Public Service Announcement: Guest Blogging

Ladies and Gentlemen,

if you don’t speak German this one is not for you, however, if you do:

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Dann möchte ich euch ganz herzlich die neue Serie von meiner allerliebsten Tabi ans Herz legen, die zusammen mit diversen anderen Bloggern über die nächsten Wochen Buchreihen vorstellen wird, die mehr Aufmerksamkeit verdienen. Yours truly wird auch einen Beitrag abliefern. Ausnahmsweise auf Deutsch. Sehr strange xD.

Der erste Beitrag ist schon online und zwar hier.

Mental Health Blog is Up and Running

The mental health blog is up and running and you can find it here:

UPCLOSEANDPERSONALLAURIEL.WORDPRESS.COM

and there is of course an update there dealing all with my insomnia. Do take a look if you fancy it.

The next big project is going to be the football/sports blog but that may take another week or so. And this blog will hopefully pick up the pace soon, too. Baby steps, people, baby steps!

Public Service Announcement: Splitting Blogs, YouTube, the Future…

Over the past couple of months things changed, I changed and I feel the blog has to change because I wasn’t really comfortable anymore with how things were going. I wasn’t happy with the quality of the posts (especially the pictures), I wasn’t happy with how it was a mish-mash of everything and I REALLY didn’t like how by nature relatively shallow beauty posts were followed by the more important things (to me at least) in the form of Up Close and Personal posts dealing with mental and physical health.

The obvious solution for this is to split up the blog. This one will remain as a beauty blog and hopefully a more active one as I do have better means to take pictures now and I am not inhibited anymore by worrying about fitting in Up Close and Personal posts which will move to a new adress which will launch over the next couple of weeks (the old posts will not move but all new ones will be on there). I will update you on here when the first post goes up.

Another thing that is going to happen blog-wise is I will launch a blog concerning all things sports, meaning I will weigh in on American Football mostly and probably World Football and Formula 1 as well as sports politics. When my head and heart are not with friends and family or school they are with sports (especially American Football). The sports blog is going to be a little bit of a training blog for me because long term I want to write for a living preferably about sports. I know I still have a long way to go, but this is what I love and I want to test my limits.

Now that we have covered beauty, health and sports here is something that has already changed: I started to make tiny little videos about books. Whilst I don’t like writing about books (probably because that’s what I do in school so much) I randomly like chatting about books. And here is a word of caution: While I am very concerned about the quality of my blogposts, YouTube is something I play with. I don’t have great equipment if any and my worst concern right now is to hold the camera steady so that people won’t get sick watching the videos and not to jumble up my sentences so I don’t have to re-shoot the clip. If you are into polished videos with perfect quality you’re not going to like mine, if you don’t mide the more haphazard grassroots approach: welcome! You can find me on YouTube here. I’m planning to upload a new video today.

There you go, this is all for now. If you come over to the channel from here, leave a comment if you like and with everything else, we’ll see how this goes. Thanks for tagging along on my journey so far!

First Impression and Face of the Day: Catrice Even Skin Foundation 005 Even Ivory

My most anticipated addition to the Catrice range was definitely the Even Skin foundation especially after they promised that it would include an extremely light shade and after stalking several drugstores in my area here we are.

The foundation promises:

-to be longlasting and caring

– instant reduction of redness and dark spots (medium to full coverage)

– more even skin tone within 8 weeks of daily usage

-luminous matte finish

-SPF 25

It comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump, very straight up, very basic, no frills, no fuzz. The bottle contains the standard 30ml/ 1.01 fl.oz. and costs €7.45.

As per usual you can enlarge all pics by clicking on them.

Let’s have a look how it applied on my skin:

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Here you see my naked face, cleansed and prepared with my Nivea day cream for dry and sensitive skin. My skin is coming back from a nasty spell dehydration, black heads and bumps. I finally switched back to the Neutrogena Anti Black Head Daily Scrub and within two days of using it the bumps have been visibly reduced and the inflammations have gone down what you see here is mainly scarring.

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The foundation is really creamy and looks quite yellow against my skin when it comes out of the bottle.

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In this picture I applied the foundation on the right side of my face with my Rossmann flat top buffing brush.

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And here is the left side applied with the Essential Foundation brush by Real Techniques. The foundation works with both, if anything the coverage is sheerer with the Essential Foundation brush. The foundation goes on very smooth and creamy and a little goes a long way. It is lightly scented but the scent is not noticeable once the foundation is applied.

I know Magi of magi-mania.de said for her this is too light a coverage to warrant the label ‘medium’ but if you look at the following pictures especially you can see that the redness has been blurred over and other blemishes have been covered up, to me this is medium coverage. The foundation is buildable, so you may actually get this to full coverage if you like.

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This is the foundation after about 10 minutes. It settled slightly in the lines under my eyes but once that was blended out it was fine. Within those 10 minutes the foundation did not noticeable oxidize. The finish of the foundation is semi matte and has somewhat of a soft healthy glow.

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Here you can see my face powdered and contoured and the brows filled in.

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Aaand here is the final result and here

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you can see my jaw line better. You can see that the redness has been taken down quite a bit but it is still shining through. I personally like it that way. I did not use any concealers on my face. Neither under my eyes nor anywhere on my skin, this is all the foundation.

On my dry skin the foundation works a treat. It feels creamy and moisturizing, I can feel it on my skin a little bit but it is not crazy heavy.
I’ve been wearing it for about two hours now and despite the oily residue from my moisturizer the foundation hasn’t creased or crawled in any lines and pores and even my oily(er) nose is still matte.

So far the foundation gets a BIG thumbs up from me, of course I’ll have to see how it goes over time but at this point it is holy grail material.

UPDATE
Here is the foundation after 7hrs of wear and a run.

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The bronzer has come off a little bit and my nose and forehead got slightly shiny. When I looked into the mirror close up the foundation had settled slightly into the fine hairs of my skin, but not to a degree where it would have bothered me. Can only repeat what I said before: I really like the foundation, definitely one that is going into the daily rotation, especially as it gets colder and I need more moisture in my skin.

Lastly let’s have a look how it compares to other light foundations:

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from left: Catrice Even Skin 005, MAC SFF NW10, L’Oréal True Match N1, Manhattan Endless Perfection 56 Light Porcelain, Astor Perfect Stay 091

It is the lightest of the bunch, even lighter than my MAC SFF NW 10

And here it is swatched next to the foundations that are readily available in German drugstores

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bottom to top: Catrice Even Skin, Manhattan Endless Perfection, Astor Perfect Stay

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and the three foundations blended out

You can see in the swatches that the Catrice foundation looks almost scarily yellow but it doesn’t look like that on my skin. Astor and Manhattan look more pink. I think the yellow in the Catrice foundation helps to cancel out the red.

There is no swatch of my beloved Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flawless it is for the simple reason that I am out, and I haven’t gotten the chance to pick up a new bottle. From memory I can tell you that it is more neutral than Astor and Manhattan and colorwise sits closer to the new Catrice foundation.

I hope this help some of you with the decision whether to pick up the new Catrice foundation or not. It is very light, quite possibly the lightest on the market.

My Favorite Summer Nude

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Nail swatch of Crew First! also absolutely LOVE the bottle design!

Part of my Project100 was to teach me to only buy things that I really need and would wear more than once and so far I am doing really well. One addition to my nail stash (which still needs to be broken down further – I’m still far away from my goal of 50 bottles period) is Crew First! from the essence nauti girl limited edition. I absolutely loved the idea of the collection with it’s nautical inspiration and mixture of crisp white blue and red.

Crew First! is a very light salmony pastell color. Not quite as light and airy as essie fiji or find me an oasis, but close enough that I can pull it off. The color is a few shades lighter than my skintone so to me it is the perfect nude. To me it makes my hands look really clean and put together. One of those colors that you can chuck on and it is going to be appropriate for any event that is coming your way that week.

The polish goes on a bit streaky but it was okay for me in two coats, but I would let the first coat dry a little bit before the second to avoid bald spots. Three coats would probably make it completely perfect.

It lasts 3-4 days on me until it starts to chip, which is solid especially when you take into account that I work with my hands a lot.

In the picture you can see 1 coat of OPI Nail Envy, 2 coats of essence nauti girl Crew First! and 1 coat of Seche Vite.

The polish is limited edition but the trays just arrived in my hometown so I think you’ll be able to still get it if you like. I bought this polish with my own money.

Btw: Crew First! is ever so slightly lighter and less brown than essie spin the bottle. Close enough for a dupe? You decide!

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Crew First! vs. essie spin the bottle

The Sunday Riley Experiment – Drugstore Version

When I watched the Tuesday Talk the Pixiwoos did with Sunday Riley, something she said struck a cord with me: She said that when your skin feels tight and drawn after cleansing, under the microscope you can basically see the skin crack up like earth in the desert. And then those little cracks are actually the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Yikes, I know.

As I am getting older my skin has made a stunning transformation. I went from a VERY oily t-zone, to extremely dehydrated cheek-area and a normal to very slightly oily t-zone. It took me a while to understand what my skin needed and to react properly to it. As my skin is dehydrated oils don’t really work. Despite using a serum with hyaluronic acid underneath my alverde facial oil essentially just sat on my skin without properly penetrating and my face stayed dry.

On top of that I used very stripping cleansers to keep my two biggest nemeses black heads and subcutaneous white bumps at bay. These cleansers dried out my eye area (despite me trying very hard to avoid my eye area) to the point of flaking and texture on my eyelids and the inner corners of my eyes. My skin overall was angry sensitive and very very dry. Nothing would really help.

The first change came when I used a discontinued gel-based moisturizing mask by bebe. My skin inhaled the product and for the first time in weeks it felt almost comfortable. Because the product is discontinued I went to find an alternative and stumbled upon the balea line for dehydrated skin specifically which contains a cream gel (they also have an eye roll on, moisture serum and sheet mask ->Balea Aqua), bought it and BOY DID THAT THING MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

So this cream and the Tuesday Talk sparked the overhaul of my skincare routine. I decided to do this as a bit of an experiment and see what my skin feels like in the next 30 days. I don’t expect miracles, actually I am very weary of  the white bumps and black heads that I expect to get worse but I am ready to be surprised.

Here is my morning and night routine that I plan on keeping like this unless my skin deteriorates drastically. I am on a very tight budget at the moment so all of these products are drugstore.

Morning:
Alterra cleansing emulsion for very dry skin with organic shea butter and aloe (cream cleanser)
Rival de Loop Hydro eye cream for dehydrated skin (gel cream)
Rival de Loop Hydro moisturizing gel (serum with hyaluronic acid)
Balea Aqua moisturizing cream gel

Night:
Rival de Loop cleansing oil to break down oil, dirt, make up (discontinued but I have two back up bottles,oops :] I really hope they bring it back)
Alterra cleansing emulsion for very dry skin to cleanse the skin
Balea 5% Urea eye cream for very dry skin (has cleaned up all texture and flakiness within two uses)
Rival de Loop Age intensive serum (hyaluronic acid and detoxifying properties, don’t know about those but it does give an extra round of moisture)
Balea Aqua moisturizing cream gel

I am on the second day for this routine and so far my skin feels very comfortable, there is no tightness whatsoever, instead my skin looks really healthy and ‘plump’ (I hate the word ‘plump’). AND it doesn’t make me oily. So much win. On top of that I am pms’ing like a pro at the moment, which traditionally means that I have problems eating right and my skin is all over the place with cystic acne, etc. So far the acne is at a complete minimum, though.

Another disclaimer: I am aware that most of these products may not be too too great on the ingredients side but a) they are all formulated in Germany abiding by our rather strict laws when it comes to cosmetics and b) I AM ON A BUDGET. I DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO SPEND 150.000€  ON SKINCARE PRODUCTS. I HAVE BILLS TO PAY AND A CAT TO FEED.

And another one: My only problem with this routine is that there is no sun screen in there, I am working on fixing that because, trust me I know how important sun screen is, especially with a skin as fair as mine.

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June Playlist 2015

I’ve always loved music, but over the past few months, especially since my Gran’s death, music started to play a huge role again in my life. We all know I’m mainly a metalhead and I am sure that this love will never end, I have started to explore other fields lately. Especially country. A couple of years ago I started with a Gloriana song, then Lady Antebellum made an appearance (to whom I returned this winter for their Christmas album). Through one of my recent mega-favorite youTubers Casey Holmes I found Kip Moore this late winter. I still love his album but have since expanded my palate. Now let’s see what is actually on my playlist:

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Pitch Perfect 2 OST
PP2 must have been one of my most eagerly awaited movies of 2015. I was lucky enough to be able to go see the preview with my best friend and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, even if the German accent of DSM is cringe-worthy, but the story was ditzy and semi- parodiacal with a ton of funny moments and great cameos. I still can’t get over Clay Matthews et. al. , he was so great (for a Packer, anyway… jk 😜) The music they chose for the movie didn’t seem to be as mainstream as in the first movie but that maybe a German perspective because for instance the Country parts of the Riff Off (yes, there is another one and it is great IMO) don’t translate that well here, we simply don’t know them. I loved the movie’s rendition of the Universal fanfare (which is my favorite movie fanfare to begin with) as an a cappella piece for Elizabeth Banks’ and John Michael Higgins’ characters, perfect beginning!  Next on my list of tracks that stood out to me is the Kennedy Center Performance. This one ties almost seamlessly on to the last performance of the original PP movie with its different styles and upbeat tone. Then I got the Car Show performance, which introduces DSM and I loved their dark edgy set up and I love that they used Muse’s Uprising which is a song that we desperately need in this day and age. The Riff Off was one of my most anticipated parts and it was almost equal parts mainstream pop, country and 90’s hip hop (major throwback moment). I also loved the Bellas’ Back to Basics mash up and the campfire edition of Cups.

Last but not least the two world championship performances. Again I loved both DSM and Bellas, especially Flashlight was a nice touch. Sidenote: I would have loved to have Katey Sagal actually contribute a full track for the soundtrack, she has such a great voice.

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Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1
After PP2 I was obsessing over the Riff Off, especially over the country part. I really loved Beca’s part and went looking for the title and voilà here comes Carrie Underwood with Before He Cheats. Demolishing someone’s property just because is neither legal nor morally correct, but fantasizing about is just fine IMHO. Either way, because of Before He Cheats I listened into Carrie’s Best of- Album and loved it. Some songs just make me dance around the room (Cowboy Casanova, Last Name and Undo It), some are just freaking cute (All-American Girl), some just strike a chord with me (Wasted, Little Toy Guns, Blown Away, So Small) and some I still can’t listen to in public because they still make me cry everytime (Just A Dream, Temporary Home, Don’t Forget to Remember Me). And some I love just so, like Mama’s Song, Two Black Cadillacs (don’t get me started on that one, I’m obsessing over it -.-) and surprisingly Jesus, Take the Wheel and Something in the Water, even though everything with an even borderline christian message makes me run screaming for the hills. I have settled for neo-humanist with agnostic tendencies and I am very comfortable with that.

A lot of Carrie’s songs tell stories, some are a bit cutesy and poppy but I really like that at the moment. I love her voice and the warmth her music seems to have in it (obviously all due to how it is arranged, etc.). Due to the ‘all out of hope and all out of fight’ I was in the past months, all I want right now is to curl up with music that just envelopes me and gives me peace for a while and Carrie Underwood and before her Kip Moore do that to me.

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Xandria – Sacrificium
Boy, their new singer has an angelic voice o_O She essentially beats everybody else I have ever listened to before. Btw, here is your metal for the month. Our Neverworld , The Undiscovered Land and Come With Me are the perfect songs to be lured away to better places, Until the End keeps me going and Little Red Relish and Stardust kinda tell stories. And OH MY GOD that voice.

So there you go, this is what will get me through the month, it’s a tough one too, with a paper due in the second half of June that I simply am not allowed to screw up.
I miss singing, too. I used to sing a lot and in a band but I haven’t done it in a LOOONG time and now when I use my voice I can’t hit the high notes anymore the way I used to and it sounds all scratchy and dusty. Meh. Need to get back to just belt sh*t out. It’s good for the soul.