4 June 2019

The LINE Hotel DC

Washington Hotels
Instagram. One minute I love it, the next I’m moaning about how the algorithm is total bollocks, but then also waxing lyrical about how it’s where I find out about places to go, stay and eat and drink when travelling. 
Washington boutique hotel
When doing some research for my work trip / holiday to Washington DC, I went straight to Instagram, and found two hotels I wanted to stay in once work was over. One, I’ve already written about (see here), and now it’s time for the other one. 

Which, brings me nicely to The LINE DC. 

Let's go on in...
The LINE Hotel DC
The second LINE hotel, with the flagship located in Los Angeles, and the third in Austin, is based in the Adams Morgan area of Washington DC. Housed in a renovated neoclassical church, the property has 220 bedrooms, two restaurants, bars, a coffee shop, meeting rooms, gym, and its very own radio station, Full Service Radio, that broadcasts live from a lounge in the lobby. The station, which streams online, plays music and conducts interviews and round table discussions with local and visiting artists, and musicians. Although this building isn’t officially a church any more, for interior and architecture geeks like me, it is definitely a place of worship.The LINE Hotel DC
Cool hotel in Washington DC
The LINE Hotel, Washington D.C.
With over 3,000 pieces of original artwork and photography from local artists, a stunning chandelier made from repurposed organ pipes from the original church organ, and pews, saved from the church, and now repainted and placed all around the public spaces in the hotel.
Washington hotels
Washington D.C. Hotels
The LINE Hotel DC
The LINE Hotel Washington D.C.
Let’s talk rooms, bedrooms. All 220 of them have been designed to promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Walking into our room, felt like walking into someone’s very cool, chic studio flat, complete with long hallway leading to the main room. The bed was huge, and there was even a seating area, with chairs, a coffee table and used books sourced from a local bookshop. Plus, the mini bar was stocked with essentials, plus a few extras. The bathroom was gorgeous, featuring a huge walk in shower, toiletries from holistic brand American Medicinal Arts, and bathrobes from Frette. Hip Hotels in Washington DC
Hotel interior design
Hotel interior design
Hotel interior design
Hotel interior design
A Rake's Progress, Washington DC
There’s plenty of food and drink to go around, with five dining and drinking spots in total: Brothers and Sister; Coffee shop; The Cup We All Race 4; an all-day restaurant, A Rake’s Progress, an Asian-inspired restaurant and bar called Spoken English, and A Rake’s Bar, whose primary focus is on local distiller’s and brewers products.
The LINE Hotel DCThe Cup We All Race 4, Washington DC
The LINE Hotel DC
 A one night stay was definitely not long enough!

Amen to that.

The LINE DC
1770 Euclid St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA

31 May 2019

24 Hours in...Washington D.C

Washington D.C City Guide

Washington D.C — the capital of the US, and home to some very iconic, famous landmarks, and the President of the United States. If you can get over the latter of those, Washington is a totally awesome city, and a place that stole my heart with the sheer amount of history, culture, award-winning chefs, and a vibrant arts scene. 
Washington D.C City Guide

The thing that surprised me the most, is how calm the city is. Bearing in mind it’s the capital of the United States, it didn’t seem as intense as cities such as NYC, Chicago and Philadelphia — the roads aren’t as busy, the buildings aren’t so high, and no one seems to be in too much of a rush to get from A to B. 

Stay

I stayed in three hotels during my time in D.C. All very different styles to each other, and all had very different price points.
Washington D.C City Guide

The Willard Intercontinental

I’m very lucky to stay in some very swish hotels for my job, but this one was another level! My bedroom view was of the Washington monument and Lincoln Memorial, we were within spitting distance (tempting) from The White House, I had two HUGE beds, and the hotel lobby was so posh, I felt totally out of place every time I stepped in!

1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW. washington.intercontinental.com

Washington D.C City Guide

The Avery Georgetown

Based in the Georgetown area of D.C, this was a small guest house with lots of charm. You can read more on my stay here,


The Line DC

Possibly THE coolest hotel I’ve ever stayed in (it’s up there with The Hoxton hotels) I won’t go into too much about it now, as there’s a separate post incoming. Located in the Adams Morgan area of the city, in an 110 year-old church. 

1770 Euclid St NW.  www.thelinehotel.com/dc/

Eat

There are so many good places to eat in the city, you could spend a good week just eating your way around. 
Washington D.C. City Guide

Federalist Pig

Two words: BBQ MEAT. Go hungry, and ready to tuck into some seriously good BBQ. I’m still thinking about the ribs we ate (separate post incoming).

1654 Columbia Rd. NW. federalistpig.com

Unconventional Diner, Washington D.C.

Unconventional Diner

The name says it all really — this place is not your average diner. During the day, it serves up pastries, sandwiches and a few main dishes. But, at night, the chef gets more playful, especially with snacks. The tastiest of the lot: an assemble-it-yourself PB&J with foie gras custard, dehydrated peanut butter, grape jelly, and triangles of white toast, the fries with their ‘sexy sauce’, the fried chicken and the cheeseburger were the dishes that went down a treat on our table. 

1207 9TH ST., NW. Unconventionaldiner.com

Blagden Alley

Now this is a place I really wish we’d had more time to explore! Blagden Alley is a system of interior alleyways with a booming commercial core of craft cocktails and coffee, street art, and some of the city’s most popular new restaurants. Tiger Fork, The Dabney and Supra all come highly recommended. We grabbed cocktails at Columbia Room — a perfect pre-dinner spot.

See

Washington D.C. City Guide

The Smithsonian

This is a rather large category as the Smithsonian is made up of several museums and galleries throughout the city — depending on how long you’re there, I recommend choosing a couple of favourites rather than trying to squeeze them all in. Highlights for me were: African American History Museum, Natural History Museum, and the American History Museum. There’s something for everyone within the Smithsonian and, best of all, most of these museums are free to visit.

www.si.edu/
Washington D.C. City Guide

Memorial’s 

The Lincoln Memorial was my favourite place to visit during my stay in D.C. It’s such a beautiful and powerful memorial. It’s also very central, and if you’re able to, walk down to the Washington Monument, via the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. If you have the time, walk across to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. I think I’ve said the word ‘memorial’ enough. You get the picture.

Washington D.C. City Guide
Washington D.C. City Guide
Washington D.C. City Guide
Washington D.C. City Guide

The US Capitol Building

Another highlight was going on a tour of the US Capitol Building. You can book in advance, or queue up inside, which is what we did. Go early and get on to the first tour if you can (8:40am) it’s fascinating, and the building itself is beautiful. Plus, the tours are free — yes, you did read right! 


Washington D.C. City Guide
Washington D.C. City Guide
Washington D.C. City Guide


There you have it — Washington D.C. A city that totally blew my socks off, and has something for everyone. I can’t wait to head back there at some point to do more exploring. 

9 April 2019

Tried & Tested: Mascaras

Tried & Tested: Mascaras

Caution Extreme Lash, Hourglass
Brand description: Defy gravity with the Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara, an all-in-one mascara that delivers incredible length, volume and lift for lashes that will dazzle.

Tube & Wand: The brush totally sold this mascara to me — two single brushes, twisting together to form one, thick brush. I found the tube itself to be a little to chunky and therefore difficult to hold.

Verdict: After giving it a whirl for a couple of weeks, this has to be the least favourite of all the ones I’ve tried out. I found the formula dried up very quickly, and it was very flaky, which meant that by the end of the day, some of it had transferred to under my eyes. Not a fan of this one, clearly!

Available at: Space NK


Little Black Primer, Estee Lauder
Brand description: Think of it as the little black dress for lashes. Unlike traditional lash primers that are white, this primer is tinted black, so you can use it on its own. Colours and lifts bare lashes so they stay silky black throughout the day and even overnight. As a primer, it's the optimal mascara base for volume, lift and length. No well-dressed lashes should be without it

Tube &Wand: Pretty standard when it comes to the tube. The brush is classic, not a silicone one. It’s quite thin and curved and it really grips the eyelash roots to curl and lift them.

Verdict: This product is one that I apply before mascara, but you can also use it on its own, giving a subtle definition. The formula is light, non-moving and has become an instant addition to my everyday makeup bag. 

Available at: John Lewis (and most department stores)


Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils The Curler , YSL Beauty
Brand Description: YSL’s new mascara with our 2-in-1 wand offers stunning curl and beautifully defined volume. Curl: The black rounded fibre wand to curl lashes. Define: The pink elastomer comb to add a look of instant lift and definition. Get a curl for a new signature eye look. A mascara that matches wand technology with a curl formula, offering a breath taking lash curling effect that lifts and volumises lashes.

Tube &Wand: The tube is a soft, metallic pink exterior - very pretty! The hot pink wand made of silicone and fibres weaved together. It's curled (to help curl the lashes—duh) but has a flat side that adds lift and definition. The brush itself is brilliant, helping you catch each and every lash—you'll have heard that before, but this really delivers on that promise.

Plus, it’s not a bitch to remove at the end of the day, unlike some of the other YSL mascaras I’ve tried in the past!

Verdict: As someone who has straight, short lashes, you can imagine that I was very quickly sold on the name of this mascara. I’ve used YSL mascaras in the past, and they’ve always been great so I was excited to try this one out.

Long story short, I love it! 

Available at: Selfridges (and many other department stores)


KUSH Mascara, Milk
Brand Description: According to Milk Makeup’s website, Kush High Volume Mascara uses "conditioning hemp-derived, CBD-infused cannabis oil that fuses heart-shaped fibers to lashes for thickness without the fallout.” Like its name, the mascara formula is supposed to give you high volume, while still managing to hydrate your lashes (they won’t dry you out).

Tube &Wand: This is, by far, the heaviest mascara I’ve ever held! It’s stainless steel tube feels so solid to hold and the wand has a good amount of balance in the hand, without feeling weirdly heavy. The brush is a tapered, tree-shaped brush with criss-cross bristles coats and lifts every single lash from root to tip for a defined, clump-free effect. 

Verdict: CBD….anyone bored of hearing about it yet?! It is everywhere at the moment, from food products, skincare, tampons, you name it! I was a little bit skeptical when reading the packaging in Sephora, but after trying it out, it actually seems to work! It definitely gave my lashes length, and there was no smudging or flaking plus, my lashes did feel quite nourished even after removing the mascara at the end of the day.

Available at Cult Beauty


High Impact Mascara, Clinique
Brand Description: High Impact Mascara is a multi-benefit mascara that adds maximum volume with definition and length. Specially developed brush and formula work together to dramatically thicken lashes while separating.

Tube &Wand: Standard tube and wand - standard wand. None of this spiky ball or rubbery wand nonsense. Just a good ol’ mascara wand. It isn’t big like the Diorshow wand, but I like that, because I use it on my top and bottom lashes, so it gives me control at the bottom lashes since the wand is smaller.

Verdict: This became an everyday mascara for me. Easy to apply, super buildable, gave my lashes enough definition. What’s not to like?

Available at Boots (and most department stores)


Lash Slick, Glossier
Brand Description: The perfect everyday mascara. Lash Slick curls and sculpts as it lengthens, enhancing the look of your natural lashes instead of clumping them together or spackling them in product. Teeny-tiny fibers coat lashes from root to tip to create a lengthened baby-extension, while flexible film-forming polymers lift and lock each fiber into place. And it’s water-resistant (not waterproof), so Lash Slick washes off easy with warm water at the end of your day.

Tube &Wand: Standard, lightweight pink tube. The brush is a tapered comb brush, given you an even and natural-looking application.

Verdict: Now, this probably isn't the mascara for you if you're looking for something that practically cakes your lashes in product. For me, it's the mascara I'll reach for when I want just a little something-something to perk up my face. 


Available at: Glossier.com



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5 April 2019

The Avery, Georgetown, Washington D.C

Boutique Hotel Washington
Whilst in D.C, I stayed in not one, not two, but THREE hotels! That may sound a tad extreme, but one was for work, and the other two had both been on my radar since I knew I was heading to the city, so we decided to stay in both - one night in each, as we wanted to explore both of the areas they were located in. 

The Avery is set in the Georgetown area of Washington, 700 metres from The Capitol. It is the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to everything, yet have a homely, cosy feel. The inn is nestled on a cute, quiet residential street, moments away from Georgetown’s restaurants, shops and attractions. We used it as our base for our first night and day of exploring, and after I’d already been in the city for 6 nights, it was a great place to stay after a full on work trip. 
Boutique Hotel Washington
Boutique hotel in Georgetown, Washington
Boutique hotel, Washington D.C
The Avery offers 15 guest rooms and suites, with huge, comfortable beds - the perfect antidote to rest in after a busy day soaking up the city. You’ll find complimentary toiletries by L’Occitane, complimentary bottled water, soft drinks and snacks in the mini-fridge and there’s even complimentary happy hour (beer and wine) in the hotel bar/lobby area, and a continental breakfast each morning. 
Boutique hotel in Georgetown
Boutique hotel in Washington D.C
The perfect home away from home, and a great start to our two-day adventure in Washington. 

The Avery Georgetown
2616 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
+1 202-827-4390


2 April 2019

Beauty empties and what I've repurchased

Beauty Empties
Finishing a product is always a bit of an achievement for me. Over the last year I would say, I’ve really got to know what my favourite products are, what works well for my skin in terms of skincare, and what makeup I use the most. My beauty drawers had a huge clearout at the end of last year - it was all getting a bit too ridiculous in terms of how many products I had and hardly used. You may have seen my recent Sephora spree on here, but I am trying my hardest to use up as much of my beauty stash as possible this year so everything can be a bit more streamline in terms of everyday products.  

I thought I’d share my empty products from the last 6-8 months, and if I’ve repurchased or not.
Beauty empties
Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water (travel size 100ml)
I packed this every time I was going on a work trip so I had something to take my makeup off with at the end of the day. At home, I use the Bioderma Micellar Cleansing Water - I have done for years! But, I can never be bothered to decant, or hunt down a travel-sized version of it. This one from Caudalie works just as well.

Repurchased? No - I’ve actually found a travel sized version of my Bioderma one, so I’ll stick with that. 
Beauty empties
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
We all know by know I love the Drunk Elephant brand and their products. HOWEVER, I’m going to have a little moan, and this doesn’t just apply to them! 
A lot of beauty products come in packaging that doesn’t make it clear when you’re about to run out of it, so you only find out when it’s too late, and if like me you don’t tend to buy backups beforehand, then it can screw you over a little bit…

That’s exactly what happened here - I went to pump the tub, and only a little bit came out - it had basically run out! Bit of a nightmare on a Wednesday morning when you’re trying to get yourself ready for the day, but I got over it pretty quickly! 

Repurchased? I haven’t repurchased this (yet) as I bought a new moisturiser in Sephora that I want to try out, but I loved this product, so I’m sure I will when I need a new one.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
As above - I was gutted when I went to put this on, and realised it had run out! I use this daily, and so I felt quite lost without it! 

Repurchased? Hell yes, and on my way to work that same morning!
Beauty empties
Eve Lom Cleansing Balm
I get through pots of this stuff, and have been using it for a good few years. The one in the photo is the travel-sized version, which I finished on my recent trip to the states. I have a large version sitting in my bathroom, which is nearly finished.

Repurchased? WELL. I actually made the decision to purchase a new and different cleansing balm whilst in Sephora. I’ve decided to try a new one out, and the one I bought (Farmacy Green Clean, FYI) felt so good on my face when I had my facial with it, that I can’t wait for my large Eve Lom balm to run out so I can have a play with this one. 

Youth To The People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil
I absolutely love this oil. I use it twice a day, everyday and I have literally just finished the bottle even though I bought it last Summer when I was in the US - a little really does go a long way with this product.

Repurchased? Yep! It was the first thing to go in my shopping basket when I was in Sephora last month. 

Glossier boy Brow in Brown
I use this daily, and whilst I’m starting to think that I may try a new brow product, I still love this one. It does its job, and has been a permanent fixture in my makeup bag since I was introduced to it about 2.5 years ago!

Repurchased? It was rude not to when I visited their store in New York last month!
Beauty empties
NARS Climax Mascara
I have a mascara post planned for WLDN, so won’t got into this one too much here. But, for someone who struggles with short, straight lashes, this mascara did work for me. 

Repurchased? No, but I would consider doing so once I need a new mascara. 

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer (Porcelain) and Corrector (Light Bisque)
Not the first time I’ve used this dynamic duo - I tend to use them in the Winter months more than Summer, when I need that little bit more coverage under the eyes, etc. 

Repurchased? No. I have another concealer-style product I’m using at the moment, which I’m becoming a huge fan of (watch this space on that!)
Beauty empties
Jo Malone Cologne - English Pear and Freesia / Blackberry & Bay / Peony & Blush Suede
My three go-to fragrances, all ran out within a month of each other! I love all these scents, but for me, the English Pear and Freesia will always be my favourite of all - I wore it on my wedding day!

Repurchased? Yes - I picked up a bottle of the English Pear and Freesia at the airport, along with one of their new ones from the Wild Flowers and Weeds collection

There you have it! If you have any questions on any of the products above, feel free to DM me on Instagram. 

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18 March 2019

Sephora US Haul

Sephora US Haul
I can be really restrained when it comes to buying beauty products these days — Boots doesn’t really do it for me, and I try to avoid Space NK or Cult Beauty unless I need to top up on my Drunk Elephant skincare. Last year I had a huge clear out of my beauty drawers, and found myself becoming a little more mindful on what I actually needed over what I thought looked pretty. 

Of course this all goes to poop whenever I’m away and in beauty stores that aren’t so readily available in the U.K. Take me to a Sephora and I can ramp up my V.I.B status in 5 minutes flat — a skill that even a couple of lovely American ladies I drunkenly made friends with on my recent trip to New York were impressed by — they aren’t even V.I.B’s and they have access to Sephora every day! I was quite proud of myself...

I used to stock up on my US beauty favourites, Drunk Elephant, Milk Makeup, etc whenever I visited a Sephora, but now they’re readily available in the UK, I didn’t think I would actually get too spendy in the store. Something I now realise was delusional of me. 

OK, so there were a few items I needed to stock up on that you can’t get here in the UK, as I was running a tad low, but then I went a bit crazy around the aisles, and of course the miniatures at checkout got me massively. I visited one of their stores really early in the morning, and so I pretty much had the whole store to myself, which was heavenly and I totally recommend doing. 
Sephora US Haul
Let's start with the products that you CAN’T purchase in the UK; First on the list was the new Summer Fridays R+R Mask. This was released by the brand earlier this year, and is yet to reach Cult Beauty in the UK (although it is coming!) I use their Jet Lag and Overtime masks weekly and love them, so this had to go straight in the basket. I stocked up on the Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial — I’m scared that the bottle I already have is going to run out soon, so that was the perfect reason for this to go in the basket. 
Sephora US Haul
Another repurchase was the Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil by Youth To The People. I use this daily and love it. Whilst browsing the rest of their products, I picked up the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream, which I was recommended by one of the in-store skincare consultants. I ran out of my DE Protini Moisturiser before my US trip, so was in the market for a new moisturiser, and thought I’d give this one a go. 

I also picked one of Drunk Elephant’s ‘mini tubes’ these house a couple of their products but in travel sized forms — I’m not sure if Cult Beauty or Space NK actually do these, but I tend to pick these up in Sephora as they are super handy for travelling. Their ‘Out of Office’ one has a mini version of their D-Bronzi Anti-pollution Sunshine Serum, which I love. Finally, and I know you can sort of get the brand here (but not fully) I picked up a Pat McGrath mini lipstick trio. I love her lipsticks — super pigmented and long-lasting too, and I hear her full collection will be launching in Selfridges very soon, hurrah!
Sephora US Haul
Sephora US Haul
Next up were a couple of purchases from brands that you can pick up easily over here. I’ve been in the market for a new cleanser for a while — I use the Eve Lom cleansing balm, and whilst I love it, I feel like I want to try a new one, so I picked up the Farmacy Green Clean cleansing balm. I tried this in-store (I had a facial with Sephora) and it felt so nice on my face, I decided to make the purchase...and pick up a travel sized one too. The lady who did my facial recommended a jade roller — something I’ve seen a lot of over the last few months, and I’ve heard only good things, so I picked the Herbivore one up. I stocked up on the Milk Makeup Flex Concealer in Vanilla — Cult Beauty keep selling out, and whilst at their counter, I grabbed one of their travel-sized lip + cheek tint sticks in one of their new shades. The last thing to throw in my basket was another travel-sized product (I told you their checkout area is where all the naughty shopping happens!) in the form of the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser.

All in all, I think I did pretty well (understatement of the year) and I will not be buying any beauty products for a while!

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