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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)