A Day in Cairo

18 June 2017


It's barely 5am, I hear my mom banging on our hotel room door, and guess what? My alarm didn't go off. We had to be in reception for 5:30am to be picked up to go to the airport and make our plane from Sharm-el-Sheikh to Cairo. I throw on some clothes and limited make up, shove my hair up, and run out the door. The day was already off to a terrible start, I feel like a sweaty mess and it's only 5am. We head to reception and the transfers are late - I would have had to time to shower and make myself feel human after all!

On the bus to the airport the guide was so friendly and helpful, telling us all about what our day would consist of and what we needed to do once at the airport. And that's when I realised, yes, that's right, the guide was not coming with us. Although we were in a big group this was not particularly reassuring. I'd never got on a plane and not been travelling to or from the UK so this was a little... new.

Once on the plane it was great, we got free snacks and bottles of water. The flight to was so quick, taking only around 40 minutes. Once we landed I wasn't reassured that the day was planned out very well. The airport was dirty and small, everybody seemed lost (probably because we all were). Thankfully, we soon found the Thomson tour guides! We were all packed onto air con coaches - THANK GOD - and off we went.

Driving through the streets of Cairo was far from pleasant. The city itself is dirty and run down. It's quite upsetting seeing the horrible blocks of flats - if that's what you can call them - that people have to live on. The dirty streets are lined with rubbish and air looked almost foggy. I kept thinking about Egypt's rich ancient heritage and thinking how different life could have been here.


1st Stop - The Pyramids and Sphinx

I was SO excited to finally be on our way to the Pyramids; this was the only reason I came to Cairo. I'd heard a lot of bad things about the Pyramids; that they're next to a McDonald's, they're right in the city centre, they're boring, and somebody will try to trade you for a camel. So once we'd gone through security I was pleasantly surprised. No fast food in sight, the city skyline looked quite pleasant from where we were, and nobody tried to trade my for a camel (slightly offended by this, but in my unshowered state I don't blame them).

We first stopped by The Great Pyramid of Giza. It was magnificent. Each block was around the same height as me and to think that these were built thousands and thousands of years ago is incredible. We only had around 15-20 minutes here; at the time I thought this wasn't long but after 5 minutes I was ready to go back to the air con! The heat was unbearable as the morning sun was reflecting off the desert sand and our camera soon overheated. We headed round to the next pyramid which you are actually able to go inside - we didn't though because my mum's claustrophobic, and I can't imagine it being particularly pleasant inside anyway.

Next, we headed to The Sphinx. And what do I see? Only KFC! Still no McDonald's in site though. Personally, this didn't bother me, it's not like they were selling chicken directly next to it. And how many tourist attractions do you see where there aren't places like this nearby? We're in a city centre so what do you expect? If you ever want to see the pyramids but are put off by this - don't be. The Sphinx was a lot bigger than expected as I'd heard that they were very small, but I couldn't help be slightly disappointed that half its face had fallen off...


2nd and 3rd Stop - Papyrus Shop and Egyptian Museum 

Honestly, after I'd seen the pyramids I was ready to go home. It was all I'd really come to see and I was hot, sweaty, and just wanted a shower. The papyrus shop was quite interesting, it took me back to primary school when we'd learnt about the Ancient Egyptians. We had a tutorial on how it's made and then time to shop! After this we were back on the coach heading to the museum.

Living in England I'd visited quite a few museums in London; The British Museum, Natural History Museum, The National Gallery. I was expecting The Egyptian Museum to be just like these, but it wasn't. In any way, shape, or form. Really 'museum' is probably not the right word for it. It's more like an attic or a room where you store a lot of stuff that you don't want to throw away but don't really have a proper place for. There was stuff EVERYWHERE. It was like being in an old antique shop when you're stumbling over things that are strewn anywhere and everywhere. There were even old Mummy's with feet poking out, that if you REALLY wanted, you could probably touch.

Oddly, there was a no photography policy in here. Maybe they don't want outsiders to know how scattered it all is as it may put people off visiting. The only room where items were actually stored behind glass cabinets - and there was even air con in there - was the room of Tutankhamun. It was painted black which was quite eery and seems an odd choice of colour.

Even though the museum was an unorganised mess I'm so glad we visited. It's home to so many interesting ancient artifacts and it was definitely an experience!


Final Stops - Dinner on the Nile and The Citadel

FINALLY it was time to head for dinner. I'd not really eaten anything all day and I was starving. The boat on the Nile was more like a palace, it was very grand inside especially in comparison to anywhere else we'd been during the day. There was a buffet style meal so you can go and choose what you want. It was very peaceful and I felt almost privileged to be able to sit on the longest river in the world eating dinner.

After our much needed food we headed to The Citadel. However, we were not allowed to go inside. Because it was Ramadan when we visited a lot of people were getting ready to break their fast and would be entering the Citadel. There was only an hour or so before our flight we all agreed that it was fine to view it from outside. It wasn't a particularly grand building from the outside as it looked very concrete.


CLAUDIA'S TOP TIPS:

1. Dress for the weather. Before we went we were advised to dress respectfully, especially as we planned to visit the Citadel. However, I would not recommend this in the 50 degree heat. I wore jeans and white shirt which was just unbearable. Everybody else was in shorts and flowy dresses and nobody batted an eyelid!

2. Take water, sun cream, hand sanitizer, etc. Before we left we were told that as we were flying to Cairo we wouldn't be able to take sun cream, hand sanitizer etc because it was a liquid. This was a lie. Everybody else was able to take these and our trip definitely would have been better if we had too!

3. Do not let anybody hand you anything, take your photo, or let you sit on a camel. They will rip you off, steal from you, and basically take whatever they can! Try to keep you hands down and if they approach you say "no, thank you" and carry on walking.






5 Reasons I Don't Reach for the Kylie Cosmetics Royal Peach Palette

24 April 2017


Now I know this review is late to the game - and it's probably worse since I ordered the Royal Peach palette the day it was released. It was actually a Birthday present; I'd asked for three palettes for my Birthday but this was the one I was most excited for. I'd been after a Kylie Cosmetics eyeshadow palette for a while and I actually decided to order this over the Burgundy Palette. Oh, hindsight. I was so ready to get testing the palette and write a post about how great it was. I'd never even considered that it might be... bad. 

For my Birthday I actually got three eyeshadow palettes (before this I owned a total of 0): Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette, Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance, and Kylie Cosmetics Royal Peach Palette. This will probably not come as much of a surprise but the Kylie Cosmetics palette was the worst by far. I'd heard such good reviews of the other Kylie palettes that I thought this was a sure bet. Since getting it February I've barely reached for it because the other two are so much better!


So, I'm going to cut to the chase and tell you why I think this palette is so bad: 

1. The lack of pigmentation. This is probably the most disappointing point because the one thing everybody wants from a good palette is for the colours to be pigmented. Especially for the price tag. Some of the shimmer colours may as well not even be there because they only pick up tiny specks of glitter.

2. The colours. Individually they are all so pretty, and when I see the palette it looks so beautiful. But when you take a step back you realise that all the colours are actually very similar (aside from the bright blue) which makes it difficult to create a look without using another palette! And realistically, how often are you going to reach for a bright blue eyeshadow?

3. The brush. I actually got the palette at the same time as Kylie's brush collection and let me tell you; the quality of the palette brush compared to the brush set is horrendous. The set is such good quality and I use them all the time. The palette brush - I've had better brushes free in a magazine. If you're not going to provide a good quality brush in the palette I'd rather save £5 and not have a brush included at all.

4. The smell. It's horrible and chemically. Why would you want to put something on your face that smells like chemicals? Why does it smell so bad? Apparently it's actually the packaging which makes me feel slightly better. I've heard if you air it out the smell goes but I don't expect to be airing out a $45 palette to get rid of the smell.

5. The packaging. Firstly, the aesthetics are nowhere near as nice as her previous palettes. And can she just stop using cardboard? I didn't pay £40 for cheap cardboard. I don't care if it does come with a mirror!  

It's actually making me quite sad to write this review. I'm such a big fan of Kylie's Lipkits and I've heard such good things of her other palettes. I think 2017 has seen Kylie release a lot of rushed products; her highlighters and blushers both look cheap. Remember Kylie: quality over quantity!


Disney Wish List #2

17 April 2017


Only 358 days until I go to Disney World! Until then I'll have to keep dreaming about all the Disney merch I want with my wish lists!

from left clockwise

Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection

16 March 2017


In case you haven't heard - you've definitely heard - the Too Faced Sweet Peach collection is back, and bigger and better than ever! I have to admit that the first time around I wasn't that bothered about it, I'd barely even heard of Too Faced and wasn't about to splurge on eyeshadow I wasn't going to wear. This time around was very different. 

I never really wear eyeshadow so I've always talked myself out of buying eyeshadow palettes. But then one day it hit me - maybe the true reason I don't wear eyeshadow is because I don't really own any. I know how stupid that sounds, how could I not realise this sooner? As I'd seen this palette all over Instagram and every other social media platform available I knew I had to have it! This would be my first high end eyeshadow palette! Lucky for me my need for this palette coincided with my Birthday so my boyfriend bought it for me. I actually got three eyeshadow palettes for my Birthday (I went overboard, ok) but I was definitely most excited about this one.

I have to be honest and say that although I was super excited for the palette as a whole I wasn't looking forward to the peachy smell because I hate peach - the smell, the taste, the feel. NO! At first I was a little unsure of the sickly smell but I've honestly grown to love it. I truly believe it smells a lot nicer than an actual peach! The colours on the palette are all so beautiful and pigmented - although the shimmer colours are a lot better than the mattes.


And then came the blush... when I saw Papa Don't Peach I knew I had to have it. If not only for the play on words because I'm a HUGE Madonna fan. Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep... As I have another Too Faced blusher that I absolutely love and wear all the time I thought that why not treat myself with my Birthday money? I know the product must be good! It has the same peachy smell as the eyeshadow palette and the packaging is literally the cutest; just look at the peach and it's little face! I'm sad to say that the product on the other hand is lacking. Compared to my other Too Faced blush the pigmentation just isn't there, sure it's buildable, but is buildable really good enough at £25?

If you're on the fence about getting anything from this palette I'd definitely recommend the eyeshadow. The blush isn't the BEST I've ever had but it's still very pretty. If you have anything from this collection let me know what you think! I'd really like the Glow Palette




Disney Wish List

13 March 2017


Over the last few weeks I've rediscovered my love for Disney. I don't know what it is but recently all I want to do is go to Walt Disney World! I think it may be a ten year itch as I visited Disney World in 2007 and haven't been since. I know I'm not going to be able to go unless I win the lottery, but I think this is why I'm so obsessed with everything else Disney! So, I thought I'd put together a little wish list of all the Disney items I've been eyeing up....

from top left clockwise

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