NYX Ultimate Palette Review

Hi everyone!

Today, I am back from my Christmas break (it was lovely, thank you, and I got skincare and make-up so expect some more excited reviews coming soon!) to rave about a product that was such a big part of my autumn: the NYX Ultimate Palette in Warm Neutrals.

It looks like this:

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It’s simple, modern and sleek. It’s also really obvious that I’ve been using these three middle colors a lot! But it’s a clean packaging with fairly good-sized pans; and overall the palette is very practical. It’s thin so it’s easy to grab with you when you’re travelling or if you want to keep it in your purse, you still get quite a lot of product for the price and the only thing I can say is that it’s only missing a little mirror (as far as packaging goes… Otherwise I have many more things to say).

These tones were all the rage during autumn, and I must admit I was a little stressed out about putting such bright, reddish colors on my very pale skin. But it worked out fine! It’s actually also really good to pop up a look during the winter (because I mostly wear black and navy blue or dark green, so I always need a little bit of color) and it works great with blue eyes. To be honest, I think it’s a color palette that works with all eyes and all skin tones; because there’s quite a lot of choice and it’s very pigmented. At least, I think so!

There’s a nice mix of shimmers (my favorite) and mattes, and they blend beautifully together. The colors go so well together it’s almost impossible to get it wrong, which encourages you to try new looks and styles.

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This is a great palette at an affordable price (I got it on the Boots website for £16, which is a little more expensive that most palettes in this general range of make-up) for such good quality, and it allows so many different eye looks that it’s definitely worth it. I think it’s a perfect palette for beginners, as well, since it offers a lot of choices while being easy to blend, resulting in nice, varied looks.

There are two little flaws, however: there’s a little bit of fallout, and the palette could be bigger (I was quite surprised at the size when I first saw it, but got used to it since then!). There’s still a lot of product and it’s definitely a palette you can trust, so if you would like to purchase it, here’s a link: http://tidd.ly/af388195 *)

Definitely a 4/5 stars, and a great palette for all abilities! Also a good gift idea since the colors are so trendy and easily wearable.

I hope this will have been enjoyable and helpful, and I’ll see you very soon for more articles and videos!

Xx

Lena

*Please note this is an affiliated link.

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So many Birchboxes!

SeptemberBirchboxOpening!screenshot(2)Hi guys!

So many birchboxes are still coming your way, I’m sorry it has been so repetitive but goodness, I was so late and had to catch up on so many of them! Here‘s is the latest one. Good news is I’m currently writing blog posts & editing new videos that are NOT subscription boxes so do not despair! Also, I’m making a very weird face on this picture. Oh well.

Thank you so much & have a lovely day

Lena

Quick Product Review: Leonor Greyl Paris Bain TS Shampoo

DSCF0940Quick Product Review: Leonor Greyl Paris Bain TS Shampoo

Ok, so, that’s a long name, but I promise, this review will be quick!

Leonor Greyl is a brand I recently discovered and that I like very much because it is SLS-free and silicone-free, which for me is a requirement as I mentioned in my previous haircare product review that you can find here! It is also  and made from natural ingredients (supposedly, honestly I can’t really tell, but that’s what they say!).

My hair is kind of annoying when it comes to finding products easily. The scalp is oily, but very sensitive (I get eczema and that sort of stuff) with a little bit of dandruff every so often (meaning whenever I dare trying a new product or worse, using something with sulfates in it) and the ends of my hair are very dry.

So when I found this balancing shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends, I had high hopes. And I was not disappointed! It is especially efficient in making my hair and scalp healthy, allowing me to sometimes spend up to three days without washing my hair, which used to be impossible for me! And it is much better for your hair apparently, since it dries it out less (water here is very hard) and practical, so I was very happy about that! It also makes my hair quite shiny and strong, and with it I have almost no dandruff at all. When it comes to helping with the dry ends, I do not think it is very moisturizing, and it definitely does not help untangling my curls which is a big problem for me. However it works great with a hair mask or conditioner (such as the Leonor Greyl Jasmine Hair Mask which I will review a little later this month!) and does not dry out my hair at all, unlike other shampoos for oily scalp I’ve used.

Basically, when it comes my dry ends, it doesn’t make them better, but unlike many other products, it does not make them worse either. I’ll take it! And it really helped balancing my scalp. The big shortchoming of this product, however, is the price. It’s around 30€ or £23, which is pretty steep for a bottle of shampoo that does not last me a month. But it’s so efficient that I try not to think too much about it! I am however looking for a cheeper alternative so that I do not use it up so fast, so if you have any recommendations, please drop me a comment!

Overall, it’s a 4/5 stars!

Drugstore Master Guide

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Hello!

I have another video up on my beauty channel, and this time, it’s a long one! You can find it here!This is my drugstore master guide, I talk about all my high street holy grails, from skincare to make-up (and a little bit of haircare, too!). Everything is really affordable & the items are linked in the description box if you need too (as well as the times for each category if you want to skip one!). I love drugstore make-up, and have started to use more and more as I grew up and learned that a pricy tag does not always mean that it is better quality. As a student you can’t always afford Yves-Saint-Laurent lipsticks, and although a little make-up splurge is always sooo exciting, I have found a lot of great products and dupes that have quickly become my favorite and never leave my make-up bag. So whether you are a beginner looking for affordable products that you can trust or an experienced make-up user that is interested in discovering new products, this video should be of interest to you (I sure hope it is! and I really hope you like it).

If you have any question don’t hesitate to drop me a comment, and I’ll see you very soon for more videos & quite a few blog posts. And of course, if you liked this video, remember to like and subscribe (and don’t forget the little bell, or you might miss me!).

Have a lovely day, evening or night!

Xx

A couple of Owlcrate Unboxings!

Errrgh, I still don’t have a picture… Sorry about that!

I am going to put a picture of some of my Owlcrate goodies in the next couple days, but in the meantime, you can go watch the videos for my September one here and for my October one here!

I hope you’ll enjoy them, and thank you for popping by!

As for the pictures, I will post them on Instagram and on this blog post as soon as I managed to snap them, hopefully tomorrow!

A Chat About Anxiety

Hello again!

I am back with another video, which you can find here! And this time it’s about anxiety: what it is, what it’s like for me, what helps me feel better and might help you too. It might be a little rambly, and there is quite a lot of background noise which I’m sorry for, but it was important for me to talk about it and it took a lot of motivating myself to do it because I was quite scared to tell everyone about it since there is quite a stigma. I do hope it will help someone out there feel less alone & please don’t hesitate to drop a comment to tell me about your own struggles with anxiety or other mental health issue or asking any question if need be. I will write a post one day that goes deeper into it, but for now, it’s a good start! Thank you for reading this, I hope you’ll enjoy the video & I’ll see you very soon for more.

Finding Audrey – Zoella Bookclub #7 Review!

Hello again!

I uploaded a new video yesterday of my review of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, and you can find it here!

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I love the book, which was part of the Winter 2016 Bookclub by Zoella, a vlogger I’m sure you know (if you don’t… well definitely check her out because you’re missing out). I did most of them at the beginning of the year and forgot to finish them, but now I am DONE! So yay me!

However, I did get the Summer Bundle… So I’m gonna have to do it all over again, but I’m happy too!

If you liked that review, check out my playlist with all the Zoella Bookclub reviews!

Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll enjoy the video! xx

PS: If you would like to buy the book after watching the video, you can use my affiliate link with Amazon (this means that I will get a small percentage of the revenue of your purchase) if you wish to (it’s on sale right now!):

Finding Audrey

 

May Birchbox Opening!

A little blog post to let you know I just uploaded a new video on my LusciousandBellini channel, which you can find here! I’m very late to the party, but there’ll be more videos coming and catching up on all my Birchboxes, and soon enough you will have quick product reviews here, and a video on my channel. So stay updated by following me here, on my social media (which you can find on the “Contact me” page) and by subscribing to my channel! Thank you so much for reading this & I hope you enjoy the video!

Quick Product Review: Maui Moisture Hair Mask

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Hello, and welcome to a quick(-ish because I always I ramble on) review of the Maui Moisture Heal & Revive Hair Mask.

So, I’m a big haircare fan, but I am also sort of annoying. I don’t like sulfates, because they give me dandruff and eczema, which, let me tell you, is not nice (and it looks really weird when you keep shaking your hair and itching behind your ears). I don’t like silicones, because they make my hair dull and sticky – like being wrapped in plastic – and also very oily.

The problem with this situation is, my hair is very, very dry. Well that’s not true. My scalp is oily, my hair is dry, my ends are constantly splitting no matter how often I trim them, and all I want is long, luscious, shiny hair. Is that too much too ask? My hair can get very easily tangled, is since it’s a little curly, it can get quite bushy. (Think Hermione Granger in the first two movies, especially right after she fought the troll in the bathroom).

 For years I tried product after product, and I still am looking, but on my way there I found a few staples that I now trust whole-heartedly. (At least… for now). At first my hairdresser kept pouring silicone-filled conditioners on me. My hairdresser likes to make me believe “it’s all natural” but the first thing that shows up on the label is generally some sort of silicone. And so my hair would look great for a couple days, and then terrible. Because silicones don’t actually fix your hair, they just pretend they do, and the second they start building-up, well… That’s when the hair gets dull. So my hairdresser was not helped and probably just thought I was being fussy. I then tried Aveda because “it’s the science of plants” (this was after trying Kerastase for years, which had both silicones and sulfates, and deciding to drop them) which cost me an absolute fortune, and like the idiot I was I did not check the label. What did I find? Silicones. I still tried it and I can honestly say that their conditioner and leave-on treatment made my hair the most plasticky it’s ever been. Basically latex. It was not nice. If you’re interested in knowing more about my thoughts on their products, the video is here. (I look excited on this thumbnail. I was NOT! I was APPALLED! Don’t let my emoji face fool you).

I recently discovered Leonor Greyl, and I’m very happy with it and will come back to the brand next week when I talk about their shampoo. But, I left my Leonor Greyl mask back home and my hair felt as dry as straw and I was depressed about it, when I popped into Boots one day looking for the Ultimate Blends mask I usually use when I don’t have my Leonor Greyl mask (it’s pretty expensive, so I wouldn’t buy another one so soon). They didn’t have it, but what did they have? You guessed it, the Maui mask I’m here to talk about.

(I realize I have rambled on a long time before getting to the point, but hey, it’s part of my charm.)

For a drugstore hair mask, it’s fairly expensive (£8.99 usually, £5.99 right now at Boots) but it’s so worth it. There’s a lot of product in the tub, and so far it has last me well – this is my second month using it and I use it at least once a week, if not twice. My hair is quite long and usually I will finish a tub of hair mask per month, but this is lasting! And a little goes a long way.

It’s free from sulfates, silicones, mineral oils and a bunch of other nasty things, and it smells really nice. Also, it’s vegan! I don’t especially buy vegan, but it’s always a great bonus. Also, I know this shouldn’t count, but I really like the packaging! Most importantly it is very efficient, at least for me.

It has helped my hair get back to its silky-soft old self (or at least I am on my way there), it doesn’t weight down my hair (which is rare because it’s very fine) and my ends seem more moisturize and my hair stronger. It also really helps untangling my hair! All in all, this is a four out of five because I am sure there is the perfect hair mask for me out there, I just haven’t found it yet, but this is close enough!

So if you see the Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Mask, try it and tell me what you think! Drop a comment to tell me your favorite hair products, and I’ll see you very soon with another article (I’ll ramble less, I promise!)

 

 

10 things to do in Reading

10 things to do in Reading as a(n Erasmus) Student

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Whether you’re an Erasmus student as well, passing by for a week-end or just curious, here’s a list of things I recommend to do while in Reading!

I did not spend a huge amount of time in Reading during my Erasmus year there, mostly because I lived in London. I did get to know the campus pretty well, though! This is not only for Erasmus students, but more for students in general – don’t hesitate to drop your own recommendations in the comments!

  1. Get lost on campus.  I mean it! Getting lost is the best way to get to know a place. The campus is huge, and confusing, and if you’re anything like me, maps make you more confused than before. So getting lost is the best way to find your marks, and figure it all out.My first or second week I went on a photo hunt with the photo society and walked for absolute hours with no idea where I was going. I found so many treasures on my way, I became known amongst my tiny trio of friends as “the adventurer”. I would make them walk, and walk, and walk to see beautiful things and secret places that they hadn’t heard of or checked on the map. Amongst these, my favorite are Harris Garden – it’s relatively easy to find, and so, so big. The picture on this blog post is from Harris Garden thas hides hundreds of different flowers, trees and plants. You can often see a lot of birds, and squirrels as well, and to go all the way around took us about two hours – we took a few breaks for pictures. It’s just so nice. I liked to picnic there, and just go for long walks with my friend Marion to talk things over when we had an hour to break.I also love the forest – I like to call it The Forbidden Forest – especially during the autumn, when the colors are absolutely beautiful. I wouldn’t go there at night on my own, but with a friend, or during the day, it’s so lovely. There are a few different paths and it takes you on the other side of the lake, and you can cross the little bridge which is adorable -and so Intagrammable. The Whiteknights Lake itself is also a really lovely place to go and see the swans and the ducks. And don’t forget to check out the London Road campus, too! It’s right out of a Harry Potter book, and it’s small but beautiful.There are loads of other places, so book an afternoon, take your camera, and off you go!
  2. Check out the trampoline park. The Atom trampoline park is easy to get to from the centre, and on one of the many rainy, cold days Reading will have in store for you, it’s a good, fun way to kill an hour – whether you’re on your own or with a bunch of friends. I personally was with my boyfriend, and we had childlike fun for a while but were completely knackered after. It did give me a headache though, but I easily get those! The park is cool, and you can play ball, and there’s something for all levels. I personally like the one where you just jump into a hu1ge jumpy cushion in which you get lost.
  3. Go shop at the Oracle. From the main campus, you can get there by foot in 20 minutes, and if you’re not from England you’ll be surprised by all the shops you don’t know about. Dozens of different restaurants, high end and high street shops, it’s, again, a nice place to go when the weather is just not very inviting.  There’s also the Vue cinema there, and it’s nice to go walk around and see the centre nearby, the churches and such.
  4. Since you’re there, go have a bite at the Homemade Burger Company. There’s loads of great restaurants to choose from, but this one is a smaller chain and they are so accomodating. You can basically make your own burger (I recommend brie-pineapple-beef-  bacon- mango chutney, despite the fact that it probably sounds horrible) and they have great sides too, all for a good, fairly student-friendly budget. It’s great for people who have special diets: vegans and vegetarians, gluten-free, dairy-free as I think you will be able to find something fairly easily. Good drinks, too!
  5. On the subject of food, campus food isn’t the best. The bagels in the student union  -Cerealswork- are nice, though, but in the winter it’s kind of disappointing not to have anything more filling, so we generally went to Mojo’s bar and got the pesto pasta there. They probably have a new menu now, but it’s nice because there’s almost always room and you can grab a hot chocolate (with a pump of toasted marshmallow or hazelnut syrup) on your way out. And please, whatever happens, don’t buy all your stuff at Campus Central, it’s crazy expensive.
  6. There’s an asian food shop in the union, which is pretty cool to try out. I personally was a big fan of Pearl’s Bubble Tea above the 3sixty, it’s a nice little nook and we would watch Disney movies on my laptop on the benches up there (while sipping on Black Lemon Tea with Mango bubbles).
  7. Between two classes, check out the Museums (there are three: zoology, greek archeology, English rural life) as it’s pretty rare (at least, in France) to have museums at uni, and pretty cool too. When you’re around the Zoology one, drop by the cinema/studios. It’s cool to see!
  8. Go to the gym! It’s really nice and there are loads of awesome classes. Whether it is to keep fit, have fun or socialize, they’re the best and they’re very affordable. I had ballet there, and I loved it. It’s right on campus, so no excuses. “It’s too far” doesn’t cut it.
  9. Don’t take my word for it. Like I said, I didn’t spend a lot of time and there’s probably much more to explore. I’ll talk about this more on my Erasmus video and in my Erasmus checklist, but look everything up. Research on Tripadvisor, Yelp, try new things, go with societies to explore the city, take a boat on the river, walk for hours without aim, try tiny bars and cafés and huge restaurants, ask people there for recommendations…
  10. Travel. Being in Reading, you are in one of the best spots to see more of England and of Europe. First of all, you’re twenty minutes away by train from London and its wide choice of free museums. There you can also grab a Megabus to go to Scotland, Flixbus or Eurostar to France, Belgium and of course you have access to some of the biggest airports in Europe. Living abroad is all about discovering new cultures, and nowadays there are ways to travel for cheap, so take advantage of it! You’re also on the line to Swansea, Brighton, and not far from Oxford, Portsmouth,  Bristol etc. So go explore!

I hope this helps a little, and I wish you the best year!