2018/01/23

HOW TO BE A MUM


She's the most beautiful and secure person that you'll ever meet. She can enlighten the room by just walking in. "Words are superfluous for a first impression - attitude is everything.", is her motto. She's the most inspiring and wisest person in my life. She's the funniest, grown-up child on this planet - kind of like Peter Pan, she seems to refuse to grow up completely.

She drives me on. Sometimes, I'm not gonna lie, she drives me crazy. But at the end of the day, without her, I wouldn't exist nor survive.


If you would ask 100 kids to describe their relationship to their mum, I doubt that there would be even one single person that sees their mum the way I see mine, which is really sad actually. The bond between us goes far beyond her only having giving me birth 21 years ago. She's my best friend and the only person I would trust with my life, simply because I know that what she holds the dearest is me. 

My mum has always supported me, no matter what. If she considered my actions shit, she would go crazy at home, but outside of those protected four walls, she would defend my ideas and actions nonetheless. And believe me when I say, I didn't make it always easy for her.


I know it sounds cheesy but I guess that one of the reasons why I'm the person I am today is that I always knew (or at least felt) that no matter what I did, she stood behind me and would protect me from any backlash or, in some cases, even clear the way for me. She always believed in me and gave me the chance to realise myself the way I wanted to, even if it wasn't what she had planned for me. We can all agree that there's a huge difference between my dream of becoming a Fashion Journalist and her plan of being a lawyer, but even though my chosen path wasn't at all what she dreamed of for me, she made sure I would get the chance to move to London and prove that this is what's best for me, no matter how hard it was for her to let go of her little girl.


Another thing I admire about her is how she can put other's interest before her own, first and foremost mine. She often would say that people shouldn't have kids if they aren't ready to dedicate their lives to them. And even if many people consider that to be a very radical approach, I can say out of personal experience that I consider myself very lucky that that's exactly what she did since ever and probably forever.

Growing up, I never really thought about stuff like this. For me, this was everything a given. I would take her and everything she did for me for granted. It was only over the last couple of years that I came to the conclusion that I'm a goddam lucky child, for many parents live for themselves in the first place or don't have such close, trustful friendships to their kids. But from what I learned, children don't need you to be only their parent - they need you to be their friend and confidence person. Somebody once told my mum that she envies her for not needing friends. "You can talk to your mum and daughter about everything and you know that they would never gossip, judge or share your secrets with the world.", she said. And she was right. We really don't need anybody primarily to survive except for us which I consider being a true blessing.

I'm not enough independent? Maybe. I'm too spoilt. Probably. But I see anything bad in that and was lucky enough to grow up with a mum that would literally do everything for me, for which I shall always be grateful. Thank you mum, for everything that you've done for me. I'll pay you back at some point, I promise.


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2018/01/18

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC REVIVAL


Let's retrospect a bit! One of the first posts on this blog was an outfit post entitled "Confessions of a Shopaholic" which featured a pair of trousers that I had just bought at the time. It has been over a year now, and guess what? I'm still obsessing over those same trousers, which made me think that it could be quite interesting to post an outfit post with them again. Personally, it was really interesting to see how my style has evolved in this short year. Doing stuff like this always proves to me that people are right when they say that even though we don't see any differences in our life on a day-to-day basis but looking back on it, we see that basically nothing is the same as it was. Fascinating, isn't it?

I'm not gonna lie, this pair of trousers were quite an investment back then and I had to think twice if I really needed them. Eureka isn't the cheapest brand out there but their quality is amazing and, you know, they call it 'falling in love' for a reason: you can't really help it. From time to time, I like to invest in a bit more high-priced pieces that I know will accompany me for a long time to come. These are one example of it, and me writing about them in 2018 (... this will take me a few months again to get used to) is probably proof enough - no need to say more.


I love how versatile they are. I still love to wear them with a T-Shirt, some sneakers and a nice leather jacket as I did in my first post, but for this time around, I really wanted to try to style them up a bit. The monochrome colour palette makes it really easy to combine them with practically everything you have in your wardrobe. I really wanna experiment a little bit with colour with them, but so far, I only went for the black-and-white options, which I don't even consider to be that boring, thanks to the checked print of the trousers and the different textures within this one outfit.


Jumper - - -  Angelo
Trousers - - - Eureka
Coat - - - Elisabetta Franchi

Sock Heels - - - Zara
Ring - - - Swarowski
Clutch - - - Elisabetta Franchi
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2018/01/15

BEST OF 2017 // LIPS


In this last post that is dedicated to 2017, let's talks about all things lips. While I wasn't that much into eyeshadows this year (as I told you already in yesterday's post), I really enjoyed using and trying out different lipsticks, lipglosses and co, so it was really hard to pick and choose just 5 of them. I'm well aware that the picture shows 6 products, but I couldn't pick between the 2 shades of the same product, so that doesn't really count, does it?


I'm still primarily drawn to my MAC Lipsticks. I haven't bought a new one in ages but I keep on rediscovering old favourites of mine in my collection, which is really fun (and gentle to the wallet). This year, my ultimate lipstick colour was probably the MAC Matte Lipstick in Persistence. It's the perfect 90's, wearable brown colour. I loved topping it off with lipgloss or just wearing it on its own - great one! 
Whenever you've seen me wearing a red lip, chances are it was the MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Prepare for Pleasure. In my opinion, it's the perfect classic red shade. The texture and finish of it make it very pleasant to wear, which is the main thing I'm looking for in a red lipstick.


Next up is an old classic that you've seen in my Best of 2016 // Lips Post already: the CARMEX Lipbalm. I've heard quite a lot of things about how bad and chemical the ingredients are, which apparently is the reason why many people stopped or don't use it. But I've never looked into it enough to built an opinion about it myself. Also, I haven't seen any bad consequences of me using it. On a contrary: I've rarely had a lipbalm that made my lips feel that smooth and hydrated, and no matter what other lipbalms I use in the meantime, I always come back to this one.


Overall, I didn't use as much makeup this year on an everyday basis as I usually did, but I caught myself reaching for the CATRICE Beautifying Lipsmoothers, especially the one in 070 Greatest Mauvie Ever, quite a lot. It has a shiny finish to it without being sticky. Basically, it feels like a tinted lipbalm and has the same effects as one as well. So if you're looking for a lipbalm that has this "little something" to it, definitely give this one a try.


Lastly, let's talk about the MAYBELLINE Vivid Matte Liquids. I did a whole review on the orangy-red one called 25 Orange Shot, so if you're interested in reading about my first impression just click here. Back then, I said that I liked the product but was quite disappointed nonetheless because the name suggested it to have a matte finish which is definitely not the case at all. I still consider the name to be very weird and inappropriate for it, but the product itself is great. Both the Orange Shot colour and the 05 Nude Flush one have a creamy texture that doesn't dry out your lips, have a good long-livety and a nice decent scent. Again, I couldn't decide which one of the 2 I like more, so I thought I'd simply show them both (but count them as one - very badass, I know).

What were your lip favourites in 2017?

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2018/01/14

BEST OF 2017 // EYES


Next in our 2017 favourites rundown, let's talk about eyes. While I used quite a lot of eyeshadows in 2016, as you can see in my Best of 2016 // Eyes post, I went quite minimalistic on the eyeshadow for this year. Because of laziness or change of preference? I don't even know, probably a bit of both.


Okay, so this one counts as one for me, since I loved using the L'OREAL Volume Million Lashes Mascara together with SMASHBOX Full Exposure Mascara to create dramatic lashes. Try this combo out, you'll never look back on the times you desperately were trying to make your glued on falsies look like your-natural-lashes-but-better.


I'll admit that the packaging isn't very flattering (sorry that this one looks so gross), but believe me when I say that I've never tried out a brow gel that is so affordable and keeps my brown in place all day long. So again, if you don't wanna splurge on Benefit's or Anastasia Beverly Hills' brow products, check out the transparent Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara out.


Last year, I've talked about how much I loved the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk - this year, I'll ramble on about the same product just in the shade 611 Yogurt. It's the perfect champagne colour for an everyday eye look. I often smugged it all over my lid, put a bit of my Hoola Bronzer into the crease, some mascara on my lashes - done! (If you want to see the whole look, click here)


As already said before, I wasn't a huge fan of eye shadows this year, but if I was wearing something on my lids, it was probably either MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Silver Dawn (on the left) or All That Glitters (on the right) ... or both, like in this Simple Khaki Makeup Look that I wore all throughout the summer once again.

What were your favourites in 2017 to make your eyes the centre of attention?

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2018/01/13

BEST OF 2017 // FOUNDATION


I have a feeling that this is becoming a regular one. I've posted last year around the same time a Best of 2016 // Foundation post and decided to update you on my favourites of this year as well. For 2016, I've shown you my 5 favorite foundation products, and that was initially also the plan for this post. Yet, I couldn't leave any of these out so we're just gonna have to roll with there being 6 favorites for 2017.

 

I rarely use up any of my makeup items (probably because I have enough to cover me for the rest of my life - I know I have a little problem so don't judge) so if I tell you that I went through 2 tubes of the L'OREAL Nude Magique BB Cream in light to medium, you bet it's a good one. It gives you the perfect little coverage on an everyday basis and makes your skin look evener. Put on some concealer with it, et voilà: you're good to go.

The concealer of my choice for 2017 was once again the MAYBELLINE Fit Me! Concealer in 10 (respectively 25 during the summer). By now, you've probably all heard about a million times about its light but opaque finish and feel, so I'm not going to bother you again. If you're searching for a good concealer and, like me, you don't want to splurge on the YSL Touche Eclat, the Nars Cream Radiant Concealer, the Tarte Shape Tape and co, just go get this one and trust me, you won't regret it.


If you've been around for some time you probably know that I love to contour with a cream product first before going in with a powder contour to set everything in place. Even though I still love the Maybelline Fit Me! Anti-Shin Foundation Stick that I showed you in last year's post, I decided to try something new and so I found the MAXFACTOR Pan Stik in 14 Cool Copper. I really like the packaging of it and the product itself does the job really well. I'd say if you're searching for a lighter, quick and easy contour, you'd probably be better off with the Maybelline stick since this one needs quite some blending and is more intensely pigmented. But if you're looking for a more intense contour and you have some time on your hands to work it in, this one is gonna be your best friend for sure.


Next up, a little oldie but goldie. I've shown you the exact same BENEFIT Hoola Bronzer in last year's post and basically in every other makeup look that I've ever done on here. And let's be real, I'm not the only one who's obsessed with it. I use it on a daily basis when I do my makeup and in the meantime, it has even "hit-the-pen" as all our dear YouTubers and cool Bloggers say. So if that doesn't show my deep love to this little gem, I don't know what does.


Last but not least, I really loved these 2 liquid foundations. The L'OREAL Infaillible 24h Liquid Foundation in 140 Golden Beige is probably my favourite drugstore foundation out there. The coverage is amazing, but it doesn't look heavy or cakey at all. I really love how light it feels on the skin and even though I can't confirm that it stays on for 24h, I can confirm that it stays on from morning to evening if I set it properly with some powder.

I got my second favourite out of curiosity, since I couldn't imagine that I would like a 3€ foundation this much. Yet here we are with me talking a year later about it in my year favourites. I got the MANHATTAN Endless Perfection Makeup 24h in 62 Porcelain which at the time was the lightest colour they had in the shop. It's the perfect shade for winter. For the rest, I guess you know the drill. So if you're searching for a good affordable liquid foundation, definitely have a look at this one.

What were your foundation favourites in 2017?

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2018/01/11

GOLDLUX


GoldLux – It’s a product. It’s a brand. It’s a lifestyle.
The brain behind the Luxembourg-based jewellery shop is the 38-year old Armenian jewellery designer Armen Stepanyan. The idea behind the shop that first opened in 2011 in Diekirch, was to satisfy the need for all things shiny in an area in Luxembourg that’s scarce in luxury productions. “The city centre is jam-packed with jewellers, but around here, there was nothing at the time.”, he remembers.

A few days after a new Miss Luxembourg was crowned, I got to meet and ask the designer not only about his experience of designing the precious piece that the lucky winner was adorned with but also about his creative process and future plans.


Unlike many other designers, you come out with new jewellery pieces on a monthly basis. Where do you get all the inspiration from?

I go to the Boutique Show Vicenzaoro in Italy which yearly, takes place in September. It’s famous for being the biggest showcase for jewellery in Europe so you can imagine how inspiring it is. I feel like it’s truly a place to deploy your fantasy and to trigger off the idea process for the whole year. The rest is just trying out different things and finding new and interesting materials.

What comes first: design or material?

It depends. I can work on one design for months without finishing it. I had this situation with a ring some time ago. I knew that I wanted to use this specific stone to design a ring, but I had no idea how to go on about it. Once I found a way to incorporate the stone, the rest of the design happened naturally.



You recently got to design and produce the crown for Miss Luxembourg. Congratulations on that!

Thank you! I was really lucky to be part of such an incredible event. It was an amazing experience and (his jewellers in Antwerpen, Belgium, and Armen) are more than happy with the result as well, especially considering the short amount of time that we had to come up with the finished crown.


How long did it take you from the first draft up until the finished crown?

When the committee of Miss Luxembourg approached me, I didn’t hesitate a second. I knew that it was a great way of putting a spotlight on my shop and to show off what we’re capable of doing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but after all, it’s a business as well and, as we all know, a business doesn’t live off gratitude and fun alone.
It was a lot of hard work. We had to come up with a finished crown within 40 days, even though the process for such a detailed, handmade project would usually require a minimum of 3 months. My jewellers in Antwerpen Centre worked day and night on it, and so did I.


How did you go on about the creation of it?

The committee brought a rough drawing with them and expressed a few wishes that the crown should fulfil. My job was to make those ideas a shining reality.
My team and I worked based on the initial drawing first of all. From there on, it was a stop-go between the organisers and us until we all agreed and were happy with one design.
The idea was to make the crown a symbol of our country, so we decided that there should be a miniature of the “Gëlle Fra” (a widely known, Luxembourgish statue that was built in 1923 as a reminder of all the Luxembourgish soldiers that served and died during World War I, and that can be admired in the city centre up until this day). We took some inspiration from the colours of our flag as well as from the royal crown of Luxembourg and incorporated the fleur-de-lys which has been a symbol of royalty ever since.
The committee came in for two fittings. For the first one, we presented them a vague example of the crown – it was basically only the framework, and I think they didn’t really know what to expect from it at that point. You needed a lot of imagination or work experience in this industry to see a full-on crown based on that framework. (laughs) For the second fitting, the crown was practically done and slowly but surely, everything came together.


Do you have any interesting plans or projects coming up this year?

I’m trying not to plan too much but to take things as they come instead. In a business like this one, there are so many different factors that go into the success of the shop so it’s hard to predict and plan what’s coming next.
Nonetheless, one of the next big steps would surely be to open a second shop in the city centre. Also, I would love to produce in Luxembourg, but to get the “made in Luxembourg” tag is a lengthy process so we’ll see how that goes.
Another, rather smaller thing that I’m really excited for is to throw a big, yet exclusive party to show my new collection beforehand.


A huge thank you to Mr Armen Stepanyan and GoldLux for this amazing opportunity!

PHOTOS, TEXT 
by VALERIA WIWINIUS

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