31 March 2014

Spring haul

Dear diary,

After a self-imposed spending ban in February I couldn't wait for March to come and here you can see the damage inflicted to my bank account:

Hand & Soul lotions by Kinetics, I got the Hibiscus & Rosewater, the Mandarin & Bergamot and the Jasmine & White Musk. I didn't know this brand but I liked the packaging and how amazing they smelled, I got them with a 3X2 offer at 12€ each for 250ml/8.45 fl oz. They are very light weight, absorb very quickly leaving no sticky residue whatsoever and your hands feel silky soft afterwards.

Soap and Glory Hand food, I asked a friend to get it for me from her trip to London. It's my first Soap and Glory product and it will not be the last. It smells as amazing as everybody keeps saying so I had to get it and try it for myself. Very cheap: my friend didn't let me pay her back.

Cristalinas Fruit delight hand cream, I've also purchased it in Peony garden and in Rose petals but I keep those at the office so I couldn't include them in the picture. I like that they are small enough (30ml) to carry with you in your purse. They are strongly scented, in a good way, and they are supposed to contain only natural ingredients which makes them somewhat expensive at 5€ each.

A manicure cushion: it really helps with painting your nails more comfortably and an air blower for reducing their drying time. These 2 items I purchased at a beauty fair I like going to, it's not very fancy but you can always find interesting stuff you never thought of getting. I also got a few nail art accessories and some hair pins/clips.

China glaze orange cuticle oil, my Soap and Co one is on its last legs.

L'Óreal nail polishes in white: 857 Chantilly lace, light blue: 853 Menthe glade and lilac: 851 Nouvelle vague, just perfect for spring. The white goes on opaque in 2 coats and they have the most perfect wide brush applicator. At only 3€ they are my favourite budget buy.

Mavala nail polish thinner. I couldn't find the Seche Restore so I went for this one instead.

Alqvimia Ylang Ylang cleansing emulsion and Orange blossom water mist/toner. I wanted to try out this brand for the longest time and now I know why I didn't before: ex-pen-sive. They were like 50% off at the fair so I thought: now or never! I want to do a full review of them later on so I'll just say it's a spanish brand that only uses natural ingredients.

Moisturizing mask with hydro-hyaluronic acid and 24k gold particles by Natur Nùa, never heard of this before but anything that sparkles I have to bring home with me. Actually I have used this a few times and it leaves my skin very glowy.

Tea tree oil, just a random one to use as an antibacterial by following Tati's advice and mix a few drops with water into a spray bottle.

Rose hip oil by Natur Nùa to regenerate the skin around my tattoos and also to apply on some hyper-pigmentation spots and pray for them to fade away.

All of this I got at the beauty fair as well, hugely discounted I might add.

MUFE Aqua Brows in 35 Taupe, it's a bit dark for me but I can work with it.

L´Óreal True Match in D3-W3 Golden Beige. I'm curious to find out if this is such an amazing drugstore foundation as some youtubers claim. One remark though: at 17€ it's a pricey drugstore foundation in my opinion. I found it for 14€ later on that week :(

Real Techniques Expert face brush, had to have it, haven't used it yet.

Beauty blender: finally! OMG why did I take so long to get this. Put a beauty blender in your life ASAP. I'm telling you it's amazing how flawless your foundation and concealer look like as they are so perfectly blended in with your skin.

L´Óreal Color Riche Extraordinaire Lip gloss in 100 Mezzo Pink, a nude baby pink and 500 Molto Mauve, a perfect my lips but better shade, it's sort of a medium browny pink is all I can think of. They have excellent pigmentation and don't dry out your lips, they feel like a thick lip balm without being sticky. They had them at a 2X1 offer at my local Douglas store: yay for great deals!

For the love of shopping,

27 March 2014

BOB: Beauty blogger

Dear diary,

This is our final #BOBBlogChallenge post y'all, I hate goodbyes so I'll just skip that part and dive right into this week's topic: Beauty blogger/s.

I'm fairly new to the blogger community and I didn't follow any bloggers before I started writing myself. I'm afraid I don't have a favourite blog/blogger but I try to follow as many as I can to reciprocate those that follow me.

Somewhat different are vloggers/youtubers, I follow a few since I got into make up 3 years ago and I could leave you a complete list but I think I'm going to downsize this for you and only choose 5 and list them in no particular order:

  1. Estée from Essiebutton, it soothes me hearing her speak, I really enjoy her ramblings.
  2. Tanya Burr, her cheerfulness is contagious, she brightens my day.
  3. Sineadycady from The Make-up Chair, I love her short and to the point tutorials.
  4. Claire Marshall from heyclaire, just because I have a girl crush on her, I think she's just perfect.
  5. Maru from mugumogu, he's my hero, always perfect without ever using make up.

Thank you Sam for setting this up and being a perfect award winning-host, you are an inspiration for us all. I also want to thank all the other participants, you really made me feel like I belonged. We'll keep in touch ;)

Please enter my little giveaway before saying goodbye, just skip to the end of the post.

24 March 2014

The #Bloggersdoitbetter Challenge

Dear diary,

Gemma from Touch of Belle has come up with another of these blogger challenges that are circling around. I really enjoy taking part in them, it's a great way to get to know more blogs and it also helps you achieve more variety in your blog posts by making you write about some issues you maybe are not so familiar with.

I've left you a link above that will take you to Gemma's post where you can read all about what this challenge entails. Basically you'll have to post an entry every two weeks on a Monday. The topics will be sent in advance and it's open to all kind of bloggers so just email Gemma to: touchofbelle@gmail.com with your name, blog URL and email address so she can contact you and add you to the list of participants.

She's also created a google+ community and a Facebook group to link the posts once they are up and running as well as the hashtag for Twitter.

What are you waiting for? This is going to be so much fun that you cannot let this pass.

If you've made it to the end why not enter my giveaway for a chance to win some amazing Tanya Burr lips and nails?

20 March 2014

BOB: Beauty treatment

Dear diary,

We're almost at the end of Sam's Best Of Beauty Blogger Challenge, only one more to go and I'm having the best of time getting to know all the amazing bloggers that participate.

This topic is quite difficult for me to talk about from experience as I'm very weird as in like I'd rather go to the dentist than visit my hairdresser's. Everybody else seems to enjoy or even fall asleep when they are getting a scalp massage while with me it's like: are you done yet? I really don't like people touching me.

Luckily I have a friend who owns a salon and I just pop in twice a year for a quick cut and let my hair air dry, I don't have the patience to sit for hours while they style my hair.

I've only once gotten a massage, it wasn't that bad but it's not something I like spending money on. As for facial treatments I've never had any, I just don't see the point. I've always been very good with my cleansing routine (morning and nighttime) and I exfoliate and use different treatment masks once in a while.

So instead I'll talk about a different kind of beauty? treatment: IPL (Intense Pulse Light) hair removal.

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons

I started by getting my legs done about 4 or 5 years ago, I only had 3 sessions in the winter time and I immediately noticed a difference. The second year I had 2 sessions and was good to go for the whole summer needing only to shave my legs a few times. After that I started having my armpits and my bikini line done as well. Now I only need to go once a year as you barely can see any hair growing back.

I'm not very hairy so that has been key in me not needing that many sessions to get to this stage, it really depends on different factors like skin and hair colour, hair texture and such. They adjust the temperature depending on the area your getting done and they'll test the setting by asking if you feel something more than a tiny little sting. The moment it hurts you just ask them to lower the setting.

As for the price, I started paying 30€ per area. I used to buy some 6-sessions ticket for the price of 5, paying 25€ per area. Areas being: 2 for both legs, armpits, bikini line and 2 for both arms.

This year I switched over to a different salon as they have a special offer on Thursdays where you only pay 20€ per zone being both half-legs one zone. I don't have any hair on my upper legs so that saves me some cash, well not really: I'll normally persuade myself to spend the 40€ that I saved with this deal. It usually goes toward some make up or cosmetics, because I always need more, of course.

See y'all next week for the final post, I hope. I'll be posting from Jerusalem if the wifi from the hotel works properly. Is it GMT+2 over there? I think so.

Have a great day tomorrow and a better weekend!

17 March 2014

Nom nom nom!

Dear diary,

The best thing about being a Hobbit is that they have like 14 meals a day. Where can I sign up for that?

As you might have guessed topic 6 for Gaby's #2014BloggerChallenge is anything food related that we can whisk up.

I decided to tell you some random facts about my relationship with food:
  1. The only food that I don't like: brussels sprouts, avocados and cow tongue.
  2. Weird/disgusting food that I actually do like: snails, brains, pigs' ears.
  3. My best gourmet vacation: Tokyo, Sushi Zanmai being one of my fave restaurants.
  4. My mother owned an Indonesian restaurant near Barcelona before I was born.
  5. I'm a carnivore, I like all kinds of meat (excluding the cow tongue).
  6. I twice made the hubby drive 230km out of course and another 230km back just to go to my favourite restaurant in Spain: Las Piscinas in Villacarriedo (Santander).
  7. Granada is my favourite city in Spain, you can find the best tapas at Los Diamantes. I tell you it's worth the 400km drive.
  8. I enjoy the simplest food, my go-to dish when I have nothing else in the fridge is: Arroz a la Cubana. It's just cooked white rice with fried eggs, a fried banana and some tomato sauce (not ketchup).
  9. When in London I like going to Yo! Sushi, I love watching the dishes parade in front of me. Last time I was there I went on my own for Sumo sundays and had 15 plates.
  10. I like staying at the Paradores hotels in Spain as they serve an amazing breakfast, I usually get up very early (08:00) and don't leave until they close (11:00). 
  11. Once I was kindly asked to leave an all you can eat-buffet restaurant.
  12. I don't like being rude so I'll never complain about the food, at a restaurant, at least. I'll just refrain from going there ever again. To my husband I use to complain all the time (according to him).
  13. You could conclude that I'm a great chef, but no, I'm not completely awful but I'm not good either. It's just something that needs to be done and the alternative (aka hubby) is way worse...
I hope you enjoyed reading this, I thought it would be nice to share a more personal post with y'all.

For the love of food,

13 March 2014

Best of beauty: budget product

Dear diary, 

It's 7:15 GMT + 1 so less than an hour to post this entry and I'm having major problems with my internet connection and I'm writing on my iPad aka disaster blogging day.

This week's #BOBBlogChallenge is about featuring our budget product.

I've decided to choose an item I've not seen mentioned before in a blog, it's not very budget friendly you could say but I could argue that, if I had the time to.

This is my eye lash curler, it's the heated kind, sorry but I haven't had the time to check the correct name out. As some of you may know my mother tongue is Spanish so I sometimes find it difficult to translate to English.

It's supposed to be used after you've applied your mascara but before it has completely dried so when it does dry your eyelashes remain the way you've curled them and it will hold that curl forever, well for a very long time at least.

The important thing to bear in mind is to not brush it through your lashes as you would with your mascara or they will clump up, you only need to hold it in place for about 10 seconds and you're done.

It works with a AA battery and it has an on/off button with a red lamp that lights up to tell you it's on. You just have to wait a few seconds (while you put your mascara on) and it's ready for use. 

It's sold for around 10€ and you may think it's not that budget friendly but it will last you for ages. The regular eyelash curlers are more affordable but they say you need to replace the rubber pad every 3 months with daily use and replace the whole curler after 6 months to avoid damage to the eye or lashes. I'm well aware nobody follows that rule but eventually you'll have to purchase a new one whereas this curler will remain in good condition forever, well almost.

As it heats up you may find this uncomfortable to have near your eyes but I can assure you it won't burn your lashes or your lid. I can only vouch for this brand and my personal experience as every person is different in terms of heat sensitivity and such.

I really hope you've found this useful as it is 6.59 GMT and I need to post this STAT...

For the love of sharing (30 minutes later: damn you DSL connection)

10 March 2014

Liebster Award #2 + Giveaway!

Dear diary,

I've been lucky enough to have been nominated for another Liebster Award by Olivia from Olivia's Catastrophe. Although I'm currently out of the run as I've more than 200 followers, I received the nomination before reaching them. If you don't know what a Liebster Award is or want to have a look at the rules you can check my first nomination post here.

Olivia has asked her nominees to tell 11 random facts about themselves plus answering the following questions:
  1. If you were a superhero, what would be your power? My favourite superhero is Rogue from X-Men, she can absorb any super power by touch. And yes, I'm very greedy, I want them all.
  2. Favourite television show/movie? At the moment: Scandal.
  3. Favourite animal and why? Cat, they are so independent.
  4. Tea or coffee? Tea, I love coffee but it sometimes gives me a stomach ache.
  5. What would be the first thing you'd put on your bucket list if you had one? Taking a trip with the Orient Express.
  6. What accent do you have? Do you like it? When I hear myself on a recording I find that I strongly pronounce the S which annoys me as I find it sounds too posh (for Spanish standards).
  7. What is your favourite word? Coupon.
  8. What do you like/dislike most about your blog? I don't like it being so plain, I need to invest time in making it more appealing.
  9. How big is your family? The hubby, the kitty-cat and me.
  10. Beach or museum on holidays? I live 25 metres from the beach so I'd say museum.
  11. What are your interests? Make up, skin care, reading, watching tv shows, wine tasting, F1 races, traveling and anything food related. I love eating!
Random facts about myself:
  1. I started wearing make up at 38, I'm 41 now. It has completely changed my life.
  2. I was born in The Netherlands but my English is much better than my Dutch.
  3. I don't like children, sorry guys but I really don't.
  4. I love going to the beach but don't like to go into the water as I'm afraid of sharks since seeing Jaws. I only go in when the water is crystal clear and you can see the bottom.
  5. I only loved silver coloured jewellery before I turned 40, now I'm digging the gold.
  6. I started writing my blog to improve my English.
  7. I wasn't much of a blog reader before starting to write one. Now I'm subscribed to over 900 blogs and read a minimum of 30 blogs a day.
  8. I carry my Sony ereader with me at all times, I don't have a smartphone so I spend my free time reading. I'm currently reading Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch.
  9. I'm from Indonesian descent. 
  10. I once flew from Alicante (Spain) to London and back with Ryanair for only 12,50€
  11. I have a very boring job, but at least I have one, the hubby has been out of work for the longest time and I'm really hoping for this to change this year.
My nominees are:
  1. Katie from KatieLou
  2. Ruth from Electrified Beauty
  3. Jenny from Jenny you
  4. Modern beauty girl
  5. Alicia from Fixin to Faff
  6. Lucy from Beauty Lovely Lover
  7. Rosie from Life's a cup of tea
  8. Bee from Fill my little world
  9. Natalie from Yours truly, NY
  10. Vanessa from I write about you
  11. Saranne from Pale Foundations
Please tell me and your readers 11 random facts about yourself.

Giveaway time:

As a thank you to my lovely 200+ followers I'm hosting a little giveaway, of course it's open internationally otherwise I'd have no winners, lol. As my first giveaway was a complete failure I will be choosing two winners. I really wanted to show you my appreciation so I'm choosing a product I would love to have myself:

  • You can follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter and/or like my Facebook page.
  • Leave a comment below, preferably some hint to help me improve my blog.
  • The winners will be announced on Twitter and Facebook on 14/04/2014 or 04/14/2014, depending on where you're from. 
  • Each winner will be able to choose one lip gloss and one nail polish from the Tanya Burr lip and nails collection.
  • The selected items will be purchased at FeelUnique.com so I apologise in advance for any problem that may arise with the delivery, although there shouldn't be any. 
  • If the chosen shade should be out of stock you can either choose a different one or wait patiently until it's back on stock.
  • Please let me know what you think of the chosen items once you've received them.
Good luck to y'all,

6 March 2014

Best of Beauty: Princess product

Dear diary,

This week it's time to talk about our number one princess product for the #BOBBlogChallenge.

I've been finding it very hard to choose an item to feature this post as I don't find I own any super special product in terms of high retail price although some of you with tighter budgets probably won't agree with me.

I consider this serum my princess product, not because of its price but because it leaves my skin silky soft. It has some really tiny shimmer-like particles that reflect the light and it makes you look like a vampire from Twilight glistening in the sun.

Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

Copied from Estée Lauder's website:

The first fast-acting serum from Estée Lauder research proven to dramatically reduce the look of uneven skintone:
  • redness
  • acne marks
  • dark spots
  • sun spots
  • discolorations
Instantly: redness is reduced, skin looks fresh and radiant.
In just 2 weeks: 62% of women showed an significant improvement in skintone in a clinical test.
Over time: skin looks noticeable clearer and brighter, vibrant and more even-toned.
This intensive, yet gentle oil-free serum features powerful technologies to address the look of every key sign of uneven skintone:
  • Triple-Optic Technology provides skin with a brighter, more luminous look from the very first application.
  • CorrectTone Technology visible reduces uneven skin tone in 2 weeks, while anti-oxidants help prevent its re-appearance.
Even though it normally retails for just below 100€ it was on offer when I purchased it and only paid 64.50€ at my local Douglas store. Just last week it was on offer on Strawberrynet for 51€ but since I'd just opened my current bottle a few days ago and have a different serum to try out, I let the offer slide. Yay for me!

Please press the hashtag link given at the top of my post to check out which products the rest of participants have chosen this week or follow the twitter discussion going live at 7:00 GMT.

3 March 2014

All about nails

Dear diary,

This topic for the 2014BloggerChallenge came in with the most perfect timing. I was just trying on a new nail polish when I received Gaby's email on topic #5.

Last month I added some new L'Óreal nail polishes to my collection. The first two I got for free with a purchase at LookFantastic.com they are 617 You are worth it (a powdered grey lilac) and 211 Opulent pink (a dark bright fucsia). I love how easy they are to apply -I'm a bit of a klutz painting my nails but I'm getting better with practice, lots and lots of practice.- They also are well pigmented, needing only two coats and the brush is wide and round at the tip so it makes it very easy to apply in just three strokes.

They are not cheap (for drugstore standards) but they are so easy to take off. I hate it when taking off a dark nail polish it gets all smeared on your fingers and you'll end up walking around with coloured fingers for a while.

So I got a bright yellow: 834 Banana pop and a bubblegum pink: 209 Ingenious rose. But my favourite one has the perfect name description: 844 Rocknroll denim, it's a sparkly blue denim shade that I think will look amazing when I'm a bit more tanned.

As for nail tutorials, I'll leave you a link to my favourite nail art guru: Janelle.

For the love of sharing,