Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Products That I Should've Loved and DID

A while back I wrote a post about products that I should've loved but didn't (here), because they just didn't live up to the immense hype created around them. On a more positive note, I would like to share with you some products that were raved about and deservedly so. Once again, everyone's skin is different, so not all products will work for all. These are just the ones that did work for me and that I use on a daily basis now.



La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+] (£15.50)
This product is an anti-blemish cream. It is to be used once to twice a day, after cleansing and before applying foundation. During the first and second week I didn't notice any difference at all and was ready to dump it with disappointment. However, after about two weeks I could really begin to see any blemishes slowly disappear. I apply it mostly on my cheeks and chin as that is where blemishes occur the most for me. Also, I generally use it in the evenings only but if my skin is acting up then I apply it in the morning as well.

Real Techniques Core Collection (£21.99)
I should say upfront that when it comes to makeup brushes, I'm an absolutely no expert. This set includes four brushes: a detailer brush, a pointed foundation brush, a buffing brush and a contour brush. However, I think it is a good idea to try them out in various 'scenarios' and uses. I use the buffing brush for liquid foundation, the pointed brush for blush and the contour one for concealer and (obviously) contouring. They are of excellent quality, make application of various products super easy and comfortable and are compact and ideal for traveling as well. Add the price and you have a wonderful product!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99)
Who hasn't heard of the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation? In my search for amazing drugstore products, this one was in my basket in no time. Now I am on my second bottle. It certainly achieves a "healthy glow & flawless complexion" as it claims. The coverage it provides is great and lasting and it is moisturizing even on my extremely dry skin. There are no sparkles and no fragrance.


Have you tried any of these three products?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Succulent Obsession

Nature energizes and calms me at the same time. I feel happiest and most at peace when I'm outdoors. So, having plants and flowers around my home is naturally a must for me. Succulents are my absolute favorite at the moment since they don't require much effort or time and they look so serene and ... sophisticated? I'm not too sure if this description even makes sense, but anyway, here's some succulent inspiration!

http://roamersberlin.tumblr.com/
  
http://dezignsavvy.tumblr.com/image/86293958013
http://chelsieautumn.tumblr.com/post/87701503783
http://blog.justinablakeney.com/2014/09/succulent-palette.html 
http://www.ohlovelyday.com/2013/09/new-mason-jar-ideas.html
http://theglitterguide.com/2014/09/02/sugar-cloth-studio-tour/?slide=20#content
https://www.etsy.com/listing/151199447/succulent-kit-with-hand-illustrated?ref=shop_home_active_18

Do you like plants and flowers? What are your favorite ones?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Favorite YouTube Channels: Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Edition

Claire Marshall (here)
Claire's editing is probably one of the best I've ever seen on any YouTube channel. Her channel features beauty, fashion and personal style videos, which aren't excessively long and unnecessarily chatty (I'm generally not capable of watching a 20 minute haul, so length has a big influence on whether I like a video or not!) and entertaining vlogs. Her videos are original and have a really fun and laid-back atmosphere. And then there's also her cat Bruce, who will brighten up the day of any animal lover!
Favorite videos: Claire's Black Boot Collection, Monday Minute - Caturday with Bruce, Favorite Mac Lipsticks

Hello October (here)
Not just one of my favorite YouTube channels, but also a blog (find here), I enjoy watching her makeup tutorials and beauty reviews as well as fashion videos, since her simple yet chic style is always inspiring for me. Her vlogs are super entertaining, especially now with her new puppy (can you tell that I like animals ... a lot?).
Favorite videos: Brow Routine, Get Ready With Me: New Years Eve Party Edition, Everyday Hairstyles   

Soothing Sista (here)
Stephanie's cool, laid-back personality, amazing personal style and voice easily make her one of my favorite channel for beauty and fashion hauls as well as vlogs. Since my wardrobe is quite minimal and simple, this channel always gives me inspiration on how to combine prints and statement pieces in an amazing way. Easily the queen of the bold lip on YouTube in my opinion ;)
Favorite videos: My Eyeliner Routine,  My Eyebrow Routine, 
2013 Favorites

Lily Pebbles (here)
Lily's videos are full of great beauty and skincare reviews, advice and recommendations. She uses such a wide range of products, both drugstore and luxury. I love her weekly vlogs and beauty chats with Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup
Favorite videos: Day to Night in 6 StepsBeauty Dupes and Drugstore Alternatives City Break Packing Tips

TheLineUp
Probably the least known from this list but no less creative and inspiring is The LineUp, Maya & Julia from Stockholm. They make videos mostly about fashion, styling and lifestyle, which are extremely well edited and feature great music as well. 
Favorite Videos: Winter Lookbook 2014Back to Basics: The Basic White T-Shirt, What's In My Bag?


What are your favorite YouTube channels? Do you prefer reading blogs over watching videos?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Essentials for a cozy autumn #2: Scarves

A friend of mine once told me that she doesn't think she's ever seen me without a scarf. Now that is far from an exaggeration because I really do wear them a lot (unless it's the summer or it's just generally too warm obviously, I'm not that crazy). My outfits aren't exactly bursting with color, so a scarf can always add a little something extra. Also, if you forget an umbrella, they can be quite useful (I'm not kidding, they've saved me numerous times, because I always forget an umbrella. But never my scarf.) Most importantly, they're cozy and that's what autumn should be, right?

From the basic and monochrome scarves, burgundy, olive or khaki, grey and shades of brown and beige are my favorites.

1. Forever 21 Classic Woven Scarf in camel (also in burgundy and black, £7.50)
2. Zara Woven Scarf in khaki (also in grey and nude pink, £17.99)
3. Acne Canada in dark wine (also in dark green, beige melange, grey melange, navy or black, 130)
4. Forever 21 Frayed Woven Scarf in blush (also in black, taupe, burgundy and olive, £5)
5. Lindex in grey (also in beachsand and dark grey, £17.99)
6. H&M Woven Scarf in camel (also in light grey, £7.99)

For patterned scarves, my top picks are simple checked and tartan ones.


1. River Island Pink Tartan Blanket Scarf (also in red or white, £15)
2. Monki Flo Scarf (£18)
3. Mango Violeta Check Scarf (29,99 €)
4. French Connection Bruno Border Striped Scarf (for men, but I think it works for women perfectly well, £20)
5. Mango Violeta Bicolor Scarf (29,99 €)

Which one of these do you like the most? Are you as fond of scarves as I am?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Products That I should've Loved But Didn't

More often than not, I buy a product based on an online review, a blog post or a Youtube video. These two are not an exception. While I liked both of them, I didn't love them nearly as much as I expected after hearing so much praise about them.


The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10)
Yes, it is gentle on my sensitive skin. Yes, it smells nice and leaves the skin feel refreshed. Yes, for the price it is quite a good product. Does it take makeup off completely? No (if I only used a tinted moisturizer then it more or less did, however if you are going full on with foundation and bronzer and blush, or even a primer beforehand, then it will definitely not take off all of it). Does the applicator work well? Not really. When you press down, you need to hold the bottle close to your hand because it will easily splash out all over. Since it is an oil, things can get messy rather quickly ... What comes in handy is that you can turn the head around to prevent any product from coming out.
All in all, while I do keep on using this product, I would not repurchase and I am not one of its super fans.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara (£8)
The False Lash Effect Mascara has also been getting lots of praise around the internet. Once again, I do quite like it. It is probably one of the better drugstore mascaras that I've purchased. However, it really is waterproof. And when I say really waterproof, I mean like A LOT. So much that I have difficulty taking all of it off of my eye lashes without almost ripping them out. So much that my eye lashes feel hard to touch. Instead of using just this mascara alone, I prefer to put on the Estée Lauder Sumptuous Infinite Mascara (which I wrote my own praise on here) and then I apply just a little bit of this Max Factor one to add a little more volume and make it waterproof.

All in all, I did not hate these products, but I did not love them either, although the internet claimed that I will. Everybody is different and while some products may work for many, they will never work for absolutely everyone.

Are there any products that you feel the same about?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

What I Read This Week

I've been reading and thoroughly enjoying Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. One passage truly resonated with me in regards to living in the moment, so I wanted to share it with you:
“From this experience, I understood the danger of focusing only on what isn't there. What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I'd spent every day watching for a man who would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realize I'd never really tasted the things I'd eaten, or seen the places I'd been, because I'd thought of nothing but the Chairman even while my life was drifting away from me. And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like a dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance she would never give.”

 Onto my favorite reads this week!

This super helpful and wittily written guide to growing natural healthy hair on Oh Dear Drea.

Lately I have been seeing numerous posts with advice and ideas on blog content. However, this thorough, yet concise, post on Media Marmelade is the most helpful I've seen. It features a large number of blog post ideas with a huge variety of topics and is accompanied by some beautiful photographs!

A concise but useful five step, travel friendly, skincare routine on Vivianna Does Makeup.  

Into Mind is a recent discovery of mine. Want to read about fashion and personal style? Then you will love this blog. All of the posts are extremely well-written, with an impressive amount of detail and knowledge. Some of my favorite posts are about how to assess quality of garments  or storing make up. 

An interesting article on six things the most organized people do every day.

Essentials for a cozy autumn: Shoes

What does London's weather, daily commuting and lots of walking equal? The necessity for comfortable shoes of course. My staples for this autumn are slip-ons and ankle boots. Nothing groundbreaking, but definitely cozy and stylish for any outfit.

//

Londýnské počasí, každodenní dojíždění do školy a spousta chození se nemůže obejít bez pohodlných bot. Mé nejoblíbenější pro tento podzim jsou slip-ons a kotníčkové boty. Nic převratného, zato zaručí pohodlí, jsou stylové a hodí se téměř k čemukoliv.



1. Dune Lamarr - Leopard (also available in black and khaki, £59)
2. Vans Classic Slip-On CA Shoes (available also in blue, £60)
3. Topshop Tika 2 Fur Slip On Skater (also available in sparkle in black, silver or blue - here, or in silver pearl - here, all for £20)
4. Vagabond Grace in black leather (also available in black nubuck and wine nubuck, £80)
5. Steve Madden Neovista in taupe (available also in black and red, £90)
6. Aldo ASTAERI in black (available also in taupe, £100)


What are your favorite shoes for autumn?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

My favorite perfumes



When it comes to perfumes, I'm probably the least adventurous person ever. I like to stick to my favorite ones. Sometimes, I'll venture out and try something new, but always come back to these two:

DKNY Women Original Eau de Toilette
I've loved this scent from my childhood already because it was the one that my mom used. It is incredibly light and fresh and smells fruity, which makes it ideal for spring and summer, but I would say it is wearable all year long.
I've also had DKNY's Be Delicious perfume, which is similar, but seemed even more fruity and juicy to me than the Original one, which I prefer. The Be Delicous range also came with a body lotion, which I definitely found far too fragrant.

Dolce & Gabbana 3 - L'Impératrice
A little less light than the DKNY, but still sweet with a floral scent. Compared to DKNY, it feels more sophisticated but still not too strong for everyday wear.

If I was to try something new, I would go for J'adore from Dior. I received a tester a while ago and I really liked it and used it up in a snap of a finger. Probably because it was quite similar to D&G's L'Impératrice - light, fresh and with a more floral scent. Moreover, not long ago, DKNY launched MYNY , which has been getting positive reviews. Oh and the packaging is beautiful (am I the only one who can be persuaded to buy a product solely based on its packaging?!).

What are your favorite perfumes? Do you prefer lighter, fresher, ones or heavier ones?
 


Monday, 1 September 2014

Beauty Favorites: August

Summer is minimalist for me when it comes to beauty products. Less is more and with a nice tan, the need for make-up almost disappears. Nevertheless, there are some essentials that are always necessary - a cleanser, a lip balm and a hair styling product.


Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter from Clarins (£19)
This cleanser appeared in my basket without any recommendation or previous research - I just needed a cleanser and wanted to try one from Clarins out for some time now. The reason why I decided on this one, is that the description stated that it is gentle and with shea butter, hence great for dry skin. Its texture is that of a creamy cleansing milk that foams as you apply it, which makes the whole application smooth and pleasing. The smell is truly amazing and skin feels moisturized. I use it in the mornings to help with my dry skin and make my morning a little nicer with the pleasant smell!


Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector from Clarins (£18)
This has been on my wishlist for quite sometime now, since I've been looking for a neutral lip balm and this one has appeared on nearly every blog or Youtube channel that I follow. I bought shade 02 apricot shimmer. It makes the lips look smooth and shiny, without too much shimmer, and has a nice, sweet smell. This shade is quite light, so I use it just by itself or on top of a peachy or nude lipstick. Perfect for summer. One downside is, however, the price.


My hair has quite a lot of volume as it is thick and wavy, however, since it is so heavy, it is often flat at the roots. This product is used on dry hair, which to me was something new, since most root lifters are used on wet hair and then need to be blow dried. I blow dry my hair and then apply this Bamboo Volume Uplifting Root Blast to my roots near the crown of the head right away. The applicator is excellent, although a cap would come in handy for traveling. No need to spray too much, as that can leave you with sticky hair. The product does exactly what it says it should do: it lifts the roots really well. Since its use is intended for dry hair, you can reapply it throughout the day to add more volume (although so far, this wasn't necessary as it lasts all day). Its smell is quite strong - it is pleasant for me, but I would recommend you try it out before purchasing to make sure that you like it. The brand overall was new to me, but after a little research I was very impressed as it is ecological and sustainable.
Just a warning, from what I've read online, it seems that those who are satisfied with the product have hair similar to mine - on the thicker and heavier side, wavy and curly. Most of the people with fine, brittle and generally flat hair, were not satisfied at all.
Are any of you familiar with Alterna and would you recommend any of their products?


What have you been loving this month?



Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector 
Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector
Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter
Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter
Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter
Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Weekly favorites

Here are some of my favorite reads from this week:

This great post about body image on WishWishWish.

I prefer video workouts, but Pumps & Iron always has such great ones! I love this Isometric (No Noise!) Workout.

The Rules to Life - A funny read by Amelia Diamond on the Man Repeller.

These Buffalo tofu wings with creamy ranch dip from one of my favorite recipe sites, Oh My Veggies.

Sometimes, I get tired of seeing my wallpaper but cannot find a different one. Awesome Wallpapers on A Little Opulent.

A funny (and a truthful!) post about commical and peculiar running mistakes and how to avoid them!




Friday, 29 August 2014

On trial: Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ from Clinique



About a month ago, I ran out of both my day and night moisturizers (I still find it incredible how everything seems to run out at the exact same time). Searching through the aisles in Sephora, I couldn't overlook Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, not only because of its yellow color, but also because I've seen it around numerous times as it is the brand's top seller.

I picked up the Moisturizing Lotion, which is intended for very dry to dry skin. Clinique also sells the Moisturizing Gel, which is for oily skin.

So far, I have no complaints about this product. It is intended for both day and night, which I find incredibly convenient. Whereas with some lotions, I begin to see dry patches on my skin throughout the day, my skin stays moisturized for the whole day with this one. The packaging is also great - it is possible to buy it with a pump, a cap or just as a tube. I bought it with the pump, which is perfect because just pressing once gives me enough product for my entire face. I've been using it for about a month and still have plenty left, so I think it will last me a long time.

With autumn behind the corner, I will really be able to see how well it truly works. Once it gets colder and windier, my skin becomes extremely dry and rough, so a proper moisturizer is essential for me. Nevertheless, so far I've been satisfied with this lotion and would definitely recommend it!



Saturday, 23 August 2014

Searching for the perfect eyeliner

If there is one thing that I've shopped for more often than I would like to this year, it has got to be eyeliner. More specifically, felt tip pen eyeliners as those are my favorite ones to use. I like to create a slightly winged line, almost like a cat eye, for which I cannot use a pencil eyeliner. Also, other ones tend to disrupt my contact lenses.

About two years ago, I bought a felt tip pen eyeliner from Lancome and I happily used it for a rather long time (over one year). I feared the day it would run out (I am not even exaggerating) because it was perfect and I knew that Lancome stopped selling that particular one. It stayed black all day without any smudging and creating a smooth line with it was ridiculously easy. However, that dreaded day did come and I had to look for a new one. Having recently moved to London, I could not quite justify spending more than £20 on something that wasn't food, detergent, university books or the infamously expensive Oyster card. So Superdrug had to do.

I was very happy with my first one. I purchased the Bourjois Liner Feutre, which stayed black nearly all day with very little smudging. However, one day, after about two months, it just stopped working. It wasn't even lighter black or grey, it just stopped working.

And so came the second one. The L'Oréal - The Super Slim by Infallible Black. This one, I was not happy with at all right from the beginning. It seemed to be liquid-y enough and produced a nice black line. However, it smudged extremely fast and I had to escape to the bathroom numerous times per day to check if I don't look like I just cried my eyes out. After trying out various primers and eye shadows as a base, the smudging problem improved but the eye liner did not stay perfect for as long as I would like it to. Nevertheless, I was starting to get used to it. And then I lost it at a party. Great.

Which brings us to the third one, the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. I was extremely excited about this one as I heard a lot of praise about it. However, right after the first few uses, I noticed that it was rather dry. I am still using it at the moment, but I need to dip it into warm water first. Then it applies nicely, however after a few hours it becomes grey.

At the moment, I am at the start again - looking for a new eye liner. Maybe I should try a liquid liner, not a felt tip pen? Or maybe I should just go back to Lancome. There are a few that interest me at the moment.

Écriture de Chanel // Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner // Lancome Liner Plume // Urban Decay Ink For Eyes

What is your favorite eyeliner? Is there any product that you've been struggling to find?





Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Summer on my nails

Summer is a perfect time to make your nails pop and experiment with colors that you wouldn't otherwise wear during the year.

Brights for summer. What a surprise, right? No but really, these are my favorites - from left to right:

OPI on Collins Ave. - A red orange color that makes the nails pop.
Essie Haute in the Heat- A beautiful pink from the latest Essie collection.
Topshop Nails in Relapse
OPI Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot - A hot pink that's been my favorite for about two summers now! This photo makes the polish look slightly darker than it really is.