Happy Holidays – 2017

I honestly and truthfully cannot believe how fast this last quarter of 2017 went by. I did not even feel November pass by and now here we are, already celebrating (or not) the Holidays.

Now, for a university student, the Holidays do not have the same appeal they once had, since, at least for me, finals start on the 10th of January, therefore I have to study, study, study and study. Yes, I will try to take time off at least on the 25th and 31st, but besides that, I need to start grinding now, since the finish line is so close and expectations are so high.

For whomever celebrates any sort of holiday and for those who do not, I hope you enjoy your time off with your dearest ones and that you cherish every accomplishment and second of these days. A special “good luck” goes to those who work in retail and any other type of business that stays open during the holidays. May you find the time to drink a nice glass of wine and toast for good fortune.

Happy Holidays, from me to you.

xx

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Lauren Ralph Lauren Nora Bag Review

Attention everybody, I got myself a fancy bag. Or at least what I would call fancy. Beware, it’s neither Gucci nor Prada, so if that is what you are looking for, it was nice meeting you.

It’s been a while since I decided that I needed a good, sturdy, elegant bag to take with me during “important” (aka slightly diverse from the ordinary) day activities as well as for going out at night, at dinner and such.

I set a budget and found the one. THE ONE. I saw it on Zalando and fell in love with it that instant. It is a real leather black handbag by Lauren Ralph Lauren (a less expensive branch of the Ralph Lauren empire). It retailed at €260 but me being me, so very pragmatic, I found a discount code (by typing “zalando discount code” on Google, do it) and got it for around €230. Delivery, as per usual, was flawless (courtesy of UPS); it arrived the day after I got the delivery confirmation email.

I have already worn this bag out twice and it is sooooo comfortable and versatile. It feels and looks very luxurious and improves a basic outfit tenfold.

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Detail wise, it has the logo on a moderately sized attachment and also on the bag itself and the zippers. The leather on the outside is not smooth, so it will not scratch as easily. Inside, the material is on the nude/beige side of the spectrum and it has one pocket with a zipper and two zipper-less ones. It came with a very nice and delicate dust bag (that I put it in when I am not using it).

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I must say, I love this bag with every fibre of my body and I am so so glad I invested in such a piece.

Score: 10/10

Thank you for reading.

University Life Update and Advice – December 2017

Remember how I was so positive and excited back in this post? Yep, things changed. Exams are nearing (my first one is on the 10th of January) and I am scared af. I have indeed started studying but I already feel like I am behind (which is particularly accurate).

True, I should have started studying as soon as the semester started but being big-headed and egocentric, my ego got the best of me and now here I am, swimming through despair. Okay, I might be exaggerating; there are people who are in way worse situations than me, but still, I feel a bit lost.

As far as Math goes, I think I am at a pretty good point. Some things are new for me too, but I get the mechanics behind them and all it takes is a bit of practice.

Business Fundamentals, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated: I am at a good point with the theory, but accounting is a whole another beast that I still have to truly face head-on. Just like math, getting good at accounting takes time and practice, which is why I will truly study it during my Winter Holidays.

Lastly, Public Law is…boring? I mean, it flows well and the professor is awesome, but it is not my cup of tea. Luckily, this exam is at the end of January so I have a lot of time to study and repeat out loud the most important content.

Now, for some advice:

  • start studying as soon as possible: seriously, it is never too early to start. Do not reschedule, do not say “I’ll do it later”, just do everything as soon as possible, while also doing it well;
  • do the reading: if a professor tells you what you have to read up on until next lesson or leaves you an exercise to do at home, do it. They do that for a reason and you will feel accomplished;
  • study anytime, anywhere: I take the train everyday, back and forth, to and from Rome, and those 80 minutes total can be spent studying or reading something helpful;
  • it is okay if you cannot do it, for once: everyone has their breaking point, everyone gets tired, every woman gets pms and feels dead on the inside. Rest is good, as long as you are recharging to push harder next time;
  • be nice: simply put, be a nice person, be it to your peers or to professors, do not act superior; everyone is in the same boat as you and professors are there to help and teach, so do not think that they are out to get you and catch you unprepared.

This is what I have to say for now. I will probably update you guys after my exams are over, hopefully bringing you good news.

Than you for reading, once more.

xx

Gymshark Seamless Leggings – Review

Gymshark has been growing as a brand loved by YouTubers and Instagram influencers for the past 5 or so years and I just had to have a taste of the hype. They are known for making very aesthetically pleasing workout gear, supporting and collaborating with influencers like Nikki Blackketter and Steve Cook.

I decided to buy their most famous pair of leggings, aka the High Waisted Seamless Leggings in the Black Marl colour way. They retail at €52 and come in four different shades but since I am boring and serious, I went with the most neutral one.

The delivery process was very neat and there were no problems besides the fact that they had a defect, a popped seam on the inside, which I wrote about to their customer service on their Facebook page and they were very very efficient, sending me another pair of leggings, no charge on my part. So, despite what I had read on their page, their customer service was A+, for me.

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Now, sizing has been known to be an issue with Gymshark and I can tell you that, with this particular type of leggings, you should consider going a size up. I thought about getting their XS (which is the size that almost every single one of their athletes wear), because there is no way in hell that my butt is bigger than Nikki’s. But, after doing some research, I decided to go for size S and I got it right. My hip circumference is 97cm and, by their logic, I should have been an XS (99cm). But their S is practically perfect for me, despite it being for 104cm circumference.

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Burning question: are they squat proof? In my case, they are. Let me explain: at the gym, I wear no-show underwear (thongs), so it is basically obvious that nothing shows. You cannot see skin either. BUT, I have tried them on with normal underwear and in that case, they are a bit see-through.

Overall, I do think they are good quality for a good price and they most certainly do attract attention, thanks to the butt and thigh contouring.

Score: 8/10

Thank you for reading.

L’Oréal Lumi Magique Foundation – Review

Quite some time ago I was looking at old selfies of mine and I was wrecking my brain trying to figure out what it was that gave my skin such a glow: exhibit A. I finally figured out that it was my foundation (and the bomb lighting). Recollecting my thoughts, I remembered that at the time I was using the Lumi foundation by L’Oréal.

Of course, I ran and bought it. That is how in need of good skin photos I was. The price is $12,95 on their US website, and my shade is N3, Pure Linen, which I cannot really find, but I think it just has to do with the different naming, not the different shades.

Now, on their website it says:

  • Finish: Luminous. I have to agree with this, despite me being pretty intense with my powder application, this still shows some luminosity;
  • SPF 20. On my bottle it says 18, but still, it is pretty good;
  • Coverage: Lightweight, buildable coverage that lasts up to 8 hours. It is indeed a light to medium coverage and you will need to use a concealer for spots and dark circles, but I do think that if your problems are not too intense, you could wear this on its own, if and only if you have normal to dry skin. As for the lasting power, it lasts less on my t-zone than the other areas of my face and you can see signs of wear at the end of the day;
  • Skin Type: For all skin types and suitable for sensitive skin. In my opinion this, just like any other luminous foundation, is not a perfect fit for oily skin. As for the sensitive part, I have to agree since my skin is a bit sensitive and I have gotten no reaction from it.

You can see the way the foundation photographs in natural light in the picture above. Below, you can see it with flash, after a couple of hours.

If you are looking for a nice foundation, with a luminous finish for a night out, this is a good choice (although the SPF might interfere with flash photography). It is not an all day foundation nor does it claim to be one. So all in all, you get what you pay for, indeed.

Score: 7/10

Thank you for reading.

 

Calvin Klein Fifi Ankle Boots Review

I have been looking for a classy and timeless pair of ankle boots for the longest time ever. None of the more “affordable” options were of my liking because hey, I’ve always had difficult tastes.
So I had to resort to my favourite “kinda affordable kinda not” brand: Calvin Klein. I fell in love with these booties who are a pure beauty. I bought them online on the Calvin Klein site, right here. They came to be €148, with free shipping (a fast one, at that).

They are black with nice golden details and the name of the brand on the heel, the fake buckle, and on the zip.
The material on most of the boot is suede so it is pretty sensitive to wear and weather. Therefore I can only wear them when it does not rain. I also applied a water-repelling product on them as soon as I got them.

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As far as comfort goes, they are pretty comfortable, even for me, despite me having a wide foot. The heel is not too high so that does not cause any pain, and it is also pretty large, so the weight is more evenly distributed.

If you feel responsible enough to take care of this sort of shoe, you should be alright and able to enjoy it. In my opinion, this style of ankle boot is a staple and something everyone should have, since it is fit for both daytime and nighttime occasions.

Score: 9/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Book Review – A Storm of Swords

I am BACK with the review for the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords. I must say, this is my favourite up to now. I think that the action finally starts to take place and gear us towards the endgame, even if we are still at the beginning. There are obviously going to be spoilers in this post, my apologies.

The game of thrones becomes more and more cruel, bringing divinities out to play (and I am talking about R’hllor) as well as wights and Others. I did not think I would be glad reading so much of the land beyond the wall, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jon has slowly become my favourite character and I think he is the ultimate hero, the ultimate good man. I am sorry to say that Ygritte is not a character I liked and I was not impressed by her death nor her personality.

The most infuriating event was of course the Red Wedding. There is nothing that justifies it and the law of hospitality did nothing to save King Robb, whom I actually liked. I think that narrating that scene from Catelyn’s perspective was genius, and as you read you can feel her going mad with pain, which left a bitter taste in my mouth, a lthough nothing infuriated me as much as Grey Wind’s death. If there is one thing I cannot stomach that is the death of animals.

Arya’s travel with the Hound is…interesting, I suppose. I do think that she has grown and matured and maybe even lost a bit of humanity while with him, but I do not think that it changed her more than the previous events in her life. Her journey in Braavos will be far more challenging.

As you may guess, my absolute and uttermost favourite moment of this whole grand book was Joffrey’s death. Never have I read about a more despicable and downright mean character in my whole life and I laughed when he found his rightful end. Of course, Tyrion’s trial was not what I would have wanted and certainly Prince Oberyn’s death was unfair and stupid on his part (and even made me sad with his love for his dead sister Elia), but it shows how good and honest does not always win. Besides, Tyrion’s vengeance with his father and his brief encounter with Jaime is what I craved and finally got, despite actually liking Tywin’s character, flawed and all.

Now, my absolute favourite new feature of this book was Jaime’s point of view. I cannot tell you how much I love this character and how I think he is the best developed one in the whole story. His slow realisation that his sister may not be a goddess sent by the Seven is something I have waited for a long time. Him taking charge of the Kingsguard and writing his own page in history, with victories and defeats, makes him a great man, and it shows that he was not just his sword hand.

Sansa. I always dreaded when I had to start reading one of her chapters, but they always turn out to be better than expected, mostly thanks to the other characters. I was pleasantly surprised by the chapter in which Littlefinger gives her advice to fight her way through the world and I must say that some of that advice is applicable today. RIP Lisa Arryn, you crazy and jealous woman whom I never could stand.

Davos is also a favourite character of mine, especially thanks to the way he played Melisandre right before the end. Stannis is, in my opinion, still a good man at heart and could take the right path if only he listened to his Hand more than to the Red Priestess.

And finally, Daenerys. She has conquered and also lost quite a lot in this book, but I still do not like her. Call me hateful, but I think that with the ways she chooses to enforce authority in Meereen, she is becoming mad as her father. This may be just a feeling I have, but I hope Ser Barristan Selmy will somehow keep her on the right track.

I cannot wait to read the next two books. Maybe when I will be done with those our beloved George RR Martin will come out with the sixth one, but maybe that is false hope.

Thank you for reading.

xx