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?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.144

Hello gorgeous,

ready for tis week’s random ramblings? Here we go:

Wishlist Vol.22

wishlist 22

Sophia Webster Tia Ankle Boots: I’ve never been a big fan of ankle boots, but I love these. Crafted in a fine black suede, they are accented with beautifully embroidered leaf detailing around the trim.

Monsoon Fia Lace Dress: a beautiful pleated lace dress with a semi-sheer yoke with a coordinating silky trim, a contrasting striped border at the hem, and a navy trim at the waistband. It’s casual enough for daily wear and chic enough for special occasions.

YSL La Vernithèque Collection: this luxurious set contains 9 shades of Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres and 9 shades of La Laque Couture in colourful summer shades and dark autumnal hues. Available only in a duty-free stores at selected airports.

Sephora The Beauty Of Giving Back Face Palette: this face palette contains cream and powder blush and bronzer shades. It makes look good and feel good too. If you purchase it, you’ll help support breast cancer research and awareness.

Honey Dew Me Up Primer: it neutralizes the appearance of discolouration and redness, and, thanks to light reflective gold flecks, creates a luminous, radiant look.

What I’m Reading Now

the summer queenThe Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick
This is definitely the best historical fiction novel I’ve read this year. The first book in the Eleanor Of Aquitaine’s trilogy, it covers her first marriage to Louis VII of France and the beginning of her second one to Henry of Anjou and Normandy, until their ascension to the throne of England. Rather than filling the book with stereotypes, Chadwick portrays Eleanor as a scared little girl about to marry a man she had never met, but hopeful they’ll make it work. Sadly, his advisers have other ideas and use Louis’ religious fervour against Eleanor, painting her as an evil and tempting Eve. The marriage crumbles, but Eleanor has now turned into a shrewd and practical lady who’s determined to get out of the marriage and contract a new one with a man she can rule with as an equal. Will Henry be it? We’ll found that out in the next book. The novel is meticulously researched and beautifully written, bringing the characters and the world they lived in vividly to life. It feels like you’re there next to them. I highly recommend it to all fans of historical fiction, and Eleanor of Aquitaine in particular.

The Links

Do stem cells work in cosmetics? – The Beauty Brains

Best products for pregnant women - Future Derm

Is grapefruit seed extract really a natural preservative? – Personal Care Truth

Can you remove nail polish with lemon and vinegar? - Lab Muffin

How to get children to wear sunscreen - You Beauty

Sunday Survey, Vol.212

1. What kind of cake would you like for your birthday?
It’s my birthday this month and I’m planning to get a cake with lots of chocolate, cream, and cherries. Yummy!

2. Do you use a mascara base?
Nope, I’m lazy and I want a mascara that does it all – add length, curl, definition, and lasts long – without the need to use a base. I haven’t found my HG yet, but Pupa Vamp! Mascara is pretty close to it.

3. Are you currently enjoying any beauty products on which you recently splurged?
Dior Diorskin Nude Foundation. It has great coverage and a beautiful, natural finish.

4. Are you a MAC or a PC?
PC. But only because I can’t afford a MAC yet.

5. How do you feel about foul language in movies?
I hate foul language in general, and think it should be used only when it suits the character. Some people do swear a lot in real life, so not showing that would be censure. But I also think that too many movies use foul language for the sake of it and I don’t like that.

It’s your turn now!
1. What kind of cake would you like for your birthday?
2. Do you use a mascara base?
3. Are you currently enjoying any beauty products on which you recently splurged?
4. Are you a MAC or a PC?
5. How do you feel about foul language in movies?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.143

Happy Sunday everyone,

ready for another round of random ramblings? Here we go:

Follow Me On Facebook

follow me on facebook
After years of neglecting Facebook, I have finally revamped Beautiful With Brains’ page and started to be more active on it. I’m now regularly posting blog updates, new products releases that catch my fancy, inspirational quotes, and just random bits and bobs about my personal and blogging lives (if you’re interested in the more sciencey stuff, follow me on Google Plus instead). Click on the “like” button to follow me on FB. I’d love to chat to you all over there too!

What I’m Reading Now

victorian murderesses
Victorian Murderesses by Mary S. Hartman
One of the best books I’ve read this year, Victorian Murderesses tells the stories of 13 British and French women who were accused of murder in the 19th century. Hartman examines their motives, their backgrounds, and the court records. But rather than sensationalizing the tales, she uses them to take a good look at Victorian society and the place women had in it. Thanks to the accused, we get a better understanding of the problems and challenges women faced during the course of the century, and why, under particular circumstances, they could become murderesses or be accused of crimes they didn’t commit. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the book is a must read for anyone interested in both crime and the role of women in Victorian society. However, it can be a bit too scholarly for casual readers.

The Links

How to deal with dark spots left by acne - No Nonsense Beauty Blog

Are parabens safe? - Of Fingers And Faces

How to master the bold lip - Jenny Sue Makeup

Stopthebeautymadness brutally honest campaign goes viral – Beaut.ie

How to take care of your skin before and after exercising – Renee Rouleau

Sunday Survey, Vol.211

1. What’s your secret passion?
Novel writing. I have never finishing a novel yet, although I have started quite a few. But hey, hopefully, I’ll complete one one day.

2. What are the makeup products you use most often?
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and Pupa Vamp! Mascara.

3. Hair of the day?
Messy bun. It’s just too hot to keep your hair down today.

4. Bar soaps or shower gels?
Shower gels. I find most bar soaps too harsh and drying for my dry skin.

5. What do you think of open toe socks?
Not a fan!

It’s your turn now!
1. What’s your secret passion?
2. What are the makeup products you use most often?
3. Hair of the day?
4. Bar soaps or shower gels?
5. What do you think of open toe socks?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.142

Hello everyone,

what have you been up to this past weeks? Let me know in the comments and, in the meantime, enjoy my random ramblings:

Stella De Libero

stella de libero

I always thought that, when I’d get married (which, by the way, isn’t happening anytime soon), I’d wear a traditional white dress. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking I’d like something different and unconventional. Well, maybe not as over the top as Stella De Libero’s creations, but, boy, aren’t they stunning?! Her dresses are full of ruffles, embroidery, flowers, beads, and pleats that remind me of those sumptuous gowns worn by royalty and nobility in the past. The attention to detail is incredible. A lot of her dresses come in bold, bright colours, but there are also some white ones for more traditional brides. Would you wear a Stella De Libero creation on your wedding day, or do you prefer something simple and modern?

What I’m Reading Now

the romanov sisters
The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport
I’ve always been fascinated by the last Tsar of Russia and his beautiful family, but I rarely read books about them cos it just depresses me too much. Their fate was just too tragic. This book, though, only briefly covers their last days in Ekaterinburg and their murder, as Rappaport had already written a book about it. Thanks to a treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, Rappaport brings the Grand Duchesses, with their very different personalities, back to life. I had never realised how much secluded the life had always been, even before the revolution. Because of their mother’s ailing health and aversion to society, and the dangerous and volatile political situation, with attacks and attempted murders against members of government and of the royal family being quite frequent occurrences even before 1917, they had barely any contact with the outside world. They barely had any friends and, although they feel in love, usually with officers and soldiers, they could never do anything about it. Thus they always remained quite innocent about the world, but they were also clever and realised, in their last few years, how dangerous their situation was. Even in captivity, they always remained good and sweet, trying to make friends with those guarding them, and being loyal to one another and their country. They were really amazing young women whose lives were cut short way too soon. Overall, this is a wonderful but sad book that any fans of the family should read.

The Links

5 best blush for fair skin – Temptalia

Common misconceptions about hydroxy acids – Future Derm

Your body is powerful. Use it as an instrument, not an ornament – Beauty Redefined

5 ways to have a body positive summer – Adios Barbie

Why does curly hair curl? – Hair Romance

Sunday Survey, Vol.210

1. Last movie you watched?
Gypsy. Love old musicals!

2. What makeup did you wear to the prom?
We don’t have proms here, but I’m curious to hear what you wore to yours. :)

3. Eyeshadow of the day?
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Flipside. It’s beautiful green shade that gives a nice pop of colour to my face and is perfect for summer.

4. Do you marathon TV shows or do you watch them in small doses?
I used to do marathons, but these days I have less free time so I prefer to watch one or two episodes a day, or even less.

5. Your take on wearing sneakers in the summer?
I think it’s ok if you’re running, playing sports or doing something like that. But for daily, or night, wear, I prefer to wear sandals or wedges.

It’s your turn now!
1. Last movie you watched?
2. What makeup did you wear to the prom?
3. Eyeshadow of the day?
4. Do you marathon TV shows or do you watch them in small doses?
5. Your take on wearing sneakers in the summer?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.141

Hello everyone,

ready for this week’s ramblings? Let’s get started then:

Dalek cookies

dalek cookies
My boyfriend loves both baking and Doctor Who, so it was only a matter of time before he’d come up with the idea of making cookies inspired by his favourite show. I don’t know what recipe he used, but the cookies were delicious! We didn’t have enough cherries, though, so he had to cut them in three parts rather in half, which is why some of the Daleks have that hole in their heads. Oh well, we exterminated them pretty quickly anyway. ;)

What I’m Reading Now

the choice nicholas sparksThe Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Travis Parker is handsome, sporty, has a great job, a loving family, and loyal friends. The only thing he lacks is love. But he is in no rush to commit. Until Gabby Holland comes along. The first part of the book is about the two falling in love. It’s only in the second part that the reader find out what the choice Travis, now married to Gabby, has to make. The question that torments him is how far should you go to keep the hope of love alive? I won’t tell you more than that because I don’t want to ruin the story for you, so I’ll simply say that Sparks here is dealing with a very controversial ethical topic in a way that most people will find too simplistic and even unrealistic. In a way, I agree with that. But then, this is a romance novel, not an essay on ethics and morals. As always, the books, which is beautifully written, pulled at my heartstrings. However, because the topic is a bit trivialized and the pace slower than usual, this is so far my least fave Sparks book. His fans will still enjoy it, though.

The Links

How to control shine in the summer months – Future Derm

Recognizing an eating disorder and recovering - Beauty Redefined

A month without facewash – Lab Muffin

How to get a job in fashion/beauty PR, social media and marketing - Zoe London

Ingredient scares that aren’t true – Paula’s Choice

Sunday Survey, Vol.209

1. Something you’re afraid of?
Spiders. And change. I’m working on the latter, as changes can be very good sometimes and I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut for too long.

2. Have you ever had to hide your love for makeup?
Nope. Some people think I have too much, or that the looks I wear are too crazy, but I don’t care. Life is too short not to do something you love because of what others may think.

3. At what time do you usually have breakfast?
At 8:00am, after an hour of exercise.

4. Powder, cream, or liquid blush?
Powder. I find it easier to apply and lasts long.

5. What do you think of big jewellery?
I like a statement necklace, bracelet, or even ring, but they should be used in moderation. One at a time is more than enough.

It’s your turn now!
1. Something you’re afraid of?
2. Have you ever had to hide your love for makeup?
3. At what time do you usually have breakfast?
4. Powder, cream, or liquid blush?
5. What do you think of big jewellery?