Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Around the World in 50 Lipsticks: Viva Las Vegas!

Hello Beauty Nerds,

If you've read my bio, you'll know that travel is one of my favourite things in the history of time and existence. I'd say that I'm somewhat of a hybrid between a real homebird (really only due to having a fabulous shower and bed at home) and someone that thoroughly enjoys the benefits of living with wanderlust. Travel has always peaked my interest, perhaps because I first left the UK before I was six months old; mum clearly needed the break! I'm incredibly fortunate to say that through completing a foreign languages degree, knowing various people living in awesome places and having practically grown up in an airport, I've been to some truly awesome places and fully intend on making this a lifetime activity. 

So, imagine my insane excitement when I found Heathrow Airport's report on Lipstick Colours of the Year. With Heathrow's Duty Free housing Europe's largest range of beauty items under one enormous roof, the article reports on the most popular lipstick colours from country to country. I mean, guys, it combines lipsticks and could this article not be mind-blowing?!

Having ogled the map for quite some time, I noticed that there are a handful of places that I've visited myself, which gave me the idea to create a small series combining beauty and travel. Over the following months, alongside my usual ramblings on pretty much anything that pops into my head, I'm going to be posting some travel writing pieces on the places I've visited and, as a little beauty blogger bonus, will also include looks using the most popular lipstick colour from each place. Oh my god, I'm even getting excited just thinking about it! My debit card, however, is slightly more concerned...

So, where to first? I feel like starting things off with somewhere hot and faraway, so I've decided to head stateside to Las Vegas. Vegas is easily the one of the most unique places in the world, let alone in the U.S. It boasts beautifully warm temperatures pretty much year-round (I mean, it is in the desert, after all) and makes a great place to start a U.S. adventure because the place is open 24/7, so when you're awake at 3am, thinking it's 11am, you can go grab coffee and spend some dollars on the machines or the tables.

Where to stay:

Here's the thing about Vegas: it's basically just one giant road in the middle of the desert with a ton of hotels; basically, you're spoilt for choice. I know a few people that have been and stayed off of the main strip as it tends to be cheaper, but in order to get the true Vegas experience, I'd recommend staying on its main strip. Here's the awesome thing about it: it doesn't even have to be all that expensive. I've stayed in absolutely stunning hotels on the strip for as little as $30 a night! The beauty of Vegas is that they'll often give you the rooms super cheap, knowing that you'll more than likely put a ton more into the machines. Of all the places I've stayed, my favourite has been The Mirage and the New York-New York. Both places were affordable and whilst they're situated at almost opposite ends of the strip, they're both surrounded by tons of other fun things to see and do, especially The Mirage.

What to do: 

The most common misconception I think you tend to get when it comes to Vegas is that it's only a cool place if you like to party and gamble and whilst I won't dispel that completely (because the entire place is built on the concept of gambling and partying), there is still a whole heap of things you can do if you're not terribly interested in either of those activities. Of course, if this is exactly the kind of holiday you're looking for, then party and gamble away, my beauty nerds! I'll admit that I'm not a big party animal, but the few things I know about partying in Vegas are:

1) If you're a girl, great! It's terribly sexist and awful, but most places will let girls in for free or give them some kind of entry and drinks deal. No, it's not fair to the guys, but this seems to be how it works over there.

2) If you're not getting approached by people with call girl cards, you'll be getting approached by club promoters whilst you're out on the strip. Yes, it can get kinda annoying, but speaking as someone who's actually taken some of them up on their offers, they sometimes are actually promoting pretty cool places. Just remember to be careful with where you choose to go. If a place seems dodgy or the deal they're offering you seems just that little bit too good to be true, it probably is. For a comprehensive list of the most renowned places to party in Vegas, check out this list of the Top Ten Best Nightclubs that the city has to offer.

There really isn't much to be said about the gambling that you couldn't work out on your own. It's literally everywhere and I can guarantee that no matter where you stay, whether it's off the strip or on it, there will be a whole host of slot machines and gambling tables in your hotel. I'm more of a slot machine girl than a table girl, but if you know your way around a Blackjack table, then try your luck!

But let's say you're a little more like me; someone that prefers to sight-see and go for nice dinners followed by shows. This is where things get interesting. Vegas has a whole host of shows, ranging from magic shows, comedy shows, pretty much any kind of Circe du Soleil show you can imagine, to live concerts (including Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Elton John). The best places to buy tickets are either from the ticket booths in the hotel hosting your chosen show or sites like, which let you pre-purchase tickets at the best rates.

When it comes to the traditional site-seeing, Vegas is unique in that all of its hotels are sites themselves. They're often so massive that you could spend hours walking around just one of them. To get a good, general overview of them all, I'd recommend taking a walk up the strip. Be prepared, though: the walk may not seem long, but you're wrong. It takes a good few hours to walk up and then back down, so make sure you take plenty of rest stops. My top places of interest which are totally worth making a stop for include:

- The Coca Cola and M&M Factories located on the south end of the strip, opposite the New York-New York hotel. Fun fact: on the top floor of the Coca Cola Factory, you can buy a selection of soft drinks from around the world to try. Note that this is best done as a group activity because they give you 16 drinks total to taste and it's twice the fun to have someone to try them with, right?

- The Bellagio's Conservatory and Botanical Gardens as well as it's tear-inducing water fountain show. Pro tip: don't watch the fountain show during the day; wait until the evening, it's even more magical and five times more likely to make you cry like a baby. The best thing about both of these attractions is that they're totally free!

- The Eiffel Tower: Yeah, ok, so it's not quite as tall as the real Eiffel Tower, but the views from the top of The Paris' la Dame de Fer are still beautiful. Again, I'd say this is best seen at night when Vegas really comes to life.

- Gondola rides at The Venetian: This is kinda pricey, but it's something definitely worth setting money aside for, if only so that you can say that you took a gondola ride inside a hotel!

- Forum shopping at Caesar's Palace: I can't not shop in the U.S. Honestly, if I didn't have money set aside for shopping, I'm not sure it would be worth me even going. The Forum Shops at Caesar's, I'd say, offer the best shopping Vegas has to offer if you like the higher end side of things.

The look: 

The most popular colour sold in Las Vegas duty free is bright, coral orange. I absolutely love this colour, even though it's not one I tend to wear all that often. As such, I had to go out and buy a new lipstick for this look (any excuse, right?) as the only orange shades I own are much to light to match the brightness of the orange for this look. The lipstick I picked out was GOSH's Velvet Touch in Flirty Orange; for a cheaper, drug store product, it gives a really beautiful coverage and looks beautiful with a ton of different colour combinations. The look I decided to create was Vegas Sunset and this is the finished product:

I wanted to go for something bronzed with golden eyes that weren't so bright that they took away from the vibrancy of the lip colour and this was the finished product. To see how I created this look and for a list of every product I used, you can check out the tutorial I've posted to YouTube. Yes, I'm doing that now...well, trying, anyway.