Slovenian Bloggers on Sunbathing: Embracing the Paleness

It's almost July and I'm still white as a ghost. And you know what? I'm actually fine with it. When I was younger, I got tanned very easily. So much so, I sometimes looked like a person of colour. Partially because I didn't yet live in England, where summer doesn't necessarily equal lots of sun, as I have learned, and partially because applying sunscreen on a daily basis wasn't my thing. When you're 13 years old, skin damage is the last thing on your mind, unfortunately, but now I know better. 

I don't remember the last time I got a proper tan and it's not something I even wish for anymore. I am white and I embrace it. But the problem is that most pale-skinned women don't. Bronzed skin has been considered a summer must-have since before I was born, and I can't not notice that the media is constantly persuading women into getting a tan under any circumstances, just to get 'beach body ready'. By the way, that phrase alone makes me want to vomit.

Last year, I witnessed a craze going on back in my home country about this product called Marmelada. It's a product you're supposed to apply before you go sunbathing, and supposedly, it helps you get an intense tan very quickly. It doesn't contain any SPF, and it's not a self-tanning product. The fact that such a product even exists is a bit worrying to me, as it promotes unsafe exposure to the sun, but what is even more worrying is the fact that the product got so popular it was constantly sold out. You can only imagine how many women went for it and sacrificed their health for a summer tan!

It's very obvious to me that a great deal of Slovenian women are not informed enough about the dangers of sun exposure or simply ignore the scary facts, which is even sadder. There's another summer ahead of us, and if you've recognized yourself in the sentences I wrote above, I truly hope you'll reconsider your actions and protect your skin this year. Please do wear SPF. Sunscreens these days are not what they used to be. You know, those white, thick, almost impossible to spread consistencies that never quite sinked in? These days they are actually quite lovely. If you need some guidance, I personally use SPF30 Anthelios XL Comfort Nutritive Oil for my body and Anthelios SPF50+ XL Fluid for my face. Both are from La Roche-Posay, my favourite skincare brand.

Please ignore everyone who says that you NEED to be tanned to look 'healthy'. It's bullshit. Do you want to know what's truly healthy? Cancer-free skin. That's what's healthy. And besides, who decided pale skin can't be beautiful? It is, just like any other, so embrace it or at least use one of those fabulous products that help you fake the tan while still keeping you safe. There's plenty out there, from self-tanners and bronzers to dry oils with golden shimmer. Use them all if you want to, but do apply sunscreen before you go out in any case, okay? And please don't use that stupid marmelade. 

Take women of London as an example. There's a lot of us pale girls over here. Most are even paler than me thanks to their British genes, but from what I've seen, they are pretty aware of the dangers of the sun, being more prone to getting sunburns. I don't really see them baking in the sun. They seem to be happy to either slather on sunscreen and embrace their paleness or reach after self-tanners, which are flying off the shelves here in the UK. Despite not being a fan of them myself (I'm just too lazy to use them), they are without a doubt a much better alternative. 

To continue the debate, I would love to hear what your sunbathing habits are and which products you use to keep your skin protected and/or tanned.

P.S.  This post is a part of the collab I did with my fellow (pale) Slovenian bloggers, so make sure to check out their posts as well. We decided to join forces to help raise the awareness of the dangers of the sun and hopefully convince you to start using sun protection if you aren't yet. Here's what they have to say on the topic...

Ana (Šoštanj) from Mad About Red: ''Tanned skin may look healthier to some people, but it actually isn't, it's damaged. The fact that your skin even gets a tan is the reaction of your body's defence mechanism.'' - Read her full post over here.

Karina (Kranj) from Karinartistic: ''You shouldn't have to say things like 'My legs are so pasty. I'm in need of a tan ASAP.' every time summer comes along, and instead embrace your healthy skin as it is.'' - Read her full post over here.

Mateja (Novo Mesto) from Mateja's Beauty Blog: ''Although I cannot speak on behalf of everyone, where I live, in Dolenjska, sun protection is seen as something you wear on the beach or at the pool and not every day, but whether people sun bathe or not, it depends on the person.'' - Read her full post over here.

Nika (Ljubljana) from Beautyfullblog: ''Due to the fine lines and hyperpigmentation I get by the end of the summer, I learned the healthy shade of skin is the shade of skin I was born with. Every tan I get is only a fastpast to premature ageing.'' - Read her full post over here.

Tamara (Koper) from Cherry Colors: ''Growing up at the seaside wasn't always easy. Thanks to my pale skin, I was constantly called names or got told I would look much better with a tan.'' - Read her full post over here.

The Best Free Views of London

London is one hella expensive city, for those of us living here as well as for tourists. But lucky for us, there's also a bunch of spots that are free to visit, including museums, galleries, parks and some amazing vantage points. While taking a ride with the London Eye or going up the Shard are both great experiences, you don't have to break the bank to see the city in all its glory. Here are my favourite places that offer incedible views of London, all 100% free. 

The Best Free Views of London Greenwich Royal Observatory
I've always had a soft spot for Greenwich. I love its villagey feel, extensive green park and the fact that it offers one of the best views of the city. You can reach it by taking the tube to Cutty Sark and then walking up to the Royal Observatory. It's located on a rather steep hill, in the middle of Greenwich Park, but don't worry, it's super short and you'll be up there in no time. A visit to the observatory is unfortunately no longer free of charge, so if you want to get up close and personal with the Prime Meridian, you'll have to splash ou£9.50, but the viewpoint is still completely free to enjoy. Speaking of views, if you fancy seeing how London looks like from the river, ditch the tube and catch a Thames Clipper from Greenwich Pier on your way back to central London instead. It's pricier, but lovely if the weather's nice. 

The Best Free Views of London Sky Garden

Sky Garden is still a bit of a hidden gem most tourists don't know about. I myself had no idea it existed up until about six months ago to be honest. The name is pretty spot on, because it literally is a garden up in the sky. 155 metres above the ground at 20 Fenchurch Street (near the Monument underground station), it spans three storeys and offers 360° views of London. I went up at night, around Christmas time, and it was truly magical. Not only are the views incredible, but the vibe of the place is super awesome too. You can either just sit there and enjoy the music and the views, grab a drink from one of the bars or have a meal at one of the restaurants. I still can't believe the entry is free! You just need to book your visit in advance over here or pop in after 6 pm and try your luck like I did. It's very likely you won't be let in if the space is at capacity, though, so if don't live here and have the ability to go whenever, I would strongly suggest you to book a slot just in case. Oh, and make sure you wear something decent (no sneakers, I'm afraid) and prepare yourself for airport style security. No sharp objects, etc. 

The Best Free Views of London One New Change

This is the spot I just visited for the very first time last week. I've always wondered where the gorgeous high-up photos of St Paul's were taken and was convinced it's some sort of a fancy VIP restaurant, but it turns out I couldn't be more wrong. It's actually a rooftop of the One New Change shopping centre everyone has access to, seven days a week, from 6 am until midnight. Brilliant. They even have some benches laid out, so you can chill out for a while, as well as a restaurant and a bar on the other side of the terrace. Also, a little tip! If you see a long queue in front of the elevators before you go up, just skip it. I stood there like an idiot for ten minutes, only to find out all those people were waiting for the space in the restaurant to clear up. The viewing terrace itself is so large you never really have to wait, so just walk up to the elevators, tell them you're there for the view only, and they'll let you up straight away. 

The Best Free Views of London Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is not usually the place first-time tourists visit, but I would highly encourage you to go. It's such a lovely area, close to Regent's Park on one side and Camden on the other, so you can combine it with a bunch of other activities if you wish. I personally love to grab some food from the Camden Market and then have a picnic on the hill while waiting for the sunset. By the way, if want to see the actual sunset, don't waste your time looking towards the city skyline. There's a running joke amongst the locals, because pretty much every single tourist makes that rookie mistake. Been there, done that, despite being good at geography, teehee. I can confirm the sun really does set on the other side of the hill.  

The Best Free Views of London Parliament Hill Hampstead Heath

Another local secret is Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath, a humongous park in North London I have yet to extensively explore, as I've only been to the Parliament Hill itself so far. You can find it in the south-east part of the park, a short walk from Gospel Oak and Hampstead Hill stations. I can't wait for the weather to be nice so that I can go back and explore the area a bit more. There's supposed to be a zoo, a whole bunch of recreational areas and even ponds you can swim in!  

Life is Sweet Sally Lunn French Toast Recipe

The Hummingbird Bakery Life is Sweet Sally Lunn French Toast Recipe

French toast reminds me of my childhood. My grandma always used to make it for me, and boy did I love it! I still do, which is why it's incredibly strange the last time I ate it was probably ten years ago. When I was browsing through Life is Sweet, the Hummingbird Bakery's new collection of American home-baking recipes, I thought I would have a really hard time choosing which dish to test out first. The selection includes everything from easy classics such as Buttermilk Pancakes to more complicated and sophisticated desserts, arranged in logical categories, making the recipe book super easy to use. There was a number of recipes that caught my attention, and I'll make sure to try them all at some point, but when I stumbled upon the Sally Lunn French Toast, I knew I had a winner. 
The Hummingbird Bakery Life is Sweet To make four people very happy first thing in the morning, you'll need 8 thick slices of white bread, 2 large eggs, 115 ml of whole milk, 115 ml of single cream, a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp of caster sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and 30 g of unsalted butter.

You need to whisk everything apart from bread and butter together in one bowl, and then soak the slices of bread with the mixture. Once they get soggy, you melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the slices until golden brown on each side. Super easy and super yummy. I'm for sure making these again very, very soon! How about you? Will you be giving this recipe a go? If you do, don't forget to send me a pic via social media. 

P.S. If you're interested in other recipes from this book, you can order it over here on Amazon. It's currently discounted from £20 to only  £5.99. Woop woop! 

Collective Fashion & Stationery Haul

I've been avoiding shoppping sprees like there's no tomorrow, but my wardrobe is in a desperate need of an update, so when the Asos bank holiday sale rolled around, it would have been a mistake not to take advantage of it. Clothes aside, I also had to buy a new planner. My favourite ones are the A4 mid-year diaries from Paperchase, so that's where I went, and as per usual, walked out with more than just a planner. What can I say, I can't resist cute stationery! Can you?

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

I already started witing this post back in May, but for some weird reason, this is the post that came out of it instead. What can I say... I probably shouldn't be blogging at two in the morning. It's clearly not the best idea. Now, before I make another strange turn, let's just stick to the main topic of today's post - traveling.  I always say I was probably born with a gypsy soul. If you ever saw a 5-year-old girl sitting amongst the crowd of 30 year olds at any of the Zvone Šeruga travel lectures back in the day, that was probably me. I lived for his incredible stories and his stunning photos of indigenous peoples. I read every single one of his books back and forth, dreaming about seeing those places with my very own eyes one day. Exploring new countries and cultures always has been and always will be my biggest passion. 

To my disappointment, moving to London, hands down the most expensive city in the world, took a toll on my wallet, to put it mildly, and has kept me away from my favourite thing in the world. I'm ashamed to admit the amount of times I've gone to bed crying because everyone around me seems to be traveling but me. And yes, I do realize I just made myself sound like a complete brat. But hey, honesty is the best policy, they say. If you're as in love with traveling as I am, you'll understand. I try not to complain, though. I know how fortunate I am to be able to live in London, and I'll happily just play a tourist in my own city until I have enough resources to become a serial traveller again. 

Anyway, do you remember how I announced there would be some travel content coming up on my blog soon? You're probably wondering how the hell I'm supposed to write about visiting other countries when it's more than obvious I'm not leaving the UK anytime soon. Well, let me set the record straight. You see, before adulting happened, I was lucky enough to vacation at some of the most incredible places, from Greece and Bali to Dubai and Cali. Thanks parents! Fortunately for you (and me), I remember all my travels in detail, so it won't be hard for me to take a stroll down memory lane and share my memories as well as tips with you guys. 

I'm starting with Australia, the land that swept me off my feet and still hasn't let me down. I normally hate picking my favourite places, because they're all special in their own way, but Australia remains my number one without a doubt. I could write a whole book about why I love it so much, and one day I might as well do, but today I'll stick to my top five 'bucket list' activities you just have to make sure you experience if you ever make it Down Under. 

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences Twelve Apostles Helicopter Flight

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone rock stacks along the coast of Victoria, about 275 km west of Melbourne. Millions of years ago, they used to be a part of the mainland, but the ocean and the winds eroded the stone, turning a chunk of the mainland into caves, which later became arches and eventually these magnificent looking rocks, separated from the shore. It takes about four hours to reach them via the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne, so you definitely need to make a day trip out of it, but don't get discouraged by the distance. The beautiful scenery makes the time worthwhile and there's some cute little towns you can check out along the way.

To some people, these are probably 'just some rocks sticking out of the ocean', but to me, they're one of the most glorious things I've ever seen and I made sure to take it all in. I checked them out from the top of the cliffs, took a walk down the Gibson Steps to get to the beach, and even ended up flying over them in a helicopter. Say what?! I know it sounds a bit extravagant, but it's oh so worthy and probably cheaper than you think.

It actually wasn't on our itinerary. It was a total spur of the moment, YOLO kind of decision, and I'm thankful to my mom for forcing me into it. I sometimes need a bit of a push, haha. Even though I'm not at all afraid of flying, I just wasn't sure about it, because I'd never been in a helicopter before and the fact that it was tiny had me thinking it was gonna be a very bumpy and nauseating ride. It turned out I couldn't be more wrong and had the time of my life! We took the shortest, 15-minute flight, which now costs 145 AUD per person. Not too bad, huh?

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences Uluru Sunset Picnic

From one rock to another! This is the last time I'll be talking about rocks, I swear, but we just can't go past the world's second largest monolith and Australia's best known natual landmark - Uluru. Standing right in the middle of the Outback, it's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is sacred to the local Aboriginal people. It's a very spiritual place and you can definitely feel the energy even if you're the least spiritual person out there. It's a place you just have to experience to fully understand the core Australian culture and to get a real taste of the Australian Outback.

If there's anything in the land of Oz that you need to get used to as soon as possible, it's the vastness of the country. Uluru is 470 km away from the nearest town, Alice Springs, which is where my family was based on the last leg of our trip. The idea of going on a self-organized road trip in the middle of nowhere was out of the question, so we booked a one-day bus tour with a local tourist agency, which surpassed our expectations.

Even though it took 6 hours for us to get there and then 6 hours to get back, I personally didn't mind it. We were able to squeeze in plenty of sleep; we stopped a few times to have some delicious food our hilarious multi-tasking tour guide had with him; and observed the desert, kangaroo skeletons, and an occasional snake crossing the road.

Before we made it to Uluru, we stopped at Kata Tjuta, another jaw-dropping rock formation close-by. We went for a short hike, but I only managed to get half of it done, because I drank the whole bottle of water in 15 minutes and was still dying from thirst, so I decided to go back to the bus before my body collapsed. I'm not being a drama queen, ok? It was hot. We had about 45°C, and even though I consumed liters of fluid, I only needed the toilet once. In the whole day. I think that explains everything. I was quite happy about that, though. Let's just say I don't like to be joined by a room full of bugs while I'm trying to do the business.

Anyway, Uluru was our main and final stop of the day. After we spent the day learning about the Aboriginal culture, admiring the ancient rock paintings, and exploring the area, we made our way to the spot where the above photo was taken. We had a picnic and watched the rock change its colour while the sun was going down. Yes, it was as glorious as it sounds!

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Australia has amazing wildlife - snakes and spiders aside - and me being obsessed with anything that has fur and four legs, I made sure to get up close and personal with some of my favourite little creatures. The best place to go is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland, a short bus drive away from Brisbane. It's one of the very few places where you can actually hold a koala, hand feed wallabies and get to know the rest of the Australian wildlife. I fell in love with the place and would quite happily work there if they let me. Imagine cuddling koalas and wallabies all day long! The dream! I miss the adorable baby and not-so-baby wallabies and my Wooloomooloo (the name of the koala I got to hold) so much! Even if his belly made my top stink like hell, haha.

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences Surfers Paradise Surfing

Another Queensland gem is the Gold Coast and its Surfers Paradise. Yes, that's the actual name of the place. There's skyscrapers, there's beaches, cute surfers... Paradise on Earth, I tell you! Since I only spent one afternoon there, I couldn't get any surf lessons and ended up just throwing myself into the waves (and later running away from the stingers) instead, so that's one thing I haven't technically crossed off my bucket list just yet, but if I ever go back, I'm doing it! Compared to Bali, where I decided not to give surfing a go due to safety reasons, the lessons in Surfers Paradise seemed completely harmless and right up my alley - small waves, relaxed, basic... I'm sure I'd get away without any injuries even with my dodgy knee.

My Top 5 Australian Bucket List Experiences Sydney New Year's Eve Fireworks Lawn with the View

Need I say more? It's not every year that you celebrate the new year's eve in Sydney, so when I found out I would, hunting down the best possible spot became my mission. I spent weeks researching the best vantage points and even had to get a relative of mine who lives in Australia to purchase me some tickets. Not to brag, but I think I did a pretty damn incredible job. There was a closed picnic style event organized in the Royal Botanic Garden, right next to the Sydney Opera House and in front of the Harbour Bridge. It's called Lawn with the View, and THE VIEW is exactly what you get. What you also get is a picnic hamper full of yummy food and enough space to sit on the lawn and enjoy the night without getting pushed around by drunk people. Bingo! Oh, and in case you're wondering if the fireworks really are as amazing, I can assure you they are. But you know what's even better? Waiting for the new year in short sleeves. I wish I could do it every year...

Here you go! This sums up my top five Australian bucket list! How many of you have made it until the end of this very lengthy post? Do let me know in a comment below if you did! Please. I'd really like to know who read the whole thing, haha. 

Is the Nivea Post Shave Balm Really the Best Makeup Primer?!

Nivea Men Post Shave Balm Makeup Primer First Impression Review
I succumbed to yet another YouTube beauty trend. I don't know what it is with me, but every time a product gets hyed up, I get a sudden urge to test it out myself, just to see if it's really as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. I had the Nivea Men Post Shave Balm for sensitive skin on my to-buy list ever since Nikkie Tutorials mentioned it in one of her videos, literally ages ago. It's supposed to be the best (and the cheapest) makeup primer out there, and since my T-zone likes to get oily these days, I thought it was time to finally give it a go. 

I actually bought it last year, but haven't really noticed any major differences in how my foundation wears throughout the day, so I ended up using it as a moisturizer. I have to say, it does an incredible job at keeping my skin soft and supple. I'm assuming it's the glycerin that does the magic. Having said that, I couldn't get over the fact that it didn't seem to work as a makeup primer on me, so I decided to give it another go, and film a first second impression review

I went for a side-by-side comparison. On one side of the face, I wore the Nivea Post Shave Balm as a makeup primer, while on the other side, I didn't wear any primers at all. In true fashion, I had my makeup on for about twelve hours and did several check-ins throughout the day to give you the most accurate feedback possible. So, does it work or nah? Watch the video below to find out! By the way, have you tried it yourself? Do you share my final opinion?

Busy May

When you feel like it's been a very long month but also flew by extremely fast, you know you've had a busy one! I guess I set the tempo right after I returned from Val Thorens. The moment we arrived back to the house, I changed my clothes and hiked up the hill to attend the local bonfire night. At 10 pm, after a 12-hour-long roadtrip. Yup, that's how I roll! The reason I was so determined to get there was the fact that I've never been to one before! It's a bit hilarious it took me 24 years, but I'm always abroad during that time of the year, so don't judge. Back in London, I've had quite a few busy days as well. I spent one weekend at the UMA Expo, paying attention to all the tips some of the most successful makeup artist in the industry were giving to us; I got way too excited (and later upset) over Eurovision; enjoyed a few proper summer days out in the sun; filmed a collab with my friend Charli; and saw the preview of Me Before You a few weeks before its release. Me Before You is one of my all time favourite books, so can imagine my reaction when I got an invite to see the adaptation. It has an even more special place in my heart now! Have you seen it yet?

Back To Top