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Starting January, I took part in my very first Instagram challenge, the #abnewyearstashchallenge. Purpose of the challenge was to round up everything from a skincare category, both open and unopened, to share short reviews and, of course, take toll of how much product was actually hidden in those dusty drawers of yours.
Safe to say, I learned a lot about myself („Hi, my Name is Anne and I have too many acids„) and about other peoples skincare routines.
One thing though left me a little confused: The difference between lotions, light creams, day creams, night creams and sleeping masks. Marketing aside, just judging by ingredients, a serum rich in emollients and humectants is no different to a lotion. Which, incidentally, is sometimes used to decribe something much heavier than my regular moisturizer aka day cream.
Case in point? The Asambeauty Vitamin E Skin Smoothing Serum *. It is called serum, but call it lotion and I wouldn´t disagree either.
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When I was filming this video, I was pretty content with myself. Not only did I like the way my hair looked – call me vain, but these things can make or break a day -, but I was satisfied with having yet another batch of products finished to show you.
After starting to make a conscious effort to actually finish products and not let the last bit go to waste while saving it for a special day, I felt like I made really good progress.
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When it came to jewelry, I used to be silver only for many years. Not because it suited me best, but because wearing gold made me feel older than I actually was.
In my mind golden rings and bracelets were reserved for, you know, adults. People that earned money in proper jobs and knew what they were talking about. If I wore gold, I felt like dressing up as someone I wasn´t, a girl pretending to be her mother.
With more knowledge about skin tones and warm and cool colors I came to realize that gold actually suits me way better than silver does. On top of that I had to admit that despite having a proper job now and earning money (hell, even being a mother!) I would probably never feel like I belonged to the truly adult people. The ones that know what they are talking about.
In fact, I came to wonder if anyone really ever feels like he belongs to that group of adult adults, but I digress.
Coming back to topic (or at least as close to topic as I ever get): These days I mix and match my jewelry, but I still consider gold, especially combined with white, a very grown up combination. The Asambeauty Vitamin E Skin Smoothing 24h Cream * is white and gold in packaging, and a sophisticated and grown-up cream indeed.
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Did you know that on public holidays as well as on every Sunday, stores are closed in Germany? No quickly popping into town to get some food, no aimlessly wandering around looking for cute things to buy.
A public holiday (or every Sunday) is a holiday for everyone. Even the people working in retail.That may change, no matter how you personally feel about it, but at the moment it is my reality.
And every year I watch clips of the Boxing Day madness going on in other parts of the world from the comfort of my own home. I pat my belly, shift my weight from one side to the other (yes, the Christmas indulgence does bring back memories of the late stages of pregnancy) and wonder: Is there still anything we need to buy?
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I have to admit, I am a fickle person. And that is what has kept me from getting a tattoo so far.
See, I grew up in a time when having a tattoo was proof of time either served as marine or in jail, but things changed when I reached adolescence and suddenly they were everywhere.
Now most of my friends are tattooed, even Mr. Loca is, and I think it is a beautiful way of self-expression and an art.
I decided long ago that I would get a tattoo as well. I was sure of the motif, the placement, everything. But I didn´t have the money and decided to save up for it. While in the process of saving, I changed my mind. First on the placement, then on the motif, then on the placement again.
And that got me thinking. Can I really truly commit to one thing permanently etched into my skin?
Jury is still out on that, but it might be the reason why I judge every concealers coverage on its ability to potentially cover a tattoo. Could the pixi Pat Away Concealing base * do that? Let´s find out.
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I took last week off work. There were numerous reasons, and the leading one surely was that I had accumulated so many extra hours over summer that I needed to loose a few.
Another, really important reason though was that I wanted to get back on top of my blogging game again. After the summer holidays life was so busy, I never quite went back to my prepared and prescheduling self. And I was tired (in every sense of the way) to write up my blog post the night before publication.
You see, I had the best intentions. And, starting Tuesday, I had a sick kid that couldn’t attend day care and needed her mother.
So I sit here, Sunday night, clicking away on the keyboard to get my November Empties ready. I guess life is what happens when you are busy making other plans!
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.
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).
There is a little devil inside me that wants everything to go as planned. Or, even more, to plan everything.
Of course I can hear all mums out there laughing at me, and I KNOW, you can´t plan anything when you have small children, as they will inevitably throw up/ a fit / the keys behind the cupboard when you are pressed for time. But I thought in my own little online bubble, things could be planned. Scheduled out nicely, prepared in advance, uploaded when it was meant to be uploaded.
Like Empties posts, once every three months. One in March (see here) and the next one in June. Quarterly. But wait, is it June already? No. It isn´t.
The video that was supposed to go up instead wasn´t ready. Because my camera decided to throw up/ a fit/ the keys behind the cupboard. Isn´t it funny how electronics sometimes act like little children?
Three months ago, I decided it was time for a fresh start. My empties started piling up, and the cute (and quite big) box I was storing them in was bound to overflow. As I am still trying to shop my stash a lot and finish what is already in there, I was heading straight to trash mountain.
A sight neither pretty nor inspiring.
Now fear not, I am not going to go all Marie Kondo on you. I will never ever be a minimalist, but sometimes you just have to let go.
So in January 2017 I dumped all my stuff into the trash and started again, quickly accumulating what is now my March 2017 Empties.