A beauty & lifestyle blog.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Best Kept Secrets Gingerbread Cookie Candle



I don't like ginger. I don't drink ginger ale, don't put it in tea, don't even eat the pickled ginger I get with my sushi. Gingerbread though? Sign me right up! Fellow blogger and all-around lovely girl Sandra surprised me with this amazing candle as a belated birthday gift. She knows me too well - I've gushed about these candles to her before and I was so excited to finally have one. It's safe to say I'll be ordering a bunch more as soon as I burn through some of my other candles.

Gingerbread seriously reminds me of Christmas. Okay, okay - I know it's still September, but I'm totally in a deck-the-halls-bring-out-the-mistletoe mood! I just love Christmas and the sooner I get to celebrate, the better. This candle is getting me in the mood perfectly, I just love it. It's very spicy but gourmet at the same time, filled with sweetness, ginger and cinnamon as well as sugary notes. Gah, I wish there was a perfume like this because I would drink it out of the bottle wear it everyday.

This candle is made by Best Kept Secrets and you can purchase it in Sandra's online store, Destination Pretty (change the language in the top right corner). At around 11€ a pop, it's affordable and deliciously scented! For a home filled with the smell of gingerbread goodness, look no further.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shampoo & Conditioner Reviews (Dove, Satinique)



As you may have noticed, my blog has had a little makeover! I hope you like the design as much as I do - I love the new look. That aside, today I wanted to talk a little bit about the hair products I've been using. Recently I've noticed my hair is really, really demanding. Almost every shampoo I try does not work for me, so I've just been sticking to a tried and tested favourite - Garnier. But I have a few new things in my shower and thought I would review them.

A few weeks ago I was in our local drugstore, and I picked up the Dove Pure Care Shampoo & Conditioner. Each of them cost around 3€ on sale and I immediately thought of Lauren Conrad. Ages ago, I read in a magazine that she loves Dove haircare and now that it's finally more readily available here in Slovenia, I remembered that and just bought these two. I loved them at first. My hair was silky soft when I used them, smelled amazing and didn't get greasy for two days. But then something happened that has been going on with every shampoo I've been using - after about a week of using them, my hair got worse and worse. As soon as I dried it, it was already greasy! I have no idea why this is happening - I can use the conditioner, but the shampoo just messes with my hair. So, thumbs down on this shampoo. The conditioner however, I love. It smells lovely, makes my hair soft and really nourished.

Let's move on to Satinique. I attended an event for the brand back in the summer and hair been faithfully using their Anti-Hairfall Shampoo and Conditioner ever since. I really enjoy these two. The scent is gentle but lovely at the same time and I love the effect of the products. I'm not sure if they had any effect on the hair loss part, but I love using them, especially because no other shampoo seems to work for me. I had no problems with this one, which is great. These are a bit more expensive though, around 14€ for each on amway.si. I really like this brand, though, and I want to try more products from them, because my hair seems to approve.

My foray into the world of shampoos is semi-successful. It just seems like something in the shampoos others love doesn't work for me. I'm not sure if it's SLS, or parabens, or something of the like, I need to do more research. But so far, the only shampoo that works for me is either Garnier or Satinique. Conditioners work great, but shampoos are another story. Do you have any advice for me? I really have no idea what I'm doing wrong!

What shampoo & conditioner are you currently using?

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Bourjois Beauty Haul


I was lucky enough to be sent a few Bourjois products which I am so excited about! I requested a few things with one thing in mind - recreating a certain makeup look. Can you guess which one?

As opposed to my usual red and pink lipsticks, this time I went with more taupe and brown shades. Of course I had only one person in mind - Kylie Jenner. I love the look she wears a lot with neutral matte lips, so I got a few products to try and recreate that for you. Here are the lip product swatches ...


I also got a Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, which I used to love in the past. I've been wearing True Match these days and while I love it upon application, I find it to be a little patchy during the day and it makes my skin horribly, horribly oily. I need to fix this because the other day I looked at myself in the mirror at work facing a window and probably let out an audible gasp at the horror that is my face at the moment!

I also got the new 1 Seconde Mascara, which I've heard nothing but amazing things about. It has a plastic brush, which I don't like in general, but I think I'll love this one, it looks pretty good. I'll report my thoughts back to you, of course.

That's it for today & hope you enjoyed a little beauty fix!
What makeup items have you bought lately?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Essie Nail Polishes - Red


I haven't posted in absolute ages! I finally got a few moments today and wanted to share a post with you. In case you don't know, I recently got a new job at an online drugstore and my days are very busy lately! Hopefully I'll be back to posting a lot soon, but until then, please forgive me.

Remember last year, when oxblood was all the rage? Let's just call it burgundy and be done with it, shall we? I was looking at my nail polish collection the other day and noticed I have quite a few Essie polishes in this colour family. All of them have been worn loads and I realized this is one of my favourite colours for the colder months. Let's see what we have.

The first polish I swatched for you is Recessionista, which I think is a pretty old colour, but surely you'll be able to find something similar. A gorgeous, deep berry red that looks amazing and requires two coats for full opacity. I love the look of dark, vampy nails, but sometimes feel like some polishes are just too dark and always look black on the nails. Not this one though.

Next we have Angora Cardi, which is probably in my top 3 Essie nail polishes. I just love this one, it's a muted reddish purple with brown tones and looks so pretty and delicate on the nails. These muted colours are really what does in for me in the fall, I love the look of them. In the wintertime, I'm more about dark greens and blues, but dusky pinks, muted reds and violets are just the bomb when October rolls around. Opaque in 1-2 coats.

Finally we have the appropriately named Big Spender which I got for my birthday last year. A gorgeous dark raspberry colour, this one is shiny and juicy and opaque with one coat. Absolutely gorgeous!

Regarding the lasting time of Essie polishes, I'm not overly impressed, they chip within the first day on me unfortunately! But I have to say I think their colours are spot on and I already have a few on my wishlist (my excuse being that it's officially fall now, never mind the KIKO nail polish haul I posted weeks back) ...



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Monday, September 15, 2014

Yankee Candle Halloween Collection - Ghostly Treats



When I was approached and asked if I'd like to try the new Halloween Collection from Yankee Candle, I practically squealed with joy. With three scents in it, I had the hardest time choosing only one, but finally settled on Ghostly Treats, which is described as the scent of gooey toasted marshmallows. Oh my!

As I opened the package, a huge smile spread over my face. I only skimmed the images in the e-mail as I was so excited, and I had no idea the packaging of the candle would look like this! It's an opaque white colour with the cutest black and purple print on it featuring a cemetery in a very Halloween-appropriate scene. I just love it!

The scent itself is indeed very marshmallow-y, but not the fake scent you might imagine. It's incredibly sweet, vanillary, sugary, soft but strong and just so comforting! This is possibly my favourite scent from Yankee Candle (sorry Summer Scoop). It's just so lovely!

The other candles in this collection include Witches Brew (patchouli) and Candy Corn (sweet scent). I would love to own them all. The candles cost £16.99 and you can already get them on yankeecandle.co.uk!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Birthday Tea Party

A few weeks ago, Kim and I celebrated our birthdays with a little tea party! Our birthdays are only a week apart so we decided to host it together at my place.

Kim brought some amazing food with her - muffins with apple and cinnamon and the most amazing raw cake which we promptly gobbled up. I made Nutella banana bread with berries and some peanut butter cookies. 
We also miserably failed at making Mimosas (which were disgusting) and discovered our love for the Hofer ice tea, which is absolutely delicious and so inexpensive as well.
But the real star were surely these cute decorations from Ginger Lily Paper! How amazing are they?






Tjaša, who is the owner of Ginger Lily Paper contacted me and was the whole reason we decided to have this little tea party. I mean, the decorations were just too cute to pass on! Tjaša actually personalizes each and every one and then you print them out yourself, so they are really unique and so, so pretty. I loved the slogans we chose for them and they turned out really cute. Kim and I chose the Paris set, which is absolutely adorable and perfectly up our alley with pink and black as well as dots, bows and stripes. Gorgeous.
But most of all, I was so happy to meet Tjaša. She is the sweetest girl and I love, love, love her store. It's safe to say I will be ordering from there in the near future, she has some incredibly cute things in stock. I would really recommend taking a look.
Here are some of the photos I took myself (the ones above are by Tjaša) ...






More thanks need to be given - we even had a sponsor for our tea party - Oblak Commerce. They supplied us with REN products to give to the party guests - how amazing is that?! And my most recent giveaway with little perfumes was also sponsored by them. Amazing!
All in all, I was completely overwhelmed with how nice everyone was to help us put this together. But I do have to say, I was more than a little disappointed that only a few people showed up. I've never had many friends, but I've always strived to make more and be friendly. I guess I'm oversharing right now, but sometimes I really do feel a bit alone.
Sending you all a virtual piece of the amazing cake Kim made!
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ELF HD Blush in Diva



I have another ELF post for you today. I will be reviewing their HD Blush in the shade Diva, and don't forget to check the end of this post for your coupon code for ELF Cosmetics!
When I first opened the package, I loved the intensity of this colour. The HD blush is incredibly pigmented - and I mean seriously, you need the tiniest, tiniest amount. I love the packaging of this product, which comes in a container with a pump. A small amount comes out when you press it, but I find even that to be too much sometimes! You can see how crazy pigmented it is on the swatch above.
The shining quality of this product, for me, is definitely the lasting power. I tend to over apply blush, because it always fades throughout the day. However, with this product, it stays on. And on. And on. You literally need to use a waterproof makeup remover to get it off! It's amazing, and if you have issues with your blush fading, I would strongly recommend HD Blush from ELF.
The shade Diva is a gorgeous blue toned hot pink, which looks amazing blended out. I just love it. Here it is on me ...



My only qualm with this product is that you really need to be careful with application, because you can quickly apply too much ... Blending with your fingers is best with HD Blush, and really remember that less is more (take your own advice, Živa).
And of course, I also have a coupon code for you - yay! Using this, you can get 50% off the ELF HD blush on their website here. Amazing! The code is ...

ZIVAHDBLUSH
Code valid from 00:01 BST 13/09/2014 until 23:59 BST 19/09/2014. You must add a HD blush to your basket and enter the code to receive 50% off the product. 50% off applies to HD Blush ONLY. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Order details cannot be changed once the order has been submitted, this includes order contents, delivery address details and promotionalcodes. Please ensure that any promotional codes have applied correctly before submitting your order. e.l.f. Cosmetics reserve the right to remove this promotion at any time. 

The code is again, valid for two weeks. Hope you get something amazing with it! 
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Bvlgari Man In Black



A few weeks ago, I attended another beautiful event for the release of Sensai's revamped line with the Japanese Saho tradition. We were also introduced to a new fragrance by Bvlgari and I just couldn't let this one go unnoticed! You need to know about this perfume, be it for a loved one or for yourself - it is absolutely divine.
As soon as I smelled this fragrance, I was surprised. It was all explained soon - the creators of the perfume decided to mix feminine notes with strong, masculine ones, to create a unique blend. It's really noticeable, the perfume starts off with notes of spices and tuberose, but then adds leather and rum to the mix. The overall effect is a beautiful, beautiful mixture of a scent that is somehow subdued and incredibly sexy at the same time. 
The scent is long lasting but doesn't have an incredible sillage, which I actually like. It means only someone who gets closer will be able to smell this beauty, and isn't that somehow very seductive? It's like a whisper of a promise, so strong when you embrace him, but only teasing you when you're a few feet away.
I also love that the perfume was inspired by mythology, which is a topic that has interested me since I was a child. It was mainly influenced by the story of Vulcano, a god who was exiled to a volcanic island and found himself in love with his surroundings.
I am going to come right out and say it - I will steal this perfume from my boyfriend often. It is just such a gorgeous, intoxicating scent and I think it works well on me! However, Tilen absolutely adores it as well and has gotten so many compliments already it really makes me jealous.
In Slovenia, you can buy either the 30 or 60 ml bottle with prices from around 52 to 72€. I would really strongly recommend this one - I don't generally post about men's products but I just couldn't resist ...

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Beauty Blog Photography - My E-Book!


 I have a little surprise for you ...
I've been getting so, so many questions about my photography, and I also did a post on it a few weeks ago. However, I felt like I still had so much more to say ... Thanks to a talk with lovely Tjaša, I decided to pursue this and wrote an e-book of my own.
In it, you will find ...
- 50 pages of pretty photos & my tips and tricks
- advice for buying a camera
- settings breakdown
- editing ideas
- what every beauty blogger needs
- your photography examples, made over by me AND
- 3 BONUS mini chapters on social media photography for Pinterest & Instagram as well as a page on Smartphone photography



I really, really hope you will love it as much as I do. I will be updating this page, but for now my book is available on Etsy.

BUY THE E-BOOK


If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments or e-mail me. I would love it if you could share this as long as you like the e-book. I've set the price at 5€/6.65 USD/4 pounds for now - I hope that is okay!
With love,

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ELF Mineral Blush in Pink




We have a very special post today! I was incredibly thrilled to be contacted by ELF, a company I've been interested in for ages. I was sent three blushers and I will be reviewing them for the next two Saturdays as well as today.
To kick things off, we have their Mineral Blush in Pink. I've only tried one mineral blush before and while I liked the colour, it didn't stay on for the entire day. The ELF Mineral Blush comes in a  pretty container and has a sifter when you open it. You can easily shake it and the product comes out - not the case with the Lily Lolo blush I have which you basically have to bang against the table to get the product out! 
Here is the blush on me ...


The thing I love the most about mineral blushes is their gorgeous luminosity. You don't even need to use a highlighter with them! Pink is a gorgeous baby pink colour with the most beautiful sheen. It looks beautiful in the light and when you turn, your cheeks catch the light and glow in a gorgeous way. The blush is very finely milled, you need the smallest amount, but it is not hard to work with at all. Plus, it last for ages! Mostly, blushers just rub off on me - hence my tendency to wear tons as it fades throughout the day - but every ELF blush I've tried has amazing staying power.
It's my favourite out of all the blushers I've received, and at only 6 pounds, it's such a  bargain!
And I have a special surprise for you as well. Ceryn over at ELF (doesn't she have the most gorgeous name!) was kind enough to offer a discount code for all of my readers! You can get 50% off of shade of Mineral Blush on the ELF website here. Amazing, right?!
Here is the code for all my readers & followers - 

ZIVAMINERALBLUSH

Code valid from 00:01 BST 6/09/2014 until 23:59 BST 12/09/2014. You must add a Mineral Blush to your basket to receive 50% off the product. 50% off applies to Mineral Blush ONLY. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Order details cannot be changed once the order has been submitted, this includes order contents, delivery address details and promotional codes. Please ensure that any promotional codes have applied correctly before submitting your order e.l.f. Cosmetics reserve the right to remove this promotion at any time. 
This code is valid for two weeks, until September 12th, so make sure to use it by then! I hope you buy something good :) And don't forget to drop by next week for another little surprise ...
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Upcoming Reviews & Requests #2



Hello! I've done a post like this a few weeks ago, and here's another one. I have a bunch of new products or things I haven't reviewed yet here, so I thought I would show them quickly and ask you what you're most interested in ...
I have a few REN bits as well as a Mio scrub which I'm just loving at the moment. His and hers fragrances by Oriflame, and two Essence bits as well - I just couldn't resist their new mascara, which has the most adorable packaging ever, and I also got another one of their matte glosses because they're really amazing for the price.
If you're interested in a specific product or want to request a post, feel free to do so in the comments.
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Giveaway - Fruity Fragrances



 As you may or may not know, it was my birthday a week ago! Yesterday, we had a little tea party to celebrate along with Kim, whose birthday is tomorrow. And the lovely people at Oblak were sweet enough to provide gifts for everyone who came, so we had goodie bags filled with REN products as well as Fruity Fragrances
We even have a few extras, and I'll be giving away 3 fragrances today - Blackberry, Sweet Vanilla and Tropical Coconut. All of these smell lovely, especially the coconut scent. If you'd like to enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below ...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd really like to thank Oblak for making this possible, the tea party was lovely! I'll show you photos soon along with another very special sponsor who I'm keeping a secret for now ... Good luck in the giveaway lovelies! It's open internationally, of course. 


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Yankee Candle Wakiki Melon



Another candle review for today! Last Friday, Kim and I went to the opening of the new Yankee Candle store in Ljubljana. The store is so dainty and cute, and I can tell a lot of pennies will be spent there by yours truly! I went home with this beautiful candle in a small jar, and I've also placed an order which is already waiting for me at the post office, but let's keep the scents I got a surprise.
The scent I got from the event is Wakiki Melon. This is a gorgeous, very fruity, very juicy scent, perfect for summer - or in my case, to remind me of the summer we never had this year, because in Slovenia, the weather was horrible for most of the summer months. Wakiki Melon mixes juicy melon with citrus notes, is really sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It's such a juicy scent, I can just imagine a smoothie or juice smelling like this, and I love burning it - it really fills up my room with the amazing scent of ripe fruit. Just lovely.
If you are from the UK, check out the Yankee Candle website here, and if you're from Slovenia, please drop by our local site (they have a scent of the month and it's reduced in price, this month it's Sicilian Lemon).
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Foundation Empties & Reviews - Catrice, Rimmel, L'Oréal



I recently used a whopping number of foundations - 3! I've had all of these since the beginning of the year so it was high time for me to use them up. Now I'm done with all of them I thought I'd give you some quick reviews of what I thought of them. I've also bought a new foundation which I absolutely love - I finally got L'Oréal True Match! If you'd like to see a review of it, I would gladly post one. Now let's start with these used up bottles.
I've had Catrice All Matt Plus for the longest time, and the reason behind that is that I truly do love it. I've mentioned before how much this foundation reminds me of Revlon Colorstay, but a better version of that - it's not as thick and does not feel like a mask in the slightest. I also really enjoyed the finish of this foundation, which is indeed very matte. Plus, it's really affordable at around 6-7€ in European drugstores (dm, Müller). I know Catrice recently revamped their line for fall and kept this foundation, which must mean others like it as well! They also have a few new foundations I'm dying to try out, but that's a topic for another day.
Back at Christmas time last year, I visited Budapest, and left with a bottle of Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation. This is very different to Catrice - it's dewy and light, with small glitter and shimmer particles in it. It's also inexpensive at around 8€. Don't let the glitter scare you off as it is barely visible on the face. It gives a very nice luminous finish. My skin is very oily, so it did get shiny after a couple of hours and I had to powder it, which is the only qualm I have with this foundation.
Finally, we have my all-time favourite. Don't get me wrong, all of these foundations are lovely, but L'Oréal Lumi Magique just takes the cake. It's a bit more expensive, anywhere from 12-17€. But it's so so worth it. What I love most is the high coverage while it remains very light and the versatility. You can apply it without powder, which would look beautiful on drier skin, but on my oily complexion, used with a powder on top, it gave me the most gorgeous luminous, glowing-from-the-inside finish. Just a gorgeous product! I would strongly recommend this one, even if you don't like dewy finishes, give it a go.
Those were all my foundation empties as of late and I have to say, I've really been hitting the nail on the spot with my choices lately! There's only one in my drawer that I don't like right now, but that's saved for another post. Hope you enjoyed!


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KIKO 529 Metallic Beetle



Basically, I wanted to do this post because the photos of the polish are so pretty (I love that photoshoot with Kate Bosworth for InStyle). So do forgive me if the swatches are not the best, I tried, but there's only so much you can do without a DSLR when it comes to nail swatches.
As you may know, I got this nail polish in my recent KIKO haul, and it's probably my favourite out of all the polishes I got. 529 Metallic Beetle is a gorgeous metallic green which looks blue in some lights and jade in others. It's just gorgeous! Plus, you only need one coat for full opacity, which is just amazing. I do wish these polishes lasted longer, though. They chip the next day or even the first one for me, but then again, so do all nail polishes I've tried ... My nails are very brittle, so that may be the problem.
Here's the (awful) swatch ...


Hopefully you can see how gorgeous this colour is, I really do love it. It looks more blue on the photo, but in reality it's very similar to the jade necklace is the picture.
I'd say KIKO nail polishes are definitely ones to try, especially for that price - I got them for 2€ on sale, but they're usually around 4€. Let me know if you do decide to give them a go!
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I Heart Makeup Blushing Hearts



Let's take a quick moment to admire the cuteness that is this blusher. I mean, that heart shaped packaging, the cute colours, and all that pink ... I'm in love! I was more than thrilled to receive this baby for review as you can imagine, and I've been wearing it a lot ever since. My love is also symbolized by the fact I took approximately 9737625561 photos of it. Now let's get on with the review.
This blusher is baked and consists of three colours. The shade I have is Blushing Heart. The first colour in it is a pretty bright pink, the second a light orange, and the third a pretty coral. The shades are all muted and very pretty with no glitter, but a lot of ... I don't know whether I should call it simmer or iridescence, but that's in there for sure. Together, they make a really unique blended colour and I especially love the luminous look it has on my cheeks. I especially like the fact that it doesn't make my skin greasy, it's very finely milled and feels like nothing on the skin.



This gorgeous blusher is available on Licila.si, but it's unfortunately sold out at the moment, so you might also want to check the official Makeup Revolution site. The price is awesome - only around 6€, which is a complete bargain for such a big blusher, and I really do think this shade is very unique.


I'm really sorry I didn't include a photo of it on this time - I'm so tired today and really don't feel like putting on makeup, so I do hope you'll forgive me. To tease you a little, let me just tell you I have a bunch of blusher reviews coming soon, and you might also be getting a discount code for a very cool & budget friendly brand ... Can you guess what it is?
Until next time!
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