Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Body Shop Colour Crush Nails - My Picks and Nail Art

I was so excited when The Body Shop launched their new nail polish collection last month. The Colour Crush Nail Colour Collection was introduced with 24 shades, although a couple of new ones have now been added for Christmas. The formula of these polishes are fantastic, you only need two coats of colour and they are very fast drying. They are long lasting especially when used with the base and top coat and that has been tested with the processing of a rather large retail delivery!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Vichy Dermablend Foundation - Complexion Perfection?

The Vichy Dermablend Foundation promises to be a full coverage corrective foundation for blemish prone skin. After watching a Lisa Eldrige video about covering spots and blemishes with this foundation I knew I just had to give it a go and happened to find it on sale at Feel Unique.

The good thing (at least in theory) about Feel Unique is that they send you a small sample sachet to try before you open the product to check that the colour is correct, allowing you to return the item unused if the shade is not right. I say in theory as I ordered shade 15 Opal and they sent me a sample of shade 30 Sand. Not so helpful. So I had to open the full sized product straight away.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Most Beautiful Brush Ever?

When I left my last place of work they were very generous and gave me a gift voucher for John Lewis as a leaving present. I went straight to the John Lewis beauty department on their website to drool over the possibilities! (After saying thank you of course).

I decided to buy something luxurious that would last for years which would always be a nice reminder of my time there. After deciding that the Real Techniques Blusher Brush was better suited for bronzer I have been on the look out for a new blusher brush and I had heard amazing reviews of the Japonesque brushes.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rediscovering A Past Love...

When I was younger I absolutely loved to paint. I would shut myself away in my room for hours at a time with a blank canvas and get lost in the process of creating a piece of art. I loved it so much that I went to University to study History of Art and Architecture. After uni I continued to paint and eventually convinced my boyfriend (now husband) to try painting as he was great at drawing. He had an amazing natural talent for it and has been painting ever since. He now regularly receives commissions and is paid to paint in his spare time. He was so passionate about painting that it was like I had passed on the baton and lost my own motivation. I let him take over and stopped for a while.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What's In My Makeup Bag?

To be honest, I mainly just wanted to show off this gorgeous makeup bag which I found brand new in a local charity shop for just £2.50. It says Elie Saab Le Parfum so I'm guessing it was a free gift with an Elie Saab perfume a while back. But it's just what I have been looking for and it's a nice excuse to do a current 'whats in my makeup bag' post.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Berry Lips - Kiko

I am not really a bold lip colour kind of girl. I don't always feel I have the confidence to wear them and when I do I find them quite high-maintenance. But I have found myself drawn to the recent bold pink/berry lip trend and when I was in Kiko looking at more lipsticks to add to my quickly growing Kiko lipstick collection (see previous post here) I just had to pick up this beautiful shade (shade 914). 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Nuxe Rêve de Miel - Is it really worth the hype?

I definitely don't buy every beauty product that I want, or every beauty product which receives a good review from another blogger. In fact, because I am trying to save for a deposit for a house, I have been very good lately! But when you hear about one product over and over again (all things positive) my willpower is beaten little by little until I finally cave.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

My Favourite Books!

Our flat is being taken over by books! My husband and I are big readers and our little one bedroom flat can no longer cope. Our bookcase is close to collapsing and we may need to start storing them in the bath tub due to a lack of other options! But to celebrate our love of books I thought I would share my all time favourites with you.

My favourites are pretty varied, there are a couple of classics, some children's literature and some modern novels as well.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

May '14 Favourites

May was a much better month than April. I had a week off work, I am loving my new shorter hair do and the hubby and I bought our first car! I'm looking forward to a summer of fun day trips and the new freedom we have. Bye bye buses and trains and hello little car! But wow I have been a rubbish blogger lately. I have been asked to write for the blog at work and now that I am working on that quite regularly I am struggling to find the motivation when I get home to keep this one up to date. I'll try harder!

The products I have been loving this month are....

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My Spring and Summer Fragrance Collection

I hate to sound really British and talk about the weather but seriously I wish it would make it's mind up. Sun or no sun? It is becoming very difficult to decide what to wear in the morning.

But in preparation for when the sun does decide to make an extended appearance I thought I would share my collection of Spring and Summer fragrances with you. If you're curious to see my Autumn and Winter fragrances you can read my previous post here - link. I'm not really sure when my collection got this big! I used to only ever have one bottle on the go at a time.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Kiko Lipsticks - Spring Colours

The colours and the formulas of these Kiko lipsticks are just perfect for Spring and Summer. They feel very moisturising on the lips and quite balmy, applying with a lovely sheer wash of colour. This is my favourite kind of everyday lipstick as they are very low maintenance, they give a subtle glossy pop of colour, don't appear patchy when they begin to wear off and can be applied easily even without a mirror if need be.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

A Face Mask Experimentation...

Face masks always make me think of sleepovers with my BFFs back in my school days! I remember we used to buy those 99p face mask sachets from Superdrug after school, and they always had a 'peel off' or 'heat up' novelty to them. I don't remember them ever really having any special skin benefits but boy did we love pulling our hair back with a massive headband and scrunchie, slapping on the face mask and putting cucumber slices over our eyes, only to get grossed out by the cucumber smell (I still hate cucumber).

Saturday, 10 May 2014

New Neutral Maybelline Colour Tattoos - Dare To Go Nude

Don't worry, I'm not going to go on about my love for the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze again. Instead I am going to go on about my love for some of their other neutral shades!

A very lovely friend of mine recently visited some family in America and offered to pick up some US beauty products for me. Having seen that America have a much larger selection of Maybelline Colour Tattoos than we do, I just had to ask her to pick some up for me. All three shades are from the Maybelline Limited Edition Dare To Go Nude Collection.

The first one she picked up for me was Stroke of Midnight, a black shade with silver glitter particles. I was hoping this one could be used as an eyeliner or as a dark eyeshadow base for a dramatic smokey eye. Unfortunately the colour isn't quite opaque enough to create a decent eyeliner line with an angled brush. However, the colour tattoos are very buildable. You simply allow one layer to dry and then apply another over the top so it still works perfectly as a dramatic dark base.

The second shade she picked up is Nude Compliment, a cool toned shimmery taupe-brown. This one is quite similar to On and On Bronze (comparison below) so I know that I am going to get a lot of use out of it. Although this is a great shade to use as a base for powder eyeshadow on top, it is also a perfect shade to use on its own. A quick swipe over the lid and you're good to go.

The last shade she picked up for me is Pure Nude, a shimmery pink-tinged champagne colour. I love this shade as it is really brightening. It is ideal to use as an eyeshadow base for lighter powder eyeshadows such as MAC's Naked Lunch and is also perfect as an inner corner highlight. It could probably even be used as a highlight in other areas of the face but would need to be applied lightly.

Top to Bottom - Stroke of Midnight, Nude Compliment, Pure Nude
When I first opened the shade Nude Compliment I thought it seemed very similar to On and On Bronze. However, when compared next to each other there are some noticeable differences so I am glad that I have both in my collection. On and On Bronze is quite a warm brown shade whereas Nude Compliment is much cooler with a grey undertone, both are shimmery and can be applied either quite sheer or built up to an intense colour.
Left - On and On Bronze, Right - Nude Compliment
Left - On and On Bronze, Right - Nude Compliment

I have been so impressed with every Maybelline Colour Tattoo I have tried. They make great eyeshadow bases and prevent powder eyeshadows from fading and creasing throughout the day. They can also often be worn on their own for a simple and long lasting eye look. I know these are meant to be similar to the MAC Paint Pots, which I am very tempted to try, but the difference in price make these Maybelline cream eyeshadows such a bargain buy! MAC Paint Pots retail for £15 whereas the Maybelline Colour Tattoos are £4.99 in the UK or around $6.99 in America.

It is a shame that these shades are only available in the US (it pays to have an American friend who can pick these things up!) as the UK shades are quite limited with only a couple of neutrals and a lot of brights that I wouldn't use. Hopefully they will decide to expand the selection here in the UK at some point. A greater selection of matte shades would also be brilliant!

I would also like to mention that my friend also bought me 5 boxes of Pop Tarts! The flavours they have out there are amazing....Red Velvet ..... yes, Red Velvet Pop Tarts! Thanks Amanda, you're awesome!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Beauty Haul - Fragrance Direct, Kiko & Lush

Don't you just love pay day? It seems like every month when I start running out of money I start a list of things to buy after pay day. Sometimes the lists can get quite lengthy! This month I wanted to treat myself to some nail polishes as I recently had a clear out and got rid of all my old gloopy ones, and was also after some new Spring appropriate lipsticks.

Monday, 5 May 2014

April '14 Favourites

April was a bit of a crap month and I'm pretty glad to see the back of it. Work has been pretty stressful and I have just generally felt a bit rubbish. I've been trying my hardest to be more positive so let's look forward to May's potential and concentrate on the good things!

Anyway no one wants to hear me complaining so let's get on with the products I have been loving this month....

Thursday, 1 May 2014

How To Get The Perfect Glow...

I wouldn't have thought that at 26 I would need to start worrying about the effects of ageing, but I swear I woke up on my 26th birthday with wrinkles, and I kid you not, I actually found my first grey hair on my wedding day! It's a good job I don't believe in omens isn't it? Or maybe it was just a sign that we would grow old together...yeah lets go with that one!

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that the older I get, the harder I need to work to give myself that healthy glow of youth. It used to be natural but now I need a little bit of help.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Maybe it IS Maybelline....

Every time I look in to doing an FOTD or a 'What's in my makeup bag?' post I am always surprised by just how many products I regularly depend on from one makeup brand, and that brand is Maybelline.

If you were to ask me which makeup brand I would choose if I could only use one for the rest of my life I would like to think I would choose a high-end luxurious or desirable brand like Laura Mercier or Nars but actually I think I would have to pick Maybelline.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Going Green....

I think green eyeshadows look beautiful with brown eyes, especially if you have dark hair as well. Although I would consider myself a neutral eyeshadow lover, when building my MAC palette (see here) I didn't just want to buy 15 different shades of brown/beige and instead decided to add a little bit of colour in the form of green neutrals. Now almost a third of my palette is dedicated to these kinds of shades. Although four of the five eyeshadows I am going to show you are MAC, I also have one from No.7 which is well worth a mention!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Stila Convertible Colour in Petunia - Review & Swatches

How scary does this blusher look?? It's practically neon!

You may already know about my love for the Stila Convertible Colour in Lilium, a creamy blusher which can be used on the cheeks and lips in a gorgeous vintage rose pink (see this post). The Convertible Colours have quite a glossy texture which leaves a very healthy fresh look on the cheeks and provides a glossy finish on the lips which is comparable to the Revlon Lip Butters.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

I am sure that you are all already familiar with the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes but I just had to do a quick post on my Naked 2 Palette. I bought the original Naked Palette to do my own wedding make up but now that I have fallen in love with the Naked 2 Palette, I feel like this one may have been even better (although I do still love the original palette and was very happy with my makeup on the day). 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Easter Nails - Models Own Speckled Eggs Nail Polish

I already mentioned the green Speckled Eggs nail polish in my March Favourites (read here) and because I loved it so much, I decided to buy the lilac one (shade Swan), and a friend of mine loved it so much she asked me to pick up the pink one for her (shade Dove).

The Models Own Speckled Eggs range is a collection of 5 pastel shades (green, blue, purple, yellow and pink) with matte black specks in a range of sizes which, when layered, creates (as the name suggests) a speckled egg appearance.

Monday, 31 March 2014

One Year Ago Today....

To celebrate our first wedding anniversary, I thought I would share some of my favourite pictures and moments from our perfect day.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

March '14 Favourites

I love March, the beginning of Spring is always one of my favourite times of the year. I am reminded that the sun does actually exist, that colour in the form of blue skies and pretty flowers will re-appear after the never-ending grey of the winter. I am also reminded that people can be pleasant afterall, and that the entire population must have all been suffering to some degree with Seasonal Affective Disorder all winter. Although, I must admit, I am one of them. It is crazy how much better I feel when the sun is shining. So let's hope it carries on...or maybe I should just move abroad?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Foundations for Pale / Fair Skin

As someone with a 'porcelain' complexion, I know how hard it can be to find the correct shade when it comes to foundation. After almost a year of blogging I now have a better understanding of skin 'undertones' and finding a suitable colour match. I have now road-tested a fair amount of foundations and thought I would share my findings as it may be helpful to someone else. From the lightest shades I have found on the high-street, to which brands are better for 'cool' and 'warm' complexions.

I currently have 8 foundations sitting in my collection...

Monday, 24 March 2014

MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette in Light for Pale/Fair Skin

I hate buying concealers. I wrote a post back in July about how difficult it is to find pale/fair concealers to cover blemishes and imperfections (read here), and it hasn't gotten any easier since! Why is it that a brand will bring out a foundation in 8 different shades and an accompanying concealer in only 2?  Often light and medium even though both appear to be the exact same shade of dark orange?

I have wasted a lot of money on concealers, because they are the wrong colour/wrong consistency/don't last long enough. Then there's the whole concealer/corrector debate. Should an under eye concealer be slightly peach or salmon coloured to correct dark circles? Should a blemish concealer be yellow or green in colour to counteract redness? It's all a little bit overwhelming!

Then I saw this palette from MAC, and it was love at first sight! At £35 it isn't the cheapest product but you get 4 of their Studio Finish Concealers, all different shades, some cool toned and some warm, and 2 of their correctors, a pale yellow for blemishes and a pale pink for dark circles. 

Being a palette aimed at pale skin and with such a variety of shades it seemed unlikely that I could go wrong with this palette. At least one shade was bound to work for me, perhaps even two or three when you take in to consideration that different areas of the face can be very different in tone and that I am a lot paler in the winter than in the summer. Plus I get two correcting options as well!

I love this palette. The consistency of the conealers/correctors is very creamy and high coverage, and they blend easily with fingers and brushes.

The palette is divided in to two sections, the left hand side of the palette is warm toned with shades NC15, NC20 and Pale Yellow. The right hand side of the palette is cool toned with shades NW10, NW20 and Pale Pink. At the moment the shade I am using the most is NC15 and it's great to have 2 slightly darker shades and one paler option aswell. These can even be mixed if you are between shades.

I wasn't entirely sold on the whole corrector thing to begin with but now that I have had a bit of a play with them I can see how useful they will be. When applied over the dark circles under my eyes, the pale pink shade really does have a camouflaging and brightening effect. The pale yellow does appear a little more obvious when applied over blemishes meaning that it's best to apply the yellow and then a concealer shade over the top, but because of the creamy texture which doesn't really set, it can be tricky to layer the two products and keep the benefits of both. But as the concealer shades have such great coverage anyway, I don't need to use the yellow to colour correct very often.

Overall, I am really happy with this palette. I think this is the best concealer formula that I have tried so far in terms of application, texture and coverage and the shade range is fantastic. The product is not perfect and after about 8 hours dry patches can start to show and because of the creamy texture you have to be careful not to touch your face and accidentally move the product, but I shouldn't be touching my face anyway! I probably wouldn't re-purchase the whole palette again as I am unlikely to use all the shades up at the same time but would certainly re-purchase the shade I use most often as a separate concealer and perhaps even the pale pink corrector.

This palette is also available in Medium, Medium Deep and Dark.

Have you tried this palette or the MAC Studio Finish concealers?

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Skincare for Sensitive Skin

Skincare and I don't always get along. Due to my ridiculously sensitive skin, the majority of skincare products I try cause adverse reactions and often make me break out. I would say I had sensitive and dry skin with frequent hormonal breakouts (sorry if that's too much information!).

I almost gave up on skincare altogether but it seems as though there is one brand that I can rely on, and that is The Body Shop. I actually ordered a few products from them back in October (see haul post here) and feel that as a fair amount of time has passed that I can now give you an honest and accurate opinion on them.

The great thing about the Body Shop is that they offer a huge range of skincare products, with individual collections aimed at different skin types, for example they have the Tea Tree range for blemish prone skin, the Vitamin C range for 'dull' skin, the Pomegranate and Nutriganics ranges for mature skin and more. I automatically gravitated towards their Aloe range for sensitive skin and the Tea Tree range.

The skincare items I purchased were the Aloe Day Cream, the Aloe Restorative Face Mask, the Aloe Toner, a mini Aloe Cleanser and the Tea Tree Night Lotion. The Body Shop aren't the cheapest on the high-street but are very reasonably priced when compared to skincare brands such as Clinique, Clarins, Elizabeth Arden, and Pai etc.

One of the main problems I have with skincare is the idea of piling on product after product, I imagine the effects of using 10 different products on my skin to be almost counter-productive, plus I am just far too lazy! I will never be one of those people who will cleanse twice, tone, moisturise, use a serum, an oil, a balm, an eye cream etc.

If I am going to do this whole skincare thing, I am going to do it my way. And that way is picking just a couple of my favourite products, which I will then use regularly. I started off using the toner and the cleanser but to be honest, these were abandoned after a couple of weeks. Not because they aren't good but because it is just too many steps for me.

I know that they have become a bit taboo in the beauty world but the first step of my evening skincare routine is removing my makeup with face wipes, the ones from Simple (another great brand for sensitive skin!) are my favourites. Nothing takes off waterproof mascara like these bad boys! I then use the L'oreal Micellar Water for that all important second cleanse. Some left over makeup does come off during this second cleanse so I guess it is needed after all. Then before I go to bed I apply the Tea Tree Night Lotion, and that's pretty much it. Are you horrified?? I'm sorry...

I use the Aloe Day Cream every morning before I apply my makeup as my skin has needed a slightly thicker and richer moisturiser lately, and I treat myself about once a week to the Aloe Restorative Face Mask, which you just slap on before bed and leave it to work it's magic overnight. Both do seem to inject some much needed moisture in to my skin and make it feel a lot plumper and healthier.

For pretty much the first time, I have not had any negative reactions to a new skincare range. The products do seem to be helping my skin rather than making it worse (although it is still hard to judge just how much they are helping). They aren't miracle products and they won't prevent all blemishes because no product is or will, but for once I am very happy with the results and will continue to purchase products from The Body Shop.

I think it is also worth noting that The Body Shop have a great company ethos with community fair trade and cruelty free products which I think is fantastic and makes them a company I am even happier to support. Not to mention the amazing regular promotions they do, such as their current ones - save £20 when you spend £40 or 40% off all online orders, which really does help to make it more affordable.

For more information on The Body Shop skincare, see their website - link

This post has not been sponsored by The Body Shop in any way, I am just loving their products at the moment.

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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Yankee Candle - Sicilian Lemon

Just a quick post today, on the candle that has been brightening up my home just in time for Spring! Sicilian Lemon - doesn't that just sound lovely and fresh?

Yankee Candle describe this one as "a bright and sunny citrus …perfectly ripe, with a naturally sweet and refreshing scent." Which I would say was pretty bang on. I was a little worried that it may remind me of cleaning products but it doesn't at all. Instead it just leaves a fresh and uplifting citrusy scent which makes it the perfect candle to burn when you have guests coming round or just want to brighten up the place, day or evening.

The amazing thing about Yankee Candles is the amount of time that they last. They apparently burn for 65 - 90 hours!  Lemon is an energising scent, meaning that this candle would be a perfect accompaniment to a thorough spring cleaning of the house, but who can really be bothered for that?? Lets just drink tea, read blogs and enjoy the lovely lemony scent.

Do you like Yankee Candles? What are your favourite scents?

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Beauty Shopping Rewards!

I love a good loyalty scheme! Gaining points on purchases just helps to reduce the inevitable shopping guilt, I mean you're almost earning money....... almost.

Due to the amount of money I spend in Boots, my Advantage Card points seem to build up quite quickly and would build up even quicker if I would just remember to do my online shopping through Treat Street, but I never do.

The Debenhams Beauty Club Card offers 3 points per £1 spent, whereas I think the Boots card is 4 points per £1, but as the beauty products in Debenhams are more expensive, I end up spending more money there and it builds up a lot quicker. Once you reach 500 points on your card you can get £5 off your next purchase, but they often have special promotions like 500 points when you spend £40, which also helps a lot!

I have personally reached 500 points and redeemed £5 off at least twice before and currently have £5 on my card waiting to be spent. No I don't want to think about how much I must have spent in Debenhams over the past year!

One of the main reasons I decided to get a Debenhams Beauty Card is the the fact that you then qualify for free delivery when shopping online. I have used this free delivery a lot so it has definitely been worth it.

With a card you can also get free makeovers at the beauty counters in-store and free product samples, but I am yet to try out these benefits. There is even an offer where you can get a free Benefit brow wax on your birthday! Now this is one I may have to try!

My mum actually signed up for a Debenhams Beauty Card before Christmas, and although she doesn't often shop there for herself, with all the presents she bought for my sister and me for Christmas and my birthday she gained her £5 reward very quickly!

All these benefits and it is completely free to sign up, see here for details - link.

Do you have a Debenhams Beauty Club Card? What are your favourite shopping loyalty schemes? I'm always looking for new ways to keep shopping guilt at bay!

(I have in no way been sponsored by Debenhams for this post, I just really like their card!)

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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Soup-er Sunday!

In an attempt to eat a little healthier and also cook a bit more, hubby and I decided to start getting better use out of our New Covent Garden Food Company A Soup For Everyday recipe book. And because we both have a very geeky sense of humour, we decided to refer to this weekly culinary experimentation as Soup-er Sunday (hehe geddit??)

Every Sunday we take it in turns to try a new recipe and have so far made 6 or 7. I used to hate soup, I couldn't get my head around the idea of drinking your food, its unnatural. But because they are healthy, easy and usually pretty cheap to make, I decided to teach myself to like them.

The recipes in this book are so easy, and use simple, readily-available ingredients (don't you hate it when you're following a recipe only to find it lists 10 ridiculously obscure hard-to-get ingredients). It really does have a different soup for every day of the year and it is set out as a diary starting on January 1st. The good thing about going by the dates is that the ingredients for each soup are seasonal so will be easier to find and cheaper to buy at that specific time of the year. We haven't really stuck to the date thing and mostly just flick through the book until we see one that takes our fancy.

Last Soup-er Sunday I cooked the Simple Parsnip and Apple Soup which, not only sounded delicious, but was also very cheap as the only ingredients needed were parsnips, a bramley apple, butter, vegetable stock and milk.

I have thoroughly enjoyed each soup we have made so far, including Spicy Sweet Potato Soup, Carrot and Cumin Soup and Tuscan Bean Soup. There are so many varied recipes in this book so I really look forward to Soup-er Sunday every week. There's even a recipe for Strawberries, Cream and Champagne Soup! If you are looking for a new recipe book, I would highly recommend this one, I don't think I have ever used a recipe book so much before!

I hope you don't mind the slightly different blog topic today, if you did, don't worry I'll be back to beauty in my next post!

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Our Trip To Berlin

I booked our trip to Berlin as a birthday present for my husband Mark. We stayed for three nights at a hotel near Checkpoint Charlie (Kochstrasse) which was a fantastic central location in walking distance of all the main city sights.
On our first day, the hubby and I went on a free walking tour around the city. This is my hubby and the tour guide at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The tour is run by Sandemans New Europe, I have been on this tour twice now and it a fantastic and very informative introduction to the city, so I highly recommend it!
The Berlin Wall.
Mark and me during the coffee break on the walking tour.
Although much of Berlin was destroyed by the bombings of World War II, many of the buildings were restored after the war. This is the Konzerthaus.
Museum Island is my favourite area of Berlin, the architecture is stunning and it is home to five museums, The Altes Museum (The Old Museum), The Neues Museum (The New Museum), The Altes Nationalgalerie (The Old National Gallery), The Bode Museum and The Pergamon Museum.
Mark trying to look pensive and intellectual outside the Neues Museum on Museum Island.
This is the Old National Gallery, the highlights of which were the Impressionist works with some beautiful paintings by my favourite artist, Pierre Auguste-Renoir.
On our second day we went to Charlottenburg on the outskirts of Berlin to visit the Charlottenburg Palace. The palace is surrounded by beautiful royal gardens which are open to the public, so we decided to spend the morning walking around the lake and enjoying the sun (when it wasn't hiding behind the clouds).
I fell head over heels in love with this Belvedere tea house in the palace gardens and intend to have an exact replica built when we win the lottery for hubby and me and our future babies to live in.
Sitting by the lake in the palace gardens. It wasn't as cold as it looks!
A bridge in the palace gardens with love padlocks, similar to the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris but with only a small handful of locks. Unfortunately we didn't have a padlock on us at the time.
Enjoying a German pretzel after a bit of shopping! 
We spent our last day on Museum Island and visited my favourite one, The Pergamon Museum. I have been to this museum on both of my previous trips to the city and it never fails to impress me. It houses a range of Roman, Greek, Islamic and Middle Eastern artifacts and architectural structures. The reconstructed architectural exhibits are overwhelming in size!
This Ishtar Gates of Babylon, built in approximately 575BC as a dedication to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.
Me at the airport, sad to be going home....
....but happy that I have a giant bar of Milka from Duty Free. I have no idea how celebrities still manage to look so glamorous at the airport.

Berlin is a very interesting city and a must-see for anyone interested in the history of World War II. It has a very tragic past and it is impossible to spend time here without constantly being reminded of the war and the holocaust. I think it is extraordinary how the city both confronts and teaches it's history. It is also hard to believe that the Berlin wall was still dividing the city during my lifetime, finally 'falling' in 1989, although I was far too young to remember it happening.

I have visited Berlin twice before, once for my 21st birthday and for a second time when inter-railing around Europe with a friend in 2010. If you ever take a trip to Berlin I highly recommend the walking tour and a visit to The Pergamon Museum.

Have you ever been to Berlin? Any recommendations for our next trip? I'm thinking Barcelona.....

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