Posts from May 2014.

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In May I’ve Loved…

May 30th  •  Posted in Favourites

May was a long long month, a bit boring and not that exciting, passed working from home and which reserved me a few unlucky surprises. Now it’s finally over, and even if in April I decided to skip my monthly beauty favourites post, I thought I could make it come back this month as I do have some beauty products I’m loving right now to talk about this time.

Makeup-wise on the rare occasions I went out this month I only wore one between the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (£32) and the Perfection Lumiere Velvet (£33). Both of them are only little samples which are actually lasting me a very long time and I still have a few applications left until I’ll have to make a decision between the two. Unfortunately (for my wallet) I’m in love with both of them and I really can’t decide which one I love the most. The Vitalumiere Aqua is a lighter and luminous, perfect for summertime, while the Perfection Lumiere Velvet is very matte and impalpable on the skin, such a wonderful foundation for any bad skin days. I think they both have a decent coverage and my sensitive skin doesn’t react badly to them. I’m completely sold and can’t really decide between the two!

Since when I finished my beloved & Other Stories body scrub, I’m trying the Soap&Glory Flake Away Body Scrub (£8) which is not the same but still has a nice thick texture and a lovely sweet scent which makes my showers so relaxing. Probably not my all time favourite body scrub but for sure the one I’m enjoying right now and for being so inexpensive this really is a good product. Another shower favourite this month must be the Lavera Basis Sensitive Hair Conditioner (£5.95), a natural and organic hair conditioner containing honey and almond oil which aims to leave your hair shiny and easy to comb still providing added volume. I don’t think this is the best hair conditioner if you have hair that gets knotty super easly, but if your hair is standard like mine, this still makes a good job while smelling so deliciously – oh how many times I would have eaten it! It also is not like other very detangling conditioner that tend to weight your hair down, and this is the major reason why I like it, as my hair always needs a bit of added volume.

This month I’ve cultivated a deep love for the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (£21.50): containing manuka honey, avocado, vanilla, mandarin oils, this all natural mask aims to moisturise, cleanse and be an anti-oxidant treatment all in one, but this is actually a lot more. It has the most delicious scent of all as you can imagine, which makes it so relaxing to be applied and left on for 10 to 15 minutes of peace, but it’s also very hydrating without being oily or a bit too much so that it’s great even on my combination to oily skin, and can also be used on spots and blemishes overnight to help them heal faster having anti-baterrical properties as well. Another favourite of mine will come with no surprise if you read my A Week in Skincare feature earlier this week, but it’s the Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye and Lip Cream* (£26) which I only use on my under eye area but not only for its anti aging properties: as a matter of fact this is super hydrating and I have the most sensitive and dry under eye area I’ve ever seen, so this is seriously miracolous. I don’t know about its anti aging properties and if it works or not, but if you have a super dry under eye area and can’t solve with anything, try this! Last skincare favourite must be the new Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster (£15.80), a self tanning serum to be mixed with a few pumps of your usual moisturiser which gives the most natural and gradual of the colors and not only it’s super easy to use, but also make a self tanner application without marks possible.

What’s on your May beauty favourites list?

Be a safer blogger

May 29th  •  Posted in Blogging

As some of you may already know, last week I experienced a super unlucky day waking up to the news someone stole and deleted my Google account. This go beyond losing an email account (which I used for three years and contained a lot of contacts I still could need anyway) and if you have a Google account yourself you may know everything Google related is connected to your account and if the latter went lost, you’ll lose everything with it. This is exactly what happened with my blog, seeing it going was heartbreaking but, as someone said in my The Positive Side Of Being Unlucky feature, everything happens for a reason, and to me it was understanding how bonded I am to my little blog and how passionate I feel about it right now. Rebuilding it from scratch made me realize a lot of beautiful things and feelings I have for this blog, but I also learned I was very unwary with my account and I could had avoided all of it if I knew things don’t always only happen to others and I needed to be a safer blogger since the beginning. Someone asked me for tips about how to be safer and how to secure your blogs, so I thought to share what I learned from this unlucky experience.

Some of this tips can be useful only to people who use Blogger or a Google account, but I think some of them can be adapted to any blog and platform out there, so hopefully there can be something for anybody. I learned that prevention is always better than a cure, so here are a few tips to prevent losing your blog:

  • I was used to write my posts directly from the Blogger website and this means 1) things are a lot quicker as you don’t have to copy and paste anything but also 2) you only have one single copy of every blog post and if you lose your blog for any reason you will lose everything with it. Download something like OneNote or Evernote on your computer and any other device you use for writing your posts and start writing from there as this not only is super easy and helpful for organizing your notes and posts and will allow you to write from any device, but will also keep your posts safe and you’ll have a copy of every of them anywhere you are just in case.
  • Something to do periodically and that I never ever did and maybe someone of you don’t even know it’s possible, is downloading a backup of your full blog. This takes only a few minutes but would have save my entire blog or part of it if I have ever done it. It’s super easy: if you use Blogger, just go to Settings > Other and Export Blog. This will save a copy of your entire blog including all your posts with links and images and you can import this file any time to any other blogs if you need to.
  • As you can export your blog posts you can also export your blog template by going to Template > Backup/Restore and chose Download Full Template. Being a blog designer myself I always suggest to download a backup of your current template before installing a new one, even if you still have the original template file with you, just because you may have added some javascripts, codes, CSS preferences that can go lost if you forget to download an updated backup. Of course if for some reasons you lose your blog, having a backup of your template comes super handy as all you have to do is reupload a single file and don’t think about it anymore.
  • Am I the only one who always ignores websites when they suggest to add and verify your phone number? Well, never do that. I’ve lost everything also because I didn’t have a verified backup phone number. I know it can be a bit boring, but it actually takes only a few minutes and you won’t have to do anything else until you change your phone number for any reason. This is super important as it’s almost impossible that someone steals your account and your phone the same day, so you’ll always have a way to fight it. Assign a backup phone number to any service you think is important to you, whether it’s a Twitter account with a good amount of followers you are proud of, an email adress with important stuff in, a Paypal account in which you do keep your money.
  • Use a good password. I know this sometimes is not useful at all – I had a super difficult password I never told anyone of but they still managed to steal my account – but sometimes could also save it all. Use letters, numbers and signs, uppercase and lowercase and make sure you use different passwords for every services as if you always use the same one and someone discovers it, he can steal everything.
  • If you have a Google account, use the 2-Step Verification which is actually the best Google can do for protecting your account asking for a double check by tipying the right password and a unique code received via text on your phone which is different everytime. This is a bit of a pain if you use a lot of devices, but once you do it from your main computer and iPhone (or any other device you use regularly) it won’t ask you to do it everytime if you tick that device as secure.
  • Check if your backup phone number and email are updated and if not, remember to update them whenever you change your phone number or email adress. They are your only resource to recover a deleted account!
  • Having a custom domain can be super helpful in these situations as if you just trust your free blogspot domain (for example and your blog is deteleted for any reason, you can’t ever have your domain back and all your readers who may remember your domain and type it for visiting your blog, will not be able to come back automatically. If you do have a custom domain, you can maintain it and use it on another blog/website if your original one goes lost, and you can then import your blog and have everything as it was before. Prices aren’t that excessive at all, so you don’t have any excuse!

A huge thank you to that boyfriend of mine which actually not only helped me in writing down this post and finding out the best ways to protect my new account and my blog, but also suggested me the best way for not losing everything I created and keep calm and start recreating everything with the minimun effort possible. Also a huge thank you to everyone who supported me during this unlucky experience and who tweeted me or commented my posts with such kind words. Hopefully these tips can come helpful to anyone who didn’t know of how easy it is losing your beloved blog in only a few seconds, so that we can all be safer bloggers now!

Do you have any other tips or suggestions?


A week in skincare

May 28th  •  Posted in Beauty

Since when Annabel from Fragmented Splendour came up with the idea of keeping a skincare diary last year, I tried keeping one myself, but to be honest is not that easy as it sounds and I always forgot to keep annotating my skincare routines during the week. This last time though, I took it really seriously as I think this not only can be a great and interesting feature to read regularly on a blog, but also can be super helpful for me to understand which product I do really use and which I shall not repurchase once finished. I thought I could share it with you as well, as I always love reading about what other bloggers really use on a daily basis rather than reading a product’s review, and so may do a lot of you.

I really love the Beatific cleanser in the morning as it’s very lightweight and creamy while it deeply removes every little residue of what I put on my face the night before. I’m also testing the La Roche-Posay baume which is thought to suit eczema and dryness, but as you will see, even though I’m really liking it, I’m still pretty loyal to another eczema treatment.
On Monday evening I had a pampering 10-15 minutes with my beloved Antipodes Aura Mask just before bed, and I really can’t describe how relaxing this is every single time!

Whenever I feel my skin is a bit too dry and needs a boost I always rely on the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm and recently I’m using it without removing it with a muslin cloth to allow the oily film it creates to stay on my skin and really hydrate it from the inside. On Tuesday I went back to my other eczema treatment, the A-Derma emollient cream which is phenomenal and can’t really be replaced.
I love the Merumaya cleansing balm in the evening as it removes all the residue of makeup or impurities your skin accumulated during the day, plus it’s very easy and quick to use, and I’m kind of starting loving the scent as well! Whenever I see some little spot making their way on my skin I always go for the PTR pads, which contains a good dose of BHAs which are my most loyal allies against breakouts, and then go on with my Antipodes mask placed only on those big spots as having anti-inflammatory properties, I find it really helps in reducing the spots appearance and the next morning 50% of the redness is gone.

I’m testing the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 range and as you’ll see from one of my posts coming soon on here, I’m particulary loving the eye and lip cream, which I only use on my under eye area and which I mainly love for its hydrating properties and for being super gentle. The day after a good acne treatment I always apply my Effaclar Duo, which containing BHAs helps in continuing the job against bad-looking spots.
That day I looked in the mirror and saw a way too pale face and being that I needed to be at least decent the next day, I decided to provide some color to my face using a new entry in my stash, the Clarins booster, which is a self tanning serum to be mixed with a few pumps of your regular moisturiser. You’ll see it again super soon, but let’s just say I’m already in love!

Again in the morning (and evening) I was loyal to my A-Derma eczema treatment and the Caudalie eye and lip cream, but to sooth my skin I also sprayed some Avene spring water which is so refreshing and such a relaxing step before makeup.
Thursday was actually the only day I wore makeup this week (which is absolutely normal in my weeks) and so in the evening I went for my makeup removing routine with some organic coconut oil to remove my waterproof eye makeup and my beloved Bioderma to remove everything else. Also it was another evening for the PTR pads… those blemishes didn’t want to go away. But I’m trying to spare these pads and use them every other day instead of every night.

This was the day I woke up to the news of my Google account being deleted and my blog with it, so I forgot about breakfast and my skincare routine until my eczema started hurting and I grabbed the first thing I found on my desk to sooth it.
In the evening things went pretty standard but I used the Antipodes mask on those spots of mine again.

From now on I’m afraid things can go a bit boring and repetitive, but I’m really sticking to this routine and my skin is a lot better if I do this instead of switching up things everyday. Those terrible nasty spots didn’t go away so I went for the PTR pads again and this was the definitive time.

On Sunday’s morning I felt the need of a detox treatment so I went for the Decleor peeling gel which acts in only five minutes and contains AHAs to hydrate and exfoliate your skin. After using this my skin always feel so soft and reniewed.
In the evening I decided it was the time for a new tanning session (which is still going on every night since then actually) as I looked so pale. I always love to go in with my Effaclar exfoliant lotion half an hour before using a self tanner as I find using a scrub or a chemical exfoliator really helps in avoiding getting bad looking orange stripes on my forehead (mainly). Also I like to use the Clarins booster paired and mixed with my Aveeno Cream as the latter has a slight oatmeal scent that covers completely the really light but still percepible biscuit-y/self tanner scent.

This post was really fun to write, and if you wrote it as well please don’t be afraid to share it in the comments as I always love to read this type of posts! And maybe seeing what I really use on a daily basis can come helpful to some of you as well!