Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Flawless Albums: #04 - "Fire it Up!" by Joe Cocker - In Memoriam

(Source: Wikipedia)
Over the past few years I've become more and more interested in the music of the British blues that started in the 1960s - probably because it's a lot of the music my dad likes to listen to so it was never totally unfamiliar to me. Hearing that Joe Cocker had passed away aged 70 because of lung cancer just two days before Christmas was very sad. 

Sure in retrospect, it can be argued that his lifestyle definitely wasn't the healthiest and it's not too surprising, but it still was shocking to hear about the news. After all, it's only been 1 1/2 years ago in May 2013 that I've seen him perform live in Vienna in support of his newest album Fire it Up! together with my parents. It was a beautiful show and I remember that the acoustic set he did really impressed me, and that I loved the lyrics to one of his newer songs called You Don't Need A Million Dollars

Joe Cocker definitely wasn't famous for writing his own music, he rose to fame because of his characteristic gritty voice and interpretations of other artist's songs and the way he made them his own; one of the most famous examples surely is With A Little Help From My Friends which is obviously a Beatles song, but still helped Joe Cocker reach the peak of the UK charts in 1968 when he covered it. Call it blasphemy all you want, but to my ears his version sounds just as much as an original like the Beatles version does, if not even more so because I've always known the Cocker version better since growing up. 

Still I'd like to pull your attention his 2012 released album Fire it Up! because it's such a beautiful piece of music full of positive lyrics and reflections on life, and combined with a voice as strong and individual as his, that's all it takes for me to be drawn in. I'm not a person that focuses on genre all that much and I think it's pointless to expect an artist to always stay within the boundaries and limitations of the genre they have started in - I'd rather focus on the music itself. 

I always find it fascinating that as a 23 year old, it's so easy for me (and so many others!) to identify and enjoy the music put out by someone so remarkably older, somebody who has practically lived a whole life before I even existed. In the end I think that if we put aside thoughts about marketing and all that jazz, being able to relate with the words of a song is what really draws us in when it comes to music. Fire it Up! is full of relatable lyrics for me; the words to the songs weren't even written by Joe Cocker, but it's his voice that makes them come alive and gives them meaning. 

If I had to pick favourites from the album, the tracks I'd especially recommend are the title track Fire it Up, the aforementioned You Don't Need A Million Dollars, Younger, The Letting Go and I'll Walk In Sunshine Again.

Thank you for the music Joe, and may you walk in sunshine again. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

5 Most Popular Posts of 2014

I know that most bloggers are always harping on about how "newer" bloggers shouldn't care too much about statistics and all that stuff, but I for one find it very interesting to see which posts of mine have been clicked the most in the past few months. Surely I'm not the only one? I only started blogging on here in July, so this isn't the best representation of 2014, but as the year comes to a close, I'd still like to revisit my most popular posts of these past months!

This KIKO Limited Edition remains one of the nicest and prettiest when it comes to packaging that I can remember from 2014; I still love the lipliner and use it regularly, and I think the formula of the lipstick is amazing for the price - so velvety and not drying at all! I'm still thinking about visiting the KIKO store soon to see if the products of this LE have gone on a proper sale yet - last time I was there, they still had them in store but I don't think they were reduced! 

I've made three lipstick collection posts in total, and my favourite category featuring the plums, berries and purples of my little MAC lipstick family seems to be the one that's been clicked most often out of all of them! I feel like you can never go wrong with having a look at MAC's range if you're looking for a certain shade - chances are high that they've got something that appeals to you!

I bought this palette for a friend of mine when I spotted it after Catrice did their bi-annual swap of products in their range because she asked me about a matte drugstore eyeshadow palette. She kindly let me swatch it so I can put a review up before I handed it over to her; I think this is a brilliant alternative to the Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes if you don't want to spend the extra money on neutral matte shadows!

This foundation is another product that found its way into the Catrice range of products at the same time the Absolute Matt palettte was introduced. Even though I initially bought it a shade too dark - especially for my winter complexion - it's still one of my most used foundations of the last months. I have a lighter shade now and my mum actually tried the darker one a few days ago and loves it, so nothing goes to waste here!

My most popular post by far (really, really far haha) is my review of Fashion Revival by MAC, which is a Limited Edition shade that was released in the Autumn with an all matte lipstick collection of I think eight shades. This was probably the most popular shade out of this collection, and righly so - this shade and finish is everything I want and more in a lipstick, and it seems I'm not alone judging from the amount of visits my review got! Fingers crossed MAC make this beauty permanent!

So my most popular posts list is obviously dominated by beauty posts and reviews, and that's cool - it's the bulk of blogs/posts I like to read myself as well! That still won't put me off writing some music posts and other content every now and then; because even though I love reading beauty content, I think I wouldn't be completely satisfied only sticking to this particular topic. 

I thought I'd put together a post like this because they're starting to appear everywhere on my bloglovin' feed and I really enjoy reading about the top content in other blogs! It's definitely interesting to look at the stats every once in a while! :) 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sunday Roundup: #25

Christmas is officially over and the last glamorous Holiday of the year remaining is New Year's Eve - one more day for indulging little sins like the one pictured above before all of our little resolutions for the new year kick in! I must say, I really enjoyed not having to work in retail around Christmas very much this year - so relaxing ... 

Still not that much going on on the blog this week I'm afraid; but it's pretty hard thinking about blogging when you're always around family and friends and want to enjoy these few little days were everything moves a little slower and people are more relaxed. That being said, I really spent a lot of time away from the computer this week, and it definitely wasn't a bad experience!


Recipe: At the beginning of the week, I posted a recipe for traditional Austrian "Vanillekipferl", a really delicious Christmas treat that's not very hard to make and doesn't take up too much time! :)

Merry Christmas: A collection of random pictures I took on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so you can see a little snippet of what's going on in my house at Christmas - it's mostly eating, as you can clearly see on these snaps! 

On a completely different note, I was reminded about something that happened around two years ago and how upset I was about it at that time. I even wrote down my feelings about it all on the 28th of December 2012 (I checked the date of the document), and it was so weird rereading it today because I think I couldn't feel more different or rather indifferent about the whole situation if I tried. It's quite amazing what a difference two years can make - time really does heal all wounds.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Holiday and a nice weekend! :) 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! 

I think you can tell that Holiday food is easily my favourite thing about Christmas! In Austria, we already celebrate on Christmas Eve and get to open our presents then - feeling very sorry for you poor souls with different customs who have to wait until Christmas Day! 

Today my parents, my brother and I are having all of the grandparents over for lunch and coffee & cake afterwards - trust me when I say I already feel like taking a nap because I definitely ate too much duck! ;) 

I hope you all have a wonderful few days celebrating with your family and friends, get to eat a lot of delicious Holiday treats and enjoy the few days that are left in the old year! 

Lots of love, 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Recipe: Traditional Austrian "Vanillekipferl"

If you feel like doing some last-minute Holiday baking that doesn't require a lot of effort but is super tasty and maybe a bit different then the usual Christmas cookie, look no further! "Vanillekipferl" are traditional Christmas cookies in Austria (and I think in Germany too); there's no real way to translate the name into English, but "Vanille" obviously means vanilla, and the word "Kipferl" refers to the crescent shape of the cookies - like a little half-moon! 

These are pretty easy to make and don't require a lot of ingredients, and I actually really enjoy making them during the Holiday season - this year I made them together with my friend Pezi (thanks for helping! :*) so it took even less time to make them! This is actually my grandmother's recipe (who is unfortunatley not able to make them herself anymore), and my mum says they turned out really good when I made them, so I'm proud! :)


200g of butter
200g of flour
100g of caster sugar
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
90g of ground almonds 
1 egg yolk 
+ another 100g of caster sugar and 1 sachet of vanilla sugar for "icing" your Vanillekipferl!

The dough for these is fairly easy to put together: just put all the ingredients (the butter should be at room temperature for this) mentioned above into a bowl (or on a flat surface) and knead until a dough forms. Ideally, once you've formed your dough, it should be chilled a bit in the fridge or in the freezer (if you're pressed for time) so it will be easier to work with afterwards. 

When the dough is chilled, all you really have to do is take little pieces of your dough-loaf and form little half-moon shapes and assemble them on a lined baking tray - the measurements above make enough dough for about two baking trays full of Vanillekipferl!

After you've formed your Vanillekipferl, they need to bake for about 10 minutes at 160 °C; make sure to watch them as they bake, you want them to be golden-brown at the tips but no more, so get them out of the oven before they get too brown!

While you let them cool for a bit after taking them out of the oven, you can mix together your additional sugar and another sachet of vanilla sugar for your icing. When the Vanillekipfer have cooled down a bit, make sure to coat them all in your sugar mixture so they basically look like they're coated in snow - so christmassy, right? ;)

Aaand that's all, now all that's left for you to do is enjoy these little Christmas treats! :) 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sunday Roundup: #24 - Still a rubbish blogger!

So another week has gone by where I really wanted to post more but somehow didn't manage to do so - and this time, I don't even really have an excuse other than ... life? But I'm sure it happens to everyone around Christmas time, there's just a lot more errands to run and people to meet than during any other time of the year, right? 

Anyways, I still got two posts up last week:  

- Review of the NARS Douceur blush, a beautiful subtle shade that goes perfectly with a red lip - sadly it's being discontinued, so get it while it's still in stock!
- A music recommendation for my Flawless Albums series featuring "Foreverly" by Billie Joe and Norah. 

I am lucky enough to already be at home at my parents' house now - the first time in five years that I'm not working on the 23rd of December, so I thought I'd make the most of it and come home earlier to spend a few relaxed days with my family, visit all my grandparents and help decorate the Christmas tree and stuff like that. 

Hope you all had a wonderful week and an even nicer weekend! :) 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Flawless Albums: #03 - "Foreverly" by Billie Joe & Norah

In celebration about the fact that Green Day are going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility (bless my fangirl heart, I'm so freaking excited for them!), here's a music recommendation featuring one of Billie Joe Armstrong's many side projects: "Foreverly" by Billie Joe & Norah. Norah as in Norah Jones, of course - seems like everyone in the music industry knows each other!

I chose Foreverly for this installment of my Flawless Albums series because once again, it fits the season and my mood these days! It's basically a cover album of songs by the Everly Brothers (the original album was called Songs Our Daddy Taught Us) recorded by Billie Joe and Norah - nothing that I would have expected Mr. Armstrong to do when it was released last year, and yet it totally makes sense and I love it just like everything he puts out.

Genre-wise, I guess it has a little bit of country, folk and 'oldies'- sound all rolled into one album - in my opinion, it's all very slow and harmonious and very easy to listen to, it's perfect music for relaxing. 

Favourite tracks: 

Roving Gambler | Long Time Gone 
Lightning Express | Oh So Many Years 
 I'm Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Review: NARS "Douceur" Blush

Finally it's here - my review of the NARS Douceur Blush! Just to let you know right at the beginning: apparently NARS are planning to discontinue this beauty, so get your hands on it while you still can!

I got this because even though it's not one of the most popular shades the brand does - all of them very interesting names such as Orgasm, Super Orgasm or Deep Throat to only name a few - it's a colour that's been missing from my collection. Douceur is one of these shades that's not very flashy and a lot more subtle than anything else I own when it comes to blushes, and that's exactly what makes it so appealing.

It's described as a "soft pink brown", which is pretty accurate I guess - it definitely leans more into the brown/nude side of the spectrum though! It's matte, which also would make it a perfect contouring shade for very fair complexions. 

Since it's such a subtle, classy shade, I feel like it is also not as strongly pigmented as other NARS blushes might be; I can only talk for the Laguna bronzer, since I don't own another blush from the brand right now. Still, I think that it's actually quite positive that Douceur maybe needs a few brush strokes more if you want to build up the intensity - this way, you have absolute control over the effect and can choose just how subtle you want your blush to look! 

One last thing: I think this blush goes brilliantly with red lipsticks, which are undoubtedly very popular in the Christmas and Winter season! It's subtlety doesn't distract from the showstopper on your face - the red lip - but gives just a hint of warmth and dimension to your complexion. What's not to like?

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday Roundup: #23 - No, I'm not dead!

I know that my blog activity this week was zero apart from my post about Holiday shopping from Monday (which I encourage you to read since we all know it's getting very hectic these days!), and I know that I don't even have to make excusese since this is my blog, but I still have two! 

Excuse #1: I have a nasty cold that I've been carrying with me for at least two weeks now. I either can't breathe, feel like I'm going deaf, have a headache or all of the above. I'm particularly whiny about it because I very rarely get sick and it annoys me a lot when I'm not functioning the way I'm supposed to. 

Excuse #2: I've set myself a deadline for completing the 2nd draft of my MA thesis which ended today (I want to hand it in tomorrow), so I've spent the whole week and especially this weekend on finishing it. I should probably be proof-reading right now, but there's not a lot of concentration left ...

I'm really looking forward to handing in the 2nd draft tomorrow so I can focus on nicer things like watching Doctor Who, wrapping Christmas presents and baking cookies. And blogging, of course! I have a few posts in my head that I want to get done next week, so stay tuned!

Hope you all had a better week than I did, and an even better weekend! :)

Monday, 8 December 2014

A few thoughts on Holiday shopping ...

The 8th of December is a holiday in Austria. A few years ago, shops started to open regardless, and nowadays it should be renamed to "day of unnecessary crazy consumerism" or something similar. Now I realise that this is just how the world works, that those who already make enough profit want to make even more, and that most people probably love the idea of having an extra day to do their holiday shopping. 

Since I know how crazy things get in the big shopping streets on a day like December 8th because I used to work as a (part-time) cashier in the past five years, I have decided for myself that for as long as I can afford it (aka have enough spare time to do my holiday shopping on any other day), I won't be going shopping on December 8th - partly to avoid the stressful environment, but also as a matter of principle. 

That being said, I don't blame anybody who decides to jump right into the holiday shopping craze because a lot of people do not have the luxury of having as much spare time as a student does and need to get stuff done. The 24th is only two and a half weeks away, and most people probably only tend to think about Christmas as soon as they look at their calendar and realise it says "December 1st" one day. So with those days of holiday shopping upon us, here's a few thoughts ...

Think ahead. Know what you want to get for the people you hold dear beforehand, it helps not getting side-tracked. Also, if you can, get your shopping done in the mornings before the crazy holiday shoppers are awake and ready to wreak havoc in the streets.

Be prepared. The closer we get to Christmas, the more stressful holiday shopping feels to everyone, which typically shows in terms of rudeness displayed from the people around us. If you're doing your holiday shopping on the 22nd of December, just be mentally prepared that there's going to be a lot of people and long queues everywhere. There's always going to be people who start their holiday shopping too late, thus bordering a mental breakdown because they think they can't finish it in time and may have sudden outbursts of anger directed at the wrong people.

Don't be that person. If you find yourself shopping on one of the busiest days in the year (usually days like Dec 8th in Austria or any given Saturday before Christmas), here's some things to avoid saying to the poor souls working in retail ...

"This queue is so long, I've been waiting for 20 minutes now and I only wanted to get xyz!" - The last person whose fault it is that a line is particularly long is the cashier who is stuck behind the register all day. Trust me, that person sure wishes to be somewhere else as well.
"Can I just pay this thing real quick, I even have the exact change and everything!" - I cannot tell you how often people have asked me if they could jump the queue just because they have the exact amount of money to by whatever book they fancied. No, good sir, I'm afraid you'll still have to stand in line just like everyone else.
"OMG, it's so busy in here, why aren't there more registers open so people can check out faster?" - As far as I know, most stores try to do exactly that anyways (my store normally doubled registers from 6 to at least 12 to 15 on the busiest days); at some point, they're at capacity and there's nothing more they can do.

This post isn't supposed to be a super-long rant about Christmas shopping, because I'm as guilty as the next person - we all want to buy gifts for our loved ones and we all get stressed about it at one point or another. I just want to point out that the people working in retail full-time are absolute troopers and deserve all the respect they can get for putting up with the crap they're faced with every day of December; I didn't even work full-time these past five years, but I still had my fair share of idiots and uncomfortable situations to deal with - I can only imagine how hard it is to put up with that 6 days a week.

I know this was very different from my usual posts, but I still wanted to get this out there in some way because the reason I've been such a grinch in the past few years was because of my experience of working in one of the busiest (and biggest) stores in the busiest shopping street of Vienna and I know how crazy it gets sometimes.

I hope you all have a relatively stress-free December and are able to escape the shopping craze building up towards the holidays (online-shopping helps a lot!) and that you're able to get everything you need in time! :)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday Roundup: #22

Happy Sunday everyone! Those of you who are still here, I hope you're all having a great weekend! :) (Trying very hard to remain nonchalant about the fact that I'm losing followers + failing miserably at it ...) Grumpy feelings aside, let's get on with this post!


Tuesday: I realised a bit late that November was over and December had already begun, so my November Favourites post was a bit late ... but it went up nonetheless!

Thursday: In this post, it was all about embracing the festive season with one of my favourite things when it comes to makeup - red lipstick! Click here to see a roundup of my red lipstick picks for Winter and Christmas time

Friday: Now that we've got our red lipstick needs all sorted out, how about some festive nail polish? Here's a budget top coat by essence that will make your nails look like they're covered in tinsel ... 

This week, I've watched two films in the cinema, What We Did On Our Holiday and Paddington - two very British films I would say! The plot of 'What We Did On Our Holiday' was really different to what I expected, but it was absolutely adorable and refreshing because of it! Plus, the three kids in this really steal the show and are just the cutest (and I rarely say that about kids), and it has Rosamund Pike and David Tennant in it, who are obviously both awesome. My friends and I might have watched 'Paddington' for the sole reason of Ben Whishaw lending his (beautiful) voice to Paddington now, but it's the overall cast and with how much attention to detail this film was put together what makes it a perfect movie to watch for kids and adult kids alike! 

The 8th of December is a holiday in Austria, and my friends and I have planned to go out and have brunch since everyone is free tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that! All that's left for me to do today is chill, drink tea and eat cookies, which is what Sunday should be about every week I think! :)

Friday, 5 December 2014

Festive Nails: Essence "Good Girl Bad Girl" Effect Top Coat

Yes, I'm aware of my super-dry cuticles. Please ignore.
I'm on a quest of getting into the festive spirit in my first retail-free Christmas in five years, and I think I'm not doing too bad of a job! Next to watching Christmas movies, listening to festive music and going to Christmas markets, I've also tackled festive nails now! 

I have a few red and gold glitter polishes at home from last season, but when I went to the drugstore yesterday, I saw essence's new "good girl, bad girl" LE that also featured two different effect top coats. I picked up the shade "02 once i was an angel" which has a clear base with black and silver specks in it that look like tiny pieces of tinsel, which I really like because it's just different to the regular glitter polishes around. 

There's a lot of these "tinsel" bits in the actual polish, so you could make this look really opaque if you felt like it. I only brushed on 1- 2 layers because I wanted the red to still show through - the shade I'm wearing is OPI Monsooner or Later. It dries rather quickly - which is the point of a top coat I guess, even if it does contain specks of glitter - but I still recommend going over top of it with an actual clear top coat to seal it all in! 

I'm always a bit on the fence when it comes to glitter polishes, because even though I really like the effect it gives especially around this time of the year, they're just horrible to remove! I'm quite curious how many days this whole look will last before it starts to chip, but normally I feel glitter top coats at least last for a longer time compared to regular polish - probably because they are such a pain to remove. 

Do you like glitter polishes for the festive season? :)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Winter Lipstick Picks - Red Edition

In another attempt to get into the Christmas spirit, I thought it would be a good idea to do a Winter/Christmas lipstick picks post! As you can see, the theme is definitely red - because as we all know, it's the ultimate Christmas lip colour. But there's nuances of course ...

# Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet "Hot Pepper": These liquid lipsticks by Bourjois are perfect for your matte lipstick needs - they don't need a long time to set on the lips, and when they do, they're perfectly matte and last for ages. I find that one coat of this shade gives you a nice reddish tint (similar to what you see on the image above), but add a second coat and it's a beautiful neutral red that would suit a lot of skin tones - what's not to love? 

# Essence Lipliner "Femme Fatale": Now I don't know if Essence still do the exact same lipliner due to the fact that I purchased this a long time ago and they tend to change their collection every now and then; still, whatever red lipliner they're doing now, it's a perfect budget option for classic red shades. If you want to go MAC, maybe give Cherry or Brick a swatch. 

# MAC Viva Glam Rihanna: After a bit of thinking, I came to the decision that this lipstick might be the Christmas lipstick for me this year; simply because it's a stunning red, but since it has a frost finish, it also adds that kind of shimmer that you'd want around the festive season. 

# MAC Russian Red: Speaking of classic reds, next to Ruby Woo, Russian Red is a cult-favourite for a number of reasons: matte but creamy formula, great longevity, blue-ish undertone that makes your teeth look whiter ... need I say more? 

# KIKO Ace of Diamond Lipliner "Refined Burgundy": Now if I'm looking for a lipliner that works with darker reds, this KIKO lipliner is my first choice. It has a perfectly creamy formula that still has great staying power and works well with a number of darkish reds and plum hues, so I reach for it quite often.

# MAC Diva: If you're not into the bright reds, I'd strongly suggest to try Diva if you're looking for a darker red - the longevity of this lipstick is crazy due to its matte formula, and it's the perfect vampy lip colour for Winter. If you prefer a little more shine, MAC Dark Side might be for you since it has an amplified finish which isn't matte but still offers a lot of pigment. 

When it comes to red shades, I'm definitely settled for the festive season! I deliberately tried to include shades that aren't limited edition from one year ago because it's always annoying to look at pretty things that aren't available anymore - it's a pain I've definitely felt before! 

Which lipsticks are your favourites for the upcomig season? :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

November Favourites

I know I'm late with my November favourites, and I wish I had remembered to type this post sooner, but I forgot. Shame on me, I'll try to be better at the end of December - we'll see how that turns out ... but for now, let's move on to my favourites!

# Real Techniques Buffing Brush: Everyone and their mother loves the RT Buffing Brush for foundation (and rightly so!), but this past month I really started getting into using this gem as a contour brush (the regular RT Contour Brush is too small for chubby face), which works really well in combination with the Sleek Contour Kit! Just make sure to not pick up too much contour powder with this one unless you want to attempt a drag look (which is also cool!) ...

# Essence be berry now! Nail Polish: I've posted about this nail polish very recently, and it has also made it into my November favourites for the sole reason of it basically not leaving my nails since I got it. I really get into a habit of sticking with the same polish for weeks after I've bought a new one, but the shade of this is truly gorgeous!

# Catrice Illuminating Blush "I Am Nuts About You": Again, I just typed up a whole post on this because I really love the shade for this time of year and used it a lot in November - so I recommend checking out my full review, since it has much better pictures of it as well. (Can you tell I'm having lighting issues because of the weather right now?!)

# Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick "Amazing Grace": Yes, I know. I've only had this for about a week and I've thrown it into my favourites. Well, sue me but this shade is just gorgeous and I love wearing it! Also, for everyone who has been wondering why the lipstick looked so dark/different in my review: lighting issues, I'm so sorry. On the pictures above, it's much more true to the actual colour in the bullet, I hope that helps! 

# Catrice Liquid Metal Gel Eye Pencil "050 Hazel the Hoff": I just lol'd at the name of this, I haven't checked it before! I think I have four of these Catrice Gel Eye Pencils now, because they're just awesome in terms of application and staying power - so easy to use and such a great effect! This particular shade is my newest addition to the bunch and is a metallic brown which looks super-nice if you prefer a softer eyeliner look over the dramatic black cat eye. 

# Catrice Glamour Doll Curl & Volume Mascara: I really like the Glamour Doll mascaras (there's 3 different ones), I previously tried the original one which I also really liked, so I thought I'd give the Curl & Volume version a go, and I have to say I really like it! In combination with an eyelash curler, this really does give a nice effect in terms of volume, so for about 4€, I'm very happy with this. 

# H&M scarf: Honourable mention would be my H&M scarf which all the other items are so nicely draped on - it's at least three years old so I'm afraid this exact one won't be available anywhere, but it's basically a really soft, huge scarf that feels like a blanket wrapped around your neck; so it's perfect for the colder months. I only just rediscovered this in my wardrobe, but I've been wearing it constantly because it works with a lot of my clothes (and makeup)! 

And that's it for my November favourites! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to work my way through all the unread November favourites posts lined up in my bloglovin' feed - that's probably going to take a while! 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday Roundup: #21

Happy Sunday everyone! I guess since tomorrow is the 1st of December, the Christmas countdown has officially begun now - at least that's my reasoning for putting a festive little picture at the top of this post ...


Tuesday: I finally got a little haircut and dyed my hair, so naturally I was very excited and wanted to share that with you in Tuesday's post! 
Thursday: I am the proud owner of my first Charlotte Tilbury product now - the Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace! If you want to take a closer look, here's a review! 
Saturday: Since the seasons are already changing again, I had to do another playlist post - this time it's all about Winter and Christmas

Unfortunately this weekend was a bit of a fail because it seems like I'm getting a cold (I never get sick ...) so I didn't do much besides lounging around on the couch, drinking tea and stuffing myself with delicious home-cooked food from my mum. In other words, it was very uneventful and I have nothing to tell you! 

(I did realise however that I totally forgot to put together my November favourites post, so I am going to think about that after I publish this post and hopefully get it up very soon!)

I still hope you all had a nice weekend that maybe was a little more eventful than mine! 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Winter / Christmas Playlist

I have to confess right here at the beginning of this post that I'm a little bit of a grinch. A lot of bloggers (and non-bloggers alike, obviously) are already getting into a really festive spirit and are happily counting down until Christmas ... unfortunately, that's just not me. Five years of working retail in one of the busiest shops in one of the busiest shopping streets in Vienna has taken its toll, and the Christmas spirit is buried very, very deep down in one of the corners of my mind.

Since this is the first time in five years that I won't be working in retail around Christmas time, I will try to de-grinchy-fy (yes, I typed it, now it's a word.) and get into the festive spirit (I'm sure my friend Pezi will be delighted when she reads this), so I thought the best way to start was to share my Winter/Christmas playlist with you all!

As always with my playlist posts, these songs are not your typical Jingle Bells and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree kind of songs, some of them might even seem a bit misplaced for some of you - but hey, music is all about subjectivity! These are just the songs I associate with Winter and/or Christmas ...

(Yes, after at least three of these playlist posts I figured out that spotify makes it really easy for you to share playlists with other people! Better late than never, right? :D)

I wish you guys a calm December, filled with lots of delicious food and the company of your family and friends - don't let the crazy holiday shoppers get you down! 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Review: Charlotte Tilbury "Amazing Grace" Matte Revolution Lipstick

If you're a regular reader, you might remember my London Beauty Wishlist from last week - lucky for me, my friend Dani was able to get all of the things I desired (even though obviously, I was prepared and had backup options ...), which now makes me the happy owner of my very first Charlotte Tilbury product: the Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace

I've mentioned this before, but the reason why I opted for this particular shade was that after studying numerous swatch posts of the whole Matte Revolution line, I wanted to go for something that was different to everything else in my collection - and as we all now, I normally prefer bright  or dark lip colours; a shade like Amazing Grace was definitely missing from my collection! Also, when I'm spending that much money on a single lipstick, I want to be sure it's a shade I will get a lot of wear out of. I was wearing it yesterday when I met a couple of friends, and they all agreed that it's a pretty wearable shade that would suit a lot of different complexions - so I would say this shade is definitely one of these "suits a lot people and situations" kinda colour!

The texture really is amazing - it glides effortlessly onto the lips and as you can see on the picture above, there is no issue with flaking or emphasising dry patches or any of these pesky problems us lipstick lovers have to deal with sometimes. Since it such an easy shade to wear, I also find there is no real need for lining your lips - since it's basically matte, this lipstick doesn't have a tendency to bleed, it just stays in place as it's supposed to. 

I was also impressed with the longevity. I applied it yesterday morning when I was doing the rest of my makeup, and I was very happy to see that it didn't budge after haven two bowls of soup for lunch! For a lipstick that is pretty light shade-wise (especially in comparison to my other lipsticks), the staying power really is impressive.

Obviously, I have to add that the beautiful packaging adds some bonus points - a vintage-looking, rose gold bullet with an embossed "CT" on top? Yesss. So pretty.

I can't speak for the whole line of course (I wish), but Amazing Grace is definitely a great addition to my lipstick collection and I can only recommendn checking this shade out! Although what I can say is that I've seen Dani wearing Lost Cherry yesterday, which looked stunning as well - and she's also told me she is very happy with her choice, so that might also be a shade to keep in mind next time you have the change to swatch some Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

New Hair

To end a boring day that was all about thesis writing, let's talk about hair!
So after weeks of dragging it out because I actually hate spending time and money on going to the hairdresser's, I finally got a haircut. I got some of my dead/split ends chopped off and had some layers added (especially in the front), and that's about it. It's not a huge change, I know, but I'm still a lot happier with my hair than I was before.

I was also itching to change up my hair colour a little bit, and since my hair is already pretty dark (I've been dyeing it a dark brown shade for a while now), there wasn't much room to play with colours. What I could do however was adding a reddish tint to my hair - something that I haven't done in years because once dyed, it's pretty hard for me to get rid of the red when I don't enjoy it anymore, which I think is due to the fact that my hair naturally has a lot of red pigment. When I was a kid, my hair was actually reddish blonde - nowadays, my natural hair colour is way more boring, I like to refer to it as grey. 

Anyways, I pretty much sponanteously decided to get rid of my roots and change up the tone of my hair colour slightly and dyed it a dark reddish brown; as you can see, my roots turned out a bit brighter than the rest since they were much lighter to start with, but I actually like the look it gives. I used the Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse Permanent Foam Color in 388 Dark Red - it doesn't make a mess and it's easy to apply to your hair by yourself, I've been using it for years now! (Keep in mind that if you have thick hair that's below shoulderlength, you should probably use two boxes of this to make sure you have enough dye to colour all your hair!)

I'm quite happy with that little change-up; I was a bit worried that a reddish tone in my hair would clash horribly with all my pink and violet lipsticks, but since it's pretty subtle, I think it's totally fine to carry on wearing them - I'm wearing a lot of pink in the pictures (the lipstick is Flat Out Fabulous by MAC), judge for yourself! :D

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Roundup: #20

Today's post is a little late, but I wanted to get it up nonetheless; I just didn't expect that a coffee/tea date with friends in the afternoon would turn into a hour-long affair including a venture to the next christmas market! Still, it was a really nice Sunday - much better than sitting at home all day and letting the day pass without anything happening!


Tuesday: My friend Dani spent the last few days in London, and naturally I had a little wishlist of things I'd like which you can't get in Austria ...
Friday: There's a blush I've been reaching for a lot the past few weeks that's perfect for the season - if you want to see which one that it is, click right here
Saturday: Yesterday I had a urge to wear a deep purple lip, so that's exactly what I did by wearing a purple lipliner over Estée Lauder's Insolent Plum

This week was rather uneventful, other than the fact that I finally managed to get a haircut - it's not a big change, but I had a little trim to get rid of split ends and had a few layers added in the front; I quite like having longish hair, but I always want it to have a little movement/structure, otherwise my thick hair looks kind of lackluster. I also dyed them myself yesterday - again, not a huge change, but I might post about it anyways next week! 

Right now I'm trying to de-freeze my toes from standing at the christmas market wearing the absolutely wrong shoes (since I didn't expect to go), so I'm cuddled up in bed with a cup of tea!

As always, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! :)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Face: # 11 - Deep Purple Lips

This whole past week I felt like wearing a dark lip but never did for some reason - somehow it would never really have fit the occasion. You don't really go to dinner with a big group of people rocking a violet lip; and you don't really show up at the home of the kid you're giving private lessons in English to wearing purple lipstick either because it might look a bit weird. 

So today I'm compensating for all those "missed days" and lined and coloured in my lips with the KIKO Automatic Precision Lipliner in 512 Black Violet and topped it off with the Estée Lauder Insolent Plum lipstick - looks quite dramatic in real life, I feel like it's a bit darker/deeper than the pictures show!

For the rest of my face, I kind of stayed within a purple/berry colour scheme; my blush is by CATRICE but unfortunately LE from last year, and my eyeliner is one of the Liquid Metal Gel Eye Pencils in 060 Lilac is Back in Nearly Black, also by CATRICE

Other products used:

CATRICE Nude Illusion Makeup - MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Deep Dark Brunette - Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude - KIKO Generous Earth Eyeshadeow Palette (LE) - Sleek Contour Kit in Light - CATRICE Glamour Doll Curl & Volume Mascara  

Should you be wondering why I'm wearing a hat indoors, it's because my roots are showing up on pictures a lot and it looks horrible. I'm probably going to dye my hair today! I have the blandest, most boring natural hair colour, in my opinion it's just ... grey. I'm going to try out a different hair colour than my usual dark brown, so we'll see how that turns out! 

Friday, 21 November 2014

A/W Season: CATRICE Illuminating Blush "I Am Nuts About You"

I'm finally back with a new post! This time, I want to revisit a blush I have talked about briefly before as it was one of the products I got when I won the CATRICE giveaway a few months back ... the Illuminating Blush in the shade "I Am Nuts About You".
Next to the Liquid Metal Gel Eye Pencils (which I'm also wearing on the bottom picture), the blush was probably the item that appealed to me the most. Now that the season has transitioned into Autumn and it's beginning to get pretty cold, I notice  that more often than not, I'm gravitating towards this blush more than to any other in my collection.
I would describe the shade "I Am Nuts About You" as a shimmery, muted rosy-peach; it's not in your face like a summery coral shade would be and looks really nice paired with bronzer/ a contour - in the picture, I'm wearing it paired with the contour shade from the Sleek Contour Kit in Light.
The blush itself is very smooth and pigmented, so I found the best way of applying it is with a stippling brush (pictured above is the Ebelin stippling brush, which can be purchased in the German/Austrian drugstore "DM" for about 3€ - great quality!) so you can make sure you're not going totally overboard.
For around 4€, I think you can't really go wrong with this one! It's a beautiful blush to get for the colder season, and I'm sure I'll be getting a lot more use out of it in the upcoming weeks/months!
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