30 Jan 2011

January Favorites + a Haul!

My recent beauty products purchases:

Nars Lip Lacquer in Diablo - a candy apple red lip cream that can be applied lightly for a sheer finish, or layered for an opaque and bright finish. Really long lasting, doesn't feather easily even without a lipliner, but doesn't have a nice taste/scent.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup in Classic Ivory - Many have been saying this is a dupe for the Nars Sheer Glow foundation, which is my favorite, but at a much more affordable price. I'm trying this out to see if it is indeed a dupe; I have worn it a few times already and at this point I don't think it's comparable - but more on that in the future in a more in-depth review.

My favorites for this past month:

La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche face cream - Perfect for sensitive, dry skin. Paraben, mineral oil and perfume free. The whole Toleriane line from Roche Posay is perfect for people with skin sensitivities or irritations. This cream has helped to prevent the severe dry patches I often get in the wintertime. Available at pharmacies and apothecaries.

Blistex lip balm - No-nonsense hydration for irritated, dry lips. This contains menthol and usually I react negatively to that, but the menthol content is very low so it's all right. Inexpensive but does it's job amazingly well.

Catrice Heidi Plum eyeshadow - A beautiful dusty grey-purple matte eyeshadow. Great pigmentation, very inexpensive, great lasting power and available at European drugstores. This looks wonderful in the crease, paired with other colors.

Illamasqua products mentioned:

Sanger lipstick - a bright, firetruck engine red, matte finish
Throb nailpolish - bright red cream finish
Load nailpolish - a creamy vanilla custard shade, cream finish and opaque in 2 coats
Scorn nailpolish- semi-matte black polish

Nailpolish I'm wearing in this video:
Maybelline Blue Sapphire

Link to my video here

My Healthy Eating Resolution for 2011

If you're subscribed to my Youtube channel, as well as my second vlogging channel, you might already be caught up on this, but I wanted to write a blog about about it as well.

Since mid-January my boyfriend and I have made a decision to lead a healthier lifestyle, of which the food we eat is a large component. Over Christmas time I ended up gaining weight due to all the lovely but fattening food, so I decided to go back to a more health-conscious diet. I'm increasing my intake of vegetables and lean proteins, and reducing all starchy foods and processed carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, baked goods, sweets, potatoes, pasta, etc.)

I've also cut out random snacking, which many times was just eating out of boredom or habit. I mean, do I really need to have a snack shortly before going to bed? Great way to pack on the pounds! If I do want a snack, I'm choosing healthy options, like vegetables or a piece of fruit.

I've filmed a few videos about this topic, if you're interested. The first one is just an intro to what types of foods one should eat and which ones to avoid. (Link)

The next video I posted on my vlog channel, about a typical trip to the grocery store for me, and what kinds of produce I buy. (Link)

And lastly I filmed all my meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) over about a 2 week period, so you can see what actual meals I prepare on this new eating plan. (Link)

Obviously any big changes you make in your diet should be implemented slowly, but this isn't actually all too different that what I was eating before. The main differences are that I cut out all sweets and desserts, sugar, and processed low-fiber carbs. I still do eat carbohydrates, but in limited quantities and only the good, whole grain kind, or some fruit.

So far things are going great and I feel much better about myself. I feel like I'm getting a lot more essential vitamins and nutrients, and I rarely ever get those intense cravings for something sugary or fattening like chips or fast food. I've also been doing exercise regularly on my elliptical machine, and can't wait for the snow to melt so I can go outside for runs.

This is what I'm doing and what works for me - please don't leave me a comment saying how wrong and bad this all is. If you're unsure about weightloss or healthy eating, please see a dietitian. I feel great and am noticing good results in my overall well-being and health!

27 Jan 2011

Asos Jewelry Haul

I've recently done some hauling at Asos.com, an online clothing/accessories/shoes/beauty boutique based in the UK. I purchased a dress for an upcoming event I'm going to in February, and my second haul was some of their costume jewelry. They have the cutest things, and the prices are good too. Here's what I ordered jewelry-wise; I'll probably show you the dress in an Outfit of the Day video for the event ;)

Lispy Spider Charm bracelet (£14) - I'm not much of a bracelet person, to be honest I hardly own any bracelets at all, but I thought I'd go for something different this time and see if I like it or not. I absolutely love the charms on this one, especially the spider of course! Not so great for arachnophobia!

ASOS Long Metal Spike Earrings (£6) - I've wanted earrings like this for a while. They look like plugs but actually aren't - they have a front and back closure.

ASOS Oversized Swirled Metal and Crystal Ring (£12) - I love this ring but was very hesitant to order a ring from a website as sometimes even the large size is too small for me. I have very large hands and long fingers, and I just hate when rings are tight on me. So I thought I'd order just the one and see how I fare with it. If it fits, I'll probably order more.

The best part about Asos is the free worldwide delivery! I don't want to do too much raving yet before I receive both my orders, but if this works out, I might become an Asos shopping whore. I'm eyeing a few more of their accessories, and they are constantly getting in new stock so you're literally spoiled for choice. I even like some of the shoes on there but I've never ordered shoes online before and am very hesitant about the fit as I have size 41/42 European. (About a US 11)

The good thing right now is that the Swiss Frank is very strong over the Euro, USD and Pound, so online shopping abroad is a steal for me!

26 Jan 2011

Soft Purple Eyes

I know the pictures are not the best as I had to take these at night with flash and had to lighten them a tad in Photoshop, but I wanted to snap a quick picture of the makeup I wore today. I filmed a video this evening (coming up soon) but didn't do a tutorial for this look. Since I will probably get questions from my viewers, I thought I'd post this blog to show you at least the products I used.

I wanted to make an homage to one of my favorite eyeshadows at the moment, which is Catrice Heidi Plum Nr. 280, a gorgeous smokey purple-grey matte shade, which I'm wearing in the crease. Best part is that these eyeshadows by Catrice are so inexpensive and available at drugstores here!

Neutrogena Healthy Skin in Classic Ivory, Ben Nye Natural Blush, MAC Blonde MSF

MAC Bare Canvas Paint, MAC Dazzlelight e/s, Catrice Heidi Plum e/s, Ben Nye Toast e/s, Ben Nye 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero, Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara

Gosh Darling lipstick

25 Jan 2011

World Cities: Rio de Janeiro

Next up in my World Cities mini-series is Rio de Janeiro!! This colorful, tropical and fun look was inspired by the Carneval that Rio is so famous for.

Mehron Tropical aqua palette, Ben Nye Grande Lumier palette, NYX White e/s, MAC Blacktrack fluidline, Illamasqua Nr. 23 lashes

NYX Salsa lipgloss, P2 Rita Hayworth lipgloss

Ben Nye Natural Blush

Essence Glam Girl

(Sorry this was filmed weeks ago so I don't recall what foundation I wore.)

Link to the video on Youtube

23 Jan 2011

Sunday evening round up

Hi girls and boys! I hope you all had a lovely weekend and had time to relax, catch up with friends, shop, or do whatever you like to do.

My boyfriend and I went up to the cabin in Adelboden to get some skiing in - at least that was our plan. First we wanted to go up on Friday evening but he was feeling too tired and a bit sick, so we planned to go up Saturday morning. Somehow on Saturday I just enjoyed so much to sleep in, then shuffling around in my bathrobe and lambskin slippers, drinking tea and surfing around on the Internet a bit, that time just seemed to fly by. I'm the kind of person who really likes to take my time on weekends to do my "beauty routine". I love taking a long bath or shower, exfoliating my face, sloughing off dead skin with a loofah sponge, shaving my legs, deep conditioning my hair, tweezing my brows, or treating myself to a face mask and pedicure on weekends - all things I just don't have time for during the week. So I did all that kind of stuff and then gave myself a mini-facial with a concoction of my various skincare products from Kiehl's and La Roche Posay. My skin felt so smooth, like buttah! Must do this every weekend now. I'm just happy to have finally found the right products for my skin for wintertime, the season where I usually had to battle flakiness, rough patches, extreme sensitivity and itchiness.

We finally ended up leaving our house late afternoon, and drove up to Adelboden, a winter resort in the Swiss Bernese Alps where we have a cabin. It's really beautiful year round, but there's something magical about it in the winter with the snow glistening, the quiet, and the moon reflecting off the snow in the night.

Instead of going straight home, we drove into the resort town and had a drink at a pub, then afterwards had dinner at a nice, Swiss restaurant. It was the first restaurant meal I had since going healthy low carb, and although it tasted nice, somehow my stomach just couldn't handle it. I was famished at that point, but even one main dish with a salad appetizer was too much for me. The food just seemed so heavy and filling to me, I've gotten so used to eating lighter meals, with mostly raw vegetables and salads, that it just tasted so greasy. A little update: I've lost about 3kg so far (about 8 pounds).

After dinner we went to play some pool at another bar, had some more drinks and played obnoxious music on an actual jukebox, and ran into some familiar faces. Believe it or not, Adelboden is actually the place where my boyfriend and I originally met many years ago, because we both worked in a hotel there. It felt a bit like a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revisiting our old haunts. I even bumped into an old flame that I hadn't seen in ages - awkward!! haha

We got in late that night to the cabin, watched a bit of TV, then went to sleep. Well, I tried to sleep but somehow couldn't doze off until the early hours of the morning. I had horrible cramps and just an overall feeling of unwellness, so of course the next morning we totally overslept. If you want to go skiing, you have to get up fairly early in the morning to avoid the line ups at the base station, since the gondola ride up to the peak takes a while. The parking lot fills up really fast, and people are really horrible in the line ups, shoving past you to try and get ahead - I hate it.

So instead we had a long breakfast, drank too much coffee, read the paper and listened to music. The weather was perfect at this point so we decided to pack up and drive down into the resort and went on a long walk through the snowy landscape. It was pretty damn cold, about -10C, but blinding sunshine. Unfortunately I forgot my camera in the car so I don't have any beautiful pictures to share with you right now. In the afternoon we drove home, at which point I pretty much was ready for a long nap, having slept to horribly the night before. Then this evening we went to my boyfriend's parents house for dinner and had a cheese fondue, another heavy meal. At this point I just feel so full and groggy with all that food, I'm actually looking forward to eating my light meals this week again and getting my exercise in.

Speaking of which, I'm nearly done recording my meal plan for the past few days, although I've barely filmed any lunches. Mostly I "scavenge" for lunch anyway, or eat left-overs, and usually prepare something proper for dinner. I'll be uploading that soon to my vlogging channel on Youtube.

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell! Right now I'm just about ready to go to bed, read the rest of my book in bed, then doze off. All in all pretty satisfying. I hope you guys had a great weekend!

22 Jan 2011

Illamasqua Load

I had no idea that I would love this color so much from Illamasqua, but I do! "Load" is the perfect butter cream color on my nails. It's so much more flattering than wearing a stark white on your nails, and if this contained little brown specks in it, it would look exactly like a homemade vanilla custard. Load is from the new Throb collection from Illamasqua, released for Valentine's Day. It applies a bit thicker than other Illamasqua polishes, but is very opaque in two coats.

This will be the perfect color for me as I'm heading up to our cabin today in the mountains. Quite looking forward to some rest and relaxation, going out to dinner tonight at a restaurant in the resort town, then probably going skiing on Sunday. The weather prognosis looks good and there's been a fresh snow fall this week, so I hope it will be lovely on the slopes!

Have a great weekend :)

20 Jan 2011

World Cities: London (new mini-series!)

I'm starting a new mini-series of themed looks on my Youtube channel, inspired by famous cities from around the world! I was itching to do something new after the slew of Christmas and New Year's looks, and first up is LONDON! One of my favorite cities for shopping and clubbing and just hanging out in. I was inspired the edginess and modern culture of London, and also by the cloudy gray skies that seem to be omnipresent there (haha!)

I have already filmed 2 more videos in this series, but please feel free to leave your requests for famous world cities either in the comments below, or on the video on Youtube! Thanks for watching :)

(Totally forgot which foundation I used here since I filmed this a few weeks ago), Barry M Natural Dazzle bronzer, Ben Nye Natural blush

MAC Greasepaint Stick in Black, Ben Nye Graystone e/s, Barry M Fine Glitter Dust Nr. 21, MAC Mixing Medium (water based), MAC Humid e/s, Ben Nye Toast e/s, MAC Feline kohl pencil

P2 Rodeo Drive lipstick, Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic

Orly Pixy Sticks

Link to the video tutorial

19 Jan 2011

Bathroom De-Junking

Today I tackled my bathroom cabinet to sort out products I don't need anymore from the products I reach for a lot. Included in this was a huge assortment of skincare, makeup removers, body lotions, hair products, and other random things. In the past few years I've amassed so many products that I either purchased or were sent to me to try out, and for whatever reason, they just didn't end up working out and I had no further use for them, but didn't want to just throw them away so I kept them. Some are even great products, but everyone has different skin type so they didn't work out.

Well today I had enough of bottles falling out as soon as I opened my bathroom cabinet, so I went through everything and began to sort. Many things were nearly empty, which I ended up just tossing, and the products that were still usable but I had no use for I put in a box to give away to friends and family. Some of these things are even luxury and high-end items, but I just don't use them. Here's my box of nearly full items to give away, some things are a bit hidden below.

And here's my bathroom cabinets pared down to the products I actually use:

Much better oversight! I feel like I can now actually find and use what I need and want. I might do some more paring down in the next few weeks, I have another basket of products in my bathroom that I rarely look in, a lot of samples, face masks, lotions, sunscreens and other items, many of which probably just need to be tossed.

17 Jan 2011

Foundation Tutorial - My Routine

A lot of you have been requesting that I do an updated foundation  routine. Things have changed for me quite a bit since I did my last foundation video, from the products I use, to the tools and techniques. In this video tutorial I show you step by step how I get that even, flawless looking finish in my videos, even when my skin is not flawless and perfect. I don't suffer from acne or break outs much, but my main issue is discoloration, and since I'm on the very fair side, any redness shows up very strongly.

Products I use:

Nars Sheer Glow foundation - Mont Blanc
Lancome Maquicomplet concealer - Ivoire
Alverde powder
Ben Nye Neutral set powder
Barry M Natural Dazzle bronzer
La Femme Glow on Blush - Nectar Peach
P2 Color Star Lip Cream - Rita Hayworth

Link to the video on Youtube

15 Jan 2011

HQhair.com fail and Nars update

So as some of you might have heard this weekend, the beloved online site hqhair.com, a mainstay of many European gals who used this website to get their hands on US brands not available in their country, is rumored to have filed for bankruptcy or some such thing. I don't really know what's going on myself, but you might have noticed that many of the most popular brands have been removed from the site. On their Facebook page, some customers have reported their accounts being deleted.

Personally, the part that irks me the most is that this was the only place I could buy Nars products from. Switzerland has a few counters, none of which bother to ship the products within my own country and are located hours and hours away from me (why yes, Switzerland apparently still lives in the dark ages) and the Nars online shop for Europe only ships to EU countries apparently. Why they don't ship here, I do not know.

Anyhow, so thanks to a Twitter follower, I was recommended by an Australian gal to check out this website: Kiss and Makeup. It's a makeup boutique located in the USA that carries most of the Nars line, among other brands like Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Kiehl's, etc. Prices are the regular US prices (score!!!) and worldwide shipping is about $10 USD flat rate right now. I don't know if this is a special price or if that's for all time, but that seems quite reasonable.

YAY! Crisis averted. I cannot imagine living without my Nars foundation anymore. Apparently many Aussie beauty fans use this website to get their Nars fix, with good reviews. I think I'll be trying this out. If anyone knows of other retailers of Nars products that ship worldwide, please list them below.

Update: You can also order NARS cosmetics from Asos.com which currently offer free shipping worldwide! More convenient for European customers as Asos is based out of the UK. Standard UK Nars prices.

5 Jan 2011

Electric Purple Makeup tutorial

I wore this makeup look in my recent videos but didn't do a tutorial for it. Since it was requested by many of my viewers and readers, I decided to go ahead and film a separate video for it. I hope you like this bright and fun purple look!

Nars Sheer Glow foundation in Mont Blanc, MAC Blonde MSF, MAC Studio Finish concealer

MAC Greasepaint Stick in Slick Black, Barry M 102 Dazzle Dust, Catrice eyeshadows in 280 Heidi Plum and 220 The Violent Violet, Ben Nye Cosmic Violet e/s, Ben Nye Toast e/s, MAC Feline kohl pencil, Max Factor Xperience Volumizing Mascara, MAC Brows in Spiked, Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Gaze

MAC Go For It lipstick, Barry M Nr.129 lipstick, Gosh Cool Lip Jam in 100

Color Club - Jewel of a Girl

MAC Go For It lipstick was limited addition, but I was told that MAC Pro Longwear lipcream in Goes and Goes is a good dupe for it. Also Illamasqua Fetish is a good purple lipstick, or Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Fierce. They will all give you similar results as in the video.

3 Jan 2011

My exhibition at Zurich Design Museum

A while back (in the summer) I told you about an upcoming exhibition at the Zurich Design Museum that my makeup videos were going to be featured in. This is the exhibition:

Well anyhow, I went to see the exhibition twice, but only on the last day did I film. So I'm sorry to say the exhibition has now ended, but here's a quick video to give you a sneak peek into what it was like, and how my work was presented.

I was super happy about this! Many thanks to Renate Menzi, the curator of the Zurich Design Museum for selecting my work to be a part of this.

2 Jan 2011

Top Products of 2010

2010 has been a year of rather limited makeup purchases on my end, a trend which I hope to continue in 2011. If you haven't noticed, I'm not a hauler that buys boatloads of name brand makeup every month, but there have been some amazing products this year that I just could not say no to. Here's a compilation of some of my top products of last year.

Kiehl's - especially the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and the Centella Recovery Skin Salve

Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer in Light

MAC Petticoat and Stereo Rose Mineralize Skin Finishes
Nars Deep Throat

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Lilash (lash growth serum)

MAC Media lipstick
P2 lipsticks

Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki

Orly Cosmic FX collection (It's Not Rocket Science, Halley's Comet, Space Cadet)
Essie Mint Candy Apple
China Glaze Short & Sassy

Matrix Biolage line (especially the Ultra-Hydrating Balm conditioner)

What were your top products of 2010? Share below in the comments!

New York Times feature

Yours truly appeared in the freakin' New York Times print edition, and online! I am so excited! On October 28th I appeared in a short article about Halloween tutorials on Youtube, click on the image for full size.

You can read the online version here. Other Youtube vloggers mentioned include Petrilude and Goldiestarling. Thanks so much to Hilary Howard for the interview, I felt honored to be included. I am pictured in the middle with my Dead Doll Halloween makeup look.

1 Jan 2011

Electric Purple FOTD

I was going to film my 2010 Favorites for Youtube and I had to put on some makeup for filming, so at first I grabbed for some neutral shades but then I thought - eff that, neutral is boring, let's do some something fun! So out the black and purple products came! I like neutrals, but to be honest, these types of looks are so much more "me".

Sorry, I didn't film a tutorial for this one. Should I?

Revlon Colorstay foundation Ivory, MAC Blonde MSF, MAC Studio Finish concealer

MAC Greasepaint Stick in Slick Black, Barry M 102 Dazzle Dust, Catrice eyeshadows in 280 Heidi Plum and 220 The Violent Violet, Ben Nye Cosmic Violet e/s, Ben Nye Toast e/s, MAC Feline kohl pencil, Max Factor Xperience Volumizing Mascara, MAC Brows in Spiked, Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Gaze

MAC Go For It lipstick, Gosh Cool Lip Jam in 100

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! How was your New Year's Eve?