Tag Thursday – Spring Spirit

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Hi loves,

at the beginning of the month Serena from Beautylab posted this tag (in Dutch) about spring. She talked about how much she had been in the spring spirit and I couldn’t agree more (hence all my spring-related posts this week ;-) ). So I translated her tag questions to English and filled it in myself. I hope you like it and I tag all of you who are feeling that spring spirit as well!

1. What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of spring?

I gotta go with “fresh”. I’ve always associated spring season with a fresh start, a time for new beginnings. We can leave the gloomy winter behind us and look forward to the sun shining, flowers blooming and birds chirping. I use this time for a thorough spring clean as well so I can have a clean slate to enjoy the rest of the year. On top of that, my birthday is at the beginning of spring so that makes me love spring even more :-)

2. If spring had a scent, what would it be?

For me, spring is all about flowery scents. Even though I don’t really have a green thumb myself, I like to help my grandma out in her flower garden from time to time. Flowers have that romantic yet fresh scent to them that I absolutely love. Fresh flowers are a must-have during spring.

3. What’s your  favorite nail polish color for spring?

My nail polish colors for spring are at opposite ends of the spectrum: either bright colors (I love my coral shades) or soft pastels (mint, baby blue, …). During spring, I tend to go easy on the nail art too. I usually go for a solid color because it creates a more clean and fresh look in my opinion.

4. What’s your favorite spring flower?

Without a doubt, lily of the valley. My grandma grows these every year and I always take some home with me because they have the most amazing sweet scent. I also like how they look; though not the most colorful I’m definitely a fan of these tiny white bell-shaped flowers.

5. Which spring trend is the most appealing to you this year?

I have to go with the natural make-up trend. Like I said before, spring is all about freshness to me so what better way to show that than by having fresh, natural-looking make-up? I stick with my Garnier BB cream, blush, my MAC paint pot in Painterly on the lids, brown mascara and some lip balm and I’m good to go. A minimal effort for a fresh and beautiful result!

6. What’s your favorite spring scent (parfume, candle, …)?

It’s hard to pick a favorite but I love my Bath & Body Works candles for spring. My favorites are Spring (duh ;-) ), Green Grass, Fresh Bamboo and Lilac Blossom. From Yankee Candle, I also like the Lilac Blossoms, Loves Me Loves Me Not, and Macintosh. For perfumes, I wear DKNY Women or See by Chloé.

7. Do you like a spring clean?

I sure do, I even wrote a post about it this week (you can find it here). I love the idea of starting over and clearing all the clutter (both physical and emotional). I’m also painting my room and redecorating so it’ll be an extensive spring clean for me this year :-)

8. What’s your favorite accessory for spring?

I gotta go with scarves! I know that might sound a bit strange but I love wearing a simple white t-shirt and jeans but then adding a pop of color with a lightweight scarf. I also like bringing more color in other accessories such as bags, jewelry, shoes, … I tend to keep my outfits rather neutral but go all out with the rest ;-)

9. Do you have any fun plans for spring break?

I’ll actually be hitting the ski slopes at the beginning of April. I know it’s a more winter-related activity but I’m still looking forward to it though. We go every year and I can’t wait to enjoy that white crisp snow while the sun is shining. It’s the best of both worlds in my opinion.

10. Describe your favorite spring outfit?

I kind of touched on that in question nr. 8 already. My favorite spring outfit would be blue jeans with a white t-shirt and white sneakers (Converse or Jordans) with a pop of color in my accessories or jacket. Once it starts getting warmer, I swap the jeans for dresses and the sneakers for sandals.

Love,

Jess

Spring Clean

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Hi loves,

so I know it’s still 10 days until spring is officially here but the weather has been so nice the past week that it got me into the spring spirit for sure. This is probably my favorite season and not only thanks to the blooming flowers and rays of sunshine  But also because spring symbolizes new beginnings and fresh starts. And that’s exactly what this post is focused on. It’s that time of year again to de-clutter our lives and do a spring clean! Let’s look at some of the advantages a clean house/room/workspace gives us:

- a sense of ease and calm
- easier to organize
- improves quality of sleep
- increases work efficiency
- reduces stress
- healthier and safer environment

The basic rule for a spring clean is to make 3 piles:

1) keep – items worth keeping around

This should be the smallest pile out of the 3. Make sure you organize the items you have decided to keep. Try to group your items per category as much as possible (clothes, office supplies, make-up, recipes, craft supplies, electronics, …). You could get some cheap storage boxes which you can label so it’ll be easier to find things and stay organized. For clothes, you could put similar items together (pants, no sleeve tops, t-shirts, …) and then sort them from dark to light colors.

2) give away – items that can be reused

There’s no better feeling than cleaning up your clutter and actually helping others in the process. You can give items you no longer use to friends and family, donate them to a charity or check if there are any special promotions at a nearby mall. Recently, I donated old handbags and shoes at a local store and got some great coupons in return.

3) toss – items broken or beyond repair

Anything that is broken or beyond repair needs to be thrown out. If it takes you too much effort or money to fix something, do not even bother. There’s no point in wasting your energy and time on repairing things that can easily be replaced at little cost.

The key to using the tactic of making 3 piles is being honest with yourself: if you have not worn or used an item in the past year, you probably won’t even miss it so put it in the give away or toss pile. Many of us keep useless things around “just in case we need them”. But when you actually do need those items, you’ll forget you have them stored and just go out and buy new ones anyway.

What to do with:

- clothes? If your body has changed, try on your clothes! Everything that does not fit: get rid of it! Don’t keep things thinking “I’ll lose that winter fat soon though”. I’m not saying you’re not capable of slimming down by summer time but it’s not a guarantee. If you are not comfortable with this, you are allowed to keep 1 item of each category (top, bottom, jacket, …) to motivate yourself. Do not keep clothes around hoping they’ll come back into style – you might be waiting a very long time and in the meanwhile taking up valuable closet space!

- sentimental items? Gather all things that are of sentimental value to you and put them in a lovely album. Get some budgetproof scrap-booking materials and make a wonderful keepsake of those old letters, entrance tickets, prize medals, … Did you have a lucky shirt back in elementary school? Cut it up and put it in the album or use it as a pillow case. There are so many ways to cherish your memories rather than stuffing it all in an old shoe box.

The most important thing is to not get discouraged. Tackle one small area every day. Put a timer for 30 minutes and do not get distracted. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in only 30 minutes. I suggest you tackle an entire room every week. If you can do it in a day: more power to you! But I understand that’s not always possible with a busy schedule. So allow yourself the time; you have an entire wonderful spring season ahead of you :-)

Love,

Jess

Beauty Break – Spring 2014 Make-Up Trends

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Hi loves,

another Monday morning but I seem to handle them better when the sun is shining and spring is in the air! I realize it might not be a sunny day where you are though (sorry to rub it in ;-) ) so I figured I’d try to spruce up your Monday with a quick Beauty Break. You can tell I’m in the spring spirit so I decided to stay with that theme and take a look at the make-up trends for this upcoming season.

For spring 2014, the make-up trends are very contrasting. During the spring fashion shows, most looks were either very bold or barely there.

BOLD

Electric blue. On the lids, on the eyelashes, as a liner, … using blue for your eye look is the way to go this spring. And we’re not talking soft baby blues either, only the bright blue hues are allowed. My favorite here is blue mascara!

Orange lips. Forget soft pinks or nude lips for this spring, it’s all about an “in your face” matte orange lip. Think tangerine, coral, apricot, amber, … there are so many shades of orange that you’re sure to find one to suit your complexion.

Graphic eyeliner. Winged eyeliner? That’s so 2013! For spring, feel free to experiment with your eyeliner, preferably keeping it black. The runways have seen all kinds of shapes and graphical designs so let your imagination run wild.

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 BARELY THERE

No make-up. Or at least the illusion of no make-up is the prime barely there trend. We’re not just talking foundation either, the whole look (including eyes and lips) is aimed at giving the impression that you’re not wearing any make-up.

Snow white. We already know white liner on your waterline can brighten up your eyes but this spring, it’s key to incorporate white in your entire eye look. Use it more prominently as a liner or go all out and apply it to the lids.

Golden glow. As spring comes around, it’s time to leave that pale winter skin behind and go for a natural, golden glow. Invest in a bronzer that suits your skintone and top it off with a shimmery highlighter and warm blush shade.

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Those are the most prominent make-up trends for spring 2014. Which ones will you be trying out? Do you even pay attention to make-up trends or do you prefer to just do your own thing? I personally like the no make-up, the blue mascara and the golden glow trend. I’ll definintely incorporate those elements in my make-up routine.

Love,

Jess

 

Review – Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette (The Naked Truth)

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Hi loves,

another workweek has come and gone. Can you believe it’s almost March already?! Anyway, today I have another review for you. I recently picked up this Wet n Wild Color Icon 5-pan palette. I picked The Naked Truth because it was most appealing to me as I usually wear nude looks. I love Wet n Wild’s 8-pan palette in Comfort Zone so I was curious to see how this one would compare.

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I have no idea why the browbone color comes off a bit blue in the top right picture. Aside from that, it was very difficult to get a good swatch and overall I found the shades to be less smooth than I’m used to from Wet n Wild. They also faded very quickly so I have my concerns about the staying power; maybe they last longer with an eyeshadow base though.

The first 2 shades barely show up on my arm but I don’t mind that because I like a “barely there” eyeshadow from time to time. I could have done without the browbone shade because it was basically just some sparkle. The base shade is a great neutral matte shadow though. I was most disappointed with the eyelid color; it was the most difficult one to swatch and the color didn’t wow me whatsoever. The shades somewhat saving this palette are the definer and crease shade. The definer shade is a dark chocolate brown that I would use as an eyeliner. Or you could use it in the crease while using the actual crease color as an eyelid color. The crease color is bronze-copper shimmery color that really gives a brightness to eyes.

Overall, I was underwhelmed with this palette. I will pick my Comfort Zone palette over this one anyday. The formula of the 8-pan shadows seem more buttery than the ones in this 5-pan. With so many great nude shades out there, you need to be on your A game to stand out. Wet n Wild failed to do that this time around. I wish they would do something about their packaging too; it’s always such a fuss to get it open! I like Wet n Wild as a brand because they usually provide great eyeshadows for a small price but stay away from this one and get Comfort Zone instead if you’re looking for an affordable neutral palette.

Love,

Jess

 

 

Tag Thursday – I Love Drugstore Make-Up

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Hi loves,

 

time for another Tag Thursday! As you may have noticed, I am particularly fond of drugstore makeup. I love how you can get so much bang for your buck and there are some true hidden gems to be found in those aisles. The originel tag can be found here and I tag all of you who share my love for drugstore makeup to do this tag as well!

 

1. What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand overall?
I love different brands for different types of products so it’s not easy to pick one overall favorite. Looking through my collection, I decided to go for the brand I have the most items from and that happens to be L’Oreal. I have been a faithful user of their Voluminous mascaras and lipsticks/lipglosses. Brands that came close are CoverGirl, Revlon and Wet ‘n’ Wild.

 

2. What are your favorite face, cheek and lip products? 
My favorite face product has to be Garnier’s BB cream for combination to oily skin. It’s what I have been using on a daily basis for close to a year now. I can’t say I have any cheek products from the drugstore; I stick to my MAC blush and TBS Shimmer Waves for highlighting. A drgustore lip product I enjoy thoroughly though is Maybelline Baby Lips; I will be doing a full review about this and other lip balms soon.

 

3. Least favorite product?
I recently tried Maybelline’s The Rocket mascara and it did nothing for my lashes. No length whatsoever and hardly any volume; the look of it was strange and clumpy as well so this was a disappointment for me. As far as my least favorite product to buy in the drugstore overall, I gotta go with foundation/concealer. The lack of testers to try the shade on my skin withholds me from trying many drugstore foundations or concealers; I’m too fair to take any chances.

 

4. What is the best makeup bargain?
The best makeup bargain I have found in the drugstore have to be the Wet ‘n’ Wild 8-pan eyeshadow palettes. I especially love the Comfort Zone one because it gives you 8 generously sized eyeshadows of great quality for a very small price. I love taking this with me when traveling because everything is there to create a soft everyday look as well as a more dramatic nighttime look.

 

5. What is your favorite underdog product (something you love that often gets overlooked)?
Ever since I started using CoverGirl’s TRUblend pressed powder foundation, I haven’t let any other powder touch my skin. It gives me a flawless look (I apply it with a kabuki brush) with added coverage on the days that I need it (we all have those days don’t we?). The compact format makes it easy to take it with you as well. I only use this over my BB cream though so I don’t know how good it works with full-body foundations.

 

6. A drugstore product that is overpriced?
I can’t think of a specific product but I would say that most drugstore foundations are overpriced to me mainly because you often can’t swatch the shades. The price difference does not justify the risk you’re taking in potentially buying the wrong shade. And let choosing the correct shade be a determining factor in picking a foundation or concealer, for me at least. Then again I’m not really a fan of foundations; they’re usually too heavy for me.

 

7. Show your best drugstore dupe(s)!
To be honest, I don’t really spend anytime looking for or researching dupes. I have high-end things that I’m very pleased with and then different drugstore products that I also couldn’t live without. My collection is a nice mix between the two so I don’t feel the need to replace any more expensive items with cheaper ones at the moment. More power to those who find great dupes though! It’s a fascinating concept to me lol

 

8. Drugstore product that isn’t worth the hype?
I know the hype around this product has blown over already but I still gotta say EOS lip balm. I remember everybody raving about this product so I went ahead and gave it a try about 2 years ago but I was left disappointed without moisturized lips. Revlon’s ColorStay foundation came in close second though. I tried it after reading many good reviews but it broke me out and didn’t give me the flawless skin I was hoping for.

 

Love,

Jess

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