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Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Yves Rocher - Nutritive Vegetal Repair Cream Mask

I thought I'd get back into the swing of reviews and start off with a brand that I've always been fascinated with: Yves Rocher. Hard to come by in North America, but fairly available in Europe. I have fond memories of my mother using their products when I was younger, their cleansers always smelled aaamazing.

I had been suffering from dry skin when I was browsing the store and therefore my eyes ended up landing on this product. It was labeled as a hydrating mask, the ingredients looked ok, and it was on sale, so I hurriedly placed it in my basket and went on my merry way.

I'll spare you the details and just cut to the chase here: it was a complete flop. Zero effect on my skin. I put it on, left it on for 20 minutes, washed it off, and bam! Same old dry skin. It was as if it was never on my face to begin with!

And I have tried leaving it on for much longer and it still had virtually no effect. My skin did feel softer, but it still felt very parched. To me, a good hydrating mask is one that leaves your skin feeling so quenched that you don't even need to put on a cream afterwards. With the Nutritive Vegetal Repair Cream Mask, I instantly bolted for my moisturizer. Ah yes, the woes of a disappointing product...

But don't worry, this hasn't deterred me from trying out other products from Yves Rocher in the future. I know they have some gems out there. If you have any recommendations yourself, please let me know in the comments! :)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Recommendation of the Week: "It's Okay, That's Love"

If you're one of those people who are in to "Trash TV" like Keeping up with the Kardashians, the X Factor, The Vampire Diaries, etc, then this recommendation is most likely not for you. If, however, you are one of those people that enjoy a real work of art that makes you think and question things in life, then stick around and read till the end! :)

I know what you're all thinking: isn't this just another typical K-Drama? Hell to the no. This series is nothing like I have ever watched before. And thank god. It's rare to come across something unique and original these days. This show has everything you could ever want: humour (plenty of it in fact!), romance, drama, character building, the overcoming of issues, the relations between humans as a whole, and most importantly - the destigmatization of a topic that has plenty of misconceptions in our society today.

That topic happens to be Mental Illnesses. A very sore topic in many countries, undoubtedly. Thankfully, this show really opens up one's eyes and makes you look at it from a completely different view. 

Plot Summary: Jang Jae-yeol is a writer of bestselling mystery novels and a radio DJ. Playful and a bit arrogant, he also suffers from obsessive–compulsive disorder. Ji Hae-soo is a psychiatrist on her first year of fellowship. Driven and ambitious with her career yet compassionate towards her patients, Hae-soo has a negative attitude towards love and relationships in her personal life. Once Jae-yeol and Hae-soo meet, there is much contention between them caused by their strong personalities and refusal to give in to each other. But slowly their bickering turns into love and they begin to learn how compatible they are. Jae-yeol and Hae-soo attempt to heal each other's deep-seated wounds, but their fledgling relationship takes a blow when they learn that Jae-yeol's mental health issues are more serious than they initially suspected.

A quote from the show that really represents the message is this: "He's not crazy. He's sick". There are tons of more quotes from this show, some really beautiful ones in fact, but I'll let you watch it for yourself rather than list them all. 

If anyone feels like being enlightened and having a good laugh, and cry, then I couldn't recommend this show enough. It truly is an emotional roller coaster. Though I must say this: "It's Okay, That's Love" is very very raw. There's nothing unrealistic about this show. The writing reads off like real life. This series is the opposite of all things Hollywood; nothing is sugar coated, and the acting really portrays that. Meaning, when they cry, they will CRY (snot and wailing and all)- not have some pretty fake tears and a little sob. And it all feels incredibly refreshing.  

I would write more, but I don't want to give anything away. So to conclude: everything about this show is perfect to me - down from the writing, to the actors, to the soundtrack. It's very rare for me to not have a single complaint about a show. It's one of those series that as soon as you have finished it, you just want to instantly re-watch it all over again. And if you are reading this now and you have watched it already, let me know what your thoughts are in the comments!

till next time ;)

Monday, 10 November 2014


“When the wind blows, let it come, stay, and leave.
When a feeling of longing comes, let it come, stay, and leave.
Pain will come. It will stay and live. It will live then leave.”

I thought I'd get back into the swing of blogging with a short and sweet post. I was going to originally write up a review on something, but then I realized it was already dark and not ideal for photo taking (damn you daylight savings!). Nonetheless, I wanted to post something. Just to confirm that I'm still alive. So here you are. Still alive. See you later then. 

P.S. whoever recognizes this poem/quote is awesome. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Learning a New Language: My Experience

I'm shaking things up today on Curious Alisa! I thought I'd write about something quite big that I've been doing for almost a year now: learning a new language!

Now, to quickly give you a backdrop: I am a twenty year old girl from Canada. My first language is English (duh), but I am also fluent in Russian thanks to my parents, which essentially allows me to label myself as "bilingual". And I was totally content having those two languages. I took French at high school, and was pretty darn good at the grammar bits. However, I haven't used any French ever since I graduated High School and therefore hardly remember any of it. It became a passive knowledge, rather than active.

But then for several personal reasons, I ended up moving to Germany last year. And in order for me to be able to study at the local university here, I had to learn German. Don't get me wrong, I didn't exactly start with zero knowledge when I got here. I had taken a couple german courses at my university back home, but it just gave me some basic knowledge. I mean, you can't exactly learn a whole language from just two classes a week, 45 minutes each...

Now you're probably wondering, did I actually want to learn German? Well, my answer is yes and no. I didn't want to seriously learn it, maybe just a phew basic phrases and words. The reason behind that was that I honestly didn't think it was possible to actually learn a whole new language after childhood. After all, the brains of children are like sponges when it comes to languages. And even if it was possible, it would take several years.

Boooy, was I wrong! I started seriously learning the language and taking intensive courses in January, and I went from being an A2 to a B2 in 5 months. That's insane if you think about it. Here's a table that explains exactly what each level stands for. For reference, I have just passed an exam for B2 and am now currently doing a C1 course. I am getting closer to fluency day by day and it's an overwhelming feeling, having succeeded something that I thought was completely undoable. Words simply cannot express my joy and surprise.

So essentially I learned two things: not only is it actually possible to learn a new language, regardless of your age, but it is also possible to learn it quickly! The main key to success is doing it intensively rather than moderately. High School and Uni courses are moderate and barely scrape the surface, whereas 3 hour  lessons per day is intense and leads to incredibly fast progress! Of course, living in the actual country does help a lot because you hear the language all the time. Therefore, immersing yourself as best as you can is definitely an essential.

However, my weakness in the language is ironically talking. This might sound strange, especially since I now live in Germany, but hear me out. Just because you may live in the country where the language is spoken, does not actually mean you have to use it a lot. You hardly talk when you go out, whether it be to a store or something of the sort. All you normally would say is: "hi, yes or no, thank you, bye". Unless you have friends that only speak in the language you are learning, you will essentially never really have an opportunity to practice speaking.

Another reason why talking is a challenge for me is because I'm a perfectionist. I can't stand the idea of making a mistake *cringes at thought*. It sounds silly, but it really does stop and hinder me from saying a sentence sometimes. Talking is naturally a very spontaneous thing, and therefore we don't exactly have the time to "auto-correct" what we say. And that scares me. I'd rather say something 100% perfectly or say nothing at all. Which of course, is totally the wrong approach! You learn by making mistakes, so you have to risk making them. I try to push myself outside my comfort zone and I do see results from it.

This post is getting quite long, so I think I'll save my thoughts on how I find the German language itself for a different post :). But my main message is this: anyone can learn a language, as long as you put the hours into it! :) Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like these in the future. It's become quite a big part of my life and I would love to share it with you all!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Where are the Layers?

I know I've had a long hiatus, but I can assure you that it is somewhat justified. My reasoning is not your average writer's block. It sadly went much further than that... I essentially got stuck in a rut. Every time I wanted to write something, for example a review, I just thought to myself: what's the point? there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of the exact same thing already out on the internet. Did the world really need another virtually identical post?

Yes, of course, there are many different aspects to a beauty product that one can look at: does it work well, packaging, pricing, longevity, etc etc. But is that actual depth? Or is there really only one layer to it? Don't get me wrong, I am still utterly obsessed with all things beauty related! I can never just "go" a drugstore and not stop at the makeup aisle and swatch things for 20 minutes. Heck, I went to the store yesterday to just buy detergent and I came out with two new moisturizers (don't judge, we've all been there...). It's just that it's quite difficult to pour your heart and soul into something that is - dare I say it - a bit superficial *waits to receive a smite from the gods of beauty as punishment*. Apologies aside, it is in fact hard to bring your personality into something that can only go so far in terms of meaningfulness.

I guess it only makes sense as to why beauty bloggers always eventually start to branch out into writing lifestyle posts as well. To me, writing is a form of art, in which the author can beautifully portray his or her personal thoughts and emotions. But how many thoughts and emotions can a lipstick really hold?

Essentially, what I'm trying to convey here, is that I'd like my blog to grow and sprout new branches. I'd like my audience to be able to get to know me through my writing. And I know that people are more interested in reading about whether a new palette is worth the hype, rather than something a bit more philosophical like the idea of beauty (which I did write about here), but I am going to try and ignore the obvious difference in page views and push forward regardlessly.

Honestly, I still don't have a single notion of what I'll be writing about in the future. There will still be reviews and things of the sort, but it will no longer be the main content of this blog. It'll just be a feature. I will certainly need time to figure out in which direction I want to go, but I am excited (mixed in with a bit of fear and panicking) to begin this soul-searching journey. I can only hope that you'll stick around for it.

Much love,

- Alisa

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Hair Myths 101: Hair Oils

Long time no see everyone! I thought I'd get back into the swing of blogging with a second edition of Hair Myths 101 :). We're going to be discussing a very much loved topic in the beauty world: Oils. Hopefully this post will clear up a few misconceptions, which unfortunately I have seen floating around the beauty community.

Before we get on with the myths, I just want to quickly explain what hair oils are meant to do. Sounds like a silly thing to explain to most people, but there have been a few misconceptions about them lately. Hair oils are to be used to nourish and hydrate and repair your hair. Now I know some of you are thinking: "but doesn't my conditioner do that?". Nope. Conditioners are designed to coat your hair to prevent tangles and keep moisture in, so in other words they help prevent your hair from drying out, but don't actually put moisture into your hair. For further details, check out my last Hair Myth 101 post here. So let's move on to the actual myths!

Myth #1: "Just leave it in your hair for 15-30 minutes". You hear this phrase in almost every youtube hair mask tutorial unfortunately. But luckily I'm here to tell you that this is absolutely pointless! Oils do not soak into hair immediately. It occurs gradually, ranging from a few hours to up to 24 hours or more! Therefore, leaving a hair oil in for half an hour will do pretty much nothing for your hair. My best advice is to apply your oil before going to bed and leave it in overnight. That'll give you a good 7-10 hours to properly penetrate and hydrate your hair. Also, more is more when it comes to how much to apply.

Myth #2: "All oils hydrate your hair". Nope! Only a few types of oils actually penetrate your hair, the top few being Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Castor Oil. Coconut Oil is the most effective. These oils are the only ones that deeply hydrate the hair, to the very cortex of a hair strand.

Now, the rest of the oils kinda, sorta hydrate/penetrate the hair, but only the very outer layer/cuticle of the hair strand. Examples of this type of oil include: olive oil, argan oil (which always made me wonder why people call it the holy grail oil for hair...), avacado oil, shea butter, etc. These type of oils are ok to use to prevent split ends and knots, but don't do a good job at injecting moisture into your hair.

And there are two oils that don't do anything to your hair: Mineral Oil and Jojoba Oil (too big to penetrate the hair).

As always, this Hair Myths series is meant to educate the world about proper hair care so please spread the word by sharing this post and letting your fellow girlfriends know! :). If you wish to read more on this particular topic (as well as have the full list of oils) or just do some general research on haircare, check out this blog (link here). It's written by an awesome female scientist who examines haircare with scientific experiments and shows you the results through an actual microscope!

Next week's Hair Myths 101 will be on Sulfates :).

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Review: Sally Hershberger - Super Hydrating Super Keratin Spray

Ladies, have you ever asked a man in your life, whether it be your boyfriend or father, to get you something at the store, and they come back with something totally different? *nods understandingly*. Well, the same happened to me a while back. I had asked my dad to pick up my beloved Sally Hershberger Supreme Lift since he was flying to the States and Sally Hershberger products aren't sold here in Europe. Oh ladies, what I can tell you.... When you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself or send in a fellow female to the job.

So to sum up the story, I ended up receiving the Super Hydrating Super Keratin spray instead. I was disappointed of course, but I was also curious to try another product by Sally Hershberger. Sadly, it did not impress.

I'm always keen to try out hydrating sprays, mainly because I have yet to find one I genuinely really like. Unfortunately, this spray did the opposite of what it had promised. It made my hair feel dry and just unpleasant to touch, not too mention also harder to brush through. And as if that wasn't enough, it also made my hair get greasy quite quickly. Needless to say, a huge disappointment. I have a feeling it might be due to the keratin, but I can't say for certain.

So do I have anything good to say about this spray? Well... it smells nice and has a very nice fine spray that sprays evenly. Yup, that's pretty much. Nice fragrance and good packaging & spray, but with horrible effects. I do have a feeling though, that it might just be my hair. It might be the case that since my hair is so fine, it can't handle that much protein in a spray. So I can't be certain if everyone will have bad results with this product. But definitely something to consider if you're debating on trying it out.

Ah well, t'is the life of a beauty blogger. Also, if anyone knows a website that sells Sally Hershberger hair products internationally, please let me know! :)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Review: Kiko Sun Lovers Blush in 'Ipanema Peach'

Sorry for the long hiatus everyone! One of those "life got in the way" moments, but I plan on making it up with a week of blog posts, every single day :). I thought I'd get back into the swing of things by showing you one of my absolute favourite products that I've been loving recently. 

One of the perks of now living in Europe is definitely trying out products by the Italian brand "Kiko". They have tons of amazing stuff, all for very affordable prices. I'd been kind of stuck in a rut with my current blushes and really wanted to find something new. I went into Kiko with the intention of buying a blush that costed no more than 5 euros (which they do stock plenty of), but of course, I ended up falling in love with the most expensive one there (13.90 euros), that is limited edition. Luckily, I have no regrets whatsoever.

The shade is called Ipanema Peach and it is just beaauutiful. It's essentially a blush, highlighter, and bronzer all in one. You have one side with a very beautiful warm pinky colour with a gold shimmer to it, and the other side with a warm bronzer with a hint of hot pink blush running through it. It's just stunning. And to add to it's glorious baked-blush self, it's also extremely pigmented, so a light hand is definitely needed with this product.

I'm all about the blushes with highlight at the moment. However, I'm not a fan of anything glittery. Thankfully, the shimmer is really fine in this blush so it just gives you a natural glow on the cheeks. I'm quite pale, but this blush still somehow works for me. Though I can see why the line is called "Sun Lovers" because this would look especially gorgeous with a tan. 

Also, can we have just a moment to awe at the beautiful packaging? A sturdy rose gold compact that somehow manages to look high end. And a huge mirror to go with it. What more could you want?

This blush will definitely be a staple of mine during the summer. So I'd like to know, what are your favourite products from Kiko? Any recommendations of what to try next would be much appreciated :)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Review: Kiehl's - Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Fellow beauty lovers: have you ever bought a product that seemingly everyone seems to love, but it just didn't quite work for you? Yup, I'm having one of those moments.

Behold, the loved Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado by Kiehl's. Everyone claims it as their holy grail eye cream, saying that it fixes any kind of dryness around the eye area. My under eye area had been feeling slightly tight during the past few weeks and so I finally bit the bullet and purchased the not so cheap eye cream (25 euros/15ml).

What can I say? It's just not that moisturizing. I kind of even wonder if I just got a bad batch or something because everyone raves about it being a very heavy eye cream, whereas for me it barely did the job. The texture of this cream is quite thick and even a bit rubbery, which makes it slightly difficult to apply without tugging your skin. It made my eyes feel a bit softer to the touch, though still a bit tight to be honest, and the effects would only last a few hours. My eyes are also usually quite sensitive to creams, so I was happy at least to see that I had zero irritation or reaction from this particular eye cream.

Honestly, I have affordable night creams that work better than this stuff. I honesty don't know why this is the case since everyone else seems to love it so much. My under eye area isn't even that dry, just a bit dehydrated. I even checked to see if the formula had been changed but that doesn't seem to be the case.

If anyone can solve this mystery, please let me know! Until then, the conclusion of this review will remain as a disappointment. What are your experiences with the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado by Kiehl's? 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Herbal Essences - Bee Strong Conditioner

If you've been a long-time reader of my blog, you will then already know that I've been on the quest for a holy grail conditioner. Well folks... the search is over! Say hello to Herbal Essences's Bee Strong Conditioner. It's cheap (2.99 euros) and works like no other conditioner that I have ever tried.

Now, I'm sure that everyone has a different definition of what a conditioner should do, but for me the main points to be hit are the following: significantly prevents tangles, doesn't make my hair oily, and of course makes my hair feel soft. Oddly enough these points are easier said than done, especially with very thin knotty hair. I've tried countless amounts of conditioners, from low end to high end, and none of them made a difference to my hair.

But this conditioner just hits all the points. It smells delicious (sweet and fruity), actually reduces the amount of tangles I get, and makes my hair feel softer than usual. And the best part is that it does all that without making my hair super greasy. Total win, right?

Now I know you're all thinking the following question: "But does it moisturize your hair?" and to answer that naive question, no it does not and that's because no single conditioner will actually put moisture into your hair. However, it will keep whatever moisture your hair strands have in and prevent the strands from drying out so quickly. Only hair oils, such as Coconut Oil can put moisture into your hair. If you want further details on this explanation, check out my post here. It's all about the myths of Silicones and other haircare-like details.

Short and simple review, conclusion being: I love it! I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who suffers from knotty hair. It works and doesn't break the bank!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Liebster Award Tag/ Get to Know Me

Today has been a very tiring day, so I thought I'd write something that didn't require too much thought as my brain is feeling a bit kaputt at the moment. So I'm doing my first ever tag, and I've been tagged to do the "Liebster Award" many times by different people, but never bothered doing it. However, I was recently tagged by Sophie from Soph's Choice (check out her blog here), and I really love her blog and the questions that she came up with, so I figured I'd finally give it a go :).

11 Facts About Me
1. I'm a total bookworm
2. I am a tea addict and love trying new flavours
3. I tell people my favourite colour is blue, which is sort of true (it's my second fav), but secretly my favourite colour is pink (such a girly girl right?)
4. I'm fluent in English and Russian, and am currently trying to become fluent in German
5. My real name is Alice
6. I originally wanted to call my blog "CuriousAlice", but it was taken. So instead I used my Russian name, "Alisa", which is the name that my parents and family friends address me as.
7. I love cats and really want to get one when I have my own place
8. I'm a Sagittarius
9. I'm a very passionate person
10. My favourite city is London and I want to live in the UK after I'm done studying
11. I say "sorry" way too often (it's a Canadian thing :P)

Answers to Sophie's Questions

1. What made you want to start your blog?

Honestly, anytime I would try out a product and end up either really loving it or hating it, I'd always want to tell all my friends. So I figured I could reach a bigger audience with a blog. I have always valued honest and detailed opinions, which is why I love reading reviews. There were also times when I would try to find a review on a product, but no one had written one. So my second reason was probably also to help others by writing reviews on things that no one had written about yet.

2. What keeps you motivated to blog?

Now that's a tough one because I often do suffer from lack of motivation. I think the main things that motivate me are reading other amazing blogs and the idea of using this blog as a mean of getting a job in the future. Whenever I read other blogs that have amazing pictures and writing, I always think to myself: "I want to become a better blogger" and "be just as good as them". My dream job will most likely involve writing, pr, social media, and marketing, so this blog would be a good example to show future employers of what I am capable of.

3. What makes your blog stand out from the crowd?

My blunt honesty and personality. Unfortunately, I find that there are just SO many sponsored posts online that it's hard to find a 100% honest opinion sometimes. So if something is complete crap, I will tell you.

4. What's your favourite thing about beauty?

Probably that it can build up your confidence. You don't have to be constantly worrying about people seeing your imperfections (e.g. spots or dark circles) and you can highlight or emphasize the features that you really like about yourself (e.g. eyes or lips).

5. How would you describe your style?

In terms of makeup, "less is more" is definitely a good description for my style. I prefer the "no-makeup makeup" look, much more than a full face. As for fashion, I would deem my style as a mixture of classic, casual, and preppy.

6. Do you make beauty videos?

Sadly, no. A part of me really really wants to, but then other part just thinks that Youtube is such a big commitment and a lot of work, and there are so many beauty guros already that it's very hard to stand out. I think I probably might make them in the future, but not any time soon :).

7. What's your best beauty advice?

I have so many tips and advice in terms of beauty that it's impossible to choose just one! But for the sake of this question, I'm just going to go with the one that I've been recently trying to use: Put on whatever top/shirt you plan on wearing that day before putting on foundation. That way you can avoid any possible transfer :).

8. If you had to wear one piece of makeup for one month, what would it be?

Definitely foundation. I can go without eye makeup and all that jazz as long as I have foundation.

9. What product have you used the longest?

Hmmm... probably eyeshadow?

10. How do you find new blogs to follow?

Probably just through other people's blogs.

11. Do you tell people about your blog or is it a secret amongst the community? 

To be honest, I have only told a small circle of friends about it. Have never posted it on my personal Facebook profile or anything like it.

I tag/nominate:

Average with a Twist
When in Wonderland
Gloss, Glitz and Glamour
Lipstick Traces
Alina Ermilova 
Food for Thought
Sophie's Maze
Things my Mom says
Very Lovely Stuff

My Questions:

1. What or who inspired you to start your blog?
2. If you had to choose only one beauty brand to shop from, which one would it be?
3. How many languages can you speak?
4. What other passions do you have in life?
5. Who is your favourite youtuber?
6. Who are your top 3 favourite bloggers?
7. Which products do you buy more of, skincare or makeup?
8. What is your pet peeve about blogging/bloggers?
9. Does your best friend love all things beauty as much as you do?
10. What are the top 3 things on your wish list?
11. Which blog post are you most proud of?

Thank you again Sophie for tagging me! :) x. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Hair Myths 101: Silicones

Hey y'all! I've decided to create a new series on my blog dedicated to haircare, mainly because there are so many inaccurate things being told on the internet, whether it be by bloggers or youtubers, and I just felt the need to put this to an end. I am here to set things straight and get the scientific facts out!

There’s this trend currently going round, especially in Europe, where silicones are being labled as “bad for your hair”.Words cannot explain how sick and tired I am of hearing such nonsense. So let me just make it clear - right here, right now:

If you were to say, silicones do not nourish or hydrate your hair, then I would say: you are correct. Now before you run away from this post thinking this is all gobbledygook, please stop and listen. Yes, they don’t nourish your hair, BUT they do prevent damage to your hair. Now hear me out.

What is the number one cause of knots and tangles? The answer is hair rubbing against each other. If your hair is not silky soft and has no slip to it, it will easily knot up into a cat-like fur ball, and trust me, it ain’t pretty. And when you try to untangle your knots, you end up usually breaking the hair. Silicones coat the individual hairs so that they will be able to easily slip past each other and not tangle up. This will in the long run reduce breakage and split ends significantly. Silicones also drastically reduce frizz - who doesn't love that? 

Now to those who say, "silicones smother your hair and don't let your hair absorb moisture". Ok, first of all, hair doesn't BREATH. It's hair, not lungs. And second, yes silicones don't moisturize your hair and therefore doesn't help absorb moisture, BUT they do keep moisture IN. Meaning, your hair won't lose moisture as quickly as it would without silicones. And if you're worried about buildup, just use a clarifying shampoo every now and then and you'll be good to go. 

Hair oils (proper ones) inject moisture into your hair and conditioners (aka silicones) keep that moisture in and prevent hair from rubbing against each other and ending up in painful tangles.

Sorry for the rant folks, but it had to be done. Please spread the word and share this post, and we shall educate the world together about proper haircare :). Next week, I shall be covering hair oils, so be ready to be mind-blown! If you wish to read more on this particular issue, or just do some general research on haircare, check out this blog (link here), it's written by a female scientist who examines hair with scientific experiments and uses a microscope and everything.

I wish you all a lovely week and, of course, beautiful healthy locks! :) 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

What's Your Idea of Beauty?

I'm sure we have all heard of this expression before: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I've always somewhat agreed with this statement, but then a recent squabble with the boyfriend really did make me question the idea of beauty and whether or not it really is the same with each person.

We've all been guilty of stalking people on Facebook more than once, and remarking over the ones we find exceptionally beautiful. But things went weird when the people I kept pointing out as"drop-dead gorgeous", did not have receive the same label from my boyfriend. In fact, he pretty much disagreed with almost each example I showed him.

"How can you not find her stunning?? She could be a model!"

Typical boyfriend answer: *shrug*

So then I tried to explain to him what I found particularly beautiful about these women: a small round face, big green or blue eyes, perfect thick hair, nicely arched eyebrows, and (trying not to be crude, but being brutally honest) a well endowed set of female love melons. Yes, I just referred to breasts as love melons. Who knew this day would come...

He on the other hand, completely disagrees with this idea of beauty. And rightfully so, seeing as those qualities are the exact opposite of what make up my own looks. This is what makes up my own features: an oval shaped face (nor is it small), average sized brown eyes, flat thin hair that refuses to healthily grow to the long length I want, eyebrows with zero arch, and well, I do have mandarins but definitely not love melons.

And then I thought to myself: do I find these traits especially beautiful because I do not have them? Is it always the case that we just want what we don't have? Or do we just love to complain?

I guess I should be grateful though that his idea of beauty is different, otherwise he would've chosen someone else to be his little eating machine.

So, fellow beauty fanatics, here's what I want to know: What are your favourite physical features in others? And what is the reason/justification behind them? :) 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Review: Clinique - Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (vs. Emma Hardie)

I think we can all guess what happened just from the title of this review. Yep, I ran out of my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm (review here). As tragic as it was, I had to move on and find a replacement. Of course, I was tempted to just repurchase it but the price tag scared me away. So when I heard that there was a cheaper, but just as good version of it by Clinique, I swooped in right away.

Let me just start off by saying I much prefer the packaging of this balm. The Emma Hardie one was constantly cracking all over and just breaks very easily, whereas this one is a beautiful purple and very sturdy.

This cleansing balm does everything a cleansing balm should do: removes all makeup effortlessly, cleanses the skin, helps clean out pores and reduce the size of them (particularly on your nose), and doesn't strip the skin from any moisture. It also has zero fragrance whatsoever, whereas the Emma Hardie does have a fragrance, though a very pleasant one. Personally, I think the Clinique one is better suited to those with sensitive skin because there really is nothing in the ingredients that could possibly cause a reaction. The Emma Hardie balm does contain essential oils, which might irritate the skin of some people, though I myself never experienced any reaction.

So the question is: is it better or just as good as the Emma Hardie cleansing balm? The answer is no. And I only have one reason for saying this: it doesn't add moisture to the skin. The Emma Hardie can be used as a moisturizing mask, whereas the Clinique balm just doesn't really moisturize the skin. It does leave the skin feeling soft, but you instantly feel like you need to slap on some moisturizer after using it.

Though it does have two perks over the Emma Hardie balm - it doesn't stain towels. And secondly, it will last you a lot longer because it's much more solid. You literally have to rub your hand in it to melt it a bit so some oil will come off, which allows you to then apply it your face and massage it in.

I completely agree with Caroline Hiron's thoughts on it (link here), it's a really good cleansing balm, but it doesn't give you that "Ahhh" feel when you put it on like the Emma Hardie does.

But still, really awesome cheaper alternative! I'm quite shocked that I like it because I generally have a huge dislike for Clinique skin care products. They're usually way too harsh, which in turn makes my skin react, and tend to do more harm than good *cough* 3 Step System *cough*. This is the first item of theirs that I have used and actually liked, so bravo to Clinique! Though the one big down side to it is finding it. I don't know why, but Clinique has made this task very difficult. I could only purchase it online on Douglas, since for some reason they don't actually sell them in the stores.

But do be sure to try it out if you can! 
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($28 in the U.S./ €29.99 in Europe)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Douglas Haul

Oh the irony... My last post was all about a makeup clear up (click here for reference), and this one is all about going crazy at the stores and buying new stuff... Hey, nobody's perfect! To be fair though, I got rid of 5 lip products, and only bought 4 replacements. Surely that's an achievement, right?? Though I did also pick up two more extra things... I have to be honest: my wallet was furious, but my heart sang with joy at the sight of my purchases.

Just to quickly explain, Douglas is like Germany's version of Sephora, except it's sadly nowhere near as good. But, they do have a nice NYX stand, which I just couldn't resist. Everyone has been talking nonstop about the Butter Glosses, that I finally succumbed to temptation. I ended up picking up two neutral shades, "Tiramisu" and "Creme Brulee", and one nice flamboyant orangey-red colour in "Peach Cobbler". I have tried them all, and don't worry a review will be up soon. I also jumped on the bandwagon and got the NYX Mega Shine lipgloss in "Beige", which as we all know has nothing beige-y about it. They are all beautiful colours and extremely wearable.

And of course I couldn't just stop with the glosses. Oh no, I decided I need the Batiste dry shampoo, and along with that the L'oreal Super Liner. Though to my defence, I got the liner because in my head I thought that if I had an easy to use eye liner (aka a thin stick form), then I would wear eyeliner more often and stop being so lazy about it. Yes, every beauty blogger needs some form of justification for buying a product - "it's pretty" doesn't always cut it.

I shall report back in the future on how I get along with these items! :).

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Makeup Clear Out

Do you ever get those moments, where you look at a certain part of your makeup collection, and think: "My god... None of these suit me! Why do I bother keeping them?". Yup, I had one of those moments this week. Specifically, with my lip products. We've all been in that situation where you swatch a lipstick in the store and think it looks amazing, but when you get home to actually try it on, it looks awful or just really doesn't suit you. It sucks, but hey, that's life.

And I've been holding on to quite a few of them for no good reason. Let's face it, they will never magically one day suit me. They won't ever become my 'must-have' overnight. So it's time to say hasta la vista and move on. And the best part is that you end up creating more space, so you can now afford to treat yourself to some new products :D. Yes, my inner shopaholic did just type that, while my wallet wept a little in the background. Nonetheless, doing some early 'spring cleaning' does feel liberating.

If you're interested in which products I'm giving up, here are the details:

NYX Matte Lipstick in "Indie Flick" - This is a gorgeous, gorgeous orangey-red lipstick, but sadly really doesn't suit me. Not to mention, I'm also a bit of a wimp when it comes to wearing bright colours.
Astor in Soft Sensation Lipcolor Butter in "003 Caramel Envy"- this lip crayon swatches sooo beautifully, but when it's actually on my lips, they just look very bland and slightly dead. And it highlights dry patches. Yay.
Astor in Soft Sensation Lipcolor Butter in "011 Feeling Feline" - bright pinky/reds really don't like me. My lips just look way too bright and the colour really doesn't suit my complexion. Shame though because I really like the formula for this one.
Revlon Lip Butter in "Cupcake"- I have to come to the realization that blue-toned pinks are my enemy. So to summarize: just no.
Revlon Lip Butter in "Strawberry Shortcake"- This lipstick is a con artist or something. When it's swatched, it looks like a nice warm pink colour. But then when applied to the lips, it becomes a purply-pink! Warm-toned in swatches, and cool-toned on the lips. I've been tricked, and boy does it feel sad.

I encourage every reader out there to have a good look at their makeup collection, and ask themselves, "Will I ever wear this? Does it actually suit me?" And if not, well, you know what to do ;). 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Review: Bourjois - Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation

I have to admit, I've been a bit of a foundation-whore lately. I just can't stop. All of a sudden, I've just had the need to try them all, thinking that surely the next one will be 'the one'. I'm happy to announce, that the Healthy Mix by Bourjois really does deserve all the hype it receives. But is it 'the one'? No, but it's pretty close.

Let me just quickly sum up for the formula for all of you: it's a gel foundation (though feels just like a liquid foundation IMO), light coverage - though buildable to medium, and has a dewy, fresh finish. It feels incredibly light on the skin and like all french products, it smells amazing.

But why do I personally like it so much? Well, it looks like skin. And to be honest, I've never been able to say that about any foundation I've tried. And the finish is just perfect, it's still dewy-ish but not too dewy *cough* Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation *cough*, where I just end up looking like a disco-ball and need loads of powder. Any foundation that doesn't force me to use a powder is already very attractive to me.

And best of all, it doesn't make me extremely oily. The fact that a dewy moisturizing foundation doesn't make my oily skin into a greasy surface is just incredible. Therefore, I officially declare it to be suited for all skin types. However, I will say this: it doesn't have a great staying power for us oily girls (well... you can't have everything). But a setting spray or primer will fix that with no problem .

Now, I bet you're all wondering: is there something that I don't like about it? Sadly, yes. It's slightly too light coverage for me, meaning I need A LOT of pumps to achieve the medium coverage I desire, which is a bit of a waste of product. It's definitely not one of those foundations where "a little goes a long way". The Healthy Mix also transfers like it's nobody's business. Yikes.

So that is why I am totally in love with the Healthy Mix Foundation, but can't declare it to be my soul mate. Oh well, I shall find my true love one day.

What are your thoughts on the Healthy Mix Foundation? Has Bourjois stolen your heart as well? :) 
14 / available here at ASOS

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Review: Nuxe - Reve de Miel Lip Balm

Over the holidays, I had acquired quite a few "frenchie" presents from a friend of mine who is currently living in France. Of course, they had to include famous french skin care products. So I thought I'd do a review on my most surprising favourite: the Reve de Miel Lip Balm by Nuxe. Now, I'm sure you're all wondering: why is it surprisingly a favourite? Well, it's because my whole life my lips have only gotten along with one brand of lip balm (Lip Smackers) and therefore the idea of any other lip balm working for me is simply ludicrous (link to my post on All About Lip Balms can be found here).

At first, I actually disliked the Reve De Miel. But now? I can't live without it!

Now to explain why I initially wasn't in favour of the product, it all begins with the texture. The main ingredient is beeswax, meaning it feels super thick, waxy, and sticky on the lips when you first apply it. But I have to admit, once you get use to it, it's not that bad. And it gets more smooth and less sticky as the product warms up on the lips.

However, once it sinks in (which I admit, does take slightly longer than my beloved Lip Smackers), it is amazeballs. It feels like it has moisturized not just the top layer of your lips, but several layers beneath too! It's what I would describe as a "deep hydrating mask", but for your lips! The effect of it also lasts for hours on end.

Though my favourite qualities about this lip balm are: it's clear (not tinted whatsoever), it's matte and won't give your lips that usual lip balm shine and therefore can be used underneath matte lipsticks, and it's kiss proof! No more boyfriend drying up my lips! The only downside I have with this lip balm is that it's in a pot and not in stick form, but that's just personal preferences.

Needless to say, it's downright amazing. And coming from me, aka the girl who is incredibly picky and fussy over lip balms, that's saying something.

Also, as a Canadian, I couldn't help but have a laughing fit when I read this on the packaging: "effectiveness tested in conditions of extreme Canadian cold". Mind you, I'm from the Vancouver, where we rarely get any snow :P.

I'd like to know: what's your holy grail lip balm? Have you tried any products from Nuxe? :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Where Are You Applying Your Blush?

Now, I know this post might come as a shock or might even be slightly controversial, but it has to be said. It would seem that 99% of women have been told that the correct place to place your blush is on the apple of the cheeks. Even some skilled makeup artists continue to preach this method. Well, I'm here to tell you that the apple of the cheeks is in fact not the best place to apply your blusher. It's not completely wrong if you do, but it's definitely not preferred.

The best place to put your blush is actually along the cheekbone, so around the area where you would place your highlighter or bronzer. Now before you close this tab because you think this is all utter nonsense, think about it.

Placing makeup products on the cheekbone gives the face a more lifted look, whereas placing anything on the apple of your cheeks makes your face look a whole lot rounder. And I think it's safe to say that most people wish to make their face look thinner, not rounder. When it comes down to it, blusher on the cheekbone just looks a whole lot more flattering. Try it out! You might be surprised at how much you like the results :).

For further details and demonstrations check out these clips by the famous Wayne Goss:

What a Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I'm sure I am not the only one who thinks 2013 was a crazy year. So many things happened in my life: I packed my Canadian bags and moved abroad to live and study in Germany and now I'm learning a third language. Talk about cray. I've had big downs and big ups this year and I hope 2014 will hold more ups than downs.

So without further adieu, here are some of my resolutions for 2014: 

1) Be a Better Blogger: I want to post much more often and more regularly, do more OOTD's, personal/life posts, and maybe even FOTD posts. Needless to say, I want to take my blog to the next level!

2) Learn German: easier said than done haha, but I'm getting there! And if any german beauty bloggers are reading this post right now, please can we socialize and be friends? :)

3) Learn new recipes: at the end of 2013, I was finally starting to cook up more dishes and I wish to continue this new trend. Though for that, I need to learn more recipes.

4) Learn to paint: weird one I know, but I have always wanted to. My boyfriend even got me supplies and lessons as my christmas present, so no excuses anymore! :)

So now that I've gone on and on about my personal resolutions, I'd like to know what are your new years resolutions? :)