Thursday, 30 June 2016

ON TREND | PLAIN JELLY AND FLOWER INFUSED LIPSTICKS FT KAILIJUMEI LIPSTICKS




Do you see this? Kailijumei is an Asian beauty brand who are known for their incredible jelly lipsticks. Not only are they packaged in these gorgeous gold tubes but the actual bullets look like clear jelly with flowers, yes flowers, trapped inside. They are a stunning work of art and you're probably thinking why on earth would I want a clear lipstick? Well, it might look clear but it actually goes on pink. A similar idea to the Frog Prince collection from Lipstick Queen with the green lipstick and cream blush that create the perfect pink shade by reacting to the pigment in your lips. Or something like that. The science is a little squiffy, but the main point is these are crazy cool


Everything unfortunately is out of stock right now, but generally each lipstick retails for $25-30. You can see from the pic above how truly stunning and instagrammable these awesome lippies are. The lipsticks are 100% natural from what I can find out and ingredients include beeswax,  cocoa butter, olive oil, grape seed oil, lavender oil and 4 types of dried flowers. All in all, they sound extremely moisturising and creamy, but that's not even all. According to a post on their Instagram page, the colour of the lipstick depends on the temperature of the person. The colder you are the lighter the pink. Plus, they are purported to smell like lavender. My favourite scent in all of the lands. 


They sell plain jelly lipsticks as well as the stunning flower infused lipsticks. Many people have said that they go on like a gel or a gloss more so than a lipstick. All of the jelly lip balms create the same colour on the lips, a pink tint, regardless of the colour of the product. I don't think the plain ones are worth the $25 price tag as a tinted lip balm from Burt's Bees would do the same in a pinch. 


What do you think of these lipsticks? Are they something you would buy? Let me know in the comments below, thank you so much for reading. I will be uploading my June Favourites and Overview tomorrow as it is now the last day of June. This year is flying by so fast. Don't forget to follow my blog and social media. I'll leave my links below. Have a wonderful day. Take care. 

Would you buy these?

Love ❤
Kiran

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NEW BEAUTY | MAKEUP FOREVER WATER BLEND FOUNDATION REVIEW PRICE SWATCHES

Screenshot from Wayne Goss video, to watch the full video scroll down


Makeup Forever have done it again, they have taken their original Face & Body Foundation to their magical labs to make it even better. I haven't tried their Face & Body foundation so can't speak on the quality, I do know it is a favourite of many makeup artists. It is available at Debenhams here for £27, if you like it or have been meaning to try it I suggest you snap it up quick, because similar to their first HD foundation soon it will be like gold dust and you'll have to sell your leg to by it on eBay. But onto the actual focus of this post: the new Water Blend Face & Body Foundation ($43).

Photo credit: blushinggiraffe.com

What's better about this foundation compared to the original? Because the entire concept of this is it is the new and improved version of the Face & Body. The new Water Blend foundation comes in a 50ml glass bottle similar to the original Face & Body, but instead of retailing for £27 it will cost £31 or $43 in the USA. It will be released this July. The new formula claims to be waterproof, transfer-resistant, long-wearing with a skin-like feel. It is supposed to give flawless coverage due to its thin and lightweight consistency and yet still be undetectable on the skin and on camera. It sounds almost too good to be true. The new foundation comes in 20 shades

I love MUFE as I feel their products and their brand are very fluid. They move with the times and their foundations certainly reflect this. They have reformulated their orginal and hugely popular HD foundation to create the iconic Ultra HD foundation which is world renowned. I think every beauty blogger and YouTuber in the world has the Ultra HD foundation so I am sure Water Blend will garner a similar positive reaction.


To read a full, in-depth review of the Water Blend foundation click here. The foundation is composed of 80% vitamin-infused water which helps the foundation retain a very liquid, thin consistency that glides onto the skin and allows the wearer to get the most out of a small amount of product. It is very hydrating and buildable, so you can customise your own coverage, but still is suitable for all skin types because of the long-wearing nature of the product. So oily girls do not fear. Plus, it is also waterproof and transfer-resistant ideal for hot summer days and events where you do not want your makeup to budge. I don't know about you but I am completely sold on this foundation. I  especially like that it comes in a 50ml bottle instead of the standard 30ml you receive from most brands. 


If you want to see the foundation in action on a man with a beard then press play to watch the video below. Wayne Goss goes into detail about this new launch and applies the foundation in real time so you can see exactly what it looks like. It is available to watch in 4K too just adjust the settings. My first thoughts after watching this video is that the coverage doesn't seem that great, but then it is supposed to go on sheer so you can build it to the desired coverage. In addition, because it is so fluid I would apply this with a dense kabuki brush to prevent losing any product, or even with fingers as the extra warmth would produce a nice blend. Let me know what you think of this foundation too. 


Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. I would love to hear your thoughts on this new release from Makeup Forever. Are you a MUFE fan? What products of theirs have you tried, loved or hated? Please share in the comments, as always I will leave my links below so feel free to follow me on other social media and follow my blog via Bloglovin to stay up to date. Take care.

What are your thoughts on the new Water Blend foundation and what have you tried, or wanted to try from MUFE?

Love ❤
Kiran

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Monday, 27 June 2016

TRAVEL HAUL | SHOPPING AND PACKING FOR BARCELONA


I am back, to a post-referendum UK, from a carefree week in Barcelona. I am still in holiday mode, but desperately need to get back into the swing of things or else I'll never do anything productive ever again. If you are interested I had a wonderful time in Barcelona and will do a full post on my experience, it might take a few days before it is posted because I don't want it to be quite as lengthy as my Brussels post, but we will see how that goes. No promises. This post is an overview of what I packed. I am such a last-minute person, the day before my flight I went in search of items to take with me, I just wanted a few bikini tops (I wear them as bras on holiday, not entirely sure if that's acceptable or not but in the heat it is most certainly welcomed) and some travel size items to save space in my suitcase. I also found this lovely dress in New Look, the design is so gorgeous and they have culottes and a jumpsuit in the same stripy design. Stripes for life. 

I purchased the St Ives Apricot Scrub (30ml); Dove Go Fresh Aerosol Deoderant Pomegranate & Lemon; Colgate Max White One Optic Toothpaste and Malibu SPF50 High Protection Face Cream (50ml). These were all £1.20 each in Asda, steeper in price than I would have liked but you could just pour your usual products into travel size bottles which you can purchase in Poundland and most supermarket stores. Normally, I don't pack a facial scrub or wash to save room and just use shower gel or my friend's but packing the St Ives scrub was a great decision and I don't see myself ever leaving behind a scrub again. My face craves regular exfoliation, often when I return from a holiday I have to do some intensive work on my skin to return it to its usual condition, but overall my skin seems to be faring very well, just a tad bit dry. I prefer roll-on deoderants to spray deoderants, but honestly wish I had packed both just because it would provide extra protection with the heat and the excessive walking we did it would have been nice to smell like pomegranates and lemon all day.



Onto the bikinis, it didn't matter too much to me what they looked like because I do not have the confidence, or the body, to feel comfortable parading around in a bikini (that's just me, no tea no shade, I wish I did but I really just don't) but I wanted them to be quite plain so if they showed through any clothes or if the straps were visible it wouldn't look odd. I purchased three bikinis from New Look. Those are the two above: White Moulded Triangle Bikini (£8) and Turquoise Contrast Trim Bikini Top (£4) and the one below: Blue Crochet Colour Block Underwired Bikini Top (£15) packed one from a previous holiday from H&M, this one was orange in colour. I got all my bikini tops in a size 12 so they covered more boobage and because they're secured by ties so I can make them as tight or as loose as I want. 

Lastly, I bought this dress from New Look mainly because it makes me think of being on a yacht in the South of France, and could you think of anything more fabulous? It just looks so lovely and has a tie waist and vertical stripes so flattering to my body shape to boot. Unfortunately I can't find it online, please accept my apologies. Here is a similar style (£23)


Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed the hell out of this post. I am excited to start blogging properly again, the coming month is going to be an exciting one as I have a lot of stuff planned. Hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day, my next post will most likely be my June Favourites and an overview of my time in Barcelona. Don't forget to follow my blog and leave me a comment. I will leave my social media links below, I am most active on Instagram. Take care. 

What are your must-haves to take with you on holiday?

Love ❤
Kiran


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Friday, 24 June 2016

21 TV SERIES YOU WILL WANT TO BINGE WATCH


It has been raining a little more than I am comfortable with for June, but in the world of Netflix there are so many amazing TV series that will make staying inside with a cup of tea, maybe even a pizza, an absolute delight. I really get into TV shows and there is something in this post for everyone: girls, guys, any age, any preference. Everyone, of course, can watch any show and even in the "girliest" shows can be entertaining for the most laddish of boys; so bear that in mind. Although, I doubt any males actually read my blog. Without further ado, let's jump into some epic TV shows. I placed them in alphabetical order, because yes I have watched that many and I'm not even ashamed, also I couldn't possibly put them in order of preference; it would be far too difficult. It rains a lot in England, okay. 


ARCHER One of the funniest TV shows ever, it's rude but hysterical and you can easily watch four seasons in one night. This show is about Archer who works in "international espionage", he is smart, impulsive and a total ass, but his interactions with his ex wife Lana, his mother and boss Mallory and his incredible housekeeper Woodhouse make it impossible not to love him. If you want a distraction from your impending results this is the show for you. It got me through my final year at uni.


CHUCK One of the cutest, sweetest shows ever which has something for everyone. Chuck is a hopeless nerd who isn't going anywhere fast, still lives with his sister and still has the same job since he got kicked out of Stanford after being wrongfully accused of cheating on a chest. His life changes dramatically when an old college friend turned nemesis, Bryce Larkin (he slept with Chuck's girlfriend in college) sends him an email containing government secrets which spur the CIA to send Sarah, a genuine and lethal field agent, and Bryce's ex, to be Chuck's handler. Chuck has a mission every episode and it's hilarious, plus Sarah and Chuck will have you rooting for them from the very start. There is nothing to not like about Chuck, he is a good guy through and through. 

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES Possibly the most thought through show ever, it isn't like Gossip Girl where the ending doesn't make sense. Every single season and episode tie together, there are no discrepancies and each housewife has their own appeal. I have grown up with this show so it has a special place in my heart. The episodes are long and there are a lot of seasons, so this is one for those of you have bags of time to kill.


DEVIOUS MAIDS Similar feel to Desperate Housewives except this time they are maids. This show has a funnier, almost telenovella feel but not quite as dramatic. It's a little tongue in cheek but the plot will have you hooked and dying to know who did it? 

DEXTER A classic. Anyone who hasn't heard of Dexter must be living under a rock. This show is gripping, a serial killer who kills only bad guys. It's dark, twisted and yet undeniably interesting. His relationships and meticulous nature and constant killing make for a heart thundering watch.


GOSSIP GIRL This show starts brilliantly at the heart of high school drama, frenemies and fabulous fashion. A taste of how the other half live, but quickly by Season 5 it becomes more ridiculous than believable. Nevertheless, the fashion gets better every season and everyone who watches has a couple they root for. 

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER Written by Shonda Rimes, you won't be able to get enough of this show. I couldn't. I watched the whole season in a week. There are 2 seasons currently up and I can see myself speeding through the second one. The cast are fantastic, this show centres around a group of law students taking a coveted class How To Get Away With Murder, taught by one of the best lawyers in the country. They are picked as the best students in the class based on one assignment and are therefore chosen to help the lecturer with her own cases (so interesting). In addition, the show opens with the students hiding a body. So they really need to learn how to get away with murder.


MISFITS Funny as fuck, the first two seasons are genius because Nathan is in it. You'll love it, a group of delinquents are assigned community service and get hit by a storm giving them all superpowers. These aren't your average superheroes, they don't give a shit about saving the world. Adore this show, it's hilarious, every single episode had me laughing out of my seat.

MODERN FAMILY Lighthearted, funny and adorable. Phil is my favourite. Phil is everything I want to be and marry, but also everything Cam and Mitch say makes me chuckle. A great show about a modern family.


MR SELFRIDGE Not my usual show but oddly addicting. The Selfridges have moved to London from America to open a store. The first store of its kind: Selfridges (the best store, IMO). This show might sound vapid at first but it touches on lots of important issues and personal stories: the class divide, world war, gender inequality and death. It will break your heart and then put it back together again. 

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Last summer, I watched all three seasons of this show in one go, now season 4 is up and I am dying to watch it. Piper is not the kind of girl who should be in prison, but she is all because of a little excitement in her college days. So here she is in prison, the inmates lives and stories are complex and each episode delves deeper into the past of each prisoner showing you how they ended up there. The more you see the more you realise that prison changes everybody.

ORPHAN BLACK The sheer acting skill in this show is unbelievable. The premise is difficult to explain, but to be short it's about clones. The protagonist (can you use that for shows) is Sarah, a British female who discovers she has been cloned many times over and all of these clones work together to try and uncover why they were created. This will hook you in straight away, Sarah's foster brother Felix will make you laugh out loud. It's incredible how one woman portrays all these different characters. Compelling show, I can't get enough of it. 

PARKS AND RECREATION Funniest, most uplifting show ever. I'll admit the first season is slow-going but it really picks up speed in the second. April and Andy are my life. Give it a chance.


PEAKY BLINDERS I have been meaning to watch this forever, why? Because Cillian Murphy is a God. I have had a strange obsession with him ever since I saw him portray The Scarecrow. He's gorgeous, he is fabulously talented and he's in a TV show about a gang based in Birmingham, which is near where I live. What's not to like, plus Tom Hardy is in this too. Let me know if you watch it. 

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS A gorgeous group of friends being terrorised by the mysterious and deadly A. So much happens in this show and you'll go through thinking that everyone is A, but you do eventually find out so stick it out. The reason I love this show is because it shows you how important friendships are, they can get you through anything. Plus Caleb is the best TV boyfriend to ever exist.


PRISON BREAK The first season blew my mind. Michael Scofield goes into prison purposefully so he can get his brother, Linc, out. Linc is on death row for killing the vice president's brother and Michael isn't about to sit back and watch his brother die. He's an architect and designed the prison keeping them. Michael's determined to break out but he needs his cellmate on board, of course other prisoners want in on the action too. Not for the faint of heart, you meet some unsavoury characters that will make your skin crawl, but Michael wins  the award for best brother by a mile. 

SEX AND THE CITY Group of friends over 30 living in New York and trying to find love in The Big Apple. I love this show so much because it just gives me something to aspire to. The four friends each go through a lot and you wait patiently for their happy ever after while dreaming of your own.


SKINS I think this is one of the best shows for teenagers because it deals with serious shit. The first four seasons are the best, the last two I would ignore completely. It follows teenagers in sixth form and the usual drinking, drug taking stupidity that takes place. Each episode focuses on one member of the group and you learn a lot about them. Teenagers deal with a lot of crap, sometimes at home and sometimes at school. It's such a touching show, and you wouldn't even expect it.


SONS OF ANARCHY I'm on Season 5 of SOA and it is breaking my heart. I have cried more times than I can count but like a masochist I can't stop watching. This series centres around a motorcycle club and their illegal dealings, frequent run-ins with the law and retaliation and animosity from the police, other motorcycle clubs and the IRA. This is a gun-filled, motorcycle-worshipping masterpiece and it will make you want to go out and get a bike straight away. Jax is one of the best characters anyone has created, he's fierce, loyal and utterly dedicated to the club his father died for. 

THE WEST WING I have rewatched this show the most because it is the wittiest and informative. The script is beautifully written and the rapport between the characters make every episode a joy to watch. Brilliant show, I wish it had never ended.


UGLY BETTY If you ever feel down watch an episode of Ugly Betty. She is as inspiring as Leslie Knope but instead the background is the New York fashion scene and not the adorable Pawnee. Betty proves time and time again that although she might not look like she belongs at Mode Magazine she is smart and diligent, which quickly makes her irreplaceable. Every episode is a heartwarming treat.

Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed this long post. Let me know what TV show you have been loving or have loved in the comments below, I would love to hear them. Similarly, if you've watched any of these let me know as well. Hope you're all well. Take care.

What TV shows do you recommend?

Love ❤
Kiran


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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

MAYBELLINE DREAM MATTE MOUSSE FOUNDATION REVIEW



Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse (£7.70) has a whipped formula, which is purported to provide an air-soft, weightless, perfect matte finish coverage. It contains silicone polymers to prevent caking. It is recommended to apply a small amount on the centre of the face first and then blend thoroughly and build in layers if required. I purchased the colour Caramel, which clearly isn't a match for me but I wanted to use it for contouring instead as I had seen a YouTuber do this. To be quite honest I wouldn't recommend it at all. I am not a fan of the whipped texture, I found the formula difficult to blend; it looked patchy and unattractive in person and it looked thick even when I used the tiniest amount.


I have combination/oily skin and the texture did not feel right for me at all. If you have dry skin anywhere do not use this foundation. I would only recommend it if you have extremely oily skin and even then I wouldn't suggest continued use as after using it more than two or three times consecutively it made my skin feel so dry and my makeup looked awful. I haven't touched it since I purchased it a few months ago. It's not worth it at all, for foundation or contouring. My cheeks are quite dry so I think that it why I found it so hard to blend. I use it with my fingers, so can't comment on how it applies with a brush or a beauty blender. You might get a better finish depending on the tool you use but the packaging leads me to believe fingers are best despite hygiene issues. It's such a shame because I really like the packaging, so good for travel and just to toss in your bag for work, and there are a good range of shades too but it didn't work for me at all. It is definitely matte and has a high coverage but again this consistency was so difficult to blend and didn't look nice at all.


PROS

  • Matte foundation
  • Good for really oily skin
  • Does keep oil at bay 
  • High coverage 
  • 15 shades available
  • Nice packaging, compact, ideal for travel
  • Easy application, just dip your finger in (or a spatula) and apply to the face

CONS

  • Extremely hard to blend
  • Looked patchy and unattractive in appearance
  • Doesn't photograph well on the skin
  • Thick, odd consistency which feels heavy on the face
  • Dries the skin out
  • Not suitable for anyone dry to combination
  • Looks heavy on the skin
Thank you for reading this review, if you have tried this foundation and it worked for you let me know in the comments. I would love to know if there is a better way to use it and to hear your personal experiences with this product. I really wanted to like it as it sounds ideal for my needs, I do adore a matte finish, but alas this gets a resounding no from me. I am eager to try the Dream Velvet foundation, so let me know if you have tried that. I think I will stick with powder contouring for now. Hope you are all well, I am currently in Barcelona and will reply to all comments when I return so please do share your thoughts below and don't forget to follow via Bloglovin'. Take care. 

What Maybelline products have you tried?


Love ❤
Kiran


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Sunday, 19 June 2016

FIRST LOOK | HUDA BEAUTY LIQUID MATTES ALL 16 SHADES WITH NAMES




Huda Kattan, the force behind the popular Huda Beauty lashes and lip contours, is dominating the world of lip products right now with the news of her latest launch: the liquid mattes. There are 16 shades in total and you can see them all above from left-right: Venus, Bombshell, Flirt, Trendsetter, Gossip Gurl, Muse, Medusa, Spice Girl, Icon, Trophy Wife, Video Star, Material Girl, Famous, Vixen, Cheerleader and .Heartbreaker. Nine of these have the same name as her famous Lip Contours (Bombshell, Famous, Trendsetter, Gossip Gurl, Icon, Trophy Wife, Video Star, Famous, Vixen and Cheerleader), and corresponding colours. In addition, the liquid matte range introduces seven brand new shades: Venus, Flirt, Muse, Medusa, Spice Girl, Material Girl and Heartbreaker.



SWATCHES


There are only 13 shades swatched above as opposed to the full 16 displayed below. You cane see there are a lot of mauve toned nudes that will sell like hotcakes, but also some interesting deeper shades. A purple, a burgundy, a brown and a true red. Some great colours and I love the names.


A FEW LIP SWATCHES

Bombshell

Flirt

Heart Breaker

Bombshell and Flirt both look gorgeous, I know those shades will sell out fast. The lip contours retail for £16 in the UK, so I imagine these will have a similar price point but might have a slight increase because of the nature of the product, maybe £18. They are set to release in the US late July. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. All pictures were taken from the @hudabeauty Instagra account. Don't forget to follow my blog and leave me a comment, it means the world. Take care. 

Are you going to get a Huda Beauty Liquid Matte? 

Love ❤
Kiran

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

TRAVEL TIME | THE THREE BS BELGIUM, BRUSSELS, BRUGES



Finally, it's here. I have been promising a post about my time in Belgium for longer than is acceptable, but it is here now so please forgive me and expect a lot of photos. . . I spent three days total in Belgium, two in Bruges (you don't pronounce the s) and the final day in Brussels. For the first time, I experienced travel via the Eurostar for the first time which was odd but also nice. It was easier than being in an airport, you still have to go through security and a metal detector but you don't have to dig out your liquids and put them in a plastic bag. I was searched again at the detector, embarrassingly. Apart from that it is just like being on a train, there weren't any plug sockets in the coach we were in, which is a major downfall. It's 2016, please install plug sockets in your carriages. What really surprised me, though, is how quickly we reached Belgium, max three hours. Mind-blowing. We stopped briefly at Lille en route, and to be honest I played Temple Run 2 for the most part, once I had lost signal. The weather report prior to us leaving told us to expect thunder storms and constant rain in Bruges all day, so I wore a jumper and leggings and a pair of heeled boots.



We arrived in Brussels and got on a connecting train to Bruges without stopping to look at the scenery. I should mention that we left our house at 4am in the morning so we were both feeling a little rough around the edges. The scenery more than made up for our early start, if I hadn't switched my phone off I would have taken photos of the gorgeous countryside. It seems really peaceful. 


Our hotel, called Hotel Ter Brughe, is beyond beautiful. Our key has those tassels you see on supremely fancy curtains. We had a twin room, very spacious, with a working flatscreen television and a humongous, spotless, bathroom. They have cute little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, even a dental set and a shaving brush. Breakfast is included and they do a huge buffet spread between 7 and 10am. They have wifi and are right by the canal and only a five minute walk from the Markt. Highly recommend this place, the staff were helpful and there was always someone present at the desk downstairs. There is no chance of you losing your key because the staff hold it for you.





The day of arrival was rough, although we did the requisite cooing over the hotel I realised I hadn't packed my pyjamas. Idiot. My sister wanted to sleep as she is one of those people that cannot function without ten hours of sleep so we rested. I don't do daytime naps I just usually read on my phone, so I spent the downtime trying to come up with a plan for Bruges so we had some idea of where we wanted to go and how to make the most of our time here. Day 1 was a bust, my sister is the most difficult person to rouse from sleep, short of kicking her (she's a grumpy sometimes vicious bear upon waking so I couldn't risk it) there wasn't much I could do. Consequently, and disappointingly, we didn't emerge from our hotel room until the evening. We decided to stroll and find somewhere to eat dinner,  we found a cute restaurant with good reviews on Trip Advisor just off the Markt called Den Anand. They make a mouthwatering pasta and were really attentive. 


After dinner we walked to Koningin Astridpark, which if you've watched In Bruges, an amazing  film starring Colin Farrel set in Bruges (no shit), you know it is a big deal, there is an amazing scene set right here and the gazebo is breathtaking. Gazebos are always lovely, I have never met a gazebo I didn't like. I was surprised by how small the park is but it's a beautiful place, regardless. Although, the weather wasn't sunny it wasn't cold. The sky, however, was overcast hence all the grey pictures. 



There were a group of teenage boys listening to music which made me smile as the parks in Belgium are clearly not that different to the parks in England, full of teenagers pissing about. Oh the memories. Nearby, a play area with a set of swings looked very enticing so we swung. I will never be too old to swing on the swings, I love how my hair flies through the air and effortlessly I feel like a child with no worries at all. Holidays are the perfect place to treat your inner child. 



Walking around Bruges even with an overcast, frankly dull, sky is a treat. Every few seconds one of us would stop to snap a photo and I have come to the realisation that the iPhone 6 takes much better photos than my iPhone 5S. Below you can see the canal behind the staue and the Church of Our Lady which contains the famous Michelangelo statue of the same name. 


The two pictures below depict the most photographed spot in Bruges, according to the internet and my sister at least, and I can see why. In total, I must have taken one hundred photos and four videos of this single spot everytime we walked through. It was just too pretty to not stop and stare for a little while. The area is called Rozenhoedkaai, and no I have no clue how one pronounces that.



First full day in Bruges and it was time to hit the ground running, I left my sister snoozing and headed down to breakfast at 9am. I had turned 22 the day before and honestly felt no different, just as clueless as when I was 21. The spread was impressive, a selection of cereals, continental and classic hot breakfast foods all available as well as cold cuts and every type of jam you could wish for. I opted for more of a traditional breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausages, some streaky bacon, sausages and toast. They served Lipton Tea and I managed to grab a seat by the window and feel very sophisticated , and very British, pouring tea from my teapot for one and planning our route for exploring Bruges. I had a gorgeous view of the canal as I ate a generous amount of food and contemplated how much time each thing on my tentative itinerary would require. There's just so much to do. 



We did a lot. I don't want to go in a lot of detail as it might be boring and far too long for you all to read, but a lot of the places we opted to go to were from the film In Bruges. The first place, located the closest to our hotel, was the Burg which is more or less a cavernous square, In the Burg is the Basilica of the Hoeling Bloed a famous church which is purported to have the actual blood of Christ in its possession. We went inside, the stained glass windows in churches are mesmerising so I never pass up the opportunity to visit a beautiful church because in spite of my religious beliefs I can always appreciate art and faith. As well as the Basilica there are so many stunning buildings all over Belgium as well as in the Burg, my favourites are the white buildings with extravagant gold detail.






Following the Basilica, we crossed the canal to see Vis Markt, a fish market. We have all seen fish markets so I will spare you the image of dead fish today. The Bellfry Tower was next on our list and one of the most popular tourist attractions, we pai€8 each and walked up the frighteningly narrow, and exhausting, steps. There are stop off points and rooms you can go into on the way up which tell you more about the tower (again part of a pivotal and heartbreaking scene in the film In Bruges), one room contains one of the biggest brass drums in the world. That's pretty cool. As we got to the top there was a lovely breeze which made me feel less of a sweaty atrocity and more of a classy human. I was a little disappointed because the view of Brussels is hidden by chain link fences, I had to thread my phone through the tiny gaps to take a half decent photo, unfortunately they didn't turn out great. 



One of my highlights was the Torture Museum, I know that might not be everyone's cup of tea but it's the perfect mix of horror and history to grab my attention immediately. It was a very educational experience and was quite horrifying to witness all the torture devices that were used not all that long ago (one was used in 1974). Most torture devices were either displayed, such as chastity belts for both men and women which were most common in Victorian times as there was a heavy emphasis on the evil of masturbation, or demonstrated with the use of wax works. This was much better than Madame Tussauds. In addition, they share actual history lessons with you like the chastity belt information but also about executioners across the world and torture legislation. There were so many devices it would be impossible to name them all, the ones that really stuck with me were the Iron Maiden which reminds me of Matilda it's like a coffin with spikes on the inside, the Head Crusher, self explanatory, that you can see below and a metal bull that they would heat up so the victim who would be placed inside the bull would slowly cook inside until they elicited a confession or they died.



A close second to the Torture Museum, was the canal ride we went on. It was in a pretty red boat and although we couldn't make out a single word the commentor was saying about the scenery it was very enjoyable. The day had definitely brightened up and we were in summer clothes enjoying the breeze and stunning scenery. The Torture Museum admission fee was €5 and for the canal ride it was €8.


The canal ride was so nice, and we did see the Church of Our Lady while in the boat. This church is famous because of the statue inside, it's one of the only Michelangelo works outside of Italy so you could say it's kind of a big deal, so much so that they charge you to see it. I feel a bit funny about that I can't deny it, just because it's a church, a place of worship, and it's really little more than a business now but I do understand that to keep everything in top condition they need money. 


Groeningemuseum was next on our list. It was €6 to get to this museum, the other well-known museum we wanted to go to was closed for renovations until 2018. We actually passed the construction on the way to this museum. The building for the Goreningemuseum is glass, there are little signs stating 'Museum' as it guides you through adorable gardens until you get to the entrance. We spent about an hour here, there was quite a lot to see. An abundance of oils on canvas that were almost five centuries old and astonishingly well preserved. There were also sketches and rooms dedicated to different art periods through Belgium and Europe including sketches, biro sketches and abstract art. One of my favourite pieces was a drawing of Beethoven, the portrait was based on his death mask which is interesting to me, and a little dark. We turned a corner, almost at the exit to be greeted by a wax woman on the floor in front of some playing cards, She scared the shit out of me. 





That was the last touristy thing on our list, so we headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up and figure out a venue for dinner. My sister really wanted seafood so we booked a table at a swanky restaurant near Vis Markt because they had fish soup which sounded quite appetising. Our table was booked for 8pm so beforehand we decided to walk to Minnewaterpark which is so close to the train station we thought we could leave it for the next day. The park is lovely, a lot busier than the other park, lots of couples and groups of friends and people playing guitar and reading, It was what I imagine a college campus in the US to be like, I am sure I have a very idealised image. The most striking element of the park is the bridge at the very end that connects to a main road. The river/stream beneath is covered in moss creating a thick green film over the water. Beautiful. We got lost on the way but that's part of the fun and it meant I could snap this pretty photo below.




The fish soup was exquisite but the service at this restaurant was terrible. It was a very posh, stuck-up kind of establishment, where everything is just a little bit too much to be honest. The waiters are so buttoned up they look distressed and the Coke bottles are disgustingly tiny. The staff weren't attentive and barely even cracked a smile. It's very British of me to pick up on that but a smile costs nothing.


Hypocritically, we were quite rude as well as while we were dining on their delicious bread and fish soup we were googling another restaurant to figure out a place we could eat a main meal. None of the options at this restaurant were appealing to us, so we did leave after finishing the starter course. We moved on to Au Petit Grande, just as fancy as the restaurant we left but with lovely staff and a more intimate warm vibe. They played great music, I could have sat their all night. Fantastic place.




After this we checked out a jazz bar, that was supposed to be popular to grab a drink before leaving and getting some sleep. We tackle Brussels tomorrow, and we still had to pack up everything.




I didn't like Brussels as much as Bruges, we went to the Atomium which is this weird spherical monstrosity in the middle of nowhere in Brussels which gives you a nice view and has a strange elevator. In addition, there was Mini Europe just next to it, literally a miniature version of popular landmarks in Europe. I would advise you to pass this attraction, complete waste of time. When we first arrived, we walked to a waffle place had some Belgian waffles and then found the Mannekin Pis after sitting and eating properly in the Grand Place. While at the Mannekin Pis, we overheard a tour guide talking about the statue of a small boy peeing and how valuable this attraction was to Brussels. 





That was a very long post, if you stuck through it. Thank you so much, I hope it didn't bore the pants off you. To end on a high note, here is a picture of chocolate tits we saw in a window in Bruges. 


Thank you so much for reading, don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin'. I will be in Barcelona all of next week so I will be scheduling posts for then so do check back and of course I will be active on my other social media accounts. I shall leave all my links below. Hope you are well. Take care. 

What has been your favourite place to visit so far? 

Love ❤
Kiran

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