Favourite Drugstore Foundation ATM

I have been religiously wearing foundation for the last four years, and that means that I have tried many different types and finishes. I have tried many brands, although only high-street ones, or drugstore, as an American would say. I have found good ones and I have also found bad ones. But now, I have finally found the best drugstore foundation.

I am sure many of you already know about the L’Oréal Pro-Matte foundation, since it came out last year and every youtuber, blogger and beauty influencer talked about it, wether they were sent a sample or not.

What makes this foundation special is the medium to full coverage and the matte effect it gives, once dried. I have been wearing this foundation for the past three or so months and I love it dearly. Does it last all day? No, unless you wear a primer, which is something that I must learn to do. Are there enough shades? It depends on where you live : for example, I live in Italy and here the main skin tone is the “mediterranean” one, so finding very light (for me) or very dark shades is pretty tricky, but if you buy it online, you might find your shade. Does it oxidise (get dark once dry)? Only slightly, in my opinion. It matches my neck perfectly once freshly put on, but gets slightly darker once dried, but it is wearable.

I wear shade 20 Sable Sand, but next time I would like to get it one shade lighter. I prefer to apply it with a beauty blender, but before owning one, it went on perfectly with my fingers.

Score : 9/10, because I would like even more coverage and lasting power.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Healthy mind in a healthy body

My fitness journey started more than three years ago, when I first stepped foot in a very tiny gym, where I learned the basics of how gym machinery works. Needless to say, when you are a newbie you get strong pretty quickly and you feel very optimistic, only then to discover that the more you workout, the harder it is to hit certain numbers.

Working out has been part of my life for these past years and I must say I love lifting weights and feeling the burn in my muscles, but all of that is worthless unless you have two other things : a healthy mind and a healthy diet.

I have been stuck with my weight and my fitness journey for the past year due to stress and to a not-nutritional enough diet. The stress part has been the most obvious one, since this past school year has been the most intense one so far. Now that I am enjoying summer break, that stress is gone.

The poor dieting has been less obvious, because I do not generally eat bad. I do not buy chips and sweets at the store and I only eat at fast foods once a month, if not less. Enlightenment came when I watched a video Ally Stone made, that you can watch here. In that video she talks about two different types of eating plans, but the one thing that struck me the most was a piece of advice she gave : use MyFitnessPal (an app) to log in what you eat on a daily basis and see where that puts you nutritionally, before making any changes. I did just that and I have noticed that I was eating double that amount of fat that I should have and I never reached my protein and carbs goals.

Therefore, I decided to start counting macros and eat more mindfully : she explains everything perfectly in her video and she also has a tumblr account, where she answers many questions and stresses the importance of mental health.

I have started listening to my body and to what it needs and I hope to see some results in the future.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Haul – 2016 Summer Sale part 2

If you happened to wander these past weeks on my blog, you might have noticed that I did already write a haul for the Summer Sale, but I did go on another shopping trip and I thought that it was more than worth writing a post about, since I thoroughly love each and every item I bought.

My parents and I went to Euroma 2, a shopping centre in Rome, which has mostly high street brands and only a couple high end.

I first stopped at Intimissimi, a lingerie and basic underwear store, because I really needed a triangle bra for the bodysuit I got from H&M. They have this thing called the Perfect Bra Book which has the most essential and basic bras that every woman should have and they come in black, white, and beige. I ended up getting Tiziana, which barely has any padding and is in a pretty open triangle shape. I tried it on with the bodysuit and it is perfect, in both colour and shape. I paid €19,90 for it and it was not on sale.

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I then went to Stradivarius, where you can honestly find a lot of unique but still basic items. I got a very nice dusty rose t-shirt, long enough to be worn with leggings. It is really comfortable and I paid €9,95 for it, despite it not being on sale. You can find it here, along with other colours.

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Next, I got a plain white t-shirt from a brand called Silvian Heach. It is very simple, with a breast pocket and again, the length is just right for leggings. It originally was €16 and it was reduced to €12. I could not find it on the site, but there are many shirts like this around, so just go looking.

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Now, the most successful part of my shopping trip was obviously at ZARA. I will immediately start with my most prized possession as of today, aka my lace up leather sandals. I almost had a stroke when they were sold out on the site the other day, but they had plenty of them in store. They are beautiful and very comfortable, although you must have some patience to tie them up. They were originally €69,99 and they were reduced to €49,99. Here you can have a professional look at them.

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Next, they had a load of coats on sale and I decided to pick up a long basic black trench coat, which initially was €69,95 and it was reduced to €29,99. It was a great deal and all items were extremely reduced, so if you want a coat, go and grab it now. Again, I could not find it on the site anymore.

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I also bought a grey t-shirt style bodysuit. It is super comfortable and it cost €7,95, not being on sale. You can find it here. I love the fit and I love how basic it is, a staple matter-of-factly.

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Another item not on sale was this v-neck black t-shirt. I love it immensely and I know I will get so much wear out of it. It is the perfect shirt to put on when you have not planned an outfit for school or work. It cost €12,95 and you can find it here.

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Finally, the last and the most unexpected item : a pink flow midi skirt, with a thigh high slit which has a shorter and lace-trimmed skirt underneath. The material is so soft and delicate. It is honestly one of those items that look very expensive and unique. It cost €17,99 and I cannot find it on the site, and being on sale I suppose it sold out. I already have a birthday party in September and I intend on wearing this skirt with the sandals above. I just need an appropriate bodysuit.

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I am very happy with my purchases and I plan on using the rest of my budget on online shopping. I need to find a bodysuit for the skirt and some makeup products on ASOS.

You might just get another haul this summer.

Thank you for reading.

xx

 

 

Capri – July 15, 2016

This was a very unexpected trip. Some family friends decided to come visit Italy all the way from Romania by car and they stayed a night at our house. They invited me on a road trip to Naples which turned in a trip to the island of Capri. I was very very excited for this trip, since Capri is pretty much legendary and I have never been there.

I got up at 3:30am so I could eat and put makeup on, while everybody else woke up at 4am. We then went to pick up some other family members of theirs and started our trip. There were eleven of us in a car made for nine : if it is not illegal, it is not worth it (that was a joke).

It took us about two to three hours to get to the Naples harbour, where we bought the tickets for the ferryboat. I honestly thought the price was going to be higher for an hour and a half trip, but the total for going to Capri and coming back was €24,10.

We got on the ferryboat and for the trip towards the island we decided to stay on deck, not inside. The weather was nice and it was very sunny, but all of that changed when we neared the island, where it was raining and the waters were not exactly still.

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As soon as we neared the island, we understood that this was not your typical beachy sight. The cliffs were extremely high and only great divers could jump off of them, while the real beaches had stones instead of sand, so not very practical, despite the warm water.

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As soon as we got off the ferry we saw the entire harbour, which is not where the centre of the city is. We then bought tickets for the funicular (an angled sort of cable railway), which got us to the main town of Capri.

There we saw the square, full of restaurants and bars, where each of us grabbed either a coffee (yes, coffee is €5) or some yogurt (that would be me). We actually went inside to stay away from the rain, which became a full on storm, but also had more tranquil moments.

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Next, we reached a higher point, after passing most of the expensive shops, where we could truly see in real life where most of the famous pictures of Capri were taken.

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Bonus : me, chilling, which will change in the next pictures.

Now, chaos got lit. The wind was crazy, kind of similar to when I visited the Etna volcano. The umbrella was almost whisked away from my hands and I cannot remember the amount of times it got turned over by the wind.

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All of this happened when we entered the Gardens of Augustus, where we did not have the time or the patience to notice the flora, just the view.

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After this crazy adventure, we went near the harbour again and the sun came out, so we went on the beach to take pictures.

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After all of this, we took the ferry back to Naples and it was a smooth journey full of sleep, to and from there. I loved visiting a legendary island where nobody goes because they deem it too expensive : I managed to eat and entertain my spirits with less than €50. I obviously did not get a hotel room, but you could stay at a hotel in Naples and go on a day trip to the island and it would not cost as much; if you do not shop around, of course.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Outfit of the Day – July 12, 2016

I am finally back with another outfit of the day, although on this particular day I did not go anywhere important or fancy; I simply went to driving school, but I decided to wear something new, the shirt, which I just bought on a shopping trip in Rome, that you can read about here. I never go anywhere anymore, so I just thought I would “dress up” for no reason.

So, the pièce de résistance is obviously the long and oversized striped dress shirt, which I talked about more in detail in my haul post, but regardless it is from Zara and I could not find it on their website anymore, but they do have more oversized shirts like these, so just dig into their site or others, like Asos.

On the bottom I am wearing a pair of white shorts, which I do not particularly like, simply because they do not fit me properly, as in they fit my butt but they are too loose around my waist. They are from Tally Weijl, but they are not available anymore, and trust me, you are not missing out. I plan on buying a new pair, but made of denim, from Levi’s or something like that, where you pay a bit more, but they actually fit you right.

To keep my pants up, I was wearing a belt on which I made more holes since again, the belt was not tight enough, despite being a size S, from H&M. I really wish I would not have to wear belts, but unfortunately it is very rare that I find good enough pants.

On my feet, I was wearing a pair of blue Converse. They used to be more intensely coloured, but after washing them quite often in the past three years, they turned to a more denim-like hue and I do not mind it one bit. You can find them here.

Finally, on my wrist I was wearing a watch by Morello, but I got it as a gift years ago and I cannot find the model anymore. Anyways, the plating kind of rubbed off, which I do not mind that much, but if you plan on getting a good watch, invest in good brands or at least, in materials that do not get damaged with wear.

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Thank you for reading.

xx

Haul – 2016 Summer Sale

I finally went shopping on a fine Saturday with my mother on Via del Corso, possibly the most famous street in Rome, full of shops, both high end and high street. If you fancy more expensive brands, like Moschino or Chanel, you should visit Via del Babuino, which is a parallel street to Via del Corso.

Firstly, as soon as I got off the train I went to Coin, which is kind of a department store that has many beauty and fashion brands, mostly between high end and high street : they have MAC, but also L’Oréal and even Chanel. Needless to say, I almost had a heart attack when I saw that they had RealTechniques brushes. I unfortunately had planned all of my expenses and I could not get any, but in hindsight I should have, since I did not buy everything I had planned. I now know where to buy those brushes, other than online.

Then I went to Sephora and finally got myself a beauty blender. I have wanted this for so long and I even had trouble finding it, being such a little object. I got myself the classic pink one and it cost € 16,90. I already tried it with concealer and it works so so well.

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I then took the bus and went to Piazza Venezia, from where I walked to Zara. This store is huge : it has four floors, but not all of the employees are nice, so try not to rub them the wrong way. It was pretty much chaos and I could not find the left shoe from a pair of sandals I really wanted to get and that I will buy online, here.

I did get other items, though.

Firstly, I got a long, asymmetrical and oversized striped dress shirt which would look so so tucked in a pair of jeans or by itself, as a dress, since it is moderately long in the front and quite long in the back. If you somehow find it and want to get it, keep in mind that I got an XS and it fits big. I could not find it on their site, which may be logical, since I am pretty sure I got the last one in the store. The original price was € 19,95 and it was reduced to € 12,99.

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I then got two pairs of gym leggings and I must say they pass almost every test : they are as not see through as you would hope from a pair of leggings, the material is comfortable, they have a very high waist and they also are body shaping, although not crazy. They did pass the squat test, which I proudly did in the fitting room. They are not on sale, but they are part of the new collection and they were € 12,95 a pair. You can find them here. The picture on their site is much better than mine.

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I finally arrived at H&M, where of course I did not find anything I initially wanted, but I left with equal amount of stuff. I immediately saw a top from the new collection and fell in love. The price may be exaggerated, but it is so flattering and it is such a pretty colour and shape that I just had to have it. You can find the top in white and red here.

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I finally got around to buying a plain black t-shirt. It is not extremely fitted and I love the way the material is slightly see-through and distressed. It would look great with any type of outfit: casual, office or night out. It was not on sale and I got it for € 9,99 in the XS size and even this small it is not tight. You can get it here.

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Now, my most loved new item of clothing : an army green/olive green bomber jacket. You have no idea how conflicted I was a couple of months ago, when I got my black one. I was really torn between those two colours, but I decided to get the black one, since it is a staple. So now I got this green one and I could not be any happier. It was again, not on sale, and I pair it € 29,99. I got it in a size smaller than my black one, a 38, and it fits just as well. The hardware on this one is golden, while on the black one it is silver. You can get it here, but the price is € 5 more expensive, weirdly enough.

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Next up, probably the most boring item : a pack of five pairs of no-see socks made of cotton. I already had some pairs, but they were made of another material that slipped and made my feet sweat, so I am pretty happy with my purchase. I paid € 7,99 for them but I cannot find them on the site.

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I am adding these next 2 items, even though I did not buy them the other day, but last week, when I went to Romania (here) and found an H&M.

I got the most basic white v-neck t-shirt I could find because I really needed one. It is very fitting and I wish I had bought a bigger size, so it would hang more loosely, but I love it regardless. I got it for € 4,99 but it is sold out on the site, here, although you can still get it in pink and in a very light grey.

 

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Now, the last item I also wish I had gotten in a bigger size, since it is very, very tight, but I have to buy a nice and seamless bra to wear under it and maybe lose a kilo and tone up my stomach a bit more. It is a beautiful nice bodysuit that looks amazing on. The colour is beautiful and the neckline is not too plunging. I got it for € 12,99 here and keep it mind it is very tight.

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And this is all for this haul. I do plan on going shopping again since some family friends will be visiting and we will of course take them shopping.

I hope you enjoyed reading and thank you.

xx

Let’s talk about Home

I recently went on a short one-week trip to my home country of Romania. In these last few months I got homesick and I decided that I would visit my grandmother and my city, along with seeing some relatives and family friends. That is what I did : I bought tickets and did all that had to be done, packed my bags and left.

As soon as I got home everything seemed smaller : the apartment, the streets, the city itself was different than what I remembered. Seeing my grandmother was nice and we had a good time these past days, but one thing inevitably struck me : this is not home anymore.

As soon as I booked the flight I told everyone that I was going home. Home. I have now realised that I should have said home country, because my home is not Romania anymore. Yes, it is the place where I was born and raised and I will forever be thankful for the morals I acquired here, but I moved to Italy six years ago, when I started evolving as a teenager and as an adult and that truly left a mark on me.

Living in western Europe changed my goals and broadened my horizons to a point where I think I can do anything I put my mind to. It enabled me to get out of the Orthodox bubble I was living in and form my own opinions. It showed me that there is so much more than I was taught and that I should not care about what other people say, especially my family.

I have also come to terms with the fact that I distanced myself from my grandmother, ideologically speaking, since she is very disappointed in me not being a believer anymore. I have tried to isolate myself from her, because I would not want to say hurtful words about how she is always subtly judging other people, based solely on their faith.

But my home is not Italy either. It is not the place itself that is home, but a place becomes home when I start adapting to it. I have my whole life in Italy, but that does not mean that I will forever live there : I want to study in another European country and build my life all around the globe. That will only happen when I accept that home is made of my own bones and home is wherever I go. It would be arrogant to say that I did not miss my mum this week, but distance does make indeed the heart grow fonder and I cannot wait to be back with her.

I do hope that in the future I will not get homesick so easily, to the point where I cry my eyes out at night, not being able to sleep in a foreign house which was once home. I would say that insomnia is a consequence of being away from the place we so casually call home.

And that is where I am headed.

xx