purchases

M.A.C Haul for Autumn/Winter

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Spending time in Canada means M.A.C hauling for me because in the U.S. the closest store is 3 hours and $30 away that I just won’t sacrifice. Sure, I could use the online store but it’s just not the same as spending an hour going crazy with swatches and feeling like a kid in a candy store. So my first trip to Toronto led to the M.A.C store too and that means Eszter cannot say no to lipsticks and other make-up items. This time I really went out and spent a lot of money. Mainly I was thinking ahead to autumn and winter and purchased products on that color scheme.

The only exception is a bold lipstick that I’ve been eyeing for months now, M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick in All Fired Up. It’s part of their Retro Matte line so it is really drying but the COLOR!!! A beautiful, deep, fuchsia pink! Deeper and with a warmer touch than NARS Carthage (post about my pink and fuchsia lipsticks here). It looks gorgeous with a tan or darker skin tones. It is not advisable for chapped lips. Use with caution and a lot of lip balm!

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My other two lip product purchases are definitely for the colder weather: M.A.C Cremesheen Lipstick in Cream In Your Coffee and Matte Lipstick in Chili. Creme in my coffee is a mauve brown, a darker neuter color for everyday make-up. Cremesheens have a hydrating, opaque formula though if I have to choose I’m more of a Lustre fan, because they glide better during application. It’s a good addition to my collection, while Chili is a deep brick-red, perfect for my darker bold cravings for autumn/winter. It is a matte but really not as drying as the retro matte formula. It has a subtle sheen to it that makes it into a semi-matte in my book.

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This time around my other indulgence was in eyeshadows. It was long overdue really. I have two 4-pan palettes that I liked to transfer into one place since I bought them, so I purchased their 15-eyeshadow palette and truthfully it never stops there… I also purchased four new shadows: Shroom – a stronger highlight color, Patina – a subtle old gold, Coppering – a brick-red with subtle shimmer and Smut – a dark grey, said to be created for Kate Moss’ preferred smokey eye-look. More on my palette when I can join them with the rest of my shadows.

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See you soon!

♥Eszter

My Battle Against Cellulite – Weight Loss Edition

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Nivea Q10 Cellulite Gel, Champion trainers from Payless ShoeSource, Old Navy knee-length black sports pants, Bazinga! T-shirt from Walmart, Indianapolis Colts cap (inherited from my dear Sister)

I’ve already mentioned on the blog that I started dieting (post here and here) and feel quite accomplished with Weight Watchers. Since then I stayed silent on the topic, but kept working hard and tried to follow the instructions to a T. It paid off splendidly but halfway through I realized it’s not enough to change my eating habits. Since my teenage years, like most women I was cursed with cellulite in my thigh to waist area. This is where I start gaining first and losing last. So when I moved back to my Sister’s, for one I changed my eating habits again (they keep to a more Eastern European meal plan, explanation’s coming in a not-too-far future post) and decided to start the most readily available and inexpensive workout, running coupled with Nivea Q10 Cellulite Gel.

Every day I wake up and go for a 25-30 min. tops running routine in our neighborhood. This consists of a quick (less than 5 minutes) warm-up for my muscles and joints, a minimum of 15 minutes of uninterrupted jogging that I do in a nearby longish crescent road that leads back home (generally I go for three laps), a 2-minutes wind-down walk and a 3-minutes stretch at the end. This works for me quite well, though I try to keep my days pretty active too (with a 3 and a half year-old around the house I have a lot of opportunities for extra walks, playground visits and so on.

Step two of this process is Nivea’s Q10 Cellulite Gel from their Q10 range that I’ve been applying religiously every night, before bed in the last 2,5 weeks. This is a light gel that has quite a runny consistency and a fresh smell (reminds me of a cross between unscented soap and lightly smelling men deodorant). After bath I gently rub a dollop into my problem areas where it absorbs quickly and leaves a nice cooling effect on the skin. Fancy! It actually feels like it’s doing something. There are other Nivea Q10 products (moisturizers and lotions) targeting cellulite that you are supposed to use in conjuncture with the Gel. Since I’ve never tried those I cannot form a clear opinion on them but they are something I should look into based on my success with the Gel.

All in all this combination seems to be a good one because I started dropping cellulite left and right after the first 3-5 days. My skin in general appears more smooth and tight and my legs and abs started to finally show some muscle tone too… Now, with the diet on top that I adjusted slightly to compensate the more active life style, I weight 154.0 lbs (working myself down from a whopping 169.8 lbs that is quite more compared to my regular, pre-USA measuring) and dropped at least 1-2 sizes in pants depending on their cut… A miracle! I also feel more energetic and less winded after activity, and more alive in general. An all around win… now I just have to keep up with it!

See you soon!

♥Eszter

Canadian Shopping Experience #2 – The Pampered Chef

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I was lucky enough to get invited to join one of my friends friends Pampered Chef Party and I was impressed.

Pampered Chef is a company selling high-quality kitchen and grilling tools through the Internet (mainly Canada but they ship to the U.S. too) and independent consultants. It reminds me a little bit of Avon. The consultants are invited to house parties with a bunch of women and they present the products by showing them in use. You can try the kitchen and grill tools and you chat with the girls… It’s all very relaxed. You are among friends so you are not awfully pushed to purchase, or else… Also the hostess shares in the proceeds in form of major discounts. I find this an everybody-wins situation and the quality is really top notch.

We were treated to a Margherita cocktail and a garlic dip with all kinds of veggies all the while she was talking about the brand and showing other favorite items. I had fun and in the end spent money on only one item (I am on a budget…), a pastry blender. I loved making cookies at home and can’t wait to start baking pies but I hate the chore of working the flour into the cold butter. There were countless other inviting and clever tools to make your life as a Master Chef much easier and enjoyable but I really restrained myself!

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Here’s their website.
See you soon!

♥Eszter

Canadian Shopping Experience #1

If you haven’t heard about this yet I’ll spend the whole summer in Canada with friends and my sister. In this series I will talk about shopping experiences and stores that are rare or not available in Pennsylvania or the U.S. See past Canadian shopping tours in this post.

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In the first installment I wanted to write about thrift shopping in Value Village. I know there are thrift shops in the U.S. too… I’ve been to Salvation Army before but the two cannot be paralleled. Value Village is one hundred times better:

  • Better quality for clothes and accessories
  • Clothes are less smelly
  • The home ware and book section is paradise with beautiful things that are all in good shape

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Mascara Masquerade

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My old and trusty mascaras (Maybelline Colossal Volume Waterproof Mascara review here and Clinique High Impact Mascara) both dried out at the same time. I loved the two: the Maybelline was my everyday mascara and I wore the stronger Clinique for special occasions and with evening or eye-heavy make-up. This system worked out quite well so now I’m in search for two new mascaras.

Did I find the perfect matches? Not exactly, I now own one good and one okay in a pinch (such a shame!) and the search is still on.

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My Summer Skincare and Makeup Staples

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Skin care and makeup shifts for me when summer comes. Firstly because I leave to stay with family and friends in Canada and there’s no way of packing everything (still managed a considerable amount of lipstick!?) I wear a little bit less of the last and a little bit more of the first. Anyway there are three key products that see a lot of use and help me keep up with everything…

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Miracle Worker Of The Week – Herbal Tea

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I found a new everyday favourite that I wanted to share… It’s tea!!!

I know it sounds weird during this season, but! I’m in “cold land” again meaning voice’s gone for a summer holiday. Yay for warm weather sickness! Thank you pool time, changeable weather and air conditioning…

So, my passion for good tea is rekindled with a new twist. I was always a fruit flavor kinda girl with lots of sugar and lemon but now I find myself reaching for herbal, caffeine free tea without any extra, added taste.

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Student Budget: Tips, tricks and new resolutions

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Living on a student budget is tough especially after getting used to what a normal salary can afford you. I found it super hard to say no to things I regularly had at home. But after this educational one year with its lows and highs (the lows mostly at the end when It felt I was constantly out of money) I have a better sense of how to conduct my spending the next year.
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Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm f3.5 – 5.6G ED VR lens review

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I bought this lens approximately 3-3,5 years ago. It acted as my main and only lens for years until recently I started investing into photo gear once again and purchased a 35mm prime lens. To make an informed decision I managed to try out the kit lens, read countless reviews day and night and listened to several YouTube photography gurus. Especially Jared Polin made a big impression on me, he suggested buying better lenses than the standard kit lens. My choice in the end fell on the Nikkor AF-S DX 16-85mm f3.5 – 5.6G ED VR lens that was an ideal high-quality walk-around lens for my D90 with a moderate enough price tag.

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Rummage sale/heaven at the Art Museum

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It’s garage sale time but I was so busy studying and on a tight budget so I didn’t have a chance to go for any of it. My bad! However I found a flyer for a rummage sale in my town’s Art Museum. It collected money for a good cause and just looking at the sheer amount of stuff lying around a lot of people donated.When we arrived it was already quite late, they were close to closing so everything was on half price. LUCKY!!! I found a lot of knickknacks and hidden treasures dirt cheap. Mainly I’m planning to use these as photography props and some I just needed to have. You know, that urge to own and never let go.

Here are my treasures:

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