29 April 2015

Forever 21: jewelry haul

Dear readers,

Forever 21 is my favourite place to shop for jewelry, it's cheap so I don't mind purchasing new items once the older ones have started to rust. I usually wait for them to offer free shipping and order a bunch of different items.

Last year I was obsessed with statement necklaces but this year I'm in need of some dainty ones so I picked these:

Layered Cutout Geo necklace

Layered Cutout Geo necklace for 5€

Geo Pendant necklace set

Geo Pendant necklace set for 7€ You can wear them all stacked up or one at a time.

Rhinestone Spike necklace

Rhinestone Spike necklace for 5€

I thought the necklace would pair perfectly with this bracelet I got last summer although the spikes from the necklace are much smaller.

Happiness bracelet set

Happiness bracelet set for 4€ and I can wear them on my wrist or on my ankle, like I'm showing you here below.

Happiness bracelet set

Rhinestone Mini Hoop earrings for 2.50€ I've been looking for something very similar in real gold for ages now so I thought I'd see if I liked them enough to splurge on the real deal later on.

Rhinestone mini hoop earrings Rhinestone mini hoop earrings

I also went outside my comfort zone and got these Oversized Hoop earrings for 3€ this shows my obsession with my recent girl crush Jaclyn Hill. You can watch her rave about hoop earrings on this YouTube video, just jump to minute 11:10.

Oversized Hoop earrings

And last but not least I couldn't not order another statement necklace. I picked out this Rhinestone-Encrusted Statement necklace for 12€ because the ones that I have are all very colourful and more difficult to pair with certain clothing items. 

Rhinestone-Encrusted Statement necklace

What do you think? I paid 38.50€ for all of this, I think it's a pretty good deal as I'll be wearing these loads over the spring and summer.

27 April 2015

Free blotting sheets

Dear readers,

I've been meaning to post about where I get free blotting sheets for quite a while now but I've never come round to it. I wasn't sure this would be interesting enough to share with y'all but here we go anyway.

You can find these napkin holders in almost every "Tapas" bar in Spain. The napkins are paper-like and very thin so there's not much use you can give them but they are a lot cheaper (I think they get them for free with any drinks order) than the softer tissue-like napkins. I never cared much for these, as they are uncomfortable and rough when wiping your mouth clean, until last summer. 

On my lunch break I sometimes go over to a bar and have some kind of toast or sandwich. I was sitting outside in the sun when my gaze came upon the napkin holder. I started thinking of how useless these napkins were when a thought hit me: they looked very much like blotting sheets so I grabbed a bunch and put them in my handbag.

I have very oily skin and my this becomes apparent very soon. This is a picture of me 9 hours after applying foundation. I didn't touch up my make up for the sake of this post.


And this one is after using the free blotting sheets or napkins. I hope you can see the difference, I haven't edited these pics in order to show you the real deal. And yes, I could have brushed my hair beforehand as it gets tangled up and messy after a hard day's work but hey, #keepingitreal


I apologize for the next pictures, I suppose it's a bit gross to share my oily residue with y'all but it's in my sharing contract... not funny, I know, I'll keep trying.

Above you can see how the napkin has absorbed all my face oils like a regular blotting sheet would do.

When you open up the napkin you can feel it's rough on one side and softer on the other. The softer side is very similar to the regular blotting sheets but even the rougher side won't alter your make up if you only use soft pressing motions. Wiping your face would take some of your make up off but the same applies to regular blotting sheets. I especially like them because I'm good to go with only one of them, if I used those tiny blotting papers that are sold at the drugstore I'd need at least 4.

I know that many of you may use tissues or toilet paper for this purpose but I can assure you this one's much better at absorbing all the oils in your face.

If you don't need to carry around blotting sheets, you're very lucky and I'm jealous :)

24 April 2015

BEAUTY TREND ALERT: Shaving your face for better skin

Face shaving: say what?????

imagen taken from Birchbox

Dear readers,

A few days ago I received a newsletter from Birchbox featuring this face shaving trend that's called Kao Sori in Japan. Apparently it has been going on for decades.

Face shaving is comparable to exfoliating your skin or using dermabrasion systems in the sense that it will get rid of dead skin cells and therefore increase collagen production.

We already have heard of the benefits of exfoliating the skin on a regularly basis. There's no point in spending half your salary in expensive skincare products for the promise of eternal youth. If your skin pores are clogged up with dead skin cells no amount of beneficial anti-ageing ingredients will ever be able to come through.

But are we ready to add face shaving into our beauty routine? Only time will tell.

What do you think of this trend? Yay or nay?

22 April 2015

MAC Soft & Gentle: Spring make up look

Dear readers,

My go to quick and easy spring make up look goes like this:

I start off with a clean face and apply serum, eye cream and a moisturizer with SPF 50.

Depending on how much time I have I add more coverage and conceal my dark spots, use different eye shadows, add eye liner, highlighter and bronzer, you name it. But usually I stick to this simple routine.

Without using a sponge or a brush I squirt one pump of the True Match foundation and warm it a bit between my fingers. I apply it concentrating on the center of my face and blending outwards.

I like to take a clean kabuki brush and blend my foundation afterwards, especially around the edges of my face, my nose area and down my neckline.

While I wait for the foundation to set I put MAC paint pot in Soft Ochre on my eyelids as I cannot ever skip this step: I have very oily eyelids and most shadows crease on me.

Then I take the Laura Mercier concealer and camouflage in undercover-4. I use the concealer under my eyes to cancel any darkness although I'm lucky in that department as I can usually skip this step. As for the camouflage, I only use it when I have the time to conceal the dark spots I have on my forehead, chin and along my jaw line.

I set all my face with powder using the MAC Studio Fix in NC41 for extra coverage and because it's the only powder I've tried that keeps unwanted shine at bay for a bit longer. 

For the eyes I start off with MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish and apply it to my brow bone and to the lid. In the crease I use a deeper shade to add a bit of dimension, lately I've been loving the light brown that comes in the Chanel Les 4 Ombres in 14 Mystic Eyes, it has a gorgeous golden tone to it. When I'm not in a hurry I'll darken my outer V with the darkest shade in this palette.

I cannot skip the brows as mine are very sparse. My favourite eye brow pencil is by Integrate (Japan) in grey. I set my brow hairs with a tinted brow gel that I got last year in HEMA (Netherlands), it's not an amazing product but it's a cheaper alternative to the Benefit gimme Brow that everybody was raving about at that time. Otherwise I'll be using a common clear gel mascara for that purpose.

My favourite mascara at the moment is the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes. I'm running low so I have to find a way for someone to get me a new one as it's not sold over here.

I haven't been a blush wearer for the longest time but I purchased this Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot blush palette last winter and I'm very happy I did as it saves me time when deciding what blush colour to wear for the day. I just pop this open and I have 5 gorgeous shades to choose from.

When I have the time I also take the Hoola bronzer from this palette and contour my cheekbones.

As for lip products I don't have that many but I like wearing a pop of colour so I usually choose a lipstick first and reapply with a lip gloss or lip crayon after lunch. I keep a few lip crayons at work so I don't need to bring a different lip product in my purse and end up with a bunch of them lost within my hand bags. My favourite to wear at the moment are corals and bright orange shades.

This whole look takes me about 15 minutes to complete as I need 3 to 4 minutes only to do my eyebrows. Any tips on other multi-purpose make up products?

20 April 2015

Blog Post #200

Dear readers,

Although numbers are not what I was searching for or even cared about when I started blogging I'm very proud to have reached this milestone. It's been quite a journey and I'm very excited for what lays ahead.

image taken from pusheen.com

Loads of blogger hugs to y'all,

17 April 2015

Sometimes dreams come true...

Dear readers,

One piece of advice for today:

Don't ever stop dreaming because sometimes, just sometimes your dreams may come true and they don't need to be big, it's the little things in life that don't cost a thing for some of us to do to make other people as happy as they can ever be.

I'm so inspired by you, not by what you have achieved so far but as a human being. Thank you, Michelle Phan for giving me the strength to overcome my fears and for opening a path for us dreamers.

To all the dreamers out there, as Mish would say: Good luck!

15 April 2015

Yankee Candle haul

Dear readers,

Last week I ordered some Yankee Candles from Yankee.co.uk as they were having a 2 for 30£ sale on their website.

Yankee Candle

They arrived just in time as I just run out of my last jar. I still have a few sample holders and a ton of wax tarts but I just find the large jars more convenient for daily use.

Yankee Candle

I kept this jar in the freezer overnight to make it easier to get the left over wax out.

Yankee Candle

With the help of a blunt knife it comes off easily and you'll only need to cut it in smaller pieces to be able to get it out of the jar. All of this without breaking a nail, like I just did :(

Sparkling Cinnamon

I transferred the left over wax in a small bowl for later use.

Sparkling Cinnamon

When I'm done with what I'm burning now (Sparkling Snow), I'll put it on my candle burner. You can get up to 3 tea lights use before the scent wears down (that's roughly 12 hours).

Yankee Candle

The scents I gravitate towards around this time of year are fresh & fruity, mostly citrus like Pink Grapefruit and Mandarin Cranberry. I'm trying out Cassis and Clean Cotton for the first time, so far I liked what they smelled like in the jar.

Yankee Candle

I got two free sample holders with my purchase: Lavender and Mandarin Cranberry, which is one of my favourite.

Yankee Candle

Shipping to Spain from the UK is 10£ but even so they are more affordable than getting them in store over here.

Have you ever tried a Yankee Candle? What's your favourite scent?

13 April 2015

My favourite scent: Yves Rocher

Dear readers,

I've been a faithful customer to Yves Rocher for as long as I can remember. I started using their skin care products at an early age (12 or 13) because they were affordable. I got my mom hooked on their products as well and she's only stopped using them recently because her boyfriend overloads her with Olay creams.

All the way through college I used the same scent: Magnolia. I had everything from the range: the shower gel, body milk, deodorant and perfume. Unfortunately, they discontinued this line and I've never recovered from the disappointment.

Over the years I've tried some of their other scents although I've never found one that suited me as well as Magnolia.

After finishing college I stopped buying their products and tried other brands for a while. But, in the end, I always find myself drawn back to this brand. I suppose it has something to do with growing up and becoming and adult. Once in while you wish you could go back to your high school days when life was so much simpler. Scents are a great way to help you reminisce, you only need to close your eyes, take a whiff and you'll be magically transported back to your past.

Comme une Evidence is my favourite scent at the moment, and has been for over 10 years. I've been using it on and off depending on my mood. Not that I've been unfaithful, I just haven't been using any kind of perfume for the past 6 years or so.

I've been using the shower gel and the body milk on special occasions only so they have lasted me for quite a while. Last week I run out of the body milk so I ordered a new bottle along with the shower gel and the deodorant that I've never tried before and was happy to see it didn't contain aluminum.

I'm halfway through the perfume but it's so old that I'm only using it to spray in the bathroom after... you know...

I'm the worst at describing scents so forgive me for only copying and pasting what's on their website:

It all begins with the tender green emotion of slightly crumpled violet leaves. Then, rose, jasmine and wild lily of the valley blossom easily into the soft caress of an oh, so feminine floral heart. The whole rests on a carpet of moss and patchouli, like a soothing shadow. A sensation of sweet harmony, a very special moment.

Top notes: bergamot, violet leaves
Heart notes: rose, jasmine, wild lily of the valley
Base note: patchouli

1.7 fl.oz. Spray / 50 ml

I apologize to my US readers as the perfume is much cheaper over here (Europe). I can usually get it for 20$, that's almost half price compared to its US price.

8 April 2015

Apple TV

Dear readers,

Last Sunday I went on a picnic with the family and my brother in law brought us a present: an Apple TV, yay!

I'm not sure of all the things I can do with this device but I'll finally be able to use the big screen TV that we have collecting dust in the living room.

This is what they say about it on their website:

Apple TV gives you access to the best 1080p HD content — including blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, live sports, your music, photos, videos, and more — right on your high-definition TV. You can even play content from your iOS device or Mac on your TV using AirPlay.

I stopped watching TV about two years ago, I was fed up with all the ubiquitous and endless reality shows and other kind of boring TV-programs so I switched over to my computer where I can watch whatever I like whenever I want to.

This one is my favourite cooking channel on YouTube: Sorted Food. I just can't stop watching them, they are very funny and make everything look so easy. I have to thank them as the hubby is trying to follow some of their recipes. My favourite for now is the Ricotta pancake recipe: nom, nom, nom.

And this is my old set up in my bedroom where I did all the watching on my iMac. The kitty also enjoys Emily Noel's make up tutorials on YouTube. Sorry for the lack of lighting in this picture but I had my shutters down to avoid reflection.

We are currently binge-watching: "How to get Away with Murder" so I'm off to the couch and switching on the Apple TV, bye!

image taken from imdb.com

6 April 2015

Easter in wines - Enrique Mendoza Vineyards.

Dear readers,

Four years ago Easter became my favorite holiday of the year. That's when Enrique Mendoza Vineyards held their first Wine Weekend Experience. Not only is this winery the closest to home, we also very much enjoy their wines. For only 10€ per person you are able to taste up to 13 different wines and also learn some interesting facts along the way.
Enrique Mendoza Vineyards is a small sized family-run winery that grows white Chardonnay and Moscatel grapes along with red Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot, Petit Verdot, Monastrell and Shiraz grapes.
You can visit the winery from 09:30 to 16:00 hours on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. As you don't need to pay the 10€ fee if you have some left over tickets from the previous day, we went there every single day, yay!
This year they'd added some tents for protection against rain or excessive sunshine, like we had the previous year.

Besides the 7 featured wines you also got a ticket for a sweet wine + chocolate. 
I usually like the Petit Verdot variety the best but this year I fell in love with the Cabernet-Shiraz.
You can also attend 6 workshops:
  1. Difference in 220l and 500l barrels
  2. Difference in soil: limestone vs clay gravel
  3. Ecological farming: no use of chemical pesticides
  4. Express course in wine tasting - Petit Verdot
  5. Mendoza's own Tagarina olive oil tasting
  6. How wine barrels are made and toasted
El Xato restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches (from 4 to 5€), a plate of truly delicious paella (5€), Russian salad (4€), ice cream (3€) and non alcoholic beverages (1€ for water, 2€ for a soda). 
You can also get a cheese platter for 4€ from La Despensa de Andres
My happy wine drinking smile, lol.
On Saturday we went to have lunch afterwards and we chose a seafood paella at El Chiringuito de Altea... mmmm one of the best in the area. 

Back home I opened the box of wines that I got for the hubby, this one's his fave: Magic Vineyards.
On Easter Sunday we had a family picnic and afterwards we went for a walk. How amazing is this view of our bay?
It's customary to eat the Mona (Easter bun) on the Monday after Easter Sunday but my brother in law couldn't make it that day. You're supposed to break the (cooked) egg on someones forehead, don't ask me why.
We had an Albariño wine for lunch and this Moscatel sweet wine for dessert.

What was your Easter weekend like?