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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!
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?
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
I like to think that I eat fairly healthy. Yes, I do have a sweet tooth and while having fruits is not an issue, I have to pay attention to not skip my leafy greens too often.
Replacing your carbs for greens isn´t a new trend, and I think everyone has at least tried things like Zoodles once. Admittedly they aren´t as bad as I thought they would be, just add a lot of pasta sauce and heaps of parmesan and you are good to go, but I don´t think I would go any further.
Like: Zoats. Finely grated zucchini in your morning oats.
Just take a moment to let that sink in.
See, if I have oats for breakfast, I already pat myself on the back for not having a pain au chocolat. There is no way I can stomach grating zucchini in the morning oats and topping it with some chia seeds and half an apple.
But you have to get your vitamins in, which is why I reach for my pixi Vitamin Wakeup Mist (*PR-Sample) every morning.
Practice makes perfect, that is true for everything in life, makeup included. But some things are harder to practice than others.
Take liquid liner for example. It is an obvious black line on your face. So if the practice isn´t there already, but you still need to leave the house that day, you are in a difficult situation. You could of course hide for a few days and draw a line over and over again. But that would be kind of excessive don´t you think? It does work though. Let´s just say that I started wearing liquid liner in a time where I had no work commitments and obviously no social life to speak of.
Or you could turn to a product that makes applying liquid liner ridiculously easy. Because it is designed like a pen, one you grab and draw a line like you have done it a hundred times before. Just on paper, not on your eyes. Should work the same, no?
I grabbed the L´Oréal Super Liner Blackbuster recently and put it to the test.
I am a very opinionated woman. And I have no trouble making a decision and sticking to it. In fact, I think that this is my forte.
Mr. Loca would probably disagree with the last sentence, but I think it is helpful to be able to make up your mind quickly and not lose sleep over decisions you made. In fact, I rarely ever lose sleep over anything, I am a sound sleeper. If my kids let me, that is.
But every once in a while I come across something that leaves me completely clueless. This time it was the Bare Minerals Original Foundation SPF 15.