Monday, December 30, 2013

The 10 Favorite Manicures of 2013

You know I can't go too long without showing you my nails,so I decided to gather my 10 favorite looks from this past year. Mind you, it has not been easy at all and I won't be posting them in any particular order, I like them all just as much. 


The Manicure I did for Polish Days - Vintage:
You can never take the polka dots away from me, hehe!

                           
Half Framed Nails:
This has got to be one of my favorite nail arts to date. Really love the way the darker color always frames the glitter blast in the middle.


Nude Glitter Nails:
Always have and always will be a fan of glitter and one of my favorite ways to use it is just on the tips. Looks great on any nail shape or length.


Sparkly Clouds:
Definitely one of the cutest manis of the year.


Touch of Gold:
I basically love gold and it just works with everything!


Ombre Polka Dots:
You can tell that Orly's Gumdrop has become a very fast favorite of mine.


Geometric French Tips:
A little twist on an old and beloved favorite.


Watercolor Nails:
Most likely the best fun I've had making a manicure happen.


Frames Strike Again:
As I was saying, one of my favorite manicures.


Fingerprint Nails:
Loved doing these as well and you cannot imagine how great it is to dip your fingers in polish!

Because I've reached 10 but I have one more to show you, I decided to file this under extra holiday manicure since it has been done for Halloween.


Bloody Nails!
Super easy and super effective for freaking people out!


So what do you think? Have you enjoyed my nail selection? I've added a link to the original posts for all of the manicures and in most you will also find instructions on how to do it yourself.

                     
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week in Pictures #45

This week has kinda been collage week. For one because I really like making them and secondly because I've been putting together all sorts of favorites that really just work best in collage form.
So here's another one :)



                
1. Always like trying out new smells in tarte form 2. invented a magnificent drink! 3. too much time on Pinterest makes you want to cook
4. The somewhat eerie but not white December street 5. Obligatory nail and leg shot 6. Custom made cup we did for a friend.
7. Cookies galore! 8. This is how I like my mornings 9.My favorite creation of the week

As you might or might not know, I'm now also on Instagram, so if you want to see more of where these pictures came from, feel free to follow here.





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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Big in 2013 - The Major Beauty Trends

It's always fun to look back on the year and try to remember what the major trends in beauty have been, because we just kinda incorporate them into our everyday life and don't think about "ah yes, this color, definitely a trend I'm doing!". We just do it.
That's why I did a half memory exercise in remembering what the Big Deals of 2013 have been.


 Things went natural.

I love whenever this happens because I'm a big fan of keeping it as natural as possible. The three big ones have been The resurrection of natural oils in beauty, Honey as THE ingredient and Natural Beauty/DIY beauty. Especially for the last one, more and more people have started to make their own scrubs, body creams, and started using more friendly ingredients all together. Not to mention how happy I am for all the oils  that are out there, because my skin LOVES them!


LIPS, LIPS and more LIPS!

If last year it was oxblood, this year, the variation thereof has been burgundy. Can't say I mind it, as it is a glorious lip color and burgundy lips have been everywhere! Another big thing that I liked have been matte lips. While I'm not the biggest lipstick wearer, I am definitely a huge matte lipstick wearer.
Nude, natural lips paired with a more natural look have been dominating spring and summer and really accentuating that natural beauty everyone has. And of course, my favorite thing to have hit the nation: Lip Pencils! I prefer them matte, but I'll take them in any ole' way because they are the most practical alternative to lip color to date. 
  Nail power!

 You know me, the complete nail obsessive and while many nail related things happened, I summed up the biggest ones. Halfmoon nails  seemed to be on everybody and yes... even I have tried them. 
One of the things I just could not get on board with were texture polishes. That cottage cheese look is not for me, nor are little confetti like "feathers". I can appreciate that someone took the time to come up with them, but I really don't want it on my nails. Even if they look kinda cool, especially the sandy and cottage cheese texture feel really creepy to the touch. But at least we had that one, huge color: Emerald Green.
And I must say, the nail shades that have emerged from this have been quite nice.


Do you have any more beauty trends you wanna suggest or have I covered them all?

                          


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Favorite DIYs of 2013

I'm a huge DIY fan and always find it so great what you can do on your own. Of course, Pinterest has become one of my best friends and SO many great ideas have come from there.
That's why I wanted to make a post of my favorite DIY projects I have either done or stumbled upon.


Favorite DIYs of 2013 diy candle jar labels vanilla vodka nail polish flavored salt lavender salt lemon salt pink golden jars mason jar diy
                    
1. DIY Golden Candle Jar that you can find HERE
2. Flavored Salts. I have a thing for jars and putting things in jars like you will also see in number 3.
3. Layers in Jars . Weather it's spices, salt, flowers, glitters, scrubs, mixes for drinks or like in this case, the ingredients for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal and Gingerbread cookies, put it in a glass container and give it to me. I will be immensely happy!
4. DIY Swatchbook I've used this a couple of times, like HERE or HERE because they are such an easy way to swatch nail polish and have the swatches at hand when you need to see a color.
5. Packaged Spices for Mulled Wine. So simple and so clever! Package them and have them ready for when you just want to just throw them in. And I mean, how pretty do they look!
6. DIY Old Labels. Super easy and super practical. Soak any tag in tea and it will get that "aged" look
7. Pomegranate and Vanilla Vodka. I'm all for fun flavors and this is so fun to do!
8. Use Washi Tape! I've decorated the pictured candle holder HERE but you can really use washi tape for anything and everything!
9. Dipped Golden Vases. Or really, dipped anything. Again, insanely easy to do: just dip in gold, silver or any other color paint and voila!


Are you into DIY too? Share some of your favorites!




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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week in Pictures # 44

Well, it's almost next year and I can't believe it's 44 weeks that I've been doing this already! In the next 2 weeks I'll be doing some recaps of last year, so a lot of "best of" stuff and maybe even a top 10 favorite photos from all the weeks I've been taking them. If you've been around last year, you'll know what to expect more or less, if not, I think you'll like it :)


1. On my nails now too, my favorite color: Shearling Darling 2. The awkward moment when you confuse mascara for toothpaste 3. Had the occasional snowfall
4. Good ideas everywhere! 5. I've resurrected my liking for bracelets 6. After snow came frost
7. Currently on the nails 8. Amazing goodies I got this week! 9. Dinner tortellonis                                




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Friday, December 20, 2013

Holy Moisturizing Savior!


I remember the first time I had seen this and was thinking it's an interesting concept but was somewhat skeptical in terms of how much moisturizing it would actually do.

Well, let me tell you I do not know how someone didn't think of this sooner because it is utterly brilliant! 
We all know winter means parched skin all over and the need for extra extra care in order for said skin to not crumble and look 20 years older. I'm already heavy on the face and hand moisturizing ( though I really should start wearing gloves... she says again and then forgets), but you can also spot a very clear difference on the skin all over your body. My legs for example get really dry and if you also shave, you really need to slap on the body butter to make them feel nice and happy.

But such cares no more!  I've first used the Nivea In-Shower Body Milk  at the gym because I didn't want to carry my body butter with me and was in complete and utter awe!
It's a long lasting hydration and it really works! I was expecting it to wash off, for it to not feel hydrating, I was expecting many things but it did wonders!

If you find it, grab it and buy a couple of them because it's the most practical investment you can make this winter! And this is coming from someone whose skin is a snob. If even my snobby skin approves wholeheartedly, it must mean something.




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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Perfect Oxblood Nail

Last year, I had taken the quest upon me to find the perfect Oxblood nail polish. Well, it only took me a year and many "almost"s to get there. 

essie shearling darling nail polish swatch review
                         
Last year I was fixated on pearly polishes but in time, I've realized oxblood can only be a cream polish, with no shiny particles attached to it.  That's the only form the color can look proper on your nails.
The established winner is Essie Shearling Darling. It's described as a deep ebony red and I won't contradict that. As you can see, it looks almost black on the nails as opposed to the shade in the bottle.
I can tell you though, it looks definitely red most of the time. This picture was taken around dusk so the light was more on the dark side of things, but I really like the look of it.
They say deep reds and browns are most flattering on short nails and I can confirm it. Beside nudes, my very short nails at the moment are put in a favorable light.

What do you think? Is this a color for you?






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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week in Pictures # 43 - We're Instagram-ing

This week has marked my debut on Instagram. Yeah, it took me a while and even if I knew I'd like it and I really do, I can already see that I'm spending a bit too much time on there. 
But if you wish to follow , feel free to Follow me on Instagram HERE  and let me know what your name is on there so I can follow your pictures.



1. Of course I wrote it backwards. 2. My one true love: tea 3. Legs had to make their Insta-debut too
4. And then we got a cold 5. The hand saving winter kit 6 These things are SO good!!!
7. Really wondering if these two are not the same thing 8. Friday night was candle night 9. Saturday Breakfast                            





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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recent Empties

I never thought I'd gather enough packaging to make a post like this, but lo and behold, it has happened!  It might have something to do with the fact that I forget to throw stuff out, then realize again that it is indeed empty and put it in the "to throw" basket once more.
Well, after repeating this procedure a couple times, I've realized my throwing basket had gathered enough things to fit in a post and mark the official goodbye from these loyal souls.


Truth is, they all keep being repurchased, because like for example the Burt's Bees Orange Essence Cleanser, my face wouldn't function as well without it.
Another staple is the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. You've seen it in my favorites this month, nothing else touches my face. And I don't foresee that changing anytime soon.
Another must have in the face department is the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Solution. When I don't have it at hand, I just feel like my face is not quite clean. Let's be honest, regular water does more damage than good, so I don't really remove any makeup or impurities with just water. This is an absolutely fabulous alternative to that last swipe you do, in order to feel clean and sparkly. I was actually running out, but then our Bbloggers Meetup happened and in the goodie bag, one of these wonderful bottles was looking at me.

A "forever repurchase" is the Eyeko Fat Mascara, which just gives you the most long and natural looking lashes ever! And it's a fiber mascara, which means I already have a soft spot for it.
Of course, my ever so faithful Aussie Luscious Long Shampoo and Conditioner  had to run out eventually and this was the time. But that's ok, because I'm just weeks away from flying to London to restock!
The Ivatherm Body Hydrating Cream  was also in a goodie bag I got this summer, and I appreciate its ingredients and that it really hydrates, but I'm not sure my skin and this cream truly get along perfectly. Maybe my skin is too used to raw shea butter to accept anything that hasn't been hand picked, but I'm not sure if this will be repurchased. Maybe in the future.

Do you guys like "empties" posts? Should I keep gathering empty stuff?




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Monday, December 9, 2013

November Favorites

                            
The cold season is upon us, but by the products I have picked up for November, you can see that cold wasn't that present last month. Worry not, it will be this month.
What I always need though is hand protection in the form of the Burt's Bees Banana and Beeswax Hand Cream and the ever so  cherished Lemon Butter Cuticle Butter.
Since we're at oils, my newest discovery is the Macadamia Oil I've been using on my face. It's in the same category as argan oil, in terms of not leaving oily residues on your face and working really well as a base.
And of course, my ever present Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in matters of the face. It's been the only thing on my face for probably a year now and I love the light coverage and actual fresh feel that it gives me. A clear keeper!

The two newest additions are the Sleek Blush in Rose Gold which we all know is a dupe for the ever so coveted NARS blush. Truth is, I'm more of a bronzer kind of person but the shade was so praised, I gave it a go and I'm quite impressed.
Now the thing that I ADORE this month is the Inglot AMC Matte Lip Pencil Shade 14. I mean, talk about that coveted " your lips but better" shade! This one is definitely it for me and it also goes a bit into nude, which I always look for in lip products. I'll have swatches for you up soon.

And because you can't have winter without candles, here's a bit of an atypical scent: Pomelo and Lychee from MUJI. It is perfectly fresh and delicious and works for any season!



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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week in Pictures # 42

The time has come to say it: it's snowing. And the funniest part is that you notice how awful growing up is when the first snow falls and your first thought is: "Winter tires! Ah ok, I have them it can snow now"    

                           

1. My mother likes to give gifts.I shan't contradict her 2. Like I said, she likes giving gifts, one of her favorites to give are L'Occitane things 3. I on the other hand,would be happy with just pumpkins.

4. Cinnamon stars! SO GOOD! Seriously, you need to try some.
5. The day I was so hungry and everything in the food court was taking forever to prepare, Subway saved the day. It was the best sandwich I have ever had!  6. I like it when everyone in my family has the same smell preferences in scented candles. 7. Do not tempt me!




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Thursday, December 5, 2013

HELP! Need To Find This Eyeshadow Color! ( Pictures of color in the Post)

Sometimes you see a color and you can't believe how great it looks on you...except it's on your eyebrow palette! This color is absolute perfection: it's matte, it's natural, it fits perfectly with my skintone, but it's not really an eyeshadow and it doesn't really bode well to putting it on my eyelids, which is why I NEED YOUR HELP!                     
Here's the color I am looking for:


It's the one being pointed at with the arrow and it is from the MUA Pro Bro kit but for the life of me, I cannot find a similar eyeshadow color! 


So here's where I need your help:  Do you know of any eyeshadow of that color? Or something similar that you'd suggest? It needs to be matte and a taupe, almost dirty sand brown.

Since we're at it, the pinker, more flesh color in this palette also looks quite incredible!So mainly, do you have any recommendations for natural looking, matte eyeshadows or eyeshadow palettes that contain colors similar to these?

I'm going to thank you in advance for your help!



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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The 2nd Annual Beauty Bloggers Meetup

A couple of weeks ago,there was the second annual beauty bloggers meetup in Cluj and the fact that it's already the second and I was here for the first, gives me the impression that I'm an old hag. Joke aside, I'm pretty proud my blog is 1 and a half (ish) years old already.
Last year, we pretty much met up for dinner to get to know eachother, but this time it was a full on event. I do think it's easier to let the photos do the talking, don't you think?




The lovely ladies who made it all happen 



God bless whoever had the idea of feeding the bloggers. The bloggers loved it. Clearly.


I was utterly fascinated by the looks of this Oriflame tea. Yes, the dust is tea.




When you say goodie bags, you don't quite imagine it's going to be this many. But there were! Nivea, Yves Rocher, Bioderma, Cosmetic Plant, Farmec,Oriflame, B.U, Elmiplant, Golden Rose, to just name a few. 





Everyone was pretty fascinated by the Farmec winter nail polish collection. Mainly because the colors are pretty great.


Look at us "little" happy bunch!  I hope to see you all many MANY years to come. Like someone said, in 30 years, we'll still be discussing nail polish, or so I hope! 



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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Ultimate SnowFlake Nails

It's December and that means, if it hasn't snowed on you yet, it will. Soon. So to get mentally prepared and to add some extra joy to the whole occasion, I thought what better way to start the month than with pristine white nails. With a twist!


nails nail polish bornpretty store snowflake winter nails


I had been looking for nail foil for a while and it does seem, I could only find it at the Born Pretty Store who stock  A LOT and I do mean a lot of nail supplies. If it was an actual physical store, I might leave it with more than I can carry.
So in their humongous nail foil section, I decided on this one , a gorgeous white foil with rainbow reflexes.



I've been using it on all sorts of colors, pastels, darks, oxblood. It looks pretty spectacular on black nail polish by the way, but now was the turn of the white, and let me tell you, they look perfect together.
The polish looks like it would have a rainbow metallic sheen of wet on top. I'll admit to staring at my nails for a good 10 minutes.
This is the closest photo I could get of said "wet look".


nails nail polish bornpretty store snowflake winter nails

Can we also discuss the fact that the whole roll of joy is just around 2$ ? I mean... Talk about fully affordable nail art .
And it's super easy to apply:

1. Put on your favorite nail polish, preferably 2 coats
2. Let it dry but only almost. Test it by pressing down your finger on the nail and if you have a somewhat visible fingerprint, it's time!
3. Cut a piece of foil and just dab it on the nail, it will automatically stick.

And a piece of advice: Don't use top coat! It will just take away the natural sheen and reflexion of the foil. It looks so much better without a top coat.

Now, if you'd like to order it yourself ( or one of the gazillion other gorgeous foils), I've got a nice little 10% Discount Code for you.
Just use  WEL91 at checkout after landing on BornPrettyStore.com by clicking the link or the banner in the side toolbar.


                          
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week in Pictures # 41

Aaaand it's December! It's pretty incredible to think that in less than a month this year will be over. I feel like it was just  July or August last month, but in reality that  is long gone.
In any case, come December, the season for warm beverages, fluffy socks and questionable weather starts, and as luck would have it, all of those elements are present in my pictures this week!

                            
1. The fluffy socks make their appearance 2. I love me some mist in the woods 3. Making my own pumpkin spice

4. Preparing for a photo shoot 5. Great afternoon! Writing and thinking
6.  This was in the garden, in November! 7. Lovely lovely gift from my colleagues 8. Sneak peekin'



How was your week?



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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Top Tunes This Month

When I drive to and from work, the one thing that makes sitting helplessly in traffic bearable, is music. And since it's been half an eternity since I last gave you some listening material, I figured this would be the perfect time to do so.

Let's start with one of my total feel good songs. It has a tendency to wake me up in the morning while driving to work: Two Doors Cinema Club - What you know



This is such a happy tune, you don't have any other option than to go with it. I've been discovering quite a few indie gems ever since a friend showed me 8tracks.com so if you want ready to go playlists by mood,genre,season...basically anything, that might be the place for you.

This next one is a 2 in 1 thing. First up it's one of my favorite running songs, and secondly it always reminds me of running at night in London along the Thames, passing Big Ben, St Paul's, London Bridge...just perfect!
Daft Punk ft Pharell - Get Lucky



This next one is, remarkably enough, one of my favorites. And because I even know who wrote it and sings it *wink wink* I'm kinda even more fascinated that I like it this much. You're always critical about the things you're close to, but gosh darnit, I love this thing! There, I said it!
So if you're into discovering great new things, I think this one is right up your alley:
Joanna Kaze - Primrose Hill


                     
As far as quiet things go, I've come to the conclusion that Sigur Ros is pretty unbeatable. I've only truly gotten into them this year, even if I knew many of their songs before. But what they do is just one grand piece of serenity.
I'd usually tell you to listen to Saeglopur since that is my favorite song of theirs, but I have been listening to this one excessively lately and have come to realize that it is also really great workout music...surprisingly enough.
Sigur Ros - Rafstraumur


And last but not least, the song that is so stuck in my brain that I do not foresee it moving anytime soon:
One Republic - Counting Stars



I'll go ahead, be honest and say I typed "one direction" before realizing that was the wrong "one". Those kids are everywhere...I'm ashamed they've even almost gotten a place on my playlist.

And, I have one last treat, a super cool EP that is free to be listened and that also contains one of the songs that made it in my favorites from this post. There's 4 songs in total, but I'd dare say they are pretty awesome.



So, did you guys enjoy my current song likes?

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Overnight Masks : Kiehl's Vs. Origins

I REALLY like a good mask and with overnight masks I feel like they do some extra good simply because of the time you get to keep them on. Of course, the overnight masks tend to be hydrating ones, as the others wouldn't be much use overcleaning or overexfoliating over the course of 8+ hours.I had already gotten the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask  when I passed by the Kiehl's counter and saw that they too have a pretty similar thing. Overnight, check. Hydrating, check. I was pretty curious to test it, since Kiehl's usually make great things and I really wanted to see if it would be better than the Origins one.
                              I will tell you this: with Origins it was a clear verdict after the first application and that's why I knew that even just using the Kiehl's mask once would be enough to reach a conclusion.

Here's what happened: Maybe because it's ultra hydrating, maybe not, but the Kiehl's mask felt much stickier than the Origins one, and while I know not to hit the pillow directly after applying it, the sticky sensation persisted for a long while. To be honest, I went to bed with a sticky face since I was tired of waiting. As far as the result goes, it was pretty much the same. Well really,it was the same. The same satisfying feeling and look of plump, hydrated, shiny baby skin. They both do a really good job at that, but the truth it, they pretty much do the exact same job.Now, if you were to calculate, there's a 10ish £ difference in price,since the Origins mask is around 20£ and the Kiehl's one, around 30£ . 

The Winner?

For me it's the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask, because it sinks in really fast and leaves you without sticky sensations, it does a fantastic job in hydrating your skin and all things considered, it is cheaper. Which I find to be funny, since I would pay more for this one if I were to chose.


Have you tried any of these? Would you agree?



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Monday, November 25, 2013

DIY Golden Candle Jar

As you may or may not know, I have a not so secret obsession with candles. Preferably the kind that smell ridiculously good. Which of course also leads to the issue of where to put them, and most importantly: where to put them to look pretty.
And this is where my DIY side makes an appearance:

DIY Golden Candle Jar holder mason jar


What do you need?


  • A mason jar, a decorative jar, a glass, basically anything that is transparent and you can envision a candle in
  • Gold paint that applies to glass
  • A brush

                            
It really isn't difficult at all, and unlike the "dip your jar in paint" method which requires a certain kind of paint and a bowl that needs to be filled with said paint so that the jar can be dipped, here you just need a space to make a bit of a mess. Preferably outside as the paint has its fumes you will want to avoid in an indoor space.

How do you do it?

Just brush on as much or as little of the paint you want. I recommend letting it dry and adding coat after coat, as it will give a much better effect. Also, you might want to dab it on as opposed to regular brush strokes, it will give you a more vintage look. It's how I did it with this one.


Add a bow, add some rhinestones if you wish, add some glitter even and you're ready to light up a gorgeous candle in your pretty new candle jar!




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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week in Pictures # 40

This week has been pretty full of pictures and I had to make a selection, but I did want you to properly see the pictures I'm about to show you, so I switched to bigger collages.



 1. The Farmec Winter collection which looks awesome! 2. Some brush maintenance
3. The current reads. Yes, I multitask 4. Yves Rocher lovely smelling things

5. That is a 600ml coffee 6. I'm developing a technique in pomegranate peeling

7. My favorite smell at the moment: Christmas Rose 8. No less than eight bags were received at the Bbloggers meetup. And the contents are awesome                            




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