Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.184

Hello gorgeous,

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Mine was very busy. I hope to have lots of exciting news to tell you soon, but for now, just a quick reminder of how you can keep up with me:

Follow Me On Social Media

social-media

Quick plug. Are you following my social media channels yet? If not, here’s where you can find me:

Bloglovin': never want to miss a post? Then, follow me on Bloglovin’.

Pinterest: I’m obsessed with Pinterest atm. Here, I pin a lot of skincare tips, makeup looks, fashion outfits, haircare tutorials, and a lot more. If you’re looking for beauty inspiration, check it out.

Twitter: here, I like to share beauty tips, quotes, and my thoughts on the products I’m trying before they hit the blog. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with fellow bloggers and readers, so if you are on there, come and say hi. I’d love to hear from you!

Facebook: can anyone see my Facebook updates these days? Whatever, I’m still posting tips and beauty products that don’t make it on the blog. If that’s your thing, follow me on there.

Google Plus: I wasn’t sure whether to add this or not. I am not as active on Google + as I once was. I just don’t get how it works. Has anyone any tips on how I can make the most of it? In the meantime, I use it to share the latest updates for the blog.

Thank you! I’ll see you there. 😉

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.11

beauty wishlist 11

LISA ELRIDGE FACE PAINT BOOK ($21.74)
Lisa Elridge is releasing her first book on 13th October. Go pre-order it. I don’t need to say more, do I?

LORAC DREAM GIRL ALTER EGO EYESHADOW PALETTE ($24.00)
This palette is full of fun, flirty, and wearable shades that allows you to easily create colourful, neutral, and smokey looks. I’m not too keen on the packaging. It looks cheap, and at this price point it shouldn’t. But the shades are so pretty, versatile, and easy to blend that I can forgive that. Available at Nordstrom.

DOLCE & GABBANA SMOOTH EYE COLOUR DUO (€41.00)
What an interesting colour combination! Certainly not one you see everyday, which is refreshing. Even more so because it is from a high-end brand, and we know how those like to play it safe. This is something different and perfect for summer. It’s called Summer Hue and it is available at Harrods.

DOLCE & GABBANA SHINE LIPSTICK (€34.00)
Another of my fave pieces from the Dolce & Gabbana Summer Shine collection, Light Blue is just that, a lovely light blue lippie. Not the easiest shade to pull off, but if you don’t have some fun with your makeup in the summer, then when will you? Available at Harrods.

DOLCE & GABBANA INTENSE NAIL LACQUER (€24.00)
Light Blue is also the name of my favourite nail polish from this collection. What can I say? It just screams summer and would be a great way to accessorize any outfit. Available at Harrods.

What’s on your beauty wishlist this week?

What I’m Reading Now

romantic outlaws
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon
I’m always a bit hesitant to recommend long historical biographies on here, cos I know some of you find them boring. But I can assure you, there is nothing boring about this book. It’s one of the most fascinating and engaging (it almost reads like a novel) I have read this year.
Although Mary Wollstonecraft died a few days after giving birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley, she had a big influence on her. Both mother and daughter shared the same dream of improving women’s situation in society and ended up facing similar struggles and making similar choices. They were both intelligent, talented women who struggled to achieve independence in a world where women were considered the properties of their fathers and husbands, meant to serve and obey, not to lead and work. They both became famous writers, penning books and essays that highlighted their political convictions and the evils of society. They fell in love with men who broke their hearts. They had children out of wedlock. They both lived abroad, Wollstonecraft in Paris during the Revolution and Shelley in Italy with her husband Percy, the infamous Lord Byron and their circle of scandalous friends. They broke every social convention of their time, which is why they were considered outlaws. When put into context, that of merciless society that imposes ostracism on those who dare break its strict rules, their achievements in overcoming the many hardships, prejudices, and insults they faced are even more astonishing and remarkable. I highly recommend you pick up a copy. Available at Amazon.

The Links

8 Areas We Often Forget To Apply Sunscreen – Beautholics Anonymous

Are you missing the third step in your hair care routine? – Hair Romance

Nail Art for Beginners Course – Makeup Files

Hits & Misses: Make Up For Ever – Beautifille

Is Sunscreen Really the Cause of Skin Cancer? – Future Derm

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.183

Hello gorgeous,

I hope you are sitting comfortably, enjoying a nice Sunday, and in the mood for some random ramblings. Here we go:

My Favourite Musicals

favourite musicals

I have already talked about my love for musicals (really, how much more wonderful life would be if we all burst into a song and dance every now and then?), so today I’ll just mention my favourite ones. There are many many more that I love, but these are the ones that I could watch again and again and never get tired of. Here we go:

Wicked

Wicked tells the real story of the Wicked Witch Of The West, from The Wizard Of Oz. Born with green skin, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) meets Glinda (The Good Witch) at uni. Despite their different personalities and opinions, they become friends, fall for the same man, and find out how corrupt the wizard’s government is. It’s their reactions to this discovery that determines their destinies.

Wicked is a social and political commentary on the nature of good and evil, power, and its ability to whitewash its supporters and slander its enemies. The music and songs are also amazing. Defying Gravity is currently my fave song ever. It boost my mood and my confidence every time I hear it (which is every day lately). I so can’t wait for the movie (should be out next year, fingers crossed!).

Sunset Boulevard

Norman Desmond is a faded star of the silent screen era. When she meets Joe Gills, a young and poor playwright, she believes he can bring her fame and love. But soon, it all turns bloody. A story of betrayal, disappointed hopes, and the fickle nature of fame, it shows just how cruel Hollywood can be.

Unfortunately the musical is very expensive to stage, which is why it is performed so rarely. But if you can, get hold of the soundtrack. It’s awesome, especially With One Look, a song that reminds us of the ability of silent film stars who could express whatever they needed to with just one look. The 1950s movie with the amazing Gloria Swanson is well worth a watch too.

The Phantom Of The Opera

Based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, its tells the story of the beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious and disfigured musical genius. You all know the story, so go see the musical as soon as you can. I love the operatic style of the musical score, and I always get a shiver down my spine whenever I hear the title song, The Phantom Of The Opera. Absolutely breathtaking.

Moulin Rouge

I love how over-the-top and extravagant this musical is. That’s part of its charm for me. It tells the story for Satine, a beautiful courtesan promised to a duke but who falls in love for a poor writer, Christian. It’s a story of love and death, passion and jealousy, hopeless dreams and harsh reality.

The movie is a feast for eyes and ears. I only wish they had chosen another actress. Nicole Kidman acts well, but she doesn’t have the voice to be the lead in a musical imo. Yet, I melt every time she and Ewan McGregor sing Come What May. That must be one of the most romantic songs of all time.

My Fair Lady

Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady is a classic. Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, is determined to turn Cockeny flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a proper lady to win a bet. It’s delightful and charming, “the perfect little musical” as it has often been called. I Could Have Danced All Night is my happy song. Whenever I’m happy, I can’t help but sing it in my head over and over again.

What are your favourite musicals?

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.10

beauty wishlist 10

BARE MINERALS SEAMLESS SHAPING & FINISH BRUSH ($38.00)
A brush that features natural fibers for sheer application and blending of finishing powders, luminizers, and bronzers. You just can’t overdo them with a brush like this. Available at Sephora.

BARE MINERALS GLOSS ON THE GO DOUBLE-ENDED MARVELOUS MOXIE LIPGLOSS SET ($26.00)
I just can’t resist lipgloss sets. This one contains three doubled ended ones, for a total of six shades. They are: Charmer and Spark Plug (ballerina pink and dusty pink pearl), Show Off and Hot Shot (baby pink and flamingo pink), and Rebel and Stunner (pink mauve and pure magenta). Available at Sephora.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY EYES TO MESMERISE ($32.00)
This cream eyeshadow acts like a gloss, providing a sheer wash of colour with a shiny, wet finish. It has a cooling effect too, so it’s perfect for hot summer days. It’s available in five natural and wearable shades and a bright teal hue, Cleopatra. That’s my favourite. Available at Nordstrom.

CHANEL LE VERNIS ($27.00)
Chanel has released four new nail polishes for the summer, and the one that’s caught my eye is called Mediterranee. A beautiful teal, it’s the perfect accessory to complement any summery outfit. Available at Nordstrom.

CHANEL LUMIERE D’ETE ($65.00)
Embossed with a lush camellia blossom, this golden-bronze powder adds sun-kissed radiance to the complexion, eyes and décolleté. Available at Nordstrom.

CHANEL STYLO EYESHADOW ($34.00)
Infused with water, this eyeshadow stick glides smoothly on the lids, and cools them. It’s available in five shimmering, long-wearing shades: Campanule (Purple), Azulejo (Teal), Laurier Rose (Rose), Olivine (Olive green), and Caroube (Brown). Available at Nordstrom.

What I’m Reading Now

leave your mark aliza lichtLeave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media. by Aliza Licht
A global fashion communications executive, Aliza Licht is the voice behind the wildly popular @DKNY PR GIRL twitter feed. She loves fashion, rocks social media, and is very passionate about mentoring. Her conversations on twitter have led her to have coffee, and dispense career advice, to strangers interested in starting working in fashion, PR, and social media. But she can’t have coffee with everyone. That’s why Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media. was born.
Part professional memoirs and part career guide, this book tells you everything you need to know about how to land the job of your dreams even when you have no experience (Aliza had just left medical school when she got a job at magazine, a field she knew nothing about), how to create your own personal brand, how to make yourself indispensable at work (don’t learn just your job, learn everyone else’s too), how to rock social media and PR and much more. A lot of her advice can seem pretty basic, but it is incredible how many people still get this stuff wrong.
Well, now you won’t anymore. Aliza is honest, sarcastic, and friendly. Reading her book is like talking to a friend. One who’s firmly in your corner and encourages you to give your best and go after your dreams, but doesn’t hesitate to tell you the mistakes you are making and how much work is really necessary to succeed.
If your career is going nowhere, you are thinking of changing jobs, need a motivational boost, or are just a Licht fan, I highly recommend you pick up this book. You’ll love it. Available at Amazon.

The Links

How Much Sunscreen Do You Need to Use on Your Face? – Future Derm

The new Personal Care Products Safety Act: what you need to know – The Beauty Brains

Hair Science: How well do mild cleansers really clean hair? – The Natural Haven Bloom

Hang your makeup brushes out to dry with these free DIY Brush Tree Hacks – My Women Stuff

How to Build a Wardrobe That Works and Always Have Something to Wear – Forever Amber

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.182

Hello gorgeous,

time for some more random ramblings. Enjoy!

Italian Business Etiquette Tips

Italian business meeting

Curious to know how business is done in Italy? Read on:

1. Shake hands in greeting both when you are introduced to someone and when the meeting is over and you’re ready to leave. In some parts of South Italy, where etiquette is a lot more relaxed, if you already know someone well, a kiss on each cheek is sometimes preferred to a handshake. But this is usually done only between a man and a woman.

2. Titles here are important. Anyone with an university degree, in any subject, is referred to as Doctor + their surname. The same word also indicates someone who exercises the medical profession, which can be very confusing for foreigners. So, don’t assume that just because someone uses the title of doctor, they are qualified to treat sick people. If you’re in doubt, or don’t know if someone has an university degree, just stick to Signore (Mr), or Signora (Mrs), or even Signorina (Miss) + their surname.

3. Look people in the eyes when you are talking to them. It’s rude not to.

4. Be punctual, but don’t expect other people to be too. It’s common for meetings to start a few minutes late, especially in big cities like Milan and Rome, where it is easy to get stuck in traffic and hard to find a place to park your car. Italians rarely take public transportation. It is just not reliable.

5. Business meetings usually start with small talk. You may even be offered coffee or something (it’s polite to accept even if you don’t feel like drinking anything).

6. Meetings can be pretty long and loud. Italians love to talk, to discuss every point in detail, and even talk at the same time as, or even over, someone else. And nope, it is not considered rude.

7. Few Italians are fluent in English. Some can speak it but not read it or vice versa. Always enquire about the level of English the person you are meeting with is at. If they aren’t fluent in English, hire a translator and make two copies of every document, one in English and the other one in Italian. Also, try to speak a few words of Italian. The effort is always appreciated.

8. Be patient and don’t expect decisions to be taken during a meeting. Italians value trust and familiarity more than efficiency. They like to get to know someone well before doing business with them. Also, hierarchies are pretty rigid here. Usually it is only the top boss who can make a final decision, and if he’s not holding the meeting, it can take a while for him to get the details of what was discussed and figure out what to do.

9. Gift giving is not common. But, if you are invited to someone’s house, it is common courtesy to bring a bottle of wine and some flowers for the Signora.

How is business done in your country?

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.09

beauty wishlist 09

TOM FORD SOLEIL EYE & CHEEK COMPACT PALETTE ($95.00)
Pink Glow is an exotic palette of summer shades (rose, gold, and plum) inspired by soft, naked glamour and burnished, sun-touched skin. The ivory- and gold-coloured case has a retro vibe that’s very chic. Available at Bloomingdale’s and House Of Fraser.

TOM FORD CREAM & POWDER EYE COLOR ($60.00)
This two-tiered eye colour pairs two formulas: an ultra-pigmented, metallic cream shadow with a rich, molten glow and a sparkling celestial powder. It’s available in four shades – Black Oyster, Golden Peach, Midnight Sea, and Naked Bronze – at Bloomingdale’s and House Of Fraser.

GUERLAIN ROUGE AUTOMATIQUE HYDRATING LASTING LIP COLOR ($37.00)
Guerlain delivers a mega pop of colour with two new incredibly stunning and unanticipated shades of lipstick. Fluo Stiletto is a captivating neon pink shade that is sure to awaken even the most vibrant smile. Yellow it-stick is a beautiful golden tone perfect for wearing solo or layering. Once applied, lips transform and reveal an iridescent, sheer finish with that beautiful barely there look. Available at Sephora.

GUERLAIN METEORITES RAINBOW PEARLS
During summertime, the Météorites reinvent and adorn themselves with delicate and pastel colours that envelop the skin in a pure radiant halo of light. It hits counters this month.

STILA AQUA GLOW WATERCOLOR BLUSH ($26.00)
A lightweight water blush that provides a sheer, playful splash of colour on cheeks with a cooling sensation! There are five shades to choose from: Rosewater (pale pink), Shimmering Lotus (golden pink), Water Poppy (red), Water Blossom (pink violet), and Water Lily (rose pink). They are available at Stila’s website.

STILA AQUA GLOW PERFECTING PRIMER ($28.00)
This cooling primer promises to smooth skin, reduce redness, prolong the wear of makeup, and decrease the appearance of eye puffiness while giving your entire complexion a smooth, flawless finish! It’s available at Stila’s website too.

What I’m Reading Now

the mindful diet
The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health by Beth Reardon, Tania Hannan, Ruth Wolever
We eat too much. Too quickly. What’s more convenient (usually junk food and unhealthy snacks). For comfort. These habits are so ingrained they thwart not just our attempts to lose weight, but also to improve our health. The solution? The mindful diet.
The mindful diet is not about depriving yourself of certain foods. It doesn’t make you feel guilty when you fall off the wagon. In fact, the authors make it clear there is no wagon to fall off. The mindful diet is all about paying attention to what we eat and why. Combining health psychology and nutrition research, the authors have created a step-by-step program that gives you the tools to substitute the old bad habits with new, better, healthy ones. After explaining how the different foods we eat affect us on a biochemical level, the authors help us identify the signals our bodies are sending us. Our bodies tell us when we are really hungry, when we’ve had enough, what foods and in what quantities they want to eat, and more. But often they are so subtle we don’t even notice them. The mindful diet also helps us get to the root of our emotional eating and provides us with better coping mechanisms for the struggles we are facing and that are causing us to overeat or just eat unhealthily. Two ways to do that is to cultivate compassion and kindness, rather than judgement and self-criticism.
If you need to lose weight or improve your relationship with food for longlasting, vibrant health, I highly recommend you check it out. Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Links

There’s No Such Thing As a Post-Baby Body – Bitch Media

9 Things You Never Knew About Eczema – Future Derm

5 Japanese Brands You Should Try – Makeup And Beauty Blog

What’s the right order to apply a BHA serum? – The Beauty Brains

Post-workout hair (wet styling) – The Beauty Department

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.181

woman thinking

This week’s random ramblings post is a bit shorter. After 180 rounds of ramblings, I’m now stumped for ideas on what to write about. Fashion? Books? Life in Italy? Blogging? Something else?

I would really appreciate your feedback on this. When I do readers’ surveys, lots of people comment on how much they love this series, but every Sunday these posts fail to generate comments, shares, and engagement. Is that because you simply enjoy reading, not interacting, with them? Or aren’t you interested in the topics I cover?

Lately, I’ve been feeling like these posts have become too random and confusing. Do they confuse you too? Is that why they generate so little engagement? Should I revamp them? Get rid of some sections and expand others?

I’d really love to figure out what you love, hate, don’t care, about these posts so that I can make them even better for you. Let me know what you think in the comments. :)

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.08

beauty wishlist 08

HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING BRONZER ($50.00)
Ambient Lighting Bronzer fuses the illuminating effects of photoluminescent technology with bronze pigments to deliver a natural, sun-kissed glow while exhibiting depth and dimension. It comes in two shades. Luminous Bronze Light, ideal for fair skintones, is a medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder, for a softer, candlelit warmth. Radiant Bronze Light, suitable for darker complexions, is a warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow. Available at Sephora.

HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING BLUSH ($35.00)
Hourglass has also released a new blush shade. It is called Incandescent Electra, and it is a cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Light for a celestial glow. It’s available at Barneys.

BECCA BEACH TINT LIP SHIMMER SOUFFLE ($24.00)
BECCA Beach Tint Lip Shimmer Soufflé is a lightweight, marbled gloss that provides a double dose of pigment and shimmer. It is available in six summery shades: Papaya/Topaz, Fig/Topaz, Watermelon/Opal, Guava/Opal, Lychee/Topaz, and Raspberry/Opal. Available at Ulta.

MAKE UP FOR EVER ARTIST PALETTE VOLUME 2 – ARTISTIC ($42.00)
This gorgeous palette features nine colourful, fun, and vibrant shades of the brand’s iconic Artist Shadow gel-powder formula. They are: I-872 Pearly Pink, ME-910 Electric Magenta, S-924 Purple, D-552 Crystalline Gray Beige, ME-232 Turquoise Blue, ME-302 Peacock, ME-512 Golden Beige, ME-700 Amber, and ME-930 Black Purple. Available at Sephora.

TARTE EMPOWER FLOWER AMAZONIAN CLAY COLLECTOR’S PALETTE ($42.00)
Achieve a polished, glowing look with this chic, eye and cheek palette, featuring eight liner, lid, crease, and highlighting shadows, plus a trio of warm, complexion-flattering blushes and a bronzer. The shades are Compassionate (Cream, eyeshadow), Vivacious (rose gold, eyeshadow), Pretty (bronze, eyeshadow), Powerful (dark brown, eyeshadow), Energetic (taupe, eyeshadow), Eco-chic (light plum, eyeshadow), Charitable (soft pink, eyeshadow), Glamorous (dark plum, eyeshadow), Trustworthy (nude mauve, blush), Empowering (rose nude, blush), and Park Ave Princess (bronzer). Available at Sephora.

What’s on your beauty wishlist this week?

What I’m Reading Now

understanding social media
Understanding Social Media: How to Create a Plan for Your Business that Works by Damian Ryan
Social media has become an important part of marketing. Any business (or blogger) can’t afford to ignore it anymore. But how to make the most of it? Understanding Social Media: How to Create a Plan for Your Business that Works can help. It explains why you should start using social media immediately (if you aren’t already), how to create campaigns, how to budget for them and track the results you are getting, and much more. All throughout the book you’ll also find case studies from successful and failed campaigns to help you craft your own.
All the content in the book has been curated by Damian Ryan, and written by dozens of digital marketers and social media experts. This means that each chapter is written in a different voice and from a different perspective. Sometimes, their advice is contradictory. But that’s a good thing. Every business is different, and what work for one may not work for the other. By illustrating lots of different strategies, each business can select those that best suit their needs and aims.
If you fail to see how social media success can translate into more sales for your business, I highly recommend you pick up this book. If, instead, you are already an expert, you’ll probably be familiar with most of its tips. But it still provides some nice food for thought. Available at Amazon.

The Links

The 6 essentials for every gym bag – Future Derm

The pale girl’s guide to highlighting and contouring – Phyrra

Natural vs. Chemical – Which Is Better?
– Lab Muffin

How contouring took all the fun out of getting made up – The Pool

Why mineral sunscreens and foundation may be better if you have melasma or hyperpigmentation – Viva Woman

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.180

Hello gorgeous!

Are you enjoying your Sunday so far? Let me know in the comments, but first here are my random ramblings for this week:

Why I Don’t Watermark My Photos

nars blush bronzer duo orgasm laguna 01

Should a blogger watermark her photos? It’s a simple question, but also a very controversial one. People in both the pro and anti watermark camps tend to have strong feelings about their stance, and the conversation can quickly turn ugly. I trust that won’t happen here.

As you’ve noticed if you’ve seen any of my images, I’m firmly in the anti-watermark camp. I hate them, and will soon explain why. But first, let me say that I don’t have anything against those who decide to watermark their photos.

A lot of love and labour goes into taking a good shot, and I easily understand why some people take this step to protect their work. A lot of my favourite bloggers, like Paris from My Women Stuff and Michelle from Lab Muffin, watermark their images, and that has never prevented me from enjoying and loving their blogs.

I understand and respect their choice. I just made a different one. Here’s why:

1. Watermarks are ugly

Watermarks ruin the viewing experience. There’s no denying that. A watermark, especially when it is big, plastered in the center of a photo, or uses a cheap font, distracts from an otherwise clear and beautiful shot. Some bloggers have tried to fix this by creating pretty logos or using tiny watermarks in a corner, which are not such eyesores. But still, imo, unwatermarked pictures look prettier and more professional too.

2. Watermarks only prevents lazy thefts

A lot of bloggers start watermarking their photos after they are stolen. I can easily understand this reaction. It really hurts to see someone steal your work and passing it on as their own. No one should ever have to deal with that. But I personally don’t believe that watermarks are a big deterrent.

A lazy thief may stay away from watermarked photos, but those with a bit of skill and free time can easily use the “clone” tool in every graphic programme to get rid of the original logo or url.

If someone wants to steal, they will. But if someone has used your image because they genuinely believed they could (some people seem to believe that everything that’s on the internet is free and are honestly surprised to find out that’s not the case), then just contacting them and requesting them to take down the image will usually do the trick.

3. Watermarks are not a very effective promotional tool

Social networks like Pinterest and Facebook have made it easy to share images with the world. But it’s not always easy to discover who their original author is. If the image is watermarked, everyone can see whom it belongs to and, hopefully, like it so much they’ll want to visit the blog it first appeared on. But few do.

Even worse, if you want your image to go viral, most people avoid sharing a watermarked image. And not just because your branding ruins the visual effect of the picture. Some people, those who know that not everything on the internet is free for all, are worried that, by sharing a copyrighted image, they may get into trouble.

Will the owner be pleased with them sharing the photo, or will they receive an angry email with all sorts of threats? Sure, asking the owner in the first place would clear up any doubts, but how many of us have the time, or even will, to do that? It’s much easier not to share the image at all.

If you’re very protective of your photos, fine. But if you’d like them to be shared on social media and drive traffic to your site, watermarks will likely get in the way. It may be free advertising. But it’s not very effective advertising.

What I do instead

While I understand why some people decide to watermark their images, to me the little benefits they provide aren’t enough to compensate for a less pleasant viewing experience and the extra time it takes to add my branding to my images. But I still like to know if someone is “borrowing” my work.

TinEye makes that very easy to do. It’s a reverse image search engine that helps you find out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. All you need to do is either enter the url of your photo. They also have browser plugins you can use to click on images you find online to discover who else is using it. The best part? It’s free.

What do you think of watermarks? Do you love or hate them? Or do you see them as a necessary evil?

What I’m Reading Now

helen of sparta
Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella
I’ve never been a big fan of Helen of Sparta, or Helen of Troy, as she is best known. She may have been the most beautiful woman in the world, a face that launched a thousand ships, but she was also incredibly dull. Myths portray her as a powerless pawn in the hands of the gods, Menelaus, and her family. A few accuse her of treachery and enjoying the carnage the war of Troy unleashed. The Helen Amanda Carosella has created is, instead, completely different. Passionate, stubborn, and determined to defy the will of the gods in order to take charge of her life.
Long before she ever met Paris, Helen is haunted by nightmares of a burning city under siege. The only way to prevent it from coming true is by refusing to marry Menelaus. But both he and her family have other ideas. Alone and desperate, Helen has no choice but seek the help of Theseus, King of Athens and son of Poseidon. He helps her escape and the two start building a life together. But many dangers threaten their happiness. Can Helen really escape her destiny so easily?
Carosella seamlessly weaves mythology and history in this enthralling tale of family drama, political intrigue, and romance. Fast-paced and beautifully written, you won’t be able to put it down. Highly recommended. Available at Amazon.

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.07

beauty wishlist 7

DIOR DIORSKIN NUDE TAN TIE DYE (€56.00)
Dior Tie Dye is one of my favourite collections for the upcoming summer. I want so many pieces from it. My favourite are the new face powders, Pink Sunrise and Coral Sunset. They feature a mosaic of shades to give skin a nice pop of colour and glow. Available at Nordstrom.

DIOR TIE DYE 5 COULEURS PALETTE (€56.00)
I’m in love with the Contraste Horizon. It features brown, yellow, white, blue, and green shades that allows you to create subtle and colourful looks for the daytime. It’s available at Nordstrom.

DIOR ADDICT TIE DYE LIPSTICK (€34.00)
Aren’t these lippies cute? There are six shades available, one prettier than the other. They are called Red Bliss, Coral Trip, Hypnotic Plum, Cosmic Pink, Fuchsia Utopia, and Nude Ever. Available at Nordstrom.

DIOR VERNIS (€25.00)
Dior’s summer collection also features 3 nail polishes that satisfy every need. Want a bright pop of colour? Opt for Sundown, a radiant hibiscus. A radiant pastel look? Choose Sunwashed, a milky yellow. A natural look? Sunkissed, a rosy nude, is perfect for you. They are all available at Nordstrom.

DIOR TIE DYE TOP COAT (€26.00)
Any nail polish needs a good top coat to help it last longer. This new one from Dior really intrigues me. It is available at Nordstrom.

GIVENCHY LE VERNIS (€23.00)
I love the new summer shades of Givenchy Le Vernis. Croisiere Sensation, a bright pink, and Croisiere Aquatique, a soft aqua, give your nail a fresh pop of colour that’s perfect for the warm season. Available at Sephora.

KAT VON D INK LINER ($19.00)
I suck at applying eyeliner, but this promises to be foolproof, waterproof, and perfect for “effortless drama”. It’s available in 10 shades. My favourites are Dali, teal, and Nietzsche, periwinkle. Available at Sephora.

KAT VON D TATTOO PRECISION BROW ($19.00)
Apparently, it took Kat Von D five years to finalize the formula of this liquid brow liner in a range of long-wear, natural-looking shades that won’t fade or discolour. It’s available in four shades: Blonde, Light Brown, Medium Brown, and Dark Brunette. Available at Sephora.

What’s on your beauty wishlist this week?

The Links

3 work-friendly ways to wear blue eyeshadow to the office – My Women Stuff

A Less Than £5 Dupe for MAC’s Ripe Peach – Zoe London

6 Money-Saving Skin Care Tips – Renee Rouleau

Ten tips to help you survive a spending ban
– Tales Of A Pale Face

Cosmetic Shopping: Beware These Marketing Misleads – Yummy Mummy Club

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.179

Hello gorgeous,

are you having a nice Sunday? I hope so. Sit back, relax, and enjoy my weekly ramblings. And feel free to share yours in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have been up to too!

My Favourite Italian Designers

favourite italian designers

Italy is famous for its fashion as much as it is for its food. Italians love to look their best and dress up to the nines. Even when we go casual, we usually give much attention to every detail of our outfit to make sure everything harmonises well. And our designers are known the world over for their timeless, traditional, yet modern aesthetics that make any woman feel special. Here are my favourites:

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana love controversy. I don’t, but you don’t have to like a designer or agree with what he says to appreciate his creations. And there’s no denying that Dolce & Gabbana’s creations are stunning. Their aesthetic is feminine and sensual, bold and extravagant, elaborate and voluptuous, and greatly influenced by Sicily and the Mediterranean. It’s stepped in tradition, but still very modern.

Luisa Beccaria

If you’re the romantic type, you just can’t help but fall in love with Luisa Beccaria’s creations. Dreamy, poetic, flowy, and feminine are just some of the adjectives that spring to mind to describe her aesthetic. Her gowns are traditional, but with a modern vibe, and look like they have just come out from a faitrytale.

Alberta Ferretti

Charming, romantic, and contemporary. That’s Alberta Ferretti’s aesthetic. Famous for her twisting, tucking, and draping techniques, she often uses layers to create a flowy, feminine look. She always knows how to make a woman look and feel gorgeous.

Valentino

Timeless. Valentino’s creations can be worn in any era without ever looking out of place. Famous for his signature red hue and romantic style, Valentino always make women feel and look like princesses. In recent years, and under the new creative directors, the brand has started breaking with tradition, opting for a more minimalistic and modern aesthetic that’s still, however, very regal. I’m still a big fan.

What are your favourite Italian designers?

Beauty Wishlist, Vol.06

beauty wishlist 05

ELIZABETH ARDEN SUNKISSED PEARLS BRONZER AND HIGHLIGHTER ($39.50)
How gorgeous is this bronzer? The pattern reminds me of a day at the beach, and that’s what the sunkissed glow it provides is said to mimic too. I just wish the packaging were prettier. I noticed several high-end brands are starting to use white packaging, and I don’t like the trend. It looks so cheap! Available at Debenhams.

URBAN DECAY AFTERGLOW 8-HOUR POWDER BLUSH ($26.00)
Urban Decay’s new blush promises to give your skin an easy, sexy, lit-from-within glow that makes people wonder if you spent the whole weekend in a secret love den. Its creamy texture is said to blend effortlessly, making for a foolproof application. It is available in 12 shades, ranging from pinks to nudes, from purples to reds! Available at Sephora.

URBAN DECAY EYESHADOW ($18.00)
Urban Decay has released 8 new eyeshadow colours. My favourite are four duochrome shades: Tonic (lilac with blue shift), Lounge (brick red with green shift), Dive Bar (medium blue with pink-purple shift), and Sideline (gold with green shift). Available at Sephora.

BITE BEAUTY WATERCOLOR LIP GLOSS LIBRARY ($49.00)
Inspired by the ethereal and delicate beauty of watercolours, this set contains 12 soft shades for a translucent wash of colour and alluring shine. Next to red, pink, and coral shades, you’ll find unusual hues such as yellow and mint, but don’t worry. They’re very sheer and wearable. Available at Sephora.

What I’m Reading Now

non obvious
Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict The Future by Rohit Bhargava
Everyone can follow trends, but how many of us can spot them while they are just emerging? Bhargava can and, in Non-Obvious, he explains how you too can “see the things that others miss”. First, he teaches us his simple methods and the tools he uses to spot trends. Then, he shares the 15 top trends of 2015, highlighting how some brands have already taken advantage of them, and pointing out ways you can do the same. That way, you’ll be able to take better decision to propel your business, or even your blog, forward. Written in an engaging and easy-to-understand style, the book flows easily. If you want to know how to be among the first players in your industry to adopt a successful trend, or lead the way, give it a read. It’s available at Amazon.

The Links

The Best Of Charlotte Tilbury – Lily Pebbles

Why I’m Quitting Gel Nails: A Temporary Beautiful Result For Long-Term Pain – London Beauty Queen

How to choose a skincare mask – Lab Muffin

What Does Capitalism Have to Do With Body Image Anyway? – Adios Barbie

The Straight Line Technique For Hooded Eyes – Wayne Goss

Disclosure: I received the book from Netgalley. In addition, the post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.