20 November 2014

"THE SURVIVAL KIT" EXPERIMENT

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Imagine this scenario: You've planned a trip to a small town far, far away to wind down for a few weeks. The place where you're staying has everything you need, like electricity, running water, central heating, internet. It has kitchen appliances and basic bathroom supplies. However, on the morning of your departure you oversleep, which leaves you only 15 minutes to pack - yes, even food - before catching your flight! This is highly unrealistic, I know, but let's just roll with it this one time ;) You try to pack as much as possible, but you can never take all the things you want, so you decide to put together a survival kit with a few of your personal favourites.

The survival kit has five categories: beauty, skincare, fashion, food, and the miscellaneous group. You can pick 5 things for each. These are fixed, so for example if you pick 4 for one category, then you cannot put 6 in another. Sorry!

Here's what my survival kit would look like, with my favourites/musthaves for each category, in random order.

Beauty (makeup, nail polish, hair styling products, perfumes, etc.)
1- YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation
2- Maybelline The Falsies mascara
3- Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray
4- MAC Pro Longwear concealer
5- Essie Sand Tropez

Skincare
1- Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser
2- Antipodes Reincarnation exfoliator
3- Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey face mask
4- Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
5- The Body Shop Body Butter in 'Honeymania'

Fashion
1- Black skinny jeans
2- Plaid shirt from H&M
3- Grey striped jumper
4- Nike Air Max 1
5- Grey Zara City Bag

Food
1- Pizza
2- Clipper chamomile tea
3- Pomegranate
4- 'Huggy bears' cookies from Aldi
5- Toblerone chocolate bars

Misc: Pick 5 of anything.
1- Laptop
2- Nail care kit
3- Cacti (it would be unrealistic to bring those in my suitcase, but oh well)
4- Sunglasses
5- An extra pillow, because I love a good sleep!

What musthaves would you include in your survival kit?
Feel free to copy this 'game' on your own blog! If you do, please send me a link to the blog post, I would love to read it! You can tweet me @lysclr.

I thought this might be a fun, more original way to talk about my current and/or long-time favourites, both beauty and non-beauty related. I hope you like it!

14 November 2014

HAND CREAM HEROES FROM THE BODY SHOP

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The Body Shop is one of my favourite places to look for bath & body products. A while back I visited the local store and - to my own surprise - ended up buying quite a lot. The Finnish climate has got me stocking up on a shushload of moisturizing products: body butter, hand cream, hair oil, you name it. I did manage to buy some of them on discount, so if I can spend my pennies smart, it's a good enough excuse to spend them, right?

A few products I'd been curious about are the Almond Hand & Nail Cream and the Hemp Hand Protector. Both are favourites amongst customers and they're true skin saviours during the colder months of the year. The Almond variation aims to keep hands and cuticles soft and hydrated; it is on the oilier side, whereas the Hemp hand cream with its thick consistency will protect skin all day.

The aluminium packaging is just the kind that I like - I would prefer this over fancy packaging any time. Because of the size it's not very travel-friendly, so for now I leave these hand creams at home. The product itself gives the results that The Body Shop promises. I use the Almond hand cream as I would use any other: whenever my skin is feeling dry or tight. Its consistency is light, so you don't need a lot of product. It does leave a thin oily layer right after applying, I personally don't mind because the hand cream sinks into the skin quickly. The Hemp version is on the thicker side. This makes it a perfect hand cream to apply before bed. I let the ingredients do their magic overnight and wake up with nice, moisturized skin. I also use the Hemp hand cream on days when it's freezing cold and I know my skin needs extra hydration.

I know I can't go a day without applying hand cream or other moisturizers, but now I'm curious about your favourites? I'm always interested in finding new products. Let me know in the comments below!

PS. I visited the store in Helsinki on Monday and I could not stop staring at all the Christmas gift sets! There were so many cool gifts, I could easily add all of them to my wish list. Halloween is clearly over, and Finland is counting down 'till Christmas. 

7 November 2014

LIFE IN JOENSUU #2: OKTOBERFEST, THE LAKESIDE & MORE SNOW!

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Another month has gone, which means it's time for a new update on my stay in Finland! October was busy, not as eventful as my first weeks here, which was fine. We kicked it off with our own version of the best-known event of the month: Oktoberfest. The local ESN team (Erasmus Student Network) organized a sitsit, completely in German style. Sitsit is an evening filled with good food, drinking and singing. There's a list of rules and if you violate them, you get punished by the toast masters. I didn't really know what to expect from that evening, but it was well fun! I'm not sharing any pictures from the Oktoberfest Sitsit here, because I don't know if other people mind having their picture posted. Sorry!

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As you can see from the #fromwhereistand snap below the title - gotta keep up with the latest internet trends, right - autumn arrived in Eastern Finland! And so did winter, again! (Ain't that a plot twist.) I still have to get used to the seasons here. If my memory serves me well, autumn stuck around for two weeks before it started snowing for the second time in a month - it snowed again last week, and right now on this Friday morning! The snow keeps coming and going here and the funny thing is, it surprises me each time.
Anyway, we also got to enjoy a few lovely autumn days. One sunny Friday I headed to the lakeside with a friend. The lake is just a five-minute walk from where I live, so it's great to take a break from studying once in a while and go enjoy the view. This is without a doubt my favourite place in Joensuu. There's several tiny peninsulas connected by cute bridges, with reeds everywhere in between. It looks so fairytale-like.


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All in all, October was great. However, I was looking forward to November a lot. Tonight I will be on my way to Helsinki! I'm going from Joensuu with a friend and I will be meeting my mum there too. We haven't seen each other in two months, so we should have plenty to talk about. I'm also curious to see the city. I've heard Helsinki is beautiful, so I can't wait to walk around and explore. More fun news: In two weeks I am visiting Tallinn! A lot of trips as you can read, so I will have a tight schedule this month. Combining travelling with school work and deadlines is hard, so just to give you a heads up: I don't know how much time I will have for blogging. I do have a few blog posts ready, but if I don't post anything for a while, then please bear with me - I'm out exploring the North!

I hope you all had a great October! What are your plans for November?

31 October 2014

LITTLE THINGS I'VE BEEN ENJOYING

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There is no point in sugarcoating it: The past two months have been the highlight of what would otherwise be a very boring year. Maybe it's because I've been having such a good time, but lately I've been paying attention to the little things in life that would easily be overseen. I won't make this introduction any longer than it should be; most of the things listed below are self-explanatory. These are a few things that have made me happy, even if it's just for a minute of the day:

s Getting into a freshly made bed
s Woolen socks
s Movie nights 
s Sunshine peeking through the curtains in the morning
s A clean kitchen
s The sound of walking through the leaves
s The sound of stepping into a fresh layer of snow - we're truly in the North now!
s Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows
s Receiving mail from family and friends
s Re-watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother
s Waking up to a quiet house. Or what's even better, waking up to my cat calling me on the other side of the
bedroom door - I miss her.

s The view from the lakeside
s Warming my feet against the heating
s Four-minute bus rides
s Planning city trips in November