Saturday, 7 November 2015

Nail Secrets

"And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way."
- Marya Honbacher

Let's talk nails... Dare I say, I have awesome good hands and nails, something I've inherited from my grandmother, I believe. This is probably the only part of me, which I have never ever had doubts about. But we will discuss body confidence some other time. Despite the appreciation I have, doing my nails has always been the most tedious and annoying beauty routine for me. I'd rather be doing anything else. 

However, as my older sister has kindly imprinted in my mind forever, chipped and badly maintained nails are the sign of a sloppy and careless lady and seeing this on other people has become something of a pet peeve; hence, I made a promise to myself that I will make sure I never leave my nails to their own anymore.

Here I should say that my bestie is all about her nails and most of the goodies have either been stolen borrowed from her or I just shamelessly copied her and got the same. I have to say, never been sorry for it. 

Here enters good nail and hand care starting with OPI Nail Envy . This is an old classic, very well-known and tested by many. I'd say it's a bit expensive but you can usually get it cheaper from Amazon (it pains me to recommend this horrible, horrible website, managed by horrible, horrible people but that, again, is a different story). It does the job brilliantly, strengthens the nails and serves as a good polish base. I, however, have a different issue. My nails constantly flake and chip. Maybe it's from the constant tapping on the computer but this has always been the problem. So, I was just randomly browsing in Boots one day and saw Sally Hansen Miracle Cure. It costs a tenner, which is not cheap, but I needed something to fix this once and for all and I had heard some raving about this one. I am not sorry I got it at all - I apply it every 4,5 days and I haven't had a problem with my nails ever since I started using it about a month ago. It's brilliant and I would even recommend it over Nail Envy. Miracle Cure simply saved my nails (dramatic much?).

The Seche Vite Top Coat is another well-loved product by the online community and now me (photo on the left wearing it on top of Barry M). I can't even count how many times people have asked me whether I had gel polish on when, in fact, it's all been Seche Vite's work. It's has a wonderful thick texture which I have never ever seen in another top coat and I'd say it prolongs the polish staying power. It's just a must-have if you love shiny, gel-like nails like me. Again, browse Amazon to get it a bit cheaper. Once you've used this, you'll realise your current top coat is rubbish.

I will be back with some Life Lately updates and eyeliner stuff. Hopefully outfits too.
Stay tuned!

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Knee High Suede Boots + Sun

"Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain."
- Jack Kerouac 

"Tomorrow" became 5 days later, but the time in Wonderland has been very restricted this week due to work commitments, which I do apologise for. This is the first evening when I don't feel completely exhausted; hence, the post has finally arrived.

  I shot this look on Saturday, proudly wearing the boots I didn't show you in the shoes post. They were a complete bargain I found in H&M, keeping in mind that maybe they won't last long precisely because they were on the cheap side (faux suede) and because suede + London i.e. constant rain  = disaster. This couldn't deter me though, because I had this exact outfit in mind for ages and I am quite happy I got to finally show it to you. Speaking of bargains, the blazer was a tenner from the Zara sales last year, so keep your eyes peeled, people. 

In the meantime, I will try to shoot some more outfits because I really missed it!

Boots - H&M (here) | Dress - Zara (here) | Blazer - Zara (old) | Bag - Mango | 
Watch - Marc Jacobs | Sunnies - Rebecca Minkoff | Rings - Topshop

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I've Been Haulin' - Part 2

Some of the worst things in my life never happened.- Mark Twain

 A promise is a promise and here is Part 2 of my hauling. 

Let's start with the new and already quite popular H&M beauty range. Like many others, I was impressed by the variety and quality of their new products. I , too, was a bit negative because maybe I expected lower quality makeup when, in fact, H&M's work is definitely on point. If you haven't yet, go give some of the products a try.

When I went to the Oxford Street flagship, it was like a candy shop and I couldn't hold back and bought the H&M Colour Essence Eye Cream in Countess, which is the perfect everyday shimmer-y shade. I apply it all over the lid and then blend a darker brown into my crease. The result is always great - no creasing at all and very good pigmentation. When I first swatched these (I am totally buying more shades), they reminded me of the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise because they have a similar (not the same though) mousse - like formula. These are somewhere between the CT shadows and the Maybelline 24H Colour Tattoos, which I absolutely love. 

The only two things which I don't like are the synthetic smell (which I can live with) and the fact that I'm a girl with long nails and when I need to stick a finger in a tub like this, it's not pretty. I do use a brush to apply it, even though I always find that my fingers do a better and quicker job but oh, well...

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

I've Been Haulin' - Part 1

"Because when something happens, she’s the person I want to tell. The most basic indicator of love."
- David Levithan

Soooo, I've been spending money here and there and ended up with a few pieces which make me very happy indeed so thought it might be a good idea to share on a gloomy Wednesday evening. I will crack on, because there is quite a lot to talk about...

I will start with the Batiste Stylist Heat & Shine Spray. Batiste had styling products, who knew? 

I straighten my hair every day (when I'm not lazy) because it is always in a weird state between sloppy curls and weird not-entirely-straight-rather-wavy condition, which drives me mad. Thanks to the heat, I started getting split ends and annoying frizz so this (almost) dry heat-protecting spray comes in handy every morning. See, the thing with such products is that you cannot say for sure whether it works or not... How do you know? I've been using it for about a week now and it surely smells great, but I will have to come back later on the protecting bit...

Next up is the Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette in Nude Bronze. I wrote a whole post about these palettes and their similarity to UD Naked Basics - you can read all about it here.

I have had this idea in my head of "your lips but better" look - I blame the whole Kylie Jenner fad. So this is why I ended up spending about three months looking for a good drugstore nude lip liner. Ages and ages I couldn't find anything that seemed decent enough and just when I had decided to bite the bullet and buy the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk, it's dupe neatly presented itself to me - Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Eastend Snob. This is so creamy and easy to apply, it's unbelievable. Even my MAC lip liners are like a drawing pencils (MAC has better staying power though) in comparison to these and they cost only £4! Good one, Rimmel, good one. For some reason I thought Eastend Snob might be too pink for me and also got the shade Addiction. They have a decent staying power and I think are well worth the £4.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The awesome Urban Decay Naked Basics dupe

"There are days that must happen to you."
- Walt Whitman

Lately I've been shopping like mad. The situation is: "I've won the lottery, there's no tomorrow, let's buy it all." Hence, expect a beauty haul/ new in post very, very soon. 

I decided to start with one item in particular and it's the Collection (2000) Eyes Uncovered Palette (£4). I had seen this one around for awhile now and it seemed a bit strange because Collection is not the typical brand I'd go for (except for the oh-so-famous concealer, all hail).

But...this 6-shade palette is perfect for everyday looks and comes in three variations - matte, shimmery and a nude grey version. They all contain beautiful shades, especially the matte one is so reminiscent of Urban Decay Naked Basics 1. I, however, bought Nude Bronze palette, which has the shimmery eyeshadows precisely because I already had the Naked Basics 1 (£23). I am surprised I didn't get both though, the voice of reason seems to be constantly neglected by me.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Shoes Hauling

"We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day."
- Brad Meltzer

I have mentioned several times that I am not the biggest shoes fan. I've always found it very difficult to find the pair that I am completely obsessed with (clothes obsession is a different thing though; cue pink coats!). This has changed a bit in the last couple of weeks. I found myself lusting over shoes and coats, which usually are the two most tricky items for me to find. I thought it'd be a good idea to show you guys what I've been buying and constantly wearing recently. 

Disclaimer: 1. Maybe I dislike shoes because every pair, no matter how comfy it might look like, destroys my feet and creates huge, bleeding wounds (yes, wounds) in a matter of seconds. I don't know why, maybe because I danced ballet for ages and my feet are disfigured (I have no other explanation, honestly) and 2. I have a new job and had to start buying grown-up shoes *sob*. I am still and forever will lust over Adidas Stan Smith (until I buy them of course, and we all know it's a matter of time).  

1. Guess Suede Black Pumps

These babies I got from TK Maxx (a big discount chain of shops, if you're not in the UK) and they were a bargain. What I love about them is that they are classic, comfy (as much as possible) and the heel is neither too high nor a kitten heel, which I truly dislike. I can survive in this pair the whole day at work, even though on the commute back home, I start to look like a baby horse learning to walk.

Great to pair with: anything, really. Jeans, skirts, dresses, you name it. A classic and comfy style, which every lady needs in her closet. Cliche but true...

These I got a bit reluctantly because I have never been a fan of loafers. I have always found them a bit masculine and granny-like (sorry, I was wrong and I do take that back!). However, you can see on the photo how well loved and worn these have been. Yes, they do make my whole outfit a bit more rigid and androgynous even, but I love that kind of look. Those shoes have earned the biggest amount of compliments ever, along with the question "Where are they from?". 

I made my research and this pair was the prettiest and most comfortable loafers I could find. Office shoes are quite a good quality and not ridiculously expensive. You can see them in action here.

Great to pair with: Loafers look good with trousers. They look awesome with my cropped pants and a blazer. 

Saturday, 10 October 2015

When You Can't Sleep...

“Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

You might remember that I had written a post called The Secret to Good Sleep. Today, it gets more serious with actual sleeping issues/ insomnia/ nightmares and a bit of mindfulness.

Long story short, the last couple of months have been very exciting but also very stressful. This led to the loss of the most precious thing - my healthy sleep. And I do not exaggerate when I say that - unless I have good 8 hours every night, I don't function very well. So when stressful times came along, all of a sudden I had horrible nightmares, overwhelming thoughts (mostly about work) exactly when I went to sleep and woke up every so often throughout the night. As a consequence, sleep became exhausting to me. You know those moments when your body is shattered but your mind just.keeps.going. I did some research and two months later I have almost gone back to my normal state. This is how...

1. Pills and Potions

I started with the good old pill of Valerian Root. You can find it in the Kalms Night. It was the first thing to give me some peace, for the first half of the night at least. It made the process of falling asleep much easier and who knows, maybe it was also the placebo effect of swallowing a giant pill.

The potions are This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less Oil (which you have read about in my previous post) and This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray. The latter I got in the Slefridges Birchbox (you can read about it here) and it is a pillow spray for people with actual sleeping problems. It has a nice lavender smell which also helped calm the mind before falling asleep. Spray once or twice over your pillow and you're good to go.

2. Mindfulness

The very first thing I did was try and incorporate in my routine the very popular concept at the moment - mindfulness. Ages ago I had read about this app called Headspace. It can be described as guided meditation every day for 10 minutes. It has lovely graphics and Andy, the person who talks throughout, has a pleasant, soft voice and is definitely nice to listen to.

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