Sunday, 31 August 2014

Review: Etude House Play Therapy Wash Off Pack Spot Care*

It feels like it has been far too long since I've done a proper review of a product, especially if it's taken into consideration that I'm actually a beauty and fashion blog. However, the wash-off pack I'm going to talk about today took a little longer to test than other products. Or maybe I just took a little longer to form a proper opinion.

The Etude House Play Therapy range consists of five different wash-off, clay sleeping packs, each targeting a different skincare areas, such as sebum control, brightening, firming and moisturizing the skin. The purple one, the Spot Care Wash Off Pack*, which I'm going to review today, is the spot care pack.

This item was kindly provided by Beautynetkorea.


This wash-off pack glides onto the skin providing care with its Super Food Complex and tea tree oil for areas that need treatment. The Super Food Complex is Etude's clear skin recipe containing nutritious well-being foods needed for the body including broccoli, blueberry and oats.

The Play Therapy packs come in a clear plastic wrapping and a silver seal, that indicates whether the product has been opened before or not. One tube contains 150ml (5.07fl oz.) and retails for 10.35$ (here).

The product description as well as the directions and ingredients are given in English at the back of the tube. One should apply this pack after the toner and let it sit for about 10 - 15 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.

Swatches


The pack has a very thick consistency and doesn't spread too easily. It smells strongly like tea tree oil, a scent I'm honestly not very fond of, and has a lilac color when it comes out of the tube.

Performance

Since the wash-off pack comes in a tube as opposed to a jar, it's very hygenic. However, it's a little harder to dispense that way and to find the right amount. It doesn't spread easily and I found myself struggling to apply a thicker layer at some parts because I was wiping off the previously applied mask. It can go from really sheer to opaque. I found that if you apply it a little thicker, it doesn't dry thoroughly in the 15 minutes so I usually left it on for a little longer.
After washing it off, my skin usually felt a little softer, but when I used to use it once a week, the spot care properties did not really strike me at extraordinary. Then, I decided to stop using it as face mask and started to only apply it to the problem spots, on a daily basis.
The product worked much better that way and I could see my spots diminishing over the course of a couple of days. Now, this is by far not a miracle product but I'd say that it does speed up the healing of spots if applied regularly. After all, the tea tree oil is only listed at the end of the second row of the ingredients list so it can't really contain that much.

Final Rating: 3.5 / 5

It's a decent pack but I'd have expected a little more from a "spot care" pack. This is definitely not a product worth repurchasing for me.

What are your favorite methods or products to fight breakouts and spots? 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

New In: The Crusader Collar

Shop Dixi Crusader Collar Necklace
Shop Dixi Crusader Collar Necklace
Shop Dixi Crusader Collar Necklace

For a brief moment I started questioning myself as I typed this post because I decided to dedicate it solely to my latest purchase. When Shop Dixi announced that their Crusader Collar Necklaces were running low on stock and I didn't get an immediate reply whether they'd ever restock them or not (side note: I think they will) I panicked a little. I just had to take the plunge and invest in one of these beauties before they were gone. You can't believe how long I've lusted over one of Shop Dixi's Crusader collars but I never actually ended up buying one because of the high price tag. It's not exactly a cheap piece, let's be honest.

Anyway, what can I say. I'm in love. This necklace is my definition of the perfect statement necklace and it's even more beautiful in person than on the website. Something that doesn't concern me but I think that it's still mentionable is that the necklace is made of sterling silver plated peweter and is guaranteed to be nickel and lead free. It's quite heavy around the neck, but that doesn't bother me too much.

This definitely won't have been my last Shop Dixi order! I've been a lurker on their website for a long time and I don't regret the late comittment at all. 

I think finally getting pieces you've been lusting over for a long time is far better than buying something on a whim. What do you think? 

Edit: I just felt the need to clarify that this post is not sponsored. I'm not affiliated with Shop Dixi  in any way. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Outfit: Rock Chick



Jacket - H&M (old) | Top - Black Milk Clothing: The Bad Guy Top | Skirt - H&M (old) | Shoes - Deichmann | Accessories - H&M (necklace, rest: old)

In retrospect, this outfit might have been a little too extravagant for a simple shopping trip to Vienna but it was a lot of fun to wear, nevertheless! It was also a nice, little reminder that shopping with heels is certainly not the best idea. I could still feel my sore feet for two days after. However, it was all worth it for a great day in the city that commenced with a feast at Burger King.
I have to say that ever since I got my white faux leather jacket from H&M a good 2 years ago, I'm not so sure whether I still prefer the classical black one or different shades to mix it up. What do you think? I think white is really flattering!
By the time I took these pictures, my semi permanent tint had almost washed out completely. Only a subtle, more natural tint is left. I don't think the color difference is too bad. Updos make the natural regrowth look far less dramatic.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Beauty: Sample Spotlight #1

Today, I'm going to introduce a new post series to my blog: The Sample Spotlights. Previously, I used to do semi-detailed reviews on samples, but after a short while I realized that it wasn't really possible to say anything too specific about a product I only used once or twice. As the samples were piling up, however, I knew that I had to do something about them. Using them up without sharing my opinion about them wasn't really an option for my inner blogger. As a result, the Sample Spotlights were born. I hope you enjoy!

Missha Super Aqua Refreshing Cleansing Foam - 200ml for 13$
A very mild cleanser without any particles or beads in it that would provide a deep cleanse. It is more suitable for your morning skincare routine as it's very light and because you will need an extra product for a full face make-up removal. My face still felt clean after using it, but it's considerably gentler to the skin than other cleansers. The consistency is very creamy but it doesn't foam too well.

Etude House Know Your Body Soft Cream Scrub - 150ml for 7,32$
This is definitely the sample I was most excited about trying ever since I received it, even though I'm not much of a body scrub kind of girl. I'm one of those who uses the leftover shampoos as body wash. In all honesty, it was probably the baby pink satchet with the darker accents that caught my attention. What struck me first about this body scrub were the exfoliating beads in it. They did their job well and left my skin feeling super smooth. Or at least smoother than I'm used to. It smells like a rose bouquet - I loved it!

Etude House SunPrise Water Essence Gel SPF30/PA++ - 80ml for 15.80$
I tried this one a little while back and I thought I'd include it as long as it's somewhat justifiable to include a sunscreen. I wore this out on a really sunny day as a base for my BB cream so I can't tell how well it works on it's own. I didn't get a sunburned face even though I didn't even reapply this once so I suppose it did its job decently. The texture is very milky and it absorbs quickly.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my new post series! Let me know what you think or if you've tried any of these products before!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

FOTD: Casually Coral




Face:

Eyes:
Essence Superfine eyeliner
L'oreal False Lashes Telescopic Mascara

Lips: 

I was actually going to show you the whole look in an outfit post, but after the weather suddenly shifted and it became super windy outside, I settled for a face of the day instead. Truth be told, you're not missing out on much.
Albeit it has been more autumn-y than anything else in the past two weeks, I'm still into the coral tones and the more or less effortless make-up looks. Some blush alongside a vaguely matching liptint and you're good to go. I have to admit that my winged eyeliner wasn't completely even, but let's be honest, it never really is. Even after years of slapping it onto my lids on an almost daily basis, I just can't get it right. 

On another note: I really wish I wouldn't have to use flash for these kind of posts but my place just isn't designed for face photography. Natural lighting is nice but it's almost impossible to acheive with a halfway decent background. Ah, the struggles of a beauty blogger.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

New In: Black is the new Black

I'll be completely honest with you: Lately, I haven't felt like shopping for make-up at all (although MAC's Russian Red is vehemently demanding to be bought). However, the A/W collections have slowly started to arrive at more and more stores, meaning I just have to take a look whether I can find some bits and bobs or not. Now that I'm running low on hot and sunny days, a couple of new black pieces of clothing have found their way into my closet. I'm all about neutrals at the moment. It has been forever since I picked up some colorful clothes, but do I regret it? Not at all! I love my monochrome closet and I'm not planning to go back.

I know, this doesn't quite suit A/W that much but I'm sure it'd look super cute layered with a chunky knit and a pair of overknees. Besides, I'm sure there'll be some more sunny days for me to wear it. Right?

Pull&Bear Jumper - 10€ (Sale)
When I walked into Pull&Bear during a long overdue shopping trip with oneo of my best friends, I had no idea I wouldn't walk out empty handed as I had planned to. Mainly, because I hadn't been aware of the fact that the brand existed, but mostly because the A/W collection didn't really tickle my fancy at the first glance. Oh, I was so wrong. The pieces were lovely, albeit not what I expected from the store. I got this quilted jumper from the sale with the sole excuse that winter is coming up and that I threw out so many of my sweatshirts last month. I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear out of this one, the pattern is so lovely!

H&M Wool Hat - 14,99€
I've been hunting for a hat like this one since summer had started. Of course I find one now that it's almost over, right? Anyway, I love this hat. I think it suits me quite well and it's so versatile! This purchase didn't even find its way into a plastic shopping bag, I put it on right after paying for it (without the tags, of course). 

The only purchase I've left out is a black (surprise) leather mini skirt that I had to get shortened. It's currently sitting at the tailor but I'm probably going to feature it in a lot of my autumn outfit posts, so you're not missing out!

Have you already splurged on anything from the A/W shelves? Or are you still shopping the summer sale? x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Outfit: Strawberry Fields







Dress - Black Milk Clothing (old) | Shoes - H&M | Sunglasses - H&M | Earrings - H&M (old) |  Bracelets - Forever 21

Since everyone has been raving about milkmaid braids this summer, I thought I'd give it a go as well. This was my first attempt and, mind you, I was so glad I put my hair up at that day! It was absolutely boiling. Besides, why did no one tell me that milkmaid braids were actually this easy and effortless? A messy bun requires a lot more work for me.
Anyway, the dress. Isn't it just perfect? When I found out about this dress for the first time, Black Milk Clothing had long discontinued it already so it was quite a challenge to get it. Granted it's not exactly my size, but it sits quite nicely nevertheless.
My well-loved Lita dupes from H&M make yet another appearance on my blog. Well, what can I say, I'm not exactly a sandals or flats person. I love my heels all year round!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Top 3 Blogging Misconceptions


Lately, when I started participating in blogger Twitter chats a little more frequently, I ran into some misconceptions about blogging. It seems like especially newer bloggers feel a lot of pressure due to comparing themselves to bigger and more experienced bloggers. Many of us forget what blogging should really be about: Having fun while sharing your opinion with the world. Today, I want to share my top 3 blogging misconceptions that many of us probably have run into in the past.

1) Your follower count defines your blog's quality.
Especially when starting out, stats seem to be THE big thing. It's only natural to want more viewers and to aim for having a big readership, but it's simply not realistic to be well-known right away. It all takes time. Don't worry about your stats too much.

2) You need to work with brands in order to be a good blogger.
Don't feel pressured to work with brands or to accept any opportunity that is given to you. Don't feel bad if you don't receive collaboration requests right away. Furthermore, if you do get some and they either don't fit your blog's style, or you don't feel good about them, don't feel pressured to accept these chances just for the sake fo having worked with a brand. It won't do your blog any good.

3) You have to post daily.
You definitely shouldn't feel pressured to update your blog daily. I honestly admire those who manage to post daily without having the quality of their content suffer, but for some of us, it's simply not possible. It's much more beneficial for you and your blog to set up a realistic posting schedule that you can stick with.

Last, but not least: Have fun. Blogging is a great hobby and it should fulfill you instead of dragging you down.

Are you guilty of caring about your stats a little too much, too? x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review: Geo Tri Color Blue CM-905 Circle Lenses*

As I'm writing this review, I slowly realise that I'm not a contact lens person at all. After a couple of good and one not-so-decent experience with Korean color contact lenses (you can read about the latter one here), I decided to give them one last chance. Recently, I was kindly contacted by HanaVillage as to whether I wanted to try a pair of circle lenses from their new store. I opted for the Geo Tri Color Blue (CM-905)* circle lenses, mainly because I've only ever heard good things about Geo but also because I wanted a pair of natural looking lenses that would enhance my eyecolor.

HanaVillage sent the two vessels in a beautiful, palm print package with pink accents. They also included this adorable animal container for storing the lenses.

The green sticker on the side of the vessel is part of Geo's anti-fake system. Scratching off the gray part of the sticker reveals a code, which you can enter on geo21.com to check whether your lenses are genuine or not. The vessels also indicate that the lenses are good until February 2019 as long as they aren't opened. 
As a part of the Geo medical range, these lenses are available with or without prescription. I got mine in 0.00 (both eyes). 

Geo Tri Color Blue
Lens Code: CM-905
Color: Blue, Collection: Tri Color
Life Span: Yearly (recommended: 3 Months)
Power Range: 0.00 - 10.00
Diameter: 14.2mm, Base Curve: 8.6mm
Water Content: 40±2%
Material: Polymacon
Price: 19,50$ at HanaVillage


Performance
without lenses - 1 lens (left) indoors - 1 lens (left) flash


Before you read my assessment pleases keep in mind that my eyes are extremely sensitive!

Color: The dark blue shows up well on on my light eyes but I find it rather unspectacular. The lens only adds color to the outer parts of your iris, so if you're looking for a lens that covers your whole iris and doesn't create an inward gradient, this is not the right choice for you! 

Design: I was honestly disappointed by the design of this pair of circle lenses as soon as I put them in. The limbal ring seems much darker when the lens isn't worn than it actually appears on the eyes. You can tell that my own limbal ring is much more prominent than that of the lens and that the lens makes my eyes look rather plain instead of making them pop. I should have chosen a different pair. 
I sincerely hope that the design shows up better on other eyecolors than blue. 

Enlargement: The diameter of this lens is only 14.2mm it's not exactly meant to enlarge. I's pretty much as big as my natural iris. However, I think that with a bigger or more prominent limbal ring, the enlargement would have been a lot better!

Comfort: When I finally managed to get one lens in, it was decent. I needed some eyedrops at first but after a minute, I completely stopped feeling the presence of the lens. The process of putting it in was a tedious one, however. Mainly, since the diameter of the lens is about 1 mm bigger than the graphic diameter, which made it really hard for me to put in despite its small size. I gave up trying to put them both in and took the comparison pictures when I managed to wear one of them comfortably because I didn't want to irritate my other eye too much. The lens just kept sticking to my finger no matter what I tried.

Final Rating: 3 / 5

I honestly think that Geo is a great brand and their contact lenses are one of the best on the market but this lens simply isn't worth it. The design doesn't show up well on light irises. Comfort-wise I had a good experience. I think you'd have a better time than I did if you're used to putting in contact lenses as my eyes just couldn't handle trying numerous times, which is why I'm only wearing one.

What are your experiences with colored contact lenses? 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Outfit: A Gem from Primark







 Playsuit - Primark | Shoes - H&M | Sunglasses - H&M | Ring - H&M (old) | Bracelets - Forever21 | Earrings - Primark

I'm going to be completely honest with you: I can't stand Primark the slightest. Back when we didn't have one in Austria, I used to long for all the nice items that various YouTubers showed in their videos, not knowing how unimpressed by the walk-in stores I'd actually be. I hardly ever pick anything up at Primark and when I do, I constantly fear that it'd break / wear out because, well, the quality isn't the best. This playsuit, however, is different. I've picked it up last summer and it's still in a great condition!
I don't have huge closet so my staples usually get a decent amount of wear each season. Even smaller than my closet is my collection of shoes that I actually wear. I hope you're not sick of my H&M Lita dupes yet!
One more thing before I go: These pictures were the first one that my boyfriend and I took in the city. I can't deny that I was a little nervous as to what the passing people would think about me but eventually, I got used to it! I think it's safe to say that I'll head out to the city more often to take OOTD snaps now, I think the background looks quite nice. What do you think? Other than that, how do you like the new Lookbook button? I think it's a nice addition to my outfit posts. x

Thursday, 7 August 2014

FOTD: 5 Product Face Challenge + New Hair!

A full made-up face with only five products? When I first heard about this challenge I thought it'd be super easy and totally not bothersome at all. Oh, how I was wrong. Fair enough, back when I didn't do my eyebrows it would have been substantially easier but since I managed to pluck holes into my thick, dark eyebrows I just can't go without my cheap, drugstore Essence eyebrow designer. Skipping concealer was a little unusual for me, too, which is why I went for a BB cream that is capable of covering my dark circles. 

I think that this is a look that I could wear pretty much every single day, especially to university. It's easy, effortless and barely took me 5 minutes to do. I only really used some BB cream, threw on a winged eyeliner (which you can't really see), some mascara and filled in my brows. The MAC lipstick enhances the look a lot, it almost looks as if I put some effort into it! I didn't edit these pictures in any single way besides cropping them so this is really just a 5 products face minus any filters.


Products used:
Essence Superfine Eyeliner Pen
L'orĂ©al False Lash Extensions Mascara 
Essence Eyebrow Designer (blonde)
Holika Holika Petit BB Cram (Essential)
MAC Creme Cup

Creme Cup is by far my favorite lipstick, it's such a lovely light pink and so easy to throw on. It is also my first and only MAC lipstick so far, but I can't wait to add more of them to my collection. I especially have an eye on Russian Red and Shy Girl as I've heard that their mattes are amazing! 

 So, onto another topic that I thought didn't need an extra blogpost for, but as I'm writing this I'm starting to doubt my own assessment a little. Long story short, as you can tell, my platinum / bleach / white blonde hair is gone. I've only had this shade for a couple of weeks and I already decided to part with it for good. Why? Simpy because I would have completely destroyed my hair on a long term by touching up my roots every couple of weeks. I'm so picky about my roots and bleaching is so damaging! I just couldn't cope with brittle hair so I got a semi-permanent tint done. I got this color by mixing an ashy light blonde with a golden light blonde with brown hues and considering I had no idea what I let myself into and that it was somewhat of a gamble, I couldn't be happier! Now, my roots are disguised for good and I can let my natural hair grow out a little. I'm so glad that I got this close to my natural, ash blonde!

Maybe one day I can have natural, strong and healthy hair again after dyeing it for the past 6 years!

Have you ever attempted the 5 Product Face Challenge? What do you think about my new haircolor?

P.S.: I still have an outfit post in which I have my bleached blonde hair stored in my drafts. I didn't bleach it again I just didn't get around to post the outfit yet! 


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Review: BBIA Downy Cheek Cream Blush #5 Downy Coral*

Before I start with the review, let me just tell you that manual white balance is a bliss, especially when you have to take your pictures on rainy days. Anyway, enough about that. If you've read my blog for a little longer, you'll probably know that I'm not big on blushes. The fear of using too much product and looking like a clown has always gained the upper hand when I contemplated picking up new items to experiment with. Well, what can I say. Cream blushes are a great way to get into the matter! 

A while ago, I was sent the BBIA Downy Cheek Cream Blush in #5 Downy Coral* for reviewing purposes and my fear has vanished ever since. Who knows, maybe I'm even daring enough to try a bronzer next? 


Anyway, the Downy Cheek Cream Blush by BBIA comes in five different shades (Pink, Peach, Apricot, Lavender and Coral) and is descirbed as especially longlasting as well as easy to use, which makes it a great blush for beginners. For 6.20$, you get 3.5g of product.


The transparent plastic case doesn't look too sturdy so I'd advise to carry it around with caution!


Swatches
indoors - sunlight - natural light (shade)
Performance
Downy Coral is an absolutely gorgeous coral toned blush. The shadein the pan is a little darker than in the promotional pictures but once applied, it looks very much alike. The application is super-easy. Two swipes of cream blush is enough to give your cheeks a natural, peachy glow. As it's a cream blush, it's pleasant to dab on and can be built up for a more dramatic and intense look. Despite its super creamy texture, I haven't noticed any fading throughout the day. My cheeks aren't overly dry so I can't judge whether it accentuates dry flakes or not. So far, the only real downside of this blush is the packaging as it's not as sturdy as I'd like it to be. 
I'd definitely recommend this product, especially if you're a little insecure whether or not you like cream blushes and want to try them out for the first time!

Final Rating: 4 / 5

What is your view on cream blushes? Do you like them? What is your favorite one?

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Outfit: Beige and Gold






Top - Brandy Melville | Bandeau - Newlook | Shorts - H&M (old) | Bag - Forever21 (old) | Necklace - Brandy Melville |
Rings - probably H&M (old) | Shoes - H&M (old)

I rediscovered this lovely, textured navy shoulder bag when I tidied out my closet. Well, initially I wanted to throw it out but after a couple of days I decided against it and I've been wearing it ever since. It's probably my best Forever21 purchase up to to this date and the only item from said store that has lasted me longer than a couple of washes. 
About the rings - I have literally no idea where I got them because I've had them for so long but I'm guessing that they are from H&M.
I got the Brandy top at 20% off during their summer discount and it has been my go-to summer sweater ever since. I don't think the one I linked is the exact same one (mine was priced at 37€) but I can't find the right one online. 
A little story about this shoot: When I got my lens cap out of my bag, I accidently dropped it like the clumsy person I am and it landed right between the bridge's wooden planks. Ever since, I've used a tissue and a hairband to keep my lens from getting dirty. 

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