Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Outfit: The Bargain

Zara cardigan | Forever 21 leggings, rings | H&M top, bag, shoes, skull ring | eBay scarf

Oh boy, this cardigan. The moment I saw a picture of this olive beauty on Zara's facebook page I knew I had to have it. After minutes of frantically searching every single section of the webpage (yes, even the menswear), I realized that it had sold out already, one day after its release. I was devastated. I even considered paying horrendous sums on eBay for this piece, until I had the brainwave of calling the closest Zara store and ask whether they had it. You see, I absolutely despise phoning people and for a brief moment, spending 20€ more on a 16€ cardigan seemed nicer than just calling the shop. I am one of those people. Luckily, they still had heaps of this cardigan in stock and even laid one aside for me! I was so happy when I held it in my hands! Long story short, I'm really glad that I managed to pick up such a comfortable bargain that'll surely become one of my most-worn pieces this season!
Side note: It also reminds me of something a LotR character would wear. But that totally didn't make me want it 10 times more, I swear.

I usually don't wear my glasses when taking pictures of an outfit, but I think that they really compliment the look this time. What do you think? The scarf I'm wearing was a total bargain, I got it last winter from eBay for a couple of dollars and it has been a life-saver. It's not the only colour I have and I'm considering to get even more! The leggings were 3€ from Forever 21 and I am so glad that I picked them up despite the low price tag because I've been living in them ever since I got them. They're so comfortable and don't feel cheap at all!

What is your favourite piece to wear this autumn?

P.S:The lighting in the full-body shots is a little bright this time, sorry about that! I must have messed up the camera settings without noticing it and tried to save it as best as I could.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

One Year Blogging Anniversary

This Nutella cupcake was just as delicious as it looks.
Time flies if you do something you thoroughly enjoy, doesn't it? It was only a couple of weeks back that I thought about checking when I actually posted my first blogpost and realized that my first blogging anniversary (or blogiversary, whichever you prefer) was drawing close. When I uploaded a review of the Korean fashion onlinestore Fashionsuzy on the 27th of September 2013, I would have never thought that I'd still be blogging one year later. Especially not when I think about how short-lived my hobbies usually are.
Since then, a lot has changed. I've gone through quite a handfull of blogging slumps and considered just dropping it all not only once along the way. I've grown in confidence, not only in myself but also in my own personal style and the way I do things. I learnt that copying others might be good at the start, but it is not a proper path to take if you want to grow yourself.

The last couple of day have been extremely hectic and I'm beyond grateful to have some calm hours to myself to enjoy a nice cup of tea before everything takes off again. I reached my goal of 150 followers. I got a job. I'm starting university in a week. My blog has accompanied me through my last year at school, it has helped me stay true to myself and to back my own opinions.

I am ever so grateful for all the support you have shown for me and my content throughout the year, even though my content and I have gone through such a big change since the start. At this point, I want to say Thank You to all of you who read my blog! I wouldn't be here without you. This was only one year of blogging and I've grown so much already! (Not literally.) Yet, I'm certain that there is still so much left to learn and to discover!

I can't wait to find out where my online journey will lead me in the next years.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Review: Syoss Supreme Selection Restore Haircare Line

Syoss Supreme Selection Restore Haircare Line

Before I jump straight into the review, I'd like to ask you all for a favor! The voting for the Style up your... contest is now live and it'd mean a lot if you could vote for me here: link. You only have to enter you e-mail adress! 

When I saw the (almost) complete Syoss Supreme Selection Restore Haircare Line wrapped up in a sleek gift wrapping and a ridiculously low price tag, I almost jumped of joy! The whole set currently retails for only 9,99€ at BIPA if you have a loyalty card, which is a complete bargain as the leave-in spray costs that much on its own already. I might need to go back and stock up on this offer as long as it's still available!

Before I jump into each individual product, let me just tell you what this whole haircare line is all about. Syoss' Restore line claims to "repair" split ends and porous hair. (read: patch it up with loads of sillicones) The products are aimed at extremely damaged hair.

Syoss Supreme Selection Restore Shampoo - 250ml for 5,99€
This is described by syoss as a very mild shampoo, but I'd hardly agree to that claim as it contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, a rather harsh Sulfate. However, my scalp does not have any problems with SLS so it works just fine. It also contains water soluble silicones (Dimethicone).
The first thing you notice when using this shampoo is its very strong scent that reminds me a lot of alcohol and pears. However, that scent doesn't stick around for very long, it's usually gone by the time my hair has dried. It looks very glossy and golden and doesn't foam quite as well as I'd like it to. After a couple of usages, my hair felt distinctly softer.

Syoss Supreme Selection Restore Conditioner - 250ml for 5,99€
You might remember this product from my last hair essentials post in which I said that I absolutely loved this conditioner. Well, nothing has really changed. My hair has only been getting better since I've started using it and I'm super glad that I now have a refill for when I run out.
The conditioner aims at making your hair manageable and at increasing its combability. To acheive this effect, it contains water-soluble and non-water-soluble silicones. The conditioner smells much better than the shampoo and has a slightly off-white coloration. I notice the difference between this conditioner when rinsing it out. The hair gets so much softer and it would even be possible to brush it while it's wet, although I don't recommend doing so.

Syoss Supreme Selection 10 in 1 Essential Wonder Leave In Spray - 100ml for 9,99€
The leave-in spray is definitely the highlight from this haircare line. It has 10 claims (repairs, sleekness, shine, combability, no split ends-effect, power, no frizz- effect, heat protection*, vitality, moisture-balance) and lives up to 8 of them. It does not mend your split ends and it does not repair your hair. That's impossible. However, it does live up to its other claims, which is quite impressive, to be honest! My expectations of this product were rather low, but it convinced me thoroughly after the first use. It's a protein treatment that you apply to your towel-dry hair. The smell is somewhat sweet but really good! The clear bottle shows you exactly how much you have left, which I think is really handy.
*for hairdryers only. There is another product from this line that provides complete heat protection for all your heat-styling needs.

Verdict: I really enjoy the products in this haircare line! The shampoo definitely works better if used in conjunction with the other products, but I do think that the leave-in and the conditioner would also shine on their own.

5 / 5

Note: The product claims to restore hair cells and mend split ends. That is not possible. The verdict was drawn from personal experience and while keeping in mind that hair can not be repaired in any way. Please keep that in mind!

Again, it would mean so much for me if you could vote for me here! Thank you so much in advance!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

5 Things I learnt from Blogging

Things I learned from Blogging
As my 1-year blogging anniversary is approaching with quick steps, I've been thinking back to how it all started. You know, when you start blogging, you hardly think about what you could probably doing wrong and, you know what, it's beautiful! You write about whatever comes to your mind and you value every single pageview you get. You don't worry about what your niche is or whether your image titles are SEO optimized. But as the time passes, everything becomes more serious and in some way elitist. Mind you, this is not one of those countless "Blogging Tips - The Guide to Success" posts. I thought I'd simply share some things about creating content that are not often talked about.

1) There is no "Guide to Success".
No matter how often you read through blogging tips and tricks to improve your pageviews or your Google Pagerank, there is no easy way to get famous over night. If there were one, no one would share it. Blogging is a fun hobby, but it's also hard work will take up hours of your spare time. Everyone starts out small, and if you see someone with a couple thousands of followers, they've been building their readership for years.

2) Shooting in RAW improves your pictures quality tremendously.
If you have the opportunity to do so, shooting pictures in RAW format is the way to go. You can correct faults in lighting or lens distortion easily that way, without any drawbacks in picture quality. If you don't have a camera that can shoot in RAW format, that's fine, too! Just take your time and make sure your pictures look the best possible.

3) Tape makes composing flatlays so much easier.
Have you ever tried lining up a couple of MAC lipsticks on a flat surface and taking a picture of them? Yeah, that's not gonna happen. Unless, of course, you use a small loop of clear tape to make them stay exactly where you want them to.

4) It's okay to be different.
We're all individuals. It's completely fine not to follow the mainstream. Just be yourself. That way, you won't run into the problem of not seeming genuine to your readers. Be confident in who you are.

5) There is no need to buy into all the newest trends.
Of course, it might seem tempting to be the first one to review the newest beauty release, but chances are you won't, even if you buy a product right after its release. Stick to what you are passionate about and don't try to follow trends that you are not comfortable with just for the sake of it. It's also a good idea to "shop your stash" and look for products that have been working for you on the long term.

I personally think that the best way to find out what works for you or not is to try out different approaches and see what works for you. Don't take other people's advices as written rules. That's as much advice as you're going to get from me, which is why I wanted to focus more on the practical approach of blogging, which might be helpful for more people out there than for the sheer statistics-focused elitary blog-optimisation way.

Is there something absolutely essential or a life-hack that you've learnt from blogging? Let me know in the comments! 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Review: MAC Russian Red Lipstick

MAC Russian Red Lipstick
I've you've been following my blog for a little longer, you'll know that I've been wanting to get my hands on MAC's Russian Red for what feels like forever. Everytime I've dropped by at my MAC counter of choice, I've been playing with the thought of picking it up but I never ended up doing so. So, on my latest trip to the MAC counter, when I finally managed to justify spending 19€ on a lipstick, it was sold out. As were Rebel and Ruby Woo, so I left empty handed yet again. Eventually, an online order happened and now I can finally say I'm a proud owner of Russian Red (as well as a Studio Fix Foundation, which I'll talk about at a later date).

MAC's Russian Red is an intense blue-ish red lipstick with a matte finish, that suits just about every skintone. It's especially flattering as the blue undertone makes your teeth seem whiter. One lipstick contains 3g of product. The price varies depending on your currency. 

MAC Russian Red Lipstick

indoors - natural light (window) - flash

MAC Russian Red Lipstick Swatch
(pictures taken with flash)

MAC Russian Red Lipstick
This lipstick is absolutely beautiful. The colour is super flattering and perfect for the upcoming autumn and winter months. The pigmentation is really good, it applies evenly and it lasts super long. I've worn it out to lunch and it stayed in place all throughout eating and drinking. Just like other heavy-coverage lip products, it leaves an outline on your lips as it wears off so I would recommend a touch-up every copule of hours, especially if you use lipbalm on top of your lipstick. 
Even though this is a matte lipstick, it doesn't dry out my lips that much. Every couple of hours, I use a bit of lipbalm on top to keep them hydrated, which I have to do anyway if I wear lip products.
Russian Red looks more than decent on its own, but I would recommend a lipliner for a neater look. If Russian Red isn't matte enough for you, I'd highly recommend Ruby Woo. It's a similar, yet a little lighter, shade with a retro matte finish. 

5 / 5

It's so hard to to an unbiased review about this lipstick, I just love it way too much. 

Do you have a favourite MAC lipstick? If so, what shade is it?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Outfit: The Skull Dress

Primark dress, earrings | H&M shoes, glasses, ring | Forever 21 bag, necklace

Ah, my lovely Primark bodycon with the black and white skulls and roses on it. I've had this beauty sitting in my closet for the past year (and a half?) without wearing it out because I just wasn't given the right opportunity to wear it. So, what does a blogger do in that case? Right, she wears it out for a walk and mini shopping trip around the town. Well, the main reason for getting into this bodycon was to take pictures of it, I'm not gonna lie. It was quite the odyssey to find a decent location for taking these snaps, mind you! First, we had a grafitti background in mind but that wasn't working out. Then, we headed towards a beautiful fountain only to remember that they usually turn it off at the end of summer. 
We ended up choosing this spot right across of a cafe so people were staring like they always did. Some bikers even waved at me.  When I'm thinking back, this would have freaked me out completely a couple of months ago.
Looking at these pictures makes me realize how long my hair actually was before I had it cut a little and switched from a blunt hemline to layers. It also makes me realize how little sunny days we still have left before autumn commences. I don't want to jinx it, but I do think that this will be one of this year's last summer-oriented outfits.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Beauty: Sample Spotlight #2

I've lately gone through my sample stash and tried out a couple more samples to share my opinion about. Funnily enough, only now I realized that two of the above shown satchets, the Tonymoly lotions, are actually from the same skincare line as my daily moisturizer, which I've reviewed here.

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream (Bright Fit) N02 Light Beige - 60g for 27,45$
I've used this BB cream in my recent One Brand Face Make Up Challenge blogpost, so if you want to check out how it looks like on, you can go over there and have a look. I already tried the exact same BB cream in Cotton Fit a while ago and wasn't too impressed. Mainly since it wasn't a good fit for my skin. N02 seems to be light but cool toned and it gets a little darker as it sets, which makes it a bad match for my cool-toned skin. This might not seem like it in the pictures from my previous post, but keep in mind that I used flash in those. I do think, that the warmer toned shades of this BB cream would be a better fit for me. The finish is on the dewy side and it smells like flowers or soap.

Tonymoly I'm Real Lotions
As opposed to the rich cream from the I'm Real skincare line, the lotions are much more runny and feel a lot lighter on the skin. However, they're both moisturizing enough to be used instead of a moisturizer. The whole skincare line is free of Parabenes, talc, benzyl alcohol, mineral oil, artificial colors and other harsh substances, that might trigger breakouts.

Tonymoly I'm Real Aloe Soothing Lotion - 200ml for 9,26$
The soothing lotion has a cooling effect on the skin and has a herbal scent with a hint of cucumber added to it. It's very runny and absorbs quickly. Some of the main ingredients are Aloe Vera extract and Argan oil. I think this would be really good for skin that needs very gentle products.

Tonymoly I'm Real Seaweed Aqua Moisture Lotion - 200ml for 9,26$
A very light and super moisturizing lotion with a fresh smell. It absorbs even quicker than the soothing lotion. The main ingredients in this lotion are sea water, Seaweed extract and Argan oil. This would be great for very dry skin or if your skin needs a little extra moisture during the colder months.

If there is anything else you'd like to know about these products, I'll do my best to answer your questions in the comments!

P.S.: As of today, I'm going to mark "follow for follow" requests as "spam". Thank you for your understanding!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

How to: Style up your old beanie

A while ago, I was invited to participate in the austrianwide Loctite "Style up your..." Blogger competition, which involves giving an old accessory a new look using Loctite's new Style Superglue*. The winner of the competition gets to go on a weekend-trip to a European capital of their choice. I instantly got super excited and thought about what I could possibly style with the tube of superglue they kindly sent me. I discarded many ideas, such as styling up a transparent umbrella, until I settled on one that I was 100% pleased with. I wanted to create something that's not too over-the-top and that I could see myself wearing on a daily basis, especially in the colder months that are just around the corner. Autumn is usually about toned-down colors, such as mustard, forest green and grey. However, if you're like me and you're mostly drawn towards black and white outfits, adding a pop of color is never wrong! 

Here is my finished DIY rhinestone beanie!

Looks cool, doesn't it? I composed a little tutorial showing you how exactly I've done it. It's super easy and it only takes about an hour of time and a somewhat steady hand.

What you will need
An old beanie, Rhinestones, Superglue

You can find the Pinterest Pin to this tutorial here.

It would mean a lot to me if you could vote for me in the public voting once it starts on the 25th of September. I'll update the post on that date with a link and will let you know about it in my following posts! Thank you so much in advance!
Please let me know what you think!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Outfit: Different Shades of Black

Dress - Brandy Melville Jada Dress | Shoes - H&M (old) | Hat - H&M | Necklace - Shop Dixi

Going through these pictures reminds me of the last, really hot day that we've had this summer. My lovely boyfriend found this gorgeous shooting location which took me some time to get to in those shoes, but it was totally worth it. The stones were reflecting so much sunlight that I had a really hard time keeping my eyes open, thus pulling some hilarious faces and having to delete various "closed-eyes"-pictures. What I also noticed way afterwards was that I probably screwed up the camera settings a little, so god bless Photoshop for salvaging tons of overexposed shots.
Anyway, onto the outfit. I've really been loving the dress, it's super comfortable to wear and looks great on its own but even greater with a chunky sweater thrown over it. The shoes are something I regret not wearing more often this summer. I used to wear them all the time last year, but this year I somehow forgot about them.
On the one hand, it saddens me to see summer go ever so slowly, but on the other hand I can't wait to wear chunky knits again and drink loads and loads of hot chocolate! What about you?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

FOTD: One Brand Make Up Challenge ft. Etude House

First off, I 'stole' this idea from the lovely Jenn from A Beautiful Zen after reading her post in which she did a full-face make-up using nothing but L'oreal products. You can find the post I'm talking about here. I thought that this would be a great way to spice up my usual FOTDs so I gave it a go! However, I chose Etude House over L'oreal because I thought owned enough products to beat the challenge this way. Well, not quite. Halfway through I realized that I don't own a single EH mascara so I had to cheat a little. The BB cream I used wasn't a full-sized product either and will be featured in my next Sample Spotlight.

Here is my finished look!

Products used:
Etude House Precious BB Cream Bright Fit (N02)
L'oreal False Lashes Telescopic Mascara

I went for a warm gold-ish glitter into dark blue smokey eye to enhance my natural eyecolor and finished my eyes off with a hint of mascara and a subtle eyeliner flick. I left my eyebrows alone because I actually like the natural look I'm currently rocking. On my lips, I'm wearing a nude liptint because I was a little afraid of going over-the-top.
The BB cream made me look a little shiny in combination with using flash. I wish I coud have used some powder to reduce the shine a little, but I did not want to cheat on this challenge more than once.

I hope you like the look I created! Please let me know what you think! 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Wishlist: A/W Picks #1

I haven't done a wishlist on my blog for quite a while, haven't I? Lately, I've been using Pinterest for managing my wishlist so this is only a small selection of products that I've been wanting to get or that I'm waiting to get later this year. 
One of my main must-haves for the A/W season is a big, light colored, fluffy coat. I've been looking for a nice one everywhere and I haven't found the right one yet, so this picture from Urban Outfitters is merely a placeholder. I have to admit that Topshop's Cara Delevingne collection coat has charmed me a lot, but it's real fur and far too expensive. (800€? Really, Topshop?) 
I've been loving the camisole top trend ever since it arose in summer and I just can't stop adding more and more camis to my wishlist. I only have one so far and I desperately need more. This silver one from Topshop is just one of many. As I'm going to university next month, a nice, big bag would be very handy to me. This one from H&M is real leather and so spacious! 
Marc Jacobs' Daisy Dream. Need I say more? It's exactly my scent, which is why I'm saving up for the full sized bottle. The Shop Dixi bag is basically just another placeholder saying: "I absolutely want everything from this website, no exceptions." As I've been experimenting with eyeshadows more frequently in the last months, I'm now looking for a nice palette with nice neutrals and a hint of color. A Naked palette is not really tempting, however, the Too Faced Chocolate Bar absolutely is. 
Last but not least, two cardigans. The first one is from Urban Outfitters and it really shows that my wardrobe is seriously lacking some basics. A black cardi is only one of them. The second one with the faux-fur trim is from Nasty Gal and I've been eyeing it for a while now even though I'm super unsure whether it'd suit me or not. I really love how dreamy it looks, though!
That concludes my first A/W wishlist and I'm certain it won't be my last.

Are there any items you're dying to get during this season? 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Top 5 Most Used Beauty Products

If you had to narrow down your beauty stash to five products, which ones would you choose to keep? What might look like the typical "if you were sent to a desert island"-scenario at first glance proved to be quite a challenge for me. A couple of years back I probably would have grabbed my make-up bag, which consisted of only five products at that time, and I would have been good to go, but ever since I started blogging, my stash has been growing and growing and there is no end in sight.

These products are my absolutely most frequently used. Well, one could argue and substitute the MAC lipstick with a moisturizer, but as a lipstick lover, I just could not bring myself not to include a lipstick.

From left to right:
Lioele Perfect Jumbo Stick Concealer* - I might not use foundation on a daily basis, but concealer is an absolute must for me if I have to leave the house. I just don't really feel comfortable when my dark circles are showing or if I can't hide the occasional spot.

Essence Eyeliner Pen (superfine) - Oh, how I wish I hadn't picked up the wrong one on my last trip to the drugstore. This has been my go-to eyeliner for over a year now and it hasn't let me down since. The thinnest tip is perfect for a fine line that ends in a flick. I really need to get a backup for this one, the one I currently have completely dried out on accident.

Schwarzkopf Gliss Daily Oil Elixir - This salvaged my hair on more than one occasion. The most recent one was after I tried going "no silicones" for a while. (Spoiler: It didn't work for me.)  It's loaded with silicones, but my bleached ends really can't complain. It's lightweight, absorbs super fast and leaves my hair soft and ready to be brushed.

MAC Lipstick in Creme Cup - My first MAC lipstick. I wouldn't abandon this one for anything. It's by far my most used and most comfortable lipstick, even though the Cremesheen finish turns it into a rather high maintenance shade.

Tangle Teezer - A friend got me this for secret santa last year and I haven't looked towards a different brush ever since. It's a little scratched up at the back since I constantly carry it around with me, but I think that only shows how much I love it! The only thing that really bothers me about the TT is that it's kinda hard to clean.

Those are my most used beauty products! What are yours? 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Outfit: Not all those who wander are lost

Top - Forever 21 (old) | Leggings - Black Milk Clothing (Map of Middle Earth) | Shoes - H&M | Bag - H&M (old) |
Bracelets - old

I've wanted to do a Lord of the Rings-inspired outfit ever since I've started browsing The Pyreflies. Jessica puts together great casual outfits inspired by video game and movie characters and I knew that sooner or later I had to make an attempt at that, too. When deciding on what exactly to wear, I mainly thought about how a female Elf would dress in the current time. I'm not the tallest of all people (5"2') and I'm probably closer to a Hobbit than an Elf size-wise, but I just couldn't help it. I simply prefer the Elves, their gracefullness is so inspiring!
I have to say that I'm really pleased by how these pictures came out! The shoot itself was jinxed. The moment I was ready to go, it looked like it was going to start pouring down, but luckily we could find a nice place to shoot before it began to rain. The alley we were at is right next to a small river and there were a lot of baby mice running around. They were so cute! I swear, once we realized where they were coming from, we spent about 10 minutes gazing at the small furballs before continuing our shoot.
Another thing that I only really noticed when editing the pictures is how translucent my blouse actually was! It looked far less revealing in front of the mirror. Well, it's not like showing a bit of bra wasn't a popular summer trend anyways, right?

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