Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Best Red Lips for Christmas

When you have all these Christmas parties to attend to - or when you are snuggling up on the couch to watch Home Alone, aka my life #granny -  it's nice to spend a little bit more on your make-up. I find that a red lipstick can immediately pull a look together and it makes me feel so festive and Christmassy. I have quite a few red lipsticks in my make-up drawer and decided to share my faves!

Catrice - Behind the Red Curtain
This is the newest addition to my make-up stash. I was one of the lovely gals to test this out and I do really like it. It's a very bright red and because of the long-lasting power it stays all day. I am actually wearing it in my profile pic on Instagram, so if you want to know what it looks like on my lips, head on over there.

Tanya Burr - Lets Travel the World
Sometimes you are just in the mood for a bit of gloss. This one from beauty vlogger Tanya Burr is perfect for that. It gives a subtle hint of red and makes your lips look really glossy and full. It won't stay on when you are eating your yummy Christmas dinner, but that's what touch ups are for, right?

CoverGirl - Hot Passion
The main reason why I asked my friend to pick up this lipstick on her trip to the USA was because, rumour has it, this is Taylor Swifts' lipstick. I love her red lip colour, so why not get the exact same one? It's a bright red that is very creamy and stays all day. Definitely one of my faves that I should wear way more! * And I got that red lip classic thing that you like *

Rimmel - Kate Moss 107
This matte lipstick is so lovely. It's a bit darker than your typical bright, Christmassy red, but oh boy I love it so much. It has been my go-to fall lipstick and I think it's going to be one of my winter favourites too.

Maybelline - Pleasure Me Red
A couple of years ago, my mum actually bought this for me as a Secret Santa present. We went shopping together and as we were at the drugstore looking for make-up she asked me if I had seen something I liked. I already knew that she had to buy something for me, so I basically picked my own present haha. I still use this lipstick quite a lot and the red colour is amazing. Not too bright and not too dark, just perfect!

MAC - Riri Woo 
This limited edition lipstick has to be my favourite of all. The packaging is gorgeous and the lipstick itself is amazing. It's matte and it really lasts all day. I wore it last Christmas and after eating A LOT of food my lipstick was still perfect. I think this will be my go-to lip colour again this Christmas!

What is your favourite Christmas lipstick?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Girls Are Pretty

A few years ago I discovered this thing called contouring and it has changed my life. No cheekbones and a double chin? A bit of contouring can solve that problem straight away!
I am always interested in new palettes and the Anastasia Beverly Hills products are - of course - on my wish list, but I am also interested in what the drugstore has to offer.

This contouring set from Essence was part of their A/W collection and since I already knew that they were bringing out this range (a few of the advantages of working for a magazine) I could get my hands on one quite easily.

Now the packaging itself is very simple, but I do like the engraved words in the powders. It looks so cool and in case you have no idea how to tell the two powders apart, now you know!
I had high hopes for this product. Contouring has been one of the biggest make-up trends, so I thought it was quite fun that a drugstore brand like Essence would bring out a product like this. I just don't think they did a great job at it.
Despite the fact that there is only one shade to choose from, I don't like the formula of these powders at all. The highlighter is very powdery and has a few tiny sparkles that hardly show up on the skin. When I use a highlighter I like to have the most amazing shimmer on my cheekbones. One that looks natural and silky, not powdery and cakey.
The matte bronzer is fine, but I am not the biggest fan of the pigmentation. I like to get the job done and not reapply a hundred times. The contour powder also feels very powdery, so overall it’s not the best product.

I also compared the two powders to the highlighter and contour powder in my Sleek Face Form Kit and there was a huge difference. Especially the highlighters were so different. As the Sleek powder is shimmery and gorgeous and the Essence powder just gives a very, very subtle sheen. The contour powders don't look as different, but you can feel that the consistency of the Sleek powder is way silkier that the Essence one.

I was so excited when I purchased this contour set, but I kind of feel like I am never going to use it ever again. In the end it's definitely not my best buy, but maybe I can use it on my eyes or something?

Have your tried this Essence palette before? Do you have any other recommendation from Essence?

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Magic of Christmas

Christmas isn’t complete without popping into a Lush store. I love Lush all year round, but I love it even more in December. The special Christmassy editions to their collection are always fab and I always have to take a peak to see what they have. Now I do think Lush is a bit overpriced and way more expensive than it used to be, but when I saw this bubble bar on a cinnamon stick I couldn’t resist.

This is 'The Magic of Christmas' and it's a wand that you swirl in the bad or keep under running water to great the most amazing bubbles. Now what I love the most about this is the scent. It's made with cinnamon and cloves and it really smells amazing. I also like that I can reuse it, because I always feel like I am wasting so much money on something that I just use one time. The glitter is something that I am not the biggest fan of, but after one bath most of them are gone anyway. 

I used it this Sunday and it was really relaxing. I was just lying there in the hot, orange water with my iPhone in my hands, catching up on Vlogmas - there are so many vlogs! - and really taking in all the spicy scents that were surrounding me. I will definitely use this on Christmas Day too!

What are your favourite Lush bath products?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

It’s time for another baking post! Last weekend I made some yummy peanut butter fudge brownies and decided to share them with you all. I have to say that they were very yummy, but a bit heavy as well. After eating one brownie I was so full! I also decided to add some caramel fudge to the original recipe and it made them even yummier. 
Can I also say that these brownies are so easy to make. Compared to other recipes these are so quick and easy. Perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time!

What do you need for these Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies?
225g (crunchy) peanut butter
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
280g soft light brown sugar
3 medium eggs
100g self-raising flour
150g caramel fudge, cut in little pieces (I got mine from the supermarket)

Before you begin, set aside 50g of the peanut butter and chocolate and pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Also line a baking tin/ baking dish with parchment paper, so it’s easier to get the brownies out.
Melt the remaining peanut butter, chocolate and sugar in a pan. Stir occasionally, until the sugar is about to melt, and turn of the heat. Now beat in the eggs, one by one, and stir in the flour. 
When you have mixed it all together you add the caramel fudge, mix that through, and scoop the batter in the baking tin. Before you put it into the oven, melt the 50g of peanut butter and drizzle that over the brownie. 
Then bake it for 30-35 minutes. The brownie should have a crust, but the middle should also look slightly uncooked. I thought the brownie wasn’t done yet, but I could already take it out of the oven. So look out for that!
Now melt the rest of the chocolate and drizzle that on top of the brownie. Let it cool and cut the brownie into squares. 

I told you it was easy, right? These are really yummy and perfect to make during the Christmas Holiday. If brownies aren’t really your thing I also have a Christmas Cookie recipe that is super fun to make as well!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Nude Perfection

Nude lips have always been one of my favourite things. I have quite a few other lipstick colours in my make-up collection as well, but nothing can beat a good nude lip. Recently I picked up a Maybelline Color Drama lipstick. This is basically a matte lipstick in a pencil.
Now matte lipsticks are my absolute favourite. I find that they last longer, look better and make your lips look a bit bigger. I love the Kylie Jenner lip trend and if you can fake it with a matte lipstick, why not?

The colour I picked up is called 'Nude Perfection' and it really is perfection. The formula of this lipstick is so creamy and the pigmentation is on a whole new level. Even though it is a matte lipstick I don't find them drying at all and with this cold weather that is definitely a plus.
It's not as long-lasting as I hoped, but I find that with a nude lipstick it doesn't show as much anyway if the lipstick is still on your lips. Then there is one other thing that I’m not really a fan of and that is the packaging. I’m to a point where I really need to sharpen the pencil and I always hate to do that. This basically means that I have to throw away half the pencil, because sharpening pencils isn't my best quality. I'd rather see this product with a twist up mechanism like the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms

Other than that it really is a lovely product and I can't wait to pick up another one. The red lipstick looks very gorgeous too and with Christmas coming up, a bold red lip is an essential!

Have your tried the Maybelline Color Drama lipsticks already? What are your thoughts?

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Texturized Hair Issue

If there is something that I have learned this year it's that I LOVE texture in my hair. I have quite long locks that are hanging in front of my face and with a bit of volume and texture it just looks a bit better.
Now the SebastianEruptek has been a late 2015 favourite of mine - since I own it for about 1,5 months - but I love it a lot. Basically it's a very thick, black paste that you rub between the palms of your hands and apply to your hair. After blow-drying your hair you are left with texturized, matte hair that looks amazing. 

You can also use it on dry hair, but I’m personally a fan of using it when my hair is damp. You get more volume this way and who doesn’t want that? Now I also find that it makes my hair so long. I don’t have a straightener anyway, but with this product I don't really need one.
This paste just gives the best texture and I haven't seen a product like this before. I have used some texturizing sprays from L'Oréal and Charles Worthington, but I always feel that doesn't last as long. This however does and I know it's a bit on the pricey side (€34,50), but I think it's totally worth it. I will definitely repurchase this product in the New Year!

What products do you love for texturized hair?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Una Brennan Super Facialist Glow Boost Skin Serum

As you all know: I have a sweet spot for hyped up products. Today’s skincare post is no exception. Because after hearing so many good things about the Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamine C range, I really wanted to try a few products myself.
The only problem was that it was sold out everywhere. I actually had my eyes on the cleansing oil since Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup raves about it all the time, but after visiting five Boots stores I decided that the serum would do as well. That was also kind of on my wish list, so I quickly payed and tried not to think about all the money I spent that day. Queue my London haul in three... two.... one...

The Glow Boost Skin Serum is supposed to give you a healthy glow and smoother, retexturized skin. The combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and algae extract will boost the collagen in the skin and make it more radiant, smoother and youthful looking. Basically everything you want in a skincare product right? Now let's put it to the test!

The scent is very orangey and I kind of like it. Normally I am not about heavy scented products, but this reminds me of something I used to have when I was younger. The formula itself is really thin and you only need a small amount for the entire face. It applies really nicely and I think the product by itself is amazing. I just don't think my skin likes it very much. 
I am supposed to get glowy, healthy skin and it's kind of the opposite. I am afraid that I get an allergic reaction if I use it longer than a couple of days, so I haven't used it for long periods of time. Every time I use it the texture of my skin becomes really weird and it feels like an allergic reaction will pop up in no time. I also feel like I get more break-outs than usual which I think is because of this product.

I really wanted to love this product and the range in general as well. I love glowy skin and I really hoped this was going to be the product for me. I guess the hunt isn't over yet, but I am sure I will find something that I love very soon!

Have you tried anything from the Una Brennan Super Facialist range before?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Instagram Round-Up #3

A few weeks ago I was quite bored with my Instagram page. I just wasn't happy with the theme that I used and it was all a bit too colourful for my liking. I have been switching between filters A LOT this year, but I finally think I found the one - talk to you again in two months haha - . It has really inspired me to post more often though and if you want a ''How I edit my Instagram photos'' blogpost please let me know because I'd love to do it!

Now it's been quite some time since I did my last Instagram round-up. So I thought that it was time for another one. The last couple of weeks I have been quite busy with Blogmas - as you probably already know - and my Instagram is filled up with Blogmas photos. Basically there are only three subjects when it comes to my photos at this time of year: Blogmas, Christmas and London. The festive season just really excites me and it's so photogenic as well. All those fairy light, baubles and trees. You got to love Christmas!

I was also on the hunt for Christmas decorations that you can read all about here. I took quite a few shots of all the beautiful displays and I could not leave the copper section without taking a photo. It just looked too pretty. Same goes for the flower wall that we had at the office where I am interning. It was there for three days, but it really reminded me of Kim and Kanye's wedding. They had white flowers though, but it still gave me the same kind of vibe and it looked too pretty to not take a photo. 

I hope you liked this small post about my new Instagram feed and please let your Instagram accounts in the comments, because I would love to check them out!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Dressing Table

Make-up has always been a passion of mine and it has grown more over the past few years. I never really had a good way to storage everything, so on a trip to Ikea I decided that it was time to give my room a bit of an upgrade with a brand new dressing table.

You maybe recognize it, because it's a blogger holy grail and I can't be happier about it. I put the MALM drawer together myself which made me very proud because I basically had never done something like that before. And every time I do my make-up and open the drawer, it makes me so happy to see all my make-up there. I know I have a lot, but that's because I buy quite a lot #bbloggerproblems. I hope you like this sneak peak in my make-up drawer and please let me know - if you have the same make-up addiction as me - how you storage your make-up!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Revlon Colorstay Foundation

Two years ago, on a London trip, I picked up the Revlon Colorstay Foundation. I knew that it was a popular drugstore foundation, but I never thought it would be this good.
I have always struggled with finding a good foundation. I like a full coverage foundation that looks natural, doesn't melt of my face throughout the day and is the right colour match. Especially that last criteria is very hard, because even the lightest of drugstore foundations look too dark and orange on me.

This on the other hand is perfect. It gives a medium to full coverage and the shade 150 buff is a perfect match to my skin. It has a yellow undertone which I like a lot too, since I feel that it cancels out the redness in my skin and it stays on all day. My T-zone gets a bit shiny though, but with a bit of powder you won’t see any of that. It is a bit weird though, because this is made for people with normal/dry skin and I prefer this formula way more than the combination/oily skin formula. I have tried it a couple of times, but I don't really like the undertones and it looks very cakey when you apply it.
Now I usually apply two layers and it gives the most flawless finish. Sometimes, if I am in a glowy mood, I mix it with the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation and that looks so great too! Especially since the Wake Me Up Foundation is way too dark for me to use it on its own.

Every time I go to London I pick up at least two of these Revlon foundations – I can’t get them here *sad face* - and I am planning to do that in January too, because I will be going back in less than a month *jumps up and down*.
I’ve also tried some Revlon Matte Lip Balms which were great too, so I might pick up a few more Revlon products whilst I am there.

What Revlon products do you love?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

My Favourite London Moments

Since it’s a Sunday - and I’m halfway #Blogmas - I decided to post something a bit more chilled on here. Now today I don't have a yummy food post (peanut butter brownies coming your way on Friday), but a post about my favourite city in the whole wide world: London. I know you might get sick and tired of it, but I just won’t shut up about it.
In a few weeks I will be hopping on a plane, flying across the ocean to go to London and it's really something that I’ve been looking forward to for months. Since I have been there quite a few times already I decided to combine some photos and show you a few highlights of my trips there.

The time I went to the Harry Potter Studios.

The time I finally ate pancakes at The Breakfast Club in Soho.
Walking down Central London when it's all Christmassy.

The time I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

The time I had a yummy high tea and Bea's of Bloomsbury.

What is your favourite city?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Winter Denim

Last week I told you all about my newest wardrobe addition, but that faux fur gilet wasn't the only thing I ordered. When I was browsing ASOS for a warm winter coat I found this denim jacket. Not the best item to buy at this time of the year, but it looked really nice on the website and since I am obsessed with black I was like ''why not?'' and placed the girlfriend jacket in my shopping basket.

I'm not really a denim fan when it comes to the standard blue denim. I do have a denim jacket and denim gilet back from when I did really like it - aka two years ago - . I bought those both from Forever 21 and it's not that I dislike the two items - I still wear the jacket in the summer time - , but I am more of a black, white and grey kind of girl right now. And yes I know that I am wearing a khaki coloured jumper right here, but occasionally I let a bit of colour come into my life too. :)

Now back to the ASOS jacket. When I first put it on I was immediately in love with the way it looked. I could've maybe ordered a smaller size, but I quite like the oversized look anyway. Then I was thinking that it maybe was a bit too big for me and I was contemplating to send it back. 
As you can see by this post it's still in my possession and I didn't send it back. I don't like to send things back anyway - packing things up and going to the post office is just too much work haha - and I really like this jacket. It's very well made and there are pockets too, which I love, since I really need a place for myphone other than my hand. 

The weather is quite warm for this time of year, so I have been wearing this jacket a lot. I do think that when it is getting colder I need to put on my winter coat, but for now I don't want to take my denim jacket off.

What is your favourite winter wardrobe item at the moment?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Baking Christmas Cookies

Last weekend I really wanted to make Christmas cookies. I see them all over the interwebs and I have actually never made iced cookies like this before, so I thought it would be a lot of fun to try it out. I think they turned out really well and they tasted great too! I love the spices in there and the shapes of the cookies really put me in the Christmas mood!

What do you need for these yummy cookies?
100g unsalted butter
100g dark brown caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
275g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Speculaas spice (similar to pumpkin spice)

Icing sugar
Tiny bit of water
Decorating pen

Oven: 190C

The first step is to cream together the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl until it's all fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract and the egg and mix it all together. Now mix all your dry ingredients and slowly add this to the buttery mixture. I personally like to put a lot of Speculaas spice and cinnamon in there. Usually the recipe says like one tablespoon, but I always put way more in it. I just love the taste of it!
Mix all the ingredients together until you get a nice dough, wrap the dough in foil and pop it in the fridge for about an hour (or do it like me and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. I do recommend an hour in the fridge though).

Sprinkle some flour on your counter top, put the dough on there and roll it out until the dough is 1cm thick. Now it's time for the fun stuff! Get your cookie cutters out and cut biscuits out of the dough. Place those on a baking tray laid with parchment paper and put them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Get them out of the oven and set them aside for 5 minutes before you place them on to a wire rack. Wait till they are cooled down and then it's time to decorate!

I mixed some icing sugar with a few drops of water. I don't have the exact amounts, but I basically put some icing sugar in a bowl and added drops of water until the consistency was nice. You can also use a decorating pen which I did for the red icing. 
I had no fancy icing kits, so I used a small knife to spread the icing very carefully onto the cookies. Then I waited till the icing was all set and put them to the taste-test.

They are really yummy and I love the spices in there. I am a huge fan of cinnamon and Speculaas spice anyway, but at this time of the year it tastes even better. I am planning to bake something again this weekend, so look out for another baking post next week!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nip + Fab Skin Dragon's Blood Fix Cleansing Pads

On my last trip to London I picked up many things in the Boots skincare aisle including this lovely product from Nip + Fab. I first found out about this brand via Instagram, because Kylie Jenner is a spokesperson for them (I think?). I remember an Insta pic of her where she was promoting the brand, I then googled it and had to put it on my wish list. After a browse in Boots and seeing all the products in person, I decided to go for the Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Cleansing Pads.

The cleansing pads are meant to:
- cleanse the pores
- provide long-lasting hydration to help the skin appear plumper
- reduce the appearance of imperfections 
- help your skin to look smoother and refreshed

They also contain:
Dragon's blood (from the Croton Lechleri tree): forms protective film on skin to protect against environmental aggressors
Salicylic acid: cleanses pores + aids exfoliation
Hyaluronic acid: hydrates + refines skin texture
Witch Hazel: reduces redness + tightens pores

I don't know why it has taken me such a long time to try them, but they are amazing! I'm usually very fussy about skincare and there are a lot of things that I picked up in Boots that I didn't like as much. My skin just didn't respond to it very well, but this on the other hand has made my skin very happy!
I use a cleansing pad every single night before I apply my moisturizer and after using it for a while you can really see a difference. My skin just looks smoother and glowier and my spots also seem to have sort of disappeared, which I think is because of the salicylic acid. My skin responds very well to that and when I saw it listed as one of the ingredients I knew I had to try it. 

There are only 60 cleansing pads in there and I think I’m halfway now. I hope I will make it till my next trip to London which will be in January. When the plane lands I will be running to Boots to buy these cleansing pads. They are such a huge staple in my skincare routine now and I can’t live without them anymore!

Have you tried anything from Nip + Fab before?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lunch in Amsterdam

Last Friday me and a friend went to this lunch place called 'Bar Spek' in Amsterdam. Usually we always go to a lunch café near Dam Square that has THE BEST red velvet cake, but our food hotspot list keeps growing and growing, so we thought it would be a good idea to cross something off the list.

A lot of you have probably never heard of 'Bar Spek', but it’s like your ultimate trendy hotspot. It's very instagrammable and I have seen it on a lot of popular Instagram’s which was one of the main reasons to go there. Because who doesn't like a stylish hotspot?
The location was a bit odd though. I just didn’t expect a hyped-up place like this to be next to a busy road. It's located in a neighbourhood called 'De Baarsjes', which I am not really familiar with. It looked lovely though and I am definitely planning to come back and take some photos. Amsterdam is very photogenic you know.

Now on to the food. I had already looked on the menu the day before - I mean who doesn't do that? - to see what they had and it was so hard to choose. In the end I went for a ‘Green Monster’: a smoothie of avocado, Granny Smith, spirulina, spinach and basil. I always love a good green smoothie and this one didn't disappoint at all. With every sip I felt healthier which was a good thing since I ordered something not so healthy too.
I decided to go for one of their 'Pizetta's'. I had already seen on their Instagram page that this is THE thing to try so I went for the ‘Tartufella Pizetta’: a pizza with onion sauce, Parmesan, mushrooms, truffle mascarpone, prosciutto and rocket. 
Because our order was messed up we actually got the larger pizzas that they usually serve around dinner time and as you can imagine I was not too sad about that. The pizza itself was so tasty! I actually really like truffle, so a pizza all about truffle is like the ultimate dream for me. The combination of truffle with the prosciutto was also really lovely and if you ever eat here I highly recommend this one. Although, the pancakes and sandwiches looked amazing too. I always find it so hard to choose, because I basically want to taste it all!

'Bar Spek' is definitely a great food hotspot and I understand why everyone is obsessed with it. We went around 2pm as well, so it wasn't crazy busy. I do think it's harder to get a table around breakfast, lunch or dinner time though.
If you are in the area I highly recommend this place and now I can't wait to cross more places off my food hotspot list and take you all on the journey with me!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Real Techniques Starter Set

I think make-up brushes are just as important as make-up products. In all these years I have been a fan of two brands that do make-up brushes really well: Zoeva and Real Techniques. Despite the fact that I love them both so much I only have one RT brush: The Expert Face Brush. Now this brush is bloody amazing. I bought it in London two years ago and it still blends in my foundation seamlessly. I think that's why I love Real Techniques so much as a brand, because if this brush is that good the rest of them have to be amazing too.

Now recently I was shopping with my mum and while she was looking for perfumes I stumbled across a pile of the Real Techniques Starter Sets with 33% off. I love make-up just as much as a good discount and after a conversation with me - This set is so cheap! Yeah but do you really need it? Well no, but they are cheap and it's always handy to have more brushes. Okay buy it! - I bought them.

In the set you will find:
A base shadow brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of colour.
A deluxe crease brush: soft, oversized design for effortless contouring.
An accent brush: for precision detailing, highlighting and smudging.
A fine liner brush: for precision application of liquid of cream eyeliner.
A brow brush: distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows.

I own a few eyeshadow brushes that I love a lot. The MAC 217 for example is one of my all-time faves, but I don't really like to use it with cream products. These brushes are perfect for any type of eyeshadow and they blend everything in perfectly. I love the base shadow brush a lot, because it applies my eyeshadow so well. Recently I have been using my Clinique Chubby Stick for eyes in Lots O’ Latte a lot and I always blend it out with the base shadow brush. My eyeshadow looks so lovely after blending and it has really made me more excited about taking one of my eyeshadow palettes, that I hardly ever use, and create a gorgeous look.
As a brow junkie the brow brush is also one of my absolute faves. The brushes also come in a really handy case which is always good for travelling and I love the different types of brushes you get in this set. If you just get in to make-up then it's absolutely perfect, because it covers a lot of things; eyeshadow, eyeliner and eyebrows. 

In the end I paid €17.50 for this set, which is a pretty good deal considering it normally sells for €30,00. I think it's a great all-round set for any eye look and I can't wait to buy more Real Techniques brushes. The 301 Flat Contour and Core Collection Set are already on my wish list! 

Have you tried these Real Techniques brushes before?

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