Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.159

Happy Sunday gorgeous!

It’s time for some more random ramblings. Here we go:

Do you like podcasts?

podcasts

Podcasts are all the rage now. All the popular kids are doing them. But listening to them has often been a struggle for me. I am a visual person and, for a podcast to keep my attention for more than 5 minutes, it must be really good!

I also like to scan content, and that’s very difficult to do with podcasts. You can’t easily identify which sections are the most interesting, but need to listen to the whole thing, hoping the blogger won’t repeat herself 100 times or go off on a tangent. I like my podcasts short and sweet, and straight to the point.

That’s cos I don’t have a lot of time to listen to them. It’s only when I’m having lunch on my own or doing some boring household chore that takes some time that I put a podcast on to help me pass the time. But even then I’d rather watch a 20 minute sitcom or listen to music. Dusting and vacuuming to some good pop or rock music is so much more fun!

But there’s one podcast that I love and always listen to to: The Beauty Brains Show. Randy and Perry are both cosmetic scientists dedicated to explaining the science behind beauty and debunk myths and lies brands feed you. Their show is about 30-40 minutes long (the maximum length I can usually put up with), informative and hilarious. If you love their blog, you must check out their podcast too.

Do you like podcasts? Which ones are your favourites?

What I’m Reading Now

sacred success
Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles by Barbara Stanny
This is not your usual finance book. If you’re interested in tips on how to budget, invest, and manage your money, this is not for you. Sacred Success barely touches on these topics. Instead, what Stanny does is helping women realize what beliefs are keeping them from creating wealth and exercising power. To have a good relationship with money, you must first have a good relationship with yourself, live an authentic life, and follow your path. That way, you can become financially successful without compromising your values and your soul. Full of psychological and spiritual insights, as well as practical tips, this book is an interesting read for every woman who wants to take control of her finances. Available at Amazon.

The Links

A dupe for Estée Lauder Pure Colour Stay On Shadow Paint in Chained – Lily Pebbles

Why we compare ourselves to others on social media, and how to stop – Adios Barbie

Are your beliefs what’s really keeping you stuck in dieting craziness? – Corinne Dobbas

Dermatologists and their best advice for skincare while pregnant - 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic

Face oils for healthier skin? – Paula’s Choice

Sunday Survey, Vol.227

1. Do you stretch?
Not as much as I should, not even after working out. I just hate stretching.

2. What’s your least favourite makeup season?
Fall. I love those dark and vampy shades, but I find it so hard to pull them off!

3. What’s under your bed?
Dust, and lost shoes.

4. Scrunchies or hair bands?
Hair bands!

5. Do you like sleeveless puffy vests?
On others yes. But they’re not really my style.

It’s your turn now!
1. Do you stretch
2. What’s your least favourite makeup season?
3. What’s under your bed?
4. Scrunchies or hair bands?
5. Do you like sleeveless puffy vests?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.158

Hello gorgeous!

Ready for this week’s random ramblings? Here we go:

Italian Hand Gestures

Us Italians talk a lot with our hands. We do it to be better understood, but our gestures can seem so weird to foreigners! And, to complicate things even more, they can be slightly different depending on which part of the country you are in. Here are a few videos that explain the most used hand gestures. Learning them will be very useful if you ever visit this beautiful country:

What I’m Reading Now

the little book of big PR
The Little Book of Big PR by Jennefer Witter
The Little Book Of Big PR is aimed at small business owners who want to attract their “unfair” share of attention, but it’s very useful for bloggers as well. It is chockfull of tips about all areas of PR, such as branding, social media, interviews, media relations, and much more. They are all easy to implement, and proof that you don’t need a big budget to run successful PR campaigns. It is a short read too. Witter doesn’t waste time chit-chatting, but goes straight to the point, dishing one quick tip after another. Her style is straightforward but entertaining. She doesn’t bore, overwhelm, or preach, but tells you straight what works. If you are a pro at PR, you’ll be already familiar with most of the tips shared here, but there are so many that you’ll probably learn something new too. Available at Amazon.

The Links

Five innovative ways to store your beauty and makeup products - London Beauty Queen

Perfect body? Not really – British Beauty Blogger

Is greenwashing what people want? – Colin’s Beauty Pages

A dupe for MAC 217 blending brush? – Painted Ladies

How to treat acne during pregnancy?
– Derm TV

Sunday Survey, Vol.226

1. Where do you sleep best?
In my bed, with complete darkness and silence. I’m a light sleeper so I have to be really exhausted to fall asleep anywhere else, especially on public trasportation.

2. What beauty products you own do you wished looked better on you?
Orange lipsticks.

3. One thing you have to do this week?
Clean up the house.

4. Crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
Actually, I’ve never had peanut butter, but I’m curious to know what you ladies like. How should I try it first?

5. Do you like spicy perfumes?
Yes, they’re perfect for fall.

It’s your turn now!
1. Where do you sleep best?
2. What beauty products you own do you wished looked better on you?
3. One thing you have to do this week?
4. Crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
5. Do you like spicy perfumes?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.157

Good Sunday morning, gorgeous!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy some random ramblings. What do you say we start with some music?

Musicals

If you’re a regular reader of my little blog, you know I love my musicals. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favourite songs with you. I hope you’ll enjoy them, and don’t forget to tell me what yours are! :)

What I’m Reading Now

tackling selective mutism
Tackling Selective Mutism: A Guide for Professionals and Parents by Benita Rae Smith, Alice Sluckin
I wish this book had been written 30 years ago. I developed selective mutism at kindergarten (the typical age of onset is between 3 and 5, although some get it earlier or later), but at the time, no one knew what it was. Even now, it is too little known. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that causes people to remain silent in certain situations (such as school), but talk in others (usually, at home, or with close loved ones). As a result, they often appear rude, are labelled difficult and stubborn, and told to get over it rather than given help. If caught in time, selective mustism is curable and relapses are rare. But if left undiagnosed and treated, sufferers can find it very difficult to have a social life, hold down a job, and often develop depression too.
This book, written by a bunch of experts, explains what selective mutism is, how to identify, and what the many treatments available are. These parts are quite academic. The casual reader will enjoy, and relate, more to the sections written by people affected by selective mutism and their families. Their experiences are touching and inspirational, and told in an informal, very engaging style. The book has features a list of resources and organizations parents, relatives, and teachers can consult and turn to for help. If you know someone who could be affected by selective mutism, I highly recommend you pick up this book. Available on Amazon.

The Links

Top five tips for organising your beauty products – London Beauty Queen

How much water is in your personal care products? – Colin’s Beauty Pages

You don’t need makeup, but if you want to, do it – Zoe London

Why I don’t like the Environmental Working Group – Frankincense And Rose

Should eye cream be used both morning and night? - Renee Rouleau

Sunday Survey, Vol.225

1. Have you ever bought anything after watching an informercial?
Nope, but then it’s rare for me to watch infomercials. Actually, I rarely watch TV at all. I prefer to keep up with my fave series online.

2. What makeup would you wear for a rock concert?
Smokey eyes and dark red lips.

3. What lippie are you wearing today?
Benefit Posietint. It’s a lovely pink, but it feels drying on the lips.

4. Do you prefer salty or spicy food?
Salty, please.

5. Do you like crime shows?
Not very much. They make me uneasy.

It’s your turn now!
1. Have you ever bought anything after watching an informercial?
2. What makeup would you wear for a rock concert?
3. What lippie are you wearing today?
4. Do you prefer salty or spicy food?
5. Do you like crime shows?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.156

Hello gorgeous,

ready for this week’s random ramblings? Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Wishlist: coats

coats winter 2014

The weather is getting cooler and it’s time to take out our winter coats. Or buy a new one. That’s just what I was thinking a few days ago, so I obviously turned online for some inspiration. Here are my top picks for this winter season:

1. Alexander McQueen Flared Great Coat: it features a ribbed shawl collar, a double breasted front fastening, a fitted waist, side pockets, long sleeves, ribbed cuffs and pleated skirt section. The blue wool blend will keep you warm even on the coldest winter days.

2. Coast Nolita Crepe Coat: I love the simple and classic style of this coat. It has a fitted tailored shape to flatter, round neck, subtly pleated detailing at the shoulders, side pockets and a hidden zip. The red shade is very eyecatching too, but if you’d like something less bright, pick the black version.

3. Red Valentino Pleated Coat: I love anything pleated and this coat is just adorable. Made of wool, it features a round neck, a concealed fastening, and drawstring waist.

4. Temperley Moya Wool Coat: both the colours and the silhouette are so feminine, aren’t they? A modern take on the classic riding coat, it is tailored to highlight the waist, detailed with matelassé trims under the collar, pocket flaps and features a softly pleated skirt with full lining.

5. Coat in a wool blend: Part of the Conscious collection, this short coat features wide lapels, a tie belt at the waist, and side pockets. It is made partly from recycled wool.

Which one is your favourite?

What I’m Reading Now

how to ruin a queen
How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette and the Diamond Necklace Affair by Jonathan Beckman
The affair of the diamond necklace was a story so absurd that novelists would have blushed to write it for fear of being accused of being too unrealistic. And yet, it fooled many people in the Age of Enlightenment and left Marie Antoinette’s reputation in tatters. It all started when Jeanne de Saint- Remy de Valois, “comtesse” de la Motte, a young woman born in a impoverished noble family that claimed to descend from royalty, convinced the Cardinal de Rohan, whose political ambitions he believed where thwarted by the Queen’s dislike for him, that Marie Antoinette was ready to forgive him and even needed his help to secretly buy a necklace so expensive it threatened to bankrupt its jewellers. Only when the jewellers, tired of waiting for a payment that never arrived, went to the Queen directly the whole scam was uncovered. A trial ensued. Of all the people involved in the plot, only Jeanne and the man who forged the Queen’s signatures on papers were punished. The Cardinal was acquitted not only of theft but also of lese majeste, meaning the court found it possible Marie Antoinette would ask a man she hated to buy a necklace she couldn’t afford and even meet with him alone at night in the gardens of Versailles. Her reputation was completely ruined, making it possible for people to believe the worst calumnies about her during the Revolution.
The Affair of the Diamond Necklace is a story of greed and ambition, prison breaks and assassination attempts, extravagance and credulity, political machinations and even a duel fought with poisoned pigs. Beckham’s retelling reads more like a historical noir novel than an essay. It’s well-researched and highly-detailed, but very readable. If you’re fan of Marie Antoinette or just want to know more about this tragicomic farce, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book. Available at Amazon.

The Links

5 pro makeup tricks you probably don’t know – Makeup Geek

Makeup Revolution ‘The One’ Blush Stick: An Affordable Nars Dupe – London Beauty Queen

If you smoke, your future’s not pretty - Lab Muffin

Perfect cat eyeliner flicks makeup tip – Makeup And Beauty Blog

My top 10 foundations – Beautyholics Anonymous

Sunday Survey, Vol.224

1. I never thought I would like…
Exercising. I have always been quite lazy but now I find it quite pleasant, and it helps me de-stress a lot.

2. What’s your favourite eyeliner colour?
Brown. It isn’t as harsh as black, but it still defines the eyes well.

3. Do you wear makeup on weekends?
Only if I’m going out or testing new makeup products. Today, I think I’ll stay barefaced.

4. Chanel or Dior?
Makeup Dior, but clothes Chanel. I find Chanel makeup is often too sheer, but I love their tweed outfits and easy chic designs.

5. Do you like classical music?
I love it. I often listen to it when I work. It inspires me and never distracts me.

It’s your turn now!
1. I never thought I would like…
2. What’s your favourite eyeliner colour
3. Do you wear makeup on weekends?
4. Chanel or Dior?
5. Do you like classical music?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.155

Hello gorgeous,

how are you doing today? I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday, and are ready to enjoy my random ramblings for this week:

6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

what I wish I knew before I started blogging

I was very naive when I started blogging six years ago. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just wanted to share my passion for all things beauty with like-minded people, and thought that I wouldn’t need to do much apart from writing. Boy, was I wrong! It has been a bumpy, but very enjoyable, ride that has made me learn and grow so much, and connect with some amazing people. I just wish someone had told me a few things in advance, which would have made the journey easier:

1. You have to be a jack of all trades

You know the saying, jack of all trades and master of none. That’s only partly true. To be successful, you must become an expert in your field, and the narrower it is, the better chances you have. But writing and editing content is not enough. There are many other skills a blogger needs. Social media and marketing skills to promote your content and networking skills to connect with others bloggers, PRs, and influencers in your industry. Some design coding skills to create or tweak a theme to your needs. You also need to be able to analyze your data to find out what’s working and what’s not, and to recognize opportunities when they come your way. Some bloggers, like beauty bloggers, also need to be good at taking photos. And when you think you’ve finally mastered a skill, there’s a new one to learn. It’s tough, but also fun.

2. Be yourself

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. It’s tempting to copy what successful bloggers are doing and conform to what you think a beauty blog should be about. But by doing so, you won’t be able to blog about what you’re truly passionate about, and it shows. Haul posts are very popular, and I wrote a couple in my first year, but that’s just not something I’m interested in doing, so I stopped. Now I just blog about what I’m passionate about, in my own voice. Readers want to know and engage with the real you, not some dressed-up, improved, fake version of you.

3. Pictures matter

A picture is worth a thousand words. How I wish that weren’t true lol! My talent lies in writing, not picture-taking or collage-making. I find these two skills very hard to master, but I’m doing my best to learn them. You don’t need a fancy camera, but learning how to use your point and shoot, and using editing programs like Picmonkey will make a great difference. Beautiful pictures enhance your post, engage readers, and help communicate what you’re saying. They also add a personal touch to the blog.

4. Quality is better than quantity

You don’t need to post every day. If you’re forcing yourself to write because you feel you need to publish something every day, chances are the content you’ll churn out won’t be very good. I should know, I’ve done it too many times in my first years of blogging. These days I’m posting less often, but the content is better researched, and, hopefully, more useful too.

5. Have a life outside of blogging!

Blogging is so time-consuming! I can’t tell you how many nights I spent working on my blog rather than going out with my friends. While I love blogging, and I couldn’t imagine a life without it, it’s important not to get too sucked into it. Work hard at your blog, but also find the time to hang out with all your loves ones, have some fun, and enjoy life.

6. Some days you will feel like quitting

You spend a lot of time working on your blog and it can be really frustrating when you’re not getting the results you want, growing as fast as you’d like, or noone is commenting on a post you’ve poured your heart into. When that happens, you will feel like quitting and throw your computer out of the window. That’s ok. Take some time off and think about why you’re blogging. Chances are you just need a break and, when you’re ready, you’ll go back to blogging full of enthusiasm and new ideas.

Do you blog? If so, what do you wish you knew before starting?

What I’m Reading Now

so you want to work in fashion
So, You Want to Work in Fashion?: How to Break into the World of Fashion and Design by Patricia Wooster
This is a wonderful resource for young people who are thinking of a career in fashion. It covers pretty much every profession in the industry, from the most well-known like designer, model, and photographer, to the often ignored, like fabric cutter and colourist. There’s even a section about fashion writers, PRs, and bloggers. Each section is short, but full of useful tips on how to get started, and interviews about teenagers who are making their dreams come true. The book also features quizzes and practical activities you can do to improve your skills. It is written in an engaging and colloquial style that informs while entertains. The tone is very positive but realistic. The author doesn’t hide the difficulties you’ll encounter on your way, but believes you will be able to overcome them with hard work and dedication. Available at Amazon.

The Links

1 minute contouring and highlighting technique – Makeup Geek

Top 5 highly moisturizing lippies that last – Ask Me Whats

21 secrets about Sephora that every makeup addict should know - Buzz Feed

5 strategies to help develop a positive body image – Lindsay & Lexy Kite @ Maria Shriver

How do skincare ingredients absorb into the skin? - Future Derm

Sunday Survey, Vol.223

1. Have you ever been stung by a wasp?
Nope, only by bees.

2. The last skincare product you finished down to the last drop?
Olay Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15. Love this stuff!

3. Are you watching any movies today?
Amazing Grace, a 2006 movie about the campaign against slave trade in the British Empire.

4. What do you wear more often: bracelets or rings?
I wear both a lot, but probably, rings.

5. Do you like citrusy colognes?
Love them! They’re so fresh and sparkling! I just wish they lasted longer on the skin.

It’s your turn now!
1. Have you ever been stung by a wasp?
2. The last skincare product you finished down to the last drop?
3. Are you watching any movies today?
4. What do you wear more often: bracelets or rings?
5. Do you like citrusy colognes?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.154

Hello gorgeous,

how are you doing today? Let me know in the comments, but first, take a look at my random ramblings ;)

New Layout

No, you’re not on the wrong blog. I just changed the blog layout. I’m finally on the Genesis Framework, and, so far, I’m loving it. There are many wonderful themes for Genesis, but, in the end, I chose to go with one from Pretty Darn Cute. I love their designs. They are professional, neat, and feminine. And their customer support is amazing! They answered all my questions quickly and were very helful. I’d definitely recommend you check Pretty Darn Cute out if you’re planning a redesign too.

I plan to customize the layout a bit, but that means learning some HTML and CSS, so please bear with me while I work on it. I hope you like the new layout. It works much better on mobile phones too. ;)

5 Reasons Why I Love My Kindle

kindle

If, when the Kindle first appeared, you had told me that I would one day own one and love it almost as much as real books, I would have laughed in your face. Back then, I was a book purist. I needed to have the book in my hands, to smell its freshly printed pages (that’s still my absolute favourite smell ever), turn its pages, and put it on the shelf once I was done. I loved the experience of reading a physical book, not some electronic device.

But over the years, I kept coming across several books I wanted to read that were available only on Kindle, so I thought, “fine, let’s try you out”. I bought the cheapest one available and it’s been one of my most prized possessions ever since. If my house were ever on fire, it’s one of the first things I’d save. :) Here’s why:

1. It saves a lot of space…

If I were rich, I’d turn the biggest room in my home into a library and fill it with all the books I could find. But as I’m not, I only have so little space to store books. My shelves and drawers are already overflowing with them. With a Kindle, you don’t have to worry about that. Mine can store up to 2GB. I have hundreds of books on there and they only take up half that space!

2. …And money too

Kindle books usually cost less than physical books, which saves you a pretty penny already. But a lot are actually free. It can be because their copyright has expired, or maybe their authors are offering them for free for a few days as a way to promote their works. Whatever the reason, you’ll save a ton of money, which you can then use to buy makeup (or is that just me? lol).

3. It’s portable

A Kindle is much lighter than any books, so you can easily carry it with you wherever you go. That means having an entire library at your fingertips all the time. You can use it to read any book, even those huge tomes that would be very heavy, and difficult to bring around with you in physical form, on planes, on the commute to work, at the doctor’s office. This way, you end up reading a lot more than you used to.

4. It’s convenient

I know you can get free books at the library or cheap deals on physical books online, but you actually have to get up and go there or place an order and wait for it to be shipped. Call me lazy, but it is so much easier to just buy the Kindle version. It gets download onto your Kindle immediately so you can read it straight away. Instant gratification at its best.

5. Better book selection

Thanks to self-publishing, there are many more new books available for Kindle than paper books in stores. This is great news for those who like niche topics and genres. It also gives writers more freedom, as they aren’t forced to pen a happy ending or using clichés that may be required by traditional publishers who want to play it safe. Plus, writers can update theirs books as often as they like to keep them current. This is particularly useful for nonfiction books about fast-changing topics such as technology and social media. When a book is updated, you’ll receive a notification from Amazon and will be able to get your new copy for free.

As much as I love my Kindle, I haven’t given up physical books completely. I still buy those, but these days I buy them only when they are released by a favourite author or I know I’m going to read them more than once. Those deserve a place on my already too crowded library.

What I’m Reading Now

better than perfect dr elizabeth lombardo
Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love by Elizabeth Lombardo
Hello, my name is Gio and I’m a perfectionist. I set unrealistic goals for myself and beat myself up when I don’t achieve them. I tend to think in all or nothing terms. I rarely start something if I’m not sure I can do it perfectly well. I have created so many rules for myself about what I should and shouldn’t do and judge myself too harshly when I break them. I thought my perfectionist tendencies would help me give my best all the time, but they have the opposite effect. They stress me out, make me feel guilty when I fall short, and prevent me from having fun. I’ve been trying to change for a long while now, which is why I picked up this book. A perfectionist herself, Dr Elizabeth Lombardo provides 7 techniques that will, with time and commitment, silence your inner critic and allow you to create a happier, more fulfilled life. My favourite is choosing passion over fear (did you know that most perfectionists are motivated more by fear of fealure than love and passion for what they are doing?). The book is short, written in a simple and engaging style that flows really easily. Unfortunately, I can’t see many perfectionists buying it. They probably think they don’t need it. So, if you know someone who’s driving you crazy with their perfectionist tendencies, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and give it to him/her as a Christmas present. You’ll improve not just his/her life, but yours too!

The Links

Reimagining Barbie: villain or victim? – Adios Barbie

What does a cosmetic scientist do? – The Beauty Brains

How to tame fine baby hairs – Hair Romance

How to pronounce common skincare ingredients – Lab Muffin

Beginners’s guide to cruelty free perfumes – Phyrra

Sunday Survey, Vol.222

1. What posters or pictures did you have on your walls growing up?
Pretty much every inch of my side of the bedroom wall was covered in Boyzone posters. I had such a huge crush on Ronan Keating. I shared the room with my sister and she hanged Backstreet Boys and AC Milan footballer posters on her side.

2. Are you finding it hard to find your HG foundation? If so, why?
Yep, and that’s because I can’t find a shade that matches my skintone exactly. I found some that were so close to it that you’d hardly notice the difference once applied, but I’d like to find a perfect match.

3. I’m thinking…
Of what to have for lunch today. Don’t really feel cooking.

4. Super-skinny or very thick brows?
Something in the middle would be best. But if I had to choose, I’d say thick. I can always trim and pluck them if I feel like it. But if your brows are too thin, making them look thicker isn’t as easy.

5. What do you think of red eyeshadow?
It’s so cool, but also so hard to pull off!

It’s your turn now!
1. What posters or pictures did you have on your walls growing up?
2. Are you finding it hard to find your HG foundation? If so, why?
3. I’m thinking…
4. Super-skinny or very thick brows?
5. What do you think of red eyeshadow?