Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

I know I say this alot, but it baffles me how quick 2015 went by. Today is New Years Eve, how crazy is this? This has been a crazy year for me, and not in the most positive ways. So, one could say I'm very happy to start a brand new chapter that is going to be 2016. 

While 2015 passed by me in full force, I can honestly say that these past few months have brought me something I never thought I'd have the guts to create: my blog. I'm only just starting out, but I'm happy. I know I have alot to learn, alot to figure out - but this is exciting. It's like when you're reading a really good book and you're anxious to know where the book is going to take you. 

I see my blog as a way for me to grow individually. To get past my insecurities (i.e. posing for the camera). A way to be more socially involved - to have a voice and to make a difference. 

A few things went wrong this year, but it's not the end of the world. It took me a while to figure this out. Better things will come. For me, and for you and everyone around you. 

On my last blog post I talked about NYE Outfits inspirations and how I had no plans whatsoever for this night (apart from eating, that's always a plan). Well guess what? I still don't have any concrete plans, and because I'm not a huge fan of walking around aimlessly (which I always ended up doing when I went out), I decided to spend this night with a couple of family friends. 

I tried to go shopping for a nice outfit but I forgot how crazy things get during sales season. So, I walked right back home and ended up chosing a dress I had only worn once but knew I would absolutely feel beautiful and comfortable in.  

Dress (Pimkie) // Coat (H&M) // Shoes (H&M) // Watch (Rolex) 

For my make up I also went with something really simple, that made me feel good in my own skin. I decided to use The Body Shop BB Cream, along with my Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Foundation where I felt I needed more coverage. I used my Estée Lauder and Make up Forever palettes on my eyes, and with my long time favourite Estée Lauder More than Mascara Mascara. On my lips I used my Rimmel Lasting Finish Drop of Sherry. For blush, I chose my Makeup revolution Iconic Pro Blush, Bronze, and Brighten Rave

These are a few of my blog related goals for 2016
#1 - Buy my own domain.
#2 - Keep updating regularly, but make sure it's always something I love and am proud of.
#3 - Double my views.
#4 - Invest in the blog (logo, theme, among others).
#5 - Finish 2016 happy with everything you published.
#6 - Do giveaways.

We're all in this together lovelies, so let's own the year that's to come. It's going to be ours. Just you watch. 2016 - we're coming for you. 

Also, let me know what you did for your NYE (surely more interesting than what I'm doing), and what you decided to wear. I hope you all have a lovely day and night, and start with the right foot. Believe me when I say, everything is going to be okay.

This is the result of me feeling very uncomfortable infront of a camera. What better way than to start getting over my insecurities than posting the results online?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

NYE Party Outfits Inspiration

December has crept up crazy fast and New Year's Eve is right around the corner. Personally, I can't believe 2015 is almost over, but I'm quite excited to see what 2016 has in store for me.

I'm not usually a fan of huge parties, albeit, I love dressing up as if I were to go to one. Last week I found myself going through the ASOS website when I decided I should make a post on my favourite outfits from the website. Why not, right? I don't have any plans as of yet, but I couldn't help myself. There are so many options, so many things to think about, that even I am undecided. I always feel like once we know what we're wearing, the rest comes pretty easily. Does anyone else feel like this too? 

At the end of the day, go for something that makes you feel beautiful as opposed to something that might impress others. I've been there, done that, and I always end up having the worst time because I'm not comfortable in what I'm wearing. This year, I'm making it my mission to feel like I'm ending this year look mighty fine.

So, for those of you who already know where you're going to go or for those of you that might need a bit of inspiration, I've gathered a few of my favourite outfits. Let me know what you think.


From left to right // (1) (2) (3) (4)


From left to right // (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)


From left to right // (1) (2) (3) (4) (5


From left to right // (1) (2) (3) (4)

So, let's talk NYE - what are your plans and where will you be going? what will you be wearing? are you like me, still undecided? Let me know lovelies.

Ella x

Keep up with me and what I'm doing on social media.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Drugstore // Makeup Revolution and the 2 items you need to try

I'm a huge fan of drugstore, budget friendly products, but most importantly of good quality products that are worth the money - be that inexpensive or expensive items. We are not all in a financial position to constantly fill up our collection with high-end brands and let's be honest there are some pretty good drugstore products out there. So why not invest in some of them?

I love discovering new brands, trying out new things, testing out new products, and above all branch out and push my own beauty boundaries. When I found out about Makeup Revolution, I couldn't believe how cheap thir products were so I decided to try some out and let me tell you - they do not disappoint. 

Both of these palettes have a pretty minimalistic feel to it, and are perfect for traveling, as they are pretty sturdy and weight nothing at all. For the eyeshadow palette, I love that it comes with a clear lid and I don't have to open them, which at times, can be a hassle when you don't have much time to get ready. 

Iconic Pro Blush, Bronze, and Brighten Rave(£4.00) - There is absolutely no way I can describe how in love I am with this packaging. Or the colours. Or everything about it really. Here you have the contour, the highlighter, and the blush - all in one. How amazing is that? I had been in search of these three individually - because I'm so pale, I always ended up feeling like what I was putting on my face was either too dark or too pink, but these are perfect for my face even though they do have a bit of shimmer - it does not translate onto the face. I was honestly shocked to find that I loved all three in one single palette.

What I love the most is that there's a pelette for each skin tones, for example, I find that 'Flush' is perfect for darker skin tones, while 'Smoulder' is ideal for either one, and 'Rave', better on paler skin. The texture on all of them is also pretty spectacular - a stor of creamy soft that gets picked up easily by a brush.  

All of these can be worn quite subtly, but can also be as easily built up to look as intense as you wish. And they also blend quite easily - creating a beautiful glow on your cheeks. 

It has definitely made its way onto my daily make up routine. 

Redemption Palette Essentials Mattes 2 - (£4.00) - I think at a point or another in our lives we have all found ourselves thinking about the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. Then thinking about the prices, and wondering if they are really worth the money (they are). If you're not one who can justify spending so much money on a palette, and has been looking for a pretty similar one, that'll do the same job, this is the right palette for you. Beware though, that you should not expect the same quality. 

Let's just take a moment to look at the gorgeous colour shades. They are extremely pigmented - especially the darker ones, and I've been a bit obsessed with using it ever since discovering it. I've always been about the nude tones, which is why I purchased it. These are not completely matte colours, as they have a bit of shimmer to them, but they are so good and beautiful - the pigmentation and texture are better than expected for a palette at this price, and there's really no way you can do wrong with them. 

The only downside of this is that you will not get alot of product at first, and you have to rub off the top layer of each shadow. They are also not as easily blended as the Urban Decay ones, but they still do a pretty amazing job.

Have you tried any product by this brand? If so, did you like the products? If not, are you thinking about getting any of them? Let me know what you think.

Also, don't forget to check me out on Bloglovin' and if you do, let me know so I can check you out as well.

Ella x


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Questions everyone dreads getting asked during Christmas

Christmas day. It's exactly what everyone thinks it's going to be like:  definitely noisy, beyond social and inescapably materialistic - let's not be judgemental, everyone at a point or another, thinks about what they're going to get for Christmas. It's completely ok. I'm curious too.

The thing is, everything is planned to a tee - from the presents, to what we're doing, to the food, who we're spending it with, to the outfit and the makeup. Even the awkward questions you're bond to get asked.

I've been asked my fair fair of questions throughout all of my life but it doesn't get worse than that family member who you haven't seen since last Christmas, that's more curious than you wish they were. 

These are four questions I know most people dread to be asked. But questions that are going to make their way onto the Christmas table nonetheless. Don't worry - I'm with you.

1. The Relationship Status.

I've been there, done that. I feel like, at 23, I'm expected to be in a long last relationship - getting ready to get married and have kids. Well I'm not. I'm very very single - and guess what? I don't mind. But they mind. And they ask and ask and ask. And it always goes the same way everytime "Got a boyfriend yet? What's his name? When can we meet?" - I only roll my eyes and keep stuffing my face.

To those of you who are in a relationship and keep getting the "when's the wedding" or "when are you having kids" questions - I feel for you too. Nosy people, what can we do, right? (roll our eyes or smile politely and change the subject and hope they don't bring it up again. Which they will.) 

2. The 'more?'

I know I eat alot. I like eating. No - I love eating. And I absolutely love Christmas food. It's like everything I desire most in two days. Of course I'm going to eat. Will I regret it the next day? Maybe. But I'll still enjoy it while I can. I work out enough that allows me to eat whatever I want at least once a year. 

The thing with me is - I use to be overweight. And now I'm not, but it's like they're afraid I'll go back to where I was a year and a half ago. While I get it, I don't like it. Please stop or I'll just ask 'why' and things will get real awkward, real soon.

3. The 'what's going on with your life?'

This is a pretty average one but one I always dread nonetheless. I don't know what's going on in my life. I don't have it all figured out - no matter how much I wish I did. And I don't need to know it all at 23. So stop asking the same question over and over again - the answer will always be the same. I laugh. Then frown. Then end with an "I don't know". 

4. The 'what did you get for Christmas?'

I'm at fault for asking this too. I'll admit - I'm a really really curious person. But I usually do it to people I'm really close to - immediate family (and I always know anyway) and bestfriends. That's how far it goes. Some people don't really feel comfortable answering this for various different reasons - maybe they didn't get one or they don't want the follow up 'how did they afford that' or 'you only got that?' questions. If you're not comfortable answering, you don't have to. Or just ask why they want to know. Or change the subject.

Before going any further though, let's all just remember that some people aren't fortunate enough to spend it with their loved ones, and others while surrounded by alot of people, end up feeling lonely. I spend the 24th and 25th, going from house to house, seeing different friends and family, and at times I've felt just as alone as if I were in my room by myself. 

All I ask is that you pay a little bit of attention to those around you. If you know someone is spending it by themselves - try asking them if they want to come over. I've always heard 'If there's enough for 4, there'll be enough for 5." Or just keep them company. Or smile at someone. Sometimes that's all they need.

I also know that for a lot of people, this is a really difficult time - but please get up. Do something you enjoy doing, whether that's taking a walk, watching videos on youtube, reading a book, drawing, taking pictures, playing music, playing on your phone, writing. Do something. Yes, give yourself time to feel sad - but once that's done and over with, get up. Everything will be ok. It'll also be over soon. 

I'm only a click away if you ever need anything or anyone to talk to. Don't ever hesitate.

What questions are the absolute worst for you? How do you deal with those?
Hope everyone is well and have a very Merry Christmas.

Ella x


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

My go to festive lipsticks

December has sneaked up on me - weren't we in November yesterday? I feel like the whole 2015 just passed by in a rush. 

Its my favorite time of the year. And it's also the season where everyone can go a little bit crazier with their makeup. Not that they can't do it the rest of the year (you can. I do.), but Christmas time is the best time to put that red or pink lipstick on - somehow they make me feel even more festive (as if I wasn't excited enough). But they also make me feel extremely beautiful. It's such a bold look that it's impossible not to. For me, there have been three that have been my go to for a while.

I thought I'd share them with you. If you're like me, you're still a bit undecided on which you're gonna be using. Perhaps you can give me your opinion and help me chose which one I'll be rocking on Christmas day. 

Unlimited Stylo Poppy Red by Kiko - I'm a massive fan of the red lipstick by MAC, but last year I couldn't afford one, and I found this little pearl in Kiko. It's your classic matte red colour, pretty similar to the one by MAC. If you're a massive fan of wearing red lipsticks and want to try something else - this is your guy. The pigmention is amazing.

I find that matte lipsticks are much more long lasting and perfect for special occasions as they rarely smudge and create such a bold look.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Drop of Sherry - This one is one I always find myself reaching down to - it's a bit of a safe colour for me, as it's slightly darker than the former. Plus, on my very pale skin, I feel that it suits me to perfection. Again, it's by Kiko, and I can't recommend their lipsticks enough. It's very moisturizing and glossy on the lips. Perfect for a date night. 

Smart Lipstick  Onyx Rose by Kiko -  On those days I want to wear something else other than red that'll still make me feel absolutely sexy - I put on the pink lipsticks and get going. I love the fomula on this one - it's extremely pigmentated and very moisturising on the lips. 

What are your go to festive lipsticks? One that you always find yourself reaching for, and that you'll defintely be wearing on Friday? I'd love to hear from you. 

Ella x

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Last minute Christmas Gift Guide

Tis is the season for holiday shopping and gifts. And well, if you're anything like me, you're still not quite finished with your Christmas shopping. And it's just right around the corner, which is pretty scary and exciting in itself. You're undecided, worried if they'll enjoy any of the presents you have on your mind, and you find it difficult to come up with so many different ideas for different people. 

That's ok. I'm right there with you so you're not alone. I'm a huge fan of giving my family and friends something I know they'll love. It's different for each person really - sometimes it's things they need or they've wanted for ages, and sometimes it's things that remind me of them. The whole intimate shebang - personally, those are my favourites. 

For a while, I've been rounding up some products I think are ideal for your mom, bestfriend, sister, cousin, or even your co-worker - basically, for the women in your life. (and me too, I wish I had me some of these). 

And so, without further-a-do, this is what I came up with:
2. Reiss Nail Polish Multi (£20.00)
3. Real Techniques Set (£18.00)
12. Diptyque Baies Room Spray (£46.18)
14. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 (£64.00) 
16. Clinique 3 Steps (£26.00)

Have you bought all your christmas presents yet, or are you like me - that really needs to get it together? Which do you like the most out of the ones I suggested?

If you have any more ideas, let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Ella x


Friday, 18 December 2015

Motivation Friday: Living in the moment

Living in the moment. It sounds simple, but it isn't.

I believe that we spend too much time worrying about the past, and worrying about the future, and planning our entire lifes, that we have a really hard time focusing on what's happening now. We don't take enough time out of our day to enjoy the moment, and the great moments happening before our eyes.

When we're working, we're wishing we were on vacation; and when we're on vacation, we're planning all the things we're going to do once we get home, all the work we need to catch up on. It's a constant cycle. And a recurrent one at that.

This is something that really worries me because as human beings, we have no way of controling how many more of these moments we're going to get to experience.

I'm not saying we should stop planning our future, not at all. It's great to live an organized life and knowing what you want to do in your future and simply having goals for your life. What I'm trying to say is -stop letting this control every second of the day. Find a balance between living and planning.

Let's say yes, instead of "maybe another day". Let's do the thing we've been putting off for years. Let's just do whatever we need to be happy.

Honestly, the present is the only moment we have control over. No matter how much we try to control our life, we don't know what the future holds out for us.

Being present is also a great stress reliever, which allows us to be happier.

And being happy is all we strive for, isn't it?

Ella x


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Winter Skincare essentials

This is the season of change. The combination of cold weather, the winds, and the heating in every place we go to really dries our skin out. So the richer creams and hydrating products come out and away goes the light routine in our lives.

The days are getting colder, so it's the right time to get a cup of really good hot chocolate and hide beneath a cozy blanket watching classic films - which for me means alot of Harry Potter and Home Alone. There's nothing better than doing this especially to the sound of rain.

Here I compiled a list of the the must haves for Winter. What will you be needing this season to fight the cold weather?

For some reason, it always makes me feel quite anxious when my hands are getting dry during the winter, and I always make sure I have a hand cream everywhere I go. I really like the Soap and Glory Hand Dream, it's an intensive hand treatment which makes my hands feel silky smooth, and smelling beautifully. I also love the Avène Cold Cream because unlike many hand creams it doesn't make your hand feel greasy, but nourished.

To wake up the skin after a good face mask, I'd recommend the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, a very lightweight moisturizing and non greasy cream, the Avène Skin Recovery Cream, great hydration to quench the tired and dry skin which is perfect to use at night before you go to bed. Another one I'd recommend is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane, a saviour during winter (it's a little bit thick but absorbs quickly).

For the lips I highly recommend Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or the Fresh Advanced Lip Therapy to prevent the dry, flaky and chapped lips. I've always used these products, and although I try to get away with it in Summer, I make it a thing to try and put it on every morning and every night before I go to sleep during winter. It's the key if you want to have super soft and kissable lips.

Because of the cold, the skin tends to feel thirsty and like it's always in need of a good moisturizing treatment. The perfect way to fight this is to use an intense and soothing face mask that will leave your face feeling really nourished. Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask or the Origins Overnight Mask to Quench Skin's Thirst, do an amazing job at repairing your skin to prefent future dehydration. You'll wake up feeling refreshed.

Hair needs as much of a routine as the skin does - we always need to show it a little bit of love. Let's not forget that shampooing our hair everyday dries it out just as much as if you exfoliated your face everyday. It basically strips it of its natural oils. Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Defining Cream, does wonders for those that like me have thick curly hair, or the Corine de Farm Shea Butter and Olive extract (for dry and damaged hair) is just as good. I've been using the latter for a while now and my curls have never felt softer.

Let's face it though, the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is an absolute pearl that's seriously as addicting as it gets. Use it where you please, as much as you please. I promise, it does wonder for anywhere on your body.

We cannot forget about the rest of our body, the Lush Ocean Salt - Face and Body Scrub is really good to get rid of the dead and dry skin, while combining it with the Soap and Glory The Righteous Body Butter or the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. All three provide hydration and relieve the irritation caused by the cold weather.

The Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Moisturizer has also been my go to for years, and I think it's one that I always tend to make sure I have extra of because I'm always scared it's going to be finished and I won't have any of it in the cupboards.

Well, that turned out to be longer than I expected. What are your go to products during winter?

Ella x


Sunday, 13 December 2015


Some months are better than others. Next to November, I'd say that December is possibly my favourite month out of the year.

Maybe this goes back to when I was a youngster and counted the days to December. It's not because of the shopping, or the presents. I think it's more because December brings people together, everyone allows themselves to indulge, and people just seem overall - happier.

I already said this in my November post but I truly feel like in the months coming up to Christmas, and in winter time, people look happier. And seeing other people happy, makes me happy.

Personally I know that I'm always looking forward to this holiday season. I think what I love most about December is the fact that in mere two days I get to be with everyone I love. I go to three different places every year, and all are family. Some more family than others, but everyone family nonetheless (sometimes we chose our own family, right?!). Also, no one worries about the diet. Including me.

I love baking my infamous dark chocolate brownies, and smelling them throughout the whole house. I also love watching my granmother bake all Christmas related sweets and trying them out before anyone else even knows she's doing something. I think I just love all foods in general. Nothing beats sitting at home reading books that have already been read about a hundred times before but that will always have a special place in my heart, Then there's filling my stocking up (I do that myself yes, usually with sweets), drinking hot chocolates, and actually eating the chocolates.

Also, no one judges me on the very festive / christmas jumpers. I look forward to wearing them the other 11 months out of the year.

It's also the end of another year. I'm not much of a "Next year I'll do this, this and that." simply because I'm a true believer that if we want to change something, there's nothing like the present, but I am looking forward to next year. Maybe 2016 will be my year, because 2015 hasn't been the greatest.

What are you looking forward to the most on Christmas day?
Why do you love December?

Ella x


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The perfect winter bag

Let me introduce you to the new love of my life. In a bag form.

Ever since I was little, I've always been a lover of bags - I think I own more than I'll ever be able to use, and some I'm not even a fan of anymore. But I've never been the kind to go out of my way and buy a good quality bag. They've always been, not too bad, not too good. Don't ask me why, because I still don't have the reason figured out.

My bestfriend, however, has always told me that I needed a good bag. She always said "Every woman needs a bag that she'll absolutely love and that'll last for a couple of years".

For my birthday, she'd been saying that it would be something I really want, and something that is useful and would last me for a while (I'm way too curious and don't really like surprises. But I do. Does that make sense?). I had no idea she would give me this beautiful bag that I don't want to let go of. I'm pretty sure I haven't left the house without it since I got it last month.

It's blue with details in gold, that goes with almost everything. Since it's a good quality bag, when it rains, it doesn't allow the rain to go through, keeping everything inside it safe. It's also a bit on the smaller side, but for someone who usually tends to keep alot of crap in her bag, it's perfect for me because it allows me to have the essentials, and nothing more. It also has the option to carry it by hand or by shoulder, whichever pleases you more.

Because she bought it a few months ago - she saw it and said it reminded her of me, how cute is that? - I can't find the link to it anywhere, but it's made by Cortefiel.

Here are a few that I think look a little similar to the one I was given: River Island // Zara // New Look // Mango // ASOS // ASOS

What's the bag that you absolutely can't live without?
What kinds of bags do you prefer?

Ella x

Sunday, 6 December 2015

November Favourites 2015

I know November has already passed by and we're pretty much 19 days away from Christmas, but as it was a very exciting month for me (it was my birthday after all), I've decided to go ahead and share some of my favourites with you.

Here are some of my November favourites:

I've always been a fan of Adele since her first album release and when I thought she couldn't get better, she proved me wrong. 25 by Adele, is one of the best albums I've ever had the priviledge (yes, priviledge) of listening to. I haven't stopped and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon either. Family and friends, please bare with me.

Winter is the best time of year to scrub and despite feeling like I could start a collection with how many TBS products I own, my favourite body scrub is by far the The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Body Scrub (I could not find a link to this product on the US or UK website). This is perfect for me during winter. I'm a fruity scents kind of girl, and this isn't too abrasive but smells beautifully and the smells lingers on for quite some time.

Although I do love wearing make up, I don't enjoy putting on heavy products on a daily basis. I like to keep it simple and for my type of skin, I feel like The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream (02 Medium) is my perfect choice. It's light, easy to apply, and gives a nice coverage. It's not a foundation, but it does the job at keeping things simple but dapper.

For impeccable wintery eyes, I've been obsessed with the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Eyeshadow (Pink Mink). These four colors really have done it for me this year and even though I feel like everyone is getting a bit bored of seeing me with the same colours over and over again, I've never felt prettier than when wearing this eyeshadow.

One of my birthday presents this year was a High neck Sweater by MO (Portuguese Store), and in spite of winter in Portugal this year not being the coldest it could be (I love the cold), I use every excuse to wear this sweater. It's the coziest thing that can be worn with anything.

I've always been addicted to buying books (I do buy alot and don't get around to reading all of them before buying even more), and this past Summer I purchased a few classic pocket books, and among one of them was 'Sense and Sensibility' by Jane Austen. After loving it the first time around, I decided to re-read it and this is a beautifully well written book. If you haven't read this yet, stop what you're doing and go read that book immediately (you'll love it I promise).

I find that winter is all about the comforting hot beverages, and I got introduced by a family member to an amazing range called Yogi Tea. Saying that I didn't bought quite a few boxes of different flavours, isn't saying much. Tea is great for for yor body and immune system and at this time of year, great for detoxification. My obsession this past month has by far been the dandelion and cinnamon Detox Yogi Tea  It smells and tastes like winter in a tea.

Ella x


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Daily Morning Skincare Routine

I'll be honest, it took me years to find the right products that actually suit my skin type.

I took after my mother in the break out department and used to have a full face of acne, and I didn't know better, nor did my family, so I popped everything and used a lot of wrong products. This left me a lot of scars and dilated pores.

At 23, I like to think I know my skin fairly well. I have an uneven skin tone, acne prone, enlarged pores and an oily t-zone, although it isn't the shiny type of skin. They call it a Type 3 Skin Type.

My skin definitely isn't the most perfect, but with the help of certain products, I feel that it is better. I find it smoother, less oily, acceptable of make up, cleaner, with smaller pores, less break outs, and above all, healthier.

Having a good skin care routine is almost a rule nowadays and like many of you I have sat down for hours looking up reviews of products I want to buy, only to sometimes, after reading so many good and bad reviews of the same products, to be as confused as I was before searching them away.

I'm a firm believer that for skin, if it suits you and is actually GOOD for your skin, price shouldn't be the main concern. There are always products that do the exact same thing and are a lot cheaper than the high end products some of us want to buy but can't. All we have to do is search and search well. And understand our skin.

Although the right products sometimes work magic on our skin, don't forget that you can't expect actual miracles if your not taking care of yourself. As silly as this may sound to some, food does affect our skin. Being healthy sometimes is the main key to having a pretty darn good skin. My before and after choosing to take care of myself and my body has done wonders for me.

After so many years on the wrong though, these are the products I use on a daily basis and that agree with me:

Since I have such enlarged pores that clog up quite easily, I need to keep them cleared out so they don't end up breaking out. For that, for the past year, I have been using the Clarisonic Mia 2 combined with the deep pore cleansing brush head (you have to buy this one separately). While I use this everyday, I do so because my skin isn't the sensitive type. For those out there with a sensitive type skin, I'd be more attentive and careful and perhaps only use this every other day.

Albeit there is a lot of controversial on the Clarisonic, personally, it has done wonders on my skin and I have never felt my skin cleaner than when using this product.

I use this along with the Dr Brandt Pores No More cleanser nettoyant. (According to the product it uses tea tree oil, willow bark and salicylic acid to dissolve impurities and decongest pores) On my skin it does just that. I feel like it also helps controlling the oil on my skin without actually drying it up like some products do.

After cleaning out my skin, I like to use either the Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water or The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner to make sure I've taken out every bit of dirt off of my skin. I use the latter more frequently but it's usually what's most at hand as I love both products immensely. The Tea Tree collection of TBS is tremendously good for oily type of skin and I own almost all products of that range.

When it comes to a moisturizer I go back and forth between two products, the Dr Brandt pores no more anti-aging mattifying lotion, and the Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer (Combination Oily to Oily Skin).* The first is nice and light and lasts quite nicely on my skin without making it oily at the end of the day and it's a great moisturizer. The latter - it's a love hate type of relationship. I used to love it, until they updated the formula. It's still great on the skin but it doesn't control the oiliness as much.

I've actually been curious on both the Origins GinZing moisturizer and the Origins Perfect world moisturizer so if you use any of those let me know what you think.

On the days that I'm breaking out, I like to use The Body Shop Tea Tree oil, under the moisturizer as I feel it helps and 'attacks' better the area, as opposed to putting it on after the moisturizer. It's honestly the kind of product that's easy to use (in the sense that you control how much you use), doesn't dry my skin and it's anti bacterial.This does not by any means, 'remove' already existent zits, but it takes out the redness and helps prevent it's growth / future zits.

Because I'm very insecure about my pores, and even though this isn't at all a make up daily routine, after applying my moisturizer and before applying either my BB Cream or Foundation, I like to use the Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector. There isn't much to say about this product other than it does exactly what it says and even smoothes out my skin, allowing the makeup to be applied easily. It works wonder for me. It also doesn't leave a shininess that most products that do the same, leave

* Product not shown in the picture above as I've ran out and have yet to buy one.

What type of skin do you have? What's your favourite product to use on your skin? Let me know in the comments.

Ella x


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Self confidence

It's really hard to feel beautiful on a daily basis, and I think that everyone at a point or another, has struggled to feel beautiful.

Until about a year ago, I had never felt so. I had tried, but I always ended up thinking down on myself. It wasn't even about the people around me, it was my own self, bringing myself down. Last year I decided it was time to change that and since then yeah, I've allowed myself to feel beautiful.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't to say it's easy. It's still difficult. It's really hard. But the matter of the facts is that I try.

It's a cliché yes, but we are all very beautiful in our own way. If someone makes you feel less than you deserve then it's honestly their problem. Media doesn't help, showing off a representation of a woman that is nothing more than unrealistic and unattainable. By their own standards, it's hard to find someone who actually meets those characteristics.

It's not a shock that most women and even men, are unsatisfied by their appearance. We can't keep up with how fast the designation of beautiful changes.

So, we need to find our own designation. We need to be our own definition of beautiful. Can other people really tell us how good we look? Yes. But they do so by their own standards. That's the thing, opinions are opinions. We do not, by any means, have to agree with them. An opinion is like an ass, everyone has one and no ass is really the same.

I think that at the end of the day what we have to do is work on the opinion we have of ourselves. It's okay to have down days, but we need to understand that we're all we have. This is all we have. Thinking poorly of this thing that is our human body is only going to do more damage.

So we get up in the morning, and we believe that today is going to be a very good day. We're going to put on the clothes that make us feel good. And keep in mind that not everyone feels good in the same type of clothes. Some find a sweatshirt better than a skirt.

But we're going to look in the mirror and think "Today I look damn fine." It's not going to be easy. It's going to be really hard, but it's going to be worth it. I still don't like looking in the mirror, but I try. It's one step at a time.

We're also going to smile. We're going to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else around us. We're going to focus on the best instead of the worse. We're going to do what we like doing, whether that's exercise or going to the movies or read a book.

And we're going to remember that our inner beauty will always be more important. We're going to stop trying too hard to be someone we're not. we're going to stop destroying ourselves.

Work on you, instead of on those who don't matter. Be who you want to be. Believe me, that person is so beautiful.
I know I'm still a work in progress but one day, it won't be so difficult anymore.

Ella x


Saturday, 14 November 2015


November is by far my favourite month of the year. Not only because it's my birthday month (16th) but because it's the month leading up to Christmas and Christmas is my favourite season.

It's the month that for me, marks the beginning of winter, and who doesn't enjoy staying in with a cup of hot chocolate? It's the month that seems to agree with me the most be it in terms of skin, humour, clothes, best nights of sleep, and food. Everyone around me always seems happier too.

Everything seems cleaner outside, it always rains, the flannel sheets are on, there's usually always something cooking up in the oven, fuzzy slippers are a thing, Christmas shopping lists are out, and I always end up wearing darker clothes than any other season of the year.

I don't know what winter entails for other people but for me it's easy: cosier clothes, boots, a lot tea, Sundays at home curled up on the couch watching Harry Potter, and getting out of hugging everyone because it's too cold to deny me one.

It's also the time of the year where I buy even more books than I should, and when all stores remember to have great collections that drive me crazy because I know I can't buy everything I want.

Let's not forget that there are also a lot of pumpkin related things, and pumpkin related things always taste better in November and December.

I'm just glad Christmas is coming and I get to be around the people I love most.    


Friday, 6 November 2015


There aren't many things in life that I'm sure of, and when I think I am, something always comes up to change that.

Travelling and wanting to see the world, so far, hasn't.

I have a lot of friends and a lot of family members that have been absolutely everywhere and that has always left a ping of jealousy in me. Having grown up with my grandparents and being a part of a lower class community I haven't been so fortunate.

I know what you're thinking - excuses. Well yes. I agree with you. But other expenses always come up. There are always more important things.

Over the years I've compiled a list of the places I want to visit and why. Today I decided to share this list.

ps: although not mentioned (yet), London is number one on my bucket list.

/// Morocco.

It's an exotic city with its own personality and an unique culture. What more can you ask for? It's a city waiting to be explored, and that will enrich your soul once you do.

From everything I've researched throughout the years there's a lot I want to see. It's a spellbinding exotic and beautiful destination.

Here are a couple of things I want to do once I set my foot in Marrakech soil: the souks and markets, the heart of the city, also known as Djemma el Fna - during the day a shopping heaven, and at night, known for its entertainment. I will also definitely visit the Museum de Marrakech, the building alone worth a visit. The Hamman, a significant part of the peoples lives and beliefs. The Saadian tombs, surrounded by magnificent arched ceilings, marble and mosaics carvings. And, among other things, Medina: the historic centre of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Outstanding Universal Value.

Last but not least, Moroccan foods. Damn, does that couscous look delicious.


/// Italy.

I've done a lot of history studying: it's not a secret that I'm an architecture, arts, museums, history kind of girl. It's just my thing. So, it's only common sense to have one of the oldest cities in Europe on my list. I'd be nuts not to.

It's the perfect city to wander around, without any aim, and I know I'll end up finding something that'll leave me in awe. Let's start with its history spanning over 2500 years: considered the birthplace of western civilisation and its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There's history in every corner. It doesn't get better than that for me. Then there's the architecture: everywhere you look there's something - the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Vatican, the fountains such as the Trevi Fountain or La Fontana Delle Tartarughe, the neighbourhood of Trastevere, considered by many the Real Rome, The Temple or Hercules Victor, among others.

They also have the perfect trap to make me never want to leave: the food. The gelato, or the pizza, or the pasta, or their markets full of fresh fruit. Even the coffee and the wine.

I know I could stay there for months on end and still not see half of what there is to see. I could also write a novel on the reasons why I want to visit Rome, but I won't. I'll keep it to myself.

/// Italy.

I know what you're thinking: Venice, one of the best places to go for a romantic vacation. Well, I'm single, and I've been single for a while so that isn't the case. I'll do the romantic trip by myself. Its greatness is still well documented to this day.

Venice's architectural, cultural and artistic heritage is simply mind blowing. But Venice is mostly well known for four things: the wine, being one of Italy's most important wine growing areas, its canals, the Film Festival and the Architecture Biennale.

I mean, to listen to Vivaldi at La Fenice Theatre, to go to the Gallery dell'Accademia, to visit the city of Palaces, to take a tour on a Gondola or to visit the Acqua Alta Bookshop and the Coffee Museum. What more can you ask for when you're travelling? Consider me sold.

Again, like Rome, we could spend hours aimlessly walking, and we'd never run out of things to see.

Should I mention the food, or is it not necessary anymore?

/// France.

France is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. It's hard to find an area in France that's anything but outstandingly beautiful and interesting.

Provence has so much to offer: from its scenery (from the mountains to the panoramas to some of the most beautiful hilltop villages in the whole world), to the cuisine (shocker?), the cultural and, again, architectural heritage, the museums and exhibitions, the shopping, among many other things.

I also happen to be a sports girl, and I like adventure, and I've always been interested in kayaking in the river canyons, walking in the beautiful hills, cycle along the tracks and swim in the Riviera.

Let's not forget that it's also known for two other things: custom made perfume and vintage wines, such as Rhone Valley, legendary for the Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds and whites. Who doesn't like wine, or to create their own perfume?

I truly believe that Provence is much more than just a beautiful place to travel to. I feel like, anywhere I go to, there is plenty of good for the soul in the peace and tranquillity of this region.

Also, from what I've read and heard, everyday is a market day somewhere in Provence.

/// France.

Paris is the cosmopolitan city of France. It's widely known for art, culture, fashion, gastronomy, history and architecture. It's not a surprise that this is, even in this economy, one of the most visited cities in the world. It is known by many as the City of Light, City of Love and the Capital of Fashion.

I could compile a list what I want to do while there, but I'd probably never run of things to write, so I'll just give you a few pointers: the world's most visited museum, the Louvre, (Who doesn't want to see Mona Lisa live at least at a point in their lives?), the Pompidou Centre and the Orsay Museum or even the Cite de la Musique.

Let's not forget the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees avenue, Notre Dame, Chateau de Versailles (UNESCO world heritage), Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Coeur Basilica, La Conciergerie,but these are only historic landmarks. Like in Portugal and Italy and many other European countries, in every corner there is something to see, something to explore, so again, my list could be endless.

It wouldn't be me if I didn't mention the food: cheese, bread, croissants, the patisseries, the wines, etcetera, etcetera.

It's an energetic city you can't run away from: there will always be something to do here. And I think you'll leave feeling immensely in love with the country, and immensely creative.

I mean, it's Paris.

/// China.

From all the photos I've seen, it just doesn't look real to me. I mean, how in the world? So I've made it my mission to one day, just go see it with my very own two eyes.

It's no wonder why it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a United Nations Geological Park.

It would just be widely satisfying to take a cable car to the top and simply be, simply look at the view.

I don't know, I can't really put into words why I want to visit, but I know that I'll regret it if I get to 90 and not do so. I feel like the picture is self explanatory.

/// Netherlands.

It's a city I'd like to go to in the winter. Ever had that feeling where you know it's going to be cold as heck, but a place just looks warm to you nevertheless? That's Amsterdam to me.

I've always been curious to know what it's like to hop on a bike and wander the canals, and admire the beautiful views.

It's a place I'd like to escape to one day. Learn the language. Explore Begijnhof, go to the markets, wander in the neighbourhood that is Jordaan or De Negen Straatje. I'd also be a liar if I didn't mention the Anne Frank House or the Van Gogh Museum or the Hermitage Museum or the Foam Gallery or the Pianola Museum (I heard somewhere that you can attend concerts here, and that you basically listen to a playerless piano)- I mean, who could escape that??

Someone please take me there, I feel like I could lose myself - or better yet, find myself amidst losing myself in this city.

/// Meteora, Greece.

What an epic visit this would be, right? There's much more to Greece than the beautiful beaches and clear crystal waters. I mean, I wouldn't complain at all if I took a few weeks off and a beach somewhere in Greece was my destination. This is a whole landscape itself though.

But I still fee like there is more. Perhaps it's the thought of observing the landscape of Pindos and Antihasia from the mountains, that would probably make me feel like I haven't seen or experienced anything at all in the world. Or visiting all the 6 monasteries, still active, at the top of those mountains. Or visit the Church of Transfiguration,

Still, waking up in a place like this, with a view like this, must be an experience out of this world.

Would there be a better place to parachute at? Or mountain bike, or raft, or horseback, or ski at? I truly believe that if I have to do one of these things for the first time in my life, and I do, this is the place.

It also has the whole, warm, cheap, delicious food, incredible and friendly people vibe to it. there isn't much more you could ask for.

I also think it's pretty incredible that Eyrie of the Vale from GOT (Game of Thrones) is based on Meteora.

It's on my bucket list.

/// Peru. 

This is by many, known as the lost city of Incas. These beautiful mountain-top ruins were unknown to anyone living outside of the Urubamba Valley and nearby Cusco until 1911. This pretty much means the Incan architecture is still preserved to this day.

This is by many considered the trip of a lifetime and I want to find out why. This has so many natural and cultural treasure that still mange to fascinate everyone who visit, that there has to be a reason why, right?

I'm sure that, like many other countries, even those not mentioned above, it has an incredible history, available to find out through Museums, the towns and village, the ruins or even just by wandering around. I mean, the Inca Ruins are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world.

I just know I want to do a guided tour around the ruins. I also know that Peru is absolutely beautiful, and it'd be silly of me not to have this on my list.


These are honestly only a couple of the places I want to visit. There are so much more. So many things I want to do in life, so many places I'd like to go to. There are what, 193 / 194 countries in the world?

I'm a lover of many things and although I haven't travelled much, I know travelling is a passion of mine. It's something I'll want to do until I can't anymore. And even then someone will have to tie me up on a chair somewhere.

Perhaps I'll give you more of the ones on my list some other day. Who knows?

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