Friday, January 31, 2014

ANN SUMMERS | FIT TO FLAUNT


A while back I was invited to try out the new Fit To Flaunt campaign by Ann Summers. A recent survey conducted by Ann Summers revealed that over 60% of women in Britain are wearing the wrong sized bra, even though they have had a bra fitting within the last 6 months. The Fit To Flaunt campaign is quite different to traditional fitting services - they determine your size using the bra that you are currently wearing.
Very conveniently for me, I was arranged a fitting at the Guildford store which is located in The Friary mall. Having never been in an Ann Summers store, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was also my very first bra fitting, although I wasn't too nervous about the latter as I feel comfortable in my own skin. Upon entering the store, I was greeted by the lovely Alana who explained how the campaign works and then helped me find my right size by looking at the bra I was wearing that day. First we had to see if the back size was correct - while I thought I felt very comfortable in my bra, she determined that my back size was too big and after making it tighter, I felt way more fitted. Then she looked at the straps and also made them tighter, as they are essentially the part that hold the bra up. The last part of the fitting was determining whether my cup size is correct - luckily that part I was right about! Although I came into the shop thinking that I was a 34B, after the fitting I had established that, in fact, I am a 32B, so we then went to look for styles to try on. I told her that I prefer plunge bras rather than balconette ones, which was funny as in the end most of the bras I took to the fitting room were actually balconettes! After trying on what felt like a gazillion bras, I went for this Pure Lace Emerald Balconette Bra, £18 and matching bottoms, £8. I have a feeling that I'll be going back as there were so many other styles that I liked, check for yourself here! If you live in the UK, I highly suggest you try their fitting as it is free and really does help. For me it was actually an eye opener as I never really thought of the importance for having the right fit.
Thanks so much to the Ann Summers team for organizing this and for my new underwear set! ♥

FLUFFY BLUE COAT




ASOS Coat (here), River Island Jeans (similar), ASOS Bag (similar), Jana Reinhardt Ring (here), ZARA Necklace, Bobbi Brown Lipstick (here), Topshop Boots (similar).

And I'm back! Well, not quite - I still have one exam today, but during the week I've been slowly preparing this post whenever I found some time. As you probably already know, I'm crazy in love with this coat and I've been wearing it literally every day for the past week! I've been thinking of cheekily purchasing the gray or pink version as well, but that would probably be going too far, haha.

Today after my exam I'm jumping on the train straight to London to meet the girls for dinner, exciting! It feels so weird to think of *freedom*, really. I've been in the library morning to evening for 18 days straight, apart from the 2 days I studied at home and relaxed. I better be off now, as my exam is in a couple of hours so last minute revision is needed! Have a great Friday guys ♥

Monday, January 27, 2014

PREVIEW


Hey there! How are you? At the moment I'm super busy - two upcoming exams on Thursday + Friday, and straight to London after that, which is not even fully planned yet. All my days are spent in the library and I'm now leaving my laptop at home so I really don't have much time for the blog... I didn't want it to stay quiet for some days so I thought I'd show a quick preview of my next outfit post! I'm wearing my new ASOS coat and ASOS quilted bag, paired with Bobbi Brown lipstick ♥ 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

RETAIL THERAPY



During these exam weeks, one can't deny that a little shopping will cheer you up a long way. Even if this shopping is done from the library, from the same desk that you've been sat for the last 8 hours. With their 20% off for students offer and whatnot, ASOS has definitely been a favorite of mine lately. From ASOS I ordered Tangle Teezer in black, however they have some other colors too, as well as the Seche Vite Top Coat, which is the best beauty item in my WHOLE collection, hands down.





One of my best purchases of the year (or the last 3 weeks...) is this Blue Fluffy Cocoon Coat from ASOS. It really fits like a dream and is so beautiful! I thought it would be a nice change of color as pretty much every single girl in the UK has that fluffy pink coat, which I too have considered buying but glad I didn't! If you are interested though, this coat is also available in pink for the same price and gray for a lot cheaper. The gray one is wonderful too!
Sunglasses is always something that I somehow lack and recently the days have been sunny (but cold), and because I have blue eyes, they let in so much light that I find it difficult to be outside during sunny periods, it's really annoying. Then again, I couldn't really find any sunglasses that I liked, regardless if they were designer or high street. I'm glad that I finally stumbled upon these ASOS Cay Eye sunglasses! You will see both items in an outfit post very soon.



Here's an overly edited Instagram photo of my purchases. While we're on the topic of ASOS, I wanted to mention that I'm now an ASOS Insider, part of Access All ASOS - how cool?! This means visits to their HQ in London, invites to amazing events, freebies, discounts, preview of collections etc.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

BOBBI BROWN


After returning to the UK, I got a lot of new Bobbi Brown products! It's my first time trying out products from Bobbi Brown and it was really exciting as I've been meaning to try this brand out for a long time. The things that I was gifted were High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Hot (here), Shimmer Lip Gloss in Golden Nectar (here), Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick (here), Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Champagne (here), Lip Color in Nude (here), Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Denim Ink (here) and Sheer Lip Color in Hot Raspberry (here).
This gel eyeliner is a first for me, not because of its gel texture, but the color Denim Ink. I have not used a gel eyeliner for years and therefore when I tried this with my eyeliner brushes, I honestly made myself look like a clown, but the dark blue color looked really amazing! I'm going to try to get better at doing eyeliner with a brush, as this product is awesome!
Never been a lip gloss gal until about a year ago when I started discovering new shades and products that didn't feel too mucky on my lips. I love the choice of colors in these 2 as they both also work perfectly on top of the new lip sticks (in the last photo) to give them that extra bit of shimmer.

The Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick is my absolutely favorite product from the gifts and I've been using it pretty much every day now. To be honest, I used it as a blush/bronzer however after doing some research I actually found out that this is meant to be added as extra shimmer on top of your bronzer/blush. Nevertheless, for me it worked really nicely without anything underneath and I could really feel the glow coming from my skin (if that makes sense). The best part is that you can use each shade on this for eyeshadow as well!

The Hot Raspberry shade is absolutely AMAZING, also a product I've been using almost daily. For someone who doesn't have much experience or skill in applying lipstick perfectly, it is surprisingly easy to use and lasts for ages. I've not worn the nude color out yet, however when I tried it on, it gave a natural and classy look, complimented with the shimmery lip gloss it looked absolutely gorgeous.

Monday, January 13, 2014

INSTALATELY

Hey there! Sorry for the little silence here through the last few days. They were a mix of everything good and bad but unfortunately didn't leave me much time to update my blog. Basically on Friday night I went out until the early hours and it was quite a weird night as it was the last one in Luxembourg for quite a while. Then on Saturday I was packing and on Sunday I had to fly to the UK. Sunday was REALLY not a great day for me, to be honest. The morning started by finding out my main teacher of last year from high school was killed in a tragic accident by some idiot who was running red lights and only got his licence 3 months ago. Then just before my flight I got an e-mail about one of my placement applications where I had not been successful. Following that, the flight was delayed, journey home was exhausting and when I came back I knew I could only relax one more evening as I have my exams approaching. I am now back in the UK and after having spent half of the day in the library I already feel tired, even though I normally spend up to 10-12 hours there. Tomorrow I will start the morning with a pilates class (first time ever) and then hopefully stay in the library longer than today. Meanwhile, for those of you who don't use Instagram, I thought I could show you what I've been up to lately. If you want to follow me, my username is @kristianav.
1. This morning before the library, trying out one of my new Bobbi Brown lipsticks 2. Awesome make up from Bobbi Brown, a brand that I've been meaning to try for ages! 3. My friend Kate took some photos of me just before the New Year for a school project.

1. Lots of above knuckle rings from Brandy Melville 2. I can't live a single day without fruit and LOTS of it! 3. Trying my mum's NAKED palette, definitely need to get myself 1 of those. Or 2. Or all 3.

1. A while back at the Red or Dead blogger breakfast @ The Breakfast Club, London. Definitely a place I'll go back to! 2. Just before Christmas me and Kaori sent a care package to our favorite PR ladies at EtailPR, seeing as we have worked with them so many times! 3. Selfie before going to Luxembourg for Christmas! 
1. At the London Stylight event with Kayla, Amy and Kavita. 2. Love this Barry M gold nail polish! 3. Trying on these amazing Zara heels, couldn't make my mind up then and am still confused as to whether I should get them or not!

1. Throwback to a few years ago when I was like 17 or something. 2. Playing with a wig my group used for our video commercial assignment. 3. At Camera club in Oxford with my girl Amalie!

1. My outfit for flying to Luxembourg yesterday. 2. All green breakfast ♥ 3. The night before flying to Luxembourg Rosie persuaded me to go out - we ended up sitting on the ground eating a big box of fried potatoes, hehe! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DAY AT HOME



Today was one of those days where I was actually happy to be home, as the weather outside was absolutely terrible! I worked a lot on my placement application (sooo excited about this current one, it's about BLOGGING!!!), then I cleaned the kitchen and made semolina mousse for the family. It's a really simple recipe for a dessert that everyone who has grown up in Latvia knows! You just have the pink mousse with milk and that's it, so delicious.

Even though I had my pyjamas on all day, I did do quite a lot of stuff, including planning ahead for some blog events and such - there's a really amazing spa day coming up next week, can't wait! I'm gonna leave it at this - just wanted to pop by quickly, but now I need to finish my placement application as tonight is the deadline and I absolutely want this job! ♥

DECEMBER BIRCHBOX



A tad bit late, yes, but better late than never, right? A while ago I received the December Birchbox as a gift from the company. It was my first time ever trying a subscription beauty box, so I was VERY excited! Before I get onto the samples, I wanted to add that I liked the idea of a beauty box so much that I just subscribed to this service :-)

The products that my Birchbox contained -

  • Number 4 Non-Aerosol Hairspray | £18.50 | - That's the black and white spray bottle above (I really should have added numbers to the items). I thought this was a really cool concept because it really is a hairspray without the aerosol! It sprays on like any other hair product and it holds my hair for quite a good amount of time. The only downside that I found was that it made my hair at the roots slightly greasy, however I do have a tendency of not keeping a very large distance when spraying products into my hair so that could actually be why, haha.
  • Nail Rock Nail Glitter | £6.99 | - I was super excited about trying this product because I've never tested Nail Rock brand products before and never actually tried glitter on my nails either. It was a bit of a messy process but not too bad either. When I was done, the nails did feel a bit like sandpaper so I added a top coat which fixed it. I absolutely loved the effect on my nails and literally couldn't stop waving my hands in my friends faces :P 


  • Twistband | £10 for a pack of 6 | - This was the green band you can see tied around the green paper piece. At first I was really confused as to what it was but after reading the description and some reviews I found out that it's an anti-crease hairband which you can easily wear as a wristband as well. I've been wearing this ever since receiving it as it does give an incredible hold to my ponytails and gives it a nice finished look. I love this product so much that I will probably be buying some more of those as they do seem to last a long time! 
  • Sin-Care Party Girl Serum | £46.50 | - This serum aims to help your morning-after look by brightening up the skin. I didn't get to try it too many times as the squeezing thingy at the top broke after the 3rd or 4th try for some reason and I can't really get it out anymore now :( but it was so nice while it lasted! The texture was very silky and smooth and there were tiny sparkles in the serum which were not too obvious on your face. The smell was incredible too! So sad about the lid breaking :(((
  • Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow | £12.50 | - Ever since receiving this I've been using it almost daily. Even though I've had many eyeshadows before, this one feels so different and I can't even put my finger on why. It goes on very smoothly and while it is a bit sparkly, it is definitely not too much for the daytime. 
  • Lamilou Body Milk | From £22.00 | - This is the item I've tried least of in this box, simply because I usually prefer body butters rather from body milks, I'm just not a fan of a cream being so liquidy. Since this is a sample, it is the perfect size for travel so I did bring it with me to Germany a couple of weeks back and used it there. Mine is with coco butter and rose water, which smells heavenly!

The box also contained a brochure with hair ideas, gift tags and all kinds of Christmassy inspirations, as well as a $20 gift card for a jewelry brand called Baublebar which has recently expanded into UK. I didn't use this as I was afraid of custom taxes, but I'm just paranoid, ha!

A typical Birchbox costs £10, but there are lots of deals available, such as 6 months for £50 which sounds great! Since I'm such a beauty beginner, I decided to go for the deal where each month I simply pay £10 and can stop it anytime. I liked this deal because if I decide that this subscription programme is not for me, I haven't paid anything in advance and hit the cancel button immediately. The choice I took also offered free shipping, so that's great! 

I was wondering whether any of you have tried subscription services before? Which ones and what did you think about them? 


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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

LITTLE MISTRESS VOL. 2


Photos by Christine Xuan

Such a picture heavy outfit post, so I enabled the "Read More" option! A while ago I received this AMAZING Little Mistress skirt which I already wore on New Years Eve, but the moment I chose it, I knew it would also be easy to dress it down for a daytime look like this one. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that Little Mistress is a company I'm VERY fond of, because all the items are very well done and unique. You can see my previous post with their item here. This skirt is one of the most beautiful things in my closet, I'm just crazy in love with it, really. Unfortunately on New Years Eve I got a little bit careless and pulled a seam on the front so that a whole row of the embellishments near the bottom fell off, which is really sad! Even though this skirt was gifted by Little Mistress, I might actually order another pair because of this incident, as it is an item which I would love to keep, like, forever.

CHOCOLATE HOUSE


Today I met Tina for some girly talk and she showed me this place called Chocolate House in town - being the sweet toothed person that I am I actually can't believe I didn't know this place before. I tried the brownie hot chocolate as you can see in the first photo and unfortunately I didn't really like it too much. I've already tried dip-in hot chocolate once before when I was in Amsterdam (I think) and even then I wasn't a big fan as they're just not as sweet. Maybe I just haven't found the right flavor yet! :) I also had carrot cake which was okay but I think the ones at Konrad are by far better. Anyway it was fun actually trying out a new place in a country where it seems that everything is always same old. I definitely need to explore more places in Luxembourg, not just when it comes to food but generally. We also took some outfit photos of each other so I'm going to be posting them up later and I'm pretty excited about that!
I know I say this a lot but I just wanted to say thanks for all the sweet comments recently! I know you guys are many but sometimes you are very quiet and it gets a little lonely, so I love it when a post generates a lot of feedback - I'm reminded that I'm not all alone here, haha! Yesterday I even had more than 1,900 page views which was normal 2-3 years ago when I blogged 2-4 times per day, so that was quite surprising too! :-) 

Monday, January 6, 2014

RECENT BEAUTY ITEMS



First of all, thank you SO much for all your comments on my last post! Initially I was not sure whether it was a good idea to publish something so "controversial" but reading all the comments makes me realize that I made 100% the right choice.

Onto the topic of this post now. Those of you who read my blog occasionally might have noticed that I'm becoming a bit of a beauty freak lately. I get SO excited when I have new beauty items and just can't wait to try everything out. I've also been watching so many beauty youtube videos and I already have a favorite youtuber, her name is Make Up By Alli!

Anyway, I wanted to show you some of my latest beauty buys/sale bargains/gifts that I have acquired recently :) Some of them I've been using a LOT but some I'm only starting to use, so I might not rush into reviewing yet.

  • D&G The One Eau de Parfum 75ml (here) - one of my all time favorite perfumes along with Alien by Thierry Mugler. I've used Alien for the last 4+ years so I really wanted a change and decided to go back to D&G. Unfortunately at just above 100EUR it was slightly out of my budget so I'm really happy that Santa took note :))))
  • Rudolph Fresh Face Mask by Lush - this was part of their Christmas collection and it's nowhere to be found on their website anymore so it seems like it's sold out.. which is incredibly bad news for me because this face mask was AMAZEBALLS. OMG. I have this thing where I'm really conscious about red skin patches or wrinkles on my face (especially after nights out) and every time I used this mask it just made everything perfect. It was priced somewhere between £5-7 as their usual face masks are. I guess I'll have to find another Lush mask to replace it with - any suggestions?
  • Lancome Poudre Majeur Excellence Loose Powder in 01 Translucent (here) - I was in need of a new translucent powder for ages but I always have difficulty finding some that don't leave blotches of what looks like dry skin on top of my foundation. This one is so silky and smooth and I absolutely love translucent powders as the skin tone doesn't matter! At 48EUR it is quite steep but you get what you pay for (and seems that in the UK you pay less for this one) but I'm sure it will last me for ages. 
  • O.P.I. Every Month Is Octoberfest - a nail polish from their Germany collection that immediately appealed to me in Sephora, not just because I absolutely love dark red/purple tones on my nails but also because it was half price, so I got it for around 7EUR, yay! On their website it looks oddly purple, whereas in real life it's more burgundy on your nails. 
Skincare products: 
  • Yes To Carrots Exfoliating Body Wash (here) - I'm such a big fan of Yes To products, and I go crazy every time I see them in shops (or on ASOS). Sephora was obviously having a rather big sale for this brand in Luxembourg so I grabbed 3 products - the body products were reduced from around 12 EUR to less than 4EUR.
  • Yves Rocher Hydrating Toner (here) - Not going to lie, I did only buy it because it was on sale for half the price, just under 4EUR, but it is awesome! I also recently bought some similar products from The Body Shop which I have yet to show as I've left them in the UK. However I always need a hydrating toner because my skin stings after I remove make-up, no matter which product I use :(

  • Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub (here) - I bought this product to keep in Luxembourg for my visits as I've recently started using an exfoliator every day. I'm not sure why, but I don't really love this product and I can't decide why. It does the job alright, however I very much prefer the one I got from The Body Shop.
  • Yes To Carrots Nourishing Rich Moisture Day Cream (here) - Just like with all other Yes To products that I've ever had, I'm completely in love with this one. It's so nice and calm on my face which is exactly what I need after all the products that make my face sting. It was also reduced to half price - score!
  • Yes To Carrots Super Rich Body Butter (here) - I'm such a big fan of body butters that at every single moment I have a huge stash of them waiting to be used. Whenever I see beauty products on sales, I love buying them "for the future" as I will be "buying them anyway when the time comes". Am I the only one?



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    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    WHY ASIAN WHOLESALE IS BAD // #RANT

    I remember when I started my blog, almost 5 years ago. I religiously followed people like Cosette Munch and Shelley Mulshine and many more on Lookbook.nu. Most of my favorite Lookbookers constantly wore really cool clothes from Romwe, and, at the time, it was my ultimate blogging goal to become one of those special selected people! When I looked at their blogger programme, it said that in order to be a part of it, you need to have 2000 followers on one platform, so I constantly posted looks on my Lookbook account, as by that time I was only a few hundred people away and it seemed doable.

    Then, shortly before I reached 2000 fans on Lookbook, Romwe contacted ME. They wanted to work with ME. Oh, I was so happy and flattered. I was given a generous budget of 80$ to spend on their website and I still remember my first order. It was a sailor dress, a tank top (which later turned out to be from H&M) and a lace dress which barely covered my behind. I fell in love with this site as the quality was actually quite good for some time, and the clothes were "unique" items which you could never find in such a conservative (style-wise) country as Luxembourg.

    Shortly after Romwe, more and more similar companies started contacting me, these included Sheinside, Chicwish, Wendybox, Wholesaledress.net, Causewaymall, Oasap etc. Of course I accepted all their offers and kept receiving items from these sites for a while. I started noticing that the quality of clothing was not very consistent. For example Romwe had a lot of items that had their own label tag on (although I did wonder sometimes whether they just replaced it from the original tag), and Chicwish had legit clothing from some Asian companies AND the quality was rather good! Then again, the odd item every now and then was VERY bad. While I was more pleased than disappointed with Romwe and Chicwish, the other sites I mentioned were mostly always disappointing. The quality/sizing was just so weird and the clothes didn't seem as nice and valuable as something from Topshop (for example).

    DETAILS OF 2013


    Knitted Biker Jacket


    Hey beautiful! Today I decided to do a little summary of my outfit details from 2013. It doesn't include all outfits, just the ones I liked best (this was not a good year for me, so I don't even want to look at some of them..) This is a super image-heavy post so I added the Click to read more function. Below each photo you can find a direct link to the blog post, in case you want to see the rest. Hope you enjoy and wish you a lovely Sunday evening! ♥

    REPOST / BLOG DESIGN / ETC

    Blogging at 2:30 AM, not something I do often at all! It made me think back to the days when I started blogging - that was almost 5 years ago when blogging was not very big. I didn't really understand how to make a blog look professional and easy to read. But heck, I was blogging about pizza and Pretty Little Liars, so perhaps a professional layout was not the priority. I started thinking of ideas to spice up my design a bit as well, and now, 3 hours later, I think it's safe to say that I'm exhausted and going to bed. I'm rather pleased with the result so far - I've also used an image in my header for the first time in ages. This one is by my amazing friend Tina (Christine Xuan), who has an exciting project of her own coming up very soon. But shhh. ;-)

    After writing all this text, I almost forgot why I'm posting this now, in the middle of the night, instead of going to sleep, like a normal person should after the long day that I've had. I wanted to let you know that I will be working more on my sidebar as it's quite messy at the given moment. My sidebar is, in fact, one part of my blog I'm never fully pleased about - it's either too colorful, or the text doesn't stand out, etc. So hopefully I'll be able to fix that part tomorrow! For now, I hope you like the new look :)

    After trying to find some nice photos for this post from my archives, I realized that this year I haven't been very active with my camera, at all! Probably the fact that my external hard drive broke during the summer and made me lose photos for god knows how many posts doesn't help either. I did mention that I am not one for New Years resolutions but this is one thing I will try to improve on this year!

    Okay, if you have actually got this far with the this text, then you're amazing! I never actually know how many people come for the whole post and how many only come for the pictures. Goodnight ♥

    PS. Random fact: last week this blog reached 2 million page views during its lifespan, crazy isn't it?

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

    SUSHI SHOP

    Whenever I come to visit my family in Luxembourg, one of the main places that I usually want to go to is Sushi Shop. I miss this restaurant so badly when in the UK, so I was super happy when me and Kaori decided to go there today. Obviously, the sushi was so good that we only remembered to take photos once it was all gone. I had also treated myself to some rose petal Laduree macaroons today, which is a tradition of mine whenever I'm not feeling too well. The rose petal flavor is my all-time favorite and I always (!!!) only get that one. I wore my new Zara cropped top which is super simple, with slight bell sleeves and a zip around the neckline - you are certainly going to see more of this soon! ♥

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    2 0 1 4

    Happy new year guys! I hope you had a great new years eve - mine was great but today I don't feel particularly great today for the lack of sleep and such. Otherwise I'm quite fine as I've been in bed all day watching youtube videos, haha. I'm really not the kind of person who sees a new year as a new beginning and I certainly don't make resolutions. To me it does not seem logical to wait until the new year to start for you to start/stop doing something - if you really (!!) want to go to the gym/stop smoking/see your family more, then why not start this second? That's just my outlook! Nevertheless, I do enjoy new years parties and I absolutely love dolling myself up for the night. We were at Anne-Maries place until about 2AM or a bit later, when we took the bus to town. It was a bittersweet party at the club as just a few hours prior, the owner had died there and it was quite a shock to everyone, especially as we see him there every time and talk to him, etc. I was hoping to stay there for quite a while but the club turned the lights on at about 5AM and made everyone leave, which kind of sucked. But, oh, it was so good to finally be on the bus with Heleret to go home, haha!!! Especially when she treated me to a slice of some quiche that she had made before, yum!
    The photo above is probably the reason I'm quite ill now - on Monday I met up with Kate for lunch at Vapiano and then we went to shoot some photos for a project she is doing for school. It was freezing, but I love the results! I will now be off, to indulge in my latest obsession which is 2 Broke Girls and hopefully speak to you tomorrow! ♥