December 24, 2015

What I love about the Holiday Season

I can’t actually believe that it’s Christmas Eve. I don’t think I’m ready for it yet. My Christmas tree is up, cards are sent out, the house is decorated, even my office is. But I think that’s the problem: I’m working. For all these years I’ve been off school at least a couple of days before Christmas and I’ve been able to fully enjoy the season. It’s calm at the office and I’m not drowning in work so I can’t complain. But I can’t exactly light candles, eat cookies and watch movies all day.
Christmas Cookies with Christmas Tree
To get in the spirit I want to share with you what I love about Christmas:
Movies - This is going to be quite an unusual choice for a favorite: Little Lord Fauntleroy, a British movie from 1980. I wouldn't say that it is christmassy but it’s definitely one of the classics that is aired on German TV around this time of the year. Since I was a kid I've seen the movie about 15 times and I'll probably watch it next year and the year after that and so on. But I also love to cuddle up on the sofa in my onesie to watch The Holiday or Love Actually.
Decorations – Why can’t we hang fairy lights all year round or at least all winter? Driving to work in the dark is much less painful when the streets are lit up with fairy lights in trees, shop windows, everywhere. Also the smell of a fresh Christmas tree when you walk into someone’s home is one of my favorite scents.
Food – I’m talking chocolate and cookies. To be honest I’m not a fan of all the special editions for this season. Even a plain bar of milk chocolate tastes better and less guilty in December. And adding a bit of cinnamon to any drink makes it festive!
Make Up – This may sound very superficial but I love how I can layer on the make up without being judged. I wear minimal and neutral make up all year round but with all the Christmas parties and New Years Eve I have an excuse to go all out and experiment with glitter and color.
The most important thing about the Holidays though is spending quality time with your family and friends!
Merry Christmas!

December 17, 2015

Last Minute Gift Guide

Some of you may have had the time to get all your Christmas shopping done before this weekend. But if like me you only got off work late these past couple of days you may be in desperate need of some last minute gift ideas. Online shopping might be less stressful but this close to Christmas I'm scared that my orders don't get in in time to put under the tree.

Here are some quick ideas that will hopefully make your shopping a bit easier:
Personally I love to receive PJ's for Christmas and it has been a tradition in our household. Find the most festive and cosy set and accessorize with a pair of socks or a snuggly blanket. If you're shopping for a kid in your family you could always add a cute teddy bear.
Scents are quite personal and difficult to shop for so if you don't want to risk buying the wrong perfume for somebody, go for candles. You can choose a theme (spicy, fruity, floral) and put together your own little set of candles.
Everybody has that friend or family member that likes to cuddle up on the sofa every once in a while to have a movie marathon. Find out their favorite genre and select a couple of DVDs, add some unhealthy snacks to the collection and gift the perfect movie night.
For the make-up lover among your friends and family you can choose to splurge on one of the amazing limited edition sets from a high end brand or put together your own set. Go to the drugstore and pick up your own favorites from lipstick to mascara to put them in a nice make up bag under the Christmas tree. You could also to do these personalized sets with skincare items, shower gels, bath oils, etc.
Every girl loves to open a little velvet box to find a nice piece of jewellery. Go for something simple and classic or something a bit more edgy depending on the personality and your budget. When it comes to jewellery I'd say go for a necklace or earrings to be safe in case you're not sure about sizes.
As girls we find it a bit tricky to find a gift for the males in our lives. Something practical and tech-y would be a portable battery charger or high quality headphones.
Gender neutral are gift vouchers although they are a bit controversial. Try to add a personal touch to a voucher, create a whole experience around it. Maybe embed the voucher in a trip.
You could also do the same with concert tickets or tickets to any sports event!
To me it's important that you add a personal touch to any gift or at least have a story to go with it that you write down on a Christmas card!

Did you leave your shopping until the last minute?

December 12, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Charms

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Charms

Bitch Perfect, So Marilyn, Penelope Pink

Isn't it the dream of every girl to have a christmas tree decorated with beauty and skincare? I certainly wouldn't mind but I don't know if I'd be able to resist using them before christmas. 

This year I treated myself to a little pre-christmas present. And it's a special one. I've been eyeing up the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks for a while now. Unfortunately I have to rely on ordering online but despite looking at swatches and reading reviews I couldn't choose a color. So instead of choosing just one color I picked out this cute set of mini charms. I'll be able to try Penelope Pink, So Marilyn and Bitch Perfect. 

The Charlotte Tilbury charms come in a box as small as a match box. The lipsticks are actually much smaller than I expected and I'm sure these will be the first lipsticks that I'll completely use up (within a couple of months). Penelope Pink, a beige nude, and Bitch Perfect, a pinky/peachy nude, are very wearable everyday colours. So Marilyn is a classic red that is perfect for this time of the year and comes in very handy as I don't actually own a true red.

Despite the pretty packaging and the shade variety I think that these little/tiny lipsticks charms are a bit too pricey. However they make a great present for a special lady among your family or friends.

December 08, 2015

The Cheek Palette Rundown

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit  ($80/£65/up to 90€) This is the palette of the year! Ever since I spotted this on Instagram back in summer I've been stalking the Internet for more information and swatches. The palette contains 3 of their famous powders (Dim Light, Diffused Light, Iridescent Strobe), 2 blushes (Luminous Flush, Mood Exposure) and 1 bronzer (Luminous Bronze Light). The main critique with this release has been its price compared to the size and quantity of product you're getting.

NARS x Steven Klein One Shocking Moment ($69/£49/59€) In my opinion this palette is the highlight of the Steven Klein collection. It combines cult favorites with limited edition shades for a great price. The palette contains the Paloma contouring duo, Laguna bronzer, as well as 4 blushes (Luster, Dolce Vita, new releases Robotic and Blasphemy). The contour shades might however not suit everybody and NARS lovers could already own half the palette in singles.

Laura Mercier Blush & Glow Radiant Face Trio ($58/£45/65€) This travel friendly palette contains 3 of the brand baked powders. I've been eyeing the Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 for months. In addition to the highlight the palette also comes with the shade Bronze 03 and the Baked Blush in Ritual as well as a mini brush. Instead of the brush I would've liked to see another blush considering the price tag.

BECCA Afterglow Palette ($39.50/£34/49€) The palette contains the brands ever so famous Shimmering Skin Perfectors in Moonstone, Rose Gold and Topaz as well as 2 of their Mineral Blushes (Wild Honey and Flowerchild). With this beauty you've got all bases covered: blush, highlight, bronzer and even eyeshadow. This may or may not be on its way to me right now!

Other brands such as Tarte, Too Faced and Benefit also have cheek palettes out worth mentioning.

Depending on the exchange rate and the site you're ordering from the prices indicated in Euros may vary.

December 03, 2015

New On My Bookshelf

New Books

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber As soon as I walked into the store I was attracted to this stand of Christmas themed books with super cute covers. I wasn't expecting to find a novel with a deep meaning and difficult characters. I wanted something light hearted, sweet and fluffy, just like the TV movies they air around this time of the year. Ashley and Dash embark on a road trip from California to Seattle, hoping to make it by the 23rd of December.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover Ever since reading Slammed I've been hooked on CoHo books and devoured almost everything she ever wrote. This was on my Amazon wish list so I had to pick it up when I spotted it on the shelf. When Tate meets Miles passed out drunk in front of her apartment, she's far from impressed. Despite the uncomfortable first encounter they can't deny their obvious mutual attraction.

The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh My mom initially discovered this on the Top 10 shelf and pointed it out because of its cover. I was skeptical and intrigued at the same time as the novel is described as "a tense, sensuous and piercingly insightful story of sexual obsession". 

Massive shout-out to Ernster's All English Bookstore! They offer a wide range of books and their friendly and helpful staff makes for a very pleasant shopping experience. I've never left the store empty handed even though it's a bit more expensive than Amazon.

Which books have you picked up recently?

November 28, 2015

Glamglow Thirstycleanse Nightmare

Glamglow Thirstycleanse

I recently purchased the Glamglow Thirstymud treatment at my local Sephora. At the till I was lucky enough to be given a generous amount of samples of their new cleansers. I was genuinely excited about these samples for once - Sephora, why do I always get perfume samples for men??

I picked up the treatment for my dry winter skin so I was particularly interested in trying the Thirstycleanse. It claims to be a revolutionary cleanser “designed to create a hydrated, silky, and dewy fresh complexion”. Ingredients such as Brazilian clay and green coconut water are supposed to remineralize and boost skin for intense hydration.
The subtle coconut scent surprised me as I’m used to the REN clay cleanser which smells very unpleasant. The texture of the mud is rather sticky and thick which makes it difficult to spread it evenly across the face. As soon as you add water in circular motions the cleanser gets creamier and you can easily massage it into the skin. After rinsing off the product my skin feels clean and smooth but I wouldn’t say that it is more moisturizing than other cleansers.
So far so good: it’s not a revolutionary cleanser that I need to purchase full-size for 30 €, I’m not missing out on something great if I pass.
It was only the next morning when this review had turned into a nightmare. I had a pretty painful reaction to Thirstycleanse. Around my mouth and nose my skin felt almost burnt. It was very dry and flakey, and covered in tiny little bumps. It was painful to the point where it felt like my skin might crack when I smiled.
If you have dry or sensitive skin I wouldn’t recommend this cleanser. In fact, stay as far away from it as possible!

Have you tried Thirstycleanse or Thirstymud? Let me know what you think!

November 23, 2015

10 Facts About Me

Locked away secrets

I hadn't set foot in an IKEA until the age of 20. Needless to say that I spent a lot of money on stuff that I probably didn't need.

My maths skills are pretty much non-existend. I'll be getting my phone out to calculate the price of my drink and pasta dish at the restaurant.

I don't drink alcohol or anything fizzy. So I'm the girl ordering still water on a night out. Sounds a bit lame, right? But I always joke that I drink pure vodka.

Newborn babies are scary to me. Don't make me hold a baby until it's at least 6 months old.

I'd choose a slice of cheese over a piece of chocolate any day. I could never go vegan as I wouldn't be able to give up cheese. Ever.

Pretty notebooks are one of my weaknesses: I keep buying them but never actually use them.

I love singing but I can't actually hit a single note. During a practical training at a kindergarden I've been told by one of the teachers in charge that my singing is awful. Sorry to everyone listening but I can't help myself.

Don't talk to me or ask me anything in the morning.

As a kid I wanted to be a princess, preferably a Disney princess, but a regular princess would have been alright. I gave up on that dream when William married Kate.

When I was 15 I started writing a book. I had done a lot of research, wrote down what I loved about my favorite books, started developping my characters and the storyline. I wrote about 8 pages. To be continued.

Let's all get to know each other!
Feel free to share a random fact about yourself!

November 16, 2015

My Heart goes out to Paris

After this weekends events my heart goes out to Paris, to the innocent people who lost their lives, to the people who have been injured, and to the people who lost a friend or family member.
Paris is only a train ride away from where I live. Friends and family have lived in the French capital, visited on weekends or stayed overnight for a business trip. You keep thinking what if but at the same time are relieved that everybody you know is safe. The shock however still sits deep.

With so many emotions involved people want to have somebody to blame for the tragedy. Only a couple hours after the attacks ISIS have taken claim. Terrorists are responsible for the death of innocents. Not Muslims, not Syrians, not immigrants. We can’t blame an entire religion or country for these acts of terrorism and hate.

Reacting with more hate is not the way to move forward. Spreading violence, demonstrating against immigration, burning down homes is just as awful. Don’t fight terrorism with terrorism.

While you pray for Paris I strongly urge you to also pray for the rest of the world. Unfortunately the media coverage is very selective and we don’t read much about what happens in the world far away from us. People don’t change their profile pictures for Syria or Lebanon, there are no hashtags trending or colored Opera Houses.

It seemed inappropriate to write about beauty or fashion this weekend. Even though I don’t have a large audience I think it’s important to voice your opinion.

Please be safe, stay strong and don't loose hope.

November 09, 2015

A Fresh Start

I stopped posting, thought I’d come back to it rather sooner than later. Since then days, weeks and even months have passed. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only option is a fresh start. But how do you re-launch your blog? How do you wake up Sleeping Beauty?
I’m not one to jump in head first. So the last couple of weeks have been all about planning and making decisions. First I needed to figure out if I wanted to change direction but I realized very quickly that I don’t want to be just a lifestyle blogger or a beauty blogger. I want to continue to write about what makes me happy whether that’s books, lipsticks, chocolate or grey jumpers. Do what makes you happy and write about what makes you happy. Readers will notice right away when you post something that’s halfhearted.
With that in mind I needed to figure out if I could or should hold on to the name “beauty visions”. Is that a name that truly reflects my content? It might not be but I’m not ready to let go of it, it’s where I started all these years ago. Also I don’t have to worry about changing my social media accounts. Plus anything new I came up with sounded like a very cheesy 80s song title.
Looking to the right you’ll notice that my blog archive is empty. I didn’t want the baggage of the past weigh me down. I went through all my old posts, deleting the irrelevant and embarrassing ones (like me admitting to liking One Direction back in 2011), and reverting my favorite ones to drafts. Some of these posts that I kept will pop up over the next months.
I’m so excited about finally posting again and I truly feel like this is a fresh start. For now I want to stick to uploading once or twice a week. If I can stick to that and work doesn't get in the way I'll go up to 2 posts every week.
Have a great week!

November 01, 2015

Falling out of Love

I started this blog in September 2011 when I went into my second year of University. After reading blogs and watching Youtube videos I had the urge of creating something of my own. I wanted to have my own little space of happiness on the internet. And I was so in love with it.
Now, four years later, I’m in a different place. I’m not the same person who started the cute blog with the baby blue layout, the flowers and bumblebees in the background. I’ve done a lot of growing up, made difficult decisions in my personal and professional life, picked myself up after a rough patch. Through all of that I’ve desperately tried to hang on to my little happy place on the internet.
The relationship status between me and my beloved blog can be described as “critical”. I have neglected it over the last couple of years and despite numerous attempts I haven’t been able to save it. Life has gotten in the way and I have to admit that sadly I’ve fallen out of love with blogging. It hasn’t been enjoyable lately and I wasn’t able to put in the energy and dedication that it deserves.
This is not me breaking up with my blog though.  This is me preparing for a fresh start.

To be continued …
© Beauty Visions

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