Saturday, 31 August 2013

My Lomography & I

I noticed a lot of Lomography chat going around and a few giveaways hosted by different blogs, so I decided to share my experience with these cameras.
I have been passionate about photography since I was a child and I've been a Lomography fan for many years, since I bought my first Holga camera in 2005.
 At the time I was studying photography at Cardiff Univesity so it was only natural to branch out and experiment with different means.
I actually did my final colour assignment exclusively using this camera and 2 of my pictures were chosen and hang at an exhibit.

Lomography Holga

They are definitely great fun but be prepared for frustration - you need to wait to develop the film - and disappointment - for the only 1 shot worth saving from the whole roll. These cameras are also called 'toy cameras' because they look more like a cheap plastic toy than an high technological piece of engineering... but after all, that is all that you need: an hole and a film; it also means that they leak light and, of course, it adds charm but can also ruin a photo.

Lomography Diana F+

Both the Holga and the Diana F+ are medium format so they use a larger film size than your typical holiday photos camera; personally, I love medium format and they also come with different frame masks that will let you shoot square or rectangular pictures. 
You can actually also use a 35mm film with a bit of modification, involving some elastic bands and cotton pads. Settings are pretty basic (cloudy, sunny, foreground, background) but I'd recommend to have a minimum of photography knowledge because developing films is getting more and more expensive and you want to maximise every frame. It's probably better to start with Black&White so you can develop and print your own photos in the darkroom.
The pleasure of printing on photographic paper is nearly arousing - most definitely exciting - and I will never rely only on a memory card to preserve my precious memories.

Although digital photography has made huge improvements in quality, I will always be an analog at heart and the darkroom one of my favourite places; sometimes I wish digital was never invented - crazy, I know - but it obliterated what photography is all about for me: 'The Decisive Moment'.
Of course, I rely on digital on a daily basis (like for the blog, for example): it's convenient and fast but it also makes us lazy and breeding worst disciplined photographers. 
I see the world in a frame, I'm constantly scouting for the perfect composition and I own that to my traditional training.
Anyway, if you're not as extreme like me and you're not ready for a full film commitment - but still want to give film a go - I think these cameras are ideal to play with and the fun is endless.
They also offer a great variety of accessories and you can really get creative and obtaining beautiful and remarkable pictures.

... and talking about fashion accessories - my much used and loved bags ;)

Have you ever used a Lomography camera?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Introducing / di palomo

 di palomo is a brand Made in England... but inspired by Italy!
They have 4 ranges - White Grape with Aloe, Tuscan Rose, Wild Fig & Grape and Orange Blossom with Wild Honey & Olive; in every line, you'll find products for the bath, body and for the home.

di palomo White Grape with Aloe Moisturizing Liquid Soap* caught my eye, straight away. I tend to spend a bit of money on hand soaps and don't normally buy cheap supermarket brands that tend to dry my hands. My hands are very delicate by nature, plus they get battered every day by this unforgiving Scottish weather, so I really need to pay extra attention, even in such a mundane task.

This liquid soap is formulated with the finest ingredients to deterge and hydrate your hands; you also need a tiny drop because it foams up really well and the acidity of the grapes adds a layer of zestiness that is divine. Especially in the mornings, it removes all the oily make up residue off my fingers, in seconds.
I'm now addicted to sniffing my hands and in desperate need of the matching hand cream too! :)

di palomo Orange Blossom with Wild Honey & Olive Moisturzing Body Wash* smells incredible!
I can't even begin to describe the scent, it's something you need to experience for yourself... and fall in love.
As mentioned above, the range also includes room products like fragrant reeds and candles and I think they've become a must have - I want my house to smell like this all the time!!!

 I've been using it in the shower and it's a total pleasant, invigorating experience. First thing in the morning, the sparkling scent is perfect to wake you up and it stays on the skin all day; I had some female colleagues commenting on it and actually smelling my arm!!! :D
It's very nourishing and soothing thanks to the natural extracts of orange blossom, honey & olives plus it's enriched with Pro-Vitamin B5 to keep the skin soft and supple.

I love the attention to details about this brand: apart from the quality and research put into the ingredients (that shows), there are a lot of cute touches that, in my opinion, set a brand apart from the rest (proof is in the photos).
Imagine also gifting these items: you'd definitely make a bella figura, as we say... which kinda of means showing off;  in the way that you care, with a thoughtful present that is going to be appreciated... but basically, you just need to relax and only take all the merit. ;)


I really can't pick a favourite, I love them both so much.
I'm also hoping di palomo will add more lines to their collection because they seem to have cracked the secret to scent perfection!!!

Have you tried anything from di palomo yet?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Recent Loves / Nars Cream Blush in Cactus Flower

I bought Nars Cream Blush in Cactus Flower probably over a year ago, but I haven't really used it much since then; I have only started reaching out to it recently.
It's extremely pigmented but it's not one of these staining products so it's easy to blend and correct, if you happen to apply too much.
The formula is moisturizing, enriched with vitamin E and leaves a silky feeling on the skin; the packaging is the typical Nars black trademark compact, with a good size mirror and a generous amount of product - This will last a lifetime!

It's a poppy red with gold shimmer and I think the red/gold combo works brilliantly together!
It actually looks grittier in the pan and, once applied to the cheeks, it just leaves a beautiful flush with a luminous finish.
I think this blush is great for every season: cream blushes are perfect for a dewy summer look, but I can see it working really well for a 'snow white' winter look, too.
Personally, I love red blushers but I find that - in powder formulations - they appear even more powdery than other colours, so I'm glad this is part of my collection and will be much loved!

What do you think of Cactus Flower? :)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Out Now / Kiko Make Up Milano Dark Heroine Collection

"... Inspired by the dazzling scene of metropolitan nights and the glare of glowing city lights. Intense colours that light up the night with the allure of a bold and ultra modern sensuality..."

Another stunner of a collection from Kiko or what?!
Kiko Make Up Milano Dark Heroine limited edition collection is now available on the UK website; there are 10 products in the collection, including a face brush and bronzer.
As always, prices are very affordable starting from £4.90 for the Lazer Nail Laquer - gothic purple & venom teal are standing out for me - to £16.90 for these gorgeous Colour Impact Eyeshadow Palettes - there are 4 available but I definitely need these two!

The Velvet Stick Blush and Dazzling Highlighter are also looking very interesting... they look like chubby sticks for the face.

 I'm going to Italy in a couple of weeks so they are top of the shopping list... I predict a swatching galore! ;)
Anything caught your eye? Have you tried Kiko yet?

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Shopping My Stash / #4

Still acceptably warm so I stick with the Neve Cosmetics Flat Perfection Smoothing Powder Foundation in light neutral - I'm really enjoying mineral foundation this summer. Switched to the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer because - as I mentioned in my previous Shopping My Stash - the mineral primer is a bit 'meh'.
For the eye, I used the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadows 2.0 in The Vision: it's pretty low maintenance, easy and fast to apply - I also used the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion but it wasn't really necessary because these eyeshadows don't usually crease on me. Lined my waterline with the Max Factor Liquid Effect Pencil in black fire and used Lancome Hypnose Star mascara for the lashes with a coat of Kiko False Lashes Concentrate Building Base mascara, too; finally, a touch of Benefit Eye Bright in the inner corner.

I always try to keep the rest of the face dewy when I use a powder base: I alternated the Kiko Glow Touch Cheeks & Lips in 01 bitter margarita - on cheeks and lips - to Clarins Instant Light Blush in 02 coral tonic as highlighter plus Kiko Colour Explosion Multi-Tone Blush in 04 bold coral plus L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in 303 coral & floral.

Right into my corals and Kiko stuff this week - what have you been enjoying lately? :)

Friday, 23 August 2013

Introducing / Tangle Teezer Hair Brush

Everyone in the blogosphere have been buzzing about the Tangle Teezer* in recent years. I'm usually pretty sceptic about hyped products, but when a close friend raved about it, I had to give it a twirl for myself.
It's an hairbrush, ok? BUT is it a glorified hairbrush - I think this is the question. 
Well, no! It deserves all the praises indeed!!!

Let me start with a personal confession: I hardly brush my hair. First of all, I like the messy look and my hair are so fine that look flat, freshly brushed. Also, I'm kinda of terrorized of loosing my hair so I mess with them as little as possible and I find it extremely upsetting to see them left there, into the brush head. 
I might sound a bit melodramatic for someone but it's kinda of a big deal for me.

The Tangle Teezer has totally revolutionased my hair routine!
It's the proverbial hot knife through butter, it glides through the hair without pulling or yanking and barely any hair strand is left in the bristles.
It can be used on wet or dry hair and - because it minimizes breakage too - it's ideal if you have extensions and on wigs.

I love my purple glitter Original one but it comes in many different colours and versions like the Magic Flowerpot, Compact and Aqua Splash. You can get yours on, the Uk's leading online retailer of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products.

For me, it's a totally different experience and I now brush my hair every night before bed!
It leaves my hair silky and smooth and apparently, brushing your hair is good for scalp circulation, too... so Keep brushing girls! ;)

Have you tried the Tangle Teezer yet?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Review / Weleda Citrus Refreshing Body Oil

Weleda oils are some of the finest you can find on the market. I was first introduced to this brand a few year ago and since then I have also tried the Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil and the Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil. I love the green philosophy of the brand and the attention to absolutely avoid artificial preservatives; the dark glass bottle is also not by accident but will protect and preserve the natural ingredients inside, from the light.

I like how their selection of plant oils caters for different needs, on top of supplying for moisturization.
The Citrus Refreshing Body Oil* is ideal for this time of the year when - maybe after an holiday in the sun - our skin could suffer from dehydration.
This Collection is created using Sicilian sun-kissed lemons, extracting essential oil, juice and flesh from 75,000 tonnes of fruit in one season; in this oil you will only find pure, essential lemon oil and it takes 100kg of lemons to product 100gr of essential oil, involving amazing artisan and harvesting work.
It feels refreshing on the skin and also invigorating and stimulating, thanks to the zesty scent; almond oil and unsaturated fatty acids leave the skin subtle and super-soft and the lemon is a natural astringent which can also help with the appearance of cellulite.
I've been enjoying using it every evening after a shower and it's great to nourish slip-ends, without weighting the hair.

Monday, 19 August 2013

DIY / Sharpie Mug

I've see this tutorial around the web few times - Instagram especially - so I decided to give it a bash too and I have a few Ikea cups that are the perfect blank canvas for this project. 

You need:
- Sharpie marker
- Mug/Cup
- Pencil

First of all, wash the mug with soap to remove any greasy residue and try to touch it the less possible because also the oil on the skin can interfere with the ink;

Start off with a pencil to trace your decoration and have fun and be creative!
Once you're happy with your design, retrace with the Sharpie. You can also use different colours and really come up with a unique and original piece.

I'm not great at drawing, myself... but I'm pretty please with my wee puppy :) I took inspiration from Gemma Correll - the queen of pugs illustrations.

Finally, place your mug in the oven and then turn the oven on at 200/220 degree Celsius. Putting the mug inside the oven when it's still cool, will prevent the glaze from cracking... and 'cook' for 30 minutes;
Once the timer is up, again wait for the oven to cool down before removing the mug - same reasons as above.

TADA! You new mug is ready for the first cup of tea!!!

- if you make any mistake, you can use an earbud with some alcohol to remove the marker;
- these glossy mugs are actually not the best for this project. Ideally, you should use a matte ceramic item which has a more porous surface so that the ink can really penetrate.
- obviously, don't start scrubbing with a kitchen scourer and your drawing should hold pretty well!

Have you tried this DIY before?

Saturday, 17 August 2013

FOTD - Rainy Afternoon

Yep, cut my fringe a wee bit. I used my new Tweezerman shears which give more of a 'square' finish; I quite like it, especially when I tie my hair up - look very tidy and put together. Anyhow, I desperately need a proper haircut. Last time I had an haircut was March 2012 (The shame!) and it's just not acceptable. I've been trying to grow my hair, just for a change... but I just can't see myself with long hair - I definitely think I suit short hair more.
Onto the make up....
Face: Daniel Sandler Retexturizing Face Primer, Lancome Teint Miracle foundation in 010, Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in pink, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in medium, Cover FX Bronzed FX in golden peach;
Eyes: bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 Limited Edition in the rare find (Surreal & Eureka), Neve Cosmetics Occhioni mascara, Becca Line + Illuminate Pencil in fiji; 
Lips: Bobbi Brown Lipcolor in party alice (not pictured).

Friday, 16 August 2013

Review / Fudge Urban Hair Chalks

I've got to be honest, I was pretty excited to try these... like a child with a new toy! :)
I think my hair is pretty boring so the Fudge Urban Hair Chalks are ideal if, like me, you'd like to mix things up a little but don't feel comfortable with dying your hair just yet.
The chalks are shaped like domes and foolproof to use: you just divide your hair into section and rub the product wherever desired. They are easily buildable and you can give your mane 'a barely there wash of colour' or go for the full-on rainbow effect.
They are available from and come in 4 shades: Festival Pink, Electrik Blue, Pumped-Up Purple, Red Hot Pepper and Iced White.

Iced White* is great to mix with other chalks and create pretty pastels or to achieve an ombre' look and work it higher up on the hair strand.
Fudge Urban recommends to seal the product with some hairspray and the Fudge Urban Iced Coconut Cocktail Hairspray sounds like the perfect partner in crime, plus I can't begin to think how amazing it must smell!
Personally, I like to be prudent so I applied some hair pudding before, to make the chalk stick better to the hair, and then I sealed with the hairspray; I think this look works particularly well with beach waves so I also curled my hair before application. I'm pretty pleased with the results. :)
Mind you, my hair is quite dark but you can still definitely see the pop of colour there! I love Red Hot Pepper* - this bright red really makes my eyes pop and I wanna try and go much darker next time.
Fun time ahead, children! ;)

Have you tried hair chalking yet?
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