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.

Sunday Round Up #21

So. This week was by far less yucky than the last, but it still could have been better (what a spoiled brat I am). Either way I managed to take small steps forward, like finishing my first primary source for the thesis. There is still a lot to work on but here is to celebrating the small victories.

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1.Make Up Shizz + Pink Is The New Nude
Remember when I was whining about how I didn’t like my make up and nothing felt really right? Well, I took steps to fix that. For one, I went back to the essence I ❤ stage base. It may work not as well as the Maybelline Color Tattoo but it is matte, it suits my skin tone and it works well at concealing my veins on my eyelids in other words it gives me a completely blank canvas.
Step two was to switch from the shimmery blushes to the matte The Perfect Cheek by MAC. This one was a great investment, it gives me the most natural flush.
What else? I switched back to matte or semi matte shadows as well, for some reason I can’t stand the shimmers anymore. My favorite combo was a matte medium gray from an ancient Catrice duo and my essence light brown shadow from the Kalinka Beauty limited edition, that with some smudged black liner and the Miss Manga mascara just really floats my boat at the moment.

I never thought this would happen but I turned away from my concealer nudes to soft ‘my lips but better’ pinks. Favorites here are the Rimmel Airy Fairy/ No 7 High Shine gloss in Smile combo, which I mentioned before and the Catrice absolute moisture in Gentle Nude (this one is not available anymore but if you want to check out a similar shade you may take a look at Catrice’s Gentle Nude is Back).

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2. Empties
I finished a pack of the Lacura face 3 in 1 cleansing wipes with salicylic acid. They are amazing! My skin in general loves salicylic acid and these wipes leave my skin super soft and clean. Unfortunately you can only get these about twice a year at my Aldi. Yeah, you heard right, some of the Aldi skin care is actually great. I still have another pack of those, but after that I will have to find a replacement *sadface*. I use them when I come back from work to take all the dust and sweat off that has accumulated on my face and decolletage (I have a physically demanding job and I never wear make up at work).

I used up a tube of the L’Oréal EverPure volumizing conditioner. It smelled incredible and it was okay but not really something to write home about. At the moment I am using up the moisturizing conditioner from the same range which is actually a little too rich for my hair at the moment.

Next up I finished a hairmask by Isana, but I didn’t use it on my hair but as a shaving cream and it worked beautifully for that. It is really thick and moisturizing and helped me to get a really close range minus the razor burn. I will definitely pick this up again.

One of my showergel baubles died. The showergel inside smelled like peach and mango and it was really nice but nothing special. I enjoyed it while it lasted but I don’t think I will hunt it down once I am all out of my showergels that I still have in my back up drawer.

Another alverde Body Butter from the christmas limited edition heaved it’s last breath. We all know by now I like these a lot. This particular one smelled like cranberry and chocolate. It was nice and moisturizing but I don’t think I will pick up another one as my next project after finishing my last back up body butter is trying out some of the in-shower lotions.

Last but not least I finished a sample of the Lancome Arome Blue body spray. It smelled nice, but it didn’t wow me so I won’t pick up the full size of this. Also I am more of a Eau de Parfume girl than a body spray girl.

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3. Media Shizz
Soooo, I caved and I just downloaded the new Epica album ‘The Quantum Enigma’ today. I am on my second run through and DAYUM this is good. They have absolutely outdone themselves. Can’t say more about this just yet, trust me it will be a topic again next week.

I am loving loving loving Delain’s The Human Contradiction and the more I listen to it the more the lyrics grow on me. Delain lyrics have never been trivial or insubstantial but the lyrics on THC are incredibley well articulate and the messages come through loud and clear. Such a gem.

This week was a bit of a movie week. One of my resolutions for 2014 was to watch more movies and this week I watched Dark Shadows (okay but not great) and I will finish Baytown Outlaws again for the umpteenth time tonight. There is a handful of movies that I always come back to, god knows why.

Vikings is currently on German telly and I’m loving it, especially as the ratings are pretty good all things considered. I also loved the season 2 finale. I will not give anything away but yeah, I love Ragnar. That is all.


This is it for this week. Here’s to the next! To a productive, successful new week.



Sunday Round Up #19: Mini ‘Up Close and Personal’

Hey guys,

unfortunatly I will have to integrate some Up Close and Personal in this Sunday Round Up because the realization that I am going through stuff (again -.- ) is overshadowing everything right now. I tried to ignore it for weeks, I just pushed on, thinking that if I pretend it’s not there it will just go away. Today or actually last night, I reached the point where I just couldn’t overlook it anymore. I think it’s some sort of depression/anxiety combination, because actually I don’t feel completely numb and broken like I normally do when I’m under, this time it’s more as if someone has been sucking all the energy out of me. I am constantly stressed, I sleep in weird patterns, I am heartily exhausted, especially of myself. I overthink everything, I keep on falling short of the expectations that I have of myself as a human being. You know I am not fishing for sympathy or compliments here, that is not how UpCloseAndPersonal works. I am merely showing you where I’m at at the moment and where I want to go.

So, at the moment I feel like I am not a good friend at all. I am self-involved, easily distracted and unable to show feelings properly. Like how grateful I am for the friends that I have, and how wonderful people they are.
I know that this will blow over, that I will get a grip on myself and be a better person again, but right now 9:05pm in Germany I am down, I am exhausted and I don’t like myself.

I built myself a cocoon today, cranked up the heating, hid in bed (2 duvets, 2 sheepskins, roughly 10 pillows) and watched silly rom-coms ( I Give It a Year: pretty decent; The Sweetest Thing: complete shit, no nicer way to put it). I haven’t done this out of sheer need for a while. Actually I haven’t done that ever since I returned from Bayreuth. Not like that. I am not desperate or hurting, like I said, I am just exhausted and I feel like my caffeine overdose earlier this week ties in with that. Apparently I operated under the assumption that when I just cram enough caffeine into my body I will feel better. Nope. Just gives me headache, nausea and severe dehydration.

Where to go from here? Accepting that something is wrong is the first step, I think. This coming week is going to be stressful. I am catholic and this is the week leading up to Easter. As stressful as this week is I normally love it. I love Palm Sunday with its celebration but also the first shadows of what is to come on Good Friday, I love Maundy Thursday, where my whole parish gets together after mass to have a meal and then Good Friday. There is something so bleak and miserable about this day, no organ, no flowers and the crosses are covered up and for a little over 24 hrs the world seems to come to a standstill. My family fasts this day, so no meat, no jam, no candy basically just butter and bread and some fish for lunch, and one heck of a lot of easter preparations. On saturday then the Easter Night celebrations, my favorite part: Arriving at a completely dark church, then bringing in the Easter fire from the yard in a procession and then the church is slowly lit by candles, no artificial light until the big Gloria where all the bells are rung. And after mass more eating and drinking with the whole parish. Man, I love this week 🙂

Either way I’ll try to cut myself some slack, I won’t put too much pressure on myself, one step at a time and be them baby steps. And I will try to do things that are good for me. Catch some sun, rest, eat right, drink enough and re-focus. I guess I’ll try to just survive. I have the week after Easter off, that should help me to get better.

If you got this far and you are interested to get into the normal Sunday Round Up stuff let’s do that.

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1. Make Up Shizz
I don’t like my make up at the moment. It is never quite like I want it to be and even though my skin is as clear and as healthy as it will probably ever be, I feel like no matter what foundation I wear, it is blotchy and weird and don’t get me started on my eye make up. I’m still trying to find a way to make it all work. I am currently wearing my Catrice All Matt Plus again. It is slightly too dark at the moment but it’s not too bad. I actually started to apply this with my fingers (yep, weirded me out, too). I’m still no fan of getting make up all over my fingers but, the outcome is actually nicer and the coverage is better than with a brush (whysoever).
On my desperate search for a blush that was not too in your face, didn’t piss me off and was no bronzer I dug out my MAC The Perfect Cheek. It is probably the nudest most natural blush color there is. It saves me from looking like a ghost without making me look like a clown.

2.Media Shizz
Music-wise I am still listening to the new Delain and Subway to Sally albums and Epica has actually released a new song from their upcoming album which is called Unchain Utopia and it is just about as awesome as Essence of Silence. If all the songs on The Quantum Enigma are like this we have found ourselves a new all-time favorite album. And as per usual the lyrics are brilliant!
I have been catching up on Hart of Dixie, which is a testament to the state I am in at the moment and I am about to start season 4 of Friday Night Lights. Both are total pick-me-up shows for me (borrowed that expression from Snowhoney and find that it is perfect).
Book-wise I am about to finish Dark Secrets by Hjorth&Rosenfeldt and I have the second one in the Sebastian Bergman- series sitting here. So far it is a good solid murder mystery but not spectecularly awesome (Man, A Song of Ice and Fire has ruined me -.- or at least set the bar ridiculously high for what a good book is).

Other than that there was not much going on this week other than that I have worked five days (which also didn’t help much with my exhaustion)

The Fall Edit: My Favorite Way to Wear Red Eyeshadow

A couple of days ago I had a little extra time before heading out to Uni so I decided to put a little more effort into my make up and went for my favorite way to wear reds on my eyes:




What I did was prime my eyes with Maybelline 24h Color Tattoo in 65 Pink Gold (Inked in Pink in the states). Then I blended MAC Vapour over my entire lid. MAC Cranberry went into the crease and on the outer third. Then I used the dark matte burgundy from the Sleek Bohemian palette to darken the outer corner. Last but not least a slightly flicked half line with my beloved MAC Feline. On the bottom lid I smudged some more Cranberry and lined the outer third of of the lower waterline with Feline. On my lashes I used Maybelline The Rocket which I still don’t like. It has dried in a little bit and it does perform a little better now, but it still doesn’t hold the curl the way I would like, especially on my left eye which is not as rounded as right eye and the lashes are somewhat straighter. I am this close to just throw the Rocket out.

On the rest of my face I kept it light and neutral: I used MAC’s Perfect Cheek on my, well, cheeks (d’uh) and MAC’s Creme d’Nude on my lips.

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Products used

What do you think about red on the eyelids? Yes? No? Chime in in the comments below!

The Fall Edit: Red Lips, Nude Eyes (+Mini Review)

After turning a spotlight on eyes for the past weeks I thought I’d shift the focus to lips this time around. The plan was to create a as-flawless-as-possible base, very lightly enhance the eyes and make the lips stand out. Here is the result:


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The most important product here was the Astor Soft Sensation Lipcolor Butter in 016 Va Va Voum. I can’t rave enough about this line. Astor added these lipstick/lipbalm combos, so reminiscent of the Revlon Colorburst Lipbutters and the Clinique Chubby Sticks, a couple of months ago to their line up and they truly are a thing of beauty. The color range goes from creamy nudes to pinks and corals to purples and reds. I own a nude, a pink and, well, Va Va Voum. The lipbutters are highly moisturizing and yield fairly opaque color with nice shine (and that’s coming from someone who hates lipgloss and prefers matte lipsticks over everything else). They  have a lovely vanilla-sugar smell to them which is not perceptible anymore on the lips. They are priced around 6€ depending on where you go.

The lovely thing about these is aside from all the other goodness that they leave a stain on your lips after the gloss has disappeared.  Below you can see the stain.

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As for the rest of my face I used Nougat (light creamy shade) and Bark (neutral brown) from my Sleek Au Naturale palette on my eyes and gave my lashes a generous coat of the Catrice Evolution to Revolution Mascara. On my cheeks I applied MAC’s The Perfect Cheek, a light, slightly greyed matte pink from the MACxMarilyn Monroe collection.

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