Tersh in Phantom of the Operal

…I told you I was going in a new direction. I bet this masterpiece wasn’t what you were expecting though.

To be honest I don’t quite know exactly what this video is myself, but I sure did have a laugh making it. This is quite possibly the best version of the Phantom of the Opera in existence.

Natasha Sofia xx

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New Direction for Natasha Sofia

Yes it’s true! I’ve actually made a new video. I’ve decided that I need a summer project so I’ve rebooted my YouTube channel and am planning on taking it in a new direction. While I haven’t made any plans to write any blog posts, I’m not ruling it out. If I feel the urge to write about something then that’s what I’ll do! Otherwise I’ll be posting my YouTube videos to this site just in case you want to give them a cheeky watch.

Natasha Sofia xx

Sephora Haul

As my fellow Sydney makeup-lovers would know, Australia’s first Sephora shop opened last year in Sydney. So after I arrived back in Australia I was keen to suss it out and pick up some products I couldn’t get my hands on before. So after a few months I thought I’d finally show you what I bought! The good news about this delayed haul is that I’ve had plenty of time to get to know these products. So let’s dive in!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation and Airbuki Brush

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey and Airbuki Powder Foundation Brush

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey and Airbuki Powder Foundation Brush

When I found out that the Australian Sephora would be selling Tarte products I think I soiled myself a little. Ok, not literally but I was very excited. Having heard so many great things about Tarte, I’ve been trying so hard to get my hands on their products. Frustratingly Tarte don’t ship to Australia and it seems online beauty shops that do ship to Australia don’t stock Tarte cosmetics.

To start myself off I picked up an Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey. Although this was the lightest colour in the range I was worried that, like many foundations, it would still be too dark. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. It suits my complexion perfectly! Plus, unlike liquid foundations, it doesn’t oxidise and become darker throughout the day, which means I’m not a different colour when I leave the house! This was the first powder foundation I’ve ever used, mainly because I feared that powder foundations wouldn’t give enough coverage. This is definitely not the case with this foundation because, as the name suggests, it can give a high coverage finish. That isn’t to say that this foundation doesn’t look natural. I find it has a very natural look, especially after it’s blended into the skin. Plus my nose takes a lot longer to get oily during the day when I’m wearing this foundation!

I love the packaging of this foundation! With the signature Tarte “wood” finish lid and a mesh cover which helps distributes the product, it seems Tarte always hits the nail on the head with their packaging.

Alongside the foundation I bought the Airbuki Powder Foundation Brush which blends the product in beautifully! It’s clear that this brush has been purposefully created for the Airbrush Foundation; even it’s size fits perfectly into the mesh cover in order to pick up the product. That doesn’t mean you have to fork out the money for this brush if you want to use the Airbrush Foundation, any dense powder brush will do, but I do like having that match set!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Another product I was aching to use! I was very excited about this product as, like my beloved L’Oreal Couture Super Liner, it has a “paintbrush” tip. I find liners with this type of applicator are much more effective in creating that perfect wing as they don’t become all fuzzy like felt tip applicators.

So if I was already loving the L’Oreal Couture Super Liner, why did I choose to spend my money on this one? Well first of all, the Kat Von D liner has a little ball inside the pen, which when shaken helps to move and mix the ink meaning that more ink is sent to the tip. I also think their ink formula is much better than L’Oreal’s; it lasts longer without drying out and I find it’s slightly blacker. Overall I’m loving this liner!

Sephora Cream Lip Satin in The Red

Sephora Cream Lip Satin in The Red

Sephora Cream Lip Satin in The Red

I have to say this was an impulse purchase! I’d heard about this product and so when I saw it I knew I had to try it out. This isn’t a lipstick or a lipgloss. Instead is a kind of cream texture which dries into a strong matte colour. What I love the most about this product is that once it dries it’s almost unmovable. I can eat and drink and only find a small amount of flaking on the inside of my lips (an easy fix!) I’m always on the search for low-maintainance lip products, and I’m usually very wary of bold lip colours as they usually require more care. This is definitely an exception!

Some downfalls of this lip product however is the fact that it is quite drying and messy to apply. This can easily be fixed with  a dab of lip balm and a careful application with some help from a lipliner.

I absolutely love the colour, which is well and truly red. I’ve got a few red lip products however they aren’t true red but instead have orange or pink tints. It’s nice to add a true red to my collection!

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Travel Sized Mascara

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Travel Sized Mascara

On my way to the checkout I also picked up a travel sized Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara; another much-talked-about product that I had to try. This mascara has a brush applicator as opposed to a plastic applicatior, which helps to add volume. I have to say however that I’m not the biggest fan of the mascara. I find it’s harder to get control on application and I often add too much product to my lashes giving me that sexy Lisa Simpson look. That being said I am very picky when it comes to mascara!

Overall I’m very pleased with all my goodies and I can’t wait to return and try out some more products! Keep your eyes peeled next week for the look I filmed using these products!

Natasha Sofia xx

Birthday Beauty Haul

Hello everyone! It was my 21st birthday in January, and my wonderful friends were really very generous this year and gave me some great presents. Among these presents I received a few beauty goodies and so I thought I’d show them to you. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “It’s mid-May, why have you taken so long to write this post?” Well here’s the thing. I’ve actually filmed a look to accompany this haul, however when I initially did this I managed to lose all of my footage! How infuriating!!! So naturally in my frustration I haven’t had the motivation to re-film… until now! But like I always say, better late than never and the makeup look tutorial will be up next week. Anyway, on to the haul!

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in Carrie and Big

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in Carrie and Big

This was a gift from an old friend of mine, Jenny, and I’m pretty please with it! I have to say I felt a little stupid that I only just realised that this colour is named after the ever-so-famous romantic duo from Sex and the City. It took a bit of sleuthing (*cough* Google *cough*) to find out that the other colour in the Soul Mates range is named after the on-and-off couple Ross and Rachel. Why I didn’t get the connection to begin with is beyond me.

Other than the soul mates connection being lost on me I love this product! First of all, it’s huge which means a great big mirror and enough surface area for me to use my big fluffy bronzer brush. I also love that this bronzer isn’t too orange or dark, which is perfect for a fair-faced female like myself. The blush is a lovely coral colour which is going to be absolutely perfect for the spring/summer. Neither the bronzer nor blush are over pigmented which I like as it means I’m not in danger of applying too much product to my pasty complexion. Instead I can gradually build up coverage depending on what look I’m going for. It’s also a great time-saving product! In a rush? Just swirl the two colours together, sweep over the cheeks and you’ve got yourself a lovely bronze and glowing complexion! Thanks again Jenny!

Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Sugar Land

Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Sugar Land

Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Sugar Land

The next product is an eyeshadow palette from my good friend Cassie. When asked what makeup I wanted/needed I told her that I didn’t really know and that I trusted her. Well I have to say I put my trust in the right person and she did not disappoint!

Let’s start off by saying I love this eyeshadow! It’s a fantastic choice if you’re going for a bright and girly look for your everyday eye. The colours aren’t too pigmented so they look nice and subtle but you can also build them up for even more coverage. The pink in this duo has got to be my favourite of the two. It’s slightly duo-tone, so gold flecks appear whenever the sun hits your eye in a certain way. Because of this it acts as a perfect time-saver (and you know I love saving time!) Often I’ll just apply this over my lid and it appears that I’ve put more effort in than I have. Just one swipe and BOOM! It looks like I’ve blended a lovely pink and gold over my eye.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Not only did Cassie give me a lovely eyeshadow duo, but she also kindly gave me a travel sized Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer! I was quite excited about this since I’ve never tried any Hourglass products before.

My first impressions? I think I like it?

I’m quite hesitant about primers because I can never really tell if they’re working or not. Which is the situation with this product. I mean it seems to work O.K. but I really just can’t tell! Nevertheless I’ve absolutely scraped the bottle it dry trying to use every last drop. Although I can’t say whether it’s prolonged my foundation wear and smoothed my makeup application, I will say I like how the formula feels on my skin. It’s not greasy or drying which is a plus! Also I liked this bottle size as it was perfect for my little makeup bag. It’s a good solid product, but if you’re on a budget I’d say this primer isn’t for you.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu

Cass was more than generous this year, I have to say. She also gave me a Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu. This is a lovely bright pink lip colour which has great staying power! I also love how versatile it is. You can rock a bold, bright lip or sheer it out for a more natural look. I’ve also had some great compliments when I’ve worn this colour so thats always and ego-boosting plus! Great job Cassie!

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc

Now this next present wasn’t from anyone in particular, but instead was bought with Mecca Maxima gift vouchers I was given. I’ve heard so much about this foundation so I was dying to give it a go!

As expected I love the formula, it applies and blends beautifully! The only downside is that it’s a tad dark for me (I couldn’t get my hands on Siberia) which means I have to blend it onto my neck too. But I love it so much I don’t really care to be honest! I also love how good it looks even at the end of the day. It’s definitely my favourite foundation at the moment so I haven’t got much else to say about it. On to the next product!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

This was also a result of another Mecca Maxima gift voucher. I was um-ing and ah-ing about this purchase but in the end I decided to go with it since I’ve heard so many people rave about it. Because of the price I can’t say I would have bought it without a gift voucher, but since it was a present I decided to spoil myself.

In the palette there are three different shades: Dim Light (left), Incandescent Light (middle) and Radiant Light (right). I use Dim Light as a setting powder, which gives a lovely finish to my foundation. It does make my foundation look a little darker though, which is the only thing I don’t like about this colour.

I use Incandescent Light as a highlighter on the high points on my face. Out of the three shades in this palette, this colour has got to be my favourite. It’s not glittery like a lot of cheap highlighters are, but instead has a beautiful natural shimmer. It’s overtaken TheBalm’s Mary-Loumanizer as my favourite highlighter as it give a much more subtle glow to my skin.

I use Radiant Light for a bronze glow on my cheeks, or as an eyeshadow that makes my blue eyes pop. I have to say though that I probably use this colour the least out of the three.

Overall I absolutely love this palette and am thinking about picking up some of the blushes too!

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01

Last but not least is The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 01! My friend Louise gave me some money for my birthday and instructed me that I was to buy makeup with said money. With the threat of Louise’s wrath on my mind, I quickly decided exactly what I wanted to buy!

I’ve heard great things about this bronzer and it definitely delivers! It’s not too orange, which I find is the case with a lot of bronzers, plus it’s light enough for my fair skin! Just like my Soul Mates bronzer it’s perfect for me! And the compact packaging makes it easy for me to carry it in my travel makeup bag.

Overall I love all of my makeup presents that I got last year so thanks to all of my lovely friends! Don’t forget to keep your eyes out next week for my everyday look that I did using my new products!

Natasha Sofia xx

 

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My French Exchange

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve returned from my 6 month exchange in Tours, France and I thought I’d share some tips on a French exchange. If you’re planning on going on exchange you would have heard a lot of things about exchange, and usually it’s the same stuff: it’ll be challenging, you’ll get culture shock, it’ll be amazing, etc. Here’s a list of tips I wish I’d known before heading to the other side of the world!
Oh la la!

Oh la la!

  1. You’ll speak English

This was a point of huge frustration with me during my time in France due to the fact that I was there with the intention of seriously improving my foreign language skills. I’d imagined that I’d pop over to France for 6 months and by the time I’d returned I’d be a fluent French speaker. Boy, could have I been more wrong? Turns out most people, be they other international students or French natives, speak English (however limited it may be.) I found myself slipping into a zone of comfort and speaking English (and occasionally Franglish) with my exchange friends. I’d often speak English to my French friends too, despite the fact that a majority’s English was significantly worse than my French. They’d insist on practicing their high school learnt language with me, even after I’d insist on speaking French. I’d often find myself speaking broken French to them while they spoke broken English back. And yes, while this was a benefit to my oral expression it wasn’t so great for my greatest weakness: oral comprehension. I found it was easiest to just roll with whatever was happening. It was important to make an effort to speak French, but it was ok that I didn’t do it constantly. Besides I wasn’t just on exchange for language, but also for the cultural and social experience.

  1. You’ll get fat

Seems pretty obvious right? I mean, come on, you’re living in a country that should basically be called “Pastryland feat. Cheese.” But when you leave for an exchange program, wide-eyed and naïve, you’re bound to have a few unrealistic expectations. I, for one, decided that I was going to maintain my fitness and eat an amazingly balanced diet. In total I ran a total of three times and ate what probably amounted to 10 000 croissants. My advice: don’t stress about it! While it’s probably not the best idea to eat 10 éclairs everyday, it’s ok to let yourself go during exchange and just have fun. You’ll find that most social events involve eating and/or drinking, so don’t hole yourself up in your room with an apple and a lone lettuce leaf. Go out there and have fun! Meet people! Get fat together. Soon enough you’ll be back home where there’ll be plenty of time to eat celery.

How could you NOT get fat with this sort of thing staring you in the face everyday

How could you NOT get fat with this sort of thing staring you in the face everyday

  1. You’ll miss home

Most people experience homesickness differently. It took me 3 months before I missed the homeland, before that I couldn’t imagine wanting to ever go back home. In my experience, you’ll feel homesick during the times that are the shittiest. When you have to make a doctor’s appointment in French you’ll just wish your Mum was there to do it for you. When you have nobody to do anything with you’ll wish your mates where just a 10 minute drive away. When it’s the 3rd week in a row of crummy weather you’ll long to be back on Aussie soil. It’s important to remember that this will pass and the next Erasmus event will roll around and you’ll be back to being as happy as Larry. Before you leave bring some things with you to remind you of home when you do feel rubbish though: photos of friends and family, candles that you burn at home, comfort food from the local supermarket, your childhood teddy. Plus with this fancy new thing called the Internet your close ones are just a video call away!

Keep photos of your friends and family from home to keep homesickness at bay

Keep photos of your friends and family from home to keep homesickness at bay

  1. You won’t miss home

Exchange is like another life. You most likely won’t have anyone from your home with you; which makes home feel like a whole other world away. You’ll find yourself in a new routine with new friends doing new and exciting things. Sometimes you’ll find yourself calling your new city “home” and it’ll completely weird you out.

At the local soccer game with Margo and Ana

At the local soccer game with Margo and Ana

  1. You’ll appreciate your home university

Oh lordy, I’ve missed Australian uni. Pre-France Tash would have laughed reading this but I’m Post-France Tash now and I am much, much wiser. Now I’m not saying there aren’t problems with Australian tertiary education, but by golly is it worlds apart from French University. I won’t go into the details here but basically in France everyone has the right to receive a tertiary education so long as they pass their final year in high school. Not only this but the universities are government funded which means students barely pay any fees. Sounds pretty great right? Well yea except for the fact that the universities aren’t exactly rich and due to the fact that there isn’t much of a selection process for students entering university, there is a high drop out rate. Something tells me I’ll be using more of my university’s facilities this semester! Especially because I’m paying so much for them!

  1. You’ll feel like you have no personality

Hey remember when you had a great command of language and you could be funny and have interesting conversations and the like? Well essentially you’ll be stripped of these skills, pushed into the local life trembling and naked and then you’ll have to attempt to make friends. Good luck buddy. Seriously the amount of times I was at a soirée surrounded by French speakers and felt like I had no personality was countless. It’s scary trying to speak French in a small group, but when you’re at a party and French is flying everywhere it’s truly terrifying. By the time you think of something to say the conversation would have moved on to something completely different. I’d have to tell people that, yes, I have a personality I swear and in actual fact I can be funny (Shh, don’t tell, they bought it!) But don’t be discouraged. Keep at it and eventually your French will improve and you’ll be chatting away like the rest of them (except with a silly foreign accent.)

So much French!

So much French!

  1. The French love paperwork

I now see why there is so much paperwork pre-exchange. I’ve come to the conclusion that our home universities are preparing us for France’s love of bureaucracy. Make sure you bring a good supply of pens and sharpen all of your pencils because, boy, do the French have a lot of forms. But hey! At least it keeps people employed: someone has to file all of this paperwork obviously!

  1. French Keyboards suck

Who decides it’s a good idea to have to press shift every time you want to make a full stop? And for goodness sake put the A back where it belongs or so help me god!

  1. You won’t be having the time of your life the whole time

Leaving for exchange many people will tell you that you’re going to have the time of your life. This isn’t completely true. Yes, this is an unforgettable experience but there will be moments that are forgettable. There will be days when just run errands or stay holed up in your room. The important thing to remember is that it’s ok to do nothing some days. There were moments in the middle of my 14th consecutive episode of some television series from 2008 where I would stop and think, “What am I doing? I’m in France! I should be drinking wine with my very sophisticated French friends that I haven’t made quite yet!” But trust me days to yourself can be just as important, you won’t last an entire semester if you’re on the go all of the time. But maybe get out of your dark room and take a walk in a park every now and then during those “Me-Days.”

You won't be doing things like this everyday but appreciate it when you do!

You won’t be doing things like this everyday but appreciate it when you do!

  1. You’ll have the greatest time

When it’s all said and done and you’re back on home turf you’ll look back on this experience and smile. Despite all of the challenges and cultural differences you’ll make lifelong friends and have an experience of a lifetime.

Amigos!

Amigos!

Erasmus Tipsy Tuesdays at Gros Bar!

Erasmus Tipsy Tuesdays at Gros Bar!

Turkish Delight

Post-Turkey depression. It’s a thing.

On top of a Turkish Castle

On top of a Turkish Castle

I’m going to try and sum up as best I can my 10 day trip to Turkey but I doubt I’ll succeed in conveying just how absolutely amazing it was. I will, however, give it my best shot.

Lanterns in Istanbul

Lanterns in Istanbul

Let’s start off with one of my favourite things: THE FOOD.

Spices and Turkish Delight in Istanbul

Spices and Turkish Delight in Istanbul

Let’s just say someone came back with 2kg more luggage and it wasn’t in my suitcase if you know what I mean…Baklava, börek, pide, gozlëme, kebab, Turkish delight, even a thing called a “wet burger”… They were just some of the highlights. To tell you the truth there wasn’t a meal I didn’t enjoy while in Turkey. I think I’m having Turkish food withdrawals now that I’m back in France.

Chaos in Istanbul

Chaos in Istanbul

It helped that our Australian friend was on exchange in Istanbul which meant that he knew where all the great food places were. It also meant that he could show us around town and what I really loved about that was that we were able to discover the city through his eyes. That was what really made it for me. At first sight Istanbul isn’t the most beautiful city. But that’s what makes it so fantastic. As our friend there said, there’s so much chaos but somehow everything just works. Which is why if you ever go to Istanbul I’d advise you to yes, see the sights, but also discover the back streets, the small restaurants and shops which you can only find by getting lost. One of my favourite afternoons in Istanbul was when my friends were visiting a palace and I was walking around the streets by myself. It was raining and cold but I ate some great food and struck up a conversation with some of the locals, and to be honest that was more memorable than seeing the famous Blue Mosque. Although to be fair that was pretty amazing too. But for me I preferred times like when we discovered art exhibitions hidden away in a graffitied building or eating a fish sandwich right on the river front.

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Fish sandwich with Jenny, Richard and Ana

Fish sandwich with Jenny, Richard and Ana

Hidden Art Exhibition

Hidden Art Exhibition

The night life was pretty decent too I might add. We had a few great nights in Istanbul with an Erasmus party and a few bars as well. One of our nights in Istanbul our French friend took us to some club out in the middle of nowhere. We helped some guy get in with us and next thing we knew we were drinking on a VIP table with who we swear were Nigerian princes and watching Les Twins dance (who I had no knowledge of but Ana assured me were Beyoncé’s only male dancers).

Now before you start thinking that Turkey was all party, party, party like Barcelona I would like to point out that we weren’t just in Istanbul for the entire time. After Istanbul (and a 10 hour night bus) we arrived in Cappadocia. Now as much as I’d like to say we had a cave-rave every night we were there, this leg of our Turkey tour was a tad more touristy. As soon our feet touched the ground in Cappadocia we were whisked away on the Green Tour and visited the Derinkuyu Underground City (would not recommend if you’re a tad anxious like me), Pigeon Valley, and my favourite Ihlara Valley.

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

Lunch anybody?

Lunch anybody?

Jenny, Ana and I being absolute tourists on the Green Tour

Jenny, Ana and I being absolute tourists on the Green Tour

Sunsetting on Pigeon Valley

Sunsetting on Pigeon Valley

 

After meeting some Americans, Canadians and Australians (seriously we’re flippin’ everywhere) during the night, we woke up bright and early for a HOT AIR BALLOON! Yes you read right. I have to say this was one of the absolute highlights of my trip and, despite forking over 150 euros, it was well worth it. Getting up in the morning was super exciting and driving in the dark past HUGE inflating balloons was absolutely surreal. It wasn’t until I was getting into the basket, however, when I remembered that I was scared of heights. Oops! It was still absolutely amazing to see hundreds of hot air balloons rising with the sun.

Pre-Flight

Pre-Flight

Sun and balloons rising

Sun and balloons rising

Hundreds of hot air balloons

Hundreds of hot air balloons

Balloon Eclipse!

Balloon Eclipse!

Evidence

Evidence

After the flight I went on a bike ride adventure with some people from the hostel. I’d like to say that this little trip went off without a hitch but that in fact was not the case. After losing one of our troops to a bout of hangover some of us were rendered immobile due to some pesky thorns in out wheels. We told the rest of our gang to ride on without us while we rolled our bikes all the way home. Tired but not disheartened we ended the day with some beers and Oolog’s kebabs. I didn’t partake in the latter however because our hostel had organised for us to attend what they called a Turkish night. Not really having much knowledge about it other than traditional dancing and a buffet was involved Ana, Jenny, Richard and I headed over. Little did we know that we would be involved in the dancing ourselves. It was probably one of the funniest nights for me and the most uncomfortable for Richard. I won’t mention details because I’m sure some people wouldn’t appreciate it but let’s just say there was belly dancing involved…

Pre-Tyre-Puntcure Bike Riding in Cappadocia

Pre-Tyre-Puntcure Bike Riding in Cappadocia

The next day was spent with Ana and Jenny running through ruins and picnicking on top of Uchisar Castle. The heavens opened up just as we were planning to walk home so we ended up hitching a ride with some friendly locals back into town to avoid getting completely and utterly soaked.

Ruins and Graffiti at Uchisar

Ruins and Graffiti at Uchisar

Uchisar Castle

Uchisar Castle

Climbing ruins and jumping down holes at Uchisar

Climbing ruins and jumping down holes at Uchisar

In the evening we said goodbye to our little hostel family and caught another long night bus to Selçuk. Here we discovered the ruins of Ephesus including the famous Library of Celcus.

Ruins at Ephesus

Ruins at Ephesus

Library of Celsus

Ana and Richard at the Library of Celsus

Theatre of Ephesus

Theatre of Ephesus

After hide-and-seek in an ancient brothel and an obstacle course over one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World we unexpectedly found ourselves at the Grand Fortress on Ayasuluk Hill watching the sunset.

Grand Fortress of Selçuk

Grand Fortress of Selçuk

Uh oh! Ana, Jenny, Richard and I being tourists again at the Grand Fortress

Uh oh! Ana, Jenny, Richard and I being tourists again at the Grand Fortress

Watching the sunset

Watching the sunset

The next day we took a tour to Pamukkale where you can find hot springs on top of a  calcified castle. Here we translated the tour into French from some Columbians, bathed in the hot springs and had some little fishies eat off our dead feet skin (isn’t that just a lovely image).

Jenny, Ana and I at Pamukkale

Jenny, Ana and I at Pamukkale

After all of this we arrived in Istanbul for our last night in Turkey. To be honest I think after 10 days it was the perfect time to head back home to France, especially because this night included me peeing in a bush outside a soccer stadium, eating a whole plate of baklava and having a tantrum at an Italian. That isn’t to say that my last night wasn’t good, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it was time to go home.

I'll miss Turkey

I’ll miss Turkey

Overall my trip to Turkey was absolutely amazing and it’s now one of my favourite places in the world. I met some great people, saw some amazing sights and ate my weight in Turkish Delight. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll definitely be back there in my lifetime. Thanks Turkey.

Natasha Sofia xx

Not Hungover Makeup Tutorial

Hooray! I’ve finally got internet which means I could finally upload this video I filmed a while back. I was hungover one day and decided to make the most of it and teach you how to fool people into thinking you’re not hungover. You’re welcome!

Sorry for my absence recently. I’m still working on my Turkey blog post but with any hope it’ll be up soon! (Considering my track record though, I wouldn’t count on it!)

Natasha Sofia xx

Barcelona Adventures

It’s been two weeks since I’ve returned from Barcelona. In that time I’ve definitely been getting some withdrawals so I’m hoping that I can relieve some of the symptoms by writing a post about it.

Barcelona!

Barcelona!

The trip started as it ended: with exhaustion. Apparently I decided it was a great idea to go out the night before my 9:45 am train. It was not. So with bags in my hands and under my eyes I headed off to the station to meet my Australian friends Ana, Margo and Juliette. At this point I must have been running on adrenaline because it wasn’t until the middle of the train ride that I crashed and went through the various symptoms of exhaustion. For those who aren’t familiar with these, I’ll name a few:

  1. Delirium
  2. Laughing hysterically at nothing
  3. A huge craving for Macca’s
  4. A suspicion that Dementors are attacking your train
  5. Feeling like you’re floating on a cloud
Barcelona Beaching!

Barcelona Beaching!

Upon arriving in Barcelona after a train ride that felt like eternity and the quickest flight ever, the girls and I headed straight to our hostel and set ourselves up. After that it was time for the beach of course! Although we did get sidetracked a little with food such as greasy chips in a cone and gelato. Mmmmmmm.

Giant Pizza from Pizza Circus

Giant Pizza from Pizza Circus

Me, Ana and Juliette off to Razzmatazz in all black and white

Me, Ana and Juliette off to Razzmatazz in all black and white

Later on in the evening, after drinking games and the biggest pizza slices ever, we headed out to Razzmatazz with the rest of our hostel. To say this place was confusing is an understatement. With 5 levels, magic Harry Potter stairs and a few (*cough*) drinks in me of course I wound up lost. Not having a phone, my survival training kicked in and I spent most of my night on the terrace hoping my friend would eventually come out for a cigarette. That isn’t to say I didn’t have fun. I met plenty of people from all over the world and had some great conversations (I think… I’m not entirely sure…) It all worked out though because I eventually caught up with my friends and we walked home with some Frenchies, stopping only to take cover from torrential rain.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

The next day we headed to one of Gaudi’s works: Casa Batlló. I don’t think my photos do this house much justice and if you get the chance I definitely recommend discovering it for yourself. I was in awe of how much thought and work he put into just a single room. Aesthetically and practically he thought of everything, turning ordinary things like door handles and chimneys into works of art. The shapes, colours and use of light transport you to another world: one that is evocative of nature and the underwater world. Honestly I could go on about this house for an eternity but I won’t. What I will do, however, is urge you to go see it. Your mind will be blown.

Ana, Me and Margo at Casa Batlló

Ana, Me and Margo at Casa Batlló

Mosaics at Casa Batlló

Mosaics!

Rooftop view from Casa Batlló

Rooftop view of Barcelona

Polaroids and beautiful mosaics at Casa Batilló

Polaroids and beautiful mosaics at Casa Batilló

Casa Batlló's Rooftop

Casa Batlló’s Rooftop

That night we met up with some more Aussie friends and joined the hostel once again at a club called Opium. Thankfully, this club was much smaller than Razzmatazz which meant little risk of me getting lost. Hooray! We danced into the early hours of the morning and then caught a taxi home.

The next morning I awoke to the girls telling me that we were going to church. Apparently Gaudi’s Cathedral, Sagrada Familia, was THE place to visit in Barcelona. I was not so keen. I didn’t even know if a church would allow me in with all the sins I’d committed. But I mustered up all of my will-power and jumped out of bed. I literally jumped, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea what with the hangover and all. Nevertheless we headed off to church via the metro. Exiting the train station on the escalator we were all wondering which direction the cathedral would be in. However, our questions (or prayers) were soon answered. We all turned around and together breathed a “WOAH.” In front of me was the biggest, grandest and most detailed cathedral I had ever seen. Shapes of people, animals and plants covered the face of the church. Colourful bulbs that resembled fruit burst out of the steeples. The entire structure was brimming with life.

My view of Sagrada Familia emerging from the metro

My view of Sagrada Familia emerging from the metro

I however, in my state of exhaustion, was quite content with taking a polaroid of the outside and leaving. The others had other ideas though and wanted to see inside so reluctantly I queued up with them to buy some tickets. We were informed that we couldn’t go inside until 5:30 so after purchasing the tickets we decided to visit another place of Gaudi’s works: Park Güell.

View of Barcelona and some hungover youths at Park Güell

View of Barcelona and some hungover youths at Park Güell

Oh hey there more pretty mosaics

Oh hey there more pretty mosaics

This is the place where I almost cried from exhaustion.

This is the place where I almost cried from exhaustion.

A picture from the outside of the paid area of Park Güell because we were too cheap to actually go inside

A picture from the outside of the paid area of Park Güell because we were too cheap to actually go inside

Here we wandered around aimlessly for what for me felt like eternity. Not wanting to actually pay any money here we just visited the free areas which in all honesty weren’t very impressive. What I did like was the view of Barcelona from the highest part of the park. But after that point I was what I like to call OVER IT. Hungry, thirsty, tired and hungover I did not want to be walking around some random park. At one point I almost cried, that’s how much I wanted my bed. Thankfully we finally left to get some traditional Spanish paella and non-traditional KFC. Yum yum yum.

Mmmm Paella

Mmmm Paella

With food in my belly I’d finally pepped up a bit but still wanted my bed. I would have gone home there and then if I hadn’t spent 20-or-so euros on a ticket to Sagrada Familia. So I followed along expecting the same old interior that I see in most cathedrals. Boy was I flipping wrong. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion, the hangover, the architecture of the stain-glass windows but when I entered Sagrada Familia I was so overwhelmed that I almost cried. I wish my photos did this place justice but they really don’t. I was physically shaking because of how beautiful it was (it was a very emotional day ok?) If you go anywhere in Barcelona, I urge you to please, please, please go to this cathedral. It honestly has got to be one of my favourite tourist sites in the world. If I wasn’t convinced of Gaudi’s talent, skill and genius after Casa Batlló, I was after stepping through the doors of Sagrada Familia. With winding staircases, vibrant stain-glass and tree-like columns this was one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I have seen. And to think I was going to give it a miss!

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

I almost cried again when I saw these stain-glass windows

I almost cried again when I saw these stain-glass windows

Stain-glass windows illuminating the interior of the cathedral

Stain-glass windows illuminating the interior of the cathedral

Gaudi designed these columns to resemble trees. Wasn't he clever?

Gaudi designed these columns to resemble trees. Wasn’t he clever?

The altar of the cathedral. Oh hey there Jesus under a parachute!

The altar of the cathedral. Oh hey there Jesus under a parachute!

After the cathedral the others decided to go to the beach. I on the other hand just needed a lie-down after what was a roller coaster of a day. Well, at least that was my intention… You see when I arrived at the metro station closest to the hostel I had a change of heart and decided instead that the thing I needed most in life was to visit Sephora and Topshop.

A few hours later, after the sun had set, I arrived at my hostel room carrying a shopping bag and a guilty look. Yes, I explained to the others who’d beat me home, I had just gone shopping instead of having a well-needed sleep. But now was not the time to dwell on silly things because it was time to get ready for our final night out! Once again the plan was to visit a club with the hostel group. It was a great night filled with dancing, drinking, blah blah blah you know the drill.

Our hostel room had been empty except for our group for the whole weekend. So when we arrived back home, with Ana and Alex cheering, we were surprised to find a strange Australian bloke in one of the beds. He was a good sport I might add, as we were talking throughout the rest of the night. To be fair it was only about an hour as we only had that long before we had to rise and shine for our flight. During this time I had a quick little 23-minute snooze. Then it was off again to the airport.

Saying goodbye to Spain as the sun rises

Saying goodbye to Spain as the sun rises

Travel tip #43: When travelling to an airport, make sure to specify to your taxi driver which terminal you want to be dropped off at. We did not follow this rule which resulted in us sprinting across the airport to catch a shuttle bus. In all honesty I don’t know how we did it but we made the flight just in the nick of time. After running our little fatigued legs off we crashed on the plane (and by that I mean fell asleep, the plane didn’t literally crash) and woke up in Paris.

I had an amazing time in Barcelona and I will never forget it, but boy was I glad to be back at what I now call home: Tours. While arriving back in France we all had a little epiphany: we live in France right now. I wish I could say I ended that day with a loooong sleep, but instead I went to class because it was a Tuesday and apparently I’m Superwoman.

Me in the middle of Barcelona

Me in the middle of Barcelona

I apologise for this post’s length but I really wanted to document my trip to Barcelona. I tried to vlog (unsuccessfully) so I figured this was the next big thing. Let me know if you want to see more of this kind of thing because I’m heading to Turkey in a few days so I’ll definitely have lots to talk about!

Natasha Sofia xx

Review: Sephora Lipstick in Hot Tango

I’m sorry! I know I’ve been neglecting you and I don’t even have a good excuse. I could blame it on my crappy internet, but I’ve managed to still stream episodes of America’s Next Top Model. Anyway, the point is that I’m back now, so that’s all that matters. And to kick things off again I’m giving you a review! One of the (many) perks of living in France is having a Sephora on my street. The other day I picked up a Sephora lipstick in the colour Hot Tango. Now this purchase was not uninspired in the slightest. My friend wore the same lippie out and I was freaking amazed at how long it stayed. I’ve been searching for a red lipstick that actually has staying power but doesn’t cost the world, so of course I had to pick one up from myself.

Sephora Lipstick in Hot Tango

Sephora Lipstick in Hot Tango

First, let’s start with the packaging. In all honesty it’s not my favourite: there’s nothing really special going on and I find it a little bulky. I see what they were going for: a sleek, classic and simple black case, but I don’t think Sephora has quite hit the nail on the head. That being said the packaging isn’t ugly, it’s just sort of “meh?” I have to say, however, that whatever the lipstick lacks in packaging, it makes up for in quality. The colour is vibrant, the texture is smooth and the formula doesn’t dry out your lips like other matte, long-wear products. Plus, I wore it last night and it didn’t budge after a pizza and a few (or several) beers. I only had to touch up a little and even then it didn’t really make much difference. I’d describe the colour as a vibrant red with a slightly pink undertone. I rarely wear bold lipstick because:

  1. I have tiny lips and
  2. It’s so high-maintenance.

Which is what I expected with this lipstick too. Just look at the insty-post I dropped earlier that night. I was defs hella scared. (That’s how the cool kids say it. I wouldn’t expect you to understand.)

Going for a high-maintenance lip today. Am I up for the challenge??

Going for a high-maintenance lip today. Am I up for the challenge??

I had no need to be afraid though. This lipstick is a must have! Not only is it a long-lasting and low-maintenance but it’s reasonably priced as well! I know I’ll be raving about it for a long while and I absolutely love it. It has Tash’s Seal of Approval!