29 November 2014

November empties

Dear readers,

December is finally here, yay!

I'm excited for Tanya Burr's Vlogmas and my trip to London next week, what are you looking forward to?

Without further ado, here are my monthly empties:

The Body Shop Satsuma range: body mist and shower gel, what to say about them, I just love the scent only I prefer the body, room & linen spritz to the body mist. I already purchased back ups for those.

The Nivea in shower body milk. I've gone through 4 bottles of those this year. They are great value and moisturize your skin when you're in a rush, like I am every morning. You apply it all over, rinse it off and you're good to go: quickest way ever. I haven't repurchased it as I'm wanting to try out the Ro's Argan body conditioner by Lush, which also is a rinse off body moisturizer.

Sephora express nail polish remover: I've had it for the longest time but didn't use it much until recently. It's very convenient: you just insert a finger into the pot and the nail comes out clean. I love using it especially for getting rid of glitter polish, you leave it in a bit longer, maybe wiggle your finger and voilĂ  you're done. Inside the pot there's a sponge, wet with nail polish remover and there's a small gap where to put your finger in. I also like using this to clean my nail art tools.

Soap & Co cuticle oil roll on: this was part of a nail care set that contained a 4 sided buffer, a hand cream and also a body milk. I got it at Westfield London a few years back from a very pushy sales person that accosted me while strolling along the aisles. I've enjoyed it very much so I'll be looking out for their products when I'm in London next week.

Schwarzkopf Osis+ flatliner flattening iron serum. I can't even remember how long I've had this. I don't use my GHD straigthener very often so it has last me for ages.

Batiste dry shampoo XXL Volume: not my favourite of the range, it left my hair too scrunchy. I bought a few other scents that I hadn't tried out before so I'll keep you informed. At the moment I like the cherry scented the best.

Among other samples I got through the Caudalie premier cru eye cream. I'm trying out a different eye cream at the moment but I'll be getting the full size tube in the future, no doubt.

UVLAB mineral powder with SPF50+++ an excellent way to retouch your make up throughout the day and stay protected from the sun. I got it on my trip to Tokyo so I don't know where to get it or something similar, I'd think through Adam beauty or Rakuten.

Astalift replenishing day cream and regenerating night cream (not pictured). These are sample sizes (15g - 0.5 Oz) that came with the purchase of the Astalift Jelly Aquarista rejuvenating concentrate.

To sum up: I've loved all these products and would repurchase them, except for the Batiste in the XXL Volume spray format. I'm wanting to try out the COLAB by Ruth Crilly but I first have to go through 4 bottles of Batiste that I have stocked up.

Sorry that this post went up so late in the week, the home remodeling took longer than expected (duh!) and they just finished yesterday evening. I'll spend the weekend cleaning up and rearranging furniture around the house, very entertaining, let me tell you.

Have an amazing weekend!

24 November 2014

My first freebie as a beauty blogger

Dear readers,

When I started writing my blog I never thought about having a following, I just wanted to put my thoughts into writing and improve my English at the same time.

I also never thought about earning money from my blog but I was secretly hoping some company to send me some freebies to review. Not that I'm especially good at writing reviews or any other kind of posts for that matter but one can still dream, right?

Thanks to Twitter I came upon a tweet from Look Fantastic in which they were asking for bloggers who were interested in joining their affiliate network program. At the time I'd no idea what they were talking about but it seemed interesting enough for me to email them and ask for more information.

I received instructions to enter their program and a month later I got this in the mail:

Renunail. Reverse the hands of time gift set. The perfect set for hands & nails by Dr. Lewinn's

Inside this came 3 products: the Renunail nail strengthener 30ml/1.0 fl.oz, a nail file and the hand & nail cream 100gr/3.5 wt.oz.

I've never heard of this brand before but I'm very excited to try this out. I'm so happy to have received my first freebie, you have no idea.

Inside the envelope came a hand-written note, it made me feel very special. Thank you: The Hut Group.

As a final note I'd like you to know that I was never, ever interested in putting advertisements on my blog but this is a website I love and used many times in the past. I'm not being paid in any way to mention them nor have they asked me to write a review on these products although I intend to, even if I don't like them. Let me get back to you in 4 weeks' time as that's what they say it takes to make your nails feel longer and stronger.

For the love of blogging,

21 November 2014

Under construction

Dear readers,

This week has been crazy, my sleep pattern has been affected by the renovations we're undergoing at home and I haven't had access to my computer to be able to blog regularly. I know it's a lame excuse as I could have prepared for this and have some blog posts ready to go up on time but some of you may already know me well enough: I'm the worst planner ever and I always leave everything for the last possible minute.

Having said that I leave you a few pictures of what my apartment looks like at the moment and I'll endeavour to go back to my posting schedule as of next week.

Office/beauty room: the hubby and I share this room where he uses the right part of the room as an office and I take up most of the left side for my beauty desk and make up storage.

This was what my bedroom window looked like at 18:00 on Wednesday, I though I'd have to spend the night like this but luckily they were able to insert the window in less than an hour.

Living room with the new windows already installed: time to clean up!

Sooooo stressed out that I needed to get me some new shoes: gorgeous Cavalli at a huge discount.

And now off to enjoy a relaxed weekend and getting things ready for the painter who's coming on Tuesday, I hope I've picked out the right shades. I'll keep you posted on the home improvement, so excited to see the finished look :)

In case you're interested in doing some early Christmas shopping this weekend I leave you a 15% discount on selected Christmas gift boxes at Look Fantastic.

Happy weekend to y'all

17 November 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge: Pampering

Dear readers,

We're thinking about renovating the bathroom and I always wanted to get rid of the bathtub and put a shower instead. We only have one bathroom in the house so it's a big decision and I've finally decided against it.

It all started when I first entered a LUSH cosmetics store when on vacation in London a few years back. I became obsessed with their bath bombs and such.

Now I can't imagine living without having a bathtub where to soak in and relax once in a while -not very often as the hubby cringes at the sight of water and gas bills...

So my pampering moments consist of soaking in my bathtub with any Lush bath product after having a facial deep cleanse followed by a face mask of some sort.

I wrote an entire post featuring my favourite pamper products at the beginning of the year, click on the link if you want to read more. It practically has remained the same except for my newest addition: the fresh BB Seaweed mask by, you guessed it: Lush.

If you are on a budget I also have a post on DIY masks, just scroll down to the mid part.

Happy pampering!

13 November 2014

Yankee Candle haul

Dear readers,

I suppose it's kind of normal to have some periods where you have trouble finding inspiration or a good subject for your blog posts. In my case a lack of verbal expression is very common, even in my own tongue. Sorry for the disclaimer but I feel I'm writing some boring posts lately and I'm having trouble focusing on a subject and translating my thoughts into comprehensible sentences, blah!

This time I'll have to disappoint you again, yes I'm meaning you, the one or two people who'll stumble on this post and have the strength of mind to keep reading until the end.

Today I received my latest Yankee Candle order. Over this year I've been obsessed with aromatic candles: from not lighting even a tiny tea light I've passed to fill my house with them. I already wrote a post featuring my first ever candle haul here.

I started out with the renown Yankee candles as they are easily shipped to Spain and they don't charge you with astronomic shipping costs. I've also tried out some ZARA and IKEA candles but the Yankee ones are still my fave. I have yet to try the Bath & Body Works candles but the shipping is more expensive so I'll wait for an overseas trip to fill my suitcase with those.

I'm slightly concerned about them not being overall good for your health, inhaling the stuff I mean, as I suffer from allergies and have trouble breathing enough oxygen to keep me going without getting short of breath. But hey, you only live once and I enjoy them so much that I'll keep burning them for now.

I'm a huge Christmas lover, more and more every year. I love that you start earlier with Christmas stuff in the UK, here is Spain it's a bit dull until December 10th.

They send me an email with the offers they had on Christmas scented candles over at Yankee.co.uk  and I was running low on wax tarts so I ordered a few items.

Above the Red Festive Medium Jars gift set featuring a Sparkling Cinnamon and a Sparkling Snow jar for only 19.99£. I got two of these in case I need to come up with an unexpected gift.

3 small jars Christmas gift set featuring a Christmas Cookie, a Christmas Eve and an Apple & Pine Needle jar also for 19.99 £. I also ordered two of these as I could use them as separate gifts.

Q3 and Q4 10 wax tarts pack for 11.25 £ and 9.60£ respectively. I ended up with two of the following wax tarts: Honey Glow, Berrylicious, Silver Birch, Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Garland, Wild Fig, Ginger Dusk, Cranberry Pear, Amber Moon, Angel's Wings and Icicles.

Depending on how much you spend on their website they throw in one or more mystery samples, this time they were: Mandarin Cranberry, Cinnamon Stick and Sparkling Cinnamon.

They sure make up for the shipping costs: 9.99£. You also get reward points for purchasing on their website and I got 1£ off from what I'd earned from last order, not much but it's a nice detail they have that other sites don't offer. Even this small discount gives me a feeling of being given a special treat.

I ended up paying 109.81£, that is 142.41€ after the rate conversion. I know it's a lot of money but these candles will last me all winter and some of them are destined to be a gift. I try ordering as much as possible as they charge you a set shipping rate, no matter how much you order. Making a big haul reduces expenses, in my opinion, so instead of ordering many times per year I try to reduce it to a minimum and get several month's worth of candles in one go.

Are you as excited as I am for Christmas?

10 November 2014

Keeping good memories

Dear readers,

Trying to get rid of years of accumulated rubbish is not that easy when it comes to items that have a great sentimental value.

I've taken a few days off from work to prepare for a small remodeling at home, just some new windows and a painting job, nothing major, but nevertheless the perfect time to some autumn cleaning.

I was throwing away some old stuff when I came upon certain items that I had difficulty getting rid of. Letting go of good memories is a hard thing to do but I simply can't keep every single little thing only because it reminds me of a particular time in my life. I wish I had a huge cellar to keep all this stuff but I don't so I came upon the idea of keeping all this stuff in picture format. This way I could bring myself to part with all these little dust and mite paradises:

Gutxi, this is a baby leopard my good friend Laura gifted me 15 years ago, he came within a leopard printed mug which btw has long gone, broken along the way, I imagine.

Dodo is a dodo, duh! My good friend Tania bought this for me about 10 years ago when she went to Jersey for the holidays. Her family had lived there for a while and she and her sister were both born on the island but came back to live in Spain shortly afterwards.

This bag was the hardest thing to part with, maybe because we are not in speaking terms anymore. My friend Vanessa brought this for me from a trip to Bali, Indonesia shortly before we parted ways.

And this is a hand-woven hat made by indigenous people from some part of Colombia. My dentist travels to Colombia once a year to visit her family and she always thinks of bringing me a souvenir, she's so thoughtful. I've never worn it and I think I've kept it long enough, time to move on!

What about you? Do you keep boxes and boxes full of memories?

For the love of good friends,

6 November 2014

The battle of the make up sponges

Dear readers,

Reviewing products is not my forte as I am the worst at describing things, even in my own language.

I did a lot of research before committing to spending 20€ on a single make up sponge until I finally caved and purchased the Beauty Blender (pink). Although I have to admit that I waited until I found it for 12,50€ and I recently got a new one for even less, you can read that particular BB story here.

I have to say that I immediately switched over to using the BB and left my foundation brushes aside. To me it gives a flawless application, it leaves no streaks and it even helps reduce my huge pores. As you use it damp it doesn't absorb much product but even so it's a nightmare to clean, you'll never get it all pink again. Aside from that it's really worth paying the extra cash.

After using the BB for several months I couldn't resist and ordered the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (orange) - sorry about it being dirty but I used it this morning to apply my make up as usual.  I wanted to compare both sponges as I was curious to see if I'd made the right choice. The RT is 3 times cheaper, selling at around 7€ but I also got this at a discount :)

At first touch I didn't like the feel of it while cleansing it before use. The texture reminds me a bit of the Tempur technology, you know, the viscoelastic foam that certain mattresses are made of. I thought it was a weird material for a make up sponge and that it wouldn't feel right on the skin.

Since I started using the RT sponge my poor BB has been left in a dark drawer without a glance of regret. I can't really say it applies better but it's definitely quicker which is what I need as I only have 15 minutes to get my make up done before rushing to work.

With the BB I use short bouncing motions to pat the foundation into my skin but with the RT I take the flat side and brush/swipe the product onto my skin. This makes the application so much easier and quicker with equal results. You could take an extra minute to bounce the round side of the sponge on your face for a final blending to get the air-brushed finish everyone is talking about regarding the BB.

And to my final advice: if you're undecided between these two make up sponges and you are not a beauty blogger who needs to try out every single product: guilty! I would undoubtedly go for the RT.

What are your favourite tools to apply foundation?

For the love of make up,

3 November 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge: My fave beauty shopping sites

Dear readers,

I'm a huge online shopper, I find pleasure in hunting down the most perfect deal and trade in any coupons I can get my hands on. My greatest hero is Tati from GlamLifeGuru and I love watching her Madness Monday haul videos.

Here are my top 5 online stores for skin care and make up at the moment:

  1. Look Fantastic
  2. Feel Unique
  3. The Body Shop
  4. Lush
  5. PerfumerĂ­as IF 
Next are some less visited sites although I used them a lot in the past:
  1. Yves Rocher I'm very fond of this brand as I started using it when I was a teenager
  2. Strawberrynet I find better deals elsewhere but I still keep an eye open for special deals
  3. Adam Beauty they only accept PayPal payments so no shopping here until they accept cards
  4. Sasa I like Strawberrynet better but they have a wider selection of asian brands
  5. Perfume's club I'm trying out other brands that aren't sold here
And lastly, some sites I wished offered international shipping:
  1. U.S. Sephora (we don't have an online store over here)
  2. Ulta
  3. Target
  4. Boots (they started shipping to Spain but only certain brands)
  5. Bath & Body Works
What are your favourite stores? Do you rather shop online or in store?

Happy shopping,