How to Prepare for a Festival

Summer is almost upon us, and that can only mean one thing… festival season! Welcome back the wellies and waterproofs; it’s going to be a muddy one. But the question is, which are the festivals to watch out for? This might be your short break in the UK for this year so you need to get this right!

If you managed to get your hands on a ticket, then lucky you! You go ahead and pack your glow sticks, milk thistle and baby wipes. Some of us are still trying to decide which ones to keep an eye out for. Need some inspiration? From sunny Leeds to Spain’s beaches, here’s a rough guide to Festival Season 2013.

Glastonbury Festival (image courtesy of Sally Halliday)

Leeds Festival

An event which always promises an amazing atmosphere is Leeds Fest. From fresh faced teens to characters you spot year in year out, Leeds definitely has something for everyone; an aspect highlighted by this years’ incredible line-up. Many consider Reading and Leeds as traditionally being an ‘indie’ festival, but that’s far from the case! Like hip-hop?  Then you’ll be happy to hear that iconic rapper Eminem will headlining the event. Big fan of drum and bass? Then don’t miss Chase & Status, who never fail to pull off a world class performance; what’s not to like?

Leeds Festival (image courtesy of Zoe Pickard)

Benicassim Festival

Providing that wonderful combination of sun and good music, if you’re offered the chance to head to Benicassim this year then grab it with both hands!  Full of fun party feeling, Benicassim is the perfect event to get you in the mood for summer. Located on the south eastern coast of Spain, you could either camp close to the beaches, gorgeous sun kissed sands, or stay closer to the festival itself; the choice is yours!  And when you’re not watching the likes of The Killers and the Arctic Monkeys, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the surrounding area. During the day, you could indulge in some traditional Spanish cuisine or visit its national park, ‘Desierto de las Palmas;’ there’s never a dull moment!

Benicassim (image courtesy of Shivam Maini)

Outlook Festival 
Fancy heading to Croatia in 2013? Then if the opportunity arises, be sure check out this year’s Outlook festival. Recognised as the largest drum and bass festival in Europe, Outlook is edgy, vibrant and a great way to finish your summer in style. It prides itself on its ‘good music,’ so if you hate anything remotely commercial, this is the festival for you. What’s more, Croatia is an absolutely stunning country to visit. With exquisite turquoise waters and endless beaches to explore, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with the place. It’s like music to our ears…

The Magnolia Resort Kefalonia Review

If you follow me on twitter/instagram you will know that I have just been on holiday for a week to the Greek Island of Kefalonia. Famous for it's part in the filming of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', Kefalonia is known for being one of the more beautiful Greek Islands with some fabulously different beaches, quiet secluded coves and food to die for. We stayed in the Magnolia Resort in Katelios (in the Southern part of the island), a 4 star hotel with the option of being either half board or bed and breakfast. We stayed bed and breakfast for the simple reason that we like to try different Tavernas for our evening meal.


The pool view from the front of our room, this hotel doesn't have long stuffy corridors with rooms on either side, they have open air 'corridors' and every room faces outwards with the front doors on the inside of the hotel. The pool area got sun right until the last minute which is great for those who like to soak up as much as possible. 

Magnolia-Resort-Kefalonia-Pool Area

The pool area, beautifully designed with plenty of beds without being too crammed in next to each other. The hotel also provided us with fluffy pool towels so we didn't have to worry about using our sandy beach towels. The pool has an 'infinity' design which I absolutely love, it was more than big enough and although a little bit of a shock to the system when you first get in it's a welcome relief from the sun!


The view room the balcony wasn't the best I've ever had at a hotel, it was all greenery and we could only just see the sea, nevertheless it was a lovely place to relax on an evening as it caught the last of the days sun every day. I loved sitting listening to music and later on if you kept the light off the insects stayed away!! I could also get the WiFi from the restaurant across the road on here so even more of a reason to sit out here. The hotel did have WiFi but due to the 'earthquake proof' walls, it didn't work for me in our room. 



The room itself was so clean and tastefully designed, it had a shabby chic feel to it which I absolutely loved. The bed had crisp clean linen on, changed every other day and a thicker cover in case it got a little chilly on a night. There's nothing 'plain' about the rooms, they are designed in a boutique hotel style, the bathroom is spacious with a lovely big powerful shower with constant hot water and there was a fridge big enough to keep any bottles of water and other bits you might like to keep cool. 

It had a TV with the usual BBC news channel on it but having a premium room meant that we also got a DVD player & an iPod docking station. they had a selection of DVD's in the foyer but if I'd have known there was a DVD player I would have taken some of my own. I did get to watch The Devil Wears Prada though which I absolutely loved!

One of the best touches in this room was the electronic metal shutter which went down over the patio door to the balcony, meaning that the the sun didn't disturb your sleep if you didn't want it to and there was also a mosquito screen which kept all creepy crawlies out. I never saw one insect in our room all the time we were there!

For a Greek hotel this really was absolute luxury, I know hotels on most Greek Islands have a bit of a bad reputation of being very basic but this was as far away from basic as you could be. You could even flush your loo roll down the toilet which was amazing (usually the drainage systems cannot cope with paper so you have to put it in the bin, ergh). The Magnolia Resort also had a spa which we didn't use but could be hired privately for 30 Euros per hour.

If you enjoy peace and quiet on your holiday and you're not keen on raving music etc. then Kefalonia is definitely for you. The Magnolia resort is an 'adults only' hotel so no children under the age of 12 are allowed, making it doubly quiet and serene around the pool. The only thing I will say is that drinks were quite expensive in the hotel; 2.70 Euros for a can of fizzy drink which I think is a bit much as the average resort price was around 1.80 Euro. We were bed and breakfast and although the selection of food was basic, it was enough for us as we don't like to eat much at breakfast; there was scrambled eggs, streaky bacon, beans, cereal, fruit, greek yoghurt, toast, tea and coffee. One tip I will give you is to try their Tzatziki, it absolutely to die for!! I ate so much during the week!

Booking through Travel Republic it cost us £592.00 for 1 week bed & breakfast in a premium room, working out at £84 per room per night which I don't think is bad at all considering the standard of the hotel. I know you can get places which are a lot cheaper, all inclusive but I don't think the standard would be as high as this was.

Stella by Stella McCartney Eau De Parfum Review

I have literally just got back from my holiday, I haven't touched the cases or even attempted to open the mail a. because I'm still in 'holiday mode' and b. because I really wanted to blog just to show you all that I haven't forgotten!!

I flew from Manchester Airport last week to Kefalonia and obviously I had a little look in the duty free shop before we boarded. I know some people go totally mental in the duty free because of the savings you can make but I had decided beforehand that I was only going to buy one bottle of perfume and that would be it as I'm at IMATS this weekend so I wanted to save my money for then. 

After sniffing lots of different perfumes I finally settled on Stella McCartney's fragrance in a limited edition 'Print Collection' bottle. 




I have actually had Stella before, someone bought me it as a Christmas present, normally I probably wouldn't give such perfumes a second look but I really fell in love with this and I haven't had it for a while. I'm a real lover of musky and spicy kinds of scents, this is actually described as a 'floral' scent but that kind of conjures up an inaccurate picture for me of what this really smells like. It's certainly a little more feminine that what I would normally wear, and although the scent is strong it isn't overpowering so it is perfectly fine to wear on a day to day basis.

To be honest this kind of 'floral' is similar to that of 'Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb' in that its quite sensual at the same time. 

Anyway I've described this gorgeous scent badly enough without continuing further! I just wanted to show you what I bought in the duty free really. This cost me around £31 for 30ml, this is usually £40 in Debenhams but you can get this for £33 on Fragrance Direct at the moment!

Bare Minerals Starter Kit Review

Bare Minerals has been a brand I've been very much aware of for a fair few years now but I've never actually taken the plunge and tried anything from the range because I've always been under the impression that the coverage just wouldn't be enough for what my blemished skin needs even though it does claim to be able to over acne up. You may or may not remember that Zoe did me a guest post back in January; she swears by Bare Minerals as her day to day base makeup so I was really quite looking forward to trying it. 


Bare Minerals Starter Kit £38.95 Chemist Direct*


With the 9 piece starter kit you literally get everything you need to use Bare Minerals products to their full potential. You get 3 brushes; flawless face Brush, full flawless face brush and concealer brush... these alone would cost you in excess of £55 so already you've more than got your moneys worth in just the three brushes. I figure that with products like Bare Minerals it's best to use the brushes made by them so you know you're using the products to their full potential. I dare say you could use any brush with the mineral powders but I think it's always best to use what they recommend. The brushes are really soft and nice to use, they work perfectly with the mineral powders. 


You also receive a 15ml sample of the much raved about 'Prime Time' primer. I don't normally use a primer before my base makeup, I usually just use moisturiser and that's it but this primer is really like a barely there kind of product, it just glides onto the skin effortlessly and what I like about it is that it doesn't feel as powdery and cloggy as The Porefessional which I have used as a primer in the past. I do think that this primer helps give the mineral powder something to 'stick' to but I reckon you could go without it providing you moisturised first. 



Then of course there are the 'core products' to this starter kit, you get; Original SPF Foundation in Light and Fairly Light, Original Mineral Veil and Warmth All Over face colour. Each and every one of the little pots has their new 'click, lock and go' sifter lid so you don't risk spilling any or losing any if you're using this while travelling. 

Like Zoe said in her guest post, the application method of 'swirl, tap and buff' does take a little bit of getting used to but everything is fully explained in the DVD which comes with the kit, so if you're not confident with makeup application or application of mineral powders the DVD gives you some really good pointers. 

I used to think that I'd only get good enough coverage if I used liquid foundations and layered those with plenty of concealer but Bare Minerals has really surprised me in terms of coverage and I didn't have to stand there for half an hour putting layer upon layer on my face. I used the products exactly how it tells you to and I was quite impressed with the results. The formula isn't chalky or talcy and it feels very light which is a change for me as I'm used to wearing quite heavy base products in an attempt to cover the imperfections. 

If you fancy trying this you can get the Bare Minerals Starter Kit* from Chemist Direct for £38.95; a fraction of the price of what it would cost you if you bought all the products individually!