A beauty & lifestyle blog.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf

Today I received my first ever order from Net-a-Porter and I am beyond excited. Anyone who knows me will know that I've wanted this scarf for years, and now it is finally all mine! *happy dance* Just a disclaimer: I bought this with my own money which I earned while interning at Cosmopolitan, so I think it will be a lovely reminder of that time. And I'm so happy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

REN Bodycare

Another little review of a few products that were sent to me along with the REN skincare, which I've already reviewed here. Lately I've been completely obsessing over REN, it really is worth the hype as the products are lovely. I've popped the Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash* in the shower and it's been well-loved, despite having about three other body showers in there, I've been reaching for this one constantly. It's especially lovely to use with a loofah, because it lathers it up even more. This body wash is very gentle, but still cleanses very well, it lathers up quite nicely and your skin doesn't feel squeaky clean when you're done showering, but instead refreshed and clean. The smell is lovely as well, I'm a huge fan of neroli as well as grapefruit. I actually had to google Neroli because I knew it had something to do with orange blossom, but wasn't sure exactly what that was. Turns out, neroli is an oil produced from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree (straight off of Wikipedia). So if you like citrus scents, you will most definitely like this, it's also a little bit floral. As far as grapefruit goes, I'm sure we all know what it smells like, and it really is a lovely combination - personally I find it great for morning use, when you need something to wake you up. The Neroli and Grapefruit Body Cream* is also really nice, especially to use after your shower with the body wash. It's not very thick and absorbs into the skin in seconds, leaving it feeling very refreshed and moisturized. If you like applying body products in the evening, however, I would definitely recommend the Damask Rose Body Cream*. It's a bit of a heavier scent, which will be perfect for unwinding and falling to sleep. It's definitely a true rose, a beautiful floral with a velvety undertone. It's also a little bit thicker, but still absorbs really fast and your skin will feel amazing afterwards, like velvet - just like the scent.
Thought this post would be quite helpful for those of you who've tried REN before and didn't know they also did body products, which are equally amazing. I also have two other products from them for review, so do let me know when you'd like to see that - the first one is the famous Pore Detox Mask, and the other is their Mineral Veil. I do hope you don't mind my reviews with products that were sent to me, but I write my honest opinion here, and if I don't like a product that was sent to me, I will not write about it. So when I do these posts, you know they're products I genuinely like and would repurchase with my own money. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My experience with acne

You may not know this about me, but I have dealt with severe acne in the past. I know exactly what it's like, how hard it is and how bad you feel if you're suffering from the same problem. I feel pretty self-conscious posting these photos, but if they make at least one person feel a bit better, then I've done my job. From age 14, my skin wasn't the best, but it wasn't that bad either. Then, when I turned 16, the real problem started. My skin was absolutely terrible, and not only on my face, but on my back as well. It was one of the hardest times of my life, I felt so gross and disgusting, I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror, I cried every night, I was really depressed, I even started self harming. Beside that, I had a lot of stuff going on in my life at that time – I was going to a student exchange to France, I really liked this guy and the whole thing was full of drama, and I didn't get on with my parents very much. It was a terrible time for me.

Listen, I know how acne can bring you down and lower your self-esteem, because I've been there. I know how hard it is to look in the mirror everyday and see something you don't want to see and that you most definitely do NOT deserve there.

I think all of you want to know how I fixed my skin, and I'm a bit afraid of giving you an answer. I was to go on Roaccutane, but I couldn't, because by that time I was already depressed and as you may know, the pill may bring on suicidal thoughts, which I was already having at the time. That is why my dermatologist advised me to go on THE pill, as in birth control. I visited a gynecologist at the age of 16 and she put me on Diane 35. It felt super weird – I didn't even have a boyfriend, and here I was, the first one out of all of my friends on the pill. After almost giving up on everything, results started showing after about half a year of use. My skin cleared up in a second after that. I was so happy I could cry. I still had pretty severe acne scars but my skin was left so smooth and beautiful, albeit with very enlarged pores, but nothing like I was used to, and I was so happy I wanted to jump up and down.

However, not everything was as perfect. As a side effect of the pill, I gained a lot of weight (around 15-20 kg) and I got a lot of cellulite, too. I'm still on the pill today, mostly because I'm with Tilen now. I did go off it for a while, and my skin was actually sort of okay – I did breakout more, and my back was really bad for a while, but nothing like I used to have. What I want to say is, this isn't the only solution. At the time, I was too young, and didn't know of any other options, but I hope this helps you to find something else that might work for you and your skin.

My friend Isa, who I mention a lot, says a beautician can really help your skin. If you find the right one, regular treatments will help restore your skin to the way it should be. I've also found a few products that are very helpful for me. They are pictured in the photo above, and they are the REN Pore Detox Mask (great for enlarged and clogged up pores – review coming up), the Yves Rocher Anti-Imperfections Moisturizer and the REN T-Zone Mattifying Day Fluid. Why just three products? Because I really wanted to mention those that helped ME, and these really do the job nicely in my opinion. Oh and by the way, REN actually have a separate line for acne-prone skin, which I haven't tried yet, but you might take a look into it. The products I'm using are actually more for oily to combination skin and can be used after you've already resolved your acne issues.

Another thing that seems to work for a lot of people is Benzoyl Peroxide, which you apply to your skin. When I had acne, I was desperate to try the Acne.org Regimen. By the way, I love the community on that site, check out their forums – everyone is super helpful and you will have someone to talk too. And if you are really struggling, try acne treatments.

Now about the photos: I don't have a clear one of when my acne was at it's worst, because obviously I didn't really enjoy taking photos at the time, but I do have a few of when it started getting better, which you can see in the first two photos. In the last one is my skin after about a year and a half of taking birth control pills. Also at that time, I drank a LOT of water, meaning about 3 liters per day. This helped my skin tremendously and I really need to get back on track.

What's left for me to say is, IT GETS BETTER. Acne isn't the end of the world, though I know that it may feel like that. Thankfully there are solutions for it out there, and you can treat yours and feel better soon. I hope this post was helpful.

Yes! Nurse Protect Your Lovely Hands Hand Cream

It may be a mystery to some of you (me included), but apparently I have an obsession with hand creams. While cleaning my room for the past few days - trust me, it's an ongoing project - I came across around 10 hand creams, all bought in the course of two years. Crazy! However, right now I'm only reaching for one that was sent to me for review, and I've really been enjoying it. It is this hand cream by Yes! Nurse, which is quite popular at the moment, and I can totally understand why. My hands have not been behaving this summer. I normally have super soft hands, but I think I really wasn't careful with them, because I've noticed quite a few cracks in my palms, as well as cuts. I am pretty clumsy, so I don't even notice when these things happen, but thankfully now I can treat them, and fast. This hand cream is full of good-for-you ingredients, like Manuka Honey, moisturizing Aloe Vera and Sweet Almond Oil and many other natural oils. The scent is very pleasant to me, sort of herbal, but not medicinal at all, I quite enjoy it. The cream is very thick, but surprisingly takes moments to absorb and is not greasy in the slightest. After application, my hands feel great - very softened and the cuts are better within on day of using it - I had one on my palm near my thumb that was bleeding yesterday (sorry for the visual) and today it's already closed up and healing, amazing! Another point I have to make is that you really only need the tiniest of amounts, the cream is so thick and potent that a pea size is enough for your hands, and you will have a bit left over to use on your elbows (mine are really dry and I love the way this moisturizes them). Really pleased with this hand cream and it's definitely helping my hands stay the way I like them - soft and moisturized. Would recommend strongly, and you can get yours on Feel Unique with free shipping!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY: Places we've been to together - Gift idea

A really cute DIY idea which is perfect as a gift to your loved one! Let's say you're making a gift for your boyfriend. Where have you two been together? Select a few places, then find them on Google Maps (you can also use your own photos or photos of the landscapes). Print screen the map and measure the dimensions you'll need, then print out the maps and cut out hearts. Glue them on a white paper or cardboard and put them in a frame (this one is also DIY-ed, me and my bestie mixed two colors to paint the frame and then distressed it for a shabby chic feel). And you're done! This would be perfect for an anniversary gift, as well as for a couple renewing their vows, a wedding ... Anything! :) Sorry there are no in progress photos, I completely forgot to shoot them, I hope that's okay.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Candle of the month #2

I know I know, it hasn't been a month yet ... But I've still been loving this candle! Another Yankee of course, and this time the scent is Summer Scoop. This smells super super sweet, like forest fruits ice cream. Gorgeous scent, but not for you if you prefer natural aromas (if you do, check out the previous candle of the month post which is featuring lavender and lemon). However, you will adore this if you like fruity perfumes. I actually wish I had a perfume that smelled like this, it's that good. It burns beautifully too, very evenly.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Easy hairstyle tutorial: The Braided Donut Bun

Another really simple hair tutorial, since the first one seemed to be quite popular. This time it's an easy braided bun, using the donut shaper that seems to be in every store lately. I got mine from H&M, you can also get it online in most places. So let's begin.

Start with brushed hair. Put it in a ponytail, it can be as high or as low as you want, it can even be on the side. This depends on where you want your bun to be. Then, slide on the donut shaper like you would a hair elastic. Arrange the hair over the donut so none of the mesh is showing through, then slip an elastic over it. Scoop the remaining hair up and braid it in a regular three strand braid, then put it around your bun and use bobby pins to pin it down. And you're done!

China Glaze For Audrey

One of my favorite nail polishes of all time is China Glaze For Audrey. Here, it pales in comparison to the vivid color of the pool, so I'm sorry about that, but it really is a gorgeous turquoise color, just like the famous Tiffany blue. Perfect for any time of the year, but I think it will look great with tanned skin in the summer (of course I'm white as yogurt, because I haven't been to the seaside yet this year). I hope you like my first nail polish post in AGES - I've missed making them, but my nails have been terrible lately!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The dynamic duo

I received these two products (and a few more that have yet to be featured) for review a while ago. I was super curious about them, because REN seems to be all the rage in the blogging world lately, so I couldn't wait to see what all the fuss was about. I started using these two products on a daily basis and I really can't recommend them enough! For my combination skin, which is oily on the T-zone and has dry patches on the cheek area and especially under the eyes, these are miracle workers.

Now my T-zone is very very oily, it's actually so bad that I have to wash my hair everyday because of it (I have a fringe, and if I don't put it up, it gets very greasy because of contact with my skin). This is where the REN T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid* comes into effect. I use it as a day cream, as I really don't need mattifying in the nighttime, and I apply it to my whole face, steering clear of the eye area. The feeling it leaves on the skin? You can definitely feel that it's on at first, but that disappears in a matter of minutes. After that, your skin feels pleasantly refreshed. I don't even use foundation now that I'm using this - I just dust a really light layer of translucent powder over my skin and I'm good for the day. The smell is very pleasant as well. So all in all, definitely a thumbs up for this one. If you want matte skin, especially now in the summertime, this is a must-have!

The second thing I implemented in my skincare routine is the REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel*. This is my favorite out of the two and I cannot praise it enough. A standout product for sure! What I love about this eye gel is the instant cooling sensation it brings to my skin. It's clear and you need a very tiny amount (one pump may seem like too little, but it's perfect) for both eyes. It will also tighten the under eye area without feeling weird or annoying, and it will decrease puffiness and reduce the appearance of under eye circles. I apply this whenever my eyes feel tight and itchy, and it relieves them in an instant. Don't forget to apply it before you go to sleep, because you will wake up with refreshed and cooled down eyes, not tired at all.

These products are great to use alone or together, depends on what kind of skin you have. I find the combination of battling my oily T-zone and cooling and tightening my eye area works wonders! I'm very curious to try other REN products now, especially the masks which seem to be all the rage in the blogging world. The good news is, REN has stockists all around the world, and it's even available here in Slovenia (whoop whoop)!

*Products were sent to me for review.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Easy hairstyle tutorial: Inside Out Ponytail

Here we have a super cute and really easy hairstyle that looks good on everyone with medium length or longer hair. It really couldn't be any easier, all you need is a hair tie and a hairbrush, and that's it! Start by putting your hair in a low ponytail (I left my bangs out). Then, create a hole right above the hair tie by pulling appart the hair. While holding the hole with one hand, scoop your ponytail into the other and feed the hair through the hole, then pull it to the other side. And you're done! Mine looks a little bit messy, but I did this in less than a minute, and so can you. You can carefully brush your ponytail after you're done for a sleeker look.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

5 Step Easy Summer Drugstore Makeup Routine!

Wow, what a mouthful that title is. Do forgive my massive cheesiness, but I had no other way of describing this great makeup look which will take you minutes and is great for summer!

Step 1: I always like to do my eyebrows, since they do frame my face. Currently I'm using one of the shades in the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette to do this, but this is very symbolic - you can use a drugstore pencil or shadow. I like Catrice's Brow Pencil. If your eyebrows are already full and dark (I'm jealous!), you can substitute the eyebrow product for a concealer (I like Bourjois Healthy Mix, and a good bet is the Collection 2000 one which is insanely popular) or a shimmery white eyeshadow to put on your browbone and cupid's bow!

Step 2: If you have oily skin, a translucent powder will be your best friend in the summer. Currently I'm using Catrice's Skin Finish Compact Powder in 040 Apricot Beige, which does a great job of mattifying the skin. Apply it with a kabuki or big fluffy brush.

Step 3: Blusher is essential for me, as you all know. A great summer color is Barry M's blusher* in number 003 (I think this is Raspberry Pink). You can see my swatches of this product on Ličila.si's website, where you can also order it. :) Applied lightly, this gives a lovely flush, but put a bit more on the blush and you will be left with a gorgeous summery color, Živa approved. :P

Step 4: Mascara! You don't need anything else to make your eyes stand out. Currently I'm loving Essence's I <3 Extreme Mascara. This is super inexpensive and I absolutely adore it - I will never buy high end mascara again! It gives you crazy volume and is really really black. It also lengthens them quite nicely.

Step 5: Nothing will tie a look together (and make you look like you made an effort, when really, you just slapped a few things on yo face) like lipstick. I'm in love with Maybelline's Color Sensational Vivids, the one pictured here is Shocking Coral, a massive favorite of everyone on the interwebz right now. The color is a vibrant, gorgeous orange-ish pink. You can apply it straight out of the tube for a dramatic look, if you want something less dramatic, use a lip brush and blot inbetween applications for a stain effect!

There you have it - an inexpensive, simple makeup routine that will take you from everyday to summer nighttime parties! I do hope you like it, as well as appreciate the photo by the pool during which I almost fell head first (along with all of the makeup) into the water.

*Product was sent to me for review.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The beauty benefits of flowers

Since I'm staying at Tilen's house right now, the posts I'm publishing are a little different, but I hope you don't mind. Besides taking walks along the beautiful and picturesque lake and swimming in the pool, I'm also learning about flowers and their use in the kitchen and beauty. All these lessons are coming from Tilen's mom Majda, who I've mentioned a couple of times before, and I love dearly. Today I'm bringing you a post about how to use some flowers that you can find growing in your own garden to your benefit, and I do hope you enjoy it. This post was written with the help of Majda, and also a lovely book by Maria Treben, called 'Gesundheit aus der Apotheke Gottes'. 

I'll be talking about three flowers today, and the are thyme (also called 'materina dušica' here in Slovenia), lavender and St John's Wort.

In the second photo, you can see the beautiful yellow blossoms of the St John's Wort. Majda says it's also called 'the flower of cheerfulness'. It can be used against burns from the sun or as an apres-sun moisturizer by combining the dried blossoms with olive oil. It will take a while for the oil to sink in, but your skin will be glowing and radiant afterwards. You can also make a tea out of it to help your mood and to stop stress. This plant grows in the summer months and is up to 1 meter high.
When I read the book, I found out that it is also great for infections, wounds and to help relieve pain. It is also great with different mental illnesses, like depression, panic attacks etc. You can also use it for baths!

In the third photo we have thyme. It is mostly known as a herb used in cooking and it can also be used for tea. The giveaway for this plant is the wonderful scent. It is great with cramps and really helps relieve the pain. It's also good with illnesses of the respiratory system.
The book says you can also use it in baths, make a syrup or oil, or even herb-filled little pillows.

And last, we have the wonderful lavender. A favorite of many people because of its lovely scent, lavender truly is a multi-tasking plant. Majda says she likes to make tea out of it to help headaches, it's also used as a herb, as a ... um, how do I put this ... well, it shooes moths away. :D And it's also quite calming, so you can put the dried flowers in your pillow to help you sleep.

Well, there you have it, my first post about natural remedies. I hope I've shown you that you can find wonderful plants in your very own garden. If you are interested, I can also post about a homemade tea that Majda makes and is absolutely AH-MAZING. I drank it in gallons this past winter and I cannot wait for the new batch to be ready. Please let me know if this is interesting to you and if you would like to see more!


Flowers in bloom

Some beautiful photos of my surroundings at the moment. I'm staying at Tilen's house and everyday, I'm amazed at the beauty of this place. Hats off to his mom, who tends to these beautiful flowers, and is an all-around lovely person. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Your blog featured on mine - for free!

Hey there! Today I decided I would like to feature some of my friend's and people all around the world's blogs on my site. And I won't be charging anything for it, it is completely free - all I ask in return is that you post my blog button on your site as well. :)
I'm looking for lifestyle, beauty, fashion, cooking - anything goes - blogs to feature on the sidebar of my blog! I will choose the blogs according to my taste and will feature up to ten blogs per month. Every month, I will also do a post about the blogs I'll be featuring, complete with a photo of you, your blog, and a link to it. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail to nothinfancyreally@gmail.com or contact me via my Facebook page. Hopefully this will bring my readers to your blog and yours to mine! I would love to hear from you, so don't be afraid of writing to me. Toodle-doo! x

Candle of the month #1

Every month or so, I'll be featuring a new candle. I've loved candles for ages, but recently the blogger craze got the best of me, so I decided to start this new series in which I'll share with you my favorite scents. Today I'm featuring one of the wonderful Yankee Candles, which, for me, are the absolute winners in the candle category. The one I'll talk about is their Lemon Lavender candle. This scent is absolutely beautiful, being a true lavender with a quite obvious hint of zesty lemon, which really makes the fragrance sparkle. These burn beautifully, just make sure it burns all around the rim the first time you light it. They will make your room smell amazing, even if you don't burn them - just take the lid off and walk into a fresh room, full of the smell of lavender and citruses. By the way, these lids are super practical when you're not using the candles, they do the job of keeping the dust off!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Building a capsule wardrobe: Shopping for fall

Okay, okay, I know. We're in the middle of summer, and I'm writing a fall shopping post?! What the ... Well, my reasoning is that I like to plan things ahead and I like to be prepared. So this fall, when it comes to shopping, I have a few things in mind and I will be looking to invest in the pieces mentioned in the photo above. They will be my investment pieces of the season and while I do plan on buying a few filler pieces to complete my wardrobe, these will be the main things I buy for fall.

Fall for me is full of transitional pieces that can work in summer, or even in winter. I'm looking to invest in a nice pair of ankle booties, of which I have two pairs, but they are looking very worse for wear. I think a good pair of boots will last for years, so they're definitely worth spending a bit of extra money on. Another item I've been coveting for years is a light scarf, namely the skull one from Alexander McQueen. Opinions differ about this scarf, but for me it's a classic piece and also a remembrance of one of my favorite designers, who passed away a couple of years ago. What I would really love to get is a striped sweater, because the one I had before (from Zara, it got ruined in the wash), was a staple piece for me and I ended up wearing it loads, especially with black skirts like the one in the picture above. And the last thing are a couple of basic tees, which I could layer with, as well as mix and match with different bottoms.

P.S. I do have to admit that I cracked this week and bought some things at Zara and H&M, even though I've been successfully resisting them for a while now ... Tilen says that money is burning a hole in my pocket, which essentially means that once I have some, I've gotta spend it. :D It's a terrible mentality, but I do feel the urge to buy beautiful things and it's definitely hard to resist. I actually started this whole capsule wardrobe thing because I feared I was verging on the shopaholic territory. And I do have a few tips about resisting shopping as retail therapy, so if you're interested in those, please let me know.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Current haircare routine

Today I'll be showing you my current hair care routine. First of all, don't panic, I don't use all of these products every day! I switch between using them so I don't weigh down my hair too much. Now let's get started, shall we?

I'll start by explaining my hair type. It's longish, light brown with blonde ombre, which has really damaged my ends, unfortunately. Well, I really love the look of it so I'm not saying goodybe to ombre anytime soon, but I do have to take extra care of my damaged ends. Otherwise, my hair is normal to dry, with the tendency to get oily around my fringe, but that's the only part of it that gets oily soon. My ends are super dry and quite damaged, so I like to take care of them now that I've already ruined them.

In the shower, I start by applying my shampoo and conditioner, currently I'm using Balea's fig shampoo, because frankly, it's the least inexpensive ... And I find it does a satisfactory job of cleaning my hair and removing buildup, but that's about all it does. Every two to three days I also like using a hair mask. It's usually Macadamia's Deep Repair Masque, but if my hair is looking really worse for wear, I'll reach for Gliss Kur's Ultimate Nourishment Mask (or something like that). This is a mask targeted specifically to very dry and damaged hair and I've found it works miracles on the way my hair looks and feels, but only if I use it religiously ... I don't think it really repairs my hair, but it does help with the way it looks considerably. A product I use everyday is this Balea Nourishing Hair Milk with Mango. I think it makes my ends look a lot better, plus it's smells absolutely divine, which I also really like. Sometimes I follow up with one of my hair oils, the one pictured here is L'Oreal's Extraordinary Oil, which has a lovely scent. I really like using it when I curl my hair, because it adds shine and definition. If I do curl my hair or treat it with heat, I also like using a heat protectant, like this one from Lee Stafford*, which I find does the job for me.

Well, that's it! I do find that these product do a nice job of helping my hair regain its moisture, but I'm still looking for some that would help the dryness. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. But if I was to recommend a product from what I use, it would probably be Balea's Nourshing Milk, because of the lovely smell and the way it helps frizz in my hair to, well, not appear. :D

*Product was sent to me for review.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Building a capsule wardrobe: Spend or Save?

I have periods in my life when I focus on different things, like the topics of this blog. Once it'll be books, then perfume, then makeup. Right now it's fashion! So that's why I'm coming to you with a new series about building a capsule wardrobe. That is essentially a wardrobe which will take you anywhere from a night on the town to a stroll in the park. Today I wanted to show which are the items I think you should spend/save on. Let's get started.

Versatile items that you'll wear time and time again, in my case a timeless black skirt that will look good with my pear-shaped figure, will last for years. I've found that the best shape of skirt (or dress) for me is a skater or pleated shape, because they hide my wide hips. The skirt is great because it's a separate and you'll be able to mix it up with a variety of items and create loads of different outfits.

Leather jackets are a must-have for my wardrobe, and I think the master here is Rick Owens. One day I'll hopefully own a leather jacket by him, until then, my Primark version will have to do. But a nice, quality version will last you a lifetime, and if you pick a good cut, it will stay in fashion, too. (By the way, if you are shopping on a budget or really don't want to spend the money, my afore mentioned Primark faux leather studded jacket is absolutely amazing and has lasted me 5 years so far - it looks just as it did when I bought it).

Boots & shoes are another one of those items that you need to take time and care when choosing. If you spend a lot of your time on your feet, it's very important to go for quality fabric as well as a good heel and sole, so you don't end up damaging your feet. I chose three of my favourite pairs I hope to own someday, my favourite of the three being Alexander Wang's Anouck boots.

This is more of an in-the-middle item, but for me it's still a spend. I would say a Michael Kors watch is definitely a must-have, in the color that suits your skintone the most, be it gold, silver, or the currently popular rose gold. The watches are really well-made and timeless. I do have a cheaper watch from ASOS which is already tarnished after less than half a year of use! 

The final thing on my Spend list is a striped sweater. If you like classic pieces, go for a traditional one, but I like classic with a twist, so I fell in love with this one which has silk ruffles cascading down the back. You will wear the heck out of this thing, because I basically goes with everything. Wear it with your favourite pair of jeans, a nice skirt, mix patterns over a floral dress ... Anything goes!

A nice trench coat will do wonders for your wardrobe, and you can truly wear it anywhere. I think a Burberry one is essential for any wardrobe, and even though I am nowhere close to owning one, I hope to be a proud owner one day. 

So, my rules in general when it comes to spending on fashion items would be:

  • Splurge on classic, timeless piece that will remain fashionable for years (or you won't feel silly wearing them in a few months' time).
  • Make sure you really love the item before you spend the dough.
  • Buy items as a special treat, for example a reminder of a super successful month at work.
  • Quality, not quantity.
  • Go for neutral colors (and prints can be neutral too - I consider a great striped piece or even leopard print in brownish colors neutral as well).

A camisole which you can layer under other clothes or wear by itself will do wonders at tying your wardrobe together. My favourite one is a black silk number from Zara with lace on the top and bottom, and it's beautiful after about 7 years of wear! I would recommend them in neutral colors, but a nice pop can also be added by purchasing one in a neon, or jewel tones.

Denim jackets are a must-have for me. I would say save on this item, just make sure it's made of cotton and a great cut. I got mine from ASOS for around 50€, it's an oversized fit with a vintage blue wash, and I really adore it. I might add another jacket that is shorter and more fitted, because they are very versatile, but it's not a priority at this point.

T-shirts. Nothing can be as chic or as stylish as a super simple outfit of ankle booties, your favourite pair of jeans and a great cut tee. I have yet to find the perfect one, but my suggestion would be to go for natural fabrics and avoid Polyester. In the end, these tees will need replacing sooner or later (especially when it comes to white colors), so you don't want to cry over the money you spent on them.

A trendy pair of sunnies is best bought at a cheaper price, because they will go out of style and next year you'll want another pair. Don't get me wrong - I've wanted a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers most of my life, and I will eventually get the real thing! But when it comes to shapes like cat-eye or round frames, it's best to save up as these trends change super quickly.

So all in all, what are my rules when it comes to saving on fashion items?

  • Go for trendy items, but make sure you love them still and won't discard them as soon as they go out of style.
  • Go bold or go home!
  • Go for natural materials that will let your skin breathe.

So there you have it, the first post in my series of building your wardrobe. What do you think, is this interesting? Would you like to see more? Please let me know your opinions in the comments down below, they will be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Empties #5

Hello hello! Long time no see. I won't make any excuses, but let's just say I've been feeling pretty down lately. I think I burned and crashed after being hyper for such a long time ... More on that in an upcoming post. & Now on to the empties!

L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray - This is probably one of the most famous hairsprays out there and I really wanted to see what the fuss was about. To be honest, it wasn't anything special to me, it even made my hair quite crunchy, which I generally hate since high school, when I used to walk around with my bangs plastered to my forehead (a la Prada, Spring 2010 show. Yeah. Maybe cute on the runway, but really life? Not so much). I did however like the small packaging which is perfect for carrying in your bag!

Guhl Monoi-Öl Hair Mask - Bought this on a whim, and because I love Monoi - we had a perfume with it in Yves Rocher and I used to spray myself with it all the time. Have to say the mask was nothing special, and it's quite a small packaging so I would say skip this one - there are better ones out there.

Balea Raspberry Shampoo - As a shampoo, this is not special at all. But that scent ... Oh, fresh raspberries and cream! I love it so much, I couldn't wait to get in the shower every morning. But if you like raspberry scented products, Balea has a wide range of them, no need to get this shampoo. I really enjoy the body milk/souffle/lotion/whatever which is also raspberry scented!

Balea Sweet Wonderland Shower Gel - Ah, I have already proclaimed my undying love for this one a couple of times, but it really is a winner. Chocolate pudding scented and lathers up really nicely - where has it been all my life?!

Balea Fig & Chocolate Shower Gel - How I go through so many shower gels is beyond me. But I have to say I've been really pleased with Balea ones. This one smells divine as well and is creamier than Sweet Wonderland.

La Roche Posay Micellar Water - My favourite micellar I've tried so far. Really gentle, smell is inoffensive, though it can leave a little bit of residual makeup, so I'm still looking for the perfect one. My next buy will probably be Vichy's Thermal Water, I've heard that it's great.

Ultra Doux Soft Clay & Citron Extract Shampoo & Conditioner - Lovely products with a very enjoyable and fresh scent. They are unfortunately for oily hair, which I have now realized I don't have anymore, my hair is actually quite dry ... So these weren't for me, but they were really really clarifying and I enjoyed using them, so I would strongly recommend them if you have the right hair type.

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat - Okay, let's talk about the elephant in the room - this stuff is super expensive. And I would say just go for Bourjois Healthy Mix, as it's just as good! If you feel like a bit of luxury though, there is nothing quite like this foundation - the beautiful glass bottle and the gold pump really make you feel like a spoiled princess!

MAC Opulash - You know, you hear so much about MAC mascaras and how they're not worth it, but this one was actually amazing! With a huge wand it really gets ahold of every lash and makes them super long and volumized. Really amazing product.

Soap & Glory Face Soap - I really enjoyed this product. The smell is great, very pepperminty, and it also has tiny exfoliating beads which are perfect for everyday use as they are very gentle. Definitely recommend, but maybe more for oily/combination skin - if you have dry skin, the peppermint may prove to be too stingy and the exfoliating beads too much for you!

Armani Acqua di Gioia Perfume - Oh, how I loved this fragrance ... It is definitely one of my favourites. I smell watermelon in it, even though it's not listed as a note, but it really is the perfect summer perfume. Very strongly recommended and I'm even thinking about purchasing a new one because I cannot find a better scent (summer perfume recommendations are very welcome).

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