Live Love Read 16.08.15

by Gio

live love read food


I’ve been trying to avoid the Charlotte Tilbury counter in Selfridges ever since I arrived in London. I know, I know, that makes me a bad beauty blogger! But the line is so tempting I thought I’d spend a fortune if I came anywhere near it. But when I finally gave in and went, that didn’t happen. Phew!

Not because I didn’t want to. The counter was just so crowded, I didn’t get a chance to play with much. I don’t like having to push and shove to try a lipstick, you know? So, I left pretty soon. But I was very impressed with everything I saw. Beautiful pigmented shades, silky smooth textures, luxurious packaging. The hype is well deserved. Well done, Charlotte!

While I was there, I checked out the rest of the huge beauty isle. Next stop was Illamasqua. Love their colourful, edgy offerings. But what really impressed me was their Skin Base Foundation.

It’s medium to full coverage, but, when applied with a light hand, looks so natural. And the shade selection is huge! One of them even matches my skintone! I don’t think that has ever happened before! Very close matches yet, but an exact one? Nope. I got a sample, and I’m still testing it for staying power, but, so far, am very, very happy with it.

The Jo Malone counter is a treat for both eyes and nose. Those simple, chic bottles look so pretty on the counter, and the juices inside smell amazing. French Lime Blossom and Pomegranate Noir are now both on my wishlist.

I also checked out the Aesop shop in Broadway Market, and came away with a few sample sachets of Geranium Leaf Body Balm. I finally get it why this stuff is so loved. The scent is so beautiful. I tried some of my hands, and couldn’t stop sniffing them for the rest of the day! Yep, I looked like a madwoman, but I didn’t care. It is that good!


London food! I didn’t expect to like it, let alone love it. Everyone’s always complaining about how bad the food is here. But London almost has more places to eat than inhabitants, and they do every type of cuisine ever invented, so it’s very possible to eat well here.

Sure, I don’t get to eat real Italian cuisine (although Sweet Thursdays in Hackney makes a delicious pizza), but if you’re willing to experiment and try something new, you’ll discover lots of new, tasty dishes.

My favourites? Brownies, cheesecakes, and everything sweet. Wherever I turn here, there’s a market stall or little cafe that sells irresistible, delicious treats. My favourite food markets are Broadway Market (on Saturdays) and King’s Cross Real Food Market (just outside the station, thanks to Jen for the heads up!). There is so much to choose from, you won’t know where to start!

Food aside, I’m also loving the Whistle Lilly Lace Dress. I’m a sucker for a good lace dress and the pastel blue shade is beautiful.

Crazy cat ladies, you need these shoes! They’re too cute.


The Lost World of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris

I picked up this book because it promised to eschew ” the usual run-through of emperors and battles and instead recounts the empire’s extraordinary history by focusing each chronological chapter on an archetypal figure, family, place, or event”. But guess what, those figures are often emperors, those families dynasties, and the events, battles and wars!

Part of me was disappointed. I’m much more interested in sociological than political history. The other part was fascinated. The Byzantines were wealthy, educated, artistic, deeply religious, and constantly under attack from enemies. That they managed to survive and retain their identity for more than a millennium was an amazing feat.

From its humble beginnings, to its years of prosperity, and its inevitable demise, the history of the Byzantine Empire is full of plots and tricks, violence and death, spirituality and art, and intriguing figures. So much is packed into every chapter, you certainly will never get bored!

If you’d like to know more about the Byzantines and their world, check it out. It’s available at Amazon.

If books aren’t your thing, check out these blog posts:

The true cost of fashion – if you read only one thing today, let it be this

Are French pharmacy beauty products worth the hype?

Is Gwyneth Paltrow wrong about everything?

12 beauty lessons learnt from blogging

Is it safe to buy perfumes from online discounters?

What have you been up to this week? What are you loving and reading right now?

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Laurie August 16, 2015 - 1:24 pm

Gio, I am so jealous of your access to London beauty counters! Charlotte Tilbury is now available in the U.S., but only in a few select cities (and mine is not one of them). Sure, you can get it online, but I really prefer to see the products and test them.

Gio August 16, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Laurie, London is a playground for beauty lovers, isn’t it? The Charlotte Tilbury line is absolutely wonderful. I prefer to see makeup in person too, but if you order it online, you won’t be disappointed!

Laurie August 17, 2015 - 2:02 pm

Gio, have you had a chance to try her mascara — Full Fat Lashes? That’s the one I’m especially curious about.

Gio August 18, 2015 - 5:19 pm

Laurie, not yet, but I plan to go back soon. I’ll let you know. 🙂

marymary August 16, 2015 - 5:07 pm

Fenwick has CT and less crowded. Plus the counter is near the windows so lighting is better.

Gio August 18, 2015 - 6:35 pm

Mary, thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check it out!

Maria August 16, 2015 - 6:04 pm

I absolutely love London!! All the cosmetiv brands, awesome food and of couse the city itself. I’m still dreaming of english breakfast! I think I need to try the Skin base foundation too, I heard so many good things about it! Greetings from Meraner Land 🙂

Gio August 18, 2015 - 6:36 pm

Maria, it’s an amazing city, isn’t it? And I’m sure you’ll love the foundation too. It’s really good.

Kiss & Make-up August 17, 2015 - 9:07 am

Hmm, I’m still not convinced that English food is good, lol 🙂 But hey, who knows, maybe I’ll end up being proven wrong too, you never know.

Gio August 18, 2015 - 5:23 pm

Melissa, there is all sort of food in London, from all over the world (South America, Africa, Japan, Vietnam, American burgers, and anything you can think of), so you can live here without ever trying tradition British food. I tend to stay away from Italian restaurants, unless I know the owners are Italian, but I love trying out new dishes. But if there’s one thing the British do well is baked sweets, like brownies. They’re delicious!


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