21 August 2014

HELPING HANDS: THE MANICURE PREP


Let's talk nail care. It surprised me that I rarely talk about nail care on here, yet it's something I enjoy taking time for. I wouldn't say I have the healthiest nails, nor do I know the right tools or techniques to care for nails/hands. I just love that 'me-time' a few days a week where I prep my nails for a coat of colour. These are the tools I'll use:

Nail clippers- Depending on the shape of your nails a file isn't always that easy. That's why I use these nail clippers to clean up the sides of my nails - in the long term there's a chance the nail will grow into the skin if you don't - and get them to the same length before I file them into the shape I want.
Nail file- Glass or crystal nail files are my favourite. First of all they're gentler on your nails than metal or sandpaper nail files and you can wash them after each use too, which makes glass/crystal the more hygienic option.
Cuticle pusher- I use an acrylic tool to clean up my cuticles. The red tip is a flexible, silicone material that's not too harsh on the skin.
Hand & cuticle cream- Gotta keep those hands nice and moisturized! Massaging a cream or oil into your cuticles once a day will keep them soft and supple. For me it also results in better-looking cuticles because they're easier to push back. Lately I've been using Punk Bouquet from & Other Stories or the Shea hand cream from L'Occitane.
Nail strenghtener- A good tip would be not to overdo it with this step. A while back I tried this nail strenghtener/base coat hybrid from Rimmel in the hope of improving the condition of my nails... Until they started breaking, one after the other. Apparently too many nail strenghtening products and little hand cream = your nails get too dry, which causes them to break. I decided to skip the Rimmel polish more often and focus on keeping my nails healthy. Long story short: A 'normal' base coat will do too!
Clear top coat- To top off a manicure and to make the nail polish you applied last longer. The top coat pictured is Essie's No Chips Ahead.

Like I said, I will apply hand cream every day and massage the product on my cuticles if I remember to, but besides this routine that's pretty much it!

15 August 2014

BLUSH IN A BOX: BENEFIT CORALISTA


What happens when you walk into a store and bump into a Benefit counter you'd been unaware of each time you had visited that particular shop before? Let me tell you ladies, it was a wonderful moment, and in just a matter of minutes I was headed outside with some new makeup goodies. One of them is this gorgeous face powder in the shade Coralista.


Coralista is a warm coral pink with a subtle golden shimmer. The colour gives a natural flush to the face. It doesn't stand out too much, which is what's so brilliant about the product - it'll give your skin a healthy glow with a soft hint of coral/peach. I do apply it higher than where I would normally apply my blush to really make my cheekbones pop - the golden sheen creates a beautiful highlight. Sometimes I like to add some on my cupid's bow and the bridge of my nose.


There are a lot of mixed opinions on the packaging. Benefit powders come in colourful, square cardboard packaging. If you handle it with care, then I assure you the packaging will look as good as new for a long time. I've had this box for over two months and not a scratch. It also includes a flat brush with natural bristles. I'm going to be completely honest here and admit I haven't used it yet. It looks fine to contour with, so I'll have to give that a try soon.

Coralista makes a great everyday blush for the warmer seasons. The powder formula might be a bit tricky to work with on hot summer days, but it only takes a small effort to make this blush last all day (a good setting spray will do the job and will also prevent your skin from looking cakey/powdery!) and the result is very pretty.

11 August 2014

LONDON CALLING

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I've mentioned it a hundred times before, but I went to London! My friend Joyce and I visited the city of Big Ben/Tower Bridge/home of the Queen (that last one's for you, Joyce!) for a few days last week. We were very lucky with the weather, it was exceptionally sunny during our entire stay. We didn't plan much besides walk around the streets and a lot of shopping, we did do some random sightseeing and of course we enjoyed the great food.

Our hostel, Astor Museum Inn, was located right next to the British Museum. The location was brilliant with only a two-minute walk to Oxford Street and several underground stations. The cleanliness wasn't the best and you will have to share a dorm room with other travellers, but if you're willing to look past that, it is fine for a short trip to London. 

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Definitely worth visiting is Camden Town. It's a neighbourhood northeast of Regent's Park and is best known for its markets. This part of the city looks completely different from central London with its alternative shops and international food stalls. A lot of the shops are installed in former horse stables, the area they covered is huge. When we left at 1 PM the streets were crammed with tourists, so I would recommend going to Camden in the morning to have all the time you want to look around. I'd say this was my favourite part of our trip to London!

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Too cute not to share: This booth that sold homemade soap and other bath & body products! My friend bought fresh lavender soap for her family. As a girl who dreams of selling her own bath products one day, it always makes me super excited to come across other people's soap business!

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What's a travel report without a few snapshots of the food you've had? Thought so. This dessert at Jamie's Italian was just what I needed. The yummyness you see here is meringue, chocolate and cream with raspberry and honeycomb.

I hope you enjoyed this little report of my London travels! Like I said, we didn't do a lot of touristy things, we just went wherever we felt like going since we'd both been to London before. I will put more pictures up on my Facebook page in case you're interested. We also did plenty of shopping. I'll show you what I bought soon, pinky promise.

2 August 2014

DIY / JEWELRY FRAME

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DIY time! I was browsing through the archives of the blog when I realized how long it's been since I've posted a DIY tutorial. I made this jewelry frame that holds my bracelets and necklaces on a random summer's day last year and was a bit confused when I noticed I had never showed it on here before. This DIY is super easy and takes about 30 minutes if you're not painting the frame!

What you'll need:
a wooden picture frame
paint (optional)
(square) screw hooks - choose as many as you want in the frame
a ruler
a pencil
a hammer

Let's get started!
1- Remove everything in the middle of the picture frame so you're left with the wooden border. You won't need the glass or back cover for this DIY.
2- Fold the clips that held the picture in place - you know, those tiny ones at the back - so they are no longer be visible.
3- If you want, you can now paint the frame any colour you like. I chose not to because I already liked how the frame looked when I got it! Make sure to let the paint dry long enough before heading to the next step.
4- Once the paint has dried, measure and draw dots where you want the screw hooks to go. To give you a rough idea, I went for 7 cm between each hook in the horizontal row.
5- The final step is to screw in the hooks! Here's where you might need the hammer in case the material of the frame isn't soft enough.

And that's it! This DIY is simple, but so much fun. There are dozens of variations to it, in shape, placement, materials. I've seen people make a jewelry holder with lace, rope, cork, etc. It's an easy way to have your own personalized jewelry storage. It also makes a cool personalized gift for a friend!

How do you store your jewelry?