Beauty

Small weekend beauty/makeup haul

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Hello everybody! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

I popped into a drugstore yesterday aaaand of course ended up buying a few bits and bobs.

First things first, the essentials: dry shampoo is something I use every single day and I just have to always have a good supply of it. I trust Batiste and never really try out other brands. Currently I’m using a tropical one, my next choice was an oriental scent.

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A good old Carmex is something I need to have in every bag, in my desk at work, as well as in many random places at home. It’s the only chapstick that actually seems to work for me and I use it all year long. Also, for the first time ever, I recently actually managed to completely finish up one – usually I lose them before I get to the end. Yet another life achievement unlocked 🙂

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Moving to makeup category. I remember having a matte Color Tattoo eyeshadow ages ago. It didn’t work for me – I don’t know if it was the colour or the texture, but I ended up using it maybe a couple of times. However, I decided to give CT another try, this time picking a shimmery, Pink Gold shade. I bought it to use it for my day makeup, so I’m glad that the colour is very light and not heavily pigmented. I had it on for a few hours yesterday (I just needed to test it immediately 😀 ) and it stayed in place without rolling in the crease. So far so good, I have high hopes for this one. Maybe me and Color Tattoo can be friends after all 🙂

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I talked about this Paese bamboo powder in my favourites. I don’t use regular powders anymore, those rice/bamboo ones work wonders for me. Found this one on sale so decided to get it even though I already had an extra one at home.

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Onto contouring! After a not entirely successful experience I had in the past, I decided to give it another try. Bought this lovely egg-shaped Hakuro H13 brush (it’s soooo soft) and another bronzing contour powder, this time by Kobo  – I’m extremely happy with it, used it today in the morning and it seems like this can be me & contouring reunited. I love the shade which is quite ashy and not too dark or heavily pigmented (I’m pale white, most contour products are way too dark and orange for me). It also seems to blend very nicely. I’ll keep experimenting, but I’m really happy with this purchase so far.

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Last but not least: a Bell lip tint. I’ve been obsessed with lip products recently, but unfortunately none of them, even the long-lasting ones, make it to the end of my long day – even after 8 hours at work I usually only have some pathetic remains of the product. And if it wears off nicely and evenly, that’s fine – I can just reapply it. But some of them (especially matte liquid lipsticks) create a hard layer which looks horrible after a few hours and even worse when you try to reapply the product before washing the old remains first.

I’m drifting away. Lip tint. Decided to try it out hoping that it would last those 8 hours at work looking okay. Time will show, but the arm swatch test was promising. Bottom picture shows the tint directly after applying it, the top one was taken after around 2 hours. Looking good! I actually had a bath after taking that photo and the swatch didn’t completely wash off. Impressive! 🙂

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Savoury

Spring in the kitchen – fresh omlette

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Hello again 🙂 As I was making food I thought I’d share this simple idea for a fresh, spring omlette here. Cause, why not! Even if it’s winter outside (we still have tons of snow) you can make spring in your kitchen 🙂

I used:

  • one tomato
  • sweet corn
  • red pepper
  • mushrooms
  • scallions

And  also:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk
  • salt, pepper, herbs

First, chop all vegetables…

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…and fry them with a little bit of butter.

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In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk and spices and then pour the mixture into the pan.

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Now you just need to cover the pan with a lid and leave (on a very, very small heat) for around 7-10 minutes.

Carefully slide the omlette onto a plate and enjoy 🙂

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Life · Other

Feeling lonely? Prepare in advance and smash it with a simple plan!

2016 was by far the worst year in my life. The breakup resulted in being alienated from the society for a very long time, and even now, a year later, I barely have any real contact with people. I can’t say I can always deal with loneliness when it hits me, but I feel like I’ve worked out a way to increase my chances of going through it easily and without a real breakdown.

Prepare for it during the happiest times

And no, I don’t mean constant thinking that you might feel lonely one day – that would probably be depressing as hell. What I do, however, mean is making a list of things you’d like to do but not always have time for. During happy, jolly, busy days I often find myself thinking of a thousand things I’d like to do, projects I want to start, stuff I need to watch or read. While on the contrary, when loneliness strikes, all I feel is emptiness and I can’t even find a single thing to keep myself busy with.

And that’s where my love for making ‘to do’ lists comes in handy.

Whenever I’m busy and get an idea of something I’d totally do but can’t due to lack of time or other reasons, I try to write it down. Even if it’s a small, unimportant, silly thing that might seem not worth noting – while feeling lonely it’s hard to think even about such petty ideas, so you never know when the plan can turn out useful.

Here’s my general list of go to things for when I’m feeling down.

  • Watching series. Something I usually don’t do – when I see 5 seasons of something, 12 episodes in each, I know for sure I won’t have enough time to actually watch the entire thing, so I don’t even start. However, a good timekiller is exactly what I need during dark times. I choose a series from my list that I’m most likely to enjoy and force myself to start watching. Even if I don’t feel particularly interested at the beginning, there’s still a chance of getting hooked on it later on. If that doesn’t happen, I just proceed to other points from the list.
  • Playing (new) games. That one’s specifically for gamers. If you belong to that group, I’m pretty sure you often see an interesting game that you’d like to try out but then never really find time to do it. Just note the title with a brief description (so that you remember what game it is) on your list and then give it a go when in need of an absorbing activity.
  • Simple baking. When feeling bad, you might not feel like eating or preparing a complex meal. What about baking a quick, simple snack though? I like to save short and easy recipes I come across and then try them out when bored. Thanks to their simplicity they’re almost guaranteed to turn out good, and if they contain chocolate they’re just bound to cheer you up. Alternatively, if your bad mood takes away your appetite, you’ll at least have a tasty snack for the next day!
  • Self-development. Now that one surely requires motivation. If loneliness strikes you with adrenaline and a sprinkle of anger, it can be a perfect option for you. He left you? Whatever, you can research into your dream business opportunities and start a journey that will end up with stunning success in a few months. Others are having fun and you’re just sitting at home? Great, let’s use that time to improve our Spanish, we’ll then make tons of new friends while on holiday.
  • Pamper evening. I try to have it at least once a week anyway, but often can’t get it to the fullest due to lack of time. Just prepare the bubbliest bath ever and use all the fancy beauty products, face masks, oils etc you never really have time to use.
  • Cleaning, tidying, organising. I’m not, by any means, the tidiest person. More, I’d say I’m a loyal worshipper of the age-old rule saying that a real genius simply controls the chaos they’ve created. However, cleaning is my go to thing when I’m feeling down. Especially in a form of sorting out my wardrobe – if I take all my clothes out of it and put them on my bed, there’s no going back – I’ll have to actually go through them, or otherwise I won’t even be able to stay in bed mourning lost happiness.
  • Working out. For me, there’s no better distractor from mental problems than physical activity. It can be hard to start (while feeling down it’s really tough to move your butt out of the comfy bed, especially with the intention to exercise), but it’s definitely rewarding on many levels.
  • Online shopping. Shopping cheers you up – it’s an ancient wisdom repeated everywhere. Of course, the reality isn’t always that bright – you can’t get whatever you want to have every time you feel down without going bankrupt (or at least with my rate of getting loneliness strikes it would be disastrous). However, I like to treat myself with some really, really cheap purchases – whoever hasn’t yet discovered the beauty of aliexpress shopping, should definitely check it out. The amount of weird, funny, useless yet incredible things you can get for literally no money is astonishing. Recently my loneliness strike ended up with buying 5 pairs of earrings, 3 hairbands and 2 wall stickers (for a total price of under 2$ and free shipping). Sure, you have to take into account long delivery time, but it has its good sides too – you can be happy with your purchase twice, first time when you buy your amazing-looking bits and bobs nearly for free, and second time when you receive them, having completely forgotten the fact of ever buying them.
  • Background sound. Whichever of the listed points I choose to do, I always – always! – do it with some background noise. Silence is an extremely strong loneliness multiplier for me, so it’s really important that I have something that imitates  the real world around me. I usually play podcasts/talk shows/YouTube videos full of conversations. Even if I just keep them in the background and don’t actually listen to them, it gives me the feeling of other people being there with me. And even though it’s just an illusion, it really seems to help a bit. On the other hand, one thing I try to avoid is sad, depressing music. Although it might be exactly what your mind is longing for, in reality it’ll just intensify sadness. Definitely not worth it.

Having a list of ideas is helpful when it comes to finding something to put your hands (and mind) in, and the more absorbing the activity is, the better. The main issue about loneliness is constant thinking about other people having fun with their nearest and dearest while you’re just on your own, feeling down. So the less time you have for thinking, the better for you. With a pre-prepared list of ideas you don’t have to waste time trying to come up with something to do – just go through the points on it, quickly choose one, and once done with it (or bored) – immediately jump to the next one. It might be hard to force yourself to start doing something, but after a few minutes it usually gets easier and your mind gets at least a little bit occupied with the new activity. And that’s exactly what we’re aiming for!

Beauty

My current hair care routine

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I have long hair. I’ve always had long hair, but I started to actually give it the attention and care it deserves a few months ago. The journey continues, but I definitely can already say that my hair is in much better condition than it used to be. Here’s my current hair care routine 🙂

Washing & conditioning

I wash my hair every day in the evening (unless I don’t plan on going anywhere the next day). I know it’s not the best practice, but I’ve tried multiple times to change it, following tons of different tutorials, and none of them worked. To minimize bad effect of daily hair washing I try to use natural, gentle, SLS/SLES-free shampoos. My current absolute favourite is an aloe vera based shampoo by an Italian brand Equilibra.

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As a conditioner I use Kallos hair masks. I’ve been obsessed with them for the last few months. Currently I use 3 different ones: Keratin (once a week), Silk (once a week) and my favourite one – Color – at all other times. I leave the conditioner for 5-10 minutes and then generously rinse it off with water.

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After washing my hair I gently press it with a towel (no rubbing!) and then just let it dry naturally. When my hair is completely dry I detangle it with a good old Tangle Teezer. Wet hair is more susceptible to breaking and stretching damage, so that’s why we should never detangle it before it’s fully dry.

Bedtime

I never let my hair loose for the night – I usually make a braid or roll it up on foam rollers, if I have more time and want to have nice curls the next day.

Oiling

Once or twice a week I like to oil my hair. I make a mixture of coconut, almond and grape oils and apply around 2 tablespoons on the length of my hair (avoiding contact with the scalp). I leave it on for around an hour and then wash my hair like I usually do. Oiling brings the best effects when done regularly – at least once a week. It prevents hair from frizzing and leaves it soft and shiny.

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Quick morning routine

In the morning I’m usually in a rush, so doing my hair only takes a few seconds. I spray the front of my hair with dry shampoo to refresh it and give it some volume (I feel like it’s a better option for the hair than using strong hairspray, although probably still not the best). Then I protect the ends with a silicone-based serum. I still haven’t found my go to favourite one, I’m currently using the one from the photo. I don’t know that brand, I found the serum in a small drugstore, but it seems to do its job.

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Because I sleep in a braid or hair rollers, I already have waves or curls done – no need to do anything more with the hair before going out 🙂

Beauty · Life · Other

Healthy eating habits – easy first steps

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For the last few years I’ve been following quite healthy eating habits – not in an obsessive manner though. When a few months ago I graduated from uni and started working full-time, I soon realised that the new lifestyle resulted in my habits getting worse – unhealthy snacks, heavy lunch meals in our on-site bar etc. I spent a while making a plan on how to improve in that field without too much effort and missing out on taste (my goal wasn’t weight loss diet but maintaining a healthy lifestyle that still contains delicious food). Here’s my list of ideas, some of them I’ve been following for a few years, the others for a few months only – but I already know they work for me and I definitely don’t constantly think that I’m missing out on something. Life’s too short to eat food we don’t like after all 🙂

Find healthier replacements for plain wheat products

Choose whole grain instead of plain pasta, dark instead of white bread, brown instead of white rice – those are the easiest places to find healthier replacements and, if you’re lucky like me and don’t find whole grain products to  taste worse or even any different from plain ones, you won’t even notice that you’re eating healthy now (but your body definitely will!).

Choose real fruit instead of fruit-flavoured products

This mostly applies to two categories – juices and yogurts. Most juices that you can buy in a supermarket are made from extra-sweetened fruit concentrates diluted in water – they’re extremely sweet and they’ve mostly lost all the goodness that fruits have to provide. Better eat an apple! The same applies to fruit-flavoured yogurts which usually contain tons of sugar and barely any real fruit. A natural yogurt with a handful of fresh fruit is definitely a healthier option.

Plan your snacks

If you often like to have a snack at work and know you won’t avoid it, try to plan them in advance and keep a small supply of thought-through, healthy snacks in your desk instead of using a vending machine filled with junk food. Find snacks that you enjoy eating and which aren’t completely unhealthy and have them on hand. That way you’ll be less tempted to buy much worse ones for immediate consumption. I like to always have a good reserve of a selection of different nuts and dried fruit – they’re not only healthier than regular snacks, but also have very long expiry dates, so you can just buy them once in abundance and store for ages. Unless, of course, having too much would tempt you to eat it all immediately!

Beware ‘healthy’ gluten/fat-free products

First of all, let’s talk about gluten-free products. It’s been a hot topic for quite a while now and I still have a feeling that many people don’t understand it at all. Gluten isn’t your deadly enemy and eliminating it from your diet won’t magically make you healthier. Up to 1% of population suffers from celiac disease and up to 10-15% from gluten sensitivity. For those belonging to either of the two categories gluten-free products are indeed healthy and necessary. But that’s still just the minority of population and definitely not everyone on a gluten-free diet actually needs it. Gluten-free products are supposed to not contain gluten. That’s all. No one says they’re supposed to be healthy! They still contain bad types of sugars and fats, as well as possibly many artificial, harmful ingredients added to replace gluten-containing ones. So if you don’t have gluten intolerance, buying regular products might actually be a lot healthier for you. And definitely a lot cheaper.

Fat-free products are a trap a lot of people fall into. Eliminating fats from our diets won’t automatically make us healthier. They are necessary in the process of absorbing some vitamins and we still should provide them to our bodies – what matters is their quality and avoiding excess consumption. Also, for example, very often sweet products come in low-fat versions. However, a product containing an equivalent of a few tablespoons of white sugar can’t be called ‘healthy’, even when it has no fat, can it?

Think twice when you eat out

This is particularly important when you do it often (e.g. have lunch in a bar at work every day). It’s way too easy and tempting to always simply go for the tastiest looking dish on the menu. And if it happens occasionally, it’s fine – but if you do it every single day, it might not be a great idea. At least go for something that’s not deep-fried, swimming in oil – instead, try to choose a plate with tons of fresh vegetables, non-fried meat etc. There should still be tons of delicious options that meet those restrictions!

Avoid sweet drinks

This is such a cliché, I know. But honestly, when in doubt – take a bottle of water.

These are just a few simple ideas that might help you make the first step towards cutting down on unhealthy foods. One thing’s sure, they worked for me 🙂

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