Powered by Blogger.

We went to Birmingham Christmas market!

At the weekend my best mate Sophie and I headed up to Birmingham to scope out the legendary Christmas market, start our Christmas gift shopping and consume literally all of the food and drink we could get our hands on. Here's where we stayed and what we got up to.

It's a couple of hours drive out of Hertfordshire, but having gone to university in the Midlands I'm pretty used to the journey time. We stayed two nights in the Jury's Inn on Broad Street, which while very 'Birmingham' looking on the outside with its concrete exterior was chic and modern within and the location is pretty central. I'd definitely recommend a stay.

The market itself was quiet in the morning but became unbelievably busy during the day. I would definitely advise going at the beginning or end of the day to enjoy the experience without having to queue or search for a table to perch your mulled wine or beer tankard on. 

There's everything you'd expect from a typical German market, from a festive tipple or two to craft and gift stalls, steak, bratwurst and all kinds of sweet treats. As someone who's a bit mad for Christmas the sights, smells and sounds were just perfect. After a long and stressful two weeks it was the mood booster I needed!

As the market got busier we headed towards the Bullring shopping centre for some retail therapy. Birmingham's a great location for shopping - it's got a branch of every store you can imagine and it's all situated alongside an array of modern bars and restaurants. Obviously our first stop was Lush, but what did you expect?

Since our trip coincided with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them we of course took a trip to the cinema. The film is just incredible and as a huge Harry Potter fan I was so impressed and also plain grateful to have J.K. Rowling's magical creations back in my life again!

If you fancy a Christmassy day out at the market in Brum, it runs until 29th December this year.

Tried and tested: 5 products for dry winter skin

I've always had oily skin, with moisture rarely a problem, except when it comes to winter. When I was a teenager dry skin was never an issue, but over the last couple of years I've noticed some dry patches and soreness during the colder months. It's not something I'm really used to dealing with, but I seem to have uncovered a few skincare gems on my quest to calm my skin down.

During the winter your skin is really up against it - wind, central heating, cold, lots of festive makeup, naughty food and drink and more. That's why it's really important to take good care of it. After all, it's the largest organ in your body! And that means moisture, moisture moisture.

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser 

I used to use this when I was younger but at the time it was a bit heavy on my skin. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and it gives me the perfect level of hydration. I find it leaves me skin feeling super soft but not suffocated, and it makes a great base under makeup. It's also super affordable!

Caudalie Vinoperfect Tinted Moisturiser

If I'm going for a light makeup look then this stuff is the bomb. It's like a light coverage, extra moisturising foundation. It's non-greasy and has a beautiful scent. I just add a touch of concealer to cover any spots and scarring (thanks adult acne, you gem) and I'm good to go. Being a French pharmacy brand, I found this stuff was about £8 cheaper if you are able to pick it up in France itself, but if not it's available online in the UK.

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion

There's a reason that Aveeno products are sometimes prescribed by dermatologists - they're just that good. This stuff nourishes my skin like nothing else and works wonders on dry knees and elbows. It forms a moisture barrier around the skin to the point that when I wash my hands or have a shower it doesn't just wash away and leave my skin parched. 

Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm*

This stuff is a god send for cracked skin and also great for a pamper. A staple product in the Neal's Yard range, this beauty balm can be used not only to moisturise and massage dry, angry skin but also as a mask, lip balm or even as a cleanser with the help of a muslin cloth. I love to use it on my hands for a winter manicure, letting the essential oils soak into my skin while I paint my nails.

Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream

Now this is a winter skin miracle worker. I purchased my first pot last winter when I developed patches of itchy, flaky skin on my face and neck and within a few days they had virtually disappeared! Manuka Honey is known for its healing properties and along with some intense moisture this cream really does help repair the skin. 

Have you tried any of my winter skincare favourites? Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

*Products marked with an asterisk were provided to me as PR samples, but all opinions are very much my own!