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Monday, September 29, 2014

Wild Argan Oil + Honeymania Body Butter Review | Beauty

I’m a loyal The Body Shop lover and have been through probably all of their lotions and creams, and several fragrances, haircare, skincare, make-up products. It’s funny how it was only over a year ago I started using their body butter on a daily basis - and my skin loves me for it.
Better yet, since the launch of their Honeymania range a year ago, the Honeymania body butter has become my most consumed product ever (a pretty big deal, if I dare say so.) Is it the best body butter ever? No. But do I enjoy it a lot? Yes.

I do, once in a full moon, like to check out a different scent and recently their Wild Argan Oil range happened to be released so I restrained myself to only trying out the body butter (even though I have three Honeymanias on stock in my closet.)

And here comes a review of both products, mainly impression and scent (which, personally, I'm most interested in as far as TBS products go.) I feel that all of The Body Shop’s body butters are great at what body butters are supposed to do - they thoroughly moisturize, hydrate, and leave your skin smooth and soft. And delicious smelling. The texture of the cream can vary a little bit (I find that they’re generally not too creamy) but I can’t say it affects the result.

Honeymania Body Butter. Although, as mentioned, I've gone through many tubs of this product, it took me a little bit to love it. The scent is far more floral than it is anything honey, which is what you anticipate from the name and packaging. Hopefully there will be a sweet honey range sometime in the future.

However, I came around to enjoy the light and fresh scent of this more than any of The Body Shop's other body butters (which are yummy-smelling but quite "obvious" scents.) If you're expecting the honey in Honeymania, you'll most likely be disappointed. Though, if you're simply looking for a great body butter with a subtle, refreshing scent, this may be for you. It reminds me of early spring freshness.

Wild Argan Oil Body Butter. A similar case to the Honeymania; it took me few sniffs and tries to make up my mind. It has quite a powerful scent, in my opinion, which I might choose to describe as perfume-y. At first I assumed it probably wasn't my cup of tea but slowly started to find the scent more and more appealing - in a fancier, sultrier sort of way.

Smelling it in the tub for too long almost makes me dizzy but I really love how it translates on the skin and how you catch a whiff of it when you move around. This is the body butter I'd opt for if I want to treat myself to something more luxurious after a long shower or spa session, or for an evening out. It makes me imagine a starry night, warm breezes, and golden skin.

Friday, September 26, 2014

7 Things I Love About Autumn

Seasons changing
There's something especially special about summer turning into autumn than any other seasonal transition. Autumn comes with emotion; the sky is heavy, the air is crispy, the sunlight is golden. And I love rain - not the murky drizzle that makes everything miserable but serious, heavy rain showers. Haunting clouds. Thunder. Listening to sentimental music and sitting by the window as the raindrops stream down the glass. Seriously, I do this.

Light em' up
Autumn comes with moodier weather and darker times, thus bringing the beloved candle season back. My addiction to candlelight and scented candles is inexplicable. I burn candles like nobody's business and could never go any cold season without that warm glow. There are few objects I find as beautiful, cozy, comforting, and homey. Home is where the candles are?

Shades of now
Earthy, berry, and royal tones. Burgundy is my autumn fave and I'm also digging rich, forest greens. This is always exciting because as soon as winter hits, I'm back to black and as incognito as manageable. As for nature, you know when you sometimes see something that makes you stop for a moment and appreciate the beauty of this planet? That's moi when I see the leaves turning fire and amber (right before they go brown and rather exceptionally unappealing.)

Them boots
I'm all about them boots. Summer shoes are the worst, only because I have no freaking idea what to put on my feet. For years I used to be a strict 5,5-inch high heels gal only (messed up my feet) and since been a bit lost in the shoe jungle. Autumn is a different story. I love me the chunky ankle boots, the riding boots, and anything biker-ish.

Going cozy
Back to cozy. Soft, chunky, oversized sweaters are my true calling this time of year. Paired with tights (and boots) and I'm fit for fight any autumn day. Then we have the scarves; if it almost makes me look like a mummy I probably own it. All about staying warm, people. And using your scarf as a blanket if desired. Or as a partial pillow on the train ride home.

Them ingredients
The flavors and scents I associate with autumn + winter and ultimate coziness are vanilla, chai, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, honey, and just about spiced anything. Can I add gingerbread or are we getting ahead of ourselves?

Drama and love triangles
In the shape of TV-shows returning to our lives. An overwhelming part of my getting through the less glam times of autumn/winter is, truly, getting way too emotionally invested in my fave TV-series. And I mean, invested. Can't wait.

What are your absolute favorite thing about autumn?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pineapple + Coconut & Cranberry Smoothie | Recipe

Pina Coladas are one of my favorite drinks but whenever I want to re-create them as a smoothie I always opt to use fresh pineapple rather than boxed pineapple juice and the taste obviously doesn't come out as vibrant or sweet, so I like to do my "pina colada" smoothies with a twist and add another, stronger flavor. This time it was cranberries. I liked how the subtleness of pineapple, the solid flavor of coconut, and the bitterness of cranberries came together for a noon smoothie.


☻ 1 cup pinapple
☻ 2/3 cup frozen cranberries
☻ 3/4 milk
☻ <1/2 cup coconut yogurt

Blend until smooth

Optional but recommended: add a tablespoon of coconut sugar for a little extra caramelized sweetness, or sprinkle some on top. I found this added an interesting and especially yummy flavor to this smoothie!

Monday, September 22, 2014

BB+CC Cream Review: The Body Shop, Clinique, Garnier | Beauty

I haven't touched foundation since my mid-teens when I'd practically empty a tube in less than three weeks (oh, times.) It was extremely unnecessary for so many reasons. I learned I was more concerned with being nice to my skin (letting it breathe) than covering it up (since I haven't ever had major issues with my skin.) I laid off the foundation and only relied on concealer until I learned about the loveliness of BB (Blemish Balm) creams which is the ideal product for anyone that just wants a lightweight cover for a lil' smoothing out. I still only wear it sporadically and in phases, not having found a "wow" one yet. These are three products I've been using lately:

The Body Shop All-in-One BB Cream is super light on the skin with pretty thin coverage which is nice for a natural and fresh look. I got this in the winter and just couldn't work with it. I have dry skin and an awesome face routine that keeps my skin perfectly balanced, however, this BB cream worked against everything and dehydrated my skin so much I thought about just throwing it away after a few uses. I ended up trying it out again in the summer (when my skin isn't as needy) and liking it better. What's so special about this one is that the actual cream comes out white and then adapts to your skin color as you rub it in.

Prior to my travels this summer I came across the Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Cream Sun Protection SPF 30. My impression was that this was a BB cream with high sun protection rather than sun protection with blemish balm qualities. It sounded good for when away on sunny vacations and beautifying your skin while protecting it. Unfortunately, it comes off oily and greasy on the face, not much different from regular sunscreen. I would not use this on a general basis since it's thicker and heavier. Combining a smudge of this with my daily moisturzier made it much more suitable for casual use, but I'd say this product is strictly meant for lazy pool days.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream is my first venture into the CC (Color Correction) cream world. I was a tad unsure about CC creams at first - somehow I saw them more as foundations, only to learn they are actually supposed to be lighter than BB creams. In this particular case I'd say the consistency is comparable to a BB cream. I'm a fan of the entire Clinique Moisture Surge range and this product didn't disappoint in that department. It keeps your skin hydrated while being airy and blending in nicely. The funny thing is, this product has the same SPF as the Garnier (above) without coming off as oily whatsoever. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

My September Playlist | Music


Bloodsport - Saul Sweet Remix
Dark - Luke Sital Singh
Bumper Cars - Alex & Sierra
I Can't Keep Up - Tourist ft. Will Heard
Siren - April Nhem

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raspberry + Lime Freeze with Granola | Breakfast Idea

I woke up one morning knowing I was going to have raspberry and lime blended up in some shape or form for breakfast. But it wasn't as a smoothie or a juice. I wanted something... light and super refreshing. Something a little out of the ordinary that likely won't even qualify as breakfast (well, in comes the granola.)

Keeping it simple I just blended up 1/2 a cup of frozen raspberries, squeezed 1/2 a lime (just enough to contribute an undertone of zingy lime without fighting with an empty stomach) and added 1/2 cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of frozen coconut yogurt to slate out the flavors. (Servings: 1)

It all came together as a nice little raspberry and lime freeze. Add crunchy granola in layers, top off with fresh raspberries and coconut flakes, and enjoy immediately! (Not going to lie, ate it so quickly I gave myself a mild brain freeze.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

8 Ways to Find Inspiration (Again) | Tips

1. Take a different road.
Switch things up and "do" something out of normality; whether that be checking out a different genre of blogs, listen to new music, taking left instead of right, or exploring a foreign part of town. Imagine watching a comedy flick, you laugh most the first time around but the more you've seen the same thing, the less it'll evoke a laugh out of you, and that's how I find that inspiration works: we need a fresh trigger.

2. Lighten your mood.
Usually inspiration blocks occur during a time of pressure or below-average on the joy scale; in other words, the inspiration sky is already cloudy and trying to force it to clear and reveal stars and fireworks will only increase cloudiness, you know? Instead, give yourself a breather and lighten that sky by lightening your mood. Do something that relaxes you, take your mind off stressful things and declutter your brain. Light the candles, make the tea, and put on your favorite feel-good movie.

3. Make a list.
Or a mood board, or a speech, or a song, or a video (you get the gist) of the things that you love. And keep it for future reference. Anything and everything that makes you feel good: places, people, interests and passions, quotes and phrases, photographs, songs, movies, memories, dreams, and favorite-anything.

4. Document.
While we're on that list, mood board, or song; jot down any interesting thoughts or ideas that crosses your mind. See something beautiful? Take a picture of it. See something strange? Well, take a picture of it. Can't take a picture of it? Write it down and describe it. Had an interesting dream? Write it down. Someone said something note-worthy? Note it. Create a storage of thought-evoking content.

5. Do what you love and what makes you happy.
Especially something you haven't done in a while. As much as I love and enjoy reading I tend to get stuck in these phases where I'm just too unfocused and scatter-brained to even think about picking up a book. However, every single time I rebel and succeed getting into it again (by getting a book and reading the first couple of chapters) my inspiration bounces off the walls from the love of it (if it wasn't a sucky book, that is. Just kidding.)

6. Start something.
Nudge your creative vein by venturing into a project of creativity, something that'll take at least more than a day to complete - let it be the mood board (above), re-organizing the closet or pantry or just all the cabinets, cooking a set number of new recipes for the week or month, trying out a few DIY ideas, go on coffee-tasting sprees and fill a notebook with comments and ratings, paint (even if you don't paint) or create a large piece of artwork, or even set out to complete all your Christmas presents early (giving yourself time to really make an effort, and get creative.)

7. Borrow inspiration.
We might not be inspired at the moment, but someone else is... or was, and shared it. While "inspiration is everywhere" is absolutely true, an intensely uninspired person probably won't find the strange looking plant off the side of the road inspiring even if it would've been otherwise. So go somewhere with definite (using that term loosely) inspiration - Pinterest (getting it out of the way, but seriously), a gallery/museum/art exhibit, the library or bookstore, interior decorating stores, busy spots with eclectic people, or just your good ol' favorite blogs and websites.

8. Brainstorm with someone.
Stimulate the brain. Come up with fun and interesting questions or topics to discuss with a friend or the guy or gal behind the cash register (if there isn't a queue.) Talking to someone else and getting a piece of their mind gives you new perspectives, opinions, thoughts, and ideas.

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