Harry Potter Studio Tour

???????????????????????????????I’m going to square with you from the start: I love the Harry Potter books – they are my favourite series of books and I have read them far too many times to mention! However, I don’t love the films that much. Mainly because the films don’t portray the story how I’d imagined it when I was reading the books – I created this amazing world in my imagination and the films didn’t come close to what I’d developed over ten years of reading about this magical world. It was always going to be a difficult task, a nigh on impossible task, to satisfy fans with one film, one interpretation of the books which had ignited the imagination of millions and millions of readers.
(Also, I think Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe ruin the films with their appalling, wooden acting, but that is another story.)

So, the tour. After a painfully awkward intro video by Watson and Radcliffe the tour began. We started of in the indoor sets; the Great Hall, the Boys’ Dormitory, Gryffindor Common Room, the Burrow etc. and the most striking thing for me was the utterly amazing attention to detail which was taken over everything. Each potion bottle has a handmade, handwritten label. Each of the 17,000 wands in Ollivander’s was individually boxed and labelled. The Daily Prophet was created and written! I could go on and on and on, the details were simply staggering!

???????????????????????????????We drank Butterbeer! As was repeatedly mentioned, you can only get Butterbeer in Watford and Orlando so we gave it a go. It was strange but nice. A bit like a coke float but with cream and it kind of tasted buttery/caramelly… It was strange and definitely not to everyone’s taste!

After the butterbeer we headed to the art and prosthetics department which was fascinating and my favourite bit of the day. Beautiful concept drawings lined the walls, stunning scale models of Diagon Alley and Hogwarts filled the rooms and it was just amazing. The amount of work, passion and dedication into the designs was something to be admired.

The final step of the tour is a 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts which, as I rounded into the room, made my jaw fall open. Again, the superb and intricate detail was incredible. I took about 100 photos of this model (and everything else!) but I won’t put many of them on here because I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone going to visit! Then we walk into a room full of wands. Each individually crafted and labelled for every cast and crew member of the series. A touching and dramatic reminder of how much work went into the films.

A white card model of Diagon Alley

A white card model of Hogsmede

Last but not least, the gift shop… £25 for a wand, £25 for a scarf, £25 for the Marauders Map… see a pattern emerging? It was frightening how much money was spent in that gift shop. Truly mindblowing how much visitors can spend on memorabilia. There were a set of replica Dumbledore robes on sale for £495. Four HUNDRED and Ninety-Five pounds. I hope you’re as gobsmacked as I was… Maybe I’m just not rich enough to spend that kind of money on things other than rent… But after shocking myself into submission I bought a postcard for 95p.

It was wandering around the art department when I realised how many people truly loved and cared for the Harry Potter series. (The picture of Dobby above was painted by one of the chaps in the art department.) I understood that so many people worked so hard at the minute details of the films because they wanted to show their love for the series through their creative skills. No-one who worked on that film wanted to let Harry down, let the fans down or let JK Rowling down; because the books mean so much to so many people and that is the most significant thing I take away from the tour. It didn’t make me want to watch the films again, it made me want to read the books again and become submerged in the magical world that I created once more.

Have you been to the Studio Tour? What did you think?? Leave links and comments below!


Review | Topshop Lipstick

Topshop lipsticks are lovely! I recently bought the shade Innocent from Topshop and I completely love it.

I have never been one for wearing a lot of lipstick or lipgloss – I usually just stick with Vaseline to give a nice sheen to my lips. This is because I like my eyes, I think they are my best feature so I try to accentuate them as much as possible. (I have an unhealthy obsession with Mac eyeshadow which will prove this point.) But recently I’ve been trying more and more lipstick and I’ve found a beauty in the Topshop range.

For £8 you get a really good quality lipstick which is really pigmented and lasts really well on your lips. There is a great range of colours from the very nude Nevada to the bright orange/red of Infrared to the deep plum Beguiled. There is a shade for everyone. The shade I opted for was Innocent:


I think this shade is gorgeous – it suits my skin tone and I just love the colour. The colour goes on beautifully and considering how much it is I think this is great value for money for such a quality product. It doesn’t dry my lips out and it lasts for a long time on my lips – perfect for when you’re dashing about with little time to reapply your lippy! Yay for Topshop lipstick.

Have you tried the Topshop lipsticks? Do you love them as much as I do? What is your favourite brand of lipstick?
Leave comments and links below as I love having a read!


Natural History Museum

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So today I want to talk to you about my favourite museum in London. And if you hadn’t already guessed from the title or the slideshow above, it is the Natural History Museum.

When you walk along Cromwell Road you will be greeted by the most enormous and magnificent building – I don’t think my photos about really highlight how staggeringly huge and beautiful the Natural History Museum is. Once you enter the grounds you come across wildlife gardens to explore and peruse all before you head inside to the glorious entrance hall where you are welcomed by a Diplodocus.

Home to over 70 million specimens the Natural History Museum, there is something to interest everyone. Biological and geological; plants, insects, mammals, birds, rocks, spacedust, dinosaurs, amphibians – and there’s even a massive restaurant and gift shop if none of that floats your boat.

Every specimen has a name card and explanation about it, there is so much to learn. It’s fantastic. If you, like me, have a career in the arts, you will have probably had to have given up science after your GCSEs in order to specialise and look committed to your university of choice… pft, what rubbish. I hate that I had to give up science at 16 – I think its so interesting which is why I love nature and science programs on TV (Brian Cox is my hero) and I why I love this museum so much – I learn something new every time I go.

In a world so set on destroying itself, having a reminder to what we stand to lose on such an enormous scale really hits home – we need to take care of our planet guys! This is made all the more poignant as you see specimens of Dodos and Dinosaurs. The fragility of life is an important lesson to learn and the museum is so accessible for children as well as adults.

I think this place in incredible – a joyous tribute to our surrounding world. I can’t recommend this place highly enough. Utterly spectacular, you will be lost for words at some point along your journey whether it be the sheer size of the Blue Whale, the dinosaurs, the giant sequoia tree or the millions upon millions of insects. Truly a breathtaking experience. And what is best of all, it is completely free. You can wander and learn and draw and explore to heart’s content for free.

To find out more about the Natural History Museum and what’s on click here… And go, please go its so good!

And when you have been, come back here and comment so we can geek out together about the sheer amazingness of nature.


Money box

I am awful at saving money. I mean seriously bad.
You know that phrase ‘money is burning a hole in your pocket’? I’m pretty sure it’s based on me.

But I want to change this. I want to save money because I want to go on holiday so this is my plan:

Money box

A money box! I bought this one from Tiger, a store that I absolutely love. It has the most amazing, quirky and fun selection of stock – I’d really recommend taking a look if there is a shop near you. Plus everything is really cheap!

So anyway, the money box for £3 from Tiger and, as you’ve probably guessed, I have to break the glass to get to my money. That’s part one of the ‘Rachel-wants-a-holiday’ saving scheme. Part two is thus; I always buy things on my card. I very rarely have cash. But whenever I go out with friends I take cash out as its just easier in bars – anywho, I have a habit of just spending notes when I’m drunk… For some reason I can’t seem to count up my change to buy drinks very well so I end up with loads of coins which invariable get frittered away. Until now! All my change at the end of everyday will go in the money box!
Part three: no coppers. I hate coppers.

And so the plan comes together. *evil genius laugh*
Current total: £7.75

Are you guys as hopeless as me at saving? How do you save money?? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Leave comments and links below so I can have a read.


Review | B. Engergised Eye Cream

I’d been thinking for a while that I should buy an eye cream. Not that I’m getting old or anything, but I’m often reminded that what we do with our skin today reflects on how it looks in the future. I cleanse and moisturise the rest of my face everyday so why not my eyes too? With their delicate and fragile skin, it seems crazy to not give them the attention and care they deserve. Furthermore, on a personal note, I think my eyes are my best feature so I decided to give them a bit of TLC!

Superdrug have a new range launching around the country called B. They make lotions and potions for different ages as well as having a make up range. As far as I’m aware the range is just called B. and the products stem from that eg, B. Energised, B. Active… See what they did there? Because ‘B.’ is like ‘be’… gettit? *rolls eyes in distain/despair*

Aside from the appalling name (which is nigh on impossible to find in google – seriously sack the brand manager!) the range looked pretty good so I thought I’d give them a go… I bought the B. Energised Eye Cream


This stuff is wonderful! I seriously can’t praise it highly enough. It reduced my dark circles dramatically – after two days I had hardly any darkness under my eyes. It also reduced the puffiness I was getting from working late hours and little sleep. Plus the whole formula is cooling so perks you up in the mornings!

According to the website the cream has clinically proven results and:
Brightens – Live Yeast Cell Extract helps reduce the appearance of dark circles.
Cools and de-puffs – With Allantoin and Caffeine.
Hydrates – With a delicate blend of moisturisers (including Hyaluronic Acid).


This eye cream is for ‘Skin Phase 1’ ie 20s and 30s (as I am 23) but there are eye creams available through Skin Phases 2 and 3, and the formulations change according your skin needs as you get older.

I actually couldn’t believe how much of an effect this had on my eyes – they look healthier, brighter and much less puffy. I will definitely purchase this again. Also, at £8.99 a tube this is much cheaper than the high end products, and noticeably cheaper that the other drug store creams. Bargain! I love it!

What eye creams do you use? Have you tried any other B. products? Am I silly to be worrying about my eyes at 23?! Probably.

Leave comments and links below as I love checking out new blogs!