March 29, 2013

Happy Easter



Happy Good Friday y'all. I'm heading back home home today to be with my family for the Easter weekend. Can't wait to be home again and to see my family and friends :-). Though I miss home, London has been great to me and these 2 months have flown by. Will be flying from Heathrow to Schiphol and crossing my fingers and toes I don't overpack again. I have a limit of 23kg so it should be alright. Mostly bringing presents/souvenirs with me, as I still have my clothes and beauty stash at home. Signing of for now! Will have to do my laundry now, run some errands and go to Oxford Street to do some last-minute present shopping. Not that I mind...

What are your Easter plans?

XO

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March 28, 2013

Super Facialist by Úna Brennan



When I moved to London I did not bring any clarifying masks with me, as I didn't like the ones I was using back home. As soon as I saw Super Facialist by Úna Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask at Boots I bought it. It could be because I've never heard of the brand before, the packaging, the fact that there was an offer on the brand or maybe all three combined. What can I say.

The mask contains Salicylic Acid, which is the key ingredient to unclog congested skin and the Dead Sea mud which is in the mask helps with absorbing the oil, as it's rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. The texture of the mask is just right. Not too thick or droopy, which makes it very easy to apply. It dries up dry and can feel a bit tight, though not much different from the regular clay mask.

After 15-20 minutes I wash it of with lukewarm water. Unlike many clay masks I've tried in the past, it is very easy to remove - it washed off without rubbing my face off. My skin feels amazing afterwards and is looking plump and moisturized. The only thing is that the mask doesn't do what it's supposed to do: clarify the skin and unclog pores. I haven't seen any skin improvements when using this, it didn't minimize spots, the appearance of pores or decreased any blackheads. I'm quite disappointed with the product, as I've heard many great things about the brand and this range even. I probably won't continue using this product, as I am quite happy with my recent additions of clarifying/purifying clay masks.

Have you ever tried anything from Super Facialist by Úna Brennan?

XO

Super Facialist by Úna Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask - £8.99
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March 26, 2013

balance Me. Wonder Eye Cream



You know when some products work and some just don't? Well, I'm telling you balance Me. Wonder Eye Cream works. I received this a while back in one of the beauty boxes I subscribed to by that time, and had never heard of the brand before. When I had to go away for a weekend, I packed this with me to just give it a shot (and as it was the only travel-size eye cream I had) and I'm glad I did...

It markets itself as a triple-action eye cream that helps revitalise weary eyes, smooths away dark shadows and reduces the appearance of fine lines. It has Roman chamomile and skin-brightening lemon, cucumber oil and all other miracle ingredients that are supposed to help brighten and tighten the under-eye area. It is also 99% natural and is free of nasties - what else can you ask for seriously. I have the trial-sized tube, which is great for travelling. The full-size product comes with a pump, which I like a lot. I'm not a big fan of eye creams in pots as it's quite unhygienic sticking your fingers in the pot every time, and I find using a spatula each time too much of a hassle. 

Without expectations, this eye cream pleasantly surprised me. It applies like a dream and it's really moisturizing without being too heavy. I'd describe it as a gel texture, which glides on smoothly. I knew I liked this product, but I only realized that I loved it when I stopped using it and tried another eye cream instead. Moisturizing? Check. Brightening? Check. De-puffing? Double check. I could see a big difference between me using the Wonder Eye Cream and not using it, as far as soothing and brightening goes. I don't have any (fine) lines under my eyes, thank the lord, so I don't know if it'd reduce the appearance of lines. All in all I'm very, very pleased and will definitely consider repurchasing it when I run out, which will be soon...

Have you ever tried the balance Me. Wonder Eye Cream?

XO

balance Me. Wonder Eye Cream - £20
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March 25, 2013

Dior x Harrods



When I read that Dior was having a mini exhibition at Harrods my heart made a little jump. I adored the  pop-up exhibition at Printemps in Paris last year, so I couldn't imagine how cool it'd be in Harrods!

It was way smaller than I expected it to be, but it's the inside that counts. Everything is so Dior, from the set-up to the color scheme to the uniforms the employees are wearing. They showcase a mix of couture, infamous gowns, classic totes and the J'adore Dior campaign dress, worn beautifully by Charlize Teron - she's the only one who could rock that dress. Besides the exhibition, Dior also created a mini Dior café, where you can indulge yourself in French cuisine, that is only if you're lucky enough to get a reservation. If you are in London or happen to be in the neighbourhood I definitely recommend you getting a peek at the Dior exhibition.


Have you been to the Dior x Harrods exhibition yet? 

XO

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March 23, 2013

The Weekend Wish List #2



This week has gone by so, so quickly it's crazy. I've caught myself looking at bags and cases a lot this week, it's even gone to the extend that I'm drooling over iPad cases. This would be totally fine if I actually owned an iPad. Definitely am hoping that the iPad 5 launch will be soon so I can put that on my birthday wish list, ha ;-). I know I'm a bit cheeky sometimes. The one case that catches my eye every time is the Pierre Hardy Cube-print iPad Sleeve. I adore it's simplicity and I think it'd go well with anything I'd be wearing or carry. As for iPhone cases I've been putting the Kenzo Tiger iPhone Case in and out of my basket. I am so getting this, but I have no clue which color to get - please help me out on this one! A bag I can imagine myself carrying to either uni or work would be the Rebecca Minkoff M.A.B. Tote. I have a big love for Rebecca Minkoff, and their bags are amazing. I find this tote is just the perfect size and style for my every day life.

I've been researching on fake-tans and the James Read Liquid Tan sounds very attractive. James Read himself is responsible for tanning the likes as Rosy Huntington-Whiteley, Sienna Miller, and it's even stocked at NET-A-PORTER as of this week. Then it's gotta be good.

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation has been popping up on every beauty blog possible, and I'm sure you guys are tired of hearing another rave about it. I still haven't tried it yet, but from what I've heard and read it's one heck of a foundation. Giving that natural, soft-focus look to the skin for an affordable price. Something that is the complete opposite of a budget-buy is the Tom Ford Wild Ginger Lipstick. Oh boy, that lipstick is gorgeous. I popped into Harrods today and tried it on me, gosh I really shouldn't have done that. I literally can't stop thinking about it and my friend wasn't really helpful either - she couldn't withstand the Tom Ford magic and got herself a little gift in Harrods. Continuing on the high-end spectrum, I've fallen head over heels with STELLA by Stella McCartney limited edition perfumes. I swear, the fragrance in those limited edition bottles smell even better than the original one! Good lord what am I getting myself into...

What's on your wish list?

XO

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March 19, 2013

Percy & Reed Volumnising No Oil Oil



I've always been attracted to Percy & Reed hair products because of the packaging. So when it came with this months Glamour I was really excited to try it out. I choose the one with Percy & Reed Volumnising No Oil Oil for fine hair, which is supposed to give volume without greasing up the scalp. You can imagine how that sounds in my ears - indeed, like music. 

The instructions say to apply it from your roots to the ends, which made me cringe a bit. I don't like to apply products near my roots, unless it's shampoo or dry shampoo. My roots tend to get greasy quite fast, and rubbing oil on my roots is not the most ideal situation. However, for the sake of the blog (and my curiosity) I followed the instructions on the bottle. The oil doesn't feel like an oil at all, more like water, which I really liked. The smell is quite nice, it has a very subtle fragrance to it, it's a bit floral-ish. It comes with a pump, which makes it easy to dispense the product and the amount you want to use. 

Besides the plusses, I have to say I'm really disappointed by the product. As much as I'd like to like it, I just can't say it. The scenario was that I massaged it onto my roots to my ends, like the bottle told me to. I looked like I needed a good wash, because it looked (and felt) greasy as h-ll! If it'd given me the promised volume I'd be able to justify it someway, that's why we have dry shampoo. However, my hair was greasy and as straight as before. Do keep in mind that I had washed my hair the evening before, and had to wash it the same evening again. I like to wash my hair every other day, to still look clean and fresh, and to not damage my hair too much. 

Of course it depends on your scalp, hair type, hair style whether the product will work or not. If you want to give it a go, Percy & Reed have nice little travel kits where you can try a set of products. If you just want to try the oil, you can still get it with Glamour (they also have magazines that include a shampoo, a conditioner and a conditioning treatment for colored hair). 

Have you ever tried the Volumnising No Oil Oil?

XO

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March 17, 2013

The Sunday Pamper



I haven't had a proper Sunday pamper ever since I moved to London, mainly because I didn't have the time and because my room is a bit crammed - I'd like to have my space y'a know.

First: nails. They really needed a tidy up, so I rubbed in Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover on my cuticles and pushed them back with a cuticle stick (or whatever they are called). Followed by some nourishing delightfulness, Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. It is a great follow-up for the cuticle remover as it can be a bit drying. To prep my nails for the layers of nail polish, I start with the Essie Protein Base Coat (not included in picture). I'm not really sure if this does something for my nails - first time using a base coat after many years without, but as I don't fancy the look of yellow-ish nails I diligently apply two coats of that before any polish touches my nails. For my hands I'm using Andreia Nail Polish in 43, and for my toes I'm using Essie Topless and Barefeet. I have neglected my feet far too long, and as it's time to start looking for those summer sandals, I better prep them for a public appearance. And of course all sealed with Seche Vite Top Coat.

Moving on to hair, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer hair mask, which is a hassle to apply. As I'm desperate for healthy hair, I went on with it and followed the instructions carefully. Wet hair, apply in sections, work it in with fingertips, cover with plastic cap for 10 - 20 minutes. Done.

For me a pamper is never complete without a good mask, and today is the debut of Glamglow Mud Mask, which I bought a few weeks ago. My skin has been acting up a bit lately and hope that this mask will show its magic. After purifying and clarifying my skin (hopefully), I follow up with my all-time favorite Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask for that extra moisture.

How does your Sunday pamper look like? 

XO

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March 16, 2013

The Weekend Wish List #1





With many beauty launches ahead of us this month, and an unhealthy appetite for pretty things (or just being bluntly greedy) making wish lists is what I do all the time. This week on the list a mix of fashion and beauty bits.

I've been raving about & Other Stories the past week to everyone who was willing to listen, and I just can't stop. For those that have not heard of & Other Stories yet, it's a new brand created by the COS and H&M founders - they sell everything from shoes to accessories to ready-to-wear to skin/body care. I can stay in that store for hours, which I actually did... It's totally my style, and if I have to describe the brand I'd say minimalistic, chic and sophisticated. It reminds me of the likes of ZARA, COS, Whistles, REISS and Acne. The picks I've been this week? The Blue Panel Dress, effortlessly chic with a hint of color, the Contrast Knit Dress, Abigail Lorick Loafers - I'm starting to fancy pointy shoes at the moment and the Block Heel Sandals. Look at those babies, they are gorgeous! The sandals are my favorite, and I'll be definitely putting those on my priority to buy list - every girl needs at least one chunky-heeled sandal.

Moving on to the beauty bits, I'd of course have to include this week's most exciting launch: Chanel Les Beiges powders. Not sure if they are that necessary in my stash, but hey, who can stop me from fancying it? A cult-classic is the Molecule 01 fragrance, I still haven't gotten to get it as I want to spritz it on myself first before getting it. Haven't managed to find a store that carries it though... I've also been eyeing the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation, it contains SPF15 (always a plus) and it's been dubbed as the Jemma Kidd Light As Air Foundation - which is my all-time favorite and one of a kind in my opinion. I'm having big expectations for the BB foundation! And lastly, Kérastase Initialiste treatment. I'm sure you all know I've been struggling with my hair lately and have been suffering from hair loss. From what it says on the net it is pretty amazing, really intrigued.

Have you tried any of these products/items, would you recommend them?

x

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March 15, 2013

Good-bye GFC, Hello Alternatives



Most of you might have heard from the grapevine that GFC and Google Reader will be removed soon - it's been speculated it'll be gone forever 1st July? It really saddens me up as I've just started to get more followers. Though I do know blogging is not about the amount of GFC followers, but about the way you express yourself. I guess it's just a nice feeling of knowing that you have XY-people reading your blog.

With this post I just wanted to make sure to all my followers that besides GFC, there are many ways to follow my blog! I know July seems so far away, but I thought it be nice to familiarize ourselves with the available alternatives :-).

The most obvious, and similar, alternative is the infamous Bloglovin. Basically the same, and in my opinion better than Google Reader. It is designed really nicely and has a clear structure. You can follow me here, and every time I post something new it'll show up on your feed. You can also like the post if you fancy it. It'd really appreciate if you did that, as that gives me an idea what posts you fancy a read. Bloglovin played into the dissmissal of Google Reader really well, and have made it really easy for us to switch to their platform. They have explained that all in a succint blogpost showing you how to use the platform and how to import all the  feeds from your Google Reader - I'm following everyone on Bloglovin' already.

A more old-fashioned way to follow the blog is through email subscribtions, which can be done here. To have an extra reminder to show you when there's a new post, you can follow me on twitter. Or just follow me for my daily ramblings, rants and just random snapshots of my daily life ;-). I hope this post has made the transition a bit more clear for you all, and I hope that you will still continue reading my blog - it means a lot to me!

Do leave me your Bloglovin' link in the comments below!

x

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March 13, 2013

A Moment Of Beauty



When I mentioned that I was going to move to London, many of you were interested in how I'd settle in and how my room would look. At this moment, my room is still a big mess and never seem to be tidy... ever. I thought I'd still keep my end of the promise and show you a peek on my beauty stash - I guess that's the more interesting part for you guys anyways.

This is a real-time shot, in fact, it all looks like this at this moment. I honestly don't think it has changed much from my first week till now - I'm the worst, I know. I keep my make up bits separately from my skin, hand/nail, body and hair care. One because I have far more make up in my room than the other things accumulated (my skincare is in my shower caddy/travel pouch stored in my closet) and two because it's très convenient for me to have my make up there as there is a huge mirror behind it. Couldn't be more perfect. I'll try to do a short room tour post (or maybe video), I can't say when but I will promise that it'll be up before I'll leave London ;-). Tomorrow I'll be at the Grazia event tomorrow at John Lewis Oxford Street, do pop by and say hi if you do bump into me. I'd really like that!

Are you going to the John Lewis & Grazia Beauty Event tomorrow? 

x

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March 10, 2013

HD Brows Goodies



If you follow me on Instagram you might've seen a sneak-peek of my HD Brows goodies already - if you don't follow me yet: you can still do so here :-). I got the HD Brows Blush* in 02 and the Bronzer*, I haven't had a play with it yet, but I can say the colors look great in the pan. The Bronzer does make me think of NARS Laguna, a lot. I also received their cult product: the Eye & Brow Palette* in Foxy. I'm a total klutz when it comes to brow filling. In fact, I've never filled my brows before - I tame mine with a tinted brow gel. Will have an HD Brows Treatment coming week, really excited, and I'll bring the palette and will ask for instructions on how to apply it then. If I happen to pick up any nifty tricks I'll definitely will be sharing them with you guys ;-).

Have you ever tried anything from HD Brows and how'd you like it?

x

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March 9, 2013

Clarins Hydra Quench Lip Perfector



I got the Hydra Quench Lip Perfector 03 in a set together with three other Clarins lip products, and this was not the product that made me buy the lot. In fact, when I saw this gloss I was not impressed. Orange with gold shimmer? Not my forté. I tucked it into my work make-up bag on a whim and it was left there for a few days. When I forgot to apply any lipstick before leaving the house and didn't have anything else with me, I gave this a go. Boy oh boy, what was I surprised. The scary orange gloss turned out to be a gorgeous, barely-there-my-lips-but-better peachy/pink gloss that is amazingly moisturizing and a satisfying wearability. I've been so, so impressed with this and this has not left my side ever since. This is actually the only thing I've been wearing on my lips for the past week, and for a gal that changes up make up products on a daily basis - that's quite a claim to make.

Normally I'm not a fan of glosses because they tend to stick onto my hair, which strangely enough hasn't happened to me yet with this one. The color is so flattering and I seriously only have good things to say about this product. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for my next one - watch this space... ;-)

Would you ever try this product? 

x

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* Apologies for the blurry close up, I have no idea what happened! 
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March 6, 2013

balance Me. Super Moisturising Hand Cream





I'm a huge hand cream user and lover, and always on the hunt for the next hand cream that'll make my heart jump (or something like that). I picked up the balance Me. Super Moisturising Hand Cream on a whim when I was in Waitrose. Having tried and tested a lot of different hand creams I was hoping that this would blow my mind. The thing that triggered me to get is the size - it's compact and fits in a small handbag, and it claims to be 98.8% natural, which is always a plus. 

The consistency of this cream is a bit thick, similar to L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, which means you'll need more of the product to be able to spread it all out. Once you've generously squeezed out the cream it is easy to apply - you can't be stingy with this product! Because it is a rather thick consistency, it is a rich hand cream that does moisturizer well. The product sinks in almost immediately when applied, leaving your hands feel soft and smooth. Nothing I hate more than having sticky/sweaty palms - I'm telling you... not so charming when meeting new people ;-). 

Quite content with the product, and the only point of critic I have is the smell. I am a huge fan of fresh, citrus, fig or pastry (I'm looking at you Laura Mercier Pistachio) scented hand creams and unfortunately this cream doesn't fit in either of these categories. The scent is almost identical to The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector. I can't really describe the smell, but if I had to: the word "organic" and "natural" pop up in my mind. The smell is not overly bearing, and fades slowly over time. All in all it's a great hand cream that moisturizes my hands, leaving them feeling soft and supple without the nasty chemicals that you'll find in most creams. Score! Get yours for £10 at your local balance Me. stockist or for free with Good Housekeeping UK this month!

Have you ever tried balance Me. Super Moisturising Hand Cream, what did you think of it?

x

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March 4, 2013

Feeling Minty Lately

As you might've noticed, I've changed up some bits on the blog. I'm constantly looking for a cleaner look for the blog, and can say that I'm quite satisfied with how it looks at the moment. I know I always say that after every update, but this time it's gonna last longer than a month. Promise.

My inspiration? Essie Absolutely Shore. This minty green color has totally inspired me to do something with the color and the polish and love the outcome. Still have to figure out how the color scheme will be of the rest of the blog, but the header is done. Simple, clean and well... direct I'd say. Now I'm off to give myself a quick mani-pedi and at some coats of polish to it. You guessed it, Absolutely Shore ;-).

What do you think of the new look? 

x

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March 3, 2013

An Unplanned Beauty Haul #3





I should really be banned from shopping. Period. Some days I go into a store with no intention to buy anything, I end up well... buying a whole lot of things - today was one of those days.

I received three 20% off coupons from my boss to spend at Marks & Spencer on either beauty, clothing or accessories. You can imagine that I didn't need to do much thinking on where I'd use the coupons for. Exactly, I went for beauty. The coupons were due this weekend and I let myself to pick one thing, and that would be it. First stop: Westfield White City. I love this place and especially on a lazy Sunday. It's full of great shops and "the Village" is lovely to stroll around as it is full of gorgeous boutiques and brands I'm not able to afford at this very moment. I initially just wanted to drop by M&S, get my stuff and leave, but House of Fraser lured me in before I even stepped into Westfield. Taking a quick glance on the make up counters, the Aveda part caught my eye. As you all might know, I've been struggling with my hair a lot recently and my hair loss has gotten a bit less since this week. I was running out of my shampoo anyways, so I just wanted to look, orientate and maybe grab a few travel/trial size products with me to test. The SA was very lovely and to keep a long story short, I walked out with the Aveda Scalp Benefits Shampoo and Conditioner and the Brilliant Damage Control Heat Protectant, which I've stupidly forgot to include in the picture. Scuzi. 

I managed to not go into any other store before reaching M&S in Westfield, but their beauty section was very disappointing. Literally nothing I'd be willing to spend my money on, so I didn't. Knowing that Marble Arch has the biggest M&S in London, and that it's just a few tube stops away, I went there - which I maybe shouldn't have done.

The beauty section in their Marble Arch branch is great, obviously nothing in comparison to Selfridges, Liberty's, House of Fraser, John Lewis, etc. But the brands they did have were just the ones I've been looking at for a long, long time. I already had my mind set on getting the REN Clearcalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask, which I've tried in the past before and blew my mind. What I didn't plan was getting Glamglow Mud Mask and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. I got both in the smaller sizes, as I want to try them out first and see what the hype is all about. I have to be really honest, I thought the Glamglow pot would be bigger, the box certainly is very misleading and almost 3 times as big as the pot itself. Don't know if I'd purchase the pot if I'd known. Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to try my new beauty goodies. And gosh, someone please lock me up coming weekend. I should not step into any store anytime soon... Seriously.

What have you bought lately?

x

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March 1, 2013

H&M PFW Runway Debut



When thinking of Paris Fashion Week (PFW), Runways and fashion shows, H&M is not really a brand that pops up into my mind. On the contrary. H&M to me is a brand that provides basics and recently fashionable pieces (see: H&M TREND) to the high-street. My thoughts on their collection? I love it... a lot actually! The past few years I've been shipping away from H&M and going more towards the likes of ZARA, MANGO and Topshop. 

This AW13 collection has blown me away by its designs, choice of fabric and just the overall picture. Not only were the pieces stunning, it was modelled by a stellar cast with a mixture of super models (Daphne Groeneveld, Joan Smalls, Cara Delevigne), and fashionable celebrities (Emma Roberts, Ashley Olsen). My only point of critic: the set. It was just very distracting and too much in my eyes, guess I'm a wee bit critical when it comes to runways. I love it when they go all out and go dramatic - yes Chanel I'm looking at you, but this setting... not so much. 

Despite all that, it's still about the clothing in the end and I can see myself wearing quite a few of the pieces, such as the over the knee boots, big knits, fluffy faux fur jackets and flowy black dresses. Really excited to see these in stores - will keep my eyes peeled! The collection is available from 5 September 2013.
*image c/o Benoit Tessier/Reuters & Stéphane Fugier

What do you think of the H&M AW13 collection?

x

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7 Things I've Been Loving (February 2013)



I can’t believe we're in March already, it feels like it was just yesterday that I moved to London. I’ve been here for a good month now and am quite ashamed to say I haven’t had the chance to see the major landmarks yet. Obviously I’ve spotted the London Eye, Big Ben, did my laps on Oxford Street and Regent Street, went to China Town to get my tofu – yes that’s my main mission there. And spend quite some time at Westfield White City, gosh that place is a dream! Ready to explore East-London this weekend ;-).

Though the weather in London is not that much different from either home or Paris, the lifestyle most definitely is. Everything is more up to speed here – you know the French, the weather is colder and well… I’m working as a full-time PR girl now. Not complaining, I love my job, it’s just that I bumped into quite a few skin issues during these weeks, which required a shift in skincare and make up.

As the weather had gotten really cold over February I’ve had to slap on moisturizing creams and Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is my obvious choice. I like to apply a nice, thick layer of this when going to bed to ensure plumped and well-moisturized skin in the mornings. For my body I've been using the Korres Wild Rose Body Butter non-stop, which is quite an achievement for a non-frequent body lotion user. It just smells amazing, sinks into the skin immediately and is very hydrating - more on this here.

Make up wise I went for the “barely there” make up look. Dr. Jart Hydra Balm BB Cream fits exactly in that section; I really have no complaints. It applies like a dream, ensures even coverage, it's moisturizing and has a natural finish. Simply beautiful. This paired with Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Trio and Dune Bronzer was my go-to look past month. The bronzer is very subtle, easy to apply and also great for those with a paler complexion. With my fingers I blend in the cream blusher on the apples of my cheeks for that peachy flush, some cream bronzer to create an illusion of (high) cheekbones and a touch of highlighter on the high points of my face to top it all off.

Some recent purchases made it to the cut even though I've only got them a week ago at Professional BeautyEssie Topless & Barefoot is a gorgeous nude color that surprisingly suits my skintone and Seche Vite is really, well… vite. The only complaint I have is that the smell of the polish is quite strong and not really pleasant, though it fades quickly and it won’t really stop me from using it ;-).

What have you been loving lately?

x

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