Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.150

Hello everyone,

ready for a new edition of random ramblings? Here we go:

The A-Z Of Me

rhea 03

AGE: 32, and loving it. All the insecurities that I had in my 20s started to slowly but naturally disappear as I approached my 30s. Now I’m stronger, wiser, and enjoying life more.

BOOKS: you know how obsessed I am with books. Any books. They’re my favourite thing in the world.

CATS: they’re my favourite animals, after owls. They are cute and fairly independent. I’ve never had any, but I hope to get one some day.

DEPRESSION: I battled with it on and off since I was a child. It’s one of the worst illnesses ever because it robs of your life, and the stigma attached to it makes it so hard for sufferers to seek treatment. I’m much better now, and that’s partly due to this blog and all of you. You’ll never know how much you all helped me just by visiting, commenting, and just supporting me and my little blog, so thank you!

EREADER: I thought I would never get an ereader but I’m so glad I did. A Kindle will never be a substitute for real books, which I still read, but I love being able to take an entire library with me wherever I go and to read whatever I want wherever and whenever I want.

FEMINISM: I don’t hate men. I love it when they open doors for me. I love makeup and high heels. But I’m tired of the subtle and not so subtle double standards that exist in society and of being told to behave in a certain way just because I’m a woman. So, I’m a feminist.

G: I hate the letter g. It started in first grade. I found it very difficult to learn how to write gs, and then developed a dislike for its soft sound. It sucks because there are 3 in my name.

HISTORY: I love history. It’s a never-ending story of love and loss, hate and betrayal, friendships and inventions, kingdoms and plots, and everything else you can think of, that teaches us a lot about people and events.

ITALY: I have a love/hate relationship with my country. The weather is beautiful. The landscape, cities, and art gorgeous. The food is delicious. But the people are so rude and resigned. And bureaucracy makes it impossible to do anything. Well, not impossible. But you have to want it a lot. They’re testing you, I guess.

JANEITE: Jane Austen is one of the best writers of all times. Enough said.

KEATING: I had such a huge crush on Ronan Keating, the leader of Boyzone, when I was a teen. I collected everything I could find about him, and I actually started learning English so that I could understand what he was singing about.

LONDON: I left my heart in London the first time I visited it. It’s truly an amazing city with such a great energy, beautiful art, and interesting people. I hope I’ll be able to call it home one day.

MUSICALS: I love musicals. Everything is better when you sing about it. Some of my favourites are Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom Of The Opera, Moulin Rouge, and Wicked.

NAIL BITING: I used to bite my nails until my early 20s. Then, with the help of some awful tasting nail polish, I was able to kick this bad habit. Now I can wear all the nail polishes I want. :)

OWLS: I love owls because they’re cute and the symbol of wisdom. I have a small collection of them and they’re almost all pink cos that’s my favourite colour.

PHOTOS: I absolutely detest taking them and I’m crap at it, which is very unfortunate considering I’m a beauty blogger. I’m trying my best to learn to become better at it, but if I can use someone else’s or some other cute graphic, I so will!

QUESTION: Everything. Always.

RED LIPSTICK: for years I thought I couldn’t pull it off because I have pale skin. Then, I tried it. Now, I love it. It’s elegant, sexy, and timeless.

SENIGALLIA: my hometown. It’s a small town in central Italy, on the east coast. It’s a quiet, safe and great place for a child to grow up in. But for adults, there isn’t much. In summer, everyone goes to the beach, but the rest of the year there isn’t anything to do.

TEACHER: that’s what I wanted to be when I was a child. I love teaching, but I’m not sure I’d have the patience to work in a school, so maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t become one.

U2: one of my favourite bands. One is one of my favourite songs of all time.

VINCISGRASSI: that’s what we call lasagne in the Marche, the Italian region I come from. It’s the name of the general who is supposed to have invented it. It’s one of my fave foods, but it must be made from scratch, like my mom does. When you’re used to the real deal, the frozen or made with premade pasta kinds taste awful. I know, I’m spoilt!

WINCHESTER: team Dean all the way. By the way, how cool would it be if he went hunting with Eric Northman? I’d so totally watch that show.

XXX (as in kisses): in Senigallia, whenever we meet a friend or relative we haven’t seen in a while, or want to thank them for a present or for coming to a special event, we give them three kisses on the cheeks.

YOGURT: I have one every morning for breakfast, together with muesli.

ZODIAC: Virgo. I don’t believe in this stuff, but I have to admit that I have lots of traits that belong to Virgos: I’m analytical, reserved, loyal, cautious, critical, stubborn, and can seem cold because I don’t like to show my emotions.

What I’m Reading Now

love in the time of cholera
Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

WARNING: spoilers ahead

Can someone explain to me why this is considered one of the greatest love stories of all time? Is it because Florentino Ariza waits for a woman he barely knows for most of his life, even though she has repeatedly told him she wants nothing to do with him? The way he follows her around, unseen, proposes to her the minute her husband dies, and is not able to leave her alone even though he knows she doesn’t want him speak more of obsession than love to me. He simply cannot resign himself to the fact that a woman has turned him down, and so waits until his rival is dead to get back into her life and seduce her. This is something he knows how to do well. During all those years he waited for Ferminia, he shagged everything on legs, including, in his 60s, a 14 year old he had been grooming for two years.

He also seems to think that every woman can’t wait to become a widow so that she can sleep with every man she meets. Everyone sleeps around with everyone in this book, and that’s not only condoned but expected. But with that, I could put up with. But with the romanticizing of rape, hell no. Here’s how a woman described the time she was raped: “When she was still very young, a strong, able man whose face she never saw took her by surprise, threw her down on the jetty, ripped her clothes off, and made instantaneous and frenetic love to her. Lying there on the rocks, her body covered with cuts and bruises, she had wanted that man to stay forever so she could die of love in his arms”.

This is one of the most offensive books I’ve read in my life. What bothers me, though, is not the promiscuity, the paedophilia, the stalking, the obsession disguised as love, or any of the disgusting things portrayed here. They happen every day and it’s important to discuss them. Literature can help us do that. No, my problem is that this is considered a great love story when it has very little to do with love, and that everything Florentino does is excused because he’s in love and suffering. Guy’s a jerk and he doesn’t deserve what he gets in the end.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it?

The Links


How to prevent that dreaded hat hair
– Beautyholics Anonymous

Love the skin you’re in: how hitting my 30s changed my attitude
- London Beauty Queen

Why I ditched the exfoliating scrubs
– Beautezine

38 things men can do to make themselves more attractive to women – The Frisky

The Ban on Animal Testing. Morally Right, Emotionally Appealing, but Dangerous? – Big Think

Sunday Survey, Vol.218

1. When in doubt, wear __?
Lace. It’s so pretty and feminine. You can’t go wrong with it.

2. What do you look for in a foundation?
Light to medium buildable coverage, a natural dewy finish, and impressive staying power. I don’t want to retouch it throughout the day.

3. Can you hear trains from your home?
Nope. Luckily, I live far away from the station.

4. Do you airdry or blowdry your hair?
Airdry whenever possible. I hate blowdrying, it’s so boring! I usually do it only in winter.

5. What do you think of brown eyeshadows?
I used to find them so boring, but as I get older I appreciate their versatility and wearability.

It’s your turn now!
1. When in doubt, wear __?
2. What do you look for in a foundation?
3. Can you hear trains from your home?
4. Do you airdry or blowdry your hair?
5. What do you think of brown eyeshadows?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.149

Hello gorgeous,

you asked for it, so here are more random ramblings for you! Enjoy!

You saved Sunday Random Ramblings!

survey

A few days ago, I asked you to fill in a survey to let me know how you’d like Beautiful With Brains to change (or not!). Thank you to all who took the time to do it. Your feedback is always very helpful to me. And it has saved the Sunday Random Ramblings series! I was ready to discard it, thinking that not many of you were very interested in it, but you have proved me wrong. It is going to change slightly though. From next week, I will use this space to talk more about me, life in my neck of the woods, fashion, blogging, books (so glad a lot of you like reading too!) and other things that interest me. It’ll be more a post within a post rather than just the few lines about this or that I’ve written so far. I hope this makes sense. If not, you’ll see what I’m talking about next week!

Instead, I have decided to drop the QOTW feature. I figured that, as I’m keeping the Sunday Random Ramblings series, in which I come up with a pool very week, the QOTW feature had become redundant. As you have already noticed, I’m now posting twice a day only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, grouping together several collections in just one post. I think this give me a better opportunity to focus more on reviews, skincare and beauty tips, and all those topics that require more in-depth research. But I can always go back to posting twice a day if you don’t like this new schedule. :)

Not many seem to be interested in a newsletter at this point, but a lot of you would like a short course about how to create the ideal skincare routine for your skin type, and gave me some useful suggestions on how to improve it. So, I’ll be working on that in the next few months. Watch this space! Thank you again for all your feedback. And if you ever have any suggestions on how to improve Beautiful With Brains, what topics you’d like me to talk about, or products to review, just let me know. Leave a comment on any post, shoot me an email, tweet me… whatever you prefer. I always love to hear from you! :)

What I’m Reading Now

the boleyn reckoning laura andersen
The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen
If you like alternative history fiction you must read the Boleyn trilogy, which imagines what might have happened had Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII had a son. The Boleyn Reckoning is the last book in the trilogy and so very difficult to review without giving too much away. So, I’ll just say that the world Andersen created is very real. I kept nodding my head, thinking, “oh yes, I can so see this happen, or the political situation change like that had Anne Boleyn had a son”. It’s fascinating to imagine how different England would have been but how certain events would have happened anyway. The book is a fast-paced read, full of twists and turns, plots, betrayals, passion, love, drama, and rebellion. The characters are interesting and well-developed, and I could relate to and care for them all, including William, Anne’s son, who takes too much after his father and is leading the country to the brink of war just to fulfill his personal desires. Highly recommended.

The Links

Help us #CuttheCurls because women are #MoreThanMeat – Beauty Redefined

How to use paintings for eye shadow colour inspiration – Makeup Files

5 exciting ingredients you’ve likely never heard of before in skin care - Future Derm

What’s Your Damage? 14 UV Portraits Revealed – Refinery 29

Keep red hair from fading – The Beauty Department

Sunday Survey, Vol.217

1. The last show you marathoned?
Well, I’m not sure you can call it marathoned because I only watched one or two episodes a day, but True Blood.

2. Do you like wearing unconventional colours, like blue or greens, on your lips?
I think that’d be really fun, but I don’t own any yet. I’d like to get a green one, but I’m not sure I’d use it enough to justify its purchase.

3. Something you have to do this week?
Make an appointment to get my hair cut. It’s getting too long.

4. Strawberries or cherries?
Cherries, please!

5. Do you like camo print?
Not a fan. It should be reserved for those in the service.

It’s your turn now!
1. The last show you marathoned?
2. Do you like wearing unconventional colours, like blue or greens, on your lips?
3. Something you have to do this week?
4. Strawberries or cherries?
5. Do you like camo print?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.148

Hello gorgeous,

will this be the last instalment of the random ramblings series? Only you can decide! Take this survey to let me know what features here on BWB you’d like to stay and which you’ll be glad to see disappear. To anyone who has already taken the survey, thank you!

Without further ado, here are this week’s ramblings:

Follow Me On Google +

google plus

Are you on Google +? If so, come and join me at http://google.com/+Beautifulwithbrainsblog. I feel a bit lonely out there. I know that Google Plus isn’t the most popular social network out there and, if you’re like me, you’re still trying to figure it out. But I’ve started posting more regularly on there, mainly about skincare and cosmetic news, so if you want to keep up with all the latest developments in the cosmetic science business, follow me. I’d really appreciate it! Thank you!

What I’m Reading Now

a bend in the road
A Bend In The Road by Nicholas Sparks
I usually love Sparks’ novels, but I just couldn’t get into this one. It tells the story of widower Miles Ryan, who lives alone with his son Jonah after his wife Missy has been killed in a hit and run, and Sarah Andrews, the new schoolteacher who has just moved into town after a nasty divorce. They obviously fall in love but a secret in their past could part them for good. I really enjouyed the romance part even though it was quite cheesy, but things for me started going downhill when Missy’s case was reopened. Then, Miles turns into a jerk. Besides, I don’t really like the way Sparks writes about crimes, thugs, and all that stuff. He excels when talking about emotions and when he veers from that, and he did that a lot here, it became too stereotypical and boring. The end was quite predictable too, but sometimes that’s just what you need, isn’t it?

The Links

The easy and free trick for beautiful hair - Hair Romance

Why your skincare isn’t working – Truth In Aging

The best foundations for pale skin - Beautifille

Does sunscreen make you Vitamin D deficient? - The Beauty Brains

Is oxygen in skincare good or bad? - Future Derm

Sunday Survey, Vol.216

1. What’s the “wildest” animal you’ve seen in your neck of the woods?
A couple of months ago, while I was driving, I saw a small fox crossing the street. It was so surreal, I never knew they lived so nearby villages.

2. Do you still wear a full face of makeup even on days when you’re not leaving the house?
It depends. If I’m in the mood to experiment with makeup, then yes, I’ll do a full face. Otherwise, I don’t bother with makeup at all.

3. One thing you absolutely must finish today?
I really need to reply to all my emails. For too long now, my inbox has never been empty. If I owe you a reply, sorry! :oops:

4. Are you sultry or cute?
Definitely cute. :)

5. What do you think of boots with fringe?
I saw a couple that were very cute, but I don’t think that’s a look I’d be able to pull off.

It’s your turn now!
1. What’s the “wildest” animal you’ve seen in your neck of the woods?
2. Do you still wear a full face of makeup even on days when you’re not leaving the house?
3. One thing you absolutely must finish today?
4. Are you sultry or cute?
5. What do you think of boots with fringe?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.147

Hello gorgeous,

sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s random ramblings:

Marie Antoinette (1938)

Marie Antoinette, the 1938 flick starring Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power (as Count Fersen), is my fave movie about the unfortunate Queen of France. It’s full of inaccuracies (Marie Antoinette never had an affair with Fersen, for instance), but I love it because I think it perfectly captured the Queen’s personality, and her transformation from a frivolous teenager into a devoted mother and wife. Shearer’s performance is amazing. The scenes where she learns of her husband’s upcoming executions and where her son is taken away from her are truly heartbreaking. It’s impossible not to shed a tear or two. The costumes, settings, and music are absolutely gorgeous as well. Definitely a must-see for all Marie Antoinette fans. Do you like historical movies? Which one is your favourite?

Scentbird Discount Code

promo code scentbird
Love perfumes? With Scentbird, you can try them at home for free before deciding whether you want to buy them or not. Just choose a scent you’d like to try and Scentbird will send you both the full size bottle and a sample for free. You have 5 days to try the sample. If you like it, you can keep the full size bottle and your credit card will be charged with the purchase. Otherwise, just send it back for free.

Scentbird has kindly offered Beautiful With Brains readers a 15% discount. Simply use the promo code “beautifulwithbrains” at checkout and, if you decide to keep the perfume, Scentbird will charge you 15% less for it. The code is valid until 9/15.

What I’m Reading Now

change your brain change your life before 25Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Before 25): Change Your Developing Mind for Real World Success by Jesse Payne
This book should be mandatory reading in every school. It explains how the brain functions and why we behave the way we do. Did you know for instance that the brain isn’t fully developed until we reach 25? And that the last area to fully develop is the prefrontal cortex, which is involved, among other things, in decision making and moderating social behavior? No wonder teenagers often make rash and irresponsible decisions! Other areas of the brain are responsible for depression, over anxiety, excessive stubbornness and many other behaviours we wrongly consider as character’ flaws. The book helps you figure out which areas of your brain are too active or underdeveloped and then gives you useful tips to fix these issues. Nothing groundbreaking. Just a mix of exercise, healthy eating, and cognitive and behavioral therapy, but these things are a lot easier to do when you realise how bad habits such as alcohol and junk food are damaging your brain. Although the book focuses on people under 25, everyone can benefit from these tips. It’s just that after a certain age your brain isn’t as malleable and so it will be more difficult to change your thoughts and habits. Plus, the book also gives you tips on how to deal with people who are experiencing these brain issues, making your life easier and more pleasant. It’s written in a colloquial and straightforward style. No complicated medical jargon here. Highly recommended.

The Links

Top 7 favourite mascaras – Vampy Varnish

5 tips for better braids – Hair Romance

How solvent-free nail polish remover works – Lab Muffin

The truth about beauty products that sell out too quickly – British Beauty Blogger

Winged liner for a droopy lid
- The Beauty Department

Sunday Survey, Vol.215

1. Have you ever been stung by a bee?
Three or four times as a child. I remember the first one very well, even though I was only 3 or 4. We were doing some work on the house and as I was playing in the garden, I stupidly put my finger into a brick lying around on the grass. There was a bee inside that stung me. Needless to say, I stopped playing with bricks from then on.

2. How good are you at creating a smokey eye?
On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d say 7. Pretty good, but I can improve.

3. What makeup product is at the top of your wishlist now?
One of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. I haven’t decided which one yet, they are all so gorgeous!

4. High or low ponytails?
High. I find they’re very elegant and chic.

5. What do you think of loose powders?
Love them. Hate the mess they can make.

It’s your turn now!
1. Have you ever been stung by a bee?
2. How good are you at creating a smokey eye?
3. What makeup product is at the top of your wishlist now?
4. High or low ponytails?
5. What do you think of loose powders?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.146

Happy Sunday gorgeous!

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

Oscar De La Renta

oscar de la renta
Oscar De La Renta is by far one of my favourite designers. He knows how to make every woman look chic and sophisticated on any occasion. His designs are modern but with a vintage touch that makes them timelessly elegant, and the attention to detail is extraordinary. I also like that he’s not afraid to use bold colours. That makes even the most conservative styles suitable for young women who want to look chic but not boring. What do you think of Oscar De La Renta? Who are your favourite designers?

What I’m Reading Now

secret lives of the tsars
Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia by Michael Farquhar
Do you want to know more about the Romanov dynasty but don’t fancy reading a long, boring, academic history book? Then this one is for you. It’s quite short as Farquhar only discusses the most salacious, scandalous, and violent events in the reign of each tsar. So, the chapter about Catherine II focuses on her love life, while that about Alexander II on the many attempts on his life. The book sheds some light on some of the least known rulers of Russia and shows us how each one shaped the country during the centuries until the breakout of the revolution. Even when discussing serious and bloody events, Farquhar’s style remains witty and engaging, which will appeal to both history lovers and casual readers alike.

The Links

Why dieting won’t bring you neither health nor happiness - Adios Barbie

The myth of natural hair products - The Natural Haven Bloom

The trouble with making your own sunscreen - Personal Care Truth

The best concealers for covering everything
– 15 Minutes Beauty Fanatic via ebay

What are CC, DD, and EE creams? – Lab Muffin

Sunday Survey, Vol.214

1. One thing you’re really great at?
I’ve been told I’m a great listener.

2. Do you use roll-on perfumes?
Rarely. They’re not very hygienic, but are great for travelling.

3. Current obsession?
Canva. It allows anyone to create beautiful graphics very easily. Very handy!

4. Bootcut or skinny jeans?
Bootcut. Skinny jeans are too unforgiving.

5. What do you think of meditation?
I hear it’s a great way to relax and reduce stress, but I’m really struggling to get into it.

It’s your turn now!
1. One thing you’re really great at?
2. Do you use roll-on perfumes?
3. Current obsession?
4. Bootcut or skinny jeans?
5. What do you think of meditation?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.145

Happy Sunday gorgeous!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s random ramblings:

Muesli

muesli

Ever since I was little, I started the day with a few biscuits and either a nice cup of tea or a glass or orange juice. But, after a couple of hours, I was already starving. So, a couple of months ago, I decided to try muesli. I love it. I don’t have a favourite brand or type and just like to try something different every time I go to the supermarket. But because I know that all the goodies of the oaks, nuts, fruits, etc, are mostly cancelled by the inclusion of sugar, I’m trying to buy mostly the sugar-free types. They’re not as tasty but, because I can’t drink milk, I eat it with yogurt instead which gives it a nicer flavour. Besides, even the sugary type is healthier and gives me more energy than the biscuits I ate before, so it’s definitely one step in the right direction. What do you have for breakfast?

What I’m Reading Now

embrace your magnificenceEmbrace Your Magnificence: Get Out of Your Own Way and Live a Richer, Fuller, More Abundant Life by Fabienne Fredrickson
I’m very into self-help books at the moment, and this one is amazing. It’s just full of lessons on how you can start to love yourself more so that you can achieve whatever you want in life. Fabienne didn’t always have a happy life. She made many mistakes that crushed her self-esteem, but eventually managed to turn her life around. Her story is inspirational. But this isn’t a biography. Fabienne shares stories from her personal life so that we can better relate to the advice she gives us and realise that, if we implement it too, we can really change our lives for the better. She encourages her readers to be honest and authentic, to stop judging others and comparing herself to them, and to quit playing small for fear you may upset those around you. In other words, Fabienne encourages you to be yourself, rather the person your family, your boss, society, etc, wants you to be. The book is written in a compassionate and colloquial tone that makes you feel like you’re talking to a friend. Highly recommended.

The Links

How cosmetics fool your brains - The Beauty Brains

On flawlessness and admitting the effort required – Gala Darling

Best foundations for pale skin - Phyrra

Where does the term bikini body come from? – Slate

Do women with oily skin get less wrinkles? – Renee Rouleau

Sunday Survey, Vol.213

1. When was the last time you went to a parade?
Honestly, I can’t remember. There aren’t many here.

2. What’s your biggest skincare gripe?
Breakouts around my chip. That happens every time during that time of the month. *sighs*

3. What’s on your to-do list today?
Laundry.

4. Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. Although I love chocolate too!

5. How do you feel about wearing dark nail polishes in summer?
I love it! In fact, I’m wearing one right now.

It’s your turn now!
1. When was the last time you went to a parade?
2. What’s your biggest skincare gripe?
3. What’s on your to-do list today?
4. Chocolate or vanilla?
5. How do you feel about wearing dark nail polishes in summer?