Share the Love: Here’s to my Girls Jaclyn and Casey!

Remember how a few months ago I was complaining that I didn’t like my make up anymore, that I didn’t like applying it, that I didn’t like the outcome? That has changed pretty drastically over the last few months and it is largely because of Jaclyn Hill and Casey Holmes.

YouTube has always been a lot more about adapting techniques rather than picking up product recommendations (even though you might doubt that if you have read my xKarenina post from over a year ago). My first proper make up techniques I learned from copying xKarenina and the Pixiwoo sisters. A few months ago I had reached my limits with these techniques, they just didn’t do it for me anymore. That and my skincare was messing up my foundation situation, more on that later.

It was about that time that I randomly found Jaclyn Hill on YouTube. I couldn’t tell you anymore how at this point. However as soon as I did I fell into a Jaclyn-shaped hole and didn’t come up for air until I had binged on basically all of her videos that are available on YouTube. I remember that this Jaclyn-binge seriously messed with writing my thesis at the time but I regret nothing, NOTHING I tell you!

Jaclyn is a self-taught Florida-based make up artist who worked for MAC as well as doing free lance. Together with Gerard Cosmetics and Morphe she has launched lipsticks and lipglosses and a massive eyeshadow palette respectively. I wish I could get my hands on her eyeshadow palette but 18$ shipping to Europe is a bit hefty for my wallet at the moment. She has the most bubbly, sweet personality and never fails to put a smile on my face with her lovely goofiness. Her make up tutorials are little treasures to me that I HAVE to watch as soon as they hit my sub box, seriously I couldn’t pick a favorite if I tried. Most of her looks are very full on. Always with lashes, at least 3-5 different shadows, contour, blush, highlighter, the like. But they are also little pieces of art everytime. Beautifully and very perfectly executed make up application.

What I learned from her is definitely to shade and blend my crease with warm brown transition colors before applying the lid color. I specifically like a mixture of Honeycomb and Toast (or Toast on its own) from the Sleek Au Naturel palette for that, while I like Bark and Regal to deepen my outer corner.

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When it comes to single shadows I like Go Charlie Brown by Catrice (also nice to deepen the outer corner for a lighter more nude look), and from the new essence I ❤ nude range my favorite tauping. Note that I mostly use matte colors in the crease, I have come to not really like shimmer in my crease.

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Two other palettes that have made my life  a lot easier are the Catrice Absolute Matt and Absolute Rose plettes by Catrice. Both palettes have great taupey matte shades that work perfectly as crease shades.

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Also because of Jaclyn I rediscovered my 224 brush by Sigma which had previously been collecting dust . The 224 is the best to softly blend together crease shades. I am going to invest into a little smaller crease brush soon just to have a slightly more precise option.

My other big YouTube crush of recent months has been Casey Holmes. Southerner, dog mommy of three and with the most amazing no-bullshit kinda personality. Super fierce, super feisty, kinda sarcastic and still really sweet. Girl after my own heart in other words. Make up wise she and Jaclyn are rather similar: Full on, lashy, colorful and incredibly precisely executed. Much like Jaclyn she applies her crease colors/transition shades before the lid color, does an amazing job at contouring and her lips look always top notch.

From her I got the tape trick, to get a super precise eyeshape, the way to do your contour with that narrow flat top kabuki by Nars (the name escapes me, it actually looks a lot like the brushes you get in powder compacts, and one of those I am actually currently using when I feel like contouring) and partially because of her I recently got away from my super nudes into darker nudes .

Both girls together helped my with my brows. They are still not where I would like them but we are getting there (me and the brows that is).

I’m really grateful that I found these girls,both their personalities and skills really enrich my life at the moment and if you feel so inclined go give them a look-see or a follow, I feel they’re really worth your while.

The post in which I show you what I am doing differently with my make up will come up as soon as possible, but today was another of those days where it has been sleeting and raining all day and the light was absolutely horrendous. Sun in February in Germany can be really hard to come by.

Beauty Awards 2014

I decided to do this a little bit like essiebutton did her 2014 best of: use the things that just popped into my head without digging around. If I don’t remember it, it can’t have been that good and now LET’S GO!


My year focussed a lot on skincare, for one I discovered Caroline Hirons and secondly I am just over having problem skin. What I learned the hard way this year is that it actually wasn’t the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo that sorted out my skin when it was at it’s best but the bebe young care line.  Ever since that realization I have come up with a skincare routine that works for me and even holds my hormonal break outs to a minimum.

bebe young care cleansing lotion+toner (very emollient, almost turns into an oil on my skin, gets everything off and hydrates)
Neutrogena Anti Blackhead scrub (physical scrub, salycylic acid, one of my all time staples)

bebe young care toner (quite harsh and heavy on both alcohol and acid, my skin loves it though and I love the burning sensation when it bites into active break outs)

Serum step:
Rival de Loop hydrating gel with hyaluronic acid
(I thought this broke me out, it didn’t. Now in the winter it is not moisturizing enough on its own and it does get a little tacky for a moment, but when I layer my moisturizers on it’s perfect)

Rival de Loop hydrating gel cream for eyes (better than the Chanel sample I used for a couple of months)
Garnier 24h moisturizer anti blemishes  (has a slightly powdery finish, is really light on the skin, contains salycylic acid and sits nicely under make up)
Diadermine  Lift intense + SPF 30 (especially in the summer and on sunny days)N
Diadermine Lift intense + Nutritive Night (best night cream I tried so far because it doesn’t leave any residue and sinks in quickly but hydrates and repairs virtually just as well as other nightcreams I tried so far)

bebe young care cleansing wipes for dry and sensitive skin (I use those in a pinch or when I don’t have make up on and need a quick refresh. It was these wipes though that made me realize that it was actually whatever component it is that is in the bebe young care line that cleans up my white bumps)

After weeks of having a dry patch on my top lip that just wouldn’t go away and nothing helped I used the brand again that I was certain would not help but it did. My lips are back to normal now , though and I am back to not needing any lip balms all thanks to my ancient Labello Gold and Labello Hydro Care. Everything else may well go to the trash.

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You will notice that all of this is drugstore. I simply don’t have the budget to fork out on expensive brands, plus this routine works really well for me, at this point I see no need to change anything.

Decorative Cosmetics:

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The two bases that stood out to me this year were my MAC Face and Body in C1 (still can’t get over how awesome my skin looks in the pics that I took when I wore it) and Max Factor Facefinity in 40 Fresh Ivory. The Facefinity is a special favorite because it makes my skin look incredible and lasts forever. I even wear it to work and despite physical exertion it does not budge. Plus the color is a perfect match. If I could only wear two foundations for the rest of my life it would be those two.

After the desaster of the essence I ❤ stage base I was glad I got the Urban Decay Primer Potion samples with my Naked 2 palette. So far I have only used Eden and at this point I would totally shell out the 20€ to get the full size once I have used up the samples. I have been using it since August and there is still a lot left. It is light enough for me and I love the coverage it gives in my eyelids plus it really makes my shadows last between 8 and 10 hrs.

This year was a brow year and I am not done yet. My new finds were the Catrice brow wax and the tinted brow filler. If I really want my brows to be extremely polished I go for wax, then powder then filler. Normally I use either wax or filler with the Catrice brow powder. I also moved on to fill in the front of my brows with the lighter and the tail with the darker color of the powder duo. I found a shape I like, I trim rather than pluck and my brows are so much fuller and nicer since I started doing that. For 2015 I want to find a place in town to get my brows threaded or waxed because at this point I am struggeling with removing the fuzz over and under my brow and I want to try either the Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade or the MAC Liquidline for brows (IF i can still find that anywhere)

With the arrival of Jaclyn Hill and Casey Holmes in my life I completely revamped the way I do my eye make up. Generally I have been gravitating towards neutral eyes this year and my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette as well as the Sleek Au Naturel palette. The top row of the Sleek palette has incredible transition/crease shades and I don’t think I have to say anything about the Naked 2 anymore. All has been said. It’s perfect.
The single shadows that blew me out of the water this year are both from Catrice. There was Shade of Grey from the Lala Berlin collection, which looks like a metallic shadow in the pan on the lid however it has the most incredible matte but lit from within/softly shimmery finish. I have never seen anything like this before and it is perfect to me. The other one is Go Charlie Brown from the regular range, which is the perfect matte medium brown for the crease.

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I am a liquid liner gal and the Manhattan Eyemazing liner has been with me for most of the year. I just feel naked without my liner. The Eyemazing liner is really good for a pen and lasted really long without drying in or the tip going blunt. However, I am currently trying another one though, which seems to blow the Eyemazing liner out of the water. We’ll see.
I rarely ever use liner on my lower waterline anymore, especially not black. It just doesn’t work for me anymore unless I am doing a heavy duty smoky eye. At best it looks like trying too hard at worst it looks completely inappropriate.

My realization of the year is that I am a L’Oréal mascara girl. My favorite is the Miss Manga mascara and I can’t wait to try the Black Angel variety once I have used up my other mascaras. My second favorite this year was the original Volume Million Lashes. Aside from the Catrice Doll Eyes Waterproof I think I have sworn off other mascaras for good. L’Oréal or bust.

Setting Powder:
essence All about matt. Best one I have tried so far. I still have the loose version in my back up drawer (which is gonna last me forever). It’s translucent, finely milled and does what it says on the tin.

Because of my freckles there is a lot going on on my skin as is, so overly shimmery blushes are per se not such a good idea for me. For most of the year I stuck with the utterly fantastic MAC Perfect Cheek blush which is indeed perfect: A neutral light pink almost a bit grey which turns into the lightest most natural flush on my fair skin. Towards the end of the year another favorite came in the Catrice Floral OrnARTment blush from the Viennart collection which is a matte light peach with deep reddish elements. The reddish elements I try to avoid for everyday blush because they can come out a little strong against my skin. A shimmery one that I loved was the Hello Autumn color changing blush by essence. The shimmer in this one is light and fine enough for me to get away with it.

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My two bronzers of the year are my MAC Aphrodite’s Shell which is my perfect bronzer, considering how light and sheer it is. It gives me the perfect sunkissed color. The other one is the Catrice Metallure Bronzer. With a light hand I can avoid shimmery desasters and instead get a soft glowy flush.

The only thing that stood out to me this year was the Garnier Natural Beauty Cranberry and Argan Oil conditioner. It smells amazing and does the perfect job at keeping my hair healthy, shiny and soft. I think I’m on my second or third bottle right now.

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And that’s a wrap on the Beauty Awards 2014. No lip products? No lip products! While there were a couple of nice ones there were none that really stood out to me enough that I wore them more than a couple of times.
I am thinking about doing a Life Awards 2014 next. We’ll see how that goes.

[Media Update] Best of 2013

One last best of and then we can officially move on into the new year I promise! Last but not least let’s take a look at what stood out to me in the book, tv, film and music world:


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First off: If you would like to get a conclusive look at what I have been reading all year you can click here

and this should take you to my goodreads ‘Year in Books’, also I started a new reading challenge AND I am on a bookban because I want to drastically reduce my sub-list (Still Unread Books). If you are a bookworm like me and would like to start your own reading challenge or just would like to see how I do with mine you can friend me on I love this site, it neatly keeps track of my progress and helps me to remember all the books I have read and how I liked them. It also let’s interact with other bookworms, etc.

Book-wise this was a big year. I read Sebastian Fitzek’s Eye Collector and Eye Hunter, The Eye Collector pretty much in one sitting because it gripped me tight and didn’t let me go until the end. Fitzek renewed my love for psycho thrillers. Once the book ban is over I cannot wait to get my hands on his new offerings.

Next up was Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy parts one and two. Fall of Giants and Winter of the World were absolutely beautiful. The books follow the destinies of four families one from the UK, the US, Germany and Russia respectively. It was amazing to see all the strands come together that led to the first World War and to get all the different perspectives on World War I and II. So far I only really knew what happened in Germany and I only knew the basics about the other countries. This series helped to give the horrors of the first and especially the second war a human face. What stood out to me was the kindness that Follett showed towards the German characters. It would have been easy to make them the bad guys, instead he portrayed a family with a son falling into the nazi trap, a father broken by the fall of democracy and a mother and daughter who desperately try to do the right, good thing in a world where they may easily get killed for just that. Follett didn’t play any of the nazi crimes down but he also remembered there were human beings affected in this war on all sides.
The third book Edge of Eternity is coming out in the fall and I will break my bookban for that.

Another trilogy that stands out to me is Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy parts one and two A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. Vampires, witches, a beautiful lovestory, gorgeous locations and lovable characters, these books have it all. I cannot wait to go on the last ride with Matthew and Diana, even though I dread it too, I don’t want it to be over. Book three The Book of Life comes out in summer and is another ban-breaker.

I also read and loved Susan Ee’s Angelfall, the entire Divergent-trilogy (unpopular opinion: I loved the ending), I finished the Infernal Devices-trilogy with Clockwork Princess and cried a river over another beautiful ending, I discovered my ultimate guilty pleasure in Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars- series (chick flick with a little American Football on the side? YES PLEASE!). Honorary mentions also go to Alyson Noel’s Fated, Lauren Graham’s Someday Someday Maybe (great great love) and Nalini Singh’s Angels’ Blood (currently started to re-read it to get ready for the collab with The Bookbeauty, yay!).

TV shows:

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I fell and fell hard this year. Remember my 3 months long Tudors- craze? Then there was the Sons of Anarchy-phase (oh the brilliancy of that one! Will re-watch it once I am done with Gossip Girl), and of course the Friday Night Lights-phase. FNL and Veronica Mars hold the top spot of my most loved, most influential tv shows of all time. SoA exposes my masochistic vein: It cracks me open, strips me bare, shocks me and still I’m coming back for more.
Another show that was burned into my heart this year was Vikings. I have seen the first season about 5-10 times by now and in February the dvd’s are finally coming out, expect the craze to resume then!

Honorary mentions go to Dark Angel (still need to pick up season 1) and s4 of Smallville, I caught up on the Closer (another great love of mine, waiting for s7 now), on Trueblood (next stop s5), picked up two more seasons of Bones (s4 and s5) and finally found the courage to finish Lost.

On a different segment of the spectrum I watched the crap out of Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News over the summer and I keep on coming back to rewatch a couple of episodes every few weeks. I don’t know what it is but there is something about British political comedy that makes me giggle again whenever I watch it again. Dara o’Briain, Frankie Boyle, Andy Parsons, Adam Hill and of course Russell Howard never fail to make me smile, no matter how upset I am.

I don’t really know what I am looking forward to this year. Well, clearly Sherlock s3, Vikings s2 and the new Der Letzte Bulle (German crime procedural), but other than that? Oh yeah and obviously new seasons of Mock the Week and hopefully Russell Howard’s Good News!


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That one is easy: It’s a tie between Man of Steel and Pacific Rim.


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2013 was the year of me delving into new music worlds while still loving my old faves:

My main discovery this year was Mumford & Sons. Their two albums Sigh No More and Babel whisked me away. I love the combination of blue grass, a british accent and beautiful lyrics, I am constantly stuck between dancing and dreaming away.

My favorite band Saltatio Mortis brought out a beautiful new album, again with beautiful lyrics and an amazing sound somewhere between old and well known and a new spin.

A fairly recent addition is Awolnation with Megalithic Symphony but this album took my by a storm. It is quite different to what I normally listen to and it keeps me on my toes. It just feels fresh and new to me because it is so different to my normal power rotation.

Honorable mentions go to Lady Gaga – Fame Monster Album (yep, I’m late on that band waggon), Gloriana- Can’t Shake You, Fun.- Some Nights, Of Monsters and Men- Little Talks, Eminem- Recovery Album (currently binge listening to the Marshall Mathers LP2 and Curtain Call), Katzenjammer- A Kiss Before You Go Album, Delain (just for being Delain, I love them so much! also We Are The Others!), Tarja- Colors In The Dark Album, The Birthday Massacre and Letzte Instanz.

Beauty Awards 2013

I know, I know. It’s sunday. Sunday means Sunday Round Up. Well, not this week. The new year is just about 5 days old and since everybody and their mother are doing a best of 2013 I thought I’d do one too. The title of this post is heavily inspired by Essie from Essiebutton who did a 2013 Make Up Awards type thing on her youTube –> watch here (it’s in English), and one of the 2013 awards definitely goes to her, because I just loved watching her all year long. She has the coolest, sweetest personality and I just watched all of her videos the second I found out she had a new one in my sub-box.

Now let’s dig into the products I put together:


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My favorite body care item of the year was my Balea Soft Oil Balm. Nothing keeps my skin as soft and healthy looking as this guy, plus with 1.75€ per bottle it is really affordable.


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My life saver or ‘face-saver’ this year was La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (Euro version). It calms down the redness, helps my blemishes to heal quicker and really uncloggs and smoothes over everything.


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L’Oréal’s EverPure range definitely takes the cake here. At the moment I am using the moisturizing shampoo, moisturizing conditioner, volumizing conditioner and the deep conditioning mask. They work wonders for my hair, keeping my color treated, heat-stressed strands soft, shiny and healthy. Plus the scent is just the best thing ever for my nose. If I could have that in a perfume or a fabric softner I would totally go for it.



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Most worn foundation of the year was definitely MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid in NW10. It is a medium to full coverage foundation, a little goes a long way, it doesn’t oxidize too much, it doesn’t break me out and it makes my skin look very flawless. I don’t wear too much concealer but if I do it is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in 1 Fair. I didn’t really have a favorite powder this year, I’ve just been using stuff up, which will continue a little while into the new year. My favorite contour was Catrice Hip Trip Hydrating Bronzer. It is not too orange, it’s not too dark and it reminds me a lot of Harmony by MAC.


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Favorite eyshadow base/cream shadow is my Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 h in Pink Gold/Inked in Pink. I wear this when ever I wear eyeshadow. It doesn’t crease, it lasts a very long time and keeps everything safely in place.
Favorite powder eyeshadow this year is one that I haven’t even featured yet on this blog: It is MAC Vex. Vex is a lovely dove grey with a slight pink and green shift to it. It is my go-to color on days where I don’t want to or can’t spend too much time on my make up. This, some black liner and a ton of mascara and you’re good to go.
While we’re at it, favorite liners this year were Max Factor Color X-pert waterproof  liquid liner and MAC Feline Kohl Power pencil. The award for favorite mascara goes to Max Factor 2000 Calorie. Super black, volumizing, and holds a curl without being waterproof = perfection.


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Favorite Lipstick,… do I really have to say it? Yeah, sorry! Rimmel Kate Moss 107. Honorable mention goes to the fabulous Astor Lip Butters! Especially the nude one (name has rubbed off, hate when that happens) is a staple for me whenever I have dry lips or don’t know what else to wear. They are super moisturizing, have a lovely sheen and an even nicer color pay off. Generally 2013 has been the year of the colored lip for me. All the years before I preferred nude because it was the easier and safer way and this year I was finally brave enough to go all out. Reds, pinks, wine colors it was all there and I am glad, because it gives me more room to play.

What were your faves 2013?