NYX Professional Makeup Opening and VIP Party in Palermo #aMermaidInSicily

 

Welcome to my blog! 

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Me, with a bright pink folding hand fan by Nyx and white pointed heels.

From blogging in London, to blogging about Sicily and my home town as well.

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NYX Professional Makeup Store in Palermo.

Today I want to talk to you about the brand new NYX Cosmetics store in Palermo and the event I had the opportunity to attend.

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A delicious fruit skewer, offered by NYX.

A week and some days ago, on 21/7/17, I was invited as a Blogger to the launch and party of the NYX professional makeup shop in Palermo, at Forum Shopping Centre.

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The crowd, waiting for the shop to open, and the brush bar on the right.

It was a brand new experience to me, since I am not really that into makeup, but I do love all things lifestyle and new trends. I have been contacted by the team at Nyx Cosmetics Italy and invited to the VIP pre-opening party, before the general opening at 4:30.

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I LOVE this! pink balls pit, set for the occasion.

At 2:30 pm we entered the store, which is so powerful in many aspects.

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An area dedicated to LIP products, with its item scanner.

Following the first openings in Italy, it has a new interactive technology, which of course I had never seen in any of the few make up shops in Palermo.

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LIP Bar and lip everything.

Through screens and item scanners of the digital store, you are allowed to find out more about the products of your choice, and even watch tutorials on how to apply make up, giving the customers a real and personalised shopping experience.

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Again, LIP bar with lipsticks in all the shades and textures.

The store is very well organised, with each stand showing the latest and flagship products of the store and whole walls dedicated to each part of your face.

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LIP art, cool lip pencil on the right and great ideas at the top.

One of the most interesting areas is the Lip Bar, which made me curious about lip art and and entire wall destined to brushes, all made from a blend of both natural and synthetic fibers,  where you can find every kind of brush, with full descriptions on where and how to use them.

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Lip Art, liquid lip liners.

Members of the press, MUA and bloggers were all invited to the party, where we have been greeted with refreshments, other delicacies and infinite attentions all the way, including a photo-boot with instant photo-printing and a personalised tour of the store.

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Delicious refreshments by Nyx.
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Drink by Nyx.

In addition to the magic, our day has been brightened by a lovely gift, a goodybag (this practical Black Croc Zipper Case, available here) containing the following products:

 

  • Total Control Drop Foundation, in the shades 03 Porcelain, 06 Vanilla and 13 Golden, available here.
  • #NoFilter Finishing Powder, in the shades 03 Ivory, 09 Beige Caramel and 12 Sand, available here.
  • Cosmic Metal Lip Cream, in the shades 15 Retro Harmony and 07 Electromagnetic, available here.
  • Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick, in the shade 17 Jet-Set, available here.
  • Full Throttle Lipstick, in the shade 06 Night Crawler, available here. 
  • Slim Lip Pencil, in the shades 815 Toast and 856 Sand Pink, available here.
  • Vivid Brights Crème colour, in the shade 01 Love Overdose, available here.
  • Pigments, in the shade 09 Froyo, available here.
  • Liquid Crystle Body Liner, in the shade 108 Crystal Pewter, available here.
  • Micro Brow Pencil, in the shade 06 Brunette, available here.
  • Angled Buffing Brush, number 25, available here. 
  • Bright Idea Illuminating Stick, in the shade 06 Lavender Lust, available here.

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As for the general opening, people had been queuing from the early hours of the morning, and the first 250 were given a lip-shaped bag, containing 2 free makeup samples.

Trust me, if you’re not passionate about make up or you’re just not good at applying it, this store will make you want to try and experiment new things and trends.

The store is located at Forum Palermo Shopping CentreVia Filippo Pecoraino, 90124, Palermo.

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Sud Italia: Wood-fired Neapolitan Pizza Truck at East London Old Spitalfields Market

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Here I am, back to my blogging schedule, after a busy month of exams, decisions, meetings, night-outs, food, food and again…food. It looks like my latest blog feeds keep focusing on food at the moment. Should I be ashamed? I am not!

I am getting ready to go back to Italy for Summer, something that an Italian person can’t definitely miss. And while I crave Italian food and the beautiful beaches waiting for me in sunny Sicily, in the meantime, I will keep blogging about the places I have discovered in London and my adventures in the British capital. And if you are still wondering why I opened this blog, the answer is just the following: I am doing what I love, and basically wandering, exploring and writing about it and everything I like make me happy.

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Wandering in East London at Old Spitalfields Market.

Today I want to introduce you to one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten in London (expect a proper guide to eat pizza in London soon!!): Sud Italia.

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I was walking through the stalls at Old Spitalfields Market in East London last week when I came across this food truck that I had always seen on Instagram, but never tried and met before. What could an Italian do at 12 am in front of a striking blue food truck serving mouth-watering Neapolitan pizza? I bet you all must know the answer: I could not help but stopping and trying their Margherita, simply the Queen of all pizzas.

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A mouth-watering Margherita, the Queen of all pizzas, recalling the Italian flag colours.

There I stopped. Ordered a Margherita, ate it on the spot, from the oven directly to my mouth, or belly if you prefer! Oven, you got it right: the secret is the authentic and traditional firewood oven, making a real Neapolitan pizza in front of you in a bunch of minutes. I could not remember waiting for a long time, I was already daydreaming of this pizza when it arrived, ready and steaming, in the colours of the Italian flag: white mozzarella cheese, red tomato sauce and green basil. All the ingredients melted in my mouth, from the soft and wood-fired dough to the mozzarella cheese and the delicious tomato sauce. What an experience for an Italian living abroad!

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Sud Italia’s secret:  an authentic firewood oven in the heart of Old Spitalfields Market.
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A rich menu of pizzas from the Neapolitan tradition.

Sud Italia serves a menu of genuine pizzas, using only Italian top quality ingredients. As the signs of the above picture say, you can find classic Margherita, Capricciosa, Marinara, N’duja, Diavola, Zucca and even some Specials. From the streets of Naples to one of the most famous markets in London. Find these guys at Sud Italia Pizza, Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, E1 6EA, London or online here and eat the best street food you can ever find in London!

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Once again, a sun-kissed Margherita in all its beauty (I’m so Italian!!)

Neapolitan Street Food has my heart.

PS: If you liked my post, don’t forget to like, share & comment on your favourite social network. I would love to get some feedbacks and why not, new ideas and places to try!

 

#youvejustbeenpoked: Ahi Poké, a little taste of Hawaii in London

I knew straight away that most of my posts would revolve around good food spots in London. And since I love food, and I love wandering around my favourite city, I want to share with you all a little gem that I happened to discover and try yesterday for the first time.

Ahi poké is a healthy Hawaiian fast food, whose aim is indeed to give London “a little taste of Hawaai”, as one of their slogans says.

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Located at 3, Percy Street (Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street are the closest Underground Stations), it serves bowls with the freshest ingredients, for a quick break in the heart of London.

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The rules to build the bowl of your choice are simple: choose your base (quinoa, rice or kale), choose your fresh fish (salmon, ahi tuna or shrimps) or veggie option, add your sauce (sesame shoyu, sweet ponzu, sriracha mayo, leche de tigre or black chili) and end everything with your favourite toppings (fried onion, edamame, avocado, cashew nut, radish, chili grapefruit, coriander, confit ginger, pineapple, carrot and kimchee cucumber).

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This signature bowl is one of the options already available. Heat Wave includes Salmon, Avocado, Quinoa, Red Onion, Kimchee Cucumber and Coriander, dressed with Sriracha Mayo (I added the edamame in my bowl).

After customising your bowl, you can enjoy your tasty, healthy and colourful meal in the calm and peaceful cool blue of the fast food walls. The interior is decorated with neon surfboards, and the names of the signature bowls, together with other details, are all recalling the Pacific Ocean.

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If you are passionate about sea and raw fish, you’ll fall in love with this tiny spot, which is a must-visit.

Fresh fish, Hawaiian vibes: Why isn’t it summer yet?

Feel free to share, like and comment the post. Also, if you try Ahi Poké, let me know what you think and what you have. Check their website out.

Radio Rooftop Bar by ME Hotel in London

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Yesterday I had the pleasure to celebrate my 23rd Birthday with a lunch party in this unique rooftop bar, located just above the Strand, at ME London, 336-337 Strand, London.

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I must admit that I have always known I would LOVE to have a Brunch here on this occasion: that’s why I picked Radio.

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This Rooftop bar, on the 10th floor of West End Melià Hotel, offers a 360° panoramic view of the capital: from the Shard and St Paul’s Cathedral, to Somerset House, London Eye and Big Ben.

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They serve 5-star food and drinks, and provide top class service, treating their guests as kings and queens.

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Black Truffle Arancini with coriander yogurt, Compressed Watermelon with feta and olives, Buttermilk Pancake Stack with smoked bacon, fresh berries and blueberry gelee and Kilner Jar Poached Egg with quinoa, sweet potato, edamame and broccoli salad with pomegranate and soy dressing.

With salmon and avocado being among my greatest addictions, I couldn’t resist and ordered a Smoked Scottish Salmon Tartine, served on a toasted sourdough bread, with scrambled eggs, rocket leaves and dressed with marinated avocado.

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Scottish Smoked Salmon Tartine with scrambled eggs, marinated avocado, toasted sourdough bread and rocket leaves.

No season can stop the class: perfect sunset spot in Summer, cosy bar with blankets and patio heaters in Winter.

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Also, its strategic position allows you to make the most out of London breath-taking views and, at the same time, to find yourself at a short walking distance from the attractions of Covent Garden, National Gallery and Trafalgar Square.

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Cheers to Radio, for making it possible. We cannot wait to enjoy your VIP service again.

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Things to keep in mind when you hit rock bottom (and this is not a joke for April Fools’ Day)

Palermo, April 1st 

This post might be a prank for April Fools’ Day, but truth is: this is not.

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If someone had told me that I would have found myself writing a similar post, I probably would have not believed that. Kissed by the same warm sun I have been craving for weeks, and surrounded by the walls that have made me feel home for almost 23 years, I am suddenly in Italy. Sudden as the news that made me rush back to Italy on Monday morning, painful and shocking. Sudden as every change that happens in this temporary life.

My grandfather passed away in the early hours of Monday morning, while I was still in London, totally unaware and unprepared. It was shocking, painful and heart-breaking. I didn’t even have the time to think about it that I was already on the tube to the airport, and on my flight to Italy. I was catapulted into my dear old reality without the slightest warning, more than 2,000 km away from London. The moment an abroad student waits for months turned into a real nightmare.

You never know how to deal with a loss until life forces you do it and react. I have never been good at saying how I really feel, and if you asked me, all I would say right now is probably that I don’t even know how I feel. I am an overthinker. I do think too much than I should, and I have been thinking non-stop for days, especially because everything is falling apart right now.

This is one of those moments when frustration overcomes you and you can’t do anything about it. It is hard to see the people around you grieving and heartbroken. It is even harder when you are still in shock and confused about everything that is happening right now, with your closest friends miles away. Not only you have lost your grandfather, without even saying a proper goodbye, but you might as well fail your Master’s degree because you were supposed to take a few exams this week. You just wish it never happened. And that’s exactly what is happening to me.

I have been trying to reach a point when I am not healing anymore. Hence, the exigence of writing this post, a list of things to remember when all you need is a way out.

“Things to keep in mind when you hit rock bottom”

You are loved – It may sound like the first of a series of cliché, but it’s not. When we are at our worst, the thought of being loved is more important than we think. And I am talking about the unconditional love given by friends and family. Whether it’s a word or a hug, it should never be underestimated. Even a simple look from your dearest friends can mean a lot and say a million things.

You are alive – This might sound selfish, especially for the relatives who passed away and left us. But why would they want us to stop living? Being alive means also that we have the power to choose which life to live, what can be changed, improved or chased. There’s still plenty of time!

Having a positive mind is important – One of my favourite thing is positivity. Positivity is everything, is the key to a good life and the right attitude to cope with every difficulty. My ultimate daily goal is to be positive. And I can’t deny that every day spent with a positive attitude is a day lived to the fullest.

Be kind – You never really know what being kind means, until all you need is kindness.

Be focused – And strong, determined and motivated.

Appreciate the simplest things – the little things in life are always the most beautiful ones. Not always the easiest to spot, appreciating the little things can bring joy and genuine happiness, especially when you are at your worst. Today I feel grateful for appreciating rays of sun and warm, summery breeze.

Nature – as it happens for the little things, the beauty of nature is often underestimated and unnoticed.  Nature reminds us that we are part of something big, happening around here, and it is just the beauty of the world and its magnificence. Contemplating nature can make us feel better and understand the meaning of life. At the end of the day, there is so much more than our everyday problems.

You should always say how you feel – Expressing your feelings and thoughts, whether you write them down or tell them to a close friend, can be liberating and set you free. This is why I have chosen to write how I feel and I am sharing my personal life on this blog. Because sometimes it is hard to face everything on your own. Sometimes all you need is empathy, and it is the empathy in relationships with people that heals you and makes you love life again.

Just feel – Feelings can be good and can be bad. I do tend to feel a lot, exaggerate and overreact, but at the same time, I try to protect myself a lot. Avoiding situations that hurt us and running away from problematic scenarios might be good, but it is just a temporary and wrong solution. Being fragile and torn apart can make you vulnerable, but can make you feel alive, too. Being aware of pain, fear, anger, loneliness, rejection and of every negative feeling means you are alive. And what is better than knowing you have also the power to react, stand up and start again?

Last, but not least… there is always a way up!

As I said in my previous post, English is not my first language and I am always willing to improve and get good advice. Be kind and constructive, I would love to get some feedbacks.

Not being able to 100 % cheer myself up, I hope I cheered you all up a little bit.

Enjoy ♡

Francesca

 

LET’S GIVE IT A GO!

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@ Sky Garden. October, 2017.

My name is Francesca and I am an MA student at Roehampton University, in South West London. This city has always been a great goal for me and last September I was offered a place to continue my education and I just could not miss this unique chance. I have always wanted to give this blog a go, I had written down many ideas and plans, changed a few names and imagined my posts but I had never felt like it was the right moment. Now I just stopped procrastinating (yes, one of my favourite habits. Sounds cool, right?!) and I decided to start, in what is probably the busiest time of the year for a student abroad: relentless assignments, upcoming deadlines, last classes and the dissertation approaching.

But why am I starting this? In this hectic world we live, almost anyone feels the need to share contents online about what they are doing, where they are, even what they are eating. I am an affectionate fan of Social Media platforms, but at some point, I felt like I wanted to have a say and not just post what I was doing or writing some quick caption on Instagram. I wanted to express my love for what I do and what I experience here, even just to collect good memories. Also, I find this online platform, like WordPress for instance, particularly useful and related to my future (imminent!) career and possibilities.

Let’s start talking about me. I am 22 years old (almost 23, unfortunately), I am Italian (or Sicilian I should say), which is something I am absolutely proud of, and I have been living in London for exactly 6 months and 2 days now. I am young but goal-oriented, I graduated at 21 in Palermo and I got a Degree at a private University for Interpreters and Translators, which I loved to attend and learn from. I love languages and translation, and since I am always looking for something new and something forward, I am currently going beyond and practising Transcreation, which I absolutely adore, in this brand new master called “Intercultural Communication in the Creative Industries”.

I am stubborn, both a perfectionist and an absolute mess, passionate about what I do and what I love. Sensitive, dreamer, risk-taker and goal-oriented. Pastel colours obsessed, food lover, traveller since I was 2. In love with life, deep feelings, positive thinking. I believe in achieving my dreams, in the power of true friendship and I believe in José Mourinho as well.

Why London? I was in the first year of Middle School when I visited London for the first time. So cold, yet so beautiful, I spent NYE with my parents, crossing Hyde Park and watching the Christmas lights all over the beautiful city, chasing squirrels and being amazed by the National History Museum. I fell in love with London there (and many, many other times…. but this is another story) and I still haven’t fallen out of love. London is definitely my city and is teaching me how to be a strong, independent woman who does what she wants and has no fears.

What am I going to blog about? My passions and the worlds I have always gravitated around: travelling, discovering new places, football, languages and cultures, food, art, music, even fashion lately. Anything in London can be attractive and can catches my attention. Whether I will talk about that one spot with flowers to have brunch in London, or about my views, I will try to do my best and write down how I feel about it.

PS: I forgot to mention that English is not my first language, so be patient and be good to me. With a background in languages and being a perfectionist, I am always wondering if I am expressing my ideas in the right way. However, I am always willing to grow and learn, therefore don’t hesitate to correct my mistakes and give the advice I probably need.

Enjoy!

Francesca