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I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright…
Are you familiar with West Side Story? It is, I have to admit, one of the few musicals I care about. This and Lion King. Everything else, think Starlight Express or Cats, are totally lost on me.
But back to the song. I heard it when I was 13 and never was able to get it out of my mind. Not because it is a masterpiece in tune and lyrics (I wouldn´t be able to judge that anyway), but because the feeling it describes is one that I wanted for myself.
I want to dance the streets, pitying every girl that isn´t me. I want to feel so confident in my own skin that I shout from the rooftops how perfect I am.
Not that I have yet achieved it, which may be a good thing given my singing skills, but 13 or 38, the quest continues. And anything that reminds me of that song is very welcome.
Like the #pixipretties collection that landed at my doorstep recently.
Let me take you way back in time, when we had only one continent, mammoths would roam the fields of grass and I was a little girl just turned 13.
It was the night after a long and exhausting week at school (ha, little did I know!) and I had decided, all mature and grown up, that I would run a bath for relaxation. And because I was lacking the fancy salts and scented candles I had glimpsed on tv (I told you it was long ago), I grabbed the next best thing I had on hand. A tiny bottle of essential oil I used to diffuse in my oil burner.
If you have ever done anything similar, you know what is coming: Getting into the bath was the most horrible experience ever, because little me did not know that you can´t just use these oils in your bath and on your skin. You will have to treat them properly, or they will burn.
I have learned a lot since then (and not seen a mammoth in a while), and I have gone back to using essential oils in my skincare. But I will never forget how strong and irritant they can be.
Now here am I going with that little anecdote of mine? Well, the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser I am going to review today contains quite a few essential oils, listed among “Favorite” or “Other” ingredients depending whether they do have an effect or simply smell nice. I did, however, also include them into the “Unfavorable” ingredients list, to warn people with sensitive skin. They can be powerful irritants!
They say anticipation is sometimes better than the actual event.
I find that to be especially true regarding anything weather dependent. How many times have you looked forward to summer barbecues outside and ended up inside because of hail and storm? How many times have you dreamt about snow ball fights in a winter wonderland only to shuffle through muddy pools in constant rain?
I know I have been disappointed numerous times, so when Flanconi (an online beauty store) reached out to me and asked for an Indian summer look, I decided to take matters into my own hands. It may be wet and cold outside, but here on the blog we´ll have all the gold and orange we long for.
And what can I say, after I finished filming the sun decided to make an appearance and I was able to actually shoot outdoors! I am not going to jinx it, but if we get a prolonged period of beautiful weather here in Germany now, I will claim magical makeup skills.
If not, this Indian Summer look will see me through the disappointment.
Many of you may know it already, but almost a year ago I switched jobs. I used to work as a senior physician on an ICU, now I work in Public Health.
There were many reasons for this decision, family and being there for the kids the main one, but I am not going to lie: Being able to paint my nails whenever I felt like it was at least helping in making it easier.
When you work on ICU (or anywhere in the hospital), your nails have to be short and bare. Which means I could only paint my nails on a Friday night and had to take the polish off on Sunday. If I didn´t work the weekend, that is.
Now I am free to paint my nails whenever I like as the only thing stopping me is the need to use my hands. For the kids, for blog work, for eating crisps while watching Netflix.
Latest on my paws? The Faby Ego Collection for Autumn/Winter 2017 (*PR-Sample).
Nothing beats a week or two away from the office, better yet away from home. Or, at best, out of the country, at the sea side, enjoying sand, sun and surf.
Have I told you that I did surf, many years ago, on the Australian shore? Not riding big waves surf though, more desperately trying to stay above the water surf, but still. I felt like a real surfer chick back then, sun burnt nose and salty hair included.
If I happened to have a sun burnt nose or salty hair these days, it is from trying to prevent my kids from drowning themselves in the Mediterranean Sea. Or from (im)patiently waiting for them to collect every single rock there is on the beach.
The effects, however, are the same. Whenever I return from a holiday, I feel my best and look my worst. My hair is brittle, my feet are cracked and my skin is parched. So to undo the summer sins of too much sun and wind and sea, I have a little pamper routine.
A few weeks ago someone saw me and my daughter and told me to raise her “to be a pleasant young lady”.
Now getting unwanted parental advice from strangers is something you quickly grow used to when having kids, but this one got me thinking:
You see, there are many concerns I have in raising both my kids, but making them “pleasant” is not among them.
Independent, caring, strong, well-mannered, thoughtful, educated… So many adjectives come to mind, but pleasant? I think I don´t even associate pleasant with human beings, more with inanimate objects and, well, skincare.
Which kind of brings me to todays topic: The very pleasant Instytutum Ultimate Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Eye Cream (*PR-Sample).
But please enlighten me: Do you (or would you) want your kids to be pleasant?
Sometimes a tiny shift in plans can bring up unwanted comedy.
You see, when I planned my content for September, which was long before my summer holiday started mid-august, the last prerecorded video was an Empties one (here in case you missed it). And to go with the video, I wrote a whole post on how little I was buying, how sensible and mindful I was with my shopping, yada yada yada.
Originally I had planned to upload a holiday vlog next, but then I last minute decided to post my vlogs on Wednesdays (here and here if you missed them) and instead film a fashion haul.
To go with the fashion filmed I wanted to share my skincare and makeup shopping on the blog and it turns out it was quite a bit. Which is a little ironic, reading me bang on about how little I buy on Monday and then see the gigantic amount of skincare I shopped just a week later.
But such is life, so please smile, forgive me and keep on reading for my skincare haul summer 2017.
A long time before Kate Moss became the icon she is today, she was famous for a different look. And a different lifestyle, but that is a whole other story.
Her look was topic of heated discussion, it was called the “heroin chic”, basically because the models looked like they were drug addicts with dark, smudged eye makeup, pale faces and very (very!) thin, androgynous bodies. Artistic expression versus healthy body image, Kate Moss versus Claudia Schiffer, the discussion took over print media and school break chat, and I, starting to embrace makeup at the tender age of 15, was right in the middle.
Given my complexion and body type it soon became obvious that I would always be Team Claudia, willing or not, because I at least had a (very, very) small resemblance to her and would never ever qualify as androgynous.
But still these images made a huge impression, one that I can still see now, twenty years later, in my makeup preferences.
Case in point? I am drawn to everything labelled “smoky”. So it was about time I tried the Makeup Forever Smoky Lash mascara.
I never publicly declared I was on a spending ban. Oh wait, that isn´t entirely true.
I did in the first year of blogging, when I had gone on maternity leave and that, albeit paid for, was way less than the income I had beforehand. See, before that we lived the life of Double-Income-No-Kids and the amount of money I was able to spend on makeup and skincare was immense.
After approximately a year of not buying much stuff, I realized that my stash was still overflowing. And that I had skincare in my drawers that I had purchased more than a year ago and not even thought about opening. I decided to keep up my “spending ban” a little longer, despite being back to work and having more disposable money.
Fast forward two years and another kid, I still have unopened skincare. And I now have an Excel spreadsheet helping me to keep track of all my supplies. I do divide my skincare in different steps, as you have seen in my routines (morning and evening), and now I know exactly how many I have waiting in line for each and every need. (Not enough serums and way too many AHA products and face oils, if you are curious).
Have you ever met someone, got along really well and then, all of a sudden, they opened their mouth and said just one sentence that ruined everything?
I guess we all had that on a date, but it does happen absolutely everywhere.
To me it happened recently when reading a review. A review on the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam. The blog was a nice one, clean layout, structured approach, focus on the ingredients, and the more I read, the more I thought: Could that be one of my new blogging bffs? One to chat skincare on Twitter all night? Discuss ingredients? Recommend serums?
But then, last paragraph. The sentence that ruined everything: „Perfect for using in the shower – just apply and rinse with hot water.“
No flannel? In the shower? Hot Water? We would never get along! But maybe I got along with the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam? Read more