Sunday, 28 December 2014

What i got for christmas

 I long time thought about if i should post such a post since i really do not want to look like a show off but then i enjoyed this posts so much from other bloggers that i thought i will do it too. I was really blessed this christmas with some very thoughtful gifts from my husband and my family. I have the feeling that beyond the material value, what mainly made me happy about this gifts, is that they show that my hubby and my family really know me and put effort into getting me something i would really love.
So the first thing i like to show you is this wonderful christmas gift box from Lush which i got from the best sister in the world. I am starting my last year of my PhD and i do not get a lot of time to myself. If i do get the time i just love to take a bath and forget the outside world for a moment and well there is just no competition when it comes to bath bombs to Lush. This perfect little treats which are at the same time whimsical and the perfect spa experience. To be honest i really love the box too, so i will definitely keep it after i went through all my little pamper experiences. I posted the backside so that you can see what is in there. The labeling is in german since my family lives in Germany but the names are the same like in Britain. By the way, it was my sister as well which baked this wonderful cookies in the picture above. We had this year christmas eve at her place and even though she was sick, she went out of her way to create the perfect christmas.

On the second christmas day, my husband and me had our christmas gift exchange and he has outdone himself again. He got me this Honeymania giftset. To understand how thoughtful this gift was, you need to know that i am absolutely in love with honey. For me there is nothing better then a perfect cup of tea with honey. When we were just dating, my now hubby actually took me to a honey shop in which spend ages testing each honey. A while ago i recieved a little sample from the honeymania body scrub and mentioned how much i looved the smell. So this most wonderful of husbands went out and got me the biggest gift set. This set contains a shower gel, the body butter (this is sooo moisturising), a bigger sized body scrub, a honey soap and a little shower fluff.  This body shop series contains real organic honey and the scent is to die for. In fact i took a shower with the gel and the body scrub and then afterwards put the body butter on and went to bed and i have rarely been so relaxed as with this wonderful honey scent in the air. If you love honey as much as i do, then you HAVE TO get this.

The second thing my hubby got me was a Desigual handbag. I have a great love for this brand. Their clothing and accessoires are so colorful and full of life and at the same time feminine. Just looking at their stuff brightens up my day. I really was in need for a medium sized handbag after my bunny chewed on my old one. I had been carrying arround for a while my big cognac colored shopper which i love but sometimes you like to look a bit less like you are going on a weekend trip. So my husband got me this wonderful Desigual handbag. I do not own a handbag from them yet and i looove this one. So yes, another hit.

So the next present my hubby got me requires some explanation again. When we got married at cityhall (we had a big church wedding the next day), we went out afterwards to a small cosy restaurant to have some dinner with the best man and maid of honor and the family. There on the table they had the cutes little salt and pepper shackers which looked like two little figurines hugging each other. I fell in love with them and when i saw salt and pepper shakers as hugging bunnies i had to have them (this was arround eastern). Then Eddy (my cat) decided one day that they did not fit our decor and knocked them off the kitchen counter. Then my husband found apparently those two which combine my childhood love of Pandas with my need for a cute salt and pepper duo. So well here we go. The third incredibly thoughtfull gift.  This might not be the top of style and you wont find them in any interior magazine, but to me they are perfect.

 The last thing i liked to show you guys is this wonderful set of pearl earrings. Now this might be old fashioned to some people but i still think every woman should own a pearl necklace. I just love this for formal occasions and i have worn one for my highschool and university graduation. I so far always lended the necklace from my mum, but a while ago she gave me one of hers for keeping (love you mum). So now for christmas they gave me matching earrings which are so lovely. I hope to wear them one day when i defend my PhD.

 So this was some of the wonderful gifts i got from my family. I have to say one of the best presents though was to see all this wonderful people i love and that i am so lucky to be able to spend this christmas with them. There was even several gifts for my cat Eddy and my bunny Louise. And at this point i also like to express my gratefullness for you my wonderful readers without whom my little corner of the internet would be very lonely.

Love you all and Merry Christmas

Mica (Sciencekoekje)

Saturday, 27 December 2014

London Haul Part 3: Bits and Bobs

I love the expression: Bits and bobs. Its so wonderfully british. So let me tell you about the bits and bobs i picked up still in London which i really wanted to mention. I choose to give myself some time before i would post this items because i wanted to give them a thorough testing first. But here we go:
As you can see in the pic above, i bought a carmex tinted lip balm. I am a huge carmex fan but this one did not convince me. The vanille scent was way way to strong and it was not as moisturising as the normal carmex.

I picked up quite some Real Techniques brushes in the black friday sale. It was buy one get one for free. I did not own any real technique brushes yet, so i picked up the core collection which comes in a super handy travel case. I then still added a big powder brush (i just looove big powder brushes) and a foundation buffing sponge (i had seen those several times in use and just had to give this a shot). The sponge has become since purchase a holy grail product. This sponge makes my foundation look like just my skin but perfect. I have never seen a brush do that with this ease and speed. It is amazing. the only thing i do not like is that i do not really manage to get it completely clean anymore. I wash it out with baby shampoo and it smells all fresh again, but the discoloring from my foundation stays. Also, i have to hide this very well from Eddy the cat who already took of with it twice after digging it out of my make up kit. 
The Powder brush also does a really great job and its sooooo soft. My second favourite brush is probably the contouring brush. But i have to say they are all pretty great. So happy with those purchases.

The second purchase i would like to show with you is those two Rimmel lip products. I heard a lot about Rimmel Apocalypse beeing so great and having a great staying power. I have to say while i loved how this product looked just after application, it did not stay a lot longer then any regular lipgloss with me. So its a nice enough lipgloss but i do not really understand the hype.
The second one was a recommendation by Essiebutton. The Rimmel London Provocalips. This product is amazing. I bought mine in a hot red and i wore it all day in London and another time all day in Germany for a christmas market tour and it lasted. Not even eating would damage this perfect red lip. And at the same time, it was not drying out my lips at all. What is this magic? I actually have to remove this in the evening and it removed perfectly easy and residue free. I love love love this product and i will definitely look into getting more colors.

I really wanted to try the Tanya Burr products since i had heard a lot of great things about her lipgloss and also i was just super curious about her make up since she is a make up artist. I purchased the lipgloss in "afternoon tea" and the nail polish in "peaches and cream". I have to say i get the hype arround the lipgloss to some degree. this lipgloss does not give a strong lip color but it is like an instant lip booster. At the same time it is really moisturising. It has the normal lip gloss problem of not lasting very long but as moisturising as it is, it should be no problem to reapply. Unfortunately, Eddy got a hold of it and threw it off the table and it broke. I was able to fix it that way that i can still use it but i cannot transport it anymore :( .  
The nail polish really suprised me. The colour is quite nice though not my absolute favourite, but its lasting power was amazing. Even though i was using my nails to open packaging and i was out and about all day in London, this nail polish lasted and lasted and lasted. It is the longest lasting polish i have worn so far. So i am actually exited to get different colours from this.
All in all i was really suprised by the Tanya Burr products. I was expecting something mediocre which lives of the name and got two really great new items which i will keep using.
I also picked up a benefit sample gift set and also a simple skin care sample gift set and obviously a collection lasting perfection concealer (OMG). I might put up more reviews as i start using this products more. The collection lasting perfection concealer is amazing but i think you all know that already and i did not want to bore you with yet another raving review about this holy grail product.
All in all, shopping in London is amazing and suprisingly affordable. The prices were not any higher than in Belgium. In fact it was cheaper in London. I am already planning to return. I still have a long wish list especially for the more high end products. I feel so blessed that i finally got to try out all of this products i had read so long about.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A little christmas pick me up : treacle moon cinnamon nights

Sometimes you come home after a long day of work or after an exhausting last minute christmas shopping and you are just to tired for a long beauty routine. Or you had a bad day and need a quick no effort christmasy pick me up. Atleast for me, in such situations there is nothing better then a hot shower with a nicely scented showergel. I had already bought some nice new body butters from the bodyshop but when this little bottles caught my eye, i just had to have them. This little travel sized bottles were under a euro each and have the most delightful christmas smell. I already used them three times and as you see, they are still rather full so those go a long way. I actually love that i was able to pick up this limited edition in this tiny size. The scent is very christmassy. It actually for me smells like mulled wine and christmas market. I love it but at the same time i would not want to be still using this in february and i have already quite an extensive collection of shower gels to use up. So ye those were perfect for me. For under two euro i can have my special christmas showers.

Treacle moon is a brand i do not read a lot about. The bottles are quite a like to Philosophy or the "I love" series. However, this brand is very inexpensive. It is a british brand that comes without parabens or silicons and is animal cruelty free. The scents i tried so far were all really lovely and natural and not artificial smelling at all. Their shower gels are really amazing. The body milks are not over the top moisturising but it does a decent job and i do not break out from it which i do a lot from bodymilk.
Those small bottles make lovely addons for gift by the way. In fact i bought quite some of them to add to the top of christmas gifts.

Have you tried anything from treacle moon? What are your thoughts?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

London Haul Part 2: Soap and Glory

Hello my lovely readers. Today i show you part 2 of my London haul. I do realize that i went a bit nuts but well, Yolo right? I had heard so many amazing things about Soap and Glory that i definitely wanted to get some items while in London and as i already mentioned in previous posts, it was black friday sales so there was a lot of 3 for 2 or buy one get one half off. But okay, enough justifying. Lets get talking about the goodies. 

I know its a bit weird to buy a gift set for yourselve but they are usually great value for money and i wanted to try out as many different things as possible. I have heard amazing things about the sugar crush series and this gift set came with 4 minis including the famous body scrub and body butter as well as a shower gel and a hand lotion (you know i do love me some hand lotions). The scent is really lovely. It is a relatively sharp fresh lime scent which smelled that delicious that i nearly wanted to take a nibble. In fact i was not the only on thinking like that (see picture below). This gift set just costed me 10 pounds and to top it off, it was 3 for 2, so i bought two other gift sets for actual gift giving.

The next item i had to get was the shampoos. I read from several bloggers that they are amazing and i am still for the hunt of a holy grail product when it comes to shampoo. I tried them already once (and then packed them away until i used up all the other shampoos i bought) and i was rather impressed. It is difficult to say how good they are from just one time usage but my hair did not feel dry or tangly which it usually does. So i am really eager into getting to use those on a regular basis.

The last item i was curious about was the bubble bath. I head from many people that the scent is so amazing and i thought that might translate well into a bath. On top of that this bottle promised me to moisturise my skin while taking the bath like a body lotion. So i was sold. I tried this since then and i have to say it is a good enough product but the moisturising effect was not so great. So i think there is better bubble bath products out there then this one.
All in all i really liked the Soap and Glory series and i cannot wait to get started on all of this products. I have not really touched the sugar crush series yet since i have so many winter themed products i want to use first but i am really looking forward to it. The shampoos i already love, only the bubble bath let me down a bit but my expectations might have been overblown as well.
What is your favourite soap and glory product? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

London haul Part1: The gloriousness that is Sleek!

So here we go with part 1 of my London Haul. Before leaving for London i had read a lot about Sleek cosmetics and what great inexpensive products they make. So when i saw a big shelf in the Superdrug on Oxford Street i went a little nuts. However, given the price and the great offers on black friday it did not set me back that much. So i picked up a nice range of different palettes and products to give it a shot.
I had already planned to pick up an eye shadow and a blusher palette but then this  highlighter palette caught my eye. As far as i know this palette is rather new in the range and it really stands out with its shiny packaging which makes it appear far more pricey than it is. In it you get a nice little range of highlighters and contouring colors. Three of them are cream based and then antique bronze is powder based. It has instructions how to use everything on the package but i just went ahead and played arround with it. I have to say i am rather happy with this little set. Especially now for the christmas holiday parties i love to get a bit more contouring and this kit gives me a natural yet festive and improved look. I especially liked the Renaissance gold color for highlighting of the cheek bones and the antique bronze for in the hollows of my cheek. I used the lightest color under my eye brow for a slightly lifing look. Royal gold is also a really nice color though it is rather clse to Renaissance gold. The colors are all nicely pigmented and blend very well. So the first product i tested was already a hit.

The next product i had to have was the Sleek blusher in Rose gold. i appologize for the used look but there was bad lighting in our London appartment and i could not wait to try it out (bag blogger me ;)). I heard several bloggers raving on about this blush. I am not sure if my expectations were to high or if this product is just a bit overhyped. It is a really nice blusher but its not standing out as much as expected. However, i am using it a lot for a natural every day look. The packaging is typical sleek. The blusher comes in a small slim sturdy black casing with a little mirror. The only thing i would point out as negative that its sometimes a bit difficult to get open but that is really a minor problem.
So all in all a very nice blusher but not a holy grail product either.

I had already planned to pick up a blusher palette before i left for Britain. I do not own a big range of blushers and i thought this would be a great inexpensive way to start to play arround a little more with it. In this palette you get a great selection of 3 cream blushers. Pigmentation is great and they blend very well. I see myself using this palette especially come summer. Packaging is again the typical black sleek box with a mirror in the lid. I have to say i actually really like this type of packaging. It does not open easily accidently and it does not get scratched or look bad once it spend some time in your cosmetic bag.

The first time i heard about Sleek it was about their eye shadow palettes. In fact their i-storm palette is said to be one of the greatest Urban Decay Naked palette dupes. However, i already own the Naked 3 palette and a Mac nude palette and i felt i rather wanted to go for something different. So after browsing through the options, this little selection caught my eye. I think its a great selection for the winter month and christmas themed party make up. Plus, as a travel and city trip junky i really liked the names. I am really looking forward to rock "Love in London" for christmas eve in a smokey eye. The colors are all very buttery and nicely blendable. I could not agree more with other bloggers when they say that these can easily hold up against high end eye shadows. However, i do not think they are as great as urban decay. But then again, Urban Decay is for me pretty much a holy grail eye shadow product. All in all i love this palette and i am eager to purchase more of this palettes in the future. They are for sure great value for money. One of this palettes set you back only about 8 pounds (depending on offers).

I had lately heard beauty blogger Zoella recommending the Sleek lip liners and since i am a huge fan of lip liners. I sure wanted to give these a shot too. So i purchased two stronger colors for winter. I have to say those are insanely creamy and nearly feel more like a lip stick in pencil form atleast when i compare them to my favourite Mac lip liners. This creamy consistency however comes at a price. The lasting power was not so great on those for me and this is for me a major plus of using lip liners. I really loved the colors however. So i will keep using those but i do keep prefering the Mac lip liners (Dervish is my absolute holy grail color from Mac). I swatched these for you (see below)

All in all i have to say i am impressed by Sleek. Seeing the prices, you get some great value for money and i for sure will pick up some more next time i am in Britain. However, i would be careful on what you buy since not all products are equally great which i guess is true for every brand. I have to say my favourites out of the purchases is probably the eye shadow palette and the highlighter pallette, though i do not regret any of the other purchases either. So if you are like me from the main land and find yourselve near a british drugstore, make sure to give Sleek a shot. Saying that, more recommendations regarding Sleek are always welcome. Did i miss out on something? Any thing i should make sure to pick up next time? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas in London

Hello my lovely readers. First of all i have to appologize for the way to long radio science. I went through a rather hard time in my life as a PhD student and it consumed me emotionally and physically to that point that i could not attend anymore to anything else.
However, i now feel a lot better and this is largely thanks to a little trip me and the hubby took a good week ago. We went to London for christmas shopping and soaking up some christmas feeling. Suffice to say it was amazing. It took my mind of things and i found myself back. Most importantly i realized again that there a life outside of the lab and that mine happens to be amazing. But okay this is enough personal rambling.
I went shopping in London but also had some amazing non-shopping experiences and i decided to not give all this juicy content away in just one post. I want to savor it. So over the next few posts i will share with you some of the amazing things i bought and amazing things i experienced in this most wonderful city of all.
We only had 3 days in London so we aimed to make the most of it. We went with the Eurostar from Brussels to London within a short two hours. This train is amazing. Not only was it rather inexpensive, you also do not have long check in times and waiting for your luggage etc. You step out at St. Pancras which is right next to Kings Cross and you are ready to start your London experience. Obviously i had to be a nerd and i went to take a photo at platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter).

On Friday we went for a huge shopping trip. It was black friday and the offers were amazing. We went to Oxford street and i went nuts. We went with two small pieces of luggage and returned with another big sized luggage. For beauty i went to Boots, Superdrug and Selfridges and then obviously i went to Zara, Primark and many others. My husband was the best hubby ever and went patiently with me while i got matched for concealers, got a full make up done at the benefit counter etc. There was a lot of 3 for 2 or great gift set offers. While i was warned that Oxford street would be hell and especially on black friday i found it was okay. We also stopped at Lush which is a lot cheaper in Britain than in Belgium and stocked up on their christmas range (Snowfairy? not my scent..brrr).
Saturday was our sightseeing day so we did Big Ben (see picture above). Westminster, House of Parlament, Downing street. We took a boat ride down the themse till Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. We then went to Harrods and watched the rich and famous shop. The rest of the evening we spend at Winter Wonderland in the Hyde Park. More on that in a later post.
The Sunday we started of with a walk through Hyde Park where i had a conversation with a squirrel. We then went to Regent street to visit Liberty, Hamleys and the Apple store. We ended at Picadilly circus. From there we went to Soho and with a wink to Essiebutton to Bone daddies. Her favourite ramen restaurant in London (review incoming). We also had a little photo shoot done for some new couple photos.

I will go more into detail on most of this things in a future post but i can summarize that i love London. It is amazing for shopping since it has such a wide range of offers. You can shop for a low budget up to "the sky is the limit" budget. You mix yourselve between tourists and millionaires in Harrods. The decoration is beautiful and all the sales people were amazing. Not once did i have the feeling that i got treated less because i was rather spending hundreds then thousands of pounds. London is so versatile. Arround every corner is something new and unexpected. This city seems to have millions of facettes and i have the feeling i just have started to discover a few of them. Also "the tube". This system is amazing. By the second day i felt so comfortable in London. Via the tube and my oyster card i could be anywhere in London within a few minutes. In fact i felt so comfortable in the tube that i feel asleep in it which is a big deal for a person like me. The food offers were amazing. No matter what food you like, London probably has it.
In fact is was hard to come back from this wonderful vibrant city to home. I will give you a sneak peak at the beauty buys too. This is also a beauty blog after all :) And spoiler alert. I have not regretted a single purchase so far ;).

I hope you guys will forgive me the long break and you enjoyed my little rambly outburst of joy about London. Do not worry, the next post will be fully beauty focused again. How has your december been so far?

Lots of Love