. I don’t know much of Perfume Genius’ music, but the few songs I know I love so I thought that would be cool to go to. I have been using this spot to rave about Tim Christensen and the Damn Crystals for some time now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I will be seeing them live too. White Denim is a band I also don’t know much about. I have one song I love to death and one of their albums so I’ll just see how that goes. Usually my favorite concerts end up being the ones where I hardly knew the band and its music.

Apart from concerts I also have a bunch of social calls coming up. A friend of mine has a company that specializes in living history events and she is holding a roaring twenties party so I will be dusting off my cocktail dress and my lindyhop skills for that one. Another friend of mine is celebrating her birthday this month too so I will also be going to visit her. Somewhere in between my parents will probably come to visit me too.

Anywho: June will be knocking on my door before I know it. And June means a ton of things: the last full month at my current job, the completion of my final uni class, the start of my potentially first scientific publication and more concerts and social get-togethers. So now I’m just going to sit back, relax and enjoy this vacation because the end of this school year will hit faster than I think. I hope you get to do the same and in the mean time, check out this cool song by Arcade Fire, which I thought would make an apt soundtrack for this post. Enjoy!

Arcade Fir – Month of May

What are you up to this month? Anyone taking exams? Maybe you’re going on vacation? Let me know in a comment below!

London 2012: Day 4

London 2012: Day 4

Ah my final day in London! This day was by far the laziest of all. I was so tired from all the walking I had done the days before that I decided to really take it easy. I slept in, checked out of my hotel and left my luggage at the hotel and headed out on the town for one last time. The hotel I was staying at was pretty okay actually. I was surprised that it had a good mattress. It was also clean, although the room could do with a bit of an upgrade when it comes to the decor, but other than that: it was good enough to rest my head as that’s all I did during my 4 days there. Best part: the guy at the front desk asked for someone to help me with my luggage on my way out. Always nice when they do that!

I set out the door of my hotel around 10.30 AM and first bought myself a train ticket to Gatwick Airport. It is advisable to just take a regular train and buy your tickets on the go, rather than getting on the Gatwick Express as it is cheaper and nearly as fast. During weekdays there are even direct trains going from St. Pancras to Gatwick for only 10 pounds for a single ride. On my way into the city when I arrived it cost me 15 pounds but that included a day travelcard for the tube. In total it cost me 25 pounds to get in and out of the city and I believe Gatwick Express costs around 35.

After getting my ticket I bought some magazines from WH Smith as I always like seeing what magazines in other countries look like and how they write about different topics. Since it was London Fashion Week right when I was there, many magazines had special Fashion Week editions out so I bought one of those and a discount pack. I was late for breakfast at the hotel so instead I went to Starbucks, grabbed a latte and a sandwich and found a spot just reading and sipping coffee for an hour. I then set off to go to The British Museum.

British Museum exterior

My other major touristy visit was this massive museum that houses everything having to do with ancient cultures such as the Assyrians, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians etc. It’s pretty much a collection of artifacts which the Brits plundered during the Victorian period. Okay not plundered, as many of the British aristocrats who provided artifacts for the collection often got permission from the countries the items came from, even though some of them now want it back. The museum is most famous for the Rosetta stone which is the only reason why anyone is able to understand Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Interior of the museum

Another thing the museum is famous for is the grand hall from which you can go and explore the museum. There is this massive circular staircase in the middle and this amazing glass roof that gives the impression of the room being 20x bigger than it actually is. I decided to just browse around as much as I can. I had already been to the museum once, a long time ago and only saw a few things at the time, so now I was set on getting a good browse around.

The museum starts with Egyptian sculpture and moves into Greek, Assyrian and Roman artifacts quite flawlessly. There are 5 floors in total and not all of it caught my attention. I spent most of my time gazing at the Greek vases depicting the works of Herakles or Hercules as he was known in Latin. And I also learned things about Greek & Roman culture that I didn’t know yet, or I remembered facts that I once used to know. During my teens I was obsessed with Roman, Greek and Egyptian ancient culture, especially the mythology and all of these facts just came boiling to the surface. I now I actually want to go and bust out my old mythology books and read up on them again!

Inside the museum: sculptures taken from the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis in Greece (Greece actually wants these back)

I spent nearly 3 hours at the museum. You could very easily spend the entire day there if you read everything and look at every artifact but like I said not everything grabbed my eye so I just walked right through the exhibitions on early Medieval artifacts and other things that didn’t interest me. By this time I was quite hungry and thirsty again and there was a Starbucks across the street so I huddled up again on a couch with a mag and just sat there for an hour reading and people watching.

By now it was really time to head back to the hotel, pick up my luggage and hop on a train to the airport. I arrived at the airport well on time, had a bite to eat and by the time I had finished my meal it was time for me to go to my gate. After an uneventful flight I arrived at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport safe and sound and got home around 10 PM to a rainy and windy Holland. Would you believe me if I said the weather in London was in fact better than at home? I’m sure that’s a rare thing!

This post finalizes my posts on my 4 day trip to London and I just made me fall in love with the city all over again. After New York, London is my favorite city in the world! I hope these posts make you see why. I still have one more post coming up in which I will show you what I bought fashion wise and then everything will be back to normal again on the blog. I hope you enjoyed my little ramble about my travels and since I’ll be going to the US and Canada over summer you are assured of more of these posts in the near future.

Do you love London as much as I do? If yes, why? If not, which city do you love most?

London 2012: Day 3

London 2012: Day 3

Day 3 of my trip would be devoted to more walking and plenty of shopping. I hit up Oxford Street and Soho and ticked off plenty from my fashion wish list to make a shoplog once I get back. So keep your eyes peeled for that but now let me just tell you what I exactly did on Day 3.

Marble Arch

My day started with a crowded subway ride during London’s rush hour. Perhaps not the best idea, but I was a girl with a mission: hit up Primark before everyone else did. I took the tube to Marble Arch and since I had never been able to take a proper picture of that monument I decided to go ahead and do just that before going to Primark. Luckily for me Primark was quiet when I got there and so I could browse to my heart’s content without having to step over people or be pushed around by crowds.

After Primark I hit up some more major store chains, which is what you do when you shop on Oxford Street. I went to Forever 21, TopShop, Urban Outfitters and Monki (in Selfridges). I found green pants (yay!), not 1 but 3 (!) bulky sweaters and two really cute dresses. I had also found out where the MAC Pro Store was located (in Carnaby Street) and browsed around there too. As I now found myself in Soho, I walked around some more into the general direction of Leicester Square and also found Make Up Store AND Illamasqua shops located in the Carnaby Street area. So, if you like make up and you are shopping in London, go to Carnaby Street!

Since it was only 4 PM I tried to see which movies were showing at that time, but again found nothing good playing so I just got onto the tube again and headed back to the hotel. My feet desperately needed a rest and I just watched some TV while reading blogs and writing a few of my own (including this one). I decided on having sushi for dinner and going to bed on time to get ready for my final day in London.

And so that was day 3. Not much to say unless you want the entire relay of my shopping experience. It’s just high street shopping, which is something you like or you don’t. I loved hitting up the vintage stores and markets in East London a few days ago, but also the boutique style stores in Covent Garden on Monday. Oxford Street has all major chains with some flagship stores (Primark & Topshop) which are huge you feel you’ll get lost.

Shopping high street stores is a beast on its own and my only advice is to go there early enough before major crowds show up. If you plan on shopping London’s Oxford Street I can highly recommend starting from Marble Arch and working your way eastward towards Tottenham Court Road. You’ll find yourself coming across Primark, Forever 21, H&M (several times), Dorothy Perkins (several times), Pull & Bear, Aldo, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Super Drug, Boots and department stores such as Selfridges, Debenhams and House of Fraser. In case of a rainy day, you can also go to Westfield Shopping Mall at Shepherd’s Bush. It has most of the stores you will find on Oxford Street, but you won’t get wet.

Where do you prefer to shop: vintage stores, boutiques or the high street?

London 2012: Day 2

London 2012: Day 2

Day two in the English capital turned out to be a great day. The weather was amazing, with a slight breeze but plenty of sunshine making it perfect weather for walking. And walk I did. I set off from my hotel around 9 AM. My first stop was the Twinings tea shop on The Strand. It’s the only official Twinings-only shop in the world and they have many varieties that aren’t available in Holland. Argyll Square – View from my hotel room

Houses on Argyll Square

Tudor style houses near Chancery Lane

Clock of the Royal Court of Justice

After picking up nearly 10 different teas including a ‘vintage’ Darjeeling I walk about for a bit as I wanted to go to Temple Church but it wouldn’t open until an hour later. I found myself walking along the River Thames and found a bench bathing in sunlight. I sat there people and boat watching while listening to music and waited until I could go to Temple Church.

Chestnut tree (?) on Victoria Embankment

Fierce looking dragon near Middle Temple lane

I had heard that Temple Church would be difficult to find and while trying to find it, I figured why. The church is surrounded by other buildings that are part residential area and part offices. It is completely encased and I found it by walking into a narrow alleyway. If I hadn’t I would have most likely walked passed it. Temple Church is quite a strange place. It’s only a stone’s throw away from the heavy traffic of Fleet Street/ The Strand, but yet it’s so quiet and peaceful when you walk into the courtyard. It doesn’t even feel like you’re in the middle of London.

Temple Church

The interior of the Church

Effigies of the Knights Templar

Temple Church is famous for being round on one end rather than having the shape of a cross. In the round part of the church you will find the famous effigies of the Knights Templar as featured in The Da Vinci Code. The ones you see in the picture above are actually plaster casts of the original which are on the other end of the room. The casts were made during the Victorian era for the World Exhibition and placed in the church after the originals were badly damaged during The Blitz in WWII. The Church is still active which is why it is only open at specific times a day.

Original entrance door of Temple Church

The reason why Temple Church is hard to find: courtyards and narrow alleys

Fountain with National Gallery

After the Church I walked via The Strand to Trafalgar Square and had a pit stop at Starbucks and Superdrug where I picked up some make up by brands that aren’t available in The Netherlands. I then went to the National Gallery where I walked around for a few hours viewing mainly Impressionist and Dutch 17th century art. The museum houses art from the 1200s till 1900 and since it is huge I picked two categories to go and see because I didn’t want to spend such a lovely day indoors all day.

The National Gallery is definitely worth a visit. If art isn’t your thing you should just step inside to see the interior. It is hands down one of the most majestic buildings I’ve ever been in, without it being preposterous. It’s a beautifully designed museum, especially the room called Central Hall and the rooms directly adjacent to it. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures inside the museum so you’ll just have to believe me or go there yourself. The museum is free so just stop by and pop in to have a look whenever you’re near it.

After viewing Monets, Renoirs, Rembrandts and the like I felt hungry and had lunch outside in the sunshine with a delicious salad. With it only being 3 PM and having gone through my plans for the day already, I set off towards Leicester Square to see if I could catch a West End musical. Unfortunately nothing struck me as remotely interesting and there aren’t many movies out right now that I think are worth visiting so I decided to take a beeline toward Covent Garden. There I found the most amazing shoe store on Floral Street called United Nude. It was too pricey for me, but nevertheless these shoes are eyecandy in its purest form. The shoes seem to be a combination of design and architecture and seem impossible to walk in.

I had quite a browse around Coven Garden, bought a few things here and there and headed west again along Shaftesbury Avenue towards Piccadilly Circus. There’s a Waterstone’s nearby as well as an HMV (I like their book section there too) and plenty of food places. So I bought some books and quite exhausted found a table at TGI Friday’s as I was craving a burger. I finished my meal with an Oreo sundae icecream and took the Underground back to the hotel. My feet were killing me after walking around for nearly 12 hours, but that’s how I like London best: by foot.

Stay tuned for more blogs about my London trip later this week!

How is your week coming along?

London 2012: Day 1

London 2012: Day 1

On Sunday I left for London and here’s what I did on day one. I woke up early and left well on time to catch a train to the airport. I had checked whether trains were going and all seemed well, until I got to the train station. There had been a fire in the train station tunnel and no trains were going for a while. I got on the first train that left and after an uneventful journey I arrived at the airport well in time.

After a slightly delayed flight and another train into the city I arrived at my hotel around 1.30 PM. I freshened up and got reorganized in my room and set out into town right away. I took the underground to Liverpool Street Station where I grabbed a bite to eat and started walking towards Spital Fields Market and the Old Truman Brewery in East London (near Brick Lane). I knew there would be some markets there and Rough Trade East is located there as well so I was hoping to hit up all those places while walking around.

Livepool Street Station

Detail of Liverpool Street Station construction

The weather was luckily perfect for walking and browsing around. It got a bit cold at times, but plenty of the markets aren’t exactly outside. Most of the markets are in these big halls so there is a roof over your head and it only got cold when I got anywhere near the exit.

The first stop was Old Spital Fields Market. It is a market where you can buy some edgier items than at your average highstreet store. You could compare it to a festival fair or a goods market. I already knew it wouldn’t be packing many vintage stores as the vintage scene moved a bit further east, but I thought it would be worth having a browse. Around the market there are some other regular stores and there are also food stalls in case you get hungry. After buying the most delicious donut ever (covered in icing with coconut sprinkles and filled with jam)  and browsing all the stalls I set off towards Old Truman Brewery.

Quaint store near Spital Fields Market

East London is littered with old vacant factory buildings and it is here that you will find a lively community of vintage and edgy clothes, mingled with the occasional places selling music and food. Old Truman Brewery is one of those vacant factory buildings and on Sundays there is a large market with a good section of vintage to go around as well. It was quite busy, but the vibe was really cool. There was music playing and tons of young people going about trying on sunglasses or the odd sweater. Where Spital Fields was littered with tourists I felt Old Truman Brewery had much more of a local feel to it. Me likes!

I browsed around for a bit and bought a great navy blue woolen sweater. I then set out around the back of the store and quickly found what I came for: Rough Trade East. It was busy but it’s a cool place. If you like your music on vinyl then this is your place to be. Unfortunately for me, one album I really wanted had sold out and the other artist they had never heard of so I think I’ll have to hit up HMV afterall. It is still a cool store though with many in store live performances happening and they are stocking tons of artists and music styles that are not main stream so it was interesting to see.

Rough Trade East store front

Since I had now seen the things I came to see I decided to just walk around and see what I found. I quickly walked into Hanbury Street where I found some amazing vintage clothing shops. One was called Absolute Vintage which was exactly like what you would expect from a vintage store: walls lined with shoes, everything organized somewhat by color and that musty smell that comes with most vintage stores. I didn’t end up buying anything but it is still a great shop to have a look at when you’re there.

I then walked out and was handed a pamphlet for another vintage shop called Blitz. And OMG: it’s the BEST vintage shop ever. It is very well organized. It actually looks like a very comfortable store with soft lighting and all the items look pristine and the prices aren’t too high. They even had a sale going on in the downstairs area and I picked up a few things from there. I will make a shoplog once I get home so I will show you what I got later.

By this time I was quite hungry and I went into an Indian curry house and had real Indian curry for the first time in forever. Last time I had any Indian food was when I was at William and Mary and that was 2005. It was really good and after feeling full and content I headed back to my hotel and watched some TV before going to bed.

All in all, I think the first day was a good one. East London is definitely a place I can recommend to anyone interested in fashion/ clothes and just overall quirky items. The minute you cross Commercial Street the scene becomes more local and less touristy and that adds to a great vibe plus there are plenty of food places to keep you well fed.

Plans for my London trip

Plans for my London trip

Yeah baby! When you’re reading this, the count down is seriously on: in little over 24 hours I will be hitting up good ol’ London town once more. I will only be gone for a few days, but since this is the 4th year in a row I’m going there, I think that is plenty to get around. I do have a few things I want to do. Some are completely new, others aren’t, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. Care to know what I’ll be up to (and will most definitely write blogs about)? Then keep on reading!

Houses of Parliament w/ Big Ben in 2010

First of all this will be the first time in a long time of going to London when it’s not spring or summer time. The weather will therefore be an interesting factor on this trip. The forecasts so far are pretty good, with major rain not coming in until Wednesday which is when I’ll be leaving. The rest of my stay will see some scattered showers, but overall it should be dry and sunny for most of it. With London you can never tell though. I’ll just bring an umbrella and make the best of it.

My actual plans involve some of the ideas I had when I first booked the trip. I have plans for hitting up some museums as well as some shopping and seeing a musical. I have never been to the National Gallery so I’ll be going there. It’s still only February so I’m thinking I’ll be safer inside than outside to begin with. I’m also going to visit Temple Church. It is a place with very limited opening hours and needs planning ahead of time. I have looked up all information I need on their website, so I should be good and will not end up standing there when it’s closed.

I will also go to a part of the city I have never been to before: East London. The Brick Lane area to be specific. It’s this very hip and happening place (apparently) ever since artists such as Damien Hirst and his colleagues started setting up shop in the area. Rough Trade has a record store there (great resource for indie music) and also located in the area is Spital Fields Market which is a good place for shopping vintage clothes and accessories. I think it will be an interesting part of London to visit as it borders onto the borough where many Bengali immigrants live so there will be plenty of curry/ food places around methinks.

A museum that I plan to revisit is the British Museum. I went there way back when in 2004. At the time though I was sick and air conditioning made everything worse, so I only stayed inside for less than an hour and saw nothing but the Egypt section. Since the British Museum is huge, I definitely plan on devoting most of one of my days to it, depending on how interesting it is and which exhibitions they have. In the worst case I will just wander about for hours looking at all the prettiness of ancient cultures and then some.

Naturally I will also take out time to go shopping. I’m thinking of just going to Oxford Street and Covent Garden as I know from experience those places have everything I’m looking for. There’s the Primark flagship store, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Selfridges, TopShop and many more to keep me entertained. I’ll be looking mostly for clothes this time round and there are a few specific items that I hope to find while I’m there. Another shop I will definitely visit is the Twinings shop on The Strand. They sell all kinds of different teas not available in The Netherlands and to top things off I received an email saying they have added new green teas to their selection. I’m curious to try those.

So there you have it: my London plans. I’m just going to see how everything works out. If the weather is nice I will definitely spend a lot of time just wandering about and popping in and out of places as I’m walking around. These plans are by no means set in stone, neither are they intended to fill up my entire day in one go and I’m all for unintentional and spontaneous visits to places. I may or may not go see a West End musical or maybe I’ll just go and see a movie. Who knows! I’m curious to see what my hotel will be like. It does come with free Wifi so I hope to keep this blog going live from London. In any case I know I’ll have a blast.

What are your plans for the weekend?