Staying focused when working from home (plus my 24 weeks bump update)

To be honest, I am not actually „working“ from home. I am mainly off work and on modified bed rest (read here why), but I quickly found myself some projects to work on to keep me busy.

And while I love being busy, I am also big on procrastinating and watching YouTube videos, so I had to figure out ways to stay focused throughout the day.

Treats are mandatory when working, no matter where!
Treats are mandatory when working, no matter where!

Now whether you are a student, self-employed or trying to fit in blogging while balancing a full-time job and a toddler, chances are that you have done your fair share of procrastinating yourself. Most likely you have found your own way of dealing with it, but if you want to discover what works best for me, keep on reading. Read more


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BISC Volume 16 – How to remove facial hair

BISC Vol.16
Do you remove your facial hair? If so, what’s your preferred method?

BISC Vol.16 Authors
MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
It’s pretty embarrassing to have visible facial hair as a woman – thanks for that, mom – so yes, I remove it. At first I only tweezed my unibrow and my upper lip hair with a pair of tweezers – the pain oh the pain – but last summer I went from just plucking the caterpillars and the stache to pretty much epilating my whole face with this little torture tool. Yes, it hurts, but it’s effective and keeps my face looking and feeling nice and smooth. That said, I’d love to go for a permanent solution eventually with one of those Philips Lumea-type at-home hair removal systems.
ERIN | USA | Clever Girl Reviews
I just tweeze. I try not to be a perfectionist either.
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
Being blonde, I don’t really have issues with facial hair. Or, as I probably should say, HAD. Because with age I notice the soft peachy fuzz becoming more and more prominent, up to a point where I start to wonder if I should probably do something about it. So far I had my upper lip waxed once, which turned out to be a horrible experience. My face was red and swollen for days and I started breaking out when the hair grew back. I guess I´ll try sugaring next…
AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup
I guess I could say that I am really blessed because the only facial hair I need to remove is the hair in my eyebrows. I get them professionally waxed at the salon every 2-3 months and I pluck whatever hair is growing out in between appointments using my tweezers. As simple as that!
RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
I do, but only occasionally! I tweeze stray brow hairs when I’m doing my makeup, but for the most part, the hair on my face just gets to stay on my face. I’ll tweeze, thread, or wax my upper lip if I have a bunch of lip swatches to do, but I take a very lazy approach to facial hair nowadays. If other people don’t like my face-hairs, they can suck it up and deal with it!
MATROMAO | Philippines | FoodWorldMe
So far, I’ve only ever done my eyebrows. I used to exclusively tweeze them myself back in high school, but I’ve since discovered that professional reshaping every now and then is the trick to keep my “eyebrow game” going. Then I’ll maintain that for a couple of months by cleaning up re-growths along the shape they’ve set. I’ve had people shave, tweeze, and wax my brows, and I prefer waxing. It’s quick, and the shape I get is so well-defined that mapping and filling the brows become a breeze.
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
Upon reading everyone’s comments, I’m a little embarrassed to share that I’ve done very little to my facial hair. Every couple of weeks I’d groom my eyebrows with a tweezer and remove obvious facial hair with a basic Panasonic facial trimmer and that’s about it! I didn’t even know that people get their upper lip waxed! I probably should give it a try soon, along with getting my brows professionally shaped. I feel that my current brows don’t really flatter my face that much.

Now it is your turn:
What do you do to your facial hair?
And which method would you suggest I try next?


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BISC Volume 15 – Tips how to overcome bloggers block

BISC Vol.15 Group 1
How do you overcome blogger’s block?

BISC Vol.15 Group 1
LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash
When I have blogger’s block, I usually just go offline for a while and enjoy what reality has to offer. For me, personally, the block is because I’m uninspired, and maybe a little burned out. A break is usually a welcome, and most of the time, it takes shorter than expected to get some inspiration to write again. Nowadays however, I have content to write, but just don’t have the time to do it. That’s entirely another type of block. LOL!
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
I don’t think I ever experienced a severe case of “bloggers block” (knock on wood!), but I have had days where I am completely exhausted and lacking all inspiration. To keep up with my schedule I plan my posts three months in advance, rotating beauty, skincare and random stuff so I don’t get stuck in a rut. And if life gets in the way I still have quality content prepared to see me through at least a week or two without the pressure of having to write, which is the best way to get all inspired again.
TRACY | USA | Swaybeauty
I actually hit a wall about a month ago due to beauty overload. I took a little break and started my “Married to a Chef” series. Having those posts at the ready lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. After the first two went out I found myself more at ease and able to refocus my attention back to beauty related posts. I think taking a break is so important for your mind, body and spirit. I don’t think you should ever have to apologize for doing so because after all we’re only human.
KRISTEN | USA | Glambunctious
I just take a break.  Sometimes it’s a a few days away from social media, or a week off from blogging.  I focus on other areas of my life and when the magic returns, I get to writing!  I don’t really think of it as a block or lack of inspiration; it’s just a time where my brain power is needed elsewhere.
SHEILA | Canada | Maddy Loves
I generally have “moments” of inspiration and then I write, write, write, often several blog posts in one sitting. It’s really hard to motivate myself to write if I have writer’s block, so I generally go away and do something else, or I scroll through my folder of folders of stuff I need to review, hoping to get some inspiration. I might also read other blogs, hoping I’ll get bitten by the writing bug. If all else fails, I might just give up. Blogging is a hobby anyways, so I try not to stress myself out too much by it!
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
I usually just let it be. Sometimes I even think of it as a blessing because I’ll have more time to spend with my friends and family doing “life” things. I’ll try to stay off social media, too, if possible. I find that when I’m happy, I’ll have a lot of energy, and ideas will flow naturally. I also find it easier and more fun to write about things I’m genuinely happy and excited about! :)

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BISC Vol 14 – On choosing a blogname

BISC Vol.14
What’s the inspiration behind your blog name? How did you come up with it?

BISC Vol.14 Group 1 Authors
TRACY | USA | Swaybeauty
My blog name came about during a discussion I was having with my husband. Beauty wise I had stopped listening to everyone else and started doing what was right for me.  He suggested I call it Tracy’s Way but I remember thinking that that sounded too egotistical so he came up with sway beauty which was play on words of tracysway. It’s fascinating how a person can be swayed into purchasing a product simply based on who the “spokesperson” was and the word “Sway” always came to mind after having read a blog post or watched a YouTube video.
DEE | Canada | How Does Dee Do It
Honestly – it was the first name that popped into my head when I thought of creating my blog. I thought it was catchy and conveyed how I do things (on the makeup and fitness side of the house). I did however decide later that I wanted a separate fitness blog (which I have now (www.fitchickswithlipsticks.com) with Mo from MoMakeUpMobeauty), but for HDDI, that’s the story right there :) Short one :))
SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog
The name of my blog is a total accident. I actually never intended to go this far with the blog, nor did I mean to make it a beauty blog. I just got bored one Sunday afternoon and decided to create a little online space to write about a little bit of everything, hence the wordplay of my own name! Mostly Sunny turned into a beauty blog because I realized I have the most passion for this subject, plus I have almost nobody in my real life to share it with.
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
Choosing a blog name was a lot harder than writing the first few posts, and it was what took longest to decide on. Finally I figured it should hint what I was writing about while still being distinguishable from all the blogs carrying “Makeup” or “Beauty” in their title. So I settled for Spanish and picked: “Linda” (as in pretty, representing makeup), “Libra” (as in free, representing travel) and “Loca” (as in crazy, representing life with a newborn).
Disclaimer: I know that “Libra” is the wrong translation, but it sounds much better that way.
SHEILA | Canada | Maddy Loves
I used to be hosted on Blogger under the name Mademoiselle Loves Beauty. It was super long, and then when I switched over to WordPress, I shortened it to Maddy Loves. Although, I get my name mistaken for Maddy all the time now, so sometimes I just go by Maddy as my online name. It worked out!
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
I registered HelloJaa.com long before I turned it into a beauty blog and that’s why it doesn’t relate to makeup or beauty. I wanted to put my name somewhere in there because I learned that you are less likely to get bored of your domain name if it has your name in it! Seems to work for me. :) Then I added “Hello” because it’s such a common and friendly word, not to mention the first word you say to someone you’ve never met before. It just sounds so fitting for me. :)
Now it is your turn:
How did you come up with your blog name (assuming you blog yourself)?

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BISC Vol. 12 – Do you regularly toss expired makeup?

BISC Vol.12
Do you regularly toss expired makeup?

BISC Vol.12 Authors
RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
Hah! Absolutely not — I throw out expired products as I come upon them, but I definitely don’t toss en masse or get rid of things based on expiry dates. Once a product is past its prime, it gets thrown out, but I’m far too lazy to sort through my collection and search out expired products on a regular basis! :p
TRACY | USA | Swaybeauty
Whenever I purchase an item I put an alert in my phone from 3months up to a year out depending on the product.  That way I can keep track of what I’m using (and not using for that matter) and toss anything that should be thrown out. If however something either doesn’t look quite right or smells weird I don’t hesitate to toss it right then and there.  And the money lost definitely takes precedence over a possible infection.
You wouldn’t put spoiled milk on your cereal so why would you put expired foundation on your face.
ANGELA | Canada | Do Want Makeup
Confession: I sometimes use mascara past the 3-6 month mark if the texture is still good. Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to the expiry date (unless it’s sunscreen!) or the period-after-opening date (that jar symbol with a number). I make a personal decision about whether a product is still okay to use based on the consistency, smell, or appearance. If any of those things change, then I toss it. I try go to through my stash once or twice a year to declutter and purge items that are expired or no longer hold any interest for me.
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
No.
I´ll probably make myself main target to the wreath of the beauty community out there, but I couldn’t care less about expiration dates. There are foundations, lipsticks and eyeshadows I purchased four to five years ago that I still happily use every once in a while. As long as they don’t smell or look weird, I think this is perfectly fine. The only thing I toss within expiration date is mascara, mainly because it doesn’t last any longer.
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
I do, but only with liquid eyeliners and mascaras. Everything else I keep until I notice a change in texture and/or scent. I try to be proactive about keeping my makeup clean where I can. For example, I make sure my hands and vanity are clean before I start putting on makeup. I rarely ever share my makeup with anyone. I dab cream and liquid products on the back of my hand and apply with a separate applicator to prevent possible contamination. I also keep my makeup only in a dry area away from sunlight and humidity.
[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*hellojaa.com]

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BISC Vol. 11 – How to keep makeup looking flawless all day!

BISC Vol.11
How do you ensure your makeup stay flawless all day?

BISC Vol.11 Authors
SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog
1. Prime: Especially if you have oilier skin or when the weather is warm, prime your eyes and your skin first.
2. Long-wearing formulas: Some products go the distance. Look for formulas that “set” or waterproof ones.
3. Build up in thin layers: Always better than caking too much of anything on in one go!
4. Layer: Layer powder eyeshadows/blushes on top of cream ones for extra dimension and lasting power!
5. Set: Set everything in place with a bit of powder.
6. When all else fails, carry a pressed powder compact with you for touch-ups!
ERIN | USA | Clever Girl Reviews
Armani loose or pressed powder, NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, and Boscia Blotting Linens!
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
These three things keep my makeup in place: Primers, Powders and Layers.
Eyeshadow base is a must for me (I use MACs Paintpots) and I have tried to incorporate a face primer into my daily routine. To save me an extra step, I use the Eucerin SPF 50+ (read here) as a two-in-one. 
Being oily skinned, a powder is a must for me, and as bonus it helps the base stay in place. 
Same goes for every other part of yourmakeup: Regular eyeshadows on top of Creamshadows or a powder blush on top of a cream one really increase longevity. 
LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash
I guess it really depends on your skin type, and also your daily activity. I live in a hot and humid weather, and it’s difficult for makeup to stay flawless the whole day, unless I hide in air conditioned places 24/7. So, if I’ll be out the entire day, I’ll be bringing makeup with me to touch up. For eyes, I use NARS eye primer which will make any eye shadow stay. Cream blushes tend to stay longer on me, and for foundations, I keep them light, and touch up with powder throughout the day.
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
For face, I blot excess shine from my skincare before following with a mattifying primer such as the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. Next I apply a long-lasting base using a Beautyblender and really press it in the skin. I always finish everything off with a light dusting of loose powder. For eyes, I prime with a slightly matte eye primer before I do my eye makeup. For lips, I apply a lip liner all over the lips as a base for my lipstick. I also like to keep blotting sheets handy to get rid of excess oil when needed without disturbing my makeup.
[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*hellojaa.com]

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Beauty Influencers Sunday Column Vol.10 – Essential Makeup Brushes Everyone Should Own

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.10
What are essential makeup brushes everyone should own?
Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.10 Authors
MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
Last year I put a little overview of my favorite make-up brushes for the eyes and face on the blog and now more than a year later I still stand by my choices. MAC and Sigma are my two favorite brands for eye make-up brushes. And one of my all-time favorite face brushes is the (crazy cheap) e.l.f. Stipple Brush and – of course – my trusted Beauty Blender. For a detailed review on all of my favorite brushes you can click hereand here!
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
Of course, the essential brush is very much dependent on the makeup you wear everyday. But looking at the ones I reach for the most, I recommend everyone owning one of these:
– A flat eyeshadow brush for packing on color or pigments
– A fine liner brush for gel liners
– A blending brush for, well, blending
– A fluffy blush/bronzer brush
– A dense Kabuki for face powder
– A BeautyBlender (or dupe) for foundation
The exact number you need of each depends on your consistency in cleaning them. I for one need a lot…
SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog
1) MAC 217/Hakuhodo J5523. It’s great for applying a wash of color, blending eyeshadows out, and even buffing undereye concealer into the skin. Basically, you will have a hard time finding anything 217 cannot do!
2) MAC 219: I use it to highlight the inner corners, smudging eyeshadow over the gel liner on my lower lash line, and sometimes laying a darker eyeshadow in my outer v. If you want to do any detailed work to make your eye look more polished/finished, you need 219.
3) Let me cheat by adding Dior Backstage Blender to the list!
SHEILA | Canada | Maddy Loves
Wayne Goss 02 – a good quality yet relatively inexpensive substitute for the Suqqu cheek brush. It’s SO soft and the size is perfect to use as a blush, bronzer, contour, or small powder brush. Super versatile.
MAC 239 – my go-to eyeshadow brush for applying eyeshadow
MAC 219 – my go-to brush for applying colour to the inner corner, and along the upper and lower lashlines
Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner brush – the only brush I use for applying gel/cream liners, it’s just so easy to use, either to tightline, normal line, or create a cat eye
ERIN | USA | Clever Girl Reviews

I personally love a lot of different brands, but you can’t beat Real Techniques or Sonia Kashuk for beginners and experts alike.
1. Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques
2. The eye kit from Real Techniques
3. Sonia Kashuk Crease Brush
4. Sonia Kashuk Small Eye Shadow Brush
5. Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Brush.
Some of my high-end faves are from Chanel, Armani, and Jane Iredale. I’m looking to expand into Tom Ford and Japanese brands!

LAARNI | Philippines | Xoxo Laarni

I love multi-functional brushes because they’re best for travels and they’re time savers! I am picking my best two! (1)MAC 239 Brush Eye Shader Brush: for pack, shade, and blend eyeshadows. (2) Sigma Beauty 3DHD Kabuki Brush: for cream, liquid and powder foundation application. Also best brush for under eye concealers and for hard-to-reach places like the side of the nose and mouth. Very modern and innovative!
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
For eye makeup, my recommendations include MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush (lid color), Chanel Eyeshadow Blender #19 (outer corner), MAC217 Blending Brush (crease and blending), Smashbox Crease Brush #10 (all-over blending), MAC 219 Pencil Brush (smudging), and MAC 211 Pointed Liner Brush (lining). See more.
For face makeup, my recommendations include Hourglass No 2 Blush/Foundation Brush (foundation), Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (setting), Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush (highlighting), NARSIta Kabuki Brush (contouring), Tom Ford Cheek Brush and MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush (cheek color), and Real Techniques Setting Brush (concealing). See more.
[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*hellojaa.com]

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